Goddess Mnemosyne  

Posted by Stella Clark

Goddess Mnemosyne Image
MEMORY WAS A VERY IMPORTANT FUNCTION TO THE ANCIENTS; IN FACT, IT WAS SO IMPORTANT THAT THEY PERSONIFIED IT AS A GODDESS. MNEMOSYNE WAS A TITAN; SHE WAS THE DAUGHTER OF URANUS (HEAVEN) AND GAIA.(EARTH) MNEMOSYNE WAS THE GUARDIAN OF MEMORY BEFORE THE ADVENT OF WRITING AND LITERACY. SHE WAS THE EMBODIMENT OF AN ORAL CULTURE THAT COMMUNICATED THE SOUL THROUGH THEIR STORIES AND METAPHORS. SHE BECAME KNOWN AS THE MOTHER OF INSPIRATION.

AT ONE TIME, SHE WAS CONSIDERED A VERY POWERFUL GODDESS, BUT, IRONICALLY, SHE HAS BEEN PRETTY MUCH "FORGOTTEN" DURING THE PASSAGE OF TIME. SHE WAS A BEAUTIFUL GODDESS WHO IS USUALLY DEPICTED WITH A FULL MANE OF RICH AUBURN HAIR. IN LATER MYTHS, IT IS TOLD THAT BEFORE HERA, THE GOD ZEUS, LONGING FOR A WAY TO PRESERVE THE MEMORY OF ALL OF HIS GREAT DEEDS, DRESSED HIMSELF AS A SHEPHERD AND CONSORTED WITH MNEMOSYNE. HE VISITED WITH HER FOR NINE NIGHTS BEFORE RETURNING TO HIS HOME ATOP MOUNT OLYMPUS. AND, WHEN TIME PASSED, MNEMOSYNE GAVE BIRTH TO NINE DAUGHTERS, THE 'MUSES', THE ONES WHO INSPIRE AND ENCHANT THE SOUL. AND ZEUS GAVE HER THE PRIVILEGE OF NAMING ALL OF THE THINGS OF THE EARTH.

MNEMOSYNE IS A METAPHOR FOR WHAT WE ARE HERE TO LEARN. AS SUCH, SHE IS THE GODDESS OF TEACHERS, PARENTS. THROUGH HER AND HER DAUGHTERS, WE ARE ABLE TO ENGAGE IN WEAVING OUR FRAGMENTS OF MEMORY TOGETHER TO MAKE MEANING. IN ORDER TO LEARN FROM OUR MISTAKES, WE HAVE TO KEEP THEM ALIVE, AND MNEMOSYNE HELPS US TO DO THAT. SHE REMINDS US TO REMEMBER THE ANCIENT WAYS BY CONNECTING THE PAST WITH THE PRESENT. NO SOCIETY CAN SURVIVE WITHOUT MEMORY.

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Aktzin  

Posted by Stella Clark

Aktzin Cover
Aktzin was the god of rain, thunder and lightning for the Totonac people in ancient Mexico. Variants of this deity were known as Tl'aloc to the Aztecs and Chaac to the Mayas. Aktzin was typically depicted as a male figure wearing some form of headdress and rings over his eyes, similar to spectacles. In one hand he held a hammer or axe which would produce thunder and lightning as it struck the clouds. Water poured from his other hand, either from his palm or from a vessel which he held. These elements represented the life-giving and sometimes destructive forces of the weather. The Spanish conquerors led by Hern'an Cort'es encountered this civilization in 1519 after their initial contact with the Mayas of the Yucat'an peninsula. The Totonac territories were located near the Gulf coast in what is today the state of Veracruz. See also Taj'in (City of the Thunder God), an archaeological zone with the remains of the Totonac capital city dating back over 1,000 years.

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