Goddess Knowledge – Gaia

This week we are going to find out more about the Goddess Gaia. Which is also another name given to Mother Earth by Neo-Pagans. 

GAIA

Gaia existed before everything; she existed before time. Gaia, the eternal, prehistoric earth mother goddess,, is fertility incarnate, moist, mysterious, strong. She is life energy itself; everything that lives, breathing or not, overflows with her life. She is the earth and all powers of the earth. Gaia is not always a consoling goddess: standing for life and generation without thought of consequence, she has energy and a power that must be approached carefully. All bodies eventually return to her, into the black, fertile earth, to be devoured and to receive her life to live again. As goddess of the soul, Gaia reminds us that the soul develops in dark places and that ultimately soul must be rooted in the body, in earth. She is a reminder that we must ground ourselves into the reality of nature and incorporate all sides of ourselves, be the pleasant or unpleasant, light or dark.

For more information about Gaia click on this general search link: Information about Gaia

Gaia is also known as Mother Earth here is a link for more information on this name for the same Goddess: Information about Mother Earth

Link for a general search for images of Gaia:Images of Gaia

The general search for images of Mother Earth is basically the same as for Gaia.

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Goddess Knowledge – Persephone

(This week I went through the deck to find this Goddess’ card because she is very important to why we have the warmer weather and a time when plants, flowers, trees, etc have time to grow into abundance for our food and herbs for magickal and medicinal needs. She is also important to why we have colder months when nothing will grow outdoors. This goddess is part of an ancient Greek tale that includes her mother, Demeter, and the god of the Underworld Hades. I will write posts with more information on Demeter and Hades which will follow after what the “Goddess Knowledge Card” has to say about Persephone.)

PERSEPHONE

Although Persephone is best known as Demeter’s daughter, the maiden who was abducted by Hades, lord of the underworld, the Greek version of her reflects the usurpation of female mysteries by a patriarchal mythology. In this version Persephone personifies the kore, the maiden aspect of the goddess. Her myth exemplifies the cycles of nature, for when Persephone is underground, plants do not bloom, and when she returns to earth, spring ensues.

Persephone is the goddess of the soul, for it is in the darkness of the underworld (analogous to the unconscious) that the soul is formed. In the Orphic mysteries, Persephone granted wisdom to the initiate, for she is the goddess of a dark, uncomfortable wisdom, a goddess of dark and frightening power. Persephone represents the ability to rule over the aspects of ourselves that are terrifying in the extreme.

More Information About Persephone

Images of Persephone

Goddess Knowledge – Bast

Bast (or Bastet, or Pasht) was the Egyptian goddess who appeared in cat form, The Egyptians highly revered cats; the word for cat, mau, also denotes light and was cognate with the word for mother. The cat is a lunar animal and also a solar animal representing the power of the sun as reflected in nature. Since the cat is an earth animal, BAst is also an earth mother goddess, a giver of life and abundance. In touch with her wild, instinctual nature, she is also a protector of women during childbirth. Like a cat, she is fiercely independent and belongs to no one but herself. Bast is one of the more joyful goddesses; her elaborate festivals in the town of Babustis were renowned for their joyful dancing. Embodying a cat’s gentler aspects, Bast is a personification of life and fruitfulness. The quintessential life-affirming mother, she reminds us to be playful and relaxed like a cat and to find occasions to celebrate life.

Goddess Knowledge – Triple Goddess

Before I share what is on the Goddess Knowledge Card I wanted to share my favorite image of the Triple Goddess. In most witchcraft traditions there is some representation of this goddess.

Triple Goddess

The Triple Goddess, the original trinity, symbolizes the three faces of the Great Goddess and its earliest representation of her division into multiplicity. The goddess with three faces is a universal motif, found worldwide.The Triple Goddess is intimately associated with changing phases of the moon; just as the moon transforms from one phase to another, the Great Goddess moves among her many rolls. Her three faces usually virgin, mother, and crone: virgin representing the strong, well-defined goddess; mother representing the nurturing goddess as source of all nourishment; and crone representing the goddess of death and transformation. This symbolism embraces the roll of the goddess in all phases of existence from birth through death to rebirth. The Triple Goddess reminds us of our sacredness regardless of our age or function in life. She reminds us that despite her many forms there is one goddess, always present and always sacred.

For More Information About Triple Godess

Images of Triple Goddess

 

Goddess Knowledge – High Priestess

The high priestess is the direct representative of the goddess on earth. She has direct responsibility for functions that ensure fertility and ongoing creation. Priestess often were responsible for ensuring rain, for the goddess was the giver of few and of rain. They often tended a sacred flame, the embodiment of the creative spark of life.

The High Priestess is the Great Goddess herself, a universal figure founder in such diverse guides as Isis in Egypt, Juan Yin throughout all of Asia, Athens in Greece, and Rhiannon among the Celtics. This goddess is all-knowing and all-wise; she creates life out of herself and bestows life-giving waters. At the proper time she takes life away so that the divine spark in each person may be freed to continue on its journey. The High Priestess is a reminder of the innate wisdom in each of us. She demands that we connect to the divine within and manifest it in the world.

 

 

I did not purposely pull this week’s card. It was on top after I shuffled the unposted Goddess Knowledge Cards. I personally do not look at myself as “the direct representative of the goddess on earth.”  The reason being is my dearest sister has pointed out to me something I let go to the way side which is the Goddess lives in all who ask. This goes for he God Consort also.

 

Another Helpful Household Hint

Ever notice how many cars you see today, bearing the Christian fish symbol on their trunk? Feel left out? Want to compete and brag about your religious affiliations? Well, we did, and you can, too, quite easily at that!

The “fish” symbol is the oldest of Christianity’s symbology. Unlike most of the other symbologies which have their roots in Paganism, the fish was a sort of “secret sign” to identify the members of the heretical Jewish sect of followers of the man from Nazareth. The secrecy was because of persecution (sound familiar?) and I believe the symbolism had to do with several things – the disciples occupation as fishermen, and the hidden meaning in the letters which spelled “fish” in Greek.

Want to identify yourself, although somewhat obscurely? Go out and buy one of those fish emblems – the plain ones, without the letters inside the oval. Better if the package contains two such molded plastic stick-on emblems, if you are into the duality of Goddess/God. If you are only into Goddess, one will do.

First, we will make one into one of the oldest known Goddess symbols – the yoni! With a very sharp knife or fine toothed hacksaw or hobby saw (a razor saw used by railroad modelers is what I used), cut off both “tail fins” of the fish at point “X” on the diagram. Save the pieces – we’ll use them later. (Dianics may discard the pieces now.

You may also melt them off with a hot tool or knife if you are working on plastic fish, and clean it up with a nail file or emery board. Turn this pointy-ended oval on end (points up and down), and VOILA! A YONI! The very first goddess figure devised in ancient times. Stick it upright on your trunk (or the trunk of your car, if it interferes with your clothing) and get the second “fish” to work on next.

To represent the Horned God, all you really have to do is up-end the remaining uncut “fish”, fins up, and stick it alongside the Goddess yonic figure – it looks like the classic horned circle, though it is a bit pointed at the ends. If you’d like to emphasize the “fish fin” horns a bit, glue the pieces you cut off the other one, onto the ends of these, thereby lengthening them. Now stick this emblem right alongside the other one, and you have Goddess and God, side-by-each where all can see, and probably confuse a lot of those folks who are still displaying them as fish.

Don’t pass up this chance to steal a symbol or two from them- they stole quite a few of ours. A little friendly competition is good to ease tensions. Perhaps we can start a new rage in auto kitsch. The Aquarian Tabernacle’s church bus, the Blessed Bee, sports a large size, gold colored plastic Goddess and God right there (you guessed it) on the left hand side of the rear of the vehicle, for all to see and ponder!

Just another helpful household hint from Habondia.

Christian/The Biblical Lilith

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Christian/The Biblical Lilith

When the Almighty created the first, solitary man, He said: It is not good for man to be alone. And He fashioned for man a woman from the earth, like him (Adam), and called her Lilith. Soon, they began to quarrel with each other. She said to him: I will not lie underneath, and he said: I will not lie underneath but above, for you are meant to lie underneath and I to lie above. She said to him: We are both equal, because we are both created from the earth. But they did not listen to each other.

When Lilith saw this, she pronounced God’s avowed name and flew into the air. Adam stood in prayer before his Creator and said: Lord of the World! The woman you have given me has gone away from me. Immediately, the Almighty sent three angels after her, to bring her back.

The Almighty said to the Angels: If she decides to return, it is good, but if not, then she must take it upon herself to ensure that a hundred of her children die each day. They went to her and found her in the middle of the Red Sea. And they told her the word of God. But she refused to return. They said to her: We must drown you in the sea. She said: Leave me! I was created for no other purpose than to harm children, eight days for boys and twenty for girls.

When they heard what she said, they pressed her even more. She said: I swear by the name of the living God that I, when I see you or your image on an amulet, will have no power over that particular child. And she took it upon herself to ensure that, every day, a hundred of her children died. That is why we say that, every day, a hundred of her demons die. That is why we write the names Senoi, Sansenoi and Semangloph on an amulet for small children. Andwhen Lilith sees it, she remembers her promise and the child is saved.

Notes: This version of the myth is one of many, most of which have small translation flaws. Often the bible has been translated from Hebrew to Latin to German and then finally to English.

According to accompanying legends, Lilith was cursed and turned into a succubus. God created Eve as an afterthought out of Adam’s rib, in order to make her more submissive. Lilith’s descendants and Eve’s descendants mingled together and bred, and God decreed that Lilith is to kill all of her descendants, except for those protected by an amulet. This belief that Lilith will come to slay young children is still held in awe today in many cultures. As the mother of all other succubi, Lilith’s daughters (succubi, or simply Liliths according to some tales) are also held to this and cannot harm any child protected by the amulet. This is Lilith’s curse for being too dominating according to many tales, although it is also questioned as to whether the real reason is because she spoke God’s avowed name and stole some of gods powers

Another legend says that Jehovah (god) and Lilith are actually god and goddess. Although usually the feminine half of god is known as Yahweh.

Suggestions also say that because Lilith never ate the forbidden fruit, like Adam and Eve did, Lilith is not tainted by original sin, and thus can never die. She is immortal like an angel. Angels can be destroyed however. As can demons. Begging the question of whether Lilith is invincible also.

Other Biblical and non-Biblical legends portray Lilith as being a terrible mother-goddess. Her clergy is described as being temple prostitutes according to some historians. This belief changed over time, with Lilith (or succubi in general) becoming the “divine whore” according to clergy men, described as being a tall beautiful, obsidian-skinned, bat-winged female with long red (some legends say black) hair and sharp blue eyes. This creature then seduces men and kills them. This is a perfect example of men describing ONLY the physical characteristics of women, and also their obvious fear of being powerless against a woman and controlled by them.

The Fear of Lilith

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The Fear of Lilith

Examining the Lilith Myth and the Male Fear of Dominant Women

By Charles Alexander Moffat

Men’s fear of women has caused them to portray women in two specific archetypes and continued to compare women in such a fashion because the majority of their writing was written by men for other men. Thus was born an unspoken tradition amongst men to portray women as weak submissives and/or seductive, evil succubi/monsters such as Lilith, and is the result of men’s fear of being controlled.

Psychologically, a man may be willing to have sex, but if the woman is not, the denial of sex perpetuates a breach in the male ego. The male response to this rejection is fear and anger, and in order to find a solution to the problem, the male reacts by finding excuses for his superiority. Believing that if he is superior and that the woman is weaker and inferior, then whether or not the woman is willing will now be unimportant and inconsequential, as far as the man is concerned.

Women do not have this sexual rejection problem however, for at any time they are willing, men can be made willing through the use of female charms or even simple aggression. Only male impotence can prevent this, which is no fault of the female. Men subconsciously understand this and also understand that they are vulnerable against females in this way, and are afraid of being seduced and manipulated.

Putting these two in perspective, men have defined two types of women: The submissive woman who falls prey to a man’s every whim, and the aggressive, manipulative woman who can seduce a man into performing her every whim.

When communicating these ideas to other men, the emphasis of a woman’s description is placed upon her beauty, her weaknesses and her lack rationality. These are ideas that men subconsciously/consciously seek to promote about women as a result of their own insecurities.

Aristotle was obsessed with his penis, that much is evident from a psychologically perspective. According to Aristotle, the penis and its semen is the source of all souls and spirit, and that women, being “mutilated” and without a penis is soulless. He goes into more detail, believing that women are unable to create souls because they themselves are “impure” and “incapable of concocting the nutriment in its last stage into semen. If she does have a soul, it is an “impure” one, and thus needs a man’s “purity” in the form of semen. In short, Aristotle likely believed that the world revolved around his penis.

Going further on Aristotle’s beliefs, if women are soulless, then their feelings don’t matter, and thus men must be the masters over women because women are cold, heartless and lack authority. He admits that women have intelligence/faculty, “but it is without authority” and thus men must be the masters. The end result is that Aristotle likely believes that the perfect woman is a “mutilated” quiet, cold, and submissive creature, something similar to Helen of Troy or Andromeda.

As the exact opposite, the worst woman by his definition would likely coincide with many of the mythological creatures of his time. The medusa, sirens, gorgons and harpies portray intelligent women as cunning, powerful, independent, and yet deformed monsters. They would still be “mutilated” by Aristotle’s definition, and would suffer the consequences for their independence, for they were all defeated by men. In essence these myths could be considered allegory warning women not to become independent and proud of their intelligence.

Respected for his beliefs by his male colleagues (and they were all male and thus with male egos and “in love with their penises” and no doubt loving the idea that the world revolves around their penis), Aristotle’s beliefs were written down for men and mass produced for men. These beliefs are then passed down upon children, who then take these beliefs to be the absolute truth, and never questioning it. “Men commonly think according to their inclinations, speak according to their learning and imbibed opinions, but generally act according to custom,” said Francis Bacon, speaking of this usually “unspoken tradition” that is passed down through the generations.

In the Biblical Genesis (the King James/Yahwist version), Eve is portrayed as being lesser than Adam by the simple fact that she is made by only part of him, and is not made wholly of the earth like Adam was. This shortcoming is then shown when she is tricked so easily by the serpent into eating the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and she in turn manipulates and tricks Adam into also eating of the tree. Furthermore, when caught and questioned, Eve quickly blames the snake for her shortcomings. Thus Eve presents parts of both archetypes, the submissive woman who is easily tricked by the snake, but after eating the fruit, she becomes the cunning and manipulative woman who seduces/tricks Adam.

In a different version of Genesis, the ben-Sira version~, the person known as Lilith (Adam’s first wife, before Eve) is introduced:

“When the Almighty created the first, solitary man, He said: It is not good for man to be alone. And He fashioned for man a woman from the earth, like him (Adam), and called her Lilith. Soon, they began to quarrel with each other. She said to him: I will not lie underneath, and he said: I will not lie underneath but above, for you are meant to lie underneath and I to lie above. She said to him: We are both equal, because we are both created from the earth. But they didn’t listen to each other. When Lilith saw this, she pronounced God’s avowed name and flew into the air. Adam stood in prayer before his Creator and said: Lord of the World! The woman you have given me has gone away from me. Immediately, the Almighty sent three angels after her, to bring her back. The Almighty said to Adam: If she decides to return, it is good, but if not, then she must take it upon herself to ensure that a hundred of her children die each day. They went to her and found her in the middle of the Red Sea. And they told her the word of God. But she refused to return. They said to her: We must drown you in the sea. She said: Leave me! I was created for no other purpose than to harm children, eight days for boys and twenty for girls. When they heard what she said, they pressed her even more. She said: I swear by the name of the living God that I, when I see you or your image on an amulet, will have no power over that particular child. And she took it upon herself to ensure that, every day, a hundred of her children died. That is why we say that, every day, a hundred of her demons die. That is why we write the names Senoi, Sansenoi and Semangloph on an amulet for small children. And when Lilith sees it, she remembers her promise and the child is saved.”

According to accompanying legends, Lilith was cursed and turned into a succubus. God created Eve as an afterthought out of Adam’s rib, in order to make her more submissive. Lilith’s descendants and Eve’s descendants mingled together and bred, and God decreed that Lilith is kill all of her descendants, except for those protected by an amulet. This belief that Lilith will come to slay young children is still held in awe today in many cultures. As the mother of all other succubi, Lilith’s daughters (succubi, or simply “Liliths (according to some tales) are also held to this and cannot harm any child protected by the amulet. This is Lilith’s curse for being too dominating according to many tales, although it is also questioned as to whether the real reason is because she spoke God’s avowed name.

Other Biblical and non-Biblical legends* portray Lilith as being a “terrible mother-goddess”. Her clergy is described as being “temple prostitutes” according to some historians. This belief changed over time, with Lilith (or succubi in general) becoming the “divine whore” according to men, described as being a tall beautiful, obsidian-skinned, bat-winged female with long red (some legends say black) hair and sharp blue eyes. This creature then seduces men and kills them. This is a perfect example of men describing the physical characteristics of women, and also their obvious fear of being powerless against a woman and controlled by them.

There are many other legends (mostly Sumerian, Babylonian and Assyrian) calling Lilith (or creatures like her) by other names such as Shedu, Lamashtu, Marilith, Succubus, Ahhazu, Alu, Gallu, Lamia, Ishtar. The legend of Lilith is so widespread that it reaches even Malayasia where she is called Langsuir (or Langsuyar) and feared as a demon seductress of the night. This enforces the idea that man’s fear of seductive/dominating women is universal amongst all men.

During the Spanish Inquisition (and various other witch hunts), witches were associated with the demon Lilith, and anyone having red hair like Lilith were more likely to be hung or burnt at the stake. This perhaps is the reason why red hair is so rare and also why the current stereotypes that all red-haired people are regarded as aggressive, hot tempered, troublesome, and otherworldly. These witchhunts were led by men, usually clergy, who were obviously afraid of being bewitched, seduced and controlled.

The power struggle between Adam and Lilith is a reflection of the power struggle between the sexes, a man’s patriarchal attitude versus a woman’s demands for independence and equality. Psychologically, this is the result of Adam’s fear of Lilith being in control, Lilith’s equal fear of Adam being in control, and both rejecting the others demands for dominance. Adam and Lilith obviously could not meet with a marital therapist however, but since the two are viewed as being mythical characters, then they reflect universal characteristics and behaviour such as all people’s (not just men’s) fear of being controlled.

A number of modern psychologists/analysts have studied the ben-Sira version and have come up with their conclusions about Lilith, Adam and Eve, and their archetypes:

Vogelsang asserts that Adam bears the guilt for the disagreement. “From the beginning [he] was trying to assert his superiority and to dominate her, a power play on the part of the masculine.” He also says “it should be emphasized that she was not trying to subjugate him. She was trying to maintain her rights.” Essentially this means that Adam represents the average aggressive male, whereas Lilith should actually be considered a model female who stands up for her rights. Perhaps women should be feared, for it is the fear between both sexes that makes them equal.

Lenherr-Baumgartner claims that Adam’s demand for the upper position was the result of “is evolutionary understandable as a certain male fear of an equal female. In addition she considers the separation of the two metaphorical in the sense that male and female shall be forever separated by their fears of each other.

In modern times it would be very easy to compare Adam, Eve and Lilith to a patriarchal husband, a weak, submissive wife, and a vindictive, dominating ex-wife. A slightly different example would be patriarchal President Bill Clinton (perhaps as the result of his obsession with his penis), submissive stand-by-your-husband Hillary Clinton, and the aggressive “succubi” (no pun intended) Monica Lewinsky. The First Lady has deliberately played the submissive/supportive wife because she understands that she will be considered more socially acceptable because of it, whereas Lewinsky has found popularity amongst some feminists who support her for her aggressiveness. Bill Clinton himself however faces a special problem with his ego, having the American-Made title of the “Most Powerful Man In The World” and likely believing that the world really does revolve around his penis, and his true fears are more complex because of the high price some believe that he should have paid for his adultery.

In conclusion, the dominance of men has been implemented by unspoken tradition amongst men through the generations of men writing for other men, such as Aristotle and the many variations of Genesis. This has caused men to create two specific archetypes of a submissive weak woman and an aggressive “Lilith” both of which are the result of men’s fears of a dominant/equal female.

Study of the Goddess: Lilith

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Study of the Goddess: Lilith

An Introduction to Lilith

By Alan Humm
Lilith is the most important of a small collection of named female demons in Jewish legend. Historically, she is actually older than Judaism (at least Judaism as defined as a post-restoration phenomenon). Her earliest appearance is probably in ancient Sumer. Although it is far from certain, she may be a minor character in a prologue to the Epic of Gilgamesh. In the ancient world she also sometimes appears in magical texts, amulets, etc., intended to thwart her activities. She appears once in the Bible (Isaiah), in a context that associates her with demons of the desert, and again in some Dead Sea Scroll passages clearly based on the Isaiah reference.

We see somewhat more of her in late Roman/early medieval Judaism. She appears frequently on prophylactic magical bowls. In this context, she is clearly associated with childbirth (e.g. as a threat), and perhaps also as a succubus against which men need protection. In these bowls she is often countered by invoking the powers of her nemesis angels: Snvi, Snsvi, and Smnglof (we don’t know what vowels to use with these names, but presumably they were intended to be pronounceable). She also shows up in the Talmud, and is clearly linked with the demonic world. Here also, her role as succubus begins to take clear shape.

Somewhere between the eighth and tenth centuries, CE, she makes an appearance in a satirical work entitled the Alphabet of Ben Sira. It is here that she is first given what has become her most famous persona: the first wife of Adam (before Eve). In this story, she is created at more or less the same time as Adam, and, as was Adam, out of the ground. Because of this she tries to assert her equality — an assertion which Adam rejects. Refusing to conform to Adam’s desires, she escapes from Eden, and is subsequently replaced by the more subservient Eve (who has less claim to equality, since she was made out of Adam’s side). Having escaped Eden, Lilith takes on her renowned role as baby-stealer and mother of demons. She also promises to leave babies alone who are protected by amulets with the names of the three angels mentioned above.

While it is true that there was a rabbinic tradition that Adam briefly had another wife before the creation of Eve (Genesis Rabbah), there is a great deal of doubt as to whether Lilith had any connection at all to this first wife of Adam story prior the publication of the Alphabet. The satirical nature of the Alphabet casts further doubt on the authenticity of this Lilith connection. But whatever its origins, the connection between Lilith and the first Eve seems to have struck a chord with Jewish folk imagination and it is now an inexorable part of those traditions. It has been able to function both as a ‘woman’s story’ (in which Lilith is a role model for uppity women), and as a patriarchal story (in which we see the dire consequences of being an uppity woman). As a midrash, it also helps to solve a problem that arises from the fact that Genesis 1 has mankind created “male and female,” but when we get to Genesis 2, Adam seems to be alone and in need of a partner.

Kabbalistic literature is occasionally aware of the Alphabet story, but more frequently not. Here Lilith usually appears as a partner for Samael (=Satan), and as the chief feminine expression of the Left (evil) Emanation. In some passages, she participates in the temptation of Eve/Adam, and, after the expulsion, she serves as succubus to Adam, generating hoards of demons from his seed. She is also the personification of temptation, and is for all intents and purposes identified with the woman Folly from the early chapters of Proverbs. In one story, she actually serves as consort to the Holy One.

She also appears in Christian iconography. Most late medieval and renaissance paintings of the temptation of Adam and Eve have portrayed the serpent as having a woman’s head and often torso as well. This is usually referred to by art historians as ‘Lilith,’ but there is no Jewish story which easily corresponds to the pictorial representations (the one exception is Bacharach, ‘Emeq haMelekh 23c-d, but it is confusing, and problematic at best). I am led to presume that there were Christian versions of the Lilith myth in which the identification between her and the Serpent were made explicit. Unfortunately, none of these versions have survived in either text or known folklore.

Lilith enjoyed something of a revival in literature beginning in the mid 19th century. Usually she represents the feminine dark side (the part that men subliminally fear). Carl Jung made use of her as prime expression of the anima in men (the suppressed feme within), and the best monograph on her still belongs to one of Jung’s disciples (Siegmund Hurwitz).

She has also been embraced by many modern, particularly Jewish, feminists. Based mainly, or entirely, on the Alphabet, she is presented as the proto-feminist, willing to sacrifice even the paradise of Eden as the necessary cost of freedom and equality. Of course, her role as baby-stealer is usually down-played (or assigned to a patriarchal layer of the tradition). Some neo-pagan groups have taken up her cause as well, either accepting her dark nature as part of larger sacred reality, or finding the erotic goddess within after removing the clutter of what they argue are patriarchal and monotheistic condemnations.

Finally, she has a place in vampire lore either as the first and most powerful of the vampires, or at least as their queen. She is sometimes presented as either the daughter or the consort of Dracula. In her role as succubus, she has, of course, particular control of nightmares and erotic dreams. She also rules a horde of other succuba and incubi.

Today On Mother’s Day, We Celebrate The Pagan Mother Goddesses

Asasa Ya (Ashanti)

This earth mother goddess prepares to bring forth new life in the spring, and the Ashanti people honor her at the festival of Durbar, alongside Nyame, the sky god who brings rain to the fields.

 

Asase Ya (or Asase YaaAsaase YaaAsaase Afua; is the Earth goddess of fertility of the Ashanti people ethnic groupof Ashanti City-State of Ghana. She is also known as Mother Earth or Aberewaa.

Asase Yaa is the wife of Nyame the Sky deity, who created the universe. Asase Yaa gave birth to the two children, Bea and Tano. Bea is also named Bia.

Asase Yaa is also the mother of Anansi, the trickster, and divine stepmother of the sacred high chiefs.

Asase Yaa is very powerful, though no temples are dedicated to her, instead she is worshipped in the agricultural fields of Ashanti City-State.

Asase Yaa’s favoured Ashanti people are occupationally Ashanti workers in the agricultural fields and planet Jupiter is her symbol.

Asase Yaa Worship

The Ashanti people of Ashanti City-State regard Asase Ya as Mother Earth, the earth goddess of fertility, the upholder of truth, and the creator Goddess who comes to fetch Ashanti people’s souls to the otherworld (Planet Jupiter) at the time of death.  She is credited as being the nurturer of the earth and is considered to provide sustenance for all. When a member of the Ashanti people ethnic group wants to prove his (or her) credibility, he (or her) touches his (or her) lips to the soil of Ashanti City-State and recites the Asase Ya Prayer-Poem. Another tradition holds that because Thursday is reserved as Asase Ya’s day, the Ashanti people generally abstain from tilling the land of Ashanti City-State on that day.

Prayer Poem To Asase Ya
First stanza
Old Woman Earth ….
She who Lent the Rights..
Of Cultivation to the Living ….

My Prayer to You, of Thanksgiving.

Second stanza
“Earth, When I am about to Die,
I Lean on you.
Earth, While I am Alive,

I Depend on You”.

Third stanza
Lilacs in your Hair .. Ever Present Mother
In each Grain of Sand is thy Story.
Fourth stanza
Giver of Nkwagye the Salvation of Life
And Nkwa to live Life without Strife

To your Everlasting Glory.

Fifth stanza
That Man is Tame is thy Domain…
Giver of Law and Ethics

Scales of Justice.

Sixth stanza
With Each Field I till..
With Thee I am Still
And when Death comes to Claim..
I become One with thy Fame

Bringing Life to the Land with my Will.

Seventh stanza
The Fertile Fields and the Woman’s Yield
All Have felt thy Hand
Hail and Thanks Be Great Mother

For your Back upon which we Stand.

Eight stanza
Upholder of Truth, our Lady Fair
To kiss the dust of thy Breast…

Is proof of the Tale.

Ninth stanza
Hail Great Mother
Whose Love is in the Earth
Thy gifts to your Children

Are an Unending source of Mirth.

Tenth stanza
A Smile to the Lips with a Song in the Heart
Praises we Sing, when the Plantings to Start.
Eleventh stanza
Hail bringer of Life, bringer of Law and Order
Hail Old Mother Earth, your Children
Have Crossed the Border

Into the Lands of Sweetness and Heart.

Twelfth stanza
Asase Yaa, Aberewa, Asase Efua
Names without End do we Call You
Blessed Be, Asase Yaa

To Be Cherished Forever, We Adore You.

The Abosom in the Americas (Jamaica)

Worship of the Asase Ya goddess was transported via the transatlantic slave trade and was documented to had been acknowledged by enslaved Akan or Coromantee living in Jamaica. Jamaican slave owners did not believe in Christianity for the Coromantee and left them to their own beliefs. Hence an Ashanti spiritual system was dominant on the plantation. According to Jamaican historian and slave owner Edward Long, creole descendants of the Ashanti coupled with other newly arrived Coromantee joined in observation and worship of the Ashanti goddess Asase Yaa (the English people recorded erroneously as ‘Assarci’). They showed their worship by pouring libations and offering up harvested foods. Other Ashanti Abosom were also reported to be worshipped. This was the only deity spiritual system on the island, as other deities identities in the 18th century was obliterated because of the large population of enslaved Coromantee in Jamaica, according to Edward Long and other historians who observed their slaves.

 

Source

Wikipedia