Tag Archive: blessing


The Weisse Frauen

“Healer – Priestess-Elf serie” by `Eireen

“The Weisse Frauen’s themes are banishing, blessing, joy, protection, fertility and divination. Their symbols are any sacred symbol, forest items and the color white. Known as the ‘White Women’ of the German forests, these Goddesses are said to have been worshipped by ancient pagans and witches where they live – in the woods. In later times, people looked to them to predict the future, help with matters of fertility, and protect the land.

The unique festival of Kermesse dates back to pagan worship of the grove Goddess (and pagan gatherings in the woodlands). Traditionally, some type of sacred symbol is dug up and carried around town to renew blessings and happiness in all who see it. The ritual also banishes evil influences.

To follow this custom, plant a white stone or token in a flowerpot, garden, or lawn this year and next year dig it up temporarily to release White Women’s power. At the end of the day, return the token to the earth so they can protect your home or land and fill every corner of it with magic. Repeat this annually to continue the cycle!

Wear something white today to invite the Weisse Frauen’s protection on the figurative land of your spirit, and spend some time in the company of trees at some point. Meditate on the pagans, who weaved magic in such places, and on these Goddesses, who empowered the spells. As you do, listen closely to the voices of the trees and see if they have a message for you.”

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

“In German folklore, theWeiße Frauen, or Weisse Frauen (meaning White Women) are elven-like spirits that may have derived from Germanic paganism in the form of legends of light elves (Old Norse: Ljósálfar). They are described as beautiful and enchanted creatures who appear at noon and can be seen sitting in the sunshine brushing their hair or bathing in a brook. They may be guarding treasure or haunting castles. They entreat mortals to break their spell, but this is always unsuccessful. The mythology dates back at least to the Middle Ages and was known in the present-day area of Germany.

The association with the color white and their appearance in sunlight is thought by Jacob Grimm to stem from the original Old Norse and Teutonic mythology of alven (elves), specifically the bright Ljósálfar. These ‘light elves’ lived in Álfheim (part of heaven) under the fertility god Freyr.   As mythology evolved, elves no longer lived in Álfheim (part of heaven) but lived on earth in nature. The White Women also may represent ancient beliefs in ancestral spirits or older native Goddesses and nature spirits. Jacob Grimm noted in particular they might come from Holda, ‘Berhta, white by her very name’ and Ostara. According to Grimm’s Teutonic Mythology and to the Mythology of All Races Series, the enchantment under which they suffer ‘may be a symbol of the ban laid by Christianity on the divinities of the older faith.’  Similar in name to the Witte Wieven of Dutch mythology, the Weisse Frauen may have come from the Germanic belief in disen or land wights and alven.” [1]

Patricia Monaghan writes: “The ‘white women’ of Germany and other northern European locations were said to be Goddess-worshipping witches who disappeared ages ago into the woods.  They lived deep in the forests where they helped lost travelers, foretold the future and helped the earth produce its fruit by their ritual dances.  Some say they were the ghosts of old Goddesses, enchanted by Christianity, seeking magic to release them into fuller life again” (p. 315).

Jacob Grimm notes the image of the Weisse Frauen basking in the sun and bathing ‘melts into the notion of a water-holde [i.e. Holda] and nixe‘. The Weisse Frauen also have counterparts in both name and characterization in neighboring countries: In the Netherlands known as the Witte Wieven, and in France known as the Dames blanches.

There are also many legends in German Folklore regarding ‘Weisse Frauen’, which are actually equivalent to the legends of White Ladies; ghosts of the United Kingdom.”

 

 

 

Sources:

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

Wikipedia, “Weisse Frauen“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Arrowsmith, Nancy. Field Guide to the Little People, “White Ladies” (p. 15).

Bell, William. Skaespeare’s Puck, and his folkslore, “Weisse Frauen, Belief In” (p.58).

O’Keeffe, Christine. Tartanplace.com, “Christine’s Faery List: Baobhan Sìth“.

Sacred-texts.com, “The Fairy Mythology: Celts and Cymry: France“.

Wikipedia, “Dökkálfar and Ljósálfar“.

Goddess Laima

“Brigit” by Pamela Matthews

“Laima’s themes are love, unity, blessing, luck, destiny and magic. Her symbols are wreaths and swans.  The Lithuanian Goddess of fate, luck, beauty and magic swoops into our lives in the form of a swan (* please see “UPDATE”) reminding us of the transformative power of love. Traditionally, all Laima needs to change from one from to another is a swan feather, alluding to Her nature as a shape-shifter who uses magical charms to manifest Her will.

Around this time of year, young people in Lithuania gather in a temple at sunset, then go into the forest to harvest summer flowers. From these, circlets and strings are made to crown and bind lovers together in Laima’s and nature’s beauty. Then the young people dance to together round a birch tree (rather like a Maypole) singing to the Goddess and asking for Her blessing. This is a lovely tradition that can be adopted by gathering summer flowers and holding hands around them at your family supper table. Allow Laima to renew your love and unity in a moment of silence before dinner. If you live alone, invite a close friend to join you instead.

Also, find a small rose-vine wreath at a craft shop. Adhere the image of a swan to this somehow (representing Laima), and hand it where you can easilty see the wreath regularlily. Each time you do, remind yourself that love is the most pwerful of all the Goddess’s magic – and that includes loving yourself.”

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

“The 3 Fates” by watergal28

Patricia Monaghan tells us that this “Baltic Goddess of fate sometimes appears as three [with Her sisters Kārta and Dēkla] or seven Goddesses to symbolize the many fates possible.  Laima, like the Norns and Fates, measures the length and happiness of a person’s life.  Sometimes called Laima-Dalia, ‘happy fate’, She was invoked in prayers: ‘Oh, Laima, thou art healthy; give me thy health.’  Often mentioned in the same prayer was the sun Goddess Saule, for Laima measured the length of the sun’s day as well as a woman’s life.  Laima was Her name in Latvia; She was Laime in in Lithuania; in both countries She was sometimes pictured as a swan maiden (please see “UPDATE”) or as a multiple Goddess” (p. 189).

“Dalia Lithuanian Goddess of Fate” by Emily Balivet

“Laima…[is] generally associated with the linden tree. Together with Dievs, the sky, and Saule, the sun, Laima determines the length and fortune of human life. In the course of each life She helps arrange marriages, oversees weddings, protects pregnant women, and appears at childbirth to pronounce each infant’s destiny.

Revered as patroness of cows and horses, Laima decides the life span of plants and animals and determines the length of the day.” [1]

I did come across one piece of conflicting information.  Monaghan states that “Laima was Her name in Latvia; She was Laime in Lithuania” (p. 189).  Wikipedia states that “In the Lithuanian mythology, Laima (fate, destiny) is often confused with Laimė (good fortune) and Laumė (fairy). Other related deities include Dalia (fate) and Giltinė (The Reaper).” [2]  However, Encyclopedia Britannica states that “Laima, also called Laima-dalia, (from Lithuanian laimė, ‘happiness,’ ‘luck’)” [3].

 

 

* UPDATE  (06/25/2013):

A very knowledgeable native Latvian lady I exchanged emails with shared some wonderful information with me that contradicted what Patricia Telesco and Patricia Monaghan wrote concerning Laima’s association with swans.  She stated that Laima is “connected to a cockoo, a black or white chicken or a black or blue snake, but never with a swan.”  She also stated that “Laima appears with a green linden or birch sauna besom like this: pirtsslota2

 

Also, the information found in the Wikipedia is very accurate: “The most important goddess of fate is Laima (luck). She lives on Earth and is closely involved in human life. Her basic function is related to birth of child and deciding its fate. Traditionally women would give birth in bathhouse. The path to it would be cleaned so Laima could easily make her way to help in the birthing process. The woman would be ritually cleansed and would offer prayers and give ritual offerings to Laima. After successful birth married women would feast, with Laima being reserved a place of honour, in the bathhouse as sign of gratitude. She would also determine persons fate – a decision even she herself could not alter afterwards. She was expected to help in other important aspects of life as well and cared for well being of the people in general. Unmarried girls would pray to her to give them good husbands and happy marriage. She also ensured fertility of fields and animals (horses in particular) to some extent.  Another two goddesses with similar function are Kārta and Dēkla.  Goddess Māra also has several functions in common with Laima.  Although this view has been criticized, many researchers agree that Māra is synonymous with Saint Mary. It has been suggested that Mary took over some functions of earlier deities, including Laima.  However, Māra was used to refer to Saint Mary, who was also called upon during childbirth and to help with number of ailments by either her modern Latvian name Marija or number of Christian euphemisms.  All these were also used as euphemisms to refer to uterus in folk magic.  The opposing view, based on comparative linguistics linking her with wide range of other Indoeuropean deities, is that she was important pre-Christian chthonic deity that both gives and takes life.” [4]

 

 

 

Sources:

Britannica Online Encyclopedia, “Laima“.

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

Wikipedia, “Laima“.

Wikipedia, “Latvian Mythology: Fate goddesses“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Bookrags.com, “Laima Research and Articles“.

Covenantofrhiannon.org, “Ancient Lithuanian Mythology and Religion“.

Latvianstuff.com, “Latvian Earth and Water Deities“.

Mallory, J.P. & Douglas Q. Adams. Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture, “Fortune Goddesses” (p. 212).

Motz, Lotte. The Faces of the Goddess, “Laima: Goddess of Birth and Fate” (p. 80 – 83).

Ortega, Pedro. Heresy and Beauty, “Lithuanian Goddess“.

Wikipedia, “Latvian Mythology“.

“Goddess of Rice” by echo-x

“Boru Deak Parudjar’s themes are the harvest, blessings, longevity, courage, opportunity. Her symbols are soil and rice. The Malaysian creatrix and guardian of life, Boru Deak Parudjar grew bored of the upper realms and jumped away from them as soon as an opportunity opened up. It is this type of adventurous spirit and leap of faith that she inspires today.

In local legend, Boru Deak Parudjar’s father, Batara Guru (the creator god of Sumatra), sent a bit of soil to the water to await his daughter in the lower worlds. The earth grew to sustain the Goddess. This change in the waters made Naga (a primordial sea serpent) very angry – he wiggled until Boru Deak Parudjar’s earth began to cleave, creating mountains and valleys. Which just goes to show that stirring things up sometimes has a good outcome!

Following ancient custom, the elder of a house makes sacrifices and prays poetically for direction, the Goddess’s blessings, health and good harvest. Foods include rice dishes and rice wine. So, add any rice dish to your diet today: rice cereal for Boru Deak Parudjar’s growth-oriented energy, rice pudding for Her sweet blessings, herbed rice to spice up your life with a little adventure. When you need a bit of this Goddess’s courage, place a piece of rice in your footprint (someplace where it won’t be disturbed). As you put rice in the imprint, say,

‘Let courage guide my feet all this day.'”

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

From my research, Boru Deak Parudjar didn’t jump from the upper realms because She was bored; She jumped into the primordial waters of the middle world to escape marrying Raja Odap-Odap – a lizard god to whom Her sister was betrothed to before she committed suicide after finding out that he preferred Boru Deak Parudjar to her. [1]

“Among the Batak of Indonesia, this creatrix, Si Boru Deak Parujar, was born in the heavens with Her sister, Sorbayati.  Their parents arranged for Sorbayati, the older sister, to marry the lizard god, Raja Odap-Odap.  but at a dance party he revealed that he really preferred Si Boru Deak Parajar.  Humiliated, Sorbayati threw herself off heaven’s balcony; her body disintegrated into bamboo and rattan.  The bereaved Sister then descended.  Since She could not bring back Her sister, Si Boru Deak Parujar created the earth on the back of a snake.  Only after doing so would She agree to marry the lizard god, who was transformed into a human at the wedding.  From this union were born the first humans, including the first woman, Si Boru Ihat Manisia, and her twin borther, [Si Raja Ihat Manisia]. (Bonnefoy)” [2]

 

 

 

Sources:

Bonnefoy, Yves. Asian Mythologies, “The Origin of Humanity and the Descent to Earth of the First Human Beings in the Myths of Indonesia“. (p.166)

Leeming, David Adams. Creation Myths of the World: An Encyclopedia, Volume 1, “Batak“. (p. 66)

Monaghan, Patricia. The Encyclopedia of Goddesses and Heroines,Si Boru Deak Parujar” (p. 224).

 

 

Suggested Links:

Foubister, Linda. Goddess in the Grass: Serpentine Mythology and the Great Goddess, The Cosmic Serpent“. (p. 29)

Slayford-Wei, Lian. Helium, “The History and Significance of the Goddess: Boru Deak Parudjar“.

Wikipedia, “Dewi Sri“.

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 Tashmit

"Mary" by Pamela Matthews

“Tashmit’s themes are prayer, blessing, unity and hope.  Her symbols are folded hands.  The Goddess is timeless and eternal, and She has many faces with which She conveys the concepts of truth and beauty to the world’s people. Tashmit, the Chaldean Goddess of wisdom and teaching, in particular, stands ready today. Her name means ‘bearing’; it is She who listens intently to our prayers.

On the first Friday in March, people in over 170 countries join in prayer, and the Goddess asks that we do similarly. Prayer is something that seems to have gone by the wayside in our ‘instant’ world. Yet, it takes only a moment to honor the sacred. This prayer is but one example; change or adapt it liberally to suit your needs and vision:

Lady of Wisdom, Tashmit, I come to you for guidance
Shine on my path today that I might see others in an equal light
That I might walk the Path of Beauty with a loving heart and peaceful spirit
Hear the voices of your people raised together today in oneness
Hear our  prayers
Let us find unity in diversity
Heal the world
Let us know peace and guard it as sacred
With a thankful heart, so be it.'”

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

"Deep Thoughts" by Hojatollah Shakiba

“Tashmit was the Assyrian spouse of Nebo.  Her name signifies ‘Obedience’…or ‘Hearing’ and carried the prayers of worshippers to Her spouse.  As Isis interceded with Osiris, She interceded with Nebo, on behalf of mankind.  But this did not signify that She was the least influential of the divine pair.  A Goddess played many parts: She was at once mother, daughter and wife of god; servant of one god or the ‘mighty queen of all the gods’.  The Great Mother was…regarded as the eternal and undecaying one; the gods passed away, son succeeding father; She alone remained.  To Her was ascribed all the mighty works of other days in the lands where the indigenous peoples first worshipped the Great Mother as Damkina, Nina, Bau, Ishtar, or Tashmit, because the Goddess was anciently believed to be the First Cause, the creatrix, the mighty one who invested the ruling god with the powers he possessed–the god who held sway because he was Her husband, as did Nergal as the husband of Eresh-ki-gal, queen of Hades.”

Tashmit was a Goddess of supplication and love who had a lunar significance.  A prayer addressed to Her in association with Nannar (Sin) and Ishtar, proceeds:

‘In the evil of the eclipse of the moon which … has taken place, In the evil of the powers, of the portents, evil and not good, which are in my palace and my land, (I) have turned towards thee!… Before Nabu (Nebo) thy spouse, thy lord, the prince, the first-born of E-sagila, intercede for me! May he hearken to my cry at the word of thy mouth; may he remove my sighing, may he learn my supplication!’
The Goddess Damkina is similarly addressed in another prayer:

O Damkina, mighty queen of all the gods, O wife of Ea, valiant art thou, O Ir-nina, mighty queen of all the gods … Thou that dwellest in the Abyss, O lady of heaven and earth!… In the evil of the eclipse of the moon, etc.

The Goddess Bau is also prayed in a similar connection as ‘mighty lady that dwellest in the bright heavens’, i.e. ‘Queen of heaven’.” [1]

Tashmit is also mentioned in a Penitential Psalm “that was said by a petitioner after singing a hymn of praise to the god Marduk: …’O brave Marduk, destroy my sin, do away my sin. O great goddess Erua, destroy my sin.  O Nabu, of fair name, destroy my sin.  O goddess Tashmit, destroy my sin.  O brave Nergal, destroy my sin.  O ye gods who dwell in the heaven of An‘, destroy my sin…'” [2]

Other names and/or Goddesses that Tishmit has been associated with are: Urmit, Varamit, Ninkarrak and Nisaba. [3]

 

 

Sources:

Budge, E. A. Wallis. Babylonian Life and History at p. 134.

Mackenzie, Donald A. Myths of Babylonia and Assyria at pp. 350 – 351.

Sophia, “Holy Wisdom”.


Goddess Bona Dea

“Greek Goddess: Demeter” by *Gypsy-Love

“Bona Dea’s themes are femininity, blessing, fertility, divination and abundance.  Her symbols are vines and wine.  Bona Dea’s name literally means ‘good Goddess’. Her energies come into our lives at the outset of this month, offering all good things, especially fertility and a greater appreciation of the Goddess within each of us.  Traditionally, Bona Dea is a women’s Goddess who received offerings of wine in exchange for prophetic insights during Her observances.

On March 1, February was escorted out of Rome with a flourish of adaptable activities. Exchange sweet gifts as the Romans did to ensure yourself of a sweeter future. Greet a friend with Bona Dea’s name to invoke Her blessings on them. Put up a grapevine wreath fashioned like a heart (or other symbol of something you need), and leave a glass of wine on your altar to honor Bona Dea’s presence in your home and your life.

In Rome, female slaves would get this day off, and the head of the house would wait on them. In modern times this equates to switching roles for a day at home. Whoever normally gets up and fixes breakfast gets to sleep in, Whoever normally does chores gets to go out and socialize, and so forth. Bona Dea appreciates the considerate gesture as much as you do and will rain Her goodness upon your home.”

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

Bona Dea (“The Good Goddess”) was a Goddess in ancient Roman religion. She was associated with chastity and fertility in women, healing, and the protection of the Roman state and people. According to Roman literary sources, She was brought from Magna Graecia at some time during the early or middle Republic, and was given Her own state cult on the Aventine Hill.

“Fauna” by Bizenghast

The Goddess had two annual festivals. One state sponsored festival was held at Her Aventine temple; the other in early December was hosted by the wife of Rome’s senior annual magistrate, for an invited group of elite matrons and female attendants. “The festival on the first of May (the or the kalends) commemorated the date Her temple was founded; at the ceremony prayers were made to Her to avert earthquakes. She had a secret festival, attended only by women, whether patrician, free or slave, that took place over the night of the 3rd and 4th of May (and/or December).  It was held during the Faunalia, and was referred to as the sacra opertum, (“the secret or hidden sacrifice”): at this ritual sacrifices were made for the benefit of all the people of Rome, something proper to the realm of a Mother or Earth Goddess who is concerned with the well-being of all of Her children.” [1] Her rites allowed women the use of strong wine and blood-sacrifice, things otherwise forbidden them by Roman tradition.  “During the May Bona Dea celebration a pregnant sow was sacrificed to Mother Earth and Ceres.” [2]

“Goddess” by helushia

Men were barred from Her mysteries and the possession of Her true name.  “There were other taboos concerning the worship of the Bona Dea: neither wine nor myrtle were to be mentioned by name during Her secret festival, likely because they were both sacred to Her and therefore very powerful. According to a late legend seeking to explain these prohibitions, Her husband, Faunus, the God of the Wild (later equated with the Greek Pan), came home once to find She had drunk an entire jar of wine. For being drunk He beat Her to death with a myrtle scourge, and this was why myrtle was forbidden, and wine had to be referred to by another name, ‘milk’ and the jar itself was called a mellarium, or ‘honey jar’.” [3]

Given that male authors had limited knowledge of Her rites and attributes, ancient speculations about Her identity abound. Among them that She was an aspect of TerraOps, the Magna Mater, or Ceres, or a Latin form of Damia. Most often, She was identified as the wife, sister or daughter of the god Faunus, thus an equivalent or aspect of the nature-goddess Fauna, who could prophesy the fates of women.

Bona Dea’s cults in the city of Rome were led by the Vestal Virgins, and Her provincial cults by virgin or matron priestesses. Surviving statuary shows Her as a sedate Roman matron with a cornucopia and a snake. Personal dedications to Her are attested among all classes, especially plebeiansfreedmen and women, and slaves. Approximately one third of Her dedications are from men, some of whom may have been lawfully involved in Her cult.” [4]

 

 

 

Sources:

Gill, N.S. About.com, “Ancient/Classic History Glossary“.

Lewis, Jone Johnson. About.com, “Bona Dea – The Good Goddess“.

Took, Thalia. A-Musing-Grace Gallery, “The Bona Dea.”

Wikipedia, “Bona Dea

Goddess Yemaja

“Yemaja’s themes are providence, blessing, luck and fertility.  Her symbols are fish, the color blue and the crescent moon.  Yemaja, the Nigerian Goddess of flowering water, bears a name that literally means ‘fish mother!’ As such, Yemaja generates providence and fertility, especially on the physical plane. In legends She gave birth to eleven deities, the sun, the moon, and two streams of water that formed a lake. In art she’s often shown as a mermaid or a crescent moon, and Her favorite color is blue.

The name for the day is definitely fishy. Not surprisingly, new year festivities in Nigeria mark the beginning of the fishing season. Having a teeming net today portends prosperity for the rest of the season. So, what is it that you hope to catch today? Cast out your spiritual line to Yemaja for help in meeting or exceeding any goal.

To bite into a little luck, follow the example of Nigerian children. They make candies in fish shapes before this event, then dunk for them. The one to retrieve the most gets the most good fortune. Check out your local supermarket’s bulk candy section. Ours carries gummy fish that work very well for this activity.

Consider including some type of fish in your menu today (even canned tuna will do the trick). Eat it to internalize good luck and a little of Yemaja’s blessings.”

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

“Yemaya” by Sandra M. Stanton

Yemaya is the Yoruban Orisha, a very powerful nature spirit or Goddess of the living Ocean, considered the Mother of All. She is the source of all the waters, including the rivers of Western Africa, especially the River Ogun. Her name is a contraction of Yey Omo Eja, which means “Mother Whose Children are the Fish”. As all life is thought to have begun in the Sea, all life is held to have begun with Yemaya. She is motherly and strongly protective, and cares deeply for all Her children, comforting them and cleansing them of sorrow. She is said to be able to cure infertility in women, and cowrie shells represent Her wealth.She does not easily lose Her temper, but when angered She can be quite destructive and violent, as the Sea in a storm.

In Her myth, it is said that she was brutally raped by Her son. After this She fled to a mountaintop and cursed Her son until he died. In Her sorrows She decided to take Her own life. As She died She gave birth to fourteen powerful orisha, when Her water broke it created a great flood which made the seven seas.

Yemaya was brought to the New World with the African diaspora and She is now worshipped in many cultures besides Her original Africa. In Brazilian Candomblé, where She is known as Yemanja or Imanje, She is the Sea Mother who brings fish to the fishermen, and the crescent moon is Her sign. As Yemanja Afodo, also of Brazil, She protects boats travelling on the Sea and grants safe passage. In Haitian Vodou She is worshipped as a Moon-Goddess, and is believed to protect mothers and their children. She is associated with the mermaid-spirits of Lasirenn (Herself a form of Erzulie) who brings seduction and wealth, and Labalenn, Her sister the whale.

Yemaya rules over the surface of the ocean, where life is concentrated. She is associated with the Orisha Olokin (who is variously described as female, male, or hermaphrodite) who represents the depths of the Ocean and the unconscious, and together They form a balance. She is the sister and wife of Aganju, the god of the soil, and the mother of Oya, Goddess of the winds.

Our Lady of Regla in Brazil may be linked to Her, and She is equated elsewhere in the Americas with the Virgin Mary  as the Great Mother. In parts of Brazil She is honored as the Ocean Goddess at the summer solstice, while in the north east of the country Her festival is held on February 2nd (a day that is also associated with Her daughter Oya, as well as being the feast day of the Celtic Bride), with offerings of blue and white flowers cast into the Sea.

Yemaya’s colors are blue, turquoise and white, and She is said to wear a dress with seven skirts that represent the seven seas. Her symbols are shells, especially cowrie shells. Since She is often  depicted as a mermaid as well so this too is a symbol of Her. Sacred to Her are peacocks, with their beautiful blue/green iridescence, and ducks. The number seven is sacred to Her, also for the seven seas.

“Yamana” by Lisa Iris

Yemaya represents the ebb and flow of life much like the flow of the ocean. Yemaya can bring forth life, but just like the ocean she can also cause great destruction, and change. She teaches us to move freely through the waves of change and cycles of life.

On your altar to Yemaya, have water, salt water if you have access to it. Shells, representations of sea life, crystals of turquoise and white quartz, colors of the ocean, a mermaid and a picture or statue of the Goddess.

Alternate spellings: Yemanja, Yemojá, Yemonja, Yemalla, Yemana, Ymoja, Iamanje, Iemonja, Imanje

Epithets: Achabba, in Her strict aspect; Oqqutte in Her violent aspect: Atarmagwa, the wealthy queen of the sea; Olokun or Olokum as Goddess of dreams

Also called: Mama Watta, “Mother of the Waters” [1] [2]

Symbols and Correspondences:

General: Ocean, rivers, mermaids, the Virgin Mary, New Year’s Eve, February 2, the North Star, half moon, rivers, dreams, pound cake, boats and ships, fans, sacred dance, the number 7

Animals: Fish, ducks, doves, peacocks, feathers, chickens, snakes, and all sea creatures

Plants: Oranges, tropical flowers, yams, grain, seaweed, other plants that grow in the ocean

Perfumes/scents: Scented soaps, raspberry, cinnamon, balsam

Gems and metals: Silver, pearls, mother of pearl, coral, moonstone, crystal quartz, turquoise, and any blue gem or bead

Colors: Sky blue, silver, white, green, and especially a blue dress with full skirt of 7 layers to represent ocean waves or the seven seas. [3]

Sources:

Goddessgift.com, “Goddess Symbols and Sacred Objects of Yemaya“.

Suggested Links:

Alvarado, Denise & Doktor Snake. The Voodoo Hoodoo Spellbook, “Yemayá (Yemoja, Iemanja)“.

Goddessgift.com, “Yemaya, Goddess of the Ocean and the New Year“.

Illes, Judika. Encyclopedia of Spirits.

Luckymojo.com, “The Seven African Powers“.

Monaghan, Patricia. The Book of Goddesses and Heriones, “Yemaya“.

Tzeenj, Rafh. Spiralnature.com, “Yemaya“.

Goddess Auchimalgen

"White Shell Woman" by Susan Seddon Boulet

“Auchimalgen’s themes are protection and blessing.  Her symbols are silver or lunar items, water and white flowers. A Chilean Goddess of the moon, Auchimalgen protects us from all evil and disasters that lie in wait in the months ahead. Her husband is the sun, who blesses the land with light, while she shines through the darkness to keep her followers safe and inspired.

Count your blessings today, and give thanks for them. In our rushed society, this is something that often gets overlooked, and life is far more pleasant when we appreciate the little things.

Wear any sliver-colored clothing or jewelry to honor Auchimalgen, and burn some lunar incense (coconut, jasmine, lemon or myrrh) to fill the sacred space of your home with Her protection.

The Bonfim Festival takes place in Brazil today in a church known as the ‘church of happy endings’ because it was built by s ship’s captain in gratitude for a safe return to land. The priests of the area wash the steps of the church with flower water to cleanse and bless the sacred place anew, and as a way of thanking the gods for their ongoing kindness.

In keeping with this tradition, sprinkle the doorway to  your home with any floral-scented water (or personal cologne or perfume) to draw Auchimalgen’s beneficent energies to you.”

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

Auchimalgen was a Moon Goddess who was worshipped by the Araucanian Mapuche that reside in what is now south-central Chile and southwestern Argentina. She was considered their only beneficial deity; for only Auchimalgen cared anything for the human race.  All the rest of their gods were utterly malevolent. Auchimalgen wards off evil spirits and protects against disasters and is said to turn red when some important person is about to die.

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