Saraswati has been showing her Benzaiten-face of late, and in particular a very, very intense version of that part of herself. She has been manifesting as the wild, intense energy of the storm and the dragon. This isn’t any less of who she is than the graceful, veena-playing goddess – remember, in the Rig Veda, the poets characterized her as a mighty flood that broke the backs of mountains.

However, I have been somewhat unnerved by the suddenness of the change. It was exceptionally eerie to me, until I looked at the calendar and realized that it’s hurricane season. A quick internet search has revealed that there has been a record level of tropical storm activity this year, including (as of this writing) three category 4 hurricanes at once in the Northeast Pacific.

Love and Labor

The Road, the Walker, and What Comes Next

(This post started out as a reply to Redfaery on the post Is There Work For Me? I wanted to clarify that though my polytheism and my spirit work are fundamentally connected, they are not exactly the same thing. I’d like to nip in the bud any line of thought that states that our human love is capital, labor, or employment. Though a number of polytheists happen to be spirit workers, polytheism is a religious framework and spirit work is….well, something a little different that I’ve struggled for a very long time to put into clear language. Basically I want to make very clear that the distinct, personal, individual, and sweetly human love for the divine is too precious and valuable to be treated like labor, even though there may sometimes be effort involved. So this is to Redfaery, a dear and sweetly devoted person whose love of Saraswati touches me…

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Not My Dharma

I get rather irritated when I see the Buddhadharma watered down and bent into odd shapes to suit the comfort of older upper and upper-middle class straight, cis, able-bodied folk. Samsara is reduced to butt itches and knee scrapes, and karma tiptoes dangerously close to New Age, Law of Attraction bullshit. That’s not my dharma!

I’m irritated, but also tired and frustrated, because I realize that Tibetan Buddhism especially would not survive in the West had it not adopted these shiny, sparkly pretenses of love and light. The Law of Attraction is not karma. It took more than butt itches and knee scrapes to make Tibetan holy men become disgusted with samsara. That wasn’t their dharma!

The kyriarchy is samsara in its most blatant, life-destroying form. It is disgusting that Buddhism in the West is unwelcoming to those who need it most. That is not dharma. Period.

Spiritual Student

I mentioned in my last post that I am a spiritual student, and though that remark wasn’t entirely serious, I’ve come to realize that it wasn’t really a joke either. After all, being a student is work. It’s fucking exhausting.

I am crying my way through graduate school, as my mother would put it (and as she did too). I want those red robes to make my ancestors proud. Those red robes are my goal. That parchment paper with the gold leaf is my reward. It will go on the wall next to my other awards, for the glory of My Lady.

I am a spiritual student. Learning is my work. It’s hard work. It’s exhausting work. Yet I love it, because it rewards me in ways that no other work can. It is My Lady’s work. I would have it no other way.

Is There Work For Me?

When I see other polytheists talk about their Work, I can’t help but feel a bit self-conscious, because right now, I’m spiritually unemployed.

I feel like my path should have some unifying purpose down in there somewhere, but right now I can’t find it. I’m not sure I even want to look for it, really. I just want to get through the next week of classes without missing any assignments, and Saraswati helps with that. It’s how we met.

Saraswati has never demanded much of me. She has not asked for pledges of loyalty or fidelity (though I have given them). She has really only wanted me to stay curious and keep learning. So you know, perhaps I’m not unemployed after all; perhaps I’m simply a spiritual student. 😉