I’m always struck by how hard I make the practice in my head and how easy it is when it actually happens. It strikes me especially at the PantheaCon pujas. There we are, a little handful of initiates and perhaps hundreds of others, many of whom have no experience of Tantra or of Maa Kali. The only Sanskrit they know is “Om.” How many of them are wondering if it will be too foreign to them, or too frightening? How many of them wonder if Maa will turn them away, or if we from SHARANYA will, for “doing it wrong?”
In a hotel there are many aspects of the traditional puja that we cannot do. There is no fire, no incense, no juicy melon. But it doesn’t matter. We bring forth the image of Maa, outside or in our own heads. We surround her with our presents and decorations, however great or small they are. We put ourselves totally into this moment, like children; and like children we scream “Maa!” until she comes to us. Maa, look at me! Maa, hear me! Maa, hold me! And she always does.
People came to Her, and they sang, danced, laughed, wept, tasted cream and chocolate prasad, and in the end, they felt Her gaze and Her embrace. – Sanatani
Sunday night, 11:00pm. Kali Puja at PantheaCon. The doors opened and the sounds of Her sacred names began to fill the air, vibrations of Goddess Kali entering our bodies through ears first. Eyes began taking in the altar images as throngs of devotees and those entranced by Her mysteries circled to the tune. SHARANYA initiates and Daughters of Kali worked to guard, ground and move the dance of Shiva and Shakti as we together purified and began to feel that the night’s celebration would be filled with power, grace, and Divine love.
As Rashani (priestess/purohit) for the ceremony, I let Her guide me. Sensing the yearning and open hearts of everyone gathered, it was easy to take us immediately deeper into communion with our Divine Mother through meditation and breath. Her sacred syllables guided us, helping to crystallize a sankalpa (sacred intention) and further unencumber our souls. Both a certain intensity and a genuine playfulness were with us as we each spoke our name, proclaiming the intention to perform worship, each of us owning the responsibility born of our passion and desire.
From honorings of Ganesha, Agni, Ancestors, and Shiva, we then worked our prana pratishta as a community, together intoning SA’HAM in meditation on Her eyes, allowing the energy on our breath to move from heart to Her. Awakening Her murti (image), Kali Maa joined us and we danced…Jai Maa!
Gratitudes to all who join in the magick of the night and to Amory, Satya, Jaratura, Jayada, and Sanatani especially for your dedication, energy, creativity, and presence.