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The Gems of the Goddess

January 1st, 2009

Athena:  Master Communicator, Crafter and Civilization Progressor

If you are looking for a powerful goddess to connect with, Athena may be a great choice.  Let’s take a look at what Athena represents and her attributes.

Athena is the Greek Goddess of wisdom, war, the arts, industry, justice and skill.   She was the favorite child of Zeus.  She was born from Zeus’s head after Zeus swallowed Metis when she was pregnant with Athena.

Athena’s symbols are the Owl, signifying watchfulness and wisdom; the aegis (small shield) showing the snaky head of Medusa. She protects heroes and was known as the Goddess of Heroic endeavors.  She was a master negotiator and could create peace through negotiation.

So how can you connect with Athena in this way?   You can invoke Athena when you need to resolve a situation.  For example, say you are trying to bring family members back together or negotiate a raise.  Athena will help you find the right words and solutions to resolve the issue.  You can also pray for soldiers and those fighting in battle – she protects their heroic actions.

Athena is also known as the Goddess of Crafts. Athena is the patron of weavers, potters, goldsmiths, sculptors, musicians, and horsemen. She was also credited with the inventing the first sailing ship, the yoke and the bridle, as well as the flute and trumpet.

Invoke Athena when you need creativity or need help musically.  If you know a musician, talk to them about Athena.  If you are creating something, such as scrapbooking or sewing, she can help inspire you.

Athena is also associated with the city and urban lifestyle, during peacetime she oversaw the progress of civilization, including being the patrons of literature and the arts.

Are you looking to take pictures or find some art for your office or house?  Are you a writer, creator, artist?  Are you interested in helping your community?  All of these things could use Athena’s influence.

Here is an example of a prayer you can use with Athena:

My dearest Athena,

I ask for your help awakening my wisdom.

Right now, I have problems that I would like to work on.

I need help with negotiation in my job.

I ask for your guidance on these issues because I don’t know where to turn.

I admire you as a powerful and strong woman.

Please help me to step into my power.

I crave the right path – I need your help in finding it.

Please, wise Athena, help me find my way.

And so it is.

Athena is the modern day peace promoter and creator.  Her influences can carry far and wide in your life if you’re looking for strength, power and creativity.

Hecate:  The Great Mother

Hecate (also known as Hekate) is the Greek Goddess of the Crossroads.  Her name means the “The Distant One”.  She guards the household; she is the protector of everything newly born and the Goddess of Witchcraft.   Hecate completes the Triple Goddess of Maiden (Persephone), Mother (Demeter) and Crone (Hecate).   Some of her titles are “Goddess of the Dark Moon”, “Goddess of the Witches”, “Mistress of Magic” and “Great Mother”.   She is a very powerful and active goddess so if you invoke her, be ready for a lifetime of service to her.  Hecate helps us to understand the darkness of the night and life so we can experience the light in our lives.
Hecate was one of the only Goddesses who was allowed to retain her authority by Zeus once the Olympians took control.  She could give humanity anything they wanted or take it away.   Hecate also was one of the “virgin” goddesses (like her cousin Artemis) who wouldn’t sacrifice her independence for marriage.   As time went on, Hecate was unfairly classified as an “old hag” because she could assist during times of the dark moon, during mediumship, dreams and she had great experience with death and death transitions.  Despite that, she is also known as a “Moon Goddesses” and her rulership was three-fold – earth, sea and sky.  Because she could create or hold off storms, she is the goddess who was the protector of sailors.
Hecate helps you during the crossroads in your life.  She is known for her foresight.   Many are known to gathe r at the crossroads and leave leftovers outdoors as offerings.  Hecate was usually depicted with her sacred animals but these animals and even herself in some situations were shown with three heads.  These three heads were seeing into the past, present and future.  Hecate also traveled with an Owl.  An Owl represents wisdom and even though she isn’t known as the goddess of Wisdom, she rules trivia.  Hecate is known to have a special type of knowledge.  She is also known as a compassionate goddess that dispenses justice but know that it will be blind and fair justice.
Since Hecate has the gift of prophecy, she is known to have told a sad and frantic Demeter what had happened to Persephone.  Even when Persephone was in the Underworld (or the “Otherworld”), Hecate was welcomed by Hades, who was thankful that Hecate could be Persephone’s confidant and friend.  Because of this friendship, Hecate developed into a Goddess that was comfortable with the=2 0Underworld and the Dead, hence being seen as someone who would accept those that were misunderstood or shunned.  She was known to travel with outcasts as her role of “Queen of the Night”.  This role earned her a mixture of honor and fear because she was walking with those that lived on the outer fringe.
Because of her experience with the Underworld, Hecate also worked with people making their transition to the Underworld.  She would comfort them as they passed and would stay with them if they needed transition to the Underworld.  She knew of the mysteries of birth and death and could protect and assist with both.
Hecate is here to help you make your transitions in life – not just birth and death but the symbolic births and deaths.  Hecate pushes you to let go of what is familiar and comfortable so you may bring out the depths of your soul and know and experience your life lessons.  Her festival days are January 8, May 3, August 13, October 31, November 16 and December 31.  Her gemstones are Moonstone, black tourmaline, hematite, smoky quartz – dark stones.
Even though Hecate’s reputation is of an “old hag”, Hecate is far from it.  If you are looking for profound changes and digging deep to do the work for them, Hecate may be the Goddess for your transformation.

Today we’re going to look at the Gems of the Goddess Hestia.  Hestia can teach us very important lessons about bringing our fire and our warmth into the world.

Hestia is the Greek Goddess of the Hearth Fire, which means she ruled over all domestic issues.  Her name means “the essence”.  She’s the Goddess of Architecture, Hospitality and Ordinary People.  She managed to stay about the fray of quarreling and politics and gave all “unconditional love”.

One of the ways you can work with Hestia is to be able to see into the heart and soul of someone to provide unconditional love and caring.  You can be generous and kind to everyone you meet, regardless of their baggage.  You are only responsible for how you interact with them.

These virtues define the goddess Hestia: mild, gentle, forgiving, peaceful, serene, dignified, calm, secure, stable, welcoming, and, above all else, well-centered.

Hestia grew up with grace and beauty and was pursued by both Apollo and Posidian.  Hestia decided she didn’t want to be married so she swore on Zeus’ brow that she wouldn’t marry.  She was content to live her life alone because she could follow a path that was her nature and her choosing.

Zeus was so grateful that Hestia averted a war between her two rival suitors; he made her the manager of Mount Olympus.  She would stay home, never leaving Mount Olympus.  Hestia was there to greet those returning – their “Homecoming”.

Hestia makes it so women can be who they are on their own.  A partner is not needed to be whole, even though this can be what many people feel completes them.  There is nothing wrong with having a partner but Hestia is also saying you can be your own best partner.   Many women who are alone and never marry are thought to be an “old maid”.  However, Hestia says you can be a beautiful woman, no matter what is your marital status.  Hestia says reach in and find how you can be nurturing to others but most importantly, how you can be nurturing to yourself.

The circle symbolized Hestia as the “complete” goddess, the goddess who was already    whole because she could “complete within herself.”  Hestia was seen as the center, representing herself as being centered and also the home, family, the area and the world.

The living flame of Hestia was tended to constantly and never allowed to die out.  The flame represented all of life’s energy.  If the flame was allowed to die out, it would create a cold existence.  There would be a lost of prosperity and warmth if the flame was extinguished.  When new areas were developed, Hestia’s fire was carried from the main area’s hearth to light the fire of the new community.  This assured prosperity and fertility for the land, the inhabitants and all others of the world.

So is Hestia telling you to believe in your own internal flame?  It is literal but think about it as lighting your own flame so you can light others.  Your interactions with others can either light or extinguish their flame.  Be careful of your interactions with others.

Hestia reminds us to be the keeper of our own flame.  We have to make sure it doesn’t go out because our flame is what drives us to move forward and create our destiny.  Obviously, working with the fire element can create a connection with Hestia.  Burn a special candle to light the fire within or for someone else. Most importantly, make sure your own fire doesn’t extinguish.

Bastet – Egyptian Cat Goddess

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Freyja – Queen of the Valkyries
Goddess of Love, Beauty, War and Death

Freya

Freyja (also known as Freya) was one of the major goddess of Norse mythology and leader of the Valkyries.  She was the goddess of love, fertility and beauty.   She is also known as the Goddess of war, battle, death, magic, prophecy and wealth.   She could be seen as the counterpart to Rhiannon and looked upon as the Lady.  It is thought that the day of “Friday” was named after Freyja.

Freyja was married to mysterious God Od, who is sometimes associated with Odin.  One of the myths associated with this is that Od left her and as she searched for him, she cried tears which turned to Gold.  This is known to be where the world got its Gold (and also its Amber).    Once she found him, Od saw her beauty and came back to her.

As one of the major Norse Goddesses, Freyja had a lot of responsibility.  She helps with childbirth, the seasons, cats, Seers, war, death, magic, prophecy and love, holding a Venus like quality.   As much as Freyja had a softer quality, loving beautiful flower arrangements and romantic music, she also was the Goddess of War and Death.  When she rode into battle with the Valkyries, their armor will flicker with light, which became known as the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights.

Freyja could claim half the bravest souls in battle.  She would actually walk onto the battlefield to collect their souls and bring them back to permanent rest and relaxation and being a generous woman, she also invited their wives and lovers to return with them.  The other half would be gathered by Valkyries, lead by Odin, and brought back to Valhalla (the “otherworld”) to also live in rest and relaxation.
She was beautiful – described as having strawberry blond hair and blue eyes.   She had many lovers and was known as the goddess of lust, desire and sensuality.    Aphrodite’s exploits paled in comparison to Freyja.   Even though she had many lovers, she held a very deep love for Od.  (Remember, monogamy had not been established yet.)

Part of her irresistible nature was the necklace Freyja had  (the “necklace of desire”) known as the “brisling” or “brisingamen” that she received in exchange from four dwarfs who rescued her when she lost her way home in a snowstorm.    When she offered to pay them in Gold for her room and board after the storm subsided, they countered by asking her to spend the night with each one of them, who were aptly named “North”, “South”, “East” and “West”.  She usually would have turned down an offer to spend four nights with four dwarfs, however, the myth is once she saw the necklace, she had to have it and they would only accept payment of being with her.  When the storm subsided, Freyja left with the necklace.  At one point, the necklace is stolen by Loki (the “trickster”) and Heimdall (also known as Hemidallr) battles Loki to get it back for her.

Freyja also had a cloak of falcon feathers that would help her transform into any bird and also help transit between the worlds.   Cats were also sacred to her and two large blue cats that were gifts from the God Thor rode with her on her golden chariot as she went on her daily travels.

Right now, Freyja is also very important as she watches over the souls of fallen soldiers.   She can be also sent to watch over those who are at war and helps keep things in balance.

You can work with Freyja when you are working on having harmonious relationships, including relationships to a mother or children.   You can also work with her in beauty magic and ways to create self love.   Freyja also was a powerful warrior so ask for her help with your own battles.   If you have soldiers in war right now, ask for her to watch over them.   Remember, Freyja is beautiful and compassionate but also powerful and a sorcerer, you are also many aspects within the same person.  Embrace all the parts of you as Freyja has done.

Hera

Hera was the Greek Goddess of Love and Marriage (also known as “Juno” in the Roman pantheon).  She was the wife of Zeus and the Queen of the Olympians.  She was also considered the Goddess of the Sky and the Starry Heavens.

Hera was usually depicted with a crown on her head and holding a staff with a lotus tip.  She is also seen holding a hawk or a cuckoo bird.

She is considered to embody the Triple Goddess – Maiden, Mother and Crone.

Hera as Maiden was unmarried and virginal.  She then was married to Zeus, after being raped by him when he tricked her by posing as a cuckoo bird to get closer to her.  As time went on, Hera became a jealous spiteful person because Zeus was cheating on her.  On the outside, Hera showed herself as the loving wife and mother – everything in the marriage was perfect.  But on the inside, Hera was jealous.  In private, Hera made Zeus’s consorts pay.  As time went on, Hera got tired of chasing around Zeus’s consorts.  She was getting older and decided to live her life out with being in solitude.  This was the crone aspect.

Hera’s sacred animals are the peacock (pride) and the cow.  Many pictures will show her with peacocks or peacock feathers.  The crow and the pomegranate (symbol of marriage) were dedicated to her.

Hera reminds us that we must age gracefully.  As we grow older, we grow wiser from our experiences.  Hera has been described as a bitter woman but her experiences brought her to protect herself because of the betrayal by Zeus.  She also lived in a loveless marriage but she still managed to stay strong.  Hera is telling us no matter what we are presented with, it’s important to stay loyal to our commitments.

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