by Igor Mugerza

Mari, a Gift is forthcoming. Photo by Igor Mugerza

Mari, Basque Wind Goddess

Gift

Mari is a prominent mythical deity of Northern Spain, a mysterious Goddess who resides deep in the base of the Pyrenees Mountains. Malevolent and mischievous, her influence has been felt throughout the ages. The Basque people regard her as the source of all creation. Her beauty is as rich as Mother Earth herself. Much like the weather patterns that she oversees, her surname and appearance often change. Sometimes Mari appears at Anboto in the North of Spain, bringing wet weather, and then moves on to permeate Alono with her hot, arid breath. She is able to manifest as a woman-tree joining earth and sky, as a bird, or as an elegant woman draped in a red gown as she drives her cart across the face of a full moon.

Whenever you need guidance, call to her three times by one of her many names; Andre Mari, Ama Lurra, Old Woman of the Mountain, or Marien Damea, and she will come to your aid.Click To Tweet

According to the Anthropologist Marija Gimbutas, the cultural origins of the mysterious Basque language, Euskara, predate most Indo-European linguistic formats.[1] The Basque people consider themselves to be the original occupants of Northern Spain. Jesuit Priest, Jose Miguel de Barandiara, painstakingly recorded thousands of Basque myths and tales by means of the written word.[2] The Basque were Goat WorshippersGoats were used as sacrifices to appease Mari, and while the goat cult was originally organized as an attempt to explain and control natural phenomena, it later became a strong cultural resistance movement that was used to fend off orthodox religions. The Basques were the last pagan strongholds in Western Europe, with only a few converting to Christianity in the late 1600’s. Priests allowed, and participated in the Witches’ Sabbats that were held in remote mountainside communities.[3]

“Like many in the world of the old day”[4], witches were a common but contradictory theme, enticing Europeans to listen to carefully crafted tales. And, while you shouldn’t believe in them, you shouldn’t disregard them either. In those parts, people would always air on the side of caution when approaching Mari’s lair, praying for grace outside her cave, not daring to enter in fear of the cave dwelling spirits known as the Sorguin.

If Mari casts down a storm from her cave, be assured that a gift is forthcoming. Click To TweetTo receive it fully, you will need to coax its essence from the depths of the rich, dark, feminine mother.

East

You may feel shaken by the urgency of the wind when Mari plummets from the Eastern sky as a fierce ball of fire. Her jolt will stir long forgotten memories of the magical powers waiting within, as she brings the ageless gift of wisdom. Start by recalling the favorite tales of your childhood. Find the themes of creativity woven within them, for therein resides the mystery of your own soul’s calling. As you reassemble your memories, your personal tale of being will be revealed.

Mari brings a gift of contradictions when she side-slaps you and bursts into your life like a lightning bolt. Mari refuses to adapt to consensus and will shake your beliefs to the core. When missionaries encroached her cave, she transformed one into a raven who later died from fright. Ask yourself, “Where am I compromising or abandoning my own knowingness in order to follow the herd?” Determine the areas in your life where fear is the prevailing wind, and make the necessary adjustments so you can move forward with confidence.

South

Like a fragrant perfume gently wafting through the air, Mari drifts in from the south to stir, and fully awaken your erotic potential. Mari was an androgynous, passionate lover. Although she had a husband named Sugaar, she also brought willing young village maidens to her cave for extended visits. Mari is also the mother of balance; her offspring were Attarrabi-good and Mikelats-evil. Call upon Mari to reveal and balance the themes in your life with your inner emotional winds of needs and desires. If you are feeling emotionally undernourished, seek out the companionship of women, or take on a new lover.

When Mari blows in as an arid south wind, your passion may feel diminished and parched. She arrives as the Divine Mother, bearing gifts to resurrect and nourish you. Visualize her red swirling life force dancing passionately in your second chakra. Call on Mari to remove any emotional blockages that are preventing you from loving your self, the essential force that nurtures your creative soul.

Painting: Nori Ushijima

Mari enters her cave at at Anboto in the North of Spain. Painting: Nori Ushijima

West

When Mari comes calling from the West she is asking you to sit alongside her on her golden couch. Your attention to details and devoted practice of your rituals has paid off; Mari is offering you the gift of power. Be mindful of the code of ethics as you tap into the powerful waters of the mountain spring. Power expands when used in service to others, and contracts and vanishes with misuse.

If Mari shows up as a raging storm in your life, the gifts she bears may sting. No mortal was allowed to enter her dwelling without permission, as she does not tolerate a lack of respect for other people’s property or possessions. Ask yourself if you have overstepped the boundaries of others, acted with greed, malice or allowed your arrogance to rule. Mari can quickly turn your dreams to coal. Withdraw from her cave using the same path that you used to enter; Mari is a stickler for ritual. Once outside, reassess your current situation and search diligently for the gold hidden in the ashes.

North

Mari provides spiritual guidance to help you find your way. She resisted all religious efforts to convert her to their beliefs, and now her powerful wind offers you warmth and protection within the walls of her sacred cave. Her gift to you is discernment. Examine your beliefs and all of the knowledge you have absorbed during your life. It is time to drink heartily from the well of milk and honey that flows constantly below the earth’s surface. Quench your thirst and receive the spiritual guidance you need to achieve your goals. The soul is like the wind, it moves whenever and wherever it chooses.

Is there a raven tapping on your window? When Mari blows in as a moist North wind in reverse, she may disguise herself as a bird to get your attention. When you feel the flapping of the bird’s wing and darkness prevails, Mari is inviting you to visit the underworld. Do not be afraid, the underworld pulses with magic, wisdom and clarity. Visit a well or a cave, and speak to the ancestors. Mari’s gifts of wonder can arrive in a variety of different ways, so be sure to keep your eyes, ears, mind and heart open at all times.

[1] The Living Goddesses By Marija Gimbutas, Miriam Robbins Dexter.

[2] The Survival of Myth: Innovation, Singularity and Alterity edited by David Kennedy, Paul Hardwick, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Apr 16, 2010 accessed on the web

[3] http://alkman1.blogspot.com/2006/08/basque-paganism.html

[4] A common beginning to the storytellers tale. Traditional Storytelling Today: An International Sourcebook. Margaret Read MacDonald Routledge, Dec 16, 2013 – Literary Criticism . Accesed on Google books.

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