Tag Archive: childbirth


Goddess Lucina

"Lucina" by Sandra M. Stanton

“Lucina” by Sandra M. Stanton

“Lucina themes are banishing, kindness, charity, health and protection. Her symbols are candles (light sources).  Lucina means light, and judging by Her description and attributes, it is very likely that this Swedish Goddess was the prototype for Saint Lucy. Lucina is a mother and guardian, offering fertility, protection, and well-being. In worship, Lucina is often represented by a simple, lit candle.

To chase away winter’s oppression and darkness, Saint Lucy’s festival is one of lights and charitable acts. Saint Lucy is the patroness who protects against winter throat infections, and commemorating her (or Lucina) today keeps one healthy.

Begin the day in Swedish tradition by lighting a candle to represent the Goddess’s presence. After this a breakfast of coffee, saffron buns, and ginger cookies is traditional fare. Coffee provides energy to give of yourself, saffron is often used is healing spells, and ginger promotes success in all your endeavours today.

To manifest Lucina’s energy and keep the Goddess close by today, carry luminescent stones like moonstone or cat’s eye with you, then visit hospitals or elder homes in the spirit of giving of yourself. Lucina will bless those you visit, and you, with well-being, productivity and safety.”

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

“St. Lucia” by Joanna Powell Colbert

“St. Lucia” by Joanna Powell Colbert

According to Patricia Monaghan, “The little red ladybug was the emblem of this Roman Goddess, later merged with Juno and Diana, and even later converted to Christianity as St. Lucy.  The early Italic Lucina was a Goddess of light and therefore – because birth is the first time we see Her – of labor and childbed as well.  She was variously honored in September and in December – still the times for festivals of Lucina as the candle-bearing saint; Her holidays were enforced by the superstition that any work done on those days would be undone by the morrow” (p. 199).

"Juno" by Moreau

“Juno” by Gustave Moreau

Thalia Took writes: “Lucina is a Roman Goddess of Light, a Moon-Goddess who is especially a Birth-Goddess, for when a baby is born it is brought into the light of the world for the first time. As such, this epithet was applied to both Juno and Diana in their capacity as Childbirth-Goddesses, and together these Goddesses were sometimes called the Lucinae. It could also be used as an epithet of Hecate as Moon-Goddess. The name is probably from the Latin lux, ‘light’ or ‘daylight’, from which we get words like lucidluminous, and that’s right, the name Lucifer, ‘Bringer of Light’ used of the planet Venus as the morning star. (It was also, incidentally, the name of a 4th century bishop who founded his own sect, the Luciferians. Just imagine—’Bishop Lucifer’!) As the Goddess of Childbirth, Lucina protected pregnant women and the newborn child, and She was invoked by women who were having difficulty conceiving and who wanted children.

An ancient bronze mask of Juno Lucina shows Her with Her hair in tight stylized braids; a tiny crescent moon is engraved on Her forehead, as if it is an ornament dangling from Her parted hair. A different image of Her shows Her with a child on Her lap, with two more at Her feet, and holding a flower as a reminder of how She alone conceived Her son Mars, with the help of a magical flower given to Her by Flora.

Juno Lucina had been worshipped from an early age at a grove on the Cispian Hill, one of the heights of the larger Esquiline Hill in Rome. Her worship was said to have been instituted by Titus Tatius, King of the Sabines who had ruled jointly with Romulus, the legendary founder of Rome, making it very old indeed and possibly pointing to an origin for Lucina in a Sabine Moon-Goddess. The slightly later (and still mostly legendary) King Servius Tullius of the 6th century BCE was said to have begun the custom of offering a coin (I’d guess that it was traditionally a silver one, as the shiny disk of the coin could then be symbolic of the Moon) to Juno Lucina on the birth of a child, which would indicate some sort of shrine there at the time. Her main temple was built on the same site in 375 BCE, and dedicated on March 1st. In later times a large wall was added enclosing both the temple and the grove that grew on the slope of the hill. This grove was evidentally an important part of Her worship; some authorities believe that Lucina was originally derived from lucus, grove, and this grove had an ancient and celebrated tree on which offerings of locks of hair were made by the Vestal Virgins, perhaps as acknowledgement that as avowed virgins they had chosen not to be mothers.

The Matronalia, or the Festival of Mothers, was held at this temple on the anniversary of its founding. Some said it was instituted in honor of the Sabine women who were instrumental in brokering peace between the warring Sabines and early Romans. On the day of the festival, the matrons (married women) of Rome processed to the temple, where offerings and prayers were made to Juno Lucina and Her son Mars: at home, it was the custom for the women to receive gifts from their husbands, and a feast was held in which the matron waited on the slave women.

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Juno Lucina was invoked during childbirth for an easy delivery and healthy child; when worshippers called on Lucina, they let their hair loose and untied any knots in their clothing as an act of sympathetic magic, to symbolically loosen any hindrances to childbirth and allow the energy to flow. When the child was born an altar was set up to Her in the atrium of the house, and a lectisternium, (or probably more properly, asellisternium, which was for Goddesses) or banquet was given to Her.

She was equated with the Greek Eileithyia. In ancient Egypt was a city by the name of Nekheb, of whom the patron Goddess was Nekhbet, the Egyptian Childbirth-Goddess; when the Greeks took over in Ptolemaic times, they renamed the city Eileithyia after their Birth-Goddess; and when the Romans annexed Egypt, they called it Lucina.

Sources:

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

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

 

 

Suggested Links:

Benko, Stephen. The Virgin Goddess: Studies in the Pagan and Christian Roots of Mariology.

Brockway, Laurie Sue. The Goddess Pages: A Divine Guide to Finding Love and Happiness, “Saint Lucy (Lucina)” (p. 183 – 189).

Colbert, Joanna. Gaiantarot.typepad.com, “Why We Honor St. Lucia” and “More about Saint Lucia“.

Fitzgerald, Waverly. Schooloftheseasons.com,St. Lucy’s Day“.

Lanzillotta, Peter E. Interfaithservicesofthelowcountry.com, “Santa Lucia: The Saint for the Season of Light“.

Loar, Julie. Goddesses for Every Day: Exploring the Wisdom & Power of the Divine Feminine, “Juno Lucina“.

Lundy, John Patterson. Monumental Christianity, or, the Art and Symbolism of the Primitive Church.

Murphy-Hiscock, Arin. Pagan Pregnancy: A Spiritual Journey from Maiden to Mother, “Lucina“.

Theoi.com, “Eileithyia“.

Wikipedia, “Lucina (goddess)“.

Goddess Pukkeenegak

“Pukkeenegak” by Sharon Mcleod

“Pukkeenegak’s themes are kinship, community, thankfulness, charity and kindness. Her symbols are tattoos. This Inuit Goddess presides over all household and community affairs. As a mother figure, She watches kindly over Her children, making sure we have clothing and food. Art shows Her with a tattooed face, boots, and a lovely dress befitting the patroness of seamstresses.

Among the Inuit, this is a time when youths go door to door gathering foods for a huge community feast [referring to the Aiyaguk or Asking Festival].  Afterward, people petition one another for gifts – exchanging the entire community’s goods in the spirit of thanksgiving.  So, orchestrate a gathering of people of a like mind for a potluck dinner at which Pukkeenegak is the guest of honour (leave a place setting for her).

Wear special clothing today that reflects the Goddess’s gift with needle and thread. Or organize a clothing drive so people can donate items they no longer need to a charitable cause. This way the Goddess can bless each person who receives one of those garments with her providence!

If you’ve found your home or heart tense lately, invoke Pukkeenegak’s unifying, steadying energy by drawing an emblem of peace over your heart chakra or on the back of your hand (use non-toxic markers or body paint). Leave it there until it naturally wears off, by which time the magic should show signs of manifesting.”

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

“Tender Moments” by Dorothy Francis

All that I could find on today’s Goddess was that in Inuit mythology, Pukkeenegak (pronounced poo-KEE-neh-gack) was a domestic Goddess.  “The Inuit people worship Pukkeenegak as a hearth and home Goddess.  She rules all domestic tasks including sewing and cooking.  As a deity of childbirth, She rules all stages of pregnancy, including conception and labor” (Auset, p. 65); nothing more in-depth or any detailed mythological stories that I could find.

 

 

Sources:

Auset, Brandi. The Goddess Guide: Exploring the Attributes and Correspondences of the Divine Feminine, “The Goddesses: Pukkeenegak“.

 

Suggested Links:

Freefictionbooks.org, “The Dance Festivals of the Alaskan Eskimo: The Aiyaguk or Asking Festival“.

Goddess-guide.com, “Fertility Goddesses and Goddesses of Pregnancy and Childbrith“.

Libraryoftheancients.proboards.com, “Eskimo Mythology“.

Monaghan, Patricia. Encyclopedia of Goddesses and Heroines,”Circumpolar” (p. 135 – 150).

Wozniak, Edward. Glitternight.com, “Inuit Mythology“.

Goddess Haumea

“Haumea” by isa Marie

“Haumea’s themes are history, tradition, energy and restoration. Her symbols are leis, fresh flowers and Polynesian foodstuffs.  Hawaiian stories tell us that Haumea is the mother of Hawaii, having created it, the Hawaiian people, and all edible vegetation on these islands. Today She offers us renewed energy with which to restore or protect our traditions and rejoice in their beauty.

In Hawaii this marks the beginning of the Aloha Festival, a weeklong celebration of local custom and history complete with dances, parades, and sports competitions. For us this translates to reveling in our own local cultures, including foods, crafts, and the like. Hawumea lives in those customs and revels in your enjoyment of them.

If any historical site or tradition is slowly fading out due to ‘progress’, today also provides and excellent opportunity to try to draw some attention to that situation. Ask Haumea for Her help, then write letters to local officials, contact preservation or historical groups in that region, and see what you can do to keep that treasure alive.

For personal restoration or improved energy, I suggest eating some traditional Hawaiian foods today, as they are part of Haumea’s bounty and blessings. Have pineapple at breakfast, some macadamia nuts for a snack, and Kona coffee at work, and maybe even create a luau-style dinner for the family and friends to bless them too.”

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

“Haumea” by Kris Waldherr

“Originally, Hawaiian myth tells us, human women could not give birth.  They swelled with pregnancy and, when it was time for delivery, they were cut open – a dangerous procedure.  But the Goddess Haumea came to their rescue, teaching women how to push the child out between their legs.

Haumea was not so much ageless as ever-renewing.  Frequenctly She grew old, but as often She transformed Herself into a a young woman [much like Changing Woman/White Painted Woman or Estsanatlehi].  Generations went by and still She lived among humans, sleeping with the handsome young men even when they were Her grandchildren and dsitant descendants.  One of Her favored mates was named Wakea.  Once it was said, the people intended to sacrifice him.  Taking him to the forest, which was Her domain, Humea ran directly through the tree trunks, leaving shreds of Her shirts blooming as morning glory vines, and carried Her lover to safety.

Because She owned all the wild plants, Haumea could withdraw Her energy, leaving people to starve.  This She did when angry, but most often Haumea was a kindly Goddess.  Some say She is part of a trinity whose other aspects are the creator Hina and the fiery Pele” (Monaghan, p. 146).

“According to most accounts, She mated with the god Kane Milohai and gave birth to many children, including Hawaii’s most famous Goddess, Pele.  Thus, She is often referred to as the mother of the Hawaiian people as well as the Great Earth Mother.

Haumea was reported to be extremely skilled in childbirth. Because of that, children weren’t born of Her from mere traditional methods. Instead, they sprang from different parts of Her body. One Hawaiian legend claims that Pele was born from Her mother’s armpit, while another states that She came from a flame out of the Goddess’s mouth. Obviously, the second version makes more sense in light of Pele’s role as Goddess of the volcano.” [2]

Haumea’s other children included Kanemilohai, Kā-moho-aliʻi, Nāmakaokaha’i, Kapo and Hiʻiaka and was eventually killed by Kaulu.

Art by Susan Seddon Boulet

On 17 September 2008 the International Astronomical Union (IAU) announced it named the fifth known dwarf planet in the Solar System ‘Haumea‘ after the Hawaiian Goddess. The planet’s two moons were named after Haumea’s daughters: Hiʻiaka, after the Hawaiian Goddess said to have been born from the mouth of Haumea, and Namaka, after the water spirit said to have been born from Haumea’s body.” [3]

 

 

 

Sources:

Kuchinsky, Charlotte. Voices.yahoo.com, “Discovering the Polynesian Goddess Haumea“.

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

Wikipedia, “Haumea (mythology)“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Powersthatbe.com, “ANCIENT HAWAIIN GODDESS HAUMEA“.

Sacred-texts.com, “XIX Haume“.

“Water” by Jia Lu

“Tamayorihime’s themes are cleansing, health, children and water. Her symbol is water (especially moving water or saltwater).  An ancient Japanese sea Goddess, Tamayorihime rules not only moving water sources but also all matters of health. She also watches over birth waters to ensure a speedy, safe delivery for pregnant women.

The Tenjin festival began in 949 C.E. as a way to get rid of summer maladies. If you’ve had a cold, the flu or some other ailment, try an adaption of Japanese custom. Take a piece of paper that you’ve left on your altar for a while and rub it on the area of your body that’s afflicted. Drop the paper into moving water (like the toilet) to carry away sickness in Tamayorihime’s power. Alternatively, burn the paper to purge the problem. Mingle the ashes with a few drops of saltwater and carry them in a sealed container as a Tamayorihime amulet for health.

For personal cleansing and healing, soak in an Epsom-salt bath today. As you lie in the tub, stir the water clockwise with your hand to draw Tamayorihime’s health to you, or counterclockwise so She can banish a malady. If time doesn’t allow for this, add a very small pinch of salt to your beverages and stir them similarly throughout the day, while mentally or verbally reciting this invocation:

‘Health be quick, health be kind, within this cup the magic bind!’

Drink the beverage to internalize Tamayorihime’s energy.”

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

Tamayorihime, painted wood sculpture, dated to 1251, at Yoshino Mikumari Jinja.

According to the Encyclopedia of Shinto, “Tamayorihime (or –bime) is a common noun meaning a divine bride, in other words, a woman who cohabits with a kami and gives birth to his child.” [1]

Patricia Monaghan says that “like her sister Japanese heroines Ikutamayorihime and Seyadatarahime, she was a young woman who became a mother ancestor to an important family after mating with an otherworldly creature.  This being used to come under cover of darkness, which apparently did not disturb the girl until she became pregnant.  Then, to discover his identity, she sewed a long hemp thread to his hem, and, next morning, followed it to a dark cave.  At its mouth she called out for her lover to show his face.  ‘You would burst with fright,’ a deep voice answered from the earth’s center.  Unafraid, she continued to make her demand until he appeared, a scaly monster with a needle stuck in its throat.  Tamayorihime fainted, but lived to bear the hero Daida, greatest warrior of Kyushu.  The heroine’s name, meaning a woman (hime) possessed (yor) by a god (tama), may have been a title borne by the Japanese shamans called miko.  Similar stories are told of Psyche and Semele” (p. 291).

In the book Spirit Tree: Origins of Cosmology in Shintô Ritual at Hakozaki by E. Leslie Williams, I was able to find reference to Tamayorihime as an “earth-bound Female spirit cognitively linked with the ocean depths…a daughter of the sea deity, Watatsumi, in the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki myth cycles.” [2]  “She appears in the KOJIKI as the mother of Emperor Jinmu (Jimmu).  In this case She appears accompanied by two other deities and the three together are known as the Mikomori Sannyoshin. ” [3]

 

 

Sources:

Mizue, Mori. Encyclopedia of Shinto, “Tamayorihime“.

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

Onmarkproductions.com, “Mikumari Myōjin Shrines“.

Williams, E. Leslie. Spirit Tree: Origins of Cosmology in Shintô Ritual at Hakozaki.

 

Suggested Links:

Faure, Bernard. The Power of Denial: Buddhism, Purity, and Gender.

Greve, Gabi. Wkdfestivalsaijiki.blogspot.com, “Samekawa Ablutions“.

Mizue, Mori. Encyclopedia of Shinto, “Tamayoribime“.

Ouwehand, C. Namazu-e and Their Themes: An Interpretative Approach to Some Aspects of Japanese Folk Religion.

Wikipedia, “Shinto shrine“.

Wikipedia, “Tamayori-bime“.

 

 

Goddess Coventina

"Cascade" by Jonathon Earl Bowser

“Coventina’s themes are wishes, water, purity, and innocence.  Her symbol is water.  This British/Celtic Goddess of sacred water sources flows with the Blajini (water spirits) to enrich our life with clarity and virtue and to answer our heart’s desires. In works of art She is depicted as a water nymph floating on a leaf while holding vessels teaming with water. Customary offerings to encourage Conventina’s favor include pins, votives, coins and semiprecious stones.

In Romania, water spirits are called Blajini, or ‘gentle ones’, because they kindly reward people who give them an offering (much like wishing wells in Europe). These are citizens of the Conventina’s fairy realm, whose motivations are pure and guileless. To keep the Blajini happy and encourage Conventina’s sanction, present a special offering to them while whispering your hopes and dreams. Go to any fountain (perhaps one at the mall) and toss in a coin. The Blajini will bear the coin and the wish to Conventina for manifestation.

For personal clarity or to inspire principled actions in a situation in which you might be tempted to be a proverbial ‘bad witch’, start the day off with a glass of water. Recite this incantation over it before drinking:

 ‘Conventina, keep my magic pure
within my spirit let Goodness endure.’

Repeat this phrase throughout the day anytime you have water.”

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

“Coventina was a Romano-British Goddess of wells and springs. She is known from multiple inscriptions at one site in Northumberland county of the United Kingdom, an area surrounding a wellspring near Carrawburgh on Hadrian’s Wall. It is possible that other inscriptions, two from Hispania and one from Narbonensis, refer to Coventina, but this is uncertain and disputed.”[1]

"Coventina" by destinysolo

“Coventina is associated with healing, renewal, abundance, new beginnings, life cycles, inspiration, childbirth, wishes and prophecy.  In worship to Her, coins and other objects were tossed into the wells as offerings for sympathetic magick. These wells represent the earth womb, where the Celts felt Her power could be most strongly felt. Her symbols are the cauldron, cup, water, coins, broaches and wells. The moon that corresponds to Her is the Reed Moon and Her aspect is divination. A lot of the information on Her has been lost, even so it known that She was looked upon as the queen of the river Goddesses. From Scotland comes Her association with the Underworld, where She was the Goddess of featherless flying creatures which could pass to the Otherworld. Being a river Goddess She is connected the ebb and flow of time.” [2]

"Carrawbrough: Coventina's Well" Bas-relief of triple Coventina.

“Coventina is depicted as a nymph and invoked as a triple Goddess.  The possible invocation of Coventina as a triple mother Goddess is interesting, given the offerings found in the well dedicated to Her. The votive pins strongly suggest a fertility cult and association with childbirth, as does the bronze horse, a distinct fertility symbol. The dog is associated with the Greco-Roman physician Aesculapius in classical mythology, though in Celtic mythology it is also linked to human lifespans; strongly suggesting a healing aspect to the Goddess’ cult; which is also a function of the spring itself. Thus fecundity and healing are suggested by the votive offerings though She is obviously predominantly a water deity. The presence of bronze heads and head plaques, as well as face pots, one of which protrays an elegant female face (possibly the Goddess herself?) as well as the human skull suggests that the cult of the head may have been prevalent at Coventina’s shrine. However, the human skull may be a red herring, part of the shrine’s desecration during the Christian era. Though the dedication of heads and head representations to watery shrines is a well-attested practice which may also have been conducted at this shrine.” [3]

For more information on Conventina, please visit Coventina – a website devoted to the Goddess Coventina. Here you’ll find everything you need to know about this Romano-Celtic water Goddess, including Her history, Her myth, images of Her in ancient and contemporary art, all about the archaeological site associated with Her, and a little bit about Her significance in modern spirituality.

Sources:

Nemeton: The Sacred Grove, Home of the Celtic gods, “Coventina, A Brythonic Goddess, also known as Covetina, Covventina, Cuhvetena: Disappearing Memory, Memory of Snow“.

Tranquillity Fearn.  The Order of the White Moon, “Coventina: Queen of the River Goddesses“.

Wikipedia, “Coventina“.

Suggested Links:

Dumas, Adrienne. The Faeries And Angels Magazine, “Goddess Coventina: Water Healing“.

Ford, David Nash. Early British Kingdoms, “Nimue, alias Vivienne, Lady of the Lake“.

The Goddess Temple, Inc. Talk with the Goddess, “Goddess Coventina“.

Midgley, Tim.  The Midgley Web Page, “Coventina: A Romano-British Goddess of Freshwater“.

Nicole, Shantel. Angelic Connections with Shantel Nicole, “Coventina“.

Tehomet. Coventina.

Goddess Eleithyia

“Eleithyia’s themes are birth, children, creativity and fertility. Her symbols are a torch and white flowers.
As the Aegean Goddess of birth, Eleithyia acts as the midwife to your new year, filling it with creative power. Eleithyia’s name translates as ‘Fluid of Generation’, giving her strong fertile aspects, and she also has a hand in personal fate. According to myth, Eleithyia was the midwife of the gods and even birthed Eos, the creative force behind all things. When Eleithyia’s hands were closed, birth was delayed. When Eleithyia opened her body, a child arrived effortlessly.

The ancients honored their midwives today as the Goddess’s assistants by giving them gifts. In modern times, this might equate to sending a thank-you note to your physician or paediatrician.

If you want to bring Eleithyia’s fertility to any area of your life this year, try this spell:

Gather a handful of white flower petals. Work in any area that somehow represents your goal. If you want a fertile garden, for example, cast this spell in your garden; for fertile ideas, perform it in your study. Visualize your goal as you release all but one petal, turning clockwise to the winds, saying something like this:
‘The wish of my heart, Eleithyia see
and bring back to me fertility.’

Carry the last petal to help the magic manifest.”

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

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