Thursday, May 16, 2013

Gyhldeptis, Native American Goddess of the Forests

Gyhldeptis was a Native American Goddess honored by the Haida and Tlingit tribes in Alaska and Canada. She is known as a coastal forest Goddess with long hair whose name means "Lady Hanging Hair" representing the long moss hanging from the cedar trees. She is protector of the forest and its creatures as well as the people who worship her, she is also seen as the spirit of the trees. Gyhldeptis helps us in times of stress and chaos. She assists in calming us and brings us back to our center.

In her myth Gyhldeptis becomes worried by the acts of Kaegyihl Depgeesk, "upside down place", which is a large whirlpool that's very dangerous and destructive to her people. It has already dragged traveling ships down into its depths so Gyhldeptis decides its time to do something about this. She invites the local elemental spirits of wind, fire and ice to her festival house for a great feast. Together they come up with a plan. They reshape the coast turning the destructive whirlpool into a calm flowing river. Now people can sail and fish the water without worry of the terribly chaotic energy from the whirlpool.

Just like the dangerous whirlpool in her myth, life can sometimes feel like a spinning whirlpool of chaotic energy and stress. Gyhldeptis reminds us of the calm flowing river. She teaches us to stay cool and focused, take a step back and re-evaluate your situation. Call on Gyhldeptis when you are feeling overwhelmed and stressed. Associations with this Goddess would be cedarwood, moss, walking in the woods or in nature, and/or reconnecting with nature spirits. I hope you enjoyed learning about this Native American forest Goddess! 

Picture courtesy of Hrana Janto 

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