Memorial to Black Lotus
(Len Rosenberg, 1950-2010)

Teacher, performer, and community elder Len Rosenberg, known to the wider community as Black Lotus, passed through the veil on October 15, 2010 due to complications from pneumonia after a long struggle with colon cancer. A Shakta (Hindu Goddess worshipper), and devotee of the South Indian Holy Woman, Ammachi of Kerala, Black Lotus also co-ran Mnemosynides Coven within the Protean Tradition of Wicca, a thealogically liberal group within the Gardnerian family. His writings were excerpted in Judy Harrow’s Wicca Covens, and in Cristina Biaggi’s In the Footsteps of The Goddess. He was life partner for many years with noted Celtic scholar, linguist, and author Alexei Kondratiev, who passed away May 2010 from a heart attack.

These are the lyrics to one of Black Lotus's songs.

Black Lotus Seven Mothers
(1984) Len Rosenberg

Vani sings the way before me
Sweet Kamala dances after
At my left hand Gauri's silence
To my right, Shyama's laughter
Tara bright above to guide me
Bhumi firm beneath my feet
While Durga, many-armed and splendid
Bids them at my heart to meet
Here they meet
And they dance on lotus feet

I am a child of many mothers
Seven mothers I call mine
They hold a fragrant lotus garland
That is strung along my spine
And from the Root, the Womb & Navel
From the Heart, Throat, Brow and Crown
They shine like seven blazing planets
As they rain their blessings down
They will rain their blessings down
Vach-Devi rides the winds of morning
Lakshmi rises from the sea
From mountain peaks and cleansing fires
Come Parvati and Kali
And through the Mid-World I'll go safely
"Twixt the stars and solid ground
My Lady is a mighty fortress
And no one can tear Her down

Her grace is found
Where they tred the Heart-space 'round 2X

Harper made this video on October 30, 2010, in order to have it recorded by Samhain in honor of Black Lotus, "The Seven Little Mothers"

The following description of the "Lakshmi Puja" was written by Black Lotus for the 2006 Chesapeake Pagan Summer Gathering program, in August 2006:

Lakshmi Puja
Friday, 8:00 - 9:30

lead by Black Lotus--The Hindu Goddess of Multiplicity and Abundance, Lakshmi is seen as Consort of Vishnu the Preserver. As Vishu's Shakti, she makes accessible all the things in the material world that make life worth living. Portrayed as a beautiful, shy woman dressed in red or pink, with four arms hodling two lotuses, perhaps a khumba or treasure vase, and making the gestures of removing fear and of granting boons. She also stands or sits on a lotus (the lotus flower is one of her pre-eminent symbols), often she is accompanied by white elephants who pour purifying water over her with their trunks. She is fond of ornamentation and jewelry, especially necklaces; she is portrayed as rising out of the sea; she is a Mother Goddess, and bore the love-god, Kama! She has obvious analogues with the Greek Aphrodite, with Norse Freyja, with Yoruba Oshun, and Egyptian Hathor.

Lakshmi is invoked for matters of love and financial blessing. Actually, she has eight major aspects, invoked in the quarters and cross-quarters, for wealth of:

  1. new beginnings
  2. children
  3. land
  4. battle
  5. animals
  6. food
  7. friends
  8. prestige
In the Autumnal feast of Deepavali, she is worshipped to bring in the harvest, and greeted with many small oil lamps that are lined up on doorways and window sills. In the lunar month of Shravana, on the Friday before the Full Moon (August 4th 2006), she is celebrated as Vara Lakshmi (who grants boons); this feast is especially popular with married women who wish long-life and wealth to their husbands, and with unmarried girls looking for a lover.

PUJA--A puja is a Hindu offering ritual, in which the spirit of the deity is brought into a statue or image, and treated like an honored guest. Nightime pujas involve five major offerings (incense, water, lamps, flowers, and chanting; representing the five elements). Participants may throw flower petals over the image, make a small prayer, and receive consecrated (lacto-vegetarian) food and flowers to eat or take home.

In 2007, Black Lotus attended the CPC Gathering with Alexei Kondratiev and led a Kali Puja. Here's a link to the 108 names of Kali, recited at the puja: Hymn to Kali

This page copyright October 30, 2011 Thoron Woodling. Other copyrights, retained by the estate of Black Lotus, may also apply.

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