Tag Archive: native american mythology


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.

Goddess Tonatzin

“Tonatzin’s themes are religious devotion and blessings. Her symbols are soil and light.  An ancient mother figure who nurtures people and all that dwells in the land, Tonatzin is the life and light of the world. Today She joins our festival as the originator of this holiday, Tonatzin.

Juan Diego, a Native American convert, was surprised when this Goddess appeared to him in 1531 in an ancient site of pagan worship and requested that the temple be rebuilt [Basilica of Guadalupe]. Juan Diego believed this apparition was Mary, and therefore he did as She commanded. To this day, people come here at this time of the year for the Goddess’s blessing.

While most of us cannot travel to Mexico just to implore Tonatzin, there is nothing that says we can’t honor and invoke Her at hour own home. Light a candle or lamp and place before it a potted plant or bowl of soil. This configuration represents Tonatzin’s presence in your home throughout that day. From here She can illuminate the shadows and generate the light of hope and joy for all whose who live here.

Carry a seed and some soil wrapped in a green cloth with you today. Name the seed after any earth quality you want to develop in your life, such as strong foundations or emotional stability. When you get home, put the seed and soil in a planter or your garden. Tonatzin’s magic is there to manifest growth for the seed and your spirit!”

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

“Tonantsin Renance” mural by Colette Crutcher and the Instituto Pro Musica de California

“In Aztec mythology and among present-day Nahuas, Tonantzin ‘Our Revered Mother’ is a general title bestowed upon female deities. Informants of Sahagún, for example, called a frightening Goddess of war and childbirth, Cihuacoatl, by this title. The title is particularly believed to refer to Mother Earth.

Goddesses such as ‘Mother Earth’, the ‘Goddess of Sustenance’, ‘Honored Grandmother’, ‘Snake’, ‘Bringer of Maize’ and ‘Mother of Corn’ can all be called Tonantzin. Other indigenous names include Chicomexochitl (‘Seven Flowers’) and Chalchiuhcihuatl (‘Woman of Precious Stone’). A Tonantzin was honored during the movable feast of Xochilhuitl.

Mexico City‘s 17th-century Basilica of Guadalupe –built in honor of the Virgin and perhaps Mexico’s most important religious building—was constructed at the base of the hill of Tepeyac, believed to be a site used for pre-Columbian worship of Tonantzin. Coatlaxopeuh meaning ‘the one who crushes the serpent’ and that it may be referring to the feathered serpent Quetzalcoatl.” [1]

There is an interesting story told of this encounter between Juan Diego and Tonantzin.  “The story is told in the Nican Mopohua, a poem written in Nahuatl (the Aztec language)…most probably written in 1556 by the Nahuatl native speaker Antonio Valeriano.

“Tonantzin Guadalupe” by Estrella Apolonia

In the poem the Lady not only appears as an ordinary dark-skinned indigenous woman and speaks to Juan Diego in his Nahuatl mother tongue but She treats him with affection and respect, as an equal. (She speaks to him standing up; if She had been a noble, She would have received him sitting down.) She addresses him in familiar language, using many diminutives, like a mother. The indigenous Nahuatl people had seen their world destroyed, their great capital city in ruins, their culture and religion smashed. An estimated population of 25 million when the Spaniards arrived declined by the end of the century to 1 million from conquest, disease and suicide. The psychological trauma must have been devastating. But the Lady tells Juan Diego She is the Mother both of the Christian god (Dios) and the supreme Nahuatl god and She repeats some of that god’s highest titles (Life-Giver, Creator of Humanity, Lord of the Near and Together, Lord of Heaven and Earth). When Juan Diego says he is of too humble status to speak to the bishop, She insists he is Her chosen messenger and he ends up carrying the good news to the bishop (‘evangelising’ him). The Lady represents the female aspect of the divinity (the Nahuatl supreme divinity Ometeotl being both male and female – the Divine Pair), the nurturing Earth Mother. She tells Juan Diego: ‘I am your kind mother and the mother of all the nations that live on this Earth who would love me.’ She accords the poor equal, or even greater, dignity than the rich and equally assumes both Christian and Nahuatl names of the great ‘Life-Giver’.” [2]

Post- and Pre-Hispanic Mothers-in-Lore

 

 

Sources:

Livingstone, Dinah. Sofn.org.uk, “Tonantzin Guadalupe – ‘Our Mother’“.

Wikipedia, “Tonantzin“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Barnett, Ronald A. Mexconnect.com, “Our Lady of Guadalupe: Tonantzin or the Virgin Mary?

Maestas, Julia. Beinglatino.us, “Guadalupe or Tonantzin: Culture, Identity and Feminine Empowerment“.

Mexicolore.co.uk, “The Virgin of Guadalupe and Tonantzin“.

Wikipedia, “Huei tlamahuiçoltica“.

Goddess Ix Chebel Yax

“Ix Chel” by Hrana Janto

“Ix Chebel Yax’s themes are protection, banishing, health, providence and home. Her symbols are lunar emblems, spinning tools and baskets.  In Guatemala, this Goddess bears a striking resemblance to Ix Chel (see May 7) in that She teaches spinning, weaving and basketry to humans. More important, She is a mother figure who watches over all household concerns from the moon, Her home.

Part of the Guatemalan advent season, La Quema del Diablo (The Burning of the Devil) finds people burning bundles of garbage in ritual fires to banish the spirit of evil, negativity and sin from their midst, especially from the home. Doing so also purifies the people, keeping them healthy and staving off hunger. Considering that winter is in full swing, this isn’t a bad idea. Go through your living space and gather up any garbage (including items that have been waiting for a trip to the second-hand shop). Find one item that can be safely burned, and snip a swatch off of it. Release it to any fire source to burn away any tensions or sickness troubling your home.

Afterward, clean as much of your house or apartment as time will allow. Invoke Ix Chebel Yax’s blessing by placing a spool of thread in the room where you’re working (white or green are good choices for peace and health, respectively). Carry this spool from room to room, then put it in your pocket for the day to keep the Goddess and her providence close by.”

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

“Ixchel, Mayan Goddess of the Moon” by Rita Torfs

My research on today’s Goddess from a few different sources seem to back up the claim that very well could have been the same Goddess known as Ix Chel.  Many of the sites that I found that had mentioned Ix Chebel Yax were in Spanish, so honestly, I didn’t browse through or translate too many of them.  In one source, I found that: “Ix Chebel Ya’ax was the wife Itzamná, patron Goddess of painting and embroidery. She was portrayed with a snake coiled on the head and a roll of cotton. Ix Chebel accompanies Itzamná Ya’ax as he also throws water on earth. [1]

Another site stated that “Ix Chebel Yax is the mother of all gods and goddesses. As consort of Itzamna, Mayan creator god, She is also therefore a creator Goddess. Weaving and working cloth was an important feature of all Mesoamerican civilizations, even before the Maya and the Aztecs. Because of this, Ix Chebel Yax occupied a very important position in the pantheon for Mayan women. ” [2]

 

 

 

Sources:

Es.wikipedia.org, “Mayan Pantheon“.

Tribes.tribe.net, “Ix Chebel Yax“.

 

Suggested Links:

Bradley, Kris. Mrs. B’s Guide to Household Witchery: Everyday Magic, Spells and Recipes, “Ix Chebel Yax (Mayan)“.

Kampen, Michael E. Iconography of Religions: Ancient America.

Goddess Takánakapsâluk

“Sedna” by Susan Seddon Boulet

“Takánakapsâluk’s themes are providence, purification, strength, thankfulness, luck and health. Her symbols are saltwater and Arctic animals.  This Arctic sea Goddess rules over the successful catching of game and over personal health. Takánakapsâluk lives far beneath the cold waters, where She also receives the spirits of the dead and cares for them.

Among [Yup’ik] hunters, this was the time of year when special rituals propitiate the spirits of Takánakapsâluk’s animals, who gave themselves for the tribe’s food. Specifically, all the bladders of seals, whales and polar bears(?) were returned to Her icy waters in thankfulness. In a similar spirit, go to any open body of water and toss a small biodegradable offering to the Goddess in thanks for your food. Consider abstaining from meat today, or from some other beloved food, as a way of showing appreciation for the Goddess’s bounty.

The [Bladder Festival] traditionally included ritual fire jumping and sweat baths for purification. Try this yourself by jumping a small candle (carefully, please!) or taking a steamy shower (the Goddess is part of that water). Additionally, any show of physical prowess today brings continued strength. So, add a little exercise to your day. Take a brisk walk, do some jumping jacks. As you do, think of Takánakapsâluk filling you with revitalizing health.”

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

OK, I just have to vent a bit here.  Throughout this journey so far with this book, I’ve come across some really bad information (gods being portrayed as Goddesses – my main pet peeve).  For today, Telesco calls today’s holiday/celebration “Kashim”.  Now, kashim is NOT an Inuit or Yup’ik celebration; it’s “a building used by Eskimos as a community gathering place or as a place where men congregate and socialize.” [1].  Also, she writes about this celebration as if it is still practiced today.  While there is a “Bladder Festival” that is still celebrated today, it’s not celebrated in the above fashion as she would have you think as it was originally written in her book; “it was last celebrated in the early part of the twentieth century.” [2]  Also, I didn’t see mention of polar bear bladders being offered – only seal, whale and walrus bladders.  What kills me is that when I Google “Takanakapsaluk”, I obviously come across other sites that have done or are doing something similar to what I’m doing with this blog – and they’ve just retyped word for word what is in the book without doing the time to actually sit and do the research as to whether or not the information is accurate or correct; it’s just bad information being passed along as if it’s fact when in fact, it’s very inaccurate and misleading.  OK – thanks for “listening” – end of rant.

Sedna from the Goddess Guidance Oracle Deck

So, back to Takánakapsâluk.  This Goddess is actually Sedna‘s Iglulik Inuit equivilant (who actually live very far from Alaska – north of Hudson Bay in the Canadian Northwest Territories actually).  “Like Sedna, [Takánakapsâluk] receives the dead and causes misfortune, but is known also as a healer who helps hunters.” [3]  Now, about Sedna in a nutshell: “Sedna is an important figure in Inuit mythology, but is often the case with myths and legends; there is much controversy over who She was and how She came to be. The one thing that all of the stories have in common is the fact that Sedna did not begin life as a Goddess, but at a mortal woman.

By all cases, Sedna was believed beautiful and highly desired by all the men of her village. In some accounts, She was also labeled as vain and selfish and did not feel that any of the men were good enough for Her. In other accounts, She simply found no man that suited Her wants and needs. In either case, She flatly refused to marry.

“Sedna” by Hrana Janto

Frustrated with his daughter, some claim that Her father eventually threw Her into the sea off the side of his boat, but the girl hung tightly to the side. Fearing she would tip it over and kill them both, Her father cut off Her fingers, one by one. As they fell into the water, they turned into sea life like the seal, walrus, and fish. The creatures thankful for their birth, turned Sedna into a Goddess and gave Her dominion over them.” [3]

You can click here to read June 26’s entry on Sedna for more detailed information and other “Suggested Links” to go through for your own research purposes.

 

 

 

Sources:

Kuchinsky, Charlotte. Voices.yahoo.com, “Understanding the Moral Behind the Inuit Goddess Sedna“.

Took, Thalia. Thaliatook.com, “Sedna“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Cate. Hooperbaytundra.blogspot.com, “The Bladder Festival“.

Spiritandhistory.tumblr.com, “Today In Spirit, Fes & History: 10 December – Native American/First Nations: Inuit/Eskimo Bladder Festival/Feast of Sedna/Festival for the Souls of Dead Whales“.

Stern, Pamela R. Salempress.com, “American Indian Culture: Bladder Festival“.

Tedlock, Dennis & Barbara Tedlock. Teachings from the American Earth: Indian Religion and Philosophy, “A Shaman’s Journey to the Sea Spirit Takánakapsâluk” (p. 13 – 19).

Vitebsky, Piers. Shamanism, “A summer of shamanic procedure: Combing the Hair of the Woman at the Bottom of the Sea” (p. 125).

Walsh, Roger. The World of Shamanism.

Wikipedia, “Sedna (mythology)“.

“Frozen” by ~RuslanKadiev

“Mina Koya’s themes are weather, health, ghosts and blessings. Her symbol is salt. The salt Goddess of the Pueblo Native Americans, Mina Koya is often venerated during autumn festivals for Her power to cleanse, protect and preserve things, including our homes and traditions. Her healing power becomes all the more important as winter’s chilly hold gets stronger.

A New Mexican festival, Shalako is an all-night ritual of dancing and chanting to bless homes, commemorate the dead, bring good weather, and improve health for all participants. One tradition that honors Mina Koya and draws Her well-being into the sacred place of home is that of noise making. Take a flat-bottomed pan and sprinkle salt on it. Bang this once in every room of the house (so some of the salt shakes off). This banishes negativity and evil, replacing it with Mina Koya’s blessings. To improve the effect, chant and dance afterward, sweeping up the salt and keeping it for the weather charm that follows. Or, flush the salt down the toilet to flush out any maladies.

If it’s been wet or snowy and you need a reprieve, bind a little salt in a white cloth and bury it. The weather should change temporarily soon thereafter. This bundle will also protect your home and its residents from damage by harsh weather for as long as it stays in the ground nearby.”

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

I could find no information on a Goddess called Mina Koya.  I did however find a related Goddess (similar attributes – perhaps same Goddess, just a different name?) called Ma’l Oyattsik’i.  Ma’l Oyattsik’i is a Zuni Goddess and is called “The Salt Mother. Annual barefoot pilgrimages have been made for centuries on the trail to Her home, the Zuni Salt Lake.” [1]

Aerial photo of Zuni Salt Lake [AirPhoto]

On Preservationnation.org, it states: “Located in a remote region of western New Mexico, Zuni Salt Lake and the surrounding area (known as the Sanctuary Zone) are considered sacred ground by no less than six Native American tribes. The lake is particularly significant to members of the Zuni Tribe, who believe that it gives life to Ma’l Oyattsik’I, Salt Woman, one of the tribe’s central deities, and has long been an important source of salt for domestic and ceremonial use. In recognition of the sites’ significance, the National Park Service listed Zuni Salt Like on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999.” It is currently on the 11 Most Endangered Historic Places list. [2]

Art by josephxengraver

I found a lovely story on Sacred-texts.com about the Goddess of Salt that I’d like to share with you.  “Between Zuni and Pescado is a steep mesa, or table-land, with fantastic rocks weathered into tower and roof-like prominences on its sides, while near it is a high natural monument of stone. Say the Zunis: The Goddess of salt was so troubled by the people who lived near Her domain on the sea-shore, and who took away Her snowy treasures without offering any sacrifice in return, that She forsook the ocean and went to live in the mountains far away. Whenever She stopped beside a pool to rest She made it salt, and She wandered so long about the great basins of the West that much of the water in them is bitter, and the yield of salt from the larger lake near Zuni brings into the Zuni treasury large tolls from other tribes that draw from it.

Here She met the turquoise god, who fell in love with Her at sight, and wooed so warmly that She accepted and married him. For a time they lived happily, but when the people learned that the Goddess had concealed Herself among the mountains of New Mexico they followed Her to that land and troubled Her again until She declared that She would leave their view forever.

She entered this mesa, breaking Her way through a high wall of sandstone as She did so. The arched portal through which She passed is plainly visible. As She went through, one of Her plumes was broken off, and falling into the valley it tipped upon its stem and became the monument that is seen there. The god of turquoise followed his wife, and his footsteps may be traced in outcrops of pale-blue stone.” [3]

In another version of the story, Salt Woman gave salt to the priests who followed Her and instructed them in the proper way to gather salt.  According to the Navajo, Salt Woman was one of the Diyin Dineh, or Holy People. [4]

 

 

 

Sources:

Native American Mythology A to Z, “Salt Woman“.

Preservationnation.org, “Zuni Salt Lake and Sanctuary Zone“.

Schubert, Rebecca. Zunispirits.com, “The Salt Woman“.

Skinnner, Charles M. Sacred-texts.com, “Goddess of Salt“.

Wikipedia, “Zuni Mythology“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Bastian, Dawn Elaine & Judy K. Mitchel. Handbook of Native American Mythology, “Salt Woman“.

Indianstories.awardspace.com, “Salt Mother Story“.

Skinner, Charles M. Myths and Legends of Our Own Land, Vol. 2, “Goddess of Salt“.

St. Clair, Jeffrey. Counterpunch.org, “The Battle for Zuni Salt Lake“.

Twinrocks.com, “Salt Woman“.

Goddess Pukkeenegak

“Pukkeenegak” by Sharon Mcleod

“Pukkeenegak’s themes are kinship, community, thankfulness, charity and kindness. Her symbols are tattoos. This Inuit Goddess presides over all household and community affairs. As a mother figure, She watches kindly over Her children, making sure we have clothing and food. Art shows Her with a tattooed face, boots, and a lovely dress befitting the patroness of seamstresses.

Among the Inuit, this is a time when youths go door to door gathering foods for a huge community feast [referring to the Aiyaguk or Asking Festival].  Afterward, people petition one another for gifts – exchanging the entire community’s goods in the spirit of thanksgiving.  So, orchestrate a gathering of people of a like mind for a potluck dinner at which Pukkeenegak is the guest of honour (leave a place setting for her).

Wear special clothing today that reflects the Goddess’s gift with needle and thread. Or organize a clothing drive so people can donate items they no longer need to a charitable cause. This way the Goddess can bless each person who receives one of those garments with her providence!

If you’ve found your home or heart tense lately, invoke Pukkeenegak’s unifying, steadying energy by drawing an emblem of peace over your heart chakra or on the back of your hand (use non-toxic markers or body paint). Leave it there until it naturally wears off, by which time the magic should show signs of manifesting.”

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

“Tender Moments” by Dorothy Francis

All that I could find on today’s Goddess was that in Inuit mythology, Pukkeenegak (pronounced poo-KEE-neh-gack) was a domestic Goddess.  “The Inuit people worship Pukkeenegak as a hearth and home Goddess.  She rules all domestic tasks including sewing and cooking.  As a deity of childbirth, She rules all stages of pregnancy, including conception and labor” (Auset, p. 65); nothing more in-depth or any detailed mythological stories that I could find.

 

 

Sources:

Auset, Brandi. The Goddess Guide: Exploring the Attributes and Correspondences of the Divine Feminine, “The Goddesses: Pukkeenegak“.

 

Suggested Links:

Freefictionbooks.org, “The Dance Festivals of the Alaskan Eskimo: The Aiyaguk or Asking Festival“.

Goddess-guide.com, “Fertility Goddesses and Goddesses of Pregnancy and Childbrith“.

Libraryoftheancients.proboards.com, “Eskimo Mythology“.

Monaghan, Patricia. Encyclopedia of Goddesses and Heroines,”Circumpolar” (p. 135 – 150).

Wozniak, Edward. Glitternight.com, “Inuit Mythology“.

Goddess Yellow Woman

Corn Maiden by kelpie2004

“Yellow Woman’s themes are nature, providence and animals. Her symbols are yellow items, green items and embroidered items. This Pueblo Goddess of magic, agriculture and the hunt is also the heroine of many local stories, having taught humans important sacred ceremonies. Today She helps us remember these rituals and reintegrate the into our lives. Art depicts Yellow Woman wearing an embroidered blanket-dress, a green mask (revealing Her connection to nature), and a white mantle. Sometimes She appears as a Corn Goddess and other times as a witch, bear, or ogress.

This is a time of the Buffalo Dance, which honors nature and mimes, and ancient hunting ritual thought to ensure a successful hunt. This dance is a type of sympathetic magic that also appeases the souls of the animals about to be captured.  For our purposes, this equates to a kind of ritual mime in which we enact our hopes as realized, asking Yellow Woman to guide our movements so they will manifest in magic.  For example, to improve self-love, give yourself a hug so you receive that energy. For relationships, open your arms wide so they await the right person (figuratively receiving a ‘good catch’, which is in Yellow Woman’s dominion too!)

To improve awareness of the significance of ritual, eat corn today or wear yellow, white, and/or green clothing. Embroidered items also please this Goddess.”

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

Hopi Hemis Kachin Mana Kachina

From The Goddess Oracle by Amy Sophia Marashinsky: “Southwestern indigenous aboriginals and pueblo peoples – the Arikara, Pawnee, Cheyenne, Mandan, Hidasta, Abnaki, Cherokee and Huron – see corn as a Goddess. Corn Woman encompasses the figures of Corn Mother, the Corn Maidens, and Yellow Woman. They all relate to corn as a sacred being who gives of Herself to Her people to sustain them and nourish them. The Arikara Creator God, Nesaru, fashioned Corn Mother from an ear of corn which grew in heaven.  Corn Mother then came to earth and taught people how to honor the deities and to plant corn.” [1]

“Corn Woman or Maiden who is a figure in many stories. She may appear as a kachina mana, that is, a female kachina. At Cochiti, for example, Yellow Woman kachina wears a green mask and has Her hair done in butterfly whorls on the sides of Her head. She wears an embroidered ceremonial blanket as a dress and an all-white manta over Her shoulders. Yellow Woman tends to be a stock heroine in many stories, taking on a wide range of identities, including bride, witch, chiefs daughter, bear woman, and ogress.” [2]

 

 

 

Sources:

Americanindianoriginals.com, “Kachina Dolls: Their Meaning and Tribal Development – Corn Maiden Kachina Doll“.

Marashinsky, Amy Sophia. The Goddess Oracle, “Corn Woman“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Jukiewicz, Carol E. Groups.yahoo.com/group/indigenous_peoples_literature, “[indigenous_peoples_literature] Yellow Woman stories“.

Kachina-doll-shop.com, “Kachina Names & Meanings“.

Nagoda-Bergquist, Susi. Coyoteandanotherone.com, “Yellow Woman, The Moon“.

Redaspen.blogspot.com, “Evil Kachina and Yellow Corn Woman“.

Silko, Leslie Marmon. Yellow Woman.

Yellow Woman Stories [PDF from boblyman.net]

Yellow-Woman—talking-points [Female Archetypes and “Yellow Woman” DOC from TeacherWeb]

Goddess Ahnt Kai

“Dancer” by ~omonteon

“Ahnt Kai’s themes are balance, femininity, freedom, protection, fertility and overcoming. Her symbols are fish, sacred music and dance.  In Mexico, this Goddess of women and children taught them how to freely dance and sing, expressing the beauty within and liberating them from societal constraints. In myths of the Seris, Ahnt Kai specifically teaches the fish dance, alluding to fertility.

Sometime around the 1930’s a comic-strip artist captured the image of Sadie Hawkins optimistically stepping outside the usual boundaries of ‘womanhood’ to ask a man for a date. The custom continued through special dances for many decades, as people revelled in Ahnt Kai’s liberating atmosphere.  Thus, for both women and men, today is a time to free yourself from any restricting, stereo-typical, negative, or outmoded images that originate with yourself, others, the media, or the public. Ahnt Kai’s counsel today is to remember that true comeliness, true beauty, is not measured by externals – it begins within as we reunite ourselves with the Goddess and learn to love ourselves just as we are.

Add fish to your diet today (maybe a tuna sandwich) to internalize self-love and begin the process of personal liberation. Name the meal after an attribute needed to overcome your constrains. Ask the Goddess to bless your food, then eat with anticipation and self-confidence!”

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

I couldn’t find too much on today’s Goddess.  What little I did find stated that She was the “Goddess of women and children. Daughter of Koo-mah’mm hahs-ay’ tahm (First Woman). She flies at night and lives above the peak of Tiburon mountain. She is the teacher of singing and dancing, and tells the women and children when to do the Fish Dance. She heals snake bites. Equivalent to Athena (Greek), Kuan Yin (Far East) and Estsanatlehi (North America).” [1]

 

 

Sources:

Angelfire.com, “Mythologies of Central America“.

 

Suggested Links:

women in pre-columbian latin america [DOC from web.clark.edu/afisher/…text/women_medieval_meso-america.doc] – (p.7 just above “Inca Society”.)

Three Kadlu Sisters

“The Three Kadlu Sisters’  themes are summer, winter, weather and banishing. Their symbols are lightning and thunder.  Among the Inuit and several other northern tribes, these divine sisters rule the weather, so watch today’s ritual closely to see what winter will be like! Children’s stories claim that when the Goddesses play together they make thunder and lightning.

Around this time of year, people in Alaska have a playful tug-of-war between winter and summer. These born in winter take winter’s side – those born in summer stand opposite. If the summer side winds, winter will be mild and goodness will prevail.

This activity is fun for children, and it reinforces the idea of seasonal cycles. Place a ribbon in the middle of the tug robe with the name of these sisters painted upon it. When the game is over, see which side the Goddess landed upon to know what the weather will be like!

If it rains today, it’s a sign of the Goddesses playing together, so get outside and join them (even if cold weather keeps this brief). Thunder on your right tells of better days ahead. Thunder on your left warns that caution is prudent. Lightning stretching across the sky symbolizes your ability to likewise stretch and grow. Lightning in front of you represents your ability to go forward boldly with your plans, knowing these Goddesses light your way.”

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

According to Patricia Monaghan, Kadlu, “the Eskimo thunder Goddess was originally a little girl who played so noisily that Her parents told Her and Her sisters to go outside to play.  So they did, inventing a game in which Kadlu jumped on hollow ice, causing a thunderous sound; Kweetoo rubbed flint stones together to create lightning; and an unnamed sister urinated so profusely that She created rain.

Transported to the sky, the Goddesses lived in a whalebone house far in the west, away from the sea, where the sisters wore no clothing but blackened their faces with soot.  For food, they went hunting for caribou, striking them down with lightning.

Some legends said that Kadlu made thunder by rubbing dry sealskins together or by singing.  In some areas, women were said to be able to avert thunderstorms, or to create them, by leaving offerings for the trinity of weather Goddesses: needles, bits of ivory, old pieces of sealskin” (p. 176).

 

 

 

Sources:

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

 

 

Suggested Links:

Powell, J.W. Bureau of Ethnology, “Kadlu the Thunderer” (p. 600).

Wozniak, Edward. Glitternight.com, “Inuit Myth Page: The Goddess Kadlu and Her Sisters“.

Goddess Tonacacihuatl

“Mictecacihuatl” by *RadiusZero

“Tonacacihuatl’s themes are ghosts, death and hope. Her symbols are flowers and all symbols of death.  In Mexico this Goddess’s name means ‘Our Lady of Flesh’. Tonacacihuatl is a creatrix who gives life to all things and to whom the spirits of children return at death.

Part of a weeklong festival for the dead, Angelitos Day is specifically focused on departed children. If there is a child who had passed over and who was special to you somehow, make cakes or foods that feature symbols of death and leave them in a special spot. This invites Tonacacihuatl to release that child’s spirit for the day and welcomes the souls of the departed to the festival.

Put out the child’s picture in a place of honor with a candle nearby to help light their way. Cook and eat the young one’s favorite foods, leave a lamp lit near your threshold, and strew flowers (especially marigolds or dandelions) on the walkway to guide the child’s spirit back home.

According to tradition, eating hen or chicken today ensures a visitation by ghosts, because then the bird can’t crow loudly and frighten away the spirits! In all due caution, however, you might want to keep a little salt, violet petals, sage, or ginseng handy to banish any unwanted ghostly guests.”

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

“Tonacacihuatl” by Tlisza Jaurique

Tonacacihuatl (pronounced toe-na-ka-SEE-wah-tl) is primaeval female principle, or Goddess of creation in Aztec mythology.  By some accounts, She was the mother of CamaxtliHuitzilopochtliQuetzalcoatl and Tezcatlipoca.  She combined with Her husband, Tonacatecuhtli, created life on earth and, in some accounts, is identified with Omecihuatl. This Goddess lived in the highest of the thirteen Aztec heavens.

She and Her husband have the task of transferring the souls of infants from Heaven to the womb of the mother.

 

* The first picture is actually of another Aztec Goddess, Mictecacihuatl, but I really wanted to use it as I believe She is an appropriate Goddess for this time of year.  “In Aztec mythology, Mictecacihuatl (pronounced ‘Meek-teka-see-wahdl’ or ‘Meek-teka-kee-wadl’) is Queen of Mictlan, the underworld, ruling over the afterlife with Mictlantecuhtli, another deity who is designated as Her husband.

Her role is to keep watch over the bones of the dead. She presided over the ancient festivals of the dead, which evolved from Aztec traditions into the modern Day of the Dead after synthesis with Spanish cultural traditions. She is said now to preside over the contemporary festival as well. Mictecacihuatl is known as the Lady of the Dead, since it is believed that She was born, then sacrificed as an infant. Mictecacihuatl was represented with a defleshed body and with jaw agape to swallow the stars during the day.” [1]

 

Sources:

Mythologydictionary.com, “Tonacacihuatl“.

Wikipedia, “Mictecacihuatl

 

Suggested Links:

Holmer, Rick. The Aztec Book of Destiny.

Quipoloa, J. Amoxtli.org, “The Aztec Universe“.

Ruiz de Alarcón, Hernando. Treatise on the Heathen Superstitions that Today Live Among the Indians Native to This New Spain.

Wikipedia, “Santa Muerte“.

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