Goddess of the Week: Lakshmi

As Congress considers the largest government bailout in US history and as banks and financial institutions teeter on the brink of insolvency, let us look to Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth and prosperity.  Actually, she is the goddess of many things.  She is the embodiment of love and represents the face of feminine spiritual energy.  She is depicted as a beautiful young woman with golden skin and four arms.  She is generally seen sitting on a enormous lotus flower.

As luck would have it, October is her special month, the time when she is celebrated most faithfully, and it looks like this October we will really need her.  She is said to favor those who work hard and keep a clean house.  So clean up your messes, big and small, domestic and institutional, otherwise we will have to deal with her sister Alakshmi, the goddess of misfortune.

Personal attributes: As the embodiment of love she is all that is good, but she favors the hard of work as opposed to the lazy and entitled.  Now that's a goddess I can get behind.

Channel this goddess when: Your purse is feeling squeezed or your bank is being taken over.  


Change of Plans

Was hoping to spend the day trolling for agents for my novel "The Goddess Lounge."  Alas, my daughter has the flu and have, instead of trolling, been drooling over dreamy Mr. Darcy (Colin Firth) in the A&E production of Pride and Prejudice.  Mary and I watched all six hours of it in one sitting.  Sigh.  


Goddess of the Week: Sedna

Sedna is the Inuit goddess of the sea.  Once upon a time she was as human as you or me. Here's the story: a good-looking guy arrives at Sedna's house and, like any louse, he promises her everything -- foods, warm pelts, a nice home, a flatscreen TV.  She agrees to marry  him, and he takes her to his isolated island where the truth came out.  He's not even human!  He's a crummy bird who can only provide her with fish.  Well, even knowing the benefits of Omega threes, no one can be expected to eat fish all the time.  

Fast foward: Sedna's father comes to visit.  He sees how unhappy his daughter is and kills the birdman.  Dad and Sedna get in a canoe and head home.  But the birdman's friends get mad and cause a huge storm in the hopes of sinking the boat and avenging their friend.  Dad gets panicked (as men do) and throws Sedna in the sea in the hopes of placating the birdman's friends.  Sedna refuses to play the sacrificial lamb and holds tight to the boar, so Dad gets out his knife and cuts off her fingers one at a time.  Each finger turns into an Arctic sea creature (seal, whale, etc).  As for Sedna, she sinks to the bottom of the sea where she still refuses to die.  She becomes a goddess!  She has the head and torso of a human and the tail of a fish.

She is the source of Arctic life and Inuit shamans rely on her to keep the seas full of food and to help heal their sick patients.  In trances, the Shamans swim to the bottom on the ocean and comb and braid her hair in order to win her favor.  Hey, she may sound easy, but remember, she has no fingers to do her own hair and just think what happens to your hair when you've been swimming at the beach.  

Personal attributes of Sedna: Not the best man smarts, but one tough cookie nonetheless.

Channel this goddess when:  The men in your life are bringing you down.  She will remind you that you don't need their shit and that you can very well -- even better -- on your own.  



Overheard Conversation: Cal State, Los Angeles ladies room

Girl one: "I don't know why, but I just hate everyone, and everyone hates me.   Some people I'm mediocre about."

Girl two: "Yeah.  Yeah.  Me too.  That's why I like you."

Girl one: "Yeah, it's good, except for, you know, I always push away everyone I care about."

Girl two: "Oh, yeah.  I forgot.  How's that going for you?"

Girl one: "Good.  Except, you know, what can you do when someone says they need space and then they totally ignore you and won't talk to you for two weeks."

Girl two: "Wow.  What a bitch."

Girl one:  "I know.  I hate her."  


Math goddess: Danica McKellar

It seems a little unfair that actress Danica McKellar (best known as Winnie Cooper on The Wonder Years) should be so darn pretty AND smart.  McKellar is a math whiz who has penned two great books aimed at middle school girls needing help with math ("Math Doesn't Suck and, most recently, "Kiss my Math.")  The great thing about these books is that they are written in an engaging girl-friendy tone and are filled with analogies and similes that show how math can be compared to girl culture concepts like shopping and wrapped presents.  In fact, did you know that an equation is like a wrapped present?  Like a present, by the time you get it is has been wrapped, and when you unwrap it you do it in the inverse order in which it was wrapped.  Also, equations need to balanced, like pearls on scales.  Believe me, it makes a lot of sense in the book.  If your girl struggles with math, get this book.  Both of your lives will be a lot easier.  (Or, if you are me, at least a little, tiny bit easier.)  

And thank you Danica, for using your unfair share of beauty and smarts for good and not evil.  


Karmic Moment: Math

I totally believe the Buddhist notion that everything is circular, nothing is permanent.  Here's why.  

It is fair to say that I spent the first twenty years of my life with one real ambition: to get away from math.  I was bad at math.  Really bad.  I worked so hard, and still everything past memorizing basic math facts eluded me.  Algebra was the worst.  The letters (or as mathy people might call them variables) did me in.  They didn't belong there.  They belonged in my English class.  They belonged in my desk copy of The Call of the Wild.  But they definitely did not belong with those crazy numbers.  Can you tell I'm still traumatized?  

I dropped out of math during my senior year of high school.  I was drowning.  Two teachers went to my high school counselor and told her they were worried about me.  Two teachers!  And this was at a big public school.  The counselor called my mother, my mother told me my counselor called.  It was bad, and, of course, it all ended with me sobbing in my counselor's office and my counselor telling me to just drop the damn class because I didn't need four years of math anyway.  

The day I dropped that class was probably one of the ten happiest days of my life.  And it was followed by many other happy days, years, decades, as I made a life that revolved around the almost absolute absence of math.  

And then my daughter went to middle school.  I am sad to say that my daughter, a lovely and intelligent girl, inherited my math genes.  So now she comes home school.  Tries to do her math homework and of course it is impossible because it is pre algebra, and she, too feels offended by those damn x's and y's.  

Which gets me back to my point: Having spent a lifetime avoiding and fearing math, I must now not just learn it but I must teach it to my seventh grader.  

It just goes to show: there is no finished business in life.  There are only finished mathsheets.  And they are in someone else's house.  


Totally Superfluous Survey: John McCain looks like?

a. Waxy potato
b. Overgrown lawn mushroom
c. Biscuit dough

Goddess of the Week: Eris

Eris is the Greek goddess of discord.  She is the sister and best friend of Ares, the god of war.  When she found out she was not invited to the wedding of Thetis (a sea goddess) and Peleus (a Greek king) she fought back as only Eris would.  She went to the wedding anyway.  She also brought a delicious apple, into which she carved the words "for the most beautiful."  Well, as you can imagine, this caused a stir at a wedding full of goddesses, all of whom took for granted that they were the most beautiful.  In particular, it caused a tussle between Venus (goddess of beauty), Hera (goddess of marriage) and Athena (goddess of wisdom).  All three goddesses insisted upon that apple, for whom, each believed, could be more worthy of the ripe and succulent fruit?  

Finally, they asked Zeus to decide.  Now Zeus was no fool.  No way would he get involved.  Instead, he told them to ask Paris, an incredibly good looking shepherd/prince named Paris who lived near the Greek city of Troy.  The goddesses agreed and went to earth in search of Paris.  Now, being wise women, they also hedged their bets.  When they found him, each goddess made sweetened the pot a little.  Athena told Paris that if he chose her, she would make him unbeatable in battle.  Hera promised that if he chose her, she would make him a great king.  And Venus said that if he chose her, he could have the most beautiful woman in the world.  Paris didn't think twice. He chose Venus, and in return he got the love of Helen -- as in Helen, the face that launched a thousand ships, as in Helen for whom the Greeks fought the Trojan War.

All this for an apple.  And all because Eris wasn't invited to Thetis's wedding. 

Personal attributes of Eris: vindictive and easily slighted.  Avoid her.

Channel this goddess when: Let's be honest, this isn't the best goddess to channel; she will only fill you with self loathing and make you mad.  But if you must...channel her when bitchy neighbors/frenemies gossip behind your back or when your inlaws are really pissing you off.  Just remember, there will be consequences to pay.  Is your mother-in-law claiming Thanksgiving dinner AGAIN really worth a war?


Sarah Palin's inner Goddess: Revised

I take it back.  Palin's inner goddess isn't Artemis; it's Eris, the Greek goddess of discord -- the perfect fit for anyone who would willing call herself a pit bull in lipstick (although I mean no offense to pit bulls). 


Sarah Palin's Inner Goddess: Artemis

Is there really any choice?  Anyone with a lifetime membership to the NRA and who likes to fill the family photo album with pictures of oneself smiling over newly slain caribou has to be channeling Artemis, Greek goddess of the hunt.  

Then again, Artemis really took her purity pledge seriously, and Sarah Palin (with five kids and a pregnant teenage daughter)...not so much.