Eventful Octobers

It seems like Octobers are almost always eventful, and usually involving the Mothers.

The beginning of the month was especially blessed with the welcoming of a new member to our household pantheon, Nossa Senhora de Fátima:

A gift from a friend from far away makes Herself comfy in Her new home.

I’m not quite sure yet which godly power is behind the Lady of Fatima, but something tells me that she’s older than the biblical Mary. This stunning statue of the Lady comes from Galina who was kind enough to send it over as a gift. Here She is, bathing in bukhoor incense, a traditional gesture of hospitality in the Arab world.

Shortly after, our town fiesta happened, which is always a blessing of joy to our people, Catholic or otherwise:

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It is always an honour for any man or woman to carry Her, our loving town patron of many years. She was exceedingly beautiful this year, our dearest Mother of wild dances.

[I will be posting a couple of videos later in the week.]

The Queen is finally home after an entire afternoon and evening on the streets. Truly, a Dancing Queen.

Here She is again, home after an entire afternoon and evening on the streets. Truly, a Dancing Queen.

Another festival honouring a divine mother followed right after as we celebrated the Maha Navratri in our home:

God is a woman, a fearsome mother. Jai Mata Di! Shubh #Durga #Navratri!

As the new moon of Ashvin rose, we welcomed Durga into our homes once again. Jai Maa!

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Of course, no Navratri is complete without a visit to the local mandir. She was especially beautiful this year in bright crimson.

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The other gods were just as beautiful in their new clothes.

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We are a relatively small temple, but the place is full of stout hearts. It’s always nice to be in a sea of devotees.

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Shiva’s coat was especially fab. (No living tigers were harmed in the making of the coat.)

Come late October, I revamped the house shrine:

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Our Agathos Daimon now sits comfortably between the Holy Child of Atocha (dubbed ‘Baby Hermes’) and Ganesha, the ‘Hermes of Hindustan’.

And, of course, never a month without the customary thanksgiving dinner:

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Of all the things we owe the Gods, this is but a small feast. This feast was dedicated not only for a month full of events, but also for our dear friend, Sannion.

Another eventful October, indeed, and by the looks of it, next year will be just as busy with the twin Great Mother festivals coming right after the other. Hail, the Spirits of October! Hail, the Two Mothers! Hail and hail again!

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From Darkness Into Light

We’re moving from one month into another, again. Happy month-end! Happy deipnôn!

Now, month-ends are, for some reason, very nostalgic to me. I guess, it’s because it reminds me of all the times I prayed for a chance to start fresh. I know every day is a chance to reset, but there’s something about the Moon (literal, symbolic, or both) that makes a monthly reboot especially significant.

My Instagram album has been witness to these moments many, many times already:

As one cycle ends, another begins. Hail, Hekatê, light in the darkness, keeper of keys!

As one cycle ends, another begins. Hail, Hekatê, light in the darkness, keeper of keys! (leaving Skirophoriôn 1/698, entering Hekatombaiôn 2/698)

Luwalhati sa Senyorang may tatlong mukha.

Luwalhati sa Senyorang may tatlong mukha. Hail, three-faced Hekatê! (leaving Metageitniôn, entering Boedromiôn 2014)

It's that time of the month again to pay the Lady the rent that we owe her.

It’s that time of the month again to pay the Lady the rent that we owe her. (leaving Boedromiôn, entering Puanepsiôn 2014)

Incidentally, it’s also Diwali tonight, too. Shubh Diwali! Hail the victory of light over darkness!

Image source: http://goo.gl/qMMdiV

Image source: http://goo.gl/qMMdiV

I am, however, stuck at work right now–but if I weren’t, I’d be with my dear friend, the Indophile, having a nice Indian dinner at home.

Here was last year’s annual Lakshmi and Ganesha puja, which we hope to perform this weekend:

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May all the gracious Gods-who-move-the-world look after your way; bring you safely from the past into the future, from yesterday into tomorrow, from darkness into light. Om. Ita est.

G is for Ganesha

This entire week has been all about Ganesha (Ganapathi), the “Hermês of Hindustan” (a personal moniker à la interpretatio graeca I’ve reserved for the jolly god of beginnings and good fortune), as Hindus and Indophiles around the world celebrate Ganesha Chaturthi:

Ganesha Chaturthi is the Hindu festival celebrated on the birthday (rebirth) of the god Ganesha, the son of Shiva and Parvati.

The festival, also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi (“festival of Ganesha”) is observed in the Hindu calendar month of Bhaadrapada, starting on the shukla chaturthi (fourth day of the waxing moon period). The date usually falls between 19 August and 20 September. The festival lasts for 10 days, ending on Anant Chaturdashi (fourteenth day of the waxing moon period).

Despite being completely overwhelmed by devotion for the elephant-headed lord, not to mention the intoxicating smell of butter and sandalwood, I managed to take a few pictures of this Monday’s opening ritual:

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Opening of Ganesha Chaturthi 2013 at the Manila Hindu Temple

Although the festival lasts for 10 days, the community is going to hold the Visarjan (immersion ritual) for Ganesha tomorrow, the ninth. Naturally, I’ll be there. Anything for the elephant-headed Hermês!

May the old gods of these islands, once ruled by great rajahs of the Majapahit Empire, rejoice at the coming and going of Ganapathi, their lord! Jai Ganesha! Jai Ganapathi! Morya!