Tag Archive: beauty


Maid Marian

“Autumn Deity” by ~cutieloli

“Maid Marian’s themes are fertility, youthfulness, abundance, energy, beauty and instinct. Her symbols are late-blossoming flowers and forest plants.  A predominant figure in the Robin Hood tales, Maid Marian is most certainly a remnant of the ancient youthful Goddess, who blossoms with late summer’s abundance, inspires fertility, re-awakens our instincts, and exudes energy just when our resources seem all but gone.

The Horn Dance dates back to Norman times as a remnant of an ancient fertility and hunting festival. Today it remains as a re-enactment of Robin Hood stories, complete with hobby horse and deer horn dancing for Maid Marian’s fertility, rock candy for life’s sweetness, and a little brandy to keep things warm!

Should you want physical fertility, you can dance with a broom instead. Eat a bit of candy and drink brandy (brandy-flavored candy is also an option) to encourage sweet love and passion to flow in your life!

To draw Maid Marian’s presence to any effort today, bring late-blossoming flowers into your home, office, or any place you visit. If you get organic ones, nibble on a rose. Digest the Goddess’s beauty within so it will manifest without.

Finally, wear shades of forest green, the traditional colour for Robin Hood’s clan, so you can figuratively accept a spot beside Maid Marian as an ally who fights against injustice and stands firm for good causes.”

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

 

“Maid Marion” by William Clarke Wontner

According to Wikipedia, “The earliest medieval Robin Hood stories gave him no female companion. Maid Marian was originally a character in May Games festivities (held during May and early June, most commonly around Whitsun) and is sometimes associated with the Queen or Lady of May of May Day. Indeed, Marian remained associated with such celebrations long after the fashion of Robin Hood had faded again.  She became associated with Robin Hood in this context, as Robin Hood became a central figure in May Day, associated as he was with the forest and archery. Both Robin and Marian were certainly associated with May Day festivities in England (as was Friar Tuck); these were originally two distinct types of performance — Alexander Barclay, writing in c.1500, refers to ‘some merry fytte of Maid Marian or else of Robin Hood’ — but the characters were brought together.

The Marian of the May Games is likely derived from the French tradition of a shepherdess named Marion and her shepherd lover Robin (not Robin Hood). The best known example of this tradition is Adam de la Halle‘s Le Jeu de Robin et Marion, circa 1283.

Marian did not immediately gain the unquestioned role as Robin’s love; in ‘Robin Hood’s Birth, Breeding, Valor, and Marriage‘, his sweetheart is ‘Clorinda the Queen of the Shepherdesses’.  Clorinda survives in some later stories as an alias of Marian.

In narrative terms, Maid Marian was first attached to Robin Hood in the late sixteenth century as Robin was gentrified and given a virginal maid to pine after. Her biography and character have been highly variable over the centuries.  Marian’s role was not entirely virginal in the early days; in 1592, Thomas Nashe described the Marian of the later May Games as being played by a male actor named Martin, and there are hints in the play of Robin Hood and the Friar that the female character in these plays had become a lewd parody. Robin was originally called Ryder.

Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio as Maid Marian in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991).

In the famous Errol Flynn film, she is a ward of the court, an orphaned noblewoman under the protection of King Richard. In the Kevin Costner epic Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, she is a maternal cousin to the sovereign, while in the BBC TV Show adaption of 2006, she is the daughter of the former Sheriff and was betrothed to Robin prior to his leaving for the Holy LandElsa Watson‘s and Theresa Tomlinson‘s novels, which are told from Marian’s point of view, portray Marian as a highborn Norman girl escaping entrapment in an arranged marriage. With the aid of her nurse, she runs away to Sherwood Forest, where she becomes acquainted with Robin Hood and his men.

In an Elizabethan play, Anthony Munday made her a pseudonym of Matilda Fitzwalter, the historical daughter of Robert Fitzwalter, who had to flee England because of an attempt to assassinate King John. This was legendarily attributed to King John’s attempts to seduce Matilda. The ballad of Robin Hood and Maid Marian which dates at least to the 17th century presents a more active Marion who disguises herself as a page and (unrecognised) holds her own against Robin himself in a sword fight.

Olivia de Havilland as Maid Marian in The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938).

In the Victorian era she reverted to her previous role as the dainty maid. This highborn woman appears in many movies, under various characters: in 1938’s The Adventures of Robin Hood, she is a courageous and loyal woman (played by Olivia de Havilland). Although always ladylike, her initial antagonism to Robin springs not from aristocratic disdain but out of an aversion to robbery; however, in The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men (1952), she, despite being a lady-in-waiting to Eleanor of Aquitaine during the Crusades, is in reality a mischievous tomboy capable of fleeing boldly to the countryside disguised as a boy. With the rise of modern feminism in the 20th century, the character has often been depicted as an adventurer again, sometimes as a crack archer herself. In modern times, a common ending for Robin Hood stories became that he married Maid Marian and left the woods for a civilised, aristocratic life.” [1]

Cate Blanchett as Lady Marian in Robin Hood (2010).

Click here to read a well written review of Lady Marian’s character (played by  Cate Blanchett) in Sir Ridley Scott’s new Robin Hood.

Nancy Sherer writes: “Robert Graves identifies Maid Marian as the sea Goddess Marian, a virgin dressed in a blue robe, wearing a string of pearls. Occasionally referred to as Merrymaid, but more commonly known as Mermaid, She was worshipped by merriners, (now spelled mariners) who would sacrifice to her. ‘Mer’ meaning sea, is the origin of the epithet Merry England, –Rose in the Sea.

“Queen Guinevere’s Maying” by John Collier

Like the Goddess, Maid Marian is surrounded with Merry men. Little John, Will Scarlet, Friar Tuck, Robin Hood, and others form a band of thirteen. Morris Men, who perform a stylized folk dance are commonly believed to have been imported from the near east, Moors who danced a Moorish dance. However, a more ancient spelling indicates that these may have been Mari’s men. Mari, the Mother Goddess, fruitful, and compassionate, is usually portrayed holding an apple from the Tree of Life. She turns the Wheel of heaven, and is the mother of the Archer of Love.” [2]

 

 

 

Sources:

Sherer, Nancy. Salmonriver.com, “May Day Origins…“.

Wikipedia, “Maid Marian“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Beltane.org, “The May Queen“.

Bradley, Amanda. Altright-Archieve.net, “A Woman for All Seasons: Lady Marian and the Aryan Female.

Emery, Clayton. Claytonemery.com, “Floating Bread and Quicksilver: A Robin & Marian Mystery“.

Emery, Clayton. Claytonemery.com, “Flyting, Fighting: A Robin & Marian Mystery“.

Jenkins, Chris. Whitedragon.org.uk, “Lady Godda – Goddess Mercia“.

NicEilidh, Hester. Hesternic.tripod.com, “The Legend of Robin Hood: An exploration of the Pagan themes within this enduring myth“.

Sirenschool.blogspot.com, “Bringing in the May“.

Wigington, Patti. About.com: Paganism/Wiccan, The Legend of the May Queen and the Queen of Winter“.

Wright, Allen W. Boldoutlaw.com, “Robin Hood and Maid Marian, No. 150“.

Goddess Wohpe

“White Buffalo Woman” by Barbara Ann Brown

“Wohpe’s themes are wishes, peace, beauty, pleasure, cycles, time and meditation. Her symbols are falling stars, sweetgrass and peace pipes.  This Lakota Goddess’s name literally means ‘meteor’. Among the Lakota She is considered the most beautiful of all Goddesses. She generates harmony and unity through the peace pipe and pleasure from the smoke of sweetgrass. Stories also tell us that She measured time and created the seasons so people could know when to perform sacred rituals. When a meteor falls from the sky, it is Wohpe mediating on our behalf.

Go stargazing! At this time of year, meteors appear in the region of the Perseids, as they have since first spotted in 800 A.D. People around the world can see these (except for those who live at the South Pole). If you glimpse a shooting star, tell Wohpe what message you want Her to take back to heaven for you.

To generate Wohpe’s peace between yourself and another (or a group of people) get some sweetgrass (or lemon grass) and burn it on any safe fire source. As you do, visualize the person or people with whom you hope to create harmony. Blow the smoke in the direction where this person lives, saying,

‘Wohpe, bear my message sure; keep my intentions ever pure.
Where anger dwells, let there be peace. May harmony never cease.’

Afterwards, make an effort to get ahold of that person and reopen lines of communication.”

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

“Buffalo Maiden” by David Penfound

“In Lakota mythology, Wóȟpe (less correctly spelled ‘Wohpe’) is a Goddess of peace, the daughter of Wi and the Moon, Haŋhépi-Wi. She was the wife of the south wind. When She visited the Earth, She gave the Dakota Native Americans (Sioux) a pipe as a symbol of peace. Later, Wóȟpe became the White Buffalo Calf Woman. An alternative name for Wóȟpe is Ptehíŋčalasaŋwiŋ.” [1]

“White Buffalo Calf Woman” by Lynne Foster Fife

Here is one story of White Buffalo Woman, “the Lakota Goddess of secret knowledge. Also called Ptesan-Wi, (which translates as ‘White Buffalo Calf Woman’), She appeared one day to two hunters. She was dressed all in white and carried a small bundle on Her back. One of the men was overcome with lust for Her, but the second man recognized that this was no ordinary woman. The first man approached White Buffalo Woman, intending to embrace Her, and She smiled at him. No sooner had he reached Her than a white cloud of mist surrounded them. When the mist cleared away, nothing was left of the man but his bones. White Buffalo Woman explained to his companion that She only given him what he had desired, and in that moment he had lived a lifetime, died, and decayed.

 

The second hunter was sent back to his village to prepare the way for White Buffalo Woman. She told the people that She had come from Heaven in order to teach them the seven sacred rituals–the sweat lodge, the naming ceremony, the healing ceremony, the adoption ceremony, the marriage ceremony, the vision quest, and the sundance ceremony. From the bundle on Her back, She gave the people all the tools they would need for the rituals, including the chununpa, the sacred pipe. She taught of the connection of all life, and the importance of honoring Mother Earth. White Buffalo Woman told the people that She would return to them when needed, to restore their spirituality and harmony with the land.

 

As she walked away from the village, She looked back and sat down. When She stood again, She had become a black buffalo, signifying the direction west and the element earth. After walking a little further, She lay down again, this time rising as a yellow buffalo, signifying east and the sun. A third time, She walked, lay down, and arose as a red buffalo, signifying south and water. Finally, She rose as a white buffalo, signifying north and air. With one last look back at the people, She galloped off and disappeared.” [2]

“White Buffalo Calf Woman” by Mary Selfridge

 

ASSOCIATIONS (White Buffalo Calf Woman):

General: White buffalo, peace-pipe, circle (hoop), and the numbers 4 and 7.

Animals: Buffalo and bison, eagle and hawk.

Plants: Buttercup, pulsatilla (Pasque flower), and spruce.

Perfumes/Scents: Sage, wisteria, tangerine, and rose geranium.

Gems and Metals: Agate, rose quartz, gold, silver, and red clay.

Colors: White, yellow, red, and black.                        [3]

 

“White Buffalo Calf Woman” by Cher Lyn

“Wohpe as peace represents harmony, meditation and cycles of time.  Sacred stone of Wóȟpe is turquoise that ranges in color from sky blue to blue-green and green. This stone has been prized for centuries and was used in ancient Egypt, Persia for jewelry and amulets. Also was known and used by the Aztecs and other people of South and Central America, but is probably better known because of its use by North American native peoples. For them it was prized by medicine men who used it for healing, to bring rain and for protection. It has also long been a symbol for friendship, some say one should either give or receive it as a gift for the magic to work.” [4]

 

 

In an interview for White Buffalo: An American Prophecy, Arby Little Soldier comments on the birth of a sacred White Buffalo – Lightning Medicine Cloud – on the Lakota Ranch in Texas, and what it means for humanity.

 

Sadly, this buffalo calf was killed and butchered back in April 2012 (click here to read the story).  As far as I know, the killers are still at large.

 

 

 

Chief Arvol Looking Horse, 19th generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe is the leader of the Lakota Dakota Nakota Oyate, the great Sioux nation and is a man with a vision.  Here in this video, he has a great urgent message to all world religious and spiritual leaders

 

 

 

Sources:

Wikipedia, “Wohpe“.

Goddessgift.com, “Goddess Symbols of White Buffalo Calf Woman“.

Sabrina. Goddess A Day, “White Buffalo Woman“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Chasing Horse, Joseph. Native American Indian Resources, “White Buffalo Calf Woman“.

Consciouslyconnecting.blog.com, “White Bison Prophesy: A Sign from the Spirits“.

Crystalinks.com, “White Buffalo Calf Woman“.

Gaeagoddessgathering.com, White Buffalo Calf Woman – Walk Your Talk“.

Goddessgift.com, “White Buffalo Calf Woman: The Mother of Life”.

Legendsofamerica.com, “Lakota Story of Wohpe (by HinTamaheca)“.

Lightningmedicinecloud.com, “The Legend & Importance of the White Buffalo“.

Sioux.org, “Lakota Sioux Creation Myth – Wind Cave Story“.

Walker, James R. Lakota Belief and Ritual.

White Buffalo Calf Woman Society, Inc.

White Buffalo Woman – Resource Page (TCG).

WhiteBuffaloCalfWoman.org.

Whitehorse, Peace. Order of the White Moon, “White Buffalo Calf Woman“.

Wikipedia, “White Buffalo Calf Woman“.

University of California, “Lakota Ceremony“.

Goddess Mari

“The Sabbath of Witches” by Francisco de Goya

* For today’s entry, Patricia Telesco names “Akerbeltz” as today’s Goddess. However, my research revealed that Akerbeltz is a black he-goat known in Basque mythology to be an attribute of the Goddess Mari. [1] “From the Basque language ‘aker’ (male goat), and ‘beltz’ (black). He protects against illnesses and evil spirits and he sends beneficial force fluxes to animals placed under its protection. From his name comes the word ‘aquelarre’ that presently designs a secret meeting of evil witches adoring the Devil. But long ago, it was just an assembly of people celebrating in honour to this well-meaning being.” [2]

So, for today’s entry, I assume that Telesco’s attributes for Akerbeltz would be appropriate for the Goddess Mari, whom Akerbeltz is said to have originated from.

“Goddess Of The Rainbow” by Prairiekittin

“[Mari’s] themes are the harvest, charity, health, thankfulness, beauty and peace. Her symbols are rainbows, health and healing amulets.  This Basque Goddess attends the human body by protecting it from disease, encouraging health and offering healing when needed, especially when we overdo summer activities! Being a Goddess of earth and nature too, She sometimes appears as a rainbow, a bridge that takes us from being under the weather to overcoming circumstances.

The Tabuleiros has been celebrated for six hundred years in Portugal by honoring the harvest, giving thanks to the Goddess for Her providence and making donations to charitable organizations. The highlight of the day is a parade in which people wear huge headdresses covered with bread, flowers and doves – symbols of [Mari’s] continued sustenance, beauty and peace. These are retained by the wearer through the year to keep [Mari] close by, warding off sickness. A simpler approach for us might be to get a small rainbow refrigerator magnet or window piece that reflects this Goddess’s beauty throughout our home to keep everyone therein well and content.

Also, give a little something to someon in need today. Doing good deeds for others pleases [Mari] because it makes them healthier in spirit. She will bless you for your efforts with improved well-bing, if only that of the heart.”

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

“Mari is the Basque Goddess of the Moon.  She is the supreme Goddess of the Basque pantheon.  Mari is associated with the various forces of nature including the wind, storms, and lightning. She creates storms to chastise disobedient people.  She often travels across the sky as a fireball or as a blazing crescent going from one mountain peak to another. Sometimes Her chariot is being pulled by four white horses and other times, She is seen riding a white ram.  Mari has many homes on the high mountain summits and deep within the caves below.

Mari is a shape shifter who can appear as any animal, but sometimes will assume the shape of a white cloud or a rainbow. She is often pictured as a woman of fire or as a thunderbolt.  Legends revere Her as a prophetess and oracle; She is said to rule over sorcery and divination. She upholds the law code and is known to punish anyone who is guilty of lying and stealing. She condemns pride and boasting and ensures a high level of moral conduct. Her symbol is the sickle which is still used today to ward off evil. Mari protects the travelers and provides good council to humans.

Unfortunately, with the advent of Christianity, Mari was degraded into an evil spirit.

Mari is the daughter of the Earth Goddess, Lur, and the sister of the Sun Goddess, Ekhi.  The Thunder Spirit, Maju is Her husband, and they apparently live apart for when they do get together, there are severe storms of rain, hail, thunder and lighting. Although the Inquistion ruthlessly persecuted followers of the Goddess as ‘witches’, Mari somehow escaped destruction, and She continues to live on in some parts of Northern Europe.” [3]

In another blog entry, I read, “She is friendly and helpful, protecting travelers and herds and giving good council to those who need it. Legends connect Her to the weather. The Goddess of thunder and wind, She is the personification of the earth, similar to the Greek Gaia. Mari drives a chariot of four white horses across the sky and when She appears, She is a beautiful woman adorned with rainbows.

She does not only appear as a beautiful women but also as a flaming tree, a white cloud, a rainbow, a gust of wind, a bird, a sickle made of fire, moving from one mountain peak to another. She lives underground, normally in a cave in a high mountain(Anboto). Where she and her other half Sugaar meet every Friday in the night of the Akelarre or witch-meeting, to conceive the storms that will bring fertility to the land and the people. Mari is served by a court of sorginak (witches).” [4]

“Mari is the main character of Basque mythology, having, unlike other creatures that share the same spiritual environment, a god-like nature. Mari was regarded as the protectoress of senators and the executive branch.  Mari is often witnessed as a woman dressed in red. She is also seen as woman of fire, woman-tree and as thunderbolt. Additionally She is identified with red animals (cow, ram, horse) and with the black he-goat [Akerbeltz].

Margaret Bullen has noted ‘the myth of Mari brings together male and female attributes and qualities’, and that Mari is to be regarded as ‘a model of androgyny and a metaphor for liberation in which sexual difference should cease to be the basis for inequality’.” [5]

 

 

 

Sources:

Fleurvb’s Blog, “Article 1: Isolated and earth-based mythologies“.

Gomez, Olga. Encyclopedia Mythica, “Akerbeltz“.

MXTODIS123. An Inner Journey: The Moon, Mythology, and You, “Mari, Basque Goddess of the Moon“.

Wikipedia, “Akelarre (witchcraft)“.

Wikipedia, “Mari (goddess)“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

The Apricity Forum: A European Cultural Community, “Basque Gods and Creatures“.

Arcadia93.org, “Basque Paganism“.

Burns, Phyllis Doyle. BellaOnline: The Voice of Women, “Mari, Supreme Goddess of Basque Mythology“.

Dametzdesign.com, “Mari a Basque Goddess“.

Dashu, Max. Suppressedhistories.net, “The Old Goddess (Excerpt from the SECRET HISTORY OF THE WITCHES)“.

Gimbutas, Marija and Miriam Robbins Dexter. The Living Goddesses, “The Basque Religion” (p. 172 – 175).

Spencer, Krishanna J. Witchvox Article, “Subterranean Goddess: Mari of the Basques“.

Wikipedia, “Basque Mythology“.

Williams, M.A. Annette Lyn, M.A. Karen Nelson Villanueva and Ph.D. Lucia Chiavola Birnbaum. She Is Everywhere! Vol. 2: An anthology of writings in womanist/feminist spirituality, “Mari: God the Mother of the Basque” (p. 223 – 236).

Goddess Amari De

Art by Marisa Lopez (Sarima)

“Amari De’s themes are art, humor, relationships, love, fertility, wealth, health and beauty. Her symbol is light.  In Romania, Amari De is a Romani Goddess who is the great mother of all things and the personification of nature. According to lore, She bestows wealth, health, beauty, love, fertility and insight to those who seek Her. Descriptions say that She was so holy that a divine light always shone from Her face.

A Transylvanian folk festival, Tirgul de fete de pe Muntele Gaina (Maidens Fair on Hen Mountain) – was originally a marriage fair where young people came looking for partners. Over time, the custom faded and now it is simply a crafts, costume and musical exhibition with lighthearted satire and nightlong bonfires that glow with Amari De’s light. In keeping with the tradition, if you’re planning a wedding or engagement, today would be a wonderful date to consider fore either, as it draws Amari De’s positive energy to that relationship.

This is a good time for single folks to get out and mingle, carrying an Amari De love charm along for a little extra help. Find a little piece of luminescent cloth (like a fine silk that shines) and wrap it around a pack of matches. Bless the token saying,

‘Amari De, bring love my way!’

Ignite one of the matches before going into a social situation so Amari De can light your way!”

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

Again, not too much information on this Goddess to be found.  I did find that Amari De was the chief Goddess among the Romani who is believed to be of Indian origin, and bears the Sanskrit name Amari De or De Develeski. [1]

According to various sites on the Web (I could not find an original source), Amari De, like Kali Sara, was a Black Madonna worshipped by the Romani in France. [2]

 

 

 

Sources:

danahorochowski. 5dTERRA SERENITY GLOBAL COOP, “MOONTIME, GRANDMOTHER NOKOMIS = Divine Mother =The Feminine Energy of God, the all-encompassing love“.

Durdin-Robertson, Lawrence. The Religion of the Goddess.

 

Suggested Links:

Everything Under the Moon, “Romany???

Johnson, Cait. Witches of the Craft, “The Love Goddess for You“.

Sabrina. Goddess A Day, “Amari De“.

Wikipedia, “Mari (goddess)“.

Wikipedia, “Romani People“.

Dainichi-nyorai

“Amaterasu” by Hrana Janto

“Dainichi-nyorai’s themes are beauty, cleansing, protection, spirituality and weather. Her symbols are lilies, gold-colored items and light.
This light bearing Goddess comes in answer to the the Japanese people’s prayers for sunlight. Having all the sun’s power, Dainichi-nyorai embodies pure goodness, Her name meaning ‘great illuminator.’ With this in mind, call upon this Goddess at midyear to assist your quest for enlightenment and keep the road ahead filled with radiance.

In Shinto tradition, today marks a time when people gather lilies as an offering to entreat the Goddess to stop flooding rains. This is really a form of weather magic. If you need rain in your area, burn a lily; to banish rain, wave the lily in the air to move the clouds away!

It is customary to anoint one’s hearth (the stove) today with lily (or any floral scented) oil. This welcomes Dainichi-nyorai in all Her radiant goodness into the heart of your home an the hearts of all those who live there. Wear something gold while doing this, or decorate your kitchen with a yellow or gold-toned candle. When you light the candle, whisper Dainichi-nyorai’s name so She can live through the flame, warming every corner of your life.

By the way, if you feel adventurous, lily buds are edible; they have a nutty taste. Try cooking them in butter and eating them to internalize all the positive energies of this festival and the Goddess.”

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

Dainichi Nyorai (Skt. = Vairocana / Mahavairocana)

During my research for today’s entry, I found that Dainichi-nyorai (also seen as Vairocana, Vairochana or Mahāvairocana) was not a Goddess at all, but a celestial Buddha who is often (e.g. in the Flower Garland Sutra) interpreted as the Bliss Body of the historical Gautama Buddha. In Sino-Japanese Buddhism, Vairocana is also seen as the embodiment of the Buddhist concept of shunyata or emptiness. In the conception of the Five Wisdom Buddhas of Vajrayana Buddhism, Vairocana is at the center. His consort in Tibetan Buddhism is White Tara (for every dhyani Buddha there is an affiliated female Buddha in the Tibetan Tradition).” [1]

Upon further research, I found “Dainichi (lit. ‘Great Sun’) is worshipped as the supreme, primordial sun Buddha. Under the syncretic doctrine of honji suijaku, the Shinto sun Goddess Amaterasu was considered a manifestation of Dainichi Nyorai. The term Nyorai (lit. ‘thus-come one’) is an epithet for the enlightened Buddhas that occupy the highest rank in the Japanese Buddhist pantheon.” [2]

Calling Dainichi-nyorai a Goddess was too much of a stretch for me; but at least I see the connection between between Dainichi-nyorai and a Goddess – the Goddess Amaterasu. “With the identification of the Dainichi Nyorai with a Shinto kami so began the syncretism of Shintoism and Buddhism.” [3]

Sources:

Facts-about-japan.com, “Religion in Japan“.

Wikipedia, “Dainichi Nyorai (Enjō-ji)“.

Wikipedia, “Vairocana“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Hoffert, Brian. North Central College, “Shingon Buddhism“.

OnMarkproductions.com, “SHINTŌ GUIDEBOOK“.


Goddess Aphrodite

“Aphrodite” by LinzArcher

“Aphrodite’s themes are love, romance, passion, sexuality, luck, fertility, beauty and pleasure. Her symbols are roses, copper, turquoise and sandalwood.  Since 1300 B.C.E., Aphrodite has been worshipped as the ultimate Goddess to inspire passion, spark romance, increase physical pleasure, augment inner beauty and improve sexual self-assurance. Consequently, many artistic depictions show Her naked, with erotic overtones. Aphrodite’s name means ‘water born’ or ‘form born’, intimating a connection with the ocean’s fertility.

Follow the Greek custom of Rosalia and shower whatever Goddess image you have at home with rose petals, or dab it with rose-scented oil. If you don’t have a statue, poster or painting, any visually beautiful object can serve as a proxy. This gesture honors and entreats Aphrodite, who responds by granting good luck, especially in matters of the heart.

Another tradition is bathing yourself in rose water to emphasize Aphrodite’s comeliness (both within and without). Rose water is available at many Asian and international supermarkets. Or you can make it easily be steeping fresh rose petals in warm (not hot) water and straining. If you don’t have time for a full bath, just dab a little of the rose water of the region of your heart to emphasize this Goddess’s love and attractiveness where it can do the most good – in you emotional center.”

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

Patricia Monaghan tells us that “one of the most familiar of Greek Goddesses, Aphrodite was not originally Greek at all.  She was the ancient mother Goddess of the eastern Mediterranean who established Herself first on the islands off Greece before entering the country itself.  There, Her journey with the sea traders who brought Her across the waters was expressed in a symbolic tale” (p. 50).

“The Birth of Venus” by Sandro Botticelli

“In the Iliad, She is the daughter of Zeus and the Titoness Dione, though the usual legend is that She was born from the blood and foam on the surface of the Sea after Ouranos was castrated by Kronos.” [1]  “[Kronos’] penis fell into the ocean and ejaculated a final divine squirt.  The sea reddened where it fell, and then the foam gathered itself into a figure riding on a mussel shell (whence the epithet Anadyomene, ‘she who rises from the waves’).  She shook off the seawater from Her locks and watched drops fall, instantly turning to pearls at Her feet.  She floated to the islands off Greece, for which She is sometimes named Cytherea or Cypris.  She landed at Cyprus and was greeted by the lovely Horae, who provided attire worthy of Her beauty and who became Her constant companions.

The story of Her birth is an obvious description of this Near Eastern Goddess to Her new home in Greece.  It is also allegorical: the sky god impregnates the great sea womb with dynamic life, a story that the Greeks reiterated in the alternate version of Aphrodite’s birth by sea sprite Dione and the sky god Zeus” (Monaghan, p. 51).

“Birth of Venus” by Brenda Burke

“Graceful and gorgeously seductive, Aphrodite possessed a magic girdle that made Her irresistable to all who saw Her (and which She often lent out to other Goddesses such as Hera). She was officially married to Hephaestos, the crippled god of the forge, though Her numerous affairs resulted in numerous children. By Ares She bore Phobos (‘Fear’) and Deimos (‘Terror’); by Hermes, Hermaphrodite; by  DionysosPriapos; and by Anchises, a mortal, the hero Aeneas.” [2]  Aphrodite also had fallen in love with a beautiful young man named Adonis (click here to read their story).  This story bears many similarities between the story of Ashtart and Adon, or Inanna and Dumuzi.

“In their attempt to assimilate the alien Goddess, the Greeks converted Aphrodite into a personification of physical beauty.  But She remained so problematic that Plato distinguished Her by two titles: Urania, who ruled spiritualized (platonic, if you will) love; and Aphrodite Pandemos, the Aphrodite of the commoners, who retained Her original character in debased form.  in this form, She was called Porne, the ‘titillater.’

It was this later Aphrodite who was worshiped at Corinth, where the Near Eastern practice of sacramental promiscuity deteriorated into a costly prostitution about which the Greeks warned travelers, ‘The voyage to Corinth is not for everyone.’ However degraded the practice became in a patriarchal context, the ‘hospitable women’ (Pinder) who engaged in it were highly valued, serving as priestesses in public festivals, and of such rank and importance that at state occasions as many hetaerae as possible were required to attend” (Monaghan, p. 51- 51).

Born from the Sea, She is also Goddess of sea-voyages who protected sailors and seamen and She represents the creative powers of nature and the sea.

Offerings to Aphrodite include flowers and incense.

Some of Her myriad epithets include: Doritis (‘Bountiful’), Pontia (‘Of the Deep Sea’), Pasiphaë (‘Shining on All’, also the name of the mother of Ariadne), Ourania (‘the Heavenly’), Aphrogeneia (‘Foam-born’), Anadyomene (‘Rising From the Sea’), and Pornos (‘Whore’).” [3]

To read Her tale, go here.

Her Roman counterpart was Venus.

“Aphrodite” by lilok-lilok


ASSOCIATIONS:

Pantheon: Olympian

Element: Water

Sphere of Influnce: Love and beauty

Best Day to Work with: Friday

Best Moon Phase: Waxing

Strongest Around: Litha

Suitable Offerings: Pomegranates, limes  [4]

General: Scallop shell, seashells, mirrors, golden apples, the Evening Star (planet Venus), number 5, the ocean, the triangle and heart.

Animals: Dolphin, swan, dove, sparrow, bees and goats.

Plants: Rose (especially any fragrant rose), quince, myrtle, mint, grape (fruit, leaves and vines), apples, artichokes, laurel, ash and poplar trees.

Perfumes/Scents: Stephanotis, musk, verbena, vanilla, incense, vervain and rose.

Gems and Metals: Pearls, gold, aquamarine, rose quartz, jade, sapphire, silver and copper, pink tourmaline, emerald (pink or green stones), garnet, smoky quartz.

Colors: Red, pink, violet, silver, aqua, pale green (seafoam), and any shade of light blue.  [5]

 

 

 

Sources:

Goddessgift.com, “Goddess Symbols of Aphrodite“.

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

Pagannews.com, “Aphrodite/Venus“.

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

 

 

Suggested Links:

Aspen Willow. Order of the White Moon, “Aphrodite“.

Goddessgift.com, “Aphrodite, Greek Goddess of Romance and Beauty“.

Revel, Anita. igoddess.com, “Aphrodite: self-acceptance to self-love“.

Goddess Cordelia

“Fleurs” by Nicole Hill – Confetti Garden

“Cordelia’s themes are blessings, prayer, beauty, fairies and wishes. Her symbols are flowers and water.  A British nature Goddess, Cordelia is part of every spring and summer flower that blossoms. This is the beauty She brings into our lives today, along with all the positive energies of spring. Traditionally, Cordelia does not appear until May, when the earth is fertile enough to sustain Her glory. Art sometimes depicts Her as being a citizen of fairy realms, and perhaps a flower princess.

Well-dressing festivals go back to animistic times, when people believed sacred wells held beneficent indwelling spirits. To appease these powers, people decked the wells with Cordelia’s symbols: garlands of spring flowers. They then asked for the gods’, goddesses’ or spirits’ favor. So, if you have any type of fountain or well fountain nearby, today is the day for wishing! Take a small offering (coins if a a fountain; a flower if a natural water source) and toss it in while whispering your desire.

To draw attention of Cordelia and Her companions, the fey, into your life, take a dollhouse chair and glue any or all of the following items to it:

Thyme, straw, primrose, oak leaves, ash leaves and hawthorn berries or leaves. Leave this on a sunny windowsill (preferably one with a plant on it) to encourage fairy guests, who will bring all manner of spring frolic into your home.”

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

“Cordelia” by Wendy Andrew

“Cordelia is the beautiful Goddess of spring and summer flowers, and of flower fairies. Shakespeare portrayed Cordelia as the daughter of King Lear in his play of the same name. However, She’s actually the daughter of the sea god, Lir, so She was born a sea Goddess.

Cordelia is celebrated on May 1 during Beltane, an ancient celebration marking the beginning of summer, when the weather is warm enough to allow ranchers to let cattle out of their pens and into the fields.

Cordelia helps with celebration, courage, gardening and flowers, joy, life changes and stress management.

The stones associated with Cordelia are carnelian and citrine.” [1]

Upon further research, I found that Cordelia was connected with the Welsh Goddess Creiddylad.  According to Patricia Monaghan, “We know the ancient Welsh Goddess [Creiddylad] as Cordelia, daughter of King Lear in Shakespeare’s play; She was originally a sea queen, daughter of the sea god, Lyr.  Geoffrey of Monmouth claimed that Cordelia, the human form of the Goddess, ruled the land after her father died [see Cordelia of Britain].  Shakespeare of course, killed her off alongwith Lear.  By then, the real legend of Creiddylad and Lyr was probably lost” (p. 92).

On a personal note, coming into contact with Cordelia could not have come at a better time.  I’ve been going through a little bit of a low right now, revisiting some old personal issues that I thought I had come to terms with.  I spend a lot of time in the house, in my little computer room (my cave as I like call it) working on a few online college courses while trying to keep my home and family taken care of.  Cordelia’s message is one that rings true and speaks directly to me, especially now: “Being cooped up in doors is not the way to live your life in this beautiful world. Go outside and experience what is out there. It will revive your spirit and soul, and perhaps retrieve your faith in the planets existence. Pay attention to the flowers that are budding, the birds singing and allow the wind to blow through your hair” (From Doreen Virtue’s Goddess Guidance Oracle Cards).  I’ve been doing that, little by little.  I managed to get outside a few days ago and get my Goddess statue out, set up my fountain, plant some flowers with my children and hang some hanging baskets up.  I like it – its a work in progress…makes me think of a healing little sanctuary (except the house we’re currently living in is located right up on a fairly busy intrastate).

Hummingbirds…I’ve found myself thinking about hummingbirds a lot for some reason lately.  I found a plant at the store a few days ago – a pink and white Aquilegia for 50% off and it was the last one.  I read that it was supposed to attract hummingbirds.  “Perfect!” I thought.  (Note to self – also on the list to pick up are a few hummingbird feeders.)

Yesterday morning, I dreamed of a ruby-throated hummingbird visiting me as I sat lamenting and staring out the window into a dark starry night sky.  I meant to research it when I woke up, but as usual, I got distracted by Facebook.  It just so happened that when I was reading down through the feeds, I came across a post describing the hummingbird and it’s totem meaning.  WOW!  Thank you Universe!  The meaning of the hummingbird as a totem animal that I read can be found by clicking here.  Very profound – speaking directly to my psyche and soul.

And now, for the really cool part (or really cool for me anyways).  Last night, I was out in my new little “shrine”, making an offering of beer.  No sooner had I finished pouring my offering, that a ruby-throated hummingbird flew up to the Aquilegia beside my Goddess statue where I had just poured my offering!  How freakin’ awesome is that?!

So this summer, it looks like I will be working with Cordelia, flowers and hummingbirds…Last summer, it was Brighid and a pigeon that came to visit me EVERYDAY.  After I noticed it coming by everyday out of the blue  just sitting on my front porch, I started leaving offerings of birdseed that I’m sure it really appreciated 😉

My little familiar back in Alaska, July 2011

It seems that I have an affinity for birds as messengers and totems.  In dreams, my life totem was revealed to be a hawk, my spirit totem a raven, and the cockatoo as an unknown totem.  I’ve had contact with owls, seagulls, and swans as messenger totems (through dreams and in the physical world).  What is it with birds I wonder?  Maybe someday I’ll figure it out. All I know is that it is time now to meditate and heal with Cordelia, flowers and hummingbirds…

 

 

 

Sources:

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

Nicole, Shantel. Angelic Connections with Shantel Nicole, “Goddess Cordelia“.

Virtue, Doreen. Goddess Guidance Oracle Cards, “Cordelia”.

 

Suggested Links:

Nemeton, the Sacred Grove: Home of the Celtic gods,Creiddylad, Cymric Goddess and Heroine of the Mabinogion: Engenderer of Waters“.

Reeves, Debi Wolf. Debi Wolf Reeves, “The Goddess Card of the Day – Cordelia“.

Revel, Anita. igoddess.com, “Cordelia: turn sissy to sassy!“.

Shaw, Judith. Feminism and Religion, “Creiddylad, Welsh Goddess of Flowers and Love“.

Sammie. Lost Woodland, “Creiddylad or Creudylad, the Queen of May and Goddess of Summer Flowers and Love♥“.

Talk with the Goddess, “Goddess Card September 10th (Cordelia)“.

Wikipedia, “Cordelia of Britain“.

Wikipedia, “Creiddylad“.

Estsanatlehi from The Book of Goddesses by Kris Waldherr.

“Estsanatlehi’s themes are fertility, beauty, blessing, summer, weather, time, and cycles.  Her symbols are apples, apple seeds, apple blossoms, and rainwater.  This Native American Goddess inspires the earth’s blossoming, and that of our spirits, with Her productive energies. Having the power of self-rejuvenation, She warms the earth with wind in the spring, then brings soft summer rains to keep the fields growing. As the seasons change, so does Her appearance, reminding us of time’s movement and the earth’s cycles.

The Apple Blossom Festival is the oldest flower fair in the United States and actually takes its conceptualization form a New Zealand custom of celebrating the apple orchards in bloom – a place filled with Estsanatlehi’s glory. When you get up today, check outside. If it’s sprinkling lightly, it is a very good omen, meaning Estsanatlehi is fertilizing the Earth. Gather a little of this rainwater and use it in a ritual for cleansing and blessing the sacred space, or as a libation.

If you can get outside to appreciate the spring flowers, it pleases Estsanatlehi and initiates Her renewal in your spirit. At some point in the day, have a tall glass of apple juice (apples plus water) to quaff a bit of Estsanatlehi’s resourcefulness. Or, enjoy a fruit salad that includes apples and a garnish of fresh flowers (many of which are edible) so Her beauty will grow within you.”

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

Estsanatlehi (pronounced es-tan-AHT-lu-hee), or Changing Woman – “The Apache called the earth Goddess by this name, for She never grew old. When Her age began to show, She simply walked toward the east until she saw Her form coming toward herself. She kept walking until Her young self merged with Her aging self and then, renewed, returned to Her home. Among the Chiricahua Apache, the name of this eternal Goddess was Painted Woman. ‘Turquoise Woman’ was the Navaho sky-Goddess, wife of Tsohanoai, the sun. She lived in a turquoise palace at the western horizon, where each night she received her luminous husband. Sister (or twin or double) of Yolkai Estsan (also known as White Shell Woman), the moon’s wife, Estsanatlehi was able to make Herself young each time She began to age, thus Her name, which means the ‘self-renewing one.’

Here is Her story: the ancestral Goddess Atse Estsan (First Woman), discovering Estsanatlehi on the ground beneath a mountain, reared Her to be the savior of earth’s people. When She was grown, Estsanatlehi met a young man; each day they went to the woods to make love. When Her parents looked on the ground and saw only one set of footprints, they knew their daughter had taken the sun as a lover.

“Sacred Bond” by Lee Bogle

Delighted at the honor granted their family, they were delighted again when Estsanatlehi gave birth to twins, who grew so miraculously that eight days after birth they were men, ready to seek their father. But when they found his house, the twins found another woman there. Angry at the intrusion, She threatened them with their father’s anger as well.

Undeterred, the twins remained and won from their father magic weapons, which they needed to clear the earth of monsters. This they did. After dancing with their Mother in celebration, the twins built Estsanatlehi a magnificent home at the sky’s end, so that the sun could visit Her again.

But the twins’ wars with the monsters had depopulated the earth. Estsanatlehi brushed the dust from Her breasts. From the white flour that fell from Her right breast and the yellow meal from Her left, She made paste and molded a man and a woman. Placing them beneath a magical blanket, Estsanatlehi left them. The next morning they were alive and breathing, and Estsanatlehi blessed the creation. For the next four days, the pair reproduced constantly, forming the four great Navaho clans. But the creative urge of Estsanatlehi was not fulfilled. She made four more groups of people, this time from the dust of Her nipples-and the women of these clans were thereafter famous for their nipples.

“Changing Woman/ Estsanatlehi” by Hrana Janto

Feeling Her creation to be complete, Estsanatlehi retired to Her turquoise palace from which she continued to bestow blessings on her people: seasons, plants and food, and the tender sprouts of spring. Only four monsters survived her sons’ wars on evil: age, winter, poverty, and famine, which She allowed to live on so that Her people would treasure Her gifts the more.” [1]

 

 

Sources:

Monaghan, Patricia. The New Book of Goddesses & Heroines, “Estsanatlehi”.

 

 

Suggested Links:

American Studies at the University of Virginia, “Changing Woman: Myth, Metaphor, and Pragmatics“.

Auset, Brandi. RED ~ The Official Website of Brandi Auset, “Goddess of the Month: Estsanatlehi

Goddard, Carla. Shaman Medicine Woman, “The Story of Changing Woman – ‘Estsanatlehi’“.

Her Cyclopedia, “The Goddess Estsan-Atlehi“.

The Judicial Branch of the Navajo Nation, “How White Shell Woman Became Known as Changing Woman“.

Old and Sold: Turn-of-the-century wisdom for today, “The Navaho and Their Gods“.

Old and Sold: Turn-of-the-century wisdom for today, “The Navaho Creation Story“.

Sabrina. Goddess A Day, “Changing Woman“.

Sitarik, Jessica. Crystal Vaults, “Estsanatlehi: The Native American Goddess of Change“.

Stanton, Sandra M. The Goddesses in World Mythology, “ESTSAN–AH-TLEHAY (CHANGING WOMAN) & NATSEELIT

Goddess Flora

"Flora" by Evelyn de Morgan

“Flora’s themes are beauty, sexuality, love, spring, and fertility.  Her symbols are all flowers.  Roman prostitutes considered Flora their own Goddess, protecting all acts of beauty, especially heartfelt lovemaking. She is also a spring Goddess from whom we get the word flora, meaning ‘blossom’ or ‘plants’. Symbolically, this flowering pertains to the human spirit too, one that can appreciate beauty in the body without necessarily making it into a sex object.

Wearing bright colors on this day is customary, as is decorating everything with a plethora of flowers, each of which has Flora’s presence within. If flowers prove difficult to obtain or too costly, think floral aromas instead. Pull out a blossoming air freshener, light floral incense, or wear a floral perfume. Flora is as much a part of the scent as She is the petals, conveying love and passion on each breeze!

Another traditional activity for this day is erotic dancing. If you have someone special in your life, tantalize them with a bit with slow, sexy movements. Let Flora’s passion fill both of you to overflowing, then let nature take Her course.

Finally, make yourself a Flora charm that incites the interest of those from whom you seek it. Take three flower petals and tuck them in your clothing, keeping an image of your partner in mind, and say:

 ‘One for interest
Two for Flora’s desire
Three to light passion’s fire.'”

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

“Flora is the Roman Goddess of flowering plants, especially those that bear fruit. Spring, of course, is Her season, and She has elements of a Love-Goddess, with its attendant attributes of fertility, sex, and blossoming. She is quite ancient; the Sabines are said to have named a month for Her (which corresponds to our and the Roman April), and She was known among the Samnites as well as the Oscans, where She was called Flusia. She was originally the Goddess specifically of the flowering crops, such as the grain or fruit-trees, and Her function was to make the grain, vegetables and trees bloom so that autumn’s harvest would be good. She was invoked to avert rust, a nasty fungal disease of plants that causes orange growths the exact color of rusting iron, and which was (is) an especial problem affecting wheat. Hers is the beginning of the process that finds its completion with Pomona, the Goddess of Fruit and the Harvest; and like Pomona, Flora had Her own flamen, one of a small number of priests each in service to a specific Deity. The flamens were said to have been instituted by Numa, the legendary second King of Rome who succeeded Romulus; and whether Numa really existed or not, the flamens were undoubtedly of ancient origin, as were the Deities they served.

"Flora" by InertiaK

In later times Flora became the Goddess of all flowering plants, including the ornamental varieties. Her name is related to Latin floris, meaning naturally enough ‘a flower’, with the additional meaning of ‘[something] in its prime’; other related words have meanings like ‘prospering’, ‘flourishing’, ‘abounding’, and ‘fresh or blooming’. In one story, Flora was said to have provided Juno with a magic flower that would allow Her to conceive with no help from a man; from this virgin-birth Mars was born. A late tale calls Flora a courtesan and gives Her a story similar to Acca Larentia: Flora was said to have made a fortune as a courtesan, which She bequeathed to Rome upon Her death, and for which She was honored with the festival of the Floralia. As Flora was originally a Sabine Goddess, and as the Sabines were a neighboring tribe whom the Romans conquered and assimilated into Rome, perhaps this is an acknowledgement of the land so acquired, put into legendary terms.

"Flora" by Louise Abbéma

Flora had two temples in Rome, one near the Circus Maximus, the great “stadium” of Rome where chariot races were held, and another on the slopes of the Quirinal Hill. The temple on the Quirinal was most likely built on the site of an earlier altar to Her said to have been dedicated by Titus Tatius, King of the Sabines, who ruled alongside Romulus for a time in the very early (hence legendary) days of Rome. Her other temple was built quite near to the Circus Maximus, though its exact site has not been found, and was associated with a neighboring temple dedicated to the triad of Ceres (the Grain Goddess) and Liber and Libera (God and Goddess of the Vine). These Deities and Flora were all concerned with the fertility and health of the crops. Flora’s temple by the Circus was dedicated on the 28th of April in 241 (or 248) BCE in response to a great drought at the command of the Sybilline books, and this day became the starting date of Her great festival, the Floralia. In Imperial times (1st century CE) this temple was rededicated (I assume after some restorations were made) on the 13th of August, and this date was given to a second festival of Flora, coinciding with the ripening of the grain, whose flowers She had set forth.

Proper Piatti (and workshop): Floralia, 1899

The Floralia of April was originally a moveable feast to coincide with the blossoming of the plants, later becoming fixed with the dedication of Her temple on the 28th (or 27th, before the calendar was reformed–I mention this because holidays were almost always held on odd-numbered days as it was considered unlucky to start a festival on an even-numbered day), though ludi or “games”–horse-races or athletic contests–were not held every year. By the Empire the festival had grown (or should I say, blossomed) to seven days, and included chariot-races and theatrical performances, some of which were notoriously bawdy. It was given over to merriment and celebrations of an amorous nature, much like that northern flower-and-sex festival Beltaine whose date neatly coincides. Prostitutes considered it their own special time, and the Floralia gained a reputation as being more licentious and abandoned than the Saturnalia of December, whose name is legendary even now.

"Flora" by Neonescence

At the chariot-races and circus games of the Floralia it was traditional to let goats and hares loose, and lupines, bean-flowers and vetch (all of which have similarly-shaped blossoms and are a sort of showier version of wheat in bloom) were scattered, symbolic of fertility. Brightly colored clothes were a must, as were wreaths of flowers, especially roses; and the celebrations drew great crowds. Of the two nationalized chariot-teams who shared a deep rivalry, the Greens and the Blues, the Greens (of course) were Hers, and She had been invoked at chariot-races from ancient times. The last day of the festival, May 3rd, was called Florae; it may be a special name for the closing day of the Floralia, or it may refer to a seperate ceremony conducted in Her temple on the Quirinal.

Ancient Roman Fresco - Flora (Khloris), the Goddess of flowers, fills Her basket with freshly picked blooms.

Flora was depicted by the Romans wearing light spring clothing, holding small bouquets of flowers, sometimes crowned with blossoms. Honey, made from flowers, is one of Her gifts, and Her name is said to be one of the secret (holy) names of Rome. She is sometimes called the handmaiden of Ceres. Ovid identifies Her with the Greek flower-nymph Chloris, whose name means ‘yellow or pale green’, the color of Spring. The word flora is still used as a general name for the plants of a region.

Alternate names/epithets: Flora Rustica, ‘Flora the Countrywoman’ or ‘Flora of the Countryside’, and Flora Mater, or ‘Flora the Mother’, in respect to Her ancient origins. Among the Oscans She was known as Flusia.” [1]

Here is a little visual tribute to the Goddess Flora set to Concerto No. 1 in E major, Op. 8, RV 269, “La primavera” (Spring) by Antonio Vivaldi for your viewing and listening pleasure

Sources:

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

Suggested Links:

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

Carnaval.com, “May Day“.

Gill, N.S. About.com, “Floralia“.

MoonBird, Maeve Cliodhna. The Goddess Within, “Beltane-Celebrating the Goddess Flora of Springtime and the May Queen“.

Theoi Greek Mythology, “Khloris“.

Wikipedia, “Flora (mythology)“.

The Gratiae

“Charites: Spring” by iizzard

“The Gratiae’s themes are the arts, creativity, honor, love, excellence and beauty.  Their symbols are sweet aromas, art (all), and wine.  The Gratiae are akin to the Greek Graces, who inspire all arts, from a dancer’s elegance, a model’s beauty, and a diplomat’s words to a terminal romantic’s loving presentation. They arrive as earth is blossoming to encourage a flood of creativity that leads to excellence. It is traditional to offer them the first draught of wine at a gathering to invoke their blessing and aid.

The Gratiae were present in spirit on this day in 1916 when the American Academy of Arts was signed by Woodrow Wilson to honour excellence in the industry. Toast the occasion with wine or grape juice, giving the first glass to these creative Ladies to encourage their energy to visit your home.

Wear a sweet-smelling perfume or cologne today as an aroma therapeutic supplication to the Gratiae. Each time you catch that fragrance it will motivate beauty in any of your artistic skills. Better still, through the aroma the Gratiae can attract the attention of potential lovers!

Consider stopping at an art exhibition today or doing something creative yourself (even coloring!). Otherwise, do a little decorating. Hang a new poster, put out some fresh flowers, rearrange your knickknacks in a way that is aesthetically pleasing. These kind of actions appeal to the Gratiae’s sense of style and tempt them to join you!”

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

“The Three Graces were Goddesses of gracefulness, the charms of beauty, and cheerful amusement (the characteristics of loveliness). They appear to have received these designations from the Greeks during the archaic and classical periods (5th to 8th centuries B.C.), and they were known most commonly at that time as the Three Charities. This appellation was later Latinized by the Romans occupying the formerly Greek regions in which they were worshiped, and this resulted in the designation by which western civilization knows them today, the Three Graces.

“The Three Graces” by Josephine Wall

Initially in Greek mythology they were seen as simple guardians of the vernal sweetness and beauty of nature, and only later as the friends and protectors of everything graceful and beautiful. Pindar has written about the Graces as the source of all decorum, purity of happiness in life, good will, and beneficence and gratitude among men. Beauty, sweetness, and the best charm of poetry are believed to come from the Graces. The Greeks believed that without gracefulness, all labor was in vain and meaningless. Hence, the three deities assisted Hermes (Mercury) in his capacity as the god of oratory. In all things they were characterized as the spreaders of joy and enhancers of enjoyment of life. Social intercourse, manners, and culture were their domain, and they were frequently the subject of artists and poets alike.

“Primavera” by Sandro Botticelli (c. 1482) Left to right: Mercury, the Three Graces, Venus, Flora, Chloris, Zephyrus.

The Charities are not known for an independent mythological presence, that is, they are typically depicted and described in relationship to other gods and Goddesses in Greek mythology. Their strongest association is with Aphrodite (Venus), and it has been reported that they were present at Her birth.  While their earliest forms were less defined, they were generally represented in the form of young maidens and portrayed as dancing, singing, charming, and running or bathing in fountains, or decking themselves in flowers (the rose was their sacred flower as it was Aphrodite’s, and they were reputed to facilitate its growth and blossom). Their attributes also included the myrtle and dice (a symbol of cheerful amusement). They are depicted holding apples, perfume vases, ears of corn, heads of poppies, or musical instruments such as the lyre, flute, or syrinx.

The Graces in a 1st century fresco at Pompeii

During their early development they were occasionally shown clothed (mostly during the classical period in Greece), but since Hellenistic times they have been shown almost exclusively nude or wearing transparent gowns. The reason for such a display was to convey sincerity and candor, without disguise or pretense.

“The Three Graces” by Paul Vincenti

Their home was among the muses upon Mount Olympia. Usually Zeus is considered to be their father, but their mother has been believed to be Hera, Eurynome, Eunomia, Eurydomene, Harmonia, or Lethe. Others have indicated them to be daughters of Apollo and Aegle or Euanthe, or of Dionysus and Aphrodite or Coronis. However, they are most frequently thought of as offspring of Zeus and Eurynome (daughter of Oceanus). Although the Three Graces are often thought to be the sole attendants of Aphrodite, they are commonly presented beside the Muses and the four seasons (Horae). It has been said, while the Muses inspired, the Charities applied the artists products to the embellishment of life (author unknown). In addition to the Muses and seasons, other companions of the trio were Hera, Hermes, Eros, Aphrodite, and Apollo. In earlier times, Dionysus was also a companion until his worship turned to riotous celebration and drunkenness, behaviors incompatible with the more refined tastes of the Graces that advocated moderation in everything.” [1]

“They ordinarily numbered three, from youngest to oldest: Aglaea (“Splendor”), Euphrosyne (“Mirth”), and Thalia (“Good Cheer”).  The Charites were also associated with the Greek underworld and the Eleusinian Mysteries.

The river Cephissus near Delphi was sacred to them.” [2]

 

 

 

Sources:

Ancient Numismatic Mythology, “Three Graces Mythology“.

Wikipedia, “Charites“.

Suggested Links:

Theoi Greek Mythology, “Kharites“.

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Whispers of Yggdrasil

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

Sleeping Bee Studio

Art, Design, Batik & Murals

Pagan at Heart

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

McGlaun Massage Therapy, LLC

Real Healing for the Real You

TheVikingQueen

- A Modern Viking Blog written by an Ancient Soul -

Seven Trees Farm

Diversified subsistence farming in Whatcom County, WA since 2005

The World According to Hazey

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

Migdalit Or

Veils and Shadows

Of Axe and Plough

Anglo-Saxon Heathenry and Roman Polytheism

Walking the Druid Path

Just another WordPress.com site

body divine yoga

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

Joyous Woman! with Sukhvinder Sircar

Leadership of the Divine Feminine

The Raven's Knoll Quork

Spirituality - Nature - Community - Sacred Spaces - Celebration

Journeying to the Goddess

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

witchery

trapped in the broom closet

Rune Wisdom

Ancient Sacred Knowledge - Daily Wisdom Practices: A place to explore Runic relevance in today's world.

Sarenth Odinsson

Heathen Spirit Worker

Stone of Destiny

Musings of a Polytheistic Nature

1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

Adventures in Vanaheim

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

Flame in Bloom

Dancing for Freyja

Golden Trail

A wayfarer's path

The Druid's Well

Falling in Love with the Whole World

Georgia Heathen Society's Blog

Heathen's in Georgia

Mystic Fire Blog

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

art and healing Blog

Art heals yourself, others, community and the earth

My Moonlit Path.....

The Story of My Everyday Life.....

Raising Natural Kids

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

Philip Carr-Gomm

Philip Carr Gomm

The Northern Grove

Celebrating Pagan History and Culture of Northern Europe

The Belle Jar

"Let me live, love and say it well in good sentences." - Sylvia Plath

The Witch of Forest Grove

Animism, Folk Magic, and Spirit Work in the Pacific Northwest

star & stone

a hearth-centred polytheist life

WoodsPriestess

Exploring the intersection between Nature, the Goddess, art, and poetry as well as the practical work of priestessing.

Waincraft

Following the Call of the Land