Most of us have a favorite, or even a patron, deity, or even deities, that we have a personal relationship with.
How did you come to have that/those relationship(s). Did you work for the relationship, invoke the deity/ies, or pick the deity/ies to work with? What attracted you to that particular deity/ies?
OR were you, as I like to put it, 'tapped on the head' meaning that you had a divine experience and your deity/ies chose you? If so, how did it happen?
I believe that I have a special relationship/understanding of Kali and Lakshmi. I am not a devout follower of either, nor am I a traditionalist as far as doing Pujas and other forms of offering...and I'm still very much an infant in my learning of each goddess, but I can't deny a special affinity I have for them. I have meditated on the goddesses and love each of them for their properties and the strengths/gifts they bestow.
I'm not sure how I came to love them. It definitely was the influence of RP, I had never considered any traditionally Eastern gods or goddesses until coming here and meeting some amazing people who know them. How it fits into my own spirituality is kind of a mystery as well. Something to work on!
For a number of years, I had a relationship with Asherah, until such point as she released me from her service so that I was free when it came time for me to study with a traditional witchcraft coven. For a number of years, I was uncomfortable with the fact that I did not have a particular deity that I had a relationship with. I "just" had a relationship with the divine as manifest as Goddess and God. Although very tangibly present in my life, they did not have humanoid form, which meant trying to identify them (let alone purchase requisite statuary!) was impossible.
Recently, I've come across a bit of information that suggests this kind of issue is more common among TIW practitioners--over time, the faces of deity drop away and we're left with direct work with those divine currents, male and female. Although I am not opposed if a particular God or Goddess opted to make contact for a personal relationship, I'm very happy just working with the male and female divine forces, calling on them by epithet, and having them appear in their non-humanoid forms.
Liesha--forgive my ignorance, but what does TIW stand for?
OK, I would have included this in my original posting, but if you see what time i posted it I was tired and it took me forever to even post it!
Alright, so I was 'tapped on the head' so hopefully no one will look at me funny from now on.
It first started a couple of months ago when I was actually meditating (I have a hard time meditating what with lack of focus, the dog barking at everything that make a sound, etc) and all of a sudden this huge elephant foot slams down breaking my concentration. I didn't know what to make of it until a couple of nights later I had this ultra vivid dream that I was in a ware house and I was being followed by all these waist high elephants in all these different colors wearing Indian (as in India) headdress. I woke up and thought, 'the elephant must be my animal guide/totem'.
Then I came across a pendant of Ganesh in a catalog and then that was it! Everything Ganesh related that I came across I HAD to have. Mind you, I can't remember seeing him before! I know he existed, but I wasn't 'aware' of him. Then, about three weeks ago it hit me, while showering of all places, Ganesh had been 'tapping me on the head' all along! Now we have a relationship when, for the longest time before this, I never would have believed a deity would choose me, little ol' me. Least of all a Hindu deity!
Some thoughts on why this has not gotten the attention you think it deserves:
-A lot of someone's experience with a deity is UPG, so they keep some of that information private. (correct me if I'm wrong)
-They discuss their deity/s in other places and don't really find it important to repeat information over and over. I imagine explaining takes a bit of time, and I can imagine constant repetition is exhausting.
-Relationships are more personal.
- It says it was posted on Friday,and it's only Tuesday. These boards don't seem to have a huge number of posters every day.
I'd also like to say that this board is distinctly not "fluffy" and I've found the information therein very down to earth and useful. So, I don't think it's a matter of this topic being "fluffy enough" given that the members here are a very intellectual bunch.
I didn't mean the fluffy comment. I was mad, no irate, at someone else and it got taken out on the board so please omit THAT remark! By the time I realized I had left it in the time for editing the post had past. So my apologies to the entire board-no inflammatory remarks at my expense please.
Thank you Melissa for putting in your two cents. I appreciate it very much!!!!
Always a lovely discussion topic!
As for me, I identify with Shaktism. Shaktism is a sect of Sanatana Dharma (Hinduism) that defines the Ultimate Reality as being Devi (Goddess), and thus is a tradition of goddess-centric worship. I identify with it as traditionally as I possibly can and commit to puja to the deities (which are cosmic reflections of the One) of the praxis.
As Shaktism is a dynamic tradition of Goddess-worship, it could be said that all goddesses are within the collective "pantheon", however, as within the other Dharmic sects, one has an "Ishta-devata" (personal goddess) of which one primarily builds one's relationship. My ishta-devata is Durga (also known as Ambika or Chandi), which is a largely transcendant devi and one which I consider the being just barely immanent enough to comprehend, being the Unchanging Source of Everything (Brahmin). Beyond Durga, the destroyer of difficulties, my primary center of attention tends to lean towards Kali, She Who Takes Away the Darkness, with whom I consider more immanent and approachable. She is an emanation of Durga and also removes obstacles, namely Ego, ignorance and attachment, and sometimes in an uncomfortable fashion as I have learned over the last couple of years.
How I found myself before Devi? A couple of years ago, I was googling a local synagogue because I enjoy experiencing other religious practices and, having attended them before, was looking to experience another nice Shabbat. Well, at the top of the list was a local Hindu temple. I considered it somewhat irrelevant to my inquiry but decided to click on the link and see what it was about. The link was to the Hindu Temple of Hampton Roads. I went through the pages and clicked on the link regarding temple deities. Durga immediately stuck out amongst the other six or seven deities installed in the temple and I decided to research further. I put Her name in an image search and BAM. Like a bag of bricks to the side of the head (although more cushioned, I'd venture!), Her images resulted in an immediate emotional response. I felt that I had been reunited with a long, lost love. I was honestly teary-eyed as I gazed upon Her. Immediately, I began reading, researching and absorbing everything Durga that I could muster. In a matter of an hour or two, I became solidly dedicated to Her, and eventually to Shaktism as a whole, and haven't turned from Her since.
Wow Sangraal! I can actually, well, relate, on your emotional response. When I'm IN temple, near the statue of Ganesh I get this overwhelming wave of emotion and I just don't know what to do with myself. I have to stop myself from crying. Strange to those who don't know the experience, I'm sure, but I'm opening myself up here...So Sangraal, we are like siblings in our emotional attachment and experience.
Fr. Perseverabo, very deep and very interesting and very thought provoking! I do so enjoy your posts no matter the subject!!
John, I feel as though I have a brother in arms! Not that I felt alone in my relationship with Ganesh, but I felt alone in that I was the only 'pagan', if you know what I mean? i too felt a shallow relationship with the 'Lord and Lady' or what I called them as I hadn't identified them as of yet and felt an emptiness, if you will. When Ganesh entered my life, and trust me I wasn't looking for anything at the time, I finally felt a sense of fulfillment I didn't know was possible! Now I am constantly learning and reading all I can about Hinduism, Ganesh, and now Lakshmi, whom I have a fondness for, and all the other Gods and Goddesses of which we know are MANY!!!!!!!!!!!!!