Tag Archive: death


Goddess Larunda

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“Larunda’s themes are earth, home and ghosts. Her symbols are stoves or ovens, soil or clay. Lara is one of the Roman Goddesses of earth and the home. She is also the mother and guardian to ghosts, or lares, who reside in the hearth and protect the family. Traditionally, today is a festival day, Larentalia.

In Rome, this day was a time to say prayers for the dead and the nation, as well as to bring joy to one’s home. In keeping with this tradition, convey like these to Larunda:

‘Larunda, hear my words
Bless the spirits of those who have gone on before me
and grant them serenity
Bless also my nation
that it may know peace and prosperity
this year and always
Finally, bless my home with your happiness,
prosperity and love
Let all who visit or dwell within
feel your presence and protection surrounding them
Thank you for these blessings
Amen.’

To invoke both Larunda’s and the lares blessing on your residence, leave a small jar of soil somewhere near your oven, microwave, toaster or heater, and say:

‘Larunda, lares, this house bless, with your warmth and gentleness.’

Whenever tensions in the house reach a boiling point, take a pinch of the soil outside and dispose of it. This releases the magic and symbolically gets rid of the problems. Don’t look back.”

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

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This Goddess was already covered on February 18 – as Lara (click on Her name to be directed to that entry).  To add to that information that was presented in that entry: “Roman sources mention this Goddess passingly as ‘mother of the dead,’ an underworld Goddess who may have been the same one who granted prosperity as Acca Larentia.  She was sometimes called Tacita or Muta (‘deadly silent one’); She was invoked by that name in magical attempts to stop the mouths of detractors, in which women would tie the mouths of dead fish so that gossips would suffer the same fate” (Monaghan, p. 191).

 

 

Sources:

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

 

Suggested Links:

Took, Thalia. Thaliatook.com, “Acca Larentia“.

Wikipedia, “Larunda“.

Wikipedia, “Mother of the Lares“.

 

Goddess Spes

“Gathering Flowers” by Albert Lynch

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

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

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

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

“Pandora” by Marta Dahlig

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

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

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

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

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

“Angel” by Dawn Wilson-Enoch

 

 

Sources:

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

Theodora.com,  “Spes“.

 

Suggested Links:

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

Theoi.com, “Elpis“.

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

Wikipedia, “Spes“.

Goddess Dou Mou

“Dou Mou’s themes are death, ghosts, divination and health. Her symbols are the sun, moon and stars. Dou Mou is the Chinese Goddess of the North Star. To this day, people invoke Dou Mou to protect spirits of departed loved ones and to safeguard the living from sickness. From Her heavenly domain between the sun and the moon, Dou Mou records each birth and death, and she is the patroness of fortune-tellers.

In mid-November, the Chinese celebrate the last of three festivals for the dead. Today they burn clothing for departed loved ones to keep them from death’s chill, along with money and other gifts that the smoke delivers.

If there’s someone you’d like to send a message to on the other side, burn it. Dou Mou will transport it to their attention.

Because of today’s focus on death and divination, you might wish to go to a medium today or try a fortune-telling method that uses spirits guides (like the Ouija).

***The only caution here is to invoke Dou Mou before you proceed, so only spirits that have your best interest at heart will respond!!!
Just as you wouldn’t leave your front door open to strangers, let the Goddess stand firmly between you and the spirit realm.

To generate Dou Mou’s protection for your health, wear silver and gold or white and yellow items today (representing the sun and the moon). Or dab yourself with lemon and lime juice for a similar effect.”

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

This is another name for the Goddess Tou Mou, whom I did an entry on back on April 13.  You can click here to read my entry on Her.

 

 

Suggested Links:

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

Sabrina. Goddess A Day, “Tou Mu“.

Taoist Resources, “Constellation Mother“.

Taoistsecret.com, “Goddess of the Northern Star“.

Vabien. Vabien’s Deities Site, “The Mother of Taoism – Dou Mu Yuan Jun“.

Werner, E.T.C. Myths & Legends of China, ”Goddeses of the North Star“.

 

Goddess Nephthys

“Nephthys” by Hrana Janto

“Nephthys’ themes are death, ghosts, rebirth and devotion. Her symbols are sunset and the hawk (Her sacred animal).  Just as Isis embodies life’s energies in Egypt, Her sister Nephthys is the force of death and reincarnation. Traditionally, Nephthys dwells in tombs, building and welcoming spirits into the afterlife. Her name means ‘death which is not eternal’, referencing the Egyptian belief in the soul’s rebirth to a new existence.

Following on the heels of Hallows and All Saints’ Day, All Souls’ Day honors the faithful departed. In early times children would go ‘souling’, collecting small cakes believed to rescue souls from purgatory.  In keeping with this idea, go out at sunset to honor Nephthys with a small cake or cracker. Leave this in a natural location and ask the Goddess to bring peace to any restless souls in Her care.

Oddly enough, Romans announced engagements today (likely as a way of stressing life’s continuance). So if you’ve been thinking of deepening a relationship, or making a commitment to a beloved project, this is one date that might suit the occasion.  Again, go outside at sunset, and as the sun slips behind the horizon pray to the Goddess. Tell Her your goal or speak your pledges in Her name. Ask Her to rejuvenate your determination so that tomorrow you might be born anew to your task or relationship.”

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

“Nephthys” by C. Temares

This another duplicate entry in Patricia Telesco’s book.  Click here to read September 13’s original entry on the Goddess Nephthys.

 

 

 

 

Suggested Links:

Ashwood, Moonwater. Order of the White Moon, “Nephthys: Goddess of Transition“.

Crystalinks.com, “Nephthys“.

Goddess-guide.com, “Nephthys the Egyptian Goddess“.

Hill, J. Ancientegyptonline.co.uk, Nephthys“.

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

Seawright, Caroline. Touregypt.net, “Nephthys, Sister of Isis, Mistress of the House…“.

Touregypt.net, “Egypt: Gods – Nephthys“.

Wikipedia, “Nephthys

Goddess Tonacacihuatl

“Mictecacihuatl” by *RadiusZero

“Tonacacihuatl’s themes are ghosts, death and hope. Her symbols are flowers and all symbols of death.  In Mexico this Goddess’s name means ‘Our Lady of Flesh’. Tonacacihuatl is a creatrix who gives life to all things and to whom the spirits of children return at death.

Part of a weeklong festival for the dead, Angelitos Day is specifically focused on departed children. If there is a child who had passed over and who was special to you somehow, make cakes or foods that feature symbols of death and leave them in a special spot. This invites Tonacacihuatl to release that child’s spirit for the day and welcomes the souls of the departed to the festival.

Put out the child’s picture in a place of honor with a candle nearby to help light their way. Cook and eat the young one’s favorite foods, leave a lamp lit near your threshold, and strew flowers (especially marigolds or dandelions) on the walkway to guide the child’s spirit back home.

According to tradition, eating hen or chicken today ensures a visitation by ghosts, because then the bird can’t crow loudly and frighten away the spirits! In all due caution, however, you might want to keep a little salt, violet petals, sage, or ginseng handy to banish any unwanted ghostly guests.”

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

“Tonacacihuatl” by Tlisza Jaurique

Tonacacihuatl (pronounced toe-na-ka-SEE-wah-tl) is primaeval female principle, or Goddess of creation in Aztec mythology.  By some accounts, She was the mother of CamaxtliHuitzilopochtliQuetzalcoatl and Tezcatlipoca.  She combined with Her husband, Tonacatecuhtli, created life on earth and, in some accounts, is identified with Omecihuatl. This Goddess lived in the highest of the thirteen Aztec heavens.

She and Her husband have the task of transferring the souls of infants from Heaven to the womb of the mother.

 

* The first picture is actually of another Aztec Goddess, Mictecacihuatl, but I really wanted to use it as I believe She is an appropriate Goddess for this time of year.  “In Aztec mythology, Mictecacihuatl (pronounced ‘Meek-teka-see-wahdl’ or ‘Meek-teka-kee-wadl’) is Queen of Mictlan, the underworld, ruling over the afterlife with Mictlantecuhtli, another deity who is designated as Her husband.

Her role is to keep watch over the bones of the dead. She presided over the ancient festivals of the dead, which evolved from Aztec traditions into the modern Day of the Dead after synthesis with Spanish cultural traditions. She is said now to preside over the contemporary festival as well. Mictecacihuatl is known as the Lady of the Dead, since it is believed that She was born, then sacrificed as an infant. Mictecacihuatl was represented with a defleshed body and with jaw agape to swallow the stars during the day.” [1]

 

Sources:

Mythologydictionary.com, “Tonacacihuatl“.

Wikipedia, “Mictecacihuatl

 

Suggested Links:

Holmer, Rick. The Aztec Book of Destiny.

Quipoloa, J. Amoxtli.org, “The Aztec Universe“.

Ruiz de Alarcón, Hernando. Treatise on the Heathen Superstitions that Today Live Among the Indians Native to This New Spain.

Wikipedia, “Santa Muerte“.

Goddess Tellus Mater

“Mother Earth” by *MD-Arts

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tellus/Pax panel of Ara Pacis

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

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

“Ceres” by ~rebenke

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

“Nerthus” by MarisVision

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

 

 

 

Sources:

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

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

Wikipedia, “Terra (mythology)“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

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

GardenStone. The Nerthus Claim.

Lipka, Michael. Roman Gods: A Conceptual Approach.

Novaroma.org, “Fordicidia“.

Took, Thalia. Thaliatook.com, “Cels“.

Wikipedia, “Fordicidia“.

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

Meanderings

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

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

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

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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 Nephthys

Appropriate in light of remembering 9/11 and the recent tragedies…

“Nephthys” by Hrana Janto

“Nephthys’s themes are death, spirits and rebirth. Her symbols are fire, baskets and Myrrh.  This Egyptian funerary Goddess had a hawk for a sacred animal. Together they guide and watch the souls of our loved ones in the afterlife. In Egyptian tradition, Nephthys lives in the east, where She can receive the rising sun, a symbol of the hopefulness she can instill and of resurrection.

Today was Nephthys’s festival day in ancient Egypt. As with other festivals for the dead, it was a time not only to propitiate the Goddess with offerings of aromatic incense like myrrh but also to satisfy any wandering spirits. If someone you care about passed away during the last year, burn some incense for this Goddess and leave a small basket filled with a token for her on your altar. This acts as a prayer to Nephthys to keep a watchful eye on that souls and grant them peace.

If you find your sense of hopefulness waning under everyday pressures, light a candle honoring Nephthys today, and every day, until you sense a difference in attitude. Try to choose a candle whose color represents hope and change to you (sprout green is one good choice). Inscribe the candle with a symbol of what you most need to turn things around so that this Goddess can shine dawn’s revitalizing light into your heart and begin relieving some of that heaviness.”

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

J. Hill from Ancient Egypt Online writes: “Nephthys was an ancient Goddess, who was referenced in texts dating back to the Old Kingdom. She was a member of the Ennead of Heliopolis as the daughter of Geb and Nut and the sister of OsirisIsis and Horus and the sister and wife of Set. When the Ennead and Ogdoad merged, Nephthys was given a place on Ra’s boat so that She could accompany him on his journey through the underworld. Nephthys is the Greek pronunciation of Her name. To the Ancient Egyptians She was Nebthwt (Nebhhwt or Nebthet) meaning ‘the Mistress of the House’. The word ‘hwt’ (‘house’) may refer to the sky (as in Hwt-hor, the ‘House of Horus’ – the name of Hathor), but it also refers to either the royal family or Egypt as a whole. The latter makes a great deal of sense as She was described as the head of the household of the gods and was thought to extend Her protection to the head female of every household. She was sometimes associated with Ptah-Tanen in representing Lower Egypt, while Khnum and Isis represented Upper Egypt.

It seems that She was originally conceived of as the female counterpart of Set. He represented the desert, while She represented the air. Set was infertile (like the desert that he represented) and was frequently described as either bisexual or gay and so Nephthys was often considered to be barren. As a Goddess of the air, She could take the form of a bird, and because She was barren She was associated with the vulture – a bird which the Egyptians believed did not bear children. The Egyptians thought that all vultures were female (because there is very little difference in the appearance of a male vulture), and that they were spontaneously created from the air. While the care shown by a mother vulture for her child was highly respected, the Egyptians also recognised that vultures fed on carrion and associated them with death and decay. As a result, Nephthys became a Goddess of death and mourning.

“Nephthys” by C. Temares

Professional mourners were known as the ‘Hawks of Nephthys’, in recognition of Her role as a Goddess of mourning. It was also believed that She protected Hapi in his role as of the Four sons of Horus (who guarded the organs stored in the four canopic jars). Hapi protected the lungs, and as a Goddess of the air Nephthys was his guardian. She was also one of the four Goddesses who guarded the shrine buried with the Pharaoh. She appears with Isis, Selkit (Serqet) and Neith on the gilded shrine of Tutankhamun, but was often depicted with IsisBast and Hathor in this role. Yet, She was also said to be the source of both rain and the Nile river (associating Her with Anuket) and was thought to protect women in childbirth (with the assistance of Her sister, Isis). Thus She was closely associated with both death and life.

“Nephthys” by ~deadheart82

Although She was technically infertile, later myths claimed that She was the mother of Anubis by either Osiris or Set (depending on the myth). This came about because Anubis’ position as the god of the dead was usurped by Osiris when the theologies of the Ennead and the Ogdoad merged. According to one myth Nephthys disguised Herself as Isis to get the attention of Her neglectful husband Set, but instead seduced Osiris (who apparently did not realise that it was Nephthys). An alternative myth made it clear that Nephthys intended to seduce Osiris from the beginning and drugged his wine to make Her task easier, while a less common myth held that She did trick Her husband into a brief daliance in order to concieve Anubis. It is suggested that this tale also explained the flowering of a plant in a normally barren area because Set apparently discovered the adultery when he found a flower left by his brother Osiris.

Isis and Nephthys were very close despite Nephthys’ alleged infidelity with Osiris (the husband of Isis) and Her marriage to Set (the murderer of Osiris). Nephthys protected the body of Osiris and supported Isis as She tried to resurrect him. The Goddesses are so similar in appearance that only Their headdresses can distinguish them and they always appear together in funerary scenes. Together Isis and Nephthys could be said to represent day and night, life and death, growth and decay. In Heliopolis, Isis and Nephthys were represented by two virginal priestesses who shaved off all of their body hair and were ritually pure.

Nephthys was usually depicted as a woman with the hieroglyphs of Her name (a basket on top of the glyph representing the plan of an estate) on Her head. She could also be depicted as a mourning woman, and Her hair was compared to the strips of cloth used in mummification. She also occasionally appears as a hawk, a kite or a winged Goddess in Her role as a protector of the dead. Her major centers of worships were Heliopolis (Iunu, in the 13th Nome of Lower Egypt), Senu, Hebet, (Behbit), Per-mert, Re-nefert, Het-sekhem, Het-Khas, Ta-kehset, and Diospolites.” [1]

 

 

Sources:

Hill, J. Ancientegyptonline.co.uk, Nephthys“.

 

Suggested Links:

Ashwood, Moonwater. Order of the White Moon, “Nephthys: Goddess of Transition“.

Crystalinks.com, “Nephthys“.

Goddess-guide.com, “Nephthys the Egyptian Goddess“.

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

Seawright, Caroline. Touregypt.net, “Nephthys, Sister of Isis, Mistress of the House…“.

Touregypt.net, “Egypt: Gods – Nephthys“.

Wikipedia, “Nephthys

Goddess Inari

“Inari, Goddes of Prosperity” by ArdiRa

“Inari’s themes are death, kinship, ghosts, fertility and love. Her symbols are foxes, rice and the color red.  Among the Japanese, Inari is invoked to bring a long life, blood-red being Her sacred hue. In death, She guides and protects faithful spirits. Portrayed as a vixen, Inari also has strong correlations with love, an emotion that survives even the grave. Rice is a common offering for Inari, as it is a crop to which She brings fertility.

The Obon is a festival for the dead in Japan, where people hold family reunions and religious rituals to honor their departed ancestors and dance to comfort the spirits. Thse observances are fairly easy to duplicate. Gather with friends or family and include rice cakes and fruit as part of your menu planning. Leave out an extra plater of food both for the spirits of the departed and to please Inari.

To increase Inari’s love in any relationship or to draw a lover to you, make this charm: Find a red-colored stone (agate is a good choice), or any red-colored piece of clothing. Put this under the light of a full moon to charge it with emotional fulfillment. Then bless the item saying,

‘Inari be, ever with me.
By this stone [cloth] of red, let love be fed.
When at [on] my side, let love there abide.’

Put the stone in your pocket (so it’s at your side) and carry it when meeting with that special someone.”

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

“Fox Maiden” by Susan Seddon Boulet

“The Japanese rice Goddess liked to wrap herself in a fox’s body.  Sometimes, too, She took the shape of a human woman in order to sleep with men, who had excellent crops as a result.  One of these men, it was said, realized he was sleeping with the Goddess when he saw a long, furry red tail sticking out from beneath the blankets.  He said nothing of it, and She rewarded his discretion by causing all his rice to grow upside down, thus bearing a full harvest that was exempt from the rice tax.

The legendary woman Tamamono-Maye, possibly an incarnation of Inari, lived at court and could change at will into a flying fox.  An enemy, however, ended her power of transformation (and her life, some say) by confronting her with a mirror, which was powerful medicine against her magic” (Monaghan, p. 162).

“Inari” by Matthew Meyer

As stated in a previous entry (see June 9th Wakasaname-no-Kami), Inari is a very complex deity.  “Inari has been depicted both as male and as female. The most popular representations of Inari, according to scholar Karen Ann Smyers, are a young female food Goddess, an old man carrying rice, and an androgynous bodhisattva…Inari is sometimes identified with other mythological figures. Some scholars suggest that Inari is the figure known in classical Japanese mythology as Ukanomitama or the Kojiki‘s Ōgetsu-Hime; others suggest Inari is the same figure as Toyouke. Some take Inari to be identical to any grain kami.

Inari’s female aspect is often identified or conflated with Dakiniten, a Buddhist deity who is a Japanese transformation of the Indian dakini or with Benzaiten of the Seven Lucky Gods.

  

Inari is often venerated as a collective of three deities (Inari sanza); since the Kamakura period, this number has sometimes increased to five kami (Inari goza). However, the identification of these kami has varied over time. According to records of Fushimi Inari, the oldest and perhaps most prominent Inari shrine, these kami have included IzanagiIzanamiNinigi, and Wakumusubi, in addition to the food deities previously mentioned. The five kami today identified with Inari at Fushimi Inari are Ukanomitama, Sarutahiko, Omiyanome, Tanaka, and Shi. However, at Takekoma Inari, the second-oldest Inari shrine in Japan, the three enshrined deities are Ukanomitama, Ukemochi, and Wakumusubi.  According to the Nijūni shaki, the three kami are Ōmiyame no mikoto (water,) Ukanomitama no mikoto (grain,) and Sarutahiko no mikami (land.)” [1]

 

 

Sources:

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

Wikipedia, “Inari Ōkami“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Kitsune, Akasha. Goddessschool.com, “Inari and Her Kitsune“.

Lysianassa. Bukisa.com, “The History and Significance of the goddess Inari“.

Moon, Eidolon. Fox-moon.com, “Watashi no O-Inari-sama“.

OnMark Productions, “INARI / Oinari / Oinari-sama Shinto God/Goddess of Rice & Food“.

Yoose, Becky. University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire, “INARI = Shinto Rice Kami“.

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