Pisces Goddesses — The Grail

“An awakened heart is full of compassion.”

Goddesses for Every Day

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Pisces is a Mutable Water sign and can be seen as the universal solvent, which both dissolves the boundaries of separation created by all the preceding signs, and creates the fluid environment in which the seeds of a new cycle can germinate. In Pisces the sorrows and joys of others are keenly felt and this is the sign where compassion is born. More than any other sign Pisces must lose a sense of the personal self in service to something higher. Pisces contains the knowledge of the underlying unity of all things, which is the reality behind the world of manifested forms.

The Goddess Sign for Pisces is the Grail, the chalice that contains the waters of collective consciousness. The Grail is a symbol of the quest toward immortality and conscious union with the Divine.  Pisces is traditionally symbolized by two fish swimming in opposite directions in the ocean of existence, but tethered at the tails. Pisces can represent illusion, not seeing clearly or refusing to see, or divine inspiration. This stage of the journey requires faith.  Pisces endows knowledge of the alchemical “Below,” the deep reservoir of collective existence, which engenders empathy. Pisces goddesses include mermaids, fish deities and mother-creators from the sea, as well as those who embody the principles of sacrifice and compassion.

Kwan Yin, who is called Mother of Mercy, is a Chinese bodhisattva and the embodiment of the principle of compassion.  She is usually depicted in a flowing white robe, holding an urn containing a substance called the “water of life” in one hand and a weeping willow branch in the other. In Japan she is called Kannon; in Bali, Kannin; in Korea, Gwan-eum; and in Thailand, Kuan-eim. One legend says Kwan Yin has a thousand arms with which to reach out and respond to the countless cries of humanity.

Ganga, whose name means “swift goer,” is the Hindu goddess whose body is the holy Ganges River in India. The origin of her waters is believed to be in heaven, where she circles the celestial Mount Meru three times.  In iconography she is depicted with a full vessel, which symbolizes her life-giving potential as well as her cleansing waters.  Britomartis is a goddess from ancient Crete who was addressed as “sweet maid,” and is thought to represent the maiden aspect of the Triple Goddess—Maiden, Mother and Crone.  Britomartis was also called Lady of Nets as she bestowed the gift of fishing nets to her people.

Oba is a great goddess of the Yoruba people of western Africa, who were savaged during the period of slave trading. The waters of the river that is named Oba represent her. Some stories say she has a difficult relationship with her sister Oshun, who lives in another river. As proof, the waters are turbulent and dangerous where the two rivers meet.  Ma Tsu is a Taoist goddess of the sea from ancient China.  Her name means “mother ancestor.” She is still revered by more than a hundred million people in the coastal areas of southeastern China where her devotees come from seafaring lineages.  Sedna is a goddess of the Inuit people of the frigid Artic north who were once called Eskimo.  Her myth is a story of a beautiful girl who was tricked by a potential mate and then betrayed by her father when she called for help. Her father cast her out of his boat to save himself, even cutting off her fingers as she clung to the side. Her appendages became seals, walruses and whales.  Sedna is now Queen of the Sea and is the guardian of all the food the Inuit hunt.

Maya is a Hindu and Buddhist goddess who is the universal creator of all forms in existence, and she is the divine power that allows the evolution of the world.  She is worshipped as Mother of Creation and Weaver of the Web of Life. She represents the continual exchange of matter and energy, and seems to be the embodiment of Einstein’s famous equation E = mc2.  Amphritite is a Greek goddess who ruled the sea long before Poseidon/Neptune. She is perhaps better understood as the ocean itself.  In art she is depicted in a chariot drawn by hippocampi, fishtailed horses.

Hina-Ika is a Hawaiian goddess known as Lady of the Fish.  She is regarded as the mother-creator of the island of Molokai.  In Polynesia she is known as Ina, and in New Zealand she is Hine-tu-a-manga, meaning “goddess of waters.” She is the guardian of the sea and all its creatures. The whales are her siblings and she retaliates when they are killed.  Ningyo is a Japanese mermaid goddess who is depicted with long black hair and the tail of a fish. Legend says that when Ningyo cries, her tears become precious pearls.

Lady Of The Lake, who is often called Viviane, is a Celtic goddess who appears in several guises.  She appeared in the Arthurian legend, and in some versions she was the foster mother of Lancelot.  She was also the guardian of the Hallows of Kingship, sacred objects related to the principle of sovereignty. Modjadji, which means “ruler of the day,” is a rain goddess of South Africa and an earthly manifestation of the goddess Mwari. She is called “transformer of clouds.” Modjadji is a rain queen who is thought to posses the secret of creating rain by interacting with cloud spirits.

As the wheel of the years turns toward light in the northern hemisphere, and winter snows become spring rains, we can call upon these water goddesses. Their healing waters can help prepare the fertile fields of our imagination to receive new seeds. Pisces goddesses can help us connect with these strong currents to bring rivers of healing and potential fertility into our lives.

 

Based on and excerpts from Goddesses for Every Day © 2010 by Julie Loar.   Printed with permission of New World Library, Novato, CA

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Aquarius Goddesses – The Spiral

“What seems like a straight line is a never ending spiral.” Goddesses For Every Day

Aquarius is a Fixed Air sign where the unfolding sequence of the zodiac expresses in group consciousness, which ideally can be unified by a common ideal.  Aquarius looks for truth in all things and desires to unite with others on a universal level.  Aquarians are forward thinking and can be mental pioneers. However, this energy is mentally fixed, so Aquarians can also rebel at the status quo, or object in principle to structures which don’t seem to work, or appear to them to be outmoded. 

The Goddess Sign for Aquarius is the Spiral.  The spiral can be seen in the whirling galaxies of deep space, hurricanes, sunflowers, pinecones and seashells.  The spiral tells us that everything in form is in motion, and this symbol represents the nature of reality that eternally spins and revolves.  The spiral represents the cyclical motion of Nature and the sky, including the arms of our Milky Way, inviting us to look up and beyond our limited scope to widen our view.  The affirmation for this sign asserts that what seems like a straight line is a never-ending spiral. 

Aquarius goddesses are connected to space and knowledge of the alchemical “Above.”  In astrology Aquarius represents the realm of the higher mind, so Aquarius goddesses reach toward heaven, connecting to the sky and stars, celestial themes, and the ancient wisdom of astrology.  Some of these goddesses have a very cosmic nature.  

Hebe is the Greek goddess of eternal youth and beauty.  Like other goddesses who lost their once-powerful status, she was later replaced by the beautiful young male, Ganymede.   As a consolation, she was placed in the sky as the constellation of Aquarius.  In keeping with her eternal youthfulness, her importance has remained while most people have long since forgotten Ganymede.  Bau is a Babylonian sky goddess who was called goddess of dark waters.  Her name actually means “space.”  She was also seen as the goddess of dogs, which may link her cosmologically, similar to the Egyptian Isis, to Sirius, the Dog Star.  Tanith is a Phoenician goddess who was called “parent of all things, and “highest of the deities.”  Although the Romans destroyed Carthage they took her rites to Rome, where they depicted her with wings and a zodiac above her head.  

Uni was the supreme and cosmic goddess of the Etruscans, the people who preceded the Romans.  She was seen as so vast and powerful as to be the “uni-verse.”  She was a sky goddess who threw thunderbolts across the sky.  Nut was an Egyptian sky goddess and one of the original nine deities of ancient Egypt.  Her name is actually translated as “sky.”  Nut was “mother of all the gods,” including both Isis and Osiris.  Her mate was Geb, the Earth.  The Pleiades are a famous cluster of stars that have been revered by many cultures.  In myth, they were seven sisters who were the daughters of Atlas and Pleione.  Although Pleione was called a nymph, she was actually a manifestation of the goddess Aphrodite.  The Egyptians saw the Pleiades as the Seven Hathors who were powerful judges of human character.  

Brigid, whose name means “bright,” is a goddess of the Irish Celts.  She was Brigantia to the English, Bride to the Scots, and Brigandu in Celtic France.  She was so powerful that the Catholic Church made her a saint, complete with all her prior goddess attributes.  She was called High One, describing the realm from which poetic inspiration springs.  Her feast day is February 1, Candlemas to the Catholics and Imbolc to Pagans, the halfway point between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox.   

Aataensic is a great sky goddess of the Huron people, Indians who originally lived along the Great Lakes.  She fell through a hole in the sky and landed on the back of a great turtle that was known for its wisdom.  Saraswati is the Hindu goddess of knowledge and all aspects of the literary tradition.  Some sources say it was Saraswati who discovered amrita, the cosmic elixir of the gods that confers immortality, truly bringing heaven to earth.  

Anahita is an ancient mother goddess from Persia, in what is now Iran.  Her name means “immaculate one.”  She is a sky goddess who has dominion over fertilizing waters and the great spring among the stars, the Milky Way, which was thought to be the origin of all earthly rivers.  Ananke is the Greek goddess of necessity and is said to have emerged self-formed from primeval Chaos in serpentine form.  Her mate is Kronos, the principle of time.  According to Plato, it is Ananke, or necessity, who is the mother of invention. 

Nisaba is a Sumerian goddess who had great knowledge of the stars and was depicted with a tablet made of lapis lazuli, which contained a sky chart.  She also possessed what has been translated as “measuring lines,” with which she measured the distances of objects in heaven.  The Dakinis of the Tibetan tradition are “sky dancers.”  The name actually translates as “she who traverses space.”  Dakinis are similar to Celtic fairies and the air spirits who serve the Hindu goddess Kali.  Dakini priestesses take care of the dying, and they are said to take the last breath of the dying into themselves, thereby easing the person’s transition.  

Iris is the Greek goddess whose physical form is the rainbow.  Before Hermes/Mercury was the messenger of the gods, Iris had this role, and her words were never doubted.  She could fly from the heights of heaven to the depths of the sea, connecting humanity to the divine.  Crystal Woman is the mythical goddess of the crystal skulls.  She is said to transmit information between the dimensions, especially to healers and indigenous medicine people. She is said to have once possessed thirteen crystal skulls with magical powers, but they were separated and  are now protected by shamans until the time comes for them to be rediscovered.  

During the time of Aquarius, as the spiraling cycle of the year brings the return of light in the northern hemisphere, we can call upon these goddesses of the sky and stars and set our sights on heaven.  It’s a good time to consciously engage the higher mind that Aquarius represents and articulate our noblest aspirations, invoking the vast scope that these goddesses embody.  

Based on and excerpts from Goddesses for Every Day © 2010 by Julie Loar.   Printed with permission of New World Library, Novato, CA www.newworldlibrary.com  

(galaxy image from SnappyGoat.com)