The India and Pakistan conflict is one of major international significance, especially considering the nuclear capabilities involved. Nationalistic forces on both sides of the border whip up enmity between populations for the sake of their own political expediency. But there are many citizens who realize that they are not so different from their counterparts across the border and desire to embrace each other as familiar once again.
In Greek Mythology, Oceanids, or Sea Nymphs, were feminine spirits that personified many bodies of water and springs. They were the 3,000 daughters of the Titan Oceanus, himself a river that encircled the world, and the sea goddess Tethys. Many oceanids were more significant than typical nymphs; for example, the oceanid Metis mothered the goddess of wisdom Athena, and Styx personified the infamous river to the underworld. Sailors would routinely pay tribute to the oceanids by giving them drinks and sacrifices, praying to them to ensure a safe passage free of storms and obstructions, and for calm waters on the seas. However, these sacrifices may not stop these nymphs from wrecking a ship that carried a passenger that caught their eye!
According to one pre-colonial Filipino Tagalog creation myth, Ikapati, a fertility goddess, created Earth when she gave her lover, Bathala, clay to play with to help ease his boredom amid the empty universe. Bathala was amused and formed the clay into a ball and carefully crafted mountains, islands, rivers, and valleys. Ikapati thought his artistry was so beautiful that she hung it up in the sky, where they could admire his work together. Bathala is worshiped as an omnipotent creator of the universe, and he was known to communicate with humans through his auspicious blue "tigmamanukan" omen birds. Ikapati, also known as Lakanpati, is venerated for the abundance that she brings to crops and herds, and she is associated with unhusked rice. Both deities were identified with male and female qualities and are believed to be gender fluid.
Yawa, also known by her full title "Nagmalitong Yawa Sinagmaling Diwata," is a Filipino goddess of seduction and lust. According to some legends, she was birthed from a night flower as a fully grown woman. Her parents guarded her to the extent that sunlight never touched her skin, making her exceptionally pale. While she was under guardianship, she was taught weaponry skills and sorcery, and some worshippers even regarded her as a physical embodiment of a weapon. Her name translates roughly to "beguiling demoness, bedazzling goddess" and thus reveals how a shadow side accompanies her beauty. Due to Spanish colonialism, she became demonized, and for many, the word "Yawa" is synonymous with "Demon." She was originally married to Saragnayan, the Lord of Darkness, and they ruled over night creatures in Galdun, a realm where the sun never shines.
Lalahon is a pre-colonial Filipino goddess of volcanos. She is a guardian of wildlife and protects against natural calamities, like volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and wildfires. Many native Negrense groups believed that she lived within the active volcano of Mt. Canloan on Negros Island. She was also worshipped as an agricultural goddess because the volcanic eruptions provided rich minerals to the soil in the surrounding areas, hence the meaning behind her name, which can be translated to "the one who brings times of plenty." The volcano was seen to represent her feminine nature; beautiful when serene and dormant, yet mighty, deadly, and destructive when a fiery outburst erupts. Her physical traits also express her spirit; her ruby eyes evoke images of hot coals, her dark hair is reminiscent of volcanic ash and rock, and her body can turn into flowing lava. She also has the power of pyrokinesis and can do everything from shooting fireballs from her palms to making a volcano explode at the snap of a finger. Despite being a mostly benevolent goddess who would come down to the mortals to grant them abundance, she was also known for her fondness for virgin sacrifices, as they would increase her beautiful appearance. Needless to say, with a goddess this powerful, it's best to stay on Lalahon's good side.
The Greek Goddess Hera is the deity of marriage and childbirth. Despite being the patron of marriage, her notoriously unhappy marriage to the king of the Gods, Zeus, caused her to become perhaps the most famous cuckolded wife of all time. Her beauty was well known, but her vindictive nature, demonstrated through the ruthless action she took against the participants in her husband's affairs, took away from the attractiveness of the Queen of the Skies. She is associated with peacocks, which also ties into her perpetual quest to prevent Zeus's infidelity. According to mythology, a priestess that worshipped Hera had caught the attention of Zeus. Knowing her husband's persistent ways, Hera set her hundred-eyed giant watchman, Argos, to guard her priestess. This was no match for Zeus, and he conspired to have Argos killed. To save her guardsman, she transformed him into a peacock, which is the origin of the bird's distinctive plumage.