Calendar of the Sun for February 4th

Calendar of the Sun

4 Solmonath

Amaterasu’s Day

Colors: Red, orange, yellow, gold
Element: Fire
Altar: Set with a handwoven cloth in solar colors into which is woven a great sun, and place upon is fire-colored dragons and a figure of Amaterasu the Sun Goddess, and many candles.
Offerings: Rice crackers, cooked rice dyed with saffron, paper origami figures.
Daily Meal: Japanese food, preferably with at least one dish in bright colors.

Invocation to Amaterasu

Summer’s Joy
Queen of the Sky
Giver of Life
To our entire world
Weaver of sunbeams
Into golden robes of finery
Which you drape over us
Each time we emerge
Into your sacred light.
Laugh, Queen of Day!
Laugh and let your delicate
Fingers play across our eyes
That we may blink, and sting
The tears from them,
And open them again to see
Your golden world break
Over the eastern horizon.

Chant: Omikami Omikami Arigato Omikami

(Each person takes a candle and a procession is led from the room, which divides into several groups. Each group goes to a different room in the building and shines the light of their candle into all dark places, corners, closets, under beds and in drawers, bringing light and the gaze of Amaterasu into all places. Then the candles are returned to Her altar to burn down, and are not snuffed until sunset.)

[Pagan Book of Hours]

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Let’s Talk Witch – Pagan symbols for Yule Tree

Let’s Talk Witch – Pagan symbols for Yule Tree

Besides Holly berries and leaves, apples, winter birds, fairies,
lights, snowflakes, candles, stags, suns, moons, gingerbreadmen,
mistletoe, acorns, bayberry and cranberry garlands, wreaths, Father
Winters, Santas, and many more? Even the Christ child in the Nativity
set has a Pagan equivalent, although most neo-Pagans I know refuse to
decorate with anything reminding them of a Christian Nativity.

Quite literally, this holiday more than most was lifted from the old
Pagan European holiday, and there is very little that isn’t
appropriate to both Christian and neo-Pagan celebrations of it.

Mirrored Glass Globes to Amaterasu? Balls etched with Holly leaves, candles, wreaths and birds abound in the stores. If you start now, you
can have clove covered pomanders ready for the tree to assure a nice
spicy smell. Have fun, and take another look at the decorations in the
stores.

Celebrating Other Spirituality 365 Days a Year – Ama-Terasu

December 8th and 9th

Ama-terasu

At this time of the year, the ancient and most important of all the Shinto divinities, Ama-terasu is honored. Ama-terasu is the daughter of Izanagi and Izanami, the Gods of creation, who gave birth to the islands of Japan. So bright and great was her luster, Ama-terasu was sent to heaven to govern humanity. Laster she was jointed by her brother Tsuki-Yumi the Moon God. Ama-terasu is the supreme deity of the ordinary people and of the royal family. The Emperor is descended from her grandson and is the high priest of her cult.

Calendar of the Sun for February 4th

Calendar of the Sun

 
4 Solmonath

Amaterasu’s Day

Colors: Red, orange, yellow, gold
Element: Fire
Altar: Set with a handwoven cloth in solar colors into which is woven a great sun, and place upon is fire-colored dragons and a figure of Amaterasu the Sun Goddess, and many candles.
Offerings: Rice crackers, cooked rice dyed with saffron, paper origami figures.
Daily Meal: Japanese food, preferably with at least one dish in bright colors.

Invocation to Amaterasu

Summer’s Joy
Queen of the Sky
Giver of Life
To our entire world
Weaver of sunbeams
Into golden robes of finery
Which you drape over us
Each time we emerge
Into your sacred light.
Laugh, Queen of Day!
Laugh and let your delicate
Fingers play across our eyes
That we may blink, and sting
The tears from them,
And open them again to see
Your golden world break
Over the eastern horizon.

Chant: Omikami Omikami Arigato Omikami

(Each person takes a candle and a procession is led from the room, which divides into several . Each group goes  different room in the building and shines the light of their candle into all dark places, corners, closets, under beds and in , bringing light and the gaze of Amaterasu into all places. Then the candles are returned to Her altar to burn down, and are not snuffed until sunset.)

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Goddess of the Season: Amaterasu

Goddess of the Season: Amaterasu

 

The islands of Japan were isolated from outside influences, in much the same way as the old world islands of Crete or Malta. Due to this separation, the indigenous people of Japan have retained their polytheistic, nature based, Goddess centered beliefs well into modern times. This belief system is called Shinto, which translates as “The way of the Gods”. Within Shinto mythology, the most revered deity is Goddess…… the Sun Goddess and supreme deity of all Kami, the elemental forces of nature. She is….. Amaterasu-o-mi-kami.

Born of the primeval forces of the universe, Izanagi and Izanami; Amaterasu reigned over the heavens and brought life into the world. Her name literally means she who illuminates the heavens. “The Goddess of the beginnings is thus not only the mother of the world, but also the nurturer of living beings, animal as well as vegetable and humans. She is the protectress of all life, the unfailing one.”, writes Jean Markale in her book The Great Goddess. Amaterasu, the Sun Goddess, is associated with royal power and with the returning of life and joy after dark-times.

For the story of Amaterasu and her brother Susano-O, both in audio and written form, entitled “Out of the Cave and into the Light” click on the following:
http://www.lyricalworks.com/stories/amaterasu/amaterasu1.htm

 

Amaterasu ruled over weaving and agriculture. She taught her people how to grow rice, their sacred food, and grains and how to cultivate the silkworm. She invented the art of weaving with the loom and was known to make the garments of the Gods. Like other solar deities, she is an archer, her quiver holding 1000 arrows. Her emblem, the rising sun, still appears on the flag of Japan today. Associated symbols from her myth are the mirror (truth), the necklace (compassion) and the sword (courage and strength) and they represent the Imperial Regalia which are kept at the Great Shrine of Ise. Her gift to the people as their guardian was to show them their own beauty and potential and to develop a cultural unity. As Patricia Monaghan writes “even the inroads of patriarchal Buddhism have not destroyed the worship of the bejeweled ancestor of all humanity”.

The Sun Goddess, Amaterasu, is still worshiped today in the Shinto Temples of Japan. The Japanese Imperial family traces their heritage back to her lineage. Emperor Akihito, the current Emperor, is said to be the 125th direct descendant of Jinmu, the great great grandson of Amaterasu, and is revered as a living God. The Japanese calendar starts from 660 BC and was the year of her accession. There are other scholars who believe it is possible that the indigenous religion of Japan (Shinto) may date back 5000 years. However, there is no official sacred scripture or dogma to validate this.

Buddhism was introduced to Japan in the 6th century and it maintained a peaceful coexistence with Shintoism. However, by the end of the 19th century Shintoism was to lose its status and recognition as a religion to become known as a cult of the Imperial family in the eyes of our western culture. At the end of WW2 the Imperial cult was abolished by the allies. The teaching of Shinto was forbidden along with the Japanese State financial support of it’s temples. Fortunately, this was but a temporary state, as today it again flourishes as a primary religion.

The major festival of Amaterasu, according to Patricia Monaghan, “is not tied to an annual cycle; it is held every twenty years when the sacred mirror is ceremoniously carried to a newly built shrine, identical in all respects to the shrine that has preceded it. Thus Amaterasu’s major ritual, like the myth of her return from the cave, emphasizes renewal.”

~Sacred pilgrimages to the Great Shrine of Ise occur in mid-February and again in mid-June.
~On May 3rd the Hakata festival takes place in Japan and is a national holiday with special celebrations for children and parades to honor their deities. Wear gold colored items today to honor Amaterasu. (365Goddess)
~Another celebration is on February 5th and is known as Sebutsen, the feast of “closing the door on winter”.
~On July 17th, the Great Festival of the Sun Goddess is held and street processions go on all day in honor of the queen of all Kami (Gods).
~And on December 21st, the winter solstice, she is honored for her creativity and the birth of light to the world.

 

Sources:

The Goddess Path, The Goddess Companion and The Book Of Goddesses & Heroines by Patricia Monaghan 365 Goddessby Patricia Telesco

Today Is Sun Day

 

Today Is:  Sun Day – Energy: Male Ruler: The Sun – Rules health, prosperity, leadership, joy, and protection – Use for magick involving happiness, prosperity, joy, healing, protection, power, leadership, ego, authority figures, fathers, husbands

Today’s Goddesses: Sunne, Frau Sonnet, Aditi, Igaehindvo, Amaterasu, Arinna, Izanami, Ochumare

Today’s Magickal Influences: Health, Healing, Confidence And Hope, Prosperity

Incense: Mastic, Palaginia

Perfumes: Heliotrope, Orange Blossom, Cloves, Frankincense, Ambergris, Musk, Myrrh

Color of The Day: Orange, Gold

Colors for Tomorrow: Silver, Gray, White

Lucky Sign: Sunday Is The Lucky Day For Leo

Candle: Yellow

References:

GrannyMoonMorningFeast
Magickal Graphics

Calendar of the Sun for February 4th

Calendar of the Sun
4 Solmonath

Amaterasu’s Day

Colors: Red, orange, yellow, gold
Element: Fire
Altar: Set with a handwoven cloth in solar colors into which is woven a great sun, and place upon is fire-colored dragons and a figure of Amaterasu the Sun Goddess, and many candles.
Offerings: Rice crackers, cooked rice dyed with saffron, paper origami figures.
Daily Meal: Japanese food, preferably with at least one dish in bright colors.

Invocation to Amaterasu

Summer’s Joy
Queen of the Sky
Giver of Life
To our entire world
Weaver of sunbeams
Into golden robes of finery
Which you drape over us
Each time we emerge
Into your sacred light.
Laugh, Queen of Day!
Laugh and let your delicate
Fingers play across our eyes
That we may blink, and sting
The tears from them,
And open them again to see
Your golden world break
Over the eastern horizon.

Chant: Omikami Omikami Arigato Omikami

(Each person takes a candle and a procession is led from the room, which divides into several groups. Each group goes to a different room in the building and shines the light of their candle into all dark places, corners, closets, under beds and in drawers, bringing light and the gaze of Amaterasu into all places. Then the candles are returned to Her altar to burn down, and are not snuffed until sunset.)

Winter Solstices Around The World – Amateras

Winter Comments & Graphics
Amateras celebration, Requiem of the Dead (7th century Japan)

In late 7th century Japan, festivities were held to celebrate the reemergence of Amateras, the sun goddess of Japanese mythology, from her seclusion in a cave. The other gods make a loud celebration in order to make Amaterasu come out of her cave. She peeks out, sees her image in a mirror, and the other gods convince her to stay out of the cave; thereby restoring sunlight to the world. Requiems for the dead were held and Manzai and Shishimai were performed throughout the night, awaiting the sunrise. Aspects of this tradition survive on New Years.

  ~Magickal Graphics~

Pagan symbols for Yule Tree

 Pagan symbols for Yule Tree

Besides Holly berries and leaves, apples, winter birds, fairies,
lights, snowflakes, candles, stags, suns, moons, gingerbreadmen,
mistletoe, acorns, bayberry and cranberry garlands, wreaths, Father
Winters, Santas, and many more? Even the Christ child in the Nativity
set has a Pagan equivalent, although most neo-Pagans I know refuse to
decorate with anything reminding them of a Christian Nativity.

Quite literally, this holiday more than most was lifted from the old
Pagan European holiday, and there is very little that isn’t
appropriate to both Christian and neo-Pagan celebrations of it.

Mirrored Glass Globes to Amaterasu? Balls etched with Holly leaves,
candles, wreaths and birds abound in the stores. If you start now, you
can have clove covered pomanders ready for the trea to ass a nice
spicy smell. Have fun, and take another look at the decorations in the
stores.

Solar Creatrix

Solar Creatrix
By Mama Donna Henes

The Winter Solstice is the shortest day, the longest night of the year, the culmination of the gradual withdrawal of the sun. By mid fall, there is no denying the apparent disappearance of solar light. It is most definitely getting darker and darker. And the rays of light are becoming ever more indirect, their energy and warmth barely reaching us below. Their glow is weak and wan, a diluted wash. Insipid. Depressing. All season long, the sun continues on its wayward course away from us, slithering ever further south. Further and further away from us. Until we are left standing here alone in the dark.

Wrapped in the dark womb of the weather, it is not difficult to imagine the terrifying prospect of the permanent demise of the sun and the consequent loss of light, the loss of heat. The loss of life. Without the comfort of the familiar cyclical pattern, the approach of each winter with its attendant chiaroscuro would be agonizing. The tension intensified by the chill.

With the death of the sun, the world would be cast back to the state that it occupied before creation, the classical concept of chaos. The black void. The Great Uterine Darkness. It is from this elemental ether that the old creatrix goddesses are said to have brought forth all that is. Tantric sages refer to this as the condition of the Great Goddess in Her aspect of “Dark formlessness when there was neither the creation nor the sun, the moon, the planets, and the Earth, and when the darkness was enveloped in the Darkness, the Mother, the Formless One, Maha-Kali, the Great Power, was. . .The Absolute.”

This sacred spark of creative potential that is contained within the primordial womb is one of humanity’s oldest concepts. The visual symbol which represents it, a dot enclosed within the circle, is also extremely ancient. Still in common use today, it is the astronomical notation for the sun.

Among the most archaic images of the sun is the brilliant radiance that clothes the Great Goddess. The great Mother of the pre-Islamic peoples of Southern Arabia was the sun, Atthar, or Al-Ilat. In Mesopotamia, She was called Arinna, Queen of Heaven. The Vikings named Her Sol, the old Germanic tribes, Sunna, the Celts, Sul or Sulis. The Goddess Sun was known among the societies of Siberia and North America.

She is Sun Sister to the Inuit, Sun Woman to the Australian Arunta, Akewa to the Toba of Argentina The sun has retained its archaic feminine gender in Northern Europe and Arab nations as well as in Japan. To this day, members of the Japanese royal family trace their shining descent to Amaterasu Omikami, the Heaven Illuminating Goddess.

According to legend, Amaterasu withdrew into a cave to hide from the irritating antics of Her bothersome brother, Susu-wo-no, the Storm God. Her action plunged the world into darkness and the people panicked. They begged, beseeched, implored the Sun Goddess to come back, but to no avail. At last, on the Winter Solstice, Alarming Woman, a sacred clown, succeeded in charming, teasing and finally yanking Her out, as if from an earthy birth canal, and reinstating Her on Her rightful celestial throne.

Other cultures see the Goddess not as the sun Herself, but as the mother of the sun. The bringer forth, the protector and controller, the guiding light of the sun and its cycles. According to Maori myth, the sun dies each night and returns to the cave/womb of the deep to bathe in the maternal uterine waters of life from which he is re-born each morning. The Hindu Fire God, Agni, is described as “He who swells in the mother.”

It is on the Winter Solstice, the day when the light begins to lengthen and re-gain power, that the archetypal Great Mother gave birth to the sun who is Her son. The great Egyptian Mother Goddess, Isis, gave birth to Her son Horus, the Sun God, on the Winter Solstice. On the same day, Leta gave birth to the bright, shining Apollo and Demeter, and the Great Mother Earth Goddess, bore Dionysus. The shortest day was also the birthday of the Invincible Sun in Rome, Dies Natalis Invictis Solis, as well as that of Mithra, the Persian god of light and guardian against evil.

Christ, too, is a luminous son, the latest descendant of the ancient matriarchal mystery of the nativity of the sun/son. Since the gospel does not mention the exact date of his birth it was not celebrated by the early church. It seems clear that when the church, in the fourth century AD, adopted December 25 as his birthday, it was in order to transfer the heathen devotions honoring the birth of the sun to him who was called “the sun of righteousness.”

The return of the retreating sun, which retrieves us from the dark of night, the pitch of winter, is a microcosmic recreation of the origination of the universe, the first birth of the sun. The Winter Solstice is an anniversary celebration of creation. Since the earliest of human times, it has been both natural and necessary for folks to join together in the warmth and glow of community in order to welcome the return of light to a world that is surrounded by dark. And through the imitative gesture of lighting fires, like so many solar birthday candles, we do our annual part to rekindle the spirit of hope in our hearts.

*****************************************************
DONNA HENES, Urban Shaman, has been a contemporary ceremonialist for 30+ years. Mama Donna, as she is affectionately known, is the author of four books and a CD. She writes a weekly column for UPI (United Press International) Religion & Spirituality Forum and publishes the highly acclaimed quarterly journal, Always In Season: Living in Sync with the Cycles.
In addition to teaching and lecturing worldwide, she maintains a ceremonial center, spirit shop, ritual practice and consultancy in Exotic Brooklyn, New York, Mama Donna’s Tea Garden And Healing Haven, where she works with individuals and groups to create personally relevant rituals for all of life’s transitions.