Tag Archive: zhinu


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“.

Goddess Kamuhata Hime

Art by Susan Seddon Boulet

“Kamuhata hime’s  themes are love, arts, relationships, devotion and romance. Her symbols are woven items.  A Japanese Goddess of weaving, Kamuhata hime braids the strands of fate to help out anyone seeking solid relationships. Through Her careful, artistic eye, She binds devotion with love into a beautiful, strong tapestry between two committed people.

The Tanabata weaving festival is a traditional day for marriage in China, commemorating the time when two stellar deities meet and celebrate their love (see my entry on Chihnu), thanks to the help of celestial magpies who build a winged bridge across the Milky Way, bringing them together this one day out of the year.

Stargazing is a favorite activity that you can participate in, watching as Kamuhata hime weaves the heavens into a feast for the eyes and soul. As you gaze out into the stars, watch closely the area of the Milky Way. If you see a shooting star, make a wish for love or the improvement of a relationship and Kamuhata Hime will answer it.

If you’re thinking of deepening your commitment to someone, tonight is an excellent time to recite your promises to each other beneath the stars. As you do, braid three strands of cloth or yarn, making a vow at each juncture. Keep this as a Kamuhata hime amulet to protect the love and devotion in your relationship. Unbind this if the two of you ever part ways.”

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

So, apparently, Kamuhata hime is the Japanese version of the Chinese Goddess Chihnu and is called the Heavenly Weaver Girl. [1]

Woman Weaving by Kitagawa Utamaro

This was the only real article I could find on Kamuhata hime specifically.  It was translated from German, so bear with it.  “Kamuhata Hime is a weaver Goddess Nihigi followed, as he came from heaven to earth. Kamuhata Hime went up on the ridge of Futakami no mine of Himuka in Tsukushi. Later She moved on to Futakami Hikitsune Woka in Mino. Later, during the reign of Prince Mimaki ( Sujin Tenno ), left Her descendant and ancestor of the same Nagahatabe – Family, Tate Mino and settled in Kuji, where he built a hut and began to weave fabrics. These substances had magical powers, and made themselves into clothes that are never needed to cut or sewn. Tate substances were utsuhata (woven perfectly). In another version called Tates was kind of weave utsuhata because he is of weaving while retreating to his cabin, so that his technique could not be stolen. It is said that these substances were so hard that not even a soldier, She could cut with a sharp blade.

In various works even the Goddess Amaterasu is known as Weaver. [I think that reference is to the Goddess Wakahiru – a Japanese Goddess of weaving who is sometimes identified as Amaterasu’s younger sister, and sometimes as an aspect of Amaterasu Herself).

According to Hitachi Fudoki, Kamuhata Hime shrine is in Nagahatabe two miles east of the village Ohota worshiped in the former province of Kuji, Iwate in today Präektur in Tohoku. Every year people take silk as a gift for Kamuhata Hime.” [2]

 

 

 

Sources:

Fudoki-pedia, “Kamuhata hime“.

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


Goddess Chihnu

“Chihnu’s themes are arts, creativity, tradition and excellence.  Her symbols are woven items, thread or yarn, home crafts and lyres.  In China and surrounding regions, Chihnu’s name means ‘weaving woman’. According to myths, Chihnu’s talents in this art are so great that She can weave seamless garments for the gods. From Her heavenly domain in the constellation Lyre, She acts like a refreshing spring wind to inspire excellence in our inherited arts and crafts.

The annual Thai festival of Phra Buddha Bat Fairl features folk dancing and traditional handcrafts in honor of Buddha’s footprint, which is enshrined nearby. Generally, it is a time to rejoice in Thai tradition, so if you have a Thai restaurant in the neighborhood, by all means indulge yourself, saying a brief prayer of thanks to the provider of your feast – Chihnu.

To make a Chihnu-inspired creativity charm, take three strands of yellow thread or yarn (yellow is the color of inventiveness).

Braid these together so that the strands cross four times, saying:

One, Chihnu’s power absorbs
Two, inside the magic’s stored
Three, the magic’s alive in me
Four, bear Chihnu’s creativity!’

Carry this when you need more ingenious energy, or leave it near your artistic endeavors so they can absorb Chihnu’s compelling excellence.

Finally, wear woven or handmade items to honor Chihnu’s talents today.”

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

“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:

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

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