zeus

She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

May, 2018

HIPPOLYTA

(Photo Credit: brooklynmuseum.org)

While there may be those who would argue that Hippolyta was not a Goddess, I feel that, since most of her legends describe Her as being the daughter of Ares, She is, indeed, a Goddess.

Hippolyta was the greatest of all of the Amazon Queens. Fathered by Ares, the God of War, who was himself born of Zeus and Hera, She was beautiful and strong, skilled in endurance and weapons. She was a formidable Warrior Woman. It is quite possible that She was trained in combat moves by Ares himself.

Hippolyta and her Amazons lives in Themiscyra, and kept largely to themselves. While they would mate with males from other tribes, they normally did not keep the male children, either sending them to live with their fathers, abandoning or killing them but always keeping, and raising, daughters for future Amazon generations.

Most of the legends of Hippolyta are her being involved in the exploits of men, as one would expect in a patriarchal society. Reading these myths, it makes perfect sense that the Amazons and their Queen would isolate themselves from much of the world.

Hippolyta was in possession of a golden belt, “the magic girdle”, that was gifted to Her by Ares. It was this belt, along with her skills, that made her the Queen of the Amazons.

(Photo Credit: greekmythology.wikia.com)

There are at least two versions of Her story with Hercules The first is that the Greeks decided that they wanted Hippolyta’s golden belt and send a raiding party to attack and rape the women warriors. These Greeks were led by Hercules.

She found Hercules somewhat attractive and, as was Her custom, wish to wrestle with him to determine if he was strong enough and that She would not give birth to a weak child. Her followers thought that Hercules was attacking their Queen and, in turn, attacked him. The women lost the battle to Hercules’ raiding party. One version of the story tells that Hercules killed Hippolyta and stole the golden belt. Another version says that She was not killed and gave the belt to Hercules of her own free will. Yet another, says that it was Hera, always the enemy of Hercules, who disguised herself as one of the Amazons, told the rest of the warrior women that Hippolyta was going to be kidnapped by the Greeks, and this is what started the skirmish between the two parties.

(Photo Credit: Wikipedia)

Another rendering of the story tells of King Eurysthesus giving Hercules 12 challenges or labors. The nineth labor was for Hercules to retrieve (read steal) the golden belt from Hippolyta and giving it to his daughter. Again, here, it is said that Hippolyta gave him the belt. The stories differ once again; one says that She gave him the belt because she was so enchanted by him; another says that the challenges were given to Hercules as punishment for killing his own children in madness and rage, a torment brought on by Hera, and that when Hippolyta heard his story, she was overcome with compassion and offered him the belt. Keeping in mind that the Amazons, while being warriors, what they hoped to offer and teach, was peace, making it quite plausible that She gave the golden belt to Hercules.

While Hercules was a demi-god, Theseus was a mortal who also visited Hippolyta at Themiscyra. Theseus, it was rumored, had killed a minotaur. Recalling Her past experience with outsiders, She prayed that no harm would come to her people as She ordered a great feast to be held in his honor. Theseus asked Hippolyta to come on to his ship, which She did. Theseus had fallen in love with Her and asked Her to stay with him. Hippolyta refused, as She wished to stay with Her Amazons. When She went to disembark from the ship, the crew immediately set sail for Greece, with Hippolyta as a prisoner.

The Amazons were furious and immediately followed to retrieve their Queen. Theseus, having no clue he was being followed, started to plan a grand wedding to marry the kidnapped Amazon Warrior Queen. The Amazons planned their attack to take place deep into the night while everyone was asleep, and were able to rescue Hippolyta just in time. Shakespeare tells his version of Hippolyta’s story with Theseus in his “A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream”.

Not surprisingly, the Amazons and their Queen became very suspicious and leery of all visitors.

(Photo Credit: screenrant.com)

In pop culture, Hippolyta is the mother of Wonder Woman, who was fashioned a baby from clay and had the life breathed into her by the gods.

Hippolyta – Queen, Warrior, Mother, Goddess

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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, 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 MysticalShores@gmail.com

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MagickalArts

December, 2017

enLIVenING with the Muses

 

 

Creativity is my passion and the inspiration of the Nine Greek Muses has touched my life and those within it profoundly. This energy set the stage for my pursuit of a classical ballet career, ignited my love of music and stimulated my hunger for great literature. Heeding their call to inspiration has been the fertile ground from which the seeds of the efforts of my writing have blossomed and grown into a continual source of pride and joy in the sharing. With the coming of the Spring and the creativity of God and Goddess ready to reveal itself the call of the Muses is strong and clear in its intent to inspire; ready to awaken and weave their magick within all who answer.

This is the first of a series of articles about the Nine Greek Muses of inspiration and their impact on magickal and mundane practice. Their gifts of music, art and literature became the tools of expression that have continued to be the means through which humanity interacts, responds and finds resonance with our surroundings and others. And, my hope is that you will find the place of resonance within yourself as you embark on a journey of creative exploration with me. 

The Nine Muses were Greek Goddesses who ruled over the arts and sciences and offered inspiration in those subjects. They were the daughters of Zeus, Lord of all Gods, and the Titaness, Mnemosyne, who was the personification of memory. The Muses have appeared throughout history and the development of cultural and artistic ages in varying numbers and attributes. Homer refers to them as one Muse and as many Muses, living on Olympus. Plato lists eight muses connected with eight mythical spheres. And, the Greek poet, Hesiod whose epic poem The Theogony relates the Greek Cosmology and order of the Gods, refers to them as the nine daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne, who were born in Pieria, which is described as watered by the springs flowing from Olympus.

“Them in Pieria did Mnemosyne (Memory), who reigns over the hills of Eleuther, bear of union with the father, the son of Cronos, a forgetting of ills and a rest from sorrow. For nine nights did wise Zeus lie with her, entering her holy bed remote from the immortals. And when a year was passed and the seasons came round as the months waned, and many days were accomplished, she bare nine daughters, all of one mind, whose hearts are set upon song and their spirit free from care, a little way from the topmost peak of snowy Olympus.” (ll. 53-74) 1.

Mnemosyne, gave the babies to be cared for by the Nymph Eufime and taught by the God Apollo. Reaching adulthood, the Muses were so inspired by the arts taught them by Apollo that they chose to dedicate their efforts towards the inspiration of mankind; not wanting to be burdened by the normal cares of the immortals. It is thought that Zeus created the Muses as a way of making mankind forget the actions of wrath and terrible force of the Gods upon humanity distracting with song and praise their deeds and gifting the inspiration of Divine artistic pursuits to mankind. Reading further from the Theogony gives some indication of that idea.

“There are their bright dancing-places and beautiful homes, and beside them the Graces and Himerus (Desire) live in delight. And they, uttering through their lips a lovely voice, sing the laws of all and the goodly ways of the immortals, uttering their lovely voice. Then went they to Olympus, delighting in their sweet voice, with heavenly song, and the dark earth resounded about them as they chanted, and a lovely sound rose up beneath their feet as they went to their father. And he was reigning in heaven, himself holding the lightning and glowing thunderbolt, when he had overcome by might his father Cronos; and he distributed fairly to the immortals their portions and declared their privileges.” (ll. 53-74) 2.

Regardless of the original intent, the Muses are considered the source of knowledge that was orally passed on through the ages and their Divine lineage from Mnemosyne insured that what inspired would forever be remembered and held in mind’s eye for future use through the vehicles of literature, science, music and dance. Living at Mount Helicon (Elikonas), the site of a former Temple of Zeus, the Muses sang and chanted the great tales of the Gods and their father Zeus that humanity would remember and take delight in the retelling of  these stories that would become the great myths.

Come thou, let us begin with the Muses who gladden the great spirit of their father Zeus in Olympus with their songs, telling of things that are and that shall be and that were aforetime with consenting voice. Unwearying flows the sweet sound from their lips, and the house of their father Zeus the loud-thunderer is glad at the lily-like voice of the goddesses as it spread abroad, and the peaks of snowy Olympus resound, and the homes of the immortals. And they uttering their immortal voice, celebrate in song first of all the reverend race of the gods from the beginning, those whom Earth and wide Heaven begot, and the gods sprung of these, givers of good things. Then, next, the goddesses sing of Zeus, the father of gods and men, as they begin and end their strain, how much he is the most excellent among the gods and supreme in power. And again, they chant the race of men and strong giants, and gladden the heart of Zeus within Olympus, the Olympian Muses, daughters of Zeus the aegis-holder.” (ll. 36-52) 3.

The use of the word “Muses” as name for these Deities is derived from the Greek word “mosis” which relates to the desire or wish (for something). The words “museum” and “music” are based upon the name Muses. Each name holds a repository of meanings that have been expounded upon and are in use today in varied forms, but all with a singular intent of other-worldly or Divine inspiration. The Nine Muses are:

Calliope, the muse of epic poetry.
Clio, the muse of history.
Erato, the muse of love poetry.
Euterpe, the muse of music.
Melpomene, the muse of tragedy.
Polyhymnia, the muse of sacred poetry.
Terpsichore, the muse of dance.
Thalia, the muse of comedy.
Urania, the muse of astronomy.

Their influence is seen and has been lauded in the creation of poetry, music and paintings. Often the poets or bards would begin their stanzas with praise to the Muses telling of their beauty, grace and potency of creative product. During the period of the Renaissance, which was typified by its prolific and inventive energy, all artists openly and freely acknowledged the Muses’ as part of the creative process. The devotion and gratitude that was offered to the Muse(es) was repaid in kind with a continual stream of ideas and artistic expression.

In the style that was typical of ancient writers and artists, one of my first actions in beginning any creative project is to call upon the appropriate Muse(es) to catalyze the action. My offering is one of devotion and the promise of integrity in how that creativity is used and distributed. The finished product is offered to the Divine in gratitude and request is made that it be of likewise inspiration to all who experience it. And, so I begin this journey of the Nine Muses with you, the reader, as my companion and seeker of the magick of inspired creation hoping that you too, will be equally blessed by the flow of pure beauty.

The next post will focus on Calliope and her gifts of epic poetry.

Resources:

1. Hugh G. Evelyn-White.The Theogony of Hesiod (Translated).1914
2. Hugh G. Evelyn-White.The Theogony of Hesiod (Translated).1914.
3. Hugh G. Evelyn-White.The Theogony of Hesiod (Translated).1914

 

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About the Author:

 

 

Robin Fennelly is a Wiccan High Priestess, teacher, poet and author. She is the author of:

 

The Inner Chamber, Vol. One

It’s Written in the Stars

Astrology

 

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Two

poetry of the spheres

Qabalah

 

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Three

Awakening the Paths

Qabalah

 

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A Year With Gaia

The Eternal Cord

 

Temple of the Sun and Moon

Luminous Devotions

 

The Magickal Pen, Volume One

A Collection of Esoteric Writings

The Elemental Year

Aligning the Parts of SELF

 

The Enchanted Gate

Musings on the Magick of the Natural World

 

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Sleeping with the Goddess

Nights of Devotion

 

A Weekly Reflection

Musings for the Year

 

Her books are available on Amazon or website and her Blogs can be found atRobin Fennelly 

 

Follow Robin on Facebook and on Instagram

 

Mythology

February, 2010

Myth and Legends: Journeys Through Time

Prometheus

In every aspect of life there is a balance of good and bad. What is considered good is not always good. What is considered bad isn’t always bad. Sometimes good is bad and bad is good. Let us borrow from Greek mythology the story of Prometheus. In Greek myth, Prometheus was responsible for two things, the creation of man via clay and making man’s world brighter via fire. Prometheus is considered a Titan god. He is born of Iapetus (Brother of Cronus, ruler of the Underworld in the Golden Age which was when the Titans ruled) and Themis (Goddess of good counsel, also named amongst the six female Titans). His name means “Counsel before; Forethought” and he is considered an annoyance to Zeus as he has tricked him and stolen from him. Prometheus tricked Zeus in what is known as the “Trick at Mecone.” At this point in time Zeus did not really care for man. He had no interest in them and was inclined to let them die out rather than stick around. At Mecone there was to be a sacrificial dinner to settle the disputes between Gods and Men. It is unknown why Prometheus that did this but Prometheus placed the sacrificial offerings out for the gods to choose. One offering was made up of meats and the best parts of an animal but placed in or covered with innards, and the stomach (considered to be the worst parts of an animal). The second offering was made up of bones and things inedible but made to look wonderful by being covered in fat. Some accounts say that Zeus knew he was being tricked and chose the lesser offering anyway as to punish the humans later. Other accounts say he did not know and chose the lesser offering thinking it was better, which allowed the humans to keep the meat and best part for themselves but sacrifice everything else to the Gods to appease them. When Zeus found out, he was tricked he was angry. To avenge himself, he decided to punish the humans. His punishment was to take fire away from the humans in an attempt to make them resort to being primitive. If they went back to being primitive then maybe they would die out and he could start all over again, molding humans to how he saw fit. Prometheus on the other hand was rather fond of his creation and decided to help them. Some versions of the myth have him helping mankind by giving them brickwork; woodworking, the alphabet, numbers, yoked oxen, healing drugs, and all art just to name some. In other versions of the myth, all he did was steal fire from Zeus giving it to the mortals, as a result of his action two things happened. Zeus had Hephaestus create Pandora . . . who as we know is responsible for all the bad things in life AND hope. Also . . . he had Hephaestus shackle Prometheus to a rock. Prometheus’ punishment was to have his live eaten by an eagle every day for eternity. The eagle would tear his liver out and then during the night it would regenerate and the whole process would repeat the next day. Heracles eventually freed him from this punishment but that is a story for another time. To Zeus, the actions that Prometheus took were bad as it went against his authority and made him look bad. For the humans, what Prometheus was good as it helped enrich our lives and enable us to survive. On the other hand, Prometheus is the cause of everything bad in our lives as it is because of him Pandora was created.  Yet, because Pandora was created as a result of Prometheus’ actions, we have hope . . . no matter how bad things get in life ultimately we have hope. Prometheus’ actions were deemed bad but brought good things, So not everything neither good is good nor is everything bad, bad.

Let’s Spell it Out

August, 2009

Odin’s Ordeal

Odin, like the Greek Zeus, is the principle deity of the Norse pantheon.  Spelled Odin, Odinn, Odhin, Othin or Odhinn; his name is derived from Old Norse meaning “wind” and “spirit”.  One of his nicknames is “Thundur” which means “one who thunders” or “the stretched one”.  Odin received this title after what we now call “Odin’s Ordeal” where, according to the Edda, he hung himself from the Tree of the World for nine days and nights.

The World Tree, also called Yggdrasil, is where Odin sacrificed himself in an initiatory manner to gain the knowledge of the Runes.  For nine long days and nights, hungry, thirsty and in tremendous pain, he stared into the abyss after piercing himself with his own lance and sacrificing one of his own eyes.

The number nine is considered the most sacred in the Norse concept of numerology.  Odin’s nine nights hanging from the World Tree also coincides with the nine nights it takes the human soul to travel to the Underworld.  The Celts, who found the number three to be significant, felt that the power of three times three to be the most powerful as it multiplies to the sum of nine.  Just like Odin did when he sacrificed himself, the Norse saw how the number nine always “gives itself to itself”.  Take a look:

1 X 9 = 9

2 X 9 = 18 and 1 + 8 = 9

3 X 9 = 27 and 2 + 7 = 9

4 X 9 = 36 and 3 + 6 = 9

5 X 9 = 45 and 4 + 5 = 9

6 X 9 = 54 and 5 + 4 = 9

7 X 9 = 63 and 6 + 3 = 9

8 X 9 = 72 and 7 + 2 = 9

9 X 9 = 81 and 8 + 1 = 9

Odin’s passion for the knowledge of the Runes is what led himself to self-sacrifice and therefore brought the Runes to mankind.  This sacred event is commemorated from August 17th, the first day hanging from Yggdrasil, to August 25th, when Odin spied the Runes and with the last of his energy, fell from the World Tree screaming and seized them.

The Spell

This spell is designed to be as simple as possible.  You won’t need to make a run to the New Age Store for supplies, but you will need a few things:

Supplies:

* Something to work your spell for.  Pick something that you need or want or desire.  Perhaps you need a new job or a promotion at your current place of employment.  Maybe you need a new car or to be able to fix the vehicle that you already have.  Whatever it is that you need, you will be working towards it for nine nights in a row.  The happy new is that you will not have to go through the same ordeal that Odin experienced!
* 9 candles; color and size of your choice (you might want to try tea-lights as they are inexpensive and do not burn very long so you don’t have to worry about leaving them unattended or relighting them)
* Peace, quiet and time (you will need time each night to meditate undisturbed).  Also, try to perform this spell and meditate at the same time each night for maximum results.

On August 17th, light the first candle and say nine times:

“By the power of 9 times 1, on this night my spell’s begun.”

Take nine deep breaths and meditate on the things that you need to start to change to meet your goal.  If you need to, keep a notebook next to you to jot down any ideas that pop up.

On August 18th light the second candle and say nine times:

“By the power of 9 times 2, on this night I change my view.”

Take nine deep breaths and meditate on how you can re-program your thought processes to bring about the change that you desire.  What have you been doing that has impeded your won growth?  What can you do to get out of your won way?  Again, have a pen and notebook handy just in case you need to make yourself a spiritual “to do” list.

On August 19th light the third candle and say nine times:

“By the power of 9 times 3, one this night I am set free.”

Take nine deep breaths and meditate on how you are throwing away all of your old concepts and you are opening yourself to the positive changes to come.

On August 20th light the fourth candle and say nine times:

“By the power of 9 times 4, one this night I open the door.”

Take nine deep breaths and meditate on the fact that you have closed one door and you are ready to open a new one.  Open the door, and learn what is on the other side that will aid you in your spell-working.

On August 21st light the fifth candle and say nine times:

“By the power of 9 times 5, on this night I come alive.”

Take nine deep breaths and meditate on how you are like a seed that has grown into a plant that is now blossoming and will bear fruit.  Water yourself…give yourself fertilizer…feel the warmth of the life-giving sun…and watch yourself grow!

On August 22nd light the sixth candle and say nine times:

“By the power of 9 times 6, I stay vigil for mental tricks.”

Take nine deep breaths and mediate on how you may sabotage yourself.  We all hate change, and sometimes we can set bear-traps to step into to impede our own progress.  Find ways to keep yourself on track in spite of any roadblocks that may come your way.

On August 23rd light the seventh candle and say nine times:

“By the power of 9 times 7, I call in the power of Earth and Heaven.”

Take nine deep breaths and meditate on the power of Mother Earth and Father Sky.  Ask Them for Their help.  Ask Them for their wisdom and guidance.  You are Their child and They want to help you.  However you see Them, have a “family meeting” as to how you can obtain your goal.

On August 24th light the eighth candle and say nine times:

“By the power of 9 times 8, I call in the power of the ladies of Fate.”

Take nine deep breaths and meditate on the Norns, the three women that tend to Yggdrasil; who represent the past, present and future.  Or, you could tap into the Fates, their Greek counterparts.  Either will work.  Chat with them about what in your past has lead to where you are today.  Ask them what you are doing today that will lead you to tomorrow.  Finally, ask them what you can do tomorrow that will bring about your desire in the future.

On August 25th light the last candle and say nine times:

“By the power of 9 times 9, what I’ve worked for is now mine.”

Take nine deep breaths and meditate on the final outcome of your desire; what you’ve been working towards for the last eight nights.  Set a date; make a deadline if you can.  If you need to, use a calendar and a fire-engine red marker and make a big circle.   See the image firmly in your mind.  See how your life will change for the better after you have obtained your goal; how will it affect your environment?, your friends and family? or your day-to-day life?  Take the time to set these images in your mind like cement or concrete.

Finally, say your thanks nine times to the Universe and go about making things happen!

Sources:

* Book of Runes by Ralph H. Blum
* Lammas: Celebrating the Fruits of the First Harvest by Anna Franklin and Paul Mason
* Northern Magic: Rune Mysteries and Shamanism by Edred Thorsson
* Pagan Book of Days by Nigel Jackson
* Rune Mysteries by Silver RavenWolf and Nigel Jackson