A to Z blogging challenge

Z is for Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra #AtoZChallenge

Zenobia, Warrior Queen, ruled the Palmyrene Empire in Syria during the third century.  She took over governance after her husband and his son from his first wife were assassinated in 267. The remaining heir was one year old so Zenobia ruled in his stead.  In her husband’s memory and for her son’s future, she expanded Palmyrene empire into Egypt and Anatolia, which is modern Turkey.  After a five year rule in Egypt, the Roman Emperor Aurelian defeated her and took her hostage. She is depicted in chains below as she looks over the City of Rome.
Herbert Schmalz-Zenobia

What happened to Zenobia once she arrived in Rome is not clear.  Some stories have her dying soon after her arrival, be it from her own hand through a hunger strike or a beheading by the Romans.  Other stories have Aurelian impressed by her, and thus gifted her freedom and a villa in Tivoli.

Just for fun for  Conan the Barbarian fans out there. Zenobia is the name of  slave girl who frees Conan and becomes his queen in the Robert E. Howard books.

I hope you enjoyed the A to Z challenge. This is the last post for that event. I’ll be back blogging about sexy books, woman’s empowerment, and the sweet challenges of motherhood. Come chat.

Y is for Yemaya (African Pantheon) #AtoZChallenge

Yemaya is the goddess of the seas and motherhood in Yoruban mythology.  Yoruban culture is found in West Africa, particularly southwestern Nigeria and western Benin.

Island of Salvation Botanica, Piety Street, Bywater neighborhood, New Orleans Category:Folk art Category:New Orleans Category:Voodoo

Of interest for this theme, Yemaya was worshipped predominantly by women because she both grants fertility and protects women during childbirth.  She is known as the mother of fish and in fact her full name means mother whose children are fish.

She has a global reach as she was brought to Brazil, Haiti, the U.S. among others from Africa. Since our knowledge of Yemaya has been passed through oral traditions, many variants of her name and capabilities have emerged.

Like most of the sea goddesses I’ve covered here, she has mood swings, with the potential for the calm of the ocean at peace and the anger and destructive potential of an ocean storm.

X is for Xi Wang-mu (Chinese Pantheon) #AtoZChallenge

Xi Wang-mu is the Chinese goddess of immortality.  She personifies the “yin,” the feminine half of the yin-yang balance of the world.  The daughter, of Yu-huang, the Jade Emperor and highest ruler of the Taoist Heaven, she,  unsurprisingly, lives in a nine story jade palace.  In the palace garden, she cultivates the peaches of immortality.  If a mortal eats of it, he or she becomes immortal.

Xi Wang-mu means Queen mother of the west. She lives in the Kunluth mountains in the western part of China, where it was believed heaven and earth met.  Another figure, like the Babylonian goddess, Kishar,  that appears to be associated with the horizon. As a mother figure, and one of the oldest gods in the Chinese pantheon, she has powers of creation and destruction.

Her history seems to change over time.  While associated with Taoism, she predates it. Older history and images associate her with the tiger and even allocate tiger-like traits to her. Her association with Taoism softens those claws over time.

W is for Wave Maidens #AtoZChallenge

Heimdal durch die neun Wellenjungfrauen emporgehoben by K. Ehrenberg

The Wave Maidens are the nine daughters of the Norse sea god and goddess Aegir and Ran.  There are nine of them, each one represents a different element of the waves themselves.

Himinglæva – Transparency of water

Dúfa – Pitching of the wave

Blóðughadda – Red Sea foam, representing the blood after a battle

Hefring (or Hevring) – Surging wave

Uðr (or Unn) – Frothing wave

Hrönn – Welling wave

Bylgja – Big wave

Bara or Dröfn – Foam fleck

Kólga – Cool Wave

In Norse mythology, Odin did the deed with all nine of them, and all nine bore Heimdall, the god who guards the gates of the gods’ fortress. In some myth, they were a randy bunch, helping their mother, Ran, to call sailors to their beds.

Enjoy the other authors of the A to Z Challenge.

J is for Juno (Roman Holiday today) #AtoZChallenge

J is for Juno, the goddess of marriage and queen of the gods in ancient Rome.  Saturn’s daughter, wife to Jupiter, and mother to Mars and Vulcan.

Importantly, she was patroness of Rome, guardian of the community. To fulfill that role, Juno displays aspects of a war goddess, a fertility goddess and a sovereign.  Pretty darn female if you ask me. Women as mothers are also protectors.

She’s a also pretty sexy lady.  Take a look at the paintings I found, with Jupiter.  Classic art by classic artists (scroll over each for more info). They all seem to be like this.  Reactions?

I think I need to write a story about the Roman pantheon.

 

James Barry 001

Carracci - Jupiter et Junon

E is for Eve #AtoZchallenge

Creation of Eve, michelangelo
Michelangelo’s Creation of Eve

I’m going to cheat a little bit with this post. Eve–the Eve–cannot be so easily categorized as either a mythical goddess or an ancient queen. She is the first woman, the one, the only.  And for a theme venerating the historic contributions of women, it seems remiss not to include her. Disertations have been written about her. She’s venerated and despised, as many famous women through the ages have been.

The name Eve means life.  I think that says it all.

Have a great weekend. See you on Monday.  You can visit all the other wonderful A to Z bloggers here.