Goddess Papatuanuku  

Posted by Stella Clark

Goddess Papatuanuku Image
ACCORDING TO THE MAORI CREATION MYTH, IN THE BEGINNING THERE WAS NOTHINGNESS, BUT THEN CAME "PAPATUANUKU", THE EARTH MOTHER". "SHE IS EMBODIED, LITERALLY, IN THE LAND". SHE WAS CREATED BY "TE KORE", THE MAORI DIVINE PRINCIPAL, AND UNITED WITH "RANGINUI" (RANGI), THE SKY FATHER, AND FROM THEIR PROGENY CAME MANY OFFSPRING--THE VARIOUS INHABITANTS OF EARTH, THE FORESTS, THE FIRST HUMANS, WATER, AND EVERYTHING ELSE BETWEEN THE SKY AND EARTH.

IT IS SAID THAT "PAPATUANUKU" AND "RANGI "LOVED EACH OTHER SO MUCH THAT THEY PREVENTED LIGHT FROM REACHING THE WORLD BECAUSE OF THEIR CLOSE EMBRACE, AND, AS A RESULT, THEIR OFFSPRING LIVED IN A WORLD OF ETERNAL DARKNESS AND IGNORANCE BETWEEN THE BODIES OF THEIR PARENTS. THE CHILDREN FINALLY DECIDED THAT THEIR PARENTS HAD TO BE SEPARATED TO LET LIGHT INTO THE WORLD SO THEY ABOUT THEIR TASK. TAWHIRI MATEA", THE GOD OF WINDS AND STORMS WAS THE ONLY CHILD WHO DID NOT WISH FOR HIS PARENTS TO BE SEPARATED BECAUSE HE FEARED THAT HIS KINGDOM WOULD BE OVERTHROWN.

IT WAS "TANE", THE GOD OF MAN AND FORESTS, WHO RENDERED THEM APART BY RESTING HIS SHOULDERS UPON "PAPATUANUKU" AND THRUSTING HIS LEGS UPWARDS AND PUSHING "RANGINUI "TO THE SKY, AND FOR THE FIRST TIME, THE CHILDREN WERE ABLE TO SEE THE LIGHT OF DAY. "TAWHIRI MATEA", WHO HAD BEEN AGAINST THE SEPARATION OF HIS PARENTS, LEFT FOR THE SKY TO JOIN HIS FATHER, AND IT IS SAID THAT THE TURBULENT WINDS AND STORMS WE EXPERIENCE HERE ON EARTH ARE CAUSED BY "TAWHIRI MATEA "IN REVENGE FOR HIS BROTHER'S ACTS.

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Goddess Vanth  

Posted by Stella Clark

Goddess Vanth Image
VANTH is the Etruscan Goddess of death. She appears when death is near and also helps guide the newly dead to the Underworld. Vanth is depicted as a winged woman, wearing a short skirt and with only leather straps across her bare chest. There are sometimes eyes on her wings, symbolic of the omnipresence of death. The items that Vanth carries are also representative of her role as a psychopomp or escort of the dead--she carries a torch to light the way and a key to open the gates to the Underworld. Other items that she is sometimes shown with include a sword, a scroll, and snakes, all symbols of fate. Vanth's name, which has been interpreted as "one who keeps the door," is also seen as VAN.

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