Tuesday, July 29, 2008

So You Think You Know Kali

Kali-Ma is the Hindu goddess of destruction. She is usually thought of as the goddess of death and often believed to be brutal. Seen through western eyes, she does appear to be a barbaric and merciless being. However, this is a skewed view. Kali is fierce and stern. But she also generously offers gifts to those who petition her. May it be understood that it is a false rumor that Kali requires blood sacrifice in order to approach her.
Kali carries away the spirits of slain warriors and of animals. Her name means "the black one." She is the consort of the god Shiva, whose body is covered with the white ashes of cremation. She also appears in the aspect of Bhavatarini, which translates to Redeemer of the Universe.
Kali's gifts are the removal of illusion and the facilitation of change. Call upon Kali to remove illusion and fear of death. She can help in the removal of old, destructive habits and in helping you find a new path in life.
The meditation from the Hindu Gods and Goddesses card deck reads thus:
May Kali, who takes away all sins, bring you joy. She was the only one able to destroy the terrible demons, Chanda and Munda. Kali gives courage and strength to a warrior on a battlefield littered with headless corpses. She robs the strength of those not devoted to her, though she gives good fortune to those who are.
Approach Kali with respect and she will be glad to assist you in conquering your fear of what awaits in the darkness of your life. She will tear away what is old and no longer serves you so that you can have a better life. She will help you see through the illusion of fear. She is ready for you whenever you are ready to invite her in to your life.
Blessed be.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


If I've been ignoring people's comments of late (publishing them and hoping to get back to them later) I apologize. My father has experienced a downturn in his health and my son will be flying to Ohio on Thursday to stay with his aunt for 2 weeks. I should get my ass over to the lab and let them draw my blood because my white cell count has been high for no real raisin for several months now, but I always end up unable to sleep decently in the morning and then I fall asleep and by the time I wake up the lab is closed. (I work nights, for those who don't know.)
I will explain things a bit regarding my father's health, for those that don't know the background of the situation.
Some of us age better than others. My mother is in quite good health. She just turned 69. She had a hip replacement 2 years ago and has mild osteoarthritis in some of her joints but all of her systems are "go."
My father, on the other hand, is 72 and looks like he's 92 and in poor health. His cardiovascular system is bad: he has atrial fibrillation. His arterial condition is bad: he has atherosclerosis. He has spinal stenosis. He had several smaller strokes before the large one that left him handicapped, although no-one caught them. These strokes are destroying his cognitive abilities. He still knows who everyone is but, for instance, can't remember the name of the town that I've lived in for the past 7 years. He is getting progressively worse and while I know that nothing can be done to make him better, it's hard to watch. I was brought up believing that when someone is hurt or ill, we pray for them. This is a pleasant idea in theory. But once I started seeing all the problems with the religion I was brought up with (Catholic) I began to shy away from it.
I don't mean to make it sound like I think prayer is stupid. Some people are comfortable with it and Larry Dossey, a medical doctor, has written several books on the helpful healing energies generated by prayer. This isn't prayer associated with any particular religion, just prayer with intent. I studied Dossey's theories while I was attending a Unitarian church. My problem with Unitarian churches is that it seems like from the perspective of a lot of today's Unitarians, if you have spiritual beliefs you are treated like an uncivilized, back-asswards bumpkin. I'm not an atheist either, so I guess I just can't win.
The late Rev. Joe Willis, who was the instructor of the courses, was not an atheist, he just believed in a more natural kind of "god" which was a creative energy and the energy of life. He wrote a book called Finding Faith in the Face of Doubt and it is worth reading.
I can't get down with the god that I grew up with. (Yaweh) I have trouble with that dude. Seems like he wants everyone's adulation and just isn't a very nice guy. Although who knows, maybe he's gotten some bad press due to the people who blindly worship him. Interestingly enough, Yaweh is actually a war god. So he's really good at smiting people. Not so good at the compassion thing, perhaps.
I think things go better for me when I turn to some sort of higher power, though. I feel at sea when I try to go with a cut and dry atheist kind of belief system, which doesn't work for me, although in the long run I actually believe that all things are scientific and a part of nature. Some of them simply can't be proven by science as we know it at this time. Ghosts, for instance, and higher types of spirits such as nature spirits and angels. Which may be the same thing, angels being a different kind of nature spirit associated with the etheric realm. Deities in this sense are also natural. They were referred to by the late metaphysician Al Manning as energy transmitter spirits. While Al went way out in left field on occasion and one of his former wives who is also a metaphysical practitioner, said that she was sure he was dealing with spirits but was fairly certain they weren't actually deities, I like his description of powerful energy transmitter spirits and I like to give credit where credit is due.
When I am in tune with these energy transmitter personalities, I tend to feel less alone and adrift. Usually I petition Tara, a Hindu mother goddess. She is kind and compassionate. I know that petitioning such a being does not mean that I will magically, like rubbing Alladin's lamp, get what I want. I don't think my father can be miraculously cured, for instance. Or I suppose he could, but it may not be in his best interest and it isn't likely to happen. However, petitioning or invoking these higher beings does help me feel at peace.
I think the best thing for my father would be to be at peace too, whatever that means in his case. So I ask for his suffering to cease. That may mean that he must leave his body. This would be difficult for me to deal with but on a logical level, what my mother said applies. It's like it isn't really him any more. It's as if he has been taken away and a sick, miserable, frightened old man has been left in his place. He's really not old enough to be falling apart like this, but for whatever reason, he is. So I ask Tara for compassion.
Death is not the end of the soul, it is the end of the body and a gateway to another level for the soul. This is my belief.
Blessings to all who read this.
Lily and friends

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The Simple Salt Circle

A depiction of the goddess Ceridwen
(blessed be she)
I discovered this at The Sword of Dynion Mwyn online Newsletter #3. This also contains a full ritual for the invocation of Ceridwen and Cernunnos--which I actually performed, playing the part of both priestess and priest, and inviting any friendly spirits who might wish to participate to add their energy to the proceedings. I also wished to be better acquainted with the energies of Ceridwen and ask her blessing. But for general purposes, the simple salt circle will serve well.

Since life isn't perfect one might have to improvise a bit, but it is suggested that one take a cleansing bath beforehand and place two candles and sabbat incense on the altar. They suggest reciting the Wiccan Rede. I feel that any affirmation, prayer or spell that resonates with you is what you should use.

Light the candles and incense with a lighted taper. Place salt, water and hyssop in bowls on the altar. Place right hand over salt, saying:

"Creature of Earth, this charge I lay

No phantom in thy presence stay

Not in complete accord with me

And as I will, so mote it be"

Take a pinch of salt, put it in the water, while making a Banishing Pentagram (start at bottom left, up to top, down to bottom right, up to left corner, over to right corner, back down to bottom left, draw a counterclockwise circle around it) Say:

"Creature of water, this charge I lay

No phantom in thy presence stay

Not in complete accord with me

And as I will, so mote it be."

Do the same with the hyssop. Take the bowl of the salt to the east, going deosil (clockwise) Cast a circle of salt. Go around three times. While doing so, say:

"Creature of Earth, where you are cast

no spell or adverse purpose last

Not in complete accord with me

And as I will, so mote it be."

Take the bowl of water with the salt and hyssop in it, go to the east, sprinkle water around the circle three times and say:

"Earth and water, where you are cast

No spell or adverse purpose last

Not in complete accord with me

And as I will, so mote it be."

Take the candle around the circle three times, saying:

"Creature of fire, this charge I lay

No evil in my presence stay

Not in complete accord with me

And as I will, so mote it be."

Take incense around the circle three times and say:

"Creature of air, this charge I lay

No evil in thy presence stay

Not in complete accord with me

And as I will, so mote it be."

The circle is now ready for you to perform whatever work you desire. When finished, thank any deities, spirits or elementals that you sensed were present and dismiss them in peace. Then open the circle by walking counterclockwise.

Blessed be,


(and friends)