Invoking the Goddess
How to bring the divine into your practice and your life
by Lauren Hanna
Goddess practices are not only for deep spiritual exploration, they can be used in a practical manner to balance your mood and bring strength, steadiness and awareness to your daily life. In the Tantric tradition they are considered powers that are held within us. Each of us has the ability to unlock these great energies. Once we can awaken their divine presence, we can use it to help us move through challenges, ground into the present and open to unlimited possibility.
Each of the goddess energies has a unique personality or archetype and exist within the unconscious mind as a form of divine love. Together they are called Shakti, which is the divine intelligence that flows within us, guiding us in deep meditation. The goal of all spiritual practices is to awaken this energy. Each of the Goddesses represent a different quality or aspect of ourselves.In our practice, we can call them in to support us, focussing on awakening the quality of each Goddess that already lies dormant within us, we can become the Goddess ourselves.
For the purpose of this practice we will limit our focus to the three most important Hindu goddesses, or the triple goddess aka Tridevi. This triad is birthed from the maha great Goddess Maheshwara and includes the primary incarnations of Ma Durga or Kali, Ma Lakshmi and Ma Saraswati. The Tridevi is designed to guide us through the phases of the evolutionary cycle to help transform our existence. The three phases are: dissolution guided by Ma Kali or Durga., preservation guided by Ma Lakshmi and creation guided by Ma Saraswati.
Together these divine beings support our personal and spiritual evolution as we move through the phases of birth, life, death and rebirth. We can apply this map to everyday life experiences where we flow through these stages continuously. In our work, our relationships, our health, finances and all aspects of our life, we are always in the beginning (creation), middle (preservation) or ending phase (dissolution). Ultimately, everything will eventually dissolve creating space for something new (rebirth).
Durga is the ferocious form of the Goddess. She rides on a tiger and wields weapons of destruction. She holds both the energy of the warrior and the devoted mother. Durga is the protector who watches over us during difficult times and guides us to freedom.
When to invoke Durga
Durga is invoked when we are in the shadow side of life, darkness of the storm. When we are facing difficulties, when we are deeply ill, when our finances are lacking, when we have been let go from our jobs, when we have lost someone we love. Durga shows up with her ferocious strength to guide us to a place of inner power. She aids us in moving through the darkness, she encourages us to let go and dissolve our attachments. She guides us with her loving strength to a place of freedom.
Practices to awaken Durga
Kali Mudra, the mudra of purification
Mantra for Durga: Om Dum Durgayei Namaha
Pranayama: Bhastrika Breath (Breath of Fire)
Lakshmi is the nurturing form of the Goddess. She sits on a lotus flower representing the transformation from darkness to light. Lakshmi is the Goddess of abundance who guides us to success and awakens our inner and outer beauty.
When to invoke Lakshmi
Lakshmi is called upon when we are feeling empty, when we are poor in both inner and outer wealth and beauty. We invoke her to fill our cup, when we need to nourish ourselves to give and receive love, to improve our health and increase energy, to bring financial success, to create a comfortable home, to attract a partner, and awaken our fertility to start a family. Lakshmi is the one who takes care of us, like the mother and provides with everything we need to move into a radiant place of richness, completion and contentment.
Practices to awaken Lakshmi
Abhaya Mudra: Have no fear.
Mantra for Lakshmi: Om Shrim Lakshmiyei Namaha
Pranayama: Prana Mudra Pranayama
Saraswati is the wise form of the Goddess. She is the great scholar and meditator. She rides on a swan representing her purity and ability to discern and awaken inner clarity and intuition. Saraswati is the Goddess who guides our creativity and awakens our ability for innovation and transformation.
When to invoke Saraswati
Saraswati is invoked when we are feeling the many burdens of life that are causing us to be outwardly focused, overwhelmed and confused. We call her in when we are stuck in a rut and need to boost our creative energy, when we are feeling heavy and need to lighten our burdens, when we are feeling ignorant and wish to increase our wisdom, when we are confused and need to make decisions, and when we cannot find our words and want to eloquently express ourselves. Saraswati helps to clear our minds, to awaken our inner intuition and wisdom. She brings us clarity, peace, ease and grace.
Practices to awaken Saraswati
Padma Mudra: Clarity and Transformation
Mantra for Ma Saraswati: Om Aim Saraswatiyei Namaha
Pranayama: Nadi Shodhana
I encourage you to invoke these great divine energies and use them to guide you through the ups and downs of your life. Concentrating on the Goddess energy and awakening their divine attributes can free you from suffering, allow you to create a life of your dreams and deliver you to spiritual enlightenment.