Mythological Girls: Pattini / Kannaki

Pattini is the guardian deity of Sri Lanka in the Sinhala Buddhist religion, while also being worshipped as Kannaki by the Tamil Hindus. In Sri Lanka she is also the patron goddess of fertility and health, particularly in protection against smallpox. Kannaki is the central character in the Silapadhikaram by Ilango Adigal, written in 5th or 6th century CE India. The text was introduced in Sri Lanka shortly after, and quickly became adopted into the mythology of the island. The story itself is said to take place in the 1st or 2nd centuries CE and tells of a human, Kannaki, and the relationship...

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Mythological Girls: Phosop

Phosop is the rice deity of the ancient Thai religion, and is one of many rice goddesses in eastern cultures. While honouring her is still practiced today, she is predominantly an ancient deity rather than a part of the structured mainstream religion. As such, her worship is now mainly relegated to rice growing villages. Phosop is also known as ‘Mae Khwan Khao’ which translates to ‘Mother of Rice Prosperity’. Ritual offerings are traditionally made to placate a rice deity during each stage of rice production. Phosop in particular was believed to be responsible for ensuring each person had...

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Mythological Girls: Malina

Malina is the sun deity of the Inuit people of Greenland, Alaska and other Arctic regions. The most common story in the circumpolar mythologies is that of her relationship with her brother, the moon deity Aningak (also known as Annigan in some locations). The story begins by saying that Malina and Aningak lived happily together while they were children. However, as they grew older they split into designated housing for men and women. After this separation Aningak noticed that Malina was the most beautiful of all women, and set to work on a plan to have her. While the two were playing the...

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Mythological Girls: Jahi

Jahi is the east Iranian representation of Jeh, the Persian goddess. She is a member of Zoroastrianism, one of the oldest monotheistic religions in the world. Zoroastrianism originated in Iran approximately 3500 years ago, with Ahura Mazda as its central deity. For 1000 years it was one of the most powerful religions in the world, and was the official religion of Iran between 600-650 CE. Jahi was believed to be the demonic personification of lasciviousness and debauchery, with a look that was considered so powerful that it could kill. Both Iranian and Persian texts refer to her as a...

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Mythological Girls: Sekhmet

Sekhmet is one of the oldest Egyptian deities. She was originally the warrior goddess associated with Upper Egypt prior to its unification in 2930 BCE. Her Lower Egyptian equivalent prior to this was Bastet. She had a variety of names including the “Lady of Terror” and the “Lady of Pestilence”, both of which she received from The Book of the Dead. Sekhmet was also referred to as “She Who is Powerful”, which was a name the ancient Egyptians gave to any female deity whom they considered to be dangerous. She was depicted with the head of a lioness wearing a sun disk and a uraeus, as well as...

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Mythological Girls: Kitsune

The word ‘Kitsune’ means fox in Japanese, and refers to the use of foxes in Japanese folklore rather than the animal in general. Stories show the Kitsune to be intelligent beings, who possess magical abilities that increase with their age. One such ability is to shapeshift into a human image, which was often used malevolently. In ancient Japan, foxes and humans lived together which caused a sharp rise in the legends relating to the Kitsune. There were two forms of Kitsune: the “Zenko” and the “Yako” or “Youkai”. The Zenko were benevolent and associated with the Inari, a Shinto spirit and...

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Mythological Girls: Ixchel

  Ixchel, or Ix Chel as she is also known, is the 16th century name for an ancient Mayan Jaguar deity. She was believed to be the goddess of the moon, midwifery, medicine and catastrophe. She is originally named as ‘Goddess O’ in The Dresden Codex, which is the oldest surviving text of the Americas and dates to approximately the 13th century. In this text, she is described as an aged deity with jaguar ears who was primarily responsible for midwifery and medicine. By the 16th century, the Poqomchi’ tribe of Yucatán who were the descendants of the Mayans, were referring to the deity as...

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Mythological Girls: Kupala

Kupala was the female personification of the Slavic deity Kupalo, who was the god of peace, magic water and herbs. Alongside this, he was also one aspect of a fertility deity. Like other Slavic deities, Kupala and Kupalo were considered to be divine twins whose effigies would be burnt together to enhance a ritual. As his twin, Kupala was believed to be the goddess of water, fire, herbs and fertility throughout eastern Europe. She was thought of as a goddess of the Summer Solstice, whose name literally derived meant “to bathe”. Her worshippers would bathe in rivers and dew that had been...

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Mythological Girls: Venus

Venus was the goddess of love, sex and fertility in ancient Roman mythology; much like her Greek counterpart Aphrodite. The month of April was said to have strong associations to her, as this was the month of fertility. She was a relatively late deity who had no mention in any of the records of the early Roman period. This is supported by the lack of any festival in her honour listed in the oldest Roman calendar. However, later periods show her having two ancient temples, in Lavinium and Ardea. It is unclear how her association with Aphrodite originally began. However, a common theory...

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Mythological Girls: Kali

Kali is a Hindu goddess, whose name is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Kal’, which means time. She like all other female deities, is believed to be an incarnation of Parvati. Parvati was both the original wife of Shiva and the ‘Divine Mother’ in Hinduism. While representing the fearful aspects of a motherly figure, Kali is also believed to hold connections to death and warfare. She’s predominantly worshipped in Eastern and Southern India; specifically, in Kashmir, Bengal and areas of Kerala. While she does represent the fearful aspects of a motherly figure, some of the elements of her...

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