Tag Archive: birds


Goddess Mala Laith

“Mala Laith’s themes are justice, community, peace, wisdom, knowledge, forgiveness, maturity and unity. Her symbols are the color gray, pigs, deer, the horse and birds.  Known often simply by the designation ‘Gray One’, Mala Laith is the ancient Celtic crone Goddess. Mala Laith is said to have made the mountains and formed many stone circles, alluding to Her age and power. She travels in the company of birds, pigs, deer or a gray horse, carrying wisdom, knowledge, understanding, sensibility and preparation to us as gifts that come with maturity.

On this day, people on Mann honor Tynwald, the old Norse assembly system instituted over one thousand years ago, by gathering to discuss legal matters and end internal bickering. As they do, Mala Laith stands by, offering good counsel and sagacity. For us this means taking a moment out to make sure things in our life are in order and being properly attended to. Review your checking account, follow up on legal matters, make peace with someone from whom you’ve been estranged and generally spend the day focusing on sound action, wise words and sensible thinking. This invokes Mala Laith’s energy.

Wear something gray today to honor the Goddess and watch to see if any of Her sacred animals show up (in logos, on billboards, anywhere) during your day. If they do, pay close attention to their movements and actions. They’re bringing a message to you from Mala Laith, and it’s well worth heeding!”

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

“‘Grey eyebrows’ was the name given to the Cailleach in Ross and Cromarty in Scotland,” Patricia Monaghan tells us.  “She was said to tend a herd of pigs, which included the wild boar of Glen Glass” (p. 205).  As to be expected, Mala Laith “(pronounced MAH-lah LEE-ah) She is often equated with Cerridwen.” [1]

 

About Cailleach

“Cailleach” by Mairin-Taj Caya

“‘Cailleach’ (pronounced KAL-y-ach) derives from the old Irish caillech, or ‘the veiled one’. The modern word cailleach means ‘old woman’ or ‘hag’ in Gaelic. The Cailleach is a widespread form of Celtic hag-Goddess tied to the land and the weather who has many variants in the British Isles.

The Caillagh ny Groamagh (‘Gloomy Old Woman’, also called the Caillagh ny Gueshag, ‘Old Woman of the Spells’) of the Isle of Man is a winter and storm spirit whose actions on the 1st of February are said to foretell the year’s weather–if it is a nice day, She will come out into the sun, which brings bad luck for the year. The Cailleach Uragaig, of the Isle of Colonsay in Scotland, is also a winter spirit who holds a young woman captive, away from her lover.

The theme of winter holding spring captive is also seen in the tale that the Cailleach imprisons the beautiful young goddess Bride inside of a mountain over the winter. At Bride’s release, spring comes to the world.

“Cailleach Bhéara” by Max Dashu

The Cailleach Bheur (‘genteel old lady’) of Scotland is a blue-faced hag of winter, who ages in reverse–from old and ugly (symbolizing winter) to young and lovely (spring). The Cailleach Bhéirre of Ireland represents sovereignty over the land and is ancestress of many peoples. Like Dame Ragnell of the Arthurian legends, She appears to the hero as an hideous old woman seeking love; if She gets it, She becomes a beautiful young woman. In legends dating from Christian times, She is sometimes said to be a nun, perhaps linked to the meaning of Her name.

Alternate names: Cailleach Bheur, Cailleach Uragaig, Cailleach Beinne Bric (‘Old Woman of the Speckled Mountain’), Cailleach Mor (‘Great Old Woman’) (Scotland); Cailleach Bheirre, Cailleach Bolus, Cailleach Corca Duibhe (Ireland); Caillagh ny Groamagh, Caillagh ny Gueshag (Isle of Man).” [2]

 

 

 

Sources:

Joelle. Joelle’s Sacred Grove, “Mala Laith“.

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

Took, Thalia. A-Muse-ing Grace Gallery, “The Cailleach, Celtic Crone Goddess of Winter“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Forest, Danu. Danuforest.co.uk, “The Cailleach, the old woman of winter“.

Mysterious Britain & Ireland, “The Caillech Bheur“.

PaganPages.org, “Cailleach“.

Metropolitan Films Ltd. Thisisirishfilm.ie, “An Cailleach Bheara (2007)“.

Shee-Eire.com, “Cailleach Beara“.

Sparrow. Journey Around the Wheel of Life, “Cailleach“.

The Suppressed History Archives, “Crone“.

Wikipedia, “Cailleach“.

WolfWinds, Silver. Order of the White Moon, “Cailleach“.

Goddess Rigantona

“Rhiannon” by Hrana Janto

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

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

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

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

Rhiannon (from the Mabinogion) by Alan Lee

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

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

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

“Rhiannon” by Susan Seddon Boulet

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

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

“Rhiannon” by Jan Hess

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

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

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

 

ASSOCIATIONS (Rhiannon):

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

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

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

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

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

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

Element: Earth

Sphere of Influence: Animals and fertility

Best Day to Work with: Monday

Suitable Offerings: Music

Associated Planet: Moon    [5]

Moon Phase: Waning

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

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

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

 

 

 

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

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

Sources:

Goddessgift.com, “Goddess Symbols: Rhiannon“.

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

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

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

PaganNews.com, “Rhiannon“.

Rhiannon – Divine Queen

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

 

 

Suggested Links:

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

Epona.net, “Later Influences of Epona“.

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

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

Goddessgift.com, “Rhiannon, Celtic Goddess“.

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

The Mabinogion, “Rhiannon“.

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

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

Sisterhood of Avalon, “The Goddesses“.

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

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

Wikipedia, “Epona“.

Wikipedia, “Rhiannon“.

Goddess Maeve

“Queen Mab, the Bringer of Dreams” by Howard David Johnson

“Maeve’s themes are fairies, magic, protection, leadership, and justice (law).  Her symbols are birds and gold.  As the Fairy Queen, Maeve oversees today’s merrymaking among the citizens of fey during their Fairy Gatherings. She also attends to human affairs by providing protection, wise leadership and prudent conventions. Works of art depict Maeve with golden birds on Her shoulders, whispering magical knowledge into Her ear.

Near the beginning of May, the wee folk of Ireland come out of hiding for a grand celebration of spring. If you don’t want the Maeve and the citizens of fey to pull pranks on you today, take precautions, as the Europeans do: avoid travelling, put a piece of clothing on inside-out, wear something red, and leave the fairy folk an offering of sweet bread, honey or ale. In some cases, this will please the fairies so much that they will offer to perform a service or leave you a gift in return!

When you need to improve your command of a situation or inspire more equity, call on Maeve through this spell:

Take a piece of white bread and toast it until it’s golden brown. Scratch into the bread a word or phrase representing your goal (for example, if raises at work haven’t been given fairly, write the words ‘work’ and ‘raises’). Distribute the crumbs from this to the birds so they can convey your need directly to Maeve’s ears.”

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

“Of the great female figures of Ireland, Maeve was probably the most splendid. Originally a Goddess of the land’s sovereignty and of its mystic center at Tara, She was demoted in myth, as the centuries went on and Irish culture changed under Christian influence, to a mere mortal queen.

“Maeve” by Hrana Janto

But no mortal queen could have been like this one, this ‘intoxication’ or ‘drunken woman’ (variant meanings of Her name), who ran faster than horses, slept with innumerable kings whom She then discarded, and wore live birds and animals across Her shoulders and arms. If there ever was a woman named Maeve who reigned as queen of Ireland, it is probable that She was the namesake of the Goddess; the Goddess’s legends may have attached themselves to a mortal bearer of Her name.

Maeve is the central figure of the most important old Irish epic, the Tain Bo Cuillaigne, or Cattle Raid of Cooley. The story begins with Maeve, ruler of the Connaught wilderness in the Irish west, Iying abed with Her current consort, King Aillil. They compare possessions, Aillil attempting to prove he owns more than She does. Point for point, Maeve matches him. Finally, Aillil mentions a magical bull-and wins the argument, for Maeve has no such animal.

But She knows of one, the magic bull of Cooley in northern Eire. And so Maeve gathers Her armies to steal it. She rides into battle in an open car, with four chariots surrounding Her, for She is glamorously attired and does not wish to muddy Her robes. She is a fierce opponent, laying waste the armies of the land, for no man could look on Maeve without falling down in a paroxysm of desire.

The armies of Ulster, stricken with the curse of the Goddess Macha, fall down in labor pains upon the arrival of Queen Maeve’s army in their land. Only the hero Cuchulain resists, killing Locha, Maeve’s handmaiden, as well as many male heroes of Connaught. Maeve tries to buy victory with Her ‘willing thighs’, stops the battle whenever She is menstruating, and otherwise shows Herself to be an unusual warrior. After much bloodshed, She does indeed win Her bull–but it and Aillil’s bull fling themselves upon each other, tear each other to bits, and die in the bloodiest anticlimax in world literature.” [1]

“Fairy Queen Medb of the Sidhe” by Howard David Johnson

Medb (She who intoxicates) also known as Maev, Maeve, Maebh is a Celtic/Irish Goddess of Intoxication.  Her body was the Earth; Her body processes were  the Earth as it created.  She was the force of the rushing waters, the windswept mountains, and the fertile plains.  And, like many other deities, Medb is also associated with death as well as fertility and inebriation.

In the Irish mythological cycle, it was Medb who who who not only set the conditions for kingship, but also chose and tested Her partners, temporarily marrying those who passed Her tests. No king could accept the title unless She offered him the “Cup of Sovereignty”. She destroys those kings who spurn Her and has been know to send their warriors to their doom.

“Queen Medb” by J. Leyendecker

Medb is a triune Goddess who, in one of Her avatars, was able to assume human form and live among us mortals as a warrior queen; in fact, Medb is the most famous queen of Irish literature.  She is often portrayed as a pale women with long flowing hair; She wears a red cape and carries a spear, while a raven and a squirrel are perched on Her shoulder.

She lived by violence and She died by violence. Her reign on Earth eventually came to an end as the result of Her murdering Her pregnant sister, Eithne (or Clothru). The baby managed to survive (her son Furbaide was born by posthumous caesarian section) and when he grew up, he revenged his mother by killing Medb.” [2]

“In Medb’s later years She often went to bathe in a pool on Inchcleraun (Inis Cloithreann), an island on Lough Ree.  Furbaide took a rope and measured the distance between the pool and the shore, and practiced with his sling until he could hit an apple on top of a stake Medb’s height from that distance. The next time he saw Medb bathing he put his practice to good use and killed Her with a piece of cheese. She was succeeded to the throne of Connacht by Her son Maine Athramail.

According to legend, Medb is buried in a 40-foot (12 m) high stone cairn on the summit of Knocknarea (Cnoc na Ré in Irish) in County Sligo. Supposedly, She is buried upright facing Her enemies in Ulster. Her home in RathcroghanCounty Roscommon is also a potential burial site, with a long low slab named ‘Misgaun Medb’ being given as the most likely location.” [3]

 Also seen as Maev, Maeve, Maive, Maebh, Meḋḃ, Meaḋḃ, Meadhbh, Méabh, Medbh.

 

 

 

Sources:

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

 MXTODIS123. An Inner Journey: The Moon, Mythology, and You, “Medb“.

Wikipedia, “Medb“.

 

 

 

Suggested Links:

DameBoudicca. Pride & Sensibility, “Goddess of the Week – Medb“.

Jones, Mary. Jone’s Celtic Encyclopedia, “Medb“.

Selkywolf. Selkywolf’s Den, “The Faery Queen – Queen Maeve“.

Shaw, Judith. Feminismandreligion.com,Medb, Celtic Sovereignty Goddess of War and Fertility‘.

Shee-Eire. Shee-Eire.com, “Celtic Queen Medb“.

SummerGaile. Order of the White Moon,”Medb“. (HIGHLY SUGGEST this page!!! Loads of detailed information and further sources.)

Tara. Love of the Goddess, “Maeve, Celtic Warrior Goddess of Intoxication“.

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

Goddess Tamra

“Tamra’s themes are air, earth, nature, health, longevity, devotion, wishes and relationships.  Her symbols are feathers and birdseed.  In Hindu tradition, this Goddess was the ancestor of all birds, She can teach us their special language, which often bears communications from the divine. As the consort of the turtle god, Kashyapa, She also represents a potent union between earth and air elements.

People in Nebraska spend six weeks watching the cranes who rest and feed here during the migratory season. This region of the United States boats the largest group of sand hill cranes, about fifty thousand birds.

Magically speaking, these creatures represent health, longevity and devotion. Visualise a crane residing in your heart chakra anytime you need improved well-being.

Birds offer numerous magical applications. For warmth in a relationship, scatter feathers to the winds with your wish. The birds will use the feathers in their nests, symbolically keeping your nest intact and affectionate.

Or, disperse birdseed while thinking of a question. As the birds fly away, watch their movement. Flight to the right indicates a positive response; to the left is negative. If the birds scatter, things are iffy. If they fly straight up overhead, a heartfelt wish is being taken to Tamra.”

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

Yet, another Goddess that proved to be elusive.  Apparently, She was one of the 13 daughters of the Prajapati Daksha (AditiDitiKadruDanu, Arishta, Surasa, SurabhiVinata, Tamra, Krodhavaśā, Ida, Khasa and Muni) all of whom were given in marriage to Kashyapa.[1]  The only real mention I found of Her was in the Agni Purāṇa (a genre of Hindu religious texts, containing the descriptions and details of various incarnations (avatars) of Vishnu).  It states, “Kasyapa was the son of Marici, who was the son of Brahma. Kasyapa’s wife Tamra had many daughters like Kaki, Syeni, Bhasi, Grdhrka, Suki and Griva. From Kaki were born the crows in the world.” [2]

“Tamra had six daughters. These were the mothers of the birds and of goats, horse, sheep, camels and donkeys.” [3]

Sources:

Bharatadesam: everything about india, “Matsya Purana” (down to subheading “Daksha’s Descendants“).

Parmeshwaranand, Swami. Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Purāṇas: S-Z, “Kaka (Crow)” at p. 717.

Wikipedia, “Kashyap“.

Suggested Links:

Hamilton, Francis. Genealogies of the Hindus: Extracted From Their Sacred Writings… 

International Gita Society, “1. Brahma Purana

Yahoo! Answers: India, “Hinduism – Why the Crows are referred our ancestors? What about other birds?

Goddess Nungeena

"Yhi" by Lisa Hunt

“Nungeena’s  themes are restoration, creativity and beauty. Her themes are birds of feathers and all artistic creations.

This Aborigine mother Goddess took on the task of restoring beauty to the world after an evil spirit destroyed it with insects. Call on her for assistance when you feel that a cherished project or goal has been ravaged similarly by mal-intent or negativity.

According to the legend, Nungeena made birds to eat all the insects Marmoo (an evil spirit) let loose on the world. But these were not just any birds: they were the most attractive of all – the lyre birds. In turn, the lyre birds made assistants like magpies to help with their sacred task. Together they renewed the world’s beauty.

Dust off any home crafts or arts that have been neglected on a back shelf and work on them for a while today. If time doesn’t allow for this, find some way to bring a little extra beauty in the world – toss some flowering seeds in an open field, deliver food or clothing to a charitable organization, or just smile at a stranger.

In Australia this is the festival of Perth, a huge arts festival that features local talent including dancers, mimes, opera, musicians and some sports competitions. If there are any art galleries in your neck of the woods, go to them today to honor Nungeena and enjoy the creative works.”

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

The Aboriginal stories of creation, myths and legends about moral and natural issues, and fables are a remarkable group of tales–full of evocative, sometimes even surreal, imagery and deep observations on life. While no doubt these stories have been tainted by a Western viewpoint, they still represent a remarkable chance to understand even a little about cultures that lived for tens of thousands of years. What follows here is the beginning of an on-line collection of stories, taken from as many sources as possible and from as many different Australian Aboriginal cultures as possible.

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