Getting to Know the Powers: Night

A basic introduction of the deity

Night is the First God of Waincraft, the primal origin point of everything that exists, has existed, or will exist. As such, she is the only deity in Waincraft that could be considered transcendent, although she is also immanent in every 24-hour cycle around the sun. She is also the only point in Waincraft theology that approaches monism and panentheism, as myth states that a piece of her is in everything, and that all things exist within her. She is the depths of space, the Void Incarnate, and the falling of night.

Symbols and icons of this deity

Stars, planets, sky disks, dragons, cows, the Milky Way, the solar system, galaxies, nebulae, constellations, all night-blooming flowers, meteors, comets, night-time

A favorite myth or myths of this deity

Creation

At the First Time, before time and space existed, there was the Void. And nothing lay in the void, or lived or loved or laughed, for nothing had yet been brought forth.

And the Mother moved through the Void, searching for love, for connection. And she saw herself reflected and inverted in the Void, and fell in love with her unself, and made love to herself and herself, and at the moment of climax, a universe was brought forth into explosive being, created of the union of Self and Unself. And the Mother became the Universe, and the Universe was the Mother.

Soon after, the Mother gave birth to twins – one light, one dark, Chaos and Order, Wild and Tame, Hunter and Gatherer. And she lay with the dark twin, the Wild Father, and bore children of earth, and later, children of fire. And she lay with the light twin, the Lord of Plenty, and bore children of air, and of water. And the children of earth created and the children of fire destroyed what was created to create anew; the children of air sought the knowing of the heights, and the children of the water sought the wisdom of the depths. And thus was the universe made and remade.

From the Mother are all things, through the twins light and dark and their children. And all things return to the Mother at the end. For we are all star-dust.

The Tears of the Mother

Way back in the beginning of all things, the Mother birthed the Divine Twins. They fashioned the worlds, leaving her in the Void, and gave themselves to the worlds they had created. This greatly saddened the Mother, for while she was, and is, and shall be until the end of time, her children and grandchildren were not. They were bound by the web of fate, set upon the wheel of life and death. And so, she mourned, and wept great tears, so many and so great that they threatened to drown the world in sorrow.

Such was her sorrow, that she cut her hair in grief, lock after lock, until she was left with one. This one, black as the Mother’s night, she held in her hand, and wept, until with her weeping and sighing, it came to life – black as pitch, and with wings to encircle the world.

This being comforted the Mother, and upon looking at the lake of tears, it decided to hang them, one by one, in the dark and void night. As it hung the tears, each gave its feathers a bit of brilliance and radiance, and imparted knowledge, knowledge and memory of life, for each tear was shed to honor one of the Mother’s descendants. And so, as it hung the tears, it stopped for a moment each time to honor the memory of that life.

As time went on, and more and more lives were lost, the Mother’s tears began to overwhelm the single being, who could not keep up. And so, in desperation and despair, it plucked its feathers out, one by one, preparing to kill itself. But when each feather was touched by starlight, it turned into another being, like the first. And that is how the Ravens were born.

The Ravens continued to hang the tears, and keep the memory, for many eons. And in their remembrance, they became agents of justice and mercy, helping the good pass from this life, and bringing vengeance on the wicked, which brought them ever more in contact with the world. As time went on, more and more Ravens left the Mother’s night and walked in the world fulfilling their purpose.

But there were others that remembered the Night, the Void, and returned there. And when they did so, their feathers which had been black as a starless night, caught the light of all the tears and glimmered, and the more time they spent there, the lighter their feathers got, until they were turned white as the snow. These ferried the souls of the dead into the night, and brought them back again to the world, and gathered the light of the tears for the healing of the sick.

So remember the tears, remember the stars, remember the lives. And most of all, when you see a shower of stars, remember, for it is the Mother weeping for her children that return to the world to live again under the sun.

Members of the family – genealogical connections

All, but most directly the Divine Twins – the Spirit Twins (Wild Father/Lord of Plenty), the Earth Twins, the Air Twins, the Water Twins, and the Fire Twins – and the Weird Sisters.

Other related deities and entities associated with this deity

Wild Father/Lord of Plenty

Witcher

The Holy Earth

Fairy Queen

White Ravens

Names and epithets

Queen of Stars, Mother Night, Lady of Heaven, Mother of All, Creator of All, Mother of Darkness, Lady of Dragons

Nótt, Naht, Niht, Nyx, Nox, Auðhumbla, Aranrhod, and Quakoralina are all extant Euro-American deities that can potentially work in this slot, for those pursuing specific cultures and mythologies.

Similar, though not exact, non-Euro-American deities that might also work are Kauket/Keket, Mut, Aditi, Tiamat, and Nammu.

Similar, though not exact, non-Euro-American deities that should not be used due to appropriation/oppression issues are Eingana and Nana Buluku.

Variations on this deity (aspects, regional forms, etc.)

Night has two major aspects – Cosmic Creator and Indwelling Mother

The Cosmic Creator is the vast unknowable, almost ineffable reach of space. Her appearance in this guise to me is completely inhuman and almost too much for human senses to take, even psychic ones.

The Indwelling Mother is both the soft, enveloping night, and the piece of darkness that dwells in every spirited thing in the form of their shadow. Her appearance in this guise to me is of a woman, pitch-dark skin and glowing silver-white hair, stars like crystals amid the locks, and all the immensity and depth of space in her eyes.

Common mistakes about this deity

She is not the moon or stars themselves, or anything associated with the moon and stars, but the actual void of space, which descends as dark night on earth as we turn away from the sun. We see her only through the light of the souls she has gathered to herself (the stars), but we feel her any time the light has gone.

Festivals, days, and times sacred to this deity

Longest Night/Feast of the Mothers (winter solstice night)

Feast of the Dead

Dusk to dawn every day

Any mundane practices that are associated with this deity?

Wishing on the first star of the evening

Stargazing

Astronomy

How does this deity relate to other gods and other pantheons?

Mother/ancestor.

How does this deity stand in terms of gender and sexuality?

Given that her primary role in Waincraft myth is a self-impregnating woman-on-woman masturbation, followed by penetrative heterosexual sex with her son-consorts, Night is definitely one of those “all acts of love and pleasure” type of deities. All possible genders and sexualities are rooted in her.

What quality or qualities of this god do you most admire? What quality or qualities of them do you find the most troubling?

I admire her devotion, her caring, her love for everything from the smallest microbe to the largest galaxy.

Art that reminds you of this deity

http://images.fineartamerica.com/images-medium-large-5/great-star-mother-maya-telford.jpg

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a4/Nott_painting.jpg

http://www.elfwood.com/art/e/m/emanuella/nyxnewestsmallfinished.jpg

http://www.josephinewall.co.uk/goddesses/moon_goddess.jpg – not the moon bit, but the rest

http://www.danielholeman.com/gallery1/StarGoddess.jpg

http://vancouverreclaiming.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/stars-1024×768.jpg

and everything here: http://hubblesite.org/gallery/album/

I also made a photomanipulation of her a few years ago:http://fc03.deviantart.net/fs70/i/2010/054/7/1/Star_Mother_Creates_the_World_by_TheLastWaykeeper.jpg

Music that makes you think of this deity

http://archive.is/cL4p7

“Wiegenlied: Guten Abend, gute Nacht,” Op. 49, No. 4, Johannes Brahms

Lux Æterna, Gÿorgi Ligeti

Stars and Midnight Blue, Enya

Paint the Sky with Stars, Enya

Sure on this Shining Night, Morten Lauridsen

Tonight Eternity Alone, René Clausen

A Night of Shooting Stars, Joe Hisaishi

Reaching for the Stars, Lisa Thiel and Ani Williams

Stars, Beth Quist

Under the Stars, Hans Zimmer

When You Wish Upon a Star, Cliff Edwards

A quote, a poem, or piece of writing that you think this deity resonates strongly with

“Every atom in your body came from a star that exploded. And, the atoms in your left hand probably came from a different star than your right hand. It really is the most poetic thing I know about physics: You are all stardust. You couldn’t be here if stars hadn’t exploded, because the elements – the carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, iron, all the things that matter for evolution and for life – weren’t created at the beginning of time. They were created in the nuclear furnaces of stars, and the only way for them to get into your body is if those stars were kind enough to explode.”- Lawrence M. Krauss

Any interesting or unusual UPG to share?

SPG between several people has been that Night, being the very first god, is not only the mother of humans and the Waincraft powers, but also various other mythologies’ pantheons and spirits, including elves and fairies, the Vanir and Jotnar, Abrahamic angels and demons and their non-Hebrew/Levantine/Mesopotamian counterparts, and certain Hindu gods and spirits.

Any suggestions for others just starting to learn about this deity?

Get out and commune with her. Nothing will teach you more about the night than actually experiencing it. Learn about space, about all the wonders of astronomy, about how we all got here. Learn about biology and evolution and how everything comes from star-dust. Learn about nocturnal animals, learn about animals and plants that live in darkness their whole lives.

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