Part 1: Invoking the Divine Feminine
A conversation with Sally Kempton, facilitated by Vera de Chalambert
Vera: Om Aim Hreem Shreem Kleem Chamundaye Vichche Swaha
S. Kempton: This is what’s known as a praise mantra. In other words, it invokes different forms of the divine feminine with a particular emphasis on dissolving obstructions. It addresses a form of Kali. Vera and I were discussing yesterday the power and mystery of the Dark Goddess in the form of Kali.
Chamunda is one of the forms of the divine feminine who arises in the midst of a battle between the light forces and the dark forces, that’s being conducted by the goddess Durga in mythic time. These are events that take place in the dream time, if you will, in mythic time, yet both as metaphors and sometimes as actual enactments of forces that we experience in our lives throughout time.
In a certain sense, even in the great paradox of the non-dual, inside that field of nonduality there are infinite forces. Some of them in harmony, some of them in dysjunction. Part of what this mantra aims to do is to harmonize them.
There’s a very profound piece of tantric lore that is associated with these mantras, which maybe we’ll talk about later. The point being that mantra in this tradition is said to be a vibratory force that directly invokes the energies that we’re calling on. In this case the mantra om, as most of you know, is the primal mantra of what I’ve come to understand as the articulated sound of the manifest universe.
In the 50s some scientists from Bell Labs first began to hear this swishing sound that sounds throughout the cosmos. Their theory was that it is the leftover vibration of the Big Bang. That sound, which you can hear in the spaces between FM stations on the radio and becomes, apparently, music in space, that sound is om. Or let’s say it’s the rumbling vibratory essence of what we articulate as om.
The mantra aim is what’s called a seed mantra or a Sanskrit Bija mantra, and it holds the power of intuitive creativity. In goddess tradition, it’s the goddess Saraswati, who’s the goddess of music and creativity, especially the creativity of artists and musicians. This is the energy that initiates the new.
Hreem is the sound of Goddess leaping in her creative energy, her creative urgency, into manifestation, over and over and over again. What we have here is three mantras that really are all about creating and sustaining life.
The third mantra is shreem, which is the seed of abundance, prosperity, beauty, harmony. Finally kleem, which stands for divine desire, divine pleasure, an intrinsic part of the universe. All of these we call om, intuitive creation.
Aim, bringing forth the manifest from the subtle. Hreem, creating and sustaining life. Shreem, harmony, beauty, love. Kleem, the mantra of divine desire, the erotic quality inside the universe.
This is a universe in which, in many life forms, new life takes place through the separating and joining of entities, through the process of myosis in biology. That myosis takes place through the power of allurement or desire – the desire to create, the desire to manifest.
Finally, Chamunda, the goddess who removes all obstacles is invoked. The understanding is that even in the fierce aspects of reality, the scary aspects, the dark aspects, the warlike aspects, those aspects which both protect us and, we can say, threaten us under certain circumstances, there is still the power of creativity, the power of love that sustains the universe. There are the stirrings of divine desire.
We’re bringing forth all of these qualities of Goddess, of the divine feminine, and asking that any obstacles to wisdom be removed, that beauty, harmony, the power to sustain life, be manifest even more deeply.
Om Aim Hreem Shreem Kleem Chamundaye Vichche Swaha
Vera: It’s really so beautiful. And it’s so beautiful that you get to initiate us into this energy and into this chant. Thank you for that. It’s so needed for the world and, I think, probably for many of our lives, as things seem to emerge so collectively.
S. Kempton: There is a very powerful transmission that occurs through this mantra and I’ve discovered it in the course of teaching it, how many people actually begin to feel it vibrating inwardly, and at this particular time. There’s something about invoking the strong energies – the strong, let’s call them protective, energies – along with the energies that remind us that everything is really okay, that helps us, that gives us strength for whatever personal and collective issues we’re going through right now. It is a very powerful mantra which has its own transmission.