Saturday, December 19, 2015


"...And to Vajrapani, holder of the diamond,
The very sight of whom will rout
All dangers like the deadly host of Yama (Death);
To him indeed I fly for safety.
Formerly your words I have transgressed.
But now I see these terrors all around.
To you indeed I come for help,
And pray you swiftly save me from this fear."
- Shantideva

Vajrapāṇi (from Sanskrit vajra, "thunderbolt" or "diamond" and pāṇi, lit. "in the hand") is one of the earliest bodhisattvas of Mahayana Buddhism. He is the protector and guide of the Buddha, and rose to symbolize the Buddha's power. Vajrapani was used extensively in Buddhist iconography as one of the three protective deities surrounding the Buddha. Each of them symbolizes one of the Buddha's virtues: Manjusri (the manifestation of all the Buddhas' wisdom), Avalokitesvara (the manifestation of all the Buddhas' compassion) and Vajrapani (the manifestation of all the Buddhas' power as well as the power of all 5 Tathagathas). Furthermore, Vajrapani is one of the earliest Dharmapalas and the only Buddhist deity to be mentioned in the Pali Canon as well as be worshiped in the Shaolin Temple, Tibetan Buddhism, and even Pure Land Buddhism (where he is known as Mahasthamaprapta and is one of a Triad comprising Amitabha and Avalokiteshwara). Manifestations of Vajrapani can also be found in many Buddhist temples in Japan as Dharma protectors called Nio. Vajrapani is also associated with Acala who is venerated as Fudo-Myo in Japan where he is serenaded as the holder of the Vajra.[1] Vajrapani here is different from that mentioned in the Vedas as Indra, the king of the Gods and the most widely mentioned deity in all of the Indian scriptures.


On the popular level, Vajrapani, Holder of the Thunderbolt Scepter (symbolizing the power of compassion), is the Bodhisattva who represents the power of all the Buddhas, just as Avalokitesvara represents their great compassion, Manjushri their wisdom, and Tara their miraculous deeds. For the yogi, Vajrapani is a means of accomplishing fierce determination and symbolizes unrelenting effectiveness in the conquest of negativity. His taut posture is the active warrior pose (pratayalidha), based on an archer's stance but resembling the en garde position in Western fencing. His outstretched right hand brandishes a vajra and his left hand deftly holds a lasso - with which he binds demons. Although he wears a skull crown in a few depictions, in most depictions he wears a 5 pointed Bodhisattva crown to depict the power of the 5 Tathagathas. (The skull crown is an iconographic symbol of another similar Dharmapala called Mahakala).

Vajrapani's expression is wrathful and he has a third eye. Around his neck is a serpent necklace and his loin cloth is made up of the skin of a tiger, whose head can be seen on his left knee.
The Pali Canon's Ambattha Suttanta, which challenges the caste system, tells of one instance of him appearing as a sign of the Buddha's power. At the behest of his teacher, a young Brahmin named Ambatha visited the Buddha. Knowing the Buddha's family to be the Shakya clan who are Kshatriya caste, Ambatha failed to show him the respect he would a fellow Brahmin. When the Buddha questioned his lack of respect, Ambatha replied it was because the Buddha belongs to a "menial" caste. The Buddha then asked the Brahmin if his family was descended from a “Shakya slave girl”. Knowing this to be true, Ambatha refused to answer the question. Upon refusing to answer the question for a second time, the Buddha warned him that his head would be smashed to bits if he failed to do so a third time. Ambatha was frightened when he saw Vajrapani manifest above the Buddha's head ready to strike the Brahmin down with his thunderbolt. He quickly confirmed the truth and a lesson on caste ensues.

According to the Pancavimsatisahasrika and Astasahasrika Prajnaparamita any Bodhisattva on the path to Buddhahood is eligible for Vajrapani's protection, making them invincible to any attacks "by either men or ghosts".


Just as Buddhaghosa associated Vajrapani with the Hindu god Indra,[21] his first representations in India were identified with the thunder deity. As Buddhism expanded in Central Asia, and fused with Hellenistic influences into Greco-Buddhism, the Greek hero Hercules was adopted to represent Vajrapani. He was then typically depicted as a hairy, muscular athlete, wielding a short "diamond" club.

In Japan, Vajrapani is known as Shukongōshin (執金剛神, "Diamond rod-wielding God"), and has been the inspiration for the Niō (仁王, lit. Benevolent kings), the wrath-filled and muscular guardian god of the Buddha, standing today at the entrance of many Buddhist temples under the appearance of frightening wrestler-like statues. He is also associated with Fudo-Myo, an incarnation of Acala and the prayer mantra for Fudo Myo references him as the powerful wielder of the Vajra.

Some suggest that the war deity Kartikeya, who bears the title Skanda is also a manifestation of Vajrapani, who bears some resemblance to Skanda because they both wield vajras as weapons and are portrayed with flaming halos. He is also connected through Vajrapani through a theory to his connection to Greco-Buddhism, as Wei Tuo's image is reminiscent of the Heracles depiction of Vajrapani.

From: Wiki

On the popular level, Vajrapani, Holder of the Thunderbolt Scepter (symbolizing the power of compassion), is the angelicBodhisattva who represents the power of all the Buddhas, just as Avalokiteshvara represents their great compassion, Manjushri their wisdom, and Tara their miraculous deeds. For the yogi, Vajrapani is an archetype deity of fierce determination and symbolizes unrelenting effectiveness in the conquest of negativity.

His taut posture is the active warrior pose (pratayalidha), based on an archer's stance but resembling the en garde position in Western fencing. His outstretched right hand brandishes a vajra and his left hand deftly holds a lasso - with which he binds demons. He wears a skull crown with his hair standing on end. His expression is wrathful and he has a third eye. Around his neck is a serpent necklace and his loin cloth is made up of the skin of a tiger, whose head can be see on his right knee.

Vajrapani is believed to be the savior of snakes (nagas), and since the Nagas are believed to control the rain-clouds, Vajrapani as their protector is looked upon as the Rain God, and it is to him Buddhists appeal when rain is needed, or is too abundant. In this capacity Vajrapani is identified with Indra, the Indian god of Rain.

From: Here (also see statue)
Rooted in the early Indian notions of ritual authority, Bodhisattva Vajrapani embodies the great power of a Buddha's enlightened heart-mind (mahabala chitta) to convert others of different persuasions into the Buddhist path. As the embodiment of wisdom of a fully enlightened Buddha, Vajrapani has received a great deal of attention in iconological literature, much of it speculative. Historically, the name Vajrapani, "Vajra-handed", is of great antiquity and is found in the Rig Veda as an epithet of Indra. In the Vedic context, the term is used primarily to connote Indra as a weapon carrier; because it is with his vajra (a lighting bolt) that Indra defeats the demons, and enemies. When and how Vajrapani enters the Buddhist world is obscure, however by the 1st to 2nd century in the Kushana period, representations of Vajrapani are well established elements of Buddhist imagery. In the literature, the term vajra has come to have a nuanced implication of 'adamantine' with connotation such as pure, perfect, and true. Moreover, a yakkha named Vajirapani (skt. Vajrapani) appears in the Pali canonical literature, to pressure defaulting debater to answer the questions of the Buddha. When they have not answered the third repetition of the question, Vajrapani appears "holding a huge iron club (vajira in Pali cannon), flaming, ablaze, and glowing, in the sky just above Ambattha, (who was debating the Buddha), and was thinking – if this young man (Ambattha) does not answer a proper question put to him by the Buddha the third time of asking, I will split his head into seven pieces. Upon seeing Vajrapani, Ambattha became terrified and unnerved, his hairs stood on end, and he sought protection, shelter and safety from the Blessed one. The story is described in the Ambattha Sutta of Pali Sutta Pitaka.

Yaksha Vajrapani became extremely popular in Gandhara school of Art and is found in many narrative sculptures, where he appears as a Herculean warrior with a double-ended club. The cult of Heracles was well-known in Indo-Greek Bactria and Gandhara. At Ahicchattra, near Mathura in central India, Vajrapani was being rendered in stone sculpture belong to the period circa 1st – 2nd century A.D., in Partnership with Avalokiteshvara attending a Buddha, as the two embodiments of wisdom and compassion. The Avalokiteshvara-Vajrapani partnership continues to develop in the western caves at Ajanta and Ellora. The modification in these representations is that Vajrapani has changed from his Hellenistic Herculean appearance and is depicted as a princely, Indian figure, with the upper torso bare and wearing the dhoti as lower garment. This change in appearance was probably a cultural reinterpretation rather than a change of status. It is obvious that the primary Bodhisattva pair, Avalokiteshvara embodies the compassion while Vajrapani, the power of the Buddha's mind and wisdom. Later on, in circa 6th century A.D. a distinct form of Vajrapani appears with an acolyte, Vajra Anuchara as seen in Nepal and Western Indian caves. It is said that Vajra Anuchara is a hypostasis of Vajrapani, who himself is the embodiment of the heart-mind (Bodhicitta) of all the Tathagatas. He represents Vajrapani, and acts with the authority of Vajrapani, but is not Vajrapani. According to tradition, Shakyamuni called Vajrapani both as Yaksha and Bodhisattva.

Another form of Vajrapani, emerged between 11th – 12th century A.D., is called Krodha (wrathful) Vajrapani and while his symbolism remained the same as other forms, his wrath took on a very literal representation. In this form he has muscular body, tiger-skin skirt, ferocious eyes, and brandishing the vajra as a weapon. His wrathful form was an important part of the Tantric methodologies in the Pala period (c. 750 – 1199) in the eastern India, and was probably taken to Tibet by Atisha or one of his successors. The wrathful Vajrapani displays his rightful indignation at hindrances that impede the practitioner on the path to enlightenment or is directed toward the stupidity of someone who has encountered the Buddha's teaching and who is, even so, too arrogant and prideful to take refuge in the Buddha, Dharma, and the Sangha. Invoked for both protection and purification, a wrathful Vajrapani is also invoked during the Krodhavesha ritual in the Kalachakra practice. For the yogi, Vajrapani is an archetype deity of fierce determination and symbolizes unrelenting effectiveness in the conquest of negativity.

This fierce manifestation of Vajrapani is a powerful portrayal. His wild hair, brows, mustaches, and beard burn with evil-consuming supernova flames, his eyes laser-red in intensity. He wears five-lobbed jeweled crown with flowers and bone tassels. Moreover, he wears flowing silk scarves tiger-skin skirt, jewel and bone ornaments. Vajrapani is brandishing a vajra in his right hand, the Buddhist symbol of the absolute truth, while his left hand holds a noose, which binds the meditator to the highest wisdom. He dances in alidha posture on a lotus throne and there is a flame aureole behind him.

From: Here (also see statue)
Vajrapani, dark blue in colour with one face and two hands, appears in the form of a raksha (a daemon of classical Indian mythology) with three large staring eyes, a gaping mouth with bared canine teeth and orange beard, eyebrows and hair flowing upward like flame. The body is squat, large and fleshy. Adorned with a crown of five skulls with red pendants and gold earrings, bone necklace and bracelets, anklets, and a large green snake, he wears a long green scarf and a lower garment of tiger skin tied with a green sash. With the right leg bent and the left extended above a sun disc and multi-coloured lotus Vajrapani stands in the middle of the blazing fire of pristine awareness. Placed in front as an offering, framed by two ivory elephant tusks, an assortment of wishing jewels are arranged on a plain green landscape - painted in the style of Eastern Tibet.

At the top left is a seated buddha, yellow in colour with the right hand performing the mudra of ?earth witness? and the left placed in the mudra of meditation; seated in vajra posture above a moon disc and lotus. At the right is the deity of purification, Vajrasattva, white in colour with one face and two hands holding a vajra in the right held to the heart and with the left an upturned bell in the lap. Adorned with a crown, jewel ornaments and variously coloured silk garments he sits in the vajra posture above a moon disc and lotus seat.

Vajrapani represents the power aspect of complete enlightenment, and known as Guhyapati (Tibetan: sang wa'i dag po), he is the 'Lord of Secrets' - the keeper of all the tantras of Vajrayana Buddhism. As a bodhisattva, like Manjushri and Avalokiteshvara, he dwells on the 10th bodhisattva level just prior to attaining complete buddhahood. In actuality all three were completely enlightened aeons ago and only appear, for the sake of training others, in the guise of bodhisattvas.

Vajrapani is common to all Schools of Tibetan Buddhism and has numerous forms and practices which span all sets of tantric classification and levels of complexity from a solitary aspect up to the large and complex mandalas with many deities.

From: Here (and to see art this is referring to)
Prayer to Vajrapani
From a Vajrapani sadhana compiled and translated by Lama Thubten Yeshe
To the magnificent one who dwells in Chang-lo-chen:
You, the owner of all the tantras
And destroyer of all demonic interferences and harm,
Holder of the mighty vajra,
Unstained by what is false and possessing awakened knowledge:
To you, O Vajrapani, I pay this heartfelt homage.

From: Here

Also see:
Vajrapani - The Spiritual Emanation of Aksobhya
Mantra & info
Article: Chinese Manifestations of Tibetan Buddhas - Vajrapani
Art & Painting
Mantra & Practice
Puja, Sadhana
The Gods of Northern Buddhism: Chapter V - Forms Of Vajrapani



The word January comes from the name of the Roman God Janus is usually seen with two faces and a key. One looks forward, the other behind; one is bearded, the other smooth. These represent, among other things, the Sun and Moon. More rarely, Janus was depicted with four faces, Janus Quadrifrons.

Janus symbolized transition; past to future, the flow between vision and realization, stasis and revelation, one state of consciousness to another. He represented maturation as well. He was worshipped not only at the New Year but at the planting and harvest, at marriage, birth and other occasions that heralded change.

In Roman mythology, Janus came from Thessaly, and later shared a kingdom with his wife, Camese in Latium. They had many children. He also had a wife named Jana, who may refer to an older tradition where one side was feminine. When ruling there, he ushered in a Golden Age, bringing money, law and agriculture to the people.

Janus used his double vision to great advantadge. He caught the nymph Carna with the gift and gave her power over door hinges, (door hinges? well, he was the God of them for reasons I've yet to fully understand except that he was the keeper of the kings treasures (hence the key), as a thanks for her attention.

In times of war, the doors to the temple of Janus were kept open to encourage his intervention. This came from the tradition that, when Romulus and his men kidnapped and attempted to rape the Sabine, Janus used his powers to erupt a hot spring to drive the attackers away. caused a hot spring to erupt, causing the would-be attackers to flee.

Though associated with the Etruscan God Ani, Janus has no greek equivillant, though he is in some ways similar to Hermes.
FROM: Janus: God of January - Mythology
The temple of Janus in Rome was situated in a street named Argiletum, an important road that connected the Roman Forum and the residential areas in the northeast. It was a small, wooden temple, and the building material suggests that the cult of Janus was of a venerable old age. This is confirmed by several facts. The oldest lists of gods usually began with his name; he was surnamed divom deus, a very ancient form of Latin meaning "the god's god"; and his portrait can be found on the oldest Roman coins.

Janus was, therefore, a very old and important Roman god. Before every sacrifice, he was invoked and received a libation. But this does not mean that modern scholars really understand the cult of the god of doors (ianuae) and beginnings. Neither did the Romans themselves. During the reign of the emperor Augustus (27 BCE - 14 CE), they started to connect things with the cult of Janus that originally had nothing to do with it. Unfortunately, we have hardly any texts that antedate this period, which makes it impossible to reconstruct the original cult. The only thing we know about it, is that the god was also venerated in several other towns in the Tiber valley.

The temple in the Argiletum consisted of two gates; the cult statue was between them. It was a very ancient statue; the author Pliny the Elder mentions it as proof that the sculptor's art existed in Italy in times most ancient (Natural history 36.5. The god was portrayed with two bearded heads. The fingers of his hands were placed in strange positions, which Pliny interpreted as an indication of the number 355, which he thought was a reference to the number of days of the oldest Roman calendar. This may be true, but it is, of course, pure speculation.
Other speculations are mentioned by Plutarch of Chaeronea, a Greek author living in the early second century, but using a source that can be dated between 29 and 25 BCE:
Janus also has a temple at Rome with double doors, which they call the gates of war; for the temple always stands open in time of war, but is closed when peace has come. The latter was a difficult matter, and it rarely happened, since the realm was always engaged in some war, as its increasing size brought it into collision with the barbarous nations which encompassed it round about. But in the time of Augustus it was closed, after he had overthrown Marc Antony; and before that, when Marcus Atilius and Titus Manlius were consuls, it was closed a short time; then war broke out again at once, and it was opened.
(Plutarch, Life of king Numa 20.1-2 tr.Bernadotte Perrin)

Though he was usually depicted with two faces looking in opposite directions (Janus Geminus (twin Janus) or Bifrons), in some places he was Janus Quadrifrons (the four-faced).

His two faces (originally, one was always bearded, one clean-shaven; later both bearded) originally represented the sun and the moon, and he was usually shown with a key. The two-faced image of Janus was often depicted on coins of the Roman Republic. January is named after him.


Janus was frequently used to symbolize change and transitions such as the progression of future to past, of one condition to another, of one vision to another, the growing up of young people, and of one universe to another. He was also known as the figure representing time because he could see into the past with one face and into the future with the other. Hence, Janus was worshipped at the beginnings of the harvest and planting times, as well as marriages, births and other beginnings. He was representative of the middle ground between barbarity and civilization, rural country and urban cities, and youth and adulthood.

Other myths

Janus was supposed to have come from Thessaly in Greece and he shared a kingdom with Camese in Latium. They had many children, including Tiberinus. Janus and his later wife, Juturna, were the parents of Fontus. Another wife was named Jana.

As the sole ruler of Latium, Janus heralded the Golden Age, introducing money, laws and agriculture (making him a culture hero).
When Romulus and his men kidnapped the goths of the Sabines, Janus caused a hot spring to erupt, causing the would-be attackers to flee. In honor of this, the doors to his temples were kept open during war so that he could easily intervene. The doors and gates were closed during peace.

Because he was the god of the door and hinges he was one the guardians of the Greek gods' treasures. From his name, we derive the English word janitor, meaning doorman.


The Romans associated Janus with the Etruscan deity Ani. However, he was one of the few Roman gods who had no ready-made counterpart, or analogous mythology. We can find in Greece Janus-like heads of gods related to Hermes, perhaps forming a compound god: Hermathena (a herm of Athena), Hermares, Hermaphroditus, Hermanubis, Hermalcibiades, and so on. In the case of these compounds it is disputed whether they indicated a herm with the head of Athena, or with a Janus-like head of both Hermes and Athena, or a figure compounded from both deities.
FROM: Wikipedia
Attributes: Janus is associated with doorways and gates. He is the god of beginnings.
Honors: There was a temple to Janus in Rome called the Ianus Geminus. When the doors were open, it signified to neighboring cities that Rome was at war. When the doors were closed, Rome was at peace.
Janus in Art: Janus is usually shown with two faces looking forward and backward as through a gateway. Sometimes one face is clean-shaven and the other bearded. Sometimes Janus is depicted with four faces.
The Family of Janus: The wives of Janus included Jana and Juturna. The children of Janus were Tiberinus and Fontus.
History of Janus: Janus was the ruler of Latium. Janus was responsible for the Golden Age and brought in money and agriculture.
FROM: Janus - Roman God Janus
Other sites:


Janus: Etruscan Ani: Pater Matutinus, "breaker of the day," the oldest God, the God of gods, the Good Creator, the beginner of all things. Light, the sun, opener of the heavenly gates. As Consiuius (The Sower) He is the spouse of Juturna, goddess of springs, and father of Fontus. Janus is also spouse of Venila, a Goddess of shallow seas who is sometimes considered the wife of Neptune. As Janus Quirinus he is a god of peace, that is, peace won by the vigilent Quirites. Janus Pater the creator of 1 January and 17 August. He is called

Janus Bifrons (two-faced), Janus Patulcius (the opened door during wartime), and Janus Clusivus (the closed door during peace). A minor deity of same name is a guardian of doorways.

Elen of the Ways/Roads/Hosts

(image from HERE)

Elen is elusive, ethereal, gossamer, yet in my research and experiences over the years, she has allowed me to follow her quicksilver thread and revealed herself in her various guises.
As the Green Lady, she peeps out between the trees in forests and woods. As a British Venus, Goddess of Gardens, she is the Flower Bride: at her Holy wells, mainly to be found in the North of the country, she is guardian of the underground streams that carry the sacred waters. These underground streams have themselves become a metaphor for the secret continuation of sacred wisdom. She is the Guardian of the ancient track ways, the Leys, the kundalini currents in nature, and as the Horned Goddess, she leads us to the first trackways, the migratory tracks of the reindeer and later, she leads us to the path of the red deer through the forests. From here she leads us to the lost Shamanism of the isles of Britain, and we can follow her across Scandinavia, Russia, Mongolia, Siberia, India and beyond.


For the FULL article, please see:
Elen of the Ways - Part One & Part Two
Elen of the ways, the antlered goddess takes a rest on an ancient, mysterious path at Lands end in Cornwall (Kernow) , the western most point of the land they called Albion. Also known as the Green Lady, she is the only horned goddess, wearing the antlers of the female Reindeer, in turn the only Deer whose females are antlered. Elen is the guardian of the Leys, the ancient track ways . Her earliest tracks were the migratory paths of the Reindeer, and here is the close association with them. The birds visiting her are red billed Choughs, Britain's rarest Crow is also Cornwall's national bird, legend says it is one of these that King Arthur shape shifted into rather than truly die.

From: here (also see an art piece it's referring to)
In ancient Britain She was Elen of the Hosts. She lives on British Tradition as Elen of the Ways. She is Protectress of the Pathways; whether they are physical, mental, or spiritual paths. She is Guardian of all who journey.

For the rest, see: Elen of the Ways
Elen Lluyddog
A Cymric Heroine: Helen of the Hosts
Elen Lluyddog is a Cymric hero known from the Mabinogi of Breuddwyd Maxen Wledig and the Welsh Triads as the wife of Magnus Maximus, who provides him a host for the conquest of Rome.


Thus Elen would seem to be an echo of an ancestral deity (both in terms of the Cymric lineages and in terms of being an 'originator' figure) who appears to have been particularly associated with Roman Roads. Indeed, some of these Roman roads are known to this day as Sarn(au) Elen (The Causeways of Elen). Whether this represents the survival of an ancient Brythonic road-builder goddess in later mythos can never be known. However, this is an interesting proposition in light of the discovery of Celtic wooden roadways in Ireland and Europe and the re-appraisal of the Celts rather than the Romans as Europe's first large-scale road builders (though the Celts built roads of perishable wood rather than durable stone).

From: Celtnet

She is certainly a pre-Roman goddess, and possibly much older than the Celts. The first trackways across Britain are said to have been reindeer tracks; Elain is Welsh for deer, and it is possible that Elen is one of the horned goddesses portrayed in Celtic art, such as the two figures found at Lackford and Icklingham. Reindeer are the only deer where the females bear horns, though they died out in Britain at the end of the last Ice Age, so race memories of her must be very ancient indeed. Some of the Sarn Elen tracks are associated with the Wild Hunt, led in some places by the Horned God, and in others by the Death Goddess. Some say that the tracks we call ley lines are spirit paths that the souls of the dead travel to the afterlife. Perhaps she was a psychopomp, guiding wayfarers on unknown paths in this world and the next, or a shamanic deity who guided the spirit flights of witches. Certainly, many people have experienced strange things on the Sarn Elen. The Welsh revered Elen as Elen of the Roads who at Beltane (1st May) opened the season of travel.


For the full article: here

Elen is very special, for me, because she is the patron of roads and gates between the worlds. In Chesca’s image, she stands before a dolmen gate embellished with symbols suggesting access to the Upper, Middle and Lower worlds. When you travel the British isles, you may feel Elen’s soft footfall – beneath the traffic and modern construction – along the deer paths and ancient trackways and in the the lapping of quiet streams.

Elen is Lady of the Ways in many senses. Most significant, for me, is her role as Lady of the Dreamways. In the great cycle of Welsh epic poems known as the Mabinogion,Elen calls a king to her in his dreams, and he finds her embodiment in the physical world when he learns to use his dreams as a map and to follow their roads.


Let me add that Elen of the Dreamways has a double or close sister across the North Sea in Nehalennia, who was venerated at Celtic sacred sites on what is now the coast of the Netherlands. She was the patron of voyagers; seafarers and traders made offerings to her for safe passage and success in their transactions. Her name may mean “Steerswoman” or “Pilot”. She is depicted as a lovely young woman enthroned within a seashell, with a basket of fruit on her lap and a dog nearby, gazing up at her adoringly. Often she has her foot on the prow of a ship, and a boat rope in her hand.

Nehalennia’s other close animal companion is the dolphin. She is the patron of astral as well as physical journeys, just as Elen is the maker of roads as well as dreamways. For the Celts, the happy afterlife on the Islands of the Blessed requires a crossing by water. And in ancient Europe (as in Polynesia) one of the favorite forms of transportation for the Otherworld voyage is the dolphin. Ripe fruits are often carved over the top of Nehalennia’s shrines. She offers abundance and ever-renewing life, as well as safe passage through the Otherworld, before and after death.

From: Here

Also see:Goddess, Saint and Ancestor - Elen of the Hosts
Elen Luyddog
Elen Luyddog - wiki


Nehalennia (spelled variously) is a goddess. Of unclear origin, perhaps Germanic or Celtic, Nehalennia is attested on and depicted upon numerous votive altars discovered around what is now the province of Zeeland, the Netherlands, where the Rhine River flowed into the North Sea. Worship of Nehalennia dates back at least to the 2nd century BC, and veneration of the goddess flourished in the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD.

Nehalennia is attested on 28 inscriptions discovered in the Dutch town of Domburg on the Zeeland coast, when a storm eroded dunes in 1645, disclosing remains of a temple devoted to the previously unattested goddess Nehalennia.[1] A similar number were discovered in 1971-72 in the town of Colijnsplaat, and two others have been found in the Cologne-Deutz area of what is now Cologne, Germany.[2]

Nehalennia is almost always depicted with marine symbols and a large, benign-looking dog at her feet.[3][4] Hilda Ellis Davidson describes the votive objects:

Nehalennia, a Germanic goddess worshipped at the point where travellers crossed the North Sea from the Netherlands, is shown on many carved stones holding loaves and apples like a Mother Goddess, sometimes with a prow of a ship beside her, but also frequently with an attendant dog which sits looking up at her (Plate 5). This dog is on thirteen of the twenty-one altars recorded by Ada Hondius-Crone (1955:103), who describes him as a kind of greyhound.[5]

Davidson further links the motif of the ship associated with Nehalennia with the Germanic Vanir pair of Freyr and Freyja, as well as the Germanic goddess Nerthus and notes that Nehalennia features some of the same attributes as the Matres.[6]

The loaves that Nehalennia is depicted with on her altars have been identified as duivekatar, "oblong sacrificial loaves in the shape of a shin bone". Davidson says that loaves of this type may take the place of an animal sacrifice or animal victim, such as the boar-shaped loaf baked at Yule in Sweden, and that in Värmland, Sweden "within living memory" grain from the last sheaf was customarily used to bake a loaf into the shape of a little girl that is subsequently shared by the whole household. Davidson provides further examples of elaborate loaves—Harvest Loaves—at times in the shape of sheaves and displayed in churches, bread employed for the fertility of fields in Anglo-Saxon England with parallels in Scandinavia, and examples from Ireland.[7]

The Domburg inscriptions to Nehalennia inspired Marcus Zuerius van Boxhorn to produce a hasty etymology linking the name Nehalennia to an ancient Scythian,[8] with which he attempted, with the linguistic tools then available, to bridge the already-known connections between the European languages and modern Persian.[9]

Religious practices surrounding Nehalennia were at their peak in the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD, at which time there were at least two to possibly three temples located in the area of what is now Zeeland. At the time, this region on the sea coast was an important link for the trade between the Rhine area and Britain. It is known that the tribe of the Morini, who lived in what is now the Netherlands, bordering the North Sea coast, worshipped Nehalennia.[3] Visitors came to worship from as far away as Besançon, France and Trier, Germany.[3] Nehalennia had two sanctuaries or shrines, embellished with numerous altars: one at Domburg on the island of Walcheren, and another at Colijnsplaat on the shore of the Oosterschelde.[3]

In August 2005, a replica of the Nehalennia temple near the lost town of Ganuenta was opened in Colijnsplaat.[10]

From: Wiki
Nehalennia: ancient goddess, venerated in the Roman age at the mouth of the river Scheldt.
Nehalennia is known from more than 160 votive altars, which were almost all discovered in the Dutch province of Zeeland. (Two altars were discovered in Cologne, the capital of Germania Inferior.) All of them can be dated to the second and early third centuries CE. Most pieces show a young female figure, sitting on a throne in an apse between two columns, holding a basket of apples on her lap. Nearly always, there is a wolf dog at her side. In some cases, the fruit basket is replaced by something that looks like loaves of bread; in other cases, we can see the woman standing next to a ship or a prow.

Several inscriptions inform us that the votive altar was placed to show gratitude for a safe passage across the North Sea, and we may assume that other altars were dedicated for the same reason. (Of course, this does not mean that all pieces were erected after a safe passage.) An example of a typical inscription:

To the goddess Nehalennia,
on account of goods duly kept safe,
Marcus Secundinius Silvanus,
trader in pottery with Britain,
fulfilled his vow willingly and deservedly.


From: Here
Greetings Goddess Nehalennia,
Greetings protective Mother,
Goddess Nehalennia, who gives us fruitfulness,
Goddess Nehalennia, who give the land bountifulness,
Goddess Nehalennia, who protects the land from water,
Goddess Nehalennia, who protects people against water,
Goddess Nehalennia, who protects sailors and merchants from water,
Goddess Nehalennia, who protects trade from water,
Goddess Nehalennia, who brings prosperity through water,
Goddess Nehalennia, protecting Mother hear our prayers.
Protect us today against all dangers and grant us prosperity!

From: Here
Nehalennia was the Romano-Celtic goddess worshipped around the region of the Netherlands. Nehalennia was the goddess of seafarers, and was the tribal goddess of the Morini.

Nehalennia was depicted standing on prow of a boat, holding either an oar or rope in her hands. Nehalennia was also seen carrying a cornucopia or a basket of fruits, which symbolised fertility, and suggesting she was the goddess of fertility.

From: Here

Also see:

Website for her temple relica (in Dutch, use Google Translate)
Info and pics
Celtnet article
Another article


I worship Min, I extol arm-raising Horus:
Hail to you, Min in his procession!
Tall-plumed, son of Osiris,
Born of divine Isis.
Great in Senut, mighty in Ipu (i.e. Panoplis=Akhmim),
You of Coptus, Horus strong-armed,
Lord of awe who silences pride,
Sovereign of all the gods!
Fragrance laden when he comes from Medja-land,
Awe inspiring in Nubia,
You of Utent, hail and praise!
Hymn to Min of the Deputy-treasurer Sobk-iry, Middle Kingdom
M. Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian Literature, Vol.1, p.204

Symbols: phallus, lettuce, bull
Cult Center: Koptos, Akhmin

Min was a fertility god who was believed to bestow sexual powers to all men. He also was a god of the rain who was a generative force of nature. In one of the most important Min festivals, the Pharaoh would hoe the fields as Min looked on. At the harvest festivals, the Pharaoh would ceremoniously hoe the fields under Min's supervision. When the Pharaoh begot his heir, he was also identified with Min.

He was portrayed as an ithyphallic bearded man, with his legs close together and wearing the same headdress as Amon. Min is shown with one arm raised wielding a thunderbolt.

His sacred animal was a white bull and his special plant, long lettuce, lactuca sativa, was believed to have aphrodisiac properties. Lettuce is believed to be associated with him, not due to its vaguely phallic shape, but rather to its white milky sap which is reminiscent of semen.

Min was a predynastic god. In the earliest times he was a sky-god called the "Chief of Heaven". Until the Middle Kingdom he was identified with Horus the Elder and he was called the son of Re or Shu. In the New Kingdom, Min became closely linked to Amon-Re. During this time, Min became immensely popular and orgiastic festivals were held in his honor.

Min's cult was centered in the Delta city of Chemmis and Koptos.

From: HERE
Patron of: fertility, sexuality, and travelers through the eastern Sahara.

Appearance: a man with a large erect penis. Sometimes he is shown in the garb of a pharaoh, wearing a feathered crown and carrying a flail.

Description: a very ancient god, Min has become rather popular in the modern era, a sort of resurgence of his cult. Min was honored with a variety of ceremonies, some involving the harvest, others praying for a male heir to the pharaoh. Lettuce was his sacred plant, for it was believed by the Egyptians to be an aphrodisiac. The Greeks identified him with their god Pan, and the Romans believed Min to be the same god as Priapus.

Worshipped: Worshipped widely throughout Egypt by the end of the New Kingdom, his cult centers were at Koptos and Akhmin (Panopolis).

From: HERE

Min was always a god of fertility and sexuality. He was shown as a human male with an erect penis. In Egyptian times, he was usually an ithyphallic bearded mummiform man, standing with both legs together, an arm raised holding his symbol or a flail and wearing the same low crown with twin plumes as Amen. (The way he holds his flail might be symbolic of sexual intercourse - the flail forms the V while his upraised forearm seems to thrust inside the V.) The Egyptian paintings and reliefs on tomb walls and temples didn't show Min's other arm, but the statues of the god show him with his hand encircling the base of his penis. During New Kingdom times he was sometimes shown as a white bull, an animal sacred to the fertility god.

.. Min, Bull of the Great Phallus,
You are the Great Male, the owner of all females.
The Bull who is unites with those of the sweet love, of beautiful face and of painted eyes,
Victorious sovereign among the Gods who inspires fear in the Ennead.
The goddesses are glad, seeing your perfection.

-- Hymn to Min

He was associated with the Egyptian cos lettuce - an aphrodisiac to the ancient Egyptians because the lettuce was tall, straight and secreted a milky substance when pressed! (This was also a favourite food of Set.) Min was often shown standing before offering tables, covered with heads of lettuce.

The fertility god was associated both with Horus the Elder (Min-Horus) in the Middle Kingdom and with Amen (Amen-Min) in New Kingdom times to show the creative force of both gods. At times, even some goddesses have been shown with the body of Min!

The goddess Sekhmet as the Eye of Ra, for instance, showing that Min also has a destructive side, rather than just creative. (There are some indications that there was a ritual in the Egyptian military for ensuring the subjugation of prisoners - as in the story of Set and Horus - it involved 'impregnating' (and so emasculating) the prisoner, and so the erect state of the penis could relate to victory over the enemy.) The flail was often used to show the pharaoh's supremacy over his enemies, and was therefor linked to both power and destruction.


Min wasn't just a fertility god, such as Hapi or Osiris, who only presided over the fields - he was also a god of male fertility who could give the pharaoh (and other men) the power to father a child. He also presided over the sed (jubilee) festival of the pharaoh (where the pharaoh had to run around a course set by the priests, carrying different objects), symbolically rejuvenating the pharaoh to give him long life... and the fertility of his youth.


He was also a god of the Eastern Desert, and it has been suggested that the description in the Pyramid Texts - 'the one who raises his arm in the east' - is actually talking about Min. With his association with the east, Min became a god who offered protection to travellers and traders - the caravan route went through Gebtu and headed out east to the Red Sea. At Wadi Hammamat (on the trade route), prayers and thanks to the god Min were found. Min was also worshiped by the men who worked the mines and the men who quarried the stone at Hammamat. At this particular Wadi, Min was given the title "Min, the Male of the Mountain", a title with the word 'male' being similar to the hieroglyph for 'foremost'.


Despite being a god of the desert, Min was still a fertility god, and rather than being painted red (such as the desert god Set), he was painted black to represent the fertile land along the Nile. Min was also a moon god - lunar gods tended also to be gods relating to moisture and thus of fertility. As a lunar deity Min was sometimes given the title "Protector of the Moon". In this capacity, the god was related to the Egyptian calendar - the last day of the lunar month was consecrated to the deity, and the day was known as "The Exit of Min".

Min is an Ancient Egyptian god whose cult originated in predynastic times (4th millennium BC).[1] He was represented in many different forms, but was often represented in male human form, shown with an erect penis which he holds in his left hand and an upheld right arm holding a flail. As Khem or Min, he was the god of reproduction; as Khnum, he was the creator of all things, "the maker of gods and men".[2]

As a god of fertility, he was shown as having black skin. His cult was strongest in Coptos and Akhmim (Panopolis), where in his honour great festivals were held celebrating his “coming forth” with a public procession and presentation of offerings.[1] His other associations include the eastern desert and links to the god Horus. Flinders Petrie excavated two large statues of Min at Qift which are now in the Ashmolean Museum and it is thought by some that they are pre-dynastic. Although not mentioned by name a reference to 'he whose arm is raised in the East' in the Pyramid Texts is thought to refer to Min.[3]

His importance grew in the Middle Kingdom when he became even more closely linked with Horus as the deity Min-Horus. By the New Kingdom he was also fused with Amen in the deity Min-Amen-kamutef (Min-Amen - bull of his mother). Min's shrine was crowned with a pair of bull horns.[4]

As the central deity of fertility and possibly orgiastic rites Min became identified by the Greeks with the god Pan. One feature of Min worship was the wild prickly lettuce Lactuca virosa and Lactuca serriola of which is the domestic version Lactuca sativa which has aphrodisiac and opiate qualities and produce latex when cut, possibly identified with semen. He also had connections with Nubia. However, his main centres of worship were Qift (Coptos) and Akhmim (Khemmis).

As a god of male sexual potency, he was honoured during the coronation rites of the New Kingdom, when the Pharaoh was expected to sow his seed — generally thought to have been plant seeds, although there have been controversial suggestions that the Pharaoh was expected to demonstrate that he could ejaculate — and thus ensure the annual flooding of the Nile. At the beginning of the harvest season, his image was taken out of the temple and brought to the fields in the festival of the departure of Min, when they blessed the harvest, and played games naked in his honour, the most important of these being the climbing of a huge (tent) pole.

In Egyptian art, Min was depicted as wearing a crown with feathers, and often holding his penis erect in his left hand and a flail (referring to his authority, or rather that of the Pharaohs) in his upward facing right hand. Around his forehead, Min wears a red ribbon that trails to the ground, claimed by some to represent sexual energy. The symbols of Min were the white bull, a barbed arrow, and a bed of lettuce, that the Egyptians believed to be an aphrodisiac, as Egyptian lettuce was tall, straight, and released a milk-like substance when rubbed, characteristics superficially similar to the penis.

Even some war goddesses were depicted with the body of Min (including the phallus), and this also led to depictions, ostensibly of Min, with the head of a lioness. Min usually was depicted in an ithyphallic (with an erect and uncovered phallus) style. Christians routinely defaced his monuments in temples they co-opted and Victorian Egyptologists would take only waist-up photographs of Min, or otherwise find ways to cover his protruding penis. However, to the ancient Egyptians, Min was not a matter of scandal - they had very relaxed standards of nudity: in their warm climate, farmers, servants, and entertainers often worked partially or completely naked, and children did not wear any clothes until they came of age.

In the 19th century, there was an alleged erroneous transcription of the Egyptian for Min as ḫm ("khem"). Since Khem was worshipped most significantly in Akhmim, the separate identity of Khem was reinforced, Akhmim being understood as simply a corruption of Khem. However, Akhmim is an alleged corruption of ḫm-mnw, meaning Shrine of Min, via the demotic form šmn.

From: Wiki

Also see:

Henadolgy article: MIN
Longer article Names of Netjer : Min

Inô - Leukothea | Ινω - Λευκοθεα

I Call Leucothea, of great Cadmus born,

And Bacchus' nurse, whom ivy leaves adorn.
Hear, pow'rful Goddess, in the mighty deep
Wide and profound, thy Ration doom'd to keep:
In waves rejoicing, guardian of mankind; 5
For ships from thee alone deliv'rance find
Amidst the fury of th' unstable main,
When art no more avail, and strength is vain;
When rushing billows with tempestuous ire
O'erwhelm the mariner in ruin dire, 10
Thou hear'st, with pity touch'd, his suppliant pray'r,
Resolv'd his life to succour and to spare.
Be ever present, Goddess! in distress,
Waft ships along with prosperous success:
Thy mystics thro' the stormy sea defend, 15
And safe conduct them to their destin'd end.

Orphic Hymn, LXXIII: To Leucothea

In Greek mythology, Leucothea (Greek: Leukothea (Λευκοθέα), "white goddess") was one of the aspects under which an ancient sea goddess was recognized, in this case as a transformed nymph.

In the more familiar variant, Ino, the daughter of Cadmus, sister of Semele, and queen of Athamas, became a goddess after Hera drove her insane as a punishment for caring for the newborn Dionysus. She leapt into the sea with her son Melicertes in her arms, and out of pity, the Hellenes asserted, the Olympian gods turned them both into sea-gods, transforming Melicertes into Palaemon, the patron of the Isthmian games, and Ino into Leucothea.

In the version sited at Rhodes, a much earlier mythic level is reflected in the genealogy: there, the woman who plunged into the sea and became Leucothea was Halia ("of the sea", a personification of the saltiness of the sea) whose parents were from the ancient generation, Thalassa and Pontus or Uranus. She was a local nymph and one of the aboriginal Telchines of the island. Halia became Poseidon's wife and bore him Rhodos/Rhode and six sons; the sons were maddened by Aphrodite in retaliation for an impious affront, assaulted their sister and were confined beneath the Earth by Poseidon. Thus the Rhodians traced their mythic descent from Rhode and the Sun god Helios.[1]

In the Odyssey (5.333 ff.) Leucothea makes a dramatic appearance as a gannet who tells the shipwrecked Odysseus to discard his cloak and raft and offers him a veil (κρήδεμνον, kredemnon) to wind round himself to save his life and reach land. Homer makes her the transfiguration of Ino. In Laconia, she has a sanctuary, where she answers people's questions about dreams. This is her form of the oracle.

From: Wiki
LEUKOTHEA (or Leucothea) was a sea goddess who aided sailors in distress. She was once a mortal princess named Ino, a daughter of King Kadmos (Cadmus) of Thebes. She and her husband Athamas incurred the wrath of Hera when they fostered the infant god Dionysos. As punishment Hera drove Athamas into a murderous rage and he slew his eldest child. Ino grapped the other, and in her flight leapt off a cliff into the sea. The pair were welcomed into the company of the marine gods and renamed Leukothea (the White Goddess) and Palaimon. Leukothea later came to the aid of Odysseus when his raft had been destroyed by Poseidon, and wrapped him in the safety of her buoyant shawl.

The Romans identified her with the goddess Mater Matuta.



Pindar, Pythian Ode 11. 1 ff (trans. Conway) (Greek lyric C5th B.C.) :
"Daughter of Kadmos (Cadmus), Semele from your high place amidst the queens of heaven, and Ino Leukothea (Leucothea), you who dwell by the immortal sea-nymphai, Nereus' daughters, come with the noble mother of Herakles (Heracles) to the shrine of Melia, to the treasure-house of golden tripods, the temple that above all others Apollon held in honour, and he named it the Ismenion, the seat of prophecy that known no lie. Daughters of Harmonia, the god now summons to assemble here that band of heroine women who dwelt within this land, that you may sing in praise of holy Themis and Pytho, and the centre-stone of earth, whose word is justice--here as evening's shadows fall."

Alcman, Fragment 50 (trans. Campbell, Vol. Greek Lyric II) (Greek lyric C7th B.C.) :
"Ino Thalassomedoisa (Queen of the Sea)."

Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 3. 28 (trans. Aldrich) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"Now she [Ino] is called Leukothea (Leucothea), and her son is Palaimon (Palaemon): these names they receive from those who sail, for they help sailors beset by storms."

Orphic Hymn 74 to Leucothea (trans. Taylor) (Greek hymns C3rd B.C. to 2nd A.D.) :
"To Leukothea (Leucothea), Fumigation from Aromatics. I call, Leukothea, of great Kadmos (Cadmus) born, and Dionysos' nurse, who ivy leaves adorn. Hear, powerful Goddess, in the mighty deep vast-bosomed, destined thy domain to keep: in waves rejoicing, guardian of mankind; for ships from thee alone deliverance find, amidst the fury of the unstable main, when art no more avails, and strength is vain. When rushing billows with tempestuous ire overwhelm the mariner in ruin dire, thou hearest with pity touched his suppliant prayer, resolved his life to succour and to spare. Be ever present, Goddess! In distress, waft ships along with prosperous success: thy mystics through the stormy sea defend, and safe conduct them to their destined end."

Ovid, Heroides 19. 123 ff (trans. Showerman) (Roman poetry C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"With what great waves the shores [of the Hellespontos] are beaten, and what dark clouds envelop and hide the day! It may be the loving mother [Nephele the Cloud] of Helle has come to the sea, and is lamenting in downpouring tears the drowning of her child--or is the step-dame [Ino], turned to a goddess of the waters [Leukothea], vexing the sea that is called by her step-child's hated name?"

Virgil, Georgics 1. 432 ff (trans. Fairclough) (Roman bucolic C1st B.C.) :
"If at her [the moon's] fourth rising she pass through the sky clear and with undimmed horns, then all that day, and the days born of it to the month's end, shall be free from rain and wind; and the sailors, safe in port, shall pay their vows on the shore to Glaucus, and to Panopea, and to Melicerta, Ino's son."

Valerius Flaccus, Argonautica 2. 585 ff (trans. Mozley) (Roman epic C1st A.D.) :
"This realm [the Hellespont] the father of the deep [Poseidon] himself awarded me [Helle, stepdaughter of Ino, also transformed into a sea-goddess], willing justly, and our gulf envies not Ino's sea [the Gulf of Corinth]."

Propertius, Elegies 2. 26 (trans. Goold) (Roman elegy C1st B.C.) :
"How I feared lest the sea perchance should take you name and mariners sailing your waters should weep for you. What vows did I then make to Neptunus [Poseidon], to Castor and his brother [the Dioskouroi], and to you, Leucothoe, a goddess now!"

Propertius, Elegies 2. 28 :
"Ino also in early life wandered over the earth: now she is invoked as Leucothoe by sailors in distress."

Seneca, Oedipus 444 ff (trans. Miller) (Roman tragedy C1st A.D.) :
"Cadmean Ino, foster-mother of shining Bacchus [Dionysos], holds the realms of the deep, encircled by bands of Nereides dancing; over the waves of the mighty deep a boy holds sway, new come, the kinsman of Bacchus, no common god, Palaemon."

Statius, Thebaid 1. 120 ff (trans. Mozley) (Roman epic C1st A.D.) :
"[The] Isthmus scarce withstood the waves on either side. With her own hand his mother [Leukothea] snatched Palaemon from the curved back of his straying dolphin steed and pressed him to her bosom."

Statius, Silvae 3. 2. 1 (trans. Mozley) (Roman poetry C1st A.D.) :
"But above all others thou, Palaemon, with the goddess mother [Leukothea], be favourable [on this sea-voyage], if 'tis thy desire that I [the poet Statius] should tell of thine own Thebes, and sing of Amphion, bard of Phoebus, with no unworthy quill."

Nonnus, Dionysiaca 9. 59 ff (trans. Rouse) (Greek epic C5th A.D.) :
"You [Ino] shall ever live with Melikertes (Melicertes) your immortal son as Leukothea, holding the key of calm waters, mistress of good voyage next to Aiolos (Aeolus) [god of the winds]. The merchant seaman trusting in you shall have a fineweather voyage over the brine; he shall set up one altar for the Earthshaker and Melikertes, and do sacrifice to both together."

Nonnus, Dionysiaca 20. 350 ff :
"Lykourgos (Lycurgus) indignant [that Dionysos had escaped him by fleeing into the sea] shouted aloud to the water--‘I wish my father [Ares] had taught me not war alone, but how to deal with the sea! . . . But since I have not learnt the work of seafaring fishers, and know nothing of the tricks of hunting in the deep with a cunning mesh of nets, you may have Leukothea's house in the watery deep, until I can dislodge both you and Melikertes (Melicertes) as they call him, another of your kin . . .
‘Ho Fishermen! Searchers of the haunts of Nereus! Spread not your nets for the denizens of the deep, but haul out Dionysos in the meshes! Let Leukothea (Leucothea) be caught along with Lyaios, and let her come back to the land.’"

Nonnus, Dionysiaca 21. 170 ff :
"In the Erythraian (Red) Sea, the daughters of Nereus [Nereides] cherished Dionysos [driven to refuge in the sea by Lykourgos] at their table, in their halls deep down under the waves. Mermaid Ino threw off her jealousy of [her sister] Semele's bed divine, and struck up a brave hymn for winepouring Lyaios [Dionysos]. Ino the nurse of Dionysos made music; and Melikertes his foster-brother ladled out nectar from the bowl, and poured the sweet cups for his agemate. So he remained in the hall deep down in the waves under the waters, and he lay sprawled among the seaweed in Thetis' bosom; he embraced never satisfied Kadmos' (Cadmus') daughter, Ino his nurse, mother of a noble son, sister of his own mother, and often he held in the loving prison of his arms Palaimon (Palaemon) his yearsmate, his foster-brother."

Nonnus, Dionysiaca 43. 253 ff :
"[When Poseidon led the sea-gods into battle against Dionysos and his allies in the Indian War:] The tribes of Nereides sounded for their sire the cry of battle-triumph: unshod, half hidden in the brine, the company rushed raging to combat over the sea. Restless Ino [Leukothea] speeding unarmed into strife with the Satyroi, fell again into her old madness spitting white foam from her maddened lips."



Alcman, Fragment 4a (trans. Campbell, Vol. Greek Lyric II) (Greek lyric C7th B.C.) :
"I came to the lovely sanctuary of Leukothea (Leucothea)."

Cicero, De Natura Deorum 3. 15 (trans. Rackham) (Roman rhetorician C1st B.C.) :
"In Greece they worship a number of deified human beings . . . Leucothea, formerly Ino, and her son Palaemon [worshipped] throughout the whole of Greece."

Cicero, De Natura Deorum 3. 19 :
"Ino is to be deemed divine, under the title Leucothea in Greece and Matuta at Rome, she is the daughter of Cadmus."


Pausanias, Description of Greece 1. 44. 7 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"There are legends about these rocks [the Molourian Rocks on the coast of Megara] . . . it is said that from it Ino flung herself into the sea with Melikertes (Melicertes) . . . The Molourian Rock they though sacred to Leukothea (Leucothea) and Palaimon (Palaemon)."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 1. 42. 7 :
"On the road to the town-hall [of Megara] is the shrine of the heroine Ino, about which is a fencing of stones, and beside it grows olives. The Megarians are the only Greeks who say that the corpse of Ino was cast up on their coast, that Kleos (Cleos) and Tauropolis, the daughters of Kleson (Cleson), son of Lelex, found and buried it, and they say that among them first was she nnamed Leukothea (Leucothea), and that every year they offer her sacrifice."


Pausanias, Description of Greece 2. 2. 1 :
"Within the enclosure [of Poseidon at Korinthos] is on the left a temple of Palaimon (Palaemon), with images in it of Poseidon, Leukothea (Leucothea) and Palaimon himself."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 2. 3. 4 :
"After the image of Hermes [on the road from Korinthos (Corinth) to its port of Lekhaion] come Poseidon, Leukothea, and Palaimon on a dolphin."

Statius, Silvae 2. 2. 34 (trans. Mozley) (Roman poetry C1st A.D.) :
"The lofty height of Bacchic Ephyre [Corinth], is the covered way that leads from Lechaeum, of Ino's fame."
[N.B. Lechaeum was the Corinthian port connected with teh cult of Ino and Palaimon.]


Pausanias, Description of Greece 3. 23. 8 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"About two stades to the right [of Epidauros Limera in Lakedaimon] is the water of Ino, as it is called, in extent like a small lake, but going deeper into the earth. Into this water they throw cakes of barley meal at the festival of Ino. If good luck is portended to the thrower, the water keeps them under. But if it brings them to the surface, it is judged a bad sign."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 3. 26. 1 :
"On [the road from Oitylos to Thalamai in Lakonia] is a sanctuary of Ino and an oracle. They consult the oracle in sleep, and the goddess reveals whatever they wish to learn, in dreams. Bronze statues of Pasiphae and of Helios (the Sun) stand in the unroofed part of the sanctuary [of Ino at Thalamai]. It was not possible to see the one within the temple clearly, owing to the garlands, but they say this too is of bronze. Water, sweet to drink, flows from a sacred spring. Pasiphae is a title of Selene, and is not a local goddess of the people of Thalamai (Thalamae)."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 3. 19. 3 - 5 :
"On the altar [of Apollon at Amyklai in Lakonia] are wrought in relief . . . Zeus and Hermes are conversing; near stand Dionysos and Semele, with Ino by her side."

Lycophron, Alexandra 105 ff (trans. Mair) (Greek poet C3rd B.C.) :
"On the beach she [Helene in Sparta] burns the firstling of the flocks to the Thysad Nympha and the goddess Byne [Leukothea]."


Strabo, Geography 11. 2. 17 (trans. Jones) (Greek geographer C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"Above the aforesaid rivers [the Phasis] in the Moskhian country [Kolkhis (Colchis), at the Eastern end of the Black Sea] lies the temple of Leukothea, founded by Phrixos [her step-son], and the oracle of Phrixos, where a ram is never sacrificed; it was once rich, but it was robbed in our time by Pharnakes, and a little later by Mithridates of Pergamon."


Aelian, Historical Miscellany 1. 20 (trans. Wilson) (Greek rhetorician C2nd to 3rd A.D.) :
"Dionysios [Sicilian tyrant, ca. 430-367 B.C.] stole objects from all the temples of Syrakousa (Syracuse) . . . He [also] sailed to Tyrrhenia [Etruria] and stole all the property of Apollon and Leukothea (Leucothea)."

For more see her THEOI page

Ino is the daughter of Cadmus and Harmonia. She was the sister of Agave, Semele, and Autonoe. This is important because all of Cadmus and Haromonia's children have some kind of tragedy to happen to them. Semele, Dionysus' mother, was killed when a thunderbolt from Zeus burned her to ashes; Agave killed her son Pentheus when she was afflicted with Dionysic madness; and Acteon, Autonoe's son, was killed by his own hunting dogs when he accidentally saw Artemis naked. Therefor, it would be a safe bet that Ino will also have a tragic ending.

Ino married King Athamas of Orchomenus on the western shore of Lake Copais, capital of Boetia. Athamas married Ino after tiring of his first wife Nephele. Upon hearing that Athamas was taking another wife, Nephele complained bitterly to Hera about Athamas' infidelity.

One year the crops went bad and the famine hit Orchomenus hard, so Athamas sent messengers to the Delphi Oracle to see what could be done to stop the famine. Ino secretly bribed the messenger to come back with the message that Athamas must sacrifice his son by Nephele, Phrixes. Ino did this out of her selfish desire to see one of her two sons with Athamas, Learchus or Melicertes, receive the kingdom at Athamas' death. Athamas had Phrixes on the altar and was about to sacrifice him when a golden ram appeared by the altar. Phrixes and his sister Helle climbed on the ram's back and they flew towards the east. As the ram was going over the straits between the northern Aegean and the Propontis, Helle fell off of the rams back into the straits below and that is why that spot is still called Hellespont. The ram kept flying until it reached Colchis in the land of Aea at the eastern end of the Black Sea. Here, Phrixes sacrificed the ram to Zeus to show his appreciation for being delivered from Ino's vengeance. Phrixes gave the skin to Aeetes, the king of Aea. This is one story of the origins of the Golden Fleece that Jason is sent to retrieve for Pelias.

As revenge for Nephele and for Ino raising Dionysus, Hera struck Athamas. Athamas, thinking that Learchus was a ram, shot an arrow through Learchus then tore his body to pieces. Ino, like any frightened mother, took her other son, Melicertes and fled the castle. With Athamas in hot pursuit, Ino ran to the Molurian Rock where she desperately jumped into the river below, drowning herself as well as Melicertes. Zeus, not wanting Ino's ghost to go to Tartus for she did raise his son Dionysus, turned Ino into the sea deity, Leucotha (white goddess) and Melicertes into Palaemon.

Another version of the story has Hera afflicting both Ino and Athamas with madness. Ino boils Melicertes in a cauldron, than picks up the cauldron and flees. Then she jumps over the cliff with the cauldron still in her arms.

The madness caused within Ino's house can be attributed to her association with Dionysus. It seems that no one can escape the effects of being around Dionysus. People who resist him are turned mad in fits of Bacchae madness, and people who follow him are also afflicted with the madness.

From: Here

"The White Goddess", the name of Ino as a marine deity, which she became when she threw herself into the sea with her son Melicertes. However, Dionysus would not let her die, and she was transformed into Leucothea.

From: Here
LOCALE: Thebes & Mt Nysa, Boiotia (Central Greece)


Pseudo-Hyginus, Fabulae 4 (trans. Grant) (Roman mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"Athamas, King in Thessaly, thought that his wife Ino . . . had perished, and so he married Themisto . . . Later he discovered that Ino was on Parnassus, where she had gone for Bacchic revels. He sent someone to bring her home."

Pseudo-Hyginus, Fabulae 2 :
"He [Phrixos] was led to the altar, wearing fillets of sacrifice, but he servant, out of pity for the youth revealed Ino's plans [an elaborate deception contrived to do away with her stepchildren] to Athamas. The king, informed of the crime, gave over his wife Ino and her son Melicertes to be put to death, but Father Liber [Dionysos] cast mist around her, and saved Ino his nurse."

Pseudo-Hyginus, Fabulae 3 :
"While Phrixus and Helle [the stepchildren of his nurse Ino] under madness sent by Liber [Dionysos] were wandering in a forest, Nebula [Nephele] their mother is said to have come there bringing a gilded ram . . . She bade her children mount it, and journey to Colchis."

Ovid, Metamorphoses 4. 416 ff (trans. Melville) (Roman epic C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"Bacchus' [Dionysos'] divinity was hymned through all Thebae, and Ino everywhere told of the god’s (her nephew’s) mighty power. Of all the sisters she alone was spared sorrow except her sorrow for her sake. Her pride was high, pride in her children, pride in Athamas, her husband and the god, her foster-child."


Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 3. 26-29 (trans. Aldrich) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"At the proper time Zeus loosened the stitches and gave birth to Dionysos, whom he entrusted to Hermes. Hermes took him to Ino and Athamas, and persuaded them to bring him up as a girl. Incensed, Hera inflicted madness on them, that Athamas stalked and slew his elder son Learkhos on the conviction that he was a dear, while Ino threw Melikertes into a basin of boiling water, and then, carrying both the basin and the corpse of the boy, she jumped to the bottom of the sea. Now she is called Leukothea, and her son is Palaimon: these names they receive from those who sail, for they help sailors beset by storms. Also, the Isthmian games were established by Sisyphos in honor of Melikertes."

Pseudo-Hyginus, Fabulae 2 (trans. Grant) (Roman mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"Later, Athamas, driven mad by Jove [an error, should read Juno, Hera], slew his son Learchus. But Ino, with Melicertes her son, threw herself into the sea. Liber [Dionysos] would have her called Leucothea, and Melicertes, her son the god Palaemon, but we call her Mater Matuta, and him Portunus. In his honour every fifth year gymnastic contests are held, which are called Isthmian."

Pseudo-Hyginus, Fabulae 224 :
"Mortals who were made immortal . . . Ino, daughter of Cadmus, into Leucothea, whom we call Mater Matuta; Melicertes, son of Athamas, into the god Palaemon."

From: Theoi, Dionysos Favor page
In Greek mythology Ino (/ˈaɪnoʊ/ Greek: Ἰνώ [iː'nɔː][1]) was a mortal queen of Thebes, who after her death and transfiguration was worshiped as a goddess under her epithet Leucothea, the "white goddess." Alcman called her "Queen of the Sea" (θαλασσομέδουσα),[2] which, if not hyperbole, would make her a doublet of Amphitrite.

In her mortal self, Ino, the second wife of the Minyan king Athamas, the mother of Learches and Melicertes, daughter of Cadmus and Harmonia[3] and stepmother of Phrixus and Helle, was one of the three sisters of Semele, the mortal woman of the house of Cadmus who gave birth to Dionysus. The three sisters were Agave, Autonoë and Ino, who was a surrogate for the divine nurses of Dionysus: "Ino was a primordial Dionysian woman, nurse to the god and a divine maenad" (Kerenyi 1976:246).

Maenads were reputed to tear their own children limb from limb in their madness. In the back-story to the heroic tale of Jason and the Golden Fleece, Phrixus and Helle, twin children of Athamas and Nephele, were hated by their stepmother, Ino. Ino hatched a devious plot to get rid of the twins, roasting all the crop seeds of Boeotia so they would not grow.[4] The local farmers, frightened of famine, asked a nearby oracle for assistance. Ino bribed the men sent to the oracle to lie and tell the others that the oracle required the sacrifice of Phrixus. Athamas reluctantly agreed. Before he was killed though, Phrixus and Helle were rescued by a flying golden ram sent by Nephele, their natural mother. Helle fell off the ram into the Hellespont (which was named after her, meaning Sea of Helle) and drowned, but Phrixus survived all the way to Colchis, where King Aeetes took him in and treated him kindly, giving Phrixus his daughter, Chalciope, in marriage. In gratitude, Phrixus gave the king the golden fleece of the ram, which Aeetes hung in a tree in his kingdom.

Later, Ino raised Dionysus, her nephew, son of her sister Semele,[5] causing Hera's intense jealousy. In vengeance, Hera struck Athamas with insanity. Athamas went mad, slew one of his sons, Learchus, thinking he was a ram, and set out in frenzied pursuit of Ino. To escape him Ino threw herself into the sea with her son Melicertes. Both were afterwards worshipped as marine divinities, Ino as Leucothea ("the white goddess"), Melicertes as Palaemon. Alternatively, Ino was also stricken with insanity and killed Melicertes by boiling him in a cauldron, then took the cauldron and jumped into the sea with it. A sympathetic Zeus didn't want Ino to die, and transfigured her and Melicertes as Leucothea and Palaemon.

The story of Ino, Athamas and Melicertes is relevant also in the context of two larger themes. Ino, daughter of Cadmus and Harmonia, had an end just as tragic as her siblings: Semele died while pregnant with Zeus' child, killed by her own pride and lack of trust in her lover; Agave killed her own son, King Pentheus, while struck with Dionysian madness, and Actaeon, son of Autonoe, the third sibling, was torn apart by his own hunting dogs. Also, the insanity of Ino and Athamas, who hunted his own son Learchos as a stag and slew him, can be explained as a result of their contact with Dionysus, whose presence can cause insanity. None can escape the powers of Dionysus, the god of wine. Euripides took up the tale in The Bacchae, explaining their madness in Dionysiac terms, as a result of their having initially resisted belief in the god's divinity.

When Athamas returned to his second wife, Ino, Themisto (his third wife) sought revenge by dressing her children in white clothing and Ino's in black and directing the murder of the children in black. Ino switched their clothes without Themisto knowing and she killed her own children.

Transformed into the goddess Leucothea, Ino also represents one of the many sources of divine aid to Odysseus in the Odyssey (5:333ff), her earliest appearance in literature. Homer calls her "Ino-Leocothea of the beautiful ankles [καλλίσφυρος], daughter of Cadmus, who was once a mortal speaking with the tongue of men, but now in the salt sea-waters has received honor at the hands of the gods". Providing Odysseus with a veil and telling him to discard his cloak and raft, she instructs him how he can entrust himself to the waves and succeed in reaching land and eventually Ithaca.

In historical times, a sisterhood of maenads of Thebes in the service of Dionysus traced their descent in the female line from Ino; we know this because an inscription at Magnesia on the Maeander summoned three maenads from Thebes, from the house of Ino, to direct the new mysteries of Dionysus at Magnesia (Burkert 1992:44).

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