Moon and Sex
My dog children: Shallah and Sula, Norwegian Elkhounds. Arranged marriage.
—Iona Miller Newer research shows the moon's effect on the electromagnetic fields of the earth, and their subsequent biological influence. Specific examples can be found in the lunar sex cycle of the female, and the insomnia and emotional instability characteristic of the Full Moon phase.
Less well-known is that the moon may be used as a means of spiritual regeneration and accelerating the growth of the "diamond body," or spiritual vehicle. There is a higher spiritual aspect to the Moon Goddess than that represented as Yesod in the Tree of Life, or psychologically as the "personal" anima, (one's projected feminine ideal). Anima Mundi, or the Divine Inspiratrix, is represented on the Tree of Life and in Tarot by Trump II, the High Priestess, the crescent Moon. This Goddess not only confers 'immortality,' but also wisdom and inspiration. She is our medium, mediator or intercessor with the divine.
Soma and the Moon
Myth states that inspiration of the moon comes from the dark phases and from the soma drink which is brewed from the moon tree. The biological basis of this intoxicating recipe has been debated, and proposed answers range from magick mushrooms to long-extinct herbs. Nevertheless, this inspiration is described as the antithesis of rational thought, embodied in dark obscure movements, thoughts and impulses of darkness. It manifests as an intoxicant, producing an enthusiasm which may even lead to madness.
Soma was considered a universal life power dispensed in great abundance during the waning moon. It could be absorbed directly in meditative states without having to ingest any plant at all. Certain plants were held to be particularly efficient in collecting and storing soma, this mysterious psychic energy. Those eaten with the power to change consciousness were held sacred as embodiments of deities.
Psychologically, the ritual for absorbing soma is designed for relating oneself properly to the feminine principle -- what has become popularly known as the Goddess. Then one gains access to the eternal, immovable aspect of psyche, the reality of Self, which transcends the duality of gender descriptions. When drinking in soma (entheogen), the initiate becomes filled with the god (entheos). The inner voice of the daemon speaks, uncensored, and takes control for a time. In Magick this is called "assuming the god-form," an epiphany -- a miracle marriage, the merging of subject and object, figure and ground, profane and sacred.
Through communion in the meditative process, an individual becomes acquainted with his/her own limits, depths and ultimate reality. The highest incarnation of the female form of the Holy Spirit confers the deepest revelation. The goddess is a powerful wisdom-figure and psychological force having the power to mold destiny. As well as High Priestess, she is Shekinah in Judaism, Sekina in Islam, Shakti in Hinduism, Sophia in Gnosticism, Virgin Mary in Christianity, Artemis in mythology. These are common forms for women's experience of the higher Self.
There is a familiar passage from the Hermetic texts, called The Veil. It emphatically states that the veil signifies the Veil of the Universe or Robe of Isis. Magician Aleister Crowley said this Veiled Isis "is clothed only in the luminous veil of light. It is important for the high initiation to regard Light not as the perfect manifestation of Eternal Spirit, but rather as the veil which hides that Spirit."
These passages might be read as an exhortation to penetrate beyond the brightly lit region of Tiphareth, the heart center and solar consciousness -- passed the region of the stars (The Universe), moon (Yesod) and sun (Tiphareth) of the astral world. The higher arc of Lunar consciousness is a more diffuse awareness, a dark-adapted Third Eye, an ability to penetrate the Void by discerning the dimly lit regions or 'Dark Matter and Energy' of the deepest layers of the primordial unconscious to the Ground State of Being.
True initiation implies breaking through the Veil of the Virgin, first into self-realization then into God-realization. The veil is part of our spiritual nature; it epitomizes the blocks to our enlightenment as embodied in our personalities and our souls' attachment to our minds, and to Universal Mind. To raise it means to dis-identify and deconstruct ourselves until we find our fundamental unification with divinity. It means to transcend the limits of individuality and become consciously immortal (or, conscious of our inherent immortal nature). The soul is released from the constraints of time, space and ego-orientation.
Turning psychological energy inward, through meditation, is a characteristically feminine process. This introversion and brooding produces a "psychic child" which corresponds to Jung's concept of individuation. He wrote about this 'divine child' at length in The Secret of the Golden Flower in Taoist terms, but it also appears in Western metaphysics as the Diamond Body. Individuation's greatest value is attached to an activity of the creative imagination known as "soul-making." Careful aesthetic elaboration of an event is its significance. There is NO separation, in soul-making, between an event and its meaning. A sense of the sacred is, thereby, returned to daily activity and, in fact, seamlessly welded to it.
This inner marriage of intentionality and inwardness, of masculinity and feminine components gives birth to the inner child and release from the power of death. In a sense, in meditation one learns to "die daily." Death becomes a familiar guest, and brings Grace in its wake. Ego-death is induced by withdrawing the external focus of the senses and focusing attention at the Eye Center. Successful accomplishment of this process, this child, is the Self in embryonic form, ever renascent, the fruit of psychic development.
The "Inner Moon" Chakra
Soma is also associated in yogic practice with the "inner moon" chakra, analogous to the pituitary and pineal glands. This "inner moon" is said to shower subtle secretions, or soma drops, which nourish the psychophysical organism. These glands directly influence physiological processes. The pituitary regulates, among other functions, sex hormones, metabolism, and growth and development of the individual.
The pineal develops from specialized tissues and is proximate to cerebrospinal fluid channels, and crucial emotional and sensory brain centers. It is separated from the hypothalamus and visual and auditory relay stations only by a resonant cavity -- one of the brain's fluid-filled ambrosial 'lakes' or ventricles. The pineal hangs from the roof of the ventricle. Certain practices, such as intense fine-tuning of attention and awareness, can amplify or prolong its chemical effects, making us see, hear, feel and think differently.
The pineal produces the sleep drug melatonin and is alleged to produce endogenous or natural DMT, a psychedelic chemical, by psychiatrist Rick Strassman (2001, DMT: the Spirit Molecule). A main characteristic of this chemical, the biological basis of spiritual experience, is the production of Light. According to Strassman, the psychedelic pineal "is unique in its solitary status within the brain. All other brain sites are paired, meaning that they have left and right counterparts... As the only unpaired organ deep within the brain, the pineal gland remained an anatomical curiosity for nearly two thousand years."
DMT is physically immobilizing and produces a flood of unexpected and overwhelming visual and emotional imagery. Pineal DMT release may also mediate sexual ecstasy, resulting from strenuous exertion, hyperventilation, and intense emotions. This may be the driver behind the psychedelic nature of the Tantric sexual experience. High levels of natural DMT production are also implicated during heightened awareness during stress and in the clear light of Near-Death Experiences (NDEs).
"All spiritual disciplines describe quite psychedelic accounts of the transformative experiences, whose attainment motivate their practice. Blinding white light, encounters with demonic and angelic entities, ecstatic emotions, timelessness, heavenly sounds, feelings of having died and been reborn, contacting a powerful and loving presence underlying all of reality -- these experiences cut across all denominations. They also are characteristic of a fully psychedelic DMT experience," (Strassman, 2001). And meditation can evoke the pineal DMT response. The deeper the meditation, the slower and stronger the brainwaves become, like a standing wave in a river. These waves create a unique note, or sound, a resonance effect. "The pineal begins to "vibrate" at frequencies that weaken its multiple barriers to DMT formation ...the end result is a psychedelic surge of the pineal spirit molecule, resulting in the subjective states of mystical consciousness."
The Moon, Tantra and Hyperdimensional Numbers
More than 20 years ago, Richard Wurtman of M.I.T. stated that stress activates the pineal gland. This then exerts an inhibitory influence on the body's stress mechanism (the hypothalmic-pituitary-adrenal axis). In view of the pineal's sedative effect on the Central Nervous System (CNS), "the ancient mystics may have had something when they attributed effects of meditation to the pineal gland. Plate 55 (page 88) of Tantra Asana (Edited and compiled by Ajit Mookerjee, pub. Ravi Kumar; Basel, Paris and New Delhi, 1971) shows a leaf from a seventeenth century Kashmiri tantric manuscript:
"A female figure illustrating (the 9 + 9) position of Amritakala [the times of immortality, literally], which have to be energized on respective dates of the white and dark halves of the month for successful tantric asanas. The eighteen (9 + 9) focal centers in the female body mentioned in the Ratirahasva can be excited by the adept when harmonized with the exact location of the chandrakala on the respective days of the white as well as the dark halves of the month."
This quote shows the relationship between the pre-Vedic and Indo-Iranian immortality teachings and phases of the moon. The planetary Moon and the "inner moon" are linked by the doctrine of signatures or sames; they share a common essence, exert a common influence. The lunar month is specifically divided into 9 special days in both the waxing and waning halves, a cycle composed of 18 days in all. There is a striking correspondence (first noticed by Dr. Charles Muses) between the two-fold cycle of lunar phases each month and the hypernumber w, a lunar elliptic orbit function developed by NASA for the space program.
This hypernumber w and its phases of the elliptical orbits provide the only available mathematical paradigm corresponding to the anomolies distinct to the waxing and waning lunar fortnights. This striking relationship indicates that, during pre-Vedic periods, a system of highly developed sets of mathematical descriptions existed for the movement of the moon about the earth, or at least their psychic equivalent.
Hyperdimensional mathematics is a system or field developed to encompass a body of complex universes. An example is the hyperdimensional number "i" which is the square root of -1. The square root of -1 has several solutions, some of which are applicable to the physical world, some which are not. These non-physical solutions relate to other universes. These worlds are created primarily to solve problems not solvable in the physical world.
The hypernumber w has the remarkable property that, when multiplied successively by itself, all the resulting numbers lie on a certain ellipse. The numbers resulting from multiplying the square root of w successively by itself also lie on the very same ellipse; exactly twelve distinct points are generated by these processes.
There are three principle irregularities in the lunar orbit that have been known since Ptolemy of Alexandria. They were rediscovered by the famous 16th century astronomer, Tycho Brahe, a student of Kepler. These irregularities together furnish a set of eight places in the lunar orbit where these reflecting configurations of force are maximum. These places map on the eight points furnished by the integer powers of the hypernumber w. W was conceived by 20th century mathematicians to describe these very irregularities of the lunar orbit.
This seems to indicate that the pre-Vedic periods had mathematics or intuitive observations which counter some of our most advanced concepts in mathematics today. It is also known that the various phases of the moon affect a number of biological cycles. Therefore, it is now possible to adapt these equations to the meditative process of the (9 + 9) phases of the moon. This Tantric tradition for maximal absorption of soma, using these points in the lunar cycle, leads to the immortality of the soul.
There are fundamental points which are important in the lunar tradition. First quarter to the Full Moon is generally related to unstable mental states. The first quarter and the Full Moon are when most magical rituals are practiced, as energy is building and culminating. Only very rarely does one use a waning moon, preferring a waxing moon for ceremony. A waning moon generally symbolizes soma going into the body. Waxing indicates energy coming out of the body, through some form of expression. Waning periods, then, are generally when one meditates and absorbs energy. Waxing periods use that energy as an expression, in Magick for invoking a given archetype, or god-form, such as the higher self.
Spiritual regeneration also occurs during certain phases of the moon. Even today, the ascending and descending nodes of the lunar orbit are termed the Dragon's Head and the Dragon's Tail. This dragon is a time-honored symbol for the goddess, the Great Mother. The time intervals taken by the moon in returning to its given node is termed the Dragonic month even in modern astronomy. The ancient Indo-Iranian lunar traditions ascribe the "holiest power" of the month to the dark of the moon. In terms of this tradition, the soma (energy for spiritual regeneration) most fully saturates the earth during the waning moon, when the "invisible" (or higher) light is brightest. The new moon is the period when the Sun and Moon are in conjunction. This symbolizes the alchemical Coniunctio, or Divine Marriage.
At its dark phase, the moon is conjoined with the sun itself, even though we see only a dark moonless night. This is possible because the relative distances of sun and moon make the size of their visible disks the same size; the light of the sun washes out the reflected moonlight. At this point the moon psychophysically effects our central nervous system the most. In both traditions, the pre-Vedic and Indo-Iranian, the dark of the moon is associated with maximum life elixer flow. The waning or putrifying, fertilizing moon, culminated in the dark of the moon was associated with the male powers. The waxing or gestating form of moon was associated with female powers. In this model, waning moon is masculine; while waxing is feminine -- though in other systems the active is masculine while the passive phase is considered feminine.
Through this meditation and absorption of soma, the mystical or Diamond Body (created by harmonization of male and female principles), may be built up for consciousness to inhabit as a spiritual vehicle. The soul becomes refined and finds unity with Spirit. This occurs via the image. In Tantra, this imagery was associated with the female partner, as representative of various forms of the goddess, Shakti. Through correspondences with Tarot and the paths of the Tree of Life, we can incorporate western imagery into this meditation.
The pre-Vedic technique was designed as a system for achieving immortality. This exercise is also known as Circulation of the Light. The meditation exercise is designed with this circulation, or exchange between the masculine and feminine poles, as the central focus. Indo-Iranian immortality teachings state that growth of the higher body during life allows full consciousness to remain even after phsycial death. They divided the lunar month into nine special days in both waxing and waning halves. These divisions are identical to the equation and solutions of the hypernumber "w": 9 + 9 going to 18.