haunting beauty

Roma – the haunting beauty of marble! the sculpture of Artemis (#2) is her incarnation as “Lady of the Animals”. the close rows of overlapping breasts, interpreted by some to be bulls’ testicles, signify fertility & abundance. spellbinding to see the sculptures coming to life in the city & mesmerising to face Artemis. tears upon seeing Mary’s beautiful face in the Pietà. 🤍

*sculptures of Ponte Umberto I, Artemis, Pietà, Vaticano, Ponte Sant’Angelo, Fontana di Trevi, Pantheon.

cresciuti sotto un fiore
nascosti con i segreti
creati da Dio
sparsi nell’universo


gratitude to have celebrated mammina in the beautiful citta eterna. thank you for your out-of-this-world support, for bearing with me through my times of casual cruelty and immaturity. i owe what i have built and what i am building to your generosity. i love you.

Hymn to the Empress of Kings by Téa Nicolae

Praise be to The Empress of Kings
seated on the throne of five corpses in the palace of ruby.

Her blinking eyes birth and collapse the cosmos,
and her crown is the lunar half-moon.

She whose reddened eyes roll ecstatically,
She is Mahātripurasundarī,
The Great Beauty of the Triads.

Praise be to Parā Aṃbikā,
of allure so exquisite that, enchanted,
Śiva grew his third eye just to worship her beauty.

Her body is anointed with sandalwood,
and her fragrance bathes and deludes the three worlds.

She is Śrīmātā,
The Auspicious Mother.

Praise be to Lalitā Aṃbikā,
The One Who Plays,
whose girdle of tinkling bells stirs creation into being.

She who gifts the sun his effulgence,
Her toenail holds the universes,
and Her auspicious thighs are known only by the fortunate Kāmeśvara.

She is Kāmākṣī,
She whose eyes are desire.

you are the nectar of the ocean of compassion:
grace this songstress to only sing of your praises.

🌺 “Hymn to the Empress of Kings”, one of my poems offered to Devī at the magnificent Siri Jyoti Pūjā in Seattle. inspired by the verses of the Lalitāsahasranāma which extoll Lalitā’s rapturous beauty. Śrī Mātre Namaḥ. Happy Navarātra! 🙏
📸: SJP, Seattle, September 2022.

blissful Śabdopāya Retreat, Seattle.
continuously reborn in your presence. śrī gurubhyo namaḥ.


She who shines like golden dew
She who is robed in silks of ruby
and adorned with gems of splendour
She who abides in the oblatory fire
and wears rising suns as earrings
She whose tender face is of flowers
and whose eyes are the triad of time,
i take refuge at her feet.

aureate enchantress of desire,
melt the greed nestled in the pools of my heart
make it so i do not again defile the fruit of your womb that is existence itself
and bless me to tread gently in this life
to walk in harmony with your children,
enamoured with the highest truth that is You. ✨

♥️ from an in-the-works poem of mine entitled “Mahārājñī”, written on the last day of retreat with my beloved saṅgha & teacher, which culminated with an all-day intensive open to the public consisting of the exquisite Siri Jyoti Pūjā, designed by our Kavithaji’s paramā-guru – Śrī Amritananda Natha Saraswati of Devipuram. the pūjā has been the most beauty my eyes have ever beheld at once.

📸: my first time wearing a saree with the occasion of the pūjā, which i believe to be the most beautiful garment ever created. ♥️ /  adulating the Śrī-cakra, photo credit – @sabda_institute.

deeply touched, in awe & grateful. śrī mātre namah 🙏 

prayer by Téa Nicolae

mother, my mother,

may your piercing hum shatter my chest

and imbibe my being with radiance.

mother, my mother,

may my eyelids burn at the sight of your lustrous sword,

and may my tears bathe the soles of your feet.

mother, my mother,

you are the darkness of the night sky

and the golden stars that gleam through.

one glimpse of you,

and i am humbled

before the blissful truth

that all that i am

and all that is

is dribble

gliding on your tongue.

🌺 i am so, so very honoured to have my poem included in the introduction to my beloved teacher’s upcoming course, accompanying the spellbinding art created by the incredibly talented Rashmi / Rashmi Thirtha Sacred Arts Studio💙🙏💙 the wisdom Dr. Kavitha Chinnaiyan imparts in her courses is exquisite and authentic. each time i listen to her, i feel my heart cracking open, bit by bit, to the vidyā flowing through. Kavithaji offers direct applications for one’s life: thus, the teaching does not remain an esoteric, abstract concept – the shift occurs instantly. i highly recommend her courses & her work to all sādhakas!

💙Kavithaji’s mesmerising words:

“It was the autumn Navarātra of 2015. I got out of the car and began walking. It was a clear night and I had been meditating on Tārā all day. It had been a day of alternating turmoil and bliss, both evoked by deep meditation. When I looked up at the star-studded sky, my legs suddenly stopped working. As if paralyzed, I stood on the sidewalk, staring at the sky. In the profound silence of that moment, the life purpose I had so ardently sought became clear. The path opened up before me… and also the obstacles that stood in my way – my self-deceptions and the demons of my own making. In retrospect, it was a defining moment, which would lead me to my guru. Like all the other Mahāvidyās, Tārā is fierce and her sādhanā is uncompromising. Her supreme vidyā is that of the Śabda Brahman. And of course, tārā also means star – how serendipitous…This Navarātra (February 17-21, 2021), we will throw ourselves at her feet, and implore her to show us the way. With her yantra as the focal point, we will explore her iconography, history, symbolism… and importantly, how she shows up in our lives. As always, this course is all about practical applications of the highest principles. We’ll see how this great goddess is constantly manifesting in our lives, our breath, our speech and our action. We will learn to invoke her in all of these areas.”

to enroll:

more information:

Poem to Kālī Ma


a blessed Diwali, dear ones! today i am sharing a short (but dear!) devotional poem i wrote sometime ago, which was shared here in summer.

i place my loss
on a gold platter with silver rings
and offer it
to Kālī,
the divine mother of the universe.

i burn my loss on incense sticks
and dampen it with cold water.
i place quartz stones
on my loss and i beg.

i adorn my loss with scarlet flowers
and fresh apples.
i offer my loss to Kālī
and beg her to eat it.

sink your teeth in my loss, mother
drink my pain
swallow my worry
and inhale my woe.


i met Reva in October 2019 during some incredible & transformational days at Mandala Yoga Ashram, where i was touched by her devotion & gentleness. so i was especially moved & honoured when she invited me to contribute to her brand new website with a poem about Devī! 💕🌷🕊💙 the painting of Tārā is the creation of my friend and mentor, Rashmi Thirtha Sacred Arts Studio: and the pūjā book got me through some dark times two years ago – or pulled me through the keyhole, for those familiar with that Kālī metaphor…

may there be light!

photos of the shrine i adorned for this occasion, dedicated to Kālī and Tārā.

on this blessed day, also sharing a glimpse of grace… these mesmerising artworks, painted by the divinely talented Rashmi, have recently arrived at my doorstep from the US 💫 i am truly enchanted! i fell in love with Rashmi’s art while attending a life-changing retreat on the wisdom of the Mahāvidyās led by two brilliant beings who transformed my life, Kavitha M.D. (whom i am now blessed to call my teacher) and Christopher Hareesh Wallis. it feels surreal that only a few months later these pieces are adorning my room and i am thanking Rashmi not as a stranger, but as a mentor and friend: thank you once again, i will treasure these deeply! pictured: MahāLakṣmī, Lalitā yantra, Kālī yantra, and currently framing a portrait of Tārā! the perfect birthday gift! 💙dear friends, be sure to check out Rashmi’s newly launched website. 🙂

Hymn to the Bearer of Life by Téa Nicolae

Hymn to the Bearer of Life

Humming for Grace,

my blood spills out of my veins

to sing Her lullaby.

Humming for Grace,

my tongue thirsts

to curl Her name.

Humming for Grace,

my bones humble themselves

for Her mouth.

Humming for Grace,

my flesh draws the map

of Her wisdom.

All there is

and all I am:

a lotus flower

at the feet of the Divine Enchantress.

As a drop of rain falls into the sea

and a grain of sand drips into the desert,

I am birthed from Her womb,

and to Her womb I return. Blessed be the Earth

that binds us as One.

💜 published in the anthology “in which poetry breathes life”, 2020.

🕊” i wrote this poem for my experimental poetry module in my final year as an undergrad, when our tutor (Polly Atkin!) invited us to view poetry as spellcraft. this exercise, along with my research into spiritual poetry at the time, inspired me to dedicate myself to constructing a lyrical, metaphysical female gaze – much needed in literature, imho.

🕊 the sales for the collection “in which poetry breathes life” were donated to WHO’s covid-19 response fund, and the compiled works explored poetry as an outlet to navigate through the uncertainties of 2020.

🕊 you can purchase the anthology here:


🕊 “Spells are poems, poetry is spelling.” ~ from the introduction of the anthology of Occult poetry edited by Sarah Shin & Rebecca Tamás, entitled “Spells”.