Sunday, October 31, 2010

Amaterasu Omi Kami - the Goddess of the Sun

As the Sun moves towards 15 degrees in Scorpio, the sacred Sabbat of Bealtaine is honoured in the Southern Hemisphere.  Within the sacred lore of the Goddess, knowledge of many solar orientated Goddesses seem to have been forgotten, however some still remain .. and in particular Amaterasu Omi Kami, the Shinto Deity who is still honoured today throughout various parts of Japan.

With her name meaning "Great Shining Heaven", the shrines decided to Amaterasu are known for their architectural purity and unpretentiousness, and are centred around her sacred object, that being a mirror.  Considered to be the guardian of Japanese people and even a symbol of Japanese cultural unity, her symbol of rising sun flies on the nation's flag.

There is a central myth of Amaterasu revolves around her quarrelling with her brother, the Storm God, Susanoo, and bringing Winter to the world.  Two reasons are given for her annoyance with him: one, because of his murder of Amaterasu's sister, the food-giving goddess Uke-Mochi; the other, because of his deliberate provocative acts against Amaterasu herself.

The latter version has it that Amaterasu did not trust her brother Susanoo because of his excesses and his constant shouting.  One day he came to heaven to see her, claiming that he meant no harm.  She was wary, but he promised that he would undergo a ritual test to prove his goodwill.  He said he would give birth, and that if his intentions were peaceful, the children would all be boys.

Amaterasu grabbed Susanoo's sword and broke it with her teeth, spitting out three pieces which, striking the ground, became Goddesses.  Susanoo asked Amaterasu for some of her jewels.  She gave him five; he cracked them open and made them into Gods.  But then Susanoo grew wild with excitement at his creative feat and tore through the world destroying everything in his path.  He even piled faeces under Amaterasu's throne.  And as though that were not enough, he stole into her quarters and threw a flayed horse's corpse through the roof of her weaving room, startling one of Amaterasu's companions that she pricked herself and died.

This was too much for the Sun Goddess.  She left this mad world and shut herself up in a comfortable cave.  Without the sun, the entire world was blanketed with unending blackness.  The eight million Gods and Goddesses, desperate for their queen's light gathered to call out please that she return.  But in her cave the Goddess stayed.

The shaman Uzume, Goddess of Merriment, finally took matters into her hands.  She turned over a washtub and climbed on top, and began dancing and singing and screaming bawdy remarks.  Soon the dance became a striptease.  When she had shed all her clothes, Uzume began dancing so wildly and obscenely that the eight million Gods and Goddesses started to shout with delight.

Inside her cave, Amaterasu heard the noise.  As it grew to a commotion, she called to ask what was going on.  Someone paused to answer that they had found a better Goddess than the sun.  Provoked, and curious, Amaterasu opened the door of her cave just a crack.

The Gods and Goddesses had, with great foresight, installed a mirror directly outside of the cave.  Amaterasu, who had never seen her own beauty was dazzled.  While she stood there dazed, the other Divinities grabbed the door and pulled it open.  Thus the sun returned to warm the Earth.  Mounted again on her heavenly throne, Amaterasu punished Susanoo by having his fingernails and toenails pulled out and by throwing him out of heaven

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"Dancing the Sacred Wheel" now available again

"Dancing the Sacred Wheel" now available again
The second edition of "Dancing the Sacred Wheel: A Journey through the Southern Sabbats" is now available through or direct from the author (Australian customers only) for an autographed copy.

Great Goddess Isis

Great Goddess Isis

Exhortation of Isis

You are She in the dust of whose feet is the hosts of Heaven,
Whose body encircles the Universe,
Who turns the Earth in its orb,
Who gives light to the Sun,
Who rules the World.

You tread death underfoot.
To Thee, the stars are responsive,
To Thee the seasons turn and the Gods rejoice
And the elements are in subjugation.

You are She that is the natural Mother of all things,
Mistress and governor of all elements,
The initial progeny of worlds,
Chief of Divine powers,
Queen of Heaven,
Principle of all the Gods celestial and the light of Goddesses.

At Your will are disposed the planets of the air,
The wholesome winds of the seas
And the silences of the unseen world.