Tag Archive: japanese mythology


Goddess Naru-Kami

“Zeus Bolt” by hellsign

“Naru-Kami’s themes are offerings, excellence and the arts. Her symbols are needles, thunder & lightning and trees. In Japan this Goddess embodies the odd combination of weather magic and artistic inspiration. Perhaps this is how we come by the phrase ‘struck by lightning’ to describe a flash of creativity. In local tradition, any place hit by lightning is thereafter sacred to Naru-Kami. She is also the patroness of trees.

Participants in the Hari-kuyo [which actually takes place in February…], known as the Mass for Broken Needles, honor the ancient art of sewing by bringing broken or bent needles into temples and later consigning them to the sea with thankfulness.

We can translate this observance into a blessing for any creative tool, be it a paintbrush, clay, a musical instrument or even a computer! Take the item and wrap it in green paper (which comes from this Goddess’s sacred trees). Leave it on your altar or in your workroom for the day so Naru Kami can fill it with her inspiring energy.

For those who sew, crochet or knit, definitely take out your needles today and leave them in a special spot with an offering for the Goddess, cakes or tofu being customary. At the end of the day, take these up and use them in your craft to honour Naru Kami and commemorate this holiday with your skills.”

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

Patricia Monaghan says that “the Japanese thunder Goddess was the protector of trees and the ruler of artisans.  Wherever She threw a bolt, that place was afterward considered sacred” (p. 227).  All the other sources I could find pretty much stated the same information.

 

Sources:

Monaghan, Patricia. The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines, “Naru-Kami”.

 

Suggested Links:

Disano, Adriana. Helium.com, “An overview of Japanese goddesses“.

Goddess Unchi-Ahchi

“Huchi-Fuji” by Kris Walherr

“Unchi-Ahchi’s themes are spirituality, Universal Law and meditation. Her symbols are tea, teapots and cups. Presiding dutifully over the family stove is this Japanese Goddess, whose name means ‘grandmother hearth’. From this position in the home she joins today’s festivities to warm the tea and to mediate on our behalf with the other Gods and Goddesses. Afterward, she returns to our homes and lives with important insights about the meaning of sacred ritual.

In Japan, today is a time to go to Kyoto temple and watch or participate in the ancient tea ceremony. In this culture, each movement and ingredient in the tea ceremony represents a spiritual principle or truth – all mingled into a simple, satisfying cup.  This is a lovely tradition, so share a cup of tea with a friend or family member today. Invoke Unchi-Ahchi simply by lighting the stove. Use the stove to ignite a candle, and take the candle to wherever you’re sitting to carry the Goddess’s energy to that spot. Discuss spiritual ideas, allowing this Goddess to give you new insights.  To increase the significance of your tea ceremony, choose the tea’s flavour according to the topic of conversation or something needed in that relationship. If discussing divination or alternative health, for example, use orange or mint, respectively. To deepen love or friendship, use lemon.”

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

I could find nothing on this Goddess.  My best guess is that this is a variant or epithet of the Ainu Goddess Huchi, who was I believe related to or an aspect of Fuchi.

The Chiu-range Mat

* For today’s entry, Patricia Telesco names “Chiu-Rang-Guru” as today’s Goddess. However, my research revealed that Chiu-range guru is a river demon.  “This demon is a male, and his wife’s name is Chiu-range mat”. [1]  So, today’s Goddess entry, I will be focusing on Chiu-range mat.

“Water Goddess” by New World Creations

“[Chiu-range mat’s] themes are water, beauty, overcoming and victory. Her symbols are rough water and light.  This Goddess dwells in rapids, rough water, or waterfalls, and She can guide us through any rough waters that our lives face. Her name literally means [‘the descending current’]. Thanks to water spirits like Her, Niagara Falls has become a favorite tourist attraction, especially during this festival, The Festival of Lights.

This breathtaking festival takes place nearly in my backyard.  At this time of the year, Niagara Falls is bedecked with hundreds of lights, including colored floodlights that adorn the falls in potent beauty, accented by the Goddess’ vibrant power.

If you find yourself facing difficult times right now, know that [Chiu-range mat] can ease the flow of problems. One way to magically mimic this is by using a freestanding Jacuzzi in the tub turned on high. Immerse yourself in this torrent, then speak the Goddess’ name and turn it down slowly.  When you’ve reached the last setting, turn off the machine and pull the plug in the tub, letting those problems literally flow down the drain.  The effect of this activity can be accentuated by using a black light in the bathroom, glitter in the water, and candles. This turns your tub into a light show in which you can wrap yourself in [Chiu-range mat’s] spirit and be renewed.”

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

“Lure of the Yokai” by ~thatstranger95

I could not find much on either Chiu-range mat or Her husband, Chiu-range guru.  From what little information I could find during my research revealed that they come from Ainu folk-lore and belong to a class of river demons.  In the Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, Volume 1, it states: “The river demons are also very numerous, and their names indicate their work.  They are: Konupki-ot-guru, or ‘dwellers in muddy places.’  They are said to reside specifically near the river banks.  Chiuka-pinne Kamui rametok (‘the brave and divine male current’) comes next.  Then ther are Chiu-range guru and his wife (‘they who send the current’), and Kochiu-tunash guru with his wife, i.e. ‘persons of swift current,’ and others too numerous to mention.  The river deities are called Wakka-ush-Kamui (‘water gods’).  All rivulets and tributaries are said to be their offspring.  They are named Kamui poteke, i.e. ‘the little hands of the deities,’ and Kamui matnepo, i.e. ‘daughters of God.’  Then there is Petru-ush-mat (‘the female of the waterways’), together with Pet-etok-mat (‘the female source of rivers’).  Mermaids are called Pe-boso-ko-shinpuk, i.e. ‘mermaids who pass through the water.’

They are also called Mimtuchi and tumunchi, i.e. ‘fat’ and ‘fleshy devils.'” [2]

Among the Ainu, besides the gods is “another category of deities…evils spirits or demons, who are more powerful than humans and cause illness and tragedies.  They can be overcome by divination and rituals performed through a shaman.” [3]

Coming back now to Chiu-range guru and Chiu-range amat, they are said to “reside among the stones where river currents fall over somewhat rapidly.  Saké is never drunk to them, and they are never prayed to, though small inao are sometimes offered to them” (Batchelor, p. 544.)

 

 

Sources:

Batchelor, John. The Ainu and Their Folk-lore, “River Demons” (p. 544).

Selbie, John Alexander, James Hastings & Louis Herbert Gray. Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, Volume 1, “AINUS; 21. Gods and demons of the sea and rivers” (p. 244).

Suite101.com, “Religion Among the Ainu People of Hokkaido Japan“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Ainu-museum.or.jp, “Ainu History and Culture“.

Everyculture.com, “Ainu“.

Sacred-texts.com, “Specimens of Ainu Folklore by John Batchelor“.

Wikipedia, “Ainu people“.

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 Tatsuta-Hime

“Oriental Autumn” by ~OzureFlame

“Tatsuta-Hime’s themes are children, health, luck, thankfulness, autumn, blessings, abundance and protection. Her symbols are Fall leaves.  This windy Japanese Goddess blows into our lives today offering blessings and abundance for all our efforts. Tradition tells us that She weaves the Fall leaves into a montage of color, then sweeps them away along with any late-fall maladies. Sailors often wear an amulet bearing Her name to weather difficult storms at sea safely.

The Shichi-go-San Festival, also known as the 7-5-3 Festival, in Japan is a huge birthday celebration for children who have reached these ages. Parents take their young ones to local shrines for the Goddess’ and Gods’ blessings. Here they receive a gift of rice for prosperity, and a bit of pink hard candy for a long life.

If you have children, by all means follow this custom to draw Tatsuta-Hime’s protective energies into their lives. Place some rice, a piece of pink candy, and a strand of the child’s hair in a little sealed box. Write the Goddess’s name somewhere on the box to keep her blessing intact. Put this in the child’s room or on the family altar.

To manifest this Goddess’s health and well-being, take several swatches of fabric bearing her name and sew them into various items of clothing, or carry on in your pocket. Should your day prove emotionally stormy, this little charm will keep you centered, calm, and ‘on course’.”

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

“Aeris: Air” by AkinaSaita

Though Tatsuta-Hime (pronounced tat-SUE-tah HEE-may) is a minor wind Goddess, Her essence and actions are unforgettable.  It is said that each year Tatsuta-Hime, Goddess of dyeing and weaving, dyes silk yarn and weaves a beautiful multicolored tapestry of yellow, orange, russet, crimson and gold.  She then incarnated Herself as wind and blew Her own work to shreds.  According to Janet and Stewart Farrar, Her male counterpart is Tatsuta-Hiko and is prayed to for good harvests.

 

 

 

Sources:

Farrar, Janet & Stewart. The Witches’ Goddess.

Goddesses-and-gods.blogspot.com, “Tatsuta-Hime“.

Hathaway, Nancy. The Friendly Guide to Mythology, “Tatsuta-Hime“.

Monaghan, Patricia. The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines, “Tatsuma-Hime”.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Darumamuseumgallery.blogspot.com, “Four Seasons Deities“.

Satow, Sir Earnest Mason & A.G.S. Hawes. A Handbook for Travelers in central and northern Japan, “Tatta“, (p. 386).

Shine Tsu-Hiko.

Goddess Izunome-no-Kami

“Toyotamahime” by Sara Ogi

“Izunome-no-kami’s themes are mediation, health and cleansing. Her symbol are fire or water. A Goddess of purification, Izunome-no-kami helps us prepare for the sacred festivals of late fall and early winter with Her cleansing power. While She was born in water, this Goddess’s energy exists in any rites for purification, including those centered on fire.

Kurama Himatsuri is a festival in Japan designed to welcome and help people commune with the native deities who come to earth this day. People carry light sources like candles and torches, which offer Izunome-no-kami’s purifying energies to the meeting. In this part of the world it is considered unseemly to go before the Goddes spiritually or physically dirty.

In keeping with this theme, take a ritual bath today before your daily prayers or meditations. Add cleansing herbs like pine needles, bay leaves, fennel, lemon rind, or mint. Alternatively, drop in a few herbal tea bags (like peppermint or chamomile) to keep the dried items from clogging the drain. Before getting in, stir the water counter clockwise, saying:
‘Goddess of cleansing power
purify me this sacred hour
Remove all guilt, all blame or shame
I ask this by invoking your name:
Izunome-no-kami.’

Keep whispering the Goddess’s name at regular intervals until you get out of the tub. Then enter your prayers and meditations with a purified mind, heart and spirit.”

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

Art by Seishiro Jay Tomioka

“The ‘Angel of Purification’ is Izunome-no-kami, a deity formed to purify Izanagi of filth [see my entry on Izanami-no-kami]…Izunome is related to the wedded gods Haya-akitsu-hiko (male) and Haya-akitsu-hime (female) who together ‘wash away all impurity like a mighty river flowing and swallow up all sin like a great ocean.’  Morihei [ a famous martial artist and founder of the Japanese martial art of aikido] felt Izunome – who is generally considered female – to be present within his own body, and Aikidō to be the manifestation of that deity’s power of purification and restoration.  Morihei hoped that Aikidō students would eventually realize that each and every one of them also had Izunome within” (Ueshiba & Stevens, p. 46).

Sources:

Ueshiba, Morihei & John Stevens. The Essence of Aikido: Spiritual Teachings of Morihei Ueshiba, Songs of the Path“.

 

Suggested Links:

Eos.kokugakuin.ac.jp, “Haraedo“.

Kokugakuin.ac.jp, “Kamiumi“.

Onmarkproductions.com, “Shinto & Shintoism Guidebook“.

www2.plala.or.jp, “The Teachings of Onisaburo’s Deguchi“.

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.

Goddess Izanami-No-Kami

“Izanami” by Jay Tomioka

“Izanami-no-kami’s themes are art, creativity and excellence. Her symbol is poetry.  In Japan, this creative Goddess is considered to have made all things, and She inspires similar inventiveness within us. Traditionally, She is honored through artistic displays, including dance, song, music, and poetry reading.

Every September, poets from across Japan come to the Imperial Palace to compose verses. Upon receiving a cup of sake floated down the river, each poet must create an impromptu verse. The winner becomes the nation’s poet laureate.  In keeping with this idea, concentrate on trying your own hand at a little sacred poetry today, perhaps even a haiku. Traditional haiku contains seven syllables in the first line, five syllables in the second line and seven or five in the last; each line evokes an image or feeling in the reader’s mind. Here’s one example:

Izanami-no-kami
paints the universe
radiant – eternity

If poetry isn’t your forte, engage in another art form through which Izanami-no-kami’s imaginative spirit can shine. Ask for Her assistance and inspiration before you begin, and see what wonders Her nudge can arouse in you. Or, visit an art gallery, making notes of the things that really strike a harmonious chord in your spirit.”

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

So, I’m not exactly sure where Patricia Telesco’s description of Izanami comes from, because the descriptions I found paint Her as a creatrix and Queen of the Underworld, sharing some common elements with Persephone‘s story.

Patricia Monaghan writes: “Before this world, there was only a chaos of oil and slime, which slowly congealed to produce unnamed and innumerable divinities.  [The first gods according to Wikipedia were Kunitokotachi and Amenominakanushi who] finally, said the Japanese, [summoned] two distinct [divine beings]: Izanami, the inviting woman, and Her consort, Izanagi, the inviting man.  Standing on the rainbow, they stirred chaos with a spear [named Ame-no-nuboko] until a bit of matter formed.  Placing this island on the oily sea, they descended to create and populate the earth.

But they did not, at first, know how.  It was only after watching two water birds mating that they understood the necessary procreative act.  So they too mated, and Izanami gave birth to the islands of Japan, to its waterfalls and mountains, and then to the animals and plants that live there.

Last to be conceived was fire, which virually exploed from Izanami’s body, leaving Her retching and bleeding.  From all Her excretions – from Her blood, Her vomit, Her urine – new creatures sprang up and established themselves on the new land.  But Izanami Herself died.

She traveled to the underworld – Yomi (‘gloomy land’).  Izanagi, however, desperate without Her, traveled to Yomi to ask Her to return.  She, however, had already established Herself in the world of death and refused [a few sources state that She had already eaten the food of the underworld and was now one with the land of the dead. She could no longer return to the living].  But She suggested that he speak to the lord of death, asking for Her release.  Izanami warned him, though, not tot enter the palace.

“Izanami” by Matthew Meyer

Heedlessly curious, Izanagi approached the dark building; then he took a broken comb and broke off its last tooth.  Lighting it, he looked inside, where the body of Izanami was decomposing.  Her spirit attacked him, humiliated at having been seen that way; She drove him from the underworld and, as they parted, claimed his actions constituted a final divorce.  Some say that Izanami rules still as queen of death from Her home in gloomy Yomi” (Monaghan, p. 168 – 169).

The actions that Monaghan writes of were Izanagi pushing a boulder in the mouth of the Yomotsuhirasaka (cavern that was the entrance of Yomi) thus creating a boundary between the world of the living and the world of the dead.  This infuriated Izanami-no-Mikoto and She screamed from behind this impenetrable barricade that if he left Her She would destroy 1,000 residents of the living every day to which he replied he would give life to 1,500.

To purify himself after coming into contact with the dead, Izanagi bathed in the sea and as he bathed, a number of deities came into being to include the sun Goddess Amaterasu, born of a tear from his left eye.

 

 

Sources:

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

Wikipedia, “Izanami-no-Mikoto“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Britannica.com, “Izanagi and Izanami“.

Goddesses.info, “IZANAMI“.

Meyer, Matthew. Matthewmeyer.net, “Oh My Kami: Izanagi and Izanami” and “Oh My Kami: Izanagi and Izanami(part 2)“.

Mythencyclopedia.com, “Izanagi and Izanami“.

University of Georgia: Department of Geology, “The Origin of Japan and her People“.

 

Goddess Ame no Uzume

“Ame no Uzume ‘s themes are honor, longevity, wisdom, psychic abilities, prosperity, protection and kinship. Her symbols are antique items, aged wines or cheese (anything that grows better over time) and sacred dances.  A Japanese ancestral Goddess, Ame no Uzume’s magic is that of generating a long, happy life for Her followers. Shinto festivals in Her honor include special dances that invoke the Goddess’s favor for longevity, honor, prosperity, protection and a close-knit family. In some areas, people also turn to Her for foresight, considering Ame no Uzume the patroness of psychic mediums.

Join with people in Japan and celebrate the wisdom that longevity brings for the aged. If there is an elder in your family or magic community who has influenced your life positively, pray to Ame no Uzume for that person’s ongoing health and protection. Go see that individual and say thank you. The gesture greatly pleases this Goddess, who will shower blessings on you, too!

To gain Ame no Uzume’s insight in your psychic efforts, find an antique item that you can wear during readings, like a skeleton key (to ‘fit’ any psychic doorway). Empower this token, saying:

‘Ame no Uzume, open my eyes, help me to see!
Let nothing be hidden that need to be known, whene’re I speak this magical poem.’

Touch the key and recite your power phrase, the incantation, before reading.”

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

“Ame-no-Uzume-no-mikoto is the Goddess of dawn, mirth and revelry in the Shinto religion of Japan, and the wife of fellow-god Sarutahiko Ōkami“. [1]

“Uzume” by Hrana Janto

Patricia Monaghan writes that Uzame was “ancient Japan’s shaman Goddess…who lured the sun Goddess Amaterasu from the cave where She’d hidden.  She did so by a merry mockery of shamanic ritual.  Tying Her sleeves above Her elbows with moss cords and fastening bells around Her wrists, She danced on an overturned tub before the heavenly Sky-Rock-Cave.  Tapping out a rhythm with Her feet, She exposed Her breasts and then Her genitals in the direction of the sun.  So comic did She make this striptease that the myriad gods and Goddesses began to clap and laugh – an uproar that finally brought the curious sun back to warm the earth.

Shaman women who followed Uzume were called miko in ancient Japan.  First queens like Himiko, later they were princesses and even later, common-born women.  Some Japanese women today, especially those called noro and yuta in Okinawa and the surrounding islands, still practice shamanic divination” (p. 305).

“Ame-no-Uzume-no-Mikoto is still worshiped today as a Shinto kami, spirits indigenous to Japan.  She is also known as Ame-no-Uzume-no-Mikoto, The Great Persuader, and The Heavenly Alarming Female.  She is depicted in kyōgen farce as Okame, a woman who revels in her sensuality.” [2]

“The dances of Uzume (Ama-no-uzume) are found in folk rites, such as the one to wake the dead, the Kagura (dance-mime), and another one which symbolizes the planting of seeds.” [3]

 

 

 

Sources:

Lindemans, Micha F. Pantheon.org, “Uzume“.

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

Wikipedia, “Ame-no-Uzume-no-Mikoto“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Agaliha. Mysticwicks.com, “Ama-no-Uzume“.

Ampontan. Ampontan.wordpress.com, “Yuta: The Japanese Shamans“.

Ashkenazi, Michael. Handbook of Japanese Mythology.

Corrao, Tom. Chicagookinawakenjinkai.blogspot.com, “Okinawan Uta – The Shaman Women of Okinawa“.

Goddessgift.com, “Amaterasu Goddess of the Sun/Uzume Goddess of Mirth and Dance“.

Lysianassa. Bukisa.com, “The Goddess Ame No Uzume in Mythology and History“.

Mydailygoddess.blogspot.com, “Uzume – Laughter“.

Schoenberger, Karl. Latimes.com, “Shamans Look to Spirits for Guidance: In Okinawa, Supernatural Is Taken Very Seriously“.

Wikipedia, “Ryukyuan Religion“.

Willis, Roy G. World Mythology, “The Divine Crisis“.

“Saki-yama-hime’s themes are freedom, luck, prosperity and wealth. Her symbols are insects and the number 7.  The Japanese Goddess of fortune and abundance visits today’s festivities, freeing the insects, with Her lucky energy, especially for improving finances. In the spirit of the moment, She also provides a little serendipity to help free you from any burdens weighing you down.

Throughout Japan, vendors line the streets around this time of year with small cages that house crickets and other insects. People purchase them to take to temples and free the insects, thereby ensuring luck and prosperity. This would be a fun activity for children who have a nearby park or woods where they can find a cricket. Alternatively, have them look for an ant on the sidewalk. Treat the insect kindly all day, giving it buts of grass or a pinch of sugar. Then, come nightfall, release the creature back to the earth. It will tell the Goddess about the human who took care of it!

Saki-yama-hime can then respond by bringing more good fortune your way.

An adult version of this festival might simply entail not killing any insects today. Take spiders gently outside the home, try not to step on the creepy-crawlies on the sideways, and so on. Generally treat nature’s citizens with respect so Saki-yama-hime can reward you with liberation and financial security.”

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

Sorry guys, I could find no reference to this Goddess.  That’s not to say of course that She doesn’t exist – perhaps under some variant spelling(s) or name(s) as is so common I’ve found with many of the Asian deities.  As usual, if anyone has any info pertaining to this Goddess, you’re more than welcome to share it here.

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