The Gifts of Durga
A little more than a week ago, I wrote a post on the Goddess Durga and finding fierce compassion for myself. I must admit that one of the people I find hardest to treat with compassion is myself. I seem to be especially harsh on myself. I also noted that Durga holds items in each of her hands and each of these might become tools for me to use in finding compassion within and using it in a loving and supportive manner. I think, also, that this cold and brutal winter has a lot to do with the feeling of helplessness and hopelessness I feel on this first day of spring.
Sorry to be such a buzzkill! I’ve always been called a “Little Miss Fix-it” and I certainly have that in my personality. I haven’t fixed this. But I am making a start by finding what the gifts Durga holds out to us. A little bit of rather cursory research nets me a wealth of information to think about, journey on, meditate on, and to breathe in.
Durga has three eyes! The left is desire or the moon, accessing the vision of the sacred feminine; and the right is action or the sun, accessing the vision of the sacred masculine. The third and center eye is knowledge and fire. I think the third eye takes these two opposites and melds them together in an alchemical blend of power and love.
She sits on a lion or tiger, both of which mean power, will, determination and ferocity. Like my favorite Major Arcana card, Strength, Durga acts according to her nature and respects the nature of the powerful animal she rides. They have formed a partnership of mutual respect and determination. They ride forward in unison and harmony fulfilling their mutual purpose as well as their individual desires.
In her hands she holds a number of items, important in symbolic ways; the conch shell is assigned the sound “om” and Durga is holding onto god in the form of sound; the bow and arrow is control over both forms of energy, the kinetic and potential; the thunderbolt is about firmness of convictions and firmness in general; The lotus is not fully in bloom and talks of the certainty of success but not the final outcome; the discus spins above her index finger without touching, indicating that the entire world bows to her will; the sword if freedom from doubt; and the trident indicates three qualities of action, inactivity, non-activity, activity and the remover of the three miseries, physical, mental and spiritual.
This is what my research tells me. Over the next few weeks I will be journeying to Durga to ask her what wisdom she has for me about each of these tools. Her stance tells us “fear not,” and already I feel more hopeful than I did when I started writing. Perhaps like the lotus not fully in bloom, the turning of the wheel is opening up a little window of hope and happiness.