My daughter was three years old when I took her to see Kung Fu Panda 3.
Enrapt from start to finish, she was particularly attentive during the great battle scenes between the adorable ninja Panda and his scary nemesis.
As we left the theater, she turned to me and said,
"Mom, I've noticed something...the good always defeats the bad."
Happy New Moon and Diwali!
This has been an auspicious day throughout India—a festival of lights celebrating the radiant triumph of divinity over the darkness of confusion--a sort-of "Good Defeats Bad" Day.
Various Hindu mythologies exemplify the power of righteousness over demonic forces, like the return of exiled Rama and Sita, the victory of the Goddess over the wicked Mahishasura, and the sacred marriage of Vishnu and Lakshmi.
It's an age-old story: the universe is animated by dueling forces, and we all hope desperately for the virtuous to prevail. The question is who decides who is virtuous? History has made this grand narrative into an "us vs. them" story. When taken literally, it becomes the foundation for division and alienation: whomever is on "our side" is virtuous. On the "other" side is evil.
In his work, Creation of Consciousness, Edward Edinger explains that consciousness is only possible in the presence of an "other." Therefore, all human awareness is dependent upon this dichotomy: self and other, me and you, us and them. But when we project the shadow side of our own selves onto an outside "other" we set up a never ending war zone.
The teachings of non-dual Tantra assert that all things are individualized aspects of a single, dynamic pulsation of universal LOVE. ...A LOVE beyond all opposites. ...A LOVE so pervasive, perfect, and powerful that it encompasses everything.
So, I explain to my daughter: "Sometimes it doesn't look like it will, but the good always wins in the end...because LOVE is the biggest, most powerful thing. In fact, LOVE is all there is. When people do bad things it's only because they have forgotten LOVE.
When you remember that you are LOVE, you become as powerful as a superhero ninja."
The new moon is a time of introspection and self-examination.
Tonight provides a sweet opportunity to turn inward and get real with your Self.
Who is your scary nemesis?
Do you project all evil onto an outside "other?"
Can you embrace the dark qualities of fear, anger, confusion as aspects of your own psyche, too?
Can you envision a LOVE so vast it extends beyond all opposition?
That LOVE is so pervasive it can actually include your fears, sorrows, and confusion without losing a single iota of its infinite brilliance.
YOU ARE THAT LOVE...you superhero ninja, you!
Solar Eclipse. Tantra. Alchemy.
The solar system is poetry in clockwork motion. Tomorrow, that dynamic rhythm presents a synchronization that will eclipse the sun's light for a moment and cause a shadow to fall across the surface of the planet. So what?
Just like every single aspect of this human experience, the significance is up to you.
According to the tantrik teachings that inform Inner Power Yoga®, there is a Love that pervades the entire universe and each moment provides an opportunity to remember it.
Tat tvam asi: You are that.
Foundational to tantrik yoga, esoteric alchemy sought to unify the principles of the sun and the moon as symbols of the sacred marriage, or coniunctio, of opposites. Psychologist Carl Jung adopted those same symbols to express the paradox within the human psyche. He wrote: “The factors that come together in the coniunctio are conceived as opposites, either confronting one another in enmity or attracting one another in love” (CW 14, 1).
According to Jung, the opposite factors of your psyche are two:
1. your ego consciousness and persona
2. the unconscious contents of your soul—the mystery that informs your whole Self.
Unconscious contents include the shadows that your persona rejects. Those undesirable qualities that you are unwilling to recognize as aspects of your own Self. In enmity, the ego projects those shadows onto "others."
In other words, the “civil war” between conscious and unconscious content manifests as outwardly projected conflict among genders, cultures, and the natural world. Sound familiar?
The casualties of shadow projection warfare have become increasingly visible to us lately. I have connected with many of you who are heartbroken, angry, and/or numb. Now we turn our eyes (protected by filters, of course) to the sky as the moon literally blots out the light and pulls us into the shadow...if only for a moment.
What will you do with that moment?
Will this fleeting coniunctio be a symbol of enmity or of Love?
For me, the solar eclipse presents a time to embrace the shadow. It is a moment to contemplate those darker spaces within my own psyche, to gather the scattered projections and realize my Self as whole—ego and soul. When I realize my Self as whole, I am unified with all people and the planet itself. I am available to compassion, forgiveness, and spiritual grace. I remember the play of consciousness as an act of divine LOVE.
The tantrik texts personify the conjunction of sun and moon, as spirit and soul, in the marriage of Shiva and Shakti. Theirs is a cosmic game of revelation and concealment as embodied soul forgets itself as universal spirit...then remembers again in an ongoing cycle.
In the text: Vijnana Bhairava Tantra, Shakti beseeches Shiva, “Lord,” she asks, “How can I know you more?” Shiva lovingly replies, “You are me” (Saraswati 23). The practices of Tantra Yoga psychodynamically move Shakti toward remembering her Self as one with Shiva—realizing her true nature as infinite Reality.
Hatha Yoga is “the union (yoga) between sun and moon, the conjunction of the two great dynamic principles or aspects of the body-mind” (Feuerstein, The Yoga Tradition 328). It is an earth-affirming, embodied experience of samyama: when the lover, the beloved, and love itself merge into one pulsation. It reveals the deeply known secret that body, soul, and spirit are a continuum of One.
According to Jung, Alchemy, and Tantra, infinite Reality may be experienced through nature's manifestations. The Self is realized through the ego, transcendental spirit is realized through humanity's immanent divinity—through earth, body, and soul.
And the light of LOVE may be realized through the shadow.
...in any given moment.
♥ ONE LOVE, R.R.Shakti, PhD
astrology. tantra. alchemy.
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About The Author
R.R. Shakti, PhD
Founding teacher of Inner Power Yoga®, Shakti is a Contemplative Mythologist, ritual facilitator, and writer who presents a Tantrik approach to personal empowerment and social action. Through contemplative story-telling and mind/body practices, she offers a vision of deep peace and radical freedom.
PSYCHE + SOUL