Reproduced By Permission.
of the Fellowship of Isis
Lawrence Durdin-Robertson, M.A. (Dublin)
Baron Robertson of Strathloch
Priest of Isis
"Goddess of the Awakening Sun"
Original Art © Olivia Robertson and Fellowship of Isis Central Website.
Excerpt from Section VII
Goddesses of the Hours of the Day
Note: As the times of sunrise and sunset vary according to the season of the year, in this calendar the average times are given, namely, those at the equinoxes. Similarly the times of dawn and dusk are taken as being, on average, one hour before sunrise and one hour after sunset.
Chaldean: AYA. (Miss N. K. Sandars, on Epic of Gilgamesh, p. 119) “Aya: The dawn, the bride of the Sun God Shamash’ …
ISHTAR. (Massey, Tracts) “Ishtar or Venus, The Lady of Dawn”.
Egyptian: ISIS. (Budge, on Book of the Dead, p. xcvi) on a vignette (Papyrus of Qenna) in chap. XV: “Isis, a spirit of dawn, and Nephthys, a spirit of twilight … are also represented”.
NEITH. See under Sunrise and below.
NUT. (Vernoica Ions, Egy. Myth. p. 53) “The rosy colour of the sky at dawn was supposed to be the blood which Nut shed in giving birth to the sun”. See also under Sunrise.
Indian: ADITI. (Muller, The Vedas, p. 116) “Aditi … the infinite, still shows a few traces of her being originally connected with the boundless Dawn.
ASVA. Muller, id. p. 59) “Asvâ, the mare, had been used as a not uncommon name of the Dawn.”
DEVAKI. (Hymn to Devaki, cited by Helena Blavatsky, Secret Doctrine, Vol. IV. p. 97) “Thou art light [Jyotsnâ, the morning twilight]”.
SAMDHYA. See under Evening, Twilight.
SARANYU. (Muller, The Vedas, p. 57) “Saranyu, Erinys … must like-wise have been another form of the Dawn in her varying aspects”.
USHAS, Dawn, The Goddess of Dawn. (Macdonell, Dict.) “ush-as, fem., dawn; Aurora; morning; evening-red (rarer); du. Night and morning”. (O.E.D.) “East. [repr. Old Engl. éastan adv.: - Old Teut. aus-to-nô ‘from the east’, from base aus-dawn (found in Lat. aurora: - ausosa, Skr. ushas, Gr. éós, eós, auós, dawn …)”.
(Muller, The Vedas, p. 117). “in her more personal and dramatic character, the Dawn is praised by the Vedic poets as Ushas, the Greek Eos, the Beautiful maid of the morning”. (id. p. 60) on the Vedic hymns: “They contain praises of the physical gods, they implore their help, they render thanks for benefits … new life every morning from Ushas or Eos”. (The Rig-Veda, VII. 77), Hymn to Ushas:
“1 She shines upon us, like a young wife, rousing every living being to go to his work. When the fire had to be kindled by men, she made the light …
2 She rose up, spreading far and wide and moving everywhere. She grew in brightness, wearing her brilliant garments. The mother of the cows, (the mornings) the leader of the days, she shone gold-colored, lovely to behold.
3 She, the fortunate, who brings the eye of the gods, who leads the white and lovely steed (of the sun), the Dawn was seen revealed by her rays, with brilliant treasures, following every one.
4 Thou who art a blessing when thou art near, drive far away the unfriendly; make the pasture wide, give us safety! Scatter the enemy, bring riches! Raise up wealth to the worshipper, thou mighty Dawn.
5 Shine for us with thy best rays, thou bright Dawn, thou who lengthenest our life, thou the love of all, who givest us food, who givest us wealth in cows, horses and chariots.
6 Thou … whom the Vasishthas magnify with songs, give us riches high and wide; all ye gods protect us always with your blessings.”
Vedic Hymn 123, 1st Mandala) Hymn to Ushas: (Note: Dakshinta, Dyotana and Sunrita are names of Dawn).
“1 Dakshina’s roomy chariot has been harnessed,
And the immorta gods have mounted on it,
The growing Dawn …
2 The mighty woke before all other beings,
She wins the race and always conquers riches;
The Dawn looks out, young and reviving ever,
She came first here to our morning prayers …
4 … Dyotana came, for ever bent on conquest.
She gets the best of all the splendid treasures.
5 Varuna’s sister, sister thou of Bhaga,
O Sunrita, O Dawn, sing first at daybreak …
6 Let hymns rise up, let pray’rs rise up together,
The firest have risen, clad in flaring splendour,
The brilliant Dawn displays the lovely treasures,
Which had been hidden by the night and darkness …
9 She knows the first day’s name, and brightly shining,
White she is born today, from out the darkness:
The maiden never breaks th’ eternal order,
And day by day comes to the place appointed.
10 Proud of thy beauty, maiden like thou comest,
O goddess to the god who thee desireth;
A smiling girl, thou openest before him
Thy bosom’s splendour, as thou shinest brightly.
11 Fair as a bride, adorned by loving mother,
Thou showest forth thy form, that they may see it;
Auspicious Dawn shine forth more wide and brightly,
No other dawns have ever reached thy splendour.
12 … The Dawns depart and come again with splendour,
Bearing auspicious names and forms auspicious.
13 … Grant us auspicious thoughts for our endeavours,
Shine thou upon us, Dawn, thou swift to listen,
May we and all our liberal chieftains prosper!”
THE USHODEVATAS. (Macdonnell, Dict.) “usho-devatâ, fem., goddess of dawn”.
South-East Asian, etc.: MARICHI, MARISHI. (Vernoica Ions, Indian Myth. p. 135) on the Buddhist Pantheon: “Ushas, the goddess of dawn, has her counterpart in Marishi”. (Herbert, Larousse, p. 263) on the Buddhist saktis: “Marichi, the ray of dawn … has an eye in her forehead”.
Tibetan: DOLMA, TARA. (Praise of the Twenty-one Taras) “Benefits of Recitation:
“(1) Those endowed with perfect and pure respect for the Goddesses -
The intelligent who recite these praises with most supreme faith.
Both in the evening and upon waking at dawn -
Will have fearlessness bestowed upon them by the remembrance.”
Persian: See under midnight to 1 a.m.
Greek: ATHENE. (Muller, The Vedas, p. 65) “If Ahana is phonetically identical with Greek Athena and if Ahana is a name of the Dawn, it follows that the first conception of Athene was the Dawn”.
EOS, Dawn. The Goddess of Dawn. (Liddell and Scott Lex.) “éós, fem … The morning-red, daybreak, dawn … since the Greeks counted their days by mornings, as reversely the old Germans did by nights, éós often denoted a day … Sometimes also the East … II, as proper noun Eos, Aurora, the goddess of morn”. See also under Ushas and Aurora.
(Homer, Iliad, II. 48) “Heavenly Dawn (Eós) reached high Olympus, announcing day to Zeus and the other immortal deities”, (id. Odyssey, XXIII. 246) Dawn is here described as “rosy-fingered” and “golden”, driving across the sky in a chariot and pair.
(Sappho, Poems and Fragments, 120) “Dawn with small golden feet”. (id. 146) “rosy-armed Dawn”.
Roman: AURORA. Dawn, The Goddess of Dawn, (White, Dict.) “aurora, fem. [akin to Sanskrit ushas, ‘diluculum’, from the root USH, urere; Gk. auós, aós, éós, eós] … the morning dawn, daybreak … Meton. Aurora; the goddess of morning … B. The eastern country, the East …”
(Virgil, Aeneid III. 521) “And now the stars were put to flight and Dawn (Aurora) was blushing”. (Ovid, Fasti. IV. 721) “The Night has gone, and Dawn comes up”, (id. III. 403) “When from her saffron cheeks Tithonus’ spouse shall have begun to shed the dew”. (id. IV. 713) “When next day Memnon’s saffron-robed mother on her rosy steeds shall come to view the far-spread lands”.
(Montfaucon, Antiq. Suppl. p. 24) on a Classical representation of the Time of Day. “Aurora covered with a large Veil comes next, mounted upon a Chariot with two Horses, as Luna generously is. The Veil upon her Head is very much turn’d up behind, which denotes that the Obscurity of Night is considerably dissipated by the advance of Day-light.”
MATUTA. (Seyffert, Dict.) “Matuta (usually Mater Matuta). An old Italian goddess of Dawn and of birth”. (White, Dict.) “Matuta, I. A goddess, the same prob as Aurora: roseam Matuta per oras Aetheris auroram defert, Lucr. 5, 655)”. (id.) “Matutinus, [Matuta, No. 1.] (Apprentaining or belonging to Matuta, the goddess of the morning, hence) French, matin, ‘morning’, matines, ‘mattins’.”
(Hislop, The Two Babylons, p. 318) “Dea Matuta signifies ‘The kindling or Light-bringing goddess’, and accordingly, by Priscian, she is identified with Aurora: ‘Matuta, quae significant Aurorame’. (Priscian, ii. P. 591)”.
Jewish: THE VIRGIN MARY. (Pancarpium Marianum, cap. 41, cited b Hislop, id.) “O Aurora Maria …” See also under Noon.
Etruscan: ALBINA. (Leland, Etruscan Roman Remains, p. 123) “albina is a fairy, who appears when morning dawns - quando spunta l’alba - to lovers who love in vain … Albina is, by name, allied to Alba the Dawn, or is plainly enough Aurora herself”.
TESANA. (id. p. 75) “Tesana is ‘the Spirit of the Dawn’, one may say Aurora - ‘le spirito della alba’. She is good, and while a constadino is sleeping when the morning red is first seen on the hills she comes to him in dreams and says: -
“Waking, awaking, Softly and gently,
Thou truly good man, Rise from thy sleep!
The day is dawning,
I am a spriit; One who brings comfort;
I come to thy aid, To give thee courage,
To give thee fortune,
But it will come, Ever from labour;
Thus thou shalt have Always good health,
And goodwill to work …
The sun is rising,
When thou art weary, Call me to aid thee,
And I will be ever An angel consoling’.
Note by Leland: “This is absolutely heathen, - witch-heathen, - and a protest of ‘the old religon’ against the new. For ‘a spirit instead of a saint’ means here simply nothing but an old Romano-Etruscan or pure Etruscan deity … A learned friend who has revised this work, remarks of Tesana, that Thesan, according to Corssen, is an Etruscan goddess of the dawn (Die Sprache der Etrusker, i., p. 259)”.
Slavonic: ZORYA UTRENNYAYA; ZVEZDA DENNITSA. (Alexinsky, New Larousse, p. 285) “The dawn - in Slavonic Zorya or Zarya - was also believed to be a divinity, Aurora of the Morning (Zorya Utrennyaya - ‘utro’ meaning ‘morning’ opened the gates of the celestial place when the Sun set forth … In some myths the two sister Auroras (Zorya) are accompanied by two sister Stars, the morning star Zvezda Dennitsa and the evening star Vechernyaya Avezda. They share the work of the Zorya.” See also under Evening, Twilight and Midnight.
Polynesian: HINE-TITAMA. (Roslyn Poignant, Oceanic Myth, p. 42) on Polynesian traditions: “Hine-titama, Dawn-maiden became Hine-nui-te-Po, Great-goddess-of-darkness”.
English: AURORA; THE MORN. (Thomson, The Seasons, Summer):
And soon, observant of approaching day,
The meek-eyed Morn appears, mother of dews,
At first faint-gleaming in the dappled east,
Till far o’er either spreads the widening flow;
And from before the luster of her face,
White break the clouds away”.
(id. Winter) “… and from the hazy South,
While dim Aurora slowly moves before
The welcome Sun …”
(Hunt, The Pre-Raphaelite Imagination, p. 140) on Pre-Raphaelite paintings: “Rossetti and Burne-Jones relied more upon dreams, trances and other forms of supernatural vision in their pictures … His (i.e. Burne-Jones’s) Aurora shows an abstract, impersonal figure stepping lightly beside a still canal on which the wharves and trees and sunrise cast ethereal reflections”.
Welsh: BLOUDEUWEDD. (Marian Green, Ms.) “Bloudeuwedd … Thou art the dawn the dark night awaited.”
German: THE DAWN. (Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra, p. 168) “In a dream, in a dream ere morning, I stood this day upon a promontory - beyond the world’s end; I held a balance and weighed the world.
“… The Dawn came too soon for me! She waked me with her light, the jealous one!”
Egyptian: NEITH. (Regardie, Golden Dawn, Vol. III. p. 129) from the Ritual of the Canopic Gods. “Thoumathph is under the guardianship of Neith, the Dawn. This is the Celestial Space, who makes the Morning to pass and awakes the Light of a Golden Dawn.”
Egyptian and Greek: PERSEPHONE; ISIS; APHRODITE. (Dion Fortune, Aspects of Occultism, p. 35) “The daughter of the Great Mother is Persephone, Queen of Hades, ruler of the kingdom of sleep and death … In death men go to her across the shadowing river, and she is the keeper of their souls until the dawn. But there is also a death in life, and this likewise leadeth on to rebirth. From sleep we rise refreshed; from death we rise reborn; by the embraces of Persephone men are made powerful …
“And the Queen of Hades cometh in unto them as a bridegroom, and they are made fertile for life, and go forth rejoicing for the touch of the Queen of the kingdom of sleep hath made them potent …
“She it is who as Isis in the Underworld awakeneth him with her kisses in the darkness, and he cometh forth by day all-potent Osiris …
“… as Aphrodite she awakened him to light and life … and he, fulfilled of her, is made glorious in his strength.”
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