SOMA is first described in the Rig Veda as an entheogenic drink of the gods, also to be taken by devotees during secret, sacred rites
Opening the heart to the presence of the Divine
Traditionally, Soma Ceremonies are conducted on moon cycles. For example, the Anahata ceremony happens only on the 1st quarter and 3rd quarter of the moon. Several other Soma Ceremonies are scheduled, the most important happens only once a year.
Very few devotional communities in the world still practise these rites. For most, the ancient recipes had been lost.
How did it happen that the ancient Soma recipes got lost for some communities?
The reason why the recipes could get lost lies with the almost impenetrable veil of secrecy that surround Soma. Soma, in the hands of charlatans is potentially dangerous, spiritually speaking. Therefore, for almost three thousand years the wisdom of Soma has been guarded by a select few.
Additionally, no one person knows the entire process. The keys are always divided between two or three people and each would carefully produce his/her part of the brew, which would later be mixed according to ratios that depend on the purpose of the Rite, or spiritual medicine that is required. Each key holder is responsible for carefully selecting and training an apprentice to one day take over from him/her when the time comes.
So, how then does a community lose they keys? In times of war older men were most often killed and older women did not live well without a breadwinner or caretaker. Younger folk who survived the invasion, who may have been Soma apprentices, were often enslaved or broken by trauma. Lose one key, and you have no Soma, and you will never again have Soma unless another community would teach one of your apprentices.
As time went by, fewer young folk would be interested in serving as apprentices because they never experienced the entheogenic benefits of Soma, and therefor do not value it. Soma and spiritual healing apprenticeships take some years out of one's life and it is a dedicated lifestyle. These expert healers may become famous, but will never be rich. After a few soma-less generations young people have no interest in the esoteric healing world and its old-folk tales of soma magic.
The other way to lose soma keys is to abuse the power or the holy soma. The spiritual consequences is severe and word in tradition is that those people lose their minds so much so that they cannot transfer their wisdom to anyone. However, one would guess that this hadly ever happened because the apprenticeship is long and would surely weed out peoplewth the wrong personality or lack of spiritual maturity.
So, what does Soma do?
Soma attunes the chakras to the frequencies required to commune with, or at least be more receptive to receive spiritual input from higher spiritual beings.
There are many different soma preparations, mostly for pneumatherapeutic use as spiritual medicine. Pneumatherapeutic mixtures are less inclined to be abused but still the recipes remain secret because the base is the same as the stronger entheogens used for Holy Rites.
Which plants are used to produce Soma?
The ingedients and methods of preparation are secret. The plants are obviously still around, and not too hard to come by. Scientists, the Govt. of India and spaceheads and general seekers of the magic pill to enlightenment have been searching out these secrets for many years. No entheogen has received more scrutiny, want and unfortunate attention than Soma. We all pray that this information NEVER gets into the hands of the wrong people.
But the Vedas spelled it all out, or did they?
Yes they did. Almost all you that one needs to know is in there except for the finer details of the compounds. As with other esoteric texts, such as the higher tantras for example, without the keys one cannot understand it at all. However, that never prevented ill-trained westerners and Indians to write books about it and start their own cults.
Nov 2016 Supermoon Soma Harvest
All Soma plant constituents are always harvested at full moon, Holy Lotus being one of the main ingredients. On November 14, 2016 we had the most significant Supermoon of our lifetime. Working with sevral famer, we had a bumper crop ready to harvest during that time and called on initiates to join us for the most auspicious event, to help with the harvest and ritual elements associated with pre and post processing of the crop.
Wate snakes ar mr dangerous at night time, especialy when one is stuck in the mud.
That enormous event, never to be repeated in this incarnation, went down smooth and without any drownings, lethal bites or serious accidents. We havete and proced, according to exact ancient ritual, always, enough soma material to last a generation. By the end of January 2017, the first supermoon somas will become available.
"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
Partaking in ritual Soma is never recreational. This is a spiritual ceremony in which your spirit is attuned through either Anahata or Ajna to the Divine Energies.
Intitiates take the ancient vow and live by the creed. If you mess with it, you lose it. That spiritual law is older than the mountains on earth.
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.
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.
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, and that may last days, even weeks since we long so much for That heavenly bliss, that amrita.
by: Jean du Plessis, teacher and student