Monday, June 06, 2005

Another Sabbath Day

Yesterday was another Sabbath Day for me.

The Hindu Honkies I referenced in the above post invited the RS gang to visit Sri Ganesha to see Saraswati rededicated. I didn't think about it, but they do the Saraswati puja at the end of the school year, and have anyone continuing in school come to participate in the puja, as well as the graduates, to present them to Saraswati for her help with their continued studies.

I didn't realize that the standard service starts at 11 am; I had been told 11:30 for the ceremony. So once I got in, the Ganesh service was in full swing. I didn't see Saraswati at first, because she had been so changed by the work the HHs had done on her.

Her eyes look right into yours. I settled down close to her and began my first mala of the day...and noticed something odd.

I prayed my mala in my purse. I did not want anyone to see me.

Probably it's a hold-over from my upbringing. I understand very well the admonition of Christ that those who pray in public have their reward already on earth and will not receive it in heaven. (For those unfamiliar with the parable, he was talking about those who make a show of public prayer, not all prayer in public.) But with the other service already in progress, it seemed the thing to do to keep the beads in the bag.

Saraswati and I chatted-without-words for a short and infinite time, and then the puja for her began. The HH came over, as well as the Hexenmeister, and sat with me for some of the ceremony.

The temple does the Saraswati puja to coincide with graduation or end of school for most of its students, who ranged in age from middle school to adults in college. All of their names were read to Saraswati with the request that she help them in their studies. Didn't understand more than one word in ten, if that, but it was lovely. I blessed myself with fire, and then ended up at lunch (again) with the Hexenmeister and HH families (again), which was fun. Sitar is much better than Taste of India, and I think I'm now addicted to chicken tikka.

The only problem was that it was. So. Hot.

It was so hot and humid on Sunday that it was not to be borne, seriously. Someone fainted during the puja, and the A/C was on. After eating spicy food (mistake!), I ended up with free time and nowhere to go that had the benefits of central air.

So I went to the mountain.

Well, it wasn't a mountain, it was the hill where drum circle happens. I went early because up there there is at least a remote possibility that a breeze might cut its way through the 83% humidity and make you aware that your body is actually cooling itself by all that sweating. I love the South, but we need siestan instituted as of human being should be forced to do anything but sleep from about 3 to 5 when the weather is like this.

I had put on long pants because I was headed to temple in the morning, and put the dreads up. I usually do, as I don't own a sari and my non-sarong long skirts were dirty.

Five minutes out of the car I did the most bizarre reverse striptease ever in order to get the sarong on my head around my waist in a way that would preserve my dignity throughout the operation. I looked funny, I'm sure, but I wasn't hot any more.

Drum circle was very cool. CDHSarah was there, as usual, and some people asked us about our malas. Once it was over, I headed over to Daughters of Kali, the class I was so excited about.

I had made a tactical error while trying to avoid tactical errors, which is typical of me, by driving down the street where the class was being held the night before to try and find the place. I found the building that I thought was it, memorized what it looked like, and figured I was good to go.

Due to extreme dehydration, though, I had left downtown early to leave time to stop for water, and had left too much time, arriving thirty minutes before the start time. There wasn't a sign, but the signs on the door indicated that it was a place that might be it. So I settled down and read the PaganNet news again and watched the time tick away.

At about quarter after seven, about when I had decided that there wasn't going to be a class, I looked at the mailboxes and realized that the class was in the building next door. (Turns out the other building is a recording studio; they left me the Berry Hill version of a parking ticket, which is a handwritten, Xeroxed sheet asking you please not to park there even when it looks like they're closed as people use the studio at all times.) I zipped over there.

Turns out I was the only prospective Daughter of Kali to turn up for the introductory session, so it was far more informal than it probably would have been otherwise. We began going over the Goddess timeline until the teacher realized I knew most of it up to 10,000 BCE in India, which was her area of expertise as it was, so we skipped ahead and talked about the evolution of the Goddess in India, how their Goddess culture is far less broken and subsumed, a lot of topics...just talking. She showed me her altar (after placing my goddesses on it, which was a nice gesture) and an abbreviated puja to honor the deities on any altar, which was nice. We chanted and meditated for a while. There wasn't a lot I can share, really, because it was so informal, other than that I like it, am going back, and am inviting others to go with me.

Then I went and hung out with the upstairs neighbors and actually got to watch an episode of South Park for once. God bless.


At 1:36 PM, Blogger GoddessAradia said...

I thought of coming to both events, but was so busy on Saturday, I think the day was better spent relaxing and preparing for the work week. Next time perhaps?


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