I had only practiced pranayama for the 3rd of 4th time. It happened as I was sitting at home, in front of a hot fireplace, with Kelly seated behind me doing Yoga nidra. I had no expectations, very little knowledge of Hindu devas, and was simply focusing on breath.
Suddenly, in an instant, an ember loudly popped in the fire, and at the exact same time a vision of what I would later identify as a form of Kali appeared. It was only a flash, but it is seared into my mind. My eyes immediately jerked open and the session was over.
Kali's visage appeared to me amidst flames. All was aflame. Her face was close enough, that if I had been a complete fool, I could have reached out and touched. Her eyes were locked with mine, and they were afire, glowing almost white-hot. Most prominent was the golden crown she bore. I have not come across anything exactly like it, but this is close:
As we are in the time of Leo, it is quite appropriate to work in the element of fire. I have re-doubled my efforts in pranayama and asanas. I feel that such a clear vision so early on, was a sure indicator that pranayama should become "my" practice, and that through it, the transformative flames of Kali will rise within me. To be honest, I had not practiced pranayama since that vision last winter until last week. The vision completely took me by surprise, and I did not know how to put it into context.
I now clearly see it as the awakening of the kundalini force within myself, the awakening of dharana, and the awakening of sadhana. To put it singularly, I have a daily practice which has explicit meaning to me. Magic and Yoga have provided the most rewarding experiences I believe within the humanity's reach. The encounters with these beings are from where I draw strength in the midst of life's unsureties, doubts, fears, health concerns. The spirits love us and are here guiding us! Rufus Opus was absolutely right.