- Attributes: Goddess of the sun and the skies, agriculture and weaving
- Symbols: Raising sun, mirror, kites and arrows
- Place: Japan
|Amaterasu leaving the cave|
One day, unhappy with the happiness and the harmony of the celestial plane, Susanoo threw a celestial horse across the roof of the weaving hall and one of the servants died in the process. Extremely angry and hurt, Amaterasu gathered in a cave and the light disappeared. The world froze, the fields withered, and the Gods, like the humans, saw nothing else.
In another version of this story, Amaterasu sends Susanoo (or sometimes her other brother, the Mon God Tsukuyomi) to see the Goddess Ukemochi. Ukemochi gets killed by him and Amaterasu gets sad and hides in the cave.
Fearing the eternal darkness, the God of Wisdom, Omoikane, came up with a plan. The Gods organized a party at the entrance of the cave and hanged a mirror so Amaterasu could see herself. The Goddess Uzume began to dance. Amidst the noise and laughter, Amaterasu decided to spy out. Uzume told her there was another beautiful Goddess with them. When Amaterasu saw her image reflected in a copper mirror she got dazzled by her own beauty and stepped out of the cave.
The importance of the womanThe Amaterasu myth emphasizes the importance of female authority. The removal of the Goddess and the resulting aridity and darkness of the world demonstrate the importance of women, who must be respected, recognized and honored as a source of life and energy.
There are no rules or ready-to-use recipes to summon any Goddess in Wicca. The summoning rite comes from within the self. When we study each Goddesses' myth and symbols we can have suggested some ways to summoning them.
Amaterasu is everywhere through the sunlight. Even on cloudy days she graced the earth with her warmth and kindness. There is no need to summon a Goddess who is already so present among us, but it is common to greet her at sunrise and reflect her light with a mirror through the rooms of the house letting her enter the rooms to bring peace, energy and life.
Another way of summoning the Goddess can be done at times when you wish advice from the Goddess. For being the Goddess of the Sun, Amaterasu can light up your mind and overshadow illusions that may be blocking your path. To do this ritual, first take a mirror. It can be any mirror you have in your home or a mirror that you want to use especially for these occasions. Bow before the mirror, greeting the Goddess as the Japanese do. Then look into your own eyes and call Amaterasu eight times, the number of infinity. Concentrate and listen to the words of the Goddess.
Amaterasu in pop cultureThe name Amaterasu is widely used in Japanese culture in Animes and manga. Several characters and spells have the name of the Goddess and they are usually related to the Sun or the fire element. However, the biggest work to use the name of Amaterasu is the video game Okami where the Goddess, incarnated in a white wolf, is the great protagonist responsible for bringing the light back to Japan and restoring nature after the advance of the darkness.
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