Archive for October, 2012


Goddess Nicneven

“The Faery Godmother” by Brian Froud

“Nicneven’s themes are protection, ghosts, divination, peace and winter. Her symbols are pumpkins, gourds and traditional Halloween fare. In Scotland, Nicneven is the crone Goddess of Samhain, which is the predecessor of modern Halloween festivals. Nicneven governs the realms of magic and witchcraft and also represents the imminent onset of winter.

In magic and Celtic traditions, this is the new year – a time when the veil between worlds grow thin and spirits can communicate with the living.  Follow the usual customs of carving a pumpkin or turnip for protection and to illuminate the way to family spirits to join you in today’s celebrations.

In Druidical tradition, Samhain was a time to rectify any matters causing dissent. Nicneven provides the magical glue for this purpose. Take a white piece of paper on which you’ve written the reason for anger in a relationship, then burn it in any hallowed fire source (the pumpkin candle, or ritual fires). As you do, ask Nicneven to empower the spell and destroy the negativity completely.

To inspire Nicneven’s wisdom or magical aptitude within, enjoy traditional Halloween fare – apple pie, for example, brings sagacity. Sparkling apple cider tickles magical energy. And root crops provide solid foundations and protection while magical creatures are afoot!

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

“Queen of the Bad Fairies” by Brian Froud

Nicneven or Nicnevin or Nicnevan (whose name is from a Scottish Gaelic surname, Neachneohain meaning ‘daughter(s) of the divine’ and/or daughter(s) of Scathach‘ NicNaoimhein meaning ‘daughter of the little saint’) is a Queen of the Fairies in Scottish folklore. The use of the name for this meaning was first found in Montgomerie’s Flyting (c.1585) and was seemingly taken from a woman in Scotland condemned to death for witchcraft before being burnt at the stake as a witch. In the Borders the name for this archetype was Gyre-Carling whose name had variants such as Gyre-Carlin, Gy-Carling, Gay-Carlin amongst others. Gyre is possibly a cognate of the Norse word geri and thus having the meaning of ‘greedy’ or it may be from the Norse gýgr meaning ‘ogress’; carling or carline is a Scots and Northern English word meaning ‘old woman’ which is from, or related to, the Norse word kerling (of the same meaning).

She was sometimes thought of as the mother witch, Hecate, or Habundia figure of Scottish fairy mythology.  This guise is frankly diabolical.  Sir Walter Scott calls Her:

a gigantic and malignant female, the Hecate of this mythology, who rode on the storm and marshalled the rambling host of wanderers under Her grim banner. This hag (in all respects the reverse of the Mab or Titania of the Celtic creed) was called Nicneven in that later system which blended the faith of the Celts and of the Goths on this subject. The great Scottish poet Dunbar has made a spirited description of this Hecate riding at the head of witches and good neighbours (fairies, namely), sorceresses and elves, indifferently, upon the ghostly eve of All-Hallow Mass. In Italy we hear of the hags arraying themselves under the orders of Diana (in Her triple character of Hecate, doubtless) and Herodias, who were the joint leaders of their choir, But we return to the more simple fairy belief, as entertained by the Celts before they were conquered by the Saxons.

Alexander Montgomerie, in his Flyting, described Her as:

Nicnevin with Her nymphes, in number anew
With charms from Caitness and Chanrie of Ross
Whose cunning consists in casting a clew.

“The Wild Hunt: Åsgårdsreien” by Peter Nicolai Arbo

Even so, the elder Nicnevin or Gyre-Carling retained the habit of night riding with an ‘elrich‘ entourage mounted on unlikely and supernatural steeds. Another, satirical popular depiction made Her leave Scotland after a love-quarrel with Her neighbour, to become wife of ‘Mahomyte‘ and queen of the ‘Jowis‘. She was an enemy of Christian people, and ‘levit vpoun Christiane menis flesche’; still, Her absence caused dogs to stop barking and hens to stop laying. But in Fife, the Gyre-Carling was associated with spinning and knitting, like Habetrot; here it was believed to be unlucky to leave a piece of knitting unfinished at the New Year, lest the Gyre-Carling should steal it.” [1]

“Nicnevin” by Xavier Collette

For a fantastic and in-depth piece written on this Goddess, I highly recommend reading “Nicnevin” by Sarah Lawless over at Witchofforestgrove.com.  In her piece, she explains “Nicnevin is the Queen of Elphame, the queen of the fairies, spirits, and strange creatures, queen of the Unseelie Court of Alba.  She reigns with a male consort at Her side, but his name is never given, it is my guess he changes with Her moods.  She is the Gyre Carline and appears sometimes in the Scottish tales as Habetrot, a crone-like spirit known for Her magical powers of spinning, weaving and clothmaking. It is said She wears a long grey mantle and carries a white wand and can appear as an old crone or a beautiful young woman. White geese are sacred to Her and their cackling may herald Her arrival. In this we see She is linked with the Germanic Goddess HoldaHel, queen of the Underworld, the leader of the Wild Hunt in Norse legend.”

In the Encyclopedia of Spirits by Judika Illes, she writes: “Nicnevin, Scottish witch Goddess, can transform water into rocks and sea into dry land.  Her name is derived from Gaelic Nic an Neamhain, ‘Daughter of Frenzy.’ Nicnevin flies through the night.  Although usually invisible, Her presence is announced by the cacophony of geese.  The Romans identified Her with Diana.

Following Scotland’s official conversion to Christianity and brutal witch trials, Nicnevin, a former Goddess, was reclassified as both a Fairy and a demon. (Scotland suffered particularly virulent witch hunts, second in scope only to the German lands in terms of prosecutions and executions.)  She is considered Queen of the Fairies of Fife, Scotland and is among the spirits associated with the Wild Hunt.

Sea hag from the hit TV show “Charmed”

Manifestation: Nicnevin manifests as a beautiful woman and a dried out old hag.  She wears a long gray mantle.

Attribute: Magic wand

Element: Water

Birds: Geese

Day: Samhain (Halloween) is Nicnevin’s sacred night when She grants wishes and answers petitions.  She is traditionally honored with celebratory feasts and toasting.  On Samhain, Nicnevin makes Herself visible as She flies through the air accompanied by a retinue of witches and honking geese.  Rituals are also held in Nicnevin’s honor on November 1″ (p. 760).

 

 

 

Sources:

Illes, Judika. Encyclopedia of Spirits, “Nicnevin: The Bone Mother“.

Lawless, Sarah. Witchofforestgrove.com, “NICNEVIN“.

Wikipedia, “Nicnevin“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Ancientsites.com, “The Celtic Huntress“.

Andarta, Boudicca. Paganpages.org, “Let’s Spell it Out“.

Dalyell, John Graham. The Darker Superstitions of Scotland.

Dashu, Max. Suppressedhistories.net, “The Tregenda of the Old Goddess, Witches, and Spirits“.

Electricscotland.com, “The Goddess in the Landscape“.

Goddess-guide.com, “Crone Goddess“.

Illes, Judika. Weiser Field Guide to Witches, The: From Hexes to Hermione Granger, From Salem to the Land of Oz, “Nicnevin“.

Rankine, David R. Sacredfires.co.uk, “Hekate Wears Tartan“.

Wikipedia, “Queen of Elphame“.

Wikipedia, “Wild Hunt“.

Goddess Tonacacihuatl

“Mictecacihuatl” by *RadiusZero

“Tonacacihuatl’s themes are ghosts, death and hope. Her symbols are flowers and all symbols of death.  In Mexico this Goddess’s name means ‘Our Lady of Flesh’. Tonacacihuatl is a creatrix who gives life to all things and to whom the spirits of children return at death.

Part of a weeklong festival for the dead, Angelitos Day is specifically focused on departed children. If there is a child who had passed over and who was special to you somehow, make cakes or foods that feature symbols of death and leave them in a special spot. This invites Tonacacihuatl to release that child’s spirit for the day and welcomes the souls of the departed to the festival.

Put out the child’s picture in a place of honor with a candle nearby to help light their way. Cook and eat the young one’s favorite foods, leave a lamp lit near your threshold, and strew flowers (especially marigolds or dandelions) on the walkway to guide the child’s spirit back home.

According to tradition, eating hen or chicken today ensures a visitation by ghosts, because then the bird can’t crow loudly and frighten away the spirits! In all due caution, however, you might want to keep a little salt, violet petals, sage, or ginseng handy to banish any unwanted ghostly guests.”

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

“Tonacacihuatl” by Tlisza Jaurique

Tonacacihuatl (pronounced toe-na-ka-SEE-wah-tl) is primaeval female principle, or Goddess of creation in Aztec mythology.  By some accounts, She was the mother of CamaxtliHuitzilopochtliQuetzalcoatl and Tezcatlipoca.  She combined with Her husband, Tonacatecuhtli, created life on earth and, in some accounts, is identified with Omecihuatl. This Goddess lived in the highest of the thirteen Aztec heavens.

She and Her husband have the task of transferring the souls of infants from Heaven to the womb of the mother.

 

* The first picture is actually of another Aztec Goddess, Mictecacihuatl, but I really wanted to use it as I believe She is an appropriate Goddess for this time of year.  “In Aztec mythology, Mictecacihuatl (pronounced ‘Meek-teka-see-wahdl’ or ‘Meek-teka-kee-wadl’) is Queen of Mictlan, the underworld, ruling over the afterlife with Mictlantecuhtli, another deity who is designated as Her husband.

Her role is to keep watch over the bones of the dead. She presided over the ancient festivals of the dead, which evolved from Aztec traditions into the modern Day of the Dead after synthesis with Spanish cultural traditions. She is said now to preside over the contemporary festival as well. Mictecacihuatl is known as the Lady of the Dead, since it is believed that She was born, then sacrificed as an infant. Mictecacihuatl was represented with a defleshed body and with jaw agape to swallow the stars during the day.” [1]

 

Sources:

Mythologydictionary.com, “Tonacacihuatl“.

Wikipedia, “Mictecacihuatl

 

Suggested Links:

Holmer, Rick. The Aztec Book of Destiny.

Quipoloa, J. Amoxtli.org, “The Aztec Universe“.

Ruiz de Alarcón, Hernando. Treatise on the Heathen Superstitions that Today Live Among the Indians Native to This New Spain.

Wikipedia, “Santa Muerte“.

Frankenstorm

So as I sit here writing this tonight listening to the wind howl outside, I know that we are prepared, as prepared as we’re ever going to be. We have enough food and water for up to 5 days, batteries, flashlights, kerosene for our heaters and all the essentials.  The sheer size of this storm leaves me in awe of Mother Nature’s power and is a bit humbling to say the least.

“Hurricane Sandy, a massive storm described by forecasters as one of the largest to ever hit the United States, is making her way towards the population-dense East Coast. Evacuations have been ordered from Maryland to Maine, where storm surge and high winds is expected to wipeout power to millions.” – Yahoo! News (link to slide show)

Interesting graphic to ponder…….what do you think?

Original photo taken by Nick Cope in Red Hook, a Brooklyn neighborhood, NY.

“While Republican Presidential candidate mocks President Obama about his beliefs in climate change – it’s happening all around us.

The west coast is constantly subject to rampant wildfires while the east coast experiences frequent ‘brown-outs,’ all of this no longer some far-fetched prediction of the future – that future is now.

Today, nearly 60 million Americans sit in the path of a killer storm that will be moving at a rate of 15 mph – Hurricane Sandy is the one of the many results of climate change happening in the world.

While nearly, one out of every six Americans could be left in Sandy’s path without power (as many as 10 million people); the evidence of climate change continues to be ignored.” (Bryan Cain-Jackson, Technorati.com).

And of course, this Frankenstorm hits the US eastern coast precisely on the Full Moon – today (29 October 2012) when the tides on the east coast of the United States are at their highest and will continue to be so for the next few days.

So please – in your Full Moon workings tonight…

The energies from both the storm and the Full Moon tonight are electric, energizing, chaotic, fascinating, amazing, frightening and humbling…As for me, a candle is lit and praying that Brighid’s Mantle protects those in Sandy’s path – to include those of fur, feather, scale and skin.

 

 

* I was just reading a fascinating piece on Mooncircles.com…this really struck me: “How interesting that in the auspicious year of 2012, this Hallowed eve will be experienced under a Full Moon, and not just any Full Moon, but the Full Moon of the mother goddess, the Taurus Moon (Taurus is ruled by Venus – who also has a dark and chthonic side).  What is the message of the earth goddess speaking through the moonlight so close to the spirit-ruled Hallow’s eve?  Trick or treat, my friends.” ~ Bekah Finch Turner

What message is the Earth Mother Herself speaking to us through Hurricane Sandy? (Another “female” storm)

 

I actually just bought this CD this morning on impulse…Great Mother Goddess, be merciful!

“Aramaiti’s themes are cleansing, religious devotion, offering, beauty, banishing, meditation and prayer. Her symbols are fire and all acts of veneration. Translated, Aramaiti’s name means ‘piety’. So it is that this Iranian Goddess embodies the attributes of religious devotion and selflessness through which a person reaches higher states of awareness and returns to oneness with the Sacred Parent. According to tradition, Aramaiti protects people during worship.

Kartika is the Hindu name for the period between October and November, and it is considered a sacred month in which acts of piety will be rewarded.  Bathing in streams, wells, or any running water source early this morning brings Aramaiti’s purification and inner beauty. Afterward, it’s customary to pray and meditate for the Goddess’s blessings and assistance in being faithful to one’s religious studies and goals.

If you hold any rituals today, or cast spells, consider asking Aramaiti to safeguard your working area from unwanted influences and to guide the magic for the greatest good.  Finally, keeping lamps burning today drives away evil influences that may hinder or trip up your path. Perhaps leave one lit near your altar, religious tools, or any Goddess image. This action honours Aramaiti and invokes Her ongoing protection in your sacred space of home.”

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

Aramaiti (pronounced AH rah MAH tih) was “the Iranian Earth Mother who wandered the world converting deserts into gardens [and] called the Mother of the People Made of Clay, the Mother of humanity” (Blair, p. 28).

“Spenta Armaiti; one of the three female aspects of Ashura Maza of Zoroastrianism. She’s also said to be Ashura Maza’s daughter who sits at his left hand. Armaiti means ‘devotion’ and Spenta Armaiti means ‘holy devotion’. She is the righteous virgin who is the personification of faithful obedience, religious harmony and worship; who also ruled reproduction, fruitification and destiny.  She is the guardian of the earth and keeper of the vineyards, who insures a pasture for cattle.  Robbers, evil men and disrespectful wives displease Her.  In some myths they say She created the first humans, suggesting a derivation from an earlier creator Goddess and in ancient Armenia She’s known as Santaramet a Goddess of the Underworld. She has gone by many names such as Armaita, Insfenamad, and Sipendarmidh among other names.” [1]

“Spenta Armaiti means ‘Holy Serenity, Devotion’ also means Tranquility, Holy Compliance.  It is peace and prosperity. She is an earth and fertility Goddess and daughter of Ahura Mazda. She was the fourth Amesha Spenta created. She personifies holy devotion and righteous obedience, and also perfect mindedness gained through humility, faith, devotion, piety, and so on.” [2]

 

 

 

Sources:

Blair, Nancy. Goddess in a Box, “Aramaiti“.

Persiandna.com, “Angels in Zoroastrianism“.

Sf.fdatabase.tripod.com, “Lesser Known Deities – Spenta-Armaiti“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Accessnewage.com, “Spenta Armaiti, Spirit of Serenity“.

Britannica.com, “Amesha Spenta“.

Geniusmothers.com, “Spenta Armaiti“.

Iranicaonline.org, “Armaiti“.

Magee, M.D. Askwhy.co.uk, “Zoroaster, Persia’s Influence on Judaism and Christianity“.

Wikipedia, “Amesha Spenta“.

The Celtic Moon month of Reed prompts you to withdraw from the outer world, to look within yourself and reconnect with the past.

The celebration of Samhain, now known as Halloween, occurs during the Reed Moon.  To the Celts this month hailed the end of the year, a time to cull the livestock and to connect with ancestors.  All around the world festivals that honor the dead are celebrated.  During the Reed Moon, light a candle for loved ones who have died and you may receive a message from the spirit world.

Releasing Old Energy

The Reed Moon is a good time to use divination to gain insights into the year that has passed.  Perform spells that will release old energy, and burn symbols of illness and negativity in your bonfire on Halloween.  Remember the Celtic year does not begin until the Winter Solstice, so use this interval to dream not to make plans for the future.

THE HAUNTING SOUND OF REED

In the past, the reed was used to make swift-flying arrow shafts that slew both enemies and game.  In this way the plant was linked to the season of death and sacrifice, in which trees shed their leaves and the energy of nature became more introspective.  Many early musical instruments also used the reed to create a haunting sound that has been connected to rites for the dead and summoning the spirits.

Wind Instruments

Modern-day wind instruments have developed from the same principle used by original reed instruments, whereby a current of air is vibrated to produce a melodic sound.

Other traditional uses for reed include thatching.  Rooftops were thatched with reeds, and as the Celts withdrew into their homes for the winter they honored the plant that gave them shelter, making the reed a symbol of royalty and protection.

 

In the depth of winter, you need to recharge.  As you tend to stay indoors a lot during the cold season, this is a good time to both focus on and bless your home.

REED MOON MAGIC

Harness the power of the plant of protection and divination during this lunar month.  Using Reed magic can help you to connect with your ancestral roots or let go of the past.

Ancestor Spirit Altar

Use this ancestral ritual to connect with your ancestors and other loved ones who have crossed to the spirit world.

You Will Need:

  • Ancestral images
  • Three white candles
  • Flowers

You may choose to use a pentagram as the symbol of your spiritual tradition

First, place the ancestral images on a table, with flowers and candles.  Light each candle in turn and offer after each in the following order.

Candle one:

I honor the Ancestors of my Blood.

Candle two:

I honor the Ancestors of my Heart.

Candle three:

I honor the Ancestors of my Tradition.

Meditate, letting images peacefully drift through your mind, and ask for a sign that your loved ones are still with you in spirit.

 

Protection Charm

Use this reed charm to protect yourself from negativity.

You Will Need:

  • Freshly cut reed
  • A black ribbon

1.  Visualize yourself within a circle of white light.

2.  Tie a knot in a freshly cut reed, as it will be more flexible, and then say, “Royal Reed, plant of protection, keep me safe until the new year.”

3.  Suspend the knotted reed from the ceiling using the black ribbon.

4.  At Christmas, take it down and burn it.

 

Samhain Reed Spell

If you need help in letting go of something from your past, use a little reed magic at Samhain (October 31).

You Will Need:

  • Knife
  • Pen
  • Sea salt
  • Matches
  • Fireproof dish

1.  Go to a spot along the river bank where reeds grow tall and strong.

2.  Sprinkle sea salt on the surface of the water and say, “River of birth, river of death, I honor you.  Please accept this offering.”

3. Now choose a reed, cut it, and carefully draw a symbol, or write a word, to represent what you wish to release on the reed.

4.  Light the reed in the fireproof dish and, as it burns, visualize the old energy being transformed into light and disappearing.

5.  Once the reed has burned away, pour the ashes into the water and walk away, feeling fully cleansed of the past.

 

Traditional Magic

  • Try bringing some reed magic into your life with these traditional rituals:
  • Leap over a small bonfire to leave behind the old year.
  • Eat an apple at Samhain at midnight to dream of your spirit guide.
  • Carve out a turnip or pumpkin as a lantern of protection.
  • Bury an apple at a crossroads as an offering to the spirits of the dead.
  • Use the runes for divination or to gain insight into your current situation.

 

 

Source:

“Enhancing Your Body, Mind and Spirit”, 21 Nature Magic, CARD  16.

 

 

Suggested Link:

Celticradio.net, “Celtic Zodiac: The Reed“.

The Goddess Tree, “Reed“.

“Eos” by ~Vildamir

“Eos’ themes are wealth, love, joy, health, fertility, leadership, passion and beauty. Her symbol is saffron. In Indo-European tradition, Eos is a sky Goddess who offers us dawn’s hopeful, renewing energy. Greek stories tell of Eos’s intense beauty, which inspires passion. As a faithful consort and fertile divinity, She also ensures us of productivity and devoted love.

Saffron is the world’s most expensive herb, and on the last Sunday in October, people in Consuegra, Spain, honor the crop with folk dances and pageantry. Magically speaking, saffron embodies Eos’ loving, joyful, healthy, and fertile powers, which is why it was sacred to Her.  So consider getting up at dawn and adding a few strands of saffron to your morning tea to bring renewed hope.

Later in the day, consume saffron rice to internalize any of Eos’ attributes. Or, carry a container of saffron as a charm to manifest passion, inspire inner beauty, and motivate positive financial improvements.

The ancients also used saffron to dye the robes of the kings, giving it associations with leadership. So, if you need to improve your sense of control or authority in any situation, integrate something with a saffron hue into your wardrobe today. The color’s vibrations strengthen self-confidence and generate the administrative skills you need.”

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

“Eos goddess of morningredness1″ by Drezdany

“The Greek Goddess of dawn, Eos was the daughter of two early light deities, Hyperion and Thea.  The lovely winged creature drove a chariot hitched to four swift steeds, dragging light across the sky; She changed at midday into another Goddess, Hemera (‘light of day’), and later into sunset Goddess Hesperide.

Eos had a strong sexual appetite – almost as strong as that of the love Goddess Aphrodite Herself.  [“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.” [1] ]  She had many lovers, often kidnapping handsome men to serve Her needs.  One was the gigantic Orion, a rather brutal human who, because of his constant mistreatment of his wife Merope, was blinded by Merope’s father and by the wine god Dionysus.  In order to restore his sight, Orion was told to bathe his face in Eos’ rays.  She saw him standing on a hilltop and not only restored Orion’s sight but stole him away for Her lover.  Orion never did remedy his violent ways, however, and was eventually removed to the stars for an offense against Artemis.

“Eos’ Triumph” by eveningstars242

Another mortal lover was Tithonus, for whom Eos conceived so lasting an affection that She begged immortality for him.  Alas for him, Eos forgot to add a request for eternal youth.  Slowly Tithonus wizened, and Eos’ love faded.  She fled his bed, but took enough pity on Her former lover to turn Tithonus into a cricket and install him in a little cage near Her door, whence he could chirp good-bye to Her as She left on Her day’s journey” (Monaghan, p. 113).

Her Roman counterpart was the Goddess Aurora and the Etruscan Goddess Tesana was equated with Her.

 

 

 

Sources:

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

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

 

Suggested Links:

Covenofthegoddess.com, “Goddess Eos“.

Goddess-Guide.com, “Eos“.

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

Theoi Greek Mythology, “Eos“.

Wikipedia, “Eos“.

Goddess Iðunn

“Apples of Idhun” by ~AmaranthusCaudatus

“Iðunn’s themes are love, divination, dreams and longevity. Her symbols are apples. This Teutonic Goddess of longevity and love was born of flowers and lives in Asgard, protecting the magical apples of immortality. The wife of Bragi (Bragi is the son of Odin and Gunnlöð, conceived when Gunnlod bartered the mead of inspiration for three nights with Odin [1]), a poetic god, She joins in today’s festival, Allantide, with Her apples and Bragi’s kind words to ensure lasting love.

Follow Cornwall customs. Polish an apple today, sleep with it under your pillow, and ask Iðunn to bring you sweet dreams of love. At dawn, rise without speaking to anyone and go outside. The first person you see is said to be a future spouse (or friend, for those who are already married).

All types of apple magic are suited to this day. Peel an apple while thinking of a question and toss it over your shoulder. Whatever symbol or letter the peel forms represents your answer. Eat the apple, then try composing some love poems for that special someone in your life!

Drink apple juice first thing in the morning, blessing it in Iðunn’s name, to improve your communications with all your loved ones. Enjoy a slice of apple pie at lunch to bring sweetness to your relationships and improve self-love. Come dinner, how about a side of applesauce to keep relationships smooth and empowered by Iðunn’s staying power?”

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

“Idun and the Apples” by J. Doyle Penrose.

“Iðunn (pronounced EE-doon) is the daughter of the Duergar Ivaldi, and a Valkyrie named Hildegun (Her name means ‘battle’ or ‘war’). Hildegun was abducted by Ivaldi when She was young and later had at least two children by him (one source mentions Idunna having a brother). It is interesting that Idunna both bears the apples of inspiration and youth, and married a god of musicians and poets while being the child in part, of one of the Duergar. This is a Divine race very often associated with craftsmanship and by extension creativity.” [1]  A great combination, right?

“In the Scandinavian eddas, this Goddess performed the same function as Hebe did for the Greeks: She fed the gods magical food that kept them young and hale.  The Norse gods and Goddesses were not immortal; they relied on Iðunn’s magical apples to survive.  But once the evil Loki let Iðunn and Her apples fall into the hand of the enemies of the gods, the giants who lived in the fortress of Jötunheimr.  The diviniteies immediately began to age and weaken.  Charged with reclaiming the Goddess of youth and strength, Loki flew to Jötunheimr in the form of a falcon, turned Iðunn into a walnut, and carried Her safely home” (Monaghan, p. 160).

“There is also some scholarly speculation that Idun and Sága might be one and the same” [2] though I haven’t been able to locate the scholarly evidence to back up this claim.

 

 

Sources:

Krasskova, Galina. Northernpaganism.org, “What We Know About Iduna“.

Ladysaga.tripod.com, “Idun“.

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

 

 

Suggested Links:

Guerber, H.A. Levigilant.com, “Chapter 7. Idun. Myths of Northern Lands“.

Krasskova, Galina. Exploring the Northern Tradition, “Idunna/Iðunn” (p. 56 – 59).

She-wolf-night.blogspot.com, “Hidden Within the Norse Gods – Part I“.

Wikipedia, “Iðunn“.

Full Hunter’s Moon – October

“Hunter’s Moon” by Tamas Ladanyi

The Farmer’s Almanac tells us that this full Moon is often referred to as the Full Hunter’s Moon, Blood Moon, or Sanguine Moon. Many moons ago, Native Americans named this bright moon for obvious reasons. The leaves are falling from trees, the deer are fattened, and it’s time to begin storing up meat for the long winter ahead. Because the fields were traditionally reaped in late September or early October, hunters could easily see fox and other animals that come out to glean from the fallen grains. Probably because of the threat of winter looming close, the Hunter’s Moon is generally accorded with special honor, historically serving as an important feast day in both Western Europe and among many Native American tribes.

“Harvest Moon Painting” by Samuel Palmer

According to the Wise Witches Society, this full Moon is also referred to as the Full Harvest Moon.  “This is the full Moon that occurs closest to the autumn equinox. In two years out of three, the Harvest Moon comes in September, but in some years it occurs in October. At the peak of harvest, farmers can work late into the night by the light of this Moon. Usually the full Moon rises an average of 50 minutes later each night, but for the few nights around the Harvest Moon, the Moon seems to rise at nearly the same time each night: just 25 to 30 minutes later across the U.S., and only 10 to 20 minutes later for much of Canada and Europe. Corn, pumpkins, squash, beans, and wild rice the chief Indian staples are now ready for gathering.” (This is all generally speaking as this year was a weird year with a supposed “Blue Moon” in August that I think threw things off a bit).

Known as the Blood Moon, “this is the annual slaughter of all but breeding stock that took place at this time of the year (see “Samhain Lore“) . This is the time of seeking inner peace and truth. The zodiac association [generally] is Libra. [1]

“Orange Dream” by Cebarre

OCTOBER: Blood Moon (October) Also known as: Harvest Moon, Shedding Moon, Winterfelleth (Winter Coming), Windermanoth (Vintage Month), Falling Leaf Moon, Ten Colds Moon, Moon of the Changing Season
Nature Spirits: frost faeries, plant faeries
Herbs: pennyroyal, thyme, catnip, uva ursi, angelica, burdock
Colors: dark blue-green
Flowers: calendula, marigold, cosmos
Scents: strawberry, apple blossom, cherry
Stones: opal, tourmaline, beryl, turquoise
Trees: yew, cypress, acacia
Animals: stag, jackal, elephant, ram, scorpion
Birds: heron, crow, robin
Deities: Ishtar, Astarte, Demeter, Kore, Lakshmi, Horned God, Belili, Hathor
Power Flow: to let go; inner cleansing. Karma and reincarnation. Justice and balance. Inner harmony.  [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:

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

McDowell, Robert. Mooncircles.com, “The Divine Feminine and the Promise of the Hunter’s Moon“.

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

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

Sites.google.com, “October: Blood Moon“.

Turner, Bekah Finch. Mooncircles.com, Taurus Full Moon & Hallowmas ~ Back to Earth“.

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! 

“Mother Earth” by *MD-Arts

“Tellus Mater’s themes are earth, ecology, promises, abundance, prosperity and fertility. Her symbols are the globe, soil and grain.  The Roman Earth Mother celebrates today’s festivities, the Earth’s Birthday, by sharing of Her abundance, being a Goddess of vegetation, reproduction, and increase. In regional stories, Tellus Mater gave birth to humans, which is why bodies are returned to the soil at death – so they can be reborn from Her womb anew.

According to James Ussher, a seventeenth-century Anglican archbishop, God created the earth on October 26, 4004 B.C.E. While this date is uncertain at best, it gives us a good excuse to honor Tellus Mater and hold a birthday party on Her behalf.

Make a special cake for the Earth Mother out of natural fertilizers. Take this to a natural setting (don’t forget the candle). Light the candle and wish for the earth’s renewal, then blow it out, remove the candle, and bury your gift to Tellus Mater in the soil, where it can begin manifesting your good wishes!

While you’re outside, pick up a pinch of soil, a stone, or any natural object that strikes your eye and keep it close. This is a part of Tellus Mater, and it will maintain her power for abundance wherever you go today. It will also help you stay close to the Earth Mother and honor the living spirit of earth in word and deed.”

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

“In ancient Roman religion and myth, Tellus or Terra Mater (‘Mother Earth’) is a Goddess of the earth. Although Tellus and Terra are hardly distinguishable during the Imperial eraTellus was the name of the original earth Goddess in the religious practices of the Republic or earlier.  The scholar Varro (1st century BCE) lists Tellus as one of the di selecti, the twenty principal gods of Rome, and one of the twelve agricultural deities.  She is regularly associated with Ceres in rituals pertaining to the earth and agricultural fertility.

Tellus/Pax panel of Ara Pacis

The attributes of Tellus were the cornucopia, or bunches of flowers or fruit. She was typically depicted reclining.  Her male complement was a sky god such as Caelus (Uranus) or a form of Jupiter. A male counterpart Tellumo or Tellurus is mentioned, though rarely. Her Greek counterpart is Gaia (Gē Mâtēr), and among the Etruscans She was Cel. Michael Lipka has argued that the Terra Mater who appears during the reign of Augustus is a direct transferral of the Greek Ge Mater into Roman religious practice, while Tellus, whose temple was within Rome’s sacred boundary (pomerium), represents the original earth Goddess cultivated by the state priests.” [1]

Patricia Monaghan tells us: “The Roman ‘Mother Earth’ was honored each April 15 [Fordicidia], when a pregnant cow was sacrificed and its unborn calf burned.  The Romans tried to offer appropriate tribute to each divinity and they felt that the earth – pregnant in spring with sprouting plants – would especially appreciate such a sacrifice.

“Ceres” by ~rebenke

Tellus’ constant companion was Ceres, the grain Goddess, and the two of them interested themselves not only in vegetative reproduction but in humanity’s increase as well.  Therefore, they were invoked at every marriage that they might bless it with offspring.  Tellus too was considered the most worthy Goddess on whom to swear oaths, for the earth, witnessing all doings on Her surface, would see that an oath taker kept his promise.  Finally, Tellus, to whom the bodies of the dead were returned as to a womb, was the motherly death Goddess, for unlike Her Greek counterpart Gaia, Tellus was associated with the underworld as well as the earth’s surface” (p. 293 – 294).

“Nerthus” by MarisVision

On a side note, “the identity of the Goddess Nerthus, called Terra Mater, Mother Earth by Tacitus in Germania, has been a topic of much scholarly debate.”  Click here to read a fantastic article by William Reaves entitled “Nerthus: Toward an Identification”.

 

 

 

Sources:

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

Reaves, William P. “Nerthus: Toward an Identification“.

Wikipedia, “Terra (mythology)“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Berger, Pamela C. Goddess Obscured: Transformation of the Grain Protectress from Goddess to Saint.

GardenStone. The Nerthus Claim.

Lipka, Michael. Roman Gods: A Conceptual Approach.

Novaroma.org, “Fordicidia“.

Took, Thalia. Thaliatook.com, “Cels“.

Wikipedia, “Fordicidia“.

It’s time to awaken Her! Go deep inside without fear, but with love in your heart – find your inner peace and balance. Let go of that which no longer serves you and awaken Her, heal Her and let Her shine!

Matrignosis: A Blog About Inner Wisdom

Sometimes we mistrust our instincts so much that we can only like ourselves to the extent that others esteem us. Sometimes we’re so afraid of our hidden emotions that we try to escape through intellectualizations or addictions that divert our attention.  Sometimes we shield ourselves by conforming to the letter of the law, or by letting conventional wisdom be our guide, thereby allowing others to define reality for us.  And sometimes, because we do not recognize our own deeply submerged beauty, we go to great extremes to manufacture surface beauty or become unhealthily attached to people who personify the beauty we believe we lack.

These behaviors are symptomatic of an unawakened Beloved. Insofar as she personifies the instincts, feelings, values and emotions we have forgotten, disowned, or not permitted ourselves to experience, awakening her is the last thing many egos want to do. Unfortunately, our shadows are powerful obstacles that prevent us…

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