The Goddess: Sedna

She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names
Susan Morgaine November 1, 2018

SEDNA

(Image Credit: yousense.info)

The story of Sedna, the Mother and Mistress of the Sea, the Goddess of marine mammals, is, to me, one of sadness and betrayal.

In the Arctic Ocean of the Inuits, Sedna lived with her family. She was very beautiful and was wooed by many in Her community. She refused them, one and all. Her father, taking matters into his own hands, gave Her to an unknown hunter, in return for fish to keep the rest of his family fed. This unknown hunter was, in reality, a bird-spirit, and whisked Sedna away while She was asleep.

Another version states that Sedna went with the unknown hunter of Her own free will, as he promised Her a life filled with everything She could dream of – warmth, and food.

Either way, to Her dismay, Her new home was not as promised, as She found herself awakening on a high cliff, in a nest, surrounded by birds.

She got a message to Her father of Her plight. Her father, Anguta, attempted to help Her by putting Her into his kayak to return Her to their home. The birds, seeing this, flew after them, surrounded the kayak, seeking vengeance for the removal of Sedna from the nest.

To save himself, Anguta, threw his daughter overboard. She reached for the side of the kayak to save Herself and Her father cut off her fingers. As She brought her arms up to reach into the kayak, he then cut off Her arms. Sedna sank to the bottom of the sea.

(Image Credit: Hanie Mold/Pernastudios – Deviant.com)

She became the Queen and the Goddess of the Deep, Her fingers and arms becoming the seals, walruses, whales, those ocean mammals most hunted by the Intuit.

Sedna lived, then, beneath the waves, in the Kingdom of Adlivan, the Intuit Land of the Dead, in a home-made of stone and the ribs of whales. She was responsible for sending the sea creatures to the human hunters to feed their families. She took Her responsibility seriously, but She had a provision that when one of them died, their souls would stay with their bodies for three days, whereupon they would bring news to Sedna of how the people behaved. If any of Her laws were broken, She would not send the food to the hunters. This brought Her pain.

When this happened, a Shaman had to visit Her, by passing through terrifying lands and tests, to heal and soothe Her, until Her pain had passed and things were put right once more.


Sculpture of Sedna in Nuuk, Greenland

(Image Credit: alamy.com)

**My fingers were cut off then

I was kicked

I was hurt

I was wounded

I was lied to

I was betrayed

I was abandoned

My suffering was great

but down below in the deeps

in the heart of the ocean

where I was left to lie

I realized my powerlessness

the way my life was lived

helpless and afraid

always being done to

instead of doing

and saw what I did

As realization expanded my

consciousness

fish and sea mammals

grew out of my cut fingers

I became “old food dish”

She who provided for her people

Victim no more**

**From “The Goddess Oracle by Amy Sophia Marashinsky. Image credit also goes to “The Goddess Oracle”.

***

The Goddess: Dzivaguru

She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

 October 1, 2018

Dzivaguru

(Photo Credit: patientenbetelligung.info)

 

This Mother Earth Goddess was of the Shona-speaking Korekore peoples of Zimbabwe.

She was the Goddess of Earth and the Darkness of Night. It was She who controlled the clouds and the rain, and the pools and the streams.

Dzivaguru was kind and compassionate toward her people. She brought the rain, and with the help of her two beautiful, golden Sunbirds, She brought the sun. Because of Her, Her land was fruitful and abundant.

She lived in a palace which was on an ancient lake. She walked freely, and often, amongst her meadows and forests, drinking from her magical cornucopia, which brought Her everything She could ever wish for.

There came a time when the Sky God’s son, Nosenga, became jealous of Her land and Her wealth. He wanted all that She had and so, decided to just take it from Her.

Dzivaguru was smart, however, and knew his plans, and so concealed all of Her wealth and lands in fog to conceal it. He used a magic ribbon to see and was able to finally find Her palace.

She tried to flee but he set a trap for Her by trapping Her two beautiful Sunbirds, bringing the

sunshine.

(Photo Credit: Offbeat Mythology Wiki)

 

Dzivaguru was angered by Nosenga’s actions. He had Her Sunbirds and he took Her lands. She left, but not before taking Her lake, and with it, Her control over the waters and the rain.

She cursed him, saying that his worship would be short-lived and that because he stole Her birds, that the sun would never set and the lands would be parched and cracked because She would not bring the rains. Thus, She disappeared. To this day, Her people still call out to her for rain.

(Photo Credit: medium.com)

The Goddess: Goddesses Who Protect Travelers

She Who Is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

 September 1, 2018

Goddesses Who Protect Travelers

As we begin to look forward to September and the first day of Fall, we remember that, for now, it is still Summer. This means there is still plenty of time to take a vacation and travel.

With that being said, this column looks at three Goddesses who will protect you on your journeys far and wide.

*************************

(Graphic: bonstore.org)

CHAM MO LAM LHA

Cham Mo Lam Lha is the Tibetan Goddess of Travelers. She is a worldly protectress who rode on the back of a bee to insure smooth travel.

She not only will help with outward traveling, but also the travel of an inward spiritual journey

(Graphic: Pinterest)

ABEONA

Abeona is the Roman Goddess of Outward Journeys and Safe Passage. She protects travelers on their departure. She also guides and protects the first steps of children, as well as their first steps away from home.

Abeona’s name means “to depart, or to go forth”. As such, She is also the Goddess of Partings.

(Graphic: religion.wikia.com)

ADEONA/ADIONA

Adiona is the Roman Goddess of Safe Return. She protects travelers on the arrival back home. She also protects children, as they leave home and reassure parents that they will return home, at least to visit.

Her name means “to approach or to visit”.

Abeona and Adiona are both thought to be aspects of Juno due to their special focus on children. These two Goddesses worked together protecting travelers as they departed and made sure that they returned home safely.

May you be blessed on your adventures and travels and may these Goddesses of travel watch over you on your journeys.

Blessings!

The Goddess: Lilith

She Who Is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

 July 1, 2018

LILITH

(Painting by John Collier – Source: Wikipedia)

When my children were small, I was good friends with a woman whose birth family practiced Orthodox Judaism. We had known each other many years, our children were close and we had each been to many family gatherings. One summer, we were attending a pool party at her house and her parents were in attendance. I went to say hello to her father and then asked him about Lilith, as the first wife of Adam. His response was to look at me, say nothing, then turn to walk away. He never really spoke to me much afterward.

THAT is the power of Lilith.

Who was the powerful woman? Was she a demon? Was she a woman that refused to be subservient to a man? Did she leave Eden on her own? Was she kicked out?

Her origins seems to be rooted in Babylonian demonology. In Sumerian, her name comes for “lilitu”, which means “female demon” or “wind spirit”.

In the Sumerian tale of Gilgamesh, the hero (Gilgamesh) goes to help the Goddess Inanna, who was being beset by demons, one of which was Lilith. This part of the tale was added some 600 years after the original.

(Source: YouTube)

In Jewish tradition, Lilith is a dark demon, but others see her as a dark Goddess, but either way, she is ancient and powerful. In the Talmud, she was described as being sexually wanton and the stealer of men’s sperm from which she gave birth to demons. The Talmud, the book of civil and ceremonial law, states, “It is forbidden for a man to sleep alone in a house, lest Lilith get hold of him”.

It is in the Genesis Rabba, religious texts with rabbinical interpretations of Genesis, that we first hear of Lilith as the first woman, created at the same time as Adam.

Adam demanded that she life beneath him and she refused. Adam wanted her to be subservient to him and she refused. She stated, “We are equal because we are both created from the earth.”

(Photo Source: The Lilith Library)

This myth was added to book “The Alphabet of Ben Sira”, which added that Lilith then fled into the desert. Adam complains to God that the woman that was given to him has left. Three angels are sent after her. The angels tell her that she must return but she refuses and says, strangely, that she knows that she was made to harm children, but that if she sees the names of these angels on amulets, then that child will be saved.

Some would say that when she refused to lie beneath Adam, that she was turned into a demon, a succubus, and banished from Eden. For some, she became a sacred whore, beautiful, dangerous, who would seduce men and kill them.

Eve was then created from Adam’s rib, making her made from him, submissive to him and would lie beneath him.

She has been an influence in literary characters, such as in “The Coming of Lilith” by Judith Plaskow, among many other stories, novels and poems. It is said that C.S. Lewis’ “The Chronicles of Narnia”, that the White Witch was influenced by Lilith. There is the Lilith Faire, which raises money for battered women’s shelters and breast cancer awareness.

Girl God Publications has the “My Name is……” series, written for children, where Goddesses who have been demonized, have their stories told in a positive, affirmative manner. The third in this series is “My Name is Lilith“, by Monette Chilson, which I highly recommend.

(Photo: Amazon)

Lilith has become an icon for feminists who see her refusal to lie beneath Adam as a call to freedom, a rallying cry to break away from the bonds of patriarchy.

She can be looked to for inspiration in being and accepting who we are – strong, empowered, independent women, making our own choices and living the lives we choose.

Blessings!

The Goddess: Nu Kua

She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

 June 1, 2018

The Goddess Nu Kua

(Photo Credit – acutonics.com)

Nu Kua is the Creatrix Goddess of Ancient China.

When the heavens and earth were separated, there were no human beings. Nu Kua was bored and lonely and so made the first humans out of clay made from mud from the Yellow River. Her breath and Yin became the first women; Her breath and Yang became the first men. The first of these were fashioned, and molded, with her hands. However, as she found how tedious and time-consuming this was, she began to drop a rope into the river’s clay and to allow droplets to form and to fall from the rope. Hence, those that were molded became the nobles and those who were unmolded became the peasants.

She is said to have the body of a woman from the waist up, and the body of a serpent/snake/dragon from the waist down. There are also myths of her having the body of a Tortoise.

(Photo Credit: goddesses-and-gods.blogspot.com)

(Photo Credit: opednews.com)

As the myth goes, the monster, Kung-Kung, during a great battle, flattened the mountains, tore a hole in the sky, and tilted the Earth.

Nu Kua came to restore order. She melted five sacred, colored stones and repaired the sky. She took control of water, enabling the rains to fall when and where necessary and put out fires. She put the seasons in the right order.

(Photo Credit: flickr.com)

She replaced the pillars of heaven with the legs of a great turtle/tortoise so that they would not collapse; Dragons on these pillars guard the path of the sun and the moon.

She corrected problems on Earth by quelling the problems of human chaos, by establishing marriage, ensuring that children would be raised correctly.

After restoring order, Nu Kua retreated to her domain, the sky, wearing a compass to symbolize order.

She has dominion over marital relations and fertility. It is said that she responds to prayers directed toward her.

Nu Kua represents order and its’ restoration, is a calming influence in stressful situations and also helps with a positive attitude after negative events.

*******************************

Order

There is a Way

and I am that Way

the Way of Nature that moves in all things

In the beginning

I created the universal pattern

the Way things are

the Way things flow

the Way things need to be

Then

I sequenced the seasons

harmonized the hillsides

organized the oceans

till all was auspiciously arranged

I am the natural order of things

I am the Way

(From The Goddess Oracle by Amy Sophia Marashinsky & Hrana Janto)

(Photo Credit: The Goddess Oracle

by Amy Sophia Marashinsky & Hrana Janto)

Goddess Blessings!!

***

The Goddess: Hippolyta

She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

 May 1, 2018

HIPPOLYTA

(Photo Credit: brooklynmuseum.org)

While there may be those who would argue that Hippolyta was not a Goddess, I feel that, since most of her legends describe Her as being the daughter of Ares, She is, indeed, a Goddess.

Hippolyta was the greatest of all of the Amazon Queens. Fathered by Ares, the God of War, who was himself born of Zeus and Hera, She was beautiful and strong, skilled in endurance and weapons. She was a formidable Warrior Woman. It is quite possible that She was trained in combat moves by Ares himself.

Hippolyta and her Amazons lives in Themiscyra, and kept largely to themselves. While they would mate with males from other tribes, they normally did not keep the male children, either sending them to live with their fathers, abandoning or killing them but always keeping, and raising, daughters for future Amazon generations.

Most of the legends of Hippolyta are her being involved in the exploits of men, as one would expect in a patriarchal society. Reading these myths, it makes perfect sense that the Amazons and their Queen would isolate themselves from much of the world.

Hippolyta was in possession of a golden belt, “the magic girdle”, that was gifted to Her by Ares. It was this belt, along with her skills, that made her the Queen of the Amazons.

(Photo Credit: greekmythology.wikia.com)

There are at least two versions of Her story with Hercules The first is that the Greeks decided that they wanted Hippolyta’s golden belt and send a raiding party to attack and rape the women warriors. These Greeks were led by Hercules.

She found Hercules somewhat attractive and, as was Her custom, wish to wrestle with him to determine if he was strong enough and that She would not give birth to a weak child. Her followers thought that Hercules was attacking their Queen and, in turn, attacked him. The women lost the battle to Hercules’ raiding party. One version of the story tells that Hercules killed Hippolyta and stole the golden belt. Another version says that She was not killed and gave the belt to Hercules of her own free will. Yet another, says that it was Hera, always the enemy of Hercules, who disguised herself as one of the Amazons, told the rest of the warrior women that Hippolyta was going to be kidnapped by the Greeks, and this is what started the skirmish between the two parties.

(Photo Credit: Wikipedia)

Another rendering of the story tells of King Eurysthesus giving Hercules 12 challenges or labors. The nineth labor was for Hercules to retrieve (read steal) the golden belt from Hippolyta and giving it to his daughter. Again, here, it is said that Hippolyta gave him the belt. The stories differ once again; one says that She gave him the belt because she was so enchanted by him; another says that the challenges were given to Hercules as punishment for killing his own children in madness and rage, a torment brought on by Hera, and that when Hippolyta heard his story, she was overcome with compassion and offered him the belt. Keeping in mind that the Amazons, while being warriors, what they hoped to offer and teach, was peace, making it quite plausible that She gave the golden belt to Hercules.

While Hercules was a demi-god, Theseus was a mortal who also visited Hippolyta at Themiscyra. Theseus, it was rumored, had killed a minotaur. Recalling Her past experience with outsiders, She prayed that no harm would come to her people as She ordered a great feast to be held in his honor. Theseus asked Hippolyta to come on to his ship, which She did. Theseus had fallen in love with Her and asked Her to stay with him. Hippolyta refused, as She wished to stay with Her Amazons. When She went to disembark from the ship, the crew immediately set sail for Greece, with Hippolyta as a prisoner.

The Amazons were furious and immediately followed to retrieve their Queen. Theseus, having no clue he was being followed, started to plan a grand wedding to marry the kidnapped Amazon Warrior Queen. The Amazons planned their attack to take place deep into the night while everyone was asleep, and were able to rescue Hippolyta just in time. Shakespeare tells his version of Hippolyta’s story with Theseus in his “A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream”.

Not surprisingly, the Amazons and their Queen became very suspicious and leery of all visitors.

(Photo Credit: screenrant.com)

In pop culture, Hippolyta is the mother of Wonder Woman, who was fashioned a baby from clay and had the life breathed into her by the gods.

Hippolyta – Queen, Warrior, Mother, Goddess

***

The Goddess: Zemyna

She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

 April 1, 2018

Zemyna

(Photo Credit – Pinterest)

Zemyna is a Lithuanian Earth Goddess. She is the Mother of all things. As the Goddess of Childbirth, one of Her functions concerns fertility. She creates life out of herself and represents the rebirth and renewal of every living thing.

She is honored at the birth of every child. Offerings to Her are left at stones, near trees and in the water, thanking Her for a new life.

Her name, literally, means “Earth”. She is also called *Blossomer*, *Bud-Raiser* and *Flower-Giver*.

All that comes of, and from, the Earth returns to the Earth and so, She also is related to Death.

She is the personification of the fertile earth and nourishes all of the life on Earth, whether is be plant, animal or human. Trees with three leaves or nine branches were especially connected to Her, the most revered being oak, linden and spruce.

(Photo Credit: Wikipedia)

Her people believed that all plant and human life were connected and flowed together. They believed that souls took up residence in the trees that have died. The souls of women went in to lindens and spruce; men in to oaks, maples and birches, while the ancestors of the village would be within the fruit trees. Birds nesting in these trees became symbols of the force of life itself.

The love that the people had for the plant life of the Earth is in the “dainas”, spiritual folk songs of their culture.

With the people being a part of nature, Zemyna helps and supports those who treat the Earth with respect, and helps Her in Her mission of defending the Earth.

It was a terrible thing to dig or strike into the Earth with an iron implement before March 25, as the Earth is pregnant at that time.

If you were to kill an animal for food, Zemyna would forgive you. If, though, you were to kill an animal for fun, or for the pleasure of it, Zemyna would not let you get away with that, and consequences will surely follow. The more you negatively do to Nature, the more She will make you pay. You can pray, but you will not deflect Her anger.

(Photo Credit – lituanus.orgSculpture by Vytautas Maciuika)

Beyond this, Zemyna is loving and good-natured. She rewarded those who took care of the Earth. She was a source of strength and power to Her people. Respect could be shown to Her by pouring some of whatever you were drinking upon the Earth itself.

Offerings were also left at regular intervals, mostly of bread and ale. If offerings were not made, there could be dire consequences. These offerings were left at Her places of worship, near large stones, which were a representation of the Omphalos, the power center of the Earth.

She may have been married to Perkunas, the thunder God. The wedding is celebrated in the Spring, when the Earth reawakens.

Her greatest festival is at Summer Solstice. Families bathe in streams and rivers in celebration of the moisture of the earth.

(Photo Credit – Pinterest by Jennifer Kuhns)

The worship of Zemyna is different than that of the patriarchal religions, which state that the Earth is secondary to man and that it is here for man’s consumption. For Zemyna, Her people know that Nature is sacred and permanent. While we, as humans, may die, Nature is always here.

“When we are gone,

they will remain,

wind and rock, fire and rain

They will remain

when we return

the wind will blow

and the fire will burn”

~~ Reclaiming

[youtube]

***

The Goddess: Nammu

She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

 March 1, 2018

 

The Goddess Nammu

(Photo Credit: crystalinks.com)

In Sumeria, whose civilization dates back to 3500 BCE, Nammu was the Goddess of the Waters of Creation. She was the great abyss, the endless primeval sea in which the Universe floated, that which She brought forth.

She was also called the “Mother of Everything” and “Mother, First One who Gave Birth to the Gods of the Universe”. According to the An-Anum, the list of Mesopotamian deities, She is called “The Mother Who Gave Birth to the Heavens and the Earth.

(Photo Credit: Pinterest)

Creation came from the Great Goddess, from those Waters of Creation; and so, Nammu is as old as time itself, as She was always there and always will be there. She has no beginning and She has no end; all life is owed to Her. She is the Creation of all things.

Her name was/is written with the sign for “engur”, which is also used to write “Apsu”, the sweet fertile waters.

She gave birth to An/Heaven, a Sky God and to Ki/Earth, an Earth Goddess. An and Ki produced air between them. This air stirred the waters surrounding the large mountains between them and so was separated the Earth and the Sky.

She also birthed the first gods, who represented the ocean water, far down beneath the Earth, which was the source of the life-giving water and fertility of its’ people.

It is said that She also helped Mani, an All-Mother herself, form humanity. Mani was a potter who mixed clay over the cosmic abyss to form 14 images of herself. She put them in two rows, seven on Her left and seven on Her right, and with life-giving incantations, humankind was born.

(Photo Credit: gatewaystobabylon.com)

An and Ki gave birth to the Trickster god, Enki, God of Water and Wisdom. In early traditions, it is said that She is also grandmother to Inanna, a daughter of An and Ki.

With the onset of sky gods, and the very beginnings of patriarchy, Nammu was demoted and Her power stripped away like so many other Goddesses. Most of Her power and credit for Her Creations were then given to Enki.

Nammu corresponds to the Babylonian Tiamat, who also lost Her power and position to Marduk, a sky god, when Babylon took over Sumeria. Allegedly, Marduk created the heavens and earth by murdering Tiamat.

(Photo Credit: Pinterest)

***

The Goddess: Sheela-Na-Gig

She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

 February 1, 2018

Sheela-Na-Gig

(Photo Credit: knowth.com)

What better representation of the Goddess for February than Sheel-Na-Gig?

All over Europe, primarily Ireland and England, adorning castles, churches, sacred sites, you will find carvings in stone of the beautiful Sheela-Na-Gig, a big smile on her face, squatting knees apart, exposing her powerful vulva. It is believed that these carvings were done during the Neolithic and Paleolithic eras. There is still and old energy that lies within these carvings.

While many find Her akin to a gargoyle, or a figure of lust. Many women, though, believe her to be an ancient fertility figure and a representation of the Mother Goddess.

The term “gyg”, in Norse, means giantess or a deified female, aka Goddess. It is thought that these carvings were meant for protection and to ward off evil, which goes a long way toward understanding their appearance on ancient churches.

(Photo Credit: www.beyond-the-pale.org/uk)

The vulva is a holy symbol of birth and life; representing regenerative powers of an Earth Mother/Goddess. The vulva of Sheela-Na-Gig is in the shape of a triangle, another hint that She is a representation of the Goddess. The triangle is a symbol of the three aspects of the Goddess – Maiden, Mother and Crone – the full cycle of a woman’s life (yes, I am not including all of the new additions of Queen, etc.)

It is thought that graves were built in the shape of the Goddess and that Her vagina was the passageway to regeneration and rebirth.

I believe that it is most likely unknown how many of these carvings there are, but this link will give you an idea of those that are in Ireland: http://www.irelands-sheelanagigs.org/

This article researches those in Southern England: http://www.sheelanagig.org/wordpress/category/southern-england/

(Photo Credit: www.atlasobscura.com)

Some of these carvings may be seen as lying on their side or upside-down, which indicates re-use of the stone which originally held the Sheela-Na-Gig carving.

Many of these carvings were taken down and destroyed with the growth of the church, as well as the beginning and rise of patriarchy. It is believed by many that these carvings of Sheela-Na-Gig gave rise to the demonization of women, and of women being portrayed as an ugly hag or crone.

While there are women who find these carvings grotesque and obscene, women who “know”, see Her as an invitation from the Goddess to explore and delve into their own divine feminine. She is the gateway to new adventures, new projects and new paths.

Sheela-Na-Gig is the invitation, the gateway and the re-birth of women who have the courage to really see Her, choose to delve into Her Mysteries and be reborn, knowing of their own Goddess power within and without.

With the fast and rampant rise of patriarchy, women were reduced to nothing but one who serves at home for their spouse, and as sex objects, which is how many see Sheela-Na-Gig. With this reduction of the powerful force of women and the Goddess, women lost their power.

We, as women, need to remove ourselves from the yoke of patriarchy. The time is now for women to rise up and reclaim the power of the Goddess and the power that is held within them; rise up and proclaim “THIS is our power”.

(Photo Credit: www.beyond-the-pale.org/uk

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