Goddess Hygeia  

Posted by Stella Clark

Goddess Hygeia Image
"LIFE IS SHORT AND THE ART OF HEALING IS LONG." HIPPOCRATES

HYGEIA IS THE GREEK GODDESS OF HEALTH. IN FACT, TO THE GREEKS, SHE PERSONIFIED HEALTH, WELL BEING, AND WHOLENESS. SHE WAS ORIGINALLY THE GUARDIAN OF PHYSICAL HEALTH ONLY, BUT LATER SHE BECAME THE GODDESS OF MENTAL HEALTH AS WELL..BOTH OF PEOPLE AND ANIMALS. HYGEIA WAS THE DAUGHTER OF THE HEALING GOD, AESCULAPIUS AND EPIONE, THE BELOVED GODDESS OF SOOTHING OF PAIN. SHE IS THE SISTER OF PANACEA AND IASO (RECOVERY). SHE WAS OFTEN PRESENTED AS YOUTHFUL, RADIANT, AND SMILING...ALL ATTRIBUTES OF GOOD HEALTH. HER WORSHIP PROBABLY BEGAN IN THE 7TH CENTURY BC. HER PRIMARY TEMPLES WERE IN EPIDAURUS, CORINTH, COS, AND TIMOTHEOS.

HYGEIA ADVISED THAT EVERYONE SHOULD EAT HEALTHY DIET, REST, AND PRACTICE CLEANLINESS...BASICALLY GOO PREVENTATIVE MEDICINE; IT IS FROM HER THAT WE GET OUR WORD "HYGIENE. "IT WAS BECAUSE OF HER EMPHASIS ON THAT SHE WAS ALSO REGARDED AS THE GODDESS OF CLEANLINESS AND SANITATION. AS A MATTER OF FACT, HYGEIA IS CREDITED WITH THE USE OF SOAP AND WATER FOR WASHING AND PURIFICATION. BECAUSE OF HER INVOLVEMENT WITH MENTAL HEALTH, HER PRIESTESSES ALSO PRESIDED OVER DREAM RITUALS IN WHICH THE PATIENTS WOULD SLEEP IN HER TEMPLE IN THE HOPES OF HAVING A HEALING DREAM. IT WAS ALSO BELIEVED THAT SHE ALSO CLEANSED THE PATIENT PSYCHICALLY AND SPIRITUALLY TO AID IN THE HEALING PROCESS.

IMAGES OFHYGEIA USUALLY SHOW HER HOLDING OR FEEDING THE SACRED SNAKE WHICH WAS HOUSED IN THE TEMPLES OF THE SANCTUARIES OF HEALING. HER RELATIONSHIP WITH THE SERPENT LINKS HER TO THE ANCIENT GODDESS OF HEALING AND NATURE. SNAKES WERE A SYMBOL OF REGENERATION AND DIVINATION,AND, AS SUCH, WERE SACRED TO THE GODDESS WHO NURTURES AND TENDS TO THE SNAKE...REVERING IN ITS POWER TO REJUVENATE AND SHED ITS OLD WAYS. SHE CELEBRATES ITS DARK AND EARTHY FORCE AND RECOGNIZES THE DIVINE MYSTERY OF ILLNESS AND LOST. OFTEN THE SNAKE APPEARS AS DRINKING FROM A CUP. THIS SYMBOL STANDS AS A BRIDGE BETWEEN WESTERN AND ORIENTAL MEDICATION.

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This entry was posted on 26 September 2011 at Monday, September 26, 2011 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the .

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