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Mother Kali

The Dark Mother is present and adored.

A three-part story of a pilgrimage to The Community of the Many Names of God – Skanda Vale, part 2. Part 1 lives here.

We were refused entry. Two of us, J and N, had not observed the obligatory vegetarianism and so knew they’d be watching from the terrace of the temple. But P and I had. As a full moon Puja it was more full than usual and so, there was no room for us!

Things will be as they will be.

The terrace is seperated from the main Temple room only by double doors and a wall with windows. A screen shows Kali throughout the Puja. The doors are open and the terrace is still part of the Temple.

I got as far as the door, the last female at the gates, and was told no.


As we sat and sang and rocked and prayed I let my ego roll the wound around my mind – Rejection! Rejection! it shouted. I waited until it calmed down and breathed through the disappointment. So close…

And then we came to a place where we could share in the place we were, my Ego and I.

Things will be as they will be.

Perhaps it was just as well – I had space to breathe, to move and avoid the pain of siting still for nearly 3 hours. I had space to breathe, to take in what I was able to and not be overwhelmed by the echoes of the burn-out from the pilgrimage I’d made there last. I had space to breathe, and to remember the place I find myself in many rituals – always on the edge.

At the last of Her Pujas I sat in the doorway.

Many many rituals I have ended up on the edge of the circle, holding the space, walking the boundary.

In my chosen career I walk the edges of acceptability – Philosophy does not look kindly upon Faeries.

In my religious traditions I tend to have to find my own way – neither dark nor light but both and neither.

On the edge.

I laughed and cried and sang and rocked and prayed. I smiled at the children who ran round the terrace. I searched for the words in the prayer book to try to understand. I made an offering of my pain and my singing to Her and I asked for her to destroy those blocks that no longer serve me. Those blocks that hold me back. Gladly, like the whirling scythe at harvest time, I felt her dance through me. I gave them to her. We’ll see if I try to claw them back again!

Shivering from the cold kiss of winter I entered the warm temple-room in the space allowed for the pilgrims to present themselves to Kali. I washed myself in her flame, knelt to her and accepted the blessings of sacred ash and colour and food that washed the body of the Goddess.

Time passed faster in the terrace than it had passed for me in the Temple room last time I was there.

Dealing with the disappointment and the cold and the strange experience of finding myself on the edge again was a good thing.

What will be, will be.

I really did not expect what happened when we left the Temple to join the other pilgrims in eating blessed curry…