Dieties of Marriage

Dieties of Marriage

by Divine Spirits

Deities Of Marriage These deities can be invoked in rituals concerning the family and the home. Frigg Frigg was the Viking Mother  Goddess whose jewelled spinning wheel formed Orion’s belt; as patroness of marriage, women, mothers and families, she can be invoked for all rituals  concerned with families and domestic happiness. She invited devoted husbands and wives to her hall after death so that they might never be parted again and  so is goddess of fidelity. As Ostara, goddess of spring, she was known among the Anglo-Saxons and is remembered in the festival of Easter as a fertility  goddess and bringer of new beginnings. In her role as Valfreya, the Lady of the Battlefield, Frigg recalls the Northern tradition of warrior goddesses and  offers courage to women. Hera Hera, the wife-sister of Zeus, is a the supreme Greek goddess of protection, marriage and childbirth whose sacred bird is the  peacock. She is a powerful deity of fidelity and is called upon by women seeking revenge upon unfaithful partners. Hestia Hestia is the Greek goddess of the  hearth and home, all family matters and peace within the home. She is a benign, gentle goddess and so can be invoked for matters involving children and pets.  Juno Juno, the wife-sister of Jupiter, is the Roman queen of the gods, the protectress of women, marriage and childbirth and also wise counsellor. Together  with Jupiter and Minerva, the goddess of wisdom, she made up the triumvirate of deities who made decisions about humankind and especially Roman affairs. Her  month, June, is most fortunate for marriage and, like Hera, her Greek equivalent, her sacred creature is the peacock. She is invoked in sex magick as well as  for all matters concerning marriage, children, fidelity and wise counsel. Parvati Parvati is the benign and gentle Hindu Mother Goddess, consort of the god  Shiva and the goddess daughter of the Himalayas. Her name means ‘mountain’ and she is associated with all mountains. She and Shiva are often pictured  as a family in the Himalayas with their sons Ganesh, god of wisdom andlearning, and six-headed Skanda, the warrior god. She is invoked for all family matters  and those concerning children and by women in distress. Vesta Vesta is the Roman goddess of domesticity and of the sacred hearth at which dead and living  were welcomed. The Vestal Virgins of Rome kept alight the sacred flame in Vesta’s temple and this was rekindled at the New Year, as were household  flames. Vesta can be invoked in rituals centred around the element Fire.

Meditation Technique to Clean and Heal the Eyes

Meditation Technique to Clean and Heal the Eyes

By Natalya Podgorny, Yoga+

If you’ve ever been transfixed by a candle flame and felt your mind clear, you may have been tapping into a yogic focusing practice called trataka.    The Hatha Yoga Pradipika defines trataka as “looking intently with an unwavering gaze at a small point until tears are shed.” This simple    technique has a purifying, invigorating effect on the mind and improves concentration, paving the way for a deeper meditation practice. Because it is one    of the shat kriyas, or six cleansing actions, trataka also cleans and heals the eyes.

Though many objects can be used to focus your gaze during trataka, the most common is the flame of a candle. Assume a comfortable meditative posture    with your head, neck, and trunk aligned. Set a candle two feet in front of you, with the flame positioned at eye level. Make sure the room is dark and    draft-free.

STEADY YOUR GAZE

Begin with your eyes closed, surveying the body and watching the breath until it becomes calm, regular, and even. Then open your eyes and rest your gaze    on the middle part of the flame, right above the tip of the wick. Keep your eyelids slightly more open than usual, and maintain your gaze without blinking    or blurring your vision for as long as possible. Observe any thoughts that arise, watching them come and go without becoming engaged.

Close your eyes only when they begin to strain and water, and you can no longer sustain the gaze. (You can cup your palms and place them gently over the    eyes to ease the strain, but do not rub the eyes; because the tears you have shed are carrying away impurities, wipe them gently with a tissue.) Then find    the afterimage of the flame in your mind’s eye, resting your awareness at the ajna chakra, or eyebrow center. If the image moves up and down or side to    side, stabilize it by bringing it back to the center, and continue to fix your gaze until the impression disappears. To delve deeper into the mind, you can    follow this practice with meditation.

HEALTHY GLOW

According to the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Trataka eradicates all eye diseases, fatigue, and sloth, and closes the doorway creating these problems.    In addition to improving concentration and memory, trataka cleanses both the eyes and the cerebral cortex, balances the nervous system, and relieves    depression, anxiety, and insomnia. Another yogic text, the Gheranda Samhita, states that the practice cultivates clairvoyance and inner    vision.

Because sight, mental discrimination, and the fire at the manipura chakra are intricately interwoven, trataka also nourishes the subtle flame at the    navel center, promoting vitality and inner health. In its more advanced form, as the Himalayan master Swami Rama said, “The practice of trataka    eventually merges into surya sadhana, meditation on the solar energy.”

STARING AT THE SUN

Under the guidance of a teacher, you can learn how to use a variety of auspicious objects or symbols as the focus of your gaze during trataka, such as a    yantra (a symbolic geometric representation of aspects of Divinity), the symbol Om, the form of a deity, lightning, the moon, your own shadow, or the    glowing orange orb of the rising or setting sun. So steady your gaze, and follow the light all the way to your inner self.

Natalya Podgorny is the editor of Yoga + Joyful Living

Calendar of the Moon for February 5th

Calendar of the Moon
5 Luis

Sarasvati’s Day

Colors: Purple and Blue
Element: Air
Altar: Upon cloth of purple and blue place seven blue candles, incense of Indian scents, many peacock feathers, and instruments of the arts.
Offerings: Make something creative and artistic, or assist an artist in doing so.
Daily Meal: Indian food.

Sarasvati Invocation

Hail Sarasvati, Lady of the Arts!
Hail Sarasvati, faithful to her husband!
Every eye of your peacock tail,
O Lady of the starry heaven,
Sees a different part of beauty –
Beauty that sings, that dances,
Or writes, or puts the hands
To making music or the touch
Of things that draw the eye.
Yet of all these eyes not one
Takes in the whole tapestry
Of the full radiance of life
Save your two alone,
Who see all things not as they are
But as they might be
Come finally to fulfillment.

(All should now join in creating some work of art together, or in reading poetry, or in making instrumental music, or all of these things. )