Yoga Sutra 1.2: Yogas Citta Vritti Nirodha.
Hello, my stargazers, and happy Full Moon, this time in chatty Gemini!
Your mind is flooded with information about what this Moon might mean for you and what the Sagittarius season will open for us as we close yet another calendar year. As a Sagittarius, I know well what this season might look like and how busy it might get. You are engaged to the point when we overextend ourselves in all aspects, stretching both our bodies and minds beyond any known limits. For this reason, I decided to save you from yet another astrological explanation in search of a deeper meaning of this Full Moon and its implications for your charts. Instead, I want to discuss the forgotten search for simplicity. And I want to explain the Gemini/Sagittarius constellations from the body’s perspective.
Western astrology is rooted in understanding the world as a system of dualities, beginning with the most misunderstood pairs, the living and non-living, and then the male and female.
From that understanding, in a constant search of the lines of distinction and division, we are in perpetual search for a deeper or higher meaning of life, universe, and love, in search of ourselves or our whole selves, and our purpose. This search is governed by Gemini and Sagittarius, where the constellation of Gemini represents the knowledge that our bodies hold, and Sagittarius represents the knowledge that we seek outside our bodies – hence, the higher knowledge or meaning, the universal, the divine. Naturally, we hear the call to find or reevaluate our life purpose during the Sagittarius season. And naturally, only because we were raised (or should I say poisoned) by this idea of separateness and duality, we aim our arrows far out, looking for something, anything good that is separate from us and yet to be found, grasped, and integrated. Both signs, Gemini and Sagittarius, are prone to this search; alone, none gets anywhere. Gemini is looking for answers in their neighborhoods, in familiar places, in facts and science. Sagittarius is reaching for foreign knowledge, distant philosophies, places, and the metaphysical. Separate, they are doomed to fail. Gemini will remain deeply disappointed for a while. While still sore, Sagittarius will change the course of their search and continue. And they will repeat the process many times in life, some even forever.
However, if we, at least for a moment, erase the dividing line and forget about the concept of duality, we’ll enter a Gemini-Sagittarius constellation where we learn about the integration of knowledge. And where we understand that the knowledge and information we tirelessly search for is nowhere to be found but in our bodies.
All mutual signs (Gemini, Sagittarius, Virgo, and Pisces) show inherited disconnection from the body. Gemini and Virgo are ruled by Mercury, Sagittarius, and Pisces by Jupiter, and their behavior has many parallels. Both Mercury and Jupiter represent movement and travel.
Mercury represents the flow and distribution of information and rules our nervous system, the flow of air or the dynamic of inhales and exhales, and oxygen distribution in the body. Mercury also has a vital role in the reproductive system because the planet oversees the distribution of semen, the egg’s release from the ovary, and its movement inside the fallopian tube.
From the Virgo constellation, Mercury rules the distribution of nutrients and the timely functioning of our digestive system. Jupiter is responsible for the cellular growth and the meticulous functioning of the liver—the production of white blood cells and the quick response of our immune system. These mutable signs allow us to distribute information and integrate parts into a wholesome system.
This is not even close to all these signs and planets are responsible for in the body, but it is enough to give you a clue of how tirelessly they work all day and night to keep you alive. Additionally, Gemini and Pisces are the signs that co-rule over our minds. The brain as a muscle is ruled by Aries.
Gemini controls thoughts. Or the continuous flow of thoughts. From the yogic perspective, the concept of mind is elusive. The Sanskrit term chitta describes the mind and includes our sense perception, verbal and abstract thoughts, dreams, intelligence, emotions, attention, and concentration.
As you can see, emotions are the product of the mind, as are thoughts and sense perception. The job of the mind is to produce all these chitta perpetually. Dreams and unconscious thoughts are also included in chitta but are ruled by Pisces. The job of all the mental content (chitta) is to fluctuate (chitta vritti) always. Our thoughts are the products of our subjective experience of the world, continuously moving. (Remember that I said Mercury rules the movement of the breath – our inhales and exhales that never stop in life. Our thoughts, also ruled by Mercury, never stop fluctuating too).
There is an essential teaching in the ancient text Yoga Sutras by Patanjali, saying in Sanskrit, “Yogas Citta Vritti Nirodha.” We translate it as “Yoga is the stilling or controlling of the fluctuations of the mind.” This means that only through integrated practice (yoga is an eighth-limb path, not just some physical exercise system) can we help our bodies with stilling and controlling all mental activities. And only from the calm state can we access the innate knowledge we hold in the body.
The constant outward movement that Gemini and Sagittarius repeatedly fall for will never take us near the source. We don’t need to reach for the sky as we are all made from the starry dust. The constellations, as vast and unknown as the Universe, are mirrored in our minds.
Under the Gemini Full Moon, I invite you to carve time for a pause. Find a softly lit spot in your home and sit comfortably or lie down, stretching your body in space. Start breathing softly without forcing inhales. Allow your body to soften where you notice any edges. Allow the breath to breathe you. Allow your mind to breathe those fluctuating chitta; understand how automatic they are, like your breath. Our goal here is to practice not reacting to the mind’s content but integrating it and appreciating it as a part of a whole and intelligent system that is our living body.
To continue the conversation about citta vritti, the calming of the mind and the search for knowledge and meaning, I want to invite you to join me in a unique
YIN & THE MIND ONLINE WORKSHOP, where we will focus on techniques that help soothe our ever-extending nervous system so that we can end the year with an experience of peace and joy.
Whenever you feel overwhelmed by the exuberant Sagittarius season, don’t forget that all you need is inside you. Find a corner where you can sit still for a few minutes and return to the basics: lengthen your inhale, soften your exhale. Keep your day as simple as possible. It is okay to say no to December.
The light in me finds and appreciates the light in you.