Mondays and Minerva

My university’s patroness is Minerva, the Roman goddess of wisdom who was syncretized with the Greek Athena. Her statue guards the main campus from behind the library, and students (including me) offer apples and coins to gain her favor.

Since I’ve made a point of performing this ritual every time I am on campus, my academic life has become far less stressful. Scheduling tangles just seem to work themselves out somehow. Grades come back higher than anticipated, and my coursework is for some reason not the burden it used to be.

I will be honest and say that I still fear reaching out to deities other than My Lady Saraswati Devi. It’s not the rejection I fear, but frankly acceptance. I worry that I will become one of those people who sort of hops around from deity to deity, chasing shiny things and new experiences without ever putting down strong roots.

Yet my experiences with Minerva have helped to calm this fear. I honor her and respect her, but my heart remains with My Lady.

The Ninth Key

My life has been going very well lately, but I still felt so lost. The reasons for this always seemed to be just beyond my reach to articulate, until a post from a Tarot site came swimming up my facebook feed. Why not ask the cards what you need to do to regain control of your destiny?

Why not? I took out a deck I rarely work with and separated the Major Arcana. (This was a big question, so it needed a big answer). Key II immediately fell out. In Tarot de Marseille decks, this card is called the Popess. She is thus even more explicitly the female counterpart of the Fifth Key, the Pope/Hierophant. In the Rider-Waite Smith system, she is the High Priestess. This archetype resonates with the energies of my patroness, Saraswati Devi.

I did not take this as my answer, though it clearly was a sign. Instead, I completed separating the cards, shuffled them, and asked my question. What can I do to regain control of my destiny? I drew Key IX, The Hermit.

This was a clear and unambiguous answer: I should turn my attention within and listen to my own heart. Like the Hermit, I would walk my own path. It was a perfect answer, and it was exactly what I needed to hear. So of course, I didn’t believe it. Instead, I shuffled the cards again, but again, out came the Hermit.

Even when I switched to a different, full deck and drew one more time…for a third time, there he was. At least at that point, I had enough sense to stop! However, it wasn’t until I picked up my books and reviewed the meanings of the card that I realized how deeply resonant this message had been.

I will walk the path of The Hermit, and may Saraswati Devi be both my Priestess and the light in my lamp.

Water and Wisdom

Saraswati Devi is a goddess of water and wisdom, worshipped across Asia by millions of people in multiple faiths. While she is the patroness of learning and the arts, she is also ancient and elemental in her power, for she was once a guardian spirit of the sacred river from which she took her name.

The Saraswati River was said to have its source in the heavens, though her essence no longer flows to earth in the form of the waters, but instead as the fluidity of inspiration itself. Those lucky enough to drink from her wellspring have wisdom that can break the backs of mountains, just as in the age of the Vedas.