Tag Archive: first woman


Pandora

“Pandora” by Marta Dahlig

“Pandora” by Marta Dahlig

“Pandora’s themes are hope, prosperity and wishes. Her symbols are boxes. Unlike the later associations with Pandora, this Goddess’s name means ‘all-giver’ or ‘sender of gifts’. And even when the evils of the world threaten, let us not forget that Pandora’s box still, and always, holds hope.

Unlike modern connotations of putting away boxes, the name for this holiday, Boxing Day, came from the old custom of tradespeople and servants carrying boxes today to receive gratuities. This is how we come by the tradition of Christmas bonuses!

In keeping with this tradition, with a uniquely magical twist, make a special wish box for yourself or your family today. Begin with any box that has a good lid. Fill it with special cloth and trinkets that represent your goal(s). Also place therein one object, herb, or stone to represent hope (basil and amethyst are two good choices). Decorate the exterior lavishly and leave it in a special place with a candle that you can light briefly each day. When a wish is fulfilled, carry the corresponding token to keep that energy with you or give it to someone who needs that specific vibration in their life.

The token for hope, however, in the tradition of Pandora, never leaves the box, so that will always be part of your home.”

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

"Pandora " by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema

“Pandora ” by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema

Patricia Monaghan states: “Originally [Pandora] was ‘rich in gifts,’ the ‘all-giver’, the earth in female form, endlessly producing food for people and animals; the name may have been a title of the Greek Gaia.  She was also called Anesidora (‘sender-forth of gifts’) and shown as a gigantic woman rising from the earth while little men opened Her way with hammer-blows.

Later, as Greek society changed, She became the evil Eve of their legend, the one who brought all sorrow to earth.  Gifted with all talents, the most beautiful creature imaginable, She was given a box and instructed never to open it.  But, too curious to obey, She did so, and all the evils that afflict humanity escaped to run rampant through the world.  Only one being, the hope Goddess Spes, remained in the box to comfort us.

Yet even this late story has symbolic overtones that point to Pandora’s earlier identity with the earth mother.  Originally the ‘box’ was a pithos, an earthware jar used to store food and to bury the dead.  This pithos symbolized the earth mother’s womb, in which the dead were placed in fetal position to await rebirth.  Thus when ‘Pandora’s box’ – the womb – is opened, we are born into our trials and even our death, though women continue to hold hope within us” (p. 247).

 

 

 

Sources:

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

 

 

Suggested Links:

Buzzle.com, “The Greek Myth of Pandora“.

Theoi.com, “Pandora“.

Wikipedia, “Pandora“.

Goddess Meme

 

“African Spirit Series II” by Ricardo Chávez-Méndez

“Meme’s themes are ghosts, joy, health, offerings, longevity and the harvest. Her symbols are beer and corn. The Ugandan creatrix of life, Meme was also the first woman of the region. In Her human form She taught shamans the art of healing, and She continues to be called upon to aid in all matters of health and well-being.

The Misisi Beer Festival in Uganda takes place right after the millet harvest, with a plethora of beer, plantain, bullock and chicken. Any of these foods can be added to your diet today in thankfulness for Meme’s providence.

Follow Ugandan custom and join with your family or friends. The eldest member of the gathering should pour a libation to the ground in Meme’s name and then offer the rest to those gathered. This mini-ritual ensures long life and unity for everyone. It also ensures a good harvest the next year (of a literal or figurative nature).

To inspire Meme’s health or request her aid in overcoming a specific fall malady, carry a corn kernel with you today, and consume corn during your dinner meal. Bless the corn beforehand to ingest this Goddess’s vitality.

Alternatively, take a small bowl of beer and place a finger into it. Channel your negativity and illness into the beer (visualize this as dark, muddy water leaving your body), then pour it out to disperse that negative energy and give it into the Goddess’s care.”

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

I couldn’t find anything at all at first on today’s Goddess.  I thought that Meme was perhaps another name for the Goddess Mawu at first, as She is described as a supreme deity and creatrix of the universe and life; or even Her daughter, Gbadu who was the first woman that Mawu had created…or even Nowa – an African shaman Goddess.  I finally did though come across Meme’s name while doing a search in Google Books.

“Mother Nature IV” by Anthony Burks

In African Mythology, A to Z, Meme is mentioned under an entry on about a god named Adroa.  “Adroa is a god of the Lugbara people of central Africa. Adroa has two aspects: one good and one evil. He is the creator of Heaven and Earth, and he appears to those about to die. His good and bad aspects are depicted as two half bodies: the evil one is short and coal black while his good aspect is tall and white.” [1]  “Adroa created the first man and woman – a pair of twins, Gborogboro [‘the person coming from the sky’] and Meme [‘the person who came alone’].  Meme gave birth to all the animals and then to another pair of male-female twins.  These first sets of twins were really not human; they had supernatrual powers and perform magical deeds.  After several generations of male-female miraculous twins, the hero-anscetors Jaki and Dribidu were born.  Their sons were said to be the founders of the present-day Lugbara clans” (Lynch & Roberts, p. 4).

 

 

 

Sources:

Lynch, Patricia Ann & Jeremy Roberts. African Mythology, A to Z, Adroa“.

Wikipedia, “Adroa“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Middleton, John. Lugbara Religion: Ritual and Authority Among an East African People.

Newuganda.com, “Lugbara People and Their Culture“.

Wikipedia, “Lugbara Mythology“.

Cherokee First Woman

“Cherokee First Woman’s themes are spirituality, Universal Truth, unity, cleansing and abundance. Her symbols are all animals and plants.  This Goddess appears in Cherokee myths as an ancestress to the tribe and creatrix of all animals and plants. After the world was first inhabited, Cherokee First Woman continued to give birth to one child a year (this child may have symbolized the new year). Additionally, She motivates the earth’s bounty and generates abundance to sustain us through the months ahead.

Around this time of year, Cherokee tribes often hold a festival of offerings meant to celebrate their unity with the Sacred Parents and reunite them with this power. One custom easy to follow is that of exchanging clothes with a loved one; this symbolizes oneness among humans, the Gods, and each other.

Washing in running water today (shower or tap) will cleanse away any barrier that stands between you and the Goddess. If you hold a formal ritual today, place a bowl of water near the circle where each participant can rinse their hands to invoke Cherokee First Woman’s blessing and purification. Finally, drink a tall glass of spring water today to release this Goddess’s spiritual nature, rejuvenation, and abundance into every cell.”

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

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

Cherokee.org recounts the legend of Cherokee First Woman: “After the Great One had created the Earth and all the plants and animals, he created a tall brown man with beautiful straight hair to help Him on Earth. The Great One placed the strong, brown Cherokee man in the beautiful Smoky Mountains.

After a time the Great One remembered that although each man sometimes needs to be alone, each man would also need companionship to be his best. When the Cherokee man was sleeping, the Great One caused a green plant to grow up tall over the heart of the man.

The plant had long graceful leaves, an ear and golden tassel. As the plant grew, a beautiful, tall, brown woman began to appear at the top of the stalk. The man awoke and helped the beautiful woman down from the corn stalk.

Over a period of time, the man and woman built a home and planted the kernels from the corn. The turkey, a sacred bird of the Cherokee, showed the woman that the corn was ready to eat. When the man came in for supper, she pulled an ear of roasted corn from the pot and offered it to him. He began to eat the first corn of Spring.

The first woman was called Selu or Corn Woman.

NOTE: This is only one legend of how woman came to be on this earth. Because we are brothers of the Iroquois, we have a story very similar to the Sky Woman story.” [1]

 

 
Sources:

Cherokee.org, “Legend of the First Woman“.

 

Suggestion Links:

Firstpeople.us, “The Legend of the First Woman“.

Francis, Robert. Manataka.org, “Four Important Cherokee Stories“.

Gly.uga.edu, “The Story of Corn and Medicine“.

Native-languages.org, “Legendary Native American Figures: Selu“.

Neutrallandscherokee.com, “Cherokee Story of Creation“.

Wikipedia, “Cherokee Mythology“.

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