What better way to start the Letters to the Divine {Within} Series than with Ganesha- remover of obstacles, protector, joyful dancer of the gods. Yesterday was Ganesha's birthday in the Hindu tradition, and is a day of celebrating one of the most represented and honored gods all over the world.

The story of Ganesha is a magical one, and a great rendition follows:

Lord Shiva, the Hindu god of death, destruction and the cosmic dance, was away at war. While gone, his wife Parvati wished protection in his absence. Having no one to guard her, she gave birth to a son who could protect her- Ganesh. Parvati instructed Ganesh to to stand guard at the entrance to her apartment and allow no one to enter without her permission. Her son did so honorably, standing at her door to protect her.

Not long after, Shiva returned from war and excited to see his wife, tried to enter her apartment. Unfortunately, Shiva did not know about Ganesh and when the two were confronted, Shiva was enraged with anger for Ganesh forbidding his entrance that he drew his sword and cut off Ganesha's head- not knowing that is was his son. When Parvati found out, she was heartbroken and enraged. To make amends, Shiva took the first living creature he could find, an elephant, and took the elephant's head to replace Ganesha's. Thus the depictions of Ganesha with an elephant head standing guard at the door.

His legend of protector and remover of obstacles continues today, and images and statues of him are commonly found at the entrance to homes and in cars around the world.

How can you access the legend and power of Ganesha in your own life? What obstacles need to be removed in order to move forward in your life? Are you having back pain that is holding you back from doing the activities you want to do? What obstacles are holding you back from leading a health, vibrant, radiant life? Are you in a job that no longer serves you, and you need to clearly see what obstacles need to be removed to start something new? Is something threatening you in some way, and you need protection?

You can use this mantra as well to access Ganesha, or request his protection and guidance when you need it:

OM GAM GANAPATAYE NAMAHA

You can find a recording of this mantra HERE. This chant works especially well when looking for parking or getting out of traffic too :)

**This series, Letters to the Divine {Within}, will focus on one god or goddess at a time from a variety of traditions: Hindu, Christianity, Jewish tradition, ancient Greece, Rome, Egypy, Celtic and more. The goal is to begin to tap into the variety of energies out there available to us through these stories, myths and legends to begin to tap into your own healing & transformation. You can use each of these myths as a guiding force for whatever is happening in your life. This isn't worship (unless you want it to be) or in any way meant to replace your already established religious views or traditions. These stories transcend time and the themes are repeated in every major tradition in their own way. My goal is to make them available to you so you can learn and grow from them.

For each entry, I will give provide the legend and myth, and then pose questions or other activities that may guide you in interacting with this being. Then you write a letter, poem, dance- anything that helps you in tapping into this energy.

And be sure to share in the comments what you did and how it worked for you! I'll be sharing my own use of these practices from time to time as well. I hope you enjoy!