Twelfth Night: Vijaya Nitya


Twelfth night: Vijaya: “A Slice of Victory” 

Energy: calm in the eye of the storm 

julianne moore lions

Vijaya’s body is lustrous red, and she wears a yellow sari and a red crown. The crescent moon sits on her forehead. She is carrying the noose and goad, a conch, the shield, a bow, a sword with arrows, a chakra, a white lotus, and a citrus fruit. She is reclined on the back of a sleeping lion.

It is said that if you worship Vijaya at night, she is “saumya,” or sweet and easeful, but if you worship her during the day, she is “aghori,” or horrifying. There is an element in this goddess of the kind of energy that can turn on a dime: her citrus fruit and yellow sari indicate that she has healing medicines for us if we rest calmly in this moment, but move too quickly–“don’t turn on the light right now!” Stoneberg warns–and the lion might wake up.

Vijaya reminds us that we are never exactly what we seem to be, and that often sleek beauty hides a dark and stormy interior, while sticky darkness can conceal a kernel of purity and beauty. She asks us to remember that in the midst of horror, riding on the back of primal forces, we must take a moment to rest in the beauty and ease of your experience both when things are good, and when they are horrifying.

“Vijaya” means “a slice of victory,” and her lesson is to revel in the moments of success in relationship. This goddess reminds  us that true intimacy in relationship can be dangerous, vulnerable, and scary, but of course it is also full of gorgeous, transcendent moments. Snuggle up to the beauty. Let yourself have it.


Lie down for this one, or take your favourite restorative yoga pose, like Legs Up the Wall. Let yourself acknowledge the chaos and intensity of your life, and anchor to this moment of sweetness. Imagine yourself resting in the eye of a storm, quiet, calm, and easy, with thoughts, worries, plans, etc, spinning around you but not actually touching you.

Writing prompt:

Title your piece, or begin every sentence, with the words “In a quiet moment.” What is revealed there that could not be seen before? What changes when we slow down or stop? What can you hear, see, or feel here?


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Writer, yoga teacher, studio owner.