Each year I come more and more out, in large part because each year I learn more about myself and get more comfortable in my own skin. On this first day of Pride month, I call out to Anahita.
She’s an Avestan goddess who is identified as The Mother of Waters. She is said to run as powerfully as all the streams and rivers across the land. For me this includes the Ocean, since in ancient times it was often considered the encircling sea, or a river that encircled the earth. In her connection to the Waters, and to the radiance she’s said to contain, I am reminded of the way that light refracts through water to create a brilliant rainbow of colors.
Anahita is clothed in radiant gold and beaver fur. It’s interesting to me the bit about Beavers, which allowed me to explore associations with beavers. They are considered community builders, and are a keystone species in their environment, crucial to maintaining a balanced and diverse ecosystem. This particular association is what allowed me to connect the idea that Anahita is herself a community builder, and devoted to diversity.
The other bit about Anahita, who otherwise would seem to be a rather peaceful goddess, is a phrase in the Avesta: Hymn to the Waters, where she is said to “crush down the hates of all haters… of the oppressors.” In this connection I see her as a powerful goddess devoted once again to equity and diversity. She knows that the first Pride was a riot, and she will always stand up and fight for what is right.
Ardvi Sura Anahita, Mother of Waters, Crowned in a hundred stars and glowing with radiance, The multi-colored prism refracting through your countenance. I see you, crushing down hate, brick in hand, And bringing forth cleansing waters in your wake. You awaken the Waters within us all, Reminding us that all Waters are sacred, And that we, your rainbow children, contain oceans. Rise up, like the storm surge, in our communities, Infuse your equity and acceptance into us all. Anahita, for your brightness and your glory, I speak this prayer for you.