Woman of Heaven; Heaven Mother
Abka Hehe, primordial Manchurian goddess, forms a triad with two other Manchu spirits: Banamu Hehe (Earth Mother) and Ulden Hehe (Light Mother). (Hehe is “Mama” in Manchu; also sometimes translated as “woman.”) Everything comes from Abka Hehe, including the other two goddesses of the triad. Once they emerged from her body, the three then created more spirits, people, and all living beings. Abka Hehe epitomizes all that is good. She is the guardian of the entire universe, an immortal, invincible spirit who defeats and banishes evil. Abka Hehe sent the Eagle Goddess to Earth in order to raise the first shamaness. (Traditional Manchu culture distinguishes between female and male shamans. They are perceived as possessing distinct powers.)
Coinciding with the start of Manchu rule over China in the seventeenth century (the Qing Dynasty, pronounced “Ching”), Abka Hehe was replaced in the Manchu pantheon by Abka Enduri, the Man of Heaven. In order to maintain control over China, which was unhappy about being ruled by a foreign minority, attempts were made to bring traditional Manchu shamanic culture into alignment with Confucianism, which encouraged male dominance.
Abka Hehe is immortal; she remains in the shadows, battle-ready. Petition her for help with disasters and for relief when the world seems to be falling apart.
She wears a battle skirt made of willow leaves. (In one variant of the Manchu creation story, Abka Hehe was battling a Demon when leaves of her skirt broke off, fell to Earth, and transformed into the first people.)
Traditional Manchu offerings for spirits include wine, beans, grains, cooked fish and meats, especially pork.
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Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses – Written by : Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.