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September October 2010


onlinepagans.com
Issue #2

Pagans
M A G A Z I N E

Ancestors, Elders,
Mentors & Family
Skull photo by Ben Gruagach.
Contents
4 Editor’s Note by Ben Gruagach
6 Communion by Fyrsweord
10 Magi-Media Views And Reviews: Mentors In Pagan Fiction by Toriach
14 Thou Art Fair My Lady by Mystic Fool
15 Un Lourd Secret by Sunil Narayan
18 The Bile: A Celtic Family Tree? by James Byrne
20 Divination: How to Get Advice from Hidden Sources by Ben Gruagach
27 A Guarded Secret by Sunil Narayan
30 A Mage Alone: Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants by Toriach
33 Psychomanteums and Magick Mirrors by Ben Gruagach
36 Mdvanii Stirs Her Lover’s Desire! by Sunil Narayan
38 An Interview With Raven Grimassi by Ben Gruagach
42 Of Dates and Deities by Mystic Fool
45 Pagan Bookshelf: Magickal Life Stories by Ben Gruagach
48 A Swan Who Wallows In Lotus Laden Ponds by Sunil Narayan
50 Meditation: Night Ride on a Broomstick by Ben Gruagach
53 Īshwar by Sunil Narayan
75 Glossary and Notes for the Poems of Sunil Narayan

September October 2010 Online Pagans Magazine 3


Editor’s Note
By Ben Gruagach

W
elcome to the second issue of Online Pagans Our magazine is available in a variety of formats. Elec-
Magazine! This issue is dedicated to the mem- tronic formats are available for free, and a full-colour
ory of our ancestors, elders, mentors and fam- print version is available for the cost of printing and
ily who have gone before us. A special thanks to Isaac shipping. Please check out the menu options at the top
Bonewits (October 1, 1949 – August 12, 2010) for the of our website http://www.onlinepagans.com to obtain
amazing work he did in the Druid, Wiccan, and larger your copy. All our magazine content is also available on
Pagan community. He rests now with the Shining Ones this website for free.
on the other side of the Veil after a courageous battle
with cancer. He will be greatly missed. If you would like to submit content for a future is-
sue of Online Pagans Magazine please email us at
We hope you enjoy the included articles, poems, and submissions@onlinepagans.com
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 com- Cernunnos from the Gundestrop Cauldron.
munity at large. May they inspire you to create your own! Photo by Ben Gruagach.

4 Online Pagans Magazine September October 2010


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www.onlinepagans.com
Communion
By Fyrsweord

B
y whatever term your tradition uses to describe from the traditional paranormal investigation findings,
the date 31 October is fast approaching. It is a and pagan rites to contact the dead. I am going to share
time when many feel the dead walk the earth. with you an experience I had a year ago and then contin-
A time when one can more easily connect with the an- ue with this narrative. Why? Because I learned that any
cestors. A time when one should protect from the not time, or any day of the year one can part the veil - one
so well meaning entities that may reside in the night can commune with the ancestors, or the dearly departed.
shadows. A time when kids dress up and go knocking on
doors to supply a sugar fix for the next month or two. A My story. My coming home.
time when parents check all the candy under the guise
of making sure it is safe, when in fact, we are looking for
Last summer I was at a site on the Missouri here in North
our favorite candies to snitch.
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 Whenever I think we will be going anywhere where I may en-
those that may walk amongst us as shadows or wraiths. counter something of a spiritual nature I bring an offering. I

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-trav-


elled by most non-Christians at this
time of year. I am going to deviate

Missouri River at dusk.


Inset: the author at Double Ditch - site of
large Mandan settlement - Mandan ND.

6 Online Pagans Magazine September October 2010


brought an offering of dried white sage, sweet grass and tobacco that I could not catch it and record it correctly. There were
leaf. scenes of children playing and laughing. People were playing
games. There was hunting on foot and horseback.
Okay, there was this one mound, a bit off the beaten path that The scents of cooking food. Hides being worked. What I think
really drew me. That happens also sometimes – a mound – an was being in a sweat lodge that really hit me as I felt I was
object – a picture of a long dead person – draws me in. So, I given a glimpse into something truly sacred. Men around a fire
presented my offering and a request that I be allowed to lay speaking. Then wagons and dugouts and sod houses and white
there on the mound with no malice intended. I did not get any men and buffalo herds turning into smoke and the deer would
‘bad vibes’ from the request. Quite the opposite as it felt even run away… Women were crying and the chanting. That was
more welcoming. My friends were wandering off so I basically one thing that stuck with me later. It was a singsong cadence
alone. So I lay down and closed my eyes. 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
it all. beginning of the end.

Anyway, I am drifting and I sense mist rising around me or fog Then I am back at the mound with the gent and he gestures
or smoke. Out of this mist walks an old man with a stick? A with a smile and the mist/smoke starts to part and a black wolf
staff? He had long white hair and was wearing a leather tunic with the greenest eyes runs passed me. The wolf is followed by a
with beadwork. I think. I knew him to be Native American. white mare with a lightening blaze and sparks from her hoofs.
Which tribe I can’t say as this area He lets go of my hand and starts to walk into the mist and I
has been the home to the Mandan don’t want him to leave. But I hear a screech in the sky above
, various Sioux tribes, some Chey- me and there is this large golden eagle and he is tilting his wings
enne – I even think the Apache and loses a feather and I watch it float down to my feet.
made it this far over the centu-
ries. What is really odd is I can’t What does this have to do with the 31st of October you
describe him more than as being may ask. It is a bit convoluted but stay with me here. The
elderly, with a stick. What caught premise that the veil is the thinnest at this time of the
me was when he got closer to me year, that we are more able to contact those that have
he was holding out his right hand, gone before us is not necessarily true. What happened
palm up. In his palm was my offer- changed me in a myriad of ways that I still cannot ful-
ing. He clasped my hand with his ly explain. I have found that I do not need the dark of
and the offering was held by both night, I do not need a full moon, or any special ritualized
of us. means to reach out to the past and learn. To hear and
see those that have gone before me with a clarity that was
This is where it gets terribly fuzzy. not matched by experiences prior to my vision.
It is like snippets of memories. I
can remember it being vivid for all

Images: Double Ditch - Mandan ND.

September October 2010 Online Pagans Magazine 7


Background photo: Hills overlooking Fort Lincoln, Mandan ND.

8 Online Pagans Magazine September October 2010


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.

September October 2010 Online Pagans Magazine 9


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
fiction is used to mean any story told in any medium. talking about four different kinds of mentors that one
will generally find in Pagan themed fiction. Obviously

O
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.
This is something that sometimes is an incidental part of
the story as is the case with the original Star Wars. Some- For the longest time this was the kind of mentor most
times it is the whole point of the story as is the case with commonly encountered in fiction. The classic mentor is
the recent movie starring Nicolas Cage and Jay Baruchel, often more of an archetype than a fully realized charac-
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. ter. They might have flaws, or quirks, but these usually
only serve to make their powers and other worldly ways
Before we go forward perhaps we should talk a bit about all the more striking. The classic mentor is almost totally
what is a mentor. selfless, dedicated only to teaching the initiate. Further-
more they have no ulterior motive, or if they do have one
Well a pretty typical definition found at Dictionary.com it is still ultimately related to the well being of the initiate
says, either directly or indirectly.
“–noun
1.a wise and trusted counselor or teacher.” Three of the best known classic mentors, are also argu-
ably three of the best known characters in all of fiction.
This definition is good for giving us a base to start from.
They are Merlin, from the Arthurian legends, Gandalf
Another definition more specific to Paganism could be, from The Lord Of The Rings, and Obi Wan Kenobi
“One who seeks to pass on occult knowledge to another.” From Star Wars.

Finally to fuse the two gives us, The classic mentor often will give their life literally for
“A wise and trusted counselor or teacher who seeks to pass on their charges. This will sometimes be followed by a re-
occult knowledge to another.” birth, as in the cases of Gandalf, or a transition to an-
other state of being, like Obi Wan. Sometimes though
the classic mentor will have to suffer what is perhaps

10 Online Pagans Magazine September October 2010


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 chang-
es have taken place in the
way the mentor character is
thought about and present-
ed, the classic mentor giving
way often to...

2: The Postmodern
Mentor.

The postmodern mentor, is


usually a more rounded and
fully realized character. The
postmodern mentor usually
has a life outside of their du- Image CC http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Nuremberg_chronicles_-_
ties as a mentor, a life that Merlin_%28CXXXVIIIr%29.jpg
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 be-
ally force Gandalf to not help Frodo, through any means half, committing what amounts to cold blooded murder
other than brute force. to protect her.

Perhaps the single greatest example of a postmodern As different in many ways as Giles may be from the clas-
mentor to my thinking is the character of Rupert Giles sic mentor, he is still a mentor true because his focus is
from the Buffy The Vampire Slayer TV series and comic on giving his charge the knowledge he has and helping
books. Giles as he is usually called, on the one hand is her to stand in the world.

September October 2010 Online Pagans Magazine 11


Another excellent example of a postmodern mentor is 4: The Dark Mentor.
the character of King Mob in Grant Morrison’s comic
series The Invisibles. A true mentor works to bring out the best in their charge.
To give them the tools to face the world and the confi-
dence to do so. The dark mentor however is really only
But there are other kinds of mentors that are not so posi-
interested in the aggrandizement of self, or some other
tive. One kind means well, and the other kind means
agenda. They want a copy of themselves, or they wish to
anything but. We’ll look at the former next.
remake their student into a particular type of person.
They have no boundaries, and will use lies, violence, se-
3: The Unready Mentor. duction, whatever they believe it takes to achieve their
ends.
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 indi-
viduals 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 deter-
Matrix 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 agen-
tions, 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


September October 2010 Online Pagans Magazine 13
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,
Image CC http://www.flickr.com/photos/realsmiley/4629658981 In your presence I enthrall.

14 Online Pagans Magazine September October 2010


Un Lourd Secret
By Sunil Narayan

Mdvanii spoke to her brushed chienne when he Aldric cleans dirt off the floor with his tongue, expos-
whimpered at the sight of a still empty bowl: “Il est ing
toujours par voie de douleur que l’on arrive à plaisir” his scarred derrière
To be given grapes and bread is a reward not a His chest swells and dries till skin sags from the bones
privilege A pêche freshly picked from the nobleman’s garden
One must starve for as long as his master deems fit becomes mushy right before the farmer’s eyes
Mdvanii is the master of all couturiers! Perhaps Mdvanii is a domestique, tilling the soil of
centuries worth of bitter pride
Her coiled black whip is made from the skin of
deceased orphans It must be broken and put back together so the world
Oiled each day by her esclave’s sweat will lower their heads in respect
It shines under the dusty ceiling light Flaming torches shall no longer melt the king’s palace!
With one lash she frightens her shivering putain Instead, they will turn on the noblemen for betraying
their loyal domestiques!
Aldric begs for a lengthy bruising by the chipped Preaching of false notions for an ideal reality
paddle
Unfortunately, Mdvanii will not relax her firm hold A calm muse sits in her chair to read a newspaper on
on his body this time politics
She is in control of the narcissistic esclave’s ego She is interested in the behavior of noble rulers and
Its skin is punctured by the heels of her ruby-studded tyrants
shoes To her their power lay in the twisting and beautifying
of the people
A few nights ago it dawned on her: great pleasure can Everyone becomes a victim of another person’s igno-
be achieved if one walks all over this vermin’s chest rant
Ripping bits off the skin with her glue-covered red mind or the partaker in the fruits of carefully con-
heels structed
He will scream as a torrent of blood flows down his labor
chest
A poor old German seamster being forced to endure It is a world so tightly wound yet absorbing all the
heightened torture! sweets and stale bread one can get their hands on
Functioning as a monstrous machine with oil flowing
Dragged by his owner across the muddy floorboards from one end of the pipe to the other
Aldric’s hair is pulled harder with each grunt Devouring the human essence as if it were un gâteau
The scalp rips off an unwashed head every time! aux fraises
Mdvanii reminds him a good designer never succumbs A field covered in white balls of joy disappear with
to arrogance: afin de connaître la vertu, each grab: l’ordre social au détriment de la liberté
nous devons d’abord nous familiariser avec le vice n’est
guère une bonne affaire
The room is made out of solid steel to keep the crying
of a belittling artist sealed Our dear Antonia tortured by self-destructive author-
It is un prostitué’s screams of enlarged pleasure ity
drowning out the neighbor dogs’ barking A poor Austrian girl who simply wanted to fit in
Mdvanii puts cotton balls in her ears when the nipples No one could stand looking at the images of her
of her fat cochon are stretched to the waist by two dressed
short luxuriously like Déesse Vénus
chains with unpolished hooks She was a symbol of unfiltered disgust
This toy is attached to a block of cement stained The clock struck midnight and Mdvanii must retire to
covered her opal chamber
with his tears She bids goodnight to Déesse Diane for her friend
Remains hushed when the screams of Aldric fill

September October 2010 Online Pagans Magazine 15


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 experi-
enced
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 mal-
heur,
mais le mode de pensée des autres

16 Online Pagans Magazine September October 2010


Severe Goddess CC http://www.flickr.com/photos/wwhyte/158973209/

September October 2010 Online Pagans Magazine 17


The Bile: A Celtic Family
Tree?
By James Byrne

T
he term family tree might be particularly apt in tra- and trees that really are only accessible to people in Ire-
ditional Irish culture where sacred trees have been land, Irish family names can be of interest to the neopa-
a symbol of social integrity for larges family groups gan outside Ireland; from the late medieval on they can
since before the written word arrived on the island. If give us ancestral deities through the veneration of the
rival groups wanted to destroy the heart of their enemies founding member, in my families case Bran Mac Mael
the most devastating thing they could do would be at- Morda and even more interesting might be the other-
tack the physical trees themselves and cases of that hap- world ancestors in early Irish genealogies where it was
pening were so shocking to Irish people that they are believed that deities founded the greatest of family lines.
remembered as great crimes in poetry and historical an- It’s a belief that may be in tune with the sacral kingships
nals. Today the traditional territories of the large family in early and medieval Ireland where we know from the
groups are gone for the most part having been dimin- descriptions of kings that their role was primarily ceremo-
ished by the politics of colonialism and modernity but nial and that he was a symbol of familial integrity; literal,
in some places the sacred trees survive. My family name political and spiritual. In the cases of the greatest kings
is Byrne. Like the majority of Irish family names it’s the they may have even symbolized the divine masculine vi-
personal name of a famous ancestor who managed to rility that ensured the success of the harvest through a
secure enough prestige and land to found his own fam- sacred marriage to the land goddess of the area. A king
ily. In the case of the Byrne family name, that ancestor is ritually marries a regional goddess immanent in the land
Bran Mac Mael Mordha; a 10th century King of Leinster and if he is worthy she makes the crops grow, the cattle
who was himself a descendant of the politically domi- fertile and healthy and protects the people in the con-
nant Ui Dunlaing family group. Through reading history stant battles they faced. But if he is not worthy disaster
books, I found the original O’Byrne territory, founded falls on the people and one early winter or wet summer
by Bran, was in County Kildare and that the traditional could bring both famine and plague at once and the fam-
inaugural site of the Ui Dunlaing kings was nearby on at ily group might die off completely. It was important that
Lyons Hill/Liamhan – Elm Tree Hill and the elms are a king be worthy prior to the sacred marriage and a test
still around in Lyons village. The elms there are a symbol may have been performed using a symbol of the divine
of the centuries of strength that members of my family ancestor in the Bile trees in the inauguration.
showed in defending their territory, actually being one
of the last families to keep their territories in colonialA king involved in the sacral kingship may have been
Ireland. Before I knew that, my name was just a name, expected to be at least semi divine through descent from
now it’s a constant source of strength in hard times and the otherworld ancestor. The bile trees themselves might
I walk on Lyons hill with a pride and sense of belonging have symbolized the masculine energy of the otherworld
that I would probably never otherwise have experienced. 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 ances-
tral 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 de-
scent 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 other-
world ancestors might have been we as neopa-
gans 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

September October 2010 Online Pagans Magazine 19


Divination: How to Get
Advice from Hidden
Sources
By Ben Gruagach

D
ivination is a way of getting information. You ask completely off. They might make perfect sense. They
questions, even very general ones, and then see might be gibberish or so wrong you’d be a fool to heed its
what sorts of responses come back. The respons- advice. But in any case the information you get back can
es might be extremely accurate for you or they might be help you to look at your question in a way that might en-

20 Online Pagans Magazine September October 2010


able you to make a better decision. Regardless what sort towards the consequences that we desire.
of information divination provides the final decisions are
always yours. You can’t blame the consequences of your Where does the information come from in divination?
decisions on anyone or anything else because it’s always Different people have different explanations although to
up to us to decide what to do with the information we date none have been conclusively proven. Some believe
have. Even when we think we are forced to do something the information comes from entities in a nonphysical
we are ultimately responsible for deciding to go along. realm, whether they are ghosts of people who have
Divination doesn’t decide things for us but rather sug- died, angels, demons, elemental spirits, or even deities.
gests alternatives. 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
these objects is the result of subconscious motions in our
No matter how you look at ideas like destiny and free will,
hands and arms – twitches so small that we don’t realize
we always have choices to make. We can always decide to
we’re actually doing it. When the planchette or pendulum
act, or to refrain from acting. Choosing to do nothing is
moves scientists say it’s the result of the ideomotor effect.
as much a decision as choosing to act. Decisions can be
hard to make but they are always there for us. Regardless Even though divinatory systems such as the Ouija board
how empowered we might feel about particular decisions and pendulum work by subconscious movements of
we will always have to live with the consequences of our our own bodies it’s still unproven exactly where the
decisions. It makes sense to try and consciously work with information obtained from these sources originates.
the options we have and make decisions that will bring us 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 more material you will have to interpret. The key detail
responding to messages from outside ourselves and are in a vision might not always be the most obvious item in
merely allowing that information to express through us. the scene either. Sometimes the most important symbol is
Maybe those sensational horror movies are right: invisible the one that was off to the side, partially hidden by other
beings really are present and are moving things around! things, but is most important because it triggers a strong
We still don’t know for sure if any of these explanations reaction in you.
are correct.
Scrying relies on the practitioner being able to see things
Regardless where the information in a reading is coming clearly with their mind’s eye. Not everyone is able to do
from it’s wise to always practice safe divinatory techniques. this, though, and some are only able to learn how to
Before you start do whatever magickal or spiritual tricks visualize clearly after a lot of training and practice. Many
you feel are necessary to protect yourself. Cast a circle or who practice scrying use physical props such as crystal
at least purify and bless your space where you’re going balls, black mirrors, or bowls of water to assist them in
to work. Always ground and center to put yourself in a obtaining visions. Some, though, are able to merely close
peaceful state of mind. After you’re done your divination, their eyes, relax, and then find visions will come to them.
do another purification or banishing in order to clear
the space in case there is anything lingering around that There are other freeform divination methods though
shouldn’t be allowed to remain. It’s always better to be which don’t rely as much on having strong visualization
safe than sorry! skills. For instance, you can often find symbols or omens in
random patterns such as cloud formations, the crisscross
There are many ways to perform a divination. No matter of tree branches or leaves in vegetation, the way that sand
what method you use, the key is to use a set of symbols spills across the floor. Tealeaf reading is a well-known
that are meaningful to you. Often this involves studying method that works this way. First you drink a cup of tea
the symbols that make up the particular system whether with a few bits of loose tea leaves in your cup, and then
they are images on cards or something more abstract when there is just a tiny amount of liquid left you turn
such as letters or diagrams. When the symbolism of your the cup upside down on a saucer and rotate the cup a few
divinatory system is so familiar to you that it becomes times before you turn the cup back up to look inside. The
almost automatic it has a tendency to open up new layers tea leaf bits that are clinging in the cup are inspected for
of meaning for interpretation. It’s like learning a language any shapes or patterns they might make. Significance is
– once you are fluent, you will find it easier to understand also usually interpreted based on whether the symbol is
what others are saying to you as you no longer struggle closer to the bottom or the rim of the cup. The bottom
over each word or phrase and try to translate it in your of the cup usually means farther in the future, and closer
head. When you’ve internalized the symbolic language of to the rim means closer to the present time.
a particular divination system the surface meanings open
up like a blossom and reveal deeper significance. No matter what method is used the patterns or symbols
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. Thirteen Tips for Doing Divination
When doing a divination it’s important to attempt to 1. Always protect yourself. Use a protective magickal or spiritual
interpret the symbols in whatever way feels most right technique such as casting a circle (even just visualizing a basic
protective circle or shield) before you start!
to you. What makes sense, especially in the context
of the specific question you were pondering for this 2. Ground and center. You need to be in a peaceful, observant,
reading? How do the various symbols in the reading and receptive frame of mind to get the messages and hints you
work together to present a message? It often happens seek.
that a single symbol, interpreted on its own in a negative
3. Remind yourself that the information you might receive is
way, is actually not really that bad when it’s taken in just advice. Decide for yourself if it is worth heeding or should
context with other symbols in the same reading. Look at be ignored.
the whole picture as well as the individual components
to get an accurate reading. 4. Look for overall patterns.

5. Look at the individual symbols to see how they fit into the
Freeform divination methods rely on the practitioner
overall patterns.
being familiar with their own internalized symbolism.
They need to be able to explain the meaning of any 6. Pay attention to anything that seems to jump out at you! Listen
symbol that comes up. This is one of the reasons why to your own gut feelings. Sometimes a symbol might be clear in
some find more structured forms of divination to its meaning to you even though it’s different from the meaning
be easier as the symbolic language tends to be more given in a book.
formalized and getting a good reading can be more a 7. Remember that divination only shows us possibilities and
matter of learning an established symbolic language what’s likely. We always have a choice and can change our futures
than figuring out one’s own symbolic grammar and through our decisions. The future is not engraved in stone!
vocabulary.
8. If you are confused or unsure about specific parts of a
One of the most popular structured divination systems divination’s message, ask for clarification.
is the Tarot. Tarot decks are designed with specific 9. If a divination is completely muddled and makes absolutely
symbolic meanings encoded in the form of pictures no sense then perhaps you’re asking the wrong question, or
and relationships between the cards. Learning to use things are very mixed so there is no clear answer that can be
the Tarot usually involves the practitioner studying given at this time. Or perhaps you are just not in the right frame
the particular deck they have chosen to use, learning of mind to do a divination and should try later.
the general meanings of the symbolic images, and
10. After you are done your divination, always do purification
internalizing that language so that they can interpret the
or banishing rituals to clear the space. It’s better to practice safe
patterns made by randomly turning up cards. divination than to suffer through unwanted after-effects!
The most popular and influential Tarot deck is 11. Don’t abuse your divination system. Do you really need to
undoubtedly the one often called the Rider-Waite or do a divination to help you decide if you should wear the blue
Rider-Waite-Smith deck. This deck was the product or the red shirt today? Treat your divination system with respect
of the combined efforts of A. E. Waite and Pamela and it will be respectful and helpful to you as well.
Coleman Smith, both members of the Hermetic 12. Learn the symbolic language of your chosen divination
Order of the Golden Dawn in the early 1900s. In 1909 system. The better you understand how the system is structured,
Waite devised the symbolism for the cards and Smith the more easily you will find interpretation becomes. One you’ve
illustrated them, and in 1910 the Rider publishing mastered the basics it becomes easy to step beyond the basic
company began mass-producing the deck. interpretations.

Many subsequent Tarot decks are based on the Rider- 13. Beware letting your divination success go to your head. An
Waite-Smith deck. There are many other decks that over-inflated ego can turn good readings into worthless readings
have been designed with other symbolism systems that just like magick!

September October 2010 Online Pagans Magazine 23


differ from the Golden Dawn and hermetic symbolism The I-Ching is a Chinese divinatory system based on the
used in the Rider-Waite-Smith deck. For instance, the concepts of yin and yang, complementary opposites in
Rider-Waite-Smith deck and many of its descendants a binary system. It’s often performed using three coins
attribute the suit of wands to the element fire, and the that are flipped to produce four possible outcomes: a yin
suit of swords to the element of air. Other decks, such line, a yang line, a moving yin line, or a moving yang line.
as some modern ones created specifically for Wiccan Three of these lines combined form a trigram with one
practitioners, attribute the sword to fire and the wand to of eight possible interpretations. Two trigrams are put
air. If you compare the Major Arcana cards between decks together to form a hexagram, which has one of sixty-four
you’ll also find that it often happens that the cards are possible meanings produced by combining the trigram
numbered differently, or some cards will be completely meanings. Moving lines are special in that they are to be
different between two decks. For instance, in Crowley’s read in two ways, so a hexagram that has any moving lines
Thoth deck instead of a card called Temperance he has actually has two different configurations, and therefore
one called Art. Instead of Strength, his card is called two sets of meanings that combine for a more complex
Lust. Instead of Judgment he has a card called The Aeon. reading. Each moving line in a hexagram also has specific
Other decks include completely different major arcana modifying interpretations that add to the significance of
cards although there are usually a few that are common the reading.
across most decks. The key to using Tarot successfully is
to find a deck that uses symbolism that makes the most The I-Ching is such a complex system that it would
sense to you so it’s easier for you to interpret and relate to take a lot of study to memorize all the meanings for the
your own deeper wisdom. trigrams, hexagrams, and the six moving line meanings
for each of the sixty-four hexagrams. Most modern
In recent times there has been an explosion of other practitioners keep an I-Ching book handy to look up
divinatory decks, usually called oracle decks to distinguish interpretations rather than rely on memory. It’s much
them from Tarot, which are based on unique symbol easier to study other structured divination forms, such
systems or have unique structures not based on Tarot as runes or the Tarot, and get to the point where you
standards. Some of these decks, such as Brian Froud’s can do readings without having to refer to a book for
“Faery Oracle” deck, are quite beautiful. As with Tarot interpretations. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons why the
decks they work best when you understand and feel Tarot and runes are much more popular among modern
connected to the symbolism embodied in the particular practitioners than systems like the I-Ching which require
deck. looking things up in a reference book.
Other structured divinatory systems include things such Divination, however you choose to practice it, can be a
as runes and the I-Ching. Runes are literally letters of an valuable tool for insight and decision-making. It exercises
alphabet, although in divinatory methods each letter has our ability to look at alternatives. It opens up possibilities
specific meanings and is interpreted singly as well as in for us. If we approach divination in a balanced way
patterns with other runes nearby. A practitioner could and see it as providing possibilities rather than destined
just pull out a sequence of rune stones or cards and outcomes it can be a positive part of a magickal spiritual
see what words or phrases are spelled out, but it’s much path.
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


Suggested Resources for Learning More

Websites

http://skepdic.com/ideomotor.html An explanation of http://www.facade.com/ One of the first websites to


the ideomotor effect behind the Ouija board and the provide information and free online readings using a
pendulum methods of divination. variety of divination systems including runes, Tarot,
I-Ching, and more. The site is a bit slow sometimes but
http://www.aeclectic.net/tarot/ Probably the best Tarot the information is good.
site on the web. Includes reviews and sample cards for
hundreds of decks. Great for helping you decide which http://www.tarahill.com/runes/index.html The Runic
deck to buy! Journey: explores the history, meaning, and use of Norse
runes.

Books

“Zolar’s Encyclopedia of Ancient and Forbidden “Complete Illustrated Guide to Tarot” by Rachel Pollack
Knowledge” by Zolar (Arco Publishing Inc., New York: (Element Books, London UK: 2001.) This book presents
1984.) This book is a solid introduction to occultism a good overview of the Tarot, its history, how it is
including various divination techniques such as structured, and shows lots of example cards from various
numerology, astrology, and scrying. 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.

September October 2010 Online Pagans Magazine 25


Mother Goddess photo CC http://www.flickr.com/photos/subharnab/2937263311

26 Online Pagans Magazine September October 2010


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

September October 2010 Online Pagans Magazine 29


A Mage Alone: Standing
On The Shoulders Of
Giants
By Toriach

If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders and hard to fathom than a VCR. Not to say that it was
of giants. boring, but rather than the whole tone was one of ab-
- Isaac Newton, Letter to Robert Hooke, February 5, 1675 solute certainty in the reality, the concreteness of what
was being written about. That feeling of certainty was

A
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 Cha-


os Magick than with the Wicca derived system that Cun-
ningham 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


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 at-
together, it is that all of them seem to stress that noth-
tempt 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 experi-
ly 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/

32 Online Pagans Magazine September October 2010


Psychomanteums and
Magick Mirrors
By Ben Gruagach

“Mirror, Mirror, on the wall, experience as one where the viewer’s own reflection ap-
Who’s the fairest of them all?” pears to change into the face of someone else entirely,
- Snow White’s wicked stepmother which then communicates as an independent being with
the viewer. Regardless which method happens for you it
If you stand in a bathroom at night with a lit candle in is a rather remarkable experience when it occurs.
your hand, look in the mirror and say “Bloody Mary”
three times, you’ll see the ghost of a murdered woman One way to make a special mirror to be used for magick
behind you in the mirror. is to purchase or make a nice picture-frame the size you
- urban legend want to use for the mirror. The only thing that is re-
quired is that the frame must have glass in it to provide

M
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
long as people have been practicing magick. Once the mirror is created, keep it covered except for
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 mir-
Moody and Dr. Irene Blinston have focused on using the ror.
psychomanteum for therapeutic grieving. Scrying and
mirror-gazing, though, has been practiced pretty much To use the mirror, put it in a place where you can sit or
uninterrupted for a long time. 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
Some find that gazing at a reflective surface triggers an can make it. There should be a very small amount of
altered state of consciousness where images can be per- light present; I find a single candle (a small votive in a
ceived. Others, most notably Carroll “Poke” Runyon in glass container) works best.
his book “The Book of Solomon’s Magick,” describe the

September October 2010 Online Pagans Magazine 33


Some people find that holding the lit candle in their in the room, behind me, it was very dark but there was
hands while they stand or sit before the mirror works just enough light so that I could see my own face in the
well. I’ve tried that way and didn’t have much luck. In- mirror. I stood there, breathing deeply, and waited. As
stead I put the candle behind me, on the floor, and have I gazed at the mirror it only took a few minutes, maybe
had some amazing results! If one way doesn’t work for five or ten at the most, before I discovered I wasn’t look-
you be sure to try the other. ing 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 nod-


ded. 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 de-
parted 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 ap-
pears ask if they can get the right per-
son for you. And once you’ve got some-
one 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 ba-
sic protection tricks like taking a mo-
ment 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 Recommended Resources
helpful spirits present then draw multiple flaming pen-
tagrams and command them to leave. You could even do Psychomanteum entry at http://en.wikipedia.org/
a full-fledged circle casting before doing mirror work if wiki/Psychomanteum
you feel it is appropriate. I would recommend that the
mirror be placed outside of your protective magick circle
for maximum safety. 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
“Mirror, mirror, clear and true, found on the web at a number of sites, including
Show me what I ask of you.” http://angelmessages.paradisenow.net/bardon_s_
books.html#Franz_Bardon’s_Biography This article in-
cludes 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
healing. Psychomanteum And Hypnagogic/Hypnopompic Expe-
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 Forbid-


den Knowledge,” Arco Publishing Inc. New York: 1970.
ISBN 0-668-05894-3. The chapter “Using the Magic Mir-
ror” is especially helpful.

September October 2010 Online Pagans Magazine 35


Mdvanii Stirs Her Lover’s
Desire!

Image CC http://www.flickr.com/photos/parisbeyrouth/4771387154/
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


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

R
aven Grimassi was born in 1951 and is the au-
thor 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 in-
clude “Crafting Wiccan Traditions: Creating a Founda-
tion for Your Spiritual Beliefs & Practices” and “The
Cauldron of Memory: Retrieving Ancestral Knowl-
edge & Wisdom.” Other books by Raven include “Ital-
ian 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 Stepha-
nie 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 “Encyclo-


pedia of Wicca & Witchcraft” you talk about coming
from an Italian family witchcraft tradition. What is it
like learning witchcraft from family members? Q: Did all of your Italian side of the family practice
witchcraft?
It is probably like growing up in any religion, whether one
is raised a Catholic, Methodist, Jew, or whatever. Your No, there were also many actual Catholics on that side.
parents teach you what they believe. It is easier when you
are young, but as you get older, well, then you ask ques- Q: Did family members encourage or discourage
tions and you question things in general. I think some you from exploring witchcraft?
parents are better at handling that than others are. In my
teens I explored other belief systems, and for a while I No, it was all just part of the way things were. I think the
was involved in Eastern mysticism. But I always came main opposition was, and is, my being public about it.
back to the Old Ways. The one thing that was different
growing up, compared to my friends and their religious
Q: You’ve taught witchcraft for over thirty years.
belief, is that I was not at liberty to talk about the Old
What changes have you observed in that time?
Ways. Catholicism was the veneer for me for many years.

38 Online Pagans Magazine September October 2010


It is more widespread, of course, but many of its modern I am proud of that. I think my encyclopedia is a good
branches have become something different in many ways resource book, and I like to think it is helpful to our com-
from what I would call Witchcraft. There appears to be munity in that regard. I like Spirit of the Witch because
a contrast between the Witchcraft I was taught and what it was a departure for me from writing dry quasi-academ-
I encounter in various places today. Primarily what I see ic books. I tried to write in a more personal way.
today is a Witchcraft stripped of its previous religious ele-
ments and isolated as merely a practice of sorcery. Q: Which one seems to have touched the most peo-
ple?
Q: Are students today much different from those you
taught decades ago? Most of the positive feedback I receive comes from read-
ers 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 au-
they 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 go-
on 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 com-
different 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 folklor-
ic 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
well as others. Which one is your favorite? Leland’s critics and take a great deal of wind out of their
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 atten-
successful 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

Raven and Stephanie in “The Well Worn Path” deck


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 communica-
tor and researcher. Over the years I have come to an ap-
preciation 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 Coun-
cil (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 posi-
Yes, 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.
“The Lares are friendly gods, without prejudices. About their al-
Q: Would you recommend Leland’s work to those tars on the cross-roads they collect all the vagabonds, all those who
who wish to learn more about witchcraft today? have no family, no hearth, no worship of their own. Their humble
devotess combine to celebrate their feasts as best they can, forming
No, not as a means of learning about Witchcraft. Howev- Colleges of the Cross-roads, collegia compitalica…History being
er I do recommend his books to people who are well read wholly aristocratic and political, hardley noticed them. For they lived
on the topic in general. His work is important but it needs outside history, so to speak, content to be alive under a sunny sky, on
to be understood more between the lines and also within a land which they loved. They needed no more than a few very simple
the context of Witches fighting back against persecution ideas inherited from their forefathers and a few homely rites to give
and oppression. I never recommend Leland to beginners. 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


pouring in they kept alive the original conceptions and religious acts dealing with the American Indians. I think our greatest
of the first masters of the Italian soil” - Albert Grenier, The challenge is an alliance of the tribes. Until we can respect
Roman Spirit in Religion, Thought, and Art each other and support each other, we can never expect
outsiders to ever grant us acceptance.
This text made me think of how ancient Witches were
said to have gathered at the crossroads, and how they Q: What advice would you give to those starting out on
were rejected from society. This, coupled with the fact the path exploring witchcraft and Wicca?
that the ancient Greeks placed Witches in the category
of wandering vagabonds, presented me with a vision for
Read and discuss as much as you can, and learn both
a modern day College of the Crossroads. It was founded
sides of any debate related to the Craft. Know that no
in 2003 by me and co-director Stephanie Taylor, who later
mystery is closed to an open mind. So be open-minded,
became my wife.
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 curricu-
Q: What advice would you give to elders in the witch-
lum 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 yester-
College 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
http://www.collegeofthecrossroads.org/ your true passion. Do not expect support or a reward of
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 com-
of 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 re-
wards 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 attain-


ing 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

E
very day millions of people throughout the world FEBRUUS, from their predecessors – the Etruscans. A
honor the Ancient Deities unconsciously and festival of purification, called Februa, was celebrated in
keep alive a millennial tradition just by writing Rome during this particular month.
down the date. In the fast track world that we live in, few
have the time to think and ponder upon the meaning March (Martius). Romulus named the first month of the
of things. We lack the commodity of time to stop and Roman year after MARS, the God of War and protector
reason for ourselves what January means and where it of crops and fields. The military campaign season was
originated from. Hopefully, we all know that January is inaugurated in this month of renewal. On the first day
the first month of the year …..but what does the name of March, wives were given presents by their husbands in
stand for and was it always like that? In this article I will a tradition called Matronalia.
be giving brief information on the names of the calen-
dar months and days of the week. As you are aware, the
April (Aprilis). The etymology of the word is uncertain.
world did not always use the present system, introduced
Whilst Ovid associates April with APHRODITE (Ve-
by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582, and hence known as the
nus), others are of the opinion that April derives from
Gregorian Calendar. Different methodologies were ap-
the word APRIRE (to open), since this was the month in
plied throughout the world, reflecting the knowledge
which flowers and fruits blossomed. During this month
and the needs of the different populations, but as the
several agriculture festivals were celebrated, amongst
continents drew nearer to each other, through travel and
which Cerialia, Vinalia and Robigalia. Another impor-
commerce, a single civil calendar was adopted. In spite
tant festival, Floralia, was celebrated in honor of Flora,
of being introduced by a Roman Catholic Pontiff, the
the Goddess of vegetation and flowers.
present calendar adopted the names used by the Roman
Empire and hence it reflects many a pagan theme.
May (Maius). Being a month of hard work in the fields in
preparation of the harvest to follow, this month was asso-
MONTHS 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 wor-


ship of the God of the underworld and purification,

42 Online Pagans Magazine September October 2010


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 cer-
emonies in honor of Mars were preformed. October
August (Augustus). Named after AUGUSTUS, the sixth is also associated with viniculture because this was the
month of the Roman year was a time of harvest. right time for the vintage.

September (Septembre). The name derives from the November (Novembres). Like the months before it, its
number SEVEN, because this month was the seventh name derives from a number (NOVE), being the ninth
in the old Roman Calendar. Being a time of repose after month of the year. Circus games were performed from
the harvest, during this month, the Romans organized the 4th till the 17th of the month.
games known as the Ludi Romani.
December (Decembres). In TENth month of the Ro-
man 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 trav-
celebration in honor of the Bona Dea (Good Goddess). elers and merchants)
Thursday (Giovedi) – Dies Jovis (Day of the God Jupiter
DAYS OF THE WEEK / Jove)
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 Sat-
the Sun, thus Sun’s Day, symbolizing the God. Another urn)
name for Dies Solis was Dominica, meaning the Day of
God.
Conclusion
Monday (Monandaeg). A word of Anglo-Saxon origin
meaning the Moon’s Day, symbolizing the Goddess. The calendar can help us in expanding our knowl-
edge about different Dieties. It would be a very inter-
esting 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 Dei-
ties, we can look up information on Gods / Goddess-
Wednesday (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 wor-
shiped 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 con-
cerning 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

W
e modern Pagans are a rather literate lot. In Kaczynski’s book provides an honest look at what made
addition to the many handbooks, theoretical the man tick.
works, folklore collections, poems, songs, ritu-
als, and workbooks in print, there are also quite a few “20th Century Magic and the Old Religion: Dion For-
illuminating biographies and autobiographies. Reading tune, Christine Hartley, Charles Seymore” by Alan
about the lives of others following magickal and Pagan Richardson (ISBN 0-87542-673-5) takes readers into the
spiritual paths can help us understand better what came actual magickal diaries of two of the leading figures in
before and where our community might be headed. We Dion Fortune’s Society of the Inner Light. He also pro-
might also discover that famous occultists often faced vides some insightful details about Dion Fortune and
the same dilemmas that we do today! the Society in general. It’s no wonder that the Society is
still active today!
The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, which oper-
ated in the UK and Europe at the end of the 1800s and Around the time that Gerald Gardner in the UK was
into the start of the 1900s, was one of the most influen- putting his finishing touches on his groundbreaking
tial occult groups spawning a huge amount of material book “Witchcraft Today,” another openly public witch
which is still widely used in the modern Pagan commu- was making waves in Australia. Look for “Pan’s Daugh-
nity today. “Women of the Golden Dawn: Rebels and ter: The Magical World of Rosaleen Norton” by Nevill
Priestesses” by Mary K. Greer (ISBN 0-89281-607-4) Drury (ISBN 1-869928-31-8) to find
explores the lives of the often un- out about this intriguing bohemian
sung women who helped make the artist’s life, spirituality, and work.
Golden Dawn what it was. Many
of the history books talk about the
Of course there are books that exam-
men who were involved, and not
ine the life of Gerald Gardner, the
enough is written about the equally
key person to present Wicca to the
important women. This book is a
world. “Gerald Gardner: Witch” by J.
good start.
L. Bracelin (ghost written by the Sufi
scholar Idries Shah) (ISBN 1-872189-
The name Aleister Crowley is widely 08-3) started the trend, which was
known in the modern Pagan com- picked up and expanded greatly by
munity but few know more than Philip Heselton in his books “Wic-
some vague details about the man. can Roots” (ISBN 1-86163-110-3) and
“Perdurabo: The Life of Aleister “Gerald Gardner and the Cauldron of
Crowley” by Richard Kaczynski Inspiration” (ISBN 1-86163-164-2). For
(ISBN 978-1556438998) is a com- a more rigorous scholarly examination
prehensive recently updated and ex- of Gardner’s life and influences be
panded biography of the mysterious
and often controversial Crowley.

September October 2010 Online Pagans Magazine 45


sure to look for “The Triumph of the Moon” by Ronald will be missed dearly by all who were touched by her
Hutton (ISBN 0-19-820744-1). wisdom and love.

There are also autobiographies and Another non-Wiccan witchcraft


biographies written by people who tradition has its American origins
have worked with Gardner going documented in the recent book
back to the early 1950s. Doreen “The Forge of Tubal Cain” by Ann
Valiente’s “Rebirth of Witchcraft” Finnin (ISBN 0-9796168-3-2). The
(ISBN 0-919345-39-5) is a must-read, Clan of Tubal Cain is based on the
as is “Fifty Years of Wicca” by Fred- teachings of Robert Cochrane (aka
eric Lamond (ISBN 0-9547230-1-5). Roy Bowers) who worked in the UK
Books written by later initiates in- in the 1960s before his tragic death
clude “High Priestess: The Life & in 1966. The book relates the lives
Times of Patricia Crowther” by Patri- of Ann and her husband Dave, and
cia Crowther (ISBN 0-919345-87-5) how they came to lead the Clan in
and “Conversations With a Witch” the United States.
by Lois Bourne (ISBN 0-7090-7064-
0). All are great reading! There are books written by others
who were Wiccan initiates but not
One of Gardner’s leading competi- necessarily who worked directly with
tors was a man named Alex Sanders. Gerald Gardner. One of particular
For a rather sensational (and not al- note is Scott Cunningham whose
ways truthful) biography, try to find book “Wicca: A Guide for the Soli-
a 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 Far- 978-0738719146) 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 Har-
vey (ISBN 1-903065-40-2) is a mem-
Another witchcraft tradition un- oir 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 Wic-
on Beltane eve in 2008, and left can teachings.
behind her book “Fifty Years in the
Feri Tradition” (ISBN 0-9710050- An intriguing account of a rather
4-4) along with others as a record unique Wiccan tradition is present-
of their lives and teachings. Cora ed in “Courting the Lady: A Wic-
can Journey” by Patrick M. McCol-

46 Online Pagans Magazine September October 2010


lum (ISBN 0-9777986-0-7). What makes this of particular mation” by Nevill Drury (ISBN 0-7867-0782-8). If you
note is that McCollum talks about being initiated into a only want to read one book this would be the one I’d
Wiccan coven in the early 1960s in California, around recommend, as it gives a summary of the lives of many
the same time or even before Ray Buckland was bringing influential oc-
Gardnerian Wicca to the United States for the first time. cultists and
McCollum’s tradition is clearly based on Wicca (and is Pagans with
therefore at least inspired by Gardner’s system), but it is the larger pic-
also quite distinct from other varieties. ture filled in
to give it all
Moving out of Wicca and meaning.
witchcraft we find “My
Life With the Spirits: The One thing to
Adventures of a Modern note about
Magician” by Lon Milo tracking down
Duquette (ISBN 1-57863- books: some
120-3). Duquette is one books are
of the leading ceremo- quite expen-
nial magickians today, sive to pur-
an acknowledged expert chase as they
on the topics of Thelema have become
(Crowley’s system) as well collectors’
as Enochian and Goetic items. Check
grimoire magick. “My at your local
Life with the Spirits” re- public library,
lates how his interest in and investigate the inter-library loan system often avail-
magick developed from the time he was a young boy. able there, if you want to read a particular book but
don’t want to have to buy a copy for yourself.
Some books examine the lives
of a number of modern Pa- Happy reading! And keep writ-
gans. “Wiccan Wisdomkeep- ing your own journals, diaries,
ers” by Sally Griffyn (ISBN blogs, and memoirs – perhaps
1-57863-257-9) and “Modern one day yours will be listed
Pagans: An Investigation of alongside these too!
Contemporary Pagan Prac-
tice” by V. Vale and John Sulak
(ISBN 1-889307-10-6) provide
interesting articles, along with
photos, of various Pagan per-
sonalities. 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-

September October 2010 Online Pagans Magazine 47


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 Pṛthivī-
Devī is now an elegant lady

48 Online Pagans Magazine September October 2010


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

September October 2010 Online Pagans Magazine 49


Illustration CC http://www.flickr.com/photos/bibliodyssey/3606618641/
Meditation: Night Ride on
a Broomstick
By Ben Gruagach

T
his meditation guides the seeker through a mythi- For more guided meditations similar to this one, includ-
cal witchcraft experience: flying on a broomstick ing free MP3 recordings, visit the author’s website at
in a night sky. This can be a helpful way to explore http://www.witchgrotto.com
astral travel and to attune more closely with the element
of Air.

50 Online Pagans Magazine September October 2010


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 re-
freshing 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
energized, your inner senses become more acute. As you
Start now by closing your eyes and focusing on my words. think about something your senses will sharpen and fo-
Take a deep breath, slowly, in through your nose for a cus on it. The things you encounter on the astral are
count of four. Hold for a count of four, then slowly out as real and as vivid as anything you experience in your
through your mouth for a count of four. Hold for one, everyday life.
two, three, four, then in through your nose, two, three,
four. Hold, two, three, four. Out through your mouth, You find yourself surrounded by a soft, warm mist that
two, three, four. Hold, two, three, four. In, two, three, glows with a faint silvery light. It protects you, charges
four. Hold, two, three, four. Out, two, three, four. Hold, you, and cleanses you. Turn slowly in the mist to look
two, three, four. In, two, three, four. Hold, two, three, around you. Instinctively you will know which way is
four. Out, two, three, four. east. Face east, then stop and express your respects to
that direction. Pause for a moment, then turn slowly to
Continue the breathing pattern, in through your nose, the south. As you face south, express your respect for this
hold, then out through your mouth, hold, then in again. direction, the elementals and watchers who guard the
Hold, then out through your mouth. Hold. In through southerly quarter. Pause. Turn west, and again give your
your nose. respects to the direction. Pause, and then turn to the
north and give your respects. The circle is cast.
Feel the solid earth beneath your body, supporting you.
It is very solid, very strong. The floor rests on beams and The mist thins and then dissipates in a light breeze that
concrete that is cradled in solid rock and hard-packed blows to you from the east. You find yourself outside
soil, which is very dense and goes down, down, down for in an inspiring place, the night sky above you with the
miles. The earth is huge, solid, and supports us. It is also moon shining down. Look around yourself and note
very much alive and has a gentle energy we can tap into. 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 hand-
contact 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 hid- your broom can take you back to where you started in
den if you wish as you explore. the twinkling of an eye. It flies, straight as an arrow,
zooming and banking and then bringing you back to the
You pick up the broomstick and feel how satisfying it start. It gently settles to the ground so that you are again
feels in your hand. The handle is polished and smooth, on the solid Earth. The energy hum in the broomstick
the bristles rustling together and making a pleasing calms down, and you can almost hear it, like a whispered
sound. You can feel a hum of energy in this broomstick. “thank you for sharing the ride,” quietly in your ear.
You can almost hear it singing – a song of longing, and
joy, and speed, and flight. It is eager to be aloft. It wants Every time you explore the astral realms like this, every
to take you on a ride. time you go within like this, you will find that it is easier
and easier to do. Your experiences will become more
You grasp the broom firmly and with a gesture it lifts you vivid, more real, each time you attempt to reach these
up. It’s almost like you have suddenly become weightless, states of awareness. You will find your awareness unfold-
or filled with helium. You can sit comfortably on the ing, new insights and abilities coming forward for you.
broom handle however impossible it might seem. You You will also find that things will come more easily to
have perfect balance and are in no danger of falling off. you. You will be more in control. As the spirit realms be-
The broom is absolutely amazing. You can hover in one come more familiar you will find yourself more relaxed,
spot, and just as effortlessly you can zoom off in any di- more empowered. And this strength and empowerment
rection. You can turn sharply from one direction to an- will remain with you no matter where you are or what
other with exhilarating speed. The broom can take you you are doing, whether you are awake, or asleep, or in a
for a leisurely ride or on a ride that puts roller coasters to meditative or spiritual state like you are now.
shame. It’s completely up to you.
Breathe in the energy all around you, feel it coursing
The broom can take you any place you would like to vis- through your body, healing and charging you with pow-
it. All you need to do is give it a destination and it will do er. You are being cleansed, softly, gently, made whole.
the rest. Or perhaps you just want to explore without a You are at peace.
particular destination – that is fine too. It’s all up to you.
A mist gathers around you again until you can see noth-
Take 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. Ev-
and 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 com-
Breathe 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 physi-
the 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
remember what you experience here. return to your normal senses, your normal state of being.
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 re-
turn 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


Īshwar
By Sunil Narayan

I Sarasvatī-Devī
He brings joy to all with his generous touch and
Īshwar was born from the heart of Sarasvatī-Devī warm eyes
As a white-skinned boy smiling so sweetly
Let us praise the muse of mankind!
His power lay in the strings of his mother’s vīṇā Let us touch his uncovered milky feet to rejuvenate
plucked for her amusement our minds!
Nāga flowers cover the surface of the shiny
jackwood kudam II

Sniff along the dandi etched with the sacred words Sóma-Devá glowed intensely, hiding his smile from
for Gāyatrī-Devī the world
It is the scent of Índra-Devá’s pāṭala trees! He sleeps happily after watching his faithful
muse write ślokas praising his sharpened purity
One wishes to inhale such sweet perfume while
pondering Sūrya-Devá’s multitude of brilliant arms The hand moves fast across a banana leaf
They reach around a shy Bhūdevī to charm her into Not a second to sigh, for the muse is fasting
eternal union till sunrise!

Such a day the Devás still reminisce while drinking His mind fixates on the joyous devá
sweetened sóma Wondering if he is all omnipotent and capable of
Their golden chalices etched with praises from loving everyone
devotees who spent their daily lives to meditate on
sublime beings! Sóma-Devá never appears during the day
However, he is fond of the chilly evening
Ink containing crushed moonstone was used to write
sensual calligraphy Each time he lifts the heavy yellow blanket off
It was Īshwar caressing their cheeks like a caring Bhūmī-Devī body
mother who aided them in impressing the Devás He shows her a sky black as tar with countless of
tiny sómas
He wears a white ṣāṭī adorned with blue turquoise
stones from one end to the other to form a flowing An ocean of mystery that shines like Bhūmī-Devī’s
tributary vaidūryas strewn all over our ocean’s shores
A design her most sacred divinity, the Gáṅgā-Devī He leans forward to dip his fingers in the water
blessed before the satin was decorated with jewels
A snake slithers in front of Sóma-Devá, breaking the
His hair flowing like a river is woven and adorned enchantment
with mallī flowers every morning He lunges into the water scared by such an intrusion!
His slender ears are decorated with śirīṣa flowers
Bhūmī-Devī sees a mauktikaratna falling into her lap
Īshwar delighted in drinking cow’s milk when Finding delight in the perfectly polished surface
visiting Umāpatiḥ-Devá at his modest abode in the
Joy lighted her whole body as she looked over this
afternoon
precious jewel
Upon request the generous ascetic provided him a pot
For scratches before hiding it in her vájra-encrusted
of fresh milk to take home
jewerly box
He wanted to turn such a lovely gift into a ṣāṭī that
A devī who is hardly spoiled cannot help wanting to
floats in the air like the monks’ jasmine incense
own a rare find!
smoke
It is a soul as round as Lakṣmī-Devī’s mauktikamālā
In each step it brushes a man, giving him the light of
glowing with the optimism of a saint!
creativity!
The kumudinī flowers blossomed in Bhūmī-Devī’s
Trees bow in respect to the kind-hearted boy of

September October 2010 Online Pagans Magazine 53


garden, releasing a scent to send her into a world of chaste devádāsī
temptuous leisure!
Candrá-Devá tucked inside Bhūmī-Devī’s jewelry All for their own amusement!
box, rolls along the silky purple cushion as the devī Without looking at the consequence of behaving
explores the bountiful jungles recklessly their hearts turned into black rocks

Blue and white balíbhuj sing to get her attention, not Devoid of the fire that brightens in the heart!
stopping till she glances at them Is such a quality correct for an Āryan!?
With excitement they dance on the branches for she
The ātmā slowly begins choking as the body moves
blessed them with eternal refuge
about the town
To be looked at by the smiling devī is to become Unaware of what is happening to the shell’s mind
enamored with her vibrant beauty!
It lived peacefully till the world was shaken
In each step her feet gives nourishment to squashed
violently during the varṣártu
life
Frightening it for lightening hit mountainsides,
The plants suddenly spring up with leaves catching sending boulders of rocks into the villages!
the rain drops and the bugs wake up eager to gather
The heart’s condition disrupts the flow of the pure
food!
ātmā
She smiles while her bhūruha glows repeatedly in
Bit by bit it freezes giving the mind a vague look at
joy
the surface
III
IV
The muse who writes poems as tribute to the naked
Closely tied to the eternal spirit we are!
Rajanīpati-Devá
Too focused on ourselves to care!
Remains in awe at its brilliant strength!
Īshwar, oblivious to this dilemma lives his life as a
To endure the disastrous solar conflicts unscathed
hermit
shows a firm footing in Pṛthvī-Devī’s ocean floor
Meditating on the Supreme Mother and writing praises
He is unmoved by all the damage caused by petty
to all the Devás
rivalries
His life before awakening on Rátnavatī-Devī is
The one thing to cause deep sorrow is losing the
unknown to him
sacrificial union his devotees share with him
Even though he comes from Śakrá-Devá’s svargá his
He has been in a dense state of fear throughout his
memory only begun when he awoke in the protective
life
arms of Rátnavatī-Devī
When asking Sarasvatī-Devī to create a muse to keep
A child who was reared in the rightful place of the
humanity from leaving the Āryan dhárma
Devás!
Rajanīpati-Devá knew the risk of living on Earth
Left his teary-eyed mother, whose lustrous love was
The Devás fear touching the muddy paths with their dripping with distress
bejeweled feet
Her heart sunk like an elegant swan abandoned by
Such clean and smooth soles can absorb the wave
its loyal friends
of inner filth
Falling into the abyss where nothing can breath
Black energy forms a stormy world within each
To her love is shared with those who have
mortal
selflessness in their nature
Lightening strikes all life leaving
It comes as pure as the melted snow from Himávat
Dyauṣpitṛ-Devá coughing from inhaling so much
smoke! A taste rivaling that of the heavenly nectar the Devás
yearned after defeating the Rākṣasas in
In this age humans have begun to shed their
Samudrámathana
piousness
However, all the food the Devás gorge upon during
To accept greed as their new skin!
banquets are not delectable when tasting the love
From morning to night they think of how to steal a Rátnavatī-Devī has to offer
brother-in-law’s satin slippers
Such a kind-hearted devī she is!
Or what ways to tempt a noble saint to deflower a

54 Online Pagans Magazine September October 2010


Allowing us mere mortals to inhabit her lands to do rare find!
boundless plundering! He thinks of his children first and leisure last

She begs for her trees to be spared from the torches Long trails of sweat from his forehead fill his eyes
of blood-thirsty armies Vivásvat-Devá’s heat turns it into acid water
If a constant flow of tears forming a puddle at her
feet do not make a difference then what will!? He screams so loud neighbors run to his aid
She asks for the knowledge of virtue to be consumed The terrified farmer fled to the forest to dive into the
by all in childhood blue lake
To her horror the Ṛṣis have abandoned their homes to
Dharitrī-Devī shakes her head in disappointment at
live in subservience to Himávat-Devá
this spectacle
Where will our defenseless children turn to for Her brother is no longer pulled by the selfless virtue
inspiration? their mother gifted to them
Where will they go for guidance!?
She cannot stand a human screaming till the
In this age hope seems useless pāṇḍaravāyasas squawk for peace
Although, a shining boy with deep blue eyes It is a cruel deed to commit towards someone who is
will save the human race from destroying itself loyal to her

V With her vájradaṇḍa she stomps the ground in


frustration
In the previous age Dharitrī-Devī opened her heart’s Glaring at Vivásvat-Devá emanating enormous pride
doors for the orphaned Rātri, Uṣas and Priyā to walk
into VI
They were astounded by the nīlagandhika laden
The world suffered a fate far worse than the previous
marble palace filled with the scent of blue roses
ages
She provided a journey to eternal bliss without It lost the ability to create poetry, music and dance!
any hurdles thrown at them
Our Supreme Mother’s name remains lost in rumor
To please her daughters with luxury befitting the
and satire
Devás
Her divine love replaced by that of the need for
It was her compassion in dire times that shone like unrestrained hedonism
the bhārgavakas in a mahārāja’s crown
She was nipped of her bond with the human race
An enormous emotion that could shake the
For the reason her compassion went unappreciated
universe in one step if latched onto anger
by the mahārājas
It was her might and gentleness the Devás revered!
A saint who can turn the world faster on its axis than
Although, in this present age her wrinkles show an
Kumāra-Devá had to be created immediately!
exhausted state
Īshwar is the answer to Bhūmī-Devī’s crisis!
Such a tired old maiden whose grace flew through the
Made from the virtue of inspiration he brings life to
Sky like white cranes
all dead beings
Reviving the ātman of all who steered away from the
Turning the eerie silence of a forest into a symphony
path of the Āryans
of orange and red birds chirping in excitement
She could soften the spikes protruding from one’s heart
Pushing rocks off old texts to let his curiosity take
Turning them into tall roses with hints of her eye color
him on a journey
The doe whose lashes so thick and long fans the dust As his fingers turn the yellow, muddy pages, his mind
off crusty jewelry boxes is zapped into an alternate reality
To open and admire the bhārgavakas scattered on top
The conscious runs too fast for the memory to keep up
of the pink cushion
A kaleidoscope of many universes become large and
Human character is a jewelry box waiting inside the small by his will!
cracks of Dharitrī-Devī’s skin
With each one he can smell Sāvitrī-Devī’s kundamālā
For a kind soul to break the latch with his steel blade
A scent untainted by the alcohol breath of Śakra-Devá
Any farmer who tilled the field would miss such a

September October 2010 Online Pagans Magazine 55


Before him the pages of the book become white and jungle during the winter season
clean The texts will lay under the ground undisturbed
The wrinkles smoothed down by his own selfless
magic! Dharā-Devī will suffer terrible episodes of
destruction
He was caught up in the secret guarded by the However, she will not let go of the precious Word
immortal mahāṛṣis
His mind suddenly throbbed as if Śakra-Devá forced Mahādevī is encapsulated in the many scriptures
dozens of bowls of thick sóma down his throat mankind has a lack of regard for
They choose to create their own paths without
He could not understand why he saw everything nor listening to the pleas of the ātman
the sweet smell that distracted him from looking at
the Īshwar shall live for eternity to protect these holy
Exploding compacted balls of surreal colors in large texts from the thunderous temper of Dharā-Devī
planets To achieve such a path he must learn the past
mistakes of the Devás and the mortals
An explanation his young mind is capable of
understanding VIII
Sits still in the belly of a cursed swan
The morning flew by slowly with trees covered in
VII cold rain
The punnāg trees caressed by the wind, shook the
Īshwar’s home was a jungle filled with mango trees drops off its petals
He enjoyed filling his belly with the soft mangoes
Deer awake from dreaming of forested paradise
Succulent fruit sucked from one end to the other To gather the family before dining on the
Smooth surface that leaks juice if touched Dharā-Devī’s tall grass

White kámalakhaṇḍa elongated to reach this Small snakes slither in between the hooves towards
blue-eyed muse the holes in the mud
They shake when he is preoccupied with writing, to Quietly so as to not alert the sleeping mice
create more beauty for the spacious abode
The deep blue lake with ripples of foam gives a loud
Īshwar sleeps on the tiger-skin rug fashioned by splash
Umāpatiḥ-Devá A swan has fallen from Dyauṣ, unable to continue
A man would complain of the grassless bed for it fleeing!
is not soft at all!
He moans on his back limp from flying for miles
A boy with the patience befitting a ṛṣi is appreciative without water
of such a miracle A hunter who has no restraint shot an arrow through
Turning to a mighty ascetic for help is only possible the swan’s neck
when destiny has planned it even if one cannot
recollect such a fine deed! He came to the meadow with a velvet bow and a pack
of long golden arrows
When the kuvalaya-īkṣaṇā boy begins to dream his His will to hunt the most beautiful bird in the
mind transforms into heavenly kingdom kingdom was too great
Where the poets are revered by the Devás as the
vessels of truth The mahārāja could only be pleased by the vicious
deeds of his chief hunters
The virtues of mankind sit in their sealed mouths He enjoyed hearing their tales of raping virgin girls
How do such beings speak when faced with an and killing herds of grazing gazelles
impending doom?
If the smiting of harmless character cannot satisfy
They are not meant to utter words of eloquence this uncouth monarch then what does?
Their hands speak to the curious onlookers An unlimited potential in such a lord is a grave
kind!
The written word is more precious than one’s ego
It lasts for eternity, taking many refreshing guises He screams for help, scaring off the curious grey
hares and red foxes
When all of mankind disappeared like the mist in the His neck moves wildly about to shake the arrow out

56 Online Pagans Magazine September October 2010


Īshwar heard the agony of a man with wide eyes Small steps you once took towards my
He heard the gurgling pain of a depressed soul! welcoming arms
Laughing with each graceful fall
This sweet boy ran to the Parinirvivapsā then stopped You look into my eyes to see a radiant
when noticing no one was there! mother
In the center of the heaving water lay a white haṃsá My love for you is as generous as a golden
sobbing ball
Tears dropped into the clean water Rest your head on my lap, sweet boy
Making it sigh with sympathy No more worrying tonight
Índra-Devá has blessed you with strength
Īshwar treaded the deep body with firm feet
To keep you in his welcoming light
Crows fly down to bite his head
X
Blood soaks his hair yet his eyes remain fixed on a
noble creature in need Īshwar’s long hair rested on the haṃsá’s side
Standing before the dying haṃsá his hands caress the His rose perfume traveled into this creature’s orange
swollen neck beak
IX As he awoke he shook his head
Īshwar laughed and pet the haṃsá’s neck
Unable to contain his tears he let them fall onto his
haṃsá’s belly When inquiring of who this wounded creature was
His heart suddenly closed its window, becoming The ascetic cursed to live as a haṃsá lowered his head
willful to save this victim in embarrassment
The soft bird whose wings were kept close to his Unable to speak of a curse which deprived him of
chest human luxury
Whimpered as the compassionate muse carried him The taste of fruit and love are reserved for those who
to his resting place speak and walk upright
For hours the white creature writhed with the golden Īshwar cupped his new friend’s curved beak, looking
arrow stuck in his long soft neck adoringly upon the swan’s face
Īshwar soaked his purple ṣāṭī in warm water and soap The bandaged creature introduced himself as Parīkṣit,
before cleaning the blood off this poor animal’s body an ascetic who was cursed to be murdered by a hunter
while in the form of a haṃsá
It was a sight no devá could stand to witness!
All of Índra-Devá’s brothers and sisters turned away The way to break such a horrible spell is by meeting
when hearing the piercing screams Bhūdevī’s waterfall of inspiration
To touch it as if it was a pearl just pulled from the
Īshwar had begin pulling the arrow from the neck
mouth of a seashell
while rubbing the swan’s belly tenderly
He shushed him to sung a lullaby once locked Water unparalleled by Gaṅgā-Devī herself springs up
away in his memory: miles towards Dyauṣpitṛ
So cool and refreshing one cannot help but drink
Rest your head on my lap, sweet child
from the fountain three times!
No more worrying tonight
Índra-Devá blessed you with strength Looking down into the shimmering water the world
To keep you in his flourishing light suddenly transforms from a dry land devoid of
nourishment
Rest your fears till Sāvitrī rises
Into a kingdom of bright colors and myriad creatures!
Dream only of Candrá’s soothing glow
Leave your hands in mine so I can kiss them Sāvitrī-Devá may be resplendent but he is humbled
Skin as spotless as Kailāsa’s snow when the colors of Bhūdevī’s creations become
brighter as the water is sipped from gentle hands
You are lost in your pleasure garden
As if all the dirt floating in her womb diminishes by
Drinking coconut juice from a wooden bowl
divine will!
Yet, I am lost in loving the joyful eyes you
Enchanted by this description, Īshwar wondered
open
where such a fountain existed
A feeling your heart is eager to dole
Parīkṣit told him the fountain exists in human form

September October 2010 Online Pagans Magazine 57


safely guarded by Bhūdevī’s mṛgárājas XII

XI They spent days under mākanda entwined in amour


Unable to consummate a tender relationship
Īshwar held Parīkṣit tenderly in his arms storytelling became a much-needed distraction
Caressing his long feathers to restore his beauty
Īshwar listened carefully while sitting in front
A lonesome haṃsá is struck with amazement by how Parīkṣit
selfless this stranger is! From the shiny orange beak of his beloved haṃsá
People are too self-absorbed to take notice of the came the first tale
injured!
The game between six siblings whose mother wanted
When weeks have past with Sūrya-Devá retreating to to test their grasp on unfiltered motherly love
his abode to let his sister submerge into darkness A challenge of proving the heart’s worth before a
Parīkṣit’s wound healed completely for the touch of a towering nurturer
thoughtful boy made him feel as fortunate as Gaṇápati-
Devá Devotion flows from Himávat-Devá to the green
plains sloping into secluded villages
His heart had grown large with each kiss from the As delicious as chilled coconut juice, all children
soft-skinned beauty reach for this milky stream
He could not utter a goodbye so decided to leave
quietly before Vibhāvarī-Devī overwhelmed The stream flowing from our Supreme Mother’s heart
Rātri-Devī with her radiance into Himávat-Devá’s mind is what the children will
never figure out
The māyūra were sleeping soundly under mākandas Their faith in an omnipotent devī has surpassed that
If Īshwar were to be warned of something serious the of the Devás!
māyūra would shout in unision
One day Mahādevī observed her children from her
Indeed, they did when Parīkṣit got up to run from the Pārijāt-covered seat
forest! Vāyú, Vivásvat, Sóma, Śākra, Pṛthvī, Rātri, Vāk
He flapped his wings as practice before taking one and Vibhāvarī played a game of hide and seek in
last glance at his savior the campakâraṇya
The magnificent māyūra that flirt by opening their To her they were the most beautiful in all of her
bright feathers awoke at that moment, noticing an empire!
ungrateful haṃsá taking small steps away from their Worthy of her precious love for there is no sinful
friend bone in any of her shiny children
They shouted and fluttered their feathers, awakening
a loving companion! However, they fought for long periods of time
without stopping to catch their breath
Īshwar saw Parīkṣit waddling away from him Always about their white skin and lush hair, never
He was distraught a friend would leave without over their mother’s heart!
saying goodbye
Mahādevī gathered her daughters in one group and
Leaping to the entrance of the forest, Īshwar blocked her sons in another
the haṃsá’s path She told them both there will be a game of tug-o-war
This healed being looked up into the muse’s eyes to
see flames clashing The rope will be fire fashioned by Agním-Devá
himself
Our selfless boy had marked his territory with just Sisters will hold one end and brothers the other
one glare
Parīkṣit accepted his place, thus remained in the The one person whose feet do not slip will prove
bountiful forest he is most worthy Mahādevī’s lavish generosity!
A sweet-smelling candrákānta paṭala full of
These two quiet creatures did not speak for weeks maṇíkarṇikās, maṇícīras decorated with haritâśmas
They merely lay next to eachother smiling as the and māṇikyamaya parihāryas
mākanda offered its ripened fruit

58 Online Pagans Magazine September October 2010


XIII The boys in their yellow satin dhotīs tied by draping
kákṣa, stuck their chests out like warriors
Pṛthvī looked at her mother puzzled by such a silly The girls’ blue silk ṣāṭī flowed like the rivers of
idea Kailāsa, so alluring yet filled with secrets
She stood by her mother’s side holding her hand
Excitement was in the air and the baskets filled with
The barren devī found herself in a comfortable spot yuthikās add an aroma befitting such an occasion!
once again Flowers with the color of purity shower these adoring
She inhales the scent of the flowers flowing from her children
mother’s seat
Mahādevī watches from her golden throne with eyes
It is more relaxing to remain quiet while watching the
glued to the clear spot in forest
Supreme Mother entertain her
Who will prove to be most worthy of her finest
A game she plays shows the complexity of an ancient
treasure?
Intellect
All the Devás think of the prestige that will be
Who is this sublime devī that sleeps on saffron sheets
bestowed on one fortunate child
While her children play on top of a large bed made of
To receive this gift of opulence is to become the
red silk?
most treasured creature of all the Supreme
They cling to the bedposts made of haritâśmas as Mother’s empire!
if the jewels were theirs all along!
The Devás dream of being their mother’s favorite
Unable to grasp the choice a selfless mother makes
child for it is a position anyone wishes more than
for her children
anything in life!
Mahādevī’s heart is closed from the world for she To receive the comfort of the grandest luxury is to
cannot share the mystery that makes the universe experience everlasting bliss
breathe
Pṛthvī-Devī owned only a green ṣāṭī for her main
It will burst the eardrums of her children and the
concern in life is to please her mother in every
heads of her mortal subjects
second so she will never feel unhappy
She is the red blood that boils when fists clench She rubs feet white as Himávat’s snow and
She is the moon that radiates for eternity when padmarāga soles with appreciation for this lovely
darkness submits to noble character opportunity

Her lotus-petal, golden eyes shimmer when XV


Vivásvat-Devá looks at his caring mother
Rátnavatī’s skin covered with forest and water sighs
He smiles showering her with rays of joy
in sadness at how her thin neck is bare
Long black lashes clasp the rays to absorb them She dreams of wearing maṇíguṇanikara while looking
Her eyes shudder from the enormous bliss contained upon butterflies resting on śivávallabhas
in all
She inhales the sweet perfume as if the flowers are
He reaches for her arms to look into those soothing hers only
eyes Vivásvat warms her body with a massage to untangle
To see an abundance of Śephālikās blossoming to the tight knots
please him
For once our beloved devī feels she is special
XIV Her identity is just as important as everyone else’s

Pṛthvī-Devī watched her brothers whose silky hair No one ignores her, no one degrades her
shone like their prāvṛṣya laden parihāṭakas stand on Her scent that rivals that of amṛta
side of the bare ground
All who wish to experience a bright heaven which
Her sisters whose woven hair carries the scent of
has
vánacandrikā stood on the opposite side
Air made out of bliss should reside with Rátnavatī
Their wooden sandals firmly planted on the dry
She owns a myriad of ponds contaning padmaṣaṇḍa
forest-floor
of blue, pink, red and white!
Hands decorated with aṅgārakamaṇi rings clutch the
Wearing a padmamālin the Devás immediately
flaming rope
prostrate before her when she arrives at Bráhman’s

September October 2010 Online Pagans Magazine 59


palace to offer spend time her villagers!

In her hand exists a long śivápattra with petals Accusing each other of not being fair yet refuse to
perfectly curved to her desire abide by the rules
It breathes the scent of the ocean to please her Her frustration with such behavior became
whenever she wishes Rátnavatī’s state

When the Devás ask their radiant mother why These two beautiful creatures share the same nature
Rátnavatī does not seek the lustrous fabrics and For Bráhman could not bear to create only effuglent
perfectly cut pearls they are met with silence devás who will forget why they exist
Bráhman does not care for such finery for her task
as a mother is to care for little ones who are always XVII
demanding her attention
The shameless Rātri throws her sandalwood shoes at
Rátnavatī is the same as her brilliant mother whose Vivásvat hitting him in the face
eyes remain in constant observance He screams as his eyes become bloodshot
She feels her heart beat faster when seeing the joy on
With a strong will as hot as his skin he begins to
her siblings’ pearly faces
growl like a lion
XVI He grunts with each tug and chortles with the
momentarily slips of Vāk
Rátnavatī watches her siblings stretch to impress their
mother Vāyú, who is gentle and loving, is shocked by Rātri
They tie their hands with white cloth to protect recklessness
against the hot rope He blows in her direction dust to burn her eyes

These little kṣatriyas think they are going to war over She shouts of the unfairness of this boyish mischief!
an unseen box of sparkling treasure! Her eyes bleed yet she continues to growl while
What such foolishness their egos choose to bathe in! pulling the rope harder

Rátnavatī laughed as the Devás and Devīs shouted The game went on for hours with no break!
insults back and forth How can a little devá or devī be so bold!
To rile the opposite team so as to ensure a victory
The fiery rope became so thin it diminished!
The Devás pull the fiery rope hard, laughing as the Bráhman’s children were bruised and covered in
Devīs lose their footing blood
They were stunned when Uṣas pulled twice as hard
No team won the game for it was played with every
making them stumble!
rule broken
Our yellow devī whose light floods the world every Neither will receive the sparkling treasure in their
morning mother’s chest!
Snickers at the thin legs her brothers possess
Bhūdevī watched her brothers and sisters wash their
Bráhman’s children shout louder over how hard the faces in a large pot of water from the lake
other side is pulling She smirked for the prize did not exist at all!
Calling eachother names when asking to be gentle
Bráhman whispered to her admiring daughter the
They frown when jerked three times in a row for real reason for such a challenge
amusement She laughed before describing the real treasure is the
The fire brightens under the watchful eye of limitless love she has for her children
Bráhman
It floods a dry riverbed when the snow rapidly melts
White clothes that protected those sweaty hands Bringing life to everything slumped over the ground
have burned to a crisp
The sparkling blue river never loses its beauty
Now scorched flesh is set aflame as the fire’s tails
Even when a rain of fire turns kingdoms into
lengthen with each pull
carcasses
Bráhman’s children view themselves as supremely
When one begs for money he is not remembering
elegant
the moment his mother fed him her milk
To her shock they are suddenly behaving like angry
A selfless act to nourish a creature brought into this

60 Online Pagans Magazine September October 2010


new world can be obtained

Her heart grows with each pulse of amour Śaṃvat, an old hermit, lived in the mādhavīlatā
How can a child melt the glassy exterior of a woman’s forest far from civilization yet close enough to the
heart? Gańgā
He wrote poetry during the day and meditated on
He is able to with eyes filled with playful innocence Mahālakṣmī-Devī’s unique beauty at night
Two smiles fixed in a state of joy!
To him she was a woman whose beauty is sharper than
The sacred gem is Bráhman’s love for all her children that of the other devīs
who simply wish to receive it She is unpercievable by the human eye, but the
Money, power, fame and glory are rocks when ātmán can see her from the pādakilikā set with
compared to the boundless river springing forth from bhārgavakas to the puṣkarêkṣaṇa face
our Supreme Mother’s heart
He was rarely bothered by the giggling village girls
She tested her children to see if they viewed her love Gopīs ventured into the forest to collect
as being more precious than any jewel heavenly-scented mādhavīlatā
The Devás and Devīs who tugged the fiery rope till
their fingers bled onto the floor cry over which side Yet Śaṃvat did not notice them at all!
fell first Bráhman enchanted him with her passionate energy
flowing through space like milk poured from a pot
Will the Supreme Mother reveal the truth? onto the liṅgaṃ
No, she takes her tired children in a tender embrace
The aroma of such a gift is more pleasant than the
With the end of her saffron ṣāṭī, the Holy Mother celestial kánakacampaka tree
wipes their flowing tears A stream of the pollen from her púṣpagranthana
She kisses the cuts and burns till they fade away Containing this emotion sinks into the devotee’s
mind
Perhaps these playful Devás will never understand
the mind of their mother When one gopī, Śriyā, decided to play a joke on this
Fortunately, at least one child does! faithful lover of Mahālakṣmī-Devī
His adoring devī switched the girl’s destiny to the
XVIII
other end
Īshwar gave a hearty laugh for the tale of the mighty
She was meant to be the favorite muse of the Mahārājá
Devás behaving foolishly in their childhood
Puṇḍárīka’s sculptor later in life
Parīkṣit begin to laugh for he too found it to be
Now, she will soon endure an intolerable fate no girl
ridiculous!
has the strength to!
The smiling haṃsá asked Īshwar where his mother
Śriyā went back to her village to write a false letter
is
on her mother’s last banana leaf
Softly, this sad boy uttered words of pain
Her words of a dire emergency in the nearby
He had no idea where his mother is! temple for Mahālakṣmī-Devī will surely hook his
The last memory he grabbed onto was when he attention!
awoke in this forest wearing nothing but a white ṣāṭī
She smiles devilishly when approaching the sleeping
Parīkṣit nuzzled Īshwar’s open palm to offer his hermit
sympathy Quietly, so as to not stir him, she places the carefully
The lonely muse hugged his new friend tightly written letter next to him

The following morning they found themselves in the XIX


same sitution
Rātri-Devī took a rest to let her carefree sister
A student learning the follies and joys of humanity
Vibhāvarī-Devī soar through all open spaces in the
and its divine rulers
world!
Parīkṣit began his second tale, one of unexpected Śaṃvat yawned, noticing a green banana leaf with
tragedy sensual calligraphy
He advised Īshwar to not run away when hearing
On it was written the Mahārājá Puṇḍárīka’s edict to
the ruthless part for it is where fragrant wisdom
destroy all the temples of villages, towns and the capital

September October 2010 Online Pagans Magazine 61


A statue of his mighty self will be erected in her place As she turned to leave her pādukā was clutched by
the scowling hermit
This crime is made against the most compassionate She glanced at an angry bearded man whose neck
devī in all of Bráhman’s land!? became veiny
Who has the audacity to behave so cruelly!?
Śriyā whimpered when he demanded an explanation
A tired old man he surely was, but never failing in She told him it was an act to humor herself for she
defending the honor of our holy vessel of had nothing to do in her spare time
righteousness!
He grabbed his pāreraka and ran to the village Śaṃvat’s skin turned bright red before he began
mandira degrading her virtues
His tongue became sharp as a knife, pricking the
To his shock Mahārājá Puṇḍárīka postrated before the ego till it bled entirely
pearly sculpture
He offered cakes, money and śatádalas in return for She sank to the floor with her head lowered in shame
protection against misfortune Shedding tears of regret for behaving viley

Śaṃvat asked a girl approaching the mandira about Śaṃvat saw genuine sorrow though it did not matter
Mahārājá Puṇḍárīka’s order to demolish the temple to him, justice must be delivered!
She laughed, telling him no such thing can happen He picked up his bowl of water scooped from the
for their Nṛpáti is a devotee of Mahādevī’s most Gańgā
charitable devī!
XXI
It dawned on him he was subjected to a heartless joke
Anger flooded his body turning it hard and black like Śaṃvat shouted, “You who have made a fool out of
a volcano’s cooled lava a man thats spends his life
swimming in the milky ocean
He offered his lover pañcāṅgapattra plucked from a Mahālakṣmī-Devī presides over
nearby lake this sparkling realm with the utmost
The naive gopī watched from her window laughing gratitude to her husband
quietly to herself
Those who surrendered to her
What fun it is to treat a solitary old man like a child!? divine love did so willingly
He is surely the most gullible hermit out of all the Their only wish is to live at her feet
ones who inhabit Gańgā’s forests and be carressed by her soothing
hands
Śriyā thought, “Tonight I will leave another note but
write about the statue being defiled by ásuras” A rare gift that for many is
As Rātri-Devī showered Dyauṣpitṛ with her many impossible to receive
crystals, this fair-skinned gopī with wide eyes and a To my horror you spat on my love
voluptuous body walked towards the forest with a for the Supreme Majesty!
fresh note in her hand
I curse you to never know the
XX feeling of amour in this life or the next!
Your heart will shrivel before old
Being naive is something Śriyā knows all too well for
age arrives leaving you devoid of
it leads to ridicule and scorn
of the red ocean that forms ripples
She is too hopeful to assume an early death will latch
when lust and admiration interwine
onto her
Alone you lay in a room with
Śaṃvat was told by his rājñī the same deed will occur
scurrying hungry mice
soon
Crying over your friends who died
He chose to lay awake with eyes closed to deceive his
in your youth without saying
talentless jokester
goodbye
Śriyā tip-toed towards the saffron bedsheet Śaṃvat
Deaf and blind after an angry mob
is slept on
beat you viciously with sticks
Leaving a message written on a banana leaf next to
For letting the mandira’s
the hermit
Brāhmaṇa purchase for your

62 Online Pagans Magazine September October 2010


virginity!” to his dungeon to be beaten and raped by the prison
guards
The raging devoteee threw the holy water on this
heartless girl He delighted in hearing stories of screams filling the
She looked up to find no one standing before her! cold, filthy blockstone cells
Rats bite into unwashed feet to drink the poisoned
Śaṃvat vanished into thin air leaving all his blood
belongings behind A mere thought jumping from one’s mouth to the
She sat still for a long time, unable to make sense ears of a tyrant
of a merciless deed Is hardly worth depriving innocent women and girls
of their dignity!
In her mind curses were a myth for no one could
possess such a power Unfortunately, bravery amongst Mahārājá
Although, she was overwhelmed with terror as the Dāruṇa’s army shakes from the toes to the
poison seeped into her skin chiseled face in fear
They are always lowering their heads to avoid staring
Īshwar interrupted, “What happened to her?” into the eyes of their lord!
Parīkṣit answered, “The curse unfolded exactly as
it was given XXIII
Her skin remained as soft and
shiny but internally nothing A maharṣi whose name is Púṇya could see the
existed” past and future
She walked into a village asking strangers for food
XXII
A kind fisherman could not resist helping an elderly
Īshwar asked his smiling friend for another tale woman
One with a strong woman who posssesses a spiky He offered her a bed to sleep on and as many days
nobility she needs to satisfy her hunger

Parīkṣit licked Īshwar’s pink palm and nuzzled it Pleased by an offer of fresh milk, dhal baath and
He said if grapes were fed to him he will share a seasoned fish
a powerful tale The wise elder asked her smiling host about the village

Īshwar laughed showing his sparkling white teeth Púṇya waited for a response though the fisherman saw
His smile became like Sūrya-Devá’s: two rows of through the room’s open window to see a kṣatriya
bhārgavakas! suspiciously staring at him
His knees wobbled uncontrollably, breaking his
He fed his affectionate entertainer with green grapes balance
One by one his doted swan swallows
Púṇya asked her host what the matter was
Ruffling his long feathers a tale is rushing to the No words could be uttered for the host’s attention was
back of his beak held by the devious kṣatriya’s eyes
Īshwar listened closely so as to not miss any hidden
lesson The the sage turned to look at an armed man
His skin color black as coal shone under the Sūrya
Dāruṇa, a sadistic mahārājá lived as a bachelor
He was content with just seducing courtesans and Eyes yellow like a cat’s squinted to peer further into
eating past midnight the house
It was as if Yamarāja had come to capture a sweet
It was the life his forefathers indulged in greedily fisherman’s soul
For a mahārājá is destined to please himself only
When glancing to the floor he noticed a joyous rṣi
Those who come across his path to confront such eating off a banana leaf
needless behavior are met with a gada made from Scooping baath in one hand and sipping fresh milk
mahāloha with the other Púṇya turned to face the nosy soldier
His Majesty’s power over people was more exilirating
than the sóma! By firmly concentrating on his feet Púṇya cut them off!
He screamed in agony as blood gushed onto the street
He commanded their attention effortlessly
If any girl or woman shouted an insult she was sent Legs shook violently, squirting blood onto terrified

September October 2010 Online Pagans Magazine 63


onlookers Unfortunately, some gifts are worth rejecting!
Sobbing and writhing from the excruciating pain, a For she is not heavenly but has noble character
spectacle Púṇya ignored while finishing her meal as her precious adornment

The fisherman hurried to the window to close its Mahārājá Dāruṇa was told of a celestial muse
curtains who inspired starving children to sing and dance
He paced back and forth anxiously for Mahārājá She brought entertainment to the people who have
Dāruṇa will accuse his guest of witchraft and forgotten such a thing exists!
him of giving her refuge
The sounds she produces are pleasing to the ears
His advice for the gracious elder is to leave when It was a gift she wanted to give to dispel the dark
Vibhāvarī-Devī warms the world with her cloud hovering above the villagers
immesurable body and stay away from this place
Mahārājá Dāruṇa will sentence a even stranger XXV
to be tortured for many years before confessing her
crime Mahārājá Dāruṇa ordered his yuyudhānas an
order to bring this intruder to his bhavanam
Púṇya understand the emphasis of this dilemma His men found her singing to a crying widow to lift
She saw deep fright in his beautiful green eyes her spirits

XXIV They grabbed her without speaking, though she did


not shout or kick!
Púṇya watched this lovely man fall asleep on the bare She was pulled towards the rājabhavanam while
cement floor gliding above the ground much to their annoyance
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 The yuyudhānas pushed her into the rājá’s court then
deprive someone of their comfortable living closed the white marble doors
She stood before a giant with arms so large a tiger
By her will this noble rṣi transformed into a senuous would flee at first sight
apsará with a thin waist, wide hips and full breasts
Weilding a vīṇā made of wood from Śakra-Devá’s His eyes looked into hers to conquer an insolent
bountiful prântara woman
To his surprise he saw nothing but a glowing spirit
She is an indīvarâkṣa musician submerged in eternal untamed and expanding with each breath like
tranquility Vibhāvarī-Devī
Her long hair pulled back into a thick bun is adorned
with pañcāṅgapattra at the top He asked a silent musician what her name was
To the Mahārājá Dāruṇa’s shock she did not
She wears a dark blue ṣāṭī decorated with vájratulyas speak
along the border
It floats in the air as she glides over the ground He told her to give him an explanation for her
smiling to let others feel welcome in approaching her disruptive deed
The passionate muse she did not flinch or speak for
Her smooth hair is coated in the scent of a surapuṣpa she was enthralled by the laughter of his bitter subjects
So divine the Devás shower her in ketakī petals as a
blessing! The tyrant squeezed the muse’s arms tightly and to his
astonishment she did not whimper!
Her long fingers gently plucking the strings of her Becoming irritated the most powerful rājá in the world
wooden instrument to enchant onlookers screamed at her yet this fearless apsará did not shake!
Children follow her across the village to listen to the
heartbeat of Bráhman She stood still for seven hours in which the ruler of
all tried to provoke her in every way
The apsará’s full lips are curved and red like the āmra He threw food at her, threatened her with a knife,
Her skin is as white as Nandi’s milk and posssesses crushed Śakrá-Devá’s sculptures and burned the Veda
the softeness of a haṃsá’s feathers
To his aggravation she remained as still as a statue
She is a muse sent from purú to lift a tyrant into As the evening arrived Mahārājá Dāruṇa fell
ectasy! asleep in his maṇívara-encrusted golden throne
Her healing touch will melt a stony heart
The muse manifested a poisonous dagger in one hand

64 Online Pagans Magazine September October 2010


She floated towards the lord’s side, covered his mouth No other devá could live in anyone’s home
with one hand and stabbed him in the heart with the Mūrtis of them are prohibited by law!
other
XXVII
His Majesty’s screams were muffled as he struggled
against such a cruel deed! Born into a family of brāhmaṇas, Pañcânana had a
Deceived by the appearance of a gentle courtesan he strict upbringing
certainly was! She was rejected by her father when asking to
participate in yajñá and study the Ṛg Veda
He died after the sixth stab, slumping in his throne
The village’s savior disappeared smiling before No girl deserves to offer pétva to Agní-Devá
Vibhāvarī-Devī opened her eyes to shower us with Their minds are too meager to grasp the profound
rays of light knowledge of the holy scriptures

XXVI Grooming for marriage and motherhood is the


appropriate education
Parīkṣit eyed a bowl of freshly sliced mukhapriya For all girls must be prepared to serve others
Īshwar quietly peeled some more as his friend perfectly throughout their lives
became lost in a story of bravery and principle
Pañcânana laughed at such a foolish notion
Parīkṣit opened his mouth to receive dripping orange She even ridiculed the sacred rites
flesh
The taste travelled down his throat releiving him of To her girls who are the purest in all of the empire
years without enjoying such fine treats! were often beguiled into submission
Their virtues twisted and thinned till the heart
To Īshwar’s surprise Parīkṣit had another tale to give collapses
A moment in our world’s history that shall be relived
till the end of time Is this the noble behavior of Mahārājá Parigarvita’s
domain?
Like a pūtâtman’s life in Índra-Devá’s svargá, To fall into a trap where marriage eventually becomes
mortals live steadfast in their own pleasure gardens draining vessel!?
smelling the púṣkara that bend for them
Cook, clean and serve others till old age when one’s
Pañcânana was born in an empire ruled by Mahārājá daughters have begun to endure the same cruel fate
Parigarvita Pañcânana said “No! I am much better than that!”
The creed laid down by the omnipotent leader is for
all subjects to devote their mind only to the boundless Against her father’s wishes she went to another
Savitṛ-Devá village to purchase a mūrti of Mahākālī-Devī
A sculptor put the large golden statue in a cart to be
To swim in his everlasting light is like a child pulled to Pañcânana’s home
enjoying the calming embrace of Gáṅgā-Deví
And drink white wine from his candrákānta vase Pañcânana grinned for she has begun her path to
with great gratitude Mahādevī s heart
To reside in the center of her most supreme beauty
The people’s lord is the direct descendent of is to observe Mahādevī in her true ravishing form!
Savitṛ-Devá through his father’s side
His skill of incredible speed rivals that of the XXVIII
shooting rays of Savitṛ-Devá
The mūrti stood in the center of her room on top of a
The House of Sūryakara is reborn in each century nīlagandhika alter covered in red silk
but the presiding devá remains on his heavenly throne Bhadráśraya piṇḍaka filled the room allowing
Mahārājá of Sūryaprabha’s subjects give sweets and Pañcânana to immerse herself in deep concentration
money as an offering to him for the protection of
She sprinkles rice on her mūrti before touching its
their descendents
eyes and heart with a blade of grass dipped in pétva
The fear of gutting punishment never leaves their On a nepāla bhājana she sprinkles rice so her loving
minds mother can sit on it
A curse leaving them jittery and alert of every action
With mālatī dipped in water from the Gáṅgā she
committed
washes her mother’s feet

September October 2010 Online Pagans Magazine 65


In an oblation of water mixed with milk, honey, XXIX
yoghurt, ghee and sugar she dips her finger into the
bowl to rub onto the devī’s lips With each breath of her mother she saw a different
flickering light of color
Next to the treat is a glass of fresh water from a well A candle whose voice would speak to her softly
Pañcânana secretely took water from her mother’s
kitchen to replenish Mahākālī-Devī’s thirst She could barely understand what was said, though
in her heart she saw Bráhman opened her eyes
With a new mālatī she dips into a bowl of water and A white ocean calmly resting under Candrá-Devá who
in the bowl of sweet food to sprinkle her mother looks upon her brother with adoring eyes
When Pañcânana finished bathing her, she wrapped
red silk around the neck, draping it over the shoulders Pañcânana used to spend many vārṣikāns attempting
to reach her mother
Our blessed devotee adorns Mahākālī-Devī’s chest She screamed in horror when pushed back to Pṛthvī-Devī
with a golden sacred thread
She applies sandalwood paste to her forehead and Sūrya-Devá thwarted each attempt to keep this
anointed it with kuṅkumam ambitious daughter of Mahākālī-Devī from succeeding
He saw her fidelity growing faster than
With many a mālatī and its leaves she surrounds her Hanumān-Devá’s mischievous tail
mother!
From his emerald throne he watched carefully in a
New bhadráśraya piṇḍaka are lit to enchant a beautiful
astonishment
devī
No dissident would dare reach a devī without fearing
She lits a lamp filled with pétva on a plate to wave brutish punishment!
before her Iṣṭa-devatā
A special bond reserved for men of the highest
To give her mother lunch she offers slices of
spiritual state
rúciphala and drākṣās
Yet, here is this young creature ignoring his
Clasping her hands together in prayer she walks magnificent self!
around
She gave her life to Mahākālī-Devī who does not exist
Her mother asking her to protect her always
in any of the sacred scriptures of Mahārājá Parigarvita’s
She looked into her tender eyes she saw red smoke domain
flowing in circles For they are written as tribute to our lord’s supreme
Electricity forming as the swirls move faster divinity

Pañcânana took her polished vīṇā, beginning an Mahādevī was regretfully ashamed of her narcisstic
evening of music filled with hidden memories son
Mahākālī-Devī listened to her thoughtful daughter’s To erase his power she sent a sculptor from
music as hearing subtle sounds of emotions Svargáloka to Pṛthvī

Each one signifying a moment in her oppressed child’s Her request was for sculptures of her daughter
life Mahākālī-Devī to be created
From the painful humilation at the hands of a violent Hence, an Āryan girl will feel the natural pull of her
father to the first dream of sleeping in her accepting heart
arms
She would reach the market by foot with money
Pañcânana noticed her Iṣṭa-devatā’s face soaked in earned from selling butter to blacksmiths
tears When seeing the collection of gold, silver and copper
She pushed the vīṇā off her lap to hug her tightly sculptures she would know by instinct which one is
blessed by Mahākālī-Devī
Both cried for the rest of the night, forming a large
puddle of loneliness on the cement floor XXX
Understanding her daughter’s need for a stream
One black evening a storm brewed outside
of love Mahākālī-Devī remained inside the mūrti
Pañcânana closed and locked her windows

Heavy rain turned dry mud into a river descending


into the fearful Gáṅgā-Devī

66 Online Pagans Magazine September October 2010


The roofs of homes were cracked by large balls of The scent of her mother’s padmaāsavam emanates
ice from the leaves comforting he saint
All families huddled in front of a blazing havana
wondering what could have angered Sūrya-Devá For decades her fidelity towards Mahādevī was a
virtue she guarded with her thick will
Lightening struck house after house setting them Unable to see any other view on love as valid
aflame
Every wall hit by a giant black rock, crumbled from To this tired, old woman the one love that exists
the intense force! forever resides
In the womb of a the forgiving and thoughtful
Every man, woman and child ran outside screaming Supreme Mother
for help
“Where is our lord? Where is he? Please save us our She brings her strength to the surface to squash
our protector!?” egotistical enemies
She brings her tenderness to her hands to sooth the
Throughout the panic-stricken village Pañcânana shaking grief of her battered children
remained in a deep meditative state
A body gave a white glow as she purposefully got What greater parent one can ask for?
lost in the immeasurable love of Mahākālī-Devī Anāpadi viewed Mahādevī as her sole mother

Mahākālī-Devī’s heart melted into a milky sea for Unforeseen by the Devás she was imbued with great
she had succumbed to the delight of motherhood powers as an act of appreciation from Mahādevī!
Her daughter swam unharmed by the many floating The heavenly bodies cannot defeat such a woman
semantī for their powers are small in comparison

The world’s most fortunate being had achieved the Lacking the amṛta to churn these energies into
highest state one can reach as a mortal a massive force
She completely surrendered to her mother to remain The color of white eventually became less appealing
in her arms forever due to the internal stronghold of humility

How is it possible for a mere mortal let alone a young By terrible a hermit who sleeps in the Holy Mother’s
woman reach a realm unknown to mankind? lap was born a mortal!
No one is selfless enough to accomplish such a feat! When reaching her last few years on Pṛthvī the body
crippled unexpectedly
XXXI
In one gasp it broke into countless of pieces like a
I will take the risk of revealing a truth: in the previous mahārājá’s porcelain vase knocked off its pedestal
life of the Brāhmaṇa’s daughter she was an extremely Oh! Such a sad ending this poor daughter endured!
powerful sage who could shake the world with her
laughter XXXII
The Devás feared another war with a mortal who
Anāpadi’s ātman rested in a sublime state of peace
clutches the magnificent divine powers
Truly happy with the silence for it gave her many
In their minds Anāpadi was a threat to Índra-Devá’s blissful dreams
reign over all life, both heavenly and earthly
When awaking from centuries of naps she sensed
Fortunately, she was only interested in becoming one
something wrong had occurred
with Mahādevī
Looking at her unshapely body she saw a radiant light
Anāpadi lived as a hermit in the bakula forest,
She didn’t have arms, legs, teeth or anything of the
listening to the songs of her Holy Mother
human nature
The melody caressed her cheeks to let her know she
Even the blood that flows through red flesh to give it
is in a nurturing womb
life did not exist!
Every time she left the world to listen to her mother
It dawned on her she had died in a solitary life for her
sing a mantra pieced itself together
love for the Supreme Devī needed that much attention
When awaking from this slumber she wrote the
What shall one do at this point?
enchanting songs furiously across fresh banana leaves
Anāpadi did not achieve mokṣa so had to reincarnate
Lines written in black ink tempt Anāpadi’s heart to
on Bhūmī-Devī
spring into a lake of passion when glowing

September October 2010 Online Pagans Magazine 67


Her new form will be a Brāhmaṇa’s pious daughter must be aware when the mūrdhakas arrive to take her
daughter away
She will stay in the protective arms of the Supreme
Devī Mūrdhakas stormed into this willful daughter’s room
To avoid the terrible consequences of mortality One reads a message from a silk scroll: “By Mahārājá
Parigarvita’s law, harboring a devá who isn’t the
The Anāpadi the world knew lived as a solitary mahārājá of all celestial and earthly life, Sūrya-Devá
hermit is punishable by imprisonment in the deepest
Her family died unable to find her after several dungeons for six months, with little water and food,
searches a hundred lashes and lastly, death at the claws of
ten tigers!”
A young girl who woke up realizing she must find
Pañcânana stood up proudly with her fists clenched
her mother
Even in a dire situation she knows her life will be
Ran into the bakula forest to find her, though never
spared
coming out
Wiping her tears before looking at these scoundrels
In many lives before she took the form of a hermit
She gutted them with words manifested by enveloping
Reaching for the sky in hope the Holy Mother would
valor
grab her hands
XXXIV
The reason for choosing a spiritual path regardless of
the pressures of life is the courage that exists in the “Why is it that a citizen of this wealthy
heart empire must submit to a devá she has
Anāpadi possessed a blind passion to reach further no connection to?
than the starry Dyauṣ regardless of the snow storms Is it because Mahārājá Parigarvita is
and the Vārṣikān descended from him, so we must
follow a divine being blindly?
XXXIII
I may be a righteous brāhmaṇa’s
Pañcânana sits before a mūrti in her bare room
daughter but I am not a dog
All of her luxury and personal belongings stripped
I do not bend to the wishes of a tyrant
as punishment
nor do I follow laws which restrict the
A mūrdhaka received an edict from Mahārājá freedom of my heart!
Parigarvita to deprive her of all the things that
You can strip me bare and let the tigers
that make a person a normal citizen!
devour my flesh but as long as
However, what she really wanted in this life was to
Mahādevī resides in my heart
be sleeping in her mother’s arms
I will never give up my will! Never!!!
She begged here righteous father to protect the
It is the Supreme Mother who rules
mūrti from harm
over all!
He ignored her plea for he did not believe in
Her warmth and just character lead
rescuing a disobedient daughter
the actions of the Devás and the
Her mother who imparted values turned away in human race
disappointment
She is the thought forming in your mind
As the wife of a brāhmaṇa she could not aid a
and the breath you inhale
blasphemer
She is everything you see and is beyond
Women had no choice but to follow the orders of men what our simple consciousness can
It was their duty to take heed to a man’s advice afterall perceive!

Pañcânana looked at her mother with tears flowing If you touch my mother she will destroy
down her soft cheeks you in an instant!
Mahākālī-Devī heard the cries of her abandoned In Bhūdevī’s previous lives she governed
daughter her children till they died!

She opened her eyes as frustration turned into an Her power was feared by all yet respected
agníparvata as the most virtuous quality
Our dear mother fought to contain her rage for she No one challenged her rule, no one dared

68 Online Pagans Magazine September October 2010


to mock her! In one hand Kālikā-Devī weilds a mahāvadha and
in the other she holds a gada
Our Holy Mother’s strength is beyond a She looks at her child with a smile to let her know
mortal’s grasp she will always come to her rescue when she is
Even her godly children are unable to being persecuted
accomplish such a feat!
XXXVI
Will you take the risk of laying a
trembling hand on her stiff arm? Pañcânana, lost in the sight of her mother’s
I dare you to try! Your life will unsurpassed beauty touched her feet to offer
end before you can scream!” respect
In her eyes the need to sacrifice herself to the
XXXV consuming fire that is Mahādevī is clearer than
the Gáṅgā
Trembling in their shoes these kṣatriyas laughed at
such nonsense Kālarātri-Devī blessed this child with her soft touch,
Two brushed her aside and laid their dirty hands on opening the door of her heart to allow her
the sculpture vulnerable daughter to walk through
Pañcânana gave up the perils of being human to dwell
The ground shook as it emnanted deep red energy
in the essence of her mother
Stone cracked like an egg releasing whipping rage
throughout all the lands The luminous devī cannot be defined by the written
word
Those who defiled women choked as their bodies
She sees all the troubles and joys in this world but is
received hundreds of lashes
unmoved
Throats burned as the lungs slowly shrinked from
the disappearance of consumed water Her strength becomes the shield she uses when
gazing at her children from afar
Kālikā-Devī lunged towards the kṣatriyas blazing
She remains translucent to absorb their emotions
from the naked toes to the disheveled hair
Her hair wild as the moonsoon storm snaps at Every girl is harmed for the sake of power
soldiers Every woman is humilated for entertainment
She screeches so loud their eardrums could not Passivity is not Kālarātri-Devī’s way though
withstand it punishment is!
Blood flowed from the ears onto the floor She squashes the poisoned ego in all its forms
Kālikā-Devī licked the blood off her weak victims’ Her gada breaks the shell to punch the flesh till it is
faces thin
Smiling as they shed tears of fear! She drinks the blood of her enemies as if it is Sóma
The terrible devī’s skin color is black like charred Her mind fixated on annihlating all who poses a
bones threat to her soveriegnity
It is the night sky hiding secrets a mother chooses Our Supreme Mother: the defender of the righteous
to never divulge and ruler of the limitless ego!

She opens her mouth, exhaling deadly black smoke She leaps to Mahārājá Parigarvita’s palace dripping
into the mouths of shaking soldiers blood from her padákamalas across the village
Their bodies fell to the floor, bonelesss and without With one angry roar she demands the ásura to come
organs outside and fight

She laughed while kicking these empty shells! XXXVII


To her such a sight is amusing
The fearless foe is quickly dressed in military garb
Our rageful divine mother who shows compassion His breastplate made from silver is etched with
in dire moments stays focused on conquering the protection mántras given by Sūrya-Devá
foe of virtuous nature
Innocent people crouch in fear though remain His crown made from the stolen gold of Laṅkā is
unscratched adorned with yellow citrines
They form the long senuous rays of Sūrya

September October 2010 Online Pagans Magazine 69


On both arms armlets made from the tusks of he possesses!
pañcanakha display mántras for victory
Mahārājá Parigarvita’s polished gada is clutched by She is merely the creation of Bráhman’s will
his shattering fist To be pulled and squeezed for at his leisure

Before leaving his lustrous golden palace, he went to Many yards our greatest warrior stood from the foul
his bedroom chamber enemy
Upon seeing a tearful rājñī firmly holding a plate Flinging fire, poisoned darts and axes at his chest,
with a lit lamp, a small pile of rice and a small pile of arms and legs
kuṅkumam
Nothing could hurt Mahārājá Parigarvita!
Rājñī Bhāvinī shook for a pinching fear of her husband’s It was as if the monster was beyond mortality!
death sits in the stomach
She grew frustrated with the difficulty in conquering
She muffled her sobs while waving the lamp for her
her daughter’s corrupted nemesis
husband
Her eyes shot fire when the emperor begin degrading
With one finger the distressed rājñī annointed her her
her lord’s forehead with kuṅkumam and sprinkled
They whipped the dirt path setting it aflame
him with rice
Kālikā-Devī leaped through the smokey air,
In her heart she was screaming for a truce to take
landing in front of lord whose heart is meagre
place
XXXIX
A voluptuous rājñī with pearly skin sunk into a state
of terror when watching her victorious husband Kālikā-Devī’s hair became a stream of fire whipping
walk into battle everything in sight!
Stunned by such recklessness Mahārājá Parigarvita
Mahārājá Parigarvita kicked the entrance doors,
striked her with his silver gada
breaking them off their hedges
He stood a hundred feet away from Kālarātri-Devī Another surprise! Kālikā-Devī did not fall!
whose eyes pierced the emperor’s heart with a She hit her enemy’s chest and legs with her jagged
menacing stare sword though the armor would not crack
They are two craters of black water forming ripples How can a divine weapon forged in her flaming heart
Our Holy Savior’s disgust with the selfish ego is not make even a dent?
magnified ten times when seeing this stray dog She striked his body harder and harder in attempt
sticking his chest out to break the impenetrable garb
XXXVIII Mahārājá Parigarvita laughed as he hit her stomach
ten times
The two bloodthirsty warriors did not budge till
Kālikā-Devī remained standing without any bruises
Vibhāvarī laid down in her yellow satin bed
The incorruptible devī jumped, laughing at how She lunged at him, biting his neck as if it were raw
pungent the vile giant is! meat
The Mahārājá of Sūryaprabha howled in great pain
Even in the beginning of a battle she finds humor in
for the sharp teeth sank into his flesh all the way
smallest things
It gives her power a second to grow larger Enraged by this foul act he threw her to the end of
of the village
Our Holy Mother screamed with such hot intensity
She cackled knowing his weakness is the bare neck
the dogs’ ears bled
It was deafening for the people whose ears are not Kālikā-Devī’s hair lifted her up as the fire from the
strong enough to handle such a powerful wave! blood-soaked path devoured empty villages
During the battle she urged her children to run to the
A million daggers she spit towards the towering
mountains to keep eachother safe from her wrath
tyrant
None punctured his flesh or scratched the She grew taller than three Bhūdevīs combined while
breastplate! her hair set her aflame
an unlimited inferior that enlarged with each breath!
He laughed at such childish tricks!
For a devī is no where near the immeasurable powers She walked towards her great enemy bringing him to

70 Online Pagans Magazine September October 2010


his knees He grabbed her body when she emerged from the
He realized his effort to conquer a devī would not have crashing waves of the Kṣīradhi
mattered
Her white body glowing so brightly the features
She is the ultimate divinity who received no attention could not be seen
through the length of his dynasty She was purity in its greatest form!
How such a circumstance came to be?
Nārāyaṇá saw in her virtues moving in a circular
Kālikā-Devī’s steps shook Bhūdevī frightening motion
her Sending the newly-born devī into a state of ectasy
She prostrated before the Supreme Mother to offer
her heart’s respect Lakṣmī-Devī smiled for eternity even though her
intense joy simmered down
Kālikā-Devī looked down to see Mahārājá Parigarvita Her husband one day realized morality was created
crying hysterically for mercy to keep the universe from destroying itself
Our grand warrior smiled before picking his body up
to her mouth XLI

She looked into his wet eyes to see what he is feeling Īshwar smells the fresh mālatīmālā he made for
The swollen ego crumbled into pieces to open a box of himself
permeating insecurities One of his pleasures is to collect flowers from a tree
so he can fall into a paradise when dreaming
Kālikā-Devī put him in her mouth to crunch till nothing
except the bones are left Parīkṣit’s throat begin to itch from not drinking the
She closed her eyes to see Mahārājá Parigarvita’s mind whole day
melt into small drops He waddles to the misty lake to drink the cool water
and play in it
XL
Parīkṣit and Īshwar slept facing eachother, satisfied
Kindness is given to the ones with pure hearts
with the pleasing circumstances
One cannot find love if his virtues are missing
A relationship that shall last till the end of the world!
Virtues are the māṇava a person wears around his
Parīkṣit dreamed of his home where havana blazed
spotless neck
during each yajñá
A golden ornament the Divine would bestow on
He chanted prayers for Uṣas-Devī to keep the light in
anyone who is willing to forsake all ill qualities
his heart flickering forever
As long as it remains unhooked one’s beauty
A taste of divine genoristy is something most do not
will blossom like the kṛṣṇákanda
have the fortune of experiencing
In the bulb sits pollen poured gracefully by
One morning Parīkṣit received the blessing from
Lakṣmī-Devī
Uṣas-Devī he had been seeking
The puṣkarêkṣaṇa devī expresses the beauty of an
After Uṣas-Devī finished bathing the world gently,
adoring doe when her children vie for her attention
Parīkṣit prostrated before her to offer his respect and
Unable to decide whom to lavish her virtues upon,
gratitude
she divides them amongst them all
He made a promise to devote his life to keeping the
In Lakṣmī-Devī’s realm, the Kṣīradhi forms waves moral strength of humanity intact
in an attempt to reach her padákamalas
In this dream an unexpected surprise unfolds causing
She notices their desire so dips her feet into the ocean
Parīkṣit to smile with joy
The resplendent devī sighs as the waves carresses Śatárūpa-Devī rose from the havana wearing a white
them śāṭī laden with marakataśyāmas along the border
Her nights and mornings are spent taking care of
Proclaiming Īshwar as her son and the sacred muse
Nārāyaṇá
of humanity
She gazes at her husband with genuine appreciation His dhárma is to inspire artists to produce works
He created her during the Samudrámathana espousing the joys of possessing virtuous character
in times of great distress
Fearing for what may happen to a radiant devī
He will also write scriptures made of the tales

September October 2010 Online Pagans Magazine 71


memorized by his loyal companion, Parīkṣit tossed by our youth who found hunting and
These two will go from village to village to rendevouses with gopīs to be pleasurable
share monumental events in hopes the people
will be inspired to create art in the name of He was shocked by all of the news Parīkṣit shared with
Bráhman! him
To not know why one suddenly wakes up
Parīkṣit will create divine melodies with a vīṇā in a forest far from civilization without any
While Īshwar sing these stories as lovely as the memory is terrifying
caṭakas
He had been alone for years and cried under the
Parīkṣit cried in despair to the supreme muse of all Candrá-Devá who at times joined him
beings: To him there was no life before the forest!
“How can I help a friend when my lord cursed me to
die in the form of a swan!?” When he begged Parīkṣit to bring his mother to him
his wise friend lowered his head in disappointment
Śatárūpa-Devī understood his delimma, thus kindly He felt the pangs Īshwar harbored though could not
carressed his cheek fulfill this request yet
In this moment she blessed a compassionate hermit
to be free from a cruel fate Our world’s most sensual bard told him the duty must
be fulfilled before his mother lets him come back home
XLII A boy whose eyes are serene as a swan’s, it is
unbearable to watch when he’s sobbing
Awakening when Uṣas-Devī filled the sleeping
Bhūdevī with her joy, Parīkṣit touched his face, He may be as emotional as a child yet his strength keeps
arms and legs him from committing suicide
Excitement rushed to his heart making him stand up It his shield against the sins humanity hungrily gobbled
to shout Mahādevī’s exalted name
His virtues grew more intense as the years pass for
Īshwar awoke to see a bearded man with black hair Mahādevī created him this way to aide her children
flowing to the small of his back Īshwar eventually realized something bigger than
His brown eyes smile at him! himself demanded his compassion

The muse hugged his friend tightly for he was XLIII


breathtaken by this unexpected moment
A man with a scarred spirit sighed for the first time The amorous Īshwar took his friends cold hands in his
in many years to kiss them
His full lips soft as a pillow suckles the knuckles,
He smelled like a man and looked like one too! giving warmth to the hermit’s joints
Parīkṣit’s white skin shone under the blazing Sūrya
like satin Parīkṣit’s heart was washed with red water to give his
flourishing love more passion
The world’s savior cried in enormous joy for he He took his lover’s chin in his hand offering an
finally ensaring kiss
Could touch and hold his friend the way male
companions do! A moan escaping from our darling boy is the pink
smoke that floated in his heart
After a few deep breaths he asked his friend how the Parīkṣit caught it with his hand to inhale the
malicious curse was lifted rose-scented perfume
He listened carefully to a dream in which a
compassionate devī broke Parīkṣit’s cage Ectasy flows from his head to the naked feet
Clutching Īshwar to his chest he tore the white śāṭī
Śatárūpa-Devī broke the curse by revealing the name into pieces leaving a voloptuous boy half-naked
of her son who is the heavenly muse
She did so for it was time to begin saving the voice of His fair body, slender and curvacious with a lustrous
Mahādevī from extinction surface!
Black hair so long and thick, is used as a pillow
Too much knowledge was thrown into the havanas
for the sake of retaining power over a gullable Brāhmaṇas say nīlakaṇṭha are the most elegant creatures
populace Bhūdevī gave birth to
The sacred scriptures which lay in layers of soil were However, to Parīkṣit the limp slender beauty is more

72 Online Pagans Magazine September October 2010


ravishing! as if they were sugar cane
His slave moaned when every inch of his body was
He looked at his admiring preṣṭhatamaḥ from the small kissed to make him cave into being his lord’s servant for
head to the little toes tonight
Nipples pink and large tempt him to chew on them
Īshwar feared what would happen if he tried to
Indeed! Our brave sage pinned Īshwar to the ground escape
His teeth pinched the joyful boy’s nipples making He screamed when his delicate waist was clasped
him shout in pleasure tightly by knees hard as boulders!
For an hour Īshwar moaned as his nipples were softened XLV
before receiving a massage by a strong tongue
It is a teasing game Parīkṣit learned in his youth The pain was too much yet Parīkṣit did not care
He covered the boy’s mouth to begin massaging his
The smitten muse’s hands rested on his lover’s twitching tanúhrada
mountainous back
He sank his nails into it when teeth bit into his shoulder Two fingers forcefully slid inside, swelling the pink
flesh
XLIV His dirty nails tickles the surface making the youth
shudder in pleasure
Next to the two lovers lay tattered clothes
Their bodies kept warm by the hot passion pulsing Īshwar shouted for his man to pound his poṭa to reach
in every inch of flesh a climax under Dyauṣpitṛ’s curious observance
Noticing animals peeking from the bushes, he wanted
Īshwar had no idea he could find pleasure in biting
to please them all with a display of insatiable lust
and pinching
He turned his lover onto his back, straddling him and By the time Parīkṣit had finished relaxing his virgin’s
clutching his shoulders muscles he got off to turn him onto his belly
Ankles were tied above his sweet companion’s head
To Parīkṣit’s surprise his anukūla knew a few tricks!
His loins were softened by the boy’s forceful He watches a sore purīṣaṇa gaping to invite his phallus
grinding to plunge into it
Grasping the light muse’s legs the lord begins ramming
He moans as sexual lust over took him due to the
his pauruṣá all the way to the back without any breaks
furious massage
Parīkṣit bucked eight times sending Īshwar flying For an hour years of pent up bhága is exhaled by a
through the air! pure youth
He felt his soulmate’s meṇḍhra strike him repeatedly,
Sūrya-Devá catches him by the waist to prevent a
warming his cold body during a freezing midnight
sudden death
He lays his loyal devotee next to Parīkṣit whose face Over and over Īshwar was kneaded by the force of a
had turned bright red from the unrestrained tease madanâṅkuśa that increased with each strike
His body became red from the toes to the head,
He carressed Īshwar’s chest while looking at him
signifying the melting of the heart
with sorrowful eyes
White skin covered in sweat glistens under the A bhoga overwhelmed him, hence there was a
Sūrya need to freeze it
Pleasure remaining constant is coveted by the
A once miserable haṃsá who swam in the
deprived Īshwar
buddhisāgara, left it to delight in the essence of a
manhood The lovers grunted in ratábandha, accidently letting
To not know the other good things men are capable their seed spill onto the ground
of is to forget about human existence Mādhavīlatā flower seeds that flew to the bank sank
in from the weight of their bodies
Parīkṣit transformed into a hungry beast, carrying his
heroine to the bank of the Parinirvivapsā XLVI
He lays him down on the wet mud, touching those
high cheekbones The throbbing piṇḍika that plowed our gentle boy’s
tight flesh had loosened it
The uncouth sage licked the sweat off those thin arms A feared sword eliminating the knot to offer needed

September October 2010 Online Pagans Magazine 73


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

74 Online Pagans Magazine September October 2010


Glossary and Notes
for the Poems of Sunil
Narayan
The following glossary and notes are provided Charles – Is a reference to Charles Frederick
to add meaning to the poems of Sunil Narayan Worth (10 October 1825 – 10 March 1895)
included in this issue of Online Pagans Magazine. 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
Balíbhuj - A Sanskrit term for sparrow. was instead of creating garments according to
exactly what the customer wants he created many
Bière – Beer. garments based on his knowledge of historical
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.
His business was continued by his sons Gaston-
Buddhisāgara – ocean of wisdom.
Lucien Worth and Jean-Phillipe Worth. Gaston-
Campaka – Is the Sanskrit term for an evergreen Lucien was the first president of the Chambre
fragrant flower tree. Its botanical name is Magnolia Syndicale de la Haute Couture (located in Paris).
champaca and family is Magnoliaceae. The organization established guidelines for a
couture house and for the business aspect. One

September October 2010 Online Pagans Magazine 75


of the concerns in fashion was plagiarism so there Īshwar – A later form of the Sanskrit word Īśvará
were rules enforced to protect the designers’ which means “God”.
ideas. Other rules include having 20 people in an
atelier to produce at least 50 garments per year; Lakṣmī-Devī/Mahālakṣmī – Is the Sanskrit
two showcases had to be held (one in January for name for the Goddess of Wealth, Good Fortune,
the Spring season and the other in July for the Fall Good Luck, Beauty and Fertility. When the prefix
season). of “mahā” (great) is used the name refers to
Mahādevī, in the form of Mahālakṣmī.
Cochon - A pig.
Mādhavīlatā – The Sanskrit word for a fragrant
Couturier – A fashion designer. white flower that’s also known as “The Spring
Creeper”. Its botanical name is Hiptage
Derrière – Backside or bottom. benghalensis and family name is Malpighiaceae.
Déesse Diane – Diane, the Roman Goddess Mahādevī – Is the Sanskrit name for the Supreme
(Déesse) of the Moon. Goddess who is the female equivalent of Bráhman.
Déesse Vénus – Vénus, the Roman Goddess Mākanda – The Sanskrit word for the mango tree.
(Déesse) of Love.
Mālatī – A Sanskrit word that means “a woody
Devá – Is a Sanskrit term for “god” as in “the God climber with fragrant white jasmine flowers”. Its
Śiva”. When referring to the entire botanical name is Aganosma dichotoma and
family name is Apocynaceae.
Vedic or Hindu pantheon of deities one would say
“the Devás” or “the Gods”. Mallikā – Is the Sanskrit term for Jasminum
sambac (botanical term), which is a fragrant white
Devī – Is the Sanskrit term for “goddess”. When flower and is grown all over India. The species
referring to the goddesses of the Hindu pantheon comes from the Oleaceae family. The synonyms
or Vedic pantheon one says “the Devīs”. for this flower include mallī and vánacandrikā. Its
common names include “arabian jasmine” and
Domestique - A servant.
“tuscan jasmine”.
Drākṣā – A grape.
Maṇícīra – A Sanskrit word that means “a garment
Dundubhí – Is a Sanskrit term for a type of large adorned with jewels”.
kettle drum.
Maṇíguṇanikara – A Sanskrit word that means “a
Esclave – A slave. multitude of strings of pearls”.

Gaïa – Is the Greek Goddess of the Earth. Māṇikyamaya – A Sanskrit word that means
“made or consisting of rubies”.
Grande dame – A great (grande) lady (dame).
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. Sóma-Devá - Is the Sanskrit name for the God of
the Moon. His other names are Candrá-Devá and
Parīkṣit – A Sanskrit word that means “one who Rajanīpati-Devá. The juice made from the sóma
examines”. plant is called “sóma”.
Parinirvivapsā – A Sanskrit word that means “the Suraiyā (Soraya) – Is the Persian word for “a
desire of giving” (it is also the lake that nourishes brilliant gem”.
the forest Īshwar resides in).
Sūrya – Is the Sanskrit name for God of the Sun
Parihārya – The Sanskrit word for bracelet. (also known as Vivásvat-Devá and Sāvitrī-Devá).
Parihāṭaka – The Sanskrit word for armlet. Un gâteau aux fraises – Strawberry cake.
Pêche – Peach. Un prostitué – The male prostitute.
Petit – Small. Varṣártu – The Sanskrit term for the rainy season.
Piṇḍika – The penis. Yuthikā – The Sanskrit term for a type of jasmine
flower known by the botanical name of Jasminum
Poṭa – The rectum.
auriculatum. It is from the Oleaceae family.
Prāvṛṣya – The Sanskrit term for the cat’s-eye
Zeús – The Greek King of the Gods and the God
gemstone.
of the Sky and Thunder.
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

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