Tag Archive: onatha


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”)

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