Tag Archive: universal law


Goddess Unchi-Ahchi

“Huchi-Fuji” by Kris Walherr

“Unchi-Ahchi’s themes are spirituality, Universal Law and meditation. Her symbols are tea, teapots and cups. Presiding dutifully over the family stove is this Japanese Goddess, whose name means ‘grandmother hearth’. From this position in the home she joins today’s festivities to warm the tea and to mediate on our behalf with the other Gods and Goddesses. Afterward, she returns to our homes and lives with important insights about the meaning of sacred ritual.

In Japan, today is a time to go to Kyoto temple and watch or participate in the ancient tea ceremony. In this culture, each movement and ingredient in the tea ceremony represents a spiritual principle or truth – all mingled into a simple, satisfying cup.  This is a lovely tradition, so share a cup of tea with a friend or family member today. Invoke Unchi-Ahchi simply by lighting the stove. Use the stove to ignite a candle, and take the candle to wherever you’re sitting to carry the Goddess’s energy to that spot. Discuss spiritual ideas, allowing this Goddess to give you new insights.  To increase the significance of your tea ceremony, choose the tea’s flavour according to the topic of conversation or something needed in that relationship. If discussing divination or alternative health, for example, use orange or mint, respectively. To deepen love or friendship, use lemon.”

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

I could find nothing on this Goddess.  My best guess is that this is a variant or epithet of the Ainu Goddess Huchi, who was I believe related to or an aspect of Fuchi.

Goddess Nisaba

“Egyptian Girl with Snakes” by Frances Bramley Warren

“Nisaba’s themes are creativity, communication, excellence, inspiration, Universal Law, divination and dreams. Her symbols are pens, computers, books and snakes (Her sacred animal).  In Sumerian tradition, this Goddess’s name means ‘She who teaches the decrees’, referring specifically to imparting divine laws to humankind. In order to communicate these matters effectively, Nisaba invented literacy, and She uses creative energy to inspire scribes. Besides this, Nisaba is an oracular Goddess, well gifted in dream interpretation.

Since 1928, this day, Author’s Day, has been observed as a time to honor authors who have contributed to American literature and encourage new writers in their talents. If you’re an aspiring author, today’s definitely the time to submit a poem, article, or manuscript, invoking Nissaba’s on it before sending it out.  Also, take a moment to ask Nisaba to empower all your pens, pencils, resource books, computer, and so on, so that all your future writing efforts will be more successful and fulfilling.

For those who don’t consider authorship a forte, you can ask Nisaba to give you a symbolic dream instead.

Put a marigold, rose, or onion peel under your pillow to help with this, and keep a dream journal or tape recorder handy. Immediately upon waking, record any dream you recall. Then go to a favored dream guide, and whisper the Goddess’s name before looking up interpretations.”

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

Patricia Monaghan writes: “‘She who teaches the decress’ of divinity to humans, this Goddess brought literacy and astrology to a Sumerian king on a tablet inscribed with the names of the beneficent stars.  An architect as well, She drew up temple plans for Her people; She was also an oracle and dream interpreter.  The most learned of deities, this snake Goddess also controlled the fertility of Her people’s fields” (p. 231).

Nisaba’s “sanctuaries were E-zagin at Eresh and at Umma. On a depiction found in Lagash, She appears with flowing hair, crowned with horned tiara bearing supporting ears of corn and a crescent moon. Her dense hair is evoked in comparison in the description of similarly hairy Enkidu in the Gilgamesh epic.

As with many Sumerian deities, Nisaba’s exact place in the pantheon and Her heritage appears somewhat ambiguous. She is the daughter of An and Urash. From Sumerian texts, the language used to describe Urash is very similar to the language used to describe Ninhursag. Therefore, the two Goddess may be one and the same. Nisaba is the sister of Ninsun, the mother of Gilgamesh. If Urash and Ninhursag are the same Goddess, then Nisaba is also the half sister of Nanshe and (in some versions) Ninurta.

In some other tales, She is considered the mother of Ninlil, and by extension, the mother-in-law of Enlil.

The god of wisdom, Enki, organized the world after creation and gave each deity a role in the world order. Nisaba was named the scribe of the gods, and Enki then built Her a school of learning so that She could better serve those in need. She keeps records, chronicles events, and performs various other bookwork related duties for the gods. She is also in charge of marking regional borders.

She is the chief scribe of Nanshe. On the first day of the new year, She and Nanshe work together to settle disputes between mortals and give aid to those in need. Nisaba keeps record of the visitors seeking aid and then arranges them into a line to stand before Nanshe, who will then judge them. Nisaba is also seen as a caretaker for Ninhursag’s temple at Kesh, where She gives commands and keeps temple records.

The Goddess of writing and teaching, She was often praised by Sumerian scribes. Many clay-tablets end with the phrase “Nisaba be praised” to honor the Goddess. She is considered the teacher of both mortal scribes and other divine deities. In the Babylonian period, She was replaced by the god Nabu, who took over Her functions. In some instances, Nisaba was his instructor or wife before he replaced Her.

As the Goddess of knowledge, She is related to many other facets of intellectual study and other gods may turn to Her for advice or aid. Some of these traits are shared with Her sister Ninsina. She is also associate with grain, reflecting Her association with an earth Goddess mother.” [1]

Also seen as Nissaba, Nidaba, Nanibgal, and Nunbarshegunu (lady whose body is dappled barley).

 

 

 

Sources:

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

Sabrina. Goddess A Day, “Nisaba“.

Wikipedia, “Nidaba“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Agaliha. Mysticwicks.com, “Thread: Nisaba {Goddess of the Week}“.

Artesia. Goddessschool.com, “Nisaba: Sumerian Wise Woman and Mother Goddess“.

Black, Jeremy & Anthony Green. Gods, Demons and Symbols of Ancient Mesopotamia: An Illustrated Dictionary, “Nisaba“.

Etcsl.orinst.ox.ac.uk, “A Hymn to Nisaba (Nisaba A): translation“.

Gatewaystobabylon.com, “Nabu“.

Lambert, Wilfred G. Babylonian Wisdom Literature, “Nisaba and Wheat“.

Monaghan, Patricia. Goddesses in World Culture, Volume 1, “Nisaba of Eresh: Goddess of Grain, Goddess of Writing“.

Robson, Eleanor. Mathematics in Ancient Iraq: A Social History.

Sitarik, Jessica. Crystalvaults.com, “Nisaba: Sumerian Knowledge Goddess“.

Stuckey, Johanna. Matrifocus.com, “Ancient Grain Goddesses of the Eastern Mediterranean“.

Tudeau, Johanna. Oracc.museum.upenn.edu, “Nidaba (goddess)“.

Goddess Srinmo

“Srinmo’s themes karma, Universal Law, excellence, sports and cycles. Her symbols are the wheel and boomerang. In Tibet, this Goddess holds the Great Round, a cosmic wheel upon which the movement of human life is recorded with each thought, word, and deed. Srinmo’s demonic visage represents the human fear of death and reminds that one should strive for good in this life for the beauty it brings now and n our next incarnation.

In Virginia, the Boomerang Festival is a festival of skill centering on the ancient boomerangs believed to have been used originally by the Egyptians.

Metaphysically speaking, the boomerang’s movement represents the threefold law and Srinmo’s karmic balance (i.e., everything you send out returns to you thrice).
To give yourself a greater understanding of this principle, or to recognize the cycles in your life that may need changing, carry any round object today, such as a coin. Put it in your pocket, saying

‘What goes around comes around.’

Pay particular attention to your routine and the way you interact with people all day, and see what Srinmo reveals to you.

For aiding the quest for enlightenment, and generally improving karma through light-filled living, try this little incantation in the car each time you make a right-hand turn today:

‘As I turn to the right,
I move closer to the Light!'”

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

Today’s research comes from a fantastic piece written by  Victor & Victoria Trimondi; and the following excerpt is the story of the bondage of the earth Goddess Srinmo and the history of the origin of Tibet.  “According to Tibetan tradition, the whole Tibetan territory can be represented as a vast wild female demon lying on her back facing East and stretching her limbs all over the country. The accounts of this conception are found in several Tibetan texts that originated between the twelfth and fourteenth centuries, including the famous terma-revealed chronicle Maṇi Kabum (ma ni bka’ ‘bum, 12th century) and above cited chronicle The Clear Mirror (rgyal rabs gsal ba’i me long) written by the great scholar Södnam Gyaltsen (bsod nams rgyal mtshan, 1312-1375).” [1]

“The Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara is considered the progenitor of the Tibetans, he thus determines events from the very beginning. In the period before there were humans on earth, the Buddha being was embodied in a monkey and passed the time in deep meditation on the ‘Roof of the World‘. There, as if from nowhere, a rock demoness by the name of Srinmo appeared. The hideous figure was a descendent of the Srin clan, a bloodthirsty community of nature Goddesses. ‘Spurred on by horniness’ — as one text puts it — She too assumed the form of a (female) monkey and tried over seven days to seduce Avalokiteshvara. But the divine Bodhisattva monkey withstood all temptations and remained untouched and chaste. As he continued to refuse on the eighth day, Srinmo threatened him with the following words: ‘King of the monkeys, listen to me and what I am thinking. Through the power of love, I very much love you. Through this power of love I woo you, and confess: If you will not be my spouse, I shall become the rock demon’s companion. If countless young rock demons then arise, every morning they will take thousands upon thousands of lives. The region of the Land of Snows itself will take on the nature of the rock demons. All other forms of life will then be consumed by the rock demons. If I myself then die as a consequence of my deed, these living beings will be plunged into hell. Think of me then, and have pity’ (Hermanns, 1956, p. 32). With this she hit the bullseye. ‘Sexual intercourse out of compassion and for the benefit of all suffering beings’ was — as we already know — a widespread ‘ethical’ practice in Mahayana Buddhism. Despite this precept, the monkey first turned to his emanation father, Amitabha, and asked him for advice. The ‘god of light from the West’ answered him with wise foresight: ‘Take the rock demoness as your consort. Your children and grandchildren will multiply. When they have finally become humans, they will be a support to the teaching’ (Hermanns, 1956, p. 32).

Nevertheless, this Buddhist evolutionary account, reminiscent of Charles Darwin, did not just arise from the compassionate gesture of a divine monkey; rather, it also contains a widely spread, elitist value judgement by the clergy, which lets the Tibetans and their country be depicted as uncivilized, underdeveloped and animal-like, at least as far as the negative influence of their primordial mother is concerned. ‘From their father they are hardworking, kind, and attracted to religious activity; from their mother they are quick-tempered, passionate, prone to jealousy and fond of play and meat’, an old text says of the inhabitants of the Land of Snows (Samuel, 1993, p. 222).

Two forces thus stand opposed to one another, right from the Tibetan genesis: the disciplined, restrained, culturally creative, spiritual world of the monks in the form of Avalokiteshvaraand the wild, destructive energy of the feminine in the figure of Srinmo.

In a further myth, non-Buddhist Tibet itself appears as the embodiment of Srinmo (Janet Gyatso, 1989, p. 44). The local demoness is said to have resisted the introduction of the true teaching by the Buddhist missionaries from India with all means at Her disposal, with weaponry and with magic, until She was ultimately defeated by the great king of law, Songtsen Gampo (617-650), an incarnation of Avalokiteshvara (and thus of the current Dalai Lama). ‘The lake in the Milk plane,’ writes the Tibet researcher Rolf A. Stein, ‘where the first Buddhist king built his temple (the Jokhang), represented the heart of the demoness, who lay upon Her back. The demoness is Tibet itself, which must first be tamed before She can be inhabited and civilized. Her body still covers the full extent of Tibet in the period of its greatest military expansion (eighth to ninth century C.E.). Her spread-eagled limbs reached to the limits of Tibetan settlement … In order to keep the limbs of the defeated demoness under control, twelve nails of immobility were hammered into Her’ (Stein, 1993, p.34). A Buddhist temple was raised at the location of each of these twelve nailings.

Mysterious stories circulate among the Tibetans which tell of a lake of blood under the Jokhang, which is supposed to consist of Srinmo’s heart blood. Anyone who lays his ear to the ground in the cathedral, the sacred center of the Land of Snows, can still — many claim — hear Her faint heartbeat. A comparison of this unfortunate female fate with the subjugation of the Greek dragon, Pythonat Delphi immediately suggests itself. Apollothe god of light (Avalokiteshvara), let the earth-monster, Python (Srinmo), live once he had defeated it so that it would prophesy for him, and built over the mistreated body at Delphi the most famous oracle temple in Greece.

The earth demoness is nailed down with phurbas. These are ritual daggers with a three-sided blade and a vajra handle. We know these already from the Kalachakra ritual, where they are likewise employed to fixate the earth spirits and the earth mother. The authors who have examined the symbolic significance of the magic weapon are unanimous in their assessment of the aggressive phallic symbolism of the phurba.

In their view, Srinmo represents an archetypal variant of the Mother Earth figure known from all cultures, whom the Greeks called Gaia (Gaea). As nature and as woman She stands in stark contrast to the purely spiritual world of Tantric Buddhism. The forces of wilderness, which rebel against androcentric civilization, are bundled within Her. She forms the feminine shadow world in opposition to the masculine paradise of light of the shining Amitabha and his radiant emanation son, AvalokiteshvaraSrinmo symbolizes the (historical) prima materia, the matrix, the primordial earthly substance which is needed in order to construct a tantric monastic empire, then She provides the gynergy, the feminine élan vitale, with which the Land of Snows pulsates. As the vanquisher of the earth Goddess, Avalokiteshvara triumphs in the form of King Songtsen Gampo, that is, the same Bodhisattva who, as a monkey, earlier engendered with Srinmo the Tibetans in myth, and who shall later exercise absolute dominion from the ‘Roof of the World’ as Dalai Lama.

Tibet’s sacred center, the Jokhang (the cathedral of Lhasa), the royal chronicles inform us, thus stands over the pierced heart of a woman, the earth mother Srinmo. This act of nailing down is repeated at the construction of every Lamaist shrine, whether temple or monastery and regardless of where the establishment takes place — in Tibet, India, or the West. Then before the first foundation stone for the new building is laid, the tantric priests occupy the chosen location and execute the ritual piercing of the earth mother with their phurbas. Tibet’s holy geography is thus erected upon the maltreated bodies of mythic women, just as the tantric shrines of India (the shakta pithas) are found on the places where the dismembered body of the Goddess Sati fell to earth.

Srinmo with different Tibetan temples upon her body

In contrast to Her Babylonian sister, Tiamat, who was cut to pieces by Her great-grandchild, Marduk, so that outer space was formed by Her limbs, Srinmo remains alive following Her subjugation and nailing down. According to the tantric scheme, Her gynergy flows as a constant source of life for the Buddhocratic system. She thus vegetates — half dead, half alive — over centuries in the service of the patriarchal clergy. An interpretation of this process according to the criteria of the gaia thesis often discussed in recent years would certainly be most revealing. (We return to this point in our analysis of the ecological program of the Tibetans in exile.) According to this thesis, the mistreated ‘Mother Earth’ (Gaia is the popular name for the Greek earth mother) has been exploited by humanity (and the gods?) for millennia and is bleeding to death. But Srinmo is not just a reservoir of inexhaustible energy. She is also the absolute Other, the foreign, and the great danger which threatens the Buddhocratic state. Srinmo is — as we still have to prove — the mythic ‘inner enemy’ of Tibetan Lamaism, while the external mythic enemy is likewise represented by a woman, the Chinese Goddess Guanyin.

Srinmo survived — even if it was under the most horrible circumstances, yet the Tibetans also have a myth of dismemberment which repeats the Babylonian tragedy of Tiamat. Like many peoples they worship the tortoise as a symbol of Mother Earth. A Tibetan myth tells of how in the mists of time the Bodhisattva Manjushri sacrificed such a creature ‘or the benefit of all beings’. In order to form a solid foundation for the world he fired an arrow off at the tortoise which struck it in the right-hand side. The wounded animal spat fire, its blood poured out, and it passed excrement. It thus multiplied the elements of the new world. Albert Grünwedel presents this myth as evidence for the “tantric female sacrifice” in the Kalachakra ritual: ‘The tortoise which Manjushri shot through with a long arrow … [is] just another form of the world woman whose inner organs are depicted by the dasakaro vasi figure [the Power of Ten]’ (Grünwedel, 1924, vol. II, p. 92).

The relation of Tibetan Buddhism to the Goddess of the earth or of the country (Tibet) is also one of brutal subjugation, an imprisonment, an enslavement, a murder or a dismemberment. Euphemistically, and in ignorance of the tantric scheme of things it could also be interpreted as a civilizing of the wilderness through culture. Yet however the relation is perceived — no meeting, no exchange, no mutual recognition of the two forces takes place. In the depths of Tibet’s history — as we shall show — a brutal battle of the sexes is played out.” [2]

Well damn…who knew??  I really had no idea how misogynistic Buddhism was until it was brought to my attention back in mid June of this year.  A person had shared several links with me and to be honest, it was very unsettling.  One relevant link that was shared I will share here in this entry is entitled Thai Buddhism and Patriarchy by Ouyporn Khuankaew.

“Although many people believe Buddhism is an ‘egalitarian’ religion, the fact will remain that sexism/gender bias has been a very integral part of the faith for many centuries. Overall, there is less virulent anti-woman bigotry within Buddhism than many other religions, especially the Abrahamic cultus of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, but misogyny and chauvinism have been apparent enough in the Eastern faiths as well, including the Buddhist.” [3]

Man, way to pop my happy little Zen bubble, huh?

 

 

 

Sources: 

Murdock, D.M. Examiner.com, “Women in Buddhism“.

Sehnalova, Anna. 4shared.com, “The Myth of the ‘Supine Demoness’“.

Trimondi, Victor & Victoria. Trimondi.de, “2. The Dalai Lama (Avalokiteshvara) and the Demoness (Srinmo)“.

Suggested Links:

Cabezón, José Ignacio. Thlib.org, “Pabongkha Hermitage“.

O’Neill, Brendan. Reason.com, “The Truth About Tibetan Buddhism“.

Trimondi, Victor & Victoria. Trimondi.de, “Part I – 1. Buddhism and misogyny – an historical overview“.  (Here is a link to the Contents page)

Visitourchina.com, “History of Jokhang Temple“.

Wikipedia, “Women in Buddhism“.

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“.

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“.

“Light of the Dharma” by Anya Langmead

“Buddhabodhiprabhavasita’s themes are wisdom, meditation, Universal Law, overcoming, spirituality and banishing. Her symbols are the color yellow and Prayer Wheels.  This Buddhist Goddess controls the awareness of Buddha, personifying spiritual regeneration and the power of light to overcome any darnkess in our lives. Since Buddhabodhiprabhavasita has the ear of Buddha, She makes an excellent mediator and teacher of universal truths.

In Tibet, this is a time for the Cham-ngyon-wa (“Old Dance”) in which monks to bring out costumes fashioned after Manchu dynasty tradition and dance in a parade of cymbals, flutes, gongs and drums. Their dance portrays the demons of hell fighting against the favorite regional deities (who of course win the symbolic battle by the end of the exhibition). To adapt this, go through your living space making lots of noise to banish any negativity that lurks within. Turn on the lights as you go to literally ‘turn on’ Buddhabodhiprabhavasita’s insight within yourself and use any wheel as the focus for your prayers. For example, write your needs on your automobile tires or attach them to bicycle spokes so that each time the wheel goes round, the prayer goes out to the Goddess.”

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

“Expansion and Fulfilment” from Circle of Good Will

I could not find anything on a specific Goddess called Buddhabodhiprabhavasita (try saying that 3 times fast!).  I did run across this tidbit of information from a blog called The One and Only; according to it’s author, ketutar, “Buddha and Bodhi are basically the same – Bodhi means enlightenment and Buddha The Enlightened Prabha is the Universal Light and one of the names of Lakshmi.  Vashita is the Goddess of Air and communication – She controlls the senses and thus can make you see and hear what ever She wants. (Vasitas are minor Buddhist Goddesses).  So Buddhabodhiprabhavasita is one of Lakshmi’s aspects, the Light and Air that carries communication – that makes communication possible.” [1]

So, I’ve got the “Buddha” and “Bodhi” broken down.  Looking up “Prabhavati”, I found mention of “a 4th century regent of the western Indian Vakataka dynasty” [2] and Prabhavati Devi whowas at the forefront of freedom struggle in Bihar” [3].  According to babynamesworld.parentsconnect.com, Prabhavati means “Having light; luminous” in Sanskrit and Indian. [4]

I FINALLY came across this entry in the Encyclopedia of Hinduism by Sunil Sehgal: “Buddhabodhiprabhavasita (Control of the light of knowledge of Buddha) Minor Goddess. Buddhist. One of a group of twelve vasitas personifying the disciplines of spiritual gegeneration. Colour: yellow. Attributes: prayer wheel and jewelled banner” (p. 309). [5]

 

 

 

Sources:

babynamesworld.parentsconnect.com, “Prabhavati“.

ketutar. The One and Only, “Buddhabodhiprabhavasita“.

Sehgal, Sunil. The Encyclopedia of Hinduism, “Buddhabodhiprabhavasita“.

Wikipedia, “Prabhavati“.

Wikipedia, “Prabhavati Devi“.

Goddess Thmei

“Maat” by Lisa Hunt

“Thmei’s themes are freedom, justice, honor, divination, balance, equality, foresight and morality. Her symbols are scales or balanced items and ostrich feathers.  This Egyptian Goddess of law and Mother of Virtue watches over human conduct, looking for right action, wise decisions, ethical dealings and just outcomes. On a broader scale, She also tends to matters of Universal Law, that we might learn its patterns, internalize its ideals and then use this awareness throughout the year.  In some instances, Thmei is considered a prophetic Goddess to call on in determining the outcome of any course of action, especially legal ones. Egyptian art depicts Thmei bearing a single ostrich feather, the symbol of truth with self and others.

Celebrate your personal independence and break free from any constraints that seem unjust or unethical, asking Thmei for the power and courage to endure.

To make a Thmei charm that draws equity into all your dealings, find a portable token that, to you, represents balance, harmony and fairness. Put this on your bathroom scale saying,

‘Balance and harmony within this shine,
Thmei, make impartial dealings mine!’

Carry this token with you, or leave it in the area where you feel inequality or discord exists.”

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

The researched information on Thmei today comes from the book entitled The Manners and Customs of the Ancient Egyptians by John Gardner & Sir Wilkinson.  “This Deity had a two-fold character, as Goddess of Truth and of Justice.  Her figure is frequently represented in the hands of the Kings, who present it as a fit offering to the Gods; and many, in their regal titles, are said to love, or to be loved by, Thmei.  A small image of this Goddess was also worn by the chief judge while engaged in listening to the cases brought before them in court; and when the depositions of the two parties and their witnesses had been heard, he touched the successful litigant with the image, in token of the justness of his cause.  A similar emblem was used by the high priest of the Jews; and it is a remarkable fact, that the word Thummim is not only translated ‘truth’, but being a plural or dual word, corresponds to the Egyptian notion of the ‘two Truths’ or the double capacity of this Goddess.

According to some, the Urim and Thummim signify ‘lights and pefection’ or ‘light and truth,’ – which last present a striking analogy to the two figures of Rê and Thmei, in the breast-plate worn by the Egyptians.  And though the resemblance of the Urim and the Uraeus (or basilisk), the symbol of majesty, suggested by Lord Prudhoe, is very remarkable, I am disposed to think the ‘lights,’ Aorim or Urim, more nearly related to the Sun, which is seated in the breast-plate with the figure of Truth.

This Goddess was sometimes represented by two similar figures placed close to each other; or by one figure wearing two ostrich feathers, Her emblem; and sometimes by the two feathers alone, as in the scales of final judgement.  It is to these figures that Plutarch alludes, who he speaks of the two Muses at Hermopolis, under the names of Isis and Justice.  Diodorus describes the chief judge in the sculptures of the tomb of Osymandyas, with the figure of Truth suspended to this neck, with Her eyes closed; and it is worthy of remark, that the same mode of representing the Goddess occurs in the paintings at Thebes, confirming the account of the historian, and establishing Her claims to the character I have given Her.

Her principle occupations were in the lower regions, and She was on earth the cardinal virtue.  For the Ancients considered, that as Truth or Justice influenced men’s conduct towards their neighbours, and tended to maintain that harmony and good will which were most essential for the welfare of society, it was of far greater importance than the the other three,  – Prudence, Temperance, and Fortitude.  These qualities were reflective qualities; and more immediately beneficial to the individual who possessed them, than to those with whom he was in the habit of associating.

As the dead, after the final judgement and admission into the regions of the blessed, bore Her emblem (either the ostrich feather, or the vase which indicated their good deeds, taken from the scales of Truth), and were considered approved or justified by their works, the hieroglyphics of Her name were adopted to signify ‘deceased,’ or in other words, ‘judged’ or ‘justified’.

The same idea may be traced in an expression of Plato’s Gorgias, where, in speaking of the judgements of the dead, Socrates says, ‘sometimes Rhadamanthus, beholding the soul of one who has passed through life with Truth, whether it be of private man, or any other, is filled with admiration, and dismisses that soul to the Islands of the Blessed.  The same is also done by Æacus.’  Indeed, the modern Persian or Arabic expression in relation to the dead is not very dissimilar, which styles them ‘pardoned,’ or ‘to whom the mercy of God has been shown,’ answering to our more simple and matter-of-fact ‘the late,’ or ‘the departed.’

Diodorus mentions a figure of Justice without a head, standing in the lower regions, ‘at the gates of Truth,’ which I have found in the judgement scenes attached to the funeral rituals on the papyri of Thebes.  In one of the subjects of a mummy case in the British Museum, the Goddess occurs under the form of a sceptre (surmounted by an ostrich feather), from which proceed Her two arms, supporting the body of the deceased.  Another figure of the same Goddess, issuing from the mountain, presents him at the same time two emblems, supposed to represent water, or the drink of Heaven.

Thmei was always styled the daughter of the Sun, and sometimes ‘chief’ or ‘Directress of the Gods.’

From Her name the Greeks evidently borrowed their Themis, who was supposed to be the mother of Dikē, or Justice; but the name of the Egyptian city Thmuis does not appear to have been called from the Goddess of Truth.” [1]

“The Goddess Thmei, or Mei, Truth personified, is always represented as a female wearing upon Her head an ostrich-feather; because all the wing-feathers of this bird were considered of equal length, and hence meant ‘true’ or ‘correct’…Thmei is sometimes represented accompanying Thoth, and the native monarchs often presented a small figure of Truth to different deities.” [2]

 

 

Sources:

Arundale, Francis, Joseph Bonomi, & Samuel Birch. Gallery of Antiquities, Selected from the British Museum, “Thmei“, (p. 28).

Gardner, John & Sir Wilkinson. The Manners and Customs of the Ancient Egyptians, “Thmei, Truth or Justice“, (p. 28 – 31).

 

 

Suggested Links:

Bastow, James Austin. A Biblical Dictionary, “Urim and Thummim“, (p. 755).

Encyclopaedia Britannica: A Dictionary of Arts, Science, and General Literature…, “Egypt“, (p.538).

Goddess Maat

“Maat” by Lisa Iris

“Maat’s themes are freedom, new beginnings, justice, morality, organization, promises and Universal Law. Her symbols are ostrich feathers (or any feathers).  In Egypt, Maat is the ultimate representation of fairness, justice and truth. As the spirit of orderliness and legislation, she assists us by overseeing any legal matters, hearings, promises and oaths to ensure harmony and honesty. In some Egyptian stories, a person’s soul was weighed against Maat’s feather to gain entrance to paradise.

On June 19, 1865, the slaves in Texas were finally told about the Emancipation Proclamation signed three years previously. While freedom was slow in coming, it finally arrived, likely in part thanks to Maat’s encouragement.
For all of Maat’s spells it’s best to have a feather to use as a component and focal point. Change the color of our feather to suit the goal. Pick blue for true seeing (or to encourage honesty with yourself), white for pure promises, black and white for legal equity and pale yellow to inspire a new beginning filled with Maat’s keen insight. Bless the feather using the following incantation (fill in the blank with your goal), then release it to the wind so the magic begins to move!

‘Maat, on this feather light bring to me renewed insight. To my life ______________impart; make a home within my heart.'”

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

“Although She was often personified, Ma´at is perhaps best understood as an idea, rather than a Goddess, but She was central to conceptions of the universe, balance and divine order in Ancient Egypt. The name Ma´at is generally translated as ‘that which is straight’ or ‘truth’ but also implies ‘order’, ‘balance’ and ‘justice’. Thus Ma´at personified perfect order and harmony. She came into being when Ra rose from the waters of Nun (Chaos) and so She was often described as a daughter of Ra. She was sometimes considered to be the wife of Thoth because he was a god of wisdom.

The ancient Egyptians believed that the universe was ordered and rational. The rising and setting of the sun, the flooding of the Nile and the predicable course of the stars in the sky reassured them that there was permanence to existence which was central to the nature of all things. However, the forces of chaos were always present and threatened the balance of Ma´at. Each person was duty bound to preserve and defend Ma´at and the Pharaoh was perceived as the guardian of Ma´at. Without Ma´at, Nun would reclaim the universe and chaos would reign supreme.

The Egyptians also had a strong sense of morality and justice. They felt that the good should prosper, and that the guilty would be punished. They praised those who defended the weak and the poor and placed a high value on loyalty especially to ones family. However, they also understood that it was not possible to be perfect, just balanced. Ma´at transcended specific ethical rules (which differed according to different times and different peoples) and instead focused on the natural order of things. That being said, certain actions were clearly against Ma´at as they increased the effect of chaos and had a purely negative effect on the world.

“Maat” by Hrana Janto

Each Egyptian’s soul was judged in the Hall of Ma´at (depicted in the book of the dead and book five of the book of gates) when they died. Their heart (conscience) was weighed against the feather of Ma´at (an ostrich feather) on scales which represented balance and justice. If their heart was heavier than the feather because they had failed to live a balanced life by the principles of Ma´at their heart was either thrown into a lake of fire or devoured by a fearsome deity known as Ammit. If, however, the heart balanced with the feather of Ma´at they would pass the test and gain eternal life. At certain times it was Osiris who sat as judge in the ritual, and many other deities were involved in the ceremony, but the scales always represented Ma´at.

The Ancient Egyptians also had a well developed legal system to ensure that Ma´at was preserved in daily life. It is thought that the Priests of Ma´at were involved in the justice system as well as tending to the needs of the goddess.

All rulers respected Ma´at, but Akhenaten in particular emphasised his adherence to Ma´at, despite (or perhaps because of) his rather unconventional approach to the gods. Hatshepsut also emphasised her reverence for Ma´at by taking the throne name Ma´atkare (justice is the soul of re), again possibly because as a female ruler she needed to show that her position was in line Ma´at. She also built a small temple to Ma´at within the precinct of Montu in Karnak.

Ma’at kneels before Hathor, and spreads out Her wings to protect the cartouche containing the name of Queen Nefertari.

Ma´at was depicted as a woman wearing a crown with a single ostrich feather protruding from it. She is occassionally depicted as a winged Goddess. Her totem was a stone platform representing the stable foundation on which order was built and the primeaval mound which first emerged from the waters of Nun (chaos).” [1]

Patricia Monaghan tells us that “sometimes divided into two identical Goddesses, Maat had no temples but was worshiped in the rhythm of truth, wherever it was perceived” (Monaghan, p. 201).

Also seen as ma’at, māt, mayet.

Sources:

Hill, J. Ancientegyptonline.co.uk, “Maat“.

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

Suggested Links:

EgyptWorld, “The Goddess Maát“.

Goddess-Guide.com, “Maat the Egyptian Goddess“.

Osirisnet.net, “Ma’at“.

Seawright, Caroline. Tour Egypt, “Ma’at, Goddess of Truth, Balance, Order…

Wikipedia, “Maat“.

Holy Spirit

“The Angel of Healing” by Aeoliah

“The Holy Spirit’s themes are communication, mediation, universal law, blessings, change, health, purity and truth. Her symbols are light.  In both Gnostic and Hebrew writings, the Holy Spirit is a female force. In New Age vernacular, She is seen as white light energy. The Holy Spirt pours upon people to communicate divine missives, including messages of well-being and blessing. She also mediates on our behalf with other facets of the divine, using order, universal law, and wisdom as a force for positive change.

Shavuot, or The Feast of Weeks, in Jewish tradition centers around the return of Moses from Mount Sinai bearing the Ten Commandments and the promises made by God for a home ‘flowing with milk and honey.’ Consequently, suitable edibles today include dairy products and anything sweetened with honey to internalize divine promises for your life. To know what those promises might be, ask the Holy Spirit to show you: pray and meditate. Visualize a a sparkling white light pouring over you. Write down any insights, images or phrases that come during this time. Don’t be surprised if you get words in a different language. This is glossolalia (tongues) and may reveal secrets about past lives through the languages represented. If you don’t have time for meditation, at least burn a white candle today to honor the Holy Spirit and Her spiritual gifts.”

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

 

“Sophia” by Hrana Janto

“Among the most ancient Jews and Christians it was understood that the Holy Spirit is female.  The earliest gospel, Mark, states that the Holy Spirit descended like a dove.  The word for ‘dove’ in Greek is peristera, and it carries the feminine gender.  The Hebrew word ruach meaning ‘Spirit’ is also feminine.  The Hebrew phrase Ruach Elohim is used throughout the Old Testament for ‘Spirit of God.’ [1]

This entry is going to be a little different from the others.  There was SO MUCH information on the internet to go through that it was impossible (for the purpose of this blog) to sum it up to put together and write an entry.  Instead, I included this very informative video explaining how the original biblical languages (Hebrew and Aramaic)  described the Holy Spirit as being female and how today’s popular and widely accepted mistranslated versions of the Bible hide and deny the Truth.

 

 

As usual, I’ve also included some suggested links (some of which include their own suggested links to aid your own research).

 

 

 

Suggested Links:

Goddessgift.com, “Sophia, Goddess of Wisdom“.

The Holy Spirit-Shekinah

The Holy Spirit-Shekinah, Sophia: Lost Goddess of Wisdom“.

The Holy Spirit-Shekinah, “The Holy Spirit: the Christian Goddess“.

Hurtak, J.J. The Pistis Sophia, “The Holy Spirit: The Feminine Aspect of the Godhead“.

The Nazarene Way, “Wisdom of the Goddess“.

Romanoff, Katia. Esoteric Theological Seminary, “Sophia: Goddess of Wisdom & God’s Wife“.

Spiralotus. The Order of the White Moon, “Shekenah“.

Spriritbride.org, “Is There a Christian Goddess?

Spiritual Adventures, “Sophia, Holy Spirit, Wisdom of God“. (This blog has a huge “Lists of Interest” and “Sites I Recommend”…happy researching!)

Wikipedia, “Sophia (wisdom)“.

Goddess Mawu

“Mawu” by Sandra M. Stanton

“Mawu’s themes are creativity, Universal Law, passion, abundance, birth, and inspiration.  Her symbols are clay and the moon.  Mawu arrives on an elephant’s back, expectant with spring’s creative energy. Hers is a wise passion and a timely birth, being ruled by natural laws and universal order. In Africa, She is a lunar-aligned creatrix who made people from clay. As a mother figure, Mawu inspires the universe’s abundance and every dreamers imagination.

Rituals for Mawu rejoice in Her life-giving energy, often through lovemaking. In Africa, people take this seed generation literally and sow the fields, knowing that Mawu will make the land fertile. So get yourself a seedling today and bring it into the house to welcome Mawu and Her creative powers. Name the sprout after one of Mawu’s attributes that you want to cultivate. Each time you water or tend the plant, repeat its name and accept Mawu’s germinating energy into your spirit.

Alternatively, get some non-hardening clay and begin fashioning a symbol of what you need. Devote yourself to spending time on this over twenty-eight days (a lunar cycle), until it’s complete. Each time you work, say:

 ‘Mother Mawu, make me whole
Help me obtain my sacred goal.’

By the time this is finished, you should see the first signs of manifestation.”

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

In Dahomey mythology, Mawu, (pronounced MAH-woo) and sometimes alternatively spelled Mahu, is a West African Mother Earth creator Goddess associated with both the sun and moon.  She is the Goddess of the night, of joy, and of motherhood as well as the ruler of the world’s wisdom and knowledge.   She is the one who brings the cool nights to the hot African world. Sometimes She is seen as a moon Goddess, the twin sister-wife of the sun god Lisa (alternatively spelled Liza), but sometimes “She” is seen as one androgynous or hermaphroditic deity, Mawu-Lisa.  Mahu and Lisa are the children of Nana Buluku, and are the parents of Xevioso.   [1] [2] [3]

“Mawu and Lisa had fourteen children, seven sons and seven daughters, and they divided the responsibilities of the world among them. Mawu is also the Goddess of motherhood, since it was she that created the first humans out of clay, and she gives humans their souls.”  [4]

“Mawu” by Lisa Iris

“After creating the earth and all life and everything else on it, She became concerned that it might be too heavy, so She asked the primeval serpent, Aido Hwedo, to curl up beneath the earth and thrust it up in the sky. When She asked Awe, a monkey She had also created, to help out and make some more animals out of clay, he boasted to the other animals and challenged Mawu. Gbadu, the first woman Mawu had created, saw all the chaos on earth and told her children to go out among the people and remind them that only Mawu can give Sekpoli – the breath of life. Gbadu instructed her daughter, Minona, to go out among the people and teach them about the use of palm kernels as omens from Mawu. When Awe, the arrogant monkey climbed up to the heavens to try to show Mawu that he too could give life, he failed miserably. Mawu made him a bowl of porridge with the seed of death in it and reminded him that only She could give life and that She could also take it away.

This myth is similar to the Yoruba story of Yemaja and Aganju, parents of the Orishas.” [5]

“Mawu” by Lisa Hunt

In another version of Her story I read,  “Mawu is said to have created all of the life on earth with Her husband, Liza, but after doing so, She worried that it might be too heavy…and so She called on the serpent Aido Hwedo for help. Legend has it that the serpent thus curled itself into a ball beneath the earth and pushed it up into the sky; Mawu then retired to the jungle realm of heaven and for awhile, all remained in peace and harmony.

But, before long, the people of the earth began to fight amongst each other….having forgotten that it was Mawu who had provided each of them with not only the world on which they lived, but also the essence of life, their souls.   To fight each other was to fight Mawu as well.  Mawu then sought aid from the monkey, Awe, who turned out to be an insolent braggart who boasted that he was just as powerful as She.  He boasted that he, too, could make life…and when the people of Earth heard this, they began to believe him.

To prove it, he chopped down a tree and carved on it all the features of a person, and when he was finished, he stepped back and said that he had created a person.  Mawu observed that wooden figure lying on the ground and remarked that the figured didn’t do anything and She challenged Awe to breathe life into it.  Awe then gulped a tremendous breath of air and blew it strongly, but the person continued to lie still and mute on the ground.  Once again he tried and this time, he blew so strongly that the wooden figure moved in the wind’s path, but it remained lifeless.  After two more attempts, he admitted that he had been defeated and hung his head in shame, acknowledging that only Mawu could make life; he said that he would return to the world below and tell everyone that he had been wrong.

But, Mawu knew he really didn’t mean it, that he was a charlatan, and once he returned to earth, he would only start boasting again.  So, She made him a bowl of porridge to eat before his long journey, and into this porridge She had put the seed of death.  And only after Awe had finished eating did he learn of the seed he had eaten and would carry back to earth the knowledge that She and no other is the giver and taker of life.” [6]

Sources:

Andarta, Boudicca. PaganPages.org, “Mawu“.

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

Sabrina. Goddess A Day, “Mawu“.

Wikipedia, “Mawu“.

Suggested Links:

Antoine Family Reunion. Antoine Family Reunion, “The Vodun Creation Story“.

Goddess. The Grateful Goddess, “Goddess of the Month ~ Mawu“. 

Iles, Susan. Susanneiles.com, “The Dragon & Creation: Reclaiming the Sacred“.

The Goddess Temple, Inc. Talk with the Goddess, “Goddess Mawu“.

Moon, Tora. The Goddess Speaks, “Mawu – Goddess of Creation (Dahomey of West Africa)“.

Solarlottery.com, “Mawu-Lisa the Creators: An African Tale“.

West African Diaspora Mami Wata Vodoun, “Exploits of the Gods“.

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