Wuriupranili Aboriginal Solar Goddess  

Posted by Stella Clark

Wuriupranili Aboriginal Solar Goddess Image
IN AUSTRALIAN ABORIGINAL MYTHOLOGY, SHE IS KNOWN AS THE SUN WOMAN. "WURIUPRANILI" IS THE ABORIGINAL SOLAR GODDESS WHO TRAVELS ACROSS THE SKY. EVERY MORNING SHE LIGHTS A TORCH MADE OUT OF BARK AND CARRIES IT ACROSS THE HEAVENS FROM EAST TO WEST. THEN, AT THE END OF THE DAY WHEN SHE REACHES THE WESTERN COAST, SHE DOUSES THE TORCH TO THE WATER AND USES ITS GLOWING EMBERS TO GUIDE HER WAY BENEATH THE EARTH TO REACH EAST AGAIN. AND EACH MORNING, SHE RISES ONCE AGAIN INTO THE HEAVENS, AND THE FIRE IS ONCE AGAIN LIT TO PROVIDE THE FIRST LIGHT OF DAWN. THE CLOUDS OF THE SUNRISE AND SUNSET IS A REFLECTION OF THE OCHRE BODY PAINTS SHE WEARS.

ONE SUCH TALE DESCRIBES HOW "WURIUPRANILI" AND THE MOON-MAN, "JAPARA", TRAVEL AT DIFFERENT TIMES ACROSS THE SKY. EACH CARRIES A TORCH OF FLAMING BARK, BUT WHEN THEY REACH THE WESTERN HORIZON THEY EXTINGUISH THE FLAMES AND USE THE SMOLDERING ENDS TO LIGHT THEIR WAY AS THEY RETURN EASTWARDS THROUGH THE DARKNESS OF THE UNDERGROUND WORLD.

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Mixcoatl  

Posted by Stella Clark

Mixcoatl Cover
Mixcoatl, meaning 'cloud serpent,' was the god of the hunt and identified with the Milky Way, the stars, and the heavens in several Mesoamerican cultures. He was the patron deity of the Otomi, the Chichimecs, and several groups that claimed decent from the Chichimecs. While Mixcoatl was part of the Aztec pantheon, his role was less important than that of Huitzilopochtli, who was their central deity. Under the name of Camaxtli, Mixcoatl was worshipped as the cental deity of Huejotzingo and Tlaxcala.

Mixcoatl is represented with a black mask over his eyes and distinctive red and white 'candy-cane stripes' painted on his body. These features are shared with Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli, the Lord of the Dawn, god of the morning star. Unlike Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli, Mixcoatl can usually be distinguished by his hunting gear, which included a bow and arrows, and a net or basket for carrying dead game.

Mixcoatl was one of four children of Tonacatecuhtli, meaning "Lord of Our Sustenance," an aged creator god, and Cihuacoatl, a fertility goddess and the patroness of midwives. Sometimes Mixcoatl was worshipped as the "Red" aspect of the god Tezcatlipoca, the "Smoking Mirror," who was the god of sorcerers, rulers, and warriors. In one story, Tezcatlipoca transformed himself into Mixcoatl and invented the fire drill by revolving the heavens around their axes, bringing fire to humanity. Along with this cosmic fire drill, Mixcoatl was the first to strike fire with flint. These events made Mixcoatl a god of fire, along with war, and the hunt.

Mixcoatl was the father of 400 sons, collectively known as the Centzon Huitznahua, who ended up having their hearts eaten by Huitzilopochtli. The Centzon Huitznahua met their demise when they, and their sister Coyolxauhqui, after finding their mother Coatlicue pregnant, conspired to kill her. However, as they attacked she gave birth to a fully formed and armed Huitzilopochtli, who proceeded to kill his half-siblings. Mixcoatl was also thought of as being the father of another important deity, Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent.

Quecholli, the 14th veintena, the 20-day Aztec month, was dedicated to Mixcoatl. The celebration for this month consisted of hunting and feasting in the countryside. The hunters would take the form of Mixcoatl by dressing like him, kindling a new fire to roast the hunted game. Along with these practices, a man and woman would be sacrificed to Mixcoatl at his temple. The female would be slaughtered as would be a wild animal -- that is, by bashing her head against a rock four times. Subsequently, her throat would be cut, and she would be decapitated. The male victim would display her head to the crowd before he, himself, would be sacrificed in the familiar Aztec way: heart extrusion.

Along with the divine Mixcoatl, some believe there was a real figure known as Mixcoatl. It is thought he was a Chichimec leader during the Toltec period. It is not clear how much of the myth is based on this person if he really did live.

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Vesta Roman Goddess Of The Hearth  

Posted by Stella Clark

Vesta Roman Goddess Of The Hearth Image
"VESTA" WAS THE ROMAN GODDESS OF THE HEARTH, THE CENTER OF THE HOME AND DOMESTIC HAPPINESS AS WELL AS THE PROTECTOR OF VIRGINAL WOMANHOOD. SHE WAS THE GODDESS OF THE DIVINE RITES. SHE WAS THE EQUIVALENT OF THE GREEK "HESTIA." SHE WAS THE DAUGHTER OF THE FERTILITY GOD, SATURN AND HIS WIFE, "OPS", THE GODDESS OF ABUNDANCE AND WEALTH. HER WORSHIP SEEMS TO HAVE BEEN THE MOST ANCIENT OF THE RITES OF PAGANISM, AND TO HAVE PREVAILED VERY GENERALLY THROUGHOUT THE WORLD. DONKEYS WERE SACRED TO THIS GODDESS.

"VESTA" IS USUALLY DEPICTED AS AN AUSTERE WOMAN, WEARING A LONG DRESS AND WITH HER HEAD COVERED. IN HER LEFT HAND, SHE HOLDS A SCEPTRE. SHE REPRESENTS SHELTER AND THE SAFETY AND SECURITY OF LIFE. EVERY ROMAN HOUSEHOLD HAD ITS HEARTH DEDICATED TO THIS GODDESS, AND DOMESTIC RITUALS WERE HELD IN HER HONOR. SHE WAS WORSHIPPED IN PRIVATE HOUSEHOLDS AND EVERY DAY, DURING A MEAL, A SMALL CAKE WAS THROWN ON THE FIRE FOR HER; IT WAS GOOD LUCK IF IT BURNT WITH A CRACKLE.

VESTA'S TEMPLE WAS SERVED BY SIX CHASTE PRIESTESSES CALLED THE VESTAL VIRGINS. THEY ENJOYED PRIVILEGES THAT OTHER ROMAN DID NOT FOR THEY EMBODIED THE CREATIVE POWER OF THE GODDESS PRIOR TO THE FIRST GREAT RITE OF PASSAGE FROM MAIDEN TO MOTHER. THEIR MOST SACRED DUTY WAS TENDING HER SACRED FIRE AND KEEPING IT FOREVER BURNING. THEY WERE CHOSEN FROM PHYSICALLY PERFECT GIRLS WITH TWO LIVING PARENTS, BETWEEN THEIR SIXTH AND TENTH YEARS. EACH WAS SWORN TO THIRTY YEARS OF CHASTITY AND SERVICE TO THE GODDESS, UNDER THREAT OF THE PUNISHMENT OF BEING FLOGGED AND BURIED ALIVE SHOULD THEY FAIL TO MAINTAIN THEIR PURITY FOR THE WELL-BEING OF THE ENTIRE STATE DEPENDED ON THEIR DEVOTION AND SERVICE TO THE GODDESS.

THE CULT OF "VESTA" MOST LIKELY ORIGINATED IN TRIBAL SOCIETY, WHEN A FIRE WAS THE CENTRAL FOCUS OF THE VILLAGE. THIS MAY HAVE BEEN ATTENDED BY WOMEN WHO HAD BEEN CHOSEN AS ITS PRIESTESSES, POSSIBLY THE FORERUNNERS OF THE "VESTAL VIRGINS". BECAUSE "VESTA "SYMBOLIZES THE PURITY OF FIRE, IT IS APPROPRIATE THAT HER PRIESTESSES SHOULD BE VIRGINS.

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Goddess Anahit  

Posted by Stella Clark

Goddess Anahit Image
"(GREAT LADY ANAHITA, GLORY AND LIFE GIVER OF OUR NATION, MOTHER AND BENEFACTOR OF HUMANITY.) ANCIENT ARMENIAN CHANT

"ANAHIT" (IMMACULATE ONE) IS THE ARMENIAN GODDESS OF FERTILITY. SHE IS BELIEVED TO HAVE ORIGINATED IN BABYLON, AND HER WORSHIP THEN SPREAD TO ANCIENT EGYPT WHERE SHE BECAME A WARRIOR GODDESS AND PROTECTOR OF THE LAND AND ALL OF ITS INHABITANTS. SHE WAS DEPICTED AS AN ARMED AND MOUNTED GODDESS...OFTEN SHOWN WEARING A GOLDEN SCARF, SQUARE GOLD EARRINGS, AND WRAPPED IN A GOLDEN, EMBROIDERED CLOAK. SHE IS SOMETIMES SEEN AS DRIVING A CHARIOT DRAWN BY FOUR WHITE HORSES WHO REPRESENT WIND, RAIN, CLOUDS, AND HAIL.

IN ANCIENT PERSIA, ANAHIT WAS WORSHIPPED AS THE GODDESS OF THE SACRED FEMININE; SHE RULED OVER DANCE, MUSIC, AND SACRED PROSTITUTION. AND, BECAUSE SHE WAS ALSO A GODDESS OF BEAUTY AND WATER, DOVES AND ROSES WERE OFTEN OFFERED TO HER SACRED IMAGES. SHE HAS SOMETIMES BEEN KNOWN AS THE GOLDEN MOTHER, AND INYET ANOTHER DEPICTION OF THIS GREAT GODDESS, WE FIND HER SEATED, A A TINY BABE NURSING AT HER BREAST. HER WORSHIP WAS DEDICATED TO PROSTITUTION, AND RITUAL PROSTITUTION OCCURRED IN HER TEMPLES IN ORDER TO PURIFY THE SEED OF THE MALES, THE WOMB, AND THE MILK OF THE FEMININE.

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Goddess Wakahirume  

Posted by Stella Clark

Goddess Wakahirume Image
WAKAHIRUME (pronounced wa-ka-HEER-oo-may) is the Japanese Goddess of the rising sun and of weaving. She is the younger sister of Amaterasu, daughter of Izanami and Izanagi. Wakahirume was a fantastic weaver and she was often to be found in Amaterasu's weaving halls, creating garments for all the Gods. When their brother Susanoo flew into a rage against Amaterasu, he threw a skinned pony into the hall. Wakahirume was so startled that she fell onto her shuttle and died. It was her grief over Wakahirume's death that drove Amaterasu to hide herself away in a cave. In the third century CE, Empress Jingu established the Ikuta Shrine in honor of Wakahirume, one of the oldest shrines in Japan. Wakahirume's name, which means "young day woman," is also seen as WAKAHIRU-ME and WAKAHIRUME-NO-MIKOTO.

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Goddess Tashmetum  

Posted by Stella Clark

Goddess Tashmetum Image
TASHMETUM is the Akkadian Goddess of supplication. She is called upon to listen to prayers and to grant requests. Her husband, Nabu, is the God of writing and wisdom; where Nabu speaks, Tashmetum listens. The couple shared a temple in the city of Borsippa, where they were the patron deities. Tashmetum's name, which means "the lady who listens," is also seen as TASHMITUM, TASHMIT, or TASHMETU, and she was known by the epithets LADY OF HEARING and LADY OF FAVOR.

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Goddess Nemetona  

Posted by Stella Clark

Goddess Nemetona Image
NEMETONA is the Celtic Goddess of sacred groves and temples. She was worshipped in Britain, France, and Germany, where she stood guard over places of power, and could be invoked to bring her power to rituals performed there. She was depicted in a shrine at Bath in England with her consort, the Roman God Mars, and three hooded figures with a ram. The three hooded figures are the Cucullati, figures who were seen as protectors, and the ram is likely symbolic of an animal sacrifice.

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Goddess Vaivora  

Posted by Stella Clark

Goddess Vaivora Image
VAIVORA (pronounced vye-VOR-ah) is the Lithuanian Goddess of the planet Mercury. She is one of the daughters of Saule, Goddess of the sun.

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Goddess Nomkhubulwane  

Posted by Stella Clark

Goddess Nomkhubulwane Image
NOMKHUBULWANE is the Zulu Goddess of rain, nature, and fertility. She is the great Earth Mother, and she was believed to be capable of changing her shape to that of any animal, bird or fish whenever she chose. Her name means "she who chooses the state of an animal".

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Artemis Roman Diana  

Posted by Stella Clark

Artemis Roman Diana Cover
ARTEMIS (Roman name Diana) was the virgin goddess of the hunt. She helped women in childbirth but also brought sudden death with her arrows. Artemis and her brother Apollo were the children of Zeus and Leto. In some versions of their myth, Artemis was born first and helped her mother to deliver Apollo. She is sometimes referred to as Potnia Theron (Mistress of the Beasts) indicating her concern for and power over wild animals. She is also concerned with women's transition from girlhood to adulthood (via marriage) and with childbirth, a concern she shares with Hera and Eileithyia. Women who die are said to be struck down by her arrows.

Niobe, queen of Thebes, once boasted that she was better than Leto because she had many children while the goddess had but two. Artemis and Apollo avenged this insult to their mother by killing all or most of Niobe's children with their arrows. The weeping Niobe was transformed into stone, in which form she continued to weep.

When Apollo noticed that Artemis was spending a great deal of time hunting with the giant Orion, he decided to put an end to the relationship. He challenged Artemis to prove her skill at archery by shooting at an object floating far out at sea. Her shot was perfect. The target turned out to be the head of Orion.

Artemis is generally depicted as a young woman clad in buckskins, carrying a bow and a quiver of arrows. She is often accompanied by wild creatures such as a stag or she-bear.

Euripides' Hippolytus shows her in opposition to Aphrodite. Actaeon and Hippolytos are two young men who, in different ways, are destroyed by their association with Artemis.

Artemis demands the sacrifice of the virgin Iphigeneia at Aulis before she will allow the Greek fleet to sail against Troy. The reasons given for her anger vary: Agamemnon kills a deer in her sacred grove (mentioned in Sophocles, Electra); or he boasts that he is a better shot than Artemis herself (Apollodorus). For the motif of Artemis' concern to protect her animals against marauding heroes see the story of Heracles and the Kerynitian hind; for the motif of mortals boasting of their superiority to the gods see the stories of Arachne, Actaeon, Marsyas, Niobe, the Lesser Ajax.

Kallisto was one of Artemis' nymphs who offended the goddess by becoming pregnant by Zeus and was banished. The jealous Hera then further punished her by turning her into a bear. The stories of Actaeon and Kallisto were known in the Renaissance through Ovid's Metamorphoses and were popular subjects for artists.

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Tuonetar Dark Goddess  

Posted by Stella Clark

Tuonetar Dark Goddess Image
WITH THE DARK MOON AROUND THE CORNER, I THOUGHT IT MIGHT BE APPROPRIATE TO FEATURE A LITTLE KNOWN VERY DARK GODDESS, TUONETAR. SHE IS THE DAUGHTER OF MANALA. SHE IS THE FINNISH GODDESS OF THE DEAD, THE QUEEN OF THE UNDERWORLD. NOW, PLEASE BEAR IN MIND THAT THE FINNISH UNDERWORLD WAS NOT A PLACE OF PUNISHMENT; IN FACT, IT IS MERELY A DARKER VERSION OF THE WORLD AS IT APPEARED EVERYWHERE ELSE. EVEN THOUGH IT IS THE KINGDOM OF THE DEAD, THE SOULS LIVE ON JUST AS THEY DID WHEN THEY WERE ALIVE. SHE IS THE WIFE OF TUONI, GOD OF THE UNDERWORLD, WHICH, BY THE WAY, IS CALLED TUONELA. HER APPEARANCE IS THAT OF AN INCREDIBLY, UGLY AND TERRIFYING CRONE.

IT IS SAID THAT TUONELA IS ENCIRCLED BY A DARK RIVER. THE WATERS ARE CRIMSON WITH BLACK SWELLS OF WAVE, AND THOSE WHO DRINK OR TOUCH IT ARE DRAINED OF ALL DESIRE. SHAMANS ARE SOMETIMES ABLE TO REACH THE SPIRITS OF THE DEAD ANCESTORS IN A STATE OF TRANCE, BUT HAD TO BE CAREFUL NOT TO GET CAUGHT FOR THE LIVING ARE NOT WELCOME.

HER COLOR IS BLACK; HER ELEMENT IS EARTH.



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Xochiquetzal Aztec Goddess Of Women  

Posted by Stella Clark

Xochiquetzal Aztec Goddess Of Women Image
"XOCHIQUETZAL" IS THE AZTEC GODDESS OF WOMEN; SHE RULES OVER LOVE, MARRIAGE, WOMEN, WEAVING, AND CHANGES. SHE IS THE PATRONESS OF SACRED PROSTITUTES, ARTISTS, AND DANCERS. SHE ENCOURAGED HER NAME MEANS "GODDESS OF THE FLOWERING EARTH". EVERYWHERE SHE GOES, SHE IS FOLLOWED BY BUTTERFLIES AND BIRDS. SHE IS DEPICTED AS A YOUNG, CHARMING, AND BEAUTIFUL WOMAN ADORNED IN TYPICAL AZTEC ATTIRE. SHE ALWAYS REMAINS YOUTHFUL, NEVER GROWING OLD. SHE WEARS A CROWN OF RED LEATHER IN THE FORM OF A BRAID WAS PLACED ATOP HER HEAD. HER ARMS ARE OPEN AS A WOMAN WHO IS DANCING. SHE IS AWARE OF HER SEXUALITY AND USES IT KNOWINGLY. MARIGOLDS AND DOVES ARE SACRED TO HER.

HER HOME WAS ALSO THE HOME OF MANY OTHER GODS IN THE AZTEC PANTHEON. SHE RESIDED IN A HEAVENLY PARADISE OF FLOWERS, GARDENS, AND FOUNTAINS. THERE SHE WAS ATTENDED TO BY A HOST OF DEITIES AND MUSICIANS WHO SOUGHT ONLY TO ENTERTAIN HER.

THE AZTECS WERE KNOWN TO SACRIFICE VIRGINS TO XOCHIQUETZAL, AT THEY HELD IN HER HONOR EVERY EIGHT YEARS. AT THIS TIME, A YOUNG WOMAN WOULD BE CHOSEN TO REPRESENT THE GODDESS; SHE WAS THEN RITUALLY SACRIFICED AND FLAYED, HER SKIN TO BE WORN BY A PRIEST WHO SAT AT A LOOM PRETENDING TO WEAVE. AND, WHILE THIS ALL WAS OCCURRING, THE OTHERS WOULD DANCE ABOUT IN ANIMAL COSTUMES. IN TODAY'S SOCIETY, THIS MAY SEEM HORRIFYING AND CRUEL, BUT WE MUST REMEMBER THE ANCIENTS THOUGH DIFFERENTLY, AND THIS SACRIFICE OF BLOOD AND LIFE WAS NECESSARY TO ENSURE THEIR SURVIVAL. IN FACT, TO BE SACRIFICED LIKE THIS WAS THOUGHT OF AS A GREAT HONOR.

SHE WAS ALSO THE GODDESS OF FERTILITY WHO REPRESENTED SEXUAL EXCESS AND CHILDBIRTH AS WELL AS BEING CREDITED AS THE CREATOR OF HUMANS AS WELL AS WELL AS AN INTERMEDIARY BETWEEN BETWEEN THEM AND THE GODS. SHE ENCOURAGED LOVE-MAKING AS A MEANS OF PLEASURE, YET SHE ALSO HAD THE POWER TO ABSOLVE HUMANS OF HER SINS. THE AZTECS OFTEN INVOKED HER TO MAKE A MARRIAGE FRUITFUL.

EVERY YEAR AT HARVEST, MEN AND WOMEN WOULD FLOCK TO HER TEMPLE FOR CONFESSION WITH AS MANY PIECES OF STRAW AS THE SINS THEY HAD TO CONFESS. AND, AFTER PIERCING THEIR TONGUE, THEY WOULD PASS THE STRAW THROUGH THE OPENING AND THEN TOSS THEM ONTO THE FLOOR. HER PRIESTS WOULD THEN GATHER UP ALL THE BLOODY STRAWS AND CAST THEM ONTO A FIRE BUILT TO DESTROY THESE SINS. ONCE ABSOLVED, THE PEOPLE WOULD THUS PURIFY THEMSELVES BY BATHING IN RIVERS OR IN SPRINGS.



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Aztec Goddess Coyolxauhqui  

Posted by Stella Clark

Aztec Goddess Coyolxauhqui Image
"Coyolxauhqui" is the Aztec goddess of the "Moon"; Her name means Golden Bells. She is the daughter of the earth goddess, "Coatlicue" and the sister to four hundred [male] gods of the South (the stars), and an older sister to Huitzilopochtli, the god of war and of the sun. She possesses magical powers with which She can do great harm.

"COYOLXAUHQUI "WISHED TO KILL HER OWN OWN MOTHER "COATLICUE" WHEN SHE BECAME PREGNANT IN WHAT HER CHILDREN DEEMED UNSEEMLY CIRCUMSTANCES, BUT IT WAS JUST AT THAT MOMENT THAT THE MOON AND THE STARS WERE AT THE POINT OF KILLING HER, THE SUN, "HUITZILOPOCHTLI", WAS BORN, FULLY ARMED WITH A SHIELD AND SPEAR. HE DECAPITATED HIS TREACHEROUS SISTER AND CAST HER AWAY. AND SO IT IS THAT THE MOON DIES EVERY MONTH, DEFEATED BY THE SUN AND CUT IN PIECES. "COYOLXAUHQUI" AND HER DISMEMBERMENT ARE THE EXPLANATION FOR A CELESTIAL PHENOMENON, IN WHICH THE MOON DIES AND IS BORN IN PHASES.

A LARGE SHIELD-SHAPED STONE RELIEF REFLECTING THIS STORY WAS FOUND AT THE BASE OF THE STAIRS OF THE "TEMPLO MAYOR". ON THIS DISK, "COYOLXAUHQUI" IS SHOWN SPREAD OUT ON HER SIDE, WITH HER HEAD, ARMS AND LEGS CHOPPED AWAY FROM HER BODY. THE ORBITING FULL MOON IN THE STONE CARVING REFLECTS HER POSITION AS THE MOON GODDESS. SHE IS DISTINGUISHED BY BELLS OF EAGLE DOWN IN HER HAIR, A BELL SYMBOL ON HER CHEEK, AND AN EAR TAB SHOWING THE MEXICA YEAR SIGN, AND JUST AS WITH IMAGES OF HER MOTHER, SHE IS SHOWN WITH A SKULL TIED TO HER BELT.

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Goddess Gyhldeptis  

Posted by Stella Clark

Goddess Gyhldeptis Image
GYHLDEPTIS is the Haida Goddess of the forest. She was a beneficent Goddess who protected the people of the coastal forests. A nearby whirlpool, Kaegyihl Depgeesk ("upside down place"), was proving to be very treacherous to travelers, dragging down their ships. In a bid to stop the destruction, Gyhldeptis invited the other local powers to a great feast. In her Festival House, she negotiated with the spirits of the wind, the ice, and the forest fire, and they agreed to help Gyhldeptis. Between them, they shaped the coast, turning the whirlpool into a river that would no longer be a danger to the people. Gyhldeptis's name means "lady hanging hair," symbolic of the hanging branches of the great cedar trees of her forest.

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Goddess Andromeda  

Posted by Stella Clark

Goddess Andromeda Image
"(ANDROMEDA IS RATHER SPECIAL TO ME. SEVERAL YEARS AGO I BOUGHT MYSELF A STAR IN THE ANDROMEDA CONSTELLATION...MISS MARY IS HER NAME.)"

IN GREEK MYTHOLOGY, "ANDROMEDA "IS THE DAUGHTER OF CASSIOPEIA AND CEPHEUS, THE KING OF ETHIOPIA. CASSIOPEIA BEGAN BOASTING THAT SHE AND ANDROMEDA WERE MORE BEAUTIFUL THAN THE SEA NYMPHS AND TAUNTED POSEIDON, THE GOD OF THE SEA. THIS ANGERED HIM UNTIL HE COULDN'T TAKE IT ANY LONGER. SO, TO PUNISH THE MOTHER, HE HAD ANDROMEDA CHAIN TO A ROCK BY THE SEA...TO BE SACRIFICED TO A SEA MONSTER.

NOW, AS THE STORY GOES, PERSEUS, WAS PASSING BY AND WAS ATTRACTED BY ANDROMEDA'S BEAUTY. HE AGREED TO RESCUE HER UNDER ONE CONDITION...THAT HER PARENTS WOULD ALLOW HIM TO MARRY ANDROMEDA AFTERWARDS. NOW, CASSIOPEIA AND CEPHEUS WERE NOT ANXIOUS FOR THEIR DAUGHTER TO MARRY PERSEUS, BUT THEY DIDN'T HAVE MUCH OF A CHOICE. IT WAS THAT OR SEE HER SLAIN BY THE MONSTER, SO THEY AGREED. PERSEUS WAS A VALIANT WARRIOR AND POSSESSED SOME POWERFUL WEAPONS. FIRST, HE SKIMMED OVER THE WATER...THUS CONFUSING THE MONSTER...AND THEN, WITH A FLICK OF HIS WRIST, HE CUT OFF THE MONSTER'S HEAD. THE WEDDING FOLLOWED SOON THEREAFTER.

AND, AFTER HER MARRIAGE, ANDROMEDA LEFT HER COUNTRY TO LIVE WITH PERSEUS WHO LATER BECAME THE KING OF TIRYNS AND MYCENAE. AND, WHEN SHE DIED, ANDROMEDA WAS HUNG IN THE SKY AS A CONSTELLATION...AS AN ETERNAL REMINDER..TO FOREVER TURN OVER AND OVER IN THE STARRY SKY.

"NOW TIME'S ANDROMEDA ON THIS ROCK RUDE,"WITH NOT HER EITHER BEAUTY'S EQUAL OR"HER INJURY'S LOOKS OFF BY BOTH HORNS OF SHORE,"HER FLOWER, HER PIECE OF BEING, DOOMED DRAGON'S FOOD."TIME PAST SHE HAS BEEN ATTEMPTED AND PURSUED"BY MANY BLOWS AND BANES; BUT NOW HEARS ROAR"A WILDER BEAST FROM WEST THAN ALL WERE, MORE"RIFE IN HER WRONGS, MORE LAWLESS, AND MORE LEWD."

"HER PERSEUS LINGER AND LEAVE HER TO HER EXTREMES"PILLOWY AIR HE TREADS A TIME AND HANGS"HIS THOUGHTS ON HER, FORSAKEN THAT SHE SEEMS,"ALL WHILE HER PATIENCE, MORSELLED INTO PANGS,"MOUNTS; THEN TO ALIGHT DISARMING, NO ONE DREAMS"WITH GORGON'S GEAR AND BAREBILL, THONGS AND FANGS."--GERARD MANLEY HOPKINS-- "

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Goddess Nephthys  

Posted by Stella Clark

Goddess Nephthys Cover
Nephthys, the 'Mistress of the House' {Nebet-het or Nebt-het in the Egyptian Language}, Nephthys is the 'Friend of the Dead,' and is first mentioned in Old Kingdom funerary literature as riding the 'night boat' of the underworld, meeting the deceased king's spirit and accompanying him into 'Lightland.' Her hair is metaphorically compared to the strips of cloth which shroud the bodies of the dead.

Nephthys is almost universally depicted as a woman with the hieroglyphic symbols of her name {a basket and a house, stacked on top of each other} situated atop her head, though she can also be depicted as a bird {most often a kite or some other form of falcon/hawk}. She was associated with funerary rituals throughout ancient Egyptian history and was venerated not as Death itself, but as the companion who gives guidance to the newly deceased, and as a Lady With Wings who comforts the deceased's living relatives. Nephthys is in most myths the youngest daughter of Nut, sister of Isis and Osiris and the sister-consort of Seth. In later periods Nephthys is also considered to be the mother of Anubis, a primordial form of the lord of the dead who later became subservient to Osiris in the Egyptian cultic myth.

Nephthys had connections with life as well as death she stood at the head of the birth-bed to comfort and assist the mother giving birth {while her sister, Isis, stood at the foot to midwife the child}. To current Egyptological knowledge, Nephthys did not have her own cult or temples in Egypt until the Ptolemaic-Roman period; however, as her name is merely a title {the same title given to the eldest woman in any ancient Egyptian household}, it is possible that Nephthys may be a specialized form of another goddess; probable candidates include Bat {as she is called the 'Lady of Het,' or 'Nebt-het'} and Neith with whom Nephthys is paired in the canopic shrine quadrants, as Isis is with Serket, who is sometimes seen to be an aspect of Isis.

Neith's being the 'eldest of goddesses,' along with her connection with weaving and funerary garments lends credence to this theory, as does the interchangeable depiction of Neith and/or Nephthys in symmetrical transposition on a number of Late Period temples.

Other names: Neb-hut, Nebthet

Contributed by Waxingmoon



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Goddess Sati  

Posted by Stella Clark

Goddess Sati Image
SATI is the Hindu Goddess of marital devotion, an avatar of Parvati and Shiva's first wife. She was born at Brahma's request to King Daksha and so was known also as DAKSHAYANI. From childhood, she prepared to be Shiva's wife, forsaking the luxuries of the palace and living a simple life. When Shiva said that he would take her as his bride, Sati went home to tell her father, who was not pleased. He disliked Shiva, finding him dirty and disheveled. Sati did marry Shiva, and her father disowned her.

A short time after, King Daksha organized a yagna, a sacrificial fire, inviting all of the Gods except Shiva and Sati. Sati, decided that, since it was her father, she did not need an invitation and set off without Shiva. Her father told her that he did not like her husband and had purposefully not invited them. Sati realized that the only reason her father disliked her husband was because he had married her and that, in her father's eyes, she had dishonored him. In rage, she prayed that in a future life she would be born to a father whom she could respect and threw herself into the sacrificial fire.

When Shiva heard of his wife's death, he created two monsters, Bhadrakali and Virabhadra, and set them loose on Daksha's kingdom. Many were killed and Daksha himself was beheaded. Shiva took Sati's body from the fire and placed it on his shoulders. He began to dance, a wild and crazed dance of grief. As he danced, parts of Sati's burned body fell away. The places where the parts landed are called Shakti Peethas, places of strength, and number 51, scattered throughout India, Pakistan, Nepal, Tibet, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh. King Daksha and all his guests were eventually restored to life when Shiva's grief subsided, but Daksha's head was replaced with that of a goat, to remind him of his sins.

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Ten Ten Vilu  

Posted by Stella Clark

Ten Ten Vilu Cover
Ten Ten-Vilu or Trentren-Vilu is the god of Earth and Fertility (or goddess in some versions found in Chilo'e); he has a generous spirit and is the protector of all life on Earth, and the flora and fauna and according to some Mapuche myths (later also found in Chilo'e). This snake was a central figure in the Origin Of The Chiloean Archipelago. In Mapuche mythology, Ten Ten-Vilu is son of Ant"u.

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Goddess Vasudhara  

Posted by Stella Clark

Goddess Vasudhara Image
"VASUDHARA" IS THE ABUNDANCE GODDESS OF NEPAL, THE GODDESS OF GOOD FORTUNE, WEALTH, AND HARVEST. HER NAME MEANS "'STREAM OF GEMS'" IN SANSKRIT. SHE IS THE CONSORT OF KUVERA, THE GOD OF WEALTH.

She is popular in many Buddhist countries and is a subject in Buddhist legends and art. Originally an Indian Bodhisattva, Her popularity has spread to southern Buddhist countries. Her popularity, however, peaks in Nepal where She is a central figure She is represented with six arms; She holds in the lower left HAND HER CHARACTERISTIC SYMBOL-- THE TREASURE VASE. THE HAND ABOVE HOLDS ANOTHER DISTINGUISHING ATTRIBUTE--THE EARS OF CORN THE THIRD LEFT HAND HOLDS A BOOK, THE PRAJNAPARAMITA SUTRA.

IT IS SAID THAT "VASUDHARA" ACHIEVED THE STATE OF ENLIGHTENMENT AND DEDICATED HERSELF TO GUIDING ALL MANKIND TO THE PATH OF BUDDHA...WHICH IN TURN LEADS TO NIRVANA, THE BUDDHIST HEAVEN. THE GODDESS OF ABUNDANCE IS, IN ADDITION,ONE OF THE EIGHT "VASUS, "BELONGING TO THE RIG-VEDA. " VASUDHARA" IS THE FEMALE PARTNER OF "VAISHARAVANA. " WOMEN PETITION HER TO BLESS THEIR WOMBS AND THEIR FIELDS WITH FERTILITY.

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Anhur  

Posted by Stella Clark

Anhur Cover
Anhur (also spelled Onuris, Onouris, An-Her, Anhuret, Han-Her, Inhert) was originally a foreign god of war, who started being worshipped in the Egyptian area of Abydos, and particularly in Thinis, during the 11th dynasty. Myths told that he had brought his wife, Menhit, who was his female counterpart, from Nubia, and his name reflects this-it means (one who) leads back the distant one. One of his titles was Slayer of Enemies. Anhur was depicted as a bearded man wearing a robe and a headdress with four feathers, holding a spear or lance, or occasionally as a lion-headed god (representing strength and power). In some depictions, the robe was more similar to a kilt. Due to his position as a war god, he was patron of the ancient Egyptian army, and the personification of royal warriors. Indeed, at festivals honoring him, mock battles were staged. During the Roman era the Emperor Tiberius was depicted on the walls of Egyptian temples wearing the distinctive four-plumed crown of Anhur. Because Anhur's name also could mean Sky Bearer, and due to the shared headdress, Anhur was later identified as Shu, becoming Anhur-Shu. Since Anhur was the more popular and significant deity, and, indeed, Shu was more a concept than a god, Shu was eventually absorbed completely into Anhur. In the New Kingdom, his popularity increased and Anhur was also titled Saviour, becoming to the people their deliverer from human burden, due to their view of war as their source of freedom and victory. The aspects of war, and saviour, shared with Horus, contributed to Anhur's eventual identification with the much greater Horus. During the Egyptian period of dominance over Nubia, the Kushites named Horus-Anhur as Arensnuphis (also Arsnuphis, Harensnuphis), Ari-hes-nefer in Egyptian, meaning something along the lines of Horus of the beautiful house. Consequently once Osiris became identified as an aspect of Horus (and vice-versa), Arensnuphis was viewed as having Isis as his wife.

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Kupala Slavic Water Goddess  

Posted by Stella Clark

Kupala Slavic Water Goddess Image
"KUPALA" IS tHE SLAVIC WATER GODDESS ASSOCIATED WITH SPRINGS AND RIVERS. HER WORSHIPPERS BATHED THEMSELVES IN RIVERS OR IN DEW GATHERED ON JUNE MORNINGS WHILE CALLING ON HER NAME IN ORDER TO PURIFY THEMSELVES. KNOWN AS THE "WATER MOTHER," SHE IS ALSO ASSOCIATED WITH MAGIC, FERTILITY, TREES, FLOWERS, AND HERBS. HER EFFIGY IS SHOWN AS A STRAW FIGURE DRESSED IN A WOMAN'S GOWN AND ADORNED WITH RIBBONS.

HER CELEBRATION FALLS UPON "SUMMER SOLSTICE, "A SACRED DAY HONORING ELEMENTS OF FIRE AND WATER, BOTH PRIMAL COSMIC ELEMENTS. BONFIRES WERE LIT, WITH CELEBRANTS JUMPED OVER THEM IN PURIFICATION RITES. THEY ALSO DROVE THEIR CATTLE THROUGH THEM IS PURIFICATION RITES THAT RECALL SIMILAR RITES IN OTHER TRADITIONS. ON THIS DAY, WREATHS MADE OF "KUPALA'S" SACRED HERBS, FLOWERS, AND PLANTS WERE WOVEN AND TOSSED INTO THE WATER. IN THE BALKANS HER EFFIGY WAS THROWN INTO A RIVER IN A PURIFICATION RITE TO TAKE AWAY EVIL. ELSEWHERE, IT WAS BURNED OR DROWNED AT SUNSET FOR THE SAME PURPOSE.

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Njoku Ji  

Posted by Stella Clark

Njoku Ji Cover
Njoku Ji was the guardian deity of the yam for the Igbo people of southeastern Nigeria. In parts of Igboland there are still annual rituals in honor of the yam deity known as Ifejioku In some parts children who were dedicated to the service of the deity were named Njoku. As adults such children were expected to become prosperous yam farmers which made them into nobility.

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The Charge Of The Goddess  

Posted by Stella Clark

The Charge Of The Goddess Image
Whenever ye have need of any thing, once in the month, and better it be when the moon is full, then shall ye assemble in some secret place and adore the spirit of She, who is Queen of all witches. There shall ye assemble, ye who are fain to learn all sorcery, yet have not won its deepest secrets; to these will She teach things that are yet unknown. And ye shall be free from slavery; and as a sign that ye be really free, ye shall be naked in your rites; and ye shall dance, sing, feast, make music and love, all in Her praise. For Hers is the ecstasy of the spirit, and Hers also is joy on earth; for Her law is love unto all beings. Keep pure your highest ideal; strive ever towards it; let naught stop you or turn you aside. For Hers is the secret door which opens upon the land of youth and Hers is the cup of wine of life, and the cauldron of Cerridwen, which is the Holy Grail of immortality. She is the gracious goddess, who gives the gift of joy unto the heart of man. Upon earth, She gave the knowledge of the spirit eternal; and beyond death, She gives peace and freedom, and reunion with those who have gone before. Nor does She demand sacrifice, for behold, She is the mother of all living, and Her love is poured out upon the earth.

She who is the beauty of the green earth, and the white moon among the stars, and the mystery of the waters, and the desire of the heart of man, calls unto thy soul. Arise, and come unto Her. For She is the soul of nature, who gives life to the universe. from Her all things proceed, and unto Her all things must return; and before Her face, beloved of gods and men, let thine innermost divine self be enfolded in the rapture of the infinite. Let Her worship be within the heart that rejoiceth; for behold, all acts of love and pleasure are Her rituals. And therefore let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence within you. And thou who thinkest to seek Her, know thy seeking and yearning shall avail thee not unless thou knowest the mystery; that if that which thou seekest thou findest not within thee, then thou wilt never find it without thee. For behold, She has been with thee from the beginning; and She is that which is attained at the end of desire.



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Goddess Angrboda  

Posted by Stella Clark

Goddess Angrboda Image
ANGRBODA is the Norse Goddess known as the MOTHER OF MONSTERS. She is a frost giantess and the mistress of the trickster God Loki. With him, she is the mother of three legendary monsters--Fenrir, a gigantic wolf; J"ormungandr, also known as the Midgard Serpent or the World Serpent; and Hel, Goddess of the dead. A prophecy had told Odin that the children of Angrboda and Loki would bring trouble to the Gods, so he had the three brought to him. He cast Hel into Niflheim, the realm of cold and darkness, and gave her dominion over the underworld. The serpent J"ormungandr was cast into the sea, where he grew so big that he could encircle the whole world and swallow his own tail. The wolf Fenrir was raised by the Gods until he grew too large to be controlled, at which point they chained him to an island. Angrboda's name means "herald of sorrow" and is also seen as ANGRBOdA, ANGERBODA, or AUGURBODA.

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Greek Nereid Aktaie  

Posted by Stella Clark

Greek Nereid Aktaie Image
AKTAIE (pronounced ack-TIE-eh) is one of the Greek Nereides. The Nereides were the 50 daughters of Nereus, God of the sea, and Doris, one of the Okeanides. Nereides were responsible for the sea, fish, and sailors. Each had dominion over some attribute of the sea, such as the way that foam formed upon the waves or the swiftness of a current. Aktaie was responsible for the seashore. Her name, which means "headland," is also seen as AKTAIA or ACTAEA.

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Xolotl  

Posted by Stella Clark

Xolotl Cover
In Aztec and Toltec mythology, Xolotl ("The Animal", Lord of the Evening Star, Lord of the Underworld) was the god of lightning and a psychopomp, which is to say that he was the one who aided the dead on their journey to Mictlan, the afterlife.

Xolotl was also the god of fire and of bad luck. He was the twin of Quetzalcoatl, the pair being sons of the virgin Coatlicue, and was the evil personification of Venus, the evening star. He guarded the sun when it went through the underworld at night. He also brought forth humankind and fire from the underworld.

In art, Xolotl was depicted as a skeleton, a dog-headed man - "xolotl" can also mean "dog" in Nahuatl, the Aztec language - or a monster animal with reversed feet. He was also the patron of the Ulama game. He is identified with Xocotl as being the Aztec god of fire.

The axolotl, a type of salamander native to Mexico, is not directly named after the god. Instead, its name derives from the Nahuatl words for water ("atl") and dog (also "xolotl").Xoloitzcuintle is the official name of the Mexican Hairless Dog (also known as Perro Pelon Mexicano in Spanish), a canine species endemic to Central America dating back to Pre-Colombian times. This is one of many native dogs species in the Americas and it is often confused with the Peruvian Hairless Dog. The name Xoloitcuintle makes reference to Xolotl because, historically, one of this dog's missions was to accompany the dead in their journey into eternity. In spite of this prominent place in the mythology, the meat of the Xoloitcuintle was very much part of the diet of some of the ancient peoples of the region.

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