Tag Archive: feminine spirituality


Aahhh…my sweet and beloved Goddess Epona…”Call on Epona for protection (especially for animals), for fertility of body, mind, and spirit, and for dreams to guide you on your life path. Epona also teaches women of their strength and sovereignty, helping women discover their wholeness within themselves.” ~ Judith Shaw

judith shaw photoEpona, Celtic Horse Goddess was worshipped by the Gauls (the Celtic French). Her worship spread to Britain and Rome from Western Europe. Hundreds of statues and shrines dating from between the first and third centuries CE have been found in France alone.

Today we can understand Epona mainly from her images, as few stories of her have survived.  She is often shown either riding a white horse side saddle or standing or sitting between two horses.  Many images show her feeding mares and foals from a cornucopia or a basket of fruit.

Epona, Celtic Horse Goddess

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Another fabulous piece by Deanne Quarrie that I just had to share. “Women have come a long way in the struggle for ‘freedom from oppression.’ It is in looking at goddesses such as these, as well as Goddess as ‘whole and becoming’ and Goddess who is ‘growth, merging, and creation’ we see that she represents all of life in one whole package, chaos, complexity, unity and diversity, all at once. For such powerful goddesses to arise in a time when women needed help with the constant oppression under which they lived, just imagine how powerful they could be today, if we called upon their power.” ~ Deanne Quarrie

From time to time I dive into the idea of seeing the Triple Goddess as Sisters rather than Mother, Maiden, Crone.  I have to confess that the idea of Sister Goddesses, complete in their familial connectedness, representing unity, connection, and interdependency, is very appealing.  We, who practice Goddess Spirituality, strive in our relationships to reflect this in our work together.  Shared power!

If I were to look at the sisterhoods individually, I enjoy the Ananke and the Moirae from Greek mythology.  I like them because they represent a balance.  One side setting the standards and the other, enforcing them!  A perfect example of the laws of cause and effect!

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An absolutely wonderful piece on the importance of our Ancestors. “Ancestors are one of the sources of our lives. They are situated within the larger Source of Life on this planet, our Mother Earth. Our Mother Earth is not an abstract principle. The Source of All Life is embodied in specific times and places. When thanking the Earth for the gift of life, we can also remember the ancestors whose lives have shaped and made ours possible. ” – Carol P. Christ

carol p. christ 2002 color“I am Carol Patrice Christ, daughter of Jane Claire Bergman, daughter of Lena Marie Searing, daughter of Dora Sofia Bahlke, daughter of Mary Hundt who came to Michigan from Mecklenburg, Germany in 1854.  I come from a long line of women, known and unknown, stretching back to Africa.”

Like many Americans, my ancestral history was lost and fragmented due to emigration, religious and ethnic intermarriage, and movement within the United States.  Though one of my grandmothers spoke proudly of her Irish Catholic heritage and one of my grandfathers acknowledged his Swedish ancestry, I was raised to think of myself simply as “American,” “Christian” and “middle class.”  Ethnic and religious differences were erased, and few stories were told. 

Over the past two years, I have begun to discover details of my ancestral journey, which began in Africa, continued in the clan of Tara, and was marked by the Indo-European invasions. …

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Female Druids

I thought this was well written and wanted to share it with you all.  This is reblogged (kind of as I don’t know if there’s a way to reblog from Blogger to WordPress without copying, pasting and linking it back) from Woden’s Wondering Witch: Living Living Liminally

 

Female Druids

Every now and then I run across someone who tells me that I can’t be a Druid because only men were Druids historically, or that there was gender separation historically whether it was simply the different genders living separately or full on segregation of practices. I can blame this on popular fiction novels or on bad mass market books on Druidism, but it still leaves the problem of people seriously believing that women can’t be Druids and that bothers me. Not just because I am one, but also because it discourages women just beginning to explore

Druidism as a path and steers them away to other things when Druidism may be where they belong.
Of course there are clearly modern female Druids, some of whom are very well known, and the vast majority of modern Druidic groups are welcoming to Druids of both genders. In this way at least the discussion of female Druids in antiquity is a bit redundant, since whether they existed then or not they most definitely do now. However I think it’s important for people to understand the historic material we have and what it does indicate, so that we can have a clearer understanding our collective past and what it is we are building modern practice from. Although it is broadly true that we will never be able to prove anything about the ancient Druids with absolute certainty, I feel that we can draw logical conclusions from the evidence we have.

 

Finish reading here

“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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Happy New Year!

goddess89

May the Goddess bless you with love & laughter to lighten your days,
and warm your heart & home.

May good and faithful friends be yours,
wherever you may roam.

May the Goddess bless you with peace and plenty and bless your world
with joy that long endures.

May all life’s passing seasons
bring the best to you and yours.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Well, there you have it – 365 Goddesses 🙂  Wow, have I really researched and completed that many Goddess entries??  Well, kind of…I plan to go through and “clean-up” some of the earlier entries (primarily Jan 2012 – March 2012) because I wasn’t using the same techniques or format back then when I first started that I’ve been using now – it just kind of evolved and progressed as we made our way through this journey.  I’ll also be checking for broken links and adding additional “Suggested Links” as I come across new information and plan to reorganize the Goddess entries into different categories (i.e. by culture, etc.).  If there is a Goddess that you’d like to see researched, let me know as I have a few of my own that weren’t covered this year (the Morrigan and Demeter for example).

This however will be my last post for awhile.  We will be in the process of actually packing and moving starting tomorrow and I’m not sure when we’ll be settled into our new home in Georgia or when we’ll be back online.  Till then, I’ll check in when I can from my iPhone.

Goddess Bless!!!

Goddess Takel

“Takel’s themes are banishing, health, protection, harvest, thankfulness and kinship. Her symbols are root crops. In Malaysia, this Goddess supports the heavens with a pillar from the center of Her creation, the Earth. Takel is the supreme Goddess of agriculture and its abundance. She comes to us at the end of the old year to keep us healthy and well provided for in the new.

Each December, people in Malaysia give thanks to the spirits for Takel’s abundance and the success of families, and they pray for ongoing health, protection and victory over any evils the may face. It is an example worth considering.

Follow Malaysian custom and consume Takel’s bounty today through luscious feasts. As you take the first slice or serving of any entrée, set it aside for the Goddess. Don’t forget to include root crops, especially yams or sweet potatoes, in your feast today. These are some of Takel’s sacred foods, and they will fill your heart with an abundance of love.

Later, after dinner has settled, dance in a joyful manner, being thankful for what you have instead of worrying about what you don’t. Takel will join you in that dance, and the energy it generates will empower the next year with health, prosperity and unity.”

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

Sorry guys – I could find no information on today’s Goddess, Takel.

 

 

 

Suggested Links:

Wikipedia, “Malaysian Chinese religion“.

Goddess Thalia

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“The Muse of Comedy” by ~kimbessent

“Thalia’s themes are humor, festivities and recreation. Her symbols are party decorations. Among the Greek Muses, Thalia is the Goddess of festivity and humor. She inspires today’s Feast of Fools celebration with unbridled revelry and joyfulness to round out year on an upbeat, playful note.

During the Middle Ages, around this time of year, a mock religious ritual called the Feast of Fools took place, much like the impious Saturnalia. Normal roles were often reversed and reverence went by the wayside, replaced by fun and pleasure. I see no reason not to follow the example of our ancestors and give ourselves time to frolic a bit today. Do something that energizes you, inspires you or makes you laugh out loud For example, throw yourself a party complete with silly decorations and hats. Watch your favorite comedy flicks with a friend.

Or, go out dancing, play video games, socialize with folks who make you feel good and generally let Thalia live through (and in) your pleasure.

To keep Thalia’s playful, enthusiastic engry with you, bless an amethyst (for joy and luck) saying:

‘Thalia, inspire my humor and muse;
throughout my life, joy diffuse.’

Carry this with you anytime you feel your sense of humor waning.”

"Thalia, Muse of Comedy" by Jean-Marc Nattier

“Thalia, Muse of Comedy” by Jean-Marc Nattier

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

 

"Thalia" by Thalia Took.  She is shown here with the comic mask of the Dionysian rites, and in Her hair are narcissuses and roses, both the variety called Thalia.

“Thalia” by Thalia Took. She is shown here with the comic mask of the Dionysian rites, and in Her hair are narcissuses and roses, both the variety called Thalia.

According to the Wikipedia: “Thalia (‘the joyous, the flourishing’, from Ancient Greek: thállein; ‘to flourish, to be verdant’) was the Muse who presided over comedy and idyllic poetry. In this context her name means ‘flourishing’, because the praises in Her songs flourish through time.  She was the daughter of Zeus and Mnemosyne, the eighth-born of the nine Muses.

According to pseudo-Apollodorus, She and Apollo were the parents of the Corybantes.  Other ancient sources, however, gave the Corybantes different parents.

She was portrayed as a young woman with a joyous air, crowned with ivy, wearing boots and holding a comic mask in Her hand. Many of Her statues also hold a bugle and a trumpet (both used to support the actors’ voices in ancient comedy), or occasionally a shepherd’s staff or a wreath of ivy.” [1]

 

Thalia Took writes, “The name Thalia can be interpreted several ways–‘The Luxurious One’, ‘She Who Flourishes’, ‘She Who Brings Flowers’, ‘Luxurious Growth’ are some of them, all encompassing ideas of growth and blooming.

Thalia can refer to either one of the nine Muses or one of the three Graces. Both hang out on Mt. Helicon, and I have a sneaking, though unprovable, suspicion that they are one and the same.

See also my drawing of the Nine done for a newsletter cover.

See also the similarly named Etruscan Goddess Thalna.” [2]

Sources:

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

Wikipedia, “Thalia (Muse)“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Eighthmuse.com, “About Thalia, the Mythica Eight Muse“.

Greekmyths-greekmythology.com, ‘The Nine Muses of Greek Mythology“.

Herwood, Mary Carol. Voices.yahoo.com, “The Nine Muses of Greek Mythology – a Series – #6 – Thalia“.

Theoi.com, “Thalia“.

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“.

Pandora

“Pandora” by Marta Dahlig

“Pandora” by Marta Dahlig

“Pandora’s themes are hope, prosperity and wishes. Her symbols are boxes. Unlike the later associations with Pandora, this Goddess’s name means ‘all-giver’ or ‘sender of gifts’. And even when the evils of the world threaten, let us not forget that Pandora’s box still, and always, holds hope.

Unlike modern connotations of putting away boxes, the name for this holiday, Boxing Day, came from the old custom of tradespeople and servants carrying boxes today to receive gratuities. This is how we come by the tradition of Christmas bonuses!

In keeping with this tradition, with a uniquely magical twist, make a special wish box for yourself or your family today. Begin with any box that has a good lid. Fill it with special cloth and trinkets that represent your goal(s). Also place therein one object, herb, or stone to represent hope (basil and amethyst are two good choices). Decorate the exterior lavishly and leave it in a special place with a candle that you can light briefly each day. When a wish is fulfilled, carry the corresponding token to keep that energy with you or give it to someone who needs that specific vibration in their life.

The token for hope, however, in the tradition of Pandora, never leaves the box, so that will always be part of your home.”

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

"Pandora " by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema

“Pandora ” by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema

Patricia Monaghan states: “Originally [Pandora] was ‘rich in gifts,’ the ‘all-giver’, the earth in female form, endlessly producing food for people and animals; the name may have been a title of the Greek Gaia.  She was also called Anesidora (‘sender-forth of gifts’) and shown as a gigantic woman rising from the earth while little men opened Her way with hammer-blows.

Later, as Greek society changed, She became the evil Eve of their legend, the one who brought all sorrow to earth.  Gifted with all talents, the most beautiful creature imaginable, She was given a box and instructed never to open it.  But, too curious to obey, She did so, and all the evils that afflict humanity escaped to run rampant through the world.  Only one being, the hope Goddess Spes, remained in the box to comfort us.

Yet even this late story has symbolic overtones that point to Pandora’s earlier identity with the earth mother.  Originally the ‘box’ was a pithos, an earthware jar used to store food and to bury the dead.  This pithos symbolized the earth mother’s womb, in which the dead were placed in fetal position to await rebirth.  Thus when ‘Pandora’s box’ – the womb – is opened, we are born into our trials and even our death, though women continue to hold hope within us” (p. 247).

 

 

 

Sources:

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

 

 

Suggested Links:

Buzzle.com, “The Greek Myth of Pandora“.

Theoi.com, “Pandora“.

Wikipedia, “Pandora“.

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