From the highest and most penetrating reverberations of the Divine undifferentiated, nameless and formless, we call to you Mother, to join us in our work to break free of the encumbrances we carry in this lifetime.
Bereft of freedom in our hearts, we welcome you as Kali and implore you to break the chains of fear that we bear so that we may create windows to our souls as you intended and for all who care to see, fully strong in the beauty and brilliance of our unique incarnation.
Your gifts are many in the challenges of living. You create a birth canal with them that we may push and push, our lifeforce yearning for light and air in the new world, toward exquisite vulnerability replete with the puissance of infinite love. Maa, we are your children. Embrace us and take us home! – Invocation, Kali Puja – PantheaCon 2014
If you have been with us for Kali Puja at PantheaCon in the past, you know that the structure of the ritual remains intact while the meditation and focus through Maa’s eyes takes a different form each year. This is because we acknowledge that setting a strong container will help birth whatever is most necessary for those present to experience in that moment. We open to those who walk into the room, our temple, for the puja and discover in an unspoken collaboration what is yearning to come forth in the space we together inhabit and create.
This Kali Puja, we were blessed by insight before the ritual to hold those who would be present as Her children. As the doors opened, we welcomed participants on a journey to experience Kali as Universal Mother, and much came of our meeting. From the depths of yearning to be held and loved, we surrendered before Her and made our personal offerings.
Sacrifice, we came to understand, is birthed, much like puja itself, from the strength of the sankalpa (sacred intention), or resolve, we hold in our hearts. Taking responsibility for our worship, with no mediator between us and Goddess, we made an offering to Maa in this form, revealing ourselves to ourselves through Her witnessing.
Puja, then, provides the gift of acting as a mirror, showing us through symbol and form both our greatest potentials and the depths of our failures. Coming to hold both in dynamic tension that we may give rise to something more is what the work is all about.
Of all Her mysteries, this puja invited us to most closely examine the power of sex, birth and blood, the related cultural taboos and our internalized oppressions around these facts of life. Those who were menstruating, had recently given birth or had just had sex were asked to stand and be honored. Where else can we go in the naked truth of our bodies than before our Mother, our Creatrix, and the source of our perfectly flawed selves?
Invited to return to breath and our sankalpa once more, the ritual closed with gratitudes to all who surrounded us during our worship: our guides, ancestors, lineages, and the power of fire inner (of our hearts) and outer (of our protectors) who helped make the puja possible. Our gratitudes to all who participated in this year’s Kali Puja at PantheaCon, helping through sweet love and surrender to make it a joyous experience.
Jai Maa Kali ki Jai!