Tag Archive: playfulness


Bon Dammes

“lyinf around” by ~tytaniafairy

“The Bon Dammes’ themes are rest, pleasure, fairies, playfulness and youthfulness. Their symbols are any fairy plants (foxglove, primrose, oak, thorn, ash).  The Bon Dammes are devic Goddesses in Brittany that appear much like fairies and often act with much impishness. Having a kindly nature, the Bon Dammes inspire playful, youthful outlooks to take with us into early fall with childlike wonder in our hearts.

Follow the custom of all regions the United Kingdom (except Scotland) and take the day off. Enjoy family outings and a little leisure before the warm weather really starts to fade. Sleep in a bit, ask for a few hours off from work, get outside and play with the Bon Dammes. Leave them gifts of sparkling stones, honey, and sweet bread beneath any flower or tree that captures your eye and makes you smile. In return, the Bon Dammes will make sure your day is filled with pleasurable surprises.

Think about an activity you really enjoyed as a kid and recapture that moment sometime today. Jump down a hopscotch board, play tag with the wind, climb a tree (carefully please), pick buttercups, go berry picking, skinny-dip in a stream, or do whatever re-inspires the Bon Dammes’s youthfulness in your heart. You’ll find that this moment refreshes your entire outlook and provides extra energy for the days ahead.”

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

Man, striking out here!  I couldn’t find anything on Saki-yama-hime, Braciaca turned out to be a god, and I could not find anything on the Bon Dammes!  I did however run across two references to “Dames”: Dames Blanches (White Ladies) and Dames Vertes (Green Ladies).  Now, according to Sacred-texts.com, “the Fairy-lore of the North of France, at least of Normandy, is, as was to be expected, similar to that of the other portions of the Gotho-German race. We meet it in the fées or fairies, and the lutins or gobelins, which answer to the Kobolds, Nisses, and such like of those nations.

The Fees are small and handsome in person; they are fond of dancing in the night-time, and in their dances which are circular they form the Cercles des Fées, or fairy-rings. If any one approaches their dance, he is irresistibly impelled to take part in it. He is admitted with the greatest courtesy; but as the whirling movement increases, and goes faster and faster, his head becomes giddy, and he falls to the ground utterly exhausted. Sometimes the fées amuse themselves by flinging him up to a great height in the air, and, if not killed by the fall, he is found next morning full of bruises. These little beings, it is also said, haunt solitary springs, where they wash their linen, which they then dry by way of preference on the Druidic stones, if at hand, and lay up in the hollows of rocks or barrows, thence named Chambres or Grottes des Fées. But, further, it is said of them, like the Lutins, they select particular farms to which they resort at night, and there making use of horses, harness and utensils of all kinds, they employ themselves at various kinds of work, of which, however, no traces remain in the morning. They are fond of mounting and galloping the horses; their seat is on the neck, and they tie together locks of the mane to form stirrups. Their presence, however, always brings luck, the cattle thrive where they are, the utensils of which they have made use, if broken are mended and made as good as new. They are altogether most kind and obliging, and have been known to give cakes to those to whom they have taken a fancy.

The Fées of Normandy are, like others, guilty of child-changing. A countrywoman as she was one day carrying her child on her arm met a Fée similarly engaged, who proposed an exchange. But she would not consent, even though, she said, the Fée’s babe were nine times finer than her own. A few days after, having left her child in the house when she went to work in the fields, it appeared to her on her return that it had been changed. She immediately consulted a neighbour, who to put the matter to the proof, broke a dozen eggs and ranged the shells before the child, who instantly began to cry out, Oh! what a number of cream-pots! Oh! what a number of cream-pots! The matter was now beyond doubt, and the neighbour next advised to make it cry lustily in order to bring its real mother to it. This also succeeded; the Fee came imploring them to spare her child, and the real one should be restored.

“Shaylee of Faylinn” by *DragonDew

There is another kind of Fées known in Normandy by the name of Dames Blanches, or White Ladies, who are of a less benevolent character. These lurk in narrow places, such as ravines, fords and bridges, where passengers cannot well avoid them, and there seek to attract their attention. The Dame Blanche sometimes requires him whom she thus meets to join her in a dance, or to hand her over a plank. If he does so she makes him many courtesies, and then vanishes. One of these ladies named La Dame d’ Aprigny, used to appear in a winding narrow ravine which occupied the place of the present Rue Saint Quentin at Bayeux, where, by her involved dances, she prevented any one from passing. She meantime held out her hand, inviting him to join her, and if he did so she dismissed him after a round or two; but if he drew back, she seized him and flung him into one of the ditches which were full of briars and thorns. Another Dame Blanche took her station on a narrow wooden bridge over the Dive, in the district of Falaise, named the Pont d’ Angot. She sat on it and would not allow any one to pass unless he went on his knees to her; if he refused, the Fee gave him over to the lutins, the cats, owls, and other beings which, under her sway, haunt the place, by whom he was cruelly tormented.” [1]

“Be careful with the Fae” by ~Angueru-sama

Then, there are the Dames Vertes.  Patricia Monaghan writes, “The ‘Green Ladies’ of Celtic French folklore were seductive but cruel, luring travelers from the forest paths and holding them upside down over waterfalls, laughing all the while.  As wind spirits, they traveled speedily over their chosen countryside, invigorating all the plant life they touched.  When visible in human form, the Dames Vertes were said to be tall and seductive, dressed in long green robes, passing so lightly over the grass that it seemed only wind had disturbed it” (p. 96).

Based on this description, the Dames Vertes almost sound similar to the Rousalii or Rusalki of Russian folklore who were also reported to have worn green robes…curious, very curious indeed…

In conclusion, it would seem to me that Bon Dammes would translate to “Good Ladies” and either be related to the Dames Blanches or actually be the Dames Blanches as they clearly don’t fit the description of the Dames Vertes.

 

 

 

Sources:

Monaghan, Patricia. The New Book of Goddess and Heroines, “Dames Vertes”.

Sacred-texts.com, “The Fairy Mythology: Celts and Cymry: France“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Cymru, Gordd. Celtic-twilight.com, “The Fairy Mythology – Great Britain“.

O’Keeffe, Christine. Tartanplace.com, “Christine’s Faery List: Dames Vertes“.

Phillips, Valerie. Dnaalchemy.com, “Devas, Elementals and Fairies“.

Wikipedia, “Fée“.

Goddess Iambe

“Iambe’s themes are communication, creativity, art, humor and playfulness. Her symbol is any paired items. Iambe means ‘speech’, indicating this Goddess’s intimate connection with the art of communication. In Greek stories, Iambe always had a witty (and sometimes satirical) comeback. This may be why She was credited with creating the writer’s bane of iambic pentameter verse (a metered verse with two distinct accents). In mythology, Iambe used this form of poetry to cheer up Demeter, with tremendous success.

“Gemini” by Josephine Wall

Astrologically, the twins personify individuals who have dual natures: they are filled with charm and creativity but also seem elusive, like Iambe and Her poetic method. You can remember Iambe and learn more about Her style today by reading Shakespeare, one of the few humans to master it (or perhaps rent one of the recent Shakespearean movies)!

If that’s not your proverbial cup of tea, use this invocation to Iambe as a prayer, part of a ritual, or whatever is appropriate for you:

‘Iambe, I sing your mystic poems.
From dots and tittles, the magic’s sown.
With celestial pens, you scribe each spell,
and lessons in joy, may I learn them well.
Iambe, your metered muse confounds,
yet where’er it’s spoken, magic abounds,
full and fierce, potent and free,
and when I hear it I know, that the magic is me!’

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

“Iambe aka Baubo” by octomantic

Homer called Her Iambe, but She is best known as Baubo, the elderly servant of the King of Eleusis, whose bawdy jests roused the grieving Demeter from Her profound depression during Her search for her daughter, Persephone, who had been abducted by Hades.  (And just how did She cheer up the grieving Demeter you ask?  By pulling up Her dress and making Her laugh at Her vagina and belly. From then on, Baubo has been celebrated as a symbol of bawdy female humor and is usually depicted as a face just above the vagina with two chubby legs, causing ruckus with no underpants and making everybody laugh.) [1]

Other than Her appearance as Baubo in the myths of Demeter and the abduction of  Persephone, little is known of the Goddess Iambe.

Iambe was the daughter of the union of Pan and Echo, it is said. Some scholars, however, believe that She was actually a regional Goddess from much earlier, pre-agricultural times.

“To Worship Her” by Wynterskye

Her identity was shared with those of earlier Goddesses, such mother/vegetation Goddesses as Atargatis, a Goddess originating in northern Syria, and Kybele (Cybele), a Goddess from Asia Minor.

Indeed Iambe’s name has survived even though Her legends have not fared so well.  We recognize Her name, for it is ‘She of Iambic Pentameter Fame’, the da Dum, da Dum,da Dum rhythm that we hear in some of the world’s most popular poetry and song, not to mention the works of William Shakespeare.  ‘To be, or not to be’ is a good example.

Iambe was married to a swineherder. Perhaps that doesn’t sound very fancy today, but it may have been quite a lucrative occupation when acorns were in abundance as a free source of feed for the livestock of the region!

Her sons all rose to prominence. One was a famous warrior  and another the high priest of the religion of the followers of Demeter.

“The World On Her Mind 1” by *Osorris

Iambe was worshipped in many of Her guises, long before the Goddess Demeter taught humans how to grow grain, a time when the magnificent Goddesses of vegetation fed their subjects with the berries, acorns and fish, not the fruits of the harvest.” [2]

Wikipedia states “Iambe in Greek mythology was a Thracian woman, daughter of Pan and Echo and a servant of Metaneira, the wife of Hippothoon. Others call her a slave of Celeus, king of Eleusis. The extravagant hilarity displayed at the festivals of Demeter in Attica was traced to her, for it is said that when Demeter, in Her wanderings in search of Her daughter, arrived in Attica, Iambe cheered the mournful Goddess with her jokes. She was believed to have given the name to iambic poetry, for some said that she hanged herself in consequence of the cutting speeches in which she had indulged, and others that she had cheered Demeter by a dance in the Iambic metre.” [3]

Sources:

Goddessgift.com, “Iambe, Greek Goddess of Humor and Poetry“.

Schramm, Adriane. Vice.com, “Baubo, the Vulva Clown“.

Wikipedia, “Iambe“.

Suggested Links:

Baubo’s Garden, “Who is Baubo?

Boyd, Tracy. Sacredthreads.net, “I AM BAUBO, THE ACORN FOOL“.

Goddessgift.com, “Baubo“.

Goddessgift.com, “Baubo and Iambe“.

Goddessgift.com, “Demeter, Greek Goddess fo the Bountiful Harvest“.

Her Cyclopedia, “The Goddess Iambe“.

Revel, Anita. igoddess.com, “Baubo: dance like no-one is watching…“.

Revel, Anita. igoddess.com, “Iambe: playful is as playful does“.

Wikipedia, “Baubo“.

Goddess Bast

“Bast – Egyptian Cat Goddess” by Sharon George

“Bast’s themes are animals, magic, overcoming, playfulness, joy and humor.  Her symbols are cats.  Bast is the Egyptian cat-faced Goddess of sorcery, beneficence, joy, dance and fertility. Being a cat in nature, Bast teaches us to land on our feet in any situation, using a positive, playful attitude as our best ally. Bast and Her minions were so revered in Egypt that to kill cats was a crime punishable by death. Archaeologists uncovered mummified cats there, whose owners wanted the companionship of cats even in the afterlife. May is one of Bast’s traditional festival months.

In Belgium, people dress as cats today and hold a parade, known as The Kattenstoet, in which Bast is featured as the Queen of Cats. So think cat magic! If there’s a cat in your life, pamper the creature today and include it in spell craft as a magical partner (traditional ‘catty’ role in history). For example, if you find any of your cat’s whiskers, keep them. These may be burned for Bast in return for a wish. Or, carry a pinch of cat hair to tickle your funny bone.

Painting the image of a cat on a paper lantern and lighting it (with either a bulb or flame) draws Bast’s attention and energies to you. Or, carry a cat’s eye in your pocket today to begin developing catlike instincts and playfulness.”

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

“Bast” by *Badhead-Gadroon

“Bast, Egyptian Goddess of sensual pleasure, protector of the household, bringer of health, and the guardian saint of firefighters – was the original mistress of multi-tasking!  Bast is a daughter of the Sun God, Ra, sister of Sekhmet (wife of Ptah) and wife of Anubis.  One of the most ancient of the Egyptian Goddesses, She is depicted as a slender woman having the head of a domestic cat. Sometimes She is shown holding a sistrum, a rattle used as a musical instrument in ancient times. Agile and lithe, Bast was recognized as the Goddess of music and dance.  Her worship began around 3500 BCE, before the invention of writing.” [1]

According to Patricia Monaghan, “Bast originated in the Nile delta, but by 930 BCE, the power of Bast was acknowledged by all Egyptians, even those a thousand miles south of Her original home. At first She was lion Goddess of sunset, symbolizing the fertilizing force of the sun’s rays.  Later Her image grew tamer: She became a cat carrying the sun, or a cat-headed woman who bore on Her breastplate the lion of Her former self.

“contest prize – bast” by myworld1

Bast ruled pleasure and dancing, music and joy. At the city of Bubastis (“house of Bast”), the center of Her worship, great celebrations were held.  Boatloads of worshippers – hundreds of thousands of them, Herodotus said – were greeted by pleasant flute melodies as they debarked for a worship service combined with a vast trade fair.  Bast’s followers believed that in return for this reverent celebration Bast bestowed both mental and physical health.

As part of Bast’s worship, Egyptians honored live cats.  Domesticated (if cats can ever truly be said to be domesticated) during the early period of agriculture, cats were  useful to keep down the rodent population and therefor to assure a stable diet for humans.  Egyptians cherished their cats, often decking them with golden earrings or other jewelry.  When they died, the cats were mummified and buried in the vast cat cemetery at Bubastis.” (p. 66 – 67).

“Cats were honored in the temples of Bast and many felines were in permanent residence there. If a local house caught on fire, the cats would be dispatched to run into the flames, drawing them out of the building. (History’s first record of a fire brigade!)” [2]

“Bast” by MaatKaaRe

[As mentioned earlier] “Bast began Her life as a protector Goddess of Lower Egypt. She was as a fierce lioness; Her name is given to mean ‘devourer. She is usually shown in art as a cat-headed woman carrying a basket or as a whole cat. Quite often though, there are kittens at Her feet in the pictures. A woman who wanted children sometimes wore an amulet showing the Goddess with kittens, the number of which indicated her own desired number of children.

“Bast” by valse-des-ombres

Bast is the protector of cats, women and children.  There are many legends that connected Her as an ancient sun and War Goddess.  One legend says that She accompanied the sun god, Ra’s, boat for a million years on its daily journey through the sky. At night She was said to transform Herself into a cat to protect Her father from Apep, a serpent – Her father’s greatest enemy. His greatest and strongest followers attempted to kill the vile creature, but to no avail. Eventually, Bast, with Her superb feline night vision, managed to destroy the serpent thereby ensuring humankind that the warmth of the sun would continue to bless the earth.  Ever watchful, Bast protected Her father from his enemies, thereby becoming known as the ‘Lady of the East’, ‘Goddess of the Rising Sun’, and ‘The Sacred and All-Seeing Eye’.  As a protector, She was seen as a defender of the Pharaoh.

“funeral dance” by B-a-s-t-e-t

Bast can be viewed as an integrative Goddess in Her several aspects.  She is both the sun and the moon. In fact, She is one of the few sun Goddesses that can also be classified as a moon Goddess; Her glowing cat eyes reminds us of the moon that they reflect. She is venerated for singing, dancing, and childbirth suggesting ritualistic ceremonies. Above all, She is concerned with the enjoyment of life and the joy of music, dance, and bright colors. Her shrine in Baubasis was fashioned with blocks of pink granite with an entrance lined with trees. It was once one of the most beautifu temples in the world, but, alas, today, no shrines or temples remain of Bast in Egypt; even Bubastis is mostly in ruins.

“Egyptian Goddess Bast” by Diveena

Her name translates as ‘female of the ointment jar; hence She would gradually become the Goddess of Perfumes and Oils. In connection with this, when Anubis became the god of embalming, Bast, as Goddess of ointment, came to be regarded as his wife.

Statues of cats are commonly passed off as facsimiles of Bast, but this is incorrect. The cat was indeed Her sacred animal and the people of the time tended to see the Goddess in every cat that walked past, but Her original depiction was as a royal lady or a priestess with a cat’s head. The ancient Egyptians celebrated Her feast day on October 31st with lots of merry making, music, dancing in the streets and drinking with friends. Sadly, in modern times, Bast and Her feast day are overlooked, but you could perhaps say that Halloween was originally celebrated as the Feast of Bast.

She also has the gift, like all cats, of looking deep into your soul.Take a moment today to honor this ancient Egyptian Goddess. Light a green candle, Her sacred color, and be affectionate to a cat, Her cherished animal. When you address a cat, remember you are speaking to a little divinity, and a creature beloved of Bast.” [3]

“The Egyptian Goddess Bast reminds us of all that is feline and feminine.  Her gifts, very cat-like in nature, include the refusal to be at everyone’s beck and call and an insistence on the freedom of expression. She teaches us to relax and never waste energy, reminding us to luxuriate in beauty, perfume, and to sway in graceful movement. Bast refuses to take anything too seriously. But most importantly, Bast leads us to accept the true nature of things (ourselves included) and helps us remain unswayed by the opinion of others. Curled up like a cat lying in the sun, the Goddess Bast foms a complete circle . . . a symbol of the eternal.” [4]

“Bast” by Lisa Hunt

ASSOCIATIONS:

General: Cats, rising sun, utchat (the “All-Seeing Eye”), pottery jars as perfume holders, parades (and floats), castanets and rattles (as musical instruments), beer, music and dance.

Animals: Domestic cats, lions

Plants: Cattails and other reeds, yew, cypress, mint (especially catmint), barley, and hemp

Perfumes/Scents: Musk, cinnamon, frankincense, myrrh, hemp, catnip, vervain, sandalwood, geranium, and lavender

Gems and Metals: Cat’s eye, sunstone, agate [esp. fire agate], jasper, lapis lazuli, pyrite, and jasper

Colors: Black, gold, red, turquoise, clay and silver   [5]

Also seen as Bastet, Baast, Pacht, Pasht Pasch, Ubast, Ubasti and Baset.

Sources:

Goddessgift.com, “Bast, Goddess of Protection and Pleasure“.

Goddessgift.com, “Goddess Symbols: Bast“.

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

MXTODIS123. An Inner Journey: The Moon, Mythology, and You, “Bast“.

Suggested Links:

Carnaval.com, “Bast“.

Egyptian Myths, “Bastet“.

Fearn, Tranquillity. Order of the White Moon, “Bast: Queen of Cats“.

Goddess-guide.com, “The Egyptian Cat Goddess Bast“.

HDW Enterprises & Foothill Felines Bengals, “The History of the Domestic Cat“.

Hill, J. Ancient Egypt Online,Ancient Egyptian Gods: Bast“.

Moggies, Home of the online Cat Guide, “Bastet – Cat Goddess“.

MXTODIS123. An Inner Journey: The Moon, Mythology, and You, “Bast

Revel, Anita. igoddess.com, “Bast: enjoy play-time – Egyptian cat goddess“.

Seawright, Caroline. Tour Egypt, “Bast, Perfumed Protector, Cat Goddess…

Shira. All About Belly Dance by Shira, “The Goddesses of Ancient Egypt“.

Temple of Creation, “Working with the Goddess Bast“.

Tiamat, Avalon Sakti. Way of the Wild Rose, “The Goddess Bast“.

Wikipedia, “Bastet“.

Goddess Maia

“Spring Enchantress” by Karl Bang

“Maia’s themes are sexual prowess, playfulness, and wishes.  Her symbols are braided and knotted items.  This Roman Goddess, whose name means ‘mother’, offers all who seek it fulfilment and renewed zest. Maia gave Her name to the month of May. She is the queen of the flowers, and today was one of Her festival days, celebrated suitably with an abundance of blossoms. In later times, Maia became strongly associated with Bona Dea, whose name literally translates as ‘good Goddess’.

As a child, on this day I left bundles of wildflowers anonymously at neighbors’ homes.  As a random act of beauty and kindness, this still holds merit today and certainly honors Maia.

In magical circles people customarily braid wishes into the ribbons of the Maypole and leave them there to germinate and grow until fall. To do this yourself, find three strands of blue ribbon and braid them together so they meet five times, saying:

‘This the month of May, for ______ [health, love, money or whatever]
I wish today Ribbons of blue, help my wish come true.
Braided within, the spell begins.
Bound to and fro, the magic grows.
When in Fall untied, this wish is mine!

 Wear a flowery shirt, skirt, or tie today to welcome Maia and brighten your day.”

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

“In Greek mythology, Maia (pronounced May-ah) is one of the Pleiades and the mother of Hermes. The Goddess known as Maia among the Romans may have originated independently, but attracted the myths of Greek Maia because the two figures shared the same name.

In ancient Roman religion and myth, Maia embodied the concept of growth, as Her name was thought to be related to the comparative adjective maius, maior, ‘larger, greater’. Originally, She may have been a homonym independent of the Greek Maia, whose myths She absorbed through the Hellenization of Latin literature and culture.

“Green Goddess of Beltane” by ArwensGrace

In an archaic Roman prayer, She appears as an attribute of Vulcan, in an invocational list of male deities paired with female abstractions representing some aspect of their functionality. She was explicitly identified with Earth (Terra, the Roman counterpart of Gaia) and the Good Goddess (Bona Dea) in at least one tradition.  Her identity became theologically intertwined also with the Goddesses FaunaMagna Mater (‘Great Goddess’, referring to the Roman form of Cybele but also a cult title for Maia), OpsJuno, and Carna, as discussed at some length by the late antiquarian writer Macrobius, probably under the influence of the 1st-century BCE scholar Varro, who tended to resolve a great number of Goddesses into one original ‘Terra.’  The association with Juno, whose Etruscan counterpart was Uni, is suggested again by the inscription Uni Mae on the Piacenza Liver. The month of May (Latin Maius) was supposedly named for Maia, though ancient etymologists also connected it to the maiores, ‘ancestors,’ again from the adjective maius, maior, meaning those who are ‘greater’ in terms of generational precedence. On the first day of May, the Lares Praestites were honored as protectors of the city, and the flamen of Vulcan sacrificed a pregnant sow to Maia, a customary offering to an earth Goddess that reiterates the link between Vulcan and Maia in the archaic prayer formula. In Roman myth, Mercury (Hermes), the son of Maia, was the father of the twin Lares, a genealogy that sheds light on the collocation of ceremonies on the May Kalends. On May 15, the Ides, Mercury was honored as a patron of merchants and increaser of profit (through an etymological connection with merx, merces, ‘goods, merchandise’), another possible connection with Maia his mother as a Goddess who promoted growth.” [1]

“Goddess of Spring” by Wonderdyke

According to Thalia Took, “Maia is the Oscan Earth-Goddess, and an ancient Roman Goddess of springtime, warmth, and increase. She causes the plants to grow through Her gentle heat, and the month of May is probably named for Her. Her name means ‘She Who is Great’, and is related to Oscan mais and Latin majus, both of which mean “more”. She is also called Maia Maiestas, “Maia the Majestic”, which is essentially a doubling of Her name to indicate Her power, as both ‘Maia’ and ‘Maiestas’ have their roots in latin magnus, “great or powerful”. She was honored by the Romans on the 1st and 15th of May, and at the Volcanalia of August 23rd, the holiday of Her sometimes husband, the Fire-God Vulcan.

“Vulcan and Maia” by Bartholomaeus Spranger

She seems to have been paired with Vulcan because they were both considered Deities of heat: through the increasing warmth of Maia’s spring season flowers and plants sprouted and grew; while Vulcan’s stronger summer heat brought the fruits to ripeness. The flamen Volcanalis, the priest who officially oversaw the rites of Vulcan, sacrificed a pregnant sow to Maia on the first day of May. The offering of a pregnant sow was traditionally given to Earth-Goddesses such as Tellus or Ceres and signified both the remarkable fecundity of the Earth (as there are usually between 6 and 12 piglings in a litter) as well as the darker side of the Earth Mother, as sows have been known to eat their young. Rites to Maia were also performed at the August Volcanalia, a festival to ward off the destructive fires that could be caused by the dry weather and burning sun of summertime.

Portrait of Josephine Crane Bradley by Alfons Maria Mucha

In a later period, Maia was confused with a Greek Goddess of the same name. This Maia (whose name in Greek can take such various meanings as ‘midwife’, ‘female doctor’, ‘good mother’, ‘foster mother’, or ‘aunty’) was a nymph and the mother of Hermes, the trickster God of merchants, travellers, and liars; She was also said to have been the eldest and most beautiful of the seven sisters who formed the constellation of the Pleiades, whose heliacal rising (meaning when the constellation is just visible in the east before the sun rises) signalled the beginning of summer. Through this association the Roman Maia became the mother of Mercury, and Her festival on the Ides of May (the 15th) coincided with the festival commemorating the date of the dedication of His temple on the Aventine.

Ovid gives several possibilities as to how the month May got its name, and though he admits confusion, one of the possibilities he gives is that it is named after the personification of Majesty, whom he describes as seated in a place of high honor on Mt. Olympos, clothed in gold and purple. At face value it would seem he simply made this up; but as an alternate name (not just an epithet) of Maia is Maiesta, “Majesty”, he may have been closer than he thought.

Though a Goddess of the merry flowering springtime may seem kinda fluffy-bunny, the roots of Her name point to a powerful and ancient great Goddess of the Earth, growth, fertility and heat. It is rumoured that Maia was the ancient and original name of the Bona Dea (“the Good Goddess”), whose name was so sacred it was forbidden to be spoken aloud; and through this connection Maia was associated with the Goddesses Fauna and Fatua. She was also associated with Ops, the Earth-Goddess who symbolizes the wealth of the Earth, and the eastern Great Mother Cybele.

Alternate names: Maiesta, Maja, Majestas, Majesty.” [2]

Sources:

Took, Thalia. The Obscure Goddess Online Directory, “Maia“.

Wikipedia, “Maia (mythology)“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Carnaval.com, “May Day“.

A Chapel of Our Mother God, “The Day of Maia“.

Ladd, Stephanie Anderson. Owl & Crow, “The Goddess Maia – Queen of May“.

MXTODIS123. An Inner Journey: The Moon, Mythology, and You, “Maia“.

Revel, Anita. Reconnect with Your Inner Goddess, “Maia“.

Visuddhi, Sr. Dea. Order of Our Lady of Salt, “The Goddess and the Wheel: Maia, the Goddess of May“.

"elemental de aire" by ADES21

“Shina Tsu Hime’s themes are wishes, freedom, playfulness, air element and movement.  Her symbols are the wind and sailing ships.  This Japanese wind Goddess disperses the morning fog. She also keeps away evil, distracting winds, winds that threaten to uproot or blur our spiritual focus. Because of this, Shina Tsu Hime has become the patroness of sailors and farmers, the latter of whom pray to Her for fertile winds bearing seed and rain.

Join our Eastern cousins in Japanese kite-flying festivities known as Tako-Age.  Shine Tsu Hime will be glad to meet with you in a nearby a park and give life to your kite. As it flies, release a wish on the winds. Or cut the kite free and liberate a weight from your shoulders.

While you’re out, gather up nine leaves that Shine Tsu Hime banters about (one for each remaining month). Turn clockwise in a circle, releasing all but one leaf back into Shina Tsu Hime’s care while saying:

 ‘Come May, bring movement in my goals
Come June, playful love makes me whole
Come July, my wishes I will see
Come August, hope grows in me
Come September, all distractions you abate
Come October, my spirit, you liberate
Come November, my health is assured
Come December, in my heart you endure.’

Keep the last leaf with you, releasing it only when you need one of this Goddess’s attributes to manifest quickly.”

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

While researching Shine Tsu Hime, I didn’t find anything under this name.  I did find Shine-To-Be, “Japanese Goddess, wife of Shine-Tsu-Hiko” [1], but not much else.  “Shine-Tsu-Hiko is the god of the wind. Shine-Tsu-Hiko fills up the empty space between earth and heaven, and with his wife Shina-To-Be, he holds up the earth.” [2]  According to Wikipedia, Shina-To-Be is a Japanese Goddess of the winds.  The name Shina-To-Be panned out a little more information for me as I researched this Shinto Goddess.

Upon further research, I came across the following information on the entry for “Shinatsuhiko” in the online Encyclopedia of Shinto, “Other names: Shinatobe no mikoto (Nihongi)

According to an “alternate writing” transmitted by Nihongi, Shinatsuhiko was a kami produced at the time Izanagi and Izanami gave birth to the land (kuniumi). As he produced the land of Japan, Izanagi used his breath to dispel the mist covering the country, thereby giving birth to Shinatsuhiko.

The name is interpreted variously as meaning ‘man of long breath’ and ‘man of the place where wind arises,’ and both Kojiki and Nihongi view him as a kami of wind.

[Ok, no mention of any Goddess or anything that Patricia Telesco mentions above.  In fact, it just sounds like she took his attributes and gave them to Shina Tsu Hime, or Shina-To-Be.  But wait – here’s where it gets interesting…]

"Aeris: Air" by AkinaSaita

According to Nihongi, Shinatsuhiko was an alternate name for Shinatobe, a female kami, when tobe is considered a variant of the feminine tomeEngishiki‘sNorito for the Festival of the Tatsuta Wind Kami” likewise suggests that the two names originally referred to a single pair of male-female kami.” [3]

To me, this implies that both were considered equal at one time.  According to Jeremy Roberts, author of Japanese Mythology A – Z, “For much of Japan’s recorded history, women were largely confined to subserviant social roles.  However, exceptions to this general rule are noted in both myth and legend.  For example, in the Shinto creation myth, the most important deity in heaven is Amaterasu, the sun Goddess.  Many historians and anthropologists believe that these references indicate that early Japanese culture had matriarchal clan structures and that women played an important role in leading society.” [4]   So, the conclusion I draw is that at one time, She was considered an equal and was later “downgraded” and all attributes given to Shinatsuhiko while She played the subservient supportive wife and he took all the credit.  I ask myself, “Why?”  but deep down I already know the answer.

If Shinatobe and Shinatsuhiko both originally refer to a single pair of male-female kami held in equal status and importance, what lesson is to be learned here?  The air is what they equally preside over and the air is what we breath – all of us sharing the same air; all of us, breathing in the Universe.

Balance.  Equality.  Connection.  We’ve been ripped away and kept from our Mother for far too long.  With the new astrological era, the Age of Aquarius (that some would argue is already upon us while others say is yet to come), a new spiritual awakening has begun.  An evolution of consciousness and healing is on the horizon.  We are shifting back and restoring our Mother to Her rightful place and recognizing Her role in creation as the Creatrix.  We are feeling Her energy stir, rising and growing stronger.  As we wake up and realize that we are Divine, that male and female are equal – none lesser or subservient to the other; we experience a sense of love, connectedness, wholeness and balance.

In the above graphic, the two hands interlocking represent what is called the Vesica Piscis.  To me, this symbol represents balance, wholeness, birth and harmony.  It is essentially the intersection of two, overlapping spheres.  The sphere is a symbol of a being with no beginning and no end, continually existing, perfectly formed and profoundly symmetrical.  The addition of a second sphere represents the expansion of unity into the duality of male and female, God and Goddess. By overlapping, the two spheres, the God and Goddess are united, creating a Yoni.  From their Divine Union and through the Yoni, life emerges.  Both are equal in size – one is not bigger or smaller than the other; the Vesica Piscis is balanced. [5]

Wow, where did I just go off to?  Here we started out discussing and researching the Shinto Goddess Shina Tsu Hime and ended up examining Sacred Geometry.  To get back on point with Shina Tsu Hime, to me, She one half of a Divine Couple.  She plays an equal part in that which She is said to preside over.  Her role is no less important than that of Her husband’s.  Together, they form a complete and complementary union.  If we were to acknowledge and recognize this within ourselves, I truly believe that we’d be in a better place.

 

 

Sources:

Chinaroad Löwchen, “Japanese Goddess Names.”

Encyclopedia of Shinto, “Shinatsuhiko“.

Everything2.com, “The Shinto Kami of Japan“.

Ward, Dan Sewell. Library of Halexandria, “Vesica Pisces“.

Wikipedia, “Shina-To-Be“.

Suggested Links:

Paralumun New Age Village, “Japanese Mythology“.

Roberts, Jeremy. Japanese Mythology A-Z, “Wind Gods“.

Goddess Sipe Gyalmo

“Sipe Gyalmo’s themes are cleansing, luck, playfulness and water.  Her symbols are water and bowls.  A pre-Lamist mother figure, Sipe Gyalmo rules with a gentle, nurturing heart. Art traditionally depicts Her as having three eyes to keep track of thing (as any good mother does) and bearing a sword to protect Her children and a bowl of water for refreshing them.

Around this time, people is Burma celebrate New Years and hold a three-day festival of water during which all sacred statues are cleansed, as are all participants, often with a playful flair. I see no reason not to follow suit. Gather any God of Goddess images (or other symbolic items) you have in your home and polish, clean, scrub and pamper them. Indirectly, this pampers the divine persona represented and pleases Sipe Gyalmo (all good children remember to clean up after themselves!).

The splashing of water chases bas luck away and keeps people blissfully cool during one of the hottest months in Burma. While it’s not quite that hot in other areas today, splash a little water (ideally, from a bowl) wherever you go anyway to encourage Sipe Gialmo’s presence. Splash it at the work fountain to banish office politics. splash it on your doorway so only good fortune enters your home. Splash it on your car to keep luck with you when driving, and in your wallet for financial good fortune.”

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

I’m not exactly sure if there is anything gentle about Sipe Gyalmo.  From my research, She is horrific and wrathful in form, carrying a sword which symbolizes Her ability to ward off and defeat evil forces and a cup of blood which represents the lifeforce which She can give or take away while embodying the qualities of wisdom and compassion.  The above description (minus the sword) almost seems to describe Sherab Chamma, from which Sipe Gyalmo actually manifests from.

Sherab Chamma and the four companions of Her mandala

In the Bön religion, Sipe Gyalmo, the Queen of the World, is the most wrathful manifestation of the peaceful Goddess, Sherab Chamma – Loving Mother of Wisdom, who is the principal meditational form of Satrig Ersang of the Four Transcendent Lords.  Sherab Chamma, also called in Tibetan language “Thugje Chamma”, (the loving mother of compassion) is considered in the Bön tradition to be the Gyalyum (rgyal yum), the Mother of all Buddhas. She embodies the perfection of wisdom. In the Buddhist tradition of India Chamma is called Prajnaparamita or Tara, the ‘saviouress.'” [1]

Sidpai (also spelled Sipé) Gyalmo, Queen of Existence, is a yidam (meditation deity); a deity of exorcism and healing – using Her ferocious aspect to transmute all negative energies, thus assisting in the healing of all sentient beings; and a protector in the Bön tradition. “The Bön religion is an ancient, pre-Buddhist, shamanic belief system of Tibet that came under strong Buddhist influence from about the seventh century. Sidpa Gyalmo is a Bön guardian deity of the transmundane type (i.e. an emanation of the enlightened awareness and compassion of a great being, such as a Buddha). She has a complex iconography, and pantheon of manifestations, but is usefully summarized as a deep azure blue, wrathful deity who is pre-Buddhist in origin, and is a direct emanation of Shes-rab byams-ma, the Great Goddess. The latter is variously described as the Goddess of Wisdom and Love, or the Queen of the Waters. As a mythological study, Sidpa Gyalmo may represent a West to East transmission, along the Silk Route, of a most ancient Mesopotamian Goddess, possibly as old as 5,500 years, used by ashipus, or Mesopotamian medical exorcists. In this regard, She may well be Gula, the Mesopotamian Goddess of healing, known as the Great Physician, who flourished in the city of Isin. Equally, She may be the pre-Zoroastrian Iranian Goddess of the waters Ardvi Sura Anahita, and in such case of later vintage, probably received in around the second century BCE. In either event, Bön iconography depicts Her riding a mule, lending credence to the notion that She arrives in ancient Tibet from elsewhere.” [2]

“Sipe Gyalmo is indigo in color with three faces: the right face is white and represents the father, the left face is red and represents the mother, the center of the face is indigo and represents Her omnipresence. She is riding on a mule and has six arms holding:

– a victory banner indicating Her triumph over emotional afflictions
– a sword made of a thunderbolt symbolizing Her eradication of hostile forces and gaining control over life and death
– a phurba (glorious dagger), symbolizing the salvation of all sentient beings from illusion
– a mirror symbolizing the reflection clearly appearing of all cosmic truth in Her wisdom mind
– a hook, symbolizing the liberation of all sentient beings
– a scull cup filled with blood, symbolizing Her devouring of devils who have broken their pledge.

Her body is draped in skulls and fresh flayed human skin to indicate Her dominion over evil and death. Her indigo color represents Her control over boundless space; the flames surrounding Her represent Her ultimate power to burn away ignorance and all negativity.” [2]

“Sipe Gyalmo is one of the most frequently propitiated figures in the Bön religion, and extends Her protection to both religious practitioners and common people. Though horrific and wrathful in form She embodies the qualities of wisdom and compassion.” [3]

“Epithets for Her include Queen of the World, Queen of Existence, and Queen of the Universe, and Her name is also seen as Sidpa Gyalmo, Sipai Gyalmo, or Srid-pa’i Gyal-mo.” [4]

 

 

Sources:

BonPedia, “Sipe Gyalmo“.

Digital Tibetan Buddhist Altar, “Poisons and Pathogens: Origins of Disease“.

Himalayan Art, “Sipai Gyalmo (Bon Protector)“.

Sabrina. Goddess A Day, “Sipe Gyalmo“.

 

Suggested Links:

Bon Children, “The Bonpo Tradition: The Founder of Bön Tradition and His Teachings“.

BonPedia, “Sherab Chamma“.

Himalayan Art, “Buddhist Protector: Shri Devi Main Page“.

mAnasa-taraMgiNI, “Some notes on the goddess Sipe Gyalmo“.

Yeru Bön Center, “Yeshe Walmo: Wisdom Protect“.

Goddess Laufey

“Laufey’s themes are humor, playfulness and youthfulness.  Her symbols are a piece of wood and any humorous items.  On this day of pranks and foolery, look to Laufey to show you how to hone your funny bone. As the mother of the great trickster Loki, if anyone understands and can teach the value of raillery and good-intended tricks, it is She!

Spring’s upbeat theme continues into April, offsetting the rains with laughter. If it’s been a while since you really chuckled, consider renting a good comedy movie. As you watch it, light a candle and ask Laufey to join you!

Or, improve your sense of humor and draw a little luck your way by making a Laufey charm. In Teutonic tradition, Laufey’s name means ‘wooded isle’, because She furnished her son with firewood. So, to represent Her, begin with a stick no larger than the palm of your hand and a small feather (any kind). Draw an ascending spiral on the stick with a green magic marker (green is spring’s color and encourages growth). Attach the feather to the end of the stick to ‘tickle your fancy’. Energize the token, saying:

Laufey, in this stick of green
place a sense of humor ever keen
And when upon the stick I knock
bring to me a bit of luck.’

Hold the token whenever you find your humor failing; knock on the wood when you need better fortune to bring a smile back to your face.”

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

“Forest Mist” by Jonathon Earl Bowser

Laufey  is a giantess from Norse mythology, the mother of LokiEddic poetry refers to Loki by the matronym Loki Laufeyjarson rather than with a patronymic.  According to the Prose Edda, Loki is Laufey’s or Nál’s son by the giant Fárbauti, and has the brothers Býleistr and Helblindi. Some stories say that Laufey gave birth to Loki when a lightning bolt thrown by Fárbauti struck Her. Laufy apparently did not raise Loki, since Icelandic author Snorri Sturluson and others say the trickster god was a foster brother of Odin, the most powerful Norse god. This may explain why Loki, god of mischief and chaos, was such an agitating Norse god.

Despite being a giantess, Laufy was very slender and weak, which earned Her the name Nál, meaning “needle”; according to Sörla þáttr. The meaning of Laufey is less clear but is generally taken to be “full of leaves”; as Fárbauti means “dangerous hitter,” there is a possible nature mythological interpretation with lightning hitting the leaves or needles of a tree to give rise to fire. [1] [2] [3] [4]

 

 

 

 

Sources:

GodsLaidBare.com, “Laufey“.

Helium, “The History and Significance of the God: Farbauti“.

North Mythology: the dictionary of norse mythology, “Laufey“.

Wikipedia, “Laufey“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Daly, Kathleen N., Rengal, Marian. Norse Mythology A to Z.

Kaldera, Raven. Northernpaganism.org, “Laufey’s Son“.

Krasskova, Galina, Wodening, Swain. Exploring the Northern Tradition: A Guide to the Gods, Lore and Rites and Celebrations from the Norse, German and Anglo-Saxon Traditions, “Laufey“.

Lindow, John. Norse Mythology: A Guide to the Gods, Heroes, Rituals and Beliefs.

Shadowlight, “Grandmother Nal“.

Goddess Lilith

“Lilith” by zummerfish

“Lilith’s themes are freedom, courage, playfulness, passion, pleasure and sexuality.  Her symbol is an apple.  In Hebrew legends, Lilith is a dangerously beautiful Goddess who refused to subordinate Herself to Adam, feeling She was created as an equal. This makes Lilith perhaps the first true liberationist, and She resolves to make modern life similarly equal for all people. She also boldly instructs us to stand up for what we believe in, unbridled and courageous, no matter the cost. According to legend, Lilith was turned away from paradise for Her ‘crime’, and She has been depicted in art as a demon.

Leap Year occurs every four years to keep our calendar in sync with the solar year. Customarily, women break loose today, asking men out or proposing marriage. In today’s liberal society, actions like this aren’t overly surprising. Nonetheless, Lilith charges us with the duty of ever seeking after equality, not just for women but for all of earth’s people. If there’s someone you’ve wronged with presupposition or prejudice, make amends today.

To internalize Lilith’s fairness, bravery, or exuberant lustiness, eat an apple today. Quite literally take a bite out of life, and enjoy some daring activity to its fullest without fear or guilt.

 Like Lilith, you are the master of your destiny!”

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

Lilith is depicted on a Babylonian clay plaque from 2000-1600 BCE as beautiful winged woman with bird’s feet and claws.

“Lilith dates back to the bird-serpent Goddess of antiquity. In Sumeria, She was portrayed as having both the wings and claws of a bird. Some reliefs show Her lower half as being the body of a serpent or She is shown as a serpent with the head and breasts of a woman.

There are many possibilities as to Her early Goddess names: Belil-ili, Belili, Lillake, or Ninlil.

She was a Goddess of agriculture as well as the “hand of Inanna”. She was said to dwell in the trunk of the Huluppu-tree:

‘Then a serpent who could not be charmed
Made its nest in the roots of the huluppu-tree.
The Anzu-bird set his young in the branches of the tree.
And the dark maid Lilith built her home in the trunk.’

Lilith also helped women in childbirth and nursed infants.

Recent translations of Her name are varied and range from ‘screech owl’, lilah which is darkness or night in Hebrew, to Lilitu which is said to be the Babylonian word for ‘evil night-spirit.’

Her symbols are the crossroad, owl, serpent, tree, and dark moon.

The Hebrew Lilith

“Lilith” by Notvitruvian

When Jewish patriarchy overtook the land, they made Lilith evil in order to stop the people from worshipping Her.

In Kabbalistic tradition, Lilith was made the first wife of Adam. Some sources say that Lilith was Adam’s spirit wife. Other sources claim that Lilith was fashioned from the earth at either the same time as Adam or before Adam. This made Lilith Adam’s equal.

As Adam’s equal, Lilith refused to lie on Her back while Adam took the dominant position in sex (missionary style). Lilith believed that they should make love as equals (the beast with two backs). Adam was adamantly against this, wanting his wife to be submissive, and Lilith left the Garden of Eden.

God then supposedly gave Adam Eve, a docile woman of the flesh.

Eventually, Lilith was portrayed as the foe of Eve. It was Lilith in serpent form who seduced Eve to eat the fruit of knowledge. No doubt the first wife wanted the second wife to see what a jerk Adam was and that Lilith also wanted Eve to open her eyes and come into the fulness of herself, her womanhood.

When both Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden, Adam endured a period of celibacy as penance. During this time, Lilith was said to have caused nocturnal emissions from Adam (night hag). She collected his semen and impregnated Herself with it, giving birth to demons.  These children of Lilith were called Lilin or Lilim, ‘night-demons.’

The Goddess who once protected mothers and infants was now portrayed as a demoness who caused abortions and murdered infants in their sleep. The Jewish people believed that when a baby laughed or smiled in its sleep, it was being entertained by Lilith, and the parents would quickly bop the infant on the nose to distract the infant from the Goddess. It was also believed that She came to children in the form of an owl and drank their blood.

Despite the Jewish attempts to erradicate this ancient Goddess, She can still be found in Her truer, albeit symbolic, form in their literature:

‘During a protracted and dangerous confinement take earth from the crossroads, write upon it the five first verses of this Psalm, and lay it upon the abdomen of the parturient; allow it to remain until the birth is accomplished, but no longer. . .’ (The Complete Edition of the 6th and 7th Books of Moses: or Moses’ Magical Spirit Art).

Lilith and Sexuality

“Lilith’s Lair” by LourdesLaVeau

Lilith, as ‘hand of Inanna,’ would gather men from the streets and lead them to the temples of the sacred prostitutes. Later, as the first wife of Adam, She refused to lie beneath Adam and be his submissive. Instead She chose to have sex with “evil” spirits and beget more demons. (Who could blame Her?)

Lilith was comfortable with Her sexuality, something that frightened the Jewish patriarch who believed that merely having sex for pleasure was a form of abortion. In recent times, Lilith has morphed into the succubus and incubus or the night hag who sits on the chests of men and causes them to have perverse dreams so that they will ejaculate. She could take the form of either a man or a woman:

‘. . .who appear to mankind, to men in the likeness of women, and to women in the likeness of men, and with men they lie by night and by day.’

Men fear Lilith because She knows the power of Her sexuality and She knows that Her sexuality has power over men. Like Circe, She turns men into beasts or pigs by opening the doorways to their deep and primal sexual desires. Such desires are forbidden by the Jewish and Christian cults.

Women, who are like the submissive Eve, also fear Lilith because of the power She holds. But, as has been shown in the myth of the garden of Eden, Lilith is not an enemy of womankind. She holds the ancient fruit of knowledge, the secrets of our deepest sexual nature, and She is willing to offer this fruit to us.

Lilith as Vampire

“Bewitched” by Picked-Jester

As the mother of all demons, Lilith has recently been linked to either giving birth to the first vampires or being the first vampire.

This fallacy is linked to past Jewish superstitions in that Lilith drank the blood of children while in the form of an owl.

In a Rabbinical frenzy to drive Lilith’s worshippers away from the Goddess, they made up lies such as this which contradicted Her earlier functions as a protectress and helper of birthing mothers and infants.” [1]

“Lilith” by Valerhon

For your listening enjoyment, I had to add this song into this entry that I came across a few days ago.  This song is amazing, written by a talented artist named Zefora, and dedicated to Lilith.

Sources:

Yetter, Eliza. Sacred Spiral, “Lilith As Goddess”  (When you click on the link, it will bring you to her page where she has posted her citations/selected bibliography.)

Suggested Links:

All Things yOni, “Lilith

Enkidu, Leah. Shrine, “Return of the Holy Prostitute“.

Jewish and Christian Literature, “Lilith

Kocharyan, Lilith. Lilith’s World, “Goddess Lilith

Leitch, Aaron. Aaron Leitch Homepage, “Lilith

Monaghan, Patricia. Goddesses in World Culture, “Lilith: The Primordial Female“. (55 – 67).

Saradwyn. Order of the White Moon, “Lilith“.

Took, Thalia. A-Musing-Grace Gallery, “Lilith

Wikipedia, “Lilith

Mambo Ayizan

“Ayizan” by Heza Barjon

“Ayizan’s themes are pleasure, playfulness and divination.  Her symbols are palm leaves.  Ayizan is the first priestess of voodoo tradition, governing the public places where people gather to celebrate the Goddess. As such, she oversees the Mardi Gras exuberant revelry, offering psychic insight and protective energy to keep us out of trouble. According to tradition, Ayizan is the moral governess of humankind, helping us to balance our desire for pleasure with culpability.

Combine Ayizan’s psychic side with a traditional Mardi Gras activity: fortune-telling! And since it’s unlikely that you have a palm leaf handy, use your own palm for divination instead. Get a palmistry guidebook (these are often handy at the supermarket checkout) and see what future your hand predicts.

Mardi Gras is traditionally a time of unbridled fun before the serious Lenten season begins – so much so that the festivities are overseen by a lady and lord of misrule, who make sure folks really let loose. One activity in particular inspires Ayizan’s energies – that of dancing and tossing grain so that pleasure rains down on all participants. This also banishes evil. Try this yourself, tossing rice or any grain-based cereal around the outside of your home. Then the birds can carry your wishes directly to Ayizan in their beaks!”

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

In Vodou, and especially in Haiti, Ayizan (also Grande Ai-Zan, Aizan, or Ayizan Velekete) is the loa of the marketplace and commerce.

She is a racine, or root Loa, associated with Vodoun rites of initiation (called kanzo). Just as Her husband Loko Atisou is the archetypal Houngan (priest), Ayizan is regarded as the first, or archetypal Mambo (priestess), and as such is also associated with priestly knowledge and mysteries, particularly those of initiation, and the natural world.

As the spiritual parents of the priesthood She and Her husband are two of the Loa involved in the kanzo rites in which the Priest/ess-to-be is given the asson (sacred rattle and tool of the priesthood), and are both powerful guardians of “reglemen,” or the correct and appropriate form of Vodoun service.

She is syncretised with the Catholic Saint Clare, Her symbol is the palm frond, She drinks no alcohol. Her colors are most commonly gold, yellow and white. [1]

Veve of Ayizan

“Her veve is comprise of her initials, the A€ and the V intersecting across each other. The veve is sometimes further decorated with stars and whirls to imitate the royal palm frond, shredded and worn by every initiate of Vodou.

Chromolithographs of Christ, usually Christ being baptized by St. John are used in association with  Ayizan. Her symbol is the royal palm branch, frayed and covering Her  face. Offer Her palm fronds, yams, dirt from a market cross road and water.” [2]

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