Tag Archive: community


Goddess Odudua

Art by Drew Flaherty

Art by Drew Flaherty

“Odudua’s themes are kinship, unity, devotion, creativity, community, love and fertility. Her symbols are black items. In the beginning, Odudua created the earth and its people. In Yoruban tradition, She presides over all matter of fertility, love and community. Her sacred color is black.

The African American festival of Kwanzaa celebrates family unity and the black culture. It is also a harvest festival whose name means ‘first fruits’. Every day of the celebration focuses on important themes, including Odudua’s harmony, determination, community responsibility, purpose, creativity and faith.

One lovely tradition easily adapted is that of candle lighting. Each day of the festival, light one red, green or black candle (the colors of Africa). Name the candle after one of Odudua’s attributes you wish to develop (try to choose the color that most closely corresponds to your goal). Igniting it gives energy and visual manifestation to that principle. Also try to keep one black candle lit (in a safe container) to honor the Goddess’s presence during this time.

To inspire Odudua’s peaceful love in your heart and life today, wear something black. This will absorb the negativity around you and put is to rest.”

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

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Patricia Monaghan said that this “primary mother Goddess of the Yoruba of Nigeria…is the great orisha (deity) of the earth as well as its creator.  Her name means ‘She who exists for Herself and to create others,’ and it was Her energy that caused the primal matter which later formed itself ionto this universe.  The spot where She descended from the sky onto the new earth is still pointed out in Yourbaland.  Oddudua is called Saint Claire in Santería” (p. 238).

On mythologydictionary.com, it states: “A creator-Goddess and war-Goddess of the Yoruba. Wife and sister (or, some, say, daughter) of Olodumare or Obatala. Mother of Aganju, Ogun and Yemoja. Some regard her as the founder of the Yoruba. In some accounts, Oduduwa is regarded as male, son of Lamurudu and brother of Obatala, marrying Aje and fathering Oranyan; in others She is female in which role Her father sent Her to earth to sow seeds and She became the wife of Orishako. In some references, called OduduwaOdudua or Odudua. [1]

 

 

 

Sources:

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

Mythologydictionary.com, “Oduduwa“.

 

Suggested Links:

MXTODIS123. Reclaimingthedarkgoddess.blogspot.com, “Oduduwa“.

Goddess Pukkeenegak

“Pukkeenegak” by Sharon Mcleod

“Pukkeenegak’s themes are kinship, community, thankfulness, charity and kindness. Her symbols are tattoos. This Inuit Goddess presides over all household and community affairs. As a mother figure, She watches kindly over Her children, making sure we have clothing and food. Art shows Her with a tattooed face, boots, and a lovely dress befitting the patroness of seamstresses.

Among the Inuit, this is a time when youths go door to door gathering foods for a huge community feast [referring to the Aiyaguk or Asking Festival].  Afterward, people petition one another for gifts – exchanging the entire community’s goods in the spirit of thanksgiving.  So, orchestrate a gathering of people of a like mind for a potluck dinner at which Pukkeenegak is the guest of honour (leave a place setting for her).

Wear special clothing today that reflects the Goddess’s gift with needle and thread. Or organize a clothing drive so people can donate items they no longer need to a charitable cause. This way the Goddess can bless each person who receives one of those garments with her providence!

If you’ve found your home or heart tense lately, invoke Pukkeenegak’s unifying, steadying energy by drawing an emblem of peace over your heart chakra or on the back of your hand (use non-toxic markers or body paint). Leave it there until it naturally wears off, by which time the magic should show signs of manifesting.”

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

“Tender Moments” by Dorothy Francis

All that I could find on today’s Goddess was that in Inuit mythology, Pukkeenegak (pronounced poo-KEE-neh-gack) was a domestic Goddess.  “The Inuit people worship Pukkeenegak as a hearth and home Goddess.  She rules all domestic tasks including sewing and cooking.  As a deity of childbirth, She rules all stages of pregnancy, including conception and labor” (Auset, p. 65); nothing more in-depth or any detailed mythological stories that I could find.

 

 

Sources:

Auset, Brandi. The Goddess Guide: Exploring the Attributes and Correspondences of the Divine Feminine, “The Goddesses: Pukkeenegak“.

 

Suggested Links:

Freefictionbooks.org, “The Dance Festivals of the Alaskan Eskimo: The Aiyaguk or Asking Festival“.

Goddess-guide.com, “Fertility Goddesses and Goddesses of Pregnancy and Childbrith“.

Libraryoftheancients.proboards.com, “Eskimo Mythology“.

Monaghan, Patricia. Encyclopedia of Goddesses and Heroines,”Circumpolar” (p. 135 – 150).

Wozniak, Edward. Glitternight.com, “Inuit Mythology“.

Goddess Çhicomecoatl

“Çhicomecoatl’s themes are fire, providence, energy, community, abundance, fertility and strength. Her symbols are hot spices (especially chili peppers), corn and fire.  In Mexico, this Goddess presides over maize and all matters of plenty during this time of harvest. Çhicomecoatl is also the hearth Goddess and provides warmth, energy and fertility in those in need. Her fiery, strong character is depicted vibrantly in artistic renderings in which Çhicomecoatl bears the sun as a shield.

Around this time of year, people in New Mexico celebrate The Whole Enchilada Festival in which they enjoy a day of taste-testing a ten-foot-long enchilada in a communal atmosphere, and you might like to follow suit.  The hot spices in enchiladas (or other Mexican foods you like) motivate Çhicomecoatl’s fire within for physical and emotional warmth. If you’re sensitive to hot peppers, add corn to your diet today instead. This invokes the Goddess’s strength and fertility.

More simply still, Çhicomecoatl abides in any fire source. So, light a candle first thing in the morning to welcome Her into your home today. For portable magic, carry matches or put a lighter in your pocket. Throughout the day, light a match or the lighter when ever you need a boost of energy or vitality, or when you need to improve your communications with those around you. This action also draws Çhicomecoatl’s attention to your financial needs.”

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

“In Aztec mythology, Chicomecōātl (‘Seven snakes’), was the Aztec Goddess of agriculture during the Middle Culture period. She is sometimes called ‘Goddess of nourishment’, a Goddess of plenty and the female aspect of corn. Every September a young girl representing Chicomecōātl was sacrificed. The priests decapitated the girl, collected her blood and poured it over a figurine of the Goddess. The corpse was then flayed and the skin was worn by a priest.

She is regarded as the female counterpart of the maize god Centeōtl, their symbol being an ear of corn. She is occasionally called Xilonen, (‘the hairy one’, which referred to the hairs on unshucked maize), who was married also to Tezcatlipoca.

She often appeared with attributes of Chalchiuhtlicue, such as Her headdress and the short lines rubbing down Her cheeks. She is usually distinguished by being shown carrying ears of maize.” [1]

“CHICOMECOATL” by ~marffi89

“This maize Goddess of the Aztecs had many forms, as many as did the growing corn: She was a maiden decked with water flowers, a young woman whose embrace brought death, a mother carrying the sun as a shield.  One of the most popular divinities of ancient Mexico, She was depicted wearing a four-sided headdress and carrying a magic corncob labeled ‘forgiving strength.’  It is possible that Çhicomecoatl was originally worshiped by the residents of central Mexico who preceded the Aztecs, and that Her rites in their era were less bloody than the Aztec sacrifices of young girls in Çhicomecoatl’s name” (Monaghan, p. 85).

 

 

 

Sources:

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

Wikipedia, “Chicomecoatl“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Key, Anne. Matrifocus.com, “Chicomecóatl: Goddess of Sustenance“. (HIGHLY RECOMMEND!  As always is the case with MatriFocus, a great in-depth article)

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, “Maize Deity (Chicomecoatl)“.

Goddess Meng Jiangnu

“Meng Jiangnu’s themes are the harvest, children, unity, kinship and community. Her symbols are pumpkin and squash.  In the true spirit of a global culture, Meng Jiangnu is ‘imported’ for today’s festivities from China, being a pumpkin girl born from the vines of two different households. Her birth united the two families and brought them harmony where strife had once been. Today She continues to offer us unity with those we love, plus a profusion of positive feelings.

Around this time of year in France, people gather in central markets looking for the Mother of all Pumpkins, which actually gets enthroned for the festivities! This is later made into a communal soup, so those who eat it are magically partaking of Meng Jiangnu’s energy. Eating this soup reaffirms community spirit and ensures a good pumpkin harvest the next year. So definitely make pumpkin or squash a part of your menu today. Consider pumpkin bread for breakfast with a friend or family member to encourage good feelings toward each other throughout the day. At lunch, a warm buttered squash side dish keeps love warm. Last of all, don’t forget some pie for dessert after dinner to bring sweetness to your relationships!

Carve a pumpkin or squash with a symbol of any pressing need you have in a relationship. Put a candle inside and light it up so the pumpkin girl can shine Her energy into that situation and begin the healing process.”

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

In reading the above description given by Patricia Telesco, I truly don’t believe that pumpkins would be a symbol for Meng Jiangnu considering that pumpkins are native to North America and wouldn’t have been found in China when Meng Jiangnu’s story takes place – which was set during the Qin Dynasty (221 BCE-206 BCE).  “Extensive documentation [tells us] that pumpkins (Curcubita Pepo) are a New World crop introduced to China along with corn, peppers, potatoes, tobacco etc., durng the late Ming [1368 CE – 1644 CE]/early Qing period [1644 CE – 1912 CE].” [1]

Patricia Monaghan tells us that Meng-Jiang Jyu a “Chinese folktale heroine…was born in a miraculous way.  Two neighboring families, both of them childless, found a watermelon exactly halfway between their homes.  Within it was this magical girl, whom the families decided to raise jointly.  Meng-Jiang was a good girl who make both sets of parents happy.  When she came to marry, she was lucky enough to find a young man in the village [Fan Qiliang] who cherished her.  All went well until one summer day the emperor’s soldiers came and, without giving him a choice, conscripted Meng-Jiang’s husband to build the Great Wall.

Months passed and, worried that her husband would be cold without his winter clothes, Meng-Jiang set off to find him.  She walked and walked, asking everyone for her lover, but each village sent her further.  She almost drowned crossing the Yellow River, but the river god became sympathetic to her cause and saved her.  Finally, she reached her destination, only to find that her beloved husband had died; his bones had been interred somewhere in the Wall.  She cried out to heaven, and the Wall collapsed – revealing thousands of bones.  How could she find her husband’s?  Recalling their vow to be blood of each other’s blood, she bit herself and, bleeding, walked among the bones.  Those of her husband’s recognized and absorbed her blood, so she was able to give them a proper burial” (p. 215).

“Meng’s tragedy was related to the atrocious Emperor Qin Shihuang who came to survey the damage done to the wall. But when he saw Meng Jiang, he was enchanted by her beauty and wanted to marry her. Meng Jiang said she would only marry him on three conditions – first, her former husband was to be given a grand burial; second, the emperor and his court must go into mourning for Qiliang; and third, she wanted to visit the ocean. Although the emperor hated the idea of officially mourning a commoner, he agreed so he could gain her hand in marriage. After Meng Jiang got her third wish, she scolded the Emperor bitterly and committed suicide by casting herself into the ocean. The Emperor sent his men to dredge the ocean but the waves chased them away.

The image of Meng represents the kindness of ancient women and the torture brought on the people by war. The story shows the dislike ancient people had towards war. It has been passed down from generation to generation in Bo Shan.

the Statue Lady Meng

The section of the Great Wall that was toppled by Meng and the sea where she committed suicide are in today’s Zibo City, Shandong Province. The Temple of Lady Meng-Jiang, first established in the Song Dynasty about 1,000 years ago, has been maintained and worshipped at the eastern beginning of the Great Wall till this day in Qinhuangdao City of Hebei Province today.” [2]

 

 

 

Sources:

Monaghan, Patricia. The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines, “Meng-Jiang Jyu”.

Wikipedia, “Lady Meng Jiang“.

 

Suggested Links:

Kaleidoscope.cultural-china.com, “A Chinese Folklore: Tears of Meng Jiang Nu“.

Goddess Ichar-Tsirew

“Yemaya” (also titled “Water Goddess”) by Qahira Lynn

“Ichar-tsirew’s themes are unity, community, justice, spirituality, purification, home, peace and organization. Her symbols are water, orderly items and peace amulets.  In Ghana, this water Goddess flies into people’s lives, saturating them with peaceful intentions and tranquility, especially in the home. She reveals in good organization and any matters carried out in an orderly fashion.

Among the people of the Gold Coast, this festival, Odwira, is a time to honor their bonds as a nation and revel in the laws, beliefs and customs established in the early 1600’s (many of which are probably far older). One of the neat customs that can invoke Ichar-tsirew’s organized attributes is that of burying a bundle of branches. This puts away any unnecessary negativity and banishes old habits that somehow disrupt the orderly flow of your life.

When you find that the people in your living space have reached critical mass and you need to call a truce, Ichar-tsirew’s waters can help. Go through the house (or building, if the ‘war zone’ is in your office) before talking to anyone and sprinkle her peace in every nook possible (just a little us fine). As you go, repeat this incantation,

‘Negativity cease; by peace released!’

Continue until the whole area is done. Now try reapproaching the people with whom tensions have been building and let the Goddess harness harmony.”

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

Well, not too much information on this Goddess today.  From what I did find, Ichar-tsirew inhibits a large rounded rock on the beach in Cape Coast in Ghana ” about four hundreds yards to the east of the [Cape Coast] Castle.  She is black in colour, and of ordinary human shape and size.  No man may intrude on this rock or in its immediate neighborhood, and it is the place to which women resort to wash.  New-born children of either sex were formerly carried here to be given names; and when a girl was about to marry, she was taken to the rock, from thence to the husband’s home.  An offering of rum was poured into a hole in the rock, and a piece, or pieces, of white cloth laid upon it.  This was believed to promote peace in the household of the future wife, and also to guarantee a safe recovery from the dangers of maternity.  Ichar-tsirew carries a scourge in Her right hand, with which She drives away intrusive males” (Ellis, p. 45 – 46).

Ellis goes onto say that “when a girl arrives at the age of puberty, usually in the eleventh or twelfth year, she is taken to the water-side by others of her sex, and washed.  At the same time an offering, consisting of boiled yam, mashed and mixed with palm-oil, is scattered upon the banks of the stream by the members of her family, who call upon the local gods, and inform them that the child has reached a marriageable age.  In Cape Coast the girl is taken to the rock of the Goddess Ichar-tsirew, and there washed.  After the washing, a bracelet, consisting of one white bead, one black, and one gold, threaded on a white cord, is put on the girl’s wrist.  These three beads in conjunction are termed abbum, and their being taken into use is a sign to the Sassur that its protecting care is no longer required.  In the interior, on such occasions, girls are streaked white” (p. 234 – 235).

 

 

Sources:

Ellis, Alfred Burdon. The Tshi-Speaking Peoples of the Gold Coast of West Africa.

Goddess Mala Laith

“Mala Laith’s themes are justice, community, peace, wisdom, knowledge, forgiveness, maturity and unity. Her symbols are the color gray, pigs, deer, the horse and birds.  Known often simply by the designation ‘Gray One’, Mala Laith is the ancient Celtic crone Goddess. Mala Laith is said to have made the mountains and formed many stone circles, alluding to Her age and power. She travels in the company of birds, pigs, deer or a gray horse, carrying wisdom, knowledge, understanding, sensibility and preparation to us as gifts that come with maturity.

On this day, people on Mann honor Tynwald, the old Norse assembly system instituted over one thousand years ago, by gathering to discuss legal matters and end internal bickering. As they do, Mala Laith stands by, offering good counsel and sagacity. For us this means taking a moment out to make sure things in our life are in order and being properly attended to. Review your checking account, follow up on legal matters, make peace with someone from whom you’ve been estranged and generally spend the day focusing on sound action, wise words and sensible thinking. This invokes Mala Laith’s energy.

Wear something gray today to honor the Goddess and watch to see if any of Her sacred animals show up (in logos, on billboards, anywhere) during your day. If they do, pay close attention to their movements and actions. They’re bringing a message to you from Mala Laith, and it’s well worth heeding!”

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

“‘Grey eyebrows’ was the name given to the Cailleach in Ross and Cromarty in Scotland,” Patricia Monaghan tells us.  “She was said to tend a herd of pigs, which included the wild boar of Glen Glass” (p. 205).  As to be expected, Mala Laith “(pronounced MAH-lah LEE-ah) She is often equated with Cerridwen.” [1]

 

About Cailleach

“Cailleach” by Mairin-Taj Caya

“‘Cailleach’ (pronounced KAL-y-ach) derives from the old Irish caillech, or ‘the veiled one’. The modern word cailleach means ‘old woman’ or ‘hag’ in Gaelic. The Cailleach is a widespread form of Celtic hag-Goddess tied to the land and the weather who has many variants in the British Isles.

The Caillagh ny Groamagh (‘Gloomy Old Woman’, also called the Caillagh ny Gueshag, ‘Old Woman of the Spells’) of the Isle of Man is a winter and storm spirit whose actions on the 1st of February are said to foretell the year’s weather–if it is a nice day, She will come out into the sun, which brings bad luck for the year. The Cailleach Uragaig, of the Isle of Colonsay in Scotland, is also a winter spirit who holds a young woman captive, away from her lover.

The theme of winter holding spring captive is also seen in the tale that the Cailleach imprisons the beautiful young goddess Bride inside of a mountain over the winter. At Bride’s release, spring comes to the world.

“Cailleach Bhéara” by Max Dashu

The Cailleach Bheur (‘genteel old lady’) of Scotland is a blue-faced hag of winter, who ages in reverse–from old and ugly (symbolizing winter) to young and lovely (spring). The Cailleach Bhéirre of Ireland represents sovereignty over the land and is ancestress of many peoples. Like Dame Ragnell of the Arthurian legends, She appears to the hero as an hideous old woman seeking love; if She gets it, She becomes a beautiful young woman. In legends dating from Christian times, She is sometimes said to be a nun, perhaps linked to the meaning of Her name.

Alternate names: Cailleach Bheur, Cailleach Uragaig, Cailleach Beinne Bric (‘Old Woman of the Speckled Mountain’), Cailleach Mor (‘Great Old Woman’) (Scotland); Cailleach Bheirre, Cailleach Bolus, Cailleach Corca Duibhe (Ireland); Caillagh ny Groamagh, Caillagh ny Gueshag (Isle of Man).” [2]

 

 

 

Sources:

Joelle. Joelle’s Sacred Grove, “Mala Laith“.

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

Took, Thalia. A-Muse-ing Grace Gallery, “The Cailleach, Celtic Crone Goddess of Winter“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Forest, Danu. Danuforest.co.uk, “The Cailleach, the old woman of winter“.

Mysterious Britain & Ireland, “The Caillech Bheur“.

PaganPages.org, “Cailleach“.

Metropolitan Films Ltd. Thisisirishfilm.ie, “An Cailleach Bheara (2007)“.

Shee-Eire.com, “Cailleach Beara“.

Sparrow. Journey Around the Wheel of Life, “Cailleach“.

The Suppressed History Archives, “Crone“.

Wikipedia, “Cailleach“.

WolfWinds, Silver. Order of the White Moon, “Cailleach“.

Goddess Antheia

“The Oracle” by Howard David Johnson

“Antheia’s themes are promises, friendship, trust, honor, community, love and relationships. Her symbols are gold colored items, honey and myrrh.  Since 800 B.C.E. Antheia has been known as the Greek Goddess of marriage, companionship and good council. These attributes manifested themselves in a triple Goddess figure who flowered, sought a mate and reached perfection. Today we ask Her to bless our rites by flowering within our souls so we too can obtain spiritual perfection.

In ancient Greece, Arretophoria – the festival of trust and friendship, was held sometime between June and July. Each year, two maidens were given a special honey-laden diet and clothed in golden robes to take on a special trust. They delivered a package untouched to a secret place in a local temple, then spent the year in community service, never peeking inside the box. This sounds like a fun activity for couples or friends. Each person picks out a trust gift for the other and gives it to them to put in a special place. The entire time the gift remains there unopened, Antheia will energize it and bless the people in that relationship, so don’t get tempted to peek. Believe me, when I say it’s worth the wait. At the end of the year, don something gold, burn myrrh to create a sacred space in which Antheia dwells and open the gifts, explaining the significance of the items. I guarantee it’s a present you’ll never forget.”

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

“Charites: Spring” by iizzard

“Antheia was one of the Charites, or Graces, of Greek mythology and ‘was the Goddess of flowers and flowery wreaths worn at festivals and parties.’ Her name is derived from the Ancient Greek word anthos, meaning flower, and She was depicted on vases as an attendant of Aphrodite with other Charites. She was known to the Romans as Anthea. Her center of worship was on the island of Crete.

Antheia is also the Greek name of Ancient Sozopolis in modern Bulgaria, and another Antheia was a village which was later adopted into Patras around 1000 BC.

“: : A n t h e i a : :” by Lil-kokoro

Antheia was the Goddess of Vegetation, Lowlands, Marshlands, Gardens, Blossoms, the Budding Earth, and Human Love.” [1]

 

 

 

Sources:

Wikipedia, “Antheia“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Her Cyclopedia, “The Goddess Antheia“.

Theoi Greek Mythology, “Kharites“.

Goddess Awehai

This entry is near and dear to me as the Essence or Spirit of this Goddess lives here in my neck of the woods in Upstate New York.

“Sky Woman” by Marcine Quenzer

“Awehai’s themes are harvest, tradition, growth, longevity and community. Her symbols are turtles and seeds.  In Iroquois tradition, this Goddess reigns in the sky and the heavens, watching diligently over family life and the community.  Mythology tells us that Awehai grabbed seeds and animals as She fell from heaven, landing on the back of a great turtle. From here, Awehai scattered the seeds and freed the animals, resulting in a growing, fertile earth filled with beauty.

The Strawberry Festival was instituted by the Iroquois Indians in Tonawanda, New York. Here, people come to the longhouse to enjoy ritual dancing, chanting and the sounding of turtle-shell rattles, a symbol of Awehai. So, if you know any type of traditional ritual dances or chants consider enacting them outside as you scatter greass seed to the wind. This will nanifest Awehai’s productiviity in your life and in the earth.

Another custom is simpler and a lot of fun: consuming starwberries in as many forms as possible. In Iroquois tradition, these pave the road to heaven and eating them ensures you a long life and Awehai’s fertility. Share strawberries witha loved on to inspire Awehai’s community-oriented energy in your home and consume fresh strawberries to harvest Her powers for personal growth.”

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

 

“Sky Woman” by Mark Kawesoton Light

Today’s information comes from Patricia Monaghan on the Iroquois Goddess Ataensic (Sky-Woman).  She writes, “once, said the Iroquois and their neighbors, there was no land, just a vast blue lake upon which water birds floated with otters, turtles, and other seadwelling creatures.  High above in a heavenly land was the celestial society into which Ataensic was born.

Her father died before Her birth – the first death in the universe.  He was placed on a burial scaffold where the Girl used to go to converse with his spirit.  He instructed Her, when She was grown, to travel a long distance through heaven to Earth-Holding Chief, Her intended mate.

Through tempests and danger She traveled; the chief tested Her with torture, but She endured and returned to Her own village, pregnant by him.  Her daughter, Gusts-of-Wind, was born, but Her people threw Ataensic down to the earth-lake.  (Or was it an accident? – the myths differ.)  She fell and fell through the blue air, Her daughter returning to Ataensic’s womb.

Below, a loon looking into the water saw a figure rising from the depths.  He mentioned this curiosity to the bittern.  The puzzled birds slowly realized that Ataensic was falling, not rising from the lake.  They had never known that their lake had a bottom, which thus had formed a mirror.  The knowledge came just in time, for to save the falling woman, the birds and animals had to build land from the lake mud.  Otter and turtle tried, and muskrat and finally Ketq Skwayne (‘Grandmother Toad’) dove deep and returned exhausted, spitting up some of the magical earth just before she died.

“Sky Woman” by Bruce King (Oneida)

The earth landed on the turtle’s back and instantly began to grow.  By the time Ataensic reached the water – Her fall broken by the water birds’ wings – there was enough land for Her to rest on as Gusts-of-Wind was reborn (Some stories say that She fell onto what is now a mountain near Oswego River Falls in New York).

Gusts-of-Wind became pregnant and died giving birth to twins; from Her body Ataensic fashioned the sun and the moon, and that is the way the earth and its luminaries came into being” (p. 57 – 58).

In another version I read, Her husband, Sky Chief, had a dream, and according to this, he took a young wife.  It is said that in time this young wife was soon to become a mother from inhaling the breath of her husband, but this was unknown to him.  That from this, he doubted her honesty to him, so much that it caused him so much distress in his mind, that he became ill from his jealousy.  He had another dream which called for the Tree of Light to be uprooted creating a great hole in sky world. Into this hole he could push his young and unsuspecting wife.

In olden times, dreams were held in high regard in everyday life, so much that destiny was controlled by dreams to a great degree. So, accordingly, in the morning he called his Wife to him. He had Her get Her burden basket and he began to fill it with nut tree roots and berry bushed and many other things. Then he had this Tree of Light  uprooted.  The opening made by uprooting the Tree allowed light to shine through the opening.  Thus, today, comes the light of the Sun.

“Sky Woman’s Story Painting” by Owisokon Lahache

This chief managed to deceive his unsuspecting Wife to look down through the new opening. In so doing, while She was looking down, he pushed Her down into the opening.  It is said that in his anger, he also cast down through the opening all man-beings, such as the Deer, the Wolf, the Bear, the Beaver, and all animals and growing things such as the sunflower and red willow. He transformed them into their forms and size as they now appear.  And when his anger had cooled down, he had the Tree of Light replaced.

The rest of the story is similar to Patricia Monaghan’s version except that it was muskrat who succeeded in retrieving the earth needed to grow land on turtle’s back before dying of exhaustion.

At once, the Sky-Woman began to walk about this tiny earth, which by Her action began to grow in size.  She even took handfuls of earth and cast it in all directions, which also caused it to continue to grow, until She could not see the boundary.

Thus, this is how North America became to be known as Turtle Island.” [2]

 

 

I included this video called The Iroquois, Pt. 1 – The Confederacy.  In this video, Marion Miller of the Seneca Nation, who has continued the oral tradition as a story teller, tells the Iroquois creation story.

Sources:

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

Red Jacket. marcinequenzer.com, “Creation Story“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Crystalinks.com, “Iroquois Nation“.

Crystalinks.com, “Native American Myths of Creation Woman“.

Her Cyclopedia, “Awehai“.

Old and Sold, “Iroquoian Cosmogony“.

Shenandoah, Johanne & Douglas M. George. Skywoman: Legends of the Iroquois.

Yupanqui, Tika. Tika Yupanqui’s Machu Picchu site, Iroquois Myths and Legends“.

Goddess Sulis

“RiverGenesis” by Jonathon Earl Bowser

“Sulis’s themes are  water, healing, sun, blessings, wishes, community and offerings. Her symbols are water, wheat cakes and fire. The Celtic Goddess Sulis oversees all sacred wells and springs, which give healing and other blessings to those who pray at them. She also has associations with the sun, which explains the ever-burning fires in Her temples.

One hundred miles outside of London, Sulis’s ancient natural springs lie as they did for over seven thousand years until they were discovered by the Romans, who used them for ritual, wish magic, socialization and healing. The Festival at Bath revels in this region’s history, especially Sulis’s hot springs, which continue to bring thousands of visitors here annually, few of whom know that the springs are ten thousand years old and part of Sulis’s spirit. To my mind this equates with enjoying time in a hot tub or sauna (perhaps you can take part of the day at a local spa).

If a spa isn’t possible, let your bathroom get really steamy from a hot-water shower, then sit inside for awhile absorbing Sulis’s cleansing power into your pores. Release you tensions and dis-ease to Her. Maybe light a candle to represent Sulis’s presence with you, and meditate as you relax. Remember, the bathroom is one of the few places you can be assured of a private moment with the Goddess, so take advantage of it!”

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

“Sulis” by Thalia Took

“The Goddess of the hot springs at Bath, England (the only hot springs in Britain), Sulis’s name come from a root meaning ‘eye’ or ‘gap’, referring both to the spring from where half a million gallons of hot water still well up every day, as well as to Her powers as seeress.

Her hot spring has been renowned for its healing powers since ancient times, and when the Romans arrived in Britain they built a bath complex around the spring, and named the place Aquae Sulis (‘the Waters of Sulis’). Pilgrims came from mainland Europe to bathe in the therapeutic waters, and references to Sulis are known from as far away as Germany.

The Romans equated Sulis with their Minerva, and so She was known to them as Sulis Minerva–which is somewhat unusual, since the Romans generally used the native Celtic deity name after the Roman name. This is taken as an indication of Her importance and fame.

Though famous for healing, Sulis could curse as well as cure, and in Bath many ‘curse tablets’ have been found, asking Her to punish people suspected of wrongdoing.

She is shown here with one of the small offering-pans dedicated to Her by worshippers which were found at the site of Bath; they were usually inscribed ‘DSM’, short for the Latin Dea Sulis Minerva, ‘to the Goddess Sulis Minerva’. Her dress is the same milky greeny-grey as the water of the springs, and Her hair is the bright orange of the deposits left by the mineral-rich waters.” [1]

 

 

“Sulis” by Hrana Janto

According to Patricia Monaghan, “the ancient British Goddess of the healing waters had Her special shrine at the spa we call Bath, where Her power was strongest.  Some scholars say that She was a solar divinity, deriving Her name from the word that means ‘sun’ and ‘eye’.  This interpretation may account for the perpetual fires at Her shrines; in fact that Her springs were hot, rather than cold, is additional evidence in favor of considering Her a sun Goddess.

She was honored into historic times; the Roman occupiers called Her Minerva Medica (‘healing Minerva’); occasionally She is called Sulivia.

 

 

 

 

 

“Minerva” by Simon Vouet

In statuary and bas-reliefs, She was shown as a matronly woman in heavy garments with a hat made of a bear’s head and Her foot resting on a fat little owl.  In Bath and on the continent, She also appears in multiple form, as the tripartite Suliviae.  The latter name is also used of the pan-Celtic divinity Brigid, suggesting a connection between these figures” (p. 286 – 287).

Sulis’s name is also seen as Suliviae, Sulivia, Sul, Sulei, and Sulla.

 

 

 

 

Sources:

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

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

 

 

Suggested Links:

Billington, S. The Concept of the Goddess, “Sulis: Healer and Avenger” (p. 33 – 36).

English, Mary. Homeopathy and Astrology to help you Heal with Mary L. English, “The Homeopathic Proving of Aquae-Sulis“.

Goddessrealm.com, “Sulis“.

Goddessschool.com, “Sulis Minerva“.

Nemeton, The Sacred Grove: Home of the Celtic gods, “Sulis“.

Roman-Britain.org, “AQUAE SVLIS“.

Shaw, Judith. Feminism and Religion, “Sulis, Celtic Sun Goddess of Healing and Prophesy“.

Spiritblogger’s Blog, “Spirit Message of the Day – Recharge, Refresh, Renew – THE GODDESS SULIS“.

Wikipedia, “Sulis“.

Goddess Po Ino Nogar

“Dewi Sri 2” by Much

“Po Ino Nogar’s themes are growth, harvest, fertility and community. Her symbols are clouds, saltwater, rain and soil. This agricultural Goddess’s name means simply ‘great one’ in Cambodia, likely due to the fact that She brings fertility to the earth and its people. It is Her duty to protect the fields and harvests. Epics sometimes symbolize Po Ino Nogar as a gentle rain, because local myths claim that She was born in the clouds and still controls the water’s generative gift to the land and to our souls.

Members of the royal family in Camobida used to plow the fields today to appease Po Ino Nogar and ensure fertility to the crops. For modern purposes, think about tasks that need to be be ‘plowed’ through – paperwork that’s been neglected, communicating with someone with a difficult demeanor, a project put on terminal hold. As you till the metamorphic soils of that situation, you also encourage Po Ino Nogar’s growth-oriented energy in them. If your spirit or humor has seemed a bit ‘dry’ lately, try this Po Ino Nogar visualization:

Close you eyes and imagine a blue-white cloud overhead with the face of a smiling woman formed by it creases. As you look , the cloud releases small light-drops that pour softly over you. As they do, your skin absorbs the light, as well as this Goddess’s energy. Continue the visualization until you feel filled to overflowing.”

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

 

“Among the Charms of Cambodia, the world’s Goddess-ruler, creator of rice, was called Po Ino Nogar (“Great One, Mother of the Kingdom”).  Born either from seafoam or from clouds, She had 97 husbands and 38 daughters.  One of Her offspring was Po Bya Tikuh (“mouse queen”), a maleficent virgin Goddess; another was the Goddess of disease, Po Yan Dari, who lived in caves and grottoes to which worshipers would bring stones, asking for miraculous cures.  Another Charm healing Goddess was the divine priestess Pajau Tan, said to be a thirtyish woman who lived on earth as a healer but who was finally sent to live in the moon because She kept raising all the dead; there She still lives, providing flowers to newly dead to ease their transformation” (Monaghan, p. 255).

 

 

 

Sources:

Monaghan, Patricia. The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines, “Po Ino Nogar”.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Davis, Kent. Devata.org, “Rice Goddesses of Indonesia, Cambodia and Thailand“.

Rongsit, Vipp. Content4reprint.com, “Thai Rice and Ceremony of Rice Goddess“.

Tate, Karen. Sacred Places of Goddess: 108 Destinations, “Temples of Angkor” (p. 211)

Wikipedia, “Phosop“.

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