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Sept. 2009- Appalachian Pagan Alliance Newsletter

( above art "Ganesha" by our Editress; Ginger Strivelli )

In Honor of the Hindu holiday of Ganesh Chaturthi this month.  
I am going to share (from my CYBERTEMPLES website pages) info on one of my favorite Hindu Gods;
 Lord Ganesha as this months Book of Shadows section.

---------------From our Book of shadows: ------------

Ganesha is the Hindu Elephant headed God who removes obstacles.
He is the God of Success, wealth, wisdom, and the arts.

His Elephant head sets him apart as the most well known Hindu God.
There are several stories explaining how he came to have an 
Elephant head. My personal favorite tells of His mother, 
showing him off as a newborn to the other Gods, when the 
God Shani (usually a good solar being)
beheaded him with the evil eye...Vishnu (the preserver) 
as He often did for those in need,
rushed to the rescue and replaced the baby's head with that 
of an elephant, saving His life.
Another legend says Parvati created Ganesha herself to 
guard her household in her husband Shiva's absence at war.
When She was bathing one day Ganesha not recognizing His 
father Shiva refused to let Him into see His mother,
Shiva in a rage beheaded the child he did not know as 
His own but then corrected his mistake by giving 
the child an
elephant head after Parvati flew into a rage herself.

He also is often shown with one tusk broken off, which he sacrificed....
again stories vary he lost it in a battle with Rama because 
Rama was using Shiva's (Ganesha's father) weapon
and Ganesha allowed himself to be hit in the tusk by 
the weapon rather than harm his father's weapon by deflecting it...
or He scarfices the tusk to use as a pen to work as 
scribe to take down the Mahabharata, dictated to him by 
its author, sage Vyasa.
Both these stories show Ganeshas great humility.
He is often shown riding a rat, to show his humble nature.
Ganesha's main festival is Ganesh Chaturthi which is set by the 
4th day of the waxing moon in the Hindu month of 
it usually falls around the beginning of September. 
It is a 10 day celebration.
Clay figures of Ganesha are made for this festival 
and then thrown into the river afterward.
Sadly many now use other materials for these idols 
which then pollute the rivers the way the natural clay did not.


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