Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Giving up Ganesh (Ieshia)

Wow, it's been a while. Sorry for that. Life is getting away from me! Maybe that's a good problem to have. In any case, here are some of my most recent musings.

Recently, I finally got up the gusto and set up my own personal altar. Not anything elaborate, mind you, but something that I can definitely use for my meditation practice and my intentions and that reminds me of all the wonderful things that are in my life. On my altar, I've placed a lot of my crystals, some I've mined from the ground on my own, others that I've purchased and some that have been given to me....each has a special meaning and a special story that reminds me of my connections...with others, with God, and with myself. Also, I have my Tingsha's, whose clear sound help me get in my space and who also singal a detachment from Spirit so that I may return to being here and now. A rosary, to remind me of my Catholic roots, where I come from, and also the hidden Divine Feminine, that was carefully hidden but still honored in the Faith of my roots. Water, mirror, candle, tarot cards, and whatever else I feel needs to be there, I'm sure will make it on to my altar. They all have a meaning and a reason for being in that place, even though I may not even consciously know it, or acknowledge it yet.

The one item on my altar though, that is causing a stirring in my home (besides my Tarot/Oracle cards-which is a WHOLE OTHER article in itself) is my small 10 inch high statue of the Hindu God, Ganesh. Now, I always like to say that I know enough about something to be dangerous, and in this case, that means that I know enough about Ganesh to know that he is a Hindu Deity, called "the remover of obstacles", he has an elephants head (some form of childhood episode involving a be and re-heading, I think), and he appeals to me on a lot of levels. In my home, the danger of this is that I'm willing to bring an image of this God into my space because a)I like and identify with the phrase "remover of obstacles", 2) the statue is a gorgeous piece of artwork, and 3) in no way am I actually praying to Ganesh and replacing my beliefs with Hinduism. However, I am aware enough that to others, having an image of  one of another religions deities in my house could lead some to believe that I have converted or am "worshipping idols". (on another note....let me just tell ya about the "idols" of the Catholic Church...oh yeah...they're there.....and this could lead to a whole other discussion of the human mind's need for a solid construct representing God....maybe I need to go for a psychology degree)

Ok...getting back on track.

Being raised as a Catholic and now married to a Protestant, I am very aware of the differences in our thinking and conditioning as far as religion goes. I'm extremely familiar with statues and images depicting the Blessed Virgin, St. Joseph, and the baby husband and his family...not so much. Oh, I know that they've seen them...but these type of religious trappings were not a part of their weekly/daily religious experience. So, when I brought the statue home a year ago, I didn't blare any horns or make any announcements....quietly placing it where I would see it and know it was there, contemplating it and being greatful of any lessons I could learn in regards to it. My husband had a few issues at first, and yes, there was an argument, but overall, once I assured him there was no conversion/worshipping happening, he seemed to tolerate and indulge me Ganesh. Well, now that I've created an altar space for myself, Ganesh has come out of the closet (or, off the bookshelf) so to speak.

I did tell my husband before I let him walk in to our room and see my altar for himself.....informing him that if it bothered him, I would make a new space in another room of our home, which he asked me to do. Here's where it gets sticky though....while he may not care for Ganesh (and my tarot) on the altar...the room I was going to place my altar in, is the room his parents will be staying in when they come to visit tomorrow. At this point, I chose not to move the altar yet for this reason beause my in-laws will not hesitate to make their feelings known and could possibly be extremely offended by my altar. (yeah, I had a hard time with the concept of an altar too at one time. Christians are not known for having a home altar, that's in a church.)

So, last night, he did again ask me to take Ganesh and my cards off the altar before his parents come to visit....and while I'm having a bit of an issue with this...I will comply with his wishes in order to keep the peace and avoid an all out scene which my family is not ready for at this time. (you should have seen their faces when I compared Harry Potter to a parable...saying it's just a story demonstrating good and evil and such....not good) Do I feel I'm hiding my beliefs from his parents? Yes, maybe a little bit, but I also don't want this visit to be about competing or different belief's supposed to be about my daughter and her dance recital and a time for my children to visit with their Grandpaents in Love. My solution then is to go ahead and close the cover on the box of cards on my altar...that way they're no longer visible....and to move Ganesh to a spot on top of my husbands large chest....only about 5 feet higher than he is now, but out of the immediate field of vision. When I asked my husband if he thought his parent's would come into our bedroom and see it, his response was "if it's out, they will"...and he chuckled. So, I like to believe he's becoming more comfortable with my changing and evolving beliefs, even if he doesn't think his parents will.

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