Tag Archive: abundance


Goddess Takel

“Takel’s themes are banishing, health, protection, harvest, thankfulness and kinship. Her symbols are root crops. In Malaysia, this Goddess supports the heavens with a pillar from the center of Her creation, the Earth. Takel is the supreme Goddess of agriculture and its abundance. She comes to us at the end of the old year to keep us healthy and well provided for in the new.

Each December, people in Malaysia give thanks to the spirits for Takel’s abundance and the success of families, and they pray for ongoing health, protection and victory over any evils the may face. It is an example worth considering.

Follow Malaysian custom and consume Takel’s bounty today through luscious feasts. As you take the first slice or serving of any entrée, set it aside for the Goddess. Don’t forget to include root crops, especially yams or sweet potatoes, in your feast today. These are some of Takel’s sacred foods, and they will fill your heart with an abundance of love.

Later, after dinner has settled, dance in a joyful manner, being thankful for what you have instead of worrying about what you don’t. Takel will join you in that dance, and the energy it generates will empower the next year with health, prosperity and unity.”

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

Sorry guys – I could find no information on today’s Goddess, Takel.

 

 

 

Suggested Links:

Wikipedia, “Malaysian Chinese religion“.

Goddess Makar Sankranti

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“Makar Sankranti’s themes are blessings, offering, mediation, earth, sun, thankfulness, love, passion and abundance. Her symbols are water, light, soil and caves.  This is Makar Sankranti’s festival day, Pongol [actually from my research, it currently falls on January 14 – * see note below]. After many months of slumber, this mother Goddess awakens from the earth womb to restore love, abundance, and passion in our lives through sacred rituals, over which She presides.

Pongol is the Hindu word for Winter Solstice. It is a three-day harvest celebration with several ‘borrowable’ traditions that venerate both Makar Sankranti and the holiday. Begin with a ritual cleansing and blessing for your home in any manner suited to your tradition. This keeps relationships strong and banishes sickness. Bathing sacred cows today also brings prosperity. This might translate into washing the image of a cow, your images of the Goddess, or even a special coin to improve financial stability.

In terms of an offering for the Goddess, sweet rice is customary, followed by an afternoon of kite flying so that the burdens in your life will become as light as the wind! For people in four-season climates, it might be too cold for kite flying today, so just release a little of the Goddess’s soil to the wind and ask Her to take your problems away, replacing them with solid relationships and success.”

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

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Makar Sankranti is a very popular festival in India and is celebrated in almost all parts of the country in myriad cultural forms, with great devotion, fervour and gaiety.  According to Hindu calendar, Makar Sankranti occurs when sun changes its direction northwards from Dhanu Rashi (Sagittarius) to enter the Makar Rashi (Capricorn) in the month of Poush. Makar Sankranti is considered very auspicious day and it is believed any sacred ritual or task can be started or performed on this day and it will be fruitful.  It marks the beginning of harvesting season and end of chilly winter season. [1]

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Sankranti is also considered a Goddess. According to Ramona Taylor, “there are several legends associated with this very special holiday.  One such legend relates to Sankranti, the deity who is linked to the motion of the Sun and the energy derived from the orb. As the tale goes, Sankranti slayed a demon, Sankarasur, on this specific day which is now celebrated as Makar Sankranti. [The next day She slayed the demon Kinkarasur, hence the day is called Kinkrant or Karidin].

Another legend regarding this harvest season holiday relates to Bhishma, the revered demigod born of the River Goddess, Ganga and a king. A gifted archer and devoted soul, Bhishma lived for more than three centuries. In the battlefield of Kurukshetra, the great warrior Bhishma was mortally wounded, but he held onto life until the start of Uttarayana. Once the sun had entered Makar, the great warrior died. It is believed that if a person dies on this day, their soul is released from the birth/rebirth cycle and joins with the Almighty.” [2]

 

 

 

 

* Note ~  “It is scientifically said that around December 21 – 22 is the shortest day of the year. After that the day span usually gets longer.  Hence, Winter Solstice actually begins around this date when the tropical sun moves into the Makar rashi or Capricorn zodiac sign.  Thus, the real Uttarayana is on December 21st.   Initially, it was considered as the actual date of Makar Sankranti too.  However, the earth’s lean of 23.45 degrees caused Makar Sankranti to slither further over the years.  History of Makar Sankranti says that almost 1000 years ago it was celebrated on 31st of December.  Presently, according to the Hindu Solar calendar, January 14th is the celebration date of Maker Sankranti.” [3]

 

 

 

Sources:

Dhingra, Mamta. Ezinearticles.com, “Makar Sankranti Significance“.

Hindu Janajagruti Samiti. Hindujagruti.org, “Makar Sankranti Festival“.

Jupiter Infomedia Ltd. Indianetzone.com, “History of Makar Sankranti“.

Taylor, Ramona. Voices.yahoo.com, “The Festival of Makar Sankranti“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Hindu Janajagruti Samiti. Hindujagruti.org, “Makar Sankranti Festival” (HIGHLY RECOMMEND! Includes Methods of celebration and Culture & Festivities).

Of-india.com, “Makar Sankranthi – The Winter Festival“.

Goddess Gujeswari

“Anapurnadevi – Hindu Goddess of Abundance” by Geoglyphiks

“Gujeswari’s themes are Earth, water, abundance, offering and prayer. Her symbol is a bowl of water. Gujeswari is a potent Nepalese Goddess of Earth and all its bounty, and today is Her festival day, known as Gujeswari Jatra. In many temples, the Goddess’s presence is represented by a simple bowl of water, the life-giving substance and purifier of body, mind and spirit.

Buddhists and Hindus in this region honor the mother Goddess Gujeswari today by giving Her offerings, usually preceded by fasting and prayer.  Follow this example, and put a bowl of fresh water on your altar or a special place where it won’t be disturbed for the day. If physically feasible, abstain from eating one meal today to honor the Earth and Gujeswari’s goodness by returning (or preserving) some of that bounty. Otherwise, simply abstain from a favorite food for the day as a kind of sacred sacrifice.

At the end of the day, just before you go to bed, sprinkle the water from the bowl around your living space. First, go counter-clockwise to banish negative energy that hinders free-flowing blessings. Then go clockwise, allowing Gujeswari’s water to cleanse and renew the ambiance in every room.  If you have some left over, sprinkle your pets (for health), your car (for safety in travel), and children’s beds (to protect them from nightmares), and dab some on mechanical objects to keep them working smoothly.”

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

I really couldn’t find anything on today’s Goddess or the festival; it seems as if this Goddess and festival are some big secret.  The only information I could find was on a temple called Guhyeshwari Temple, that I had initially assumed would be dedicated to Her.  “Guhyeshwari Temple, also spelled Guheswari or Guhjeshwari, is one of the revered holy temples in KathmanduNepal. This temple is dedicated to Adi Shakti. This refers to the popular legend where Shiva distressed was carrying the corpse of Devi Sati and Vishnu annihilated it with his Sudarshan Chakra. Shiva later declared the 51 such places where Devi Sati’s body parts fell to be worshipped as the Shakti Peethas and meditated at all these places as various forms of Bhairavas. The place where Devi Sati’s knees fell is Guheswari in Kathmandu. In Nepal the form of Shakti is Mahashira and the form of Bhairava is Kapali. King Pratap Malla built this temple in the 17th century.

The temple name originates from guhya (cave) and ishwari (goddess). Non-Hindus are not allowed to enter this temple.

Guheswari Temple is located near Pashupatinath Temple. It represents female force.” [1]

  

In another piece I read on nepal.com, it states: “The two main religions in Nepal are Hinduism and Buddhism and very often worshipers from the two faiths intermingle at temples and shrines. This sort of interfaith is practiced throughout the country though really each person is worshiping his or her equivalent of the god to which the temple or shrine is dedicated. There are a few exceptions to this intermingling of believers though and the Guheswari Temple is one of them. The temple is strictly a Hindu temple and all non-Hindus – whether the person is Christian, Buddhist or from some other faith – are not allowed access to the temple courtyard let alone the temple itself.

The Guheswari Temple in Nepal is a very sacred temple which is dedicated to the Goddess Parvati. The name ‘Guheswari’ is sometimes also spelled ‘Guhyeshwari’ or ‘Guhjeshwari’. The temple has a strong sexual connotation that is not only linked to its fabled beginning but also to its name. According to legend the wife of Lord Shiva, Parvati, sacrificed Her life by burning Herself to death in Her father’s ritual fire. Her distressed husband then chose to wander the world, carrying the body of his dead wife as he did so. As he passed over the spot where the Guheswari Temple is located today it is said that Her ‘yoni’, or female sex symbol, fell to the earth. In the 1653 King Pratap Malla saw fit to restore the magnificent Gushewari Temple. This temple represented the female force that Parvati was the very embodiment of.

Guhyeshwari (Guhjeshwari) Temple by goutammitra

The Guheswari Temple is located in Kathmandu not far from the Pashupatinath Temple. The actual temple does not house any images of the legendary Goddess but there are a lot of other things here worth seeing. The building is ornate and beautiful and the worship of the people here is usually very sincere and touching. Many believe this to be the temple to go to in order to pray for marital fidelity and a lot of different Hindus will make the trip here to ensure that their marriages do not suffer.” [2]

Several other articles I read also said that this is where Her yoni had fallen.  This makes more sense to me as when you break Guheswari down: guhya (cave) and ishwari (goddess) – the cave is a very earthy and primordial symbol of the womb; which is exclusively female – making it a female force.   Also, I found that “devotees offer wine, eggs etc. in a holy orifice which has been regarded as the place of  worship since times immemorial.” [3]  Again, eggs being a very feminine symbol and this holy orifice symbolizing the yoni.

“Yoni” by ~aerphis

So, in conclusion, I do not believe that Gujeswari is a Goddess per se, but more of a primal force, aspect or attribute of Parvati, who is considered as complete incarnation of Adi Parashakti (who is considered to be truly spirit without form – the Great Divine Mother Goddess, the source of all other Goddesses).  Good stuff to wrap your head around, eh?

 

 

 

Sources:

Geneeyuss-placesofpilgrimageofnepal.blogspot.com, “GUHESWARI TEMPLE“.

Nepal.com, “Guheswari Temple“.

Wikipedia, “Guhyeshwari Temple“.

 

Suggested Links:

Nkdedhann.com, “List of 51 Shakti Peetha of Goddess Durga“.

Wikipedia, “Adi Parashakti“.

Wikipedia, “Mother Goddess [Hinduism]“.

Goddess Spes

“Gathering Flowers” by Albert Lynch

“Spes’ themes are thankfulness, hope, abundance and harvest. Her symbols are a bouquet of flowers. In Roman tradition, this Goddess’s name means ‘hope’. She joins us today to celebrate the successful harvest and keep our hearts hopeful as the earth’s plenty wanes. In art, Spes often appears as a simple bundle of flowers whose beauty inspires the most distraught of spirits.

Follow pilgrim tradition and set aside time today to thank the Goddess for Her blessings in any way that seems suited to your path and vision. For example, give Spes an offering of the first slice of holiday bread, share food with those in need, or perhaps treat the birds and squirrels in your neighborhood to some bread and nuts.

Locally we invite any friends who have no family nearby to join with us in a delightful symbolic meal. Serve round rye bread and dill dip for unity and kinship, sweet potatoes for life’s sweetness and Spes’s harvest energies, cranberries mixed with oranges to keep our energy and health intact, vegetables for firm foundations, and pumpkin pie with magical sigils carved in the crust for the Goddess’s protective spark. If you look at your own traditional menu, I’ll bet you will find many other foods and beverages that have similar symbolism to bring meaning and Spes’s magic to your table for this holiday. As you eat, remember to pass all the food and beverages clockwise to invoke Spes’s ongoing providence.”

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

“Pandora” by Marta Dahlig

Patricia Monaghan told us that Spes was “an early Cretan Goddess called Elphis in Greece. She was the one force left in the box of Pandora after evil had escaped into the world.  Spes was ruler of the Underworld and of death’s cousin, sleep; Her plant was the poppy, but otherwise nothing is known of Her legends and meaning.  In Greece and Rome, Spes became the personification of hope, worshiped in temples dedicated to Her as early as the fourth century B.C.E.” ( p. 285).

On theodora.com, it states that “Spes, in Roman mythology, the personification of Hope. Originally a nature Goddess (like Venus the garden Goddess, with whom She was sometimes identified *), She represented at first the hope of fruitful gardens and fields, then of abundant offspring, and lastly of prosperity to come and good fortune in general, being hence invoked on birthdays and at weddings. Of Her numerous temples at Rome, the most ancient was appropriately in the forum olitorium (vegetable market), built during the first Punic War, and since that time twice burnt down and restored.

The day of its dedication (August 1) corresponded with the birthday of Claudius, which explains the frequent occurrence of Spes on the coins of that emperor. Spes is represented as a beautiful maiden in a long light robe, lifting up Her skirt with Her left hand, and carrying in Her right a bud already closed or about to open. Sometimes She wears a garland of flowers on Her head, ears of corn and poppy-heads in Her hand, symbolical of a prosperous harvest.

Like Fortuna, with whom She is often coupled in inscriptions on Roman tombstones, She was also represented with the cornu copiae (horn of plenty).

* “See G. Wissowa, Religion and Kultus der Romer (1902), according to whom Spes was originally not a garden Goddess, but simply the divinity to whom one prayed for the fulfilment of one’s desires.” [2]  In my opinion, that would seem to support Monaghan’s statement that “nothing is known of Her legends and meaning.”  My interpretation is that She was just that – Hope – a personification of hope and “the divinity to whom one prayed for the fulfillment of desires.”

“Angel” by Dawn Wilson-Enoch

 

 

Sources:

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

Theodora.com,  “Spes“.

 

Suggested Links:

Forumancientcoins.com, “Spes – the Personification of Hope“.

Theoi.com, “Elpis“.

Took, Thalia. The Obscure Goddess Online Directory, “Fortuna of Good Hope“.

Wikipedia, “Spes“.

Goddess Dharani

“Dharani’s themes are luck, abundance, wealth and beginnings. Her symbols are baskets (filled), basil (sacred plant), rice and seedlings.  In Indian mythology, Dharani is the wealth-providing, luck-bringing, abundant aspect of Lakshmi. This prosperity, which She freely offers to us when our storehouses grow scant, is potently portrayed in artistic renderings, which show Her with an overflowing basket of rice or seedlings.

Around this time of year, people in India celebrate Diwali, a festival of lights, which is the beginning of the Hindu new year. This festival also venerates Dharani in the hopes of getting the new year off to a really good start.

To invoke Dharani’s good fortune, wash your floors, car, shoes, pets, and/or clothing with basil water to rid yourself of any lingering bad luck. Since basil is Dharani’s sacred herb, it banishes any energy of which the Goddess doesn’t approve!

Light candles carved with your personal good-luck emblems to that the shadows in your life will be free. When the flam melts the image, Dharani’s magic for good fortune is released (if you like, anoint that with a little basil oil, too).

Finally, to bless anyone visiting your home or desk today, fill a basket with rice cakes, offering some to any passers-by. This way you share the wealth and allow the Goddess to bring Her prosperity to many more lives.”

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

“Bumi Devi @ Mother Earth” by Q. Arlene

While researching this Goddess, I found that She was an avatar of Lakshmi and apparently a minor Goddess.  “Dharani (also dharini), in Hinduism as mentioned in epic and Puranic texts, is a Goddess, the consort of Parasurama (the sixth avatar of Vishnu), and avatar of Goddess Laksmi.

In Buddhism, dharani is the collective name for a group of deities; twelve personifications of a particular type of mystic religious text used as a charm.” [1]

On Exoticindiaart.com, I found that while “Kamala is denotative of [Lakshmi’s] form as Lotus Goddess; Dharini [is] suggestive of Her immense power to bear, is denotative of the earth and thus of Her Bhoodevi form.” [2]

 

 

 

Sources:

Exoticindiaart.com, “Lakshmi – The Lotus Goddess“.

Lowchensaustralia.com, “Indian Goddesses – D“.

Themystica.org, “Dharani“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Biharlokmanch.org, “About Lakshmi and her various Avatars“.

Lotussculpture.com, “Lakshmi – The Hindu Goddess of Wealth“.

Took, Thalia. A-Muse-ing Grace Gallery, “Sri Lakshmi“.

Goddess Tatsuta-Hime

“Oriental Autumn” by ~OzureFlame

“Tatsuta-Hime’s themes are children, health, luck, thankfulness, autumn, blessings, abundance and protection. Her symbols are Fall leaves.  This windy Japanese Goddess blows into our lives today offering blessings and abundance for all our efforts. Tradition tells us that She weaves the Fall leaves into a montage of color, then sweeps them away along with any late-fall maladies. Sailors often wear an amulet bearing Her name to weather difficult storms at sea safely.

The Shichi-go-San Festival, also known as the 7-5-3 Festival, in Japan is a huge birthday celebration for children who have reached these ages. Parents take their young ones to local shrines for the Goddess’ and Gods’ blessings. Here they receive a gift of rice for prosperity, and a bit of pink hard candy for a long life.

If you have children, by all means follow this custom to draw Tatsuta-Hime’s protective energies into their lives. Place some rice, a piece of pink candy, and a strand of the child’s hair in a little sealed box. Write the Goddess’s name somewhere on the box to keep her blessing intact. Put this in the child’s room or on the family altar.

To manifest this Goddess’s health and well-being, take several swatches of fabric bearing her name and sew them into various items of clothing, or carry on in your pocket. Should your day prove emotionally stormy, this little charm will keep you centered, calm, and ‘on course’.”

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

“Aeris: Air” by AkinaSaita

Though Tatsuta-Hime (pronounced tat-SUE-tah HEE-may) is a minor wind Goddess, Her essence and actions are unforgettable.  It is said that each year Tatsuta-Hime, Goddess of dyeing and weaving, dyes silk yarn and weaves a beautiful multicolored tapestry of yellow, orange, russet, crimson and gold.  She then incarnated Herself as wind and blew Her own work to shreds.  According to Janet and Stewart Farrar, Her male counterpart is Tatsuta-Hiko and is prayed to for good harvests.

 

 

 

Sources:

Farrar, Janet & Stewart. The Witches’ Goddess.

Goddesses-and-gods.blogspot.com, “Tatsuta-Hime“.

Hathaway, Nancy. The Friendly Guide to Mythology, “Tatsuta-Hime“.

Monaghan, Patricia. The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines, “Tatsuma-Hime”.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Darumamuseumgallery.blogspot.com, “Four Seasons Deities“.

Satow, Sir Earnest Mason & A.G.S. Hawes. A Handbook for Travelers in central and northern Japan, “Tatta“, (p. 386).

Shine Tsu-Hiko.

Goddess Feronia

“Fire goddess” by ~Nigith

“Feronia’s themes are fertility, abundance, earth, freedom, sports and recreation. Her symbols are fire and coals.  This Roman fire Goddess provides fertility and abundance during even the harshest of times. When boredom sets in, she arrives with arms bearing festive energies and earth’s riches as a ‘pick-me-up’. According to Roman tradition, She is also the patroness and liberator of slaves, or of anything that allegorically enslaves us.

Every November 13, the Plebeian games opened in Rome with all manners of sport competitions. This festival also honored the Goddess Feronia and her liberating nature.  Mirroring this theme, get outside and do something physical to release any anger or tension you bear. Give it into Feronia’s care so She can transform it into healthful energy.

Carry a piece of coal today to generate a little of Feronia’s abundance in all your efforts. Keeping this near your stove (or any fire source, like the heater) maintains this Goddess’s energy in your home year-round. If a day comes when you have a really pressing need, burn the coal in Feronia’s liberating flames to release the magic for fast manifestation.

If you find your inner reserves waning with the winter’s darkness, light a candle sometime today to invoke Feronia’s vitality. Better still, light it for a few minutes each day until you feel your energy returning.”

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

“Feronia was a Goddess broadly associated with fertility and abundance. She was especially honored among plebeians and freedmen. Her festival, the Feroniae, was November 13, during the Ludi Plebeii (“Plebeian Games“), in conjunction with Fortuna Primigenia; both were Goddesses of Praeneste.” [1]

“Goddess of Fire” by ~kepper

Patricia Monaghan wrote that “far from the growing cities of Italy, this solitary Goddess made Her simple home in woodlands like those at Campania or at the foot of mountains like Soracte.  She may date to the era before Rome some believe She is a vestigial Etruscan Goddess, powerful enough to maintain Her own identity after Roman conquest, for Her major sanctuaries were in the central Italian areas where the Etruscans once lived.  Orchards and fields, volcanoes and thermal springs were Her abode, for She was a fire Goddess ruling the heat of reproductive life as well as the fires beneath the earth’s crust.  At Her festivals on the Ides of November, great fairs were held and first fruits offered; freedom was bestowed on slaves; men walked barefoot across coals to the cheering of crowds.

Art by Elena Dudina

The energy of Feronia could not be contained within cities, and Her sanctuaries were therefore in the open country.  So unsociable was She that when Her Campanian forest shrine once burned and Her worshipers planned to remove Her temple to the safety of a town, the Goddess instantly restored the charred trees to leafy greenness” (p. 124 – 125).

 

 

Sources:

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

Wikipedia, “Feronia (mythology)“.

 

Suggested Links:

Illes, Judika. Judikailles.com, “Feronia“.

Mythindex.com, “Feronia“.

Sacred-texts.com, “Chapter III: Feronia“.

 

Goddess Phra Naret

“Phra Naret’s themes are water, wishes, abundance, wealth, prosperity, beauty and luck. Her symbols are candles, boats and water.  In Thailand (formerly Siam), Phra Naret is the Goddess of good fortune, prosperity and beauty. Having been born of water, She flows into today’s festivities, Loi Krathong, with fertility, abundance and wealth.

The charming festival of Loi Krathong includes the launching of small boats filled with candles, incense, coins and gardenias on a nearby river. According to tradition, should the candle stay lit until it flows out of sight, the launcher’s wish will come true.  You can re-create this by using a stream of hose water, a raft of popsicle sticks or plywood, and whatever tokens you want to give to Phra Naret to generate Her luck in manifesting your wish. Just make sure you choose biodegradable items, since you need to let the raft flow out of your site so the magic can release itself. Anyone finding the wish boat will also be blessed with a wish and a little of Phra Naret’s prosperity.

Drink plenty of fresh water to internalize Phra Naret’s positive attributes today, and wash your floors with plain water so that Her abundance and fertility will be absorbed into every part of your home.  If you have plants, remember to give them a little water today too, so they can grow with this Goddess’s profusion.”

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

According to mythologydictionary.com, Phra Naret is the name for Lakshmi in Thailand. [1]  All I could really find on the name Phra Naret was that She is one of the 345 listed agricultural and fertility Goddesses of Southeast Asia (Tho, p. 19 – 20).

 

 

Sources:

Mythologydictionary.com, “Thai Lore, Gods, Demigods, Heroes, Symbols, and Other Famous Mythological Characters: Phra Naret“.

Tho, Nguyen Ngoc. Goddess Beliefs in the Chinese Lingnan Area.

 

Suggested Links:

Graham, Walter Armstrong. Siam: a handbook of practical, commercial and political information.

Gray, Louis Herbert. The Mythology of All Races, Vol. 12.

Goddess Vasudhara

“Vasudhara” by Sundar Sinkhwal

“Vasudhara’s themes are religious devotion, charity, thankfulness and abundance. Her symbols are cows and golden items. In India, this golden-breasted earth Goddess provides us with enough abundance to be able to give back freely of what we receive. Vasushara’s golden color alludes to some solar attributes, including manifesting financial prosperity for those who call upon Her. In Her wealth-giving aspect, Vasudhara sometimes appears as a cow.

Around this date, many churches in the United States and Canada begin their annual fund-raising campaign by asking parishioners to give back a little of what the divine has given them.  While many New Age practitioners don’t belong to a church, this idea still holds merit and would please Vasudhara greatly. Donate a little money to a pagan defense fund, for example.  Put on something gold to draw the Goddess’s prosperity back to you, then buy some good magic books for your library. The proceeds indirectly ‘give back’ to the teachers whom you admire through royalties!

If your schedule allows, stop in at your favorite New Age store and volunteer an hour of your time to give back to the community. Write thank-you letters to people who have somehow touched your life deeply. Should any of these people live nearby, help them with chores or bring them a special dish for dinner.  These acts of kindness are a type of stewardship that reflects Vasushara’s spirit by blessing others.”

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

A Newari Representation of Vasudhara

From Wikipedia: “Vasudhārā whose name means ‘stream of gems’ in Sanskrit, is the Buddhist bodhisattva of wealth, prosperity, and abundance. She is popular in many Buddhist countries and is a subject in Buddhist legends and art. Originally an Indian bodhisattva, Her popularity has spread to southern Buddhist countries. Her popularity, however, peaks in Nepal where She has a strong following among the Buddhist Newars of the Kathmandu Valley and is thus a central figure in Newar Buddhism.  She is named Shiskar Apa in Lahul and Spiti.

The origin of Vasudhārā in Buddhism appears in the Buddhist text The Vasudhara Dharani.  According to a legend in the text known as ‘The Inquiry of the Layman Sucandra,’ an impoverished layman named Sucandra approaches the Buddha Shakyamuni requesting a way to obtain large amounts gold, grain, silver, and gems in order to feed his large family and engage in acts of charity with the surplus fortune. Shakyamuni, aware of a mantra about the bodhisattva Vasudhara that would suit his purposes, bestows Sucandra with an incantation and religious ritual that when followed would result in good fortune and prosperity brought on by Vasudhara Herself. Upon commencing the rituals and teaching them to others, Sucandra begins to prosper. Noticing his success, the monk Ananda asked Shakyamuni how he had obtained this fortune so quickly. Shakyamuni instructs Ananda to also practice the Vasudhara Dharani and ‘impart it to others ‘for the good of many’.’

Although ‘The Inquiry of the Layman Sucandra’ seems to contradict the Buddha’s renunciation of material possessions and earthly pleasures, Shakyamuni does not instruct the monk to recite the mantra for material benefit but instead he stresses that the mantra is for ‘the good of many’ and for ‘the happiness of many’.  Thus the mantra is meant more as means of alleviating suffering rather than obtaining wealth through Vasudhara, who not only grants physical wealth and abundance but also spiritual wealth and abundance. Click here to continue reading about Her legends from Taranatha.

Like the legend of the ‘Inquiry of the Layman Sucandra’ these legends are significant because they encourage both the lay and monastic worship of Vasudhara.  In addition, they stress the importance of charity, teaching worshippers to share in their good fortune rather than amassing it for themselves.

Vasudhara [Tib. Norgyun(ma)]

In Buddhist art, Vasudhara has a consistent iconography. She can easily be identified as a bodhisattva by the elaborate headdress and the extensive amount of jewelry she wears.  Her skin has a golden hue in bronze and painted images. This color is associated with precious metals and symbolizes opulence, fertility, and generosity in Buddhist iconography. Vasudhara is typically seated on a lotus flower base in the lalitasana, or royal pose, with one foot tucked in towards her and the other hanging of the flower base but resting on a small treasure.  She can, however, also be represented in a standing position.  When standing, Vasudhara has a full vase representing abundance underneath each foot.

Despite this consistency in Her representations, the number of Her arms may differ from image to image. In visual representations, Vasudhara can have as few as two arms and as many as six. The two-armed representations are more common in Tibetan art and Indian art, while six-armed representations are almost exclusive to Nepalese art.  Although the six-armed image originates in India, they are rare and only few examples have been found.

In Her hands, Vasudhara holds a variety of objects attributed to Her. Most representations show Her holding a sheaf of corn in Her left hand, symbolizing an abundant harvest.  She may also be holding a gem or small treasure, a symbol of wealth. Representations with more arms, such as the six-armed Nepali representation, also depict Her holding a full vase and the Book of Wisdom. With Her free hands, Vasudhara performs mudras. A commonly seen mudra in paintings and figurines featuring Vasudhara is the varada mudra, also known as the charity mudra, which symbolizes the ‘pouring forth of divine blessings.’ Vasudhara is the subject of numerous bronzes and paintings. She is predominantly the central figure of bronze sculptures or painted mandalas. She may also, however, appear alongside Her consort, Vaiśravaṇa (Jambhala) the Buddhist God of Riches. Despite his status, She surpasses him in popularity and is more commonly the central figure of Her own mandalas.

Vasudhara is particularly popular in Nepali Buddhism among the Buddhist Newars of the Kathmandu Valley. In this region she is a common household deity. This is known from the countless number of bronzes and paintings found representing Her. These images are small in size, typically 18 cm or smaller.  Because of their small size it is known that these images were primarily for private use, namely household veneration of the Goddess. Additionally, there is a cult dedicated to Her worship followed by the Buddhist Newars.  Followers of this cult believe that Her worship brings wealth and stability. Despite the strong following of this cult by the Buddhist Newars, unfortunately, it is now in decline.

As the Bodhisattva of abundance and prosperity, Her popularity in this region is due to the predominance of agriculture and trade essential to the economy of the Kathmandu Valley.  The Newars believe that Her veneration will generally result in good fortune.

One of the earliest Nepalese representations of Vasudhara is a pauhba (textile art depicting Hindu and Buddhist images on course cotton), dating back to 1015 C.E.  This pauhba is known as the Mandala of Vasudhara. The Goddess is the central image of this mandala, which depicts scenes of dedication, ritual initiation, festive music, and dance associated with Her worship. Its purpose is didactic (to teach). The mandala teaches the importance of worshipping Vasudhara primarily through the narrative of a non-believer whom She converted to belief.

In addition to Her popularity in Nepal, Vasudhara is also an important ‘wealth deity’ in Tibetan Buddhism.  Although popular in Tibet, Vasudhara does not assume as important of a role as She does in Nepalese Buddhism. In Tibet, the worship of Vasudhara is limited to mostly lay people as opposed to worship by both lay and monastic life. This is because Tibetan monastic life regards Vasudhara as a ‘benefactor of the laity’ and instead primarily engages in the worship of the Goddess Tara for all their needs.  This, however, does not mean that monastic life disregards Her completely. They do perform rites and rituals to the Goddess habitually but it is usually at the request of a patron.

The iconography of Vasudhara varies slightly in this region. In Tibetan art She appears more commonly with two arms. The six-armed representations, however, also exist and it is believed they filtered into Tibet through Nepal because of the late appearance of these images in manuscripts and art.  Unlike Nepalese art, Vasudhara rarely appears alone in Tibetan art. Instead She is paired with Jambhala or appears alongside other deities.  Despite these slight differences, most of Her iconography remains unchanged and Vasudhara can be easily recognized by Her attributes in most Buddhist art.

Vasudhara is often compared to the Hindu goddess Lakshmi. As Goddesses of wealth, both deities have a similar iconography and are worshipped for their role in an abundant harvest.  Both assume a golden hue in artistic representations, perform the same mudra, and hold similar objects. For example, Vasudhara and Lakshmi are often depicted holding gems or having pots of treasure under their feet. It is believed that the convention of depicting Vasudhara standing on vases originated from earlier representations of Lakshmi.  Furthermore, both Goddesses are often depicted paired with their respective consorts, Lakshmi alongside Vishnu and Vasudhara alongside Jambhala.” [1]

“Invite Vasudhara into your home, offer Her flowers and water, and recite Her mantra daily to invite wealth and abundance into your life. Her mantra is: OM SHRI VASUDHARA RATNA NIDHANA KASHETRI SOHA.” [2]

Sources:

Fsmegamall.com, “Bejeweled Vasudhara – Goddess of Wealth and Abundance“.

Wikipedia, “Vasudhara“.

 

Suggested Links:

Huntington, John C. & Dina Bangdel. The Circle of Bliss: Buddhist Meditational Art, “125| Vasundhara“.

Isley, A. Krishna. Krishna76.deviantart.com, “Vasundhara in Vajrayana Buddhi“. (An excellent academic essay!)

News.richmond.edu, “Religion professor researches Buddhist goddesses of Tibet“.

Shaw, Miranda Eberle. Buddhist Goddesses of India.

Smithsonian Institution. Asia.si.edu, “Devi: The Great Goddess“.

Goddess Tellus Mater

“Mother Earth” by *MD-Arts

“Tellus Mater’s themes are earth, ecology, promises, abundance, prosperity and fertility. Her symbols are the globe, soil and grain.  The Roman Earth Mother celebrates today’s festivities, the Earth’s Birthday, by sharing of Her abundance, being a Goddess of vegetation, reproduction, and increase. In regional stories, Tellus Mater gave birth to humans, which is why bodies are returned to the soil at death – so they can be reborn from Her womb anew.

According to James Ussher, a seventeenth-century Anglican archbishop, God created the earth on October 26, 4004 B.C.E. While this date is uncertain at best, it gives us a good excuse to honor Tellus Mater and hold a birthday party on Her behalf.

Make a special cake for the Earth Mother out of natural fertilizers. Take this to a natural setting (don’t forget the candle). Light the candle and wish for the earth’s renewal, then blow it out, remove the candle, and bury your gift to Tellus Mater in the soil, where it can begin manifesting your good wishes!

While you’re outside, pick up a pinch of soil, a stone, or any natural object that strikes your eye and keep it close. This is a part of Tellus Mater, and it will maintain her power for abundance wherever you go today. It will also help you stay close to the Earth Mother and honor the living spirit of earth in word and deed.”

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

“In ancient Roman religion and myth, Tellus or Terra Mater (‘Mother Earth’) is a Goddess of the earth. Although Tellus and Terra are hardly distinguishable during the Imperial eraTellus was the name of the original earth Goddess in the religious practices of the Republic or earlier.  The scholar Varro (1st century BCE) lists Tellus as one of the di selecti, the twenty principal gods of Rome, and one of the twelve agricultural deities.  She is regularly associated with Ceres in rituals pertaining to the earth and agricultural fertility.

Tellus/Pax panel of Ara Pacis

The attributes of Tellus were the cornucopia, or bunches of flowers or fruit. She was typically depicted reclining.  Her male complement was a sky god such as Caelus (Uranus) or a form of Jupiter. A male counterpart Tellumo or Tellurus is mentioned, though rarely. Her Greek counterpart is Gaia (Gē Mâtēr), and among the Etruscans She was Cel. Michael Lipka has argued that the Terra Mater who appears during the reign of Augustus is a direct transferral of the Greek Ge Mater into Roman religious practice, while Tellus, whose temple was within Rome’s sacred boundary (pomerium), represents the original earth Goddess cultivated by the state priests.” [1]

Patricia Monaghan tells us: “The Roman ‘Mother Earth’ was honored each April 15 [Fordicidia], when a pregnant cow was sacrificed and its unborn calf burned.  The Romans tried to offer appropriate tribute to each divinity and they felt that the earth – pregnant in spring with sprouting plants – would especially appreciate such a sacrifice.

“Ceres” by ~rebenke

Tellus’ constant companion was Ceres, the grain Goddess, and the two of them interested themselves not only in vegetative reproduction but in humanity’s increase as well.  Therefore, they were invoked at every marriage that they might bless it with offspring.  Tellus too was considered the most worthy Goddess on whom to swear oaths, for the earth, witnessing all doings on Her surface, would see that an oath taker kept his promise.  Finally, Tellus, to whom the bodies of the dead were returned as to a womb, was the motherly death Goddess, for unlike Her Greek counterpart Gaia, Tellus was associated with the underworld as well as the earth’s surface” (p. 293 – 294).

“Nerthus” by MarisVision

On a side note, “the identity of the Goddess Nerthus, called Terra Mater, Mother Earth by Tacitus in Germania, has been a topic of much scholarly debate.”  Click here to read a fantastic article by William Reaves entitled “Nerthus: Toward an Identification”.

 

 

 

Sources:

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

Reaves, William P. “Nerthus: Toward an Identification“.

Wikipedia, “Terra (mythology)“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Berger, Pamela C. Goddess Obscured: Transformation of the Grain Protectress from Goddess to Saint.

GardenStone. The Nerthus Claim.

Lipka, Michael. Roman Gods: A Conceptual Approach.

Novaroma.org, “Fordicidia“.

Took, Thalia. Thaliatook.com, “Cels“.

Wikipedia, “Fordicidia“.

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