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in this issue…
- DIVINE AND HUMAN VAHANAS >>>>>>>>>> by Bruce Johnson
- STILLNESS >>>>>>>>>> by Bob Romero
- APRIL 2022 ASTROLOGY UPDATE >>>>>>>>>> by Roy Neal
- IN HONOR OF ARIES, THE RAM >>>>>>>>>> by Roy Neal
DIVINE AND HUMAN VAHANAS
by Bruce Johnson
Vahana is a Sanskrit word that indicates a vehicle or carrier utilized by a divine being for transportation upon planes lower than its own intrinsic one. Vahanas of all forms and types can be seen not only in Hinduism, but in Occultism and many other philosophies as well. Vahanas fall into two general categories. The first type of Vahana [often depicted as a chariot or animal], commonly incorporates one or more creatures symbolic of lesser forces, that are controlled by a godly being. The second type of vehicle consists of the multiple bodies the human Soul uses to interact and function on levels below the Soul plane.
Examples of venerated entities and their vehicles include- Indra and his white elephant, Vishnu and Lakshimi riding the divine sun bird Garuda, Quetzalcoatl and his magical serpent raft drawn by dragons, the Egyptian sun-god Re guiding his solar boat, Ganessa and his mouse, Varuna the water god riding his sea monster Makara, the god Kama with a parrot as a vehicle, and Agni the fire deity who rides a ram.
The vehicles or bodies of the human Soul can be understood through the geometric combination of an up-ward pointing equilateral triangle aligned with and hovering above a square. The apex of the triangle symbolizes the Soul in its unmanifested form. The left-hand corner of the triangle illustrates the Buddhic or Spiritual body. The triangle’s right-hand corner indicates the vehicle variously known as the Causal or Intuitive body. These three vehicles compose the upper triad of the Individuality or Higher Self.
The upper left-hand corner of the square signifies the Mental body, with the upper right-hand corner portraying the Emotional body. The lower left-hand corner of the square designates the Astral vehicle, with the lower right-hand corner of the square symbolizing the physical body. These four bodies are called the lower quaternary and represent the Personality or lower self. This triangle/square symbol describes the seven human bodies and their order of density from the finest Soul level to the solid physical body. The bodies mentioned above are based on this writers knowledge, with other writers sometimes using different terms, numbers, and placements for the human vehicles.
The dual symbol of a god and their single vahana is rooted in esoteric fact. With extremely advanced individuals, the five lower bodies are eventually discarded, leaving the Spiritual body as the remaining vehicle of the Soul. Here we have the Adept who is pictured as a double-headed eagle, with both heads of the eagle wearing a crown. This symbol displays a meaning of spiritual perfection, a unification of the spiritual and material principles, and the highest Soul level attainable.
The charioteer and their chariot is a familiar symbol for the divine Self directing its vehicle. Chariots can be linked to all four elements of Nature. The Chariot card of the Tarot would be an example of an earth-related chariot. Various divinities are known for driving chariots pulled by- all colors and types of 4-legged horses, swans, foxes, he-goats, deer, golden finned seahorses, roosters, cats, peacocks, and with some Chariot Tarot cards, white and black sphinxes. Two additional examples of cards with drivers and vachanas in the Rider-Waite Tarot deck are The Sun card and the Death card, each containing a rider on a white horse.
by Bob Romero
Over the last several weeks I have been told to practice stillness by several different people. In my class, we learned that in order to be centered, we have to be able to be still and meditate without thoughts. My acupuncturist told me to practice quiet meditation before going to bed to help with sleep. My Pastor talked about fasting during Lent. He quoted the pope and said that if you’re going to fast during Lent, fast from anger, or gossip, or social media, or the spoken word. The last item referring to be still and quiet for a short time.
I wrote about meditation last year, but it is much harder than I thought, especially during these times. And the key word is “thought”, because that’s what prevents stillness. Stillness in this context, doesn’t necessarily mean absence of movement. Pro athletes will tell you that if they think about what they have to do, they will be slow to react. They also talk about the game slowing down and that’s because they are reacting instinctively, rather than thinking about what they have to do. They have spent many hours of practice so that it becomes instinctive. Musicians don’t think about the notes, they become the music. Dancers don’t think about the steps, they flow instinctively to the music. Both have rehearsed over and over again until it becomes natural to them.
Golf is considered a mental game. Pro golfers use smart course management and think about what clubs to use and where to hit the ball. But when it comes time to hit or stroke the ball, they do it instinctively. They have a rhythm that they use to execute the shot. They have hit thousands of balls so that their swing is committed to muscle memory, and they don’t have to think if they are swinging correctly. Sadhguru, a well-known yogi, loves the game of golf. He has never taken lessons, or been to the driving range, but has a 14 handicap which is quite remarkable. Many golf pros go to him, not for golf instructions, but for the stillness that’s required to play well. Breathing consistently helps to focus on the ball just like in yoga.
When I see beautiful sunrises or sunsets, it becomes even more enjoyable not to just think about it, but to just take it all in. On days when the sun shines brightly with very few clouds in the sky, and there is no wind, I can feel the stillness. I can experience the beauty and the stillness in the long shadows in the late afternoons and evenings without thinking. So, when it comes to silent meditation, it also takes lots of practice, because thoughts will creep into the mind. I read and heard that it’s best not to fight the thoughts, but to recognize them and let them go. Letting go is what helps us to achieve stillness as well as health and happiness. A good friend of mine who has been meditating for most of his life, gave me an excellent idea on how to start. It’s called the Gassho Meditation, which can be done between 15 and 30 minutes. Fold your hands gently together with your thumbs touching your heart chakra and focus on your middle fingers touching each other. Focus on your breathing at the beginning, and then let it continue on its own. Again, if any thoughts do pop up, recognize that they are thoughts and let them go. Refocus on your middle fingers, and you will notice that there will be more and more time between thoughts. When you have reached the end of the meditation, take a couple of deep breaths, bring your attention to eyes and open your eyes slowly. Stillness will be the time and space between the thoughts.
Bob Romero has been a diligent student of esoteric spiritual subjects and metaphysics for many years, with a life-long quest for answers. He has submitted new and original articles that focus on life lessons and experiences he wishes to share with our readers and the world.
APRIL 2022 ASTROLOGY UPDATE
by Roy Neal
We begin the month of April with a New Moon in the sign of Aries on Friday, April 1st. Aries is ruled by Mars and indicates a strong desire to begin something new. The beginning of new projects and creative activities is astrologically encouraged.
Venus enters Pisces on Tuesday, April 5th. Venus is a planet which symbolizes relationships. The urge to help others is enhanced while Venus continues its transit in the sign of Pisces. Venus will continue to be in Pisces until it enters Aries on Monday, May 2nd.
A First Quarter Phase Moon occurs in Cancer on Saturday, April 9th. Issues related to home, security and family will be in high focus.
Mercury enters Taurus on Sunday, April 10th. Our mind will likely want to focus on money and financial security while Mercury continues to be in Taurus until it enters Gemini on Friday, April 29th.
Mars enters Pisces on Thursday, April 14th. The desire to help others will be strong while both Venus and Mars are in Pisces. Jupiter and Neptune are also in Pisces in April. Pisces is ruled by Neptune. Neptune is symbolized as a planet that invokes the need for faith and belief in the spiritual nature of reality.
We benefit this month by cultivating a spiritual practice and trusting our intuition and spiritual guidance. For those who wish to remain unconscious or skeptical of spiritual reality, Neptune will offer an opportunity to escape through drugs, alcohol or self-deception.
A Full Moon occurs in Libra on Saturday, April 16th. Libra is a sign of relationship. The guidance during this weekend will be for a peaceful resolution to conflict so all parties can celebrate the healing power which potentially dawns on Easter Sunday, April 17th.
The Sun enters the sign of Taurus on Tuesday, April 19th. Taurus is an earth sign and symbolizes the experience of personal and collective value. A consciousness of what is in the best interest for our economic well-being is likely to be the focus until the Sun enters Gemini on Friday, May 20th.
On Friday, April 22nd, Earth Day invites us to honor our planet by planting a tree or preparing the soil for a garden.
The Last Quarter Phase of the Moon occurs in Aquarius on Saturday, April 23rd. Social activities are encouraged for those individuals who are not overly attached to their independent nature.
Pluto goes retrograde in Capricorn and Mercury enters Gemini on Friday, April 29th. The continuing inner and outer transformation process symbolized by Pluto in Capricorn will offer us a multitude of topics for dialogue and consideration.
A New Moon/Solar Eclipse in the sign of Taurus occurs on Saturday, April 30th. New beginnings in business and financial matters will likely commence during the next six months. Determining what is essential and most valuable personally and professionally will be an activity worthy of contemplation and consideration.
Roy Neal is a professional astrological counselor with a private practice in the Denver area. If you would like to know more about how this month impacts you personally call Roy at 720-962-4633 and schedule an update of your individual birth chart.
IN HONOR OF ARIES, THE RAM
by Roy Neal
March 20 through April 19
Every story has a beginning. The sign that begins the zodiac is Aries.
The Sun enters the sign of Aries on Sunday, March 20th. This event is known as the beginning of the Spring Season.
The ruling planet of Aries is Mars. Mars is a planet of action. The Aries person is an activist. They initiate activities and motivate others to do the same. The Aries person can be a spiritual warrior; they will fight for a cause or purpose that is fair and just. Healthy confrontations can occur that bring positive outcomes and results.
The Aries person likes to be first. For this reason, they can become a leader. The Aries individual can start lots of projects but not always finish them. They are impatient; they feel a need to move on to the next challenge or opportunity.
Every project has a beginning. If you want someone who can help you get things started you can usually benefit by consulting someone with the Sun, Ascendant or other personal planets in the zodiac sign of Aries.
The Aries motto is: “ To thine own self be true.”
Roy Neal is a professional astrologer with a private practice in the Denver area. If you would like to know more, call Roy at 720-962-4633 and schedule an update of your individual birth chart.