Ashta Bhairava and the Nakshatras

Ashta Bhairava
Starting with the next Full Moon and continuing daily until the celebration of Bhairava Ashtami, I’ll be posting a nine-part series on the connections between Shiva in his form as Mahakala Bhairava and the Vedic Lunar Mansions or Nakshatras. This series will reveal the forms of the Ashta Bhairavas (the eight major manifestations of Bhairava), the Nakshatras they are associated with, their consorts, their mantras and the seven other Bhairavas that each of the Ashta Bhairavas in turn manifests.

Before that, here’s some details about the Nakshatras themselves that will assist with aligning each of the Ashta Bhairavas to their corresponding Asterisms and Mansions. As most of us westerners tend towards using the Tropical Zodiac, the equivalent Tropical degrees have been included. Note also that the Vedic Mansions are twenty-seven in number and divided into segments of 13º 20′ rather than the twenty-eight mansions of 12º 51′ our own system inherited from the Arabic Manzils. With the Moon’s transit averaging about 13º 12′ each day, each Nakshatra lasts about a day give or take up to around five hours either way depending on the ‘speed’ of the Moon.

Nakshatra Meaning Asterism Sidereal º Tropical º
Ashwini The Heavenly Twins β and γ Arietis (Sheratan) 0º Aries 26º Aries
Bharani The Bearer 35, 39 and 41 Arietis 13º 20′ Aries 9º 20′ Taurus
Krittika Pleiades Alcyone 26º 40′ Aries 22º 40′ Taurus
Rohini The Red One Aldebaran 10º Taurus 6º Gemini
Mrigshirsha The Deer’s Head λ and φ Orionis (Meissa) 23º 20′ Taurus 19º 20′ Gemini
Ardra The Moist One Betelgeuse 6º 40′ Gemini 2º 40′ Cancer
Punarvasu Two Restorers of Goods Castor & Pollux 20º Gemini 16º Cancer
Pushya The Nourisher Asellus Borealis & Asellus Australis 3º 20′ Cancer 29º 20′ Cancer
Ashlesha The Embrace Alphard & Minchur 16º 40′ Cancer 12º 40′ Leo
Magha The Bountiful Regulus 0º Leo 26º Leo
Purvaphalguni First Reddish One Zosma 13º 20′ Leo 9º 20′ Virgo
Uttaraphalguni Second Reddish One Denebola 26º 40′ Leo 22º 40′ Virgo
Hasta The Hand Alchiba, Kraz, Algorab & Minkar 10º Virgo 6º Libra
Chitra The Bright One Spica 23º 20′ Virgo 19º 20′ Libra
Swati Very Good Arcturus 6º 40′ Libra 2º 40′ Scorpio
Vishaka Forked (Radha) Zub’genubi & Zub’schemali 20º Libra 16º Scorpio
Anuradha Following Radha Akrab & Dschubba 3º 20′ Scorpio 29º 20′ Scorpio
Jyeshta The Eldest/Most Excellent Antares & Palhaukale 16º 40′ Scorpio 12º 40′ Sagittarius
Mula The Root Shaula 0º Sagittarius 26º Sagittarius
Purvashadha First of the Invincible Ones Kaus Media & Kaus Australis 13º 20′ Sagittarius 9º 20′ Capricorn
Uttarashadha Second of the Invincible Ones Nunki 26º 40′ Sagittarius 22º 40′ Capricorn
Shravana Hearing Altair 10º Capricorn 6º Aquarius
Dhanishtha Most Benevolent δ Delphinum 23º 20′ Capricorn 19º 20′ Aquarius
Sathabhistha A Hundred Healers γ – λ Aquarii 6º 40′ Aquarius 29º 40′ Aquarius
Poorva Bhadrapada The First with Lucky Feet Markab & Scheat 20º Aquarius 16º Pisces
Uttara Bhadrapada The Second with Lucky Feet Algenib 3º 20′ Pisces 29º 20′ Pisces
Revati Prosperous ζ Piscium 16º 40′ Pisces 12º 40′ Aries

The Ashta Bhairavas each rule over three Nakshatras, with the exception of Bheeshana Bhairava, who rules over six. As well as being necessary for eight Bhairavas to have rulership over twenty-seven Nakshatras, this also occurs due to Bheeshana’s planetary association with both the South (Ketu) and North (Rahu) Lunar Nodes. Details of their Consorts and the directions of their Guardianships are also given below.

Nakshatra Bhairava Planet Consort Direction
Ashwini Bheeshana Ketu Chamundi North
Bharani Kapala Venus Indrani Northwest
Krittika Ruru Sun Mahesvari Southeast
Rohini Krodha Moon Vaishnavi Southwest
Mrigshirsha Chanda Mars Koumari South
Ardra Bheeshana Rahu Chamundi North
Punarvasu Asitanga Jupiter Brahmani East
Pushya Unmattha Saturn Varahi West
Ashlesha Samhara Mercury Chandika Northeast
Magha Bheeshana Ketu Chamundi North
Purvaphalguni Kapala Venus Indrani Northwest
Uttaraphalguni Ruru Sun Mahesvari Southeast
Hasta Krodha Moon Vaishnavi Southwest
Chitra Chanda Mars Koumari South
Swati Bheeshana Rahu Chamundi North
Vishaka Asitanga Jupiter Brahmani East
Anuradha Unmattha Saturn Varahi West
Jyeshta Samhara Mercury Chandika Northeast
Mula Bheeshana Ketu Chamundi North
Purvashadha Kapala Venus Indrani Northwest
Uttarashadha Ruru Sun Mahesvari Southeast
Shravana Krodha Moon Vaishnavi Southwest
Dhanishtha Chanda Mars Koumari South
Sathabhistha Bheeshana Rahu Chamundi North
Poorva Bhadrapada Asitanga Jupiter Brahmani East
Uttara Bhadrapada Unmattha Saturn Varahi West

Here, the Bhairavas are also restored to the order of their directional guardianship, which starts in the East and revolves clockwise.

Bhairava Meaning of Name Direction Colour
Asitanga Black-limbed East Gold
Ruru A Dog or Deer South East Pure White
Chanda Fierce South Blue
Krodha Wrathful South West Smoke
Unmattha Mad, intoxicated West White
Kapala Skull North West Yellow
Bheeshana Dreadful, Horrible North Red
Samhara Annihilation North East Lightning

From what’s been presented above, it’s clear that each Bhairava aligns with a specific celestial body and portion of the Moon’s transit around the Zodiacal signs. With each Bhairava forming a part of the greater whole of Mahakala Bhairava,  all twenty-seven mansions and nine planets (each of which is represented three-times) can be seen as aspects of the greater whole of that great and terrifying form of Shiva that is Lord over Time, Death and the Universe. The rest of this series will look into each of the Ashta Bhairavas in more detail and will conclude, on Bhairava Ashtami, with a summary of That which they constitute a part of.

Jupiter in Sagittarius

Jupiter giving fire to Vesuvius - Joseph Heim

Tomorrow, November 8th,  sees Jupiter entering Sagittarius at 12:39 pm GMT. Not only does this occur on the day of Jupiter but also within its planetary hour, making it a highly auspicious day for works with this planet. This transit begins with Jupiter exactly at the point of the Midheaven, meaning that just two minutes later Jupiter also enters the Ninth House, which is influenced by both Sagittarius and Jupiter and governs matters relating to religion, philosophy, dreams and long journeys.

The Greater Key of Solomon gives Jupiter the following qualities: Obtaining honours; Acquiring riches; Contracting friendships; Preserving health; Arriving at all that one Desires; Invisibility; all Extraordinary, Uncommon and Unknown Operations.

On the day this transit begins, I plan to construct a Talisman made of tin, the metal that resonates Jupiter’s qualities, in the first planetary hour of that day (07:05 – 07:52 GMT), which will then be consecrated as Jupiter enters Sagittarius during the second planetary hour of Jupiter. That day’s third Jupiterian hour (18:49 – 20:03 GMT), also sees the Moon entering Sagittarius at 18:58 and going precisely conjunct with Jupiter at 19:05. This would therefore be a good time to further internalise the effects of the Talisman into one’s unconscious strata, particularly the realm of dreams due to the influences Sagittarius has over them.

The final Jupiterian hour of the day (03:26 – 04:40 GMT) would then be a fitting time to set one’s alarm for with the intent of meditating on or reciting a prayer or devotion to Jupiter in order to complete the day’s work and hopefully result in some relevant dreams.

The Greater Key also gives seven planetary seals for Jupiter with more specific effects attached to them, which are:

1. Possessing treasures
2. Acquiring glory, honours, dignities, riches, and all kinds of good, together with great tranquillity of mind; also to discover Treasures and chase away the Spirits who preside over them
3. Defends and Protects against spirits, causing them to be obedient.
4. To acquire riches, honour and wealth (when Jupiter is in Cancer).
5. Granting Visions
6. Protecting against all earthly dangers
7. Power over poverty and driving away all spirits that defend treasures.

It is the second seal that I shall inscribe onto the tin.

Second Talisman of Jupiter

In the centre of the Hexagram are the letters of the Name AHIH, Eheieh; in the upper and lower angles of the same, those of the Name AB, the Father; in the remaining angles those of the Name IHVH. I believe the letters outside the Hexagram in the re-entering angles to be intended for those of the first two words of the versicle, which is taken from Psalm cxii. 3:– ‘Wealth and Riches are in his house, and his righteousness endureth for ever.’ The verse is from Vulgate, Ps.111:3: gloria et divitiae in domo eius et iustitia eius manet in saeculum saeculi. (Joseph Peterson).

The sigils of Jupiter, the Archangel Zadkiel, the Intelligence Jophiel and the Spirit Hismael are also engraved onto the tin.

Tzadkiel
Seal of Zadkiel

Jupiter

In the Second Hour of Jupiter, the ritual is performed.

Suitable robes are worn, Cedar is burnt and four blue candles light the temple.

  1. LBRP
  2. Invoking Hexagram Ritual of Jupiter
  3. Invocation

The Invocation of Jupiter

(4 knocks)

Procul, O procul este profani!

O Jove, much-honour’d, Jove supremely great,
To thee our holy rites we consecrate,

“Our pray’rs and expiations, king divine,
For all things to produce with ease thro’ mind is thine.
Hence mother Earth and mountains swelling high
Proceed from thee, the deep and all within the sky.
Saturnian king, descending from above,
Magnanimous, commanding, sceptred Jove;
All-parent, principle and end of all,
Whose pow’r almighty shakes this earthly ball;
Ev’n Nature trembles at thy mighty nod,
Loud-sounding, arm’d with light’ning, thund’ring God.
Source of abundance, purifying king,
O various-form’d, from whom all natures spring;
Propitious hear my pray’r, give blameless health,
With peace divine, and necessary wealth.”

The Talisman is then uncovered and fumigated with cedar with great intent to call down the forces of EL through the Heavenly Sphere of TZADDIQ to be divested into the Archangel ZADKIEL, the Intelligence JOHPHIEL and the Spirit HISMAEL into the Talisman.

Then over it is recited:

  1. The Emerald Tablet

“Here is a true explanation, concerning which there can be no doubt.

It attests: The above from the below, and the below from the above -the work of the miracle of the One.

And things have been from this primal substance through a single act. How wonderful is this work! It is the main (principle) of the world and is its maintainer.

Its father is the sun and its mother the moon; thewind has borne it in its body, and the earth has nourished it.

The father of talismen and the protector of miracle, whose powers are perfect, and whose lights are confirmed,a fire that becomes earth.

 Separate the earth from the fire, so you will attain the subtle as more inherent than the gross, with care and sagacity.

It rises from earth to heaven, so as to draw the lights of the heights to itself, and descends to the earth; thus within it are the forces of the above and the below;

Because the light of lights within it, thus does the darkness flee before it.

The force of forces, which overcomes every subtle thing and penetrates into everything gross.

The structure of the microcosm is in accordance with the structure of the macrocosm.

And accordingly proceed the knowledgeable.

And to this aspired Hermes, who was threefold graced with wisdom.”

The talisman is then covered and hidden.

During the Third Planetary Hour of Jupiter the Talisman is combined with a Talisman of Luna at the precise time where the Moon and Jupiter form their conjunction and a statement of intent is made to both talismans that they join forces to bring the benefits of Jupiter into the dominion of Luna. Fumigations to each planet are burnt, being Cedar and Jasmine.

During the Fourth Planetary Hour of Jupiter sleep is broken and prayer and meditation is entered into to complete the day’s petitions. Banishing and Licenses to depart are performed the following morning when the day of Jupiter has passed.

XVIII: A Running Spring

Ocean Waves

XVIII MAKOR

Servitors: Kilik, Aril, Mara, Liriol, Lomiol.

The name at the outer edges of the square, MAKOR, possibly derives from the Hebrew מקור (maqor), meaning ‘wellspring’ or ‘source,’ while the spirit name in the central cross is that of Kilik, whose name relates to the concepts of power, strength, bastions, armies and wealth.

The Vision

A trickle of water ran from a patch of boggy grass at the top of a mound and travelled to the edge of a sharp drop where it ran down a cliff face and onto the ground below. The course of the water continued at the bottom and wound a short distance to another cliff, this one overlooking the sea, before collecting in a small pool on the rocks below. Then, looking back at the shoreline from the sea, I saw that the entire land was swollen with water and the place where the water had ran between the first cliff and the second looked like it was about to burst open and cover the land with a deluge. Then, with the appearance of a pale-blue and white bird, the deluge came and all turned to night. The sky was of a strange, deep blue, while the moon, which was visible above the sea, accepted this watery offering as a sacrifice and released a large, bat-like creature with a body as black as void and filled with stars, as though it were forged from the essence of night.

The creature hovered over the flooded earth and released a thin, pale-bodied lunatic from a crow cage that sat on the beach. On escaping, the madman ran towards the swollen ocean and raised a fist at it as if he meant to fight it. The sea surged in response, and a large, tentacled monster appeared to be thrashing beneath its surface. Surprisingly, the wild man made good progress against the sea, glowing white with moonlight as he forced it to retreat before him. He kept running through the wedge he carved into the water until he came to the opposite shore in the near distance, where a small beach resort with what was either a lighthouse or a helter-skelter lay. As the madman came to shore, the sea, rushing in fear before him, crashed into the land as a tidal wave, engulfing the resort and its structures entirely. Then, in the aftermath, he hopped back into a crow cage that was identical to the one he had been released from, which then locked itself shut behind him.

Daylight resumed as the sea retracted back to normality and the rest of the town, which was of a Mediterranean appearance, now appeared to have migrated onto a clifftop, with the space where it once lay being carved away by the storm to leave a bare beach in its place. The ground on the clifftop was left soaked by the spray of the tidal wave and dripped, as the previous wellspring did, into a crevice in the cliff face. On the beach below, I noticed the stick in the sand from the last vision and realised that this was the same location as that vision only many years later as no trace of human civilisation had been present there before. I saw the cave where the spirit had sung in the pool, but it had been sealed shut, with nothing but a narrow crack marking the place she lived.

From inside, I heard weeping and a plea for her to be left alone. I didn’t attempt to speak to her any further, but saw in my mind that she was now much older than before and perching on the rocks of a dark, dried-up cave with no water left to submerge herself in. Water dripped in from a gap above her, but it was not enough to sustain her. As she wept, a stream of tears poured out through the narrow crack onto the beach. Then, from the darkness that surrounded her, a large dog appeared and sniffed at the blue robe she wore before nuzzling into her arms and going to sleep. Just as the dog settled, the woman’s tears reached a climax and she dissolved entirely into water leaving nothing but her robe behind, which the dog rested its head on to continue with its sleep. Then, outside her abode, another bird appeared and flew back towards the pale moon that thinly illuminated the light blue sky.

Notes

The square was constructed with Luna at 12º Capricorn, where it is in its detriment. The ragged appearance of the lunatic may have been influenced by this, with his long beard and loincloth being those of a prisoner released by a particularly capricious aspect of Water’s detrimental relationship with Earth as well as possibly representing the dual nature of Saturn, Capricorn’s ruling planet, and Luna. By his ‘lunatic’ nature and his influence over tidal movement, the white clad madman appeared to be a lunar spirit, perhaps a representation of Kilik due to that spirit’s associations with power and strength. The crow cage he was in (and the crow is a bird of a Saturnian nature) was similar in appearance to the torture cages that appeared in the dungeon in the vision of A Rose Garden.

The continuation of previous themes was apparent in the appearance of the beach from the last vision—which was identifiable by the stick I had left in the sand still being in place—only with a modern Mediterranean town now being in place there, though the tidal wave devastated the ‘tourist’ part of it.

The name of the spirit Mara relates to ‘cave,’ ‘cavern,’ ‘grotto’ and ‘den’ which once again appeared in this vision, though it was now sealed shut. The fate of the spirit’s cave may have been related to the presence of the Latin word arido, meaning ‘dry,’ in the square. The spirit ultimately lost her physical form to become a stream of running water which may suggest that her prophecy about crossing the sea leading to dissolution may have been referring to her own fate, though I had the sense that the essential life force in the spirit was not dissolved, just its humanoid appearance. The dog being left alone with her clothing in the cave was a scene of sadness and melancholy, which may be another sign of the Saturnian influence of Capricorn in the vision.