Tag Archive: christianity


This was eye opening for me in terms of how crucial the role of women played in the development of early Christianity and Islam – names of women I had never heard of before (Empress Theodora, Khadija bint Khuwaylid, and Aisha bint Abu Bakr).  I truly wish their stories and accounts were taught along side that of their male counterparts – that their names were as well known and considered “common knowledge”; but those in power tried to slander, bury and stamp them out for a reason…to demote their significance and thus the social status of women.  “Forget or ignore them, and we impoverish history and ourselves.”

“Programme Three explores a missed ‘golden age’ for women, when historical characters such as the Empress Theodora in Byzantium, Wu Zetien in China (the Empress who called herself Emperor), the early women of Islam and Anglo-Saxon Hilda of Whitby, used the power of ancient traditions and new ideas about religion and philosophy to wield influence in a man’s world – notably through the power of reform, education and the word. We look at evidence through the Byzantine Empire, early Islam, in China, Northumbria and Oxford.”

 

This is the second episode following “When God Was a Girl” in a BBC documentary series, Divine Women by historian Bettany Hughes.  “Historian Bettany Hughes continues her journey into the hidden and controversial history of women’s place in religion as she uncovers the lost era of the priestess. She delves into the ancient Greek worship of the goddess of sex, Aphrodite, and finds out what this practice meant for women. She also heads to ancient Rome, where the fate of the civilisation lay in the hands of six sacred virgins. Returning to the crucial early years of Christianity, she finds evidence that overturns centuries of Church teaching and challenges the belief that women should not be priests.”

 

When God Was a Girl

Take an hour out and treat yourself – reclaim your herstory, reclaim your divinity! Wonderful and informational.  “Historian Bettany Hughes visits a world where Goddesses ruled the heavens and earth, and reveals why our ancestors thought of the divine as female. Travelling across the Mediterranean and the Near East, Bettany goes to remote places, where she encounters fearsome Goddesses who controlled life and death, and she ends up in modern-day India, where the Goddess is still a powerful force for thousands of Hindus. Immersing herself in the excitement of the Durga Puja festival, Bettany experiences Goddess worship first-hand, and finds out what the Goddess means to Her devotees.”

 

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.

placenta09-400x395

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 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“.

Malkuth

This is my Birthday Goddess 🙂

“Sophia” by Pamela Matthews

“Malkuth’s themes are forgiveness, cleansing, health, peace, Earth and balance. Her symbols are yellow-colored items, quartz, cereals and grains and the number 10. Malkuth is the Goddess of the tenth sephira in the Cabalistic Tree of Life. Here She reminds us of the need for positive actions on the physical plane, not simply good thoughts or lofty words, to bring about change. Malkuth also counsels us to always balance our Goddess spirituality with real life and to keep peace with the earth, which She personifies.

This is the Jewish new year [Rosh Hashanah] and typically a time for prayer, introspection, and healing the emotional wounds that keep people apart. Take ten minutes out of your morning routine and pray to the Goddess or meditate on recent months. This will give you time to begin integrating all the lessons and changes that have occurred.

Jumping into or over water today liberates you from sin and negativity, as does naming a handful of grain after your problems and tossing it in water. Eating a round loaf of bread dipped in honey brings longevity, and eating apples dipped in honey brings the sweetness of Malkuth’s health.

To encourage Malkuth’s balance and harmony throughout your day, wear something yellow or carry a yellow-colored stone or a piece of quartz with you. The quartz in particular engenders better communication skills and an improved connection with the earth/physical plane.”

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

“Malkuth” by Patricia Waldygo

According to Wikipedia, “Malkuth (pronounced marl-KOOT], or Shekhinah, is the tenth of the sephirot in the Kabbalistic Tree of Life. It sits at the bottom of the Tree, below Yesod. This sephirah has as a symbol the Bride which relates to the sphere of Tipheret, symbolized by the Bridegroom.

Unlike the other nine sephirot, it is an attribute of God which does not emanate from God directly. Rather it emanates from God’s creation—when that creation reflects and evinces God’s glory from within itself.

Malkuth means Kingdom. It is associated with the realm of matter/earth and relates to the physical world, the planets and the solar system. It is important not to think of this sephirah as merely ‘unspiritual’, for even though it is the emanation furthest from the divine source, it is still on the Tree of Life. As the receiving sphere of all the other sephirot above it, Malkuth gives tangible form to the other emanations. It is like the negative node of an electrical circuit. The divine energy comes down and finds its expression in this plane, and our purpose as human beings is to bring that energy back around the circuit again and up the Tree.

Some occultists have also likened Malkuth to a cosmic filter, which lies above the world of the Qliphoth, or the Tree of Death, the world of chaos which is constructed from the imbalance of the original sephirot in the Tree of Life. For this reason it is associated with the feet and anus of the human body, the feet connecting the body to Earth, and the anus being the body’s ‘filter’ through which waste is excreted, just as Malkuth excretes unbalanced energy into the Qliphoth. Another way to understand this is that when one is sitting, as in a meditative state, it is the anus that makes physical contact with the Earth, whereas when one is standing or walking, it is the feet that come in contact with the Earth, or Malkuth.

Malkuth is also associated with the world of Assiah, the material plane, and the lowest of the Four Worlds of Kabbalah. Because of this relation to Assiah, it is also related to the Suit of Pentacles or Coins in the Tarot. In the modern card set, this relates to the Suit of Diamonds and symbolizes material wealth, or the treasures found in the physical world. Through Assiah, Malkuth is also related to the four Page cards in the Tarot as well. These are seen as the Jacks of the modern deck. Because it is directly associated with Assiah, Malkuth also represents the second He (ה) in the tetragrammaton (יהוה‎). There is also a connection to the tenth card of each suit in Tarot. The element of Malkuth is Earth.

“Malkuthael” by Harry Wendrich

The name of God is Adonai Melekh or Adon ha-Arets. These exist in the highest world, Atziluth. In the world of Briah, where the archangels reside, the archangel of this sphere is Sandalphon. In the world of Yetzirah, the Ishim (souls of fire) is the Angelic order. In Assiah, the plantary or astrological correspodence with Malkuth is the Earth. In the outer shell of its Sephiroth in Assiah, the Qliphah of Malkuth is Lilith.

“Mother of the World” by Nicholas Roerich

Symbols associated with this sphere are a Bride (a young woman on a throne with a veil over her face) and a double cubed altar. Where Binah is known as the Superior Mother, this sphere is referred to as the Inferior Mother. It is also referred to as the bride of Microprosopos, where Macroprosops is Kether.

From a Christian viewpoint this sphere is important since Jesus preached that people should ‘seek first the Kingdom of God‘.

In some systems, it is equated with Da’at, knowledge, the invisible sephirah.

In comparing with Eastern systems, Malkuth is a very similar archetypal idea to that of the Muladhara chakra. In this manner, Malkuth is again associated with the anus, although technically the Muladhara is located in the sacram bone. In Shakta tantra, which is also associated with the Earth, the plane in which karma is expressed.

Although Malkuth is seen as the lowest Sefirah on the tree of life, it also contains within it the potential to reach the highest. This is exemplified in the Hermetic maxim ‘As above so below’. [1]

“As Above, So Below” by Tania Marie

 

 

Sources:

Wikipedia, “Malkuth“.

 

Suggested Links:

Amaluxherbal.com, “The Kabbalah made Practical“.

Corax.com, “The Tree of Life“.

d’Este, Sorita. Themagicalbuffet.com, “The Goddess, Wicca & the Qabalah“.

Ghostwoods. Ghostwoods.com, “Malkuth: The Kingdom“.

Hermetic.com, “Malkuth“.

Themystica.org, “Malkuth“.

Penczak, Christopher. The Temple of High Witchcraft: Ceremonies, Spheres and the Witches’ Qabalah, “Entities of Malkuth“.

Spirit-alembic.com, “Malkuth: The Kingdom of Matter“.

Stone, Philo. Zero-point.tripod.com, “Book I: Sphere 10: MALKUTH, the Earth“.

Wisdomsdoor.com, “Malkuth – The Tree of Life“.

Zero-point.tripod.com, “The Holistic Qabala“.

“Nossa Senhora Dos Milagres’ themes are miracles, wishes and meditation. Her symbol is milk.  ‘Our Lady of Miracles’ is likely a Christianized revamping of an earlier mother Goddess, as implied by Her sacred beverage, milk. Nossa Senhora dos Milagres grants the heartfelt wishes of those who give Her small offerings (often coins). This particular Goddess also mediates on our behalf with the gods.

Today’s catchphrase ‘got milk?’ takes on whole new meaning. It is customary to enjoy a banquet of milk and milk-based foods today to honor the Goddess and accept Her miracles into our lives [during Festa da Serreta].

Get creative as you want with this idea. For example, people having trouble with conception might request the miracle of fertility through an early morning eggnog. Those wishing love can eat cheese. Those needing to get the budget under control might make a rice pudding! Someone suffering from illness can eat ice cream with a blackberry garnish. All of these foods combine milk into a symbolic substance that releases the Goddess into the area of your life where She’s most needed.

To present a wish to this Goddess, just put a coin under your milk container in the refrigerator today and recite your desire. At the end of the day, give the coin to a young child or person in need so that the magic of happiness and kindness energizes your wish and the Goddess’s answer.”

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

According to Wikipedia, Nossa Senhora (Portuguese for Our Lady), is a reference to the Virgin Mary.” [1]

Specifically relating to today’s entry and event, the Festa de Serreta: “The Festa da Serreta has been held annually since 1932 in Gustine, California, is based on a similar festival held on the island of Terceira in the Azores, from which many of Gustine‘s residents emigrated. It is held in honor of Nossa Senhora dos Milagres, ‘Our Lady of Miracles,’ for whom a 16th-century priest built a small chapel in the Azorean village of Serreta.


The week-long festival attracts thousands of visitors. Highlights include the Bodo do Leite (‘Banquet of Milk’) fresh-drawn from the cows as is the practice in the Azores. There are also cantorías ao desafio (extemporaneous song contests), which draw contestants from all over California and even some Azoreans.

The image of Nossa Senhora is carried in a procession from the church to a portable chapel, or capela, that is brought out specifically for use on this occasion. A group of women sit in the chapel and watch over the donations of money that are left there. Another festival event is the traditional bullfight, which takes place in a rectangular arena. The bull is held by a long rope, his horns are padded, and the men do not so much fight him as play with him.” [2]

 

Sources:

Answers.com, “Festa de Serreta“.

Wikipedia, “Nossa Senhora“.

 

Suggested Links:

Kathrynmaffei.tripod.com, “The Legend of Our Lady of Miracles“.

Ourladyofmiracles.com

 

 

It’s 10 o’clock on Sunday, the husband has safely made to his destination thousands of miles away for the next few months, the kids are tucked into bed and what am I doing?  Why, catching up on my blogging of course!  So here we go…FINALLY starting on Module 3.

1.  When I was a child, I did learn and recite prayers.  Did I have to?  Hhmm, yes and no.  It didn’t feel like at the time that I “had to”; it was more of a fun thing to do with my parents and made me feel grown-up in a sense to recite them with the adults at church.  Of course, I learned the “Our Father”, “Hail Mary”, “Glory Be to the Father” and the “Apostles’ Creed”, the “Nicene Creed” and of course the corresponding Mysteries (i.e. the Joyful Mysteries, the Sorrowful Mysteries, etc.).   I only remember the first three.  I also remember the Grace my Dad taught us to recite before every meal.  They really don’t hold the same meaning to me now as they did when I was a kid or young teenager.  I am partial to the “Hail Mary” if I had to choose one of them.  Well, also Grace before meals, but I want to tweak that one and incorporate that into my own practice and share with my kiddies.

     

2.  Books that have been influential on my spiritual path…The first one would be Scott Cunningham’s “Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner“.  Another one would be “When, Why…If” by Robin Wood.  This was an awesome workbook dealing with ethics.  It was a quick and easy read and one that you could work through over and over again, journaling as you go, seeing how you’ve changed from year to year.  Along the lines of ethics, “An’ Ye Harm None” by Shelley TSivia Rabinovitch and Meredith Macdonald.  This book isn’t so much as a “how to” guideline type book, but actually teaches you and makes you think and reason.  It makes you stop and look at how you do things and the impact your actions have.  I got in a bit of a spiritual rut a several years back and found “The Second Circle: Tools for the Advancing Pagan” by Venecia Rauls quite refreshing and stimulating.  “Practicing the Presence of the Goddess: Everyday Rituals to Transform Your World” by Barbara Ardinger was also another quick and easy read that helped me out of my rut.

    

I loved Dianne Sylvane’s book “The Body Sacred“.  This book helped me immensely after the births of my two babies to appreciate my body, even though it had changed so much and I looked upon it as “ruined”.  Carol P. Christ’s book, “Rebirth of the Goddess” made me view the Goddess and the role of women in a whole new and different light (as can be viewed in this conversation between E.C. Erdmann and Carol P. Christ – which heavily influenced or brought out my Dianic nature).  “Descent to the Goddess” by Sylvia Brinton Perera was just all kinds of awesomeness that really helped me understand and come to know the Dark Goddess a little better and come to know myself a lot better as can be read in my post “Archetypes – Ascending From the Shadow“.  Most recently, I’ve started reading “The Solitary Druid” by Rev. Robert Lee (Skip) Ellison.  I’m about half way through it and it has given me a better understanding hard polytheism vs my softer polytheistic outlook.

3.  With a lot of these books, I was quite new to Wicca and Paganism, especially Cunningham’s “Wicca” (come on, isn’t this everyone’s first book?).  “When, Why…If” was kind of a mandatory reading for the coven I was in 5 years ago and an eye opener.  “An’ Ye Harm None” was a further look at ethics that I really enjoyed – another eye opener.  “The Second Circle” and “Practicing the Presence of the Goddess” got me out of my rut because they helped me to find the magic in the mundane and everyday life vs only finding magic in a coven setting.  Actually, “The Second Circle” got me interested in exploring a Druid now that I think about it.  “Rebirth of the Goddess” was a long read that made me question my reading comprehension abilities, LoL!  There were some pages, even paragraphs that I had to read over and over again, but well worth it!   It opened my eyes as to how universal the Goddess is and how She makes Her presence known throughout the different parts of the world.  “Descent to the Goddess” helped me understand my Dark Self and Shadow.  “The Solitary Druid” I’m trying to balance with “A Dance with Dragons” and seems to be a quick and easily comprehensible read.  I really don’t use or adhere to the Wiccan principles anymore.  I kind feel like I already know them, yeah, they served their purpose, but I’ve outgrown Wicca – a long time ago actually and that’s how I got into my rut back in like 2009.  I still use the ethic and principles in my everyday life and conscious decisions I make and obviously hold the Goddess in all of Her forms and guises in very high regard.  She is VERY high up there on my hierarchy of priorities if you will.  As for “The Body Sacred”, I’m still working on fully appreciating my (well not so new body now) changed body and accepting those changes.  I’m a lot better with it than I was say 2 years ago – so applying those principles is still a work in progress…

4.  I haven’t done any hard-core research on these authors.  I do know that Carol P. Christ started out as a Christian pursuing her Ph.D. in Religious Studies at Yale and later went on to become one of the strongest leaders of the feminist spirituality movement.  I do follow the Feminism and Religion blog on WordPress, so I have the pleasure of reading posts from Carol P. Christ and Barbara Ardinger.  As Dianne Sylvane has explained in this course, she also started out Christian, practiced Wicca but no longer considers herself Wiccan, as her beliefs and practices have changed and evolved into a more eclectic spiritual practice I’d say.  I also live close enough to the ADF Muin Mound Grove in Syracuse to attend High Day celebrations and chat with Rev. Robert Lee (Skip) Ellison, but I haven’t sat down with him and interviewed him about his life’s story or path.

This was a very thought provoking read. Very appropriate and pertinent to the Spiritual Nomad course and those walking a Solitary Path or in the process of developing their own Paths.

Meanderings

I drop to one knee and scoop up a handful of earth. It is dry, granular, and loose; it falls easily through my fingers. A fine plume of dust is carried off by the slight breeze as it falls between my fingers. This is not soil; it is dirt. It will not grow much unless something organic is added; there is no life in it.

In the Beginning…

When I was young, I was full of life. I was full of dreams. I watched the dream of the ages fulfilled as the first man set foot upon the Moon. I was inspired, but the dream ended.

The people were satisfied with themselves. There was nothing they wanted to do except enjoy the fruits of their labors. Their great accomplishment spawned a myriad of new toys. The people then sat in their easy chairs, playing with their shiny new toys, and…

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Dahut-Ahes

“Babonneau Ahes Dahud” by Christophe Babonneau

“Ahes’ themes are water, abundance, fertility, passion and courage. Her symbols are seawater and sea creatures.  This ancient pagan Goddess symbolizes the sea’s abundance, fertility and passion. She also teaches us about courage; She fought fervently against Christian influences to turn Her into a monstrous figure akin to a siren.

Ahes was honored with a plethora of beautiful ceremonies around the end of summer. If you have a beech tree nearby, you can follow the custom of gathering beneath it’s bowers or nearby a small pond. Here, wash any white cloth (perhaps an altar cloth). This brings Ahes’s health and productivity to wherever you keep that fabric swatch. For those who can’t find a beech tree or a pond, just add a little salt to your laundry today instead for a similar effect.

To engender this Goddess’s abundance, scent you hair with any earthy shampoo or cream rinse (the Bretons used moss). Definitely include some seafood in your diet today to partake of Her courage. Flavoring the fish with white borage flower, thyme, or a little black tea will accentuate brave energies.  And finally, if you have a seashell or bit of driftwood, find a way to release it back into Ahes’ care today (for example, give it to a river or leave it in a well). This thanks the Goddess for Her providence and encourages Her blessings in your life.”

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

Art by Luis Royo

I have found in my research that Ahes was also referred to as Dahud-Ahes and Dahut.  According to Patricia Monaghan, “this pagan princess lived in Brittany, the far-western Celtic wilderness of France, during the period when the Christian monks were destroying the remnants of the old European religion – the worship of maternal nature.  These flesh-despising monks ruined the princess’ pleasurs until Dahut begged her father, King Gradlon, to build her a retreat from the cruelties of the new way.

Gradlon seemed to ignore her, but all the while he was secretly building a magnificent city for her.  Located on the rocky Pointe du Raz and called Ys, it was to be hers to do with as she wished.  When he presented it to Dahut, the sensual princess was filled with joy at the splendid homes arranged to catch the setting sun’s rays.

Dahut’s people were rich and happy, but it soon became clear that Ys had been built too close to the sea.  Storms endangered the small fishing craft by which the people of Ys earned their wealth. Dahut asked Gradlon to build them a safe harbor, but the king, threatened with damnation by the monks, built instead a fin new church to the Christian god right in the center of Ys.

Furious, Dahut rowed that night through dangerous coastal waters to a secret island where women – possibly immortals – continued to celebrate the ancient rites.  There she asked them to command the sea spirits, the Korrigans, to help her; she offered eternal fidelity to the old ways in return.

But then Dahut’s ambition poisoned her.  Granted the aid Ys needed, Dahut asked for yet another miracle: that magical powers would raise her palace high above the Christian church.  She was granted that, too, but her selfish desire took its toll.  For many years Dahut and her people lived in splendor and pleasure.  But the princess’ sickness grew.  Eventually she began to take one-night lovers, having them destroyed immediately after they left her.  The powers of passion and ambition that Dahut had stirred grew so strong that finally the king of the waters himself came to claim the princess – and he drowned the entire city of Ys when he did.

Although the above story is told as a local historical legend, it is possible that Dahut was originally a Breton Goddess – possibly Celtic, for her image recalls that of the Welsh Arianhod, who similarly mated with the ocean king.  But Brittany was also a center for pre-Celtic civilizations of note, including that of the megalith builders whose alignments to the winter solstice surround the hamlet of Carnac.  Dahut’s heritage could thus, like that of Celtic Brigid, include ancient material transformed as times changed” (p. 95 – 96).

“Dahut” by maelinn

At Joellessacredgrove.com, it states that “modern legends tell that her city was swept away by a wave caused by an intervening Christian saint. Pagan stories tell how she asked a city of Korrigans, the Breton sea faeries, to disguise her sea world until it was safe again for them to emerge again in a world without religious persecution. In this way she is similar to the sleeping deities, such s King Arthur, who lie in a state of suspended animation waiting until their people call upon them again.

Dahud was dubbed a Goddess of ‘debauchery’ by her detractors, while some more recent legends go so far as to make her the destroyer of her realm through her excesses and her worship of ‘idols’. Patriarchal legends say her father, recognizing her as evil, either escaped her world, or drowned her.

She is hailed as a Goddess of earthly pleasure by her followers. Archetypally she can be viewed as a mother Goddess cradling the reborn infant of the Old Religion, and as a rebel against patriarchy and its new rules.” [1]

“Morgan La Fay” by Wendy Andrew

Upon further research, I also found links between Dahut and Morgan le Fay.  According to Arthurianadventure.com, “Once stories of Morgan had crossed the English Channel, Morgan became linked to a favourite Breton Goddess, named Dahut (or Ahes) Dahut was a princess, who had caused the destruction of her city Ys. But, we also read in earlier tales, that Dahut (or Ahes) was originally a Breton sea goddess. Later accounts say that she had died when the sea had flooded Ys, or that she had escaped by being transformed into a mermaid. It is interesting to note that the word Mor, in Breton, means the sea, and this draws out the connection between Morgan and the sea. Perhaps, they believed that she was a sea or water goddess.” [2]

 

 

 

Sources:

Arthurianadventure.com, Morgan le Fay” (down to section labeled “Brittany”).

Joellessacredgrove.com, Celtic Gods and Goddesses D,E,F“.

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

 

 

Suggested Links:

Covenofthegoddess.com, “Goddess Dahut“.

Covenofthegoddess.com,Goddess Dahut Vision Ritual“.

Deamatre.wordpress.com, “Dahud“.

O’Keeffe, Christine. Tartanplace.com, Dahut, Dagosoitis (Guardian of the Waters) Dahud Ahes, Ahès (Good Witch) Marie-Morgane (Born of the Sea) Sirona, Syrene, Seraine (Star)“.

Timelessmyths.com, Dahut“.

Wikipedia, “Dahut“.

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