Navratri, the famed Nine Nights of the Goddess, is soon to begin. We propose to have a broad Indo-European ‘Show of Force’ (Shakti) for the occasion.
What do we mean by this?
Navratri is, of course, a Hindu observance. Yet the Goddess is broader than ‘just’ the Hindusphere. She has also been worshipped amidst all other Indo-European religious clades.
We believe that our efforts over the Nine Nights this year ought give tangible expression to this essential truth.
In previous years, we have gone hard with the Hindu piety. We shall do so again.
However, we also shall have particular people carrying out other observances and offerings, in the similar fashion to how the Athena and Poseidon operations had been undertaken earlier this year.
The rough ‘structure’ for this that we intend shall be as follows:
Navratri has several major ‘approaches’ in different parts of the Hindusphere. The one that I, personally, have tended to follow is the NavaDurga ‘processional’ [i.e. Shailaputri, Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandamata, Katyayani, KaalRatri, MahaGauri, Siddhidhatri] ; the TriDevi (Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswati) understanding is also salient.
Volunteers shall identify a particular Night in either of these schemas (or other appropriate NavRatri rubrics) wherein there is a ‘resonancy’ for their chosen Goddess-form from elsewhere in the Indo-European sphere. For example, a case could be made for worshipping Athena on the Katyayani (6th) Night or the Durga phase of the TriDevi observance – drawing in particular upon the Warfare and Protection spheres shared between these loka-lized understandings. Or, perhaps more straightforwardly – Demeter Erinyes / Demeter Melaina or Skadi might be propitiated on the KaalRatri (7th) Night, due to the clear mythic and theological coterminities of these figures with Kali / KaalRatri (a situation which might then be carried forward further with the transition from KaalRatri to MahaGauri (the 8th Night) being already resonant in the mythology with the ‘De-Furying’ of Demeter Erinyes and Her resumption of a beatific and ‘light’ visaged form).
The precise ‘form’ of these observances shall be a matter of individualized development – some volunteers shall have particular devotional practices that they are already well-adroit with that they can deploy for the occasion. Others shall benefit from working through with us how to integrate particular historical and attested elements from their own chosen IE sphere (e.g. utilizing relevant Homeric or Orphic Hymns – potentially in Ancient Greek), or for that matter, as we had – via necessity – done in some other operations, drawing together elements and structures drawn from Hindu ritualine piety to help produce a viable Rite to their chosen Goddess-form.
Meanwhile, those of us on the Hindu side of proceedings shall continue to do as we would regularly do for this observance.
Now, how does this become a ‘Show of Force’ ?
Quite literally – viz. the ‘Force’ and ‘Shakti’ component : Through ‘Showing’.
We often spend a lot of our effort on ‘Telling’ – and in the rather more ‘abstract’ sense of laying out the broad outlines for comparative theology. That is vital work – yet it seems to us that NavRatri constitutes something more: a time for Action. And ‘Active Expression’ as to Same.
A key element to the success of the Athena & Poseidon observances undertaken earlier this year was the ‘documentary evidence’ that these had been undertaken. We posted a photo or two, with a brief commentary on some of the ritual elements that were thusly employed.
Why? Because it ‘lit a fire’ of sorts – and one cannot have ‘living religion’ without Fire. It created (or, more aptly – re--created) something tangible. It inspired. We had people not only being shown that something was possible (rather than merely told about it in abstract and idyl theoretical senses) – but thence reaching out to us and asking how they, too could undertake something similar.
Now the question arises – why during this particular Nine Night period? What is it about NavRatri that induces us to call for persons from other Indo-European religious traditions, or dedicated to Goddess-forms that are found therein, to join our frame of reference and choose to undertake devotions, offerings, operations, rites, prayers during that particular period?
We shall start with the metaphysical explanation(s).
NavRatri is an immense observance. There are going to be literally millions of Hindus engaging in the relevant devotional undertakings towards our Goddess-forms. That is an incredible potency of energy, piety, and faith which is being brought together there.
Engaging in similar undertakings for demonstrably coterminous Goddess-forms from those ‘Western IE’ realms presents a natural ‘synergy’ – one which can conceivably assist with the ‘re-empowerment’ of cultus complexes for those other IE spheres thusly participating.
A vital component to this reasoning is the underlying understanding for just what NavRatri actually is. We shall not go into depth nor detail here – but suffice to say that a core element to the Nine Nights is the Immanentization of Divine (Goddess) Power toward a particular objective. This is often keyed to Regal potency – whether a king attaining the appropriate empowerments to rule, or a dispossessed monarch looking to reclaim his (or her) rightful place (a re-immanentization, indeed, of the appropriate Divine Rule). Or, of course, the blessing of an army and its weapons as a key part to the preparation for the Autumnal Season of War.
The saliency for us should prove obvious: We are engaged, are we not, in the serious endeavour of re-immanentizing Indo-European Faith across the world – and most particularly in the ‘Western IE’ spheres (by which we principally mean Europe – and those claiming or engaging with heritage therefrom). This is, ipso facto, an environs of ‘dispossessed monarchs looking to reclaim Their rightful place’. And we are the active agents – the veritable ‘army of the Gods’ Cause’ aforesaid. The ‘dispossessed Monarchs’ are, of course, the Gods – the ‘reclamation’ is the restoration of Their active worship. The ‘weapons’ ? Those pious undertakings and efforts which steadily but surely ‘illuminate the darkness’ and most tangibly show that They’re Still Here !
NavRatri is, therefore, a time for Action. Action, Actively Demonstrated, that helps to build and congeal energy – toward a further, future tangible surging forth of such toward an ever-victorious goal.
This means that even in the absence of the above extolled metaphysical reasoning, we should be well-served in our aim by engaging in this effort.
For the simple reason that it presents an admirable opportunity for coming together – literal ‘convocation’ – around a unifying element and shared ethos, shared essence. That of a cornerstone figure to Indo-European religious devotion both then and today, and everywhere from India to Iceland in earnest.
We have previously gone rather impressively ‘all out’ in our efforts for NavRatri in other years. It should seem only appropriate that we therefore explore ways in which other (not necessarily Hindu) persons of requisite piety and zeal be empowered to take part in proceedings as well – on a pan-Indo-European basis, which nevertheless does not seek to abrogate the ‘distinctiveness’ of each individual Indo-European sphere; whilst also proving capable of drawing mutually reinforcing strengthenings from other IE perspectives as necessary.
That is our Dream. That is our Vision. And that is something which, in an insurgent fashion we intend to make more of a Reality through our – your – undertakings this Navratri (as well as this year) to come.
NavRatri begins this year on the 26th of September.
That gives us just under three weeks to embark upon (and finish!) all requisite design-work, upskilling & training, relevant resource procurement, and networking efforts. Which, fortunately, we already ‘field-tested’ on a relatively small scale with Shaivite piety through various of our Recruits, during the Shaivite Holy Month of Shravaan Maas a few weeks earlier this year.
We are excited to see how NavRatri goes with a much … broader potential saliency in fairly direct consequence.
‘Krinvanto Vishvam Aryam’
And, of course:
Jai Mata Di !