The Order of the White Moon Goddess Gallery Presents

Yhi

A Level 1 Final Project for the Sisters of the Rising Moon School

by

Lunaria

Level 1 Initiate and Member of the Order of the White Moon

(© 2019) All original material in this site is under copyright protection and is the intellectual property of the author.)

  

First, I would like to offer a deep bow of respect to the Aboriginal people of Australia, particularly those once known as the Karraur, of the Gimilaraay (also known as the Kamilaroi) Language Group. According to the 2016 census, there are just 92 speakers of that language left, although their history extends back some 60,000 years.

Thanks to them, we have the beautiful story of Yhi, a creation Goddess I have, quite simply, fallen in love with. I cannot help but wonder how different the world would be had we all grown up with this Goddess and Her story of creation and ongoing compassion for Her creatures.

My humble hope is that Yhi and her people, so many of whom are now with her in the Dreamtime, will be pleased that her story lives on. I hope this project in her honor, like a pebble thrown into a lake, will create gentle ripples going on and on…

Lunaria, February, 2019

YHI

YHI - Original art by Lunaria

 

Yhi Speaks
by Lunaria

It was the Dreamtime, the time beyond time,
And I lay drowsing, drowsing…
A whistle pierced my dreams and my eyes opened.

The wise ones who tell such stories say that at that moment
Light flooded from my eyes into the world.
So they call me a Goddess of the Sun.

I stood and stretched until my feet said it was time to walk.
I walked up and down, down and up;
For a change, I spun…
And where my feet had stepped, plants grew
As if my feet were seeds!

So I continued on my way, but dancing now,
Turning to see what colors and shapes blossomed behind me
Until I had traversed the whole earth.

By then, some of the plants had grown into trees,
Swaying with me.
But something was making me sad.
What was it?

At last, I knew.
The plants, the trees, could sway with me,
But they could not dance.
There must be dancing things, I thought.
Perhaps they are hiding.

I returned to a cave I had passed in the planting time.
I walked into its cool shade and called,
“I am Yhi,
Would anyone like to dance with me?”

Faintly, I heard singing.
I went deeper into the earth.
The closer I came to the sound, the more terrible it became.
At last, I understood. It was warning me to go away;
Not to try to wake sleeping life.

I thought about this for a moment.
Then I laughed.
“I am Yhi”, I said, “And as I was awakened,
So I will awaken the sleeping creatures.”
The wails became louder and more menacing.
I ignored them.
I knew what I had to do.

I went deeper into the cave and called,
“Would anyone like to dance with me?”
Soon there was a rustling and a soft, scraping sound.
Snakes in their rainbow colors
Slithered to join me.
I was happy to see them.
But still no legs, I noticed.

So I emerged from that cave and went to another.
“Would anyone care to dance with me?”
Soon I heard fluttering and flapping
And hundreds of birds flew
And waddled and stilt-walked on thin legs
To join me in the first dance of creation.
We danced until they flew off to explore
And I thought, perhaps there are more…

The next beings to answer my invitation
Lumbered and trotted and slunk,
Some were huge and some were small,
Some so tiny they were hardly there at all,
But oh, how we danced!

Till they wandered off in search of food or rest
or different adventures.
But I am a Goddess! I do not tire.

So off I went.
Cave after cave harbored creatures happy
to join me in the dance of life.
When there were no more caves to be found,
I called once again to the creatures,
“Come to me, I have something to tell you!”
Eagerly they came and settled near a big red rock.

“I am going back to my home in the sky,” I said.
And some looked sad, and some crept nearer.
“It will be well with you,” I told them.
“One day, you will join me in the sky”.
They looked confused by this.
“You will stop living here,” I told them,
“And come to live with me there”,
And I pointed to the bright sky.

I could hear them discussing what this might mean,
And while they were distracted—
For I could not bear their sad eyes—
I disappeared from their sight.
It was good to be home.
But soon I heard the many voices of the creatures crying.
They missed me, they said, could I return?
They sounded sad and my heart could not bear that.
I returned to them in the same place where I had left them.
“Come to me, lovely beings,
I am with you once again!”

And oh, there was such a commotion!
Eventually all the creatures came before me.
Some only wanted to see me again.
Others wanted a pet or a scratch.
Some remembered the steps to our dance
so we twirled and dipped and laughed ourselves silly.

But a few wanted to be different than they were.
The Kangaroos thanked me kindly for making them,
But wondered if I might possibly help them jump?
I granted them their wish, “Just this once,” I said.
Their delight when they took their first hops—
Oh, you should have seen them!
So we added hops to our dance.


The wombats wondered if it would be too much trouble
To have them wiggle along the ground.
“Like the snakes”, I asked?
No, no, they still wanted legs, but—
I understood at once and made their legs even shorter.
Needless to say, we added wiggles to the dance.
The seals said they loved lounging on the shore,
but the ocean looked so inviting!
Could I give them flippers so they could swim?
“Just this once,” I said, like every good mother.
The last I saw them they were splashing merrily in the surf.
The lizards said, “We love our snake brothers and sisters,
But we would like to walk like the other animals”.
So I gave them legs so they could scramble rather than slither over rocks.
The bats had been honing their skills for getting around at night
Without bumping into anything.
They wanted a challenge and asked,”Could we please fly?”
I had fun designing their wings, which were unlike any bird’s
That ever flew.

The platypuses had been watching all this.
They were muttering among themselves.
They seemed unable to decide what to ask for.
After a while, they said,
“We aren’t sure what we want,
But it’s something different than we have.”
I sighed.
I was glad most of the creatures were satisfied with their original form.
“Very well,” I said, and thought,
I shall have some fun with this!
And so I gave platypus bits and pieces of the others,
Which, oddly, made them the most unusual creatures of all!

But there was one creature who was still unhappy.
Man wandered the earth, lonely.
Somehow, none of the creatures was quite the companion for him
(although the dog was very close).

What shall I make for him, I thought?
And as I thought, my gaze was drawn by a swaying flower.
I looked at her and she looked at me.
She gave me an idea.
I asked her, “Would you like to be a companion to the man?”
She nodded in the breeze.
So I sent forth my power and lo!
She grew and brightened and swelled and blossomed
Into the thing you call Woman in this age.

I called the man over.
Oh, I wish you could have seen his eyes when he saw her!
But he was shy and hesitant,
So I said to her,
“If you like him, go over to him.
You can talk now.
Talk of your dreams and laugh together.”

She was delighted to be able to walk,
And swayed toward him.
I saw their heads together.
But I do not eavesdrop.
Still, I could tell that all must have gone well,
For I saw him hold out his hand
And she laid her hand in his,
And they, too, wandered off.

Hmmm, I thought to myself.
How can I show the creatures I am always with them?
And so I called them together again and said,
“Do you see the sun rise each morning?”
Neighs and cackles and squeaks said yes.
“That is me, dear ones, watching over you!”
They grunted and chirped and meowed in delight.

“And I shall give birth to another light for night,
For the stars are beautiful, but far away.”
And so, I lay down and birthed the moon.
Some of the animals liked it so much,
They only came out at night after that.
For I am Yhi
Who set the sun and the moon in the sky
To remind them that I am always near;
Their mother, and yours.

  

Yhi_Upon_the_Mountain

Yhi Upon the Mountain - Original art by Lunaria

 

 

Yhi’s story is both ancient and powerful; indeed, it is all that remains to tell us about her.  The Karraur people who loved her once lived in what is known today as New South Wales on the southeastern coast of Australia.  Their creation story was oral; there are no written records, nor are there any cave paintings that depict Yhi’s activities.

From the story I have gathered this list of correspondences:  all plants, all animals, the sun, the moon, and comings-together, such as that of the first woman and man.  Her time frame extends back 45,000-60,000 years ago.  I believe She wants to be known again, and that is why She drew me to her.  In some accounts (later ones, I suspect) it is a male God who orders her to create.  But it is woman’s nature to create; I don’t believe we, or she, need men telling us what to do.  So I have emphasized those stories in which she is the primary agent of Creation.

 

A Ritual for Helping a Pet Return to Yhi

This service can be used before or after a pet has been buried or cremated. If you are burying the pet yourself, dig the hole before the ceremony begins and place your pet near it. (Please check local regulations on this.). If the pet has been cremated and you are keeping the ashes, this can be done in your home. If there is no body, this ritual can be done using a photo of the pet or something associated with it, such as a collar.

Optional: If others present are not familiar with Yhi, read The Story of Yhi aloud if you wish.

Water the ground with your tears and make a salt water solution and sprinkle it on the grave.

Great Goddess Yhi, (pet’s name)_ has been my companion for ___ years. Let me tell you about him/her.
(Speak your heart, let tears run freely if they will; if others are present, they may speak of their memories of your pet.)

When all have spoken, someone says, “Great Goddess Yhi, as you gave the kangaroo its hop and the lizard its legs, give to (pet’s name) whatever s/he wants to live with you in joy.”

At this point there is silence, and all present visualize the beloved pet healthy and full of life in Yhi’s presence.

If you are burying your pet, gently lay it in the grave and sprinkle it with salt water.

Say whatever is in your heart to say as you part with your pet’s body.

As you cover the body with earth, someone says, “Return to the womb of Mother Earth, body of (pet’s name).”

Place stones on or around the grave to mark the spot. When this is finished, someone says, “Yhi speaks! (Pet’s name) is with me now! Since you and I are not separate, you and (Pet’s name) are not separate. His/Her spirit will accompany you through all your days. Look for the signs I shall send to tell you that all is well with (Pet’s name). And I will heal your heart, for I love humans, too.”

Weather permitting, you might plant some yellow flowers on or around the grave to honor the solar goddess and to cheer you.

If your pet was cremated, Place the urn where it will remain either permanently or until the ashes are scattered. You might decorate around the urn with candles, leaves and flowers.

 

Yhi Rise

Yhi Rise - Original art by Lunaria

 

Bibliography


http://www.bigmyth.com/download/ABORIGINAL_PANTHEON.pdf

https://broomcloset.wordpress.com/tag/goddess-yhi/
This is the most beautiful prose presentation of Yhi’s story that I have found.

https://theconversation.com/the-state-of-australias-indigenous-languages-and-how-we-can-help-people-speak-them-more-often-109662

https://damienmarieathope.com/2019/01/animism-and-totemism-religion-migration-to-australia-relates-to-the-transfer-from-neanderthals-to-humans/

http://www.lowchensaustralia.com/names/australian-goddesses.htm

T.C. McLuhan. The Way of the Earth. Simon & Schuster, 1994

If you want a profound experience of the vital connection between the Aboriginal people, their land, their art, and their songs, the first section of this book will immerse you in it.

 

 

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