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The Key to Diwali 2020

Wishing you a Happy Diwali, dear friend! 
May this Festival of Lights illuminate your heart with the light of a Thousand Suns! 

Endless rows of flickering candles recall that light Divine. It is the ultimate blessing of Diwali, the spiritual wealth that never diminishes. Diwali expresses itself through numerous worldly signs, all of them pointing to the reality of the Divine in the material and each presenting in some way a portal to the Ultimate.

New clothes, sparkly jewellery, gold coins, luscious sweets, gift giving, hospitality, feasting, fireworks, and tiny candles everywhere characterise this season, as do pujas and prayers, mantras and devotions. Different parts of India emphasise various deities, but it is the Goddess Lakshmi who is most universally celebrated at Diwali. She bestows prosperity, happiness, abundance and good fortune—material and spiritual. 

The planet Venus (Sukra) represents (among many things) the luxuries and sensuous delights of Diwali. Venus resonates with Lakshmi. A five-day festival that coincides with the Dark Moon during the Hindu month of Kartika, Diwali falls somewhere between mid-October to mid-November by our calendar.  Beginning a couple of days before the New Moon in the waning fortnight known as Krishna Paksha, the darkest night marks the peak of the festival. The actual date can vary depending upon where you are on the planet. For me at Central European Time, the New Moon is exact at 6.07 am this Sunday 15 November, so Saturday night I’ll celebrate, early because of a Covid curfew, with a puja by the sea—either alone or with my Sardinian yoga friend.  

Every year, Diwali dramatises the powerful symbolism of darkness into light. But this year, other astrological alignments add confluence to this theme, with “darkness” not just a matter of the New Moon. Venus reaches its exact degree of weakness this year on the same day as the Diwali New Moon. The Sun in Libra has just passed its exact point of weakness, and shortly after the New Moon, the Moon itself moves into the early degrees of Scorpio, where it is weakest. Vedic Astrology calls that weak point for a planet debilitation, and what it actually means is that the planet in debilitation is unhinged in some way from its usual expression. 

The darkness we’re experiencing globally now needs no elaboration. Disease, death, diminishment, depression, despair have touched so many. If you are suffering, let those tiny Diwali candles remind you that light follows darkness in the endless cycles of time Jyotish measures. Astrologically, some significant shifts in the springtime indicate better times ahead. I’ll write about that in upcoming blogs. Do not lose hope in the return of material abundance. It is coming. But the deeper message of Diwali is not material. That’s the profound opportunity given to us in this extraordinary year of 2020. The key lies hidden in the depths of darkness—that mysterious void into which all life dissolves and out of which all life emerges. It is emptiness and fullness, evanescence and fecundity; it is stillness at the centre of the storm. It is Light Divine. 

The twinkling lights of Diwali candles evoke the light of Surya, the Sun, whose Divine brilliance inspires our vision with profound understanding, as the most sacred Gayatri Mantra proclaims. The Sun rises every morning, but the sunrise that matters most now is the Sunrise in your Heart. You can sing the Gayatri Mantra to the Sun as it rises this Sunday, 15 November with that very intention. May this Diwali celebration flood your awareness with Light Eternal!

And May your earthly sojourn be graced as well. That other side of Lakshmi also matters! I love this Indian blessing, which I’m sending to you at this challenging time, with so much love and care. 

“This Diwali . . . May you be blessed with good fortune as long as Ganesha-ji’s trunk, wealth and prosperity as big as His stomach, happiness as sweet as His laddoos, and may your trouble be as small as His mouse!” Happy Diwali! 

Om Gam Ganapataye Namah! 
Om Shri Maha Lakshmyai Namah!
Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti 🙏❤️🙏

2 thoughts on “The Key to Diwali 2020”

  1. Thank you Marianne and happy Diwali, each of your emails bring me hope and inspiration. Looking forward to Sardinia 🤞much love, Aoife

    1. Thank you, Aoife! These blog posts well up inside me, a feeling or insight or imperative to get some message out. It makes me happy that you receive them with hope and inspiration. The love that binds us all in yoga doesn’t require physical proximity, something this lockdown is teaching us. But I do believe we’ll get some this summer. The beauty and sunshine of Sardinia awaits you! And I can’t wait for our retreat too! xx

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