Tanutari bhasilo amar
(The boat of my body is floating on the ocean of existence)
The boat of my body is floating on the ocean of existence.
My Mind, my good helmsman,
Row carefully. See That you
Don’t drown me at sea.
Our oarsman are the five senses and their objects –
But they’re paddling the boat in the wrong direction.
Please try to control them
Steer the rudder in Kali’s name,
Hoist the kundalini sail,
And let’s set off in a favourable wind.
Thwart the six
Lust and his band
With the great mantra
Lest they harass us on our way.
Take Kamalakanta. Let’s sing a boat song
In Kali’s name, and be happy
For we’re heading to the city
Of ceaseless bliss.
From selection in “Tantra in Practice”
For some the idea that Tantra is all about trance states comes as a bit of a shock and is resisted. But seems like
a reasonable insight to me. Here’s something from academia, as many find this significant. Though has to be said, the idea is not common.
“Theravada meditation, places considerably emphasis on the development of Samadhi (concentration or trance),
perhaps better described as focussing of the mind-body” Samuel 2008: 219
A story that needs to be told, this ground breaking documentary does the trick. Although at 1 hour 15minutes maybe a little overlong for the format and could be a bit faster. Even so it was great to see and hear her biographer, the late Nevill Drury contributing to the story he did so much to research over several editions of his book Pan’s Daughter : the magical world of Rosaleen Norton. I found the first half the most interesting, when she was younger and a rising star, before the grey men in the Australian patriarchy, and the catholic church brought her down and mostly extinguished her fire, sometimes literally in the fire, when the police were ordered by the courts to burn two of her paintings. Outrageous stuff that courts order burning of pictures, a real witchhunt.
The dirty tricks, the illegal raids on her home by the press are all there. And though she fought back and embraced and reclaimed her witch archetype, it was something of a pyric victory as she ended her days mostly as a recluse and died alone in a hospice run by nuns. Many of her former friends in the film seemed too untogether to be there for her at the end.
She became something of a parody of herself, sometimes grotesque in the media game. I was so glad to see the pictures of her in her sister’s garden, her hair down and unbleached, no fringe and no crazy eyebrows – just the beautiful person she once was.
So overall, despite a great body of work, she was well ahead of her time. But a wasted genius, and not through any fault of her own, other than being a woman and a witch. Her astral magick, with which she connected with Gavin Greenlees and Eugene Goossens enabling them to connect across space and time, is experiencing something of a revival just now and the greater details in Nevill’s book will be useful for that. The patrician musician Goossens was an important occult influence though in the end, the career of this magical superstar was destroyed by a media conceived scandal. He died soon after but never blamed Roie for the any of it; despite her keeping a photographic record of their work, which was stolen from its hiding place in her flat by a hostile journalist and they then sealed her, and his fate. So let us remember her, and induct her into the company of gnostic and tantrik saints. A true original, whose magick and witchcraft did not come from the usual suspects of the time, but was a power of love, direct and from above.
Honorable mention to the choreographer, actors and sound people for great soundtrack, though was odd that subtitles when pan danced musick subtitled as esoteric when Lilith danced is was dramatic, great track called “Dark Arts” by Brian De Mercia. Everyone should see this film and support the makers by paying the modest fee to own it.
1. O MOTHER and lover of the Destroyer of the three cities, beautiful with the beauty of the dark rain clouds. Those who recite, Your mantra, their speech, whether in poetry or prose, like that of those who have attained all powers, issues with ease from their mouths.
2. O MAHEŚI, You with great and formidable ear-rings of arrow form, who bears on Your head the crescent moon. If one, even of poor mind, at any time recites but once this doubled mantra of yours, they become all powerful, conquering the Lord of Speech and the Wealth-Giver, and charming countless beautiful people with lotus-like eyes.
3. O KĀLIKĀ, O auspicious Kālikā with wild hair, from the corners of whose mouth two streams of blood trickle. Those who recite this double mantra of yours destroy all their enemies, and bring under their subjection the three worlds.
4. O Mother with gaping mouth, Destroyer of the sins of the three worlds, auspicious Kālikā, who in Your upper lotus-like left hand is a sword. and in the lower left hand a severed head; who with Your upper right hand makes the gesture which dispels fear, and with Your lower right hand that which grants boons; Those who recite your name, meditate upon the greatness of Your mantra, possess in the palm of their hands, all eight of your powers.
5. Kreem Kreem .
O MOTHER, they who recite Your charming Bīja, twice, and thereafter, O Smiling Face, O lover of the Destroyer of the Deva of Desire contemplating Thy true form, become themselves the Deva of Love whose eyes are as beautiful as the petals of the lotus which Lakṣmī holds in Her playful dance
6. O full breasted DEVĪ, whose throat is adorned with a garland of heads, They who meditating recite any secret and excelling mantras together with Your name, her moonlike face is ever before them, and as speech goddess she wanders, the lotus-like eyed Kamalā plays
7. O MOTHER, enjoying Mahākāla, even a fool becomes a poet who meditates upon you, naked, clothed in space, three-eyed Creatrix of the three worlds, whose waist is beautiful but from whose skirt hang dead men’s arms, and seat on the chest of a corpse, left in the cremation-ground.*
8. THOSE who meditates on you, the lover of the destroyer, seated in the cremation-ground, strewn with funeral pyres, corpses, skulls, and bones, and haunted by female jackals howling fearfully; youthful, in sexual union with your consort, will be revered by all and in all places.
9. WHAT, indeed, O Mother, can we of so dull a mind say of your True Being, which not even the gods know? Yet, despite our dullness and ignorance, our devotion makes us talk of Thee. Therefore, O Dark Devī, forgive us our folly. Do not be angry towards ignorant creatures such as we.
10. IF by night, I, your devotee, unclothed, recite your mantra, whilst meditating on you with dishevelled hair, when with my Śakti youthful, full-breasted, and heavy-hipped, such a one assumes all powers and dwells on the earth as a seer.
11. O lover of Shiva, as (a Sādhaka) I recite daily your mantra over the course of a year, meditating the while with knowledge of its meaning. My heart is fixed upon your union with the great Mahākāla, above whom your are, knowing every pleasure he gives upon the earth, holding all great powers in the fingers of his lotus-like hands.
12. O MOTHER, you give birth to and protect the world, and at the time of dissolution withdraw to yourself the earth and all things; therefore you are the supreme god Brahmā, and the Lord of the three worlds, the consort of Śrī, and Maheśa, and all other beings and things. Ah Me! how, then, shall I praise your greatness?
13. O MOTHER, people there are who worship many other Devas. They are greatly ignorant, and know nothing of the higher truth, (but I) desire Thee, the Primordial Power, who enjoys the great Bliss arising from union (with Śiva), and who are worshipped by Hari, Hara, Viriñci, and all other Devas.
14. O KĀLĪ, lover of the mountain god. You are Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Space. You are all. You are one and beneficent. What more can be said in praise of you, O Mother? Show favour towards me, helpless as I am. By Your grace may I never be reborn.
15. I, O Mahākālī with wild hair, shall in the cremation-ground, naked, intently meditate upon you, reciting your mantra, and with each recitation make an offering of a thousand Ākaṇda flowers with seed, thus shall I become, a sovereign of the earth.
16. O KĀLĪ, on Mars day at midnight, in the cremation-ground, having uttered your mantra, I make a devotion to the hair of the Śakti; then I become a great poet, a master of the earth, and mounted like an elephant.
17. I as devotee, am placed before you, meditating again and again upon your abode, strewn with flowers, a Deva with a bouquet of blossoms, reciting your Mantra, Ah! I shall become on earth the Lord of celestial musicians, and the ocean of the nectar will flow in my poetry. And when I die, I shall live in your supreme abode.
18. If at night, when in union with my lover and meditating with you with centred mind, O Mother with gently smiling face, who sits on the breast of the corpse-like Śiva, lying on a fifteen-angled yantra, deeply entwined in sweet amorous play with goddess Mahākāla, then I become the one who consumed the God of Love.
19. O DARK One, wondrous and excelling in every way, who becomes the accomplishment of all worshippers living in this world, those who freely make bloody sacrifices** to you, offering in worship, greatly satisfying flesh.
20. O MOTHER, whosoever, being a controller of their passions, eats ritual food, and, being proficient in meditation at your feet, rightly recites your mantra many times by day, and who, afterwards at night, naked, united with their lover, makes your great mantra many more times; they shall not die.
21. O MOTHER, this Hymn is the source of your mantra. It sings of your real self, and enjoins us to worship your two lotus Feet. Whoever reads it at midnight or at time of worship, even occasionally, receives the elixir of poesy.
22 May lovers with large eyes, like those of the antelope, impatient for love, ever follow me. Even the powerful do as I ask. I becomes like Jupiter. My enemy fears me as if I were a prison. Living in continuous bliss, this devotee is liberated when yet living, and is never again reborn.
(Sahajanath’s new rendition of the great Hymn to Kali, for Navaratri 2019)
There are many books on how to do magick, but not so many with stories about actually doing it and what happens. NakedTantra lays bare the inner states of the two brave souls involved in this extended magical work.
An experiment, two people, two countries, one mind, experimenting in tantra meta-magick, cosmic astral travel to the land of no boundaries, looking for the doors of perception.
Of necessity the contents of this grimoire might be considered erotic. And, with that thought in mind, it might also be that the reader is occasionally aroused by our story as it progresses. Some might find this an unwanted intrusion, into what is otherwise an exploration of a magical world. Others we surmise, will take this in good part, accepting that, a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down. To those who do not share these sensibilities, and are unmoved by what you are about to read, we offer our sincerest apologies.
Mogg Morgan talks to MIRYAMDEVI & MINANATH, pseudonymous authors of NAKEDTANTRA
About The Authors
These are not their real-world names but neither are they false, they emerged in the dialogue. In real life, they both have experience in eastern and western magical styles.
You obviously have chosen to write under names other than those of your birth, which is not uncommon in magical publishing. The story of how you came by your writerly names is told in the book so I won’t spoil the surprise now. Even so, can you introduce yourself and say a little about what you do, your aims and objectives with your writing?
Minanath: When I first met Miryamdevi she called herself a simple “cowgirl”, which immediately brought to mind the Gopi-maidens who trail after Krishna. But then I discovered she really likes Tom Robbins who wrote Even Cowgirls get the Blues. So there’s something in that, but also, what she says about growing up on a farm; she has a certain earthiness and salt of the earth strength.
Another thing that came up when we got into working with the archetype Babalon – who we, or could be Miryamdevi, worked out, is not some rare breed but is in every woman, Miryamdevi is in a very real sense: “Everywoman”.
My name Minanath literally means (lord of) fish, and it seemed appropriate somehow. It is the name of a Hindu magician/mystic from old times. Also known as Matsyendra, Macchendra, and others. His biography can be seen as mythic or real, depending on who you read. I like the version that he worked in the sea, probably as a fisherman, a fairly taboo or lowly profession in India. But somehow he had a revelation and put together much of the spiritual system we know as Tantra. Perhaps it was because of his humble status people applied the story of his getting the wisdom from a secret scroll, written by the god Shiva, and hidden in the belly of one of the fish he caught. Sometimes it is he who ends up in the fish. But sometimes I just think he learned stuff from people he met on the harbour, maybe mariners from distant lands, like Egypt and Greece.
Anyway, my name Minanath is a reference to that guy who lived a long time ago, not thousands of years but long enough. I think magical tantra started or reemerged in India at the same time when things were getting difficult for magicians in Egypt, with the rise of Christianity. To put it romantically, when the light of knowledge was being extinguished in Egypt and the Near East, the torch passed over to India.
Miryamdevi: Miriam (מִרְיָם Mir-yām) is described in the Hebrew Bible as the daughter of Amram and Jochebed and the sister of Moses and Aaron. She was a prophetess and first appears in the Book of Exodus.
It is all in the name actually, the name Miryam suggest the strong connection she had with the sea and water (Yam in Hebrew means sea and the very obvious Mer-Mir). In the Jewish tradition and culture, The Tambourine is widely associated with Miryam and her love for music. Within the circle of Jewish midwifery especially the Israeli ones, Miryam and her mom Jochbed were the first midwives of the Israelites. I relate to all of this as I was born near the sea, I love music and I’m a doula.
The name Miryam is very popular in my family but although all the Miryams’ are very strong women, most of them had very difficult and unhappy lives. When Minanath said that I have to choose a magickal name it didn’t take long for me to understand that I have the chance to take the name Miryam and turn it into a healing name that will heal a long ancestral line of ‘broken Miryams’. Miryam became MiryamDevi and as soon as I started to use it I felt the healing has begun.
Without giving too much away, are you able to say a little more about your family background, ie past and current – ie are you married, children, work – people like a little bit of personal stuff if you ok to share?
I was born in Israel and grew up on the family farm. My dad was a horse breeder so we had lots of horses, I love horses, I love all animals. In my early twenties, I moved to the UK. After my husband died I moved back to Israel. No children. When Mina and I met I was living in Israel. I’m an aromatherapist and a doula.
I always lived in the UK originally from Wales. Divorced with no children. I work in the world of books, selling and occasionally writing them.
Naked Tantra is rather a striking title – can you say that a bit more about that, what does it signify?
The word Naked in this particular connotation – NakedTantra, signifies the naked truth of our practices. NakedTantra is a very intimate and personal book that reveals some secrets about ourselves and the way we do things. When Mina came out with the name NakedTantra I thought it is the perfect name for the book which reveals so much about us. It feels like we are standing naked in front of the reader.
Miryamdevi said it really, although of course, in the first part of the book there is an account of Miryamdevi’s initiation, which like mine a few years back, and like many initiations, requires some nudity as an act of love and trust. There is a fair amount of nakedness in our book. But mostly really it’s what for us is the naked truth – revealing things as we see them. It may not be true for everyone but it is true for us. Perhaps like those energy bars that have no additives, that’s us, pure and honest, as much as it is possible for anyone to remove the mask and record what they did.
Well, that’s the Naked aspect covered. Can you explain something about the Tantrik aspect of the story? Most of our readers will have a general idea of what it means but I think, as there are so many misconceptions, it would be good if you could say what exactly you mean in this context?
Tantra, yes, a massive subject to talk about… The way I see it, it’s all about cycles within cycles, relationships, the balance between physicality and spirituality, SivaSakti and Lingam-Yoni, Yoni-Lingam, Lingam-Lingam, Yoni-Yoni, whatever.. you cannot do all this without some Serpent Power. I think Mina is the person to ask about Tantra for a clearer answer 🙂
What Miryam said is really good. Miryam always has a very down to earth way of expressing things, hopefully, you noticed that in the book. But technically, Tantra is a South Asian, Indian subcontinental esoteric tradition. Like the term Yoga, I think you could translate Tantra with the western term magic, but not everyone will agree and we probably need to argue that more.
In the book Naked Tantra, you list many songs and poems, some of which you wrote or translated yourselves. Are music and poetry very special to you, can you say a little bit about that, why it is so special?
I love music. Music is a big part of my life and there’s always something playing in the background especially when I cook or clean the house, I’ll have the radio on and will sing along and dance to my favourite tunes. I also make lots of playlists. I have playlists that will suit any mood at any time and any day, I’ve got a good ear for mixing tunes and songs and fancy myself as a secret DJ. Music helps me write. It took me ages to write chapter one, I knew what I wanted to say but the words didn’t come out. One day I was listening to the Ganesha mantra and immediately I knew what to write, so I sat down and wrote chapter one. If you read that chapter you’ll see that there are few mantras which are linked to each other, each mantra was like a key that when played the words just came out flowingly without stopping. Poetry is also very special, when Mina and I met we were living in different countries and as we both like to write as much as we like to talk we found ourselves corresponding on a daily basis via emails. Sometimes situations in life can be very lyrical and when I sit down to write about it the words flow out of me in a lyrical rhythm, a poem of sorts some may say. Separation, longing and Karessa can turn one into an enthusiastic poet.
Miryamdevi is the DJ. I like her style. I think we are a little part of a long tradition of mystics such as the troubadours, the Tamil Siddhas, the Bauls etc. Sometimes called courtly love, where the frisson created between two lovers, who are often separated, either by societal rules or physical distance and then their inner fantasies, their emotional energy is sublimated and channelled into poetry and storytelling. So one way or another we did a lot of writing, we still do. We do our magic, as described in the book, and we dream and write, and write and dream. We just hope our readers will enjoy the things we say, be entertained. As they say, first entertain, then educate.
Is the journey in your book, the kind of rituals you describe, would that be for everyone, a beginner or is it only for the expert?
The journey is for anyone that resonates with our story, and the way we practice and dream.
Aleister Crowley, who turned up in our narrative, wrote or channelled “The Law is for All.” So yes, it’s for all. His magick was quite complex but also simple. Some like to talk about elites and special secrets they have, but it’s all out there already really. If it was all so secret we wouldn’t be writing a book about it, and in the tradition, there are thousands of old tantric texts in libraries, why did they write them if not to be read? I suppose the only qualification is the ability to read, understand, dream, do, and become.
What do you think other explorers of this genre would make your work? There are a lot of books already out there, what is it you think you bring to the table that is new?
As I said earlier, the book is about very personal and intimate work. Some might like it and some won’t. Some might say that we lifted the veil of Isis too far … for those, I’ll say “perhaps, but there again, she gives us life”.
Well, we’re not too sure about that. We hope they are entertained. I hope, if there is any shock, it will be of recognition. Some will perhaps question that what we have written, whether we are entitled to say it and whether what we experienced is appropriate. Almost every book these days seems to have to dismiss the connection between western sexual magick and the obscure secrets of real tantra, to dismiss other magicians’ ideas as new age. But then, in the end, these same people will carry on writing about tantra much as we do. So I think we are on the safe ground really, we can argue our corner. And in the end, does it matter? We are part of the same international community of magic that existed in India and Egypt in the past and is with us now. Mystical traditions cannot really be judged, or if they can, it is only by the results, ie pragmatically. Success is becoming.
Ps: I have to say that in the work, Miryamdevi really has, in my opinion, revealed some amazing insights into Jewish magick, something I’ve not seen anywhere before. Or put it this way, although Miryamdevi always denies any formal knowledge of Kabbalah, it just seems to be in her blood, to flow from her naturally. Which is what she says in the book at one moment – women just naturally receive and know these things. I don’t know if this is all women but definitely her.
That’s a lot of questions – can you try and summarise, in a nutshell, the enduring message of this book?
Follow your dreams.
Magic is complex but also simple. It is sometimes said that the gods created the world as a game, remembering how to play, that’s the thing.
Naked Tantra ends on a bit of a cliff-edge – without giving too much away, can you say what happened next in terms of what you are working on now?
Well, it seemed like the right place to stop, although the narrative obviously continues somehow and there are obviously some difficult moments ahead. The story comes to a natural climax, in more ways than one, when we break through our self imposed purdah and come together at a place of obvious power. What happens on the other side of the cliff-edge, that’s in part down to the readers.
What are we doing now? More experiments in the hyperreal – a ritual year and surprise surprise, some angelic conversations, though something very common although at the same time, ignored. It’s the old old story, people look for complexity when what they really need is staring them in the face.
Was “Unusual votive offerings of Medinet Habu/Luxor”
The Sugar Lady of Luxor and the Lady of Spring. Now she dissolves into the earth, many years after she was brought from Luxor
The Story of the Sugar Lady The 19th century excavation at Medinet Habu in its obsession with the monumental, stone architecture of the Ramesside period destroyed a great deal of the archaeology of later periods.(1) Libyan, Roman, Coptic and Islamic material was removed from the site and dumped, largely unrecorded. What we have lost in terms of knowledge of these later periods is incalculable. I am particularly interested in some of the inexpensive, votive offerings from all periods, as they reflect the personal piety of non elite local people. Medinet Habu continues to be a focus for local folk practices, especially connected with fertility. It’s interesting that locals continue to offer some of the same objects, including the votive beds, in connection with the birthday of the Muslim saint – Abu al-Hajjaj. It is a good example of “archaeological memory”, ultimately of the ancient Egyptian cult of Amun-Min, his consort Mut and their offspring, Khonsu.
Many of Amun-Min’s ithyphallic images escaped the chisels of later prudish iconoclasts. In ancient times, the god’s wife Mut came to visit Amun from her temple a few miles north of here at Karnak. This was the famous festival of Opet, a “hierosgamos” or “mystical marriage”. The tradition is very much alive amongst the Sufi and Ismailis of this part of Egypt. Every year the shops are full of little sugar statues, dyed pink or red with rose water, showing either the prophet or a local saint and his wife, although these days far less “rampant”. A friend explains: “‘Mawlid’ (moulid, مولد) means birthday, ‘al-nabi’ means the prophet, i.e. Muhammad. However, in many places there will also be mawlids celebrating the birthdays of various local Sufi saints such as the mawlid for Sidi Abu al-Hajjaj . Mawlid traditions go back more than a millenia, but a lot of Salafis regard them as a heretical innovation, so they’re controversial these days in some places. Nonetheless, throughout much of the Muslim world mawlids define the local ritual calendar, much as saints’ days do in strongly-Catholic parts of Europe.
[Further reading: Elizabeth Wickert, (2009) “Archaeological Memory the Leitmotifs of Ancient Egyptian Festival Tradition and Cultural Legacy in the Festival Tradition of Luxor: the mulid of Sidi Abu’l Hajjaj al-Uqsori and the Ancient ‘Feast of Opet’” JARCE 45]
“Such objects consists of small boxes of baked clay, usually about 22cm long, 12-14 cm wide ad 18-20 cm hight, but sometimes smaller. They are closed at the top and open at the bottom. Occasionally a latticework pattern is scratched or painted on the top, an indication that such objects are bed models. The front has short legs, and its lower edge is scalloped, obviously to represent fabric hanging down. It is ornamented with low relief, which was pressed in a mold and occasionally colored. Usually a bes figure is represented at either end and between them a nude woman in a boat. The representation on most of the specimens found in our excavations are of to different types. On type (fig 13 and Pl 6 G 1-2 [Cairo J 59845 and Chicago 14779]) show the nude woman seated on a cushion and playing a stringed instrument. In the bow, which is ornamented with a goose head and neck with necklace, stands a girl rowing with her arms stretched forward; the in the stern stands another girl, pushing with a pole which she holds pressed against her armpit. Between the figures are superimposed papyrus umbels. The other type :figure 14 and Pl 6G 3 [Chicago 14780} and 4) shows a simpler scene. The nude woman stands in the centre of the boat facing forward and holding a papyrus stalk at either side. Smaller fragments with similar scenes are shown in Plat 6 G 5 [Chicago 14827 & 6)” p12
Votive figures These are nude female figures, usually lying on a bed, often with a pillow under the wigged head, occasionally with a child at the breast (eg Pl 6H ] Chicago 14603]). Obviously they were in some way associated with the marital relationship. As a rule the figure itself was pressed out of clay in a mold, and the rest was modelled by hand. These objects are from 12 – 22cm long and often decorated with red and white lines. Two limestone specimens are shown in Figure 12. That at the right, with a child alongside, is 25cm long; the fragments at the right, with a child at the breast, is 16.5cm wide. These figures were all found in debris of poor dwellings of the period 11th-8th centuries bc.
For more erotic magic from Egypt see Mogg Morgan, Seth and the Two Ways
Note (1) Uvo Holscher, The Excavation of Medinet Habu Vol V Post-Ramesside Remains Chicago 1954
Morgan is a name of illustrious pedigree, that means “born of the sea”. There is a legend in these parts that the inhabitants of a particular historic county in Wales (Cymri), were descendants of mer-people who moved inland from the nearby sea. Witchcraft has always had this strong connection with the sea, and something of the ocean’s undercurrents are strong among all the Cymri. The Morgan witches emerged in the ocean of story, as two new members of the ancient clan of witches began to weave their spell of words, and found they needed an authoritative author for the ideas that arose unbid in their souls.* Thus the Grimoire of the Morgan Witches drew its first breath. Less preposterous, lets just say they are two members of a little clan of witches who feel compelled to share their lesser magick here on this blog. * see NakedTantra: grimoire of a magical year.