goddess

Goddesses of Sorcery

June, 2013

An Assembly of Sorcerers

“There ye shall assemble, ye who are fain to learn all sorcery, and to these shall I teach things that are as yet unknown.” (1)

If you search on the internet for Witchcraft twenty-five and a half million sites come up! If you had the time to read them all, do you think that you would learn the secrets of the Goddess, also called “Sorcery“? Would those internet addresses reveal spells that would bring you love, wealth, health, immortality, riches, power and more? What is Sorcery?

Here’s the secret (the unknown): Sorcery is power; power to do whatever you want.

A funny thing happened and I would like to tell you about it. I noticed that all the Witches were developing powers. They were able to read peoples thoughts, see auras, touch people and heal their pain, know what would happen in the future, remember their past lives, speak to animals, hear the voices of those who had passed on and many other things, but most of all they were happy. You might not think that being happy is a magickal power, but really it is the goal of all Sorcery! Why would we be “fain to learn” if it didn’t make us happy? When I confronted them saying: “You all have powers!” They said: “No we don’t.”  They didn’t realize that their lives were full of magick and power. They couldn’t see it because to them it was normal and natural, just business as usual.

But they do have powers and they didn’t get them by reading books or the internet! The Goddess taught them all they know in a way so gentle and subtle they didn’t even realize it was happening. Even though they did not start the practice of the Craft to get powers they were drawn to the path of Sorcery by a Mystery as deep as their souls. Synchronicities called them; strange co-incidences led them to the Circle. They were searching for peace, for transformation and for Her, not for psychic powers.  So what happened?

As they began to worship, love and honour Her, they changed. This is the Mystery. Cell by cell and thought by thought they metamorphosed into something different: they became Witches. Witches connect with the Divine in Nature and believe that God is both masculine and feminine, that She/He is present, immanent, in the world. As they practice they awakened to that Divine Spirit. They became their authentic selves. Then the Sorcery manifest, just like seeing, hearing, tasting, and feeling. It was another sense, a natural part of their awakened selves until they became and assembly of Sorcerers.

Petitioning

Witches don’t usually call themselves Sorcerers, they call themselves Pagans or Witches or Wiccans. The term “Sorcerer” is more commonly found in Shamanic groups and Shamanic writing, like the books of Carlos Castaneda. If you want the Sorcery (power) they have; the happiness, inner dialogue with the Goddess, the ability to feel the God in Nature and the psychic powers, how would you go about connecting to it?

One way of speeding up the synchronicities that lead you to the Circle is to petition the Goddesses of Sorcery using stories, songs and poems in front of a “story altar”. Witches and Pagans visualize and connect with the Old Gods in five major Pantheons: Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Norse and Celtic, so the appropriate Goddesses to petition would be Hecate or Cerridwen.  The Goddess Hecate is associated with both the Greek and Roman pantheons as the Goddess of Witches and Sorcery.  Cerridwen is the Goddess of Witchcraft most usually invoked for Sorcery in the Celtic Pantheon.

 

 

Cerridwen

            We learn about the story of Cerridwen from the Mabinogion, (2) which is the cycle of myths found in Welsh legend. Cerridwen wants to brew a potion in her magical cauldron to give to her son Afagddu (Morfran), who is considered to be the ugliest man on earth. This potion will make him the keeper of all knowledge and the greatest bard that ever lived. She puts young Gwion in charge of guarding the cauldron and he has to stir it for a year and a day. A few hours before the potion is ready three drops of the brew fall upon his finger burning him. He puts his finger in his mouth to stop the pain and is suddenly blessed with the knowledge meant for Afagddu. Cerridwen returns, realizes that Gwion has taken the magick and chases him. They both change into many forms as they run but finally in the form of a hen, she swallows Gwion, who is disguised as a grain of wheat. Nine months later, she gives birth to Taliesin, the greatest of all the Welsh bards. He is so beautiful she cannot kill him so she puts him in a small boat and sets him on the water where he is rescued by a Celtic Prince.

 

 

 

Hecate

The first literature mentioning Hecate is the Theogony by Hesiod:

[…] Hecate whom Zeus the son of Cronos honored above all. He gave her splendid gifts, to have a share of the earth and the unfruitful sea. She received honor also in starry heaven, and is honored exceedingly by the deathless gods. For to this day, whenever any one of men on earth offers rich sacrifices and prays for favor according to custom, he calls upon Hecate. Great honor comes full easily to him whose prayers the goddess receives favorably, and she bestows wealth upon him; for the power surely is with her.”(3)

 

There are many ideas and depictions of Hecate but she is considered to be one of the Old Gods, the Titons, who were giants like Cerridwen’s husband Tegid. They were in power before the coming of Zeus and the Olympian Gods. Her mother was Asteria (the Titan goddess of the Shining Light or “Star”) Zeus did not banish Hecate but shared with Hecate the power of giving humanity their heart’s desires.

She is usually honoured as the Greek goddess of the three paths or crossroads where three paths meet (not four), and so her images often have three heads facing in the three directions. She is the guardian of the household particularly the threshold, protector of everything newly born, and the goddess of Witchcraft. She has no consort and is seen to be a virgin Goddess.  Although she is a Moon Goddess her time of the Moon is usually the Dark Moon which connects her with the ability to see in the dark and travel to the Underworld. She is said to have the power to create or withhold storms making her the Goddess who was the protector of shepherds and sailors. Her symbols are dogs, torches and the owl.

Making a Story Altar

After reading about the Goddess you are working with create a short story or poem about Her. Now the fun part! Using images from the story create an altar that depicts parts of the story that inspire you. When I made my Cerridwen altar I used a small cauldron with a little doll popping out of it surrounded by tinsel to represent the birth of Taliesin. Around the base I put wheat and a little image of a chicken pecking up the grains. A story altar to Hecate would contain images of dogs, torches and owls and perhaps the triple crossroads.

The Ceremony

Cerridwen’s ceremony should take place on Full Moon Night, while Hecate’s ceremony should take place on the Dark Moon. Light a candle on your story altar and invite the Goddess you are working with to come. Now read the story in Her honour. Ask her to speed up the synchronicities that will lead you to the Magickal circle and the understanding of Sorcery. Sit in meditation for a while at the altar. Don’t forget to write down everything that happens in your ritual. You can keep the story altar up and repeat this ceremony each month and even leave offerings of food, flowers, bowls of water, or incense. Just make sure, and this is important, that you don’t let the altar get dusty and neglected. Better to take it down that to let it get forgotten as that could be seen as a slight to the Goddess.

Important Last Word

Witches honour the Goddess out of love, to connect with Her and to petition her for help, to help others and the world. The Powers are a side-effect of this honouring. If your intention is to become powerful so that you can manipulate or harm others the Goddess may honour you with other things than Sorcery; she may give you hard lessons that purify your heart. Fair warning dear Seeker!

References:

1. Charge of the Goddess by Doreen Valiente

2. http://www.sacred-texts.com The Mabinogion

3.  Athanassakis, Apostolos N., Theogony ; Works and days ; Shield / Hesiod ; introduction, translation, and notes, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1983. ISBN 0-8018-2998-4

Hesiod, Theogony: text in English translation (link)

 

Gems of the Goddess

May, 2013

Some Secret Place

“Whenever you have need of anything, once it be in a month and better when the Moon is Full, there you shall assemble in some secret place and adore the Spirit of Me, who is Queen of All the Witches.”(1)

We meet under the Full Moon, dancing the ring as the light pours down, raising power, sending energy, feet pounding the earth. What do we need from the Goddess? Who is She? The dance is part magick, part prayer and part ecstasy. As we perform our ritual within the Circle we create energy that is palpable. It rolls up our bodies and makes us shiver. As the dance continues we fall into trance as all the Witches are energetically one, hearts pounding, until a feeling of joy overwhelms us. That is the time that the High Priestess motions for us to release the energy upward and outward, focused and pure toward the completion of the spell/prayer/dance.

When we started the ceremony we invited the Goddess to be with us in the Moonlight. Each Coven or Tradition, even each person, has different Patron Goddesses that they know and love. Ours is Anu, the timeless one, the Great Mother of the Celts, also called Danu. When we first met her she seemed distant and obscured by the mist and we couldn’t get a clear image of who she was. In our meditations and Circles Her presence continued to be felt more and more strongly each time we invoked her and she became our Mother Goddess. Her face became clear in our minds, a sweet mature face of a woman of child-bearing age, kind eyes glowing with love and wisdom. We felt nurtured.

Beginners in the mystical and transformative spiritual path of Wicca are drawn to the divine as feminine, often researching the Goddess in books and on the internet. This is a good first step, but the Goddess is the spirit within nature so to truly know Her, in all Her aspects she has to be invited in. This “inviting in” is a process of opening the heart, calling, longing and searching. It doesn’t happen overnight. Seeing Her in a specific aspect with a story and a name helps the process. Without this study it feels as if we are worshiping a nameless, faceless goddess and that can be difficult. Worship involves loving and it’s difficult to love a non-person with no face who is just a feeling in the bones. Luckily for us the Goddess has many names and faces so we move towards the goddess that resonates with us.

Anu, also called Danu or Dannan is the Irish Mother of all Gods(2). She is recognized also as Don in the Welsh Pantheon(3). Anu was named the mythic mother goddess of the Tuatha Dé Danann, the Celtic tribes that first invaded Ireland. The association of Danann with a probably much older figure named ‘Anann’ or ‘Anna’ also suggests that she may have been superimposed on a goddess with more primeval “Mother Earth” traits(4). I find it fascinating that in Christian Mythos Jesus comes from Bethany, which means the “house of Anu”. In Hebrew Anne is “Anu”. Sainte Anne is the mother who gives birth to the virgin who give birth to the God i.e. Jesus. (5)

It’s impossible to say if the Celts worshiped Anu as we do because they were an oral-wisdom people. Their bards held the stories of the tribes in their memories and things were not written down until the Romans came to the British Isles. Although re-constructionism, the honouring of Anu or Danu has profoundly touched many within the Neo-Pagan traditions. Her worship within some secret place, and in the secret place that is our inner heart, has brought Her back to us. She is alive and vital and present.

How to “Invite In” the Goddess

Altar: Anu’s altar should be green with plants and stones on it. Lay a green altar cloth and place a bowl of earth with a bowl of water in it. If you can find a picture that reminds you of Her, the Great Mother, you can also put that on the altar, maybe ringed with stones. Potted plants are also good, but don’t put cut flowers, which are dying, on this altar. Let your inspiration guide you.

Meditation and contemplation : Call to her with an Invocation and sit quietly contemplating Her name and her correspondences. Invite her to come to you and then sit in silence and feel her presence. Here is one invocation you could use:

Lady of the Greenwood Anu

Mother of Earth and Water,

Most holy, most powerful,

Our heart, our blood, our soul

Come to us on this sacred night

And fill us with the power of your love.

 

Opening the heart: Imagine your heart center opening like a ball of pink light that grows bigger and brighter as you breathe gently in and out. Now invite Anu to enter your heart shrine and bless you.

Chanting her name:  “Anu” can be chanted like “Om”; take a big breathe and intone “Ah-Noo”. You’ll be surprised how it changes your consciousness.

Offerings: Make offerings of fruit, nuts, honey, cakes or any food that is natural and organic. Don’t offer store-bought chemical-filled food as an offering. Making an offering to the Gods is a way of honouring Them.

Drawing and writing: Make sure that you write down any experiences you have while working with Anu. How did you feel? Did you have an inspiration about who She is? Can you draw Her face?

correspondences: Plants, stones, children, hills, the Earth, fertility, Full Moon

 

References:

1.  The Charge of the Goddess by Doreen Valiente (Copyright the Doreen Valiente Foundation see: www.doreenvaliente.org)
2.  The Encyclopedia of Goddesses and Heroines by Patricia Monaghan (p. 89)
3.  The Mabinogion by Lady Charlotte Guest [1877]
4.  http://www.imbas.org/articles/danu_bile.html
5.  The Pagan Christ  by Tom Harpur Published:
    in Toronto, Canada by Thomas Allen Publishers
    in Montreal, Canada by Boreal Press

 

Warrior Women

May, 2013

Merry meet and welcome, welcome to my new column. My name is Cara.Luna. I am a witch, a crone, a mother, a grandmother, a retired teacher and a writer.

This column will be about women. Women just like you and me, but, faced with situations, some of their own making, some not, that would make a grown man cry, triumphed! I have to tell you, there are women out there who have inspired me to work hard to reach my potential. There are women out there who have achieved such amazing accomplishments, only a dead body would not be awed. I will introduce you to those inspirational ladies I call warrior women. Women who fought for their ideals, who persevered against all odds and continue to resist pressure, from family, friends and governments, to achieve their goals. I will introduce you to incredible strength in the form of Rafea Anad, who left her children and her home in Jordan to study in India for six months. She attended a school called Barefoot College with other women from many different countries. They learned how to put together circuit boards in order to bring light, via solar panels, to their desert villages. I will tell you about Wafa Sultan, a doctor in her native Syria, who began to question her belief system after her professor was shot to death in a classroom full of students. Her life experiences compelled Sultan to begin a new path of speaking out against repressive regimes and tyrannical religious systems. I will share the story of Amelia Earhart, the first female pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean; Maude Callen, a midwife in the rural South in the 1950s, who, through her efforts and dedication, saved the lives of countless babies and mothers; Rosa Parks, an American woman who, through sheer force of will, stood up to a rock-solid convention and subsequently changed the course of history. Strong women, successful women, warrior women are all around us. Take a good look at your mom, your sister, your friends. And don’t forget to look in the mirror.

Until next time…

Blessings

Girl Talk: Getting to know the Goddesses

May, 2013

 

This is the first article for this new monthly series. The intention is to explore their myth’s, symbols and sacred objects, and other interesting information addressing an individual Goddess each month.

 

Since this is the first of this series I decided to start with emis: Goddess of Light and Protector of the Vulnerable. I have been drawn to emis for years, and have been fortunate enough to have received her assistance.

 

In Greek mythology emis was the daughter of Zeus, ruler of the Olympian gods. The first story we hear of emis is that her mother, Leto, gave birth to her after a short and painless labor, but as her labor continued with emis’s twin brother Apollo, Leto began to have difficulty. Moved to compassion, the infant goddess emis, only a few minutes old, became her mother’s midwife and delivered Apollo. It would seem that emis was naturally born to serve as a nurturer and protector. Due to the fact that she caused her mother no pain during childbirth, and successfully served as midwife during her brother’s birth, she naturally became the patron of childbirth, protector of children, and the goddess who especially heard the appeals of women.

 

emis was always responsive to the needs of the vulnerable and suffering, and was quick to defend the powerless against unjust treatment. It is not a surprise that emis would come to be thought of as the “feminist” goddess.

 

emis’ association with the natural world , the wilderness, symbolizes her own untamed spirit. The most independent of the goddesses, she roamed the forests as a huntress with her pack of hunting dogs. She was famous for her hunting skills, her unerring aim. She was known as a fearless and responsible hunter, able to bring down any beast.

 

emis was especially fierce in her protection of the young and gentle animals. In spite of this side of her she could also be vengeful and impulsive. When she discovered that Callisto, one of the nymphs in her band of companions, had violated her vow of chastity and become pregnant as the result of an affair with Zeus, she changed her into a bear without a moment’s hesitation. Had Zeus not intervened and placed her in the stars as the constellation Callisto (The Bear) she would have died quickly as a victim of the hunt.

 

emis was often associated with the moon, especially the new moon. One of the many names she was also known by was Phoebe which means light or bright one. As “Goddess of light” she had the divine duty of illuminating the darkness. emis was often depicted carrying a candle or a torch, lighting the way for others.

 

In Greek mythology emis is depicted as one of the compassionate, healing goddesses, in spite of her fierce independence.

 

The Greek Goddess emis gives us courage. Like her counterpart, the Roman goddess Diana, she illuminates those places that frighten us, and lends us the strength to bring us safely through our fears.

 

Goddess Symbols and Sacred Objects of emis

 

General: Crescent moon (new moon), bow and arrow, clouds, 3 pillars, blue sky

 

Animals: Dogs, guinea fowl, horses, bear, dove, deer, and bee

 

Plants: Anemones, flowering almond, hazel, ranunculus, honeysuckle, thistle, laurel

 

Scents: Jasmine, aloe, ginseng, lemon verbena, and camphor

 

Gems: Moonstone, pearl, quartz, diamonds, turquoise, crystal

 

Metals: Silver, aluminum, and iron

 

Colors: Silver, white, red, green, and turquoise

 

I have found emis of great help in protection spells for children and dogs. I have had quite a few “heart to heart’s” with this goddess and she has been of assistance to me on more than one occasion. Call to her in meditations where you seek self assurance, courage, helping you to be fair and honest with others. She is definitely a Goddess of compassion, but don’t forget that she can also be impulsive so be sure to leave her an offering of thanks whenever you call upon her.

 

Moon Owl Observations

February, 2013

Romi Kumu

 

            This Goddess is not an overly well known one. But I think sometimes I need to broaden my horizons and look into some Gods and Goddesses that may conflict with my beliefs and knowledge of gods and goddesses. There are many branches of Paganism and I will be touching on one I personally have not looked into too much. I’m hoping that maybe someone else will find her interesting.

 

Romi Kumu is the Goddess of willpower and was a major goddess to the Baransama people. Her main following would be people from South America. It is believed that she is the Great Mother and that she created the world and everything in it. This includes the Underworld.

 

Legend has it that Romi Kumu had a gourd that the Baransama people coveted. They chased her and she fled into the East. She tried fending them off but they wanted to kill her when they found out she had the wrong gourd. They were so angry that she ended up climbing into the sky to become the Pleides. Now, this might conflict with your beliefs as it did mine. I still love the story and love this interpretation. Because of this legend the gourd is clearly a huge symbol for her.

 

This South American Goddess of Creation is strongly connected to the Rainforest and Tigers. Her sacred stone is the bloodstone, which is the symbol of the warrior. Which suits her well considering she is a strong, powerful and aggressive goddess.

 

To call to Romi Kumu, and to try and connect to this Goddess, you should light a red candle and some incense to help carry your words. Make a fan from red paper and upon the folds write:

 

Strength of heart,

Strength of Will

Can my dearest

Dreams fulfill

 

Fasten the fan and wave the fan through the incense smoke to spread it around. Say the words for each fold.

When you have done this you should place the fan under your pillow and before you sleep attempt to remember that you can will your dreams. Reinforce that you have the power to control your own life. Romi Kumu will help with your willpower.

Gems of the Goddess

February, 2013

Bastet – Egyptian Cat Goddess

The Egyptian goddess Bastet, also known as Bast, Ubasti and Baset, has been worshipped since the Second Dynasty. In the third millenium BC, she was depicted as a priestess with the head of a lion. Later, in the first millenium BC, with the popularity of the house cat, her lion’s head often transformed into that of a cat. Though her physical image differed, her demeanor did not. She remained both tame and wild, gentle and fierce.

Daughter of the sun god Ra, she is also known as Lady of Flame and Eye of Ra. She is wife to Ptah, god of carpenters and shipbuilders, and mother to Nefertum, who it is said was called forth from a lotus flower to help raise the sun into the sky.

Unlike other goddesses, Bastet has a very unique duality. When her head is that of a cat, she is a moon goddess, and when a lion, she is a sun goddess.  It is in these very powerful aspects of nature that she reminds us that to be true to oneself requires the acceptance of our own opposite natures.

With her feline mystique she is associated with playfulness, grace, sexuality, and affection, though none can deny her predatory nature. Contradictorily, it is this very predatory aspect that made her a protection goddess, much in the same way a domestic cat protects the crops and food stores by killing vermin.

Priests of Bastet’s temples were known to keep sacred cats who, when they passed over, were mummified and presented as offerings to the great goddess. To do harm to any cat would not only bring her wrath, but also that of the community and justice systems, as the penalty was death.

Bastet shows us the eternal sacred quality of the feminine, along with the beauty of a feral protectress. She reminds us that solitude and independence shows strength, but also that unity in relations binds our souls.

You can honor her with offerings of sweet liquids and foods, mint, honey, statues of cats, items of silver or gold, or a bowl of cool water placed on your altar.

 
correspondences –
Color: green, gold, red
Stones: Agate, cat’s eye, jasper, Sunstone
Planet: Sun
Herbs: catnip, cinnamon, vervain
Incense: Musk, cinnamon, frankincense, myrrh, hemp, sandalwood
Aspects: protector from contagious disease and evil spirits, as well as the home, cats and women

Gems of the Goddess

December, 2012

Frigga, the All-Mother


In the Norse pantheon, the goddess Frigga, whose name means “beloved one”,  rules over hearth and home, love, birth, renewal, motherhood, and wisdom. So important in status was she, it is her name that was given to our modern Friday.

She is the wife of the All-Father Odin, by which she has two sons; Baldr, the god of light and poetry, and Hod, the blind god of darkness and winter. As the Queen All-Mother, she is the only other deity, aside from Odin himself, who is permitted to sit upon the great high seat, Hlidskjalf, which looks out onto the vast universe.

As she is a sky goddess, Frigga often weaves the clouds to display her moods: dark and stormy, or clear and light. Though she has the ability to see into the future, she has no control over it. Rather, she sits at her spindle weaving destiny as it is given by the Norns, only sharing what she sees with her closest confidante, Fulla, who is one of her four attendants.

She is the cosmic weaver, associated with the New year, which is the great twelve day celebration of Yule, beginning December 20th. It is said that on the longest, darkest night, Frigga labored to birth Baldr, whose own light represents the resurrection of the golden sun.  Hence, the first night of feasts is known as “Mother’s Night.”

She is often called upon to assist in childbirths, which is still done in modern times by burning a white candle during the winter solstice, and requesting the blessings of her gentle touch and guiding wisdom. Frigga can also be sought to include any new venture you may seek for a safe and successful transition.

A goddess of both life and death gives her the paradoxical ability to assist in fertility spells, as well as aiding a soul to ease into the afterlife.

Frigga reminds us of the power of femininity coupled with the resilience of courage and that pain and darkness, when endured, bring forth fullness and light.

correspondences –
Color – blue, white, aqua
Phase – waxing moon
Animal – cat, goose
Birds – Ravens, hawks and falcons
Herbs – Mistletoe, Lady’s Mantle, Shepherd’s Purse, Thyme, Flax
Tree – Birch
Aspects – hearth and home, love, birth, renewal, motherhood, wisdom
Wheel of the Year – Yule

Gems of the Goddess

October, 2012

Hel, Goddess of the Underworld

The Norse goddess Hel is one of the most misunderstood goddesses of all time, largely due to the incorrect association with her name and the Judeo-Christian mythology’s realm known as “hell.”  Through this misconstrued association, Hel is often represented as an evil entity looming in the darkness to steal lost souls. This is far from truth.

The youngest of three children born to the god Loki and the giantess Angrboda, she and her brothers, Fenrir the wolf, and Jormundgand, the Midgard Serpent, lived with their mother in Jotunheimr, home of the giants. Having received prophecies that these unique siblings would cause great mischief and disaster together, Odin ordered them to be     taken from Jotunheimr and brought to Asgard.

Hel was eventually appointed as ruler and guardian of Niflheim, the Mist Homeworld. She welcomes all souls who die of illness or old age, or are killed in any form other than battle, and takes a special interest in women and children who perrish during childbirth.

As a goddess of death, she has the ability to shelter and protect with the care of a mother goddess, but also the tendency to be vengeful toward those who try to interfere with the progression of natural law, which includes allowing everything to take its own course from birth to death.

Some say she was born with her skeletal system on the outside of half of her body, the other half being that of a beautiful woman, thus representing the totality of the life/death cycle. She is both the dealer of death and the re-giver of life, a goddess of lessons sometimes taught the hard way when leniency has failed. Having the ability to exist in a simultaneous state of life and death, she is sometimes known as Goddess of shadows.

It is she who thins the veils between the worlds allowing shamans passage into her domain and granting them permission to render themselves invisible. In divination, she can best be reached through meditation of the rune Hagalaz.

 

    • Correspondences

  • Colors – white, black

    Moon phase – dark, new

    Animal – owls, ravens, dogs, horses

    Herbs – Wormwood, Belladonna, Hellebore

    Tree – Elder, Sycamore

    Aspects –  change, compassion, death, reincarnation

    Wheel of the Year –  Samhain and Yule

    Musings From the Mossy Trail

    March, 2012

    The Norse Goddess Idun


    The once harsh winter winds transform to gentle breezes. Daffodils, Crocus and Tulips push through the newly thawed earth, barren trees begin to bud, animals are birthing their young, and the spring peepers serenade us with their throaty song. To this harmonious wonder we honor Idun.

    Idun, “She who renews”, is known as the goddess of spring, eternal youth, health and life.  It is said that she had no birth and is destined to never know death. At times she is known as a fair maiden, soft and delicate, and at others, sturdy and hard working. She is charged with tending the sacred orchard from which all fruits stem, blessing health and longevity for all who partake.

    Idun’s constant care of the land and trees reminds us that working directly with the earth tends our bodies, our minds and our souls. Together with her beloved Bragi, god of poetry, they bring peace, health and abundance to our lives, filling our days with harmony and meaning.

    But it is not only humans that depend on Idun’s blessings, for not all Norse gods and goddesses are immortal and they too require this special Goddess’s care. For them she reserves a never ending supply of golden apples, which she carries within her casket made of Ash wood. These not only ensure beauty and eternal youthfulness, but deter all injury and disease .

    “Bright Iduna, Maid immortal!
    Standing at Valhalla’s portal,
    In her casket has rich store
    Of rare apples, gilded o’er;
    Those rare apples, not of Earth,
    Ageing Æsir give fresh birth.”
    -Valhalla: The Myths of Norseland

    (1878, by Julia Clinton Jones)

    You can honor Idun by tending orchards, gardens or potted plants, appreciating the beauty of early spring blooms, enjoying all fruits and garden vegetables, showing respect to land spirits, enjoying the tart delicacies of apple pies and ciders, and losing yourself in the words of a beautiful poem.

    Watch closely those women who walk the stands of Farmer’s Markets, praise and twinkling in their eyes; for they might be Idun in a mortal disguise here to bring her blessings to all who partake of her delicious fruits!

    MoonOwl Observations

    March, 2012

    The Goddess Nyx

    Nyx is a goddess full of power and beauty, but has a dark side to her as well. Nyx is the embodiment of the night and is the mother of all things mysterious or inexplicable. Nyx influences sickness and war and is the bringer of night. She rides her chariot across the sky, trailing stars behind her- coating her path with darkness. Nyx is usually accompanied by two of her children, Hypnos (sleep) and Thanatos (death).

    Nyx is also known as Nux, Nox or simply Night. This goddess of the night was born from chaos and is one of the first-born elemental gods. She later married her brother Erebus and he is the father of some of her children. Nyx is the mother of many. Some think that Hypnos and Thanatos are her only children, but she was the mother to many more.

    Her children are believed to be:
    Aether- the god of air
    Apate- the goddess of deceit
    Dolos- the god of trickery
    Eleos- the goddess of mercy
    Epiphron- the god of prudence
    Eris- the goddess of strife
    Eros- the god of procreation
    Geras- the god of old age
    Hemera- the goddess of daylight
    Hybris- the goddess of insolence
    Hypnos- the god of sleep
    Kharon- the ferryman for the dead
    Momos- the god of ridicule
    Moros- the god of doom
    Nemesis- the goddess of retribution
    Oizys- the goddess of misery
    Philotes- the goddess of friendship
    Sophrusyne- the goddess of moderation
    Thanatos- the god of non-violent death
    The Hesperides- goddesses of the evening
    The Moirai- the fates
    The Oneiroi- spirits of dreams
    The Erintes- the furies
    The Keres- goddesses of violent death

    Nyx was also known for her prophetic powers. She is generally associated with owls and bats. Her planet is obviously the moon and the best time to connect with her is on a Monday, especially around Yule.  Nyx represents nightmares, mystery, dreams, darkness and night.

    Her name may seem familiar if you have read any of the House of Night books, as Nyx plays a key role as the goddess for vampires. Also, a recently discovered moon of pluto was named Nix in honor of the goddess. Some people may also recognize her name because of Nyx Cosmetics, who named the company after this powerful goddess.

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