Aisyt

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Aisyt (Aysyt, Ajsyt or Ajyhyt; Yakut: Айыыһыт Ayııhıt) is a fertility deity of the Turkic Yakut people from the Lena River region of Siberia. The name means "birthgiver" and may also be called the "Mother of Cradles".[1] Her full name is given as Ajysyt-ijaksit-khotan, meaning "Birthgiving nourishing mother".[citation needed] Aisyt brings the soul from heaven at the birth of a baby and records each one in the Golden Book of Fate and daughter of Yer Tanrı.

Role[edit]

Ajysyt was responsible for conducting the soul of a newborn child to its birth and attended every birth. Women would channel Ajysyt, believing that doing so would relieve them of pain during childbirth.[1] She kept a golden book in which she recorded each one. She is said to have lived on a mountain top in a house with seven stories,[1] from which she controlled the fate of the world.

Versions[edit]

The Yakut revere a variety of ajy (Yakut: Айы). The primary manifestation, Nelbey Ajyhyt, is responsible for the birth of children; Dzhyёsyёgyёy Toyon and Kieng Kieli-Baly Toyon govern the reproduction of horses; Isegey Ajyhyt has responsibility for oxen; and Noruluya manages dogs and foxes. [2]

When referring to the fertility deity for the births of male animals, such as stallions or bulls, the word ajysyt is understood to be male. However, when relating to the birth of a mare or cow, the word is feminine.[3]

Legends[edit]

One legend recalls how she appeared from the roots of the Cosmic Tree (alternatively the world pillar of Yryn-al-tojon)to a pale young man; the tree stood beside a lake of milk. By suckling the youth she caused his strength to increase a hundredfold.[citation needed]

Aisyt was a daughter of Gok-Tengri (Sky-God) and Toprak Ana (Mother Earth) and was viewed with both fear and affection. She represented the night and was pictured as a noble woman. The night's darkness heralded the emergence of malicious spirits from holes.[citation needed]

Contemporary representation[edit]

Ajysyt is a featured figure on Judy Chicago's installation piece The Dinner Party, being represented as one of the 999 names on the Heritage Floor.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Julie Loar (1 December 2010). Goddesses for Every Day: Exploring the Wisdom and Power of the Divine Feminine Around the World. New World Library. p. 1. ISBN 978-1-57731-950-4. Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  2. ^ E. M. Meletinskii, ed. (1990). Mefologicheskii slovar'. Sovetskaya entsiklopediya. 
  3. ^ Michael Jordan (2004). Dictionary of gods and goddesses. Infobase Publishing. p. 10. ISBN 978-0-8160-5923-2. Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  4. ^ "Ajysyt". Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art: The Dinner Party: Heritage Floor: Ajysyt. Brooklyn Museum. 2007. Retrieved 3 January 2012.