The World of Goddesses

THE WORLD OF GODDESSES

 

APHRODITE – Greek; Goddess of passion, sexual love. Aphrodite will assist you in pulling loving energy toward yourself.

 

ARADIA – Italian; Queen of the Witches, daughter of Diana. Aradia is an extremely powerful entity and a protectress of Witches in general.

ARIANRHOD: Welsh; Goddess of the stars and reincarnation. Call on Arianrhod to help with past life memories and difficulties as well as for contacting the Star People.

ARTEMIS: Greek; Goddess of the Moon.

ASTARTE: Greek; Fertility Goddess. Whether you wish to bear children or have a magnificent garden, Astarte will assist in your desire.

ATHENA: Greek; Warrior Goddess and Protectress. Someone giving you a rough time at work? Call on Athena to help you.

 

BAST: Egyptian; Goddess of Protection and Cats. Bast is great for vehicle travel as well as walking down a dark alley. Call on her essence in the form of a giant panther to see you through to your destination.

BRIGID: Celtic; Warrior Goddess and Protectress. Brigid is also a “Triple Goddess”. She is strong and wise. Call on her to help protect your children in a tough situation.

 

CERES: Roman; Goddess of the Harvest.

CERRIDWEN: Welsh; Moon and Harvest Goddess. Also associated with the Dark Mother aspect of the Crone.

DEMETER: Greek; Earth Mother archetype. Excellent Goddess where birthing or small children are involved.

DIANA: Roman; Moon Goddess and Goddess of the Hunt. Diana is many faceted. She is a seductress (as she enchanted her brother Lucifer to beget Aradia in the form of a cat) as well as a mother figure for Witches.

DRYADS: Greek; feminine spirits of the trees.

FLORA: Roman; Goddess of Spring and Birth. For beautiful flowers, babies and all bounties of Mother Earth.

FORTUNA: Roman; Goddess of Fate.

FREYA: Scandinavian; Moon Goddess and wife/lover of Odin. Also cammander of the
Valkryies.

HATHOR: Egyptian; Protectress of women in business. A Hathor’s Mirror is very important for the Witch. Hathor was cunning as well as beautiful.

HECATE: Greek; Moon Goddess as in Crone or Dark Mother.

HERA: Greek; Goddess of Marriage. If handfasting or some type of commitment is the issure, Hera is the Goddess to seek. Just remember that she has a vindictive side.

HESTIA: Greek; Goddess of Home and Hearth. Building a house, remodeling, or apartment hunting. Safety in the home and family unit.

INANNA: Sumarian; Goddess representation of the Mother.

ISIS: Egyptian; represents the complete Goddess or the Triple Goddess connotation in one being.

KALI: Hindu; Creative/Destructive Goddess. Protectress of abused women. Kali Ma should be called if a woman is in fear of physical danger. Her power is truly awesome.

LILITH: Hebrew; Adam’s first wife and said to be turned into a demoness, however, if you have ever read any of Zacharia Sitchin’s work, you may change your mind. In my opinion, Lilith was a Star woman bred with Adam. This would make her a Goddess of Higher Intelligence or a representation of the Star People.

MAAT: Egyptian; Goddess of Justice and Diving Order. Maat is the true balance of any situation. She plays no favorites and will dispense justice to all parties involved. Be sure your own slate is clean in the situation before you call her.

MORGAN: Celtic; Goddess of Water and Magick. Morgan was said to be married to Merlin. It was from him she learned her magick. She was also doubled with The Lady Of The Lake.

MUSES: Greek; Goddesses of Inspiration who vary in number depending upon the pantheon used.

NEPHTYS: Egyptian; Goddess of Surprises, Sisters and Midwives.

NORAS: Celtic; the three sisters of the Wyrd. Responsible for weaving fate – past, present and future.

NUIT: Egyptian; Sky Mother. Often seen depicted in circular fashion cradling the stars.

PERSEPHONE: Greek; Goddess of the Underworld as well as Harvest. Daughter of Demeter.

SELENE: Greek; Goddess of the Moon and Solutions. Appeal to Selene to bring a logical answer to any problem.

 

VALKYRIES: Scandinavian; women warriors who carried the souls of the men slain in a battle to heaven.

VENUS: Roman; Goddess of Love and Romance.

VESTA: Roman; Goddess of Fire.

 

 

 

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Norse Goddesses

NORSE GODDESSES

 

Amma
A great mother in the Norse creation story, Amma (“grandmother”) gave birth to the race of Churls, who conducted business and learned trades.

 

Atla
Atla is a water goddess and daughter of Ran.

 

Edda
Edda means great grandmother, and the term eddas (“tales of great grandmother”) is the word used to describe the great stories in Scandinavian mythology. The dwarfish Edda was the first to create offspring with her husband Ai. She gave birth to the Thralls, the ones “enthralled” to service as food producers.

 

Eir
A companion of Frigg, Eir is the goddess of healing. She taught her art and the secret powers of herbs only to women, the only physicians in ancient Scandinavia.

 

Frigg
As one of the foremost goddesses in Norse mythology, Frigg is the patroness of marriage and motherhood. She assists women in labor and is associated with the naming of children. Frigg has the reputation of knowing everyone’s destiny, but never reveals it. Being the wife of the god Odin, she was known as the Queen of the Heavens. She is the central deity in Asgard where her hall, Fensalir (“water halls”) is located.

 

Freyja
Freyja is the goddess of beauty, love and fertility, and the main deity of the Vanir. She loves music, spring and flowers, and spends much time with the fey. She is seen wearing a cloak of bird feathers, which allows the wearer to change into a falcon and a beautiful necklace of the Brisings given to her by dwarves, which the Norse still refer to as the Milky Way. Freyja is also a mediator between peace and violence, and the bride of fallen heroes. Riding her chariot pulled by cats through battlefields, she picks up half of the dead corpses, leaves the other half for Odin, and takes their souls to her hall, Sessrumnir,
in Asgard.

 

Fulla
Fulla is Frigg’s handmaiden and messenger. Prayers are addressed to her forintercession with Frigg, and guidance in service.

 

Gefion
All women that die unmarried go to Gefion the goddess of virgins. She is also the bringer of good luck and prosperity. It is traditionally claimed that she is the creator of the Island of Zealand.

 

Gerd
A Scandinavian goddess of light, Gerd lives in a house ringed by fire and shoots flames from her hands. She is the most beautiful of creatures and the daughter of a female giant and a mortal man. The fertility god Frey became infatuated with Gerd and unsuccessfully courted her until he won her over with a spell in runes.

 

Hel
Hel is the goddess of death and resides in her hall, Elvidnir (misery) in the underworld of Niflheim. She is described as being half white and half black. She is responsible for plagues, sickness and catastrophes.

 

Hnossa
The youthful goddess of infatuation, Hnossa is the daughter of Freya. Her name means “jewel.”

 

Idun
Idun is the goddess of eternal youth and the keeper of the golden apples the Norse gods eat to remain young.

 

Imd
Imd is a Scandinavian water goddess and the daughter of Ran.

 

Lufn
The goddess of forbidden love, Lofn encourages illicit unions.

 

Modgud
The servant of Hel, Modgud is the maiden that stands guard on a gold-paved bridge on a path leading to the underworld.

 

Mothir
A mother in the Norse creation myth, Mothir gave birth to the Jarls or leaders, the ones who hunted, fought, and attended school.

 

Norns
The goddesses of the destinies of both gods and men are the three sisters called Urd (fate), Verdandi (necessity) and Skuld (being).

 

Nott
The goddess of night, Nott, is the mother of the earth, Jord, and of the day as well. She rides forth each evening on her horse Frostymane, from whose foaming mouth the dew falls.

 

Ran
Ran is goddess of the sea and storms, and wife to the sea god Aegir. She collects the drowned in her net and takes them to her hall located at the bottom of the ocean.

 

Saga
Saga, the all-knowing goddess, is an aspect of Frigg in some mythology. She lives at Sinking Beach, a waterfall of cool waves where she offers her guests drinks in golden cups. Her name, which means “omniscience,” is applied to the epic heroic tales.

 

Sif
Sif is the golden haired wife of Thor and the goddess of crops and fertility.

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Sjofn
Sjofn is the goddess to inspire human passions.

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Sjojungru
Sjojungru is a Scandinavian sea goddess.

 

Snotra
Snotra is the Scandinavian goddess of wisdom.

 

Valkyries
Valkyries are beautiful maidens that help Odin choose which brave warriors will be slain on the battlefield so they may then serve Odin. They are also Odins messengers, and when they ride forth on their winged horses, their armor shines and flickers causing the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights).

List of the Most Used Goddess in Witchcraft

Aphrodite: Greek – Goddess of love, consort of Adonis.

Aradia: Italian – Queen and teacher of the Witches. 

Arianrhod: Welsh – Goddess of reincarnation.

Artemis: Greek & Roman – Goddess of the Moon, twin sister of Apollo. 

Astarte: Greek – Goddess of fertility.

Athena: Greek – Warrior Goddess.

Bast: Egyptian – Goddess of cats.

Brigid/Brid/Brigit: Celtic – Goddess of fertility and inspiration. 

Cerridwen: Welsh – Goddess of the Moon and of harvest. 

Cybele: Greek –  Goddess of natural caverns, worshipped on mountain tops. 

Demeter: Greek – Goddess of the fruitfulness of the Earth. 

Diana: Roman – Moon Goddess and Goddess of the hunt. 

Dryads, The: Greek – Female tree spirits.

Flora: Roman – Goddess of springtime.

Fortuna: Roman – Goddess of fate.

Freya: Scandinavian – Moon Goddess. Consort of Odin and Chief of The Valkyries.

Hathor: Egyptian – Sky Goddess, Protector of women.

Hecate: Greek – Moon Goddess, Goddess of the underworld, and Goddess of Magick. 

Hera: Greek – Goddess of marriage. Consort of Zeus.

Hestia: Greek – Goddess of hearth and home.

Inanna: Sumerian – Queen of Heaven.

Isis: Egyptian –  The triple Goddess (Maid, Mother, Crone). 

Kali: Hindu – Goddess of destruction and creation. Often called Kali-Ma (“the Back Mother”). Consort of Shiva.

Ma’at/Mayet: Egyptian – Goddess of justice, truth and the law.

Morhan: Celtic – Goddess of Water and Magick. 

Muses, The: Greek – Goddesses of inspiration and memory.

Nephthys: Egyptian – Goddess of Midwives. 

Norns, The: Celtic – Guardians of the sacred tree Yggdrasil. 

Nut: Egyptian – Sky Goddess. 

Persephone: Greek – Goddess of the underworld. 

Selene: Greek – Goddess of the Moon, 

Valkyries, The: Scandinavian – Women warriors who brought the souls of those slain in Valhala.

Venus: Roman – Goddess of love.

Vesta: Roman – Goddess of fire, both domestic and ritual.

Dictionary of the Gods

Dictionary of the Gods

 

Egyptian:

AAH: The Moon God. I notice that the moon is male here just as it is in
Sumer and Babylon. Aah is egyptian for Moon.

 

AMON-RE: This is Re as the “Invisible God”. He seems to be all of the
Egptian Gods combined into one unified god-head, and was not outwardly
worshipped. It simply shows that the Egyptians knew that All was part of one
underlying Unity.

 

AMMUT: The Eater of the Dead. This is the monster that sits within the
judgment chamber and devoures those who do not pass the trial. He has the head
of a crocodile, the forebody of a leapord, and the hindquarters of a
hippopotamus.

 

ANUBIS: This jackle-headed god is the one who comes to you at death and
guides you through the darkness to the judgment chamber. Messenger of the gods.
Son of Osiris and Nephthys. Guardian of the tombs.

 

ANUKIS: Wife of Khnum.

 

APIS BULL, THE: God of lust and desire for life.

 

APOPHIS (ZET): This myth is not really a creation myth, but the energies it
involves are the same. It resembles the stories of Lotan, Zu, Asag, and
Leviathan. Actually, it is the idea of the day (Re) defeating the night
(Typhon). It is also the new year defeating the old. In either case, it is an
“Order from Chaos” type story. Typhon is a serpent god who is an enemy of Re.
Re sends the gods to slay him. They are, of course, successful. In one version
of the myth, Seth himsself is the one to kill Apophis each day (which is strange
as Seth and Apophis seem to be the same basic god-form: see Seth).

 

AROUERIS (Horus the Elder): See Horus the Elder.

 

ATEN (Amon-Re-Harakhti): This God was worshipped by Akhenaten as the “One
True God”. He had only a brief worship; Akhenaten was not liked for his
break from the Atum-Re (see below) cult. However, it would seem that Moses was
affected by Akhenaten’s ideas as he (Moses) studied the Egyptian mysteries. It
seems Aten is the forerunner of Yahweh. Aten is Egyptian for Sun.

 

ATUM-RE: This is Re as he emerged out of the Nun (Primordial Sea), appointed
the Ogdoad (see below) to their proper places in the Heavens, and
single-handedly created all in existance. Also, Re is told to have seperated
the lovers Geb and Nuit from their lovemaking, setting Nuit as the Sky and Geb
as the Earth.

 

AURAMOOUTH: Daughter of Nuit. Sky-goddess of Water.

 

BAST: A cat Goddess, and a cat-headed deity. Goddess of occultism and
magick.

 

GEB: This is the Earth God, with Nuit as the Sky Goddess. Thier union
brought forth Isis and Osiris, Seth and Nephthys, and Horus the Elder.

 

HAPI: God of the Nile, and a protection deity of the North, and the small
viscerae of the deceased. Son of Horus (see Mestha, Tuamautef, and Qubhsennuf).

 

HATHOR: This Goddess is a Love/War (Passion) Goddess. She is the Eye of Re
(i.e the Sun itself) whome, when angry, even the Gods fear. She can take the
form of a Cow or Cat. She also comes to new-born children, in the form of Seven
Women, to tell them their destinies.

 

HORUS THE ELDER (Aroueris): Son of Geb and Nuit, He is a Cosmic Being who’s
right eye is the Sun and who’s left eye is the Moon. If Seth was origonally the
New Moon (see Seth), then the story of Seth removing Horus’ eye may well be a
story of a solar eclipse.

 

HORUS THE YOUNGER (Heru): The hawk-headed god is the son of Isis and the
newly resurected Osiris. He removed Seth from the Throne of Egypt and ruled as
successor to his father. He is also the one who leads the soul before Osiris
upon passing the Weighing of the Heart. In the battle against Seth, Horus lost
an eye and later regained it. This gives us the symbol of the Eye of Horus (see
Horus the Elder).

 

HU: He and his partner Sia are two aspects of the Creative Power of the Gods.

 

ISIS (Au-Seth): Wife/sister of Osiris. Goddess of Magick and Healing. She
is also much like Ishtar/Innana. (See Osiris). The Egyptian Goddess-force.

 

KHNUM: Lord of barley and wheat, fruit and flowers, birds, fish, and all
animals. Created Man on a potters wheel. He lives on the first mound of Earth
that rose from the Nun, where the Source of the Nile lies, in a Temple called
“Joy of Life”. It is He who opens the flood-gates each year.

 

KHONSU: Son of Amon and Mut.

 

MAAT: Goddess of Truth and Justice. Wife of Thoth. She existed before the
birth of the gods. (See Hokhmah of the Hebrews). Her symbol is the feather
that can be seen on the Judgment Scale.

 

MESTHA: A god of Protection of the South, and the stomach and large
intestines of the deceased. Son of Horus (see Hapi, Tuamautef, and Qebhsennuf).

 

MIN: A fertility God.

 

MUT: Amon’s wife. Keep in mind that Amon was fused with Re, and was not the
same Deity to begin with.

 

NEITH: Sky goddess of War and Fire.

 

NEKHBET: Symbolised as a Vulture. Guardian of Upper Egypt (See Ua-Zit).

 

NEPHTHYS: Goddess of women. Wife of Seth, and the Dark Twin of Isis. Sister
of Osiris. She is also the mother of Anubis.

 

NUIT: Goddes of Sky and sister/wife of Geb. (See Geb).

 

NUN: Nun is listed with the Ogdoad. However, I wish to single him out here
as it is from him the name of the Primordial Waters was taken. He is the
oldest of the Gods.

 

OGDOAD, THE: This myth is from the mythos where Atum-Re is the Creator God.
There were eight Ogdoad, four frogs and four snakes, who were the Primordial
Waters- the Nun. Atum-Re arose from the Nun, and appointed the Ogdoad to their
proper places in the Heavens (thus, brought order from chaos). Their names are:
Nun and his consort Naunet, Kuk and Kuaket, Huh and Huahet, and Amon and
Amaunet.

 

OSIRIS (Au-Saur): Osiris was eventually merged with Re and seems to be nearly
the same deity in many aspects (forming a kind of Divine Loop). He is a God
Force with Isis as his Goddess Force. Osiris was probably origonally a
fertility god (like Tammuz), but was elevated when associated with Re.
Mythologically, he was origonally a Pharoah who brough civilzation to the
people. He is the Egyptian God-force. As the lord of the Underworld, he is
Khent-Amenti. (His real name is Au Sar: “exceeding king”).

 

PTAH: This god is a parallel myth to the Atum-Re mythos (see above). Ptah is
equated with the Nun (the Egyptian Primordial Waters). In this mythos, Ptah
creates Atum-Re and all the other gods, as well as all in existance. Also,
patron god of Architechs.

 

QEBHSENNUF: A god of Protection of the West, and the liver and gall-bladder
of the deceased. Son of Horus (see Mestha, Hapi, and Tuamautef).

 

RE: This is the falcon-headed sun god who is born each morning, grows old by
the end of the day, and enters the land of the dead each night. He is
Khephira in the morning, Re at midday, and Atum at night.

 

SATIS: Daughter of Khnum.

 

SHU: The god of Air and the husband/brother of Tephnuit. Atum-Re fertilized
himself and brought this god, and his wife into existance. Shu and Tephnuit’s
union brought forth Geb and Nuit, the Earth and Sky. Shu was placed, by Re,
between Geb and Nuit and he acts as a support to Nuit herself.

 

SIA: His name means “mind” or “thought”. He is most often paired with Hu,
and together they are two aspects of the Creative Power of the Gods.

 

SELKIS: Scorpion Goddess.

 

SETH: This is the brother of Osiris who destroyed him and dismembered his
body in order to take his throne. He is the Dark Serpent aspect of the God.
God of drought and storm, Lord of the Red Land (the desert). In Sanscrit the
word “sat” means to destroy by hewing into pieces. In the myth of Osiris…it
was Seth who killed Osiris and cut his body into fourteen pieces. But it may be
significant that the word “set” is also defined as “queen” or “princess” in
Egyptian. Au Set, known as Isis by the Greeks, is defined as “exceeding queen”.
In the myth of the combat Seth tries to mate sexually with Horus; this is
usually interpreted as being an insult. But the most primitive identity of the
figure Seth, who is also closely related to the serpent of darkness known as
Zet, and often refered to by classical Greek writers as Typhon, the serpent of
the goddess Gaia, may once have been female, or in some way symbolic of the
Goddess religion, perhaps related to the Goddess Ua Zit, “Great Serpent”, the
cobra Goddess of Neolithic times. Lastly, there is a theory that is pure
speculation on Seth’s battle with Horus. First, we look at Horus as a Solar
Deity. Then, we look at Isis as being the Full Moon (as she is the Goddess of
Magick). Next, if we consider that Seth was origonally female, then it is easy
(or just convenient) to assign him/her to the new moon. Put these together, and
the story of Seth attempting to mate with Horus, and then taking his eye, may
very well be a story of a solar eclipse (see Horus the Elder).

 

SOTHIS: Goddess of the dog-star, and of initiation. Isis.

 

TEPHNUIT: The Goddess of Moisture, wife/sister of Shu. (See Shu).

 

THOTH: This ibis-headed god is the Scribe of the Gods and the God of Wisdom.
He is the Logos, the Word of Re. He was Self-Created before the Creation.
Husband of Maat.

 

TUAMAUTEF: A god of Protection of the East, and the heart and lungs of the
deceased. Son of Horus (see Mestha, Hapi, and Qebhsennuf).

 

TUM: It is also a name of Re, usually seen as Atum.

 

UA ZIT: “Great Serpent” Cobra Goddess, guardian of Lower Egypt (see
Nekhbet). (Also see Seth for an interesting note).

 

ZET: See Apophis.

 

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Canaanite:

ANATH: This was a Love and War Goddess, the Venus star. She is also known
for slaying the enimies of her brother Baal much in the same way Hathor
slaughtered much of mankind (Anath is heavily related to Hathor). After the
Defeat of Mavet and Yam, a feast was thrown for Baal. Anath locked everyone
inside, and proceeded to slay everyone (as they had all been fickle toward Baal
with both Mavet and Yam, as well as Ashtar). Baal stopped her and conveinced
her that a reign of peace is what was needed. She also has confronted Mavet and
was responsible for Baal’s liberation from the underworld. She is the twin
sister of Marah. Daughter of Asherah. She is also known as Astarte. Astarte
is the Canaanite Name of Ishtar; just as Ishtar is the Babylonian Name of
Inanna. In all cases the Name means, simply, “Goddess”. Astarte itself
translates literally as “She of the Womb”.

 

ARSAY: Daughter of Baal. An underworld Goddess.

 

ASHERAH: The Mother of the Gods, Qodesh (just like El), Queen of Heaven. She
is a goddess of Love and, as Astarte, a War Goddess. She is also an Earth
Goddess. Wife of El. (see El). When the gods decided to entreat Yam to ease
his reign of tyranny, it was Asherah who went to him and even offered herself.
The gods agreed to let her do this, except for Baal who was enraged at the idea.
(See Baal). Asherah is said to have given birth to seventy gods.

 

ASHTAR: Possibly a male version of Ishtar (Astarte in Canaan), the Venus
Star. When Baal was killed by Mavet, Asherah had Ashtar, her son, placed on the
throne. However, Ashtar was not big enough to fill the position, and resigned.
I believe one of his titles is Malik (the King) and other names for him are
Abimilki and Milkilu.

 

ASTARTE: A Name of Anath which means “Goddess”, or literally “She of the
Womb”. Astarte is simply the Canaanite version of the Name Ishtar.

 

BAAL: He is the Canaanite Ruler God (like Marduk). Baal and Yam-Nahar
origonally competed for kingship of the gods. The matter was brought before El,
who decided in favour of Yam. Yam then proceeded with a reign of tyranny over
the gods, and none of them felt they had the power to defeat Yam. So, they sent
Asherah to entreat him to lossen his grip. Asherah even offered herself to Yam.
Upon hearing this, Baal was enraged, and decided to defeat Yam. Yam got wind of
Baal’s plan and sent messengers to El with the demand that Baal be delivered to
him. El, afraid, agreed. Baal then taunted the gods for their cowardice and
went to face Yam. He had two weapons made, Yagrush (chaser) and Aymur (driver).
He struck Yam on the chest with Yagrush to no avail. Then he struck him on the
forehead with Aymur and fell Yam to the earth. After Yam’s defeat, Baal had a
palace built for himself; closely resembeling the story of Marduk. It also
resembles Marduk’s story in that the Primeval Waters threatened the gods, and
the High God and others were afraid to face them, with the exception of the
soon-to-be Ruler God. The Baal epic then continues to describe his fight
against Mavet. Baal is also a Storm God like Marduk, and a fertility god like
Tammuz. Dagon is his father. Baal is the Canaanite God-force (the goddess
force seems to be split between Anath and Asherah). Baal’s proper name is
Hadad, relating to his storm-god aspect. Baal is really a title, meaning
“Lord”.

 

DAGON: A vegitation God (especially corn). Father of Baal.

 

EL: The Father of the Gods, the Creator of Created Things, The Kindly, Kodesh.
Asherah is his wife. He wears bull horns on his helmet.

 

GAPEN: A messenger of Baal. His name either means Vine or Field. Probably
the former.

 

HADAD: See Baal.

 

HIRIBI: God of Summer.

 

HAURON: A God that is related to Ninurta of Mesopotamia and Horus of Egypt.

 

KOSHAROTH, THE: The Wise Goddesses. These may be somewhat along the lines of
the Greek Graces, or the Seven Hathors of Egypt. As we see them, they are
called to set up a Wedding. They are also sometimes symbolized as sparrows,
which indicated fertility. They were Goddesses of childbirth.

 

KOSHAR U KHASIS: Craftsman of the Gods. Built the palaces of both Yam-Nahir
and Baal. He also fashioned the two clubs that Baal used to defeat Yam.

 

KOSHARTU: Wife of Koshar.

 

LEVIATHAN: Another Name for Lotan or Tannin. See Lotan.

 

LOTAN: This may be another story like Apophis, Zu, Asag, and Leviathan where
it is not an actual creation story, but still involves the same energies. On
the other hand, it may be some kind of alternate Creation story where Lotan
replaces Yam-Nahar. Lotan is a seven headed serpent defeated by Baal with the
help of Mavet. Anath also claims a role in the defeat of the Serpent. Also
known as Tannin or Leviathan.

 

MARAH: Merciful Goddess of the Waters. Twin sister of Anath. Daughter of
Asherah.

 

MAVET: God of Death and Sterility. His name means Death. A son of El.
After Baal defeated Yam, he then sent a message to Mavet demanding that he keep
his domain in the underworld where he belonged. Mavet was enraged by this and
sent a threatening message to Baal, who was afraid and attempted to flatter his
way out of it. This, however, was to no avail and Baal was forced to face
Mavet. Mavet defeated him and held him in the underworld until Anath tracked
him (Mavet) down and defeated him herself. Mavet did not actually die, as he
and Baal had to face off once more seven years later. Neither defeated the
other, but Mavet did give in (at the command of Shapash) and proclaimed Baal the
King of the Gods.

 

NIKKAL: Consort of Yarikh. (S = Ningal). Goddess of the fruits of the Earth.
Daughter of Hiribi.

 

PIDRAY: Girl of Light. A daughter or consort of Baal.

 

QADISH-U-AMRAR: The two messengers of Asherah fused into one God.

 

RAHMAYA: A goddess impregnated, along with Asherah, by El. The Goddesses
then gave birth to the twin gods Shahar and Shalem, though I don’t know who gave
birth to whom.

 

RESHEPH: Probably a War God. Lord of the Arrow. Has gazel horns on his
helmet. He destroys men in mass by war and plague. He is the porter of the sun
Goddess Shepesh (this seems to resemble Khamael of the Hebrews). He is also
called Mekal (Annialator). Related to Nergal of Mesopotamia.

 

SHAHAR: God of dawn. Either a son of Asherah, or of Rohmaya.

 

SHALEM: God of Dusk. The Contemplation of Day. Either a son of Asherah, or
of Rohmaya.

 

SHAPASH: Sun Goddess. The Torch of the Gods.

 

SIN: Moon God.

 

TALLAY: Girl of Rain. A daughter or consort of Baal.

 

TANNIN: Another Name for Leviathan or Lotan. See Lotan.

 

UGAR: A messenger of Baal. His name either means Vine or Field, probably the
latter.

 

YAHWEH: Yahweh is added here because there was a short time in which He was
simply part of the Canaanite pantheon. When the Khabiru moved into Isra-El,
their young Volcano God, known as Yahweh (or “Everflowing”), was accepted as a
Son of El. Later, Yahweh was equated with El, and Asherah became His wife. H.

 

YAM-NAHAR: Yam-Nahar is the Primordial Waters that were defeated by Baal (see
Baal and Asherah). His name means Sea-River. He was originally given kingship
by El, and ruled as a tyrant over the Gods. Baal finally rose up against him.

 

YARIKH: Moon God.

 

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

 

Babylonian: “S” indicates a parallel in Sumer.

 

ADAD: A storm, or weather, god. (See Hadad of Canaan).

 

ADAR: See Ninib

 

ANSHAR: “Whole Heaven” He and his wife, Kishar, are the children of Lamu and
Lahamu. They are said to be the circular Horizons of the sky and earth. Their
union brought forth Ea and Anu. (See Kishar)

 

ANU: This was the Sky God. S=An

 

ANUNNAKI, THE: The 50 great gods who deside the destiny of man. S.

 

ANZU: Deamon who stole the Tablets of Destiny. See Ninurta.

 

APSU: Tiamat’s first husband, symbolising the Sweet Waters (rivers).
Origonally, he and Tiamat (The Salt Waters of the Sea) were intermingled as one,
until he was killed by Ea for plotting against the younger gods.

 

ASUSHUNAMIR: Sexless creature created by Ea to descend into the Underworld
and charm Ereshkigal into reviving Ishtar with the Waters of Life. He is
Successful. S= Kurgarru, and Kalaturru.

 

EA (Ia): The Babylonian god of Wisdom and Magick, as well as Earth and Water.
Also called Nudimmud. Also called Enki. Father of Marduk. Atfter he killed
Apsu, he built his palace in the Sweet Waters, and called it Apsu. S=Enki (only
he was a ruler god and Water God. Ki was the Earth Goddess). In Babylon, Ea
replaces the works of Enlil. H= Yah.

 

ENLIL: Lord Wind or Lord Air, a storm God. God of Air. S.

 

ENKI: See Ea.

 

ERESHKIGAL: Queen of the Underworld. S.

 

ERRA: Also called Nergal. A god of pestilence and war. Husband of
Ereshkigal and King of the Underworld. See Nergal.

 

GAD: A god of luck and fortune related to the sign of Aries. (There most
definately must be link between this god and the Hebrew tribe of Gad, also
related to Aries).

 

GIBIL: A fire god invoked, with two others, against black magick. (See Gira
and Nusku)

 

GIRA: A fire god invoked, with two others, against black magick. (See Gibil
and Nusku)

 

ISHTAR: Wife of Tammuz, Queen of Heavaen. (see Tammuz). She is a Goddess of
Love and War. The Venus Star. The Babylonian Goddess-force. S= Inanna.

 

KI: Earth Goddess, sister/wife of An. Later, mother/wife of Enlil. S.

 

KISHAR: “Whole Earth” Wife/sister of Anshar. (See Anshar)

.

LAMU: He and his wife Lahamu are said to be the silt created by the junction
of the primeval Waters, the rivers and sea. They are the Children of Apsu and
Tiamat. (see Lahamu).

 

LAHAMU: Wife/sister of Lamu. (See Lamu).

 

LAMASHTU: Demoness who steals babies from their mothers. A probable source
for much of the Hebrew Lilith.

 

MARDUK: Also known as Bel (The Lord). The son of Ea who defeated Tiamat
(because the other gods were afraid to face her), thus destroying Chaos and
reigning in Order. He was appointed High God because of this, and he took the
Tablets of Destiny from Qingu. He is the Hero of the Gods, and also a storm
deity. The story of Marduk is very similar to Baal. Marduk had no real place
among the gods until he agreed to defeat Tiamat. Baal, likewise, had no place
among the gods until he defeated Yam, and then he had a palace built for
himself. S=Nunurta (not a direct relation, but this is probably where Marduk
came from). Marduk and his son, Nabu, are, in part, solar deities much like
Osiris and Seth. For an explanation, see Nabu. Marduk is related to Jupiter,
therefore making him a Wandering God.

 

MUMMU: This is Apsu’s vizier, who was captured by Ea. He symbolised mist and
fog. This also happens to be a Name of Marduk.

 

NABU: Son of Marduk. God of Scribal Art and Wisdom. Marduk is the Lord of
the Waxing Year, and his son is the Lord of the Waning Year. I don’t know of
any mythology dealing with a defeat of Marduk, especially by Nabu. However,
there is a ritual involving both of them that embodies the Solar Cycle. At
Midsummer (Litha), two minor Goddesses (otherwise known as th hairdressers of
Marduk’s wife, Sarpanitum[?] ) would go in solomn procession from the Temple of
Marduk (The Dayhouse) to the Temple of Nabu (The Nighthouse). At Midwinter
(Yule), the two Goddesses would return to the Dayhouse. He is associated with
Mercury and is said to be the god of Science, and the guardian of the gods. He
supposedly appears as an old man, long of beard, with a crown of one hundred
horns, and a long robe. He is one of the Wandering Gods.

 

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

 

Sumerian:

 

ABU: King of plants (see the Eight children of Ki).

 

AN: An was the Sky or Heaven God. He and his wife Ki are the children of
Nammu. An is the creator of the Anunnaki.

 

ANUNNAKI, THE: These are the gods created by An, and appointed their
positions by Enki. Possibly they are children of An and Ki. There are also the
Seven Anunnaki who are the dreaded judges of the underworld. I believe there
are supposed to be 50 of them in all. The Anunnaki, and some others who may or
may not be Anunnaki, are marked with an “A”. A question mark, or course,
indicates questionable choices.

 

ASAG (KUR): Dragon of the Abyss (or Abzu). Daemon of Disease. Asag was not
seperated like Tiamat. Instead, he lived within the Abyss *after* creation and
held back the Primordial Waters from consuming the Earth. At one point, he
kidnapped Ereshkigal, and Enlil went to rescue her. The outcome of the battle
is not known. However, we do know that Enlil is the Lord of the Waters, and
that he built his home on the Sea. On the other hand, Ereshkigal herself, to
this day, is the Queen of the Underworld, as if she remained there. In any
case, Asag was not killed for, later, another god decided to destroy him for
reasons unknown. This was Ninurta (possibly a model for Marduk). (See
Ninurta). The story of Ninurta and Asag seem to parallel the myths of Typhon,
Lotan, Zu, and Leviathan. Note: Asag can be thought of as the Abyss itself.
Kur is the name of the Underworld, as well as a name for this Serpent. Perhaps
he is also an Anunnaki, but I doubt it.

 

ASHNAN: The grain goddess. She was created (along with Lahar) by Enlil and
Enki so that the Anunnunki would have food to eat and cloths to wear. However,
the two gods became drunk and could not perform their duties: it was to remedy
this that Man was created. (See Lahar).

 

BAU: Wife of NInurta (or Ningirsu).

 

DAZIMUA: Married Ningishzida (see the Eight children of Ki).

 

DUMUZI: The Sumerian God-force. A sheperd god and fertility god. Husband of
Inanna. (see Inanna). It seems he is an Anunnaki.

 

EIGHT CHILDREN OF KI, THE: (See Abu, Nintul, Ninsutu, Ninkasi, Nazi, Dazimua,
Ninti, Enshagag.) The Goddess Uttu, in the paradise of Dilmun, had born 8
plants from her union with Enki. He then proceeded to eat them all. Ki cursed
him for this and he became ill. He convinced her to remove her curse, and she
created these eight gods of healing, one for each pain he was having, to cure
him. There is a punning relation between the names of the gods and the names of
the body parts they healed.

 

EMESH: Summer. He and his brother Enten were created by Enlil. (See Enten).

 

ENBILULU: God in charge of the Tigris and Euphrates.

 

ENKI: This was the Water God, and also a lesser ruler under Enlil. It seems
Enlil created the world, and Enki was left to run it. Enlil simply resided in
his palace and issued blessings. Enki, with Ki, created Man. He is also a God
of Wisdom. Also, Enki is just a title. His name is Ea. It is not sure whoes
son he is. Also, there was one point when he became jealous of Enlil’s
superiority over him ,so he took it out on man through the “confusion of
tounges”.

 

ENKIMDU: God in charge of farm tools. He was origonally favoured by Inanna
for a husband. However, Dumuzi threatened him, and he gave Inanna up.

 

ENLIL: This was the Air God, and the supreme ruler and creator, son of An and
Ki. See Enki. Enlil also took Ki as his wife. God of wisdom and magick.
His name means Lord of the Winds, so he is also a Storm God.

 

ENSHAGAG: Lord of the Paradise City of Dilmun (see the eight children of Ki).

 

ENTEN: Winter. He and his brother Emesh were created by Enlil so that the
Earth could produce food, animals, etc… (See Emesh).

 

ERESHKIGAL: Queen of the underworld (Kur), of death, and enemy of Inanna.
All underwold deities are called Chthonic Deities. She is said to be the sister
of Inanna, making her the daughter of Nanna. She is defineitly not one of the
Seven Chthonic Anunnaki, yet she is still an Anunnaki. Most likely she is the
Destructive Forces of Saturn as Inanna is Venus.

 

GALAS, THE: The demons of the underworld.

 

GESHTINANNA: Dumuzi’s sister. Divine poetress, singer, and interpreter of
dreams.

 

GILGAMESH: A human hero who was later deified. As a psudo-god, he resides in
the underworld and organizes it, sending souls to their proper places. He was
origonally a Priest-King.

 

GUGALANNA: This god is mentioned in the myth of the Descent of Inanna. When
Neti asks why she has come, Inanna says something about Lord Gugalnna, the
husband of Ereshkigal. The text reads: “My older sister, Ereshkigal, Because
her husband, the Lord Gugalanna, had been killed to witness the funeral rites
… so be it!”

 

HAIA: Nidaba’s or Nanshe’s husband.

 

IGIGI, THE: It seems that these were very early deities who guide and control
every aspect of nature. Either they were not given much promenance later, or
they simply were never given much attention. Chances are that these are Angels
were the gods are Archangels.

 

INANNA: The Summerian Goddess-force. Inanna is the daughter of the moon,
sister of the sun, and the planet Venus. She was a War Goddess and a Love
Goddess. (see Dumuzi). Note on the myth of her descent: the myth of Enlil and
Ninlil’s descent into the underwold may combined to Inanna’s descent. If it is,
then we have a full story of the cycle of the god and goddess’ descent.

 

ISHKUR: God in charge of rain and winds

 

ISIMUD: Messenger of Enki. Has two faces.

 

KALATURRU: Sexless created created by Enki and given the Food and Water of
Life to revive Inanna in the underworld. He was created with another like it:
Kurgarru. (see Kurgarru).

 

KI: She is the Earth Goddess. Also known as Ninhursag, Nintu, or Ninma.
First, she was the wife/sister of An. After she was seperated from him by their
son Enlil…”An carried off Heaven, and Enlil carried off Earth. In this she
became the mother/wife of Enlil.

 

KULLA: God in charge of building tools and bricks.

 

KUR: The Underworld. (See Asag).

 

KURGARRU: Sexless creature created by Enki and given the Food and Water of
Life to revive Innana in the underworld. He was created with another like it:
Kalaturru. (see Kalaturru).

 

LAHAR: The Cattle God. He and Ashnan were created (by Enlil and Enki) so the
Anunnaki would have food to eat and clothes to wear. (See Ashnan).

 

LILITH: A succubis. She is known from a story where she made her home in the
trunk of Inanna’s Sacred Tree. Anzu made his home in the branches, and a
serpent had made it’s home in the roots. This infestation had caused the Tree
to cease growing. Inanna called upon Gilgamesh to rid the Tree of it’s
occupants. For this, Inanna gave him his famous Bow.

 

MARTU: God of the Semites, or Amurru (Amorites), who were still nomadic,
“barbaric” people at the time of Sumer. They later moved into the land of Sumer
and conquered it….thus arose Babylonia.

 

MESLAMTAEA: One of the three underwold gods. These are not part of the Seven
Dreaded Anunnaki, as they are children of Enlil and Ninlil. (See Ninazu and
????2).

 

MUSHDAMMA: In charge of active building. The Builder of Enlil.

 

NAMMU: The goddess who was the Primordial Waters.

 

NANNA: The Moon god. Father of Utu and Inanna, as well as all the other
planets and stars. Son of Enlil and Ninlil. Enlil had raped Enlil and was
sentenced to the Underworld for His crime. Ninlil, however, loved Him and
followed Him downward. She gave birth to a number of Underworld Gods, but Enlil
was able to remove Her from the underworld before she gave birth to Nanna.
Nanna enters the land of the dead once a month (the New Moon) and judges the
dead with his son Utu. Nanna travels the sky in a boat. He is long of beard
and carries a wand of lapis lazuli in his palm.

 

NANSHE: Goddess in charge of Sea. Goddess of Justice. Judges Mankind on
NewYears, with Nidaba at her side. Also interprets dreams for the gods.

 

NAZI: Married Nindar (see the eight children of Ki).

 

NEDU: See Neti.

 

NERGAL: King of the Underwold, the Ambusher. A god of pestilence. See
Babylonia. He is a god of War and Mars, and therefore a Wandering God.

 

NETI: The gatekeeper of the first of seven gates to the underworld. I wonder
if this is not one of the seven Chthonic Anunnaki… Also called Nedu

.

NIDABA: This goddess was a serpent who was in charge of Temple record
keeping. She is also the Goddess of Writing.

 

NINAZU: One of the three underworld deities. Child of Enlil and Ninlil (from
the begetting of Nanna). (See Meslamtaea, and ????2)

 

NINGAL: Wife of Nanna.

 

NINHURSAG: See Ki.

 

NINISINNA: Goddess in charge of Healing and the art of Medicine.

 

NINKASI: The Goddess who sates the heart; meaning the goddess of intoxicating
drink. (see the Eight Children of Ki).

 

NINKUR: Daughter of Enki and Ninsar. (from the myth of the 8 plants).

 

NINLIL: Enlil’s wife. This Goddess followed Enlil to the underworld after he
had been banished there by the Anunnaki for raping her. At this point she was
pregnant with Nanna (from the rape). In the underworld she gave birth to the
Three Underworld Deities and gave birth to Nanna after she made it back out.

 

NINSAR: Daughter of Enki and Ki. (from the myth of the 8 plants).

 

NINSHUBUR: Inanna’s messenger. Possibly an Anunnaki?

 

NINSIKI: Enki’s wife.

 

NINSUTU: Wife of Ninazu (see the Eight children of Ki).

 

NINTI: Queen of the Month (see the Eight children of Ki). Note: The part of
Enki’s body that was healed by this goddess was his rib. The Sumerian word for
rib is “Ti”. Therefore Nin-ti means “lady of the rib”. On the other hand, the
word “Ti” can also be translated as “to make live”. Therefore, Ninti can also
mean “lady who brings life”. Later, as we all know, Eve was made from Adam’s
rib. The word Eve (heb.- Havah) also means “to make live”. Perhaps, and most
likely, the Hebrew myth of Adam’s rib comes directly from this myth. However,
something was lost in the translation, as Havah has no relation to the Hebrew
word for rib.

 

NINTU: See Ki.

 

NINTUL: Lord of the city Magon (see the Eight children of Ki).

 

NINURTA: Hero of the Gods. God of the Stormy South Winds. Possible
pre-cursur to Marduk. This god owned a weapon that was alive. This weapon,
Sharur, for some reason, convenced Nunurta to destroy Asag. This he did.
However, once Asag was gone, the Waters rose up and engulfed the Earth. Nothing
could grow. So, Nunurta built a stone wall over Asag’s body that stopped and
held back the Waters. Then he took the Waters that had already engulfed the
land and dumped them into the Euphrates. This caused the overflow of the
Euphrates, and the land became abundant. Obviously, this is a myth relating to
the yearly flooding of the river. Ninurta is the son of Enlil and Ki. Also, as
Ningirsu, brother of Nanshe. See Ninurta in Babylon.

 

NIMUG: Goddess given task by Enki at the time he organized the world, but we
don’t know what.

 

NUNGAL: Ereshkigal’s daughter. Judge and protector of the Black Heads.

 

NUSKU: Messenger of Enlil.

 

SUMUGAN: Enki set him as lord of the steppe lands. He may be one of the
Anunnaki, but there is at least one indication that he was created later.

 

UTU: The Sun God. As he travels through the underworld at night (making it
daytime there), he judges the dead. Nanna, as he visits the underworld once
each month (at the New Moon), also judges with his son. He travels the sky in a
chariot drawn by four mythological beasts. He was set by Enki in charge of
cities and bounderies, or (possibly) the entire universe. This would fit as he
is the ruling deity just under Enki. Son of Nanna.

 

UTTU: Daughter of Enki and Ninkur. Goddess of plants and weaving. (from the
myth of the 8 plants).

 

????: “Who loves fish” in charge of marshlands.

 

????2: One of the three underworld deities.. Child of Enlil and Ninlil (from
the begetting of Nanna). (See Ninazu and Meslamtaea).

 

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

 

Hebraic: list does not include most Archangels and Angels. H = a Human.

 

H AARON: Aaron is another of the Seven Sheperds. He balances Moses (Netzach)
as the other Sphere of Prophesy (Hod). Aaron is the brother of Moses.

 

H ABRAHAM: Abraham is one of the Seven Sheperds, and one of the Four Legs of
the Throne in the Chariot. He is the Mild, Watery (Chesed) aspect of the Four
Legs. Abundant Love. Historically, it is said that Abraham may have been an
Amorite who had settled in Sumer before Babylon (also Amorites) conquered it.
He was the first to make a covenatnt with Yahweh (or possibly El of Canaan).

 

H ADAM: This is Adam after Eve was seperated from him. He is the Father of
Mankind. (See Eve).

 

H ADAM KADMON: Adam Kadmon is not Primordial as it relates to “before
creation”. However, his creation marked the Primordial Man. He was both Male
and Female in one being, not yet seperated into Adam and Eve.

 

ADONAI: This means “Lord”. However, the word itself is feminine in nature,
thus making it similar in nature to Elohim: both male and female. Once again,
this name could be thought of as the combined force of Yahweh and Asherah.
This, too, is a very primordial name.

 

ASHERAH: Asherah is listed here and with the Canaanites. She is the same
Goddess, but seems to have been adopted by the Hebrews as the wife of Yahweh and
the Manifest Shekinah. The Hebraic Goddess-force.

 

ASMODEUS: This is the King of the Deamons. There are two types of deamon,
the malevolent kind, and those who have accepted the Torah and live in
indifference (at best) to man. Asmodeus is the king of these latter deamons, as
the malevolent kind have no leader. Samael will often rally the malevolent
deamons himself. Asmodeus is also the husband of the Younger Lilith.

 

AURIEL: The Divine Avenger. In some instances, Auriel is seen as an Angel of
Severity and Vengence. Otherwise, she is the Archangel of Earth. Supposedly
one of the Seven, yet with her included there are eight.

 

AZAZEL: An Archangel who descended to earth with Shemhazai. (See Shemhazai).
He taught mortal woen the art of seduction and make-up. When he was told of the
coming flood, he refused to repent. For this, he was cast into a pit and
covered with darkness, to remain there until the final days.

 

BEHEMOTH: This beast was set as the King of Beasts. At the “end” of
Creation, he will be sent against Leviathan, and both Creatures will die in the
battle. Behemoth will be fed to the pious along with Leviathan.

 

H DAVID: David is one of the Seven Sheperds, and one of the Four Legs of the
Throne in the Chariot. He represents Divinity Manifested in that he is the
Founder of the Kingship of Israel. (Malkuth).

 

EHEIEH: This means “I am”. It was the Name given to Moses at the scene of
the burning bush. Basically, this name relates more to YHVH, a concept, than it
does to Yahweh, a god.

 

EL: This is another name for Yahweh, usually translated to mean “God”.
Undoubtedly this comes from the Canaanite High God El. This name is used in
conjunction with the title Shaddai (heb.- Almighty), as well as Chai (heb.-
Living). Example: Shaddai El Chai = Almighty Living God.

 

ELOHIM: This means “Gods” and basically relates to a female force enfolded in
a male force. Or, a Male God with the ability to Create like a female. This is
because the root word here is “Goddess” (Eloah), and the pluaral “im” is
masculine. Mythologically, this could be thought of as the combined force of
the Seven Archangels as They Created the World in seven days. Elohim is the
pronunciation of YHVH for Binah. It should be thought of as leaning more toward
the feminine, and is actually a very primordial name. (See Yah).

 

H ESAU: Twin brother of Jacob who sold his brithright for a bowl of soup.
Mythologically, he is the founder of Canaan before the Israelites arrived. He
later became an Angel: the Guardian Angel of Edom.

 

H EVE: This is the second wife of Adam. She is the female half of Adam Kadmon
after he was seperated and became Adam. Her name means “Life” and she is the
Mother of Mankind. As a point of interest, see Ninti of Sumeria.

 

GABRIEL: The Strength of Divinity. Gabrael is a Divine messenger and
teacher. He (sometimes a she) is the benign Angel of Death, as well as the
ArchAngel of Water. He is lord of the Ashim. One of the Seven.

 

HANAEL: Divine Grace. The Archangel of Love and Passion. He is Lord of the
Elohim. One of the Seven.

 

HOKHMAH (TORAH): This Goddess’ name means “Wisdom”. It is said that she was
created before all else. In fact, she took part in the dividing of the
Primordial Waters (Prov. 8:23, 28). She is equated with the Torah, wich is said
to have been created first, and is the embodiment of Wisdom to the Jewish
people. (See Maat of the Egyptians).

 

H ISAAC: Isaac is one of the Seven Sheperds, and also one of the Four Legs of
the Throne in the Chariot. He is the Fire to his father’s Water. Strict
Justice (Geburah). The myth of his near-sacrifice at the hand of Abraham was
the injection of Divine Severity into Abraham’s Mercy (see above). He is
Abraham’s son.

 

H JACOB: Jacob was the third Patriarch, and thus is the balancer of his
predecessor Abraham (Chesed) and Isaac (Geburah). Mercy (Tiphareth). He is
also one of the Seven Sheperds, and one of the Four Legs of the Throne in the
Chariot. He is the son of Isaac, and twin brother of Esau.

 

H JOSEPH: Joseph is one of the Seven Sheperds. He displays the ability to
resist the sexual temptation of Yesode. This is displayed in the myth of the
Egyptian woman’s attempted seduction of him. He is the Keeper of the Covenant
to the pure Yahwists. He is the son of Jacob who first went to Egypt and was
responsible for the Hebrew presence there.

 

KHAMAEL: This Archangel is the Archangel of Divine Severity, just as Samael.
In fact, the two angels are one and the same. Classical Qabalah lists Samael as
the leader of the Seraphim, but modern Qabalah has replaced the name with
Khamael. Further, the Archangel Shemhazai, who hung himself between heaven and
earth, is also Samael. This puts him in the perfect postion to fullfill his
duties as the Porter of Heaven: Khamael, who resides at the very fringes of
Heaven with hundreds of thousands of angels of destruction at his command. His
purpose there is to keep intruders from entering the Heavens. He once attempted
to stop Moses from entering, but was defeated by the Prophet. One of the Seven.

 

LAILAH: This Goddess’ name is Hebrew for “Night”. It was the Darkness
mentioned in Gen 1:2, and she was named by Yahweh in Gen 1:5.

 

LEVANAH: The Moon (goddess).

 

LEVIATHAN: This could very possibly be related to the ideas of Typhon, Lotan,
Zu, and Asag; where it resembles the creation myth, yet is seperate there-from.
In this myth, there are two Leviathan, a male and a female. Once these two
beasts are created, to rule the seas, Yahweh decides against letting the female
live. Yahweh fears that the offspring of these two great beasts would destroy
the world. The female is thusly killed. At the “end” of Creation, the male
Leviathan is going to be killed in a battle with Behemoth (the Angels having
failed at the task), and his skin will be set as a canopy over the heads of the
pious, while his meat is fed to them. Certainly, the relation to this myth and
Tiamat’s destruction, and the setting of half of her body as the Sky, can be
easily seen. Interestingly, Leviathan is thought to be another name for the
Canaanite Lotan (See Lotan).

 

H LILITH: The Hebrew form of Lilith is the first wife of Adam. She refused to
bow down to him and left the Garden. She mated with daemons and became the
patron Goddess of the Night and all it’s creatures. She represnets the
subconscious mind, that part of us that is most primal and sexual and defiant.
She is the other half of the submissive Eve. There are two forms of Lilith, the
Younger and the Elder. As the younger, she is the wife of Asmodeus (this being
when she was in her cave mating with deamons). As the older, she is the wife of
Samael (this being when she joined with him in bringing down Adam and Eve from
the Garden.

 

METETRON: The Prince of the Face. This was once the human Enoch, who was
permited to ascend to Heaven without dieing. He was transformed into the
ArchAngel with 360 eyes and 36 pairs of wings. His palace was set on high and
his word was to be followed as if it were the voice of Yahweh HImself.
Personally, I feel that Metetron and Yahweh are synonimous. Metetron is even
known as the “Lesser YHVH”, and one of his many names is Yahoel, which is Y, H,
and V (transliterated as O) with “el” added to the end. Metetron is the lord of
the Chaioth haQodesh.

 

MICHAEL: The Protector of the Divine. He is the High Priest of Heaven and
it’s main guardian. Seen to be the Guardian Angel of Israel and all of
humanity. He is the ArchAngel of Fire, and sometimes a benign Angel of Death.
He is lord of the Malachim. One of the Seven.

 

H MOSES: Moses is one of the Seven Sheperds, relateing to Netzach. In the
case of the Seven Sheperds, Netzach and Hod are Spheres of Prophesy. He is the
prophet that lead the Exodus.

 

RAHAB: This serpent is also much like Tiamat, more so than Tehom. He is
described as an Archangel in Hebrew mythos.

 

RAPHAEL: The Divine Physician. Self explanitory. Raphael is also the
ArchAngel of Air. He is lord of the Beney Elohim. One of the Seven.

 

RAZIEL: The Divine Scribe. There is a veil in Heaven that seperates the
Divine Throne from the angelic hosts. Ratziel stands behind this veil and
records all the goings on at the Merkabah into a book. This book, the Book of
the Angel Raziel, a book containing all the knowledge of heaven and earth, was
given to Adam by Raziel. The other angels, jealous, took the book and cast it
into the sea. Yahweh, upon hearing of this transgression, ressurected Rahab to
retrieve it for Adam. After this the book fades away. It resurfaces when it is
given to Noah because it contains the instructions for the Ark. From there it
passed down the family line until it reached Solomon. It is said that Solomon
obtained all of his great Wisdom from this book. Another job of Ratziel is to
stand before the Merkabah with outstretched wings, lest the breath of the
Chaioth haQodesh consume all of the Heavens. He is Lord of the Auphanim. He is
also listed as one of the seven, but with his inclusion, and Auriel’s, there are
nine.

 

RUACH ELOHIM (SHEKINAH): Ruach Elohim is the Spirit of the Gods, and the
Shekinah is the Presence of Divinity. Shekinah is also seen as a Goddess. (Gen
1:2)

 

SAMAEL: The Poison of Divinity. Samael is the greatest of Angels (excepting
Metetron HImself), with twelve wings as opposed to the normal six of the the
other ArchAngels. He is the most beautiful angel. He is the main Angel of
Death, and is the Archangel of Divine Severity. His angelic order is the
Seraphim; the Firey Serpents sent to punish Israel for it’s transgressions. He
is also the husband of the elder Lilith. See also Khamael and Shemhazai; two
other names for Samael. As Khamael, he is one of the seven.

 

SANDALPHON: She is the twin of Metetron and the Archangel of Earth (as in the
physical Universe, as opposed to the Element of Earth like Auriel). It is
written that she descended to Earth as the male prophit Elijah as a guardian and
protector. She is Ruler of the Kerubim. It is said that She stands at the foot
of the Merkabah, and weaves prayers into garlands to rest on Yahweh’s head.

 

SHADDAI: See El.

 

SHEKINAH: See Ruach Elohim.

 

SHEMESH: The Sun (god).

 

SHEMHAZAI: This Archangel, along with Azazel, descended with his angelic host
before the flood to steer Man back onto the right path. This order of Angels
became known as the Watchers. However, the angels soon fell prey to the same
vices as man and began to take wives from the Cainite women. For sex, they
would sell the secrets of Heaven to the women. They gave knowledge on
everything from making weapons of war, to the Qabalah itself. The offspring of
these unions are known as the Nephilim (giants), and were destructive giants
that plagued mankind. Others even became the heroes of ancient times (such as
Gilgamesh from Sumer). The Flood was then sent to destroy these giants. When
told of the news, Shemhazai repented his deeds and hung himself, upside-down,
between heaven and earth. To this day, he can be seen there as the consellation
Orion. Shemhazai is actually a form of the Archangel Samael. Also see Khamael.

 

TEHOM: This Goddess’ name is Hebrew for “Deep”. (Gen. 1:2). She is similar
to the Babylonian Tiamat, yet is more along the lines of the Sumerian Nammu.

 

TZADKIEL: Divine Justice. He is the Archangel of Divine Benevolence, and
Lord of the Chashmalim. One of the Seven.

 

TZAPHKIEL: Divine Contemplation. Lord of the Aralim. One of the Seven.

 

UZZA: Archangel of Egypt.

 

YAH: This, in Hebrew, is spelled “YH”. This, esetoricaly, is the combination
of the Y and H of YHVH. It is where the God and Goddess principals emerge from
the Primordial Waters and mate. Literally, it is the Hebrew version of
Babylon’s Ea (spelled IA- A and H, just like I and Y, are interchangable in this
context). It is the Name of Chockmah. In this, it should be thought of as
leaning toward the masuline (as opposed to Elohim), and is a primordial name.

 

YAHWEH: Yahweh is the God Force. Yahweh is also a War God, Storm God, and a
Volcano Deity. The name Yahweh itself may be from the Sanscrit “YHVH”, meaning
“Ever-Flowing” and thus relates him to volcanic activity. After a short time,
Yahweh became the National Deity of Isra-El, and was equated with El of Canaan.
Along with this, He adopted Asherah (the wife of El) as His own wife. Also, the
Hebrews seemed to have associated Yahweh with Baal, making the two gods (just as
with El and Yahweh) nearly identical.

 

YAM: Sea God.

 

YHVH: as differenciated from Yahweh, who was not the only god to the early
Hebrews. it is a formula to “sum up” the Ain (Nothingness)- or The One. The
Face of Divinity.

 

ZIZ SHADAI: This mighty beast is the King of Birds.

 

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Hittite: B = Babylonian

 

ALALUS: Father of Anus. Anus removed him from the throne.

 

ANUS: Sky God. Removed his father Alalus from the throne, and was, himself,
removed by his son Kumarbis. B = Anu.

 

ARINNA: Sun Goddess. She sent an Eagle out in search of Telepinus. The
effort failed.

 

EA: He resides in the Apsu, just as he does in Babylonia. What he does in
the Hittite pantheon I don’t know. He is the one who decided on how to defeat
Ulikummis, by using the copper knife that was “used to seperate heaven and
earth”. B.

 

ENLIL: Enlil also makes a guest appearance in the Ulikummis myth. He saw
Ulikummis as a child and told the gods later, after the child had grown to it’s
great size, that they could not hope to defeat it.

 

HEBAT: Wife of Teshub.

 

HANNAHANNAS: Queen of Heaven. She urges Teshub to do something about
Telepinus’ disappearance. Teshub went as far as Telepinus’ own door, where he
banged on the door until he broke his hammer, and thus abandoned the quest.

 

ILLUYANKAS: A dragon slain by Teshub. There are two versions of this myth.
In the old version, they two gods fight and Illuyankas wins. Teshub” then goes
to Inaras for advice, and she devises a trap for the dragon. She goes to him
with large quantities of liqure, and entices him to drink his fill. Once drunk,
the dragon is bound, and Teshub appears with the other gods and kills him. In
the later version, the two gods fight and Teshub, again, loses. Illuyankas then
takes Teshub’s eyes and heart. Teshub then has a son, who grows and marries
Illuyankas’ daughter. Teshub tells his son to ask for his eyes and heart as a
wedding gift, and it is given. Restored, Teshub goes to face Illuyankas once
more. At the point of vanquishing the dragon, Teshub’s son finds out about the
battle; realizing that he had been used for this purpose. He demaned that his
father take him along with Illuyankas, and so Teshub killed them both.

 

illuyankas’s daughter: See Illuyankas.

 

IMBALURIS: A messenger of Kumarbis.

 

INARAS: Goddess who set a trap for Illuyankas in the old version of the myth.

 

IRSIRRA DEITIES, THE: Either the “Maidens of Heaven” or else they are
underworld deities.

 

ISHTAR: Only appears in Hittite myth in an attempt to lull Ulikummis by
undressing and singing to him. Her attempt failed as the creature didn’t see or
hear her. B.

 

KAMRUSEPAS: Goddess of healing and magick. She calms and purified Telepinus
upon his return.

 

KUMARBIS: The Hittlte High God (like El of the Canaanites), Father of the
Gods. Removed his father, Anus, from the throne. In order to keep his son
Teshub from removing him from the throne, he made Ulikummis to oppose him.

 

MUKISANUS: Vizier of Kumarbis.

 

sea goddess: Kumarbis went to this goddess for advice on how to stop Teshub
from taking the throne. Her advice seems to have lead to the creation of
Ulikummis.

 

SHAUSHKA: a Love Goddess.

 

teshub’s son: See Illuyankas.

 

TELEPINUS: He is like Tammuz, a fertility god. He becomes enraged for
reasons unknown and storms off into the stepp lands where he falls asleep.
Draught and famine ensue. He was brought back by a Bee, after extensive
searching by the gods had failed. Son of Teshub.

 

TESHUB: Ruler God (like Baal of the Canaanites), son of Kumarbis. He is also
a sun God, and a fertility God. He carries a hammer as a weapon. He defeated
Ulikummis with the help of Ea. When Kumarbis first attempted to remove his
father, Anus, from the throne, he bit off the Anus’ loins in the struggle.
Thus, Anus’ seed was implanted within Kumarbis and Teshub was born.

 

UBELLURIS: This deity is much like the Greek Atlas, who supports the world on
his shoulders. Ulikummis was placed on his right shoulder by the Irsirra
deities to grow tall and strong. Ubelluris didn’t even notice the presence
until Ea pointed it out to him.

 

ULIKUMMIS: Son of Kumarbis. He was made to oppose Teshub. There is also
mention that he destoys some of mankind. However, he is actually described as
being blind, deaf, and dumb; as well as immobile. He was made of stone and
placed on Ubelluris’ shoulder to grow. He grew until he reached heaven itself.
When the gods found him, Ishtar removed her clothing and attempted to lull him
with music, but he didn’t see or hear her (as he was a blind and deaf creature).
The gods attempted to destroy him, but had no affect (he didn’t even notice).
Finally, Ea called for the Copper Knife that had been used in the seperation of
heaven and earth. He then used the blade to sever Ulikummis from Ubelluris’
shoulder; lopping the creature off at the feet. Teshub was then able to destroy
the creature totally. It is interesting to note that this god’s name is the
same as a pair of twin volcanic mountains in Asia Minor. This may explain why
he is said to be destroying mankind, even in his seemingly catatonic state.

 

 

Study of Pagan Gods and Goddesses: Cerridwen, Keeper of the Cauldron

Cerridwen

Keeper of the Cauldron

The Crone of Wisdom
In Welsh legend, Cerridwen represents the crone, which is the darker aspect of the goddess. She has powers of prophecy, and is the keeper of the cauldron of knowledge and inspiration in the Underworld. As typical of Celtic goddesses, she has two children: daughter Crearwy is fair and light, but son Afagddu (also called Morfran) is dark, ugly and malevolent.

The Legend of Gwion
In one part of the Mabinogion, which is the cycle of myths found in Welsh legend, Cerridwen brews up a potion in her magical cauldron to give to her son Afagddu (Morfran).

She puts young Gwion in charge of guarding the cauldron, but three drops of the brew fall upon his finger, blessing him with the knowledge held within. Cerridwen pursues Gwion through a cycle of seasons until, in the form of a hen, she swallows Gwion, disguised as an ear of corn. Nine months later, she gives birth to Taliesen, the greatest of all the Welsh poets.

The Symbols of Cerridwen
The legend of Cerridwen is heavy with instances of transformation: when she is chasing Gwion, the two of them change into any number of animal and plant shapes. Following the birth of Taliesen, Cerridwen contemplates killing the infant but changes her mind; instead she throws him into the sea, where he is rescued by a Celtic prince, Elffin. Because of these stories, change and rebirth and transformation are all under the control of this powerful Celtic goddess.

The Cauldron of Knowledge
Cerridwen’s magical cauldron held a potion that granted knowledge and inspiration — however, it had to be brewed for a year and a day to reach its potency.

Because of her wisdom, Cerridwen is often granted the status of Crone, which in turn equates her with the darker aspect of the Triple Goddess.

As a goddess of the Underworld, Cerridwen is often symbolized by a white sow, which represents both her fecundity and fertility and her strength as a mother.

She is both the Mother and the Crone; many modern Pagans honor Cerridwen for her close association to the full moon.

Cerridwen is also associated with transformation and change in some traditions; in particular, those who embrace a feminist spirituality often honor her. Judith Shaw of Feminism and Religion says, “When Cerridwen calls your name, know that the need for change is upon you; transformation is at hand. It is time to examine what circumstances in your life no longer serve you. Something must die so that something new and better can be born. Forging these fires of transformation will bring true inspiration into your life. As the Dark Goddess Cerridwen pursues her version of justice with ceaseless energy so can you breathe in the power of the Divine Feminine She offers, planting your seeds of change and pursuing their growth with a ceaseless energy of your own.”

Cerridwen and the Arthur Legend
The stories of Cerridwen found within the Mabinogion are actually the basis for the cycle of Arthurian legend. Her son Taliesin became a bard in the court of Elffin, the Celtic prince who rescued him from the sea. Later on, when Elffin is captured by the Welsh king Maelgwn, Taliesen challenges Maelgwn’s bards to a contest of words.

It is Taliesen’s eloquence that ultimately frees Elffin from his chains. Through a mysterious power, he renders Maelgwn’s bards incapable of speech, and frees Elphin from his chains. Taliesen becomes associated with Merlin the magician in the Arthurian cycle.

In the Celtic legend of Bran the Blessed, the cauldron appears as a vessel of wisdom and rebirth. Bran, mighty warrior-god, obtains a magical cauldron from Cerridwen (in disguise as a giantess) who had been expelled from a lake in Ireland, which represents the Otherworld of Celtic lore. The cauldron can resurrect the corpse of dead warriors placed inside it (this scene is believed to be depicted on the Gundestrup Cauldron). Bran gives his sister Branwen and her new husband Math — the King of Ireland — the cauldron as a wedding gift, but when war breaks out Bran sets out to take the valuable gift back.

He is accompanied by a band of a loyal knights with him, but only seven return home.

Bran himself is wounded in the foot by a poisoned spear, another theme that recurs in the Arthur legend — found in the guardian of the Holy Grail, the Fisher King. In fact, in some Welsh stories, Bran marries Anna, the daughter of Joseph of Arimathea. Also like Arthur, only seven of Bran’s men return home. Bran travels after his death to the otherworld, and Arthur makes his way to Avalon. There are theories among some scholars that Cerridwen’s cauldron — the cauldron of knowledge and rebirth — in in fact the Holy Grail for which Arthur spent his life searching.

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Cerridwen

Areas of Influence: Cerridwen’s name is derived from the Celtic word “cerru,” meaning cauldron. Like the Goddess herself, the cauldron symbolises the transformative power of magic, wisdom, rebirth and creative inspiration.

For these reasons she is seen as a patron Goddess of witches and wizards. She is also associated with the moon, fertility, science, prophecy and poetry.

Other spellings of her name include Ceridwen, Cereduin, Keridwen and Kerridwen.

I’m often asked how to pronounce Cerridwen? (Ker-RID-Wen) so I thought it would be useful to include that piece of information on this page.

Origins and Genealogy: Married to Tegid Voeland and was mother to three children: Creirwy, Morfan and Taliesin. There is no mention of her own origins in the surviving myths.

Strengths: Wise, powerful and resourceful.

Weaknesses: She tries to interfere in her children’s lives.

Cerridwen’s Symbolism
The Cauldron and the dark moon are associated with this Goddess.

Sacred Animals: This Goddess often transformed into a white sow to address her people.

In her myths she also shape shifted into a greyhound and an otter

Sacred Birds: Hawks and hens.

Sacred Plants: Corn.

Cerridwen’s Myth
The Goddess uses her knowledge of magic and herbs to create a potion to transform her ugly son Morfan into a wise boy.

The potion needs to be boiled in her cauldron for a year and a day. She leaves her servant Gwion in charge of the mixture until one day when he accidentally spilled three drops on his hand and licked it off, empowering him with the brew’s knowledge and power.

Frightened of the Goddesses reaction he turned himself into a rabbit. Cerridwen gave chase in the form of a greyhound. He then became a fish and jumped into a river and she became an otter. He turned into a bird and she followed as a hawk. Eventually Gwion transformed into a grain of corn and is eaten by the Goddess who had by then become a hen.

The grain took seed in her womb, and nine moons later, she gave birth to the Taliesin. She is unable to kill the child, instead she wraps him up in a leather bag and sets him out to sea. He survives and becomes the famous Welsh poet Taliesin

Cerridwen’s Archetypes
The Crone

The Crone represents the wise old woman whose child bearing days are behind her. Other associations with this Archetype include: compassion, transformation, healing and bawdiness death and endings. She is the respected older woman or grand parent at the heart of family who enjoys life and sharing her experience.

Unfortunately the word Crone or Hag often has negative connotations as many wise woman and midwives were persecuted as witches in the middle ages.

Shadow Crone is the bitter, old woman who has failed to learn from her life. She blames all her failings and unhappiness on a society that no longer respects the elders. As a result she becomes increasingly isolated and fearful.

This Celtic Goddess is often depicted as a Crone Goddess as she is wise and due to her cauldron’s associations with transformation and rebirth.

The Shape-shifter

The shape-shifter has the ability to change her physical appearance. They are also able to adapt easily to different environments by altering there behaviour.

Shadow shape-shifter is fickle, lacking conviction and constantly reinventing themselves like politicians to appeal to most people.

Cerridwen has the power to transform herself into many different creatures. As well as being regarded as a Crone Goddess she is also said to represent the Mother and Maiden aspects of the Triple Goddess.

How To Work With These Archetypes
The Crone: This maybe one of your Archetypes if you have gained wisdom, learning from your mistakes and showing a willingness to adapt to changing circumstances.

You are experiencing the Crone’s shadow if you have become rigid in your beliefs and have become stuck in a rut having lost all ability to let those areas of your life go that no longer serve you.

The shape-shifter is a useful archetype to have if you need to be flexible or perform lots of different roles.

The shadow side asks whether your chameleon like tendencies reflect a deep insecurity and inability to commit to any particular path.

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Reference

Patti Wigington, ThoughtCo.

Goddess-Guide.com

The Study of Pagan Gods and Goddesses: Eris

Eris

(Greek)

A goddess of chaos, Eris is often present in times of discord and strife. She loves to start trouble, just for her own sense of amusement, and perhaps one of the best known examples of this was a little dustup called the Trojan War.

 

It all started with the wedding of Thetis and Pelias, who would eventually have a son named Achilles. All of the gods of Olympus were invited, including Hera, Aphrodite and Athena – but Eris’ name got left off the guest list, because everyone knew how much she enjoyed causing a ruckus. Eris, the original wedding crasher, showed up anyway, and decided to have a little fun. She tossed a golden apple – the Apple of Discord – into the crowd, and said it was for the most beautiful of the goddesses. Naturally, Athena, Aphrodite and Hera had to bicker over who was the rightful owner of the apple.

 

Zeus, trying to be helpful, chose a young man named Paris, a prince of the city of Troy, to select a winner. Aphrodite offered Paris a bribe he couldn’t resist – Helen, the lovely young wife of King Menelaus of Sparta. Paris selected Aphrodite to receive the apple, and thus guaranteed that his hometown would be demolished by the end of the war.

 

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Eris

Eris is the Greek goddess of strife and discord. Her name is the equivalent of Latin Discordia, which means “discord”. Eris’ Greek opposite is Harmonia, whose Latin counterpart is Concordia. Homer equated her with the war-goddess Enyo, whose Roman counterpart is Bellona. The dwarf planet Eris is named after the goddess

 

Eris is of uncertain etymology; connections with the verb ὀρίνειν orinein, “to raise, stir, excite,” and the proper name Ἐρινύες Erinyes have been suggested. R. S. P. Beekes rejects these derivations and suggested a Pre-Greek origin.

 

Characteristics in Greek mythology

El Juicio de Paris by Enrique Simonet, 1904

Golden apple of discord by Jakob Jordaens, 1633

Das Urteil des Paris by Anton Raphael Mengs, c. 1757

In Hesiod’s Works and Days 11–24, two different goddesses named Eris are distinguished:

 

So, after all, there was not one kind of Strife alone, but all over the earth there are two. As for the one, a man would praise her when he came to understand her; but the other is blameworthy: and they are wholly different in nature. For one fosters evil war and battle, being cruel: her no man loves; but perforce, through the will of the deathless gods, men pay harsh Strife her honour due.

 

But the other is the elder daughter of dark Night (Nyx), and the son of Cronus who sits above and dwells in the aether, set her in the roots of the earth: and she is far kinder to men. She stirs up even the shiftless to toil; for a man grows eager to work when he considers his neighbour, a rich man who hastens to plough and plant and put his house in good order; and neighbour vies with his neighbour as he hurries after wealth. This Strife is wholesome for men. And potter is angry with potter, and craftsman with craftsman and beggar is jealous of beggar, and minstrel of minstrel.

 

In Hesiod’s Theogony (226–232), Strife, the daughter of Night, is less kindly spoken of as she brings forth other personifications as her children:

And hateful Eris bore painful Ponos (“Hardship”),
Lethe (“Forgetfulness”) and Limos (“Starvation”) and the tearful Algea (“Pains”),
Hysminai (“Battles”), Makhai (“Wars”), Phonoi (“Murders”), and Androktasiai (“Manslaughters”);
Neikea (“Quarrels”), Pseudea (“Lies”), Logoi (“Stories”), Amphillogiai (“Disputes”)
Dysnomia (“Anarchy”) and Ate (“Ruin”), near one another,
and Horkos (“Oath”), who most afflicts men on earth,
Then willing swears a false oath.

 

The other Strife is presumably she who appears in Homer’s Iliad Book IV; equated with Enyo as sister of Ares and so presumably daughter of Zeus and Hera:

 

Strife whose wrath is relentless, she is the sister and companion of murderous Ares, she who is only a little thing at the first, but thereafter grows until she strides on the earth with her head striking heaven. She then hurled down bitterness equally between both sides as she walked through the onslaught making men’s pain heavier. She also has a son whom she named Strife.

 

Enyo is mentioned in Book 5, and Zeus sends Strife to rouse the Achaeans in Book 11, of the same work.

 

The most famous tale of Eris recounts her initiating the Trojan War by causing the Judgement of Paris. The goddesses Hera, Athena and Aphrodite had been invited along with the rest of Olympus to the forced wedding of Peleus and Thetis, who would become the parents of Achilles, but Eris had been snubbed because of her troublemaking inclinations.

 

She therefore (as mentioned at the Kypria according to Proclus as part of a plan hatched by Zeus and Themis) tossed into the party the Apple of Discord, a golden apple inscribed Ancient Greek: τῇ καλλίστῃ, translit. tē(i) kallistē(i) – “For the most beautiful one”, or “To the Fairest One” – provoking the goddesses to begin quarreling about the appropriate recipient. The hapless Paris, Prince of Troy, was appointed to select the fairest by Zeus. The goddesses stripped naked to try to win Paris’ decision, and also attempted to bribe him. Hera offered political power; Athena promised infinite wisdom; and Aphrodite tempted him with the most beautiful woman in the world: Helen, wife of Menelaus of Sparta. While Greek culture placed a greater emphasis on prowess and power, Paris chose to award the apple to Aphrodite, thereby dooming his city, which was destroyed in the war that ensued.

 

In Nonnus’ Dionysiaca, 2.356, when Typhon prepares to battle with Zeus:

 

Eris (“Strife”) was Typhon’s escort in the melée, Nike (“Victory”) led Zeus to battle.

 

Another story of Eris includes Hera, and the love of Polytekhnos and Aedon. They claimed to love each other more than Hera and Zeus were in love. This angered Hera, so she sent Eris to rack discord upon them. Polytekhnos was finishing off a chariot board, and Aedon a web she had been weaving. Eris said to them, “Whosoever finishes thine task last shall have to present the other with a female servant!” Aedon won. But Polytekhnos was not happy by his defeat, so he came to Khelidon, Aedon’s sister, and raped her. He then disguised her as a slave, presenting her to Aedon. When Aedon discovered this was indeed her sister, she chopped up Polytekhnos’ son and fed him to Polytekhnos. The gods were not pleased, so they turned them all into birds.

 

Cultural influences

Discordianism
Eris has been adopted as the patron deity of the modern Discordian religion, which was begun in the late 1950s by Gregory Hill and Kerry Wendell Thornley under the pen names of “Malaclypse the Younger” and “Omar Khayyam Ravenhurst”. The Discordian version of Eris is considerably lighter in comparison to the rather malevolent Graeco-Roman original, wherein she is depicted as a positive (albeit mischievous) force of chaotic creation.

 

A quote from the Principia Discordia, the first holy book of Discordianism, attempts to clear up the matter:

 

One day Mal-2 consulted his Pineal Gland and asked Eris if She really created all of those terrible things. She told him that She had always liked the Old Greeks, but that they cannot be trusted with historic matters. “They were,” She added, “victims of indigestion, you know.”

 

Suffice it to say that Eris is not hateful or malicious. But she is mischievous, and does get a little bitchy at times.

 

The story of Eris being snubbed and indirectly starting the Trojan War is recorded in the Principia, and is referred to as the Original Snub. The Principia Discordia states that her parents may be as described in Greek legend, or that she may be the daughter of Void. She is the Goddess of Disorder and Being, whereas her sister Aneris (called the equivalent of Harmonia by the Mythics of Harmonia) is the goddess of Order and Non-Being. Their brother is Spirituality.

 

Discordian Eris is looked upon as a foil to the preoccupation of western philosophy in attempting find order in the chaos of reality, in prescribing order to be synonymous with truth. Discordian Eris teaches us that the only truth is chaos, and that order and disorder are simply temporary filters applied to the lenses we view the chaos through. This is known as the Aneristic Illusion.

 

In this telling, Eris becomes something of a patron saint of chaotic creation:

 

I am chaos. I am the substance from which your artists and scientists build rhythms. I am the spirit with which your children and clowns laugh in happy anarchy. I am chaos. I am alive, and I tell you that you are free.

 

The concept of Eris as developed by the Principia Discordia is used and expanded upon in the science fiction work The Illuminatus! Trilogy by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson (in which characters from Principia Discordia appear). In this work, Eris is a major character.

 

Other
The classic fairy tale Sleeping Beauty is partly inspired by Eris’ role in the wedding of Peleus and Thetis. Like Eris, a malevolent fairy curses a princess after not being invited to the princess’ christening.

 

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Reference

Patti Wigington, Published on ThoughtCo.com 
Wikipedia 

Study of Pagan Gods & Goddesses: Tawaret

Tawaret

Tawaret is the Egyptian goddess of fertility, maternity and childbirth as well as the patron of women and children. She is traditionally believed to be the wife of the demon god Apep. She is often seen as represented by some of the most ferocious yet respected animals in Egypt – she has the head and body of a pregnant hippopotamus, the back of the crocodile and the arms and legs of a lioness. She is seen as a hippopotamus with one arm resting (a symbol of protection) and the other carrying the ankh (the symbol of life) or the ivory knife used to drive away evil spirits. Her name, may also be spelled as Tuat, Taueret, Taurt, Ta-weret, Tawaret, Tuart, and Taueret, and in Greek, Thoeris and Toeri, translates into “she who is great”.

 

Originally, she was viewed as a maleficent and dangerous deity. Like Bes, she was a considered as a ferocious demon with nurturing and protective qualities. She resides in the northern sky abode of her husband, Apep, thus she is known as the Nebetakhet or the “Mistress of the Horizon” – a group of stars of Ursa Minor and Draco that serves as guardians of the northern sky. In some legend, Apep could only come out during the night, so Tawaret was considered the evil that dwelt during the day.

 

However, during the Old Kingdom, her role significantly changed from an aggressive force into a protective deity. Like the hippopotamus that represent her, she is protective of her young thus becoming the patron of childbirth. She became the mother goddess who becomes the wet nurse of the pharaoh. Eventually, her nurturing role extended to all households as she helps both the rich and the poor alike.

 

During childbirth, she is believed to be the deity who wards off evil spirits who intends to harm the baby and the mother. She also became of assistance in matters of pregnancy and sexuality thus forming a link between her and Hathor. In this aspect, she may be seen as a woman wearing her headdress bearing the Sa for protection. Expectant mother often brought with them amulets depicting the goddess to protect them. Her depiction are often motifs to birth beds. She was also associated with magic wands and knives, often made of hippopotamus ivory, which were used to fend off evil especially during labor. Facience vases likened to her shape are used to serve milk in order to add extra potency to the drink.

 

Her fertility duties focused on the inundation in the area of Gebel el-Silsila. In the Book of the Dead, she is mentioned as the guardian of the mountain paths in the West that led to the Underworld. She also assisted souls into passing safely into the dangerous and frightening land of Osiris especially to the recently deceased.

 

Her area in the northern sky and her hippopotamus appearance linked her to Set. She is believed to be a concubine of Set who is loyal to Horus. In one of the myths, she helped Isis protect her young child from the attacks of Set by trapping him in the northern sky.

 

She was also related to Sobek probably because of her crocodile features. In this form, she has a small crocodile on her back. Sometimes, she is the wife of another demon god, Bes, who is linked to childbirth.

 

She was also known by two other names: Ipet meaning harem and Reret meaning the sow. Her cult achieved significant importance until the Ptolemaic era and Late Period especially in the area of Karnak.

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Taweret

Goddess Demoness of Birth

Rebirth and the Northern Sky

Taweret (Taueret, Taurt, Toeris, Ipy, Ipet, Apet, Opet, Reret) – The Great Female – was the ancient Egyptian goddess of maternity and childbirth, protector of women and children. Like Bes, she was both a fierce demonic fighter as well as a popular deity who guarded the mother and her newborn child.

 

She was depicted as a combination of a crocodile, a pregnant hippopotamus standing on her hind legs with large breasts and a lion. Unlike the composite demoness Ammut, her head and body were that of the hippo, her paws were that of the lion, and her back was the back of a crocodile. All of these animals were man killers, and as such she was a demoness.

 

All three animals were regarded as fierce creatures who would kill to protect their young.

 

It was in her role of a protector that she was seen as a goddess. As the mother hippo is protective of her young, Taweret was believed to be protective of Egyptian children. She was often shown holding the sa hieroglyph of protection or the ankh hieroglyph of life. She was thought to assist women in labour and scare off demons that might harm the mother or child.

 

… because hippos are denizens of the fertile Nile mud, Egyptians also saw them as symbols of rebirth and rejuvenation. The birth-related aspect of the hippo’s powers also appears in the complicated shape of the goddess Taweret, who protects women in childbirth.

 

She was also a goddess relating to fertility. She was goddess of harvests as well as a goddess who helped with female sexuality and pregnancy. In this capacity, she was linked with the goddess Hathor. As a fertility goddess, she was closely associated with the inundation of the Nile especially at Jabal al-Silsila.

 

Amulets of Taweret were popular, used by the expectant mother because of Taweret’s protective powers. These were even found at Akhetaten – Akenaten had no power to stop his people from needing the protection of this goddess (or of Bes), despite his attempts to replace the gods and goddesses of Egypt with the Aten. Her picture was also found on women’s cosmetic tools, headrests, jewelry. There were even vessels in the shape of the goddess, with a hole in one of her nipples for pouring. It was thought that she would assign magical protection, when accompanied with a spell, to the milk poured through these vessels.

 

Another way that Taweret was thought to scare away evil that could hurt a mother and child was through the use of magic. She was associated with the magic ‘wand’ or ‘knife’ that the Egyptians used because she was a hippopotamus goddess:

Childbirth and early infancy were felt to be particularly threatening to both mother and baby. Magic played the primary role in countering these threats; various evil spirits needed to be warned off, and deities invoked to protect the vulnerable. These magic knives, also known as apotropaic (that is, acting to ward off evil) wands, were one of the devices used. They are usually made of hippopotamus ivory, thus enlisting the support of that fearsome beast against evil.

 

The depictions on this knife encompass a range of protective images. They include a grotesque dwarf, probably known as Aha at this date, but later the more famous Bes, and Taweret … both of whom are associated with childbirth.

 

Taweret was a household deity, rather than a specific deity of the pharaoh, and she enjoyed huge popularity with the every day Egyptian. She wore a low, cylindrical headdress surmounted by two plumes or sometimes she wore the horns and solar disk of Hathor. Although her popularity was strongest in later periods, she first appeared in the Old Kingdom as the mother of the pharaoh, offering to suckle him with her divine milk. In later times, the pharaoh Hatshepsut depicted the goddess attending to her birth along side other deities of childbirth. During Egyptian history, she was called by three names – Ipet (‘harem’), Taweret (‘great one’) and Reret (‘the sow’). Of the three, the cult of Taweret assimilated the other two versions of this goddess, despite the Temple of Ipet (often translated to be ‘Harem’ rather than the name of the goddess) at Karnak.

 

In Egyptian astronomy, Taweret was linked to the northern sky. In this role she was known as Nebetakhet, the Mistress of the Horizon – the ceiling painting of the constellations in the tomb of Seti I showed her in this capacity. She was thought to keep the northern sky – a place of darkness, cold, mist, and rain to the Egyptians – free of evil. She was shown to represent the never-setting circumpolar stars of Ursa Minor and Draco. The seven stars lined down her back are the stars of the Little Dipper. She was believed to be a guardian of the north, stopping all who were unworthy before they could pass her by.

 

In all of the ancient Egyptian astronomical diagrams there is one figure which is always larger than all the rest, and most frequently found at the center of what appears to be a horizontal parade of figures. This figure is Taweret “The Great One”, a goddess depicted as a pregnant hippopotamus standing upright. It is no mystery that this figure represents a northern constellation associated, at least in part, with our modern constellation of Draco the dragon.

 

In the Book of the Dead Taweret, the ‘Lady of Magical Protection’, was seen as a goddess who guided the dead into the afterlife. As with her double nature of protector and guardian, she was also a guard to the mountains of the west where the deceased entered the land of the dead. Many of the deities relating to birth also appear in the underworld to help with the rebirth of the souls into their life after death.

 

She was thought to be the wife of a few gods, mostly because of her physical characteristics. She was linked to the god Sobek, because of his crocodile form. Occasionally Taweret was depicted with a crocodile on her back, and this was seen as Taweret with her consort Sobek. Bes, because the Egyptians thought they worked together when birthing of a child, was thought to be her husband in earlier times.

 

At Thebes, she was also thought to be the mother of Osiris, and so linked to the sky goddess Nut. Another part of this theology was that it was Amen, who became the supreme god rather than Ra, who was the father of Osiris. It was believed that Amen came to Taweret (called Ipet at this particular time) and joined with her to ensure the renewal of the cycle of life. Ipet herself had become linked with the original wife of Amen, Amaunet (invisibility). It was at Karnak that she was believed to have given birth to Osiris. In later times, Ipet was assimilated by Mut who took her place as the wife of Amen and mother goddess.

 

Plutarch described Taweret as a concubine of Set who had changed her ways to become a follower of Horus. In this form, she was linked to the goddess Isis. It was thought that the goddess kept Set’s powers of evil fettered by a chain. This is probably because she was a hippo goddess while Set was sometimes seen as a male hippo. The male hippopotamus was seen by the Egyptians as a very destructive creature, yet the female hippopotamus came to symbolise protection. This is probably why Set was, in later times, regarded as evil while Taweret was thought to be a helpful goddess, deity of motherhood and protector of women and children.

 

 

Reference

Egyptian Gods & Goddesses 
Caroline Seawright, Published on Tour Egypt

 

The Study of Pagan Gods & Goddesses: Kali

goddess_kali_by_piyal_kundu1

The Study of Pagan Gods & Goddesses: Kali

 

O Goddess Kali, give me of Thy wisdom,
O Goddess Kali, give me of Thy mercy,
O Goddess Kali, give me of Thy fullness,
And of Thy guidance in face of every strait.
O Goddess Kali, give me of Thy holiness,
O Goddess Kali, give me of Thy shielding,
O Goddess Kali, give me of Thy surrounding,
And of Thy peace in the knot of my death.
Oh give me of Thy surrounding,
And of Thy peace at the hour of my death!

 

Kālī, also known as Kālikā, is a Hindu goddess. Kali is one of the ten Mahavidyas, a list which combines Sakta and Buddhist goddesses.
Kali’s earliest appearance is that of a destroyer of evil forces. She is the goddess of one of the four subcategories of the Kulamārga, a category of tantric Saivism. Over time, she has been worshipped by devotional movements and tantric sects variously as the Divine Mother, Mother of the Universe, Adi Shakti, or Adi Parashakti. Shakta Hindu and Tantric sects additionally worship her as the ultimate reality or Brahman. She is also seen as divine protector and the one who bestows moksha, or liberation. Kali is often portrayed standing or dancing on her consort, the Hindu god Shiva, who lies calm and prostrate beneath her. Kali is worshipped by Hindus throughout India.
Kālī is the feminine form of kālam (“black, dark coloured”). Kālī also shares the meaning of “time” or “the fullness of time” with the masculine noun “kāla”—and by extension, time as “changing aspect of nature that bring things to life or death.” Other names include Kālarātri (“the black night”), and Kālikā (“the black one”).

 

The homonymous kāla, “appointed time,” which depending on context can mean “death,” is distinct from kāla “black,” but became associated through popular etymology. The association is seen in a passage from the Mahābhārata, depicting a female figure who carries away the spirits of slain warriors and animals. She is called kālarātri (which Thomas Coburn, a historian of Sanskrit Goddess literature, translates as “night of death”) and also kālī (which, as Coburn notes, can be read here either as a proper name or as a description “the black one”). Kālī is also the feminine form of Kāla, an epithet of Shiva, and thus the consort of Shiva.

 

Origins
Hugh Urban notes that although the word Kālī appears as early as the Atharva Veda, the first use of it as a proper name is in the Kathaka Grhya Sutra (19.7). Kali appears in the Mundaka Upanishad (section 1, chapter 2, verse 4) not explicitly as a goddess, but as the black tongue of the seven flickering tongues of Agni, the Hindu god of fire.

 

According to David Kinsley, Kāli is first mentioned in Hindu tradition as a distinct goddess around 600 CE, and these texts “usually place her on the periphery of Hindu society or on the battlefield.” She is often regarded as the Shakti of Shiva, and is closely associated with him in various Puranas.

 

Her most well known appearance on the battlefield is in the sixth century Devi Mahatmyam. The deity of the first chapter of Devi Mahatmyam is Mahakali, who appears from the body of sleeping Vishnu as goddess Yoga Nidra to wake him up in order to protect Brahma and the World from two demons Madhu and Kaitabha. When Vishnu woke up he started a war against the two demons. After a long battle with lord Vishnu when the two demons were undefeated Mahakali took the form of Mahamaya to enchant the two asuras. When Madhu and Kaitabha were enchanted by Mahakali, Vishnu killed them.

 

In later chapters the story of two demons can be found who were destroyed by Kali. Chanda and Munda attack the goddess Durga. Durga responds with such anger that her face turns dark and Kali appears out of her forehead. Kali’s appearance is black, gaunt with sunken eyes, and wearing a tiger skin and a garland of human heads. She immediately defeats the two demons. Later in the same battle, the demon Raktabija is undefeated because of his ability to reproduce himself from every drop of his blood that reaches the ground. Countless Raktabija clones appear on the battlefield. Kali eventually defeats him by sucking his blood before it can reach the ground, and eating the numerous clones. Kinsley writes that Kali represents “Durga’s personified wrath, her embodied fury.”

 

Other origin stories involve Parvati and Shiva. Parvati is typically portrayed as a benign and friendly goddess. The Linga Purana describes Shiva asking Parvati to defeat the demon Daruka, who received a boon that would only allow a female to kill him. Parvati merges with Shiva’s body, reappearing as Kali to defeat Daruka and his armies. Her bloodlust gets out of control, only calming when Shiva intervenes. The Vamana Purana has a different version of Kali’s relationship with Parvati. When Shiva addresses Parvati as Kali, “the black one,” she is greatly offended. Parvati performs austerities to lose her dark complexion and becomes Gauri, the golden one. Her dark sheath becomes Kausiki, who while enraged, creates Kali. Regarding the relationship between Kali, Parvati, and Shiva, Kinsley writes that:

 

In relation to Siva, she [Kali] appears to play the opposite role from that of Parvati. Parvati calms Siva, counterbalancing his antisocial or destructive tendencies; she brings him within the sphere of domesticity and with her soft glances urges him to moderate the destructive aspects of his tandava dance. Kali is Shiva’s “other wife,” as it were, provoking him and encouraging him in his mad, antisocial, disruptive habits. It is never Kali who tames Siva, but Siva who must calm Kali.

 

Legends
Kāli appears in the Sauptika Parvan of the Mahabharata (10.8.64). She is called Kālarātri (literally, “black night”) and appears to the Pandava soldiers in dreams, until finally she appears amidst the fighting during an attack by Drona’s son Ashwatthama.

 

Another story involving Kali is her escapade with a band of thieves. The thieves wanted to make a human sacrifice to Kali, and unwisely chose a saintly Brahmin monk as their victim. The radiance of the young monk was so much that it burned the image of Kali, who took living form and killed the entire band of thieves, decapitating them and drinking their blood.

 

Slayer of Raktabija

A painting made in Nepal depicting the Goddess Ambika Leading the Eight Matrikas in Battle Against the Demon Raktabija, Folio from a Devi Mahatmya – (top row, from the left) the Matrikas – Narasimhi, Vaishnavi, Kumari, Maheshvari, Brahmi. (bottom row, from left) Varahi, Aindri, Chamunda or Kali (drinking the demon’s blood), Ambika. on the right, demons arising from Raktabiīa’s blood
In Kāli’s most famous legend, Durga and her assistants, the Matrikas, wound the demon Raktabija, in various ways and with a variety of weapons in an attempt to destroy him. They soon find that they have worsened the situation for with every drop of blood that is dripped from Raktabija he reproduces a clone of himself. The battlefield becomes increasingly filled with his duplicates. Durga summons Kāli to combat the demons. The Devi Mahatmyam describes:

 

Out of the surface of her (Durga’s) forehead, fierce with frown, issued suddenly Kali of terrible countenance, armed with a sword and noose. Bearing the strange khatvanga (skull-topped staff ), decorated with a garland of skulls, clad in a tiger’s skin, very appalling owing to her emaciated flesh, with gaping mouth, fearful with her tongue lolling out, having deep reddish eyes, filling the regions of the sky with her roars, falling upon impetuously and slaughtering the great asuras in that army, she devoured those hordes of the foes of the devas.

 

Kali consumes Raktabija and his duplicates, and dances on the corpses of the slain. In the Devi Mahatmya version of this story, Kali is also described as a Matrika and as a Shakti or power of Devi. She is given the epithet Cāṃuṇḍā (Chamunda), i.e. the slayer of the demons Chanda and Munda. Chamunda is very often identified with Kali and is very much like her in appearance and habit.

 

Iconography and forms
Kali is portrayed mostly in two forms: the popular four-armed form and the ten-armed Mahakali form. In both of her forms, she is described as being black in colour but is most often depicted as blue in popular Indian art. Her eyes are described as red with intoxication, and in absolute rage, her hair is shown disheveled, small fangs sometimes protrude out of her mouth, and her tongue is lolling. She is often shown naked or just wearing a skirt made of human arms and a garland of human heads. She is also accompanied by serpents and a jackal while standing on the calm and prostrate Shiva, usually right foot forward to symbolize the more popular Dakshinamarga or right-handed path, as opposed to the more infamous and transgressive Vamamarga or left-handed path.

 

In the ten-armed form of Mahakali she is depicted as shining like a blue stone. She has ten faces, ten feet, and three eyes for each head. She has ornaments decked on all her limbs. There is no association with Shiva.

 

The Kalika Purana describes Kali as possessing a soothing dark complexion, as perfectly beautiful, riding a lion, four-armed, holding a sword and blue lotuses, her hair unrestrained, body firm and youthful.

 

In spite of her seemingly terrible form, Kali Ma is often considered the kindest and most loving of all the Hindu goddesses, as she is regarded by her devotees as the Mother of the whole Universe. And because of her terrible form, she is also often seen as a great protector. When the Bengali saint Ramakrishna once asked a devotee why one would prefer to worship Mother over him, this devotee rhetorically replied, “Maharaj, when they are in trouble your devotees come running to you. But, where do you run when you are in trouble?”

 

Popular form
Classic depictions of Kali share several features, as follows:

 

Kali’s most common four armed iconographic image shows each hand carrying variously a sword, a trishul (trident), a severed head, and a bowl or skull-cup (kapala) catching the blood of the severed head.

 

Two of these hands (usually the left) are holding a sword and a severed head. The sword signifies divine knowledge and the human head signifies human ego which must be slain by divine knowledge in order to attain moksha. The other two hands (usually the right) are in the abhaya (fearlessness) and varada (blessing) mudras, which means her initiated devotees (or anyone worshipping her with a true heart) will be saved as she will guide them here and in the hereafter.

 

She has a garland consisting of human heads, variously enumerated at 108 (an auspicious number in Hinduism and the number of countable beads on a japa mala or rosary for repetition of mantras) or 51, which represents Varnamala or the Garland of letters of the Sanskrit alphabet, Devanagari. Hindus believe Sanskrit is a language of dynamism, and each of these letters represents a form of energy, or a form of Kali. Therefore, she is generally seen as the mother of language, and all mantras.

 

She is often depicted naked which symbolizes her being beyond the covering of Maya since she is pure (nirguna) being-consciousness-bliss and far above prakriti. She is shown as very dark as she is brahman in its supreme unmanifest state. She has no permanent qualities—she will continue to exist even when the universe ends. It is therefore believed that the concepts of color, light, good, bad do not apply to her.

 

Mahakali
Mahakali (Sanskrit: Mahākālī, Devanagari), literally translated as “Great Kali,” is sometimes considered as a greater form of Kali, identified with the Ultimate reality of Brahman. It can also be used as an honorific of the Goddess Kali, signifying her greatness by the prefix “Mahā-“. Mahakali, in Sanskrit, is etymologically the feminized variant of Mahakala or Great Time (which is interpreted also as Death), an epithet of the God Shiva in Hinduism. Mahakali is the presiding Goddess of the first episode of the Devi Mahatmya. Here she is depicted as Devi in her universal form as Shakti. Here Devi serves as the agent who allows the cosmic order to be restored.

 

Kali is depicted in the Mahakali form as having ten heads, ten arms, and ten legs. Each of her ten hands is carrying a various implement which vary in different accounts, but each of these represent the power of one of the Devas or Hindu Gods and are often the identifying weapon or ritual item of a given Deva. The implication is that Mahakali subsumes and is responsible for the powers that these deities possess and this is in line with the interpretation that Mahakali is identical with Brahman. While not displaying ten heads, an “ekamukhi” or one headed image may be displayed with ten arms, signifying the same concept: the powers of the various Gods come only through Her grace.

 

Daksinakali
Daksinakali, also spelled Dakshinakali, is the most popular form of Kali in Bengal. She is the benevolent mother, who protects her devotees and children from mishaps and misfortunes. There are various versions for the origin of the name Dakshinakali. Dakshina refers to the gift given to a priest before performing a ritual or to one’s guru. Such gifts are traditionally given with the right hand. Daksinakali’s two right hands are usually depicted in gestures of blessing and giving of boons. One version of the origin of her name comes from the story of Yama, lord of death, who lives in the south (daksina). When Yama heard Kali’s name, he fled in terror, and so those who worship Kali are said to be able to overcome death itself.

 

Daksinakali is typically shown with her right foot on Shiva’s chest—while depictions showing Kali with her left foot on Shiva’s chest depict the even more fearsome Vamakali (Vamakali is typically shown with her right foot on Shiva’s chest). Vamakali is usually worshipped by non-householders. The pose shows the conclusion of an episode in which Kali was rampaging out of control after destroying many demons. Shiva, fearing that Kali would not stop until she destroyed the world, could only think of one way to pacify her. He lay down on the battlefield so that she would have to step on him. Seeing her consort under her foot, Kali realized that she had gone too far, and calmed down. In some interpretations of the story, Shiva was attempting to receive Kali’s grace by receiving her foot on his chest.

 

There are many different interpretations of the pose held by Dakshinakali, including those of the 18th and 19th century bhakti poet-devotees such as Ramprasad Sen. Most have to do with battle imagery and tantric metaphysics. The most popular however is a devotional view. According to Rachel Fell McDermott, the poets portrayed Siva as “the devotee who falls at [Kali’s] feet in devotion, or in surrender of his ego, or in hopes of gaining moksha by her touch. In fact, Siva is said to have become so enchanted by Kali that he performed austerities to win her, and having received the treasure of her feet, held them against his heart in reverence.

 

The growing popularity of worship of a more benign form of Kali, as Daksinakali, is often attributed to Krishnananda Agamavagisha. He was a noted Bengali leader of the 17th century, author of a Tantra encyclopedia called Tantrasara. According to hearsay – Kali appeared to him in a dream and told him to popularize her in a particular form that would appear to him the following day. The next morning he observed a young woman making cow dung patties. While placing a patty on a wall, she stood in the alidha pose, with her right foot forward. When she saw Krishnananda watching her, she was embarrassed and put her tongue between her teeth. Krishnananada took his previous worship of Kali out of the cremation grounds and into a more domestic setting. Krishnananda Agamavagisha was also the guru of the Kali devotee and poet Ramprasad Sen.

 

Smashana Kali
According to Mahakala Samhita,Smashana Kali is two armed and black in complexion,She stands on a corpse and holds a wine cup and a piece of rotten flesh in Her hands,and this is the terrible form of the Mother. She is worshiped by tantrics, the followers of Tantra, who believe that one’s spiritual discipline practised in a smashan (cremation ground) brings success quickly. A well known Shamshan Kali can be found in Barabelun, located in Bardhaman District of West Bengal. Known as “Boro-Ma” or the Big Mother, this Kali is estimated to be over 550 years old. The 24 foot high idol is worshipped and revered by the masses.

 

Other forms
Other forms of Kali popularly worshipped in Bengal include Raksha Kali (form of Kali worshipped for protection against epidemics and drought), Bhadra Kali, Chamunda Kali and Guhya Kali

 

Symbolism
There are many different interpretations of the symbolic meanings of Kali’s depiction, depending on a Tantric or devotional approach, and on whether one views her image symbolically, allegorically, or mystically.

 

Physical form

In Bengal and Orissa, Kali’s extended tongue is widely seen as expressing embarrassment over the realization that her foot is on her husband’s chest.
There are many varied depictions of the different forms of Kali. The most common shows her with four arms and hands, showing aspects of creation and destruction. The two right hands are often held out in blessing, one in a mudra saying “fear not” (abhayamudra), the other conferring boons. Her left hands hold a severed head and blood-covered sword. The sword severs the bondage of ignorance and ego, represented by the severed head. One interpretation of Kali’s tongue is that the red tongue symbolizes the rajasic nature being conquered by the white (symbolizing sattvic) nature of the teeth. Her blackness represents that she is nirguna, beyond all qualities of nature, and transcendent.

 

The most widespread interpretation of Kali’s extended tongue involve her embarrassment over the sudden realization that she has stepped on her husband’s chest. Kali’s sudden “modesty and shame” over that act is the prevalent interpretation among Oriya Hindus.The biting of the tongue conveys the emotion of lajja or modesty, an expression that is widely accepted as the emotion being expressed by Kali. In Bengal also, Kali’s protruding tongue is “widely accepted… as a sign of speechless embarrassment: a gesture very common among Bengalis.”

 

The twin earrings of Kali is said to be corpse of young dead boys. This is because Kali likes devotees who have child-like qualities in them. The forehead of Kali is as luminous as the full moon and it eternally gives out ambrosia.

 

Kali is often shown standing with her right foot on Shiva’s chest. This represents an episode where Kali was out of control on the battlefield, such that she was about to destroy the entire universe. Shiva pacified her by laying down under her foot, both to receive her blessing, but also to pacify and calm her. Shiva is sometimes shown with a blissful smile on his face. She is typically shown with a garland of severed heads, often numbering fifty. This can symbolize the letters of the Sanskrit alphabet and therefore as the primordial sound of Aum from which all creation proceeds. The severed arms which make up her skirt represent her devotee’s karma that she has taken on.

 

Mother Nature
The name Kali means Kala or force of time. When there were neither the creation, nor the sun, the moon, the planets, and the earth, there was only darkness and everything was created from the darkness. The Dark appearance of Kali represents the darkness from which everything was born. Her complexion is deep blue, like the sky and ocean water as blue. As she is also the goddess of Preservation, Kali is worshiped as the preserver of nature. Kali is standing calm on Shiva, her appearance represents the preservation of mother nature. Her free, long and black hair represents nature’s freedom from civilization. Under the third eye of kali, the signs of both sun, moon and fire are visible which represent the driving forces of nature. Kali is not always thought of as a Dark Goddess. Despite Kali’s origins in battle, She evolved to a full-fledged symbol of Mother Nature in Her creative, nurturing and devouring aspects. She is referred to as a great and loving primordial Mother Goddess in the Hindu tantric tradition. In this aspect, as Mother Goddess, She is referred to as Kali Ma, meaning Kali Mother, and millions of Hindus revere Her as such.

 

Shiva in Kali iconography

A Kangra painting of Kali stands on Shiva, who assumes the position of a corpse atop a blazing funeral pyre. Dogs and scavenger birds surround Kali.
There are several interpretations of the symbolism behind the commonly represented image of Kali standing on Shiva’s supine form. A common one is that Shiva symbolizes purusha, the universal unchanging aspect of reality, or pure consciousness. Kali represents Prakriti, nature or matter, sometimes seen as having a feminine quality. The merging of these two qualities represent ultimate reality.

 

A tantric interpretation sees Shiva as consciousness and Kali as power or energy. Consciousness and energy are dependent upon each other, since Shiva depends on Shakti, or energy, in order to fulfill his role in creation, preservation, and destruction. In this view, without Shakti, Shiva is a corpse — unable to act.

 

Worship
Tantra

Kali Yantra
Goddesses play an important role in the study and practice of Tantra Yoga, and are affirmed to be as central to discerning the nature of reality as are the male deities. Although Parvati is often said to be the recipient and student of Shiva’s wisdom in the form of Tantras, it is Kali who seems to dominate much of the Tantric iconography, texts, and rituals. In many sources Kāli is praised as the highest reality or greatest of all deities. The Nirvana-tantra says the gods Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva all arise from her like bubbles in the sea, ceaselessly arising and passing away, leaving their original source unchanged. The Niruttara-tantra and the Picchila-tantra declare all of Kāli’s mantras to be the greatest and the Yogini-tantra, Kamakhya-tantra and the Niruttara-tantra all proclaim Kāli vidyas (manifestations of Mahadevi, or “divinity itself”). They declare her to be an essence of her own form (svarupa) of the Mahadevi.

 

In the Mahanirvana-tantra, Kāli is one of the epithets for the primordial sakti, and in one passage Shiva praises her:

 

At the dissolution of things, it is Kāla [Time] Who will devour all, and by reason of this He is called Mahākāla [an epithet of Lord Shiva], and since Thou devourest Mahākāla Himself, it is Thou who art the Supreme Primordial Kālika. Because Thou devourest Kāla, Thou art Kāli, the original form of all things, and because Thou art the Origin of and devourest all things Thou art called the Adya [the Primordial One]. Re-assuming after Dissolution Thine own form, dark and formless, Thou alone remainest as One ineffable and inconceivable. Though having a form, yet art Thou formless; though Thyself without beginning, multiform by the power of Maya, Thou art the Beginning of all, Creatrix, Protectress, and Destructress that Thou art.

 

The figure of Kāli conveys death, destruction, and the consuming aspects of reality. As such, she is also a “forbidden thing”, or even death itself. In the Pancatattva ritual, the sadhaka boldly seeks to confront Kali, and thereby assimilates and transforms her into a vehicle of salvation. This is clear in the work of the Karpuradi-stotra,[48] a short praise of Kāli describing the Pancatattva ritual unto her, performed on cremation grounds. (Samahana-sadhana)

 

He, O Mahākāli who in the cremation-ground, naked, and with dishevelled hair, intently meditates upon Thee and recites Thy mantra, and with each recitation makes offering to Thee of a thousand Akanda flowers with seed, becomes without any effort a Lord of the earth. Oh Kāli, whoever on Tuesday at midnight, having uttered Thy mantra, makes offering even but once with devotion to Thee of a hair of his Shakti [his energy/female companion] in the cremation-ground, becomes a great poet, a Lord of the earth, and ever goes mounted upon an elephant.

 

The Karpuradi-stotra, dated to approximately 10th century ACE, clearly indicates that Kāli is more than a terrible, vicious, slayer of demons who serves Durga or Shiva. Here, she is identified as the supreme mother of the universe, associated with the five elements. In union with Lord Shiva, she creates and destroys worlds. Her appearance also takes a different turn, befitting her role as ruler of the world and object of meditation. In contrast to her terrible aspects, she takes on hints of a more benign dimension. She is described as young and beautiful, has a gentle smile, and makes gestures with her two right hands to dispel any fear and offer boons. The more positive features exposed offer the distillation of divine wrath into a goddess of salvation, who rids the sadhaka of fear. Here, Kali appears as a symbol of triumph over death.

 

Bengali tradition

Kali Puja festival in Kolkata.
Kali is also a central figure in late medieval Bengali devotional literature, with such devotees as Ramprasad Sen (1718–75). With the exception of being associated with Parvati as Shiva’s consort, Kāli is rarely pictured in Hindu legends and iconography as a motherly figure until Bengali devotions beginning in the early eighteenth century. Even in Bengāli tradition her appearance and habits change little, if at all.

 

The Tantric approach to Kāli is to display courage by confronting her on cremation grounds in the dead of night, despite her terrible appearance. In contrast, the Bengali devotee appropriates Kāli’s teachings adopting the attitude of a child, coming to love her unreservedly. In both cases, the goal of the devotee is to become reconciled with death and to learn acceptance of the way that things are. These themes are well addressed in Rāmprasād’s work. Rāmprasād comments in many of his other songs that Kāli is indifferent to his wellbeing, causes him to suffer, brings his worldly desires to nothing and his worldly goods to ruin. He also states that she does not behave like a mother should and that she ignores his pleas:

 

Can mercy be found in the heart of her who was born of the stone? [a reference to Kali as the daughter of Himalaya]
Were she not merciless, would she kick the breast of her lord?
Men call you merciful, but there is no trace of mercy in you, Mother.
You have cut off the heads of the children of others, and these you wear as a garland around your neck.
It matters not how much I call you “Mother, Mother.” You hear me, but you will not listen.

 

To be a child of Kāli, Rāmprasād asserts, is to be denied of earthly delights and pleasures. Kāli is said to refrain from giving that which is expected. To the devotee, it is perhaps her very refusal to do so that enables her devotees to reflect on dimensions of themselves and of reality that go beyond the material world.

 

A significant portion of Bengali devotional music features Kāli as its central theme and is known as Shyama Sangeet (“Music of the Night”). Mostly sung by male vocalists, today even women have taken to this form of music. One of the finest singers of Shyāma Sāngeet is Pannalal Bhattacharya.

 

Kāli is especially venerated in the festival of Kali Puja in eastern India—celebrated when the new moon day of Ashwin month coincides with the festival of Diwali. The practice of animal sacrifice is common during Kali Puja in Bengal, Orissa, and Assam, though it is rare outside of those areas. The Hindu temples where this takes place involves the ritual slaying of goats, chickens and sometimes male Water buffalos. Throughout India, the practice is becoming less common.The rituals in eastern India temples where animals are killed are generally led by Brahmin priests. A number of Tantric Puranas specify the ritual for how the animal should be killed. A Brahmin priest will recite a mantra in the ear of animal to be sacrificed, in order to free the animal from the cycle of life and death. Groups such as People for Animals continue to protest animal sacrifice based on court rulings forbidding the practice in some locations.

 

Tantric Buddhism
Tantric Kali cults such as the Kaula and Krama had a strong influence on Tantric Buddhism, as can be seen in fierce looking yoginis and dakinis such as Vajrayogini and “Krodikali”.

 

In Tibet, Krodikali (alt. Krodhakali, Kālikā, Krodheśvarī, Krishna Krodhini) is known as Tröma Nagmo (Tib. ཁྲོ་མ་ནག་མོ་, Wyl. khro ma nag mo, Eng. ‘The Black Wrathful Lady’). She features as a key deity in the practice tradition of Chöd founded by Machig Labdron and is seen as a fierce form of Vajrayogini. Other similar fierce deities include the dark blue Ugra Tara and the lion-faced Simhamukha.

 

Worship in the Western world
An academic study of western Kali enthusiasts noted that, “as shown in the histories of all cross-cultural religious transplants, Kali devotionalism in the West must take on its own indigenous forms if it is to adapt to its new environment.” Rachel Fell McDermott, Professor of Asian and Middle Eastern Cultures at Columbia University and author of several books on Kali, has noted the evolving views in the West regarding Kali and her worship. In 1998 she pointed out that:

 

A variety of writers and thinkers have found Kali an exciting figure for reflection and exploration, notably feminists and participants in New Age spirituality who are attracted to goddess worship. [For them], Kali is a symbol of wholeness and healing, associated especially with repressed female power and sexuality. [However, such interpretations often exhibit] confusion and misrepresentation, stemming from a lack of knowledge of Hindu history among these authors, [who only rarely] draw upon materials written by scholars of the Hindu religious tradition… It is hard to import the worship of a goddess from another culture: religious associations and connotations have to be learned, imagined or intuited when the deep symbolic meanings embedded in the native culture are not available.

 

By 2003 McDermott amended her previous view by writing that:

…cross-cultural borrowing is appropriate and a natural by-product of religious globalization—although such borrowing ought to be done responsibly and self-consciously. If some Kali enthusiasts, therefore, careen ahead, reveling in a goddess of power and sex, many others, particularly since the early 1990s, have decided to reconsider their theological trajectories. These, whether of South Asian descent or not, are endeavoring to rein in what they perceive as excesses of feminist and New Age interpretations of the Goddess by choosing to be informed by, moved by, an Indian view of her character.

 

A form of Kali worship might have been transmitted to the west already in Medieval times by the wandering Romani people. Some authors have drawn parallels between Kali worship and the ceremonies of the annual pilgrimage in honor of Saint Sarah, also known as Sara-la-Kali (“Sara the Black”, Romani: Sara e Kali), held at Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, a place of pilgrimage for Roma in the Camargue, in southern France. Ronald Lee (2001) states:

 

If we compare the ceremonies with those performed in France at the shrine of Sainte Sara (called Sara e Kali in Romani), we become aware that the worship of Kali/Durga/Sara has been transferred to a Christian figure… in France, to a non-existent “sainte” called Sara, who is actually part of the Kali/Durga/Sara worship among certain groups in India.

 

Give us, O Kali, the needs of the body,
Give us, O Kali, the needs of the soul;
Give us, O Kali, the healing balsam of the body,
Give us, O Kali, the healing balsam of the soul.
Give us, O Kali, the joy of forgiveness,
Wash Thou from us the pain of jealousy,
Cleanse Thou from us the stain of karma.
That reincarnation may cease
And we may live forever in your summerland.
O great Goddess, Who art on the throne,
Weigh mine heart on your scales,
Give to us, O Kali, strong love,
And that beautiful crown of the Queen;
Give us, O Kali, the home of salvation
Within the beauteous gates of Thy kingdom.
Give us hospitality in the brightness of peace.

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Reference
Wikipedia

The Study of Pagan Gods & Goddesses: Nephthys, Egyptian Goddess

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Nephthys

Nephthys was one of the original five gods of ancient Egypt born of the union of Geb (earth) and Nut (sky) after the creation of the world. She was the fourth born after Osiris, Isis, and Set and was the older sister of Horus (usually referred to as Horus the Elder). As one of the earliest goddesses of Egypt, she was a member of the Ennead of Heliopolis, a tribunal of nine deities of immense power. Her cult centers were Heliopolis, Senu, Hebet, Per-met, Re-nefert, and Het-sekem. Contrary to some scholars’ assertions that she was never widely worshipped in Egypt, temples to Nephthys were quite common and she was considered an extremely important goddess from the Predynastic Period (c.6000-c. 3150 BCE) through the Ptolemaic Dynasty (323-30 BCE), the last dynasty to rule Egypt before it became a province of Rome.

 

NAME & SYMBOLS
‘Nephthys’ is the Latin version of her Egyptian name `Nebthwt’ (also given as Nebet-het and Nebt-het) which translates as “Lady of the Temple Enclosure” or “Mistress of the House” and she is routinely pictured with the heiroglyph for ‘house’ on her crown. The ‘house’ is neither an earthly home nor temple but linked to the heavens as she was related to air and ether. The ‘enclosure’ may refer to the courtyard outside a temple as she was represented by the pylons outside of temples in her role as a protective goddess; just as the pylons and wall protected the inner temple, Nephthys protected the souls of the people. She was associated with death and decay from an early period and was regularly invoked during funeral services. Professional mourners at Egyptian funerals were known as “Hawks of Nephthys” and she is one of the four goddesses (along with Isis, Selket, and Neith) whose images were found in the tomb of Tutankhamun as guardians of his canopic vessels. Historian Margaret Bunson notes:

 

Nephthys was associated with the mortuary cult in every era and was part of the ancient worship of Min [a god of fertility and reproduction]. The desert regions were dedicated to her and she was thought to be skilled in magic (188).

 

Her magical skills were similar to those of Isis and some scholars see her as Isis’ mirror image, Nephthys’ darkness balancing Isis’ light, and they are frequently pictured together as twin sisters. In the city of Heliopolis Nephthys and Isis were represented by two virgin priestesses at festivals who would recite the famous Lamentations of Isis and Nepthys at the Osiris’ festival. The Lamentations is a long narrative poem recreating the moment Isis and Nephthys worked together to revive the god Osiris and bring him back to life. Although originally spoken only at religious services, the Lamentations came to be included in the Egyptian Book of the Dead and was recited at funeral services.

 

Nephthys became the wife of Set and is best known for the part she played in the Osiris myth where, disguised as Isis, she seduced Osiris and provided Set with justification for the murder of his brother. She is later depicted in the myth as both betraying and then helping Isis in her efforts to restore her husband to life. She is a goddess of the dead who, like her granddaughter Qebhet, provides assistance to the souls of the deceased. She was so helpful to those in the afterlife that one of her titles was “Friend of the Dead” and she was also thought to bring news of the deceased back to their relatives on earth and comfort them in their time of mourning.

 

Her symbols are the hawk and the temple and the sycamore tree, one of the more popular trees depicted in inscriptions from the Egyptian Book of the Dead. She is the mother of the death god Anubis and was associated with the setting sun, twilight, and darkness. Prayers were offered to Nephthys at twilight for protection and also to aid her as she struggled with her husband Set to defend the Boat of Ra (the sun god) from the serprent Apophis as it made its journey through the realms of night.

 

MYTHOLOGICAL ORIGINS
According to the most popular version of the Egyptian creation myth, there was once only swirling chaotic waters and darkness in the universe until, one day, a mound (known as the ben-ben) rose from the seas with the god Atum (also known as Ra) standing upon it. Atum gazed out on the eternal nothingness and recognized he was lonely, and so mated with his own shadow to give birth to Shu (god of the air) and Tefnut (goddess of moisture). These two deities then left their father alone on the primordial mound and went off to create the world.

 

Atum, alone on the hill in the midst of chaos, longed for his children and worried over their safety, and so he removed his eye and sent it out in search of them. Shu and Tefnut returned with the eye, having failed to create the world, and Atum was so happy to see them, he began to cry. As his tears fell on the fertile earth of the ben-ben, men and women sprang up.

 

These new fragile beings had nowhere to live, however, and so Shu and Tefnut mated and gave birth to Geb (the earth) and Nut (the sky). These two quickly fell in love and became inseparable; a situation Atum found intolerable as they were brother and sister. He pushed Nut high above Geb and fastened her there so the two lovers would be able to see each other but never touch again. Nut, however, was already pregnant by Geb and soon gave birth to five children: Osiris, Isis, Set, Nephthys, and Horus. Atum gave to these five gods the task of maintaining the world and set his first born, Osiris, to rule over all the living things of the earth.

 

THE OSIRIS MYTH
At this point in the story the famous Osiris Myth begins when Set becomes jealous of Osiris’ power and success. Osiris married his beautiful sister Isis and the royal couple taught the humans of the world culture and art, instructed them in religion, and gave them the gifts of agriculture. To the Egyptians, their country was essentially the world and this world, under the reign of Osiris and Isis, was a paradise. Men and women were equal in all things and there was an abundance of food.

 

Osiris

Horus the Elder, in this story, is never mentioned but the roles of Set and Nephthys, who are, seem fairly insignificant at first until Nephthys emerges to play a pivotal role. She changed her form to take on the shape and scent of Isis and seduced Osiris, who thought he was sleeping with his wife. In some versions of the story she drugs his wine or gives him too much while, in others, he simply comes to her bed thinking she is Isis. Osiris leaves afterwards but drops a flower he wore in his hair on the floor and this is later found by Set who recognizes it as his brother’s.

 

Set was already resentful of his older brother but now, believing Osiris had seduced his wife, he planned to murder him. He created an ornate chest to Osiris’ exact measurements and then threw a party where he offered the box as a gift to whichever of his guests could best fit in it. Osiris, of course, fit perfectly and, when he lay down in the casket, Set slammed the cover on, fastened it, and threw it into the Nile. He then assumed the throne with Nephthys as his consort. She gave birth a short time later to a son, the god Anubis, whom she abandoned and who was raised by Isis.

 

Isis, meanwhile, went in search of her husband and found the casket with his body inside lodged in a tree in Byblos. The king and queen of the city had seen the tree down by the shore and were attracted by its beauty (which was the essence of Osiris permeating the tree) and its sweet scent (the aroma of Osiris) and had it cut down and brought to their court to serve as a central pillar. Isis, disguised as an older woman, was invited to the court after she befriended the queen’s handmaidens down by the shore and soon became nursemaid to the young princes. In an effort to make the youngest son immortal, she held him in a mystical fire each night to burn away his mortal part and, one night, the queen caught her and was horrified. Isis threw off her disguise, revealing herself, and the king and queen begged her for mercy, offering her anything to spare them. She asked for the pillar in the court; and they gave it to her.

 

All this time, the world was suffering under the rule of Set. The land was barren and the desert winds blew. Equality in the land was forgotten as people fought for each other for survival. Isis returned to the wasteland with Osiris and hid his body in the marshes of the Nile Delta and then asked Nephthys to stand guard to protect him from Set. While Isis went off to find herbs to revive her husband, Set was out searching for the body and found Nephthys. He managed to get from her where Isis had hidden Osiris and hacked the body to pieces, throwing them across the land and into the river. When Isis returned, Nephthys tearfully told her the story and offered to help in any way she could.

 

Isis and Nephthys found all the parts of Osiris and put him back together except for his penis, which had been eaten by a fish. Osiris revived but, because he was not whole, could not return to the land as king; he would instead descend to the underworld where he would rule over the dead as their just and merciful judge. Before he left, however, Isis transformed herself into a kite (a falcon) and flew around his body, drawing his seed into her own and becoming pregnant with a son, Horus. When Horus was born, she hid him in the marshes of the Delta as she had his father’s body and Nephthys, this time, kept her secret.

 

THE CONTENDINGS OF HORUS & SET
When Horus grew to manhood he challenged Set for the kingdom. The best known version of this contest is known as The Contendings of Horus and Set from a manuscript of the Twentieth Dynasty (1190-1077 BCE). The story tells of the legal battle before the Ennead of Heliopolis, a tribunal of nine gods, to decide who was the rightful king of Egypt. These gods were Atum, Shu and Tefnut, Geb and Nut, Isis and Nephthys, Set, and Osiris. Horus and Set both present their cases and then must prove themselves in a series of contests and battles which are all won by Horus.

 

Horus

The majority of the nine gods ruled that Horus was the rightful king but Atum, the sun god, was not convinced and the decision had to be unanimous, barring Set’s opinion. Atum believed that Horus was too young and had led too sheltered a life to effectively rule while Set had the necessary experience if not the most gentle manner. Even though Horus won every contest against his uncle, Atum would not be moved. This trial went on for over 80 years while the people of Egypt suffered under Set’s chaotic reign until Isis intervened, showed the other gods – and Set – how wickedly he had behaved, and won the ruling in favor of her son. In another, perhaps older, version of the story it is the goddess Neith who settles the dispute in favor of Horus and grants the desert lands to Set along with two foreign goddesses (Anat and Astarte) as consolation. Horus assumed the throne of his father and ruled with Isis and Nephthys as his counselors. Set was driven from the land to the arid frontier deserts and Nephthys remained as a protector of the female head of the household, Isis in this case, but later any mature married woman.

 

THE LAMENTATIONS OF ISIS & NEPHTHYS
This myth was important to the ancient Egyptians on many levels. It illustrated core values of harmony, order, divine intervention in human affairs, the importance of gratitude, trust, and how, in the character of Set, even the gods could succumb to temptation but, no matter what, harmony and order would be restored. The death and ressurection of Osiris provided a divine template for the passage of all human beings who were thought to be travelers on an eternal journey through life and on into the afterlife. The Cult of Osiris became extremely popular and part of his religious service included the recitation of the liturgy known as The Lamentations of Isis and Nephthys.

 

The most complete version of this verse comes from the Berlin Papyrus 3008 dating to the Ptolemaic Dynasty. This papyrus was part of a copy of The Book of the Dead owned by a woman named Tentruty (also given as Teret) and is written in hieratic script (the cursive, everyday, script of the Egyptians) in five columns. The poem is written as an exchange between Isis and Nephthys as they call Osiris’ soul back to his body. The two goddesses entreat the soul to return, to live again among them, and invoke Horus, Osiris’ son, as his protector in life who will provide him with “bread, beer, oxen, and fowl” and whose sons will guard his body and protect his soul. In the end, Osiris returns to life as the poem ends with the line, “Lo! He Comes!”

 

Following the verse, the scribe has left very careful instructions on how the Lamentations is to be presented at the festivals:

 

Now, when this is recited the place is to be completely secluded, not seen and not heard by anyone except the chief lector-priest and the setem-priest. One shall bring two women with beautiful bodies. They shall be made to sit on the ground at the main portal of the Hall of Appearings. On their arms shall be written the names of Isis and Nephthys. Jars of faience filled with water shall be placed in their right hands, offering loaves made in Memphis in their left hands, and their faces shall be bowed. To be done in the third hour of the day, also in the eighth hour of the day. You shall not be slack in reciting this book in the hour of the festival. It is finished.

 

The two virgins would recite the Lamentations to invite Osiris to participate in the festival and, once he arrived, the celebration could begin. Osiris was considered the first king of Egypt who had given the people their culture and who, through his death and resurrection, showed them the way to eternal life. In death, everyone was linked to Osiris who was the first to have died and been reborn. His festivals, therefore, were of great importance and Nephthys regularly featured as one of the most important elements of the celebration: one of the two who called the god to join the living.

 

She describes herself as the “beloved sister” of Osiris in the Lamentations and says, “I am with you, your bodyguard, for all eternity.” When the Lamentations became included in The Book of the Dead (c. 1550-1070 BCE), the poem was recited at funerals and Nephthys would then have been speaking to the soul of the deceased. It was in this capacity that she came to be regarded as the “Friend of the Dead” who walked with the soul and helped them in the afterlife as their “bodyguard for all eternity” and made her such an important deity to the people.

 

NEPHTHYS & THE BARGE OF RA
Long before the Osiris myth became popular, Nepthys was already a very significant goddess, however. In texts of the period of the Old Kingdom (c. 2613 – c. 2181 BCE) she is referenced with Set as the two gods who protect the barge of the sun god Ra (Atum) as it passes through the night sky. The evil serpent Apophis tried every night to murder the sun god but Nephthys and Set fought the creature off so the sun could rise the next morning. Set was later transformed from a protector god to the villain of the Osiris myth but Nephthys’ role remained the same: a protector and sustainer of life. Even though the focus on who was protected changed, the basic elements of her character remained the same. The scholar Geraldine Pinch has observed that, “Nephthys never enjoyed the high status of her sister, Isis” (171) and, while it may be true that worship of Nephthys never was on par with that of Isis, her status was consistently quite impressive throughout Egypt’s history.

 

In the Predynastic Period of Egypt, Nephthys was one of the most important deities owing to her part in this myth. If Apophis succeeded in murdering Ra, the sun would not rise and so it was vital that the barge be protected. In the Coffin Texts Set and the snake-god Mehen protect the barge; Mehen by coiling himself around Ra and Set by fending off Apophis. Mehen was later replaced by Nephthys but Apophis was considered so powerful, and the threat to Ra so dire, that other deities often appear on the barge to drive the enemy of the sun away such as Isis, Bastet, Selket, Neith, and Sekhmet who were collectively known, with Nephthys, as the Eyes of Ra in this capacity.

 

The myth of the nightly threat to Ra is most clearly told in a manuscript dating from the Ramessid Period (1292-1069 BCE) but archaeological evidence suggests the story is much older. By the time of the Ramessid Period the myth had evolved into a ritual known as Overthrowing Apophis in which a priest would recite a list of Apophis’ secret names (thereby gaining power over him) and the people would sing hymns celebrating his destruction. Even though the gods destroyed the great serpent every night, he returned to try to murder Ra again the next. The hymns were sung to encourage the gods in their eternal struggle. Participants in the ritual would then make serpents out of wax, spit on them, and destroy them in fire. The ritual was performed regularly after a number of cloudy days when it seemed as though Apophis was succeeding in preventing the dawn and especially during a solar eclipse.

 

POPULARITY & WORSHIP OF NEPHTHYS
Prior to the addition of the other goddesses, however, it was Nephthys and Set who kept the sun on course and she was duly honored for this. Temples to Nephthys were located in every region of Egypt long before she became associated with the dead and only grew more numerous afterwards. As with any Egyptian deity, her temple was attended by priests and priestesses who cared for her statue and observed her holy days and festivals. The public was barred from entering the inner sanctuary of the temple where her statue resided but were welcomed in the outer courtyards where the clergy tended to their needs and collected their donations and sacrifices.

 

By the time of Ramesses II (1279 – 1213 BCE) Nephthys was so popular she was given her own temple at the popular religious center of Sepermeru in the holy precinct where Set’s temple was located. Nephthys was so popular at this time that she is mentioned in texts without allusion to Isis or Set. Her temple in the town of Punodjem was apparently so popular that the head priest and vizier Pra’emhab complained of his workload and her temple at Herakleopolis, near Sepermeru, became the site of the Heb-Sed festival celebrating the rejuvenation of the king. The basalt statue of Nephthys currently housed at the Louvre in Paris comes from this temple.

 

Although Nephthys is frequently depicted as a mirror to her twin sister Isis, she had a life and status all her own which was just as worthy of veneration. Once she became associated with the afterlife and the care of the dead the linen which was used to mummify the deceased was known as “tresses of Nephthys” and it was thought that she, along with Selket, helped to breathe life back into the soul and help them on their eternal journey. Nephthys came to represent the promise of a helper at one’s side in the afterlife who would look after and protect the soul and who assured the living that death was nothing to be feared. The realm of the afterlife was only a new land one traveled to and old friends, like Nephthys, would be waiting to offer their protection and guidance in death as they had throughout life.

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Nephthys

Nephthys was an ancient goddess, who was referenced in texts dating back to the Old Kingdom. She was a member of the Ennead of Heliopolis as the daughter of Geb and Nut and the sister of Osiris, Isis and Horus and the sister and wife of Set. When the Ennead and Ogdoad merged, Nephthys was given a place on Ra’s boat so that she could accompany him on his journey through the underworld.

 

Nephthys is the Greek pronunciation of her name. To the Ancient Egyptians she was Nebthwt (Nebhhwt or Nebthet) meaning “the Mistress of the House”. The word “hwt” (“house”) may refer to the sky (as in Hwt-hor, the “House of Horus” – the name of Hathor), but it also refers to either the royal family or Egypt as a whole. The latter makes a great deal of sense as she was described as the head of the household of the gods and was thought to extend her protection to the head female of every household. She was sometimes associated with Ptah-Tanen in representing Lower Egypt, while Khnum and Isis represented Upper Egypt.

 

It seems that she was originally conceived of as the female counterpart of Set. He represented the desert, while she represented the air. Set was infertile (like the desert that he represented) and was frequently described as either bisexual or gay and so Nephthys was often considered to be barren. As a goddess of the air, she could take the form of a bird, and because she was barren she was associated with the vulture – a bird which the Egyptians believed did not bear children. The Egyptians thought that all vultures were female (because there is very little difference in the appearance of a male vulture), and that they were spontaneously created from the air. While the care shown by a mother vulture for her child was highly respected, the Egyptians also recognised that vultures fed on carrion and associated them with death and decay. As a result, Nephthys became a goddess of death and mourning.

 

Nephthys
Professional mourners were known as the “Hawks of Nephthys”, in recognition of her role as a goddess of mourning. It was also believed that she protected Hapi in his role as of the Four sons of Horus (who guarded the organs stored in the four canopic jars). Hapi protected the lungs, and as a goddes of the air Nephthys was his guardian. She was also one of the four goddesses who guarded the shrine buried with the Pharaoh. She appears with Isis, Selkit (Serqet) and Neith on the gilded shrine of Tutankhamun, but was often depicted with Isis, Bast and Hathor in this role. Yet, she was also said to be the source of both rain and the Nile river (associating her with Anuket) and was thought to protect women in childbirth (with the assistance of her sister, Isis). Thus she was closely associated with both death and life.

 

Although she was technically infertile, later myths claimed that she was the mother of Anubis by either Osiris or Set (depending on the myth). This came about because Anubis’ position as the god of the dead was usurped by Osiris when the theologies of the Ennead and the Ogdoad merged. According to one myth Nephthys disguised herself as Isis to get the attention of her neglectful husband Set, but instead seduced Osiris (who apparently did not realise that it was Nephthys). An alternative myth made it clear that Nephthys intended to seduce Osiris from the beginning and drugged his wine to make her task easier, while a less common myth held that she did trick her husband into a brief daliance in order to concieve Anubis. It is suggested that this tale also explained the flowering of a plant in a normally barren area because Set apparently discovered the adultery when he found a flower left by his brother Osiris.

 

Isis and Nephthys were very close despite Nephthys’ alleged infidelity with Osiris (the husband of Isis) and her marriage to Set (the murderer of Osiris). Nephthys protected the body of Osiris and supported Isis as she tried to resurrect him. The goddesses are so similar in appearance that only their headdresses can distinguish them and they always appear together in funerary scenes. Together Isis and Nephthys could be said to represent day and night, life and death, growth and decay. In Heliopolis, Isis and Nephthys were represented by two virginal priestesses who shaved off all of their body hair and were ritually pure.

 

Nephthys was usually depicted as a woman with the hieroglyphs of her name (a basket on top of the glyph representing the plan of an estate) on her head. She could also be depicted as a mourning woman, and her hair was compared to the strips of cloth used in mummification. She also occasionally appears as a hawk, a kite or a winged goddess in her role as a protector of the dead. Her major centers of worships were Heliopolis (Iunu, in the 13th Nome of Lower Egypt), Senu, Hebet, (Behbit), Per-mert, Re-nefert, Het-sekhem, Het-Khas, Ta-kehset, and Diospolites.

 

Reference
Joshua J. Mark, Ancient History 

J Hill, Ancient Egypt Online 

THe Studay of Pagan Gods & Goddesses: Rhiannon

Rhiannon

Horse Goddess of Wales

In Welsh mythology, Rhiannon is a horse goddess depicted in the Mabinogion. She is similar in many aspects to the Gaulish Epona, and later evolved into a goddess of sovereignty who protected the king from treachery.

Rhiannon in the Mabinogion
Rhiannon was married to Pwyll, the Lord of Dyfed. When Pwyll first saw her, she appeared as a golden goddess upon a magnificent white horse. Rhiannon managed to outrun Pwyll for three days, and then allowed him to catch up, at which point she told him she’d be happy to marry him, because it would keep her from marrying Gwawl, who had tricked her into an engagement.

Rhiannon and Pwyll conspired together to fool Gwawl in return, and thus Pwyll won her as his bride. Most of the conspiring was likely Rhiannon’s, as Pwyll didn’t appear to be the cleverest of men. In the Mabinogion, Rhiannon says of her husband, “Never was there a man who made feebler use of his wits.”

A few years after marrying Pwyll, Rhiannon gave birth to their son, but the infant disappeared one night while under the care of his nursemaids. Frightened that they would be charged for a crime, the nursemaids killed a puppy and smeared its blood on the face of their sleeping queen. When she awoke, Rhiannon was accused of killing and eating her son. As penance, Rhiannon was made to sit outside the castle walls, and tell passersby what she had done. Pwyll, however, stood by her, and many years later the infant was returned to his parents by a lord who had rescued him from a monster and raised him as his own son.

Author Miranda Jane Green draws comparisons to this story and that of the archetypical “wronged wife,” accused of a horrible crime.

Rhiannon and the Horse
The goddess’ name, Rhiannon, derives from a Proto-Celtic root which means “great queen,” and by taking a man as her spouse, she grants him sovereignty as king of the land.

In addition, Rhiannon possesses a set of magical birds, who can soothe the living into a deep slumber, or wake the dead from their eternal sleep.

Her story features prominently in the Fleetwood Mac hit song, although songwriter Stevie Nicks says she didn’t know it at the time. Later, Nicks said she “was struck by the story’s emotional resonance with that of her song: the goddess, or possibly witch, given her ability with spells, was impossible to catch by horse and was also closely identified with birds — especially significant since the song claims she “takes to the sky like a bird in flight,” “rules her life like a fine skylark,” and is ultimately “taken by the wind.”

Primarily, though, Rhiannon is associated with the horse, which appears prominently in much of Welsh and Irish mythology. Many parts of the Celtic world — Gaul in particular — used horses in warfare, and so it is no surprise that these animals turn up in the myths and legends or Ireland and Wales. Scholars have learned that horse racing was a popular sport, especially at fairs and gatherings, and for centuries Ireland has been known as the center of horse breeding and training.

Judith Shaw, at Feminism and Religion, says, “Rhiannon, reminding us of our own divinity, helps us to identify with our sovereign wholeness.

She enables us to cast out the role of victim from our lives forever. Her presence calls us to practice patience and forgiveness. She lights our way to the ability to transcend injustice and maintain compassion for our accusers.”

Symbols and items that are sacred to Rhiannon in modern Pagan practice include horses and horseshoes, the moon, birds, and the wind itself.

An Iowa Pagan named Callista says, “I raise horses, and have worked with them since I was a child. I first encountered Rhiannon when I was a teenager, and I keep an altar to her near my stables. It’s got horsey things on it, like a horseshoe, a horse figurine, and even braids from the manes of horses I’ve lost over the years. I make an offering to her before horse shows, and I invoke her when one of my mares is about to give birth.

She seems to like offerings of sweetgrass and hay, milk, and even music – I sometimes sit by my altar and play my guitar, just singing a prayer to her, and the results are always good. I know she’s watching over me and my horses.”

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Rhiannon

Rhiannon is a major figure in the Mabinogi, the medieval Welsh story collection. She appears mainly in the First Branch of the Mabinogi, and again in the Third Branch. She is a strong minded Otherworld woman, who chooses Pwyll, prince of Dyfed (west Wales), as her consort, in preference to another man to whom she has already been betrothed. She is intelligent, politically strategic, and famed for her wealth and generosity. With Pwyll she has a son, the hero Pryderi, who later inherits the lordship of Dyfed. She endures tragedy when her newborn child is abducted, and she is accused of infanticide. As a widow she marries Manawydan of the British royal family, and has further adventures involving enchantments.

Like some other figures of British/Welsh literary tradition, Rhiannon may be a reflex of an earlier Celtic deity. Her name appears to derive from the reconstructed Brittonic form *Rīgantonā, a derivative of *rīgan- “queen”. In the First Branch of the Mabinogi, Rhiannon is strongly associated with horses, and so is her son Pryderi. She is often considered to be related to the Gaulish horse goddess Epona. She and her son are often depicted as mare and foal. Like Epona, she sometimes sits on her horse in a calm, static way. While this connection with Epona is generally accepted among scholars of the Mabinogi and Celtic studies, Ronald Hutton, a general historian, is skeptical.

Rhiannon’s story
Y Mabinogi: First Branch
Rhiannon first appears at Gorsedd Arberth an ancestral mound near one of the chief courts of Dyfed. Pwyll, the prince of Dyfed, has accepted the challenge of the mound’s magical tradition to show a marvel or deal out blows. Rhiannon appears to him and his court as the promised marvel. She is a beautiful woman arrayed in gold silk brocade, riding a shining white horse. Pwyll sends his best horsemen after her two days running, but she always remains ahead of them, though her horse never does more than amble. On the third day he finally follows her himself and does no better, until he finally appeals to her to stop for him.

Rhiannon characteristically rebukes him for not considering this course before, then explains she has sought him out to marry him, in preference to her current betrothed, Gwawl ap Clud. Pwyll gladly agrees, but at their wedding feast at her father’s court, an unknown man requests Pwyll grant a request; which he does without asking what it is. The man is Gwawl, and he requests Rhiannon.

Rhiannon rebukes Pwyll a second time for his stupid words, but provides the means and the plan to salvage the situation. She holds a second wedding feast for Gwawl, where she deploys Pwyll’s men outside in the orchard. She instructs Pwyll to enter the hall dressed as a beggar and humbly request Gwawl fill a certain ‘small bag’ with food. But she has enchanted the ‘small bag’ so it cannot ever be filled by normal means. Gwawl is persuaded to step in it to control its magic, which means Pwyll can trap him in it. Pwyll’s men rush in and surround the hall, then beat and kick Gwawl as the Badger-in-the-Bag game. To save his life Gwawl is forced to relinquish Rhiannon completely, and also his revenge. Rhiannon marries Pwyll, then journeys to Dyfed as its queen.

After a happy two years Pwyll comes under pressure from his nobles, to provide an heir. He refuses to set Rhiannon aside as barren, and in the third year their son is born. However, on the night of his birth, the newborn disappears while in the care of Rhiannon’s six sleepy maids. Terrified of being put to death, the women kill a puppy and smear its blood on Rhiannon’s sleeping face. In the morning they accuse her of infanticide and cannibalism. Rhiannon takes counsel with her own advisers, and offers to undergo a penance. Pwyll is again urged to set her aside, but refuses, and sets her penance instead. She must sit every day by the gate of the castle at the horse block, to tell her story to travelers. She must also offer to carry them on her back as a beast of burden, though few accept this. However, as the end of the story shows, Pwyll maintains her state as his queen, as she still sits at his side in the hall at feasting time.

The newborn child is discovered by Teyrnon, the lord of Gwent-Is-Coed (South-Eastern Wales). He is a horse lord whose fine mare foals every May Eve, but the foals go missing each year. He takes the mare into his house and sits vigil with her. After her foal is born he sees a monstrous claw trying to take the newborn foal through the window, so he slashes at the monster with his sword. Rushing outside he finds the monster gone, and a human baby left by the door. He and his wife claim the boy as their own naming him Gwri Wallt Euryn (Gwri of the Golden Hair), for “all the hair on his head was as yellow as gold”. The child grows at a superhuman pace with a great affinity for horses. Teyrnon who once served Pwyll as a courtier, recognises the boy’s resemblance to his father. As an honourable man he returns the boy to the Dyfed royal house.

Reunited with Rhiannon the child is formally named in the traditional way via his mother’s first direct words to him Pryderi a wordplay on “delivered” and “worry”, “care”, or “loss”. In due course Pwyll dies, and Pryderi rules Dyfed, marrying Cigfa of Gloucester, and amalgamating the seven cantrefs of Morgannwg to his kingdom.

Y Mabinogi: Third Branch
Pryderi returns from the disastrous Irish wars as one of the only Seven Survivors. Manawydan is another Survivor, and his good comrade and friend. They perform their duty of burying the dead king of Britain’s head in London (Bran the Blessed) to protect Britain from invasion. But in their long time away, the kingship of Britain has been usurped by Manawydan’s nephew Caswallon.

Manawydan declines to make more war to reclaim his rights. Pryderi recompenses him generously by giving him the use of the land of Dyfed, though he retains the sovereignty. Pryderi also arranges a marriage between the widowed Rhiannon and Manawydan, who take to each other with affection and respect. Pryderi is careful to pay homage for Dyfed to the usurper Caswallon to avert his hostility.

Manawydan now becomes the lead character in the Third Branch, and it is commonly named after him. With Rhiannon, Pryderi and Cigfa, he sits on the Gorsedd Arberth as Pwyll had once done. But this time disaster ensues. Thunder and magical mist descend on the land leaving it empty of all domesticated animals and all humans apart from the four protagonists.

After a period of living by hunting the four travel to borderland regions (now in England) and make a living at skilled crafts. In three different cities they build successful businesses making saddles, shields, then shoes. But vicious competition puts their lives at risk. Rather than fight as Pryderi wishes, Manawydan opts to quietly move on. Returning to Dyfed, Manawydan and Pryderi go hunting and follow a magical white boar, to a newly built tower. Against Manawydan’s advice, Pryderi enters it to fetch his hounds. He is trapped by a beautiful golden bowl. Manawydan returns to Rhiannon who rebukes him sharply for failing to even try to rescue his good friend. But her attempt to rescue her son suffers the same fate as he did. In a “blanket of mist”, Rhiannon, Pryderi and the tower vanish.

Manawydan eventually redeems himself by achieving restitution for Rhiannon, Pryderi, and the land of Dyfed. This involves a quasi-comical set of magical negotiations about a pregnant mouse. The magician Llwyd ap Cilcoed is forced to release both land and family from his enchantments, and never attack Dyfed again. His motive is revealed as vengeance for his friend Gwawl, Rhiannon’s rejected suitor. All ends happily with the family reunited, and Dyfed restored.

Interpretation as a goddess

Rhiannon is often associated with Epona
When Rhiannon first appears she is a mysterious figure arriving as part of the Otherworld tradition of Gorsedd Arberth. Her paradoxical style of riding slowly, yet unreachably, is strange and magical, though the paradox also occurs in mediaeval love poetry as an erotic metaphor. Rhiannon produces her “small bag” which is also a magical paradox for it cannot be filled by any ordinary means. When undergoing her penance, Rhiannon demonstrates the powers of a giantess, or the strength of a horse, by carrying travellers on her back.

Rhiannon is connected to three mystical birds. The Birds of Rhiannon (Adar Rhiannon) appear in the Second Branch, in the Triads of Britain, and in Culhwch ac Olwen. In the latter, the giant Ysbaddaden demands them as part of the bride price of his daughter. They are described as “they that wake the dead and lull the living to sleep.” This possibly suggests Rhiannon is based on an earlier goddess of Celtic polytheism.

W.J. Gruffydd’s book Rhiannon (1953) was an attempt to reconstruct the original story. It is mainly focused on the relationship between the males in the story, and rearranges the story elements too liberally for other scholars’ preference, though his research is otherwise detailed and helpful. Patrick Ford suggests that the Third Branch “preserves the detritus of a myth wherein the Sea God mated with the Horse Goddess.” He suggests “the mythic significance may well have been understood in a general way by an eleventh century audience.” Similar euhemerisms of pre-Christian deities can be found in other medieval Celtic literature, when Christian scribes and redactors reworked older deities as more acceptable giants, heroes or saints. In the Táin Bó Cúailnge, Macha and The Morrígan similarly appear as larger-than-life figures, yet never described as goddesses.

Proinsias Mac Cana’s position is that “[Rhiannon] reincarnates the goddess of sovereignty who, in taking to her a spouse, thereby ordained him legitimate king of the territory which she personified.” Miranda Jane Green draws in the international folklore motif of the calumniated wife, saying “Rhiannon conforms to two archetypes of myth … a gracious, bountiful queen-goddess; and … the ‘wronged wife’, falsely accused of killing her son.”

Modern interpretations
Rhiannon appears in many retellings and performances of the Mabinogi (Mabinogion) today. There is also a vigorous culture of modern fantasy novels.

An example of a modern Rhiannon inspiration is the Fleetwood Mac song “Rhiannon”. Stevie Nicks was inspired to create the song after reading Triad: A Novel of the Supernatural, a novel by Mary Bartlet Leader. There is mention of the Welsh legend in the novel, but the Rhiannon in the novel bears little resemblance to her original Welsh namesake. Nevertheless, despite having little accurate knowledge of the original Rhiannon, Nicks’ song does not conflict with the canon, and quickly became a musical legend.

In artworks, Rhiannon has inspired some entrancing images. A notable example is Alan Lee 1987, and 2001, who illustrated two major translations of the Mabinogi, and his pictures have attracted their own following.

Rhiannon is included in various Celtic neopaganism traditions since the 1970s, with varying degrees of accuracy in respect to the original literary sources.

In the fantasy world of Poul Anderson’s Three Hearts and Three Lions, there is a “University of Rhiannon”, where Magic is taught.

 

 

Reference

Patti Wigington, Published on ThoughtCo
Wikipedia