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GoodGod!

March 1st, 2019

Meet the Gods: Jarilo

(https://www.slavorum.org/)

Merry
meet.

While
Ostara (also called Eostre and Eastre) is the Germanic goddess of
spring and dawn, there appears to be no equivalent Germanic god of
spring. There is, however, a handsome, young Slavic god of spring and
fertility – Jarilo. He was born on the night of the Slavic new
year and was the tenth son of Perun, the god of thunder.

Veles,
the Slavic god of the Underworld, kidnapped Jarilo from his cradle.
As a result, winter overtook the land. Vegetation died and fertility
was suspended. Jarilo escaped, arriving home in spring at which time
flowers bloomed, birds sang and fertility festivals (some called them
orgies) were held.

Each
year the cycle of death and rebirth repeats, much like it does with
the goddess Persephone. Each spring Jarilo returns on a white horse,
celebrating the sun’s resurrection, so he was also considered a sun
god. He was the god of vegetation, too, because he enabled crops to
grow, protecting and defending them from natural disasters.

According
to the website Meet the Slavs, “People used flowers, branches,
leaves to adorn houses and barns. The wreaths were also made and
thrown into the river or stream. Slavs sacrificed cattle to Jarilo,
usually a ram or a goat. The priests sometimes sacrificed deer whose
head was placed in front of the statue of God. When there existed
threat of drought, rituals devoted to Jarilo included entire nation,
so whole community prayed to God for rain.”

Also
known as Gerovit, Jared and Rudjevid, he would protect the weak and
helpless as a god of war. According to the same source, he demanded
peace and harmony, and carried an olive branch in one hand and a
sword in the other, but used “only in cases when difficulties could
not be solved in other ways.”

Besides
temples, Jarilo’s places were rivers, forests and cemeteries.

The
month with which he is associated began March 21, when the sun
entered the sign of Aries. For that reason, a ram was often
sacrificed in his honor on the equinox.

As he returned to the world in the spring, according to theonetruejustice.wordpress.com, “by happenstance the lady he met was his own twin sister Marzanna (Morana), the goddess of nature, winter, and decay. Incestual relationship was a really popular thing for gods back in the day, so they soon fell in love and got married on the evening of the summer solstice.”

As
that story goes, when she found out her brother/husband was
unfaithful, she gathered the gods and together they murder Jarilo,
dismembering him in a ritualistic sacrifice and forcing him back into
the underworld. Marzanna becomes heartbroken and cruel. The cycle of
death and rebirth allows Jarilo to meet, marry, and be dismembered by
his sister year after year.

This
Ostara, if you wish to call a god into your circle, Jarilo is one
option. You could try putting an olive branch and a sword on your
altar. You might also use a symbol of Aries or a ram, branches,
flowers and other signs of spring.

If
you would like a goddess from the same pantheon for your sabbat, get
to know Kostroma, the East Slavic goddess of fertility and
fruitfulness. In mythology, she was the one that provides fertility
and abundance of land, invoked every spring through various rituals.
Kostroma brings those born on this day a special talent in writing
and speaking. Kostroma is also the goddess of signs and coincidences,
according to “The World of Ancient Gods – Slavic Goddesses” on
Meet the Slavs’ website.

Merry
part. And merry meet again.

***

About
the Author:

Lynn
Woike
 was
50 – divorced and living on her own for the first time – before
she consciously began practicing as a self taught solitary witch. She
draws on an eclectic mix of old ways she has studied – from her
Sicilian and Germanic heritage to Zen and astrology, the fae,
Buddhism, Celtic, the Kabbalah, Norse and Native American – pulling
from each as she is guided. She practices yoga, reads Tarot and uses
Reiki. From the time she was little, she has loved stories, making
her job as the editor of two monthly newspapers seem less than the
work it is because of the stories she gets to tell. She lives with
her large white cat, Pyewacket, in central Connecticut. You can
follow her boards on Pinterest,
and write to her at woikelynn at gmail dot com.

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

 

What is the Grail to you?!

The Grail stands as a beacon of hope and wholeness in the midst of the Wasteland created by modern Western materialism.  The potency of this symbol beckoning us back to living in harmony with both ourselves and the land around us is a myth very much of our time.  It speaks directly to wholeness and connection and reminds us that to bring the Wasteland back to fertility and lush abundance we must return to the Source that nourishes it.

Our modern Society and education systems gives us few really useful tools to take with us on the great journey of Life.  We need knowledge and understandings that we can directly apply to the challenges and traumas we face, that enable us to emerge empowered and strong, not weak and victimised. The Lost Wisdom of the Grail telesummit brings together a wide variety of Wisdom Keepers who are working to help humanity overcome the challenges it currently faces and envision a future where all are valued and flourish.

– Saira Salmon, https://www.sairasalmon.com/

Recently I received an invitation to be one of the speakers on a Telesummit in May 2018, titled The Lost Wisdom of the Grail, (https://www.sairasalmon.com/grail/) hosted by Saira Salmon. She has organised this summit from a strong personal connection to the Grail teachings and Grail mythology.

Saira’s question to me was: “How and where does the concept of the Grail appear in your shamanic work and classes?” This was a very exciting question to engage with!  My immediate response was to request a dream on this subject from my spirit team.


The dream that came was about “the wounded masculine” – linking it to the Arthurian tale of The Fisher King. In the dream I had to make my way to this wounded male figure (first I could not even see if it was a toddler or grown man). When I got there I realized that he was my father/son/husband/male friends all in one. The dream was asking me to reflect on where I need to heal my inner masculine (born a woman) to arrive at a healthier relationship of masculine and feminine in our world. (The external world is always an expression of our internal world!)

Over the centuries many scholars and mystics have arrived at different definitions of what the Holy Grail is or was. For me personally the crucial question is: what is the Holy Grail to you?!


For me, first and last, the Grail is a CRUCIBLE – a sacred container of transformation and transmutation – the big question is: are we willing to make ourselves a crucible (sacred chalice or Holy Grail)?!

For much of 2016 and 2017 I was working intensely with a mysterious figure who called herself The Poison Mother.  She came to me in Sweden and became one of my key allies over time. I made an art video about our work together by the same name:

The Poison Mother


As our work unfolded she told me that was familiar with her under a different name:  Norse goddess Sigyn (wife of the trickster god Loki). Her big question to me (to all of us!) is: am I willing to make myself a crucible for transmutation in the world? This means rather than avoiding “toxic situations” actually choosing to be there and using myself as a chalice (or Holy Grail) to be an agent of change in service to our collective consciousness evolving.


In ancient Sumeria this sacred marriage (or Hieros Gamos) was the central idea at the heart of their religion.  I just finished an art video exploring this mystery today:

The Sacred Marriage in The Great Below


Another Grail in Norse cosmology is the cup that the Valkyrie holds out to the warrior in the moment of death. She is also known as the “The Maiden with the Mead” and she is a supernatural being (a goddess!) and Mistress of Initiation. (I invite you to check out the work of author Maria Kvilhaug (http://freya.theladyofthelabyrinth.com/?page_id=35) who wrote a PhD dissertation on this subject!) This cup is said to hold the mead and her offering accompanies a sacred marriage between the Maiden and the “Hero” of the tale. He faces fierce trials and a descent into the Realm of the Dead to earn this privilege.

It is my belief that profound mystery rites of initiation involving women and feminine power are found at the very heart of Norse cosmology (more commonly perceived as quite a male-god dominated tradition!) The same thing is true for many other cosmologies that map an Other World. The details might be culture-specific but the concept and mystery teachings are very similar.

My personal intention is to call together groups of powerful talented people and harness the group power to retrieve those ancient mysteries and initiations! – If that works speaks to you – please check out my 2-year Seiðmaðr & Seiðkona 2-year program in Sweden (starting Summer 2019):

http://www.shaman-healer-painter.co.uk/info2.cfm?info_id=224450


For the Celtic peoples this ritual was about the sacred marriage of the king to the goddess of the land (Sovereignty). Without this marriage the land becomes a barren waste land (and look at what we are doing to the Earth and her creatures – we need to revive this mystery teaching!
This is the core of the shamanic teaching I am doing – putting ancient mystery teachings back into practice in the modern world with modern groups of people working in spirit-led ways, using the process of direct revelation).

When we lose these wisdom traditions our inner world becomes barren. Our external world becomes a wasteland, dominated by conflict, pollution and a lack of respect for all sentient beings. This way of being in the world brings dis-ease and disharmony with the great Web of Life (or Web of Wyrd in Norse cosmology).

Another question Saira put to me was: what is the Grail in terms of spiritual work with young people? In this context for me The Holy Grail is the safe sacred space – container – for young people to develop their own spiritual toolkit in partnership with their spirit allies. In our culture we make sure that children are looked after in the physical/social/emotional realm but often we leave them rudderless when it comes to the spiritual dimension. I obviously wrote a whole book about this (Natural Born Shamans: A Spiritual Toolkit for Life) but to sum it up in just a few words… our children and young people need:

  • A viable spiritual toolkit to help them navigate the challenges life throws at them

  • Safe sacred space with kindred spirits – if their innate psychic /healing/shamanic abilities are to be nurtured

  • Rites of Passage offered by the Elders of our Communities – safe experiences of initiation and stepping through developmental portals in order to become fully-fledged adults who do not fear death.

Therefore The Grail is directly linked to a rich inner life, to sacred space held by elders and wisdom keepers, to a sacred marriage within ourselves but also between the archetypal figures of King and Sovereignty (Goddess of the Land)!


Are you willing to be a crucible for change and transmutation in our world?!

If this material speaks to you: please make sure to register for the Grail Summit and tune in. Expert speakers from all over the world will share their unique take on this material! And this summit is FREE!!

***

About the Author:

Imelda Almqvist is an international teacher of shamanism and sacred art. Her book Natural Born Shamans: A Spiritual Toolkit For Life (Using shamanism creatively with young people of all ages) was published by Moon Books in 2016.  She is a presenter on the Shamanism Global Summit  2017 as well as on Year of Ceremony with Sounds True. She divides her time between the UK, Sweden and the US. Her second book SACRED ART, A Hollow Bone for Spirit : Where Art Meets Shamanism will be published in December 2018.

Click Image for Amazon Information

www.shaman-healer-painter.co.uk  (website)

https://imeldaalmqvist.wordpress.com/  (blog)

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=imelda+almqvist  

(Youtube channel: interviews, presentations and art videos)

AGISCHANAK

 

As I sit here looking out at the world outside my window, covered with the first snowfall of the season, wrapped in a shawl due to the cold. My thoughts turn to Alaska and what Goddess I may find there.

 

(Image Credit: hubpages.com)

 

My search brings me to Agischanak.

Goddess of the

Mountains.

Goddess of the

Earth.

Protector of Her

people.

Agischanak is a Goddess in Southeastern Alaska. She lives on top of Mt. Edgecumbe, near Sitka.

 

(Image Credit: listverse.com)

 

She is kindly and protects Her people and all of the peoples of the Earth. However, She is also forceful and powerful, as She must be as it is She

who supports the pillar on which the Earth rests.

For visitors, She has her brother, who comes but once a year to bring her the news of the world. The trickster, Raven, also comes to visit, always attempting to woo Her away, thereby abandoning Her post. Of course, it is a post She does not abandon. Raven provokes and annoys her at his own peril, as she responds with earthquakes.

It is cold where Agischanak is holding up the Earth, and Her people come to Her and light roaring fires, as an offering, to keep Her warm.

Remember, were it not for Agischanak, the Earth would sink into the powerful depths of the ocean.

 

(Image Credit: liminallandscapes.com)

 

***

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 (Volume 4) on Amazon

Meet
the Gods: Eros

Merry
meet.

With
the Hallmark holiday, Valentine’s Day, falling in February, it is
fitting to turn to lusty Eros, the Greek god of sensual love and
primal desire. The word erotic comes from his name.

In
some tellings, he is the son of Aphrodite, the goddess of sensual
love and beauty, and Ares, the god of war, or of Aphrodite and Zeus,
the king of the gods, or of Hermes, the divine messenger of the gods,
according to Britannica.

Others
say he is a
primordial god, the son of Chaos, the emptiness of the universe.
Later depictions show him not as an adult male, but as a mischievous
child. At sometime he became a winged youth that was made younger and
younger until he was the infant we see as a Valentine’s Day mascot
that the Romans knew as Cupid.

“In
early Greece, no one paid much attention to Eros, but eventually he
earned a cult of his own in Thespiae. He also was part of a cult
along with Aphrodite in Athens,” according to “Deities of Imbolc”
by Patti Wigington on ThoughtCo.com.

In
another article for ThoughtCo.com, Wigington wrote, “As a god of
lust and passion,?and fertility as well, Eros played a major role
in courtship. Offerings were made at his temples, in the form of
plants and flowers, vessels filled with sacred oils and wine,
beautifully crafted jewelry, and sacrifices.

“Eros
didn’t have too many boundaries when it came to making people fall in
love, and was considered the?protector of same-sex love?as well
as hetero relationships.”

In
honoring the lusty Eros today, and asking for his help in matters of
love, consider leaving him roses or other flowers symbolic of love,
apples or grapes. Offer eggs or hares if it’s the fertility god you
wish to honor. Wings, and a bow and arrow are also representative
offerings.

An
offering to a god is an invitation for him to enter our life. Gods
cannot force or demand our worship and cannot violate our freedom or
our conscience. Expressing gratitude, appreciation and love toward
them, allows their energy to flow back to us.

Merry
part. And merry meet again.

***

About
the Author:

Lynn
Woike
 was
50 – divorced and living on her own for the first time – before
she consciously began practicing as a self taught solitary witch. She
draws on an eclectic mix of old ways she has studied – from her
Sicilian and Germanic heritage to Zen and astrology, the fae,
Buddhism, Celtic, the Kabbalah, Norse and Native American – pulling
from each as she is guided. She practices yoga, reads Tarot and uses
Reiki. From the time she was little, she has loved stories, making
her job as the editor of two monthly newspapers seem less than the
work it is because of the stories she gets to tell. She lives with
her large white cat, Pyewacket, in central Connecticut. You can
follow her boards on Pinterest,
and write to her at woikelynn at gmail dot com.

Akhilanda

(artwork
by Pieter Weltevrede)

Akhilanda
is the Hindu Goddess of Never Not Broken. Her formal name is
Akhilandeswari Ma, and is known informally as Khodiyar Ma, a form of
the Great Mother Goddess.

In
Sanskrit, Akhilanda means “never not
broken” and Ishwari is Goddess or female
power. She is one of India’s oldest
depictions of the Goddess.

She
is said to be originally a Vedic Goddess, the Vedas being the oldest
layer of Sanskrit scripture. She is also known as the Goddess of the
“agamas”, the
texts known as tantra. She has been described as a form of the
Goddess Parvati and as associated with Goddess Durga.

She
carries a trident and stands upon a
crocodile upon a rushing river.

(Image credit: hinduismtoday.com)

“Everything
happens for my liberation. I choose to become only more love”
– Divine Feminine Oracle

She
moves and allows herself to be moved by the motion of the crocodile
upon the rushing waters of the river. She surrenders herself to the
movement.

(Image Credit: MEDIUM.COM)

Her
power comes from being pulled apart and coming back together again;
always broken, so she can never BE broken. She is destroyed (broken)
and created/re-created again and again.

Akhilanda
represents where we are broken, our pieces instead of our whole. The
crocodile is our fears, our vulnerabilities.

She
teaches us that our power is in our pain and that we have the
strength and ability to pull ourselves back together, again and
again, after breaking. We re-create and rebuild ourselves over and
over into whom we wish to be.

Akhilandra
is there to help us transition from one place to another after we are
hurt, when we feel sadness, when we have suffered loss. She assists
us to grow, to transform, to heal and mend those broken bits and
pieces. Just as she surrenders to the motion of the crocodile and
the waters of the river, so we should surrender to whatever we are
feeling, trusting that we will once again be whole.

***

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

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