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Visahari, Remover-of-Poison.
Alternate meanings: Controller-of-Poison.
[to Whom the twenty-ninth day of November, day 333, is dedicated]

Geography/Culture: Hindustani. The existence of clay figurines with seated figure backed by an erect cobra found in the Indus Valley suggest a snake-cult existed there as early as 3000 BCE.
Linguistic Note: Sanskrit visa, VY$1, poison.
Description: Shapeshifting Goddess of the earth, the Underworld, fertility and marriage rites; Inspirer of women; Queen and controller of snakes; She Who protects Her devotees from harm by snakes, especially from their venom.
To Whom Sacred: euporbia antiquorum; euphorbia ligularia; snakes; milk and cereal as offerings to snakes.
Male Associate: Siva. She removed the poison which emerged from the Churning of the Ocean from Siva's throat after he'd partially swallowed it.

Source: Stutley HDH 177, 335.
Durgamma, {Inacessible-Mother}.

Geography/Culture: Hindustani: South India.
Description: Devi of snakes.
To Whom Sacred: snake-stone (Her shrine is built over one); nim tree (near which Her shrine is built).
Iconography: In domestic worship She's represented as a silver cobra's head.

Source: Stutley HDH 199.
Manasa, {Spirit-of-Mind}
. M1N1S*

Geography/Culture: Hindustani, North. Bengal and parts of Bihar, Orissa and Assam. Literary evidence of Manasa worship dates to about 1300 BC, it probably derives from an archaic form of snake-worship.
Linguistic Note:
Description: {Much of Her description is also used in the description of Visahari, Remover-of-Poison.} Goddess of snakes; She Who distributed the poison She'd extracted from Siva's throat (after he swallowed it at the Churning of the Ocean) throughout the snake and insect population; She Who is closely connected to the earth and nether world; Goddess of fertility and marriage rites; She Whose actions account for the origin poisonous snakes and insects; She Who can assume any form at will; She Who can perform miracuous feats; She Who can drink milk while standing on Her head; She to Whom offerings may be made by the left hand.
She is the only snake Goddess in India Who is Herself not a snake {azov 1977}.
To Whom Sacred: snake (especially as a phallic symbol); milk from a barren cow; wicker basket used as a milk pail.
Male Associates: She is associated with Siva. Her Father is Kasyapa, Her brother the serpent Ananta, Endless. Or She is said to have been fashioned, by the Mother of Vasuki, into a beautiful girl from Siva semen which having fallen into a lotus flower had made its way down to the roots in the nether land of Patala where the cobra Vasuki rules.

Source: Stutley HDH 12, 177-78, 224.
Nagi, She-Snake.

Geography/Culture: Hindustani.
Description: Snake spirit Goddess of the primordial sacrality concentrated in the oceans; Guardian of spiritual treasures.
To Whom Sacred: snake; the Book of Wisdom; milk (women offer it to Her hoping She will protect their children from snakebit).
Male Associate: Her consort is a Naga, He-Snake. She and Her consort generally have a plural quality, Nagis, N*GES, and Nagas, N*G*S.

Source: Stutley HDH 199.
Saivi, {She-Who-is-Auspicious}.
Alternate meanings: {Devotee-of-the-Auspicious}.

Geography/Culture: Hindustani.
Linguistic Note: Saiva, is a philosophic and religious system centered on the god Siva. It is a word which was used in the Rig Vedas with the meaning 'auspicious', and which was subsequently personified as the god. Perhaps the saiva mark refered to in Ganga, Swift-Goer, is the third eye.

Source: Stutley HDH 257-58.
worked on: May 1995; August 1991; August, July 1990.
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