Sarasvati, the Flowing One / A God Lovely As a Tree


Two musings
by Deanna McKinstry-Edwards, PhD

  • Size: 5 x 8
  • No. Pages: 44
  • Published: 2018
  • ISBN: Publisher direct only


Deanna McKinstry-Edwards, PhD, author of Psyche, Eros and Me (River Sanctuary Publishing, 2015) brings us two lyrical essays.  Sarasvati is the Hindu goddess of Speech, Sound, Music and Wisdom.  “Something primordial defines Sarasvati which extends beyond cultural associations to cosmic tendencies and attributes, and this feature of her archetypal zest is no doubt key to her continued survival and importance in Hindu culture even today.”  McKinstry-Edwards brings the goddess to life in this personal exploration of the impulses hidden within our psyche that define our lives and move us to seek a deeper experience.

page 4, Sarasvati, the Flowing One

We were destined to meet, Sarasvati and I, since I have been an actress, a singer, a writer, a devotee of breath churned into expression through melody and words. For this is Her realm, the domain of sound, singing, eloquent speech, and intuitive wisdom. Originally a river goddess in the ancient Vedic texts, Sarasvati is the archetypal figure who embodies wisdom through the flowing motion of sound and running water. Hers is the archetypal energy that compels us to break loose from inhibiting forces and stuck places, especially those rutted in our minds. She compels each of us to loosen our notions and animate dialogues with ourselves, others, and all life, continually moving our minds like leaves riding a river. It is not closure Sarasvati seeks, but open-ended conversation.


Regaling readers with her love of trees, McKinstry-Edwards writes, “At each rite of passage, each threshold of what later seemed a greater understanding of and participation in life, trees held out their roots and branches, took me in, and down and up into the thick of things, visible and invisible, and always with wisdom, reassurances, beauty and grace.”

page 27, A God Lovely As a Tree

But this is the Big One, and continually remains the Big One. The mythic leave taking of home for places unknown. One learns ultimately, or one doesn’t, that the way of psyche can be swift, and precipitous; ruthless even with one’s desires for security, and the wellbeing of others, even those whom one loves deeply. But there was a song I wasn’t singing even though I was singing almost daily, and it had something to do with what James Hillman calls the acorn archetype. The seed as the calling from within, pestering to take meaningful possession of ones psychic life. The unfolding, if you will, of what is unique in each person. That I made this decision to leave, possibly the biggest turning point in my life, at a time when the leaves around me were being swooped up and swept away from their homes, surprises me not. This, I have learned, is how psyche often plays out the weather of our lives. Psyche deeply understands the journey of leaves!



Deanna McKinstry-Edwards, PhD, is a professional actress, singer, writer, lecturer and Pushcart Prize nominated poet. She holds a doctoral degree in Mythology and Depth Psychology, and teaches courses in Ecopsychology. She resides in Carmel, CA with her husband, renowned voice teacher Robert Edwards, and their two English Setters.