DARK MOON & SOLAR ECLIPSE
MONDAY 14th December
This will be the last dark Moon of the year, the dark time when the night will be at its longest.
A further blessing is that this dark Moon falls upon a Monday, Somavhwar, literally the ‘Day of Soma’ – the Moon God.
If a dark moon falls upon a Somavhwar it is known as the festival of Somavati and it occurs only once or twice a year, bringing forth many Tantric rites. It is an event most conducive for practice and for seeking healing, especially in relation to ancestral work.
BLOOD, SEX & DEATH
The Tabooed Forces of Life
Somavati is a day when water, milk and blood (in the form of wine) are worked with ritualistically.
The wine represents the blood of Kali (the Goddess of Life), the Milk is the juice of Kamakhya (the Goddess of Desire), and the water represents the river of time in the realm of Kala Bhairava (God of Death, which we celebrated last monday).
It is with these divine forces of blood, sex and death that we shall work with on Monday’s ritual in the search for healing our relationship to Life, Pleasure and Surrender, which are often infused with patters and Shadows we struggle to understand in our daily lives.
The Spirits come to Heal
The coming Dark Moon is the last one embedded within the darkening half year of lengthening nights, upon this we have a solar eclipse, known to Tantrics as a Surya Grah.
Spiritual practices on eclipses
are intensified 100 fold,
it is said in Tantra.
It is a time when consciousness
& the application of our psychic will
proves the strength of Soul.
The spirits are close
to the earth plane on eclipses
& much healing
with the world of spirit
can be set in motion.
Traditionally it is a time when our ancestors would stay inside and not venture outside. Mundane activities would be left to rest and one would rather take to spiritual focus in times of eclipse.
These things are slowly being forgotten and classified as a mere superstition by Modernity which overshadows spiritual wisdom.
By being sensitive to our inner currents of feeling, we come to see the spiritual dimension of our being, which the eye of civilisation has been trained to overlook.
The Moon under the rulership of Soma, relates to fluidity and flow of life force.
In Tantra, Soma refers to the Moon and carries several connotations.
The Moon’s Healing Fluid
Soma refers to the sacred
& Healing Moon fluid.
It is a subtle
that is the essence of Tejas
– the cool fire
of psychic & spiritual power.
The opposite of Tejas is the hot fire of Agni.
Tantra is concerned with bringing both the cooling and the heating fires into a balanced dance with each other.
Soma vivifies and creates, whereas Agni consumes and destroys. Both of these fires are needed in the correct proportions in the constituents of our body and spirit. A balance of these forces is required to open the subtle portals of awareness.
An abundance of Agni fire in our psycho/physical mechanism is the ill of modern times. The overemphasis of Agni not only consumes the finer currents of awareness but creates stress in the system and ages the body.
Soma on the other hand is the juice of eternal youth – you may enjoy reading a previous post, The Forgotten Jewel of Tantra, which goes in more details about the qualities of Soma.
Some forms of Shakti consume Soma and some forms of Shakti vivify the Soma fluid of the Moon within us. Heating pursuits and emotions, extroversion and over activity consume Soma.
Introversion, rest and slowing down the currents of being are what nurture Soma. Noise and speech create Agni, which is hot and active. Silence and stillness create Soma, which is brewed in passivity.
Passivity is a quality
that might have disappeared
from our lives
& considered a sign
of weakness of illness even.
In Tantra it is sought
like a rare jewel.
Passivity is a secret Moon-type state of consciousness that the Yogis venture to know in the midst of the fires and actions of life.
The Yogis prize Soma and are cautious and careful to nurture, cultivate and preserve it. Soma is psychic power.
Soma is the cool healing fire that melts the obstructions in the way of our Shakti life energy. The cool fire of Soma is not as obvious as the active expression of Agni.
Soma lives internally and signifies and is experienced as a magical inner life.. .perhaps even independent of external factors. The introverted fire of Soma is an internal glow that gives one strength of focus and ‘awake-ness’ upon the astral levels.
The Fire of (Self-)Destruction
In present times
Agni burns strong
& stands in a predominant place.
This is most visible
in the magnitude of destruction
on a planetary scale,
violence towards all forms of life,
& even in the warming of the atmosphere.
There is too much heat
in the system.
This calls for the cultivation of Soma, which must become a priority both individually and collectively if we wish to shift the balance back to a state of harmony.
To give strength to the God of softness and simplicity that Soma is. Soma is cultivated in simplifying our lives. Somnath is one of the names which Shiva goes by, for he is the eternal Yogi who wears the moon in his hair.
Somnath lives in the spirit of all souls who tread the path of shining in the dark. The path of the Magic Moonlight. Like the moon that shines brightly in the night sky, Soma is cultivated in the dark.
The practice of Kechari Mudra has several preparatory steps, it is initiated and practiced when the Soma Moon is at its strongest.
is a secret science of Mudra
that activates points of energy
in the system
that releases Soma
in the form of a hormonal substance
that creates profound
softness & trance.
PRACTICES ON SOMAVATI
Honouring the Ancestors
The day of Somavati happens rarely, one or twice yearly when a dark Moon falls on a Monday, it is a strong ritualistic time, when it is combined with an eclipse it is made more profound, a most rare occurrence it be.
It is a time to give homage
to the deceased ancestors.
To perform Shraddh
(psychic ritualistic offerings)
this is to bless & heal
the spirits of one’s dead ancestors.
To assist in earthbound elements that can affect us in the Astral world, tantrics call this effect the Pitru Dosha. Somavati is a sacred ritual time of liberating Pitru Dosha. The new Moon sequence of Chandra Parampara supports this and is ritualistically practiced by the tantrics at this Moon junction.
Chandra Parampara is the Yog sequence of practice that among all the practices of Yog. It creates the greatest softening and flexibility in the organism, both psychicaly and physically.
Prayer and ritual under the Soma Moon is a time of opening body and soul towards the deepest levels of softness.
Simplification is the way to Soma… and the way of Soma.
We shall work with the three liquids that make up Soma. They equal Soma if they are balanced in equal equations.
Blood, Milk and Water shall lay upon the altar on this a Dark Moon night – the Darkest Moon of the Year.