Andrew Harvey writes, “Man is the astrolabe of God, but it requires an astronomer to know the astrolabe.” When Harvey asks us to become astronomers it is so we may know, and reflect the cosmos. We possess this incredibly delicate and precise instrument that can measure and understand every layer of being, but we’re not using it. We don’t know how. We are untrained.
We are perfectly capable of becoming astronomers, of seeing layers of divine movement through soul and infinite space. We do this by penetrating Self, by de-mystifying feelings and behavior. In this work of perceiving and penetrating our core, we understand, even illuminate the cosmos. We see that illness and health are the same coin, that you and I are one, made multiple, that life and death are polarities of a single thread. All life holds and reflects ‘the other,’ as moonlight in the night.
It is very American to view death not only different than, but opposed to life. We fight dying with every terrified muscle. If we don’t struggle with physical death, perhaps it is a psychic blow, or physical changes that obliterate a known life. How do we reconcile and recover from that magnitude of suffering and loss? moving from one level of existence to another is an enormous threshold to cross.
Now is a fine time to become a practitioner, fine tuning our astrolabe, becoming a soul-astronomer. We all strain under the intensified energies of the cosmos, and many are already in full paradigm shifts. Those that aren’t, must stand steady to help others make the leap. Our job is to polish the glass, enjoy seeing the cosmos open to our widening perceptions, and hold our instrument with love and sensitivity.
Asana: Marichyasana I, this is a pose dedicated to Marichi, grandfather of Surya, the sun god. In Astrological terms, the Sun represents the ‘I am,’ the ego, certainly a primary part of our astrolabe, therefore a good pose to practice when contemplating Self.
Sitting, with legs extended, bend L knee, placing foot close to buttocks. Stretch the torso forward by contracting abdominals, then twist away from L knee, turning L arm around L shin & thigh, reach around back to clasp R hand behind, or if flexible enough, R wrist. Exhaling, bend & extend over R leg. Inhale, return to center. Repeat on R.
Health Notes: In contracting abdominals, the internal organs are fed more blood, the back dorsal muscles, and hamstrings are stretched, Forward folding can always offer a place of contemplation as breathing softens, the exhale lengthens, and toxins can be released.
Astrological Notes: The sun god, Surya, and Aires ruling planet, Mars, have much in common and support one another in a body ‘becoming,’ growing into selfhood. Both are fiery energies, driving will and conscioiusness onward. Aires, being the first sign of the astrological zodiac, supports the soul to understand itself as a separate entity, to express a life force vigorously that it may withstand the pressure of change, of growing back toward oneness.
Ayurvedic Notes: Because Pitta and Aires are fiery energies, the imbalances are ones of pushing too hard and fast, therefore they often deal with intestinal disorders of colitis, ulcers, & malabsorption, along with headaches, and hemorrhoids. These issues can be addressed and balanced by poses that twist the abdominals and soften the energy, such as Marichyasana, Shoulder Stand, Bow, Locust, Fish, and Savassana.