Astro-Chi-Flow, Part One: Reclaiming the somatic scriptures of the body

chi flowWHAT IF the shuffling mass of flesh moving around you didn’t point so much to particular people, but to the Supreme Being? What if every totem pole of body parts was chiseled with symbolic scripture whose reassuring profundity continually eclipsed people’s individual attitudes and behavior, highlighting instead the heroic journey of self-realization that every soul is embarking on?

What “price” would you be willing to pay to look at body-minds through this sublime, meditative lens – to practice this kind of perceptual yoga? Would you be willing to undergo, perhaps, a period of personality-equalizing disorientation? Would you be willing to devote yourself to a period of archetypal study and memorize some new, dharma-pointing names for the body’s structures and systems? Yes? Read on.

In the same way that a disciple takes on a spiritual name in order to continually remind themselves of their soul’s deepest calling, I believe it is time to rename the parts of the body so as to reclaim their power as a somatic scriptures.

Holographic Flash Cards

The body is a doorway that swings one way into manifestation though the Aries head, and the other way into the ground of Being through the Pisces feet. Virtually every kind of material and psychic phenomenon that Pure Awareness wishes to wake up in front of (vs. identify with and react to) is symbolized by the twelve archetypal centers of the body. Seen in this light, bipeds are holographic flash cards: the Universe’s way of symbolically pointing at the transient phenomenon that we are tasked to see rising and falling within the eternal awareness that we are. 

Let’s begin with a brief listing of the the twelve somatic scriptures. Notice how it drapes us in our own creation story. Does this not prod us to inquire into who is telling it? Could this be its ultimate purpose?

Somatic Scripture Overview

1) Aries “Crash Helmet” | Sky diving down through the fontanelle, the soft center at the top of the baby’s cranium, the Great I AM dons an Aries “crash helmet,” a provisional locus of identity and free will that activates the synapse firing brain, fires up the fight-or-flight adrenal glands and drapes itself in a will-asserting muscular system.

2) Taurus “Taproot” | In the next step of waking down, the soul will need to plant this crash helmet into the sensual soil of body and earth via a downward plunging “Taproot:” the Taurus neck, and the thyroid gland which metabolizes impulsive bursts of Aries energy into the sustained effort needed for practical follow-through.

3) Gemini “Chi Tendrils” | To widen its carnal, body-centric worldview, the Taurus taproot now grows “Chi Tendrils” to reach out, communicate and network with other people, places and perspectives: the Gemini hands, arms, lungs, tongue and the intricately branching bronchi and nervous system.

4) Cancer “Cradling Sacs” | Lest things become too scattered and superficial, the soul now forms a second uterus: vulnerable bonds with people and places for nurture and protection, as symbolized by the soft, cradling sacs of the body: the Cancer breasts, stomach, womb, tear ducts, eyes and cheeks, as well as our largest, most protective container – the rib cage.

5) Leo “Posture Pump” | With our hurtable humanness now fully cradled and nourished, we stand tall, ready to shine, lead and create, as symbolized by the Leo “Posture Pump” – our irrepressible, life-pumping heart, our oxygen-animated blood, and the un-hunched pride of the upper spine.

6) Virgo “In -Test- ins” | Lest confidence turn into vanity, the soul now calls in some ego humbling critique as symbolized by the the Virgo “In-test-ins:” that intricately twisting food filter that continually discriminates between toxins and nutrients, flushing us free of waste and impurity. 

7) Libra “Team Cleaner” | Our quest for purity would become clinical and perfectionistic if it were not for the kidneys which carry on the colon’s cleansing in the form of a cooperative team – a living metaphor of our need for relational mirrors that reflect how gracefully we are balancing awareness of individuation with the One Heart shining through.

8) Scorpio “Shadow Hound” | Scorpio deepens Libra’s understanding of love and beauty to include visceral, ego-cleansing catharsis, confession of psychological shadow and the courageous embrace of messy cycles of death and rebirth, as symbolized by the genitals and all shadowy orifices of the body.

9) Sagittarius “Meaning Marchers” | Scorpio’s fascination with the dark and forbidden needs guiding principle. This is accomplished through the Sagittarian “meaning marchers,” the ground-covering hips, buttocks and thighs that gallop us out into the wider, panoramic vistas of philosophy, religion, teaching, counseling and a more studious language of self-inquiry.
10) Capricorn “Climbing Levers” | This quest for guiding truths and ideals could easily turn into irresponsible adventurism and preachiness were it not for the pressure to work them into realistic and reputable contributions that adhere to the rules of the marketplace, as symbolized by our Capricorn climbing levers – the knees – and our mortality-chronicling skin, joints and teeth.

11) Aquarius “Kickstarters” | Worldly success becomes a hollow victory unless we reinvest it back into the community that lifted us up. For this, we need the Aquarius “kickstarters” – the shins, calves and ankles that constantly kick us forward into a more equally just and awakened collective future.

12) Pisces “Timeless Trance of Toes” | Sensing that the compressed field of egos called “community” is precious, but hopelessly riddled with separation and transience, the “timeless trance of toes” eases our activist ankles down into skin-to-skin contact with the Piscean ground of Being that guides our every footfall.

Somatic Scripture Summary Quiz

Now that you’ve been introduced to the twelve scriptures, please memorize their names, pairing each name with it’s corresponding body part.

1. Crash Helmet
2. Taproot
3. Chi Tendrils
4. Cradling Sacs
5. Posture Pump
6. In-Test-ins
7. Team Cleaner
8. Shadow Hound
9. Meaning Marchers
10.Climbing Levers
11.Kick Starters
12.Timeless Trance of Toes

Notice the course-correcting quality of each somatic scripture and how brilliantly matched each archetypal pointer is with its physical manifestation. Notice, also, how efficiently (and mercifully) they evolve, continually flushing us of ego. This stuff should have been taught to us in kindergarten, no?

Why drape the body with these new, dharma-pointing names? Because when we learn to behold the body as a streaming current of archetypes it becomes a nondual realization aid, revealing both the purpose and the practice of incarnation: to fire the synapse between the two poles of the body – the willful Aries head and Piscean Ground of Being. By doing this, we embody the full paradox of who we are: in-your-face emptiness. In Biblical terms this is expressed as “the first (Aries) shall be made last (Pisces).” Consciousness, it seems, has materialized in order to experience the rush of Self-remembering that happens whenever we aim our heady Aries will at surrendering to the footy Pisces Tao. This turns our duality-ramming Crash Helmet into a disciple of the Timeless One constantly guiding our every footfall. Why do disciples place their head at their teacher’s feet? Because it circulates their AstroChiFlow and awakens the forgotten posture of their soul. 

There are, of course, challenges on the way to realizing this personality-equaling awareness of Spirit-in-action. It can be disorienting. Where once stood a solid separate somebody, now stands a crash helmet floating on a timeless trance of toes. Personality traits that we once used to orient us (“I am the one who likes her, but not him”) become wispy symptoms of the universal Self having a dream of being local. The temptation to grasp for orientation in the old way can feel strong.

What happens when mind interrupts this ego-cleansing flow by grasping at one of these 12 archetypal centers for identity (I am the Taurus body-root, the Gemini mind-spray)? When we turn down the body’s “invitations to inquire” into our true nature as storyless presence and muscle our way back into some contrived, me-story agenda? Simple: our AstroChiFlow hose gets kinked. We step out of the Tao, lose presence and set in motion a wave of desires and actions that make self and other feel temporarily hard-edged, sexy and sovereign. Alas, it is only a matter of time before the “sugar high” of separation crashes into craving, aversion and indifference.

To be continued… Next month in AstroChiFlow Part 2, we will go deeper into the specific states of mind that manifest when each of the twelve AstroChiFlow junctures gets blocked and explore meditations and self-inquiry exercises that help us un-kink our archetypal hose.

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