Tag Archive: fortuna


Goddess Spes

“Gathering Flowers” by Albert Lynch

“Spes’ themes are thankfulness, hope, abundance and harvest. Her symbols are a bouquet of flowers. In Roman tradition, this Goddess’s name means ‘hope’. She joins us today to celebrate the successful harvest and keep our hearts hopeful as the earth’s plenty wanes. In art, Spes often appears as a simple bundle of flowers whose beauty inspires the most distraught of spirits.

Follow pilgrim tradition and set aside time today to thank the Goddess for Her blessings in any way that seems suited to your path and vision. For example, give Spes an offering of the first slice of holiday bread, share food with those in need, or perhaps treat the birds and squirrels in your neighborhood to some bread and nuts.

Locally we invite any friends who have no family nearby to join with us in a delightful symbolic meal. Serve round rye bread and dill dip for unity and kinship, sweet potatoes for life’s sweetness and Spes’s harvest energies, cranberries mixed with oranges to keep our energy and health intact, vegetables for firm foundations, and pumpkin pie with magical sigils carved in the crust for the Goddess’s protective spark. If you look at your own traditional menu, I’ll bet you will find many other foods and beverages that have similar symbolism to bring meaning and Spes’s magic to your table for this holiday. As you eat, remember to pass all the food and beverages clockwise to invoke Spes’s ongoing providence.”

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

“Pandora” by Marta Dahlig

Patricia Monaghan told us that Spes was “an early Cretan Goddess called Elphis in Greece. She was the one force left in the box of Pandora after evil had escaped into the world.  Spes was ruler of the Underworld and of death’s cousin, sleep; Her plant was the poppy, but otherwise nothing is known of Her legends and meaning.  In Greece and Rome, Spes became the personification of hope, worshiped in temples dedicated to Her as early as the fourth century B.C.E.” ( p. 285).

On theodora.com, it states that “Spes, in Roman mythology, the personification of Hope. Originally a nature Goddess (like Venus the garden Goddess, with whom She was sometimes identified *), She represented at first the hope of fruitful gardens and fields, then of abundant offspring, and lastly of prosperity to come and good fortune in general, being hence invoked on birthdays and at weddings. Of Her numerous temples at Rome, the most ancient was appropriately in the forum olitorium (vegetable market), built during the first Punic War, and since that time twice burnt down and restored.

The day of its dedication (August 1) corresponded with the birthday of Claudius, which explains the frequent occurrence of Spes on the coins of that emperor. Spes is represented as a beautiful maiden in a long light robe, lifting up Her skirt with Her left hand, and carrying in Her right a bud already closed or about to open. Sometimes She wears a garland of flowers on Her head, ears of corn and poppy-heads in Her hand, symbolical of a prosperous harvest.

Like Fortuna, with whom She is often coupled in inscriptions on Roman tombstones, She was also represented with the cornu copiae (horn of plenty).

* “See G. Wissowa, Religion and Kultus der Romer (1902), according to whom Spes was originally not a garden Goddess, but simply the divinity to whom one prayed for the fulfilment of one’s desires.” [2]  In my opinion, that would seem to support Monaghan’s statement that “nothing is known of Her legends and meaning.”  My interpretation is that She was just that – Hope – a personification of hope and “the divinity to whom one prayed for the fulfillment of desires.”

“Angel” by Dawn Wilson-Enoch

 

 

Sources:

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

Theodora.com,  “Spes“.

 

Suggested Links:

Forumancientcoins.com, “Spes – the Personification of Hope“.

Theoi.com, “Elpis“.

Took, Thalia. The Obscure Goddess Online Directory, “Fortuna of Good Hope“.

Wikipedia, “Spes“.

Goddess Feronia

“Fire goddess” by ~Nigith

“Feronia’s themes are fertility, abundance, earth, freedom, sports and recreation. Her symbols are fire and coals.  This Roman fire Goddess provides fertility and abundance during even the harshest of times. When boredom sets in, she arrives with arms bearing festive energies and earth’s riches as a ‘pick-me-up’. According to Roman tradition, She is also the patroness and liberator of slaves, or of anything that allegorically enslaves us.

Every November 13, the Plebeian games opened in Rome with all manners of sport competitions. This festival also honored the Goddess Feronia and her liberating nature.  Mirroring this theme, get outside and do something physical to release any anger or tension you bear. Give it into Feronia’s care so She can transform it into healthful energy.

Carry a piece of coal today to generate a little of Feronia’s abundance in all your efforts. Keeping this near your stove (or any fire source, like the heater) maintains this Goddess’s energy in your home year-round. If a day comes when you have a really pressing need, burn the coal in Feronia’s liberating flames to release the magic for fast manifestation.

If you find your inner reserves waning with the winter’s darkness, light a candle sometime today to invoke Feronia’s vitality. Better still, light it for a few minutes each day until you feel your energy returning.”

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

“Feronia was a Goddess broadly associated with fertility and abundance. She was especially honored among plebeians and freedmen. Her festival, the Feroniae, was November 13, during the Ludi Plebeii (“Plebeian Games“), in conjunction with Fortuna Primigenia; both were Goddesses of Praeneste.” [1]

“Goddess of Fire” by ~kepper

Patricia Monaghan wrote that “far from the growing cities of Italy, this solitary Goddess made Her simple home in woodlands like those at Campania or at the foot of mountains like Soracte.  She may date to the era before Rome some believe She is a vestigial Etruscan Goddess, powerful enough to maintain Her own identity after Roman conquest, for Her major sanctuaries were in the central Italian areas where the Etruscans once lived.  Orchards and fields, volcanoes and thermal springs were Her abode, for She was a fire Goddess ruling the heat of reproductive life as well as the fires beneath the earth’s crust.  At Her festivals on the Ides of November, great fairs were held and first fruits offered; freedom was bestowed on slaves; men walked barefoot across coals to the cheering of crowds.

Art by Elena Dudina

The energy of Feronia could not be contained within cities, and Her sanctuaries were therefore in the open country.  So unsociable was She that when Her Campanian forest shrine once burned and Her worshipers planned to remove Her temple to the safety of a town, the Goddess instantly restored the charred trees to leafy greenness” (p. 124 – 125).

 

 

Sources:

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

Wikipedia, “Feronia (mythology)“.

 

Suggested Links:

Illes, Judika. Judikailles.com, “Feronia“.

Mythindex.com, “Feronia“.

Sacred-texts.com, “Chapter III: Feronia“.

 

Goddess Fortuna Redux

Art by Mario Duguay

“Fortuna Redux’s themes are travel, good fortune, success and fate. Her symbols are chamomile and oak.  This aspect of Fortuna specifically watches over all travellers, especially now that the weather might make for unsafe conditions. Whenever you travel, She goes with you to make a happier, luckier journey filled with success. She can also give you predictions about what to expect during your travels.

If you’ve been thinking about planning a trip, today is the perfect time to start. Fortuna Redux will make sure you get good connections, directions, hotels, or whatever you need so your journey will go off without a hitch.

No matter where you have to go today, you can take this Goddess’s blessing with you simply by carrying some chamomile tea bags or placing an oak leaf in your shoe. This invokes Her protection on your car, the bus, train, or any other mode of transportation to help you avoid mishaps and traffic jams en route!  Better still, if the day gets hectic, you can drink the tea for improved luck!

To see what the future holds in terms of travel, try sprinkling some loose chamomile over a damp surface (ideally your car’s hood). Look to see that patterns emerge. If the flowers form an octagon, for example (the shape of a stop sign), this might be a message to stop your plans temporarily. If they form a wheel, the pattern could be interpreted as an omen to travel by car or bus.”

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

“Tout se placera” by Mario Duguay

Research for today’s Goddess turned up this very informative piece by Thalia Took.  She writes: “Fortuna Redux, one of the many aspects of the Roman Goddess of Luck, Fortuna, was in charge of bringing people home safely, primarily from wars—redux means ‘coming back’ or ‘returning’. She may be one of the later aspects of Fortuna, as the earliest mention of Her is of an altar dedicated by the Senate in 19 BCE for the safe return of the Emperor Augustus. This altar was located near the porta Capena, a gate in the old Servian wall not far from the grove of the Camenae, and at this altar rites were performed by the priests and Vestal Virgins during the Augustalia, games celebrated in honor of Augustus on his birthday on October 12th. Though usually it is only temples that are known to have a dedication date, this altar was considered special enough that its dedication date of the 15th of December was recorded.

She had a temple in Rome in the Campus Martius, a swampy area down by the Tiber dedicated to Mars that had once been used for the assembly of soldiers. The temple to Fortuna Redux there was built by the Emperor Domitian sometime around 93 CE after he had safely returned home from a war in Germany.

Fortuna Redux may have started as a Goddess who primarily made sure the Emperor got home alive, but it seems it was not long before She was invoked to bring others home safely, especially soldiers, as one might expect. Several altars dedicated to Her have been found in Brittania, the frontier of the Empire, especially in the area up by Hadrian’s Wall, the very northern limit of Rome’s power. They commonly come from military bath-houses, and She is sometimes mentioned along with Fortuna Salutaris (‘Health-bringing Fortune’) and Fortuna Balnearis (‘Fortuna of the Bath-House’). At the Roman fort of Cilurnum on Hadrian’s Wall (the modern Chesters, Northumbria, England), Fortuna Redux shared an altar with Aesculapius, the God of Health (the Greek Asklepios); and Her company on these altars imply that She was considered a Goddess who had healing powers, or who at least had the power to preserve health and wholeness, so that Her worshippers would be able to come home.

“Fortuna” by Tadeusz Kuntze

A related aspect of the Goddess of Chance, Fortuna Restitutrix, was also concerned with the health and saftey of soldiers. Her title means ‘She Who Restores’, which can also be translated like Redux as ‘She Who Brings Back’, and She was evidentally worshipped by the military. An altar to Fortuna Restitutrix has been found in the Castra Praetoria, the barracks of the Praetorian guard in Rome, built in the first century CE, about the time Fortuna Redux seems to have come about. Her altar was in a room in the northern part of the barracks set with a black and white mosaic floor.

Also called: Fortuna Reduci, ‘Fortune Returns’; She is depicted on coins with a wheel, sometimes the emblem of Nemesis, Greek Goddess of retribution, law and justice.” [1]

 

 

 

Sources:

Took, Thalia. The Obscure Goddess Online Directory, “Fortuna Redux“.

 

Suggested Links:

Revel, Anita. Reconnect with Your Inner Goddess, “Fortuna“.

Sacred-texts.com, “II. THE ROMAN GODDESS FORTUNA“.

Serenity. Order of the White Moon, “Fortuna“.

Tafarella, Santi. Prometheus Unbound, “The Goddess Fortuna: Thinking about Darwinian Contingency Metaphorically“.

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

Venefica, Avia. What’s-Your-Sign.com, “Goddess Symbols of Fortuna“.

Wikipedia, “Fortuna“.

Goddess Fortuna

“Fortuna” by Jean Francois Armand Felix Bernard

“Fortuna’s themes are luck, wealth, abundance, destiny and success.  Her symbols are a wheel and cornucopia.  Fortuna, whose name means ‘she who brings’, is the keeper of our destiny and the guiding power behind all fortunate turns of events. She stands on top of Fortune’s wheel, steering us toward success and victory all year long.

Who of us couldn’t use a little of Fortuna’s assistance with tax day on the horizon. For a little extra cash, dab your automobile’s, bike’s, or motorcycle’s wheels with almond oil or pineapple juice. Symbolically, this invokes Fortuna’s help by keeping money ‘rolling’ in! Also dab your steering wheel similarly – this way you can keep a ‘handle’ on personal finances.

Romans traditionally asked Fortuna about their fate and difficult problems today, then received replies on slips of paper, often baked into small balls akin to a fortune cookie! This is fun for a gathering of people to try. Each person should write a word or short phrase on a piece of paper (all of which are equal in size). These get dropped in a bowl, and at the end of the day everyone can reach in to see what Fortuna has to say!

Wear colors that indicate to Fortuna what you need most (green for prosperity and luck, blue for victory, red for success, yellow for communication and creativity, and purple for spirituality and leadership qualities). Or, don lucky clothing and carry your lucky charms. Fortuna’s energy is already housed within them.”

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

“Fortuna (equivalent to the Greek Goddess Tyche) was the Goddess of fortune and personification of luck in Roman religion. She might bring good luck or bad: She could be represented as veiled and blind, as in modern depictions of Justice, and came to represent life’s capriciousness. She was also a Goddess of fate: as Atrox Fortuna, She claimed the young lives of the princeps Augustus‘ grandsons Gaius and Lucius, prospective heirs to the Empire.

“Tyche” by Tatjana Heinz

Her father was said to be Jupiter and like him, She could also be bountiful (Copia). As Annonaria She protected grain supplies. June 11 was sacred to Her: on June 24 She was given cult at the festival of Fors Fortuna.” [1]

“Fortuna was usually depicted holding in one hand a cornucopia, or a horn of plenty, from which all good things flowed in abundance, representing Her ability to bestow prosperity; in the other She generally has a ship’s rudder, to indicate that She is the one who controls how lives and fates are steered. She could also be shown enthroned, with the same attributes of rudder and cornucopia, but with a small wheel built into the chair, representing the cycles of fate and the ups and downs of fortune. Sometimes She is blind, as an acknowledgment that good luck does not always come to those who seem to most deserve it; at other times She is described as having wings, much like many Etruscan Goddesses—and indeed She was equated with the old Etruscan Fate Goddess Nortia, who was often shown winged.

The name Fortuna finds its root in the Latin fero, meaning ‘to bring, win, receive, or get’. She may have originally been a Goddess of Fertility, Who brought prosperity and success in the form of abundant harvests and offspring. Her worship in Rome traditionally goes back to the time of Ancus Martius, the 4th King of Rome, who is said to have reigned from 640-616 BCE. According to the propaganda of the time (and the Romans invented an awful lot of it to make it seem that their city had always been destined for greatness, and wasn’t just some upstart town founded by a bunch of sheep herders on some hills surrounded by malaria-infested swampland, which it was), when Fortuna first came to Rome, She immediately threw off Her shoes and discarded Her wings, announcing that She’d found Her true home and intended to never leave it.

Alternatively, Fortuna’s name may derive from that of the Etruscan Goddess Veltha or Voltumna, whose name encompasses ideas of turning and the alternating seasons. Voltumna in turn may be related to the Roman Goddess Volumna, who watched over and protected children; and both of these themes are found with Fortuna, who was often depicted with a wheel, and who was said to predict the fates of children at their births. As a Goddess of Fate Fortuna naturally had the power to foretell the future; and under Her aspect of Fortuna Primigenia in Praeneste She had an oracle, in which tablets inscribed with messages were chosen from a jar. She also had an oracular shrine at Her cult-center in Antium.

Fortuna had a very old temple in Rome on a hill between the Forum Romanum (the Roman Forum) and the Forum Boarium (supposedly the old cattle-market), near to the temple of Mater Matuta. Both temples had the same dedication day, the 10th of June, and each had a horseshoe-shaped altar before it of the earliest type. Fortuna’s temple had a very old statue of gilded wood inside, also of an archaic type; and the altar and statue indicate that Her worship dates at least to the earliest days of Rome, if She is not an earlier Goddess of the Latins.

The Emperor Trajan (97-117 CE) dedicated a temple to Fortuna, at which offerings were made to the Goddess on the 1st day of January, at the start of the New Year, probably to ensure good luck and success for the coming year. This temple was dedicated to Fortuna in all of Her aspects.

card 10 from the Fortuna’s Wheel Tarot

With Greek influence, Fortuna was equated to Tykhe, their Goddess of Luck and Fortune. Under the title Dame Fortune, Fortuna never lost Her power as an allegorical figure—She makes an appearance on card 10 of the Tarot Major Arcana, the Wheel of Fortune, and She is still to some extent honored today, for She features in gamblers’ prayers to ‘Lady Luck’.

“Madame Fortune” by Mary Petroff

She is associated with the Goddess Felicitas, the personification of happiness, and Spes, the Goddess of Hope.

Fortuna had quite a few aspects, many of which had their own holidays and centers of worship.” [2] Click here for a thorough listing at Thalia Took’s site, The Obscure Goddess Online Directory.

 

 

 

Sources:

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

Wikipedia, “Fortuna“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Revel, Anita. igoddess.com, “Fortuna: healthy and wealthy – and infinitely wise!“.

Roman Colosseum, “Roman Festivals“.

Sacred-texts.com, “II. THE ROMAN GODDESS FORTUNA“.

Serenity. Order of the White Moon, “Fortuna“.

Tafarella, Santi. Prometheus Unbound, “The Goddess Fortuna: Thinking about Darwinian Contingency Metaphorically“.

Venefica, Avia. What’s-Your-Sign.com, “Goddess Symbols of Fortuna“.

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