Yoga and the fiery heart of love- The Agony of Agni

fieryAs I write this it is just a couple of days after Beltane- the ancient Pagan fire celebration and I have been reading some of the poetry of Taliesin and reflecting on magical tradition. The use of fire in transformation. How the practice of Yoga utilizes Agni- the internal fire of transformation. I have been a student of Occultism for a long time now and my Yoga practice is central to that. I was gazing into a flame and thinking about Love.

Love Is The Law.

When I first reflected on those words they meant very little to me as a teenager. I mean they sounded romantic and noble and everything but people that harped on about *LOVE* made me cringe. Perhaps I saw it as a sign of weakness. I mean when there is such a vast spectrum of human history, emotion and experience out there perhaps I felt that people that just ‘clung to the light’ were short changing themselves. Or cowards. And much as I admired Aleister Crowley I absolutely did not get where he was coming from with this one.

Where there has been disconnection it is very hard to be open to love again. Pete Blackaby uses the imagery of a sea anenome in his wonderful book ‘Intelligent Yoga‘, to illustrate how human beings, like sea anemones can flourish when they are open to their surroundings. That is how they glow with colour, absorb and flourish rather than being shut down little blobs. What a wonderful analogy- being vulnerable and letting your insides show in order to be truly alive.

For love and connection to happen then you have to build the bridge yourself. With your own trust. And even being capable of building this bridge is the heart of Yoga. The Yamas and Niyamas are designed for us to start living consciously. Of weeding out all our habitual patterns. And the very first Yama is Ahimsa- non-harming. And this is removing the thorns of hatred, fear, and desire for revenge from our psyche. And it is so very difficult to do. Bad things happen to good people and when they do anger is a very natural response.

I believe that Yoga, when practiced to its zenith completely deconstructs whatever it is you think you are and enables you to reassemble, like a Transformer, at will. Yoga can enable you to transform even after the very worst of times. Yoga is true magic.

What does magic have to do with Love? Everything. The art of loving and practicing magic are one and the same thing. There is no difference between Yoga, Love or Magic on a practical level, to me they just are different words for the same thing.

With a dedicated Yoga practice you surrender whatever it is you believe yourself to be and trust that whatever fruit your practice bears is for the greater good. Perhaps your life will change dramatically. You will certainly have to surrender something, if not many things. You will get tested along the way. Meet parts of you that you would rather not face. Once you light the fire of Yoga within yourself the flames of your practice, like the Beltane Fires, cannot discriminate between the parts of you that your ego wants to hold on to and the parts that you consciously want to let go. It all has to be burned away. There is definitely a tendency in us to want to rid ourselves of things like smoking, excess weight, or people that annoy us. But there’s things we want to hold onto, the things we like about ourselves- our beauty, our ‘work’ and the things we get complimented on. And people we fixate on.

Our society feeds us a steady diet of lies. The same is true of the notion of love we are fed. That is, that love- especially romantic love- is all about need. We don’t question it. Because of what we are told. Because of what books written by ‘relationship experts’ tell us. That love is all about getting someone to dance like a doll to the tune of your ego’s desires. That you need to work for love like you work for money. That you have to find it, that you have to manipulate your way into it. Have you read that book ‘The Rules’? Its basically all about how to get self loathing men with mother issues to pay you attention by making them feel that they will never be good enough. It’s a laugh but Oh My Word how dysfunctional.

If you ask someone why they love their partner all too often you will get a list of what their partner does for them. How their partner makes them feel. When whoever it is you believe yourself to be is supported by the relationship you are in it is inevitable that the end of that relationship will bring great suffering because you lose aspects of yourself that you held dear. Perhaps that idea of being loved or loveable. And we are human, of course we want to be loved. But love is not necessarily a service provider.

Love is too huge, too powerful, too incandescent to exist in a cage. You can’t trap love in your ego’s desires. In order to truly love, and be loved you must be prepared to let all that you thought you were melt away.

‘Love’ can be insidious. Relationships can turn into ego pacts without being consciously aware of that. That is you do something for someone and they repay you in kind, you support each others sense of self, whether that makes you happy or sad. And that’s just the luck of the draw because we seek the relationships that reinforce our sense of ‘us’ though we all know that by now. In this situation putting your trust in someone is like lassoing them- forcing them to be a certain way in order for you to be ‘happy‘. And giving people gifts because you expect something back. What kind of a gift is that? Getting angry when you don’t get a decent return on your emotional investment has nothing to do with love.

The journey of your relationships reflects the journey of you. The ego being the self obsessed drama queen that it is, loves nothing more than harping on about betrayal. “But I loved them! And look what they did!!!! And now I will never trust anyone ever ever again! I am ruined!!! Ruined I tell you!!! I am just a shell of my former self because of them. Before they did that I was fine! If they had not hurt me I would have been awesome but now its all over for me…” And so it goes on, playing like a script on your head after your relationships ended. I know. I’ve done more than my fair share of it too. But these relationships just serve as a stage for your own inner beliefs about yourself- a manifestation of how you feel about yourself. Conjuring up characters and situations to play out whatever you need to work through. Relationships are like mini constellations in that respect.

Yoga does not magically rid you of your insecurities BUT it loosens their grip on you. You start to recognize when your ego tries to lead you up the same old paths and you find new ways, new paths. Perhaps learning to listen is key. And how to stop starring in your own low budget version of ‘Betty Blue’ and getting a sick little thrill out of being wronged. Yoga could also be seen as the art of saving yourself by kindling the spark of divinity within you until your whole being glows with it. So how can a fear based attachment to someone possibly support that? How can something that causes you to gratuitously waste your life force on hysterics be of service to you? Trust is key- trusting that these situations- these endings are for our greater good. And its impossible to see why heartbreak can serve us. When you are being thrown around in the waves of it it is near impossible to even conceive of a calm and sunlit you.

When you love yourself, when you have done the work of learning to accept every last bit of you then things change. Its like crossing a horizon. The horizon that lies beyond the tears, the rows, the endings, the dramas. What lies over the horizon? Truthfully I have no idea as I’m not there yet but sometimes I get glimpses of it. If you can love unselfishly that is a real hurdle in the journey. Being able to wish the best for someone else’s journey. Whether or not that includes you because you know that you will be fine either way. A love like the courtly love tradition of the Holy Grail- a reverence for something that may never be ‘yours’ but unsullied by desire or fear. When just serving something greater than yourself is enough. And knowing that when you are alone that’s precisely what you need at that given moment. When you have that stability within you then you have a real foundation. A real foundation for Yoga practice, a real foundation for Love, and a real foundation for True Magic.

Love Is The Law

Blessed Be x

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