Amaterasu (Goddess Circle series) © Sue O'Kieffe 2009
source image: Japanese maple leaf
Amaterasu is the Japanese Goddess of the Sun worshipped in the Shinto religion. In the myth, Amaterasu and her two brothers were responsible for governing the Universe; her brothers were jealous of her because she was favored by her father. Amaterasu, as the sun goddess, was responsible for making sure the rice crops thrived. She was also a skilled horsewoman and weaver of fine silks and brocades and was known for her beautiful kimonos. One day during a fit of jealousy one of her brothers killed one of her horses and Amaterasu fell into a deep depression. She crawled into a dark cave and the rice crops began to fail. The gods and goddesses decided to trick the radiant goddess out of her cave when all other attempts to coax her out had failed. A large bronze mirror was placed in front of the mouth of the cave, whileUzume, a lesser goddess of dance and mirth, danced on an overturned tub. Her dancing was very bawdy and suggestive; she lifted her kimono up over her head and everyone laughed and clapped. All of this noise and laughter roused Amaterasu's curiosity. She came outside the mouth of the cave where she was dazzled by the brilliance of her reflection in the mirror. Immediately the gods and goddesses rolled a large bolder in front of the cave to keep Amaterasu from going back in, and Amaterasu's grief was dissipated by the revelry around her. Light was once again restored to the land and the rice crops were saved.
I wanted to share this story as we enter into Autumn to remind us all to continue to let our lives shine. When things get dark, find that mirror and be dazled by your own radiance. If your spirits are low, grab a drum, put on some music and dance dance dance. Dare to be bodacious. Let your energy soar.
What do you do to take care of yourself when life starts to get you down?
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