Tag Archive: communication


Goddess Bellona

“Bellona – Goddess of War” by ~Anaxi

“Bellona’s themes are protection, victory, communication and strength. Her symbols are swords (or athame) and spears.  She who kindles the fire of the sun and the fire in the bellies of warriors, Bellona is both a mother and a battle Goddess, being the female equivalent of Mars with a distinct diplomatic twist. Those who call upon Bellona receive strategy, tactfulness and a keen sense of how to handle explosive situations effectively.

In ancient Rome, today was known as Tubilustrium in which Romans spent the day ritually cleansing their trumpets for battle and honoring the people who make the trumpets. In this part of the world, a horn not only signaled a charge but invoked the Goddess’s attention. So, for what personal battle(s) do you need to sound Bellona’s horn today? Find a horn with which to do just that (perhaps a kazoo or a piece of construction paper rolled to look like a megaphone). Shout your battle plans to Bellona so She can respond with all Her resources to help you.

If you use a sword, athame (sacred knife) or wand in magic, today is an excellent time to take out that tool and invoke Bellona’s blessing upon it. Oil and sharpen the blade, polish the wood, then hold it in your hand as if it were a weapon, say,

‘Bellona, see this implement of magic, which as any, has two edges – for boon and bane. May only goodness flow through this tool, and may I ever remain aware of the responsibility for its use. So be it.'”

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

Painting by Howard David Johnson

According to Patricia Monaghan, “Often described as a feminine shadow of the god Mars, Bellona was actually much more, for Her domain included the entire arena of conflict, diplomatic as well as military.  Ever Her name shows Her importance, for the Latin word for war, bellum, derives from Her name.

In the temple of this serpent-haired Goddess who bore a bloody lash, the Romans began and ended their military campaigns.  Before Bellona’s temple, Her priests began war by raising a ceremonial spear and hurling it into a section of ground that symbolized enemy territory.  When the war was finished, it was in Bellona’s temple that the Senate determined the best reward for the victorious generals.  And during peacetime, the Senate used Bellona’s temple to receive the ambassadors of countries in conflict with Rome.

When Roman divinities began to be identified with those of the countries Rome conquered, Bellona found Herself assimilating the Cappadocian Goddess Mah, a late form of the Sumerian Mami.  Both symbolized territorial sovereignty and both represented the armed conflict necessary to defend claims to rulership.  The Roman Goddess was called Mah-Bellona in the later days of the Roman Empire.  She was associated as well with Erinys (Furies) and with Discordia.” (p. 68)

Digital artwork by *Alayna

Thalia Took has this to say about Bellona: “Bellona is the Roman Goddess of War, closely associated with Mars, the Roman War-God. She is invariably His companion, although She can be called His wife, daughter, sister, or charioteer. Her origins are probably Sabine (an ancient tribe from the lands north-east of Rome), and the Claudii, a Sabine family, are credited with instituting Her worship. Her temple was built in the Campus Martius, the low-lying field by the Tiber consecrated to Mars, located outside of the city walls. The area around Her temple was considered to symbolize foreign soil, and there the Senate met with ambassadors, received victorious generals, and there war was officially declared. Besides Her temple was the columna bellica, or war column, representing the boundary of Rome. To declare war a javelin was thrown over the column by one of the fetialis, a type of priest involved in diplomacy, and this act symbolized the attack on a foreign land.

Bellona was believed to inspire a warlike frenzy and enthusiasm (much like that of the Norse berserkers), and Her earliest sacrifices are said to have been human. The worship of the Anatolian Goddess Ma, who is of a similarly martial nature, was brought to Rome by Sulla where She was assimilated to Bellona, and called Ma-Bellona. Her priests were called the Bellonarii, and during the rites to Ma-Bellona they mutilated their own arms and legs, collecting the blood to either drink or offer to the Goddess to invoke the war fury. In later times this act was toned down to become merely symbolic. These rites took place on the 24th of March and so accordingly that day was called the dies sanguinis (“day of blood”).

Bellona had several shrines and temples in Rome, though most are known only from inscriptions referencing them, as well as a temple in Ostia, the port city of Rome. In 48 BCE, a shrine to Ma-Bellona was accidentally destroyed when the demolition of the temples of Isis and Serapis in Rome was undertaken; within the ruins of the shrine were found jars containing human flesh, said to be evidence of the orgiastic nature of Ma-Bellona’s worship and to link it with the Egyptian religions, though how I’m not sure, unless perhaps the jars were functioning as the so-called canopic jars that housed the internal organs of the dead in Egyptian funerary practice.

Bellona is usually shown in a plumed helmet and armor, armed with sword and spear and carrying a shield; sometimes She carries a torch with a blood-red flame. She is described as loud and active, barking orders or war-cries, Her weapons clanging as She runs. She is credited with inspiring violence, starting wars, and goading soldiers into battle; Virgil described Her as carrying a bloodstained scourge or whip. She was believed to make wars and battles go well for those who invoked Her. Her name comes from the Latin for war, bellum, and Her original feast day was June the 3rd.

She is identified with Nerio and Vacum (both Goddesses of Sabine origin, like Bellona). Ma, or Ma-Bellona is a Goddess of Cappadocian origin (a region in Anatolia, modern Turkey) who was identified with the Italian Bellona, and for whom a separate temple was built in Rome.

“Bellona” by ~jeffsimpsonkh

Also called: Bellola, Duellona (from an earlier Latin word for war, duellum); Bellona Pulvinensis; Bellona Insulensis, from a shrine on the Tiber island. She is described as ‘dark Bellona, with bloody hand’, by Publius Statius (court poet to the Emperor Diocletian). Dollars to donuts She is the namesake of the ever-grouchy and rather hostile B’Elanna Torres from (Star Trek) Voyager.” [1]

Sources:

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

Took, Thalia. The Obscure Goddess Online Dictionary, “Bellona“.

Suggested Links:

Bar, Tala. Bewildering Stories, “Goddesses of War“.

Gangale, Thomas. The Temple of Bellona, “Bellona“.

Roman Myth Index, “Bellona“.

Theoi Greek Mythology, “ENYO: Greek Goddess of War“.

Wikipedia, “Bellona (goddess)

Wikipedia, “Temple of Bellona (Rome)“.

Goddess Iambe

“Iambe’s themes are communication, creativity, art, humor and playfulness. Her symbol is any paired items. Iambe means ‘speech’, indicating this Goddess’s intimate connection with the art of communication. In Greek stories, Iambe always had a witty (and sometimes satirical) comeback. This may be why She was credited with creating the writer’s bane of iambic pentameter verse (a metered verse with two distinct accents). In mythology, Iambe used this form of poetry to cheer up Demeter, with tremendous success.

“Gemini” by Josephine Wall

Astrologically, the twins personify individuals who have dual natures: they are filled with charm and creativity but also seem elusive, like Iambe and Her poetic method. You can remember Iambe and learn more about Her style today by reading Shakespeare, one of the few humans to master it (or perhaps rent one of the recent Shakespearean movies)!

If that’s not your proverbial cup of tea, use this invocation to Iambe as a prayer, part of a ritual, or whatever is appropriate for you:

‘Iambe, I sing your mystic poems.
From dots and tittles, the magic’s sown.
With celestial pens, you scribe each spell,
and lessons in joy, may I learn them well.
Iambe, your metered muse confounds,
yet where’er it’s spoken, magic abounds,
full and fierce, potent and free,
and when I hear it I know, that the magic is me!’

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

“Iambe aka Baubo” by octomantic

Homer called Her Iambe, but She is best known as Baubo, the elderly servant of the King of Eleusis, whose bawdy jests roused the grieving Demeter from Her profound depression during Her search for her daughter, Persephone, who had been abducted by Hades.  (And just how did She cheer up the grieving Demeter you ask?  By pulling up Her dress and making Her laugh at Her vagina and belly. From then on, Baubo has been celebrated as a symbol of bawdy female humor and is usually depicted as a face just above the vagina with two chubby legs, causing ruckus with no underpants and making everybody laugh.) [1]

Other than Her appearance as Baubo in the myths of Demeter and the abduction of  Persephone, little is known of the Goddess Iambe.

Iambe was the daughter of the union of Pan and Echo, it is said. Some scholars, however, believe that She was actually a regional Goddess from much earlier, pre-agricultural times.

“To Worship Her” by Wynterskye

Her identity was shared with those of earlier Goddesses, such mother/vegetation Goddesses as Atargatis, a Goddess originating in northern Syria, and Kybele (Cybele), a Goddess from Asia Minor.

Indeed Iambe’s name has survived even though Her legends have not fared so well.  We recognize Her name, for it is ‘She of Iambic Pentameter Fame’, the da Dum, da Dum,da Dum rhythm that we hear in some of the world’s most popular poetry and song, not to mention the works of William Shakespeare.  ‘To be, or not to be’ is a good example.

Iambe was married to a swineherder. Perhaps that doesn’t sound very fancy today, but it may have been quite a lucrative occupation when acorns were in abundance as a free source of feed for the livestock of the region!

Her sons all rose to prominence. One was a famous warrior  and another the high priest of the religion of the followers of Demeter.

“The World On Her Mind 1” by *Osorris

Iambe was worshipped in many of Her guises, long before the Goddess Demeter taught humans how to grow grain, a time when the magnificent Goddesses of vegetation fed their subjects with the berries, acorns and fish, not the fruits of the harvest.” [2]

Wikipedia states “Iambe in Greek mythology was a Thracian woman, daughter of Pan and Echo and a servant of Metaneira, the wife of Hippothoon. Others call her a slave of Celeus, king of Eleusis. The extravagant hilarity displayed at the festivals of Demeter in Attica was traced to her, for it is said that when Demeter, in Her wanderings in search of Her daughter, arrived in Attica, Iambe cheered the mournful Goddess with her jokes. She was believed to have given the name to iambic poetry, for some said that she hanged herself in consequence of the cutting speeches in which she had indulged, and others that she had cheered Demeter by a dance in the Iambic metre.” [3]

Sources:

Goddessgift.com, “Iambe, Greek Goddess of Humor and Poetry“.

Schramm, Adriane. Vice.com, “Baubo, the Vulva Clown“.

Wikipedia, “Iambe“.

Suggested Links:

Baubo’s Garden, “Who is Baubo?

Boyd, Tracy. Sacredthreads.net, “I AM BAUBO, THE ACORN FOOL“.

Goddessgift.com, “Baubo“.

Goddessgift.com, “Baubo and Iambe“.

Goddessgift.com, “Demeter, Greek Goddess fo the Bountiful Harvest“.

Her Cyclopedia, “The Goddess Iambe“.

Revel, Anita. igoddess.com, “Baubo: dance like no-one is watching…“.

Revel, Anita. igoddess.com, “Iambe: playful is as playful does“.

Wikipedia, “Baubo“.

“Tauro” by palomi

“Fuwch Gyfeilioru’s themes are creativity, communication, arts, learning and knowledge. Her symbols are cows and milk. Fuwch Gyfeilioru is the Welsh Goddess of knowledge, inspiration, wisdom and happiness. Appearing sometimes as an elfin cow, She has an endless supply of magical milk that refreshes ailing dispositions with joy and creativity.

The Hay on Wye is a Welsh festival of words and language, specifically in the form of plays, music, debate, poetry and creative written and verbal forms that certainly honor Fuwch Gyfeilioru in spirit. In keeping with the theme, take out your magic diary today. Place one hand on the cover, asking this Goddess’s insight, then read it over. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by our awareness of metaphysical matters and your growth in the last few months. Drink a glass of milk, consume milk by-products or include beef as part of a meal to physically accept Fuwch Gyfeilioru’s powers into yourself. Focus intently on your goals as you eat or drink and don’t forget to thank the Goddess for Her gift by way of a mealtime prayer.

To motivate a litte extra creativity, make a milk shake (any flavor, but add a pinch of cinnamon for energy and nutmeg for luck). The blender “whips up” Fuwch Gyfeilioru’s energy in the shake as you incant,

“Creativity I claim, by my will and in the Goddess’s name!”

Drink expectantly.”

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

“The Cow Jumped Over the Moon” by Phyllis Saroff

So for today’s Goddess, the only information I could find on Her comes from Her Cyclopedia.  It states that , Fuwch-Gyfeilioru is a pure white Cosmic Elfin Cow; She Who produces endless streams of milk; She Who has the power to heal, to make fools wise and everyone in the world happy.” [1]  Apparently, She is similar to the Norse Goddess, Audhumla, the primeval cow or the first auroch who played a large part in Norse creation myths.

 

 

Sources:

Her Cyclopedia, “Fuwch-Gyfeilioru“. (Which appears to be a dead link now 😦  )

 

 

Suggested Links:

Leviton, Richard. Encyclopedia of Earth Myths, “White Cow“.

Mallory, James. Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture, “Cow” (p. 137).

“Chantico, Goddess of Fire, Volcanos and the Hearth” by Darktee

“Chantico’s themes are kinship, unity, cooperation, communication, divination, protection, and home.  Her symbols are fire, metals and minerals.  A classical Mesoamerican Goddess, Chantico personifies and safeguards the hearth fires and the home, the place where families gather. The name Chantico means ‘in the house’. Men going to battle pray to Her that they will return and still find those home fires burning! Children petition Her to know the future. She also became the guardian of lapidaries and some metal smiths.

Around the first Sunday in May, Catholic and Jewish congregations celebrate Family Week, a time to focus our attention on family solidarity and how to improve the quality of family life. With our society having become so mobile, Chantico is a very timely Goddess to entreat for assistance in this endeavour. Gather with your family or friends today, light a candle (symbolizing Chantico’s presence), and rededicate yourselves to oneness.

Carrying or wearing silver, copper, red-toned agate, amethyst or jade today draws Chantico’s presence and encourager the warmth of kinship no matter where you may be.

To extend this idea, take a piece of paper with the word ‘Earth’ written on it and wrap it around one of these metals or stones. That way you share Chantico’s unifying energy with all the earth’s inhabitants.”

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

Goddess Chantico in Codex Ríos

“Chantico (pronounced chan-TEE-ko) is the Aztec Goddess of hearth fires and precious things. Chantico is very protective of Her possessions, and guards them well. She also guards hearth fires, and men going to battle would pray to Her that they would return to find the fire still burning. Chantico once angered the food God Tonacatecuhtli by eating roasted fish with paprika on a fast day when paprika was banned. He turned Her into a dog to show his displeasure.” [1]

“Chantico rules the Ehecatl Tracena – the thirteen days of instability and insecurity when a thunderbolt of chaos strikes the very heart of order.  During this time thievery is rife but Chantico is very protective of Her treasures and will guard them with unbridled tenacity.

Stories abound of terrible vengeance being wreaked against touchers of Her prescious things, even though the ability to turn into a red serpant and poisonous cactus spike head-dress combo clearly spells danger.

Chantico is the female counterpart of Xiuhtecuhtli – it must be a fire thing.” [2]

“Another important aspect of this Goddess, is that She attaches, with the participation of other Goddesses, to the invention of the jewelry. But She in particular was granted the invention of cosmetics.  She was especially venerated by the Association of Jewelers, as well as by the stone engravers, gem cutters and polishers.

The name that appeared on the ‘Aztec Calendar’ was Chiconahui Itzcuintli.

It was on Her day that witches turned into various animals and witches, called mometzcopinqui, exercised their greatest power.

Chantico will Empower you with:

Femininity

Beauty

Radiance

Grace

Help Healer in Treatments giving more life energy

Protection of yourself and family

Enhances Divination

Enhances Intuition

Fertility

Abundance of Precious Stones Jewelry” [3]

 

 

Sources:

GodsLaidBare.com, “CHANTICO: Aztec Goddess of the Hearth“.

Sabrina. Goddess A Day, “Chantico“.

Reikiangelos, “Chantico- Goddess of Fire & Fertility Empowerment“.

 

Suggested Links:

Shrine of the Forgotten Goddesses, “South American Realm of the Forgotten Goddesses“.

The Camenae

"The Four Nymphs" by Eichenelf

“The Camenae’s themes are divination, protection, victory, children, birth and communication.  Their symbols are written word, any divination tool and fertility symbols.  This group of Goddesses correspond to the Muses of Greek tradition: they know our past, see what’s in store in the future, foretell children’s fates, and teach us the effective use of ‘letters’ (the alphabet), the arts, and how to tell fortunes. They also oversee midwives.

The festival of Megalesia celebrates the accuracy of the Sibylline oracles, who predicted the way for the Roman victory in the Punic Wars. Romans traditionally honored the Great Mother of the Gods, Cybele, today with music and song, so put on some magical tunes! The Camenae will saturate the music and uplift your spirit.

Ask the Camenae to help you write personalized invocations or spells today. Put pen to pad and let these Goddesses inspire sacred words suited to your path and needs. Keep these in a magic journal for the future.

The Roman oracles often drew lots to determine a querent’s answer. If you have a question weighing heavily on your heart today, follow this custom and take out some variegated beans. Hold them. Concentrate on the question, then pick out one bean. A black one means ‘no’; white means ‘yes’. Red means that anger is driving action, brown means things are muddled, and green indicates growth potential. If you don’t have beans, colored buttons are a suitable alternative.”

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

In Roman mythology, the Camenae (also Casmenae, Camoenae) were originally Goddesses of childbirth, wells and fountains, and also prophetic deities.

There were four Camenae: Carmenta, Egeria, Antevorta (also Porrima) and Postverta (also Postvorta or Prorsa).

The last two were sometimes specifically referred to as the Carmentae, and in ancient times might have been two aspects of Carmenta rather than separate figures; in later times, however, they are distinct beings believed to protect women in labor.

“Carmenta or Carmentis was the chief among the nymphs.  Not only was She a Goddess of childbirth and prophecy, but She was also associated with technological innovation. She was also said to have invented the Latin alphabet. The name Carmenta is derived from Latin carmen, meaning a magic spell, oracle or song, and also the root of the English word charm. Though She is an ancient Italian Goddess, in later times Carmenta was said to have come from Greece: in that story She is said to have originally been a prophetess of Arcadia called Nicostrate, but it was changed later to honor Her renown for giving oracles. She was the mother of Evander and along with other followers they founded the town of Pallantium, which later was one of the sites of the start of Rome. Gaius Julius Hyginus (Fab. 277) mentions the legend that it was She who altered fifteen letters of the Greek alphabet to become the Latin alphabet, which Her son Evander introduced into Latium.

It was forbidden to wear leather or other forms of dead skin in her temple, which was next to the Porta Carmentalis in Rome.  On Her festival day, the Carmentalia, which fell on January the 11 and 15, Vestal Virgins drew water from that spring for the rites.” [1] [2]

 

Egeria was a nymph or minor Goddess attributed a legendary role in the early history of Rome as a divine consort and counselor of the Sabine second king of Rome, Numa Pompilius, to whom She imparted laws and rituals pertaining to ancient Roman religion. Her name is used as an eponym for a female advisor or counselor.  Her origin is unclear; She is consistently, though not in a very clear way, associated with another figure of the Diana type; their cult is known to have been celebrated at sacred groves, such as the site of Nemi at Aricia, and another one close to Rome, expedient for Her presumed regular meetings with King Numa; both Goddesses are also associated with water; gifted with wondrous, religious or medical properties (the source in that grove at Rome was dedicated to the exclusive use of the Vestal Virigns); their cult was associated with other, male figures of even more obscure meaning, such as one named Virbius, or a Manius Egerius, presumably a youthful male, that anyway in later years was identified with figures like Atys or Hippolyte, because of the Diana reference.

After the death of Numa the nymph pined away and was changed into a fountain.  The spring and grove outside the Porta Capena was dedicated to Egeria.

Described sometime as a ‘mountain nymph’ (by Plutarch), She is usually regarded as a water nymph and somehow Her cult also involved some link with childbirth, like the Greek Goddess Ilithyia.” [2]

 

“Antevorta and Postvorta were probably at first two aspects of Carmenta who in time became important enough on Their own to be considered seperate Goddesses, though They were still generally believed to be sisters or attendents of Carmenta. Their names refer to Their prophetic powers that come into play at the birth of a child: both come from the root vertere, meaning ‘to change, turn, or alter’; so Antevorta then means, ‘Before Change’ and Postvorta ‘After Change’.  At the Carmentalia these two aspects were especially celebrated; and given that the festival was held on the 11th and the 15th of January (not the 11th through the 15th of January), perhaps They were each given one day, Antevorta turning towards the past on the 11th, and Postvorta to the future on the 15th. Alternatively, Postvorta is sometimes spelled Postverta, glossed as ‘feet first’, referring to the breech position of birth, while Antevorta was called Prorsa (‘straight forwards’) or Porrima, both taken to mean ‘head first’, the more usual position of a baby at birth.” [3]

The Camenae were later identified with the Greek Muses; in his translation of Homer’s OdysseyLivius Andronicus rendered the Greek word Mousa as Camena.

 

 

Sources:

Took, Thalia. The Obscure Goddess Online Dictionary, “Camenae“.

Took, Thalia.  The Obscure Goddess Online Dictionary, “Ægeria“.

Wikipedia, “Camenae“.

Wikipedia, “Carmenta“.

Wikipedia, “Egeria (mythology)“.

 

Suggested Links:

Myth Index, “Camenae“.

Mythology Guide, “Camenae“.

Goddess Vac

“Vac’s themes are purification, protection, offerings and communication.  Her symbols are the spoken word and fresh flowers.  The Balinese/Hindu Goddess of charms and incantations, Vac joins today’s celebrations using Her powers to banish any lingering shadows or negativity from our lives. Traditionally, Vac is present in any sacred words that convey occult power or knowledge. This is especially true of mantras that reaffirm, sustain, and shelter one’s soul.

Artistic renderings reveal Vac as a mature, graceful woman bedecked in gold (an allusion to solar energy). She sometimes also appears as a cow, which is Her mother-Goddess aspect.

Bali legends say that hellish beings roam freely during this time of year, so everyone cleanses themselves and the land through magic and supplications. In this spirit, periodic spiritual ‘house cleaning’ is a good habit to get into, especially if you live in the city. Leave an offering of flowers on your altar, saying Vac’s name as you put them out. This begins the process of purging any clinging bad vibes and restoring your home’s sanctity.

Use noise makers to chase out any male-intended magic or spirits. Burn sweet-smelling incense to welcome Vac to your home, saying:

 ‘Vac, charge my speech with security
so no darkness can dwell in my home or me
Vac, be welcome in and through my words
Let the magic ever be heard!'”

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

“Vāk or Vāc is the Sanskrit word for “speech”, “voice”, “talk”, or “language”, from a verbal root vac- “speak, tell, utter”.  Personified, Vāk is a Goddess; most frequently She is identified with Bharati or Sarasvati, the Goddess of speech. In the Veda She is represented as created by Prajapati and married to him; in other places She is called the mother of the Vedas, having inspired the sages to write them, and wife of Indra.  In certain texts She is a daughter of Daksa and the consort of Kasyapa. Alternatively She is the daughter of Ambhrna, and, also, is known by the epithet “queen of the gods” and  is believed to be able to lead a man to become a Brahman. Vac also personifies truth and sustains soma, the liquid essence of vision and immortality.” [1]

“She is described in the Rig Veda as not only speech itself, but also as truth and perception, which allows us to turn divine knowledge into words.  Vac’s name is also seen as Vak or Vach, and sacred texts give Her the following names… She is generally depicted as an elegant golden-skinned woman, dressed in gold; but in a secondary capacity as a mother Goddess, She is depicted as a cow, a symbol of nourishment.” [2]

“This Hindu Goddess’ manifestation is thought to have come from the early reliance on the sacred oral teachings “heard” by the rsis (holy men) properly intoned and accented, thrust the folk-divinity Vac into prominence. Since effective service depended upon effective speech, the supreme vehicle of knowledge and ritual power… Vac even gained precedence over Agni. As the “Word,” Vac is somewhat like the Neo-platonic “logos“: Vac is the source of creation, and the mother of the Veda. In the Tantric tradition She is celebrated as Para-vac, Transcendental speech, the mother of all sacred mantras.

Vac, although prominent in the Rig Veda, almost completely disappears from Hindu mythology later when being syncretized with the river Goddess Sarasvati,  whose banks of the sacred river served as fertile soil for the growth of brahmanical culture.” [3]

 

 

Sources:

Mystica.org, “Vac“.

Sabrina. Goddess A Day, “Vac“.

Wikipedia, “Vāc

 

Suggested Links:

Kinsley, David. Hindu Goddesses: Visions of the Divine Feminine in the Hindu Religious Tradition, “Vāc“.

Sitarik, Jessica. Crystal Vaults, “Vac: Hindu Goddess of Written Words and Wisdom“.

Goddess Sarasvati

“Goddess Saraswati”

“Sarasvati’s themes are learning, wisdom and communication.  Her symbols are white flowers (especially Lotus), marigolds and swans. A Hindu Goddess of eloquence and intelligence, Sarasvati extends a refreshing drink from her well of knowledge to complete the month with aptitude. In Hindu tradition, Sarasvati invented all sciences, arts and writing. In works of arts she is depicted as white-skinned and graceful, riding on a swan or sitting on an open lotus blossom.

Today is an excellent time to embark on any course of study or to reinforce your learning in a specific area. In Hindu tradition, Sarasvati’s festival is held on or around this date. During the celebration, students gather in the Katmandu Valley (Nepal) bearing gifts for the Goddess, who visits here today. Traditional offerings at the temples include lotus and marigold blossoms and incense, while students often bring pens or books to invoke Sarasvati’s aid with their studies.

Adapting this a bit, try dabbing your personal tools or educational books with a little lotus oil, and burn any sweet-scented incense to improve your awareness (rosemary is a good choice).

To generate Sarasvati’s assistance in matters of communication, find a white flower and remove its petals. Place these in any moving water source, saying something like:

‘Sarasvati, let my words bear gentle beauty and truth
falling lightly on other’s ears
even as these petals to the water.’

Let the water (which also represents this Goddess) carry your wish.”

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

Patricia Monaghan wrote: “As every Hindu god must have a Shakti, or enlivening female force, to function, so Brahma the creator needed Sarasvati for the world to come into being. She is not only the water Goddesses, one of the trinity that also includes Ganga and Yamuna, but She is also the Goddess of eloquence, which pours forth like a flooding river.

Inventor of all the arts and sciences, patron of all intellectual endeavors, Sarasvati is the very prototype of the female artist. She invented writing so that the songs She inspired could be recorded; She created music so the elegance of her being could be praised. In her identity as Vach, Goddess of speech, She caused all words to come into being, including religious writings. Sometimes it is said that She is the rival of Laksmi, Goddess of material wealth; if anyone has the favor of one Goddess, the other will turn away so that no one is ever blessed with both Sarasvati’s genius and Laksmi’s blessing” (p. 273).

Saraswati, known as Sraosha in Zoroastrianism is the guardian of earth. Sraosha (“obedience”) is also the wife and messenger of Ahura Mazda, and her role as the “Teacher of Daena”, Daena being the hypostasis of both “Conscience” and “Religion”. She also guides the souls of the deceased to find their way to the afterlife. Her symbolic animal is the peacock, whose crowing calls the pious to their religious duties. She is also called Druga for fighting off Drug (Drug, the name for female demon in ancient Veda, from the Sanskrit root druh “to be hostile”). The name Druga is made of Sanskrit dru or dur “with difficulty” and gā or jā (“come”, “go”). Saraswati is known as a guardian deity in Buddhism who upholds the teachings of Gautama Buddha by offering protection and assistance to practitioners. She is known in Burmese as Thurathadi or Tipitaka Medaw, Chinese as Biàncáitiān (辯才天), in Thai as Surasawadee (สุรัสวดี) and in Japanese as Benzaiten (弁才天/弁財天). In the East Indian states of Bihar, West Bengal, Orissa: Saraswati is considered to be a daughter of Lord Shiva and Durga along with her sister Lakshmi and her brothers Ganesha and Karthikeya. [1]

It is believed that Goddess Saraswati endows human beings with the powers of speech, wisdom and learning. She has four hands representing four aspects of human personality in learning: mind, intellect, alertness and ego. [2]

“Sarasvati is one of the many faces refelceted in the image of the Divine Mother.  Called the Goddess of the Word, Sarasvati means “the one who gives the essence (Sara) or our own Self (Swa).”  She is also known as the Goddess of Learning and is the consort (wife) of the Hindu God Brahma (the Creator).

Considered knowledge itself personified as a feminine deity, Sarasvati is closely identified with culture, language, speech, wisdom, intellect, creativity and inspiration.  She contains all forms within Her, pervades all creation and is the power of intellegence and thought.” [3]  She is the Goddess of eloquence, and words pour from Her like a sweetly flowing river. One myth of this Goddess is that She is a jealous rival of the Goddess of wealth, Lakshmi, and that pursuing wealth alone will assure that Sarasvati’s gifts will desert you.

“She holds in her four hands a vina instrument, an akshamala (prayer beads) in the right hand, and a pustaka (book) in the left, which represents the knowledge of all sciences. Holding the book or scriptures in one hand also indicates that this knowledge alone can bring us to the Truth. The vina shows the beauty of learning the fine arts. Playing her vina, she tunes the mind and intellect with her knowledge, and thus the seeker can be in harmony with the universe. The prayer beads represent all spiritual sciences, like meditation and japa (chanting the holy names of God), and, being held in the right hand, that it is more important than the secular knowledge contained in the book in her left hand. Her four arms represent her unrestricted power in the four directions. She also represents creativity, or the combination of power and intelligence, the basis of creativity.” [4]

The following popular ‘pranam mantra’ or Sanskrit prayer, Saraswati devotees utter with utmost devotion eulogizes the goddess of knowledge and arts:

Om Saraswati Mahabhagey, Vidye Kamala Lochaney |

Viswarupey Vishalakshmi, Vidyam Dehi Namohastutey ||
Jaya Jaya Devi, Charachara Sharey, Kuchayuga Shobhita, Mukta Haarey |
Vina Ranjita, Pustaka Hastey, Bhagavati Bharati Devi Namohastutey ||

The beautiful human form of Saraswati comes to the fore in this English translation of the Saraswati hymn:

“May Goddess Saraswati,
who is fair like the jasmine-colored moon,
and whose pure white garland is like frosty dew drops;
who is adorned in radiant white attire,
on whose beautiful arm rests the veena,
and whose throne is a white lotus;
who is surrounded and respected by the Gods, protect me.
May you fully remove my lethargy, sluggishness, and ignorance.”
[5]

I had to throw this in.  Looking at the Hindu Sarasvati, Goddess of learning and the creative arts, She bears some striking resemblances to Brigit, as well as some important differences. Click here to read further in exploring  the image of Sarasvati as She appears in the Vedas and is developed in later Hinduism, compared images of  Brigit.

Sources:

Das, Subhamoy. About.com, “Saraswati: Goddess of Knowledge & Arts“.

Knapp, Stephen. Stephen-knapp.com, “Sarasvati, the Goddess of Learning“.

Prophet, Elizabeth & Mark L. Sacredwind.com, “Sarasvati“.

Wikipedia, “Saraswati“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Faerywillow. Thegoddesstree.com, “Sarasvati“.

Wood, Hilaire. Brigitsforge.co.uk, “Sarasvati, Brigit and the Sacred Word“.

Yarber, Angela. Feminismandreligion.com, “Painting Saraswati By Angela Yarber“.

The lunar month of Rowan offers you the opportunity to strengthen your resolve and nurture your dreams.

This point in the agricultural calendar is marked by the plowing of the soil to prepare it for the seed; any magic performed now is groundwork.  The surface of the earth appears barren, but the life-force is stirring beneath.  Ask yourself what you need to prepare to plant the seeds of your dreams this year.

The White Month

The Celtic fire festival of Imbolc (February 2) falls in the Rowan Moon, and is associated with the Goddess Brigid, to whom the festivities are dedicated.  Also known as Bride, She represents the mother of the newborn Sun, and all candle magic is sacred to Her.  During the Rowan Moon, wear white to cast spells, use white candles, and feast on white foods to attune to the season.

 

THE TREE OF PERSEVERANCE

The rowan terrain or mountain ash often grows on craggy mountains, higher than any other tree.  Its ability to flourish in bleak places teaches you perseverance.  The rowan berries reveal a natural pentagram at their base – a symbol of the womb of the Earth Goddess and of protection.  These physical attributes give the tree associations of healing and guardianship.

The rowan berry has a tiny five-pointed star or magical pentagram (an important symbol in magical traditions) opposite its stalk.  This explains why it was worn, hung in doorways or planted near houses to offer protection against evil forces.

Rowan Charms

Sprays of rowan berries were once  hung in cattle barns to protect livestock from disease and sorcery.  The leaves and berries can also be used to make a divination incense, and carrying the bark is believed to promote healing in the bearer.  The name “rowan” even comes from the same root as the word “rune”, in its meaning as a charm.

ROWAN MOON MAGIC

When you collect wood from a tree, remember to leave an offering on a branch in return.

The Wheel of Bride

This protective charm represents the waxing energies of the Sun and can be hung in the home to attract good luck.

1. Collect two straight sticks of rowan or mountain ash wood.  Leave an offering of thanks on a branch, such as a strand of hair, thread or ribbon.

2. Hold the sticks in a cross and say, “Spirits of this wood, I bring you together for the good of all.”

3. Bind the sticks into an equal-armed cross and secure with red thread.  As you do this, visualize a powerful white light.

4. Hold the charm up to the Sun and say: “Behold the Wheel of Bride, blessed be.”

Magic Mirror

Use this meditation and a magic mirror to help increase your psychic powers.

1. Prop up a round mirror on a table, surrounded by rowan leaves, berries and three white candles.  Close your eyes and say aloud, “My Lady, open my inner eye to grant clear vision.”

2. Focus on the center of your forehead and “direct” your breathing on this spot.

3. Half-open your eyes and gaze in the mirror.  Focus on your breath and register any images that drift into your mind.  Repeat this process regularly and your visions will improve.

Candle Magic

Combine the magic of the Rowan Moon with the candle magic of Imbolc.

1. Fill a small pot with earth and then hold a white candle in your right hand.  Concentrate on what you want to grow this year.

2. Plant the candle in the soil saying: “Mother Brigid, I ask you to nurture my dream, may it grow with your blessed light.”

3. Light the candle and see its flame expand, taking strength from the Sun.

4. After seeking the help of the Goddess through candle magic, plant a seed as an offering of thanks to Her in a favorite place and wait for your wish to grow.

 

Attune to the Moon

  • Harness the growing potential of the Rowan Moon in your life and make a new start by following these resolutions.
  • Begin spring cleaning now.  As the light increases, you need to clear out your clutter with all your energy to make way for new growth.
  • Have a Rowan Moon dinner party and ask you guests to wear white, dine by candlelight and eat seeds such as beans, pulses and nuts.
  • Look for the first snowdrops of the season and make a wish when you see one.  Snowdrops hold potential of spring.
  • Tie a white ribbon on a rowan tree while saying the names of those you love.  The tree will send out healing vibrations to them.

Source:
“Enhancing Your Mind, Body and Spirit”, 21 Nature Magic, CARD 6.

Suggested Links:

The Goddess Tree, “Rowan“.

Goddess Oya

"Oya" by Francisco Santos

“Oya’s themes are justice, tradition, zeal and femininity.  Her symbols are fire, water and the number 9.

A Yoruban mother Goddess and spirit of the river Niger, Oya flowers with us through the last day of January, strengthening our passion for and appreciation of life. She is wild and irrepressible, like the fire she’s said to have created, yet Oya presides over matters of fairness and custom, using that fire as the light of truth. Artistic depictions of Oya show a nine-headed woman whose bosom speaks of fertile femininity.

Enjoy a glass of water when you get up to begin generating Oya’s zest for life in your body and soul. This is also very suited to the energies of the day. Aquarius represents the Water Bearer who continually pours inspiring, creative waters from celestial spheres into our lives.

Get out and do something daring today. Invoke Oya through your pleasure and pure excitement. Dare to dream; then try to make that dream come true somehow.

 If there is some aria of your life that needs more equity, try making this Oya charm:

Take any small candle and carve Oya’s name into it. Have a glass of water nearby. light the candle to invoke the Goddess. Hold the water over the candle, saying something like this:

What injustice consumes
Oya’s water quell.’

Drop a little water on the candle, then trim off the taper, carrying it with you to draw justice to you.”

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

“Oya is one of the most powerful African Goddesses (Orishas). A Warrior-Queen, She is the sister-wife of the God Shango, to whom She gave the power to create storms. Much of Oya’s power is rooted in the natural world; She is the Goddess of thunder, lightning, tornadoes, winds, rainstorms and hurricanes. A Fire Goddess, it is Oya who brings rapid change and aids us in both inner and outer transformation.

Oya is the guardian of the realm between life and death; as such, She is not only the Goddess of spirit communication, funerals and cemeteries but also the Goddess of clairvoyance, psychic abilities, intuition and rebirth. She can call forth the spirit of death, or hold it back — such is the extent of Her power. Because of Her affiliation to the dead, and Her intense knowledge of the magick arts, Oya is also known as “the Great Mother of the Elders of the Night (Witches)”.

"Oya" by Sandra M. Stanton

Oya is both loved and feared, and for good reason: unleashed, Oya is the Savage Warrior, the Protective Mother, She whose power sweeps all injustice, deceit and dishonesty from Her path. She will destroy villages if the need is true enough, for while She understands everything, She will only accept, act upon, and speak the truth (even when it is hard to bear).

Oya is the protectress of women and patron of feminine leadership. Fiercely loving, She is wildly unpredictable and can change from benevolent, caring Mother to destructive Warrior in the blink of an eye. Passionate, fearless, sensual and independent, Oya is not a Goddess to be invoked lightly and must be treated with respect and care.

While She will toss you in Her storms of change, and shelter you in Her caring embrace, She will also strike you down with Her lightning should the need arise. However, do not let that dissuade you from working with Oya, for She is the Strong Woman, the Bringer of Change and Seeker of Truth, who can be a most powerful ally.” (Hedgewitch, Order of the White Moon: an eclectic international order of women dedicated to the Goddess, Oya: Lady of Storms).

Oya has been syncretized in Santería with the Catholic images of the Our Lady Of Candelaria (Saint Patron of the Canary Islands in Spain) and St. Theresa.

A few other fun pages to visit are Anita Revel’s Reconnect with Your Inner Goddess – Oya and An Inner Journey: The Moon, Mythology and You – archetypal dimensions of the female self through the old myths – Oya.

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