goddess

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.

    Gems of the Goddess

    November, 2011

    Hearth Heiress: Hestia


    She is said to be the warmth that spreads throughout our houses, leaving a calming state of mind.  She watches over ritual and cooking within the homes across the world.  She is the very flame that burns with an ethereal brightness in our fire pits.  Hestia, the Greek Goddess of the hearth, is not only a domestic women, but a protective motherly Goddess.  Even though Hestia promised to never marry and have children, she served as a mother figure for many Gods and Goddesses.  Hestia choose this because she felt it was true to her nature.  She wanted to choose her own path with no influenced of outsiders.  She did what felt right to her, which was being of service to her family and friends.  Think of her as a loving, down to earth, mother figure brewing you tea in the kitchen for your head cold.  Hestia did little things like that for people, but also things of greater meaning.
    When Zeus heard that Hestia choose to remain a virgin, he was overly delighted, considering her decision repelled the option of war between her suitors.  So being as happy as he was, Zeus gave Hestia the keys to their family home on Mount Olympus.  There, Hestia was to watch over the home, and the other Gods and Goddesses roaming about the earth.  She was comfortable keeping to herself and her home, and felt right in protecting it and the people she loved.  Being such a loving individual, Hestia was never involved in any conflict with other Gods or Goddesses, and managed to stay out of trouble.  This resulted in her lacking a grand story like the rest of the Goddesses, but Hestia doesn’t need a story…she’s all that is, and continues to be a burning flame within the walls of houses across the universe.  She is the embodiment of peace and centeredness not only within our homes and the earth, but within ourselves.

    CONNECTING WITH HESTIA
    Remember: Hestia does exactly what she wants, because it feels true to her and makes her happy.  That’s very common behavior among Goddesses, but Hestia really never let her ego get in the way.  When you feel your ego creeping up on you, yell for Hestia and she’ll gladly help you out.  She’s also great to evoke for house blessing or protection rituals.  If you want to keep burglars away, Hestia’s your girl.
    You could also do some baking for your loved ones!  Plus with Samhain just around the corner this recipe is perfect.

    Pumpkin Cranberry Cookies

    Ingredients
    1/2 cup butter, softened
    1 cup white sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 egg
    1 cup solid pack pumpkin puree
    2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 cup fresh cranberries
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1 tablespoon orange zest
    1/2 cup chopped walnuts

    Directions
    Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.
    In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla, egg and pumpkin. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon; stir into mixture until well blended. Cut the cranberries in half and stir into mixture along with the orange zest and walnuts. Drop by teaspoons onto cookie sheets.
    Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.

    SYMBOLS AND THINGS TO PUT ON YOUR ALTER
    Fire, bowls, keys, purple coneflower, angelica, iris, lavender, gold, silver, amethyst, architecture

    Gems of the Goddess

    October, 2011

    SIF GODDESS OF GRAIN AND GOLD


    With hair like the golden wheat fields of earth, Norse Goddess Sif is known for her vibrant locks and motherly attitude towards everything.  She tends to the beings and goods of the earth, making her a harvest Goddess.  Some believe that her hair symbolized golden, growing fields.  Others believe that she was also was seen as a swan, and could be seen flying in between worlds. With all this beauty and enticement, naturally this women would have many love relationships.  Her main and most talked about marriage was with the thunder God, known as Thor.  Together they had a daughter and two sons, who possessed magnificent qualities.  One night whiled Sif was sleeping, Thors trusted companion Loki (God of fire and mischief) decided to go into Sif’s room, and cut off all her hair just for fun.  When Sif woke up the next morning, she immediately wen to Thor to tell him the horrible news.  Thor was outraged, and demanded Loki bring Sif replacement hair better than her original.  So Loki went strait to the Dwarfs and asked for them to spin him a heap of hair made from the purest gold.  Once the task was completed, Loki took the golden hair to Sif, and it immediately attached to her head, flowing beautifully past her shoulders.  Not much is said about Sif, but one thing she can teach us all is that good things can come from startling situations.

    CONNECTING WITH SIF

    If you are going through a difficult time in your life right now, remember Sif and her story.  Sif wouldn’t let any situation in her life disable her, or cause her to become un-peaceful.  She would simply wait it out, knowing that everything will be taken care of in the end.  There is always darkness before the sun.  Believing in this will all your heart, bake a home made bread with many grains, in honor of Sif and her representation of harvest.  Make sure to throw some bread back into the earth as an offering!  

    SYMOBLS AND THINGS TO PUT ON YOUR ALTER

    Gold, rowan trees, wheat, vegetables and other crops, Iolite, Dandelions

    Perthro’s Pronouncements

    September, 2011

    Gods and Goddesses

    When I was asked to write this column, I had all ideas that I would write about the divine feminine, and what it means to be a man and embrace the divine feminine in myself. As it turned out, this is not going to be the case.

    In my explorations of the divine, and divine qualities, I found that I had a hard time with the entire idea of the “divine” having gender divisions at all. Sure, we have “male” and “female” deities, and I do believe they actually exist, but, I’m not sure they exist as beings with the male and female genders. While we are here living on earth, however, we are not privy to acquire that information, so I’m not going to beat that subject to death, but rather, I’m going to explore the topic of divinity in ALL its aspects, and focus on how those aspects affect ME personally.

    What does it mean to be a “god” or “goddess”? The first word that probably comes to mind is POWER. Gods are powerful, they can do amazing things, like conjure things out of seemingly nowhere, they can move mountains, they have infinite knowledge, and can be all places at all times.

    But there’s a lot more to being a god or goddess. We think of them as “out there”, not being HERE, on earth, living the lives we live. They are out in space somewhere, moving about as they see fit, creating, destroying, pretty much doing as they please. So how in the world can we possibly relate to THAT?

    I think first it takes seeing the gods and goddesses as the entities they are, made of energy, not “above” us, but as beings that are in a different form of existence. Then they are not “gods” at all, but rather something a lot like us, but with a different perspective, and a different way of life.

    The way a lot of people see it, it’s like our relationship with our own children, or how you may have seen your own parents. Children see adults in the same light we see the gods, we are amazing, we can do things they can’t, and we always seem to have all the answers. But is that REALLY how the gods see us, as children? Possibly, but I’m not so sure. Here’s another way to look at it.

    To be a god, or goddess, we need only to look into ourselves. We need to see our own divine nature as beings living in the same universe as our gods, yet existing in the physical world. This means seeing ourselves as more than just a creature living on the earth, separate from the divine, but rather see ourselves as part of the same energy that makes up everything in the universe, including our gods.

    So to be a god or goddess it means that we need to embrace that part of ourselves that says we ARE divine, just like our gods. If you see yourself as one who is as divine as a god or goddess, then you begin to see everything differently. Suddenly there is no “out there”, the separation is gone. The energy of everything is connected, here on earth, as well as everywhere else in the universe, and our gods and goddesses are made of that same energy. So we too are divine. In religious terms, this is called Pantheism, and for me, really describes best how I see myself.

    If I myself am as divine as my gods and goddesses, then how should I act? What should I do? I still don’t have all of their power, I can’t do all the things THEY can do, so how can I see myself in the same light? Let me explain.

    It’s not about being powerful, or being amazing, it’s about caring for those around you. Being a god I am the protector, the provider. I love my fellow man, I love the earth, and I take care of everything in it as part of myself. As a goddess, I take those same qualities, and I bring new life into the world in my ideas and thoughts that I share with others, I nurture them into being, I give of myself without thought of return. Being a god or goddess doesn’t mean I lord over my “subjects”, demanding worship or praise, but rather, I respect them as part of myself,  for they are gods and goddesses too, as are all beings and in fact all of creation. We are all part of the same energy of this vast universe, and that energy is best described by using the word “love”. Divine love has no bounds, no restrictions, because it is all around us, and in us, it IS us. To realize that, and to live it, makes one feel the true nature of a god/dess.

    Gods and goddesses alike are made of the same energy that we are, the whole universe is full of that energy, that “love”, so to find that in yourself, you don’t have far to look. Love is literally what makes the world go around, it’s what makes everything happen, it is what makes us who we are. Therefore, we ARE as divine as our gods and goddesses, and whether we are male or female, we can feel that same love, we can see that love, and see the divine in everything.

    Rebel Rede

    August, 2011

    Goddess Hostility

    &

    The Threat of Female Spirituality

    For those of you who may or may not know I grew up in a religiously abusive and patriarchal household. This is one of the main reasons why as an adult I was so drawn to Wicca, Paganism, and Goddess spirituality. I hated growing up in an environment where I was told I could not be a spiritual leader because I was born a woman. An environment where I was told that my deity, angels, demons, devil, prophets, pastors, disciples of Jesus etc. all were male and male only. I did not enjoy being told I was a second class citizen and that my only purpose in life was to submit to God and to my future husband (and of course have lots of babies). I felt so much anger growing up because I grew so tired of always being told my “female-ness” was a sin. It is hard for many women to relate to their religion or spiritual practice when everything in those systems is male dominated.

    As history has shown us, my personal experiences growing up are not uncommon. Women and female spirituality have been under attack for thousands of years. Growing up in a strict fundamentalist Christian home I was not new to the idea that women should be kept down. In the Christian community I grew up in, God was never to be thought of as a female and women were never to lead spiritual activities over men. What has surprised me recently though is receiving this same female-based hostility from my fellow Pagans. It saddens me to see the gender wars of the patriarchal religions seeping into our Pagan religions and spiritual practices.

    I completely understand the need for us to be careful of reverse sexism. The goal of the Goddess movement should not be for women to take over and to dominate men. People should be equal, no matter their gender. Just because people are equal though, does not mean they are the same. Men and women are different-equal, but different. Part of the purpose of the Goddess Spirituality movement is to celebrate these differences and to empower men and women to be proud of their differences. Women have been taught for so long that certain parts of us or the things we do are bad, ugly, wrong, or a sin. Teaching women to embrace their female qualities is an important part of fighting back against patriarchal culture. There is nothing wrong with women finding empowerment and purpose through a female based spiritual practice. It doesn’t mean they are men and God haters, it just means they are more comfortable connecting to a spiritual practice that is reflective of their gender.

    I have always pushed for both single gender and co-ed Pagan events in my personal practice. I don’t want to completely exclude myself from men or male deities in my personal practice, but there are also times when I want to be with just women and the Goddess. All of the Goddess-Female Only groups I have ever worked with have always supported a fellow God-Male Only group and have made sure to have joint co-ed events whenever possible. So what is the issue with this set-up? I have no idea! Yet somehow year after year I get approached by Pagan men who aggressively and angrily tell me that I am being a supremacist by not allowing men into my women only rituals. They tell me that I can’t be a true priestess or have a complete ritual without the male counter-parts being involved. Obviously I do not agree with their sentiment and I find their aggressive behavior inappropriate, more importantly though, I find their behavior saddening. Why are so many men disconnected from the Goddess? What is the real reason behind their aggression towards female spirituality? Why are they so hostile to the Goddess and her priestesses? Where and when did this disconnect happen?

    I think these are important questions and ones we should be addressing in the Pagan community. I have always loved the openness and non-structure of Pagan beliefs and practices. I hate when I see dogmatic rules creeping into our community. My personal beliefs and practices are just that, they are personal, they are my beliefs alone. It is my choice whether I want to work with Gods and Goddesses, Goddesses only, have co-ed rituals, or have female only rituals. Why is my personal choice so threatening to other Pagans and when will the hostility towards the Goddess and female spirituality end?

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