Legendary Ladies

14 May 2018

It is a truth universally acknowledged that I should not be expected to leave a bookstore without at least one unplanned purchase. 

My friend/ officemate Jean and I went to Fully Booked in Greenbelt 5 last Friday with the sole purpose of getting Kelsey Oseid's What We See in the Stars: An Illustrated Tour of the Night Sky for me and Neil Gaiman's Norse Mythology for her sister when another book caught my attention.

Needless to say, that book also came home with me.

Hello, everyone. This is Legendary Ladies by Ann Shen.

Now that you've seen it, I can hardly be blamed, right? Sigh. Pretty books and their pretty covers.

It was the artwork that initially caught my eye, and then the word goddesses jumped out at me. A quick skim of the blurb at the back and I was left with no choice, really. I've always been interested in mythology, its rich and colorful history, and its impacts on our culture, and this book features stories of the divine feminine? I was instantly sold.

I took my time and relished the fact I have a new book to open, and finally flipped through its pages today.

This is an impulse purchase I do not regret one bit.

Along with an artwork and each one's mythology, the author Ann Shen indicated the place of origin as well as each goddess' purpose and why we should call on her. Everything's in a digestible format and easy to understand.

The book is divided into five sections representing the "things that we value and seek in our lives": Creativity and Manifestation, Love, Power, Protection, and Reinvention. Through these stories where the goddesses have found their power, and a little bit of faith and magic, the author hopes to empower everyone who reads this book.

I hope the same so I would like to share some of the goddesses that stood out to me.

Greek goddess of wisdom, art, and war
Call on Athena when you need to access your inner intuition and wisdom.

Around seven to eight years ago, I got into a little squabble with an old officemate because he wanted to "steal" the name Athena that I wanted to name my non-existent child. In the end I accepted it was a petty thing to fight over since I didn't have plans to have kids in the foreseeable future. Yes, he did name his daughter Athena. Oh well. I still have a list of my other preferred names in my journal.

Chinese goddess of the moon
Call on Chang-o when you're seeking the answer to your secret wish or question, especially during full moon.

Norse goddess of the sea
Call on Ran's strength and persistence in pursuing all that you desire in manifesting a paradise of your own.

Greek goddess of love and beauty
Call on Aphrodite when you need more love in your life - be it for self-care or falling in love.

Norse goddess of the sea
Call on Isis when you need strength to heal a broken heart and for the power to find hope again.

Greek goddess of the hunt, wilderness, and moon
Call on Artemis when you need help focusing on your goals and for spiritual strength.

Hindu goddess of fortune and prosperity
Call on Lakshmi when you need to persevere toward your goals and keep moving forward.

Hawai'ian goddess of fire and creator of the Hawai'ian islands
Call on Pele when you're looking for strength in following your own convictions.

Side note: Doesn't she look like Te Fiti in Moana to you?

Irish sun goddess of creative arts, a matron of poetry, music, and smithcraft
Also one of the most prominent goddesses in Irish folklore
Call on Brigit to help bring peace into your heart, heal your pain, and light inspiration for a new path in life.

Welsh goddess and fairy princess
Call on Rhiannon for the strength to overcome your enemies and to find the magic within to pursue your desires.

One of the earliest goddesses in Polynesian mythology
Call on Hina for strength and courage before a big change.

Aztec flower goddess of creativity, love, death, and sexuality
Call on Xochiquetzal when you want blessings as you set out to create something beautiful.

I wish I can share more photos but this is the part where I encourage you to get your own copy!

More than the beautiful artworks and the love and amazing attention to detail poured into each one, I loved that this book featured a diverse cast of female divinities from all over the world and not just the more commonly known ones from say, Greek, Norse, or Egyptian Mythology. I would have loved to see someone from the Philippines in the line-up, so I hope Ann Shen writes a second installment! Her other book, Bad Girls Throughout History: 100 Remarkable Women who Changed the World is on my never-ending book wish list, too!

In her introduction, the author said:
The divine feminine has always been here and will continue to be a part of our stories. Now it's up to you to honor it within yourself, because you are a descendant of these wild, willful women. These are our collective mothers, after all.
Ain't that the truth.

Happy Mother's Day to all our Moms and everyone who plays the role of a Mother figure whatever the circumstances may be. ♥

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