I love to explore the Divine Feminine and write about Goddesses. For a list of those, click on the link: Goddesses. In order to become more balanced within ourselves and, through that, to bring greater balance and harmony to the world around us, we must find greater balance between the masculine and feminine energies within ourselves that each one of us possesses, regardless of physical gender or any other ways of self-identification.
The Sioux are an ancient and deeply spiritual people. In their mythology, the story of the Moongoddess Hanwi is told. Her name means “Night Sun.” “Han” means darkness and Wi means sun. There are three main groups of Sioux peoples in the upper Midwest of the United States today: the Dakota to the west, the Nakota in the middle and the Lakota to the east. Siouan, the language of the Sioux, is the fifth most spoken language in North America.
In Sioux religion, Hanwi the Moon Goddess protects her people at night from evil spirits. The Sungod Wi, the husband of Hanwi, once allowed a mortal woman, Ite, who was the most beautiful of all women, but by no means more beautiful than Wi’s wife Hanwi, to take Hanwi’s place beside him at a banquet of the Gods. The plan Wi and Ite were following was to embarrass Hanwi and further Ite’s own status, thus causing a general disturbance at the banquet. Ite’s payment for causing this commotion was physical beauty that rivalled Hanwi’s.
Ite arrived at the banquet and took the place beside Wi before Hanwi had a chance to sit down. Wi was enchanted by her beauty and allowed it to happen. When Hanwi moved towards her place at her husband’s side, she saw Ite sit there and hid her face in shame about this humiliation.
Skan, who is the Sky god in Sioux mythology and also fulfils the function of ruler and judge of the gods, ruled harshly because he was very angry at Wi’s dishonourable behaviour. He condemned Wi and henceforth, Wi can only rule by day and Hanwi rules at night, thus separating the two by allocating Hanwi her place as the moon in the night sky.
Hanwi is, therefore, the wandering moon and is often seen to hide part of her face and turning it sideways in shame because of her husband’s betrayal, thus creating the phases of the moon, which also represent the various ages of women, child, maiden, mother and crone. Traditionally, the moon is also closely connected with the menstrual cycle, when a woman is on her moontime, in Sioux tradition, this is a sacred time of rest, renewal and going within for inner cleansing. Because of this, Hanwi is also the Goddess of motherhood and feminine power.
Because Hanwi’s light, the moonlight, pierces the darkness, it is said to hold more power than the sun’s daylight. So the moonlight is stronger and pierces evil spirits and negative influences and thus protects you from them.
When the moon is out, it is a time of cleansing. You can use the power of the moonlight to cleanse yourself, face your shadow parts and let go of all that no longer serves you. Hanwi keeps you safe, watching over you, as you cleanse your mind from negativity and release stress, tension and fear.
It is a beautiful story of encouragement and self-empowerment, of renewal and walking on in your spiritual path. When you face your inner shadows, it can be a scary experience, often accompanied by guilt and shame. But to cleanse and renew ourselves, let go of any toxic thoughts and emotions, we must face our dark sides and let go of those feelings in order to heal and grow stronger.
Once we have let go of the negative emotions attached to certain events in our lives, or character traits within us we are not happy about, and embrace them lovingly as parts of who we are, we are then able to allow ourselves to move forward and see ourselves in a new light – quite literally.
In my romance novel Opposites Attract, the female protagonist Jada is ashamed of feeling attracted to a man whose profession she despises and is afraid of. She leads a completely different lifestyle to Kyle, a Marine SpecOps officer, being a philosophy lecturer herself.
However, she finds out that her colleague, whom she thought was on the same wavelength as her, is the greater threat and when she finally admits to herself that she is in love with Kyle, she misunderstands something he does and feels humiliated and shamed by him. It takes some deep soul searching and facing fears to finally overcome these emotions and build a brighter future and outlook on life.
Hanwi is a most loving and protective Goddess. She is compassionate and knows what it feels like to be shamed. Yet at the same time, she has the power to pierce this darkness with her light and heal old wounds, helping you to let go of all negative influences in your mind and thus, in your life.
She is also good at giving you clarity and guidance on your path through life and to focus on what really matters to you and setting your priorities in life accordingly. You can enhance your spiritual work with Hanwi’s energy by using Moonstone or Agate, particularly the (light) Blue Lace Agate is very helpful in this to support you in connecting with your divine source and balancing your emotions, as well as releasing negativity.