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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Some may be sad to see the last days of Summer. Not me. This is my favorite time of the year. The change in seasons takes me back to the roots of my imagination, mythology. I was always fascinated by the stories of gods and goddesses. Starting with the Greeks and Romans in first grade, I have managed to work my way through dozens of mythological pantheons. Egyptian, Babylonian, Chinese, Japanese, Tibetan, Hindu, Polynesian, African, Nordic, Celtic, I’ve read about and studied pantheons from all over the world.

The first days of Autumn bring cooler temperatures. And the harvest. Which brings me to my favorite goddesses, the harvest goddesses. In the Oxford Dictionary of Goddesses in World Mythology, there are over six hundred agricultural goddesses listed and that’s not even including goddesses related to non-domestic plants. I have yet to find a culture that didn’t have at least one harvest goddess. Many of the Mother Goddesses of the most ancient cultures morphed into agricultural goddesses in the “civilized” cultures.

Harvest goddesses always had plenty of followers in their temples. Demeter, the Greek goddess of the harvest and her Roman counterpart, Ceres were major players with celebrations that lasted for days. Nehebka, one of the Egyptian agricultural goddesses was also one of the judges of the dead.

Inanna, the Sumerian goddess of grain was also known as the “Queen of Heaven and Earth.” With things like food and eternal happiness at stake, who wouldn’t want to keep a goddess happy.

The myth of the harvest goddess has inspired many of our stories, the most popular of which is that of Demeter and Persephone. Classic mother-daughter feud that gets settled by a bad-boy hero. Another example is that of Inanna, whose husband betrayed her and brought down the rath of the ultimate woman scorned.

Harvest goddesses can be anything from sweet and motherly to rainers of fire. They are strong and wise, but you don’t want to cross them.

I have a special reason to love autumn this year. On September 23rd, my debut novel, Widow’s Peak, will be released in both Print and E-book Formats from The Wild Rose Press. I finally get to harvest the fruits of my labors. Stop by my website at www.hannarhys.com and sign up for my quarterly newsletter for a chance to win a free copy of Widow’s Peak as well as a chance to win one of two beautiful art pieces in my Super Contest.

Hanna Rhys Barnes is one of those people with an evenly balanced right and left brain. She has a BA in English, but recently finished her final year as a high school math teacher. She loves to cook and was a pastry chef in a former life.

A member of RWA’s national organization and of several local chapters, she currently lives and works in Portland, OR, but occasionally visits her retirement ranchette outside of Kingman, AZ. Hanna’s debut Novel, Widow’s Peak, is currently available in Print at the Wild Rose Press, Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com. She is currently working on Book 2 in the series, Kissed By A Rose.


Armenia said...

Hannah, congratulations on your debut novel. I wish you the best. It sounds like a lovely read.

armiefox at yahoo dot com

Kathryn Albright said...

Hi Hanna! I'll never forget my introduction to mythology in Mr. Anderson's 7th grade class. All those wonderful myths absolutely captured me. I supposed it helped that I was raised on a healthy dose of fairy tales (g). I remember an assignment to write our own myth--and that story still comes out often when I'm telling my grandson a bedtime story. Congratulations on your debut tomorrow! (And your retirement from teaching!)A lot of endings and beginning for you. Best wishes!

Patricia Barraclough said...

I love the fall. The crispness of the air, the smell of fallen leaves, freshly picked apples, squash, etc. It is like a party before the long dreary days of winter set in.