As the Moon shifts into the first tithi of the waxing Moon cycle, late evening on Friday September 30th, the sacred nine day and night celebration of Shardiya Maha Navaratri begins.
Nava means nine and ratri means night in Sanskrit. Each day and night of this powerful junction point, correlates to the epic battle between the goddess Sri Devi Mahatmyam and the demon Mahishasura.
Maha Navaratri + The Tridevi
Maha Devi Mahatmyam is connected to both Durga and Shakti, powerful forms of divine feminine energy that awaken, clear, transform and heal. Sri Devi is understood to be the supreme creation power of the universe, the Tridevi, or triple goddess, as she expresses the creation, sustaining and destructive energies that perpetuate all forms of life.
In the sacred text known as the Sri Devi Mahatmyam, composed between 400 and 600 CE, the many forms of the goddess are expressed.
“She is presented, through a language of praise, as the one who dwells in all creatures, as the soul, as the power to know, the power to will and the power to act. She is consciousness of all living beings, she is intelligence, she is matter, and she is all that is form or emotion.” – via Wikipedia
During the nine day and night Navaratri celebration, the battle between light and dark forces enlivens, ending on the 10th day with Victory Day, Vijaya Dashami. This battle between light and dark, good and bad, masculine and feminine, transformation and healing, is taking place within all beings at this sacred junction point. It is a time to heal and integrate polarities within.
The Navaratri celebration is an expression of what is taking place within nature, through the laws that govern nature, marking an important transition within us and around us. These important junction points (known as a gap, or sandhi in Sanskrit) happen multiple times a year, however, the Shardiya, or Maha Navaratri, junction point is considered the most powerful.
Align with nature and Her powerful energy of change and transformation during Navaratri. Ritualize your connections with nature in order to land more closely to your own inner wisdom, to Her wisdom.
Maha Navaratri: Time For Transformation + Celebration
Navaratri occurs twice a year- in the “gap” seasons of spring and fall.
Fall Navaratri, or Maha Navaratri, is by far the most potent as it brings deep transformation and the ability to remove, destroy, release and transform, our darkness into light. The holy trinity of goddesses supports this process and allows us to let go of what needs to be released in order for greater nourishment. As we let go of our darkness, an increase of light and wisdom can take its place. This process is marked by Durga’s powerful battle against the demon Mahishasura. On the 10th day, she destroyed him and was victorious. This day is called Vijaya Dashami (Dashami is the 10th lunar day of the Moon cycle, connected to dharma).
This year, Maha Navaratri begins on October 1st in the USA, as the Moon enters the first tithi and begins to wax. The celebrations start just as the sacred fifteen day celebration of the ancestors, Pitru Paksha, ends. (This year Pitru Paksha is September 15th to 30th). The final day of Navarati is October 10th, as Moon moves through the 9th tithi (phase), Navami. Vijaya Dashami (Victory Day) is on October 11th, during tithi 10, Dashami.
This is a nine day and night celebration that is divided into three parts. The first three days are dedicated to the goddess Durga. Her warrior spirit cleanses, shifts, uproots, changes and transforms. The next three days of celebration are dedicated to Lakshmi. Her abundance, nurturing, and wealth offer nourishment and support to us on all levels of life. Finally, we have three days dedicated to goddess Saraswati. She gives us knowledge, understanding, wisdom, creativity and artistry. She is the rasayana (or healing balm) if you will, to close this sacred nine day celebration.
Together, these three goddesses bring wholeness, renewal, and the life giving offerings of Shakti. This creative life-force energy is truly what inspires life, living and abundance.
Connecting to fire and stoking the internal flame (or agni) can be valuable for the first three days of Durga. You may wish to write intentions that focus on empowerment and action steps for the coming months as well.
During the three days of Lakshmi, bring sweets and flowers to your altar, cook nourishing foods for your Self, decorate and adorn your Self. This is a time to focus on self care diligently.
For the final portion of Navaratri, dedicated to Saraswati, music, art and poetry can be a good way to focus your energy, efforts and intentions. Use creativity, artistry and embodiment resources for grounding and landing in your intentions.
As you deepen your intention for this Navaratri celebration, find meaningful rituals for yourself that bring you closer to spirit. Spend time in nature and in meditation. Listening to Durga mantras right now is excellent for inviting in her presence. Traditionally, listening to Chandi Path recitations is also encouraged.
During this sacred and potent time, treat your Self like the goddess that you are and share your abundance with others. May we each remember our abundant true nature, our immense creative life giving energy!