The Goddess, She is vast –
Her grand tapestry is a thread upon my wrist
And as I feel my heart break open
Her gift is music in my hand,
A Divine gift, transient and transcendent
Born away on the wind.
You seek Wisdom, do you not? Perhaps you want to see what is unseen, to know what is unknown?
I know of Wisdom. I know Her well.
Her face has many aspects, ten-thousand suns and moons shine from Her body.
The bracelets on Her wrists jingle with the Mystery of all creation. Two terrible demons flanked the serpent, holding the unformed world hostage, just as Vishnu was held captive.
Immediately Brahma fell to his knees to pray to Ma Bhuvaneshwari – She who is the Infinite Void, and All Worlds Made Manifest – for Her divine intervention. Bhuvaneshwari appeared at once to answer his plea, forming herself from the body of the serpent, dismissing the coiled snake and its demon keepers with a flick of her wrist. She continued to hold Vishnu gently, tenderly, as he slumbered. Brahma’s eyes grew wide as he recognized the Goddess in Her form as Mahamaya, the Great Illusion, who keeps us all unconscious until the appropriate hour.
No longer in danger but still unable to speak our world into being, Brahma then called upon his other brother, Shiva the Destroyer, to attend the situation. Together, the three lords passed through innumerable subtle realms, searching for an answer to unlock Brahma’s power. Finally they reached the most subtle, etheric plane of them all: Devi Loka, the Realm of the Great Goddess.
In this realm, the mighty lords Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva were troubled to suddenly find themselves embodied as celestial handmaidens, female servants to the goddess Bhuvaneshwari. But perhaps in order to truly understand the process of creation, the brothers must experience what it is to be a woman? To have a womb, the vessel that brings spirit into matter? To embrace the infinite capacity of the Divine Mother’s love, that which nurtures bonds while giving freedom, that which has no form and all forms? That which is Space itself?
Peace descended upon the brothers. They bowed in wonder at Bhuvaneshwari’s glorious crimson robes, Her garlands of richly scented flowers, Her piercing red eyes. The breasts of the Queen of the Cosmos were painted with sandalwood, the crescent moon adorning Her brow. The song of hrim, the seed-sound of creation, was everywhere in Her presence; even the birds of Her realm sang the mantra hrim, metering their song to the beat of Her heart. A modest song, yet one with the power to create worlds that unfold over time… unfolding as the rose blooms, slowly, as the soul unfolds to its full potential. Attending Her, the three lords began to see the whole of the infinite Universe – void and manifest – within the toenails of Bhuvaneshwari’s lotus feet. She was both shunya, nothingness, and purna, fullness.
Hrillekha, a bolt of lightning from the heart of the Goddess, broke wide open the hearts of the brothers, connecting them with Her compassion and transcendence. Vishnu, now fully awake, was quickest to comprehend what had occurred. Awestruck, he recognized Bhuvaneshwari to be the primal Creatrix of all realities, and yet, it was also She whom all realities dissolve into at the end.
“Ma Bhuvaneshwari,” Vishnu exclaimed, “Your vastness is inconceivable! At last I understand: it is only through You that we shall create, preserve, and destroy!”
Now, beloved seeker, come and meet Wisdom for yourself.
Imagine closing your eyes.
Let your breathing slow. Inhale and exhale, in equal measure.
Focus your attention on the space between; the pause between breathing in, and breathing out.
Let this space expand.
Let yourself expand.
Into shunya, into nothingness. Into purna, into fullness.
Look with your third eye.
See that it is night…deep, quiet, and still. You find yourself standing on the shore of a lake, a small rowboat waiting for you. You step into the boat, lift the oars, and begin rowing out into the lake.
Water gently laps at the sides of the boat. You marvel at the starry skies overhead, a million jewels glittering in the night sky. As you continue to row, you notice how the smooth surface of the lake reflects the starry sky, like a mirror, and indeed it becomes hard to tell where the lake ends and the sky begins. It is as if you are rowing into the infinite vastness of the Universe itself, suspended in the nighttime sky.
You notice a small island in the distance, and are drawn to row in its direction. As you grow near, gentle waves caress your boat. First one wave, then a second, then a third…still you row toward the island. A fourth wave, then a fifth, then a sixth…and still you row toward the island. A seventh wave, then an eighth, and finally upon cresting the ninth wave you are pushed onto a sandy beach, and you disembark your boat in the pale moonlight.
The light of the moon throws the shapes and contours of the island into sharp contrasts. While some of the landscape is revealed, other parts remain in shadow. The smell of night-blooming flowers fills the air, and the sounds of nocturnal animals are all around you. The air is alive with the vibration of the mantra hrim, hrim, hrim. Your intuition bids you not fear this place, and so you begin to explore the island.
You travel moonlit paths through wooded glades and across clear, gently trickling streams. The air is sweet and soft, moist with potential. As you walk, you notice the dome of a beautiful golden temple, visible just beyond the dense foliage. You feel drawn to visit the temple and begin walking toward it; however, try as you might to reach it, the temple remains ever just beyond your reach. You try a different path, but the result is the same… just around the bend, just past the stream…the temple remains ever just beyond your grasp.
At the moment you are about to give up your quest for the temple, a Deva appears. The Deva gives you a knowing smile as it lifts a hand to part what looks like a veil, a veil made from the manifest world of the island. On the other side of this veil you glimpse the doorway to enter the golden temple. Your heart leaps in your chest. The Deva looks deep into your eyes, knowing that you seek entrance to this sacred place. This Guide speaks to you: You may enter the temple, but a boon must be paid. Tell me, what is your heart’s deepest desire?
You pause for a moment, reflect, and answer. The Deva shakes its head at you and speaks again: Go deeper – what lies beneath? Tell me truly, what is your heart’s deepest desire? Again you pause, reflect, and answer. The Deva smiles a knowing smile, but does not let you pass. Once more: Go deeper still – what lies beneath all the layers? Can you see it? Can you feel it, name it? Tell me truly, what is your heart’s deepest desire?
You close your eyes and take a deep breath. Looking into the innermost depths of your heart, you answer with tender vulnerability. The Deva bows its head and pulls back the Veil of Illusion. When next your eyes open, you are standing in the magnificent inner sanctum of the temple, golden dome curving above you. Before you is a beautiful dais upon which the Goddess Bhuvaneshwari sits; She beckons you come closer.
The mantra hrim, hrim, hrim vibrates through your being as you approach the dais. The Goddess reaches out a hand to touch the place just over your heart, connecting Her flesh with yours, and you realize that in this mystical connection you can hear your own heart beating as the great and deep heartbeat of the Universe. Suspended in time, you listen to the thrum of this heartbeat. You feel the electricity of hrillekha, the transcendent flash, as love from Her sacred heart streaks into your own.
As She gently withdraws Her hand, you notice a gossamer tapestry hangs near the dais; it is the great cosmic fabric woven by Bhuvaneshwari. The Goddess plucks a thread from Her tapestry and ties it around your wrist, her piercing red eyes looking deep into your own. She has a gift for you, a small token, and She places it gently in your hand. You stand in Her presence, awed, as She communicates to you without words. Though you may not remember what is said, its meaning is written in your soul. You will carry this wisdom with you always.
You bow deeply in gratitude to the Goddess. When you rise, you find yourself back at the sandy beach of the island, your rowboat waiting to take you home. You climb into the boat and take up the oars, rowing back across the lake of starlight. The precious object that Bhuvaneshwari gifted to you travels safely with you to the far shore.
As you disembark your small boat, you turn once more in the direction of the island. Although it can no longer be seen, you feel its presence at the center of the lake. You breathe deeply of the cool nighttime air, filling your being with the knowledge that although you have journeyed far this night, the true journey took place where Divinity resides within us all: the infinite Space of your own heart.
Om hrim srim klim param bhuvaneshwari swaha!
Om and salutations to She who is the supreme primordial feminine,
whose body is the cosmos, the sacred heartbeat of all worlds!
Author’s Note: Bhuvaneshwari, whose name means “queen” (ishwari) “of the cosmos” (bhuvana), is a Dasa-Mahavidya, one of the ten tantric wisdom goddesses who are aspects of Shakti, the Divine Mother. The first direct reference to the Dasa-Mahavidyas appears in the Shiva Purana. Brahma the Creator recounts his story of meeting Bhuvaneshwari to Narada, the celestial bard, in the Srimad Devi Bhagavatam.
Ashley-Farrand, Thomas. Shakti Mantras: Tapping Into the Great Goddess Energy Within. New York: Ballantine Books, 2003.
Frawley, David. Tantric Yoga and the Wisdom Goddesses. Twin Lakes, WI: Lotus Press, 1994.
Kempton, Sally. Awakening Shakti: The Transformative Power of the Goddesses of Yoga. Boulder, CO: Sounds True Inc., 2013.
Jamie Michelle Waggoner unabashedly loves the Divine Mystery – the inexplicable Presence that pervades all corners of our lush and chaotic universe, the Grace found in the stillness between inhale and exhale. Bhakti, intense love and devotion for the Goddess, is Jamie’s heartsong.
Born a storyteller, Jamie began her career as copywriter and creative director in the corporate marketing arena. A cross-country move to Austin, Texas at the close of 2011 made way for a courageous transition from marketing maven to modern mystic. Jamie now uses her talents to create unique experiences that invoke deep spiritual connection, captivate the imagination and inspire personal transformation. Her retellings of ancient myths bridge the gap between then and now, breathing life into the legacies of our ancestors. Jamie skillfully weaves enchantments of story and guided meditation to illuminate how “Herstory” remains relevant, and indeed vital, to contemporary life. Dive with her into the cauldron of story and emerge transformed!
A longtime feminist and religious scholar, Jamie holds a B.A. in Philosophy with emphasis in Feminist Studies. She has been an active priestess in the Sisterhood of Avalon, a Celtic Women’s Mystery Tradition, since 2005. She is a 2nd level Reiki healer. Jamie co-facilitates Red Tent Austin and is a 200 Hour KRI-Certified Kundalini yoga teacher. She is currently studying the Druidic tradition with the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids, as well as growing her understanding of Sri Vidya Tantra. During her yoga teacher training, Jamie was given the spiritual name Akal Dhyan – meaning “Infinite Meditation”. She remains grateful to the universe for sending the reminder.