Step over the threshold into a new relationship, a new job, a new project, a new book, and hope you have Ganesha on your side. Ganesha (“Lord of the Hosts”) welcomes new beginnings. If someone you know is beginning a new life phase, then gift that person with the energy of Ganesha.

Ganesha’s mother created him to protect her while her husband, Shiva, was away. As an infant, Ganesha kept guard outside his mother’s quarters and warded off evil intruders. When he, so devoted, tried to keep Shiva – his own father – from entering, the god, insulted, cut off Ganesha’s head. When Shiva discovered he had whacked off his own son’s head, he promptly sought the nearest newborn babe, an elephant. With the mother’s blessings that her son would be immortalized, Shiva severed the baby elephant’s head and attached it to his son’s body. With such a rocky beginning, this elephant-headed figure looks out for us when we’re starting a new venture. This pot-bellied dancer is the embodiment of worldly success, of groundedness while still being playful and joyful, and of an obstacle–remover.

Among Ganesha’s many names are Ganesha (Lord of the Hosts), Ganapataye (Remover of Obstacles), and Vinayaka (The Remover).

Ganesha items are popular gifts for wedding guests, for people newly engaged or married, for people’s birthdays, or for people endeavoring on a new job, project, or move to a new place – as Ganesha looks our for travelers. In fact, it is not uncommon to find Ganesha objects on automobile dashboards. Known as the Scribe of Yoga – often depicted with notebook in hand – he is popular among writers. Since Ganesha helps us prioritize projects, he is especially appropriate as a New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day gift. The celebration of Ganesha’s own birthday – Ganesha Chaturthi – occurs in late August or September.

Caveat: If someone does not express due gratitude to Ganesha, Ganesha can be not just the remover of obstacles but the one who places obstacles before you.

Biography provided by Jeff Davis: Author of The Journey from the Center to the Page: Yoga Philosophies and Practices as Muse for Authentic Writing.

His essays, articles, short stories, and poems have appeared in publications around the country and in London. He is a former senior yoga teacher at Bliss Yoga Center in Woodstock, NY and founder of WEN Barn & Gardens in Accord, NY. He resides near Woodstock, NY, between the Catskill Mountains and the Shawangunk Mountains with wife Hillary.