Art by Kris Waldherr



Rama is the Exemplar of Spiritual Conduct. The story of this seventh avatar of Lord Vishnu, the earth-preserving deity, is told in the Hindu moral scriptures known as the Ramayana. Here the late neolithic wonder at the pristine magic of the natural world is combined with an epic human struggle against the base emotions of greed, anger and fear. Rama's role is to defeat the symbolic demon Ravanna and restore the moral order on earth. In tantric union with his divine partner Sita, he exemplifies the social, sexual, and sacred inter-connectedness of women and men.

Rangi and Papa

Rangi and Papa are the primal creator deities of the Maori pantheon. (The Maori are the native peoples of New Zealand). Rangi, the sky god, and Papa, the earth goddess, embraced so tightly in the primordial void that none of their six children could escape after they had been born. Tu, the god of war, proposed killing their parents. Tane, the god of forests, said it would be better to force them apart. Each god in turn tried to separate the deities but only Tane succeeded. Then Rangi and Papa assumed the positions they have kept to this day.


Rhiannon by Paul Bordas

Rhiannon can be found in two branches of the Mabinogion: Pwyll, Prince of Dyfed and Manawyddan, Son of Llyr. In these stories, She understands hardship and pain, separation and loss. Through it all her love was unfaltering, and her honor unwavering. Her name means "Great High Queen", and she rode a beautiful white mare, which symbolized power and rulership. Birds which accompanied her on rides were said to sing so sweetly that listeners could sit entranced for years. She was known to grant the wishes of those who could ask what they want, and scorn those who could not. She is called the White Mare, and the Queen of the Otherworld. Rhiannon was the nurturing mother whose birds could soothe the souls of the most troubled of mortals. Known also as Epona to the Gauls, and Macha to the Irish, this much beloved Goddess is the Great Queen Mother of the Celts.

Rising Earth Maiden
Rising Earth Maiden

Her cone-shaped headdress or "omphalos" symbolizes a mother's pregnant belly, and the triple poppy headdress represents the resurgent fecundity of spring. Her Arms are upraised in blessing, and her typical Minoan skirt shows stylized simplicity. This lady, who seems to be rising flower-like from the soil, dates from 1350 B.C.E. and originates from Gargi, Crete.


Roal is creator deity of the Q'ero community of the Andes near Cusco, the ancient Inca capital. According to the Q'ero, a mighty race of humans lived in the world before the sun existed. Roal offered to give them his own power, but they declared that they did not need it. Roal punished them for this insult by creating the sun, which dried up their bodies and made them blind. They hid from the sun and only occasionally emerged at sundown or on the night of a full moon.


Rongo is the Maori god of peace and cultivated plants, one of the six offspring of the primal deities Rangi and Papa. (The Maori are the native peoples of New Zealand.) In his manifestation as Rongo-maui he is said to have brought the first yams (sweet potatoes) to earth from heaven. Rongo is the deity known in Hawaii as "Lono".

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