Slovenian God Korant  

Posted by Stella Clark

Slovenian God Korant Cover
In pre-Christian Carantania he most likely was the god of winter His origin dates back to the prehistoric Lord of Animals. In pre-Christian times, winter, too, was personified in the form of a deity. Even today, his figure can still be individuated in the popular tradition of many European nations, in several regions he appears in various shapes and under different names. He is also very popular in Central Europe, which was the cradle of the ancient Vends, a pre-Celtic people. After ca. 400 BC, Celtic migrations spilt Middle Europe, and much later the German language spread throughout the country. Anyway, the Vendic people with their ancient customs and symbols are well preserved in the substrate until this very day.

The Celts did not populate the Alps. Therefore, the Vendic people there preserved their cultural tradition in its relatively original condition. In the Eastern Alps, after the decline of the Roman Empire, arose the duchy of Carantania. It was a State of Slovenians, who were still a pagan people. After Christianization, carried out after 750 AD, several pagan deities associated with Christian Saints. As it seems, St. Martin replaced the god of winter, not only in Carantania but all over Middle Europe.

In Slovenian territory his most authentic figure appears in Carnival processions with masked people, where he represents the central figure. Normally, he is called Pust (Shrovetide). Anyway, in the region of Ptujsko polje (Ptuj/Pettau field), he presents himself in a very ancient shape and he bears a particular name. It is about the masked figure called Korant, or Kurent. In the sense of his looks and his mysterious meaning, this figure is certainly unique.

In the Korant's masque two elements symbolize the ancient cosmic principles: the horns (meaning sun-rays) on the top, in front the beak and the great wings (meaning a celestial origin) on both sides of his head. His long red tongue (symbolizing procreation) is very probably of pre-historic origin. Of much later origin must be regarded his belt of chain, on which five bells are suspended. The sheepskin coat, in which he is dressed, remembers the period of herders, in which the ancient Lord of Animals appears as Wolves' Herder.

Even nowadays, in Middle Europe, children and people in masques walk in processions through the streets on certain holidays, and go from house to house. The children, and in former times also poor people, wished good fortune and prayed for the dead. In return they received small gifts and treats. In Slovenia, St. Barbara Day (December 4th) is the first of such holidays, when people start to go round from house to house. Then follows St. Nicolas Day (December 6), when the benevolent bishop, accompanied by angels and horned devils, visits each home. Between Christmas and New Year, a special procession is held every year in the village of Srednja vas, in Bohin Valley. Among the participants we find lads in masques, called otepovci. The church in this village is consecrated to St. Martin.

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Faunus  

Posted by Stella Clark

Faunus Cover
Faunus was the horned god of the forest, plains and fields; when he made cattle fertile he was called Inuus. He came to be equated in literature with the Greek god Pan. Faunus was one of the oldest Roman deities, known as the di indigetes. According to the epic poet Virgil, he was a legendary king of the Latins who came with his people from Arcadia. His shade was consulted as a god of prophecy under the name of Fatuus, with oracles in the sacred grove of Tibur, around the well Albunea, and on the Aventine Hill in ancient Rome itself Marcus Terentius Varro asserted that the oracular responses were given in Saturnian verse. Faunus revealed the future in dreams and voices that were communicated to those who came to sleep in his precincts, lying on the fleeces of sacrificed lambs. W. Warde Fowler suggested that Faunus is identical with Favonius, one of the Roman wind gods.

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Hecate Queen Of The Night  

Posted by Stella Clark

Hecate Queen Of The Night Cover
Hecate (Hekate) is Queen of the Night, the Spirit World, and Witchcraft. Her epithets include "She Who Works Her Will." Although today most associated with Greek mythology, her name, meaning "influence from afar," acknowledges her foreign origins.

Generally believed to have first emerged in what is now Turkey, she was not an obscure goddess. Hecate was at one time chief deity of Caria, now western Turkey, and was eventually widely worshipped throughout Europe, Western Asia, and Egypt. Records of formal worship date from eighth century BC to the fourth century AD, although as magic fell from grace she became an increasingly disreputable spirit. All Hecate's myths clearly identify her as a witch and matron of magical arts.

Hecate holds dominion over life, death, regeneration, and magic. She rules wisdom, choices, expiation, victory, vengeance, and travel. Hecate guards the frontier between life and death. She is an intermediary between the spirit world and that of humans. She is the witness to all crimes, especially those against women and children.

Hecate has been known to assume the shape of a black cat, a bear, a pig or a hen but most typically manifests as a mature woman or black dog. She has a particularly strong bond with dogs. Even when manifesting in human form, Hecate is usually accompanied by hounds. Somehow there will be a canine reference. When manifesting as a woman alone, Hecate often circles in the manner of a dog.

Artistic renderings of Hecate usually attempt to capture her spiritual essence. She may be depicted with three bodies, each facing a different direction. One hand holds the knife that is the midwife's tool, another holds a torch to illuminate the darkness, the last bears a serpent representing medical and magical wisdom. Sometimes Hecate is depicted with a woman's body but three animal heads - those of a dog, a horse, and a lion.

Hecate's sacred time is black night. All her festivities and ceremonies are held after dark, the only acceptable illumination is candles or torches. She only accepts offerings and petitions at night. Hecate is identified with the Dark Moon, the time of her optimum power.

The last day of each month is dedicated to Hecate. She also shared a festival with Diana on August 13th in Italy. Modern Wiccans, for whom Hecate is an important deity, celebrate November 16th as Hecate Night.

Her sacred place is the crossroads, specifically three-way crossroads. Among her name is Hecate Trivia. That doesn't indicate that Hecate is trivial or that worshipping her was a trivial pursuit: Trivia literally means "three roads." Hecate is Spirit of the Crossroads: her power emanates from their point of intersection. Hecate's image was once placed in Greek towns wherever three roads met.

* SACRED CREATURES: Dogs, toads, snakes, dragons
* COLOR: Black
* NUMBER: Three
* ATTRIBUTES: Key, Cauldron, Broom, Torch
* PLANTS: Garlic, lavender, mandrake
* FRUIT: Pomegranate
* TREES: Black poplar, yew, date palm, willow
* PLANETS: Moon and Sirius, the Dog Star.

Hecate is most prominent in Greek mythology for being the sole deity to voluntarily assist Demeter in her search for her abducted daughter, Persephone. Later, after Persephone eats Death's six pomegranate seeds and is condemned to spend half the year in Hades, it is Hecate who accompanies her as Lady-in-Waiting. In some legends, she even becomes Hades' co-wife. Ceberus, three-headed hound of Hades, may be Hecate in disguise.

Hecate becomes Persephone's link to her mother and the land of the living. She guarantees that Death cannot break the bond between mother and daughter. Hecate is the Matron of Necromancy.

Hecate, daughter of the Titans Perses and Asteria, is older than the Olympian spirits. The eight-century BC Greek poet Hesiod writes that Hecate's power dates "from the beginning." Zeus was crazy about her: he eliminated all other pre-Hellenic deities (the Titans) but, having fallen madly in love with Hecate, he let her be.

Hecate is understood to be a triple goddess by herself, appearing as maiden, mother, and crone. She is also part of a lunar triplicity with Artemis and Selene, and also with Demeter and Persephone. Hecate dances in Dionysus' retinue and is a close ally of Kybele.

Alongside her intense lunar identification, Hecate is also associated with the element of water: her first love affairs were with sea gods including Triton. Her great-grandfather was Pontus the Sea. Her maternal great-aunt was the sea monster Keto. Hecate is also related to the Gorgons and Sirens and may be the mother of Scylla, who was transformed into a sea monster by another relative, Circe. Prior to her transformation Scylla was a beautiful woman from head to waist, with canine hips terminating in a fish tale.

Hecate led a host of shape-shifting female spirits known as Empausas, whose usual manifestation was as a beautiful woman with one brass leg and one donkey's leg; Hecate herself sometimes takes this form. The Empusas patrolled roads and apparently sometimes had fun terrorizing travelers. If one invoked Hecate, however, they left you alone.

Devotees feted the goddess by holding rituals known as Hecate's Suppers at the end of each month at a crossroad. (The end of the month in lunar calendars corresponds to the Dark Moon, the new month begins with the first sighting of the new moon). The Church was still trying to eradicate Hecate's Suppers in the eleventh century.

Post-Christianity, Hecate became among the most intensely demonized spirits, her very name synonymous with "witch". Her symbols (toad, cauldron, broom) are inextricably linked with stereotypes of witchcraft. What were symbols of fertility became symbols of evil. Her sacred dogs were converted into the Hounds of Hell. This denigration served to camouflage Hecate's origins as a deity of Healing and Protection.

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Prajapati  

Posted by Stella Clark

Prajapati Cover
Prajapati (Sanskrit praja-pati,,, "lord of creatures") is a Hindu deity presiding over procreation, and protector of life. He appears as a creator deity or supreme God Viswakarma Vedic deities in RV 10 and in Brahmana literature. Vedic commentators also identify him with the creator referred to in the Nasadiya Sukta. In later times, he is identified with Vishnu, Shiva, with the personifications of Time, Fire, the Sun, etc. He is also identified with various mythical progenitors, especially the ten lords of created beings first created by Brahma

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Brigid Day  

Posted by Stella Clark

Brigid Day Cover
It is tempting to view this tender goddess of the early Spring only as she is pictured in Scottish artist John Duncan's famous picture, The Coming of Bride: a wide-eyed, golden-haired girl, encircled by children. But behind her girlish innocence is the power of a once-great ancestral deity, Brigid, whose name means "The Exalted One," queen and mother goddess of many European tribes. She is also known as Brigid, Bridget, Brighid, Brighde, Brig or Bride and some scholars consider her name originated with the Vedic Sanskrit word brihati, an epithet of the divine.

The 10th century Cormac's Glossary describes her as the daughter of the Daghda, the "Great God" of the Tuatha de Danaan. He calls her a "woman of wisdom... a goddess whom poets adored, because her protection was very great and very famous." Since the discipline of poetry, "was interwoven with seership, Brigid was seen as the great inspiration behind divination and prophecy, the source of oracles.

She is said to have had two sisters: Brigid the Physician and Brigid the Smith, but it is generally thought that all three were aspects of the one goddess of poetry, healing, and smithcraft. Elsewhere she is described as the patron of other vital crafts of early Celtic society: dying, weaving and brewing. A goddess of regeneration and abundance, she was greatly beloved as a provider of plenty who brought forth the bounties of the natural world for the good of the people. She is closely connected with livestock and domesticated animals. She had two oxen called Fea and Feimhean who gave their names to a plain in Co. Carlow and one in Tipperary. She was also the guardian of Torc Triath, king of the wild boar, who gave his name to Treithirne, a plain in West Tipperary. These three totem animals used to raise a warning cry if Ireland was in danger.

Some Irish rivers bear her name, as do places as far apart as Breconshire in Wales, Brechin in Scotland and Bregenz in Austria, which was once the capital of the Brigantii tribe. This tribe was under the tutelage of the goddess Brigantia, who is thought to be another aspect of Brigid. The most powerful political unit of Celtic-speaking Britain, the Brigantii mostly held sway in Northern England, where place-names and rock-carvings still echo the presence of their mother-goddess

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Umvelinqangi  

Posted by Stella Clark

Umvelinqangi Cover
Umvelinqangi is the Sky God from the Zulu mythology. He has a voice like thunder and is known to send down lightning bolts. He descended from heaven to marry Uthlanga, and is said to have created the primeval reeds from which Unkulunkulu emerged. Separate but related histories attribute male and female gender to a god with the same name and similar attributes.

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Tonatiuh  

Posted by Stella Clark

Tonatiuh Cover
In Aztec mythology, Tonatiuh was the sun god. The Aztec people considered him the leader of Tollan, their heaven. He was also known as the fifth sun, because the Aztecs believed that he was the sun that took over when the fourth sun was expelled from the sky. According to their cosmology, each sun was a god with its own cosmic era. According to the Aztecs, they were still in Tonatiuh's era. According to the Aztec creation myth, the god demanded human sacrifice as tribute and without it would refuse to move through the sky. It is said that 20,000 people were sacrificed each year to Tonatiuh and other gods, though this number is thought to be inflated either by the Aztecs, who wanted to inspire fear in their enemies, or the Spaniards, who wanted to vilify the Aztecs. The Aztecs were fascinated by the sun and carefully observed it, and had a solar calendar second only in accuracy to the Mayans'. Many of today's remaining Aztec monuments have structures aligned with the sun.

He was a sun-god, and heavenly warrior; God of the Sun represented by the eagle. Poor and ill, Tonatiuh cast himself into the flames, and being burnt up, was resurrected. Daily Tonatiuh repeats his passage across the heavens, down into darkness, and back again into the sky. With him Tonatiuh carries all brave warriors who have died in battle and all brave women who have died in childbirth. The greatest heroes Tonatiuh carries with him to the greatest heights. to Tonatiuhican.

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