Tag Archive: greek mythology


This is the second episode following “When God Was a Girl” in a BBC documentary series, Divine Women by historian Bettany Hughes.  “Historian Bettany Hughes continues her journey into the hidden and controversial history of women’s place in religion as she uncovers the lost era of the priestess. She delves into the ancient Greek worship of the goddess of sex, Aphrodite, and finds out what this practice meant for women. She also heads to ancient Rome, where the fate of the civilisation lay in the hands of six sacred virgins. Returning to the crucial early years of Christianity, she finds evidence that overturns centuries of Church teaching and challenges the belief that women should not be priests.”

 

When God Was a Girl

Take an hour out and treat yourself – reclaim your herstory, reclaim your divinity! Wonderful and informational.  “Historian Bettany Hughes visits a world where Goddesses ruled the heavens and earth, and reveals why our ancestors thought of the divine as female. Travelling across the Mediterranean and the Near East, Bettany goes to remote places, where she encounters fearsome Goddesses who controlled life and death, and she ends up in modern-day India, where the Goddess is still a powerful force for thousands of Hindus. Immersing herself in the excitement of the Durga Puja festival, Bettany experiences Goddess worship first-hand, and finds out what the Goddess means to Her devotees.”

 

Goddess Hecate

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“Hecate” by *mari-na

“Hecate’s themes are the moon, beginnings and magic. Her symbols are serpents, horses or dogs (Her sacred animals), light (especially a torch), myrrh, silver and moonstone. This Greco-Roman Goddess rules the moon and opportunities. Tonight She opens the path through which the old year departs and the new enters. People customarily worship Hecate at crossroads, where worlds meet, which may be why She became a witch’s Goddess. On this, Hecate’s Day, She bears a torch, lighting the way to the future.

At the eve of a New Year, take a moment and pat yourself on the back for a full of Goddess-centered thinking and action. Note your achievements, and thank Hecate for helping you find the way when your vision seemed clouded. An additional benefit here is that speaking this Goddess’s name today banishes unwanted ghosts, including those figurative ghosts of past negative experiences. Let Hecate take those burdens so your new year will begin without anything holding you back.

To accept this Goddess’s powers in your life throughout your celebrations today, wear white or silver items, and light a white candle in Her honor. For a token that will emphasize Hecate’s magic and lunar energies whenever you need them, bless a moonstone, saying something like:

‘Hecate, fill this silver stone
keep your magic with me where ever I roam.’

Carry this, keeping the Goddess close to your heart and spirit.”

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

"Hecate" by Hrana Janto

“Hecate” by Hrana Janto

“At night, particularly at the dark of the moon, this Goddess walked the roads of ancient Greece, accompanied by sacred dogs and bearing a blazing torch. Occasionally She stopped to gather offerings left by Her devotees where three roads crossed, for this threefold Goddess was best honored where one could look three ways at once. Sometimes, it was even said that Hecate could look three ways because She had three heads: a serpent, a horse, and a dog.

"Hecate redux" by ~ArtemisiaSynchroma

“Hecate redux” by ~ArtemisiaSynchroma

While Hecate walked outdoors, Her worshipers gathered inside to eat Hecate suppers in Her honor, gatherings at which magical knowledge was shared and the secrets of sorcery whispered and dogs, honey and black female lambs sacrificed. The bitch-Goddess, the snake-Goddess, ruled these powers and She bestowed them on those who worshiped Her honorably. When supper was over, the leftovers were placed outdoors as offerings to Hecate and Her hounds. And if the poor of Greece gathered at the doorsteps of wealthier households to snatch the offerings, what matter?

"Hecate" by Katlyn Breene

“Hecate” by Katlyn Breene

Some scholars say that Hecate was not originally Greek, Her worship having traveled south from Her original Thracian homeland. Others contend that She was a form of the earth mother Demeter, yet another of whose forms was the maiden Persephone. Legends, they claim, of Persephone’s abduction and later residence in Hades give clear prominence to Hecate, who therefore must represent the old wise woman, the crone, the final stage of woman’s growth-the aged Demeter Herself, just as Demeter is the mature Persephone.

In either case, the antiquity of Hecate’s worship was recognized by the Greeks, who called Her a Titan, one of those pre-Olympian divinities whom Zeus and his cohort had ousted. The newcomers also bowed to Her antiquity by granting to Hecate alone a power shared with Zeus, that of granting or withholding from humanity anything She wished. Hecate’s worship continued into classical times, both in the private form of Hecate suppers and in public sacrifices, celebrated by ‘great ones’ or Caberioi, of honey, black female lambs, and dogs, and sometimes black human slaves.

"Hecate" by *Hrefngast

“Hecate” by *Hrefngast

As queen of the night, Hecate was sometimes said to be the moon-Goddess in Her dark form, as Artemis was the waxing moon and Selene the full moon. But She may as readily have been the earth Goddess, for She ruled the spirits of the dead, humans who had been returned to the earth. As queen of death She ruled the magical powers of regeneration; in addition, She could hold back Her spectral hordes from the living if She chose. And so Greek women evoked Hecate for protection from Her hosts whenever they left the house, and they erected Her threefold images at their doors, as if to tell wandering spirits that therein lived friends of their queen, who must not be bothered with night noises and spooky apparitions” (Monaghan, p. 146 – 148).

hekate__s_advance_by_hellfurian_guard-d38okib

“Hekate’s Advance” by ~Hellfurian-Guard

 

ASSOCIATIONS:

General: Torch, dark moon, raisin & currant cakes, crossroads, three-headed animals or statues, the number 3, masks, and candles.

Animals: Dogs, horses, sheep (especially black female lambs), owls, bats, snakes, and boars.

Plants: Willows, dark yew, blackthorn, groves of trees, saffron, raisins & currants, and gourds (especially pumpkins).

Perfumes/Scents: Queen of the Night (a light flowery fragrance), cinnamon, myrrh, mugwort, honey, lime, and lemon verbena.

Gems and Metals: Sapphire, silver, gold, moonstone, black tourmalin, black onyx, hematite, smoky quartz, and any stone that is dark or luminous.

Colors: Black, orange, yellow-orange, and red-orange.  [1]

 

Some educational and informational videos

 

 

And I just thought this song was kind of catchy :)

 

 

 

Sources:

Goddessgift.com, “Goddess Symbols and Sacred Objects of Hecate”.

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

 

 

Suggested Links:

Covenofthegoddess.com, “Goddess Hekate“.

D’Este, Sorita & David Rankine. Hekate Liminal Rites.

Ford, Michael W. Book of the Witch Moon: Chaos, Vampiric & Luciferian Sorcery, “Hecate”. (p. 99 – 107). (For those with a taste for a “darker” flavor ;) )

Goddessgift.com, “Hecate, Greek Goddess of the Crossroads“.

Grimassi, Raven. The Witches’ Craft: The Roots of Witchcraft & Magical Transformation.

Hecatescauldron.org, “Hecate’s Cauldron“.

Hekate Symposium 2013, “Hekate: Bright Goddess of the Mysteries by Sorita d’Este“.

James-Henderson, Yvonne. Orderwhitemoon.org, “Hecate“.

Kirkpatrick, Carrie. Goddess Enchantment, Magic and Spells Vol 2, “Goddess of Transformation Hecate“.

Littleton, C. Scott. Gods, Goddesses and Mythology, “Hecate” (p. 617 – 620).

MacLeod NicMhacha, Sharynne. Queen of the Night: Rediscovering the Celtic Moon Goddess, “The Double Life of Hecate” (p. 59 -63).

Mydailygoddess.blogspot.com, “Hecate – Crossroads“.

Reichard, Joy. Celebrate the Divine Feminine, “13. Hecate” (p. 167 – 182).

Revel, Anita. igoddess.com, “Hecate: intuitive wise woman“.

Tate, Karen. Sacred Places of Goddess: 108 Destinations.

The-goddess-hecate.blogspot.com, “The Goddess Hecate“.

Theoi.com, “Hecate“.

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

Wikipedia, “Hecate“.

Goddess Iris

"Iris" by Howard David Johnson

“Iris” by Howard David Johnson

“Iris’ themes are winter, peace, protection, air, meditation, promises and beginnings. Her symbols are rainbows and water. This Greek messenger to the gods traverses between the Earth and heavens, appearing as a winged maiden on a shining, hopeful rainbow. In this form She represents the calm after the storm – the end of the year’s activities and the advent of a new beginning. Traditional offerings to Her include figs, cakes, wheat and honey. In some stories it was Iris’ job to gather water from the Underworld for use in taking sacred oaths.

The phrase Halcyon Days comes from the ancient belief that fourteen days of calm weather were to be expected around the winter solstice—usually 21st or 22nd of December in the Northern Hemisphere, as that was when the halcyon calmed the surface of the sea in order to brood her eggs on a floating nest. The Halcyon days are generally regarded as beginning on the 14th or 15th of December. Thus, the week before and after the winter solstice are said to bear both the halcyon’s and Iris’s calm ambiance and hopeful demeanor.

To inspire an improved outlook, find a rainbow sun catcher and put it in a window today so that Iris’s radiance can fill your home. Get an extra one for your car (or maybe a rainbow-colored air freshener), so you can keep that energy with you throughout the day.

For another aromatic approach, open a window briefly today and let Iris fly in on wings of change and refreshment. Burn some violet or lavender incense as you do. These two aromatics accentuate this Goddess’s vibrations.”

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

"Iris" by Josephine Wall

“Iris” by Josephine Wall

Patricia Monaghan wrote that “the rainbow Goddess Iris was Hera‘s messenger, a winged maiden who – when not delivering messages for Her mistress – slept under Hera’s bed.  It was Iris who, when Her mistress slept with Zeus, prepared their bed with sanctified hands.  She was one of the few Olympians who could journey at will to the underworld, where She fetched water for solemn oaths; for this reason, She was sometimes called a form of the witch Goddess Hecate” (p. 164).

 

 

 

Sources:

Monaghan, Patricia. The New Encyclopedia of Goddesses and Heroines, “Iris”.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Goddess-guide.com, “Iris The Greek Goddess of the Rainbow“.

Illes, Judika. Encyclopedia of Spirits, “Iris” (p. 512 – 513).

Lady Zephyr. Orderwhitemoon.org, “Iris“.

Mythagora.com, “Iris“.

Theoi.com, “Iris“.

Hildreth, S.Y. Orderwhitemoon.org, “Iris“.

Wikipedia, “Iris (mythology)“.

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“.

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“.

Goddess Amaltheia

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“Amaltheia’s themes are success, humor, reason, devotion and providence. Her symbols are goat, cornucopia and stars.  In Greek mythology, this she-goat Goddess nourished Zeus as an infant. In later years, Zeus broke off one of Her horns, which became the cornucopia, providing sustenance for all earth’s creatures. For Her diligence and service, Amaltheia was transformed into the constellation Capricorn, where She remains.

This astrological sign begins on the first day of winter with the power of logic and reason to guide action, balanced by a keen sense of humor when the going gets tough. Those born under this sign strive tenaciously for success, like the stubborn goat they are.

To improve your personal tenacity, make a paper horn filled with fruit. From now until the end of the year, eat a piece of fruit each day named after the area of your life in which you need Amaltheia’s diligence. Take that energy with you each day so that by the end of the year you will achieve success.

Other ways of emphasizing Amaltheia’s power include keeping the image of a goat (perhaps cut out of a magazine, or one made of stone on your altar or in another place of honor today, carrying fortitude-inspiring herbs like gingerroot and carnation, or tucking in your pocket for the day stones that inspire victory (like marble).”

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

amaltheia

“The Childhood of Zeus” by Jakob Jordaens

Patricia Monaghan wrote: “Whatever the name of Zeus‘ Cretan nurse (see Adamanthea), She fed the infant god on the milk of this magical nanny goat.  When he grew up, Zeus broke off one of Amalthea’s horns and gave it to his nurse; it then turned into the magical ‘cornucopia’.  Just as the magic goat could produce milk rich and copious enough for a god, so part of Her could provide sufficient nourishment for the children of earth.  After thus providing for humankind, the one-horned nanny disappeared into heaven, where She was transformed into the constellation Capricorn” (p. 41).

“In some traditions, the goat’s skin became the Aegis, the legendary shield of Athena.” [1]

 

 

 

Sources:

Lindemans, Micha F. Pantheon.org, “Amaltheia“.

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

 

Suggested Links:

Theoi.com, “Amaltheia“.

Wikipedia, “Adamanthea“.

Wikipedia, “Amalthea“.

Goddess Castalia

“Castalia’s themes are art, creativity, joy, children and inspiration. Her symbols are cartoon characters and fountains. In Greek tradition, this Goddess embodies the force of artistic inspiration. Her power is so profuse that art often depicts Her simply as an ever-flowing fountain from which we can drink when our motivation wanes.

On this day in 1901, the legendary Walt Disney was born. During his life, Disney inspired millions of children with a Castalia-rich imagination and well-beloved cartoon characters. To remember this man and uplift Castalia’s childlike ability to awaken the artist within, watch a favorite Walt Disney film today, revealing in the wonder of it. Then get out and do something creative! Try drawing your own magical cartoon (this is just for you and the Goddess, so don’t worry about a lack of skill – the keynote today is having fun with your fancy).

To quaff this Goddess’s inspiration for any task you’re undertaking, find a water fountain and drink fully of it. Visualize the water filled with a color of light, to you, represents creativity. Also fill a small container with a secure top with some of this water and keep it with you. Carry Castalia’s power into the situation in which you need inspiration. Pour a little out before your meeting, artistic effort or speech to release Her power. Or sip a bit of it to wet your whistle and renew the magic.”

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

The Nymph Kastalia (or Castalia) of Delphi

Patricia Monaghan told us that Castalia was “the power that resided in a spring on Mt. Parnassus, this Goddess was apparently a force of artistic inspiration, for the Muses (called ‘Castalides‘ in Her honor) made Her fountain a sacred place” (p. 81).

Wikipedia states: “Castalia, in Greek mythology, was a nymph whom Apollo transformed into a fountain at Delphi, at the base of Mount Parnassos, or at Mount Helicon. Castalia could inspire the genius of poetry to those who drank Her waters or listened to their quiet sound; the sacred water was also used to clean the Delphian temples. Apollo consecrated Castalia to the Muses (Castaliae Musae). The 20th century German writer Hermann Hesse used Castalia as inspiration for the name of the fictional province in his 1943 magnum opusThe Glass Bead Game.” [1]

“Apollo and Daphne” by Henrietta Rae

Now how, I wondered, did this all come about?  Apparently, Castalia, (the daughter of the river-god Achelous) was pursued by Apollo.  She then threw Herself into a spring on Mount Parnassus, which took its name after Her. Well damn, didn’t something similar happen when Apollo pursued a nymph called Daphne? Only, She turned into a Bay laurel tree.  I can’t help but wonder then if this is yet another example of Chastity vs. Lust.  “The myth of Apollo and Daphne has been examined as a battle between chastity (Daphne) and sexual desires (Apollo). As Apollo lustfully pursues Daphne, She is saved through Her metamorphosis and confinement into the laurel tree which can be seen as an act of eternal chastity. Daphne is forced to sacrifice Her body and become the laurel tree as Her only form of escape from the pressures of Apollo’s constant sexual desires. Apollo takes Daphne’s eternal chastity and crafts himself a wreath out of Her laurel branches turning Her symbol of chastity into a cultural symbol for him and other poets and musicians.” [2]  So, I can’t help but wonder; was this an appropriate example for women to follow?  If being pursued by a man, sacrifice yourself to keep your chastity intact…only to be used and exploited in another way to satisfy other needs?

The actual spring that She threw Herself into was created when Pegasus struck his hoof against a rock at the base of Mount Parnassus and water gushed forth, creating a wellspring of divine inspiration for the gods of Olympus. [3]

 

 

 

Sources:

Antinousgaygod.blogspot.com, “The Well of Castalia – How Delphic Antinous Can Teach You to Tame Pegasus“.

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

Wikipedia, “Apollo and Daphne“.

Wikipedia, “Castalia“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Blakey, Heather. Dailywriting.net, “The Castalian Waters and Sacred Mythological Wells“.

Odysseyadventures.ca, “Delphi, the Oracle of Apollo“.

Theoi.com, “Castalia“.

Wikipedia, “Castalian Spring“.

Goddess Hestia

“Golden Dakini” by A. Andrew Gonzalez

“Hestia’s themes are religious devotion, home, wishes, manifestation, kinship, unity and beginnings. Her symbols are fire (oven) and sparks. The Greek Goddess of household affairs, Hestia watches over our cookery today to help manifest family unity and ensure tasty outcomes. As the hearth Goddess, She provides the spiritual energy necessary to keep our faith sure and the inner fires burning bright. Greek art did not try to portray this Goddess, because She was considered the beginning – the source from which all else was ignited and set in motion.

Getting its name from the annual Yule-pudding making that takes place in many homes around this time of year, Stir-up Sunday is also a time in the Christian Church to motivate determined faith.  So, why not blend the best of both worlds?  Invoke Hestia’s blessing in your kitchen and make some pudding for the whole family (or a gathering of friends). Have each person present stir the pudding clockwise for a few minutes as they focus on a wish. By next year at this time, the wish should manifest.

Light a candle this morning to welcome Hestia’s unity and energy into your home. Or, carry matches in your pocket so the spark of this Goddess can ignite in any situation where it’s needed.  Throughout the day, when you need more commitment to your beliefs, just light one match to invoke Hestia’s aid.”

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

Patricia Monaghan explained: “There were never statues of this most ancient Greek Goddess, for She took no human form. Hestia was seen only in the fire of the hearth, living in the center of every home, an honored guest and helpful to Her hosts. As the hearth Goddess, Hestia symbolized family unity; by extension, as Goddess of the public hearth, She embodied the social contract. At this ever-burning public hearth, the prytaneion, She bore the name of Prytantis; there first fruits, water, oil, wine and year-old cows were sacrified to Her.

“Hestia in Light” by ~El-Sharra

According to Greek legend, Hestia was the firstborn of the Olympian Goddesses. Her antiquity is attested by the Greek proverb ‘Start with Hestia,’ meaning ‘Begin things at the beginning.’ In the beginning of Her worship, matrilineal succession seems to have been the rule, and traces of it survived in the custom of classical Greece whereby a new home was not considered established until a woman brought fire from Her mother’s hearth to light Her own. In the same way, Greek colonists brought fire from the mother city’s public hearth to assure the cohesion of their new communities” (p. 152).

With the winter months upon us, Hestia’s presence in your home can bring you many blessings.  She reminds you that if you’ve neglected your home, it’s time to shift more energy to your home life. Are you working too hard at making a living that you can’t enjoy your hearth?

Your home is where you can recharge your energy, a place for you relax and be yourself. Take some time today to tidy up your place and burn some sage to cleanse the emotional space. If you have a fire-place light a fire, or a candle will do, and welcome Hestia into your home. [1]

ASSOCIATIONS:

General: Hearth, home, living flame, architecture, bowl, veils, pantry, and keys.

Animals: Donkey (ass) and pigs.

Plants: Angel’s trumpet (Datura), California poppy, goldenrod, hollyhock, purple coneflower, yarrow.

Perfumes/Scents: Angelica, iris, lavender, and peony.

Gems and Metals: Amethyst, garnet, gold, silver and brass.

Colors: Gold, dark rose, lavender, silver, and black.        [2]

Her Roman equivalent is Vesta.

 

 

 

Sources:

Dailygoddesstarot.blogspot.com, “Goddess Tarot: Hestia“.

Goddessgift.com, Goddess Symbols of Hestia“.

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

 

 

Suggested Links:

Auralia. Orderwhitemoon.org, “Hestia“.

Dailygoddesstarot.blogspot.com, “Goddess Tarot: Hestia“.

Goddess-guide.com, “Hestia“.

Goddess-power.com, “Goddess Archetype Hestia“. (This one has a fun quiz attached to it so determine what your Goddess archetype is)

Goddessgift.com, “Hestia, Greek Goddess of Hearth and Home“.

Inanna.virtualave.net, “Hestia“.

Revel, Anita. igoddess.com, “Hestia: Easy to be“.

Theoi.com, “Hestia“.

Wikipedia, “Hestia“.

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“.

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