Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Today's Goddess Card - Durga

Today's Goddess Card
Durga (Boundaries) 

Today's Goddess Oracle Card is Durga (pronounced Der'gah), the Hindu Mother Goddess of creation and destruction.  Durga is interesting, mostly because of how the Goddesses in the Hindu tradition work.  The Goddesses are all aspects of a single entity known as the Devi, which means "divine mother".  Durga is an incarnation of the Devi when there is a need for serious protection and defense.  Her name means "invincible fort"; she is also sometimes known as Durgatinashini, "the one who eliminates sufferings".

Durga represents the Divine power that preserves order and righteousness.  She is also called the Divine Mother and protects mankind from evil and misery by working to destroy things like selfishness, jealousy, hatred, and ego.  Durga manifests when there is evil present and it threatens the very existence of the Gods.  When this happens all the Gods add energy to the manifestation of Durga in order for her to go about her task of protection and keeping evil away. 

One of the stories of Durga tells of her initially being created by the Devi in order to rid the world of evil demons and that she gained her name from one of the demons that she defeated.  Another story tells of the buffalo demon Mahish, who threatened to conquer all of the world with his dancing and stomping.  Durga eventually battled him and had to take him down bare handed because her weapons were useless against him.  When she finally was able to get on his back she plunged her mighty trident into his back.  The three tines of the trident are said to contain three qualities, Satwa (inactivity), Rajas (activity), and Tamas (non-activity) and that by using the trident she is able to end misery created in the physical, mental, and spiritual plans by these things.  

Durga is depicted as having 10 arms, one for each of the 10 directions in the Hindu tradition; these represent her ability to protect from all directions.  She also is usually showing having three eyes.  The left eye represents desire and the moon, the right eye is action and the sun, and her third eye is knowledge and fire.  Durga is usually shown atop a lion who represents power, will, and determination, all qualities that one needs in order to overcome the ego.

The other weapons she is shown carrying including a conch shell (representing the divine sound of "OM" and her connection to creation), a bow & arrow (control over potential and kinetic energy), a thunderbolt (firmness in action), a lotus (not fully in bloom showing continued growth and evolution), the Sudarshan Chakra (represents ultimate destruction of enemies), sword (knowledge), and the trident as described above.  It's said that all these gifts were given to her by different Gods at the time of her initial creation in order to help her with her duties of protection the Divine realms. 

The message that Durga carries in this card is about boundaries.  While many of the tales of Durga involve the process of destruction of enemies, it's important to understand that she is also creating boundaries in the process.  By showing the other potential enemies and destroyers of the Gods that she can take them down Durga is creating a sense of boundaries at the same time.  We live in a world where things like the internet and social media have caused us to all but lose a sense of boundaries in our personal lives, and many of use don't have a sense of boundaries anymore in our day to day lives either because we always feel we have to be available for anyone around use at ant given moment; quite often this is something motivated by things like money or status such as being available at any time to work overtime or take on a client or patient at odd hours of the day or night.

How are you placing boundaries around you?  Are you placing them around you at all?  Have you put up boundaries only to allow others to knock them down anyway?  Or do you put them up and then effectively ignore them a short time later?  Stop and think about how you deal with boundaries today and think about how, if you were more firm in creating and maintaining them, how your spiritual and mundane life would be less stressful or less hectic.  Do you need to work to create better boundaries?  Consider placing some of Durga's items on your altar along with an image of her and call on her to help you with creating this sacred space for you to work within.  She is connected to both the sun and the moon so you could work with her at high noon or during tomorrow's full moon.  Get a little stuffed tiger and place it on your desk at work to remind you to keep moving with strength and determination.

Now, to show again how crazy some of my guides will work, when I pulled this card I immediately got the song "Holy Diver" by DIO in my head. So I shall share that with you...and I am sharing the actual video and not a fan video because it's just too funny to miss (seriously, this is funny).