From Kali to Lakshmi

The first three days of Navratri have passed. Three days of making purification (via kala), three days of dark red candles and meditating on the fierce love and thunder of Ma Durga, three days of praying that injustice, ignorance and illusion be razed. I have been running the iron pentacle, energetic meditations on sex, pride, self, power and passion. I have been adding an offering a day to the altar. So far I have rice, water, turmeric, and cumin.Now we shift to honoring Lakshmi, reflection … [Read more...]

Navratri begins!

After doing my dark moon cleaning of the altar, I changed my altar just a little in preparation for Navratri. For the next 8 days I'll observe this beautiful Hindu festival of Shakti principle. (I wrote about Navratri last year and recommend reading it for a little background.)Navratri focuses on the manifestations of Durga, the Mahadevi, or in my Feri eyes, the Star Goddess, the Great Source from whom we all emerge and to whom we all return. For the next three days I'm focusing on the … [Read more...]

Looking Ahead

I love October. It's my favorite month. I adore autumn, with the changing leaves, the fresh grey skies, the cool, crisp air, and warm sun (when we had it!). It's also a month of holidays. Between mid October and early November I feel like it's my High Holy Days.Here's what I'm looking ahead to:Oct. 15 - the dark moonOct. 16-24 - Navratri (Hindu observance of the Goddess in Her Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati forms)Oct. 18 - Alaska Day (the day the US purchased Alaska from Russia) I don't really … [Read more...]

How the Equinox actually turned out

One of the things that I love about keeping this blog is that it helps me think about how and what I want to observe in my spiritual practice. So I plan ahead and write posts for holidays that then go up right before or as they are beginning. Then the actual observance occurs - and sometimes things don't go according to plan. This is what it's like being a householder, trying to create my own ashram in the midst of being a stay at home parent and partner and possibly make a little money here and … [Read more...]

Equinox

The Equinox is coming. It occurs on March and September 21, midpoints between the Summer and Winter Solstices. This year it occurs on Saturday, the 22, but I'm be observing it today, Friday, the 21st. The Equinox is when the days and nights are of equal length; light is balanced.For several years now I've used it as a day of fasting and deep cleaning my house. I don't fast when pregnant or nursing, but this year, as the baby is now 19 months old and nursing infrequently, I'm going to give a … [Read more...]

Harvest

Today is Lughnasadh, a Celtic cross-quarter holiday celebrating the first fruits of what has been sown and preparing for the harvest to come. I don't typically observe it, as I'm not much in tune with farm cycles. I notice that the selection at the farmer's market is larger: more vegetables, the first pig from my favorite local farm was just slaughtered. But I don't garden, nor do I live in a community centered on farm life, and so this holiday doesn't often register for me.However, a lot of … [Read more...]

Solstice!

Tomorrow marks one year of My Own Ashram. 126 posts, 4 quarters, 2 countries. I will be 'concluding' Place and writing a piece reflecting on my project and where I want to go from here. That's tomorrow.Today I will be out all day with my kids on a field trip with my son's preschool. We're going to NW Trek, a wildlife park containing all regional animals. I admit I'm super excited to see some animals. It doesn't hurt that the weather is clear and sunny this morning.May you be blessed on … [Read more...]


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