Observing the week with Shiva and Kali

I’ve been writing a lot more frequently about Traditional Witchcraft stuff, but what’s been happening with my Hindu practices, you might be wondering? I haven’t forgotten or forsaken it. I’ve returned to a practice that I gained much from during my Hindu quarter at the start of this blog: I devote one day a week each to Shiva and Kali.

Bangalore Shiva, wikimedia commons.
Bangalore Shiva, wikimedia commons. I find this statue incredibly beautiful.

Mondays are traditionally devoted to Shiva. Tuesdays are Kali’s day. On these days I refrain from eating beef. While many Hindus are vegetarian, not all are, and my family definitely is not. However, almost all Hindus abstain from eating beef, as they view the cow as sacred. After being a lactating mother I can see how the cow might be viewed as holy and life-giving. I also refrain from drinking any alcohol on Mondays. I listen to Hindu chants throughout the days. On Mondays it’s mostly variations of Om Namah Shivaya, on Tuesdays it’s mostly variations of chants to Kali or Durga. I use mantras when washing the dishes and sitting in meditation.

I feel that Shiva does not need extensive puja. Sitting in quiet meditation in honor of him and thinking on him while doing my morning yoga (which I’ve recommitted to doing) is puja enough. However, Kali is quite a bit more demanding and I am increasing my puja skills, endurance and knowledge for her Tuesday morning devotions.

On these two days I read something Hindu related. I have started a book about Lord Ganesha, as he is always honored in my home. Ganesh and Ma are always honored, bowed before, and blessed with incense first before any work I do, whether explicitly Hindu or not.

The rest of the week I focus on the work that I am doing with my Craft teachers and/or how I feel so moved.

In the past I have found that even one day a week focus on these gods has deepened my connections with them at a surprisingly quick pace. I find that Shiva brings a clarity and peacefulness, while Kali engenders a different kind of cunning focus, a fierceness, and a passionate devotion in me.

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