October is here. With the autumn equinox two weeks back, we left summertime behind and transitioned to our new season. Fall, for some, has typically represented a time to slow down, a time, as some have reported, when they feel more balanced and centered. This year’s entry to fall however, seems to have brought more frenzy than balance. With the huge drop in the stock market and the anticipatory nature of the presidential election, these last couple of weeks have taken a toll on many. Instead of dropping into the doldrums however, some are finding ways to celebrate life and enter the new season with joy and strength!
Here in Los Angeles, and for that matter around the globe, many are celebrating Navratri, a festival that honors the Mother Goddess. For nine nights and ten days each year around this time (the exact dates vary according to the lunar calendar) celebrants take the sacred opportunity to honor the Mother Goddess, which many consider the feminine aspect of divinity. The festival is intended to give people the opportunity to revel in the knowledge of the goddesses from the Hindu tradition and become fueled with their spiritual energy and power. During these nine nights and ten days, nine forms of female divinity are celebrated.
For the first three days the goddess is invoked as a spiritual force called Durga (also known as Kali) in order to destroy all our impurities. Durga/Kali represents strength and courage and is considered the goddess of action and energy.
The second three days the goddess is adored as a giver of spiritual wealth called Lakshmi. She represents abundance and grace and is considered to have the power of bestowing on her devotees inexhaustible wealth.
The final three days are spent honoring the goddess of wisdom called Saraswati. She represents spiritual knowledge and is considered the goddess of the arts and language.
According to the Hindu Vedic tradition, all three goddess aspects are considered needed for a life of satisfaction and success.
If you are in the Los Angeles area and want to come experience a magical evening of aligning with the Divine Feminine through sacred movement, ceremony, chanting, dancing and prayer, Exhale Center for Sacred Movement in Venice is having a Navratri celebration on Friday night! The evening will be hosted by favorite yoga teachers Shiva Rea and Saul David Ray.
What are some ways you are finding joy and strength in these uneasy times?