Archive for March, 2012


Goddess Luna

"Luna" by CocoMaroon

“Luna’s themes are  all lunar attributes – instinct, creativity, luck, femininity, water element, miracles (on a Blue Moon) – also safety in travel.  Her symbols are silver or white Items, water, moon images and the number 13.

The Roman Goddess personifying the moon, Luna had the additional unique quality of being a protectress of charioteers, which in modern times could make Her a patroness of automobiles!

While March came in like a lion, Luna escorts it out lambishly, with Her soft, shimmering light. She is the full moon, which symbolizes the growing awareness developed this month, the fullness of loving emotions, and charms and enchantments empowered by the silvery light of the moon.

Go moon gazing (okay, if it’s a dark moon, meaning the moon can’t be seen, you’ll have to wait for another day). To encourage any of Luna’s attributes, recite this invocation to the moon:

Moon, moon, Lady moon, shine your light on me
Moon, moon, Lady moon, bring <…..> to me’
(Fill in the <…..> with your heart’s desire)

If possible, gear your request to match the energy in today’s moon phase. A waxing moon augments spells for any type of growth or development. A full moon emphasizes maturity, fertility, abundance and ‘ful’-fillment. Waning moons help banish unwanted characteristics or shrink problems, and dark moons emphasize rest and introspection.”

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

"Space - The Moon" by InertiaK

“In Greek mythology, Selene was an archaic lunar deity and the daughter of the Titans Hyperion and Theia.  In Roman mythology, the moon Goddess is called Luna, Latin for ‘moon’.  She is generally depicted as a beautiful woman with a pale face and long, lustrous, black hair; riding a silver chariot pulled by either a yoke of oxen, a pair of horses, or a pair of serpentine dragons.  Often, She has been shown riding a horse or bull, wearing robes and a half-moon on Her head and carrying a torch.” [1]

Luna’s temple was on Aventine Hill and was built in the sixth century BCE, but was destroyed in the Great Fire of Rome during Nero‘s reign. There was also a temple dedicated to Luna Noctiluca (“Luna that shines by night”) on the Palatine Hill. There were festivals in honor of Luna on March 31, August 24 and August 29.  [2]

In later years, Selene became associated with Artemis as Her counterpart Luna became associated with Diana, and the aspect of the virgin moon Goddess assumed the powers of the moon Goddess Selene.

"Birth of the Moon" by korwynn

In ancient times the moon was most often depicted as a Goddess because the moon appeared to become pregnant and give birth to the new moon each month.  As the Goddess of the moon, Luna was the patron of the feminine.  She was believed to have power to ease childbirth and inspire love.  Luna was also believed to have the power to mask reality and conversely, to pierce illusion.

Luna, together with Diana and Hekate, form a triad with Luna as the Goddess in Heaven, Diana as the Goddess on Earth, and Hekate as the Goddess in the Underworld.  The Moon’s phases reflect these forms. As the new Moon She is the maiden-Goddess Diana, always new and virginal, reborn and ready for the hunt. As the waxing Moon, increasing in fullness, She is the fertile mother-Goddess, pregnant with life. And as She wanes to darkness, She is the wise crone or witch Hekate, knowing the magical arts, with the power to heal or transform.

Among the other powers of the moon Goddess Luna is to awaken intuition and spark psychic visions. This most likely stems from the association of night and the moon with dreams.  The association may also be why Luna is often considered patron of solutions, which often come to people in dreams when the subconscious mind has a chance to process information that has been consciously acknowledged.  [3][4]

ASSOCIATIONS:

Pantheon: Olympian/Roman

Element: Water

Sphere of Influence: Birth and death, agriculture, domestic, long life, medicine, travels, visions, theft (new moon)

Associated Symbol: The Moon

Animals Associated With: Owl, Raven

Best day to work with: Monday

Best Moon Phase: 1st day after the Full Moon

Best time to work with: Night

Strongest around March 31st

Suitable Offerings: Pomegranate

Associated Planet: Moon

Perfume: White poppy, white rose, wallflower

Incense: Myrtle

Color: Silver, grey-white

Candle: White  [5] [6]

"Selene" by Rickbw1

Sources:

Bee Charmers Cottage, “The Roman Goddess Luna“.

MyAstrologyBook.com, “Selene – Greek Goddess of the Moon: Artemis – Diana – Luna – Phoebe – Cynthia – Hecate“.

Pagan Magic, “Luna/Selene“.

Sabrina. Goddess A Day, “Luna“.

Wikipedia, “Selene“.

Suggested Links:

Love of the Goddess, “Selene, Goddess of the Moon“.

Roman Colosseum, “Myths about the Roman Goddess Diana“.

Theoi Greek Mythology, “Selene“.

Took, Thalia. A-Musing-ing Grace Gallery, “Selene“.

Took, Thalia. The Obscure Goddess Online Dictionary, “Losna“.

The White Goddess, “Selene – Goddess of the Moon“.

Goddess Ahurani

"Water Bender" by kattnboys

“Ahurani’s themes are luck, health, longevity, harvest and fertility.  Her symbol is water.  Persians invoked Ahurani for prosperity, growth, fertility and insight through water libations, and we can do likewise. Her companion, Ahura Mazda, is the Lord of Wisdom and helps us distinguish good from evil.

People in Iran welcome the new year over thirteen days around the spring equinox with festivities similar to those of many other cultures, including rituals for portents, luck, health and long life. Rain today indicates Ahurani’s pleasure and thus a good harvest. Eating sweet wheat breads or a nut compote today brings Ahurani’s fortune and fertility. It is also very important to go outside today; otherwise, all bad luck stays within the house!

Quaff a full glass of fresh, clean water today to internalize any of Ahurani’s attributes you need. Keep your mind strongly focused on your goal as you drink. To improve this little spell, dye the water with coloring to match the magic. Use green for growth, abundance and fertility, or blue for wisdom. In keeping with Iranian custom, give a little of this water to the earth as you invoke Ahurani’s blessings.

Wear water-toned clothing today (blues and purples) to help you flow easily through the day and to accent Ahurani’s energy.

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

“Ahurani is a water Goddess from ancient Persian mythology. She watches over rainfall as well as standing water. She was invoked for health, healing, prosperity, and growth. She is either the wife or the daughter of the great god of creation and goodness, Ahura Mazda. Her name means ‘She who belongs to Ahura’.” [1]

"Goddess" by BrokenFayth

“Ahurani  represents the water in all appearances: lakes, sources, rivers, snow, and rain. She was also the divine symbol of both health and prosperity.   She watches over the sea and other waters and brings health, fertility, offspring, peace, wealth, and fame to all those who honor Her.

The people prayed to Ahurani for health, healing, prosperity and growth.  All water is Her home.  It is said that She brings prosperity to the land and helps women to get pregnant.  Water libations were a key part of any rituals to this Goddess.” [2]

“Ahurani was another name for the Goddess Anahita (Nahid in modern Persian), a water Goddess whose name means ‘unstained, clean and innocent’.” [3]

“Ahurani is the Avestan language name of a Zoroastrian (class of) divinity associated with “the waters” (āpō).  In scripture, the expression ahurani appears both in the singular and in the plural, and may – subject to context – either denote a specific divinity named Ahurani, or a class of divinities that are ahuranis.The Avestan feminine suffix -ani denotes “companion, wife, mate”, hence ahurani means “partner of ahura.” The ahura of the name may or may not be a reference to Ahura Mazda or to the other Ahuras. Following recent scholarship, it is now generally supposed that there was once been a divinity whose proper name was *Ahura, and from whom the various ahuras of the Avesta receive this epithet.Ahurani(s) are not included in any list of yazatas, nor do they/does She have a day-name dedication in the Zoroastrian calendar. This may be because in later Zoroastrianism Aredvi Sura Anahita dominates as divinity of the waters, and it is to Her that the hymn to the waters (the Aban Yasht) is dedicated.There appear to be historic parallels between the Avestan ahuranis and the RigVedic varunanis, the “wives of Varuna.” These parallels are one of the points of comparison for the theory that Ahura Mazda and Varuna both descend from a common predecessor (see Ahura Mazda for details).” [4]

Sources:

Denton, Justin. Encyclopedia Mythica, “Ahurani“.

An Inner Journey: The Moon, Mythology, and You, “Ahurani“.

Iran Politics Club, “Persian Mythology, Gods and Goddesses: Part Two

Wikipedia, “Ahurani“.

 

Suggested Links:

Avesta — Zoroastrian Archives, “5. ABAN YASHT (“Hymn to the Waters”).”

Goddess Mujaji

"African Genesis" by Margot Procknow

“Mujaji’s themes are balance, restoration, weather, cleansing and fertility.  Her symbols are rainwater. Mujaji is an African rain Goddess who exudes gently with fertility, or fiercely with cleansing, depending on the need. Her power and presence is so impressive that it led H. Rider Haggard to write the novel She, based on Her cult.

To purify any area and ready it for ritual, sprinkle rainwater as you move clockwise, saying:

 ‘Mujaji, flow through me
Mujaji, cleanse me
Mujaji, rain lightly here on all I love and hold dear.’

To expel unproductive emotions (represented by the sky’s tears), do the same thing, but move counter clockwise – this is the traditional direction of banishing.

If it does rain gently today, it is a sign of blessing. Go out and skip, dance, or sing in the rain (think Gene Kelly with a magical twist). This will renew your spirit and lift any dark clouds overshadowing your heart.

Africans observe the Masquerade as a time to reinstate symmetry in the world and in themselves. They wear elaborate costumes to appease the divine, praying for the necessary rainfall to ensure rich soil, and consequently an abundant harvest. To adapt this, pray to Mujaji to enrich the soil of your soul so that come the fall, you  can harvest Her productive nature.”

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

Mujaji is a rain Goddess of the Lovedu people in South Africa.  She sent drought to Her people’s enemies but caused rain to fall on Her people.  “The Goddess Mujaji seldom appeared to human beings.  She is said to reside in the Drakensberg Mountains.  In times past, She was propitiated with sacrifices of cattle.  She also ruled over purification and cleansed Her worshippers in preparation for ritual, and the people danced as an offering to Her.” [1]

"Mother of the Garden of Modjadji" by Lisa Iris

“The Rain Queens of the Lovedu bore Her name, whose incarnations they were.  These women, highly regarded for political prowess as well as military might, kept their people safe, first from the Zulu and later from the European Boers.  A weather Goddess, Mujaji controlled storms and floods; those who worshipped Her were rewarded with gentle rain that made gardens flourish” (Monaghan, 2009, p. 18).

Makobo Modjadji VI, the Rain Queen who led South Africa's Balobedu people, died aged only 27 on June 12, 2005. Currently there is no ruling Rain Queen.

“The original Mujaji, sometimes called Mujaji I, lived in isolation and was considered both wise and immortal.  She mated with Her father, Mugodo, and gave birth to Mujaji II, who succeeded her mother as queen.  During the reign of Mujaji II and her daughter Mujaji III, the Lovedu homeland was invaded by Europeans and Zulus.  Although the Europeans conquered the Lovedu, the tribe and its beliefs survived.  These two queens were were followed by Mujaji IV.  According to the Lovedu, Mujaji IV continues to oversee the supply of rainfall and the cycle of seasons in their land.  People make offerings to Mujaji and perform dances to please her.  A rain doctor assists by seeking the cause of any droughts and performing rituals to remove obstacles that block rainmaking powers.” [2]

Sources:

Auset, Brandi. The Goddess Guide: Exploring the Attributes and Correspondences fo the Divine Feminine, “Mujaji“.

Monaghan, Patricia. Encyclopedia of Goddesses and Heroines, “Mujaji“.

Myth Encyclopedia, “Mujaji“.

Stella. Goddesses and Gods, “Goddess Mujaji“.

Suggested Links:

Boddy-Evans, Alistair.  About.com: African History, “The Lovedu Rain Queen“.

Rain Queens of Africa, “Modjadji, The Rain Queen“.

Rain Queens of Africa, “The Rain Queen and the Lobedu: A North Sotho Tribe“.

The Suppressed Histories Archives: real women, global vision, “African Warrior Women“.

Wikipedia, “Rain Queen“.

Goddess Vac

“Vac’s themes are purification, protection, offerings and communication.  Her symbols are the spoken word and fresh flowers.  The Balinese/Hindu Goddess of charms and incantations, Vac joins today’s celebrations using Her powers to banish any lingering shadows or negativity from our lives. Traditionally, Vac is present in any sacred words that convey occult power or knowledge. This is especially true of mantras that reaffirm, sustain, and shelter one’s soul.

Artistic renderings reveal Vac as a mature, graceful woman bedecked in gold (an allusion to solar energy). She sometimes also appears as a cow, which is Her mother-Goddess aspect.

Bali legends say that hellish beings roam freely during this time of year, so everyone cleanses themselves and the land through magic and supplications. In this spirit, periodic spiritual ‘house cleaning’ is a good habit to get into, especially if you live in the city. Leave an offering of flowers on your altar, saying Vac’s name as you put them out. This begins the process of purging any clinging bad vibes and restoring your home’s sanctity.

Use noise makers to chase out any male-intended magic or spirits. Burn sweet-smelling incense to welcome Vac to your home, saying:

 ‘Vac, charge my speech with security
so no darkness can dwell in my home or me
Vac, be welcome in and through my words
Let the magic ever be heard!'”

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

“Vāk or Vāc is the Sanskrit word for “speech”, “voice”, “talk”, or “language”, from a verbal root vac- “speak, tell, utter”.  Personified, Vāk is a Goddess; most frequently She is identified with Bharati or Sarasvati, the Goddess of speech. In the Veda She is represented as created by Prajapati and married to him; in other places She is called the mother of the Vedas, having inspired the sages to write them, and wife of Indra.  In certain texts She is a daughter of Daksa and the consort of Kasyapa. Alternatively She is the daughter of Ambhrna, and, also, is known by the epithet “queen of the gods” and  is believed to be able to lead a man to become a Brahman. Vac also personifies truth and sustains soma, the liquid essence of vision and immortality.” [1]

“She is described in the Rig Veda as not only speech itself, but also as truth and perception, which allows us to turn divine knowledge into words.  Vac’s name is also seen as Vak or Vach, and sacred texts give Her the following names… She is generally depicted as an elegant golden-skinned woman, dressed in gold; but in a secondary capacity as a mother Goddess, She is depicted as a cow, a symbol of nourishment.” [2]

“This Hindu Goddess’ manifestation is thought to have come from the early reliance on the sacred oral teachings “heard” by the rsis (holy men) properly intoned and accented, thrust the folk-divinity Vac into prominence. Since effective service depended upon effective speech, the supreme vehicle of knowledge and ritual power… Vac even gained precedence over Agni. As the “Word,” Vac is somewhat like the Neo-platonic “logos“: Vac is the source of creation, and the mother of the Veda. In the Tantric tradition She is celebrated as Para-vac, Transcendental speech, the mother of all sacred mantras.

Vac, although prominent in the Rig Veda, almost completely disappears from Hindu mythology later when being syncretized with the river Goddess Sarasvati,  whose banks of the sacred river served as fertile soil for the growth of brahmanical culture.” [3]

 

 

Sources:

Mystica.org, “Vac“.

Sabrina. Goddess A Day, “Vac“.

Wikipedia, “Vāc

 

Suggested Links:

Kinsley, David. Hindu Goddesses: Visions of the Divine Feminine in the Hindu Religious Tradition, “Vāc“.

Sitarik, Jessica. Crystal Vaults, “Vac: Hindu Goddess of Written Words and Wisdom“.

Goddess Nut

“Queen of the Sky” by MyWorld1

“Nut’s themes are air and health.  Her symbols are a pot, turquoise, musk, a star, wind and cow images.  This great Egyptian sky Goddess bears a star-spangled belly that stretches over the earth like a protective atmosphere. Today She breaths on us with a late-March zephyr bearing health and well-being.  Legend tells us that when Ra went to escape the earth, Nut offered Her aid by becoming a huge cow who lifted him into heaven. When Nut found Herself dizzy from the effort, four gods rushed to Her aid. They later became the four pillars of creation – the four winds.

If the weather permits, I highly recommend a brisk, refreshing walk. Breathe deeply of the air, which has rejuvenating, healthy energies today. As you exhale, repeat the Goddess’s name, Nut, and listen as She responds in the breeze.

Any type of wind magic honors Nut, and it is certainly fitting today. If the wind blows from the west, sprinkle water into it for emotional healing. If it blows from the east, toss a feather out so it can return to you with healthy outlooks. If it blows from the north, sift a little soil into the wind to give fruitful foundations to a generating idea, and if it blows from the south, burn musk incense to manifest vital energy and a little passion.”

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

“Nut’s name is translated to mean ‘sky’ and She is considered one of the oldest deities among the Egyptian pantheon, with Her origins being found on the creation story of Heliopolis. She was originally the Goddess of the nighttime sky, but eventually became referred to as simply the Sky Goddess. Her headdress was the hieroglyphic of part of Her name, a pot, which may also symbolize the uterus. Mostly depicted in nude human form, Nut was also sometimes depicted in the form of a cow whose great body formed the sky and heavens, a sycamore tree, or as a giant sow, suckling many piglets (representing the stars).” [1]

“Nut” by Lisa Hunt

“Nut is the Mother of Osiris, Horus the Elder, Seth, Isis and Nephthys. Her brother and husband is the earth-god Geb, and Their parents are Shu (air) and Tefnut (moisture). Nut and Geb were married in secret against the will of Ra, the one-time King of the Gods. When Ra found Them coupling, He had Shu the air-god violently seperate Them, forcing Geb to the earth, where His body’s contours became the hills, and lifting Nut into the sky (which implies that, like Lilith, Nut preferred the top position). Since then They have always been seperated, and Geb has been inconsolable.

Ra then forbade Nut to have Her children on any day of the year. But Thoth, god of wisdom, helped Her, by winning at gaming with the Moon. From His winnings–which were a little of the Moon’s light–Thoth made five extra days that were outside the year, and Nut was able to give birth to Her five children. These five days in the Egyptian calendar did not belong to any month, and with the twelve months of thirty days each brought the total of days up to 365 (and no, they made no allowance for leap-year, though they knew perfectly well.)

Like Hathor, who is also a sky-Goddess, Nut can take the form of a cow. She is also depicted as a slender woman whose arched body touches the earth with only the tips of Her fingers and Her tippy-toes, Her starry body forming the heavens. Nut’s fingers and toes were believed to touch the four cardinal points or directions of north, south, east, and west.

“Nut” by Hrana Janto

Ra once grew disillusioned with rebellious mankind, so Nut in the form of a cow lifted Him to heaven on Her back. Stretching higher and higher, She grew dizzy, and four gods (who represent the pillars of the sky) were needed to steady Her legs.” [2]

“Nut arches over the earth morning from between her thighs. She is the arching vault of the heavens, Her body sparkling with starlight. Through Her mouth the Sky-boat of the Sun passes each evening, from her vulva the it re-emerges and the day is reborn each morning. She retains some weather working functions; the thunder is Her voice.

As Mother Night, Nut represents the unconscious, luna, moon, feminine, the emotional body. Her glyph often depicts two crossed arrows against a leopard skin. Nut is associated with the element air, rainbows and sycamore trees.” [3]

“Nut is also the barrier separating the forces of chaos from the ordered cosmos in the world.  Because of Her role in saving Osiris, Nut was seen as a friend and protector of the dead, who appealed to Her as a child appeals to its mother: ‘O my Mother Nut, stretch Yourself over me, that I may be placed among the imperishable stars which are in You, and that I may not die.’ Nut was thought to draw the dead into Her star-filled sky, and refresh them with food and wine: ‘I am Nut, and I have come so that I may enfold and protect you from all things evil.’

“Nuit” by indigodeep

She was often painted on the inside lid of the sarcophagus, protecting the deceased. The vault of tombs often were painted dark blue with many stars as a representation of Nut. The Book of the Dead says, ‘Hail, thou Sycamore Tree of the Goddess Nut! Give me of the water and of the air which is in thee. I embrace that throne which is in Unu, and I keep guard over the Egg of Nekek-ur. It flourisheth, and I flourish; it liveth, and I live; it snuffeth the air, and I snuff the air, I the Osiris Ani, whose word is truth, in peace.'” [4]

 

 

 

Sources:

Crystalinks, “Goddesses Nut – Nuit“.

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

Wikipedia, “Nut (goddess)“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Crystalinks, “Goddesses Nut – Nuit“.

GoddessGift.com, “Nut, Egyptian Goddess and the ‘Mother of All Gods’“.

Hill, J. Ancient Egypt Online, “Nut“.

Seawright, Caroline. Kunoichi’s Home Page, “Nut, Sky Goddess, Mother of the Gods…

Egypt World, “The Goddess Nut“.


Goddess Leshachikha

"Changing" by Benita Winckler

“Leshachikha’s themes are earth, nature, harvest, birth, and protection.  Her symbols are leaves and seeds.  A Goddess who sometimes appears as a Slavic forest, a wild animal, or a leaf, Leshachikha is said to have died in October and revived around this time of spring. She fiercely protects Her lands, not taking kindly to any who abuses them. In this manner She teaches us about reciprocity and nature’s fury. Additionally, Leshachikha’s watchful aspect can be applied to our figurative lands – for example, safeguarding our homes.

Whenever you need a little extra protective energy, pick up a fallen leaf and put it in your pocket. This will keep Leshachikha’s guardian powers with you all day. To bring that protection into your home, wax the leaf to preserve it, symbolically sustaining the magical energy forever. Put the waxed leaf near your entryway or in the room where you spend the most time.

Go to a nearby field or park today and scatter some seed to Leshachikha to greet Her as She awakens. Today marks the beginning of the ploughing season in Slavic regions. Before this date the earth is regarded as pregnant. It is a crime against nature and Leshachikha to plough the soil with iron tools when it still bears a magical child (spring). Once earth has given birth, the fields can then accept new seed, which the birds will also appreciate!”

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

A Slavonic forest Goddess (les = forest), Leshachikha is a rather temperamental Goddess who fiercely guards the land and animals of the woods, punishing those who abuse them. She is wife of the forest god the Leshy and mother of the Leshonki. The Leshies died in October and were reborn in the spring. As previously stated, they were territorial, often leading those who entered their forests astray and abducting children who wandered into the forest, but almost always releasing them in the end. To avoid their spells, one must remove their clothes under a tree, then put them on again backwards and place their shoes on the opposite feet and making the sign of the cross. [1] [2]

Sources:

An Inner Journey: The Moon, Mythology and You, “Leshachikha“.

Chinaroad Löwchen, “Slavic Mythology and Goddesses“.

Goddess Cybele

“Cybele” by Pamela Matthews

“Cybele’s themes are love, health, humor, victory, strength and relationships.  Her symbols are pine, meteorite stones and keys.  A black stone that personified this Roman earth Goddess is credited with a successful battle against Hannibal. It is this strength, especially in difficult relationships, that Cybele augments in us as this month draws to a close.

Legend tells us that Cybele loved a shepherd named Attis, who went mad and killed himself. Cybelle, in distress, asked Jupiter to restore him. Jupiter responded by making Attis into a pine tree. Symbolically, this allowed him to eternally embrace Cybele, with his roots in the earth.

Following the story of Cybelle and Attis, Hilaria begins in sorrow over Attis’s death and ends in joy. Today, laughter and fun activities are considered healthy. So, rent a good comedy flick, go out to a comedy club, or do something that really uplifts your spirit. Your laughter invokes Cybele’s attention and blessings.

To create stability in a relationship, make this Cybele charm:

Take an iron key (or a piece of iron and any old key bound together). Hold them in your strong hand, visualizing the key being filled with radiant red light (love’s color). Say:

‘Cybele, let this key to our hearts be filled
Love and devotion her instilled.’

 Wear the key on a long chain so it rests over your heart chakra.”

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

The famous leopard-enthroned Goddess from the granary at Çatal Hüyuk, close to 6000 BCE.

Cybele was an originally Anatolian form of Earth Mother or Great Mother. Little is known of Her oldest Anatolian cults, other than Her association with mountains, hawks and lions. She was Phrygia‘s State deity; Her Phrygian cult was adopted and adapted by Greek colonists of Anatolian Asia Minor, and spread from there to mainland Greece and its more distant western colonies from around the 6th century BCE.

“Also known as Kybele and Magna Mater and the Mother of the Gods, the worship of this Goddess spread throughout the Roman Empire. As a Phrygian deity, She was a Goddess of caverns, of the Earth in its primitive state; worshipped on mountain tops. She ruled over wild beasts, and was also a bee Goddess.  Cybele was the Goddess of nature and fertility. Because Cybele presided over mountains and fortresses, Her crown was in the form of a city wall.

Her Greek mythology counterpart was Rhea.” [1]

“Cybele” by Picot

In Greece, Cybele met with a mixed reception. She was partly assimilated to aspects of Gaia (the “Earth”), Her Minoan equivalent Rhea, and the Corn-Mother Goddess Demeter. Some city-states, notably Athens, evoked Her as a protector but Her most celebrated Greek rites and processions show Her as an essentially foreign, exotic mystery-Goddess, who arrives in a lion-drawn chariot to the accompaniment of wild music, wine, and a disorderly, ecstatic following. Uniquely in Greek religion, She had a transgendered or eunuch mendicant priesthood. Many of Her Greek cults included rites to Her divine “Phrygian” castrate shepherd-consort Attis, whose rites and myths appear to have been Greek inventions. In Greece, Cybele is associated with mountains, town and city walls, fertile nature, and wild animals, especially lions.

In Rome, Cybele was known as Magna Mater (“Great Mother”). The Roman State adopted and developed a particular form of Her cult, and claimed Her conscription as a key religious component in their success against Carthage during the Punic Wars. They also reinvented Her as a Trojan Goddess, and thus as an ancestral Goddess of the Roman people by way of the Trojan prince Aeneas, in Rome’s foundation myth. With Rome’s eventual hegemony over the Mediterranean world, Romanised forms of Cybele’s cults spread throughout the Roman Empire. The meaning and morality of Her cults and priesthoods were topics of debate and dispute in Greek and Roman literature, and remain so in modern scholarship.

Dionysius of Halicarnassus records that specific laws were passed when some of the undesirable aspects of the Cybele cult became apparent. Cybele’s religion was a bloody cult that required its priests and priestesses as well as followers to cut themselves during some rituals. The priests castrated themselves at their initiation; there was wild music, chanting, and frenzied dancing.  “As part of their worship, priests also performed mysterious rites in Her honor. Of particular note was the sacrifice of a bull performed as part of an initiation into Cybele’s cult. This ritual was known as the taurobolium, and during the rite a candidate for initiation stood in a pit under a floor with a wooden grate. The bull was sacrificed above the grate, and the blood ran through holes in the wood, showering the initiate. This was a form of ritual purification and rebirth.” [2]

Atia undergoing the taurobolium from HBO/BBC’s series “Rome”

Along with Her consort, the vegetation god Attis, Cybele was worshipped in wild, emotional, bloody, orgiastic, cathartic ceremonies.  Her annual spring festival celebrated the death and resurrection of Her beloved Attis.  During the Republic and early Empire, festival days were celebrated with eunuchs priests, called Corybantes,  preceding the Goddess through the streets, banging cymbals and drums, wearing bright attire and heavy jewelry, their hair long and ‘greased’.  Priests and priestesses were segregated, their activities confined to their temples, and Roman citizens were not allowed to walk in procession with them. Neither Roman citizens nor their slaves were allowed to become priests or priestess in the cult. No native-born Roman citizen was to be allowed to dress in bright colors, beg for alms, walk the streets with flute players or worship the Goddess in ‘wild Phrygian ceremonies’. Those Romans who wanted to continue to worship the Goddess set up secret societies known as sodalitates so they could dine together in the Goddess’ honor. [3] [4]

“The Cult of Cybele has frequently been looked upon as a mystery religion, similar to the Cults of Isis and Demeter. Cybele, however, was completely unlike those two positive and loving Mother Goddesses. Indeed, Cybele appears to have come out of a completely different mold. In fact, Cybele was so completely opposite from Isis, that it is impossible to imagine her even being in the presence of children, much less breast-feeding one. It is extremely doubtful, as well, whether anyone could ever picture Cybele wandering through and nurturing the green fields and peaceful forests of Earth.” [5]

 

Please click here for a very comprehensive article on Cybele, the Great Phrygian Mother Goddess.

Sources:

A Journal of a Poet – The Goddess As My Muse, “Cybele, the Great Phrygian Mother Goddess“.

KET Distance Learing, “The Cult of Cybele“.

Smart, Anthony E. Encyclopedia Mythica, “Cybele“.

Wigington, Patti. About.com: Paganism/Wicca, “Cybele, Mother Goddess of Rome“.

Wikipedia, “Cybele“.

Suggested Links:

Kybele: Gourmet Food Production, “Goddess Kybele”.

The Linen Press, “Cybele“.

MaatRaAh. The Church of the Most High Goddess, “Pagan Goddess of the Sibyl and Cybele Oracle“.

Roman Empire & Colosseum, “Myths about the Roman Goddess Cybele“.

Source Memory, “Cultural Continuities: Goddess of the Feline Throne“.

Theoi Greek Mythology, “Kybele“.

Welcome to the Temple of Cybele.

Women in Greek Myths, “Cybele, Agdistis, and Attis“.

Goddess Tamra

“Tamra’s themes are air, earth, nature, health, longevity, devotion, wishes and relationships.  Her symbols are feathers and birdseed.  In Hindu tradition, this Goddess was the ancestor of all birds, She can teach us their special language, which often bears communications from the divine. As the consort of the turtle god, Kashyapa, She also represents a potent union between earth and air elements.

People in Nebraska spend six weeks watching the cranes who rest and feed here during the migratory season. This region of the United States boats the largest group of sand hill cranes, about fifty thousand birds.

Magically speaking, these creatures represent health, longevity and devotion. Visualise a crane residing in your heart chakra anytime you need improved well-being.

Birds offer numerous magical applications. For warmth in a relationship, scatter feathers to the winds with your wish. The birds will use the feathers in their nests, symbolically keeping your nest intact and affectionate.

Or, disperse birdseed while thinking of a question. As the birds fly away, watch their movement. Flight to the right indicates a positive response; to the left is negative. If the birds scatter, things are iffy. If they fly straight up overhead, a heartfelt wish is being taken to Tamra.”

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

Yet, another Goddess that proved to be elusive.  Apparently, She was one of the 13 daughters of the Prajapati Daksha (AditiDitiKadruDanu, Arishta, Surasa, SurabhiVinata, Tamra, Krodhavaśā, Ida, Khasa and Muni) all of whom were given in marriage to Kashyapa.[1]  The only real mention I found of Her was in the Agni Purāṇa (a genre of Hindu religious texts, containing the descriptions and details of various incarnations (avatars) of Vishnu).  It states, “Kasyapa was the son of Marici, who was the son of Brahma. Kasyapa’s wife Tamra had many daughters like Kaki, Syeni, Bhasi, Grdhrka, Suki and Griva. From Kaki were born the crows in the world.” [2]

“Tamra had six daughters. These were the mothers of the birds and of goats, horse, sheep, camels and donkeys.” [3]

Sources:

Bharatadesam: everything about india, “Matsya Purana” (down to subheading “Daksha’s Descendants“).

Parmeshwaranand, Swami. Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Purāṇas: S-Z, “Kaka (Crow)” at p. 717.

Wikipedia, “Kashyap“.

Suggested Links:

Hamilton, Francis. Genealogies of the Hindus: Extracted From Their Sacred Writings… 

International Gita Society, “1. Brahma Purana

Yahoo! Answers: India, “Hinduism – Why the Crows are referred our ancestors? What about other birds?

Goddess Marazanna

“Marazanna’s themes are spring, weather, protection, winter, death, rebirth, cycles, change and growth.  Her symbols are dolls (poppets) and water (including ice and snow).  The Polish Goddess for whom this holiday is named represents an odd combination of winter, death and the fruit field’s growth and fertility. As such, She oversees the transitions we wish to make in our lives.

Marzanna is a Polish spring festival which an effigy of Marzanna is tossed into a river to overcome Her wintery nature and ensure that there will be no floods that year. This tradition is likely an antecedent of ancient river sacrifices made to appease the water spirits. Following suit, resolutely throw a biodegradable image of something you wish to overcome this season into any moving water source (even your toilet!). Let Marzenna carry it away, slowly breaking down that negative energy and replacing it with personal growth. Burying an image has the same effect.

To invoke Marzenna’s protection until next winter, write your name and birth date on a piece of paper and freeze it in an ice cube.

Keep the cube in a safe place in the back of your freezer to keep yourself surrounded by Marzenna’s safe barrier. Melt the ice cube later in the year if you need a boost of spring’s revitalizing energy.”

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

“Witch .Marzanna” by smokepaint

“Marazanna is a Slavic Goddess associated with death, winter and nightmares. Some sources equate her with the Latvian Goddess Māra, who takes a person’s body after their death. Some medieval Christian sources such as the Mater Verborum also compare Her to the Greek Goddess Hecate, associating Her with sorcery. The Polish chronicler Jan Długosz (15th cent.) likened Her to Ceres, the Roman Goddess of agriculture.” [1] “In pre-Christian times, She was also associated with the harvest.  She was worshipped as the Mother and Goddess of corn and held in very special reverence.  She appears as an old woman dressed in white who becomes a hag when winter hits and slowly dies off.  She is sometimes associated with Witchcraft and divination.” [2]

The tradition of burning or drowning an effigy of Marzanna to celebrate the end of winter is a folk custom that survives in Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.  This folk custom falls always around the date of 20/21 March – at the vernal equinox when the Spring begins. The female straw effigy of Marzanna can vary in size – it may be a small puppet or a life-size dummy. The doll is set on fire, drowned in a river or both. The ritual is a symbolic farewell to Winter and the dark days that it involved. It shows joy of rebirth of Spring and victory over death. It was believed that the ritual would ensure good harvest. Destroying the effigy of evil Goddess was believed also to remove all the effects brought by Her. According to the custom the straw effigy was placed on a stick and covered with linen. She was also decorated with ribbons and necklaces. Village children would march with Marzanna – and branches of juniper in their hands – around the whole village. They would drown the Marzanna doll in every river (or generally every water – let it be river, pond or puddle) on the way. In the evening Marzanna effigy would be given to the village youth that would take her out of village and (in the light of burning juniper twigs) they would set a doll on fire and drown in the river. There were of course many superstitions connected with that custom. One could not touch Marzanna after it had been drowned in the river (as he would be in danger of losing the hand), looking back on the way back could bring serious disease and stumbling or falling down could predict death within the next year.

Christianity would forbid this Slavic custom. In 1420 Polish clergy was advised not to allow the villagers to celebrate ‘drowning of Marzanna’. When that would not help, the priests would invent their own habit to replace Marzanna custom with it. On Wednesday preceding Easter holidays an effigy of Judas would be thrown down from church tower. But that would not help either to forget about ‘Drowning of Marzanna’ habit.

Nowadays the ritual is kept within schools and kindergartens. During field trips children perform with their teachers ‘Drowning of Marzanna’ to prepare warm welcome to Spring.” [3]

“‘It concerns the ‘drowning of Marzanna’, a large figure of a woman made from various rags and bits of clothing which is thrown into a river on the first day of the spring calendar. Along the way, she is dipped into every puddle and pond … Very often she is burned along with herbs before being drowned and a twin custom is to decorate a pine tree with flowers and colored baubles to be carried through the village by the girls. There are of course many superstitions associated with the ceremony: you can’t touch Marzanna once she’s in the water, you can’t look back at her, and if you fall on your way home you’re in big trouble. One, or a combination of any of these can bring the usual dose of sickness and plague.’  —Tom Galvin, “Drowning Your Sorrows in Spring”, Warsaw Voice 13.544, March 28, 1999″ [4]

Sources:

Stella. Gods and Goddesses, “Goddess Marzanna“.

Swiech, Barbara. BellaOnline: The Voice of Women, “Slavic goddess and Spring“.

Wikipedia, “Marazanna“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Rolek, Barbara. About.com, “The Drowning of Marzanna or Frost Maiden – Topienie Marzanny“.

Svätoslava. Slavorum: Perserving Slavic Heritage,Burning Morena“. (Fabulous background information, photos and videos about Burning of Morena).

Butterfly Maiden

"Butterfly Maiden" by Kristi Davis

“Butterfly Maiden’s themes are rebirth, beauty, fertility, balance, freedom, and nature.  Her symbols are  butterflies, seedlings, rainwater, and spring flowers.  In Hopi tradition, the Butterfly Maiden is a kachina (spirit) who rules the springtime and the earth’s fertility. Butterfly Maiden flutters into our lives today to reconnect us with nature and to help us rediscover that graceful butterfly within each of us – the one that effortlessly rises above problems, making the world its flower.

In magical traditions, the equinox celebrates the sun’s journey back to predominance in the sky and the return of fertility to the earth. It is a joyous fire festival when the elements are in balance, giving us the opportunity to likewise balance our lives. If anything has held you back from real spiritual growth, now is the time to banish it and move on. Visualize yourself as the caterpillar who becomes a becomes a butterfly, then let the Butterfly Maiden give you wings with which to overcome anything!

To inspire Butterfly Maiden’s beauty within and without, wash your face and chakras (near pulse points as well as at the top of the head, in the middle of the forehead, over the heart, near the groin, behind the knees and at the bottom of the feet) with rainwater first thing in the morning (dawn is best). Go outside afterward and toss some flower petals into a spring breeze, saying:

‘Butterfly Maiden, liberate me
Let me mind and spirit ever be free!’

The winds will carry your wish to heaven/the Goddess.”

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

“The Butterfly Maiden, is a Hopi Kachina that governs the Spring.  Kachinas’ are supernatural beings who control nature and have the spirits of living things such as animals and plants within them.  Some Kachinas also hold the spirits of the non-living as well–wind, rain, thunder, lightning, clouds, etc.

            

Examples of Native made Butterfly Maiden kachina dolls.  Click on each picture to be taken to the artist’s site.  

Although most Kachinas’ are not considered to be gods, Butterfly Maiden is believed to be a fertility Goddes who brings about transformation, new beginnings, and fresh starts in life.  She is often pictured as a young Native American woman dressed in and surrounded by butterflies.   She lives within the plants, animals, and female ancestors who  link the human with the Divine.  It is said that She pollinated the world with our nighttime dreams, carrying the life force from Dreamtime into reality; in essence, She makes our dreams come true.  She is a creative force and a symbol of rebirth and regeneration.

"Butterfly Maiden" by Sharon George

In the Native American world, we find that each animal, plant, and insect is said to have energy and spirit.  Their healing qualities are referred to as medicine.   Because butterflies are deeply symbolic of our own unique struggle to grow, butterfly medicine represents transformation and our personal power to heal and transform ourselves.  The butterfly begins its life as an unappealing larva which one day goes into seclusion and emerges  as a beautiful winged creature  which spreads the rest of its life spreading beauty and joy as it flits from one flower to the next.  And as we move through our daily lives which are filled with chaos and challenge, it would do well for us to remember that each of us has one of these beautiful winged creatures inside of us…just waiting to emerge from the darkness.  And, like the butterfly, we need only to enter the stillness and solitude, to look within ourselves.  There we will find this wise inner self waiting to transform us.” [1]

“Butterflies have a complex social meaning to the Hopi people.  They are a symbol of renewal and spring.  Butterflies adorn Hopi basketry,  textiles, pottery and jewelry.  Butterflies are associated with much needed rain for growing corn and other crops.  The butterfly dance, a social dance that occurs at the end of every summer, has spiritual significance.  The dance is a prayer to bring rains and also is a community celebration in the gathering of dancers, singers, and families.” [2]

Sources:

An Inner Journey: The Moon, Mythology, and You, “Butterfly Maiden“.

Cantley, Janet. It’s a Bug’s World…Insect Motifs in American Indian Art,  Heard Museum West in the Heard Museum Journal

Suggested Links:

Anderson-Childers, Molly J. Creativity Portal, “Soaring with the Hopi Butterfly Maiden“.

Fewkes, J. Walter. American Anthropologist, “The Butterfly in Hopi Myth and Ritual“.

Lavanee. Goddess School, “Butterfly Maiden“.

Martise, Cloe. “The Nine Native Holy Women”.

Sacred Space Sister Goddess Circle Blog, “Butterfly Maiden: Transformation“.

Taphorn, Sharon. Lightworkers.org, “Butterfly Maiden ~ Working with Butterfly Medicine“.

Venefica, Avia. What’s-Your-Sign.com, “Butterfly Animal Symbolism“.

crdmwritingroad

Coralie Raia's Writing Road Blog

Moody Moons

Inspiring a Celebration of the Seasons and the Spirit

Award-Winning Author Nicole Evelina

Stories of Strong Women from History and Today

Eternal Haunted Summer

pagan songs & tales

Whispers of Yggdrasil

A personal journal to share my artistic works, to write about Norse shamanism and traditional paganism, European History, Archaeology, Runes, Working with the Gods and my personal experiences in Norse shamanic practices.

Sleeping Bee Studio

Batik, Mixed Media, Illustration, Murals & Design Work

Pagan at Heart

At peace with myself and the world... or at least headed that way

McGlaun Massage Therapy, LLC

Real Healing for the Real You

TheVikingQueen

A modern Viking Blog written by an ancient soul

Seven Trees Farm

Diversified subsistence farming in Whatcom County, WA since 2005

The World According to Hazey

I'm not good, I'm not nice, I'm just right. I'm the Witch. You're the world.

Migdalit Or

Veils and Shadows

Of Axe and Plough

Musings from a Germanic polytheistic Pagan with Roman inclinations

Walking the Druid Path

Just another WordPress.com site

body divine yoga

unlock your kundalini power, ignite your third eye, awaken your inner oracle

Joyous Woman! with Sukhvinder Sircar

Leadership of the Divine Feminine

The Raven's Knoll Quork

Spirituality - Nature - Community - Sacred Spaces - Celebration

Journeying to the Goddess

Journey with me as I research, rediscover and explore the Goddess in Her many aspects, forms and guises...

The Well Of Mímir

A pantheist pagan's journey for the wisdom of Mímir

Thrudvangr

The Journey of a Thor's Wife

witchery

trapped in the broom closet

Rune Wisdom

Just another WordPress.com site

Sarenth Odinsson's Blog

Exploring Myself and the Northern Shaman Path

Stone of Destiny

Musings of a Polytheistic Nature

1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

Adventures in Vanaheim

Musings on Vanic Paganism (and life in general) from a lesbian feminist geek

Galactic Priestess Academy

Astrological Insight and Energetic Empowerment for Women

Flame in Bloom

Dancing for Freyja

Golden Trail

A wayfarer's path

Boar, Birch and Bog

Musings of a Vanic Godathegn

The Druid's Well

Falling in Love with the Whole World

Georgia Heathen Society's Blog

Heathen's in Georgia

Mystic Fire Blog

A Spiritual Blog by Dipali Desai. Awaken to your true nature.

art and healing Blog

Art heals yourself, others, community and the earth

My Moonlit Path.....

The Story of My Everyday Life.....

Raising Natural Kids

Because knowledge is the key to making informed decisions for your family.

Her Breath

Fused with the Fire of Inspiration

Womb Of Light

The Power of the Awakened Feminine

Philip Carr-Gomm

Philip Carr Gomm

Works of Literata

The art of living with a broken heart.

The Northern Grove

Celebrating Pagan History and Culture of Northern Europe