November, 2017

Meet the Gods: Vishnu


(art by Samantha Sullivan)


Merry meet.

Vishnu (pronounced Vish-nuu) is one of the principal deities of Hinduism. He is one of the Hindu trinity along with Brahma and Shiva. Brahma is the creator of the universe; Vishnu is the preserver, protector and keeper of the universe; Shiva is the destroyer.

It is said that during troubled times when the world is threatened by evil and chaos, Vishnu returns to restore righteousness. So far, he has reincarnated nine times: Matsya (fish), Kurma (tortoise), Varaha (boar), Narasimha (half lion, half man), Vamana (dwarf sage with the ability to grow), Parasurama (fierce man/hunter), Rama (greatest warrior/perfect man), Krishna (mentally advanced man) and Balarama (Lord Buddha).

Each incarnation Vishnu’s avatar – as a person, an animal or a combination of both – was what was most needed at the time. Myths, legends and stories are associated with each. He rids the earth of irreligious and sinful monarchs, kills a demon, raised the earth up out of the sea, sent a ship to save a sage and his collection of animals from a giant flood so they could repopulate the earth, and held a mountain on his back for 1,000 years while the gods and the demons used a serpent to churn up the ocean of milk to create the nectar of eternal life.

It is believed Vishnu will come one more time as Kalki (eternity or mighty warrior) near the end of the present age of decline in which we are currently living, a time thought to be near the end of this world. He will come – riding a white horse and carrying a fiery sword – to rid the world of oppression by unrighteous rulers and heralding the start of a new golden age.

Vishnu is portrayed with a human body, often with blue skin, and four arms. In his hands he carries four objects representing the things for which he is responsible.

The conch shell in his upper left hand produces Om, the primeval sound of creation. His blows call beings of conscienceless to listen to their inner voice nudging them to seek the truth, and leave the darkness of a material life for a higher reality.

In his upper right hand is the chakra or discus, symbolizing awareness and the universal mind. Called Sudarshan, the disc shows the path to a higher awareness. It destroys ignorance.

A lotus flower in his lower left hand represents a glorious existence and liberation.

The mace, a symbol of mental and physical strength and cosmic knowledge, is held in his lower right hand. It is called Kaumodaki, meaning that which captivates the mind, and is associated with time, which is the destroyer of all things; thus it also related to Kali. When pictured as a deity, it is viewed as a female with two hands, held together in a position of prayer or respect.

The garland of victory Vishnu wears has five rows of flowers that represent the five senses and his mastery of them in the whole universe.

The god is typically seen in two positions. The first is with him standing on a lotus flower with his consort, Lakshmi, close by. He is also portrayed reclining on a serpent, surrounded by the Milky Ocean with Lakshmi massaging his feet.

Vishnu rides on the king of birds, Garuda, an eagle. He is particularly associated with light and especially with the Sun.

Vishnu is identical to the formless metaphysical concept called Brahman, the supreme, the Svayam Bhagavan, who takes various avatars as ‘the preserver, protector’ whenever the world is threatened with evil, chaos, and destructive forces,” according to Wikipedia.

He is said to expand into everything, permeating all objects and life forms. He maintains the cosmos and he overcomes all. Vishnu represents the goodness that sustains everything, giving shelter and a place to rest, and reaching that is the goal of all living creatures.

According to “Vishnu: Everything You Need To Know,” written by Ambaa Choate for in 2014, “He maintains the world and so he is very popular for worship. A branch of Hinduism views Vishnu as the ultimate Lord of all. That branch is called Vaishnava. Many people who follow Vishnu in particular are highly devotional, hence … lose themselves in singing Hare Krishna; Hare Rama! Those are manifestations of Vishnu, the God who comes to earth and takes physical bodies to help the world. Because of his avatars (human forms) he is someone that you can really personally relate to more than a distant view of God.”

Because he cares for all life on earth, worshiping him – as himself or any of his avatars – helps with protection, prosperity and wisdom.

Vishnu’s day is Thursday. On that day, people wear yellow, offer yellow flowers to Vishnu, and often fast or eat only one meal consisting of only yellow foods,

His birthday, typically in late August, is Krishna Janmashtami, the largest Vishnu holiday.

Krishna “accepts any offering given in devotion to him, whether it be a leaf, a flower, or a single drop of water. He cares more about the intention of a prayer than getting it ‘right,’” Choate wrote.

A ritual presented in the article for invisible protection against enemies or evil instructs that it be done on a Friday night after 11 p.m. and repeated the next 10 nights while remaining celibate the whole time.

Each time, you are to begin by bathing and putting on clean white clothing. Place a white cloth over a wooden bench and on it put a small mound of uncooked white rice on which is placed a Sudrashan Yantra, which is a protection talisman. Sit facing east on a white mat in front of the bench. Look at the yantra and imagine yourself in its center, protected from all evil. Chant “Om Namo Narayanaya Namah,” which means, “I bow to the name of Narayana.”

Offer the yantra white flowers, grains of rice, incense and a ghee lamp.

End by chanting eleven rounds of “Aum Sudarshan Chakraay Mam Sarv Kaarya Vijayam Dehi Dehi Aum Hum Phat.”

An article on the astri-vani,com blog notes you can pray to Vishnu: or any of his avatars

People whose Moon and Venus are strong will be attracted to Krishna. People whose Jupiter is strong will be attracted to Ram.

The article instructs you to pray only after taking shower and cleaning your teeth. Your clothes should ideally be yellow and clean. Always apply a tilak (a mark worn by a Hindu on the forehead) of yellow sandalwood or a mixture of turmeric and sandalwood.

Don’t touch or be near the Vishnu idol when you’re angry, have ego, are greedy, or full of lust.

To get a wallpaper of Vishnu, visit

I also found a 32-minute YouTube devotional video of the 1,008 Names of Lord Vishnu:




It might provide some mood music, or frame your own practice to honor Vishnu. My thought was to listen to it while envisioning myself safe in the center of this Sudarshan Yantra.



Merry part. And merry meet again.




About the Author:

Lynn Woike was 50 – divorced and living on her own for the first time – before she consciously began practicing as a self taught solitary witch. She draws on an eclectic mix of old ways she has studied – from her Sicilian and Germanic heritage to Zen and astrology, the fae, Buddhism, Celtic, the Kabbalah, Norse and Native American – pulling from each as she is guided. She practices yoga, reads Tarot and uses Reiki. From the time she was little, she has loved stories, making her job as the editor of two monthly newspapers seem less than the work it is because of the stories she gets to tell. She lives with her large white cat, Pyewacket, in central Connecticut. You can follow her boards on Pinterest, and write to her at woikelynn at gmail dot com.

The Wild SHE

May, 2017


The Wild SHE – Which Goddess comes to your mind when you hear “The Wild SHE”? For me, that will always be Kali.


“By you this universe is borne, by you this world is created

By you it is protected, O Devi. By you it is consumed at the end

You who are eternally the form of the whole world,

at the time of creation you are the form of the creative force,

at the time of preservation you are the form of the protective power
and at the time of the dissolution of the world
you are the form of the destructive power
You are the Supreme Knowledge, as well as ignorance,
intellect and compassion”
From the Devi-Mahatmya

In Hinduism, the Goddesses are “Devi”, which means “deity”. She, of course, has different aspects: Durga, Lakshmi, Tara, Sarasvati, Parvati, Kali. Kalis name means “Time”.


Her stories are bountiful. Born from the brow of Parvati, Kali killed the demonic forces that were threatening. She danced with the Lord of the Dance, Shiva, and it is said the dance grew wilder and wilder, and as the dance continues, it will one day shake the world to pieces. She killed other demons during another battle, and it is said that after they were dead, exhilarated, laughing and roaring, Kali happily drank their blood and began to dance wildly, hence Her dance of death and destruction.


She is seen as a Dark Goddess, as she dances the dance of death and destruction, but She is also keeper of time and will be there when new things emerge from Her destruction. When you see Her, there is no mistaking Her. She wears a necklace of skulls around Her neck, She holds weapons in her numerous hands. Her tongue protrudes from Her mouth. She can be terrifying to behold and to work with. Do not ask from Her which you are incapable of receiving as she is fierce in her love for Her daughters.

This is why She is also worshipped by many as the Mother Kali or Kali Ma, in which Her worshippers surrender to Her utterly. Abrahim Khan, an anthroplogist, said that to belong to Her, the worshipper must surrender not jus the intellect, but the entire self, that is the mind, the body.To me, that is the key to working with Kali.

To this day, Kali is still one of the most worshipped Goddesses in India and other parts of the world. Kali is more than a Dark Goddess who destroys. She is also the Goddess who helps us to face our fears head on. She is strength. She is courage. She helps us to face our own darkness. She will help you destroy the obstacles blocking your path.

The following is a meditation from one of my workshops called *Healing Dance of the Kali Dakini*.

Sit quietly, breathing deeply, closing eyes. Visualize yourself in darkness, a cave, deep within the womb of the Earth. Breathe into your sacred feminine energy. Now, open yourself to She, who is Kali, who is both fearsome and spiritually liberating, offering you healing from your emotional wounds. Sense Her in whatever way you wish and allow her to see you in your entirety, the good and the bad. Let your breath connect to her. Draw her presence into your body, into each part of yourself. As you do this, allow the release of all obstacles, accepting the freedom that She offers.

This is a lovely song for a Kali meditation:


I also recommend what I call the Dance of Kali’s Dakini,(also from my workshop). The idea behind this is to just dance, allowing your body to move freely without inhibition. Feel free to stomp your feet or yell loudly, mouth open, tongue out. You may find it helpful to start with a slower song, moving into progressively faster ones to get the full benefit of the dancing meditation. As you dance, visualize yourself healed – a blissful Kali Dakini dancing in the light in service to Kali.

(Note: a Dakini translates as sky dancer. She is a spiritual disciple of Kali, the creative personfication of the Divine Feminine)***


I would recommend lying down and relaxing with long deep breathing for at least 10 minutes after the above meditations. Take several long, deep breaths, stretching fully and completely before rising.

May Kali bless you (and challenge you)on your journey!


Resources: ***The Healing Dance of Kali, Workshop taught by

Susan Morgaine

Kali, The Feminine Force by Ajit Mookerjee

**Previously published at

SpellCrafting: Spells & Rituals

January, 2017


Calling Kali-Ma


(Kali The Awakener from the Daughters of the Moon deck)

Merry meet.

We are coming into some dark times, and one of the most powerful and the most frightening of the dark goddesses is Kali-Ma. While she represents the Dark Mother, this article is focused on Her as the warrior. In the Hindu tradition, Kali is the Goddess of death, destruction and resurrection. She is fierce. She wears a belt of skulls, there is blood dripping from her mouth as she stands upon the body of her husband, holding up his severed head and, in another hand, the machete she used.

Kali was created to destroy the demons taking over the world and she was so good at, she couldn’t stop. Call it mania if you must. As the gods saw her destruction unfold, they realized she needed to be stopped and sent her spouse, knowing well that it was a suicide mission. When she killed him, she stopped her rage and was filled with remorse. Her red tongue is extended, which in India, is recognized as a symbol of humility.

Kali Ma works well as a reminder of the immense power we hold, and the need to remember to limit our rage to be appropriate and not too destructive.

Looking at current events, Kali has come to America.

As the destroyer of worlds, the oracle of sacred change, she has brought down our world with a shocking smack; all the illusions we had about the land of the free and the home of the brave were banished on election night.

We are not who we thought we were. Now we must get ready to stand in her fires of transmutation. We need them,” wrote spiritual storyteller Vera de Chalambert in an article appearing in Rebelle Society.

There is a great yearning for change and de Chalambert stressed that rather than move out of the dark into the more comfortable light, we need to provide a space for difficult feelings to come and rest. To grow spiritually, we must enter the deepest, darkest depths of despair without hope, without light, without knowing. It is there that the darkness will heal.

[T]he wound is the gift,” she said. No spoonful of sugar to help this medicine go down.

Kali demands everything and takes it. She is the Wrathful Goddess. She is the psychic force of menstruation – the cycle of destruction that comes before fertility. She teaches us that pain, sorrow, death, decay and destruction are not overcome by denying their existence or by trying to explain them away. These are part of life and we must accept them.

Working with her, we can “get our Kali on.” We can learn to be like her. Fierce. The protective mother. We will sit in the womb of the night, awaiting our rebirth. Her gift is freedom.


This ritual was presented in “The Dark Goddess: Dancing with the Shadow” by Marcia Starck and Gynne Stern (The Crossing Press, 1993) and is reprinted here with permission.

While there are various ways to work with Kali, this ritual is being used to increase the warrior energy. It is good to do this ritual during the dark moon.

Women come dressed in saris or wearing other Indian clothes, accessories or ornamentation, including swords or other instruments appropriate to Kali-Ma. Red is a good color when working with warrior energy.

The altar should be decorated with skulls and bones, a brazier or incense burner with some joss sticks or other sweet incense, red and black candles, pictures of the Mother in both her benevolent and terrible aspects, and a small bowl with some menstrual blood.

Background music can be sitars or flutes. Women can also bring rattles and drums of any kind to use during the ritual.

The High Priestess or four different women invoke Kali through four Hindu goddesses.

In the East, call Ushas, Goddess of Dawn, to being this new cycle and help us see through illusions and seek the truth.

In the South, call Parvati to bring the fires of purification so we may be cleansed.

In the West, invoke Durga to teach us to look into the dark places in our being so that we may not be afraid.

In the North, call on Saraswati to bring us the wisdom of India, her music and dance, so we may be wise in traditions of the Goddess.

Lastly, call Kali-Ma, Dark Mother, Great Goddess, Createtress of All There Is, Slayer of Demons, Goddess of Destruction, Goddess of Just Revenge.

One at a time, each woman approaches the altar and takes an object such as a sword or skull that exemplifies her interpretation of the warrior energy. With this object, she speaks of her need for Kali’s energy, her work with bringing forth her aggressive side, and her desire to go forth into the world and slay whatever demons of injustice or oppression burden her. She then chants and dances her feelings while the women in the circle drum or play other instruments.

When everyone has had a turn, the High Priestess dances among the women, blessing them and putting a drop of menstrual blood on each of them to show that they have been purified through Kali’s energy. The women then sit in a circle and discuss ways of being in the world that will encourage their warrior side. In closing, chant and sing to Kali:

Kali Durga, Na Mo, Na Mo
Kali Durga, Na Mo, Na Mo
(repeat eight more times)

By this ritual, may you come to understand and use the energy of Kali-Ma. You may also choose to adapt it to suit your own personal practice.

Merry part, and merry meet again.

The Upward Spiral

August, 2015

The House on Francis Avenue

I was working in Chicago for a while, with my son, on some remodeling projects. He was in his early thirties and trying to find himself … so, I was helping him out. I enjoyed Chicago with all of its activities and especially with a different culture on every block. And now, I am on the road again heading back home, to Cleveland.

Let me fill you in … even though we had a three family house that we lived in, we also rented out one apartment and it was creating a problem. We lived in one of the poorer areas of the city, with drugs and crime prevalent without cause, only to exist in a society of entanglement. So I am going back to a time of indifference, questioning my life and my thoughts of life.

I should have been happy to get back in the comforts of my own place, and even though there were too many memories haunting my nights, I still called it home. After twenty five years of marriage and living in the house with my wife Charlotte, death had a strange way of imparting a dismal future for happiness.

After a few disappointing relationships I found myself in a mind game that very few people would accept, being deluged with unknown travels of the mind. It had been roughly two years since I met my nocturnal love, Kundalini, who slowly evolved into Aphrodite, placing me on the Path of the Clear Light. I do not know if it was a fantasy world that I had created for myself or if that it was the Kundalini Princess turned Kali, who is describe as wearing a necklace of 49 skulls filled with blood. Either way, it was making my life a spiritual nightmare, causing me to question all of my “make believe” reality.

The problem with the house in Cleveland, was the tenant that we were renting to, was behind a few months in rent. Just two months back, when I was in town, I had a run in with her and told her that it was time for her to leave. She did not care for the idea and she basically told me to go to hell and proceeded to inform me that I would have to take her to court, if I wanted her to move out.

Cleveland, with its dismal weather and my future, seemigly filled with confrontations, placed me in a area of less happiness than I cared for.

When I arrived at my home on Francis Ave. in Cleveland, there seem to be a problem with the lights on the staircase to my apartment. They were not working. Even though I had thought all of our utilities were separate, there appeared to be a problem with some other circuits in my place.

The house was over a hundred years old and things never seemed quite right. The previous owner was an old mortician and there were old stories of strange sightings. Even after my wife’s passing, my two boys saw their mother’s spirit occasionally in the dimly lit shadows of the back apartment.

I headed off to the basement, which had an outside entrance, and found some circuit breakers tripped, so I reset and energized the circuits. By the time I got back to the staircase to my place, I could smell the acrid odor of plastic burning and could see smoke trying to wiggle itself free from under the door of the first floor apartment.

I rushed upstairs to get a key to Connie’s apartment and flew back downstairs, only to find out that she had changed the locks and I could not get in. The only other access would be through the basement door and I headed off quickly to try that route. I had to kick the door open, only to find that there was a padlock on her side of the basement door entrance. I was even more surprise when I tried to open the bathroom door that was adjacent to the other door and there was another padlock securing that passage way, as well.

I knew that she was freaked out on occasion, claiming to hear and see things, and she also complained about “the noises”. She even mentioned that one time while her boyfriend was visiting, they saw some spirits frock-ling around in the living room.

In hindsight, I may have been a little indifferent to her pleas, but I just thought that the normal creaks & noises in an old house were fairly common & that her paranoia was simply being heightened by her use of drugs. After all, we had lived there for many years & were quite accustomed to it.

At any rate, I finally got into the apartment and facing me was a very large & very scared German Shepherd. Since our tenants were not allowed to have dogs or change the locks, I was a bit startled by it all. I suspect every thing changes, when you are frightened of your surroundings.

Fortunately, the only thing that was burning, was a telephone that was left in the oven of the electric stove. Still, a strange place to store a phone and apparently when I reset the breakers, the oven heating elements were turned on and set the phone on fire. Go figure.

As I looked around to the check the place out, it appeared that somebody had been extremely frightened. Everything that was movable was nailed down. The double hung windows, the heating registers and the closet doors even had padlocks on them. It was apparent that there was a problem here, what ever it was. I would have to question why everything that could be moved, had a nail or screw though it, but was it sufficient to prevent what ever was happening.

As I mentioned earlier, she had not paid any rent for several months & I was looking at some work that would need to be done, if I ever could get her out of my house. Fortunately, I had a job across the street, with the old school and church. I had been a committee member, an usher on Sundays and worked on maintenance & repairs for everyday occurrences that came about, for the past twenty years or more.

The immediate issue was that I did not know what to do with the dog, and after two days without Connie showing back up, I called the City Pound.

It was three days later when she finally returned. She came across the street, to where I was working at the old school building. She was looking for her dog. All she said was I give up, you win”. She was in a state of mind that is hard to describe. With tears in her eyes and a voice that emanated the fear in her heart, I did not know where she was coming from. She was talking about rape, a gas mask and it became such a strange scenario, I told her she should go to the police.

I suspect that may have been a mistake, because four days later, two female Cleveland detectives showed up at my door, telling me that that Connie had filed sexual assault charges against me.

They explained that Connie believed that my son and I had hired some local teenagers to spray or fumigate the house. According to the story that Connie had told me, a van pulled up and a half dozen guys jump out, surrounding the house with equipment and started spraying the house with some kind chemical that causes you to pass out.

It appeared that I was being faced by a forty year old black female, who created what appeared to be story of pain and anguish. It is hard to say whether it was factual or a hallucination caused by crack or the relinquishment of fear from some unknown reason.

A week or two had past when the Cleveland Police called saying that there was not sufficient evidence to charge anybody, and they dropped all charges.

My problem was that this was not the first time that strange things were happening in my life. Ever since coming in contact with the Kundalini Princess my life changed considerably. I was questioning her abilities to help me out in problem areas … such as the removal of unwanted tenants … and was she protecting me in ways that were hard to recognize? My life was in turmoil and I was only wondering what my life would be in the future, especially if I am still dancing with Aphrodite and Kali in the background …

She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

May, 2015


Adi Shakti, Adi Shakti, Adi Shakti, Namo Namo
Sarab Shakti, Sarab Shakti, Sarab Shakti, Namo Namo
Pritham Bhagvati, Pritham Bhagvati, Pritham Bhagvati, Namo Namo
Kundalini Mata Shakti, Mata Shakti, Namo Namo

I bow to the primal power.
I bow to the all encompassing power and energy.
I bow to that through which Goddess creates.
I bow to the creative power of the Kundalini, the Divine Mother Power.

You Tube Link for above Mantra:

Shakti is, at it’s root, power; divine feminine creative power. This power is infinite and is always present; it manifests itself in awareness, in peace, in ecstacy, in our willfullness, in our intuition.

There are many Shakti Goddesses and here, we will meet four of them.


O Queen of the Universe, you protect
the universe. As the self of the universe,
you support the universe. You are the
goddess worthy to be adored by the Lord
of the universe. Those who bow in
devotion to you themselves become the
refuge of the universe.
~~ From the Devi Mahatmyam
Durga is usually seen riding a lion or a tiger. She is the Divine Feminine in action. She carries a discus, a spear, a mace, a sword and a lotus. Durga was brought forth by male gods, who found themselves unable to defeat an attacking demon. They sent their power out as light and Durga was born. As she is the Protector of the World, she is victorious in fighting the gods’ battle.

Later, when two brothers attempt to take over the world, the male gods once again turn to Durga, begging for her help. She assents and goes to them, whereupon she is insulted and offended by comments that she will be “of use” to the brothers. She informs the brothers that they both must fight her. Laughing, they agree and a great bloody battle ensues. Again, victory is hers.

Invoke Durga when you are in need of her help, when you find yourself lacking in strength and courage.

Mantra to Durga: Aum Dum Durgaye Namaha

(oom doom door-gai-yay nuh-muh-huh)

I bow to Durga



O Warrior Goddess with streaming
black hair,
One swing from your sword of wisdom
Will cut every egocentric root
And clarify the heart forever.
I will tame the primal obsesssions,
Greed, anger, pride, hatred,
and use them as powerful bullocks
To plow the field of consciousness.
Sowing the seeds of Om Kali Ma,
Transmitted to me by a skillful farmer,
I will reap a vast harvest of illumination for all living beings.
~~ From the Ramprasad Sen
Kali, Divine Kali, born from the eye of Durga at the battle with the demon brothers, born with a sword in her hand, cutting down the demon hordes. It is said that she used her long tongue to lick and drink the blood of her enemies. The battle puts her into a frenzy and she begins to dance her dance of death, faster and faster, destroying her enemies, crushing them under her feet. This is the dance of Kali.

In more recent history, she is also Kali Ma, the Mother Kali, a loving presence to whom to pray.


As with so many Goddesses, Kali is both light and dark, Destroyer and Nurturer.

Invoke Kali when you are in need of having obstacles removed, when you need freedom from negative situations. Remember, though, do not call on Kali lightly, as she is fierce when invoked.

Aum Adyayai vidmahe
Parameshwarayai dhimahi
Tanno Kali prachodayat

Ohm ahd-yah-yai vid-muh-hey
pah-rah-mesh-war-ay-ai dhee-muh-hee
ta-no Kah-lee pra-cho-dah-yaht

Oh, may I know the primordial one
My the supreme goddess illuminate my intellect
May I meditate on Kali


I hereby invoke Sri Lakshmi
Who is the embodiment of absolute
Whose luster is that of burnished gold;
Who is as wet as it were (from the Milky Ocean)
Who is blazing with splendour, and is the
embodiment of the fulfillment of all wishes;
Who satisfies the desire of her devotees;
Who is seated on the lotus and
beautiful like the lotus.
~~ From the Sri Sukta
As she floats on a lotus, Lakshmi is spiritual enlightenment. She is the symbol of spiritual prosperity, love and happiness. She embodies goodness. She is the symbol, also, of material prosperity and wealth. Her worship, in Hindu India, is the basis for the reverence of cows.

Lakshmi serves as a balance to both Durga and Kali.

Invoke Lakshmi for her blessings, for good fortune, wealth, success and goodness in life.

Aum Shrim Maha Lakshmyai Namahah

Ohm shreem muh-huh luhk-shmyai nuh-muh-hah

Om, I offer salutations to the Great
Goddess of good fortune



May Saraswati – goddess of knowledge,
who is praised by the wise, reside on my
~~ Hymn to Saraswati
She whose name means “the flowing one”, you will find her on the lotus of upon a swan. She is the Goddess of water, from which all life flows. She is the symbol for creativity, writing, music. She has been here since the beginning and will always be here. She is the womb, the waters of life. She is there when we are inspired, when we are moved to *create*.

Invoke Saraswati when you need help with communication of all kinds, in music, in literary ventures, and when you need inspiration, or to just trust in your intuitive creativity.

Aum Aim Saraswatyai Namaha

ohm aim suh-ruh-swah-tyai nuh-muh-huh

I bow to the Goddess of Speech

Each of these invocation mantras can be used to not only invoke, but to meditate upon each of these Shakti Goddesses. The mantras should be chanted 208 times, the easiest way being to use mala beads (
These are just some of the Shakti Goddesses. For further reading, I highly recommend the book, “Awakening Shakti” by Sally Kempton. For mantras, I would recommend the CD, “Goddess Blessings” by Mary Marzo

I am the sovereign queen, the treasury of all treasures,
whose breathing forth gives birth to all the worlds and yet
extends beyond them – so vast am I in greatness.
~~ From the Devi Sukta

(My own personal Shakti Goddess altar)

May the Goddess Bless you!

She Who Is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

January, 2015



“By you this universe is borne, by you this world is created

By you it is protected, O Devi. By you it is consumed at the end

You who are eternally the form of the whole world,

at the time of creation you are the form of the creative force,

at the time of preservation you are the form of the protective power
and at the time of the dissolution of the world
you are the form of the destructive power
You are the Supreme Knowledge, as well as ignorance,
intellect and compassion”
From the Devi-Mahatmya


I was unsure of which Goddess to choose for the January column.  December was fun in choosing Winter Goddesses.  January is cold and dreary in most of the northern hemisphere.  Should the Goddess be all about the light?  Apparently not.


I have been having Kali visit me in the quiet of my mind these past few months, and She got me to thinking.  The New Year is a time of change for many people.  Most run around making resolutions that, honestly, dont make it through the first month.  Some make the same resolution every year Im going to give up smoking, I am going to exercise everyday, and so on.   The thing we most want and what we focus on are our obstacles, and THAT, is where Kali comes in.  She will help you destroy those obstacles and free you to make the changes you wish.


In Hinduism, the Goddesses are Devi, which means deity.  She, of course, has different aspects: Durga, Lakshmi, Tara, Sarasvati, Parvati, Kali.  Kalis name means Time


Her stories are bountiful.  Born from the brow of Parvati, Kali killed the demonic forces that were threatening.   She danced with the Lord of the Dance, Shiva, and it is said the dance grew wilder and wilder, and as the dance continues, it will one day shake the world to pieces.   She killed other demons during another battle,  and it is said that after they were dead, exhilarated, laughing and roaring,  Kali happily drank their blood and began to dance wildly, hence Her dance of death and destruction.



She is seen as a Dark Goddess, as she dances the dance of death and destruction, but She is also keeper of time and will be there when new things emerge from Her destruction.  When you see Her, there is no mistaking Her. 

She wears a necklace of skulls around Her neck, She hold weapons in her numerous hands.  Her tongue protrudes from Her mouth.  She can be terrifying to behold and to work with. 




However, She is worshiped by many as the Mother Kali or Kali Ma, in which Her worshipers surrender to Her utterly.   Abrahim Khan, an anthropologist, said that to belong to Her, the worshiper must surrender not just the intellect, but the entire self, that is the mind, the body.”   To me, that is the key to working with Kali.


Even so, Kali is still once of the most worshiped Goddesses in India and other parts of the world.   Kali is more than a Dark Goddess who destroys.  She is also the Goddess who helps us to face our fears head on.  She is strength.  She is courage.  She helps us to face our own darkness.


The following is my meditation from a *workshop that I have taught, Healing Dance of the Kali Dakini.***


Sit quietly, breathing deeply, closing eyes.  Visualize yourself in darkness, a cave, deep within the womb of the Earth.  Breathe into your sacred feminine energy.  Now, open yourself to She, who is Kali, who is both fearsome and

spiritually liberating, offering you healing from your emotional wounds.  Sense Her in whatever way you wish and allow her to see you in your entirety, the good and the bad. Let your breath connect to her.  Draw her presence into your body, into each part of yourself.  As you do this, allow the release of all obstacles, accepting the freedom that She offers.


This is a lovely song for a Kali meditation:


I also recommend the Dance of Kali, which I also do in my workshop.  The idea behind this is to just dance, allow your body to move freely without inhibition.  As you dance, visualize yourself healed – a blissful Kali Dakini dancing in the light in service to Kali.  (Note: a Dakini translates as sky dancer.  She is a spiritual disciple of Kali, the creative personification of the Divine Feminine)***


I would recommend lying down and relaxing with long deep breathing for at least 10 minutes after the above meditations.



That is Kali.  You can reach me at ShaktiWarriorSpirit at if you have any questions or (nice) comments.


May Kali bless you on your journey!





Resources:  ***The Healing Dance of Kali, Workshop taught by Susan Morgaine

                               (@ShaktiSpirit 2014)

                     Kali, The Feminine Force by Ajit Mookerjee

                     The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines by Patricia Monaghan

                             (a must-have)

                      Ancient Mirrors of Womanhood by Merlin Stone

                             (also highly recommended)

HeathBeats: Notes from a Kitchen Witch

May, 2010

Merry Meet and Blessed May to you all… As I have in the past I will be writing about something that others may not be… I will be writing today about the darker side of the Goddess.

I have been researching her many faces and have become fascinated with the little understood Hecate and Kali. When you look at them they may seem vastly different from one another but in reality they are very similar. Both are feared as dark and mysterious Goddess with many fearsome attributes. But in reality they are nothing like recent history has portrayed them as.


Hecate… Greek goddess of the three paths, guardian of the household, protector of everything newly born, as well as the goddess of witchcraft — once a widely revered and influential goddess, the reputation of Hecate has been tarnished over the centuries.

She has been portrayed as the Goddess of Death, the Old Hag, sometimes pictures with three animal heads,  one with a snake’s head, one with a horse’s and the third a boar’s head. When in reality she was a beauty in her own right. As well as being the only God or Goddess that Zeus allowed equal power. While she never joined the Olympian pantheon, Zeus honored her above all other deities by giving her a special place and granting her dominion over heaven, earth, and the underworld, as well as the power to give or take from humanity anything she wished.

She has been seen walking the roads at night often in the company of her Hounds, sometimes traveling with a following of”ghosts”. She was know to help the dying make a smooth and painless passage into the next life and staying with them, if need be, in the otherworld to help prepare them for their eventual return to the earth in their next life.

The Goddess of death and dying as well as that of new birth and new life, the Hecate was wise in all of the earth’s mysteries. She is often called the liberator because She manifests in our deepest issues and emotions, and reminds us that we need to release the past, especially those things that are hindering our growth, and to accept change and transitions. She sometimes asks us to let go of the familiar and to travel to the dark and scary places of the soul. Making changes, whether spiritual or mundane, is rarely easy. But She is there show you the way.

Hecate became a wardress and conveyor of souls through the underworld. Like Kali, in India, Hecate, as a funerary priestess, conducted her rites in charnel or burial grounds, assisting in liberating the souls of the newly dead.

As a triple Goddess, she represents The Maiden, standing for new beginnings.  You turn to the Maiden when the moon is waxing, The Mother who you to turn to when you need nurturing and protection… Turn to the Mother when the Moon is Full, And the Crone who you turn to at the end of our turn on the wheel. Look to the Crone now when the moon is dark. She represents mind, body and spirit; and birth, life and death. Her smiles are the radiance of the moon, whether it is full or dark, her power is everywhere and in everything.

She has mistakenly been called the destroyer, but She is not. She is the Goddess of death and rebirth, so to destroy would mean that something is forever gone.  You cannot bring something back that has been destroyed. It is through Her that all things live or die.

She was also worshipped as a goddess of fertility, whose torch was carried over freshly sown fields to symbolize the fertilizing power of moonlight.


Kali is the most misunderstood of the Hindu goddesses. Kali is a goddess of death and destruction but She destroys only to recreate, and what she destroys is sin, ignorance and decay. Nowhere in the Hindu stories is she seen killing anything but demons nor is she associated specifically with actual human dying.

Kali is not always thought of as a Dark Goddess; rather, she is also referred to as a great and loving primordial Mother Goddess in the Hindu tantric tradition. In this aspect, as Mother Goddess, she is referred to as Kali Ma, meaning Kali Mother, because of her creative, nurturing and devouring aspects…

Her three forms are manifested in many ways: the three phases of the moon, the three sections of the cosmos (heaven, earth, and the underworld), the three stages of life, the three trimesters of pregnancy, and so on. Women represent her spirit in mortal flesh. Kali’s three forms are also sacred colors: white for the Virgin, red for the Mother, black for the Crone, the three together symbolizing birth, life, and death. To her worshippers in both Hinduism and Tantra she represents a multi-faceted Great Goddess responsible for all of life from conception to death.
Kali is represented as a Black woman with four arms that represent the complete circle of creation and destruction. In one hand she has a Sword, in another the head of the demon she has slain the bloodied sword and severed head symbolize the destruction of ignorance and the dawning of knowledge. The sword is the Sword of knowledge, which cuts the knots of ignorance and destroys false consciousness (the severed head); with the other two she is encouraging her worshippers while representing the creative aspect of Kali.
Her garland of fifty human heads, each representing one of the fifty letters of the Sanskrit alphabet, symbolizes the repository of knowledge and wisdom. Her only clothing is a girdle made of dead men’s hands, hands that are the principal instruments of work and so
Signify the action of karma. Thus the binding effects of this karma have
severed, as it were, by devotion to Kali, and her tongue protrudes from her mouth depicting the fact that she consumes all things and denotes the act of tasting or enjoying what society regards as forbidden.
Kali’s fierce appearances have been the subject of extensive descriptions in several earlier and modern works. Though her fierce form is filled with awe-inspiring symbols, their real meaning is not what it first appears.

Her black skin represents the womb of the chaos from which all of creation arises and into which all of creation will eventually dissolve. Kali’s blackness symbolizes her all-embracing, comprehensive nature, because black is the color in which all other colors merge; black absorbs and dissolves them. Or black is said to represent the total absence of color, again signifying the nature of Kali as ultimate reality. Either way, Kali’s black color symbolizes her transcendence of all form….
Kali’s nudity has a similar meaning. Her nudity is said to represent that. Kali is the bright fire of truth, which cannot be hidden by the clothes of ignorance.

Kali is Mother to her devotees not because she protects them from the way
things really are but because she reveals to them their mortality and thus
releases them to act fully and freely, releases them from the incredible,
binding web of “adult” pretense, practicality, and rationality

I could go on and on as there is much research both for and against these Goddesses. But what I basically want to show is that both Hecate and Kali are multi faceted Goddesses. And that to look at only one facet is not only disrespectful to the Goddess herself but also limiting to yourself.

Just as we are more than we sometimes seem to be so are these Goddesses. And we do her a disservice if we only accept the version of her that hundreds of years of fear, hatred, and ignorance have left us. Do not judge this book by the cover it has been given. Open it and look deeper inside and you may surprise yourself by finding a connection that will fulfill you.

Until next time
Blessed Home and Hearth
the Hearthkeeper

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