Goddess Amaterasu  

Posted by Stella Clark

Goddess Amaterasu Image
Amaterasu was the Sun goddess and supreme deity of the oldest of the Japanese religions--Shinto. Her name means "Great Shining Goddess of Heaven. She was a beautiful and compassionate goddess who ruled both the sun and the heavenly fields of rice that fed the Japanese people. She was the daughter of Izaanami and Izanagi, the divine couple who created the lands, and legend has it that she was the divine ancestor of the Japanese imperial family. She and Her brothers, Susano-o, the storm god and Tsuki-yomi, the moon god, shared the power of governing the universe. As the sun goddess, she was responsible for illuminating the world and for insuring the fertility of the rice fields.

Now, according to one myth, Susano-o was a bothersome, uncontrollable character and very jealous of his beautiful sister's power and popularity. It is said that one day, in a drunken rampage, he trampled all of Her rice fields, filled in all of Her irritation ditches, and then threw excrement into Her palace. He slaughtered a young horse and threw its carcass at the goddesses' handmaidens. Amaterasu, depressed and grieving over Her brother's actions, refused to return to the heavens and crept away into a dark cave in the mountains, refusing to come out. She closed off the entrance with an enormous stone.

Without Her, there was no sun, and the world lay in darkness. The rice fields lay dying as the endless night continued, the people grew hungry. All of the gods and goddesses came to the entrance of Her cave and pleaded with Her to come out, but, alas, Her sadness was so great that their pleas went unanswered. It was then that the goddess Uzume decided to try a different tactic--laughter. She began to perform a divine striptease. Hearing all of the music and laughter, She became so curious about what was going on that She had to see what was going on. She crept to the entranceway of the cave. As She crept further out, the gods captured Her and sealed the entrance to the cave so that She could not return, but by now, She didn't care. Her grief was alleviated by all of the fun and good humor surrounding Her, and eventually, She returned home and the sun once again shined across the earth.

The triumph of the sun goddess over the storm god secured Her rule over the world. On December 21st, the Japanese Winter Solstice festivities will celebrate Her emergence from cave...

Keywords: greek gods and goddesses for children  greek and roman gods and goddesses  greek gods and goddesses photos  the celts facts  hindu gods and goddesses names  modern paganism  pagan sex  great gods and goddesses  pagan rituals  the pagan religion  meditation practices  

This entry was posted on 14 July 2010 at Wednesday, July 14, 2010 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the .