This year Navratri Ritual is celebrated from September 28th through 6th of October. Navratri (nav/nine and ratri/nights) is the celebration of manifestations of Shakti (Mother Goddess, the Creative Force). The festival is celebrated over nine to ten days ending with Vijayadashami (the victory tenth): The Day of Durga’s Victory. Change in the number of days celebrated is due the lunar calendar. Though Navratri is celebrated four times year for the four seasons, Sharada Navratri (Fall/Winter) holds the highest importance and is called the Great or Maha Navratri.
Why honor this ritual celebration? This time of year holds junctions of climatic and solar influence. We close summer as the warm weather fades and move into cool and clear days. Farmers are harvesting and offering us abundance of their crops. The universe is aligned with the forces of the Mother Goddess to support us in moving towards our highest selves!
Durga, an embodiment of Shakti, shows herself as Kali to destroy all that is not serving us. She supports us in saying ‘No” so we can transform. We now have room for Lakshmi to bless us in All Ways: material prosperity, health and our true grace. When we see ourselves clearly as whom we really are~ the Goddess herself working through us; we are in the company of Saraswataye’s wisdom and creativity. We ask blessings of all aspects of Shakti to purify, nurture and manifest success in all areas of our lives. Each deity is honored 3 days each accordingly.
I first learned of Navratri from my teacher Shiva Rea four years ago. I was going through a challenging time with my studies and work, which was teaching yoga. I followed some of the rituals to make room, in particular, cleaning my altars. This simple act gifted me a new connection to possibilities, abundance and faith. I have honored this ritual ever since around the times of Vernal and Autumnal Equinox.
A great way to connect with the pulsation of the universe is to invoke through chanting mantra. Chant 108 rounds of AUM AIM HRIM KLIM CHAMUNDAYI VICCE (Infinite awareness knows the one, the many, and she who unites them, transforms them, and makes them whole).
Victory to the Mother Goddess! Jai Ma Shakti!