Tag Archive: iroquois


Goddess Genetaska

“Eternal GIft” by Lee Bogle

“Genetaska’s themes are tradition and unity. Her symbols are amalgams (any item that mixes different components into a useful, harmonious blend).  Since the Crow Fair has become a meeting ground in Montana for various tribes, we look to Genetaska to make the day productive and celebratory. As the Iroquois Mother of Nations, She not only created human diversity but also maintains the peace within it.

Since 1918, a great gathering of Native American tribes has taken place in Crow Agency, Montana. Here people meet, dance and revel in native traditions. While the event is hosted by the Crow Tribe, others attend from tirbes as diverse as Inuit and Aztec. In keeping with this theme and to invoke Genetaska’s harmony in your life, make peace with yourself or someone from whom you’ve been estranged. Ask Genetaska to help you find forgiveness in your heart.

Also, listen to some Native American music today, or maybe visit a museum that includes Native American exhibits to enjoy Genetaska’s diversity. She lives within Her people’s artistic expressions of individuality and vision.

Finally, make a stew that includes squash and corn (two traditional Native American foods). Stir the stew clockwise and invoke Genetaska, saying,

‘Diversity and harmony, as I eat, abide in me!’

The Goddess will mix and mingle the food to magical perfection.”

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

“The Secret” by Lee Bogle

According to Mythologydictionary.com, Genetaska was “a Seneca virgin appointed by the Five Nations to settle disputes. Two braves, one of the Oneida, the other of the Onondaga, asked her to settle an argument over a deer which each claimed to have killed. Both fell in love with her and wanted to marry her but, bound by vows of chastity, she refused, even though she loved the Oneida brave. When winter came, he returned, pale and worn from longing and she assented to his proposal. The elders, feeling betrayed, refused to appoint another Peace Queen and the tribes went back to quarrelling. Identified as Peace Queen or The Peace Queen” [1] or “Maiden Peace Queen” (Monaghan, p. 133).

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

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

Mythologydictionary.com,Genetaska“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Canfield, William Walker. The Legends of the Iraquois: told by “the Cornplanter”.

Firstpeople.us, “Native American Legends – The Peace Queen“.

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 Oniata

"One with Nature" by Lee Bogle

“Oniata’s themes are recreation and good sportsmanship.  Her symbols are early-blooming flowers and snow.  Oniata, an Iroquois Goddess, embodies what it means to be a good sport. According to legend She came to live with the Iroquois, who found Her beauty distracting, so much so that men left their families just to catch a glimpse of her radiance. When Oniata found out about this, rather than getting angry with the men, She left the earth. The only trace of Her beauty She left behind was the sprouting of spring flowers peeking out from melting snow.

Plant some early blooming seeds today so that when they blossom, Oniata’s good humor and temperament can also bloom in your life.

In Ottawa, Canada, people take this opportunity to enjoy the last remnants of winter by celebrating Winterlude and participating various sporting activities (especially skating) and by making snow sculptures. Try the latter activity yourself; perhaps create a flower out of packed snow to honor and welcome Oniata.

If you live in a warm climate, you can blend up some ice cubes to a snowy consistency for sculpting, and make it into a snow cone afterward to internalize the energy!

Or, consider going to an ice rink for a little rest and relaxation. Return outside and appreciate any flowers nearby. Oniata lives in their fragrance and loveliness.”

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

“Onatah (pronounced ‘oh-nah-TAH’) is the Iroquois Goddess of corn. She is the beloved daughter of Eithinoha, or Mother Earth. Her name actually means ‘Earth’s daughter’ or ‘of the earth.’ The Iroquois people are originally from what is now New York State. Along with beans and squash, corn was a major staple of their diet.

The story of Onatah is an interesting one. One day, Onatah was kidnapped by the Lord of the Underworld. Her mother became frantic, searching all over for Her. But She couldn’t find Her. She had no help, because the sun god was hibernating for the winter. While Onatah was missing, the crops failed to grow. When the sun god finally woke up, he joined the search and figured out where She was. He heated the ground until it split open, and Onatah was able to escape. With Onatah back, the earth flourished again.

But the spirits of the Underworld missed Onatah, and when the sun god fell asleep again, they recaptured Her. And so the story continues every year, over and over again. When Onatah is in the Underworld, nothing can grow. Spring will only come when She is rescued again.

Does this story sound a tad familiar? Reminiscent of a myth regarding a certain bride of Hades? Well, yes, it does sound remarkably like the story of Persephone and Hades. It stands to reason that every culture that lived in an area with four seasons probably has a story like this. Onatah’s is simply a variation of a theme.” [1]

“Another legend says that men, attracted by Oniata’s loveliness, fought over Her.  When the Iroquois women complained, Oniata explained that She never wished for men’s attentions.  To ensure that the men would return to their families, She left the earth, leaving behind only spring wildflowers.” [2]

Click here to read The Story of Oniata found in The Legends of the Iroquois as told by “The Cornplanter” © 1902.

Goddess Nokomis

“Nokomis’s themes are prosperity, luck and providence.  Her symbols are golden items and corn. In Algonquin tradition, Nokomis is an earth Goddess, the ‘grandmother’ who supplies us with the earth’s riches and gives nourishment to humankind in times of need. When people are hungry, Nokomis provides food. When there is no food to be found, she offers to let us consume her spirit, thereby continuing the cycle of life.

Today marks the anniversary of the discovery of gold in California and the resulting expansion westward in the United States. In keeping with this prosperous, fortunate theme, wear or carry something gold today to bring a little more of Nokomis’s abundance your way.

For financial improvements, especially if you have any pressing bills, eat corn (any type) today. Before consuming it pray to Nokomis, saying something like:

‘Grandmother, see the sincerity of my need
Go to your storehouse and dispense < ….. >
< fill in the minimum amount you need to get by >
So that I might meet my obligations.’

Eating the corn internalizes the energy of the prayer so opportunities to make money start manifesting.

If you are pressed for time, grab a kernel of un-popped popcorn and put it in your wallet or purse to keep Nokomis’s prosperity (and your cash) where it’s needed most.”

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

Nokomis (pronounced “noh-KOO-mis,”) means “grandmother,” This name is used in traditional stories that also feature a character named Nanabozho, and it is believed that Longfellow’s poem “The Song of Hiawatha” is partially inspired by this mythology.

In Ojibwe tradition, Nokomis is an important character in both the poem and the original stories. She is the daughter of the moon and fell down to earth, which is why the meaning of this name is sometimes listed as “daughter of the moon.” Eventually She bears a daughter named Wenonah, who allows herself to be seduced by Mudjekeewis (the spirit of the West Wind) despite her mother’s warnings. Mudjekeewis abandons her, and Wenonah dies while giving birth to Hiawatha. Nokomis raises and educates her grandson. [1][2]

“Nokomis is the Algonquin name for the Goddess called Eithinoha by the Iroquois.  Eithinoha ruled the earth and its produce and she created the food for the people and animals.  She had a daughter, Oniata, the corn maiden.  When Oniata was wandering through the land, looking for dew, an evil spirit abducted her and held her under the earth; but the sun found her and led her back to the surface.  Another legend says that men, attracted by Oniata’s loveliness, fought over her.  When the Iroquois women complained, Oniata explained that she never wished for men’s attentions.  To ensure that the men would return to their families, she left the earth, leaving behind only spring wildflowers.

“Changing Woman” by Susan Seddon Boulet

The Menominee described Nokomis, also known as Masâkamek’okiu, as grandmother of the trickster rabbit, Mánabus.  A number of variants of Her story were told, with the daughter typically dying while birthing twins or triplets, only one of whom survived.  Overwhelmed by grief, Nokomis put the surviving baby under a bowl, later finding a rabbit that She raised as her grandchild.  In one story, Nokomis’s daughter became pregnant by the wind while gathering wild potatoes, after which she gave birth to Mánabus, a wolf named Múhwase, and a sharp flint stone that cut the girl in two. Nokomis punished the flint by throwing it away, but raised the other children.  Another version said the Goddess found under her food dish, Pikâkamik’okiu, who grew into a woman instantly. Impregnated by four invisible beings, Pikâkamik’okiu died, ripped apart by delivery.  Nokomis found no solace from her grief until she laid down her food dish, from which the trickster rabbit was born.

Among the Penobscot, Nok-a-mi was a primal woman, who appeared at time’s beginning, already bowed with age.  The next woman to appear was Nee-gar-oose, who brought love and color to the universe and who became the mother of all people.  After a time, she became downcast because her children were hungry.  So she asked Her husband to kill her and bury her with a certain ritual.  The man did as he was told.  Seven days later, he retuned to find that, from his wife’s body, the first corn and tobacco had sprung up.” (Patricia Monaghan, “Encyclopedia of Goddess and Heroines”)

crdmwritingroad

Coralie Raia's Writing Road Blog

Moody Moons

A Celebration of the Seasons & the Spirit

Nicole Evelina - USA Today Bestselling Author

Stories of Strong Women from History and Today

Eternal Haunted Summer

pagan songs & tales

Whispers of Yggdrasil

A personal journal to share my artistic works, to write about Norse shamanism and traditional paganism, European History, Archaeology, Runes, Working with the Gods and my personal experiences in Norse shamanic practices.

Sleeping Bee Studio

Art, Design, Batik & Murals

Pagan at Heart

At peace with myself and the world... or at least headed that way

McGlaun Massage Therapy, LLC

Real Healing for the Real You

TheVikingQueen

A modern Viking Blog written by an ancient soul

The World According to Hazey

I'm not good, I'm not nice, I'm just right. I'm the Witch. You're the world.

Migdalit Or

Veils and Shadows

Of Axe and Plough

Anglo-Saxon Heathenry and Roman Polytheism

Walking the Druid Path

Just another WordPress.com site

body divine yoga

unlock your kundalini power, ignite your third eye, awaken your inner oracle

Joyous Woman! with Sukhvinder Sircar

Leadership of the Divine Feminine

The Raven's Knoll Quork

Spirituality - Nature - Community - Sacred Spaces - Celebration

Journeying to the Goddess

Journey with me as I research, rediscover and explore the Goddess in Her many aspects, forms and guises...

witchery

trapped in the broom closet

Rune Wisdom

Ancient Sacred Knowledge-Daily Wisdom Practices: A place to explore Runic relevance in today's world.

Sarenth Odinsson's Blog

Exploring Myself and the Northern Shaman Path

Stone of Destiny

Musings of a Polytheistic Nature

1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

Adventures in Vanaheim

Musings on Vanic Paganism (and life in general) from a lesbian feminist geek

Flame in Bloom

Dancing for Freyja

Golden Trail

A wayfarer's path

The Druid's Well

Falling in Love with the Whole World

Georgia Heathen Society's Blog

Heathen's in Georgia

Mystic Fire Blog

A Spiritual Blog by Dipali Desai. Awaken to your true nature.

art and healing Blog

Art heals yourself, others, community and the earth

My Moonlit Path.....

The Story of My Everyday Life.....

Raising Natural Kids

Because knowledge is the key to making informed decisions for your family.

Her Breath

Fused with the Fire of Inspiration

Philip Carr-Gomm

Philip Carr Gomm

Works of Literata

The art of living with a broken heart.

The Northern Grove

Celebrating Pagan History and Culture of Northern Europe

The Belle Jar

"Let me live, love and say it well in good sentences." - Sylvia Plath

The Witch of Forest Grove

Animism, Folk Magic, and Spirit Work in the Pacific Northwest

WoodsPriestess

Exploring the intersection between Nature, the Goddess, art, and poetry as well as the practical work of priestessing.