…And the Night

In an old post, I talked about various solar deities. Here is my list on common lunar deities:

Unlike most cultures that have a feminine lunar deity, India has Chandra, son of Aditi and Kashyapa.

It is believed that he is married to the twenty seven main nakshatras, or stars. However, he showed more preference to his fourth wife, Rohini, and ignored the remaining twenty six.

His other wives, upset by this went and complained to their father Daksha. Despite several warnings, Chandra did not change his behavior.  This made Daksha very angry, and he cursed Chandra to lose his brilliance.

Chandra

Chandra

The worried Chandra sought refuge with Lord Shiva, who said that Chandra deserved this punishment. But when Chandra (who was beginning to fade) begged for mercy, Shiva relented. He said that the curse could not be reversed, but could be modified.

After Chandra faded away completely, he would again slowly get back his shine, which would again begin to fade away slowly, and…Well, you get the point. This story explains the waxing and waning of the moon.


 

Ibis-headed Thoth is one of the lunar deities of  Egypt. He often appears as an ibis or a baboon, both of which are his sacred animals. He was the mediator between good and evil, keeping Ma’at in equilibrium. He also served as a scribe to the gods, and is believed to have invented the alphabet.

Thoth

Thoth

Thoth is believed to be self-created. He played a vital role in Egyptian mythology and is credited to have invented  civilized government, the alphabet, reading, writing, and oratory. astronomy, astrology, mathematics, geometry, land surveying, medicine, botany, theology, civilized government, reading, writing and oratory by the Greeks.

The Greeks further claimed that he was the true author of every work of every branch of knowledge, human and divine. He is most prominent for telling the magic words to resurrect Osiris to Isis.


 

Luna

Luna

Luna is the Roman goddess of the Moon.  It is unclear whether Luna is just another name for Hecate or Prosperine. Not much is known about Luna.


 

Selene

Selene

Selene is the Greek goddess of the Moon. She is the sister of Helios and Eos, and the daughter of Hyperion and Theia. Described as ‘white-armed’ and ‘lovely-haired’, she is famously known for her various affairs with mortals and immortals alike.


 

 

The night sky is filled with wonder. What does your culture say about the moon? Spread the knowledge. Share the love.

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Of the Day…

One phenomena most of us don’t give much thought is the rotation of the Earth (Gaea, Terra, Bhoomi Devi, whatever), which causes day and night.

However, the ancient people gave quite a lot of thought to it. Many deities represented the sun and the moon. Some famous sun deities are:

Surya

Surya

Surya, the Indian sun god, is the head of the Navagraha (or the nine ‘houses’, which influence all lives on Earth, consisting of the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, the North Node and the South Node).

Resplendent in his chariot, driven by Aruna, the lame son of Diti, he rides immediately behind the goddess Ushas.

Surya’s chariot is incredibly fascinating. It has seven horses (representing the seven rays); Jaya, Vijaya, Ajaya, Jayanti, Aparajita, Mahajaya, Nanda and Bhadra. For more details, click here.

Surya had three wives; Saranyu, Ragyi and Prabha. Sometimes, Chaya, the superficial entity created by Saranyu from her shadow (to escape Surya’s intolerable heat), is also counted. The great archer Karna is the son of Surya by Kunti. Surya is worshiped at the Sun Temple in Konark, Orissa.


 

 Ra, the Egyptian god of the Sun, has three forms; Khepri, the morning sun; Atum, the noon sun; and Khnum, the evening sun. All three forms merged together to form Ra. By some, Ra is believed to be the creator. His children are Tefnut, Bast, Sekhmet, Hathor,  Serquet and Khonsu.

Amun Ra

Amun Ra

The wily goddess Isis tricked Ra by making him reveal his secret name. This brought Ra totally under her control. However, before her husband Osiris could assume rule, Set killed him. Ra was succeeded by their son Horus, the falcon-headed god.


 

Sunna

Sunna

Sol, or Sunna, is the Norse goddess of the Sun. Not much is known about her, except that along with her sister Sinthgunt,  and Friia and her sister Volla, along with Wodan, could sing charms which cured horses.


 

Helios

Helios

 Helios is the Greek god of the sun. Often confused with Apollo, Helios is the son of Hyperion. However, Homer classifies Apollo as a different god, the god of archery and music, with a silver bow and NO solar features. I am taking Homer as reference here.

Helios’s  sisters, Selene and Eos, are the goddesses of the Moon and Dawn respectively. Helios is also known as Helios Panoptes (Helios, the all-seeing).

He was truly all-seeing. He saw Aphrodite and Ares together and saw Odysseus’ men eat his cattle, and wrecked his ship. Well, you can’t hide anything from the Sun…


 

Sol Invictus

Sol Invictus

 Sol  Invictus(Sol, the Unconquerable) is the Roman god of the sun. Sometimes taken as Apollo, Sol’s sister, Luna, is the Roman Moon goddess.

As mentioned before, there seems to be a connection between Sunna, the Norse goddess (whose other name is Sol). Not to mention Apollo, who doesn’t seem to know whether should he be a Sun god or not. Hesiod says he is, but Homer says he isn’t. What confusion.

Where is home??? Wherever Hestia is…

Getting back to your home after a long vacation is truly a delightful experience (unless the next day is a Monday).

Only few have truly relished the experience of being back in the familiar territory of your home. No one to question you, no one to stop you from doing what you want, unless you’re a teenager, that is.

Whatever be the matter, we have all got a love-hate relationship with our home. Like they say, home is where the heart is.

But for the Ancient Greeks, things were different. To them, home is where the hearth is.

Get it? A hearth is a type of fireplace, where Hestia, virgin goddess of the home and hearth, is believed to reside.

The  daughter of Cronus and Rhea, Hestia is also known as the last Olympian, due to her calm and gentle nature. She was the first to be swallowed by Cronus and last to be disgorged. So, like Zeus, she is both the Alpha and the Omega.

Formerly among the twelve Olympians, she gave way to Dionysus, the party dude, to prevent heavenly conflict.

Hestia

Hestia

Homeric hymn 24, To Hestia, is a brief invocation of five lines:

 “Hestia, you who tend the holy house of the lord Apollo, the Far-shooter at goodly Pytho, with soft oil dripping ever from your locks, come now into this house, come, having one mind with Zeus the all-wise: draw near, and withal bestow grace upon my song.”


 

The Romans worshiped Hestia as Vesta. Though kind and gentle, she was equally fearsome. Ask Rhea Silvia, a Vestal Virgin (priestess of Vesta), who broke her vow of virginity. She underwent eternal agony. Rhea Silvia gave birth to Romulus and Remus, the sons of Mars and founders of Rome.

Vesta

Vesta

The Greeks and Romans always carried a piece of coal from the hearth during long journeys, in the hope of returning someday with Hestia’s/Vesta’s blessings. As the hearth is unmovable, so is Vesta; she could neither change her perception about something nor could she partake in the revelries of her (not) estranged nephew. According to Ovid, Vesta is the Earth itself:

“Vesta is the Earth itself, both have the perennial fire, the Earth and the sacred Fire show their see.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dawn of a New Blog…

Laughter is not at all a bad beginning for a friendship, and it is far the best ending for one.

Oscar Wilde

Read more at L

“Laughter is not at all a bad beginning for friendship, and it is far the best ending for one.”

Oscar Wilde


Hi everyone! I’m Madvanthi (you can call me Mads), a new blogger. I have decided to blog for the simple reason that I want to share my love for myth and folklore here. Anybody interested???

This is the dawn of a new blog.  Dawn is a beautiful time. The mild, orange sky, the blooming of flowers, dew on the leaves of plants…dawn indeed is wonderful. Talking of dawns, did you know that there are various deities for dawn?

Eos

Eos

In Ancient Greece, the Titaness Eos was the dawn goddess.  Described as being ‘rosy-fingered’ and ‘saffron-clad’ by the great poet Homer (in his epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey), she is the daughter of Hyperion and Theia, and sister to Helios and Selene (the deities of the Sun and the Moon respectively).


Aurora

Aurora

Aurora, however, is the Roman goddess of dawn, and is quite similar to Eos. She, according to the Romans, is the daughter of Hyperion, and sister to Sol and Luna (the Sun and the Moon deities respectively). Rings a bell somewhere?


Ushas

Ushas

In India, it is Ushas who is the goddess of dawn. Like Eos and Aurora, Dyaus Pita (literally meaning ‘sky father’). She is portrayed as a beautiful young woman warding evil spirits away.


I personally believe that all civilizations are somehow inter-connected to each other. Look at the similarities between them. What are your views on this?

Does anyone know more deities of dawn from their culture? Let me know.

Cheers for now!

Mads