Saturday, June 14, 2014

Amaterasu Omikami and the Sun

Hail and Awake!
Children of the blue, brown and green Earth
I have come from my shining abode in Heaven
I am Amaterasu Omikami  - Great Woman Who Possesses Noon
Here is a gift for you:
A mirror, to draw you from your cave of sleeping
To see yourself in all your wonder
Allow me to introduce you  to yourself!

Mary Kay Landon
Painting by Aya Kato,
As we approach the Summer Solstice, I think of course of the Green Man, and the many solar dieties associated with the Sun.  But there is also the wonderful story from Japan, the  tale of Amaterasu,  Goddess of  the Sun. 

Angered by her vulgar, violent brother Susanowa,  god of storms,  Amaterasu Omikami fell into despair about the ugliness and the ignorance of the world. And so, deprived of the warmth and light of the Sun, the world began to die. She retreated to a cave, and refused to  come out.   

All the Gods and Goddesses  came to the mouth of her cave, and begged Amaterasu to come out. But Amaterasu Omikami, withdrawn into her dark musings, her depression and introversion, would not, and all the pleas of those gathered could not persuade her to return to the world. 

At last, the Gods placed a  mirror at the entrance to the cave.  Then the little Goddess Uzume, known for her high humor, began to dance. Her dance was so bawdy, so absurd.......that everyone gathered had to laugh, in spite of the dire circumstances. They laughed and laughed and laughed!

With so much raucous laughter, even Amaterasu's dark thoughts were interrupted, and from  sheer curiosity she paused to wonder what was going on.  She opened the cave door just a crack, and peeked out.  And at that moment, her radiant,  shining face was reflected in the mirror. At that very moment, she saw how beautiful she was - and remembered how much joy and laughter there still was in the world, emanating from her, emanating from everyone.  And that is how Amaterasu left her cave of dark despair, forgot about her anger and disillusionment, and joined the dance of life again in all of her glory.  

There are caves of darkness into which we all retreat. For a day, a month, too many years, perhaps a lifetime. Sometimes, we have to be tricked away from abysses of the heart in order to see how beautiful, how valuable, how important the light in each of us really is, how we can ignite other lives by shining from within our own lives.   From that mirror, one can find again the desire to rejoin the hilarious, heartbreaking dance of life, and become the Sun.

Mana Youngbear  


Laura Janesdaughter (1999) 

1 comment:

Gail said...

You are a magnificent story teller! Thank you!