Happy Full Moon – Holi, the festival of colour, love and merriness that is celebrated at the end of the winter season on the last full moon ( Purnima) day of the lunar month Phalgun, which usually falls in March, sometimes in late February. The festival honours the arrival of spring in the form of a carnival of colours, where participants play, chase and colour each other with dry powder and coloured water.
Spring is symbolic of growth and renewal and nature begins to bloom and blossom in a multitude of colours.
The spring season, during which the weather changes, is also the time where we get rid of the toxicity and lethargy accumulated in Winter, often through fevers and colds. During the Festival of Holi the playful throwing of natural coloured powders has a medicinal significance: the colours are traditionally made of medicinal herbs prescribed by Āyurvedic doctors like Neem, Kumkum ( made of Saffron or Turmeric) , Haldi ( Turmeric ) and Bilva. Continue reading “Spring Full Moon – Holi Yogic Salad!”→
2.29 am GMT today: Autumn Equinox. New Moon Approaching. Blessings.
I have been ritually honouring the turning points of time ( beginning of a new month, cross-quarters , Equinoxes and Solstices ) on the wheel of the year since an early age – my teens! – in a very spontaneous and nearly religious way, that was dictated only by that inherent connection with nature that we all have as kids.
All transitions in and out of the season are cardinal points of the year and carry a special energy. We can consciously decide to embrace and embody these transitions ( Vinyasas of the Sun and the Moon !) as a ritual, to honour the cosmological flowing of time. Or we can decide to ignore this intelligence built into the cosmos and isolate ourselves from it, going against the grain.
Nature is intrinsically intelligent. Consequentially if we learn to attune our inner clock to its universal micro (hourly/ daily/weekly/ ) and macro cycles ( season/yearly/solar and monthly /lunar) we maximise our chances to live our lives to the fullest, in a happy, enriching and harmonious fashion.
Autumn calls for renewal in the form of letting go. We are urged to reorganise our inner and outer space as thoughts , routines, relationships, and projects . This season calls for inner focus and organised effort, we get to gather all our inner strength and skilfully prepare to approach the end of the year.
As this is quite a turning point we get an extra boost of power from the mighty Durga, The Invincible, that represents the courage that comes from staying connected to one’s heart, the impulse to protect ourselves from negative habits and the force to eradicate them and replace them with good ones.
Happy Solstice: today, 21 June 2014 at 10:51 UT the Sun reaches its highest excursion relative to the celestial equator on the celestial sphere at the Tropic of Cancer. Then it begins its journey from the Northern Hemisphere back down towards the Southern Hemisphere from the tropic of Cancer to the Tropic of Capricorn.
Sol – Stice means the SUN STANDS STILL. There is a magic turn: we glide down toward the cycle of next 6 months to embrace an energetic shift that corresponds to the fact that the axis of the Earth ( Northern Hemisphere) from today and for the next 6 months is pointing away from the Sun.
At this point of year you should have filled your cup with your own personal nectar , generated between Winter Solstice and Summer Solstice, and now is time to enjoy, celebrate the full-ness of life whatever that means for you, give up worrying, and bask in the warmth and life-giving rays of Sun. Continue reading “Early Morning Summer Solstice Meditation”→
Happy Ekadasi. Twice a month in the Vedic Lunar Calendar ( and 24 times in the cycle of a solar year) is EKADASi… Ekadasi falls twice in a Lunation ( Lunar month , is calculated as a cycle of 30 days) and it is the perfect time of the month to embrace fasting. Normally a cycle of fasting would last for four consecutive days from Ekadasi to the day before Full Moon or to the day of New Moon. Fasting is not recommended if you are pregnant, on your moon or you are ill. Ekadasi is an auspicious day for fasting and this is the right time of the year for cleansing to be aligned with the flow of Spring. Ekadasi means ( eka= 1 and Dasi = 10 1+10 = 11 ) the 11th day of the Calendar Month, before FULL or to NEW MOON .
As we are fast approaching the end of another Solar cycle (the turning point of the year called Sandhia in Sanskrit, means joint/ juncture) i feel naturally drawn to Akasha, the Element Space and to Meditate on large scale events , like the revolution of the planets around the Sun and the movement of the Sun around the Centre of our Galaxy ( the Milky Way ) .
Wherever there is a turning point ( end of a cycle) there is a natural deceleration of our brainwaves, then a bend ( Sandhia – transition) and then acceleration resumes ( our normal rhythm of day to day life) . Here the transition and change in direction is clearly marked by the Sun : peak of darkness at Winter Solstice /transition/ Sandhia and return of the Light /change in direction / increase in energy in the form of Charged Prana radiated from the Sun.
Therefore this is a perfect time to practice Akasha Dharana and Darshan, Concentration on the Space Element and Visualisation of the Cosmos. Akasha is the infinite Space before creation as well as the container of everything that is manifested and can be perceived as the invisible Space between things that interconnects them as well as the infinite Space surrounding things.
Beltane is one of the four great Fire Festivals ( in the fixed signs of Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius). In the ancient Celtic calendar, Beltane is celebrated to ushering in the light half of the year, a time of fertility and abundance. In the standard calendar, Beltane is May 1. Astronomically, Beltane is May 5. Celebrations include bonfires lit to honor the solar god Belos, rites of cleansing and purification for prosperity. Also going out in the woods ( in the olden times!) to collect flowers, symbol of the richness of Spring!
Here i include an image of the Maypole. During this festival boys and girls would dance in opposite directions holding the end of a coloured ribbon of the Maypole ( symbol of fertility) so weaving a multicoloured tapestry around the pole. Hope you will dance with your loved one(s!) and offer them flowers to honour this day of renewed abundance in Love!
Beltane used to mark the beginning of summer and was when cattle were driven out to the summer pastures. Rituals were performed to protect the cattle, crops and people, and to encourage growth. Special bonfires were kindled, and their flames, smoke and ashes were deemed to have protective powers. The people and their cattle would walk around the bonfire, or between two bonfires, and sometimes leap over flames or embers. All household fires would be doused and then re-lit from the Beltane bonfire. Doors, windows, byres and the cattle themselves would be decorated with yellow May flowers, perhaps because they evoked fire. In parts of Ireland, people would make a May Bush; a thorn bush decorated with flowers, ribbons and bright shells.