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Home  |  Gods   |  Oceanian Gods   |  Aboriginal Gods   |  Yhi : The Sun Goddess

Yhi : The Sun Goddess

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At a glance

Description
Origin Aboriginal Mythology
Classification Gods
Family Members Birrangulu (Brother), Baiame (Husband)
Region Australia
Associated With Sun, Eclipse

Yhi

Introduction

In the mythos of the Gamilaraay people, Yhi emerges as a female creator spirit and the embodiment of the sun, closely entwined with concepts of light and creation. A tale woven around her involves a profound slumber interrupted by a compelling whistle that acted as a catalyst for a transformative event. As Yhi stirred from her celestial sleep, her eyes opening heralded the birth of light, which cascaded down upon the Earth, infusing vitality into the dormant landscape.

This narrative, resonant with symbolic depth, holds a significant place among indigenous communities in Australia, seamlessly threading through the fabric of the Dreamtime. In this timeless epoch, preceding the inception of time itself and predating the gentlest breeze or the flicker of the very first flame, Yhi resided in a state of profound repose within the Dreamtime—a boundless realm teeming with potentiality, a cosmic canvas awaiting the strokes of creation.

With a gaze that mirrored the dawn of consciousness, Yhi’s eyes opened, and in that transcendent moment, the sun burst forth, its radiance illuminating the hitherto barren earth. Her luminosity, akin to a divine touch, coaxed life from the slumbering soil, initiating a miraculous transformation. As Yhi traversed the landscape, each step left an indelible mark—a flourishing tapestry of vibrant plants unfurling, reaching toward the newborn sky, as if in an ecstatic dance with the life force she had awakened.

Physical Traits

Yhi is frequently represented as a resplendent figure, embodying the radiant light and warmth of the sun. Her very presence is believed to infuse life into the world, rousing plants and animals from their slumber with the touch of her divine influence. The rhythmic ascent and descent of the sun on the horizon reflect Yhi’s enduring impact on the cyclical patterns of life and growth.

Depictions of Yhi often portray her as a woman of mesmerizing beauty, her skin aglow with the golden hues reminiscent of sunlight. Cascading like molten lava, her hair mirrors the fiery crown of the sun, emphasizing her intimate connection with the celestial sphere. Some artistic renditions adorn her with feathers, symbolizing the birds she is said to have brought to life, while others crown her with rays of light—an homage to her celestial power. In her hand, she may cradle a burning ember, a potent symbol representing the life-giving spark she kindled within the world.

Family

Yhi weaves seamlessly into the intricate tapestry of ancestral beings within Aboriginal mythology, her narrative interwoven with celestial pursuits and familial connections. Her cosmic dance unfolds in the pursuit of Bahloo, the embodiment of the moon, as they traverse the sky. According to the myths, eclipses occur when Yhi catches up to Bahloo, creating a celestial spectacle that echoes their perpetual chase across the heavens.

The familial ties of Yhi reflect the complexity and diversity inherent in the interconnected web of the natural world. Often recognized as the sister of Birrangulu, the goddess of fertility and rain, Yhi is also acknowledged as the wife of Baiame, the sky father. In certain tales, the celestial choreography of Yhi and Bahloo symbolizes the rhythmic dance of life, where day yields to night, and night surrenders to the dawn.

Yhi’s progeny add another layer to the rich narrative, representing the diverse array of creatures that inhabit the Earth. From the majestic soaring eagle to the humble burrowing earthworm, her children embody the myriad forms of life born from her illuminating light and boundless love. This familial complexity paints a vivid picture of the interconnectedness of all living things, mirroring the intricate dance of celestial bodies that shape the ebb and flow of existence in Aboriginal cosmology.

Other names

Yhi, revered in various Aboriginal cultures, assumes different names such as Yarai or Yaay. Her name undergoes nuanced variations across diverse Aboriginal groups, each variant resonating with a distinct facet of her divine essence. Among the Gamilaraay people, she is referred to as Yaay, signifying “mother,” while the Wiradjuri people speak of Yaraay, the profound “giver of life.” Other names, including Ngalarrang and Biami, further emphasize her intimate connection to the sun and the sky. Each name intricately weaves a unique strand into the rich tapestry of her being, unveiling the multifaceted nature that defines her presence across Aboriginal mythologies.

Powers and Abilities

Yhi’s powers are intricately entwined with the forces of creation and life. The myth unfolds with her bringing vitality to the world, as plants flourished wherever her steps fell. Encountering malevolent spirits beneath the earth, they attempted to sing her into oblivion, but Yhi’s warmth dispelled the darkness, transforming it into a myriad of insects. A journey to ice caves within a mountain saw her illuminating a dormant being, giving rise to fishes, lizards, birds, mammals, and amphibians.

Upon returning to her realm, Yhi bestowed her creations with the gift of changing seasons and a promise that, upon their passing, they would ascend to join her in the celestial expanse. Yhi’s power mirrors the boundless nature of the sun itself. She stands as the harbinger of light, banishing darkness and sparking the flame of life. Her very touch possesses healing and nourishing qualities, while her gaze serves as a wellspring of inspiration and guidance. Commanding the skies and the sun, she orchestrates the dance of seasons and the rhythmic cycles of day and night.

Yhi’s capabilities extend to shapeshifting, allowing her to manifest as a radiant bird or a shimmering butterfly, showcasing her creative versatility. Her voice, akin to the wind rustling through leaves, carries profound wisdom and the transformative power to awaken life from the deepest slumber. In the intricate tapestry of mythology, Yhi emerges as a celestial force, a catalyst for the perpetual dance of creation and the eternal cycle of life.

Modern Day Influence

Yhi’s impact resonates profoundly within the intricate spiritual framework of the Aboriginal people, firmly rooted in the expansive concept of the Dreamtime. The Dreamtime, often referred to as the Dreaming, encapsulates the essence of creation stories, spiritual convictions, and the enduring ties between the Aboriginal community, their forebears, the land, and their totemic creatures4. Yhi’s narrative seamlessly integrates into this cultural tapestry, embodying the profound interconnection that Indigenous peoples maintain with their ancestral lands, predecessors, and spiritual beliefs.

Beyond the realm of myth, Yhi’s legacy extends into the contemporary landscape, serving as a wellspring of inspiration for modern Aboriginal art and storytelling. Her visage graces canvases, weaving its way into present-day narratives and artistic expressions. Her enduring spirit persists in the cultural practices of Aboriginal communities, manifesting in their reverence for nature and the vibrant celebration of life’s interconnectedness.

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Disclaimer: While it is the intention of Mythlok and its editors to keep all the information about various characters as mythologically accurate as possible, this site should not be considered mythical, legendary or folkloric doctrine in any way. We welcome you using this website for any research, journal or study but citing this website for any academic work would be at your own personal risk.
Disclaimer: While it is the intention of Mythlok and its editors to keep all the information about various characters as mythologically accurate as possible, this site should not be considered mythical, legendary or folkloric doctrine in any way. We welcome you using this website for any research, journal or study but citing this website for any academic work would be at your own personal risk.
Disclaimer: While it is the intention of Mythlok and its editors to keep all the information about various characters as mythologically accurate as possible, this site should not be considered mythical, legendary or folkloric doctrine in any way. We welcome you using this website for any research, journal or study but citing this website for any academic work would be at your own personal risk.