Here is some information to help make the best use of these auspicious days, calling in the power of the Goddess in her Nine Forms.
Shakti is the supreme energy that runs through the entire universe and is said to be the dynamic force behind all of existence. It is the primordial feminine force of the “Divine Mother,” Durga. It is said that when a God is not able to kill an overpowering demon, it is the goddess who must be summoned because her Shakti is all-pervading and unsurpassable.
The goddess can give clarity and positive direction in life. She is the intelligent energy of consciousness and she has the power to dispel self-doubt and confusion. Her energy is called on to clear away deeply entrenched negativity and stubborn diseases. During the nine nights of Navaratri we can invoke her Shakti to propel us forward in life.
Navaratri (Nava=nine/ Ratri=nights) always begins the day after the new moon and is celebrated five times a year. The most important and widely celebrated is the Maha Navaratri - the Navaratri of Autumn (Sharadiya Navaratri) which falls in October this year.
The first three nights are in honor of Kali, the “terrible” form of the goddess who destroys the demons of ignorance, disease, ego and selfishness. She gives strength and motivation and empowers us towards spiritual growth.
October 4, 5, 6
The next three days are in honor of Laksmi, the goddess of wealth. She gives abundance and good health and opens the heart to gratitude and generosity. She gives clarity to envision our future goals.
October 7, 8, 9
The last three days are for Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge and art. She inspires us through science, art, music and education. She expands the ability to understand systems and to create beauty. She dispels ignorance and gives wisdom.
Each night of Navaratri is in honor of a different form of the goddess. These Goddesses open particular channels of Shakti on their lunar days (Tithis). These days can be used to focus on specific life issues. They have specific planetary rulers and there are particular colors that can be worn to enhance the energy of the day.
This is the day to invoke the Goddess Shakti and must be done in the daylight hours.
Goddess Shailaputri - “Daughter of the Mountains.”
She ignites the beginning, initiates, and gives stability and power to create.
The daughter of the mountains is Shiva's beloved Shakti - Parvati. Like Shiva she rides the bull, carries a trident and wears the crescent moon in her hair.
This is an auspicious day to begin a project or commit to an action. She can remove problems that block the successful rise in life.
This Goddess is ruled by the Moon.
The color is GRAY.
Goddess Brahmacharini - “The One who Renounces”
She gives self-control and helps one to keep promises and stay determined. She gives the power of success in tapas (self-discipline) and is invoked to ensure perseverance and spiritual growth.
Like a sadhu (a renunciate) she walks with bare feet, carrying a prayer rosary and a pot of nectar, symbols of devotion, simplicity and self-containment.
This Goddess is ruled by Mars.
The color is ORANGE.
Goddess Chandraghanta - “The Goddess of the Half-Moon, like a Bell.”
This fierce goddesss destroys your deepest fears and negative self–beliefs.
She is the destroyer of demons who cause fear, depression, and anxiety. She gives courage and clarity, and protects us from theft and anything that robs us of our vitality and power.
She is sometimes pictured with 10 swords surrounding her and wearing a bell. When she is invoked her bell immediately begins to ring, frightening away all negative entities and filling the subtle atmosphere with her protective waves of shakti.
This Goddess is ruled by Venus.
The color is WHITE.
Goddess Kushmanda - “The One who is inside the Sun, or is Radiant as the Sun”
She is adishakti – the Divine Mother who is said to have created the universe with her smile.
"Ushma" means energy/warmth
"Anda" means egg
Kushmanda is the “cosmic egg,” which sits in the center of the sun and radiates life-giving light.
She is the warmth of the shining sun that gives happiness in love, wealth and good health. She also gives youthfulness and vitality.
This Goddess is ruled by the Sun.
The color is RED.
Goddess Skandamata - ”Mother of Skanda”
Skanda (or Kartikeya) is Mars, the chief of war who battles the demons of ignorance and misfortune - and Skandamata is his mother.
Skandamata is the power source of the spiritual warrior, she inspires us with courage to take decisive action. She protects us from inner and outward violence, gives victory over enemies and self-sabotaging behaviors.
Skandamata leads us to empowerment and prosperity. She is also said to be the shakti that cures skin ailments.
The child’s six heads represent the six stars in the constellation the Pleiades (the nakshatra of Krittika) who nursed him as a babe.
This Goddess is ruled by Saturn.
The color is DARK BLUE.
Goddess Katyayani - The fierce form of the Goddesses who annihilated the terrible demon Mahishasura.
As one story goes, Mahishasura - the water-buffalo demon - had unleashed a reign of terror that no one (not even Shiva, Vishnu, or Brahma) could stop. After calling on the Divine Mother for help, Katyayani appeared.
When Mahishasura saw Katyayani, he demanded her hand in marriage, but she told him he must first win her in battle. After a fierce fight, Katyayani conquered Mahishasura and her victory returned balance and harmony to the universe.
This Goddess is often prayed to by those searching for love and companionship. She re-harmonizes and balances relationship dynamics by lifting resentment and loneliness and opening the heart. She heals marriages and removes obstacles that block commitment in partnerships.
This Goddess is ruled by Jupiter.
The color is YELLOW.
Goddess Kalaratri - “Dark Night”
She is the Goddess who rescues those lost in darkness. She transmutes the "shadow aspect" of our personalities into higher spiritual wisdom and compassion. Her terrifying form frightens away all demons and ghosts that cause fear, ignorance, pain, and suffering.
“Kala” also means “time” reminding us of the inevitable passing of time and the impermanent nature life. Kalaratri can dissolve the fears of aging and death.
This Goddess is ruled by Mercury.
The color is GREEN.
Goddess Mahagauri - “Lustrous one”
In contrast to the darkness of her previous form, this is the extremely bright form of the Goddess - The wish-fulfilling Mahagauri of the white snow-peaked mountains.
She is radiant, “very fair,” and like Shiva she rides a bull, carries at trident and plays the damaru (drum).
The white brilliance of her image symbolizes purity and the natural innocence of a child. Her motherly influence is said to be as nurturing as milk to a baby.
She grants unfulfilled wishes and gives stability to family and community.
This Goddess is ruled by Rahu (North node of the Moon).
The color is PEACOCK GREEN.
Goddess Siddhidatri - “giver of siddhis (magic/occult power)”
Siddhidatri means “giver of Siddhis.” Sometimes translated as “perfection,” Siddhis are powers that thin the veil of illusion and free us from its entanglement.
The mystical healing powers given by this Goddess are ideal for healers and energy workers. She opens doors of consciousness, enhances intuition and gives spiritual insight.
Siddhidatri is worshiped by gods and higher dimensional entities. Around her are pictured the celestial beings, Dev, Danav, Gandharva, Kinnar, Yaksh, Manav.
This Goddess is ruled by Ketu (South Node of the Moon).
The color is PURPLE.
Vijayadashami : The final day of celebration of Durga in all her forms and the triumph over malefic forces, including the most terrible demon Mahishasura.