Artha III- Completing the Artha Cycle
by Rebecca Barry
We are entering the end of our artha season, and all the bright colors of summer—the blue cornflowers, bright green sweet corn, and Queen Anne’s lace are giving way to a deeper palette—the mustardy yellow of goldenrod, purple asters and milkweed, orange jewel weed. I love this time of year when the colors start to deepen, the crickets are louder, and the air starts to smell a tiny bit like fall. A new season is coming in, we’re all getting ready to reap what we’ve sown for the year.
This applies to our artha study, which started in June and in which we planted seeds and intentions for material wealth. Here’s a brief overview of the pujas, in case you’ve missed them. At the first puja, we wrote a letter to Lakshmi, asking for the amount of material wealth we wanted, and telling her what we would offer in return. The homework from that puja was to pay attention to what came up around asking for money/asking for what you want.
In the second puja, we discussed what blocks came up, and we did a meditation on the gold we have inside us, innately, that we are born with. What is it? Where is it? How can you access it, and share it in service?
In this third puja, coming up this Thursday, we’ll be doing a little planning for wealth, how to get to it and what to do with it when it comes in, but we’ll also be focusing on letting go.
Letting go is a big theme for the end of summer. You’ve planted the seeds of your crop, you’ve tended to them to the best of your ability, and now it’s time to see what the other forces that be—the earth, the weather, the will of other people, divine timing, the universe, whoever you talk to—have done with it.
This is a time to invest in curiosity and delight, and to release expectations. The trouble with trying to manifest things or all of the emphasis on co-creating your own reality is that it’s easy to get really tight around it. I look at the lists I made of what I wanted when I first started doing pujas, and they look a little bit like something a five-year-old would send to Santa. “I want this, and I want that, and please send it to me this way, and not that way, and also, since we’re asking, can I have more musical ability, and maybe a new bathroom, but then I would really just like everyone in my immediate family to get along for one day without complaining. Oh, wait, and can I have this kind of happiness and that kind of love and world peace or at least three days of harmony in my house, whatever that looks like because how the hell would I know? Namaste!” These lists went on and on, until finally, this last time I put something on my altar, my prayer was something like, “You guys know what I want. Just help me get out of my own way so that my work can be easy, lucrative, delightful, and serve my highest good.”
(But then I couldn’t help myself and there were about three PS’s that went something like, “and by lucrative I mean 80K a year at least. And by delightful I mean…, etc.”)
But the nice thing about pujas is that part of the point of them is that you are asking for divine help in all of your endeavors, whether to you that means help from your soul, or a god, or the universe. It’s just a way of saying: I have set this intention; if there is something bigger out there that can help me make it wonderful, please help.
And then you release it. And then you celebrate the best way you know how.
So come join us for our third artha puja. Think about what kind of material wealth you want, think about what you’ll like to offer in exchange. Ask yourself what your true gold is, and how you can offer that to the world. Then, release the whole thing with us. And we’ll all see what comes up in the fall.