Deity, Native American Lore

Who is Estsanatlehi: Navaho Goddess


By Morningbird

Estsanatlehi is a Navaho Goddess from the Arizona area. Her name means “The woman who changes” or maybe “She who renews herself”. She is also called “Changing Woman” by modern worshipers and has also been called “Turquoise Woman”, and “Painted Woman”.

Estsanatlehi ages, but then grows young again. How this occurs varies by story but many view her as the personification of the changing seasons and the eternal cycle of life. She is the sister of Yolkai Estsan.

Estsanatlehi lives in a floating house in the Western sea (Pacific?) where the sun Tsohanoai, her lover, visits Her at the end of His journey each evening. According to one legend, she became lonely one day and fashioned men and women out of Her own skin to keep Her company. Thus humanity came into being.

In other stories, She was found by the first man and woman as an infant, a gift, destined to be the savior of humanity. They took her home to raise her, but she was full-grown in 18 days! Other stories say she was raised by coyotes.

One of her stories states that she had twin sons by her lover, the Sun. These boys grew into manhood in 8 days and then received magical weapons from their father to go and slay the monsters that were wreaking havoc throughout the land of men.

They did this, destroying all but four of the monsters; age, winter, poverty, and famine survived. Then they celebrated and built their mother a house of turquoise out on the Western sea. But the battle had left humans practically extinct.

Estsanatlehi brushed white flour from her right breast, and yellow cornmeal from her left breast and mixed a dough and molded a man and a woman and then covered them with a magical blanket. The next day they were alive and each day for the next four days they produced children who would give rise to the four great Navaho clans.

Written by Morningbird & Witchipedia Team

I have been practicing magick alone and with family and friends for over 30 years. As a founder and lead writer on Witchipedia, I’ve been publishing articles since 2006.

It is our mission to provide the most accurate Pagan, occult and magical information.

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