Tag Archive: needles


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 Wakahiru

“Amaterasu” by Jade M. Sheldon

“Wakahiru’s themes are needlecraft, arts and creativity.  Her symbols are needles, thread, yarn, embroidered or woven items.  Wakahiru, the Japanese Goddess of weaving, takes a much-deserved break from Her toils today to enjoy the beauty of handcrafted items, and She suggests you do likewise. Legend has it that She is also the dawn Goddess – a suitable job for the younger sister of Amaterasu (the sun Goddess), who favored Wakahiru because of Her excellent weaving skills.  When Wakahiru died, Amaterasu refused to shine until lured out of Her hiding place by the gods rolling a large bronze mirror in front of the entrance to the cave while Uzume began to dance on a large overturned tub.

Find a pocket sewing kit and use it as a Wakahiru charm for creativity. Energize the charm by leaving it in the light of dawn, saying:

‘With inventiveness fill
by your power and my will.’

Carry the token often, touching it when you need extra ingenuity to handle a situation effectively.

The Japanese hold the art of needlecraft in such high regards that all the needles broken in the precious year receive honor in the Hari-kuyo ceremony (Mass of Broken Needles) at Buddhist temples today, along with an array of sewing gear. To venerate the needles’ sacrifice in the name of beauty, no needlework is done on this day. In keeping with this spirit, take out any artistic tools you have, clean them up and bless them in any way suited to your path. By doing so, you encourage Wakarhiru’s genius to shine through them each time you work.”

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

“Wakahirume (pronounced wa-ka-HEER-oo-may) is the Japanese Goddess of the rising sun and of weaving. Wakahirume is sometimes identified as the child or younger sister of Amaterasu, or as Amaterasu Herself. The name Wakahirume (“young-day-female”) suggests a contrast to Ōhirume (“great-day-female”), another name for Amaterasu.[1]  As identified as the younger sister of Amaterasu, She is the daughter of Izanami and Izanagi. Wakahirume was a fantastic weaver and She was often to be found in Amaterasu’s weaving halls, creating garments for all the gods. When their brother Susanoo flew into a rage against Amaterasu, he threw a skinned pony into the hall. Wakahirume was so startled that she fell onto her shuttle and died. It was Her grief over Wakahirume’s death that drove Amaterasu to hide herself away in a cave. In the third century CE, Empress Jingu established the Ikuta Shrine in honor of Wakahirume, one of the oldest shrines in Japan. Wakahirume’s name is also seen as Wakahiru-Me and Wakahirume-no-Mikoto.” [2]

Arachne

“Arachne’s themes are work, weaving and destiny. Her symbols are webs, spinning wheels and needles.
Arachne, the Greek spider Goddess, inspires positive changes in your destiny for the new year. Legend tells us that Arachne challenged Athena to a weaving contest and won. In anger, Athena destroyed the girl’s tapestry. Arachne, grief-stricken, took her destiny in hand and turned herself into a spider, but she continues to use her weaving talents to spin and pattern the lives of mortals.

According to lore, Saint Distaff, the patroness of weaving, was a fictional persona made up to mark the resumption of normal activity after the holidays. Instead of this imaginary figure, we turn to Arachne to help us take the strands of our fate in hand and begin weaving a year filled with Goddess energy.

To direct your spiritual focus toward the Goddess, wear something woven today, or display it proudly. If you have no such items, braid together three strands of thread or yarn, saying something like:

‘Arachne, bless this magic braid
so on you my mind is staid.’
Carry this as a charm to keep your thoughts and actions Goddess-centered.

Finally, mend any work clothes in need of repairs to improve your job standing. As you make the final knot in a button or hem, bind the magic by saying:
‘This thread I wind
The Magic bind.’

Visualize your professional goals as you work.”

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

In another version I read, Athena, angered at Arachne’s challenge, as well as the presumptuousness of her choice of subjects, tore Arachne’s tapestry (a tapestry showcasing scenes of Zeus’various infidelities: Leda with the Swan, Europa with the bull, Dana and the golden rain shower) to pieces and destroyed the loom. Then she touched Arachne’s forehead, making sure that she felt full guilt for her actions. Arachne was ashamed, but the guilt was far too deep for her poor, mortal mind. Depressed, she hanged herself.

Athena took pity on Arachne. She most likely did not expect that Arachne would commit suicide. She brought her back to life, but not as a human. By sprinkling her with the juices of aconite, Athena transformed the woman into a spider, her and her descendants to forever hang from threads and to be great weavers.

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