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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Mythological Girls: Papatūānuku

Papatūānuku, also known as ‘Papa’ is both the deity and personification of the land in Māori mythology. She was believed to have been born into the darkness which is known as Te Pō, and was locked in an embrace with her husband Ranginui, also known as Rangi, who was the deity of the sky. While they were in this embrace, they bore several children who eventually grew frustrated at living in Te Pō. Their son Tū; the deity of war proposed that they should kill their parents in order to bring the light into the universe, a being known as Te Ao Mārama. However, this suggestion was dismissed by...

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Mythological Girls: Nereids

The Nereids were a collection of fifty sea nymphs who were the daughters of Doris and Nereus, the old man of the sea. They originated in Greek mythology, however migrated to later Roman mythology like most Greek figures. The Nereids were seen as the protectors of sailors and fisherman, who would come to the aid of those in distress in the water. They appear in the Argonautica as helping the Argonauts through their search for the Golden Fleece. Each nymph was said to have represented a different aspect of the ocean. These aspects include the sea foam, the sand and the waves. All fifty nymphs...

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Mythological Girls: Yemaja

Yemaja, also known as Yemoja, depending on the traditions of the local area, is the deity of the Yoruban people found in Nigeria, Benin and Togo. The Yoruba people are one of the three largest ethnic groups in Nigeria and as of the beginning of the 21st century, were made up of 20 million people. They are predominantly found in Nigeria, particularly in the south western area. Smaller, scattered groups can be found in both Benin and Togo. Yemaja is believed to be the daughter of the earth goddess Odudua, as well as being the sister-wife of Aganju. Their child was Orunjan, the deity of the...

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