Monday, July 12, 2004



Great Sun Goddess of Japan. She is the supreme deity of the Shinto religion and is queen of all the Kami, the forces inherent in nature. The rice does not grow without Her. “Great Shining Heaven.”
In a drunken rampage, Amaterasu’s brother Susanoo, trampled Her rice fields, threw feces into Her temples, filled in irrigation ditches and threw the carcass of a partially flayed horse into Her weaving room! She pleaded with him to stop but he ignored Her. In protest, Amaterasu withdrew inside a cave.

As a result, the world was plunged into darkness. Without Her light and warmth the Kami of rice and all living things began to wither and die. Her brothers and sisters gathered in front of the cave and tried to coax Her out, pleading with Her to return. But Amaterasu remained unmoved.

Then the voluptuous young Goddess of merriment named Uzume turned over a washtub. Standing on top of it and clothed in nothing but leaves and flowers, She began a sensual dance, drumming out a rhythm with Her feet on the washtub. She eventually shed Her leaves and danced naked, Her audience clapping along and shouting with delight. Behind Uzume was hidden a great octagonal mirror. When Amaterasu peeked out of the cave to see what all the commotion was about, Uzume moved aside and the great mirror was rolled in front of the cave. Amaterasu, who had never seen Her own beauty before, was dazzled and delighted. She returned to Her heavenly throne to warm the winter-weary earth. All the Kami rejoiced in Her divine warmth and light. Life stirred and the world turn green once again.

The royal families of Japan trace their descent from Amaterasu. She is the ancestor of the Peacock emperor. An important part of his coronation ceremony takes place at Amaterasu’s main temple at Ise, which houses the sacred mirror. This mirror is Her Shintai, the object into which the Goddess’s spirit enters to be present at ceremonies and to listen to the prayers addressed to Her. Cock, which roam in profusion on the temple grounds are sacred to Her because they salute the sun each morning at dawn.

It is the rising sun, Amaterasu’s emblem that appears on Japan’s national flag and Japanese people welcome Her each morning with prayer and hand-clapping.

Kites and the heavenly arrows are also Her emblems.

Celebrations in Her honor as Amaterasu-o-mi-kami, queen of all the Kami take place on July 17. During this Great Festival of the Sun Goddess, street processions go on all day.

She is also honored on December 21, the winter solstice, as the birth of light – Amaterasu coming out of Her cave to once again warm the earth.


sEa said...

Sometimes I read your posts, in fact almost always, and I wonder why I even have a blog. How did you get this profound?? I am not worthy...

The Crazy Shaman said...

Sydney o mi kami:

Tomorrow is your day, July 17th. Today you are just as worthy as tomorrow.

*claps for you*


The Crazy Shaman said...

I wonder sometimes if what I write and say seems pretentious, condenscending or all-knowing. Isn't intended that way.

How did I get so profound? Compared to some people, I guess I am. To others, I'm more full of crap than that bundle of virginal feathers perched on your finger.

I suppose you have your blog just so I can enjoy the finer points of bird feeding and defecation, luscious tomatos, big scary fish, and Victorian hats. *smiles at you* That's not all there is though.

The rest is not for public reading.

L said...
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