My Daily Practice

Over at A Forest Door, Dver writes:

“What if we made September a month of polytheists blogging about their actual practices? No talking about what other people do or should do, no politics unless it’s an integral part of the religious practice described, no controversies, no denouncing, no complaining about how other bloggers make us feel. Just sharing our religious lives, the things we are doing in this month to honor the gods, spirits, ancestors, nature, or whatever.”

I think this is an awesome idea!

My daily practice is probably going to be very different from most other Pagans/polytheists due to the majority of practice being based on worshipping Hindu deities.

Basically, in the morning after showering (washing myself with sandalwood soap), I start my morning worship. I go to my shrine for Sri Ganapati (Ganesha). I purify the space with a little benzoin. I light some sandalwood incense. I put on a saffron-colored prayer shawl that has images of the Holy Family (Devi, Shiva, Ganesha). I ring a small bell to signify my presence and sit silently for a moment. I open the door to the shrine and chant some Sanskrit. I list His attributes and praise Him.

I offer a cup of water, light from a ghee lamp (fire), incense (air), and a food, generally laddoo, a sweet Indian baked good that Ganesha famously loves (earth). I’ll recite a mantra or a few in Sanskrit.

Then I talk to Him about my life and ask for what I need that day or pray for others.

If I have time, I’ll repeat His 108 names or His mantra 108 times. (108 being a sacred number in Hinduism.)

At night, before going to bed, I do the same except without the offering of water/incense/food/light.

That’s just for one deity (the focus of my practice).

For Devi, I don’t have a regular practice yet. I’m working on it. I also offer Her light and incense but do not do the food/sweet that I do for Sri Ganesha. I like to chant the Lalita Pancharatnam to Her in the morning, one or more of Her mantras 108 times and sections of the Saundarya Lahari to Her (See my recent post on Lalita for more information). I have been looking through a Sri Vidya worship of Lalita that takes about 30 minutes to perform. There’s also the Lalita Sahasranama (Her 1000 Names) that also takes over 30 minutes to perform. I might post more about the Sri Vidya piece in the next week or so.

When I worship Aphrodite, I will offer resinous incenses over burning charcoal like frankincense and myrrh and offer mead or apple cider. In the past, for a set period of time, I gave Aphrodite Limenia flowers and wine at the harbor near my work.

I also will offer apple cider or mead to Brigid.

I’ve also offered mead to Devi. Though it’s not traditional in conventional Hinduism to offer alcohol, Lalita is said to be fond of mead.

My practice is still changing, still evolving.




~ by R.M. McGrath on 09/02/2016.

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