From Lakshmi to Saraswati

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.

Blessing of the laptop

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.

Offerings at the altar

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.

In addition to my devotions today I had the honor of casting a sweetening spell for a friend. The spell was given to me the Witch of Forest Grove.

A sweetening spell in progress

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!

 

 

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About Niki Whiting
  • http://quiteahindu@blogspot.com Curious

    Lovely post. The form of Saraswati is one of my favorites, coz rarely in a faith do you see such emphasis placed on Knowledge, education and art.

    May you and your loved ones be always blessed with more and more wisdom and knowledge !

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/awitchsashram myownashram

      Thank you!

  • http://www.akbirchgoddess.blogspot.com Carol

    terrific post! I’ve become increasingly drawn to Hinduism and find myself delving more deeply into that spirituality.Thank you so much for sharing your devotion.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/awitchsashram myownashram

      Thank you, and you’re welcome!

  • http://www.anewadventureeveryday.com/ Elinor

    Beautiful. I would love to have access to that feeling of being buoyed and supported by all those other devotees. My own spiritual practice so often feels such a lonely place.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/awitchsashram myownashram

      I’m sorry to hear that. Community is so important. Mine is mostly virtual and theoretical, but I still feel that support ‘tangibly.’ I hope you can find a bit of that, too.

  • http://quiteahindu@blogspot.com Curious

    And that pic of Banana over your MacPro made me smile :)

    and someone shared this vid with me the other day. It made me think of you, that maybe you’d find it interesting to look at:

    http://reclaimingspiraldance.org

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzw40xupfOY&feature=player_embedded

  • http://aediculaantinoi.wordpress.com aediculaantinoi

    Awesome! I have not done a lot with Saraswati at present (my main Indian deity is Hanuman), but I do have her image on one of my home shrines currently.

    It was fantastic to meet you today, and I hope we can hang out more in-person in the coming months! (And end-of-year purification in mid-to-late December at the Shinto shrine is fun, too…in case you can make it!)

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/awitchsashram myownashram

      Yes! Wonderful to meet you and get a chance to talk in person. I am up in Seattle at least once a month, so there will be time to meet again!


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