Raw, adjective: 7. brutally or grossly frank: a raw portrayal of human passions.

Lifting up all that is fierce and wild and compassionate today. The Hindu festival of Navratri kicked off yesterday and runs through October 6th, which basically means that for the next 9 days, we're celebrating all that is creative and divine and goddess-infused — a.k.a. all things shakti.

I can get on board with that.

After years spent buried in feminist eco-theologies and sexuality texts and body theologies and the like, it's easy to appreciate a festival that lifts up the divine feminine. At the same time, I hesitate anymore, ever, to slip into any broad generalizations about the divine as goddess or god or any such anthropomorphic creation, especially on the basis of binary gender norms. It feels a little outdated, you know? Hip contemporary queer theology pokes really astute holes in that. But whatevs. I say: suspend disbelief a little and just enjoy these few days of celebrating our — all of our — abilities to be at once wild and fierce, compassionate and caring, creative and creating.

We'll give a little shout-out to Kali Durga tonight in class before moving on to a little Lakshmi and Saraswati in the days to come. (That'd be Ms. Kali above left.) Do a little Googling and get up on your latest goddess info. There's some good stuff out there, even if you just start with the basics on Wikipedia. And then bellow out those chants in your biggest, boldest voice, baby.

Navratri (BBC - Religions)


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