Happy Native American Heritage Month. It’s a bit out of season, but I would like to take this time to talk to you about our savior, the archetype of the Goddess of Abundance.
White Buffalo woman may come to mind first in the Northern Hemisphere. Predictably, Amazon’s White Buffalo Calf Woman products are sparse.
This is because White Buffalo Calf Woman is a deity of the Lakota tribe, which is one of the poorest tribes in America. Nearly a third of all American Indian and Alaska Native children live in poverty. Of the top 100 poorest counties in the US, four of the Top 5 and ten of the Top 20 are on indian reservations.
The legend of White Buffalo Calf Woman is as follows: Many generations ago, there was a great famine. There were two hunters who ventured out into the wilderness to find food and came upon the vision of a white cloudo in the distance. As they approached yet closer, they saw that in the midst of the cloud was a woman cloaked in a white buffalo buckskin.
The lustful hunter wanted her for a wife. The pious hunter observed that the woman in the cloud appeared sacred and warned his companion that forcing himself on her would be an act of sacrilege. The lustful hunter ignored him and embraced the woman.
The cloud enveloped them both and rose into the air. When the cloud descended, only the woman remained. The pious hunter drew an arrow by the woman, who had dark features, spoke in the language of the Lakota people and beckoned forward, telling him that no harm would come to him, as she could see into his heart and he did not have the motives the first man had.
She added that if he did as she instructed, his people would rise again. She asked that he return to the others so that they could prepare a feast in anticipation of her arrival.
When she did arrive, She taught the Lakota seven sacred ceremonies to protect the Mother Earth and gave them the čhaŋnúŋpa, the sacred ceremonial pipe.
The seven ceremonies are Inípi (purification lodge), Haŋbléčheyapi (crying for vision), Wiwáŋyaŋg Wačhípi (Sun Dance), Huŋkalowaŋpi (making of relatives), Išnáthi Awíčhalowaŋpi (female puberty ceremony), Tȟápa Waŋkáyeyapi (throwing of the ball) and Wanáǧi Yuhápi (soul keeping). Each part of the čhaŋnúŋpa (stem, bowl, tobacco, breath, and smoke) is symbolic of the relationships of the natural world, the elements, humans and the spiritual beings that maintain the cycle of the universe.
For you, the reader, who is presumably not Lakota, the message of the story is that First Nations people are natural experts of health and you can join in their closeness to the Earth by being empathetic to their struggle and respecting their way of life.
It is also the job of all spiritual practitioners to heal the Earth, and in turn, the Earth will heal us and provide us with medicine.
Another deity you ought to be educated on is Corn Mother, who is of the South West people. The legend of Corn Mother varies from one chrome to the next. The details of the story that are most important are: That Corn Mother makes a continual sacrifice of her own body in order to feed her children.
Corn Mother shares some similarities with the Goddess Demeter or Ceres, who is also a self-giving mother, who considers the symbol of corn sacred to her, who presides over fertility, who is thought of as “the law-bringer” or as an authority on morality and childbirth.
Occult singer Wendy Rule made a concept album dedicated to the story of her daughter, Persephone.
Ceres is closely associated with a goddess that predates her, which is Terra. Terra is often considered the wife of Uranus. Festivals or rites that once were held in Terra’s honor may have been transferred to Ceres.
One rite that did not transfer was the sacrifice of a pregnant cow.
The sister and wife of Saturn, known as Ops or Rhea, is also a mother goddess of corn. Her name means plenty.
The Wikipedia of this goddess says, “Her children were Jupiter, Neptune, Pluto, Juno, Ceres, and Vesta. When Saturn learned of a prophecy that stated his and Opis' children would end up overthrowing him as leader, he ate his children one by one after they were born. Opis, being the loving mother that she was, could not just stand by and let all of her children be eaten by her husband. So, instead of feeding Saturn their final child Jupiter, she wrapped a rock in swaddling clothes, and fed that to Saturn instead of Jupiter. Opis then went on to raise Jupiter, and then helped him free his siblings from their father's stomach.”
Another Goddess you should be aware of is Pachamama.Pachamama fulfills all of the Goddess of Abundance archetype traits. Revered by the people of the Andes, she is the Goddess of Earth and Time (concepts that envelope virtually everything).
Symbols that are sacred to her are potatoes and coca.She has enough creative energy to sustain life on Earth. She rules over agriculture.
Like many other Indigenous goddesses, she has been conflated to the image of the Virgin Mary.
Household rituals to honor Pachamama are done year-round. Families perform cleansing rituals by burning plants, wood and other items in order to scare evil spirits, who are thought to be more abundant at this time. People also drink yerba mate, which is thought to give good luck.
Astarte is one name for the chief goddess or female divinity of both Canaanite and Phoenicians.She is a hellenization of the Goddess Ishtar (Sumarian) or Inanna (Mesopotamian) who rules over love, beauty, reproduction, war, morality and politics. And Ishtar is often conflated with a figure who was once known as her handmaiden, Lilith. And Lilith is linked to Kali in an unclear way.
The goddess Inanna/ Ishtar/ Lilith/ Kali is frequently venerated by people who do not fit into the gender binary.
During Sumerian times, a set of priests known as gala worked in Inanna's temples, where they performed elegies and lamentations. Men who became gala sometimes adopted female names and their songs were composed in the Sumerian eme-sal dialect, which, in literary texts, is normally reserved for the speech of female characters. Some Sumerian proverbs seem to suggest that gala had a reputation for engaging in anal sex with men.Ishtar is associated with Lions and is the queen of the house of heaven, Innana with serpents.
Lilith is associated with owls, and is referred to as some kind of lower counterpart to God’s true wife, Shekhina.In essence, she is the female, softer, forgiving presence of God. She is said to be present while a person studies Torah, whenever ten are gathered for prayer, when three sit as judges, during cases of personal need, the Shekhinah dwells over the headside of the sick man's bed" and wheresoever the Israelites were exiled, the Shekhinah went with them.
The last goddess in this blog post is Freya, the namesake of the fifth day of the week. In Norse mythology, Freyja is a goddess associated with love, beauty, fertility, sex, war, gold and prophesy.She is associated with the swelling of the sea as well as its giving nature, and the sacrificial rites surrounding pigs. She is pulled by a chariot of cats from the underworld and is known as “Lady of The Slain.”
To honor Freya, wear a gold necklace or dress like a Valkyrie.
Wear a fragrance that smells like morning dew.