To those who may be receiving one of these post-notifications for the first time: This is not a blog; it’s actually part of a book, and will make little sense to you without knowledge of what has come before—which you can easily obtain, along with a goodly amount of satirical theatre as matters progress, by simply entering ttgftyri.org into your web browser, opening the menu, and starting at page one. J.J.
And proposing that the Great Mother has created the desert precisely so that they might come to know about fertility, he immerses everyone in the wondrous river; builds a fire on the bank, and there duly invokes the Lord; commissions a new statue specifically portraying the Ultimate One as Our Lady of the River—a rather tall, slender figure with long, wavy hair undulating down her sides all the way to her feet—and promptly sets forth a new doctrine.
Actually, she lived somewhere upstream, he informs everyone—where everything ultimately sprang from this Great Fount.
Hence barren women should now wade into the river, face upstream, and wait for some sign of the big water-bird that reportedly handled all of her deliveries: the stork.
And meanwhile, they might think to adorn themselves with the lotus, or this lovely water-lily that was commonly found along the shore as a special sign of its great power.
While the sick and infirm could now hope to relieve their afflictions by simply standing amidst the current and beseeching her to ‘wash’ them away.
Albeit serious offenders risked being swept away, drowned, and ultimately consumed by her personal guardian, the crocodile.
And then squatting on the bank to feel of the moist soil there—so dark, the priest marvels, compared to the pale desert sand—he announces that the Great Mother actually wants them to settle in that place: that is, build themselves some cool mud shelters from the hot desert sun; perhaps cultivate the more savory plants, if only by weeding out the unsavory given the limited growing area; maybe even get a little irrigation together; and otherwise develop the full potential of the region as a kind of divine showcase.
And finally, he now concludes with great excitement, she wants them to build some personal shrine to her there—say, just a simple, black-dirt mound where her true visage might be displayed in a modest, cave-like recess; perhaps illuminated by some small, perpetual flame signifying people’s traditional teaching-fire, you know?
In the end, making it a permanent, important holy site where people might come from all around to gaze upon the river as the real source of it all with their own eyes, of course leave all their cares and troubles before the Ultimate One’s true effigy, and not incidentally heap much honor—and no little support—upon those to whom Our Lady had ultimately revealed herself!
And well, as more and more people indeed now begin flocking to this sacred place, it isn’t long before some fall to gazing upstream with some old, deep curiosity as to just what did go on up there, at the ultimate source of it all.
And so one day, this insufferably confident young man bearing the by-now traditional, heroic name Gaim simply started upstream alone determined to find out.
And tracking it all upland, he soon finds himself mounting an arid, hilly plain where the river winds all about in a serpentine manner and was in fact picturesquely referred to as a Serpent by the local priest.
“Why, just imagine that somewhere up there,” the priest pointed upriver, “lies the creature’s tail; while down at the other end lies—well, you know: its mouth.”
In fact, the priest actually proposes to symbolize the principle of fertility itself—in whatsoever river, lake, pond, puddle, or other place that it would ever be found—as but this Great Serpent!
Indeed, it was this very Serpent, the priest claims, that fertilized the Tree and ultimately guarded it against the intrigues of the Wicked One—and as such, was now the Great Mother’s preeminent guise.
And then he leads Gam to a shrine in which she was now displayed as but a bosomy—if then, obviously fabulous—snake.
And subsequently accepting the priest’s offer to show him about his village, Gaim finds that every dwelling there bears a carved relief of the Serpent on its door as the inhabitants’ ultimate defense against misfortune.
However, he can’t help but notice that many individuals—apparently none too bright—have gone so far as to invite some real, wandering snake into their home as a portent of good fortune; while more than a few have even asked it to guard their children and otherwise protect the place from harm.
Moreover, barren women prayed to these snakes, sang hymns to them, often laid out food offerings for them, and ultimately presented them with their pining bodies.
And of course, those bitten by such snakes were assumed to have offended the Divine One; while conversely, the unbitten were believed to be in good stead with her—with suspects routinely subjected to ‘tests’.
“I guess we do have a problem with all that,” the priest admits when Gaim asks him about it, “—and so some folks have suggested that we come up with some less dangerous fertility symbol around here: perhaps a wholly imaginary creature —if for tradition’s sake, retaining a serpent-like tail—which we might then describe as simply dwelling in some watery place and call, let’s say, a Dragon.”
After the earth and sea, rivers, fresh water, and moisture in general was almost certainly the next aspect of the Great Mother to be recognized as important worldwide—as evidenced by the sheer number of such deities that one encounters in the religious record.
So now let’s take a look at, oh, a hundred fifty or so that even today continue to be beheld, or until no more than a hundred fifty generations ago were still beheld as of the female variety.
- Abnoba: Celtic/Roman river deity in the Black Forest region of Germany
- Aciona: Celtic water deity
- Adamisil Wedo: Haitian water deity
- Adsullata: deity of the Savus River in the Balkans
- Aha: Yakut Siberian river deity
- Ahuranis: Persian water deities
- Aida Wedo: Haitian deity of fresh water
- Ailsie: Cherokee water deity
- Aisha: Arab water deity
- Amaunet: ancient Egyptian fertility deity depicted as a human-headed snake
- Amelenwa: deity of rivers in Ghana
- Ame-No-Mi-Kumari-No-Kami: Shinto Japanese deity of lakes and rivers
- Amymone: ancient Greek water deity
- Anahita: Persian deity of water and rivers
- Anaulikutsai’x: Bella-coola deity of rivers
- Ancamna: in Gallo-Roman lore, an ancient deity associated with the Moselle River
- Ancasta: an ancient Celtic deity worshipped in Roman Britain, possibly identified with the Itchen River
- Andriam Vabi Rano: African deity of lakes
- Annalia: an African deity of rivers
- Anuket: an early Egyptian deity of the Nile; as Egyptian religion began to come together, her cult was specifically given control of the area around the upper end of the Nile, with her worship centered at Elephantine near the first cataract
- Anukis: ancient Egyptian deity of lower Nile cataracts
- Apozanoltl: Aztec deity of running water
- Arnamentia: ancient Welsh deity of springs
- Aryong Jong: Korean water deity
- As ava: Russian fresh water deity
- Asima Si: Brazilian watermdeity
- Astłik: ancient Armenian deity of springs, water sources, and fertility; still remembered and celebrated every July, when the Armenians mark her traditional festival day by sprinkling water on each other and wishing each other health and good luck
- Atargatis: principal deity of northern Syria in Classical antiquity, whose worship was centered on a spring-fed lake considered sacred by her worshippers. An altar bearing her statue, perpetually decorated with flowers rose from its center. The Romans called her Dea Syria, ‘Divine Syria’, as though she and the country were really one and the same.
- Aveta: in Gallo-Roman lore, the deity of a freshwater spring in what is now Germany
- Bachuè: according to ancient Columbia’s scattered Muisca tribes, Bachuè emerged from a lake over 12,000′ feet high in the Andes with a boy in her arms and descended a few thousand feet into the vicinity of modern Bogata; and when the boy grew up, they married and populated all the earth before revealing themselves as giant serpents and ultimately disappearing back into the lake
- Belisama: deity of lakes and rivers in Gaul
- Bentakumari: Hindu India’s watermdeity
- Benzi-Ten: Japanese Buddhist version of the Indian figure Sarasvati (see below); as with Sarsasvati herself, she was originally the deity of her country’s river of the same name, but over time has come to represent everything that flows: water, words, speech, eloquence, music, even time; closely associated with snakes and dragons
- Boanne: ancient Celtic deity of Ireland’s Boyne River
- Bolbe: ancient Greek lake deity
- Briant: ancient British river deity of same name
- Buk: originally the deity of Sudan’s Nuer River, she’s now held to be in charge of all the world’s rivers, streams, creeks, and so forth
- Candit: Sudanese deity of rivers and streams as the source of life
- Caolainn: ancient deity and guardian of an Irish well that was the origin of today’s ‘wishing well’
- Carike: Balinese deity who makes the waters flow
- Carmenae: ancient Roman deities of wells and springs
- Cay: Mayan water deity
- Chalchiuhtlcue: Aztec deity of rivers, streams, water in general, fertility, childbirth, and the Aztec rite of baptism; highly regarded and widely worshipped by the locals at the time of the Spanish conquest; skirt was depicted as adorned with water-lilies
- Chasca: Incan morning dew deity
- Chibilias: Mayan water deity
- Cipactli: Aztec deity of the primordial water
- Clairmezin’e: Hatian deity of rivers
- Cleone: ancient Greek watermdeity
- Clota: ancient Celtic deity of Wales’ Clyde River
- Coatrischie: Taino Cuban water deity
- Copacati: the Inca‘s deity of Lake Titcaca; a jealous sort who reportedly liked nothing better than to destroy the temples and statuary of other deities and sink the pieces in her deep lake
- Coatlicue: the Aztec Earth-mother—the stem of whose name, coatl, actually means ‘serpent’. And here we might note that the Aztec capital, Tenochititlán, was located on an island in the middle of Lake Texcoco—i.e. a large body of water—and that this ancient deity whose worship was centered on that island was traditionally depicted wearing a ‘skirt of serpents’.
- Coventina: a Roman-British deity of springs and wells
- Cuchavira: Chibcha Colombian water deity
- Damballah: Hatian sweetwater deity
- Danaids: ancient Greek fountain deities
- Danu: Hindu deity of the primeval waters, later associated etymologically with such rivers as Nepal’s Danu River and Europe’s Danube, Dnieper, Dniester, Dvina, Drina, Drava, Dordogne, Don, et al; in ancient Celtic lore, most likely the same Danu who’s described as the mother of all the Irish river deities, witness the collective name Tuatha de Danaan, meaning ‘the people of the goddess Danu’
- Dea Matrona: in Celtic lore, the deity of Gaul’s Marne River
- Devona: ancient British deity of the rivers of Devon
- Dewi Danu: water deity of the Balinese Hindus; one of their two supreme deities
- Divona: in Gallo-Roman lore, the deity of a sacred spring that was the source of all fresh water for Burdigala (the modern Bordeaux)
- Dhat-Badan: Himyarite Arab deity of oases and the wet season, worshipped at tree-circled desert pools throughout ancient Yemen, Ethiopia, and Somalia
- Dryope: ancient Greek water deity
- Egeria: early Roman water deity believed to bear wondrous medicinal properties; a powerful deity held to have imparted all the laws and rituals of the ancient Roman religion to that state’s second Sabine king—that is, to the successor of Romulus, its founder
- Emanjah: Trinidad river deity
- Érne: ancient Celtic deity of Ireland’s Érne River
- Feng Po Po: Chinese water deity
- Fons: ancient Roman fountains
- Gaillimh: roughly translated, ‘stony river’; the deity of the river from which Galway, Ireland got its name
- Ganga Mai: Hindu deity of India’s Ganges River; her name means ‘Mother Ganges’; reputedly, bathing in her water washes away sins; often depicted astride her personal steed, a crocodile
- Giriputri: Balinese mountain/water deity
- Godarvi: Hindu deity of the Indian river of the same name
- Gomti: Hindu deity of India’s Gomti River, an important tributary of the Ganges; reportedly, bathing in its water too washes away sins
- Gum Lin: deity of Chinese rivers
- Hara Ke: West African deity said to live in the Niger River and its tributaries, where she welcomes the worthy into her paradise at death
- Harpina: ancient Greek river deity
- Icauni: Celtic deity of the Yonne River in ancient France
- Icovellauna: a Celtic water deity whose temple was built over a spring in ancient Gaul; a spiral staircase led from the center of the temple down to the spring, allowing worshippers to partake of its sacred water and leave some offering in a nearby pool
- Inkanyamba: Zulu South African serpent-like creature who reportedly lives at the base of 300′ Howick Falls on the Umgeni River in the wild northern forest and causes thunderstorms when it gets angry
- Isa: another deity of the Niger River
- Ix Chebel Yax: Mayan water deity
- Jandi Jari: deity of the Parapetì River in Bolivia; commonly referred to by the various Guarani-speaking tribes thereabouts as ‘Our Grandmother’
- Juturna: an ancient Roman deity of springs, wells, and even fountains
- Korobona: Caribbean deity of lakes
- Korrigan: ancient French deity of underground springs
- Kupala: ancient Slavic freshwater deity, some of whose whose worshippers still traditionally go forth every dawn in summer to walk naked through the morning dew and then bathe in one of her many rivers—all of which are held to be sacred and have healing properties, since she herself is believed to have blessed them
- Latis: ancient British lake deity
- Lí Ban: ancient deity of Irish lakes
- Limnades: ancient Greek deity of lakes, marshes, and swamps
- Logia: ancient Irish deity of Lagan River
- Long Mu: Chinese deity of Xijiang River
- Luandinha: Brazilian water deity depicted as a snake
- Lunang: Kafir Afghanistan deity of Prasun River
- Luo Shen: ancient Chinese deity of rivers
- Mami Wata: a water deity worshipped in west, central, and southern Africa and by the African diaspora in the Americas; her name, applied to numerous river-deities across many cultures—often matriarchal, matrilineal, and matrilocal in societal composition—is commonly understood by Africans to be a generic term of foreign origin; sometimes depicted as a mermaid
- Mamlambo: Zulu deity of rivers
- Manasa: Hindu deity of rivers; depicted as human headed snake
- Matlalcueye: Aztec deity closely associated with water; her name means ‘blue-skirted’
- Matrona: Celtic deity of the Marne River
- Mizu-Ha-No-Me: Japanese watermdeity
- Mokosh: Slavic deity of all moisture
- Momu: deity of Scottish wells
- Monje: deity of Yoruban rivers
- Mulhalmoni: Korean water deity
- Murigen: ancient Welsh deity of lakes
- Nabia: an important deity of rivers and springs on the ancient Iberian peninsula
- Naginis: members of an ancient, wealthy race of Hindu serpents associated with all watery depths; traditionally depicted as bosomy snakes, notably guarding temple entrances and other sacred places
- Nammu: Mesopotamian deity with the power to make the river beds produce water
- Nana Buruku: Cuban water deity
- Nantosuelta: Celtic/Gaul name means ‘winding river’
- Narmada: Hindu deity of the river of the same name
- Nephthys: ancient Egyptian deity of rivers
- Nü Goa: in Chinese folk religion, deity of the second longest river in Asia, the more than three thousand mile long Hwang Ho, or Yellow River; usually depicted as either a snake or a snake with the head of a woman, her cult is found to have existed for at least four thousand years, or since the people of the ancient Xia clan—who are found to have worshipped ordinary snakes as her totem animal—dominated the northern regions of the Hwang Ho. According to legend, she was sitting on the riverbank one day feeling lonely because there was no one around but depressingly dumb animals for company; and so taking up a bit of her own mud, she began to create human beings—whence the Xia and eventually others came to worship her as the Great Mother of all humankind, and of course as their own ultimate ancestor.
- Nuliayoq: Inuit deity of sea inlets and rivers
- Oba: Puerto Rican water deity
- Odras; ancient deity of Poland’s Oder river
- Osun: deity of the West African river of same name
- Oya: still another deity of West Africa’s Niger River
- Paraskeva: Russian water deity
- Ranu Bai: deity of Indian rivers
- Renenutet: ancient Egyptian water deity closely associated with the fertility of the fields and especially the harvest; usually depicted as a serpent or a woman with the head of a serpent
- Saga: Scandinavian deity of waterfalls
- Samundra: Hindu deity of Indian rivers
- Sarasvati: originally, just the deity of an Indian river of the same name; however, since rising to a position of great importance in Hinduism, has come to represent everything good that flows: water, words, speech, eloquence, music, even time itself
- Satet: ancient Egyptian deity of Nile River at flood stage
- Sequana: in Gallo-Roman lore, deity of the Seine River and especially the springs that lay at its source; famous healing shrine established there featuring her statuary
- Sezibwa: Lugandan deity of African river of the same name
- Sinanne: deity of ancient Irish rivers
- Sionnan: ancient deity of Shannon River in Ireland
- Sirone: Haitian water deity and protectress of bathing children
- Suoconna: Celtic deity of the Sâone River in ancient Gaul
- Sulis: ancient Celtic deity worshipped at themal spring near modern Bath, England
- Tacoma: Salish water deity
- Tallai: Syrian dew deity
- Tamesis: ancient deity of Britain’s Thames River
- Tapti: Hindu deity of India’s Tapati River
- Tate Hautse: Huichol Mexican water-deity
- Tegid Voel: ancient Welsh water deity
- Tlaloquetotontli: Aztec deity of rivers
- Udens Mate: Latvian deity of small sources of drinking water, such as wells and ponds
- Veden Emo: Finnish water deity
- Verbeia: Celtic deity of the Wharfe River in Roman Britain
- Vishnumaya : Hindu deity of India’s Kaveri River
- Vodni Panny: deity of Slavic rivers
- Xiangshuishen: Ehuang and Nüying, ancient Chinese deities of the Xiang River
- Yami: Hindu deity of the Yamuna River—the main tributary of the Ganges
- Yemoja: Yoruba Nigerian deity of all rivers, but especially the Ogun
- Zarya: is Slavic deity of water deity
1: Vista Art Gallery http://vistaart.gallery/ahurani/
2: Land of Pyramids http://www.landofpyramids.org/anuket.htm
6: Smart History https://smarthistory.org/coatlicue/
7: Imgur https://m.imgur.com/gallery/31lBy
8: Society For the Protection and Promotion of Polytheism https://m.facebook.com/213567605383446/photos/in-arabian-and-ethiopian-polytheism-dhat-badan-is-the-goddess-of-nature-oasiss-t/1160319634041567/
11: Holladay Paganism http://www.holladaypaganism.com/goddesses/cyclopedia/k/KUPALA.HTM
12: Trip Down Memory Lane https://kwekudee-tripdownmemorylane.blogspot.com/2012/12/mami-wata-sacred-female-african-water_19.html
13: Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/issendai/naga-and-nagini/
16: Wikipedia https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sulis