Navaratri is a poignant time in the Vedic Calendar.
This is a very ancient calendar, 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.
Navaratri occurs 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; the aspects of Natural Law that enliven growth, abundance, prosperity, learning, well being, change and transformation. The celebration starts March 31st and goes until April 8th.
The goddesses Durga, Saraswati and Lakshmi symbolize these parts of life and Nature, while also being parts of our own innate Self. 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.
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.
Finally, we have three days dedicated to goddess Saraswati. Saraswati gives us knowledge, understanding, wisdom, creativity and artistry. She is the rasayana (or healing balm) if you will to close these nine sacred days of festivities. Together, these three goddesses bring wholeness, renewal and the life giving offerings of Shakti.
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 for them during the nine days. You can also dedicate your actions and intentions to them for greater communication.
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. During the three days of Lakshmi, bring sweets and flowers to your altar, cook nourishing foods for your Self, decorate and adorn your Self. 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 this nine days for treating your Self like the goddess that you are and share your abundance with others. May we each remember our abundant, true nature!
If you follow my work via Swati Jr Jyotish or Swati Jr Jewelry, you already know that I create jewelry with the Vedic goddesses in mind—as they are very near and dear to me. They offer me inspiration, comfort and support, as well as creative sparks.
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Editor: Rachel Nussbaum
Photo: Provided by author
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