Benzai-Ten

October 23rd, 2007 by sabrina

I think I’m going to adopt this one as a patron Goddess.¬† I love the notion of her ruling over “everything that flows,” especially when writer’s block hits.

Benzai-Ten is the Japanese Goddess of everything that flows—water, music, eloquence, knowledge, the arts, and love. She is one of the Seven Lucky Gods or Shichi Fukujin, and the only female among them. Benzai-Ten is the patroness of geishas, musicians, and dancers. She came to earth to stop a dragon who had been eating the children from a small village. Benzai-Ten descended from the clouds, and the island of Enoshima rose from the sea to meet her. She went to the cave of the dragon, tamed and married him, and convinced him not to eat any more children. She is often pictured riding on her golden dragon, playing a biwa or mandolin. Other representations of her show her with eight arms—two hands are joined in prayer, while the others hold a sword, a bow, an arrow, a wheel, a key, and a jewel. The jewel has the power to grant wishes. Alternative names for Benzai-Ten include Benten, Benzaiten, and Benzai-tennyo.

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