On the 5th day of Navratri we invoke and worship Devi Skandamata, who as a further manifestation of Parvati, gives birth to Kartikeya, also known as Skanda.
Even being the son of Parvati and Shiva, He was raised by the 6 sisters, the Kritikas, whose stars shine so brightly, and so close to Earth, who the Greeks knew as the 7 sisters, the Pleides.
She is pure compassion and nurturing, leaving the smiting of demons to her six-headed son, who we see sitting in her lap with bow and arrow, for he leads the divine armies. She blesses us with her “no fear” abhaya mudra shown by one hand, holding her son securely with another, while raising 2 hands with 2 lotuses.
The worshipper of Devi Skandamata, besides receiving the blessings of protection and prosperity for the home, receives the added blessing of Swami Kartikeya, who, as the divine commander, slays demons.
The following mantra may be used for her invocation and worship:
YA DEVI SARVBHUTESHU MAM SKANDAMATA RUPENA SAMSTHITA
NAMASTASYAI NAMASTASYAI NAMASTASYAI NAMO NAMAH
SINHASANGATAM NITYAM PADMANCHIT KARDWAYA
SHUBHDASTU SADA DEVI SKANDMATA YASHASWINI