K is for Kwan Yin

will do. At least there won’t be a 5k post about Hir. 😉 I’ll also admit to using the ‘Kwan Yin’ translation, rather than Guanyin or Quan Yin, if only because I was srsly lacking K topics to write about that I hadn’t already covered elsewhere. If it helps, Sie is known as Kannon in Japan, so K isn’t so ridiculous.

I’m not sure when exactly it was I stumbled across Kwan Yin. I honestly can’t remember. But what I do remember is reading over one of Hir myths, about why Sie wanted to remain on Earth with the people, and it really touched me. I can’t find the website anymore, but it still resonates. That Sie would not go back until Sie’d helped everyone obtain enlightenment. There’s something about that I love, even though I am not one of Hir children.

I was also intrigued by Hir evolution, from a male Indian deity into a female bodhisattva/deity in China, Korea, and Japan. As a queer pagan, this sort of bendiness intrigues me, because I don’t think I’ve come across anyone saying one form is more ‘true’ than the other. They serve different purposes, I think, in each of the cultures Sie appears in. I find that really interesting. You could approach Hir as male, or female, or as an androgynous being. All three approaches are valid, I think.

I personally connect to Hir as a more genderless/androgynous entity, but this is not unusual for me. I also find it’s a way to include both ‘sides’ of Hir, the male and female, rather than ‘pick sides’, as it were. Though I only have female statues of Hir because that’s all I have access to, and it’s pretty much all I can find out there. I have a feeling Kwan Yin is to Hir male form what Isis is to Aset, a form taken on by/interpreted by outside cultures that took Hir in a new direction, where Sie ended up more popular than where Sie started out. This is something I also find very interesting, even though I don’t think Kwan Yin has changed all that much from Hir original form, not the way Isis came to encompass a whole number of other Goddesses when She left Egypt. Kwan Yin seems to have kept more of Hir core personality.

Sie’s a very quiet deity. I’ve never heard Hir speak. Sie, more than other deities, definitely speaks with emotions more than anything else. Sie is easiest to hear in silence, which is not easy to find in the modern world. I think it’s Meretseger? Who also has this property of being a deity who can only be heard in Silence? But don’t quote me on that.

The only time I’ve come fleetingly close to knowing Hir is for a piece I wrote for the role-play comm., musing_way, on Dreamwidth, where one of my muses was told to seek out Kwan Yin (or Quan Yin, as I translated it in that piece).  Sie is not a tangible thing, but a sensation, a presence. That’s mostly how I see Hir.

Sie has the same sort of energy as Mary and Isis and Yemaya. I see the four as being connected by a similar thread of energy. I hesitate to call Them aspects, like Nit-Nebthet-Seshat, or Aset-Serqet; I don’t think that’s correct. They’re not the same Goddess either (and Mary isn’t even technically a Goddess anyway). But there is something about Their energy that is similar, that rings true for all of Them. I know Isis, Yemaya, and Kwan Yin have all been linked to Mary throughout history, so this is not that surprising, but sometimes it’s surprising to actually experience that linking for yourself, and not just read about it in a book. You know?

I’m … I hesitate to say we work together, Kwan Yin and I. I think what we have is something of a friendship, if that’s even the right word to use. But I keep a shrine to Hir, and Sie still seems to hear me, and occasionally, I feel Hir presence. I think that Depeche Mode song ‘Enjoy the Silence’ is Hirs. It’s in the depths of the night, when it’s so quiet nothing else seems to be stirring, that I find it easiest to hear Hir. That’s the quietest time I can find. When I can feel Hir presence the most. Whatever our relationship, Sie does respond, but I think we both just like checking in with each other to see how we’re going. Sie doesn’t seem interested in a larger role than that, probably because other Gods have more of a claim over me than Sie does. But I still think Sie likes me.

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One comment on “K is for Kwan Yin

  1. Jack says:

    I have had the pleasure of working with Kuan Yin, though I’m saving up because I think I’ll need some help with Q… Hooray for alternate romanization options, right? This was great to read, thanks for sharing. 🙂

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