AMATERASU

Updated: Jul 24

“Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.”

-Marcus Aurelius


From Skye Alexander´s ¨Your Goddess Year¨ book:

Dates for inviting her: July 17-23

We honor the Japanese goddess Amaterasu during the third week of July, when the sun shines brightly in the summer sky. Amaterasu is known as the goddess of the sun, and she is associated with beauty and creativity.

Like the Greek goddess Athena (January 22-28) Amaterasu had a peculiar birth, she emerged from  her father's eye, rather than entering the world in the usual matter. Known for her radiant beauty and goodness, Amaterasu personifies the sun whose light and warmth support all life on earth. From her lofty position, she rules the sky and by extension, all things that blossom beneath her golden rays. Her important position makes her the most revered goddess in the Shinto religion. Japanese nobles were believed to be her descendants.

The best known myth about Amaterasu may be based on an actual meteorological event, like the volcanic eruption in C.E. 536 that produced a fog that blocked the sun for eighteen months in many parts of the Northern Hemisphere. Legend explains that Amaterasu had a mean spirited brother, the storm god Susanoo, who cruelly killed a sacred horse that belonged to her. When she saw the poor creature, the bereft goddess exiled her brother and hid herself away in a cave, refusing to come out. Darkness descended on the earth. Joy disappeared. Evil ran rampant in her absence. 

The desperate gods and goddesses attempted to lure the sun goddess out of hiding by placing a sakaki tree outside the cave and hanging her favorite things, glittering gems, fine garments, and a mirror, on it. The ploy did not work. Finally, one of the goddesses did a wild, erotic dance that made the other dieties laugh so loud Amaterasu could not contain her curiosity. When she peeked out, she saw her reflection in the mirror and indulge her vanity. She admired herself just long enough for one of the gods to grab her. Her fellow gods and goddesses repositioned Amaterasu in her place of honor in the sky, where her divine light chased away the darkness and troubles on earth. Life returned to normal, goodness and harmony prevailed. 

Legend tells us the luxury loving Amaterasu adored jewelry, elegant clothes, and other finery. She is often depicted holding a mirror, her most notable possession. A mirror said to have belonged to the goddess is preserved in her shrine at Ise, where it is ranked as an imperial treasure. 

Amaterasu can teach you to value your own beauty, both inner and outer. Even when you feel sad or hurt or just want to crawl under the coves and hice, this goddess can inspire you to shine your light into the world. We have all suffered losses and injuries, but Amaterasu´s radiance illuminates the dark places and brings hope. Let her teach you to laugh again and have fun. She can also show you how to beam a ray of sunshine  into other people´s lives by drawing upon her generosity and benevolence. 

Get in touch with your own beauty and self worth this week but taking one or more of the following suggestions. Often we are too critical of ourselves and overlook the unique and wondrous qualities that make each of us special. With guidance and encouragement from Amaterasu, you can learn to value your personal radiance. 

1.- If possible, go outside and stand in the sunlight for a few minutes each day. Feel Amaterasu´s brilliance flowing into you as she shines her divine spotlight on you. If you can't go outside, stand under a bright light. 

2.- Gaze at your image in a mirror and repeat an affirmation, such as ¨I am beautiful, lovable, and worthy of all good things in life. I am a child of the goddess and inherently precious.¨

3.- Each day choose one thing about yourself that you consider beautiful or valuable. It could be a physical feature or a character trait. Spend some time appreciating this special part of yourself. 

4.- At the end of the week, do something to celebrate your beauty, perhaps by getting a new hairstyle, facial, or pedicure. Something pampering. 





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