Navaratri 9 Days to in Devotion of Goddess by Chanti Tacoronte-Perez

Day 1
Today is the first day of Navaratri a 9 days celebration to worship the divine feminine. According to Shambhavi, Ganesha is first to be invoked to remove all negativity, and to listen to Dhi our highest wisdom. The first three days Durga is honored to release the negativity and difficulties in our lives.

Day 2
Today we honor Shri Brahmacharini, the personification of truth, purity, sacred love and unwavering shraddha (faith). How do you practice unwavering devotion? Indu Aurora says that this Goddess walks with bare feet “symbolizing that there are no shortcuts in life and you cannot reach the goal any faster.” The way towards that goal is your practice. 

Today take a step towards your practice. Whether that’s sitting down and writing, meditating or coloring a mandala, just move in the direction of your goals, knowing that each step moves you towards her (maybe go out and feel the grass on your feet, and symbolically walk as the Goddess does)

Day 3 Today as we honor Ma Chandraghanta, we are reminded of the qualities of the moon as well as Shiva: nourishing and powerful; similar to how the changes of the moon effect ocean currents, subtle and yet visible. Indu Aurora wrote this affirmation today, which is such a great way to continue on the path of your Sadhana (practice)!  

“May we be bright as the Sun and yet calm as the moon...
May we be still as we move
May we be silent as we speak…” 

Here is a copy of the Durga Yantra to color, contemplate and to practice this affirmation of tranquility in the midst of turbulence.


 

 

Happy Birthday Ganesha by Chanti Tacoronte-Perez

Om gam ganapataye namaha
Salutations to Ganesha, he who removes all obstacles, I call and pray to thee!
Gana-  all existing (names and forms)
isha- lordGanesha therefor means god of all beings and creation. 

Can you see the Divine in this round bellied god or do you become easily diverted by his appearance? When we learn to accept Ganesha as a Divine force it stills the rational mind and all of it’s doubts which are our greatest enemies. Similarly we can look away from those things we consider to be our greatest hurdles, instead ofbringing them to the surface to either accept or change them. 

Ganehsa is considered to be the great obstacle-remover because he is unshakable. The effect of drawing, painting and meditating on the Ganesha provides firmness. Giving you space, time and support to bring those obstacles to the surface––inspiring you towards balance.

I am Transforming by Chanti Tacoronte-Perez

Manipura Chakra is known as the city of gems perhaps because of the radiant power of the third chakra can harness. This chakra is associated with the element of fire––able to destroy and create anew. Alchemical in nature, as it can transform one into another. 

Hestia is the Greek goddess of the Hearth and the sacred fire, as well as the protector of the home. Meditation then on the navel chakra becomes a ritual in honoring your own sacred space, an internal dwelling with the potential for balanced energy, will power, achievement and meaningful change.

Daily Dhi

  • What daily ritual do you preform to honor your body, or what would you like it to be now?
  • How does the element of fire affect your day-to-day living?

*suggestion* Notice how the element of fire is present in you life today.

"I am Sensual" by Chanti Tacoronte-Perez

Svādhisthāna

The is the second Chakra to be found in the pelvic area where fertility and fluidity reside.  It is associated with the element of water. Water is used for blessing, for renewal as well as to cleanse and dilute. Water plays a sensual role, perhaps because more than any other element it “revitalizes the tensions between opposites and yet permits union between them” (Paris, G. 1986).

Aphrodite the most sensual of the goddesses was born of the sea foam, conceivably a link to our oceanic ancestors. 

Daily Dhi:
n what way do you honor water in you everyday? 
How does water play a role in your creative life?
When do you feel most sensual?

"I am Loved" Devi Durga & Frida Kahlo by Chanti Tacoronte-Perez

Henry Ford Hospital, 1932.  Oil on Metal  by Frida Kahlo

sharp the horizon
my invincible courage 
cuts the deepest noise

Durga’s depiction in one of the battle scenes brings to mind the work of artist Frida Kahlo, who is a great example of a woman who used her own creative process to heal. Her paintings express the challenges she faced with her body as well as her psyche. That invincible courage is seen in the painting “Henry Ford Hospital” which illustrates one of her many miscarriages. In this painting, there are archetypal images of: the female lower anatomy, a baby boy, a snail, an orchid, a machine, and her own fractured pelvis––which prevents her from having children. The point of view is from above, with the central image being a naked, bleeding Frida lying on a hospital bed. She is loosely holding the ends of umbilical cords attached to the archetypal images, like floating balloons. Even with her stoic face, she cries and chooses not to identify with these objects, keeping them at distance, as if in witness to her pain. 

In the Devi Mahatmya Durga, like Kahlo, manifests fierce entities that appear from her third eye to fight the demonic asuras or demons. In this story she is summoned by the gods to fight demon brothers that have been tormenting the world. The brothers were given the boon that no man or god could kill them, in exchange for the great devotion and offerings they made to Brahma. After many lifetimes, a sage reminds the gods that a goddess could vanquish the brothers. The warrior goddess goes to them, only revealing her femininity and beauty. 

Durga Yantra & Vedic Square (work in progress) watercolor on paper,  by Chanti 

Durga Yantra & Vedic Square (work in progress) watercolor on paper,  by Chanti 

They have never seen such womanly grace, and invite her to be the queen of their harem. She deceivingly says that she will, if they fight her. The brothers laugh at her, stunned at the request. She agrees that it is silly, but that it was a promise she made to herself as a girl. They send the captain of their armies to “drag her in here by the hair”¹ but she defeats him along with all the armies the brothers continue to send. As the troops become increasingly difficult to fight, from Durga’s body emerge the goddesses Indrani, Saraswati, Vaishnavi, Tara, Chinnamasta, Bhairavi, Kali and their deadly powers to assist her. When Durga has defeated everyone, the brothers are left alone in battle. They complain, stating that she had allies assisting her. She corrects them by saying that the other goddesses are her own shaktis, powers that she holds as part of herself. In that moment they disappear into her, and she single-handedly kills the brothers, restoring harmony to the world. 

    The parallel stories of Durga’s victory and Kahlo’s depiction of her miscarriage are models of what make a woman invincible and fierce. It is through a women’s yantra (body) and  vulnerability that true courage manifests. That within a woman's body are the tools we need to  battle the demos or shadow. In other words we have the power to defeat those things that no longer serve us. Like Durga, we bow our heads in gratitude and say Namaste before severing the internal turbulence, or the demons from our lives. They were there for some reason, now cut them out, to make space for LOVE! 


References:
Kempton, S. (2013) Awakening shakti: The transformative power of the goddesses of yoga. Boulder, CO: Sounds True.

"I am I am supported by all that is seen & unseen" by Chanti Tacoronte-Perez

I spread my wings wide
My body feels your presence 
as I soar boundless

The moment she crossed the threshold, she felt a change. Something had transformed; was it within her, or was it the space around. Did it matter if the space around her changed or her inner space altered her perception of the space she occupied? 

The siddhi or power of Bhuvaneshvari is space created (physical and subtle). Birth can be seen as the the ultimate form of creativity, only it does not have to be of a physical human life. Bhuvaneshvari is the sacred expanse of the universe who gave birth to all that exists, the whole matrix that is this world. Like a mother who’s womb grows creating space in her physical body for a child, Bhuvaneshvari is symbolic of the space we give for our most creative potential to blossom. She, or that space is the container which has the capacity to hold infinitely.

She is Earth Mother, the most primal mother of all, where all things grow, we live within her. “She is a mother whom we come to know only as we begin to long for a mother from whom we are not separated…she is a fantasy creature…never identical with the personal mother. Although she is there from the beginning, our discovery of her is always a return, a re-cognition” (Downing, 2007). This return or re-cognition, is not of her, it is of ourselves. Bhuvaneshvari reminds us of our own space, our own bodies, and how it’s sacredness is equal to hers. The space that unconditional love occupies in the heart, is Bhuvaneshvari. 

My spiritual teacher Rod Stryker often mentions that behind each thought there is a desire, and I completely agree. Now I want to add that behind each desire, there is mother, a source that is allowing or pushing that desire though, to be birthed by psyche into consciousness.

"I am Expansive" by Chanti Tacoronte-Perez

Your arms wide open.
Endless possibilities—
a rise to greatness

She had just completed a beautiful yantra, and felt an immense desire, to learn and know more. Then the painting spoke to her, it said: “you must go to India and immerse yourself in the science of yantras.” Who was this speaking to her? It was Brihaspati, Jupiter. He is a self illuminating planet, generating more light through himself, than from the Sun. Can you imagine a light brighter than that of the suns? Those that know him well call him Guru, meaning teacher, as well as “remover of darkness”.

She felt his immense light and power guiding her; he is in fact regarded as the teacher of gods. He teaches that anything is possible and helps us towards that possibility by instilling courage, fearlessness and shakti––power. He provides us with the energy to work hard, as well as monumental confidence in our own wisdom so that we may speak and articulate clearly. Jupiter is so big and bold, that the student sees herself in him, sees all her potential and is changed forever, as she listens and follows in the direction of her teacher, herself. This deep listening gives her the nourishment, vitality or Ojas to continue forward.

Resting in your lap
I’m recognizing greatness, 
stepping into Dharma.

"I am Creative" by Chanti Tacoronte-Perez

Single pointed light 
guiding waves of unconscious
turbulent, unknown.

Those dark waters, the ones sailors had never crossed yet yearned to discover all beyond the horizon, below the sea. When those sailors were out in the unknown they had the sun, the moon, the ocean, the winds, and the patterns in the sky––the stars. The sky was used as a map, to new lands and the stars were those guides. Tara is the guiding star into the unrevealed, new territory, which is usually dark only because has not been seen.

Tara takes us across the deep, dark, turbulent waters, that have never have been crossed; navigating the stars, to be guided along the creative path. These waters often correspond to the mind. Tara evokes the Siddhi (power) of Trust. Trusting to be carried though difficulties of transformation and change, especially when one does not anticipate or know what awaits.

shining in the dark 
a sign of my sacred home
here where I am now