Archive for October, 2012


Goddess Felicitas

“Roman Matron” by JW Godward

“Felicitas’ themes are kindness, charity, love, romance, joy, success and luck. Her symbols are greetings (greeting cards). This Roman Goddess brings happiness, success, and good fortune whenever someone salutes another with good words or amiable deeds. She comes to us today to energize late fall and early winter with the transformational power of kindness.

While Sweetest Day seems to be focused on lovers these days, in earlier years it represented an opportunity to shower anyone and everyone with cheerful trinkets, kind acts, and gentle words to lift people’s spirits.  By looking for Felicitas for help, we can return this holiday to its original form and bring joy to people who might otherwise be feeling a case of autumn blues. Look for, or make, some humorous greeting cards to send to folks you know would appreciate the thought. Lay your hands on them and invoke Felicitas’s blessings in any way that feels right.

To improve the effect further, anoint the cards with rejuvenating aromatic oils that match the recipient’s needs (such as pine for money, rose for love or peace, cinnamon for luck, sandalwood for health, and lavender to combat depression). This way, when they open that card, the magic and the aroma will be released together to bless, energize, and bear Felicitas’s greetings along with your heartfelt wishes!”

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

“‘Good fortune’ was a Roman Goddess distinct from Fortuna, another divinity of fate.  Shown on Roman coins in the form of a heavyset matron, Felicitas was Goddess of personal happiness, while Fortuna ruled the fates of cities and nations” (Monaghan, p. 124).

Other names and epithets include: Fausta Felicitas, Felicitas Deorum (“Luck of the Gods”), Felicitas Perpetua (“Everlasting Happiness”), Felicitas Republicae (“Fortune of the State”), Felicitas Romanorum (“Success of the Romans”), Felicitas Saeculi (“Happiness of the Age”), or Felicitas Temporum (“Luck of the Times”).  [1]

Click here to read a fantastic piece written by Thalia Took on Fausta Felicitas.

“Blind Fortuna” by Kuntz Konicz

In comparing Felicitas and Fortuna, Delia O’Riordan writes: “Despite Her connection with both luck and success, Felicitas was sometimes conflated with the Goddess of Destiny, Fortuna, whose symbol was the Wheel of Fortune which spun until it arbitrarily stopped in a position that would decide the outcome of events.  Whereas Felicitas was seen as the particular patroness of military exploits and successful harvests, Fortuna was seen as having a direct and personal effect on the totality of everyone’s life through the working of Destiny. Romans believed that the overall Destiny of a person was somewhat ‘fixed’ from birth but the intervention of Fortune in the form of the unexpected or chance happening could alter that Destiny. In addition, the Roman Gods like the Greeks before them, were notoriously moody and unpredictable. If one inadvertently offended a powerful God or Goddess, their wrath could be epic so it was important to stay on good terms with them all as far as possible. To have Felicitas and Fortuna both on your side was a powerful combination and devotees often honoured both Goddesses in household shrines as well as the temples. In the age of science and technology, we see these ancient deities as archetypes created in consciousness by more primitive minds than ours. But archetypes carry energy and if we don’t learn how to work with those energies, they can influence our decisions and behaviours from within the recesses of our unconscious selves and wreak havoc in our lives in the form of neuroses, addictions, compulsions, etc.” [2]

 

 

Sources:

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

O’Riordan, Delia. Psychic-delia.com, “Spirits Matters: Success and Destiny“.

Took, Thalia. Thaliatook.com, “Fausta Felicitas“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Lunesoleil. Lunesoleil23.wordpress.com, “Les astéroïdes de la #chance avec Fortuna , Félicitas et Tyché” (translated from French).

Roman-colosseum.info, “Roman Gods and Goddesses“.

Wikipedia, “Felicitas“.

Goddess Eurynome

 

“Eurynome” by Hrana Janto

“Eurynome’s themes are unity, peace and balance. Her symbols is sacred dancing. This ancient Greek Goddess reached out to the chaos at the beginning of time, embraced it, and made order in the world. Through Her sacred dance, the winds were born, from Her womb came the land and the stars, and then She created rulers for the poles (one male, one female) so that balance would forever be maintained.  [Also born from the chaos was Gaia, the Earth Mother].

On October 24, 1945, the peace-keeping United Nations was formally established in the orderly spirit of Eurynome to stress the need for understanding between people and the power of working for a unified cause.

To honor this occasion and uplift Eurynome’s positive energies, gather today with any group that you work with regularly. Do something together that focuses on your power as a group to really make a difference in one another, your community, or the world.

To bring Eurynome’s organization and balance into your home, take a small bowl filled with water and three drops each of one male-oriented herbal oil (like cedar, clove, lavender, mint, or pine) and one female-oriented oil (like apple, coconut, jasmine, lemon or vanilla). Put on some inspiring music, dance joyfully around your living space, and sprinkle this water as you go to draw Eurynome’s blessings to you.”

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

“Gaia 1 Photograph” by Renata Ratajczyk

Patricia Monaghan writes: “The most ancient of Greek Goddesses, She rose naked from the primordial chaos and instantly began to dance: a dance that separated light from darkness and sea from sky.  Whirling in a passion of movement, Eurynome created behind Herself a [north] wind that grew lustful toward Her.  Turning to face it, She grasped the wind in Her hands, rolled it like clay into a serpent, and named it Ophion.

Then Eurynome [pronounced you-reh’ no-may] had intercourse with the wind serpent and, transforming Herself into a dove, laid the universal egg from which creation hatched.  Installing Herself high above the new earth on Mt. Olympus, Eurynome looked down on it complacently.  But Ophion, Her own creation, bragged that he had been responsible for all that was tangible.  Forthwith Eurynome kicked out his teeth and threw him into an underworld dungeon.

“Goddess of the Tides” by Jonathon Earl Bowser

There was another Goddess of this name – or perhaps the later Eurynome was an elaboration of the creator Goddess.  Said by the Greeks to rule the sea, She may have been the same Goddess as – or part of a trinity with – the great sea rulers Tethys and Thetis.  The ‘wide ruling one,’ Eurynome had a temple in wild Arcadia, difficult to reach and open only once a year.  If pilgrims penetrated the sanctuary, they found the image of the Goddess as a woman with a a snake’s tail, tied with golden chains.  In this form, Eurynome of the sea was said to have been the mother of all pleasure, embodied in the beautiful triplets, the Graces [by Zeus]” (p. 119).

 

 

 

Sources:

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

 

Suggested Links:

Elliott, Daphne. Pantheon.org, “Greek Creation Myths“.

Eurynome.com, “The Mother of Us All“.

Leeming, David & Jake Page. Goddess: Myths of the Female Divine, “Eurynome“.

Theoi.com, “Eurynome“.

Westmoreland, Perry L. Ancient Greek Beliefs.

Wikipedia, “Eurynome (Oceanid)“.

Goddess Ishara

“Selket” by =DanielPriego

“Ishara’s themes are creativity, sexuality, passion, instinct, fire and energy. Her symbols are the scorpion (or any stinging, hot items). An ancient Mesopotamian Goddess, Ishara is known for her fiery nature. The Syrians specifically worshiped Her in the form of a scorpion when they wished to improve sexual prowess or passion. In other traditions, Ishara judges human affairs fairly bur firmly, and all oaths made in Her name are sacred.

In astrology, people born under the sign of Scorpio are said to be creative, tenacious, sturdy and sensuous, often internalizing Ishara’s fire in their sign for personal energy.

To do likewise, enjoy any hot beverages (such as coffee with a touch of cinnamon for vitality) first thing in the morning. This will give you some of Ishara’s fire to help you face your day, both mentally and physically.

For those wishing to improve interest or performance in the bedroom, today is a good time to focus on foods for passion and fecundity. Look to bananas or avocados in the morning, olives, dill pickles, radishes, or liquorice sticks as a snack, beans as a dinner side dish, and shellfish as a main platter.

Remember to invoke Ishara’s blessing before you eat. And, if you can find one, put the image of a scorpion under your bed so that Ishara’s lusty nature will abide in the region and you can tap into it during lovemaking.”

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

“Ishtar” by Lisa Iris

Patricia Monaghan says that Ishara was a “Semitic Goddess of promiscuity, originally distinct from Ishtar, but later merged with Her” (p. 164).

“Ishara is the Hittite word for ‘treaty, binding promise’, also personified as a Goddess of the oath.

In Hurrian and Semitic traditions, Išḫara is a love Goddess, often identified with Ishtar. Her cult was of considerable importance in Ebla from the mid 3rd millennium, and by the end of the 3rd millennium, She had temples in NippurSipparKishHarbidumLarsa, and Urum.

“Ishtar” by *Scebiqu

As a Goddess, Ishara could inflict severe bodily penalties to oathbreakers, in particular ascites (see Hittite military oath). In this context, She came to be seen as a ‘Goddess of medicine’ whose pity was invoked in case of illness. There was even a verb, isharis- ‘to be afflicted by the illness of Ishara’.

Ishara was also worshipped within the Hurrian pantheon. She was associated with the underworld.

Her astrological embodiment is the constellation Scorpio and She is called the mother of the Sebitti (the Seven Stars) (Seux, 343). Ishara was well known in Syria from the third millennium B.C.E. She became a great Goddess of the Hurrian population. She was worshipped with Teshub and Shimegi at Alakh, and also at Ugarit, Emar and Chagar Bazar. While She was considered to belong to the entourage of Ishtar, She was invoked to heal the sick (Lebrun).

The Hurrian cult of Ishara as a love Goddess also spread to Syria. ‘Ishara first appears in the pre-Sargonic texts from Ebla and then as a Goddess of love in Old Akkadian potency-incantations (Biggs). During the Ur III period She had a temple in Drehem and from the Old Babylonian time onwards, there were sanctuaries in Sippar, Larsa, and Harbidum. In Mari She seems to have been very popular and many women were called after Her, but She is well attested in personal names in Babylonia generally up to the late Kassite period. Her main epithet was belet rame, lady of love, which was also applied to Ishtar. In the Epic of Gilgamesh (Tablet II, col. v.28) it says: ‘For Ishara the bed is made’ and in Atra-hasis (I 301-304) She is called upon to bless the couple on the honeymoon.'” [1]

Also seen as Isara and Ishkhara; “the Hittites called ‘queen of the mountains'”. [2]

 

 

 

Sources:

Lindemans, Micha F. Pantheon.org, “Isara“.

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

 

 

Wikipedia, “Ishara“.

Suggested Links:

Black, Jeremy & Anthony Green. Gods, Demons and Symbols of Ancient Mesopotamia.

Jordan, Michael. Encyclopedia of Gods, “Isara“.

Mark, Joshua J. Ancient.eu.com, “The Mesopotamian Pantheon“.

McMahon, Gregory; Gary M. Beckman; & Richard Henry Beal. Hittite Studies in Honor of Harry A. Hoffner, Jr.

Murat, Leyla. Turkleronline.net, “Goddess Ishara“.

Stuckey, Johanna. Matrifocus.com, “Ancient Grain Goddesses of the Mediterranean“.

Wikipedia, “Hittite laws“.

Wikipedia, “Hittite mythology“.

Goddess Izunome-no-Kami

“Toyotamahime” by Sara Ogi

“Izunome-no-kami’s themes are mediation, health and cleansing. Her symbol are fire or water. A Goddess of purification, Izunome-no-kami helps us prepare for the sacred festivals of late fall and early winter with Her cleansing power. While She was born in water, this Goddess’s energy exists in any rites for purification, including those centered on fire.

Kurama Himatsuri is a festival in Japan designed to welcome and help people commune with the native deities who come to earth this day. People carry light sources like candles and torches, which offer Izunome-no-kami’s purifying energies to the meeting. In this part of the world it is considered unseemly to go before the Goddes spiritually or physically dirty.

In keeping with this theme, take a ritual bath today before your daily prayers or meditations. Add cleansing herbs like pine needles, bay leaves, fennel, lemon rind, or mint. Alternatively, drop in a few herbal tea bags (like peppermint or chamomile) to keep the dried items from clogging the drain. Before getting in, stir the water counter clockwise, saying:
‘Goddess of cleansing power
purify me this sacred hour
Remove all guilt, all blame or shame
I ask this by invoking your name:
Izunome-no-kami.’

Keep whispering the Goddess’s name at regular intervals until you get out of the tub. Then enter your prayers and meditations with a purified mind, heart and spirit.”

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

Art by Seishiro Jay Tomioka

“The ‘Angel of Purification’ is Izunome-no-kami, a deity formed to purify Izanagi of filth [see my entry on Izanami-no-kami]…Izunome is related to the wedded gods Haya-akitsu-hiko (male) and Haya-akitsu-hime (female) who together ‘wash away all impurity like a mighty river flowing and swallow up all sin like a great ocean.’  Morihei [ a famous martial artist and founder of the Japanese martial art of aikido] felt Izunome – who is generally considered female – to be present within his own body, and Aikidō to be the manifestation of that deity’s power of purification and restoration.  Morihei hoped that Aikidō students would eventually realize that each and every one of them also had Izunome within” (Ueshiba & Stevens, p. 46).

Sources:

Ueshiba, Morihei & John Stevens. The Essence of Aikido: Spiritual Teachings of Morihei Ueshiba, Songs of the Path“.

 

Suggested Links:

Eos.kokugakuin.ac.jp, “Haraedo“.

Kokugakuin.ac.jp, “Kamiumi“.

Onmarkproductions.com, “Shinto & Shintoism Guidebook“.

www2.plala.or.jp, “The Teachings of Onisaburo’s Deguchi“.

Goddess Meme

 

“African Spirit Series II” by Ricardo Chávez-Méndez

“Meme’s themes are ghosts, joy, health, offerings, longevity and the harvest. Her symbols are beer and corn. The Ugandan creatrix of life, Meme was also the first woman of the region. In Her human form She taught shamans the art of healing, and She continues to be called upon to aid in all matters of health and well-being.

The Misisi Beer Festival in Uganda takes place right after the millet harvest, with a plethora of beer, plantain, bullock and chicken. Any of these foods can be added to your diet today in thankfulness for Meme’s providence.

Follow Ugandan custom and join with your family or friends. The eldest member of the gathering should pour a libation to the ground in Meme’s name and then offer the rest to those gathered. This mini-ritual ensures long life and unity for everyone. It also ensures a good harvest the next year (of a literal or figurative nature).

To inspire Meme’s health or request her aid in overcoming a specific fall malady, carry a corn kernel with you today, and consume corn during your dinner meal. Bless the corn beforehand to ingest this Goddess’s vitality.

Alternatively, take a small bowl of beer and place a finger into it. Channel your negativity and illness into the beer (visualize this as dark, muddy water leaving your body), then pour it out to disperse that negative energy and give it into the Goddess’s care.”

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

I couldn’t find anything at all at first on today’s Goddess.  I thought that Meme was perhaps another name for the Goddess Mawu at first, as She is described as a supreme deity and creatrix of the universe and life; or even Her daughter, Gbadu who was the first woman that Mawu had created…or even Nowa – an African shaman Goddess.  I finally did though come across Meme’s name while doing a search in Google Books.

“Mother Nature IV” by Anthony Burks

In African Mythology, A to Z, Meme is mentioned under an entry on about a god named Adroa.  “Adroa is a god of the Lugbara people of central Africa. Adroa has two aspects: one good and one evil. He is the creator of Heaven and Earth, and he appears to those about to die. His good and bad aspects are depicted as two half bodies: the evil one is short and coal black while his good aspect is tall and white.” [1]  “Adroa created the first man and woman – a pair of twins, Gborogboro [‘the person coming from the sky’] and Meme [‘the person who came alone’].  Meme gave birth to all the animals and then to another pair of male-female twins.  These first sets of twins were really not human; they had supernatrual powers and perform magical deeds.  After several generations of male-female miraculous twins, the hero-anscetors Jaki and Dribidu were born.  Their sons were said to be the founders of the present-day Lugbara clans” (Lynch & Roberts, p. 4).

 

 

 

Sources:

Lynch, Patricia Ann & Jeremy Roberts. African Mythology, A to Z, Adroa“.

Wikipedia, “Adroa“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Middleton, John. Lugbara Religion: Ritual and Authority Among an East African People.

Newuganda.com, “Lugbara People and Their Culture“.

Wikipedia, “Lugbara Mythology“.

A Goddess of sovereignty, autonomy and independence, self love, righteousness and truth – challenging you to be true to and really love yourself and to speak the truth to others. She does indeed challenge you to breakdown barriers, face your fears and slay that which holds you back; which in the end results in great rewards – wisdom and deeper understandings.

Meanderings

The Dark Lady comes in the time of the scythe’s last swings. The Harvest is a time of reaping, a time of death. It is a time of darkness when the days grow short and the nights grow cold. She is the absence of air that awaits at the bottom of each breath. She is the ending before the renewal.

She walks among us selecting the finest grains for Herself, but the chaff is dropped upon the threshing floor. She is the fury that rips the flesh from injustice. She slits the throats of the cruel and drinks the blood of the heartless. She makes the arrogant humble. She is the warrior who rights all wrongs in their Time.

She is the Mother of Mysteries who comes cloaked in darkness. She is the Crone of old who possesses ancient wisdom. She is that which is hidden, secluded, and forbidden. She…

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“Srinmo’s themes karma, Universal Law, excellence, sports and cycles. Her symbols are the wheel and boomerang. In Tibet, this Goddess holds the Great Round, a cosmic wheel upon which the movement of human life is recorded with each thought, word, and deed. Srinmo’s demonic visage represents the human fear of death and reminds that one should strive for good in this life for the beauty it brings now and n our next incarnation.

In Virginia, the Boomerang Festival is a festival of skill centering on the ancient boomerangs believed to have been used originally by the Egyptians.

Metaphysically speaking, the boomerang’s movement represents the threefold law and Srinmo’s karmic balance (i.e., everything you send out returns to you thrice).
To give yourself a greater understanding of this principle, or to recognize the cycles in your life that may need changing, carry any round object today, such as a coin. Put it in your pocket, saying

‘What goes around comes around.’

Pay particular attention to your routine and the way you interact with people all day, and see what Srinmo reveals to you.

For aiding the quest for enlightenment, and generally improving karma through light-filled living, try this little incantation in the car each time you make a right-hand turn today:

‘As I turn to the right,
I move closer to the Light!'”

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

Today’s research comes from a fantastic piece written by  Victor & Victoria Trimondi; and the following excerpt is the story of the bondage of the earth Goddess Srinmo and the history of the origin of Tibet.  “According to Tibetan tradition, the whole Tibetan territory can be represented as a vast wild female demon lying on her back facing East and stretching her limbs all over the country. The accounts of this conception are found in several Tibetan texts that originated between the twelfth and fourteenth centuries, including the famous terma-revealed chronicle Maṇi Kabum (ma ni bka’ ‘bum, 12th century) and above cited chronicle The Clear Mirror (rgyal rabs gsal ba’i me long) written by the great scholar Södnam Gyaltsen (bsod nams rgyal mtshan, 1312-1375).” [1]

“The Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara is considered the progenitor of the Tibetans, he thus determines events from the very beginning. In the period before there were humans on earth, the Buddha being was embodied in a monkey and passed the time in deep meditation on the ‘Roof of the World‘. There, as if from nowhere, a rock demoness by the name of Srinmo appeared. The hideous figure was a descendent of the Srin clan, a bloodthirsty community of nature Goddesses. ‘Spurred on by horniness’ — as one text puts it — She too assumed the form of a (female) monkey and tried over seven days to seduce Avalokiteshvara. But the divine Bodhisattva monkey withstood all temptations and remained untouched and chaste. As he continued to refuse on the eighth day, Srinmo threatened him with the following words: ‘King of the monkeys, listen to me and what I am thinking. Through the power of love, I very much love you. Through this power of love I woo you, and confess: If you will not be my spouse, I shall become the rock demon’s companion. If countless young rock demons then arise, every morning they will take thousands upon thousands of lives. The region of the Land of Snows itself will take on the nature of the rock demons. All other forms of life will then be consumed by the rock demons. If I myself then die as a consequence of my deed, these living beings will be plunged into hell. Think of me then, and have pity’ (Hermanns, 1956, p. 32). With this she hit the bullseye. ‘Sexual intercourse out of compassion and for the benefit of all suffering beings’ was — as we already know — a widespread ‘ethical’ practice in Mahayana Buddhism. Despite this precept, the monkey first turned to his emanation father, Amitabha, and asked him for advice. The ‘god of light from the West’ answered him with wise foresight: ‘Take the rock demoness as your consort. Your children and grandchildren will multiply. When they have finally become humans, they will be a support to the teaching’ (Hermanns, 1956, p. 32).

Nevertheless, this Buddhist evolutionary account, reminiscent of Charles Darwin, did not just arise from the compassionate gesture of a divine monkey; rather, it also contains a widely spread, elitist value judgement by the clergy, which lets the Tibetans and their country be depicted as uncivilized, underdeveloped and animal-like, at least as far as the negative influence of their primordial mother is concerned. ‘From their father they are hardworking, kind, and attracted to religious activity; from their mother they are quick-tempered, passionate, prone to jealousy and fond of play and meat’, an old text says of the inhabitants of the Land of Snows (Samuel, 1993, p. 222).

Two forces thus stand opposed to one another, right from the Tibetan genesis: the disciplined, restrained, culturally creative, spiritual world of the monks in the form of Avalokiteshvaraand the wild, destructive energy of the feminine in the figure of Srinmo.

In a further myth, non-Buddhist Tibet itself appears as the embodiment of Srinmo (Janet Gyatso, 1989, p. 44). The local demoness is said to have resisted the introduction of the true teaching by the Buddhist missionaries from India with all means at Her disposal, with weaponry and with magic, until She was ultimately defeated by the great king of law, Songtsen Gampo (617-650), an incarnation of Avalokiteshvara (and thus of the current Dalai Lama). ‘The lake in the Milk plane,’ writes the Tibet researcher Rolf A. Stein, ‘where the first Buddhist king built his temple (the Jokhang), represented the heart of the demoness, who lay upon Her back. The demoness is Tibet itself, which must first be tamed before She can be inhabited and civilized. Her body still covers the full extent of Tibet in the period of its greatest military expansion (eighth to ninth century C.E.). Her spread-eagled limbs reached to the limits of Tibetan settlement … In order to keep the limbs of the defeated demoness under control, twelve nails of immobility were hammered into Her’ (Stein, 1993, p.34). A Buddhist temple was raised at the location of each of these twelve nailings.

Mysterious stories circulate among the Tibetans which tell of a lake of blood under the Jokhang, which is supposed to consist of Srinmo’s heart blood. Anyone who lays his ear to the ground in the cathedral, the sacred center of the Land of Snows, can still — many claim — hear Her faint heartbeat. A comparison of this unfortunate female fate with the subjugation of the Greek dragon, Pythonat Delphi immediately suggests itself. Apollothe god of light (Avalokiteshvara), let the earth-monster, Python (Srinmo), live once he had defeated it so that it would prophesy for him, and built over the mistreated body at Delphi the most famous oracle temple in Greece.

The earth demoness is nailed down with phurbas. These are ritual daggers with a three-sided blade and a vajra handle. We know these already from the Kalachakra ritual, where they are likewise employed to fixate the earth spirits and the earth mother. The authors who have examined the symbolic significance of the magic weapon are unanimous in their assessment of the aggressive phallic symbolism of the phurba.

In their view, Srinmo represents an archetypal variant of the Mother Earth figure known from all cultures, whom the Greeks called Gaia (Gaea). As nature and as woman She stands in stark contrast to the purely spiritual world of Tantric Buddhism. The forces of wilderness, which rebel against androcentric civilization, are bundled within Her. She forms the feminine shadow world in opposition to the masculine paradise of light of the shining Amitabha and his radiant emanation son, AvalokiteshvaraSrinmo symbolizes the (historical) prima materia, the matrix, the primordial earthly substance which is needed in order to construct a tantric monastic empire, then She provides the gynergy, the feminine élan vitale, with which the Land of Snows pulsates. As the vanquisher of the earth Goddess, Avalokiteshvara triumphs in the form of King Songtsen Gampo, that is, the same Bodhisattva who, as a monkey, earlier engendered with Srinmo the Tibetans in myth, and who shall later exercise absolute dominion from the ‘Roof of the World’ as Dalai Lama.

Tibet’s sacred center, the Jokhang (the cathedral of Lhasa), the royal chronicles inform us, thus stands over the pierced heart of a woman, the earth mother Srinmo. This act of nailing down is repeated at the construction of every Lamaist shrine, whether temple or monastery and regardless of where the establishment takes place — in Tibet, India, or the West. Then before the first foundation stone for the new building is laid, the tantric priests occupy the chosen location and execute the ritual piercing of the earth mother with their phurbas. Tibet’s holy geography is thus erected upon the maltreated bodies of mythic women, just as the tantric shrines of India (the shakta pithas) are found on the places where the dismembered body of the Goddess Sati fell to earth.

Srinmo with different Tibetan temples upon her body

In contrast to Her Babylonian sister, Tiamat, who was cut to pieces by Her great-grandchild, Marduk, so that outer space was formed by Her limbs, Srinmo remains alive following Her subjugation and nailing down. According to the tantric scheme, Her gynergy flows as a constant source of life for the Buddhocratic system. She thus vegetates — half dead, half alive — over centuries in the service of the patriarchal clergy. An interpretation of this process according to the criteria of the gaia thesis often discussed in recent years would certainly be most revealing. (We return to this point in our analysis of the ecological program of the Tibetans in exile.) According to this thesis, the mistreated ‘Mother Earth’ (Gaia is the popular name for the Greek earth mother) has been exploited by humanity (and the gods?) for millennia and is bleeding to death. But Srinmo is not just a reservoir of inexhaustible energy. She is also the absolute Other, the foreign, and the great danger which threatens the Buddhocratic state. Srinmo is — as we still have to prove — the mythic ‘inner enemy’ of Tibetan Lamaism, while the external mythic enemy is likewise represented by a woman, the Chinese Goddess Guanyin.

Srinmo survived — even if it was under the most horrible circumstances, yet the Tibetans also have a myth of dismemberment which repeats the Babylonian tragedy of Tiamat. Like many peoples they worship the tortoise as a symbol of Mother Earth. A Tibetan myth tells of how in the mists of time the Bodhisattva Manjushri sacrificed such a creature ‘or the benefit of all beings’. In order to form a solid foundation for the world he fired an arrow off at the tortoise which struck it in the right-hand side. The wounded animal spat fire, its blood poured out, and it passed excrement. It thus multiplied the elements of the new world. Albert Grünwedel presents this myth as evidence for the “tantric female sacrifice” in the Kalachakra ritual: ‘The tortoise which Manjushri shot through with a long arrow … [is] just another form of the world woman whose inner organs are depicted by the dasakaro vasi figure [the Power of Ten]’ (Grünwedel, 1924, vol. II, p. 92).

The relation of Tibetan Buddhism to the Goddess of the earth or of the country (Tibet) is also one of brutal subjugation, an imprisonment, an enslavement, a murder or a dismemberment. Euphemistically, and in ignorance of the tantric scheme of things it could also be interpreted as a civilizing of the wilderness through culture. Yet however the relation is perceived — no meeting, no exchange, no mutual recognition of the two forces takes place. In the depths of Tibet’s history — as we shall show — a brutal battle of the sexes is played out.” [2]

Well damn…who knew??  I really had no idea how misogynistic Buddhism was until it was brought to my attention back in mid June of this year.  A person had shared several links with me and to be honest, it was very unsettling.  One relevant link that was shared I will share here in this entry is entitled Thai Buddhism and Patriarchy by Ouyporn Khuankaew.

“Although many people believe Buddhism is an ‘egalitarian’ religion, the fact will remain that sexism/gender bias has been a very integral part of the faith for many centuries. Overall, there is less virulent anti-woman bigotry within Buddhism than many other religions, especially the Abrahamic cultus of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, but misogyny and chauvinism have been apparent enough in the Eastern faiths as well, including the Buddhist.” [3]

Man, way to pop my happy little Zen bubble, huh?

 

 

 

Sources: 

Murdock, D.M. Examiner.com, “Women in Buddhism“.

Sehnalova, Anna. 4shared.com, “The Myth of the ‘Supine Demoness’“.

Trimondi, Victor & Victoria. Trimondi.de, “2. The Dalai Lama (Avalokiteshvara) and the Demoness (Srinmo)“.

Suggested Links:

Cabezón, José Ignacio. Thlib.org, “Pabongkha Hermitage“.

O’Neill, Brendan. Reason.com, “The Truth About Tibetan Buddhism“.

Trimondi, Victor & Victoria. Trimondi.de, “Part I – 1. Buddhism and misogyny – an historical overview“.  (Here is a link to the Contents page)

Visitourchina.com, “History of Jokhang Temple“.

Wikipedia, “Women in Buddhism“.

Goddess Yama-No-Shinbo

“Yama-No-Shinbo’s theme are luck, wealth, prosperity, protection and joy. Her symbols are good-luck charms. This Japanese Goddess of prosperity and good fortune joins in today’s festivities by blessing all efforts to improve our luck. Her name means ‘mother of the mountain’, which, in feng shui (the art of placement in accordance with a region’s energy patterns for the most beneficial result), represents a protective, ancient power that brings happiness and wealth to those within its shadow.

The annual festival of Bettar-tchi takes place near the shrine of Ebisu to encourage good luck. Sticky items are among the favored tokens carried today, to encourage good fortune to literally stick to the participants.  For our purposes this might translate into using double-sided tape inside a piece of clothing so that the outside can gather Yama-no-Shinbo’s fortunate energy.  Alternatively, put a symbol of an area of your life that needs better luck (such as a dollar bill for money) on the refrigerator with a magnet, while whispering a brief prayer to the Goddess. This action symbolizes prosperity sticking with you (and attracting right energy.)

Take out any tokens or objects around your home that you value for their lucky energy. Clean them off, and ask Yama-no-Shinbo to energize them anew for protection. Put your hands over the tops of these, visualize a personally lucky-coloured light filling them, and say:

‘Goddess of fortune
fill this charm
keep me ever safe from harm.'”

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

Patricia Monaghan refers to this Goddess as Yama-no-Kami.  She writes: “In Japan, this Goddess was a spirit of sacred mountains, one who brought good luck to hunters and woodsmen who attended Her rites but who could be quite stern with those who did not.  One-legged and one-eyed, She was invoked as a protector of women in childbed under the name of Juni-sama, for She has a secret box of souls from which She endows each new being. As a seasonal Goddess, She annually gives birth to twelve children, the year’s twelve months.  In singular form, She is Yama-no-Shinbo, the mountain mother (p. 319).

Wikipedia states: “Yama-no-Kami is the name given to a kami of the mountains in the Shinto religion of Japan. These can be of two different types. The first type is a god of the mountains who is worshipped by hunters, woodcutters, and charcoal burners. The second is a god of agriculture who comes down from the mountains and is worshipped by farmers. This kami is generally considered as a Goddess, or a female deity.

Yama-no-Kami appearing in Japanese mythology include:

  • Oho-Yamatsumi, the father of Konohanasakuya-hime.
  • Masaka-Yamatsumi
  • Odo-Yamatsumi
  • Oku-Yamatsumi
  • Kura-Yamatsumi
  • Shigi-Yamatsumi
  • Ha-Yamatsumi
  • Hara-Yamatsumi
  • To-Yamatsumi
  • Konohanasakuya-hime, the wife of Ninigi and great-grandmother of Emperor Jimmu.
  • Ohoyamakui, the god of Mount Hiei.
  • Shirayama-hime, the Goddess of Mount Hakusan.

Their Chinese parallel is the shanshen.” [1]

“Seasons” by Jia Lu

Apparently “when She so chooses, She can appear as beautiful, passionate, and maternal.  But, She also has a darker form, that of a hideous and malicious old hag.  It is said that She can change between the two in the flash of an eye.” [2]

Sources:

Monaghan, Patricia. The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines, “Yama-no-Kami”.

MXTODIS123. Reclaimingthedarkgoddess.blogspot.com, “Yamanokami“.

Wikipedia, “Yama-no-Kami”.

Suggested Links:

Billington, S. The Concept of the Goddess.

Hiroshi, Iwai. Eos.kokugakuin.ac.jp, “Yamanokami“.

Monaghan, Patricia. Goddesses in World Culture, Volume 1, “Yama no Kami: Mountain Mother of Japan”. (p. 159 – 168) – HIGHLY RECOMMEND!

Morika, Kiyomi. The Sociology of Japanese Religion.

Goddess Perimbo

“Perimbo themes are forgiveness, religious devotion, banishing, justice and karma. Her symbols are light and lunar emblems.  This Brazilian Goddess is the creatrix of all things. From Her home in the moon, Perimbo gently guides human life in benevolent ways. Balancing this kindness, She is also a Goddess of justice, meting out karmic punishment to teach important lessons when necessary.

During mid-October, the city of Belem in Brazil celebrates Círio de Nazaré and holds a parade in which people go barefoot, carrying weights and lights to banish evil, sin, and negativity from their lives.  To adapt this in a simple way and draw Perimbo’s benevolence into your living space, take a flashlight, candle, or long-stemmed match clockwise around your house, saying:

‘Perimbo, shine the light of fairness and devotion
throughout my home.’

Try to make sure the light reaches as many nooks and crannies as possible, symbolically banishing the shadows that hide there.

For a portable Perimbo charm to inspire equity in all your dealings, find a glow-in-the-dark image of the moon. Charge it up for several hours using sunlight or the flashlight from the previous spell, saying instead:

‘Perimbo, shine the light of fairness and devotion
throughout my life.’

Carry this in your pocket to radiate the Goddess’s power no matter where you may be.”

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

I only found a few references to today’s Goddess.  On Lowchensaustralia.com, it states: “Perimbo (Bakairi) Moon Goddess and supreme being who created the earth and all life on it. Wife of the moon god Poré.” [1]

Patricia Monaghan mentions Her in her book Encyclopedia of Goddesses and Heroines (a larger edition than the New Book of Goddesses and Heroines that I have in which Perimbo is not mentioned).  You can click here to read the preview, but the first page of the entry Her name is mentioned in is not included in the preview.

 

 

Sources:

Marks, Dominic. Lowchensaustralia.com,Goddess Names from Brazil: Perimbo“.

 

Suggested Links:

Encyclopedia of Religion Volume 13, “Yanoama and Mundurucú supreme beings” (p. 8577).

Goddess Nótt

“Nott” by Giovanni Caselli

“Nótt’s themes are learning, knowledge and communication. Her symbols are books, writing utensils and stars. A Teutonic Goddess of the night sky, Nótt generates artistic inspiration and knowledge. She refreshes those suffering from creative blockages and arouses new visions for any endeavor, especially when fall’s declining energies get the best of us. Myths portray Nótt as bearing the silver-studded night sky like a blanket across the dusk. Her chariot bears a frost mare, alluding to the moon.

Buchmesse is the world’s largest book fair for the publishing industry, featuring exhibitors from over ninety countries and attended by over two hundred thousand people. In this region of the world, book fairs have been around for over eight hundred years, making Germany one of the centers of world literacy.

For writers, today is the perfect time to ask for Nótt’s blessing on your efforts. Submit a poem, article, or manuscript to potential publishers. Write in your journal. Draft a meaningful ritual for improved creativity, and let Nótt’s energy guide your hand.

Alternatively, read a favorite poem or book – Nótt’s power is beneath those words – or make a book donation to the local library to honor this Goddess’s contribution to human civilization.

Finally, gather all your pens and pencils in a basket and empower them for all your writings by saying:

‘Nótt, inspire creativity
when taken to hand
then magic is free!'”

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

“Nótt” by Peter Nicolai Arbo.

“In Norse mythology, Nótt is night personified, grandmother of Thor. In both the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources, and the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson, Nótt is listed as the daughter of a figure by the name of Nörvi (with variant spellings) and is associated with the horse Hrímfaxi, while the Prose Edda features information about Nótt’s ancestry, including Her three marriages. Nótt’s third marriage was to the god Dellingr and this resulted in their son Dagr, the personified day (although some manuscript variations list Jörð as Dellingr’s wife and Dagr’s mother instead). As a proper noun, the word nótt appears throughout Old Norse literature.” [1]

Timelessmyths.com tells us that “Nott was the daughter of a giant named Norfi or Narfi, but two Eddaic poems called Nott’s father, Norr (not to be confused with Nór), primarily for reasons of alliteration.

Nott had three husbands, and had a child with each of Her husband. Her first husband was a giant, called Naglfari, and they had a son named Aud.

Her second husband was named Annar (Onar), who was probably also a giant, and they had a daughter, named Jörd (Earth), the mother of Thor.

Her last husband belonged to the Aesir and he was named Delling. Their son was named Day (Dag), god of day.

“Dagr” by Peter Nicolai Arbo

When the Aesir created the world, Odin gave a chariot to Her and another chariot to Her son Day. They travelled the sky, following one another, as day follow night. Her horse was called Hrimfaxi, ‘Frost-mane’, which caused dew from the horse’s bit. While Her son’s horse was called Skinfaxi, which means ‘Shining-mane’, because the mane was so radiant that it brought light to the world.” [2]

 

 

Sources:

Timelessmyths.com, “Nott“.

Wikipedia, “Nótt“.

 

Suggested Links:

Krasskova, Galina. Northernpaganism.org, “The Northern Sky: Praising Nott“.

Marks, Dominic. Lowchensaustralia.com, “Norse Goddess Names: Nott“.

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