Wesak (Vesak) Buddha Purnima

So finally, we have reached the day of the Full Flower Moon which occurs this evening Saturday May 21 at 5:14 PM ET/9:14 UT. This is also known as Buddha Purnima, Buddha Jayanti, and Wesak; and in Vedic astrology, it is Vishakha/Vaishakha Puja. Gautama Buddha is said to have been born on this day in the Vaishakha month. His enlightenment is also celebrated today, as is his great exit from the body, and according to legend, He promised to come back on this day every year, along with many other divine beings, to regenerate the Earth.

imagesThe Theosophists teach that the Christ (Maitreya) gathers the entire spiritual hierarchy together in prayer and meditation at this Full Moon to invoke the forces of a heavenly realm known as Shambhala, which increases the input and output of the divine light within us on this Earth. Meditation and other contemplative and healing practices will be so very rewarding today and tonight. image001

I am always particularly drawn to recite and pray on the Great Invocation at this time:

From the point of Light within the Mind of God
Let light stream forth into human minds.
Let Light descend to Earth.

From the point of Love within the Heart of God
Let love stream forth into human hearts.
May the Coming One return to Earth.

From the center where the Will of God is known
Let purpose guide all little human wills,
The purpose which the Masters know and serve.

From the center which we call the human race
Let the Plan of Love and Light work out
And may it seal the door where evil dwells.
Let Light and Love and Power restore the Plan on Earth.
(The Great Invocation, Lucis Trust et al)


Full Flower Moon May 21, 2016

Hi Friends! Have you seen it or are you feeling it? The full Moon in sidereal Scorpio is looming now, and will occur on Saturday, May 21 at 5:14 PM ET/9:14 PM UT. According to some traditions in the Northern Hemisphere, this month’s lunar phase is called the “Full Flower Moon.” Life is springing forth abundantly as we head into the height of summer which will culminate at the next full Moon on the June 20th Summer Solstice (Northern Hemisphere). For now, nature is reaching up toward the zenith with *intensity* and this is a key word for the Scorpio full Moon which typically signifies strong feelings and transformational events.

SFPageThe full Moon in Scorpio exactly conjoins a very bright and prominent warrior Mars, and both widely conjoin the lord of karma Saturn, all of which can now bring us in touch with some of our deepest insecurities and darkest emotions, and for some, this might not feel so good. Moon-Mars occur in the navamsa of Virgo in the second pada of Anuradha nakshatra; Anuradha is ruled by Saturn, and Virgo by Mercury. Saturn and Mercury are in a very challenging 6/8 aspect, while Mercury is also retrograde in the sign of Aries, also ruled by Mars. Venus is combust the Sun in Taurus opposite the full Moon.

Full MoonAll of this can activate inner or outer conflict and issues around finances, security, or self-worth, perhaps urging us to look at our own “stuff,” and in some cases, to clear, clean, and let go. With these aspects, many people are feeling exhausted or depressed now. In past history, a similar full Scorpio Moon alignment occurred during times of civil unrest, storms, floods, explosive events, and political turmoil. The South Node, which is known as Ketu in Vedic astrology, can engage some violent energy akin to Mars, and it is conjoining the luminaries of the previous March 8 solar eclipse chart. I advise that in the coming days, we lie low and avoid pushing anything. Wait at least until Mercury stations direct on late Sunday morning to make any important decisions. Now more than ever, we can benefit from cultivating loving kindness, positive thoughts, peace, and harmony.

2016-may20-21-22-moon-mars-saturn-antaresHere’s wishing all a very happy, healthy and prosperous cycle ahead, with much love, light and auspicious flowering!


This is the highest philosophy. Do not be afraid of anything. Even when tossing on a wave in a storm, you are still on the bosom of the ocean. Always hold on to the consciousness of God’s underlying presence. Be of even mind, and say: ‘I am fearless; I am made of the substance of God. I am a spark of the Fire of Spirit. I am an atom of the Cosmic Flame. I am a cell of the vast universal body of the Father. ‘I and my Father are One.’” ~ Paramahansa Yogananda


Brazil in Crisis: Vedic Astrology Snapshot

According to the New York Times (May 12, 2016), “after an all-night debate, Brazil’s Senate voted Thursday morning to suspend President Dilma Rousseff and begin an impeachment trial against her, ousting a deeply unpopular leader whose sagging political fortunes have come to embody widespread public anger over systemic corruption and a battered economy.” The Economist tweeted, “With poor finances and even poorer politics, Brazil lurches from one crisis to another.” Economic and political crises in 2015 and 2016 make Brazil one of the biggest global risks in the world right now, “creating a chain reaction of credit downgrades, currency devaluation and political infighting that’s sucking Brazil into what economists forecast will be the worst recession since 1901″ (GlobalPost.com)
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Mighty Mars in Charge

It’s time again for a “heads up” about Mighty Mars as he is seriously the boss now while all the grahas (planets, Sun, Moon and lunar nodes) as well as outer planets are now bowing down to him. This is because he is the final or sole dispositor of the sky mirror until May 19, with a small reprieve from May 11-13 when the Moon will break out into its own sign of sidereal Cancer for a few days. On May 19, Venus will move into its own sign of sidereal Taurus and this will break the current reign of Mars as sole dispositor. This dynamic has been in play on and off since the Moon entered sidereal Leo on April 16.

SFPageHere I am using sidereal zodiac (always) and traditional rulers (dispositors) of the planets, not modern ones. For instance, the Sun, Mercury and Venus are in Aries so they are all disposited by (ruled by) Mars who rules Aries. Jupiter and Rahu are in Leo which is ruled by Sun which is disposited by Mars. The Moon throughout this period is in Mars-ruled signs or signs that are disposited by planets in Mars’ signs, except for when it is in its own sign of Cancer. Saturn is in Scorpio with Mars/ruled by Mars. Uranus is in Pisces ruled by Jupiter which is disposited now by the Sun in Mars-ruled Aries. Neptune and Ketu are in Aquarius ruled by Saturn disposited by Mars. Pluto is in Sagittarius ruled by Jupiter disposited by the Sun in Mars-ruled Aries.

SFPageA “dispositor” means ruler. A final or sole dispositor occurs in a horoscope when one graha lies in its own ruling sign—like Mars in Scorpio now; while at the same time, all the others lie in signs which are owned by that ruling planet through a series of steps. A final dispositor is said to be the head of the chart, with full autonomy over all the others. In this case, Saturn is sort of vying for this position as he is the nakshatra dispositor or higher consciousness overseer of Mars. Let’s hope this partial sambhanda (Mars in Saturn nakshatra/lunar mansion and Saturn in Mars rashi/sign) means they will work in some harmony for positive results, rather than at odds which will lead to stressful results.

To a large extent, we each have a choice how it plays when we keep the inner connection with the Divine and surrender our egotistical will (Mars) to the higher will (Saturn). That means moving gently in ease; aligning with grace and the unconditional inner witness; not joining in the chaotic drama of the craving and obsessing monkey mind; hearts open to the sky with full breath; grounded and allowing, accepting, en-joying in the flow of the Divine moment by moment. The higher manifestation of Mars can help us do all of this!

indexHowever, everything in duality has a shadow, including Mars. In his lower expression, he is considered the most malefic (evil, difficult, challenging, willfull) of the grahas, and this is according to Vedic astrology’s Sage Parashara. And so, he tends to make the absolute worst final dispositor. He is the planet of willpower, sharp and quick actions, eruption, violence, energy, and conflict.

Mars is not always “evil” but he is now potentially so while transiting with enemy Saturn in Anuradha nakshatra which is ruled by Saturn. I have previously blogged about the Mars-Saturn dance in recent weeks and months, as well as having blogged my “Musing on Fire” two weeks ago, when I made a prediction that we would be having large fires burning out of control (which tragically is happening now in Canada).

Screen-Shot-2016-05-06-at-10.26.08-AM-640x480Being retrograde and conjoined malefic enemy Saturn, Mars potentially disrupts the fire energy especially as Saturn fans his flames. On a positive note, with this Mars energy so intensely on board, we have a chance to reevaluate issues related to personal power, specifically how and where that power is being given away. This can be a great time to deal with personal problems and face our challenges if we slow down and “act, rather than react.” Yet, with the energy of both Saturn and Mars turned inward, external matters may not be easy, and the Universe may give us some intense “opportunities” to work on our “stuff.”

Mars corresponds to the third chakra, the will center known in the yogic tradition as the manipura chakra or “city of jewels.” This center regulates health through an energetic download into the digestive organs and adrenal glands. It distributes prana (life force) to the whole system. As the main karaka (significator) of the fire element according to Vedic astrology, Mars also relates to our mental strength, the courage of our convictions and self-worth.

Mars in Scorpio can usually give us some strong warrior energy to help us get things done quickly, but Saturn’s slower more inhibiting influence can point to some potential for frustrations, accidents, violence, stubbornness, impatience and conflict.

indexWith Mars as the boss but under some frustration now, and with so many retrograde planets happening now, we can get hung up with decision making or make impulsive decisions that are not harmonious with our path and purpose. It can also be hard to set goals. So if this is true for you, take a chill pill and relax and please go with the flow and wait to be carried. This energy is intense and we can manage it better by slowing down and listening and being guided from within.

indexNow’s a good time to do health cleanses with Mars being so influential in the sign of toxins with disease significator Saturn. Work/karma yoga is important for a balanced Mars-Saturn; Haidakhan Babaji said, “Work is worship” so stay steady and devotional in your work to help Mars. The Hanuman Chalisa and other Hanuman practices are very helpful for this period. Lord Shiva, the great Narasimha or Archangel Michael can be propitiated for Mars pacification. Aerobic exercise in moderation is helpful, especially yoga or martial arts practices. Energy healing work for the solar plexus and head are useful, such as Polarity Therapy and Craniosacral work. We can pacify imbalanced or frustrated Mars (fire) with bitter herbs like gentian or aloe.

7876b28daa08d6b0f9f756c8dfd2d503On May 22, a few days after Mars loses his final dispositorship, he will achieve his opposition, right after the full Moon in Scorpio where the full Moon will conjoin Saturn and Mars in Scorpio opposite the Sun and Venus in sidereal Taurus. The opposition phase of Mars always occurs 11 months after the conjunction with the Sun, and happens about five weeks after the retrograde phase of a planet begins, which was April 17 for Mars retrograde in this case.

SFPageMars will remain visible for more than twelve months after opposition and then will disappear in the Sun’s glare in June 2017 as it approaches the next conjunction with the Sun in July 2017. Mars will be closer to the Earth on May 22. 2016 than it has been since 2005, but not as close as it will become in 2018. This means Mars will be very bright and powerful, so that his astrological essence will continue to dominate through at least the  next few weeks after the full Moon (and ongoing for other reasons we will discuss at another time). Astrologically, this lineup seems to promise a very emotionally intense and possibly conflictual or violent full Moon effect ahead for some people and locales, and I will write more about this soon. For more information regarding Mars Opposition on May 22, please refer to EarthSky.org


Venus Combust Cycle

Today is Shukravaar per Vedic astrology which is the Day of Venus, symbol of love, peace, and gentleness. Venus is a planet of vitality and resourcefulness which lifts our spirits! The Aries New Moon today also falls in the nakshatra of Venus called Bharani, which represents death and rebirth in the process of creation. This is an important topic now especially in the season of springtime in the northern hemisphere and more importantly, as Venus is undergoing its own process of death and rebirth right now as it transitions from Morning Star to Evening Star in the coming months.

hqdefaultHaving passed from the morning to the evening sky in late April, Venus will now remain out of view, hidden in the solar glare, for about two months, as it makes its slow passage on the far side of its orbit from the Earth. From around July 13, 2016, Venus will become visible in certain latitudes shortly after sunset. It will then remain as the Evening Star for about 263 days (until March 2017);  after that, it will become invisible for a little more than a week; then it will reappear as the Morning Star and remain in that apparition for about 263 days, and then disappear again behind the Sun for almost two months once again.

When Venus is invisible, the mythic goddess has descended to the underworld and this emblematically reflects a period of spiritual renewal when our planetary and individual life force is necessarily rejuvenated. This also manifests as a cycle when we can become more aware of and transform our psychological shadow in the search for wholeness. Some of this shadow material is related to the qualities of a “combust Venus” which is what we have here when Venus is too close to the Sun and invisible. This occurs when Venus has a 10- degree orb when going direct (as now), and an 8-degree orb when retrograde (which happens around its Morning Star apparition).

e9948e1ae782c910e3cf4c58a1b2b797In a Venus combust cycle (or when Venus is combust in the natal chart), we are prompted to really examine our sense of personal value. There can be some frustration in expressing or fulfilling our emotional needs and feeling appreciated in relation to others. Relationship needs of Venus may be overshadowed by the Sun’s need for individual expression. We can feel more frustrated and self-critical than usual at this time. It is thus a very important cycle in which to explore and cultivate self-value and self-love, and to root out the inner enemies of hatred, fear, obsession, and alienation by developing a stronger inner connection with Spirit.

Combustion in Vedic astrology is called astangata. In the Vedic calendar (panchanga), the period of Venus combustion from late April to July 13, 2016 is considered to be an inauspicious, stressful, or ineffective period for starting new commercial ventures, partnerships, speculation, and marriage. I feel that the time when Venus is Cazimi, within 17 minutes of the Sun, is actually a time when the negative qualities of combustion are overridden and when the highest qualities of Venus are made manifest. Cazimi is a Medieval astrological term that is used to refer to planets that are so close to a conjunction with the Sun that they are “in the heart” of the Sun and become wholly lustrous and auspicious. These dates are June 4-6, 2016.

Overall the entire Venus combust cycle is a time when our karmic curriculum revolves around strengthening the power of love. And this starts and ends within.





Intense Retrograde Cycle Ahead

Many of my clients and friends have been writing to me about all the retrograde energy coming on us. Mars, Saturn, Jupiter and Pluto are already retrograde and Mercury will join them in retrograde from April 28 to May 22. It is actually somewhat rare to have five planets retrograde at the same time; according to some astrology researchers, it only happens about 4% of the time. I say “five” as I am a Neo-Vedic astrologer using the outer planets and Pluto is one of the retrogrades in question.

SFPageHere are some quick bullet points from my own astrologer’s notebook to help us sort it all out:

  • According to Martin Schulman in Karmic Astrology: Retrogrades and Reincarnation, “retrograde planets break the time barrier” meaning that they can represent parallel or past-life issues that are unresolved and in need of balancing or healing. This is in relation to retrogrades in a natal chart but can also apply to transiting planets in their retrograde cycle when they are aspecting planets or points in a natal chart, thus triggering a need to examine and even root out unsettled karmic patterns from any time in the past, this lifetime or others.
  • A retrograde planet’s energy is turned inward and is not less potent as some say, but its personal qualities can be experienced as more subjective, whereas its external effects can and will be slower to manifest.
  • To really understand a retrograde planet and determine whether or not it is auspicious or inauspicious, we have to analyze its house and sign placements, lordships and the yogas it forms in a natal or mundane horoscope.
  • Retrograde planets create confusion and a lack of clear understanding even among some astrologers because they are vakri, making a conflicted movement because they are appearing to move backward from the point of view of the Earth (geocentric), but are actually moving forward from the view of the Sun (heliocentric). This very fact is a secret for working with retrograde planets. We can get all hung up and worried about them, but the truth is when we follow the dharma, the path of the Sun which is unfolding the inner light of the Divine Self, the lila (divine play) of retrograde planets is simply another marvelous illusion in Mother Maya’s web.
  • Depending on what a transiting retrograde planet is triggering in a natal chart, we can be prompted or tempted to relive the past and in the process, hopefully, to heal it. Things or people can come back to us to allow us to heal. We may have to repeat our past actions or make them right somehow.
  • For instance, with Pluto retrograde now, depending on how it activates a natal chart, some of us will be intensely purging an unresolved past-life or current-life issue.
  • Mercury retrograde can be a time when we experience maddening events like miscommunications, travel and transportation difficulties, and the breakdown of equipment. Note where Mercury goes retrograde over a natal planet or sensitive chart point as this will reveal where problems can occur. By observing the planet and house in a natal chart that is affected, one can be prepared to hopefully minimize any potential difficulties.
  • Mercury on April 28, 2016 will station retrograde at the 29+ degree of sidereal Aries, so some with chart points or planets at 29 degrees may have a health issue or other difficult challenge ahead. The 29th degree is important in general as it has to do with some event or relationship that we thought was completed that is not, which is coming back to be reviewed or reassessed yet again. In general, with Mercury retrogrades we have an opportunity to revisit and complete unfinished business. Retrogrades can be awesome for reflection and retreat, a good time to regroup, reassess, and reconsider not only the past but also, our plans and dreams for the future.
  • The outer planets Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto move quite slowly so that their retrograde cycles may not be apparent unless they make a close aspect with a natal planet or angle cusp in the natal chart, in which case they can be quite a hornet’s nest.
  • It helps to remember that when we have this many retrograde planets, the world may appear or feel crazier than usual. Key word is “erratic” as retrogrades do not follow the traditional path, but that can be a good thing in terms of developing deeper insight and differing points of view to help us create new and innovative solutions to problems.
  • Keep in mind that we might be prone to changing our minds several times during these intense retrograde cycles, so this requires added caution and flexibility in decision making processes.
  • Mercury (the mind, communication, travel, business) will station and retrograde in the sign of enemy Mars in the potentially restless, violent, impatient, and aggressive sign of Aries, in Krittika nakshatra whose nature is fiery and cutting, then moving back into Bharani nakshatra whose nature is nothing if not “extreme” in every sense of the word. So yes, the world will look crazier than usual as the pancha-maha-bhuta (five elements) go a bit out of whack and we have so much Mars-ruled energy descending.The mental faculties will generally have a tendency to be overheated and agitated. It can be helpful to take cooling herbs and foods, and also to rub pure sandalwood or jatamansi essential oil on the brow a few times a day to calm and cool the mind.
  • Imbalances will come to light within us and within the world in these coming months of Saturn, Pluto, and Mars retrograde, but it may be especially difficult from now through May 9. On May 9, Jupiter will station direct and move out of the retrograde cycle where he has been in since January 2016. This is a positive thing when the planet of luck, grace, purpose, and wisdom starts moving forward, and should help to ease up some of the other retrograde frustrations.
  • I personally feel that chakra clearing work is a great remedy for retrograde intensity. In addition, it helps to go within, listen, purify, and recharge with Source energy. Cultivate patience and mindfulness. It is not a time to take risks in these coming months (especially while Mars is retrograde through June). Sit back and wait for the clouds to clear if you are confused about a choice you think you need to make. Be cautious and above all, apply common sense to all matters.
My friend, astrologer Tres Devas of ganeshastrologyblogspot.com wrote this amazing piece about the grace of Mercury retrograde, a term which he has cleverly coined “Mercury Retrograce”:
When Mercury Retrograces
Retrain all your thoughts,
they are endless reincarnations,
reawaken, realign to divine reverberations,
recommit to recombine all your studies and realizations,
recompute and reconcile remedy your tribulations,
reapprove, reunify and restore all your relations,
refortify and re-engage reinduce your aspirations,
reforest and recharge the deserts of imagination,
re-execute re-explore and re-enlist your revelations,
refocus and reforge retrofit your affirmations,
re-plan and redraw reaffirm your destinations,
reacquire, reconsign recover all your validations,
replenish, and relight reconfirm visualisations,
reword, rewind and resist old temptations,
rejoice, redistill and recite invocations,
redesign to revive and renew your cultivation,
to replant the garden of your dreams
M31 Adromeda Galaxy

Musing on Fire

It’s Saturday night (April 23), and I’m thinking about fire, the literal fire brightly burning in my candles on my desk, and also fire as the principle and element of Spirit. Fire is the transformative power associated with willpower and creative force. It links with the season of summer and the essence of passion, purification and vitality. The fire element relates to what astrologer Marc Edmond Jones called “experience centered in personal identity.” Western astrologer Stephen Arroyo describes it as the “universal radiant energy that is excitable, enthusiastic, and which through its light brings color into the world.”

indexIn Vedic tradition, fire is associated with the god Agni. In Ayurveda, fire is known as Pitta dosha. In Yoga and Ayurveda, we learn about Tejas, the fire of life that is the power of transformation that comes from cultivating the inner fire.The fire practice according to Vedic traditions is used for strengthening a connection with spiritual light, and my guru Haidakhan Babaji said that our sadhana (spiritual practice) is incomplete unless we are regularly engaging with external fire practices that help us embody Lord Shiva’s transformative and creative power.

Agni_god_of_fireI usually discuss the elements with my clients when I analyze the balance of fire, water, earth, and air (and ether) through the astrological birth chart. I always use the sidereal zodiac in my astrological work, and in my experience, it seems to be more accurate than the tropical “western” zodiac in revealing the true balance of elements in an individual. I am a Polarity Therapist/RPP and am specifically trained and practiced in element/energy work, so this is actually a favorite topic of mine. This image below is taken from one of Dr. Stone’s textbooks (he was the founder of Polarity Therapy).

v1b1c04cRegarding the elements, some have too much of one and not enough of another, and some lucky ones have it all in a natural balance. For those less “lucky,” there are various remedies to balance or enhance the elements. The fire element is especially important as it represents our power and energy, and is what we need to “stoke the fire of our inspiration.” When it is too weak or too strong, there can be a tendency for certain recurring trials and tribulations.

The fire element is really on my mind now as we have a pile up ahead in Mars-ruled signs. Mars is the main significator of the fire element, and many planets are lining up in his signs. The Moon, representative of the water element and manas, the feeling mind, has just come into its debilitated (weak) and deep-feeling sidereal sign of Mars-ruled Scorpio, where it will transit for the next 2.5 days. For some, this monthly transit can often feel extra sensitive or emotionally vulnerable, and this is especially so while Mars and Saturn also transit in Scorpio through the next many months. Later in the summer we will have a pileup of grahas in Leo, sign of fire as well. So I am sorry to say it is going to be an intense fire season this summer.

The Moon will cross the tense Mars-Saturn conjunction later tomorrow and the next day. Mars is very strong now in his own constellation of Scorpio, but is also somewhat afflicted by conjunction with enemy Saturn (which I have discussed before). The Moon transit ignites this conjunction which is called Agni-Maruti Yoga, where the fiery energy of Mars can be excessively fanned by the wind of Saturn. Again this is happening now and through the summer months, through much of September until Mars leaves Scorpio.

It’s interesting that on April 25 early in the morning, the Moon will be exactly conjoined Mars while at the same time, Venus (relationships, vitality) will transit into hotheaded Aries, where it will join Mercury (thinking mind/communication) and the Sun (vitality, identity, health). Aries is also ruled by Mars, so at the time and until the Moon leaves Scorpio on April 26 in the morning, we will have six grahas in fiery Mars-ruled constellations…and, Pluto is in Sagittarius and Rahu-Jupiter are in Leo, which are fire signs…so, that is a lot of fire. The three grahas in Scorpio represent fire moving in the water element, which raises emotional intensity quite a bit.

SFPage SFPage2Be careful around fire in the coming days. God forbid, we may hear reports of extreme fires burning out of control in many locales from this point on through late September. There will probably be some metaphoric fires to put out, too as the summer heats up in the Northern Hemisphere. The inhabitants of Scorpio and Aries are in a 6/8 inconjunct (quincunx) with each other, reflecting perhaps the need to make some “adjustments” in how we kindle the fire of our minds. It’s important to think about this now as these transits are coming on strong, and additionally, tomorrow (Sun-day) is the day of Surya the Sun God, who is also a significator of fire and very powerful now as he is in his exaltation (full power) in sidereal Aries.



Day Ten Navaratri Parana, April 2016: Kamala, Lotus Goddess of Delight

Om Shrim Shrim Kamalatmika Shrim Swaha!

Om Shrim Shrim Kamalatmika Shrim Swaha!

Om Shrim Shrim Kamalatmika Shrim Swaha!

kamla-yantraThe tenth day of Navaratri is called Navarati Parana which means the end of the Navaratri celebration and fast. It is the 10th dashami tithi, 10 days after the New Moon and a day of victory. What a great time to embrace this sweet power rising out of the Devi’s victory over darkness just as Mars, planet of war and conflict, is slowing down to his intense retrograde station on Sunday morning, He will retrograde until late June in sidereal Scorpio, where Saturn is already retrograde. Retrograde malefics like Mars and Saturn become more difficult than usual. That means it’s time to be focused and vigilant and hold fast to our highest principles and practices. Everything that challenges us is teaching us to open our hearts and be in a state of unconditional love no matter what! If we can remain truly heart centered kings and queens of love, we are home free.

231839-bigthumbnailAnd, speaking of love, the 10th Mahavidya Goddess to whom I am dedicating my last day’s Navaratri contemplation is Shri Kamala Devi, also known as “Kamalatmika, She of the Lotus.” Kamala is the ultimate manifestation of the Devi in the world. When you are in the immense and often mind-blowing, heart-bursting beauty of nature, that is Kamala in action. She is goddess of not only love and beauty but also comfort, safety, wealth, happiness, and the bliss that comes in knowing one’s own true being (ananda swaroopa). Kamala’s other name is Shree (Shri) which means “Auspicious.”

“With a smiling face, her beautiful lily-white hands hold two lotuses, and show the mudras of giving and dispelling fear. She is bathed in nectar by four white elephants and stands upon a beautiful lotus.” (Todala Tantra) The lotus represents purity and divinity; and the elephants symbolize the four directions, elements, and purusharthas (dharma, artha, kama, and moksha) which are all brought forth and supported by Shri Kamala Devi. 

the_ten_mahavidyas__kamala_wi84Kamala is the consort of Sada-Shiva, the protector of the world who is much like Lord Vishnu who upholds the Earth. She is associated with the lunar mansion called Rohini in Taurus constellation, which is the Moon’s favorite wife (nakshatra). Rohini symbolizes sensuality, grace, and beauty. She is the youngest sister of oldest sister Dhumavati who lives in Jyestha/Scorpio which is directly opposite Rohini/Taurus. Kamala is like the highest frequency of Lakshmi. She came out of the great churning of the ocean known as Samudra Manthan, and she is the source of Satva Guna or spiritual essence.I feel that Kamala is the Alpha and Omega of the Devi, for everything comes from love. We propitiate Her to enhance and strengthen Venus, symbol of vitality-love-comfort-wealth in the Vedic horoscope.

Jai Maa Kamala Devi! We bow before you on this tenth day of Navaratri Parana and give great thanks for all Your blessings and boons that have come through our Divine Mother devotions, and for those which are still yet to come. We open to receive ever more of your Supreme Comfort as it flows like nectar onto our Earth and all sentient beings. May we fully know and experience Your peace, wisdom, and divine love in this Earthly realm. Jai Maa!



Day Nine Navaratri, April 2016: Matangi, Goddess of Royal Elephant Power

Om Hreem Aim Shreem

Namo Bhagavati Ucchisthachandali

Sri Matangeswari Sarvagyanavashamkari Swaha

220px-Matangi_yantra_colorThe ninth day of Navratri is known as MahaNavami. It is Ram Navami, the day of Lord Ram’s birthday which is celebrated as the victory of light over dark. The Todala Tantra (Ch. 10) correlates Lord Vishnu’s ten incarnations with the ten Mahavidyas as follows: “Tara Devi is the blue form; Bagla is the tortoise incarnation; Dhumavati is the boar, Chinnamasta is Narasimha; Bhuvaneshvari is Vamana, Matangi is the Rama form; Tripura is Jamadagni, Bhairavi is Balabhadra; Mahalakshmi is Buddha, and Durga is the Kalki form. Bhagavati Kali is the Krishna murti.” So today is devoted to Lord Ram and also the Goddess Matangi. It is also the day of Saraswati, who is related in some ways to Matangi.

matangi devi fierceIn fact, Sri Maa Matangi is considered the Tantric version of Goddess Saraswati and is said to rule over music, art, sound and learning. She is associated with living outside the normal bounds of society which symbolically refers to the sound current before it manifests in the world. Matangi is worshipped for power over enemies and for other kinds of mystical powers including attracting money and love as well as attaining the highest knowledge. She is often depicted as the color of emerald, with three eyes, wearing a crescent moon on her head, holding a hammer, noose, goad and shield in her four hands. Like Lalita she sometimes has a parrot with her. Matangi is propitiated for any issues related to the Sun in the Vedic horoscope, as Matangi is the shakti of Lord Ram the Sun God.RamThe elephant, king of beasts, is the mount of kings and symbol of royal power, the power of domination. Indra, the king of heaven, is shown riding on an elephant. Siva, as the world ruler, the  dispenser of justice, the embodiment of kingly virtues, the destroyer of evil, is known as the Elephant Matanga. After the terror of the night appears the reassuring sunlight. The demons are defeated. Matangi, the Elephant power [consort of Matanga] establishes the rule of peace, of calm, of prosperity.” (The Myths and Gods of India, Alain Danielou, p 283).




Day Eight Navaratri, April 2016: Shri Maa Bagalamukhi, Goddess of Ultimate Power

Om Hleem Baglaamukhi Sarva Dushtaanaam Vaacham Mukham Padam Stambhay Jihvaam Keelay Buddhim Vinaashay Hleem Om Phat

Om Hleem Baglaamukhi Sarva Dushtaanaam Vaacham Mukham Padam Stambhay Jihvaam Keelay Buddhim Vinaashay Hleem Om Phat

Om Hleem Baglaamukhi Sarva Dushtaanaam Vaacham Mukham Padam Stambhay Jihvaam Keelay Buddhim Vinaashay Hleem Om Phat

bagala2“I bow to the two-armed goddess who with the right hand grasps the tongue of her enemy and with the left hand torurures him. She holds a mace and is clad in yellow.” Bagalamukhi Tantra.

Bagalamukhi or Bagala is the eighth Mahavidya. Her name has been broadly translated and interpreted as “the crane faced one, one who checks the mouth, and one whose look has the power to stun, compel and control.” In Northern India, her name is Pitambara Maa, which refers to the yellow goddess. In her depiction, she is rarely dressed in yellow garb but her devotees are instructed to wear yellow or use yellow/gold mala beads to recite her mantra, and some interpreters have wondered if the yellow color refers here to Her aura of bright light being like the brilliant light of the Sun which is the ultimate power of consciousness.

BagalamukhiAnother name for Bagla is Brahmastra Roopini, referring to Her supernatural power which is a weapon against evil and ignorance: “The mantra of the goddess Bagalamukhi has the power of the Divine weapon Brahmastra instilled in it and the goddess simply strikes terror in and paralyze the enemies of her devotees. Repetition of her mantra is enough to stop even a terrible tempest.” (Mantra Maharnava) In her iconography, She is shown beating and pulling out the tongue of a demon. This is said to symbolize Her power to help us destroy all our inner and outer demons.

Bagla is often propitiated through mantra, ritual, and yagyas for those who are in dangerous or troublesome situations including legal matters. She is also invoked to attain all kinds of worldly power or happiness as well as to attain vak siddhi, the gift of speech and oracular power, a great boon for astrologers who are asked to make predictions about the future. She is one of the most powerful goddesses in my experience for overcoming inner darkness, depression, and mental or emotional unrest; and to strengthen courage, and to develop inner and outer stability including material prosperity.

Interestingly, just as Bagla is one of the most powerful of the divine warrior goddesses, She is also connected to the planet Mars in Vedic astrology, who is called the Army General or Overseer of the planetary family. Mars is planet of valor, energy, will and strength of character; he is the ultimate yogi and divine warrior. We can propitiate Bagla for any and all Mars problems in the astrological chart.

Some devotees of Bagla invoke Her by following a specific ritual while reciting a hymn from the Rudrayamala Tantra. Lord Rudra, the fierce Shiva who is the God of Storm, is Her consort. This is a small excerpt of the hymn:

I bow before Baglamukhi, who is seated on a gold throne, with three eyes, wearing yellow clothes, blissful, with limbs as bright as pure gold, wearing a garland of champak flowers, with the moon as Her diadem, with Her hands holding a club and a noose which binds the opponent. Her limbs are decorated with jewels, and She is the All paralyser of the three worlds.   Sitting on a golden throne in the midst of an ocean of nectar, where Her canopy, decorated with diamonds, is situated and her throne is decorated with jewels.

The shakti if Bagla is stambhana, the power to stop, restrain or paralyze. More superficially, She can help us stop and overcome our enemies. I frequently recommend Bagalamukhi yagyas for clients who are having legal, custody, or tax problems, or for those who are being stalked or attacked in any way (such as with libel or defamation), and these yagyas are often extremely helpful.

At the deepest level, stambhana refers to achieving a still point within the world of duality, resting in the sushumna nadi which is the Omnipresent, Omnipotent and Omniscient Source of Divinity existing beyond all polarities. Here, Bagla shuts down the world of Maya and all opposites are resolved in Oneness and Truth. Jai Maa Baglamukhi, I bow before you this night and pray that you will once again “stop the world so I can get off,” figuratively speaking of course. Jai Maa!