On Finding My Yoga

By Sardaka, via Wikimedia Creative Commons.

[This piece was written in August of 2011. My son was 3 and my daughter was 6 months old. I've edited it in places, but much of it remains true to where I'm at now.] One of the things I love about yoga and Hinduism is that there is an ‘in’ for just about everyone. Are you a monotheist? There is point of entry. Are you a non-dualist? Try Advaita Vedanta. Do you see the God as male? Perhaps being a Vaishnava is for you. Do you see God as female? Say hello to Durga. Want to be less religious … [Read more...]

Values

[This essay was written back in 2011, but it touches on some conversations I've had recently, as well as the work I am currently doing with my teachers. I have re-written portions of this and edited it. Please enjoy!] Pagans get a bad rap in the media. Nonconformists, anti-establishment, the lot of them - and dangerous to boot. (Not such bad things, I think!) Witches are next down the list of potentially scary people, what with their magic and generally pro-feminist attitudes. Within the … [Read more...]

Kali Puja

Kalialtaricon

Several people for the last year or two have asked me to write about how I do devotions to Kali. Here is what I do. It is a combination of rituals I have gleaned online and in books, and elements of my Feri practice. Background I honor Kali just about any time I sit down at my altar and light incense. Ganesh always gets the first wave of incense and prayer: "Jai Ganesh. May my worship be acceptable." Then I wave the incense before Kali and say "Jai Ma!" From there I may go into … [Read more...]

Shiva the Witch God

Kalialtaricon

Shiva has been part of my devotional practice for quite a while: I dedicate Mondays to him specifically. For the last few months I've been contemplating him as a witch god. In some Hindu traditions Shiva is considered the god of the margins, of the people on the far edges of society. Part of this is because Shiva is not concerned with social structures or formalities - he would rather be focused on his own practice and bliss. Depending on one's Hindu tradition, Shiva can be the Destroyer, … [Read more...]

Singing In Christmas

OCS2013

Christmas has almost always been a cultural holiday for me. Growing up, I had stockings and a tree, but we never went to services, unless we were visiting family in Australia. Once I started singing I was more inclined to go to midnight caroling services and join in caroling parties. Even as a teenager exploring Christianity on my own, I continued to feel that most of the holiday was more about cultural traditions rather than religious observance. I still feel this way, and I have a soft spot … [Read more...]

Finished Yantras

I finished my yantras! It's taken me all week. Between finding the concentrated time and preparing myself, through meditation and chanting, it has been more challenging than I expected to finish such a small project. I have no idea if these are "correct," but they are infused with much intention, prayer, and enthusiasm. I'm so pleased that I finally got around to making my own yantras. I found the process educational and meditative. Next I will hang them in my altar. And … [Read more...]

Attempting Yantras

Yantras are intricate, geometrical Hindu designs. Tantric Hinduism uses them for meditation, magic, and devotion. It's an ancient practice that involves a lot of training, preparation, and precision. So I thought I'd make some. In a morning. Silly me. I have only ever seen yantras in books or on-line, never in person. I've been intrigued by the idea of doing some for myself since I first began my Hindu quarter at the beginning of this blog. Now, with my eldest child in kindergarten and my … [Read more...]

What I Do

Earlier in the week a friend on Facebook linked to a great blog post on a blog I'd never read before. The post is called The Keys to Success in Magic. It makes a great point, that most witches/magicians/sorcerers worth their salt don't do magic most of the time. I'd say that's true!Midway through the post the author has a 'flow chart' of his practice. If I had to make a chart, this would be pretty close.If we're not making magic, what do we do?I can't speak for most other people, but clearly … [Read more...]

A Budding Theologian

Last night I was chanting Om Namah Shivaya. My son, who will be 5 at the end of the month, was listening. "Mama, do some chants for Kali," he said. "I'm chanting to Shiva right now," I answered. "We can do some chants for Kali tomorrow." With such conviction he said to me, "Shiva and Kali are the same, Mama. Shiva is just a nickname for her." *** There's something to think about. … [Read more...]

Observing the week with Shiva and Kali

I've been writing a lot more frequently about Traditional Witchcraft stuff, but what's been happening with my Hindu practices, you might be wondering? I haven't forgotten or forsaken it. I've returned to a practice that I gained much from during my Hindu quarter at the start of this blog: I devote one day a week each to Shiva and Kali. Mondays are traditionally devoted to Shiva. Tuesdays are Kali's day. On these days I refrain from eating beef. While many Hindus are vegetarian, not all … [Read more...]