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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

As I came down from the muddy hillside, sweat dripping off my brow, my head reeled over what had just occurred. The Indian heat had certainly affected me, but I was somewhat sure the events of the past two hours were not a hallucination. Trekking up earlier in the morning, I had been greeted by two black-clad young men who beckoned me in Hindi to come. Yes, I had hesitated; but their insistence was smoothed by a sweet kindness and the sentiment offered that it was their Babaji, their “respected father” or guru, who was asking me to make the detour.

The year was 2003, and it was just after Solstice. I followed the men, two devotees of Lord Shiva in his most fierce of forms, to Babaji’s encampment on the top of Nilachal Hill. I was in Assam, and the place was called Kamakhya, abode of the lover’s dance, place where Shiva and Shakti, the eternal Female Force, joined. At this time, Devi, Goddess, bled. Her moon cycle came but once a year, and now the red earth and menstrual blood metaphor mixed in a harmonious shout out to the life Divine. I was enthralled to be there once more, my annual pilgrimages since 1998 necessary soul-felt recharges of all my mind, heart and spirit.

Babaji’s knife was old. Curved and rusty, seeing it brought a wave of tremendous fear, and I wondered what other blood was required. Something deep inside told me, however, to trust the moment.  I surrendered. The cut took time between the thickness of my mane tightly plaited down the back and the knife’s dull edge.  Babaji pulled me close, and I could feel the coolness of his skin, the tickle of his stubble, and the wetness that dripped from his intoxicated eyes and nose.  In these moments, I received initiation into the Aghori mysteries. I had not asked for this blessing, yet there it was. And with the blessing, a responsibility into which I am still growing.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Chandra Alexandre
    Chandra Alexandre says #
    Namaste-ji! Indeed, it was just my hair that I lost. I am glad to know of your joyful connections. So many Babas! My Babaji is Nat
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Namaste, Chandraji! Can you clarify for me that it was just your long hair that was cut off? And what relationship does that Babaj

Posted by on in Studies Blogs

When mature theologians study the question without pubescent embarrassment, it is clear that there is a point at which female Goddess worship is inseparable from pornography. Try as we might to separate the sacred from the profane, and to tease out the purely biological facts of procreation from the universal hormonal urge to have a good time, we are continually faced with areas in which they become the same thing. To most spiritual Pagans, the congress of vulva and phallus is sacred - a celebration of the life-rhythms of the universe.

 

To deny the sacred method by which Nature propagates life, is to insult and demean the Great Mother Goddess Herself. And this is exactly what the male-dominated Abrahamic religions sought to accomplish.

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  • Joseph Bloch
    Joseph Bloch says #
    Excellent stuff, Ted. Although now we have a boomerang effect from the sexual revolution of the 60's, where people are trying to e
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Good point, Joseph. Thank you.
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Thank you so much, Francesca. I love your Baba Yaga poem.

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

While reading Dianne Sylvan's latest novel this past March, I had a flash of insight that knocked me out of her Shadow World and into the timeless, space-less realm of what Ellen Dugan calls “just knowing.” The scene in the book was of a young Witch drawing down the moon – pulling the Goddess into herself. I told my empty bedroom, “She's not pulling the Goddess into her. She's awakening the spark of divinity within herself!” Cool! I thought. Then I went back into the reading.

When I first came home to the Pagan path eleven years ago, I felt very uncomfortable with the Goddess and God concepts. The Wiccan Lady and Lord felt extremely foreign and abstract to me. I was raised Buddhist, and as a teen had gone through a period of absolutely despising religion altogether, especially the Judeo-Christian religions, whom I held accountable for committing torture, rape, murder, and genocide in the name of their Lord.

I had an especially hard time choosing my magickal name, because the only name that felt right was a Goddess name, and I did not feel worthy of naming myself after a Goddess. After a couple months of struggle, I took the name Rhiannon, because I wanted to internalize her ability to overcome unfair burdens and punishments and become vindicated.

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  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Lovely - thanks for sharing this bit of your journey. We do indeed contain all that is holy within each molecule of our whirling
  • Ashley Rae
    Ashley Rae says #
    Thank you, Lizann!
  • Ashling Kelly
    Ashling Kelly says #
    What a powerful homecoming for you....thanks for sharing such a personal story.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Honoring Shakti

When I was in college, I had the wonderful experience of taking a class entitled “Goddess and Gender.”  Because of that class, I was introduced to the goddess Shakti, and that introduction continues to shape my worldview and creative actions.

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