One of my favorite things to incorporate into my paranormal romance novels are ancient myths and cultures and histories. I get so much enjoyment from researching them, learning about them, and figuring out how to make them a part of my stories.
This month, when we celebrate the luckiest day of the year--St. Patrick's Day--I thought it might be fun to take a look at mythologies involving lucky ladies--various godesses of good luck and fortune. Here are a few of my favorites that I've found while researching.
Anaisa Pye (Dominican)
A very popular loa within Dominican Vodou. She is considered the patron saint of love, money, and general happiness. She is often considered extremely flirtatious, generous, and playful by her devotees. She is also very jealous of the worship of other female loas, as she considers herself able to provide for anything a person could request.
Brigid is the Celtic Triple Goddess known as keeper of the sacred fire. Her name means “exalted one” and she is sometimes referred to a “bride.” Goddess of poets, blacksmiths, brides and childbirth, she watched over the hearth, fire, fertility, creativity, healing. As a triple Goddess, she represents the three aspects of the divine feminine and three stages of a woman’s life —maiden, mother, and wise woman - all in one.
In ancient Roman culture, felicitas is a condition of divinely inspired productivity, blessedness, or happiness. The divine personification of Felicitas was cultivated as a goddess. Different from Fortuna, who was unpredictable and her effects could be negative, Felicitas always had a positive significance.
Kuan Yin (Chinese)
The Chinese Buddhist goddess of compassion, mercy and healing. She is the “Compassionate Saviouress” worshiped for centuries throughout China, Japan, Korea and South East Asia. She is the patron and protector of women, children, sailors and artisans and those who are imprisoned. Her name is translated as the being who hears the cries of the world. She is a Bodhisattva, which in Buddhism is a human being who has completed all Karma and reached enlightenment.
A Baltic goddess of fate. She was associated with childbirth, marriage, and death; she was also the patron of pregnant women. Laima and her functions are similar to the Hindu goddess Lakshmi.
The Hindu Goddess of Good Fortune and Beauty. She is actively worshiped around the globe by millions of Hindus and is considered the personification of abundance, prosperity and wealth. It is said that three millennia ago, Lakshmi was born, fully grown, on a pink lotus that rose from the milky sea. Her ability to enhance good fortune is symbolized by the gold coins that you see pouring from her hands back into the ocean of life.
A woodland fae, and guardian spirit of orphans in Eastern Baltic mythology. Originally a sky spirit, her compassion for human suffering brought her to earth to share our fate. It is said that Laumė was a beautiful goddess, who lived in clouds and had a diamond throne. Laumės liked to gather near rivers, lakes, swamps, in meadows, there dew fell in night in New Moon or Full Moon. They danced and enjoyed themselves, leaving circles (like Fairy Ring) in the grass.
Renenūtet / Wadjet (Egyptian)
A goddess of nourishment and the harvest in ancient Egyptian religion. The importance of the harvest caused people to make many offerings to Renenutet during harvest time. Renenutet was envisioned, particularly in art, as a cobra, or as a woman with the head of a cobra. Later, as a snake-goddess worshiped over the whole of Lower Egypt, Renenutet was increasingly associated with Wadjet, Lower Egypt's powerful protector and another snake goddess represented as a cobra. Eventually Renenutet was identified as an alternate form of Wadjet, whose gaze was said to slaughter enemies. Wadjet was the cobra shown on the crown of the pharaohs.