February 12, 2013

Yhi: The Aboriginal Goddess of Light

Posted in Goddess Project, Goddess Things tagged , , , , at 1:58 am by Babs

The goddess of light and creator goddess of the Karraur, an Australian aboriginal group, she lay asleep in the Dreamtime before this world’s creation, in a world of bone-bare, windless mountains.  Suddenly, a whistle startled the goddess.  She took a deep breath and opened her eyes, flooding the world with light.  The earth stirred under her warm rays.  Yhi drifted down to this new land, walking north, south, east and west.  As she did, plants sprang up from her footprints.  She walked the world’s surface until she had stepped everywhere, until every inch was covered with green.  Then the goddess sat to rest on the treeless Nullarbor Plain.

As she glanced around, she realized that the new plants could not move, and she desired to see something dance.  Seeking that dancing life, she descended beneath the earth, where she found evil spirits who tried to sing her to death.  But they were not as powerful as Yhi.  Her warmth melted the darkness, and tiny forms began to move there.  The forms turned into butterflies and bees and insects that swarmed around her in a dancing mass.  She led them forth into the sunny world.  But there were still caves of ice, high in the mountains, in which other beings rested.  Yhi spread her light into them, one at a time.  She stared into the cave’s black interiors until water formed.  Then she saw something move and then another thing, and birds and animals poured forth onto the face of the earth.  Soon the entire world was dancing with life.

Then, in her golden voice, Yhi spoke.  She told her creatures she would return to her own world.  She blessed them with changing seasons and with the knowledge that when they died that would join her in the sky.  Then, turning herself into a ball of light, she sank below the horizon.  As she disappeared, darkness fell upon on the earth’s surface.  The new creatures were afraid.  There was sorrow and mourning, and finally there was sleep.  And, soon, there was the first dawn, for Yhi had never intended to abandon her creation.  One by one the sleepy creatures woke to see light breaking in the east.  A bird chorus greeted their mistress, and the lake and ocean waters that had been rising in mists, trying to reach her, sank down calmly.  For eons of Dreamtime the animals lived in peace on Yhi’s earth, but then a vague sadness began to fill them.  They ceased to delight in what they were.  She had planned never to return to earth, but she felt so sorry for her creatures that she said, “Just once.  Just this once.”  So she slid down to the earth’s surface and asked the creatures what was wrong.  Wombat wanted to wiggle along the ground.  Kangaroo wanted to fly.  Bat wanted wings.  Lizard wanted legs.  Seal wanted to swim.  And the confused Platypus wanted something of every other animal.  And so Yhi gave them what they wanted.  From the beautiful regular forms of the early creation came the strange creatures that now walk the earth.

Yhi then swept herself up to the sky again.  She had one other task yet to complete: the creation of woman.  She had already embodied thought in male form and set him wandering the earth.  But nothing – not the plants, not the insects, not the birds or beasts or fish seemed like him.  He was lonely.  Yhi went to him one morning as he slept near a grass tree.  He slept fitfully, full of strange dreams.  As he emerged from his dreaming he saw the flower stalk on the grass tree shining with sunlight.  He was drawn to the tree, as were all the earth’s other creatures.  Reverent and astonished, they watched as the power of Yhi concentrated itself on the flower stalk.  The flower stalk began to move rhythmically – to breath.  Then it changed form, softened, became a woman.  Slowly emerging into the light from which she was formed, the first woman gave her hand to the first man.

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