Pancika  

Posted by Stella Clark

Pancika Cover
Pa~ncika was the consort of the Buddhist goddess of children, Hariti. He is himself a Buddhist god, and is said to have fathered 500 children. He was the commander-in-chief of the Yaka army of Vai'sravaa (Bishamonten), and had another 27 Yaka generals under his orders. Pa~ncika was often represented holding a lance and a bag of jewels (or money), together with Hariti, in the Greco-Buddhist art of Gandhara, where they illustrated marital love following the intervention of the Buddha. The two figures "were very popular in Gandhara in the latter part of the second century, and their statues are many. " When depicted holding a spear, he also signals his role as the chief of the Yakas. The Yakas are commanded by 28 generals, of whom the chief is Pa~ncika - according to the Mahavamsa, he was the father of the 500 sons of Hariti [Kishimojin Kishimojin]. Worshipped very early in India (some of his representations are found in Gandhara and in northern India) as well as in Java, this general of the Yakas was soon merged with Vai'sravaa.

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Greek Graces  

Posted by Stella Clark

Greek Graces Cover
In Greek mythology, the Charites were the graces. Ordinarily they were three: Aglaea, the youngest, Euphrosyne and Thalia (according to the Spartans, Cleta was the third), but others are sometimes mentioned, including Auxo, Charis, Hegemone, Phaenna, and Pasithea (see Pausanius below).

They were the daughters of Zeus and Eurynome, usually, though also said to be daughters of Dionysus and Aphrodite or of Helios and the naiad Aegle. Homer claimed they were part of the retinue of Aphrodite. Their Roman equivalent were the Gratiae (Graces).

The Charites were the goddesses of charm, beauty, nature, human creativity and fertility. They were great lovers of beauty and gave humans talents in the arts, closely associated with the Muses. The Charites were associated with the underworld and the Eleusinian Mysteries.The river Cephissus near Delphi was sacred to them.

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Yahweh  

Posted by Stella Clark

Yahweh Cover
Yahweh (y"a'we) is the proper name in the Old Testament for the God of Israel and Judah whom they consider "the One True God. " It is a modern reconstruction of YHWH, the ancient Hebrew ineffable, unutterable name for God, not to be spoken because of its sacredness. Other forms are Jah, Jahve, Jahveh, Jahweh, Jehovah, Yahve, Yahveh, and Yahwe. Jehovah is its English equivalent. The name is attested to both in the archaeological record and in the Hebrew Bible, where it is written as the four Hebrew consonants, YHWH; the form Yahweh is a modern scholarly convention. The name "Yahweh" appears nearly 7,000 times in the Old Testament and also many times in the New Testament where it is usually translated L when it directly quotes or paraphrases passages from the Old Testament containing God's name. Although the name "Yahweh" does not appear in the text of most popular English Bible translations on the market today, Christians worship the same God as Father of their Lord Jesus Christ.

The most likely meaning of the name may be "He Brings Into Existence Whatever Exists," but there are many theories and none is regarded as conclusive. The Jews ceased to use the name Yahweh after the Exile (6th century BC), and most especially from the 3rd century BC on. when they came to regard God's name as too holy to be spoken. In the Hebrew Bible Yahweh is the one true God who delivered Israel from Egypt and entered into a covenant with his chosen people: "Then God spoke all these words. He said, 'I am Yahweh your God who brought you out of Egypt, where you lived as slaves. You shall have no other gods to rival me. '" Yahweh revealed himself to Israel as a God who would not permit his people to make idols or follow gods of other nations or worship gods known by other names, "I am Yahweh, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another, or My praise to idols. "

Yahweh demanded the role of the one true God in the hearts and minds of Israel, "Hear, Israel: Yahweh is our God; Yahweh is one: and you shall love Yahweh your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. " To declare their belief that Israel's God was universal sovereign over all others as well as Israel, the more common noun Elohim, meaning "god," tended to replace Yahweh. Modern biblical scholars have used source criticism to interpret different character attributes of Yahweh. The documentary hypothesis employs source criticism to interpret different character attributes as originating in four distinct source documents of the Torah. For example, anthropomorphic descriptions, visits from Yahweh and use of the personal name prior to Exodus 3 are attributed to the Jahwist source. Use of the generic title, Elohim, and descriptions of Yahweh of a more impersonal nature (for example, speaking through dreams and angels rather than personal appearances) are attributed to the Elohist source. Descriptions of Yahweh as particularly concerned with whether Judah's kings were good or bad and with centralized temple worship are attributed to the Deuteronomist source. Passages that portray Yahweh as acting through the Aaronid priesthood and temple-based sacrificial system are described as originating with the Priestly source. Historians of the ancient near east describe worship of Yahweh as originating in pre-Israelite peoples of the Levant rather than in a divine revelation to Moses.

Theophoric names, names of local gods similar to Yahweh, and archaeological evidence are used along with the Biblical source texts to describe pre-Israel origins of Yahweh worship, the relationship of Yahweh with local gods, and the manner in which Yahweh worship evolved into Jewish monotheism. In contrast, scholars who employ methods allowing for supernaturalism and divine inspiration continue to interpret the Biblical portrayal of Yahweh in a manner consistent with faith-based views. Worship of Yahweh alone is a central idea of historical Judaism. Much of Christianity views Jesus as the human incarnation of Yahweh. The importance of the divine name and the character of the "one true God" revealed as Yahweh are often contrasted with the significantly different character of rival deities known by different names in the traditional polytheistic religions. Some scholars, including William G. Dever, have asserted that the Asherah was worshipped as a consort of Yahweh, until the 6th century BCE, when strict monolatry of Yahweh became prevalent in the wake of the destruction of the temple. However, the consort hypothesis has been subject to debate with numerous scholars publishing disagreement. Jews ceased to use the name Yahweh in the intertestamental period, replacing it with the common noun Elohim, "god", to demonstrate the universal sovereignty of Israel's God over all others. At the same time, the divine name was increasingly regarded as too sacred to be uttered, and was replaced in spoken ritual by the word Adonai ("My Lord"), or with haShem ("the Name") in everyday speech.

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Ometecuhlti Or Omecihuatl  

Posted by Stella Clark

Ometecuhlti Or Omecihuatl Cover
Ometeotl is the name of the dual god Ometecutli/Omecihuatl in Aztec mythology. The suffix -teotl originally was translated as god, but most translators now prefer lord since the concept is not equivalent to the European concept of God. Some people translate teotl as energy, but this is not generally accepted. The literal translation of the name is "Lord Two", Leon Portilla interprets this as "Lord of the Duality".

The origin of this god is from Toltec origin, and possibly could be traced to Teotihuacan.

In the Nahua/Aztec tradition, Ometeolt/Omecihualt is a dual god, male and female, who was the creator of Cemanahuatl. Ometeotl's male aspect is Ometecutli, his/her female aspect is Omecihuatl.

S/he dwelled in and ruled over Omeyocan ("Two Place"), home of the gods.There were no temples dedicated to this god, but Ometeotl is referred to in most of the Aztec poetry.

Ometeotl was also referred by other names: Tloque Nahuaque, "Owner of the Near and Far"; Moyocoyatzin, "The Inventor of Himself"; Ipalnemohua, "The Giver of Life".Ometecuhtli ("two-lord"; also Ometeoltloque, Ometecutli, Tloque Nahuaque, Citlatonac), the male aspect, was a deity associated with fire, a creator deity and one of the highest gods in the pantheon, though he had no cult and was not actively worshipped.

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Cocijo  

Posted by Stella Clark

Cocijo Cover
Cocijo (occasionally spelt Cociyo) is a deity of the pre-Columbian Zapotec civilization of southern Mexico, with attributes characteristic of similar Mesoamerican deities associated with rain, thunder and lightning, such as Tlaloc of central Mexico, and Chaac (or Chaak) of the Maya civilization. In Zapotec art Cocijo is represented with a zoomorphic face with a wide, blunt snout and a long forked serpentine tongue. Cocijo often bears the Zapotec glyph C in his headdress. A similar glyph is used in Mixtec codices as the day sign Water and it is likely that its meaning in Zapotec is identical, therefore being the appropriate glyph for the rain and storm god. In the Zapotec language, the word cocijo means "lightning", as well as referring to the deity. Cocijo was the most important deity among the pre-Columbian Zapotecs. He is commonly represented on ceramics from the Zapotec area, from the Middle Preclassic right through to the Terminal Classic. Cocijo was said to be the great lightning god and creator of the world. In Zapotec myth, he made the sun, moon, stars, seasons, land, mountains, rivers, plants and animals, and day and night by exhaling and creating everything from his breath.

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Adad  

Posted by Stella Clark

Adad Cover
This article is about the Sumerian god Adad also known as Ishkur. For the electronic music guide go to Ishkur's Guide to Electronic Music Adad in Akkadian and Ishkur in Sumerian and Hadad in Aramaic, are the names of the storm-god in the Babylonian-Assyrian pantheon, both usually written by the logogram IM. The Akkadian god Adad is cognate in name and functions with northwest Semitic god Hadad. In Akkadian Adad is also known as Ramman ("Thunderer") cognate with Aramaic Rimmon which was a byname of the Aramaic Hadad. Ramman was formerly incorrectly taken by many scholars to be an independent Babylonian god later identified with the Amorite god Hadad. The Sumerian Ishkur appears in the list of gods found at Fara but was of far less importance than the Akkadian Adad later became, probably partly because storms and rain are scarce in southern Babylonia and agriculture there depends on irrigation instead. Also, the gods Enlil and Ninurta also had storm god features which decreased Ishkur's distinctiveness. He sometimes appears as the assistant or companion of one or the other of the two. When Enki distributed the destinies, he made Ishkur inspector of the cosmos. In one litany Ishkur is proclaimed again and again as "great radiant bull, your name is heaven" and also called son of An, lord of Karkara; twin-brother of Enki, lord of abundance, lord who rides the storm, lion of heaven. In other texts Adad/Ishkur is sometimes son of the moon god Nanna/Sin by Ningal and brother of Utu/Shamash and Inana/Ishtar. He is also occasionally son of Enlil. Adad/Ishkur's consort (both in early Sumerian and later Assyrian texts) was Shala, a goddess of grain, who is also sometimes associated with the god Dagan. She was also called Gubarra in the earliest texts. The fire god Gibil (named Gerra in Akkadian) is sometimes the son of Ishkur and Shala. Adad/Ishkur's special animal is the bull. He is naturally identified with the Anatolian storm-god Teshub. Occasionally Adad/Ishkur is identified with the god Amurru, the god of the Amorites. The Babylonian center of Adad/Ishkur's cult was Karkara in the south, his chief temple being E. Karkara; his spouse Shala his was worshipped in a temple named E. Durku. But among the Assyrians his cult was especially developed along with his warrior aspect. From the reign of Tiglath-Pileser I, Adad had a double sanctuary in Assur which he shared with Anu. Anu is often associated with Adad in invocations. The name Adad and various alternate forms and bynames (Dadu, Bir, Dadda) are often found in the names of the Assyrian kings. Adad/Ishkur presents two aspects in the hymns, incantations, and votive inscriptions. On the one hand he is the god who, through bringing on the rain in due season, causes the land to become fertile, and, on the other hand, the storms that he sends out bring havoc and destruction. He is pictured on monuments and cylinder seals (sometimes with a horned helmet) with the lightning and the thunderbolt (sometimes in the form of a spear), and in the hymns the sombre aspects of the god on the whole predominate. His association with the sun-god, Shamash, due to the natural combination of the two deities who alternate in the control of nature, leads to imbuing him with some of the traits belonging to a solar deity. Shamash and Adad became in combination the gods of oracles and of divination in general. Whether the will of the gods is determined through the inspection of the liver of the sacrificial animal, through observing the action of oil bubbles in a basin of water or through the observation of the movements of the heavenly bodies, it is Shamash and Adad who, in the ritual connected with divination, are invariably invoked. Similarly in the annals and votive inscriptions of the kings, when oracles are referred to, Shamash and Adad are always named as the gods addressed, and their ordinary designation in such instances is bele biri ("lords of divination").

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Sun In Human Culture  

Posted by Stella Clark

Sun In Human Culture Cover
Humans have long recognized the Sun's role in supporting life on Earth, and as a result many societies throughout history have paid homage to the Sun by giving it prominent roles in their religions and mythologies. The Sun is sometimes referred to by its Latin name Sol or by its Greek name Helios. The English word sun stems from Old High German sunna, but took the male gender of the Latin sol (the sun, "he", but now also "it"). Its astrological and astronomical symbol is a circle with a point at its center:

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