Tag Archive: flora


The Gratiae

“Charites: Spring” by iizzard

“The Gratiae’s themes are the arts, creativity, honor, love, excellence and beauty.  Their symbols are sweet aromas, art (all), and wine.  The Gratiae are akin to the Greek Graces, who inspire all arts, from a dancer’s elegance, a model’s beauty, and a diplomat’s words to a terminal romantic’s loving presentation. They arrive as earth is blossoming to encourage a flood of creativity that leads to excellence. It is traditional to offer them the first draught of wine at a gathering to invoke their blessing and aid.

The Gratiae were present in spirit on this day in 1916 when the American Academy of Arts was signed by Woodrow Wilson to honour excellence in the industry. Toast the occasion with wine or grape juice, giving the first glass to these creative Ladies to encourage their energy to visit your home.

Wear a sweet-smelling perfume or cologne today as an aroma therapeutic supplication to the Gratiae. Each time you catch that fragrance it will motivate beauty in any of your artistic skills. Better still, through the aroma the Gratiae can attract the attention of potential lovers!

Consider stopping at an art exhibition today or doing something creative yourself (even coloring!). Otherwise, do a little decorating. Hang a new poster, put out some fresh flowers, rearrange your knickknacks in a way that is aesthetically pleasing. These kind of actions appeal to the Gratiae’s sense of style and tempt them to join you!”

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

“The Three Graces were Goddesses of gracefulness, the charms of beauty, and cheerful amusement (the characteristics of loveliness). They appear to have received these designations from the Greeks during the archaic and classical periods (5th to 8th centuries B.C.), and they were known most commonly at that time as the Three Charities. This appellation was later Latinized by the Romans occupying the formerly Greek regions in which they were worshiped, and this resulted in the designation by which western civilization knows them today, the Three Graces.

“The Three Graces” by Josephine Wall

Initially in Greek mythology they were seen as simple guardians of the vernal sweetness and beauty of nature, and only later as the friends and protectors of everything graceful and beautiful. Pindar has written about the Graces as the source of all decorum, purity of happiness in life, good will, and beneficence and gratitude among men. Beauty, sweetness, and the best charm of poetry are believed to come from the Graces. The Greeks believed that without gracefulness, all labor was in vain and meaningless. Hence, the three deities assisted Hermes (Mercury) in his capacity as the god of oratory. In all things they were characterized as the spreaders of joy and enhancers of enjoyment of life. Social intercourse, manners, and culture were their domain, and they were frequently the subject of artists and poets alike.

“Primavera” by Sandro Botticelli (c. 1482) Left to right: Mercury, the Three Graces, Venus, Flora, Chloris, Zephyrus.

The Charities are not known for an independent mythological presence, that is, they are typically depicted and described in relationship to other gods and Goddesses in Greek mythology. Their strongest association is with Aphrodite (Venus), and it has been reported that they were present at Her birth.  While their earliest forms were less defined, they were generally represented in the form of young maidens and portrayed as dancing, singing, charming, and running or bathing in fountains, or decking themselves in flowers (the rose was their sacred flower as it was Aphrodite’s, and they were reputed to facilitate its growth and blossom). Their attributes also included the myrtle and dice (a symbol of cheerful amusement). They are depicted holding apples, perfume vases, ears of corn, heads of poppies, or musical instruments such as the lyre, flute, or syrinx.

The Graces in a 1st century fresco at Pompeii

During their early development they were occasionally shown clothed (mostly during the classical period in Greece), but since Hellenistic times they have been shown almost exclusively nude or wearing transparent gowns. The reason for such a display was to convey sincerity and candor, without disguise or pretense.

“The Three Graces” by Paul Vincenti

Their home was among the muses upon Mount Olympia. Usually Zeus is considered to be their father, but their mother has been believed to be Hera, Eurynome, Eunomia, Eurydomene, Harmonia, or Lethe. Others have indicated them to be daughters of Apollo and Aegle or Euanthe, or of Dionysus and Aphrodite or Coronis. However, they are most frequently thought of as offspring of Zeus and Eurynome (daughter of Oceanus). Although the Three Graces are often thought to be the sole attendants of Aphrodite, they are commonly presented beside the Muses and the four seasons (Horae). It has been said, while the Muses inspired, the Charities applied the artists products to the embellishment of life (author unknown). In addition to the Muses and seasons, other companions of the trio were Hera, Hermes, Eros, Aphrodite, and Apollo. In earlier times, Dionysus was also a companion until his worship turned to riotous celebration and drunkenness, behaviors incompatible with the more refined tastes of the Graces that advocated moderation in everything.” [1]

“They ordinarily numbered three, from youngest to oldest: Aglaea (“Splendor”), Euphrosyne (“Mirth”), and Thalia (“Good Cheer”).  The Charites were also associated with the Greek underworld and the Eleusinian Mysteries.

The river Cephissus near Delphi was sacred to them.” [2]

 

 

 

Sources:

Ancient Numismatic Mythology, “Three Graces Mythology“.

Wikipedia, “Charites“.

Suggested Links:

Theoi Greek Mythology, “Kharites“.

Healing is in the air during the Celtic Month of Willow, inviting you to open your heart and express your emotions.

During this time of April showers, the watery month of the Willow Moon teaches you to release pent-up emotions and experience your grief.  Tears are linked to healing, and as you express difficult and painful feelings, you are able to purge yourself of subconscious fears.  The Willow Moon offered a healing month to the Celts, who literally spring-cleaned themselves in steamy saunas, known as sweat lodges, in readiness for the Beltane festival at the start of May.

Watery Tree

This month is the perfect time to perform lunar magic and to let go of the past.  Cast spells to restore and nurture during the waxing Moon and to release problems during the waning Moon. Drinking more water will help you attune to the Willow Moon and so enable you to connect to the tree’s water magic.

HEALING AND BLESSING

The willow is imbued with the power of the Moon, and so it has always been particularly linked with witchcraft.  The traditional witches’ broom is bound with a willow branch, and lunar wands used specifically for Moon magic are made of willow wood.

A lovely handmade willow wand that can be purchased from the Eire Crescent shop on Etsy.

Broken Hearts

The willow’s close ties to the Moon and tides also connect it to affairs of the heart.  An old English tradition involved jilted lovers wearing a sprig of willow in their hats, which originated from an ancient willow charm to heal a broken heart.

Lucky Tree

It was also believed that knocking on willow wood would help to banish bad luck, and that the tree’s leaves and bark could be added to healing incense and sachets to further promote health.

Focus on bringing someone round to your way of thinking.  Attract love or a new job, or aim to make a good first impression.

WILLOW MOON MAGIC

The Willow Moon provides the perfect time to harness lunar power and energy for wishing spells, divination, healing and protection.

Willow Divination

Willow is a good tree for boosting your intuition because of its watery association with the Moon.  Try these traditional “willow ways” of using your extrasensory perception!

  • Throw your shoe into a willow tree on the new Moon.  If it gets stuck you will be married in the next 12 months, but if it falls you will remain single.  you can try this eight times, if you do not get the desired result the first time!
  • Sleep with willow leaves under your pillow on the night of the full Moon to have a psychic dream.
  • Burning the bark and leaves of willow with sandalwood, outside during the waning Moon, will help you see spirits.

Protection Spell

Planting a willow tree in your yard will banish bad luck from your home.

You Will Need:

  • Willow branch
  • Spring water
  • A clear quartz crystal
  • A lock of your hair

1. On the new Moon, dig a hole and place the quartz crystal inside it.

2. Call upon the blessing of the Earth Mother with the following incantation: “Earth to earth, in power and love grow.”

3. Add the lock of your hair, to bring your own energies to the spell, and say, “I welcome you.”

4. Place the willow branch in the hold and refill the earth around it.

5. Shower the covered earth with the spring water while saying this chant: “Water to water, in power and love grow.”

6. Water the buried branch each day until it is strong.

Moon Water Spell

This willow tree ritual should be performed outside and can be used to make a wish, or heart’s desire, some true.

1. At the time of the full Moon go to a shallow river or stream where willow trees grow.

2. Stand with your feet in the water and hold your arms up to the Moon.

3. Visualize  moonlight flooding your aura, filling your body with each breath.

4. Recite this incantation: “Lady Moon of wax and wane, bring my wish and take my pain.”

5. Perform an act of ritual purification by washing your hands in the water by the roots of the tree.

6. Focus on your wish and tie a knot with a string around a willow branch to seal it.  When your wish comes true, untie the knot.

“Esbat” by NinfeAde

Healing Sachet

Use this charm during the Willow Moon to support your recovery from past bereavement or heartbreak.

You Will Need:

  • White spell bag
  • Willow leaves
  • Willow bark
  • Moonstone crystal

1. Harvest the bark and the leaves on the full Moon, leaving a strand of hair as an offering of thanks.

2. Hold up the moonstone and say “Mother Moon, Fair thou art, may your radiance heal my heart.”

3. Place all the ingredients in the bag, tying three knots to seal it, saying, “By the power of three so let it be.”

 

 

Source:
“Enhancing Your Body, Mind and Spirit”, 21 Nature Magic, CARD  9.

 

 

Suggested Links:

The Blue Roebuck, “Willow“.

Celtic Radio, “Celtic Zodiac: The Willow“.

The Goddess Tree, “Willow“.

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