Archive for July, 2012


The Narucnici

“The Narucnici’s themes are psychic abilities, spirituality, destiny and divination.  Their symbols are an eye and all symbols or fate or destiny.  In Slavic regions, these are Goddesses of fate who see each child’s destiny at birth.  At times, they can be propitiated through prayer to alter one’s destiny, especially when it’s running headlong into disaster.

In 1831, the acclaimed Helena Blavatsky was born under the watchful eye of the Narucnici, who must have predicted an impressive life for her.  Helena grew up to establish the Theosophical Society, whose goal is to explore mystical phenomena, to better understand it, and to expose fraudulent dealings.  To remember this remarkable woman and honor the Narucnici, focus on your own inherent magical potential.  All of us have the Goddess’s prophetic ability within; it’s just a matter of activating that talent.  One exercise that seems to help people is meditating on opening the chakra located in the middle of your forehead (the third eye).

Close your physical eyes and visualize a purple-silver light pouring into your forehead from above. See it swirling clockwise, forming the image of an eye.  Allow this eye to open, very slowly.  Do you feel different as it opens?  Can you sense things on the edge of your awareness you couldn’t before? After the exercise, try your favorite divinatory tool and examine what new insights it offers now that you’ve cleared the path for that foresight a bit.”

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

Sojenice – The matriarchal trinity

The closest match for information that I could find on today’s group of Goddesses was on the Sudice.  Patricia Monaghan explains that “the Goddesses of fate in Eastern Europe had names that varied from land to land: Rojenice in Croatia; Sudicky in Bohemia; Sudzenici or Narucnici in Bulgaria; Sojenice in Slovenia; Sudice in Poland.  All were said to be beautiful old women with white skin and white clothes, wearing white handkerchiefs on their heads and many necklaces of gold and silver. They glistened as they walked; sometimes they decked themselves with garlands of flowers or carried lit candles.

Generally these Goddesses were invisible to human eyes, but they did appear at birth, when three of them arrived to cast the newborn’s fate.  Two spoke wishes for the child’s fortune, but the words of the last could not be undone.  To make sure She spoke good wishes, parents offered Her gifts of wine, candles and bread” (p. 286).

This is what the legend is roughly translated from the Czech Wikipedia page:

“Sudička is a figure in Slavic mythology. It tells the story of three old women spinners who approach cradles of every newborn child, and foretell their fate. The first has a big bottom lip from the continuous salivating the thread. The second has an inch-wide thumb from holding the knot and the third has a huge foot from pedaling on the spinning wheel. The fate will fulfill to the man, regardless as to whether he is a good man or a bad man.

The story has many similarities to the Greek myth of the Moirai.” [1]

“The Moirae” by ravynnephelan

 

 

 

Sources:

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

Wikipedia, “Sudice (mythology)“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Ancientpoland.org, “Ancient Poland“.

Her Cyclopedia, “The Goddess Rozanica” (down to Sudice, {Those -Who-Judge}.

MacCulloch, John Arnott, Jan Machal & Louis Herbert Gray. Celtic Mythology, “Genii of Fate“.

Medussa. Order of the White Moon, “The Fates: THE NARUCNICI“.

Wikipedia, “Rodzanice” (translated from Polish).

Full Sturgeon Moon – August

The Farmer’s Almanac tells us that the fishing tribes are given credit for the naming of this Moon, since sturgeon, a large fish of the Great Lakes and other major bodies of water, were most readily caught during this month. A few tribes knew it as the Full Red Moon because, as the Moon rises, it appears reddish through any sultry haze. It was also called the Green Corn Moon or Grain Moon.

“Persephone” by Kris Waldherr

According to the Wise Witches Society, this moon is referred to as the Barley Moon.  “Persephone, virgin Goddess of rebirth, carries a sheaf of barley as a symbol of the harvest.”

August’s Moon is also known as Corn Moon, Harvest Moon, and Barley Moon. This moon marks the beginning of the corn harvest and of drying herbs. This is the time for celebration with people who are close to you. The zodiac association is Leo.” [1]

AUGUST: Corn Moon (August) Also known as: Barley Moon, Dispute Moon, Weodmonath (Vegetation Month), Harvest Moon, Moon When Cherries Turn Black
Nature Spirits: dryads
Herbs: chamomile, St. John’s wort, bay, angelica, fennel, rue, orange
Colors: yellow, gold
Flowers: sunflower, marigold
Scents: frankincense, heliotrope
Stones: cat’s eye, carnelian, jasper, fire agate
Trees: hazel, alder, cedar
Animals: lion, phoenix, sphinx, dragon
Birds: crane, falcon, eagle
Deities: Ganesha, Thoth, Hathor, Diana, Hecate, Nemesis
Power Flow: energy into harvesting; gathering, appreciating. Vitality, health. Friendships.  [2]

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

The Celtic Lady. The Olde Way, “Individual Moons Explained“.

Farmers’ Almanac, “Full Moon Names and Their Meanings“.

Willow Grove, “The Witch’s Esbats“.

Wise Witches Society, “Full Moon Names and Their Meanings“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Earthsky.org, “When is the Next Blue Moon?”

The Fine-Arts and Bluesband & Poetry Press, “The Names of the Moons“.

National Geographic, “Full Moons: What’s In A Name?

The Old Farmer’s Almanac, “Full Sturgeon Moon” .

What-Your-Sign.com, “Symbolic Native American Full Moon Names“.

 

 

 

* Check out Mooncircles.com every month, or better yet, subscribe to their monthly newsletter to get the scoop on each month’s Full and New Moons, find out more about Moon Astrology  and read blogs.  They even have a different 3-Minute Moon Ritual for each Full Moon!  

“Guardian of the Seas” by yangzeninja

“Tiamat’s themes are history, change, spirituality, fertility, birth and creativity. Her symbols are reptiles and seawater.  The personification of creative, fertile forces in Assyro-Babylonian traditions, Tiamat gave birth to the world. She is the inventive power of chaos, whose ever-changing energy hones the human soul and creates unending possibilities for its enlightenment. In later accounts, Tiamat took on the visage of a half-dinosaur or dragon-like creature, symbolizing the higher and lower self, which must work together for positive change and harmonious diversity.

Taking place at the Dinosaur National Monument, Dinosaur Days in Colorado celebrates the ancient, mysterious dinosaurs that speak of the earth’s long-forgotten past – a past that Tiamat observed and nurtured. One fun activity to consider for today is getting an archaeology dinosaur kit at a local science shop and starting to ‘dig up’ the past yourself! As you work, meditate on the meaning of Tiamat’s energy in your life. The more of the bones you uncover, the more you’ll understand and integrate her transformative energy.

Carry a fossil in your pocket today to help keep you connected to Tiamat and her spiritual inventiveness. Or, wash your hands with a little saltwater so that everything you touch is blessed with Tiamat’s productive nature and cleansing.”

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

Patricia Monaghan says, “Before our world was created, said the Babylonians, there was only Tiamat, the dragon woman of bitter waters, and Her name mate was Apsu, god of fresh water.  In those timeless days in a frenzy of creativity, Tiamat began to bring forth offspring: monsters, storms, and quadrupeds, the like of which exist today only in our dreams.  Finally, the gods came forth from the almighty womb of Tiamat and, growing swiftly, set up housekeeping in another part of the universe.  But they were a rowdy bunch, who disturbed Apsu with their noise.  He approached Tiamat with the suggestion that, because She had created  them, She could readily do away with the gods.  Mummu Tiamat (‘Tiamat the mother’) was taken aback by the suggestion and refused.

But the gods got wind of the conversation and, in retaliation, killed Apsu, the Goddess’ lover.  At that Her fury exploded and, with Kingu, Her firstborn son [other sources say consort], She attacked the gods.  They waged a battle that, some say, goes on annually to this day, with the hero Marduk each year swallowed by the enormous dragon.  Tiamat, according to this version of the story, became a civilizing fish mother (like Atargatis) to the people of the earth.  But others contend that Marduk, hero of the new gods, killed his mother in the battle.  Her body fell into the lower universe, one half became the dome of heaven, the other half the wall to contain the waters” (p. 296).

I believe that it is said best that “the essence of this story is the violent conflict between the older mythologies of the Mother Goddess, Tiamat, representing prehistory fertility worship of gods and Goddess and the new myths of the father gods, struggle for supremacy between the two with the eventual birth of patriarchy.” [2]

“Nammu” by Max Dashu

As one blogger, Carisa Cegavske, explains in one of her blogs about the Goddess Nammu (the Sumerian equivalent of Tiamat): “The Babylonians said Marduk created the heavens and earth by murdering  Tiamat (Nammu’s Babylonian name) and forming the universe from Her body. Tiamat did not go out quietly.  The tale of how Tiamat, primordial Sea Goddess and source of all things created demonic monsters to fight against the hero god Marduk and of how Marduk defeated Her, claiming kingship of the gods and creating heaven and earth from Her body is told in the Enuma Elish.

Eventually, when the priests of Judah rewrote the tale, the Goddess [Nammu] would disappear altogether from the narrative .  Well, almost disappear.  She is traceable still by linguistics, for when God hovers over ‘the deep’ in the opening scene of Genesis (Chapter 1, Verse 2), the word  translated here is tehom, meaning the deeps, the abyss, and linguistically the Semitic form of Tiamat, the name of the Babylonian Goddess.  In time, Nammu would be forgotten, but now, thanks to archaeologists, we can remember the Goddess who came before Heaven and Earth, before the sky gods ascended the throne of history, before even the Bible, before ever the priest put pen to scroll to write the words  ‘In the Beginning….’” [3]

 

 

 

Sources:

Cegavske, Carisa. Thequeenofheaven.wordpress.com, In the Beginning: How the Goddess Nammu created the world and then was forgotten“.

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

Mxtodis123. An Inner Journey: The Moon, Mythology and You, “Tiamat“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Beautyofnight.blogspot.com, Dark Goddess: Tiamat”.

Dragondreaming.wordpress.com, “The 11:11:11 Gateway & Tiamat“.

Gatewaystobabylon.com, “Tiamat“.

Hefner, Alan G. Mythical-Folk, “Tiamat“.

Iles, Susanne. Susanneiles.com, “The Dragon & Creation: Reclaiming the Sacred“.

Sea Dragon. Order of the White Moon, “Tiamat“.

Sabrina. Goddess A Day, “Tiamat“.

Sitarik, Jessica. Crystalvaults.com, “Tiamat“.

Spiritblogger. Spiritblogger’s Blog, “The Goddess Tiamat“.

Tannim. Order of the White Moon, “Tiamat“.

Wikipedia, “Tiamat“.

Goddess Voluspa

“Crone Ceremony: Voluspa” by Willow Arlenea

“Voluspa’s themes are foresight, history, perspective, divination and time. Her symbols are stories and storybooks.  This Nordic Goddess was born before all things, with the knowledge of all time within Her. When asked to tell a tale to the gods, She recounted history, including the gods’ downfall. To commemorate this, wise women and seers in the northern climes are sill sometimes called Voluspa.  Voluspa teaches us the value of farsightedness and of remembering our history. We cannot know where we’re going if we don’t remember where we came from.

An old festival in Iceland known as the Islendingadagurinn [Icelandic Festival of Manitoba] preserves Voluspa’s energy by recounting local heritage and custom in a public forum including theater, singing, writing and costumes. For our adaptation, I suggest taking out or working on a family tree, or perhaps a personal journal. Read over the chronicles of people from your ethnic background and honor their lives in some appropriate manner (perhaps by lighting a candle). Voluspa lives in these moments and at any time that we give ourselves to commemorating the past.

Alternatively, get out some good storybooks and read! Turn off the TV for a while and enrich you imagination with the words of bards who keep Voluspa’s power alive in the world. Especially read to children so they can learn of this Goddess’s wonders.”

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

The seeress speaks her prophecy from a 19th century Swedish translation of the Poetic Edda. Illustration by Carl Larsson.

Patricia Monaghan tells us that “[Voluspa’s] name, or the similar word volvawas used of wise women in Scandinavia.  The most famous seer in Norse legend was the one for whom the poem Völuspá is named.  Born before this world began, Voluspa was asked to tell the history of the world.  Once started, She did not stop, even though the gods did not wish to hear of their own death at Ragnarok, the doom of the gods” (p. 312).

“Odin and the Völva” by Lorenz Frølich

“The poem [Völuspá] starts with the völva requesting silence from ‘the sons of Heimdallr‘ (human beings) and asking Odin whether he wants Her to recite ancient lore. She says She remembers giants born in antiquity who reared Her.

She then goes on to relate a creation myth; the world was empty until the sons of Burr lifted the earth out of the sea. The Æsir then established order in the cosmos by finding places for the sun, the moon and the stars, thereby starting the cycle of day and night. A golden age ensued where the Æsir had plenty of gold and happily constructed temples and made tools. But then three mighty giant maidens came from Jötunheimr and the golden age came to an end. The Æsir then created the dwarves, of whom Mótsognir and Durinn are the mightiest.

At this point ten of the poem’s stanzas are over and six stanzas ensue which contain names of dwarves. This section, sometimes called ‘Dvergatal’ (‘Catalogue of Dwarves’), is usually considered an interpolation and sometimes omitted by editors and translators.

After the ‘Dvergatal’, the creation of the first man and woman are recounted and Yggdrasill, the world-tree, is described. The seer recalls the events that led to the first ever war, and what occurred in the struggle between the Æsir and Vanir.

The seeress then reveals to Odin that She knows some of his own secrets, of what he sacrificed of himself in pursuit of knowledge. She tells him She knows where his eye is hidden and how he gave it up in exchange for knowledge. She asks him in several refrains if he understands, or if he would like to hear more.

“THE DUSK OF THE GODS” by P. N. Arbo

The seeress goes on to describe the slaying of Baldr, best and fairest of the gods and the enmity of Loki, and of others. Then She prophesies the destruction of the gods where fire and flood overwhelm heaven and earth as the gods fight their final battles with their enemies. This is the ‘fate of the gods’ – Ragnarök. She describes the summons to battle, the deaths of many of the gods and how Odin, himself, is slain.

Finally a beautiful reborn world will rise from the ashes of death and destruction where Baldr will live again in a new world where the earth sprouts abundance without sowing seed. A final stanza describes the sudden appearance of Nidhogg the dragon, bearing corpses in his wings, before the seeress emerges from Her trance.

Versions differ, for example Baldr’s return is present in Codex Regius, but absent in others.” [2]

 

 

 

 

Sources:

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

Wikipedia, “Völuspá“.

 

Suggested Links:

Kodratoff, Yves. Nordic-life.org, “Völuspá“.

Mythencyclopedia.com, “Norse Mythology“.

Sacred-texts.com, “The Poetic Edda: Voluspo“.

Timelessmyths.com, “Norse Creation“.

Wikipedia, “Völva“.

Old Woman of the Sea

“Nereid” by Sussi1

“The Old Woman of the Sea’s themes are water, recreation, rest and art. Her symbols are sand, saltwater and sea creatures.  Among the Native Americans of California, this simple designation says it all. This Goddess is a primordial being whose essence and power is linked with the ocean and all that dwells within. Old Woman of the Sea washes into our lives today with waves of refreshment and relaxation. She is also a powerful helpmate for all water-related magic.

Sandcastle-building competitions began in Imperial Beach, California in 1981. Many of the artistically crafted sculptures feature sea creatures and other water themes. Alongside the festival, all manner of community activities take place, including children’s competitions, feasting and live music. So, stop by a gardening store and get yourself a little sand! Mix up some saltwater to mold and shape it. As you do, listen to some watery music and focus on the Old Woman of the Sea. Try to capture her image in the sand and as you do, you will capture her magical power in your heart.

If you live anywhere near a beach, today’s a perfect time to practice sand and water magic. Write a symbol in the sand describing what you hope to achieve, then let the tide carry it to the Old Woman for an answer. Or, step into the surf and let the goddess draw away your tension and anxiety into her watery depths.”

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

“The Crone” by Sunny Strasburg

“Old Woman of the Sea is the Salinan Goddess of water, particularly the ocean and its power. The Salinan tribes of California told a flood story as follows: At the beginning of the world, Eagle was chief among the animals. Old Woman of the Sea was jealous of his power and plotted against him.

One day, She came on to the land with Her basket, which held the sea. She poured the water out, covering almost all of the land—everything was covered except for the top of one mountain, where all the animals gathered. Eagle asked Puma to give him some of his whiskers, from which he made a lariat. Eagle lassoed the basket away from Old Woman of the Sea. Without Her basket, Old Woman of the Sea died and the water stopped rising. Eagle then had Kingfisher dive down into the water and fetch some mud, from which he formed the world.

Eagle then formed humans out of elderberry branches; when he breathed on them, they came to life and became the Salinan people.” [1]

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

Sabrina. Goddess A Day, “Old Woman of the Sea“.

 

Suggested Links:

Smith, Evans Lansing & Nathan Robert Brown. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to World Mythology, “Eagle, Cunning Defender of Creation (Salinan)“.

Westfall, Vern A. The Many Faces of Creation: A History of Man’s Search for His Place and Purpose in the Universe, “A Salinan Indian Myth” (p. 45).

Nuvak’chin Mana

Snow Maiden Kachina by Wilmer Kaye

Nuvak’chin Mana’s themes are ghosts (spirits), blessings, weather and winter. Her symbols are cold items, white, and moisture.  This Goddess’s name means ‘Snow Maiden’. In the Niman Festival, Nuvak’chin Mana is a kachina who appears to pray for the return of cold weather so the moisture in the earth gets replenished. In our lives, She comes to replenish the well of our spirits and cool any overheated tempers that erupt with summer’s heat.

In Hopi tradition, Kachinas are spirits that help the tribe in all matters of life. Each year the Kachinas emerge around February to remind people of their blessings and to teach the sacred rituals that bring rain. Around this time of year, the Kachinas return to their rest, escorted out of the human realms by the Niman ritual.

To bring Nuvak’chin Mana’s coolheadedness and refreshing energy to your entire day, drink a glass of milk on the rocks at breakfast, lunch and dinner (or anytime in between). It’s very refreshing and the appearance of the beverage honors the Goddess. If your region has been suffering from a dry spell, pour out a little of the milk and ice on the ground as an offering to Nuvak’chin Mana so She might carry your need for rain to the nature spirits.

Last, take a moment at some point during the day to thank the Powers for all your blessings. A grateful heart is one ready to give and recieve more of the Goddess!”

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

“Kachin’ Mana” by Sally Hall

According to Heather Marseillan: “Shortly after Summer Solstice each year the Hopi ceremony called the Niman Kachina, also known as ‘The Going Home of the Kachina’ or ‘The Niman Festival’ will begin. Typically this Native American festival starts 4-5 days after the solstice and runs for about sixteen days. It is a very important time for the Hopi and they still celebrate it today.  The Niman Kachina is more or less a drawn out good bye ceremony to the winter and spring Kachinas.

The Kachia are a spirits in the western Pueblo cosmology and religious practices of the Native American Tribes of the region. Western Pueblo, Native American cultures which are located in the southwestern region of the United States, include the Hopi, Zuni, Tewa Village, Acoma Pueblo, and the Laguna Pueblo. The Kachina has spread to the more eastern Pueblos as well.

“Magnificent Seven” by Sally Hall

A Kachina can represent anything that exists in the natural world or the cosmos including an ancestor to an element (earth, air, fire, water or spirit), a place, a quality that one can have, a natural phenomenon (drought, flood, tonado), or even an idea. There are over than 400 different Kachinas in Hopi and Pueblo cultures. The local pantheon of Kachinas will vary depending on the pueblo community. There may be Kachinas for the sun, stars, thunder storms, wind, plants, bugs, and many other such things. Kachinas are thought of as having human like relationships with each other.” [1]

Nuvak’chin Mana or Snow Maiden

“Nuvak’ Chin Mana Kachina is essentially the Snow Kachina. She is part of the Niman ceremony…which closes the Kachina season after the summer solstice. She is meant to be white. Her snow white hair is done up in small knots on either side of Her head and in ceremony She has painted black eyes and small dots above the eyes. On either side of Her cheeks She carries black warrior marks…In ceremony, She brings gifts to the audience and gives prayer for snow for the coming year.  [Shown left] She kneels, ready to begin playing the gourd rasp, as She normally would during the Niman Ceremony.” [2]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

Marseillan, Heather. Examiner.com, “Niman Kachina Festival“.

Teyjah. Art in Petroglyphs by Teyjah, “Nuvak’ Chin Mana Kachina“.

Saint Anne

St. Anne with her child, Mary

“Saint Anne’s themes are miracles, wishes, kindness and health. Her symbols are freshwater and household items.  Saint Anne is a freshwater Goddess who helps us learn the value of abounding selflessness and how to better tend our household matters when the chaos of summer seems to have our attention elsewhere. In Canada she is also credited with miraculous healing.

Traditionally, supplicants come to Saint Anne wearing outfits from their cultures, kneeling and speaking their requests. This is a little awkward in our workaday world. So, instead, quaff a full glass of spring-water first thing in the morning so Saint Anne will stay with you all day, protecting your from the sniffles and encouraging a little domesticity.

If you house is cluttered, you can invoke Saint Anne and welcome her energy into your home simply by straightening up and using a little magical elbow grease as you go! Visualize white light filling your home, sing magical songs, burn some incense and use plain water to wash the floors so Saint Anne’s power can be absorbed into every nook and cranny. If you know of a person who’s been laid up and unable to do such things for themselves, I also suggest offering a a helping hand. This will draw Saint Anne’s well-being to that individual and fill his or her living space with healthful energy. The act of kindness will also draw Saint Anne’s blessings to you.”

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

“The Virgin and Child with St. Anne” by Leonardo da Vinci

“Saint Anne (also Ann or Anna, from Hebrew Hannah meaning “favor” or “grace”) of David‘s house and line, was the mother of the Virgin Mary and grandmother of Jesus Christ according to Christian and Islamic tradition. English Anne is derived from Greek rendering of her Hebrew name Hannah. Mary’s mother is not named in the canonical gospels or the Qur’an, and her name and that of her husband Joachim come only from New Testament apocrypha, of which the Protoevangelium of James, written perhaps around 150, seems to be the earliest that mentions them.

Eastern Orthodox icon of St. Anna

The story bears a similarity to that of the birth of Samuel, whose mother Hannah had also been childless. Although Hanna receives little attention in the Western church prior to the late 12th century, dedications to Hanna in the Eastern church occur as early as the 6th century.  In the Eastern Orthodox Churches and Eastern Catholic Churches, she is revered as Hanna. In the Eastern Orthodox tradition, Hanna, is ascribed the title Forbear of God, and both the Birth of Mary and the Dedication of Mary to the Temple are celebrated as two of the Twelve Great Feasts. The Dormition of Hanna is also a minor feast in the Eastern Church. In Protestant tradition it is held that Martin Luther chose to enter religious life as a monk after receiving heavenly aid from St. Anne.

Anne is also a revered woman in Islam and is recognized as a highly spiritual woman as well as the mother of Mary. The daughter of Faqud, Hannah was childless until her old age. She saw a bird feeding its young while sitting in the shade of a tree, which awakened her desire to have children of her own. She prayed for a child and eventually conceived. Her husband, known as Imran in the Qur’an, died before the child was born. Expecting the child to be male, Hannah vowed to dedicate him to isolation and the service in the Temple.  However, Hannah bore a daughter instead, and she named her Mary. Her words after the birth of Mary reflect her status as a great mystic. Hannah wanted a son, but she realized that the daughter was God’s gift to her.

Varying theologians have believed either that Joachim was Anne’s only husband or that she was married thrice. Ancient belief, attested to by a sermon of St John Damascene, was that Anne married once. In late medieval times, legend held that Anne was married three times, first to Joachim, then to Clopas and finally to a man named Solomas and that each marriage produced one daughter: Mary, mother of Jesus, Mary of Clopas, and Mary Salomae, respectively.  The sister of Saint Hanna was Sobe who was the mother of Saint Elizabeth.

St Anne Conceiving the Virgin Mary by Jean Bellegambe

Similarly, in the 4th century and then much later in the 15th century, a belief arose that Mary was born of Anne by virgin birth.  Those believers included the 16th century Lutheran mystic Valentine Weigel who claimed Anne conceived Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit. This belief was condemned as an error by the Catholic Church in 1677. Instead, the Church teaches that Mary was conceived in the normal fashion, but that she was miraculously preserved from original sin in order to make her fit to bear Christ. The conception of Mary free from original sin is termed the Immaculate Conception—which is frequently confused with the Virgin Birth or Incarnation of Christ.

In the fifteenth century, the Catholic cleric Johann Eck related in a sermon that St Anne’s parents were named Stollanus and Emerentia. The Catholic Encyclopedia (1907) regards this genealogy as spurious.” [1]

I thought this was pretty powerful when I came across this piece written by Peregrinus in regards to “What is the real significance we can take from this icon?”  He writes, “And this matters, because it means that Mary did not spring into existence, fully formed, a vessel to carry the Incarnate Son of God. She was human, with a human story, rooted in humanity, with a mother who conceived, bore, nourished and raised here. She was connected intimately with her mother and, through her mother, with the rest of humanity. Anne’s importance is that she anchors Mary, and therefore Christ, in humanity. And I think it’s significant that, while Rome was prepared to tolerate every kind of nonsense being written and believed about Anne, it was not prepared to tolerate the idea that she bore Mary in a virgin birth of her own.

“The Family of St Anne” by Marten De Vos

Even the spurious traditions about Anne reflect this, for example by giving her, and therefore Jesus, a large extended family, a kinship network. And it’s a humanly imperfect family, as well, because Judas is part of it. And, as a long-lived, wealthy matriarch with three husbands and an extended family, she offers an attractive alternative to a stereotypical model of female holiness – virginity, persecution and early death. She became the patron of the primal female business of childbirth, and the almost equally primally male business of mining.

The facts of Anne’s life, and our ignorance of them, are in the end unimportant. We know she existed; we know that she played her part in the progress of human history towards the Incarnation, even though she almost certainly never knew that. She stands for the connections we all have to one another, even when we don’t know about them, and for the significance and the holiness of the things that we things we do in life that are ordinary and unremarkable, even to us. She stands for countless other men and women, whose names and whose live are equally unknown, who have played their part, and still play their part, in writing the stories that we are living.” [2]  Christian or not, I think that’s pretty moving, reminding us all of the strength of the matriarch and the interconnectedness we all share with each other.

Click here to view additional information on her including patronages and her prayers.

 

 

 

Sources:

Peregrinus. Catholica.com.au, “St Anne – the Mother of the Mother of God“.

Wikipedia, “Saint Anne“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Catholic-forum.com, “Patron Saints for Girls: Saint Anne“.

Catholicharboroffaithandmorals.com, “St. Anne, Mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary“.

Ewtn.com, “SAINT ANNE – Mother of the Blessed Virgin“.

Moytura.com, “Journeys to Canada: St. Anne de Beaupré“.

Newadvent.org, “St. Anne“.

Reams, Sherry L. University of Rochester, “Legends of St. Anne, Mother of the Virgin Mary: Introduction“.

Saints.sqpn.com, “Saint Anne“.

“Water” by Jia Lu

“Tamayorihime’s themes are cleansing, health, children and water. Her symbol is water (especially moving water or saltwater).  An ancient Japanese sea Goddess, Tamayorihime rules not only moving water sources but also all matters of health. She also watches over birth waters to ensure a speedy, safe delivery for pregnant women.

The Tenjin festival began in 949 C.E. as a way to get rid of summer maladies. If you’ve had a cold, the flu or some other ailment, try an adaption of Japanese custom. Take a piece of paper that you’ve left on your altar for a while and rub it on the area of your body that’s afflicted. Drop the paper into moving water (like the toilet) to carry away sickness in Tamayorihime’s power. Alternatively, burn the paper to purge the problem. Mingle the ashes with a few drops of saltwater and carry them in a sealed container as a Tamayorihime amulet for health.

For personal cleansing and healing, soak in an Epsom-salt bath today. As you lie in the tub, stir the water clockwise with your hand to draw Tamayorihime’s health to you, or counterclockwise so She can banish a malady. If time doesn’t allow for this, add a very small pinch of salt to your beverages and stir them similarly throughout the day, while mentally or verbally reciting this invocation:

‘Health be quick, health be kind, within this cup the magic bind!’

Drink the beverage to internalize Tamayorihime’s energy.”

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

Tamayorihime, painted wood sculpture, dated to 1251, at Yoshino Mikumari Jinja.

According to the Encyclopedia of Shinto, “Tamayorihime (or –bime) is a common noun meaning a divine bride, in other words, a woman who cohabits with a kami and gives birth to his child.” [1]

Patricia Monaghan says that “like her sister Japanese heroines Ikutamayorihime and Seyadatarahime, she was a young woman who became a mother ancestor to an important family after mating with an otherworldly creature.  This being used to come under cover of darkness, which apparently did not disturb the girl until she became pregnant.  Then, to discover his identity, she sewed a long hemp thread to his hem, and, next morning, followed it to a dark cave.  At its mouth she called out for her lover to show his face.  ‘You would burst with fright,’ a deep voice answered from the earth’s center.  Unafraid, she continued to make her demand until he appeared, a scaly monster with a needle stuck in its throat.  Tamayorihime fainted, but lived to bear the hero Daida, greatest warrior of Kyushu.  The heroine’s name, meaning a woman (hime) possessed (yor) by a god (tama), may have been a title borne by the Japanese shamans called miko.  Similar stories are told of Psyche and Semele” (p. 291).

In the book Spirit Tree: Origins of Cosmology in Shintô Ritual at Hakozaki by E. Leslie Williams, I was able to find reference to Tamayorihime as an “earth-bound Female spirit cognitively linked with the ocean depths…a daughter of the sea deity, Watatsumi, in the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki myth cycles.” [2]  “She appears in the KOJIKI as the mother of Emperor Jinmu (Jimmu).  In this case She appears accompanied by two other deities and the three together are known as the Mikomori Sannyoshin. ” [3]

 

 

Sources:

Mizue, Mori. Encyclopedia of Shinto, “Tamayorihime“.

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

Onmarkproductions.com, “Mikumari Myōjin Shrines“.

Williams, E. Leslie. Spirit Tree: Origins of Cosmology in Shintô Ritual at Hakozaki.

 

Suggested Links:

Faure, Bernard. The Power of Denial: Buddhism, Purity, and Gender.

Greve, Gabi. Wkdfestivalsaijiki.blogspot.com, “Samekawa Ablutions“.

Mizue, Mori. Encyclopedia of Shinto, “Tamayoribime“.

Ouwehand, C. Namazu-e and Their Themes: An Interpretative Approach to Some Aspects of Japanese Folk Religion.

Wikipedia, “Shinto shrine“.

Wikipedia, “Tamayori-bime“.

 

 

Vatiaz

“Woman warrior” by bitrix-studio

“Vatiaz’s themes are sports, tradition, strength, excellence & recreation. Her symbols are charms for strength or physical well-being.  Vatiaz is the Mongolian Goddess of physical prowess. Her name even means ‘woman of great strength’. Now that summer is fully underway, we could use some of Vatiaz’s strength just to keep up!

The Naadam festival began in the thirteenth century with Marco Polo, who reported a gathering of ten thousand white horses with Mongolian leaders participating in numerous game of skill ranging from archery to wrestling. Today the tradition continues with sports, focused on exhibiting excellence and skill, followed by a community party to celebrate and revel in local customs. If there’s a sports exhibition or game that you enjoy, try to get out to the proverbial ‘ball-park’ to honor Vatiaz and enjoy Her excellence as exhibited through professional athletes.

For those who are not sports fans, making a Vatiaz charm for strength and vitality is just as welcome by the Goddess and invokes Her ongoing participation in your life. You’ll need a bay leaf, a pinch of tea and a pinch of marjoram (one herb each for body, mind & spirit). Wrap these in a small swatch of cotton, saying,

‘Health, strength & vitality, Vatiaz, bring them to me!’

Put the swatch in the bottom of your daily vitamin jar to empower the vitamins with Vatiaz’s well-being.”

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

 

Archery Contest, Naadam Festival. Photo by Bruno Morandi

So the only information I could find on today’s entry comes from Patricia Monaghan: “Among the Mongolian Buryat, this heroine was said to have traveled to heaven after her brother’s murder in order to compete for the hands of three daughters of the chief god. There were many games of physical skill, all of which she won.  Even though shamans warned the gods that she was a woman, they  could not deny her strength and skill.  So she was allowed to take the sisters back to earth, where she had them revive her brother” (p. 309).

 

 

 

Sources:

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

Goddess Freyja

“Freyja” by Lisa Iris

“Freyja’s themes are devotion, strength, the sun, magic and passion. Her symbols are lions and strawberries.  In Nordic tradition, Freyja’s name means ‘lady’. Generally speaking, it is Her domain to care for matters of the heart. In mythology, Freyja is stunningly beautiful, a mistress to the gods and She appears driving a chariot pulled by cats. When saddened, Freyja cries gold tears, and She wears a shining golden necklace (alluding to some solar associations). Many people in northern climes credit Her for teaching magic to mankind.

In astrology, people born under the sign of Leo are energetic and filled with Freyja’s solar aspect. And, like Freyja, they are ardent, dynamic lovers. If your love life needs a pick-me-up, Freyja’s your Goddess to call on. Start with a bowl if strawberries and melted chocolate that you feed to your lover. Remember to nibble passionately while noting into Freyja’s sacred food! This will digest Freyja’s energy for lovemaking. Of you’re single, eat a few berries at breakfast to internalize self-love so more loving opportunities come your way.

To improve love in other areas of your life (the love of friends, live for a job or project, etc.), wear gold-toned clothing or jewelry today to emphasize Freyja’s solar powers. This will give you more tenacity, focus and esteem for whatever you’re putting your hands and heart into.”

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

“Freyja” by Kris Waldherr

In Norse mythology, Freyja is a Goddess associated with love, beauty, fertility, gold, seiðr, war, and death. Freyja is the owner of the necklace Brísingamen, rides a chariot driven by two cats, owns the boar Hildisvíni, possesses a cloak of falcon feathers, and, by Her husband Óðr, is the mother of two daughters, Hnoss and Gersemi. Along with Her brother Freyr, Her father Njörðr, and Her mother (Njörðr’s sister, unnamed in sources), She is a member of the Vanir. Stemming from Old Norse Freyja, modern forms of the name include Freya, Freja, Freyia, Frøya, and Freia.

“Norse Goddess Freja” by zoozee

Freyja rules over Her heavenly afterlife field Fólkvangr and there receives half of those that die in battle, whereas the other half go to the god Odin‘s hall, Valhalla. Within Fólkvangr is Her hall, Sessrúmnir. Freyja assists other deities by allowing them to use Her feathered cloak, is invoked in matters of fertility and love, and is frequently sought after by powerful jötnar who wish to make Her their wife. Freyja’s husband, the god Óðr, is frequently absent. She cries tears of red gold for him, and searches for him under assumed names. Freyja has numerous names, including GefnHörnMardöllSýrValfreyja, and Vanadís.

Freyja is attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources; in the Prose Edda and Heimskringla, both written by Snorri Sturluson in the 13th century; in several Sagas of Icelanders; in the short story Sörla þáttr; in the poetry of skalds; and into the modern age in Scandinavian folklore, as well as the name for Friday in many Germanic languages.

“Freyja” by Lindowyn

Scholars have theorized about whether or not Freyja and the Goddess Frigg ultimately stem from a single Goddess common among the Germanic peoples; about Her connection to the valkyries, female battlefield choosers of the slain; and Her relation to other Goddesses and figures in Germanic mythology, including the thrice-burnt and thrice-reborn Gullveig/Heiðr, the Goddesses GefjonSkaðiÞorgerðr Hölgabrúðr and IrpaMenglöð, and the 1st century BCE “Isis” of the Suebi. Freyja’s name appears in numerous place names in Scandinavia, with a high concentration in southern Sweden. Various plants in Scandinavia once bore Her name, but it was replaced with the name of the Virgin Mary during the process of Christianization. Rural Scandinavians continued to acknowledge Freyja as a supernatural figure into the 19th century, and Freyja has inspired various works of art.” [1]

“Valkyrie” by TheBastardSon

Patricia Monaghan tells us that “far from the ancient Near East, home of the lustful warrior Anat, we find a Goddess who is virtually Her double: a Scandinavian mistress of all the gods who was also the ruler of death. Leader of the Valkyries, war’s corpse-maidens, this Goddess was also the one to whom love prayers were most effectively addressed.

The Goddess who gave Her name to the sixth day of our week, Freya was one form of the ‘large-wombed earth,’ another version of which Her people called Frigg the heavenly matron. Here was how Freya appeared to Her worshipers: the most beautiful of all Goddesses, She wore a feathered cloak over Her magical amber necklace as She rode through the sky in a chariot drawn by cats, or sometimes on a huge golden-bristled boar who may have been Her own brother, the fertility god Frey.

“Freyja” by mari-na

When Freya was in Asgard, the home of the deities, She lived on Folkvangr (‘people’s plain’) in a vast palace called Sessrumnir (‘rich in seats’). She needed such a huge palace to hold the spirit hordes She claimed on the battlefields, for the first choice of the dead was Hers, with leftovers falling to Odin. Like Persephone, the Greek death queen, Freya was also the spirit of the earth’s fertility; like Persephone too, Freya was absent from earth during autumn and winter, a departure that caused the leaves to fall and the earth to wear a mourning cloak of snow. And like Hecate, an alternate form of Persephone, Freya was the Goddess of magic, the one who first brought the power of sorcery to the people of the north.

“Freya” by Hrana Janto

Despite Her connection with death, Freya was never a terrifying Goddess, for the Scandinavians knew She was the essence of sexuality. Utterly promiscuous, She took all the gods as Her lovers – including the wicked Loki, who mated with Her in the form of a flea – but Her special favorite was her brother Frey, recalling Anat’s selection of Her brother Baʿal  as playmate. But Freya had a husband, too, an aspect of Odin named Odr; he was the father of Her daughter Hnossa (‘jewel’). When Odr left home to wander the earth, Freya shed tears of amber. But She soon followed Odr, assuming various names as She sought him: here She was Mardol, the beauty of light on water, there Horn, the linen-woman; sometimes She was Syr, the sow, other times Gefn, the generous one. But always She was ‘mistress,’ for that is the meaning of Her own name, and a particularly appropriate double entendre it proves in Her case” (p. 127 – 128).

 

 

ASSOCIATIONS:

General: Aurora borealis (the Northern Lights), snow, spindle, spinning wheel, wheel of fortune, sword, the full moon, floral bouquets, romantic music, and the day Friday (named in Her honor).

Animals: Geese, cats, pigs, falcons, cuckoos, sparrows, and horses.

Plants: Apple, alder, birch, bramble, cypress, elder, feverfew, mint, mistletoe, mugwort, rose, tansy, thyme, vervain, yarrow, and valerian.

Perfumes/Scents: Rose, sandalwood, cypress, myrtle, vervain.

Gems and Metals: Amber, rose quartz, ruby, citrine, pink tourmaline, emerald, red jasper, jade, malachite, moonstone, silver, gold, copper.

Colors: Red, black, silver, white, and green.     [2]

 

 

 

Sources:

Goddessgift.com, “Goddess Symbols: Freya“.

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

Wikipedia, “Freyja“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Ashtarcommandcrew.net, “Goddess Knowledge and Wisdom – Freyja“.

Blue, Nazarri. Order of the White Moon, “Freya“.

BraveHeart Women, “Goddess Freya“.

Daily Goddess, “Freya – Sexuality“.

Goddess-Guide.com, “Freya“.

Goddessgift.com, “The Goddess Freya“.

Heathwitch. Order of the White Moon, “Freyja: Lady of Magic, Sexuality and Battle“.

Jordsvin. Jordsvin’s Norse Heathen Pages, “Some Observations on the Goddess Freya“.

Kaldera, Raven. Northernpaganism.org, “Freya’s Shrine“.

Krasskova, Galina. Exploring the Northern Tradition, “Freya (Fréo)” (p. 93 – 96).

Krasskova, Galina. Gangleri’s Grove, “Deity of the Month Guest Contribution: A Lesson from Freya“.

Krasskova, Galina. Gangleri’s Grove, “A Ritual for Freya and Frey“.

LadyRavenMoonshadow. Sacredmistsblog.com, “Goddess of the Week: Freya“.

Maris. Marispai.huginnpress.com, “M is for Mardöll“.

Revel, Anita. igoddess.com, “Freya: get back to your passion to get your passion back“.

Squidoo.com, “Freya“.

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

Valkyrietower.com, “Freyja – Goddess of Fertility“.

Wikipedia, “List of names of Freyja“.

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