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Archive for July, 2012

Awake

To that Always Burning Fire within,

        Awake in my Soul-

.

Ode to the Self

       that is infinite and unbounded.

Ode to the Self

       that has no beginning or end.

Ode to the Self

       beyond the confines of my body.

  An infinite spiral inside my Being

              constantly connecting

               and reaching back inside again.

Ode to the Self

      expansion Awake.

Ode to my Being

       ever present outside time.

    A touch of eternal flame

                an opening,

                 a quickening,

                 a truth beyond take.

Ode to the Self

       connection to Spirit made whole.

Ode to my Self

       always experiencing the movements

             but is the stillness

                  of the center

                       in my Being Awake.

                                                            ~Cicada

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I have been honoring Kali Ma for approximately 8 years. Tulie was recently interested in her so I let her borrow the book Kali’s Odiyya by Amarananda Bhairavan. After being enthralled by the nonfictional childhood account of the author regarding Kali and his initiation into Her mysteries in India, Tulie wanted to do a Kali puja (ritual) with me!

We began by taking a trip in town to the local Indian grocery store. We bought ghee (clarified butter used in cooking and as the oil for ghee lamps), wicks for the ghee lamps, kumkum powder (for the red bindi dot on the third eye), incense, henna paste and garam masala powder (just because I love this seasoning!)

Then we feasted on curries and naan at an Indian restaurant until our stomachs were full and intoxicatingly happy.

Back at home, we decorated each other using the henna paste that came out a bit like cake frosting. Lotus and swirls for her hand, dots and patterns for my hand and a kali yantra for our backs. The dye will last for weeks which will be a wonderful reminder of our night.

To start the ritual we performed homa (fire offering) to Agni (fire deity) and Ganesha by pouring ghee into the fire we built within a kund (small fire pit). We chanted and welcomed in the ancestors, also.

Then, while the fire embers cooled, we did pranayama (breath work) by doing alternate nostril breathing (“nadi shodani”) and placing the external energies within our bodies (nyasa) by means of a mudra (hand yoga position) gesture towards each chakra and a saying a mantra (sacred sound) for each one.

We honored the elements in our own way and went inside to my Kali statue to do Aarti (offering) that applied to Her Sight, Taste, Smell, Hearing, and Touch. For this we offered candle light, honey, cherries and rose flavored milk, flowers and incense, bells and singing and a water bath finished off with the placement of a bright red bindi on her and ourselves.

The energy from the statue became intensely comforting. We meditated briefly to feel Her presence. We chanted Her mantra: Om Krim Kalikaye Namah Om. Then we made a Kali Yantra out of rice, shells, red peppers, cilantro and flower petals.

Meditating once more, I felt her blessing our lives and leading us onto the liberating path from our own worldly attachments. I feel so blessed that Kali came to me many years ago and that I had the courage to follow Her as a Dark Goddess and Mother of All.

Here is some more information for anyone who wants to explore this Eastern Path:

Tantra-study of the macrocosm through study of the microcosm. “To weave”. Expanding awareness in all states of consciousness. Creating meaningful relationships to own inner world and outer world.

sharanya.org is a wonderful site dedicated to Kali Maa. They offer online classes (I took one a long time ago) and public rituals. They blend together the traditional Tantra and Wiccan practices.

Books I have that have helped me:

Kali’s Odiyya by Amarananda Bhairavan

Yogini: Unfolding the Goddess Within by Shambhavi Lorain Chopra

Yogic Secrets of the Dark Goddess by Shambhavi Lorain Chopra

Kali Puja by Swami Satyananda Saraswati

Inner Tantric Yoga by David Frawley

Tantric Visions of the Divine Feminine by David Kinsley

Kundalini Tantra by Swami Satyananda Saraswati

Tools for Tantra by Harish Johari

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They may come to you… You may seek them out. 

The spirits- they are moved. Deeper you peer into what the mystery is about.

Eliciting a response your skin may shiver.

Awaiting your acknowledgement they whisper out loud.

You welcome the opened veil and take hold of the hour.

Their presence wraps you in it’s  comfort as you feel the crowd.

Spirit communication used to be strictly an exchange with non-mythological creatures for me. I used to secretly laugh inside of myself when people talked of fairies and other mythic creatures. I may have felt close to the energy of trees and felt pulled to mythological deities, but I was not sure how to address the fairy, dragon, gnome topics. The world already viewed me as silly and immature for waving a wand around, did I really need to take this one step further?

Then, luckily, I actually met other serious pagans when I became an adult and began to hear stories of the creatures they cohabited with. House sitting for one such pagan one night I woke up to a fierce silver light illuminating from what appeared to be a fairy flying near the ceiling corner. I could barely believe it. I had seen spirit apperations before but usually in a human shaped form. However, I did not take it more seriously until I went to my first Pagan Spirit Gathering. On the last day of my wonderful camping community experience, a guy came up to me and asked if I wanted to go to the Faerie Shrine. I said yes, but became a little hesitant as our journey led us into the remote woods far away from camp with this stranger by my side. But, as I was about to make up an excuse to get back, we came to an arched entryway decorated with tiny ribbons and bells. I was enchanted immediately as we entered into an area bedazzled with all things faerie! Little nature houses, shiny trinkets, colorful ribbons and bowls of honey decorated every rock and cranny. The most startling thing, though, was the energy within this area. I felt joyfully serene and a heightened sense of wonder all around me. I could physically feel the energy barrier between the worlds!

That was eight years ago and I have found that this path that I travel spiritually keeps on opening and opening to reveal more. I am so grateful for all of the spirits in all of their forms that have graced my company. For the past two years Tulie and I have welcomed dragon companionship. We started off loosely following some of DJ Conway’s books, but our relationships have really taken on other routes than what the books presents, but starting somewhere was vital. Spirit partnerships can have a profound effect on both worlds.

People who do not live in a continual state of wonder in this world are in a miserable condition..

– Catherine Crow, nineteenth century writer on the paranormal

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Yesterday I was at a fast food restaurant with my kids. This one in particular had a great play place where my kids could climb up into a jungle of tubing and back down just to do it all again. It was also a great place to meet other kids. If only adults could be like kids sometimes… kids will gravitate to each other and become friends on the basis of just being human. Can you imagine? You are in a subway and you see another adult… and bam! You two are instant friends.

How do we lose this innocence? Unfortunately I saw a bit of it yesterday. A girl about the same size as my daughter came up to our table while we ate our french fries. No hello, no can I sit down, she just came up and sat down at our booth with a big smile on her face. She told us that she liked bugs. So much so that she had made friends with an ant there at the restaurant and showed us that she was carrying it around by letting it crawl all over her arm. I started listing off different bugs to see if she liked those, too. Worms, flies and even spiders this child liked. Just as I was about to tell her how special that was her mother yelled at her from across the room to leave us alone because we probably didn’t want ants around while we ate.

The girl sat in a corner behind our booth and continued to play with more ants. We continued to eat. A worker entered the playroom and began to sweep. Then, unfortunately, the worker swept her way over to the girl in the corner. “Oh yucky!” The worker very loudly began to moan, “Ants are yucky! Don’t play with the ants!” Then to my horror the worker began to stomp on the ants right in front of the girl.

I couldn’t believe it! I looked to the parents to intervene but they didn’t do anything. I braced myself for the girl to start crying, but to my surprise she didn’t. Maybe something like this had happened to her before. I’m sure she felt like dirt at that moment, though. I gave the worker a heated stare as she walked by and let my kids be done with their food so they could play with the girl. The kids played wildly and had a blast and I was left to think.

There is possible hope to this story, however. In the girl I recognized a fiery spirit. If anyone could go back to playing with bugs I believe this girl can… even if in secret. Although the world tries to literally and metaphorically squash all of our innocence we need to return to it again and again.

I am also reminded of experiencing something similar in the intensity of emotion, but in an opposite way many years back. I was driving down a busy, four lane road and suddenly traffic completely stopped. I stuck my head out the window to see what was going on and to my surprise a man had stopped all the cars in the road to help a mother duck and her ducklings cross the road. I was so overcome with love and respect for the deed of this one stranger that I cried. Somewhere, at some point, this guy realized what was really important to hang onto in this life and acted upon it in the face of many, many people who would not have done the same.

That could be the end of my post, because really, my point is made, but I do want to add something in the context of the pagan community. Everyone who has decided to follow this spiritual path is a bit like that guy stopping traffic. Somewhere, at some point in our lives,  we were told that what we believe in does not exist and that we are imperfect for believing it. However, our fiery spirits won over in the end. This innocence, although natural, must be upkept in this sometimes unnaturally cruel human world. It’s almost like our own internal version of a forest preserve… pick up the garbage, kick out the idiots and let it grow, grow, grow for you and for others.

And now I point you to the absolute pleasure in listening to this song…

Enigma- Return to Innocence

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These past weeks I have been gone have been due to the many dreams awakening within me. These dreams have been various in types but all have living connections to the physical life I am living.

The first night of the Pagan Spirit Gathering (PSG) I dreamed that a raccoon stole our loaf of bread. So convinced that this was actually happening that I tried to wake my husband, but was I just dreaming that too? In the morning the bread was gone only to be found midday torn to bits in the woods behind our tent. I was really glad I had this dream. Since I was little these foretelling dreams would occur reminding me that I was connected to Spirit. It has been many months since I have had a dream like this and I am always glad when they return. It is nice to have a little heads up sometimes.

When in ritual I am enacting the living dream of magic inside of me and the cosmos. PSG has so many opportunities for ritual that it is physically impossible to be present for them all. I attended the ones that I felt drawn to and got out of it exactly what I needed. There was a huge candle lit labyrinth where I welcomed living intuitively again. There was the morning yoga sessions where I connected with my body and intentions for the day. There was the few nightly bonfire drumming circles I danced until the music was ingrained into my energy and I went to bed sand covered and humming with happiness. There was also the Summer Solstice ritual where time seemed to stop.

(setting up the labyrinth took about three hours with about eight people!)

I didn’t get a picture of it lit up, but here is basically what it looked like.

Another ritual was the Sacred Fire Ceremony the night before the Solstice… this was a wonderfully intense living dream. All night about twenty of us kept the energy of the ritual flowing. There was no set structure except to flow flow flow. Everyone did what they needed to do when they needed to do it and it all worked harmonious until dawn. Dancing, singing, meditating, healing, creating prayer flags, feasting, drumming. Although I knew no one’s names since no one really talked (unless to the Fire outloud) I felt like we all had experienced each others’ souls vibration. Intense healing went on here and I am truly grateful.

When I was a child I dreamed of being a singer. Not just in my sleep, but all the time. But, like most of our childhood dreams we give up on them. We become convinced we are not good enough. I listened to someone who said I couldn’t sing. I let my first musical audition failure discourage me. I became petrified of singing on stage. Then the worst thing happened- I became convinced I didn’t even want to sing for others anymore.

Luckily, however, the dream did not give up on me. Songs after songs after songs have chased me down. I finally bought a voice recorder and filled it up with original tunes. I started writing songs and singing them to my children… then to my husband… then to my friends… then to my local drum and womens’ circles… then this year I taught some of my chant songs to a singing group at PSG and my life may never be the same!

Dreams are welcome here. I once heard the saying “A witch without dreams is like a night without stars.”

What the world needs

I will begin.

In order to serve I shed off my skin.

I shed all of my strife.

I welcome new life.

Blessed Be

                           again and again.

~Cicada

July Full Moon!

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Lately I have been having the welcoming presence of the tiger in my life.  I feel her spirit filling and melting with my own.  This comes at the perfect time in my life because I have been experiencing a lot of depression since the birth of my daughter, 7 months ago. I have three children and after their births I experience a decrease in energy, loss of interests and my health plummets in a downward spiral.  It is hard to pull myself out of this slump but I feel the tiger has come to me at this time, bringing passion and energy back into my life.  I feel as if the tiger is helping me to shape shift into her form and gifting me just what I need to put a bounce back into my step.  Tonight for the first time in a long time….I did a ritual alone.  I normally don’t have the energy or want to do ritual but tonight was different.  I cast circle and welcomed the beloved elements… I called to Great Spirit and I prayed for healing.  I felt that overwhelming consumption of energy that comes with Great Spirit turning it’s eyes on you…and it felt amazing!  I believe the tiger is going to be with me for a while and I’m just glad to having the want to do things for ME again.  Bless you all at this full moon time and may you find the healing you need:)

~art by summer slumber

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