Tag Archive: children


A Tragic Day for Our Children

Oh my Goddess….where do I begin?  What are we doing?  So many tears; my heart and soul mourn for our children…42 children and 7 adults have have either died or suffered major injury today at the hands of 2 very disturbed individuals.

 

20 Children Died in Newton, Conn., School Massacre

 

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So, if you would, please find and set aside some time tonight, tomorrow or over the weekend and light a candle, send some energy and/or pray for the little ones’ whose lives were cut so short and for those adults who cared for them.

“Hold them dear Mother,
Our children now lost.
Give them your blessings,
Whatever the cost.

Bless their gentle smiles,
And bless all their tears.
Hold them forever,
In love without fear.” – Lady Abigail from Ravensgrove Coven

Send energy and love to those left behind to try and pick up the pieces, who only have pictures and stuffed animals left to hold and empty bedrooms to look into where smiles, laughter and happy feet used to be…

Take time to sit with, love and appreciate your children.  Really reflect on what kind of future we want for our children and how we can make it better for them, for now is the time – now is the time to awaken, the whole paradigm needs to shift! It is time for us parents to answer the call…the moment is now…

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“Every act of violence is a reminder of how important it is to teach our children Love and Peace…..Teach them Peace before the world teaches them violence….Listen to them when they talk, spend time, the times have changed childhood is tough these days….I am hoping all parents would take a few minutes to watch this clip. (Thanks to Jasmine S. for these wise words)” – from the Wisdom of the Sacred Feminine

 

 

 

And let us not forget the  China stabbing spree hurt 22 schoolchildren that also happened today…because they need love and light and are our children too…

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From “Better Gnomes & Cauldrons” Facebook page

Goddess Castalia

“Castalia’s themes are art, creativity, joy, children and inspiration. Her symbols are cartoon characters and fountains. In Greek tradition, this Goddess embodies the force of artistic inspiration. Her power is so profuse that art often depicts Her simply as an ever-flowing fountain from which we can drink when our motivation wanes.

On this day in 1901, the legendary Walt Disney was born. During his life, Disney inspired millions of children with a Castalia-rich imagination and well-beloved cartoon characters. To remember this man and uplift Castalia’s childlike ability to awaken the artist within, watch a favorite Walt Disney film today, revealing in the wonder of it. Then get out and do something creative! Try drawing your own magical cartoon (this is just for you and the Goddess, so don’t worry about a lack of skill – the keynote today is having fun with your fancy).

To quaff this Goddess’s inspiration for any task you’re undertaking, find a water fountain and drink fully of it. Visualize the water filled with a color of light, to you, represents creativity. Also fill a small container with a secure top with some of this water and keep it with you. Carry Castalia’s power into the situation in which you need inspiration. Pour a little out before your meeting, artistic effort or speech to release Her power. Or sip a bit of it to wet your whistle and renew the magic.”

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

The Nymph Kastalia (or Castalia) of Delphi

Patricia Monaghan told us that Castalia was “the power that resided in a spring on Mt. Parnassus, this Goddess was apparently a force of artistic inspiration, for the Muses (called ‘Castalides‘ in Her honor) made Her fountain a sacred place” (p. 81).

Wikipedia states: “Castalia, in Greek mythology, was a nymph whom Apollo transformed into a fountain at Delphi, at the base of Mount Parnassos, or at Mount Helicon. Castalia could inspire the genius of poetry to those who drank Her waters or listened to their quiet sound; the sacred water was also used to clean the Delphian temples. Apollo consecrated Castalia to the Muses (Castaliae Musae). The 20th century German writer Hermann Hesse used Castalia as inspiration for the name of the fictional province in his 1943 magnum opusThe Glass Bead Game.” [1]

“Apollo and Daphne” by Henrietta Rae

Now how, I wondered, did this all come about?  Apparently, Castalia, (the daughter of the river-god Achelous) was pursued by Apollo.  She then threw Herself into a spring on Mount Parnassus, which took its name after Her. Well damn, didn’t something similar happen when Apollo pursued a nymph called Daphne? Only, She turned into a Bay laurel tree.  I can’t help but wonder then if this is yet another example of Chastity vs. Lust.  “The myth of Apollo and Daphne has been examined as a battle between chastity (Daphne) and sexual desires (Apollo). As Apollo lustfully pursues Daphne, She is saved through Her metamorphosis and confinement into the laurel tree which can be seen as an act of eternal chastity. Daphne is forced to sacrifice Her body and become the laurel tree as Her only form of escape from the pressures of Apollo’s constant sexual desires. Apollo takes Daphne’s eternal chastity and crafts himself a wreath out of Her laurel branches turning Her symbol of chastity into a cultural symbol for him and other poets and musicians.” [2]  So, I can’t help but wonder; was this an appropriate example for women to follow?  If being pursued by a man, sacrifice yourself to keep your chastity intact…only to be used and exploited in another way to satisfy other needs?

The actual spring that She threw Herself into was created when Pegasus struck his hoof against a rock at the base of Mount Parnassus and water gushed forth, creating a wellspring of divine inspiration for the gods of Olympus. [3]

 

 

 

Sources:

Antinousgaygod.blogspot.com, “The Well of Castalia – How Delphic Antinous Can Teach You to Tame Pegasus“.

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

Wikipedia, “Apollo and Daphne“.

Wikipedia, “Castalia“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Blakey, Heather. Dailywriting.net, “The Castalian Waters and Sacred Mythological Wells“.

Odysseyadventures.ca, “Delphi, the Oracle of Apollo“.

Theoi.com, “Castalia“.

Wikipedia, “Castalian Spring“.

Goddess Boldogasszony

“Boldogasszony’s themes are winter, love, romance, relationships, devotion, purity and fertility. Her symbol is milk.  This Hungarian mother and guardian Goddess watches diligently over Her children, wanting only the best for them, as any mother would. Her sacred beverage, milk, is also considered a suitable libation when asking for this Goddess’s blessing.

Hungarian wedding festivals often take place in winter, after the harvest season and meat preparation. The traditions here are laden with magic we can ‘borrow’ for building strong personal relationships, asking for Boldogasszony’s blessing by having a cup of milk present at any activity. For example, cutting a rope that is attached to your home symbolizes your release from the old ways and freedom to enter into commitment. Stepping across birch wood purifies intentions and ensures a fertile, happy union.

Lighting a torch (or candle) represent vigilant devotion in a relationship. Do this at the time of your engagement, as you recite vows, or as you both enter a new residence for the first time so that commitment will stay with you. Wherever you are, eating off each other’s plates and drinking from one cup deepens harmony (include a milk product like cheese). Finally, dancing with kitchen utensils ensures that the home fire will always stay warm.”

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

According to the Wikipedia, Boldogasszony was a mother Goddess.  “Her name means ‘Blessed Lady’ or ‘Bountiful Queen’. She was the Goddess of motherhood and helped women in childbirth. After Hungarians were Christianized with the help of St. Gerard of Csanad, Her figure fell out of favor for that of the Virgin Mary. She is also considered the ‘Queen (Regina) of Hungary'”. [1]

I pretty much found the same information on Britannica.com: “Boldogasszony, also called Nagyboldogasszony,  the Hungarian equivalent of the Beata Virgo (Latin: ‘Blessed Virgin’), referring to the Virgin Mary as the patron saint of the Hungarian nation. Originally, Boldogasszony was probably one of the main deities of pagan Magyar mythology. The name was transferred to the Virgin Mary on the advice of St. Gerard of Csanad (Gerard Sagredo), one of the chief Christian evangelizers of Hungary.

Stephen I, the first Hungarian king (997–1038), offered his country to Mary as the patroness of the Hungarians (Magyarok Nagyasszonya) at the end of his reign. As a consequence, the country was often referred to as Mary’s realm, the Regnum Marianum. On the occasion of the country’s millennial celebrations (1896), Pope Leo XIII sent an encyclical letter to the Hungarian nation, granting permission for Hungarian Catholics to celebrate the feast of the patroness Boldogasszony.” [2]

According to the Encyclopedia of Spirits: “Boldog Asszony literally means ‘Happy Woman.’  Asszony, translated as ‘woman,’ possesses an extra nuance: Asszony indicates a relationship so close and intimate that, though not a physical blood relative, it is impossible to conceive of having a wedding or funeral without Her.  That’s the gist of Boldog Asszony, presiding spirit of life cycles, especially births and weddings.

Boldog Asszony grants fertility, oversees pregnancy, and supervises birth.  It is traditional to honor Her immediately after birth.  An offering table is laid to Her, and She must be formally thanked.  She is, as Her title indicates, a generally benevolent, patient Goddess not given to the temper tantrums displayed by some Birth Fairies.  If a family fails to honor Her, it may take years for Her displeasure to manifest: fail to thank Boldog Asszony at the birth of a baby, and that baby may never have a happy marriage.  (The opportunity exists in the years in between to apologize and make amends.)

Art by Réka Somogyi

Boldog Asszony is a title, not a name, and it is now generally applied to the Virgin Mary, but the original Boldog Asszony was a Goddess with dominion over joy, fertility, and abundance, among the primary deities of the Hungarian pantheon.  Saint Gellert, who converted the Hungarians to Christianity in the eleventh century, wrote that the Church was associating Boldog Asszony with Mary and calling Her the Queen of Hungary.

Boldog Asszony has seven daughters who bring good fortune.  To differentiate Her from Her daughters, She is called Nagy Boldogaszony (‘Big or Great Boldog Asszony’) while Her daughters are Kis Boldogaszony (‘Little Boldog Asszony’).  She is intensely identified with Mary.  Alternatively, She is identified with Saint Anne, while Little Boldog Asszony, reduced to one daughter, is identified with Anne’s daughter, Mary.

Day: Tuesday. (Do not do laundry or anything that pollutes or dirties water on Her day).

Sacred day: She is now associated with Christmas and with various harvest festivals throughout the year.

Offerings: Water, wine, pastries, dried and fresh fruit, Palinka (Hungarian fruit brandy).

See also: Atete; Black Madonna; Fairy, Birth; Szépasszony” (Illes, p. 292 – 293).

 

 

In this video, Zsuzsanna Budapest tells her story with her experience with Boldogasszy during WWII and the Hungarian Revolution.

 

 

 

Sources:

Britannica.com, “Boldogasszony“.

Illes, Juika. Encyclopedia of Spirits, “Boldog Asszony“.

Wikipedia, “Magyar mythology“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Content.yudu.com (Goddess Magazine – August 2009), “Boldogasszony – Glad Woman” (p. 14- 17).

Goddesses-and-gods.blogspot.com, “Goddess Boldogasszony“.

Hamori, Fred. Users.cwnet.com, “The Sumerian and Hungarian Fertility Goddess“.

Holland, Ellen. Holland’s Grimoire of Magickal Correspondences: A Ritual Handbook.

Infinite8design.com, “Goddesses of Hungary“.

Zbudapest.com, The Goddess/Wiccan Movement: Interview with Z Budapest“.

Goddess Strenia

“Strenia’s themes are children and protection. Her symbols are bay, palm and fig leaves, honey and youthful images. While this Goddess’s traditional festival date in Italy was January 1, She joins in our holiday observances, Rights of the Child Day, today to extend Her protective care to children. Among the Sabines and Romans, Strenia safeguarded the youth by providing health and strength. Traditional offerings for this Goddess include burning leaves and leaving out sweet breads mixed with dates of figs.

On this day in 1959, Strenia was likely standing by and applauding as the United Nations adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child to encourage proper treatment of our youth and inspire their future.

So, take time with the children in your life today. Teach them in the ‘way they should grow’ and revel in their innocent trust and love. Invoke Strenia’s blessings and health for that young one by sharing fig cookies (heck, eat a few yourself for strength!).

 

Or, make the child a small power pouch that includes a bay leaf and a dried crumb of sweet bread. This way they can carry the Goddess with them even when you’re not around.

For those without children, try volunteering at a youth shelter or orphanage today. Take one of those kids out for lunch or to the zoo. Through your efforts, Strenia can gather that child in arms of warmth and comfort.”

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

“Sabine” by `Foxfires

“In ancient Roman religion, Strenua or Strenia was a Goddess of the new year, purification, and wellbeing.  She had a shrine (sacellum) and grove (lucus) at the top of the Via Sacra.  Varro said She was a Sabine Goddess. W.H. Roscher includes Her among the indigitamenta, the lists of Roman deities maintained by priests to assure that the correct divinity was invoked in public rituals.  The procession of the Argei began at Her shrine.

On January 1, twigs from Strenua’s grove were carried in a procession to the citadel (arx) .  The rite is first noted as occurring on New Year’s Day in 153 BCE, the year when consuls first began assuming their office at the beginning of the year. It is unclear whether it had always been held on that date or had been transferred that year from another place on the calendar, perhaps the original New Year’s Day on March 1.

The name Strenia was said to be the origin of the word strenae (preserved in French étrennes), the new-year gifts Romans exchanged as good omens in an extension of the public rite:

From almost the beginning of Mars‘ city the custom of New Year’s gifts (strenae) prevailed on account of the precedent of king Tatius who was the first to reckon the holy branches (verbenae) of a fertile tree (arbor felix) in Strenia’s grove as the auspicious signs of the new year.”

During the Principate, these strenae often took the form of money.

Johannes Lydus says that strenae was a Sabine word for wellbeing or welfare (hygieia, Latin salus). The supposed Sabine etymology may or may not be factual, but expresses the Sabine ethnicity of Tatius.  St. Augustine says that Strenia was the Goddess who made a person strenuus, ‘vigorous, strong.’

According to some scholars the Befana tradition is derived by the Strenua cult.” [1]

 

 

 

Sources:

Wikipedia, “Strenua“.

 

Suggested Links:

Labefanas.com, “History of La Befana“.

Societyofdiana.blogspot.com, “Dea Strenia

Goddess Tatsuta-Hime

“Oriental Autumn” by ~OzureFlame

“Tatsuta-Hime’s themes are children, health, luck, thankfulness, autumn, blessings, abundance and protection. Her symbols are Fall leaves.  This windy Japanese Goddess blows into our lives today offering blessings and abundance for all our efforts. Tradition tells us that She weaves the Fall leaves into a montage of color, then sweeps them away along with any late-fall maladies. Sailors often wear an amulet bearing Her name to weather difficult storms at sea safely.

The Shichi-go-San Festival, also known as the 7-5-3 Festival, in Japan is a huge birthday celebration for children who have reached these ages. Parents take their young ones to local shrines for the Goddess’ and Gods’ blessings. Here they receive a gift of rice for prosperity, and a bit of pink hard candy for a long life.

If you have children, by all means follow this custom to draw Tatsuta-Hime’s protective energies into their lives. Place some rice, a piece of pink candy, and a strand of the child’s hair in a little sealed box. Write the Goddess’s name somewhere on the box to keep her blessing intact. Put this in the child’s room or on the family altar.

To manifest this Goddess’s health and well-being, take several swatches of fabric bearing her name and sew them into various items of clothing, or carry on in your pocket. Should your day prove emotionally stormy, this little charm will keep you centered, calm, and ‘on course’.”

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

“Aeris: Air” by AkinaSaita

Though Tatsuta-Hime (pronounced tat-SUE-tah HEE-may) is a minor wind Goddess, Her essence and actions are unforgettable.  It is said that each year Tatsuta-Hime, Goddess of dyeing and weaving, dyes silk yarn and weaves a beautiful multicolored tapestry of yellow, orange, russet, crimson and gold.  She then incarnated Herself as wind and blew Her own work to shreds.  According to Janet and Stewart Farrar, Her male counterpart is Tatsuta-Hiko and is prayed to for good harvests.

 

 

 

Sources:

Farrar, Janet & Stewart. The Witches’ Goddess.

Goddesses-and-gods.blogspot.com, “Tatsuta-Hime“.

Hathaway, Nancy. The Friendly Guide to Mythology, “Tatsuta-Hime“.

Monaghan, Patricia. The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines, “Tatsuma-Hime”.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Darumamuseumgallery.blogspot.com, “Four Seasons Deities“.

Satow, Sir Earnest Mason & A.G.S. Hawes. A Handbook for Travelers in central and northern Japan, “Tatta“, (p. 386).

Shine Tsu-Hiko.

Goddess Ra’i Ra’i

“Ra’i ra’i’s themes are children, youthfulness, recreation, play, joy and fairies. Her symbols are sunlight and white or pastel-yellow items.  In Polynesia, Ra’i ra’i is the Goddess of unbridled happiness and sunshine, lighting the way for truly joyful living. When Ra’i ra’i came to earth to mother the first humans, She brought with Her tiny frolicsome fairies who live in the elements, often playing with people and watching over nature.

Follow Samoan tradition of White Sunday and wear white to inspire your inner child, then go enjoy the children in and around your life. In this part of the world, the entire day today is dedicated to children and activities to promote their delight.

Go for a nature walk and look for signs of Ra’i Ra’i’s fairy friends. Small circles of mushrooms, a ring of trees, the sound of tiny bells all indicate the fey are nearby watching you!

Get outside and allow this Goddess’s warm light into your body through the sun today. If the weather isn’t cooperating, wear any golden or pastel-yellow items today as a type of color therapy to inspire Ra’i Ra’i’s youthful energy within.

Definitely take time to do something frisky today. If there’s a recreational activity you enjoy, go play! This invokes Ra’i ra’i’s happiness and pleases this Goddess greatly.”

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

Art by Susan Seddon Boulet

So, I couldn’t dig too much up on today’s Goddess.  I’m not entirely sure as to how factual all of this information is, as it kind of has a New Age-y type feel to it (not that that’s necessarily a bad thing, I just really prefer more scholarly type references) but I will share it with you anyways.  From what I could piece together: “Ra’i Ra’i is the name given in the Tumuripo Story of Creation [I could find no reference to or definition of ‘Tumuripo’] for the divine progenitress of the Hawaiian people (the People of Havai’i). According to Melville, ‘Ra’i Ra’i was chosen, by royal command of the Goddess of the Sun, Lady Ra, to perform a mission of transfiguration. She was sent to deliver into being upon this earth the human beings who were soon to blossom as branches of the Tree of Life in Po’ (the Celestial Realm of the Gods)  [I’m thinking something similar to this]. The place which Ra’i Ra’i established for this creation was the ‘Garden of Sunshine’ in the Land of Rua (Mu) [the name of a hypothetical continent that disappeared at the dawn of human history]. There to help Her in the Garden where the Menehunes, whom Melville equates to ‘brownies‘. He states that the little people who populated Hawai’i in the early period of the islands were ‘Manahunes’ and were simply a human dwarf race, not related to the Menehunes.

In addition to the Menehunes, the other nature beings in the Garden of Sunshine are the following. I am giving Melville’s comparisons to western names for them as well as their Hawaiian counterparts. These western comparisons may or may not be entirely accurate in my estimation. The descriptions come from Melville’s translations of The Tumruipo chant (again, I could find no reference for this chant).

a) eepas (elves)

b) tup’ua (fairies — tiny winged creature, feminine in shape who lived above the ground in the blossoming branches)

c) mo’o (water nymphs–shaped like mermaids)” [1]

* Now on Sacred-texts.com, it states that “Hawaiian families count the Menehune as their ancestral spirits and helpers, and these little people play the part of benevolent godparents to their descendants. On the other hand, Hawaiians speak of eepa spirits who are tricky rather than helpful to mankind. A family story told in Kau district on Hawaii illustrates the benevolent activities of the Menehune spirits and many examples occur in old legends like those of LakaHainakolo, and Kawelo.

Back to Ra’i ra’i – Frank Joseph in his book The Lost Civilization of Lemuria writes, “In Hawaiin myth itself, the firstborn of Ra’i ra’i, a sun Goddess, was Mu Re, ancestor of the islands’ earliest inhabitants.” [2]  According to James Churchward, Ra Mu was the King-High Priest of the Motherland – Mu (Ra meaning “Sun” and Mu meaning “Land”).  Churchward goes on to explain that, “Many generations before, the people had selected a king and added the prefix Ra to his name. He then became the hieratical head and emperor under the name ‘Ra Mu’.  The empire received the name ‘Empire of the Sun’.

As high priest, Ra Mu was the representative of the Deity [whose name was never spoken and was worshiped through a symbol out of deep reverence] in religious teachings. It was thoroughly taught and understood that Ra Mu was not to be worshiped, as he was only representative” (p. 24).

 

I’ve included some “Suggested Links” that don’t necessarily pertain to Ra’i ra’i per se, because I really couldn’t find that much; however, I felt the information in these links were relevant to the overall mythology surrounding Her and the characters of this interesting creation story.

 

 

Sources:

Churchward, James. lost_continent_mu_churchward_1931. (PDF file)

Joseph, Frank. The Lost Civilization of Lemuria, “Hawaiian Motherland” (p. 166 – 169).

Pihanakalani.spiritmythos.org, “Children of the Rainbow“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Beckwith, Martha Warren. Hawaiian Mythology, “Legend of the Mu People“.

Crystalinks.com, “Lemuria“.

Gudgeon. Jps.auckland.ac.nz, “THE TIPUA-KURA, AND OTHER MANIFESTATIONS OF THE SPIRIT WORLD“.

Jantsang, T. Guardiansofdarkness.com, “Two Articles on Polynesians and Cthulhu Oceanic Mythos“.

Joesting, Edward. Kauai: The Separate Kingdom.

Marsh, Amy. Waihili.blogspot.com, “A Hidden Meaning of the Mo’o Goddesses?

Mythicalrealm.com, “The Menehune: Also known as Nawao“.

Sacred-texts.com, “Mu and Menehune People“.

Schweitzer, Veronica S. Coffeetimes.com, “Guardian Geckos“.

Wesselman, Hank. Sharedwisdom.com, “Hawaiian Perspectives on the Matrix of the Soul“.

Westervelt, W.D. Hawaiian Legends of Volcanoes (Forgotten Books), “Hiiaka’s Battle with Demons” (p. 69).

Westervelt, William Drake. Hawaiian Legends of Ghosts and Ghost Gods, “Aumakuas, or Ancestor-Ghosts“.

Rainbow Serpent

“Rainbow Serpent Dreaming” by Lorraine Williams

“Rainbow Serpent’s themes are beauty, life, joy, fertility, tradition, children and health. Her symbols are flowers, rainbows, rainwater and pearls. The Aborigine Goddess, also sometimes called Julunggul, represents the fertile rains and the waters in the seas. According to tradition, She flows into people’s lives, bringing children, joy, the knowledge of magical healing arts, and protection for sacred traditions.

The city of Queensland, Australia, blossoms around this time of year in a colorful array of flowers. This carnival honors the joy of living, something the Rainbow Serpent embodies.

If you have floral prints, definitely wear them today to inspire the Rainbow Serpent’s ability to flow and adapt, using beauty and happiness as a powerful coping mechanism.

If it rains today, it is a sign of this Goddess’s blessing. Release your inner child and dance in the downpour. Jump in puddles and let Her fertile, productive energy splash freely all over your life and everything around you.

 

To internalize a little of the Rainbow Serpent’s attributes, collect rainwater in a clean pan on or around this date, then steep some edible flower petals (like roses) in the water. Drink or cook with this today so Her power can blossom in your heart.”

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

The Australian Rainbow Serpent” by Susanne Iles

“In the Australian Aboriginal mythology of Arnhem Land, Julunggul is a rainbow snake Goddess, who oversaw the maturing and initiation of boys into manhood. She was a fertility Goddess, associated with rebirth and the weather.

She is also known as Kalseru.

Another name for this deity, Yurlunggur, is also the name of an extinct genus of madtsoiid snakes (Yurlunngur), specifically named after the Aboriginal myth.” [1]  Some believe that belief in the Rainbow Serpent is closely linked to the Wonambi naracoortensis which is an extinct ancient snake of gigantic proportions.” [2]

Patricia Monaghan says that “the rainbow snake Goddess of Australia was able to be male, to be neuter, or to be androgynous.  She was said to be embodied in the ocean and waterfalls, in pearls and crystals, and in the deep pools in which She lived.  A Goddess of initiations, Julunggul was approached in Arnhem Land by boys who, symbolically swallowed and regurgitated by the mother snake, were vomited out again as men” (p. 173).

“The Snake Painting” by Peter Eglington

“The stories associated with the different types of Rainbow Serpents across Australia depend on the tribe and what part of Australia they come from. Those tribes that experience monsoons depict the Rainbow Serpent as interacting with the sun and the wind to create them in their Dreamtime stories. Those tribes that are more central in Australia and do not experience such turbulent weather tell their tales of a Rainbow Serpent that reflect their own environmental condition.” [2]

Susan Iles explains: “There are as many legends of the Rainbow Serpent as there are tribes of people, but the common elements can be found as follows.

“Kandimalal and the Rainbow Serpent” by Boxer Milner, Billiluna

The All-Mighty Creator formed the Earth and the heavens. However, at the time of creation the Earth in the Dreamtime was flat, colourless and desolate. The Rainbow Serpent descended from the sky and moved over the face of the Earth creating deep valleys and rivers, nourishing the planet and giving it form. Some legends tell the story of the Rainbow Serpent populating the world with plants, humans and animals. Other versions tell of the great serpent calling out to all the living creatures of the planet to come out of hiding and enjoy the land. The wise serpent taught them the laws of community, structure, ethics and respect.

By embracing our mythical past and remembering the wisdom of our ancestors we can re-create the sacred trust between Heaven and Earth to ensure a future for humankind.” [3]

Hhmm…there’s that whole Ancestors theme popping up again… 😉

On the Australia.gov.au website, it explains that “in most stories of the Dreaming, the Ancestor Spirits came to the earth in human form and as they moved through the land, they created the animals, plants, rocks and other forms of the land that we know today. They also created the relationships between groups and individuals to the land, the animals and other people.

Once the ancestor spirits had created the world, they changed into trees, the stars, rocks, watering holes or other objects. These are the sacred places of Aboriginal culture and have special properties. Because the ancestors did not disappear at the end of the Dreaming, but remained in these sacred sites, the Dreaming is never-ending, linking the past and the present, the people and the land.

Our story is in the land … it is written in those sacred places … My children will look after those places, That’s the law.
Bill Neidjie , Kakadu elder.

The Creation or Dreaming stories, which describe the travels of the spiritual ancestors, are integral to Aboriginal spirituality. In many areas there are separate spheres of men’s and women’s stories. Knowledge of the law and of the Dreaming stories is acquired progressively as people proceed through life. Ceremonies, such as initiation ceremonies, are avenues for the passing on of knowledge.

Photo of Uluru/Ayers Rock, Northern Territory, Australia by Lil [Kristen Elsby]

Traditional knowledge, law and religion relies heavily on the Dreaming stories with its rich explanations of land formations, animal behaviour and plant remedies.” [4]

 

And now for your viewing pleasure, a video about the Aboriginal Dreamtime Stories – story by Dick Roughsey and narrrated by David Gulpilil.

 

 

 

Sources:

Australia.gov.au, “The Dreaming“.

Iles, Susan. Susanneiles.com, “The Dragon & Creation: Reclaiming the Sacred“.

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

Mythicalcreatureslist.com, “Kalseru“.

Wikipedia, “Julunggul“.

 

Suggested Links:

Aboriginalartonline.com, “The Rainbow Serpent“.

Adelaideartscult.weebly.com, “Origins Of The Rainbow Serpent Myth“.

Didjshop.com, “The Rainbow Serpent“.

Expedition360.com, “Dreamtime Stories“. (Includes some suggested critical thinking and writing activities).

Kuchinsky, Charlotte. Voices.yahoo.com, “The Rainbow & Various Myths Surrounding It“.

Muenster.org, “Rainbow Serpent“.

 

Goddess Sung Tzu Niang Niang

Sung Tzu Niang Niang – Her themes are prayer, kindness, children and offerings. Her symbols are dolls.  Called ‘She Who Brings Children’ in the Far East, this Goddess had abundant energy that not only generates fertility but also instills a kinder, gentler heart within us. Sung Tzu Niang Niang is said to always listen to and answer prayers addressed to Her with compassion.

Traditionally, childless couples bring an offering of a special doll to this Goddess today and pray for physical fertility. For couples wishing for natural or adopted children, this ritual is still perfectly suitable.  Find any small doll and dress it in swatches of your old clothing, or bind a piece of both partners’ hair to it. Place this before your Goddess figure and pray, in heartfelt words, to Sung Tzu Niang Niang for Her assistance.

On a spiritual level, you can make any artistic representation of areas where you need productivity or abundance and give it to the Goddess.  In magic terms, these little images are called poppets. For example, stitch scraps of any natural silver or gold cloth together (maybe making it circular like a coin) and fill it with alfalfa sprouts. Leave this before the Goddess until more money manifest. Then, give the poppet to the earth (bury it) so that Sung Tzu Niang Niang’s blessings will continue to grow.”

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

In Chinese myth, this Goddess is known as the “Lady Who Bestows Children”. She is sometimes found in the company of Zhang Xian. [1]

Also seen as Song-zi niang-niang and Sung-tzu niang-niang.

Wikipedia states that ” Songzi Niangniang (‘The Maiden Who Brings Children’), also referred to in Taiwan as Zhusheng Niangniang, is a Taoist fertility Goddess.  She is often depicted as Guan Yin Herself in drawings, or alternatively as an attendant of Guan Yin; Guan Yin Herself is also often referred to as ‘Guan Yin Who Brings Children’. She is depicted as an empress figure, much like Xi Wangmu and Mazu.” [2]

She is also sometimes shown as an attendant of Bixia Yuanjun, who is also known as the “Heavenly Jade Maiden” or the “Empress of Mount Tai“. [3]

 

 

Sources:

Marks, Dominic. Lowchensaustralia.com, “Chinese Goddesses – Song-zi niang niang“.

Wikipedia, “Songzi Niangniang“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Chamberlain, Jonathan. Chinese Gods: An Introduction to Chinese Folk Religion (p. 160).

Holymtn.com, “The Legend of Quan Yin: Goddess of Mercy“.

Javewu.multiply.com, “Pictures of Bi Xia Yuan Jun“.

Pregadio, Fabrizio. The Encyclopedia of Taoism: 2-volume set.

Took, Thalia. A-Muse-ing Grace Gallery, “Kwan Yin“.

Wikipedia, “Songzi Niangniang” (translated from Dutch).

Wikipedia, “Mount Tai“.

Goddess Meng Jiangnu

“Meng Jiangnu’s themes are the harvest, children, unity, kinship and community. Her symbols are pumpkin and squash.  In the true spirit of a global culture, Meng Jiangnu is ‘imported’ for today’s festivities from China, being a pumpkin girl born from the vines of two different households. Her birth united the two families and brought them harmony where strife had once been. Today She continues to offer us unity with those we love, plus a profusion of positive feelings.

Around this time of year in France, people gather in central markets looking for the Mother of all Pumpkins, which actually gets enthroned for the festivities! This is later made into a communal soup, so those who eat it are magically partaking of Meng Jiangnu’s energy. Eating this soup reaffirms community spirit and ensures a good pumpkin harvest the next year. So definitely make pumpkin or squash a part of your menu today. Consider pumpkin bread for breakfast with a friend or family member to encourage good feelings toward each other throughout the day. At lunch, a warm buttered squash side dish keeps love warm. Last of all, don’t forget some pie for dessert after dinner to bring sweetness to your relationships!

Carve a pumpkin or squash with a symbol of any pressing need you have in a relationship. Put a candle inside and light it up so the pumpkin girl can shine Her energy into that situation and begin the healing process.”

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

In reading the above description given by Patricia Telesco, I truly don’t believe that pumpkins would be a symbol for Meng Jiangnu considering that pumpkins are native to North America and wouldn’t have been found in China when Meng Jiangnu’s story takes place – which was set during the Qin Dynasty (221 BCE-206 BCE).  “Extensive documentation [tells us] that pumpkins (Curcubita Pepo) are a New World crop introduced to China along with corn, peppers, potatoes, tobacco etc., durng the late Ming [1368 CE – 1644 CE]/early Qing period [1644 CE – 1912 CE].” [1]

Patricia Monaghan tells us that Meng-Jiang Jyu a “Chinese folktale heroine…was born in a miraculous way.  Two neighboring families, both of them childless, found a watermelon exactly halfway between their homes.  Within it was this magical girl, whom the families decided to raise jointly.  Meng-Jiang was a good girl who make both sets of parents happy.  When she came to marry, she was lucky enough to find a young man in the village [Fan Qiliang] who cherished her.  All went well until one summer day the emperor’s soldiers came and, without giving him a choice, conscripted Meng-Jiang’s husband to build the Great Wall.

Months passed and, worried that her husband would be cold without his winter clothes, Meng-Jiang set off to find him.  She walked and walked, asking everyone for her lover, but each village sent her further.  She almost drowned crossing the Yellow River, but the river god became sympathetic to her cause and saved her.  Finally, she reached her destination, only to find that her beloved husband had died; his bones had been interred somewhere in the Wall.  She cried out to heaven, and the Wall collapsed – revealing thousands of bones.  How could she find her husband’s?  Recalling their vow to be blood of each other’s blood, she bit herself and, bleeding, walked among the bones.  Those of her husband’s recognized and absorbed her blood, so she was able to give them a proper burial” (p. 215).

“Meng’s tragedy was related to the atrocious Emperor Qin Shihuang who came to survey the damage done to the wall. But when he saw Meng Jiang, he was enchanted by her beauty and wanted to marry her. Meng Jiang said she would only marry him on three conditions – first, her former husband was to be given a grand burial; second, the emperor and his court must go into mourning for Qiliang; and third, she wanted to visit the ocean. Although the emperor hated the idea of officially mourning a commoner, he agreed so he could gain her hand in marriage. After Meng Jiang got her third wish, she scolded the Emperor bitterly and committed suicide by casting herself into the ocean. The Emperor sent his men to dredge the ocean but the waves chased them away.

The image of Meng represents the kindness of ancient women and the torture brought on the people by war. The story shows the dislike ancient people had towards war. It has been passed down from generation to generation in Bo Shan.

the Statue Lady Meng

The section of the Great Wall that was toppled by Meng and the sea where she committed suicide are in today’s Zibo City, Shandong Province. The Temple of Lady Meng-Jiang, first established in the Song Dynasty about 1,000 years ago, has been maintained and worshipped at the eastern beginning of the Great Wall till this day in Qinhuangdao City of Hebei Province today.” [2]

 

 

 

Sources:

Monaghan, Patricia. The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines, “Meng-Jiang Jyu”.

Wikipedia, “Lady Meng Jiang“.

 

Suggested Links:

Kaleidoscope.cultural-china.com, “A Chinese Folklore: Tears of Meng Jiang Nu“.

I’ve been blessed with a few experiences these past few weeks that have been a bit of a wake up call for me.  My daughter, who will be 4 in November, has been very observant of books I have laying out that I use as references to my daily Goddess blog and statuary I have around the house on my altars.  She asks questions, as to who They are and I explain that they’re Goddesses.  She likes to look at the images and say, “Oohh, nice Goddess!”

She’s also been very observant of my acts of devotion and thanks to the gods.  Whenever we bake together (my daughter, 2 & 1/2 year old son and myself), we always make wishes and stir love into whatever we’re baking.  Then, whatever it is, when it comes out of the oven, I set a cookie, a muffin, the first heal of bread aside – as an offering to bring out to my outside Sacred Space,  showing my love and thanks for the blessings the gods have bestowed upon me.  Offerings of beer, wine and other malt beverages are quite frequently made as well.

Last week, my daughter asked me what I was doing as I was leaving a heal of bread in one of the fairy offering dishes and I explained to her that I was offering thanks and love to the Goddess and the gods for the blessings they have given me.  She then asked for a piece and if she could leave some.  I broke her off a piece to leave and she said, “I wish for love.  Momma, is that a good God wish?”  I almost shed a tear right there…out of the mouth of babes…It quite possibly was the cutest, most innocent and blessed thing that I’ve ever heard.  I said, “Yes baby, that’s a beautiful God wish.”

Then, yesterday, I had given both of my kiddies bananas as afternoon snacks as I was getting things set up for a forthcoming garage sale.  I found her outside in my Sacred Space breaking off a piece of banana and asking if she could leave it as an offering.  Of course, I told her yes, it was fine and she offered it with her God wish of love.  My son, watching, decided this was a good idea and ended up “offering” half his banana into my fountain.  My daughter and I both got a good little chuckle out of that.

To be honest, I’ve been stressing over the issue of religion since I found out I was pregnant with her.  My husband  was raised a Southern Baptist and comes from a very deeply religious and Christian family.  He is however, from what I can tell, very much against organized religion for his own personal reasons that he has not confided in me.  He can’t stand the holidays and wasn’t too big on the idea of me bringing the kids to Sunday School at the Unitarian Universalist church when we were in AK.

    

As for myself, I try to explain concepts to her about Mother Nature, the cycles of things (i.e. nature, seasons, etc.) and their significance and instill respect for the Kindreds of fur, feather, scale and fin int them.  Even though I’ve been a practicing Pagan for 8 years, I still feel as though I’m kind of new to it still and really don’t have an idea how to raise a Pagan child as I was raised Catholic, Methodist and Episcopalian myself.  I have a few good books that I feel I NEED to read: Circle Round by Starhawk, Diane Baker and Anne Hill; The Pagan Family by Ceisiwr Serith; and Celebrating the Great Mother by Cait Johnson and Maura D. Shaw.  I’m also trying to balance A Dance with Dragons (yes, I’m hopelessly addicted to Game of Thrones) for pleasure reading and The Solitary Druid as part of my reading and writing for the Dedicant Path with the ADF.

I do believe it’s time however.  As much as I’m sure he doesn’t want her exposed to organized religion, she’s starting to question and deep down, there’s a little part of me that doesn’t feel “qualified enough” to teach her about the concepts of deity(ies) – I think it would be different if I were dealing with an older person, someone who already had an “understanding” of deity.  She’s going to be exposed to all kinds of religious ideas and concepts when she starts school (mainly Christian) and I want her to have a healthy foundation.  She’s going to need to have knowledge of the different religions and spiritual followings, as will my son for that matter, while being raised in an Earth centered religion.

So my plan of action – read, read and read some more.  Check out the local UU church and their Sunday school program.  The kiddies will be tagging along with me to the next two High Day celebrations at the ADF Grove I recently started attending as my husband will be away at school that the military is sending him to.  Finally, meditating and using my intuition to guide me along the way…

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