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[to Whom the twentieth day of February, day 050, is dedicated]
Geography/Culture: Hindustani, especially Southern India.
Description: Ogre-like, long-nosed, sagging lipped, penddulous breasted Goddess of small-pox; She of the baneful influence; She Who is known as "the crow-bannered ass-rider"; though terrifying of aspect She Who gives gifts to Her worshippers and destroys their enemies; She Who came forth from the second "churning of the ocean"; She of Whom it is sometimes said "She refuses to perform a good deed, or to encourage another to do so".
To Whom Sacred: crow (in India the bird of death, and called yama in some lexicons); ass (which is Her Vahana; sweeping-broom (Her weapon).
Male Associates: She sometimes accompanies Yama, god of the dead.
Linguistic Note: It's interesting how close this is to that archaic exclamation of sorrow, regret or alarm: 'Alack!', explained as Ah, plus lack, perhaps from Middle Dutch lacke, deficiency, fault. ADEL. See also Laksmi Linguistic Note.
Geography/Culture: Hindustani. Still (1977) worshipped in Bengal during small-pox epidemics.
Description: Goddess of smallpox; She Who inflicts or cures the disease; She Who presides over cholera, [cancer] and other fatal diseases.
To Whom Sacred: pine (Pandanus odoratissimus); kikar tree (Acacia arabuca, Her dwelling, which women water, thus, by sympathetic-magic, cooling victims of the disease); tree-groves; ass (or) donkey (on which She rides); a broom (one of Her emblems); winnowing-fan; earthern-pot.
Iconography: a stone, piece of a pine tree, or a clay image. She is frequently depicted as a naked woman painted red, mounted on an ass carrying a bundle of sticks, winnowing-fan and an earthern pot.
Festival: Sitala-saptami, 7th. day of the light half of the month Magha, (only cold food is eaten).