Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A Time for Honouring Lakshmi

As the festive season draws ever closer, one Goddess comes readily to mind and that is the Hindu Goddess of prosperity and good fortune, of beauty and purification - the beautiful gentle Lakshmi. 

In the Hindu myth known as the "Churning of the Milky Ocean", the Gods were at war against various demons (the Asuras) who wanted to gain immortality. One day a wise sage offered Indra, the Hindu Warrior God, a garland of sacred flowers, however, in his arrogance, Indra threw the flowers on the floor. This display of arrogance upset Lakshmi, who left the realm of the Gods and enter the Milky Ocean. Without her, the Gods were no longer blessed with success or fortune, and as such, the world became darker, the people on earth more greedy, resulting in the refusal to make offerings to the Gods.  And as the Gods' power waned, the Asuras took control.

Upon realising his error, Indra instructed the Gods to churn the Milky Ocean in order to regain Lakshmi and Her blessings.  These blessings included the elixir of life, a potion bestowing immortality that would enable the Gods to defeat the demons.  The churning of the Milky Ocean took a thousand years before anything rose to the surface. However, amongst the treasures that did rise, was a beautiful woman standing on a lotus flower. This was Lakshmi, returning to the world.

O Lakshmi, the one who has lotus-like eyes,
Who has lotus in hand,
Who is the most-dazzling white in complexion,
Who has a garland full of fragrance of various plants,
Who is the Goddess, Who is dear to Hari, Who is beautiful,
Who provides wealth to all the three worlds!
Please shower happiness on me.
(author unknown)
Known since pre-Buddhist times, Lakshmi is one of the more popular Goddesses in the Hindu pantheon. Since last epic period (ca. 400CE) She has been associated with Vishu as his consort, and plays the role of the model Hindu wife, obediently serving Her husband. With Her name being derived from Sanskrit word Laksya, meaning "aim" or "goal, it is little wonder that Lakshmi is the Goddess associated with prosperity, well-bring, royal power and illustriousness. She is embodiment of all these qualities and it is believed that when these qualities are evident, the Goddess is present or will soon reveal herself.

Lakshmi is often depicted as being fair skinned, and having four arms. She is usually very finely dressed, and is surrounded with precious jewels, coins and other symbols of wealth and prosperity, which she offers to Her followers. To signify Her royal status, she is often flanked by elephants as well as Her "Vanaha" (sacred animal), which is a great white owl.

Creating an altar for Lakshmi can be as simple as filling a vase with some brightly coloured flowers. Her colours are said to be pink, red, gold and orange, and Her favourite scents are sandalwood and jasmine.

One of Lakshmi's mantra is:
"Sarvagyay Sarvavarday Sarvadushtbhaydkree
Sarvadukhaharay Devi Mahalakshmi Namostutay".
English meaning: "O Maa Lakshmi, you know everything, you grant favours to all, you are a terror to the evil and your art removes the misery of all. O Propitious Goddess, I surrender to you."

More information about Lakshmi can be found In Her Sacred Name: Writings on the Divine Feminine.

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"Dancing the Sacred Wheel" now available again

"Dancing the Sacred Wheel" now available again
The second edition of "Dancing the Sacred Wheel: A Journey through the Southern Sabbats" is now available through www.createspace.com or direct from the author (Australian customers only) for an autographed copy.

Great Goddess Isis

Great Goddess Isis

Exhortation of Isis

You are She in the dust of whose feet is the hosts of Heaven,
Whose body encircles the Universe,
Who turns the Earth in its orb,
Who gives light to the Sun,
Who rules the World.

You tread death underfoot.
To Thee, the stars are responsive,
To Thee the seasons turn and the Gods rejoice
And the elements are in subjugation.

You are She that is the natural Mother of all things,
Mistress and governor of all elements,
The initial progeny of worlds,
Chief of Divine powers,
Queen of Heaven,
Principle of all the Gods celestial and the light of Goddesses.

At Your will are disposed the planets of the air,
The wholesome winds of the seas
And the silences of the unseen world.