Why Rev. Laurie Loves Goddess Lakshmi

A Native New Yorker Honors The Hindu Goddess of Fortune

Lakshmi Magic Book
Lakshmi Magic. Book by Rev. Laurie Sue Brockway

Rev. Laurie Sue Brockway is an interfaith minister known for officiating respectful Hindu Interfaith weddings and for her writings on goddesses from world cultures. In her newest book, Lakshmi Magic, she reveals a long alliance with the Hindu Goddess of Fortune and many years studying and partaking in Hindu traditions.

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“I didn’t grow up in a Hindu family but like to say I have a Hindu soul,” says Rev. Brockway, who first learned about Hinduism while attending interfaith seminary 19 years ago. “I felt very drawn to the inclusion of gods and goddesses and loved the colorful rituals. It was my attraction to Lakshmi that brought me into the fold, so to speak.” 

Here's my interview with the author of 'Lakshmi Magic'

How did you discover Lakshmi?

As a single mom, I worried about money because I’d given up a career in magazine journalism to become a minister. One night while praying and meditating for guidance, a beautiful Indian woman in a green sari appeared in my mind’s eye. I could swear she said: “Build a shrine to me.”  Wasn’t sure if it was a spiritual vision or my mind playing tricks on me, but it spurred me to find her.

Did you build a shrine?

First I had to identify her! I knew about the Hindu pantheon, but not enough to tell the deities apart. A friend introduced me to a store that imported deities and goods from India. I sat sorting through a box of old, dusty postcards until I recognized her. The owner explained she was Lakshmi, the wealth goddess. He became one of my first guides. I bought the postcard, of course. Before I knew it I had a collection of sacred icons.

Eventually, guests from all backgrounds came into my home to sit at Lakshmi’s altar. Everybody loved Lakshmi!

Explore More: 8 Forms of Lakshmi

Have you been to India?

My son was young so I couldn’t travel. Instead, I found Lakshmi in local temples, museums, exhibitions and Indian restaurants. I learned about her by talking to cab drivers and people of the Hindu faith all over the city.

I spent time in Sari shops and stores that sell Hindu supplies and asked store keepers to describe what certain worship objects were and how they are used.

Did you study traditional worship of Lakshmi?

In the beginning, I had to order religious books from India because they were not widely available. Then I found the courage to attend Hindu temple services and learn first-hand. I spent many a day sitting by Lakshmi’s icon in the local Hindu temple in Queens. Though I was at first terrified I’d make some sort of spiritual faux pas, I sponsored Pujas and Archana. A few priests there patiently taught me how to properly partake in rituals. Some days I’d just sit by Lakshmi’s icon, relax into the hypnotic sound of Sanskrit chants, and observe others in their worship. Ultimately, my biggest lesson was I did not have to formally become a Hindu to partake in traditional worship and my sincerity was more important than getting it perfect. Over time, I began honor Lakshmi in a way that felt most appropriate and natural.

Why write Lakshmi Magic?

I love Lakshmi and spent so much time learning about her that it seems right to share some of the wisdom and delights she brought my way. Lakshmi is a universal goddess, meaning anyone can get to know her.

The book has sacred stories and history, along with prayers and blessings collected from many sources over the years.  Also, this book is my tribute and “shrine” to Lakshmi.

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Das, Subhamoy. "Why Rev. Laurie Loves Goddess Lakshmi." ThoughtCo, Feb. 24, 2017, thoughtco.com/why-rev-laurie-loves-goddess-lakshmi-1770368. Das, Subhamoy. (2017, February 24). Why Rev. Laurie Loves Goddess Lakshmi. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/why-rev-laurie-loves-goddess-lakshmi-1770368 Das, Subhamoy. "Why Rev. Laurie Loves Goddess Lakshmi." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/why-rev-laurie-loves-goddess-lakshmi-1770368 (accessed March 17, 2018).