Today is the third day of honoring Saraswati, goddess of knowledge, wisdom, maturity and personal authority; it’s also the final day of Navratri. Tomorrow I will celebrate morning puja and then pour cream into my tea.
Saraswati puja typically involves blessing one’s tools of work and one’s books – and then not using those items for an entire day. Those things are not really possible in my hyperliterate house. There is no way all the books in our house could fit in front of my altar I had planned to do some writing this afternoon and then grade some papers tonight, so going without my laptop for a full day is just not possible. I’ll let it sit at the altar overnight though.
You can see Saraswati in the above picture. She’s the lady with the green background, holding a sitar; a peacock sits behind her. Offerings on the altar now include (from left to right): cinnamon, cumin, and turmeric in the ramekin on the left; water; the dark mother figurine (typically on my altar); rice and a chunk of dark chocolate in the sea shell; a hand mirror (also on my altar); sugar; half a pomegranate; and a bangle. Down below on my laptop is a banana.
The last few days of devotions have been more taxing, mainly because I am fighting a cold. My head is thick, my body is tired, my energy very low. But I’m showing up, sitting, lighting my candles and saying my prayers. Something about Hindu devotions feels freeing to me. Maybe it’s because I know my prayers are being buoyed by millions of other prayers around the world? However, I rarely felt that when I was a Christian. The few times I’ve felt that in a Christian context was at a few cathedrals or old churches, where the walls are coated in the devotions of thousands over the centuries. That is a beautiful feeling indeed. But my Hindu devotions do not feel like a layer of dust, but like living flames dancing around my head.
I’m glad this honey gets to sit on my altar for a while and soak up more juju. My energy wasn’t at its peak today, but today was the day for the spell. I plan to reinforce it for the next few weeks and let it brew before giving it to the person for whom it was crafted. I figure casting a spell during Navratri might also be auspicious. We shall see!