Greetings from the “Land of the Gods” otherwise known as Rishikesh, India.
This place is magical, the vibration deep. The Ganga flows fresh here and the mountains hold mantras chanted for thousands of years by devotees, sadhus and gurus worldwide. It is of no coincidence that great things can happen here; realizations, visions, healing and transformation.
The moon has made her appearance and the colors of Holi flow (as in the above photo!) for this marks the first day of Spring. There is a full on celebration taking place in the streets with paint flying and water balloons exploding. This evening, fire ceremonies will ignite all along the Ganga and flowers will be offered in prayer and gratitude. It is a time of awakening, not just here in India but everywhere. I pray that you are feeling the heaviness of winter pass and beginning to integrate the lessons learned all in harmony with the astrology of the moment and the powerful eclipse just now passing. Can you FEEL IT?!
Speaking of astrology…
So much is to be said with the astrological alignments (of any given day) but often we get lost in the over analyzing and intellectualism of the study. We like the sound of it, we agree that what’s being said makes sense, especially if it has to do with us personally, but what are we doing with that information? How are we putting it into practice? How does it fit into our every day lives?
Other than “knowing” that something spectacular in the heavens is taking place we can take ourselves deeper into that particular energy with the simple practice of chanting mantra. Chanting is a practice that you can do anytime and anywhere in the world. All you need is the mantra, an intention and your own will to show up!
Sitting here in the Ashram, early in the morning, I’ve prepared a simple practice to help you explore tuning into the invigorating energy of Mars, the ruling planet of Aries, which is the Sun sign we are being guided by for the next 30 days or so.
We spend so much energy focusing on the Moon, when she is full, when she is dark, that it seems we’ve forgotten about our dear friend and consistent companion, the Sun. He shines for us continually and steadily, illuminating our strengths and purpose in the world. The sun is the reason why we are here, it is our souls journey to be had while embodied as a human in this realm. We are given an entire month to tune in to this energy, to watch ourselves shift and grow in harmony with this powerful aspect.
Aries marks the beginning, the first born, the ignition that makes everything else go forward as Mars is all about action and drive.
This is a time when we feel ourselves awakening, shedding the layers of winter and beginning to truly integrate the lessons learned, the character we have developed, during the more internal time of year. Now we begin again! We are planting our visions for the season ahead, turning our dreams into reality, declaring war on the battlefield of manifestation while getting down to business and deep into the rhythm of our souls purpose.
With the sun in Aries, and especially at the spring equinox, all nature responds with a leap forward into growth. This is a time to be clear with what you want and even demand it, as there is opportunity now for those who put themselves forward. Everyone is more inclined to be a go-getter and to forge ahead with a new idea. With so many of us forging ahead at once there are bound to be some collisions along the way.
ARE YOU READY TO HARNESS THE POWER OF MARS?!
Mantra for Mars in Celebration of Aries!
Om Sri Angarakaya Namaha
Om shree ahng-gah-rah-Kah-ya Nahm-ah-ha
What is most present in this mantra is the word “anger” or spelled here as “angar”. Anger is a touchy subject. It’s not something we are so forthright to admit when we are feeling it. We want to control it but it usually ends up controlling us. What a powerful energy to tap into!
Anger is akin to fire.
Aries is the first of the fire signs in the zodiac. Fire can heat a home, cook a meal and also burn down entire villages. The key is to learn how to work with it.
First, we must learn how to observe it, to simply watch it, to see ourselves in the process of being angry, of feeling the anger without reacting from that place. This is one of the true tests for any spiritual practitioner. It’s very easy to react, to go off the rails screaming, yelling, stomping around like a child ( the lower form of Aries/first born/”me first!”). It’s much more difficult to find stillness and to study the parts of ourselves that are longing to scream without actually doing so.
This is not about repression. This isn’t about trying not to feel anger. It’s about becoming conscious of why we feel that anger in the first place. With enough practice we can learn to harness the profound energy that is anger and use it for the construction of our lives, relationships and higher vision.
Behind anger lies the fuel that makes us go. Some say that until you get angry enough your life won’t change in the ways you want it to. But being angry doesn’t mean going mad. Imagine the depth of anger that Gandhi must have felt or Martin Luther King during the most trying times of their lives. We don’t see pictures of mad men when we look back at these incredible historic movements. We see grace, strength and empowerment, qualities possible for each one of us to embody.
THE PROCESS AND THE PRACTICE:
Chanting this mantra can help you to get in tune with your inner fuel and drive. If you have 10 minutes to spare, take a seat, light a candle, burn some incense and tune into your higher intentions for this practice. Below are some intention setting suggestions. Always follow your intuition. Explore with courage and compassion.
I suggest doing the practice at the same place and same time of day, but do what works for you and your lifestyle at the moment. A traditional mantra discipline calls for a 40 day commitment. With this practice, and the specific intention of harmonizing with the Sun sign each month, a 30 day practice will suffice. If 30 days feels daunting, chant the mantra on the specific day of the week given in the bullet points below.
The point is not to overwhelm you but to encourage you to develop a relationship with the planetary bodies (astrology). Even if you only chant this mantra a few times durring the month you are sure to notice an energetic difference in your being on the days that you chant.
The most important aspect to this practice is to keep your intentions clear, noting that what goes around often comes back around three fold. Keep your intentions CLEAR! If you should feel highly irritated take a day or two off of chanting. Let the energies cool a bit and integrate whatever you are feeling. You can pick the mantra back up when you feel strengthened and prepared.
Offer this mantra as a way to release any negative anger you may be carrying. Imagine with each round that you are offering the seeds of anger to the sacred fire, asking humbly for guidance to transform this energy towards something positive for everyone.
Ask for guidance around your own drive for power, success and pleasure. Ask for balance!
Offer this mantra for someone else who may be angry at you or carrying anger in general.
Tune into the goals you have, a seed you are planting, using the mantra as a way to keep focused and driving forward.
Look deeper into how Mars sits in your astrological chart and focus on harmonizing with those aspects.
Chant this mantra on Tuesday, the day governed by Mars to fuel your day with drive and power!
A note about this HUMBLE recording….
This was recorded at the wee hours of the morning when there is actual silence in India.This recording is very simple. Probably not the best of quality but enough to get you on your way. You can listen for the first few minutes to help you get in tune or you can sit the entire 7 minutes to be guided through the mantra the full 108 times. There is a very special moment at the end of the recording where the bells are rung here in the Ashram to mark the start of the day. It’s a sweet end to the practice and a very auspicious moment indeed. I am happy and grateful to share in the experience with you!
Enjoy your practice and please let me know how it’s going or if you have any questions.
With love and gratitude from the banks of the Holy Ganga,
Co Founder, Yogi, Lover of Life