Category Archives: Goddess of Water

KORE PERSEPHONE (PROSERPINE)

KORE PERSEPHONE (PROSERPINA)

Hellenic goddess of the Underworld, vegetation and changing of the seasons, guardian of the souls of the dead, daughter of Demeter and Zeus, wife of Hades. The myth of her abduction was an explanation of seasons changing and the base for Eleusinian Mysteries. Her first name, Kore, means ‘a young girl, a maiden’, her second name probably originates from a foreign language which was unknown to the Hellens, one of the possible etymology is perein phonon meaning  ‘bringing death, causing death’.

ABOUT GODDESS

The myth of Kore’s abduction has already been told in the post about Demeter so let me simply quote it

Kore was a young girl when she was playing on the meadow with fellow nymphs on a sunny day. Her mother allowed her to weave wreaths from all the flowers but a narcissus dedicated to the gods of the Underworld. Unfortunately, Kore forgot her mother’s warning and picked this flower. It brought the darkness over the meadow, the ground cracked and a chariot led by black horses  emerged from the abyss. It was Hades, the lord of the Underworld, he captured Kore and abducted her to his realm below the surface of the earth. It was all so sudden that nobody was able to react or even realise that Demeter’s daughter disappeared. Only Cyane (Kyane), a water nymph and Kore’s companion, heard her friend’s cry and hurried to save her. However, it was too late and one of the horses kicked her in the shoulder so she could only massage the sore spot and cry after Kore. Terrified Demeter kept searching for her daughter everywhere but she did not realise that Zeus had promised his daughter as a wife without her mother’s knowledge and consent.

When Demeter found out about the conspiracy (either from all-seeing Helios the sun god or Hekate, goddess of the night and witchcraft), she became so furious  that she cursed the earth and told her not to raise crops until her daughter comes back to her. This interrupted the order of the seasons so plants began to wither and people started to complain they would not be able to gather them and they would suffer from hunger.  Zeus had no option but to return Kore to her mother. However, the girl was lured to eat a couple of grains of pomegranate in the Underworld and this made her belong there forever. In the end the gods and goddesses entered into a compromise: Kore was to spend one third of the year with her husband as Persephone the Queen of the Underworld but for the remaining two thirds she could return on the surface and enjoy the time with her mother. This is how the Hellens understood the seasons change: in winter the earth was saddened by the absence of Kore Persephone together with Demeter and in spring and summer when she was coming back, the earth was showing joy by letting leaves and blossoming the flowers.

Kore's abduction

It is the first and the most significant appearance of Kore Persephone in the Hellenic mythology but not the last one. She is present as the wife of Hades in many stories telling about the hero’s descent to the Underworld. She is so moved by Orpheus’ song that she convinces her husband to return his wife Eurydice to him. She helps Heracles fulfil his twelfth labour of tying Cerberus, the guardian dog of the Underworld. She is sometimes involved in a story whether she wants it or not, such as in the case of Pirithous, a hero and a friend of Theseus, decided to take Kore Persephone away from Hades as a revenge for the death of his own beloved wife Hippodamia. The plan failed and both heroes were sentenced to be imprisoned in Hades and enchained to the rock. Theseus was freed from the ordeal by Heracles,  Pirithous, however, had to remain enchained in Hades forever.

Kore Persephone has also participated in the dispute with Aphrodite concerning Adonis. According to myths Adonis was an illegitimate child of Princess Myrrha who made Aphrodite angry, and the goddess punished Myrrha by making her fall in love with her own father. Princess managed to deceive him and spend a couple of nights with him but when the affair came to the light, furious king seized the knife and started to run after her. Escaping his rage, Myrrha begged gods for rescue and they turned her into a tree which was later named after her. After nine months tree bark cracked and a boy came out of the trunk. Aphrodite put the baby into the chest and entrusted to Kore Persephone. However, the goddess of the Underworld fell in love with young Adonis herself and decided to keep him in Hades forever. This made Aphrodite furious. The disagreement must have been eventually resolved by Zeus who decided that Adonis was to spend one third of the year with Aphrodite, one third with Kore Persephone and the remaining part of the year wherever he wants to. According to another version of this myth young man died pierced by the tusks of boar, the animal was in fact jealous Ares in disguise. Aphrodite’s grief was so big that Zeus let her lover return to the goddess during spring and summer, Adonis, however, must have come back to Hades for autumn and winter.

According to most of the myths, the marriage of Kore Persephone and Hades remained childless* but some versions claim that she was the mother of  Zagreus/Iakchos/Dionizos (with Zeus).

Deity descending into the Underworld was a popular explanation of seasons changing in the ancient times. A similar motif in present in the mythologies of the Middle – East, be it Attis (see the post about Cybele) or Osisris (post about Isis) and the theme of a young woman abducted to the Underworld is also present in the story of Ereshkigal (see the myth of Ishtar). Basing on the mythology and archaeological remains, it can be assumed that an agrarian cult of Demeter and Kore Persephone was one of the oldest in the Hellas, older than the cults of Olympian deities. It is possible that it came to Hellas from other countries (the Hellens were writing the name ‘Persephone’ in many ways, it may suggest that they were unable to pronounce it themselves so it either originated from a pre-Hellenic language or was a borrowing from a foreign language). The beginnings can be dated up to 1400 – 1200 before Christ based on the inscriptions on the tablets found in Pylos, her name is written as Preswa and this may be its oldest form. There is also enough evidence to assume that Persephone was venerated in the Minoan Crete. Similarly to Egypt, the eldest deities were strictly associated with nature and often depicted as half – humans and half – animals (a Cretan figure of Minotaur, centaurs, satyrs, tritones, mermaids, sirens etc seem to be the remaining of this cult in mythology). An image of two women was discovered in the temple of Despoina in Mycene, it is assumed that these were either Demeter and Kore Persephone themselves or their priestesses wearing animal masks, this proves how early their cult was. Cretan agrarian cults have not used images of any deities  (similarly to the oldest forms of the Great Mother Cybele’s cult), they were mostly performed by females and the rites themselves included dancing, shaking trees and worshipping stones (most probably  meteorites). There are also reasons to believe that Kore Persephone was identified with yet older goddesses such as Despoina or Ariadna. Excavations on the temple sites suggest that places of worship were situated near springs and fire was burning in them all the time.

women wearing clothes from the Minoean age and dancing around (most probably) Kore Persephone, the Isopata ring

Demeter’s daughter was the goddess of both Underworld (as Persephone) and vegetation (as Kore). She was depicted on sarcophagi as a symbol of revival and eternity. Apart from the Eleusinian Mysteries, Kore Persephone was also venerated separately in the temples located in Corinth, Megara and Sparta. She was worshipped as Despoina (Mistress of the House) in Arcadia, furthermore she was known under other nicknames, the most popular were those presenting her in the most favourable way to gain her benevolence: Hagne („Pure”, it was primarily the name of a spring nymph), Melindia or Melinoia („Of Honey”), Melivia, Melitodes, Aristi Tchonia („The Best of Chtonic”). In her aspect of the vegetation goddess she was called Kore Soteira („The Saviour Maiden”), Neotera („The Younger One”), etc., she also often appears together with her mother as Two Goddesses (Demeter being The Older and Kore The Younger) in Eleusis, The Great Goddesses and The Mistresses in Arcadia, Karpophoroi („The Bringers of Fruit”) in Tegea and Thesmophoroi („The Legislators”) during the Thesmophoria festival.

The cult of Demeter and Kore Persephone had many local versions but the most important festival was of course the Eleusinian Mysteries celebrated in the autumn. Celebrations were aimed at the immortality of life and were filling the initiated with hope for the good fate (it was most probably believed that they were sent to the best part of Hades called The Elysian Fields after death). Mysteries were divided into the Lesser ones (celebrated every year) and Greater ones (celebrated every five years, on the fifteenth day of boedromion month ie. at the turn of August and September/September and October, they lasted ten days). A prerequisite for participation was only freedom form “blood guilt”, the festival was open for women and slaves. This was the time of  initiation and involved a couple of degrees of initiation. The Eleusinian Mysteries required keeping the secret so only a few people with the highest degree of initiation knew what was hidden in kiste, a sacred chest and kalathos, a lidded basket. It is speculated that the Demeter’s sacred objects were golden serpent, an egg, a phallus and seeds.

It remains unknown what were the mysteries like because revealing the secret was punished by death, however the descriptions of public celebrations were written down. The Greater Mysteries in Athens began on the fourteenth of boedromion when the sacred objects were brought to Eleusinion, a temple situated at the base of the Acropolis Hill.  The next day was the time of Agyrmos (“the gathering”) when the priests announced the beginning of holiday and offered sacrifice. On the sixteenth day of the month, the rituals of purification in the sea were taking place near the port of Phaleron and on the seventeenth it was the time for Epidauria (so called “festival within festival”), celebrations for Asclepios, god of healing, when he was invited symbolically to the city with his daughter Hygieia goddess of hygiene and led in procession to Eleusion. On the nineteenth day procession was moving from the Kerameikos cementary to Eleusis along Hierá Hodós (“Sacred Way”), participants were swinging the branches called bacchoi. At a certain point they started to shout obscenities to commemorate (Iambe), an elderly woman who was trying to make Demeter laugh while she was grieving the loss of daughter by pulling the skirt up and saying naughty jokes, people were also shouting “Íakch’, O Íakche!” to celebrate Iacchus. When the procession reached Eleusis, it was the time for one day fasting to commemorate Demeter’s hunger while she was searching for her daughter, the only thing allowed to drink was kykeon made of barley and pennyroyal. On the 20th and 21st it was time for the proper celebrations when the crowd was gathering in Telestrion, a great hall („Initiation Hall”) where those waiting to be initiated gathered, in the centre there was Anaktoron („Palace”) where only the priests were allowed to come because sacred objects were stored here. Before entering Telestrion adepts had to say, I have fasted, I have drunk the kykeon, I have taken from the kiste (“box”) and after working it have put it back in the kalathos (“open basket”).  At first two special vessels were filled, then one was emptied in the direction of west and the other towards east and the worshippers were looking at the sky and earth whispering the rain fertilising the ground. The story of Kore Persephone’s abduction was told in three acts, first descent, then search and finally ascend and reconnection with mother. A ‘divine child’ was placed on hearth (check the story of Triptolemus in the post about Demeter) and those initiated to the highest degrees were to cut in silence a sheaf symbolising revival of life after death. The festival was completed with Pannychis, an all-night feast with dancing and rejoicing accompanied by the sacrifice from the bull and remembrance of the dead by libation the next day.

This is how Cicero wrote about these celebrations, For among the many excellent and indeed divine institutions which your Athens has brought forth and contributed to human life, none, in my opinion, is better than those mysteries. For by their means we have been brought out of our barbarous and savage mode of life and educated and refined to a state of civilization; and as the rites are called “initiations,” so in very truth we have learned from them the beginnings of life, and have gained the power not only to live happily, but also to die with a better hope.. (Laws II, XIV, 36)

Another holiday for Demeter and Kore Persephone was the festival of Thesmophoria celebrated all over Hellas from the 11th to 13th of the Pyanepsion month (October) when married women were free to come out of the houses** and participated in the women exclusive rites. Not much is known about this festival for a very simple reason: only married women participated in them and they were not the ones who wrote chronicles or memories. What we do know is that there were processions on the first day, the second one was the time of mourning, extinguishing the fire and eating pomegranates and the third was sacrificed to the rather unknown in mythology Kalligenea, goddess of beautiful birth. There were also records saying that at night swine were sacrificed in the trenches and caves and the remains of the animals sacrificed in previous year were retrieved and placed on the altar, mixed with seeds and planted. There was also Anthesphoria, the festival of flowers and cereals, celebrated in the Hellenic colonies in Italy (so called Magna Grecia) and in the Peloponnesus.

Ancient Romans took the cult of Kore Persephone over from Hellenic colonies established on the south of Italy and Sicily. She was called Proserpine in the local local dialect and this version of her name was adopted in the Apennine Peninsula. It is interesting to notice that she was venerated as the patroness of marriages in one of these cities called Epizephyrian Locris (present day Locri), this usually was the domain of Juno (Hera). Children were entrusted to Persephone and brides were bringing her their garments before weddings as votive offerings. A very popular image of Kore Persephone and Hades surrounded by plants and animals attributed to them comes precisely from Epizephyrian Locris.

Kore Persephone and Hades

In the 5th century before Christ Empedocles, a poet, philosopher and healer, has created the concept of four elements. He connected Kore Persephone named here Nestis with the element (or to be more precise with the root, it was not until Plato when the word ‘element’ was used) of water: Now hear the fourfold roots of everything: enlivening Hera, Hades, shining Zeus. And Nestis, moistening mortal springs with tears. Empedocles uses the nickname of Nestis and does not pronounce her real name which was considered to be a taboo since the earliest times. It was not advised to call the Queen of the Dead even in a simple conversation nor to speak her name aloud so Nestis was used as her cult title (Homer in his hymns refers to her as the Queen of the Shades).

IMAGES, SYMBOLS AND ANIMALS

The type of the oldest Hellenic sculpture is called kore, some hypotheses assume the figures represent Demeter’s daughter.

 KoreKore

Moreover, Kore Persephone is also presented sitting on the throne as majestic Queen of the Underworld with a sceptre, fruit, sheaves of grain and a liknon basket used to separate seeds from chaff.

Kore Persephone

DIVINATION MEANING

Person

A young girl, a teenager. A person who experienced a sudden or tough events. A person who is emotionally immature. Someone who was charged with too much responsibility too early. Somebody who became bitter due to bad experiences, childhood traumas or seriously betrayed trust. In negative a person with a victim pattern and not enough self – esteem and maturity to face the problems on their own.

Advice

What you need is patience. This card shows maturing in a hard way and learning to compromise. You cannot accelerate anything. Let things run their course. Give time some time. What you reap is what you sow. At first you will have to work hard and make a lot of effort to put your plans into action and you will be rewarded later. Everything changes sooner or later.

I personally associate strongly the card of Kore Persephone with the rune Jera.

Patience. Maturing. Harvest, crops, abundance, wealth, plenty. Revival. Beginning or end of the cycle. Bad timing, hurrying too much, poor plans, acting blindfold. An insufficient harvest, loss, scarcity.Intervention in the natural cycle. Possible trip but not for pleasure, rather forced by circumstances. Trauma. Abandonment. Compromise. Inevitability. A strong influence of mother. Secret knowledge, esoterics.

 Love

 If you are in the relationship: lack of maturity to a stable and adult relationship. Compromises and patience are required. Hiding from problems. Early marriage, possibly enforced somehow. Being childless. A strong influence of the mother. A cold, emotionally detached or manipulative partner.

If you are single: lack of maturity to a stable and adult relationship. A strong influence of the mother. Patience is suggested. It is also advised not to get into a relationship just to avoid being alone.

Finances

Trip forced by circumstances.  Beginning or ending a certain stage of career. Business involving volatility of revenues depending on time or season. Suspension of business activity. Time of harvesting profits.

 Health

Women: fertility and regular cycle, pregnancy and successful, natural delivery. Therapy limited to taking medicine. Vegetarian, macrobiotic or vegetable, fruit and cereal based diet. Regenerative skills. Checking your health regularly. Negative: laziness, wrong diet, insufficiency, problem with high cholesterol and obesity. Woman’s cycle disorder. Neglecting regular health tests. Eating in a hurry. Endangered parts of the body: the digestive system (particularly stomach, colon, small intestine and the large intestine).

CARDS

Kore Persephone  in Goddesses of the New Light by Pamela Matthews

Kore Persephone in Goddesses of the New Light by Pamela Matthews 

Kore Persephone with Demeter in The Goddess Wisdom Cards by Jill Fairchild, Regina Schaare & Sandra M. Stanton

Kore Persephone with Demeter in The Goddess Wisdom Cards by Jill Fairchild, Regina Schaare & Sandra M. Stanton

Kore Persephone (together with Hades and Cerberus) in Ancient Feminine Wisdom by Kay Stevenson&Brian Clark

 Kore Persephone in Ancient Feminine Wisdom by Kay Stevenson&Brian Clark

Kore Persephone in The Goddess Oracle Deck by Thalia Took

 Kore Persephone in The Goddess Oracle Deck by Thalia Took

Kore Persephone in Goddess Card Pack by Juni Parkhurst

 Kore Persephone in Goddess Card Pack by Juni Parkhurst

Kore Persephone in Goddess Inspiration Oracle by Kris Waldherr

Kore Persephone in Goddess Inspiration Oracle by Kris Waldherr 

Kore Persephone in The Goddesses Knowledge Cards by Susan Seddon Boulet&Michael Babcock

Kore Persephone in The Goddesses Knowledge Cards by Susan Seddon Boulet&Michael Babcock

Kore Persephone in Mythic Oracle by Carisa Mellado&Michele-lee Phelan

 Kore Persephone in Mythic Oracle by Carisa Mellado&Michele-lee Phelan

Kore Persephone in Mythic Oracle by Carisa Mellado&Michele-lee Phelan

Kore Persephone in Goddesses&Sirens by Stacey Demarco&Jimmy Manton

 Kore Persephone in Goddesses&Sirens by Stacey Demarco&Jimmy Manton

Kore Persephone as Eight of Swords in Universal Goddess Tarot by Maria Caratti&Antonella Platano

Kore Persephone as Eight of Swords in Universal Goddess Tarot by Maria Caratti&Antonella Platano

Based on Mity Greków i Rzymian by Wanda Markowska, Dictionnaire de la mythologie grecque et romaine by Pierre Grimal, The Greek Myths by Robert Graves, Wikipedia and http://www.webwinds.com/myth/elemental.htm

* It seems logical that the deities associated with death could not have children themselves. In Egypt Seth, god of desert and death, was infertile and his wife Nephthys craving for a child, got pregnant with their brother Osiris (that could be the reason for Seth’s hatred towards Osiris).

 *** In Hellas women did not participate in public life.

SEDNA

“No, I wanted to say, he didn’t cut off her hands because he didn’t have to, he had cut them off long before, with years of keeping all authority in his own palms, all the rules and all the power and all the answers emanating from him and no one else. And if you don’t understand that, if you’ve never been in such a family, then you can’t know the way the mind shackles itself and amputates its own limbs so adeptly that you never think to miss them, never think that you had anything so obscene as choice.”
~ Carolina De Robertis

SEDNA

An Inuit goddess of the sea, its depths and supplies and of Adlivun, the Underworld. She is also called Arnakuagsak or Arnaqquassaaq, Satsuma Arnaa (Mother of the Deep), Nuliajuk, Arnapkapfaaluk (Big Bad Woman), Nerrivik (Table) and Takánakapsâluk or Takannaaluk.

ABOUT GODDESS

The myth about Sedna has various versions but the common topic is cutting her hands off which turned into fish and other marine animals. According to one of the legends Sedna was a giant, daughter of Anguta, the Creator of the world, whose appetite was so huge that she threw herself at her parents. Angered Anguta took her to the sea, pushed out of his kayak and cut her hands off when she wanted to climb back. Her big fingers then changed into seals, whales and fish which the Inuit haunt for.

The most popular version of the myth presents Sedna as exceptionally beautiful girl who rejects candidates to marriage from her village one after another in the hope of meeting someone much better. She finally agrees to marry an unknown hunter who promises her life in abundance. The hunter takes her to a distant island where he drops his disguise and turns out to be the king of birds. He does not provide her life in comfort as he promised and Sedna calls for her father’s help. He arrives while her husband is absent and runs away with his daughteer to his kayak. Meanwhile the king returns and gets angry when he realises that his wife escaped so he flies after the fugitives with a flock of birds and attacks them. Sedna’s father is so scared that waves caused by the wind from the birds’ wings will overturn the kayak that he throws his daughter overboard. He knows that Sedna is what her husband wants (in another version he kills the king and the birds attack to revenge him). When Sedna is trying to climb back, her father chops her fingers off and a helpless girl sinks to the bottom. However, it turns out that she does not drown but becomes a goddess instead and her cut off fingers turn into whales, seals, walruses, fish and other marine creatures which are the Inuit’s main source of food. If Sedna gets angry, she does not allow fauna to emerge to the surface and hunters come back to their villages with nothing to eat. Then shaman travels to the sea depths to comb her hair and plait braids asking for forgiveness (being handless she is not capable to do it herself). This is why Sedna is considered to be to be rather a vindictive and sinister goddess.

Other versions of this legend says that Sedna, unsatisfied with the suitors presented by her father, eventually decides to marry a dog. This makes her father so furious that he throws her into the sea and when she is clinging to the kayak, he chops her fingers off. Another version says that Sedna rejects all the wooers until a new unknown hunter comes to the village. Her father makes a secret agreement with him and promises  to give him his daughter as a wife in exchange for fish. Then he gives Sedna a sleeping potion and let the hunter take her away with him. When she wakes up, she finds out that she is in a nest on a cliff and the hunter is in fact a great raven who disguised himself in a human form. It is not until that moment when her father hurries to rescue her but he gives up when the birds cause a sea storm. He throws his daughter into the water and when she is trying to climb back, her fingers freeze and fall off turning into sea animals. Sedna herself falls down to the bottom and changes into a mermaid with a fish tail instead of legs. In the region of Netsilik there is yet another version of the myth; in this story a maltreated orphan named Nuliayuk becomes the target of her fellow villagers. They are trying to drown her in the sea by cutting her fingers off but their plan fails when the amputee parts of her body change into fauna. Nuliayuk marries a fish and becomes the ruler of all the marine creatures.

A celestial object circulating around the Sun in an orbit beyond the trajectory of Neptune was called after the goddess.

IMAGES, SYMBOLS AND ANIMALS

Here is a couple of images presenting Sedna in the original sculptures carved by the Inuit:

Sedna-Transforming-1-100x100

Sedna-Transforming-2-100x100

http://appletongalleries.com/inuit-carvings

images.asc.ohio-state.edu

https://byrdpolarmedia.osu.edu/index.cfm?fuseaction=collections.seeItemInCollection&CollectionID=b77f4cab-9612-4386-86ba-1ab22eb962d4&ItemID=9569b7fd-f811-48bf-aed5-53a3e79445db

sedna-carving

http://www.gps.caltech.edu/~mbrown/sedna/

DIVINATION MEANING

Person

A person who has experienced a lot of bad things in life. A person with unsolved personal problems. Someone who pushes problems and fears down into unconsciousness. A person shown by this card is shy and silent, keeps oneself to oneself and tries not to cause troubles nor to attract attention but inside is often consumed by emotions.

Wife or (adult) child of an alcoholic. An archetype of a woman who escaped from an unhealthy family into equally unhealthy marriage. Women are naturally exposed to this behavioral pattern because they tend to search fulfillment through the contacts with other people. They often end up disappointed when they give a lot and receive little or nothing in return. Women are capable of selling their souls just for a substitute of feelings.

A person with the mentality of a grown up child who either cannot or is afraid to reveal their true feelings. Someone who escapes from responsability and adulthood. Someone who refuses to accept the rule ‘what goes around comes around’. Someone who wooes for the love of others. An ivy type of personality wrapping around a stronger partner in the hope for resolving their own emotional problems. Someone who does not have healthy patterns of personality and relationships. A person who does not act spontaneously but rather wears different masks (usually because of previous life experiences).

The card of Sedna represents a person who has a victim pattern of personality and hurts other people not by physical beating but by passive aggression: emotional blackmail, killing somebody with kindness, interferring into somebody else’s life, putting pressure on others, living the lives of other people, not their own etc. This form of aggression is neglected in our culture but it is equally harmful as physical beating or most likely it may be even more dangerous because it is in fact hidden (we might be even unaware that we are the victims of aggression and come to belief that we are the source of problems ourselves because we do not appreciate enough the efforts and feel guilty) and it hits under disguise of love (‘I do it because I care for you!’).

This type of aggression is commonly practiced by women (especially mothers and granmothers who have low self – esteem) because physical violence was restricted for men and women were not supposed to show their anger. However, hidden anger does not disappear, it simply is released in another, more indirect way. People with victim patterns may seem very good, harmless, tender and caring on the outside (they do all the housework duties, engage themselves in charity or local organisations etc.), however they have tendency to search for attention, control and manipulate the environment with words and emotions. They often say, I sacrifice so much for family, I cook, clean, go shopping, carry bags with groceries, but nobody helps me! You are so insensitive, I’ll have health problems because of you! (complaining and emotional blackmail). In reality they exaggerate to get the attention because a lot of the household work they do is unnecessary or could be done less often. But what the person unconsciously wants is the family members to feel sorry for her/him and make them feel guilty that they neglect her/him (at least in his/her opinion).

The person does not respect even the clearly expressed boundaries and thinks s/he can cross them just because s/he knows better what is good. A typical example: a grandma asks her grandchild, ‘Are you hungry?’. ‘No, thank you’, answers the child who is occupied with playing. ‘But maybe you’ll have a peanut butter sandwich?’, grandma keeeps asking. ‘No, I’m not hungry’, the child is a bit tired of repeating but still is polite and keeps playing. ‘I’m making pancakes, do you want some?’, grandma refuses to give up. ‘Noooo, thank youuuu!’, the child loses their temper and screams. Silence. After a while grandma comes with a soup. ‘Eat while it’s still hot’, she says.

Such kind of behaviour causes the loss of energy in the bodies of family members. For those of you who work with energies: such passive aggression sucks energy out of the base chakra which is responsible for health and correct functioning of the organism. Energetical attacks cover the base chakra like a spider net and poisons it with negative vibes. People who live with the person with victim patterns who is also an energy vampire may feel constant fatigue, low self-esteem, lack of life energy, decrease of optimism, significant weight loss or gain, lost of interest in the things which used to be enoyable (including sex), inability to finish things, inability to self-organize, feeling of slowing down, problems with concentration, memory and sleep, etc. It is happening because this person emits negative, “sticky” energy which wraps around the base chakra and blocks any positive energy flow.  It causes problems with existence in the world of matter which usually results in troubles with finding or keeping the job, financial or health problems and, in the extreme cases, depression and suicidal thoughts. No one can feel stable and healthy if their base chakra does not work properly. Sometimes very determined people fight hard not to give up to depressive mood and to achieve their goals but it costs them much more energy than the people who have healthy patterns and support of family and friends. The longer we live with the person who attacks us with passive aggression, the weaker and more vulnerable we become. These attacks may not seem harmful at the beginning but they limit any behaviours of family membrs which seem out of ordinary or do not comply with the energy vampire’s rules. In the end we lose our energy so much that we think we are too weak to change the situation. We are becoming the victims of victims.

When somebody beats you, you realize this is a bad thing (even if you blame yourself for starting, provoking etc) but nobody realizes how harmful passive aggression is and how common it is in the behaviour of people who have usually been the victims of abuse themselves. They are often old, ailing and experienced by life with an alcoholic or within an alcoholic family. How can you accuse me of hurting others when I’ve been through so much in my life?!, they would ask. But they do it because of their subconscious need to “win back” by dominating, imposing their opinions, accusing, demanding and requiring.

This behaviour has the most harmful effect on children. At this stage of their development they are not yet capable of distinguishing who and what is right or wrong and they trust whatever they close relatives say. If they say, ‘You are not capable of doing it, you are hopeless’, they will believe it. Many of those people who cannot find their place in life or think they are inable to cope with life and feel they do not really ‘fit’ the world, have been deprived of support and respect of their family. Children are particularly vulnerable because they do not expect any forms of aggression from the closest people. Body is not prepared for beating or emotional abuse so child’s fear and trauma literary hide inside it sooner or later causing health problems. Physical or emotional abuse comes as a shock to them and leaves them confused. If they cannot trust their parents, then whom can they trust?

Children are naturally sensitive and receptive. For them everything is safe (including boiling water and an abusive parents) so they lose more than an adult while contacting aggressive people. They often hide in the shells and limit contacts with the outside world but their fear, anger and helplessness do not cease to exist. Children from dysfunctional families have a distorted feeling of saftety, problems with expressing emotions and tendencies to wear masks throughout their lives because they could not count for mature reactions of their parents to their behaviour and have become unnaturally cautious. They are too hard on themselves and have very low self-esteem, they are also unable to escape themselves from an unhealthy family because they are dependant on their parents. If an external body (school, hospital, social service workers) does not notice the problem, the child may live in a dysfunctional family for years and become permanently marked by living in a distorted, loveless world. It is the only reality s/he knows. These damages in their psyche are not visible but they severly influence later life. They cannot disappear just like that, however therapy proves to bring significant improvement.

The only cure to both a victim and an aggressor is to be aware, to work daily with your attitude and to develop your personality.

IMPORTANT: NOT ONLY THE ALCOHOLIC FAMILIES ARE INVOLVED IN VIOLENCE! In fact many “decent” families are affected by abuse. It may be even harder for children to ask for help because unlike in alcoholic families abuse is hidden and outside everything seems to work fine. An abusive parent may be a respected laywer or doctor and a child is convinced that nobody would believe them if they told the truth about physical or emotional aggression. Regardless of its material status and level of education a family with children is aimed at preparing them to cope with life. The attention should be paid especially to physical and emotional health and providing with healthy relationship patterns and methods of resolving problems. In a properly functioning family a child is given boundaries but also loved unconditionally. It is not hurt, humiliated, beaten, laughed at and expected to gain parents’ love by achieving certain goals nor behaving in a desirable way. If family does not act in this manner, it is a dysfunctional family.

ADVICE

This card has „a misfortune” of bringing hidden patterns, traumatic memories and everything we would rather forget about out of our subconsciousness. It reveals wounds, victim patterns and how a previously abused victim starts abusing others.

No matter whether you are abused or abuser, this card suggests you to stop immediately. This literary is last call before something tragical happens.

The card of Sedna also shows that your inability to cope with the situation you are inquiring about comes from wrong patterns encoded in your unconsciousness. We use a conscious part of our personality on a daily basis, i.e. our mind, logics, religious and cultural rules etc. We perceive ouselves the way we want to be perceived. Meanwhile our subconsciousness is a mighty force which we can try to deaden but we are not able to shape from the outside. Our codes, behavioral patterns, blockades, inner limitations, halfhearted efforts, primal experiences which we do not even have to remember are all stored in our subconsciousness. Even if our consciousness has some plans, subconsciousness may thwart them. No matter how much we want something to happen, we are not able to make it come true. Subconsciousness offers us old solutions basing on previous experiences. We usually do not even realise nor understand it and since we are unaware of that, we keep making the same mistakes  as if we were in a viscious circle. With an untamed subconsciousness we are not capable to solve our life problems because it constantly sends us conflicting signals, twarts the effort of consciousness and blocks our development. Whatever we want to do, we have to remove the blockades from our subconsciousness.

Let me explain it using computer science language: subconsciousness is a hard drive and a database used by consciousness to extract behavioral patterns and solutions when we face a problem. Every computer scientist knows that if your PC/laptop does not have a solid motherboard with a good memory and a fast processor then its system will keep hanging. Even if we want to achieve something very much, blocked unconsciousness will thwart our plans and we will even explain rationally why we failed yet another time. If you repeteadly lack fulfillment in a certain area of your life then you have to “tame” uncosciousness the same way as you exchange motherboard when the system is malfunctioning. Every computer scientist knows how serious change it is for a PC/laptop.

Remember that your subconscious like a hard drive is a huge database gathering information from your earliest times. Data is stored there regardless of its truthfulness or who enter it to the memory, be it you or your family, teachers, religious leaders, friends, colleagues etc. This data may of course be contradictory (and usually it is) so before you decide to print it (i.e.to act), you have to correct the document. Otherwise when you have it printed, all you get will be the number of unreadable characters who nobody will be able to decode.

To organise subconsciousness sometimes all you have to do is to uninstall unnecessary programmes which take too much space and slow down the system but sometimes the mess is so big that there is no other option than to format C. Organising your subconsciousness certainly requires self – work, recognising your emotions, constant observation of your thoughts and actions,  regular update of data concerning yourself and your environment, capturing negative thoughts with your inner antivirus programme, permanent affirming, participating in a therapy or a support group etc. And most of all it requires a very good security system to protect your inner personal computer from hakers who want to get in and take advantage of it.

You can also leave your disc uncleaned and remain with the mentality of a victim. You can search for the acceptance of others, chase after a substitute of real feelings and expect others to feel sorry for you. But this means you refuse to get out of this mental and emotional swamp. Do not excuse yourself. Excuses may improve your mood but will not help you move forward. Self-excuses and complaining set you in the position of a victim. Everyone has pity and feels sorry for a victim but remaining in this state unables acting effectively. Women are the world champions of self – excusing and self-justifying.

Even if you are characterised by the card of Sedna, it does not mean that you have to remain like this. I highly recommend reading Women Who Run With The Wolves by dr Clarissa Pinkola Estes, especially a very similar Inuit story of Skeleton – Woman, Handless Maiden, La Llorona and Ugly Duckling. Sedna’s hands, her main tools of acting, were cut off therefore she was doomed to be helpless but it does not have to be an ultimate and irreversible action. Love, respect, acceptance and care can make hands grow back.

Love

If you are in the relationship: Solitude in a relationship. Think over whether being with your partner makes you feel happy and fulfilled. If you want to have a child, analyse carefully whether your current partner is the right person to become a parent. Do not forget that a child binds two people more than any vows. Also consider whether you are really mentally and emotionally mature to become a parent. If you want to have a child primairly to have someone to love then it means you are not.

If you are single: The reason of your solitude is probably a wrong pattern of human relations. Even though you have a great need of loving, either you are escaping from engaging deeper into an union or you seek for an attention of a partner. Perhaps you keep choosing the same type of a partner who limits and smothers you instead of making you bloom. You should work on your psyche first before you decide to enter a serious relationship.

Finances

Getting out of trouble. Unexpected financial solutions. Sudden flow of money. Decision of granting a credit.

Health

Surgery. Amputation. Staying in a hospital. Check your circulatory system (it is worth to consult with a doctor whether you should have Doppler ultrasound done).  Endangered parts of the body: blood and lymphatic vessels.

CARDS

Sedna in The Goddess Oracle by Hrana Janto&Amy Sophia Marashinsky

Sedna in The Goddess Oracle by Hrana Janto&Amy Sophia Marashinsky

Sedna in The Goddess Oracle Deck by Thalia Took

Sedna in The Goddess Oracle Deck by Thalia Took

Sedna in The Goddesses Knowledge Cards by Susan Seddon Boulet&Michael Babcock

Sedna in The Goddesses Knowledge Cards by Susan Seddon Boulet&Michael Babcock

Sedna in Goddess Guidance Oracle Cards by Doreen Virtue (I have already expressed what I think about this image here)

Sedna in Goddess Guidance Oracle Cards by Doreen Virtue

Based on English Wikipedia, http://swiatducha.wordpress.com/2010/11/01/atak-na-podstawie-wzorcow-ofiary , http://swiatducha.wordpress.com/2012/08/12/ofiary-zatrucia-od-wejscia , http://swiatducha.wordpress.com/2009/01/24/ofiary.

SARASWATI

SARASWATI

A Hindu goddess of learning, knowledge, intelligence, creativity, eloquence, education, craft, enlightement and cosmic order. Saraswati is shakti (female energy) of Brahma and a patroness of literature, art and music. She personifies an already dried out river of the same name and she is also revered in Buddhism as the guardian of Buddha’s teachings to whom adepts adress their requests for protection and help in understanding. The name Saraswati means literary She Who Has Flow*.

ABOUT GODDESS

At the very beginning Saraswati was a personified the river of the same name but she soon became a separate goddess. There are various versions of her origins in mythology, she is believed to be either Durga or Shiva’s daughter or to come into existence from Vishnu’s left side of the body while he was asleep. Most of all she is venerated as a companion and female energy (shakti) of Brahma the Creator, one the Trimurti (trinity) of the most important gods (Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva) and therefore she belongs to the Tridevi i.e. their female counterparts (Saraswati, Lakshmi and Parvati).

Just like Sophia Saraswati is associated not only with academic knowledge but also with divine wisdom. She appears in important Hindu texts such as Puranas and Vedas where she is described as a deity who appreciates merits rather than form and teaches about superiority of the spiritual beauty over good looks. In a Hindu philosophy of Vedanta Saraswati is an embodiment of knowledge aspect in shakti, feminine force of life, and her worshippers believe she will help them to leave saṃsāra, the wheel of incarnation. She is also one of important figures of Buddhism both in India and in the Far East (China and Japan where she is identified as a Shinto goddess Benzaiten). She is believed to guard the teachings of Buddha and offers protection and help in understanding to the believers.

Main offering to Saraswati is honey, a symbol of absolute wisdom and the most important holiday celebrating her is Saraswati Puja (also called Vasant Panchami or Shree Panchami) which takes place on the first day of Spring, i.e. the fifth day of Magh, the time of late January and early February.  Children are taught to write their first letters, special prayers to Saraswati are organised at schools and universities and the worshippers wear yellow clothes and treat themselves with yellow sweets. In Punjab this festival is known as ‘the Kite Festival’ because children fly kites as the signs of Spring and the beginning of the Holi season. Personally I am very much intrigued by the fact that during Saraswati Puja books and instruments are placed in front of the goddess’ statue or image and on this very day in the year they are not used because she is blessing them. Students also enjoy Saraswati Puja because there are no classes at schools and universities at that time. In southern India this holiday is celebrated on September – October. Saraswati’s most famous place of cult is an 8th century Shringeri Sharadamba Temple situated in Shringeri in Karnataka state.

Similarly to coins being the manifestation of Lakshmi, books and writings are considered to be Saraswati’s manifestation and therefore highly respected (if a book touches the ground or leg by accident, a special gesture called Pranāma is performed as an apology).

IMAGES, SYMBOLS AND ANIMALS

Saraswati is depicted as peaceful, serene and beautiful woman wearing a white saree representing  her immaculate nature and clear mind (she sometimes is associated with yellow, the colour of the mustard plant which blooms at the time of Saraswati Puja festival in spring). She sits on a white lotus, a symbol of an absolute truth, experience and wisdom. Contrary to goddess Lakshmi she does not wear much jewellery and the one she has is simple to show clearly that she is not too fond of material goods. She usually has four arms representing either four Vedas or four aspects of human personality in the process of learning: mind, intellect, alertness, and ego. In one hand she holds a book in the form of a scroll which is the symbol of universal, eternal and divine wisdom, in second one she holds mālā, crystal prayer beads, representing the power of contemplation and spirituality, in third one – a pot of water as a sign of creativity and purification and in the fourth one – a musical instrument similar to sitar called vina (veena) showing the perfection of music and arts. She is usually depicted near water which is a reference to the river from which she originates; her figure is reflected on the surface of water which shows her control over emotions and clear, peaceful mind, both are necessary to express oneself precisely.

Saraswati is accompanied by hansa (white swan), goose or peacock at her feet or behind her. Hansa is also her vahana, vehicle; it was believed that given the mixture of milk and water, the bird will only drink milk which symbolizes the ability to distinguish between the good and the evil. Swan is associated with soul, inspiration and higher levels in many cultures  (it is connected to Celtic goddess Brigid who is also the goddess of perfectioning the craft and knowledge; her name means Exalted). Peacock is a symbol of majesty and dignity which is often attributed to a goddesses of high position (peacock is also the sacred animal of Anahita, another water goddess, who was worshipped in Persia and of Hera, a Hellen goddess of matrimony). In 1963 a peacock became India’s national emblem.

DIVINATION MEANING

Person

In positive meaning this card shows an intelligent, educated and well-read person who is good at self – expressing and is able to write down everything that mind dictates. A person of creative and fertile mind who does not need to make detailed plans because s/he trusts intuition. Someone who does not force things to happen but goes with the flow instead. Person who has an open mind, a fresh look at the matter and perceives it from a broad perspective.

In negative meaning this person is overwise and likes preaching what is right and wrong. This card also shows a talented person who does not develop knowledge nor talent due to laziness. A person who speaks faster than thinks.

Professions: scientist, lecturer, instructor, teacher, a person whose work involves the use of intellect and language, translator, commentator, artist, musician, writer, actor/actress

ADVICE

This card definitely suggests further learning, especially higher education.

Do not let ignorance enter your mind. Do not let yourself fall into mental laziness or lethargy.

Do not concentrate on the material world. If you do, you may be surprised when opening a beautifully wrapped gift box, you will find nothing inside the box.

You spend some time every day on beautifying your body. How often do you beautify your mind?

You provide your body with nutrients. What do you feed your mind with?

Mind and psyche need a good diet and workout just like your body. Do not neglect their needs.

Paying your attention to celebrity gossip websites or silly entertainment programmes is like junk food for your brain. If you keep your mind on such diet, it will not be growing nor developing.

Express your talents either by writing, painting, composing, singing or any other way. Reemember that the need of expressing what lies inside us is the driving force of our existence. Creativity can be expressed by the simplest and the cheapest means. Do not feel ashamed. Keep experimenting.

Time of improving. Wisdom. Speech. Music. Creation. Enlightement. Quality of mind.

Love

If you are in the relationship:  it is possible that you are the teacher in your relationship; you are the wiser who “should surrender” to a partner who is far behind in mental, spiritual and emotional development just like an older sibling to the younger. It is also possible that your partner preaches and admonishes you. In both cases it may cause frustration so to avoid unnecessary suffering be like a river. River does not hold grudges nor it does not stop, it simply flows ahead and overcomes all the obstacles.

If you are single: you demand a lot from the person whom you would like to form the relationship with. That is ok, indeed it makes no sense to be with someone just to be with someone. Do not get frustrated that you are alone, instead spend your free time and energy in a positive way on learning, creating and improving your skills. If you attend any classes aimed at developing your talent, it is probable that you will meet a like-minded person with similar interests.

Finances

Investment in the field of education will pay off. Help of a specialist or introducing new technologies is necessary at work. This card also informs that you need the job which guarantees intellectual and creative freedom. It also signifies an excellent subject knowledge and profound education.

Health

Check the flow of fluids in your body regularly. A strong influence of mind on body. Music therapy. Endangered parts of the body: blood vessels especially those situated in head.

CARDS

Saraswati in Goddesses of the New Light by Pamela Matthews

Saraswati in Goddesses of the New Light by Pamela Matthews

Saraswati in The Goddess Wisdom Cards by Jill Fairchild,  Regina Schaare & Sandra M. Stanton

Saraswati in The Goddess Wisdom Cards by Jill Fairchild,  Regina Schaare & Sandra M. Stanton

Saraswati in Goddess Inspiration Oracle by Kris Waldherr

Saraswati in Goddess Inspiration Oracle by Kris Waldherr

and as High-Priestess in The Goddess Tarot by Kris Waldherr

Saraswati  in The Goddess Tarot by Kris Waldherr

Saraswati in Goddesses Guidance Oracle Cards by Doreen Virtue

Saraswati in Goddesses Guidance Oracle Cards by Doreen Virtue

Saraswati in Oracle of the Goddess by Anna Franklin&Paul Mason

Saraswati in Oracle of the Goddess by Anna Franklin&Paul Mason

Saraswati in Goddess: A New Guide to Feminine Wisdom by River Huston&Patricia Languedoc

Saraswati in Goddess: A New Guide to Feminine Wisdom by River Huston&Patricia Languedoc

Saraswati as King of Cups in Universal Goddess Tarot by Maria Caratti&Antonella Platano

Saraswati in Universal Goddess Tarot by Maria Caratti&Antonella Platano

Based on English Wikipedia and http://www.indiaguide.pl/india/brahma_i_saraswati.html .

* Flow both in the meaning of river flow and flow of thoughts, ideas, words etc.

ISIS (ISET, ASET, AUSET)

ISIS (ISET, ASET, AUSET)

An Egyptian goddess of magic, wisdom, renewal, healing, power, love, marriage, motherhood and the deads. Sister and wife of Osiris, mother of Horus. One of the most famous and the most influencial goddesses not only in Egypt but in the whole ancient Roman Empire and perhaps even in the modern era because Catholic and Orthodox Marian cult is largely based on the one of Isis. Her original name was probably Aset and it meant ‘She Of The Throne’*.

ABOUT GODDESS

According to most of the myths Isis is the eldest daughter of Geb (Earth) and Nut (Sky) born on the fourth day of intercalation and the sister of Osiris, Seth and Nephthys. According to most myths Osiris married Isis and Seth – Nephthys; the first pair represented the fertility and fruitfulness of nature while the second was the symbol of wildness and vastness of desert. A lot of legends about the children of Geb and Nut survived into modern times but I am going to concentrate on the most famous one telling the story of Seth’s jealousy towards Osiris resulting in the assasination and the resurrection of his brother.

This myth has a couple of versions but the most detailed one comes from De Iside et Osiride by Plutarch. Viscious Seth  gave the banquet in honour of his brother where he showed a beautifully decorated chest and announced that the one who fits it perfectly may keep it as a gift. Many tried but they did not realise that Seth had already measured Osiris while he was asleep and the chest could only fit him. When Isis’ husband entered it, Seth slammed the cover, sealed it with lead, carried the chest away and threw it straight into the waters of the Nile. Goddess started to search the coffin to bury her husband in an appropriate manner** but a swift current of the river has already taken it to Byblos in Phoenicia and placed on a cedar tree (or tamarisk). Isis took the coffin back to Egypt and hid it in the swamps, alas Seth went hunting at night and found it. He was so furious that he chopped Osiris’ body into fourteen (sixteen or forty – two in other versions) pieces and scattered them all over Egypt so that his wife could not make a proper funeral for him. Then both sisters, Isis and Nephthys, turned into kites, keen-eyed birds of prey, and went searching. They found thirteen of the body pieces except of the penis which had already been swallowed by a fish. Isis, not discouraged at all, made a penis of gold, put her husband’s body together again and she wrapped it with resin – soaked linen strips with the help of Anubis, god of embalming. She created a cobra from spitting which Amon Ra the highest deity left on the ground and then she made the cobra bite him. I am the only one who has got the antidote for its venom, she announced. I will give it to you if you reveal to me your Secret Name. Wise goddess understood that knowing Secret Name will give her the power of his owner including performing rituals connected with resurrection. Amon Ra had no choice but to agree.  By chanting and making magical spells Isis managed to resurrect  Osiris and she conceived Horus with him (according to other versions she only used a golden penis). Horus was born in the Nile delta, however Osiris having already passed the gate of death, could not stay in the world of the living and he became the ruler of the Underworld. Isis took care of the child herself protecting her son from the anger of Seth. She was teaching him to guard the Egyptians from his uncle and Osiris kept coming back as a ghost to talk with Horus about the responsabilities of a ruler. When Horus grew up, he was fighting long battles with Seth and he nearly killed him but Isis stood between her son and brother and did not let that happen (the goddess even hurt Horus so that Seth would be able to escape but she healed him later). Eventually after the boat race won by Osiris’ son, Seth had to resign and to give the power over Egypt to him.

As her name reveals Isis was closely associated with the power of pharaohs and she represented literally their authority (she was depicted with a miniature of a throne as a headdress, pharaoh was Isis’ child whom she was giving her throne to). It has to be said that she was a very versatile goddess and all the classes adored her; she was guarding both rulers and noble or rich people  as much as craftsmen, slaves, sinners and the rejected and she particularly supported the deads and children. She is often mentioned in the funeral papyri of the rulers and later in those of nobility and ordinary people. Not only she is protecting a pharaoh in the Underworld but she is also ‘the mother of Horus’ four sons’, four deities guarding the canopic jars where the organs taken away before the mumification were stored. Isis herself was protecting the jar with liver, Nephtys was watching over the one with lungs and both these goddesses were shown with arms outstretched on the coffins  and sarcophagi so that no one dared to undermine the peace of deceased. Isis is depicted as pharaoh’s guardian, wife or mother.

Here she is shown together with Hathor when they are passing Queen Nefertari to the Underworld

Isis’ cult probably began in Sebennytos at least 3100 b.C. and soon spread all over Upper and Lower Egypt. She was especially venerated in the Nile delta, in the Per-Hebitet (modern Behbeit El-Hagar) sanctuary and the Philae island which used to be situated next to the First Cataract of the Nile. When the Aswan Dam was built in 1970, the remainings of temples were relocated to the  island on Lake Naser created as a result of inudating the areas near the dam. According to Herodotus she was the only goddess worshipped by all the Egyptians, both in Upper and Lower Egypt. From the times of New Kingdom Osiris, Isis and Horus were forming trinity of the most important Egyptian deities which was later transformed in the Hellenistic times into Serapis (an Alexandrian god who came into existence when Egyptian and Hellen religious beliefs merged), Harpocrates (one of representations of hellenised Horus) and Isis who kept her position.

Priests and priestesses of the goddess were considered to be healers, they were also able to explain the meaning of a dream or even to control the weather through braiding or not combing their hair (this is why Isis’ knot was believed to be magical). The cult on the Philae island survived until 6th century when Emperor Justinian ordered to destroy it. It was the last ancient sanctuary to be closed down.

At the beginning particular deities were worshipped locally but then their cults began to spread all over the country and gods and goddesses were merged. Isis was identified as goddes Hathor and around that time the myth of resurrecting Osiris has become more and more popular. From the Hellenistic  period throughout the whole era of Roman Empire the cult of Isis became increasingly popular in the lands far from Egypt and she became of one the main deities of the ancient world. She was venerated during the mysteries called Navigium Isidis (literally The Vessel of Isis) in Rome on March 5th. The celebrations included processions with the offerings of milk and spices, flowers, torches, laterns and her sacred objects; her worshippers were singing and dancing. Another popular Roman celebration was Isia which was taking place between October 28th and November 3rd/4th. It was retelling the story of ressurecting Osiris; both priests, priestesses and common believers were divided into guilds: pastophori were carrying small chapels during processions and melanephors were wearing black gowns to remind about Isis’ grief after Osiris’ death. She was venerated by many inhabitants of Rome including emperors: Caligula built a temple of her on the Campus Martius which was called Isis Campensis i.e Isis of the Fields, among her worshippers were also Vespasian, Titus, Domitian, Trajan, Hadrian, Galerius and others. To understand her importance one should read the quote from Metamorphoses by a Roman writer Apuleius

‘I come, Lucius, moved by your entreaties: I, mother of the universe, mistress of all the elements, first-born of the ages, highest of the gods, queen of the shades, first of those who dwell in heaven, representing in one shape all gods and goddesses. My will controls the shining heights of heaven, the health-giving sea-winds, and the mournful silences of hell; the entire world worships my single godhead in a thousand shapes, with divers rites, and under many a different name. The Phrygians, first-born of mankind, call me the Pessinuntian Mother of the gods; the native Athenians the Cecropian Minerva; the island-dwelling Cypriots Paphian Venus; the archer Cretans Dictynnan Diana; the triple-tongued Sicilians Stygian Proserpine; the ancient Eleusinians Actaean Ceres; some call me Juno, some Bellona, others Hecate, others Rhamnusia; but both races of Ethiopians, those on whom the rising and those on whom the setting sun shines, and the Egyptians who excel in ancient learning, honour me with the worship which is truly mine and call me by my true name: Queen Isis. I am here in pity for your misfortunes, I am here with favour and goodwill. Cease now your weeping, put an end to your lamentation, banish your grief: now by my Providence the day of your release is dawning. Attend therefore with your whole mind to the orders I give you. The day which will be born of this night has been consecrated to me by immemorial religious usage. It is the day on which the tempests of winter have abated and the stormy sea-waves have subsided, when the ocean is again navigable and my priests sacrifice a brand-new ship as the first-offering of the season’s trade. It is this ceremony that you must await without anxiety and without unholy thoughts. ***.

In the Hellenistic era, after Alexander the Great’s conquest of the East, Isis was identified with such goddesses as Demeter, Astarte or Aphrodite, at that time she gained the titles which were associated with them: Queen of Heaven  and Star of the Sea (Latin Stella Maris, Hellenic Pelagia – ‘Of the Sea’, in this represenation she was depicted with a sail) as a guardian of seafarers and merchants who were spreading her cult throughout the Mediterranean area. Her temples were called Isidions (Isideons) and were situated not only in such important cities of the ancient world as Delos, Delphi, Eleusis or Athens, but also in Gaul (contemporary France), Spain, Portugal, the British Isles, Panonia (the area of modern Austria, Hungary and the Balcans), Germany, Asia Minor and Arabia. Archeologists have also found the remainings of her temple in Pompei and Herculanum. The cult of Isis was only abandoned when Christianity was introduced as an official religion of the Empire and pagans were persecuted.

But was it really abandoned?

Isis was depicted as a devoted wife and mother, the protector of the poor and the slaves and when Christianity was becoming increasingly popular, one of its most important drawbacks was the lack of female element accompanying the cult of Jesus.  It was a serious shortage in the ancient world where divinity had both male and female form. To complete this deficiency Mary the mother of Jesus was given the features of Isis, often literally, on pictures and sculptures:

Of course, those of us who have been ‘initiated’ into this topic, are aware of the issue but an average Catholic or Orthodox would be really surprised that in reality they worship an eternal Egyptian goddess under the disguise of Mary.

There are also other, indirect but symbolic associations of Isis with Christianity through Magdalene and her participation in the mystery of Jesus’ death. It is Magdalene whom he appears to as the first person after resurrection, Isis is guarding a canopic jar and Magdalene is also often depicted with a jar. As a curiosity I am showing an image Madonna with a Child and St. John the Baptist and Mary Magdalene by Giovanni Battista Cima/Cima de Conegliano (around 1510, Musée du Louvre) where Magdalene is wearing a knot in the shape of Isis’ Tyet,   (read below).

She is the goddess who is quite adeqately referred to as  Isis of Ten Thousand Names, here go some of them: Queen of Heaven, Star of the Sea, Mother of the Gods, Divine Mother, Great Lady of Magic, The One Who is All, Lady of the West, Lady of the Pyramid, Lady of Green Crops, The Brilliant One in the Sky, Mistress of the House of Life, Lady of Truth (together with Nephthys), Ideal of the Throne, She Who Knows How To Make Right Use of the Heart, Light-Giver of Heaven, Life – Giver, Lady of the Words of Power, Moon Shining Over the Sea, She Who Seeks Justice For the Poor People, She Who Seeks Shelter For the Weak People, She Who Seeks the Righteousness In Her People, She Who Gives Birth to Heaven And Earth, Lady of the Osiris’ Tomb, She Who Knows the Orphan, She Who Knows the Widow Spider.

IMAGES, SYMBOLS AND ANIMALS

The animals closely related to Isis are birds of prey especially a hawk and a kite. Hawk has been connected with power, the sun, the wind and masculinity, the canopic jar with a liver which Isis was guarding had a the figure of hawk at the top, her son Horus has also been depicted with the head of this bird. Kite is a similar species to a hawk and an eagle which lives on the areas of Europe and northern Africa. It is capable to fly high and when it is endangered, a mother sends a signal to her young to pretend they are dead and they do it so convincingly that a predator usually leaves them alone. Quoting Wikipedia, a kite may attack aggressively other birds of prey even the bigger ones to grab their victims. This is the only possible expanation of the remainings found in kites’ stomaches; the birds of the size of a kite are not be able to catch such victims by themselves. Kite has weak legs but very long wings and its flight is considered to be very elegant.

Isis’ plants are lotus, cedar tree, sycamore tree  (pharaoh Thutmose III, Hatshepsut’s nephew, was depicted as drinking milk from a sycamore tree which had a breast, it may also be an association with his mother Iset, one of Thutmose II wives) and roses which began to be attributed to her in the Hellenistic era probably because of the associations with Aphrodite and her symbols. It is interesting that the demand for the roses necessary for rituals and rites was so big that a rose industry which was aimed at supplying the flowers became very profitable. A garland of roses was being left in the tombs as the symbol of Isis.

The planet associated with Osiris and Isis is Syrius (this star’s appearance was announcing the Nile’s flooding and thus fertile soil, abundant harvest and small chance of hunger). They are also both connected with the Moon and lunar cycle through the aspect of waxing and waning. Because of identifying her as Aphrodite and Astarte during the Roman times, she was also related to the  planet Venus.

Isis is also related with a type of knot called Tiet, Tyet or Tet (or simply Isis’ Knot). Its name can be translated as welfare or life and as it can be easily observed it is linked to the symbol of ANKH. The knot was probably the part of clothing of deity and it is possible it was also worn by the priestesses of the goddess. When made of red wood, glass or stone, it was the Blood of Isis , a  funeral amulet which probably represented menstrual blood flow from the goddess womb and the magical properties of birth – death – rebirth cycle.  The Blood of Isis is mentioned in the 156th verse of the Book of the Dead: You possess your blood, Isis, you possess your power, Isis, you possess your magic, Isis. The amulet is a protection for this Great One, which will drive off anyone who would perform a criminal act against him.

As it was already mentioned Isis was initially presented with a miniature of a  throne as a headdress, here she is also carrying a sceptre with flower often carried by goddesses and ANKH, the symbol of eternal life as the guardian of the deads.

From the time when she started to be identified with goddess Hathor, she was shown as the mother of Horus and her headdress changed into the one with a solar disc (the symbol of Ra whose mother was originally Hathor) and cow horns as a representation of abundance and fertility. At that time she is also attributed objects symbolising fun such as sistrum and menat necklace which had been so far associated with Hathor. Her headdress also acquired the vulture which had previously been the symbol of goddesses  Nekhbet and Mut as well as uraeus (cobra) of goddess Wadjet. All these goddesses were related to the power of pharaohs.

In the Book of the Deads Isis is depicted standing on the prow of the Solar Bark with her arms outstretched. And here are modern representations of Isis – Hathor

DIVINATION MEANING

Person

The person represented by this card is talented, versatile, educated, universal and incredible. S/he is able to arrange literally everything and convince everyone. This person has a huge wisdom but is young at heart regardless of real age. Someone not only intelligent but also wise. A person of high – ranking, a boss or superior but also a parent.

Professions: a physician, an official, a scientist, an inventor, a psychologist, regardless of profession this person is of either high – ranking or of great achievements.

ADVICE

Personally this card is always positive to me unless it is accompanied by really ‘heavy’ cards.

In the situation you are inquiring about there is nothing that you would not be able to fix.

Respect yourself and the others will respect you too. Straighten up, go ahead, be assertive. You have the right to feel power and authority. Do not believe anyone who perceives you as weak or helpless.

Do not be afraid of changes, you will adapt to a new situation easier than you expect. Going abroad is beneficial for you.

Do not try to force your loved ones to stay with you. Even if it is you who brought them to this world or was supporting them in difficult moments, it does not mean you must guard them until death. You have to know when it is time to let go.

In negative this card may show inability to solve problems at once, trying to kill many birds with one stone or problems with  balancing professional and domestic life.

Power. Healing. Magic. Mystery. Intuition. Self – Awareness. Determination. Cycle. Natural Adaptability Skills. Versatility. Past Returning. Invention. Courage. Care

Love

If you are in the relationship: time of renewal. Relation which requires effort but provides emotional satisfaction. Mature love. Deep feelings which remain even if attraction is gone.

If you are single: this card suggests that sooner or later you will find your true love. Single parenthood.

Finances

Time for learning, developing and educating on higher levels. You have the potential you must not waste. Expanding your activity to other fields or including new products in your offer is recommended. Profits from the abroad.

Health

This is a card of regeneration and renewal. Check your circulatory system. If you have already been examined, it is suggested to repeat the tests. Endangered parts of the body: liver.

CARDS

Isis might have been the most important goddess in the whole antiquity so it is no wonder that she appears in all the decks I have come across. However, it has to be noticed that in none of them she appears in her original throne appearance but instead on most images she already has the attributes of Hathor.

This time I am starting with Tarot decks and the assignments to Major Arcana: in the deck by Kris Waldherr Isis is the Mage while in the deck by Maria Caratti&Antonella Platano she is the High Priestess. It is probably the only situation when I agree that the classification to both these cards is correct. Despite big diferrences in meaning this particular goddess suits perfectly both Major Arcana. Isis has courage, skills and need for acting of the Mage and secret wisdom, tenderness and protectiveness of the High Priestess. In fact the second Major Arcane comes from the tradition of Isis – Hathor (it can be seen especially in the Rider – Waite – Smith deck where the High Priestess is wearing her crown, also the moon and the sea are related with her).

And if someone should classify Isis as the Empress, it would also be well – founded on the base of mythology.

Isis – Hathor as the Mage in The Goddess Tarot and in Goddess Inspiration Oracle by Kris Waldherr accompanied by kite/hawk and behind her there are images of  Osiris and Horus on the wall

 

A cartoon – like Isis – Hathor as the High Priestess in Universal Goddess Tarot by Maria Caratti&Antonella Platano . But at least she is sitting on the throne  . Maybe it is just me but doesn’t she look like an Italian woman?  Even considering her cartoon – like appearance… Both authors come from Italy, perhaps this is a self – portrait or an image of a mother, a sister or a friend?

Isis with a throne, wings, ANKH and Horus in Oracle of the Goddess by Anna Franklin&Paul Mason

Isis in Oracle of the Goddess by Anna Franklin&Paul Mason

A beautiful representation of Isis with Osiris and baby Horus in The Goddess Oracle by Hrana Janto&Amy Sophia Marashinsky (according to some sources Isis resurrected Osiris by covering him with wings)

Isis – Hathor with double ANKH in Goddesses of the New Light by Pamela Matthews

Isis with a cobra in The Goddess Wisdom Cards by Jill Fairchild, Regina Schaare & Sandra M. Stanton

Isis in The Goddess Wisdom Cards by Jill Fairchild, Regina Schaare & Sandra M. Stanton

Isis – Hathor with roses, sistrum, Solar Bark and the sea in the background in The Oracle of the Goddess by Gayan Sylvie Winter&Jo Dosé

A blue eyed Isis in The Goddess Oracle Deck by Thalia Took

Isis – Hathor and Osiris in The Goddesses Knowledge Cards by Susan Seddon Boulet&Michael Babcock

Isis-Hathor and Osiris in The Goddesses Knowledge Cards by Susan Seddon Boulet&Michael Babcock

Isis – Hathor in Goddess Guidance Oracle Cards by Doreen Virtue (image by the same Jonathan Earl Bowser who painted Ishtar – Cleopatra http://jonathonart.com/isis.html , on the website you can see clearly that Isis is being observed by her mother Nut – Heaven)

Isis in Ascended Masters Oracle Cards by Doreen Virtue

Isis – Hathor in Goddess Card Pack by Juni Parkhurst stylised on contemporary images

Isis in Goddess: A New Guide to Feminine Wisdom by River Huston&Patricia Languedoc

Isis in Goddess: A New Guide to Feminine Wisdom by River Huston&Patricia Languedoc

Isis in The Goddess Power Pack by Cordelia Brabbs

A combat and war – like Isis – Hathor straight from fantasy game ‘Resurrect Osiris’  in Goddesses&Sirens by Stacey Demarco&Jimmy Manton

Isis as a special guest star on the card of Osiris in Gods&Titans by Stacey Demarco&Jimmy Manton

Based on Wikipedia and the following pages

http://www.symbolizm.obrazy-olejne.org/symbol-jastrzab/457/
http://www.thegoddesstree.com/GoddessGallery/ISIS%20Final%20Project.htm
http://www.nemo.nu/ibisportal/0egyptintro/1egypt/index.htm
http://www.knotofisis.net/Tiet.html
http://www.path-ways.com/forums/showthread.php?t=80
http://www.thaliatook.com/AMGG/isis.html
http://www.egyptianmyths.net/mythisis.htm
http://books.google.pl/books/about/The_Cult_of_Isis_Among_Women_in_the_Grae.html?id=1MkUAAAAIAAJ&redir_esc=y
http://www.naderlibrary.com/goldenass.11.htm

*‘Isis’ is a Hellenic form, similary to other languages of the Middle – East, in native Egyptian vowels were not marked in writing, Egyptologists guess that her name was pronounced as Iset, Auset or Aset, moreover a female suffix ‘t’ vanished with the time.

**It has to be said that according to the beliefs of ancient Egypt, body must have been preserved afer death so that soul did not suffer in the Underworld thus the custom of balming the corpses.

*** A fragment of Metamorphoses or Golden Ass by Apuleius translated by E. J. Kenney.

KUAN YIN

KUAN YIN

A Buddhist and Taoist goddess, bodhisattva i.e. the soul which has already broken away from saṃsāra, a wheel of incarnations, and yet made a conscious decision not to fall into the state of nirvana, but to remain among people to help them to release themselves from fears and egoistic thinking. Kuan Yin is a goddess of compassion for Buddhists and Immortal according to Taoistic beliefs. Her name is written in various ways (Kuan Yin, Quan Yin, Kwan Yin, Guan Yin, Guanyin, Kwannon*) and it means The One Who Hears the Cries of the World.

ABOUT GODDESS

It has to be said that Buddhism is not the sort of religion teaching that there are some divine spirits which created the world and keep it in order just like most religions do. It does not mean that supernatural powers do not exist in Buddhism, it simply means that there is no strict division between people and gods because everything depends on the way of acting. Depending on your behaviour you can either move down in the wheel of incarnations or move up thus it is possible for a human being to acquire divine abilities thanks to the development, meditation and compassion. Despite geographical and cultural distance the Buddhist and Taoist legends about Kuan Yin amazingly resemble the ones of Christian saints.

The stories about Kuan Yin are numerous. She is generally perceived as a female form of Avalokiteśvara, the bodhisattva of compassion (bodhisattva may adapt any form, gender and age in order to help as many souls as possible). Even though she belongs to the religion which originates from India, she is most popular in China where she is worshipped both in Buddhism and Taoism. One of the myths says that Kuan Yin promised not to give up until she releases all the creatures from saṃsāra, however despite her great efforts there was still too many unhappy people. When she was trying to comprehend how to help them, her head shattered into eleven pieces. To help her Buddha gave her eleven heads so that she could hear all the cries of suffering but when she was trying to reach out her arms to help all the creatures who needed her, her arms became so busy that they shattered from being overloaded. Therefore Buddha gave her one thousand arms in order she could act successfully and in certain areas she is worshipped as Kuan Yin Of a Thousand Arms:

Many Buddhists believe that when they die, it is Kuan Yin who places their souls  in the lotus flower and sends them to the land of Sukhāvatī.

In China she is widely known as Miao Shan who was born as a mortal woman in the royal family. When she grew up, her father Miao Chuang Yen decided to marry her to an influencial but soulless man. Miao Shan agreed obediently to do it on the condition that this marriage will relieve suffering caused by ageing, diseases and death. Her future husband was not capable to do it so a young princess decided to concentrate on religion and become a nun. Her father forced her to perform hard manual labour as a punishment and limited her food and water rations but this did not break her resistance.  Miao Shan kept begging her father to let her stay in the convent instead of forcing her to marry and he eventually agreed. However, he commanded the monks to give his daughter the tasks she would not be able to accomplish to make her come back to the royal palace. This plan failed because Miao Shan was such a good girl that animals living in the neighbourhood were coming to the convent to help her in the night. In desperation the king set the fire to the covenant but the princess managed to extinguish the fire with bare hands without suffering from any burns. The king was so frightened that he condemned her to death. There are a couple of versions of what happened next.

The first version says that when she was about to be executed, a supernatural tiger carried her soul off to hell where demons surrounded her immediately to punish her as they always do with newcomers. However, Miao Shan played an instrument and the flowers started to blossom all around which completely surprised the demons. In fact simple appearance of the princess made hell turn into paradise.  The second version speaks of how Miao Shan allowed the executor to kill her in order not to expose him to king’s anger. But no weapon wanted to deprive her of life: both axe and sword shattered into pieces when they touched her body and arrows intentionally missed the target. In the end the executioner understood that he had to kill Miao Shan with his own hands. When he was about to strangle her, the princess forgave him and took the karma for his deed as her own burden and this explains why she had to go to hell. When she saw the amount of suffering there, she was struck with such grief that she released all the good karma she had gathered throughout her numerous incarnations. This made so many souls free and completely recreated hell into heaven that its ruler Yanlou had no choice but to send her back to Earth to prevent further destruction of his realm. She appeared back near Fragrant Mountain which is her sacred place. Another version of this story says that Miao Shan did not die at all but instead was brought to the Fragnant Mountain by the tiger.

So how does this story end? Well, Miao Shan’s father fell ill with jaundice and no doctor could heal him. But then suddenly a monk appeared and revealed that the only medicine that would make the king healthy again was a mixture of an arm and an eye of a person completely deprived of anger who lived on Fragrant Mountain. When the ruler sent his servants to ask if she could sacrifice her body parts, Miao Shan agreed immediately to help her father. Miao Chuang Yen recovered indeed and went himself to Fragrant Mountain to express his gratitude personally. He was amazed when he discovered that the person who sacrificed herself was his own daughter. Begging for forgiveness he built a temple on the top of the mountain together with his wife and two remaining daughters. Miao Shan has become Kuan Yin of a Thousand Arms and ascended into heavens but on her way she heard weeping and looking from above she realized the magnitude of suffering. She decided to stay and she made an oath that she would not surrender until all the agonies stop. She settled down on the island Mount Putuo (Putuoshan) where she was meditating and helping sailors and fishermen to get back on the shore (she is believed to calm the waves down next to sharp rocks to protect boats and ships and that is why she is considered to be a patroness of the seamen).

Another popular myth about Kuan Yin is the one about a lame boy named Sudhana (Shan Tsai in Chinese version). He was a young boy so eager to study Buddhism that when he found out about an excellent teacher who lived on the Putuo island, he set off the journey to get there. When he arrived and talked to Kuan Yin, she was very much impressed by his willpower which enabled him reaching so distant place despite physical disability. However, she decided to try him and made an illusion of three pirates running towards her with swords and pushing her down the cliff. Sudhana limped towards the cliff too and fell down trying to save her but Kuan Yin stopped him half way thanks to her power, put him down on the ground and told him to walk ahead. It turned out that he was able to walk like a healthy man and when he looked into a pool of water, he noticed that he also became handsome. From that day Kuan Yin started to teach him the rules of Buddhism.

Many years later the son of King of Dragons, the ruler of the sea, was caught in the fishing net after he had assumed the form of a fish. While being on the land he was unable to turn into a dragon again and mighty as he was his father had no power over the land and could not help him. The prince wept piteously that he got stuck in another dimension and his cry penetrated both heaven and earth. Kuan Yin heard it and sent Shan Tsai to buy the fish. Her disciple soon realised where the fish was because it became the main attraction of a local fair as it remained alive long after being caught. People thought that eating such fish would provide them immortality and began fighting for it. Shan Tsai was begging the seller to spare the amazing fish but this made the crowd even more angry. Then the voice of Kuan Yin came from far reaching, stating that life belongs to the one who protects it, not to the one who destroys it. Hearing these words people understood their mistake and the crowd dispersed. Shan Tsai was able to take the fish to his teacher and she let it free into the sea where the prince transformed into a dragon. The ruler of the sea was so happy to have his son back that he sent his granddaughter Lung Nü (Dragon – Girl) to Kuan Yin with the Pearl of Light, a precious jewel which kept shining permanently from the inside. Lung Nü was so amazed by bodhisattva that she asked if she could become her disciple and Kuan Yin agreed on the condition that she would be the owner of the Pearl of Light. This is why the goddess herself is often depicted with a basket of fish and accompanied by children, Shan Tsai and Lung Nü.  Shan Tsai is presented with his palms joint and knees slightly bent to remind that he was once crippled while  Lung Nü is holding either a bowl or an ingot as a symbol of the Pearl of Light.

Not only people wanted Kuan Yin to teach them. Just as in the case of St Francis animals liked her, too. One day a little parrot went out to search for her mother’s favourite food but was caught and trapped by a hunter.  When she finally set free, she discovered that her mother had died of hunger. She was weeping and she arranged a beautiful funeral for her and later she went to Kuan Yin to become her disciple. Goddess is sometimes depicted with a white parrot hovering to the right side of her with either a pearl or a prayer bead in its beak as a sign of love to parents.

Kuan Yin was very ingenious in finding the ways to help people. When she found out that the inhabitants of Quanzhou in province Fujian could not afford to build a bridge, she turned into a beautiful woman, got into a boat and offered to marry the man who was able to hit her with a silver coin while standing on the edge of the river. Because many tried it and missed, she soon gathered a large sum of money in the boat and the river.

Kuan Yin is very popular among Chinese Buddhists as a source of unconditional love and a saviour because in her bodhisattva vows she promised to answer every cry which will help to release a soul from its karmic vows. Some schools of Buddhism believe that Kuan Yin is not really a separate being full of compassion and love but the energy of compassion and love itself thus people who behave in non – egoistic and empathetic way are simply called guanyin. One of the main texts of Buddhism is the Heart Sutra which is not based on Buddha’s teachings but is attributed to Avalokiteśvara/Kuan Yin, the famous quote Form is emptiness, emptiness is form is included in this text. Kinara, main divine protector of  Shaolin Monastery, was considered to be an incarnation of Kuan Yin. As a symbol of compassion she is also closely associated with vegetarianism, Chinese vegetarian restaurants are often decorated with her image. Chinese buddhists both in country and diaspora consider her to be a guardian of women and children** and believe she can grant a child to the parents who ask. A woman should offer a borrowed shoe in the temple of Kuan Yin and when the expected child is born, mother should take her shoe back and leave a pair of new shoes as a gift of gratitude. Kuan Yin also has the features of earth goddess because after a great flood she sent a dog with the grains of rice so that human beings could grow the plant and have food to eat. She is believed to be both a protectress of  the unfortunate, the sick, the disabled, the poor, people in trouble and the goddess of luck and fortune. She is more and more often asked for protection during flights. In Asia it is not uncommon to come across syncretic images merging Kuan Yin with Saint Mary (the way of presenting them –  a woman and a child – is similar). When Christianity was banned in Japan, some clandestine Christian groups were venerating Mary in disguise of Kuan Yin.

IMAGES, SYMBOLS AND ANIMALS

Kuan Yin is usually presented as a beautiful woman wearing white robes, sometimes with a royal necklace. She is sitting nobly and her eyes are lowered down to show that she is protecting the world. The goddess is holding a jar with fresh water in her left hand and a willow bough in the right one. There are also numerous versions of her local representations such as Kuan Yin of the South Sea  where she is holding a basket with fish. Another popular image is Kuan Yin standing on a dragon accompanied with a white parrot  and with Shan Tsai and Lung Nü standing by her side (or interchangeably a warrior Guan Yu, a historical figure from Three Kingdoms Period and another bodhisattva Skanda).

DIVINATION MEANING

Person

Positive: A person shown in this card is noble, high – minded and empathetic. This is someone who has an inner sense of justice, who believes deeply in what they do and whose thoughts are reflected in the way they behave. An opinion of others or material goods are not essential for such person. Their most common activity is working in an animal shelter or in a hospice or attending a peaceful manifestation for freedom or civil rights for oppressed. This person is often a vegetarian or a vegan.

Negative: a person who cannot refuse help and as a result takes the burdens of others on their own back. Someone with strong beliefs who does not accept the truths of other people.

Professions: teacher, volunteer, guardian, carer, priest/priestess or nun.

ADVICE

In the situation you are inquiring you should be gentle with yourself and others. Show sympathy. Listen to your protagonist even if you disagree. Do not judge. Do not try to be absolutely perfect. Do not expect too much from others. Forgive yourself and those around you what you have done or have not done. Open your own heart if you want people to love you. Do not be suspicious and think about people in a positive way. Avoid gossiping and talking behind someone’s back.

Sometimes you have to do something against social, logical and rational rules.

Do not compromise when it comes to doing good.

May your thoughts, words and deeds be one.

Love

If you are in the relationship: possible problems caused by lack of understanding. Showing your partner love and listening to them may be a solution. Admitting you made a mistake or recognising at least some of your partner’s reasons is not something to be ashamed of, it is a sign of maturity.

If you are single: rather platonic than sensual love. Unfulfilled love. Being single by choice.

Finances

Do not expect big financial profits at the moment. This card suggests you rather appreciate positive working environment or try to amend it. Share what you have and support those in need.

Health

You are overloading your body. You are not providing your organism with sufficient amount of nutrients. Strong influence of mind on body. Pay attention to circulatory system, especially in limbs. Possible amputation. Endangered parts of the body: heart and circulatory system.

CARDS

Kuan Yin appears in all the decks I have come across, however none of these images is really adequate to her archetypal representations and personally I am not convinced by any of these cards.

Kuan Yin in Goddesses of the New Light by Pamela Matthews (I think it is the most beautiful image of all the decks)

Kuan Yin in The Goddess Oracle by Hrana Janto&Amy Sophia Marashinsky

Kuan Yin in The Goddess Wisdom Cards by Jill Fairchild, Regina Schaare & Sandra M. Stanton

Kuan Yin in The Goddess Wisdom Cards by Jill Fairchild, Regina Schaare & Sandra M. Stanton

Kuan Yin in The Goddesses Knowledge Cards by Susan Seddon Boulet&Michael Babcock

Kuan Yin in The Goddesses Knowledge Cards by Susan Seddon Boulet&Michael Babcock

Kuan Yin in Oracle of the Goddess by Anna Franklin&Paul Mason

Kuan Yin in Oracle of the Goddess by Anna Franklin&Paul Mason

Kuan Yin in The Oracle of the Goddess by Gayan Sylvie Winter&Jo Dosé

Kuan Yin in The Goddess Oracle Deck by Thalia Took

Kuan Yin in Goddess Card Pack by Juni Parkhurst

Kuan Yin in Goddess Guidance Oracle Cards by Doreen Virtue

Kuan Yin in Ascended Masters Oracle Cards by Doreen Virtue

Kuan Yin in Goddess: A New Guide to Feminine Wisdom by River Huston&Patricia Languedoc

Kuan Yin in Goddess: A New Guide to Feminine Wisdom by River Huston&Patricia Languedoc

Kuan Yin in Goddesses&Sirens by Stacey Demarco&Jimmy Manton

Kuan Yin in The Goddess Power Pack by Cordelia Brabbs

Kuan Yin in Goddess Inspiration Oracle and in The Goddess Tarot by Kris Waldherr where she rather arguably represents the Major Arcane of Hanged Man

Kuan Yin in Universal Goddess Tarot by Maria Caratti&Antonella Platano, again I cannot agree with assigning her to the element of Fire (this burning convent is a poor association, Kuan Yin should be presented in the element of Water as the King of Cups)

Based on English Wikipedia.

*If you are interested in variety of her name’s versions, please check English Wikipedia.
**Pay attention to her name, ‘yin’ is a female element in the symbol of yin&yang.

Zapisz

Zapisz

IXCHEL

IXCHEL

Ixchel or Ix Chel (pronounced as [iʃˈtʃel]) is the Maya goddess mostly connected with medicine, fertility and pregnancy and therefore she is considered to be the guardian of doctors, midwives, healers and shamans. She is associated with the moon (particularly its waning phase), earth, water especially in the form of rain, weaving, divination and war. Her name probably comes from the stem ‘chel’ meaning rainbow, it was written with a pictogram signifying ‘red’ and that is why she is called  Lady of the Rainbow.

ABOUT GODDESS

Not many myths about her remained until recent times. According to one of the legends she was married to Itzamna and had thirteen sons with him, two of them were the creators of heaven and earth. In another version she is the wife of earth god Voltan. There is also the legend which claims that she created the world together with Feathered Serpent. However I have found a certain significant story about her which I am presenting basing on the information found on the pages: http://www.goddessgift.com/goddess-myth … x-chel.htm and http://www.crystalinks.com/mayangods.html.

As a young girl Ixchel was so beautiful that all the gods fell in love with her except one,  Kinich Ahau, the sun god, whom she really cared for. She was staring at the sparkling golden lover but the longer she was chasing after him the worse weather was becoming: tides were rising creating floods which inuaded the lands and destroyed crops. However Ixchel blinded by love and staring at the sun did not even realize how serious damages she was provoking. Being a talented weaver she finally found the way to Kinich Ahau’s heart by offering him a beautiful shirt. They soon became lovers and four jaguar gods were born from this union. Each of them was unseen during the night and each got one side of the world to protect and to bear the pillars of the world.

Unfortunately, the relationship with the sun god made Ixchel’s grandfather very angry. In rage he threw the thunder which struck the goddess killing her immediately. She was lying dead for 183 days until hundreds of dragonflies* gathered on her body and began to sing to resurrect her. Ixchel came back to the sun god’s palace but the time of torments has not finished yet. Her lover was impulsive and obsessed with jealousy so he wrongly accused the goddess of romancing with his brother the Morning Star and threw her out of the sky. She found a shelter among the vulture gods but when Kinich Ahau heard about it he hurried to beg her forgiveness and promised to treat her well this time. She agreed and at first all seemed to be good but then the sun god became suspicious, jealous and aggressive again. This made Ixchel realize he would never change and she decided to leave him forever. To avoid any further harassment she waited till he fell asleep  and slipped from the palace. She then took the form of a jaguar and became invisible so no matter how hard Kinich Ahau was searching for her he was not able to find her. Ixchel herself went to live in her island Cozumel where she was taking care of pregnant women and those who were in labour.

She was mostly worshipped on the islands of Cozumel and Isla Mujeres. On Cozumel there are many evidences of women’s pilgrimages aiming to ask the goddess for good marriages and offspring. Ruins of her temples remained till modern times and it is considered that the priests hidden in a huge statue were announcing the messages of the oracle. The second island was famous for small statues of the goddess which were left there as a thank you gift. They were so numerous that Hernandez de Cordoba, a Spanish conquistador, called this place Isla Mujeres meaning ‘The Island of Women’. Ixchel was also worshipped in Acalan and not much is known about the specific cult but there is a supposition that certain rituals were taking place during the sixth day of the moon phase and after childbirth when a woman was having a bath.

IMAGES, SYMBOLS AND ANIMALS

She was presented as an old woman with the ears of a jaguar or a serpent entwined around her head and sometimes she had claws instead of feet and hands. Jaguars and serpents together with eagles were  the most important animals  for the Maya because a powerful and persistent jaguar was able to tresspass the barrier between the world of the day and the night** while a serpent crawling on the soil and shedding its skin was the symbol of earth  (as it was already mentioned in the blog entry about Gaia a serpent symbolizes wisdom, life cycles and renewal, you can also read about the sign of Ouroboros ). As a guardian of women and children she was also depicted with a rabbit, the symbol of fertility and large families.

One of her symbols was an inverted jug resembling a womb and thus being the symbol of menstruation, dryness and the time of growing old (similarly to the waning phase of the moon). An inverted jug was also the symbol of rain and rainy season therefore Ixchel was considered to cause floods. Crossed bones were traditionally attributed to her and she was believed to wear a skirt with this image which was a connection with the world of the dead and had purifying abilities (e.g. when someone died because of plague their bones were put on the crossroads to make the disease go away from people’s homes). Ixchel also carried a spear and a shield during wars.

Ixchel in The Dresden Codex

Ix Chel

Ixchel

Ixchel

DIVINATION MEANING

Person

This card may show a grandmother or an older woman. In positive meaning this is a woman who is satisfied and feels accomplished in all the phases of her life, she is not afraid of challenges and rejects outside pressure. She is comprehensive and wise through experience. She supports her loved ones in difficult moments and protects her family. In negative meaning this card represents a young woman who gets involved in the relationship with a man without thinking and then she is abused by him.

Professions: doctor, nurse, midwife, paramedic, farmer, geologist, meteorologist, weaver, taylor, embroidery person, athlete, warrior, fortuneteller.

Advice

Take good care of your health, remember you cannot exploit your body forever. Spend more time with your family, especially with children. Search for support of an older woman (possibly your grandmother). A physical or mental abuse may be involved in this situation. If you are considering starting studies connected with medicine or midwifery this card confirms it is a good choice. Be careful and conscientous to avoid accidents.

Love

If you are in a relationship: if you remain in the relationship which gives you neither emotional fulfillment nor safety this card says clearly it is high time to quit it.

If you are single: do not start a relationship just to avoid being alone. It is probable that you will care more about this union than your partner. Beware of abuse in relationship. Make sure that a short – lived romance will not result in an unexpected pregnancy.

Finances

Possible expences connected with the pregnancy. Possible closing of transaction, purchase of the land, house or other long-term investment. Check carefully the contract before signing it because you may overlook or misunderstand something.

Health

For a young woman it may signify pregnancy and childbirth while for an older one it predicts menopause. In the spread it ALWAYS suggests consulting the doctor. When it appears at the end of the spread concerning health, it suggests recovery and successful childbirth. Endangered parts of the body: reproductive organs (ovaries, Fallopian tubes, utero, cervix, vagina), skeletal system, divestive system, circulatory system. Possible disorders in menstruating.

CARDS

Ixchel appears in four decks but none of her images is really consistent with the original Maya renderings (no inverted jug, no crossed bones skirt, no jaguar ears and no older woman on any of them except of Hrana Janto and Sandra M. Stanton’s paintings!).

Ixchel in The Goddess Wisdom Cards by Jill Fairchild, Regina Schaare & Sandra M. Stanton

Ixchel in The Goddess Wisdom Cards by Jill Fairchild, Regina Schaare & Sandra M. Stanton

Ixchel in The Goddess Oracle by Hrana Janto&Amy Sophia Marashinsky (I wouldn’t attribute creativity to Ixchel as my first choice but I like the image especially its details, pay attention to her dragonfly earrings).

Ixchel with a jaguar in The Goddesses Knowledge Cards by Susan Seddon Boulet&Michael Babcock

Ixchel in The Goddesses Knowledge Cards by Susan Seddon Boulet&Michael Babcock

Ixchel in Goddess Guidance Oracle Cards by Doreen Virtue

Ixchel in Goddess Guidance Oracle Cards by Doreen Virtue

Ixchel in The Oracle of the Goddess by Gayan Sylvie Winter&Jo Dosé (but why with a falcon and not with a jaguar or a serpent?)

Ixchel in The Oracle of the Goddess by Gayan Sylvie Winter&Jo Dosé

Ixchel in Oracle of the Goddess by Anna Franklin&Paul Mason

Ixchel in Oracle of the Goddess by Anna Franklin&Paul Mason

Computer game and Wagnerian Valkirya-like Ixchel in Goddesses&Sirens by Stacey Demarco&Jimmy Manton

Ixchel in Goddesses&Sirens by Stacey Demarco&Jimmy Manton

*Dragonflies as the name speaks itself are connected with dragons and serpents in many cultures.

**The Maya people believed that the day belonged to people and the visible world while the night was the realm of their ancestors’ ghosts.

I used the information found on English wikipedia and the following pages:

http://www.pantheon.org/articles/i/ixchel.html , http://www.whats-your-sign.com/mayan-sy … xchel.html ,
http://www.answers.com/topic/ixchel , http://www.orderwhitemoon.org/goddess/Ixchel.html ,
http://thebasicsofanything.com/ixchel-f … rain-fores


YEMANYA (YEMAYA)

In memory of Piotr Baniewicz

and with a special dedication

to his family and friends

YEMANYA (YEMAYA)

ABOUT GODDESS

The goddess of ocean and protectress of women (especially the pregnant ones) and children. She originates from Yorubaland in Africa but her cult was spread in both American continets during the times of slavery.

The Yoruba people live in Nigeria, Benin and Togo and according to their religion Yemanya is the goddess mother and the patroness of women and the Ogun River. Yoruba’s deities are called orishas meaning ‘head owners’ and according to legends at first Olodumare the Creator brought to life a god – man Obatala and his wife.  From the relationship of their two children Yemanya and Aganyu a son named Orungan was born. As a teenager he revolted against his father and raped his own mother but when he was trying to do it again Yemanya cursed him and he eventually died. Grief-stricken Yemanya threw herself from the top of the mountain but then fourteen powerful Orishas (among them Oya the Goddess of Wind) emerged from her womb. Waters gushed from her body, flooded everything around and created seven seas.  Obafulom i Lyaa, the first man and the first woman,  ancestors of all the humanity, came into being from the bones of the goddess.  The whole life originates from her and it is interesting that the Yoruba people had believed in that before scientists discovered that life indeed came from the ocean and the oldest skeleton found by archaelogists belonged to an African woman.

However when their children were captured to slave ships and brought to work in America she abandoned her native land, she crossed the ocean and she followed them to protect in the worst moments of their lives. This is why she is one of the most important deities of  Santería.

Yemanya is a gracious goddess and women ask her mostly for the conception of a child and a successful  childbirth but also to heal them from diseases and infertility. She protects infants from a zygote till  delivery and guards them throughout their childhood. She has all the features of goddess mother, she watches over family, feelings, fertility and protects all that is typically related to femine, water and the moon: oceans, seas, rivers, lakes, ebbs and flows, hidden secrets, sea shells and intuitive knowledge. There is a division: Olokun is an Orisha of turbulent and dark  depths (according to different version Olokun is either man, woman or hermaphrodite) while Yemanya’s realm are the waters straight under the surface where the light is still visible and her daughter Oya the goddess of winds carries the drops  in the breeze to the land. In the project of the film ‘Secrets of the Sea’ of a Cuban director Gloria Rolando Olokun feeling neglected wants to flood the land but Yemanya crosses the way of furious  Orisha and gently peruades Olokun not to do it. A huge wave stops on the beach and when it retreats it leaves the mounds of corals and pearls. Olokun brings to the surface all that is unconscious, unknown and wild and what we prefer not to show to the outside world.

According to the legend Yemanya’s first gift to the humankind was a sea shell to allow people hear the goddess voice anytime they apply shells to their ears.

Her name is written in various versions, in Africa it’s Yemoja, Ymoja, Iemanja Nana Borocum, Iemanja Bomi, Iemanja Boci, in Brazil: Yemanjá, Iemanjá, Imanjá, in Cuba: Yemaya, Yemayah, Iemanya, in New Orleans: Yemalla, Yemalia, Yemana or Balianna. It originates from the abbreviation of the Yoruba expression ‘Yeye Emo Eja’ which means ‘Mother Whose Children Are Like Fish’ and shows the vastness of her maternity, fertility and dominion over the living creatures.  In Brazilian religion Candomblé she is worshiped as the Queen of Ocean, the guardian of seafearers and survivors from shipwrecks, moonshine spirit and female creative force. She is very often identified with Catholic Our Lady of the Seafaring and even worshipped along with her on Feb 2nd (neither Santería nor Candomblé forbid worshipping Catholic saints). In Rio Vermelho crowds gather on the beach at dawn to leave their offerings. Flowers are thrown into the ocean and various object representing women’s vanity such as lipsticks, jewellery, combs, parfumes, mirrors and fabrics are gathered in huge baskets. These are later taken to the sea by seafarers and a huge festival party begins in the streets. Similar celebrations syncretiting both cults take place on Feb 8th in other regions of Brazil. And on New Year’s Eve the inhabitants of Rio de Janeiro gather on Copacabana beach regardless of their religious beliefs wearing white clothes to greet New Year, watch firworks and to throw white flowers and offerings to the sea hoping that the goddess will grant them their requests for the forthcoming year. Sometimes the offerings and the figures of goddess are sent in wooden boats such as this one:

If the wave takes the flowers and offerings away it signifies that the goddess accepted them and if the wave throws it back to the shore it is a bad sign. Small offerings and candles floating on the surface can be observed on Copacabana beach nearly every day. In the region of São Paulo the celebrations of Yemanya take place for the first two weeks of December on the beach near the city of Praia Grande where her statue is located. During that time the cars are decorated with the images of the goddess and her white and blue colours and thousands of people travel to the sea. And on Feb, 2nd in Pelotes in the region of Rio Grande do Sul at the end of Catholic celebrations the boats with the image of St. Mary stop on the sea to greet the worshippers of Yemanya holding her picture and the scene is observed by the crowds standing on the shore.

In Haiti and Cuba the worshippers of vodou regognize her as LaSiren (Mami Wata/Mama Watta – ‘Mother of Waters’) and she is also identified with Our Lady of Regla, a district of Havana, the patroness of its inhabitants of African origins. In Trinidad she is Emanja, the river goddess and in the religions of the Congo she takes the names of Kalunga, Mà Lango or Madré D’Agua – ‘Mother of Waters’. Judging by her images she is also strongly connected to Stella Maris  (‘Star of the Sea’). In Santería she has seven different caminos (‘paths’), to find out the details please check English Wikipedia.

IMAGES, SYMBOLS AND ANIMALS

She is sometimes presented as a mermaid or a beautiful woman emerging from the waves of the sea.

Yemaya3

In Africa she is presented as a very old lady wearing black and mauve who has connection with a river, mud, swamp and earth. Her name is Iemanja Nana Borocum or Nana Burku.

However in the shops of Rio de Janeiro the images  of Yemanya who emerges from the waves wearing a dress with seven skirts symbolizing seven seas can be bought among the images of Jesus and Catholic saints.

Planet: full moon or crescent
Number: seven (just like seven seas)
Day of the Week: Saturday
Colours: white, blue and silver
Scent: raspberry and cinnamon
Gems: cristals, pearls, mother of pearl, coral, moonstone, quartz, turquoise
Animals: fish and all the creatures of the sea and ducks, doves, peacocks and chickens
Plants: oranges, tropical flowers,watermelons, yams, grains, seaweeds and other plants growing in the sea
Favourite offerings: melons, molasses, whole fried fish and pork rinds

DIVINATION MEANING

Person

This card represents a warm, caring and supportive woman, usually a mother, rather balanced, calm and not holding any grudges. Possibly many children.

Negative: a temperamental, moody and overprotective woman

Professions: seafarer, fisherman, scuba diver, underwater arachaelogist, traveller, tour guide.

Advice

As the goddess of ocean Yemanya represents both steadiness and variability: water itself is steady and its intensity is variable. Together with Olokun they form a pair symbolizing emotions: Yemanya protects the surface of the ocean surface (what is seen) while Olokun brings up from the depths what is unconscious, unknown and wild (what we do not want to show outside). Together they keep the balance between the twin elements: destruction – creation, violent power – the power of persuasion, anger – sympathy etc.

This is an important moment if your life, either the time of flow or ebb. If you think about introducing changes in your life, it is a great moment to throw yourself into deep water because it is more friendly than you expect. Do not hesitate, do not delay, do not drench yourself in questions, ‘Will I manage?’ You have all what is necessary to be successful and what you need right now is a change.  If this is the time of ebb, if you were hurt, if you were treated unfairly or you came across a life catastrophe, it makes no sense to pretend you are hard as a rock. Take an example from water the power of which is delicate and soft and yet it wears away the rock and eventually it breaks through it and finds the exit from the darkness.  Free your emotions. Cry if you want to and do not be ashamed.  Feelings are like water, you cannot live without them and it is useless to hold them back. Sooner or later the time of flow will come and everything will change.

Perhaps you will have to go into a journey, possibly far away.

Please pay attention that this card brings the features traditionally attributed to the element of WATER:

Positive: serenity, joy, spontaneity, ability to adapt, peace, purity of intention, empathy, receptivity, patience, depth, contemplation, deep insight, intuition, subconsciousness, unknown, mystery, dream, sleep, feelings, sympathy, forgiveness, protection, care, progress, creation, inspiration, art, imagination, fertility, maternity, cycles, changes, purification, healing, releasing from problems and past, sensitivity, subtleness and gentleness but also the power which cannot be hold back

Negative: hypersensitivity, variability, fussiness, jealousy, emotional lability, uncertainty, crying, passiveness, laziness, inertia, inability to make decisions, dependance, manipulating the feelings of others, taking the problems of others, depression, mistrust, delusiveness, violent anger, uncontrolled outbursts of emotions, unpredictability, holding emotions back, inability to express feelings, being huffy, permitting emotions to rule the behaviour, negative attitude to oneself

Love

If you are in a relationship: If you are planning to start a family or to become a parent, this card confirms it is a good idea. Your partner is a very loving and caring person but also very emotional, remember it is easy to hurt him/her.

If you are single: This card suggests that you may find your emotional fulfillment abroad, in journey or with a foreigner. Beware of an unplanned pregnancy which may result from a random romance.

Finances

If you run your own business, you will achieve much more by travelling than by doing all in the same place.  Crossing borders is good for you.  Be careful with unresolved conflicts which may erupt anytime.

Health

It is advised to examine the flow of fluids in the body (it is worth to consult with your doctor if the Doppler tests are necessary). Problems with diagnosing. Endangered parts of the body: blood and lymphatic vessels, reproductive organs (ovaries, Fallopian tubes, utero, cervix, vagina). Possible motion sickness.

CARDS

 Yemanya in Goddess Guidance Oracle Cards by Doreen Virtue

Yemanya in The Goddess Oracle by Hrana Janto&Amy Sophia Marashinsky

Yemanya in The Goddess Oracle Deck by Thalia Took

Yemanya in Goddess Card Pack by Juni Parkhurst

Yemanya in The Goddess Wisdom Cards by Jill Fairchild,  Regina Schaare & Sandra M. Stanton

Yemanya in The Goddess Wisdom Cards by Jill Fairchild,  Regina Schaare & Sandra M. Stanton

Yemanya in Goddesses&Sirens by Stacey Demarco&Jimmy Manton

Yemanya in The Goddess Power deck by Cordelia Brabbs

Yemanya in Goddess Inspiration Oracle and in the Goddess Tarot by Kris Waldherr where she represents the Major Arcan of Balance  

Yemanya in the Universal Goddess Tarot by Maria Caratti&Antonella Platano she is Queen of Chalices (Chalices represent the element of water).

Based on the English Wikipedia and the following pages (pictures  also come from these sites):
http://zer0dmx.tripod.com/gods/yemaya.html , http://www.goddessgift.com/goddess-myth … oddess.htm , http://www.goddessgift.com/goddess-myth … yemaya.htm , http://www.swarthmore.edu/Humanities/yc … emaya.html , http://www.orderwhitemoon.org/goddess/Yemaya.html , http://www.thaliatook.com/AMGG/yemaya.html