Mari

Mari

ALSO KNOWN AS:

Mayan

ORIGIN:

Basque (Euskara)

Mari, great goddess of the Pyrenees and eldest of the Basque deities, dwells within deep caverns. She controls storms and is intensely identified with lightning. Emerging from her caves, she flies through the air encompassed in flames. Her caves are filled with enchanted gold and gems which, if stolen, transform into coal.

An all-powerful goddess, she is head of the Pagan Basque pantheon. The meaning of her name is unknown although many interpret it to mean “lady”. Devotees must uphold her moral code: Mari despises lying, thieving, and bragging. She is a queen and must always be treated with due respect. Removing anything from her sacred sites is forbidden and incurs swift punishment. It is considered good manners to request her permission before entering any place associated with her. Do not sit in her presence.

Mari is a global traveler with an impeccable sense of direction. Allegedly if you call her name aloud three times when lost, she will appear overhead to provide directions. (Remember, she’s a shape-shifter!)

Mari provides accurate oracles. She can produce miracles of healing, fertility, rescue, and protection. Traditionally Mari heals via herbs and the water dripping from stalactites. Post-Christianity, Mari was redefined as a Queen of Witches. Her devotees were arrested by the Inquisition and accused of practicing witchcraft. Even so, her veneration survived. Mari remains an extremely popular goddess. She is as hostile toward Christianity as it has historically been toward her. Although she will share devotees with other Pagan deities, she does not tolerate anything redolent of Christianity.

MANIFESTATION:

Mari has a massive repertoire of forms including a woman, a woman with bird feet, a tree, a tree radiating flames, a woman radiating flames, gusts of wind, lightning, rainbows, a cloud, and birds. She sits, spinning or combing her hair. She may sit on a golden throne or at the entrance to a cave.

ICONOGRAPHY:

She is portrayed as a woman with the full moon behind her head.

ATTRIBUTE:

Comb, distaff, sickle

Consort:

Maju, also known as Sugaar, the Dragon Lord of Thunder

Day:

Friday

PLANET:

Moon

Mount:

Horses pull her chariot; she rides a lightning bolt or travels in the form of a fireball. Sometimes she rides a sheep or goat.

Animal:

Snake, goat

BIRDS:

Crow, vulture

SACRED SITES:

Numerous places in Basque territory are named in Mari’s honor. She is venerated in caves, within stone circles, and atop mountains. Mari inhabits the highest peaks of Pyrenean Mountains like Aizkorri, Amboto, and Muru.

Elements:

Earth, fire, water

COLOUR:

Red

OFFERINGS:

Flowers and candles. It is traditional to leave cash or stones within caves as gifts for Mari.

SEE ALSO:

Source:

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.

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