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Astrological Asana

February comes from the Latin febrarius meaning purification or expiatory rites. In fact Februa was a Roman festival of purification. It was a time to begin to purify the body and society before spring. Indeed February calls for us to start this cleansing process of both our minds and bodies.

In yoga, we know of the niyama, Sauca, meaning cleanliness. Sauca speaks to maintaining keeping a clean mind, body, heart and environment. In an ancient Upanishadic hymn, a sage says:

Oh Lord,
May my body become pure.
May I be free from impurity.
May I know myself as Divine Light.

Oh Lord,
May my mind become pure.
May my self become pure.
May I know myself as Divine Light.

Oh Lord,
May I realize You with my purified understanding.
May I realize the highest bliss with my purified understanding.
May I realize You who are the highest bliss with my purified understanding.

Recently, the idea of purification or cleansing becomes synonymous to physical diets that will help one to lose weight in a short amount of time. But purifying, cleansing and fasting are not just for the physical body, but they are also for the mind and the spirit. Various religions around the world use the practice of fasting during holy times, NOT so that members of the religion will lose weight or “appear” more attractive to Western standards, but so that they will clear their minds and become in touch with truth and be able to hear their spirits.

In fact February starts with the Sun in the sign Aquarius. The sign Aquarius is often depicted as the water-bearer. Water is often both a figurative and metaphoric image of purification. We know that water is one of the precious resources of the Earth, and that we can live and survive with water before any other food. Water becomes food for life. Metaphorically, water represents purifying both our bodies and our minds to start anew. Even the idea of starting the day with a shower or bath is a ritual that speaks to the need to cleanse both our body and our thoughts in order to live in the present moment.

I recently drew a card from Doreen Virtue’s Goddess Oracle Cards and received Coventina. Coventina is the Celtic river goddess. When she appears, she is a sign of the power of purification and she offers her help through the healing process of purification.