Her Cyclopedia: The Goddess Vac
return to Home Page
or move on to Goddess Vete-Ema, next chronologically,
or use Her Cyclopedia Index

Vac, Creative-Word.
Alternate meanings: Speech.
[to Whom the twenty-fourth day of November, day 328, is dedicated]

Geography/Culture: Hindustani.
Linguistic Note: {Perhaps pronounced V*K. My pronunciation source for Sanskrit words says of the transcription character c "[pronounced like] church (but in compounds, expressed or implied, like vac, rc, etc., changes to k". I dont understand this statement -- in what way is vac a compound expressed or implied? FW}. The primary meaning of vac, is language or speech, that is, the sounds produced vocally as a means of communication. This is wonderfully reflected in such English words as vocal, vocable, voice, vowel, equivocal, vocation, vouch, advocate, avocation, convoke, evoke, invoke, provoke, revoke, all, through the Latic vox, to speak, vocare to call, etc., from the IndoEuropean root *wekw-. And even, in slightly more round about ways Calliope, epic, epos, epopee, orthoepy, through Greek ops, voice, and epos song, word. For whatever reason the etymologists who can tell us these fabulous things fail to tell us the at least as fabulous fact that Sanskrit vac is related too. I think its pretty clear that French vache, cow, and thereby also English vacine, through Latin vacca, cow have, also, to be related to vac. And that vacuum, vacuous, vacant, void and all such words have to be related to vac; it's something to do with the oral cavity, the sound box, the recognition that sound needs to resonate in order to be heard. And I'm absolutely certain that all vent words (which include nirvana) are also related because speech needs the inhalation and expulsion of breath as part of its formation. And I think it rather wonderful that something which is uttered, is something that comes out from the mouth, as milk from an udder.
Description: Goddess of language which flows eloquently onward like a stately river; Mother of mantras; the Word; Supreme source of creativity; Inventrix of writing; Milch Cow, source of all good things; the Gladdener who bestows food and vigour; Presider over learning and the sixty-four arts; Matron of writers, poets and all intellectual endeavours; Goddess of oral tradition; Mother of Vedic metres; Personification of speech; She Who enables everything to be named; She Who confers the power to control that which is named; She Who represents an aspect of the Eternal Principle; She Who bestows the apprehension of knowledge; She without Whose aid the legends, ancient lore, mystic doctrines and the sciences would have remained unknown; consort of gods.
Due to Her identification with Sarasvati, She-Who-Flows-Eloquently-Onward, Vac, Creative-Word, became associated with Nature as well as learning.
Invocations, Pleas, Hymns and Other Homage to HER: Vac.
To Whom Sacred: flowers (beauty); fruits (wisdom); swan; incense; {perhaps} vaca, an aromatic root (when ground into a power, mixed with milk, and consecrated it was believed to improve memory and hearing; if taken for 48 consecutive days it would improve eyesight, conduce to longevity, and expiate all sins); milch cow (with which She is sometimes equated); the characters of the Sanskrit writing system; Mantras (of which She is the Mother).
Male Associates: Vacaspati, Lord-of-the-Holy-Utterance. She is given precedence over Agni at the sacrifice.

Source: Stutley HDH 315.
Brahmani, All-Pervading-Self-Existing-Power.
Alternate meaning: All-Pervading-Self-Existence.

Geography/Culture: Hindustani: non-Vedic.
Description: Creatrix; Mother Goddess of deities and humanity.
Male Associate: Consort Brahma.

Source: NLEM/344; Stutley HDH/53.
Gayatri, Three-Coursed-Praise.

Geography/Culture: Hindustani.
Linguistic Note: Possibly from gai, 'to praise'; or from gam with tri by metathesis, ie. 'three-coursed'.
Description: Goddess of earth and sacred literature; Mother of the four Vedas.
To Whom Sacred: a meter of twenty-four syllables (generally as a triplet of eight syllables each).
Male Associates: Consort: Brahma.

Source: Stutley HDH 97.
Gnas, Women.

Geography/Culture: Hindustani, perhaps originally non-Aryan.
Linguistic Note: This may not be the place to develope this (ie such elaborate linguistic notes should probably be in some kind of separate linguistic resource): but in the meantime I must say I think there must be a connection between Sanskrit gna, and Greek gyno- or gyn- pref. 1. Woman: gynarchy. 2. Female reproductive organ; pistil: gynophore. [From Greek gune, woman. See gwen- below.]

gwen-. An important derivative is: queen. gwen-. Woman. 1). Suffixed form *gwen-a-.
a). QUEAN, from Old English cwene, woman, prostitute, wife, from Germanic *kwenon-;
b). BANSHEE, from Old Irish ben, woman;
c). ZENANA, from Persian zan, woman. 2). Suffixed lengthened-grade form *gwen-i-. QUEEN, from Old English cwen, woman, wife, queen, from Germanic *kweniz, woman, wife, queen.
3). Suffixed zero-grade form *gwn-a-. -GYNE, GYNO-, - GYNOUS, -GYNY; GYNECOCRACY, (GYNECOLOGY), GYNOECIUM, from Greek gamma-upsilon-nu-eta, (gune or gyne), woman. Description: Ancient nature Goddesses of earth Who bestow booty, protection, and offspring; Those Who restore the power of vegetal fertility; Those Who are easily invoked; Multiple Goddess of vegetation and fertility; Those Who represent that pre-historic stage of thought when female 'energies' were first beginning to be associated with male 'nature powers'; Those Who call forth generative power; Those Who restore lost vegetative fertility; Providers of protection, offspring and booty.
Male Associates: Tvastar, Moulder-of-Form, and Agni, as that generative power which implants seed in wives.
Some of them are:
Agnayi, 1GN*YE, ----;
Asvini, The-Mare, Who is linked with Chaya, Shade;
Bharati, ----, Who is linked with Hindustani Ida, Benediction;
Dhisana, DHY$1N*, ----, Goddess of abundance;
Indrani, Kindler
Rodasi, ROD1SE, ----. Goddess of lightning and Giver of wealth.
Consort Rudra, sons the Maruts;
Sarasvati, She-Who-Flows-Elogquently-Onwards;
Vac, Creative-Word, Herself, (above);
Varunani, ----, perhaps a variant of the name Varuni, She-Who-Encompasses
Source: Stutley HDH 28. 99, 250-1, 315.
Mahasveta, Dazzling-White.

Geography/Culture: Hindustani.
Description: Goddess of the earth.
Male Associates: Consort Surya.

Source: Stutley HDH 172,
Satarupa, Having-a-Hundred-Forms.

Geography/Culture: Hindustani.
Description: She is the Female half of the divine Shehe Brahma (also called his daughter) of whom the male half was Svayambhuva (also said to be Her son).

Source: Stutley HDH/272.
worked on: September, May 1995; July 1991.
Return to the top of this document.