goddess

She Who is All – Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

December, 2015

Frau Holle/Hold/Hulde

goddess(Photo Credit: www.udagen.de)

Frau Holle is a Germanic/Scandinavian Goddess, who is celebrated at the Winter Solstice. The wonderful Maria Gimbutas believes that Frau Holle pre-dates most of the Scandinavian pantheocon.

It is said that Holle lives in a cave nestled in the mountains or at the bottom of a deep well. She is Maiden. She is Mother. She is Crone.

As an Earth Goddess, she represents fertility and growth, as well as being the feminine spirit of the woods and plants. Her special plants are in the evergreen family, such as mistletoe and holly. Her tree is the Elder, which is called “the medicine of the common people”, for all the herbal remedies which come from the Elder Tree.

Holle is identified as one of the Protectress of Witches. She is a leader of women and the female nocturnal spirits of these women, who would leave their bodies to ride with Holle throughout the skies. She is the mother of small creatures and the souls of dead children.

She is also a Lady of Hearth and Home, and the Queen of the Hunt. She is sometimes seen as a beautiful, shining, young woman and at others, the old hag, riding her broom.

With Her feast day being held on the Winter Solstice, she is viewed as the Queen of Winter. There are processions throughout the streets, where women are masked to look like Her. At night, She rides her broom, wearing a red cloak, filling children’s shoes with presents.

It is said Holle brings the first snowflakes of the year; as She shakes out her comforter, a gentle snow comes and covers the Earth. The sun comes out when She combs Her hair and it rains when she throws out Her laundry water. As such, She is a Goddess of the Weather.

goddess1(Photo Credit: genius.com)

Holle is the inventor of all domestic acts, but her specialty was spinning. The stories tell of Frau Holle checking the spinning of everyone, and if they were diligent in their work and their spinning was good, She would reward them with gold thread; if their work was lazy, she would tangle and dirty it. She disliked laziness, and approved of good, hard work, both of which are rewarded by Her.

Holle travels the world in her wagon from the Solstice through the beginning of January. It is said that once she broke a wagon wheel on her travels and a man stopped to help her. When She was once again on her way, she gave him 3 rocks and told him to put them on his window when he arrived home and he would be rewarded for his diligence and kindness. He did not believe her and grumbling, went home to follow her instructions. When he arose the next morning, the stones had turned into gold, thus she had rewarded him!

Another story of her rewarding kindness and hard work is the tale of two sisters. One sister fell down a deep well, arriving in Holle’s realm. As she journeyed, she helped everyone she came in contact with, eventually finding herself at the home of Holle, where she continued to help and keep Holle’s home clean. When she returned home to her mother, she found that each time she spoke, gold would fall from her lips, and thus, she was rewarded by Holle. When the mother saw this, she threw her other daughter down the well. This daughter would help no one and offered no kindness to anyone on her journey, including Holle. When she returned home, she found, to her and her mother’s dismay, each time she spoke, toads fell from her lips. This daughter was rewarded in a different way.

You will recognize Frau Holle in stories by the Brothers Grimm, as one of the names they called Her Old in their stories was Mother Frost.

You can call on Frau Holle this Winter Solstice, using meditation, falling down her well, and going deep within on your own journey through her realm. What will await you? What will you be called on to do? How will you be rewarded by Holle?

goddess2(Photo Credit: janeewardart.org)

As always if you have any questions or comments, I can be reached at ShaktiWarriorSpirit@gmail.com.

I wish you the blessings of the Goddess throughout this holiday season. Be healthy, be happy, be blessed.  )O(

Hekate’s Enchanted Cottage

December, 2015

Tending the Flame

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Brigit—Lady of Light

Your Fire burns bright in the hearts of many.

Brighid—Exalted One

Most High do I sing Your Name.

Brigantia—Sovereign One

Through You, I honor the Sacredness of the Land.

Brigandu—Bright Faery Queen

The Realms of Enchantment are Yours, my Queen.

Breedia—She Who Heals

I embrace Your Powers of Healing, may I become One with You.

Brigit—Brighid—Brigantia—Brigandu—Breedia

I give thanks for the Blessings You bestow upon my Life…

~Vivienne Moss~

I have written of Brighed, or as I call Her, Brigandu, before. She is both Goddess and Saint, and is worshipped by both Pagans and Christians. Brigandu is a wonderful Goddess for the Cottage Witch to honor and She has a permanent shrine in my home. At this shrine I tend Her Holy Flame on the day that is chosen for me by a Sisterhood of Flame Tenders. I light Brigandu’s candle with a small candle that holds the Perpetual Flame of Brighid within. I am honored to be a part of this tradition and Sisterhood.

To tend the Flame of Brigandu is to tend the Flame of Creation. Within this Flame is the spark of creativity, the warmth of love, and heat of the passion for life. Its Holy Light is healing and soothing, compassion for All burns at the Flames center. To Tend the Flame is to tend the love in one’s own heart, learning to share the Mysteries of the Goddess with the world.

When we are full of Divine Love for the Goddess– (or God)—we become one with the universe and can feel the sacred connection that binds us all together. We learn that humanity is not apart from Nature, but that we are Nature. We are kin to every living being on our sacred planet. We are of the Stars and Moon, the Sun and the ever ancient Waters of Life. The Song of Creation lives within our souls, we are Holy, just as the Gods are Holy. Our lives, and All lives of this world are sacred, and we should treat them as such. Our lives should be lived with Love and Compassion. To see and feel the Deep Beauty of the Worlds—Seen and Unseen—is Life Enchanted…

As I extinguish Brigandu’s Holy Flame at the end of my vigil, I know that Her Holy Fire burns within my soul. I know that She is with me and that She has blessed my home and family. To feel Her Holy presence fills my life with Hope and Love for the Gods, the Spirits, and Humanity…

There are two recently released books on this Goddess of the Flame that are wonderful additions to my esoteric library. Brigid: History, Mystery, and Magick of the Celtic Goddess by Courtney Weber and Tending Brigid’s Flame: Awaken to the Celtic Goddess of Hearth, Temple, and Forge by Lunaea Weatherstone.

MoonOwl Observations

November, 2015

The Goddess Persephone

The Goddess of the Underworld is also known as Proserpina and she is the daughter of Zeus and Demeter. The symbols of her are bats, pomegranate, seeds of grain and deer––+. The Greek world was divided into three different parts. The first is Hecate, the moon goddess, who wandered through the sky. The second is Demeter, who rules the surface of the earth, and the third is the queen of the afterlife, Persephone.

Now, how did Persephone become the queen of the underworld? She was abducted by her uncle, Hades. One day, Persephone was picking flowers when the chariot of hades appeared and the god of death took her through a crack in the earth, which immediately closed after them. Her mother went searching for her, and with each step she took all agricultural ground turned to desert and stopped all growth. To restore the natural order, Zeus arranges his daughters release by negotiating a settlement between Demeter and Hades. But, Persephone had already eaten a pomegranate seed, which causes a living person to be able to exist in the underworld but never fully being allowed back into the world of the living. So, because of this Persephone is compelled to spend her time between both lands.

While Persephone is in the land of the living, her mother Demeter is happy and allows everything to blossom again (spring) but, when she is forced to go back to the underworld, Demeter’s sadness causes everything to wither and die (winter).

Even though Persephone is torn between these worlds and was in a difficult spot she accepted her role and life and still lives a gracious and gentle queen of the underworld. She is the queen of the underworld, springtime, vegetation and maidenhood.

She Who is All – Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

October, 2015

Hecate/Hekate

Hecate IS the magickal power of the Word. She was worshipped in Ancient Egypt, the Black Sea, Africa, Greece.

She is said to be the mother of the Heka, the Egyptian word for magic, and for those who perform magic. Heka was also the name for an ancient Egyptian god of magic and healing.

She is known by many names:

Queen of the Night

Queen of Death

Goddess of Witches

Goddess of Witchcraft

Mistress of the Night

Dark Goddess

The Crone of the Triple Moon Goddess

Guardian of the Crossroads

She is all of this and more. She is the keeper of ancient knowledge. She is the sacred cauldron of secrets. She is the dark aspect of the Goddess, the Crone of the Maiden, Mother, Crone, the waning of the moon, when all is dark. She is a fertility Goddess, her torch being carried over fallow fields to symbolize the moon’s fertilizing power.

hecate(photo credit: tvtropes.org)

 

 

The rituals of Demeter

and the terrifying nights

of the goddess Hecate

are among the mysteries

I have experienced.

~~ Roman Priestess Sabina

She is honored at the Crossroads, which She guards, holding her torch and accompanied by her faithful hounds. It is said that her hounds have three heads so that they are able to look in all directions. She, too, has the power to look in three directions, representing Past, Present and Future.

hecate1(photo credit: etsy.com)

Hecate was an ancient dark Goddess before the Olympian gods conquered and took power, She was the only Goddess that Zeus allowed to keep her authority and powers, one of which She shared with him, that of granting or denying what She wished for humanity.

When the Catholic Church was rising to power, they (mostly) succeeded to put down the Goddess, whom they described as evil, ugly and a hag. (I say mostly, because She was never gone and was always there for those who knew and revered her.) When the church described the Goddess, it was Hecate of whom they spoke. As such, Hecate stands for women in their fight against patriarchy; She helps women free themselves from the bonds of traditional, patriarchal religion, culture and society.

She was/is also honored at “Hecate’s Suppers” where the Witches of Hecate share their magickal knowledge, leaving the leftovers outside for Her hounds. If you hear dogs howling at night, it means that She is near. She is celebrated on November 16th, which is the Night of Hecate.

Hecate is the Goddess of death and the Underworld, as well as guidance and protection. Call upon her for protection when you believe someone is out to do you harm, to cease negativity against you and reverse the spell back to its’ owner. With her torch, she encourages us to make our way through obstacles and lights the way for our inner journey.

hecate2(photo credit: noblepagan.tumblr.com)

As a Goddess of herbs and poisons, She is associated with belladonna, cyclamen, mint, garlic, wolfsbane, hemlock, and dandelion. The tools most closely associated with Her are Her torch, the broom, and, of course, the cauldron.

Hail, Hecate! Underworld goddess,

you make dogs tremble when you

walk through cemeteries, you make

the blood of the dead run black.

Hail, Hecate! Assist me

in making this potion. Make it

as strong as Circe’s, as strong as Medea’s,

as strong as that little blonde Perimede’s

~~ Greek poet Theocritus, Idyll


Wishing everyone a most blessed Samhain.

Resources:

The Grandmother of Time – Z Budapest

Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs – Scott Cunningham

Ancient Mirrors of Womanhood – Merlin Stone

goddessgift.com

The New Book of Goddesses & Heroines – Patricia Monaghan

ancientegyptonline.com

sibyllineorder.org

The Goddess Companion – Patricia Monaghan

She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

September, 2015

Tara

Tara is the Great Goddess in Celtic lore, where her name is the root of *Tor*, a hillock of earth with a spiritual connection to other planes.

The name “Tara” is also connected to “Terra”, our Mother Earth.

However, the origins of the Tara most known today are in Hinduism, where she was seen as a manifestation of both Kali and Parvati. Her name means *star* and she was thought to have been a Boddhisattava, and a Goddess of Mystery and Mysticism.

Tara was adopted into Buddhism and became one of the most popular Goddesses in their pantheon. To them, her name comes from the root “tri”, which means “to cross”, which is why she is also the one who “ferries her people from delusion to knowledge”.

god

(Photo from goddessgift.net)

She has compassion for all living beings, desiring to save them from suffering, which connects her to the Boddhisattava/Goddess Kwan Yin, who also hears the cries of those who suffer and offers them mercy and compassion.

There are two main origin stories for Tara. One is that she was a spiritual and compassionate princess who prayed and gave offerings to the local monks and nuns. When one of the monks said that he would pray for her to be reborn as a man, she replied that there was no male/no female/no reality. She would stay in her female body to help others reach enlightenment. I adore the feminism in her ancient statement, which is still relevant now.

“There are many who wish to gain enlightenment
in a man’s form,
And there are few who wish to work
for the welfare of living beings
in a female form.
Therefore may I, in a female body,
work for the welfare of all beings,
until such time as all humanity has found its fullness.” **

**goddessgift.net

The other origin story, which explains the existence of two Taras, is that She/They were born from the tears of Avalokiteshvara, the Buddha of Compassion. As he was crying from seeing the suffering in the world and of his people, two giant tears fell from his eyes, resulting in the birth of the peaceful White Tara and the ferocious Green Tara.

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(Photo from exoticindiaart.com)

While they call Green Tara ferocious, She is mainly playful and full of mischief, always ready for call to action and activity. This is evidenced in Her posture upon Her lotus; Her right leg is extended ready to jump up, while her left leg is folded upon the lotus itself.

Green Tara symbolizes the night and holds a blue lotus in her left hand for purity and power; she is covered in bracelets, necklaces and jewels. With her right hand, she grants wishes and overcomes fears.

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(Photo from exoticindiaart.com)

While Green Tara is mostly seen as a young woman, White Tara is seen as a mature, full breasted woman. She is the Mother of All Buddhas and symbolizes day.

She has seven eyes – – the two usual, one in the Ajna (third eye) chakra, one on each hand and foot – – to more closely see the suffering in the world.

In her left hand, in the mudra (hand yoga) of protection, she holds a white lotus for complete truth and purity. This lotus has three blooms. The first bloom, with seeds, represents the Past; the second bloom in full flower, represents the Present, and the third, which is ready to blossom, represents the unknown Future. She is the essence of all three.

Tara is also known as *She Who Brings Forth Life*, *The Great Compassionate Mother”, “Embodiment of Wisdom”, and The Great Protectress”.

Her influence is widely felt, as evidenced by these stamps from Mongolia:

stamp1

Stamp2

(Photos from colnect.com)

Tara’s mantra is *Om Tare Tuttare Ture Svaha*; here it is chanted by the incomparable Deva Premal :  

May the Goddess, by whatever name you call her, bless you and keep you safe.

Blessings, Peace & Namaste…

god4

(Photo from wildmind.org)

Resources:

The New Book of Goddesses & Heroines by Patricia Monaghan

exoticindiaart.com

goddessgift.net

Spiralled Edges

September, 2015

Messages from the Goddess Amulets

It’s the Harvest Season, and I have gone to the Amulets of the Goddess to ask them what messages they have for us. What can they tell us about our personal harvest? This was what they had to say.

 

Primal Mother and Child

spiral

 

Know that you belong and you are loved. You have a place and a purpose on the Earth. Cultivate a richer and deeper sense of being a part of the world, of being a part of yourself. Accept the unconditional love that is there for you.

The love of a mother for her child. The love of the Universe for you. Take this love. Embrace it. Know that it is there for you and it will enable you to achieve greatness. Not the greatness as you define it with fame and riches. But deep within.

What you are cultivating, what you are growing is yourself. And what you are harvesting is your life.

 

Hand with seeds

spiral1

 

You alone hold the seeds of who you are. Though some may try to take them, they belong only to you.

These seeds cannot be taken, no matter what others say. No matter what you may be led to believe. Always they are in your hand.

You can be made to think they no longer exist. This is illusion.

Only you can hold your seeds. But only you can plant them.

If you never let go of your seeds, your hopes and dreams, your wishes, your desires, if you never plant the seeds you wish to grow, there can never be a harvest.

Open your hand. What seeds do you hold? Are they seeds of beauty that will grow to nourish your heart? Are they seeds of ugliness that will choke out the good things in your life and hold you back as a person?

No one can take your seeds, but only you can plant them. You can choose which ones are allowed to grow. Plant them all. Let them transform. Even the ugliest seed can transform into the most beautiful flower.

 

Whirlwinds

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Sometimes, we don’t know what will come from a seed. Perhaps we have held it so long we’ve forgotten. Perhaps we’ve been told too many times all you seeds are ugly seeds. Perhaps they’ve been hidden for too long.

It’s okay to plant them. It’s okay to trust that in planting a seed there will be a time of uncertainty. A time of not knowing. We cannot see the changes happening within a seed once we plant it. Until then, we must trust that change is happening outside of our view and outside of our control.

We can only see the seedling once it pushes out of the ground. Then we can fully see what this seed means for us. How it can transform us. Even an ugly seed allowed to grow can transform into something beautiful.

Trust what is growing and transforming outside of your awareness and control.

 

Snake

spiral3

 

Let go of your fears. Plant the seeds you hold in your hand.

Fear keeps us from seeing the unconditional love of Mother Universe. Dear keeps us from letting go of our seeds. Fear keeps us from planting them and allowing them to grow. Fear keeps us from harvesting them when are ripe.

Is fear the seed you hold in your hand? Plant it, water it, and let it transform. By clenching this seed in your hand you allow it to root within your soul. Take it. Look at it. Plant it. And let it become a thing of beauty that will nourish your soul.

 

Gorgon

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Are the seeds you hold seeds of anger? We are told so many times that anger is wrong, anger is bad, anger should never be felt.

So we clench the seeds of anger tightly in our fist. We hold to it so tightly, because we dear what may happen should we let go.

Plant your seeds of anger. Let go of them. Don’t clench them in your fist. Put them in the Earth. Let them be transformed into a seed that can bring beauty into your world.

Each of us holds the seeds of who we are in our hands. While harvesting the fruits is important, it is even more important that we plant those seeds. They cannot grow and transform into beauty if we hold them forever in our hands.

The set used for these readings is called Amulets of the Goddess and were created by the artist and author, Nancy Blair. I have been working with these amulets for over 20 years. Information on personal readings can be found on my blog.

Images all taken by author

She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

June, 2015

Kwan Yin, The Goddess of Mercy and Compassion

(This column is dedicated to my dear friend, Denise M.)

I think that, at least one time or another, we all need a little mercy and compassion in our lives. When times are such that this is what you need, look no further than Kwan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy and Compassion.

She is known by many names in many place – Kannon in Japan; Gwan-Eum in Korea, Kuan Im in Thailand; and other similar pronunciations in bordering countries.

******************************

A mind perfected in the four virtues,
A gold body filled with wisdom,
Fringes of dangling pearls and jade,
Scented bracelets set with lustrous treasures,
Dark hair piled smoothly in a coiled-dragon bun,
And elegant sashes lightly fluttering as phoenix quills, Her green jade buttons
And white silk robe
Bathed in holy light;
Her velvet skirt
And golden cords
Wrapped by hallowed air,
With brows of new moon shape
And eyes like two bright stars,
Her jadelike face beams of natural joy,
And her ruddy lips seem a flash of red.
Her immaculate vase overflows with nectar from year to year,
Holding sprigs of weeping willow green from age to age.
She disperses the eight woes;
She redeems the multitude;
She has great compassion;
Thus she rules on the T’ai Mountain,
And loves at the South Sea .
She saves the poor, searching for their voices,
Ever heedful and solicitous,
Ever wise and efficacious.
Her orchid heart delights in green bamboos;
Her chaste nature loves the wisteria.
She is the merciful ruler of Potalaka Mountain,
The Living Kuan Yin from the Cave of Tidal Sound.

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Because there are different interpretations of Kwan Yin in different countries, there are several stories of her origination. I will share two of them here.

The Story of Thi Kinh

Thi Kinh was a young girl who lived with her parents in a small village. Her father owed money to his landlord and gave his daughter to the landlord’s son to marry. One night as her husband was sleeping, she took a scissors to cut a hair out of a mole on his face. He awoke and thought that she was trying to kill him. She was thrust out on her own, with no family and no where to go. She decided to shave her long hair and dress as a monk so that she would be able to stay at the Buddhist temple. One of the village girls saw her (dressed as a monk) and became infatuated. One night she saw someone she thought was him (really her) and invited him in, whereupon they had sex. When she became pregnant, she named Thi Kinh as the father.

Thi Kinh was banished from the temple, once again becoming homeless, never telling anyone that she was a woman, so as not to shame the young pregnant village girl, even though it would exonerate her. She chose to live her Buddhist beliefs and forgive the young girl, protect her and suffer the abuse of the village.

The child was given to Thi Kinh to raise. She went from village to village begging for food for the child, and was abused at each place she stopped for shaming Buddhism But she continued on, until at one village, she was beaten to death. When her clothing was removed, it was discovered that she was, indeed, a woman and could not have gotten the young village girl pregnant. The villages then revered Thi Kinh for what suffered on behalf of this young girl. Her spirit became Kwan Yin.

******************************************

The Story of Princess Miao Shan

At the time of Miao Shan’s birth, her mother the queen, dreamed about the moon; the earth shook and the child was born amidst the smell of flowers. She was enveloped in a radiant light and all knew she was a Goddess. However, her royal parents had wanted a son.

She was extremely kind and patient and refused to marry as her father insisted. As he grew angry, he made her do the worst chores around the palace and barely gave her food; he then sent her to a nunnery, insisting that they continue her punishment for disobeying him. She did all of them without a complaint. The Master of Heaven, seeing her, sent animals and birds to help her. When she still refused to marry, her father sent his men to kill all of the nuns by setting fire to the nunnery. When the nuns turned on her for bringing this upon them, she felt responsible and punctured the top of her mouth and spit blood into the air, praying to the Buddha. The blood turned into water and put out the fire. Her father then brought her back and had her executed. The Master of Heaven sent a giant tiger to bring her body to him. She came back to life after living in heaven for a while, and went to live upon a mountain. Her evil father was constantly ill due to the vileness of his nature. While he lay dying, a strange monk came and told him if he could “take the arm and eye of one who is without anger”, he should combine them and apply them to become well. No one was without anger, and no one would sacrifice themselves for this evil man. The monk told him that someone such as this lived on the nearby mountain. Her father sent a message, not knowing it was the daughter he had killed. When she heard her father was dying, she gouged out her eyes and cut off both of her arms and her father was cured. Her parents traveled to visit this person and recognized her as their daughter and begged her forgiveness.

She rose into the air to become the Thousand-Armed and Thousand Eyed Guan Yin, for she now would have 10,000 eyes to see the suffering of the world, and 10,000 arms and hands to help those in need.

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In Talmage, Mendocino County, California is the international Buddhist community known as the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas. In the Buddha hall, there are really 10,000 small buddha statues in niches in the walls. This hall is for meditating and chanting and is dominated by a large golden statue of Kwan Yin.

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Kwan Yin is a manifestation of the Divine Mother, the nurturer, the caregiver, the comforter, the one who hears the cries of all those who are suffering. She is sometimes seen as holding a willow branch, which she uses to heal illness and to fulfill the requests of her followers. She is also seen with a vase symbolizing the nectar of compassion and her wisdom. Most often, she is seen as sitting upon a lotus blossom. The lotus is an amazing flower, which grows from the mud, opens and blooms each morning and closes each night. The lotus symbolizes rising to the occasion and blooming to your true potential.

Namo Guan Shih Yin Pu-Sa

kwan4

(Hail to Kwan Yin Bodhisattva)

May the blessings of the Goddess be upon you.

Namaste

)O(

She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

March, 2015

Freya

Untitled

 

 

Freya, or Freyja, Queen of the Valkyries and Queen Mother of the Vanir, is both a goddess of love, peace and sexuality, as well as the ruler of war and death.

As a goddess of peace, she is the spirit of the Earth’s fertility, as she is always there when Spring has awakened, and removes herself from earth in the Fall and Winter.

As one of the Vanir, she was a giver of magic, and as such, she taught women chosen by her, magic songs to allow them to see into the future.

As Queen of the Valkyries, she clothed herself in a falcon-feathered cloak and her amber necklace, donned a war helmet and carried a spear. As she drove her cat-drawn chariot of gold, she would claim the spirits of those who had fallen on the battlefield and bring them with her to her palace, in Folkvangir, in Asgard. Those whom she chose, would live with her and their afterlives were filled happiness. Those whom she did not choose would be escorted by her Valkyries to Odin. She would ease the transition of the deceased to Valhalla.

Although she was married to Od, the god of ecstasy, she took many of the gods as her lovers.

At one time, she visited the Land of the Dark Elves and watched them forge a most beautiful necklace; this necklace, she felt, should be hers. Every offer she made to the Elves was refused. She told them that whatever they wanted for the necklace would be theirs. Each of them asked for one night with her; and so, she stayed with each of the elves for one night and she received the necklace from them. As the necklace was placed upon her neck, it blazed with fire as a rainbow appeared in the sky. The morning star of the dawn was brought down by the light of the necklace, the flame of its’ forging. She brought these gifts to 

her people. This necklace became Brisingamen. Freya’s necklace is what some Norse still call the Milky Way.

Freya

Brisingamen was stolen from Freya by Loki, who turned himself into a flea, and while she slept, bit her on the cheek. This caused Freya to turn and allow Loki to remove the necklace. Loki brought the necklace to Od, as proof of Freya’s promiscuity. Od disappeared without a trace. Freya donned her feather cloak and searched the world for him, all the while weeping tears of gold. She searches for him still.

Goddess Blessings!

Enchanted Cottage

February, 2015

Brighid

 

brighid

 

 

I am Brighid-nam-Bratta: Brigit of the Mantle,

but I am also Brighid-Muirghin-na-tuinne: Brigit, Conception of the Waves,

and Brighid-sluagh, Brigit of the Faery Host,

Brighid-nan sitheachseang, Brigit of the Slim Faery Folk,

and Brighid-Binne-Bheule-lhuchd-nan-trusganan-uaine,

Brigit the Melodious Mouthed of the Tribe of the Green Mantles.

 

From Brigit Speaks by Fiona MacLeod

 

 

She is Goddess, Saint, and Faery Woman; She is Healer, Poet and Smith; She is Mother of Songs and , The Flame in the Heart of All Women and Mother of All Wisdom. Brighid, Goddess of the Hearth Fire, has many names known throughout the lands She was once worshiped and honored. As a Goddess that has survived through time under the guise of Saint, She has never been forgotten. She lives on in the hearts of Her people, healing the wounds left by the trials of life.

 

She is Saint Brigid, Foster Mother of Christ, and St. Brigid of Kildare where nineteen nuns tended a perpetual flame in Her honor. She is the patron saint of poets, children midwives and livestock.2 Ever present, Saint Brigid is still honored today by many Catholics and Pagans alike. Through Her healing nature and deep well of wisdom, She gathers Her children under Her mantle, filling them with Grace and Tranquility.

 

Known as Breo-Saighit and Bride in Scotland, Brigit in Ireland, Brigandu in France, Brigantia in England, and Ffraid in Wales3, Brighid and Brigid are now the most common spellings used. The most popular meaning for Her name is The Exalted One. She is the fiery or bright arrow, the bright flame of inspiration and is said to be the daughter of the Dagda, the Good God of the Tuatha De Dannan.

 

As Hearth Goddess, Brighid, or Brigandu as I like to call Her, is one of the most popular of the Gods to be worshipped in the home. She is a Goddess of healing and abundance, bringing health and prosperity to the home of those who worship Her.  Brigandu is the Bright Faery of Wisdom and Inspiration, bestowing a wealth of esoteric knowledge when called upon. She is Lady of Fire, warming our homes and hearts with Her presence.

 

Imbolc, also celebrated as Candlemas, is Brighid’s Holy Day. Celebrated on February 2nd, Candlemas, or the Feast of Lights, is a festival of Renewed Life. It is when the first stirrings of Spring are found and the warming of Earth begins as the Old Crone, Cailleach, passes Her White Wand of Winter to Brighid as it turns into the Green Wand of Spring.

 

Brigandu is Goddess of Magic, enchanting the Land She walks upon and charming the hearts of those who love this Bright Queen of Faery. She can be called upon while creating prayers and spoken spells, kindling the Creative Spark of Inspiration. Embrace the healing powers of Brighid as you brew teas of health and wellness, infusing them with love and compassion. Find comfort in the warmth and prosperity She bestows upon our homes, remembering to give thanks to The Exalted One. Create Bridie Dolls and Bridie Crosses in Her honor; the book Candlemas Feast of Flames by Amber K & Azrael Arynn K has instructions on how to make these.

 

There are many ways to connect with this Holy Goddess. Whether as Saint, Faery Queen, Patroness of Poets, Goddess of the Sea, or any of Her myriad epithets, Brigandu is a very approachable Goddess. A simple heartfelt prayer, or a reverent request for Her help accompanied by gratitude, will aid in inviting Brighid into your home.  Offerings of milk and honey are appropriate for this Radiant Queen, as are all healing herbs and poetry spoken from the heart. Light a candle, close your eyes, and whisper Her name—She will answer…

 

 

 

Brigit—Lady of Light

Your Fire burns bright in the hearts of many.

Brighid—Exalted One

Most High do I sing Your Name.

Brigantia—Sovereign One

Through You, I honor the Sacredness of the Land.

Brigandu—Bright Faery Queen

The Realms of Enchantment are Yours, my Queen.

Breedia—She Who Heals

I embrace Your Powers of Healing, may I become One with You.

Brigit—Brighid—Brigantia—Brigandu—Breedia

I give thanks for the Blessings You bestow upon my Life…

 

~Vivienne Moss~

 

 

Notes:

  1. Candlemas: Feast of Flames by Amber K & Azrael Aryyn K
  2. The Way of the Hedge Witch by Arin Murphy-Hiscock
  3. Candlemas: Feast of Flames…

 

 

Further reading:

Kindling the Celtic Spirit by Mara Freeman (February: The Festival of Brigit)

Brigid: Goddess, Druidess and Saint by Brian Wright

Priestess of Avalon Priestess of the Goddess by Kathy Jones (The Quickening: Imbolc Festival of the Maiden Goddess)

Candlemas: Feast of Flames by Amber K & Azrael Arryn K

She Who Is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

February, 2015

Brigid

brigid

As I sit here writing this column, it is only a handful of days until Imbolc, which makes it easy to choose Brigid as this month’s Goddess.

 

She is known today, by many, as St. Bridget of the Christian church.  Oh, but she was and is so much more.

 

Brigit, pronounced “Breed” started at a triple goddess in Ireland and surrounding areas.  In England, she was known as Brigantia; in Scotland, Bride; in Celtic France, Brigandu.  Her name means “bright one” or “bright arrow”.  A great flame went out from her head and into the sky on the day of Her birth.  This flame, tended at a sacred shrine in Kildare by 19 maiden women, named the Daughters of the Flame, perpetually burned; and, it was said that it was tended by Brigit, herself, on the 20th day.   This flame was looked on only by women so that its’ purity would be always protected.

 

As a triple goddess, Her aspects are linked by both fire and water.

 

Brigit is the Keeper of the flame, and is credited with the invention of smithcraft, She is the Goddess of the forge and of the Hearth in each home.  She is the Poetess, the Goddess of storytelling and inspiration.  She brings wisdom and guidance as the Goddess of prophecy and divination.  She is a nurturer, the bringer of children as a mid-wife.

 

She is a Goddess of healing and well-being.  Numerous healing wells are dedicated to her, many in the surrounding areas of Kildare.

 

brigid2

 

 

 

As Christianity conquered the pagan people of old, the church found that Brigit was so loved and so revered, that they could not eradicate her worship.  As they did with so many of of our ancient deities and customs, they co-opted her into the church, transforming her into St. Bridget, claiming that she was a Druid’s daughter and baptized by St. Patrick, he who allegedly drove the snakes (pagans) from Ireland.

 

Her sacred flames burned until 1220, when a Norman Bishop, angered by the fact that men were not allowed into the presence of the sacred flame, forced his way in with his men and had the flame put out, using its’ pagan beginnings as his reasoning.  The flame was re-lit in 1993; it is now maintained by the Sisters of Bridget.

 

The Goddess Brigid has many symbols — the forge, the hearth, the wheel, the crossroads, which represent transformation, as they stand between light and dark.   There is also Brigid’s cross, which is said to bring good luck and to protect a home from fire.   There are many websites that can help you with instructions on how to make your own Brigid’s cross.

 

brigid3

 

 

Brigid is celebrated on Imbolc, February 1st, which is a time of purification and cleansing.   With her two opposite symbols of fire and water, it reminds us to always maintain a balance within our lives.  This is a time of transformation, and new beginnings.

 

To celebrate Brigid, one of the first things that should be done is to set up your Imbolc altar.  No matter the amount of space that you have available, a beautiful altar is yours for the making.  A statue of Brigid is a lovely addition to the altar, as are candles (for the symbol of fire), and chalices, (for the symbol of water).  Any spring-blooming plants would be appropriate.  Of course, your Brigid’s cross, if you have made one, would be perfect.  (The opening photo is the beginnings of my own Brigid/Imbolc altar.)

 

Before your ritual, knowing that this is a celebration of purification and cleansing, you should bath first with a mixture of sea salt, epsom salt, baking soda and lavender oil.

 

 

 

There are many rituals surrounding both Brigid and Imbolc.  This is the perfect time to re-dedicate yourself to your path.  For other ideas,  please check out:   http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/imbolcfebruary2/a/AllAbout_Imbolc.htm

 

 

“IRISH PRAYER TO BRIGID”

 

Brigid, gold-red woman

Brigid, flame and honeycomb

Brigid, sun of womanhood

Brigid, lead me home

 

You are a branch in blossom

You are a sheltering dome

You are my bright precious freedom

Brigid, lead me home

 

 

 

As always, I can be reached at ShaktiWarriorSpirit@gmail.com

 

I wish you all a very blessed Imbolc and may Brigid watch over you.

 

Resources:  The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines by Patricia Monaghan

                     Ancient Mirrors of Womanhood by Merlin Stone

                     Gathering for Goddess by B. Melusine Mihaltses

                     The Goddess Companion by Patricia Monaghan

                      http://paganwiccan.about.com

 

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