My Unique Path as a Hindu Tantric Witch
I get a lot of questions regarding my path, which makes sense I suppose, because I'm not sure you can just google search the label I've given my Craft and find a ton of information. I am an eclectic witch, which means I take a little of this and a little of that and create my own way. There's certain things I've always been closely connected to since I was a little girl, such as nature (especially flora), the constellations and the moon, fire, bath time rituals, dragons, and faeries and unicorns and mermaids. The beauty of being a Witch is being able to combine all of that into a very special and very individualized kind of magicka.
When I first began my journey as an open and public Witch, I didn't realize I could take all the things I loved the most and forge my own way. I didn't realize that in truth, I'd always been a Witch, whether I'd identified as one or not. So I tried other ways, other paths, that just never felt right to me. And I had these visions that at the time were very disturbing for me...visions of me shooting fire to destroy my enemies and visions of tigers hissing names I couldn't comprehend. Everything changed for me one night as I was sipping a glass of wine and speaking with a fellow Witch. I was trying to explain what I was feeling rising within me, and she said something that unlocked the door and set me out on a new expedition to discover who I was: "You're feeling the Goddess awaken in you, and everyone goes through this." The vision of fire from my palms hit me once again...I was a very black goddess, with wild hair and a burning passion I couldn't tame, and I said to my friend: "No, I don't feel that what I'm feeling is what everyone else feels. I AM the Goddess."
What a wild thing to say, right? Oh but I had no idea at that time what it really meant for me. I had some friends who were on the Tibetan Buddhist path. The next night, I met with one of them to discuss the conversation and what I had felt. I explained my relentless visions of myself as a Goddess, and the tiger hissing in my brain nonstop, saying words I didn't understand, like Shiva and Shakti. And this friend explained to me the importance of the Tiger in Buddhism, how sacred their skin was and how Durga sat upon a tiger. This friend also explained the meaning of the name Shiva, and the essence of the word Shakti. I was blown away. I spent a week after that night researching these things. This is how I came across the Tantras and Shaktism, a major tradition of Hinduism wherein the metaphysical reality is considered feminine and the Devi (goddess) is supreme. It includes a variety of goddesses, all considered aspects of the same supreme goddess.
I had been looking for a path that empowered me. Voodoo had given me that, to an extent, but it felt like something vital was missing...something darker and more sensual. All this research also led me to Sex Magick, the form of magick that ultimately led me to liberation. See, I'd been raped at the age of 2. Yes, just 2. And this abuse lasted all throughout my childhood and well into my adolescence and adulthood. The worst part was, not only did my own step-father rob me of my innocence and my right to choose my first sexual partner, but he robbed me of my ability to bear children. Sex, and feeling sexy, terrified me. But I wanted my power back in these areas desperately. Sex Magick gave me all of that and more.
Another thing that my newfound path offered was a realization of who I was at my core. When my step-father would abuse me, I would dissociate. It felt almost as though something in me kept breaking, and something else took over. My Buddhist friend knew all of this, and looked me in my eyes and called me "Kali." I had no idea at that time what that name even meant, I only knew that when he called me Kali something in me awakened and shouted, "YES!" Later research revealed her as a dark Mother, a voice for the oppressed divine female...a destroyer of illusions and a protector of traumatized women and children. And I knew, without a doubt, that the abuse I'd suffered had only been bearable because at that moment when I broke completely, Kali stepped in to save me...not by sticking by me, but by inhabiting me. There are crazier things in this world than to believe that a supreme and divine energy has the ability to meld with our own in order to use a vessel for a season (time being so limitless to energy, our lives truly must seem but a season) of pure transformation.
It is not outrageous to Tibetan Buddhists that a divine energy reincarnate within a human being, though it is quite rare for it to be a dakini (a Tantric priestess, such as Kali, upheld in Tibetan Buddhism as a muse for spiritual practice). I agreed to meet with a Tibetan monk, and that meeting further solidified my path as a Hindu Tantric Witch. I was nervous before him, as I explained my visions and my beliefs. He seemed amused, until I told him of the tiger. I was too timid to say who and what I thought I was, but he called it himself...Looked me in my eyes and called me "Kali." And he told me something very important that day. You see, Kali has many forms, one of them being the form of the lovely Goddess Tara. She is believed to be the most ancient form of Dea still worshipped today, and she is said to have been born from the water, like Aphrodite. Her name means "star", and she demonstrates compassion and a loving nature. Master Khenpo explained to me that Kali is passionate, fierce, and bold. And she is pure rage as she shatters illusions and stirs up revolutions. To find my own balance, I would need to also embody her other, more peaceful form, as Tara.
In the legends of Tibet where the worship of the Goddess Tara is still practiced in the Buddhist tradition, it is told that the goddess Tara is the feminine counterpart of the Avalokitesvara, the Bodhisattva who is reincarnated as the Dalai Lama.
Bodhisattvas are beings who have reached enlightenment and are 'eligible' for Budda-hood but have postponed their own nirvana, choosing instead to remain in the cycle of birth and rebirth in order to serve humanity and assist every being on Earth in achieving nirvana themselves.
It is told that Tara first appeared rising from a lotus blossom in the lake that had formed from Avalokitesvara's tears of compassion, tears that fell when he first beheld the scope of suffering in the world.
Because of her essential goodness, she was granted the right to assume her human form as a man. But Tara elected instead to remain in her womanly form.
The Goddess Tara vowed:
"There are many who wish to gain enlightenment
in a man's form,
And there are few who wish to work
for the welfare of living beings
in a female form.
Therefore may I, in a female body,
work for the welfare of all beings,
until such time as all humanity has found its fullness."
It was not long after this meeting that I took my vows before Master Khenpo, where he granted me the Divine name Sangye Drolma, which means Tara Buddha. Not only did this acknowledge me within this practice as Goddess Tara...it acknowledged me as a Buddha, which means enlightened one...truly and fully spiritually awakened. What a strange feeling that coursed through me when my peers would bow to me when I walked into a room! And ah...what a feeling of empowerment that, oddly enough, also seemed to humble me.
I keep photos of my many forms taped to the door that hides away my little altar, along with the paper that signifies my rebirth.
As you can imagine, this changed my craft indefinitely. I finally found my way. I combined my understanding of who and what I am with all the things I loved the most...bath-time rituals became sacred and were used for my own sex magick, floramancy became my main tool for divination, and I used flowers to create my own tantric oils and mists for my practice. The Moon and the Stars became my messengers for communing with my Hindu deities, and working with the Fae assisted me in all my endeavors, from creating to gardening and working with my Shadow. Through sex magick, I reconnected with my body...and also re-established the connection between body and pleasure and the Soul. I learned to love my body and relish the feel of pure sensuality and femininity.
This all also empowered my business, Dopemystic. I have accepted that I play a key role in the Dark Mother's rising. It is time for women to RISE UP, and take back their voice and their power! My mission is to remind every woman of her sensuality, her fierceness, her ability, her strength, and her divinity.
And so is the background of my practice, and essentially who I am as a Witch...and as a Woman.
OM TARE TUTTARE TURE SWAHA