3/1/10

Goddess of the Week: Benzaiten

THE GODDESS OF BENZAITEN -- A Heavily Costumed...Image by Okinawa Soba via Flickr

Jess needs a goddess for when life seems overwhelming, for when too much happens at once. What she really needs is a goddess of flow, a goddess like Benzaiten, the Japanese goddess of all that flows.

Not surprisingly, Benzaiten is a sea goddess, and she reminds us that when the current runs too swift and too strong, we need to work with it, not against it. That's true for all things that flow, whether we're talking about eloquent words, changing fortunes, or the passage of time.

Benzaiten says, "Relax. Find your rhythm. You will get where you're going, and you'll be less tired, if you trust in the laws of buoyancy and let yourself float. By all means, definitely avoid that pesky Butterfly stroke. I can't even understand the mechanics of that one. How was it even invented? It doesn't even seem normal and, I'm telling you, in times of flux and stress, you don't need to spend time figuring out how to contort your body and flip flop like some crazy dolphin. You need a great big floatation device wrapped round your belly and a martini glass filled with a pretty pink Cosmopolitan.

Of the seven Japanese gods of fortune, Benzaiten is the only female so she definitely knows what she's talking about. She plays with the big boys all the time and she always survives. Like this one time, this annoying dragon dude was totally pestering her. He blew smoke in her face; he tried to set her favorite lute on fire. Worst of all, he dissed her in front of the other six gods of fortune. He was all, "That bitch Benzaiten thinks she so great, but she is all full of salt water. Plus she smells like kelp." The other six gods of fortune totally expected Benzaiten to go all war god and smote him, but Benzaiten just stayed in the flow. You know what she did? She fricking married the dragon dude and reformed him. She pulled him into the current and let the water extinguish his flaming snout.* It actually worked out pretty well. He turned out to be a very good form of air transport.

The point is, when you are stressed out, resist the natural urge to make for the shore. It might seem safer there, but life is more manageable when we focus on the journey and not the destination.

Channel this goddess: When your load is too heavy, when your responsibilities are too many, and when you feel like your drowning. Remember: relax, float. It's all about the journey.

Need a goddess: I got goddesses! Leave a note in the comments section telling me what you need, and I will see what I can do.

Jess: This should serve you well when you move.

*Warning: only goddesses have the power to change annoying dragons into sweet little sea horses. Mortal women should stay away from mean dragon dudes. We cannot change them. They only bring us down.
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17 comments:

Rois said...

In Japan there are also the Koi flags that are associated with Boys Day.But the flags also tie into this same thought.
In Japan the story goes the fish is swimming up the stream of life (when it is flying in the wind.)Once the fish reaches the end of the stream of life it will turn into a dragon a symbol of ever lasting life,I think. The mantra to go with these flags is to keep moving forward in life and all will be fine.
Or to quote Dorie from Nemo "Keep on swimming..."
Just another random nerdy thing from my personal encyclopedia of useless or semi-useless information.

Margaret said...

Rois, I love these tidbits. I didn't know any of it so I feel edified. Thanks.

inkywasfat said...

Smart, especially that last parting paragraph.

altadenahiker said...

I find this so wise. This may be my favorite.

Susan C said...

Very zen.

Joanne said...

Got to go with the flow. It's amazing too how the sea always has a way of focusing us, how we turn to it often in difficult times.

pasadenapio said...

I'm trying to go with the flow. I'll let you know how it goes.

Jess said...

Thanks, I needed that! :)

Pasadena Adjacent said...

I'm forever amused when you turn the voice of your goddess's and friends/enemies "like" into trash talking teens.

While my best friend Vicki was going through chemotherapy, she chose to bypass the language of battle in favor of a vision of a turtle floating past water lilies on a slow moving stream. I think she would like this goddess (and she probably would have married the jerk.) God knows she tried

Missy AKA Little Messy Missy said...

I needed this one, thanks. How about something to brighten or uplift ones spirit or mood. The gray weather and all this death and destruction seems to leave me blue.

Desiree said...

Love it!

... daisy... said...

I love this Goddess… though sometimes I’ve made it to the shore just to rest for a bit and then I’d jump into the river again… Why do we sometimes have the need to fight the current I don’t know. Maybe sometimes it’s worth but most of the time is just such a waste of energy… :-) the same waste of energy when we try (like you say) to change mean dragon dudes or like in my case when I keep on kissing the same frogs or very similar one because I hope they’ll turn into princes or just into normal acceptable guys… :-DDD

Shanna said...

I needed this one. Okay, I'll try to relax and float, especially because I am not recognizing the way the flow is going.

Petrea said...

Seems I can learn from each and every goddess you've got. Bring 'em on.

Shell Sherree said...

Yes. I like this one, too. And I never understood butterfly stroke.

Cafe Pasadena said...

This leads me to the obvious question: are you selling girl scout cookies this year, MF? If so, when/where are your tour dates??

Laurie said...

Oh, I love this one. I had never heard of her before. We all need a little of her vibe... especially those of us dumb enough to swim upstream and taunt the dragons.

:-)