goddess

She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

March, 2016

artemis

(Dedicated to Sunshine)

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(Photo Credit: symbolreader.net)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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(Photo Credit: greekmythology.wikia.com)

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

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(Photo Credit: gettyimages.com)

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

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

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

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(Photo Credit: greekmythology.wikia.com)

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

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

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

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(Photo Credit: realmofgoldthenovel.blogspot.com)

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

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(Photo credit: thinglink.com)

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

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

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

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

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

Blessings

Resources:

The New Book of Goddesses & Heroines by Patricia Monaghan

goddessgift.com

Ancient Mirrors of Womanhood by Merlin Stone

Finding the Pagan Way

March, 2016

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

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

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


The Goddess Calls

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

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

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

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

Patrick Kavanagh
16/04/12

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

Walk With Me

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

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

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

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

Patrick W Kavanagh
21/09/2013

She who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

January, 2016

Isis

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

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

was the Goddess from whom all Becoming arose.

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

Mistress of Shelter, Mistress of Heaven, Mistress of

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

great and wonderful works, She was a wiser magician

and more excellent than any other.”

~ ~ R. E. Witt

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(Photo credit: nasrinsafai.com)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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(Photo Credit: ancienttreasures.com)

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

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

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

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

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(Photo Credit: ahanaenterprises.com)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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(Photo credit: dreamstime.com)

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

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(Photo Credit: Susan Morgaine)

I wish you peace and the blessings of Isis.

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

Resources:

The New Book of Goddesses & Heroines by Patricia Monaghan

The Mysteries of Isis by DeTraci Regula

Isis Magic by M. Isadora Forrest

January Amulet of the Goddess Message

January, 2016

January Amulet of the Goddess Message

Sprouting Seed – New beginnings

seed

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

 

Frog – Speaking out

frog

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

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

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

 

Whirlwinds – Trust the unknown

whirlwinds

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

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

 

Dolphin – Play

dolphins

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

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

 

Inanna – Queen of transformation

inanna

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

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

 

Final Words

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

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

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

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

Then you will find joy, mirth, and merriment.

Then you will find you.

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

SpellCrafting : Spells & Rituals

January, 2016

Reclaiming Isis

Merry meet!

isis

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Merry part.

And merry meet again.

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

cottage

 

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.

god2

(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.

god3

(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

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