She is the revealer of nourishment and growth
The Goddess Shakambhari holds fruits, vegetables, flowers and all things that grow and nourish. She brings these things to feed the soul.
Her name translates as the bringer of growth and vegetation.
She is twilight blue in colour and gives the gift of herbs, fruits and vegetables to the earth.
She is the great mother of nurture
who brings magical growth
to the garden of our souls.
Shakambhari is depicted with a thousand eyes from which she waters the garden of our soul, reaching even into the most dry cracks and corners. She brings the latent seeds of our secret innermost life into flower.
The first rising half Moon of the year signals the beginning of Shakambhari Navaratri which culminates upon the full Moon which is her Jayanti day of full birth.
These are the rising nights of Shakambhari’s Moon phase.
For Tantrics, these nights are a time of studying deeply the order and disorder of our inner garden.
Shakambhari’s powers culminate on first full Moon of the natural year, when she is in her full power, on the day known to Tantrics as Shakambhari Jayanti.
At this time, celestial forces are conspiring to begin awakening nature after her introverted sleep. Being ourselves part of nature, these forces act upon us and afford us an opportunity to tend our spiritual garden.
The story of Shakambhari
tells of the law of exchange
and the psychic & physical draught
that can come about
if we move away from
the reciprocal laws of exchange
Tantric cosmology tells of how the world of spiritual forces, intersects with the physical plane by a law of reciprocity. We are intimately connected to nature and her spirits… both in unseen and the manifest sense.
The spirits depend upon us for sustenance
as we depend upon them.
If we dissociate ourselves from the spirits then we fall into psychic and physical famine as the story of Shakambhari points out.
The rise to first full Moon of the year is a time to look at the place of growth and famine within.
GODDESS OF HEALING HERBS
Shakambhari is revered as the keeper of the secrets of herbs and their medicinal use, precisely because she mediates between the spiritual and physical world by means of the law of reciprocity.
She reveals the science of healing by showing the secrets of nutrition and herbal powers.
Working with her Shakti can show us how herbs and a foods have different effects upon the system according to which Moon phase they are prepared and imbibed upon.
Shakambhari is the great balancer and nourisher.
She balances dryness and moisture.
The balance of dryness and fluidity in the human mechanism is of utmost importance to Tantrics. Tantra has a whole art and science of practices concerned with the balance of dryness and moisture.
Shakambhari is the queen of growth cycles and her wisdom can reveal how to balance the opposites of dryness and moisture by honouring the fluidic movements of the Moon.
When the psychic and physical nerves become dry there is not the capacity for the human organism to contain Shakti. Shakambhari wants us to contain her nourishing Shakti. He is a mother goddess. She is the moist nourishing milk of Love to the baby soul.
Her Nourishing Shakti is Love
Some substances, modes of being, and practices are extremely heating and can create excess dryness in the system. Evoking Shakambhari can help to bring the balance of Soma. Soma is the elixir of the compassionate tears of Shakambhari.
Her tears balance dryness and bring the softness of the nourishing mother to us.
Once upon a time a great draught was upon the whole of creation. The draught was so severe that it traversed the 3 worlds: conscious, unconscious and earthly.
The Draught came into being because the people of the earth plane had stopped to give honour to the spirits and subtle forces, and thus fallen into dryness.
The fluid of Soma did no longer flow, and in utter dryness, Shakti did not have a place. For Shakti lives in the place where fluid and dryness are balanced.
The sacred ways had been forgotten and the spirits who depend upon human interaction for their sustenance were drying out for lack of acknowledgment and reverence.
The dryness of the spiritual world was reflected upon the earth plane. All around things withered. As the spirit world grew dry, so did the earth, right down to the very underworld. The great famine enveloped everything.
The earthly plane is nourished by the milk (Kamakhya) the fluid of desire.
The underworld is nourished by blood (Kali, the fluid of time)
The upper world is nourished by water (Kala) the lord of death who takes us Northward.
Together these sacred fluids equal Soma.
The heaviest of the 3 sacred fluids is Blood, then milk, and then water.
The heaviest sinks South, whereas the lightest rises North, and in the middle is the milk of life.
The story tells us of how there were few people remaining upon the earth who still knew of the importance of giving honour to the upper and underworld spirits… and thus find the balance in the manifest realm.
These last few adherents to the laws of nature and magic were the original Tantrics. Legend has it that together they formed a circle and prayed with their united concentrated spirits.
They believed that Soma could still flow and heal all worlds. And so, upon the first rising half Moon of the uprising year, they gathered together in concentrated ritual and prayed to the Goddess for help.
The Goddess was nourished by their Love and longing, and so she took form as Shakambhari. She nourished them in return… for this is the Law of Exchange that is central in Tantra.
Shakti (in the form of Shakambhari) found an entrance back to the earth plane through the middle line of the half Moon. Rituals of the half Moon are rituals of balance.
The dividing line
between the two halves
of dark and light
becomes a meeting place
& a place where spiritual forces
can be invoked.
Shakambhari appears on the half ascending Moon of Shakambhari Navaratri in response to prayer, and she comes into her full power on the Purnima (full Moon)
COMPASSION & NURISHMENT
The subtext of story of Shakambhari, tells of the importance of compassion and nourishment.
She appeared with a body covered in a 1000 eyes, and, as she saw the dried out plight of the creation, she began to weep tears of compassion for the suffering of the world. Her many eyes wept for the rising phase of the first Moon of the year. She wept and she wept and she wept once again.
Pouring Soma into the three worlds so barren, Shakambhari restored full moisture by the time the full Moon had arrived.
She brought fruit, vegetables and herbs, she restored the rivers and the seas and sprinkled the earth with flowers.
Shakambhari Puja is a ritual of finding that for which we hunger and thirst for, her ritual time is a time to go even further and deeper and look into the root of the inner hunger,
Shakambhari can teach us the laws of nourishment and fortification.
She brings healing to our relationship with nutrition on inner as well as outer levels. Shakambhari reveals to us the laws or reciprocity.
In order for the garden to grow, we have to water it.
Her sacred tears are the elixir of Love