Articles in Soma Category
Anahata Soma Ceremony
Heart Chakra Empowerment Pilgrimage
| emotion | empathy | enthuse |ecstasy | entheogenic |
Soma ceremony in the ancient rite of Anahata Soma
Opening the heart chakra to the presence of the Divine
Traditionally, Anahata Soma Ceremony is conducted in the 1st quarter and 3rd quarter of the moon, therefore twice a month. Anahata Chakra (the heart chakra) is your soul mind at the root of developing higher spiritual growth. Anahata sustains higher spiritual faculties. Without the loves and passions of Anahata, higher spiritual progress is not possible.
Anahata is responsible for developing gratitude and love to the highest possible degree; the love, loving kindness, sensuality, empathy, passion, creativity, empathy and divine emotions about which only mystics can speak of.
Devotees of the PURE LOVE in Anahata Soma ceremony step up to the gates of heaven. Here, the blessed amrita (nectar) of the Omnibenevolent Energies of our soul's universe await your partaking of that spiritual experience to which we have no words to speak.
The discreet Anahata Soma Pilgrimage has been available in Cambodia since 2014. Initiates no more have to travel to India for this holy yaatra.
- Officiants of this Anahata Soma ceremony were ordained and trained in the Soma Tradition in India, 1996 and has 20 years experience
- All-natural, authentic somas
- Rites are conducted twice a month, presented over a 24-hour period starting in the afternoon
- Includes all foods, drinks, entheogens and spiritual rites
- Includes the ceremonal sarong, mala and other items used throughout, except for the gift offering that you have to purchase seperately.
- Available to initiates and those who were called (see FAQ below)
- As always, no drugs, alcohol, cell phone use, or sex allowed
- Approved participants only
- Limited locker space. Please bring only a small bag for your personal items.
All inclusive fee:
$287 Discounted for a short time only: $249
Bring an offering of Lotus flowers (available from markets and shrines all over Siem Reap)
1st quarter: 2016: Oct 8, Nov 8. Dec 7, 2017: Jan 8, Feb 4, March 5, Apr 4.
3rd quarter: 2016: 23 Oct, 21 Nov, 21 Dec. 2017: 20 Jan, 19 Feb, 20 March, 19 Apr
$ 249 all-in (discounted price)
Supermoon Soma Harvest
All Soma plant constituents are always harvested at full moon, Holy Lotus being the main ingredient. On November 14, 2016 we will have the most significant Supermoon of our lifetime. We have a bumper crop ready to harvest and are calling on initiates to join us for this most auspicious event to help with the harvest and ritual elements associated with pre and post processing of the crop.
It is promised to be an enormous event, never to be repeated in this incarnation.
IS THIS YOUR FIRST TIME?
Anahata Soma Pilgrimage is available only to the initiated. Newcomers presented for initiation are most welcome. Initiation requires additional preparation and training, which we do beforehand.
This section is devoted to neophytes and aims to provide all relevant information to help you prepare for the holy rite.
We incorporate the Initiation preparations and ceremony at no additional cost to you, as per our Tradition. You will receive the customary personal attention, proper preparation and devoted care during the preparations and ceremony. Our tradition is rooted in hospitality, compassion and respect. You will feel safe and welcomed without being overwhelmed by attention.
"You don't decide to participate in Anahata Soma Rite; She calls you, and you will know when that happens. When that auspiciousness happens, you answer the call to partake with the gods on the holy amrita. When the pupil is ready the Teacher appears" (paraphrased) Soma Upanishads 150BCE
Anahata SOMA INITIATION AND CEREMONY : NEED TO KNOW
- You need to have experienced the Call and Initiation, without which the Rite may be meaningless, even unpleasant. Some people (most, in fact) believe that it is spiritually illegal (against the metaphysical laws that govern spiritual existence) to attend, even to observe a ceremony if you are not traditionally initiated.
- If this is your first time, how do you know whether you truly did experience the Call? See FAQ below.
- Be physically clean and groomed, have pure intentions, have no drugs or fatigue in your system and be already prepared to give yourself fully to the holy journey.
- Preparation is part of the ceremony. All in all, lasts 24 hours
- Take no alcohol or drugs 48-hours before. Take no solid food 4-hours before arrival, take a lot of water. Preparation starts with a special fruit-juice detox and nutrient boost.
- Somas are compounds of plant tinctures and distillations. Active ingredients are therefore suspended in alcohol derived from carefully crafted sugar cane and lotus. If you cannot take alcohol, talk to us. We need several days to prepare non-alcoholic compounds.
- You receive a traditional light robe to wear. Your clothing and personal items (including cell phone) are in a locker. No mobile devices allowed, no recordings or photography.
- If you are on ANY medication, you MUST absolutely talk to the officiant before confirming your attendance.
- If you suffer or have recently suffered or had been diagnosed with issues related to heart, blood pressure, nervous conditions, breathing problems, allergies, stroke, mental disorder, anxiety, or alcoholism, you must discuss this with the officiant and staff before confirming your attendance.
- The first somas in the series are for purging negative thoughts and reprogramming negative energy patterns in the chakras. During the detox and purging, degrees of discomfort may or may not be present. Depending on one's soul condition, some devotees report discomforts that range from muscle or stomach pain, mental discomfort, even nausea. Discomfort varies from person to person and from time to time. The larger number of devotees say the discomforts are embraced in kindness because you know what you are getting rid of, and what you gain.
- Ritual foods, juices and water are included. Some natural juices and soda water are for sale.
- Chakra balancing and massage therapies are performed when required, at particular times.
- Ceremony has several stages. Several meditations occur throughout the ceremony. You will learn the mantras during the time.
This is a spiritual ceremony in which your spirit is attuned through Anahata Chakra to the Divine Energies.
Intitiates take the ancient vow.
The vow of the initiate was first recorded 800BCE in Chandogya Upanishad:
अथ यत्तपो दानमार्जवमहिँसा सत्यवचनमिति ता अस्य दक्षिणाः ॥ ४ ॥
In exchange for initiation, I offer my austerity and meditations, living with a charitable mind, in sincerity, uprightness and non-hypocrisy, non-violence and truthfulness, these are the gifts and gratuities that I offer.
Attendees present a gift
The gift is offered upon entering at the altar as a sign of gratitude for the spiritual beings' hosting of the ceremony, and imbuing all our surroundings and proceedings with their energies. Bring the traditional gift of no less than seven lotus flowers. These are available from vendors at most shrines around the city. Prices vary according to your ability to negotiate and the work put into the bouquet. Loose flowers not in grand bouquets are perfectly acceptable. The Khmer word for lotus flower is pka chouk.
WHAT TO BRING
- Bring a small bag for your personal belongings
- You will receive a ritual dress to wear.
- Bring sunglasses, a tootbrush and change of underwear for the morrow
- Your lotus gifts
- Cash (we cannot process credit card) if you did not pay online through PayPal
- Cameras and cell phones are not allowed. We will take photos when appropriate to share with everyone.
Are these somas like molly, or ecstasy?
Participants familiar with MDMA tell us that there is a similarity in some of the effects. As far as we know, MDMA does not occur naturally and all parts of the compounds of soma are from natural sources.
Are these somas like PMA and other similar drugs?
Again, we have heard from participants familiar with those drugs that there are similarities but also huge differences. We ascribe these 'similarity' reports to frame of reference. By that we mean, you experience something, like a taste or smell, then your brain searches its database to look for something like that in order to assign a name or meaning. If it finds nothing exactly like it, it will report, "similar to xyz."
Are these somas safe to use?
No experience of this intensity can be generally safe for all people. The somas are used as spiritual medications for every-day use, but the dosages and compounds for ritual use is very high and specialized. We do not consider somas at these dosages to be generally safe for all people. We can however state that over the course of antiquity only a small number of cases are mentioned where ritual-use soma reacted badly. Granted, we did not have centralized reporting and the Internet back then. Fewer cases, over many ages, than currently reported from Ayahuasca use. Additionally, probably more than 90% of initiates over the ages were of South East Asian descent. We have not yet heard of an instance where a Caucasian had a bad reaction but given their lack of exposure to spirituality, unfortunately impaired immune system and general intolerance to discomfort, we will not be surprised to hear reports of unpleasant experiences in the future.
Presenting an initiate for Anahata Soma initiation. Ancient Sumer. Note the awe, gratitude and sensuality in which the hearts of the initiates are wrapped at this stage of the ceremony.
Why must I have "experienced the call" before I do the ceremony?
This is an initiation into a spiritual mindset that lasts for years. It comes with blessings of increased Awareness, closeness to the Divine, and it changes people. The "call" is your sign that you are ready for this higher Awareness, you are ready for spiritual transformation.
How do I know that I am truly being called?
It is different for everyone. You will know when you feel inexplicably drawn to this, and cannot seem to get this initiation out of your mind.
For some, it starts with a dream; others have a vision. Other again, recognize something familiar--often in the iconography of the spiritual being known to us as Tara. People in affinity with Chinese culture (from this or a previous incarnation) seem to be "called" by the Tara appearing as Moon Goddess. Then again, many westerners report they are inexplicably drawn to the holy lotus plant, and after a while of that, when the Anahata Soma ceremony is brought into their awareness, they simply know they are ready.
One analytic chap recently said, "There are more than a billion websites. The average person visits 96 domains per month. It will take me 868,000 years to visit them all. Now, why and how, and for what reason did I read THIS particular page--I mean, the odds are the same as me hitting 76 lotto jackpots, than coming across this page. It is supernatural." We don't know about the math and all, but for this devotee as with all of us, it is a matter between the natural and the supernatural.
These are but some examples, but it is different for everyone.
Chinese depiction of Tara as Moon Goddess indicating to the initiate to follow her into the mysteries
What is it like, the soma experience?
There are different soma compounds made for different purposes, and each has its own sensory effects. Anahata Soma Ceremony has three stages of sensory perception.
Preparatory (diksha) phase is not always the most pleasant but is wholesome and you know it.
The middle phase which is called The Presence (upasada) is inexplicable, there are no words. Except, we can try to say that we see a glimpse of Heaven, our souls are filled with the most intense sense of love, beauty, empathy and compassion imaginable. You are lucid, you can converse, you do not hallucinate. Chants and meditations keep us steadfast in the Presence.
Coming back from The Presence to the present is a therapeutic process that signifies death and rebirth. We nurse the mind and body, who were rather traumatized by the birth in sensory and mental overload. We nurse the newly birthed person back not to the way they were before but to the future Way of greater awareness in the future.
The experience is different every time, and differers from one individual to another. This is a walk on the spiritual side where your soul sojourns in the spiritual realm of joy and passion. Each soul experiences this differently, each is guided and taught different things.
In short, the ceremony is hard work, spiritual work. It is not a relaxing spa experience. However, it is THE most beautiful experience you may ever have while incarnated.
What is the spiritual benefit of having experienced a glimpse of Heavenly bliss?
The fifth chapter of the ancient Chandogya Upanishad says,
This theme is expounded, and the following words occur frequently:
The purpose of exposing the "student who is ready" to these mysteries, is for her to know that which she is to become. That which she is becoming cannot be described in human words, it has to be experienced. For this reason, what happens and what is experienced is esoteric, it is shrouded in the secrecy of the silence of initiates.
We don't have the words to tell that Truth, and whenever we attempt to do so, as with Plato's allegory of the cave, the people misunderstand and put their own meaning to it. For the same reason did say Jesus, "Do not throw your pearls before swine, for they will trample them, then turn around and rend you". For the same reason, those who are not called, simply cannot understand and experience the Truth of the divine amrita.
What is the meaning of the elements in the iconography of the god Soma?
1. The moon is associated with the Soma culture and plays a major role in the harvesting of plants (time of day and moon cycle). The moon is also a Yin symbol, therefore can be depicted as god or goddess, depending again on the moon phase.
2. The golden disk is syncretically complex. It signifies the universe and universal energy (prana/qi)
3. Jnana Mudra is a teaching mudra; not the logical knowledge teaching mudra, but the wisdom teaching mudra.
4. Conch is the symbol for calling devotees who are ready to attend, to step in to the next phase of spiritual development toward enlightenment. Calling to empowerment.
5. Lotus is the holy plant. The symbolism of the Lotus as a teacher of how we should live is well known to initiates. The entheogenic qualities of the lotus nelumbo nucifera is known only to masters of the tradition.
6. The deer is again syncretically complex. The main meaning is that of the self-sacrificial deer species of the Himalaya. When the deer are cornered by hunters, always one deer will step out and sacrifice her/himself in a way that allows the rest of the group to escape. Self-sacrifice is a major theme of the future life of the initiate and, of course in the accompanying Bodhisattva Path to follow.
7. Sometimes the flask of amrita is present in the iconography.
8. Often, the symbol of Anahata Soma is present. It shows the two moon phases when Anahata Soma rite is performed, overlaid by the heart chakra, Anahata.
Are ceremonies mixed gender?
Unlike the larger centers in India, we can afford to comfortably mix genders in our ceremonies. Traditionally, Anahata Soma Pilgrims are mostly (80%) females.
Why the age restriction?
Traditionally (we are talking ~ 2,000 years), initiation for females was reserved for single women aged 25+. Nowadays the test is about sincerity and dedication, not about age. It is recognized that women are more spiritually inclined than men. Females now dominate the domain of the once-male dominated monkhood in our Tradition.
History of the matter regarding the age of female initiates
Initiation is an introduction to the devoted life that combines bhakti (devotional yoga) and karma yoga (yoga of doing no harm, gentleness, sensuousness and a sense of beauty). Initiation was not available to people too young to make decisions on a spiritual path, and traditionally, for women, this was thought to be the age of 25. Why? Because in those times, a women of that age who have not yet started a family was living proof of her dedication to the spiritual quest. Why then the discrimination? Well, those were the days before pregnancy prophylactics. Unplanned parenthood happened very easy. It was thought that women raising families and keeping a household simply did not have spare time to devote to spiritual quests. Today, however, with schooling and career preparation and all that, this age test has become moot and arbitrary.
Is soma a hallucinogenic?
We don't think so. Those who report "visions" speak not of mind-altered optical illusions but of the soul sensing intelligible spiritual realities never before perceived. Most somas are experienced by the human brain as intoxicants or inebriants. As the soul minds start to dominate one's self awareness, the inebriated brain takes a step back. This leads to an initial sense of 'alienation' which remains for as long as the devotee resists giving herself totally to the experience--in ritual-speak, you resist taking the hand of the goddess who leads you up the path into the mysteries.
Coming back from the mysteries, the process is slowly reversed as the brain takes control again and soul minds reluctantly let go. A sense of soul sadness is common.
Is soma hard on the body?
Often, yes. Extrasensory perception has to be translated by the brain to make 3D sense. Very tiring, but the brain fatigue becomes apparent only afterward. Depending on the individual's level of detox and purging of negative energy (demons in Christian language), muscle spasm and involuntary muscle movements sometimes last for a while. The next day, your body will remind you what you made her do while you were out having fun with spiritual beings.
Is Soma like Ayahuasca?
There are several similarities and important differences.
Ayahuasca is a shamanic tool. Somas are Yogic tools used for spiritual healing and spiritual rituals.
What is known as the brew Ayahuasca is a compound of several plants. Somas are likewise compounds of several plants.
The skill to make the brew Ayahuasca is known to many people unrelated to the Shaman tradition. The skill to make Somas has forever been known only to a handful of people in the world. Those who are trained in the Soma Tradition has too much compassion for humankind to ever let the knowledge into the hands of people who may make it public. The secrets of Soma making can be said to be the world best guarded spiritual secret.
Likewise, the secrets of soma rituals are still, today, very well guarded and the esoteric tradition highly appreciated. One reason for this is that somas were traditionally made availble only to people from deeply devoted communities. As of late, 1999, somas are made available to souls who incarnated in areas other than northern India. It is recognised that the global village is the working space of souls in the School of Life and the need for high spirituality is not anymore the domain of a few cultures in the East and Mid-East.
The experiences of partaking in Ayahuasca and of ritual Somas is different. With almost all Somas the pilgrim is aware and hyper-aware of her surroundings, and fairly lucid.
Ritual Somas and Ayahuasca use in its purest form has one thing in common. We are enthused. We invite the spirit of the plant (Ayahuasca) or the spirits of the gods (Somas) to sojourn with us.
Ayahuasca is a diagnostic tool. Somas are medicines and pilgrimage tools.
- Last Updated: 13 November 2016