Choose Your Goddess
In your yoga practice, tuning into a goddess, by way of meditation or prayer, you can liberate certain qualities within yourself.
It’s no coincidence that in the past 50 years, as women have come into stronger positions globally, images of the divine feminine have begun to surface as role models. Tantric practices that honor the Shakti, the feminine aspect of God, have begun to draw attention in the world. For example, in India, most of the practitioners in these traditions have been men, who meditate on the goddess as a way of gaining creative power, literary gifts, or strength in combat.
Which goddess do I need?
Goddess energies can be inspiring and protective but most importantly, they can help us to connect with our sense of Self. Today, I will highlight four popular Hindu goddesses whose energy you can draw from to overcome different challenges.
Lakshmi: Gentle Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity
Derived from the Sanskrit word “Laksya” which translates to aim/goal. She is the goddess of wealth and prosperity – both material and spiritual. Representing purity and generosity, Lakshmi is the embodiment of beauty, grace and charm.
It is particularly helpful to draw on her energy if you need guidance with finances, a job, success, happiness or love. It is believed that those who pray to the Goddess every day will develop a clear channel of communication with her. Lakshmi allows you to focus your energy on areas that you wish to manifest in your life.
Kali: The Dark One
Kali means “She who is black.” Derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Kala’ which translates to time, she devours it and then resumes her own dark formlessness.
Kali is associated with death, rebirth, sexuality, violence and motherly love. She is revered for her no-nonsense way of erasing negative thoughts and bad habits in the minds of her followers. Her black complexion symbolizes her all-embracing and transcendental nature, as all colors disappear into black. Her nudity is primal and transparent like nature.
She is particularly helpful when you are trying to work with your ego. Kali will help you eliminate all worldly attachments, pointing to the cycle of birth and death, by helping you to evolve into a new way of living.
Saraswati: The Hindu Muse
Saraswati is the Goddess of learning, knowledge, and wisdom. The Sanskrit word sara means “essence” and swa means “self” therefore translating to the essence of the self. She is the inspiration for all music, poetry, drama and science, assisting with the powers of speech, wisdom and learning.
She is fair-skinned and dressed in white to symbolize pure illumination. Saraswati’s four hands represent four aspects of a human: mind; intellect; alertness; and ego. One holds a book, another holds prayer beads (source of spiritual knowledge), the other two hands hold a vina, a sitar-like musical instrument.
Anyone searching for greater insight should worship her for higher knowledge and wisdom, as it is believed that Saraswati can grant final liberation of the soul.
Parvati: Goddess of Love and Devotion
Parvati translates to “she who dwells in the mountains.” Shakti (female energy/mother goddess) was born as Parvati, the daughter of the lord of mountains.
She represents inner energy, the kundalini Shakti, a force that awakens inside of us to break through our own barriers in order to attain enlightenment. Parvati is the force of transformation, the instinct that carries humans to recognize their destiny.
As one of Parvati’s aims is to reunite the masculine and feminine, those struggling with fertility, marital happiness, devotion to one’s spouse or self-discipline, may want to call on her to help. She has the power to liberate both one’s creativity and one’s capacity to love without sacrificing individuality.
How do I connect to a goddess?
There are many ways to connect with a divine power , it really depends on what you’re most comfortable with. You might connect to a goddess through a mantra, seated meditation or a prayer in your yoga practice. You could also simply study a painting of the goddess, read a story about them, or contemplate their qualities.
Whatever you decide should make you feel at ease, protected, and inspired.
Do you have a favourite goddess?
Author: Jesslyn Miller
Editor: Sarah Head