If your love life is lacking, if your wallet is empty, if you need a pure straight shot of luck, there is no one who can fix your situation better than Lakshmi. That doesn’t mean she’s standing around with her purse, desperately hoping to give you everything you ever wanted. Your mom doesn’t do that, Lakshmi doesn’t either. She’s known for her capricious nature and she’s fiercely independent. She also appreciates hard work, modesty and bravery and she’s known to bounce when you start slacking off.
Churning and Churning and Churning
Once, Lakshmi liked Indra, the warrior god. She helped him protect his cities through her influence. Indra got real salty about it though, claiming it was through his prowess alone that protected the cities. Lakshmi liked Indra though, so she rolled her eyes and put up with it until he was offered a sacred garland of jasmine by sage. He tossed it on the ground and spurned the offering. Lakshmi was so ticked off, she blinked herself out of existence so he could see how good he did without her. Spoiler: not well. Not well at all. So the world is literally crashing and burning in flames, and the other goddesses started to get anxious and they say to Indra, Oh crap. Now you’ve really put your foot in it. What do we do? Indra asks Vishnu how they can put the world back together. Vishnu says that they’re going to need to churn the ocean of milk all together. It’s gonna take a 1,000 years though, bro. So get comfortable. You know how she is. But everything’s gonna be good again, we just have to stay focused. Oh yeah. We need to talk to the ocean so we can make sure we can get this all sorted. So all the goddesses got together and while there were many other side adventures during this 1,000 years (an elixir of life, an immortality potion, something about demon slaying), they stayed focused and churned the Ocean of Milk for 1,000 years. Thus satisfied that everyone was now really, really sure again that they needed her, she made her entrance from the Ocean of Milk back into the world, gave Indra the hand and chose Vishnu as her husband because he really got her.
A Suburban White Girl Diwali
Diwali is the Hindu festival of lights and a very auspicious time to get to know Lakshmi. Lucky for you, it’s happening right now. My neighbors were setting off fireworks on the lawn last night, feel free to get in on that as part of your celebration. You can’t go wrong with a Puja Rite and lighting a million little clay lamps from your cash and carry (which will have them in four packs). It’s suggested that you clean your house, wear some new clothes, eat sweets and go shopping. If you’re feeling really motivated, decorate your door way with fairy lights and colorful garlands and be nice to your siblings. All of this is incredibly Pinterest/Instagram friendly suggestions along with being everything I love in life. You can see why I’m into it.
A Simple Puja Rite
* A v. small clay bowl
* A picture of Lakshmi
* Kumkum powder
* A bell
* Cotton wicks
0. If you want to really start off on the right foot, your house needs to be clean. She’s very fussy about cleanliness. If she takes a permanent place on your altar, make sure her space is clean. Once you have a relationship, you should still try to live less like a garbage animal, but she understands that modern life is complicated.
1. Starting facing the picture of Lakshmi, turn in a circle clockwise, clapping your hands eight times for the eight directions.
2. Ring the bell.
3. Thank Ganesha for being awesome (he always comes first because he won that race against his brother).
4. Soak your wick in some ghee in the clay bowl. When lighting it, thank Agni for being fire and acting as the gatekeeper.
5. Tell Lakshmi about the sweets and incense you got her. Tell her how awesome she is. Say her seed mantra. Om shrim maha Lakshmi namaha If you want to be impressive, get a mala and say the mantra 108 times. It’s not required, but brownie points. Tell her why you want to work with her. Ask for her help, etc. Make sure to light the incense.
6. Put some kumkum powder on the picture (on her head and feet) and then take a little off the picture and put it in your hair.
7. Thank Ganesha for his presence. Thank Agni for his presence. Thank Lakshmi for her presence.
7. Ring the bell.
8. Clap your hands in a circle clockwise in all eight directions.
9. SUPER IMPORTANT!!! You *MUST* eat some of the food you gave her or she will think you gave her crappy food, which is incredibly offensive to Hindu deities. This practice is called Prasad. If you give flowers, some flowers must be given to others, if you gave sweets, eat some and feed your family the rest and so on.
Deb’s book is available for purchase. Her shop is stocked with ritual oils for your practice and handspun yarn. If you have already read her book, won’t you please make her publisher happy and leave a review?