Four Styles of Prostration

The impulse to reverently lower one’s head is downloaded into our DNA. The body is driven to assume the shape of varying degrees of prostration, no matter how godless or irreverent we think we are. Why? Because moving the atomized Aries head in the direction of the pressed-together world of the Pisces feet captures, with symbolic precision, the very essence of why body/minds incarnate.

We were born to become uniquely embodied expressions of the One Being.

Are there ways to ease prostration into our life? Yes. I call them “devotional pivot points.”

Devotional Pivot Points

The four “mutable” signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces) occur at the end of each season. They are equipped with the flexibility required to transition us from spring to summer to fall to winter. In a remarkably analogous way, life has equipped us with four gestures of devotion that slide us out of ego-posturing habits of mind into deeper seasons of presence.

Notice how each of the four gestures of devotion below inch the Aries head a little bit closer to the Pisces toe. Every moment has an appropriate form of prostration!

Notice also how each archetypally ordained style of prostration activates  its corresponding body Part: Gemini lowers and calms the brain, Virgo folds and activates the intestines, Sagittarius activates the hips, buttocks and thighs, and Pisces pulls the whole body down into the pressed-together world of the feet.

Four Styles of Prostration

1) The Gemini Head Nod: Fly-by devotion.  A quick, devotional lowering of the head, with eyes softened or closed, that affirms a reverence-worthy attribute in another without interrupting the flow of conversation. (Corresponding ages: 1-20)

2) The Virgo Waist Bow: Civilized Reverence. A mildly ego-dissolving gesture that briefly lowers the top half of one’s torso as if to say, “I respect how you are inhabiting your consciousness and I place myself, momentarily, under your tutelage. (Corresponding ages: 20-40).

3) The Sagittarius kneel: Intelligent Worship. A spiritually intelligent gesture of obeisance accompanied by confession, petitioning and thankfulness that honors the need for a more consciously navigated ego. (Corresponding ages: 40-60)

4) Pisces Prostration: Ego-flattening Devotion. A full and urgent emptying of the spiritually ambitious self in the spirit of: “Rid me of ego, replace me with you.” (Corresponding ages: 60-80)

Ask yourself: If death is the ultimate and inevitable prostration, isn’t the failure to consciously embody and explore these archetypally ordained shapes and stages of ego-death a tad regressive?


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