Amun  

Posted by Stella Clark

Amun Cover
Amun, reconstructed Egyptian Yamanu (also spelled Amon, Amoun, Amen, and rarely Imen or Yamun, Greek Ammon, and Hammon), was a God in Egyptian mythology who in the form of Amun-Ra became the focus of the most complex system of theology in Ancient Egypt. Whilst remaining hypostatic deities, Amun represented the essential and hidden, whilst in Ra he represented revealed divinity. As the creator deity "par excellence", he was the champion of the poor and central to personal piety. Amun was self created, without mother and father, and during the New Kingdom he became the greatest expression of transcendental deity in Egyptian theology. He was not considered to be immanent within creation nor was creation seen as an extension of himself. Amun-Ra did not physically engender the universe. His position as King of Gods developed to the point of virtual monotheism where other Gods became manifestations of him. With Osiris, Amun-Ra is the most widely recorded of the Egyptian gods. He was also widely worshipped in the neighboring regions of Libya and Nubia.

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Zipacna  

Posted by Stella Clark

Zipacna Cover
Zipacna was a son of Vucub Caquix (Seven Macaw) and Chimalmat. He and his brother, Cabrakan (Earthquake), were often considered demons. Zipacna, like his relatives, was said to be very arrogant and violent. Zipacna was characterized as a large caiman and often boasted to be the creator of the mountains. The Popol Vuh tells the story that one day Zipacna was basking on the beach when he was disturbed by the Four Hundred Boys (possibly patron deities of alcohol), who were attempting to construct a hut.

They had felled a large tree to use as the central supporting log, but were unable to lift it. Zipacna, being immensely strong, offered to carry the log for them, which he did. Although most translations of the Popol Vuh would seem to indicate this was done as a gesture of goodwill, it is generally agreed that Zipacna did so in a spirit of arrogance, mocking the boys for their inability to do so. The Four Hundred Boys decided it was not good that one man had such strength, and that Zipacna should be killed. They attempted to deceive Zipacna by asking him to dig a hole for their post, intending to thrust the massive column into the hole and kill him. Zipacna realized their deceit, however, and saved himself by surreptitiously digging a side tunnel and hiding inside it when the boys dropped the post in the hole.

To complete the illusion of his death, Zipacna cried out in pain, and later allowed ants to carry bits of his hair and trimmings from his nails out of the hole, satisfying the boys that he had been killed. On the third day after their apparent success, the Four Hundred Boys finished the construction of their hut and celebrated both its completion and Zipacna's death by preparing wine and engaging in a drunken revelry. Zipacna emerged from his hole after the boys had passed out, and with his massive strength he felled the column and caused the house to crash down upon the sleeping boys, killing the lot without a single survivor. After their death, the boys entered into the heavens as the open cluster known as the Pleiades. Hunahpu and Ixbalanque, the two divine Hero Twins, decided to exact revenge upon Zipacna for the death of the Four Hundred Boys; they also did so in a continuation of their quest to bring down the arrogant gods. The pair devised a scheme in which an elaborate fake crab was constructed and hid it deep in a canyon. They then sought out Zipacna along the beach, where he was hunting for his usual favourite food, crabs.

Zipacna was very hungry and had been unable to locate any crabs for his meal, and the pair informed him they had spotted a very large crab for the taking. They guided Zipacna to their trap, and being overcome with hunger, he was unable to see through the trick. Zipacna went in for the crab, and by means not specified by the Popol Vuh, a mountain was made to collapse or fall over on top of him, either killing him or turning him into stone. The account of Zipacna "entering" in search of the crab (which is specified to be a female), in particular his going in "on his back" on the second try, seems to be a parody of sexual intercourse. Indeed, it has been suggested by some interpretations of the Popol Vuh that it was Zipacna's lust and sexual appetite, not his hunger, that drove him to his doom.

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Aganju  

Posted by Stella Clark

Aganju Cover
Aganju is the Orisha of volcanos, the wilderness, and the river. He is associated with Saint Christopher. As the third `Or`is`a said to have come to earth, Aganj'u is an `Or`is`a of great antiquity. Lukumi followers of this religion believe that Aganj'u is a force that, like the sun that is his symbol, is essential for growth, as well as a cultivator of civilizations. Like the volcano with which he is also associated, he forms the foundation upon which societies are built and is the catalyst for the production of vast amounts of wealth and commerce needed for advanced development. He is most highly regarded by Lukumi practitioners for his role in assisting humans in overcoming great physical as well as psychological barriers. Like the volcano, Aganj'u is noted for his legendary strength and his ability to bring about drastic change. His significance in Cuba in the past is most probably due in part to the fact that he was said to have delivered people out of bondage and helped one to carry the heaviest of burdens. Aganju is heavily associated with Shango, with some stating that he is Shango's father, if not at least his brother. Aganju has been associated with Oshun, with whom he had a relationship, as well as with Yemoja. He is associated with the shoulder and has a strong, powerful, and determined character. Being a recognised member of the deified royal family of old Oyo, he is considered "one heart" with Oya and is received by all of Shango, Oshun and Oya's followers.

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Hadur  

Posted by Stella Clark

Hadur Cover
Had'ur, or Hod'ur in old hungarian, short for Hadak Ura, meaning "War Lord" or "Army Lord" in Hungarian and was the war god in the religion of the early Hungarians (Magyars). In Hungarian mythology, he was the third son of Arany Aty'acska (Golden Father) and Hajnal Any'acska (Dawn Mother) and was also the metalsmith of the gods. He wore armor and weapons made of pure copper, which is his sacred metal, and it was said that he forged the Sword of God (Isten kardja) which was discovered by Attila the Hun and secured his rule. It was customary for the Magyars to sacrifice white stallions to him before a battle.

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