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M A G A Z I N E
September October 2010 onlinepagans.com Issue #2
Ancestors, Elders, Mentors & Family
Skull photo by Ben Gruagach.
4 6 10 14 15 18 20 27 30 33 36 38 42 45 48 50 53 75 Editor’s Note by Ben Gruagach Communion by Fyrsweord Magi-Media Views And Reviews: Mentors In Pagan Fiction by Toriach Thou Art Fair My Lady by Mystic Fool Un Lourd Secret by Sunil Narayan The Bile: A Celtic Family Tree? by James Byrne Divination: How to Get Advice from Hidden Sources by Ben Gruagach A Guarded Secret by Sunil Narayan A Mage Alone: Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants by Toriach Psychomanteums and Magick Mirrors by Ben Gruagach Mdvanii Stirs Her Lover’s Desire! by Sunil Narayan An Interview With Raven Grimassi by Ben Gruagach Of Dates and Deities by Mystic Fool Pagan Bookshelf: Magickal Life Stories by Ben Gruagach A Swan Who Wallows In Lotus Laden Ponds by Sunil Narayan Meditation: Night Ride on a Broomstick by Ben Gruagach Īshwar by Sunil Narayan Glossary and Notes for the Poems of Sunil Narayan
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By Ben Gruagach
elcome to the second issue of Online Pagans Magazine! This issue is dedicated to the memory of our ancestors, elders, mentors and family who have gone before us. A special thanks to Isaac Bonewits (October 1, 1949 – August 12, 2010) for the amazing work he did in the Druid, Wiccan, and larger Pagan community. He rests now with the Shining Ones on the other side of the Veil after a courageous battle with cancer. He will be greatly missed. We hope you enjoy the included articles, poems, and artwork. They are given as offerings of our creativity and hard work to our mentors, elders, ancestors, Gods and Goddesses, to you our readers, and to the Pagan community at large. May they inspire you to create your own!
Our magazine is available in a variety of formats. Electronic formats are available for free, and a full-colour print version is available for the cost of printing and shipping. Please check out the menu options at the top of our website http://www.onlinepagans.com to obtain your copy. All our magazine content is also available on this website for free. If you would like to submit content for a future issue of Online Pagans Magazine please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Cernunnos from the Gundestrop Cauldron. Photo by Ben Gruagach.
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y whatever term your tradition uses to describe the date 31 October is fast approaching. It is a time when many feel the dead walk the earth. A time when one can more easily connect with the ancestors. A time when one should protect from the not so well meaning entities that may reside in the night shadows. A time when kids dress up and go knocking on doors to supply a sugar fix for the next month or two. A time when parents check all the candy under the guise of making sure it is safe, when in fact, we are looking for our favorite candies to snitch.
from the traditional paranormal investigation findings, and pagan rites to contact the dead. I am going to share with you an experience I had a year ago and then continue with this narrative. Why? Because I learned that any time, or any day of the year one can part the veil - one can commune with the ancestors, or the dearly departed. My story. My coming home.
Last summer I was at a site on the Missouri here in North Dakota that is basically made up of burial mounds. It is a beautiful area. The visit was not meant to desecrate, and off There are Christians who avoid this date and all it en- on a brief tangent, I find areas such as this more cleansing and tails, as in their beliefs it is the night of evil. The devil peaceful than anything else. It is also important – I think – to walks the earth and all god-fearing people who will save note that this site is a few miles away from Fort Lincoln . This their souls from hell’s torment pray to themselves and is the fort that Custer was stationed at when they headed off to judge those who revel in that night. the Little Big Horn in Montana . There are pagans that perform rites to honor and reach those that may walk amongst us as shadows or wraiths. I am going to move away from the traditional Halloween ghost stories, things that go bump in the night and how we can scare ourselves silly. Or the number of people who think paranormal investigations are best done on this evening, or the media that hounds said groups for ghost stories, and evidence that they can scoff - depending on the slant the reporter takes. I am going to take a road less-travelled by most non-Christians at this time of year. I am going to deviate Whenever I think we will be going anywhere where I may encounter something of a spiritual nature I bring an offering. I
Missouri River at dusk. Inset: the author at Double Ditch - site of large Mandan settlement - Mandan ND.
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brought an offering of dried white sage, sweet grass and tobacco leaf. Okay, there was this one mound, a bit off the beaten path that really drew me. That happens also sometimes – a mound – an object – a picture of a long dead person – draws me in. So, I presented my offering and a request that I be allowed to lay there on the mound with no malice intended. I did not get any ‘bad vibes’ from the request. Quite the opposite as it felt even more welcoming. My friends were wandering off so I basically alone. So I lay down and closed my eyes.
that I could not catch it and record it correctly. There were scenes of children playing and laughing. People were playing games. There was hunting on foot and horseback.
The scents of cooking food. Hides being worked. What I think was being in a sweat lodge that really hit me as I felt I was given a glimpse into something truly sacred. Men around a fire speaking. Then wagons and dugouts and sod houses and white men and buffalo herds turning into smoke and the deer would run away… Women were crying and the chanting. That was one thing that stuck with me later. It was a singsong cadence but it got stronger. Almost deafening and I wanted to break away but the whole time this elderly – Shaman? Guide? Was Now, I admit I find these places wonderful for meditation so with me and he wouldn’t let go of my hand and I don’t think I I started to match my breathing with what I felt was the pulse could have let go of his when I think back on it. of the earth and I went in really quick. It usually takes me at least a half an hour to get to that state. This time it took maybe I remember angry voices and calm voices speaking a language I a handful of minutes. I suppose it should also be noted that I didn’t know. Men around a fire, and lots of color by now. And tend to let myself go where I will or where I am lead. the strangest smelling smoke that I liked. A pipe? Then there were horses and guns and men. Screaming, cries, anger, pain, Okay, so the beginning and the end tends to be much clearer despair and blood. There was lots of blood. Thick, suffocating than the middle. Admittedly, I do have to wonder if I imagined air. Satisfaction and vengeance and despair because it was the beginning of the end. it all. Anyway, I am drifting and I sense mist rising around me or fog or smoke. Out of this mist walks an old man with a stick? A staff? He had long white hair and was wearing a leather tunic with beadwork. I think. I knew him to be Native American. Which tribe I can’t say as this area has been the home to the Mandan , various Sioux tribes, some Cheyenne – I even think the Apache made it this far over the centuries. What is really odd is I can’t describe him more than as being elderly, with a stick. What caught me was when he got closer to me he was holding out his right hand, palm up. In his palm was my offering. He clasped my hand with his and the offering was held by both of us. This is where it gets terribly fuzzy. It is like snippets of memories. I can remember it being vivid for all
Images: Double Ditch - Mandan ND.
Then I am back at the mound with the gent and he gestures with a smile and the mist/smoke starts to part and a black wolf with the greenest eyes runs passed me. The wolf is followed by a white mare with a lightening blaze and sparks from her hoofs. He lets go of my hand and starts to walk into the mist and I don’t want him to leave. But I hear a screech in the sky above me and there is this large golden eagle and he is tilting his wings and loses a feather and I watch it float down to my feet. What does this have to do with the 31st of October you may ask. It is a bit convoluted but stay with me here. The premise that the veil is the thinnest at this time of the year, that we are more able to contact those that have gone before us is not necessarily true. What happened changed me in a myriad of ways that I still cannot fully explain. I have found that I do not need the dark of night, I do not need a full moon, or any special ritualized means to reach out to the past and learn. To hear and see those that have gone before me with a clarity that was not matched by experiences prior to my vision.
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Background photo: Hills overlooking Fort Lincoln, Mandan ND.
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I have found a place physically that draws my soul into the earth and the past as surely as if I lived there. Perhaps I did. I have found a place within that I did not know existed and have found myself experiencing more encounters with the nether-world then every before. Sometimes it befuddles me, sometimes it scares me, sometimes it brings me amazing moments of clarity. Regardless of the nature of my subsequent encounters all of have enriched my spirit. I bring the premise of All Soul’s Night with me twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. As this special night approaches may you all touch that which we tend to block during the hustle and bustle of our daily lives. May you all see the beauty of the natural and spiritual around you. May your lives and spirits be enriched.
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Magi-Media Views And Reviews: Mentors In Pagan Fiction
By Toriach A note on terminology: Since this column is meant to offer views However not all mentors are created equal, neither in and reviews on all media, not just books or movies specifically, real life, nor in fiction. In this article I am going to be talking about four different kinds of mentors that one fiction is used to mean any story told in any medium. will generally find in Pagan themed fiction. Obviously ne of the most popular themes in Pagan fiction there are always exceptions but in my experience these is the idea of a character meeting an older wiser four are the most common. figure who serves as their mentor.
1: The Classic Mentor.
For the longest time this was the kind of mentor most commonly encountered in fiction. The classic mentor is often more of an archetype than a fully realized character. They might have flaws, or quirks, but these usually only serve to make their powers and other worldly ways all the more striking. The classic mentor is almost totally selfless, dedicated only to teaching the initiate. Furthermore they have no ulterior motive, or if they do have one it is still ultimately related to the well being of the initiate either directly or indirectly. Three of the best known classic mentors, are also arguably three of the best known characters in all of fiction. They are Merlin, from the Arthurian legends, Gandalf from The Lord Of The Rings, and Obi Wan Kenobi From Star Wars. The classic mentor often will give their life literally for their charges. This will sometimes be followed by a rebirth, as in the cases of Gandalf, or a transition to another state of being, like Obi Wan. Sometimes though the classic mentor will have to suffer what is perhaps
This is something that sometimes is an incidental part of the story as is the case with the original Star Wars. Sometimes it is the whole point of the story as is the case with the recent movie starring Nicolas Cage and Jay Baruchel, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Before we go forward perhaps we should talk a bit about what is a mentor. Well a pretty typical definition found at Dictionary.com says, “–noun 1.a wise and trusted counselor or teacher.” This definition is good for giving us a base to start from. Another definition more specific to Paganism could be, “One who seeks to pass on occult knowledge to another.” Finally to fuse the two gives us, “A wise and trusted counselor or teacher who seeks to pass on occult knowledge to another.”
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the worst fate that can befall such a character. Having to stand by and watch as their charge fails and even dies. A few other classic mentors include Albus Dumbledore, and Minerva Mcgonagle of the Harry Potter novels, and Granny Weatherwax of the Discworld novels. As is the case with many things in fiction, great changes have taken place in the way the mentor character is thought about and presented, the classic mentor giving way often to...
2: The Mentor.
The postmodern mentor, is usually a more rounded and fully realized character. The postmodern mentor usually has a life outside of their duImage CC http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Nuremberg_chronicles_-_ Merlin_%28CXXXVIIIr%29.jpg ties as a mentor, a life that those duties sometimes can interfere with. Also the postmodern mentor is often singularly devoted to his charge. At the same time he bound by a hierarchy that never seems to bother classic has The Watchers Council that he must answer to, and mentors. Dumbledore, might have to put up with the when he chooses the well being of the Slayer over their Ministry Of Magic, but they seem to exist to throw ob- wishes he is punished for it. stacles in his journey on the path of right doing. Never does he seem to truly take their wishes into account or With Giles we also see that there is more than one kind ever put them ahead of the well being of his charges. The of sacrifice. He loses people he loves, and basically has same for Gandalf. Saruman might be an obstacle, but no meaningful personal life because of his commitment only as an opposing wizard, never does he try and actu- to the Slayer, and even takes up a moral debt on her beally force Gandalf to not help Frodo, through any means half, committing what amounts to cold blooded murder to protect her. other than brute force. Perhaps the single greatest example of a postmodern mentor to my thinking is the character of Rupert Giles from the Buffy The Vampire Slayer TV series and comic books. Giles as he is usually called, on the one hand is As different in many ways as Giles may be from the classic mentor, he is still a mentor true because his focus is on giving his charge the knowledge he has and helping her to stand in the world. September October 2010 Online Pagans Magazine 11
Another excellent example of a postmodern mentor is the character of King Mob in Grant Morrison’s comic series The Invisibles. But there are other kinds of mentors that are not so positive. One kind means well, and the other kind means anything but. We’ll look at the former next.
4: The Dark Mentor.
A true mentor works to bring out the best in their charge. To give them the tools to face the world and the confidence to do so. The dark mentor however is really only interested in the aggrandizement of self, or some other agenda. They want a copy of themselves, or they wish to remake their student into a particular type of person. They have no boundaries, and will use lies, violence, seduction, whatever they believe it takes to achieve their ends.
3: The Unready Mentor.
The unready mentor is one that believes wrongly that Two of the best examples of a dark mentor I can think they are prepared to take on a student, and because they of are Emperor Palpatine (Darth Sidious) from the Star are not, they wreak unbelievable havoc in both their own Wars Hexology, and Jadis The White Witch from The life and the life of their charge. Lion The Witch And The Wardrobe. Both of these individuals take a young boy under their tutelage, under the Usually the unready mentor has only the best of inten- pretense of freeing them from the shackles of spiritual tions, but they simply either are not skilled enough or oppression. But in both cases they care less than nothing they do not have the patience and foresight needed. In for their young charges. In the case of Jadis she perceives many ways the unready mentor could be seen as the Edmond as the weak link that she can exploit, and use shadow side of the postmodern mentor. One well known as her cats paw in her war against Aslan. In the case of example of the unready mentor is Morpheus from The Palpatine, he sees Anakin’s Force potential and is deterMatrix Trilogy. In the first movie he quickly hits a wall, mined to make him into a weapon for the Sith, and in beyond which he really does not know any more than doing so deprive the Jedi of one of the few remaining Neo does, and even has to rely on Neo to save his life hopes for saving their dying order. In both cases, their after getting captured by the machines. In subsequent greed blinds them to the realization that the ones they movies Morpheus always seems to be full of good inten- thought of as mere pawns have grown wise to their agentions, but easily thrown off by all the things he doesn’t da and have turned against them. know. Another example of a Dark Mentor is arguably Grace Branagh in Alan Moore’s Promethea, although she is Another good example of unready mentors come again more thoughtless and selfish than truly evil. from Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Willow tries to take Buffy’s little sister Dawn under her wing during a time I hope you’ve enjoyed this overview of the four basic that she herself has become addicted to raw magic, and types of mentors in Pagan fiction, in a future issue I will in the seventh and eighth seasons we see Buffy trying to be revisiting this topic by looking at some of the best act as a mentor en mass for what amounts to an army of mentor characters from Movies, Television, Comics, and Slayers and things often going very very wrong, resulting more. in many characters dying, or being harmed in other ways. Peace And As dangerous as the unready mentor can be though, it Long must be remembered that they are still trying to do what Life they believe to be right, they are just failing miserably at it. Unlike... Toriach 12 Online Pagans Magazine September October 2010
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Thou Art Fair My Lady
By Mystic Fool Thou art fair my Lady; Gazing at the skies at night, yearning for the silver touch, to bathe in thy purifying light. I seek for thy face as the mist descends; Whilst the creatures of night abide your commands. I lie on the earth, awaiting for thee, as dew soaks the grass, to thee I plea. Where art thou Fair Maiden? Enchantress of beauty untold; Usherer of beginnings new, Thy mysteries of youth enfold. Cradle me in a maternal embrace, abound with power divine. A fertile Spring art thee, procreation is forever thine. Keeper of wisdom art thou, Crone of age undefined; To drink from your knowledge I seek, in you, life and death are entwined. The wheel of life you spin, revealing the future in signs; The story of man you weave, in intricate alluring designs. Be it waxing, waning or full, the Moon of thy presence reminds; As I make my way trough this life, my hope in your bounty abides. Blessed be the Maiden fair, Blessed be, Mother of all, Blessed be oh Crone so wise, In your presence I enthrall.
Image CC http://www.flickr.com/photos/realsmiley/4629658981
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Un Lourd Secret
By Sunil Narayan
Mdvanii spoke to her brushed chienne when he whimpered at the sight of a still empty bowl: “Il est toujours par voie de douleur que l’on arrive à plaisir” To be given grapes and bread is a reward not a privilege One must starve for as long as his master deems fit Mdvanii is the master of all couturiers! Her coiled black whip is made from the skin of deceased orphans Oiled each day by her esclave’s sweat It shines under the dusty ceiling light With one lash she frightens her shivering putain Aldric begs for a lengthy bruising by the chipped paddle Unfortunately, Mdvanii will not relax her firm hold on his body this time She is in control of the narcissistic esclave’s ego Its skin is punctured by the heels of her ruby-studded shoes A few nights ago it dawned on her: great pleasure can be achieved if one walks all over this vermin’s chest Ripping bits off the skin with her glue-covered red heels He will scream as a torrent of blood flows down his chest A poor old German seamster being forced to endure heightened torture! Dragged by his owner across the muddy floorboards Aldric’s hair is pulled harder with each grunt The scalp rips off an unwashed head every time! Mdvanii reminds him a good designer never succumbs to arrogance: afin de connaître la vertu, nous devons d’abord nous familiariser avec le vice The room is made out of solid steel to keep the crying of a belittling artist sealed It is un prostitué’s screams of enlarged pleasure drowning out the neighbor dogs’ barking Mdvanii puts cotton balls in her ears when the nipples of her fat cochon are stretched to the waist by two short chains with unpolished hooks This toy is attached to a block of cement stained covered with his tears Aldric cleans dirt off the floor with his tongue, exposing his scarred derrière His chest swells and dries till skin sags from the bones A pêche freshly picked from the nobleman’s garden becomes mushy right before the farmer’s eyes Perhaps Mdvanii is a domestique, tilling the soil of centuries worth of bitter pride It must be broken and put back together so the world will lower their heads in respect Flaming torches shall no longer melt the king’s palace! Instead, they will turn on the noblemen for betraying their loyal domestiques! Preaching of false notions for an ideal reality A calm muse sits in her chair to read a newspaper on politics She is interested in the behavior of noble rulers and tyrants To her their power lay in the twisting and beautifying of the people Everyone becomes a victim of another person’s ignorant mind or the partaker in the fruits of carefully constructed labor It is a world so tightly wound yet absorbing all the sweets and stale bread one can get their hands on Functioning as a monstrous machine with oil flowing from one end of the pipe to the other Devouring the human essence as if it were un gâteau aux fraises A field covered in white balls of joy disappear with each grab: l’ordre social au détriment de la liberté n’est guère une bonne affaire Our dear Antonia tortured by self-destructive authority A poor Austrian girl who simply wanted to fit in No one could stand looking at the images of her dressed luxuriously like Déesse Vénus She was a symbol of unfiltered disgust The clock struck midnight and Mdvanii must retire to her opal chamber She bids goodnight to Déesse Diane for her friend Remains hushed when the screams of Aldric fill
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fill the foggy streets of Paris He finally falls asleep despite having not been fed scraps of old sandwiches Our grande dame never tires herself of debasing elite couturiers She is a humbled secret covered in diamond dresses Only those with greedy claws can unveil the violent nature of a cursed muse If they are daring enough to rip her skin off that is! Nearly a century ago, her dominating Charles died leaving her empty of satisfaction He taught her to be quiet and grateful for his kindness In her heart she always yearned for the excitement all women experience when visiting a new boutique de marque: lecteurs sensual excédentaire pitié chez l’homme It is the only jewel she held onto during her escape when he lost himself in glasses of bière Mdvanii begin to hop from couturier to couturier, noticing the chic girls were too involved in their looks Their blue purses and fur-coats were the new trend of Paris Decades ago, all of a sudden a rainbow splashed the imagination Everyone had to own velvet gloves with gold sewn into the edges or shoes adorned with a diamond rose on the front Mdvanii sighed in disappointment at how obsessed the city became with her new lover’s collections There is more to life than luscious garments or jewelry made of black pearls By nature, it is her duty to dissolve the extravagant culture imprisoning the wealthy people of Paris The pain seamsters both grande and petit experienced in the beginning is incomparable to the mutilation in the end She witnessed generations of couturiers indulge in yards of bright fabrics made of crushed gemstones for the sake of it Smiling as domestiques dress them in silk and satin when their money could be used to feed the starving children The artists of Paris no longer remember their simple childhoods For they excitedly jumped into the river of fame: ce n’est pas mon mode de pensée qui a causé mon malheur, mais le mode de pensée des autres
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Severe Goddess CC http://www.flickr.com/photos/wwhyte/158973209/
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The Bile: A Celtic Family Tree?
By James Byrne
he term family tree might be particularly apt in traditional Irish culture where sacred trees have been a symbol of social integrity for larges family groups since before the written word arrived on the island. If rival groups wanted to destroy the heart of their enemies the most devastating thing they could do would be attack the physical trees themselves and cases of that happening were so shocking to Irish people that they are remembered as great crimes in poetry and historical annals. Today the traditional territories of the large family groups are gone for the most part having been diminished by the politics of colonialism and modernity but in some places the sacred trees survive. My family name is Byrne. Like the majority of Irish family names it’s the personal name of a famous ancestor who managed to secure enough prestige and land to found his own family. In the case of the Byrne family name, that ancestor is Bran Mac Mael Mordha; a 10th century King of Leinster who was himself a descendant of the politically dominant Ui Dunlaing family group. Through reading history books, I found the original O’Byrne territory, founded by Bran, was in County Kildare and that the traditional inaugural site of the Ui Dunlaing kings was nearby on at Lyons Hill/Liamhan – Elm Tree Hill and the elms are still around in Lyons village. The elms there are a symbol of the centuries of strength that members of my family showed in defending their territory, actually being one of the last families to keep their territories in colonial Ireland. Before I knew that, my name was just a name, now it’s a constant source of strength in hard times and I walk on Lyons hill with a pride and sense of belonging that I would probably never otherwise have experienced.
and trees that really are only accessible to people in Ireland, Irish family names can be of interest to the neopagan outside Ireland; from the late medieval on they can give us ancestral deities through the veneration of the founding member, in my families case Bran Mac Mael Morda and even more interesting might be the otherworld ancestors in early Irish genealogies where it was believed that deities founded the greatest of family lines. It’s a belief that may be in tune with the sacral kingships in early and medieval Ireland where we know from the descriptions of kings that their role was primarily ceremonial and that he was a symbol of familial integrity; literal, political and spiritual. In the cases of the greatest kings they may have even symbolized the divine masculine virility that ensured the success of the harvest through a sacred marriage to the land goddess of the area. A king ritually marries a regional goddess immanent in the land and if he is worthy she makes the crops grow, the cattle fertile and healthy and protects the people in the constant battles they faced. But if he is not worthy disaster falls on the people and one early winter or wet summer could bring both famine and plague at once and the family group might die off completely. It was important that a king be worthy prior to the sacred marriage and a test may have been performed using a symbol of the divine ancestor in the Bile trees in the inauguration.
A king involved in the sacral kingship may have been expected to be at least semi divine through descent from the otherworld ancestor. The bile trees themselves might have symbolized the masculine energy of the otherworld ancestor and their use in the inauguration might have indicated a test of ‘worthyness’ took place prior to the Genealogy can change the way we view ourselves and as marriage as a preventative. We could view the standing an expression of historical interest in traditional Irish stone at the Hill of Tara as a bile symbol; it personifies culture, it’s changed how people perceive Irish families the masculine energy of Fergus Mac Roich and folklore for a long time. Apart from the concerns of sacred sites presents it as his penis and encourages women hoping 18 Online Pagans Magazine September October 2010
to conceive to touch the stone, in literature it was also used to test the ‘worthyness’ of High Kings. The Bile tree itself is linked to ancestral deities in early Literature; in the life of Patrick when the saint curses a bile tree and the families’ ancestral deity is sucked into hell. We might speculate that the bile symbols use in the ritual was to test the kings’ divine descent through the otherworld ancestor or the ancestral deity specific to the family group and their territory. If we take that as the case the trees which vary in species might be symbolic of a regional deity and a sacred tree, a Bile tree might in the truest sense be a family tree. Through understanding who our ancestors were, who our ancestral deity and our otherworld ancestors might have been we as neopagans can furnish ourselves with a tree totem linking us to our ancestors, both mortal and divine and the essential masculine energy that kept our people alive long enough to conceive our great great great great great grandparents. And as it might do the same for us maybe it could also continue to function as the secular symbol of familial integrity that it might have been for millennia past.
Stone at Tara. Photo CC http://www.geograph.ie/photo/896698
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Divination: How to Get Advice from Hidden Sources
By Ben Gruagach
ivination is a way of getting information. You ask questions, even very general ones, and then see what sorts of responses come back. The responses might be extremely accurate for you or they might be
completely off. They might make perfect sense. They might be gibberish or so wrong you’d be a fool to heed its advice. But in any case the information you get back can help you to look at your question in a way that might en-
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able you to make a better decision. Regardless what sort of information divination provides the final decisions are always yours. You can’t blame the consequences of your decisions on anyone or anything else because it’s always up to us to decide what to do with the information we have. Even when we think we are forced to do something we are ultimately responsible for deciding to go along. Divination doesn’t decide things for us but rather suggests alternatives.
towards the consequences that we desire.
Where does the information come from in divination? Different people have different explanations although to date none have been conclusively proven. Some believe the information comes from entities in a nonphysical realm, whether they are ghosts of people who have died, angels, demons, elemental spirits, or even deities. Others believe the information comes from within the person who is doing the divination. In this explanation, How you approach divination will have a lot to do with the practitioner is tapping into their own knowledge, your ideas about destiny and free will. Personally, I think perhaps buried in their subconscious, and is drawing it of divination as a way to see time in three-dimensional out through the process of divination. Most divinatory terms rather than just as a straight line. Time, to me, is like symbols can be interpreted in many different ways so the a landscape, and the present is where I am at the moment interpretation given in a particular reading might involve in that landscape. I might be in an open plain, on a hill, significance being applied by the practitioner based on down in a valley, or on the seashore. The future is where what they already know. I will travel through that landscape. The past is the path Some Tarot readers believe the cards that turn up in a behind me where I have already gone. Divination helps reading are not really random but are manipulated to me to get a look around me, looking towards the past turn up so a specific meaning can be expressed. Perhaps as well as the future. I can look to the left, to the right, this is true, but is that guiding force the reader’s own down at the small area right in front of my feet, or off subconscious or is it an external entity? On the other into the distance. Divination lets me see what is around hand maybe particular cards aren’t forced to turn up but but it doesn’t make my decisions for me. It’s still up to rather the reader is influenced to see in random cards the me to decide where to put my feet. Do I stay in one spot meaning whispered to them by spirits, ghosts, or deities. for a while, turn to go a new direction, or perhaps even Or maybe the reader is just seeing the meaning that they spin around and retrace my past from a new perspective? want to see and there’s nothing supernatural about it at Divination could help me see what is directly in front of all. me and help me decide to change my direction completely in order to avoid what I saw. Sometimes that obstacle is From a mechanical viewpoint divination methods that so large in the landscape that it will take a huge amount involve seemingly independent motion of an object such of effort to edge around it without confronting it. Other as a planchette on a Ouija board or a pendulum only work things that I might see as obstacles could be deceptive and when the practitioner has physical contact with them. will turn out to be nothing if I choose to approach them The planchette doesn’t move across the board unless directly. Just like in the physical realm, sometimes we’re in at least one (and usually more than one) person has a a position where our view is blocked by something and finger on it. A pendulum only moves when it’s held in the we need to travel a distance if we want to see around it. person’s hand. Scientists explain that the movement of No matter how you look at ideas like destiny and free will, we always have choices to make. We can always decide to act, or to refrain from acting. Choosing to do nothing is as much a decision as choosing to act. Decisions can be hard to make but they are always there for us. Regardless how empowered we might feel about particular decisions we will always have to live with the consequences of our decisions. It makes sense to try and consciously work with the options we have and make decisions that will bring us these objects is the result of subconscious motions in our hands and arms – twitches so small that we don’t realize we’re actually doing it. When the planchette or pendulum moves scientists say it’s the result of the ideomotor effect. Even though divinatory systems such as the Ouija board and pendulum work by subconscious movements of our own bodies it’s still unproven exactly where the information obtained from these sources originates. Perhaps we really are just telling ourselves things we September October 2010 Online Pagans Magazine 21
already know or at least suspect deep down. Perhaps we’re responding to messages from outside ourselves and are merely allowing that information to express through us. Maybe those sensational horror movies are right: invisible beings really are present and are moving things around! We still don’t know for sure if any of these explanations are correct. Regardless where the information in a reading is coming from it’s wise to always practice safe divinatory techniques. Before you start do whatever magickal or spiritual tricks you feel are necessary to protect yourself. Cast a circle or at least purify and bless your space where you’re going to work. Always ground and center to put yourself in a peaceful state of mind. After you’re done your divination, do another purification or banishing in order to clear the space in case there is anything lingering around that shouldn’t be allowed to remain. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!
more material you will have to interpret. The key detail in a vision might not always be the most obvious item in the scene either. Sometimes the most important symbol is the one that was off to the side, partially hidden by other things, but is most important because it triggers a strong reaction in you. Scrying relies on the practitioner being able to see things clearly with their mind’s eye. Not everyone is able to do this, though, and some are only able to learn how to visualize clearly after a lot of training and practice. Many who practice scrying use physical props such as crystal balls, black mirrors, or bowls of water to assist them in obtaining visions. Some, though, are able to merely close their eyes, relax, and then find visions will come to them. There are other freeform divination methods though which don’t rely as much on having strong visualization skills. For instance, you can often find symbols or omens in random patterns such as cloud formations, the crisscross of tree branches or leaves in vegetation, the way that sand spills across the floor. Tealeaf reading is a well-known method that works this way. First you drink a cup of tea with a few bits of loose tea leaves in your cup, and then when there is just a tiny amount of liquid left you turn the cup upside down on a saucer and rotate the cup a few times before you turn the cup back up to look inside. The tea leaf bits that are clinging in the cup are inspected for any shapes or patterns they might make. Significance is also usually interpreted based on whether the symbol is closer to the bottom or the rim of the cup. The bottom of the cup usually means farther in the future, and closer to the rim means closer to the present time.
There are many ways to perform a divination. No matter what method you use, the key is to use a set of symbols that are meaningful to you. Often this involves studying the symbols that make up the particular system whether they are images on cards or something more abstract such as letters or diagrams. When the symbolism of your divinatory system is so familiar to you that it becomes almost automatic it has a tendency to open up new layers of meaning for interpretation. It’s like learning a language – once you are fluent, you will find it easier to understand what others are saying to you as you no longer struggle over each word or phrase and try to translate it in your head. When you’ve internalized the symbolic language of a particular divination system the surface meanings open No matter what method is used the patterns or symbols up like a blossom and reveal deeper significance. observed are open for a wide variety of interpretations. There are two basic forms of divination: freeform Different cultures associate different meanings for the and structured. Freeform ones include dreams, crystal same symbols. For instance, in some cultures the colour gazing, and observing patterns in random sources such white is considered to be a pure and desirable colour. In as open flames, smoke, tealeaves, or clouds. Structured others, white is associated with death so it is considered ones include systems such as the Tarot, astrology, runes, to be a bad omen. The same goes with interpreting the I-Ching, pendulums, and Ouija. meaning of animals as symbols. Some might see a dog as a faithful companion, a symbol of unconditional Some people find the freeform divination methods suit love and perhaps protection. Others might see a dog them best. Freeform divination such as scrying requires as more threatening, or in some cultures as unclean. In the practitioner to be observant. Messages can come as some cultures snakes are considered to be wise, healing single images or symbols or as complex scenes. The more animals that have the secret of eternal life symbolized by detail you can observe and remember about the vision the their shedding of skin for renewal. Others see snakes as 22 Online Pagans Magazine September October 2010
deceptive, poisonous, and threatening. When doing a divination it’s important to attempt to interpret the symbols in whatever way feels most right to you. What makes sense, especially in the context of the specific question you were pondering for this reading? How do the various symbols in the reading work together to present a message? It often happens that a single symbol, interpreted on its own in a negative way, is actually not really that bad when it’s taken in context with other symbols in the same reading. Look at the whole picture as well as the individual components to get an accurate reading. Freeform divination methods rely on the practitioner being familiar with their own internalized symbolism. They need to be able to explain the meaning of any symbol that comes up. This is one of the reasons why some find more structured forms of divination to be easier as the symbolic language tends to be more formalized and getting a good reading can be more a matter of learning an established symbolic language than figuring out one’s own symbolic grammar and vocabulary. One of the most popular structured divination systems is the Tarot. Tarot decks are designed with specific symbolic meanings encoded in the form of pictures and relationships between the cards. Learning to use the Tarot usually involves the practitioner studying the particular deck they have chosen to use, learning the general meanings of the symbolic images, and internalizing that language so that they can interpret the patterns made by randomly turning up cards. The most popular and influential Tarot deck is undoubtedly the one often called the Rider-Waite or Rider-Waite-Smith deck. This deck was the product of the combined efforts of A. E. Waite and Pamela Coleman Smith, both members of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn in the early 1900s. In 1909 Waite devised the symbolism for the cards and Smith illustrated them, and in 1910 the Rider publishing company began mass-producing the deck. Many subsequent Tarot decks are based on the RiderWaite-Smith deck. There are many other decks that have been designed with other symbolism systems that
Thirteen Tips for Doing Divination
1. Always protect yourself. Use a protective magickal or spiritual technique such as casting a circle (even just visualizing a basic protective circle or shield) before you start! 2. Ground and center. You need to be in a peaceful, observant, and receptive frame of mind to get the messages and hints you seek. 3. Remind yourself that the information you might receive is just advice. Decide for yourself if it is worth heeding or should be ignored. 4. Look for overall patterns. 5. Look at the individual symbols to see how they fit into the overall patterns. 6. Pay attention to anything that seems to jump out at you! Listen to your own gut feelings. Sometimes a symbol might be clear in its meaning to you even though it’s different from the meaning given in a book. 7. Remember that divination only shows us possibilities and what’s likely. We always have a choice and can change our futures through our decisions. The future is not engraved in stone! 8. If you are confused or unsure about specific parts of a divination’s message, ask for clarification. 9. If a divination is completely muddled and makes absolutely no sense then perhaps you’re asking the wrong question, or things are very mixed so there is no clear answer that can be given at this time. Or perhaps you are just not in the right frame of mind to do a divination and should try later. 10. After you are done your divination, always do purification or banishing rituals to clear the space. It’s better to practice safe divination than to suffer through unwanted after-effects! 11. Don’t abuse your divination system. Do you really need to do a divination to help you decide if you should wear the blue or the red shirt today? Treat your divination system with respect and it will be respectful and helpful to you as well. 12. Learn the symbolic language of your chosen divination system. The better you understand how the system is structured, the more easily you will find interpretation becomes. One you’ve mastered the basics it becomes easy to step beyond the basic interpretations. 13. Beware letting your divination success go to your head. An over-inflated ego can turn good readings into worthless readings just like magick!
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differ from the Golden Dawn and hermetic symbolism used in the Rider-Waite-Smith deck. For instance, the Rider-Waite-Smith deck and many of its descendants attribute the suit of wands to the element fire, and the suit of swords to the element of air. Other decks, such as some modern ones created specifically for Wiccan practitioners, attribute the sword to fire and the wand to air. If you compare the Major Arcana cards between decks you’ll also find that it often happens that the cards are numbered differently, or some cards will be completely different between two decks. For instance, in Crowley’s Thoth deck instead of a card called Temperance he has one called Art. Instead of Strength, his card is called Lust. Instead of Judgment he has a card called The Aeon. Other decks include completely different major arcana cards although there are usually a few that are common across most decks. The key to using Tarot successfully is to find a deck that uses symbolism that makes the most sense to you so it’s easier for you to interpret and relate to your own deeper wisdom. In recent times there has been an explosion of other divinatory decks, usually called oracle decks to distinguish them from Tarot, which are based on unique symbol systems or have unique structures not based on Tarot standards. Some of these decks, such as Brian Froud’s “Faery Oracle” deck, are quite beautiful. As with Tarot decks they work best when you understand and feel connected to the symbolism embodied in the particular deck. Other structured divinatory systems include things such as runes and the I-Ching. Runes are literally letters of an alphabet, although in divinatory methods each letter has specific meanings and is interpreted singly as well as in patterns with other runes nearby. A practitioner could just pull out a sequence of rune stones or cards and see what words or phrases are spelled out, but it’s much more common to look at each rune as meaningful on its own rather than as just one letter in a word or phrase. Sometimes runes are cast like one would throw dice in a game, and the rune symbols interpreted based on the configurations they form, how close or far they might be to the reader, and whether they are displayed upright, sideways, or inverted. You can also draw diagrams such as the astrological wheel and then toss the rune stones onto it, and interpret the meanings based on which rune falls in which house of the wheel. 24 Online Pagans Magazine September October 2010
The I-Ching is a Chinese divinatory system based on the concepts of yin and yang, complementary opposites in a binary system. It’s often performed using three coins that are flipped to produce four possible outcomes: a yin line, a yang line, a moving yin line, or a moving yang line. Three of these lines combined form a trigram with one of eight possible interpretations. Two trigrams are put together to form a hexagram, which has one of sixty-four possible meanings produced by combining the trigram meanings. Moving lines are special in that they are to be read in two ways, so a hexagram that has any moving lines actually has two different configurations, and therefore two sets of meanings that combine for a more complex reading. Each moving line in a hexagram also has specific modifying interpretations that add to the significance of the reading. The I-Ching is such a complex system that it would take a lot of study to memorize all the meanings for the trigrams, hexagrams, and the six moving line meanings for each of the sixty-four hexagrams. Most modern practitioners keep an I-Ching book handy to look up interpretations rather than rely on memory. It’s much easier to study other structured divination forms, such as runes or the Tarot, and get to the point where you can do readings without having to refer to a book for interpretations. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons why the Tarot and runes are much more popular among modern practitioners than systems like the I-Ching which require looking things up in a reference book. Divination, however you choose to practice it, can be a valuable tool for insight and decision-making. It exercises our ability to look at alternatives. It opens up possibilities for us. If we approach divination in a balanced way and see it as providing possibilities rather than destined outcomes it can be a positive part of a magickal spiritual path.
Suggested Resources for Learning More
http://skepdic.com/ideomotor.html An explanation of the ideomotor effect behind the Ouija board and the pendulum methods of divination. http://www.aeclectic.net/tarot/ Probably the best Tarot site on the web. Includes reviews and sample cards for hundreds of decks. Great for helping you decide which deck to buy! http://www.facade.com/ One of the first websites to provide information and free online readings using a variety of divination systems including runes, Tarot, I-Ching, and more. The site is a bit slow sometimes but the information is good. http://www.tarahill.com/runes/index.html The Runic Journey: explores the history, meaning, and use of Norse runes.
“Zolar’s Encyclopedia of Ancient and Forbidden Knowledge” by Zolar (Arco Publishing Inc., New York: 1984.) This book is a solid introduction to occultism including various divination techniques such as numerology, astrology, and scrying. “Complete Illustrated Guide to Tarot” by Rachel Pollack (Element Books, London UK: 2001.) This book presents a good overview of the Tarot, its history, how it is structured, and shows lots of example cards from various decks. Those wishing to learn more about how to use the Tarot for divination will need to read more that just this “Rune Magic” by Nigel Pennick (Aquarian Press, London one book. UK: 1992.) Explores the history and use of runes in a magickal context. Includes lots of good how-to “Tarot for Your Self ” by Mary K. Greer (Newcastle instructions and exercises. Publishing Co., North Hollywood CA USA: 1984.) This is my favourite in-depth manual for learning how to use “Buckland’s Book of Spirit Communication” by the Tarot as a divination tool. Raymond Buckland (Llewellyn, St. Paul MN USA: 2004.) Everything you ever wanted to know about contacting “I Ching” by Sam Reifler (Bantam Books, New York the hidden realms. Includes good information on using USA:1974.) Reifler’s interpretation is my favourite methods such as the Ouija board and pendulum as well as version of the I Ching meanings. Explains everything in more direct-contact methods associated with traditional a straightforward and yet poetic way. psychic mediums.
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Mother Goddess photo CC http://www.flickr.com/photos/subharnab/2937263311
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A Guarded Secret
By Sunil Narayan Īshwar and his lover saved Bhūmī-Devī from persecution, thus the many arts of mankind blossomed like the mallikā Everywhere the delightful scent of Svargáloka encircled the minds of unimaginative men and women Thrusting them into a fantasy of a guarded jungle with celestial flowers and rivers endlessly flowing towards the sunset! Blue butterflies follow the trails never taking a moment to rest While the selflesss Parinirvivapsā-Devī will offer a tender touch to any one who asks, her abundant hair began to fall to the grassy floor No one knew about this humble maiden who kept two isolated lovers alive for many years She was stricken by a dreadful abandonment It is the thorny fate all women run away from One warm night, a small bhūruha containing the heart of the divine muse dropped onto the bank She grabbed it before the hovering balíbhuj could swoop down It was the fire that consumed Īshwar and Parīkṣit during their lovemaking Too hot and heavy to hold when fresh but glistening and light when cool As she lost herself in admiring the pearl, its surface changed from white to deep red Parinirvivapsā-Devī turned away from Rajanīpati-Devá, hiding her treasure with kuṅkumam palms for no one can take away what is rightfully hers! She had no diamonds or turquoise jewelry yet Rajanīpati-Devá is bedecked with nīlagandhika pādakilikās and maṇícīras Śatárūpa-Devī’s gift to her shall be hidden in the soil so no one can find it! The next morning Parinirvivapsā-Devī saw a woman clothed in a light yellow śāṭī in the forest inhaling the mixture of campakas, bakulas and mādhavīlatās She carried a basket of yellow kundamālā though did September October 2010 Online Pagans Magazine 27
not speak Her eyes were two blue pools reflecting the majestic Candrá-Devá Hidden by a yearning for love in the form of deep pink satin The ethereal seer’s skin as white as the yuthikā had no scars It was adorned with māṇikyamaya armlets and necklaces of yellow, orange and white! The hair woven tightly was covered by long strands of mālatī On each wrist a prāvṛṣya bracelet sparkled under Sūrya-Devá No parāgas were worn though the śāṭī covered her feet She walked from one mākanda tree to another, her dress fresh as if it were just bought at the market! Her long neck lengthened to capture the scent of fragrant orange flowers She is a perfect jewel unknown to mankind yet loved by the Divine! A secret pearl offered to a miserable woman as a gift for showing compassion towards the son of Sarasvatī-Devī Parinirvivapsā-Devī’s daughter looked at her for a few minutes In her mind she heard the name “Ouimi” Sounds can be rubies crushed by hammers but to her they were the jingling of maṇíguṇanikara When she awoke from a nightmare she heard the calming name “Ouimi” from the rāgitarus A lost spirit whispering her name She seems so far away like the golden rājabhavanam of Mahādevī Unreachable by a small being such as an earthly creature A tired devī touched her tummy, surprised by a life forming inside She was left wondering how such a miracle could befall her For many months her belly swelled while the mādhavīlatās continued to multiply It was the least a celestial plant could do for a generous friend When Ouimi saw her mother for the first time she gazed at her with sincere gratitude The varṣártu grew more violent yet no rain drop 28 Online Pagans Magazine September October 2010
touched the radiant face of a newborn child Sāvitrī-Devī blessed the loving nourisher with an oracle inside a red jewel By instinct Parinirvivapsā-Devī buried it near her resting spot It is where Sāvitrī-Devī dug it up and pushed inside the motherless āryan’s mind while she slept To mankind a gift is an oracle who can guide them to righteousness, though to a woman a child is all she wants She can wear the most luxurious garments and still feel empty if there is no one to share them with A child is her pricelesss treasure for each moment is more valuable than a parihārya or parihāṭaka set with bhārgavakas Collecting mālatī off of vines that cover marble sculptures is the enchanting Ouimi’s favorite activity The smile of each one belongs to Lakṣmī-Devī She touches the hard lips to feel the expanding warmth It has an alluring scent that rubs against her cheeks to give a permanent perfume! Every day a blissful mother laughs with her daughter till Sóma-Devá awakens from his needed rest It is the sound of a dundubhí echoing through the minds of all mortals, devás and devīs When the rain hits the ground hard these creatures hide under the branches The giggling of Ouimi helps them to endure the temper of Índra-Devá Ouimi has no reason to be angry since she sits on the vájratulya laden chair of Bhūdevī A fortunate fate she received when her mother and Bhūdevī became sisters The comfortable lap of a selfless mother is what Ouimi will ask for in every afterlife Nothing to her but the unlimited grace of a mother matters
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A Mage Alone: Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants
By Toriach and hard to fathom than a VCR. Not to say that it was boring, but rather than the whole tone was one of absolute certainty in the reality, the concreteness of what was being written about. That feeling of certainty was ny of us who have embraced the Pagan path owe inspiring for a nascent Mage who was still unsure as to much of the foundation of our practice to an whether or not Magick was really real, or if it was all just Elder. While this would be viewed as axiomatic my mind playing tricks on me. for one who is involved in a group practice, it is equally true for those of us who fall under the label of “Solitary.” Never having been content to merely follow the paths trod I cannot speak for others, but for myself, I owe my pres- by others, I began to blaze my own. Or so I thought. Every ence in the world of Magick first and foremost to one person. Scott Cunningham. Today I identify more with Quantum Theory, and Chaos Magick than with the Wicca derived system that Cunningham wrote about in his book, Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner. However if it had not been for that book I suspect I would have assumed that one could only practice Magick properly as part of a group and would have quickly gotten discouraged and given up. (As I shall discuss in a future installment I am really really not a group activity sort of person) Not long after I discovered Donald Michael Kraig and his original version of Modern Magick: Eleven Lessons in the High Magickal Arts it filled my head with notions of casting circles, and calling spirits. But more than that I got a sense of how solid, how real it all can be. There was something about Kraig’s writing style that made me feel as if what was being written about was no more sinister 30 Online Pagans Magazine September October 2010 If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants. - Isaac Newton, Letter to Robert Hooke, February 5, 1675
time I would start to think that I was truly “Boldly going that one feels that only the most churlish could continue where no one had gone before” I would discover that I to dismiss the possibility of Magick’s reality out of hand. was actually just catching up to where some of the real trailblazers had already been. There have been other influences on my beliefs and practices as well. Kerr Culhain’s Full Contact Magic, and One of the most memorable of those was Isaac Bonewits. Oberon Ravenheart Zell’s The Grimoire For The Apprentice I had not had the pleasure of reading his best known Wizard are two of my favorites. work Real Magic until very recently, but even so I have come across ideas taken from it, everywhere my explora- There have been many more, and will be still more to tions have taken me. Some have taken from his work come I’m sure. reverentially making sure we all know who the original source is, others trying to pass his work off as their own, If there is one common thread tying all of these people and a few seeming to reference Isaac’s work only to attogether, it is that all of them seem to stress that nothtempt to tear it down ing should be taken as true simply because they say so. Rather that the practitioner should use their own reason As I moved on I began to walk down a path that original- and experience and not substitute the reason and experily I had been both derisive and afraid of. That of Chaos ence of another. Magick. What I had seen originally of Chaos magicians was not inspiring. They mostly seemed like a bunch of This, is the idea that is at the core of my Magick and my contemptuous snots who delighted in pissing all over spirituality. anyone who dared to have a formalized belief system. Even while I did not care for formalized beliefs myself I did not think much to the haughty tone that many of To all those that have inspired and informed my beliefs them seemed to affect. Then I found the writing of Phil and practices, I thank you for your broad shoulders, and Hine. I’ve not yet added his two best known works Prime I hope that some day my own might serve as a fitting Chaos, or Condensed Chaos to my library, but they will be place for others to stand to see a little farther still. added soon. One of the things that stuck with me was the intelligent and respectful tone of Hine’s work. A sense Peace that he didn’t speak with contempt, but rather respect And for what had gone before, while pursuing a burning need Long to move forward and discover what lay ahead. Also much Life like Kraig, Hine talks so matter-of-factly about Magick, Toriach September October 2010 Online Pagans Magazine 31
Image CC http://www.flickr.com/photos/guitavares/4099346341/
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Psychomanteums and Magick Mirrors
By Ben Gruagach “Mirror, Mirror, on the wall, Who’s the fairest of them all?” - Snow White’s wicked stepmother If you stand in a bathroom at night with a lit candle in your hand, look in the mirror and say “Bloody Mary” three times, you’ll see the ghost of a murdered woman behind you in the mirror. - urban legend experience as one where the viewer’s own reflection appears to change into the face of someone else entirely, which then communicates as an independent being with the viewer. Regardless which method happens for you it is a rather remarkable experience when it occurs.
One way to make a special mirror to be used for magick is to purchase or make a nice picture-frame the size you want to use for the mirror. The only thing that is required is that the frame must have glass in it to provide irrors and reflective surfaces have been used in a reflective surface. Then instead of a picture put a sheet magick for a long time. Staring at a reflective of black paper or a piece of black cloth (velvet works well) surface, whether a pool of liquid, the surface of in the frame. Some people choose to paint the back of a polished stone, or into a glass object has been a way the glass black instead of using black paper or cloth. to induce a prophetic state and encourage visions for as Once the mirror is created, keep it covered except for long as people have been practicing magick. when you want to use it for magick. You can charge it In ancient Greece and Rome, reflective surfaces such by uncovering it and bathing it in the light of the moon. as pools or basins of liquid were placed in darkened The light of a full moon is best of all, of course. You rooms where those with questions could go to consult can also charge your mirror by gently washing the surface with the spirits of dead ancestors, planetary forces, or with a specially prepared potion. Franz Bardon’s “fluid even Goddesses and Gods. Eventually pools of liquid condensers” are one popular substance used to charge were replaced with mirrors. These special mirrors were magick mirrors. Sometimes these potions are gently sometimes called psychomanteums, a term that has been painted on the back of the mirror, or are soaked into a revived in recent times in New Age groups along with piece of cotton or blotting paper which it then attached the practice of mirror-gazing as a way of contacting spirits to the back of the mirror. There are lots of creative ways of the dead. Modern practitioners such as Dr. Raymond to use charged substances to impart their power to a mirMoody and Dr. Irene Blinston have focused on using the ror. psychomanteum for therapeutic grieving. Scrying and mirror-gazing, though, has been practiced pretty much uninterrupted for a long time. To use the mirror, put it in a place where you can sit or stand comfortably and see your own face reflected. It’s best to do this at night in a room that is as dark as you can make it. There should be a very small amount of light present; I find a single candle (a small votive in a glass container) works best.
Some find that gazing at a reflective surface triggers an altered state of consciousness where images can be perceived. Others, most notably Carroll “Poke” Runyon in his book “The Book of Solomon’s Magick,” describe the
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Some people find that holding the lit candle in their hands while they stand or sit before the mirror works well. I’ve tried that way and didn’t have much luck. Instead I put the candle behind me, on the floor, and have had some amazing results! If one way doesn’t work for you be sure to try the other.
in the room, behind me, it was very dark but there was just enough light so that I could see my own face in the mirror. I stood there, breathing deeply, and waited. As I gazed at the mirror it only took a few minutes, maybe five or ten at the most, before I discovered I wasn’t looking at my own face anymore but the face of an older man, a man in his prime, with a full dark beard! I’m clean-shaven with light reddish-blond hair, and this face was also a bit broader than my own so the change was quite significant. I asked the man a favour and he nodded. I was so surprised by the vividness of it all that I didn’t think to ask any real questions. I didn’t try to drag out the experience at all but thanked him for coming, and then bowed my head, turned and blew out the candle, and turned on the bathroom light. Some other recommendations I’ve read about using the magick mirror say that it works best if you go into the experience with a specific question in mind, or the name of a specific departed person, entity, or deity you wish to contact. Apparently it helps to start by calling out to the person you wish to speak with, and if someone else appears ask if they can get the right person for you. And once you’ve got someone to speak with, be polite in asking your questions, and listen carefully to the answers.
Before experimenting with a magick mirror it’s a good idea to do some basic protection tricks like taking a moment to ground and centre, perhaps Image CC http://www.flickr.com/photos/alexkon/229950288/ putting on some protective jewelry or anointing yourself with a protective oil. Burning protective incense won’t hurt either. And if My most recent experience (which was so successful it you feel uncomfortable with what is happening, draw a was startling) happened using the regular old bathroom pentagram in the air with your finger or with an athame mirror late one night, with a single votive candle lit and or wand, visualize it as a flaming star, and command placed on the floor behind me. With just the one candle 34 Online Pagans Magazine September October 2010
the spirits to do no harm. If you feel there are less than helpful spirits present then draw multiple flaming pentagrams and command them to leave. You could even do a full-fledged circle casting before doing mirror work if you feel it is appropriate. I would recommend that the mirror be placed outside of your protective magick circle for maximum safety.
Psychomanteum entry at http://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/Psychomanteum Dr. Irene Blinston’s website, http://www.blinston.com/ Psychomanteum/index.html
As you become more proficient with mirror work, you might find it helpful to devise a regular evoking rhyme Dr. Raymond Moody’s website, http://www.lifeafterlife. to start it off, to get you quickly in the appropriate mood. com/ Here’s one that I use: Scott, Tim “Who Was Franz Bardon?” article found on the web at a number of sites, including “Mirror, mirror, clear and true, http://angelmessages.paradisenow.net/bardon_s_ Show me what I ask of you.” books.html#Franz_Bardon’s_Biography This article includes a recipe for one of Bardon’s “fluid condensers” Mirror work can be quite moving and significant. It’s used to charge magick mirrors. more than just a fairy-tale plot device. It’s a real and very effective magickal tool. If you use it with determination it can provide a helpful channel for advice and personal Sherwood, Simon J. “A Comparison Of The Features Of Psychomanteum And Hypnagogic/Hypnopompic Expehealing. riences,” in The Journal of Parapsychology, September 2000 issue. Runyon, Carroll “Poke” “The Book of Solomon’s Magick,” Church of the Hermetic Science Inc., 1996. ISBN 096548811X. This book presents some very useful instructions regarding scrying with mirrors. Zolar, “Zolar’s Encyclopedia of Ancient and Forbidden Knowledge,” Arco Publishing Inc. New York: 1970. ISBN 0-668-05894-3. The chapter “Using the Magic Mirror” is especially helpful.
September October 2010 Online Pagans Magazine 35
Mdvanii Stirs Her Lover’s Desire!
By Sunil Narayan The designers of Paris say Mdvanii is an immortal muse who lives in the heart of every artist From her chair she imparts ideas to a grand couturier expecting nothing in return Sitting on a silk seat containing the feathers of Zeús’ eagle The legs made from the crushed material of diamonds She sees her master in all directions, a large man standing proudly Yet, is trapped in a luxurious home with no one to keep her company How can an emotional lady survive this arduous life? Her enlarged heart and sophisticated walk enchanted the socialites of the city Now, the reality of Mdvanii is a preserved muse for a demanding couturier She looks upwards to see lust and creativity colliding From such a powerful fight pearls strung with gold fall into her hands A meager compensation for a sumptuous lady! She sighs before changing into her evening dress The spring season once blossomed like her marigolds Surprising all who lounged at the saloons As if Gaïa was splashed with the color of the forest trees! In the corner of her room a closet with shelves perfectly lined with shoes made from colors of the rainbow Pink, blue, red, orange and yellow! Each day she picks a pair to match her silk gloves A string of pearls to tie around her waist, gold bracelets to place on her light wrists, and moonstone pins to hold her thick hair in a chignon A refined lady has choices, choices and choices! Twenty evening dresses made for the Queen of Norway hang from the hooks They’re waterfalls of creamy colors from the Amazon jungles For each one gold thread was sewn into the fabric to form a blossoming magnolia As she puts on her heels Charles wraps a silk shawl made of crushed rose quartz around her supple body He adorns her smooth neck with a ruby necklace so long it rests between her breasts She barely notices this sweet gesture while applying pink blush Her eyes in the shape of the waning Selēnē are lost in serenity A man who drinks to squash his guilt must continue to lavish his goddess with pieces befitting the Queen of the Universe! Gemstones smuggled from India are crushed into light powder He sprinkles it onto white strips of cloth then smoothes it out 36 Online Pagans Magazine September October 2010
Image CC http://www.flickr.com/photos/parisbeyrouth/4771387154/
Although, a doubt pricks his mind, making him feel guilty for doing a cruel deed His clients knock on the rotting door of his studio demanding their garments Charles shoos them away as if they are wandering beggars His mind fixated on a refined woman entrapped in his heart He gives her potent lust to taste yet Mdvanii rejects it What seems to be the magnificence of couturier is in fact Mdvanii! She runs along his arms tickling him With one hand the resplendent muse blows blue petals into his mind To her surprise the wind snatches her white hat snickering in delight Mdvanii’s eyes turn red with bubbling anger She’s a cat ready to pounce a taunting mouse! On his sewing table a large red gemstone manifests Cut in the shape of a tulip, its sharp edge is hardly noticeable Passion gives it color for which Charles fixates on He rubs the edge unaware of blood sliding down the treasure Mdvanii plays her games without giving a reason She is a muse of few words but her actions have a language of their own Charles will never see her inner world for he was devoured by his own
September October 2010 Online Pagans Magazine 37
An Interview With Raven Grimassi
By Ben Gruagach
aven Grimassi was born in 1951 and is the author of many books on Wicca and witchcraft. His book “The Wiccan Mysteries” was awarded Book of the Year and First Place Spirituality Book by the Coalition of Visionary Retailers in 1998. More recent books include “Crafting Wiccan Traditions: Creating a Foundation for Your Spiritual Beliefs & Practices” and “The Cauldron of Memory: Retrieving Ancestral Knowledge & Wisdom.” Other books by Raven include “Italian Witchcraft,” “Hereditary Witchcraft,” “Spirit of the Witch,” “Wiccan Magick,” “The Well Worn Path” and its companion “The Hidden Path” book and deck sets, as well as many others. Raven and his wife Stephanie also give workshops and talks at Pagan festivals as well as providing training through correspondence and in-person courses. Check the websites at http://www. ravengrimassi.net, http://www.collegeofthecrossroads. org/ and http://www.ravensloft.biz/ for details. Q: In your autobiographical entry in your “Encyclopedia of Wicca & Witchcraft” you talk about coming from an Italian family witchcraft tradition. What is it Q: Did all of your Italian side of the family practice like learning witchcraft from family members? witchcraft? It is probably like growing up in any religion, whether one is raised a Catholic, Methodist, Jew, or whatever. Your parents teach you what they believe. It is easier when you are young, but as you get older, well, then you ask questions and you question things in general. I think some parents are better at handling that than others are. In my teens I explored other belief systems, and for a while I was involved in Eastern mysticism. But I always came back to the Old Ways. The one thing that was different growing up, compared to my friends and their religious belief, is that I was not at liberty to talk about the Old Ways. Catholicism was the veneer for me for many years. 38 Online Pagans Magazine September October 2010 No, there were also many actual Catholics on that side. Q: Did family members encourage or discourage you from exploring witchcraft? No, it was all just part of the way things were. I think the main opposition was, and is, my being public about it. Q: You’ve taught witchcraft for over thirty years. What changes have you observed in that time?
It is more widespread, of course, but many of its modern branches have become something different in many ways from what I would call Witchcraft. There appears to be a contrast between the Witchcraft I was taught and what I encounter in various places today. Primarily what I see today is a Witchcraft stripped of its previous religious elements and isolated as merely a practice of sorcery. Q: Are students today much different from those you taught decades ago?
I am proud of that. I think my encyclopedia is a good resource book, and I like to think it is helpful to our community in that regard. I like Spirit of the Witch because it was a departure for me from writing dry quasi-academic books. I tried to write in a more personal way. Q: Which one seems to have touched the most people?
Most of the positive feedback I receive comes from readers of the Spirit of the Witch. I think this book hit a Yes they are very different. There are fewer who are will- spiritual cord, which is what I hoped for. It is odd being a ing to do the hard work of mastering the Craft. I think a writer, because for me I spend a lot of time sitting in my lot of people today want to pick and choose rather than study and writing. My manuscripts go out and become commit to an established training program, or even a way books and I often wonder what good they do anyone. of doing things. They tend not to complete what training Critics are more vocal than supporters, and so many authey will even allow their teachers to establish, and they thors tend to hear more negative than positive feedback seem to want instant results with little if any personal ef- (and I think this happens more to writers of our genre). fort. Today out of a starting class of thirty-five students, Therefore positive reader mail helps authors to keep goon the average ten will remain to begin serious training ing. I also get a fair amount of mail from readers of my and of those, four will follow through (and one will go Italian Witchcraft books. They express appreciation that on to teach the system to others). In the late sixties and a book exists for them as people of southern European early seventies this was almost unheard of in Craft circles. descent. It is a great feeling to know that my work can make a difference in a positive way. Q: Are the topics you teach much different? Q: What publishing projects are you working on What I teach is the same traditional material but it is much now? more organized and is intentionally designed to be more interesting (compared to the way I was taught). What is I am currently putting the finishing touches on my comdifferent today is that students do not want to learn it all. pilation of the works of Charles Leland. This book has They want to pick, and they seem to resent the suggestion been many years in the making and will likely come out that by studying areas that might not appear interesting at in the autumn of 2011. What I have done is to take all of first glance they can discover greater vistas. I try and liken Leland’s books on Witchcraft and extract the important the process to going to college and taking the required chapters. I then present them with my own commentaries courses as well as those that are of particular interest. along with supporting evidence from literary and folkloric sources that demonstrate the authenticity of Leland’s Q: You’ve written quite a few books on witchcraft: writings in this field. I also include excerpts from Leland’s the award-winning “Wiccan Mysteries,” “Spirit of personal journal along with letters of correspondence (all the Witch,” “Italian Witchcraft,” “Hereditary Witch- of which reveal his dealings in the field of Witchcraft). craft,” “Encyclopedia of Wicca & Witchcraft” as I think that what I can now present will shock many of Leland’s critics and take a great deal of wind out of their well as others. Which one is your favorite? sails. I believe this will be true for my critics as well. I do not really have a favorite per se, and I like the books for different reasons. Wiccan Mysteries was my first Q: Do you think Leland’s work is getting more attensuccessful book in terms of the amount of copies sold, tion today compared to the past? which I regard as a sign the book was well received. So September October 2010 Online Pagans Magazine 39
Q: Like other authors, you’ve come under criticism for some of your work. How have you dealt with that? In the beginning not so well. But with maturity I have come to regard criticism of my work as the indications of how people misunderstand what I put forward in my writings. And sometimes it’s an indication of how people intentionally misrepresent my work. But in any case my critics inspire me to try and become a better communicator and researcher. Over the years I have come to an appreciation that the critics believe they are doing a service through their disagreements, and I think it’s true that by looking at both sides of an issue we can better discern a work and its value. Q: Tell us about your work with the College of the Crossroads. You’re also a member of the Grey Council (which runs Oberon Zell-Ravenheart’s online Grey School of Wizardry.) Are these your first forays into online or correspondence courses?
It is something I did back in the nineteen-eighties as well, so no it is not my first venture. But I do believe that the College of the Crossroads and the Grey School are posiYes, I do believe that his work is more widely known tive ways for people to work with experienced and trained and discussed today. He was quite a controversial figure, teachers. As an author who travels the U.S. a fair amount, and I suppose he still is. Part of the interest in Leland I can say that there are a lot of isolated people who have is because his work is earlier than Gardner’s, and some no local teachers available to them. I believe that online of Leland’s writings appear in Gardnerian material. The and correspondence courses are extremely valuable to classic Charge of the Goddess, for example, contains a such individuals. paragraph that is only slightly altered from the way it read in Leland’s book on Aradia. Leland was among the first The idea for the College of the Crossroads came to me to make direct contact with people who claimed to be while doing some research. I ran across this quote: Witches, and to write from their perspective. Q: Would you recommend Leland’s work to those who wish to learn more about witchcraft today? No, not as a means of learning about Witchcraft. However I do recommend his books to people who are well read on the topic in general. His work is important but it needs to be understood more between the lines and also within the context of Witches fighting back against persecution and oppression. I never recommend Leland to beginners. “The Lares are friendly gods, without prejudices. About their altars on the cross-roads they collect all the vagabonds, all those who have no family, no hearth, no worship of their own. Their humble devotess combine to celebrate their feasts as best they can, forming Colleges of the Cross-roads, collegia compitalica…History being wholly aristocratic and political, hardley noticed them. For they lived outside history, so to speak, content to be alive under a sunny sky, on a land which they loved. They needed no more than a few very simple ideas inherited from their forefathers and a few homely rites to give them confidence and joy. A loyal, courageous race, feeling no dread in the presence of the unknown and, at bottom, not really caring much about it, when the thoughts and fancies of the Mediterranean came
40 Online Pagans Magazine September October 2010
Raven and Stephanie in “The Well Worn Path” deck
pouring in they kept alive the original conceptions and religious acts of the first masters of the Italian soil” - Albert Grenier, The Roman Spirit in Religion, Thought, and Art This text made me think of how ancient Witches were said to have gathered at the crossroads, and how they were rejected from society. This, coupled with the fact that the ancient Greeks placed Witches in the category of wandering vagabonds, presented me with a vision for a modern day College of the Crossroads. It was founded in 2003 by me and co-director Stephanie Taylor, who later became my wife.
dealing with the American Indians. I think our greatest challenge is an alliance of the tribes. Until we can respect each other and support each other, we can never expect outsiders to ever grant us acceptance. Q: What advice would you give to those starting out on the path exploring witchcraft and Wicca?
Read and discuss as much as you can, and learn both sides of any debate related to the Craft. Know that no mystery is closed to an open mind. So be open-minded, but not so open-minded that your brains fall out. Also, consider that both tradition and individuality can exist The College was originally located on approximately four in harmony, and that both are valuable. Therefore be acres of secluded property in a rural area of southern open to both old and new ideas. California, but we are now in transition and looking for a new location. We currently offer a full online curricuQ: What advice would you give to elders in the witchlum of study in Witchcraft. Our courses focus on the craft and Wiccan community today? ancient roots of Witchcraft that preexist the origins of modern Witchcraft and Wicca. The curriculum includes techniques for self-empowerment, Nature veneration, Ironically my advice is pretty much the same I gave to ritual & magical arts, and the study of authentic forms beginners in reply to the last question. I can add that it of the associated occult arts. Each course offered by the is important to understand that today is not like yesterCollege of the Crossroads includes a certificate of com- day. We live and work now with tribes that have changed pletion, and a certificate of appreciation for supporting from the days of traditional values. Therefore, do what the school. More information is available on our website: you do because you feel called to do it. Do it because it is your true passion. Do not expect support or a reward of http://www.collegeofthecrossroads.org/ any kind. Do not allow yourself to become discouraged by the absence of signs of appreciation for the sacrifice Q: What do you hope the Wiccan and witchcraft comof time and effort on your part for the benefit of others. munity will look like in the future? Come to the realization that you do your work not for rewards or recognition. You do it because the work needs I am about to reveal myself as a dreamer by saying that I to be done and it has come to your hands to carry it on. hope to live long enough to see us united by the things we hold in common and not divided by the things that make us unique. I hope for a people who are not feared and misunderstood. I hope we nourish our roots and care for the new growth. Without deep roots we wither and die in time. Without new growth there will be no seeds for the future. Q: What do you see as our greatest challenges in attaining this future? The ancient Romans knew that to conquer a people you need only keep them divided and encourage their hatred of one another. The U.S. cavalry knew this as well when September October 2010 Online Pagans Magazine 41
Of Dates and Deities
By Mystic Fool
May (Maius). Being a month of hard work in the fields in preparation of the harvest to follow, this month was assoMONTHS ciated with the underworld during which the festival of LEMURIA (dedicated to the dead) was celebrated. The January (Ianuarius). The Roman month of Januarius de- houses were purified of evil spirits during this month, rived its name from the God of beginnings and endings considered to be unlucky. There is a possibility that this JANUS. Being the God of gates and doors (ianua), the month is named after MAIA, the Goddess of growth deity was represented by a double-faced head, each face and bounty. looking in opposite direction. It makes sense to name the first month after Janus as this God symbolizes a year June (Iunius). This month is dedicated to the patron that has gone by and the beginning of a new one. Janu- Goddess of Rome, JUNO (the Greek Goddess Hera), ary, in a figurative sense, is the doorway to the new year protector and special counselor of the state. She is the ahead of us. The Romans worshipped Janus at the begin- daughter of Satrun and sister / wife of Jupiter. She is also ning of important events such as harvest time, planting, the mother of Mars, Minerva and Vulcan. An important marriage and birth. Ironically, Jannarius was the elev- festival, called Vestalia, was celebrated in June to honor enth month in the Roman Calendar and not the first. Vesta, the goddess of the hearth, home and family. February (Februarius). The Romans adopted the worship of the God of the underworld and purification, 42 Online Pagans Magazine September October 2010
very day millions of people throughout the world honor the Ancient Deities unconsciously and keep alive a millennial tradition just by writing down the date. In the fast track world that we live in, few have the time to think and ponder upon the meaning of things. We lack the commodity of time to stop and reason for ourselves what January means and where it originated from. Hopefully, we all know that January is the first month of the year …..but what does the name stand for and was it always like that? In this article I will be giving brief information on the names of the calendar months and days of the week. As you are aware, the world did not always use the present system, introduced by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582, and hence known as the Gregorian Calendar. Different methodologies were applied throughout the world, reflecting the knowledge and the needs of the different populations, but as the continents drew nearer to each other, through travel and commerce, a single civil calendar was adopted. In spite of being introduced by a Roman Catholic Pontiff, the present calendar adopted the names used by the Roman Empire and hence it reflects many a pagan theme.
FEBRUUS, from their predecessors – the Etruscans. A festival of purification, called Februa, was celebrated in Rome during this particular month. March (Martius). Romulus named the first month of the Roman year after MARS, the God of War and protector of crops and fields. The military campaign season was inaugurated in this month of renewal. On the first day of March, wives were given presents by their husbands in a tradition called Matronalia. April (Aprilis). The etymology of the word is uncertain. Whilst Ovid associates April with APHRODITE (Venus), others are of the opinion that April derives from the word APRIRE (to open), since this was the month in which flowers and fruits blossomed. During this month several agriculture festivals were celebrated, amongst which Cerialia, Vinalia and Robigalia. Another important festival, Floralia, was celebrated in honor of Flora, the Goddess of vegetation and flowers.
Ancient Roman calendar. Image CC http://www.flickr.com/photos/snickclunk/675597785/
July (Julius). Formerly known as Quintilis, meaning the October (Octobres). This was the eight month of the fifth month, it was renamed after JULIUS Ceaser, as this year, thus OCTO. October marked the end of the war was the month of his birth. campaign season which had begun in March and ceremonies in honor of Mars were preformed. October August (Augustus). Named after AUGUSTUS, the sixth is also associated with viniculture because this was the right time for the vintage. month of the Roman year was a time of harvest. September (Septembre). The name derives from the number SEVEN, because this month was the seventh in the old Roman Calendar. Being a time of repose after the harvest, during this month, the Romans organized games known as the Ludi Romani. November (Novembres). Like the months before it, its name derives from a number (NOVE), being the ninth month of the year. Circus games were performed from the 4th till the 17th of the month. December (Decembres). In TENth month of the Roman Calendar many festivals were celebrated, amongst September October 2010 Online Pagans Magazine 43
of which Saturnalia, in honor of the God Saturn, and a God Mercury – God of trade and profit, patron of travcelebration in honor of the Bona Dea (Good Goddess). elers and merchants) Thursday (Giovedi) – Dies Jovis (Day of the God Jupiter / Jove) DAYS OF THE WEEK Friday (Venerdi) – Dies Veneris (Day of the Goddess Venus – Roman Goddess of love and beauty) Sunday (Dies Solis). The Romans named this day after Saturday (Sabato) – Dies Saturni (Day of the God Satthe Sun, thus Sun’s Day, symbolizing the God. Another urn) name for Dies Solis was Dominica, meaning the Day of God.
Monday (Monandaeg). A word of Anglo-Saxon origin The calendar can help us in expanding our knowlmeaning the Moon’s Day, symbolizing the Goddess. edge about different Dieties. It would be a very interesting exercise if each month we did some research on Tuesday (Tyr). The third day of the week is named after the God / Goddess after which that particular month the Norse God, Tyr – God of combat, victory and heroic is named and the festivals of worship associated with glory. the deities. Where the months do not represent Deities, we can look up information on Gods / GoddessWednesday (Woden). The fourth day is named after es represented in the names of the days of the week. the God of War and chief God Woden. Orginally worshiped by the ancient Germanic people under the name Example : of Wodan, he was known as Woden or Wotan to the January – Janus Saxons and later Odin to the Norse. February – Februus March - Mars Thursday (Thor). The Norse God of Thunder, Thor, April – Aphrodite / Venus gives his name to fifth day of the week. May - Maia June - Juno Friday (Frigg). The sixth day is named for the Norse God- July – Tyr (representing Tuesday) dess Frigg. The wife of Odin, is the Goddess of love and August – Odin and Mercury (Wednesday) fertility and patron of marriage and motherhood. Frigg September – Thor and Jupiter (Thursday) shares a similarity with the Goddess Freya, who might be October – Frigg / Freya (Friday) the same deity worshiped under a different name. November – Saturn (Saturday) December – Sol Saturday (Sater). The last day of the week is named after the God of agriculture Saturn, in Anglo-Saxon sater daeg No matter to which path we adhere to, be it Pagan, (Saturn’s Day). Christian, Muslim, Jew, Buddhist, Hindu or else, we live our lives under the gaze of the Ancient Gods. The Romans had different names for the days, also concerning Gods. A variation of the old Roman names is still used in Italy today. Sunday (Domenica) - Dies Solis (Sun’s Day) or Day of the God. Monday (Lunedi) – Dies Luna (Moon’s Day) Tuesday (Martedi) – Dies Martis (Day of the God Mars) Wednesday (Mercoledi) – Dies Mercurii (Day of the 44 Online Pagans Magazine September October 2010
Pagan Bookshelf: Magickal Life Stories
By Ben Gruagach
e modern Pagans are a rather literate lot. In addition to the many handbooks, theoretical works, folklore collections, poems, songs, rituals, and workbooks in print, there are also quite a few illuminating biographies and autobiographies. Reading about the lives of others following magickal and Pagan spiritual paths can help us understand better what came before and where our community might be headed. We might also discover that famous occultists often faced the same dilemmas that we do today! The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, which operated in the UK and Europe at the end of the 1800s and into the start of the 1900s, was one of the most influential occult groups spawning a huge amount of material which is still widely used in the modern Pagan community today. “Women of the Golden Dawn: Rebels and Priestesses” by Mary K. Greer (ISBN 0-89281-607-4) explores the lives of the often unsung women who helped make the Golden Dawn what it was. Many of the history books talk about the men who were involved, and not enough is written about the equally important women. This book is a good start. The name Aleister Crowley is widely known in the modern Pagan community but few know more than some vague details about the man. “Perdurabo: The Life of Aleister Crowley” by Richard Kaczynski (ISBN 978-1556438998) is a comprehensive recently updated and expanded biography of the mysterious and often controversial Crowley.
Kaczynski’s book provides an honest look at what made the man tick. “20th Century Magic and the Old Religion: Dion Fortune, Christine Hartley, Charles Seymore” by Alan Richardson (ISBN 0-87542-673-5) takes readers into the actual magickal diaries of two of the leading figures in Dion Fortune’s Society of the Inner Light. He also provides some insightful details about Dion Fortune and the Society in general. It’s no wonder that the Society is still active today! Around the time that Gerald Gardner in the UK was putting his finishing touches on his groundbreaking book “Witchcraft Today,” another openly public witch was making waves in Australia. Look for “Pan’s Daughter: The Magical World of Rosaleen Norton” by Nevill Drury (ISBN 1-869928-31-8) to find out about this intriguing bohemian artist’s life, spirituality, and work. Of course there are books that examine the life of Gerald Gardner, the key person to present Wicca to the world. “Gerald Gardner: Witch” by J. L. Bracelin (ghost written by the Sufi scholar Idries Shah) (ISBN 1-87218908-3) started the trend, which was picked up and expanded greatly by Philip Heselton in his books “Wiccan Roots” (ISBN 1-86163-110-3) and “Gerald Gardner and the Cauldron of Inspiration” (ISBN 1-86163-164-2). For a more rigorous scholarly examination of Gardner’s life and influences be
September October 2010 Online Pagans Magazine 45
sure to look for “The Triumph of the Moon” by Ronald Hutton (ISBN 0-19-820744-1). There are also autobiographies and biographies written by people who have worked with Gardner going back to the early 1950s. Doreen Valiente’s “Rebirth of Witchcraft” (ISBN 0-919345-39-5) is a must-read, as is “Fifty Years of Wicca” by Frederic Lamond (ISBN 0-9547230-1-5). Books written by later initiates include “High Priestess: The Life & Times of Patricia Crowther” by Patricia Crowther (ISBN 0-919345-87-5) and “Conversations With a Witch” by Lois Bourne (ISBN 0-7090-70640). All are great reading!
will be missed dearly by all who were touched by her wisdom and love. Another non-Wiccan witchcraft tradition has its American origins documented in the recent book “The Forge of Tubal Cain” by Ann Finnin (ISBN 0-9796168-3-2). The Clan of Tubal Cain is based on the teachings of Robert Cochrane (aka Roy Bowers) who worked in the UK in the 1960s before his tragic death in 1966. The book relates the lives of Ann and her husband Dave, and how they came to lead the Clan in the United States.
There are books written by others who were Wiccan initiates but not One of Gardner’s leading competinecessarily who worked directly with tors was a man named Alex Sanders. Gerald Gardner. One of particular For a rather sensational (and not alnote is Scott Cunningham whose ways truthful) biography, try to find book “Wicca: A Guide for the Solia copy of June Johns’ “King of the Witches: the World tary Practitioner” triggered a huge influx of solitary of Alex Sanders” (ISBN 0-432-07675-1). Books about the practitioners into the Wiccan community. “Whispers of lives of some of Alex’s leading initiates, which also in- the Moon: The Life and Work of Scott Cunningham” clude revealing details about Alex by David Harrington and deTraci and his groups, include his wife Regula (ISBN 1-56718-559-2) and Maxine’s recent book “Fire Child: the more recent “Cunningham’s The Life & Magic of Maxine Book of Shadows: The Path of An Sanders ‘Witch Queen’” (ISBN American Traditionalist” (ISBN 1-869928-78-4) and “Stewart Far978-0738719146) explore the life of rar: Writer on a Broomstick” by this influential writer. Elizabeth Guerra with Janet Farrar (ISBN 0-9791402-7-7). “The Last Bastion” by Ralph Harvey (ISBN 1-903065-40-2) is a memAnother witchcraft tradition unoir of an influential Wiccan initiate related to Gardner’s Wicca is the still active in the UK. He peppers Feri tradition taught by Victor and the text with anecdotes from his Cora Anderson. Cora passed away past along with a lot of general Wicon Beltane eve in 2008, and left can teachings. behind her book “Fifty Years in the Feri Tradition” (ISBN 0-9710050An intriguing account of a rather 4-4) along with others as a record unique Wiccan tradition is presentof their lives and teachings. Cora ed in “Courting the Lady: A Wiccan Journey” by Patrick M. McCol46 Online Pagans Magazine September October 2010
lum (ISBN 0-9777986-0-7). What makes this of particular note is that McCollum talks about being initiated into a Wiccan coven in the early 1960s in California, around the same time or even before Ray Buckland was bringing Gardnerian Wicca to the United States for the first time. McCollum’s tradition is clearly based on Wicca (and is therefore at least inspired by Gardner’s system), but it is also quite distinct from other varieties. Moving out of Wicca and witchcraft we find “My Life With the Spirits: The Adventures of a Modern Magician” by Lon Milo Duquette (ISBN 1-57863120-3). Duquette is one of the leading ceremonial magickians today, an acknowledged expert on the topics of Thelema (Crowley’s system) as well as Enochian and Goetic grimoire magick. “My Life with the Spirits” relates how his interest in magick developed from the time he was a young boy. Some books examine the lives of a number of modern Pagans. “Wiccan Wisdomkeepers” by Sally Griffyn (ISBN 1-57863-257-9) and “Modern Pagans: An Investigation of Contemporary Pagan Practice” by V. Vale and John Sulak (ISBN 1-889307-10-6) provide interesting articles, along with photos, of various Pagan personalities. My favourite article is the one on Doreen Valiente in “Wiccan Wisdomkeepers.” And finally, to put it all in a bit of historical context, look for books such as “The History of Magic in the Modern Age: A Quest for Personal Transfor-
mation” by Nevill Drury (ISBN 0-7867-0782-8). If you only want to read one book this would be the one I’d recommend, as it gives a summary of the lives of many influential occultists and Pagans with the larger picture filled in to give it all meaning. One thing to note about tracking down books: some books are quite expensive to purchase as they have become collectors’ items. Check at your local public library, and investigate the inter-library loan system often available there, if you want to read a particular book but don’t want to have to buy a copy for yourself. Happy reading! And keep writing your own journals, diaries, blogs, and memoirs – perhaps one day yours will be listed alongside these too!
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A Swan Who Wallows In Lotus Laden Ponds
By Sunil Narayan She walks into the banquet room of the Château de Versailles feeling out of place Such a refined lady with skin as soft as a doe’s coat Pearls that dangle above her swan-like neck Eyes so tranquil, flutter like butterflies in a garden A woman who floats from room to room unaware of everyone’s presence They look into those lotus petal shaped eyes to see a secret world Gardens stretching for miles fill the air with the scent of roses Uṣás-Devī cannot help but inhale this sweet perfume Radiant marigolds bask in the Sun’s warmth Jasmine trees stand tall to give shade for all of Pṛthivī’s critters They lay at the base sighing for amour had consumed them A gazelle who once nestled at the feet of PṛthivīDevī is now an elegant lady
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Yes! Suraiyā is the child of Pṛthivī-Devī Her hands decorated in emerald rings have fingers that flow like the Gangā So pure and gentle men have followed her around the world just to be caressed by those fingers They are savages who have succumbed to the feminine power of an untainted goddess Yet, why does she not look at these men? At the far end of the room gourmet Indian dishes line up a long glass table An aroma of mixed spices travels through the air Men who smell it divert their eyes to Suraiyā She stands before the table delighted by such a sumptuous feast Her hands move towards the glass spoon dipped in the dāl bowl Ashamed by bad manners Suraiyā pulls her hand back The host who has been seduced by Suraiyā’s beauty tells her it is quite alright A smile transforms Suraiyā’s face like Uṣás-Devī bathing the world in light Those eyes of her enchants the host, bringing him to his knees His heart grew ten times with each pulse sighing in joy A goddess has locked eyes with a humble king An elegant lady created in the nest of the Pṛthivī-Devī looks into the eyes of many The pain, the happiness, the frustration, the excitement, the joy! These emotions are the colors in her gardens And all men, women and children have their own inner gardens Suraiyā’s lotus-petal eyes see the world’s inner beauty permeating all things Even the Sky, an ocean for the Devás, is a jewel created by Pṛthivī-Devī! Suraiyā’s śāṭī is fashioned from the Devás’ water A long train from her shoulders floats above the floor as she walks around the room All guests spend hours watching Suraiyā create a stream with her śāṭī The scent of lilacs flows from the fabric into their noses Śakra-Devá’s heaven cannot compare to the moment they are lost in! A rarity in this world is locked away for centuries but comes out when humanity has submerged in harmonious bliss
Image by Brettpress [CC-BY-SA-3.0 or GFDL], from Wikimedia Commons
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Illustration CC http://www.flickr.com/photos/bibliodyssey/3606618641/
Meditation: Night Ride on a Broomstick
By Ben Gruagach
his meditation guides the seeker through a mythical witchcraft experience: flying on a broomstick in a night sky. This can be a helpful way to explore astral travel and to attune more closely with the element of Air. 50 Online Pagans Magazine September October 2010
For more guided meditations similar to this one, including free MP3 recordings, visit the author’s website at http://www.witchgrotto.com
Make sure you are seated or lying down in a comfortable and fat, your bone. Each breath in draws more of the position. Feel free to loosen your clothing a bit so you earth energy up into you, each breath out helps it spread don’t feel constrained. through your body, healing, relaxing, filling you with refreshing energy. During the meditation session you will be in complete control of yourself, your body, your senses, and your ex- Feel the energy flow in as you breathe, spreading through periences. If you feel any discomfort or become aware your body as you breathe out. In, and it seeps in, out, of any danger you will be able to handle it easily, or will and it spreads through your body even more. In, and you immediately return to your normal level of awareness if fill with energy, out and the energy heals, and charges, required. You will remember everything that happens. and refreshes your body. When you come out of the meditative state you will feel relaxed, refreshed, and energized. As your body becomes charged, as your body becomes Start now by closing your eyes and focusing on my words. Take a deep breath, slowly, in through your nose for a count of four. Hold for a count of four, then slowly out through your mouth for a count of four. Hold for one, two, three, four, then in through your nose, two, three, four. Hold, two, three, four. Out through your mouth, two, three, four. Hold, two, three, four. In, two, three, four. Hold, two, three, four. Out, two, three, four. Hold, two, three, four. In, two, three, four. Hold, two, three, four. Out, two, three, four. Continue the breathing pattern, in through your nose, hold, then out through your mouth, hold, then in again. Hold, then out through your mouth. Hold. In through your nose. Feel the solid earth beneath your body, supporting you. It is very solid, very strong. The floor rests on beams and concrete that is cradled in solid rock and hard-packed soil, which is very dense and goes down, down, down for miles. The earth is huge, solid, and supports us. It is also very much alive and has a gentle energy we can tap into. energized, your inner senses become more acute. As you think about something your senses will sharpen and focus on it. The things you encounter on the astral are as real and as vivid as anything you experience in your everyday life. You find yourself surrounded by a soft, warm mist that glows with a faint silvery light. It protects you, charges you, and cleanses you. Turn slowly in the mist to look around you. Instinctively you will know which way is east. Face east, then stop and express your respects to that direction. Pause for a moment, then turn slowly to the south. As you face south, express your respect for this direction, the elementals and watchers who guard the southerly quarter. Pause. Turn west, and again give your respects to the direction. Pause, and then turn to the north and give your respects. The circle is cast.
The mist thins and then dissipates in a light breeze that blows to you from the east. You find yourself outside in an inspiring place, the night sky above you with the moon shining down. Look around yourself and note what you can see. What does the vegetation look like? Can you hear any sounds of water, of wind, of wildlife? As you breathe, in through your nose and out through Are there any smells: rich earth, plants or flowers, the your mouth, feel the solid earth beneath you. Feel the clear scent of water? Feel the breeze blowing on your skin subtle energy of the earth beneath you, supporting as you look around you at this moonlit landscape. and sustaining you. That energy flows gently into you through the ground, through the floor, through your On the ground nearby you notice there is an old handcontact with the solid earth. Feel that energy, gentle, made broom lying next to a bundle of cloth. You pick flowing like a quiet pulse. It ebbs, it flows; each breath in up the cloth and realize it is a hooded cloak. You shake draws it up from the ground and into your body. Each it out and put it on. It fits you perfectly. Notice how the breath out spreads the energy through your body, help- cloth feels, the quality of the weave, the weight and smell ing it to seep into your blood, your muscles, your sinews and texture. You can feel it against your neck as it drapes September October 2010 Online Pagans Magazine 51
over your shoulders. It will keep you warm, safe, and hidden if you wish as you explore. You pick up the broomstick and feel how satisfying it feels in your hand. The handle is polished and smooth, the bristles rustling together and making a pleasing sound. You can feel a hum of energy in this broomstick. You can almost hear it singing – a song of longing, and joy, and speed, and flight. It is eager to be aloft. It wants to take you on a ride. You grasp the broom firmly and with a gesture it lifts you up. It’s almost like you have suddenly become weightless, or filled with helium. You can sit comfortably on the broom handle however impossible it might seem. You have perfect balance and are in no danger of falling off. The broom is absolutely amazing. You can hover in one spot, and just as effortlessly you can zoom off in any direction. You can turn sharply from one direction to another with exhilarating speed. The broom can take you for a leisurely ride or on a ride that puts roller coasters to shame. It’s completely up to you. The broom can take you any place you would like to visit. All you need to do is give it a destination and it will do the rest. Or perhaps you just want to explore without a particular destination – that is fine too. It’s all up to you.
your broom can take you back to where you started in the twinkling of an eye. It flies, straight as an arrow, zooming and banking and then bringing you back to the start. It gently settles to the ground so that you are again on the solid Earth. The energy hum in the broomstick calms down, and you can almost hear it, like a whispered “thank you for sharing the ride,” quietly in your ear. Every time you explore the astral realms like this, every time you go within like this, you will find that it is easier and easier to do. Your experiences will become more vivid, more real, each time you attempt to reach these states of awareness. You will find your awareness unfolding, new insights and abilities coming forward for you. You will also find that things will come more easily to you. You will be more in control. As the spirit realms become more familiar you will find yourself more relaxed, more empowered. And this strength and empowerment will remain with you no matter where you are or what you are doing, whether you are awake, or asleep, or in a meditative or spiritual state like you are now. Breathe in the energy all around you, feel it coursing through your body, healing and charging you with power. You are being cleansed, softly, gently, made whole. You are at peace.
A mist gathers around you again until you can see nothTake whatever time you want to fly around on your ing but the gentle, moving whiteness. It caresses your broom – time will expand or shrink so that you always body. It has a faint scent that brings back memories of have enough time. Pay attention to what you see, hear, feeling safe. The mist is warm, inviting, and healing. Evand experience. Remember who you might meet, what erything is quiet and serene in the mist. you might learn. And then the mist dissolves and you find yourself comBreathe and feel the energy flowing through you, ing back to your physical body, back into your physical through your broomstick, as you fly through the sky. Feel senses. The mist dissipates and you can feel your physithe wind on your face and hands, against your body as cal body again. Feel your arms, your legs, the ground you soar and turn. You are safe and in control. You will beneath you. Breathe deeply and feel energized as you return to your normal senses, your normal state of being. remember what you experience here. Move your fingers, then move your arms slowly, then shift and move your body and stretch when you’re ready. (Pause for five minutes or as long or as short as the participants And when you’re completely back, open your eyes and require to explore.) sit up comfortably. You’re safe, back in your body, at ease and rested and filled with energy and inspiration. Your journey is coming to an end and it is time to return home. No matter how far you might have flown, no matter what labyrinthine path you took to get here, 52 Online Pagans Magazine September October 2010
By Sunil Narayan I Īshwar was born from the heart of Sarasvatī-Devī As a white-skinned boy smiling so sweetly His power lay in the strings of his mother’s vīṇā plucked for her amusement Nāga flowers cover the surface of the shiny jackwood kudam Sniff along the dandi etched with the sacred words for Gāyatrī-Devī It is the scent of Índra-Devá’s pāṭala trees! One wishes to inhale such sweet perfume while pondering Sūrya-Devá’s multitude of brilliant arms They reach around a shy Bhūdevī to charm her into eternal union Such a day the Devás still reminisce while drinking sweetened sóma Their golden chalices etched with praises from devotees who spent their daily lives to meditate on sublime beings! Ink containing crushed moonstone was used to write sensual calligraphy It was Īshwar caressing their cheeks like a caring mother who aided them in impressing the Devás He wears a white ṣāṭī adorned with blue turquoise stones from one end to the other to form a flowing tributary A design her most sacred divinity, the Gáṅgā-Devī blessed before the satin was decorated with jewels His hair flowing like a river is woven and adorned with mallī flowers every morning His slender ears are decorated with śirīṣa flowers Īshwar delighted in drinking cow’s milk when visiting Umāpatiḥ-Devá at his modest abode in the afternoon Upon request the generous ascetic provided him a pot of fresh milk to take home He wanted to turn such a lovely gift into a ṣāṭī that floats in the air like the monks’ jasmine incense smoke In each step it brushes a man, giving him the light of creativity! Trees bow in respect to the kind-hearted boy of Sarasvatī-Devī He brings joy to all with his generous touch and warm eyes Let us praise the muse of mankind! Let us touch his uncovered milky feet to rejuvenate our minds! II Sóma-Devá glowed intensely, hiding his smile from the world He sleeps happily after watching his faithful muse write ślokas praising his sharpened purity The hand moves fast across a banana leaf Not a second to sigh, for the muse is fasting till sunrise! His mind fixates on the joyous devá Wondering if he is all omnipotent and capable of loving everyone Sóma-Devá never appears during the day However, he is fond of the chilly evening Each time he lifts the heavy yellow blanket off Bhūmī-Devī body He shows her a sky black as tar with countless of tiny sómas An ocean of mystery that shines like Bhūmī-Devī’s vaidūryas strewn all over our ocean’s shores He leans forward to dip his fingers in the water A snake slithers in front of Sóma-Devá, breaking the enchantment He lunges into the water scared by such an intrusion! Bhūmī-Devī sees a mauktikaratna falling into her lap Finding delight in the perfectly polished surface Joy lighted her whole body as she looked over this precious jewel For scratches before hiding it in her vájra-encrusted jewerly box A devī who is hardly spoiled cannot help wanting to own a rare find! It is a soul as round as Lakṣmī-Devī’s mauktikamālā glowing with the optimism of a saint! The kumudinī flowers blossomed in Bhūmī-Devī’s
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garden, releasing a scent to send her into a world of temptuous leisure! Candrá-Devá tucked inside Bhūmī-Devī’s jewelry box, rolls along the silky purple cushion as the devī explores the bountiful jungles Blue and white balíbhuj sing to get her attention, not stopping till she glances at them With excitement they dance on the branches for she blessed them with eternal refuge To be looked at by the smiling devī is to become enamored with her vibrant beauty! In each step her feet gives nourishment to squashed life The plants suddenly spring up with leaves catching the rain drops and the bugs wake up eager to gather food! She smiles while her bhūruha glows repeatedly in joy III The muse who writes poems as tribute to the naked Rajanīpati-Devá Remains in awe at its brilliant strength! To endure the disastrous solar conflicts unscathed shows a firm footing in Pṛthvī-Devī’s ocean floor He is unmoved by all the damage caused by petty rivalries The one thing to cause deep sorrow is losing the sacrificial union his devotees share with him He has been in a dense state of fear throughout his life When asking Sarasvatī-Devī to create a muse to keep humanity from leaving the Āryan dhárma Rajanīpati-Devá knew the risk of living on Earth The Devás fear touching the muddy paths with their bejeweled feet Such clean and smooth soles can absorb the wave of inner filth Black energy forms a stormy world within each mortal Lightening strikes all life leaving Dyauṣpitṛ-Devá coughing from inhaling so much smoke! In this age humans have begun to shed their piousness To accept greed as their new skin! From morning to night they think of how to steal a brother-in-law’s satin slippers Or what ways to tempt a noble saint to deflower a
chaste devádāsī All for their own amusement! Without looking at the consequence of behaving recklessly their hearts turned into black rocks Devoid of the fire that brightens in the heart! Is such a quality correct for an Āryan!? The ātmā slowly begins choking as the body moves about the town Unaware of what is happening to the shell’s mind It lived peacefully till the world was shaken violently during the varṣártu Frightening it for lightening hit mountainsides, sending boulders of rocks into the villages! The heart’s condition disrupts the flow of the pure ātmā Bit by bit it freezes giving the mind a vague look at the surface IV Closely tied to the eternal spirit we are! Too focused on ourselves to care! Īshwar, oblivious to this dilemma lives his life as a hermit Meditating on the Supreme Mother and writing praises to all the Devás His life before awakening on Rátnavatī-Devī is unknown to him Even though he comes from Śakrá-Devá’s svargá his memory only begun when he awoke in the protective arms of Rátnavatī-Devī A child who was reared in the rightful place of the Devás! Left his teary-eyed mother, whose lustrous love was dripping with distress Her heart sunk like an elegant swan abandoned by its loyal friends Falling into the abyss where nothing can breath To her love is shared with those who have selflessness in their nature It comes as pure as the melted snow from Himávat A taste rivaling that of the heavenly nectar the Devás yearned after defeating the Rākṣasas in Samudrámathana However, all the food the Devás gorge upon during banquets are not delectable when tasting the love Rátnavatī-Devī has to offer Such a kind-hearted devī she is!
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Allowing us mere mortals to inhabit her lands to do boundless plundering! She begs for her trees to be spared from the torches of blood-thirsty armies If a constant flow of tears forming a puddle at her feet do not make a difference then what will!? She asks for the knowledge of virtue to be consumed by all in childhood To her horror the Ṛṣis have abandoned their homes to live in subservience to Himávat-Devá Where will our defenseless children turn to for inspiration? Where will they go for guidance!? In this age hope seems useless Although, a shining boy with deep blue eyes will save the human race from destroying itself V In the previous age Dharitrī-Devī opened her heart’s doors for the orphaned Rātri, Uṣas and Priyā to walk into They were astounded by the nīlagandhika laden marble palace filled with the scent of blue roses She provided a journey to eternal bliss without any hurdles thrown at them To please her daughters with luxury befitting the Devás It was her compassion in dire times that shone like the bhārgavakas in a mahārāja’s crown An enormous emotion that could shake the universe in one step if latched onto anger It was her might and gentleness the Devás revered! Although, in this present age her wrinkles show an exhausted state Such a tired old maiden whose grace flew through the Sky like white cranes Reviving the ātman of all who steered away from the path of the Āryans She could soften the spikes protruding from one’s heart Turning them into tall roses with hints of her eye color The doe whose lashes so thick and long fans the dust off crusty jewelry boxes To open and admire the bhārgavakas scattered on top of the pink cushion Human character is a jewelry box waiting inside the cracks of Dharitrī-Devī’s skin For a kind soul to break the latch with his steel blade Any farmer who tilled the field would miss such a
rare find! He thinks of his children first and leisure last Long trails of sweat from his forehead fill his eyes Vivásvat-Devá’s heat turns it into acid water He screams so loud neighbors run to his aid The terrified farmer fled to the forest to dive into the blue lake Dharitrī-Devī shakes her head in disappointment at this spectacle Her brother is no longer pulled by the selfless virtue their mother gifted to them She cannot stand a human screaming till the pāṇḍaravāyasas squawk for peace It is a cruel deed to commit towards someone who is loyal to her With her vájradaṇḍa she stomps the ground in frustration Glaring at Vivásvat-Devá emanating enormous pride VI The world suffered a fate far worse than the previous ages It lost the ability to create poetry, music and dance! Our Supreme Mother’s name remains lost in rumor and satire Her divine love replaced by that of the need for unrestrained hedonism She was nipped of her bond with the human race For the reason her compassion went unappreciated by the mahārājas A saint who can turn the world faster on its axis than Kumāra-Devá had to be created immediately! Īshwar is the answer to Bhūmī-Devī’s crisis! Made from the virtue of inspiration he brings life to all dead beings Turning the eerie silence of a forest into a symphony of orange and red birds chirping in excitement Pushing rocks off old texts to let his curiosity take him on a journey As his fingers turn the yellow, muddy pages, his mind is zapped into an alternate reality The conscious runs too fast for the memory to keep up A kaleidoscope of many universes become large and small by his will! With each one he can smell Sāvitrī-Devī’s kundamālā A scent untainted by the alcohol breath of Śakra-Devá
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Before him the pages of the book become white and clean The wrinkles smoothed down by his own selfless magic! He was caught up in the secret guarded by the immortal mahāṛṣis His mind suddenly throbbed as if Śakra-Devá forced dozens of bowls of thick sóma down his throat He could not understand why he saw everything nor the sweet smell that distracted him from looking at the Exploding compacted balls of surreal colors in large planets An explanation his young mind is capable of understanding Sits still in the belly of a cursed swan VII Īshwar’s home was a jungle filled with mango trees He enjoyed filling his belly with the soft mangoes Succulent fruit sucked from one end to the other Smooth surface that leaks juice if touched White kámalakhaṇḍa elongated to reach this blue-eyed muse They shake when he is preoccupied with writing, to create more beauty for the spacious abode Īshwar sleeps on the tiger-skin rug fashioned by Umāpatiḥ-Devá A man would complain of the grassless bed for it is not soft at all! A boy with the patience befitting a ṛṣi is appreciative of such a miracle Turning to a mighty ascetic for help is only possible when destiny has planned it even if one cannot recollect such a fine deed! When the kuvalaya-īkṣaṇā boy begins to dream his mind transforms into heavenly kingdom Where the poets are revered by the Devás as the vessels of truth The virtues of mankind sit in their sealed mouths How do such beings speak when faced with an impending doom? They are not meant to utter words of eloquence Their hands speak to the curious onlookers The written word is more precious than one’s ego It lasts for eternity, taking many refreshing guises When all of mankind disappeared like the mist in the
jungle during the winter season The texts will lay under the ground undisturbed Dharā-Devī will suffer terrible episodes of destruction However, she will not let go of the precious Word Mahādevī is encapsulated in the many scriptures mankind has a lack of regard for They choose to create their own paths without listening to the pleas of the ātman Īshwar shall live for eternity to protect these holy texts from the thunderous temper of Dharā-Devī To achieve such a path he must learn the past mistakes of the Devás and the mortals VIII The morning flew by slowly with trees covered in cold rain The punnāg trees caressed by the wind, shook the drops off its petals Deer awake from dreaming of forested paradise To gather the family before dining on the Dharā-Devī’s tall grass Small snakes slither in between the hooves towards the holes in the mud Quietly so as to not alert the sleeping mice The deep blue lake with ripples of foam gives a loud splash A swan has fallen from Dyauṣ, unable to continue fleeing! He moans on his back limp from flying for miles without water A hunter who has no restraint shot an arrow through the swan’s neck He came to the meadow with a velvet bow and a pack of long golden arrows His will to hunt the most beautiful bird in the kingdom was too great The mahārāja could only be pleased by the vicious deeds of his chief hunters He enjoyed hearing their tales of raping virgin girls and killing herds of grazing gazelles If the smiting of harmless character cannot satisfy this uncouth monarch then what does? An unlimited potential in such a lord is a grave kind! He screams for help, scaring off the curious grey hares and red foxes His neck moves wildly about to shake the arrow out
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Īshwar heard the agony of a man with wide eyes He heard the gurgling pain of a depressed soul! This sweet boy ran to the Parinirvivapsā then stopped when noticing no one was there! In the center of the heaving water lay a white haṃsá sobbing Tears dropped into the clean water Making it sigh with sympathy Īshwar treaded the deep body with firm feet Crows fly down to bite his head Blood soaks his hair yet his eyes remain fixed on a noble creature in need Standing before the dying haṃsá his hands caress the swollen neck IX Unable to contain his tears he let them fall onto his haṃsá’s belly His heart suddenly closed its window, becoming willful to save this victim The soft bird whose wings were kept close to his chest Whimpered as the compassionate muse carried him to his resting place For hours the white creature writhed with the golden arrow stuck in his long soft neck Īshwar soaked his purple ṣāṭī in warm water and soap before cleaning the blood off this poor animal’s body It was a sight no devá could stand to witness! All of Índra-Devá’s brothers and sisters turned away when hearing the piercing screams Īshwar had begin pulling the arrow from the neck while rubbing the swan’s belly tenderly He shushed him to sung a lullaby once locked away in his memory: Rest your head on my lap, sweet child No more worrying tonight Índra-Devá blessed you with strength To keep you in his flourishing light Rest your fears till Sāvitrī rises Dream only of Candrá’s soothing glow Leave your hands in mine so I can kiss them Skin as spotless as Kailāsa’s snow You are lost in your pleasure garden Drinking coconut juice from a wooden bowl Yet, I am lost in loving the joyful eyes you open A feeling your heart is eager to dole
Small steps you once took towards my welcoming arms Laughing with each graceful fall You look into my eyes to see a radiant mother My love for you is as generous as a golden ball Rest your head on my lap, sweet boy No more worrying tonight Índra-Devá has blessed you with strength To keep you in his welcoming light X Īshwar’s long hair rested on the haṃsá’s side His rose perfume traveled into this creature’s orange beak As he awoke he shook his head Īshwar laughed and pet the haṃsá’s neck When inquiring of who this wounded creature was The ascetic cursed to live as a haṃsá lowered his head in embarrassment Unable to speak of a curse which deprived him of human luxury The taste of fruit and love are reserved for those who speak and walk upright Īshwar cupped his new friend’s curved beak, looking adoringly upon the swan’s face The bandaged creature introduced himself as Parīkṣit, an ascetic who was cursed to be murdered by a hunter while in the form of a haṃsá The way to break such a horrible spell is by meeting Bhūdevī’s waterfall of inspiration To touch it as if it was a pearl just pulled from the mouth of a seashell Water unparalleled by Gaṅgā-Devī herself springs up miles towards Dyauṣpitṛ So cool and refreshing one cannot help but drink from the fountain three times! Looking down into the shimmering water the world suddenly transforms from a dry land devoid of nourishment Into a kingdom of bright colors and myriad creatures! Sāvitrī-Devá may be resplendent but he is humbled when the colors of Bhūdevī’s creations become brighter as the water is sipped from gentle hands As if all the dirt floating in her womb diminishes by divine will! Enchanted by this description, Īshwar wondered where such a fountain existed Parīkṣit told him the fountain exists in human form
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safely guarded by Bhūdevī’s mṛgárājas XI Īshwar held Parīkṣit tenderly in his arms Caressing his long feathers to restore his beauty A lonesome haṃsá is struck with amazement by how selfless this stranger is! People are too self-absorbed to take notice of the injured! When weeks have past with Sūrya-Devá retreating to his abode to let his sister submerge into darkness Parīkṣit’s wound healed completely for the touch of a thoughtful boy made him feel as fortunate as GaṇápatiDevá His heart had grown large with each kiss from the soft-skinned beauty He could not utter a goodbye so decided to leave quietly before Vibhāvarī-Devī overwhelmed Rātri-Devī with her radiance The māyūra were sleeping soundly under mākandas If Īshwar were to be warned of something serious the māyūra would shout in unision Indeed, they did when Parīkṣit got up to run from the forest! He flapped his wings as practice before taking one last glance at his savior The magnificent māyūra that flirt by opening their bright feathers awoke at that moment, noticing an ungrateful haṃsá taking small steps away from their friend They shouted and fluttered their feathers, awakening a loving companion! Īshwar saw Parīkṣit waddling away from him He was distraught a friend would leave without saying goodbye Leaping to the entrance of the forest, Īshwar blocked the haṃsá’s path This healed being looked up into the muse’s eyes to see flames clashing Our selfless boy had marked his territory with just one glare Parīkṣit accepted his place, thus remained in the bountiful forest These two quiet creatures did not speak for weeks They merely lay next to eachother smiling as the mākanda offered its ripened fruit
XII They spent days under mākanda entwined in amour Unable to consummate a tender relationship storytelling became a much-needed distraction Īshwar listened carefully while sitting in front Parīkṣit From the shiny orange beak of his beloved haṃsá came the first tale The game between six siblings whose mother wanted to test their grasp on unfiltered motherly love A challenge of proving the heart’s worth before a towering nurturer Devotion flows from Himávat-Devá to the green plains sloping into secluded villages As delicious as chilled coconut juice, all children reach for this milky stream The stream flowing from our Supreme Mother’s heart into Himávat-Devá’s mind is what the children will never figure out Their faith in an omnipotent devī has surpassed that of the Devás! One day Mahādevī observed her children from her Pārijāt-covered seat Vāyú, Vivásvat, Sóma, Śākra, Pṛthvī, Rātri, Vāk and Vibhāvarī played a game of hide and seek in the campakâraṇya To her they were the most beautiful in all of her empire! Worthy of her precious love for there is no sinful bone in any of her shiny children However, they fought for long periods of time without stopping to catch their breath Always about their white skin and lush hair, never over their mother’s heart! Mahādevī gathered her daughters in one group and her sons in another She told them both there will be a game of tug-o-war The rope will be fire fashioned by Agním-Devá himself Sisters will hold one end and brothers the other The one person whose feet do not slip will prove he is most worthy Mahādevī’s lavish generosity! A sweet-smelling candrákānta paṭala full of maṇíkarṇikās, maṇícīras decorated with haritâśmas and māṇikyamaya parihāryas
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XIII Pṛthvī looked at her mother puzzled by such a silly idea She stood by her mother’s side holding her hand The barren devī found herself in a comfortable spot once again She inhales the scent of the flowers flowing from her mother’s seat It is more relaxing to remain quiet while watching the Supreme Mother entertain her A game she plays shows the complexity of an ancient Intellect Who is this sublime devī that sleeps on saffron sheets While her children play on top of a large bed made of red silk? They cling to the bedposts made of haritâśmas as if the jewels were theirs all along! Unable to grasp the choice a selfless mother makes for her children Mahādevī’s heart is closed from the world for she cannot share the mystery that makes the universe breathe It will burst the eardrums of her children and the heads of her mortal subjects She is the red blood that boils when fists clench She is the moon that radiates for eternity when darkness submits to noble character Her lotus-petal, golden eyes shimmer when Vivásvat-Devá looks at his caring mother He smiles showering her with rays of joy Long black lashes clasp the rays to absorb them Her eyes shudder from the enormous bliss contained in all He reaches for her arms to look into those soothing eyes To see an abundance of Śephālikās blossoming to please him XIV Pṛthvī-Devī watched her brothers whose silky hair shone like their prāvṛṣya laden parihāṭakas stand on side of the bare ground Her sisters whose woven hair carries the scent of vánacandrikā stood on the opposite side Their wooden sandals firmly planted on the dry forest-floor Hands decorated with aṅgārakamaṇi rings clutch the flaming rope
The boys in their yellow satin dhotīs tied by draping kákṣa, stuck their chests out like warriors The girls’ blue silk ṣāṭī flowed like the rivers of Kailāsa, so alluring yet filled with secrets Excitement was in the air and the baskets filled with yuthikās add an aroma befitting such an occasion! Flowers with the color of purity shower these adoring children Mahādevī watches from her golden throne with eyes glued to the clear spot in forest Who will prove to be most worthy of her finest treasure? All the Devás think of the prestige that will be bestowed on one fortunate child To receive this gift of opulence is to become the most treasured creature of all the Supreme Mother’s empire! The Devás dream of being their mother’s favorite child for it is a position anyone wishes more than anything in life! To receive the comfort of the grandest luxury is to experience everlasting bliss Pṛthvī-Devī owned only a green ṣāṭī for her main concern in life is to please her mother in every second so she will never feel unhappy She rubs feet white as Himávat’s snow and padmarāga soles with appreciation for this lovely opportunity XV Rátnavatī’s skin covered with forest and water sighs in sadness at how her thin neck is bare She dreams of wearing maṇíguṇanikara while looking upon butterflies resting on śivávallabhas She inhales the sweet perfume as if the flowers are hers only Vivásvat warms her body with a massage to untangle the tight knots For once our beloved devī feels she is special Her identity is just as important as everyone else’s No one ignores her, no one degrades her Her scent that rivals that of amṛta All who wish to experience a bright heaven which has Air made out of bliss should reside with Rátnavatī She owns a myriad of ponds contaning padmaṣaṇḍa of blue, pink, red and white! Wearing a padmamālin the Devás immediately prostrate before her when she arrives at Bráhman’s
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palace to offer spend time her In her hand exists a long śivápattra with petals perfectly curved to her desire It breathes the scent of the ocean to please her whenever she wishes When the Devás ask their radiant mother why Rátnavatī does not seek the lustrous fabrics and perfectly cut pearls they are met with silence Bráhman does not care for such finery for her task as a mother is to care for little ones who are always demanding her attention Rátnavatī is the same as her brilliant mother whose eyes remain in constant observance She feels her heart beat faster when seeing the joy on her siblings’ pearly faces XVI Rátnavatī watches her siblings stretch to impress their mother They tie their hands with white cloth to protect against the hot rope These little kṣatriyas think they are going to war over an unseen box of sparkling treasure! What such foolishness their egos choose to bathe in! Rátnavatī laughed as the Devás and Devīs shouted insults back and forth To rile the opposite team so as to ensure a victory The Devás pull the fiery rope hard, laughing as the Devīs lose their footing They were stunned when Uṣas pulled twice as hard making them stumble! Our yellow devī whose light floods the world every morning Snickers at the thin legs her brothers possess Bráhman’s children shout louder over how hard the other side is pulling Calling eachother names when asking to be gentle They frown when jerked three times in a row for amusement The fire brightens under the watchful eye of Bráhman White clothes that protected those sweaty hands have burned to a crisp Now scorched flesh is set aflame as the fire’s tails lengthen with each pull Bráhman’s children view themselves as supremely elegant To her shock they are suddenly behaving like angry
villagers! Accusing each other of not being fair yet refuse to abide by the rules Her frustration with such behavior became Rátnavatī’s state These two beautiful creatures share the same nature For Bráhman could not bear to create only effuglent devás who will forget why they exist XVII The shameless Rātri throws her sandalwood shoes at Vivásvat hitting him in the face He screams as his eyes become bloodshot With a strong will as hot as his skin he begins to growl like a lion He grunts with each tug and chortles with the momentarily slips of Vāk Vāyú, who is gentle and loving, is shocked by Rātri recklessness He blows in her direction dust to burn her eyes She shouts of the unfairness of this boyish mischief! Her eyes bleed yet she continues to growl while pulling the rope harder The game went on for hours with no break! How can a little devá or devī be so bold! The fiery rope became so thin it diminished! Bráhman’s children were bruised and covered in blood No team won the game for it was played with every rule broken Neither will receive the sparkling treasure in their mother’s chest! Bhūdevī watched her brothers and sisters wash their faces in a large pot of water from the lake She smirked for the prize did not exist at all! Bráhman whispered to her admiring daughter the real reason for such a challenge She laughed before describing the real treasure is the limitless love she has for her children It floods a dry riverbed when the snow rapidly melts Bringing life to everything slumped over the ground The sparkling blue river never loses its beauty Even when a rain of fire turns kingdoms into carcasses When one begs for money he is not remembering the moment his mother fed him her milk A selfless act to nourish a creature brought into this
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new world Her heart grows with each pulse of amour How can a child melt the glassy exterior of a woman’s heart? He is able to with eyes filled with playful innocence Two smiles fixed in a state of joy! The sacred gem is Bráhman’s love for all her children who simply wish to receive it Money, power, fame and glory are rocks when compared to the boundless river springing forth from our Supreme Mother’s heart She tested her children to see if they viewed her love as being more precious than any jewel The Devás and Devīs who tugged the fiery rope till their fingers bled onto the floor cry over which side fell first Will the Supreme Mother reveal the truth? No, she takes her tired children in a tender embrace With the end of her saffron ṣāṭī, the Holy Mother wipes their flowing tears She kisses the cuts and burns till they fade away Perhaps these playful Devás will never understand the mind of their mother Fortunately, at least one child does! XVIII Īshwar gave a hearty laugh for the tale of the mighty Devás behaving foolishly in their childhood Parīkṣit begin to laugh for he too found it to be ridiculous! The smiling haṃsá asked Īshwar where his mother is Softly, this sad boy uttered words of pain He had no idea where his mother is! The last memory he grabbed onto was when he awoke in this forest wearing nothing but a white ṣāṭī Parīkṣit nuzzled Īshwar’s open palm to offer his sympathy The lonely muse hugged his new friend tightly The following morning they found themselves in the same sitution A student learning the follies and joys of humanity and its divine rulers Parīkṣit began his second tale, one of unexpected tragedy He advised Īshwar to not run away when hearing the ruthless part for it is where fragrant wisdom
can be obtained Śaṃvat, an old hermit, lived in the mādhavīlatā forest far from civilization yet close enough to the Gańgā He wrote poetry during the day and meditated on Mahālakṣmī-Devī’s unique beauty at night To him she was a woman whose beauty is sharper than that of the other devīs She is unpercievable by the human eye, but the ātmán can see her from the pādakilikā set with bhārgavakas to the puṣkarêkṣaṇa face He was rarely bothered by the giggling village girls Gopīs ventured into the forest to collect heavenly-scented mādhavīlatā Yet Śaṃvat did not notice them at all! Bráhman enchanted him with her passionate energy flowing through space like milk poured from a pot onto the liṅgaṃ The aroma of such a gift is more pleasant than the celestial kánakacampaka tree A stream of the pollen from her púṣpagranthana Containing this emotion sinks into the devotee’s mind When one gopī, Śriyā, decided to play a joke on this faithful lover of Mahālakṣmī-Devī His adoring devī switched the girl’s destiny to the other end She was meant to be the favorite muse of the Mahārājá Puṇḍárīka’s sculptor later in life Now, she will soon endure an intolerable fate no girl has the strength to! Śriyā went back to her village to write a false letter on her mother’s last banana leaf Her words of a dire emergency in the nearby temple for Mahālakṣmī-Devī will surely hook his attention! She smiles devilishly when approaching the sleeping hermit Quietly, so as to not stir him, she places the carefully written letter next to him XIX Rātri-Devī took a rest to let her carefree sister Vibhāvarī-Devī soar through all open spaces in the world! Śaṃvat yawned, noticing a green banana leaf with sensual calligraphy On it was written the Mahārājá Puṇḍárīka’s edict to destroy all the temples of villages, towns and the capital
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A statue of his mighty self will be erected in her place This crime is made against the most compassionate devī in all of Bráhman’s land!? Who has the audacity to behave so cruelly!? A tired old man he surely was, but never failing in defending the honor of our holy vessel of righteousness! He grabbed his pāreraka and ran to the village mandira To his shock Mahārājá Puṇḍárīka postrated before the pearly sculpture He offered cakes, money and śatádalas in return for protection against misfortune Śaṃvat asked a girl approaching the mandira about Mahārājá Puṇḍárīka’s order to demolish the temple She laughed, telling him no such thing can happen for their Nṛpáti is a devotee of Mahādevī’s most charitable devī! It dawned on him he was subjected to a heartless joke Anger flooded his body turning it hard and black like a volcano’s cooled lava He offered his lover pañcāṅgapattra plucked from a nearby lake The naive gopī watched from her window laughing quietly to herself What fun it is to treat a solitary old man like a child!? He is surely the most gullible hermit out of all the ones who inhabit Gańgā’s forests Śriyā thought, “Tonight I will leave another note but write about the statue being defiled by ásuras” As Rātri-Devī showered Dyauṣpitṛ with her many crystals, this fair-skinned gopī with wide eyes and a voluptuous body walked towards the forest with a fresh note in her hand XX Being naive is something Śriyā knows all too well for it leads to ridicule and scorn She is too hopeful to assume an early death will latch onto her Śaṃvat was told by his rājñī the same deed will occur soon He chose to lay awake with eyes closed to deceive his talentless jokester Śriyā tip-toed towards the saffron bedsheet Śaṃvat is slept on Leaving a message written on a banana leaf next to the hermit
As she turned to leave her pādukā was clutched by the scowling hermit She glanced at an angry bearded man whose neck became veiny Śriyā whimpered when he demanded an explanation She told him it was an act to humor herself for she had nothing to do in her spare time Śaṃvat’s skin turned bright red before he began degrading her virtues His tongue became sharp as a knife, pricking the ego till it bled entirely She sank to the floor with her head lowered in shame Shedding tears of regret for behaving viley Śaṃvat saw genuine sorrow though it did not matter to him, justice must be delivered! He picked up his bowl of water scooped from the Gańgā XXI Śaṃvat shouted, “You who have made a fool out of a man thats spends his life swimming in the milky ocean Mahālakṣmī-Devī presides over this sparkling realm with the utmost gratitude to her husband Those who surrendered to her divine love did so willingly Their only wish is to live at her feet and be carressed by her soothing hands A rare gift that for many is impossible to receive To my horror you spat on my love for the Supreme Majesty! I curse you to never know the feeling of amour in this life or the next! Your heart will shrivel before old age arrives leaving you devoid of of the red ocean that forms ripples when lust and admiration interwine Alone you lay in a room with scurrying hungry mice Crying over your friends who died in your youth without saying goodbye Deaf and blind after an angry mob beat you viciously with sticks For letting the mandira’s Brāhmaṇa purchase for your
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virginity!” The raging devoteee threw the holy water on this heartless girl She looked up to find no one standing before her! Śaṃvat vanished into thin air leaving all his belongings behind She sat still for a long time, unable to make sense of a merciless deed In her mind curses were a myth for no one could possess such a power Although, she was overwhelmed with terror as the poison seeped into her skin Īshwar interrupted, “What happened to her?” Parīkṣit answered, “The curse unfolded exactly as it was given Her skin remained as soft and shiny but internally nothing existed” XXII Īshwar asked his smiling friend for another tale One with a strong woman who posssesses a spiky nobility Parīkṣit licked Īshwar’s pink palm and nuzzled it He said if grapes were fed to him he will share a a powerful tale Īshwar laughed showing his sparkling white teeth His smile became like Sūrya-Devá’s: two rows of bhārgavakas! He fed his affectionate entertainer with green grapes One by one his doted swan swallows Ruffling his long feathers a tale is rushing to the back of his beak Īshwar listened closely so as to not miss any hidden lesson Dāruṇa, a sadistic mahārājá lived as a bachelor He was content with just seducing courtesans and eating past midnight It was the life his forefathers indulged in greedily For a mahārājá is destined to please himself only Those who come across his path to confront such needless behavior are met with a gada made from mahāloha His Majesty’s power over people was more exilirating than the sóma! He commanded their attention effortlessly If any girl or woman shouted an insult she was sent
to his dungeon to be beaten and raped by the prison guards He delighted in hearing stories of screams filling the cold, filthy blockstone cells Rats bite into unwashed feet to drink the poisoned blood A mere thought jumping from one’s mouth to the ears of a tyrant Is hardly worth depriving innocent women and girls of their dignity! Unfortunately, bravery amongst Mahārājá Dāruṇa’s army shakes from the toes to the chiseled face in fear They are always lowering their heads to avoid staring into the eyes of their lord! XXIII A maharṣi whose name is Púṇya could see the past and future She walked into a village asking strangers for food A kind fisherman could not resist helping an elderly woman He offered her a bed to sleep on and as many days she needs to satisfy her hunger Pleased by an offer of fresh milk, dhal baath and seasoned fish The wise elder asked her smiling host about the village Púṇya waited for a response though the fisherman saw through the room’s open window to see a kṣatriya suspiciously staring at him His knees wobbled uncontrollably, breaking his balance Púṇya asked her host what the matter was No words could be uttered for the host’s attention was held by the devious kṣatriya’s eyes The the sage turned to look at an armed man His skin color black as coal shone under the Sūrya Eyes yellow like a cat’s squinted to peer further into the house It was as if Yamarāja had come to capture a sweet fisherman’s soul When glancing to the floor he noticed a joyous rṣi eating off a banana leaf Scooping baath in one hand and sipping fresh milk with the other Púṇya turned to face the nosy soldier By firmly concentrating on his feet Púṇya cut them off! He screamed in agony as blood gushed onto the street Legs shook violently, squirting blood onto terrified
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onlookers Sobbing and writhing from the excruciating pain, a spectacle Púṇya ignored while finishing her meal The fisherman hurried to the window to close its curtains He paced back and forth anxiously for Mahārājá Dāruṇa will accuse his guest of witchraft and him of giving her refuge His advice for the gracious elder is to leave when Vibhāvarī-Devī warms the world with her immesurable body and stay away from this place Mahārājá Dāruṇa will sentence a even stranger to be tortured for many years before confessing her crime Púṇya understand the emphasis of this dilemma She saw deep fright in his beautiful green eyes XXIV Púṇya watched this lovely man fall asleep on the bare cement floor She was offered a soft bed to sleep on for the night but chose to lay down next to him for it is wrong to deprive someone of their comfortable living By her will this noble rṣi transformed into a senuous apsará with a thin waist, wide hips and full breasts Weilding a vīṇā made of wood from Śakra-Devá’s bountiful prântara She is an indīvarâkṣa musician submerged in eternal tranquility Her long hair pulled back into a thick bun is adorned with pañcāṅgapattra at the top She wears a dark blue ṣāṭī decorated with vájratulyas along the border It floats in the air as she glides over the ground smiling to let others feel welcome in approaching her Her smooth hair is coated in the scent of a surapuṣpa So divine the Devás shower her in ketakī petals as a blessing! Her long fingers gently plucking the strings of her wooden instrument to enchant onlookers Children follow her across the village to listen to the heartbeat of Bráhman The apsará’s full lips are curved and red like the āmra Her skin is as white as Nandi’s milk and posssesses the softeness of a haṃsá’s feathers She is a muse sent from purú to lift a tyrant into ectasy! Her healing touch will melt a stony heart
Unfortunately, some gifts are worth rejecting! For she is not heavenly but has noble character as her precious adornment Mahārājá Dāruṇa was told of a celestial muse who inspired starving children to sing and dance She brought entertainment to the people who have forgotten such a thing exists! The sounds she produces are pleasing to the ears It was a gift she wanted to give to dispel the dark cloud hovering above the villagers XXV Mahārājá Dāruṇa ordered his yuyudhānas an order to bring this intruder to his bhavanam His men found her singing to a crying widow to lift her spirits They grabbed her without speaking, though she did not shout or kick! She was pulled towards the rājabhavanam while gliding above the ground much to their annoyance The yuyudhānas pushed her into the rājá’s court then closed the white marble doors She stood before a giant with arms so large a tiger would flee at first sight His eyes looked into hers to conquer an insolent woman To his surprise he saw nothing but a glowing spirit untamed and expanding with each breath like Vibhāvarī-Devī He asked a silent musician what her name was To the Mahārājá Dāruṇa’s shock she did not speak He told her to give him an explanation for her disruptive deed The passionate muse she did not flinch or speak for she was enthralled by the laughter of his bitter subjects The tyrant squeezed the muse’s arms tightly and to his astonishment she did not whimper! Becoming irritated the most powerful rājá in the world screamed at her yet this fearless apsará did not shake! She stood still for seven hours in which the ruler of all tried to provoke her in every way He threw food at her, threatened her with a knife, crushed Śakrá-Devá’s sculptures and burned the Veda To his aggravation she remained as still as a statue As the evening arrived Mahārājá Dāruṇa fell asleep in his maṇívara-encrusted golden throne The muse manifested a poisonous dagger in one hand
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She floated towards the lord’s side, covered his mouth with one hand and stabbed him in the heart with the other His Majesty’s screams were muffled as he struggled against such a cruel deed! Deceived by the appearance of a gentle courtesan he certainly was! He died after the sixth stab, slumping in his throne The village’s savior disappeared smiling before Vibhāvarī-Devī opened her eyes to shower us with rays of light XXVI Parīkṣit eyed a bowl of freshly sliced mukhapriya Īshwar quietly peeled some more as his friend became lost in a story of bravery and principle Parīkṣit opened his mouth to receive dripping orange flesh The taste travelled down his throat releiving him of years without enjoying such fine treats! To Īshwar’s surprise Parīkṣit had another tale to give A moment in our world’s history that shall be relived till the end of time Like a pūtâtman’s life in Índra-Devá’s svargá, mortals live steadfast in their own pleasure gardens smelling the púṣkara that bend for them Pañcânana was born in an empire ruled by Mahārājá Parigarvita The creed laid down by the omnipotent leader is for all subjects to devote their mind only to the boundless Savitṛ-Devá To swim in his everlasting light is like a child enjoying the calming embrace of Gáṅgā-Deví And drink white wine from his candrákānta vase with great gratitude The people’s lord is the direct descendent of Savitṛ-Devá through his father’s side His skill of incredible speed rivals that of the shooting rays of Savitṛ-Devá The House of Sūryakara is reborn in each century but the presiding devá remains on his heavenly throne Mahārājá of Sūryaprabha’s subjects give sweets and money as an offering to him for the protection of their descendents The fear of gutting punishment never leaves their minds A curse leaving them jittery and alert of every action committed
No other devá could live in anyone’s home Mūrtis of them are prohibited by law! XXVII Born into a family of brāhmaṇas, Pañcânana had a strict upbringing She was rejected by her father when asking to participate in yajñá and study the Ṛg Veda No girl deserves to offer pétva to Agní-Devá Their minds are too meager to grasp the profound knowledge of the holy scriptures Grooming for marriage and motherhood is the appropriate education For all girls must be prepared to serve others perfectly throughout their lives Pañcânana laughed at such a foolish notion She even ridiculed the sacred rites To her girls who are the purest in all of the empire were often beguiled into submission Their virtues twisted and thinned till the heart collapses Is this the noble behavior of Mahārājá Parigarvita’s domain? To fall into a trap where marriage eventually becomes draining vessel!? Cook, clean and serve others till old age when one’s daughters have begun to endure the same cruel fate Pañcânana said “No! I am much better than that!” Against her father’s wishes she went to another village to purchase a mūrti of Mahākālī-Devī A sculptor put the large golden statue in a cart to be pulled to Pañcânana’s home Pañcânana grinned for she has begun her path to Mahādevī s heart To reside in the center of her most supreme beauty is to observe Mahādevī in her true ravishing form! XXVIII The mūrti stood in the center of her room on top of a nīlagandhika alter covered in red silk Bhadráśraya piṇḍaka filled the room allowing Pañcânana to immerse herself in deep concentration She sprinkles rice on her mūrti before touching its eyes and heart with a blade of grass dipped in pétva On a nepāla bhājana she sprinkles rice so her loving mother can sit on it With mālatī dipped in water from the Gáṅgā she washes her mother’s feet
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In an oblation of water mixed with milk, honey, yoghurt, ghee and sugar she dips her finger into the bowl to rub onto the devī’s lips Next to the treat is a glass of fresh water from a well Pañcânana secretely took water from her mother’s kitchen to replenish Mahākālī-Devī’s thirst With a new mālatī she dips into a bowl of water and in the bowl of sweet food to sprinkle her mother When Pañcânana finished bathing her, she wrapped red silk around the neck, draping it over the shoulders Our blessed devotee adorns Mahākālī-Devī’s chest with a golden sacred thread She applies sandalwood paste to her forehead and anointed it with kuṅkumam With many a mālatī and its leaves she surrounds her mother! New bhadráśraya piṇḍaka are lit to enchant a beautiful devī She lits a lamp filled with pétva on a plate to wave before her Iṣṭa-devatā To give her mother lunch she offers slices of rúciphala and drākṣās Clasping her hands together in prayer she walks around Her mother asking her to protect her always She looked into her tender eyes she saw red smoke flowing in circles Electricity forming as the swirls move faster Pañcânana took her polished vīṇā, beginning an evening of music filled with hidden memories Mahākālī-Devī listened to her thoughtful daughter’s music as hearing subtle sounds of emotions Each one signifying a moment in her oppressed child’s life From the painful humilation at the hands of a violent father to the first dream of sleeping in her accepting arms Pañcânana noticed her Iṣṭa-devatā’s face soaked in tears She pushed the vīṇā off her lap to hug her tightly Both cried for the rest of the night, forming a large puddle of loneliness on the cement floor Understanding her daughter’s need for a stream of love Mahākālī-Devī remained inside the mūrti
XXIX With each breath of her mother she saw a different flickering light of color A candle whose voice would speak to her softly She could barely understand what was said, though in her heart she saw Bráhman opened her eyes A white ocean calmly resting under Candrá-Devá who looks upon her brother with adoring eyes Pañcânana used to spend many vārṣikāns attempting to reach her mother She screamed in horror when pushed back to Pṛthvī-Devī Sūrya-Devá thwarted each attempt to keep this ambitious daughter of Mahākālī-Devī from succeeding He saw her fidelity growing faster than Hanumān-Devá’s mischievous tail From his emerald throne he watched carefully in a astonishment No dissident would dare reach a devī without fearing brutish punishment! A special bond reserved for men of the highest spiritual state Yet, here is this young creature ignoring his magnificent self! She gave her life to Mahākālī-Devī who does not exist in any of the sacred scriptures of Mahārājá Parigarvita’s domain For they are written as tribute to our lord’s supreme divinity Mahādevī was regretfully ashamed of her narcisstic son To erase his power she sent a sculptor from Svargáloka to Pṛthvī Her request was for sculptures of her daughter Mahākālī-Devī to be created Hence, an Āryan girl will feel the natural pull of her heart She would reach the market by foot with money earned from selling butter to blacksmiths When seeing the collection of gold, silver and copper sculptures she would know by instinct which one is blessed by Mahākālī-Devī XXX One black evening a storm brewed outside Pañcânana closed and locked her windows Heavy rain turned dry mud into a river descending into the fearful Gáṅgā-Devī
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The roofs of homes were cracked by large balls of ice All families huddled in front of a blazing havana wondering what could have angered Sūrya-Devá Lightening struck house after house setting them aflame Every wall hit by a giant black rock, crumbled from the intense force! Every man, woman and child ran outside screaming for help “Where is our lord? Where is he? Please save us our our protector!?” Throughout the panic-stricken village Pañcânana remained in a deep meditative state A body gave a white glow as she purposefully got lost in the immeasurable love of Mahākālī-Devī Mahākālī-Devī’s heart melted into a milky sea for she had succumbed to the delight of motherhood Her daughter swam unharmed by the many floating semantī The world’s most fortunate being had achieved the highest state one can reach as a mortal She completely surrendered to her mother to remain in her arms forever How is it possible for a mere mortal let alone a young woman reach a realm unknown to mankind? No one is selfless enough to accomplish such a feat! XXXI I will take the risk of revealing a truth: in the previous life of the Brāhmaṇa’s daughter she was an extremely powerful sage who could shake the world with her laughter The Devás feared another war with a mortal who clutches the magnificent divine powers In their minds Anāpadi was a threat to Índra-Devá’s reign over all life, both heavenly and earthly Fortunately, she was only interested in becoming one with Mahādevī Anāpadi lived as a hermit in the bakula forest, listening to the songs of her Holy Mother The melody caressed her cheeks to let her know she is in a nurturing womb Every time she left the world to listen to her mother sing a mantra pieced itself together When awaking from this slumber she wrote the enchanting songs furiously across fresh banana leaves Lines written in black ink tempt Anāpadi’s heart to spring into a lake of passion when glowing
The scent of her mother’s padmaāsavam emanates from the leaves comforting he saint For decades her fidelity towards Mahādevī was a virtue she guarded with her thick will Unable to see any other view on love as valid To this tired, old woman the one love that exists forever resides In the womb of a the forgiving and thoughtful Supreme Mother She brings her strength to the surface to squash egotistical enemies She brings her tenderness to her hands to sooth the shaking grief of her battered children What greater parent one can ask for? Anāpadi viewed Mahādevī as her sole mother Unforeseen by the Devás she was imbued with great powers as an act of appreciation from Mahādevī! The heavenly bodies cannot defeat such a woman for their powers are small in comparison Lacking the amṛta to churn these energies into a massive force The color of white eventually became less appealing due to the internal stronghold of humility By terrible a hermit who sleeps in the Holy Mother’s lap was born a mortal! When reaching her last few years on Pṛthvī the body crippled unexpectedly In one gasp it broke into countless of pieces like a mahārājá’s porcelain vase knocked off its pedestal Oh! Such a sad ending this poor daughter endured! XXXII Anāpadi’s ātman rested in a sublime state of peace Truly happy with the silence for it gave her many blissful dreams When awaking from centuries of naps she sensed something wrong had occurred Looking at her unshapely body she saw a radiant light She didn’t have arms, legs, teeth or anything of the human nature Even the blood that flows through red flesh to give it life did not exist! It dawned on her she had died in a solitary life for her love for the Supreme Devī needed that much attention What shall one do at this point? Anāpadi did not achieve mokṣa so had to reincarnate on Bhūmī-Devī
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Her new form will be a Brāhmaṇa’s pious daughter She will stay in the protective arms of the Supreme Devī To avoid the terrible consequences of mortality The Anāpadi the world knew lived as a solitary hermit Her family died unable to find her after several searches A young girl who woke up realizing she must find her mother Ran into the bakula forest to find her, though never coming out In many lives before she took the form of a hermit Reaching for the sky in hope the Holy Mother would grab her hands The reason for choosing a spiritual path regardless of the pressures of life is the courage that exists in the heart Anāpadi possessed a blind passion to reach further than the starry Dyauṣ regardless of the snow storms and the Vārṣikān XXXIII Pañcânana sits before a mūrti in her bare room All of her luxury and personal belongings stripped as punishment A mūrdhaka received an edict from Mahārājá Parigarvita to deprive her of all the things that that make a person a normal citizen! However, what she really wanted in this life was to be sleeping in her mother’s arms She begged here righteous father to protect the mūrti from harm He ignored her plea for he did not believe in rescuing a disobedient daughter Her mother who imparted values turned away in disappointment As the wife of a brāhmaṇa she could not aid a blasphemer Women had no choice but to follow the orders of men It was their duty to take heed to a man’s advice afterall Pañcânana looked at her mother with tears flowing down her soft cheeks Mahākālī-Devī heard the cries of her abandoned daughter She opened her eyes as frustration turned into an agníparvata Our dear mother fought to contain her rage for she
must be aware when the mūrdhakas arrive to take her daughter away Mūrdhakas stormed into this willful daughter’s room One reads a message from a silk scroll: “By Mahārājá Parigarvita’s law, harboring a devá who isn’t the mahārājá of all celestial and earthly life, Sūrya-Devá is punishable by imprisonment in the deepest dungeons for six months, with little water and food, a hundred lashes and lastly, death at the claws of ten tigers!” Pañcânana stood up proudly with her fists clenched Even in a dire situation she knows her life will be spared Wiping her tears before looking at these scoundrels She gutted them with words manifested by enveloping valor XXXIV “Why is it that a citizen of this wealthy empire must submit to a devá she has no connection to? Is it because Mahārājá Parigarvita is descended from him, so we must follow a divine being blindly? I may be a righteous brāhmaṇa’s daughter but I am not a dog I do not bend to the wishes of a tyrant nor do I follow laws which restrict the freedom of my heart! You can strip me bare and let the tigers devour my flesh but as long as Mahādevī resides in my heart I will never give up my will! Never!!! It is the Supreme Mother who rules over all! Her warmth and just character lead the actions of the Devás and the human race She is the thought forming in your mind and the breath you inhale She is everything you see and is beyond what our simple consciousness can perceive! If you touch my mother she will destroy you in an instant! In Bhūdevī’s previous lives she governed her children till they died! Her power was feared by all yet respected as the most virtuous quality No one challenged her rule, no one dared
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to mock her! Our Holy Mother’s strength is beyond a mortal’s grasp Even her godly children are unable to accomplish such a feat! Will you take the risk of laying a trembling hand on her stiff arm? I dare you to try! Your life will end before you can scream!” XXXV Trembling in their shoes these kṣatriyas laughed at such nonsense Two brushed her aside and laid their dirty hands on the sculpture The ground shook as it emnanted deep red energy Stone cracked like an egg releasing whipping rage throughout all the lands Those who defiled women choked as their bodies received hundreds of lashes Throats burned as the lungs slowly shrinked from the disappearance of consumed water Kālikā-Devī lunged towards the kṣatriyas blazing from the naked toes to the disheveled hair Her hair wild as the moonsoon storm snaps at soldiers She screeches so loud their eardrums could not withstand it Blood flowed from the ears onto the floor Kālikā-Devī licked the blood off her weak victims’ faces Smiling as they shed tears of fear! The terrible devī’s skin color is black like charred bones It is the night sky hiding secrets a mother chooses to never divulge She opens her mouth, exhaling deadly black smoke into the mouths of shaking soldiers Their bodies fell to the floor, bonelesss and without organs She laughed while kicking these empty shells! To her such a sight is amusing Our rageful divine mother who shows compassion in dire moments stays focused on conquering the foe of virtuous nature Innocent people crouch in fear though remain unscratched
In one hand Kālikā-Devī weilds a mahāvadha and in the other she holds a gada She looks at her child with a smile to let her know she will always come to her rescue when she is being persecuted XXXVI Pañcânana, lost in the sight of her mother’s unsurpassed beauty touched her feet to offer respect In her eyes the need to sacrifice herself to the consuming fire that is Mahādevī is clearer than the Gáṅgā Kālarātri-Devī blessed this child with her soft touch, opening the door of her heart to allow her vulnerable daughter to walk through Pañcânana gave up the perils of being human to dwell in the essence of her mother The luminous devī cannot be defined by the written word She sees all the troubles and joys in this world but is unmoved Her strength becomes the shield she uses when gazing at her children from afar She remains translucent to absorb their emotions Every girl is harmed for the sake of power Every woman is humilated for entertainment Passivity is not Kālarātri-Devī’s way though punishment is! She squashes the poisoned ego in all its forms Her gada breaks the shell to punch the flesh till it is thin She drinks the blood of her enemies as if it is Sóma Her mind fixated on annihlating all who poses a threat to her soveriegnity Our Supreme Mother: the defender of the righteous and ruler of the limitless ego! She leaps to Mahārājá Parigarvita’s palace dripping blood from her padákamalas across the village With one angry roar she demands the ásura to come outside and fight XXXVII The fearless foe is quickly dressed in military garb His breastplate made from silver is etched with protection mántras given by Sūrya-Devá His crown made from the stolen gold of Laṅkā is adorned with yellow citrines They form the long senuous rays of Sūrya
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On both arms armlets made from the tusks of pañcanakha display mántras for victory Mahārājá Parigarvita’s polished gada is clutched by his shattering fist Before leaving his lustrous golden palace, he went to his bedroom chamber Upon seeing a tearful rājñī firmly holding a plate with a lit lamp, a small pile of rice and a small pile of kuṅkumam Rājñī Bhāvinī shook for a pinching fear of her husband’s death sits in the stomach She muffled her sobs while waving the lamp for her husband With one finger the distressed rājñī annointed her her lord’s forehead with kuṅkumam and sprinkled him with rice In her heart she was screaming for a truce to take place A voluptuous rājñī with pearly skin sunk into a state of terror when watching her victorious husband walk into battle Mahārājá Parigarvita kicked the entrance doors, breaking them off their hedges He stood a hundred feet away from Kālarātri-Devī whose eyes pierced the emperor’s heart with a menacing stare They are two craters of black water forming ripples Our Holy Savior’s disgust with the selfish ego is magnified ten times when seeing this stray dog sticking his chest out XXXVIII The two bloodthirsty warriors did not budge till Vibhāvarī laid down in her yellow satin bed The incorruptible devī jumped, laughing at how pungent the vile giant is! Even in the beginning of a battle she finds humor in smallest things It gives her power a second to grow larger Our Holy Mother screamed with such hot intensity the dogs’ ears bled It was deafening for the people whose ears are not strong enough to handle such a powerful wave! A million daggers she spit towards the towering tyrant None punctured his flesh or scratched the breastplate! He laughed at such childish tricks! For a devī is no where near the immeasurable powers
he possesses! She is merely the creation of Bráhman’s will To be pulled and squeezed for at his leisure Many yards our greatest warrior stood from the foul enemy Flinging fire, poisoned darts and axes at his chest, arms and legs Nothing could hurt Mahārājá Parigarvita! It was as if the monster was beyond mortality! She grew frustrated with the difficulty in conquering her daughter’s corrupted nemesis Her eyes shot fire when the emperor begin degrading her They whipped the dirt path setting it aflame Kālikā-Devī leaped through the smokey air, landing in front of lord whose heart is meagre XXXIX Kālikā-Devī’s hair became a stream of fire whipping everything in sight! Stunned by such recklessness Mahārājá Parigarvita striked her with his silver gada Another surprise! Kālikā-Devī did not fall! She hit her enemy’s chest and legs with her jagged sword though the armor would not crack How can a divine weapon forged in her flaming heart not make even a dent? She striked his body harder and harder in attempt to break the impenetrable garb Mahārājá Parigarvita laughed as he hit her stomach ten times Kālikā-Devī remained standing without any bruises She lunged at him, biting his neck as if it were raw meat The Mahārājá of Sūryaprabha howled in great pain for the sharp teeth sank into his flesh all the way Enraged by this foul act he threw her to the end of of the village She cackled knowing his weakness is the bare neck Kālikā-Devī’s hair lifted her up as the fire from the blood-soaked path devoured empty villages During the battle she urged her children to run to the mountains to keep eachother safe from her wrath She grew taller than three Bhūdevīs combined while her hair set her aflame an unlimited inferior that enlarged with each breath! She walked towards her great enemy bringing him to
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his knees He realized his effort to conquer a devī would not have mattered She is the ultimate divinity who received no attention through the length of his dynasty How such a circumstance came to be? Kālikā-Devī’s steps shook Bhūdevī frightening her She prostrated before the Supreme Mother to offer her heart’s respect Kālikā-Devī looked down to see Mahārājá Parigarvita crying hysterically for mercy Our grand warrior smiled before picking his body up to her mouth She looked into his wet eyes to see what he is feeling The swollen ego crumbled into pieces to open a box of permeating insecurities Kālikā-Devī put him in her mouth to crunch till nothing except the bones are left She closed her eyes to see Mahārājá Parigarvita’s mind melt into small drops XL Kindness is given to the ones with pure hearts One cannot find love if his virtues are missing Virtues are the māṇava a person wears around his spotless neck A golden ornament the Divine would bestow on anyone who is willing to forsake all ill qualities As long as it remains unhooked one’s beauty will blossom like the kṛṣṇákanda In the bulb sits pollen poured gracefully by Lakṣmī-Devī The puṣkarêkṣaṇa devī expresses the beauty of an adoring doe when her children vie for her attention Unable to decide whom to lavish her virtues upon, she divides them amongst them all In Lakṣmī-Devī’s realm, the Kṣīradhi forms waves in an attempt to reach her padákamalas She notices their desire so dips her feet into the ocean The resplendent devī sighs as the waves carresses them Her nights and mornings are spent taking care of Nārāyaṇá She gazes at her husband with genuine appreciation He created her during the Samudrámathana Fearing for what may happen to a radiant devī
He grabbed her body when she emerged from the crashing waves of the Kṣīradhi Her white body glowing so brightly the features could not be seen She was purity in its greatest form! Nārāyaṇá saw in her virtues moving in a circular motion Sending the newly-born devī into a state of ectasy Lakṣmī-Devī smiled for eternity even though her intense joy simmered down Her husband one day realized morality was created to keep the universe from destroying itself XLI Īshwar smells the fresh mālatīmālā he made for himself One of his pleasures is to collect flowers from a tree so he can fall into a paradise when dreaming Parīkṣit’s throat begin to itch from not drinking the whole day He waddles to the misty lake to drink the cool water and play in it Parīkṣit and Īshwar slept facing eachother, satisfied with the pleasing circumstances A relationship that shall last till the end of the world! Parīkṣit dreamed of his home where havana blazed during each yajñá He chanted prayers for Uṣas-Devī to keep the light in his heart flickering forever A taste of divine genoristy is something most do not have the fortune of experiencing One morning Parīkṣit received the blessing from Uṣas-Devī he had been seeking After Uṣas-Devī finished bathing the world gently, Parīkṣit prostrated before her to offer his respect and gratitude He made a promise to devote his life to keeping the moral strength of humanity intact In this dream an unexpected surprise unfolds causing Parīkṣit to smile with joy Śatárūpa-Devī rose from the havana wearing a white śāṭī laden with marakataśyāmas along the border Proclaiming Īshwar as her son and the sacred muse of humanity His dhárma is to inspire artists to produce works espousing the joys of possessing virtuous character in times of great distress He will also write scriptures made of the tales
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memorized by his loyal companion, Parīkṣit These two will go from village to village to share monumental events in hopes the people will be inspired to create art in the name of Bráhman! Parīkṣit will create divine melodies with a vīṇā While Īshwar sing these stories as lovely as the caṭakas Parīkṣit cried in despair to the supreme muse of all beings: “How can I help a friend when my lord cursed me to die in the form of a swan!?” Śatárūpa-Devī understood his delimma, thus kindly carressed his cheek In this moment she blessed a compassionate hermit to be free from a cruel fate XLII Awakening when Uṣas-Devī filled the sleeping Bhūdevī with her joy, Parīkṣit touched his face, arms and legs Excitement rushed to his heart making him stand up to shout Mahādevī’s exalted name Īshwar awoke to see a bearded man with black hair flowing to the small of his back His brown eyes smile at him! The muse hugged his friend tightly for he was breathtaken by this unexpected moment A man with a scarred spirit sighed for the first time in many years He smelled like a man and looked like one too! Parīkṣit’s white skin shone under the blazing Sūrya like satin The world’s savior cried in enormous joy for he finally Could touch and hold his friend the way male companions do! After a few deep breaths he asked his friend how the malicious curse was lifted He listened carefully to a dream in which a compassionate devī broke Parīkṣit’s cage Śatárūpa-Devī broke the curse by revealing the name of her son who is the heavenly muse She did so for it was time to begin saving the voice of Mahādevī from extinction Too much knowledge was thrown into the havanas for the sake of retaining power over a gullable populace The sacred scriptures which lay in layers of soil were
tossed by our youth who found hunting and rendevouses with gopīs to be pleasurable He was shocked by all of the news Parīkṣit shared with him To not know why one suddenly wakes up in a forest far from civilization without any memory is terrifying He had been alone for years and cried under the Candrá-Devá who at times joined him To him there was no life before the forest! When he begged Parīkṣit to bring his mother to him his wise friend lowered his head in disappointment He felt the pangs Īshwar harbored though could not fulfill this request yet Our world’s most sensual bard told him the duty must be fulfilled before his mother lets him come back home A boy whose eyes are serene as a swan’s, it is unbearable to watch when he’s sobbing He may be as emotional as a child yet his strength keeps him from committing suicide It his shield against the sins humanity hungrily gobbled His virtues grew more intense as the years pass for Mahādevī created him this way to aide her children Īshwar eventually realized something bigger than himself demanded his compassion XLIII The amorous Īshwar took his friends cold hands in his to kiss them His full lips soft as a pillow suckles the knuckles, giving warmth to the hermit’s joints Parīkṣit’s heart was washed with red water to give his flourishing love more passion He took his lover’s chin in his hand offering an ensaring kiss A moan escaping from our darling boy is the pink smoke that floated in his heart Parīkṣit caught it with his hand to inhale the rose-scented perfume Ectasy flows from his head to the naked feet Clutching Īshwar to his chest he tore the white śāṭī into pieces leaving a voloptuous boy half-naked His fair body, slender and curvacious with a lustrous surface! Black hair so long and thick, is used as a pillow Brāhmaṇas say nīlakaṇṭha are the most elegant creatures Bhūdevī gave birth to However, to Parīkṣit the limp slender beauty is more
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ravishing! He looked at his admiring preṣṭhatamaḥ from the small head to the little toes Nipples pink and large tempt him to chew on them Indeed! Our brave sage pinned Īshwar to the ground His teeth pinched the joyful boy’s nipples making him shout in pleasure For an hour Īshwar moaned as his nipples were softened before receiving a massage by a strong tongue It is a teasing game Parīkṣit learned in his youth The smitten muse’s hands rested on his lover’s mountainous back He sank his nails into it when teeth bit into his shoulder XLIV Next to the two lovers lay tattered clothes Their bodies kept warm by the hot passion pulsing in every inch of flesh Īshwar had no idea he could find pleasure in biting and pinching He turned his lover onto his back, straddling him and clutching his shoulders To Parīkṣit’s surprise his anukūla knew a few tricks! His loins were softened by the boy’s forceful grinding He moans as sexual lust over took him due to the furious massage Parīkṣit bucked eight times sending Īshwar flying through the air! Sūrya-Devá catches him by the waist to prevent a sudden death He lays his loyal devotee next to Parīkṣit whose face had turned bright red from the unrestrained tease He carressed Īshwar’s chest while looking at him with sorrowful eyes White skin covered in sweat glistens under the Sūrya A once miserable haṃsá who swam in the buddhisāgara, left it to delight in the essence of a manhood To not know the other good things men are capable of is to forget about human existence Parīkṣit transformed into a hungry beast, carrying his heroine to the bank of the Parinirvivapsā He lays him down on the wet mud, touching those high cheekbones The uncouth sage licked the sweat off those thin arms
as if they were sugar cane His slave moaned when every inch of his body was kissed to make him cave into being his lord’s servant for tonight Īshwar feared what would happen if he tried to escape He screamed when his delicate waist was clasped tightly by knees hard as boulders! XLV The pain was too much yet Parīkṣit did not care He covered the boy’s mouth to begin massaging his twitching tanúhrada Two fingers forcefully slid inside, swelling the pink flesh His dirty nails tickles the surface making the youth shudder in pleasure Īshwar shouted for his man to pound his poṭa to reach a climax under Dyauṣpitṛ’s curious observance Noticing animals peeking from the bushes, he wanted to please them all with a display of insatiable lust By the time Parīkṣit had finished relaxing his virgin’s muscles he got off to turn him onto his belly Ankles were tied above his sweet companion’s head He watches a sore purīṣaṇa gaping to invite his phallus to plunge into it Grasping the light muse’s legs the lord begins ramming his pauruṣá all the way to the back without any breaks For an hour years of pent up bhága is exhaled by a pure youth He felt his soulmate’s meṇḍhra strike him repeatedly, warming his cold body during a freezing midnight Over and over Īshwar was kneaded by the force of a madanâṅkuśa that increased with each strike His body became red from the toes to the head, signifying the melting of the heart A bhoga overwhelmed him, hence there was a need to freeze it Pleasure remaining constant is coveted by the deprived Īshwar The lovers grunted in ratábandha, accidently letting their seed spill onto the ground Mādhavīlatā flower seeds that flew to the bank sank in from the weight of their bodies XLVI The throbbing piṇḍika that plowed our gentle boy’s tight flesh had loosened it A feared sword eliminating the knot to offer needed
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nourishment Parīkṣit slept in his gentle lover’s arms as Candrá-Devá opened its eyes to see if his faithful devotee was spared from harm He became calm at the sight of a glowing Īshwar In any conquest the victim becomes a foul-smelling cloth to be discarded Parīkṣit was the hunter searching for something to mangle for his own amusement His heart attached itself to Īshwar’s for their love is more luscious than the amṛta An exhausted poet layed on top of his ruler in a kiss They shared a breath that tasted of exotic fruit Indeed, the love of the Devás is exotic for only those with minds and hearts pure as the mahāpadma can sniff the elongated flower Parinirvivapsā brushes against them throughout the evening Asborbing the scent of the maithuná between two kindred spirits Parinirvivapsā-Devī sighed for a dream manifested in reality before her eyes She begun to pray to Bráhman to bring her this fortunate fate Her wish to experience the uplifting sensuality flourished like her bosom The animals who mate before her are clueless about their friend’s feelings Everything living in her world is unaware of the beautiful character she posseses The quaility of wanting love is unheard of in our time but she cherishes it like a noble lady who frequents the rāgitaru
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Glossary and Notes for the Poems of Sunil Narayan
Charles – Is a reference to Charles Frederick Worth (10 October 1825 – 10 March 1895) who is the father of Haute Couture. He created his own fashion house in Paris, France with Aldric – Is a reference to Karl Lagerfeld and an financial support from Swed Otto Bobergh. His Ancient Germanic and French name that means brand was the first of its kind and with patronage “old ruler”. from Empress Eugenie of Imperial France the couture label gained international fame. Worth’s Antonia – A reference to Marie Antoinette, the clients included Princess Pauline Clémentine de Queen of France Metternich, Empress Eugenie of Imperial France, Queen Maud of Norway and Cora Pearl (Emma Āryan – A Sanskrit term for respectable, honorable, Crouch). He catered only to the wealthy and the wise, faithful or noble man. royalty (France, Spain, Norway, Austria, Italy and Bakula - Is a small Indian tree with fragrant white- Russia). yellowish flowers. The biological name is Mimusops Worth didn’t create simple designs, he created elengi and it comes from the Sapotaceae family. masterpieces. The way his business worked was instead of creating garments according to Balíbhuj - A Sanskrit term for sparrow. exactly what the customer wants he created many garments based on his knowledge of historical Bière – Beer. European and current fashion, then had his models Bhārgavaka - A diamond. show them to clients four times a year. If a client liked a garment she put in her order and received Bhūdevī - (also known as Rátnavatī, Pṛthvī-Devī, it exactly as Worth designed it. Worth is the first Dharā-Devī, Dharitrī-Devī and Bhūmī-Devī) Is couturier to be creative so while his designs have the Sanskrit name for the Goddess of the Earth. hints of historical fashion he was very in tune with the changes of fashion. The garments reflect Bhūruha – A Sanskrit term for pearl. society’s taste. It is why his couture house became the dominant one in Europe. Boutique de marque – A designer shop. The following glossary and notes are provided to add meaning to the poems of Sunil Narayan included in this issue of Online Pagans Magazine. Buddhisāgara – ocean of wisdom. Campaka – Is the Sanskrit term for an evergreen fragrant flower tree. Its botanical name is Magnolia champaca and family is Magnoliaceae. His business was continued by his sons GastonLucien Worth and Jean-Phillipe Worth. GastonLucien was the first president of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture (located in Paris). The organization established guidelines for a couture house and for the business aspect. One
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of the concerns in fashion was plagiarism so there were rules enforced to protect the designers’ ideas. Other rules include having 20 people in an atelier to produce at least 50 garments per year; two showcases had to be held (one in January for the Spring season and the other in July for the Fall season). Cochon - A pig. Couturier – A fashion designer. Derrière – Backside or bottom. Déesse Diane – Diane, the Roman Goddess (Déesse) of the Moon. Déesse Vénus – Vénus, the Roman Goddess (Déesse) of Love. Devá – Is a Sanskrit term for “god” as in “the God Śiva”. When referring to the entire Vedic or Hindu pantheon of deities one would say “the Devás” or “the Gods”. Devī – Is the Sanskrit term for “goddess”. When referring to the goddesses of the Hindu pantheon or Vedic pantheon one says “the Devīs”. Domestique - A servant. Drākṣā – A grape. Dundubhí – Is a Sanskrit term for a type of large kettle drum. Esclave – A slave. Gaïa – Is the Greek Goddess of the Earth. Grande dame – A great (grande) lady (dame).
Īshwar – A later form of the Sanskrit word Īśvará which means “God”. Lakṣmī-Devī/Mahālakṣmī – Is the Sanskrit name for the Goddess of Wealth, Good Fortune, Good Luck, Beauty and Fertility. When the prefix of “mahā” (great) is used the name refers to Mahādevī, in the form of Mahālakṣmī. Mādhavīlatā – The Sanskrit word for a fragrant white flower that’s also known as “The Spring Creeper”. Its botanical name is Hiptage benghalensis and family name is Malpighiaceae. Mahādevī – Is the Sanskrit name for the Supreme Goddess who is the female equivalent of Bráhman. Mākanda – The Sanskrit word for the mango tree. Mālatī – A Sanskrit word that means “a woody climber with fragrant white jasmine flowers”. Its botanical name is Aganosma dichotoma and family name is Apocynaceae. Mallikā – Is the Sanskrit term for Jasminum sambac (botanical term), which is a fragrant white flower and is grown all over India. The species comes from the Oleaceae family. The synonyms for this flower include mallī and vánacandrikā. Its common names include “arabian jasmine” and “tuscan jasmine”. Maṇícīra – A Sanskrit word that means “a garment adorned with jewels”. Maṇíguṇanikara – A Sanskrit word that means “a multitude of strings of pearls”. Māṇikyamaya – A Sanskrit word that means “made or consisting of rubies”.
Mdvanii – A highly aesthetic sculpture created Kundamālā – Is the Sanskrit term for a garland by BillyBoy* that serves as a prototype for many of a type of jasmine flower known as Jasminum different sculptures of the same quality (i.e. Ouimi, multiflorum. It’s common name is “Star Jasmine”. Ishwar, Soraya, Dheei, Edie, Muio-Bix, Jobii, Yucef, Rhogit-Rhogit, Zhdrick, Tiimky). All fit into Índra-Devá – (also known as Śakrá-Devá) Is the the Avante Garde and/or Haute Couture genres of Sanskrit name for the King of the Gods and the fashion. God of the Sky, the Rain and Heaven. 76 Online Pagans Magazine September October 2010
Nīlagandhika – A Sanskrit word that means “a and Sāvitrī-Devī) Is the Sanskrit name for the blue ruby”. goddess who rules over the intellectual realm and the artistic realm. She is the wife of Brahmā-Devá Ouimi – The sister of Soraya (Suraiyā). who is the creator of the universe or the God of Creation. Pādakilikā – The Sanskrit word for foot-ring, ornament or anklet. Selēnē – The Greek Goddess of the Moon. Parāga – The Sanskrit word for sandal. Parīkṣit – A Sanskrit word that means “one who examines”. Parinirvivapsā – A Sanskrit word that means “the desire of giving” (it is also the lake that nourishes the forest Īshwar resides in). Parihārya – The Sanskrit word for bracelet. Parihāṭaka – The Sanskrit word for armlet. Pêche – Peach. Petit – Small. Piṇḍika – The penis. Poṭa – The rectum. Prāvṛṣya – The Sanskrit term for the cat’s-eye gemstone. Putain – Whore. Rāgitaru – A Sanskrit term for the “red or ‘passionate’ tree”. Rājabhavanam – The Sanskrit term for “a royal palace”. Ratábandha – Sexual union. Rúciphala – A pear. Śāṭī – Is the Sanskrit term for a strip of cloth used to make a women’s dress (also known as a “sari”). Svargáloka – Is the Sanskrit term for Índra-Devá’s heaven. Sarasvatī-Devī – (also known as Śatárūpa-Devī September October 2010 Online Pagans Magazine 77 Sóma-Devá - Is the Sanskrit name for the God of the Moon. His other names are Candrá-Devá and Rajanīpati-Devá. The juice made from the sóma plant is called “sóma”. Suraiyā (Soraya) – Is the Persian word for “a brilliant gem”. Sūrya – Is the Sanskrit name for God of the Sun (also known as Vivásvat-Devá and Sāvitrī-Devá). Un gâteau aux fraises – Strawberry cake. Un prostitué – The male prostitute. Varṣártu – The Sanskrit term for the rainy season. Yuthikā – The Sanskrit term for a type of jasmine flower known by the botanical name of Jasminum auriculatum. It is from the Oleaceae family. Zeús – The Greek King of the Gods and the God of the Sky and Thunder.
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