Tag Archive: bread


Beautifully written! Whenever I think of Lughnasadh, I not only think of Lugh, but of the Goddess Tailtiu and Her great sacrifice. It was on Her deathbed that Queen Tailtiu asked that funeral games be held annually on the ground that She cleared that ultimately caused Her demise.

“Tailtiu was the last queen of Her kind, a feminine energy that felt the longing of humanity. When the time is right, She gives birth, delivers the sheaves of wheat, then She dies, a need fulfilled….but soon She will rise again.” ~ MXTODIS123

Deanne QuarrieWe are approaching the season of Lughnasadh, also known as Lammas.  This is the first of three harvest festivals.  This one focuses on what we call the “first fruits”, those fruits, vegetables and grains ripening early in the season. The other two are Mabon and Samhain, one celebrating the harvest of the last crops and the next that of the herd animals sacrificed to feed the tribes.

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Goddess Ops

“Demeter” by Shanina Conway

“Ops’ themes are opportunity, wealth, fertility and growth. Her symbols are bread, seeds and soil.  This Italic Goddess of fertile earth provides us with numerous ‘op-portunities’ to make every day more productive. In stories, Ops motivates fruit bearing, not just in plants but also in our spirits. She also controls the wealth of the gods, making her a Goddess of opulence! Works of art depict Ops with a loaf of bread in one hand and the other outstretched, offering aid.

On August 25, Ops was evoked by sitting on the earth itself, where She lives in body and spirit. So, weather permitting, take yourself a picnic lunch today. Sit with Ops and enjoy any sesame or poppy breadstuffs (bagel, roll, etc) – both types of seeds are magically aligned with Ops’s money-bringing power. If possible, keep a few of the seeds from the bread in your pocket or shoe so that after lunch, Op’s opportunities for financial improvements or personal growth can be with you no matter where you go. And don’t forget to leave a few crumbs for the birds so they can take you magical wishes to the four corners of creation!

If the weather doesn’t cooperate, invoke Ops by getting as close to the earth as you can (sit on your floor, go into the cellar). Alternatively, eat earthy foods like potatoes, root crops, or any fruit that comes from Ops’s abundant storehouse.”

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

“Rhea” by Ian Ian Marke

Patricia Monaghan tells us that Ops’ “name survives in our word opulent, and in Rome She represented the opulence of the earth’s fruiting.  Worshiped at harvest festivals on August 25 [Opiconsivia] and December 19 [Opalia], She was associated with the god Consus, ruler of the ‘conservation’ of the grain that Ops brought Her people.  Newborn children were put in Her care, so that She would care for them as tenderly as She cared for the shoots of springtime plants.  She was called by several titles: Consivia, the sower; Patella, stimulator of the wheat crop; and Rucina, promoter of the harvest. She was a very ancient Roman Goddess, identified in later days with the Greek Rhea” (p. 240).

According to E.M. Berens, “In Rome the Greek Rhea was identified with Ops, the Goddess of plenty, the wife of Saturn, who had a variety of appellations. She was called Magna-Mater, Mater-Deorum, Berecynthia-Idea, and also Dindymene. This latter title She acquired from three high mountains in Phrygia, whence She was brought to Rome as Cybele during the second Punic war, BCE 205, in obedience to an injunction contained in the Sybilline books. She was represented as a matron crowned with towers, seated in a chariot drawn by lions.” [1]

Demeter in Ancient Feminine Wisdom by Kay Stevenson & Brian Clark

Micha F. Lindemans on Encyclopedia Mythica tells us that “The Roman (Sabine) Goddess of the earth as a source of fertility, and a Goddess of abundance and wealth in general (Her name means ‘plenty’). As Goddess of harvest She is closely associated with the god Consus. She is the sister and wife of Saturn. One of Her temples was located near Saturn’s temple, and on August 10 a festival took place there. Another festival was the Opalia, which was observed on December 9. On the Forum Romanum She shared a sanctuary with the Goddess Ceres as the protectors of the harvest. The major temple was of Ops Capitolina, on the Capitoline Hill, where Caesar had located the Treasury. Another sanctuary was located in the Regia on the Forum Romanun, where also the Opiconsivia was observed on August 25. Only the official priests and the Vestal Virgins had access to this altar.” [2]

 

Sources:

Aworldofmyths.com, “Ops“.

Lindemans, Micha F. Encyclopedia Mythica, “Ops“.

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

 

 

Suggested Links:

Gypsymagicspells.blogspot.com, “Ops – Goddess of Opulence“.

Her Cyclopedia, “The Goddess Ops“.

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

Wikipedia, “Ops“.

The Veelas

“I miss you” by pranile

“The Veelas’  themes are fairies, nature, healing, wealth and abundance. Their symbols are sweet bread, sacred fairy plants (oak, ash, thorn, foxglove, etc) and healing herbs.  These Balkan Goddesses preside over the woodlands and have the power to heal or harm, depending on the circumstances. The Veelas kindly treat humans who respect them and the earth, rewarding them with the knowledge of how to work harmoniously with the land, which, in turn, creates prosperity and abundance.

In ancient Macedonia, today was a time to appease the spirits of nature, called Drymiais. We can follow their customs by not harvesting any plants (especially vining ones), and not doing any cleaning (especially with water). If you must do one of these forbidden activities, carry iron to protect you from mischievous fairy folk.

If you live near any oak, ash or thorn trees, leave under it a little gift of sweet bread for the Veelas. As you do, whisper a short request to the Veelas for renewed health and permission to gather some herbs associated with health and healing today. Afterward, look for an ash or oak leaf or some tansy flowers. These will act as an amulet for well-being whenever you carry them with you.

For prosperity and abundance, and to improve your connection with the earth, give the Veelas an offering of honey instead, and eat a bit yourself to consume the earth’s sweetness.”

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

“Goddess Artemis” by Sierra-san

Medussa, in an piece written for the Order of the White Moon, presents a very clear picture of who these nature spirits were: “The Veelas, also known as the Vily; the Eastern European name for ‘the Goddess of energy moving through the earth as nature’. They were an ancient Kith long before the Sidhe rose to dominance over western Kithain. They live mostly in Eastern mountains and forests. They were born from the primordial worship of the Great Mother in Her warrior aspect.

The Veelas are the most beautiful women but not human; they are tall and strong, with moon bright skin and white golden hair that fans out behind them, even when there is no wind. They have flashing eyes of grey or pale blue, their voices are low and musical. But do not be mistaken, they are warrior huntresses and very protective of their terrain. They are great shape-shifters able to change into animals such as snakes, swans, falcons and horses. They love to play and dance and if contacted with a great respect they may grant you health, wealth and abundant crops. But if an intruder should show disrespect they would dance the offender to death.

The Veelas prowled the land from Scythia in the south to the Capland in the north sharing dominion with their cousins the Valkyries. They enjoy their most satisfying relationships with trolls. The Veelas are extremely given over to honor and battle.” [1]

This led me to dig a little deeper and found reference an actual Goddess named Vila.  “Vila (pronounced vee’lah) is the eastern European name for the Goddess of Energy moving through the earth as nature.  Vily (plural) are known as female spirits that lived in the woods, mountains, and clouds; they could shape shift into swans, horses, falcons, or wolves.

In Slovakia, they are regarded as the souls of dead girls that lead young men to their deaths; they fire arrows that may disturb one’s reason.” [2]

“Vila” by Hrana Janto

Patricia Monaghan writes that Vila was “one of the most powerful European Goddesses [also] called Samovila…or Judy according to the language of the people, who pictured this woodland forces as a fair-skinned winged woman with glistening garments and golden hair falling to Her feet.  She lived deep in the woods, where She guarded animals and plants as well as cleaning rubble out of streams and assuring sufficient rainfall.

Hunters were wary of beautiful, well-dressed women speaking the languages of animals, for Vila was fiercely possessive of Her wild herds.  Should one be injured or – worse yet – killed, Vila mutilated the offender or lured him into a magic circle and danced him to death.  Alternatively, Vila might bury him in rocks by starting an avalanche, or simply cause him to keel over with a heart attack.

Vila was able to masquerade as a snake, swan, falcon, horse or whirlwind.  Cloud Vilas could transform themselves into clouds or fog.  Born on a day of soft misty rain, when the sun formed miniature rainbows on the trees, She knew all the secrets of healing and herb craft.  Should a human wish to learn Her skills, blood-sisterhood was forged with Vila.  The applicant appeared in the woods before sunrise on a Sunday of the full moon.  Drawing a circle with a birch twig or a broom, she placed several horsehairs, a hoof, and some manure inside the circle, then stood with her right foot on the hoof calling to the Vila.  Should the spirit appear and be greeted as a sister, Vila would grant any wish” (p. 311).

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

Goddessrealm.com, “Vila Goddess of Transformation“.

Medussa. Order of the White Moon, “The Veelas“.

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

 

 

Suggested Links:

Finnegan, Margaret. Margaretfinnegan.blogspot.com, “Goddess of the Week: The Vily“.

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

Mydailygoddess.blogspot.com, Vila: Shape-Shifting“.

Omda.bg, “SAMODIVA” (translated from Bulgarian).

Stanton, Sandra M. The Goddess in World Mythology, “Samovila“.

Wikipedia, “Samodiva“.

 

 

Goddess Tailtiu

“Demeter” by InertiaK

“Tailtiu’s themes are the first harvest and excelling in a craft or sport. Her symbol is bread.  The Irish Goddess Tailtiu was the foster mother of the god of light, Lugh, whom this date venerates. Lugh held Her in such high regard that he created the Tailtean games, which took place during Lammas (rather like the Olympics). This honor may have also had something to do with Tailtiu’s association as an earth Goddess.

In Wiccan tradition, and in many others, today is a day for preparing food from early ripening fruits like apples. it is also a time for baking bread in honor of the harvest. Combining the two, make applesauce bread. Stir the batter clockwise, focusing on any craft or sport in which you wish to excel. As you stir, chant,

‘Flour from grain, the spell begins, let the power rise within; Apples from trees, now impart, Tailtiu, bring _________ to my heart.’

Fill in the blank with a word that describes the area in which you want to encourage improvements or develop mastery. Eat the bread to internalize the energy.

Time-friendly alternatives here are buying frozen bread and adding diced apples to it, having toast with apple butter or just enjoing a piece of bread and apple anytime during the day. Chant the incatation mentally. Then bite with conviction!”

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

“Lughnasadh” by NicoleSamlinski

Patricia Monaghan tells us that Taillte was “the Goddess of August in ancient Ireland [who] was said to be foster mother of the light, embodied in the god Lugh.  One of the great Irish earth Goddesses, Taillte lived on the magical Hill of Tara, from which She directed the clearing of an immense forest, the wood of Cuan.  It took a month to clear the Plain of Oenach Taillten, where Taillte then built Her palace; it remains on Irish maps today as Teltown, near Kells.

A festival was celebrated annually in Her honor, lasting the whole of August. For generations it was celebrated, complete with mercantile fairs and sporting events; even into the medieval times Taillte’s festivities were held. Eventually, they died out, but in the early part of this century the Tailltean Games – the Irish Olympics – were revived in an attempt to restore Irish culture” (p. 290).

According to a Teltown/Meath tourism site: “The hill of Tailtiu is one of the most celebrated spots in Ireland, for it was here that the celebrated Aonach Tailteann, the Lughnasa Festival was first held.

Tailtiu was the learned daughter of Mag Mor, a distinguished king of Spain, and married to the last great Fir Bolg king, Eochaid mac Eirc, who named his palace after Her, and She was also the foster-mother of the great hero Lugh Lámfhota.  Tailtiu lived in Her palace on Ráth Dubh and She led Her people in the clearing of the forest of County Meath, some of Ireland’s best farmland. But the work of clearing proved so onerous as to break Her heart, in the words of the text.

“Lammas” by Wendy Andrews

Queen Tailtiu took the trouble to select a particular spot in which She wished to be buried. It was located on the side of a hill, covered with dense forest; but because of its sunlit and beautiful situation She had chosen it, and Her husband, in compliance with Her wishes, had it cleared of the timber. It took a host of stalwart men nearly a year to accomplish the task.

In this spot Tailtiu desired Her Leath, or tomb, should be made, Her Cuba, or public lamentations, recited, and Her Nosad, or funeral rites and games, duly celebrated, according to the recognised customs of the country.

On Her deathbed Queen Tailte asked that funeral games be held annually on the cleared ground. King Lugh came from his great palace at Nas (now Naas, in Co. Kildare), and had Tailtiu interred in Her ‘green circle on the distant hills.’ Legend says She was buried in a royal state, with impressive druidical rites, on the side of Caill Cuain (now called Sliabh Caillighe), in what is known now as ‘Cairn T‘.

When summoned by the Ard Righ, or High King, such assemblies were of the greatest national importance, and as such were attended by all the minor kings, chiefs and nobles, as well as by vast multitudes of the people from all parts of the five provinces.  Participants came from all parts of Ireland, Scotland, and further afield, making Tailtiu the equal of Tara, Tlachtga, and Uisnech.

As a national institution, the Aonach fulfilled three important public functions in the lives of the people. Its first objective was to: do honour to the illustrious dead; secondly, to promulgate laws; and, finally, to entertain the people. Presiding at the Tailtiu assembly or fair became the prerogative of the king of Tara.

“Medieval Tournament” by C. L. Doughty

Lugh lead the first funeral games at the time of Lughnasa (1 August; Lammastide, now Lammas), which consisted of hurling, athletic, gymnastic and equestrian contests of various kinds, and included running, long-jumping, high-jumping, hurling, quoit-throwing, spear-casting, sword and-shield contests, wrestling, boxing, handball, swimming, horse-racing, chariot-racing, spear or pole jumping, slinging contests, bow-and-arrow exhibitions, and, in fact, every sort of contest exhibiting physical endurance and skill.   A universal truce was proclaimed in the High King’s name, and all feuds, fights, quarrels and such-like disturbances were strictly forbidden and severely dealt with; and all known criminals were rigorously excluded from both the games and the assembly.

In addition, there were literary, musical, oratorical, and story-telling competitions; singing and dancing competitions, and tournaments of all kinds. Also, competitions for goldsmiths, jewellers, and artificers in the precious metals; for spinners, weavers and dyers; and the makers of shields and weapons of war. The fair lasted for a fortnight.

(At the hill of Tailte is one of the most celebrated spots in Ireland, for it was here in 1420 BCE the celebrated Aonach Tailteann the Lughnasa Festival was first held.)” [2]

“Tailtiu was the last queen of Her kind, a feminine energy that felt the longing of humanity.  When the time is right, She gives birth, delivers the sheaves of wheat, then She dies, a need fulfilled….but soon She will rise again. Over the centuries, with the advent of patriarchy, Divinity began to rise towards the heavens, and Lughnasadh, the feast that was once a funerary fair in honor of Tailtiu, now became a celebration of the Sun God, Lugh.” [2]

 

 

 

Sources:

Meath.ie, “HISTORY & LEGEND ABOUT THE TAILTIU & THE TAILTEANN GAMES (A SNIPPET)“.

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

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

 

 

Suggested Links:

Ancientworlds.net, “Tailtiu and the Tailtian Games“.

Brandon-Evans, Tira. Goddess Alive! Goddess Celebration and Research, Issue No. 18 – Autumn/Winter 2010, “Tailtiu: Harvest Goddess“.  (HIGHLY RECOMMEND!)

Shee-eire.com, “Tailtiu“.

Tuathadebrighid.net, “The Story of Tailtiu“.

Wikipedia, “Tailtiu“.

Goddess Fornax

"Goddess of Bread" by echo-x

“Fornax’s themes are home and love.  Her symbols are stoves, fire and wheat.  In Rome, Fornax guided the baking of bread, which, being the proverbial staff of life, was no small matter. Today Fornax still stands ready to watch over our hearths, as the Goddess of the oven, which is the true heart of any home. If her fires go out, folklore says, warmth among the home’s occupants dwindles soon thereafter.

Fornacalia was the Roman festival of ovens, in which Fornax was invoked by baking wheat breads and other grain-related foods. So think about dusting off your cookbooks, especially any recipes from your family, and start baking! Even people pressed for time can usually make a bath of bread from frozen dough.

 If you only own a microwave, have no fear – microwaveable soft-dough pretzels are readily available in the freezer section of your supermarket. Or, simpler still, have toast for breakfast this morning to internalize Fornax’s warm emotions. On the other hand, if you’d like to give Fornax a much needed break from her toils at your place, go out and eat! Just make sure to have some bread as part of your meal to welcome Fornax to your feast.

Finally, take any dried bread you have and crumble it up for the birds (something I do every day!). Focus  on your desire for love and closeness in your life. The birds will convey your wishes to Fornax, the heavens, and the four corners of creation.”

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

She may sound like a Goddess of Fornication but how very very wrong you would be to think that. She can make things rise — and can be held responsible for buns in ovens, because She’s the Goddess of  the hearth (the literal meaning of Her name), baking and ovens.

Her festival, the Fornacalia, was celebrated on February 17, and announced by curio maximus. She is the best thing before sliced bread — proper crusty oven baked loaves made with yeast instead of cotton wool. [1][2]

Goddess Ceres

“Demeter” by Michele lee-Phelan

“Ceres’s themes are fertility, earth, harvest and growth.  Her symbols are grains (especially corn), poppies and bread.  Ceres, the Roman Goddess of corn, returns our attention to the land today to begin preparing for spring’s crop plantings. At the same time, Ceres reminds us to plant some figurative seeds of character now so they will mature throughout this year. Ceres’s name translates as ‘create’. Ceres is truly the creator and mistress of our morning feast table, having lent her name to modern breakfast cereals, which shows her affiliation with essential food crops.

For growing energy and earth awareness, eat any grain-based food today. Ideal choices include corn bread, corn flakes, puffed wheat, buttered corn or corn chowder.

 If you are a gardener, or even if you just enjoy a few houseplants, today is the perfect time to tend the soil. The Romans took time out from their other duties and spent an entire week around this date blessing the land. They invoked Ceres as the essential vegetable spirit for aid after the seeds were laid into the ground.

While we may not be able to spend a week doing likewise, a few minutes of caring for the earth is well worth the time. Put any seeds you plan to plant on an altar or in another special spot. Visualize a yellow-golden light filling and fertilizing them. Leave them here to absorb Ceres’s energy until your traditional planting season begins.”

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

Ceres was the Roman goddess of agriculture, grain and the love a mother bears for her child.  She was the daughter of Saturn and Ops, the sister of Jupiter, and the mother of Proserpine.  Ceres was a kind and benevolent goddess to the Romans and they had a common expression “fit for Ceres,” which meant splendid.

She was beloved for her service to mankind in giving them the gift of the harvest, the reward for cultivation of the soil. Also known as the Greek goddess Demeter, Ceres was the goddess of the harvest and was credited with teaching humans how to grow, preserve, and prepare grain and corn. She was thought to be responsible for the fertility of the land.

“Art Nouveau – Demeter” by Sterendenn

Ceres was the only one of the gods who was involved on a day-to-day basis and whose worship became particularly associated with the plebeian class, or the common folk, who dominated the corn trade (“corn” is the name for whatever cereal grain is in common use. The Roman cereal crops were wheat and barley, and they also used millet). While others gods occasionally “dabbled” in human affairs when it suited their personal interests, or came to the aid of “special” mortals they favored, the goddess Ceres was truly the nurturer of mankind.

She had twelve minor gods who assisted her, and were in charge of specific aspects of farming: Vervactor who ploughed fallow land; Reparator who prepared fallow land; Imporcitor who plowed with wide furrows (whose name comes from the Latin imporcare, to put into furrows); Insitor who sowed seeds; Obarator who traced the first plowing; Occator who harrowed; Sarritor who dug; Subruncinator who weeded; Messor who harvested; Conuector (Convector) who carted the grain; Conditor who stored the grain; and Promitor who distributed the grain. [1]

Ceres was worshipped at Her temple on the Aventine Hill, one of the Seven Hills of ancient Rome.  Her primary festival was the Cerealia or Ludi Ceriales (“games of Ceres”), instituted in the 3rd century B.C.E. and held annually on April 12 to April 19.  Another special time for Ceres was Ambarvalia, a Roman agricultural fertility rite where She was personified and celebrated by women in secret rituals, held at the end of May.  Little is known about the rituals of Cerelean worship; one of the few customs which has been recorded was the peculiar practice of tying lighted brands to the tails of foxes which were then let loose in the Circus Maximus. [2]

The Romans explained the turning of the seasons with the following story:  Ceres was the sister of Jupiter, and Proserpine was their daughter.  Proserpine was kidnapped by Pluto, god of the underworld, to be his bride.  By the time Ceres followed Her daughter, she was gone into the earth.  Making matters worse, Ceres learned that Pluto had been given Jupiter’s approval to be the husband of his daughter.  Ceres was so angry that she went to live in the world of men, disguised as an old woman, and stopped all the plants and crops from growing, causing a famine.  Jupiter and the other gods tried to get her to change Her mind but She was adamant.  Jupiter eventually realized that he had to get Proserpine back from the underworld, and sent for her.  Unfortunately, Pluto secretly gave her food before she left, and once one had eaten in the underworld one could not forever leave.  Proserpine was therefore forced to return to the underworld for four months every year.  She comes out in spring and spends the time until autumn with Ceres, but has to go back to the underworld in the winter.  Her parting from Ceres every fall is why plants lose their leaves, seeds lie dormant under the ground, and nothing grows until spring when Proserpine is reunited with her mother. [3]

Additional Sources:

crdmwritingroad

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