Tag Archive: cherokee


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 Selu

“Selu’s themes are the harvest, the weather and growth. Her symbol is corn.  This Southeastern Native American corn Goddess planted Her very heart so people wouldn’t go hungry. Corn sprouted from it. To this day, Her spirit teaches us how to refertilize the earth to bring us the sustenance we need.

In this primary festival (the Fiesta de Santa Clara) among the Pueblo Native Americans, Santa Clara replaced Selu, the spirit of the corn, when Christianity took hold. For the Pueblo, corn is a staple, so as the sun reigns in power they dance for rain and evoke the Corn Spirit for every portion of the crop’s growth. Following this tradition, if it’s raining today, go outside and rejoice in Selu’s growth-related energy. Dance with a bit of cron (or eat some beforehand) to invoke her powers for progress in any area of your life.

If your region has needed rain lately, try drumming for it while scattering corn kernels mingled with pine needles on the ground. The corn and needles act as a gift to the Godedss and the sound they make is a kind of sympathetic magic to draw the rain.”

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

“Corn Dawn Mother” by Marti Fenton

“Selu is the Cherokee (Tsalagi language) name for the Corn Mother who is worshiped by nearly all Native American tribes. She is called by many names but almost all literally translate to ‘Corn Mother’ ‘Corn Maiden’ or ‘Corn Woman’ (see my July 2 entry on “Corn Mother“). Often the name the Corn Mother Goddess is known by is used as the common word for ‘corn’ as well. Selu is the Goddess of the Harvest of course, but also wisdom, magic, hunting (as the wife of Kanati the God of the Hunt,) and various other domains. She was often the most honored ‘Mother’ Goddess among many tribes including the Cherokee.

The Aztec called her Chicomecoatl and She was their the Goddess of Corn and of all Fertility (of crops, livestock, wild animals, and people’s own fertility.)During one month the Goddess of ‘maize’ (Corn) was the patron deity in the religious celebrations. The main corn blessing rite was led by many Priestesses each carrying seven ears of corn wrapped in fancy cloth on their backs, wearing fancy make-up and feather decorated dresses. At the setting of the sun the Priestesses threw colored corn into the crowds, symbolizing the Corn Goddess Chicomecoatl’s blessing the tribe with fertility for the coming harvest season.

The Hopi called Her ‘Qocha Mana.’ That tribe also has one of the most beautiful Corn Woman tales. They say that it took place long long ago. The men of the village had went out on a hunt. It was mid-winter and there was only a little food in left the village. The women and children stayed behind to wait their return. The men were due to return in three sunsets time but got lost in the snow storm. The menfolk were gone for 20 sunsets instead and when they returned home, all the children ran out to greet them. The men were happy to see the children but were perplexed that their wives and sweethearts were not coming out to greet them. As they entered the village, they found all of the women dead. They rationed the food out to only the children thus sacrificed themselves so that their children could live on. The village shaman told the men ‘We must dance the Dance of Thanksgiving, for the bounty we have returned with’. The men protested, ‘How can we have a Thanksgiving Dance with all of our women dead?’ The Shaman simply said, ‘Trust in the Gods.’

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

As the men prepared for the Thanksgiving Dance that night the Creator came to the Shaman. She told him to do something unbelievable. She told him to bury all of the women. Furthermore, She directed for the women to be buried together in a single shallow grave. The next morning all of the woman were buried as directed by the Mother Goddess. That night, the men and the children danced the Thanksgiving Dance with heavy hearts. The Creator caused a great sleep to come over the village and sent a wonderful God to the village. The God was tall handsome and entertaining comical fellow who played a flute. He went to the grave and started to play his flute. He bent over the grave and as he played, tears feel from his eyes. These tears became seeds of corn as he played and cried. At the end of 20 sunsets our Creator said to him, ‘Kokopelli, you shall forever remain hunched over as a tribute to the maidens who will forever be known as the Corn Women. Your tears of sympathy have become seeds of lifegiving corn.

Thus, it is told that the Hopi shall never go hungry again for Kokopelli and the Corn Women have given the tribe life through the sacred corn.” [1]

 

 

 

Sources:

Cyber Temples of the Gods, “Selu’s (the Corn Mother’s) Temple“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Britannica Online Encyclopedia, “Corn Mother“.

Cornmother.com, “The Corn Mother“.

First People – the Legends, “Corn Mother – Penobscot“.

Goddessrealm.com, “Corn Mother Goddess of Nourishment“.

Goddesses and Gods, “Goddess Corn Mother“.

Hrana Janto, Illustration & Illumination, “Corn Maiden“.

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

Raine, Lauren. Threads of the Spiderwoman, “Corn Mother and Collaboration“.

Return of the Corn Mothers

Sidhe, Fiana. Matrifocus, “Goddess in the Wheel of the Year – The Corn Mother“.

Tanith. Order of the White Moon, “Corn Woman, Goddess of Nourishment“.

Two Worlds, Waynonaha. Weed Wanderings, “Wise Woman Wisdom…Corn Woman“.

 

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