Tag Archive: good luck charms


Goddess Okame

“Okame’s themes are luck and kindness. Her symbols are masks and good-luck charms. In Japanese art, Okame is portrayed as simple and somewhat homely, yet Her domain is the beautiful energy of good fortune and kind acts. In this form, Okame gently reminds us that true beauty really does come from within. Local lore claims that any area that bears a mask of Okame’s likeness is blessed with Her lucky nature.

Late in November, just preceding the new year in Japan, this is a day for rituals to improve one’s wealth and luck.  Following the Japanese tradition, begin by finding any lawn rake (or broom), and attach as many personal good-luck charms to it as you can find. Take this token clockwise around your home, raking or brooming inward, to gather up Okame’s fortunate energies. As you go through your house, add verbal incantations like the following:

‘[In the kitchen] Okame, in my kitchen shine
so that good luck will be mine!
[Dining Room] Okame, at this table where we eat
let good fortune take a seat!
[Living room] In this room where people lounge
let your fortuity come around!
[Bathroom] Clean negativity and problems away
let good luck start today!’

To encourage Okame’s serendipity even further, you can burn orange, rose, heather, violet, or allspice incense or potpourri as you go.”

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

In one of his blog entries, Kurt Bell explains: “Okame, also known as Uzume or Otafuku is the name for the female half of a traditional Japanese Kyogen theatre pair. She is considered to be the Goddess of mirth and is frequently seen in Japanese art. Her full cheeks and merry eyes are an unforgettable sight and a delight to behold. Some Japanese scholars theorize that long ago, when the first Okame images were created, they may have represented an idealized form of feminine beauty. Styles and tastes are subject to change, and the ancient Japanese might be surprised to learn that the name Okame is today sometimes used as a less-than-appreciated joking taunt by Japanese husbands and boyfriends who haven’t yet learned better. In contrast, a famous and contemporary Japanese Kyogen actor once commented that the countenance of Okame is what every man hopes his bride will look like on his wedding night.” [1]

 

 

 

Sources:

Bell, Kurt. Softypapa.wordpress.com, “Japan Farm Scarecrow – Okame Goddess of Mirth“.

 

Suggested Links:

Greenshinto.com, “Otafuku and Uzume

Wikipedia, “Ame-no-Uzume-no-Mikoto“.

Goddess Yama-No-Shinbo

“Yama-No-Shinbo’s theme are luck, wealth, prosperity, protection and joy. Her symbols are good-luck charms. This Japanese Goddess of prosperity and good fortune joins in today’s festivities by blessing all efforts to improve our luck. Her name means ‘mother of the mountain’, which, in feng shui (the art of placement in accordance with a region’s energy patterns for the most beneficial result), represents a protective, ancient power that brings happiness and wealth to those within its shadow.

The annual festival of Bettar-tchi takes place near the shrine of Ebisu to encourage good luck. Sticky items are among the favored tokens carried today, to encourage good fortune to literally stick to the participants.  For our purposes this might translate into using double-sided tape inside a piece of clothing so that the outside can gather Yama-no-Shinbo’s fortunate energy.  Alternatively, put a symbol of an area of your life that needs better luck (such as a dollar bill for money) on the refrigerator with a magnet, while whispering a brief prayer to the Goddess. This action symbolizes prosperity sticking with you (and attracting right energy.)

Take out any tokens or objects around your home that you value for their lucky energy. Clean them off, and ask Yama-no-Shinbo to energize them anew for protection. Put your hands over the tops of these, visualize a personally lucky-coloured light filling them, and say:

‘Goddess of fortune
fill this charm
keep me ever safe from harm.'”

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

Patricia Monaghan refers to this Goddess as Yama-no-Kami.  She writes: “In Japan, this Goddess was a spirit of sacred mountains, one who brought good luck to hunters and woodsmen who attended Her rites but who could be quite stern with those who did not.  One-legged and one-eyed, She was invoked as a protector of women in childbed under the name of Juni-sama, for She has a secret box of souls from which She endows each new being. As a seasonal Goddess, She annually gives birth to twelve children, the year’s twelve months.  In singular form, She is Yama-no-Shinbo, the mountain mother (p. 319).

Wikipedia states: “Yama-no-Kami is the name given to a kami of the mountains in the Shinto religion of Japan. These can be of two different types. The first type is a god of the mountains who is worshipped by hunters, woodcutters, and charcoal burners. The second is a god of agriculture who comes down from the mountains and is worshipped by farmers. This kami is generally considered as a Goddess, or a female deity.

Yama-no-Kami appearing in Japanese mythology include:

  • Oho-Yamatsumi, the father of Konohanasakuya-hime.
  • Masaka-Yamatsumi
  • Odo-Yamatsumi
  • Oku-Yamatsumi
  • Kura-Yamatsumi
  • Shigi-Yamatsumi
  • Ha-Yamatsumi
  • Hara-Yamatsumi
  • To-Yamatsumi
  • Konohanasakuya-hime, the wife of Ninigi and great-grandmother of Emperor Jimmu.
  • Ohoyamakui, the god of Mount Hiei.
  • Shirayama-hime, the Goddess of Mount Hakusan.

Their Chinese parallel is the shanshen.” [1]

“Seasons” by Jia Lu

Apparently “when She so chooses, She can appear as beautiful, passionate, and maternal.  But, She also has a darker form, that of a hideous and malicious old hag.  It is said that She can change between the two in the flash of an eye.” [2]

Sources:

Monaghan, Patricia. The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines, “Yama-no-Kami”.

MXTODIS123. Reclaimingthedarkgoddess.blogspot.com, “Yamanokami“.

Wikipedia, “Yama-no-Kami”.

Suggested Links:

Billington, S. The Concept of the Goddess.

Hiroshi, Iwai. Eos.kokugakuin.ac.jp, “Yamanokami“.

Monaghan, Patricia. Goddesses in World Culture, Volume 1, “Yama no Kami: Mountain Mother of Japan”. (p. 159 – 168) – HIGHLY RECOMMEND!

Morika, Kiyomi. The Sociology of Japanese Religion.

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