A for Amateratsu

So, I’d like to kick off my Pagan Alphabet Soup posts by talking about the Shinto Goddess Amateratsu. Lady Amateratsu is the Goddess of the Sun and the Day, and She is the highest respected Goddess in the Shinto pantheon (according to my research and experience). She has two Brothers: Tsukiyomi, the God of the Moon and the Night, and Susano, the God of the Seas and Storms/a Beloved of mine. Her shrine, Ise Jingu, is in the Ise area in Japan and is the most important shrine in all of Japan. (I’ve not yet been able to go to Her shrine, as it’s a 5 hour bus ride from where I live currently, but it’s on my Japan bucket list, for sure.)

Her relationship to me is that of “Onee-chan” (pronounced “oh-nay chan), a.k.a. Big Sister. Since I am Her youngest Brother’s bride, She decided to take me under Her wing as Her little sister, because “I’ve never had a sister.” Despite this, however, She and I don’t always get along. She’s arrogant, dramatic, and sometimes overbearing, but mostly She’s easy to anger. I’ve gotten horrendous sunburns despite having practically bathed in sunscreen because I have pissed Her off for some reason or another. We aren’t all the time antagonistic towards each other, but I would definitely characterize our relationship as that of oldest and youngest siblings. Otherwise, O/our interactions have been brief.

One thing that I do to honor Her is I leave a glass of water on the windowsill that gets the most sunlight. I also often leave Her chocolate on occasion, usually a Snickers bar. Otherwise, She doesn’t really ask much of me, and I don’t ask much of Her in return, except that She doesn’t burn me with Her intense UV rays (see above on how well that usually works for me).

Since O/our interactions are usually brief, there really isn’t much else I can write about Her. Rest assured that, should I learn about about Her and/or O/our relationship changes, I will definitely write about it. But, yeah, this is about it. I hope that you enjoyed learning a little bit more about Lady Amateratsu. 🙂

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Water for the Sun and Tea for Love

I’m personally not very big on elaborate rituals, as I prefer the small day-to-day things to honor my Gods and Goddesses. This way, I can be mindful of Them without being overwhelmed with the trappings of overt libations and offerings. (Not that this is bad; I just get way to anxious about everything to do much that is big and elaborate.) So, in this spirit, I conversed with my Deities, and They suggested two of the following things for Them.

First, I leave a glass of water on the windowsill in my kitchen for Amateratsu. I leave it out all day and let the sun shine on it as an offering to Her. That night, I drink the water (in the interest of not being wasteful) and refill the glass for Her. This also, I’m Told, helps me drink more water and be mindful of myself/my needs, while also being mindful of the Sun Goddess.

Second, along the same lines as above, I’ve recently started to leave a cup of tea out for Oshun, when I don’t make myself a cup. Usually, She takes Her offering from the cup that I’ve made for myself, but when I don’t want to make tea for myself for whatever reason, I will make Her a cup and fix it to Her preferences. I’ve even gone so far as to start putting honey in my own tea, which She tells me is for my own good, as well as what She likes. (“You use less sugar when you put honey in your tea, which is a good thing for you, My dear.”)

So, yeah, these are both very small things I do, and both sound very selfish, but since I often neglect myself, my Gods have helped me devise ways to both honor Them and to honor myself, which is something my Gods tell me is very important. I do sometimes forget, as I have a depression- and anxiety-impaired memory, but I’m usually reminded gently when my brain has untangled itself from whatever it had blocked it in the first place. Anyways, this is just a couple of the things in my daily practice. 🙂