Sixth Night: Vajeshwari: The Lightning Bolt


Sixth night: Vajeshwari: The Lightning Bolt

Energy: the intoxication of connection 


Vajeshwari is garlanded in red, strewn with red flowers and a crown of red rubies. She sits on a throne which is a triangle on a hexagon on lotuses, which is itself on a golden raft floating on an ocean of blood. She carries a noose, a goad, a sugarcane bow, and pomegranate flower arrows. Her eyes are bloodshot and sway like red wine. When you achieve this goddess, our text (the Shodashi Tantra) tells us, all your troubles go away.

Vajeshwari is stately and beautiful, queenly, and yet she floats on an ocean of blood, her bloodshot eyes swaying like red wine. Part of the reason I resonate so much with these teachings is that they embrace not only the beautiful, but also the dirty, the ugly, and the bloody aspects of life. Rajanaka Tantra asks us to bow in humility to all aspects of experience, because we can only learn so much from rainbows and flowers. Vajeshwari’s flowers are floating on an ocean of blood.

Vajeshwari’s geometrical throne is meant to indicate a deeply encoded form of female sexual anatomy, and in this moment of our sexual narrative, the other has folded inside of her. Moments of true deep connection and enfoldment will always be both blood and flowers. We don’t pause to try to tell the difference between them, to compartmentalize the parts we think are pretty from the parts we don’t want to see.

In this state, we are red-wine intoxicated, swaying in a wave of blood, breath, and body. We are playing in the smudged borderline between self and other: I’m nothing but you. It’s electric, possible, powerful, and it’s right here, like lightning in a bottle.


Sit or lie down and imagine a red light, like sunlight passing through translucent pomegranate seeds. As the light traces over your body, acknowledge as many parts of yourself as you can: the parts you like, the parts you don’t like, the parts you are willing to show off, and the parts you keep secret. Let the red light be playful, even pleasurable, and let it help you experience your body with a kind of rose-tintedness that loves every aspect of you, without judging, concealing, or trying to change anything, no matter how ugly or secret.

Writing prompt:  

You may like to try this one with a glass of red wine by your side. Perhaps a little intoxication can help you get into Vajeshwari’s swing of things!

Remember (or imagine) a moment when you felt the kind of connection with another person (and this doesn’t have to be a sexual connection) where you couldn’t tell where one begins and the other ends. Who was it? Where/when were you? Was it beautiful, sweet, intoxicating, dangerous? Did it last? What broke the spell? Describe the scene in as much sensual detail as you can.


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Writer, yoga teacher, studio owner.