Tag Archive: soil


Goddess Larunda

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“Larunda’s themes are earth, home and ghosts. Her symbols are stoves or ovens, soil or clay. Lara is one of the Roman Goddesses of earth and the home. She is also the mother and guardian to ghosts, or lares, who reside in the hearth and protect the family. Traditionally, today is a festival day, Larentalia.

In Rome, this day was a time to say prayers for the dead and the nation, as well as to bring joy to one’s home. In keeping with this tradition, convey like these to Larunda:

‘Larunda, hear my words
Bless the spirits of those who have gone on before me
and grant them serenity
Bless also my nation
that it may know peace and prosperity
this year and always
Finally, bless my home with your happiness,
prosperity and love
Let all who visit or dwell within
feel your presence and protection surrounding them
Thank you for these blessings
Amen.’

To invoke both Larunda’s and the lares blessing on your residence, leave a small jar of soil somewhere near your oven, microwave, toaster or heater, and say:

‘Larunda, lares, this house bless, with your warmth and gentleness.’

Whenever tensions in the house reach a boiling point, take a pinch of the soil outside and dispose of it. This releases the magic and symbolically gets rid of the problems. Don’t look back.”

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

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This Goddess was already covered on February 18 – as Lara (click on Her name to be directed to that entry).  To add to that information that was presented in that entry: “Roman sources mention this Goddess passingly as ‘mother of the dead,’ an underworld Goddess who may have been the same one who granted prosperity as Acca Larentia.  She was sometimes called Tacita or Muta (‘deadly silent one’); She was invoked by that name in magical attempts to stop the mouths of detractors, in which women would tie the mouths of dead fish so that gossips would suffer the same fate” (Monaghan, p. 191).

 

 

Sources:

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

 

Suggested Links:

Took, Thalia. Thaliatook.com, “Acca Larentia“.

Wikipedia, “Larunda“.

Wikipedia, “Mother of the Lares“.

 

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 Tenga

“Tenga’s themes are balance, justice, morality and freedom. Her symbols are soil. Among the Mossi of Senegal, Tenga is a potent earth Goddess who presides over all matters of justice and morality. Today She joins our celebration by offering to right wrongs and restore the balance in any area of our life that’s gotten out of kilter.

Equal Opportunity Day commemorates Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and the liberating energy it created for all people. Tenga had to be pleased by Mr. Lincoln’s efforts, and we should honor both him and this Goddess today by reconsidering any prejudices that cloud the way we look at other people or situations.

One way of doing this is through visualization. Hold a handful of soil as you mentally review the last week of your life and the way you handled certain individuals or circumstances. Consider: Did you go into a meeting with negativity, anticipating the worst? Did you overlook an opportunity, or close the door on a relationship because of a bad experience in the past?

These are the negative patterns that Tenga helps us to attack and transform with honest candidness (including being honest with yourself about shortcomings). You may not like what She shows you, but the results will be worth it.

Tenga improves your awareness of the Goddess in all things and all people.”

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

“Tenga is the Mossi Goddess of the earth. The Mossi people of West Africa believe that Tenga is not only responsible for the fertility of the land, but also for social order. She receives this authority from the dead who are buried in Her womb. Tenga is most often worshipped near old trees or springs, which both have roots deep within the earth. When a transgression has been committed, especially one which has caused blood to be shed on the earth, She must be appeased by sacrifice or She will withhold fertility from the land. Tenga’s name, which means ‘earth,’ is also seen as Napagha Tenga.” [1]

“Mother Nature” by Zonagirl

Now, to me, She bears a striking resemblance to the earth Goddess Asase Yaa of the Ashanti.

 

 

 

Sources:

Sabrina. Goddess A Day, “Tenga“.

 

Suggested Links:

Everyculture.com, “Mossi“.

Everyculture.com, “Mossi – Religion and Expressive Culture“.

Kramarae, Cheris & Dale Spender. Routledge International Encyclopedia of Women: Global Women’s Issues and Knowledge, (p. 57).

MacK-Williams, Kibibi. Mossi, “Religion” (p. 36).

Skinner, Elliott Percival. The Mossi of the Upper Volta: The Political Development of the Sudanese People.

Goddess Tellus Mater

“Mother Earth” by *MD-Arts

“Tellus Mater’s themes are earth, ecology, promises, abundance, prosperity and fertility. Her symbols are the globe, soil and grain.  The Roman Earth Mother celebrates today’s festivities, the Earth’s Birthday, by sharing of Her abundance, being a Goddess of vegetation, reproduction, and increase. In regional stories, Tellus Mater gave birth to humans, which is why bodies are returned to the soil at death – so they can be reborn from Her womb anew.

According to James Ussher, a seventeenth-century Anglican archbishop, God created the earth on October 26, 4004 B.C.E. While this date is uncertain at best, it gives us a good excuse to honor Tellus Mater and hold a birthday party on Her behalf.

Make a special cake for the Earth Mother out of natural fertilizers. Take this to a natural setting (don’t forget the candle). Light the candle and wish for the earth’s renewal, then blow it out, remove the candle, and bury your gift to Tellus Mater in the soil, where it can begin manifesting your good wishes!

While you’re outside, pick up a pinch of soil, a stone, or any natural object that strikes your eye and keep it close. This is a part of Tellus Mater, and it will maintain her power for abundance wherever you go today. It will also help you stay close to the Earth Mother and honor the living spirit of earth in word and deed.”

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

“In ancient Roman religion and myth, Tellus or Terra Mater (‘Mother Earth’) is a Goddess of the earth. Although Tellus and Terra are hardly distinguishable during the Imperial eraTellus was the name of the original earth Goddess in the religious practices of the Republic or earlier.  The scholar Varro (1st century BCE) lists Tellus as one of the di selecti, the twenty principal gods of Rome, and one of the twelve agricultural deities.  She is regularly associated with Ceres in rituals pertaining to the earth and agricultural fertility.

Tellus/Pax panel of Ara Pacis

The attributes of Tellus were the cornucopia, or bunches of flowers or fruit. She was typically depicted reclining.  Her male complement was a sky god such as Caelus (Uranus) or a form of Jupiter. A male counterpart Tellumo or Tellurus is mentioned, though rarely. Her Greek counterpart is Gaia (Gē Mâtēr), and among the Etruscans She was Cel. Michael Lipka has argued that the Terra Mater who appears during the reign of Augustus is a direct transferral of the Greek Ge Mater into Roman religious practice, while Tellus, whose temple was within Rome’s sacred boundary (pomerium), represents the original earth Goddess cultivated by the state priests.” [1]

Patricia Monaghan tells us: “The Roman ‘Mother Earth’ was honored each April 15 [Fordicidia], when a pregnant cow was sacrificed and its unborn calf burned.  The Romans tried to offer appropriate tribute to each divinity and they felt that the earth – pregnant in spring with sprouting plants – would especially appreciate such a sacrifice.

“Ceres” by ~rebenke

Tellus’ constant companion was Ceres, the grain Goddess, and the two of them interested themselves not only in vegetative reproduction but in humanity’s increase as well.  Therefore, they were invoked at every marriage that they might bless it with offspring.  Tellus too was considered the most worthy Goddess on whom to swear oaths, for the earth, witnessing all doings on Her surface, would see that an oath taker kept his promise.  Finally, Tellus, to whom the bodies of the dead were returned as to a womb, was the motherly death Goddess, for unlike Her Greek counterpart Gaia, Tellus was associated with the underworld as well as the earth’s surface” (p. 293 – 294).

“Nerthus” by MarisVision

On a side note, “the identity of the Goddess Nerthus, called Terra Mater, Mother Earth by Tacitus in Germania, has been a topic of much scholarly debate.”  Click here to read a fantastic article by William Reaves entitled “Nerthus: Toward an Identification”.

 

 

 

Sources:

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

Reaves, William P. “Nerthus: Toward an Identification“.

Wikipedia, “Terra (mythology)“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Berger, Pamela C. Goddess Obscured: Transformation of the Grain Protectress from Goddess to Saint.

GardenStone. The Nerthus Claim.

Lipka, Michael. Roman Gods: A Conceptual Approach.

Novaroma.org, “Fordicidia“.

Took, Thalia. Thaliatook.com, “Cels“.

Wikipedia, “Fordicidia“.

Goddess Gaia

“Magic Mountain” by Hans-Peter Kolb

“Gaia’s themes are abundance, providence, thankfulness, nature, divination, promises and the earth. Her symbols are harvested foods (especially fruit and grains) and soil. In Greek tradition, Gaia stretched out at the beginning of time, becoming the earth’s land. In this form, She continues to give life and sustenance to all things that dwell in and on the planet, even when the cold weather tries to steal away that life. So sacred are Gaia’s soils that any promise made with one hand on the earth is irrevocable. The oracle at Delphi belonged to Gaia before Apollo took over, giving Her the additional attribute of prophesy.

The Thanksgiving theme among Canadians is much the same as in the United States; it’s a time of expressing gratitude to the earth and the heavens for their ongoing providence.  Enjoy a robust feast of harvested edibles today to internalize Gaia’s blessings and foresight. Remember to give thanks to the creatrix of your feast before eating!  Also consider following Greek custom by leaving Gaia an offering of barley, honey, or cakes in an opening in the earth. This show of gratitude inspires Gaia’s fertility in the coming months and years.

To help keep yourself true to a promise, carry a few pinches of soil with you in a sealed container today. If you sense your resolve waning, release a little back to Gaia. This invokes Her strength and sense of duty.”

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

“Breath of Gaia” by Josephine Wall

“In the beginning, the Greeks said, there was only formless chaos: light and dark, sea and land, blended in a shapeless pudding.  Then chaos settled into form, and that form was the huge Gaia, the deep-breasted one, the earth.  She existed before time began, for Time was one of Her children.  In the timeless spans before creation, She existed, to Herself and of Herself alone.

“Giants of Gaia” by Diana Elizabeth Stanley

But finally Gaia desired love, and for this purpose She made Herself a son: Uranus, the heaven, who arched over his Mother and satisfied Her desire.  Their mating released Gaia’s creative force, both marvelous and monstrous.  Uranus hated and envied Gaia’s other children, so the primeval Mother kept them hidden from his destructiveness.

Eventually, however, Her dark and crowded womb grew too heavy to endure.  So Gaia created a new element: gray adamant.  And from it She fashioned a new tool, never known before: a jagged-toothed sickle. With this Gaia armed Her son Cronos (Time), who took the weapon from his Mother’s hand and hid himself.

“The Mutiliation of Uranus by Saturn” by Giorgio Vasari & Cristofano Gherardi

Soon, Uranus came, drawing a dark sky-blanket over himself as he approached to mount his Mother-Lover. Then his brother-son Cronos sprang into action, grasping Uranus’ genitals and sawing them off with the rough blade. Blood fell in a heavenly rain on Mother Gaia.  So fertile was that even the blood of the mutilated sky impregnated Her.  The Erinyes sprang up; so did the Giants; and so did the ash-tree nymphs, the Meliae, humanity’s ancestors (and, in some stories, by throwing Uranus’ testicles into the sea, they caused the sea to foam and out of that white foam rose Aphrodite, the Goddess of love and beauty).

This was the familiar creation story that the ancient Greeks told their children.  Even after the earth mother had been supplanted as the primary divinity by invading Olympians, the Greeks worshiped Gaia’s power with barley and honey cakes placed at sacred openings in Her surface.  At such fissures, too, gifted people would read the will of the Great Mother, for She was through all ages the “primeval prophet” who inspired the oracles at Delphi, Dodona, and elsewhere.  And it was to Gaia – even in the days when Zeus ruled the pantheon – that the Greeks swore their most sacred oaths, thus recognizing Her ancient theological sovereignty” (Monaghan, p. 131).

“Her equivalent in the Roman pantheon was Tellus.

Many Neopagans worship Gaia. Beliefs regarding Gaia vary, ranging from the belief that Gaia is the Earth to the belief that She is the spiritual embodiment of the earth, or the Goddess of the Earth.

“Spring I – Gaia” by ~SargonX

Gaia’s name was revived in 1979 by James Lovelock, in Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth; his Gaia Hypothesis was supported by Lynn Margulis. The hypothesis proposes that living organisms and inorganic material are part of a dynamic system that shapes the Earth’s biosphere, and maintains the Earth as a fit environment for life. In some Gaia theory approaches the Earth itself is viewed as an organism with self-regulatory functions. Further books by Lovelock and others popularized the Gaia Hypothesis, which was widely embraced and passed into common usage as part of the heightened awareness of environmental concerns of the 1990s.” [1]

Here’s a quote that I’d love to leave you with by Sir James Lovelock from Ages of Gaia:

“What if Mary is another name for Gaia?
Then her capacity for virgin birth is no miracle,
it is a role of Gaia since life began.
She is of this Universe and, conceivably,
a part of God. On Earth, she is the source
of life everlasting and is alive now;
she gave birth to humankind
and we are part of her.”

 

 

 

Sources:

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

Wikipedia, “Gaia (mythology)“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Auralia. Orderwhitemoon.org, “Gaia“.

Goddessgift.com, “Mother Gaia’s Healing Chicken Soup” – for the kitchen witches out there 😉

Greekmedicine.net, “Greek Mythology: Gaia – Mother Earth, Mother Nature“.

Green-agenda.com, “Home“. (* This site actually seems to state that the modern green movement has some type of nefarious agenda of sorts, but it lists some awesome quotes that I wanted to share.)

Lash, John Lamb. Metahistory.org, “TAKE BACK THE PLANET: A Review of James Cameron’s Avatar (2009)“. (A movie I thoroughly enjoyed!)

Livingstone, Glenys. Matrifocus.com, “Beltane/Samhain @ EarthGaia“.

Mythagora.com, “Gaia

Revel, Anita. igoddess.com, “Gaia: dose up on mama love“.

Sozaeva, Katy. Voices.yahoo.com, “Gaia – Goddess Worship and Understanding Our World from a Feminine Perspective“.

Theoi.com, “Gaia“.

Took, Thalia. Thaliatook.com, “Gaea“.

 

Goddess Ops

“Demeter” by Shanina Conway

“Ops’ themes are opportunity, wealth, fertility and growth. Her symbols are bread, seeds and soil.  This Italic Goddess of fertile earth provides us with numerous ‘op-portunities’ to make every day more productive. In stories, Ops motivates fruit bearing, not just in plants but also in our spirits. She also controls the wealth of the gods, making her a Goddess of opulence! Works of art depict Ops with a loaf of bread in one hand and the other outstretched, offering aid.

On August 25, Ops was evoked by sitting on the earth itself, where She lives in body and spirit. So, weather permitting, take yourself a picnic lunch today. Sit with Ops and enjoy any sesame or poppy breadstuffs (bagel, roll, etc) – both types of seeds are magically aligned with Ops’s money-bringing power. If possible, keep a few of the seeds from the bread in your pocket or shoe so that after lunch, Op’s opportunities for financial improvements or personal growth can be with you no matter where you go. And don’t forget to leave a few crumbs for the birds so they can take you magical wishes to the four corners of creation!

If the weather doesn’t cooperate, invoke Ops by getting as close to the earth as you can (sit on your floor, go into the cellar). Alternatively, eat earthy foods like potatoes, root crops, or any fruit that comes from Ops’s abundant storehouse.”

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

“Rhea” by Ian Ian Marke

Patricia Monaghan tells us that Ops’ “name survives in our word opulent, and in Rome She represented the opulence of the earth’s fruiting.  Worshiped at harvest festivals on August 25 [Opiconsivia] and December 19 [Opalia], She was associated with the god Consus, ruler of the ‘conservation’ of the grain that Ops brought Her people.  Newborn children were put in Her care, so that She would care for them as tenderly as She cared for the shoots of springtime plants.  She was called by several titles: Consivia, the sower; Patella, stimulator of the wheat crop; and Rucina, promoter of the harvest. She was a very ancient Roman Goddess, identified in later days with the Greek Rhea” (p. 240).

According to E.M. Berens, “In Rome the Greek Rhea was identified with Ops, the Goddess of plenty, the wife of Saturn, who had a variety of appellations. She was called Magna-Mater, Mater-Deorum, Berecynthia-Idea, and also Dindymene. This latter title She acquired from three high mountains in Phrygia, whence She was brought to Rome as Cybele during the second Punic war, BCE 205, in obedience to an injunction contained in the Sybilline books. She was represented as a matron crowned with towers, seated in a chariot drawn by lions.” [1]

Demeter in Ancient Feminine Wisdom by Kay Stevenson & Brian Clark

Micha F. Lindemans on Encyclopedia Mythica tells us that “The Roman (Sabine) Goddess of the earth as a source of fertility, and a Goddess of abundance and wealth in general (Her name means ‘plenty’). As Goddess of harvest She is closely associated with the god Consus. She is the sister and wife of Saturn. One of Her temples was located near Saturn’s temple, and on August 10 a festival took place there. Another festival was the Opalia, which was observed on December 9. On the Forum Romanum She shared a sanctuary with the Goddess Ceres as the protectors of the harvest. The major temple was of Ops Capitolina, on the Capitoline Hill, where Caesar had located the Treasury. Another sanctuary was located in the Regia on the Forum Romanun, where also the Opiconsivia was observed on August 25. Only the official priests and the Vestal Virgins had access to this altar.” [2]

 

Sources:

Aworldofmyths.com, “Ops“.

Lindemans, Micha F. Encyclopedia Mythica, “Ops“.

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

 

 

Suggested Links:

Gypsymagicspells.blogspot.com, “Ops – Goddess of Opulence“.

Her Cyclopedia, “The Goddess Ops“.

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

Wikipedia, “Ops“.

Goddess Po Ino Nogar

“Dewi Sri 2” by Much

“Po Ino Nogar’s themes are growth, harvest, fertility and community. Her symbols are clouds, saltwater, rain and soil. This agricultural Goddess’s name means simply ‘great one’ in Cambodia, likely due to the fact that She brings fertility to the earth and its people. It is Her duty to protect the fields and harvests. Epics sometimes symbolize Po Ino Nogar as a gentle rain, because local myths claim that She was born in the clouds and still controls the water’s generative gift to the land and to our souls.

Members of the royal family in Camobida used to plow the fields today to appease Po Ino Nogar and ensure fertility to the crops. For modern purposes, think about tasks that need to be be ‘plowed’ through – paperwork that’s been neglected, communicating with someone with a difficult demeanor, a project put on terminal hold. As you till the metamorphic soils of that situation, you also encourage Po Ino Nogar’s growth-oriented energy in them. If your spirit or humor has seemed a bit ‘dry’ lately, try this Po Ino Nogar visualization:

Close you eyes and imagine a blue-white cloud overhead with the face of a smiling woman formed by it creases. As you look , the cloud releases small light-drops that pour softly over you. As they do, your skin absorbs the light, as well as this Goddess’s energy. Continue the visualization until you feel filled to overflowing.”

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

 

“Among the Charms of Cambodia, the world’s Goddess-ruler, creator of rice, was called Po Ino Nogar (“Great One, Mother of the Kingdom”).  Born either from seafoam or from clouds, She had 97 husbands and 38 daughters.  One of Her offspring was Po Bya Tikuh (“mouse queen”), a maleficent virgin Goddess; another was the Goddess of disease, Po Yan Dari, who lived in caves and grottoes to which worshipers would bring stones, asking for miraculous cures.  Another Charm healing Goddess was the divine priestess Pajau Tan, said to be a thirtyish woman who lived on earth as a healer but who was finally sent to live in the moon because She kept raising all the dead; there She still lives, providing flowers to newly dead to ease their transformation” (Monaghan, p. 255).

 

 

 

Sources:

Monaghan, Patricia. The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines, “Po Ino Nogar”.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Davis, Kent. Devata.org, “Rice Goddesses of Indonesia, Cambodia and Thailand“.

Rongsit, Vipp. Content4reprint.com, “Thai Rice and Ceremony of Rice Goddess“.

Tate, Karen. Sacred Places of Goddess: 108 Destinations, “Temples of Angkor” (p. 211)

Wikipedia, “Phosop“.

“Goddess of Rice” by echo-x

“Boru Deak Parudjar’s themes are the harvest, blessings, longevity, courage, opportunity. Her symbols are soil and rice. The Malaysian creatrix and guardian of life, Boru Deak Parudjar grew bored of the upper realms and jumped away from them as soon as an opportunity opened up. It is this type of adventurous spirit and leap of faith that she inspires today.

In local legend, Boru Deak Parudjar’s father, Batara Guru (the creator god of Sumatra), sent a bit of soil to the water to await his daughter in the lower worlds. The earth grew to sustain the Goddess. This change in the waters made Naga (a primordial sea serpent) very angry – he wiggled until Boru Deak Parudjar’s earth began to cleave, creating mountains and valleys. Which just goes to show that stirring things up sometimes has a good outcome!

Following ancient custom, the elder of a house makes sacrifices and prays poetically for direction, the Goddess’s blessings, health and good harvest. Foods include rice dishes and rice wine. So, add any rice dish to your diet today: rice cereal for Boru Deak Parudjar’s growth-oriented energy, rice pudding for Her sweet blessings, herbed rice to spice up your life with a little adventure. When you need a bit of this Goddess’s courage, place a piece of rice in your footprint (someplace where it won’t be disturbed). As you put rice in the imprint, say,

‘Let courage guide my feet all this day.'”

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

From my research, Boru Deak Parudjar didn’t jump from the upper realms because She was bored; She jumped into the primordial waters of the middle world to escape marrying Raja Odap-Odap – a lizard god to whom Her sister was betrothed to before she committed suicide after finding out that he preferred Boru Deak Parudjar to her. [1]

“Among the Batak of Indonesia, this creatrix, Si Boru Deak Parujar, was born in the heavens with Her sister, Sorbayati.  Their parents arranged for Sorbayati, the older sister, to marry the lizard god, Raja Odap-Odap.  but at a dance party he revealed that he really preferred Si Boru Deak Parajar.  Humiliated, Sorbayati threw herself off heaven’s balcony; her body disintegrated into bamboo and rattan.  The bereaved Sister then descended.  Since She could not bring back Her sister, Si Boru Deak Parujar created the earth on the back of a snake.  Only after doing so would She agree to marry the lizard god, who was transformed into a human at the wedding.  From this union were born the first humans, including the first woman, Si Boru Ihat Manisia, and her twin borther, [Si Raja Ihat Manisia]. (Bonnefoy)” [2]

 

 

 

Sources:

Bonnefoy, Yves. Asian Mythologies, “The Origin of Humanity and the Descent to Earth of the First Human Beings in the Myths of Indonesia“. (p.166)

Leeming, David Adams. Creation Myths of the World: An Encyclopedia, Volume 1, “Batak“. (p. 66)

Monaghan, Patricia. The Encyclopedia of Goddesses and Heroines,Si Boru Deak Parujar” (p. 224).

 

 

Suggested Links:

Foubister, Linda. Goddess in the Grass: Serpentine Mythology and the Great Goddess, The Cosmic Serpent“. (p. 29)

Slayford-Wei, Lian. Helium, “The History and Significance of the Goddess: Boru Deak Parudjar“.

Wikipedia, “Dewi Sri“.

Goddess Mati-Syra-Zemlya

“Sadness of Gaia” by Josephine Wall

“Mati-Syra-Zemlya’s themes are community, divination, promises, justice, and morality.  Her symbols are oil and soil.  This Goddess’s name means ‘moist mother’, alluding to Her fertile aspects. She attends today’s festivities to hear oaths and witness legal decisions that may affect the rest of the year. Any promise or sentence made with one hand on the earth, or in Her name, is completely binding. In some areas Her motherly nature is expressed through healing qualities, while in others She has prophetic ability. An appropriate gift for Her is hemp oil.

Landsgemeinde is a civic-oriented holiday in Switzerland during which people gather to conduct regional business, including voting, budgets, and tax proposals. It’s a very old custom adorned with lavish clothing, ceremonial swords, and, I suspect, and eavesdropping Goddess (just to keep everyone honest).

If you need to tie up some pending business, work on your personal budget, or balance the check book, honor Mati-Syra-Zemlya and draw Her ethical energies to you by getting busy!

Alternatively, if you’ve been thinking about getting more involved with your local or magical community, make a commitment to Mati-Syra-Zemlya to start making efforts in that direction. Simply place a hand on the ground and speak your pledge to Her ears. The Goddess will respond by giving you the time and energy needed to fulfil that commitment.”

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

“Mother Earth” by Paul Morley

“Mati Syra Zemla is the chthonic mother Goddess of the ancient Slavs; a vague personification of the earth (literally, “Damp Mother Earth”). Perhaps the Slavs’ oldest pagan deity, Her identity later blended into that of Mokos.” [1] “According to Roman Jakobson and Marija Gimbutas, the worship of such a primal earth Goddess was widespread among the Slavs and their neighbors; this is attested to by the fact that the earth deities of a number of Baltic, Phrygian, and Finno-Ugric peoples exhibit similar characteristics and seem to derive from the Indo-Iranian Ardvi Sura Anahita (‘Humid Mother of the Earth’).” [2]

Mati Syra Zemla, or Matka, for short, is the Slavic Goddess of the Earth.  Her name translates to Moist Mother Earth, and describes Her as a forever fertile, life-giving force. She is not seen in human form but as the Earth itself; although it is believed that at certain times She will take human form. When She does, She is usually portrayed with black skin which associates Her with the blackness of the fertile soil.  Matka is believed to be the most ancient and powerful of all of the Eastern European deities. In fact, Matka is so powerful that She survived into the 20th century despite all attempts of the Church to do away with Her.

She is the mother of all – the people, the animals, and all of the plants of the Earth.  The Slavic people had a strong connection to their Mother Goddess and an altogether different relationship they had with all the other gods.  They looked upon Her with a mixture of love and admiration, and She was the only deity they addressed personally.  When the peasant people spoke of Her, their eyes would fill with love.  They called on Her to witness property disputes and swore by Her name.  Oaths and marriages were confirmed by swallowing a clump of earth or holding some on their head while they swear and oath. Her aid was invoked during epidemics and while in childbirth.

Matka is also viewed as a champion of justice and a wise prophetess who allows Her petitioners to come to Her without the aide of a priestess or a shaman. It was said that She held all the knowledge of the world and when asked, would release the signs that could be interpreted.

When the Slavs converted to Christianity, the Church attempted to transform Her characteristics the Virgin Mary, but this was not wholly successful, for during trying times, the people would revert to the worship of Matka.  Her Holy Days are May 1st, June 24th and August 1st.  A ritual to Her took place on the fields in August.  At this time, a libation of hemp oil was poured out onto the four directions accompanied by a prayer for protection against the destructive forces of nature.” [3]

“Melaina” by Thalia Took

Based on Mati Syra Zemla’s description as a chthonic Goddess who appears black skinned when She takes “human form”, I could not help but draw a parallel between Her and Melaine, “The Black One” who is the under-earth or chthonic aspect of the Greek Great Goddess, said to bring nightmares.  Different Goddesses are called by Her name (Aphrodite Melaenis represents a dark aspect of the Goddess of love as Underworld deity, though some say She is called “Black” because love-making often takes place at night).  Melaina is also the epithet of Demeter Herself as an Underworld Goddess, and in this respect is called Chthonia. [4]

I think its important to note that the term “chthonic” is not only used to describe earth deities, but Underworld deities as well.  As a chthonic earth Goddess, it would be easy then to see Her as a fertile life giving and nurturing mother – yet on the other hand, Her blackness would be associated with the womb, caves and descending to the Underworld deep within the earth in which we are forced to face fears, past trauma, nightmares and death (metaphorical and physical).

It is only within the caverns deep within Her dark womb that we are forced to face and learn to overcome and heal from that which has hurt us, only to re-emerge or be born anew into the world – changed, stronger and wiser.

Ancient Mother, no matter by which name You are called, I hear you calling…

Sources:

McCannon, John. Encyclopedia Mythica, “Mati Syra Zemlya“.

McCannon, John. Encyclopedia Mythica, “Mokos“.

MXTODIS123. An Inner Journey: The Moon, Mythology, and You, “Mati Syra Zemlya“.

Took, Thalia. A-Muse-ing Grace Gallery, “Melaina“.

Suggested Links:

Agaliha. Mystic Wicks, “Mati-Syra-Zemlya {Goddess of the Week}“. * (HIGHLY SUGGEST visiting this site – packed full of detailed information and associations!)

Axinia. 1000 Petals by Axinia, “Mokosh’ – The Russian Goddess Lakshmi“.

Kakasevski, Vesna (translated by Snježana Todorović). Starisloveni.com, “Mokoš“.

Goddess Asase Yaa

"Mother Nature" by Zonagirl

“Asase Yaa’s themes are death, truth, morality, fertility, and the harvest.  Her symbol is soil.  In West Africa, Asase Yaa means ‘old woman earth’. As such, She governs the soil’s fertility, and consequently, the harvest. This Goddess represents the earth’s womb, who gives us birth and to whom we all return at death. In life She presides over and motivates truth and virtue; upon death, She cares for and judges our spirits. Thursday is the traditional day for honoring Her in the sacred space.

Every two years in April, people in Nigeria honor the spirits of the dead in a special festival called the Awuru Odo Festival that resembles a huge, extended family reunion – which is exactly how we can commemorate Asase Yaa in our own lives. If you can’t assemble with your family because of distance, pull out photographs of loves ones and wrap them in something protective. Lay these down and sprinkle a little rich soil over them so that Asase Yaa’s presence (and, by extension, yours) can be with them this day, no matter where they may be.

To keep Asase Yaa’s honesty and scruples as an integral part of your life, take any seed and a little soil and warp them in cotton, saying:

 ‘Into your womb I place the seed of self
to be nurtured in goodness and grown in love.’

Carry this token with you to keep Asase Yaa close by.”

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

Asase Yaa (pronounced ‘ah-sah-see-yah’, and means ‘mother earth’) “is the earth Goddess of fertility of the Ashanti people of Ghana. She is the wife of Nyame the sky god. She gave birth to two sons, Bea and Tano. However, in their folklore She is also the mother of Anansi the trickster god. Asase Yaa is very powerful, though no temples are dedicated to Her, instead She is worshipped in the fields.” [1]

“Asase Yaa is the Goddess who is  recognized as a source of truth; Her followers show Her respect with a day of rest from tilling the soil on Thursdays. In fact, She is a daily part of life for the Guyanese  who still practice the old spiritual traditions.  Before a farmer begins to till the ground, he must ask for Her permission.  Farmers sacrificed roosters to ensure good harvest.  She is the old woman of the Earth who is personified as the mother of humanity who supplies Her children with life and embraces them again at death.” [2]

 ASSOCIATIONS:

FAVORED PEOPLE: anyone who has worked in a field
ANIMAL: goat
PLANET: Jupiter
ELEMENT: earth
NUMBER: 8
DAY: Thursday
ORIGIN: Ashanti

I just thought this was cool –  Asase Yaa, a provider of global foods for festivals with vegan and vegetarian options in Minneapolis, MN.  I love this quote on her site, 

When you cook, you need to be on your best mental behavior and think about how people will feel eating your food. You want to share that spiritual energy and hope that people will receive if from the meal”- Petrina (Creator/Owner of Asase Yaa)

Sources:

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

Wikipedia, “Asase Ya”.

Suggested Links:

Moon, Tora.  The Goddess Speaks, “Message from Asase Yaa – Goddess of Agriculture and Harvest“.

Romero, Frances. TIME Specials, “Top 10 Earth Goddesses“.


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