Archive for January, 2012


The Earthly Mother

"The Body of Light Mantra" by Mitchell Gibson

“The Earthly Mother’s themes are are nature and Earth awareness. Her symbols are trees.  This Essene Goddess embodies nature and teaches us how to live in harmony with the earth. The Essenes portray her with the elements personified as four angels (earth, air, fire, water) plus two companions named Joy and Life, all helping the Earthly Mother in her work. What a magical blend to bless and energize this first month!

In the spirit of making every day Earth Day, why not launch the new year by giving something back to the earth in the tradition of the Israelites? Today (the fifteenth day of Shebat on the Hebrew calendar), plant a tree to rejuvenate the land. If you wish, name the tree after a deceased loved one, as the Israelites do. According to lore, doing so brings that person peace in the afterlife.

If your locations or finances do not allow for tree plantings, just water a tree. By so doing you symbolically fees the whole earth. Sit down for a moment or two afterward and meditate. Feel the rich soil beneath you and feel how it nourishes and enriches all living things, including you.

Finally, as you are walking around, pick up any stone that catches your eye. Put is in your pocket to carry a piece of the Earthly Mother with you as a gentle reminder that the earth is a sacred, living thing that blesses us daily.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

The Essenes, an ancient Jewish sect of which Jesus was reportedly a member, viewed life as a garden from which we harvest the knowledge and understanding that we need to reach the Eternal Garden.

See the eternal garden of wonders, and at its center the Tree of Life, mystery of mysteries, growing everlasting branches for eternal planting, to sink their roots into the stream of life from an eternal source.” Essene Gospel of Peace, Book Four.

Likewise YOU, if you would grow in knowledge and understanding…must go into your garden, where you will be close to all the forces of nature and of the universe – to the sum total of things.” Essene Gospel of Peace, Book Two. [1]

The Essenes illustrated their relationship with the spiritual and natural forces with the symbol called the Tree of Life. Each root and branch of the Tree represents a different force or power. The roots represent earthly forces or powers – the Earthly Mother, and Her Angels of Sun, Water, Air, Earth, Life, and Joy. The seven branches represent the cosmic powers – the Heavenly Father, and His Angels of Power, Love, Wisdom, Eternal Life, Creative Work, and Peace. These are the Essene Angels of the visible and invisible worlds.

The seven communions of the Earthly Mother refer to our relationship with the physical domain. One of their major benefits is the gradual strengthening and revitalizing of every organ of the body through the conscious direction of the earthly forces.

The seven communions of the Heavenly Father are dedicated to the spiritual powers that govern humankind’s higher evolution. A major benefit is the revitalizing of the mind and all the superior forces within the individual.

Contact with the angelic forces is the essence of the daily life of those who practice the Essene way. [2]

“One of the most striking highlights of Essene Gospel of Peace is Jesus Christ’s teaching of the Earthly Mother. Its not only startling for traditional Christians who inherited present day Christian doctrines that came through filtering out of almost all gnostic teachings, thus stripped off most of the mystical, esoteric teachings of Christ; but as its clear, even the people of his time was also puzzled when Christ was teaching using the term, ‘Earthly Mother’ to the audience (I wonder what was the original Aramaic/Hebrew term for Earthly Mother).

In the beginning of the Essene Gospel of Peace, Book One, as Christ was among many sick and maimed, the opening passage records what proceeded from his blessed lips: ‘Happy are you that you hunger for the truth, for I will satisfy you with the bread of wisdom. Happy are you, that you knock, for I will open to you the door of life. Happy are you, that you would cast off the power of Satan, for I will lead you into the Kingdom of our Mother’s angels, where the power of Satan cannot enter.’

And they asked him in amazement: ‘Who is our Mother and which Her angels? And where is Her Kingdom?’

Jesus replies: ‘Your Mother is in you, and you in Her.’

Now in strong Patriarchal Jewish tradition, Divine was not addressed in Feminine term. Its in the East such as ancient Indian tradition Divine Manifestation is naturally addressed as Divine Mother or simply Mother with capital M. From the response of the audience its clear that they were not familiar with the usage of the enigmatic term, Earthly Mother.”

Please click here to continue reading this amazing piece entitled, “Earthly Mother: The Extra-Ordinary Teaching of Divine Feminine in Essene Gospel” by Sadiq Alam.

Goddess Auchimalgen

"White Shell Woman" by Susan Seddon Boulet

“Auchimalgen’s themes are protection and blessing.  Her symbols are silver or lunar items, water and white flowers. A Chilean Goddess of the moon, Auchimalgen protects us from all evil and disasters that lie in wait in the months ahead. Her husband is the sun, who blesses the land with light, while she shines through the darkness to keep her followers safe and inspired.

Count your blessings today, and give thanks for them. In our rushed society, this is something that often gets overlooked, and life is far more pleasant when we appreciate the little things.

Wear any sliver-colored clothing or jewelry to honor Auchimalgen, and burn some lunar incense (coconut, jasmine, lemon or myrrh) to fill the sacred space of your home with Her protection.

The Bonfim Festival takes place in Brazil today in a church known as the ‘church of happy endings’ because it was built by s ship’s captain in gratitude for a safe return to land. The priests of the area wash the steps of the church with flower water to cleanse and bless the sacred place anew, and as a way of thanking the gods for their ongoing kindness.

In keeping with this tradition, sprinkle the doorway to  your home with any floral-scented water (or personal cologne or perfume) to draw Auchimalgen’s beneficent energies to you.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

Auchimalgen was a Moon Goddess who was worshipped by the Araucanian Mapuche that reside in what is now south-central Chile and southwestern Argentina. She was considered their only beneficial deity; for only Auchimalgen cared anything for the human race.  All the rest of their gods were utterly malevolent. Auchimalgen wards off evil spirits and protects against disasters and is said to turn red when some important person is about to die.

Goddess Oshun

“Oshun” by Selina Fenech

“Oshun’s themes are divination and love. Her symbols are flowing water, seashells and amber beads.  Oshun is a beautiful, oracular Goddess of love. Generous and beneficent, she opens her eyes to let us peek into what the future holds for relationships. According to legends, Oshun didn’t always know how to tell the future. She was taught by Obatala, one skilled in divination, in return for retrieving his stolen clothing from Elegba. But Elegba exacted his price too. Once Oshun learned to divine, she had to teach all the other orishas the fortune-telling secrets.

Traditionally, Saint Agnes’s Day is spent divining information about love’s path and relationships in the coming year. Following Oshun’s example, make a fortune-telling tool from three shells, each of which has a ‘top’ and ‘bottom’. If shells aren’t handy, use three coins/ Think of a ‘yes’ or’ ‘no’ question related to love. Three tops (or heads) mean ‘yes’. Two tops mean things are generally positive, but uncertain. One top indicates a ‘wait’ or a negative response, and three bottoms is a definite ‘no’. Put the shells under your pillow before you go to bed to dream of future loves.

Or, to encourage Oshun’s problem-solving skills in a relationship, carry a small piece of amber or wear a piece of amber-coloured clothing when you meet your loved one to talk things over.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

“Oshun” by Hrana Janto

“Oshun is the Yoruban Orisha (deity) of the sweet or fresh waters (as opposed to the salt waters of Yemaya). She is widely loved, as She is known for healing the sick and bringing fertility and prosperity, and She especially watches over the poor and brings them what they need. As Orisha of love, Oshun is represented as a beautiful, charming and coquettish young woman. In some tales She is said to be a mermaid, with a fish’s tail.

The Yoruba clans inhabit parts of western central Africa, in present-day Nigeria. Oshun is the Goddess of the river of the same name, and She is especially worshipped in river-towns. During Her yearly festival, She is said to choose one or more women dancers to descend into (much like participants in Vodou ceremonies may be ‘mounted’ or ‘possessed’ by a lwa). These women then take new names in honor of Oshun and are thereafter consulted as healers.

Oshun was taught divination with cowrie shells by Obatala, the first of the created gods, and then She brought the teaching to humans. She was at one time the wife of Shango, the storm god, as was Oya, the goddess of the winds and tempests. Oshun is also said to be the mother of the birds or fishes.

“Erzulie” by Kris Waldherr

With the African diaspora, Oshun was brought to the Americas, and adopted into the pantheons that branched out of the African traditions. In the Brazilian religion of Candomblé, which retains close ties with the Yoruban religion, as well as in Cuban Santeriá, She is called Oxum. In Haitian Vodoun She is an inspiration for Erzulie or Ezili, also a Goddess of water and love.

Oshun, like the other Orisha, has a number associated with Her–five; a color–yellow or amber; and a metal–gold or bronze. The peacock and the vulture are sacred to Her. Offerings to Oshun include sweet things such as honey, mead, white wine, oranges, sweets, or pumpkins, as well as perfume.

 

Alternate spellings: Oxun, Osun, Oshoun, Oxum, Ochun.

Titles: Oshun Ana, ‘Goddess of Luxury and Love’; Oshun Telargo, as the modest one; Oshun Yeye Moro, as the coquette; Oshun Yeye Kari, ‘Mother of Sweetness’. [1]

For a very informative and comprehensive list of Oshun’s associations and stories, please click here to visit Tribe of the Sun’s “Oshun” page.

 

 

Source:

Took, Thalia. A-Muse-ing Grace Gallery, “Oshun“.

 

Suggested Link:

Arteal. Order of the White Moon, “Oshun“.

Monaghan, Patricia. The Book of Goddesses and Heroines, “Oshun

Revel, Anita. Reconnect with Your Inner Goddess, “Oshun“.

Wikipedia, “Oshun“.

The lunar month of Rowan offers you the opportunity to strengthen your resolve and nurture your dreams.

This point in the agricultural calendar is marked by the plowing of the soil to prepare it for the seed; any magic performed now is groundwork.  The surface of the earth appears barren, but the life-force is stirring beneath.  Ask yourself what you need to prepare to plant the seeds of your dreams this year.

The White Month

The Celtic fire festival of Imbolc (February 2) falls in the Rowan Moon, and is associated with the Goddess Brigid, to whom the festivities are dedicated.  Also known as Bride, She represents the mother of the newborn Sun, and all candle magic is sacred to Her.  During the Rowan Moon, wear white to cast spells, use white candles, and feast on white foods to attune to the season.

 

THE TREE OF PERSEVERANCE

The rowan terrain or mountain ash often grows on craggy mountains, higher than any other tree.  Its ability to flourish in bleak places teaches you perseverance.  The rowan berries reveal a natural pentagram at their base – a symbol of the womb of the Earth Goddess and of protection.  These physical attributes give the tree associations of healing and guardianship.

The rowan berry has a tiny five-pointed star or magical pentagram (an important symbol in magical traditions) opposite its stalk.  This explains why it was worn, hung in doorways or planted near houses to offer protection against evil forces.

Rowan Charms

Sprays of rowan berries were once  hung in cattle barns to protect livestock from disease and sorcery.  The leaves and berries can also be used to make a divination incense, and carrying the bark is believed to promote healing in the bearer.  The name “rowan” even comes from the same root as the word “rune”, in its meaning as a charm.

ROWAN MOON MAGIC

When you collect wood from a tree, remember to leave an offering on a branch in return.

The Wheel of Bride

This protective charm represents the waxing energies of the Sun and can be hung in the home to attract good luck.

1. Collect two straight sticks of rowan or mountain ash wood.  Leave an offering of thanks on a branch, such as a strand of hair, thread or ribbon.

2. Hold the sticks in a cross and say, “Spirits of this wood, I bring you together for the good of all.”

3. Bind the sticks into an equal-armed cross and secure with red thread.  As you do this, visualize a powerful white light.

4. Hold the charm up to the Sun and say: “Behold the Wheel of Bride, blessed be.”

Magic Mirror

Use this meditation and a magic mirror to help increase your psychic powers.

1. Prop up a round mirror on a table, surrounded by rowan leaves, berries and three white candles.  Close your eyes and say aloud, “My Lady, open my inner eye to grant clear vision.”

2. Focus on the center of your forehead and “direct” your breathing on this spot.

3. Half-open your eyes and gaze in the mirror.  Focus on your breath and register any images that drift into your mind.  Repeat this process regularly and your visions will improve.

Candle Magic

Combine the magic of the Rowan Moon with the candle magic of Imbolc.

1. Fill a small pot with earth and then hold a white candle in your right hand.  Concentrate on what you want to grow this year.

2. Plant the candle in the soil saying: “Mother Brigid, I ask you to nurture my dream, may it grow with your blessed light.”

3. Light the candle and see its flame expand, taking strength from the Sun.

4. After seeking the help of the Goddess through candle magic, plant a seed as an offering of thanks to Her in a favorite place and wait for your wish to grow.

 

Attune to the Moon

  • Harness the growing potential of the Rowan Moon in your life and make a new start by following these resolutions.
  • Begin spring cleaning now.  As the light increases, you need to clear out your clutter with all your energy to make way for new growth.
  • Have a Rowan Moon dinner party and ask you guests to wear white, dine by candlelight and eat seeds such as beans, pulses and nuts.
  • Look for the first snowdrops of the season and make a wish when you see one.  Snowdrops hold potential of spring.
  • Tie a white ribbon on a rowan tree while saying the names of those you love.  The tree will send out healing vibrations to them.

Source:
“Enhancing Your Mind, Body and Spirit”, 21 Nature Magic, CARD 6.

Suggested Links:

The Goddess Tree, “Rowan“.

Goddess Oya

"Oya" by Francisco Santos

“Oya’s themes are justice, tradition, zeal and femininity.  Her symbols are fire, water and the number 9.

A Yoruban mother Goddess and spirit of the river Niger, Oya flowers with us through the last day of January, strengthening our passion for and appreciation of life. She is wild and irrepressible, like the fire she’s said to have created, yet Oya presides over matters of fairness and custom, using that fire as the light of truth. Artistic depictions of Oya show a nine-headed woman whose bosom speaks of fertile femininity.

Enjoy a glass of water when you get up to begin generating Oya’s zest for life in your body and soul. This is also very suited to the energies of the day. Aquarius represents the Water Bearer who continually pours inspiring, creative waters from celestial spheres into our lives.

Get out and do something daring today. Invoke Oya through your pleasure and pure excitement. Dare to dream; then try to make that dream come true somehow.

 If there is some aria of your life that needs more equity, try making this Oya charm:

Take any small candle and carve Oya’s name into it. Have a glass of water nearby. light the candle to invoke the Goddess. Hold the water over the candle, saying something like this:

What injustice consumes
Oya’s water quell.’

Drop a little water on the candle, then trim off the taper, carrying it with you to draw justice to you.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

“Oya is one of the most powerful African Goddesses (Orishas). A Warrior-Queen, She is the sister-wife of the God Shango, to whom She gave the power to create storms. Much of Oya’s power is rooted in the natural world; She is the Goddess of thunder, lightning, tornadoes, winds, rainstorms and hurricanes. A Fire Goddess, it is Oya who brings rapid change and aids us in both inner and outer transformation.

Oya is the guardian of the realm between life and death; as such, She is not only the Goddess of spirit communication, funerals and cemeteries but also the Goddess of clairvoyance, psychic abilities, intuition and rebirth. She can call forth the spirit of death, or hold it back — such is the extent of Her power. Because of Her affiliation to the dead, and Her intense knowledge of the magick arts, Oya is also known as “the Great Mother of the Elders of the Night (Witches)”.

"Oya" by Sandra M. Stanton

Oya is both loved and feared, and for good reason: unleashed, Oya is the Savage Warrior, the Protective Mother, She whose power sweeps all injustice, deceit and dishonesty from Her path. She will destroy villages if the need is true enough, for while She understands everything, She will only accept, act upon, and speak the truth (even when it is hard to bear).

Oya is the protectress of women and patron of feminine leadership. Fiercely loving, She is wildly unpredictable and can change from benevolent, caring Mother to destructive Warrior in the blink of an eye. Passionate, fearless, sensual and independent, Oya is not a Goddess to be invoked lightly and must be treated with respect and care.

While She will toss you in Her storms of change, and shelter you in Her caring embrace, She will also strike you down with Her lightning should the need arise. However, do not let that dissuade you from working with Oya, for She is the Strong Woman, the Bringer of Change and Seeker of Truth, who can be a most powerful ally.” (Hedgewitch, Order of the White Moon: an eclectic international order of women dedicated to the Goddess, Oya: Lady of Storms).

Oya has been syncretized in Santería with the Catholic images of the Our Lady Of Candelaria (Saint Patron of the Canary Islands in Spain) and St. Theresa.

A few other fun pages to visit are Anita Revel’s Reconnect with Your Inner Goddess – Oya and An Inner Journey: The Moon, Mythology and You – archetypal dimensions of the female self through the old myths – Oya.

“Your life may change every day and in each moment, but the breath is a tool to anchor you.  Allow it to be the constant thread around which you weave your life.” ~ Gaye Abbott, RYT, CMT

Here is some music to listen to while reading this post…it’ll add to the “experience” I’m sure

How often do we think about our breath, the sacred act of breathing?  It’s the first thing we did when we were born and its the last thing we’ll do before we die. “Breathing is one of those few acts which, within limits, can be controlled both consciously and unconsciously. Unconsciously, breathing is controlled by specialized centers in the brainstem, which automatically regulate the rate and depth of breathing depending on the body’s needs at any time. Conscious control of breathing is common in many forms of meditation, specifically forms of yoga forexample pranayama unlike anapana which is only awareness of breath. In swimming, cardio fitness, speech or vocal training, one learns to discipline one’s breathing, initially consciously but later sub-consciously, for purposes other than life support. Human speech is also dependent on conscious breath control. Also breathing control is used in Buteyko method.” (Wikipedia, Breathing)

"Luna" by Amy Swagman

“Look at the Lamaze and Natural Birthing Techniques.  When allowed and encouraged to, a woman will naturally move, moan, sway, change her breathing pattern, and rock to cope with contractions, eventually finding the right rhythm for her unique needs. As her contractions get stronger, her body releases endorphins—nature’s narcotic—to ease her pain.  Breathing plays a key role in this process.  Conscious breathing (especially slow breathing) reduces heart rate, anxiety, and pain perception. It works in part because when breathing becomes a focus, other sensations (such as labor pain) move to the edge of your awareness. Conscious breathing is an especially useful labor tool because it  keeps the woman and her baby well oxygenated.  It’s naturally rhythmic and easy to incorporate into a ritual.

And best of all, breathing is the one coping strategy that can’t be taken away from you—even if you’re stuck in bed attached to an electronic fetal monitor and intravenous fluids.  Movements become rhythmic as she “finds her rhythm” or “gets into the groove.”  She’s living in the moment, doing without thinking.  To others, she appears to be in another world.  She relaxes between contractions; she responds to contractions in the same way over and over again, rolling her head, breathing slowly, chanting, or praying.” (Lamaze International, Lamaze Breathing – What You Need To Know) I know I did – oh boy did I….

“We take our breathing for granted, usually breathing 12-16 times every minute without being aware of it. This is because whether it is fast or slow, whether we hold it or not, whether it is shallow or deep, the breath keeps going. Most of us don’t pay attention to the breath – the in-breath, the out-breath, how shallow or deep it is, it’s rhythm, how and when we hold our breath, the connection between our emotional state and breathing patterns, and interestingly how hard it is just to pay attention to such a simple thing. The only two times we usually start noticing it are when something happens to prevent us from breathing normally or when we start meditating or being mindful.” (Limpman, Franklin, Ph.D., Becoming Aware of Your Breath)

"Deep Breath" by Melanie Weidner

Think about the way you breathe.  Do you breathe fully and freely?  Does it come effortlessly? Do you fill your belly like a balloon, letting your chest rise and fall?  With each breath you take in, you’re receiving from the universe and giving back to it.  The common air we all breathe; that those before us have breathed and those after us will breathe, contain prana/energy/Chi.  We absorb that into our bodies when we inhale in. “When you breathe deeply and fully, you are breathing the breath that feeds the Soul.  This energy is part of the spiritual force of the universal energy, and it enters your body with every breath.  The breath contains the vital energy of who you are.” (King, Jennifer Grace, Awaken Breath and Nurture You)

“We touch the sacred with each breath.  With each breath, we just keep dipping into the sacred…Breath is the vehicle to return to God (the Sacred).  This is the ground of all being.  Breath is the vehicle that takes us beyond thought, form and into direct experience.  The breath takes us beyond words, beyond our ideas, into our deepest truest nature.” (Frank Ostaseski, Founder of Zen Hospice Project in San Francisco and Metta Institute)

“As we grow older, unfortunately, we lose the freedom and expansiveness that were ours at birth. We become institutionalized, afraid of disapproval, punishment or abandonment. We experience unpleasant feelings that we don’t know how to handle. As a result, we begin to shut down. We learn to “control” ourselves, to “be good.” We sacrifice our desires for the approval of others. To control ourselves in this way, we unconsciously tighten our muscles and restrict our breathing. We discover that the less we breathe, the less we feel — and the easier it is to get along and ‘do the right thing.’

As adults, we tend to breathe small and shallow, mostly in the chest, with little visible movement. To make matters worse, most of us literally stop breathing for short periods 50 to 100 times a day. When we constrict or stop our breath, we lose touch with what is happening in the present moment — with how magical and wonderful it is just to be alive. Instead, we focus on the past and the future. Our minds race with thoughts — worrying, figuring and planning. We lose the freedom, joy and expansiveness that was ours at birth.

"Being" by Mario Duguay

Miraculously, by directing your consciousness back to your breathing and learning to work with it, you can regain what has been lost. You can learn to let go of patterns of worry and tension which hold you back and return to natural, oceanic, full-body breathing. Like a baby, you experience the full feeling, possibility and connection of each moment. As you become aware of your breath and work with it consciously, you make a direct link into your autonomic nervous system, gaining access to a part of yourself that usually functions outside of conscious awareness. It is no accident that all meditation techniques in all religions are based on breathing. (Chanting, of course, is breathing with sound.) As our breathing gets fuller and deeper, we can feel ourselves softening, opening, getting more spacious inside. The breath takes us into our very core. It is no coincidence that in many languages and many sacred texts, the word for breath also means soul or spirit — psyche in Greek, anima in Latin, Ruach in Hebrew.”  (Lyon, Bret, Ph.D., The Power of Breathing)

“Indigenous people globally accept the sacredness of the breath and the interconnection with the natural world. Some traditions, such as yoga, tai chi, and qi gong have studied it for thousands of years, and in fact have created a science of breath.  In the Native American Medicine tradition ‘Divine Breath’ is a noun. It means the manifestation of the divine spirit in all living beings.  It is also called ‘life breath'”. (Abbott, Gaye, RYT, Sacred Breath)

“As the breath goes in and out, we feel a connection between the inside and the outside. Through breath, we are connected with all living beings. Breathing is restorative. It can cleanse us of toxins that have built up in the body and the mind. It can help rid us of worries and tensions and bring us back to our true nature and our true place in the timeless universe. This most basic and essential of all our activities can also be the most transformative.” (Lyon, Bret, Ph.D., The Power of Breathing)

I leave you with this wonderful guided meditation, entitled “The Full Awareness of Breathing”.  Anne Naylor instructs us how to prepare for meditation in an article from the Huffington Post entitled 12 Simples Steps To Meditate for Relaxation. Go get into something comfy, find a nice cozy place and turn on some relaxing music.  Place a “Do Not Disturb” sign outside the door.  Light a candle and pay attention to your breathing. Watch your breath as it enters your body, and again as it leaves. Experiment with this technique. Breathe in to a count of 4. Hold your breath for a count of 4. Breathe out to a count of 4. Hold for a count of 4. Repeat this at your own rhythm. After doing the counting, you might watch your breathing, allowing yourself to breathe more deeply than perhaps you do normally. Slow deep breaths will help you to relax and let go; to become more peaceful.  And off you go…

“1) Breathing in a long breath, I know I am breathing in a long breath.

Breathing out a long breath, I know I am breathing out a long breath.

2) Breathing in a short breath, I know I am breathing in a short breath.

Breathing out a short breath, I know I am breathing out a short breath.

3) Breathing in, I am aware of my whole body.

Breathing out, I am aware of my whole body.

4) Breathing in, I am making my whole body calm and at peace.

Breathing out, I am making my whole body calm and at peace.

5) I am breathing in and feeling joyful.

I am breathing out and feeling joyful.

6) I am breathing in and feeling happy.

I am breathing out and feeling happy.

7) I am breathing in and am aware of my feelings.

I am breathing out and am aware of my feelings.

8) I am breathing in and making my feelings calm and at peace.

I am breathing out and making my feelings calm and at peace.

9) I am breathing in and am aware of my mind.

I am breathing out and am aware of my mind.

10) I am breathing in and making my mind happy and at peace.

I am breathing out and making my mind happy and at peace.

11) I am breathing in and concentrating my mind.

I am breathing out and concentrating my mind.

12) I am breathing in and liberating my mind.

I am breathing out and liberating my mind.

13) Breathing in, I am observing the impermanent nature of all things.

Breathing out, I am observing the impermanent nature of all things.

14) Breathing in, I am observing the fading of the notion of the separateness of all things.

Breathing out, I am observing the fading of the notion of the separateness of all things.

15) Breathing in, I am contemplating letting go. (of the concepts of permanence and separate self.)

Breathing out, I am contemplating letting go. (of the concepts of permanence and separate self.)

16) Breathing in, I am contemplating liberation. (from the concepts of permanence and separate self.)

Breathing out, I am contemplating liberation. (from the concepts of permanence and separate self.)”  (Louisville Community of Mindful Living, The Awareness of Breathing.)

Again, this is a guided meditation.  I would find it more practical to record this a device and play it back for full effect.  Or, you could incorporate this into a group meditation with someone reading it aloud.

At the end of your meditation, make sure to ground and center.  Stretch and drink water.  This will help you re-enter into the everyday mundane life.

Goddess Kupala

“Kupala’s themes are joy, health and cleansing. Her symbols are water, flowers, ferns and birch-wood.  The Slavic Goddess of springs and water, Kupala, whose name literally means ‘to bathe’, washes us with happiness and longevity. Oddly enough, She has a fire aspect too, which likely alludes to purification, protection and transformation. Wildflowers, birch trees and ferns were sacred to Her.

To bring a year filled with joy, contentment and health, leave a natural cloth outside today to gather dew. Use it tomorrow to bath in Kupala’s magic!

Take some flower petals to any moving water source (even a hose) and toss them on the stream. As you do, make a wish for something that will make you really happy. Let Kupala, in the form of the water, carry your wish toward manifestation.

To rid yourself of sickness, negativity or a bad habit before the year really gets rolling, find a safe fire source (such as a candle that’s self-contained in glass). Put this on the floor and jump over it. As you do, say something like:
‘Old burns away
only the good, the good shall stay
Old to new, old to new
Kupala, my heart renew.’

This symbolically leaves the old behind and invokes Kupala’s aid in your efforts for positive change.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

This Slavic Goddess of the summer solstice, also known as Sobótka, took her name from a word that means “to bathe”, for her worshippers bathed in rivers and in dew gathered on June mornings.  Water healed as well as purifying; to gain relief from illness, one tossed bread into a stream while praying for health.  The name is also given to the squatting Goddess found on Slavic embroideries.

In Russia and the Ukraine, Kupala was honored in a summer ritual in which young men and women leaped over a bonfire, dragging a straw maiden.  The next day, everyone bathed the figure, which was released to drift downstream, removing evil from the village.  Such images were also constructed in Serbia and other Slavic countries.  Dressed in a fine gown and decked with floral garlands, the Kupala image was hung from a tree in which all but the upper branches were trimmed, so that the tree formed a green-haired woman.  Only women performed these rituals.  Men could not touch the tree or the hanging figure.

Kupala ruled herbs.  Purple loosestrife was her favorite; its roots had the power to banish demons if gathered at dawn of summer solstice.  The flowering fern granted its possessor the power to understand the language of trees, which, on the night before solstice, wandered rootless through the world.

This divinity has been described as a god named Ivan Kupalo, a derivation that appears to come from association of the Goddess’s feast with that of St. John (Ivan) the Baptist on June 24.  (Patricia Monaghan, “Encyclopedia of Goddesses and Heroines”)

For more information on Slavonic Neo-Paganism, Kapala, and some great photos of Kupala Day celebrations, click here.

Goddess Nungeena

"Yhi" by Lisa Hunt

“Nungeena’s  themes are restoration, creativity and beauty. Her themes are birds of feathers and all artistic creations.

This Aborigine mother Goddess took on the task of restoring beauty to the world after an evil spirit destroyed it with insects. Call on her for assistance when you feel that a cherished project or goal has been ravaged similarly by mal-intent or negativity.

According to the legend, Nungeena made birds to eat all the insects Marmoo (an evil spirit) let loose on the world. But these were not just any birds: they were the most attractive of all – the lyre birds. In turn, the lyre birds made assistants like magpies to help with their sacred task. Together they renewed the world’s beauty.

Dust off any home crafts or arts that have been neglected on a back shelf and work on them for a while today. If time doesn’t allow for this, find some way to bring a little extra beauty in the world – toss some flowering seeds in an open field, deliver food or clothing to a charitable organization, or just smile at a stranger.

In Australia this is the festival of Perth, a huge arts festival that features local talent including dancers, mimes, opera, musicians and some sports competitions. If there are any art galleries in your neck of the woods, go to them today to honor Nungeena and enjoy the creative works.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

The Aboriginal stories of creation, myths and legends about moral and natural issues, and fables are a remarkable group of tales–full of evocative, sometimes even surreal, imagery and deep observations on life. While no doubt these stories have been tainted by a Western viewpoint, they still represent a remarkable chance to understand even a little about cultures that lived for tens of thousands of years. What follows here is the beginning of an on-line collection of stories, taken from as many sources as possible and from as many different Australian Aboriginal cultures as possible.

Goddess Gunnlod

"Gunnlöð" by Anders Zorn

“Gunnlod – Her themes are creativity, wisdom, health, protection and fertility.
Her symbols are mead, poetry, the cauldron or cup and apples.  This Teutonic Goddess guards the mead (a honey wine often made with apples) of sagacity and the muse – a refreshment most welcome at the outset of a new year. In art, Gunnlod is depicted as a giantess; according to stories about her, she stood vigilantly by the magic cauldron of Odherie until Odin wooed her and stole much of the elixir away.

For inspiration and insight, pick out a cup that’s special to you and fill it with apple tea and a teaspoon of honey (a mock mead). Stir it clockwise, saying:
‘Gunnlod, come to me
put ingenuity in this tea.’

Drink the tea to internalize the magic. If possible, sip it quietly while enjoying a good book of heartening poetry.

Alternatively, sip some mead, quaff some apple juice or eat an apple today for health and give a little of the leftover liquid to nearby trees. In Anglo-Saxon tradition, Wassail Day marked a time to enjoy wassail, a spiced apple cider or mead with herbs. Farmers shared this beverage with the apple groves to keep them fertile. Wassail literally means ‘be well’ or ‘be whole’. Drink of the wassail cup to ensure yourself of Gunnlod’s gifts of well-being, creativity and happiness all year.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

Odin and Gunnlöd

In Norse mythology, Gunnlöð (Old Norse “war-foam”) is a giantess. Her name could be written as Gunnlod.

She is daughter of the giant Suttungr, who was set guard by her father in the cavern where he housed the mead of poetry Her grandfather was Giling. Gunnlöð was seduced by Odin, who according to the Prose Edda bargained three nights of sex for three sips of the mead and then tricked her, stealing all of it. However, the poem Hávamál of the Poetic Edda tells the story a bit differently:

Gunnlod sat me in the golden seat,
Poured me precious mead:
Ill reward she had from me for that,
For her proud and passionate heart,
Her brooding foreboding spirit.
What I won from her I have well used:
I have waxed in wisdom since I came back,
bringing to Asgard Odhroerir,
the sacred draught.
Hardly would I have come home alive
From the garth of the grim troll,
Had Gunnlod not helped me, the good woman,
Who wrapped her arms around me.

 It would seem, from this version of the tale, that Gunnlöð helped Odin willingly, and that he thought well of her in return. [1]

Click here to read Gunnlod’s tale from Elizabeth Vongisith.

Goddess Sengen-sama

“Sakuya-hime” by Getabo Hagiwara

“Sengen-sama – Her themes are growth and maturity. Her symbols are flower buds.  Sengen-sama, a Japanese growth Goddess, lives high on Fujiyama, giving Her unique perspectives about each person’s path in life. When you need to see yourself more clearly or inspire development in your spirit, call on Her for aid. According to Japanese tradition, this Goddess makes the flowers blossom today, just as She can make our lives blossom into maturity. She also governs cherry blossoms, which represent the beauty and fragility of life.

Put a nosegay of new blossoms on your altar or in a special place to remember Sengen-sama today. Use one as a boutonniere to liven up your clothing and inspire progress in any situation that seems to be stagnating. After the day is done, dry the petals of the blossom and burn them on a day when you want a little extra motivation.

In Japan, this day is a time to honor those who have come of age (on turning twenty) in the last year. These people dress in new clothing to mark the transition and go to community centres to celebrate. In keeping with this theme, consider having a rite of passage for any children in your life who have shown unique maturity (no matter their age). Bring them into the magic circle, present them with ritual tools, let them choose a magical name, and then give them permission to participate as a full adult in all your rituals to come.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

Sengen is the Shinto Goddess of Fujiyama, the highest mountain in Japan, considered the most holy. Once a very active volcano, Fujiyama covered Tokyo (some 70 miles away) with 6 inches of ash in the eruption of 1707. Its isolation and the perfection of the shape of its cone has made it a celebrated subject of poetry and art. Fujiyama (whose name means “Never Dying Mountain”) probably derives its name from the old Ainu fire Goddess Fuchi.  As Goddess of Mount Fuji, Sengen-sama has a shrine at the top of the mountain, where Her worshippers and pilgrims ascend to the summit during the summer in great numbers to greet the rising sun (which even at that time of year is usually snow-covered).  It is for this reason that She is sometimes called Asama (dawn of good luck) and that Mount Fuji has solar associations.

Sengen is depicted as a girl all in white to whom camellias are sacred.  She is said to live within a luminous cloud in the crater of Fujiyama, and She presides over a healing stream on the south side of the mountain.  As Goddess of cherry blossoms, She is also knows as Konohana (child flower) or Konohana-Sakuya-Hime (the princess who makes the tree-blossom bloom)

Sengen was wedded to Ninigi, God of rice and the grandson of Amaterasu, the Sun-goddess. Sengen-sama became pregnant so soon after their wedding that Ninigi doubted that She had been faithful to him. Sengen-sama built a hut with no doors, and said that when She delivered Her child, She would set fire to the house. If the baby was not Ninigi’s, then She and the child would die in the flames. As it turned out, the babies (She had twins) were Ninigi’s children, and they and Sengen-sama survived the fire.  She had a total of three fiery sons by Ninigi –Po-deri-no-mikoto (“Fire-shine”), Po-suseri-no-mikoto (“Fire-full”), and Po-wori-no-mikoto (“Fire-fade”).  Po-wori-no-mikoto was in his turn the grandfather of the first Emperor of Japan, whose descendants preside over Japan to this day. [1] [2]

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