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A Shakti Wicca Ritual to Honor the Goddess Lakshmi

Lakshmi’s Ritual

  1. Ritual Preparation
    1. Ritual must be a small circle in which people can easily sit close together and ‘gifts’ can be quietly handed out during meditation.
    2. Ritual to be done on a Friday, which is an auspicious day for Lakshmi
    3. Altar faces north or east with a white altar cloth, covered by decorative cloth with reds and golds in it. 
    4. Lakshmi statue
    5. Brass Oil Lamp, oil & wick
    6. Lotus incense and brass incense holder
    7. Vermilion power and brass bowl
    8. Flowers and rose petals to give to Lakshmi in brass flower holder
    9. Rose petals and coins to give during meditation (stored in brass bowl)
    10. Small cup of water with spoon to use during meditation
    11. Fruit bowl with bananas, coconut, and mango (stored in brass bowl)
    12. Mango juice & gold colored wine glass
    13. Small cups, bowls, and forks
    14. Bindi (made from Kumkum and sandalwood oil) and sandalwood oil
    15. Background music for meditation (cd player set to correct song)
    16. Paper and pens for participants to write down thoughts on meditation
    17. Copies of ritual for each participant

 

  1. Preparation to enter Circle
    1. Priestess will read this before inviting participants to come into circle.

 

Namaste! Tonight we have gathered to perform a ritual and guided meditation for Lakshmi, the Hindu Goddess of abundance and prosperity. The ritual will be slightly different than a normal Wiccan ritual, for I have tried to incorporate aspects of both Hindu and Wiccan ritual format. Since this ritual is so different many explanations will be given.

 

A little about Lakshmi: The word ''Lakshmi'' is derived from the Sanskrit word Laksme, meaning "goal." Lakshmi, therefore, represents the goal of life, which includes worldly as well as spiritual prosperity. In Hindu mythology, Goddess Lakshmi, also called Shri, is the divine spouse of Lord Vishnu and provides Him with wealth for the maintenance and preservation of creation.

 

As we perform the ritual and guided meditation, please think of what abundance and prosperity means to you. Remember, abundance and prosperity is not just money and financial gain. Tradition and values, family and friends, and personal character are all wealth. In the Hindu mythology, Lakshmi is the source and provider of the following sixteen types of wealth, as well as many more. (1) Fame (2) Knowledge (3) Courage and Strength (4) Victory (5) Good Children (6) Valor (7) Gold and other gross properties (8) Grains in abundance (9) Happiness (10) Bliss (11) Intelligence (12) Beauty (13) Higher Aim, High Thinking and Higher Meditation (14) Morality and Ethics (15) Good Health (16) Long Life.

 

As we come into circle tonight, we will purify ourselves by placing a bindi on our third eye. This would normally be done with vermilion or kumkum power. Kumkum has special importance in temples dedicated to Lakshmi and other Goddess oriented temples in India. It is a symbol of auspiciousness, good fortune, festivity, and spiritual intelligence. The Bindi is believed to prevent the loss of "energy", as well as bringing spiritual protection. If you do not feel comfortable wearing a Bindi, please let me know, and we will purify you with sandalwood oil instead.

 

    1. Priestess and Priest place a Bindi or draw a banishing pentagram of fire upon the forehead of each individual who enters the circle, saying:

 

May Lakshmi cleanse you and provide you with abundance and prosperity.              

 

  1. Consecration of the Elements
    1. Consecration of the Elements is not done in Hindu ritual, but many of the same elements are used. The priestess will be utilizing this time to explain the items on the altar.

 

In Hindu Rituals, the incense that is burnt collectively stands for the desires we have for various things in life. The oil lamp that is lit, represents the light within us. The red powder, which is vermilion, stands for our emotions. The flowers that are offered to the deity stand for the good that has blossomed in us, and the fruits offered symbolize our detachment, self-sacrifice and surrender.

           

  1. Casting the Circle
    1. Priest chimes hand-held cymbals, moving desosil around the circle saying:

 

I weave into being around us, a circle of Radiant Light; guarding us, protecting us, keeping out all harm, allowing in only that which is true and is of service. In the many names of Lakshmi do I create this circle.

 

  1. Creating sacred Space

 

a.  The following will be read by the Priestess to the group, then she will chant the mantra, the Priest will chime hand-held cymbals after each reputation:

 

In some spiritualities, including many that have their origin in Africa, there is a tradition of honoring a "gatekeeper" God before worshipping any others. Hinduism also has such a gatekeeper, and His name is Ganesha. In mythology He is said to be the son of Shiva and Parvati, although how exactly He came by that elephant head varies depending of the particular scriptural source you are reading. Suffice it to say, all the stories end the same, with Ganesha being honored by a proclaimation that states that all devotees, man and deva alike, must worship Ganesha first, before approaching any other God/desses.

 

We will be using Ganesha’s mahamantra for clearing our circle tonight. He is the Lord of Obstacles and chanting his mantra will clear away any obstructions, seen or unseen, which are standing in the way of us achieving our goal, which is to clear and create our sacred space and make a connection with Lakshmi. I will chant the mantra three times.

 

OM GUM Ganapatiye Namaha - chime

 

  1. Calling the Quarters
    1. Priest will explain how we are calling the quarters and what Namaste means. Then he will call the quarters.

 

We will use some of the names of Lakshmi and her many aspects to call the Quarters and say "Namaste" while pressing our hands together and held near the heart with the head gently bowed. The prayerful hand position is a Mudr(a) called Anjali, from the root Anj, "to  adorn, honor, celebrate  or anoint." The hands held in union signify the oneness of an apparently dual cosmos, the bringing together of spirit and matter, or the self meeting the Self. It has been said that the right hand represents the higher nature or that which is divine in us, while the left hand represents the lower, worldly nature. In Sanskrit "Namas" means,   "bow, obeisance, reverential salutation." It comes from the root Nam, which carries meanings of bending, bowing, humbly submitting and becoming silent. "Te" means "to you."  Thus "namaste" means "I bow to you."

 

b.  Turning to each direction, priest calls the quarters:

 

By the many names of Lakshmi, we call forth the elements to lend their energies and be with us today.

 

East: Buddhi, Padmagandhina, Punyagandha. Satua. We welcome you in all your ethereal aspects. Namaste!

 

Everyone bow and say: Namaste!

 

South: Bhaskari, Deepta, Hiranmayi. Indra. We welcome you in all your fiery aspects. Namaste!

 

Everyone bow and say: Namaste!

 

West: Amrutha, Sudha, Samudratanaya, Preeta Pushkarini. We welcome you in all your flowing aspects. Namaste!

 

Everyone bow and say: Namaste!

 

North: Dharini, Prakruti, Surbhi, Vasundhara. We welcome you in all your earthly aspects. Namaste!

 

Everyone bow and say: Namaste!

 


  1. Invoking Divinity

 

    1. Invoking Lakshmi, the priestess says:

 

Salutations to the goddess of wealth, food, property, children, health, happiness, power, beauty, luck and sacredness, who sits bejeweled on a dew-drenched lotus, holding in her hand a golden pot overflowing with grain and gold, who is entertained by the songs of elephants in rut, who is the strength of the cosmic-king Vishnu, the mother of the god of love, whose eyes hold the promise of contentment and fulfillment, who is the restless but generous to all those who adore her, who is the earth-cow offering love and nourishment to all. Goddess Lakshmi, come be with us today and grace our circle with your love.

 

 

c.   Priest will explain offerings and mantra.

 

In Hindu rituals, the invoked diety is an honored guest and they given offerings. We will honor Lakshmi, give offerings to her, and thank her for joining us tonight. The mantra being chanted after each offering means “Oh Goddess Lakshmi! We pray to you in benign solemnity to bestow your blessings and shower your wealth on us.”

 

d.   Priestess does the following three things, says the mantra, and Priest chimes the hand-held cymbals.  1) Takes the oil lamp, circles it around the statue three times, mantra, then places it in front of the statue. 2) Takes the fruit bowl and holds it up, mantra, and places it in front of the statue. 3) Takes the mango juice and holds it up, mantra, and places it in front of the statue.

 

OM Shree Lakshmi Devayay Namaha

 

 

Please rise and starting from my left, going diosel, follow my example and take a few rose petals, shower Lakshmi, then thank her for joining us tonight.

 

Priestess takes a few rose petals, showers Lakshmi and says:

 

 Thank you for joining us Lakshmi. – Shower – Bow – Namaste!

 

Have each participant come up to the altar, take a few rose petals, say the phrase above, shower the rose petals on her, then say Namaste.

 

  1. The Work
    1. Priest explains meditation process.

 

Now it is time to for us to meet with Lakshmi through a guided meditation. You will be receiving some gifts from her tonight. Please sit comfortably, back straight, hands on knees, receiving hand up, other down. When you receive the gifts, do not open your eyes, concentrate on the feel, texture, and meaning of the gift.

 

    1. Goddess Lakshmi's Meditation, all will get comfortable and priestess will read meditation, Priest will place gift in hands at appropriate times:

 

It's a warm summer evening.  You're sitting outside, relaxing on a fallen log under an ancient willow tree.  A beautiful, teal colored lake surrounds you, perfectly serene and peaceful in the moonlight.  Lily pads and lotus flowers dot its surface creating the fragrant air around you.   You feel perfectly at peace, completely relaxed and at ease.  Taking a deep breath, you inhale the flowery fragrance deeply into your being and close your eyes. 

 

Suddenly, you awaken and notice the full moon now hangs high overhead.  You're not sure how much time has passed but you feel extremely well rested and happy.  Standing up, you see a glowing, golden light in the middle of the lake.  Stepping to the edge, you peer out and notice the light is growing and coming closer.  Tentatively, you try to step off the edge of the land and are amazed that you can walk on the water.  Step by step, you slowly walk toward the growing , golden aura never making a wake in the perfectly tranquil lake.  Nearing the light, you now see a huge white lotus flower, completely closed except for the golden light that pours out from its upright petals.

 

Stopping, you stare in awe as the flower begins to open. Expecting the light to be blinding, you avert your eyes away.  "I've been waiting for you, no need to hide," a beautiful voice says.  Turning back, you see the lotus is now completely open and standing in the center of the huge flower is the most beautiful woman you've ever seen.  She is glowing and vibrant.  A golden jewel glimmers from her forehead and she is crowned with gold and jewels.  Her beautiful black, silken hair flows down her back.  She is bathed in a flowing sari of shimmering, red and gold silk.  Intricate golden chains decorate her waist and neck.   Beautiful gold bracelets dangle on her four arms.  As she extends her hands in blessing, golden coins pour from her palm, falling endlessly into the lotus flower that she stands on.  In her upper two hands she holds the most perfect white lotus flowers you have ever seen.  They pulsate with a shimmering light that sends an exquisitely fragrant warmth into your being.  In her lower left hand she holds a beautiful golden pot that shimmers from the embedded jewels that decorate its surface.  "You've come here to learn of me and I am here to teach you," she says.  "Come, follow me." 

 

Her golden aura pulses, blinding for only a second and you are standing with her,  but your surroundings are different.  The full moon still hangs high overhead, but you see thousands of tiny glimmering lights.  Hearing a 'popping' overhead you look up to see fireworks dotting the night sky.  Voices waft toward you, laughing, singing and happy. 

 

Looking up to the Goddess she says, "These are my people.  Today is my day, Lakshmi Puja.  On this day I am invited into the homes of my people, invited by the handmade, twinkling oil lamps, red powder and flowers that show me the way into their homes to bless them with wealth and prosperity.  Today they have cleaned their homes, made sweets to eat, lit lamps of love and go door to door singing for treats.  Children run through the streets with glittering sparklers and the fireworks are seen and heard all over the town.  Special prayers and offering are made to me with beads and coins so I may visit tonight and bless their homes with Abundance and Prosperity." 

 

"Now it is time for the gifts I can share with you," she begins.  Kneeling in front of her, she stands in blessing, her four palms reaching toward you.  She first places a golden coin in your hands.  "Know you will never hunger, for you are blessed with artha, the gift of prosperity, you will have whatever material means you may require to fulfill your ambitions."

 

Pause, Priest places a coin in each participants hand. 

 

Next she places one of the white petals into your hands.  It is cool and silky to the touch.  "Now I give to you dharma, the gift of righteousness, to help balance your life and teach you what true transcendence means in your path."

 

Pause, Priest places a rose petal in each participants hand. 

 

Another white petal is placed into your hands.  It is warm and soft.  "This is moska, the gift of beauty, for all that are touched by me are beautiful."

 

Pause, Priest places a rose petal in each participants hand. 

 

She places her hand on your chin and raises your face upward opening your mouth slightly.  She opens the beautiful golden bottle and pours its liquid into your upturned mouth.  As the golden liquid touches your tongue, complete bliss surges through your body.  "Lastly, I give you a drink of amrita, the essence of immortality, health and life.  It is the gift of kama, pure carnal pleasure, life itself that will completely nourish your physical, mental and spiritual being."

 

Pause, Priest places a few drops of water on each participants wrist. 

 

"Go now and do not forget what I have given to you, for these are the keys to life itself."  You bow your head and thank the Goddess Lakshmi for what she has given you.  Her golden aura pulsates and as you look up, she is gone.  You are now kneeling under the ancient willow at the edge of the lake.  Looking up to the moon you smile for you have been blessed with many gifts on this night.  Rising to your feet you continue back home.

 

Take a few minutes and think about the gifts you have been given and when you are ready slowly shift your consciousness back to this room and open your eyes.

 

As participants are finishing up meditation, Priest places paper and pen in front of them. Once everyone is back, the Priestess has them write a few notes about their experience and discuss anything that comes to mind.

 

You have been given paper and pen, please take a few moments and write any thoughts you have, and then we will discuss your experience.

 

  1. Cakes and Ale
    1. Priest will explain cakes and ale:

 

Cakes and Ale is not done in Hindu ritual but the participants eat the offerings that were given to the deity during the ritual. We will utilize this time to give honor to Lakshmi and then distribute the food that was given to her at the beginning of the ritual.

 

    1. Priestess holds up wine glass with mango juice in it and says:

 

Lakshmi, you are the nectar of life, with your love and blessing we will never thirst.

 

Priestess pours some of the beverage into a dish for altar libations, chalice is passed around the circle (deosil), each member stating,

 

May you never thirst.

 

    1. Priest holds up the fruit bowl and says:

 

Lakshmi, you are the fruit of creation, with your love and blessing we will never hunger.

 

Priest places some of the fruit into the libations dish and passes plate around the circle (deosil), each member stating,

 

May you never hunger.

 

  1. Thanking Divinity, priestess will say:

 

Thank you Lakshmi, goddess of wealth and fortune. As the Hindu scriptures say, the purpose of life is to understand who we really are. We cannot discover this until we experience life. My your many blessings continue to shower down upon us as we live our lives. Namaste!

 

  1. Releasing the Quarters, priest will say:

 

By the many names of Lakshmi, we thank the elements for lending their energies and being with us today.

 

North: Dharini, Prakruti, Surbhi, Vasundhara. We thank you. Namaste!

 

Everyone bow and say: Namaste!

 

West: Amrutha, Sudha, Samudratanaya, Preeta Pushkarini. We thank you. Namaste!

 

Everyone bow and say: Namaste!

 

South: Bhaskari, Deepta, Hiranmayi. Indra. We thank you. Namaste!

 

Everyone bow and say: Namaste!

 

East: Buddhi, Padmagandhina, Punyagandha. Satua. We thank you. Namaste!

 

Everyone bow and say: Namaste!

 

  1.  Opening the Circle, priestess walks widdershins and says:

 

As all good things must sometimes end,

Go forth with the love that Lakshmi sends.

For if your heart is always true,

This circle will come back to you.

 

The circle is open but unbroken.

Merry meet, merry part, and merry meet again. Namaste!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://theedgeofmagick.blogging.com/blog/_archives/2005/7/4/994588.html

http://www.eaglespace.com/hindub.htm

Bansi Pandit http://www.koausa.org/Gods/God6.html

http://www.flex.com/~jai/articles/namaste1.html

http://shaktiwicca.tripod.com/id15.html

Hindu Gods by Priya Hemenway

Lakshmi, The Goddess of Wealth and Fortune by Devdutt Pattanaik

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OM GAM Ganapatiye Namaha! OM DUM Durgaye Namaha!

Devi Spring, author and compiling editor. Copyright Devi Spring 2006.