Tag Archive: creativity


Goddess Odudua

Art by Drew Flaherty

Art by Drew Flaherty

“Odudua’s themes are kinship, unity, devotion, creativity, community, love and fertility. Her symbols are black items. In the beginning, Odudua created the earth and its people. In Yoruban tradition, She presides over all matter of fertility, love and community. Her sacred color is black.

The African American festival of Kwanzaa celebrates family unity and the black culture. It is also a harvest festival whose name means ‘first fruits’. Every day of the celebration focuses on important themes, including Odudua’s harmony, determination, community responsibility, purpose, creativity and faith.

One lovely tradition easily adapted is that of candle lighting. Each day of the festival, light one red, green or black candle (the colors of Africa). Name the candle after one of Odudua’s attributes you wish to develop (try to choose the color that most closely corresponds to your goal). Igniting it gives energy and visual manifestation to that principle. Also try to keep one black candle lit (in a safe container) to honor the Goddess’s presence during this time.

To inspire Odudua’s peaceful love in your heart and life today, wear something black. This will absorb the negativity around you and put is to rest.”

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

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Patricia Monaghan said that this “primary mother Goddess of the Yoruba of Nigeria…is the great orisha (deity) of the earth as well as its creator.  Her name means ‘She who exists for Herself and to create others,’ and it was Her energy that caused the primal matter which later formed itself ionto this universe.  The spot where She descended from the sky onto the new earth is still pointed out in Yourbaland.  Oddudua is called Saint Claire in Santería” (p. 238).

On mythologydictionary.com, it states: “A creator-Goddess and war-Goddess of the Yoruba. Wife and sister (or, some, say, daughter) of Olodumare or Obatala. Mother of Aganju, Ogun and Yemoja. Some regard her as the founder of the Yoruba. In some accounts, Oduduwa is regarded as male, son of Lamurudu and brother of Obatala, marrying Aje and fathering Oranyan; in others She is female in which role Her father sent Her to earth to sow seeds and She became the wife of Orishako. In some references, called OduduwaOdudua or Odudua. [1]

 

 

 

Sources:

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

Mythologydictionary.com, “Oduduwa“.

 

Suggested Links:

MXTODIS123. Reclaimingthedarkgoddess.blogspot.com, “Oduduwa“.

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Goddess Castalia

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

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

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

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

The Nymph Kastalia (or Castalia) of Delphi

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

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

“Apollo and Daphne” by Henrietta Rae

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

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

 

 

 

Sources:

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

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

Wikipedia, “Apollo and Daphne“.

Wikipedia, “Castalia“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

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

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

Theoi.com, “Castalia“.

Wikipedia, “Castalian Spring“.

Goddess Leucothea

“The Archer” by `Heidi-V-Art

“Leucothea’s themes are creativity, energy, communication, balance, harmony and change. Her symbols are bow and arrow, white items, milk and seawater.  In Greek tradition, this woman gave birth to the centaurs [though there seems to be some conflict in that] and was a wet nurse to Dionysus. Her name translates as ‘milk-white-Goddess’, alluding to a strong maternal nature. In later times She became a sea Goddess, bearing the visage of a mermaid. Through this transformation we see the mingling of the spiritual nature (water) with that of the earth (half-human appearance) to create Sagittarius’s customary energies.

In astrology, Sagittarius is the centurion archer who represents a harmonious mingling of physical and spiritual living. Those born under this sign tend toward idealism, upbeat outlooks, and confidence. Like Leucothea, Saggitarians seem to have a strong drive for justice, especially for those people under their care.

To consume a bit of Leucothea’s maternal nature or invoke Her spiritual balance in your life, make sure to include milk or milk products in your diet today. Or, wear something white to figuratively don Her power.

For help with personal transformations, especially those that encourage personal comfort and tranquillity, soak in a nice, long saltwater or milk bath today. As you do, ask Leucothea to show you the right steps to take next.”

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

“Elemental Goddess Water” by `AutumnsGoddess

“In Greek mythology, Leucothea (‘white Goddess’) was one of the aspects under which an ancient sea Goddess was recognized, in this case as a transformed nymph.

In the more familiar variant, Ino, the daughter of Cadmus, sister of Semele, and queen of Athamas, became a Goddess after Hera drove her insane as a punishment for caring for the newborn Dionysus. She leapt into the sea with her son Melicertes in her arms, and out of pity, the Hellenes asserted, the Olympian gods turned them both into sea-gods, transforming Melicertes into Palaemon, the patron of the Isthmian games, and Ino into Leucothea.

In the version sited at Rhodes, a much earlier mythic level is reflected in the genealogy: there, the woman who plunged into the sea and became Leucothea was Halia (‘of the sea’, a personification of the saltiness of the sea) whose parents were from the ancient generation, Thalassa and Pontus or Uranus. She was a local nymph and one of the aboriginal Telchines of the island.

Halia became Poseidon‘s wife and bore him Rhodos/Rhode and six sons; the sons were maddened by Aphrodite in retaliation for an impious affront, assaulted their sister and were confined beneath the Earth by Poseidon. Thus the Rhodians traced their mythic descent from Rhode and the Sun god Helios.

In the Odyssey (5.333 ff.) Leucothea makes a dramatic appearance as a gannet who tells the shipwrecked Odysseus to discard his cloak and raft and offers him a veil (kredemnon) to wind round himself to save his life and reach land. Homer makes Her the transfiguration of Ino. In Laconia, She has a sanctuary, where She answers people’s questions about dreams. This is Her form of the oracle.”

In more modern works, Leucothea is mentioned by Robert Graves in The White Goddess.

In Ezra Pound‘s Cantos, She is one of the Goddess figures who comes to the poet’s aid in Section: Rock-Drill (Cantos 85–95). She is introduced in Canto 91 as “Cadmus’s daughter”:

As the sea-gull Κάδμου θυγάτηρ said to Odysseus
KADMOU THUGATER
“get rid of parap[h]ernalia”

She returns in Cantos 93 (‘Κάδμου θυγάτηρ’) and 95 (‘Κάδμου θυγάτηρ/ bringing light per diafana/ λευκὁς Λευκόθοε/ white foam, a sea-gull… ‘My bikini is worth yr/ raft’. Said Leucothae… Then Leucothea had pity,/’mortal once/ Who now is a sea-god…'”), and reappears at the beginning of Canto 96, the first of the Thrones section (‘Κρήδεμνον…/ κρήδεμνον…/ and the wave concealed her,/ dark mass of great water.’).

Leucothea appears twice in Dialoghi con Leucò (Dialogues with Leucò) by Cesare Pavese.

Leucothoé was the first work by the Irish playwright Isaac Bickerstaffe published in 1756.

A similar name is carried by two other characters in Greek mythology.

Leucothoë: a mortal princess, daughter of Orchamus and sister of Clytia, Leucothoë loved Apollo, who disguised himself as Leucothea’s mother to gain entrance to her chambers. Clytia, jealous of her sister because she wanted Apollo for herself, told Orchamus the truth, betraying her sister’s trust and confidence in her. Enraged, Orchamus ordered Leucothoë buried alive. Apollo refused to forgive Clytia for betraying his beloved, and a grievous Clytia wilted and slowly died. Apollo changed her into an incense plant, either heliotrope or sunflower, which follows the sun every day.

Leucothoë: one of the Nereids.” [1]

“The Etruscan Losna may well be comparable.” [2]

“The Sacrifice of Iphigenia” by Timanthus

Now, concerning Ino, Patricia Monaghan tells us that Ino was the daughter of Harmonia, ‘she who makes sinewy’ and was originally a Goddess of orgiastic agricultural rites in pre-Helleinc Greece, to whom human victims apparently were sacraficed in a magical attempt to make rain fall as freely as blood on the soil.  When later tribes brought their own pantheon into Ino’s realm, the religious conflict that ensued was recorded in the legend that Ino was a rival of the King’s wife Nephele.  Ino brought on a famine and in punishment was pursued into the sea bearing Her son Melicertes.  Both were then ‘transformed’ into sea deities by Greek legend” (p. 163).

Wow, I thought, how could this be?  That seemed a bit of a stretch.  However, going back and reading about Ino from Wikipedia, it states: “In historical times, a sisterhood of maenads of Thebes in the service of Dionysus traced their descent in the female line from Ino; we know this because an inscription at Magnesia on the Maeander summoned three maenads from Thebes, from the house of Ino, to direct the new mysteries of Dionysus at Magnesia.” [3] Ah…there it is – there’s the connection between the orgiastic agricultural rites Monaghan spoke of and the Dionysian Mysteries.

 

 

 

Sources:

Mlahanas.de, “Leucothea“.

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

Wikipedia, “Leucothea“.

 

Suggested Links:

Theoi.com, “INO LEUKOTHEA“.

Wikipedia, “Ino“.

Goddess Nisaba

“Egyptian Girl with Snakes” by Frances Bramley Warren

“Nisaba’s themes are creativity, communication, excellence, inspiration, Universal Law, divination and dreams. Her symbols are pens, computers, books and snakes (Her sacred animal).  In Sumerian tradition, this Goddess’s name means ‘She who teaches the decrees’, referring specifically to imparting divine laws to humankind. In order to communicate these matters effectively, Nisaba invented literacy, and She uses creative energy to inspire scribes. Besides this, Nisaba is an oracular Goddess, well gifted in dream interpretation.

Since 1928, this day, Author’s Day, has been observed as a time to honor authors who have contributed to American literature and encourage new writers in their talents. If you’re an aspiring author, today’s definitely the time to submit a poem, article, or manuscript, invoking Nissaba’s on it before sending it out.  Also, take a moment to ask Nisaba to empower all your pens, pencils, resource books, computer, and so on, so that all your future writing efforts will be more successful and fulfilling.

For those who don’t consider authorship a forte, you can ask Nisaba to give you a symbolic dream instead.

Put a marigold, rose, or onion peel under your pillow to help with this, and keep a dream journal or tape recorder handy. Immediately upon waking, record any dream you recall. Then go to a favored dream guide, and whisper the Goddess’s name before looking up interpretations.”

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

Patricia Monaghan writes: “‘She who teaches the decress’ of divinity to humans, this Goddess brought literacy and astrology to a Sumerian king on a tablet inscribed with the names of the beneficent stars.  An architect as well, She drew up temple plans for Her people; She was also an oracle and dream interpreter.  The most learned of deities, this snake Goddess also controlled the fertility of Her people’s fields” (p. 231).

Nisaba’s “sanctuaries were E-zagin at Eresh and at Umma. On a depiction found in Lagash, She appears with flowing hair, crowned with horned tiara bearing supporting ears of corn and a crescent moon. Her dense hair is evoked in comparison in the description of similarly hairy Enkidu in the Gilgamesh epic.

As with many Sumerian deities, Nisaba’s exact place in the pantheon and Her heritage appears somewhat ambiguous. She is the daughter of An and Urash. From Sumerian texts, the language used to describe Urash is very similar to the language used to describe Ninhursag. Therefore, the two Goddess may be one and the same. Nisaba is the sister of Ninsun, the mother of Gilgamesh. If Urash and Ninhursag are the same Goddess, then Nisaba is also the half sister of Nanshe and (in some versions) Ninurta.

In some other tales, She is considered the mother of Ninlil, and by extension, the mother-in-law of Enlil.

The god of wisdom, Enki, organized the world after creation and gave each deity a role in the world order. Nisaba was named the scribe of the gods, and Enki then built Her a school of learning so that She could better serve those in need. She keeps records, chronicles events, and performs various other bookwork related duties for the gods. She is also in charge of marking regional borders.

She is the chief scribe of Nanshe. On the first day of the new year, She and Nanshe work together to settle disputes between mortals and give aid to those in need. Nisaba keeps record of the visitors seeking aid and then arranges them into a line to stand before Nanshe, who will then judge them. Nisaba is also seen as a caretaker for Ninhursag’s temple at Kesh, where She gives commands and keeps temple records.

The Goddess of writing and teaching, She was often praised by Sumerian scribes. Many clay-tablets end with the phrase “Nisaba be praised” to honor the Goddess. She is considered the teacher of both mortal scribes and other divine deities. In the Babylonian period, She was replaced by the god Nabu, who took over Her functions. In some instances, Nisaba was his instructor or wife before he replaced Her.

As the Goddess of knowledge, She is related to many other facets of intellectual study and other gods may turn to Her for advice or aid. Some of these traits are shared with Her sister Ninsina. She is also associate with grain, reflecting Her association with an earth Goddess mother.” [1]

Also seen as Nissaba, Nidaba, Nanibgal, and Nunbarshegunu (lady whose body is dappled barley).

 

 

 

Sources:

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

Sabrina. Goddess A Day, “Nisaba“.

Wikipedia, “Nidaba“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Agaliha. Mysticwicks.com, “Thread: Nisaba {Goddess of the Week}“.

Artesia. Goddessschool.com, “Nisaba: Sumerian Wise Woman and Mother Goddess“.

Black, Jeremy & Anthony Green. Gods, Demons and Symbols of Ancient Mesopotamia: An Illustrated Dictionary, “Nisaba“.

Etcsl.orinst.ox.ac.uk, “A Hymn to Nisaba (Nisaba A): translation“.

Gatewaystobabylon.com, “Nabu“.

Lambert, Wilfred G. Babylonian Wisdom Literature, “Nisaba and Wheat“.

Monaghan, Patricia. Goddesses in World Culture, Volume 1, “Nisaba of Eresh: Goddess of Grain, Goddess of Writing“.

Robson, Eleanor. Mathematics in Ancient Iraq: A Social History.

Sitarik, Jessica. Crystalvaults.com, “Nisaba: Sumerian Knowledge Goddess“.

Stuckey, Johanna. Matrifocus.com, “Ancient Grain Goddesses of the Eastern Mediterranean“.

Tudeau, Johanna. Oracc.museum.upenn.edu, “Nidaba (goddess)“.

Goddess Ishara

“Selket” by =DanielPriego

“Ishara’s themes are creativity, sexuality, passion, instinct, fire and energy. Her symbols are the scorpion (or any stinging, hot items). An ancient Mesopotamian Goddess, Ishara is known for her fiery nature. The Syrians specifically worshiped Her in the form of a scorpion when they wished to improve sexual prowess or passion. In other traditions, Ishara judges human affairs fairly bur firmly, and all oaths made in Her name are sacred.

In astrology, people born under the sign of Scorpio are said to be creative, tenacious, sturdy and sensuous, often internalizing Ishara’s fire in their sign for personal energy.

To do likewise, enjoy any hot beverages (such as coffee with a touch of cinnamon for vitality) first thing in the morning. This will give you some of Ishara’s fire to help you face your day, both mentally and physically.

For those wishing to improve interest or performance in the bedroom, today is a good time to focus on foods for passion and fecundity. Look to bananas or avocados in the morning, olives, dill pickles, radishes, or liquorice sticks as a snack, beans as a dinner side dish, and shellfish as a main platter.

Remember to invoke Ishara’s blessing before you eat. And, if you can find one, put the image of a scorpion under your bed so that Ishara’s lusty nature will abide in the region and you can tap into it during lovemaking.”

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

“Ishtar” by Lisa Iris

Patricia Monaghan says that Ishara was a “Semitic Goddess of promiscuity, originally distinct from Ishtar, but later merged with Her” (p. 164).

“Ishara is the Hittite word for ‘treaty, binding promise’, also personified as a Goddess of the oath.

In Hurrian and Semitic traditions, Išḫara is a love Goddess, often identified with Ishtar. Her cult was of considerable importance in Ebla from the mid 3rd millennium, and by the end of the 3rd millennium, She had temples in NippurSipparKishHarbidumLarsa, and Urum.

“Ishtar” by *Scebiqu

As a Goddess, Ishara could inflict severe bodily penalties to oathbreakers, in particular ascites (see Hittite military oath). In this context, She came to be seen as a ‘Goddess of medicine’ whose pity was invoked in case of illness. There was even a verb, isharis- ‘to be afflicted by the illness of Ishara’.

Ishara was also worshipped within the Hurrian pantheon. She was associated with the underworld.

Her astrological embodiment is the constellation Scorpio and She is called the mother of the Sebitti (the Seven Stars) (Seux, 343). Ishara was well known in Syria from the third millennium B.C.E. She became a great Goddess of the Hurrian population. She was worshipped with Teshub and Shimegi at Alakh, and also at Ugarit, Emar and Chagar Bazar. While She was considered to belong to the entourage of Ishtar, She was invoked to heal the sick (Lebrun).

The Hurrian cult of Ishara as a love Goddess also spread to Syria. ‘Ishara first appears in the pre-Sargonic texts from Ebla and then as a Goddess of love in Old Akkadian potency-incantations (Biggs). During the Ur III period She had a temple in Drehem and from the Old Babylonian time onwards, there were sanctuaries in Sippar, Larsa, and Harbidum. In Mari She seems to have been very popular and many women were called after Her, but She is well attested in personal names in Babylonia generally up to the late Kassite period. Her main epithet was belet rame, lady of love, which was also applied to Ishtar. In the Epic of Gilgamesh (Tablet II, col. v.28) it says: ‘For Ishara the bed is made’ and in Atra-hasis (I 301-304) She is called upon to bless the couple on the honeymoon.'” [1]

Also seen as Isara and Ishkhara; “the Hittites called ‘queen of the mountains'”. [2]

 

 

 

Sources:

Lindemans, Micha F. Pantheon.org, “Isara“.

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

 

 

Wikipedia, “Ishara“.

Suggested Links:

Black, Jeremy & Anthony Green. Gods, Demons and Symbols of Ancient Mesopotamia.

Jordan, Michael. Encyclopedia of Gods, “Isara“.

Mark, Joshua J. Ancient.eu.com, “The Mesopotamian Pantheon“.

McMahon, Gregory; Gary M. Beckman; & Richard Henry Beal. Hittite Studies in Honor of Harry A. Hoffner, Jr.

Murat, Leyla. Turkleronline.net, “Goddess Ishara“.

Stuckey, Johanna. Matrifocus.com, “Ancient Grain Goddesses of the Mediterranean“.

Wikipedia, “Hittite laws“.

Wikipedia, “Hittite mythology“.

Goddess Izanami-No-Kami

“Izanami” by Jay Tomioka

“Izanami-no-kami’s themes are art, creativity and excellence. Her symbol is poetry.  In Japan, this creative Goddess is considered to have made all things, and She inspires similar inventiveness within us. Traditionally, She is honored through artistic displays, including dance, song, music, and poetry reading.

Every September, poets from across Japan come to the Imperial Palace to compose verses. Upon receiving a cup of sake floated down the river, each poet must create an impromptu verse. The winner becomes the nation’s poet laureate.  In keeping with this idea, concentrate on trying your own hand at a little sacred poetry today, perhaps even a haiku. Traditional haiku contains seven syllables in the first line, five syllables in the second line and seven or five in the last; each line evokes an image or feeling in the reader’s mind. Here’s one example:

Izanami-no-kami
paints the universe
radiant – eternity

If poetry isn’t your forte, engage in another art form through which Izanami-no-kami’s imaginative spirit can shine. Ask for Her assistance and inspiration before you begin, and see what wonders Her nudge can arouse in you. Or, visit an art gallery, making notes of the things that really strike a harmonious chord in your spirit.”

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

So, I’m not exactly sure where Patricia Telesco’s description of Izanami comes from, because the descriptions I found paint Her as a creatrix and Queen of the Underworld, sharing some common elements with Persephone‘s story.

Patricia Monaghan writes: “Before this world, there was only a chaos of oil and slime, which slowly congealed to produce unnamed and innumerable divinities.  [The first gods according to Wikipedia were Kunitokotachi and Amenominakanushi who] finally, said the Japanese, [summoned] two distinct [divine beings]: Izanami, the inviting woman, and Her consort, Izanagi, the inviting man.  Standing on the rainbow, they stirred chaos with a spear [named Ame-no-nuboko] until a bit of matter formed.  Placing this island on the oily sea, they descended to create and populate the earth.

But they did not, at first, know how.  It was only after watching two water birds mating that they understood the necessary procreative act.  So they too mated, and Izanami gave birth to the islands of Japan, to its waterfalls and mountains, and then to the animals and plants that live there.

Last to be conceived was fire, which virually exploed from Izanami’s body, leaving Her retching and bleeding.  From all Her excretions – from Her blood, Her vomit, Her urine – new creatures sprang up and established themselves on the new land.  But Izanami Herself died.

She traveled to the underworld – Yomi (‘gloomy land’).  Izanagi, however, desperate without Her, traveled to Yomi to ask Her to return.  She, however, had already established Herself in the world of death and refused [a few sources state that She had already eaten the food of the underworld and was now one with the land of the dead. She could no longer return to the living].  But She suggested that he speak to the lord of death, asking for Her release.  Izanami warned him, though, not tot enter the palace.

“Izanami” by Matthew Meyer

Heedlessly curious, Izanagi approached the dark building; then he took a broken comb and broke off its last tooth.  Lighting it, he looked inside, where the body of Izanami was decomposing.  Her spirit attacked him, humiliated at having been seen that way; She drove him from the underworld and, as they parted, claimed his actions constituted a final divorce.  Some say that Izanami rules still as queen of death from Her home in gloomy Yomi” (Monaghan, p. 168 – 169).

The actions that Monaghan writes of were Izanagi pushing a boulder in the mouth of the Yomotsuhirasaka (cavern that was the entrance of Yomi) thus creating a boundary between the world of the living and the world of the dead.  This infuriated Izanami-no-Mikoto and She screamed from behind this impenetrable barricade that if he left Her She would destroy 1,000 residents of the living every day to which he replied he would give life to 1,500.

To purify himself after coming into contact with the dead, Izanagi bathed in the sea and as he bathed, a number of deities came into being to include the sun Goddess Amaterasu, born of a tear from his left eye.

 

 

Sources:

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

Wikipedia, “Izanami-no-Mikoto“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Britannica.com, “Izanagi and Izanami“.

Goddesses.info, “IZANAMI“.

Meyer, Matthew. Matthewmeyer.net, “Oh My Kami: Izanagi and Izanami” and “Oh My Kami: Izanagi and Izanami(part 2)“.

Mythencyclopedia.com, “Izanagi and Izanami“.

University of Georgia: Department of Geology, “The Origin of Japan and her People“.

 

Goddess Olwen

“Olwen” by Alan Lee

“Olwen’s themes are the arts, creativity, excellence and the sun. Her symbols are late-blooming flowers, red and gold items and rings.  A Welsh sun Goddess whose name means ‘golden wheel’, Olwen overcame thirteen obstacles to obtain Her true love (symbolic of thirteen lunar months) and She teaches us similar tenacity in obtaining our goals. Art portrays this Goddess as having a red-gold collar, golden rings and sun-colored hair that shines with pre-autumn splendor on today’s celebrations.

Announced thireen months in advance, the celebration of Eisteddfod preserves Welsh music and literature amid the dramatic backdrop of sacred stone circles. The Eisteddfod dates back to Druid times; it was originally an event that evaluated those wishing to obtain bardic status. Follow these hopeful bards’ example and wear something green today to indicate your desire to grow beneath Olwen’s warm light. Or, don something red or gold to generate the Goddess’s energy for excellence in any task.

You can make an Olwen creativity charm out of thireen different flower petals. It is best to collect thirteen different ones, but any thirteen will do along with a red- or gold-colored cloth. Fold the cloth over the petals inward three times for body, mind and spirit saying with each fold,

‘Insight begin, bless me, Olwen.’

Carry this with you, releasing one petal whenever you want a little extra inspiration.”

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

“Danu of the Celts” by Dean Morrissey

Patricia Monaghan has this to say about Olwen: “The Welsh sun Goddess’ name may mean ‘leaving white footprints’ or ‘golden wheel’.  She was the opposite of the ‘silver-wheeled’ moon Goddess Arianrhod.  Olwen [pronounced O-loon]  was mentioned in early Arthurian legend as a princess who, attired in many rings and a collar of red gold, married a man named Culhwch [pron. kil-hooch], despite the knowledge that this marriage would kill Her father.

The father, [Ysbaddaden] whose name translates as the ‘giant hawthorn tree,’ tried to prevent the consummation of Her love for Culhwch by placing thirteen obstacles – possibly the thirteen lunar months of the solar year – in Her path, but Olwen survived the tests by providing the thirteen necessary dowries.

That Olwen was specifically the summer sun seems clear from descriptions Her: She had streaming yellow hair, anemone fingers, and rosy cheeks; from every footstep trefoil sprang up.  The ‘white lady of the day,’ She was called, the flower-bringing ‘golden wheel’ of summer” (p. 238 – 239).

 

 

 

Sources:

Joellessacredgrove.com, Celtic Gods and Goddesses – Olwen“.

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

 

 

Suggested Links:

Blueroebuck.com, “Olwen“.

Brookroad.org.uk, “CULHWCK AND OLWEN or the TWRCH TRWYTH“.

Celtnet.org.uk/celtic/ , “Olwen – A Cymric Goddess: White Track, Fair“.

Dames, Michael. Second-congress-matriarchal-studies.com, “Footsteps of the Goddess in Britain and Ireland“.

Goddess-guide.com, “Spring Goddesses“.

Goddess-guide.com, “Sun Goddesses“.

Timelessmyths.com, “Culhwch and Olwen“.

Goddess Xmucane

“Xmucane – Her themes are time, cycles, creativity and divination. Her symbols are calendars, blue-green items and light.  This Mayan Goddess of time created time’s calculation and the calendar along with Her partner Xpiyacoc. She continues watching over all calendar functions and acts as a prophetess because she can see both past and future consecutively. Her folkloric titles include Day’s Grandmother and Maker of the Blue-Green Bowl (likely the sky).

Mayans believe the universe began on this date in 3114 B.C.E. They also teach that time will end on December 23, 2012. Exactly what this means in terms of human evolution is left to the imagination. In either case, today is a time for fresh beginnings. Call upon Xmucane to bless your appointment book and help you make the most productive possible use of your time. Try this mini-ritual:

Light a blue-green candle secured in a bowl and place it behind our calendar. Hold your hands palms-down over the datebook and say,

‘Lady of time, see where I stand in your stream.
Grant me the perspective with which to move forward confidently,
using each day on this earth to grow and learn the ways of the Goddess.
Inspire my efforts to transform every moment of my life with positive magic.
Today, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, let my moments be filled with you.
So be it.’

Blow out the candle and keep it for other rites.”

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

Xmucan (pronounced SHMO-cane) was “the Maya Goddess of childbirth. She was the consort of Xpiyacoc (god of marriage), and the mother of One Hunahpu and Seven Hunahpu (mighty warriors).” [1]

“Xmucane and Xpiacoc (alternatively Xumucane and Ixpiyacoc) are the names of the divine grandparents of Maya mythology and the daykeepers of the Popol Vuh. They are considered to be the oldest of all the gods of the Maya pantheon, and are identified by a number of names throughout the Maya sacred text, reflecting their multiple roles throughout the Mayan creation myth. They are usually mentioned together, although Xmucane seems to be alone during most of the interactions with the Maya Hero Twins, when She is referred to as simply ‘grandmother’.

The pair were invoked during the creation of the world in which the Maya gods were attempting to create humanity. Xmucane and Xpiacoc ground the corn that was used in part of the failed attempt, although the beings created were described as being simply mannequins and not real people. These two are also invoked, often by other powerful deities, for their powers in divination and matchmaking.

“Bag of Corn” by Molybdenum-Blues

Xmucane Herself also plays an integral role in the development of the Maya Hero Twins. She was at first wary of them and their mother, Xquic, and ordered them out of Her house when they were yet infants, but She would come to accept them almost as Her own sons, raising and caring for them.

Twin brothers from the Mayan legend of creation by John Jude

Xmucane is considered by some to be the Goddess associated with the waxing moon, contrasting to the hypothetical role of Her daughter-in-law as the waning moon.” [2]

“Triple Goddess – Crone” by TwistedSwans

 

 

Sources:

Marks, Dominic. Lowchensaustralia.com, “Mayan Goddesses“.

Wikipedia, “Xmucane and Xpiacoc“.

 

Suggested Links:

Gallardo, Susana. SJSU WOMS 101, “Day 3 – Popol Vuh“.

MXTODIS123. An Inner Journey: The Moon, Mythology, and You, “Xmucane“.

Nathan. Vovatia.wordpress.com, “Oh, Maya Gods!“.

Sabrina. Goddess A Day, “Xmucane“.

Make the most of this month to open your mind and exercise your intellect with the learned power of the Hazel Moon.

This is the best time of year to focus on gaining wisdom and absorbing knowledge.  Cast spells to heighten your senses and concentration.

The Celtic name for the hazel tree is “coll” meaning “nine”, and the Hazel Moon is the ninth month of the Celtic Tree Calendar.  A myth tells how nine nuts of wisdom fell from the hazel tree into a river where a magical salmon ate them.  The salmon then became a prized catch, gifted with shape-shifting powers and infinite wisdom.

A Time for Learning

The Hazel Moon offers you an opportunity to connect with your inner reserves of wisdom and intuition.  Study of all kinds is blessed during the Hazel Moon, so magic that uses ancient knowledge is most effective now.

This is also an excellent time to learn to read Tarot Cards or Runes because lunar energy will enhance your memory and psychic powers.  Maintain an optimistic approach and follow your enthusiasm.

 

PROTECTION AND RENEWAL

Rods made from the wood of the hazel tree have been used for diving water and earth energies.  The wood is pliant and supple and is immediately responsive to subtle energy vibrations and environmental changes.

Fertility Charm

As well as being an excellent source 0f protein, hazelnuts have long been used as a magical fertility charm.  Carry one with you if you wish to conceive or collect a small bag of nuts as a gift for a bride.

Good Fortune

Hazelnuts are also a symbol of good luck; if you find two in the same shell, eat one and throw the other over your left shoulder to make your wish come true.

HAZEL MOON MAGIC

You can bring the magical powers of the hazel tree to your magic.  Use this time to inspire your inner creativity and wisdom to ground yourself in nature.

Hazel Spells

You can use the qualities of hazel in a variety of ways in your magic working.

  • Make an all-purpose magical wand from a straight twig of hazel wood the length of your forearm.  Charge under the full Moon.
  • Draw a circle around your bed with a hazel stick to keep nightmares away.
  • Eat a feast of salmon and hazelnuts before an exam to heighten your powers of concentration and boost your memory.

Meditation

Practicing this meditation will help you to move through creative blocks, get inner guidance and develop your intuition.

  • Approach a hazel tree from the north.  When you are within the circumference of its branches, introduce yourself and ask permission to come closer.
  • If if feels right to proceed, circle the truck clockwise.
  • Try to sense the spirit of the tree and open your heart.
  • Sit with your back against the trunk and breathe deeply.  Empty your mind and try to attune to the tree’s energy.

Meditate outside under a hazel to draw upon the tree’s creative energy and open your mind to new possibilities.

 

 

Hazel Energy In Your Life

Bring the creativity and inspiration of the Hazel Moon into your life, both at work and at home.

1. Enroll in an evening class.  Now is an auspicious time to learn a new skill – try painting, learning a language or dance.

2. Keep a journal.  Just writing down your wishes and experiences will help you tune into your inner wisdom.

3. Go outside at night and look at the Moon.  Staying connected to nature will bring powerful insights and help you remain grounded.

4. Feed your mind: buy a book of inspiring quotes and read one each day to stimulate your intellect and sharpen your thinking.

 

Making A Diving Rod

You can use the magical powers of the hazel tree to make your own diving rod.

1. Cut a forked twig, less than a yard in length.

2. Give thanks to the tree by pouring nourishing water onto its roots.

3. Pass your rod through incense smoke and state your intention to learn the mysteries of nature.

4. Hold a fork in each hand and pull them apart so that the twig is under constant pressure.  As you walk over a water source or energy line, the rod will twitch in your hand.

5. Use your diving rod to explore the energies of sacred sites, old buildings and even your own home.

 

 

 

Source:

“Enhancing Your Body, Mind and Spirit”, 21 Nature Magic, CARD  13.

 

Suggested Link:

The Goddess Tree, “Hazel“.

Goddess Tiamat

“Guardian of the Seas” by yangzeninja

“Tiamat’s themes are history, change, spirituality, fertility, birth and creativity. Her symbols are reptiles and seawater.  The personification of creative, fertile forces in Assyro-Babylonian traditions, Tiamat gave birth to the world. She is the inventive power of chaos, whose ever-changing energy hones the human soul and creates unending possibilities for its enlightenment. In later accounts, Tiamat took on the visage of a half-dinosaur or dragon-like creature, symbolizing the higher and lower self, which must work together for positive change and harmonious diversity.

Taking place at the Dinosaur National Monument, Dinosaur Days in Colorado celebrates the ancient, mysterious dinosaurs that speak of the earth’s long-forgotten past – a past that Tiamat observed and nurtured. One fun activity to consider for today is getting an archaeology dinosaur kit at a local science shop and starting to ‘dig up’ the past yourself! As you work, meditate on the meaning of Tiamat’s energy in your life. The more of the bones you uncover, the more you’ll understand and integrate her transformative energy.

Carry a fossil in your pocket today to help keep you connected to Tiamat and her spiritual inventiveness. Or, wash your hands with a little saltwater so that everything you touch is blessed with Tiamat’s productive nature and cleansing.”

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

Patricia Monaghan says, “Before our world was created, said the Babylonians, there was only Tiamat, the dragon woman of bitter waters, and Her name mate was Apsu, god of fresh water.  In those timeless days in a frenzy of creativity, Tiamat began to bring forth offspring: monsters, storms, and quadrupeds, the like of which exist today only in our dreams.  Finally, the gods came forth from the almighty womb of Tiamat and, growing swiftly, set up housekeeping in another part of the universe.  But they were a rowdy bunch, who disturbed Apsu with their noise.  He approached Tiamat with the suggestion that, because She had created  them, She could readily do away with the gods.  Mummu Tiamat (‘Tiamat the mother’) was taken aback by the suggestion and refused.

But the gods got wind of the conversation and, in retaliation, killed Apsu, the Goddess’ lover.  At that Her fury exploded and, with Kingu, Her firstborn son [other sources say consort], She attacked the gods.  They waged a battle that, some say, goes on annually to this day, with the hero Marduk each year swallowed by the enormous dragon.  Tiamat, according to this version of the story, became a civilizing fish mother (like Atargatis) to the people of the earth.  But others contend that Marduk, hero of the new gods, killed his mother in the battle.  Her body fell into the lower universe, one half became the dome of heaven, the other half the wall to contain the waters” (p. 296).

I believe that it is said best that “the essence of this story is the violent conflict between the older mythologies of the Mother Goddess, Tiamat, representing prehistory fertility worship of gods and Goddess and the new myths of the father gods, struggle for supremacy between the two with the eventual birth of patriarchy.” [2]

“Nammu” by Max Dashu

As one blogger, Carisa Cegavske, explains in one of her blogs about the Goddess Nammu (the Sumerian equivalent of Tiamat): “The Babylonians said Marduk created the heavens and earth by murdering  Tiamat (Nammu’s Babylonian name) and forming the universe from Her body. Tiamat did not go out quietly.  The tale of how Tiamat, primordial Sea Goddess and source of all things created demonic monsters to fight against the hero god Marduk and of how Marduk defeated Her, claiming kingship of the gods and creating heaven and earth from Her body is told in the Enuma Elish.

Eventually, when the priests of Judah rewrote the tale, the Goddess [Nammu] would disappear altogether from the narrative .  Well, almost disappear.  She is traceable still by linguistics, for when God hovers over ‘the deep’ in the opening scene of Genesis (Chapter 1, Verse 2), the word  translated here is tehom, meaning the deeps, the abyss, and linguistically the Semitic form of Tiamat, the name of the Babylonian Goddess.  In time, Nammu would be forgotten, but now, thanks to archaeologists, we can remember the Goddess who came before Heaven and Earth, before the sky gods ascended the throne of history, before even the Bible, before ever the priest put pen to scroll to write the words  ‘In the Beginning….’” [3]

 

 

 

Sources:

Cegavske, Carisa. Thequeenofheaven.wordpress.com, In the Beginning: How the Goddess Nammu created the world and then was forgotten“.

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

Mxtodis123. An Inner Journey: The Moon, Mythology and You, “Tiamat“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Beautyofnight.blogspot.com, Dark Goddess: Tiamat”.

Dragondreaming.wordpress.com, “The 11:11:11 Gateway & Tiamat“.

Gatewaystobabylon.com, “Tiamat“.

Hefner, Alan G. Mythical-Folk, “Tiamat“.

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

Sea Dragon. Order of the White Moon, “Tiamat“.

Sabrina. Goddess A Day, “Tiamat“.

Sitarik, Jessica. Crystalvaults.com, “Tiamat“.

Spiritblogger. Spiritblogger’s Blog, “The Goddess Tiamat“.

Tannim. Order of the White Moon, “Tiamat“.

Wikipedia, “Tiamat“.

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