Archive for December, 2012


“In the middle of winter, it’s hard to remember sometimes that light is coming back to earth. However, despite the gray, cloudy days, we know that soon, the sun will return. Keep this in mind during those dreary days when it seems winter will never end, by invoking the four classical elements.

"Solstice Eve" by Willow Arlenea

“Solstice Eve” by Willow Arlenea

As the earth grows colder,
the winds blow faster,
the fire dwindles smaller,
and the rains fall harder,
let the light of the sun
find its way home.” ~ Patti Wigington

http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/yuleprayers/qt/ElementPrayer.htm

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“Hecate” by *mari-na

“Hecate’s themes are the moon, beginnings and magic. Her symbols are serpents, horses or dogs (Her sacred animals), light (especially a torch), myrrh, silver and moonstone. This Greco-Roman Goddess rules the moon and opportunities. Tonight She opens the path through which the old year departs and the new enters. People customarily worship Hecate at crossroads, where worlds meet, which may be why She became a witch’s Goddess. On this, Hecate’s Day, She bears a torch, lighting the way to the future.

At the eve of a New Year, take a moment and pat yourself on the back for a full of Goddess-centered thinking and action. Note your achievements, and thank Hecate for helping you find the way when your vision seemed clouded. An additional benefit here is that speaking this Goddess’s name today banishes unwanted ghosts, including those figurative ghosts of past negative experiences. Let Hecate take those burdens so your new year will begin without anything holding you back.

To accept this Goddess’s powers in your life throughout your celebrations today, wear white or silver items, and light a white candle in Her honor. For a token that will emphasize Hecate’s magic and lunar energies whenever you need them, bless a moonstone, saying something like:

‘Hecate, fill this silver stone
keep your magic with me where ever I roam.’

Carry this, keeping the Goddess close to your heart and spirit.”

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

"Hecate" by Hrana Janto

“Hecate” by Hrana Janto

“At night, particularly at the dark of the moon, this Goddess walked the roads of ancient Greece, accompanied by sacred dogs and bearing a blazing torch. Occasionally She stopped to gather offerings left by Her devotees where three roads crossed, for this threefold Goddess was best honored where one could look three ways at once. Sometimes, it was even said that Hecate could look three ways because She had three heads: a serpent, a horse, and a dog.

"Hecate redux" by ~ArtemisiaSynchroma

“Hecate redux” by ~ArtemisiaSynchroma

While Hecate walked outdoors, Her worshipers gathered inside to eat Hecate suppers in Her honor, gatherings at which magical knowledge was shared and the secrets of sorcery whispered and dogs, honey and black female lambs sacrificed. The bitch-Goddess, the snake-Goddess, ruled these powers and She bestowed them on those who worshiped Her honorably. When supper was over, the leftovers were placed outdoors as offerings to Hecate and Her hounds. And if the poor of Greece gathered at the doorsteps of wealthier households to snatch the offerings, what matter?

"Hecate" by Katlyn Breene

“Hecate” by Katlyn Breene

Some scholars say that Hecate was not originally Greek, Her worship having traveled south from Her original Thracian homeland. Others contend that She was a form of the earth mother Demeter, yet another of whose forms was the maiden Persephone. Legends, they claim, of Persephone’s abduction and later residence in Hades give clear prominence to Hecate, who therefore must represent the old wise woman, the crone, the final stage of woman’s growth-the aged Demeter Herself, just as Demeter is the mature Persephone.

In either case, the antiquity of Hecate’s worship was recognized by the Greeks, who called Her a Titan, one of those pre-Olympian divinities whom Zeus and his cohort had ousted. The newcomers also bowed to Her antiquity by granting to Hecate alone a power shared with Zeus, that of granting or withholding from humanity anything She wished. Hecate’s worship continued into classical times, both in the private form of Hecate suppers and in public sacrifices, celebrated by ‘great ones’ or Caberioi, of honey, black female lambs, and dogs, and sometimes black human slaves.

"Hecate" by *Hrefngast

“Hecate” by *Hrefngast

As queen of the night, Hecate was sometimes said to be the moon-Goddess in Her dark form, as Artemis was the waxing moon and Selene the full moon. But She may as readily have been the earth Goddess, for She ruled the spirits of the dead, humans who had been returned to the earth. As queen of death She ruled the magical powers of regeneration; in addition, She could hold back Her spectral hordes from the living if She chose. And so Greek women evoked Hecate for protection from Her hosts whenever they left the house, and they erected Her threefold images at their doors, as if to tell wandering spirits that therein lived friends of their queen, who must not be bothered with night noises and spooky apparitions” (Monaghan, p. 146 – 148).

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“Hekate’s Advance” by ~Hellfurian-Guard

 

ASSOCIATIONS:

General: Torch, dark moon, raisin & currant cakes, crossroads, three-headed animals or statues, the number 3, masks, and candles.

Animals: Dogs, horses, sheep (especially black female lambs), owls, bats, snakes, and boars.

Plants: Willows, dark yew, blackthorn, groves of trees, saffron, raisins & currants, and gourds (especially pumpkins).

Perfumes/Scents: Queen of the Night (a light flowery fragrance), cinnamon, myrrh, mugwort, honey, lime, and lemon verbena.

Gems and Metals: Sapphire, silver, gold, moonstone, black tourmalin, black onyx, hematite, smoky quartz, and any stone that is dark or luminous.

Colors: Black, orange, yellow-orange, and red-orange.  [1]

 

Some educational and informational videos

 

 

And I just thought this song was kind of catchy 🙂

 

 

 

Sources:

Goddessgift.com, “Goddess Symbols and Sacred Objects of Hecate”.

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

 

 

Suggested Links:

Covenofthegoddess.com, “Goddess Hekate“.

D’Este, Sorita & David Rankine. Hekate Liminal Rites.

Ford, Michael W. Book of the Witch Moon: Chaos, Vampiric & Luciferian Sorcery, “Hecate”. (p. 99 – 107). (For those with a taste for a “darker” flavor 😉 )

Goddessgift.com, “Hecate, Greek Goddess of the Crossroads“.

Grimassi, Raven. The Witches’ Craft: The Roots of Witchcraft & Magical Transformation.

Hecatescauldron.org, “Hecate’s Cauldron“.

Hekate Symposium 2013, “Hekate: Bright Goddess of the Mysteries by Sorita d’Este“.

James-Henderson, Yvonne. Orderwhitemoon.org, “Hecate“.

Kirkpatrick, Carrie. Goddess Enchantment, Magic and Spells Vol 2, “Goddess of Transformation Hecate“.

Littleton, C. Scott. Gods, Goddesses and Mythology, “Hecate” (p. 617 – 620).

MacLeod NicMhacha, Sharynne. Queen of the Night: Rediscovering the Celtic Moon Goddess, “The Double Life of Hecate” (p. 59 -63).

Mydailygoddess.blogspot.com, “Hecate – Crossroads“.

Reichard, Joy. Celebrate the Divine Feminine, “13. Hecate” (p. 167 – 182).

Revel, Anita. igoddess.com, “Hecate: intuitive wise woman“.

Tate, Karen. Sacred Places of Goddess: 108 Destinations.

The-goddess-hecate.blogspot.com, “The Goddess Hecate“.

Theoi.com, “Hecate“.

Took, Thalia. Thaliatook.com, “Hekate“.

Wikipedia, “Hecate“.

The Celtic people knew the importance of the solstice. Although the Yule season marks the middle of winter, colder times were still to come. It was important to put aside staple foods for the coming months, because it would be many months before anything fresh grew again. Consider, as you think on this devotional, what your family has put aside — both material goods and things on the spiritual plane.

A flock of sheep grazing in the snow on the hills outside Doagh, County Antrim.

A flock of sheep grazing in the snow on the hills outside Doagh, County Antrim.

The food is put away for the winter,
the crops are set aside to feed us,
the cattle are come down from their fields,
and the sheep are in from the pasture.
The land is cold, the sea is stormy, the sky is gray.
The nights are dark, but we have our family,
kin and clan around the hearth,
staying warm in the midst of darkness,
our spirit and love a flame
a beacon burning brightly
in the night.

Beautiful-night wallpapers 8049 1680x1050

http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/yuleprayers/qt/CeltYulePrayer.htm

"Iris" by Howard David Johnson

“Iris” by Howard David Johnson

“Iris’ themes are winter, peace, protection, air, meditation, promises and beginnings. Her symbols are rainbows and water. This Greek messenger to the gods traverses between the Earth and heavens, appearing as a winged maiden on a shining, hopeful rainbow. In this form She represents the calm after the storm – the end of the year’s activities and the advent of a new beginning. Traditional offerings to Her include figs, cakes, wheat and honey. In some stories it was Iris’ job to gather water from the Underworld for use in taking sacred oaths.

The phrase Halcyon Days comes from the ancient belief that fourteen days of calm weather were to be expected around the winter solstice—usually 21st or 22nd of December in the Northern Hemisphere, as that was when the halcyon calmed the surface of the sea in order to brood her eggs on a floating nest. The Halcyon days are generally regarded as beginning on the 14th or 15th of December. Thus, the week before and after the winter solstice are said to bear both the halcyon’s and Iris’s calm ambiance and hopeful demeanor.

To inspire an improved outlook, find a rainbow sun catcher and put it in a window today so that Iris’s radiance can fill your home. Get an extra one for your car (or maybe a rainbow-colored air freshener), so you can keep that energy with you throughout the day.

For another aromatic approach, open a window briefly today and let Iris fly in on wings of change and refreshment. Burn some violet or lavender incense as you do. These two aromatics accentuate this Goddess’s vibrations.”

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

"Iris" by Josephine Wall

“Iris” by Josephine Wall

Patricia Monaghan wrote that “the rainbow Goddess Iris was Hera‘s messenger, a winged maiden who – when not delivering messages for Her mistress – slept under Hera’s bed.  It was Iris who, when Her mistress slept with Zeus, prepared their bed with sanctified hands.  She was one of the few Olympians who could journey at will to the underworld, where She fetched water for solemn oaths; for this reason, She was sometimes called a form of the witch Goddess Hecate” (p. 164).

 

 

 

Sources:

Monaghan, Patricia. The New Encyclopedia of Goddesses and Heroines, “Iris”.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Goddess-guide.com, “Iris The Greek Goddess of the Rainbow“.

Illes, Judika. Encyclopedia of Spirits, “Iris” (p. 512 – 513).

Lady Zephyr. Orderwhitemoon.org, “Iris“.

Mythagora.com, “Iris“.

Theoi.com, “Iris“.

Hildreth, S.Y. Orderwhitemoon.org, “Iris“.

Wikipedia, “Iris (mythology)“.

"Oak King" by Tara Upchurch

“Oak King” by Tara Upchurch

“The Holly King is gone, and the Oak King reigns –
Yule is the time of the old winter gods!
Hail to Baldr! To Saturn! To Odin!
Hail to Amaterasu! To Demeter!
Hail to Ra! To Horus!
Hail to Frigga, Minerva, Sulis and Cailleach Bheur!
It is their season, and high in the heavens,
may they grant us their blessings this winter day.” ~ Patti Wigington

"Winter's goddess" by *frenchfox

“Winter’s goddess” by *frenchfox

 

 

 

 

http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/yulethelongestnight/qt/YuleOldGodsPray.htm

“Takel’s themes are banishing, health, protection, harvest, thankfulness and kinship. Her symbols are root crops. In Malaysia, this Goddess supports the heavens with a pillar from the center of Her creation, the Earth. Takel is the supreme Goddess of agriculture and its abundance. She comes to us at the end of the old year to keep us healthy and well provided for in the new.

Each December, people in Malaysia give thanks to the spirits for Takel’s abundance and the success of families, and they pray for ongoing health, protection and victory over any evils the may face. It is an example worth considering.

Follow Malaysian custom and consume Takel’s bounty today through luscious feasts. As you take the first slice or serving of any entrée, set it aside for the Goddess. Don’t forget to include root crops, especially yams or sweet potatoes, in your feast today. These are some of Takel’s sacred foods, and they will fill your heart with an abundance of love.

Later, after dinner has settled, dance in a joyful manner, being thankful for what you have instead of worrying about what you don’t. Takel will join you in that dance, and the energy it generates will empower the next year with health, prosperity and unity.”

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

Sorry guys – I could find no information on today’s Goddess, Takel.

 

 

 

Suggested Links:

Wikipedia, “Malaysian Chinese religion“.

“Depending on where you live, you may be seeing snowfall long before Yule arrives. Take a moment to appreciate its beauty, both as it falls and once it covers the ground.

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From the reaches of the north,
a place of cold blue beauty,
comes to us the first winter storm.
Wind whipping, flakes flying,
the snow has fallen upon the earth,
keeping us close,
keeping us together,
wrapped up as everything sleeps
beneath a blanket of white.” ~ Patti Wigington

 

 

 

http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/yuleprayers/qt/SnowPrayer.htm

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“The Muse of Comedy” by ~kimbessent

“Thalia’s themes are humor, festivities and recreation. Her symbols are party decorations. Among the Greek Muses, Thalia is the Goddess of festivity and humor. She inspires today’s Feast of Fools celebration with unbridled revelry and joyfulness to round out year on an upbeat, playful note.

During the Middle Ages, around this time of year, a mock religious ritual called the Feast of Fools took place, much like the impious Saturnalia. Normal roles were often reversed and reverence went by the wayside, replaced by fun and pleasure. I see no reason not to follow the example of our ancestors and give ourselves time to frolic a bit today. Do something that energizes you, inspires you or makes you laugh out loud For example, throw yourself a party complete with silly decorations and hats. Watch your favorite comedy flicks with a friend.

Or, go out dancing, play video games, socialize with folks who make you feel good and generally let Thalia live through (and in) your pleasure.

To keep Thalia’s playful, enthusiastic engry with you, bless an amethyst (for joy and luck) saying:

‘Thalia, inspire my humor and muse;
throughout my life, joy diffuse.’

Carry this with you anytime you feel your sense of humor waning.”

"Thalia, Muse of Comedy" by Jean-Marc Nattier

“Thalia, Muse of Comedy” by Jean-Marc Nattier

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

 

"Thalia" by Thalia Took.  She is shown here with the comic mask of the Dionysian rites, and in Her hair are narcissuses and roses, both the variety called Thalia.

“Thalia” by Thalia Took. She is shown here with the comic mask of the Dionysian rites, and in Her hair are narcissuses and roses, both the variety called Thalia.

According to the Wikipedia: “Thalia (‘the joyous, the flourishing’, from Ancient Greek: thállein; ‘to flourish, to be verdant’) was the Muse who presided over comedy and idyllic poetry. In this context her name means ‘flourishing’, because the praises in Her songs flourish through time.  She was the daughter of Zeus and Mnemosyne, the eighth-born of the nine Muses.

According to pseudo-Apollodorus, She and Apollo were the parents of the Corybantes.  Other ancient sources, however, gave the Corybantes different parents.

She was portrayed as a young woman with a joyous air, crowned with ivy, wearing boots and holding a comic mask in Her hand. Many of Her statues also hold a bugle and a trumpet (both used to support the actors’ voices in ancient comedy), or occasionally a shepherd’s staff or a wreath of ivy.” [1]

 

Thalia Took writes, “The name Thalia can be interpreted several ways–‘The Luxurious One’, ‘She Who Flourishes’, ‘She Who Brings Flowers’, ‘Luxurious Growth’ are some of them, all encompassing ideas of growth and blooming.

Thalia can refer to either one of the nine Muses or one of the three Graces. Both hang out on Mt. Helicon, and I have a sneaking, though unprovable, suspicion that they are one and the same.

See also my drawing of the Nine done for a newsletter cover.

See also the similarly named Etruscan Goddess Thalna.” [2]

Sources:

Took, Thalia. Thaliatook.com, “Thalia“.

Wikipedia, “Thalia (Muse)“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Eighthmuse.com, “About Thalia, the Mythica Eight Muse“.

Greekmyths-greekmythology.com, ‘The Nine Muses of Greek Mythology“.

Herwood, Mary Carol. Voices.yahoo.com, “The Nine Muses of Greek Mythology – a Series – #6 – Thalia“.

Theoi.com, “Thalia“.

Full Cold Moon – December

"Cold Companion" by ~ageofloss

“Cold Companion” by ~ageofloss

The Farmer’s Almanac tells us that this full Moon, the Full Cold Moon; or the Full Long Nights Moon the winter cold fastens its grip, and nights are at their longest and darkest. It is also sometimes called the Moon before Yule [if it actually falls before Yule]. The term Long Night Moon is a doubly appropriate name because the midwinter night is indeed long, and because the Moon is above the horizon for a long time. The midwinter full Moon has a high trajectory across the sky because it is opposite a low Sun.

“December Moon is also known as Oak Moon, Cold Moon, Winter Moon, and Wolf Moon. This is the time of the Dark Lord, with the Oak being his symbol. It is the time of rebirth. The zodiac association is Sagittarius.”

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DECEMBER: Cold Moon (December) Also known as: Oak Moon, Wolf Moon, Moon of Long Nights, Long Night’s Moon, Aerra Geola (Month Before Yule), Wintermonat (Winter Month), Heilagmanoth (Holy Month), Big Winter Moon, Moon of Popping Trees
Nature Spirits: Snow faeries, storm faeries, winter tree faeries
Herbs: Holly, English ivy, fir, mistletoe
Colors: Blood red, white and black
Flowers: Holly, poinsettia, Christmas cactus
Scents: Violet, patchouli, rose geranium, frankincense, myrrh, lilac
Stones: Serpentine, jacinth, peridot
Trees: Pine, fir, holly
Animals:  Mouse, deer, horse, bear
Birds: Rook, robin, snowy owl
Deities: Hathor, Hecate, Neith, Athene, Minerva, Ix Chel, Osiris, Norns, Fates
Power Flow: to endure, die, be reborn; Earth tides turning. Darkness. Personal alchemy. Spiritual paths. Reach out to friends and family, the lonely and needy.  [2]

 

 

This video was made in 2010, so the information concerning the Winter Solstice and eclipse does not apply this year.

Sources:

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

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

Willow Grove, “The Witch’s Esbats“.

 

Suggested Links:

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

Kent, April Elliott. Mooncirlces.com, “Cancer Full Moon: The Bottom Line“.

McDowell, Robert. Mooncircles.com, “December Full Cold Moon“.

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

The Old Farmer’s Almanac, “The Full Cold 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! 

"Gathering Mistletoe" by Briar

“Gathering Mistletoe” by Briar

“Yule is a time to set aside animosity between yourself and people who would normally antagonize you. The Norsemen had a tradition that enemies who met under a bough of mistletoe were obligated to lay down their arms. Set aside your differences, and think about that as you ponder this devotional.

"Lady of the Lights" by Briar

“Lady of the Lights” by Briar

Beneath the tree of light and life,
a blessing at this season of Jul!
To all that sit at my hearth,
today we are brothers, we are family,
and I drink to your health!
Today is a day to offer hospitality
to all that cross my threshold
in the name of the season.” ~ Patti Wigington

http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/yuleprayers/qt/NordicYule.htm

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