Tag Archive: angels


Goddess Bamya

“Bamya’s themes are victory, banishing, protection and overcoming. Her symbols are light and fire.  In Zoroastrian tradition, this Goddess guides the sun god Mithra’s vehicle through the sky. More important, as the Goddess of twilight, Her presence signals the beginning of today’s festival, Sada.

As the sun sets in Iran today, a huge bonfire will be ignited near a water source to symbolize the power of light to overcome darkness and the power of good over evil. For us this means accepting our power and potential to overcome and obstacles that life may bring in any season.

Too often our lives seem overwhelmed with obligations, and we find ourselves feeling lost in the seething sea of humanity. Bamya’s counsel today is to learn how to swim in that sea by recognizing the ability of one person to truly make a difference – be it within yourself, in the life of another, in a specific situation, or in the world.

At sunset today, light an orange candle (or another one the color of twilight) and greet Bamya with a prayer like this:

“Lady of the gentle twilight, I welcome you
As the sun sets on this day
let things from the past
that I no longer need
also fade away
Teach me to leave them behind
as easily as you leave behind the daylight
As darkness falls
grant rest to my unsettled spirit
so that I can rise tomorrow
renewed and whole
Bamya be with me.
Amen.”

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

The few sites that I found that mentioned Bamya pretty much stated the same thing: “In Zoroastrian tradition, this Goddess guides the sun god Mithra’s vehicle through the sky. Also the Goddess of twilight.” [1]

In the The Complete Book of Muslim and Parsi Names, it states “Bāmyā: (Av) 1. shining; radiant; repsplendent. 3. deity of dawn who guides the vehicle of Mithra; epithet of the Fravashis.” [2]  Also in this book, under Hvare, it states: Hvare: (Av) 1. sun. 3. deity of the sun who is considered fairest of Mazda‘s creations and is considered to purify the earth and all things therein.  He is distinguished for powers of observation.  His chariot is drawn by Bamya.” [3]  Neither one of these entries mention whether this deity is male or female.

"Ushas" by Lisa Hunt

“Ushas” by Lisa Hunt

From the book Spiritual Body, Celestial Earth from Mazdean Iran to Shi’ite Iran, I found this entry: Siroza…Here we might mention other figures of ‘feminine Angels,’ in connection with Daena and Ashi Vanuhi;…Bamya (beaming, radiant), who drives the chariot of Mithra and the third night after death appears to the sacred soul when Mithra climbs the mountain; in Manicheism, She becomes the ‘Friend of Light’, Ushah, who bears the very name dawn; Ushahina, the special Angel of the hours between midnight and the moment the stars become visible” (Corbin, p. 280).

Sources:

Corbin, Henry. Spiritual Body, Celestial Earth from Mazdean Iran to Shi’ite Iran.

Gandhi, Maneka & Ozair Husain. The Complete Book of Muslim and Parsi Names, “Bāmyā“.

Gandhi, Maneka & Ozair Husain. The Complete Book of Muslim and Parsi Names, “Hvare“.

Levigilant.com, Gods List B., “Bamya“.

Suggested Links:

Bharucha, Ervad Sheriarji Dadabhai. A Brief Sketch of the Zoroastrian religion & customs, (p.xxxvii).

Hurst, George Leopold. Sacred Literature, (p. 85).

Iranpoliticsclub.net, “Persian Mythology, Gods and Goddesses“.

West, M.L. Indo-European Poetry and Myth, (p. 129).

Goddess Axtis

art by Hojatollah Shakiba ?

“Axtis’ themes are peace, justice and victory. Her symbols are white items, peace signs, charms and tokens. This Iranian Goddess’s name means ‘victorious peace’ – peace with ourselves, each other, and the world. The victory here comes from finding the right opportunity to create symmetry where only discord once dwelled.

Celebrated by Church Women United, World Community Day encourages world peace and justice through proactive community service. Axtis’s spirit permeates this festival and provides heartfelt comfort before winter moves into full swing.

To honor this idea and Axtis, do something in your area to likewise engender harmony. Help two warring neighbors take the first step toward understanding. Get involved in a community campaign to improve local laws so they’re equitable. Make a donation to any organization dedicated to fostering international peace.  Meditate to find Axtis’s peace within yourself; then extend that power outward to transform everything and everyone you touch.

Wear white today (the color of truce) and carry an amethyst, carnelian, or sodalite stone with you to generate harmony wherever you go. Keep your words serene today (try to keep your cool no matter what). This extends Axtis’s gentle nature to others. You’ll be surprised at how potent quiet discourse can be.”

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

I could find nothing on this Goddess under this name; so, I wondered if She was a Zoroastrian deity, Amesha Spenta or angel under a different variant or spelling.  I checked a list of Yazatas and found one possible match: “Akhshti [pronounced Ak-hesh-tee]: Yazad personifying peace”. [1]  In a book entitled Zoroastrian Theology: From the Earliest Times to the Present Day, it states that Akhshti was the angel of peace.  “This female divinity is peace personified, but even though perfectly clearly recognizable as such, She is very obscurely outlined as to traits.  She is invoked in company with Vohu Manah, or Good Mind, for nothing can break the inner peace in which the spirit of a man of good thoughts reposes.  Akhshti is usually called victorious [Bam!  There it is – “victorious peace”].

The term ākhshti occurs also as a common noun.  This peace as well as war lies in the power of Mithra to bring upon the country.  The rules invoke Chisti to procure peace for their countries, and the faithful pray that peace and concord may drive out discord and strife from their abodes” (Dhalla, p. 115).

 

 

Sources:

Avesta.org, “Angels in Zoroastrianism – List of Yazatas: Akhshti”.

Dhalla, Maneckji Nusservanji. Zoroastrian Theology: From the Earliest Times to the Present Day, “Akhshti“.

 

Suggested Links:

Apranik. Apranik.blogspot.com, “Women of Persia: Zoroastrianism“.

Bashiri, Iraj. From the Hymns of Zarathustra to the Songs of Borbad (p.11). (PDF file )

Jackson, A. V. Williams. Zoroastrian Studies: The Iranian Religion and Various Monographs, “The Host of Heaven” (p. 63).

Logicalzoroastrianism.blogspot.com, “What’s in a Word?

Nabarz, Payam. Iranian.com, “Persian Angels and Demons“.

Wikipedia, “Yazata“.

Goddess Aramaiti

“Aramaiti’s themes are cleansing, religious devotion, offering, beauty, banishing, meditation and prayer. Her symbols are fire and all acts of veneration. Translated, Aramaiti’s name means ‘piety’. So it is that this Iranian Goddess embodies the attributes of religious devotion and selflessness through which a person reaches higher states of awareness and returns to oneness with the Sacred Parent. According to tradition, Aramaiti protects people during worship.

Kartika is the Hindu name for the period between October and November, and it is considered a sacred month in which acts of piety will be rewarded.  Bathing in streams, wells, or any running water source early this morning brings Aramaiti’s purification and inner beauty. Afterward, it’s customary to pray and meditate for the Goddess’s blessings and assistance in being faithful to one’s religious studies and goals.

If you hold any rituals today, or cast spells, consider asking Aramaiti to safeguard your working area from unwanted influences and to guide the magic for the greatest good.  Finally, keeping lamps burning today drives away evil influences that may hinder or trip up your path. Perhaps leave one lit near your altar, religious tools, or any Goddess image. This action honours Aramaiti and invokes Her ongoing protection in your sacred space of home.”

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

Aramaiti (pronounced AH rah MAH tih) was “the Iranian Earth Mother who wandered the world converting deserts into gardens [and] called the Mother of the People Made of Clay, the Mother of humanity” (Blair, p. 28).

“Spenta Armaiti; one of the three female aspects of Ashura Maza of Zoroastrianism. She’s also said to be Ashura Maza’s daughter who sits at his left hand. Armaiti means ‘devotion’ and Spenta Armaiti means ‘holy devotion’. She is the righteous virgin who is the personification of faithful obedience, religious harmony and worship; who also ruled reproduction, fruitification and destiny.  She is the guardian of the earth and keeper of the vineyards, who insures a pasture for cattle.  Robbers, evil men and disrespectful wives displease Her.  In some myths they say She created the first humans, suggesting a derivation from an earlier creator Goddess and in ancient Armenia She’s known as Santaramet a Goddess of the Underworld. She has gone by many names such as Armaita, Insfenamad, and Sipendarmidh among other names.” [1]

“Spenta Armaiti means ‘Holy Serenity, Devotion’ also means Tranquility, Holy Compliance.  It is peace and prosperity. She is an earth and fertility Goddess and daughter of Ahura Mazda. She was the fourth Amesha Spenta created. She personifies holy devotion and righteous obedience, and also perfect mindedness gained through humility, faith, devotion, piety, and so on.” [2]

 

 

 

Sources:

Blair, Nancy. Goddess in a Box, “Aramaiti“.

Persiandna.com, “Angels in Zoroastrianism“.

Sf.fdatabase.tripod.com, “Lesser Known Deities – Spenta-Armaiti“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Accessnewage.com, “Spenta Armaiti, Spirit of Serenity“.

Britannica.com, “Amesha Spenta“.

Geniusmothers.com, “Spenta Armaiti“.

Iranicaonline.org, “Armaiti“.

Magee, M.D. Askwhy.co.uk, “Zoroaster, Persia’s Influence on Judaism and Christianity“.

Wikipedia, “Amesha Spenta“.

Goddess Ennoia

“Yemanja/The Awakening of the Heart” by A. Andrew Gonzalez

“Ennoia’s themes are mediation, communication, magic and knowledge. Her symbols are angels. In Gnostic tradition, Ennoia is the Goddess of knowledge, intention and thought. Through Her all things were designed and manifested, including the angels. Through Ennoia we can learn the art of magic and how to communicate with angels as mediators between us and the Gods.

Today is Guardian Angel Day, a time to give thanks to the angels in our lives – those powers and people who protect, inspire and watch over us. One easily adapted tradition from Spain is that of wearing scarves and bells. These represent the beauty and music angels are said to bear into human life.

Second, take a moment to give back to the people in your life who have been like earthly angels (you know, the folks who bring soup when you’re sick, or offer money when funds are tight). Do something really nice for them, or minimally, light a candle on their behalf asking for angelic blessings in their lives.

Finally, try to connect with your guiding guardian angel(s). During your daily prayers or meditation, ask that power to reveal itself in words comfortable to you. Wait, watch and listen. The angel may reveal itself as the sound of bells or quiet music, with radiant light, or in other manifestations. If the being speaks with you, write down the words and ponder them in the days ahead.”

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

According to the blog, Prayers and Reflections, “Ennoia means ‘thought’ Sophia in Her high form as Pleromic, is the first thought (so She is the first Aeon, or Pleroma, and the last one as well). Creation happens in the triad of thought, word, and action.” [1]

“Alchemico d’Amore” by A. Andrew Gonzalez

“The Ennoia is important in Gnostic Magic, because She is the feminine counterpart or spiritual consort of God. She is the Womb of all manifestation, and thus is similar to the Egyptian Goddess Nut or Nuit. In a psychological (Jungian) sense, She is the archetype of the feminine principle.” [2]

I came across a lot of interesting information while researching this Goddess; everything from identifying Her with Sophia and the Holy Spirit, as Divine Female – the Wisdom Goddess who assisted in creation to being stripped of Her holiness, portrayed as foolish, conceiving alone without a male consort resulting malformed creatures and “falls” to the “lower” world, into bondage and even whoredom in need of rescuing (see The Ennoia).  In an attempt to demote, degrade and overthrow Her, the patriarchy even splits Her,  “Through disconnecting from the divine oneness it is also Sophia who has to exist in two forms: Sofia Ennoia i.e. the High Sofia, Neverending One, The Power of the Thoughts as well as the Low Sofia called the Small Sophia or Sophia of Death. In this way Sophia combines two elements: the divine and the human one.” [3]  I even found a few references to Her as being a daughter of Lilith….Not sure if this is a totally different deity or what the deal with that is…a little confusing….

Max Dashú has a lot to say about Her and Her “downfall” and can be read on Suppressedhistories.net by clicking here (scroll down to The Gnostic Goddess).

 

 

 

Sources:

Dashú, Max. Suppressedhistories.net, “Khokhmah and Sophia“.

Landofgoddesses.wordpress.com, “SOPHIA (CHOKMAH/SHEKHINAH)“.

Magdelene.wordpress.com, “Gnostic words for May 14, 2007: Ennead, Ennoia, Epiphanes, Epiphanius, Epinoia, Eros“.

Schuelers.com, “A BRIEF HISTORY OF GNOSTICISM“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Forrest, M. Isidora. Isis Magic: Cultivating a Relationship With the Goddess of 10,000 Names, “The Gnostic Sophia” (p. 193).

Magisteria.wordpress.com, “Ennoia, A Gnostic Tale“.

Metaconscious.tumblr.com, “Ennoia“.

Wikipedia, “Sophia (Gnosticism): The Ennoia“.

The Tennin

Painting by Zeng Hao

“The Tennin’s themes are protection and anti-theft.  Their symbols are drums and feathers.  These semi divine beings are a kind of angel in Buddhist tradition. They like to make music, and their singing voices are as lovely as their stunning visages. Art renderings show them wearing feathered robes and sprouting wings a bit like oversized sylphs. On this day they join their voices to our celebration and wrap us in wings of safety.

Follow Japanese conventions of the Furukawa Matsuri festival and go through your home or entire town making as much noise as possible by banging pots, blowing horns, ringing bells. This protects you from the threat of thievery and unwanted ghostly visitations, as well singing sacred songs that draw the Tennin’s attention and aid. A flurry of lantern lighting or in our case, lamp lighting often accompanies this activity, to shine a light on the darkness and reclaim the night with divine power.

To remember the Tennin specifically and invite their protective energy, put a lightweight item (like a silk scarf, a sheer curtain, or something else with diaphanous qualities) in the region that needs guarding. Put on a tape, record, or CD of vocal music (or sing yourself), and they will come. To protect yourself, carry a feather in your purse or wallet.”

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

Tennin which may include tenshi (lit. heavenly messenger) and the specifically female tennyo are spiritual beings found in Japanese Buddhism that are similar to western angels, nymphs or fairies.  They were imported from Chinese Buddhism, which was influenced itself by concepts of heavenly beings found in Indian Buddhism and Chinese Taoism.

Tennin are mentioned in Buddhist sutras, and these depictions form the basis for depictions of the beings in Japanese art, sculpture and theater.  They are usually pictured as unnaturally beautiful women dressed in ornate, colorful kimonos (traditionally in five colors), exquisite jewelry, and flowing scarves that wrap loosely around their bodies.  They usually carry lotus blossoms as a symbol of enlightenment or play musical instruments such as the biwa or flute.

Tennin are believed to live in the Buddhist heaven as the companions of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.  Some legends also make certain tennin solitary creatures living on mountain peaks. Pilgrims sometimes climb these mountains in order to meet the holy spirits.

Painting by Cheryl Kirk Noll

Tennin can fly, a fact generally indicated in art by their colored or feathered kimonos, called hagoromo (‘dress of feathers’).  In some legends, tennin are unable to fly without these kimonos (and thus cannot return to heaven).  More rarely, they are shown with feathered wings.  In a Noh play, Hagoromo, which bears a number of similarities to the western Swan Maiden legends, tennyo come down to the earth and take off their hagoromo.  A fisherman spies them and hides their clothes in order to force one to marry him.  After some years, he tells his wife what he did, and she finds her clothes and returns to heaven.  The legend says it occured on the beach of Miyo, now part of the city of Shizuoka.” [1]

"Heaven Song" by Jia Lu

 

This sounds very much like one of the versions of the story of the Chinese Goddess Chihnu and  Niu-Lang.  One version of Her tale asserts that Chihnu came down to Earth and had Her clothes stolen while She bathed in a river. The culprit was Niu-Lang, a humble cowherd who was amazed at Her beauty and fell instantly in love.

Without Her clothes She could not return to Heaven. So She decided to marry him instead as he was sweet and gentle, and not bad looking for a mortal and had two children with him.  Seven years later She found Her clothes. Some say that She returned to Heaven on Her own accord, others say Heaven found out eventually, and whisked Her off to the stars…

 

 

Sources:

Wikipedia, “Tennin“.

 

Suggested Links:

OnMark Productions.com, “Japanese Buddhism – Apsaras, Celestial Beings, Heavenly Maidens & Musicians, Tennyo, Karyobinga“.

The Earthly Mother

"The Body of Light Mantra" by Mitchell Gibson

“The Earthly Mother’s themes are are nature and Earth awareness. Her symbols are trees.  This Essene Goddess embodies nature and teaches us how to live in harmony with the earth. The Essenes portray her with the elements personified as four angels (earth, air, fire, water) plus two companions named Joy and Life, all helping the Earthly Mother in her work. What a magical blend to bless and energize this first month!

In the spirit of making every day Earth Day, why not launch the new year by giving something back to the earth in the tradition of the Israelites? Today (the fifteenth day of Shebat on the Hebrew calendar), plant a tree to rejuvenate the land. If you wish, name the tree after a deceased loved one, as the Israelites do. According to lore, doing so brings that person peace in the afterlife.

If your locations or finances do not allow for tree plantings, just water a tree. By so doing you symbolically fees the whole earth. Sit down for a moment or two afterward and meditate. Feel the rich soil beneath you and feel how it nourishes and enriches all living things, including you.

Finally, as you are walking around, pick up any stone that catches your eye. Put is in your pocket to carry a piece of the Earthly Mother with you as a gentle reminder that the earth is a sacred, living thing that blesses us daily.”

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

The Essenes, an ancient Jewish sect of which Jesus was reportedly a member, viewed life as a garden from which we harvest the knowledge and understanding that we need to reach the Eternal Garden.

See the eternal garden of wonders, and at its center the Tree of Life, mystery of mysteries, growing everlasting branches for eternal planting, to sink their roots into the stream of life from an eternal source.” Essene Gospel of Peace, Book Four.

Likewise YOU, if you would grow in knowledge and understanding…must go into your garden, where you will be close to all the forces of nature and of the universe – to the sum total of things.” Essene Gospel of Peace, Book Two. [1]

The Essenes illustrated their relationship with the spiritual and natural forces with the symbol called the Tree of Life. Each root and branch of the Tree represents a different force or power. The roots represent earthly forces or powers – the Earthly Mother, and Her Angels of Sun, Water, Air, Earth, Life, and Joy. The seven branches represent the cosmic powers – the Heavenly Father, and His Angels of Power, Love, Wisdom, Eternal Life, Creative Work, and Peace. These are the Essene Angels of the visible and invisible worlds.

The seven communions of the Earthly Mother refer to our relationship with the physical domain. One of their major benefits is the gradual strengthening and revitalizing of every organ of the body through the conscious direction of the earthly forces.

The seven communions of the Heavenly Father are dedicated to the spiritual powers that govern humankind’s higher evolution. A major benefit is the revitalizing of the mind and all the superior forces within the individual.

Contact with the angelic forces is the essence of the daily life of those who practice the Essene way. [2]

“One of the most striking highlights of Essene Gospel of Peace is Jesus Christ’s teaching of the Earthly Mother. Its not only startling for traditional Christians who inherited present day Christian doctrines that came through filtering out of almost all gnostic teachings, thus stripped off most of the mystical, esoteric teachings of Christ; but as its clear, even the people of his time was also puzzled when Christ was teaching using the term, ‘Earthly Mother’ to the audience (I wonder what was the original Aramaic/Hebrew term for Earthly Mother).

In the beginning of the Essene Gospel of Peace, Book One, as Christ was among many sick and maimed, the opening passage records what proceeded from his blessed lips: ‘Happy are you that you hunger for the truth, for I will satisfy you with the bread of wisdom. Happy are you, that you knock, for I will open to you the door of life. Happy are you, that you would cast off the power of Satan, for I will lead you into the Kingdom of our Mother’s angels, where the power of Satan cannot enter.’

And they asked him in amazement: ‘Who is our Mother and which Her angels? And where is Her Kingdom?’

Jesus replies: ‘Your Mother is in you, and you in Her.’

Now in strong Patriarchal Jewish tradition, Divine was not addressed in Feminine term. Its in the East such as ancient Indian tradition Divine Manifestation is naturally addressed as Divine Mother or simply Mother with capital M. From the response of the audience its clear that they were not familiar with the usage of the enigmatic term, Earthly Mother.”

Please click here to continue reading this amazing piece entitled, “Earthly Mother: The Extra-Ordinary Teaching of Divine Feminine in Essene Gospel” by Sadiq Alam.

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