Tag Archive: animals


Goddess Yellow Woman

Corn Maiden by kelpie2004

“Yellow Woman’s themes are nature, providence and animals. Her symbols are yellow items, green items and embroidered items. This Pueblo Goddess of magic, agriculture and the hunt is also the heroine of many local stories, having taught humans important sacred ceremonies. Today She helps us remember these rituals and reintegrate the into our lives. Art depicts Yellow Woman wearing an embroidered blanket-dress, a green mask (revealing Her connection to nature), and a white mantle. Sometimes She appears as a Corn Goddess and other times as a witch, bear, or ogress.

This is a time of the Buffalo Dance, which honors nature and mimes, and ancient hunting ritual thought to ensure a successful hunt. This dance is a type of sympathetic magic that also appeases the souls of the animals about to be captured.  For our purposes, this equates to a kind of ritual mime in which we enact our hopes as realized, asking Yellow Woman to guide our movements so they will manifest in magic.  For example, to improve self-love, give yourself a hug so you receive that energy. For relationships, open your arms wide so they await the right person (figuratively receiving a ‘good catch’, which is in Yellow Woman’s dominion too!)

To improve awareness of the significance of ritual, eat corn today or wear yellow, white, and/or green clothing. Embroidered items also please this Goddess.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

Hopi Hemis Kachin Mana Kachina

From The Goddess Oracle by Amy Sophia Marashinsky: “Southwestern indigenous aboriginals and pueblo peoples – the Arikara, Pawnee, Cheyenne, Mandan, Hidasta, Abnaki, Cherokee and Huron – see corn as a Goddess. Corn Woman encompasses the figures of Corn Mother, the Corn Maidens, and Yellow Woman. They all relate to corn as a sacred being who gives of Herself to Her people to sustain them and nourish them. The Arikara Creator God, Nesaru, fashioned Corn Mother from an ear of corn which grew in heaven.  Corn Mother then came to earth and taught people how to honor the deities and to plant corn.” [1]

“Corn Woman or Maiden who is a figure in many stories. She may appear as a kachina mana, that is, a female kachina. At Cochiti, for example, Yellow Woman kachina wears a green mask and has Her hair done in butterfly whorls on the sides of Her head. She wears an embroidered ceremonial blanket as a dress and an all-white manta over Her shoulders. Yellow Woman tends to be a stock heroine in many stories, taking on a wide range of identities, including bride, witch, chiefs daughter, bear woman, and ogress.” [2]

 

 

 

Sources:

Americanindianoriginals.com, “Kachina Dolls: Their Meaning and Tribal Development – Corn Maiden Kachina Doll“.

Marashinsky, Amy Sophia. The Goddess Oracle, “Corn Woman“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Jukiewicz, Carol E. Groups.yahoo.com/group/indigenous_peoples_literature, “[indigenous_peoples_literature] Yellow Woman stories“.

Kachina-doll-shop.com, “Kachina Names & Meanings“.

Nagoda-Bergquist, Susi. Coyoteandanotherone.com, “Yellow Woman, The Moon“.

Redaspen.blogspot.com, “Evil Kachina and Yellow Corn Woman“.

Silko, Leslie Marmon. Yellow Woman.

Yellow Woman Stories [PDF from boblyman.net]

Yellow-Woman—talking-points [Female Archetypes and "Yellow Woman" DOC from TeacherWeb]

Goddess Hybla

“Gaia The Earth Mother” by Peggy Kane

“Hybla’s themes are the earth, ecology, nature and animals. Her symbols are all natural objects.  This Sicilian Goddess presides over earth and nature, tending to all its needs. She also gave birth to humanity and inspires greater earth awareness within us.

Saint Francis of Assisi‘s life is celebrated today because of his gentle relationship with nature, which he considered a family member (often calling animals ‘brothers and sisters’). This is why he became the patron of many environmentalists. To remember him and honor Hybla’s spirit, which he so powerfully displayed, say a prayer for the earth today. Invoke Hybla’s nurturing energy with words like these:
‘Earth Mother, look upon your children;
Look upon the plants – restore the earth’s greenery.
Look upon the animals and protect them from more harm.
Look upon the waters and purify each drop.
Look upon the winds, and cleanse the air.
Take the world gently in you caring arm
and love it back into wholeness once more
Amen.’

Tuck a flower petal or leaf in your pocket or shoe today to keep Hybla’s earth awareness close by. And, if you have pets, today is the perfect time to bless them. Give them special foods, find non-chemical pest repellents, and pamper them with extra love. Remember, life is a network: showing kindness to one strand extends that energy outward to the web.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

This is a new Goddess to me, and quite intriguing, as one set of my grandparents immigrated here from Sicily in the early 1900′s.  She is one that I would personally like to research further and work with since I have a great reverence for the Earth Mother.  Also, now as Samhain grows near, for She is a Goddess of earth with connections to the Underworld and of course my Ancestors.

“The Love Embrace of the Universe” by Frida Kahlo

Patricia Monaghan tells us that Hybla was the greatest Goddess of ancient Sicily and still appears in Italian place names; She was an earth Goddess and ancestor of humanity (p 157).

Hybla is the Sicel Goddess of nature. The Sicels were the original inhabitants of Sicily, and we know of their deities through Greek explorers and writers. Hybla was worshipped on hills in Sicily which had unusual natural phenomena, such as a volcano and mineral springs. The hills were also home to bees that produced some of the finest honey known to the ancient world. Hybla’s name was also seen as Hyblaea, and She became syncretized with the Roman Goddess Venus, who took on the name Venus Victrix Hyblensis.” [1]

Douglas Sladen writes: “A Goddess of the nether world in the Sikel religion not identified with any Greek Goddess, but in Roman times, says Freman, ‘the Goddess of Hybla became identified with the Latin Venus.  But it should be remembered that the Latin Venus was, in Her first estate, a harmless Goddess of growth, falling in well with one aspect of the powers of the nether world.  Her worship is  of course, connected with Etna” (p. 202).

 

 

 

Sources:

Fiorentino, Paolo. Sicily Through Symbolism and Myth: Gates to Heaven and the Underworld, “The Goddess Hybla“.

Sabrina. Goddess A Day, “Hybla“.

Sladen, Douglas. Sicily: The New Winter Resort, An Encyclopedia of Sicily, “Hybla” (p. 202).

 

 

Suggested Links:

Freeman, Edward. History of Sicily V1.

Wikipedia, “Sicels“.

Cherokee First Woman

“Cherokee First Woman’s themes are spirituality, Universal Truth, unity, cleansing and abundance. Her symbols are all animals and plants.  This Goddess appears in Cherokee myths as an ancestress to the tribe and creatrix of all animals and plants. After the world was first inhabited, Cherokee First Woman continued to give birth to one child a year (this child may have symbolized the new year). Additionally, She motivates the earth’s bounty and generates abundance to sustain us through the months ahead.

Around this time of year, Cherokee tribes often hold a festival of offerings meant to celebrate their unity with the Sacred Parents and reunite them with this power. One custom easy to follow is that of exchanging clothes with a loved one; this symbolizes oneness among humans, the Gods, and each other.

Washing in running water today (shower or tap) will cleanse away any barrier that stands between you and the Goddess. If you hold a formal ritual today, place a bowl of water near the circle where each participant can rinse their hands to invoke Cherokee First Woman’s blessing and purification. Finally, drink a tall glass of spring water today to release this Goddess’s spiritual nature, rejuvenation, and abundance into every cell.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

“Corn Dawn Maiden” by Marti Fenton (White Deer Song)

Cherokee.org recounts the legend of Cherokee First Woman: “After the Great One had created the Earth and all the plants and animals, he created a tall brown man with beautiful straight hair to help Him on Earth. The Great One placed the strong, brown Cherokee man in the beautiful Smoky Mountains.

After a time the Great One remembered that although each man sometimes needs to be alone, each man would also need companionship to be his best. When the Cherokee man was sleeping, the Great One caused a green plant to grow up tall over the heart of the man.

The plant had long graceful leaves, an ear and golden tassel. As the plant grew, a beautiful, tall, brown woman began to appear at the top of the stalk. The man awoke and helped the beautiful woman down from the corn stalk.

Over a period of time, the man and woman built a home and planted the kernels from the corn. The turkey, a sacred bird of the Cherokee, showed the woman that the corn was ready to eat. When the man came in for supper, she pulled an ear of roasted corn from the pot and offered it to him. He began to eat the first corn of Spring.

The first woman was called Selu or Corn Woman.

NOTE: This is only one legend of how woman came to be on this earth. Because we are brothers of the Iroquois, we have a story very similar to the Sky Woman story.” [1]

 

 
Sources:

Cherokee.org, “Legend of the First Woman“.

 

Suggestion Links:

Firstpeople.us, “The Legend of the First Woman“.

Francis, Robert. Manataka.org, “Four Important Cherokee Stories“.

Gly.uga.edu, “The Story of Corn and Medicine“.

Native-languages.org, “Legendary Native American Figures: Selu“.

Neutrallandscherokee.com, “Cherokee Story of Creation“.

Wikipedia, “Cherokee Mythology“.

Goddess Damona

“Coventina” by `cosmosue

“Damona’s themes are animals and health. Her symbols are sheep and hot water.  A Gaulish Goddess who cares for all domestic animals, especially sheep and cows, Damona is sometimes portrayed as a hot spring, alluding to a healthful, warm quality. As fall nears, we can call on Damona to protect our pets, or to maintain the health of animals who provide us with food.

As one might expect, the historic Shepherd’s Fair in Luxembourg brought together sheep merchants to show their goods to interested parties, including a special parade of the animals bedecked in ribbons. The parade probably goes back to much earlier times when animals were taken into magic rituals that maintained health. One way to continue this tradition is by sprinkling a little warm water on your pet to invite Damona’s protection (or brush it into the creature’s fur – this works better with cats).

Wear wool clothing (or wool blends) to don Damona’s healthy aspect for your day. Or, simply enjoy a cup of tea before the day gets busy; Damona abides in warm water.

To ensure a healthful night’s sleep and pleasant dreams, count sheep as you go to bed. Visualize each one jumping over Damona’s waters and walking toward you. This brings Damona into your sleep cycle, where Her energy can flow more easily to renew well-being.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

“Tauro” by palomi

Damona is a “Goddess of fertility and healing; Her name means ‘divine cow’. Cow Goddesses were linked to fertility and abundance. Little information exists about Her now.” [1]

According to Mary Jones, “‘Divine Cow’ would make Her similar to the Irish Goddess Boann, whose name also means ‘Divine Cow’. Damona was usually the consort of the god Borvo, usually identified with Apollo. However, at the temple at Alesia, Her consort is Apollo Moritsages, and they are associated with a healing spring nearby. As ‘Borvo’ means ‘to boil’, they are likely the same god under different apellations. At any rate, She was associated not only with the cow, but, like Boann, with springs and water.

If She is identified with Boann, Apollo Moritsages may not be Her consort but Her son, as Oengus mac ind-Og was the son of Boann, and is often identified with Apollo. This would also make Damona similar to Matrona, Goddess of the Marne River, and mother of the god Apollo Maponos.

“The Goddess Boan ‘Dance of Delight’” by Helen O’Sullivan

She was mainly worshipped in Burgundy, France, and inscriptions attribute to Her the ability of prophecy in dreams.” [2]

Based on Her description, to me, this Goddess bears a striking similarity to the Norse primeval cow Audhumla and the Welsh Goddess Fuwch-Gyfeilioru,”a pure white Cosmic Elfin Cow; She Who produces endless streams of milk; She Who has the power to heal, to make fools wise and everyone in the world happy.” [3]

 

 

 

Sources:

Her Cyclopedia, “Fuwch-Gyfeilioru“.

Joellessacredgrove.com, Celtic Gods and Goddesses: D,E,F“.

Jones, Mary.  Maryjones.us, “Damona“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Billington, S. The Concept of the Goddess, “Ancamna and Damona” (p. 30 – 33).

Celtnet.org.uk, “The Gaulish Goddess, Damona: The Divine Cow“.

Her Cyclopedia, “Damona, Divine Cow“.

O’Keeffe, Christine. Tartanplace.com, “Damona“.

Wikipedia, “Damona“.

Goddess Doris

“Goddess of The Sea” by xxstarslayerxx

“Doris’ themes are abundance, providence and water. Her symbols are seawater, plants and animals (especially fish).  The daughter of Oceanus, this Grecian sea Goddess is associated with sea’s gifts and its wealth. She joins in today’s festivities by bringing an abundance of seafood to nourish the body, as well as spiritual sustenance to fulfill our souls.

The Fairhope Jubilee takes place in Mobile Bay, Alabama, sometime in August when there’s an overcast sky, an easterly wind and a rising tide. When these three factors are in place an odd phenomenon occurs: bottom-dwelling fish get trapped between the shore and low-oxygen water. So people rush out with any containers they can find and gather up Doris’s plenty! For us, this equates to gathering up the sea’s plenty, figuratively, perhaps by having fish for dinner. Remember to thank Doris as you eat so that you internalize her providence.

To make a Doris charm that will draw abundance into any area of your life in need, find a seashell, a tumbled sea stone or something similar that comes from the ocean. Place the token in seawater for three hours by a waxing moon so that abundance will grow like the moon. Bless it, saying,

‘Doris, by this gift from your seas, draw abundance and wealth to me.
Like a wave upon high tide, let your blessings here abide.’

Carry the token regularly.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

“Sea Goddess” by russhorseman

Patricia Monaghan tells us that Doris is “an ancient, probable pre-Hellenic Goddess of the waters, She may have been the ancestor Goddess of the Dorians.  She was the mother of the Nereids and, possibly, Thetis” (p. 106).

According to Wikipedia, “Doris, an Oceanid, was a sea nymph in Greek mythology, whose name represented the bounty of the sea. She was the daughter of Oceanus and Tethys and the wife of Nereus. She was also aunt to Atlas, the titan who was made to carry the sky upon his shoulders, whose mother Clymene was a sister of Doris. Doris was mother to the fifty Nereids, including Thetis, who was the mother of Achilles, and AmphitritePoseidon‘s wife, and grandmother of Triton.” [1]

 

 

 

 

Sources:

Monaghan, Patricia. The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines, “Doris”.

Wikipedia, “Doris (mythology)“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Crystalinks.com, “Amphibious Gods“.

Mythography.com, “Doris in Greek Mythology“.

Theoi Greek Mythology, “Doris“.

Theoi Greek Mythology, “Nereids“.

Wikipedia, “Oceanid“.

Wikipedia, “Nereid“.

Goddess Epona

“Epona” by Joanna Barnum

“Epona’s themes are protection of animals; especially those who serve humankind. Her symbol is the horse.  Epona protects the creatures who faithfully keep humans company. This pre-Roman Gaulish Goddess is nearly always shown riding or lovingly feeding a horse and accompanied by a dog – these are Her two sacred animals.  Also, sometimes depicted with corn in Her lap and carrying a goblet, Epona inspires love, fertility and providence in your life. In some myths, Epona appeared to acknowledge a king’s sovereignty, giving Her leadership qualities that can help you when you need more authority in a situation.

To generate a little more providence in your life, eat corn today. Say a silent prayer to Epona, asking Her to saturate your food with power, then consume it to internalize the energy.

If you have a pet, consider blessing it today. To do this, find a small silver charm or a horse or a dog (like those from charm bracelets). This image invokes Epona’s protection. Alternatively, use a little bell and draw the image of a horse or dog on it.

Hold the token cupped in your hands. Visualize it filled with glittery white light and say,

‘Epona, watch over_____________ [fill in with the of the animal]. Keep them safe and healthy no matter where they may be.’

Put the charm on the animal’s collar or cage or in it’s bedding.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

“Epona (pronounced Ey-PONE-ah) was the ancient Horse Goddess of the pre-Christian Pagan people, known as the Gauls, or Celtic French. She was worshipped for many hundreds of years as a Horse Goddess, who not only protected horses, but also their owners. Epona is also one of the most well known of all the Goddesses within the Celtic Pantheon, and She was granted such titles as ‘The Great Mare,’ the ‘Divine Mare,’ and the ‘Mare Goddess.’

Epona was worshipped throughout the entire Celtic world in a variety of other, different aspects. In Ireland she was known as Macha, the Goddess of War, while in Wales She became Rhiannon, the Goddess of the Underworld. It was in the aspect of Rhiannon that Epona appears in the Welsh collection of tales known as The Mabinogion. She has also been identified with the Celtic Goddess Edain, or Etain, whose full name, when translated, is Etain Echraidhe, which means ‘Etain, the horse rider,’ or ‘Etain, the rider of horses.’

Epona was worshipped widely throughout the entire Celtic and Roman worlds, and Her worship was exceptionally strong in both Rhineland and Gaul. In fact, Epona’s worship became so strong that it spread as far away as the Danube River, Yugoslavia, North Africa and Rome. The Roman army was so impressed by Her that it eventually adopted Her cult, and the Roman soldiers introduced Epona’s worship to the many people that they encountered in their travels.

The British worshipped Epona in the form of a cult, and they gave Her the title ‘Rigantona‘ or ‘Rig Antonia,’ which means ‘Great Queen.’ The Goddess Rhiannon, whose worship occurred at a much later point in time, was strongly associated with Epona, and She was known by that title as well.

“Epona the Horse Goddess” by Gene Avery North

Epona was also known by a variety of other names, which changed according to the various languages and myths that were indigenous to each particular region. It actually matters little whether She was known as Rhiannon, Macha or Epona, because no matter which aspect She happened to appear in, Her image always remained the same. She appeared as a woman with very long hair who was riding side saddle upon a white mare. When She appeared in the aspect of Epona, however, She was depicted as a woman with very long hair, lying half-naked on a white mare.

Stories about Epona [are] lost to the world forever, although one story regarding Her origin remains. During the decline of the Roman Empire, a Greek writer named Agesilaos wrote a story in which he claimed that Epona was the product of a man named Phoulonios Stellos, who had no interest whatsoever in women. Instead of mating with a woman he preferred to mate with a mare, and when that mare gave birth, it was to a beautiful human-looking daughter. Interestingly, it was actually the mare, herself, who named her daughter Epona, and by her doing so, she deified Epona as the Goddess of Horses.” [1]

Patricia Monaghan tells us that “Epona could take the tangible forms of both parents.  Sometimes, too, She appeared as a rushing river, which suggests that Epona was a fertility Goddess, often seen in Celtic culture as a water spirit.  Similarly, the connection among Celtic peoples of the horse and the sun suggests a solar nature to Epona, supported as well by the patera or round sunlike plate that She carries in many sculptures.

The sacred mare Epona appeared as the bestower of sovereignty in the ancient Celtic rituals of kingship, which may have included a rite of marriage with the mare Goddess.  Among Indo-European peoples in India, a rite of mare-marriage, which solidified a man’s claim on the rulership of a geographical area, is attested and has been connected by scholars to the figure of Epona.

Aerial view of the Uffington White Horse

Recent excavations of the magnificent British monument, the White Horse of Uffington, strongly suggests that the 360-foot-long horse represents Epona.  Using a new technique, archaeologists have been studying the rate at which the hillside, upon which the White Horse is carved into the chalky soil, has descended towards the deep valley (the Vale of the White Horse) beneath.  The White Horse has puzzled researchers for many years, some maintaining that it was a late medieval creation, others that it derived from the post-Celtic era.  Even before the recent attempt to date the monument itself, it has been noted that the horse’s design echoed that of coins issued by the Celtic warrior Queen Boudicca.  The identification of the White Horse with the Celts is now virtually certain – and as the Celts had only one horse-divinity, the likelihood is that the horse on the hill was Epona.  Vestiges of Her are also found in the figure of Lady Godiva and the mysterious white-horse-riding woman of Banbury Cross” (p. 114).

  

On an Etsy.com page selling a replica of an Epona statue found in Alesia, France, I found a piece of information especially inspiring:

Epona in our everyday lives

“Although Epona was and still is traditionally seen as a horse Goddess, She can fit into so many aspects of our lives. She is the Goddess of dreams not only of the sleeping kind but the dreams of hope and ambition. She can be helpful in manifesting dreams and is a good protector to have when venturing on a new path in life. A prayer or invocation can be offered to Her if one is having trouble sleeping or wishes to have insightful or peaceful dreams. She is a nurturing caregiver and can be called upon as a protector of families, children and women who are about to give birth.

Epona is also good to turn to when seeking positive blessings and prosperity. She is good to call upon during dark, difficult times in life such as grief and loss and can offer guidance that is gentle and loving in nature. Roses are a wonderful offering to leave on your altar for the Goddess Epona as are rose petals or rose incense. Sandalwood incense can also be used as an offering. When burning a candle for Epona, the most common color associated with Her is white.” [2]

 

ASSOCIATIONS:

Pantheon: Celtic

Element: Earth

Sphere of Influence: Horse and Motherhood

Preferred Colors: Brown, black and white

Associated Symbol: Horse, cornucopia, keys

Animals Associated with: Horse, mares and foals, dog, birds.

Suitable Offerings: Fruits, mare’s milk, apples, hay, sweet grass, oats, fresh water, a thick stout that you can practically chew on.  Roses, rosebuds, rose garlands.

Scents/Incense: Rose, sandalwood.

Gemstones: Cat’s eye, ruby, azurite, obsidian, and moonstone

Astrology: Aries

Tarot: Queen of Wands

Chakra: The sexual and heart chakras

Feast Days: The Autumn Equinox, when night and day are of equal length, occurs during the month of the Vine Moon; December 18 (based on the Roman calendar).

[34, 56]

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

Etsy.com/shop/Harmonycraft, Epona – Celtic Horse Goddess“.

A Journal of a Poet – The Goddess As My Muse, “Epona, The Gaulish Horse Goddess“.

Monaghan, Patricia. The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines, “Epona”.

PaganNews.com, “Epona“.

Revel, Anita. igoddess.com, “Epona“.

Tribeofthesun.com, Epona“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

EPONA.net (An in-depth Epona site with historical facts about Epona)

Firewolf, Dawn. Realmagick.com, “Epona“.

Held, Catherine Anne. Dreamhorsewomen.wordpress.com, “Women and Horses in Mythology: Epona“.

Lady Zephyr. Order of the White Moon, “Epona“.

Myst, Willow. Order of the White Moon, “Epona“.

Nemeton, The Sacred Grove: Home of the Celtic gods, “Epona: A Gaulish and Brythonic Goddess: Divine Horse“.

Readtiger.com, “Epona“.

Took, Thalia. The Obscure Goddess Online Directory, “Epona“.

Wikipedia, “Epona“.

Goddess Bast

“Bast – Egyptian Cat Goddess” by Sharon George

“Bast’s themes are animals, magic, overcoming, playfulness, joy and humor.  Her symbols are cats.  Bast is the Egyptian cat-faced Goddess of sorcery, beneficence, joy, dance and fertility. Being a cat in nature, Bast teaches us to land on our feet in any situation, using a positive, playful attitude as our best ally. Bast and Her minions were so revered in Egypt that to kill cats was a crime punishable by death. Archaeologists uncovered mummified cats there, whose owners wanted the companionship of cats even in the afterlife. May is one of Bast’s traditional festival months.

In Belgium, people dress as cats today and hold a parade, known as The Kattenstoet, in which Bast is featured as the Queen of Cats. So think cat magic! If there’s a cat in your life, pamper the creature today and include it in spell craft as a magical partner (traditional ‘catty’ role in history). For example, if you find any of your cat’s whiskers, keep them. These may be burned for Bast in return for a wish. Or, carry a pinch of cat hair to tickle your funny bone.

Painting the image of a cat on a paper lantern and lighting it (with either a bulb or flame) draws Bast’s attention and energies to you. Or, carry a cat’s eye in your pocket today to begin developing catlike instincts and playfulness.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

“Bast” by *Badhead-Gadroon

“Bast, Egyptian Goddess of sensual pleasure, protector of the household, bringer of health, and the guardian saint of firefighters – was the original mistress of multi-tasking!  Bast is a daughter of the Sun God, Ra, sister of Sekhmet (wife of Ptah) and wife of Anubis.  One of the most ancient of the Egyptian Goddesses, She is depicted as a slender woman having the head of a domestic cat. Sometimes She is shown holding a sistrum, a rattle used as a musical instrument in ancient times. Agile and lithe, Bast was recognized as the Goddess of music and dance.  Her worship began around 3500 BCE, before the invention of writing.” [1]

According to Patricia Monaghan, “Bast originated in the Nile delta, but by 930 BCE, the power of Bast was acknowledged by all Egyptians, even those a thousand miles south of Her original home. At first She was lion Goddess of sunset, symbolizing the fertilizing force of the sun’s rays.  Later Her image grew tamer: She became a cat carrying the sun, or a cat-headed woman who bore on Her breastplate the lion of Her former self.

“contest prize – bast” by myworld1

Bast ruled pleasure and dancing, music and joy. At the city of Bubastis (“house of Bast”), the center of Her worship, great celebrations were held.  Boatloads of worshippers – hundreds of thousands of them, Herodotus said – were greeted by pleasant flute melodies as they debarked for a worship service combined with a vast trade fair.  Bast’s followers believed that in return for this reverent celebration Bast bestowed both mental and physical health.

As part of Bast’s worship, Egyptians honored live cats.  Domesticated (if cats can ever truly be said to be domesticated) during the early period of agriculture, cats were  useful to keep down the rodent population and therefor to assure a stable diet for humans.  Egyptians cherished their cats, often decking them with golden earrings or other jewelry.  When they died, the cats were mummified and buried in the vast cat cemetery at Bubastis.” (p. 66 – 67).

“Cats were honored in the temples of Bast and many felines were in permanent residence there. If a local house caught on fire, the cats would be dispatched to run into the flames, drawing them out of the building. (History’s first record of a fire brigade!)” [2]

“Bast” by MaatKaaRe

[As mentioned earlier] “Bast began Her life as a protector Goddess of Lower Egypt. She was as a fierce lioness; Her name is given to mean ‘devourer. She is usually shown in art as a cat-headed woman carrying a basket or as a whole cat. Quite often though, there are kittens at Her feet in the pictures. A woman who wanted children sometimes wore an amulet showing the Goddess with kittens, the number of which indicated her own desired number of children.

“Bast” by valse-des-ombres

Bast is the protector of cats, women and children.  There are many legends that connected Her as an ancient sun and War Goddess.  One legend says that She accompanied the sun god, Ra’s, boat for a million years on its daily journey through the sky. At night She was said to transform Herself into a cat to protect Her father from Apep, a serpent – Her father’s greatest enemy. His greatest and strongest followers attempted to kill the vile creature, but to no avail. Eventually, Bast, with Her superb feline night vision, managed to destroy the serpent thereby ensuring humankind that the warmth of the sun would continue to bless the earth.  Ever watchful, Bast protected Her father from his enemies, thereby becoming known as the ‘Lady of the East’, ‘Goddess of the Rising Sun’, and ‘The Sacred and All-Seeing Eye’.  As a protector, She was seen as a defender of the Pharaoh.

“funeral dance” by B-a-s-t-e-t

Bast can be viewed as an integrative Goddess in Her several aspects.  She is both the sun and the moon. In fact, She is one of the few sun Goddesses that can also be classified as a moon Goddess; Her glowing cat eyes reminds us of the moon that they reflect. She is venerated for singing, dancing, and childbirth suggesting ritualistic ceremonies. Above all, She is concerned with the enjoyment of life and the joy of music, dance, and bright colors. Her shrine in Baubasis was fashioned with blocks of pink granite with an entrance lined with trees. It was once one of the most beautifu temples in the world, but, alas, today, no shrines or temples remain of Bast in Egypt; even Bubastis is mostly in ruins.

“Egyptian Goddess Bast” by Diveena

Her name translates as ‘female of the ointment jar; hence She would gradually become the Goddess of Perfumes and Oils. In connection with this, when Anubis became the god of embalming, Bast, as Goddess of ointment, came to be regarded as his wife.

Statues of cats are commonly passed off as facsimiles of Bast, but this is incorrect. The cat was indeed Her sacred animal and the people of the time tended to see the Goddess in every cat that walked past, but Her original depiction was as a royal lady or a priestess with a cat’s head. The ancient Egyptians celebrated Her feast day on October 31st with lots of merry making, music, dancing in the streets and drinking with friends. Sadly, in modern times, Bast and Her feast day are overlooked, but you could perhaps say that Halloween was originally celebrated as the Feast of Bast.

She also has the gift, like all cats, of looking deep into your soul.Take a moment today to honor this ancient Egyptian Goddess. Light a green candle, Her sacred color, and be affectionate to a cat, Her cherished animal. When you address a cat, remember you are speaking to a little divinity, and a creature beloved of Bast.” [3]

“The Egyptian Goddess Bast reminds us of all that is feline and feminine.  Her gifts, very cat-like in nature, include the refusal to be at everyone’s beck and call and an insistence on the freedom of expression. She teaches us to relax and never waste energy, reminding us to luxuriate in beauty, perfume, and to sway in graceful movement. Bast refuses to take anything too seriously. But most importantly, Bast leads us to accept the true nature of things (ourselves included) and helps us remain unswayed by the opinion of others. Curled up like a cat lying in the sun, the Goddess Bast foms a complete circle . . . a symbol of the eternal.” [4]

“Bast” by Lisa Hunt

ASSOCIATIONS:

General: Cats, rising sun, utchat (the “All-Seeing Eye”), pottery jars as perfume holders, parades (and floats), castanets and rattles (as musical instruments), beer, music and dance.

Animals: Domestic cats, lions

Plants: Cattails and other reeds, yew, cypress, mint (especially catmint), barley, and hemp

Perfumes/Scents: Musk, cinnamon, frankincense, myrrh, hemp, catnip, vervain, sandalwood, geranium, and lavender

Gems and Metals: Cat’s eye, sunstone, agate [esp. fire agate], jasper, lapis lazuli, pyrite, and jasper

Colors: Black, gold, red, turquoise, clay and silver   [5]

Also seen as Bastet, Baast, Pacht, Pasht Pasch, Ubast, Ubasti and Baset.

Sources:

Goddessgift.com, “Bast, Goddess of Protection and Pleasure“.

Goddessgift.com, “Goddess Symbols: Bast“.

Monaghan, Patricia. The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines, “Bast”.

MXTODIS123. An Inner Journey: The Moon, Mythology, and You, “Bast“.

Suggested Links:

Carnaval.com, “Bast“.

Egyptian Myths, “Bastet“.

Fearn, Tranquillity. Order of the White Moon, “Bast: Queen of Cats“.

Goddess-guide.com, “The Egyptian Cat Goddess Bast“.

HDW Enterprises & Foothill Felines Bengals, “The History of the Domestic Cat“.

Hill, J. Ancient Egypt Online,Ancient Egyptian Gods: Bast“.

Moggies, Home of the online Cat Guide, “Bastet – Cat Goddess“.

MXTODIS123. An Inner Journey: The Moon, Mythology, and You, “Bast

Revel, Anita. igoddess.com, “Bast: enjoy play-time – Egyptian cat goddess“.

Seawright, Caroline. Tour Egypt, “Bast, Perfumed Protector, Cat Goddess…

Shira. All About Belly Dance by Shira, “The Goddesses of Ancient Egypt“.

Temple of Creation, “Working with the Goddess Bast“.

Tiamat, Avalon Sakti. Way of the Wild Rose, “The Goddess Bast“.

Wikipedia, “Bastet“.

Goddess Poluknalai

"Lady of the Beasts" by Hrana Janto

“Poluknalai’s themes are kindness to animals and nature.  Her symbols are all animals.  In Afghanistan, Poluknalai is the Goddess of all animals, being both creatrix and their protectress. Now that the warm weather has many people walking their pets or taking them to parks, Poluknalai walks alongside, watching over the animals who give us love and companionship.

People in the United States dedicate the first Sunday in May to commemorating the Humane Society, which was established to prevent cruelty to animals, in the true spirit of Poluknalai. Numerous organizations schedule fund-raising events today and extend compassion to both animals and people, in keeping with the festivities. If you have the means, adopt an animal today or make a small donation to the Humane Society in your area so they can continue their work. Both actions honour Poluknalai.

Back up your actions spiritually with this spell for animal welfare:

Gather any pictures of endangered species you can find. Put them inside a Ziploc bag while visualizing the white light of protection surrounding each. As you close the bag, say:

 ‘Protected by Poluknalai’s command
These creatures are safe across the land
Sealed with love and magic within
By my will this spell begins.’

As long as the bag remains sealed and safe, it will continue generating protective magic for those animals.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

The only reference I could find to this Goddess was in The Dictionary of Gods and Goddesses by Michael Jordan.  “Goddess of animals. Kafir [Afghanistan]. Locally revered, with the Goddess Disani (the most important Goddess of the Hindu Kush, particularly revered by the Prasun people), among Askun villages in the southwest of Kafiristan.”  [1]

The picture I chose to represent Her, “Lady of the Beasts” by Hrana Janto (from the Goddess Oracle Deck by Amy Sophia Marashinsky), totally resonated with me for Her.  In an excerpt from The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines by Patricia Monaghan, she states that “[Lady of the Beasts is a] phrase used to describe a number of Goddesses of various cultures, all of which share a similar identification with wild places and the animals that live therein. A form of the Great Mother Goddess who births and cares for humanity, this Lady usually is found in cultures where game animals provide a signficant part of the diet. Not surprisingly, She is often a Goddess of birth as well, invoked for aid by human mothers, but also invoked to encourage animal reproduction. Where a culture has begun to move into agriculture, the Lady often adds rulership of vegetation to Her original identity as mother of animals.” [2]

According to Amy Sophia Marashinsky’s accompanying booklet to the Goddess Oracle Deck, “The Goddess as Lady of Beasts was known to the people of Sumer, Crete, and the Indus Valley (India). Her name is largely unknown because worship of Her predated writing. She was also known as the Cosmic Creatrix, the creative, fertile, life-giving force. Her special animals were held sacred as manifestations of the deity Herself. She is depicted here pregnant, surrounded by pregnant animals, which speaks of Her as a powerful fertility figure. She usually appears enthroned with a lion at Her side indicating sovereignty and strength.” [3]

After reading these bits of information, the conclusion I arrived at was that Poluknalai was but one of the Lady of the Beasts’ hundreds, if not thousands, manifestations.

Sources:

Hrana Janto, Illustration & Illumination, “Lady of the Beasts“.

Jordan, Michael. Dictionary of Gods and Goddesses, 2nd ed., “Poluknalai (p. 249)“.

Kennelly, Patti. Daily Goddess, “Lady of the Beasts“.

Suggested Links:

Johnson, Buffie. Lady of the Beasts: the Goddess and Her Sacred Animals.

Jordan, Michael. Dictionary of Gods and Goddesses, 2nd ed., “Disani (p. 79 – 80)“.

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