Emotion and Transformation

Today we salute a Supermoon, this one in the nakshatra Ardra. Ardra has a reputation as being a difficult (sharp, hard, harsh) asterism, one that often dredges up sludge from our depths and demands that we deal with it, not try to negotiate around it. Ardra is ruled by the Vedic deity Rudra who, metamorphosed into Shiva, the god of death who seeks to slay what is corrupt within us.

Staying the course and embracing the transmutation promotes the development of ardrabhava, tenderness of heart. Sri Vimalananda spoke of how one should seek to become as hard as diamond and as soft as wax when required, emphasizing the need to develop a waxen heart. When our emotions can flow freely and healthily then the juiciness of Nature can enter our beings, for in Sanskrit ardra also means wet, moist, damp; fresh, succulent, green; soft, tender, full of feeling.

Add -ka, a suffix that indicates authorship, to ardra and get ardraka, which means ginger, the ‘Creator of Succulence’ or ‘Wetness-Maker’. Everything about ginger is juicy: crush a ginger root and its essence pours out; eat ginger and your digestive ferments will flow; consume ginger prepared as a medicine to promote good sap and digest perverted liquid in your tissues and emotions. Ginger embodies the power of Rudra, whose very name means “the flow of tears”.

May our tears be those of joy as we celebrate the transformative powers of Ardra manifesting today through the full moon!

Om Rudra!