Tag Archive: katsina


Goddess Sakwa Mana

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“Blue Corn Maiden” by Cher Lyn

“Sakwa Mana’s themes are prayer, communications, cycles, harvest, health and joy. Her symbols are the color blue, corn, prayer sticks and pine. The Hopi Blue Corn Maiden, this Goddess participates in the Soyal festival by carrying a tray of blue corn and spruce bows, both of which represent the Goddess’s ongoing providence, no matter the reason.

The Zuni and Hopi gather in kivas today and celebrate Soyal, the winter solstice ceremony of the Zuni and Hopi. They celebrate in order to comfort and bring happiness to the old year so that the new one will be filled with earth’s and Sakwa Mana’s bounty. Several customary activities today are fun to try. First, offer the gift of a feather to a friend. This ensures them of a new year filled with health and joy. To invoke Sakwa Mana’s blessing on the gift, pack it with a few pine needles. Over time, the feather will absorb the Goddess’s aroma and disperse her power each time it’s fanned in ritual.

Making a sun shield brings victory in your life over any darkness holding you back. To create a simple one, cut out a round piece of paper and decorate it with your creative vision of the sun. Either keep this with you or put it in a predominant spot in your home. When success comes, burn the paper with a thankful heart.Finally, find a fallen pine twig outside and attach a small feather to it. This represents both the Goddess and your wish for a gentle voice in prayer.”

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

Gilbert-Atencio-Blue-Corn-Maiden

“Blue Corn Maiden” by Gilbert Atencio

According to Hopi legend, Blue Corn Maiden was the prettiest of the corn maiden sisters. The Pueblo People loved Her very much, and loved the delicious blue corn that She gave them all year long. Not only was Blue Corn Maiden beautiful, but She also had a kind and gentle spirit. She brought peace and happiness to the People of the Pueblos.

One cold winter day, Blue Corn Maiden went out to gather firewood. This was something She would not normally do. While She was out of Her adobe house, She saw Winter Katsina. Winter Katsina is the spirit who brings the winter to the earth. He wore his blue and-white mask and blew cold wind with his breath. But when Winter Katsina saw Blue Corn Maiden, he loved Her at once.

He invited Her to come to his house, and She had to go with him. Inside his house, he blocked the windows with ice and the doorway with snow and made Blue Corn Maiden his prisoner. Although Winter Katsina was very kind to Blue Corn Maiden and loved Her very much, She was sad living with him. She wanted to go back to Her own house and make the blue corn grow for the People of the Pueblos.

Winter Katsina went out one day to do his duties, and blow cold wind upon the earth and scatter snow over the mesas and valleys. While he was gone, Blue Corn Maiden pushed the snow away from the doorway, and went out of the house to look for the plants and foods She loved to find in summer. Under all the ice and snow, all She found was four blades of yucca.

She took the yucca back to Winter Katsina’s house and started a fire. Winter Katsina would not allow Her to start a fire when he was in the house.

When the fire was started, the snow in the doorway fell away and in walked Summer Katsina. Summer Katsina carried in one hand fresh corn and in the other many blades of yucca. He came toward his friend Blue Corn Maiden.

Just then, Winter Katsina stormed through the doorway followed by a roar of winter wind. Winter Katsina carried an icicle in his right hand, which he held like a flint knife, and a ball of ice in his left hand, which he wielded like a hand-ax. It looked like Winter Katsina intended to fight with Summer Katsina.

As Winter Katsina blew a blast of cold air, Summer Katsina blew a warm breeze. When Winter Katsina raised his icicle-knife, Summer Katsina raised his bundle of yucca leaves, and they caught fire. The fire melted the icicle.

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“Corn Maiden” by Hrana Janto

Winter Katsina saw that he needed to make peace with Summer Katsina, not war. The two sat and talked.

They agreed that Blue Corn Maiden would live among the People of the Pueblos and give them Her blue corn for half of the year, in the time of Summer Katsina. The other half of the year, Blue Corn Maiden would live with Winter Katsina and the People would have no corn.

Blue Corn Maiden went away with Summer Katsina, and he was kind to Her. She became the sign of springtime, eagerly awaited by the People.

Sometimes, when spring has come already, Winter Katsina will blow cold wind suddenly, or scatter snow when it is not the snow time. He does this just to show how displeased he is to have to give up Blue Corn Maiden for half of the year.

 

 

 

Sources:

Firstpeople.us, “Blue Corn Maiden and the coming of Winter“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Brownielocks.com, “The History of the Soyaluna (Soyal, Soyala, Sol-ya-lang-eu)“.

Great-spirit-mother.org, “Corn Mother creation story“.

Lyn, Cher. Mysticartmedicine.com, “Blue Corn Maiden“.

Pyramidmesa.com, “The Revenge of Blue Corn Ear Maiden“.

Also see my previous posts on Yellow Woman, First Woman, Selu, Corn Mother, and Iyatiku.

Butterfly Maiden

"Butterfly Maiden" by Kristi Davis

“Butterfly Maiden’s themes are rebirth, beauty, fertility, balance, freedom, and nature.  Her symbols are  butterflies, seedlings, rainwater, and spring flowers.  In Hopi tradition, the Butterfly Maiden is a kachina (spirit) who rules the springtime and the earth’s fertility. Butterfly Maiden flutters into our lives today to reconnect us with nature and to help us rediscover that graceful butterfly within each of us – the one that effortlessly rises above problems, making the world its flower.

In magical traditions, the equinox celebrates the sun’s journey back to predominance in the sky and the return of fertility to the earth. It is a joyous fire festival when the elements are in balance, giving us the opportunity to likewise balance our lives. If anything has held you back from real spiritual growth, now is the time to banish it and move on. Visualize yourself as the caterpillar who becomes a becomes a butterfly, then let the Butterfly Maiden give you wings with which to overcome anything!

To inspire Butterfly Maiden’s beauty within and without, wash your face and chakras (near pulse points as well as at the top of the head, in the middle of the forehead, over the heart, near the groin, behind the knees and at the bottom of the feet) with rainwater first thing in the morning (dawn is best). Go outside afterward and toss some flower petals into a spring breeze, saying:

‘Butterfly Maiden, liberate me
Let me mind and spirit ever be free!’

The winds will carry your wish to heaven/the Goddess.”

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

“The Butterfly Maiden, is a Hopi Kachina that governs the Spring.  Kachinas’ are supernatural beings who control nature and have the spirits of living things such as animals and plants within them.  Some Kachinas also hold the spirits of the non-living as well–wind, rain, thunder, lightning, clouds, etc.

            

Examples of Native made Butterfly Maiden kachina dolls.  Click on each picture to be taken to the artist’s site.  

Although most Kachinas’ are not considered to be gods, Butterfly Maiden is believed to be a fertility Goddes who brings about transformation, new beginnings, and fresh starts in life.  She is often pictured as a young Native American woman dressed in and surrounded by butterflies.   She lives within the plants, animals, and female ancestors who  link the human with the Divine.  It is said that She pollinated the world with our nighttime dreams, carrying the life force from Dreamtime into reality; in essence, She makes our dreams come true.  She is a creative force and a symbol of rebirth and regeneration.

"Butterfly Maiden" by Sharon George

In the Native American world, we find that each animal, plant, and insect is said to have energy and spirit.  Their healing qualities are referred to as medicine.   Because butterflies are deeply symbolic of our own unique struggle to grow, butterfly medicine represents transformation and our personal power to heal and transform ourselves.  The butterfly begins its life as an unappealing larva which one day goes into seclusion and emerges  as a beautiful winged creature  which spreads the rest of its life spreading beauty and joy as it flits from one flower to the next.  And as we move through our daily lives which are filled with chaos and challenge, it would do well for us to remember that each of us has one of these beautiful winged creatures inside of us…just waiting to emerge from the darkness.  And, like the butterfly, we need only to enter the stillness and solitude, to look within ourselves.  There we will find this wise inner self waiting to transform us.” [1]

“Butterflies have a complex social meaning to the Hopi people.  They are a symbol of renewal and spring.  Butterflies adorn Hopi basketry,  textiles, pottery and jewelry.  Butterflies are associated with much needed rain for growing corn and other crops.  The butterfly dance, a social dance that occurs at the end of every summer, has spiritual significance.  The dance is a prayer to bring rains and also is a community celebration in the gathering of dancers, singers, and families.” [2]

Sources:

An Inner Journey: The Moon, Mythology, and You, “Butterfly Maiden“.

Cantley, Janet. It’s a Bug’s World…Insect Motifs in American Indian Art,  Heard Museum West in the Heard Museum Journal

Suggested Links:

Anderson-Childers, Molly J. Creativity Portal, “Soaring with the Hopi Butterfly Maiden“.

Fewkes, J. Walter. American Anthropologist, “The Butterfly in Hopi Myth and Ritual“.

Lavanee. Goddess School, “Butterfly Maiden“.

Martise, Cloe. “The Nine Native Holy Women”.

Sacred Space Sister Goddess Circle Blog, “Butterfly Maiden: Transformation“.

Taphorn, Sharon. Lightworkers.org, “Butterfly Maiden ~ Working with Butterfly Medicine“.

Venefica, Avia. What’s-Your-Sign.com, “Butterfly Animal Symbolism“.

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