goddess

WitchCrafting: Crafts for Witches

September, 2016

Creating your own Pantheon

Witchcraft

Merry meet.

The Greeks, Romans, Celts, Norse, Egyptians, Mayans and other ancient civilizations had a plethora of deities that helped with a host of specific conditions related to daily life. There were gods of war, fire and the sea, and goddesses of agriculture, wisdom and the hunt.

While most religions now demand worship of only one god, it remains customary for pagans to pick and choose among the many pantheons. This column suggests a third option – to create your own gods and goddesses.

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In 2005, I participated in a goddess swap that broadened my horizons when I realized that in addition to existing deities, I could make up new ones. Participants produced goddesses that filled a need. There was the Goddess of Bad Hair Days, Goddess of World Peace and Goddess of the Sacred Fire Within. ists created trading cards depicting goddesses for children, day dreams, the shadow moon and sex. I made the Goddess of Lost Items and the Goddess of Laughter.

The exercise helped me realize that given our own divine nature, we are free to craft deities and let them lend their energy to spells and rituals. While those in this column are represented on paper, you could also make them from clay, fabric, wood or any of a number of representative objects such as a garden statue, a Barbie doll dressed in ritual garb or a butter fly used to depict the Goddess of Transformation.

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As the need arises to seek assistance, be creative.

For instance, if you seek help with communication, financial gain, commerce or travel, you could call on the Roman god Mercury or his Greek equivalent, Hermes, or you could give birth to Zetta.

Few people build shrines, makes offerings or holds festivals to honor Mercury or Hermes these days, but we do have something of a modern equivalent: the Apple Stores, built by Steve Jobs. They are places of commerce to which people travel to worship communication devices, all of which have large amounts of digital information measured in bytes. First it was kilo-, then mega- and giga-; now were up to counting terabytes. It wont be long before we reach zettabytes, so I think Zetta would be a wonderful name for the Goddess of Technology. She would be someone you could pray to when your phone gets wet, your computer spontaneously switches to the blue screen of death or your tablet wont stay charged. When prayed to daily, this goddess also remembers login information.

I dont know if the Babylonians or the Incas had need of a central nervous system stimulant, but its clear our civilization does, to the point people are physically dependent on caffeine. You cant drive two miles in most directions without being able to get coffee at a drive-through window. One of these places has even adopted the Goddess Caffeina as its logo. You see her on every cup, wearing a crown topped with a star. Known to some as Our Lady of Latte, she imparts energy to the tired and clarity to the fog-brained.

I think we need a goddess of weight loss. A deity with the power to negate the calories in chocolate, transform a craving for potato chips into a desire for broccoli and make your favorite pair of jeans still fit. Someone like Calorieena, a gluten-free, bacon-loving Paleo Warrior. Organic vegetables, wild berries and clothing that is now too big would be offerings left on the altar of this guardian of releasing that which weighed us down.

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I often need a Goddess to Find Lost Items. I call her Findderina. She knows the location of every missing object even before you know its lost, and then she produces it right before your eyes with the polite but urgent prompt, Show me (whatever it is youre looking for)” repeated until you have it back, or “By the power of three times three, let me see, let me see.” You can also call to Findderina with the words, “By the power of three, bring (whatever it is) to me. As I will, so mote it be.

I dont know about you, but I often need help remembering a word. That word. The word that if I manage to get out of my brain, gets stuck on the tip of my tongue. The one hovering on the edge of my consciousness, mocking me. That word. A goddess who could produce that word might be called Thesauri, and she would be most revered by the older and wiser among us.

I know I also need help dealing with the opinions of many I encounter on social media during political campaigns. I find myself resorting to sarcasm, which is not particularly helpful, even when done with humor. Now, if there was a god who could intervene in such instances, the world might be a better place. The Great Sarcasmo, perhaps? Or, maybe Sarcasi?

Since Christopher was dethroned as the patron saint of travelers, we have needed someone to sit on our dashboards and watch over us. Someone who could get us where we wanted to go. A deity with maps and coordinates and the ability to recalculate. I think such a god might be called Geepeaesse. Hed be a god with contact information and live traffic reports. Hes have the ability to turn red lights green, keep tires from deflating and gas tanks from running dry.

Geepeaesses twin is Rodezen, the God of Tranquil Travel. He is the one I find myself needing to call on every time a driver pulls an idiot move anywhere near me.

There are glamour spells, so it seems theres no reason we cant have a Glamour Goddess that can insure the last two articles of clean clothing suitable for the office coordinate. She can gloss over the look your face gets when you havent had enough sleep in three nights and tame even the worst bad hair day.

I’ve needed deities to bring rain during this hot, dry summer and to help me move past fear. I hope you’ll use the comment section to share the gods and goddesses you plan for your pantheon.

Merry part.

And merry meet again.

She who is All; The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

September, 2016

EVAKI

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To the Bakairi Indians of South America, Evaki was the Goddess of Night and Day. She was also revered as the Goddess of Darkness, the Guardian of the Sun and Keeper of Dreams.

Evaki, who was sometimes represented as a bat, possessed a pot with a lid. Each morning, She would remove the lid in the East to release the sun at its’ starting point as it began its’ journey across the sky. Each evening, She would recapture the sun, place it in Her pot and replace the lid. It was She who filled the day with light and the night with darkness.

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(Photo Credit: nmorpa.com)

Evaki was also known to be the Goddess of Sleep and Dreams. It as she who stole the power of sleep from the lizards to share with all other living creatures. She held the power of dreams and their meanings, teaching those who would interpret them.

It is said that Evaki is the daughter of Coniraya, God of the moon, water and rain. Coniraya took the Goddess Konassa and they had several children. Legend has it that Coniraya gave his daughter, Evaki, to an Incan king in a box, which when it opened, was filled with light. This is the box that Evaki possessed throughout Her life.

Evaki was aunt to the twin heroes, Keri and Kame, sons of Her brother, Oka. It was Keri and Kame who adapted the Earth for humans to live; and it is they who taught men to hunt and to use fire.

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(Photo Credit: whatsyoursign.com)

One of the legends surrounding Evaki, is that She had chosen a young woman of the Tribe, named Aiyana, to teach her about dreams and how to interpret them.

Aiyana did not find love while she was younger, and so grew older, without husband or child. She wanted a child desperately, and so prayed to Evaki to send her a dream on how she could get the child she so wanted. Evaki went to the other Gods and Goddesses for advice, but since Aiyana was now too old to conceive, there was not much they could do for her. Because of this Evaki sent her a dream that she should travel to the river. When Aiyana arrived, she found an abandoned baby, which she took and raised as her own, naming her Ho’kee. Ho’kee grew to be so beautiful that men fought over her; her beauty was such that it started a war. Aiyana once again prayed to Evaki, who told her to take Ho’kee and hide until the fighting was over. They were taken in by a nearby peaceful tribe and lived there until Aiyana died a natural death. Ho’kee was devastated until Evaki came to her, letting her know that Aiyana was with Her and was happy.

May Evaki brighten your days and bless your nights with sweet dreams.

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(Photo Credit: emaze.com)

She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

August, 2016

Domnu

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(Photo Credit: www.tianaart.com)

Not very well known, Domnu is the Ancient Mother Goddess of the Fomorii, ancestors to the Celts, before the arrival of Danu and the Tuatha de Dannaan, by whom, it is said, She was overthrown.

Domnu was in the *before time*, deeply asleep in the abyss in the land of mist. She spoke the spell:

“I am Domnu the spirit that moves in the abyss beyond time,

My face is desire, my eyes sees all, my pain is loneliness, and my womb give birth to all,

And my breast will feed the voided,

For I am Domnu mother and bringer of life and bringer of death renewed,

I am the eye that sees, I am the heart that thinks, and the tongue that speaks,

I am the three I am the one, I am the Mother of all.

And an eternal mist spread to the fire eternal, and the mist was cold that fire eternal,

And Tir-na-h’Oigh was formed, and the secret pathway was laid, and this would be a place of eternal beauty at no living eyes would see, Sep in a dream.”

At Her words, the world and its’ peoples were birthed.

Domnu’s name means “the deep” and that is where Her children, the Formorii, are said to have come, from deep within the darkness of the sea, the depths of the waters, where all life is born.

She is the great Mother of the Oceans and her names are many — Queen of the Deep, Lady of Springs and Wells, Goddess of the Deep and Flowing Water.

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(Photo Credit: avalonessences.co.uk)

The waters of Her ocean home evaporate in to the clouds, which bring rain to our Earth, giving us lakes, rivers, and streams. The water returns to the ocean and, thus, the cycle begins again.

With her deep connection to the waters, it is no surprise that She is associated with the whales, dolphins, seals and selkies. She, herself, is sometimes seen as a Mermaid.

Just as She is the element of Water, from which all life flows, She is our emotions, as it is from Her that we receive our passions and our desires. She is in our blood, our sweat and our tears.

She insists that we feel, and feel deeply. She knows that with her gifts of compassion and understanding, we can cleanse ourselves in her waters, heal our emotional wounds and gain an inner wisdom. Her wish is for us to learn to live with the ebbs and flows of our lives, like the ebbs and flows of the ocean tides.

Domnu’s Sabbat is the just-passed Summer Solstice (in the Northern Hemisphere) and, naturally Hers colors are the blue and turquoise of the sea.

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(Photo Credit: www.tianaart.com)

You can honor Domnu in many ways: going to the beach and immersing yourself in the ocean; you may take a ritual bath, at home, in salted water; decorate your altar with a chalice and shells, two of her symbols. You can donate your money or your time to organizations that work to save the oceans and the life within it, such as Ocean Conservancy, Oceana or Save the Whales.

As the summer gets going in all its’ glory, take the time to find your way to the ocean, immerse yourself in Her watery depths, and honor this ancient Mother Goddess. Domnu will bless you for it.

Resources:

oldtales.ning.com

goddessaday.com

norfolkgoddesstemple.co.uk

She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

May, 2016

Maia

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(Photo Credit: femcompetitor.com)

Maia is the Goddess for whom the month of May is named. 

Various meanings of her name are *grandmother*, *midwife*, *wise one*, *She Who is Great*. In Rome, she was also known as “Maia Maiestas”, meaning “Maia the Majestic”.

While much of Her story has been forgotten, there are a few things we do know about Her.

She was the eldest daughter of Atlas and Pleione, the oldest of what came to be known as the Pleiades; as such, in Greece, She was also called the Goddess of the Night Sky.

The Pleiades were the 7 Sisters who were nymphs in the company of emis. Their name became the name of the 7 star-cluster constellation in our night sky. They were born in a cave on Mount Cyllene, where Maia continued to live, quite secluded.

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(Photo Credit: Pinterest)

Apparently, she was not quite secluded enough as Zeus found her, and in due course, She gave birth to Hermes, the Messenger of the Gods. She is sometimes called the *Grandmother of Magic*, as it is said (but highly doubtful) that Hermes invented magic. Maia was also given Arcas, Zeus’ son by Callisto, to raise as Callisto was turned into a bear by the Goddess Hera, who was ever jealous of Zeus’ extra-marital relationships.

In Rome, She was Earth Goddess; the goddess of youth, love, birth and sexuality. She was the goddess of plants and of Spring. She was also a Fire Goddess, who ruled growth, warmth and sexual heat. She was paired with the God Vulcan, as he also was a deity of heat and fire. She was

honored in Rome in the month of August at August Volcanalia, a festival to ward off fires that were caused by the dry weather and extreme heat that could destroy the harvest.

She was celebrated as the Goddess of Spring, welcoming in the renewal and rebirth of the new season, shedding the death of winter. She represented growth and fertility and was honored with an abundance of flowers at her festival on May 1st. This festival was eventually changed to honor Mary as the Queen of Flowers, but it will always belong to Maia.

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(Photo Credit: greekgoddesses.wikia.com)

In both Greek and Roman cultures, Maia was strongly identified with Mother Earth, who in Greek was Gaia to the Roman Terra. She was also identified with Bona Dea, The Good Goddess.

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(Photo Credit: listal.com)

May all the joys of Spring be yours!

Many blessings!

)O(

She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

April, 2016

Gaia

“Gaia, the beautiful, rose up,

Broad blossomed, She that is

the steadfast base of all things.

And fair, Gaia first bore the

starry heaven, equal to Herself,

to cover her on all sides, and to be

a home for the blessed gods”

~~ Hesiod, Ancient Greek Poet

In the beginning, there was Chaos — and then, Gaia rose.

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(Photo credit: Pinterest)

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There was no shape, no boundaries; chaos coalesced into our Mother, Gaia, the Earth beneath our feet, Great Mother of us all, complete within Herself.

Before Time, there was only She. Time, named Chronos, was her child, but she was lonely and felt desire. She created Uranus, her son, as the heavens above her. and brought forth the deities of heaven. The consummation of Her desire awoke her creativity and more of Her children came forth – the Titans, Cyclops, the Giants, the Meliae and the Erinyes. She created the sea and named it Pontus, from whom came the deities of the ocean.

Uranus was jealous of Gaia’s other children and so she hid them deep within Her womb. When She became so heavy, that She could no longer hide them, She asked them to help Her deal with Uranus. All but one refused. Gaia formed a sickle and Chronos went forth and hid himself. When Uranus came to force himself upon Gaia, Chronos was ready. He grabbed Uranus’ genitals and castrated him. The blood of Uranus formed the Furies.

Her symbols were the fruit and grain, and the Earth itself. She was worshiped with offerings of barley and honey, in caves that were seen as the womb of the Earth, Her womb.

“I shall sing of Gaia,

Universal Mother,

firmly founded,

Oldest of all the Holy Ones.”

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(Photo credit: yoganonymous.com)

~~ Homer, Ancient Greek Author

Her shrines were many — in Tetrapolis, Claros, Patara, Patrai, Athens, Phyle, Tegea, Salamis and a deep sanctuary in Gaios. The most famous shrine, of which She was the original deity, was at Delphi.

Her priestesses were the Sibyls, the Pythias and the Melisea. The priestesses heard Her wise words and spoke Her wisdom at the sacred caves and shrines.

At Delphi, which was said to be the navel of the center of the Earth, both priestesses and worshippers bathed in the Castalian Spring, bubbling up from the deep. Her words came to both the rich and the poor alike, as all sought out Her wisdom.

When the barbarians from the north came with their male-identified religions and conquered the matriarchal societies, they took over Her shrines and tried to diminish Her power.

With the new patriarchal religions, the name of Gaia Olympia was changed to Olympus as Zeus came to rule. Delphi was also conquered and given to Apollo, who told all to ignore the wisdom of Gaia and to only listen to his wisdom. He took control of the Gaian rites of worship and turned them to his worship.

As he took control, it is said that Gaia’s priestess, Delphyna, tried to bar him from entering the sacred shrine; Apollo sent her to her death.

Many years later, the shrine was still held as a sacred site, but was closed by one of the Roman emperors as a threat to Christianity; the subsequent emperor ordered it completely destroyed. Yet, to this day, two of the fountains that were fed by the Castalian Spring still survive.

It is said that all of the Gaian prophecies were written down and hidden. Whether this is true or not, I could not say, but nevertheless Gaia’s wisdom lives on.

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(Photo Credit: sodahead.com)

Resources:

The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines by Patricia Monaghan

Ancient Mirrors of Womanhood by Merlin Stone

She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

March, 2016

artemis

(Dedicated to Sunshine)

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(Photo Credit: symbolreader.net)

he Greek Goddess, artemis, is very complex. She personifies opposites.

She is seen as a virginal moon goddess, however, She is a goddess of fertility and childbirth. She was a fierce hunter, who could kill with one shot of her arrow; yet, She fiercely protected the animals of the forest and woods.

She is said to be born of Zeus and Leto. At the time of her birth, Leto was very weak, and so, it is told that She helped birth her twin brother, Apollo. Due to this, she is a Goddess of Fertility and Childbirth, a force of creation. Women in childbirth would pray to her for the safety of their children and of themselves.

As a child, she was asked by Zeus what she wanted for her birthday. She replied that she wanted a bow and arrow, like her brother; She wanted to bring light into the world, and She wanted to live her life free from love and marriage.

She valued freedom above all else and refused to conform to convention or the traditional roles of women. She was quick to anger if any man would look upon her.

Aktaon was found spying on her, unclothed, while she bathed. In Her anger at his behavior, she turned him into a stag. His hunting dogs, not knowing it was him, tore him apart.

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(Photo Credit: greekmythology.wikia.com)

As a bringer of light into a dark world, She is often portrayed carrying a torch or a candle, always lighting the way for others. She nurtured the needy and protected the weak. As She defended the people against the patriarchy of the Olympian gods, She was an early feminist and is invoked by some of today’s Goddess feminists, most often in her guise of the Roman Diana.

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(Photo Credit: gettyimages.com)

She is portrayed always in the company of other women, bathing or roaming through the forest, which was Her domain. This domain is the home of two of her symbols, the bear and the stag. Her rituals were conducted within the forest and trees, under the sacred light of the full moon.

The women, or nymphs that accompanied her, would run with here through the woods, as fast and sure as the deer. When they could not run from the men who chased them, they would call upon artemis for protection.

One such woman was Daphne, who ran away from Apollo, the brother of artemis. She was in such fear of being captured and used by Apollo, that she called out to emis to save her, whereupon artemis transformed her into a laurel tree. Apollo was ever seen after that with a wreath of laurel upon his brow.

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(Photo Credit: greekmythology.wikia.com)

Another, Arethusa, who also loved her freedom and roaming the wood, was running from Alpheus when she called upon artemis. She was rescued by being transformed into a beautiful spring of clear, clean water; as such she would still have the freedom to roam through the forest.

Even though they looked to Her as the Goddess of War, She was worshipped as the many-breasted Mother Goddess of the Amazons at Her Temple at Ephesus, which was a Wonder of the Ancient World. She was served by the Melissa, the Bee Priestesses, who are also associated with Aphrodite, Persephone, Demeter and Cybele. As the Mother of the Amazons, she was called “Proto Thronia” – artemis, First Upon the Throne. She and her Temple were held as sacred.

This is a portrayal of the Melissa, the Bee Priestesses of artemis.

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(Photo Credit: realmofgoldthenovel.blogspot.com)

The Greek traveler and geographer, Pausanius said of Ephesus, “All cities worship emis of Ephesus and individuals hold her in honor above all other deities. This is due to the renown of the Amazons, , those who first consecrated the land of Ephesus, those who dedicated the first image of the Goddess before the Ionian Greeks arrived”.

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(Photo credit: thinglink.com)

While some will state that the Temple at Pyrrichos in Greece belonged to Apollo, it was to artemis that the Temple belonged, as it was built to honor Amazons who had fallen in war.

While emis was identified with Dyktynna in Crete, Britomartis in Minoa and Bendis, who rode a mighty horse through Thrace with her torch and spear, She is most identified with the Roman Goddess Diana.

Diana, who was originally the Goddess of the open sky became the Huntress Moon Goddess of Rome. She also was worshipped only out of doors. Her name comes from the word “diania”, which means intelligence. She gives her name to Dianic Witchcraft, as founded by Zsuzanna Budapest.

A ritual to emis would have your altar adorned with a green altar cloth and green candle to symbolize the forest. The Goddess candle, symbolizing artemis, would be white or silver. Some of the symbols you could include would be the moon, a stag or bear, or any other forest animal.

As always, take a cleansing bath before ritual and cast a circle in your own tradition. Breathe, meditate and focus on artemis and what you would ask of her. Light the white Goddess candle. When done, thank Her for Her presence and close your circle according to your own tradition.

Blessings

Resources:

The New Book of Goddesses & Heroines by Patricia Monaghan

goddessgift.com

Ancient Mirrors of Womanhood by Merlin Stone

Finding the Pagan Way

March, 2016

For many years of my life, I was reluctant to believe in the survival of the personality after physical death. I suspected that any such belief was just wishful thinking combined with my Roman Catholic upbringing. After the death of my father at the age of twelve, I walked away from mainstream spirituality and looked to more materialistic answers to the questions that life poses to us all.
I was fascinated by the writings of R.D. Laing. In his book, Sanity Madness and the Family, he described the ability of a young man, being treated for schizophrenia in a mental hospital, to give details of his family’s actions. The young man was able to describe situations in his wider family circle which he had no physical way of knowing about. I came to assume that this was merely evidence for the existence of some type of telepathy. I believed that we all received these signals, but a healthy personality filtered them out to enable people to cope with modern civilisation.
There was some fascinating research done in the USSR in the 1950’s which theorised that the human nervous system acted as both an aerial, and a transmitter, for electrical signals and which even calculated the frequency which telepathy worked at. I was quite confident that most unexplained phenomenon would eventually turn out to be undiscovered science.

Other books, such as ‘Supernature’ and ‘Lifetide’, by Lyall Watson convinced me that all life was somehow connected. However, I saw no reason to assume that this connection was not part of the normal material structure of the universe. I came to believe that it was simply a matter of convenience and comfort as to which gods or goddesses we chose to believe in and that atheism was just another viewpoint which was equally as valid. It seemed to me that somehow, mankind had inexplicable skills which were simply aspects of undiscovered natural laws. I learned how to live with doubt and found it was a great liberator. I accepted that my beliefs were simply that, -my beliefs, nothing more. I was happy to believe in the possibility of an underlying intelligence to the universe. It was also obvious to me that this intelligence had many aliases and was happy to answer to all of them. Even Yahweh (Jehovah) means “I AM WHO I AM”.

So why am I a Pagan?
I was fascinated by “The White Goddess”; – She reminded me of a vision I had as a child.
I asked her to show herself to me many years ago. I was much like a prayer to the Unknown Goddess. My life was to totally change before she appeared. She came to me with the gift of poetry and slowly revealed herself over the last six years.


The Goddess Calls

Who are you?
Strange longing that has crept into my restful soul,
I hear your quiet whisper, but, in words not of my race…
There is nothing in this world is seek, – My cup is full
and yet you call me softly from some distant place.

Are you the whisper in the wind that calls my name?
Or the Breaking of the waves against some rocky shore?
Or Moonlit shadows rustling in some country lane.
I feel as …if somehow you’ve called my name before.

Stay! Don’t fade away!
Your gentle torture seems to stir my bones.
I wait and listen in this dying light of day,
Perhaps My Goddess speaks in these soft tones.

Oh that I were not deaf and blind
to all those things on which my spirit soars,
If all the thoughts which cloud my mind were gone,
And only You and I remained as once before.

Patrick Kavanagh
16/04/12

As the riddle of the Goddess unravelled itself in my life, I became aware of the reality of many things which I had previously suspected were only tricks of the mind. For example, had anyone told me ten years ago that I would not only believe in the faeries, – but also interact with them, I would have never have believed them.
It was at Cabourne Parva, in Caistor, Lincolnshire, that I met the Faeries again for the first time since childhood. They completely changed my life and filled it with magic and meaning. My Goddess is the Goddess of the Fae. She is my muse and my inspiration. She is my protector and my guide. I have other guides, but meeting the Goddess was probably the scariest experience I have ever had. I no longer have any real doubts. I now live the life which I never truly believed was possible, although I have a long way to go before I canny fully act from my heart rather than my head. I still try to keep an open mind on all things. However, I am now on the inside looking out, – so real objectivity is pretty much impossible!

Walk With Me

Leave your nagging doubts behind and walk with me to find some quiet place.
When the glamour of the life you thought you’d love has gone.
When the worries, and the stresses, get too much.
When you’ve gone along the road as far as you can go,
When you learned to doubts the things that used to mean so much.
Then walk with me.

Leave the noise behind,
Leave your watch behind and leave your mobile phone.
Find a place where you can truly be alone,
And find me waiting there.

In a forest, field or quiet garden.
In a beach or park, or just a candle in a quiet room
You will find me in the silence,
Stop and listen, Find the light behind the gloom,
And you will find me there.

You wonder who I am.
I am the gentle touch upon your hair.
I am the comfort and companionship when there is no one there.
I am the eagle flying high, I am the wolf, – I am the bear.
I am the Dawning and the End of Time.
Look within yourself, and I am always there.

Patrick W Kavanagh
21/09/2013

She who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

January, 2016

Isis

I have chosen Isis for this month’s column because I do believe it is time for us and Her to reclaim Her name from those who use it to bring terror, evil, murder and injustice into our world. She is a Goddess from the beginning and She is still worshipped today. Let Her name be heard and live beyond those who dishonor her.

There, in the beginning was Isis, Oldest of the Old, She

was the Goddess from whom all Becoming arose.

She was the Great Lady, Mistress of the Two Lands,

Mistress of Shelter, Mistress of Heaven, Mistress of

the House of Life. She was the Unique. In all Her

great and wonderful works, She was a wiser magician

and more excellent than any other.”

~ ~ R. E. Witt

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(Photo credit: nasrinsafai.com)

Our beloved Isis was the first daughter of Nut, the Sky Goddess and Geb, the Earth God. Her twin sister-Goddess was Nepthys.

Isis was kind to her people, spending time with them, teaching the women how to grind corn and make bread. She taught the people agriculture and reading.

One of the stories surrounding Her is the anger she felt at Ra’s uncaring and cruelty to the people. She fashioned a snake out of mud and Ra’s saliva, which she had stolen. When Ra was subsequently bitten by this snake, becoming very ill, he ironically called for Isis to cure him due to her powerful healing magic. She refused to do this unless he gave to Her his secret name of power. Continuing to feel ill, Ra agreed and whispered his secret name to Her, realizing that from that point on, Isis would then have power over him.

While Isis loved Her people, She most loved her beloved brother/ lover/consort/husband Osiris. Overcome with jealously, their brother Set, who wanted Isis for his own, killed Osiris. Isis went into mourning, deeply grieving for him. She set out to search for his body.

In her travels, She came upon the Phoenician Queen, Astarte, who did not recognize her and hired her as a nursemaid for her child. Isis attempted to gift this child with immortality, laying him within a fire. The Queen saw this and became angered, pulling the child from the fireplace. As she turned to face the nursemaid, She revealed Herself as Isis. In atonement for her anger against the Goddess, Astarte revealed that Osiris’s body was hidden in a nearby tamarisk tree.

As Isis is returning to Egypt, Set comes upon Her and steals the body of Osiris, dismembering it and hiding each part separately. Once again, Isis searches for Her beloved. She finds each piece but one. She fashions Osiris a new penis out of gold, anoints him with oils and brings him back from the land of the dead. He impregnates Her and their son, Horus, is born.

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(Photo Credit: ancienttreasures.com)

Isis was also known as Au Set, Auzit, Eset and Isis, the All Goddess.

These are but a few of her names. As Her own powers grew and as She took on the powers of lesser Goddesses, her names also grew.

Her name is similar to Ishtar, Astarte, Ashtoreth and it has been suggested that they have a common distant origin. She was associated with the Goddess Hathor, with whom she has sometimes been mistaken and had a close relationship with the Goddess Bast, who’s name is “Ba-Ast”, or “Soul of Isis”. There were always cats in the temples of Isis.

She was known as “Isis Myrionymos” or Goddess of Ten Thousand, which we know Her as still today.

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(Photo Credit: ahanaenterprises.com)

She is the Mother of the Sun, She is the Moon. She is the Goddess of the Earth and Stars; the Goddess of Healing and Magic, as we have seen from the two previous stories; She is the Goddess of Love and Motherhood. She is the Goddess of Medicine and Wisdom. She is the Giver of Life and Guide to the Underworld, protecting all with Her outstretched wings.

She was also known as the Goddess of the Sea, known as “Isis Euploia” or “Isis of Good Sailing”. One of Her festivals is the “Isidis Navigium”, held on March 5. There was joy, music and dancing as boats were dedicated to Her, as She held the power of the seas and the tides.

Other of Her festivals are the “Going Forth of Isis”, held on October 7, when Her image was decorated and proceeded to “visit” the temples of other deities.

June 14 is the “Night of the Tear Drop”, to commemorate and remember Her mourning of Osiris. It is said that when She wept, the Nile flooded.

Of course, one must not forget Her birthday celebrations on July 30.

Some of Isis’ many symbols are the full moon, the stars, Her diadem headdress (moon with horns), the ankh and the sistrum, used in Her many celebrations.

Of the many temples that were dedicated to Her, the one in Abydos was said to pre-date the pyramids. Of course, there were temples to Her in Alexandria, Petra, which was used for healing, Coptos and at least one in Roman London.

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(Photo credit: dreamstime.com)

Some of these temples have been removed from Egypt. The Temple of Tafla is now located at the Museum of Antiquities in Leiden in the Netherlands. The Temple of Debad is in Municipal Park in Madrid, Spain. The one closest to my heart, as I have been there several times, is the Temple of Dendur which now resides at the Metropolitan Museum of in New York City, New York, USA. Please see this month’s “Sacred Place/Sacred Space” column for more on the Dendur Temple.

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(Photo Credit: Susan Morgaine)

I wish you peace and the blessings of Isis.

**Personal Note: In my quest to reclaim Isis’ name, I currently have her on my Yule altar. After the new year, I will be putting together a ritual to continue this. If anyone is interested in joining me, please email me at ShaktiWarriorSpirit@gmail.com and I will be happy to send you the ritual when it is finished.**

Resources:

The New Book of Goddesses & Heroines by Patricia Monaghan

The Mysteries of Isis by DeTraci Regula

Isis Magic by M. Isadora Forrest

January Amulet of the Goddess Message

January, 2016

January Amulet of the Goddess Message

Sprouting Seed – New beginnings

seed

A new, tender situation is at hand. It needs to be protected and nourished. The seeds you have planted have begun to sprout. IT is time to tend this new development carefully. Be sure to not let it become crowded out by the weeds and other growths. Tend your new life carefully. Speak over those who would silence you.

 

Frog – Speaking out

frog

Listen. Can you hear the frogs croaking in the moonlight? They give their song to all who can hear it.

Speak up, speak out, let your message be heard. Speak up for yourself.

Raise your voice and drown out those who say that it cannot be done. Speak over those who would silence you.

 

Whirlwinds – Trust the unknown

whirlwinds

The winds of change are blowing through. Right now you may not be able to see what these changes may be or where they may lead.

We are asking that you trust in not knowing. Find peace and calm at the center of change where all is still.

 

Dolphin – Play

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In the midst of change, in the midst of growing, this is your reminder of the importance of laugher, of play, of finding joy in life. Take a moment to find the good in life and to focus on the joyful events that are happening around you.

Take a moment each day to find 3 things that make you happy, that make you laugh, that bring you joy.

 

Inanna – Queen of transformation

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Changes are coming. You are being asked to make a willing sacrifice, to give up something of yourself in order to gain much more in return.

Hear the calling. Listen to the words. Always you have a choice. Discard the trappings, for they are not you. They are adornments only.

 

Final Words

Find you underneath the layers. Pull away the weeds that choke the tender sprout, which is you, growing at the centre.

Listen to the words you are speaking. Are they the words you want to speak? Does endless chatter choke your words? What truths are you hiding amongst the words you are speaking?

Shed those words that hide your truth. Speak the words you are meant to speak.

Then you will find peace. You will find the calm in the eye of the storm.

Then you will find joy, mirth, and merriment.

Then you will find you.

For the past 23 years I have been using amulets for divinatory work and for insight into what is happening in my life. I’ve been doing readings for others for almost as long and can now offer Amulet Readings to anyone around the world. For more information on receiving an Amulet of the Goddess Oracle Reading, contact me through Sacred Visions.

SpellCrafting : Spells & Rituals

January, 2016

Reclaiming Isis

Merry meet!

isis

Isis has not been a goddess with whom I have worked. I hadnt felt particularly drawn to deities from the Egyptian pantheon, but hearing ISIS in the news has led me to think her name is being taken in vain. She is not the most frightening terrorist organization: the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

Isis is the Great Divine Mother of the Universe. She is the personification of femininity; she is the wife of a king and the mother of the god Horus. As such, she is the goddess of motherhood and children. She was the original madonna with child, later to become Mary and Jesus. Isis is also a patroness of fertility, nature and magic. She is portrayed as a friend of the oppressed and a protector of the dead. Isis brought back her husband-brother from the dead. It is said she listens to the prayers of everyone.

Worship of Egypts great mother goddess extended to all parts of the Roman Empire, spilling over into Greek civilization as well, so it is quite possible my ancestors in Sicily and Germany paid her homage.

It did not bother me that ISIS became the acronym for such things as the Institute for Science and International Security or the Intercampus Student Information System, but it does bother me that this religious extremist group was given the name.

The Associated Press uses ISIL and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in its news stories, and some have followed that usage, despite the fact it seems to legitimize the group with statehood. Some in governments are using Daesh as an acronym for the Arabic phrase al-Dawla al-Islamiya fi al-Iraq wa al-Sham for the Islamic state. Depending on how it is conjugated, it can be seen as an insult to the death cult.

While efforts continue to persuade the media to stop calling terrorists by the name of the Goddess of Ten Thousand Names, the Mistress of All Magic, we might consider helping break the connection between a mother goddess whose history stretches back 4,500 years and a present-day violent hate group.

My idea is to make space for an altar to Isis and the divine feminine. Im starting mine with a tarot card of her image from the deck Daughters of the Moon. I intend to light the candle in front of it every time I am home and encounter her name being used to refer to the terrorist organization, and offer prayers to the great mother to she who brings together the power of both the sun and the moon for healing.

She is associated with all of the elements. Incense and oils including frankincense, cedar, sandalwood, cinnamon and sweet orange have been named as connected to her, as have roses, jasmine and lotus flowers. When choosing a candle, I have read that her preferred colors are cobalt blue and black, and to anoint them with myrrh or vervain or both. Other sources list additional colors of silver, gold, red and green.

Her sacred animals are the cow, snake, scorpion, hawk, swallow, dove and vulture. Gems include gold, silver, ivory, ebony, obsidian and lapis lazuli. Such offerings can be placed before her to honor her, and to recognize the high priestess that dwells within us as well. We can let Isisintuition and knowing become our own, merging inner wisdom with conscious awareness as we reclaim our voice and speak her praises.

Perhaps, if more people begin to honor her, we can restore sacredness to her name as well as to our lives.

Merry part.

And merry meet again.

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