Sagittarius: Path with a Purpose
by Guru Rattana, Ph.D. - Issue #98 - November 24th, 2004
The Sun entered the Sagittarius sky late November 21st and will stay through December 20th.
Sagittarius is the third and last fire sign of the Zodiac. In the last sign of each element we reach a higher level of maturity, gain a deeper appreciation of life, and consolidate the consciousness of that element. Aries teaches us to develop a sense of our own identity, and to relate to our soul. Leo teaches us to use our fire energy to express ourselves through our unique creativity. When we get to Sagittarius we need to find and commit to our spiritual path. To do so fully, we need to be able to project from the purity of our soul. This is, of course, no small feat, and in fact a major lifetime goal of our spiritual journey.
Libra and Scorpio
Libra teaches us to cultivate the neutral mind, without which we can never project from clarity and innocence. Scorpio obliges us to enter the underworld of the subconscious, so that we can get in touch with emotional programming, that clouds our innocence and the vision of our path. Restrictive beliefs and misinterpreted fear, anger and sadness, derail our journey, and send us off in directions that create pain, confusion and unintended karma. When negative programming controls our psyche, our energy and projection is formulated by attitudes, thoughts and actions, that are protective instead of expansive, and defensive instead of creative. We avoid life instead of embracing it.
While the Sun is in Scorpio we bury ourselves in a cave and watch the disturbing shadows. When the Sun enters Sagittarius we emerge from the darkness, our inner focus, and our self-absorption. Our perspective is expanded, our understanding is illuminated and our spirit is uplifted. We realize that there is more to life than the ghosts that haunt our subconscious.
Finding Our Path
The arrow of the Sagittarian Archer is aimed toward the Truth. The Centaur (half man, half horse) is on a spiritual journey. To find the Truth, we must transcend our social and religious conditioning, we must expand our minds, and we must gain a greater perspective. To do so, we must move outside our normal routine by traveling, experiencing other cultures, and witnessing the sacredness of all life. In the process of discovering the diversity of beliefs and ways of doing things, we increase our range of options and widen our horizons. We identify what makes us feel comfortable and at home. We discover and develop our unique spiritual path.
Our Inner Discovery of Cause and Effect
Our inner journey obliges us to examine the orientation of our arrow, and the projections and intentions that direct it. We learn to identify the life choices that either orient us toward the Divine or bury us deeper into darkness. To be a conscious co-creator of our lives, we have to examine the cause of what we create. We usually preoccupy ourselves with what we want, and also what we have created that we don't want. To understand how we have created what we have (or don't have), and how to get more satisfying results, we must get in touch with how we are creating our reality.
Self-empowerment requires taking responsibility for the fact that every effect has a cause that is internally generated. Every consequence is the result of a sequence that we have set in motion in our own thought-emotion-projection-action sequence. One of the critical components of a spiritual path, is to expand our consciousness to the point where we can become aware of how and why we create sequences. As we do so, we can choose how we influence the consequences that we manifest.
The Fire of Consciousness
The problem with most human beings is that our subconscious activity is more powerful than our conscious activity. Our subconscious programming runs whatever we are not conscious of. We meditate to clear the fog in our minds and to cultivate awareness. In a state of awareness we have choice. We are at choice because we are in touch with how we engage our mind and our emotions. We can affect the energy instead of being at the affect of it. We move from a passive victim to an actively engaged participant in our lives.
It is fire energy that supplies us with the power and stamina to create more light in our minds, and to clear stagnant emotional energy. It is fire energy that empowers us to set up and sustain a different creative cycle. It is fire energy that removes the blocks so that we can know our path. It is our internal fire that ignites our passion to believe in ourselves, to commit to our path, and to persevere on our journey.
Sagittarius introduces us to the obvious - everything, every day, every moment is new territory. Human life in time and space creates, by its very nature, an infinite unfolding of evolving experiences. Through experience, at each moment we move into a new way of being with ourselves and our lives. We understand that the nature of existence is to move us forward into the unknown. The question is not whether we will face the unknown each day, but HOW we will face it. Will we utilize the lessons and knowledge of the past to create a foundation of security and confidence to spring board us into each new day? Or will we attempt to hold on to the familiar, and reluctantly step into the inevitable future?
Sagittarius directs our arrow to the heavens, reminding us that there are higher forces at work. It is our connection with these higher forces that eliminates the trepidation caused by the false perception of separation and aloneness. It is our connection with the unknown that replaces the above with experiences of oneness, divine assistance and trust.
Ideals: Do we Want to be Right or Content?
Ideals are part of the Sagittarius repertoire. Ideals can propel us to the heights of uncharted territory. Ideals can also get us into a lot of trouble. On the negative side, ideals can be used as the basis of fanaticism, which is usually fueled by the subconscious need to be right. Young souls define their identity in relationship to a group. They believe they need everyone to be the same as them in order to confirm their identity. This means that everyone who does not agree with them is wrong, dammed, infidel or evil. There is a lot of young soul consciousness on the planet at this time.
There is another ideal, and that is to experience contentment and peace. In a world and universe of diversity and evolution, this precludes the need to be right and the exclusivity mentality. Although it is easy for most of us reading the New Millennium Being to accept the diversity of religions and life paths, we still need to examine how the need to adhere to ideals trips us up. Spiritual paths always set ideal standards, yet these are goals that we work toward, not standards that we are immediately able to live by. The problem comes when we have unrealistic expectations of ourselves and others.
In Earth school, we are in the process of learning and training ourselves to reach higher levels of consciousness. When we expect perfection instead of allowing for and enjoying our evolutionary journey, we sabotage and preclude our goal of achieving contentment and inner peace. While the Sun is in Sagittarius is a good time to examine how we make our lives miserable with shoulds, and foster depression and dissatisfaction with thinking that pits us against standards that we cannot meet. If we look closely, we can see that we are expecting ourselves to live by rules set by someone else, which may not be relevant to our situation or time and place.
Path with a Heart
One common issue in the Kundalini Yoga path, is adhering to the ideal of rising in the amrit vela (2½ hours before sunrise) to do sadhana. Many people perpetuate authority issues and feed guilt programs because they are unable to live to this ideal. There are alternatives to the all or nothing, let me feel bad about myself, approach. One is to feel satisfied and grateful, for being able to devote the amount of time that you can allot to meditation and yoga (and still get enough sleep to not drain your kidneys) before a busy day. The answer is not to throw out our ideals, but to create realistic and compassionate practices, that we can comfortably follow to our next level of conscious development.
Sagittarius reminds us that our path is OUR path. We define it, we follow it, and we devote our lives to it. Sagittarius teaches us to define a path with a purpose and follow it with all our heart. The fire signs enjoy the experience of simply being alive, and living every moment of life fully. Sagittarius points the arrow of our heart toward the Divine. It also reminds us that to experience the Divine we have to be all-inclusive. Every energy, every impulse, every creation, every experience, every person, is an expression of the Divine. When our perception of reality becomes this inclusive, we know God.
Gemini Full Moon - November 26th
The Gemini Full Moon, at 4° Gemini opposing the Sun, which is at 4° Sagittarius, 12:07pm PST (8:07pm GMT) November 26th.
The planetary alignment at this Full Moon makes us feel restless, needing to move on and to change. We just can't stay stuck any more. There is an irresistible urge to hit the road and to open our minds to less conflictual and more tolerant ways of thinking, and our hearts to more compassionate ways of being. These impulsive urges are activated by Uranus squaring both the Sun and the Moon. The exact square of the Sun and Uranus will be November 24th. Mercury also conjuncts (same sign and degree) Pluto in Sagittarius. Mars in Scorpio squares Neptune in Aquarius. There is a sense of urgency in the air to transform small-minded, short-sighted, and cold-hearted agendas.(1) At long last we are ready to get real and realistic about our lives.
The Full Moon comes the day after the US Thanksgiving, celebrating the first American thanksgiving by the Pilgrims in 1621. Giving thanks at harvest time is a tradition observed by all cultures since antiquity. To thank derives from a Germanic word for thoughtfulness.(2) It is indeed a time not only be thankful for our gifts and blessings, but to thoughtfully consider what we venerate and what is truly worth celebration. It is time to examine what we honor and to look deeply at what we are doing and why. What we discover will impel us to reach beyond what we know, because we are no longer comfortable with the status quo. It is a time to put on new glasses, to reformulate our values, ideals and goals. It is also time to set out on a new journey of discovery, and to jump with all our heart into the evolutionary unknown.
The Centaur's journey leads him to the realization that everyone has their own path to their own soul truth. What is important for the Centaur is to focus on his own path, and not to be derailed by following someone else's ideas, or by trying to convince others to join him on his path.
Sagittarius New Moon - December 11th-12th
The New Moon is December 11th at 5:30pm PST (December 12th at 1:30am GMT) at 20° Sagittarius. This New Moon invites us to set our sites high, and aim for clear guidance and wisdom. What we are seeking at this New Moon is a deeper understanding of our soul purpose, and what specifically we can do to bring more meaning into our lives. Where is 20° Sagittarius in your birth chart? This is where you feel the inner urge to expand your perspective, explore new horizons, tap dormant potentials and create new adventures for yourself.
Both Pluto and Mercury conjunct this New Moon, opening the window of our mind to possibilities that were once only dreams. Pluto gets us in touch with both the light and the shadow side of Sagittarius. The Centaur's shadow is obsessive, excessive, fanatical and arrogant. We are being given a chance to admit and examine the delusions that run our psyche, and the deceptions that control our projection. If we can free ourselves of our imprisoning beliefs, prejudices and false operating assumptions, our arrow can pierce through the darkness and enter the dimension of light, gratitude and love. Our projection can be empowered by the purity of our soul.
Mercury Retrograde - November 30th-December 20th
Mercury retrograde in Sagittarius turns the party inward. Instead of looking for entertainment outside ourselves, (between November 30th and December 20th), we are being invited to entertain ourselves with a thorough re-think of our priorities, re-definition of our goals and re-examination of the vantage point from which we make decisions about our lives. Do you dare to say no to the parties that exhaust you, and say yes to spending quality time with yourself? Being able to discriminate is an important Sagittarius lesson. Mercury is in Sagittarius from November 4th - January 9th. We have over two months to monitor where we have come in the past year, and to prepare our spiritual journey for 2005.
Introduction to Kundalini Yoga, Vol 1 by Guru Rattana, Ph.D., Begin and Deepen Your Practice, contains a comprehensive and easy to follow but detailed explanation, of the basics that we must all learn and perfect, to raise our Kundalini and achieve higher consciousness.
Useful tips to help you design your personal practice and optimize your progress.
How to direct your attention and tune into the subtle energetic aspects of your being.
Gain a better understanding on how your mind works, so you can successfully meditate.
Kundalini Yoga - Fire from the Belly Opens Our Vision to the Future
Sat Kriya is one of the most basic and powerful Kundalini Yoga kriyas. This exercise cultivates the fire energy at the navel center, and moves it up the spine to the third eye. Done with awareness, we can feel how the fire of the Kundalini awakens our consciousness. Even done without awareness, this powerful practice will wake us up.
This is an excellent practice at any time and highly recommended while the Sun and Mercury are in Sagittarius. If you want clarity of mind and empowerment of your own being, Sat Kriya is for you. More information on the multiple benefits of Sat Kriya can be found in my book Introduction to Kundalini Yoga Vol 1.(3)
Sat Kriya is done at the end of many Kundalini Yoga kriyas. As the name suggests, it is a kriya in and of itself. It can be done alone, but it is advisable to first do some warms ups, like spinal flexes, to prepare the body for the movement of energy up the spine.
Sit on your heels with your arms extended over and close to your head. Interlock your fingers, except for the index fingers, which point straight up. Say SAT while you pull the navel in and up toward the spine. This is a short, staccato sound and movement. Say NAM as you relax the internal stretch. The breath will happen on its own. There is no co-ordination of the breath with the mantra.
The internal movement is upward on the SAT. Relax while repeating NAM so that the energy can flow downward. This creates an internal wave like movement. Set the rhythm that is comfortable for you, and get into the rhythm of it. Over time you will feel the muscles of the anus and sex organs engage with the navel, but do not try to engage them. Concentrate on pulling the navel in, and feel how all the lower chakras are connected.
Cover your lower spine to keep it warm. Continue for 3, 5, 11 or even up to 31 minutes. Start slowly, and build up towards maximum a few minutes a day.
TO END, inhale all the way until the breath locks in and you can internally suspend the breath. While holding or suspending the breath, pull the locks - the navel in, the muscles at the base of the spine, the sex organ, and the diaphragm up and tuck the chin.(4) Allow the flow of the fire energy to move up to the center of your head or the third eye. Then exhale powerfully. Inhale again and repeat the sequence. Do three times. This end is very important. We generate the fire energy during the exercise, and we consolidate the rising of the fire or Kundalini energy during the last breaths.
Then sit quietly and meditate at your third eye. Focus at the center of your head. Feel also the fire center at the navel in your body. The two connect to bring a very powerful experience of physical and mental focus.
It is imperative to schedule time for deep relaxation after practicing Sat Kriya. We should relax for at least the same amount of time as the exercise. The effects and energies integrate during the deep relaxation.
Remember, the mantra chanted in this kriya SAT (truth) NAM (identity) - calls upon the Truth. As you practice, know that you are calling upon universal and personal truth to be revealed to you. Set your intention before your practice, to get more clarity about your path. Sit quietly afterwards and LISTEN to your heart and intuition, and let your truth be revealed.
References and Footnotes
"Gemini Full Moon, November 26th", by Stephanie Austin, The Mountain Astrologer, Issue #117, Oct/Nov 2004, p. 110.
"Sagittarius New Moon December 11-12", by Stephanie Austin, The Mountain Astrologer, Issue #118, Dec/Jan 2005, p. 107.
1. p. 110, Austin
2. p. 110, Austin
3. Detailed information about benefits is in Introduction to Kundalini Yoga, Vol. 1 by Guru Rattana.
4. Lesson #8 of my Kundalini Yoga course about the Locks or Bhandas.
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