Tag Archive: unity


Goddess Odudua

Art by Drew Flaherty

Art by Drew Flaherty

“Odudua’s themes are kinship, unity, devotion, creativity, community, love and fertility. Her symbols are black items. In the beginning, Odudua created the earth and its people. In Yoruban tradition, She presides over all matter of fertility, love and community. Her sacred color is black.

The African American festival of Kwanzaa celebrates family unity and the black culture. It is also a harvest festival whose name means ‘first fruits’. Every day of the celebration focuses on important themes, including Odudua’s harmony, determination, community responsibility, purpose, creativity and faith.

One lovely tradition easily adapted is that of candle lighting. Each day of the festival, light one red, green or black candle (the colors of Africa). Name the candle after one of Odudua’s attributes you wish to develop (try to choose the color that most closely corresponds to your goal). Igniting it gives energy and visual manifestation to that principle. Also try to keep one black candle lit (in a safe container) to honor the Goddess’s presence during this time.

To inspire Odudua’s peaceful love in your heart and life today, wear something black. This will absorb the negativity around you and put is to rest.”

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

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Patricia Monaghan said that this “primary mother Goddess of the Yoruba of Nigeria…is the great orisha (deity) of the earth as well as its creator.  Her name means ‘She who exists for Herself and to create others,’ and it was Her energy that caused the primal matter which later formed itself ionto this universe.  The spot where She descended from the sky onto the new earth is still pointed out in Yourbaland.  Oddudua is called Saint Claire in Santería” (p. 238).

On mythologydictionary.com, it states: “A creator-Goddess and war-Goddess of the Yoruba. Wife and sister (or, some, say, daughter) of Olodumare or Obatala. Mother of Aganju, Ogun and Yemoja. Some regard her as the founder of the Yoruba. In some accounts, Oduduwa is regarded as male, son of Lamurudu and brother of Obatala, marrying Aje and fathering Oranyan; in others She is female in which role Her father sent Her to earth to sow seeds and She became the wife of Orishako. In some references, called OduduwaOdudua or Odudua. [1]

 

 

 

Sources:

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

Mythologydictionary.com, “Oduduwa“.

 

Suggested Links:

MXTODIS123. Reclaimingthedarkgoddess.blogspot.com, “Oduduwa“.

Goddess Xi Hou

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“Xi Hou’s themes are kinship, longevity, unity, divination and weather. Her symbols are sunlight and gold dragons. As the Chinese mother of the sun, this Goddess joins our festivities today to celebrate Her child’s rebirth. Each morning, Xi Hou diligently bathes one of ten suns in the lake of creation so it can shine in purity, and then She puts it on top of the trees, where it’s received by a dragon chariot that moves the sun across the sky.

Consider following Chinese custom, and rejoice in the solstice by gathering in the kitchen with your housemates and leaving offerings of chopsticks, oranges, incense, and candles for unity and long life for all those gathered. Open a curtain to let the sun light flood in, than thank Xi Hou for Her child and its warmth. Also, at some point during the day, enjoy some Oriental-style dumplings (dim sum) for kinship.

Among the favorite activities today are weather prophecies. Go outside and see what direction the wind is coming from. An east wind portends trouble, west winds indicate the ripening of an effort or a good grain crop, south winds counsel watching your money, as the harvest will be poor (don’t invest in crop shares!), and north winds foretell bounty.

Red clouds reveal that your personal energy will wane and droughts may follow, black clouds predict floods, yellow clouds precede prosperity and abundant crops, and white clouds reveal arguments or war.”

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

Hsi-Ho-large

“Hsi-Ho” by Janet Hess

The Goddess Xi Hou (pronounced SHE-hoe) is the “mother of the ten suns; this ancient Chinese heroine created the calendar by selecting the order in which She would bathe Her children – thus establishing which day came before which.  After bathing the child in the sweet waters of the Kan Yuan Gulf, She hung the day’s sun in a mulberry tree and raised it into the sky” (Monaghan, p. 156).

Also seen as Xi He and Hsi-Ho (see my February 7th entry Goddess Hsi-Ho).

 

 

Sources:

Monaghan, Patricia. The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines, “Hsi-Ho”.

 

Suggested Links:

Cnculture.org, “Ho Yi Shoots down the Suns“.

Wikipedia, “Dōngzhì Festival“.

Goddess Hestia

“Golden Dakini” by A. Andrew Gonzalez

“Hestia’s themes are religious devotion, home, wishes, manifestation, kinship, unity and beginnings. Her symbols are fire (oven) and sparks. The Greek Goddess of household affairs, Hestia watches over our cookery today to help manifest family unity and ensure tasty outcomes. As the hearth Goddess, She provides the spiritual energy necessary to keep our faith sure and the inner fires burning bright. Greek art did not try to portray this Goddess, because She was considered the beginning – the source from which all else was ignited and set in motion.

Getting its name from the annual Yule-pudding making that takes place in many homes around this time of year, Stir-up Sunday is also a time in the Christian Church to motivate determined faith.  So, why not blend the best of both worlds?  Invoke Hestia’s blessing in your kitchen and make some pudding for the whole family (or a gathering of friends). Have each person present stir the pudding clockwise for a few minutes as they focus on a wish. By next year at this time, the wish should manifest.

Light a candle this morning to welcome Hestia’s unity and energy into your home. Or, carry matches in your pocket so the spark of this Goddess can ignite in any situation where it’s needed.  Throughout the day, when you need more commitment to your beliefs, just light one match to invoke Hestia’s aid.”

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

Patricia Monaghan explained: “There were never statues of this most ancient Greek Goddess, for She took no human form. Hestia was seen only in the fire of the hearth, living in the center of every home, an honored guest and helpful to Her hosts. As the hearth Goddess, Hestia symbolized family unity; by extension, as Goddess of the public hearth, She embodied the social contract. At this ever-burning public hearth, the prytaneion, She bore the name of Prytantis; there first fruits, water, oil, wine and year-old cows were sacrified to Her.

“Hestia in Light” by ~El-Sharra

According to Greek legend, Hestia was the firstborn of the Olympian Goddesses. Her antiquity is attested by the Greek proverb ‘Start with Hestia,’ meaning ‘Begin things at the beginning.’ In the beginning of Her worship, matrilineal succession seems to have been the rule, and traces of it survived in the custom of classical Greece whereby a new home was not considered established until a woman brought fire from Her mother’s hearth to light Her own. In the same way, Greek colonists brought fire from the mother city’s public hearth to assure the cohesion of their new communities” (p. 152).

With the winter months upon us, Hestia’s presence in your home can bring you many blessings.  She reminds you that if you’ve neglected your home, it’s time to shift more energy to your home life. Are you working too hard at making a living that you can’t enjoy your hearth?

Your home is where you can recharge your energy, a place for you relax and be yourself. Take some time today to tidy up your place and burn some sage to cleanse the emotional space. If you have a fire-place light a fire, or a candle will do, and welcome Hestia into your home. [1]

ASSOCIATIONS:

General: Hearth, home, living flame, architecture, bowl, veils, pantry, and keys.

Animals: Donkey (ass) and pigs.

Plants: Angel’s trumpet (Datura), California poppy, goldenrod, hollyhock, purple coneflower, yarrow.

Perfumes/Scents: Angelica, iris, lavender, and peony.

Gems and Metals: Amethyst, garnet, gold, silver and brass.

Colors: Gold, dark rose, lavender, silver, and black.        [2]

Her Roman equivalent is Vesta.

 

 

 

Sources:

Dailygoddesstarot.blogspot.com, “Goddess Tarot: Hestia“.

Goddessgift.com, Goddess Symbols of Hestia“.

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

 

 

Suggested Links:

Auralia. Orderwhitemoon.org, “Hestia“.

Dailygoddesstarot.blogspot.com, “Goddess Tarot: Hestia“.

Goddess-guide.com, “Hestia“.

Goddess-power.com, “Goddess Archetype Hestia“. (This one has a fun quiz attached to it so determine what your Goddess archetype is)

Goddessgift.com, “Hestia, Greek Goddess of Hearth and Home“.

Inanna.virtualave.net, “Hestia“.

Revel, Anita. igoddess.com, “Hestia: Easy to be“.

Theoi.com, “Hestia“.

Wikipedia, “Hestia“.

Goddess Eurynome

 

“Eurynome” by Hrana Janto

“Eurynome’s themes are unity, peace and balance. Her symbols is sacred dancing. This ancient Greek Goddess reached out to the chaos at the beginning of time, embraced it, and made order in the world. Through Her sacred dance, the winds were born, from Her womb came the land and the stars, and then She created rulers for the poles (one male, one female) so that balance would forever be maintained.  [Also born from the chaos was Gaia, the Earth Mother].

On October 24, 1945, the peace-keeping United Nations was formally established in the orderly spirit of Eurynome to stress the need for understanding between people and the power of working for a unified cause.

To honor this occasion and uplift Eurynome’s positive energies, gather today with any group that you work with regularly. Do something together that focuses on your power as a group to really make a difference in one another, your community, or the world.

To bring Eurynome’s organization and balance into your home, take a small bowl filled with water and three drops each of one male-oriented herbal oil (like cedar, clove, lavender, mint, or pine) and one female-oriented oil (like apple, coconut, jasmine, lemon or vanilla). Put on some inspiring music, dance joyfully around your living space, and sprinkle this water as you go to draw Eurynome’s blessings to you.”

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

“Gaia 1 Photograph” by Renata Ratajczyk

Patricia Monaghan writes: “The most ancient of Greek Goddesses, She rose naked from the primordial chaos and instantly began to dance: a dance that separated light from darkness and sea from sky.  Whirling in a passion of movement, Eurynome created behind Herself a [north] wind that grew lustful toward Her.  Turning to face it, She grasped the wind in Her hands, rolled it like clay into a serpent, and named it Ophion.

Then Eurynome [pronounced you-reh’ no-may] had intercourse with the wind serpent and, transforming Herself into a dove, laid the universal egg from which creation hatched.  Installing Herself high above the new earth on Mt. Olympus, Eurynome looked down on it complacently.  But Ophion, Her own creation, bragged that he had been responsible for all that was tangible.  Forthwith Eurynome kicked out his teeth and threw him into an underworld dungeon.

“Goddess of the Tides” by Jonathon Earl Bowser

There was another Goddess of this name – or perhaps the later Eurynome was an elaboration of the creator Goddess.  Said by the Greeks to rule the sea, She may have been the same Goddess as – or part of a trinity with – the great sea rulers Tethys and Thetis.  The ‘wide ruling one,’ Eurynome had a temple in wild Arcadia, difficult to reach and open only once a year.  If pilgrims penetrated the sanctuary, they found the image of the Goddess as a woman with a a snake’s tail, tied with golden chains.  In this form, Eurynome of the sea was said to have been the mother of all pleasure, embodied in the beautiful triplets, the Graces [by Zeus]” (p. 119).

 

 

 

Sources:

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

 

Suggested Links:

Elliott, Daphne. Pantheon.org, “Greek Creation Myths“.

Eurynome.com, “The Mother of Us All“.

Leeming, David & Jake Page. Goddess: Myths of the Female Divine, “Eurynome“.

Theoi.com, “Eurynome“.

Westmoreland, Perry L. Ancient Greek Beliefs.

Wikipedia, “Eurynome (Oceanid)“.

Goddess Hine-turama

“Hina” by Joanna Carolan

“Hine-turama’s themes are unity, cooperation, universal law and the sky.  Her symbols are stars and spaceships (or artistic depictions of space).  The Maori of New Zealand believed that this Goddess created the stars that fill our night skies with such beauty. Today we look to Her to expand our awareness of the universe and its wonders and possibilities.

For UFO enthusiasts, Interplanetary Confederation Day is for looking outward with hope and appreciation. Within Hine-turama’s Milky Way alone, the earth shares space with numerous other planets with the potential for life.  So, celebrate the potentials in the universe! Read a book by Carl Sagan or watch Star Trek or another science-fiction program or movie tonight, then go outside and look up!  Count Hine-turama’s stars; each one represents an aspect of human potential. Reach outward and upward, letting Her silvery light fill you with hopefulness. Make a wish on the first star you see for improved awareness and unity among people no matter their place of origin.

During the day, wear silver- or white-toned clothing and jewellery to strengthen your connection to this sky Goddess. If you hold a ritual today, consider covering a black robe with glow-in-the-dark stars (you can buy these at nature shops inexpensively) – it makes a really neat effect when you dance in a circle. You than become the center of swirling stars and Hine-turama’s energy!”

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

I had a little bit of difficulty on finding information on today’s Goddess.  According to Elsden Best in an article for The Journal of the Polynesian Society, “Uru and Hine-turama produce the stars. Lady Turama is not identified, but apparently represents some form of light, being the daughter of TaneRama signifies a torch; tirama, to light with a torch; turama, to give light to, also illuminated. Tirama-roa is the name of some luminous phenomenon, possibly a comet.” [1]

As to be expected, versions vary from place to place. “Another version, Uru-te-ngangana with two wives, Hine-te-ahuru and Hine-turama, the former being the mother of the sun and moon, and the latter the origin of stars. This Uru-te-ngangana (Uru the Red, or Gleaming One) was one of the offspring of the primal parents Heaven and Earth, and seems to personify some form of light. Hine-turama may be rendered as the ‘Light-giving Maid.'” [2]

 

 

Sources:

Best, Elsdon. Jps.auckland.ac.nz, “MAORI PERSONIFICATIONS“.

Nzetc.victoria.ac.nz, “Origin of the Heavenly Bodies“.

Cherokee First Woman

“Cherokee First Woman’s themes are spirituality, Universal Truth, unity, cleansing and abundance. Her symbols are all animals and plants.  This Goddess appears in Cherokee myths as an ancestress to the tribe and creatrix of all animals and plants. After the world was first inhabited, Cherokee First Woman continued to give birth to one child a year (this child may have symbolized the new year). Additionally, She motivates the earth’s bounty and generates abundance to sustain us through the months ahead.

Around this time of year, Cherokee tribes often hold a festival of offerings meant to celebrate their unity with the Sacred Parents and reunite them with this power. One custom easy to follow is that of exchanging clothes with a loved one; this symbolizes oneness among humans, the Gods, and each other.

Washing in running water today (shower or tap) will cleanse away any barrier that stands between you and the Goddess. If you hold a formal ritual today, place a bowl of water near the circle where each participant can rinse their hands to invoke Cherokee First Woman’s blessing and purification. Finally, drink a tall glass of spring water today to release this Goddess’s spiritual nature, rejuvenation, and abundance into every cell.”

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

“Corn Dawn Maiden” by Marti Fenton (White Deer Song)

Cherokee.org recounts the legend of Cherokee First Woman: “After the Great One had created the Earth and all the plants and animals, he created a tall brown man with beautiful straight hair to help Him on Earth. The Great One placed the strong, brown Cherokee man in the beautiful Smoky Mountains.

After a time the Great One remembered that although each man sometimes needs to be alone, each man would also need companionship to be his best. When the Cherokee man was sleeping, the Great One caused a green plant to grow up tall over the heart of the man.

The plant had long graceful leaves, an ear and golden tassel. As the plant grew, a beautiful, tall, brown woman began to appear at the top of the stalk. The man awoke and helped the beautiful woman down from the corn stalk.

Over a period of time, the man and woman built a home and planted the kernels from the corn. The turkey, a sacred bird of the Cherokee, showed the woman that the corn was ready to eat. When the man came in for supper, she pulled an ear of roasted corn from the pot and offered it to him. He began to eat the first corn of Spring.

The first woman was called Selu or Corn Woman.

NOTE: This is only one legend of how woman came to be on this earth. Because we are brothers of the Iroquois, we have a story very similar to the Sky Woman story.” [1]

 

 
Sources:

Cherokee.org, “Legend of the First Woman“.

 

Suggestion Links:

Firstpeople.us, “The Legend of the First Woman“.

Francis, Robert. Manataka.org, “Four Important Cherokee Stories“.

Gly.uga.edu, “The Story of Corn and Medicine“.

Native-languages.org, “Legendary Native American Figures: Selu“.

Neutrallandscherokee.com, “Cherokee Story of Creation“.

Wikipedia, “Cherokee Mythology“.

Goddess Meng Jiangnu

“Meng Jiangnu’s themes are the harvest, children, unity, kinship and community. Her symbols are pumpkin and squash.  In the true spirit of a global culture, Meng Jiangnu is ‘imported’ for today’s festivities from China, being a pumpkin girl born from the vines of two different households. Her birth united the two families and brought them harmony where strife had once been. Today She continues to offer us unity with those we love, plus a profusion of positive feelings.

Around this time of year in France, people gather in central markets looking for the Mother of all Pumpkins, which actually gets enthroned for the festivities! This is later made into a communal soup, so those who eat it are magically partaking of Meng Jiangnu’s energy. Eating this soup reaffirms community spirit and ensures a good pumpkin harvest the next year. So definitely make pumpkin or squash a part of your menu today. Consider pumpkin bread for breakfast with a friend or family member to encourage good feelings toward each other throughout the day. At lunch, a warm buttered squash side dish keeps love warm. Last of all, don’t forget some pie for dessert after dinner to bring sweetness to your relationships!

Carve a pumpkin or squash with a symbol of any pressing need you have in a relationship. Put a candle inside and light it up so the pumpkin girl can shine Her energy into that situation and begin the healing process.”

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

In reading the above description given by Patricia Telesco, I truly don’t believe that pumpkins would be a symbol for Meng Jiangnu considering that pumpkins are native to North America and wouldn’t have been found in China when Meng Jiangnu’s story takes place – which was set during the Qin Dynasty (221 BCE-206 BCE).  “Extensive documentation [tells us] that pumpkins (Curcubita Pepo) are a New World crop introduced to China along with corn, peppers, potatoes, tobacco etc., durng the late Ming [1368 CE – 1644 CE]/early Qing period [1644 CE – 1912 CE].” [1]

Patricia Monaghan tells us that Meng-Jiang Jyu a “Chinese folktale heroine…was born in a miraculous way.  Two neighboring families, both of them childless, found a watermelon exactly halfway between their homes.  Within it was this magical girl, whom the families decided to raise jointly.  Meng-Jiang was a good girl who make both sets of parents happy.  When she came to marry, she was lucky enough to find a young man in the village [Fan Qiliang] who cherished her.  All went well until one summer day the emperor’s soldiers came and, without giving him a choice, conscripted Meng-Jiang’s husband to build the Great Wall.

Months passed and, worried that her husband would be cold without his winter clothes, Meng-Jiang set off to find him.  She walked and walked, asking everyone for her lover, but each village sent her further.  She almost drowned crossing the Yellow River, but the river god became sympathetic to her cause and saved her.  Finally, she reached her destination, only to find that her beloved husband had died; his bones had been interred somewhere in the Wall.  She cried out to heaven, and the Wall collapsed – revealing thousands of bones.  How could she find her husband’s?  Recalling their vow to be blood of each other’s blood, she bit herself and, bleeding, walked among the bones.  Those of her husband’s recognized and absorbed her blood, so she was able to give them a proper burial” (p. 215).

“Meng’s tragedy was related to the atrocious Emperor Qin Shihuang who came to survey the damage done to the wall. But when he saw Meng Jiang, he was enchanted by her beauty and wanted to marry her. Meng Jiang said she would only marry him on three conditions – first, her former husband was to be given a grand burial; second, the emperor and his court must go into mourning for Qiliang; and third, she wanted to visit the ocean. Although the emperor hated the idea of officially mourning a commoner, he agreed so he could gain her hand in marriage. After Meng Jiang got her third wish, she scolded the Emperor bitterly and committed suicide by casting herself into the ocean. The Emperor sent his men to dredge the ocean but the waves chased them away.

The image of Meng represents the kindness of ancient women and the torture brought on the people by war. The story shows the dislike ancient people had towards war. It has been passed down from generation to generation in Bo Shan.

the Statue Lady Meng

The section of the Great Wall that was toppled by Meng and the sea where she committed suicide are in today’s Zibo City, Shandong Province. The Temple of Lady Meng-Jiang, first established in the Song Dynasty about 1,000 years ago, has been maintained and worshipped at the eastern beginning of the Great Wall till this day in Qinhuangdao City of Hebei Province today.” [2]

 

 

 

Sources:

Monaghan, Patricia. The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines, “Meng-Jiang Jyu”.

Wikipedia, “Lady Meng Jiang“.

 

Suggested Links:

Kaleidoscope.cultural-china.com, “A Chinese Folklore: Tears of Meng Jiang Nu“.

Goddess Ichar-Tsirew

“Yemaya” (also titled “Water Goddess”) by Qahira Lynn

“Ichar-tsirew’s themes are unity, community, justice, spirituality, purification, home, peace and organization. Her symbols are water, orderly items and peace amulets.  In Ghana, this water Goddess flies into people’s lives, saturating them with peaceful intentions and tranquility, especially in the home. She reveals in good organization and any matters carried out in an orderly fashion.

Among the people of the Gold Coast, this festival, Odwira, is a time to honor their bonds as a nation and revel in the laws, beliefs and customs established in the early 1600’s (many of which are probably far older). One of the neat customs that can invoke Ichar-tsirew’s organized attributes is that of burying a bundle of branches. This puts away any unnecessary negativity and banishes old habits that somehow disrupt the orderly flow of your life.

When you find that the people in your living space have reached critical mass and you need to call a truce, Ichar-tsirew’s waters can help. Go through the house (or building, if the ‘war zone’ is in your office) before talking to anyone and sprinkle her peace in every nook possible (just a little us fine). As you go, repeat this incantation,

‘Negativity cease; by peace released!’

Continue until the whole area is done. Now try reapproaching the people with whom tensions have been building and let the Goddess harness harmony.”

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

Well, not too much information on this Goddess today.  From what I did find, Ichar-tsirew inhibits a large rounded rock on the beach in Cape Coast in Ghana ” about four hundreds yards to the east of the [Cape Coast] Castle.  She is black in colour, and of ordinary human shape and size.  No man may intrude on this rock or in its immediate neighborhood, and it is the place to which women resort to wash.  New-born children of either sex were formerly carried here to be given names; and when a girl was about to marry, she was taken to the rock, from thence to the husband’s home.  An offering of rum was poured into a hole in the rock, and a piece, or pieces, of white cloth laid upon it.  This was believed to promote peace in the household of the future wife, and also to guarantee a safe recovery from the dangers of maternity.  Ichar-tsirew carries a scourge in Her right hand, with which She drives away intrusive males” (Ellis, p. 45 – 46).

Ellis goes onto say that “when a girl arrives at the age of puberty, usually in the eleventh or twelfth year, she is taken to the water-side by others of her sex, and washed.  At the same time an offering, consisting of boiled yam, mashed and mixed with palm-oil, is scattered upon the banks of the stream by the members of her family, who call upon the local gods, and inform them that the child has reached a marriageable age.  In Cape Coast the girl is taken to the rock of the Goddess Ichar-tsirew, and there washed.  After the washing, a bracelet, consisting of one white bead, one black, and one gold, threaded on a white cord, is put on the girl’s wrist.  These three beads in conjunction are termed abbum, and their being taken into use is a sign to the Sassur that its protecting care is no longer required.  In the interior, on such occasions, girls are streaked white” (p. 234 – 235).

 

 

Sources:

Ellis, Alfred Burdon. The Tshi-Speaking Peoples of the Gold Coast of West Africa.

Goddess Inanna

“Inanna – Goddess of Goddesses” by book-of-light

“Inanna’s themes are the sky, Universal Awareness and Law, movement, peace, unity, love and leadership. Her symbols are roses, lions, wands encrusted with stones and dates.  The Sumerian Lady of the Heavens looks down upon the world, seeing it in wholeness and unity. Her gentle tears wash from heaven, putting out the emotional fires that keep people apart in this world, or anywhere in the Universe. Inanna oversees matters of love, divination, wine making and leadership just to name a few. In works of art, She is depicted wearing a horned headdress and sprouting wings.

On August 20, 1977, Voyager 2 was launched into space, bearing a message of peace and welcome to any alien lifeforms that might find it. As it travels, are reminded of what a truly big place the Universe is and of the importance of making our part of it better under Inanna’s guidance and care.

To make yourself an Inanna wand for directing magical energy designed to manifest peace, oneness, love or leadership, take a large rose twig (or any fallen branch) and let it dry. Encrust this with an amethyst. During spells and rituals, point the crystal in the direction you want the energy to travel.

Finally, leave Inanna an offering of wine at dawn (She is the morning star) to attract Her power to your day.”

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

“St. Ishtar” by ~TerezBellydance

Thalia Took tells us “Inanna, which means ‘Queen of Heaven’, is the Sumerian Great Goddess and forerunner of the Babylonian Ishtar, with whom She shares similar legends. Sumer was a culture located in what is now the southern half of Iraq, between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, known as the ‘Cradle of Civilization’. It was one of the earliest civilizations on this Earth.

Inanna is the First Daughter of the Moon, and the Star of Morning and Evening. Like Anat and Aphrodite (who is believed to have a Phoenician origin) She is linked to the planet Venus and is a love-Goddess.” [1]

Patricia Monaghan tells us that “the Sumerians knew how civilization had come to the ancient Near East, and here is how they told the tale.

Across the immeasurable distances of the sweetwater abyss lived Enki, god of wisdom, and with him were the Tablets of Destiny and other magic civilizing implements. These were his treasures, and he kept them from humankind. But Enki’s daughter–Inanna, the crafty queen of heaven–took pity on the miserable primitives of earth and fitted Her boat to travel to Her father’s hall. There She was grandly welcomed with a banquet of food and wine. Wise he may have been, but Enki loved his daughter beyond wisdom, so much that he took cup after cup from Her at table and then, drunk, promised Her anything She desired. Instantly Inanna asked for the Tablets of Destiny and 100 other objects of culture. What could a fond father do but grant the request?

“Semiramis” by ~kk-graphics

Inanna immediately loaded the objects onto the boat of heaven and set sail for Her city, Erech. Awakening the next day from his stupor, Enki remembered what he had done–and regretted it. But he was incapacitated by a hangover as massive as the previous evening’s pleasure, and he could not pursue his daughter until he recovered. By then, of course, Inanna had gained the safety of Her kingdom, and even the seven tricks Enki played on Her did not regain him his treasures.

And the Sumerians knew how the various seasons came to the desert in which they lived. It started long ago, when the lovely queen of heaven had two suitors, the farmer Enkidu and the shepherd Dumuzi. Both brought Her gifts; both wooed Her with flattery. Her brother urged the farmer’s suit, but the soft woolens that Dumuzi brought tipped the scales of Inanna’s heart. And so Dumuzi became the Goddess’ favorite, in a tale like Cain and Abel‘s that must have recorded a common dispute in the days when the new agricultural science was gaining ground from the nomadic culture of the cattle and sheep herders.

It was not long before Dumuzi grew arrogant in his favored position. But that leaps ahead in the story, for first Inanna–compelled, some say, by curiosity, while others accuse the Goddess of ambition–made plans to descend from Her sky throne and visit the underworld. She arranged with her prime minister, Ninshuba, that if She did not return within three days and three nights, he would stage mourning ceremonies and would appeal to the highest deities to rescue Her. And then Inanna began Her descent.

“The Decent of Inanna” by ~Blazesnbreezes

At the first of the seven gates of the underworld, the Goddess was stopped by the gatekeeper, Neti, who demanded part of Her attire. So it was at each gate. Piece by piece, Inanna gave up Her jewelry and clothing until She stood splendid and naked before Eriskegal, the naked black haired Goddess of death, who turned Her eyes of stone on the Goddess from the upper world.

At that Inanna lost all life and hung for three days and three nights a corpse in the realm of death. When Inanna failed to return to Her sky kingdom, Ninshuba did as instructed. Enki, the Goddess’s father, came to Her aid. Fashioning two strange creatures, Kurgurra and Kalaturra, from the dirt beneath his fingernails, he sent them into the wilderness of the afterlife with food and water to revive the lifeless Inanna.

But no one can leave the underworld unless a substitute be found to hang forever naked in the land of doom. And so demons followed the Goddess as She ascended to Her kingdom. One after another, the demons grabbed the gods they met. Each in turn Inanna freed, remembering good deeds they had performed for Her. But when Inanna reached Her holy city, Erech, She found that Her paramour Dumuzi had set himself up as ruler in Her stead. Angered at his presumption, the Goddess commanded that he be taken as Her substitute to Eriskegal’s kingdom. Luckily for Dumuzi, his loving sister Gestinanna followed him to the underworld and won from Eriskegal her brother’s life for half each year-the half of the year when the desert plants flower, for Dumuzi was the god of vegetation.

“Innana, Queen of Heaven” by buechnerstod

In some versions of the tale it was Inanna Herself, not Gestinanna, who freed Dumuzi. But Gestinanna’s name incorporates that of the other Goddess, and Inanna Herself was sometimes said to be Dumuzi’s mother, while Ninsun claimed that role in other versions. All these apparent contradictions cease to be problematical, however, if one extends the ‘three persons in one god’ concept to this trinity of Sumerian divinities. Then we see that the mother, the lover, and the sister were all aspects of a single grand figure: the queen of heaven, who may have been the lifegiving sun itself, as able to parch the earth into a desert as to reclaim vegetation seasonally from beneath the earth’s surface” (Monaghan, p. 160 -161).

“Inanna’s descent to the Underworld is similar to the journey of the later Goddess Ishtar, with some important differences–Inanna goes to the Underworld to learn of the wisdom of death and rebirth. To be released from Death She must choose a substitute, and offers up Dumuzi, who in Her absence has not mourned. With Dumuzi gone, His sister Geshtinanna, Goddess of Wine, went frantically searching and eventually a bargain was struck: Dumuzi would remain half the year in the Underworld, and Geshtinanna would take His place in the Land of the Dead for the rest of the year.” [2]

“Inanna” by Hrana Janto

 

ASSOCIATIONS: (From my the results of my Goddess Archetype Quiz taken at Goddessgift.com)

General: Ringposts, gates, planet Venus (morning and evening stars), eight-pointed star/rosette, breastplate, bundle or reeds, bow and arrow, Friday and the number 15.

Animals: Sheep, lions, owls, serpents, and scorpions.

Plants: Pomegranate, Tree of Life, grains, reeds and rushes, hemp, cedar, cypress, lotus blossom, monkshood and all herbs.

Perfumes/Scents: Frankincense, myrrh, lotus, amber oil, cedar wood, cypress, cinnamon, and bitter orange.

Gems and Metals: Silver, carnelian, obsidian, lapis lazuli, moonstone and copper.

Colors: Silver, gold, blood red, and green.

Element: Air

 

 

 

 

Sources:

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

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

Turnbull, Sharon. Goddess Quiz – Inanna.

 

 

Suggested Links:

BellaDonna. Order of the White Moon, “Erishkegal, Lady of Shadows“.

Bianca. Order of the White Moon, “Inanna: Queen of Heaven and Earth“.

Goddess-guide.com, Ereshkigal“.

Goddess-guide.com, “Inanna“.

Goddessgift.com, “Inanna, Ancient Goddess of Sumer“.

Ishtara. Order of the White Moon, “Inanna“.

Laurel. Goddessschool.com, “Inanna“.

Moon, Mary Scarlett & Callista Deep River. Inanna.virtualave.net, “INANNA: Journey to the Dark Center“.

Mydailygoddess.blogspot.com, “Inanna: Embracing the Shadow“.

PaganNews.com, “Inanna/Ishtar“.

Revel, Anita. igoddess.com, “Inanna: self-discovery queen“.

Stuckey, Johanna. Matrifocus.com, “Inanna, Goddess of ‘Infinite Variety’“.

Wikipedia, “Inanna“.

Goddess Zhinu

“Daughters Of Aine- Zhinu” by thecrunchyblueberry

“Zhinu’s themes are love, relationships, unity, devotion and divination. Her symbols are stars and silver items.  Zhinu is a stellar Goddess in China, residing in the constellation of Lyra, a home from which She tends to harmony within relationships. According to legend, Zhinu came to earth to bathe with six friends, but a herdsman stole Her dress. She could not return to the heavens this way, so She married him. Later, however, the gods called Her back to the stars and the herdsman followed Her. On the seventh day of the seventh moon, the two are allowed to meet as husband and wife.

A similar celebration to the Seven Sisters Festival is the Weaving Festival in Japan (see July 7 entry), which commemorates the love between two stellar deities who meet in the silver river of the Milky Way one day out of the year.

Follow with custom and cover you altar with rice and melons, both of which can become offerings. Eat these as part of a meal later to internalize Zhinu’s love and devotion. If you’re single, offer Her combs, mirrors and paper flowers to draw a partner into your life.

Burning incense and reading one’s future is also common today. Watch the smoke from the incense while thinking about a specific relationship. See if any shapes form in the clouds. A heart, for example, indicates adoration. A scale reveals a relationship with a healthy balance and two interconnected rings indicate unity in mind and soul.”

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

Painting in the Dunhuang Series by Zeng Hao

Zhinu (also known as Chih Nu, or Kamauhata hime in Japan) was the daughter of Yu-huang, the Jade Emperor, She spends all Her time spinning beautiful silk robes and lacey garments for the Heavenly Host. She also makes the finest gossamer clouds and Her tapestry of the constellations is a work of art.

Her father was so pleased with Zhi-Nu‘s diligent work that He married her to the Heavenly Official In Charge Of Cowsheds. (That may not sound like much of a reward, but then you haven’t met him.)

The two of them fell headlong in love and pretty soon She was getting behind in Her spinning duties. So they were whisked off into the sky and separated by the Milky Way. You can still see them there; She is Vega in the constellation Lyra and he is Altair in the constellation Aquila.

Now they are only allowed to meet once a year, when a flock of magpies swarm into the sky and create a bridge for them to cross. For the rest of the year they live apart and She is the Heavenly Spinster in more ways than one. This is what comes of a marriage made in Heaven.

Now some versions of this tale assert that Zhi-Nu actually came down to Earth and had Her clothes stolen while She bathed in a river.

 

The culprit was Niu-Lang, a humble cowherd who was amazed at Her beauty and fell instantly in love.

Without Her clothes She could not return to Heaven — at least, not without some very awkward questions being asked. So She decided to marry him instead as he was sweet and gentle, and not bad looking for a mortal and had two children with him.  Seven years later She found Her clothes. Some say that She returned to Heaven on Her own accord, others say Heaven found out eventually, and whisked them off to the stars as before.

It doesn’t really matter which version is true. The end of this story is far more important than the beginning, as all Chinese lovers will testify. The seventh day of the seventh lunar month is when Zhi-Nu and Niu-Lang cross the magpie bridge and their happy tears often cause rain on earth. In some parts of China an annual festival allows lovers to meet in honor of these astral deities. Their stars burn brightly in the Heavens, lovers hold hands and gaze into the night sky, and Chinese Valentine’s Day begins…” [1] [2]

 

 

 

Sources:

Godchecker.com, “Zhi-Nu“.

Encyclopedia Mythica, “Chih Nu“.

Suggested Links:

MTXODIS123. An Inner Journey: The Moon, Mythology and You, “Chih Nu“.

Tara the Antisocial Social Worker. Dailykos.com, “How a Woman Becomes a Goddess: Chih Nu“.

Waldherr, Kris. Goddess Inspiration Oracle, “Zhinu“.

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