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She Who Is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

January 1st, 2019

Aa

(Image
Credit: freedom for humanity2016.wordpress.com)

She
to whom January 1st is dedicated and to whom is honored on this day
is the Babylonian Goddess, Aa.

She is also known as:

Great
Mother

Mother
of All Things

Goddess
of the Dawn

Goddess
of the Light

While
She is known as Aa in Babylonia, She is also known as Serida in
Sumeria, and in Akkadian as Aya, which means “dawn” in
Akkadian.

She
is “the Beginning” and “The Mother of All Wisdom”
and is associated with the eastern mountains which bring the sun into
the sky.

(Image
Credit: earthandstarryheaven.com)

Her
symbol is an 8-rayed sphere representing the symbol of light. As the
consort of Shamash, the god of the sun, She was also called Bride of
the Sun. Her sacred marriage to Shamash brought all thing to grow
and prosper.

Aa
brings the energy from the dawning of the sun on a new day.

(Image
Credit: historymaniac.megan.com)

Other
Goddesses who have their feast days in January include:

January
2 – Inanna’s Day (Sumerian)

January
5 – Kore’s Day (Greek)

January
8 – Justicia’s Day (Roman)

January
11 – Carmentalia (Roman)

January correspondences:

Gem/Birthstone:
Garnet

Full
Moon – Cold Moon

Herb
– Thyme

Color
– White

Tree
– Birch

***

About
the Author:

Susan
Morgaine
 is
a Daughter of the Goddess, Witch, Writer, Teacher,
Healer, and Yogini. She is a monthly columnist
with PaganPages.org Her
writings can be found in The Girl God Anthologies, “Whatever
Works: Feminists of Faith Speak” and “Jesus, Mohammed
and the Goddess”, as well as Mago Publications “She Rises,
Volume 2, and “Celebrating Seasons of the Goddess”. She has also
been published in Jareeda and SageWoman magazines. She
is a Certified Women’s Empowerment Coach/Facilitator through She
is the author of “My
Name is Isis
”, one in the series of the “My Name Is………”
children’s books published by The Girl God Publications. A
Woman International, founded by Patricia Lynn Reilly. She has long
been involved in Goddess Spirituality and Feminism, teaching classes
and workshops, including Priestessing Red Tents within MA and RI. She
is entering her 20th year teaching Kundalini Yoga and Meditation,
being a Certified instructor through the Kundalini Research
Institute, as well as being a Reiki Master. She is a member of the
Sisterhood of Avalon. She can be found
at https://mysticalshores.wordpress.com/ and
her email is [email protected]

My Name is Isis on Amazon

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.

artemis

(Dedicated to Sunshine)

artemis1

(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.

artemis2

(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.

artemis3

(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 Artemis 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.

artemis4

(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.

artemis5

(Photo Credit: realmofgoldthenovel.blogspot.com)

The Greek traveler and geographer, Pausanius said of Ephesus, “All cities worship Artemis 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”.

artemis6

(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 Artemis 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 Artemis 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

Sheela-Na-Gig

(Photo Credit: knowth.com)

What better representation of the Goddess for February than Sheel-Na-Gig?

All over Europe, primarily Ireland and England, adorning castles, churches, sacred sites, you will find carvings in stone of the beautiful Sheela-Na-Gig, a big smile on her face, squatting knees apart, exposing her powerful vulva. It is believed that these carvings were done during the Neolithic and Paleolithic eras. There is still and old energy that lies within these carvings.

While many find Her akin to a gargoyle, or a figure of lust. Many women, though, believe her to be an ancient fertility figure and a representation of the Mother Goddess.

The term “gyg”, in Norse, means giantess or a deified female, aka Goddess. It is thought that these carvings were meant for protection and to ward off evil, which goes a long way toward understanding their appearance on ancient churches.

(Photo Credit: www.beyond-the-pale.org/uk)

The vulva is a holy symbol of birth and life; representing regenerative powers of an Earth Mother/Goddess. The vulva of Sheela-Na-Gig is in the shape of a triangle, another hint that She is a representation of the Goddess. The triangle is a symbol of the three aspects of the Goddess – Maiden, Mother and Crone – the full cycle of a woman’s life (yes, I am not including all of the new additions of Queen, etc.)

It is thought that graves were built in the shape of the Goddess and that Her vagina was the passageway to regeneration and rebirth.

I believe that it is most likely unknown how many of these carvings there are, but this link will give you an idea of those that are in Ireland: http://www.irelands-sheelanagigs.org/

This article researches those in Southern England: http://www.sheelanagig.org/wordpress/category/southern-england/

(Photo Credit: www.atlasobscura.com)

Some of these carvings may be seen as lying on their side or upside-down, which indicates re-use of the stone which originally held the Sheela-Na-Gig carving.

Many of these carvings were taken down and destroyed with the growth of the church, as well as the beginning and rise of patriarchy. It is believed by many that these carvings of Sheela-Na-Gig gave rise to the demonization of women, and of women being portrayed as an ugly hag or crone.

While there are women who find these carvings grotesque and obscene, women who “know”, see Her as an invitation from the Goddess to explore and delve into their own divine feminine. She is the gateway to new adventures, new projects and new paths.

Sheela-Na-Gig is the invitation, the gateway and the re-birth of women who have the courage to really see Her, choose to delve into Her Mysteries and be reborn, knowing of their own Goddess power within and without.

With the fast and rampant rise of patriarchy, women were reduced to nothing but one who serves at home for their spouse, and as sex objects, which is how many see Sheela-Na-Gig. With this reduction of the powerful force of women and the Goddess, women lost their power.

We, as women, need to remove ourselves from the yoke of patriarchy. The time is now for women to rise up and reclaim the power of the Goddess and the power that is held within them; rise up and proclaim “THIS is our power”.

(Photo Credit: www.beyond-the-pale.org/uk

***

About the Author:

Susan Morgaine is a Daughter of the Goddess, Witch, Writer, Teacher, Healer, and Yogini. She is a monthly columnist with PaganPages.org Her writings can be found in The Girl God Anthologies, Whatever Works: Feminists of Faith Speak” and Jesus, Mohammed and the Goddess, as well as Mago Publications She Rises, Volume 2, and “Celebrating Seasons of the Goddess”. She has also been published in Jareeda and SageWoman magazines. She is a Certified Womens Empowerment Coach/Facilitator through She is the author of “My Name is Isis, the Egyptian Goddess”, one in the series of the “My Name Is………” children’s books published by The Girl God Publications. A Woman International, founded by Patricia Lynn Reilly. She has long been involved in Goddess Spirituality and Feminism, teaching classes and workshops, including Priestessing Red Tents within MA and RI. She is entering her 20th year teaching Kundalini Yoga and Meditation, being a Certified instructor through the Kundalini Research Institute, as well as being a Reiki Master. She is a member of the Sisterhood of Avalon. She can be found at https://mysticalshores.wordpress.com/ and her email is [email protected]

For Amazon information Click Image Below

 

A Home Group, Finally

I have finally found a home group! I knew as soon as I walked into the room that this was going to be the group for me. The time is perfect – 7:15 a.m. – it meets Tuesdays and Thursdays – it’s easy for me to get to – the meeting room itself is lovely – very Zen, although it’s a room in a Presbyterian Church. But it has large windows that look out on a courtyard with flowering trees and well-tended gardens and places to sit and meditate – much like any Buddhist Temple might offer. I felt at home immediately.

This spring I have struggled through one of the worst depressions of my life – at least, in last ten years. I had trouble getting to the store for basic groceries, let alone getting to an AA meeting or anywhere else. My entire spirituality suffered. I was amazed to find that I didn’t want to live anymore – and I was sober.

There were many dark days and many long sleepless nights.

Even though I thought I had lost my faith, yet I sat in meditation. Sometimes I sat for hours. It seemed like my brain had stopped to utter stillness but it was simmering like a sober stew. I needed that time of quietude. No sound except the chirping of the birds, vehicles driving past the house and children laughing as they walked to the corner to wait for the school bus. I didn’t dwell on any of this – I just noted each sound and let them go.

My son’s father came to town on route to somewhere else. He has over ten years in AA and is a social worker – he works with the homeless in Florida. He is Buddhist and has many years of practice. We spent the afternoon together, talking and meditating.

The next day, I started going to meetings again. The next week, I found this particular meeting – my new home group.

Soon after this, my son – who has six months sobriety – moved back in with me. I am so grateful for his sober support.

It is still a daily struggle. I have to admit that. At least once a day, I have a wicked bad jones. Something always triggers me. It can be almost anything. The weather – the time of day – a certain smell. I white-knuckle it hour by hour. Then – it passes – and I am so grateful that I didn’t give in.

I know that I have complained about AA for years and found every excuse under the sun not to go to meetings. But now I actually look forward to going to the meetings on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. I haven’t felt like this about a meeting in over ten years.

Now I wonder – will the Goddess come back to me?

***

About the Author:

Polly MacDavid lives in Buffalo, New York at the moment but that could easily change, since she is a gypsy at heart. Like a gypsy, she is attracted to the divinatory arts, as well as camp fires and dancing barefoot. She has three cats who all help her with her magic.

Her philosophy about religion and magic is that it must be thoroughly based in science and logic. She is Dianic Wiccan and she is solitary.

She blogs at silverapplequeen.wordpress.com. She writes about general life, politics and poetry. She is writing a novel about sex, drugs and recovery.

Breaking Sugar’s Grip One Day At A Time

 

(Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash)

 

I decided this year not to make any huge platters of Yule cookies. I might make a small batch of Heirloom Cut-Outs – just before the holiday – but I am not going to make very many – and they are going to be for bringing out for guests who stop by – along with tea or coffee or some all-natural eggnog.

The reason I don’t want to make a bunch of cookies is because along with trying to stay off alcohol and drugs, I am trying to stay off sugar as well. Totally ending sugar is nearly impossible – it’s a necessary ingredient in my homemade bread recipe – but I want to be able to drink my coffee without added sweetening of any kind and I want to end my daily craving for chocolate. I don’t use artificial sweeteners and never will.

I personally think that there’s a connection between the sugar we consume in the form of cookies and candy and things such as donuts and cravings for alcohol and giving in to emotional triggers that allow us to justify using our drug of choice. I say this because I have been “in” recovery for almost thirty years and I have paid close attention to how my body reacts to what I put into it – these past few years, especially. One thing I notice is that when I overdo it with any kind of sugary treat, I usually end up craving a beer a few days after that. It took me a while to figure this pattern out. But once I saw it, I couldn’t deny that it was real.

When I first got into rehab thirty years ago, I remember going to a lecture by one of the counselors – he wasn’t my counselor but I knew who he was – I no longer remember his name but he was a lot older than I was – probably as old as I am now – which seemed old to me thirty years ago! Anyway, he held up a half-gallon of ice-cream and said, “Now that you’re sober, you’re going to be eating a lot of this stuff, right?” And we all enthusiastically agreed. He shouted, “WRONG!” And tossed the ice-cream into the garbage can! He went on to tell us that although AA and “other people” might say that switching to sweets is a good way to stave off the cravings for alcohol and drugs, increasing our sugar intake would only lead us into other health problems, such as diabetes – AA is filled with diabetics. More importantly, he said, switching to sugar after quitting drugs and alcohol was only “switching to another drug” and eventually would lead us to relapse – “because no sugar high can compare to an alcohol buzz or a cocaine high” – and of course, he was right. At the time, I didn’t think so. At the time, his lecture pissed me right the fuck off. At the time, I wouldn’t have recognized that being so pissed was a sign that I knew that he was right and I didn’t want to admit it. But now – having thirty years to think about it and experience what he was talking about – I do know that he was totally right. When you get sober, your intake of sugar is dangerous to your sobriety. And if you’re anything like me, you had an addiction to sweets before you ever picked up a drink or a drug. Long before I had any kind of addiction to any drug at all, I had a deep love for chocolate. I was never safe around M&M’s. I’m still not. I never buy them anymore at all.

Breaking the addiction to sugar and to sweets is one of the hardest things I have ever gone through. Trying to find something to take the place of chocolately desserts is really tough. I do love fresh fruit and eat whatever is in season. Natural sweets are wonderful but I still crave chocolate and I always will. I know that white sugar in my coffee affects me like a line of cocaine and all I can manage is a small amount of brown sugar. Hopefully someday I will have milk in my coffee and that will be it. But I love homemade cookies and cakes. I love baking pies, especially fruit pies. I don’t want to have to stop eating all sweets forever, but I am going to really be aware of what I eat and how if affects my other triggers – my cravings for alcohol, my jones for cocaine and my bipolar moods.

All I know, is that the more sober time I have, the more quality sober time I want. Sobriety is definitely a part of my spiritual life now – I can’t imagine trying to meditate, do ritual, read the Tarot or the Lenormand or reach the Goddess in any meaningful way if I was stoned or drunk or even hungover! Breaking sugar’s grip one day at a time is another step in my recovery. Maybe it would help you too.

Until next month, Brightest Blessings and Happy Yule! Stay Sober! Hugs!

***

About the Author:

Polly MacDavid lives in Buffalo, New York at the moment but that could easily change, since she is a gypsy at heart. Like a gypsy, she is attracted to the divinatory arts, as well as camp fires and dancing barefoot. She has three cats who all help her with her magic.

Her philosophy about religion and magic is that it must be thoroughly based in science and logic. She is Dianic Wiccan and she is solitary.

She blogs at silverapplequeen.wordpress.com. She writes about general life, politics and poetry. She is writing a novel about sex, drugs and recovery.

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