Kuan Yin: Goddess of Compassion

Kuan Yin: Goddess of Compassion

Kuan Yin: Goddess of Compassion

Kuan Yin is the Goddess of Compassion. There are countless stories as to how she became a Goddess. One such story was that she was once a man who had refused to leave this Earth to enjoy the pleasures of Nirvana and instead gave his life to the people out of love and respect and faithfulness and selflessness.  Failed, and laying shattered at their feet, the Buddhas decided that a woman’s form was better suited to a life of selflessness and to relieve the suffering of all humanity and thus they rebuilt the man as the Goddess Kuan Yin with a thousand hands to ease the suffering of the people and a thousand eyes to see those in need.

Another such story begins with the story of a Princess in a far away kingdom. The King and Queen wanted a son but instead the princess was born. She was one of such kindness and beauty but the king was still displeased. He wanted to marry her to a rich man but she refused to do so unless the marriage would relieve the suffering endured in old age ,ease the pain of those who are ill, and comfort the dying and those bereaved. Instead she begged to become a nun. So her father sent her to become a nun but told those at the convent to treat her especially poorly and harshly so she would submit to his will. The nuns put the princess in charge of the food supply . . . managing the garden and collecting water from the distant stream. They thought this would be disheartening since it was the middle of winter. To the shock of all, crops appeared in the garden and a stream sprang up just outside the kitchen door.

When her father got word of these miracles, he decided to put and end to her life and sent one of his henchmen to kill her. The princess knelt to bow her head for the axe, she meekly met the henchman’s eye and said, ‘You must not worry for what you have to do. . . you have been forgiven.’

Shaken, the henchman thrust his weapon on a nearby stone and the axe shattered into a thousand pieces. Then the clouds came down from the hillside and carried the young nun to safety on a nearby island where she continued her religious study, prayer and meditation while living on her own.

Soon her father became incredibly ill, and lay dying. A travelling monk came and said he knew of a cure, the ground up eyes and arms of one who loved him and who were full of forgiveness. The king asked his two other daughters but they refused.  As did his wife.  Then the monk told him that he knew of someone he was sure would gladly make the sacrifice, so the king sent his envoy to make the request. The princess pulled out her eyes and severed her arms, telling the envoy to hurry to take them to the king so that he might be quickly healed. The monk prepared the medicine and gave it to the king who was quickly cured. He tried to thank the monk but the monk refused, saying, ‘It is the one who made the sacrifice that you should thank.’

So the king and his wife made the journey to the island and when they realized it was their daughter who had given up so much, The princesss told them that ‘Knowing my father’s love, I was honored to be able to repay him with my arms and eyes.’   And just at the moment, the clouds descended.

When the fog cleared the princess was no longer there. The earth again began to tremble and thousands of blossoms floated down from the sky. The royal family looked up and saw the Goddess Kuan Yin in the sky.

To honor their daughter, who was now known as the Goddess Kuan Yin,  they built a shrine on the place of her ascension and named it  Fragrant Mountain.

 

Juno: Roman Queen of the Gods

Juno: Roman Queen of the Gods

Juno: Roman Queen of the Gods

 

Juno was Ancient Rome’s Queen of the Gods and the Goddess of War, Finance, Pregnancy, and Childbirth. Wife of Jupiter, she was part of the Capitoline Triad that also included Minerva.  She was the mother of Hebes and Vulcan by her brother and husband Jupiter and was said to be impregnated by a flower and was then the mother of Mars.

She was said to look after woman from marriage through conception all the way through labour and was said to set and strengthen a newborn child’s bones. As the Goddess of Finance, she protected the Mint of Ancient Rome.

The month of June was named after her and historically was said to be the most favorable month to marry in.

As the Goddess of war, she was often depicted in a goat’s skin and could throw lightning bolts like Jupiter. As with her Greek precursor Hera, whom she inherited many of her characteristics, her familiars were the geese and the peacock.

 

Isis: Egyptian Goddess of Magic and Wisdom

Isis: Egyptian Goddess of Magic and Wisdom

Isis: Egyptian Goddess of Magic and Wisdom

 

Isis was the Egyptian Goddess of Magic and wisdom. The daughter of the God of the Earth, Neb, and Goddess of the sky, Nut, Isis was born at the beginning of creation. She was considered a moon Goddess and gave birth to the God of the sun, Horus.

 

Isis was known as both the giver of life and the harbinger of death. Her most famous myth illustrates this. It was about her and her husband, her brother the God Osiris. When they married, Osiris became the first King of Earth. Their brother Set, immensely jealous of their powers, murdered Osiris so he could usurp the throne.

Set did this by tricking Osiris into stepping into a beautiful box made of cedar, ebony and ivory that he had ordered built to fit only Osiris. Set then sealed it up to become a coffin and threw it into the river. The river carried the box out to sea; it washed up in another country, resting in the upper boughs of a tamarisk tree when the waters receded.

As time passed, the branches covered the box, encapsulating the god in his coffin in the trunk of the tree.

In a state of inconsolable grief, Isis tore her robes to shreds and cut off her beautiful black hair. When she finally regained her emotional balance, Isis set out to search for the body of her beloved Osiris so that she might bury him properly.

The search took Isis to Phoenicia where she met Queen Astarte. Astarte didn’t recognize the goddess and hired her as a nursemaid to the infant prince.

Fond of the young boy, Isis decided to bestow immortality on him. As she was holding the royal infant over the fire as part of the ritual, the Queen entered the room. Seeing her son smoldering in the middle of the fire, Astarte instinctively (but naively) grabbed the child out of the flames, undoing the magic of Isis that would have made her son a god.

When the Queen demanded an explanation, Isis revealed her identity and told Astarte of her quest to recover her husband’s body. As she listened to the story, Astarte realized that the body was hidden in the fragrant tree in the center of the palace and told Isis where to find it.

Sheltering his broken body in her arms, the goddess Isis carried the body of Osiris back to Egypt for proper burial. There she hid it in the swamps on the delta of the Nile river.

Unfortunately, Set came across the box one night when he was out hunting. Infuriated by this turn of events and determined not to be outdone, he murdered Osiris once again . . . this time hacking his body into 14 pieces and throwing them in different directions knowing that they would be eaten by the crocodiles.

 

The goddess Isis searched and searched, accompanied by seven scorpions who assisted and protected her. Each time she found new pieces she rejoined them to re-form his body.

But Isis could only recover thirteen of the pieces. The fourteenth, his penis, had been swallowed by a crab, so she fashioned one from gold and wax. Then inventing the rites of embalming, and speaking some words of magic, Isis brought her husband back to life.

Magically, Isis then conceived a child with Osiris, and gave birth to Horus, who later became the Sun God. Assured that having the infant would now relieve Isis’ grief, Osiris was free to descend to become the King of the Underworld, ruling over the dead and the sleeping.

His spirit, however, frequently returned to be with Isis and the young Horus who both remained under his watchful and loving eye.

Isis became the most powerful of the Gods and Goddesses in the ancient world. Ra, the God of the Sun, originally had the greatest power. But Ra was uncaring, and the people of the world suffered greatly during his reign.  The Goddess Isis tricked him by mixing some of his saliva with mud to create a poisonous snake that bit him, causing him great suffering which she then offered to cure. He eventually agreed.  Isis informed Ra that, for the cure to work, she would have to speak his secret name (which was the source of his power over life and death). Reluctantly, he whispered it to her.  When Isis uttered his secret name while performing her magic, Ra was healed. But the goddess Isis then possessed his powers of life and death, and quickly became the most powerful of the Egyptian Gods and Goddesses, using her great powers to the benefit of the people.

She became almost human, more than any other Goddess and taught women how to grind grain and weave cloth ,how to grind corn and make bread, spin, and how to tame men enough to live with them. She also taught her people the skills of reading and agriculture and was worshipped as the Goddess of medicine and wisdom.

The power of the Goddess Isis was profound. Her role as a guide to the Underworld, was often portrayed with winged arms outstretched in a protective position. The image of the wings of Isis was incorporated into the Egyptian throne on which the pharaohs would sit, the wings of Isis protecting them.

 

 

 

 

Hecate: Greek Goddess of the Crossroads and Queen of the Witches

Hecate: Greek Goddess of the Crossroads

Hecate: Greek Goddess of the Crossroads

Hecate is The Goddess of the Crossroads and the Queen of the Witches. While she originated in Turkey, the Greeks adopted her quickly as a powerful Goddess in her own right.  She was child of the God Perses and Goddess Asteria whom she inherited her power over the land, sea, and sky. The Greek Goddess Hecate was the only one of the ancient Titans who Zeus allowed to retain their authority once the Olympians seized control. Zeus shared with Hecate, and only her, the awesome power of giving humanity anything she wished (or withholding it if she pleased). Depicted as a virgin Goddess, with three faces in front of the crossroads, she was able to see into the past, present, and future. Her animal familiars were the black female dog and the black polecat.  According to mythology, the black dog was originally the Trojan Queen Hekabe, who leapt into the sea after the fall of Troy and was transformed by the Goddess into her familiar. The polecat was originally the witch Gale who was transformed into the beast to punish her for her incontinence. Other say it was Galinthias, the nurse of Alkmene, transformed by the angry Eileithyia, but received by Hecate as her animal.

Hecate is associated with the Goddesses Persephone and Demeter. According to the story, when Persephone is taken by Hades to the underworld, Demeter learned from Hecate that her daughter Persephone had been abducted by Hades, Lord of the Underworld.  Hecate talks Hades into allowing Persephone to come home for two thirds of the year.  The other third of the year she is to remain in the Underworld as Hades’ Queen.  Thereafter, Hecate accompanies Persephone on her yearly journey.  Demeter is devastated by the loss of her daughter during these times and causes the earth to be barren until Persephone’s return, thus the birth of the seasons. The Goddess Hecate continued to play an important role in the life of Persephone, becoming her confidante when she was in the Underworld. Hades, thankful for their friendship, was more than hospitable, honoring Hecate as a prominent and permanent guest in the spirit world. Surely this had the effect of enhancing her reputation as a spirit of black magic with the power to conjure up dreams, prophecies, and phantoms.

It was during the Middle Ages that Hecate became known as the Queen of Witches.  At this point in time, the church authorities, feeling threatened by the herbal practicing pagans, transformed Hecate into a ugly old hag, stating that she lead covens of witches in her evil practices.   Hecate’s followers were considered to have great power as a result of their knowledge of plants, especially poisonous ones.  It is said that Hecate made wolf-bane from the foam from Kerberus, the three headed dog’s mouth. In truth, Hecate’s ability to see into the Underworld, the “otherworld” of the sleeping and the dead, made her comfortable and tolerant in the company of those most would shun out of fear or misunderstanding.

In her role as ‘Queen of the Night’, sometimes traveling with a following of  “ghosts” and other social outcasts, she was both honored and feared as the protectress of the oppressed and of those who lived “on the edge”.  In Rome many of the priests in her sacred groves were former slaves who had been released to work in her service.

The Goddess Hecate was often accompanied on her travels by an owl, a symbol of wisdom. Not really known as a Goddess of wisdom, per se, Hecate is nevertheless recognized for a special type of knowledge and is considered to be the Goddess of trivia.

 

Hecate’s farsightedness and attention to detail, combined with her extraordinary interest in that which most of us discount as irrelevant or arcane, gave her tremendous powers.  She knew what the rest of us did not.

Hecate was also known as both the protector of the newly born and of the dying. She would be called upon to protect women in labor and the newly born and to ease the transition of the soul leaving the earth make a smooth and painless passage into the next life and staying with them, if need be, in the otherworld to help prepare them for their eventual return to the earth in their next life.  Familiar with the process of death and dying as well as that of new birth and new life, the Goddess Hecate was wise in all of earth’s mysteries.

Hecate was a Goddess of many faces and many roles and was revered by the rich and poor alike in ancient Greece and has only been since the middle ages been reduced to the image of the old hag in front of the cauldron we know today.

 

 

Gaia: Greek Creation Goddess

Gaia: Mother Earth

Gaia: Mother Earth

 

Gaia is the Greek Goddess of Creation. It is said that she was born out of Chaos into the void along with Eros and Tartarus (the lowest part of the earth, lower then hell) . She gave birth to Uranus (Sky), Ourea (Mountains) and Pontus (Sea). She took her son Uranus as her husband and together they had the Titans, six daughters and six sons, the the Cyclopes, the three monsters that became known as the “Hecatonchires” and the spirits of punishment known as the Erinyes.  Gaia, became so afraid of Uranus fathering further “monsters” that she crafted an adamantine sickle and asked Cronus her youngest son to castrate his father when he went to “lay” with her again. As he did so, he literally severed the connection between earth and sky and when blood fell from Uranus onto the earth further offspring were formed in the form of the furies, the giants, and the nymphs of the ash trees.

After the separation of earth and sky, Gaia had more children with her other son,, Pontus (The sea) including the sea God Nereus, Thaumus, Ceto, and Eurbyia.  Gaia also had two children with her brother Tartarus: Typhon and Echidna. According to the encyclopedia mythica:  “Typhon is the offspring of Gaia and Tartarus. His mate is Echidna and both were so fearful that when the gods saw them they changed into animals and fled in terror. Typhon’s hundred, horrible heads touched the stars, venom dripped from his evil eyes, and lava and red-hot stones poured from his gaping mouths. Hissing like a hundred snakes and roaring like a hundred lions, he tore up whole mountains and threw them at the gods.

Zeus soon regained his courage and turned, and when the other gods saw him taking his stand, they came back to help him fight the monster. A terrible battle raged, and hardly a living creature was left on Earth. But Zeus was fated to win, and as Typhon tore up huge Mount Aetna to hurl at the gods, Zeus struck it with a hundred well-aimed thunderbolts and the mountain fell back, pinning Typhon underneath. There the monster lies to this very day, belching fire, lava and smoke through the top of the mountain.

Echidna, his hideous mate, escaped destruction. She cowered in a cave, protecting Typhon’s offspring, and Zeus let them live as a challenge to future heroes. Echidna and Typhon’s children are the Nemean Lion, Cerberus, Ladon, the Chimera, the Sphinx, and the Hydra.”

I just wanted to use that to illustrate how everything is so connected to Gaia In Greek Mythology She truly is the mother Goddess.

The twelve Titans:

Cronus and Rhea, Iapetus and Themis, Oceanus and Tethys, Hyperion and Theia, Crius and Mnemosyne, and Coeus and Phoebe.

Offspring of Cronus and Rhea:

Demeter, Hestia, Hera, Hades, Poseidon and Zeus

Offspring of Lapetus :

Atlas, Menoetius, Prometheus and Epimetheus

Offspring of Themis and Zeus:

Horae and the Moirae

Offspring of Oceanus and Tethys:

All rivers and Oceanids, Rhea

Offspring of Hyperion and Theia:

Helios, Selene and Eos

Offspring of Mnemosyne and Zeus:

The nine other muses

Offspring of Coeus and Pheobe:

Leto

Offspring of Leto:

Apollo, Artemis and Asteria

 

 

 

 

Eos: Greek Goddess of the Dawn

Eos: Greek Goddess of the Dawn

Eos: Greek Goddess of the Dawn

Eos is the Greek Goddess of the Dawn and Mother of the winds. She is sister to the sun God Helios and Moon Goddess Selene. She is sometimes portrayed as winged but she generally mounts her chariot and is pulled across the sky by her two horses, Lampus and Phaethon to signal the coming of Helios.

Eos, born at the dawn of time is daughter of the God and Titan Hyperion and either the Goddess Theia or Euryphaessa.

There are several famous stories about the Goddess and her loves and children. Eos consorted with Ares and was cursed with an insatiable sexual appetite by the jealous Aphrodite.  She first fell in love with Cleitis and had Zeus make him immortal and eternally youthful. However that did not last  Then she fell in love with the mortal Tithonus. She asked the God Zeus to make him immortal but in her haste she did not ask for eternal youth. While she was with him she bore King Memnon and Lord Emathion.  He became old and frail and eventually lost the use of all his limbs. Out of love and respect, she shut him in a room away from the world and never looked back. It is presumed he resides there still.

King Memnon, her son was a Trojan ally in the Trojan war, a war designed by Zeus to rid the world of Demigods, of which King Memnon was one. He was killed by one of the most famous Demigods, Achilles.

The dew in the morning is said to be he tears of Eos for her slain son.

Eos also took Astreaus as a consort and with him she gave birth to the winds: Zephyros (West Wind), Boreas (North Wind) and Notos (South Wind). She also gave birth to several stars including the Dawn star Eosphoros.

Another famous love affair which was just as tragic as that of her and Tithonus was her love affair with  Kephalos. Kephalos was married to a woman named Prokris, who was the daughter of King Erechtheus of Athens. Soon Eos abducted Kephalos from Prokris and they had a son named Phaethon.

Understandably, Prokris became jealous of Kephalos’s affair with Eos so, to ease Prokris’s anger, the goddess Artemis gave her a dog which had once belonged to King Minos of the island of Crete. The dog was named Lailaps (Storm) and could catch anything it pursued. Also, Artemis gave Prokris a spear that would strike any prey at which it was thrown. Prokris gave the hound and spear to Kephalos as an act of reconciliation but she was still unsure of Eos’s intentions. Acting on her suspicions, Prokris secretly followed Kephalos when he went hunting. When Kephalos heard a noise in the bushes he hurled the spear at what he thought was an animal but hit Prokris, killing her.

Eos’s and Kephalos’s son Phaethon inherited his mother’s radiant beauty and was so handsome that Aphrodite (goddess of Love) stole him away and kept him as her temple-keeper.

Freya: Norse Goddess of Love and War

Freya: Norse Goddess of Love and War

Freya: Norse Goddess of Love and War

 

Freya was the Norse Goddess of love, fertility, beauty, war, death and magic. She is said to be the daughter of Njord. Her mother is not known. She has two children: named Hnoss (jewel) and Gemesi (treasure).  She was also the leader of the Valkyries.  As the leader of the Valkyries she had the right to half of the souls of the bravest warriors  who died in battle. She would gather them up and take them back with her to her home to spend eternity in perpetual rest and pleasure. And being the Goddess of love, she would always invite their lovers and wives to spend eternity with  them as well. The other half of the souls would belong to Odin and would be gathered up by the rest of the Valkyries and would be taken to Valhalla. As the Goddess of death, she would be called to the battlefield to ease the souls of the dying onto the transition to Valhalla, serving as their guide and companion on the journey.  It is said that the Northern lights or the Aurora Borealis is the light flickering off of the Valkyries armor as they ride into battle.

While Freya is famous for her many love affairs, she is the wife of the Norse God Od. Soon after they were married, Od went missing, and was feared to be dead, perhaps killed by the other Gods. But Freya did not lose hope. She cried tears of gold then put on a magic cloak that allowed her to fly great distances so she could search the earth for her husband. When she found him, he was not dead but transformed into a sea monster. She stayed by his side to comfort him. One day he was killed and Freya was enraged. She threatened to kill the other Gods for letting this happen. As a token gesture of apology, they allowed Od into Valhalla, despite not being killed in battle, and allowed Freya to visit him so they would not be separated through his death.

Freya had many other consorts besides Od (Including the mischievous Loki).  She was given a magic necklace called the Brisiling or brislingamen, made of gold and rubies by four dwarves, named “north, south east and west”. They gave her the necklace in exchange for a night spent with each of them. The necklace made her irresistible to men.

Freya is always accompanied on her rounds by her glorious blue cats. They were the gift of one of her most famous consorts, the God Thor. One day Thor was on his way to his fishing spot when he was disturbed by a lullaby. Stopping to investigate the source of the odd sounds, he found them coming from a nest of mewing blue kittens being tended by a tomcat. The sound that Thor had heard was the male cat singing to the kittens, “Sleep, sleep, my dear little ones”. Thor suggested (in forceful terms) that the cat stop singing the lullaby and the cat sassed him back, suggesting that Thor had no idea how difficult it was for a single-parent male to rear his children and asking if he knew any women who would be willing to take them in. Immediately Freya came to mind, and Thor agreed to take them to her. Like all cats, this one was not quick to show appreciation and added  that, being blue,  they were very unique cats and deserved an especially fine home. Thor took offense at the comment and thundered back at the cat who, not the least impressed, bared his claws and then turned into a bird and flew away.Kindly Freya was enchanted with Thor’s present and did the kittens honor by letting them accompany her on her daily rounds across the sky.

This Goddess is linked to magic and divination as she taught Odin Seidr in return for knowledge of the Runes. She had the able to shape shift and to perform spells. In modern times she has also become associated with the fairy realms and spirit realms as she is able to travel to all of the nine worlds in Nordic cosmology.

She moved to the world of Asgard, her land is called Folksvang (folks meadow) where here hall Sessrumnir (the many seated) is sited. Freya is the ruling Goddess of the female ancestral beings known as the Disir that can be called upon for guidance and to see into the future.

 

Her name means “The Lady” it is also often spelt Freyja.

 

Danu: Mother of Ireland

Mother Goddess of Ireland

Mother Goddess of Ireland

Danu is considered the most ancient of the Celtic Gods and Goddesses and the mother of all of the Irish Gods. She is considered in the Celtic culture to be the mother of all Gods, of Ireland, and the mother of all things, bringing into birth all of creation. She is the mother of the Tuatha De Danann. It is believed that when the Gaelics invaded Ireland, the Tuatha de Dannan shape shifted to the Sidhe (shee) who are considered the “faery folk” or the Leprechauns of Ireland.  Danu will act as a Divine Ambassador to the Elemental Kingdoms, providing platforms for positive interactions with the Leprechauns and the Faery Folk.

Danu is an Earth Goddess, associated with fertility, growth, plenty, abundance, agriculture, cultivation and with nurturing of the land.  Rivers, flowing water and the sea are also Danu’s Domain.

Correspondences: Blessings, creating, earth goddess, foretelling, a great Goddess, great mother, health, luck, magic, Moon goddess, prosperity, Goddess of the Sorceress, success water of all bodies, wisdom.

Colors:  Blue, White Sliver, green

Elements:  Water and earth

Seasons:  Imbolc and Lammas also known as Lughnasadh.

Tarot: the Empress

Aspects: Mother, she is the light mother of the cycle of the maiden mother Crone.

Animals: Mares, snakes, fish like the salmon. Seagulls,

Divination: water Scrying

Essences: Her scent is Amber any other “water” scents as rivers and all flowing waters – including the sea – are her domain

Trees: Rowan tree, the Apple tree, the Hawthorne tree

Stones: River stones, any stones that have a natural hole in it as it is the way to fae. Holy stones amber, gold

Symbols: rivers, sea, flowing water, air, wind, earth, moon, keys and crowns. And a cauldron of water

Regions:  Ireland and India, most of Europe

Attributes:  New beginnings, Chaos, Cosmos, Creation, Creativity, Fertility, Manifestations, oceans, and all other bodies of water, Transformation.

 

 

Cybele: Most Ancient of the Phrygian Deities

Cybele: Anatolian Mother Goddess

Cybele or Kybele was the Anatolian Mother Goddess. This early Phrygian Goddess was adopted by the Greeks in Asia minor and then her following spread to mainland Greece and later to Rome. In Greece she was associated with city walls, mountains, and wild animals, especially lions.

She was ancient Phrygia’s only known Goddess, the first known statue of her comes from around 2CE with no inscriptions but matches her description with a lion beneath each arm and is attributed to the legendary Broteas.  Another statue carved in rock dated to 6th century BCE with the inscription translated roughly to “mother of the mountain”. There are no surviving myths or writings of her practices or followings of that time period and not much is known of her until the Greeks adopted her later on.

In Greece she was known as “Mistress of the Animals.” She is almost always depicted with a lion or two at her side as well as with tympanums, hand drums, that showed she was a foreign Goddess. She also was seen as a protector of cities and that is why she is usually depicted with a crown that looks like city walls.  In both Greek and Roman history, the worship of Cybele has required great sacrifice including castration for priests.

The main story available about Cybele is about her and Attis. The story goes that when Cybele, one of Zeus’ would-be sex partners, rejected him, Zeus wouldn’t take “no” for an answer. While his victim slept, the great philanderer spilled his seed on her. (This divine method of procreation was also used to produce Athenians parented by Hephaestus and the virgin goddess Athena.) In due course, Cybele gave birth to Agdistis, a hermaphroditic demon so strong and wild the other gods feared him. In their terror they cut off his male sexual organ. From its blood sprang an almond tree.

The river Sangarius had a daughter named Nana who ate the fruit of this almond tree. When, as a result of her snack, Nana delivered a boy child 9 months later, Nana exposed the child. (This was an ancient method of dealing with unwanted children that usually led to death, but did not in the case of such important figures as Romulus and Remus, Paris, and Oedipus, as well as Attis.) But infant death was not to be his fate. Instead, reared by the proverbial area shepherds, the boy soon became healthy and handsome — so handsome his grandmother Cybele fell in love with him.

The boy, whose name was Attis, was unaware of the love Cybele bore him, but since she was a goddess, Attis’ opinion didn’t count for much. In time, Attis saw the king of Pessinus’ beautiful daughter, fell in love, and wished to marry her. The goddess Cybele became insanely jealous and drove Attis mad for revenge. Running crazy through the mountains, Attis stopped at the foot of a pine tree. There Attis castrated and killed himself. From Attis’ blood sprang the first violets. The tree took care of Attis’ spirit. Attis’ flesh would have decayed had not Zeus stepped in to assist Cybele in the resurrection of Attis.

Chang’e: The Chinese Moon Goddess

Chang'e: The Chinese Moon Goddess

Chang’e: The Chinese Moon Goddess

 

There are several versions of how Chang’e became the Moon Goddess and all differ greatly but I would like to share my favorite. Chang’e was originally a mortal and married to a great man and a great archer named Hou Yi. Hou Yi worked in the service of the emperor. At that time there were nine suns in the sky. The emperor ordered Yi to shoot down all but one with his great boy. Yi did so and as a reward, the emperor gave him the elixir of immortality to share with his wife. He brought it home, but hid it from his inquisitive wife until he was ready to share it with her. However she found it, and not knowing what it was, drank it all. She became immortal and became so light that she flew away to the moon and was unable to return because she was so light. Yi tried to follow her, but was held back by the wind. Soon Chang’e pined for Yi and became very lonely just as Yi pined for Chang’e. The other Gods and Goddesses took pity on them and told Yi to build her a palace of cinnamon wood and place it with a white rabbit and they would send them to her to keep her company. To reward Yi’s goodness he was also allowed to build a palace for himself on the last remaining sun, living in equal solitude. They represented the polar opposites, Yin and Yang.  They were allowed to spend but one night together a month when the moon was full.

There is a celebration in China called the moon festival where they celebrate Chang’e and love and family and the moon in September. They bake moon cakes as offerings to the Goddess and for each other in love.

And interesting story as to how these moon cakes actually changed history:

One of their most famous tales is of a young rebel named Liu Fu Tong. It is said that he used the moon cakes to help gather people together to rebel against the oppressive reign of the Yuan dynasty. He hid notes to those who joined with him inside of the cakes that were delivered. These notes told the rebels the date and time to join him in his attack on the palace. Tong’s revolution was successful and he credited the moon goddess for her indirect role in freeing the Chinese people.

For many other versions of how Chang’e became moon Goddess you can search her name on Wikipedia.com for at least 4 other versions.