A syncretic approach to esoteric teachings - the golden threads that connect Pagans, Yogis, Rosicrucians and Masons.
What Does "Center Yourself" Mean?
I had been teaching Yoga for three decades, telling students every day to center themselves, when one of them spoke up and asked me what that meant. I was gob-smacked that anybody wouldn't understand this universal expression, which I had known all my life. It made me really think about it; and I soon realized that this is exactly why we teachers are here—to explain the things that are so obvious to us, to those who haven't got a clue.
Yogis tell us that too much Moon energy (Feminine, Yin, Ida or Left Nostril) can make us depressed while too much Sun energy (Masculine, Yang, Pingala or Right Nostril) can make us manic, like a pendulum swinging uncontrollably from one extreme to another. The modern psychiatric term for this is Bi-polar disorder. Too much Moon will cripple us; too much Sun will make us self-destruct. But the proper balance of Sun and Moon will keep us healthy and functioning.
This concept is also familiar to practitioners of Tai Chi and Reiki. Since the feminine energy involves the left side of the body and the masculine energy involves the right side, getting ourselves into our spinal Center—and keeping ourselves there—is a real physical necessity.
One way to look at it, is that to function at our best in this world we need to be just a little depressed and just a little manic! We need to be depressed enough to realistically acknowledge our problems, but we need to be manic enough to keep going in spite of them, believing that things can get better. So the expression "Center Yourself" really does mean something concrete.
Now, the rejection of Paternalistic religions in favor of Goddess worship is a different matter, a cultural thing. No matter how we are moved to think of the Divine, we cannot escape the basic law of energy flow: it moves from negative pole to positive pole, just like electricity in your car's battery. Both male and female polarities are equally necessary; take one away and life itself cannot be sustained.
This stuff we teach (and, perhaps, take for granted) is vitally important—especially to those who have never considered it before.
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