goddess

She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

July, 2017

Kupala

(Photo Credit: holladaypaganism.com)
Kupala, whose name means “to bathe” is a Slavic mid-summer Goddess. She is known as a Goddess of Springs and Water.

Her worshippers bathed in local rivers and collected dew each morning in June. The waters had been blessed by Kupala and had healing and purification powers, which also makes Her a Goddess of Healing.

She is also a Goddess of Fire, with it’s purifying and protective qualities. At Her annual mid-summer festival, young men and women would jump over a purifying bonfire, dragging a straw maiden along with them.

(Photo Credit: meettheslavs.com)

This image was garlanded with flowers and dressed in a beautiful gown. The straw maiden was then hung in a birch tree, which had been cut ritually, having all of its’ upper branches trimmed. This ritual was only done by women. Men could not touch either the figure, or the tree.

The straw maiden was then released to the water and drifted away. As she floated away, Kupala removed all evil energies from the village.

Kupala, as a Goddess of water personifies the magic inherent in water, and she is also known by the name of Water Mother.

Offerings of flowers and plants, especially purple loosestrife and fern, which were sacred to Her, were often left as offerings at the river. Ferns are also called “the fire flame of Kupala”, and the roots of purple loosestrife banished both bad dreams and demons, but needed to be gathered at dawn on mid-summer.


(Photo Credit: blog.slavicsouvenirs.com)
As the summer unfolds, may you be blessed many times by Kupala and Her healing and purifying waters.
)O(

She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

June, 2017

Cliodnha

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(Photo Credit : Pinterest)

Cliodnha, known as the Queen of the Banshees, or Queen of all the Fairies of the HIlls, is part of the Tuatha Du Danaan, subject to the Goddess Danu.

Cliodnha presides over Tir Tairngire, or the Land of Promise, a place of happy feasting, with no aging, violence, death or decay, which some say is the Celtic Otherworld.

She has three colorful birds, who eat apples from a tree in that Otherworld, that can heal the sick with the beauty of their song.

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(Photo Credit: wolfanita@deviantart)

She is a Goddess of love and beauty. She would take the form of an enchantingly beautiful human woman and use her beauty to take many mortal lovers. She was associated with light and happiness, but with a dark edge because when we was done with her mortal lovers, she would sometimes lure them to their deaths by the sea.

She fell in love with a human man named Ciabhan, and wished to be with him. But she was lulled to sleep by the music of one of Manannan mac Lir’s minstrels, and was swept away by a wave. She is said to rule the ninth wave of every series of waves, which was larger than the preceding eight. Large waves are knows as “Cliodnha’s Waves”.

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(Photo Credit: inochitohi.deviantart.com)

One of the best known stories of Cliodnha is when Cormac mac Carthy asked her help in a lawsuit in the 15th century. Her advice to him was to kiss the first stone he saw in the morning. He did so and easily won his court case by the eloquence of his speech. This stone is the famous Blarney Stone. Cormac mac Carthy was so concerned that everyone would kiss the stone and the land would become a home to those who “could deceive without offending”, that he hid the stone in his castle, where it is to this day.

Cliodnha resides in her palace in the center of a sacred hill in County Cork, called Carrig Cliodnha.

May the blessing of Cliodnha be with you.

)O(

The Wild SHE

May, 2017

THE WILD SHE – KALI

The Wild SHE – Which Goddess comes to your mind when you hear “The Wild SHE”? For me, that will always be Kali.

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“By you this universe is borne, by you this world is created

By you it is protected, O Devi. By you it is consumed at the end

You who are eternally the form of the whole world,

at the time of creation you are the form of the creative force,

at the time of preservation you are the form of the protective power
and at the time of the dissolution of the world
you are the form of the destructive power
You are the Supreme Knowledge, as well as ignorance,
intellect and compassion”
From the Devi-Mahatmya

In Hinduism, the Goddesses are “Devi”, which means “deity”. She, of course, has different aspects: Durga, Lakshmi, Tara, Sarasvati, Parvati, Kali. Kalis name means “Time”.

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Her stories are bountiful. Born from the brow of Parvati, Kali killed the demonic forces that were threatening. She danced with the Lord of the Dance, Shiva, and it is said the dance grew wilder and wilder, and as the dance continues, it will one day shake the world to pieces. She killed other demons during another battle, and it is said that after they were dead, exhilarated, laughing and roaring, Kali happily drank their blood and began to dance wildly, hence Her dance of death and destruction.

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She is seen as a Dark Goddess, as she dances the dance of death and destruction, but She is also keeper of time and will be there when new things emerge from Her destruction. When you see Her, there is no mistaking Her. She wears a necklace of skulls around Her neck, She holds weapons in her numerous hands. Her tongue protrudes from Her mouth. She can be terrifying to behold and to work with. Do not ask from Her which you are incapable of receiving as she is fierce in her love for Her daughters.

This is why She is also worshipped by many as the Mother Kali or Kali Ma, in which Her worshippers surrender to Her utterly. Abrahim Khan, an anthroplogist, said that to belong to Her, the worshipper must surrender not jus the intellect, but the entire self, that is the mind, the body.To me, that is the key to working with Kali.

To this day, Kali is still one of the most worshipped Goddesses in India and other parts of the world. Kali is more than a Dark Goddess who destroys. She is also the Goddess who helps us to face our fears head on. She is strength. She is courage. She helps us to face our own darkness. She will help you destroy the obstacles blocking your path.

The following is a meditation from one of my workshops called *Healing Dance of the Kali Dakini*.

Sit quietly, breathing deeply, closing eyes. Visualize yourself in darkness, a cave, deep within the womb of the Earth. Breathe into your sacred feminine energy. Now, open yourself to She, who is Kali, who is both fearsome and spiritually liberating, offering you healing from your emotional wounds. Sense Her in whatever way you wish and allow her to see you in your entirety, the good and the bad. Let your breath connect to her. Draw her presence into your body, into each part of yourself. As you do this, allow the release of all obstacles, accepting the freedom that She offers.

This is a lovely song for a Kali meditation:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJa4r-OydDM&list=PL_dIya2JbVnTkujuSpjPc-hZV6LbKSnTX&index=2

I also recommend what I call the Dance of Kali’s Dakini,(also from my workshop). The idea behind this is to just dance, allowing your body to move freely without inhibition. Feel free to stomp your feet or yell loudly, mouth open, tongue out. You may find it helpful to start with a slower song, moving into progressively faster ones to get the full benefit of the dancing meditation. As you dance, visualize yourself healed – a blissful Kali Dakini dancing in the light in service to Kali.

(Note: a Dakini translates as sky dancer. She is a spiritual disciple of Kali, the creative personfication of the Divine Feminine)***

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I would recommend lying down and relaxing with long deep breathing for at least 10 minutes after the above meditations. Take several long, deep breaths, stretching fully and completely before rising.

May Kali bless you (and challenge you)on your journey!

)O(

Resources: ***The Healing Dance of Kali, Workshop taught by

Susan Morgaine

Kali, The Feminine Force by Ajit Mookerjee

**Previously published at Motherhouseofthegoddess.com

She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

May, 2017

Bast/Bastet

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 (Graphic: ancientegyptonline.com)

The Egyptian Goddess Bast or Bastet was originally a Lion-Headed Goddess, who gradually changed into the Cat-Headed Goddess we are more familiar with.

Even though Her outward appearance changed, Her temperament did not. She was still as fierce as a lion, while having the playfulness, grace, and dignity of a cat, sometimes affectionate, sometimes not, depending upon Her mood. Those of us who have a cat for a companion can certainly attest to that!

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(Graphic: Wikipedia)

Bast was thought to be the daughter of Ra, and as such, was called the “Eye of Ra”. It is said that She rode with her father in his chariot, pulling the sun across the sky.

She is portrayed as holding an ankh, for immortal life, and occasionally, a papyrus wand, which was a symbol of Lower Egypt, as well as the all-seeing eye of Horus.

She is known to have protected Her father, Ra, from Apophis/Apep, the serpent, who was one of Ra’s greatest enemies. When Ra’s priests could not vanquish the serpent with their magic, Bast, who saw all with her eyes, killed the snake. Due to this, She was known as a Goddess of Protection.

As most Goddesses, She has many aspects and names. Because of Her travels across the sky with Ra, she is known as the Lady of the East and Goddess of the Rising Sun. She is a Moon Goddess, as the glowing eyes of the cat remind one of the radiant moon.

She was the Goddess of Health, as it was believed that she bestowed both physical and mental health. She was the Protector of the Household, as cats protected homes from both rats and snakes.

She has Warrior aspects, as we have seen; but She is also a Lover. She ruled sensual pleasure, dancing and music. At Her temple in the city of Bubastis, Her priestesses wore red and danced erotically at Her festivals. These festivals were always joyous occasions filled with the music and dancing that Bast loved. She also loved erotic scents. The scents most sacred to Her were musk, cinnamon and sandalwood.

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(Graphic: Pinterest)

Bast is closely linked to Hathor; She sometimes carried a sistrum which was one of Hathor’s symbols. They are both honored at the Temple of Denderah, which was sometimes called the Bubastis of the South. They are both in the Kafre Temple at Giza – Hathor for Upper Egypt and Bast for Lower Egypt.

The Temple of Bupastis was filled with sacred cats, which Her priestess believed to all be incarnations of Bast herself. When the Temple was excavated, more than 300,000 mummified cats were found at the cat cemetery located there.

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In honor of Bast, cats were sacred to the population of Egypt and were cherished. Cats were dressed in beautiful earrings and other jewelry. It was a serious crime to harm a cat and those who did, were punished.

Bast was also honored as a Goddess of Fertility and Childbirth, due to the ease with which cats seem to deliver their kittens, and the nurturing shown to the kittens after their birth.

Bast’s colors were black, silver, turquoise and red; Her gems were lapis lazuli, jasper and, of course, cat’s eye. It should come as no surprise that Her plant was catnip.

No matter which aspect was primary at any one given time, Bast was always who

She was, totally accepting of the being that She was. If there is anything that one can learn from Her, it is that we are who we are and we should accept and embrace ourselves.

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May the Blessings of Bast be upon you!

Crystal Connections

April, 2017

CRYSTAL TALISMANS AND AMULETS

 

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(Pictured here are a few of my older pieces. Image courtesy: Shijewels https://www.etsy.com/shop/shijewels)

Talismans and amulets are often pieces or objects that are believed to be protective, magical or bare a special importance to the wearer. They have been around throughout history and were often made from crystals by witches, shamans and alchemists.

Throughout the stages of my own spiritual path I have worn pieces that held significant meaning to me, some for the symbols that represent my love for the Goddess, my spirituality, and others for the metaphysical assistance that I needed from the stones. Each one has it’s own unique qualities and symbolizes a specific period of time in my journey.

 

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(These are pieces that I wear everyday.Image courtesy: Shijewels https://www.etsy.com/shop/shijewels)

The Moonstone and Turquoise ring was made with a purpose, I make and sell jewelry so I felt it was vital to have something that helped me with self doubt, focus and creativity. Moonstones are known to intensify the feminine Goddess energy, strengthens intuition and enhances creativity. It’s said that this stone brings balance, harmony and hope to those that wear it. Though Turquoise is a protective stone, it also helps dispel any self-sabotaging tendencies as well as assisting in creative expression. I made this ring to wear on my middle finger, which is ruled by Saturn and is related to our purpose in life. It’s also believed that wearing a ring on this finger supports focus and staying true to your own path.

The necklace with the three charms is probably one of my oldest and certainly the most beloved talisman that I have. The spiral represents my journey, the moonstone represents my intuitiveness and connection to the feminine Divine and the Pentacle represents the heart of it all. Three small very simple charms that hold deeply personal and powerful meanings.

These are just a handful of amulets and talismans that I’ve owned over the years. I’ve purchased some, been gifted a few and have made the rest, each one playing a significant roll in my life. As my life changes so have they, and I look forward to what new pieces I’m called to or that are called to me.

The Morrigan: Bloody Queen of Battle

April, 2017

The Morrigan: Bloody Queen of Battle

Streaming red

Cloak of hair

Like yarn spun wild

For a coat of dreams

Of war and time

To pass the line

The blood along

Like velvet wine

Lady great and fierce of heart

Builds you up then tears apart

Protect thyself but know her if you can.

(Devotional verse for the Morrigan, 2012)

She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

April, 2017

SIF

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(Photo Credit – debsden.blogspot.com)

Sif is a Norse/Scandinavian Grain Goddess, associated with the Earth and its’ vegetation. One species of moss is named after Her, “haddr sifjar” or “Sif’s hair”, which is great praise, as her golden mane of hair was Her most striking feature. Her name possibly means “relation by marriage” which would be descriptive to Her role in Asgard.

Sif was a swan-maiden, similar to the Valkyries, in that she was able to take the form of a swan.

She is a Prophetess, as well as the Goddess of wheat, fertility and family. Some say She is also a Goddess of fidelity, but that title is debatable, as you will see later.

Her first husband was the Giant Orvandil, whom whom She had a son, Ullr the Magnificent, God of Winter.

Sif, then married Thor, the Great God of Thunder, which whom She had a daughter, Thrudr, Goddess of Storms and Clouds, and two sons, Magni (Might) and Modi (Brave).

Sif and Thor were happy for a time and loved to make love in the fields during the summer, the thunder from Thor and the lightning from Sif, could be seen for long distances on these occasions. With Thor being a Sky God and Sif being an Earth Goddess, this follows the path of many myths and legends whereupon their consummation symbolically gives life to the Earth.

Her symbols are the sun, gold, Her hair.

She is connected to the Rowan tree.

“The holy plant of Sif is the rowan,

The protective tree with its berries of sacred red.

The tree that is called Thors salvation.

It saved Thor from the anger of vengeful giantesses,

Let it save you too.

Pass beneath the rowan three times and receive Sifs blessing.“**

**By Thorskegga Thorn

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Sif’s hair was long, golden and beautiful. Once Loki, the Trickster, came and stole her hair. Thor was incensed. He forced Loki into the realm of the Dwarves. Their best craftsmen made Her new hair of spun gold which, when attached to Sif’s head, would grow as if it were Her own. It is believed that Her golden hair is a metaphor for the golden grain, with which She is connected.

More than one of the gods told Thor that Sif had a lover, which angered him and lends some doubt to Her being a Goddess of fideltity. Some would say that Her lover was Loki himself. In Stanzas 53 and 54 (below) of the Lokasenna, one of the poems of in Poetic Edda, a collection of old Norse poems.

When Sif went forward and poured out mead for Loki into a crystal cup and said:

Welcome now, Loki, and take the crystal cup

full of ancient mead,

you should admit, that of the children of the Æsir,

that I alone am blameless.

He took the horn and drank it down:

That indeed you would be, if you were so,

if you were shy and fierce towards men;

I alone know, as I think I do now,

your lover beside Thor,

and that was the wicked Loki.”

Bringing Sif into modern times, a moon on Venus was named, “Sif Mons” after Her.

Probably most significant are the changes to Her within the Marvel Universe. She is sister to Heimdall, the Watchman of Asgard. In their telling, the Dwarves that spun her golden hair became Trolls. As Loki stole the hair without paying for it, the Trolls had not been able to bespell it, and so, over time, Her golden hair turned to ebony. As Sif was very vain about Her hair, Her parents sent her away to learn the ways of the Shield-Maiden. When Sif returned to Asgard, she was a highly skilled Warrior. She has a sword charmed by Odin that will forge pathways between dimensions, mostly between Asgard and Earth. Her fighting ability is only surpassed by the Valkyrie Brunnhilde.

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(Photo Credit: Writeups.org)

Odin chooses Sif to be wife to his son, Thor, as he recalled that they were childhood friends with strong feelings toward each other. They were happy together until the time that Thor preferred the mortal realm, while Sif preferred the immortal realm. They are still together, but marriage has been delayed. What the future will hold for them is unknown.

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(Photo Credit: Pinterest)

She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

March, 2017

Yemaya

 

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(Photo Credit: the divinemoon.com)

 

 

Yey Oma Eja – *Mother Whose Children are the Fish”, or as She is more commonly known, Yemaya, *Mama Watta*, Mother of Waters, Queen of the Sea, Mother of the Fishes, Ocean Goddess of the Crescent Moon, Lady of the Rain, Daughter of the Sea, Constantly Changing Woman, Creator Mother, Patroness of Witches, Sirena.

Yemaya. She is known by all of these names and more.

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(Photo: Pinterest)

She was originally a River Goddess of the Ogun River in Yoruba. She was a powerful guardian and nature spirit, a Goddess of the African diaspora. When the people of Africa were stolen and brought to lands far away, She came with them, protecting them on their journey, becoming Goddess of the Ocean, on which they unwillingly traveled.

She was married to Orungan. When she gave birth to 14 Orisha, the breaking of her birth waters caused a great flood on Earth that created the oceans and the Seven Seas. It is said that even as She sleeps, water gushes forth each time she turns over.

Her first gift to humans was a large shell, in which one would always hear Her voice; to this day, we hold a shell to our ear to hear the ocean which is Her voice.

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(Photo Credit: lightgrid.ning.com)

She is a Mother Goddess, the Mother of All – home, fertility, life. She rules the life giving, creative and nurturing forces of the sea. She is the Matron Goddess of pregnant women, and spiritual Mother to all who need Her.

In Her skirt of seven layers of blue and silver, Yemaya loves to dance. She moves, dips and flows as Her skirt swirls to symbolize the movement of the waves.

Her symbols include all of the waters of the Earth; the shining Crescent Moon;

the fish, dolphins, sea horses, and all the creatures of the sea. Her colors are blue and silver, the colors of the ocean. She loves coral and pearls and aquamarine. Her number is seven.

She is sometimes depicted as a beautiful mermaid swimming amongst the waves that are Her home.

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(From The Goddess Oracle by Amy Sophia Marashinsky; Photo Credit: tarotpassages.com)

Her festival days are February 2, the Summer Solsitce and, in Santeria, on September 7. People dress in blue and silver and flock to the ocean beaches, dance and make offerings.

Her worship spans the Earth, where She is known by Imanje, Yemanja, Ymoga, Imaga.

As water is essential to life, so is Yemaya essential to our lives. She teaches us to be flexible in our thoughts and in our lives, to go with the flow of each event and situation that comes our way, to not become attached as things will always change, as the ocean changes, swirling, churning, constantly moving, ebbing and flowing.

In the Goddess Oracle by Amy Sophia Marashinsky, Yemaya symbolizes *Surrender*.

“Come with your cares

come with your woes

come when life is joyful

come when life weighs you down

comes when you take on too much

come when you are spread too thin

come when you are danced out

come when you seek renewal

all I ask when you come

is that you surrender to me

mother ocean

my watery womb wants to hold you

nurture you

birth you anew

when you let go and give over all to me”

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(Photo Credit: sacredsource.com, where statue is available for sale. Disclaimer: I have no connection to Sacred Source as anything but a customer.)

Ms. Marashinsksy states that Yemaya coming into our life “signals a time for surrender”. We give over to Her, asking for guidance, realizing “that the only way through some situations is surrender and open to something greater”.

To worship Her, just travel to the nearest ocean, river, sea or lake. There you will most definitely find Her. Walk into the waves, open yourself to Her and find yourself cleansed, reborn, alive.

At home, set up an altar with Her image, upon a blue and/or silver altar cloth. Adorn the altar with sea shells, pearls, sea coral, river stones. Light blue candles and incense reminiscent of the sea. Close your eyes. Breathe and focus on Her. Ask for Her protection and guidance. When you are done, be sure to thank Her for any answers She may have given you.

Prayer to Yemaya

May Yemaya protect and heal you

with the waters of the ocean of life.

May you never thirst in body or spirit

under her protection.

May the waves, evershifting, remind you

that we are beings of change and that,

like the water, we are flexible, not hard and set.

So be it.

May you be blessed and cleansed by the

waters of Yemaya.

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(Photo Credit: Susan Morgaine. My interpretative

sculpture of Yemaya)

She who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

February, 2017

LIBERTAS

As I write this, it is the day after the presidential inauguration of 2017, and the day of the Women’s March(es) across the country and around the world. Millions of people, the majority of them women, took to the streets to protest what many see as a threat to the personal freedom of many communities, not only in the US, but everywhere around the globe. They see a threat to justice. They see a threat to liberty and freedom. They are afraid, and rightfully so. With this in mind, it seems a perfect time to speak of Libertas.

Libertas was a Roman Goddess; her name is the Latin word of Freedom.

She symbolized independence, freedom from restraint, and personal and societal freedoms. Her Greek name is Eleutheria. She was, and is, the personification of Liberty and Freedom.

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(Photo Credit: insightfulvision.com)

She is depicted wearing a long, flowing gown and holding a rod, called a vindicta, and a cap, called a pilleus, which were two of Her symbols. She sometimes is shown wearing a crown of laurel leaves and with a cat at Her feet.

The reason behind Her symbols was that, within Roman society, when a slave was given his freedom, her/his head was shaved, they were tapped with the vindicta, and given a pilleus. Appropriately enough, She was honored and worshipped by all freed women and men.

Her first temple, located on Aventine HIll was ordered by the Tribune, Tiberius Gracchas and was dedicated in 238 BCE. There is smaller shrine to her located at Cicero’s home on Palantine HIll, and there is a small statue of her inside the Roman Forum. Many Roman coins and seals of the time bear Her image.

Libertas’ likeness was used many times and in many places around the world to symbolize Liberty and Freedom.

Columbia was used as a poetic name for the United States and was one of the names of its’ female personification. She became a symbol in the 1700’s when Paul Revere created an obelisk using Her image to celebrate the repeal of the Stamp Act. It is believed that the name, Columbia, originated from Christopher Columbus. It is from Her that the name District of Columbia was born.

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(Photo Credit: Pinterest)

In France, She became Marianne, standing for reason and liberty, and a symbol of the French Revolution in the 1780’s-90’s. The Great Seal of France bears Her likeness.

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(Photo Credit: Wikipedia)

It was this Great Seal of France that became the inspiration for Frederic Bartholdi, when he designed and built the Statue of Liberty, the most visual and the most famous of all depictions of Libertas, because make no mistake, the Statue of Liberty *IS* the Goddess Libertas.

Even though She was a gift from France to the US, the Statue of Liberty is a symbol of freedom, liberty and justice to the entire world. Her original name was “Liberty Enlightening the World”.

This Libertas statue wears a crown of seven solar rays, which represent the seven continents and the seven seas. This crown is similar to that of Ishtar, the Babylonian Goddess, who crown was ringed with 8 stars. She holds the Flame of Freedom, or the Torch of Enlightenment in Her right hand. Her gown is remarkably similar to the original Roman Libertas. Her feet are surrounded by broken chains to symbolize Freedom.

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(Photo Credit: everymanempire.com)

The Statue of Liberty was dedicated in 1886. The era’s suffragettes, in a boat riding around Liberty island, proclaimed Her their symbol in their demand for the right to vote.

As a symbol of light and liberty, of freedom from tyrants and any tyranny, Her likeness abounds — on state flags, on the state seals of Virginia and New Jersey, on stamps, on both coins and paper money. She stands upon the Capitol Building in Washington D.C. When students demonstrated in Beijing, China in 1989, the Statue of Liberty as Libertas, became the Goddess of Democracy.

Many Pagans, Wiccans and Witches, invoke Libertas, in her guise as the Statue of Liberty, in their personal rituals for freedom and liberation from any form of tyranny.

Circle Sanctuary (circlesanctuary.org), located in Wisconsin, is a well-known Pagan church and community, which offers workshops, rituals, gatherings and more. Their religious freedom network is called “The Lady Liberty League”, and has done much for freedom of religion for all Pagans.

The Festival of Libertas is celebrated on April 13th, and, of course, the Statue of Liberty is celebrated on July 4th. Both of these are set aside to honor Her.

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(Photo Credit: evilyoshida.com)

One way to honor Her is to stand up for personal freedoms, your own and others’; work against injustice, wherever you find it; fight for what you believe in, in whatever way you can, such as protesting, marching, writing letters to the editor of your local newspaper. Carry that work into the rest of the year, for liberty and freedom is hard won, but easily lost.

In personal work, place Her likeness on your altar as either Libertas, or in Her guise as the Statue of Liberty. You may ask for Her help in liberation from an addiction, from a hated job, from an unhealthy relationship, in whatever you personally feel that you need freedom from.

May we all continue to have the Liberty, Freedom and Justice that we hold so dear and is so important in a democracy.

She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

January, 2017

ACHLYS

Achlys (pronounced Akh-Loos) is the name, and personification, of Eternal Night.

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(Photo: Pinterest)

She is also known as Mist of Death, which is another meaning of Her name. It describes the mist that fell before one’s eyes before dying. As such, Her likeness was borne upon the Shield of Hercules.

She is a pale, thin Goddess with long sharp fingernails, which she will use as claws, which in turn explains Her bloody cheeks. Her teeth are as fangs. She is covered in dust, as She roams the world. Her incessant crying gives her the name of the Goddess of Misery and Sadness.

One of Her myths is that She is the only being to precede Chaos, and that the entire world came from her. This makes Her a primordial, creative being, akin to Shakti, in the Hindu world.

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(Photo: ninecircles.co)

She is the Mistress of Poisons, who could create poisonous flowers by just summoning them, and not a few of Her potions could turn humans into animals.

Nonnus, Dionysiaca 14. 143 ff (trans. Rouse) (Greek epic 5th century AD):

“[Hera spies the nurses of the infant god Dionysos:] Hera, who turns her all-seeing eye to every place, saw from on high the everchanging shape of Lyaios [Dionysos], and knew all. Then she was angry with the guardians of Bromios. She procured from Thessalian Akhlys (Achlys, Death-Mist) treacherous flowers of the field, and shed a sleep of enchantment over their heads; she distilled poisoned drugs over their hair, she smeared a subtle magical ointment over their faces ,and changed their earlier human shape. Then they took the form of a creature with long ears, and a horse’s tail sticking out straight from the loins and flogging the flanks of its shaggy-crested owner; from the temples cow’s horns sprouted out, their eyes widened under the horned forehead, the hair ran across their heads in tuft, long white teeth grew out of their jaws, a strange kind of mane grew of itself, covering their necks with rough hair, and ran down from the loins to feet underneath.”

(Wikepedia)

Goddess myths don’t always make sense. As we know, Goddess stories and myths from around the worlds can become confused; names are similar, some Goddesses become combined with other Goddesses. It is no different here.

To contradict the origin myth of Achlys, it is also said she that she was one of the Keres/Ceres, the female death spirits, who were the daughters of Nyx, whose name means “night”, similar to Achlys’ Eternal Night.

The Keres’ names were Moros, meaning *Doom*, Ker meaning *Violent Death*, Hypnos meaning *Sleep* and Theoneiroi meaning *Dreams*. The description of the Keres being dark and mysterious beings with sharp teeth and claws, wearing bloody garments is similar enough to that of Achyls to let you think that She was one of their number. The Keres hovered over battlefields searching for wounded and dying men, as they relished the violent and cruel deaths that battle and murder wrought. Perhaps Achylis joined them, dropping the Mist of Death before the eyes of these men, before the Keres would take their bodies and souls.

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As this quote shows, it is believed, too, that the Keres were released into the world by the opening of Pandora’s box; this would have included Achylis:

Hesiod, Works and Days 90 ff (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C8th or C7th B.C.) :

“For ere this [the opening of Pandora’s jar] the tribes of men lived on earth remote and free from ills (kakoi) and hard toil (ponoi) and heavy sickness (nosoi) which bring the Keres (Fates) upon men; for in misery men grow old quickly. But the woman took off the great lid of the jar (pithos) with her hands and scattered all these and her thought caused sorrow and mischief to men. Only Elpis (Hope) remained there in an unbreakable home within under the rim of the great jar, and did not fly out at the door; for ere that, the lid of the jar stopped her, by the will of Aigis-holding Zeus who gathers the clouds. But the rest, countless plagues (lugra), wander amongst men; for earth is full of evils and the sea is full. Of themselves diseases (nosoi) come upon men continually by day and by night, bringing mischief to mortals silently; for wise Zeus took away speech from them. So is there no way to escape the will of Zeus.”

(Theoi.com)

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(Photo: paleothea.com by Hein Lass)

Whatever Her true myth and origins, there is no doubt that Achlys is one of the many Dark Goddesses. While we may wish to turn our head, the wise know that without the Dark, there is no Light; without Death, there is no Life.

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