Archive for the 'Southeast Asian' Category

Zigu Shen

April 25th, 2010 by sabrina

outhouseZigu Shen is the Chinese Goddess of concubines and latrines. She was born as a peasant and sold to a man named Wei Zixu to be his concubine. Wei’s wife Caogu was very cruel to Zigu Shen and forced her to live next to the outdoor latrine. After Caogu beat her to death, she buried her next to the latrine. When the Heavenly Emperor learned of her fate, he turned Zigu Shen into a Goddess, and gave her dominion over the relationship between wives and concubines. He gave her a bow and arrows with which to shoot cruel wives. Zigu Shen was also given dominion over latrines, and was later associated with spirit writing. Her name, which means “purple lady,” is also seen as Ceshen, Tzu-ku Shen, Keng San Gu Niang (Third Daughter of the Latrine), Mao Gu (Lady of the Latrine), and Qi Furen (Lady Qi).

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Ishikori-dome

February 23rd, 2010 by sabrina

Yata-no-kagamiIshikori-dome is the Shinto Goddess of stone-cutting. Although some sources refer to her as a God, most say that she was a Goddess. When Amaterasu, the Goddess of the sun, locked herself away in a cave in grief over her sister Wakahirume‘s death, the Gods commissioned Ishikori-dome to create a mirror in an attempt to lure Amaterasu out of the cave. She formed a stone mold which was then filled with copper to create the mirror known as Yata-no-kagami (eight-hand mirror), and the mirror was hung outside Amaterasu’s cave. When she was lured out of the cave by the laughing of the other Gods at the antics of Ame-no-Uzume, Goddess of dance, Amaterasu saw herself in the mirror and was so distracted that the Gods had time to seal the cave so that she could not return to her self-imposed exile. The mirror itself is said to now reside in the Ise Jingu shrine, and most Shinto shrines display a mirror as a symbol of Amaterasu. Ishikori-dome’s name, which means “stone-forming old woman,” is also seen as Ishikori-dome-no-Mikoto, Ishikori-dome-no-kami, and Ishikore-dome.

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Tou-shen Niang Niang

October 18th, 2009 by sabrina

tou-shenT’ou-shen Niang Niang is the Chinese Goddess of smallpox. She is one of several deities of the “Ministry of Medicine”; the Chinese organized their deities in parallel with their own government structures. T’ou-shen’s four sons were also part of the ministry: Pan Shen had rule over fatal smallpox, Chen Shen over measles, Sha Shen over scarlet fever and chicken pox, and Ma Shen over pockmarks. T’ou-shen herself was said to particularly enjoy causing smallpox in beautiful young children, and children wore paper masks to bed to trick her into ignoring them. T’ou-shen’s name is also seen as Doushen Niang Niang, Douizhen Niang Niang, and Tou-Shen Niang Niang.

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The Yomotsu-shikome

October 2nd, 2009 by sabrina

Welcome to October at Goddess a Day! I’m taking part in a Haunted Blog Tour later this month, courtesy of Mrs. B. at Confessions of a Pagan Soccer Mom, and I decided to spiff things up a little for the month. October is probably my favorite month of the year, and orange is my favorite color, so I abandoned my usually blues and stars for oranges and bats. Hope you like it, and watch for lots of spooky/scary/evil Goddesses this month!

star-of-heavenThe Yomotsu-shikome are Japanese demons of the underworld (Yomi). When the God Izanagi ran away from his wife, the Goddess Izanami, in the underworld, she sent the Yomotsu-shikome to chase him. Izanagi managed to escape them, first by throwing down his headdress which turned into grapes that the Yomotsu-shikome stopped to eat. When they returned to their pursuit, Izanagi threw down a comb which turned into bamboo shoots, and the Yomotsu-shikome again stopped to eat. They were catching up to Izanagi a third time when he urinated against a tree and created a river that stopped them from following. The Yomotsu-shikome, whose name means “ugly women of Yomi,” are also known as Yomotsu-hisame, meaning “hags of Yomi.”

Category: Southeast Asian | 1 Comment »

Ot

September 6th, 2009 by sabrina

OtOt is the Mongolian Goddess of fire and the home. Traditionally, the Mongolian people lived in yurts which had a hearth at their center, and it was in this hearth that Ot resided, protecting the inhabitants of the home as long as they obeyed her customs. At each meal, an offering of oil or wine was made to Ot, increasing her fire. Several things would anger the Goddess and cause her to withdraw her favor from the family, such as putting something into the fire that would cause a foul smell as it burned and pointing a weapon at the fire. The worst transgression was pouring water on the fire, as this threatened to drive the Goddess from the home permanently. Ot’s name, which means “fire,” is also seen as Ut.

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Uba

April 15th, 2009 by sabrina

ubaUba is the Japanese Goddess of fidelity. She is the spirit of a pine tree in Takasago, which was paired with a pine tree across the sea in Sumiyoshi, whose spirit, Jo, became Uba’s husband. The pair had a long and happy marriage, even though they were separated by the sea. In the Noh play Takasago, Uba and Jo are seen tending to their trees, Uba with a broom and Jo with a rake. The long lives and evergreen nature of pine trees are symbolic of the longevity of their marriage. Uba’s name means “old woman.”

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Meng Po

March 26th, 2009 by sabrina

mengpoMeng Po is the Chinese Goddess of forgetfulness. She lives just outside the gates of the underworld, where she brews her tea of oblivion, Mi-Hung-T’ang. When a soul is ready to leave the underworld and return to earth in a new incarnation, they have to pass by Meng Po and drink her tea. The tea erases their memories of their previous life and their time in the underworld, so they may be born as a blank slate. Meng Po’s name, which means “lady dream,” is also seen as Lady Meng, Meng Po Niang Niang, and Mong Po.

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Tara

February 5th, 2009 by sabrina

This is the Buddhist Tara, following from yesterday’s Hindu Tara.

tara1

Tara is the Buddhist Goddess of compassion. She is said to have been born from the tears of Avalokiteshvara, the Lord of the World. He was looking down from heaven at all the people suffering in the world and he wept to see their pain. From his tears there emerged two Goddesses, the peaceful White Tara and the fierce Green Tara. White Tara represents the day and calm serenity; Green Tara represents the night and helpful activity.

Green Tara is depicted seated on a lotus, but with one leg outstretched and ready for action. She holds blue lotuses, symbols of purity, and she is adorned with jewels. She is a savior Goddess, called on by followers to overcome fears and dangers. White Tara also sits on a lotus, but she is at rest. She is often shown with seven eyes—the usual two, one on her forehead, and one on each of her hands and feet. White Tara is called on to help followers overcome obstacles.

Aside from green and white, other forms of Tara are seen as red (associated with magnetism), black (associated with power), yellow (associated with abundance and generosity), or blue (associated with protection). In Tibetan Buddhism, where Tara is most venerated, she has 21 forms in various colors, as follows:
•Green Tara, the source of all Taras
•The Tara who averts disasters (white)
•The Tara who averts earth-born calamities (blue)
•The Tara who bestows prosperity (yellow)
•The Tara who fulfills wishes (green)
•The Tara who bestows longevity (white)
•The Tara who averts the evil effects of poison (white)
•The Tara who averts destruction wrought by fire (yellow)
•The Tara who averts destruction wrought by water (red)
•The Tara who averts evil caused by wild beasts (blue)
•The Tara who averts evil affecting cattle (red)
•The Tara who averts evil caused by demons (blue)
•The Tara who increases power (red)
•The Tara who increases wisdom (yellow)
•The Tara who averts hell-born calamities (red)
•The Tara who averts destruction caused by wind (white)
•The Tara who averts evil caused by robbers (blue)
•The Tara who averts destruction caused by armies (blue)
•The Tara who averts heaven-born calamities (green)
•The Tara who subdues demons (blue)
•The Tara who heals sickness (green)

Tara’s name means “to cross over,” and other names and epithets for her include:
Arya Tara
Cittamani Tara
Khadiravani Tara
Nila Tara
Shveta Tara
Sita Tara
Syama Tara
Ugra Tara
Vajra Tara
Tara Amba
Tara Dharani
Tara Utpala
Bhrkuti
Bribsun
Dol Jyang
Ekajati
Hlamo
Janguli
Konjo
Kurukulla
Mamaki
Parnasavari
Vasundhara
Jetsun dolma
Dolma Sermo
Dolma Karmo
Drolma
Sgrolma
Sgrol-dkar
Norgyuma
Ritro Loma Chen
Jigjema
Shen.gyi.mi.tub.ma
Shen.le Nam.par Gyel.ma
Tarani Bosatsu
Mother of Perfected Wisdom
Mother of the Buddhas

Category: Southeast Asian | 3 Comments »

Feng Po-po

January 15th, 2009 by sabrina

feng-popoFeng Po-po is the Chinese Goddess of the wind. She is usually depicted as a crone, riding through the clouds on the back of a tiger. She carries a bag of winds, which she releases as needed. Feng Po-po’s name, which means “madam wind,” is also seen as Feng P’o-p’o.

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Wakahirume

December 22nd, 2008 by sabrina

Let’s keep on going with the sun Goddesses, shall we?

Wakahirume (pronounced wa-ka-HEER-oo-may) is the Japanese Goddess of the rising sun and of weaving. She is the younger sister of Amaterasu, daughter of Izanami and Izanagi. Wakahirume was a fantastic weaver and she was often to be found in Amaterasu’s weaving halls, creating garments for all the Gods. When their brother Susanoo flew into a rage against Amaterasu, he threw a skinned pony into the hall. Wakahirume was so startled that she fell onto her shuttle and died. It was her grief over Wakahirume’s death that drove Amaterasu to hide herself away in a cave. In the third century CE, Empress Jingu established the Ikuta Shrine in honor of Wakahirume, one of the oldest shrines in Japan. Wakahirume’s name, which means “young day woman,” is also seen as Wakahiru-Me and Wakahirume-no-Mikoto.

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