Kali Puja: February Devotions
Before our temple doors open to the public each month, initiates who have committed to a year and a day of devotions and deeper study in Her name gather to circle and dive, like vultures, into the fires of self-transformation. February was no exception, and we found ourselves immersed in the embrace of one of our beloved Mahavidyas. She brought us each a special secret of Her path in the space of our meditations meant to help us in our spiritual blossoming. This powerful ritual work set the stage for a puja later in the day that brought the community gathered, newcomers and Sha’can practitioners alike, into relationship with Maa in a quintessentially new way.
The difference began to be felt with the beginning of our invocations, the space for Agni set with the first verses of the Rig Veda. With this call to the God of Fire and our mudra creating a crucible for the work of our ritual, the mood noticeably shifted. A vibration began to hum through the air, in some creating a felt sense of connection to the Divine, a reflection perhaps of the focus of those gathered. Again and again we returned to our sacred intention for the puja, breathing the depth of our invocations into the center of our hearts. In this way, the more we opened, the more we received from beyond ourselves in direct alignment with our soul’s yearning in the moment. And the more we received, the more we strengthened the whole of our ceremony together.
On this night, the Sanctuary in which Maa resides was filled with red flowers, offerings of love and sweetness all around. We entered in the throes of our own personal ruminations; or for some of us, quietude, despite the slow and steady chant of OM MAA again and again. Although she is small in size, Maa is large. We felt Her calling us into truth and spiritual nakedness from the moment we crossed the threshold of Her home. For some, the prayers offered at Her feet were without thought, pure and gentle surrenderings of ego and attachment. For others, the prayers were precise and detailed, seeking an exchange of energy in the realm of taking and creating that is Her domain.
But as we each approached Her, those familiar with our ritual could not help but notice that the hold was stronger than usual, Her eyes meeting ours with knife-like certainty, and ours fixed on Hers just moments longer than usual. There was no harshness in this, mind you, just the sharpness of a clarity brought on by the clearing away that had been done hours before. Maa, it seems, had been ready for some moving and important connections to be made this day.
Gratitudes to all who journeyed with us into Her embrace on February 26, 2012. Jai Maa!