“With power comes great responsibility.”
From Goddesses for Every Day: Exploring the Wisdom & Power of the Divine Feminine Around the World
The Goddess Sign for Leo is the Cobra, and she is arguably the Queen of Serpents. Around the world serpents and dragons are connected with the wisdom of the sacred feminine. Many cultures also imagine the apparent motion of the Sun, the ruling planet of Leo, crossing the sky as a serpent. Dragons are creatures of fire, and in myth cobras are seen as “spitting fire” at their enemies. Leo goddesses include radiant solar goddesses, great cats from different cultures, and also those who represent the creative principle of fire in the form of dragons or serpents. Leo goddesses represent nobility, the principle of light, and the fire of the Sun. Sometimes these goddesses are daughters of the Sun.
Wadjet is an Egyptian goddess who was depicted as a golden cobra on the crown of the pharaoh. Sometimes she is pictured as lion-headed and crowned with a sun disk and the ureaus, the cobra symbol. She was a fierce fire-spitting serpent who was the symbol of mastery and regent of the northern part of Egypt. Her name is the ancient Egyptian word for “cobra” and “eye.” One of her aspects was the “avenging eye of Ra,” the Sun. In a mystical sense she is like the Red Lion of alchemy who wields the magic of fire and burns away the impurities of our personalities. Budhi Pallien is another great cat goddess of the Assamese people of northern India. Their native language derives directly from Sanskrit. She roams the jungles of the area in the form of a great tigress, protecting her territory. She possesses a great deal of natural wisdom and is able to communicate with other animals and send messages to humans when necessary.
Saule is the great goddess of the Lithuanian and Latvian peoples from the Baltic area. Her name means “little white sun.” She was also called Queen of Heaven and Earth and was envisioned as the sun itself. She was also the goddess of amber, which comes from the Baltic region. In contrast to some other capricious solar deities, Saule was loyal and hard working and was greatly admired. Hae-Soon is a Korean sun goddess. As she sets off on her daily journey across the sky people come out to look at her. At first she blushes dimly, but as she feels stronger she burns brighter and lights up the day. After a time she shines so brightly that people cannot look at her directly. Akewa is a sun goddess of the Toba people of Argentina. She journeys across the sky, bringing light to the world each day. Sometimes a great jaguar swallows her, causing solar eclipses. But she is too hot, and the jaguar spits her out, returning sunlight to earth.
Python is a very ancient Greek goddess in the form of a great dragon. Python was the original underground guardian at the ancient shrine of Delphi in Greece, long before the priests of Apollo hijacked the site. Dragons are magical creatures of fire. In myth she was born to the goddess Hera, without the participation of Zeus, indicating her antiquity. Mahuika is a Maori goddess of fire. Like Python, she lives deep in the underworld where she preserves the secret of making fire. Her story is called the “spark of Mahuika.” To this day the Maori of New Zealand say rubbing together the dry wood of her sacred tree can awaken the sleeping child of Mahuika and bring forth a flame.
Amaterasu is a Japanese sun goddess. Long ago her brother savagely destroyed her garden and killed her animals. She fled inside a cave to hide and deal with her sorrow, and the world became dark and desolate. Over time eight hundred deities gathered outside the cave to coax her out. The goddess Uzume performed an outrageous and bawdy dance, using a magical mirror called Yata no Kagami. Everyone laughed and Amaterasu came out to investigate. Her brilliance was reflected in the mirror, and she became convinced to return her much needed light to the world.
Sunna is a Scandanavian goddess whose title is Mistress Sun. She carries the sun across the sky each day in her chariot pulled by horses. Her mother’s name is Sol. Belisama is a Celtic sun goddess whose name means “bright light.” She represents the brightness of summer and is a goddess of fire, including sunlight, starlight, and the fires that forge metal for weapons and crafts. Shapash is a goddess of the sun who was worshiped at sunrise, noon and sunset by the people of ancient Ugarit, part of modern-day Syria. One of her names was Torch of the Gods. Like many solar deities she has an affinity with serpents and was said to have the power to cure snakebites with her burning light.
We are close to the midway point between summer solstice and autumn equinox. Already we can sense a shift in the nature of the light but the power of the sun, and the goddesses who serve and embody this fire, is strong and intense. We can make conscious use of this fire to burn away what no longer serves us, freeing ourselves to radiate more of our own brilliant and purified light into the world.
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