ritual offerings of gratitude at home
Puja, like 100 Happy Days, is a gratitude practice — performed for more than a year, as a way to invite gratitude and meditative concentration into my daily life.
In 2014, I curated an exhibition on the ritual art of building sand mandala as a spiritual practice. What I learned about this practice, through the course of my curatorial research, influenced the way I built my own mandala during Puja.
Each mandala was built from the centre outwards. Then, when the first layer was complete the second layer was built from the outside inward — finally concluding back within the centre.
Each mandala was built privately, but in the heightened state of concentration typical of performance. It focused not on how art benefits society, but how art and ritual could benefit me, the artist — and better prepare me to be patient towards others outside of the performance act.
This ritual taught me about symbolism, gratitude and why making art is important in the home.
These are fragments from the archive.
Offering to the named and unnamed
brown rice for prosperity; salt to honour the dead; nettle tea for intuition; a pea for a Princess; chamomile flowers for those asleep; wild rice for the flourishing of the Wild Women
Offering for mahaKali and Sekhmet
cardamom seed on Himalayan crystal salt, to honour those who have gone before; turmeric, for the fertility and wisdom of the Divine Feminine; Atlantic sea salt, to ground me in the waters of my Ocean home; red chilli, to spark the inner fire; thyme, in thanks for the protofeminist teachings of the women of old Albion, who coded their resistance into metaphors of herb gardens when their men were burning them at the stake… and clove flowers, as bridge, for harmony
Offering in honour of our grandmothers
Rice flour; cayenne pepper; chamomile flower petals; mixture of spices & salt from previous puja; honeybush tea; turmeric; matcha (tea); lentils; wild rice; chilli seeds; clove flowers; coriander seeds; one Himalayan salt crystal
Offering for the end of anxiety
Lady Bonin’s tea blend, Harmony; nettle tea; chamomile flowers; honeybush tea; beetroot salt; buchu leaves; lemon grass; red peppercorn
Offering to invoke discernment and meditative concentration
Himalayan crystal salt, for blessings of the mountains and ancestors; clove flower on spekboom leaves, for sweet air and water; thyme; leaf masala; turmeric; fennel seeds; peppercorn on chilli, for the fire to achieve
Offering for wisdom to arise and abide in the form of unconditional Love
a closed chamomile flower, for the Sleepers, so that they may rest peacefully until Awakening; rosebuds, for the lovers, for the same; Toci: a blend of white tea and oranges, to bless Creation; Aphrodite: a blend incl. black tea and blue cornflower, to stand by her sister Toci; cardamom for hospitality, because we Do What Is Required
Offering in gratitude for women
chamomile flowers, to remind me to be compassionate to women who don’t believe in Feminism; Atlantic sea salt, in gratitude & respect for the Ocean, the ultimate Mother; thyme, because “beware, keep your garden fair, let no man steal your thyme”; turmeric, in honour of Divine Fertility and Durga Kali, who loves, but knows when to draw boundaries; peas, for Princesses; chilli, in honour of Divine Passion that fires our courage; wild rice, for abundance in the Wild Woman energy that we stand firm within
Offering to inspire gentleness towards self and others
Lady Bonin’s green tea blends, Japanese Cherry and Dragon Well; Himalayan crystal salt; turmeric; flower petals from Lady Bonin’s tea blend, TeaTox; coriander seeds; buchu leaves from Lady Bonin’s blend, Harmony
Offering for the teachings of unconditional love
Chilli flakes and halved red lentils; millet and quinoa, grains for prosperity and wellness; chamomile flowers, something old (from previous mandala) and the dust of Aphrodite tea blend by Lady Bonin’s Tea Parlour, for a gentle awakening into abiding Love by drawing from teachings of past experiences; blue cornflowers, something blue; salt crystals, in honour of the ancestors; halved peas, in honour of my gentle feminine; barley, to honour the fertility of the Earth; the seed of the African Stinkwood tree in my garden, something borrowed and to honour infinite potential
Offering to the household
Tobacco, Himalayan crystal salt, turmeric, cayenne pepper, sunflower seeds, 2 poppy seeds, peppercorn, salt crystals
Offering for the benefit of all beings and non-beings, for liberation from cycles of suffering
rose peppercorn, to inspire passion in any activity eye do in the worlds; Himalayan crystal salt, in honour of the teachers and teachings who have come before; coriander seeds, in honour of my granny who taught me how to grind them into marsala and initiated me into the practises of the divine Feminine in the best ways she knew how; beetroot salt, in joy for friendships that light up life with their twists; basmati rice, for prosperity and gratitude for my mother’s family; all held in a circle of Love with the tea blend by Lady Bonin known as Aphrodite
Offering to give thanks for rain
Himalayan crystal & Atlantic sea salt, in thanks for the earth and the ocean; lentils, in thanks for harvest that Spaceship Earth provides so graciously; Dragon Well tea, in thanks for the plants and waters that keep this dragon well; the tea blend of Aphrodite, in acknowledgement of all the faces of Love, in offering to that goddess vibration; crushed rosebuds, in honour of the charming and the charmed; chamomile flower-petals, as offering for the awakening of those who do not yet feel the Sacredness of Water; cardamom, seeds of potential facing outwards, a grounding; buchu leaves, in thanks for the vital land I call home and it’s abundant love for all of us, both the asleep and the awakening; and a touch of turmeric from the last mandala, for honour of past teachings
Offering for the flowering of joy, and the mandala of No More Sorrow
Turmeric, for fertility of the dream; matcha; cayenne pepper, for some fire; fennel, towards sweetness; cacao, in thanks for its antidepressant properties, it’s sacredness and power; thyme; cardamom, fennel and lentils, in thanks for the bounty of the Earth, who is our mother; barley and wild rice, for the prosperity of the fecund Feminine, powerful in her diversity and capacity to love; a pea, for a princess
Offering for grounding
Chamomile flower resting on Himalayan crystal salt, to honour those who are Asleep and those who’ve come before; cacao mixed with Apu Power Superfoods flour; quinoa, in honour of Pachamama (the Mother, Earth); Toci, a blend from Lady Bonin’s Tea Parlour in honour of the Creator Goddess; chilli flakes, to reconnect with my innerFire and in honour of my deeply ingrained Indianness (which I am learning to embrace); coca tea, for the courage and innerFuel to walk this path of reAwakening