Category Archives: Moon Goddess

LILITH

LILITH

Goddess of the night, Adam’s first wife who according to Jewish beliefs was created together with him, she, however, rebelled against his need to dominate and fled from Eden. The meaning of her name varies from Night Creature, Night Monster, Demon, Screech Owl, Lady Air, Wind or Spirit.

First I have state clearly that the character of Lilith can be interpreted in two manners, either in the same way as she was perceived by the ancient folks or in a modernised one. I am going to describe how she was depicted throughout the ages but as far as the divinationary section is concerned, I refer to present time reality (and so do most authors of goddesses decks).

ABOUT GODDESS

Creatures resembling Lilith are first mentioned in the Mesopotamian mythology, however they do not take the shape of the characters from subsequent Jewish legends yet. While researching the Epic of Gilgamesh Samuel Noah Kramer studied the text of Twelfth Tablet which was not originally included in the poem. What he found there was the story of Inanna who planted the huluppu tree (most probably a willow) in her garden in Uruk so that she could make a throne for herself from its wood. However, when she came back after ten years to cut the tree, it turned out to be inhabited: a serpent was living in its base, a Zu bird (a huge bird with the head of a lion) had the nest with its young in the crown and ki-sikil-lil-la-ke found the home in its trunk. According to the tablet Gilgamesh, asked by Inanna, has smitten the serpent, made the Zu bird fly away to the mountains with its young and ki-sikil-lil-la-ke destroyed her house and fled to the forest. There is not enough evidence to identify Lilith with ki-sikil-lil-la-ke, in fact modern scholars reject this connection. The only thing that can be determined with high probability is the analysis of the tree spirit’s name: ki-sikil means ‘sacred place’, lil is ‘spirit’ and il-la-ke can be either ‘water spirit’ or an owl. According to one of the Sumerian texts, Lilitu is Inanna’s handmaiden, a beautiful prostitute whom the goddess sends to the streets so that she seduce men there.

Moreover, in the texts of incantations from Nippur in Babylon dated back to around 600 BC there is a mention of vardat lilitu meaning a female spirit connected with storms and winds; the word lili itself was associated with magic and demons. According to some hypotheses, the Sumerians and the Akkadians, the native inhabitants of Mesopotamia, were bilingual and their deities became syncretised, in this case in the Sumerian language the spirit was named ki-sikil-lil-la-ke while for the Akkadians the name of the same spirit was Ardat-lili (Ardatû). Lilitu were also present in the myths of Assyrians, the heirs of the Sumerian and the Akkadians, as the demons hunting for women and children associated with lions, deserts, storms and diseases. Originally they were linked to the wind and storms and then to the night and copulating with people while they were sleeping; lilitu were hostile towards families, seduced men (it was believed that sick men were possessed by lilitu), caused infertility, miscarriages, complications during delivery and death of babies. Prostitutes were also called ardatû.

It was not until Jewish culture came that Lilith was distinguished from other night demons and gained her own mythology. Her appearance in the Bible is disputed, the only remark mentioning her is the Book of Isaiah 34: 13 – 15 where the word lilit/lilith is enumerated as one of the impure animals (most probably because of the associations with demons), it is unclear, however, whether the author refers to a particular person or the species of demons. In most translations of Bible into foreign languages lilith is treated as a specified creature bringing bad connotations for the contemporary  who shall nest and lay eggs, hatch them out and gather them in her shadow (in Septuaginta, Greek translation of the Bible, a satyr is an equivalent, being a creature of a significant sexual freedom, an embodiment of the forces of nature, in Vulgata, Latin translation, lilith is translated as Lamia, a figure from Greek mythology who was said to abduct and devour children etc). In the King James Bible, the classical translation to Old and New Testament to English, the word screech owl is used and this manner was generally adapted in further renditions.

 Lilith is given a specific embodiment in modern Jewish texts, particularly Talmud and Kabballah. According to these, she was created by God at the same time and from the same clay as Adam thus was his first wife. Several versions of this story have been noted: either she had been brought to life before Adam was, on the fifth day of creation or just a moment before him or Adam and Lilith were created as one being but Lilith’s soul was lodged in the depths of the Great Abyss until God called her to join Adam lying on the ground as lifeless body, it was not until that moment when God created soul for him and divided a woman from a man. According to yet another version Lilith was not created by God but emanated spontaneously as a separate deity and is connected to the Sefirot of Gevurah in the Tree of Life. There is also an alternative version claiming that Adam&Eve and Lilith& Samael came into living as twin couples of hermaphrodites.

Adam wanted Lilith to have sex with him but when it turned out that she was expected to lie below him, she refused firmly. She could not accept such a position because she was created from the same clay as Adam therefore she was equal to a man, not subjected to him. Infuriated, she spoke the Ineffable Name and flew to the Red Sea. Adam complained to his Creator and Yahwe sent three angels Sanvi, Sansanvi and Semangelaf* to Lilith  to convince her to return. But this made Lilith even more enraged so she refused to come back and began relationship with Samael, an angel rebelled against Yahwe. Angels warned her that if she would not return to Adam, she would have to bear one hundred little demons every day but they would all die. Despite this threat Lilith did not surrender and did not return to Eden. This is why Yahwe created an obedient and subordinate Eve from Adam’s rib and Lilith, out of revenge that her own children die, captures the newly born descendants of Adam. Other legends say that Lilith incarnated as a vengeful serpent who convinced Eve to pluck the apple. It is also said that having been expelled from the Paradise Adam separated from his second wife and lived as a hermit, at that time Lilith returned to him as a demon in his dreams.

We have to remember that the ancient did not know what viruses, bacteria and genetic diseases were, so when a baby was dying or a woman miscarried (and it did happen often) they were explaining it by the intervention of a jealous female demon. This was not only the case of Mesopotamia but also ancient Hellas where the above mentioned Lamia, half – woman, half – serpent came from. Wet dreams were explained in the same way, it was believed that these were incubus and succubus, night spirits, copulating with men and women. In mythology Lilith was presented either as filled with lust that made her seduce men or filled with jealousy over neonates, the root for the legend of murdering them. It must be noted, however, that these two characters have been evolving separately, there is very few stories where Lilith plays both roles. Patriarchal cultures stigmatize women who do not want to be subjected, they are considered to be bad, vicious and culpable; up to this day women who do not agree on arranged marriages or escape abusive husbands are convinced by their relatives to return in order not to dishonour their  families. It is forbidden for a woman living in a patriarchal culture to show desire and interest in sex and most of all it is suggested to her not to wear or behave in a manner that enhances her beauty (but it is man who decides how far is too much, this is where all those ‘explanations’ of rapists that they were provoked come from). Briefly speaking, Lilith’s history is everlasting. To check how to cope with it and not to get mad, please visit the divination meaning below.

IMAGES, SYMBOLS AND ANIMALS

Here is the Burney Relief with the image of Inanna/Ishtar (or Ereshkigal) which has already been discussed in the post about Ishtar. For some time researchers have been identifying the female figure as Lilith for the sake of wings, birdlike feet and being surrounded by birds resembling owls. This assumption was mostly based on the translation of the Twelfth Tablet of  the Epic of Gilgamesh.

The Burney Relief

However, this identification is now being disputed and mostly rejected.

Lilith appears in the early Romantic culture and art thanks to Faust by Johann Goethe and famous portraits by Dante Gabriel Rosetti, the leader of an English art group of Pre-Raphaelites

'Lady Lilith' by Dante Gabriel Rosetti

and of John Collier

'Lilith' by John Collier

Modern culture did not take the odium of a harlot and infanticide off her. Modern day images portray Lilith as having fair skin and long dark hair (in Jewish and Muslim tradition it symbolises dangerous female power of seduction) and staring at the mirror, the symbol of vanity. As a heroine of 19th century book Lilith by George MacDonald she possesses not only all the features that the ancient attributed to her but is also a vampire sucking blood out of people, she is similarly presented in a modern TV – series True Blood. She is treated as the first mother by the occult societies and traditionally connected to the new moon and the zodiac sign of Scorpio.

DIVINATION MEANING

PERSON

 Person shown by this card is strong – willed and adamant, definitely aware of her influence and strengths and knows how to use them (therefore may not be liked by the environment). She may have problems at work due to insubordination and because of intransigence in relationships. Beauty and sensuality attract men to her even in a subconscious way. In negative aspects she cannot deal with inner tension, past experiences, aversion towards men and subconscious fears or complexes (including sexual ones). This card also shows a person who misuses their attractiveness just because they can.

ADVICE

 DO ON BE SCARED TO SAY ‘NO’!

Our culture requires woman to be nice and polite but these requirements limit freedom of thought and behaviour. In the long run it is impossible to meet them without some loss of own psyche. Being nothing but sweetness is deadly. To be ourselves causes us to be exiled by many others, and yet to comply with what others want causes us to be exiled from ourselves.

Being faithful to yourself requires courage and resistance which is not an easy thing to do as women are taught to be nice and please others. When you start setting the boundaries, people in your environment will be reluctant to accept it or may even behave in a hostile way. And yet if you do not do it, you will not acquire positive attitude and respect to yourself. Being submissive and will not make people love you but use you instead.

Give only as much as you really want to give. Being assertive is not easy, people in your environment may try to force you to explain your behaviour or will call you an egoist. Do not let them do that. Speak in a calm way and use simple, short statements e.g., I have no money, I have no time, etc. If anyone insists, do not engage in further discussion, just repeat the same sentence I have no money, I have no time over and over again, s/he will stop soon. Perhaps people in your environment will consider you to be a hag but they will do what they need without your help.

Express yourself clearly. Speak only things you really mean. Be consequent in what you do. Establish rules and stick to them. Giving your energy, time and money to others is good as long you do it with joy, not because you are expected to do it, the latter only leads to frustration and fatigue. You will not make anyone happy in this way.

Be prepared for the fact that showing your power will cause some unfriendly comments. People may suggest that powerful women discourage men, that you should behave in more feminine way, wear more feminine clothes or even play the role of dumb woman (‘sweet idiot’). Note that a man searching for a relationship with a woman will never get advice to be more male, wear more male clothes or play the role of strong man.

Be prepared that if you are being picked up and express your objection clearly, the person who picks you up will try to withdraw, begin to ridicule you or to say, ‘I was only joking’, ‘What were you thinking?’ etc. This tactics is aimed at “softening’ you and weakening your self – esteem but once you say ‘no’, most probably you will not be bothered again.

Think of the reasons why you are in your relationship. Perhaps it is because you are scared of being alone, not because you truly love your partner. If you are scared of being alone then do not expect someone to adore your company. If you are not scared to be alone, you will not be afraid to wait for a worthy person and you will not fritter away in an unsatisfactory relationship.

Make sure you are not dominated by your partner either in emotional, intellectual or financial way. Remember that men and women may differ but are equal. We cannot build happiness on the dependence on someone else. A cage made of gold is still a cage.

Think of whether it is worth to bind your emotions and energy to a person who is not free either legally or emotionally.

You have right to feel desire and want to have sex. Have a positive attitude to your body. Sex is a powerful tool which can either charge you with lots of positive energy or make you feel terribly down. As far as intimacy is concerned you should only do what YOU want to do. Do not let yourself be manipulated. If you do not feel like you want to have sex, do not do it. Do not have sex just because you feel lonely, you are drunk, you want to achieve sth via bed, keep your partner or you think this will make you adult. Sex is an exchange of energy, do not waste yours on a wrong person. Do not be scared to talk about your needs and contraception.

My personal understanding of this card is not to be afraid to talk with children about their bodies, gender and sex (in the range depending on their age). Teach your daughters and sons how to say no and to set boundaries. Teach your daughters and sons that when another person says no they mean no and they have to respect their boundaries. Remember that your children’s future attitude towards relationships and sex is shaped by the behaviour they observe at their home. You also have to teach your children that not all the adults have good intentions and may hurt them.

Never forget that patriarchal culture also hurts men forcing them to play roles they do not want to or cannot bear.

Courage. Freedom. Equality. Strength. Opposition. Independence. Setting boundaries. Refusing to be enslaved. Freedom of mind, heart and body. Moving forward. Surprise.

LOVE

If you are in the relationship:  Lack of satisfaction in relationship. Romance. Partner may not be able to have children. Problems with getting pregnant, miscarriage or complications during delivery. First wife. Lover.

If you are single:  Romance. Being alone by choice. Being with someone who is already in a relationship.

(In both contexts this card warns against sexual harassment or rape)

FINANCES

 Strike. Discontent with present conditions. Inequality in wages for the same amount of work. Discrimination. Exploitation. Abuse at work (including sexual harassment).

HEALTH

 Infectious diseases. Visit your gynaecologist. Endangered parts of the body: sex organs.

CARDS

Lilith in Goddesses&Sirens by Stacey Demarco&Jimmy Manton

Lilith in Goddesses&Sirens by Stacey Demarco&Jimmy Manton 

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

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

Lilith accompanied by owls in The Oracle of the Goddess by Gayan Sylvie Winter&Jo Dosé

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

Lilith in The Goddess Power Pack by Cordelia Brabbs

Lilith in The Goddess Power Pack by Cordelia Brabbs  

Lilith fleeing from Eden in Goddess Card Pack by Juni Parkhurst

Lilith in Goddess Card Pack by Juni Parkhurst

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

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

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

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

 Owl – eyed Lilith in The Goddess Oracle Deck by Thalia Took

Lilith in The Goddess Oracle Deck by Thalia Took

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

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

 Lilith as Devil in Universal Goddess Tarot by Maria Caratti&Antonella Platano

Lilith in Universal Goddess Tarot by Maria Caratti&Antonella Platano

* The names of the same angels were written on the amulets for babies aimed at keeping Lilith away from them. Legend says that the angels sent to bring her back to Eden forced her to promise that she would not attack children wearing amulets with their names.

Based on English Wikipedia (unfortunately, some information used in this post were removed from the current version of the article about Lilith) and http://www.pantheon.org/articles/l/lilith.html

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.

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


ARTEMIS (DIANA)

ARTEMIS (DIANA)

Goddess of the moon*, hunting, mountains, forests and wild nature, protectress of the Amazones, maidens and virgins.

ABOUT GODDESS

Artemis was a daughter of Zeusa and Leto and a twin sister of Apollo. Leto being Zeus’ lover drew the wrath of Hera his wife and the guardian of women in labour that was why the children could not come to the world for nine days and nights.  When Leto finally bore her first child it was Artemis who then helped her mother to deliver her twin brother.

Artemis never got married. She remained a virgin and she expected the same from her female companions (usually nymphs) who she was spending time hunting and hiking. She was an extremely vindicative goddess whose arrows cause diseases and pierce anyone who who had the misfortune to expose themselves to her. This is what happened to the children of Niobe, the mother of seven sons and seven daughters, who dared say openly that she had more offspring than Leto. Artemis killed Niobe’s daughters and Apollo her sons.That was also the case of Orion, a famous hunter, to whom she sent scorpion to bite him because he was competing with her in discus throw (according to another version of a myth she punished  him because he was pursuing her nymphs and yet another says that when Apollo noticed that his sister is falling in love with a handsome hunter he decided to protect her virginity and made her accidentally kill him). One way or another both Orion and the scorpio were shifted to the firmament and the same happened to Callisto (Kallisto), her companion who fell victim to Zeus’ desire. When she became pregnant, the goddess transformed her into a female bear and baited her dogs on her. Callisto would have certainly died if not Zeus lifted her up in the nick of time and placed in the sky as a constellation of Ursa Major. Another victim of her rage was Actaeon, a mortal man who saw her nude while bathing in a mountain brook. She sent her own pack of dogs against him to tear him to pieces. Also Agamemnon the chief of the Achaeans caused her anger while their ships were heading to Troy.  The goddess caused calm sea and she demanded Iphigenia, his daughter as a sin offering so Agamemnon made her and her mother Clytemnestra come under the pretext of her engagement with Achilles. The most common version of the myth says that when the victim was about to be fulfilled, Artemis took the girl and brought her to Tauris (Crimea) where she became her priestess. She also sent a boar to devastate the areas surrounding the city of Calydon because King Oeneus omitted her during sacrifices. During the hunt for the boar  Atalanta one of her companions became the reason for a huge row which resulted in the death of Meleager, the king’s son.

IMAGES, SYMBOLS AND ANIMALS

Artemis’ symbols are a bow and arrows. Animals commonly associated with her include a bear, hunting dogs, wild fauna and a hind. One of Hercules’ labours was catching alive the Ceryneian Hind who was her sacred animal; a hind was so agile that it took the whole year to finally capture her, hinds were also harnessed to Artemis’ chariot.

When represented in paintings and sculpture Artemis does not usually wear a long chiton and peplos like other goddesses but a knee – length tunic instead to feel comfortable while running and hunting. 

Artemis and Acteon

The goddess was particularly worshipped in the mountainous and wild countries of Hellas such as Arcadia, Sparta, Laconia, Elis and the Taygetus Mountain. However her most famous temple was situated in Ephesus in Asia Minor where Artemis was identified with an ancient Asian goddess of fertility (more about it here and here). In Tauris humans were sacrificed to her.

Artemis of Efes

DIVINATION MEANING

Person

This card signifies a young girl or even a teenager. In her positive aspects she is independent, fit, strong and protective towards the ones she loves.  This person is friendly yet remains distant. Just like Persephone she has a strong bond with her mother and she finds support among other women but she tends to avoid men, relationships and engagement. As an archer she suggests concentration and focusing on an aim and avoiding distraction until you achieve it. In her negative aspects she is vindicative, does not forgive mistakes and it is better not to mess with her. Similarly to Athena Artemis keeps her virginity which may signify the fear of carnality and intercourse.

Advice

This card suggests help and advice from a sister, a female friend etc. It also informs you that you need more movement and excersises and it encourages you to spend time in wild nature (the modern version of Artemis’ activity would be extreme sports).  It is a positive answer to any questions involving sport activities or requiring competition.

Because of its association with the Moon it shows the whole spectrum of what is connected with it in culture, psychology and esoterics: intuition, emotionality, foreseeing the future, romanticism, fantasy, unconsciousness, ignorance, illusion, darkness, ambiguity, confusion, mystery, lies, gossip, self-deception, sorrow, tears, despair, pessimism, nervousness, anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, psychosomatic illness, threats, mistaken action or passiveness, hidden issues which need to be explained, mental illness, hallucinations, somnambulism, nightmares, closing oneself off from others, running away from problems into the inner world, disease or drugs, sexual complexes, toxic relationship with a mother and other women.

Love

If you’re in the relationship: a strong influence of a woman on your relationship (a female friend, a mother,  a mother-in-law etc). A lot of emotions but usually hidden and unexpressed. Fears about future. Illusions. Hidden relationship.

If you are single: being single by choice. A pleasant company of the people of the same age. Secret longing for a partner.

Finances

Double check the documents you are going to sign. Do not be deceived by the outward appearance. Promises may not be fulfilled, do not take them for granted.

Health

Problems with body liquids flow, embolism, swelling. Sleep disorders. Coma. Depression, hallucinations and mental disorders. Addictions. Suicidal thoughts. Psychosomatic illness. Infectious diseases. Excessive use of drugs. You need more workout and movement. If you are a pregnant woman, this card suggest either a non-complicated labour  or the help of a competent woman. Endangered body parts: blood and lymph vessels, lymph nodes.

CARDS

A beautiful representation of Artemis in Ancient Feminine Wisdom by Kay Stevenson&Brian Clark

Artemis in The Goddess Oracle deck by Hrana Janto&Amy Sophia Marashinsky (she is portrayed here in an Amazone style)

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

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

Artemis in The Oracle of the Goddess by Gayan Sylvie Winter&Jo Dosé (as Diana)

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

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

Artemis, a hind&a leaning tower in Goddess Card Pack by Juni Parkhurst

 A very ethereal and oniric image of Artemis in the Goddesses of the New Light by Pamela Matthews, volatile and delicate, it is lunar indeed rather than athletic; she is accompanied by a dog and some hares, symbols of fertility, but remember that despite being a midwife, she does not the goddess of fertility herself

Artemis in Goddesses of the New Light by Pamela Matthews

There is a strange situation in the deck by Doreen Virtue. The Hellenic and Italic goddesses are usually merged semantically while here we have the division into Artemis (Guardian) and Diana (Focused Intention). Artemis’ message is You and your loved ones are safe and spiritually protected while Diana says, Keep your unwavering thougths, feelings, and actions on your target, and you will make your mark. To be honest I do not think it was a good idea.

Artemis in Goddess Guidance Oracle Cards by Doreen Virtue

Artemis in Goddess Guidance Oracle Cards by Doreen Virtue

It is similar with Artemis&Diana in The Goddess Oracle Deck by Thalia Took



 

 And in Goddesses Knowledge Cards by Susan Seddon Boulet&Michael Babcock (first card is Artemis, th second one is Diana)

 Artemis in Goddesses Knowledge Cards by Susan Seddon Boulet&Michael Babcock

 Artemis in Goddesses Knowledge Cards by Susan Seddon Boulet&Michael Babcock

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

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

 A warlike Artemis straight from a computer game in Goddesses&Sirens by Stacey Demarco&Jimmy Manton

A military and modernised Artemis in The Goddess Power Pack by Cordelia Brabbs

Artemis wearing ballerina’s skirt in Mythic Oracle by Carisa Mellado&Michele-lee Phelan (but how can you use a bow and an arrow while hopping on one foot in the clouds? laughing1)

Artemis in Universal Goddess Tarot deck by Maria Caratti&Antonella Platano where she is Knave of Swords (as Diana)

Artemis in Goddess Inspiration Oracle and The Goddess Tarot by Kris Waldherr where she is naturally associated with Moon the eighteenth Major Arcane  (as Diana again).

Artemis in Goddess Inspiration Oracle by Kris Waldherr

*In the Hellenic and Italic mythology there are four deities connected with the sun and the moon:  Helios/Sol and Apollo (sun) and Selene/Luna and Artemis (moon). Helios and Selene had belonged to the Titans, the first generation of gods whose cult was later replaced with the Olympians Apollo and Artemis. Since then Apollo is sometimes identified with Helios and Artemis with Selene, however there is still a certain semantic division. Helios and Selene are the deities who are phisically related to the sun and the moon as they roll the stars over the firmament with their chariots while Apollo and Artemis are their patrons but they do not put them into motion themselves.

BAST (BASTET)

BAST (BASTET)

Bast was an Egyptian goddess of love, fertility and relationships and the protectress of cats. The other variations of her name are Bastet, Baast or Ubasti (which probably meant She of the Ointment Jar).

ABOUT THE GODDESS

The history of Bast’s cult is divided into two stages. She was considered to be the guardian of Lower Egypt, during Old Kingdom of Egypt at least from the times of the Second Dynasty (i.e. from 3 500 b.C. even before the writing was invented). She was worshipped in Per Bast (Bubastis in Greek) where her famous temple was situated. It was described by Herodotus to be one of the most beautiful sanctuaries in an ancient world.  Archaeologists discovered the cementary filled with cat mummies near the remains of the temple because cat was Bastet’s sacred animal. During the New Kingdom of Egypt she was more and more identified most of all with the lioness goddess Sekhmet but also with Hathor, Mut and Tefnut and her cult spread significantly to reach even Italian Penisula in the times of the Roman Empire. According to the first myths Bast had been the daughter of Ra the sun god and herself the mother of Maahes , however after being identified with Sekhmet she became the wife of Ptah. There is also a hypothesis that she had been the lioness or the woman with the head of a lion and then to distinguish her from Sekhmet she was presented as a cat (a myth illustrates this change: a wild lioness touched the waves of a lake and took the milder form of a feline)*.

The duality of female nature is reflected in the way the Egyptians worshipped Bast.  At first because of her origins she was initially identified with the Sun (as a solar deity she was called Lady of the Flame, Lady of the East, the Goddess of the Rising Sun, Ra’s Eye and  The Sacred and All-Seeing Eye. However when the soldiers of Alexander the Great seized the power over Egypt she became the moon goddes under the influence of Hellenic beliefs (Herodotus identifies her as Artemis and in the hellenistic era she is known as Ailuros). In fact it does not seem to be best of the assignements because Bast was taking care of homes and families and was bestowing health and fertility (as a feline taking care of her offspring she was sometimes depicted with kittens). According to myths during daytime Bast sailed in the skies with her father Ra in the boat to which the sun was attached and was observing everything carefully to watch over him.  At night she was turning into a feline still keeping a perfect eyesight to protect her father from Apel (Apophis), a serpent who was his biggest enemy and who was eventually killed by Bast.

Thanks to her agility and power she was identified with the goddess of war and she was protecting the pharaoh on the battlefield. Archaeologists found vast cementaries of mummified cats and this shows how important cats were in the family life. They were protecting crops against mice and therefore it is possible these animals had as high status as cows in India.  Interestingly cats were also warning against the fire and if any of them was harmed in it, the goddess was reviving them and perhaps this is where the legend of cat’s nine lives came from. Various symbols of Bast were kept at homes, these were the cat figurines to scare mice and serpents away and all-seeing eye to make thieves and plagues keep out of the house. The sculpture of a feline feeding kittens was often given as a wedding present as it symbolized the wish for health and fertility and Bast was considered the guardian of women and children even more than other Egyptian goddesses. Probably because of her name’s etymology she was the protectress of people who manufactured perfumes.  Bast was also the goddess of dance, amusement, sensuality and pleasure. During her holiday the priestesses of her temple wearing red, a colour of the goddess, were performing something that we would call an erotic dance nowadays. Celebrations were taking place in April and May and they were very popular; perhaps even 700 thousand Egyptians could have come to Bubastis to sing, dance and drink excessively.

IMAGES, SYMBOLS AND ANIMALS

She was presented as a feline or a slim woman with the cat or lion head.  Her attributes were sistrum, a musical instrument of the percussion family, a rattle, a basket or box. Her weapon was an aegis with the image of a lion.

DIVINATION MEANING

Person

The card of Bast shows a woman who feels fulfilled in many ways , both at work and at home. This is a modern mum who brings her children to kindergarten or school and then hurries to work. It also shows an independent woman or girl who cannot stand cultural and traditional limits and intends live her life in her own way. In negative it signifies egoism, lack of awereness, having too much fun and aversion to commitment in relationships.

Advice

Look closer into this situation because something may be hidden from you. Think it over and follow your intuition. Balance the male and female parts of your personality.

Love

If you are in a relationship: Take a good care of your family and pets. If you are thinking of staring your own family this is a good moment for that. Leave the everyday duties from time to time and be more playful. Your father may need your help.

If you are single: Time to have fun. Relax, have a bath, use a body cream, go out, dance and move with grace.

Finances

Perhaps you may have to adapt to new circumstances and change your job or profession. Do not be scared of that, this card shows your flexibility and the skill of balancing.

Health

It is a good moment to start excersising yoga or other stretching workout. Endangered body parts: spine and eyes.

CARDS

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

Bast in Goddess Inspiration Oracle by Kris Waldherr

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

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

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

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

Bast in Goddess Guidance Oracle Cards by Doreen Virtue

Bast in Goddesses&Sirens by Stacey Demarco&Jimmy Manton

and in Universal Goddess Tarot by Maria Caratti&Antonella Platano where she represents Ace of Wands:

Based on the English wikipedia and http://www.goddessgift.com/goddess-myths/egyptian_goddess_bast.htm .

*That is why I considered writing a common blog entry about them but in the end I decided they deserve the separate ones.

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