Tag Archive: courage


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“.

Goddess Fuchi

“Turning” by Jia Lu

“Fuchi’s themes are inspiration, courage, safety (protection), fire (ancient), skill (sports) and relationships. Her symbols are mountains and fire.  This Goddess gave Her name to the sacred volcano Fujiyama. As a fire Goddess, She rules natural energy (heat) sources and also those generated in our heaths, homes and hearts. This energy, along with summer’s sun, joins together in our life today, generating strength, endurance, keen vision and relationships with genuine warmth.

July and August mark the climbing season at Mount Fuji. For most people, attempting this is a pilgrimage of sorts dedicated to ‘climbing the mountain because it’s there.’ On a deeper level, however, the mountain houses the deities of Shinto tradition, challenging all who who dare visit to stretch their limits and do their very best. While most of us can’t go to Japan to visit the Goddess in Her abode, we can climb stairs to help us reconnect with Fuchi’s uplifting powers. Today, instead of using elevators, climb stairs whenever and wherever possible. As you do, visualize the area(s) in your life that could use a boost from Fuchi’s energy, those areas that really challenge you somehow, or those where emotional warmth seems lacking. When you reach the top, claim your reward with some type of affirmation (such as I am strong, I am loving), and then act on this change with conviction!”

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

“Pele Rising” by Jim Warren

 

Patricia Monaghan refers to Her as Fuji.  She states that “on all continents, people have seen volcanoes as female forces, hailed them as Goddesses: Aetna in Italy, Pele in Hawaii, and Chuginadak in the Aleutians are among the many female divinities of earthly fire.  The aborigional Japanese Ainus, too, saw volcanic fire as female, naming their chief divinity Fuji, Goddess of the famous mountain that bears Her name.

Now the highest mountain in Japan, Fuji was once almost the same height as nearby Mt. Hakusan, wherein a god lived.  A dispute arose about which was, in fact, the higher mountain, and the Amida Buddha invented an ingenious way to measure: he connected the two peaks with a long pipe and poured water in one end.  Alas for the proud Goddess, the water fell on Her head.  Her humiliation didn’t last long, however.  Fuji forthwith struck Mt. Hakusan eight blows, creating the eight peaks of today’s mountain” (p. 129).

 

 

Sources:

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

 

Suggested Links:

Batchelor, John. The Ainu of Japan.

Her Cyclopedia, “Fuji“.

Inanna.virtualave.net, “Far East Realm  – Fuji“.

Roberts, Jeremy. Japanese Mythology A to Z, “Fuchi (Huchi)“.

Sacred Destination, “Mount Fuji, Japan“.

Tate, Karen. Sacred Places of the Goddess: 108 Destinations, “Goddess Focus: Ainu & the Fire Goddess“.

Goddess Athena

“Athena” by InertiaK

“Athena’s themes are protection, victory, courage and leadership. Her symbols are new clothing, olives, owls and the oak.  Among the Greeks, especially those dwelling in Athens, Athena was the great protectress, standing for personal discipline and prowess, especially in battles. When you find your self-control lacking or you need the courage to withstand a storm, Athena stands ready to come to the rescue. Grecian art shows Athena bearing a spear, wearing a breastplate and accompanied by an owl. She is also the patroness of spinners and many other forms of craftspeople who work with their hands.

The Greeks celebrated this Goddess by giving Her a new wardrobe today, making offerings and taking Her images out for cleansing. So, if you have any likeness of the Goddess, dust them off and adorn them in some way, perhaps using an oak leaf for a dress to honor Athena.

Wearing a new piece of splendid clothing or adding olives to your diet today draws Athena’s attributes into your life. Or, use pitted olives as a spell component. On a small piece of paper, write the word that best describes what you need from Athena. Stuff this into the olive and bury it. By the time the olive decomposes, your desire should be showing signs of manifestation.

Finally, place a small piece of oak leaf in your shoe today so Athena’s leadership and bravery will walk with you, helping you to face whatever awaits with a strong heart.”

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

“Athena” by Howard David Johnson

Patricia Monaghan provides us with some very interesting information (some of which is new to me).  She says, “[Athena] was not always accepted as patron of the famous city that bears Her name.  Greek legend says that the sea god, Posidon, disputed with the Goddess for rulership of the city.  It came to a vote of the people of the town in question.  The citizens, men and women alike, gathered and cast their ballots.  Naturally, the men voted for the god, the women for the Goddess.  As it happened, there was one more voter on the women’s side, and so Athena won the day.  (An alternate version says that the Olympian deities judged the contest.  They ruled that because Athena had planted the first olive tree, whereas all Poseidon could offer was the changeful sea, the Goddess would be a better city ruler than the god).

"Athena & Poseidon" by Rachael McCampbel

“Athena & Poseidon” by Rachael McCampbell

The men of Athens bitterly agreed to accept the Goddess as their patron.  But being poor losers, they levied three heavy requirements on the women: that they should forgo being called citizens, that they should no longer vote, and that their children should be called by their fathers’ rather than their mothers’ names.

They then prepared a new identity for the city’s Goddess.  They claimed that She was a virginal Goddess without sexuality, a motherless Goddess who sprang full-grown from the head of Zeus, who had swallowed Her mother, Metis.  This Athena was ‘all for the father’ (as Aeschylus had Her say), who voted on the side of the new patriarchal order against the earlier system of mother right.  But hidden in the legend of the Athenian vote are clues to Athena’s original identity.  If children did not bear their mothers’ names, if women were not full citizens, if women did not vote, why bother to legislate against it? [Makes you think about what’s going on in today’s political arena here in the US, doesn’t it?]

“Athena” by Hrana Janto

There was yet another version of the birth of Athena [which is completely new to me], one that is far less flattering to male divinity.  This story says that She  was the daughter of Pallas, a winged giant.  He tried to rape his virginal daughter, so She killed him.  She tanned his skin to make a shield and cut off his wings to fasten to Her feet.  Another myth in which virginity is threatened says that Hephaestus, the smith god, attempted to rape Her, but only managed to ejaculate on Her leg.  The Goddess wiped it off in disgust.  But the semen touched all-fertile Gaia, whereupon a half-serpent boy named Erichthonius was born.  Athena accepted the boy as Her offspring and gave him to the Augralids to guard.

A curious part of this relatively obscure story is the shaky nature of the boy. As Hephaestus had no known reptile ancestors, it must be that Athena provided the serpent blood. Her intimate connection with Medusa, whose snake-haired visage Athena wears on Her goat-skin cloak called the aegis, is also relevant. Similarly, the massive snake that reared beside Her statue in the Parthenon, Her major temple on the Athenian Acropolis, suggests that the snake was one of the primary symbols of the virgin Goddess.

“Snake Goddess” by Pamela Matthews

It is now well established that Athena–Her name is so ancient that it has never been translated–was originally a Minoan or Mycdenaean household Goddess–possibly related to the bare-breasted Cretan figures seen embracing snakes or holding them overhead. This original Athena was the essence of the family bond, symbolized by the home and its hearth–and by the mild serpent, who– like the household cat, lived in the storehouse and protected the family’s food supplies against destructive rodents. As household Goddess, Athena ruled the implements of domestic crafts: the spindle, the pot, and the loom. By extrapolation, She was the guardian of the ruler’s home, the Goddess of the palace; by further extrapolation, She was the symbol of the community itself, the larger social unit based on countless homes [much like Minerva‘s origins if you recall].

Although Minoan civilization declined, Athena was not lost. A maiden Goddess, apparently called Pallas, arrived with the Greeks; She was a warrior, a kind of Valkyrie, a protector of the tribe. This figure was bonded to that of the indigenous tribal symbol to form Pallas Athena, and Her legend was re-created to suit the new social order. But Athena’s ritual reflected Her origins. Each year midsummer Her splendid image was taken from her temple on the Acropolis and borne ceremoniously down to the sea. There Athena was carefully washed and, renewed in strength and purity, was decked in a newly made robe woven by the city’s best craftswomen. It was the same ritual that honored Hera and showed Athena as a woman’s deity–the mistress of household industry and family unity” (p. 59 – 60).

Pallas Athene, 1898, Historisches Museum der Stadt Wien, Vienna

Thalia Took explains that “Athene was probably originally a Goddess of lightning and storms, hence the spear (representing the lightning) and Her famous brilliant eyes, which earned Her the epithet Oxyderkes, the Bright-Eyed. Birds as creatures of the air are Hers as well, especially the owl, with its bright eyes and reputation for wisdom [see Athena Glaukopis].

Athena can be summed up in one word: ability. That ability encompasses just about everything: wisdom, war, weaving, shipbuilding, dance, athletics, music, invention, crafts, and technology in general. Athene brings strength and wisdom, and aid in determining the best course–consult Her in a situation when you are not sure whether to use diplomacy or if the time has come to fight.

“Athena” by Green–Cat

Some of Her epithets include: Polias (‘of the City’), Parthenos (‘Virgin’), Promachos (‘Champion’), Ergane (‘Worker’), and Nike (‘Victory’).

Athena has many, many epithets and aspects. Articles marked with an * have illustrations, by me (and you can reasonably expect some more, since, as I’ve said, I’m on a wicked Athena kick lately). Here we go:

Aeantis, Aethyia, Ageleia, Agoraea, Agripha, Akraia, Akria, Alalkomeneis, Alea, Alkimakhe, Amboulias, Anemotis, Apatouria, Areia, Asia, Axiopoinos, Boarmia, Boulaia, Contriver, Damasippos, Dea Soteira, Ergane, Erysiptolis, Glaukopis*, Gorgopis, Hephaistia, Hippia, Hippolaitis, Hygieia, Itonia, Keleuthea, Khalinitis, Khalkeia, Kissaea, Kledoukhos, Koria, Koryphasia, Kranaia, Kydonian, Kyparissa, Laossoos, Laphria, Larisaea, Leitis, Lemnia, Mekhanitis, Metros, Narkaea, Nike, Nikephoros, Onga, Ophthalmitis, Optiletis, Oxyderkes, Paeonia, Pallas, Panakhaia, Pania, Pareia, Parthenos, Phratria, Polias, Poliatas, Polyboulos, Polymetis, Poliykhos, Promakhorma, Promakhos, Pronaia, Pronoia, Pylaitis, Saitis, Salpinx, Skira, Sthenias, Soteira, Souniados, Taurobolos, Telkhinia, Tithrones, Tritogeneia, Xenia, Zosteria

Note on the spelling: I have kicked all the C’s (a Latin convention) out of the spelling, since they didn’t exist in Greek, even to replacing ‘ch’ with ‘kh’.” [1] [2]

“Athena” by louelio

ASSOCIATIONS:

General: Sun, golden shield and helmet, spear, spindle, bowl, intertwined snakes, the Parthenon, the seven auras, and the number 7.

Animals: Owl (wisdom), dove (victory), ram, eagle, tiger, leopard, and other cats.

Plants: Geranium, tiger lily, oak, cypress, olive tree, Hellebore (Christmas and Lenten roses), and citrus trees.

Perfumes/Scents: Patchouli, dragon’s blood, musk, indigo, orange blossom, cinnamon, and cedarwood.

Gems and Metals: Onyx, ruby, star sapphire, turquoise, gold, lapis lazuli, and ivory.

Colors: Gold, orange, yellow, emerald green, and royal blue. [3]

 

 

 

 

Sources:

Goddessgift.com, “Goddess Symbols: Athena“.

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

Took, Thalia. A-Muse-ing Grace Gallery, “Athene“.

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

 

 

Suggested Links:

Aethyia. Order of the White Moon, “Athena“.

ancientgreece.com, “Athena – Ancient Greek Goddess“.

The Shrine of the Goddess Athena.

Goddessgift.com, “Athena, Greek Goddess of Wisdom“.

Revel, Anita. igoddess.com, “Athena: firm but fair – goddess of war and diplomacy“.

Stebbins, Elinor. Sweet Briar College {History of Art Program}, “Athena, Goddess of Wisdom“.

Took, Thalia. The Obscure Goddess Online Directory, “Athena Glaukopis“.

Theoi Greek Mythology, “Athene“.

Wikipedia, “Athena“.

“Goddess of Rice” by echo-x

“Boru Deak Parudjar’s themes are the harvest, blessings, longevity, courage, opportunity. Her symbols are soil and rice. The Malaysian creatrix and guardian of life, Boru Deak Parudjar grew bored of the upper realms and jumped away from them as soon as an opportunity opened up. It is this type of adventurous spirit and leap of faith that she inspires today.

In local legend, Boru Deak Parudjar’s father, Batara Guru (the creator god of Sumatra), sent a bit of soil to the water to await his daughter in the lower worlds. The earth grew to sustain the Goddess. This change in the waters made Naga (a primordial sea serpent) very angry – he wiggled until Boru Deak Parudjar’s earth began to cleave, creating mountains and valleys. Which just goes to show that stirring things up sometimes has a good outcome!

Following ancient custom, the elder of a house makes sacrifices and prays poetically for direction, the Goddess’s blessings, health and good harvest. Foods include rice dishes and rice wine. So, add any rice dish to your diet today: rice cereal for Boru Deak Parudjar’s growth-oriented energy, rice pudding for Her sweet blessings, herbed rice to spice up your life with a little adventure. When you need a bit of this Goddess’s courage, place a piece of rice in your footprint (someplace where it won’t be disturbed). As you put rice in the imprint, say,

‘Let courage guide my feet all this day.'”

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

From my research, Boru Deak Parudjar didn’t jump from the upper realms because She was bored; She jumped into the primordial waters of the middle world to escape marrying Raja Odap-Odap – a lizard god to whom Her sister was betrothed to before she committed suicide after finding out that he preferred Boru Deak Parudjar to her. [1]

“Among the Batak of Indonesia, this creatrix, Si Boru Deak Parujar, was born in the heavens with Her sister, Sorbayati.  Their parents arranged for Sorbayati, the older sister, to marry the lizard god, Raja Odap-Odap.  but at a dance party he revealed that he really preferred Si Boru Deak Parajar.  Humiliated, Sorbayati threw herself off heaven’s balcony; her body disintegrated into bamboo and rattan.  The bereaved Sister then descended.  Since She could not bring back Her sister, Si Boru Deak Parujar created the earth on the back of a snake.  Only after doing so would She agree to marry the lizard god, who was transformed into a human at the wedding.  From this union were born the first humans, including the first woman, Si Boru Ihat Manisia, and her twin borther, [Si Raja Ihat Manisia]. (Bonnefoy)” [2]

 

 

 

Sources:

Bonnefoy, Yves. Asian Mythologies, “The Origin of Humanity and the Descent to Earth of the First Human Beings in the Myths of Indonesia“. (p.166)

Leeming, David Adams. Creation Myths of the World: An Encyclopedia, Volume 1, “Batak“. (p. 66)

Monaghan, Patricia. The Encyclopedia of Goddesses and Heroines,Si Boru Deak Parujar” (p. 224).

 

 

Suggested Links:

Foubister, Linda. Goddess in the Grass: Serpentine Mythology and the Great Goddess, The Cosmic Serpent“. (p. 29)

Slayford-Wei, Lian. Helium, “The History and Significance of the Goddess: Boru Deak Parudjar“.

Wikipedia, “Dewi Sri“.

Goddess Nejma

“Nejma’s themes are protection, health, courage, and organization.  Her symbols are caverns and water.  In Morocco, Nejma oversees all other health and healing spirits, organizing their efforts to ward off spring colds and other maladies. Local legends claim that She lives in the grotto of d’El Maqta, which is likely representative of a motherly womb in which our spirits are made whole.

On the first day of summer in the Moroccan region, locals use the solar symbolism to avert evil and danger. We can adapt their customs by taking baths, which invoke Nejma to strengthen the body, and by staying awake longer than usual, which purportedly raises courage. Additionally, eating carrots, turnips, beets, or other vegetables internalizes Nejma’s protective qualities for year-round well-being.

You can honor Nejma, inspire Her energy, and help yourself by seeing to matters of personal health today. Get a checkup, eat well-rounded meals instead of junkfood, review your diet, take a healthy walk, start an exercise program, let some fresh air into the house or smudge it with sage for purification, visualize yourself being washed clean by white light. And don’t forget to think positively! An upbeat mental outlook puts you much closer to the goal of being whole in body, mind and spirit.”

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

During my research for this entry, I found no mention of this Goddess except in Encyclopedia Mythica.  It states that Nejma is “a healing spirit in Moroccan folklore. She is the chief of the healing spirits that inhabit the grotto of d’El Maqta.” [1]  Now, this entry from Encyclopedia Mythica is dated 2006 with no sources or references listed; whereas Telesco’s book is dated 1998 – so I can’t help but assume that Lindemans’ source of information may have been Telesco’s book and not from another independent source – make of that what you will.  Of course Nejma could be mentioned in a book somewhere that I don’t have access to at this moment, but it seems as though I would’ve found mention of Her somewhere on the internet when I Googled Her…If anyone reading this has any info from outside sources, I’d love to hear from you! 🙂

“Female siren” by ~XiaoBotong

I also could find no mention of a place (village, town or city) called d’El Maqta, let alone a grotto located in said place in Morocco.  The only mention of any Moroccan deity I could find was that of a female mythological figure called Qandiša.  “Qandiša is known in folk tales either as a Goddess of lust, or simply as a female demon who lives in springs and rivers.  She is said to seduce young men and then drives them insane.  On the summer solstice, sacrifices are made to Her.  Qandiša is a possible version of an older Goddess such as Astarte.” [2]  So, They have the water aspect in common, but driving young men insane is anything but healing…

                   

Upon researching the name “Nejma“, I came across a variant – “Nejmah” meaning “‘star’ in Arabic and refers to the eight pointed star that is a common repeating motif in Islamic art.” [3]  Hhmmm, an eight pointed star is also a symbol of Inanna, Ishtar and Venus…Interesting…..

Sources:

Kimball, Carolyn. Etsy.com: KimballPrints, “Nejmah“.

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

Wikipedia, “Qandisa“.

Goddess Tauropolos

"TAURUS" by ShellyeSR

“Tauropolos’ themes are work, patience, strength, and courage.  Her symbol is the bull.  No Goddess could better represent this date other than Tauropolos, the Cretan bull Goddess whose name literally means ‘Bull Lady’ (and that’s no bull!). Teaching us the virtues of diligence and the rewards of hard work, Tauropolos also has a strong connection to the fields (the plough) and the hearth, where food from the fields gets prepared.

The Cretans were all known for having bull-leaping festivals that honored this Goddess, probably as a fertility rite and test of one’s bravery. Oddly enough, this is how we come by the saying ‘seize the bull by the horns!’.

So, if there’s an area of your life in which you want to really seize the day, try this symbolic spell. Find and image of a bull (in a magazine, carved out of stone, or in some other form). Put it on the floor, and put a symbol of your aspiration on the side of the image across from you. Say:

‘Tauropolos, prepare the fields for success
Help me now to do my best.’

Leap over the image and claim victory!

If you can’t find bull images, any harvested item may represent Tauropolos instead. If you choose this option, be sure to consume the food later. This way you can internalize this Goddess’s tenacity, persistence and fortitude, then apply them toward successfully achieving your goals.”

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

“Tauropolos, known as Artemis Tauropolos,  is “an epithet for the Goddess Artemis, variously interpreted as worshipped at Tauris, or pulled by a yoke of bulls, or hunting bull Goddess. A statue of Artemis “Tauropolos” in Her temple at Brauron in Attica was supposed to have been brought from the Taurians by Iphigenia. Tauropolia was also a festival of Artemis in Athens.

There was a Tauropolion, a temple in a temenos sacred to Artemis Tauropolos, in the north Aegean island of Doliche (now Ikaria).” [1]

"Taurus" by faerieofskye

This very interesting piece entitled, “Artemis 0f the Bulls” by Carla Osborne describes the importance of bulls in ancient Greek religion, particularly in Crete and how they played a part in the worship of Mithras. “Artemis and Goddesses similar to Her were also closely connected to the bull and cow, sacred from Neolithic times. The head and horns of a bull resemble the uterus and ovaries of a woman, and the cow produced milk for people as well as her young. Both could provide meat, leather for clothing and footwear, horns for musical instruments, and so on. These connections had persisted on Crete more  than elsewhere in Southern Greece, where they were connected to Britomartis instead.

The bull’s head was clearly connected to rebirth and new life. The butterfly, one of the symbolic carriers of human souls in the cycle of rebirth. Hence the association between the bull’s head, butterfly and double ax. The bull and double ax became especially connected to Artemis. The ceremony of blood baptism was used in Her worship, later taken as a sacrament by the worshippers of Mithras.

Atia undergoing the taurobolium from HBO/BBC's series "Rome"

The ceremony used by those worshippers may not have been identical to that of Tauropolos, however. Worshippers of Mithras stood beneath a grating, and were drenched with bull’s blood as its throat was cut above it. According to Greek writers, priestesses of Tauropolos were the only ones able to drink bull’s blood and survive, implying a strong taboo due to its sacred nature. They were also known to sometimes sacrifice gelded horses.

Baptism does not need more than a few drops of a liquid for sprinkling, as can be seen in present day Christian ceremionies. The religion around Mithras was created for professional soldiers, men who faced bloody death each day, an entirely different life pattern from most worshippers of Tauropolos.

On Bronze Age Crete, the Goddess of the Sun (Alectrona perhaps) was the one to whom bulls were sacred. The bull game of Crete was called the taurokathapsia, ‘purifying bull dance.’ This was not a bullfight, but a test  of bravery and skill, in which young women and men ran at the bull, grasped its horns, and somersaulted over its back. While Tauropolos does mean bullslayer, this refers to the sacrifice of bulls, not the process of infuriating and tormenting a large bull prior to killing it through loss of blood and repeated sword thrusts.

Sacrifice often involved beheading the bull and leaving its head in the temple, where the skull was used in sacred decoration. The meat was returned to the family who provided the bull, or if community sacrifice, was shared in a feast. No evidence exists of a human sacrifice in the Neolithic, the time these ceremonies derive from, or any such sacrifices later in this context.

The story of the island of Taurus, with its homicidal priestess of Artemis Iphigeneia is probably a demonization of other religious practises. Bull heads were mounted on the walls of many temples, from Catal Huyuk to Crete. The practice of embalming and displaying the heads of honored ancestors may also be the original action. It was meant to allow the ancestors to be part of the family, still remembered and respected, who in turn contributed wisdom and protection.

So Iphigeneia, whose name is also a title of Artemis, is a mortuary priestess like Kirke and Calypso.  Men in Attica could dedicate themselves to Artemis Tauropolos by undergoing a mock beheading ceremony in which a few drops of blood were drawn from his neck with a labrys. Its descendant is the English Knighting ceremony.” [2]

 

 

Sources:

Osborne, Carla.  The New AmazoNation, “Different Aspects of Artemis“.

Wikipedia, “Artemis Tauropolos

Goddess Lilith

“Lilith” by zummerfish

“Lilith’s themes are freedom, courage, playfulness, passion, pleasure and sexuality.  Her symbol is an apple.  In Hebrew legends, Lilith is a dangerously beautiful Goddess who refused to subordinate Herself to Adam, feeling She was created as an equal. This makes Lilith perhaps the first true liberationist, and She resolves to make modern life similarly equal for all people. She also boldly instructs us to stand up for what we believe in, unbridled and courageous, no matter the cost. According to legend, Lilith was turned away from paradise for Her ‘crime’, and She has been depicted in art as a demon.

Leap Year occurs every four years to keep our calendar in sync with the solar year. Customarily, women break loose today, asking men out or proposing marriage. In today’s liberal society, actions like this aren’t overly surprising. Nonetheless, Lilith charges us with the duty of ever seeking after equality, not just for women but for all of earth’s people. If there’s someone you’ve wronged with presupposition or prejudice, make amends today.

To internalize Lilith’s fairness, bravery, or exuberant lustiness, eat an apple today. Quite literally take a bite out of life, and enjoy some daring activity to its fullest without fear or guilt.

 Like Lilith, you are the master of your destiny!”

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

Lilith is depicted on a Babylonian clay plaque from 2000-1600 BCE as beautiful winged woman with bird’s feet and claws.

“Lilith dates back to the bird-serpent Goddess of antiquity. In Sumeria, She was portrayed as having both the wings and claws of a bird. Some reliefs show Her lower half as being the body of a serpent or She is shown as a serpent with the head and breasts of a woman.

There are many possibilities as to Her early Goddess names: Belil-ili, Belili, Lillake, or Ninlil.

She was a Goddess of agriculture as well as the “hand of Inanna”. She was said to dwell in the trunk of the Huluppu-tree:

‘Then a serpent who could not be charmed
Made its nest in the roots of the huluppu-tree.
The Anzu-bird set his young in the branches of the tree.
And the dark maid Lilith built her home in the trunk.’

Lilith also helped women in childbirth and nursed infants.

Recent translations of Her name are varied and range from ‘screech owl’, lilah which is darkness or night in Hebrew, to Lilitu which is said to be the Babylonian word for ‘evil night-spirit.’

Her symbols are the crossroad, owl, serpent, tree, and dark moon.

The Hebrew Lilith

“Lilith” by Notvitruvian

When Jewish patriarchy overtook the land, they made Lilith evil in order to stop the people from worshipping Her.

In Kabbalistic tradition, Lilith was made the first wife of Adam. Some sources say that Lilith was Adam’s spirit wife. Other sources claim that Lilith was fashioned from the earth at either the same time as Adam or before Adam. This made Lilith Adam’s equal.

As Adam’s equal, Lilith refused to lie on Her back while Adam took the dominant position in sex (missionary style). Lilith believed that they should make love as equals (the beast with two backs). Adam was adamantly against this, wanting his wife to be submissive, and Lilith left the Garden of Eden.

God then supposedly gave Adam Eve, a docile woman of the flesh.

Eventually, Lilith was portrayed as the foe of Eve. It was Lilith in serpent form who seduced Eve to eat the fruit of knowledge. No doubt the first wife wanted the second wife to see what a jerk Adam was and that Lilith also wanted Eve to open her eyes and come into the fulness of herself, her womanhood.

When both Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden, Adam endured a period of celibacy as penance. During this time, Lilith was said to have caused nocturnal emissions from Adam (night hag). She collected his semen and impregnated Herself with it, giving birth to demons.  These children of Lilith were called Lilin or Lilim, ‘night-demons.’

The Goddess who once protected mothers and infants was now portrayed as a demoness who caused abortions and murdered infants in their sleep. The Jewish people believed that when a baby laughed or smiled in its sleep, it was being entertained by Lilith, and the parents would quickly bop the infant on the nose to distract the infant from the Goddess. It was also believed that She came to children in the form of an owl and drank their blood.

Despite the Jewish attempts to erradicate this ancient Goddess, She can still be found in Her truer, albeit symbolic, form in their literature:

‘During a protracted and dangerous confinement take earth from the crossroads, write upon it the five first verses of this Psalm, and lay it upon the abdomen of the parturient; allow it to remain until the birth is accomplished, but no longer. . .’ (The Complete Edition of the 6th and 7th Books of Moses: or Moses’ Magical Spirit Art).

Lilith and Sexuality

“Lilith’s Lair” by LourdesLaVeau

Lilith, as ‘hand of Inanna,’ would gather men from the streets and lead them to the temples of the sacred prostitutes. Later, as the first wife of Adam, She refused to lie beneath Adam and be his submissive. Instead She chose to have sex with “evil” spirits and beget more demons. (Who could blame Her?)

Lilith was comfortable with Her sexuality, something that frightened the Jewish patriarch who believed that merely having sex for pleasure was a form of abortion. In recent times, Lilith has morphed into the succubus and incubus or the night hag who sits on the chests of men and causes them to have perverse dreams so that they will ejaculate. She could take the form of either a man or a woman:

‘. . .who appear to mankind, to men in the likeness of women, and to women in the likeness of men, and with men they lie by night and by day.’

Men fear Lilith because She knows the power of Her sexuality and She knows that Her sexuality has power over men. Like Circe, She turns men into beasts or pigs by opening the doorways to their deep and primal sexual desires. Such desires are forbidden by the Jewish and Christian cults.

Women, who are like the submissive Eve, also fear Lilith because of the power She holds. But, as has been shown in the myth of the garden of Eden, Lilith is not an enemy of womankind. She holds the ancient fruit of knowledge, the secrets of our deepest sexual nature, and She is willing to offer this fruit to us.

Lilith as Vampire

“Bewitched” by Picked-Jester

As the mother of all demons, Lilith has recently been linked to either giving birth to the first vampires or being the first vampire.

This fallacy is linked to past Jewish superstitions in that Lilith drank the blood of children while in the form of an owl.

In a Rabbinical frenzy to drive Lilith’s worshippers away from the Goddess, they made up lies such as this which contradicted Her earlier functions as a protectress and helper of birthing mothers and infants.” [1]

“Lilith” by Valerhon

For your listening enjoyment, I had to add this song into this entry that I came across a few days ago.  This song is amazing, written by a talented artist named Zefora, and dedicated to Lilith.

Sources:

Yetter, Eliza. Sacred Spiral, “Lilith As Goddess”  (When you click on the link, it will bring you to her page where she has posted her citations/selected bibliography.)

Suggested Links:

All Things yOni, “Lilith

Enkidu, Leah. Shrine, “Return of the Holy Prostitute“.

Jewish and Christian Literature, “Lilith

Kocharyan, Lilith. Lilith’s World, “Goddess Lilith

Leitch, Aaron. Aaron Leitch Homepage, “Lilith

Monaghan, Patricia. Goddesses in World Culture, “Lilith: The Primordial Female“. (55 – 67).

Saradwyn. Order of the White Moon, “Lilith“.

Took, Thalia. A-Musing-Grace Gallery, “Lilith

Wikipedia, “Lilith

Goddess Kali

“Kali” by Lisa Iris

“Kali’s themes are rebirth, cycles, joy, courage, hope, cleansing and change.  Her symbols are flowers, dance, iron, swords, peacock feathers and honey.  Kali, a Hindu Goddess whose name means ‘time’, is the genetrix of natural forces that either build or destroy. Even in destruction, however, She reminds us that good really can come of bad situations. If you find your hopes and dreams have been crushed, Kali can change the cycle and produce life out of nothingness. Where there is sorrow, She dances to bring joy. Where there is fear, She dances in courage.

During the Festival of Shiva, or Maha Shivratri, Hindus gather at Shiva’s temples to honor this celestial dance of creation, and Kali dances with them in spirit. Beforehand, they fast and bathe in holy waters for purification. Doing similarly (in your tub or shower) will purge your body and soul of negative influences. Add some flower petals or sweet perfume tot the bath to invoke Kali’s power.

To invoke Kali’s assistance in bringing new life to stagnant projects or ruined goals, leave her an offering of honey or flowers, and make this Kali amulet: Take any black cloth and wrap it around a flower dabbed with a drop of honey, saying:

 ‘Kali, turn, dance, and change
Fate rearrange
End the devastation and strife
what was dead return to life.’

Carry this with you until the situation changes, then bury it with thankfulness.”

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

Who can comprehend the Divine Paradox of Mother Kali?  Fierce, black in color, large, shimmering eyes, destructive, triumphantly smiling amidst the slaughter of billions of demons, wearing a necklace of skulls and a skirt of severed arms, glowing effulgently like the moon in the night sky, holding the head of a demon, a Trident that flashes like lightning and a knife etched with sacred mantras and infused with Divine Shakti, Kali stands peaceful and content, suffused with the fragrances of jasmine, rose and sandalwood!

Goddess Kali

Goddess Kali is equated with the eternal night, is the transcendent power of time, and is the consort of the god Shiva. It is believed that its Shiva who destroys the world, and Kali is the power or energy with which Shiva acts. Therefore, Kali is Shiva’s Shakti, without which Shiva could not act. Frequently, those not comprehending Her many roles in life call Kali the Goddess of death and destruction.  It is partly correct to say Kali is a Goddess of death, but She brings the death of the ego as the illusory self-centered view of reality. Nowhere in the Hindu stories is She seen killing anything but demons nor is She associated specifically with the process of human dying like the Hindu god Yama (who really is the god of death). It is true that both Kali and Shiva are said to inhabit cremation grounds and devotees often go to these places to meditate. This is not to worship death but rather it is to overcome the I-am-the-body idea by reinforcing the awareness that the body is a temporary condition. Shiva and Kali are said to inhabit these places because it is our attachment to the body that gives rise to the ego. Shiva and Kali grant liberation by removing the illusion of the ego. Thus we are the eternal I AM and not the body. This is underscored by the scene of the cremation grounds.

According to Hindu myth, The Goddess Kali is an incarnation of Parvati. She assumed this form in order to vanquish the demon Raktabija, whose name means “the seed of blood”. The gods could not kill the demon Raktabija because he had received from Brahma the boon of being born anew a one thousand times more powerful than before, each time a drop of his blood was shed. Every drop of his blood that touched the ground transformed itself into another and more powerful Raktabija. Within a few minutes of striking this demon the entire battlefield covered with millions of Raktabija clones. In despair, the gods turned to Shiva. But Shiva was lost in meditation at the time and the gods were afraid to disturb him. Hence they pleaded with his consort Parvati for Her assistance.

“Kali” by maigo-no-kirin

The Goddess immediately set out to do battle with this dreaded demon in the form of Kali or “the Black One”. Her eyes were red, Her complexion was dark, Her features gaunt, Her hair unbound, and Her teeth sharp like fangs. As Kali came in to do battle, Raktabija experienced fear for the first time in his demonic heart. Kali ordered the gods to attack Raktabija. She then spread Her tongue to cover the battlefield preventing even a single drop of Raktabija’s blood from falling on the group. Thus, She prevented Raktabija from reproducing himself and the gods were able to slay the demon. Another form of the legend says that Kali pierced Raktabija with a spear, and at once stuck Her lips to the wound to drink all the blood as it gushed out of the body, thus preventing Raktabija from reproducing himself.

Drunk on Raktabija’s blood, Kali ran across the cosmos killing anyone who dared cross Her path. She adorned herself with the heads, limbs and entrails of her victim. The gods were witnessing the balance of the universe being shattered. As a last resort they had to rouse Shiva from his meditation. To pacify Her, Shiva threw himself under Her feet. This stopped the Goddess. She calmed down, embraced Her husband, shed Her ferocious form to became Gauri, “the Fair one”.

Kali intends Her bloody deeds and destruction for the protection of the good. She may get carried away by Her gruesome acts but She is not evil. Kali’s destructive energies on the highest level are seen as a vehicle of salvation and ultimate transformation.  She destroys only to recreate, and what She destroys is sin, ignorance and decay. The Goddess Kali is represented as black in color. Black in the ancient Hindu language of Sanskrit is kaala –the feminine form is kali – so She is Kali, the black one. Black is a symbol of The Infinite and the seed stage of all colors. The Goddess Kali remains in a state of inconceivable darkness that transcends words and mind. Within Her blackness is the dazzling brilliance of illumination. Kali’s blackness symbolizes Her all-embracing, comprehensive nature, because black is the color in which all the colors merge; black absorbs and dissolves them.

Kali’s nudity has powerful meaning. In many instances She is described as garbed in space or sky clad. In Her absolute, primordial nakedness She is free from all covering of illusion. She is Nature (Prakriti in Sanskrit), stripped of ‘clothes’. It symbolizes that She is completely beyond name and form, completely beyond the effects of maya (illusion). Her nudity is said to represent totally illumined consciousness, unaffected by maya. Kali is the bright fire of truth, which cannot be hidden by the clothes of ignorance. Such truth simply burns them away.

“Kali” by Dazy-Girl

She is full-breasted; Her motherhood is a ceaseless creation. Her disheveled hair forms a curtain of illusion, the fabric of space – time which organizes matter out of the chaotic sea of quantum-foam. Her garland of fifty human heads, each representing one of the fifty letters of the Sanskrit alphabet, symbolizes the repository of knowledge and wisdom. She wears a girdle of severed human hands – hands that are the principal instruments of work and so signify the action of karma. Thus the binding effects of this karma have been overcome, severed, as it were, by devotion to Kali. She has blessed the devotee by cutting him free from the cycle of karma. Her white teeth are symbolic of purity (Sans. Sattva), and Her lolling tongue which is red dramatically depicts the fact that She consumes all things and denotes the act of tasting or enjoying what society regards as forbidden (i.e. Her indiscriminate enjoyment of all the world’s “flavors”).

Kali’s four arms represent the complete circle of creation and destruction, which is contained within her. She represents the inherent creative and destructive rhythms of the cosmos. Her right hands, making the mudras of “fear not” and conferring boons, represent the creative aspect of Kali, while the left hands, holding a bloodied sword and a severed head represent Her destructive aspect. The bloodied sword and severed head symbolize the destruction of ignorance and the dawning of knowledge. The sword is the sword of knowledge, that cuts the knots of ignorance and destroys false consciousness (the severed head). Kali opens the gates of freedom with this sword, having cut the eight bonds that bind human beings. Finally Her three eyes represent the sun, moon, and fire, with which She is able to observe the three modes of time: past, present and future. This attribute is also the origin of the name Kali, which is the feminine form of ‘Kala’, the Sanskrit term for Time.

Kali is considered to be the most fully realized of all the Dark Goddesses, a great and powerful black earth Mother Goddess capable of terrible destruction and represents the most powerful form of the female forces in the Universe. Worship of the Goddess Kali is largely an attempt to appease Her and avert Her wrath. Her followers gave her offerings of blood and flesh, which was important in Her worship, just as blood sacrifice was important in worship of the early Biblical God, who commanded that the blood must be poured on his alters (Exodus 29:16) for the remission of sins (Numbers 18:9).  As mistress of blood, She presides over the mysteries of both life and death.  Regardless, Her followers still found Her to be a powerful warrior Goddess and found Her greatest strength to be that of a protector.

Kali is not always thought of as a Dark Goddess.  Despite Kali’s origins in battle, She evolved to a full-fledged symbol of Mother Nature in Her creative, nurturing and devouring aspects. Some groups of people, unfamiliar with the precepts of Hinduism, see Kali as a satanic demon probably because of tales of her being worshipped by dacoits and other such people indulging evil acts. By not understanding the story behind Mother Kali it is easy to misinterpret Her iconography. In the same way one could say that Christianity is a religion of death, destruction and cannibalism in which the practitioners drink the blood of Jesus and eat his flesh.  Of course, we know this is not the proper understanding of the communion ritual. Rather, She is referred to as a great and loving primordial Mother Goddess in the Hindu tantric tradition. In this aspect, as Mother Goddess, She is referred to as Kali Ma, meaning Kali Mother, and millions of Hindus revere Her as such.

Of all the forms of Devi, She is the most compassionate because She provides moksha or liberation to Her children. She is the counterpart of Shiva the destroyer. They are the destroyers of unreality. The ego sees Mother Kali and trembles with fear because the ego sees in Her its own eventual demise. A person who is attached to his or her ego will not be receptive to Mother Kali and she will appear in a fearsome form. A mature soul who engages in spiritual practice to remove the illusion of the ego sees Mother Kali as very sweet, affectionate, and overflowing with incomprehensible love for Her children.

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

Bijjam Snaps, The Story of Kali

The Buddha Garden, The Hindu Goddess Kali

Dolls of India, Kali the Goddess: Gentle Mother…Fierce Warrior

Exotic India, Mother Goddess as Kali – The Feminine Force in Indian Art

Infinite Goddess – Embracing the Divine Mother, Kali Goddess

Mythical-Folk, Kali Ma

Rise of Womanhood, Goddess of Destruction

Sathya Sai Baba, Hindu Gods & Goddesses in India – Hinduism, Mother Kali – Goddess Kalika Devi

 

 

Suggested Links:

Kila. Matrifocus: Cross-Quartly for the Godess Woman, “Reconciling Kali and Gauri: Goddess Thealogy and the Art of Peace“.

Pirera, Anna. Goddess Gallery, “Kali“.

Revel, Anita. igoddess.com, “Kali: chaotic kindess“.

Stolan, Mihai. Liveonlineyoga.com, “Yoga of the Ten Great Cosmic Powers“.

crdmwritingroad

Coralie Raia's Writing Road Blog

Moody Moons

A Celebration of the Seasons & the Spirit

Nicole Evelina - USA Today Bestselling Author

Stories of Strong Women from History and Today

Eternal Haunted Summer

pagan songs & tales

Whispers of Yggdrasil

A personal journal to share my artistic works, to write about Norse shamanism and traditional paganism, European History, Archaeology, Runes, Working with the Gods and my personal experiences in Norse shamanic practices.

Sleeping Bee Studio

Art, Design, Batik & Murals

Pagan at Heart

At peace with myself and the world... or at least headed that way

McGlaun Massage Therapy, LLC

Real Healing for the Real You

TheVikingQueen

A modern Viking Blog written by an ancient soul

The World According to Hazey

I'm not good, I'm not nice, I'm just right. I'm the Witch. You're the world.

Migdalit Or

Veils and Shadows

Of Axe and Plough

Anglo-Saxon Heathenry and Roman Polytheism

Walking the Druid Path

Just another WordPress.com site

body divine yoga

unlock your kundalini power, ignite your third eye, awaken your inner oracle

Joyous Woman! with Sukhvinder Sircar

Leadership of the Divine Feminine

The Raven's Knoll Quork

Spirituality - Nature - Community - Sacred Spaces - Celebration

Journeying to the Goddess

Journey with me as I research, rediscover and explore the Goddess in Her many aspects, forms and guises...

witchery

trapped in the broom closet

Rune Wisdom

Ancient Sacred Knowledge-Daily Wisdom Practices: A place to explore Runic relevance in today's world.

Sarenth Odinsson's Blog

Exploring Myself and the Northern Shaman Path

Stone of Destiny

Musings of a Polytheistic Nature

1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

Adventures in Vanaheim

Musings on Vanic Paganism (and life in general) from a lesbian feminist geek

Flame in Bloom

Dancing for Freyja

Golden Trail

A wayfarer's path

The Druid's Well

Falling in Love with the Whole World

Georgia Heathen Society's Blog

Heathen's in Georgia

Mystic Fire Blog

A Spiritual Blog by Dipali Desai. Awaken to your true nature.

art and healing Blog

Art heals yourself, others, community and the earth

My Moonlit Path.....

The Story of My Everyday Life.....

Raising Natural Kids

Because knowledge is the key to making informed decisions for your family.

Philip Carr-Gomm

Philip Carr Gomm

Works of Literata

Magic, fiber, cats

The Northern Grove

Celebrating Pagan History and Culture of Northern Europe

The Belle Jar

"Let me live, love and say it well in good sentences." - Sylvia Plath

The Witch of Forest Grove

Animism, Folk Magic, and Spirit Work in the Pacific Northwest

WoodsPriestess

Exploring the intersection between Nature, the Goddess, art, and poetry as well as the practical work of priestessing.