March 1, 2014

Drinking the Moon’s Nectar: A Journey to Contentment. ~ Pamela McDonough


“Whatever we are waiting for—peace of mind, contentment, grace, the inner awareness of simple abundance—it will surely come to us, but only when we are ready to receive it with an open and grateful heart.” 

~ Sarah Ban Breathnach

The heart merges with our soul in contentment, self-nurture, and self love.

From the perspective of Jyotish or Vedic astrology, the Moon in our individual horoscopes is the thread connecting the mind to our hearts, shining its silvery light of desire through the depths of the karma-scope that constitutes our birth charts. This is the deeply emotional and intuitive part of our minds—not the rational and analytical thinking that we do when we tap into the planet Mercury.

When we are experiencing the pure white light and the brilliance of lunar energy, our Anahata (heart) chakras are fully open. We are set to send and receive to and from the people we care about most, opening a direct channel to those whom we have not yet encountered.

Our ability to restore peace of mind and balance after emotional trauma with grace, ease, and joy is drawn from the watery, lunar nature found in the tidal pools deep within ourselves. In the natural order of the zodiac which begins with Aries, the Moon rules the constellation of Cancer and the natural fourth house of the zodiac. The fourth house, the Moon, and Cancer connect to our desires, home, happiness, mother, and our physical and emotional hearts.

If we are struggling with emotions of self love, anxiety, insomnia, or fear, we can often connect these feelings to times when specific planetary transits are influencing the Moon as viewed from our birth chart. From the perspective of Ayurveda, when the planets Saturn or Rahu (north node of the Moon) influence our Moon, they impose the vata (wind) element onto the Moon.

Think of a powerful windstorm churning up huge white-capped waves in the ocean of our minds. This can manifest in our daily lives as scattered thoughts, stress, anxiety and poor breathing habits.

When a fiery planet like Mars, Ketu, or the Sun comes into contact with our Moon, the heat and the fire practically boil the watery element from the Moon, making it become totally dry. These transits increase the fire (pitta) element, creating a mindscape of flaming tumbleweeds blowing through the desert of our emotions…potentially bringing our emotions and actions to a boiling point.

One of the reasons why Jyotish or Vedic astrology is so powerful is because once we identify the underlying issue, we can prescribe a remedy (or a remedial measure, as it is known within the realm of Jyotish).

To begin shifting the relationship with our own lunar energy and balancing our emotions, we can align our mental and physical vibration to harmonize more deeply with the Moon.

Simply begin by gazing at the Moon in the night sky.

Drink in the soma (nectar) from the moonlight. Experience the quality of the light as it bathes your skin and the aura of the moon-glow as it transforms each day with the waxing and waning phases, and through the seasons.

Ancient Indian Tantric practices include meditating on the Yantra of the Moon. Yantras are powerful tools for transformation, or as I like to call them, power tools for transformation! Yantras are protective devices from ancient India that are geometrical representations of planets and deities from the Vedic tradition. Yantras act as prisms, balancing and harmonizing the energy of the Moon (or whichever planet or deity you choose to meditate upon) in our environment, our bodies, and our minds. Based upon our Vedic chart and the transformation we want to experience in our lives, a Yantra can be prescribed specifically to mitigate our karmas as seen through the lens of the horoscope.

As passed down from my Jyotish guru, Souvik Dutta, there is a specific Tantric meditation with Yantra:

In a comfortable seated position gaze upon the Yantra in a relaxed manner. Once you have the image of the Yantra firmly in your mind, envision yourself seated in the center of the Yantra where the bindu (dot) is placed.

The eight heart-like shapes on the Yantra are lotus petals which represent the eight directions. Imagine the protective energy of the Yantra and the lotus petals folding up to protect you from each of the eight directions starting at the top in the east, then the northeast, north, northwest, west, southwest, south and the southeast.

Imagine each one of these petals surrounding you and protecting you. Then envision two more petals not shown on the Yantra. The first comes from below the center of the Yantra extending down through the Muladhara or root chakra into the earth. The second petal comes up through the center of the bindu extending up through the sahasara or crown chakra into space.

Once you are comfortably embraced by the protective energy of the lotus petals and the Yantra you can begin to chant a prayer or mantra. You do not have to chant a mantra with every Yantra meditation. Experience it both ways, with and without the mantra.

Specifically, the Krishna mantra is a powerful mantra to help heal and balance our Moon and our physical and emotional hearts. Like Yantras, mantras can be customized according to your birth chart, or you can chant the well-known versions of many mantras available on the internet.

“Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul. It is daily admission of one’s weakness. It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart.”

~ Mahatma Gandhi

The Hare Krishna mantra for the Moon is an ancient, time tested and incredibly powerful mantra for mental peace and opening our hearts:

hare kṛṣṇa hare kṛṣṇa

kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa hare hare

hare rāma hare rāma

rāma rāma hare hare

Before you begin to chant, focus your breath in the Anahata, or heart chakra. This is key as the Moon Yantra and Krishna is powerful in opening our heart chakras. Breathe love into our desire. We must connect to this feeling and open ourselves up to the possibilities.

While meditating on the Yantra, softly chant the mantra for Krishna from the breath of your heart and observe with your eyes closed what color appears in your mind’s eye. Just observe the color that comes to your mind, try not to judge it.

The ancient Tantric practice of Yantra and mantra are powerful tools for transforming our minds and every area of our lives.

Returning home. The heart merging with our soul. Pure contentment.

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Editor: Jenna Penielle Lyons

Photo: Courtesy of the author

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Pamela McDonough