Align With Durga and Her Powerful Energy of Change and Transformation During Navaratri.
Navaratri is a poignant time in the Vedic Calendar. This ancient calendar is one that is dedicated to Nature and her cycles and rhythms, the planets, and most importantly the Moon. In the Vedic Calendar, time is connected to what Nature and the cosmos are doing, and these elements are intimately related. The main Navaratri celebrations occur twice a year- in the "gap" seasons of spring and fall. These times are considered sandhi times; delicate times that feel like you are neither here, nor there. We might call it the netherworld. This time, though delicate, is considered sacred.
In the spring, Navaratri marks the "waking up" of the devis or the goddesses, of Shakti; the aspects of Natural Law that enliven growth, abundance, prosperity, learning, well being, change and transformation. In the fall, Navaratri invites in destruction, removal, change, transformation and healing. The goddesses Durga, Saraswati and Lakshmi symbolize these parts of life and Nature, while also being parts of our own innate being. The three of them together represent our wholeness, the trinity of life, alive in and around us. These three goddesses also connect to Shakti, the goddess who gives the spark of life to every being, to Nature, and to existence.
Fall Navaratri, or Maha Navaratri, is by far the most potent as it brings deep transformation and the ability to remove, destroy, release and transform, our darkness into light. The holy trinity of goddesses supports this process and allows us to let go of what needs to be released in order for greater nourishment. As we let go of our darkness, an increase of light and wisdom can take its place. This process is marked by Durga's powerful battle against the demon Mahishasura. On the 10th day, she destroyed him and was victorious. This day is called Vijaya Dashami (Dashami is the 10th lunar day of the Moon cycle, connected to dharma).
Vasant Navaratri, or spring Navaratri, begins with the new Moon this year, on Thursday April 7th at 04:24 am PDT. Sun and Moon are in Revati nakshatra, the final star of the zodiac, signifying endings and beginnings. This is the mark of the Vedic Lunar New Year and the beginning of the sacred nine day celebration of Navaratri as well. Durga is enlivened at this time! The battle between good over evil intensifies in the coming days as Durga battles the demon Mahishasura. This battle takes place within every human being.
The conflict between light and dark forces, polarities, is expressed through this sacred and timeless battle. It also mirrors the conflicts stirred between the masculine and feminine energies within. This battle is a wake up call, a clearing of old, stagnant beliefs, patterns and behaviors. Pay close attention during this sacred nine day celebration as inner and outer conflicts intensify. What does this conflict share with you about your polarities? What mirrors are being held up in order for you to make lasting change and transformation?
Nava means nine in Sanskrit while Ratri means nights. This is a nine day celebration that is divided into three parts. The first three days are dedicated to the goddess Durga. Her warrior spirit cleanses, shifts, uproots, changes and transforms. Think of her as tilling the soil, prior to planting seeds. The next three days of celebration are dedicated to Lakshmi. Her abundance, nurturing, and wealth offer nourishment and support to us on all levels of life. Health is the ultimate wealth and Lakshmi brings this support as well. Finally, we have three days dedicated to goddess Saraswati. She gives us knowledge, understanding, wisdom, creativity and artistry. She is the rasayana (or healing balm) if you will to close this sacred nine day celebration. Together, these three goddesses bring wholeness, renewal, and the life giving offerings of Shakti. This creative life-force energy is truly what inspires life, living and abundance. She is your Creative Intelligence.
It is at this time that we can connect to these three goddesses most easily- inside of us, and around us. Because of this, Navaratri is considered a very sacred and powerful time of year- one that influences our inner and outer experience of life for months to come. To connect with the goddesses more closely, make special offerings on your altar to them during the nine days. You can also dedicate your actions and intentions to them for greater communication. Use this time for self development practices and sacred pause. Slow down and notice what is stirring within you and around you.
Connecting to fire and stoking the internal flame (or agni) can be valuable for the first three days of Durga. You may wish to write intentions that focus on empowerment and action steps for the coming months as well. Using self development tools to transform negative thoughts and mental body stories, will be well supported at this time. During the three days of Lakshmi, bring sweets and flowers to your altar, cook nourishing foods for your Self, decorate and adorn your Self. This is a time to focus on self care diligently. For the final portion of Navaratri, dedicated to Saraswati, music, art and poetry can be a good way to focus your energy, efforts and intentions. Use creativity, artistry and embodiment resources for grounding and landing in your intentions. Use my Creative Rituals for support with this process.
During this sacred and potent time, treat your Self like the goddess that you are and share your abundance with others. May we each remember our abundant true nature, our immense creative life giving energy and the power of the Divine Feminine for healing and transformation!
Read more about Navaratri from Vaidya Rama Kant Mishra, renowned Shaka Vansya Ayurvedic Doctor.