Tag Archives: Sita

Tarot Readings From Me


Happy Tuesday all!

I’m looking for some good topics/news stories to make some good blog posts about. )If you have suggestions or requests, let me know.) In the meantime, I have a question for all my lovely readers: If I began offering tarot readings for a reasonable fee (and maybe for free on occasion), would anyone even be interested in getting a reading from me?

If I get enough interest, I’ll set up details on a Tarot Reading page and look into payments through PayPal. To give your opinion, answer the poll in this post and/or leave a comment.

Thanks!

 

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(PBP) The Letter C: Craft Name


**This post is part of the Pagan Blog Project. Weeks 5 and 6 are the letter C. For more about PBP, check out their website here.**

I haven’t really written about craft names much here on the blog.  Most likely because I don’t use one.  “Sita” isn’t a craft name, it’s a pseudonym I use specifically for writing on this blog.  I never chose a craft name because I never felt like I needed one.

Craft names can come from a wide array of places.  Names inspired by the natural world are pretty common.  Animals, birds, plants, trees, stones, etc. are probably the most common source to pull from.  The two most popular names I can think of are Raven and Willow.

Another popular source is mythology and drawing from a specific mythological tradition.  Using the name of a god or goddess is less popular but also often used.  Some of the more popular names I’ve seen are Athena, Rhiannon, Arianrhod, and Brigid.

The key to a craft name (a.k.a. magical name) is to find a name that feels right to you.  It should resonate within, maybe strike a chord in your being, that says “yes, this is who I am, this is who I am becoming.”  Sure you can choose a super cool name like Silver Athena Stormlord or something, but does that show who you are?  Does that name sound like the inner you?  Yes, it sounds cool to say, but is it the right name for you, or are you caught up in the flashiness?  I think some people do get caught up in the flash of craft names and don’t choose the right name for themselves, and then there are other times where someone has a flashy name and it really is right for them.  Sometimes it’s hard to say which is which.

If it feels like the right name, then go with it.  Chances are, it’s right for you.

Often I’m told that a craft name will find you.  You don’t find it.  The right name reveals itself to you.  I don’t know how true that is, seeing as I don’t have a craft name.  But for the past two or three years, I’ve been feeling a strong pull to a certain name, and it’s not one I would have chosen for myself had I sat down and tried to come up with a name for me.  But this word just pulls at me and envelops me in warmth, and makes me feel more complete–so I have a feeling that a craft name has found me after all.

Another concern with names is the energy behind the name.  A name, a word, has power.  When you speak the name, you are calling on the energy of that word.  “Willow” calls on the qualities of the willow tree and brings those qualities closer to the person who bears that name.  “Raven” can call in the qualities of the raven and the qualities of Raven, the deity.  Both are tricky and cunning.  When using a craft name, it’s my opinion that you should also look at the qualities of that name and what kind of energy you would be calling in when you use it.  For example, I see people name their pets Loki or Hecate because they think the name is cute for the animal, and then they wonder why little Loki or little Hecate are such a handful.  It’s because the name calls on the energy of the name, just as our daily/mundane names have energy.  The difference between our birth names and a craft name is that the craft name is chosen by you and may feel more like your real name than your birth name does.

Craft names can be useful, but they aren’t a requirement for a spiritual or magickal path, at least not until you get into the higher levels of a coven or other similar type of group that uses craft names.  Then a craft name may become necessary, for a variety of reasons.

Craft names, like pseudonyms, can also be used as a barrier between the mundane world and the magickal world, and can provide a measure of protection.

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You Only Have One Life


Reincarnation is a popular belief among Pagans, and seems to be growing every day.  The majority of monotheists reject the idea of reincarnation because they believe there is only one life which we all live, and then our souls go on to some kind of Heaven or afterlife (depending on the belief system in question).

Many times I have rejected the notion of having only one life.  I very much believe in reincarnation.  However, after giving the matter a good deal of reflection, I find that I can agree with both points.  The two ideas seem incompatible–how can a person have only one life yet still reincarnate–but they may not be so incompatible after all.

In the concept of reincarnation, the idea is that a soul lives many lifetimes as different people, but the soul is always the same.  A soul may do this in order to learn and grow and advance itself to a higher wisdom.

In the concept of one life, a person lives only once and then the soul moves on at death to Heaven or some kind of afterlife, where the soul remains for all eternity.  The soul is not reincarnated, and may not move across levels at all, but remain in one afterlife.

How I now view these two is that I do live one life.  I, as the person I am right now, will never exist again.  The person who writes as Sita will not come around again.  The soul that powers me, the soul within, will be reincarnated as a new person, but the person I am in this life will not be seen again after I’ve died.  I do only have one life to live as the person I am right now.  My soul, on the other hand, has been many different people with many different names, and those individual people have only lived individual lives.  Never again will the women who were hanged live again.  Never again will the priestess from an ancient culture live again.  My soul, however, could live a life in which it is a priestess or in which its body is hanged, but the soul is not the same as the individual who is aware and talking and walking.

[This post would be easier to write if I could use my own name.  To make this a bit easier, I will use my pseudonym, so please forgive me for using Sita as my personal/real name.  I do it only for the convenience of this post, not from arrogance.]  Never again will my soul be Sita.  As Sita, I will only live this one life.  My soul, however, has lived as Judy, or Gwen, or Amy, and will live again as Sasha or Amanda or Skylar.  But Sita is one life that will not be repeated and cannot be changed once passed.  The chances of my soul living another life with the name Sita, in the exact same circumstances, with the exact same choices, is really very low.  Not impossible, but so small as to be almost impossible.

I hope that made sense.  Because of this, I personally don’t find the two ideas completely incompatible.  You can incorporate the two with a little creativity.  So when someone says that there is only this one life, I end up agreeing, because I will not have this particular life again.  My soul will have another life, but I as this person right now will not.

Weekly Deity: Rama


Rama is a popular figure in Hindu mythology.  He is the seventh avatar of Vishnu, king of Ayodhya, and husband of Sita.  Rama is the chief character in one of the great epics of India, the Ramayana.

Attributes

Rama is pictured as a middle-aged man, his skin blue and his eyes and hair black.  Rama’s blue skin is a sign of divinity.  Often he has a lot of jewelry on his person, and at times he is shown with his wife, Sita.  Sometimes he is also shown with a bow and arrow in hand.

Mythology

Rama was the oldest son of Kausalya and Dasaratha.  He had three younger brothers, Lakshmana, Bharata, and Shatrughna.  Rama’s father, King Dasaratha, had three wives but no children.  In order to obtain heirs, the king gave each of his three wives  some of the sacred, sacrificial nectar to eat in order of their seniority.  Kausalya was the senior wife and received it first, and so she bore Rama as the eldest child.

When the sons were older, a sage named Vishwamitra takes Rama and Lakshmana with him.  He requested their help in ridding his area of Rakshasas, a kind of demon.  The boys (mainly Rama) aid the sages by killing the Rakshasas.  Later, Sage Vishwamitra takes Rama and his brother to the Swayamvara ceremony for Sita.  (A Swayamvara is a marriage ceremony of sorts in which the husband is chosen by the marriageable girl and her family.)  The task to win Sita’s hand was to bend and string the bow of Shiva, an impossible feat for any mortal man.  However, Rama not only bends the bow in the process of stringing it, but he snaps it in two.  Rama’s fame for this act is spread far and wide and he marries Sita.

Upon his return to Ayodhya, the king announced that he would crown Rama as his successor.  Everyone is pleased about this except for the king’s younger wife, Kaikeyi, mother of Bharata.  Because of a poisoning by her maidservant, Kaikeyi feared for her son when Rama assumed the throne.  She asked her husband to instead send Rama into a forest exile for 14 years, and the king was forced to grant this request because he had granted Kaikeyi two boons when she saved his life, and she used those now.  Rama, recognizing the truth but also recognizing the importance of the solemn vow and a son’s duty, accepts the exile.  He is joined by Sita and his brother Lakshmana, their devotion to him compelling their actions.  Although King Dasaratha died of a broken heart the next day and his brothers and family pleaded for Rama to return, he instead held to the vow and remained in the forest.

While in exile, Sita is kidnapped by Ravana, a powerful Rakshasa.  Sita is captive for a year before Rama is able to find and defeat Ravana in a great battle.  When Sita returned to him, however, Rama couldn’t look at her, supposedly believing that her honor and virtue had been compromised during her captivity.  Sita begged that a great pyre be built so she could die, but instead of dying, she walked through the fire unharmed.  Rama rushed to her and explained that it was only a test to prove to everyone else that she had remained faithful–he had never truly doubted her purity.

After Rama and Sita claimed their rightful place as rulers of Ayodhya, Rama still faced rumors of her impurity.  Therefore to uphold the duty of a king, Rama banished Sita, even though she was pregnant, escorted by Lakshmana to Rishi Valmiki’s home.  Sita bore her twin sons, Kusha and Lava (aka Kush and Luv), while in banishment.  It comes about that Rama held a ceremony and during this ceremony a horse strayed into the forest.  When retrieving the horse, Rama found his sons.  Rishi Valmiki revealed their parentage to Rama.  When Sita saw that her sons were accepted by Rama, she took refuge with her mother the Earth (Bhumidevi), and Rama lived forevermore without his soul mate.

Light Side

On the Light side, Rama is the epitome of honor and duty.  He is the “perfect” man.  He held to his promises and vows at any and all cost.  He shows a great deal of love not only for his family but for his friends as well.  All in all, Rama is the height of nobility in Hindu culture.  He’s not he god of anything in the sense that the Greek and Roman gods had their spheres of influence, but Rama is, I suppose, the god of perfect manhood, as Sita is the goddess of perfect womanhood.

Dark Side

I’m not sure what the Dark side would be for Rama, but I’ll give it a shot.  He is a very good being, but there can be no good without the bad.  His insistence to hold to his word, while noble and good, also lost him the love of his life and sent him into exile in a forest for 14 years.  The desire to always hold to his vows and his duty above all else at the expense of personal happiness and love could itself be his Dark side.

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Weekly Deity: Sita


Sita, whose name means “furrow,” is a Hindu deity who epitomizes the perfect wife and ideal woman.  In her divinity she is worshiped as both a mother goddess and an earth goddess.  She is the consort of Rama, who is an incarnation of Vishnu.  Sita herself is an incarnation of Lakshmi, the consort of Vishnu.  The goddess Sita is one of the main characters in the epic Hindu tale the “Ramayana.”

Myths

In the myths of Sita, which are from the “Ramayana,” Sita is not entirely mortal, but not exactly a goddess either.  She is instead an “ex-goddess”; more than a mortal, but slightly less than a full deity.  She is still very much divine, but not in the same way that Rama is divine.

In one telling of Sita’s birth, she is considered to be the daughter of the Earth goddess.  Sita’s mortal father, King Janaka of Videha, fathered his daughter on the Earth herself.  Here’s an excerpt from the book “The Hindus: An Alternative History” by Wendy Doniger, telling the myth of Sita’s birth:

One day in the sacrificial grounds, I saw the ultimate celestial nymph, Menaka, flying through the sky, and this thought came to me: “If I should have a child in her, what a child that would be!”  As I was thinking in this way, my semen fell on the ground.  And afterward, as I was plowing that field, there arose out of the earth, as first fruits, my daughter, who has celestial beauty and qualities.  Since she arose from the surface of the earth, and was born from no womb, she is called Sita, the Furrow.

Much of Sita’s entire incarnation is primarily for the purpose of destroying the ogre/demon king Ravana of Lanka.  This story is a major part of the “Ramayana.”  Rama is exiled to the jungle by his father, who put Rama’s brother on the throne instead of Rama.  When Rama left for his fourteen-year exile, Sita gave up her comfortable life in the palace and all its amenities to follow Rama into exile.  During this exile, Sita is captured by Ravana and held for months until Rama is able to launch a rescue with the help of the monkeys and his half-brother.  After Rama and Sita return from killing Ravana, they are made king and queen of Ayodhya.  However, because of Sita’s capture by Ravana, there were questions about her chastity.  She was made to go through an ordeal of fire (an agni pariksha) to prove that she was still a chaste, pure woman and fit to be queen with Rama.  This ordeal would have killed a mortal woman.  When Sita stepped through the fire and passed the test, she not only proved her virtue but also her divinity.

Sita was forced into another exile when rumors of her supposed impurity resurfaced.  This time, she was pregnant with twins.  Rama, unaware of her pregnancy, forced her to leave in order to appease his people.  Sita goes to the hermitage of Valmiki and there gives birth to her twin sons, Lava and Kusha.  Sita remains with Valmiki the hermit for several years, and her sons grow up not knowing that they are princes and sons of Rama.  When the boys are teenagers, the boys go with Valmiki to attend a ceremony held by Rama, at which they recite the Ramayana composed by Valmiki.  During the retelling of Sita’s exile, Rama openly grieves for his lost wife.  At this point, Valmiki brings Sita forward, but before Rama could do anything about her presence, Sita asks her mother the Earth to receive her.  Sita vanishes into a chasm of the Earth and returns to her wholly divine form, dead to the mortal world as the half-mortal princess Sita.  This final exit of Sita is itself another kind of test like the agni pariksha–if Sita were not still pure and chaste, she would not have been accepted back into the Earth from which she came, and this was also further proof of her divine nature.

Light Side

Sita is the ideal wife, ideal mother, and ideal daughter.  She is dutiful and patient, loyal and gracious, virtuous and moral.  She is also very intelligent.  Throughout her half-mortal life she set an example for humankind of how to behave in a manner that is both right and virtuous, and remain gracious throughout hardships.  She gave up some of her own choices in order to support her children or her husband, and did so willingly because it was the right thing for her to do.  Sita is also brave and rather forward for a Hindu woman.  In the end, she walked away and left her husband, in a final proof that she was in the right and he had wronged her not once but twice.  She is in no way a doormat, despite being the supposed ideal of a wife and woman.  She uses her intelligence, and this shows in her interactions with her husband and brother-in-law, and in her actions before the rest of the world.

Dark Side

The dark side of Sita could depend on your point of view.  Some of the qualities that characterize her light side could also define her dark, if those qualities become too imprisoning.  Sita’s graces do not make her a doormat, despite the surface appearance that she is subservient to Rama’s wishes, especially in the double banishment.  She is in fact very composed and very much a decider of her own fate in many ways.  But those qualities have the possibility of being too loyal to the point of blindness; too virtuous to the point of harm; too dutiful to the point of being inflexible; and too patient to the point of being a push-over.

Sita, even more so than Athena, is for me a major draw.  I find her story admirable and worthy of retelling–in the face of hardships such as kidnapping, banishment, and a nearly destroyed reputation, Sita remained loyal, patient, and virtuous.  She is not an example of turning the other cheek and just taking it.  Instead, she is an example of riding the waves to find the peace after the trouble and having the strength to overcome obstacles set in the way in life and still remain a good, kind person who knows what is right and who is worthy of estimation.

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