Yes! The Great Goddess, Saraswati, has blessed me. 620 pages and the fourth edition, the last edition, of The Practicing Herbalist indexed, and off to have one print made. I will have to read it again in a week. I found this amazing sculpture in Kapa’a Hawaii when visiting my son Gabe and family many years ago.
The Goddess Saraswati is worshipped after placing books near her statue or a picture. People refrain from reading books on this day. That is just how I feel today. I am grateful for writing this tome, this fourth edition of all the wisdom I hope to impart before I die, and I cannot read it at all today! Enough! I have final details left for others to complete. The headshot for the cover. Some herbal soul who has not read it at all. I have read it too many times to even see glaring mistakes, repeated words or unfinished any things. a read through by an herbalist who has not read this life’s work…must live very nearby and read in a day or two. Is that too much to ask?
The entire cover designed, deciding on a printer and then the waiting. What a journey this is in Covid times. Printers without paper in the sturdy weights, or short on inks and cover boards. The costs are incredibly higher and waiting times longer. This will be a hard decision. One that dips into the old-age savings big time. Sigh.
Saraswati is also referred to as “Druga” for fighting against “Drug”, a female demon in the ancient Vedas. As I completed the last page of indexing, 90 pages of indexed words to guide you to all you may find helpful in practice, I felt like a demon was battling me. Had been battling me since March when every book sold in twelve hours. The Herbal Entrepeneurs Conference with Yolanda Joy in Italy. Virtual life, no jet lag, and no fabulous Italian meals or wine, no walking ancient cobble stoned streets. Just talking simply with a lovely being and speaking about what it is to practice herbal medicine. And like a lightning bolt, sales poured in and out they all went into the world.
Saraswati, spoken “Sarasvati” whose four arms represent the various aspects of human personality — learning, mind, intellect, alertness and ego. She represents the feminine energy and the knowledge aspect of Brahma. These four arms are also known to reflect the 4 Vedas — Rigveda, Atharvaveda, Samveda and Yajurveda. She started being associated with literature, arts, music which encouraged organization of the universe. In Hinduism, Saraswati is symbolic of intelligence, consciousness, creativity and education. When I saw her, I knew she belonged in my office. I wrapped her in layers of bubblewrap and she was my carry-on for the long journey home to New England. She oversees and protects my space above the tinctures on the highest shelf. Fairy wings and magic dust at her and the Swan’s feet.
One often sees Honey being offered to this goddess. Honey is symbolic of perfect knowledge and a lot of importance is attached to it. Especially that I am a beekeeper. What is herbal knowledge but pollination of the sweet knowledge that plants heal and carry us through our dance on this amazing planet?
Once my wonderful compilation master, Dawn Gregory, had walked out the door after a celebratory lunch in an outdoor café, I heard echos of my own demons. I spoke to an old family friend on the sidewalk who asked about my husband. Demons arose. I have not had a husband for many years, the last man never truly held in the band that was marriage. No wasband. The demons rose up from gut to heart and ego saying “You are alone.” No one awaits you in the big house to raise a glass and share this accomplishment with. The Demeantors sucked the light and joy out and I succumbed to tears for many hours trying to find sleep or awakening always reaching for my mythical beloved. Humans belong in relationship.
Goddess Saraswati holds a book in one of her hands. It represents that she is the epitome of true knowledge. The rosary of crystals, in another hand, signifies the power of meditation and spirituality. The musical instrument stands for her expertise in various art forms. The fourth hand has a pot of sacred water that is symbolic of creative and purification powers. Ritual Bathings are an important ceremony I have learned from Rosita Arvigo and Roceo Alarcon, with beach Roses, Rosa Rugosa, and other plant friends for what is spiritually needed. Hours of prayer and gathering, cleansing and washing naked bodies from head to soles. Sacred waters. It is a delicate art to lift balls and an intact or circumcised penis while scrubbing each and every inch.
Saraswati is also associated with anuraga. This refers to the fondness and respect for the rhythm of music used to express emotions and feelings. And here I am, the Jazz Maven of Marblehead. Bringing into the gardens and onto my deck, the most inspirational, attuned, high vibration original composing humans who understand connection, honoring each other’s gifts. Whose ripples pass into the winds to all of us, amongst the vines and trees, Epimediums, Roses, Mallows, Marblehead Peas and Cohoshs, Hawthorns and Linden and my beloved Ginkgo. They are the best, I am particular and have an ear that needs pleasing plus a heart that needs nourishing.
Heart, those demons arise again, and even with my nearly perfect life, my heart desires the smiles and glasses raised, the look of celebration shared with my beloved. The skip in my record. You would think that so many years of affirmations and self-development would be manifest. So, I set that sadness aside and rejoice in the love of Sarah and Gabe and Hannah and delicious grandchildren, friends, and students, and all the people I really don’t “know” but know me through my writings. I do feel loved.
Goddess Saraswati is also known to guide the souls of the deceased to find peace in their afterlife. ‘Moksha”, as they say, is a part of the “divine knowledge” imparted by the goddess. I have left something behind of great value to improve the world I live in and the planet I adore. This book, my children, my clients finding their way to the plants, and students who carry on the teachings are my legacy.
Everyone has been so supportive and patient. The book will have ink to paper, hard bound and sewn with real thread. The cost, I shudder.
So my friends I am grateful beyond words. My breathing is deeper and shoulders lower. I just shake my head and say “Wow.” Margi