Introduction to Agni Pūjā  


Every verse of poetry or story found herein is a magical place to drop an anchor and fish, or snorkel and swim. When a story grabs your attention, drop a line, or just dive in. The mantras and characters in each story once unlocked contain one or more of these: a key, a jewel, or a token that opens new doors revealing the treasures of the Vedic Mind. 

यस्ते॒ स्तनः॑ शश॒यो यो म॑यो॒भूर्येन॒ विश्वा॒ पुष्य॑सि॒ वार्या॑णि । 

यो र॑त्न॒धा व॑सु॒विद्यः सु॒दत्रः॒ सर॑स्वति॒ तमि॒ह धात॑वे कः ॥ 

yaste stanaḥ śaśayo yo mayobhūryena viśvā puṣyasi vāryāṇi । 

yo ratnadhā vasuvidyaḥ sudatraḥ sarasvati tamiha dhātave kaḥ ॥ 

That chest of yours, endlessly flowing with delight; you nourish the treasures of the universe. Oh Sarasvatī, come here and make that trove of wealth and knowledge pour forth. 


Stay tuned for more from the Agni Pūjā

The Old and New 

This first blog is called the Old and New because most of the content here draws from literature dusty with age...ancient even - yet these ancient stories, poems, and songs are told, translated, and sung anew. Imagine being in some really familiar place in nature. Then, a hard snow falls, covering every surface, tracing every tree branch, blanketing every piece of ground with a new perspective.

Making ancient stories relevant to the present day is part of it, I suppose. But how did these stories of antiquity survive all these millennia? Most of the stories presented and discussed here are over 2500 years old...and some were only written down 2500-4500 years ago. Who knows how long they were orally passed down before then? My point is, these antique stories are like the pyramids. They are sophisticated pieces of technology that, when read, send our minds airborne into an eternal atmosphere that hovers over the river of time. They are a technology designed to be imbibed and absorbed - inhaled and exhaled in order to see the world on the fresh winged tips flapping through the mythic wind. 


Normally, this blog will be a place that ruminates and comments on the stories chosen for Dust and Snow. But since there are not stories yet posted, the best place to start is with the inspiration for the first collection: the Wild Man. 

The first wild man that I encountered was not a person but a persona: Rock and Roll. The first time I heard "Magic Carpet Ride", "The Ocean" or "Wild Child" I felt cool flames surge through my nine-year-old veins. It didn't serve me well as a student, except maybe gym, art, and shop class. I mean, if you wanna teach the Wild Man science, technology, engineering, and math, you gotta have a lot of field trips...and test tubes exploding, and buildings collapsing, know, calculations you can feel! So more often than not, the Wild Man gets put in the cage of standardized tests and pre-canned destiny early on in life. There's probably nothing more empowering than setting the Wild Man free, but with great power comes great responsibility Spidey. As the Wild Man evolves alongside the prince who sets him free (btw, if you have no idea what I'm talking about, check out "Iron John") real superpowers develop: think what you would be capable of if your intellect and libido were the supporting cast of your heart's desire. I can see it now: Captain Throb and the....I dunno, what do you think? Leave your suggestions in the comments below. And finally, The Wild Man reaches full maturity when the prince marries the princess and they become their own sovereign unit. This culmination legitimates the Wild Man and makes him an integrated part of longer an outcast. Of course, this is just one storyline of the Wild Man. Other traditions emphasize him in their own way:


Greeks call him Dionysis, Hindus call him Śiva, Sumerians and Babylonians call him Enkidu, Scandinavians might call him Óðinn...not sure on that one. The Wild Man's origin is as mysterious as the places he leads the mind. He's often given the epithet of 'destroyer' because he rends the straight lines civilization draws over nature. His romantic embrace reclaims the over-extended realms of the intellectual. His sharp instinct protects the emotional boundaries when excessive sentimentality attacks. On the battlefield, you'll only find him in the trenches if he's mending a wound or soothing a dying man. Otherwise, he's a berserker dancing in carnal ecstasy, outwardly raging, inwardly at peace. In the forest, he is a sage, a keśin who communes with nature and the unseen symphony of forces that harmonize the elements. Within the city walls, he's a friend and advisor to Kings, warning them of danger and urging them towards temperance. The Wild Man is a friend to outcasts and the downtrodden. He prefers to be the underdog; the anonymous one; the elusive one hid in plain sight. He's comfortable with not knowing; he doesn't have a problem being in the dark. I'm not sure what he fears - maybe losing his beloved?

Śiva sees Satī

Gave up her body in flames

He wanders bereft

While writing lately,

I've been working on meter

and really have come


around to like and

appreciate the haiku.

You know what I mean?

Meditating on the Wild Man keeps me alert to my tendency of thinking that I already know something. He reminds me that if I'm bored, then I'm not paying enough attention - or I'm paying attention to the wrong things. The Wild Man is the fun-loving, hilarious life of the party energy AND the energy of staring death and all of his tentacles of gripping fear in the face... all at once, in equal measure. If the Wild Man took the mic for a sec, he might say, "Hey man, quit taking yourself so seriously. Remember when you were a kid? Building forts? Playing night games with the neighbors? Remember eating watermelon and getting it all over your face just to get a laugh out of somebody? Act a fool! Go camping. Shit outside...maybe dig a hole first. Jump into cold water. Talk to your plants. You're a child of nature. You're never alone. Being an outcast isn't so bad! Death's not so bad either. Really, it's just an inside joke when you see it from the other side. Trust me. If you can just get over all these fears you're carrying around, we can get a lot of shit done. You will cry with gratitude and relief at the absurdity of it all. Just let me out of the cage! I know you want this golden ball. You SHOULD want it...more than you fear all that other shit. Do something uncomfortable. Learn something new and watch yourself improve. Put yourself into a vulnerable position. Forgive someone or ask someone for forgiveness. Help someone or ask someone for help. My positive charge is magic. You know that Taoist symbol? When you feel like that white dot surrounded by darkness, I got your back."