Goddess Inari  

Posted by Stella Clark

Goddess Inari Image
"INARI" IS AN ANCIENT JAPANESE GODDESS OF NOURISHMENT; HER FIRST PLACE OF WORSHIP WAS INARI MOUNTAIN. IANARI IS A MYSTERIOUS GODDESS BECAUSE AT DIFFERENT TIMES SHE HAS BEEN DEPICTED AS A MALE AND OTHER TIMES AS A FEMALE. IN FACT, SHE WAS ORIGINALLY GENDERLESS, BUT AS TIME WENT ON, HER FOLLOWERS BEGAN TO ASSOCIATE HER WITH THE FEMALE BECAUSE OF HER STATUS AS A FERTILITY GODDESS, AND LATER, THE BUDDHIST TRADITION MADE HER INTO A MALE DEITY.

AS A FEMALE, SHE APPEARS AS A BEAUTIFUL YOUNG WOMAN WITH LONG FLOWING HAIR. SHE IS USUALLY ACCOMPANIED BY A WHITE FOX. SHE USUALLY HOLDS ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING IN HER HANDS: SHEAF OF RICE, SICKLE, SWORD, OR A JEWEL. SHE IS A MAIDEN IN THE SPRING WITH THE PLANTING OF THE RICE; SUMMER SEES HER AS THE MOTHER NURTURING HER GROWING GRAIN, AND WITH THE HARVEST IN THE FALL, SHE BECOMES THE CRONE. AS A GOD, INARI IS REPRESENTED BY AN OLD MAN WITH A BEARD.

INARI IS CONNECTED WITH MANY THINGS. SHE IS THE PROTECTOR OF TRADE, COMMERCE, AND RICE...AS WELL AS A HEALING GODDESS. SHE IS THE "KAMI "OF LUCK AND TRANSFORMATION AND HAS ALSO BEEN KNOWN TO GRANT WISHES AND DESIRES. INARI HAS RESPONSIBILITY OVER BOTH REAL AND SPIRIT FOXES, AND IT IS SAID THAT THE WHITE FOX WHO ALWAYS APPEARS WITH HER IS A MESSENGER; INARI HAS ALSO BEEN KNOWN TO SHAPECHANGE INTO A FOX.

A SHRINE TO INARI CAN BE FOUND IN MANY JAPANESE TOWNS AND HOUSEHOLDS. NOT ONLY DOES EACH SHRINE HAVE A FOXHOLE, BUT THESE SHRINES ARE ALSO GUARDED BY STATUES OF FOXES...DIVINE MESSENGERS FROM INARI.

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This entry was posted on 27 February 2011 at Sunday, February 27, 2011 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the .

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