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Durga Goddess of the Month for August


When one works with the living tradition of Hindu deities, different geography and different historical periods make one specific catalogue for one Hindu pantheon impossible to pin down.

The Durga/Kali myth is but one example. Which birthed which? Does it matter?

Durga destroys demons. She is, on the surface, a compelling and attractive female force who perhaps hides the wild-eyed, bloodthirsty Kali inside.

I worship her just past Full Moon, as the moon starts waning. She is Mother but with accumulated wisdom, a presence that can accompany us into darkness. Her presence is comforting in the darkest of times, but her radiance makes a dark moon celebration of her seem inapplicable. Durga rides a lion or a tiger showing her connection with fire, glowing, heat and radiance.

Beautiful as well as powerful, Durga is glowing golden, a great mother goddess.

Like Gaia, she is mother of us all; but her mothering emphasizes that she is a warrior to protect her children. In my work with her, she has defended my independence, my right to make choices. She has made my choices more acceptable to those who would limit me, with whom I must negotiate my freedom. She is a great goddess for a woman who needs to carve out a space and time for herself in the midst of responsibilities to others.

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