The Shakti Cluster
A Gaian Tantric Mandala
What is the Shakti Cluster, the primary icon of Planetary Tantra?
The diagram above in a crude hand-drafted version of the Shakti Cluster from 2008. You can see the current, scalable, digitalized versions below.
The composition of the Cluster is simple, consisting of the following components:
Note this peculiar feature: the top or crown of the OVAL is open and indented with the black circlet numbered 1floating within it, poised between the two points of the FLORAISON, and the black circle (numbered 17 suspended higher at the exact crown of the OVAL. Thus you count six points on the vertical axis of the overall design. All points, representing modalities of the 18-channel console of the Shakti Cluster, define what might be considered the spinal column of the formation.
Floraison is my proposed term for that flowery component of the Cluster, a metamorph, if you will, of ye auld satanic goathead.
Contrary to the jejune belief of many Christians who have devoted thousands of hours of YT commentary to exposing this image as the very logo of S!A!T!A!N!I!S!M, neither the goat's head nor the "inverted pentacle" are the property of those who would presume to be, or be presumed to be, satanists -- whatever a satanist is. Both images belong to the treasure trove of the human endopsyche. They are productions of human imagination as it extends into the realms of divine creative processes. The goat's head is an allusion to the tragoi (goats), as initiates and telestai were called in their time by common people. Such initiates were known to travel on difficult, steep, and remote paths in quest for knowledge of the non-ordinary kind. The Greek tragedies (trag-odoi, "song of the goat") encoded some secrets of telestic instruction. With the rise of Christianity, ideologues of the new religion who feared the raw erotic powers of the earth turned the goat-god Pan into the devil. It's an old story told to the point of tedium many times by competent scholars such as Jeffrey Burton Russell.
As for the pentacle, I explain below how it presents the formatting device for generations of sentient animals in Aeonic experiments in countless planetary systems.
Whatever the case, I propose that the pentragram-like formation in the Shakti Cluster be called the FLORAISON. This is a French word for "blossoming," but could be adopted to English. Pronunciation? I would say, flow-RAY-son. Emphasize the s as an s, not a z. "The flor-RAY-son is a flower-like structure embedded in the Shakti Cluster." As such, it's a neologism unique to PT.
Addendum Dec 15: Upon reflection, floraison does not fly. It could just at well be florette, meaning a floral design. I advise adopting florette. JLL
Confusingly, there are two sets of numbers on the initial sketch. I correct this feature as this essay proceeds. So ignore the humbering for the moment, and concentrate on the overall structure consisting of superposed forms interlocked in an intricate manner.
Here is the design with structural features highlighted, rendered in hand-drawn graphics based on my original sketch of November 2008. So, a little over six years later (!), the world gets to see the compositional dynamics of the Shakti Cluster that the Maine terton received in the visionary download integral with the Terma of Gaia Awakening on August 8, 2008.
I have to say that I am dumbfounded that six years have passed before I was brought to the right moment to return to this design and provide the detailed analysis and elucidation presented in this essay. Make of that delay what you will. I often get lost in housework.
Note that the lower points of the pentagram star and the pentagon converge at a single point. Note as well how the remaining five corner points of the pentagon locate four points on the FLORAISON, on the lower edge of the broad petals and within the thinner upright petals. Otherwise, these points cannot be located. Note also that the two upright points of the pentagram star ("devil's horns" in the usual representation of the inverted pentagram considered as a satanic symbol) are not associated with any of the 18 points, but the lower three points of the star formation are.
All these features of the Shakti Cluster belong to its intinsic meaning and potency. Every detail is significant and indicates specific operations of the telluric powers available to enforce human acts of magic and imaginal play. There is no worship, prayer, or standard religous invocation in Planetary Tantra. Devotees of Gaia-Sophia do not worship the earth or the Shakti Cluster. They are co-creatively active with the powers of the earth. The Shakti Cluster is a tool kit for interactivity with Gaia.
The proof of this system (Planetary Tantra: "interactive magic with Gaia") can and must be attained in its demonstration, not in any metaphysical argument, claim, or make-believe. Any proposition that I might extract from the SC design has to be tested and proven first-hand, and cannot be taken as dogma. Directive syntax, yes, dogma, never.
For instance, what can I say about the highlighting of pentagrammic/pentagonal design in the SC? The above sketch of the structural components reveals the informing presence of the notorious "inverted pentagram" associated with "satanism" and "black magic" -- right? Yes, that is true, but those associations are banal and ignorant. Such claims are expressions of fear and stupidity, deriving from incomprehension of the structure and dynamics of the human imagination, the workings of the endopsyche. As noted above, the satanic inverted pentagram belongs to the workings of the human subconscious. It is an expression of the deathless power of imagination of the human animal. It does not belong to any cabal of self-styled satanists, nor is it the exclusive symbolic weapon of the psychopathic enemies of life who are attributed with occult powers and said to be adept in using such symbols as the inverted pentragram to deceive and dominate the ignorant masses. Such presumptions derive from the mental illness of SAD, symbolic associative disorder. SAD is a state of systematic confusion widely evident in individuals who purport to investigate and interpret occult and esoteric systems. It manifests in the inability to discern the difference between connection and causation in the operation of such psychic drivers as the infinity symbol, the ying-yang circlet, pentagram, hexagram, and many more.
Consider the detail noted above: the inverted pentagram embedded in the Shakti Cluster has three points grounded in the dynamic structure of the mandala, below. Above, it displays two points which are not located at specific modalities: the extended points that mimic but to not match the upright petals of the FLORAISON. What can be said about this feature of the design?
Every detail of the Shakti Cluster carries a meaning or message regarding the innovations of the Aeon Sophia as they are accessible in the human world. In itself, the inverted pentragram is simply the design format for five-limbed sentient creatures in all worlds. Creatures consisting of a head, two arms and two legs, or a head and four legs, abound in countless planetary systems spread throughout galaxies without end. Billions upon billions of stars floating in infinite space like confetti make an astounding sight, for sure. But equally astounding is the profusion of pentagram "stars" that operate to generate five-limbed sentient creatures to inhabit the countless planetary systems associated with those celestial bodies! The phi-ratio or golden ratio inherent ot this design is a pregiven divine format conceived by the Pleromic Aeons and used by them universally to produce a certain kind of sentient creature for experiments that arise in planetary worlds.
The inverted pentagram is the mark of Aeonic genius in generating sentient life, although it is not the only geometric format the Aeons deploy for that purpose. Obviously, it is the format most readily recognized by the human species because we ourselve are the production of it. Every human body is a product of that particular template of sacred geometry. To attribute this sublime, divinely projected format to satanic powers working against humanity is a foolish and ignorant blunder which in effect hands it over to those very powers, as if what is attributed to them comes actually to belong to them. Sadly, this blunder is an often commited act of blind abdication of human genius. It has been proven through the ages that human animals use the divine proportion to create all manner of things at a genius level: architecture, music, painting and drawing, and much more. The Shakti Cluster offers an opportunity to reclaim and demonstrate the highest levels of creative genius attainable by our species.
The two open or undetermined points of the inverted pentagram star refer to a particular secret of human creativity: the capacity for self-mutation of the pentagrammic format of the human form. The three grounded points represent incarnation in a physical body (lowest point) proceeding by mitosis (single-cell division) following an initial act of conjugal reproduction by meiosis (the two points right and left). Meiosis is required initially for human reproduction -- male and female bodies in sexual congress, fertilization of the female, pairing of the gametes of the two genders, etc. Then the fertilized ovum proceeds to develop by mitosis: this is mitotic division of the zygote. Click to watch the action, as conventionally understood in modern biology.
The mitotically self-dividing zygote is called the morula -- ever seen or heard that word before?
Pronounced MORE-yu-lah. The stilted archontic voice says, "The embryo with eight to sixteen blastomeres is called the morula." Anyone recall my claim, extensively supported by textual, artfactual, and architectural evidence, that the telestai of the Pagan Mysteries organized their schools into cells of eight and sixteen members? Wherever did they get that idea? I rest my case.
The more you love, the morula.
Pause for a moment and contemplate the form of the morula, its appearance of a tight cluster of buds. Reminiscent of a blackberry or -- perhaps - a pomegranate. I have stated over many years that the myth of the abduction of Persephone into the Underworld, traditionally celebrated at Eleusis, held one meaning for the unitiated masses and another for the telestai. On the conventional and superficial level, it was a simple allegory for the seasons. There were three seasons at that time, so one third of the time Persephone was allowed to return to earth, to the joy of her mother Demeter, who allowed the crops to flourish for that season.
For the telestai, there was no allegory involved. Their shamanic investigations in a state of trance learning due to ingestion of psychoactive plants had shown them the form of the morula, its pomegranite-like appearance of clustered seeds. They encoded into the myth of Persephone's abduction a vast amount of knowledge about how the human species, initially intended by the Aeon Sophia to reproduce mitotically (by doubling), fell into meiotic reproduction, dependent upon sexual congress and fertilization of the ovum by a sperm. The myth says that Persephone had to remain in the Underworld, not because Hades coerced her against her will, but because when she was down there she ate seeds of a pomegranite.
So, the human creature designed by Aeonic formatting according to the template of the divine proportion is now bound to meiotic reproduction, dependent upon sexual conjugation of male and female animals, yet it retains the option to develop mitotic reproduction by an exquisite self-rendering mutation. This mutation toward mitosis is one of the deepest delights of the Aeon Sophia, expressing as it does one of the "five element" powers of her dakini embodiment, VV.
The two free upward points of the pentagram star embedded in the Shakti Cluster represent the upreach or higher emergence tending toward the mitotic mutation of the human animal, the yearning to achieve it, as well as the method. This development can be seen prefigured in the celestial writing. Close to the constellation of the DAKINI (Aquila. the Eagle), positioned above the empty space between ARCHER and GOATFISH, you detect the Seahorse, one of five "ornaments" pertaining to the Aeon's transmutational magic. The full account of how this mutation proceeds and leads to virtual mitosis for the human animal comes in "The Seahorse Instruction" received by the Maine Terton on Infinity Ridge. So far I have not elaborated that Instruction, but you can consider this marine phenomenon as a preview.
... But I digress. Obviously, the point of this digression is to demonstrate in one particular instance the depth and magnitude of sacred instruction encoded in the format of the Shakti Cluster. This richness grows ever richer as you come to realize how it works in your own mind, as well as in your life-process where Sophia's aims and purposes are continually emerging.
Here is another version of the Shakti Cluster with the numeration clarified:
There are three sets in the numeration:
The vertical axis from top to bottom comprises six points that may be arranged in self-referring pairs: [17 - 1], [18 - 16], [13 - 9]. Note the neat iteration of the pairs, revealing a specific and elegant structure that builds and holds the vertical axis: 17 - 1 within and without, 18 - 16, centered, locked onto the infinity lobes, 3 - 9, within and without again, uniting the interior pentrgram/pentagon and the exterior encompassing OVAL.
Notice that 17 and 1 both "float" relative to the overall structure. You can picture 17 suspended in place by the tension at the "gap" of the indentation, as if held by pincers that converge upon it but do not touch it. Modality 17 is held in place like an object suspended in a magnetic field, hovering between two powerful convergent poles. It sits right on the line where the crown of the OVAL would be drawn, were the design not open at that point. Likewise note that point 1 is suspended in a similar manner in the gap between the two upright petals of the FLORAISON. It is likewise suspended by the power of the overall field, the totality of the turbulent dynamics of the Cluster.
Every detail of this structure carries volumes of precise intel.The Shakti Cluster is loaded with esoteric and occult instruction. Every feature is dynamically precise, elegant, essential. The abounding beauty of the Shakti Cluster is both internal and external, continually revealed in new ways when you contemplate its design features. Nothing is superfluous, nothing is extraneous to the deep complexity of the Cluster.
Way back in November 2008, I provisionally assigned modality 17 of the Shakti Cluster to the traditional guardian of tertons and terms, Dutro Lhamo of Tibetan Buddhism. (It may be worth noting that when you put Dutro Lhamo into Google, most of the first hits that come up are either directly from metahistory.org or associated with it. Same with image search. For whatever reason, Dutro Lhamo, the dangerous guardian of the Terma of Gaia Awakening, comes up prominently, while traditional references to that figure in Tibetan Buddhism are notably skant.)
Dutro Lhamo. Black Thangka (detail), Tibet 18th C.
What do the unique and closely aligned floating positions of points 1 (Mahakali) and 17 (Dutro Lhamo) reveal about the overall dynamics of the Shakti Cluster?
Point 17 may be viewed as a lightning rod -- I initially wrote "flashpoint." It is that part of the turbulent vortex that persists at the head or apex, contracted a knot, where it deflects and discharges any incoming resistence, opposition, or interference. The protection point identified with the Tibetan guardian is not merely symbolic or emblematic. I am not talking about nominal or merely imputed protection, but an actual energetic property of the Cluster by which it repels any and all interference. Note that point 17 sits exactly on the border of the encompassing OVAL of ten points.
In the "Shri Vidya" system of late goddess-based mysticism of Dravidian culture in Southern India, the ten Mahavidyas ("great wisdoms") appear together without male counterparts or consorts. Of these ten, Kali is numbered 1 and the remaining nine are her emanations. There are various ways to compile and correlate the Mahavidyas (See the companion essays, Compilations of the Shakti Cluster and Shakti Cluster: Tool Kit for Gaian Sorcery). Close and continuing study of these permutations belongs to the great pleasures of Planetary Tantra.
I repeat two points that I indicated in The Tantric Conversion (essays I and II, written in November 2008): First, the system of the Mahavidyas is relatively recent, dating from around 250 years ago, and corresponding historically to the awakening of the Aeon Sophia in her Dreaming, around 1750 CE. Scholars are at a loss to explain the sudden appearance of this cultic phenomenon, a tenfold mandala of goddesses, intact, without traces of previous development.
Second, the name of the feminine agencies in this late Dravidian goddess cult, maha-vidyas, contains the Sanskrit word vidya, "wisdom," exact correlate to the Greek sophia. The Mahavidyas could as well be called the "Great Sophias." In other words, the Shri Vidya deities are the dynamic array the massive telluric powers of the Aeon Sophia, the planetary animal mother. They are operative aspects or modalities of her planetary erotic power, Mahakundala, combined with her Aeonic directing power, Pronoia.
I have also stated in numerous essays on Planetary Tantra that Kali, Kali Ma, or Mahakali (she has 1001 names) represents the most ferocious protective power on this planet. Like Sekmet, Kali is the embodiment and instrument of the lion-like protective rage of the planetary animal mother. "Attack the Mother and the hurt she takes, but hurt the child and Kali awakes." What you see in the gap of the Shakti Cluster OVAL is the alignment of the dangerous protector Dutro Lhamo, exclusive to tertons and termas, with the ultimate protection of Kali, extended to all warriors in the cause of truth, freedom, and beauty. The warrior bands of Kali (Thunderbird Formation, December 2014) protect humankind at large, and Kali protects the warriors in her bands.
So, the Shakti Cluster in these specific features of its design shows a double protection: specific protection for the Terma of Gaia Awakening, its terton, and the practitioners of Planetary Tantra, and strategic protection for the warrior bands of Kali. Black circlet 1 is uniquely positioned in the interior of the OVAL, held in a pincer-like suspension between the two upturned petals of the FLORAISON. Kali-force sustains the balance of the inner and outer dynamics of the Cluster and holds it on course. Aligned with point 17, Kali stands at the leading end of the vertical axis of the formation, thus defining its directional mechanism. You can say, Kali leads and Matangi (9) steers the Shakti Cluster in coordination with Kurukulla (13), holding the base point of the internal pentagon of Diamond Sky Dakinis.
Again, each one of these points regarding the intel encoded in the SC format could be elaborated at length: "Matangi steers the Shakti Cluster," for instance. Such elaboration has to wait for aother essays or spoken commentaries on this material.
Finally, do you want to see a current, streamlined (digitalized) version of the Shakti Cluster, cleaned up and presented in a standard format reproducible in various sizes without distortion? It's coming together as I write these words (12-13-14). Stay tuned to this page. I will send out an announcement on the gaiaspora mailing list to signal the moment it is posted.
Here is the penultimate version, digitalized, requiring some modifications in the inner proportions of the FLORAISON and the addition of numbers:
FINAL VERSIONS TO APPEAR BELOW
Companion essays (in development):
jll : Saturday, 13 December 2014 Andalucia
The basic mandala, 18-point console of telluric powers, "The Tantric Tree of Life :
The full geometric formation with inverted star/pentagram, florette, and elongated pentagon:
The SC with numbers:
The SC with all powers named:
NOTE: 1 through 10 are the Mahavidyas of the Shri Vidya cult of Southern India. 2 through 10 are considered to be emanations of 1, Kali. These powers occupy the OVAL, with Kali situated in the indentation.
11 through 15 are the Diamond Sky Dakinis, situated on the five corners of the downturned pentagon, superposed on the petals of the FLORETTE.
16, 17, and 18 are here named according to the original correlations of 2008. I called 16 Prajnaparamita in full awareness of using a provisional name, previous to a deeper knowledge of this facet of the console. Dhutro Lhamo at 17 is the name of the dangerous protector of Tibetan Buddhims, considered to be the guardian of termas and the tertons who discover theme. Point 17 hovers in the indentation, holding the "flashpoint" of the Cluster and acting like a lightning rod to divert and dispel resisting and interfering forces.
Finally, 18 is VV, the secret dakini name of the Aeon Sophia in material immanence (Oct 10, 2008), also the name of her 6th streaming oneric identity, followed now by the 7th, the Kalki-Kali Avatar, who may be evoked by the name Rigdun Labro.
And that is the whole divine enchilada.
JLL: December 20, 2014 Andalucia.
Material by John Lash and Lydia Dzumardjin: Copyright 2002 - 2017 by John Lash.