By: Maya (initiate member of the Yogini Chakra)
On November 25th, Fresno had its Spirit Fusion Festival (Fresno’s Pagan Pride). I worked a table for SHARANYA for the day and got the chance to talk to people about the organization, give out information, and sell some of the beautiful images, ritual items, and Indian handicrafts we generally offer through the Apsara Store online and at pujas.
As part of the day, I also hosted a beautiful Ganesha Puja for all who were there. It was a small intimate group that came to puja; it was very sweet and all who attended were deeply touched by the ceremony. We all honored and were honored by the Spirit of Ganesha.
All of the people who came were active in the puja. We called upon the four elements to join us, along with Shiva, Kali Maa, and, of course, Ganesha took his place of prominence! The Ganesha altar was decorated with a variety Ganesha murtis, along with images and murtis of other deities, such as Shiva, Kali Maa, Tara, and Matangi.
The group assembled was invited to do invocations for the elements, and I taught them some short mantras to invoke Shiva, Maa, and Ganesha too. As the circle chanted to Ganesha, singing, OM GAM GANAPATAYAI NAMAH, I cleansed the space with charged moon water. Ganesha was then bathed in the charged moon water, milk, and moon water again.
I then anointed the central murti, in addition to everyone in circle, with water from the Ganges River to invoke for peace. Next, we moved on to anointing the various other murtis, coconuts, and bananas with kum kum, powdered incense for Earth, Air, Fire, and Water, dried rosemary and the charged moon water as well.
Everyone took turns anointing a specific coconut or banana with whatever they felt called to use and however they felt called to do so at the time. It was fun and touching as each person anointed their fruit and the different murtis while in their own special way invoking the beautiful spirit of Ganesha. They took their anointed fruit home with them to place on their personal altars once the ritual was complete.
Overall, it was a wonderful day of sharing in the beauty and fun in the spirit of an eclectic Pagan Festival, and I look forward to participating again next year.