Tag Archive: children


Goddess Diana

“Artemis, Goddess of the Hunt” by violscraper

“Diana’s themes are fertility, children, providence, abundance and harvest. Her symbols are the moon, water, forest items and the sun.  This Roman Goddess embodies the moon’s fertility and watery aspects along with the sun’s protective and nurtuirng power over the forests and its creatures. On this day she was celebrated in Rome and She will be remembered in our hearts as the huntress who helps us capture the spiritual ‘food’ we need.

Starting on August 13, the Romans had a weeklong festival for Diana, praying to Her for the harvest’s bounty and to turn damaging storms away. The traditional place to leave an offering of fruit or vines for Her is in the forest, or at a crossroads. As you do, if any stone or leaf catches your eye, pick it up and carry it as a charm that will keep Diana’s power with you that entire day. Come night, release the gift to flowing water or back to the earth with a prayer of thanks and a wish for one of Diana’s atttributes that you wish to develop in your life.

It is also customary to light some fire source to honor Her on August 15 or anytime during the festivities. Afterward, to generate this Goddess’s physical or figurative fertility within you, follow Roman convention and wash your hair with specially prepared water (water to which a little milk is added so that it looks white, like the moon). If you have children, doing this for them incurs Diana’s protection over their lives.”

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

“Artemis” by Howard David Johnson

Patricia Monaghan tells us that “today we confuse Diana with the Greek Artemis, seeing both in the familiar picture of the lightly clad, bow-bearing Goddess who rides the moon or strides through the forest with Her nymphs.  And in later Roman times, Diana was indeed so pictured, but only after the original Italian Goddess was assimilated into the powerful figure of Artemis, the Goddess of the conquered Greeks.

“Moon Goddess” by Josephine Wall

Diana was originally queen of the open sky, worshiped only outdoors, where Her domain stretched overhead.  Possibly She was ruler of the sun as well as the moon, for the early Italians had no sun god and had to adopt Apollo for that role.  Diana’s name comes from the word for ‘light’; probably She was the original Italian ruler of the sun.

She ruled on earth as well, as bestower of sovereignty and granter of conception; thus She was sometimes called the threefold Diana Trivia.  With two other deities She made up another trinity: Egeria the water nymph [one of the Camenae], Her servant and assistant midwife; and Virbius, the mysterious woodland god.  The three lived together in the famous Wood of Nemi near Aricia, where runaway slaves competed for mistletoe – the Golden Bough that would give them a fighting chance for the position of Diana’s priest.  Not a job a modern man would covet, the priesthood meant continual vigilance against the next contender for the post, and ultimately death at a successful rival’s hand.

“Diana” by Lotta-Lotos

This fatal kingship was one of the few roles men could play in worship of Diana.  Otherwise, the sky queen was entirely a woman’s Goddess.  On Her feast day, August 15 – today the Catholic feast day of Mary’s assumption into heaven – processions of women would journey to Aricia to offer thanks in Diana’s grove for Her help that year and to implore Her continuing aid.  The hunting dogs who accompanied them were crowned but kept leased so as not to disturb the wild creatures who lived under Diana’s sky.  Eventually Diana worship moved closer to the population center, to the Aventine Hill in Rome itself, where women continued to flock to Her shrine for ritual hair-washing and invocations for aid in childbed” (p. 103 – 104).

Thalia Took tells us that “the Romans recognized three aspects of Her–as the Moon-Goddess, they called Her Luna; as an underworld deity of magic, Hekate; and as the huntress-Goddess, Diana.”

“Mother Nature” by Rozairo

Interestingly enough, Thalia Took also tells us that “in Gaul, She was identified with Nemetona, ‘Goddess of the Sacred Grove’, and considered the consort of Mars“.  This makes sense, as Diana Nemorensis (“of the Grove”) had Her temple in a forest on the Lake Nemi‘s shores and was the Goddess of wild places who loved forests. [1]

“Diana” by Maltshakes

 

ASSOCIATIONS: (Goddess symbols of Artemis, but I would think would be appropriate for Diana as well)

General: Crescent moon (new moon), bow and arrow, sandals, clouds, three pillars, and blue sky.

Animals: Dogs, guinea fowl, elephant, horses, bear, dove, deer, and bee.

Plants: Anemones, flowering almond, hazel, ranunculus, honeysuckle, thistle, laurel, and fir tree.

Perfumes/Scents: Jasmine, aloe, ginseng, lemon verbena, and camphor.

Gems and Minerals: Moonstone, pearl, quartz, crystal, silver, turquoise, iron, aluminum, and diamonds.

Colors: Silver, white, red, green, and turquoise.              [2]

 

 

 

Sources:

Goddessgift.com, “Symbols of Artemis”.

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

Took, Thalia. A-Muse-ing Grace Gallery, “Diana“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Covenofthegoddess.com, “Goddess Diana“.

Encyclopedia.com, “Diana“.

Fischer-Hansen & Birte Poulsen. From Artemis to Diana: The Goddess of Man and Beast (Acta Hyperborea).

Goddess-guide.com, “The Roman Goddess Diana“.

GrayWolf, Danu. Order of the White Moon, “Diana“.

Greek-gods-and-goddesses.com, “The Roman Goddess Diana“.

Grimassi, Raven. Encyclopedia of Wicca & Witchcraft, “Lady of the Lake” & “Lake Nemi

Journal of a Poet, “Artemis/Diana, Goddess of the Moon“.

Leland, Charles Godfrey. Aradia: The Gospel of the Witches.

Monaghan, Patricia. Matrifocus.com, “Trivia: Goddess of the Crossroads“.

Revel, Anita. igoddess.com, “Artemis: out with the old – peaceful warrior“.

Revel, Anita. igoddess.com, “Diana: go wild!“.

Roman-colosseum.info, “Myths about the Roman Goddess Diana“.

Richardson, Adele & Laurel Bowman. Diana.

Tate, Karen. Sacred Places of Goddess: 108 Destinations.

Thewhitegoddess.co.uk, Diana – Goddess of the Hunt“.

Wikipedia, “Diana (mythology)“.

Wikipedia, “Diana Nemorensis“.

Wikipedia, “Rex Nemorensis“.

V. Goddessschool.com, “Diana ‘Queen of Heaven’“.

Goddess Al-Lat

“Virgo” by Josephine Wall

“Al-Lat’s themes are religious devotion, meditation, purity, home, justice and children. Her symbols are the moon, silver, and white stones.  A Persian and Arabian moon Goddess, Al-Lat is the feminine form of Allah. Post-Islamic writings banished Her name from holy books, but Her presence remained behind as a domestic guardian, the giver of children and protectess of all good and just deeds.

Around this time of year, Muslims observe Ramadan and begin a time of abstinence to purify themselves and honor their sacred book, the Qu’ran. During this fast, people are instructed to look within and rededicate their hearts to the tenets of their faith. To do this and also honor Al-Lat, fast for this day if physically feasible. Or, just abstain from one well-loved food or beverage for the day and study your own sacred text(s). Pray to Al-Lat for insight into the deeper meanings of the words. Write down any osbervations in a journal so Al-Lat’s presence will inspire good deeds and positive action for many years to come.

To attract Al-Lat’s protective energies into your home, grasp four white items (coral and moonstone are excellent choices), saying,

‘Within these _________of white,
Al-Lat, place your protective light.
Where’er these _________s are placed around,
your safety and presence shall abound.’

Put these as close as possible to the four directional points of the area that needs guardian power.”

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

“Evening Wind” by Aaron Paquette

Patricia Monaghan explains that “in Arabic, Allah means ‘god.’ Similarly, Al-Lat means simply ‘Goddess,’ the supreme reality in female form.  Al-Lat is a mythic figure of great antiquity, one of the trinity of desert Goddesses named in the Koran, Al-Uzza and Menat being the others.  Like the Greek Demeter, Al-Lat represented the earth and its fruits; it follows that She also ruled human generation.

Al-Lat was worshiped at Ta’if near Mecca in the form of a great uncut block of white granite, which Her worshipers addressed as ‘My Lady’ or Rusa (‘good fortune’).  Women were required to appear before Her naked and circle the sacred rock; if these conditions were met, the Goddess would grant all requests.  Solid as the earth She represented, Al-Lat was considered unshakable and immovable.  Thus Her people swore their most solemn oaths by Her, with the following words: ‘By the salt, by the fire, and by Al-Lat who is the greatest of all” (p. 41).

“Al’Uzza, Allat and Menat, the Triple Goddesses of Arabia” by Thalia Took

Thalia Took tells us that “Al-Lat, whose name is a contraction of al-Illahat, ‘the Goddess’, is mentioned by Herodotus as Alilat, whom he identifies with Aphrodite. She is sometimes also equated with Athene, and is called ‘the Mother of the Gods’, or ‘Greatest of All’. She is a Goddess of Springtime and Fertility, the Earth-Goddess who brings prosperity. She and Al-Uzza were sometimes confused, and it seems that as one gained in popularity in one area the other’s popularity diminished. The sun in Arabia was called Shams and considered feminine, and may represent an aspect of Al-Lat. She had a sanctuary in the town of Ta’if, east of Mecca, and was known from Arabia to Iran. Her symbol is the crescent moon (sometimes shown with the sun disk resting in its crescent), and the gold necklace She wears is from a pendant identified to Her. As a Fertility-Goddess She bears a sheaf of wheat; and in Her hand She holds a small lump of frankincense, as Her emblem is found carved on many incense-holders.” [1]

According to Wikipedia, “in older sources, Allat is an alternative name of the Mesopotamian Goddess of the underworld, now usually known as Ereshkigal. She was reportedly also venerated in Carthage under the name Allatu.

The Goddess occurs in early Safaitic graffiti (Safaitic han-‘Ilāt ‘the Goddess’) and the Nabataeans of Petra and the people of Hatra also worshipped Her, equating Her with the Greek Athena and Tyche and the Roman Minerva. She is frequently called ‘the Great Goddess’ in Greek in multi-lingual inscriptions.  According to Wellhausen, the Nabataeans believed al-Lāt was the mother of Hubal (and hence the mother-in-law of Manāt).

Allat-Minerva from As-Suwayda, Syria (National Museum of Damascus)

 

The Greek historian Herodotus, writing in the 5th century BCE, considered Her the equivalent of Aphrodite:

‘The Assyrians call Aphrodite Mylitta, the Arabians Alilat, and the Persians Mitra. In addition that deity is associated with the Indian deity Mitra (Vedic). The Persian and Indian deity were developed from the proto-indo-iranian deity known as mitra.’

According to Herodotus, the ancient Arabians believed in only two gods:

‘They believe in no other gods except Dionysus and the Heavenly Aphrodite; and they say that they wear their hair as Dionysus does his, cutting it round the head and shaving the temples. They call Dionysus, Orotalt; and Aphrodite, Alilat.’

 

 

 

 

 

In the Qur’an, She is mentioned along with al-‘Uzzá and Manāt in Sura 53: 19–23. The tribe of ʿād of Iram of the Pillars is also mentioned in Sura 895–8, and archaeological evidence from Iram shows copious inscriptions devoted to Her for the protection of a tribe by that name.

Al-lāt is also explicitly attested from early Islamic records discussing the pre-Islamic period. According to the Book of Idols (Kitāb al-ʾAṣnām) by Hishām ibn al-Kalbi, the pre-Islamic Arabs believed Al-lāt resided in the Kaʿbah and also had an idol inside the sanctuary:{{quote|Her custody was in the hands of the Banū Attāb ibn Mālik of the Thaqīf, who had built an edifice over Her. The Quraysh, as well as all the Arabs, venerated al-Lāt. They also used to name their children after her, calling them Zayd al-Lāt and Taym al-Lāt. […] Al-Lāt continued to be venerated until the Thaqīf embraced Islam, when the Apostle of God dispatched al-Mughīrah ibn-Shu‘bah, who destroyed her and burnt Her temple to the ground.

The shrine and temple dedicated to al-Lat in Taif, was demolished by Abu Sufyan ibn Harb, on the orders of Muhammad, during the Expedition of Abu Sufyan ibn Harb, this occurred in the same year as the Battle of Tabuk (which occurred in October 630 AD). Muhammad sent Abu Sufyan with a group armed men to destroy the Idol al-Lat (also referred to as al-Tagiyyah) that was worshipped by the citizens of Taif.  The destruction of the idol was a demand by Muhammad before any reconciliation could take place with the citizens of Taif who were under constant attack and suffering from a blockade by the Banu Hawazin, led by Malik, a convert to Islam who promised to continue the war against the citizens of the city which was started by Muhammad in the Siege of Taif.” [2]

Bas-relief: Nemesis, Allāt and the dedicator (Courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts of Lyon)

Now, what’s interesting is that Muhammad himself commanded his followers to offer prayers to these “Allah’s daughters” (Al-Lat, Al-Uzza and Menat).  He later retracted it and blamed it on the Devil after supposedly receiving a revelation from God that the verses should be removed and was “comforted by God” after doing so.  It is important to note that such “after the fact corrective revelations” are very common with cults, using the old time excuse, “The devil made me do it”. [3]

To me, this is nothing more than another example of the patriarchy showing it’s true colors: demanding the rejection and destruction of the Great Mother and forcing Her underground in an attempt to elevate their mighty sky god in order to dominate and control the populace; using tactics such as war – causing suffering and death – to convert and force their religion on the people in order to achieve their own selfish and manipulative means.

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

Brother Andrew. http://www.bible.ca, “Islamic roots of polytheism: Allah’s Daughters: Lat, Uzza, and Manat “.

Monaghan, Patricia. The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines, “Al-Lat”.

Took, Thalia. A-Muse-ing Grace Gallery, “The Arab Triple Goddess“.

Wikipedia, “Al-lāt“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Arabianwomen.nielsonpi.com, “Women in the Ancient Arabia and the Middle East“.

Benel. Al-muqaddasarabianblog.blogspot.com, “Deity: Allat”.

Britannica Online Encyclopedia, “al-Lāt“.

Isidorus. The Pomegranate Seeds Discussions, Q’re, the Maiden“.

Nabataea.net, “Nabataean Pantheon“.

 

“Water” by Jia Lu

“Tamayorihime’s themes are cleansing, health, children and water. Her symbol is water (especially moving water or saltwater).  An ancient Japanese sea Goddess, Tamayorihime rules not only moving water sources but also all matters of health. She also watches over birth waters to ensure a speedy, safe delivery for pregnant women.

The Tenjin festival began in 949 C.E. as a way to get rid of summer maladies. If you’ve had a cold, the flu or some other ailment, try an adaption of Japanese custom. Take a piece of paper that you’ve left on your altar for a while and rub it on the area of your body that’s afflicted. Drop the paper into moving water (like the toilet) to carry away sickness in Tamayorihime’s power. Alternatively, burn the paper to purge the problem. Mingle the ashes with a few drops of saltwater and carry them in a sealed container as a Tamayorihime amulet for health.

For personal cleansing and healing, soak in an Epsom-salt bath today. As you lie in the tub, stir the water clockwise with your hand to draw Tamayorihime’s health to you, or counterclockwise so She can banish a malady. If time doesn’t allow for this, add a very small pinch of salt to your beverages and stir them similarly throughout the day, while mentally or verbally reciting this invocation:

‘Health be quick, health be kind, within this cup the magic bind!’

Drink the beverage to internalize Tamayorihime’s energy.”

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

Tamayorihime, painted wood sculpture, dated to 1251, at Yoshino Mikumari Jinja.

According to the Encyclopedia of Shinto, “Tamayorihime (or –bime) is a common noun meaning a divine bride, in other words, a woman who cohabits with a kami and gives birth to his child.” [1]

Patricia Monaghan says that “like her sister Japanese heroines Ikutamayorihime and Seyadatarahime, she was a young woman who became a mother ancestor to an important family after mating with an otherworldly creature.  This being used to come under cover of darkness, which apparently did not disturb the girl until she became pregnant.  Then, to discover his identity, she sewed a long hemp thread to his hem, and, next morning, followed it to a dark cave.  At its mouth she called out for her lover to show his face.  ‘You would burst with fright,’ a deep voice answered from the earth’s center.  Unafraid, she continued to make her demand until he appeared, a scaly monster with a needle stuck in its throat.  Tamayorihime fainted, but lived to bear the hero Daida, greatest warrior of Kyushu.  The heroine’s name, meaning a woman (hime) possessed (yor) by a god (tama), may have been a title borne by the Japanese shamans called miko.  Similar stories are told of Psyche and Semele” (p. 291).

In the book Spirit Tree: Origins of Cosmology in Shintô Ritual at Hakozaki by E. Leslie Williams, I was able to find reference to Tamayorihime as an “earth-bound Female spirit cognitively linked with the ocean depths…a daughter of the sea deity, Watatsumi, in the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki myth cycles.” [2]  “She appears in the KOJIKI as the mother of Emperor Jinmu (Jimmu).  In this case She appears accompanied by two other deities and the three together are known as the Mikomori Sannyoshin. ” [3]

 

 

Sources:

Mizue, Mori. Encyclopedia of Shinto, “Tamayorihime“.

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

Onmarkproductions.com, “Mikumari Myōjin Shrines“.

Williams, E. Leslie. Spirit Tree: Origins of Cosmology in Shintô Ritual at Hakozaki.

 

Suggested Links:

Faure, Bernard. The Power of Denial: Buddhism, Purity, and Gender.

Greve, Gabi. Wkdfestivalsaijiki.blogspot.com, “Samekawa Ablutions“.

Mizue, Mori. Encyclopedia of Shinto, “Tamayoribime“.

Ouwehand, C. Namazu-e and Their Themes: An Interpretative Approach to Some Aspects of Japanese Folk Religion.

Wikipedia, “Shinto shrine“.

Wikipedia, “Tamayori-bime“.

 

 

Corn Mother

“Corn Mother” by Marjett Schille

“Corn Mother’s themes are abundance, children, energy, fertility, harvest, health, grounding, providence and strength. Her symbols are corn and corn sheafs.  Literally the spirit of the corn in Native American traditions, Corn Mother brings with her the bounty of earth, its healing capabilities, its nurturing nature and its providence. This is the season when Corn Mother really shines, bountiful with the harvest. She is happy to share of this bounty and give all those who seek Her an appreciation of self, a healthy does of practicality and a measure of good common sense.

Around this time of year, the Seminole Native Americans (in the Florida area) dance the green corn dance to welcome the crop and ensure ongoing fertility in the fields and tribe. This also marks the beginning of the Seminole year. So, if you enjoy dancing, grab a partner and dance! Or, perhaps do some dance aerobics. As you do, breathe deeply and release your stress into Corn Mother’s keeping. She will turn it into something positive, just as the land takes waste and makes it into beauty.

Using corn in rituals and spells is perfectly fitting fort this occasion. Scatter cornmeal around the sacred space to mark your magic circle or scatter it to the wind so Corn Mother can bring fertility back to you. Keeping a dried ear of corn in the house invokes Corn Mother’s protection and luck and consuming corn internalizes her blessings.”

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

“Corn Mother, also called Corn Maiden ,  mythological figure believed, among indigenous agricultural tribes in North America, to be responsible for the origin of corn (maize). The story of the Corn Mother is related in two main versions with many variations.

In the first version (the ‘immolation version’), the Corn Mother is depicted as an old woman who succors a hungry tribe, frequently adopting an orphan as a foster child. She secretly produces grains of corn by rubbing Her body. When Her secret is discovered, the people, disgusted by Her means of producing the food, accuse Her of witchcraft. Before being killed—by some accounts with Her consent—She gives careful instructions on how to treat Her corpse. Corn sprouts from the places over which Her body is dragged or, by other accounts, from Her corpse or burial site.

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

In the second version (the ‘flight version’), She is depicted as a young, beautiful woman who marries a man whose tribe is suffering from hunger. She secretly produces corn, also, in this version, by means that are considered to be disgusting; She is discovered and insulted by Her in-laws. Fleeing the tribe, She returns to Her divine home; Her husband follows Her, and She gives him seed corn and detailed instructions for its cultivation.

Similar Native American traditions of the immolation of a maternal figure or the insult to and flight of a beautiful maiden are told to account for the origin of the buffalo, peyote, certain medicinal herbs, and the sacred pipe.” [1]

“Lammas” by Wendy Andrew

“Corn Mother is also known as Corn Woman, Corn Maiden and Yellow Woman. A variety of versions of this Goddess show up in a variety of cultures around the World, including Europe, Egypt, India and the America’s. Some of the more well known Goddesses are said to be Corn Mother’s, including the Celtic Cerridwen, the Egyptian Isis and the Greek Demeter.

The Corn Mother is the nourishment aspect of the Goddess and is most commonly associated with grain harvest. She is the Mother Goddess who nurtures those around Her with food and is the conceptual representation of ‘what we will reap we will sow’.” [2]

Sources:

Britannica Online Encyclopedia, “Corn Mother“.

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

 

 

Suggested Links:

Cornmother.com, “The Corn Mother“.

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

Goddesses and Gods, “Goddess Corn Mother“.

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

Return of the Corn Mothers

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

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

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

Goddess Juno

“Juno’s themes are femininity, love, relationships, romance, kinship, time, protection (women and children) and leadership. Her symbols are the cypress, peacocks, cuckoos, luxurious clothing, figs and the moon (or silver items).  The supreme Goddess of the Roman pantheon, Juno offers a helping hand in every aspect of our relationships, especially the safety and happiness of women and children in those settings. Juno is also a very modern minded Goddess, taking an active role in public life and finances. Beyond this, She rules women’s cycles, giving Her connections with the moon. Art depicts Juno always wearing majestic clothing befitting the ‘Queen of Heaven.’

According to Roman folklore, marrying today ensures a long, happy relationship. So if you’re planning a wedding or an engagement, or even moving in together, Juno can bless that commitment if you time the big step for today! As part of your devotional ritual, don’t forget to wear special clothing (perhaps something your partner especially likes) to invoke Juno’s attention and loving energy.

If you’d like to connect with Juno’s feminine force, Her leadership skills or Her sense of timing within yourself, eat some fig-filled cookies today (or just some figs), saying,

‘Juno, bring_______to my spirit, my wish fulfill. By your power, through my will.’

FIll the black with whatever aspect of Juno you most need to develop.”

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

“Hera – Queen of Olympus” by Umina

Patricia Monaghan tells us that Juno was “a very ancient Italian Goddess, [and] was originally quite different from the Greek Hera; both, however, were essentially Goddesses of women.  When the Greek sky queen came to Rome during the days of cultural assimilation, She merged with the Roman Goddess and Her legends were told of Juno.  Juno’s separate mythology was lost, except for the tale that, impregnated by a flower, Juno bore the god Mars – a story never told of Hera” (p. 174).

According to Thalia Took “Juno, or to spell it the Latin way, Iuno, is the Roman Great Goddess, the Queen of the Gods, Sky-Goddess, Protectress of Women, Mother of Mars, Wife of Jupiter, She of the many epithets and a long long history of worship in Rome. She was one of the Capitoline Triad, with Jupiter and Minerva, Who were considered the three main Deities of Rome; She was widely worshipped among the Latins, and Her cult was also important among the Etruscans, who called Her Uni or Cupra. She was an especial protectress of women in marriage and childbirth, and many of Her epithets relate to that aspect, but She could also have a more civic or martial character as protectress of the Roman people.

“Hera” by Canankk

Juno’s name may derive from an Indo-European root with connotations of vitality and youth, and if so would suggest that Her aspect as Birth-Goddess is one of Her oldest. Alternatively, Her name may come from the Etruscan Uni, which means ‘She Who Gives’, and which would refer to Her capacity as a benevolent Goddess of abundance who answers the prayers of those in need.

As each man was believed to have a protective guardian spirit called a genius, so each woman had one called a juno. These guardian spirits (in the plural, junones) may have originally been the ghosts of the ancestors who were believed to watch over and protect their descendents. They were usually represented as snakes (probably relating to the chthonic or underworld aspect of the Dead), and were given offerings on the individual’s birthday at the household altar.

The first days of each Roman month, the calends, were sacred to Juno, as was the entire month of June, which is still named for Her. Five cities in Latium (the region of the Latin tribe) also named a month for Her: Aricia, on the Via Appia; Lanuvium, where She was worshipped as Juno Sospita (‘Juno the Saviouress’), Praeneste (modern Palestrina), Tibur (modern Tivoli, the resort town of Rome), and Laurentum, located between Lavinium and Ostia on the coast. And as Juno is the Roman Goddess of Marriage, it is no coincidence that June is still considered the proper month for weddings.” [1]

“Juno–Supreme Goddess of Women” by MiiSweeTesTSiN

“One of Her most famous names was Moneta, ‘warner’, which was earned many times over: once when Her sacred geese once set up such a squawking that the city was warned of invading Gauls, another time when an earthquake threatened and Juno’s voice from heaven alerted the city, and finally when the underfunded Roman generals came to Juno’s temple for advice and were told that any war fought ethically would find popular (and financial) support.  This last effort made Her matron of the Roman mint, which was located in Her temple, and turned Her title into a word for ‘money’.

Most important, Juno was the Goddess of time.  Daughter of Saturn, She was a symbol of the menstrual cycle as time’s indicator; Goddess of the new moon, She was worshiped by Roman women on the Calends, or first of each lunar month.  In addition to these monthly celebrations, Juno was honored in two festivals: the unrestrained Nonae Caprotinae on July 7, when serving girls staged mock fights under a wild fig tree; and the more sedate Matronalia on March 1 when married women demanded money from their husbands to offer to the Goddess of womanhood” (Monaghan, p. 174).

Like Jupiter, Juno was believed to have the ability to throw thunderbolts.

Also called: Junonis or Iuno.

“Hera’s Eyes” by *Ravenhart

Here, then, is the index for as many of Her aspects as I could find, treated individually; they range from simply descriptive titles such as Conciliatrix that may not have had a use in Her cult, to the more important and unusual facets of Her like Curitis, all the way to separate Goddesses who were assimilated to or equated with Juno, such as the Dea Caelestis of Carthage.

AbeonaAdionaCaelestisCaprotina, Cinxia, Cioxia (ruler of the first undressing by the husband), Conciliatrix, Conservatrix, CubaCuninaCupraCuriatiaCuritis, Comiduca, Dea Caelestis, Dea Statina, Domiduca,EducaEdulicaEmpanadaFebrutis, Fluonia, Gamelia, Inferna, Interduca, JugaJugalis, Juno of Falerii, Lacinia, Lanuvina, Levana, LucetiaLucinaMartialis, Maturna, Matrona, Moneta, Nacio, Natalis, Nundina, Nutrix, Nuxia, Opigena, Ossipaga (who strengthens fetal bones), Panda, Perficia, Pertunda, Perusina, Populonia (Goddess of conception), Potina, Prema, Pronuba (arranger of appropriate matches), QuiritisReginaRumina, Seispita, Sispes, Sororia, Sospita (the labor Goddess), SupraUni, Unxia, Vagitanus, Virginalis, Viriplaca (who settles arguments between spouses), Volumna.” [2]

Sources:

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

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

Suggested Links:

Goddess-Guide.com, “Juno“.

Goddess School, Healing Arts and Pagan Studies with GrannyMoon, “An Hymn to Juno“.

Qu’Aryn Teal Moon. Order of the White Moon, “Juno“.

Revel, Anita. igoddess.com, “Juno: mutual mojo“.

Roman Colosseum, “Myths About the Roman Goddess Juno“.

Wikipedia, “Juno“.

Goddess Ix Chel

“Medicine Woman” by Lisa Iris

“Ix Chel’s themes are weather, children, fertility, and health.  Her symbols are water, turquoise, jade, silver, and blue or white items.  The aqueous Mayan Goddess of water, the moon, medicine and childbirth, Ix Chel lives in the land of mists and rainbows. Art shows Her wearing a skirt that flows with fertile waters, dotted with water lilies, and adorned with tiny bits of turquoise and jade. This skirt reaches all the way to earth, filling our lives with Ix Chel’s well-being and enrichment.

Believing that the Frost Spirit lives in the cliffs of Santa Eulalia, people brave the sheer stones once a year and make prayers to the weather deities to keep away further intrusion by the frost, which would ruin crops. Ix Chel is present to witness, being part of the frost and part of the nurturing rains, for which the priest also pray. For our purposes this equates to calling on Ix Chel’s energy to ‘defrost’ a frozen or emotionally chilly situation, or to rain on us with her healing power.

To protect your health specifically, carry a turquoise, which also safeguards you during your travel today. To inspire productivity or fertility, wear blue and white items, repeating this incantation as you put them on:

Ix Chel, be in this <…….> of blue
so my thoughts stay fixed on you
Ix Chel, be in this <…….> of white
bring abundance both day and night.'”

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

“Ix Chel” by Hrana Janto

Ix Chel (pronounced ‘ee shell’) is the Maya Goddess of the Moon, Water, Weaving and Childbirth. She was worshipped among the Maya of the Yucatan peninsula.  She is the Mother of all of the Mayan deities and rules over the cycles of life and death.  As the ‘Keeper of Souls’, She is constantly evolving from a young beautiful maiden into the wisened old crone who shares the wisdom of the ages with Her people.

Ix-Chel was almost too beautiful, this girl with opalescent skin who set in the skies brushing Her Shimmering hair for hours on end.  All the gods were captivated by Her.  All but one, that is.  Kinich Ahau, the Sun God, seemed immune to Ix-Chel’s charms. Yet he was the only one She really ever wanted. For years She had longed for him as She watched him glide across the sky in all his golden splendor.

But the more Ix-Chel followed him around, the worse the weather on earth became.  As She chased after him the tides would rise, creating floods that inundated the fields and caused the crops to die. So enamored was She, that Ix-Chel did not even notice the havoc She was causing.

Like many moon Goddesses Ix-Chel was a fine weaver, and it was the beautiful cloth She wove that finally captured Kinich Ahau’s attention. Soon they had become lovers.

“Mayan Myth – Goddess Ixchel” by emanuellakozas

Out of disapproval, Her grandfather hurled lightning jealously at Her, killing the girl. Grieving dragonflies sang over Ix Chel for 13 days, at the end of which time She emerged, whole and alive, and followed Her lover to his palace. But there the sun in turn grew jealous of the Goddess, accusing Her of taking a new lover: his brother, the morning star. He threw Ix Chel from heaven; She found sanctuary with the vulture divinity; the sun pursued Her and lured Her home; but immediately, he grew jealous again.

During the time the two were together, Ix Chel had born the Sun God four sons.  They are the jaguar gods who are able to creep through the night, sight unseen.  They were named for the ‘Four Directions’, and it is said that each one is responsible for holding up his corner of the earth.

“Ix Chel” by Susan Seddon Boulet

Ix-Chel finally realized that Kinich Ahau was not going to change and decided to leave him for good. Waiting until he fell asleep, She crept out into the night, taking the form of a jaguar and becoming invisible whenever he came searching for Her.

“Ix Chel” by Marcia Snedecor

Many nights She spent on Her sacred island, Cozumel, nursing women during their pregnancies and childbirth. Ix-Chel, like other moon Goddesses, governed women’s reproductive systems so it was quite understandable that She would become the protector of women during pregnancy and labor.  Mayan women were expected, at least once in their lifetime, to complete a pilgrimage to Her sacred island to offer Her gifts and to receive Her blessings.  For hundreds of years, these women made the twelve mile trip by boat, and many of the Mayan shrines dedicated to Her are still standing today.

The small Isla Mujeres (“Island of Women”) was devoted to the worship of Ix-Chel. Comfortable with all phases of life, She was honored as the weaver of the life cycle. She protected the fertility of women and was also the keeper of the souls of the dead.

“Ix Chel” by Meg Easling

As the ancient fertility Goddess, Ix Chel was responsible for sending the rains which nourished the crops, and while She was fulfilling that function, She was called ‘Lady Rainbow’.  Ix stands for Goddess and Chel for rainbow. [1] [2] [3]

“Ix Chel is shown below in three of Her many aspects. Left to right: Chak Chel, the Old Moon Goddess, called the Midwife of Creation; Ix Chel in Her main form as Mother Goddess and Weaver who set the Universe in motion; and the Young Moon Goddess, shown with Her totem animal the rabbit.

“Ix Chel” by Thalia Took

Ix Chel is a great Water Goddess, the consort of the chief God of the Maya pantheon, Votan. Her name means “Lady Rainbow”, and She is said to have founded the city of Palenque at the command of the Gods. She is a Weaver Goddess, whose whirling drop spindle is said to be at the center of the motion of the Universe. She has many aspects and titles, such as Ix Kanleom, the ‘Spider’s Web Catching the Morning Dew’, and Ix Chebal Yax. Her Nahua (Mexican/Aztec) counterpart is said to be Chalchiuhtlicue.

Chak Chel, ‘Great (or Red) Rainbow’ is the Goddess who brings about the destruction of the third creation by causing a great flood. By pouring the waters from Her jar, She prepared the way for the next age, known in Maya legend as the Fourth Sun. She is shown as an old midwife, for experienced elderly women helped younger women to give birth, and were traditionally caretakers of children. Chak Chel also helped the Maize God to be reborn, and helped in the birth of His own sons. She is shown in a pose traditional to Her, with the twisted hair-do of elderly women (though they usually wrapped it up with a strip of cloth rather than a snake).

The Young Moon Goddess may have originally been a different Goddess of the Moon who was later absorbed into Ix Chel’s legend. She is often depicted with a rabbit, for the Maya, like the Chinese, saw a rabbit in the markings on the face of the Moon. She is said to be of a merry and somewhat loose character, and rabbits are also famed for their reproductive abilities. She (as Ix Chel) had a great shrine on the island of Cozumel (one of the places to which hurricane Wilma recently caused great destruction) to which pilgrims came from all over. The crescent-shaped chair on which She sits is the Maya glyph for the Moon, Her symbol.

Thalia Took pained Ix Chel in modern Maya traditional clothing featuring the astonishing gorgeous handwoven textiles still made in remote areas of Maya country (mostly modern-day Guatemala). She sits upon a Sky-Bar, known from Maya glyphs and carvings and used as a symbol of the sky; figures drawn above or over the Sky-Bar are usually deities, or the dead. Chak Chel pours water from a jar marked with the glyph for water, and the color scheme and water critters are taken from the beautiful Maya-style frescoes found at Cacaxtla, Mexico.” [4]

“Ix Chel Mayan Moon Goddess” by Katherine Skaggs

“There is a lot we can learn from Ix Chel.  Ix Chel is the Goddess who REFUSED to become a victim of oppression.  This was a woman who, when faced with adversity, took control of Her own life and turned it around.  She teaches us that women do not have to be a victim, that we have the power of choice, and we should never let anyone take that away from us. She encourages us to acknowledge the negative forces affecting our lives and prompts us to assert ourselves fully in the face of physical or emotional violence that would diminish our sense of self.” [5] [6]

ASSOCIATIONS:

Related Names: The Queen, Lady Rainbow, Eagle Woman, Our Mother, the White Lady, Goddess of Becoming, Mother Earth, the Womb, the Cave of Life, Keeper of the Bones

Related Patronages: Water, Healing, Medicine, Weaving, Sexuality, Fertility, Childbirth, Magic

Related Animals: Dragonfly (symbolizing sense of self and creative imagination); Feathered Serpent (symbolizing energy of transformation); Snake (symbolizing renovation, renewal and medicine); Rabbit (symbolizing abundance and fertility); Red Jaguar (symbolizing authority and power)

Related essences: Almond, bergamot, marigold, oriental lily, vanilla

Related gemstones: Agate, brown jasper (orange stones), carnelian, coral

 

Sources:

Franklin, Anna. merciangathering.com, “IX CHEL“.

Goddessgift.com, “Ix-Chel, Goddess of the Moon“.

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

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

Mystic Wicks, “Ix Chel {Goddess of the Week}“.

Sabrina. Goddess A Day, “Ix Chel“.

Took, Thalia. A-Muse-ing Grace Gallery, “Ix Chel“.

Suggested Links:

Artemisia. Order of the White Moon, “Ixchel“.

The Blue Roebuck, “Ix Chel“.

Carol. Tribe.net, “Ix Chel – Goddess of the Moon“.

Home, Shonagh. Ix Chel Wisdom: 7 Teachings from the Mayan Sacred Feminine.

Revel, Anita. igoddess.com, “IxChel: romantic radiance“.

Wikipedia, “Ixchel“.

Goddess Kwan Yin

Painting by Zeng Hao

“Kwan Yin’s themes are children, kindness, magic, health and fertility.  Her symbols are a lotus, black tea, rice and rainbows.  Kwan Yin is the most beloved of all Eastern Goddess figures, giving freely Her unending sympathy, fertility, health and magical insight to all who ask. It is Her sacred duty to relieve suffering and encourage enlightenment among humans. In Eastern mythology, a rainbow bore Kwan Yin to heaven in human form. Her name means ‘regarder of sounds’, meaning She hears the cries and prayers of the world.

If you hope to have children or wish to invoke Kwan Yin’s blessing and protection on the young ones in your life, you can follow Eastern custom and leave an offering for Kwan Yin of sweet cakes, lotus incense, fresh fruit and/or flowers. If you can’t find lotus incense, look for lotus-shaped soaps at novelty or import shops.

For literal or figurative fertility, try making this Kwan Yin talisman: During a waxing-to-full moon, take a pinch of black tea and a pinch of rice and put them in a yellow cloth, saying:

 ‘As a little tea makes a full cup
so may my life be full
As the rice expands in warm water
so may my heart expand with love and warmth
The fertility of Kwan Yin, wrapped neatly within.’

Tie this up and keep it in a spot that corresponds to the type of fertility you want (such as the bedroom for physical fertility).”

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

Padmapani Avalokiteshvara

“The Goddess Kwan Yin is known as the Goddess of Mercy and Her specialty is compassion, for She knew all about suffering.  In Her first life in India She was born as a male named Avalokitesvara, who sought to help poor lost souls be reborn to a better life on their journey to enlightenment. But he was overwhelmed and anguished when more lost souls kept coming in what seemed an endless cycle. In his despair he shattered into a thousand pieces.

From his remains they shaped him as a woman, a Goddess — more suitable for bringing compassion and mercy into the world, they thought.

Painting in Dunhuang Series by Zeng Hao

They gave Her a thousand arms and eyes in the palms of each of Her hands so that  She would always see the people’s distress and be able to reach out to encircle them.

Then they sent Her back to earth to do Her work. So successful was She at comforting the people, that word of Her began to spread to other lands and other religions. ‘We need Her here,’ the people cried.

And so She went, reincarnating Herself wherever She was needed. Known by many names and stories in many places, She was revered as a Buddhist deity and then a Taoist one.” [1]

In Chinese tradition, “Kwan Yin (‘She Who Hears the Prayers of the World’) was originally the mother Goddess of China, who proved so popular She was adopted into the Buddhist pantheon as a bodhisattva (much like the Goddess Bride was made a saint). A bodhisattva is a person who has attained enlightenment but chooses to forgo Nirvana and remain in the world to help others attain enlightenment.” [2]

Before She became a bodhisattva, Kwan Yin was a princess named Miao Shan. “At the time of Miao shan’s conception the queen, Pao-ying, dreamed that she swallowed the moon. When the time came for the child to be born, the whole earth quaked, and wonderful fragrance and heavenly flowers were spread near and far. The people of that country were astounded. At birth She was clean and fresh without being washed. Her holy marks were noble and majestic, Her body was covered over with many-colored clouds. The people said that these were signs of the incarnation of a holy person. Although the parents thought this extraordinary, their hearts were corrupt, and so they detested Her.” [3]  As Miao Shan, She was rejected at birth and abused by a father who had wanted a son.  He sought to marry Her off, but She refused, only wanting to become a nun.  She endured many trials, but eventually Her father relented and She was allowed to pursue her dream of religious life and dedicated Her life to Buddhism.

But Her suffering did not end there. Her vengeful father even hired a man to kill Her, but She forgave him. In the end, Her great love and mercy saved his life and reconciled Her parent’s to Her divinity. [4] [5]

“As the still-popular mother Goddess of China, Kwan Yin is known as a great healer who can cure all ills. She is also a Goddess of fertility, and is often shown holding a child. In this aspect She is known as Sung-tzu niang-niang, “The Lady Who Brings Children”. She is shown holding a crystal vase, pouring out the waters of creation. Simply calling Her name in time of crisis is believed to grant deliverance.” [6]

"Kwan Yin" by Pamela Matthews

“Guanyin is also revered by Chinese Taoists (sometimes called Daoists) as an Immortal. However, in Taoist mythology, Guanyin has other origination stories which are not directly related to Avalokiteśvara.” [7]

“She is known as the Goddess Tara in the Himalayas and Mazu in Her incarnation as the Goddess of the Southern Seas, but She is best known by Her Chinese name, Kwan Yin (also spelled Kuan Yin), the Goddess of Compassion.

Depicted in statues and paintings, the Goddess Kwan Yin often appears as a calm, gentle woman of middle-age who radiates serenity. She is sometimes referred to as an Asian madonna.”  [8]

Guanyin (Kannon) & Child
Painting at Tzu-chi Foundation Hospital, Hualien, Taiwan.

“Some syncretic Buddhist and Christian observers have commented on the similarity between Guanyin and Mary of Christianity, the mother of Jesus Christ. This can be attributed to the representation of Guanyin holding a child in Chinese art and sculpture; it is believed that Guanyin is the patron saint of mothers and grants parents filial children. When the Tzu-Chi Foundation, a Taiwanese Buddhist organization, noticed the similarity between this form of Guanyin and the Virgin Mary, the organization commissioned a portrait of Guanyin and a baby that resembles the typical Roman Catholic Madonna and Child painting.

Some Chinese of the overwhelmingly Roman Catholic Philippines, in an act of syncretism, have identified Guanyin with the Virgin Mary.

During the Edo Period in Japan, when Christianity was banned and punishable by death, some underground Christian groups venerated the Virgin Mary disguised as a statue of Kannon; such statues are known as Maria Kannon. Many had a cross hidden in an inconspicuous location.” [9]

 

 

Kuan Yin has countless stories and countless forms. You can view a few by clicking here to visit Goddessgift.com.

 

"Kuan Yin #2" by Penny Slinger

ASSOCIATIONS:

  • the color white
  • white flowing robes
  • white lotus blossom
  • avase of dew/nectar
  • fish (carp) & oysters
  • rice-cakes
  • oranges
  • garlic
  • six arms or a thousand
  • eight heads, one sitting atop the next
  • eyes on the palms of the hands
  • peacocks
  • vase of dew
  • willow branches
  • jade and pearls
  • the number 33
  • a boat made of bark
  • blossoming flowers
  • the Hou (a mythological creature resembling the Buddhist lion)
  • a rosary in one hand or a book
  • rose quartz, pink tourmaline, emerald (pink or green stones)

NAMES OF THE GODDESS

  • Kuan Yin (Kwan Yin. Guan Yin, Guan Shih Yin, Quan Yin, Guanyin, Kuanin)
  • Avalokitesvara
  • Mazu, A-ma, Matsu
  • Goddess of the Southern Sea
  • Kwannon (Japan)
  • the Asian Santa Maria
  • One Who Hears the Cries of the World
  • Sung-Tzu-Niang-Niang
    (Lady Who Brings Children)
  • The Maternal Goddess
  • The Observer of All Sounds
  • Bodhisattava of Compassion
  • The Thousand-hand Kuanyin    [10]

 

Om Mani Padme Hum is the six syllabled mantra particularly associated with the four-armed Shadakshari form of Avalokiteshvara (Tibetan Jainraisig, Chinese Guanyin), the bodhisattva of compassion. Mani means “the jewel” and Padma means “the lotus”.  The following Om Mani Padme Hum mantra is sung by OM Carol with Tibetan singing bowls.

I had to include the following video.  If you’ve not seen this before, be prepared to be amazed.  The performance is called “Thousand-handed Goddess of Mercy” performed by China Disabled People’s Performing Art Troupe.  They are all deaf and mute.  The amazing leading dancer is Tai Lihua , who is a dance teacher at a deaf-mute school in Hubei, China.  Through this amazing dance, these disabled performers demonstrated their passion, love and divine grace.

 

 

Sources:

Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, “Chinese Cultural Studies: The Legend of Miao-shan“.

Goddessgift.com, “The Goddess Kwan Yin“.

Goddessgift.com, “Symbols & Names of the Goddesses Who Embody Kuan Yin“.

Took, Thalia. A-Muse-ing Grace Gallery, “Kwan Yin“.

Wikipedia, “Guanyin“.

 

Suggested Links:

Axinia. 1000 Petals by Axinia, “She Has Been Worshipped By More Devotees Than Any Other Goddess In History“.

Goddessgift.com, “Avalokitesvara and the Origins of the Goddess Kuan Yin“.

Lotus Moonwise. The Order of the White Moon, “Kwan Yin: Goddess of Compassion“.

My Kwan Yin, “About Kwan Yin“.

OnmarkProductions.com, “Virgin Mary & Kannon, Two Merciful Mothers“.

Revel, Anita. Reconnect With Your Inner Goddess, “Kwan Yin“.

Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism: Thai Exotic Treasures – Gifts and Information, “Kuan Yin, Kwan Yin, Avalokiteshvara, Chenrezig“.


The Camenae

"The Four Nymphs" by Eichenelf

“The Camenae’s themes are divination, protection, victory, children, birth and communication.  Their symbols are written word, any divination tool and fertility symbols.  This group of Goddesses correspond to the Muses of Greek tradition: they know our past, see what’s in store in the future, foretell children’s fates, and teach us the effective use of ‘letters’ (the alphabet), the arts, and how to tell fortunes. They also oversee midwives.

The festival of Megalesia celebrates the accuracy of the Sibylline oracles, who predicted the way for the Roman victory in the Punic Wars. Romans traditionally honored the Great Mother of the Gods, Cybele, today with music and song, so put on some magical tunes! The Camenae will saturate the music and uplift your spirit.

Ask the Camenae to help you write personalized invocations or spells today. Put pen to pad and let these Goddesses inspire sacred words suited to your path and needs. Keep these in a magic journal for the future.

The Roman oracles often drew lots to determine a querent’s answer. If you have a question weighing heavily on your heart today, follow this custom and take out some variegated beans. Hold them. Concentrate on the question, then pick out one bean. A black one means ‘no’; white means ‘yes’. Red means that anger is driving action, brown means things are muddled, and green indicates growth potential. If you don’t have beans, colored buttons are a suitable alternative.”

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

In Roman mythology, the Camenae (also Casmenae, Camoenae) were originally Goddesses of childbirth, wells and fountains, and also prophetic deities.

There were four Camenae: Carmenta, Egeria, Antevorta (also Porrima) and Postverta (also Postvorta or Prorsa).

The last two were sometimes specifically referred to as the Carmentae, and in ancient times might have been two aspects of Carmenta rather than separate figures; in later times, however, they are distinct beings believed to protect women in labor.

“Carmenta or Carmentis was the chief among the nymphs.  Not only was She a Goddess of childbirth and prophecy, but She was also associated with technological innovation. She was also said to have invented the Latin alphabet. The name Carmenta is derived from Latin carmen, meaning a magic spell, oracle or song, and also the root of the English word charm. Though She is an ancient Italian Goddess, in later times Carmenta was said to have come from Greece: in that story She is said to have originally been a prophetess of Arcadia called Nicostrate, but it was changed later to honor Her renown for giving oracles. She was the mother of Evander and along with other followers they founded the town of Pallantium, which later was one of the sites of the start of Rome. Gaius Julius Hyginus (Fab. 277) mentions the legend that it was She who altered fifteen letters of the Greek alphabet to become the Latin alphabet, which Her son Evander introduced into Latium.

It was forbidden to wear leather or other forms of dead skin in her temple, which was next to the Porta Carmentalis in Rome.  On Her festival day, the Carmentalia, which fell on January the 11 and 15, Vestal Virgins drew water from that spring for the rites.” [1] [2]

 

Egeria was a nymph or minor Goddess attributed a legendary role in the early history of Rome as a divine consort and counselor of the Sabine second king of Rome, Numa Pompilius, to whom She imparted laws and rituals pertaining to ancient Roman religion. Her name is used as an eponym for a female advisor or counselor.  Her origin is unclear; She is consistently, though not in a very clear way, associated with another figure of the Diana type; their cult is known to have been celebrated at sacred groves, such as the site of Nemi at Aricia, and another one close to Rome, expedient for Her presumed regular meetings with King Numa; both Goddesses are also associated with water; gifted with wondrous, religious or medical properties (the source in that grove at Rome was dedicated to the exclusive use of the Vestal Virigns); their cult was associated with other, male figures of even more obscure meaning, such as one named Virbius, or a Manius Egerius, presumably a youthful male, that anyway in later years was identified with figures like Atys or Hippolyte, because of the Diana reference.

After the death of Numa the nymph pined away and was changed into a fountain.  The spring and grove outside the Porta Capena was dedicated to Egeria.

Described sometime as a ‘mountain nymph’ (by Plutarch), She is usually regarded as a water nymph and somehow Her cult also involved some link with childbirth, like the Greek Goddess Ilithyia.” [2]

 

“Antevorta and Postvorta were probably at first two aspects of Carmenta who in time became important enough on Their own to be considered seperate Goddesses, though They were still generally believed to be sisters or attendents of Carmenta. Their names refer to Their prophetic powers that come into play at the birth of a child: both come from the root vertere, meaning ‘to change, turn, or alter’; so Antevorta then means, ‘Before Change’ and Postvorta ‘After Change’.  At the Carmentalia these two aspects were especially celebrated; and given that the festival was held on the 11th and the 15th of January (not the 11th through the 15th of January), perhaps They were each given one day, Antevorta turning towards the past on the 11th, and Postvorta to the future on the 15th. Alternatively, Postvorta is sometimes spelled Postverta, glossed as ‘feet first’, referring to the breech position of birth, while Antevorta was called Prorsa (‘straight forwards’) or Porrima, both taken to mean ‘head first’, the more usual position of a baby at birth.” [3]

The Camenae were later identified with the Greek Muses; in his translation of Homer’s OdysseyLivius Andronicus rendered the Greek word Mousa as Camena.

 

 

Sources:

Took, Thalia. The Obscure Goddess Online Dictionary, “Camenae“.

Took, Thalia.  The Obscure Goddess Online Dictionary, “Ægeria“.

Wikipedia, “Camenae“.

Wikipedia, “Carmenta“.

Wikipedia, “Egeria (mythology)“.

 

Suggested Links:

Myth Index, “Camenae“.

Mythology Guide, “Camenae“.

"Dog Family with Kishimojin" by Ozuma Kaname. The dog has long been taken as a symbol of easy childbirth, and here the litter of puppies (six in all) sit with their mother at the foot of Kishimojin.

“Kishi-Mujin’s themes are protection from evil, meditation, balance and banishing.  Her symbols are water and pine.  Kishi-mujin is a mother Goddess figure in Japan who wraps us in arms of warmth and safety, as welcoming as the spring sun. She is a compassionate lady whose goal is to bring life into balance by replacing sadness with joy; fear with comfort and darkness with light.

Omizutori is the annual, sacred Water-Drawing festival he final rite in observance of the two week-long Shuni-e ceremony. This ceremony is to cleanse the people of their sins as well as to usher in the spring of the New Year. Once the Omizutori is completed, the cherry blossoms have started blooming and spring has arrived.  Follow the Japanese custom, observe this day as a time of reflection: a time to meditate, recite sacred verses, and present offerings of water for blessing. Additionally, on this day, Buddhist monks shake sparks off a pine branch for people to catch. Each ash acts as a wars against evil influences. A safer alternative for banishing negativity or malintended energies is simply burning pine incense or washing your living space with a pine-scented cleaner.

To invoke Kishi-mujin’s presence in your life, find a small-needled pine twig and dip it in water. Sprinkle this water into your aura saying:

Away all negativity, Darkness flee!
Kishi-mujin’s light shines within me!’

Dry the twig and use it as incense for protection anytime you need it.

Finally, before going to bed tonight, honor Kishi-Mujin by stopping to meditate about your life for a few minutes. Are you keeping your spirituality and everyday duties in balance? Are your priorities in order? If not, think of creative, uplifting ways to restore the symmetry.”

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

Painting of Kishimojin by Insho Domoto

The Japanese Buddhist patron Goddess of little children. Her name means ‘mother goddess of the demons’ and She was originally a monstrous demon from India (called Hariti). She abducted little children and devoured them, until the great Buddha converted Her by teaching Her a hard lesson. Gautama Buddha hid Her youngest son, Aiji. After searching desperately for him She went to ask Buddha for aid. Thus he berated Her saying, “you have 500 children, and you are so sad for just losing one child. How are the other mothers feeling who have lost their only child?” In response Hariti stopped killing humans and became a Bodhisattva, governing safe pregnancies and the parenting of children. She represents the Buddha’s appeal to compassion, and his devotion to the welfare of the weak. Kishimojin is portrayed as a mother suckling Her baby and often holding a pomegranate.  Due to Her post-conversion use of pomegranates to feed Her 500 children, (the symbol of love and feminine fertility), mothers who seek Her blessing will dedicate a pomegranate as an offering.

Hariti as the Bodhisattva receives Her great popularity in Japan where She is called the Kishimojin or Karitei-mo. [1] [2]

Sources: 

Lindemans, Micha F. Encyclopedia Mythica, “Kishimojin

Swenson, Brandi. PopAnime {Time of the Golden Witch}, “Hariti/Kishimojin“.

Suggested Links:

Exotic India Art, “Tara and the Cult of the Female in Buddhism” (scroll about 1/6 of the way down to section “Hariti and Yakshani Cult“.

Onmark Productions.com, Japanese Buddhist Statuary, “Kariteimo

Wikipedia, “Hariti

Goddess Carmenta

"Premières Caresses" by William-Adolphe Bouguereau

In ancient roman religion and myth, Carmenta was a goddess of childbirth and prophecy, associated with technological innovation as well as the protection of mothers and children, and a patron of midwives. She was also said to have invented the Latin alphabet.

“Carmenta’s themes are children, fertility, foresight and birth. Her symbols are music and babies.
Carmenta, the Roman Goddess of prophecy and birth, joins in our new year festivities by teaching us the value of preparedness and productivity. The only offerings acceptable to Carmenta are vegetable matter – as a birth Goddess, taking life is abhorrent to her. Her magical, prophetic nature can be seen in Carmenta’s name, specifically the root word carmen, meaning a spell or charm in the form of a song.
Put on some uplifting music while you get dressed this morning. Let it motivate the resourceful aspect of Carmenta within you for the entire day.

In ancient Rome, today was the second to last day of a five-day-long festival honoring Carmenta. Pregnant women offered her rice for a safe delivery, while those wishing to have children ate raspberries to internalize her fertility. Try either of these to prompt the successful completion of a project or to improve your physical, emotional or spiritual fertility.

Romans considered this an excellent day to make predictions for a child. If you know someone who’s expecting, take a ring on a long string and hold it still over the mother’s belly. If the ring swings back and forth it indicates a boy; circular movements indicate a girl.”

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

Carmenta was the leader of the Camenae, a group of prophetic water goddesses or nymphs of ancient Rome, considered goddesses of Poetry as well as Birth-Goddesses who presided over springs, wells and fountains and who were invoked for healing.  The other three Camenae were Egeria (who was a divine consort and counselor of the Sabine second king of Rome, Numa Pompilius), Porrima (a baby is born head first when she is present), and Postverta (present at feet first births).

There is a grove outside the Porta Capena that is sacred to Carmenta.  Romans celebrated Carmenta’s festival January 11 and 15, during the first month of the  year, a symbol, perhaps of the beginning of life. The focus of this primarily female festival was on divination and reflection on the past.  Pregnant women made offerings to Her of prayers and rice in the hopes of an easy delivery.  The festivities began by making cream-filled pastries which were shaped as male and female genitalia which were eaten in honor of this Goddess of birth.  The wearing of leather or other dead animal skins were forbidden in their sacred places.

Alternate names for Carmenta: Carmentis, Themis, Timandra (Greek, “She who honors the male”?), Tiburtis (linking Her with the town of Tibur/Tivoli and Albunea, the White Sybil?)

For more information on the Camenae, click here.

 

 

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