Time Expresses the Divine Feminine

Illustration of Durga Devi

You may have heard that the Goddess or “Shakti” is closely related to Time.

“Kālī” - the famous expression of the mother divine force that ruthlessly destroys irrelevancy, shares the same root word of “Kāla”, the Sanskrit word for time.
So what is the relationship between Time and Mother Divine?

A better word for “time” would be the “Rhythms of Nature.”

Divine Feminine expresses itself through Nature’s Rhythms.
And we are about to experience one of the pinnacles of Mother Divine (Shakti) on display during a seasonal transition (ṚtuSandhi ऋतुसन्धि) post-equinox NEXT WEEK.
The video shows Goddess-Shakti Mother Divine expressing itself as the cosmic rhythms of nature:
Video by @djsadhu
Planets move around the Sun,
the Sun moves around the Galaxy and very likely a twin dark star also,
Orbits and Helices (3D shapes wound uniformly around a central column or suṣumṇā nadī), are formed by the planets, led under the influence of commander Sūrya (the Sun).
This flow, movement and dynamism that plays in the cosmos (and video) is Goddess-Shakti, AKA mother divine, prakṛti and Durgā.
Starting the first new moon after the equinox is the 9 Nights of Mother Divine, “Navratri”, starting Oct 7th, Oct 6th (USA).
Simply aligning to these rhythms of Nature is aligning to your Human-Nature which is aligning to Durgā - activating Divine Feminine in you and your environment. This is true “Goddess worship.”

WAYS TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS UPCOMING NAVRATRI

  1. Free wisdom & practical sessions each of the 9 nights w/ my colleagues and I (super excited for these).
  2. My teachers are hosting 2 special webinars to learn self-pulse, an Ayurvedic Self-referral technique.
  3. Join the Navratri Restorative Cleanse w/ @prashanti.veda.mandala - this is my 2nd Navratri doing it and I love it! This post was greatly inspired by Prashanti’s unique & precious wisdom.

How do you celebrate / participate in Navratri? Comment 👇

Foraging and Curing Olives

Olive tree

Season (Kala)

As we exit the northern solstice, “Uttarayana,” which is heat dominant (Agneya)  , and transition into the southern solstice, Daksinayana, cooling and moon dominate (Saumya), here in Australia, the earth moves a little more away from the sun in the southward direction.
Seasonal transition (RtuSandhi ऋतुसन्धि) is a significant event in Ayurveda. Not adapting to the outer environment and supporting your biological changes which vulnerably occur at this sandhi (transition) time is considered one of the significant causes of disease.
So that is why in the Vedic culture, 9 nights are designated at these times of transition. These nine nights (Navratri) are provided to go more inward (opportunity for enhanced spiritual connection), eating less or some types of fasting so your cellular energy can be utilised on other biological functions than predominately digestion, and eating certain foods and herbs to assist with this transition.
Here in Australia at this time of year (around late April), nature provides olives. Ripe and ready on the tree to be brined and cured.
Olives being fermented and rich in Lactrobacillus bacteria have the action of sparking up the digestive fire (deepena karma).
This naturally aligns with nature because by the time these olives are cured and ready to eat, it’s winter, and the digestive fire is stronger as it huddles in to keep the body warm and digest higher protein and fatty foods to keep us insulated as we hibernate through winter.
Olives have a delicious abundance of monounsaturated fat. This coupled with biophenol anti-oxidants, helps regulate cholesterol by preventing the bad cholesterol in the arterial walls and supporting the good cholesterol for heart, brain and hormonal health.
Dylan Smith harvesting wild olives
Overall inflammation is reduced in the body by the phenolic compounds in olives when they are had in moderation
However, olives are quite salty and heating. So make sure to consume them in condiment sizes and eat them seasonally - in winter. Pitta types   should eat less of them as they can increase this fire which may manifest as skin diseases, acne, irritable bowel syndrome, hyperacidity and anger/irritability.  
So my fellow Australians and those around the world who are reading this or saving it for when your season comes, look for some wild or generous olive trees and have a go at curing them…

Brine and Cure Method

Brine cured olives are absolutely delicious!
The basic principle of curing olives is that you are using water and salt to extract the glycoside from them - the chemical which makes olives very bitter when picked. Then you are left with sweeter, bitter, salty tasty fruits.
  1. Soak olives in water - Put your olives in a bowl or esky or drum of pure room temperature water. (It is good to have a tap as you will be draining the water and refilling regularly). Or you can sit your olives in a strainer in a bowl of water for easy removal and water change.
  2. Cover the vessel and leave for two days.
  3. After two days, empty the water and refill with new water.
  4. Repeat this process for about 14 days total. (If you forget about your olives for an extra day or two, that is fine).
Brine Cured Olives
Now it’s time to brine…
  1. In a big jar mix 1L of pure warm-hot water with 100gm of salt non-idolised good quality salt. Warm-hot water is used so that the salt can dissolve evenly throughout the water.
  2. Note you can make 5L or 20L of brine (highly concentrated salty water). Whatever you want. Just ensure the water to salt ratio is 10:1 (10% salt). So if you are doing 5L of water, add 500gm salt.
  3. Once the jar of salt water is cooled to room temperate, add your olives in until they reach the top of the jar. It is good to squish them down tightly in. They should be fully submerged under the brine. To achieve this, add a small plate or some big flat rocks to weigh the olives down.
  4. Keep your jar of olives in a dark place with a stable temperature (like a pantry).
  5. How much time to brine? -  This depends on the size of olives, the ripeness, how long you did the water stage for (if at all, you don’t have to do this stage but it makes the olives tastier and smoother), how salty you like your olives .
  6. Taste your olives after they’ve been in the brine for 2 months and get to know the taste of brining olives. This can take 4-12 months for them to be ready.
  7. After the brine stage - When they are ready, you should strain the brine (this will be very bitter).
  8. Then store your olives by adding them into a new brine (this lasts for up to 6 months), in olive oil or in 50:50 vinegar and water solution.
  9. Add herbs and spices like rosemary, fennel and lemon slices is good to add at this into the jar for the storage phase until you eat them all.
  10. Enjoy your very own brine cured olives!
Have you ever brine cured olives? How do you use olives in your cooking? Comment below 👇
Olive brining recipe adopted from @milkwood

Related Reading: Foraging & Eating Seaweed ~ Australian Golden Kelp


The Power of Mother Divine and “Navaratri” and How to Access Its Regenerative Energy

An Illustration of the divine mother
"Divinity blossoms where woman are respected."
Manu Smriti (ancient Ayurvedic text on gynaecology)

In the Vedic calendar there are a few times in the year when the collective invokes the Mother Divine aspects of consciousness.

Mother Divine or Universal Mother is commonly referred to in the Vedas as "Durga" (remover of miseries), "Devi" (goddess) or "Shakti" (feminine energy or infinite power).

There are many ways to invoke the Mother Divine in us and in the collective.

Aspects of Mother Divine

  • Gracefulness, elegance.
  • Invincibility, capability.
  • Feminine counterpart of the "destruction operator" in nature. - Like a stern mother ensuring we are following the laws of nature, or else, some destruction will occur to shake us up.
  • The Divine personality known as 'Durga' (pictured) sits on her tiger with infinite arms holding shining weapons ready to slay the demons. This is expressive of the capability of pure Being (infinite arms) to dissolve (slay) negativity, stress and disease (demons).

These aspects of consciousness are referred to as Durga in the Veda.

  • Abundance.
  • Increase of flow.
  • Choosing the higher value of behaviour over the lower value of behaviour.
  • Having every resource at the tip of your fingers. Because they align to the value of which nature is desiring for you and the universe.
  • It is our natural-born heritage to be abundant. If mother nature is abundant, then we are.

These aspects of consciousness are referred to as Lakshmi in the Veda.

  • Music, arts, culture.
  • Feminine aspect of creation - the force of Natural Law (prakriti) that creates all expressed values on the basis of pure intelligence (Purusha).
  • Education and knowledge. Personification of divine knowledge.

These aspects of consciousness are referred to as Saraswati in the Veda.

  • Infinite adaptability and infinite organising power. (Shakti)
  • Nourishing, nurturing, protecting. (Devi)

Navaratri: Times of the Year to Access Infinite Regenerative Energy

Every year, a special Vedic celebration is honoured called Navaratri. 

"Nav(a)" = Nine.
"Ratri" = Night.

The festival "Navratri" is the 9 Nights of Mother Divine. This is an opportunity to join masses all over the world in invoking the energy aspect of mother divine.

When is Navaratri: Seasonal & Astrological Significance

There are actually 4x Navaratris each year. They come in the midst of seasonal transition (rtu sandhi) , giving us the opportunity to reset, let go, purify, rejuvenate, and move into the next phase of our life with greater lightness and ease.

There are two main Navratris to counter-balance the seasons that are associated with sickness and death:
Vasanta (Spring) and Sarat (Autumn) in India.

These seasons are called "Death's Teeth" (Yama Danta) because it is when the world is unstable. Spring is detoxifying what accumulated in the winter and autumn is purifying the accumulations and acid from the rainy season.

Furthermore, these two Navratris come at thresholds of the northern solstice (Uttarayana, Agneya) and southern solstice (Dakshinayana, Saumya).

It is at these times that us as a society have special need for grace, and so the Devi’s Navaratri, the Vasanta (spring) and Sarat (autumn) Navratri, are observed as times for special prayer and regeneration.

The "main" Navratri that is most celebrated and auspicious is Sarat Navarati, which takes place after the autumn monsoon and the autumn harvest (which in Australia is our Spring). It begins on the first day of the bright fortnight of the lunar month of Ashwini.

It is around September / October each year and changes according to the lunar calendar and the planetary alignments to align with Nature's powerful, rejuvenating and evolutionary cycles, rhythms and energies.

Ways to Invoke the Mother Divine:

(for both females, males and all gender-identifications to invoke)

  • Place your awareness on the aspects of mother divine in you, people you know and that which permeates throughout the world. This is good to practice while you are in your most de-excited state (after meditation and yoga for example).
  • When spending time with the people in your life, especially the women that are close to you, immerse in relationships with more honour, gratitude and love for the feminine divinity that emanates through that individual. Whatever you place your attention on grows. Allow that divinity to blossom and permeate! (This "Shakti" also certainly emanates through males).
  • Chant or listen to mantras specific to mother divine.
  • Attend ceremonies, celebrations and pujas with a specific focus on the mother divine.
  • Perform the more specific rituals and rites that are outlined by the Rishi's (seers), gurus and in the ancient texts. Check your local Hindu temple, vedic community or pundit (Vedic Priest). In Sydney, I attend ceremonies with Pundit Sudheer Sharma and all over the world - online with Pundit Baskaran.
  • Make the nine days a little retreat - honour yourself with more self-care and time by doing more dinacharya (Ayurvedic daily routine), sadhana (practice to attune yourself with nature), yoga,  extended meditation programs (according to your meditation technique/program).
  • For Navarati October 17th-25th - sponsor special Vedic fire ceremonies, known as 'Yagya', that take place in India over the 9 nights.
Vedic fire ceremonies (Yagya) in one popular way to commune with and invoke Mother Divine.

Ayurveda's View on Woman's Wellbeing

In Ayurveda, the woman's health and wellbeing is pivotal for not only the health and happiness of the family, but to the whole society and even the nation at large. Their wellbeing is a core influence that ripples throughout their (larger than you think) vicinity.

Woman's healthcare is a priority. From menarche (start of menstrual cycle) to pre-conception, to pregnancy, to menopause - the woman's health plays a major influence on the health of the people around her.

The destiny of the world lies in the hands of women. Women is the creator. She has beauty, charm, grace and wisdom. She has her hand in the hand of God. Woman is at the top of creation. This is her place and her Dharma, and this she must never loose, for if she does, there will be wars, suffering and cruelty, because she is the opposite of all these things. The nervous system of a woman is by nature more refined and much more delicate. She is the first to sense the good, the pure, the beautiful, the divine. By nature, man is more gross. His position is to deal with the world, so he must be able to deal with stress. Woman is balance, a balance of all nature. She takes in all the stress of her husband and children and does not pass it on. Must not pass it on. Healing is in the lap of the mother; she heals the child's soul. Her place is to see that man goes for higher consciousness. The love of mother that comes through the hands of every woman is Mother Divine. A woman should not get so tired. Her structure is for finger things.
~ Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

A Time For Transformation

The 9-days of Navrati represent the 9 months a baby spends in a mother’s womb. During Navratri, our consciousness evolves everyday from tamas (inertia, delusion) to sattva (purity, awakening).

  • The initial step is to get rid of all the countless impurities (Kali).
  • Then acquire virtues and auspicious and divine qualities (Lakshmi).
  • Thus purified, knowledge flashes upon you like the brilliant rays of the sun in crystal waters of a perfectly calm lake (Saraswati).

This process can take a lifetime or more. It can also be fast tracked and experienced in a big hit during these 9 days, Navratri, by allowing the Divine Mother to operate though us.

Night provides rest and rejuvenation. During the night, you turn inwards through sleep, and you wake up feeling refreshed and rested in the morning. In the same way, Navaratri or the ‘nine nights’ is that time of the year when you get the chance to experience deep rest. This deep rest brings freedom from all kinds of bothers, and brings deep relaxation and creativity.
~ Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Mother is the creative aspect of the Absolute and all that which is continuously being created.


Related Listening

Vital Veda Podcast Banner: Ayurveda and Fertility

Ayurveda for menstruation, pre-conception and conscious conception with Dylan Smith and Laura Poole

feature image: Katyayani, one of the forms of Durga.

References and inspiration: Mahasoma