Featured Article: Why She & Why a Dark Goddess

Dark Goddess Parvati

Humanity is now experiencing a shift in evolutionary consciousness especially catalyzed and facilitated by the Divine Female. Goddess, as She is often called, can be represented through a variety of guises, forms, and names; but it is because we tend to think of God as strictly male and usually transcendent that we avoid this term when speaking about Her, although she is nonetheless that. In this brief introduction to the Dark Goddess, we seek to shatter limiting notions of the Great Mystery and welcome you to Her embrace.

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Kali Yantra

The Three-fold Nature of Tantra

Tantra, as is often said, is a difficult path. I liken it to being in the military, riding a frightening fun park ride, and hugging a eucalyptus-drunk koala bear all at the same time. Try as you might to practice under the auspices of Tantra and disentangle these elements, and you will fail. You will…

Ancestors Altar

Honoring Ancestors

It’s interesting that in Hinduism we find steadfast traditions of ancestor reverence existing peacefully alongside a deeply embedded belief in reincarnation. To some, it may seem that these two ideas are irreconcilable. Yet, it is rather the case that they coexist within a framework of beliefs that include conceptions of time and space that are…


Forgiveness on the Path

Ksama in Sanskrit means forgiveness. An indispensible word on the spiritual path at practical and cosmic levels, ksama is a virtue that, perhaps more strongly than any other, binds us to a tantric life. Its practice requires that we move beyond our ego and take sanctuary in the naked truth of reality. It is a…


Tantric Motivations for Countering Climate Change

As a practitioner of Tantra, I suggest that despite evidence asserting climate change is irreversible, Tantra offers us a road to hope and a mandate that our activism on behalf of the planet prevail. Whether or not we believe that we can alter the course of our current predicament, we have more to consider than…


Tattva Shuddhi: Inspiring the Creative Process through Ritual & Reflection

Whether it’s an art project or the birth of a child, the creative process is often mysterious. We all know the magic involved in bringing something to fruition. And especially if we have nurtured life within our wombs, we have a truly embodied experience from which to speak. Either way, we know the struggles of…


Integral Ecofeminism: An Introduction

By: Chandra Alexandre First published in Integral Review Vol. 9, No. 3 (2013) This introduction to integral ecofeminism is a meditation resting on the juicy, rich, layered, and deep context afforded by critical spirituality, embodied mysticism, spiritual politics and ecstatic devotion. It is a pathway motivated by a deep call to spirit and the various…

Living Altar to the Dark Goddess

How to Create a Living Altar to the Dark Goddess

By: Chandra Alexandre Many practitioners are afraid of dark goddess energies. Divinities such as Hecate, The Morrigan, Freya, Gran Brijit, Kali, Lilith, Oya and others prove frightening, leaving many without recourse to some powerful help, especially in times of challenge or crisis. Even the most seasoned among us can fear working with these goddesses. Why…


Crafting Puja for Maa

Dear Kaula, Community, and Friends of SHARANYA: I’m excited to report that, Crafting Puja for Maa: Understanding Ritual & the Devotional Experience in the Sha’can Tradition of Western Shakta Tantra, was chosen for presentation at the American Academy of Religion‘s national conference held from November 7-9, 2009 in Montreal. The presentation was part of the New Religious Movement section within…

Puja Basket

Exploring a Cross-Cultural Women’s Spirituality: Inspirations from India

By: Chandra Alexandre   She is Everywhere! This chapter is from Volume 2, An Anthology of Writing in Womanist/Feminist Spirituality. One counter-force to manipulative patriarchal identity branding and hierarchal control is the relatively recent development in the modern west of an articulated and engaged Goddess-centered spirituality. Within “Women’s Spirituality,” as the movement is sometimes called,…

Kali Maa

Ecofeminism and Tantra

By: Chandra Alexandre Ecofeminism understands our current planetary predicament to involve crises of the environment and spirit, crises that impact all of creation regardless of particularities; crises that will only be undone when women and nature, the marginalized and the oppressed, are no longer contained within a patriarchal paradigm. Goddess spirituality of the west is…


Matrika Invocation

Brahmani, you of the Great Revelation, we bow to you. Dressed in yellow of the newest day, you who make your enemies inert with the blessed water from your womblike pot, tonight make us inert in wonderment, open to receive your boons and blessings. Let us count with you upon your akshamala (rosary) the names…


Voices of the Goddess

Women Clergy in East-West Perspective By: Chandra Alexandre This article is a sharing of some of my initial research on the contemporary and historical landscapes of women clergy in goddess worshipping traditions with a focus on Pagan and Hindu faiths. The role and responsibilities of clergy within these traditions will be outlined based on fieldwork…


Saint Sara-la-Kali: A Sister to Kali Maa

It is May in the south of France. The weather is superb, and not only are more images of the Black Virgin located here than anywhere else, but the season of the Visitation of Mary as well as the feast day honoring Sara-la-Kali in Saintes Maries-de-la-Mer is upon the region. I can almost smell the…


The Eight-Pointed Rosette Star of Inanna

Some Numerological Significances By: Chandra Alexandre The cuneiform tablets of Sumer display eight-pointed impressions made thousands of years ago by a stylus pushed into wet clay, and we know today that these eight-pointed impressions signify Inanna, Goddess of Morning and Evening. It seems fitting that the impressions of this ancient written language bring to mind…

Kali Maa

Devi: Some Tales of the Great Goddess

By: Chandra Alexandre Goddess lore in India seems limited only by individual imagination. With every village comes another variation on basic themes, and every child growing up in India today learns many stories, just as a westerner might be introduced to fairy tales in kindergarten classrooms or as bedtime stories. It is through these myths…


Vajrayogini (Vajratara): History & Worship

The worship of the Great Mother spans history and culture. My own personal spiritual journey has similarly run the gamut from exploring the great earth religions and fertility cults of Europe to finding refuge in the Buddhist and Hindu temples that filled my early life. At the center of my own worship, the Great Mother…



Eastern Teacher to The West by Chandra Alexandre This article tells the story of my own exploration into the mysteries of the Goddess as manifested within the Hindu pantheon as Chamunda, the fierce, emaciated and terrifying Dark Mother. She is a goddess who is particularly revered among Shaktas (believers in the primacy of the Divine…

SHARANYA's Kali Mandir

Priestess of Kali

I am a priestess of Kali. With these few words, a whole cacophony of syllables arises in me. These are not the seed sounds of mantras turning on my tongue. Rather, they are the tones of language rushing to respond. Some attempt to elucidate, help the uninitiated understand what it means to occupy this space…


Reclaiming Hell

Most of us grow up knowing about heaven and hell. Whatever our faith or place of birth, and by whatever names we might choose, the split of light and dark into above and below seems to be a fact of our heritage as human beings. It is reflected in myriad cultures ancient and modern, from…


Spirit and Social Justice

Creating and Sustaining Spaces for Marginalized Spiritualities& Social Transformation By: Chandra Alexandre Presented at the 5th Annual Conference on Current Pagan Studies, February 2009, Claremont University In early 2000 when I first began an exploration of dissertation topics, I was coming fresh off of several years’ worth of engagement at the intersection of politics and feminism….

Ugra Tara

Women’s Mysteries

By: Julie (Sanatani) McCord In many cultures special taboos appear around menstruation and childbirth. Because a woman’s cycle is often about the same length as the lunar cycle, special ties are acknowledged between women and the Moon. Because women bleed each month without taking harm, they are believed to have special powers during the bleeding,…


Looking Positively at Menstruation

Empowering Women and Girls First published in Women’s Sahayog (1999), Calcutta, India By: Chandra Alexandre Around the globe, girls often experience some form of initiation into adulthood at menarche (the first coming of menstrual blood). Although such rites of passage can be as simple as a mother showing a daughter how to use a sanitary…


The Great Leap of Faith

An Initiation into Womanhood By: Delphyne Jodie Platner We Begin With a Story Naila perched on the edge of a sharp cliff overlooking the sea. On this momentous day the sun shone even brighter than usual, causing the water beneath her to sparkle a clear azure blue. During the last moon, Naila’s blood had come…