Pancha Ganapati: My Multi-Observant Holiday

Beautiful image of an altar. Click on the image to go the Boston homestay blog, where I snagged it from.

Pancha Ganapati is a modern holiday invented by the people at the Hindu Academy in Hawaii. The idea is to give Hindus in North America something to focus on while the over culture is celebrating Christmas. It reminds me of Hanukkah: a legitimate but minor holiday that took on increased focus as mainstream American Christianity increased its observance of Christmas. I love holidays and completely support people creating alternatives to give certain seasons meaning and/or to diffuse the over … [Read more...]

Dual Observance and Me

Albrecht Durer, Die Vier Hexen (or The Four Witches), 1497.

Dual observance, the practice of  more than one tradition at one time, is more common than most people realize, I think. It's not just for Pagans, either. For some people, it becomes syncretism, a blending of two (or more) systems into one. For some, one practice is spiritual or religious and the other practice is more cultural. Some people pick and choose parts of various traditions they like, leaving the difficult, challenging, or distasteful aspects by the wayside. For others, like myself, … [Read more...]

Holiday Gift Guide for the Mystic

yantra

It's full on holiday shopping time. But what do you buy the mystic in your life? What do you get for the witch that has everything? Let me help you!This is my first ever gift guide. I typically don't want to encourage the commodification of sacred holidays, but who doesn't like pretty things? And who doesn't want to support independent artists and other small businesses?So without further ado here are things that I would love - I mean, that the spiritual person in your life might love. … [Read more...]

Living Saraswati

Today begins the final three days of Navratri, in which Saraswati, goddess of language, knowledge and sound, is honored. I have an affinity with Her, as I have spent much of my life in pursuit of education and knowledge, as well as honing my singing skills.Saraswati is comparable to the Greek goddess Athena in many ways. Both are independent; Saraswati, unlike most of the other Hindu goddesses, is not the consort of any male deity; her devotion to her studies means she has little time for … [Read more...]

Navratri 2013

Navratri, nine nights devoted to the Holy Mother in her various forms, began on Saturday with the dark of the moon. Last year I kept the observance rather simple and personal. This year I feel pulled to engage with the holiday more deeply.The first three days are a purification of sorts. The focus is on Durga, but also Kali and Parvati. I spent one day on each goddess, making kala, and working on letting go of what no longer serves me. I burned black candles and spent a lot of time in … [Read more...]

Finished Yantras

I finished my yantras! It's taken me all week. Between finding the concentrated time and preparing myself, through meditation and chanting, it has been more challenging than I expected to finish such a small project.I have no idea if these are "correct," but they are infused with much intention, prayer, and enthusiasm.I'm so pleased that I finally got around to making my own yantras. I found the process educational and meditative. Next I will hang them in my altar.And … [Read more...]

Letting Go with Dhumavati

Having tools to develop my Self, as a spiritual being and as a form of self-therapy, are among the reasons I love practicing witchcraft and Hinduism. Both traditions serve my desire for theosis, or becoming a god, or achieving enlightenment.One necessary ability in this journey is being able to see clearly. Tantric Hinduism does not encourage complete renunciation of the world, rather embracing the world and also seeing it clearly is its complex call to humans. Seeing clearly, particularly … [Read more...]


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