Changing Woman

One of the primary characters of Navajo mythology and religion is Changing Woman who grows old and young again with the seasons. She represents the power of the earth and of women to create and sustain life. Other Holy Women stand at the four directions: in the East is Earth Woman, in the South is Mountain Woman, in the West is Water Woman, and in the North is Corn Woman.

The Changing Woman got Her name from Her ability to change along with the seasons. In the spring and summer, She appears as a young maiden full of life, vitality and, of course, fertility. In the fall and winter she transforms Herself into an old woman, representing the desolateness of age, infertility, and eventual death.

Changing Woman

Changing Woman is perhaps the most revered of deities among the Native Americans of the southwestern United States.

She is wholly a benevolent figure, for it is Changing Woman who gives the people their abundance and who provides the teachings that allow them to live in harmony with all things. In the initiation ceremony of Navajo women, the initiate takes in the power of Changing Woman so that she might learn the values of love, hospitality and generosity and know that she herself is a source of food and harmony.

Changing Woman received her name because she can change at will from a baby to a girl to a young woman to an old woman and then back again. Very much alive today, she is a tremendously nourishing goddess who teaches the wisdom of nature and the cycles of birth and death.

Susan Eleanor Boulet Trust. Text by Michael Babcock.
Published by Pomegranate
Box 6099, Rohnert Park, California 94927

Taking the time to listen and contemplate all the change that has taken place in my lifetime – the impact of that change and how I, like Changing Woman, have changed.

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