Monday, 21 November 2016

Closure and Continuation

I have come to the point where I realise that it is time to close the Hearth of Heid Project, blog and [Facebook] group. (The latter is now archived and a read-only resource for existing members. If you are interested in the subject/s you are more than welcome to get in touch with me and I will forward material and/or information to you. In addition, my [Shakta] teacher is always willing - and able - to spread light in the darkness if and when I cannot, and in these instances I am happy and interested to pass on such questions and queries in order to share in the knowledge the answer/s bring.)
The reasons for said closure are various and different but interrelated: I struggle with a health-condition which limits my energy-resources and requires me to pace and focus my attention and engagement. Religious syncretism - and even comparison - are not my primary focus any longer; instead I follow - intuitively and experimentally/practically - my true being as orthodox advaita Shakta both as 'grihasta' (householder - mother, wife & housewife) and 'vanaprastha' (spiritual advisor) and yogini in the making. Over the last years I have acquired a substantial wealth of knowledge in the field of comparative religion, philosophy and mystery traditions. In the process, these studies first helped me to understand Sanatana Dharma, to eventually having the reverse effect that my grounding in Shakta Hinduism continues to facilitate and inform my understanding of any other religions and religious cultures. I might continue to share from time to time reflections and insights on my now main blog 'Pantheacraft'; however, as I move more and more away from cyber reality into reality, I am not likely to be overly active there. My calling for engagement lies on the one side with my family as fully committed and engaged householder, and with my development as yogini and the passing on [of knowledge] of Sanatana Dharma from the Shakta perspective (and my perspective as European Shakta) on the other side - I firmly stand with one foot in the House and with the other in the Forest.

Namaskar and Thank You to those who have followed and even shared into my journey as part of the Hearth of Heid Project - March 2013 to November 2016.

Dini Pantheacraft


Thursday, 20 October 2016

Pantheacraft

Dear reader,
I share more personal reflections from my spiritual Path and life on my blog 'Pantheacraft - (Hindu-Germanic) non-dual Goddess Tradition, Mysticism & Wisdom-Weaving'.
www.pantheacraft.blogspot.co.uk
Do get in touch if you like via the comment section or the provided email-address - I am always happy to receive comments which reflect genuine interest, and to engage with other devotees and/or seekers.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Harvest and preparing for Winter (updated)

Today is the Autumn Equinox, as well as the half waning Moon ... a moment in time which seems to be all about introspection and going within. In addition, this day falls into the Hindu 'Ancestor Fortnight' (Pitru Paksha), which precedes the Great Nine Nights (Maha Navaratri) in honour of Mother Shakti, culminating in Duga Festival (Dussehra) to celebrate Mother Durga. It seems to me that in European pagan religion - interestingly - we, too, celebrate both the Mother Goddess and the Ancestors - especially the 'Alfar' who are connected to the Land - in context of the Harvest Festival as well as 'Alfarblot' and 'Samhain' (Festival of the Dead and final 'Harvest').
To me it is definitely a powerful time of connection to the Land, the Ancestors/Alfar, and to those deities I honour especially at my annual Harvest Festival - namely Nehallenia, Lady of all Life on Earth, (who I equate with Demeter), and Frey, the Lord of Souls, of Fertility, Growth and ultimately Sacrifice.
I find it easy to maintain the link between European Pagan and Hindu religious culture of honouring the Ancestors, (and Alfar especially), at this time of the year; not only during the 'Ancestor Fortnight' but all the way through to Samhain.
Navaratri - the Autumn Navaratri as well as Spring Navaratri and the other two "secret" (gupta) Navaratri in roughly February and July respectively - I observe together with my son and fellow Shakta as private affair; taking him out of school for Durga Puja for a day out.   
At this time of the year - marking the transition from the bright half of the year into the dark half of the year - I look back at what the year has brought me and "inspect the Harvest". Like those animals preparing for [hibernation during] the Winter, I store up that which will feed me during the Winter. But I also rid myself and my life of that which I will not carry through the Winter and into the next year.
This year has definitely been intense! And while I have been very quiet with my writing, much has happened in my [spiritual] life. (Most of it - and the most crucial part/s - being too private and sacred to be shared publicly.)
As of Summer this year, I have "born" respectively finalised my own Spiritual Path, which harmonises and consolidates all knowledge, insight and experience, I have gathered over the last [nine] years. The Path is based predominantly on non-dual Goddess Tradition, Feri Witchcraft, Waincraft & Germanic Paganism, however it integrates the interconnected core-elements of all the many individual traditions and religions I have studied and explored. And as a Shakta, naturally, it will be principally connected and aligned to advaita Shaktam and Hinduism in general.
Again, I will use the 'within-time' of the dark quarter of the year, to "brood" out the presentation of my Path - at least the basics, as some aspects will have to be passed on directly.
In the process, and in addition, I will aim to [continue to] present and explain parallels between the individual [cultural] religious traditions (modern and historical), as well as how [core-]elements feature in their respective [cultural-]traditional expressions.
At the same time, and parallel to this, I find it essential to 'walk the talk' - to not only shape and live my own life accordingly to my beliefs, world-view and way of life; but ultimately to fulfil my wish and promise (made 18 years ago) to fully live as witch and Goddess-devotee - influencing and benefiting others towards a natural holistic [way of] life, which integrates organic natural spirituality - as long as Goddess and my Elder Kin will guide and support me.

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Why I created the Hearth of Heid - re-sharing my vision

My vision for the Hearth of Heid, shared in my Facebook group 3 April 2013 and still as relevant to me now as then.
I feel honoured and humbled that in only a couple of days we already are 21 members within the Hearth! When I set up the group here on FB I joked with my husband and a friend that it may come to it that it will be a 3 person group... I really wasn't sure if many would share my spiritual views. For some time now I have felt that I am on to something *new* and at the same time as old as human's spirituality i.e. combining the elements of Pantheism, Polytheism and Goddess religion in one harmonious whole; as -I'm convinced- did our pagan ancestors of the Indo-European cultures, and has been done in Hindu culture since the dawn of civilization (and possibly even before that).
I'd like to explain a little how and why I felt compelled to create the Hearth of Heid in the first place:
My experience is that alas not a lot of contemporary Heathens are interested in comparison with other [IE] religious cultures (and even *if* there is an acknowledgement of parallels and/or my assertion that Shakta Hinduism is The Mother of all [IE] religions – this acknowledgement is not taken any further and there seems to be little desire to investigate further).
Then there's the idea of pantheistic polytheism or polytheistic pantheism – “but the Gods are real beings!” is the objection “they are not mere aspects or archetypes”. Yes, that's true! To me the Gods are real, too! I experience, regard and honour them as *real* Cosmic Powers! And yet -like you and I and *everything* else these Cosmic Powers are also aspects of the All. That is not making them any smaller, in fact, I believe, “my” Gods are a whole lot 'bigger' because I do not envision them as some anthropomorphic 'super-humans' or some 'big wights'.
Of course everyone is -and should be- free to believe whatever they want as long as they grant the same right to others; but IMO the modern 'hard-polytheism' is much younger in thought than the so-called 'soft-polytheism'.
Well, if my pantheistic view has been regarded as 'New Age' within heathen groups, it's nothing compared to the point when I start talking about The Goddess...(!) “There's no such thing as a great goddess in Germanic pagan religion!” - I've been told numerous times (and some times quite angrily). And up until quite recently I had little ground to stand on to prove this conviction of mine which has been so overwhelmingly strong and which would not go away even when bombarded with “proof” to the contrary. Thank Goddess I came across the work of the amazing Maria Kvilhaug aka Ladyofthe Labyrinth (I will link her website) – her youtube lectures and articles have been a revelation since I discovered them only a few months ago!
And from Hindu side of things? Well, Hinduism is the most inclusive religion! And my experience is that any reference to Germanic deities is met with encompassing welcome (the feeling is - “sure *all* divine expressions are worthy of respect and reverence”), but a real interest in hearing more about the Germanic 'daughter' religion is not often given. Which is understandable because the misconceptions about Germanic religion are shocking, often insulting, and many (!). The understanding of Germanic religion in modern day-and-age is virtually exclusively based on biased sources i.e. Christian clergy, portraying only a small stretch of history i.e. the late so-called Viking Age *after* the Christianization had already begun (this can not be -academically- accepted as authentically describing Germanic religious culture). The only earlier reports of German tribes stem from Tacitus (a Roman senator who's evaluation can hardly be deemed intimate or objective).
Sadly even a lot of contemporary Heathens rather reconstruct Germanic religion based on Adam of Bremen, Bede and Tacitus, than looking to the unbroken tradition of the Hindu religion and/or to more reliable sources of IE sibling religions to fill out the blanks.
So with the Hearth of Heid I want to bring together people who share my spiritual vision! Who are daring to walk a progressive path! And who are not deterred by falling out-of-line with what is approved as 'dogma' by mainstream [heathen or not-heathen] thought. People who are willing to compare and study similarities, parallels, syncretism. People who are open to look beyond their own cultural parameter / limitation.

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Gayatri Mantra - The Hymn to Mahadevi Vak

By my advaita Shaktam teacher C. D. Johnson - shared with kind permission:
The Gayatri Mantra is one of the most important parts of the Rig Veda. It is believed to be essential in imparting knowledge to devotees. It is also depicted as being in the form of Devi who is the source of all Knowledge, all Wealth, all Life, and all Power.
As Vak Devi explains about the Goddess in the Rig Veda...
ॐ अहं रुद्रेभिर्वसुभिश्चराम्यहमादित्यैरुत विश्वदेवै:।
अहं मित्रावरुणोभा बिभ‌र्म्यहमिन्द्राग्नी अहमश्रि्वनोभा॥१॥
Om ! I move along with the Rudras, Vasus, Adithas and all other Devas. I bear the Mithra, Varuna, Indra, Agni and the two Ashwini Devas.
अहं सोममाहनसं बिभ‌र्म्यहं त्वष्टारमुत पूषणं भगम्।
अहं दधामि द्रविणं हविष्मते सुप्राव्ये यजमानाय सुन्वते॥२॥
I bear the Soman who is the destroyer of enemies and the Twashta, Bushan and Bagan. I give wealth to the performer of the Yajna or Sacrifice who submits sacrificial things in the Yajna, who pours the Soma rasa, and who makes the Devas receive the Havis or their due of the Sacrifice.
अहं राष्ट्री संगमनी वसूनां चिकितुषी प्रथमा यज्ञियानाम्।
तां मा देवा व्यदधु: पुरुत्रा भूरिस्थात्रां भूय्र्यावेशयन्तीम्॥३॥
I am the Queen of the Universe; I give wealth to those who worship me. I am the all-knowing one and the prime one among the worshippable deities. I enter many bodies as the Atma, taking various forms and with different manifestations, in various ways. Hence, the Devas have incorporated me in various places.
मया सो अन्नमत्ति यो विपश्यति य: प्राणिति य ई श्रृणोत्युक्त म्।
अमन्तवो मां त उप क्षियन्ति श्रुधि श्रुत श्रद्धिवं ते वदामि॥४॥
That one who eats food, who sees, breathes, and hears whatever is said, he does all that only through me (my powers). Those who do not understand me, die. O dear one ! (to the worshipper or devotee), hear this singing of mine with concentration.
अहमेव स्वयमिदं वदामि जुष्टं देवेभिरुत मानुषेभि:।
यं कामये तं तमुग्रं कृणोमि तं ब्रह्माणं तमृषिं तं सुमेधाम्॥५॥
"All these are me (and various manifestations of mine). I am the one worshipped by the Devas and the earthly beings. If I like someone (for his meditation towards me), I make him the greatest, the most intelligent as a Sage, and as a Self-Realised soul.
अहं रुद्राय धनुरा तनोमि ब्रह्मद्विषे शरवे हन्तवा उ।
अहं जनाय समदं कृणोम्यहंद्यावापृथिवीआविवेश॥६॥
I bend the bow of the Rudra to kill all those enemies who detest all good things. I fight these bad elements / enemies only for the people. I enter, pervade and persist throughout the earth and the sky.
अहं सुवे पितरमस्य मूर्धन्मम योनिरप्स्वन्त: समुद्रे ।
ततो वि तिष्ठे भुवनानु विश्वोतामूं द्यां व‌र्ष्मणोप स्पशमि॥७॥
I created the sky, which is (as a shelter) above the earth and which is fatherly for all beings. My creativity (power) is within the Ocean and waters. By that, I am present in all the worlds. And I touch the sky with my body.
अहमेव वात इव प्रवाम्यारभमाणा भुवनानि विश्वा।
परो दिवा पर एना पृथिव्यैतावती महिना संबभूव॥८॥
When I start creating all the worlds, I function like the air (so fast in the function). I am taller and higher than the Sky. I am greater than this earth. Such is my valor, might, prowess and greatness.

She was called Bright One

Heiði hana héto,
hvars er til húsa kom,
völo velspá,
vitti hon ganda;
seið hon, hvars hon kunni,
seið hon hug leikinn,
æ var hón angan
illrar brúðar.

She was called Bright One
when she came to the settlements (of people)
The well-divining witch
she could cast spells
she did seidr wherever she could
she did seidr with a playful intent
She was always loved by unconventional women.

– Völuspá stanza 22, translation - shared with kind permission - by Maria Kvilhaug