Archive for June, 2012


This was a wonderful read! This is especially true, “Not many people understand what spiritual feminists mean when we speak of Goddess or goddesses…Invoking the names and images of Goddess answers a deep hunger in women, and among a growing number of men, to restore balance, for justice and truth. This longing is felt beyond pagan circles. It’s a call, a cry mounting from women within the majoritarian religions, a movement that transcends traditional religious boundaries. A great expansion is opening, from the nuns who won’t be silenced, women in the gathering Islamic reformation, all the overturnings of decreed female inconsequence, of patriarchal frameworks and hierarchies, in the flowering of an interfaith movement centered in love, not authority.” Max Dashu

We are going through a huge cultural shift toward restoring the female to her full radiance. However you want to define that, it is rising now, through us.

That which is Sacred, what should we call it? We’ve been told to name it he, him, his. That it was blasphemy to do otherwise, to say she, even as they desecrated the Divine with comparisons to mortal overlords, those cruel masters, despoliators, persecutors. No. Reconsider. That fearful address to an authoritarian punisher takes us far from true reverence. Rather revere the roots of Being, manifesting in all Nature around us, within us. The profound silence, and the Deep calling to the Deep.

Deeply I go down into myself. My god is Dark and like a webbing

made of a hundred roots that drink in silence. ― Rainer Maria Rilke

There are myriad emanations of the indescribable Source, but Goddess women call…

View original post 1,291 more words

“The Oracle” by Howard David Johnson

“Antheia’s themes are promises, friendship, trust, honor, community, love and relationships. Her symbols are gold colored items, honey and myrrh.  Since 800 B.C.E. Antheia has been known as the Greek Goddess of marriage, companionship and good council. These attributes manifested themselves in a triple Goddess figure who flowered, sought a mate and reached perfection. Today we ask Her to bless our rites by flowering within our souls so we too can obtain spiritual perfection.

In ancient Greece, Arretophoria – the festival of trust and friendship, was held sometime between June and July. Each year, two maidens were given a special honey-laden diet and clothed in golden robes to take on a special trust. They delivered a package untouched to a secret place in a local temple, then spent the year in community service, never peeking inside the box. This sounds like a fun activity for couples or friends. Each person picks out a trust gift for the other and gives it to them to put in a special place. The entire time the gift remains there unopened, Antheia will energize it and bless the people in that relationship, so don’t get tempted to peek. Believe me, when I say it’s worth the wait. At the end of the year, don something gold, burn myrrh to create a sacred space in which Antheia dwells and open the gifts, explaining the significance of the items. I guarantee it’s a present you’ll never forget.”

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

“Charites: Spring” by iizzard

“Antheia was one of the Charites, or Graces, of Greek mythology and ‘was the Goddess of flowers and flowery wreaths worn at festivals and parties.’ Her name is derived from the Ancient Greek word anthos, meaning flower, and She was depicted on vases as an attendant of Aphrodite with other Charites. She was known to the Romans as Anthea. Her center of worship was on the island of Crete.

Antheia is also the Greek name of Ancient Sozopolis in modern Bulgaria, and another Antheia was a village which was later adopted into Patras around 1000 BC.

“: : A n t h e i a : :” by Lil-kokoro

Antheia was the Goddess of Vegetation, Lowlands, Marshlands, Gardens, Blossoms, the Budding Earth, and Human Love.” [1]

 

 

 

Sources:

Wikipedia, “Antheia“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Her Cyclopedia, “The Goddess Antheia“.

Theoi Greek Mythology, “Kharites“.

Goddess Tesana

“Dawn” by kristinamy

“Tesana’s themes are the harvest, light, fertility, abundance, hope, beginnings, growth, opportunity and restoration. Her symbols are the dawn, the color red and fruit.  In Etruscan, Tesana means ‘dawn’. As the first rays of light begin to reach through the darkness, Tesana is there, offering the hope of a better tomorrow and the warmth of a new day. Through Her steadfast attendance, the earth and its people bear life and become fruitful.

Mnarja is the primary folk festival in Malta and originated as an orange and lemon harvest celebration. Then name Mnarja means ‘illumination’ and all the ritual fires ignited toady symbolically keep Tesana’s fertility burning. So, light a candle this morning at dawn’s first light to welcome Tesana and invoke Her assistance. Choose the color of the candle to reflect your goal: pink for hope, white for beginnings (a clean slate) and green for growth or restoration. If you like, also carve an emblem of your goal into the wax, leaving the taper to burn until it melts past the symbol (this releases the magic).

In a similar prolific tone, the customary food to encourage Tesana’s fertility and continuing good harvests today is rabbit. If this isn’t a meat you enjoy, make rarebit instead; this was a substitute for costly rabbits in the Middle Ages.”

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

 

“Eos’ Triumph” by eveningstars242

According to Thalia Took, “Thesan is the Etruscan Goddess of the Dawn, Divination and Childbirth, as well as a Love-Goddess. She is depicted on several Etruscan mirror backs, bearing, like many other Etruscan Goddesses, a great pair of wings from Her back, especially appropriate to a Sky-Goddess. One meaning of Her name is simply ‘Dawn’, and related words are thesi, ‘illumination’, and thesviti, ‘clear or famous’. The other meaning of Her name connects Her with the ability to see the future, for thesan also means ‘divination’, as seen in the related Etruscan word thesanthei, ‘divining’ or ‘brilliant’. This relates to Her function as a Dawn Goddess–for as the dawn illuminates what was previously dark, so divination throws light on the dark future and enables one to see what may happen. She is called by some a childbirth Goddess, as She is present at the beginning of the day, which finds its parallel in the beginning of a new baby’s life. Similarly, the Roman Goddess of Light and Childbirth, Lucina, brings the infant into the light of the world.

The Etruscans identified their Thesan with the Greek Goddess of the Dawn Eos. In the Greek legend, Aphrodite had found Eos in bed with Her lover Ares; to punish Eos She ‘cursed’ Her with an insatiable taste for mortal youths, and Eos became infamous for Her many lovers. The Etruscans seemed to quite like these stories and easily transferred them to their Dawn-Goddess Thesan; the stories depicted on the mirrors are generally straight out of Greek myth.

On one relief mirror back (kind of a rarity in Etruscan mirrors since the decoration on the back is almost always engraved rather than cast), Thesan is shown in the act of abducting Kephalos, a young man of Athens who was married to the King’s daughter, Procris. Thesan is winged here, and wears a chiton and diagonal himation that flow in the breeze; about Her head is a halo, to emphasize Her function as Light-Goddess. She runs off to the left carrying Kephalos in Her arms, who is shown as nude and much smaller than She is. He does not look at all distressed at the situation and He rests in Her arms with his right hand on Her shoulder. Like many depictions of Etruscan women and their lovers, She is shown as larger and therefore more important or powerful than the man: this has been taken as an indication of the high status of Etruscan women.

Eos carries off Cephalus, on an Attic red-figure lekythos, ca. 470–460 BCE

The same scene is depicted on a mirror handle in high relief openwork; Kephalos is again quite a lot smaller (and younger) than Thesan, who is not winged this time, but whose cloak billows behind Her in the breeze. She smiles down at young Kephalos as She lifts him up, and he is nude save for a short cloak and hunting boots.

The so-called “Memnon pietà”: The goddess Eos lifts up the body of her son Memnon (Attic red-figure cup, ca. 490–480 BC, from Capua, Italy)

Another favorite scene of Thesan/Eos depicts a far more somber affair.  When Her son Memnon (by Tithonus, another young man She abducted to be Her lover) was killed in the Trojan War, Eos grieved so terribly that She threatened never to bring forth the dawn again. She was finally persuaded to return, but in Her grief She weeps tears of dew every morning for Her beloved son. One mirror-back shows Her before Tinia (Zeus) with Thethis (Thetis), the mother of Achilles. Both Goddesses plead with Tinia to spare their sons’ lives; but both were already doomed to die. The relief mirror mentioned above has been interpreted by some as showing Thesan carrying off the body of Her dead son Memnon (who the Etruscans called Memrun): the figures are not labelled as is usual in Etruscan mirrors, making the differing interpretations possible.

Another more purely Etruscan depiction of Her shows Her with Usil the Sun God and Nethuns (the Roman Neptune), God of the Sea. It would appear that this mirror is to be symbolically read as the dawn preceding the Sun at daybreak as it rises from the Sea (notwithstanding the fact that Etruria is on the west coast of Italy).

Like more than a few Etruscan Goddesses, She seems to have survived into Tuscan folklore at least until the 19th century as a spirit called Tesana. She was said to visit mortals as they dreamt, in the time when the sun is rising but before the sleeper had yet awakened. She was believed to bring words of encouragement and comfort, and Her presence in a dream gave good fortune and blessings for the day.

“Eos goddess of morningredness1” by Drezdany

She is equated with Eos and Aurora, the Roman Dawn-Goddess.” [1]

Sources:

Took, Thalia. The Obscure Goddess Online Directory, “Thesan“.

Suggested Links:

Covenofthegoddess.com, “Goddess Eos“.

Goddess-Guide.com, “Eos“.

Mythagora.com, “Eos: Erigeneia, The Dawn“.

The Roman-Colosseum, “Myths about the Roman Goddess Aurora“.

Theoi Greek Mythology, “Eos“.

Took, Thalia. The Obscure Goddess Online Directory, “Etruscan“.

Took, Thalia. The Obscure Goddess Online Directory, “Aurora“.

Wikipedia, “Aurora (mythology)“.

Wikipedia, “Eos“.

Goddess Rigantona

“Rhiannon” by Hrana Janto

“Rigantona’s themes are sports, excellence, magic, fertility, movement and travel. Her symbols are horses, the moon, white items and birds.  A Roman/Italic form of Rhiannon, this Goddess travels the earth on a swift white horse, a lunar symbol, sweeping us up to travel along and get everything in our lives moving! Stories portray Rigantona in the company of powerful magical birds and She also represents fertility.

In Italy, people attend the Palio Festival, a horse race that started in the 13th century and has continued ever since as a time to show physical skill and cunning. It’s a perfect place for Rigantona to shine. Any type of physical activity that you excel in will please Rigantona today and encourage Her motivational energy in your efforts. Get out and take a brisk walk, swim, rollerblade. As you move, visualize yourself atop a white horse, the Goddess’s symbol, approaching an image of a specific goal. All the energy you expend during this activity generates magic for attainment.

If birds fly into your life today, pay attention to the type of bird and its movements, because birds are Rigantona’s messengers. Birds flying to the right are good omens, those moving to the left act as a warning of danger and those flying overhead indicate productivity in whatever you try today. If any of these birds drops a feather, keep it as a gift from the Goddess.”

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

Rhiannon (from the Mabinogion) by Alan Lee

Rigatona (pronounced REE at-on-a) meaning “Great Queen” is thought to be from where the Welsh Goddess Rhiannon’s original name derived.  “Continuation of the name would indicate the existence of a Brythnoic Goddess known as Rīgantona, though no trace of Her (save for the name of Rhiannon) has been left to us. Whether this Rīgantona was an independent deity or represented an aspect of Epona (who is occasionally referred to in the plural and may be a triple-Goddess) may not be known for certain though the surviving tales of Rhiannon would suggest the later interpretation. Thus there may once have been an insular Brythonic deity known as Rīgantona Epona.

Rhiannon’s name is directly cognate with the Irish goddess Mórrígan (which also menans ‘Great Queen’). In terms of attributes, however, Rhiannon is most closely similar to an sapect of the triple-Goddes, Mórrígan known as Macha; a Goddess of war, horses and kingship.” [1]

Rhiannon is a potent symbol of fertility, yet She is also an Otherworld and death Goddess, a bringer of dreams, and a moon deity who is symbolized by a white horse. Her father was Heveydd the Old, and She was married to both Pwyll and Manan. The story of Her marriage to Pwyll, and the subsequent accusation of the murder of Her child, is well documented and most people are familiar with Rhiannon from this tale. [Click here to read Her tale].

“Rhiannon” by Susan Seddon Boulet

Patricia Monaghan comments: “What can one expect of a Goddess of death? Her son disappeared, and the queen was found with blood on Her mouth and cheeks. Accused of murder, She was sentenced to serve as Pwyll’s gatekeeper, bearing visitors to the door on Her back; thus She was symbolically transformed into a horse. All ended happily when Her son was found; Rhiannon had been falsely accused by maids who, terrified at finding the babe absent, had smeared puppy blood on the queen’s face.

Behind this legend is doubtless another, more primitive one in which the death queen actually was guilty of infanticide. This beautiful queen of the night would then, it seems, be identical to the Germanic Mora, the nightmare, the horse-shaped Goddess of terror. But night brings good dreams as well as bad, so Rhiannon was said to be the beautiful Goddess of joy and oblivion, a Goddess of Elysium as well as the queen of hell” (p. 266 – 267).

“Rhiannon” by Jan Hess

“In Her guise as a death Goddess, Rhiannon could sing sweetly enough to lure all those in hearing to their deaths, and therefore She may be related to Germanic stories of lake and river faeries who sing seductively to lure sailors and fishermen to their doom. Her white horse images also link Her to Epona, and many scholars feel they are one and the same, or at least are derived from the same archetypal roots.

In today’s magick and ritual, Rhiannon can be called upon to aid you in overcoming enemies, exercising patience, working magick, moon rituals, and enhancing dream work.” [2]

“Call upon Rhiannon to bless rites of fertility, sex magick, prosperity and dream work. Work with Her to enhance divination skills, overcome enemies, develop patience, and to gain self confidence. She is most definitely a Fae that every woman can relate to on some level. Her perserverance and will is an example of what we as women are, have been, and will continue to be for millennia to come. Solid, unwavering beauty and strength, like Mother Earth below our feet.” [3]

 

ASSOCIATIONS (Rhiannon):

General: Moon, horses, horseshoe, songbirds, gates, the wind, and the number 7.

Animals: Horse, badger, frog, dogs (especially puppies), canaries and other songbirds, hummingbirds, and dragons.

Plants: Narcissus and daffodils, leeks, pansies, forsythia, cedar and pine trees [evergreens], bayberry, sage and rosemary,[jasmine, any white flower]

Perfumes/Scents: Sandalwood, neroli, bergamot, lavender, narcissus, and geranium.

Gems and Metals: Gold, silver, cat’s eye, moonstone, crystal, quartz, ruby, red garnet, bloodstone, turquoise, and amethyst.

Colors: Dark green, maroon, gold, silver, rich brown, white, black, charcoal grey, and ruby red.   [4]

Element: Earth

Sphere of Influence: Animals and fertility

Best Day to Work with: Monday

Suitable Offerings: Music

Associated Planet: Moon    [5]

Moon Phase: Waning

Aspects: Leadership, movement, change, death, fertility, crisis, magic for women, protection, strength and truth in adversity, dreams

Wheel of the Year: Willow Moon (Saille): April 15 – May 12

Ivy Moon (Gort): September 30 – October 27   [6]

 

 

 

Great Goddess, help me remember that times of sorrow are opportunities for the greatest growth.  Rhiannon, I affirm that I have the courage to overcome my doubts and fears.

And here’s a great 13 minute video on Goddess Rhiannon, The Great Queen

Sources:

Goddessgift.com, “Goddess Symbols: Rhiannon“.

LadyRavenMoonshadow. Within the Sacred Mists, “The Celtic Tradition of Witches and Wiccans“.

Monaghan, Patricia. The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines, “Rhiannon”.

Nemeton, The Sacred Grove: Home of the Celtic gods, “Rhiannon, A Cymric and Brythonic Goddess, also known as Rigatona: Great Queen“.

PaganNews.com, “Rhiannon“.

Rhiannon – Divine Queen

Saille, Rowen. Order of the White Moon, “Rhiannon: Great Queen of the Celts“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Barkemeijer de Wit, R. Celestial Journey Therapy, “Who is Goddess Rhiannon?

Epona.net, “Later Influences of Epona“.

Goddessgift.com, “Activities to Invoke the Goddess Rhiannon“.

Goddessgift.com, “Meditations to Invoke the Goddess Rhiannon“.

Goddessgift.com, “Rhiannon, Celtic Goddess“.

Griffith, Carly. PaganPages.org, “Rhiannon“.

The Mabinogion, “Rhiannon“.

Monaghan, Patricia. The Encyclopedia of Celtic Mythology and Folklore, “Mórrígan” (p. 339 – 340)

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

Sisterhood of Avalon, “The Goddesses“.

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

Took, Thalia. The Obscure Goddess Online Directory, “Epona“.

Wikipedia, “Epona“.

Wikipedia, “Rhiannon“.

Goddess Shakuru

“Sun Goddess” by Cadgraphics

“Shakuru’s themes are theft, divination, the sun, truth and magic. Her symbols are the sun and gold/yellow items.  Pawnee daughter of the moon and Goddess of the sun, Shakuru joins summer celebrations by shining Her light on today’s ceremony, the Sun Dance. In Pawnee stories, Shakuru’s son became the first man on earth, making Her the mother of humankind.

About this time of year, the Plains Native Americans gather to welcome the sun and all it’s power. All manner of magical practices take place during this rite, including divinations to uncover a thief or murderer using totemic practices. For our purposes this might translate into divining for a totem animal whom we call on for guidance and energy in times of need. To do this, you’ll need a lot of animal pictures (cut from magazines or anywhere else you can find them). Make the images the same shape and size to ensure randomness. Sit quietly with these face-down before you ask Shakuru to guide you hand. Don’t move quickly, and wait until the paper below your hand feels warm, a sign of Shakuru’s presence. Turn it over and see what animal it is, then read up on that creature in folklore collections to see what message it’s bringing you.

As much as possible, try to move clockwise today (imitating the natural movement of the sun through the sky). Walk through your house going to the right, stir your coffee clockwise, clean windows using clockwise strokes and so forth. This honors Shakuru and draws the sun’s blessings into your life.”

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

“Unelanuhi” by Susan Seddon Boulet

In Pawnee mythology, the solar and lunar deities were Shakuru and Pah, respectively. Both Shakuru and Pah were created by the supreme Creator god, Tirawa (also called Atius Tirawa). Tirawa was believed to have taught the Pawnee people tattooing, fire-building, hunting, agriculture, speech and clothing, religious rituals (including the use of tobacco and sacred bundles), and sacrifices. He was associated with most natural phenomena, including stars and planets, wind, lightning, rain, and thunder. The wife of Tirawa was Atira, Goddess of the Earth. Atira was associated with corn.

Four major stars were said to represent gods and were part of the Creation story, in which the first human being was a woman. The Pawnee believed that the first woman was born of the Morning Star and Evening Star and the first man from the marriage of the Sun and Moon (Shakuru and Pah).  Legend tells that the first woman and the son of Shakuru then created the Pawnee people.

Archeologists and anthropologists have determined the Pawnee had a sophisticated understanding of the movement of stars. They noted the nonconforming movements of both Venus (Evening Star) and Mars (Morning Star). The Pawnee centered all aspects of daily life on this celestial observation, including the important cultivation cycle for sacred corn. [1]


Sources:

Genyuk, Julia. Windows2universe.org, “Tirawa“.

Sabrina. Goddess A Day, “Shakuru“.

Wikipedia, “Pawnee Mythology“.

 

Suggested Links:

Native-languages.org, “Native Languages of the Americas: Pawnee Legends and Traditional Stories“.

Wikipedia, “Pawnee People“.


Goddess Sedna

“Sedna” by Hrana Janto

“Sedna’s themes are are thankfulness, providence, nature and abundance. Her symbols are water, an eye and fish.  The mother of the sea, which is sometimes called the ‘eating place’ in northern climates, Sedna is a very important figure in Alaskan mythology as the provider of nourishment for both the body and soul. In narratives, Sedna gave birth to fish, seals, polar bears and whales – the life sustaining animals in this region. Artistic renderings show Her as having one eye that sees all things in Her domain.

At this time of year, fisherman in Alaska dance through town giving out whale meat. According to custom, this dance propitiates the spirits of the food-providing whales who have died in the previous year. It also ensures an abundance of food in the year ahead. Adapting this a bit, abstain from your favorite meat product today and ask for Sedna’s blessing on the animals who provide your food year-round. Vegetarians can forgo their favorite staple and ask Sedna to bless the Earth’s greenery instead! Eating fish, however, is perfectly suited to the occasion, as it will fill you with Sedna’s nourishment. Remember to eat thankfully!

To keep a small token in your home that will continually draw Sedna’s blessing to you, get a goldfish and name it after Her! Each time you feed the fish you’re symbolically giving an offering to the Goddess. When you have a need, whisper it to the fish so Sedna hears you.”

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

Sedna from the Goddess Guidance Oracle Deck

Patricia Monaghan tells us Sedna’s sad story: “Beside the Arctic Ocean, there once lived an old widower and his daughter, Sedna, a woman so beautiful that all the Eskimo men sought to live with Her. But She found none to Her liking and refused all offers. One day, a seabird came to Her and promised Her a soft life in a warm hut full of bearskins and fish. Sedna flew away with him.

The bird had lied. Sedna found Her home a stinking nest. She sat, sadly regretting Her rejection of the handsome human men. And that was what She told Her father, when She listed Her complaints when he visited Her a year later.

Anguta (‘man with something to cut’) put his daughter in his kayak to bring Her back to the human world. Perhaps he killed the bird husband first, perhaps he just stole the bird’s wife, but in either case the vengeance of the bird people followed him. The rising sea threatened the escaping humans with death. On they struggled, until Anguta realized that flight was hopeless.

“Sedna” by Lisa Hunt

He shoved Sedna overboard to drown. Desperate for life, She grabbed the kayak with a fierce grip. Her father cut off Her fingers. She flung Her mutilated arms over the skin boat’s sides. Anguta cut them off, shoving his oar into Sedna’s eye before She sank into the icy water.

At the bottom of the sea, She lived thereafter as queen of the deep, mistress of death and life, ‘old food dish,’ who provided for the people. Her amputated fingers and arms became the fish and marine mammals, and She alone decided how many could be slaughtered for food. She was willing to provide for the people if they accepted Her rules: for three days after their death, the souls of Her animals would remain with their bodies, watching for violation of Sedna’s demands. Then they returned to the Goddess, bearing information about the conduct of Her people. Should Her laws be broken, Sedna’s hand would begin to ache, and She would punish humans with sickness, starvation, and storms. Only if a shaman traveled to Her country, Adlivun, and assuaged Her pains would the sea mammals return to the hunters, which, if the people acted righteously, they did willingly.

“Sedna” by Susan Seddon Boulet

In Adlivun in a huge house of stone and whale ribs, Sedna dragged along the ground with one leg bent beneath Her. A horrible dog guarded Her, said by some to be Her husband. Anguta himself lived there too; some versions of the myth say that, hoping the seabirds would think Sedna dead, he allowed Her back into the kayak and returned home. But She hated him thereafter and cursed Her dogs to eat his hands and feet; the earth opened and swallowed them. In any case, Anguta served Sedna by grabbing dead human souls with his maimed hand and bringing them home. These dead lived in a region near Sedna’s home through which shamans had to pass to reach the Goddess. There was also an abyss, in which an ice wheel turned slowly and perpetually; then a caldron full of boiling seals blocked the way; finally, the horrible dog stood before Sedna’s door, guarding the knife-thin passageway to Her home. Should the shaman pass all these dangers and ease Sedna’s aching hands, the Goddess permitted him to return, bearing the news that Old Woman had forgiven Her people, that the seals would again seek the hunter, that the people would no longer starve” (p. 275-276).

“Sedna is widely worshipped among the Inuit peoples of the polar regions and has many forms and names: Ai-Willi-Ay-O or Aiviliajog; Kannakapfaluk, Arnakapfaluk (‘Big Bad Woman’) of the Copper Inuit; Idiragijenget for the Central Inuit. She is called Ikalu nappa in Her form as half-woman, half-fish; Meghetaghna in Siberia; Nerchevik in Labrador; and Nerrivik (‘Food Dish’) or Nivikkaa (‘Woman Thrown Backward Over The Edge’) in Greenland. For the Iglulik Inuit of Baffin Island She is Uiniyumayuituq or Unigumisuitok, ‘The One Who Did Not Want a Husband” [1].  Other names include Sanna, Nuliajuq, and Arnarquagssaq. [2]

“Sedna Transformed” by Susan Seddon Boulet

Charlotte Kuchinsky writes, “There seems to be no clear picture of whether the Goddess was evil or good or perhaps somewhere in between. She was definitely respected by the Inuit, but some feared Her while others cherished Her, which makes for an interesting dichotomy.

Many believe that the story of Sedna is an allegory to teach mankind that it is sometimes necessary to delve into places where we would prefer not to go. However, if we have faith and are worthy, the outcome will be positive and rich with the rewards of life.

Others believe that the story is a reminder that all of us have negative qualities that we must learn to control. However, such qualities do not immediately negate our being deserving of love and respect.

“Sedna” by Erika Brandner

I believe either is an important message to remember. All human beings have fears that hold us back and keep us from achieving all of which we are capable. I also believe that all human life deserves respect and that everyone needs the healing power of love.” [3]

I can sympathize with Sedna; I know and can understand all too well Her sadness, Her grief, Her sorrows, Her regrets, Her bitterness, Her anger, Her frustration, Her pain and fits of rage…I’ve been very much in tune with those same feelings, emotions and energies myself these past few days.  That does not make Her evil though.  Like Her, I did not die as result of my ordeals, I live to tell my tales; and like Her, yes, they’ve mentally and emotionally mutilated me, hurt me, and have made me bitter and angry, and still do lead to occasional bouts of rage when I feel threatened or wronged; or that my boundaries and limits have been breached.

“It is Her occasional anger with humans which brings about violent storms and destructive winds when She feels that Her rules have been broken or She has been wronged.  When this happens the Inuit tribal shaman is required to take a shaman’s journey to the bottom of the ocean to speak to the Goddess. The shaman will often transform into a fish and then he or she will swim down to the bottom of the ocean to appease Sedna. Often, the shaman will comb the tangles out of Sedna’s hair and put it into braids [and massage and work the knots and tension out of Her aching muscles], since, fingerless, She is unable to. As innocuous as this sounds, because Sedna is so volatile and often hostile, this is considered the most dangerous journey an Inuit shaman can ever be called upon to make.” [4]

“Pana” by Lisa Hunt

To me, She is comparable to Ereshkigal and a strong Dark Goddess to work with if one were brave enough to descend to the icy depths of the watery Underworld and confront their own mutilations.  Questions to ask yourself: “In what ways have the painful incidents in your life taught you about your own Divine nature? How has personal loss or suffering helped you set your own personal code of ethical conduct? In what ways can your anger be of benefit or harm?

And, from the shaman’s perspective, under what circumstances, if any, can you imagine that you would be willing to face danger and even risk your life for the greater good? What would that look like to you?” [5]

 

 

Sources:

Beth. Beth Owl’s Daughter, “The Goddess Sedna“.

Kuchinsky, Charlotte. Yahoo! Voices, “Understanding the Moral Behind the Inuit Goddess Sedna“.

Monaghan, Patricia. The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines, “Sedna”.

Native-languages.org, “Legendary Native American Figures – Sedna“.

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

 

Suggested Links:

Balladeer. Balladeer’s Blog, “The Top 12 Deities From Inuit Mythology“.

Bianca. Order of the White Moon, “Sedna: Goddess of the Icy Sea“.

Goddessgift.com, “Sedna, Inuit Goddess of the Deep Sea“.

Rainewalker.com, “Sedna’s Gifts“.

Sutton, Brenda. Mythicjourneys.org, “Sedna of the Sea“.

Talk With the Goddess, “Goddess Card June 8th – Goddess Sedna“.

Temple of Sedna, “Sedna the Goddess“.

Wikipedia, “Sedna (mythology)“.

Willowroot, Abby. Spiralgoddess.com, “Sedna of the North“.

“Hotogov Mailgan’s themes are the sky, tradition and the arts. Her symbol is pale light.  In Siberia, Hotogov Mailgan illuminates the night sky with Her heavenly sparkle. She is the Queen of the Sky, a creative force for personal empowerment and the manifester of the life energies in and around us.

Between June 21 and June 29 the skies in Russia always appear light gray at night because of the northern location. The effect throughout St. Petersburg is very magical, casting unique shadows on the lavender, pink and yellow pastel-colored buildings. To celebrate this beauty, the citizens enjoy traditional Russian ballets, theatrical performances and music. So, get out the theme music from Dr. Zhivago, rent a ballet featuring Baryshnikov, or cook yourself up some Russian dumplings (vareniki) and invite the Goddess to join you.

If you perform any magic today, try putting up some pastel-colored curtains around the space to filter the outside light so it suits Hotogov Mailgan. Or darken the room and use glow-in-the-dark stars to mark the magical circle so you’re literally surrounded by Her power.

Try taking a bubble bath and dotting the surface of the water with glitter to look like Hotogov Mailgan’s night sky. Then, sit, relax and meditate, absorbing the hopeful, dreamy energy that her stars inspire in people everywhere.”

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

“The Star Goddess” by Katherine Skaggs

All I could find on the Goddess Hotogov Mailgan was that She was a Goddess worshiped by the Buriat people of Siberia.  She was called “Crooked Back” and was the Goddess of the night heavens and creator of people. [1]

 

 

Sources:

Curtin, Jeremiah. A Journey in Southern Siberia: The Mongols, Their Religion and Their Myths, “Tuget” (p. 65).

 

Suggested Links:

Encyclopedia.com, “Mongols“.

Ethnic Russia, “Buryatia“.

Hays, Jeffrey. Factsanddetails.com, “Shamanism in Russia and Mongolia“.


Goddess Inna

“Inna’s themes are harvest, offering, protection, promises and justice. Her symbols are yams and harvested foods.  In Nigeria, Inna ensures an abundant yam harvest for the Yam Festival, as well as good crops for farmers who honor Her. During the summer months, She appears as a protectress who oversees our lands, homes, promises and all matters of justice. Oaths taken in Inna’s name are totally binding.

Around the end of June, nearly every group in Nigeria celebrates the New Yam Festival with offerings to the Goddess and a feast of yams. This is a sacred crop here and eating yams today will purify your body and spirit. If you can’t find yams, try sweet potatoes instead, sprinkling them with a little brown sugar to ensure sweet rewards for your diligent efforts. To get the wheels of justice turning a little faster, forego the sugar and eat the potatoes steaming hot (heat represents motivating energy).

People traditionally practice yam divination today. You can try this yourself using any potato. Cut it in half the long way, then toss the two sides in the air while praying for Inna’s insight. If one lands face up and the other face down, it is a good sign for your family or the entire community in which you live. The coming year will be filled with Inna’s abundance and equity. To increase the meaning in this system, draw two personally significant symbolsin the potao and see if either comes up!”

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

 

“Igbo Woman” by Arteyez

I could find no information on Inna other than that She is an African Goddess of Justice. [1]  I found one Goddess by the name of Aha-Njoku (also called the “Lady of Yams), worshipped by the Igbo people of Nigeria, who oversees the growth and harvesting of yams and the women who care for them. [2]  Perhaps a minor local deity or spirit?  Or Perhaps somehow related to Goddess Ala?

 

 

Sources:

Godfinder.org, “Inna“.

Wikipedia, “Ahia Njoku“.

The Rousalii


“The Rousalii’s themes are humor, protection, weather, fertility, fairies and growth. Their symbols are water, linen and green robes.  A group of ill-treated women in life, these Goddesses often create mischief when they interact with humans, especially those with nasty dispositions. They do, however, have a good side. The Rousalii know the dances that make plants and people grow and thrive and sometimes they will teach them to humans. In literature, the Rousalii sometimes appear as water fairies, begging linen from passerby, which they use to make green robes for fertility rites.

In Romania, people would tell you that it is best to stay home today and leave the Rousalii offerings of bread and salt to avert their impish ways. If it’s windy, definitely stay home; this means the ladies are in a foul mood. To protect yourself, place worm wood under your pillow, pull the covers over your head and stay put! On a less drastic level, wear something green to keep them happy and try this spell to encourage the Rousalii’s growth or maturity in any area of you life: Take a little piece of linen (or cotton cloth) and dance with it in your hand, moving clockwise and saying,

‘The dance of life, the dance of power, Rousalii, join me this magic hour! To ______________bring growth and maturity; by your power this spell is freed!’

Fill in the blank with your intention. Tuck the swatch of cloth on your person, or close to the area that represents your goal.”

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

“Rusalki” by Konstantin Makovsky

In Patricia Monaghan’s book, The New Book of Goddesses and Heriones, I found references to these Goddesses as “Rusalki”.  She states, “these Russian water spirits were originally human women who drowned or committed suicide.  The company of naked, wild-haired Rusalki rose each spring from streams to beg bits of white linen from humans.  The Rusalki hung them from trees after carefully laundering them.  (One who accidently stepped on the Rusalki’s wash would be spastic thereafter.)

Their spring cleaning done, the Rusalki began their nightly dances that help plants grow and mature; sometimes for these occasions they wore long white unbelted tunics or robes of green leaves.  Humans could lose their souls by witnessing the beautiful dances of the Rusalki, which usually brought rain to the growing plants.  When summer was over, the Rusalki retreated to the feather nests at the bottom of the streams, where they hibernated until the next spring” (p. 269).

I also found that it is believed that “the Rusalka of Russian myths are the spirits of young women who were murdered before marriage and are then cursed to live in a lake in the form of a mermaid. There they will sing sweet songs to entrap men into the water and drown them. A Rusalka can be released from Her demonic form if someone avenges Her murder.

“Rusalki” by Fish-KAart

The Rusalka are slim with long, loose hair, blazing eyes and magnificent breasts. Their hair may be light brown, blond or green. They can assume the form of a fish or have legs like a human. In the latter form, they haunt the forests, dance with the moon and swing from the branches of trees. Often we see them sitting on the bank laughing with their friends the water sprites. Sometimes they visit local villages to join in the dances and entice men into their lakes to become their husbands or kill them.

If you would like to go swimming with the Rusalki (plural of Rusalka) put fern in your hair so they cannot pull you under and drown you. Some say that only witches can swim safely with Rusalki.

Another group of Russian myths claim that the Rusalka are water nymphs who marry the Wodjanoj. The Wodjanoj are male water spirits who live in great castles under the water and can change their shape at will.

Marriage alters the Rusalka. She goes from wild and lustful to sweet and demure.

I see many obvious links between the Rusalki of the Russian myths and the mermaids of Celtic myth. Both are beautiful, sexually liberated and occasionally dangerous. They are both descended from Goddesses of fertility and retain some of their characteristics. One article I read makes especial reference to the hair of the Rusalka. It is loose and uncontrolled like the Rusalka themselves. Notice how even now we associate loose, wild hair with sexuality.” [1]

 

 

 

 

Sources:

Beautiful-mermaid-art.com, “Russian Myth: The Rusalka“.

Monaghan, Patricia. The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines, “Rusalki”.

 

 

Suggested Links:

The Bulgarian Festival Calendar, “Russalii or Roussalya: Wood nymphs (Samodivas) and water nymphs (Mermaids)“.

Tribe.net, “Rusalkie (Slavic water spirits)“.

Wikipedia, “Rusalka“.

Wikipedia, “Semik“. (“Green Week” – ancient Slavic fertility festival celebrated in early June).

Goddess Saules Mate

“Saule” by Lisa Hunt

“Saules Mate’s themes are the sun, prayer and protection. Her symbols are the sun, fire, yellow/gold items, horses and birch.  Saules Mate comes to us from Indo-European tradition, Her name meaning ‘sun’. Indeed, with the sun reaching its highest point today, She becomes the center of our festivities. Saules Mate crosses the sky during the day in a carriage drawn by yellow horses, then travels the waters by night in a golden birch boat, hanging a red scarf in the wind to give the sky its lovely color.

In magical traditions, we stop for a moment on this day to mark the sun’s halfway point through its annual journey. Traditionally, this is a time to harvest magical herbs, but do so before Saules Mate gets too bright in the sky; Her heat diminishes the natural oils in the herbs. Remember to leave an offering for the Goddess so She will empower these herbs – perhaps some ground birch wood that acts as plant mulch!

Purify yourself by jumping the ritual fire (or a candle) today, then burn a wish in Saules Mate’s fires to release it into Her care. And use this invocation to Saules Mate for part of personal magic today (for the southern quarter of the magic circle):

‘Powers of fire, reach ever higher. Saules Mate, bring your light; the power to ignite. Salamanders prance in the magical dance, by your power and my will, this sacred space fill!'”

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

“Saule” by Helena Nelson-Reed

“Saule (pronounced SEW-lay) means ‘the sun’ and is the most powerful of Latvian heavenly Goddesses. She is the Goddess of the sun and of fertility, the patroness of all unfortunate people, especially orphans (as the only one to substitute the mother, to warm the child; mother is compared to Saule speaking of kindness, and bride as speaking of beauty). She is the mother of Saules meitas or meita (plural or singular). She is said to live on the top of the heavenly mountain (some model of world), where She rides during the day in Her chariot. At night She sails with Her boat on the world sea. The motif of permanent motion is apparent in this image, as well as the idea of the sun shining somewhere else during the night. Of course, the diachronic aspect is to be taken into account. In several cases She appears as the ruler in heaven, especially in relations with Meness.” [1]

Patricia Monaghan tells us that “Saule ruled all parts of life, from birth into Her light to death when She welcomed souls into Her apple tree in the west. Even the name of the ocean on which the Balts lived was Hers, named for Balta Saulite (‘darling little white sun’). She was worshiped in songs and rituals that celebrated Her nurturance of earth’s life, for She was Our Mother, called various names like Saulite Mat (‘little sun-mother’) and Saulite Sudrabota (‘little silver sun’).

She was married in the springtime of creation to the moon man Menesis. Their first child was the earth; after that, countless children became the stars of heaven. Saule was a hardworking mother, leaving the house at dawn each day and driving Her chariot across the sky until dusk. Menesis, however, was fickle and carefree, staying home all day and only sometimes driving his moon-chariot. The light of Saule’s life was Her daughter (variously named Austrine, Valkyrine, and Barbelina, but most generally called Saules Meita, the sun’s daughter), the beloved lady of the Morning Star (or Venus).

Each evening, after She had bathed Her weary horses in the Nemunas River, Saule looked for the child. But one evening She could not find Her – for in Her absence, Saule’s beautiful long-haired daughter had been raped by Menesis.

Art by Marilyn Todd-Daniels

Furious beyond words, Saule took a sword and slashed the moon’s face, leaving the marks we see today. Then She banished him forever from Her presence; thus, they are no longer seen together in the sky – the end of the happy paradise before the evil came into our world.

Saule was worshiped every day when Her people would bow to the east to greet Mother Sun. But she was especially honored on summer solstice, Ligo, when She rose crowned with a braid of red fern blossoms to dance on the hilltops in Her silver shoes. At that moment, people dived into east-flowing streams to bathe themselves in Her light. All the women donned similar braided wreaths and walked through the fields, singing Goddess songs, or daina. Finally, they gathered around bonfires and sang the night away.

“Sophia of the Heights” by Freydoon Rassouli

Because LIthuanian is the oldest extant Indo-European language, it is thought that the Baltic mythologies hold clues to the original beliefs of the people.  But scholarly convention has it that the Indo-Europeans worshiped a sky father embodied in the sun.  Whence, then, this powerful sun mother? Marija Gimbutas, herself Lithuanian, believed Saule to be an Old European Goddess of that woman honoring culture that preceded the Indo-European invasions; Saule was to give way to a male solar divinity. But sun Goddesses in other Indo-European areas show there is room for study” (p. 274). (See my entry on Sól)

 

 

The most Latvian of holiday, “Ligo!”  Below, a video featuring an in-depth explanation of the traditional Ligo! festivities, by Latvia tourism.

Sources:

Monaghan, Patricia. The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines, “Saule”.

Putelis, Aldis. Encyclopedia Mythica, “Saule“.

Suggested Links:

Agaliha. Mystic Wicks, “Saule {Goddess of the Week}“.

The Blue Roebuck,Saule“.

Dunduliene, Prane. The Sage Grove, “Forgotten Goddesses – Saule“,

Monaghan, Patricia. The Goddess Path: Myths, Invocations & Rituals.

Wikipedia, “Latvian Mythology“.

Wikipedia, “Saulė“.

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