Akhilandeshvari - The Goddess of being Broken
(A post from the archives at my old blog. . . I originally wrote this peice on January 27, 2015. I felt called to revisit and share it again now. )
I'm intrigued. My interest has been sparked by the name of a Goddess that has crossed my path recently. And as it goes when a Goddess taps me on the shoulder, there's a lesson here and I'm in the midst of it. A few weeks ago, this story came across my facebook news feed. I read it and I thought, this is so interesting, and beautiful, and . . . wow I can relate! The article was called Why Lying In A Broken Pile on Your Bathroom Floor is a Good Thing and it's about a little known Hindu Goddess - Akhilandeshvari - The Goddess of Never Not Being Broken. She's an aspect of Parvati (at least from what I can find in my online searching; and in Hindu mythology most of the Gods and Goddesses are all different aspects of each other) The Goddess of Never Not Broken - the eternally broken Goddess... resides in the state of brokenness. You know, that raw place of grief or loss where the soul feels so open, like the world and everything can just reach in and touch it? Yeah we've all been there. Akhilandeshvari lives there. Riding on the back of a crocodile (primal instinct and fear) through the river (the eternal energy flow of the universe). Yeah. Powerful. I know that those moments of brokenness have been some of the most transformative experiences of my life. After all, when we break apart in pain or grief, we have to redefine ourself, rebuild our life - and we usually come back from that place a stronger person. It's where that annoying phrase "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger" comes from.
So, I made note of this interesting Goddess, told myself I would research her (this was after only reading the article in the link above), and moved on with my life. Doing my thing. Taking life in leaps and bounds! I've been in a state of rapid manifestation and big changes. Empowered. Fearless. Taking big steps and making big changes. I've been working on an online class to get Certified as a card reader (Tarot & Oracle). I quit my unsatisfying retail job. I've been meeting new people and working on starting and organizing a social group for local Pagans in my area. Experiencing new things. Feeling so together. I'm going after my dream, my life purpose! Amidst all this I also had a chance to get my Reiki 1 certification. Great! Adding Reiki to my life just seems so perfect, so wonderful! And it has been! The class I took when I received my Reiki 1 attunements was wonderful!
In Reiki 1, we receive blessings that help awaken our inner power to heal ourselves and our loved ones. We learn that Reiki is a lifestyle, and a big part of the journey is in meditation and working on ourselves. Focusing on Gratitude. Learning energy awareness. Healing and being open to receiving healing . . . on a daily basis. It's really all so wonderful! But if you've ever had any kind of energy work done before (or gone through a detox) you know that as you accept that healing - all the negative has to come out. Things from the past bubble to the surface.
So here I am, literally lying in a broken heap on my bedroom floor. I knew that my Reiki teacher had told me that "things from the past might come up, or you might face uncomfortable feelings." And I knew that this was just a part of healing - sometimes we have to shine a light on those deep dark places. But damn. I mean, This is stuff from years ago that I thought was resolved. I'm asking "Why me?" and "Why Now?" and "can I do this? Am I strong enough? Is it time? Am I ready?" All that confidence I had, this blissful cloud of change just dissolved beneath me and I had to realize - changing the outside (the external) ain't worth shit if the inside isn't changed too. And I'm realizing I have to redefine myself, yet again. Rebuild myself, yet again. (How many times have I been here?) And I'm feeling broken and raw and unsure of myself, and then . . . I remembered Akhilandeshvari. The Never Not Broken Goddess.
So, I started doing more research. I found another article describing this Goddess
"Pronounced ah-kee-LAN-desh-va-ree, "Akhilandeshvari" translates as "Never Not Broken." She shows us the power and opportunity of being broken into pieces by heartache, disaster, great fortune, and other life changes and traumas. However She takes this to the furthest extreme, purposefully keeping Herself broken wide open, allowing Herself to flow with every current, creating and fragmenting and recreating Herself endlessly. She steadfastly refuses to paste Herself together into a stable form, shunning the limitations that She'd have to abide and the false identities that would hide Reality. She rides on a crocodile: the very survival-fear that keep most of us chained to the known and routine is Her flying carpet! She is not controlled by the need to keep her identity consistent, or even alive. She dances and spins and breaks herself into shards of light, tossing out new possibilities for herself like flower petals from a cherry tree.
The Goddess Never-Not-Broken promises that the greatest magick is in the transformative moments: the heartbreack, the uncertainties, the pause before we hit the ground... and what we do with ourselves after we land. "
I found a few more websites with scattered and brief information, much of it the same from one site to another. But that's part of the beauty of this Goddess - the simplicity of being broken. Undefined. Ever changing. Defying definition and boundaries by being constantly in the flow of that river, riding the back of that crocodile, breaking apart and finding power in that state. A strong sense of peace came over me as I read more. Well, not "peace" . . . but just knowing. Trusting. I can do this. I am powerful, even when I am broken. I am still connected to all that Divine bliss, even in my moments of pain and doubt. Yes. Akhilandeshvari has become part of my personal pantheon, and I invite Her to tap on my shoulder and get my attention any time that I forget that being broken is beautiful.
I also found this traditional chant attributed to Akhilandeshvari, it is quite beautiful and I think I will use it for meditation to help me connect with this aspect of the Goddess! Also - found some beautiful art inspired by this Goddess - I think an artist of any kind could really connect with Her. . . because as we create something new we often have to break ourselves into pieces, and as we rearrange them and put those bits of ourselves back together in a new way, art is born.
- W.J.M Hestia's Muse 1.27.2015
Update August 20, 2018 - I still work with Akhilandeshvari from time to time. Whenever I am feeling broken, she reminds me that this is when I am at my most powerful. I have found ways to channel all that pain, emptiness, fear, or heartbreak into my creative process, my work, and my healing. She's been with me a lot this past month. It is both humbling and empowering to see Brokenness as Divine. I am no-thing. Yet when I am no-thing, I am Infinite Potential. Infinite Potential is Divine. I am Divine.
Thank you for reading, and let me know in a comment if you feel drawn to this Goddess or others like Her.