The Lucky Road

Detail from page 272 of Family Man.

Another page with the Roma family, although we’re almost done with this scene. Too bad; I love drawing mustaches, and the 18th century was otherwise a very clean-shaven era.

Now that election fever had passed (and thank heavens for that), it’s on to cheerier parts of the year. Coming up early on the world schedule of Festivals of Light is Diwali! It’s actually a little late this year – normally it falls in October. To celebrate, here’s my sixth goddess illustration – the Hindu goddess Lakshmi. Click to see her at full size!

Like many Hindu deities, Lakshmi has literally dozens of different forms, incarnations and names, has complex relationships with other deities (like Vishnu and Ganesh) and plays many roles. She’s probably best known for being a goddess of abundance – and that can mean simple good luck, personal fulfillment, or material wealth. Lakshmi is the one who fills your cup.

In most devotional images Lakshmi is depicted standing or sitting in a giant lotus blossom, floating on a tranquil sea – a bit like Aphrodite, she was born from the ocean. She has four arms (the better to distribute wealth!) and holds lotuses in two of them. She is sometimes attended by two white elephants. This is an illustration, not a traditional devotional image, so she is behaving a little less formally here! Lakshmi is generous of spirit, so hopefully she won’t hold it against me.