Tag Archive: crone


Granted, we’ve moved out of the Dark Moon phase this month, but this was too beautiful not to share. Beautiful!

Invokation To The Crone At Samhain

No; not in the least as I found out last night…She doesn’t sugar-coat anything and is brutally honest, but I’ll get to that.  So, were to begin?  Well, I guess let’s start out with yesterday, shall we?  All day I had been feeling very much out of sorts – irritable, agitated, scatterbrained and anxious.  This actually really surprised me because I’d been rolling along all happy and feeling full of inspiration, riding the out the Imbolc high.  Yesterday started out weird, very much feeling Odin’s persistent tap on the shoulder just to let me know that he’s still here (yes, thanks for reminding me – as if I didn’t know that!)  Anywho, Odin seems to be making more and more frequent appearances as of late; showing up in a lot of books, articles and blogs I read, meeting people who have a strong connection with him and reading and listening to their experiences – some of which totally freaked me out, which probably led to a lot of my discontent yesterday.  I’m not going to lie – it scares me.  How the hell could I have attracted the attention of such a deity??  For some of you who know me personally, you know that I tend to be more on the Dianic side.  I’ve never felt a connection with any god…until Odin starting making an appearance here and there when I was living in Alaska several years ago.  I’m quite aware of the berserker and warrior side of him, but to be honest, I don’t know or see that side of him.  Coming across this from Wyrd Dottir kind of set my mind (and soul) at ease – THANK YOU!  To me, he appears very sagely – almost Gandalf-ish, very much “Odin, the Wanderer“.  He’s so wise; yet he’s curious, still thirsting for knowledge.  He craves wisdom, knowledge and inspires and drives me to seek out and do the same, soaking it up like a sponge and leaving me wanting more.  I feel like he’s hanging over my shoulder, even now as I write this to see what’s going on – to see what I’m doing or reading, seeing what wisdom and knowledge might lie there.  So, now what?  As much as I’ve been trying to ignore him hoping that he’ll leave me along and go away, he’s still there…Yet, a part of me instinctively knows, knows what?  Knows that he’s not going away and that I may need him as much as he needs me.

Big-Sunspot-Unleashes-Intense-Solar-Flare-At-Earth

So, working on this internal struggle during a solar eruption that happened yesterday – and a pretty intense one at that.  A little FYI about solar flares – according to Astrologyinaction.com, “In addition to affecting Earth, solar flares affect each of us both physiologically and astrologically. The Sun is the giver of all life. Astrologically, the Sun is our primary influence, determining our character, our behavior and our purpose. When the Sun experiences high solar flare activity, it’s normal for us to feel physiological disruptions or just simply feel off kilter. In fact, when either of our luminaries experience celestial events, we are affected in a rather personal way.”  Also, visit Carliniinstitute.com and read “The Effects of Recent Solar Flares“.  During such events, Heather Carlini advises to “be sure to drink extra water when we are having solar flares. The reason is that it takes extra water from the brain to process these energies. I also suggest vitamin B complex and a product from the health food store called Curamin as this helps. Omega 3 is also needed at this time. Cut back on caffeine as it revves up the nervous system even more during high solar activity. Also for upset stomach, tap on the cheekbones on both sides of the face just under the eyes as this helps release energy blockages in the stomach.”  Well now, I guess this explains a lot…

Moving onto last night’s ritual.  I set up my altar downstairs after making sure the kids were asleep so I’d have no interruptions.  Well, I guess I should’ve made sure the husband was asleep as well…ugh, a whole other topic that I don’t need to get into here.  My ritual wasn’t dedicated to any Dark Mother or Crone in particular.  I lit my black candle and charcoal that didn’t seem to want to light or stay lit, burned sage and lavender to purify and consecrate the space (which apparently was the main cause of discontent with my husband), and followed a real loose ADF COoR inspired ritual.  I had my iPhone ready with what seemed like an appropriate guided meditation/self-hypnosis to the Underworld setup ready to go, pen, paper, runes and Wisdom of the Hidden Realms Oracle Cards (just because I wasn’t sure what method of divination I wanted to use and wanted to make sure I had some options depending on what felt right at the moment).  I made offerings of Dragon’s Blood resin and whiskey to the Dark Mother and decided to grab my bag of runes to take an omen – to see if my offerings had been accepted and that it was OK to proceed to Her.  This was the first time using runes as I’ve always been intimated for some reason by them.  I’d been reading about them for awhile now and felt confident enough to say “what the heck, let’s try it tonight.”  I’m actually pretty glad I did because they were easier for me to use and interpret than what I had previously thought.  Well, let’s just say that my first rune I picked wasn’t all that great – Tiwaz inverted.  This seemed to sum it pretty well (as well as here and here).  It was actually pretty disheartening, but deep down, I knew to be true.  I then drew another after asking my new main question, “How do I change this?”  I picked Sowilo – a very good rune that gave me hope and encouragement.  Then as I was putting them back, Isa dropped out followed by Dagaz.  My interpretation – Yes, I’ve got some shit to work out that has been holding me back, keeping my energy drained and not fulfilling my potential.  I do need to prove myself and can’t expect things to be handed to me.  However, Sowilo offers hope – it’s the sun, fire – perhaps a guide of sorts that will light my way and melt the stagnant and depression that Isa signifies.  However, Isa isn’t all that bad either, because sometimes you do need to rest, take a step back and be cautious before trekking forward.  Dagaz is my goal – learning balance, receiving enlightenment from Odin and learning to balance and appreciate the Male and Female aspects of the Divine.  I’ve also been reading Northern Mysteries and Magick by Freya Aswenn and Taking Up the Runes by Diana Paxson that seem to be very helpful in understanding and connecting their message together.  Needless to say, I pretty much ended the ritual there.

So now what?  It’s been an interesting time – with the sparks and lightning flashes at Imbolc, the New Moon in Aquarius, this recent solar flare and Mercury in “the Shadow” getting ready to go retrograde…Oy vey!  Well, for me, it maybe a time to heed Isa, it’s time to open up, sit back and think – it’s time to realize my goals.  It’s time to organize and plan.  It’s time to think about what is really important and what will aid me in achieving my goals.  It’s time to plant those seeds and really nurture them.  It’s a time to learn balance – to balance Isa with Sowlio’s warm nurturing sun energy to achieve Dagaz…all while keeping in mind however Mercury is getting ready to go retrograde here on February 23 (Mercury entered “the Shadow” on February 8.  According to Sue on Magnoliaswest.com pertaining to Mercury entering “the Shadow”: “This window is when you may become aware of what you will be dealing with in the coming retrograde cycle. Events and situations that arise for you during this time will continue to unfold during the retrograde itself.”)  So get ready my friends!

Dark Moon, New Moon…or Liminal Moon?

“New Moon Goddess” by Montserrat

“New Moon Goddess” by Montserrat

In light of (or lack there of) the New Moon upon us within the next few days, I though I’d touch on a topic that has always confused and frustrated me a bit, and maybe some of you too:  Is there a difference between the “New Moon” and the “Dark Moon”?  Now, I’ve heard the two names used interchangeably as if they were one in the same; then I’ve heard and read that they are indeed different.  From my understanding, and what seems to be common knowledge among Pagans, Wiccans, Witches and those who follow the lunar cycle, the Waning Moon gives way to the Dark Moon or New Moon that brings with it the closing or end of a cycle and new beginnings.  It is a time of releasing and banishing negativity.  It is a time of purification, cleansing and a time of rest.  It is a time of introspection, meditation and seeking knowledge and wisdom.  It is a time of death and rebirth.  This Moon can be intimidating for some or even thought of as dangerous by those who do not understand the power and potential that this phase of the Moon has to offer.

How now, my ever critical and nitpicking Virgo mind wonders, can one Moon symbolize both an end and a beginning?  Death and rebirth?  Rest and rejuvenation?  Doesn’t one have to come before the other?  But then, which comes first?  Mustn’t you be born in order to die?  Mustn’t you die in order to be reborn?  Round and round we go…Therefore, I can understand how with death and rebirth being so intricately entwined and connected, this phase of the Moon could perhaps be treated or looked upon as a type of threshold or a liminal phase of the Moon – the “in-between” Moon of transition, waiting, and not knowing.  In saying that, it is easy to see why there is so much confusion over this Moon, discomfort or even fear of working with and under this phase of the Moon; for it is Dark (and full of terrors…LoL!  Sorry, had to throw that in there – yes, I am a hopeless Game of Thrones addict).

If we look at and consider this Moon in a sense as the liminal phase, it’s easy to see why it could be unpleasant or scary for some.  It is a time of transition and change; phasing out of the “Old Moon” and in order to usher in the “New Moon”.  It requires us to leave our comfort zone and head into the unknown.  As mentioned earlier, it is a time of introspection and seeking the wisdom of the Dark Mother or the Crone.  In making the journey and coming into contact with Her, Her demands, tasks and challenges may truly challenge preconceived notions, assumptions and narrowed perspectives; to reject all that we thought we “knew” in order to discover the new truths and the knowledge and wisdom that She has to offer…that takes trust, and that my friends can be pretty damn scary, for how can we trust what we don’t see?  How can we trust when we have no idea how long we’ll be in the dark?

It can be a time to come face to face with issues that maybe hurting us or holding us back.  This can be tricky, unpleasant and downright devastating and horrifying at times; for it requires us, if one is brave enough, to cross the threshold into the Dark Mother’s dark, deep and vast abyss of the unknown.  Some call it the Underworld, some call it the subconscious, and it is there we learn the lessons that need to be learned.

“Ereshkigal” by ~Fenrizulf

“Ereshkigal” by ~Fenrizulf

Like Inanna, we must shed and set aside all barriers and come face to face with Ereshkigal, or our Shadow-selves – that side of us which we would prefer not to look at, deal with or choose to repress because it maybe too hurtful or frightening to face.  It is here that we find and face the root cause of our habits, patterns and destructive behaviors and it is here that we must experience death; the death of those old habits and destructive behaviors no matter how painful it may be in order to rise above and be re-born.  If we don’t face that death, then we get caught in a never-ending pattern or cycle and are doomed to descend again and again to face Ereshkigal (or whatever Underworld deity that your personal practice or pantheon includes) until there is a death.

(NOTE: For those of you interested in Jungian psychology and Shadow work, I HIGHLY suggest reading Descent to the Goddess by Sylvia Brinton Perera.  I also HIGHLY suggest visiting Matrignosis: A Blog About Inner Wisdom and reading Dr. Jean Raffa’s “A Study In Shadows: Four Principles“;  “Three Steps to Discovering Your Shadow“; “Creative Interactions With the Shadow” and “The Light Shadow” – absolutely enlightening and fascinating and very appropriate I think for successful journeys during this phase of the Moon.)

 

Moving onto spellwork…Is there a difference between the “New Moon” and the “Dark Moon”?  Some will say yes, some will say no. First, I’d like to look at the astronomical definitions.  “Astronomically, [the Dark Moon] refers to the period when the Moon is not visible in the sky. This lasts between 1-3 days, depending upon your location. This is the period between the end of the Waning Moon up to and including the very start of the Waxing Moon, when the Moon is again illuminated by the Sun. Astrologically and magickally, this refers to the period when the Moon is not illuminated in any way, it is the period between the end of the Waning Moon and the start of the Waxing Moon.

Astronomically, [the New Moon] refers to the Midpoint of the Dark Moon, the time of which the Moon is exactly between phases, i.e. Waxing and Waning, as such, all times given for the New Moon on calendars, and even on the NASA website, are the Midpoint, the peak of, the Dark Moon. Astrologically and magickally, this refers to the very beginning of the Waxing Moon, when the Moon is again illuminated by the Sun; that very first Crescent of Moon in the Sky” (Lady Althaea).

Photo by Wade B. Clark Jr

Photo by Wade B. Clark Jr

To me, they are very different with their own distinctive qualities to aid spellworking and their own place in the cycle.  The Dark Moon is the closing of the cycle; the end of the “Old Moon” dead and gone.  It is a time for purification, a time for banishing, meditation, and rest.  The New Moon is the beginning of a new cycle; the rebirth of the “New Moon” referred to as Diana’s Bow (three days after the Dark Moon, when the moon is just a crescent in the sky).  It is a time of rebirth, rejuvenation, and the start of new projects.

In conclusion however, the differences in terminology, beliefs and practices boils down one’s own magical tradition and what feels right to them.

 

 

Sources:

Lady Althaea. Ladyalthaea.com, “Dark Moon vs New Moon – What’s the Difference“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Cauldronliving.com, “Dark Moon vs. New Moon“.

Everythingunderthemoon.net, “Moon Phases and Spellwork“.

Hall, Molly. Astrology.about.com, “New Moon Magic“.

Hall, Molly. Astrology.about.com, “When is the Dark Moon?

 

“For each of us as women, there is a deep place within, where hidden and growing our true spirit rises…Within these deep places, each one holds an incredible reserve of creativity and power, of unexamined and unrecorded emotion and feeling. The woman’s place of power within each of us…it is dark, it is ancient, and it is deep.” –Audre Lorde

It is from this dark space that we emerge—whether from our own mothers or from the more mysterious cosmic “sea” of soul—and it is to darkness that we return when we close our eyes for the final time.

I find that within Goddess circles the idea of “the dark” remains commonly associated with that which is evil, negative, bad, or unpleasant. The Dark Mother, while acknowledged and accepted, is often at the same time equated with death, destruction, challenge, trials, and obstacles. While I recognize that the concept of a dark, demonic, and destructive mother might too have a place in goddess traditions (as with Kali or Durga), I also think this is unnecessarily limiting and that the idea of the “Dark” in general is in need of re-visioning. It is not just with regard to the role or place of death within the wheel of life or the Goddess…

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Goddess Cailleach Bheur

"The Cailleach Bhuer" by ~AltaraTheDark

“The Cailleach Bhuer” by ~AltaraTheDark

“Cailleach Bheur’s themes are balance, cycles, rebirth, overcoming and winter. Her symbols are snow and blue items. In Scottish traditions, this is a blue faced crone Goddess who blusters with power throughout the winter months. She brings the snow and cold until the wheel of time turns toward spring on Beltane (May Day).

Just as darkness seems to be winning, the Crone Goddess stirs in the earth’s womb and inspires hope. She knows that the time for rebirth as a young woman will come in spring, when She will fertilize the earth. For now, however, the first step is renewing the sun, whose light will begin to get stronger.

Since this Goddess is one of cold honesty, wear something blue today to encourage personal reserve, control, and truth with yourself throughout the day.

In keeping with the themes of the Winter Solstice, you could try this mini-ritual:

In the morning, cover your altar or a table with a yellow cloth (maybe a napkin or placemat) to represent the sun. Place a blue candle in a central location on the table, along with a bowl of snow to represent Cailleach Bheur and winter. As the candle burns with the light of the sun, the wax shrinks and this Goddess’s snows melt, giving away once more to the power of warmth and light.

Keep the remnant was and re-melt it for any spells in which you need a cooler head. Pour the water from the snow outside to rejoin the Goddess.”

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

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Well, the Cailleach has appropriately blessed us with Her presence yesterday and overnight here in Upstate New York!  Now, it’s beginning to look like a real North Country holiday season!  It was quite inspiring while researching Her and I was able to find a TON of great info that I listed in the “Suggested Links” at the bottom for you to browse through at your own leisure.

"Cailleach" by Mairin-Taj Caya

“Cailleach” by Mairin-Taj Caya

Patricia Monaghan had this to write about Cailleach: “Her name, pronounced correctly, sounds like clearing her throat, but ‘coyluck’ is a near approximation.  One of the world’s Great Goddesses, She went by many names: Cailleach Bheur or Carlin in Scotland; Cally Berry in northern Ireland; Cailleach ny Groamch on the Isle of Man; Black Annis in Britain; the Hag of Beare or Digne in Ireland.  She was vastly ancient; the Irish Triads say: ‘The three great ages: the age of the yew tree, the age of the eagle, the age of the Hag of Beare.’  She could endlessly renew Her youth.  All the men She loved – and they were countless – died of old age as She went on, returning to the prime of life, finding another pretty young one with whom to share youth.

"The Cailleach Bheure" by Jill Smith

“The Cailleach Bheure” by Jill Smith

She had one eye in the middle of a blue-black face, an eye of preternatural keenness.  She had red teeth and matted hair ‘white as an apron covered with hoarfrost.’  Over it She wore a kerchief and over Her gray clothing, a faded plaid shawl. She owned a farm and hired workers for six months with the stipulation that none would  be paid who could not outwork Her.  Looking at the hunched old thing, many a man fell for the trick and paid with his life, dying of overwork while trying to keep the pace She set.  So strong was She that She carried boulders in Her apron; the ones She dropped became mountain ranges.

She controlled the season and the weather; She was the cosmic Goddess of earth and sky, moon and sun.  Beacuse She does not appear in the written myths of Ireland and Scotland, but only in ancient tales and place names, it is presumed that She was the Goddess of the pre-Celtic settlers of the islands off Europe.  She was so powerful and beloved that even when newcomers imported their own divinities, the Cailleach was remembered” (p. 77 – 78).

Cailleach rules the dark half of the year, from Samhain to Beltane, while Her young and fresh counterpart, Brighid or Bride, is the queen of the summer months.  At least one tradition views Bride and the Cailleach as being one and the same, with the Cailleach drinking from the Well of Youth at the beginning of each spring, whereby She is transformed into the youthful Bride. However most traditions in Scotland have them firmly pitted against each other as two differing personalities.  She is sometimes portrayed riding on the back of a speeding wolf, bearing a hammer or a wand made of human flesh. [1] [2]

“Alternate names: Cailleach Bheur, Cailleach Uragaig, Cailleach Beinne Bric (‘Old Woman of the Speckled Mountain’), Cailleach Mor (‘Great Old Woman’) (Scotland); Cailleach Bheirre, Cailleach Bolus, Cailleach Corca Duibhe (Ireland); Caillagh ny Groamagh, Caillagh ny Gueshag (Isle of Man).” [3]

I would really like to share a neat short film with you that Grey Catsidhe had shared with our Druid group back in November entitled “An Cailleach Bheara“.  Click on the picture below to be taken to the Irish Film Board (ifb) site.

cailleach

I also really enjoy and respect the work that rainbowpagan2 on YouTube does, so I wanted to share this video as well.

 

 

 

Sources:

Firedragon, Tansy/Rachel Patterson. Tansyfiredragon.blogspot.com, “Cailleach and Bride“.

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

Took, Thalia. A-Muse-ing Grace Gallery, “The Cailleach, Celtic Crone Goddess of Winter“.

Wigington, Patti. Paganwiccan.about.com, “Cailleach, the Ruler of Winter“.

 

 

 

Suggested Links:

Firetree.net, “Cailleach“.

Forest, Danu. Danuforest.co.uk, “The Cailleach, the old woman of winter“.

McHardy, Stuart. Goddess Alive! Goddess Celebration and Research, “The Goddess in the Landscape of Scotland“.

Mysterious Britain & Ireland, “The Caillech Bheur“.

PaganPages.org, “Cailleach“.

Shaw, Judith. Feminismandreligion.com, “Cailleach, the Queen of Winter“.

Shee-Eire.com, “Cailleach Beara“.

Sparrow. Journey Around the Wheel of Life, “Cailleach“.

Tairis.co.uk, “Bride and the Cailleach“.

The Suppressed History Archives, “Crone“.

Wikipedia, “Cailleach“.

Woodfield, Stephanie. Darkgoddessmusings.blogspot.com, “Bride and Cailleach: Drinking from the Well of Youth“.

WolfWinds, Silver. Order of the White Moon, “Cailleach“.

Hexe

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“Winter Goddess” by Lisa Hunt

“Hexe’s themes are health, banishing and magic. Her symbols are healing, herbs and charms.  This ancient Germanic witch’s Goddess rules over health, banishing curses, and teaching people the effective use of spells, charms, and other mystical procedures for improving well-being. Thus we come by the old phrase ‘hex doctor’.

Living in the 1100s, Saint Hildegard was a renowned Benedictine nun living in Bingen and ministering to people with herbal preparations received in visions. Many of these had magical overtones, perhaps by Hexe’s influence. In any case today’s theme is learning the art of weaving ‘Hexes’ for physical, mental and spiritual health.

On the physical level, take a natural object like a cut potato and rub it against an inflicted area. Bury the potato to ‘bury’ the malady and decompose it. Or carry a jet stone to absorb the problem, then cleanse the rock in saltwater to wash the bad energy away.

For mental well-being, enjoy a soothing cup of mint tea stirred counter clockwise so tensions and negativity will wane. Or, carry a fluorite stone with you throughout the day to strengthen your mental powers.

For spiritual health, sprinkle nutmeg-laden water clockwise throughout your aura to empower your psychic self. Or, carry a lapis or amethyst stone to draw Goddess-centered thinking and action into your day.”

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

I couldn’t find anything specifically on a Goddesses named “Hexe”.  According to Kerr Cuhulain, “The English word ‘hex’ actually comes from the Greek ‘hexe’ (a female sorcerer) or ‘hexer’ (a male sorcerer). This in turn is the source of similar words with the same meaning such as the Anglo Saxon word ‘haegtesse’ and the modern German word for a witch, ‘hexe.'” [1]

“Die Hexe von Endor” (The Witch of Endor) by Kunz Meyer-Waldeck

“Die Hexe von Endor” (The Witch of Endor) by Kunz Meyer-Waldeck

The word hexe is also related or similar to the word hag.  Wikipedia states, “A hag is a wizened old woman, or a kind of fairy or Goddess having the appearance of such a woman, often found in folklore and children’s tales such as Hansel and Gretel. Hags are often seen as malevolent, but may also be one of the chosen forms of shapeshifting deities, such as the Morrígan or Badb, who are seen as neither wholly beneficent nor malevolent.  The term appears in Middle English, and was a shortening of hægtesse, an Old English term for witch, similarly the Dutch heks and German hexe are also shortenings, of the Middle Dutch haghetisse and Old High German hagzusa respectively. All these words derive from the Proto-Germanic *hagatusjon which is of unknown origin, however the first element may be related to the word “hedge”.  As a stock character in fairy or folk tale, the hag shares characteristics with the crone, and the two words are sometimes used as if interchangeable.” [2] (Though we know better, don’t we?)

"Old-Hag Witch" by Fer Gregory

“Old-Hag Witch” by Fer Gregory

 

 

 

 

Sources:

Cuhulain, Kerr. Witchvox.com, “Texe Marrs [2]“.

Wikipedia, “Hag“.

Goddess Takánakapsâluk

“Sedna” by Susan Seddon Boulet

“Takánakapsâluk’s themes are providence, purification, strength, thankfulness, luck and health. Her symbols are saltwater and Arctic animals.  This Arctic sea Goddess rules over the successful catching of game and over personal health. Takánakapsâluk lives far beneath the cold waters, where She also receives the spirits of the dead and cares for them.

Among [Yup’ik] hunters, this was the time of year when special rituals propitiate the spirits of Takánakapsâluk’s animals, who gave themselves for the tribe’s food. Specifically, all the bladders of seals, whales and polar bears(?) were returned to Her icy waters in thankfulness. In a similar spirit, go to any open body of water and toss a small biodegradable offering to the Goddess in thanks for your food. Consider abstaining from meat today, or from some other beloved food, as a way of showing appreciation for the Goddess’s bounty.

The [Bladder Festival] traditionally included ritual fire jumping and sweat baths for purification. Try this yourself by jumping a small candle (carefully, please!) or taking a steamy shower (the Goddess is part of that water). Additionally, any show of physical prowess today brings continued strength. So, add a little exercise to your day. Take a brisk walk, do some jumping jacks. As you do, think of Takánakapsâluk filling you with revitalizing health.”

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

OK, I just have to vent a bit here.  Throughout this journey so far with this book, I’ve come across some really bad information (gods being portrayed as Goddesses – my main pet peeve).  For today, Telesco calls today’s holiday/celebration “Kashim”.  Now, kashim is NOT an Inuit or Yup’ik celebration; it’s “a building used by Eskimos as a community gathering place or as a place where men congregate and socialize.” [1].  Also, she writes about this celebration as if it is still practiced today.  While there is a “Bladder Festival” that is still celebrated today, it’s not celebrated in the above fashion as she would have you think as it was originally written in her book; “it was last celebrated in the early part of the twentieth century.” [2]  Also, I didn’t see mention of polar bear bladders being offered – only seal, whale and walrus bladders.  What kills me is that when I Google “Takanakapsaluk”, I obviously come across other sites that have done or are doing something similar to what I’m doing with this blog – and they’ve just retyped word for word what is in the book without doing the time to actually sit and do the research as to whether or not the information is accurate or correct; it’s just bad information being passed along as if it’s fact when in fact, it’s very inaccurate and misleading.  OK – thanks for “listening” – end of rant.

Sedna from the Goddess Guidance Oracle Deck

So, back to Takánakapsâluk.  This Goddess is actually Sedna‘s Iglulik Inuit equivilant (who actually live very far from Alaska – north of Hudson Bay in the Canadian Northwest Territories actually).  “Like Sedna, [Takánakapsâluk] receives the dead and causes misfortune, but is known also as a healer who helps hunters.” [3]  Now, about Sedna in a nutshell: “Sedna is an important figure in Inuit mythology, but is often the case with myths and legends; there is much controversy over who She was and how She came to be. The one thing that all of the stories have in common is the fact that Sedna did not begin life as a Goddess, but at a mortal woman.

By all cases, Sedna was believed beautiful and highly desired by all the men of her village. In some accounts, She was also labeled as vain and selfish and did not feel that any of the men were good enough for Her. In other accounts, She simply found no man that suited Her wants and needs. In either case, She flatly refused to marry.

“Sedna” by Hrana Janto

Frustrated with his daughter, some claim that Her father eventually threw Her into the sea off the side of his boat, but the girl hung tightly to the side. Fearing she would tip it over and kill them both, Her father cut off Her fingers, one by one. As they fell into the water, they turned into sea life like the seal, walrus, and fish. The creatures thankful for their birth, turned Sedna into a Goddess and gave Her dominion over them.” [3]

You can click here to read June 26’s entry on Sedna for more detailed information and other “Suggested Links” to go through for your own research purposes.

 

 

 

Sources:

Kuchinsky, Charlotte. Voices.yahoo.com, “Understanding the Moral Behind the Inuit Goddess Sedna“.

Took, Thalia. Thaliatook.com, “Sedna“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Cate. Hooperbaytundra.blogspot.com, “The Bladder Festival“.

Spiritandhistory.tumblr.com, “Today In Spirit, Fes & History: 10 December – Native American/First Nations: Inuit/Eskimo Bladder Festival/Feast of Sedna/Festival for the Souls of Dead Whales“.

Stern, Pamela R. Salempress.com, “American Indian Culture: Bladder Festival“.

Tedlock, Dennis & Barbara Tedlock. Teachings from the American Earth: Indian Religion and Philosophy, “A Shaman’s Journey to the Sea Spirit Takánakapsâluk” (p. 13 – 19).

Vitebsky, Piers. Shamanism, “A summer of shamanic procedure: Combing the Hair of the Woman at the Bottom of the Sea” (p. 125).

Walsh, Roger. The World of Shamanism.

Wikipedia, “Sedna (mythology)“.

Goddess Unchi-Ahchi

“Huchi-Fuji” by Kris Walherr

“Unchi-Ahchi’s themes are spirituality, Universal Law and meditation. Her symbols are tea, teapots and cups. Presiding dutifully over the family stove is this Japanese Goddess, whose name means ‘grandmother hearth’. From this position in the home she joins today’s festivities to warm the tea and to mediate on our behalf with the other Gods and Goddesses. Afterward, she returns to our homes and lives with important insights about the meaning of sacred ritual.

In Japan, today is a time to go to Kyoto temple and watch or participate in the ancient tea ceremony. In this culture, each movement and ingredient in the tea ceremony represents a spiritual principle or truth – all mingled into a simple, satisfying cup.  This is a lovely tradition, so share a cup of tea with a friend or family member today. Invoke Unchi-Ahchi simply by lighting the stove. Use the stove to ignite a candle, and take the candle to wherever you’re sitting to carry the Goddess’s energy to that spot. Discuss spiritual ideas, allowing this Goddess to give you new insights.  To increase the significance of your tea ceremony, choose the tea’s flavour according to the topic of conversation or something needed in that relationship. If discussing divination or alternative health, for example, use orange or mint, respectively. To deepen love or friendship, use lemon.”

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

I could find nothing on this Goddess.  My best guess is that this is a variant or epithet of the Ainu Goddess Huchi, who was I believe related to or an aspect of Fuchi.

“Frozen” by ~RuslanKadiev

“Mina Koya’s themes are weather, health, ghosts and blessings. Her symbol is salt. The salt Goddess of the Pueblo Native Americans, Mina Koya is often venerated during autumn festivals for Her power to cleanse, protect and preserve things, including our homes and traditions. Her healing power becomes all the more important as winter’s chilly hold gets stronger.

A New Mexican festival, Shalako is an all-night ritual of dancing and chanting to bless homes, commemorate the dead, bring good weather, and improve health for all participants. One tradition that honors Mina Koya and draws Her well-being into the sacred place of home is that of noise making. Take a flat-bottomed pan and sprinkle salt on it. Bang this once in every room of the house (so some of the salt shakes off). This banishes negativity and evil, replacing it with Mina Koya’s blessings. To improve the effect, chant and dance afterward, sweeping up the salt and keeping it for the weather charm that follows. Or, flush the salt down the toilet to flush out any maladies.

If it’s been wet or snowy and you need a reprieve, bind a little salt in a white cloth and bury it. The weather should change temporarily soon thereafter. This bundle will also protect your home and its residents from damage by harsh weather for as long as it stays in the ground nearby.”

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

I could find no information on a Goddess called Mina Koya.  I did however find a related Goddess (similar attributes – perhaps same Goddess, just a different name?) called Ma’l Oyattsik’i.  Ma’l Oyattsik’i is a Zuni Goddess and is called “The Salt Mother. Annual barefoot pilgrimages have been made for centuries on the trail to Her home, the Zuni Salt Lake.” [1]

Aerial photo of Zuni Salt Lake [AirPhoto]

On Preservationnation.org, it states: “Located in a remote region of western New Mexico, Zuni Salt Lake and the surrounding area (known as the Sanctuary Zone) are considered sacred ground by no less than six Native American tribes. The lake is particularly significant to members of the Zuni Tribe, who believe that it gives life to Ma’l Oyattsik’I, Salt Woman, one of the tribe’s central deities, and has long been an important source of salt for domestic and ceremonial use. In recognition of the sites’ significance, the National Park Service listed Zuni Salt Like on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999.” It is currently on the 11 Most Endangered Historic Places list. [2]

Art by josephxengraver

I found a lovely story on Sacred-texts.com about the Goddess of Salt that I’d like to share with you.  “Between Zuni and Pescado is a steep mesa, or table-land, with fantastic rocks weathered into tower and roof-like prominences on its sides, while near it is a high natural monument of stone. Say the Zunis: The Goddess of salt was so troubled by the people who lived near Her domain on the sea-shore, and who took away Her snowy treasures without offering any sacrifice in return, that She forsook the ocean and went to live in the mountains far away. Whenever She stopped beside a pool to rest She made it salt, and She wandered so long about the great basins of the West that much of the water in them is bitter, and the yield of salt from the larger lake near Zuni brings into the Zuni treasury large tolls from other tribes that draw from it.

Here She met the turquoise god, who fell in love with Her at sight, and wooed so warmly that She accepted and married him. For a time they lived happily, but when the people learned that the Goddess had concealed Herself among the mountains of New Mexico they followed Her to that land and troubled Her again until She declared that She would leave their view forever.

She entered this mesa, breaking Her way through a high wall of sandstone as She did so. The arched portal through which She passed is plainly visible. As She went through, one of Her plumes was broken off, and falling into the valley it tipped upon its stem and became the monument that is seen there. The god of turquoise followed his wife, and his footsteps may be traced in outcrops of pale-blue stone.” [3]

In another version of the story, Salt Woman gave salt to the priests who followed Her and instructed them in the proper way to gather salt.  According to the Navajo, Salt Woman was one of the Diyin Dineh, or Holy People. [4]

 

 

 

Sources:

Native American Mythology A to Z, “Salt Woman“.

Preservationnation.org, “Zuni Salt Lake and Sanctuary Zone“.

Schubert, Rebecca. Zunispirits.com, “The Salt Woman“.

Skinnner, Charles M. Sacred-texts.com, “Goddess of Salt“.

Wikipedia, “Zuni Mythology“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Bastian, Dawn Elaine & Judy K. Mitchel. Handbook of Native American Mythology, “Salt Woman“.

Indianstories.awardspace.com, “Salt Mother Story“.

Skinner, Charles M. Myths and Legends of Our Own Land, Vol. 2, “Goddess of Salt“.

St. Clair, Jeffrey. Counterpunch.org, “The Battle for Zuni Salt Lake“.

Twinrocks.com, “Salt Woman“.

Goddess Arianrhod

“Arianrhod” by Emily Brunner

“Arianrhod’s themes are the arts, magic, manifestation and rebirth. Her symbol is a silver wheel (spinning tools i.e. shuttle, yarn).  In Welsh tradition, this is the Goddess of the ‘silver wheel’ upon which magic is braided and bound together into a tapestry of manifestation. Stories tell us that Arianrhod abides in a star where souls wait for rebirth (the wheel here becomes the wheel of life, death, and rebirth).

Known as Catherine of the Wheel, Saint Catherine of Alexandria oversees spinsters (literally and figuratively). Like Arianrhod, she is a patroness for lace makers and seamstresses.  In keeping with this theme, today is an excellent time to try your hand at making a special pouch for housing some of your magical tools or trinkets. Begin with two rectangles of natural-fiber cloth one inch larger than the item you wish to house within. Put the right sides together and stitch three edges, leaving a three-quarters of an inch opening at the top for a drawstring or finished edge. Turn the pouch right side out. Repeat the Goddess’s name to bind Arianrhod’s power in each stitch. Fold over the top hem twice so it won’t unravel, and stitch that with silver thread for the Goddess’s protection.

If time doesn’t allow for this, a favored beverage to inspire this Goddess’s blessings is ale or cider with an apple slice or caraway bread and tea. Pour a little of this out as a libation, then drink it fully to awaken and energize Arianrhod’s magical potential within you.”

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

“Arianrhod” by ~lucreziac

Arianrhod (ah-ree-AHN-rhohd) is “the Goddess of the ‘silver wheel’ [and] was a Welsh sorceress, who, surrounded by women attendants, lived on the isolated coastal island of Caer Arianrhod.  Beautiful and pale of complexion, Arianrhod was the most powerful of the mythic children of the mother Goddess Dôn.

It was said that She lived a wanton life, mating with mermen on the beach near Her castle and casting Her magic inside its walls.  She tried to pretend virginity, but a trial by the magician Math revealed that She had conceived two children whom She had not carried to term: in leaping over a wizard’s staff, Arianrhod magically gave birth to the twins Dylan-son-of-Wave and Llew Llaw Gyffes.  Dylan slithered away and disappeared.  Arianrhod’s bother, the poet Gwydion, recognized the fetus as his own child, born of his unexpressed love for his sister.

Gwydion took the fetus and hid it in a magical chest until it was ready to breathe.  Arianrhod, furious at this invasion of Her privacy, denied the child a name or the right to bear arms – two prerogatives of a Welsh mother – but Gwydion tricked Arianrhod into granting them.  Eventually the Goddess overreached Herself, creating more magic than She could contain; Her island split apart, and She and Her maidservants drowned.

“Is she real?” by BlondieMel

Some scholars read the legend as the record of a change from mother right to father rule, claiming that the heavenly Arianrhod was a matriarchal moon Goddess whose particular place in heaven was in the constellation called Corona Borealis.  The argument has much in its favor, particularly the archetypal relation of Arianrhod to Her sister moon Goddesses on the continent, who like Artemis lived in orgiastic maidenhood surrounded entirely by women.  Other scholars, unconvinced that the Celts were matriarchal at any time, see Arianrhod simply as an epic heroine” (Monaghan, p. 53).

Upon reading Her story, my initial reaction was “Damn…that’s pretty cruel and spiteful.”  But as Claire Hamilton in her piece entitled “Arianrhod – Bad Mother or Mythic Goddess?” points out, “If Arianrhod really is the great mother of the Sacred King child, then why does She seem so vindictive? What are these so-called curses about? Why does She seem to be denying Her son his rights?  And why is She so powerful that Gwydion has to work so hard to outwit Her?  In addressing these questions, we should first bear in mind the strong possibility that by the time Her tale was written down by the Welsh monks, they had spotted Her pagan power and decided to deliberately slander Her name.”

“Arianrhod” by Alois Noette

Hamilton sums up her entry by stating, “I believe that Arianrhod can be seen not as a furious and vindictive woman, but as a powerful and wise matriarch.  A mother who truly understood the needs of her son, and the sacred requirements of Her maternal role, and who was not afraid to use Her Crone power to secure them. And for these reasons, I believe that the wonderful Goddess Arianrhod, the beautiful woman whose feet rest on the crescent moon, and whose head is ringed with stars, is a hugely important figure in Welsh myth, and a deeply inspirational model for all mothers today.”

“Arianrhod is said to be able to shapeshift into a large Owl, and through the great Owl-eyes, sees even into the darkness of the human subconscious and soul. The Owl symbolizes death and renewal, wisdom, moon magick, and initiations. She is said to move with strength and purpose through the night, Her wings of comfort and healing spread to give solace to those who seek Her.” [1]

Below is a list of associations that I put together from a few different sources that I could find:

ASSOCIATIONS:

Pantheon: Celtic (Welsh)
Elements: Water, air
Associated Planet: Moon
Colors: Blue, purple, grey, silver, white
Symbols: Triple Goddess, wheels, spinning tools, the silver wheel, the zodiac, nets, the full moon, Corona Borealis, Oar Wheel (a special boat that carries dead warriors to Emania, or the Moon Land)
Areas of Influence: Reincarnation, fertility, female power, sovereignty, fate, beauty, past life memories, difficulties
Sacred Animals: Owls, wolves
Suitable Offerings: Silver coins, wheat, candles (green and white).
Gems/Metals: Silver
Sacred Tree: Birch

[2] [3] [4] [5]

HOLY DAYS:

January 12: Day of Arianrhod: Welsh Celtic holy day. Day of Arianrhod (Welsh) Goddess of reincarnation, the Wheel of the Year, the full moon, fertility, and female power. Often portrayed as a weaver [of spells], She is linked to lost creation myths. — Celtic information provided by Shelley M. Greer ©1997.

February 14: Arianrhod steps over the magical wand of Math: Celtic holy day. Arianrhod steps over the magical wand of Math, which manifests truth, to prove her virginity. The wand causes the seed of her lover, which is in her womb, to ripen, grow and give forth in an instant, giving birth to Dylan Ail Ton, whose name means “Sea, son of Wave”. Dylan makes straight for the sea, and is accidentally slain by his uncle Gofannon. Her brother, Gwyddion, snatches up the after-birth to incubate Llew Llaw Gyffes, the great archer. — Celtic information provided by Shelley M. Greer ©1997.

 December 2: Festival of Arianrhod: Welsh holy day. The Goddess descends on a silver chariot to watch the tides.   [6]

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

Community-2.webtv.net, “Arianrhod“.

Hamilton, Claire. Goddess Alive!, “Arianrhod – Bad Mother or Mythic Goddess?

Inanna.virtualave.net, “Arianrhod

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

Rainbowpagan. Youtube.com, Goddess Arianrhod“.

Teenwitch.com, “Arrianrhod“.

Thewhitegoddess.co.uk, “Arianrhod – Goddess of the Silver Wheel“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Bianca. Orderwhitemoon.org, “Arianrhod, Goddess of the Milky Way“.

Celtnet.org.uk, “ArianrhodA Cymric goddess: Silver Wheel, Silver Orbit“.

Goddess-guide.com, “Arianrhod“.

Journal of a Poet, “Arianrhod, Moon Goddess of the Silver Wheel“.

LadyRavenMoonshadow. Sacredmistsblog.com, “Goddess of the Week: Arianrhod“.

Shaw, Judith. Feminismandreligion.com, “Arianrhod, Celtic Star Goddess“.

Sisterhoodofavalon.org, “The Goddesses“.

Skye, Michelle. Goddess Afoot!: Practicing Magic with Celtic & Norse Goddesses, “Meeting Arianrhod, Welsh Goddess of the Stars” (p. 23 – 31).

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

Wikipedia, “Arianrhod“.

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