Gurus & Mana Possession- The Path of cultivating the Siddhi of Discernment

by | May 1, 2024 | Astrology Blog

I find it interesting that this article came through pretty stream of consciousness yesterday morning (April 30th). I am finishing up holding space for Astrology & Your Shadow- where we worked with the stages of Jungian Individuation to see and face the Shadow, confront and work with the Anima/Animus and start to understand- and if we are ready- start to face the Mana personality.

The Full Moon in Scorpio square Pluto last week (April 23rd) is being triggered by Venus squaring a standstill Pluto on May 1st with Pluto stationing Retrograde on May 2nd. This is a massive Plutonian portal – which is ripe for shadow coming up to be seen and addressed. Plutonian shadows and the projection of Pluto power plays out in many arenas. We project power onto leaders of countries, royalty, celebs, and more. But for me one of the most interesting places this plays out is in spiritual communities and with spiritual teachers.

For me the moment spirituality is part of one’s path there is a much greater responsibility and accountability required. Most of us do not expect celebrities to have no shadow. We even are mostly okay when our president cheats on their wife (hello Bill Clinton). But our spiritual teachers are not just seen as powerful in the world- they are seen as spiritually powerful. And I feel in this area of life there is more karma incurred when abuse of power happens.

On the path of Individuation – after one has merged with their Inner Other (Anima/Animus) they confront the next and more precarious stage of individuation- the Mana Personality. The Mana is full of Power and Wisdom. Many of us PROJECT this onto spiritual teachers and gurus. Some of us access it within ourselves and get taken over by it- this is called Mana Possession. Many spiritual teachers who have great Wisdom and Power get stuck here. It is the only way abuse of power sexually, emotionally, physically and/or financially can happen. The teacher gets so intoxicated with their own Power and Wisdom that they archetypally inflate and think they are God/Goddess/All That Is. Some do this not in a negative way but in a disembodied way. They are still fused with Mana but they are disconnected from being human and only half of them is here.

It is important on the evolutionary path of any spiritual being to activate DISCERNMENT- the most powerful Siddhi one can attain (Siddhi meaning magical gifts like bi locating or manifesting gold out of thin air). The sacred texts actually say this- that discernment is even more powerful than doing these other seemingly more magical things. Discernment means to SEE CLEARLY. It means to ‘perceive or recognize the difference or distinction between (two or more things)’. It is the most important quality to cultivate within oneself and at a certain point you have to take your projections off of spiritual teachers and confront and integrate Mana yourself. And this very pathway of confrontation with the Mana IS the path towards cultivating discernment- within and without. This takes many lifetimes!

When a spiritual teacher projects much Light and also has hidden shadows that are not seen, owned, integrated and addressed fully- they are split inside. Perceiving through discernment the difference or distinction between these two parts of them is healthy and necessary on an individual’s path.

I personally would not study under someone who is split like this. A guru/spiritual teacher transmits energies- yes Light, wisdom, teachings, power, Love, Shakti- but they also will transmit their undigested shadow, often unbeknownst to the students. You cannot separate out one from the other and only receive the goodness but not the shadow. If both are within that being, both are being transmitted.

According to Jung coming to terms with Mana meant overcoming a psychic splitting, so as to make possible an acceptance of ‘the Twisted side of the Great Mother’; an acceptance of the way ‘the father contains both Kings at once…the Twisted King and the Whole King’. But some people interpret this as ‘I can have Light and Shadow and I can do harmful things and that is just me being both/and’. This is not what this means! What this means is we come to a place where we can accept both within ourselves – meaning we can see it when it’s operating and not collapse into it and fuse with it. It does not mean we act it out and it’s okay. It means we accept that that darkness and potential for harm is within us and we learn to see it when it arises and work with it so it does not get acted upon. The other way of interpreting this is honestly an inversion/perversion of the true teaching.

Unfortunately there appear to not be many big name gurus/spiritual teachers who ARE integrated and super clean in their energy- based on scandals/exposes, my limited personal experience but also testimonials from students and clients. Particularly male teachers. This may sound sexist but it’s unfortunately true. In my Astrology & Your Shadow course when we do the work on Inner Other- a lot of women and feminine identified beings will have their Inner Other appear as a gay man or even as a woman initially (sometimes this is Mana but most of the time it is due to the need for deeper work to be done around safety with masculine energy). Gay men are men who do not have predator energy towards women- because they are attracted to men, not women. Lesbians will also feel safe to straight women because they are women with wombs and they know what it feels like to be preyed on by men. Unfortunately men in our patriarchal world have a history of abusing power- sexually, physically and otherwise. Not all men- and this is changing thank the Goddess- but it does apply to many men.

When it comes to male spiritual teachers- the sexual power dynamic is super common. Women/the feminine is the source of Shakti energy and when a man has not learned to source his own inner feminine from within himself he will feed off of women- sourcing Shakti from them. This always relates to childhood trauma around mother and female figures in one’s life. From a viewpoint of psychology there can be a lot of compassion for these male spiritual teachers but from a viewpoint of putting oneself in the position of guru- there’s a greater responsibility and accountability demanded of such a one. As they say- the sins of the father get passed down to their children. When you are in a spiritual teacher position you are a father figure (or mother figure) and what you do or do not address within yourself gets passed onto your ‘children’ (aka students).

The tendency to archetypally inflate and get possessed by the Mana is very strong! According to Jung the risk for the personality when facing the Mana personality is immense because it ‘entails a psychic danger of a subtle nature, for by inflating the conscious mind it can destroy everything that was gained by coming to terms with the anima/animus’.

Most of us project the Mana and never confront it much less integrate it. We project both the Light and Shadow of it onto famous people and celebrities (Taylor Swift is a HUGE Mana projection), world leaders, royalty, spiritual teachers, gurus and more! The god of the old testament in the bible is a ‘jealous god’ and instructs people to kill, smite, and steal land. To me he sounds like a being possessed by the Mana- and many of us project Mana onto gods or deities. Jung recommended ‘that no God be constructed out of the archetype of the mana-personality’. I have to say- I agree! (Jesus on the other hand does not archetypally inflate with the Mana)

Mana possession leads to megalomania and feelings of superiority- which prevents the person from being able to see themselves clearly (discernment within). This comes from identifying with and being addicted to Power (lower chakras) and Wisdom (Upper Chakras) but it is divorced from the Heart (the Bridge). When Wisdom and Power are in service to Love and Love is leading- we are open hearted with empathy and compassion leading. When we are fully empathic we could not harm another or take from them or feed off of them- because we would feel their pain as our own. This is what the quote ‘when the power of Love overcomes the love of power- the world will know peace’ means. Really brilliant people with lots of Wisdom divorced from the heart can be incredibly destructive. So can really powerful people divorced from the heart. The only way to check both Power and Wisdom so we do not become possessed by either is to be anchored in Love (and doing shadow work- as we can use Love and Light to spiritually bypass! But that is an entire other article)

The key to opening the heart is working with the Inner Child and our deepest wounds and pain- as that is what caused us to close our heart and search for Power to not feel vulnerable again and Wisdom to go up into the head and disassociate from our pain. Inner Child work is key- which will bring us back into touch with our primal vulnerability, purity, and openness. This can be a scary place for people to touch in on- because it leaves you feeling WIDE OPEN.

When we are meeting the Mana Jung said we need to be humble, have integrity and morality. Jungian analyst John Beebe says that there is a danger when there is a lack of humility and integrity. The Mana holds enormous power and it can inspire us- but if we take its energy into the ego it will inflate us and we can lose all the ground we cultivated in ourselves during our previous stages of inner work. This is why we see so many powerful spiritual teachers who appear to have attained high levels of awakening but they also have huge shadows. They got stuck here on their path of awakening- they got possessed by the Mana. They did not face the dweller at the threshold and move past it- they got addictively captivated by it and thought it was end of the journey, the goal.

Many people who arrive at this place stay stuck here until they die. Some do not face themselves until some expose about their shadow gets written and they get torn down from the pedestal they were perched on. IF they can come back to humility and integrity they can get through this and go to the other side. It’s a big IF though as the intoxication of Power and Wisdom is so strong- and the ego shattering experience of being humble and owning your shit is so painful that many do not use the experience to truly transform. They just remake themselves into some other similar image and do not fully move through the initiation (but do not worry we reincarnate so we get more chances in all our next lifetimes!).

It is really rare to have passed the Mana initiation stage and come out the other side. I personally think that those who do make it to the other side often choose to go undercover. They may be opposed and resistant to becoming famous or celebrated spiritual teachers because they know how dangerous that path is to the ego. Some come into this life knowing not to fuse with Mana- only because in previous lifetimes they did fuse with it so they come into this lifetime with awareness of ‘I refuse to do that again!’. Some actually do fuse and abuse their power and then get publicly called out and have an opportunity to face themselves with humility. IF they can do this is and make it back into the Light they have the power to lead others through this same initiation.

So why am I writing this blog (channeling really!)??? I think a big part of Pluto at the Karmic Completion degree of Capricorn (September 1st-November 19th) and Neptune stationing at the Karmic Completion degree of Pisces and the Karmic Completion degree of the entire Tropical Zodiac on July 2nd (and transiting this degree from May 4th-September 3rd of this year) is going to confront us with the shadow of patriarchal culture, the tendency to project power OR get possessed by it, and our tendencies to spiritually bypass and not want to see what is right in front of our faces. Giving away our power/projecting it is the other side of the coin of people abusing power and fusing with it. One can only happen when the other is also happening. If more people take back those projections and start facing shadow and working with what is within- the mirror reflection without will have to change/die/dissolve/transform. There will be no energetic charge on the other side to attract it!

This is why I LOVE LOVE LOVE Shadow Work. I personally think it is the most direct and integrated path to true awakening. There is a common misconception in spiritual communities that it is lower vibration work and the opposite of Love & Light- but that cannot be further from the Truth. It is the work of Love and Light- but it is undercover ;) Facing shadow and wounds is the only way to move through them- otherwise you are just using Love and Light to spiritually bypass, transcend and avoid. Shadow Work is not about conquering or slaying the ego or the shadow. It’s about loving all parts of self back into wholeness. It is the work of birthing integrity within ourselves. It is about seeing and facing all that is- so that all parts of self can be invited to the table and ultimately integrated.

As Jung said ‘Enlightenment is not about imaging figures of Light- it’s about making the darkness conscious’. If our ‘enlightened teachers’ are not facing their darkness- they are split, not whole. And we need to stop projecting all our Light, Wisdom and Power onto them. This is the path of discernment which is very different from judgement. Judgement sees and makes others bad and that judgement is about their essence (they are bad, a horrible person!). Discernment sees clearly what is- seeing behavior and not making it about essence (they did X- that is not acceptable behavior I need to set a boundary, I need to take them off the pedestal and stop projecting my Light onto them).

I envision a world where we can all see clearly and transparently- first within, then without. And may this world arise within each of us as we commit to this work of seeing ourselves clearly first and then extend that out into the world so that clarity may arise in all of humanity. Blessed be <3


P.S. To be clear I have not passed the Mana initiation. This is a channelled article from my Higher Self/The Universe. It’s something I am on the path of and working towards. It’s a journey of many lifetimes!!!

Do I think there are clear, integrated gurus and spiritual teachers? YES. I do think they are rare and mostly hidden (they do not want to be in the spotlight). I personally believe it is the role of the teacher to help you find your own teacher within. If your spiritual teacher or guru needs you to stay their student forever- I would see that as a red flag. If your spiritual teacher or guru has had scandals and they do not deal with them directly, transparently and invite inquiry and discussion- that is a red flag. If your spiritual teacher or guru comes from a lineage where their previous teacher has had major scandals and they do not address this directly, transparently and invite inquiry and discussion- that is a red flag.

I believe that at a certain point on the path of awakening it is important to defer to a teacher- so that we can surrender our egos and allow ourselves to be led. I also believe that at a certain point on the path we have to take back all projections onto teachers and start relating to and integrating and embodying the teacher within. I also think it is possible to go through many cycles of this- i.e. having a teacher, letting go and turning within, then finding a new teacher, letting go and turning within. The key is to not have the ego deciding about which place we are at. An inflated ego will want to be its own teacher and a weak ego will only ever want to project the Light of the teacher onto others. Honest self check-ins about where your own growth edge is calling you forward are necessary to discern what is the right path for you right now <3

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