JEYRIALL, SANTHARIAN GODDESS OF HARVEST

Names - Appearance - Mythology - Lore - Importance - Symbols
Celebrations - Temple Design - Temple Locations
- MUSCIAL THEME

Jeyriall is the Santharian goddess responsible for sentient, animal, and plant fruitfulness and increase. She rules over all areas of reproduction (although not coupling itself) and was the Goddess who breathed life into the created earth and its occupants.

Names. Jeyriall is also known as the Lady of the Cup, the Fruitful One, Goddess of Increase, Jeyriall of the Harvest, and the Wombmistress.
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Jeyriall, Goddess of Harvest

View picture in full size Picture description. Jeyriall, Goddess of Harvest and Lady of the Cup, as depicted at the Temple of Water and Earth at Nougvin near the Anaios Gap. Image drawn by Viresse and Quellion.

Appearance. The Fruitful One, as Jeyriall is also called, is inevitably depicted as a lovely, amply-bosomed female with rounded white limbs and long auburn hair. Fruits and flowers frame her face or deck her body, and the fall colours of reds, golds, and browns are commonly used to suggest the richness of the harvest. Jeyriall’s full red lips are often shown closed in a mysterious smile, enigmatic in its promise of bounty. She is clothed in brocades of the same colours, often patterned with leaves or tendrils, and sometimes crowned with a wreath of braided grain. Her hands are always full: sometimes she holds a cup, sometimes a basket, sometimes fruit, vegetables, or even a baby animal. Most recently she has been painted as young and slender, but the oldest versions (some flaking ochre frescos deep in the Noarian caves, dating from the time of Myths) seem to suggest a more mature, maternal figure, and sculptural depictions of a pregnant Jeyriall discovered in the Voldar area bear this guess out. The tiny, fist-sized statue that graces the altar at the lovely Jeyriallene Temple in the Vale of Kalir (near Nyermersys) is of unknown antiquity and shows a female of more than generous breasts and thighs, almost spherical in her amplitude. Return to the top

Mythology. Jeyriall is one of the Twelve Gods or High Spirits (Aeolía) who sprang from the Dream of Avá the Beautiful according to the elven myth as related in the Cárpa'dosía. Together with Baveras (Goddess of the Sea) and Seyella (the Goddess of Destiny), Jeyriall is one of the three Goddesses dedicated to the Element of Water.

The eighth month of the Santharian Calendar, Sleeping Dreameress, (or
Maáh'valannía, Maáh'valannía, in Styrásh) is associated with Jeyriall. Return to the top

Lore. Jeyriall was a primary part of the creation of Caelereth, particularly responsible for the actual beings that emerged as reflections of Avá’s Dream. As Urtengor and the other Gods had finished their designing of Caelereth, Jeyriall breathed life into the Earth and so plants, vines and flowers emerged (consisting of Earth, Water, Fire - meaning will - and Wind as the idea of its completeness every living being targets for). Finally Jeyriall made the birds, the fish and the animals, which could view the results of creation themselves, and Arvins, Armeros and Queprur instructed the newly formed beings in hunting and killing and Jeyriall revealed to them the secret of loving and giving birth in order to maintain the circle of life.

Jeyriall and Armeros coupled and bore offsprings, the Titans: In the so called Great Year when all the other Gods made the skies, the stars, the mountains and the seas, Jeyriall and Armeros had to wait until they could begin their assigned tasks of giving life and war, harmony and contradiction to the designed world. So together they withdrew to a beautiful green valley on an isle surrounded by high mountains which Urtengor had made for their rest. As they were all alone with themselves and thought about the deeds of the other Gods the will to create overwhelmed them and they lay together. And eventually their secret love produced four children with divine qualities: Avásh'estár (
Avásh'estár), the Titan of the Wind, Mód'estár (Mód'estár), the Titan of Earth, Már'estár (Már'estár), the Titan of Water and finally Efér'estár (Efér'estár), the Titan of Fire. Return to the top

Importance. Jeyriall, as can be seen from her many names, is the Goddess of Growth and Increase (although she takes little interest in Etherus’ domain of sensuality, lust, and sex solely for sex’s sake).

The Jeyriallene Purification

View picture in full size Picture description. A woman performing the Purification Rite of the Goddess of Fertility, Jeyriall, a few days before giving birth. Image by Bard Judith.

Fecundity, abundance, and reproduction, whether of plant or animal, are all in Jeyriall's demesnes. She holds sway over all crops, medicinal herbs, and cultivated vegetation. Pregnant beings and animals come under her auspices, particularly strongly at the full moon. For example the Jeyriallene Purification Rite is widely spread in most parts of Santharia, a bath pregnant women take in or near a temple of the Goddess during the last days of pregnancy. It is meant as much more than just a physical cleaning, being combined with an extensive praying session and thus a spiritual preparation for giving new life, which was received months ago from the hands of the Goddess of Fertility.

Jeyriall's nature is generous and life-loving, and thus is easily swayed by any threat to the continued existence of her creatures. During harvest time there is always a chance of a sprinkle or two of rain, in the changeable fall weather, and these short showers are referred to as “Jeyriall’s Tears” - the saying being that the Goddess is weeping for the cut crops. There are a number of simple ceremonies often performed at this time, with the pious intent of cheering up the mournful deity, but with the overt desire for the rain to stop so the harvest can be gotten in expeditiously!

One such typical action is to make a woven trummel, or basket in a characteristic shallow inverted dome-shape. When filled to overflowing with fruits and vegetables it is known as the Jeytrum. It is frequently seen in sculpted form as the base for statues of Jeyriall, and is a common offering from rural districts to their local temple. Farmers and peasants often also construct the Cornplat, a sheaf of grain plaited roughly into human shape, with the heads of the grain flowing upwards and out to represent hair. The Cornplat is then hung on an exterior wall where it overlooks the household until next year’s planting, at which time it is taken down, burnt, and its ashes scattered on the newly broken ground.

A noisy farmer’s dance sometimes takes place in rural communities, where the men of the village dress in women’s clothing and borrow assorted household metal items: old pots, broken implements, large scissors with loose blades... anything that can be clinked, banged, or bashed to make a rhythmic noise will do. They cavort through the village and out around the boundaries of as many plowders as they can manage before their legs and ears tire. The women and children of the village follow them delightedly, clapping and stamping in time, and improvising wreaths from whatever vegetation is in leaf at the time. Oddly enough, unlike many so-called harvest celebrations, this “Jinglin’ Leap”, as it is named, does not end in a free-for-all orgy, but rather at the nearest tavern.
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Girl with a flower wreath

View picture in full size Picture description. A girl with a flower wreath at a Jeyriallene festival. Image by Bard Judith.

Symbols. Jeyriall is represented by the colours umber (soft yellow), pink, purple, and peach, which stand for the ripe autumn shades of harvest time. She is evoked by the full moon, all stonefruits (peach, plum, cherry, apricot, etc.), islands, the period of dawn (sunrise), low hills, triangles/circles, grain and grass, and the flowers of the foridus. All household containers are sacred to Jeyriall, such as bowls, jugs, baskets, and most particularly cups. Animals said to be specially favoured by her are the rubit, the golden butterfly, the harvest mouse, and the Strata cow.

Jeyriall's
most famous symbol is the Cup; a deeply-bellied goblet with a simple flared handhold and base, cast or molded in one piece. Stylized as an upright semicircle with a long triangle beneath, the Cup stands for all the bounties which Jeyriall loves to pour out upon her worshippers. It can also be seen as a pregnant belly, a bent head upon a graceful long neck, a symbol of insemination, or the moon poised over a mountain.
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Celebrations. Obviously the eighth month (Sleeping Dreameress) of the Santharian Calendar is sacred to Jeyriall, and the entire harvest season cannot be gotten through without constant awareness of her presence and involvement. See notes above. However, in the third and fourth months (Ploughin and Seeddown to the peasants, Awakening Earth and Changing Winds respectively to the nobles) there are also two days set apart for her observances. The eighth day of the third month is generally considered an auspicious time to break the ground (may be later in some more northward regions) and is called Frostturn Day. Plowblades, shovels, axes, and other bladed implements undergo a rather suggestive ritual in which they are ceremoniously greased with fresh butter in before being sunk into the earth. Traces of this custom may still be seen among the city folk, who slide their knives through (rather than wiping them across) the pat of butter on the table before cutting their bread. The eighth day of the fourth month is, somewhat unauspiciously, named Mód'estár (
Mód'estár) or “Earth-Giant”, but it is the day appointed to get one’s seeds or seedlings into the ground - and everyone knows that it’s dreadfully bad fortune to start planting earlier. Seeds may be ‘set’, or ‘started’ inside, of course, but the plots of land must remain empty until 8th Seeddown. Return to the top

Temple Design. Places sacred to Jeyriall range from tiny plowdar-corner shrines built out of stray field rocks to monolithic temples which form the showpiece of a city. Whatever the size or complexity, however, they are inevitably triangular or pyramidal in shape. Wayside and field shrines are usually a pile of rocks set up in a cairn, often with a bowl or cup inserted into one of the sides which can be filled with milk or other food offerings.

The larger temples often have an area of cultivated or planted ground around them, even in the busiest cities, and many jutting balconies, ledges, planters, and open spaces to maximize vegetative space. Water is an often-used decorative feature; flowing, falling, trickling through carved gutters, or in a still pond. Often built from orange or golden sandstone, Jeyriallene temples have a rich glow to their exterior which is often enhanced by the use of actual gold on the window trim, planter boxes, and capstones.

The Jeyriallene Temple at Nougvin

View picture in full size Picture description: The famous Jeyriallene temple at Nougvin in the midst of the Maehetilon Forest near the Anaios Gap. Pic drawn by Tanos.

Inside, the temples are equally welcoming, with a serenity enhanced by the quiet light, the gurgle of flowing water, and the large, curved rooms. They often serve as sanctuaries for pregnant women who are experiencing complications with their pregnancy or who are actually ready to give birth and wish to be assisted by the midwife-priestesses of the temple. Often their deeper rooms are used as food storage by the city, and it is said that the pyramidal shape of the temple has something to do with the fact that grain, root vegetables, and even smoked meat will stay fresh for far longer than in other cold storage areas. Return to the top

Temple Locations. The most famous Jeyriallene temple, the Temple of Water and Earth (Styrásh
Már'mód or Már'mód), can be found at the northwestern border of the central Santharian province of Sanguia. It is located near the small town Nougvin in the midst of the Maehetilon Forest at the Anaios Gap and was built upon the river Vong, which drops into the unknown of the Anaios Gap. The temple was erected between 690 and 675 b.S., honoring the Goddess as well as Diraton of Caelum, the Centoraurian hero who sacrificed his life leading many dark elves directly into the Anaios Gap. The lovely landscaping repeats the triangular form of the main building of the temple, and the balconies are thickly planted with herbs. The temple represents a wonderful composition of various Jeyriallene themes and aside from its religious importance also is a magnificent piece of architecture.

The second most important Jeyriallene temple is the so-called Astharói (Styrásh:
Astharói, lit. "Threes"), consisting of three triangular buildings forming another triangle in honor of the Goddess. The Astharói is located in northern Santharia, at the province of Nermeran in fertile plains of the Vale of Kalir, near the province's capital, Nyermersys. The temple is embedded by mountain ranges with the Ishmarin lake close by and is not only a wonderful site but also an often visited place for pilgrims of this Water Goddess. Return to the top


Jeyriall, the Goddess of Harvest

"Theme of Jeyriall", composed and performed by Macar
Format: MP3, Length: 4:06. Original Santharian Work
Click here to download the song, use right-click and "Save as..." (3.76 MB). Return to the top
 

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