2 min read

Answering the call of the divine feminine

The fruit of devotion on the path to liberation, via trauma

For the last few years, I have been following the Tibetan Buddhism traditions. I am immersed in studies and community for most of the week. Naturally as Losar, the Lunar New Year approached, there was a buzz in our sanghas. I wanted to celebrate this period of ten days in some way. Some of my friends were doing self-retreats. Some others were in group retreats online. I could do neither. I was not sure what I would do, what I could do.  I felt deflated and a familiar sense of not-good-enoughness seeped in.

For the unacquainted, I have a tenuous relationship with festivals. Having lost my mother and social support at a young age, a part of me remains frozen in time - a clueless, grieving child whose world is bereft of any joy. Festivals make this even more pronounced.

Initially, it used to be Hindu and Jain festivals like Diwali, Ganesh Chaturthi and Paryushan. When I married Sid, the same feeling began to crop up during Christmas. I yearn(ed) for something elusive. When I see posts on social media for moon cycle rituals, albeit to a lesser degree, the same sense of loss emerges.

I have tried in my way to do things, but it is hard for me. I paid to go to a monthly full moon group with Asha Frost, an Indigenous writer and healer I love. Yet, I find myself restless in these groups. For Diwali, I tried to get someone to clean my house, but I could not muster the motivation to prep for the deep clean as I used to with my mother. Going out to dinner is something Sid and I can manage and we do that. That is my neutral. Not bad, not good. It feels settling.

In 2023, I fasted for Paryushan and Navratri and had a wonderful experience with both. As Losar approached, I wondered if I could keep the same fast. A day before the Lunar New Year, I lay in bed, heavy with grief and low energy. I knew then there was no way I could fast. I resigned that this would be added to my long list of triggers.

The morning of, with sleepy eyes, I logged on to Instagram, along with Lunar New Year, I saw posts about Gupt Navratri. I have never heard of this in my whole life. But knowing that it was Navratri, I felt invigorated. In a split second, I was ready to fast. The goddess had come knocking.

The surprising thing is I had been thinking of the divine feminine essence for almost a week prior. I had seen some posts online that were sexy, provocative, and made by skinny, able-bodied beautiful women. All of which I was not. Yet, over the last few years, I had felt the pull, the call, the command of this essence. My mother and her father’s side have been devotees of Shakti. Having no one to turn to, I was contemplating this idea myself the whole of last week.

Turns out, all the churning had been a call. My weekend was going to be socially busy, but I felt resolute in my decision to follow ekasanu - a fast during which practitioners eat once a day. All my reservations dissolved and my body was buzzing with anticipation. It felt like two mothers were inviting me. My earthly mother, and Kali Ma.

This period of Navratri is auspicious in Hinduism, but also in the Tibetan Vajrayana. How incredibly powerful that my ancestry and my chosen path converge in this beautiful way!

The portal is open. Let the wisdom of the divine feminine be ignited within me.