Tag Archive: goddesses


The Weisse Frauen

“Healer – Priestess-Elf serie” by `Eireen

“The Weisse Frauen’s themes are banishing, blessing, joy, protection, fertility and divination. Their symbols are any sacred symbol, forest items and the color white. Known as the ‘White Women’ of the German forests, these Goddesses are said to have been worshipped by ancient pagans and witches where they live – in the woods. In later times, people looked to them to predict the future, help with matters of fertility, and protect the land.

The unique festival of Kermesse dates back to pagan worship of the grove Goddess (and pagan gatherings in the woodlands). Traditionally, some type of sacred symbol is dug up and carried around town to renew blessings and happiness in all who see it. The ritual also banishes evil influences.

To follow this custom, plant a white stone or token in a flowerpot, garden, or lawn this year and next year dig it up temporarily to release White Women’s power. At the end of the day, return the token to the earth so they can protect your home or land and fill every corner of it with magic. Repeat this annually to continue the cycle!

Wear something white today to invite the Weisse Frauen’s protection on the figurative land of your spirit, and spend some time in the company of trees at some point. Meditate on the pagans, who weaved magic in such places, and on these Goddesses, who empowered the spells. As you do, listen closely to the voices of the trees and see if they have a message for you.”

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

“In German folklore, theWeiße Frauen, or Weisse Frauen (meaning White Women) are elven-like spirits that may have derived from Germanic paganism in the form of legends of light elves (Old Norse: Ljósálfar). They are described as beautiful and enchanted creatures who appear at noon and can be seen sitting in the sunshine brushing their hair or bathing in a brook. They may be guarding treasure or haunting castles. They entreat mortals to break their spell, but this is always unsuccessful. The mythology dates back at least to the Middle Ages and was known in the present-day area of Germany.

The association with the color white and their appearance in sunlight is thought by Jacob Grimm to stem from the original Old Norse and Teutonic mythology of alven (elves), specifically the bright Ljósálfar. These ‘light elves’ lived in Álfheim (part of heaven) under the fertility god Freyr.   As mythology evolved, elves no longer lived in Álfheim (part of heaven) but lived on earth in nature. The White Women also may represent ancient beliefs in ancestral spirits or older native Goddesses and nature spirits. Jacob Grimm noted in particular they might come from Holda, ‘Berhta, white by her very name’ and Ostara. According to Grimm’s Teutonic Mythology and to the Mythology of All Races Series, the enchantment under which they suffer ‘may be a symbol of the ban laid by Christianity on the divinities of the older faith.’  Similar in name to the Witte Wieven of Dutch mythology, the Weisse Frauen may have come from the Germanic belief in disen or land wights and alven.” [1]

Patricia Monaghan writes: “The ‘white women’ of Germany and other northern European locations were said to be Goddess-worshipping witches who disappeared ages ago into the woods.  They lived deep in the forests where they helped lost travelers, foretold the future and helped the earth produce its fruit by their ritual dances.  Some say they were the ghosts of old Goddesses, enchanted by Christianity, seeking magic to release them into fuller life again” (p. 315).

Jacob Grimm notes the image of the Weisse Frauen basking in the sun and bathing ‘melts into the notion of a water-holde [i.e. Holda] and nixe‘. The Weisse Frauen also have counterparts in both name and characterization in neighboring countries: In the Netherlands known as the Witte Wieven, and in France known as the Dames blanches.

There are also many legends in German Folklore regarding ‘Weisse Frauen’, which are actually equivalent to the legends of White Ladies; ghosts of the United Kingdom.”

 

 

 

Sources:

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

Wikipedia, “Weisse Frauen“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Arrowsmith, Nancy. Field Guide to the Little People, “White Ladies” (p. 15).

Bell, William. Skaespeare’s Puck, and his folkslore, “Weisse Frauen, Belief In” (p.58).

O’Keeffe, Christine. Tartanplace.com, “Christine’s Faery List: Baobhan Sìth“.

Sacred-texts.com, “The Fairy Mythology: Celts and Cymry: France“.

Wikipedia, “Dökkálfar and Ljósálfar“.

The Horae

“Horae Serenae” by Sir Edward John Poynter

“The Horae’s themes are time and cycles. Their symbols are clocks, hourglasses and egg timers.  These are the Greek and Roman Goddesses of time, ruling over the seasons and every hour if the day. They make sure that nature and life’s order is kept, and they generally strengthen our awareness of time and the earth’s cycles.

In the mid-1700s, Britain changed over from the Julian system to the Gregorian calendar. People went to sleep on Wednesday, September 2 and woke up Thursday, September 14, putting the Horae on notice that humans need help with scheduling! To evoke the Horae’s promptness in your life, try blessing your watch saying,

‘By the minute, by the hour, instill in me a sense of time;
by the season, by the year, renew the magic with this rhyme.’

Repeat this phrase and touch your watch any time you have to be punctual, meet a deadline or stat precisely on schedule for whatever reason. The Horae will then nudge you when you start to dilly-dally, lag behind or get otherwise distracted.

For keeping up with everyday, mundane tasks, this spell works for alarm clocks, bakery timers, hourglasses, water clocks and sun dials. Bless the token using the same incantation. Then attach a schedule or ‘to do’ list to any of these items on and around your home. This symbolically attaches the Horae’s timeliness to those areas, enhancing your productivity levels.”

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

“Horai: Autumn” by *iizzard

The earliest written mention of horai is in the Iliad where they appear as keepers of Zeus‘s cloud gates.  ‘Hardly any traces of that function are found in the subsequent tradition,’  Karl Galinsky remarked in passing. They were daughters of Zeus and Themis, half-sisters to the Moirai.” [1]

Patricia Monaghan writes: “Also called the ‘hours’ or the ‘seasons,’ They were a group of Greek Goddesses and, like other groups, appeared in various numbers.  Sometimes there were two of them: Thallo (‘spring’) [or ‘new shoots’] and Carpo (‘autumn’) [or ‘fruit’] [and Auxo (‘spring growth’) that would make three as the Greeks had only three seasons; spring, summer and winter].  Sometimes there were three: Eunomia (‘lawful order’), Dike (‘justice’), and Irene (‘peace’).  They were the Goddesses of the natural order, of the yearly cycle, of plant growth; They ruled the varied weather of the seasons.  By extrapolation They became the Goddesses who ruled the order of human society.

   

Few legends were told of them, although They made cameo appearances in Olympian celebrations and myths of other Goddesses – clothing the newly born Aphrodite, for example, dancing with the Graces, or opening the gates of heaven for Hera‘s escapes to solitude.  Only Dike had an actual myth to Her name.  The younger self of Her mother Themis – as Hebe was of Hera and Persephone of Demeter – She grew so weary of the constant wars of humankind that She withdrew to the mountains, to await a more peaceful order.  Ages passed, and conditions grew worse instead of better.  Finally Dike, losing hope in humanity, ascended to heaven to become the constellation Virgo” (p. 155 – 156).

“Apollo and the Hours” by Georg Friedrich

“Another set of Horai personified the twelve hours of the day.” [2]

“The Twelve Horai (or Horae) were Goddesses of the hours of the day and perhaps also of the twelve months of the year. They oversaw the path of the sun-god Helios as he travelled across the sky, dividing the day into its portions.

The ancient Greeks did not have hours of fixed length like we do today. Instead they divided the hours of daylight into twelve portions, identified by the position of the sun in the sky. Thus the length of the hour varied between the longer days of summer and shorter ones of winter.

 

The twelve Horai were not always clearly distinguishable from the Horai of the seasons, who were also described as overseeing the path of the sun.” [3]  Wikipedia lists the Twelve Horae:

  • Auge, first light
  • Anatole or Anatolia, sunrise
  • Mousika or Musica, the morning hour of music and study
  • Gymnastika, Gymnastica or Gymnasia, the morning hour of gymnastics/exercise
  • Nymph, the morning hour of ablutions (bathing, washing)
  • Mesembria, noon
  • Sponde, libations poured after lunch
  • Elete, prayer, the first of the afternoon work hours
  • Akte, Acte or Cypris, eating and pleasure, the second of the afternoon work hours
  • Hesperis, evening
  • Dysis, sunset
  • Arktos, night sky, constellation

 

 

Sources:

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

Theoi Greek Mythology, “The Horai“.

Theoi Greek Mythology, Horai“.

Wikipedia, “Horae“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Greek-gods.info, “Horae“.

Sacred-texts.com, “Horai“.

Tuccinardi, Ryan. Encyclopedia Mythica, “Horae“. 

The Veelas

“I miss you” by pranile

“The Veelas’  themes are fairies, nature, healing, wealth and abundance. Their symbols are sweet bread, sacred fairy plants (oak, ash, thorn, foxglove, etc) and healing herbs.  These Balkan Goddesses preside over the woodlands and have the power to heal or harm, depending on the circumstances. The Veelas kindly treat humans who respect them and the earth, rewarding them with the knowledge of how to work harmoniously with the land, which, in turn, creates prosperity and abundance.

In ancient Macedonia, today was a time to appease the spirits of nature, called Drymiais. We can follow their customs by not harvesting any plants (especially vining ones), and not doing any cleaning (especially with water). If you must do one of these forbidden activities, carry iron to protect you from mischievous fairy folk.

If you live near any oak, ash or thorn trees, leave under it a little gift of sweet bread for the Veelas. As you do, whisper a short request to the Veelas for renewed health and permission to gather some herbs associated with health and healing today. Afterward, look for an ash or oak leaf or some tansy flowers. These will act as an amulet for well-being whenever you carry them with you.

For prosperity and abundance, and to improve your connection with the earth, give the Veelas an offering of honey instead, and eat a bit yourself to consume the earth’s sweetness.”

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

“Goddess Artemis” by Sierra-san

Medussa, in an piece written for the Order of the White Moon, presents a very clear picture of who these nature spirits were: “The Veelas, also known as the Vily; the Eastern European name for ‘the Goddess of energy moving through the earth as nature’. They were an ancient Kith long before the Sidhe rose to dominance over western Kithain. They live mostly in Eastern mountains and forests. They were born from the primordial worship of the Great Mother in Her warrior aspect.

The Veelas are the most beautiful women but not human; they are tall and strong, with moon bright skin and white golden hair that fans out behind them, even when there is no wind. They have flashing eyes of grey or pale blue, their voices are low and musical. But do not be mistaken, they are warrior huntresses and very protective of their terrain. They are great shape-shifters able to change into animals such as snakes, swans, falcons and horses. They love to play and dance and if contacted with a great respect they may grant you health, wealth and abundant crops. But if an intruder should show disrespect they would dance the offender to death.

The Veelas prowled the land from Scythia in the south to the Capland in the north sharing dominion with their cousins the Valkyries. They enjoy their most satisfying relationships with trolls. The Veelas are extremely given over to honor and battle.” [1]

This led me to dig a little deeper and found reference an actual Goddess named Vila.  “Vila (pronounced vee’lah) is the eastern European name for the Goddess of Energy moving through the earth as nature.  Vily (plural) are known as female spirits that lived in the woods, mountains, and clouds; they could shape shift into swans, horses, falcons, or wolves.

In Slovakia, they are regarded as the souls of dead girls that lead young men to their deaths; they fire arrows that may disturb one’s reason.” [2]

“Vila” by Hrana Janto

Patricia Monaghan writes that Vila was “one of the most powerful European Goddesses [also] called Samovila…or Judy according to the language of the people, who pictured this woodland forces as a fair-skinned winged woman with glistening garments and golden hair falling to Her feet.  She lived deep in the woods, where She guarded animals and plants as well as cleaning rubble out of streams and assuring sufficient rainfall.

Hunters were wary of beautiful, well-dressed women speaking the languages of animals, for Vila was fiercely possessive of Her wild herds.  Should one be injured or – worse yet – killed, Vila mutilated the offender or lured him into a magic circle and danced him to death.  Alternatively, Vila might bury him in rocks by starting an avalanche, or simply cause him to keel over with a heart attack.

Vila was able to masquerade as a snake, swan, falcon, horse or whirlwind.  Cloud Vilas could transform themselves into clouds or fog.  Born on a day of soft misty rain, when the sun formed miniature rainbows on the trees, She knew all the secrets of healing and herb craft.  Should a human wish to learn Her skills, blood-sisterhood was forged with Vila.  The applicant appeared in the woods before sunrise on a Sunday of the full moon.  Drawing a circle with a birch twig or a broom, she placed several horsehairs, a hoof, and some manure inside the circle, then stood with her right foot on the hoof calling to the Vila.  Should the spirit appear and be greeted as a sister, Vila would grant any wish” (p. 311).

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

Goddessrealm.com, “Vila Goddess of Transformation“.

Medussa. Order of the White Moon, “The Veelas“.

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

 

 

Suggested Links:

Finnegan, Margaret. Margaretfinnegan.blogspot.com, “Goddess of the Week: The Vily“.

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

Mydailygoddess.blogspot.com, Vila: Shape-Shifting“.

Omda.bg, “SAMODIVA” (translated from Bulgarian).

Stanton, Sandra M. The Goddess in World Mythology, “Samovila“.

Wikipedia, “Samodiva“.

 

 

This was a wonderful read! This is especially true, “Not many people understand what spiritual feminists mean when we speak of Goddess or goddesses…Invoking the names and images of Goddess answers a deep hunger in women, and among a growing number of men, to restore balance, for justice and truth. This longing is felt beyond pagan circles. It’s a call, a cry mounting from women within the majoritarian religions, a movement that transcends traditional religious boundaries. A great expansion is opening, from the nuns who won’t be silenced, women in the gathering Islamic reformation, all the overturnings of decreed female inconsequence, of patriarchal frameworks and hierarchies, in the flowering of an interfaith movement centered in love, not authority.” Max Dashu

We are going through a huge cultural shift toward restoring the female to her full radiance. However you want to define that, it is rising now, through us.

That which is Sacred, what should we call it? We’ve been told to name it he, him, his. That it was blasphemy to do otherwise, to say she, even as they desecrated the Divine with comparisons to mortal overlords, those cruel masters, despoliators, persecutors. No. Reconsider. That fearful address to an authoritarian punisher takes us far from true reverence. Rather revere the roots of Being, manifesting in all Nature around us, within us. The profound silence, and the Deep calling to the Deep.

Deeply I go down into myself. My god is Dark and like a webbing

made of a hundred roots that drink in silence. ― Rainer Maria Rilke

There are myriad emanations of the indescribable Source, but Goddess women call…

View original post 1,291 more words

Wave Maidens

“Nereidi” by Margherita Fascione

“The Wave Maidens’ themes are providence, protection (from water), charity, fertility, peace, cycles and water. Their symbols are fish and sea items.  These northern Teutonic Goddesses number nine and rule over the waves, being the joint mothers of the god Heimdel. In mythology, the Wave Maidens live at the bottom of the sea, watching over the World Mill that continually turns with the season to bring the earth and Her people fertility and harmony.

In Iceland, fishermen honor the Wave Maidens today by taking a well-deserved day off and enjoying sports, foods and dances, the proceeds from which support fishermen’s retirement homes. If you’re a fish lover, this translates into abstaining from fish today as a way of thanking the Wave Maidens for their ongoing providence.

If you live near a region where you can get to a lake or ocean, consider stopping by for a moment today and getting the Wave Maidens yourself.

Pick up a bit of sand and carry it with you to generate a better understanding of personal cycles and those of the earth. Or, gather a shell, a bit of driftwood, or a tumbled stone to promote the Wave Maidens’ flowing harmony in and around your life.

In terms of clothing, think sea-blue or green and something that’s loose, to help you physically flow as easily as the Wave Maidens through life’s circumstances.”

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

“In Norse mythology, the Wave Maidens (also known as the Billow Maidens) are the nine daughters of Rán and Ægir, the Goddess and god of the sea.  According to Patricia Monaghan, these maidens were Scandinavian giantresses.  They were portrayed as beautiful maidens dressed in white robes and veils and always helped their father, brew the beer for the gods.  Their names are poetic terms for the many different characteristics of the ocean waves:

Their names were:
(Poetic Edda)
– Angeyja (“Sorrow-Whelmer”)
– Atla (“Fury”)
– Eistla (“Foamer”)
– Eyrgjafa (“Sand-Strewer”)
– Gjalp (“Yelper”)
– Greip ( “Griper”)
– Iarnsaxe (“Iron-Sword”)
– Imd ( “Dusk”)
– Ulfrun (“She-Wolf”)

 

Or (Prose Edda):
– Bylgja (“Billow”)
– Blodughadda (“Bloody Hair”)
– Drofn (“Foam-Fleck”, “Comber” or “Foaming Sea”)
– Dufa (“The Pitching One” or “Dipping”)
– Hefring (“Riser”)
– Himinglaeva (“That through which one can see the heaven”, or maybe something like “Heaven-Clear”)
– Hrönn (“Welling Wave”)
– Kolga (“The Cool One” poetical term for wave)
– Udr (“Frothing Wave”)

In later times they were identified with Mermaids.” [1]

“Mermaid” by Alena Lazareva

“The sailors are always eager to establish a good rapport with these beautiful maidens of the oceans because, it is said that if they succeed, they can be assured a safe and uneventful voyage with these powerful Goddesses protecting and guiding them.  On the other hand, if the sailors fail to gain their approval, they can expect gale winds and a raging tempest that will most likely cause their death at sea. And while it is true that these lovely Goddesses prefer fun and positive workings, be assured that they will not hesitate to set upon their enemies with all the fury the seas can possess.

By Odin, they were the mothers of Heimdall, who guarded the rainbow Bifröst.  According to the tale, in the course of a walk along the shoreline, Odin beheld the nine beautiful wave maidens as they slept on the white sand and he married all nine of them at once.  In time, they simultaneously gave birth to Heimdall, the White God who stood guard over the entrance of the fortress of the gods.

 

Nine Wave Maidens Lyrics

Nine wave maidens
Giant beauties
Soundly asleep on Midgard sands

Someone is walking
Hungry eyes gazing
The guard of the sky beholding their pride

Calling the waves
Playing in the shallows
What will they want
A seafarer’s heart
Come rain, come shine
The patience never breaking
Oh how they blind a traveler’s heart

Atla, Sindur, Egia, Ulfrun
Never profound
Never alone

Heimdall born was he of mother’s nine
Heimdall son is he of sisters nine

Calling the waves

Playing in the shallows
What will they want
A seafarer’s heart
Come rain, come shine
The patience unbreakable
Oh how they blind a traveler’s eye

Calling nine waves
Singing in the shadows
What else do they haunt than a lonely man’s heart” [2]

Sources:

Cybersamurai.net, “AegirsDaughters (The Billow Maidens)“.

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

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

 

 

Suggested Links:

Northern Tradition Paganism, “Nine Sisters: Hail to the Gods of the Northern Seas!

Wikipedia, “Daughters of Ægir“.

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