God Hephaestus  

Posted by Stella Clark

God Hephaestus Cover
HEPHAESTUS (Roman name Vulcan) was the lame god of fire and crafts or the two together, hence of blacksmiths. Hephaestus was the son of Zeus and Hera or, in some accounts, of Hera alone. He limped because he was born lame, which caused his mother to throw him off Mount Olympus. Or in other accounts he interceded in a fight between Zeus and Hera, and Zeus took him by the foot and threw him from Olympus to the earth far below.

Hephaestus accomplished numerous prodigies of craftsmanship, such as the marvelous palaces that he built for the gods atop Mount Olympus, or the armor that he made for Achilles during the siege of Troy (the description of which occupies a great many lines of Homer's epic of the Trojan War).

Hephaestus also created the first woman, Pandora, at the command of Zeus, in retaliation for the various tricks by which the Titan Prometheus had benefited mortal men at the expense of the gods. Pandora was given to the Titan's brother, Epimetheus, as his wife. For her dowry she brought a jar filled with evils from which she removed the lid, thereby afflicting men for the first time with hard work and sickness. Only hope remained inside the jar.

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Goddess Danu  

Posted by Stella Clark

Goddess Danu Image
DANU (pronounced DAH-noo) is the Irish earth Goddess, mother of the Tuatha D'e Danann (people of the Goddess Danu). Danu is an ancient Goddess, and was worshipped extensively throughout Western Europe, ruling over rivers, magic, fertility, wells, and wisdom. She gives her name to many European places, including the Danube River and the country of Denmark. Danu, whose name means "wisdom", was known as DON in Wales, and her name is also seen as DANA or DANANN.

The Tuatha D'e Danann (pronounced TOO-uh-huh dey DAH-nun) were the fifth group to inhabit Ireland. After learning the magical arts, they arrived in Ireland on ships, which they then burned so that they would not be tempted to go back to where they had come from. They defeated the Fir Bolg (pronounced FEER buhl-ug) who then inhabited Ireland, and were the main population until the arrival of the Milesians. The Milesians nearly wiped out the Tuatha D'e Danann--the survivors were driven to T'ir na n'Og (pronounced TEER na nohg), the "land of eternal youth", or underground, where they took the name Daoine S'idhe (pronounced DEEN-uh SHEE) or "people of the mounds". There they continue to reside, and we know them better as fairies.

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Goddess Nott  

Posted by Stella Clark

Goddess Nott Image
IN NORSE MYTHOLOGY, "NOTT" WAS THE "GODDESS OF THE NIGHT" WHO DRIVES A CHARIOT THROUGH THE SKY. SHE WAS A SORCERESS WHO WAS OLDER THAN THE MOUNTAINS AND SAID TO BE "COLDER THAN THE COLDEST STAR. "HER VERY NAME MEANS" NIGHT. "IN THE BEGINNING, SHE WAS BLACKNESS THAT SURROUNDED THE WORLD. THE DAUGHTER OF A GIANT NAMED "NORFI," SHE WAS HERSELF A GIANTRESS OF SUCH IMMENSE BEAUTY THAT SHE HAD THREE HUSBANDS AND ONE CHILD FROM EACH HUSBAND. HER FIRST CHILD WAS A SON NAMED AUOR; HER SECOND WAS "JORD", A DAUGHTER WHO WAS THE EMBODIMENT OF THE EARTH. HER THIRD CHILD WAS A SON CALLED "DAGUR", OR" DAY." SHE ALSO BECAME "ODIN'S "CONCUBINE AND BORE HIM ONE SON...THOR...AND IT WAS UPON HER RELATIONS WITH "ODIN" THAT SHE BECAME A GODDESS.

The legend states that when "Odin" and his brothers created the world, they felt it should be regulated by periods of night and day, and "Odin "gifted Her with the cloak of darkness that brought night to the land and dreams to all. And so it was "Nott" and "Dagur" were placed in the sky with chariots to ride around the world for 24 hours. And it is here that they spend every day in a great chase, the son following the mother, laughing and having great fun. The mane of Her horse drips dew onto the earth below.

"NOTT", WITH HER DARK SKIN AND HAIR, AND SHROUDED IN HER CLOAK OF BLACKNESS, STANDS MYSTERIOUSLY APART FROM THE GODS OF ASGARD BECAUSE OF THIS DARKNESS. IN DOING SO, SHE TEACHES US ACCEPTANCE FOR ALL THAT MAY BE DIFFERENT. SHE TEACHES US LOVE AND RESPECT FOR ALL LIFE, AND IN HER CLOAK OF BLACKNESS, SHE IS IN TOTAL CONTROL OF THE NIGHT AND ALL WITHIN. SHE GRANTS US THE TIME FOR DEEP, UNDISTURBED SOLITUDE WHERE DREAMS BEGIN.

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Cihuacoatyl  

Posted by Stella Clark

Cihuacoatyl Cover
In Aztec mythology, Cihuacoatl ("snake woman"; also Chihucoatl, Ciucoatl) was one of a number of motherhood and fertility goddesses. (See also Ilamatecuhtli, Teteoinnan, Tlazolteotl, and Toci.)

Cihuacoatl was especially associated with midwives, and with the sweatbaths where midwives practiced. She is paired with Quilaztli and was considered a protectress of Chalmeca and patroness of Culhuacan. She helped Quetzalcoatl create the current race of humanity by grinding up bones from the previous ages, and mixing it with his blood. She is also the mother of Mixcoatl, who she abandoned at a crossroads. Tradition says that she often returns there to weep for her lost son, only to find a sacrificial knife.

Although she was sometimes depicted as a young woman, similar to Xochiquetzal, she is more often shown as a fierce skull-faced old woman carrying the spears and shield of a warrior. Childbirth was sometimes compared to warfare and the women who died in childbirth were honored as fallen warriors. Their spirits, the Cihuateteo, were depicted with skeletal faces like Cihuacoatl. Like her, the Cihuateteo are thought to haunt crossroads at night to steal children.

Cihuacoatl was also a noble title among the Aztecs, given to the secondary ruler of Tenochtitlan who was responsible for the day-to-day affairs of the capital city. Tlacaelel served as Cihuacoatl under four Aztec kings (Tlatoanis) during the 15th century. As Cihuacoatl he counselled the ruler and personally took charge of the military and public sacrifices.

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