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To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.magick.tantra,alt.magick.moderated,alt.pagan.magick,alt.religion.sexuality,,
From: (nagasiva)
Date: 29 Apr 1996 21:48:21 -0700

[been putting this off to give it the attention deserved - tn]
[from private email:; continuing conv]

|Jai Kali!
Namah Durga Svayambhu!
You quote me and go on to say:
|>_Kalidas_ is the gender-neutral form of either _Kalidasa_ or Kalidasi any/all ofHer 'forms.' _Das/a/i_ would be literally translated as 
|>"slave,"although modern translators seem to often play a bit 
|>loose, translating as the less-loaded term "servant of" or even  
|>"devotee"or "follower" of, to avoid the negative associations  
|>most of us would, consciously or otherwise, slap onto the word 
|By these terms I am a Kalidas as 'devotee' and perhaps 'servant', 
|yes, since I have dedicated my life to Kali, whom I approach via 
|the (dangerous?  Ramakrishna seemed to indicate this) path of 
I was intrigued when a _chola_ girl from the neighborhood told me 
the word _amo_ meant both "lover" and "master" in Spanish. No S/M 
connotations required: the Lover is the Master of one's heart. 
  Do you think Ramakrishna 
really considered _vira sadhana_ "dangerous"? Or just more 
"difficult?" We could probably each quote a zillion scriptural 
descriptions of the "best" The type of Slavery implied is not a servile or forced condition
|>at all, but one entered into willingly and with full *power*, a 
|>state of submission so intense that it leads not only to 
|>"freedom," but absolute identification--at least in theory.  ;|  

|I do not currently identify often with Kali, no.  More often I 
|identify as Siva, whose being and essence I have only begun to 
|understand.  First I shall approach Kali as Lover, and as I 
|become the Siva of the Nagas more fully I feel I may take up a 
|more diligent reflection of myself as Siva.  
My first approach _Yajna_ means "worshipful ritual" or "sacrifice." While the _Veda 
|>Bramanas_ and _Srauta Sastras_ had elaborate, detailed  
|>rules'n'regs about performing _yajna_, in more modern times, it's 
|>come to mean *any* sort of ritual or 
|>sacrifice performed by an individual without the aid of a  
|>_pujari_, or Priest. Kinda like "gnostic puja."

|Thank you.  I do not make regular puja of any type I am aware 
|that resembles what would be called by this term in Indian 
|tradition.  I could of course explain some of the practices I 
|*do* engage as 'sacrifices' (such as maintaining a vow (intent) 
|of poverty (limited resources, balancing these out in the 
|dedication I feel)), but this word has many meanings and how I 
|live doesn't conform to some of these.
_Jivayajna_ or the sacrifice of the individual, is traditionally 
recognized. The _Chandogya Upanisad_ is filled with 
'correspondences' between ritual religious acts, and 'the things 
one does while going about his life.' The 16th Khanda states 
"Verily, a person *is* a sacrifice," comparing the stages of life 
to the stages of the Soma Sacrifice. The 17th Khanda compares 
life's circumstances with ceremonies: "1. When one hungers and 
thirsts and does not practice enjoyment; that is an Initiation 
(_Diksa_). 2. When one eats and drinks and enjoys, then he joins 
in the Upasada Generally, four things are still "required" to make a "proper" 
|>yajna if one wants to be traditional: 
|>	_Dravya_, the "substance," that which is sacrificed;
|>	_Tyaga_, the "sacrificial intent," the attitude of giving 
|>	         something--or everything--to the yajna recipient; 
|>	_Devata_, the divine recipient ItSelf; and 
|>	_Mantra_, which is fairly self-explanatory.

|Of these, in a very broad sense (I am not really 'orthodox' in 
|any way and so don't qualify otherwise), I think I do engage 
|these things, yes. However, I don't do things like kill goats for 
|Kali (though I have considered comparable practice prior to meals 
|as upaya or skilful means in an awakening process which fits into 
|my life), or burning ghee (though I do burn incense and/or 
|candles -- I am unsure of my intent completely here however, 
|since there are practical as well as devotional results involved 
|with each of these), or feeding Her in ways I have read, which 
|generates prasad (though I occasionally place my food before Her 
|altar as an offering -- I don't spoon it into Her mouth or 
|anything :>).
I'd say practical as well as devotional results is eminently 
"orthodox."  ;|  _Prathana_, personal benefit, is a traditional 
part of the _Puja_ ritual. _Atmartha Puja_ is usually performed 
privately, for the benefit of oneself and/or one's family & close 
pals; with _Parartha Puja_ being the sort performed by Priests in 
Temples. A not-completely-orthodox method of _Bhuta Yajna_ I 
engage in frequently involved placing money, usually coins, on my 
altar as an offering to my Mahadeva; then, when I'm completely 
broke and rolling up pennies to make the rent, thanking my Devata 
for the "financial prasad"  ;|  and taking the money back for my 
use. I also consider the exchange of plasma for $20 as a form of 
_yajna_, often making _japa_ while hooked up to the machine.  The 
money is thus the blessing of the Devata at the conclusion of the 
|That said, I do maintain a temple for Kali out of devotion, have
|constructed a few cyberspace things in honor of Her, and often
|chant mantram when I feel it is right for me to do so.The problem 
|I have with your description is that I don't make hard
|and fast distinctions, in my intentions, about whether Kali is
|'outside me' (as a yajna) or a part or all of me (however you'd
|like to categorize this).  There are often pragmatic reasons I
|am inspired to engage these things as well as the occasional and
|heart-felt enthusiasm which encourages me to do them purely for
|NO reason or with dedicatory intent only.  That is, the 
|expressions of my devotion have beneficial results for me too.
I'd be interested in the cyberspace constructions, but not having 
web-access, suspect my interest will go unexplored--yes? no?
I make no hard and fast distinctions either. Despite what the 
various schools have to say on the matter of dualism/non-dualism, 
I personally feel it's impossible to discern, and so don't spend 
time trying. At various times, I've "experienced" Kali as an 
actual discarnate Being; as a form of _brahman_ _Reta Yajna_ is a ritual worship/sacrifice using _reta_ as the  
|>_dravya_. The word _retas_ as used in the Rg-Veda has been  
|>translated as "Divine Seed," or the "Semen of the Gods," so to  
|>speak. More properly,_Reta_ is the *combination* of _rakta_,  
|>blood, specifically menstrual blood, and _sukra_, or semen, as 
|>such. This combo theoretically elevates 
|>normal human discharges into _Reta_, the "Divine Seed."

|Very wonderful, and quite appropriate material for 
I should have added an "IMHO" after my own translation/commentary 
on _Reta_, as I'm not a Vedic scholar, and thus, not properly 
qualified to give T&C, other than to myself.
|>The actual rite can take any of several forms, from eucharistic, 
|>which the Reta becomes Prasad, that consumed after being offered 
|>to/accepted by/blessed by the Devata of the ritual; to pure  
|>'sacrificial offering,' consumed by a homa fire, fer-instance; to  
|>use in further rituals in the form of drawing yantras or  
|>performing _nyasa_ on the partner's body before sexual ritual; to 
|>any number of specifically "occult" or 
|>magical rituals for aims from completely worldly to completely  
|>'spiritual' to anything in between.
|I have been exposed to such things in the past, and yet as I 
|learn tantra from Kali, I come to know it in less ceremonial or 
|ritualistic terms.  Yes, I do engage ritual and usually this is 
|celebratory or dedicatory in nature (not always).  However, when 
|it comes to sexuality perhaps my history has been what would be 
|called more 'vanilla' in sadomasochistic circles. :>  I am 
|exploring alternatives to this slowly while maintaining my focus.
At one point, I had a *very* traditional guru/sisya relationship 
with a man whom I considered my Satguru at the time. Ironically--
or maybe not?--at that point, I was unpleasantly rigid, didactic 
to the point of rudeness, and extremely caught up in ritualism, 
and also embarrassingly ignorant about most of the stuff I 
prattled endlessly on about _vis_ "Tantra." After the traditional 
relationship ended, not only did I find myself loosening up, but 
I'm not sure what you mean by "using this energy." Toward a 
*specific* goal, I spoze, but isn't mutual pleasure a "goal" 
itself? At this point, I don't think I see it as a less "worthy" 
or "magical" or even "valuable" goal than mingling with Divinity 
or material gain of some sort. I may be weird about sex, though--
it's definitely the straightest route toward just about 
EVERYTHING, for me. Sexual practice has taken forms from very 
traditional _Pancamakara_   Yet I feel that I engage a very important 
|intimatic process or 'rite' when encountering my lovers, 
|especially those with whom I have shared a great deal of time and 
|to whom I have dedicated a great deal of my energies (thus strict 
|physical sexuality is only one part of the dance, and my 'tantra' 
|is much larger than intercourse).
Almost sounds like the "magician/seer" relationship--a description 
I personally dislike. The energetic weaving is definitely focused 
on more than physical sexuality with my present partner, and the 
ways in which we relate seem to be getting stronger as they get 
more elastic--or something like that!
|As far as ceremonial magick is concerned I am typically resistant 
|to pre-formulated ceremony, associating ritual with a state of 
|mind that I may induce in myself in response to *changing*, 
|*living* circumstances which appear to fluctuate enough to 
|preclude formatted recipe results.
As long as the pre-formulated ceremony isn't so rigid as to 
preclude deviation, I don't see it as a problem, for myself.
|It may well be that I am simply too eclectic and lacking in 
|discipline or interest to achieve this 'ritual' through ceremony 
|(as I have seldom found the experiments I have engaged to lead to 
|this state of mind as compared to my other, more devotional or 
|ecstatic and unplanned acts),though I have taken exploratory 
|steps in this regard and met resistance or seen omens which 
|turned me back.
I'm an eminently undisciplined individual myself.  ;|  I do strive 
against laziness, and so engage in daily routines as a form of 
discipline, among other things. I think a large part of whatever 
"knowledge" I may seem to possess stems simply from my being 
interested in matters that seem UN-interesting to a lot of other 
|>Love is the law, love under will.

|Very interesting, this 'tantric-thelemic' polarity or energy 
|current, is it not?  I find those who stand betwixt or amongst 
|these often to be quite similar of temperament and interest once 
|I get to know them.  
|I would love to hear more about your own pathway and how you have
|found the combination of these traditions (or intersection?  
|unity?) to be helpful to you or of hindrance.  Are there specific 
|teachers you favor offline, in books or in cyberspace?  Are you 
|as wildly eclectic as myself (enjoying studies in zen, tantra, 
|sufism and other esoterics)?  Your name sounds familiar.  Have we 
|exchanged words in cyberspace previously?  Do you find 
|experimental, exploratory and self-transformational practices to 
|be your ilk?
Heh! As you *must* have realized by now, I do tend to go on, so 
I'll try for the "short version."  ;|  I was "independent" at a 
much younger age than most people, being a wife at 13, a mother at 
14, and sole wage-earner for the family from around 15 or so, 
through the present 

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