Tag Archive: growth


Goddess Ch’ang O

Painting in the Dunhuang Series by Zeng Hao

Ch’ang O’s themes are the moon, relationships, purity, devotion, instinct, growth and manifestation. Her symbols all lunar symbols or items.  This Chinese moon Goddess is stunningly beautiful, shining on our lives with all the best energies of the moon. On this day, Her birthday, She reaches out to embrace the earth and its people, inspiring pure, devoted relationships, stirring long-forgotten insights and sharing energy for growth and manifestation in nearly any area of our lives.

Celebrating the Birthday of the Moon is in honor of the moon Goddess and is a national event in China; the traditions are easily adapted to our efforts. Begin by gathering with family or friends and exchanging moon gifts (anything that represents the moon and meets a magical need for the person to whom it’s intended).  After the gift exchange, enjoy some moon-shaped cookies or cakes, as well as other foods that invoke Ch’ango’s favor, like dumplings shaped like a crescent moon (dim sum) and grapefruit slices.

Don’t forget to go moon gazing (if the weather is poor, use a poster or book image). Hold hands with your companions and bask in the silvery glow. Moonlight is said to enliven creativity, romance, and other positive emotions today.Additionally, looking upon Ch’ango’s visage draws the Goddess’s blessing and protection.”

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

“Chang-O” by Lisa Hunt

Patricia Monaghan writes: “In ancient China, it was said that this moon Goddess originally lived on earth, where Her husband was a famous archer.  To honor the mans’s prowess, the gods gave him the drink of immortality, but Chang-O beat him to the bottle and drank it down.  Then She fled to the moon, where Shed asked the hare who lived there for protection from Her (probably righteously) furious husband.

There, some say, Chang-O gained immortality – as a toad.  Other legends say that Chang-O’s residence was one of the twelve moons, each a different shape, that cross the sky” (p. 84).

Now apparently, there are at least 3 different versions of Her story; click here to read them.

While researching Chang-O, I found this commentary particularly insightful: “I feel like She has grown beyond Her silly mistake – that perhaps that was the necessary fumble for Her, so She would be in isolation, and able to explore the mysteries of humanity and divinity in solitude.

I see Her, not as selfish or stupid, but as gentle, and grown wise from Her mistakes. I feel that She has a lot of compassion for humans, being that She once stood where we are now.” [1]

“Alternate names: Hêng Ô, Chang E, T’ai-yin Huang-chin (‘The Moon Queen’), Yuehfu Ch’ang Ô (‘Ch’ang Ô of the Lunar Palace’)”. [2]

 

 

 

Sources:

Autumnsdaughter. Tarotforum.net, “Goddess Tarot: 9 ~ Contemplation: Chang O“.

Monaghan, Patricia. The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines, “Chang-O”.

Took, Thalia. A-Muse-ing Grace Gallery, “Ch’ang Ô“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Kuchinsky, Charlotte. Yahoo! Voices, “The Myth of Chang O, Chinese Goddess of the Moon“.

Moonbird, Maeve. Order of the White Moon,Ch’ang-O Chinese Goddess of the Moon“.

Wikipedia, “Chang’e“.

Wikipedia, “Mid-Autumn Festival“.

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Goddess Ops

“Demeter” by Shanina Conway

“Ops’ themes are opportunity, wealth, fertility and growth. Her symbols are bread, seeds and soil.  This Italic Goddess of fertile earth provides us with numerous ‘op-portunities’ to make every day more productive. In stories, Ops motivates fruit bearing, not just in plants but also in our spirits. She also controls the wealth of the gods, making her a Goddess of opulence! Works of art depict Ops with a loaf of bread in one hand and the other outstretched, offering aid.

On August 25, Ops was evoked by sitting on the earth itself, where She lives in body and spirit. So, weather permitting, take yourself a picnic lunch today. Sit with Ops and enjoy any sesame or poppy breadstuffs (bagel, roll, etc) – both types of seeds are magically aligned with Ops’s money-bringing power. If possible, keep a few of the seeds from the bread in your pocket or shoe so that after lunch, Op’s opportunities for financial improvements or personal growth can be with you no matter where you go. And don’t forget to leave a few crumbs for the birds so they can take you magical wishes to the four corners of creation!

If the weather doesn’t cooperate, invoke Ops by getting as close to the earth as you can (sit on your floor, go into the cellar). Alternatively, eat earthy foods like potatoes, root crops, or any fruit that comes from Ops’s abundant storehouse.”

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

“Rhea” by Ian Ian Marke

Patricia Monaghan tells us that Ops’ “name survives in our word opulent, and in Rome She represented the opulence of the earth’s fruiting.  Worshiped at harvest festivals on August 25 [Opiconsivia] and December 19 [Opalia], She was associated with the god Consus, ruler of the ‘conservation’ of the grain that Ops brought Her people.  Newborn children were put in Her care, so that She would care for them as tenderly as She cared for the shoots of springtime plants.  She was called by several titles: Consivia, the sower; Patella, stimulator of the wheat crop; and Rucina, promoter of the harvest. She was a very ancient Roman Goddess, identified in later days with the Greek Rhea” (p. 240).

According to E.M. Berens, “In Rome the Greek Rhea was identified with Ops, the Goddess of plenty, the wife of Saturn, who had a variety of appellations. She was called Magna-Mater, Mater-Deorum, Berecynthia-Idea, and also Dindymene. This latter title She acquired from three high mountains in Phrygia, whence She was brought to Rome as Cybele during the second Punic war, BCE 205, in obedience to an injunction contained in the Sybilline books. She was represented as a matron crowned with towers, seated in a chariot drawn by lions.” [1]

Demeter in Ancient Feminine Wisdom by Kay Stevenson & Brian Clark

Micha F. Lindemans on Encyclopedia Mythica tells us that “The Roman (Sabine) Goddess of the earth as a source of fertility, and a Goddess of abundance and wealth in general (Her name means ‘plenty’). As Goddess of harvest She is closely associated with the god Consus. She is the sister and wife of Saturn. One of Her temples was located near Saturn’s temple, and on August 10 a festival took place there. Another festival was the Opalia, which was observed on December 9. On the Forum Romanum She shared a sanctuary with the Goddess Ceres as the protectors of the harvest. The major temple was of Ops Capitolina, on the Capitoline Hill, where Caesar had located the Treasury. Another sanctuary was located in the Regia on the Forum Romanun, where also the Opiconsivia was observed on August 25. Only the official priests and the Vestal Virgins had access to this altar.” [2]

 

Sources:

Aworldofmyths.com, “Ops“.

Lindemans, Micha F. Encyclopedia Mythica, “Ops“.

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

 

 

Suggested Links:

Gypsymagicspells.blogspot.com, “Ops – Goddess of Opulence“.

Her Cyclopedia, “The Goddess Ops“.

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

Wikipedia, “Ops“.

The Celtic lunar month of Holly is the perfect time to celebrate your achievements and to focus on your future.

As the days shorten after summer solstice and the Moon grows in power, focus on putting bad situations behind you.

The eighth Celtic Moon month ushers in the shortening of days.  The power of the Sun is transferred to Earth, highlighting our practical needs and desires.  The Celtic fire festival of Lammas begins the harvest on August 1, so the month of the Holly Moon is a time to give thanks for the good things in your life.  Focus on your own “harvest” during the month of Holly – on what you wish to achieve and why.

Share Your Successes

Traditionally, the first gain harvested was baked into a loaf that represented the spirit of the crop, or “John Barleycorn” as it is called in England.  This bread was shared in a ceremony to ensure the wealth of community.

Use this month to celebrate your successes with family and friends and to consider sharing your good fortune with others.

 

PROTECTION AND RENEWAL

The holly is magically imbued with powers of protection.  In England, it was believed to protect against witchcraft and to guard homes against being struck by lightning.  Its evergreen leaves symbolize renewal and recovery during the dark half of the year and ward against envy and the misuse of power.

Restoration

The planetary rule of holly is Mars, which bestows upon the tree the ability to restore direction in your life, to rebalance and align energy, and to help you gain a sense of purpose.

In Pagan tradition, men carry sachets of holly leaves and berries, which will enhance their masculinity due to the tree’s restorative and energizing powers.

 

HOLLY MOON MAGIC

Use the magical blessings of the Holly Moon to celebrate and share the good things in your life and to increase your future fortune and success.

 Holly Harvest Loaf

During the Holly Month, invite the blessings of John Barelycron into your home by baking your own magical harvest loaf.  Simply follow the steps below:

1. Prepare some bread dough from flour, yeast, oil, honey, water and salt, and leave it to rise in a warm place for an hour.

2. Sprinkle some seeds and nuts on top of the dough to symbolize each blessing in your life, such as a comfortable home or supportive family.  Focus on these positive things as you knead the dough.

3. Shape the dough into a roundish loaf and place on a baking sheet.

4. Before baking it, place your hands on top of the dough and try to visualize golden light channeling into it.

5. Then say, “John Barleycorn, I give you thanks for all I have received.  Blessed be.”

6. When baked, bury the first slice of the loaf in the ground and whisper your wishes for the future.

7. Share the rest of the loaf with your friends and family and celebrate your abundance.

Holly Money Spell

One the full Moon, hold up some paper money to use the moonlight and recite the spell below.

“Lady Bright, Lady Bright,
Harvest abundant dreams tonight.
Three times three times three
Times three,
Prosperity return to me.”

Give the money to charity, and in return, the positive energy of holly will provide you with the funds you need over the coming months.

 

Time to Reenergize

The spirit of renewal is the month of the Holly Moon makes it an excellent time to reenergize your life.

  • Tune into the energies of your environment by eating-rich seasonal foods, preferably foods that are locally produced.
  • Use holly’s influence to rise to physical challenges and overhaul your personal fitness by joining a gym or taking up a martial art.

Harvest of Friends

Celebrate the harvest of the season and of the things that enrich your life during the Holly Moon by inviting friends to dinner.

Meals to Share

Ask everybody to bring a dish that they have prepared, and cover the table with a gold cloth to signify the wealth in your life.  For the centerpiece, place an arrangement of holly and wheat around a candle to represent the harvest spirit.

 

Harvest Blessings

Once your guests have arrived, give thanks to Mother Earth for the food that She has provided: “Let us eat that none shall know hunger.  Let us drink that none shall know thirst.”  During this meal, discuss what it is that you wish to harvest in your life.

 

 

 

Source:

“Enhancing Your Body, Mind and Spirit”, 21 Nature Magic, CARD  12.

 

Suggested Links:

The Goddess Tree, “Holly“.

Goddess Tesana

“Dawn” by kristinamy

“Tesana’s themes are the harvest, light, fertility, abundance, hope, beginnings, growth, opportunity and restoration. Her symbols are the dawn, the color red and fruit.  In Etruscan, Tesana means ‘dawn’. As the first rays of light begin to reach through the darkness, Tesana is there, offering the hope of a better tomorrow and the warmth of a new day. Through Her steadfast attendance, the earth and its people bear life and become fruitful.

Mnarja is the primary folk festival in Malta and originated as an orange and lemon harvest celebration. Then name Mnarja means ‘illumination’ and all the ritual fires ignited toady symbolically keep Tesana’s fertility burning. So, light a candle this morning at dawn’s first light to welcome Tesana and invoke Her assistance. Choose the color of the candle to reflect your goal: pink for hope, white for beginnings (a clean slate) and green for growth or restoration. If you like, also carve an emblem of your goal into the wax, leaving the taper to burn until it melts past the symbol (this releases the magic).

In a similar prolific tone, the customary food to encourage Tesana’s fertility and continuing good harvests today is rabbit. If this isn’t a meat you enjoy, make rarebit instead; this was a substitute for costly rabbits in the Middle Ages.”

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

 

“Eos’ Triumph” by eveningstars242

According to Thalia Took, “Thesan is the Etruscan Goddess of the Dawn, Divination and Childbirth, as well as a Love-Goddess. She is depicted on several Etruscan mirror backs, bearing, like many other Etruscan Goddesses, a great pair of wings from Her back, especially appropriate to a Sky-Goddess. One meaning of Her name is simply ‘Dawn’, and related words are thesi, ‘illumination’, and thesviti, ‘clear or famous’. The other meaning of Her name connects Her with the ability to see the future, for thesan also means ‘divination’, as seen in the related Etruscan word thesanthei, ‘divining’ or ‘brilliant’. This relates to Her function as a Dawn Goddess–for as the dawn illuminates what was previously dark, so divination throws light on the dark future and enables one to see what may happen. She is called by some a childbirth Goddess, as She is present at the beginning of the day, which finds its parallel in the beginning of a new baby’s life. Similarly, the Roman Goddess of Light and Childbirth, Lucina, brings the infant into the light of the world.

The Etruscans identified their Thesan with the Greek Goddess of the Dawn Eos. In the Greek legend, Aphrodite had found Eos in bed with Her lover Ares; to punish Eos She ‘cursed’ Her with an insatiable taste for mortal youths, and Eos became infamous for Her many lovers. The Etruscans seemed to quite like these stories and easily transferred them to their Dawn-Goddess Thesan; the stories depicted on the mirrors are generally straight out of Greek myth.

On one relief mirror back (kind of a rarity in Etruscan mirrors since the decoration on the back is almost always engraved rather than cast), Thesan is shown in the act of abducting Kephalos, a young man of Athens who was married to the King’s daughter, Procris. Thesan is winged here, and wears a chiton and diagonal himation that flow in the breeze; about Her head is a halo, to emphasize Her function as Light-Goddess. She runs off to the left carrying Kephalos in Her arms, who is shown as nude and much smaller than She is. He does not look at all distressed at the situation and He rests in Her arms with his right hand on Her shoulder. Like many depictions of Etruscan women and their lovers, She is shown as larger and therefore more important or powerful than the man: this has been taken as an indication of the high status of Etruscan women.

Eos carries off Cephalus, on an Attic red-figure lekythos, ca. 470–460 BCE

The same scene is depicted on a mirror handle in high relief openwork; Kephalos is again quite a lot smaller (and younger) than Thesan, who is not winged this time, but whose cloak billows behind Her in the breeze. She smiles down at young Kephalos as She lifts him up, and he is nude save for a short cloak and hunting boots.

The so-called “Memnon pietà”: The goddess Eos lifts up the body of her son Memnon (Attic red-figure cup, ca. 490–480 BC, from Capua, Italy)

Another favorite scene of Thesan/Eos depicts a far more somber affair.  When Her son Memnon (by Tithonus, another young man She abducted to be Her lover) was killed in the Trojan War, Eos grieved so terribly that She threatened never to bring forth the dawn again. She was finally persuaded to return, but in Her grief She weeps tears of dew every morning for Her beloved son. One mirror-back shows Her before Tinia (Zeus) with Thethis (Thetis), the mother of Achilles. Both Goddesses plead with Tinia to spare their sons’ lives; but both were already doomed to die. The relief mirror mentioned above has been interpreted by some as showing Thesan carrying off the body of Her dead son Memnon (who the Etruscans called Memrun): the figures are not labelled as is usual in Etruscan mirrors, making the differing interpretations possible.

Another more purely Etruscan depiction of Her shows Her with Usil the Sun God and Nethuns (the Roman Neptune), God of the Sea. It would appear that this mirror is to be symbolically read as the dawn preceding the Sun at daybreak as it rises from the Sea (notwithstanding the fact that Etruria is on the west coast of Italy).

Like more than a few Etruscan Goddesses, She seems to have survived into Tuscan folklore at least until the 19th century as a spirit called Tesana. She was said to visit mortals as they dreamt, in the time when the sun is rising but before the sleeper had yet awakened. She was believed to bring words of encouragement and comfort, and Her presence in a dream gave good fortune and blessings for the day.

“Eos goddess of morningredness1” by Drezdany

She is equated with Eos and Aurora, the Roman Dawn-Goddess.” [1]

Sources:

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

Suggested Links:

Covenofthegoddess.com, “Goddess Eos“.

Goddess-Guide.com, “Eos“.

Mythagora.com, “Eos: Erigeneia, The Dawn“.

The Roman-Colosseum, “Myths about the Roman Goddess Aurora“.

Theoi Greek Mythology, “Eos“.

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

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

Wikipedia, “Aurora (mythology)“.

Wikipedia, “Eos“.

The Rousalii


“The Rousalii’s themes are humor, protection, weather, fertility, fairies and growth. Their symbols are water, linen and green robes.  A group of ill-treated women in life, these Goddesses often create mischief when they interact with humans, especially those with nasty dispositions. They do, however, have a good side. The Rousalii know the dances that make plants and people grow and thrive and sometimes they will teach them to humans. In literature, the Rousalii sometimes appear as water fairies, begging linen from passerby, which they use to make green robes for fertility rites.

In Romania, people would tell you that it is best to stay home today and leave the Rousalii offerings of bread and salt to avert their impish ways. If it’s windy, definitely stay home; this means the ladies are in a foul mood. To protect yourself, place worm wood under your pillow, pull the covers over your head and stay put! On a less drastic level, wear something green to keep them happy and try this spell to encourage the Rousalii’s growth or maturity in any area of you life: Take a little piece of linen (or cotton cloth) and dance with it in your hand, moving clockwise and saying,

‘The dance of life, the dance of power, Rousalii, join me this magic hour! To ______________bring growth and maturity; by your power this spell is freed!’

Fill in the blank with your intention. Tuck the swatch of cloth on your person, or close to the area that represents your goal.”

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

“Rusalki” by Konstantin Makovsky

In Patricia Monaghan’s book, The New Book of Goddesses and Heriones, I found references to these Goddesses as “Rusalki”.  She states, “these Russian water spirits were originally human women who drowned or committed suicide.  The company of naked, wild-haired Rusalki rose each spring from streams to beg bits of white linen from humans.  The Rusalki hung them from trees after carefully laundering them.  (One who accidently stepped on the Rusalki’s wash would be spastic thereafter.)

Their spring cleaning done, the Rusalki began their nightly dances that help plants grow and mature; sometimes for these occasions they wore long white unbelted tunics or robes of green leaves.  Humans could lose their souls by witnessing the beautiful dances of the Rusalki, which usually brought rain to the growing plants.  When summer was over, the Rusalki retreated to the feather nests at the bottom of the streams, where they hibernated until the next spring” (p. 269).

I also found that it is believed that “the Rusalka of Russian myths are the spirits of young women who were murdered before marriage and are then cursed to live in a lake in the form of a mermaid. There they will sing sweet songs to entrap men into the water and drown them. A Rusalka can be released from Her demonic form if someone avenges Her murder.

“Rusalki” by Fish-KAart

The Rusalka are slim with long, loose hair, blazing eyes and magnificent breasts. Their hair may be light brown, blond or green. They can assume the form of a fish or have legs like a human. In the latter form, they haunt the forests, dance with the moon and swing from the branches of trees. Often we see them sitting on the bank laughing with their friends the water sprites. Sometimes they visit local villages to join in the dances and entice men into their lakes to become their husbands or kill them.

If you would like to go swimming with the Rusalki (plural of Rusalka) put fern in your hair so they cannot pull you under and drown you. Some say that only witches can swim safely with Rusalki.

Another group of Russian myths claim that the Rusalka are water nymphs who marry the Wodjanoj. The Wodjanoj are male water spirits who live in great castles under the water and can change their shape at will.

Marriage alters the Rusalka. She goes from wild and lustful to sweet and demure.

I see many obvious links between the Rusalki of the Russian myths and the mermaids of Celtic myth. Both are beautiful, sexually liberated and occasionally dangerous. They are both descended from Goddesses of fertility and retain some of their characteristics. One article I read makes especial reference to the hair of the Rusalka. It is loose and uncontrolled like the Rusalka themselves. Notice how even now we associate loose, wild hair with sexuality.” [1]

 

 

 

 

Sources:

Beautiful-mermaid-art.com, “Russian Myth: The Rusalka“.

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

 

 

Suggested Links:

The Bulgarian Festival Calendar, “Russalii or Roussalya: Wood nymphs (Samodivas) and water nymphs (Mermaids)“.

Tribe.net, “Rusalkie (Slavic water spirits)“.

Wikipedia, “Rusalka“.

Wikipedia, “Semik“. (“Green Week” – ancient Slavic fertility festival celebrated in early June).

At the height of the Midsummer, the Celtic Moon month of Oak is the perfect time to cast spells that encourage growth of all things.

The longest day of the year and the shortest nightfall is during the Oak Moon.  Known as the Summer Solstice, celebrations revolve around the power of the Sun at its zenith.  Folklore decrees, “He who sleeps on the shortest night shall sleep all year,” meaning that this is a time for action, not rest.

 

Magical Solar Energy

Magic at this time should concentrate on areas of life that fall under sunny auspices, such as health, success, prosperity and blessings.  Cast spells that inject solar energy into your projects by decorating your altar with gold and yellow.  Wear orange to boost your and stamina.

 

A TREE OF HEALING AND PEACE

Artwork by Eugene Damblans

The oak can be used as a haven for restoration.  When your spirit needs rest and comfort it can be soothed beneath the tree’s vast branches, and many sacred rituals were conducted in the shadow of an oak tree in Ancient Britain.  Meditating with your spine resting on the trunk of an oak tree soothes the nervous system and induces feelings of inner peace.

Brave Energy

Oak trees act as a conduit for the energy of endurance, fortitude and strength, offering a magical remedy for fear and despair.  They bring courage and protection from adversity.

Community Tree

The great size and age of the oak made it a symbol of the continuity of the community.  The water that collects in the dips of its branches were thought to be sacred and was used to cleanse and heal the body of negative energy.

 

OAK MOON MAGIC

Growth and fertility spells work best at this time of year.  Focus on building and consolidating your wisdom, endurance and security.

Feel energized by the power of the Sun and oak during this magical time of year.  Harness powerful solar energies for Oak Moon spells to bring cheer and success to your life. 

An Oak Vision Quest

Go on a vision quest during the Oak Moon and spend time in nature to receive messages from the oak tree.  For best results carry out this quest at the time of the Summer Solstice to enhance your insight with the energy of the Sun.  As you’ll need to spend a night outside for this quest, It’s best to do it with a friend.

“Oak Tree Meditation” by Laura Iverson

1. Go to a hilltop where both sunset and sunrise will be clearly visible.

2. Begin the quest at sunset, ending at sunrise.

3. As the Sun falls say a prayer to the great oak tree for guidance.

4. Look out for signs, such as animals that cross your path, or shooting stars.

5. Keep a record of your feelings and thoughts throughout the quest.

6. At sunrise give thanks for what you have received from the natural world.

Oak Moon Activities

As the Sun reaches the height of its power in the month of Oak, so then energy of the natural world – and your own spirits will soar.  Use this abundant feeling of vitality to attune yourself to the season and engage in some of these activities.

  • Dance outside in the Sun – it’s so energizing.
  • Go for a walk every day and enjoy the long, light summer evenings.
  • Keep an acorn form the fall and use it as a charm during the Oak Moon.
  • Have a gold-themed dinner to celebrate the Sun.
  • Bury a letter to the fairies under an oak tree, detailing your summer wishes.
  • Wear an oak leaf in your hair to bring you luck.
  • Kiss an oak tree to increase your attractiveness.

Solar Success Spell

Make a wish during the Oak Moon to imbue it with solar energy.  You’ll need to choose a wishing symbol, such as a coin for wealth.

You Will Need:

  • Gold candle
  • Symbol of your intention
  • Oak leaves

1. Hold the gold candle towards the sky and say, “Power of the Sun enter this candle.  May the flame of success burn brightly.”  Place the candle in a holder next to a spell symbol that represents your wish.

2. Surround the candle with oak leaves and say, “Mighty oak tree, lend me your strength.”

3. Light the candle and make your wish, then let the candle burn down – success will be yours.

A Purification Spell

Fallen Oak Leaf – air dried, pulverized and blessed ready to be used – for sale by Lady of the Moss on etsy.com.

You can burn oak leaves to purify the atmosphere and banish fear and doubt.

You Will Need:

  • Small bottle of wine
  • Basket
  • Pestle and mortar
  • Needle and thread
  • Fireproof bowl
  • Charcoal disk and matches

1. On the night after the full Moon go to an oak tree and pour a libation of wine onto the roots, asking the tree for its help.

2. Gather a basket of leaves and sew them together, then hang up the leaves to dry out for three days.

3. When the leaves have dried, carefully remove the thread and pound the leaves with a pestle and mortar into a kind of incense.  Light the charcoal in the fireproof dish.

4. When it glows red add the dried leaves to create a magical purification smoke.

Source:

“Enhancing Your Body, Mind and Spirit”, 21 Nature Magic, CARD  11.

 

 

Suggested Links:

The Goddess Tree, “Oak“.

This entry is near and dear to me as the Essence or Spirit of this Goddess lives here in my neck of the woods in Upstate New York.

“Sky Woman” by Marcine Quenzer

“Awehai’s themes are harvest, tradition, growth, longevity and community. Her symbols are turtles and seeds.  In Iroquois tradition, this Goddess reigns in the sky and the heavens, watching diligently over family life and the community.  Mythology tells us that Awehai grabbed seeds and animals as She fell from heaven, landing on the back of a great turtle. From here, Awehai scattered the seeds and freed the animals, resulting in a growing, fertile earth filled with beauty.

The Strawberry Festival was instituted by the Iroquois Indians in Tonawanda, New York. Here, people come to the longhouse to enjoy ritual dancing, chanting and the sounding of turtle-shell rattles, a symbol of Awehai. So, if you know any type of traditional ritual dances or chants consider enacting them outside as you scatter greass seed to the wind. This will nanifest Awehai’s productiviity in your life and in the earth.

Another custom is simpler and a lot of fun: consuming starwberries in as many forms as possible. In Iroquois tradition, these pave the road to heaven and eating them ensures you a long life and Awehai’s fertility. Share strawberries witha loved on to inspire Awehai’s community-oriented energy in your home and consume fresh strawberries to harvest Her powers for personal growth.”

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

 

“Sky Woman” by Mark Kawesoton Light

Today’s information comes from Patricia Monaghan on the Iroquois Goddess Ataensic (Sky-Woman).  She writes, “once, said the Iroquois and their neighbors, there was no land, just a vast blue lake upon which water birds floated with otters, turtles, and other seadwelling creatures.  High above in a heavenly land was the celestial society into which Ataensic was born.

Her father died before Her birth – the first death in the universe.  He was placed on a burial scaffold where the Girl used to go to converse with his spirit.  He instructed Her, when She was grown, to travel a long distance through heaven to Earth-Holding Chief, Her intended mate.

Through tempests and danger She traveled; the chief tested Her with torture, but She endured and returned to Her own village, pregnant by him.  Her daughter, Gusts-of-Wind, was born, but Her people threw Ataensic down to the earth-lake.  (Or was it an accident? – the myths differ.)  She fell and fell through the blue air, Her daughter returning to Ataensic’s womb.

Below, a loon looking into the water saw a figure rising from the depths.  He mentioned this curiosity to the bittern.  The puzzled birds slowly realized that Ataensic was falling, not rising from the lake.  They had never known that their lake had a bottom, which thus had formed a mirror.  The knowledge came just in time, for to save the falling woman, the birds and animals had to build land from the lake mud.  Otter and turtle tried, and muskrat and finally Ketq Skwayne (‘Grandmother Toad’) dove deep and returned exhausted, spitting up some of the magical earth just before she died.

“Sky Woman” by Bruce King (Oneida)

The earth landed on the turtle’s back and instantly began to grow.  By the time Ataensic reached the water – Her fall broken by the water birds’ wings – there was enough land for Her to rest on as Gusts-of-Wind was reborn (Some stories say that She fell onto what is now a mountain near Oswego River Falls in New York).

Gusts-of-Wind became pregnant and died giving birth to twins; from Her body Ataensic fashioned the sun and the moon, and that is the way the earth and its luminaries came into being” (p. 57 – 58).

In another version I read, Her husband, Sky Chief, had a dream, and according to this, he took a young wife.  It is said that in time this young wife was soon to become a mother from inhaling the breath of her husband, but this was unknown to him.  That from this, he doubted her honesty to him, so much that it caused him so much distress in his mind, that he became ill from his jealousy.  He had another dream which called for the Tree of Light to be uprooted creating a great hole in sky world. Into this hole he could push his young and unsuspecting wife.

In olden times, dreams were held in high regard in everyday life, so much that destiny was controlled by dreams to a great degree. So, accordingly, in the morning he called his Wife to him. He had Her get Her burden basket and he began to fill it with nut tree roots and berry bushed and many other things. Then he had this Tree of Light  uprooted.  The opening made by uprooting the Tree allowed light to shine through the opening.  Thus, today, comes the light of the Sun.

“Sky Woman’s Story Painting” by Owisokon Lahache

This chief managed to deceive his unsuspecting Wife to look down through the new opening. In so doing, while She was looking down, he pushed Her down into the opening.  It is said that in his anger, he also cast down through the opening all man-beings, such as the Deer, the Wolf, the Bear, the Beaver, and all animals and growing things such as the sunflower and red willow. He transformed them into their forms and size as they now appear.  And when his anger had cooled down, he had the Tree of Light replaced.

The rest of the story is similar to Patricia Monaghan’s version except that it was muskrat who succeeded in retrieving the earth needed to grow land on turtle’s back before dying of exhaustion.

At once, the Sky-Woman began to walk about this tiny earth, which by Her action began to grow in size.  She even took handfuls of earth and cast it in all directions, which also caused it to continue to grow, until She could not see the boundary.

Thus, this is how North America became to be known as Turtle Island.” [2]

 

 

I included this video called The Iroquois, Pt. 1 – The Confederacy.  In this video, Marion Miller of the Seneca Nation, who has continued the oral tradition as a story teller, tells the Iroquois creation story.

Sources:

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

Red Jacket. marcinequenzer.com, “Creation Story“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Crystalinks.com, “Iroquois Nation“.

Crystalinks.com, “Native American Myths of Creation Woman“.

Her Cyclopedia, “Awehai“.

Old and Sold, “Iroquoian Cosmogony“.

Shenandoah, Johanne & Douglas M. George. Skywoman: Legends of the Iroquois.

Yupanqui, Tika. Tika Yupanqui’s Machu Picchu site, Iroquois Myths and Legends“.

“sri devi a.k.a dewi sri” by ~hanyasatu

“Wakasaname-no-Kami’s themes are providence, harvest, growth, patience and manifestation. Her symbols are rice and fire.  This Goddess’s name describes Her function in Japan – The Young Rice Planting Maiden. It is Wakasaname’s duty to oversee the rice transplanting at this time of year, as She was born of a union between the food Goddess and grain god. From a more spiritual perspective, Wakasaname-no-Kami offers us the providence and fulfillment that comes from a job patiently well attended.

Early in June, Japanese farmers transplant their rice seedlings into the paddies, asking for the blessings of the Goddess as they go. Prayers are made as ritual fires burn to get Wakasaname’s attention, and they probably act as an invocation to the sun. In you home this might mean going outside (if the weather permits) and offering to the Goddess so She can help you fulfill your work-related goals. Makes sure you keep your purpose in mind while the rice burns and speak your wishes into the smoke so it carries them before Wakasaname’s watchful eyes.

To inspire Wakasaname’s patience in your life, make a bowl of rice. Breathe deeply, then try to pick up one grain with chopsticks. This is an old meditative method from the East, and believe me, it teaches much more about the benefits of persistence and practice!”

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

“Inari” by Susan Seddon Boulet

For today’s entry, the only information I could find on today’s Goddess, Wakasaname-no-Kami, was the following, “The god of Rice called Inari is usually depicted as a bearded old man, but he can transform himself into Wakasaname-no-Kami [Young Rice-Planting Maiden].  This is the spirit whose alter ego, ally or vehicle is the fox.  And a fox is believed to be able to transform itself into the rice spirit, too. ” [1]  (Hmm, interesting considering our encounter a few evenings ago with Fox…)

“Inari” by Matthew Meyer

Further research proved Inari to be a very complex deity.  “Inari has been depicted both as male and as female. The most popular representations of Inari, according to scholar Karen Ann Smyers, are a young female food Goddess, an old man carrying rice, and an androgynous bodhisattva…Inari is sometimes identified with other mythological figures. Some scholars suggest that Inari is the figure known in classical Japanese mythology as Ukanomitama or the Kojiki‘s Ōgetsu-Hime; others suggest Inari is the same figure as Toyouke. Some take Inari to be identical to any grain kami.

Inari’s female aspect is often identified or conflated with Dakiniten, a Buddhist deity who is a Japanese transformation of the Indian dakini or with Benzaiten of the Seven Lucky Gods.

  

Inari is often venerated as a collective of three deities (Inari sanza); since the Kamakura period, this number has sometimes increased to five kami (Inari goza). However, the identification of these kami has varied over time. According to records of Fushimi Inari, the oldest and perhaps most prominent Inari shrine, these kami have included IzanagiIzanamiNinigi, and Wakumusubi, in addition to the food deities previously mentioned. The five kami today identified with Inari at Fushimi Inari are Ukanomitama, Sarutahiko, Omiyanome, Tanaka, and Shi. However, at Takekoma Inari, the second-oldest Inari shrine in Japan, the three enshrined deities are Ukanomitama, Ukemochi, and Wakumusubi.  According to the Nijūni shaki, the three kami are Ōmiyame no mikoto (water,) Ukanomitama no mikoto (grain,) and Sarutahiko no mikami (land.)” [2]

As I then turned my focus onto Inari, I came across this tale and found a rather interesting comparison to Corn Mother which I’ll explain later.  “Uke Mochi, the Japanese Goddess of food, was married to Inari, the god of rice.  One day the moon god Tsuki-yomi, brother of the sun Goddess Amaterasu, dropped in for a visit. In an attempt to be hospitable, Uke Mochi threw up vast quantities of fish, seaweed, game and boiled rice.  Tsuki-yomi was so disgusted by the manner in which he had been served that he killed Her.  Herds of cattle and horses stampeded out of Uke Mochi’s head.  Rice, millet, and red beans spilled out of Her eyes, ears and nose.  Wheat sprouted from Her genitals, soy beans grew from Her rectum, and even a mulberry tree crawling with silkworms sprang from Her body.” [3]

“Uke Mochi” by Kabuki Katze

I find it interesting, and obvious now that I think about it, that two such important staples (corn and rice) are associated with Goddesses; Goddesses with different names and epithets across the regions They reign across (as there are many names for the Corn Mother among the various tribes of North America and for rice Goddesses across Asia – see Phosop).  Now, read this synopsis of the two main version about Corn Mother.  “The story of the Corn Mother is related in two main versions with many variations.

“Corn Maiden” by Marti Fenton (White Deer Song)

In the first version (the ‘immolation version’), the Corn Mother is depicted as an old woman who succors a hungry tribe, frequently adopting an orphan as a foster child. She secretly produces grains of corn by rubbing Her body. When Her secret is discovered, the people, disgusted by her means of producing the food, accuse Her of witchcraft. Before being killed—by some accounts with Her consent—She gives careful instructions on how to treat Her corpse. Corn sprouts from the places over which Her body is dragged or, by other accounts, from Her corpse or burial site.

In the second version (the ‘flight version’), She is depicted as a young, beautiful woman who marries a man whose tribe is suffering from hunger. She secretly produces corn, also, in this version, by means that are considered to be disgusting; She is discovered and insulted by Her in-laws. Fleeing the tribe, She returns to Her divine home; Her husband follows Her, and She gives him seed corn and detailed instructions for its cultivation.” [4]

“The Slaying of Mother Earth” by Matthew Bandel

Do you see the common theme in both the Japanese and Native American stories?  In all three stories, the Goddess produces food in ways that are considered “disgusting”.  In all three stories, She is sent away (either killed or flees).  In both the Japanese and Native American “immolation version”, food – vital staples for survival, sprout from Her body.  Really think about that.  Really think about the “disgusting” and “dirty” things that the Goddess does and is associated with that are necessary for life to flourish.  She takes abuse, is ridiculed and exploited for Her “dirtiness”; that which She freely sacrifices and gives out of love in order for Her children to live.  Thinking about this can get pretty deep…

 

 

 

Sources:

Encyclopedia Britannica, “Corn Mother“.

Hathaway, Nancy. The Friendly Guide to Mythology: A Mortal’s Companion to the Fantastical Realm of Gods and Goddesses Monsters Heroes, “Uke Mochi“.

Khandro.net, “Rice“.

Wikipedia, “Inari Ōkami“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

OnMark Productions, “INARI / Oinari / Oinari-sama Shinto God/Goddess of Rice & Food“.

Kazuo, MATSUMURA.  “Alone Among Women: A Comparitive Mythic Analysis of the Development of Amaterasu Theology“.

Kuchinsky, Charolette. Yahoo! Voices, “The Myth of the Japanese Goddess, Ukemochi“.

Roberts, Jeremy. “Japanese Mythology A – Z“. (This is a PDF)

Yoose, Becky. University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire, “INARI = Shinto Rice Kami“.

Goddess Po Ino Nogar

“Dewi Sri 2” by Much

“Po Ino Nogar’s themes are growth, harvest, fertility and community. Her symbols are clouds, saltwater, rain and soil. This agricultural Goddess’s name means simply ‘great one’ in Cambodia, likely due to the fact that She brings fertility to the earth and its people. It is Her duty to protect the fields and harvests. Epics sometimes symbolize Po Ino Nogar as a gentle rain, because local myths claim that She was born in the clouds and still controls the water’s generative gift to the land and to our souls.

Members of the royal family in Camobida used to plow the fields today to appease Po Ino Nogar and ensure fertility to the crops. For modern purposes, think about tasks that need to be be ‘plowed’ through – paperwork that’s been neglected, communicating with someone with a difficult demeanor, a project put on terminal hold. As you till the metamorphic soils of that situation, you also encourage Po Ino Nogar’s growth-oriented energy in them. If your spirit or humor has seemed a bit ‘dry’ lately, try this Po Ino Nogar visualization:

Close you eyes and imagine a blue-white cloud overhead with the face of a smiling woman formed by it creases. As you look , the cloud releases small light-drops that pour softly over you. As they do, your skin absorbs the light, as well as this Goddess’s energy. Continue the visualization until you feel filled to overflowing.”

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

 

“Among the Charms of Cambodia, the world’s Goddess-ruler, creator of rice, was called Po Ino Nogar (“Great One, Mother of the Kingdom”).  Born either from seafoam or from clouds, She had 97 husbands and 38 daughters.  One of Her offspring was Po Bya Tikuh (“mouse queen”), a maleficent virgin Goddess; another was the Goddess of disease, Po Yan Dari, who lived in caves and grottoes to which worshipers would bring stones, asking for miraculous cures.  Another Charm healing Goddess was the divine priestess Pajau Tan, said to be a thirtyish woman who lived on earth as a healer but who was finally sent to live in the moon because She kept raising all the dead; there She still lives, providing flowers to newly dead to ease their transformation” (Monaghan, p. 255).

 

 

 

Sources:

Monaghan, Patricia. The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines, “Po Ino Nogar”.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Davis, Kent. Devata.org, “Rice Goddesses of Indonesia, Cambodia and Thailand“.

Rongsit, Vipp. Content4reprint.com, “Thai Rice and Ceremony of Rice Goddess“.

Tate, Karen. Sacred Places of Goddess: 108 Destinations, “Temples of Angkor” (p. 211)

Wikipedia, “Phosop“.

Goddess Gefn

“Freyja” by paintedflowers

“Gefn’s themes are sun, winter, spring, protection, health, love, divination, magic, fertility, foresight, and growth.  Her symbols are all green or growing things.  A Goddess whose name means simply ‘giver’, Gefn was regarded by the Norse-Germanic people as a frolicsome, fertile figure and seeress who embodied the earth’s greenery. Gefn brings this abundance to us today: abundant well-being, abundant companionship, and abundant Goddess-centered magic!

Walpurgisnacht with a German saint (Saint Walburga), who had curative powers and taught people how to banish curses. For our purpose, Gefn stands in, offering to heal the curse of a broken heart by filling our lives with love and hope-filled foresight. If someone has completely overlooked or trashed your feelings recently, ask Gefn for help in words that you find comfortable. She’s waiting and willing to apply a spiritual salve to that wound.

Also try the German custom of ringing bells and banging pots to frighten away any malicious or prankish magic (or people who make it) before your spring activities really start to rock ‘n’ roll. Make this as playful as possible to encourage Gefn’s participation. Burning rosemary and juniper likewise cleanses the area, and if you can get either of these fresh, Gefn’s presence lies within. The burning releases Her energy.”

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

“In Norse mythology, Gefjon (pronounced GEF-yon) or Gefjun (with the alternate spelling Gefion) is a Goddess associated with ploughing, the Danish island of Zealand, the legendary Swedish king Gylfi, the legendary Danish king Skjöldr, foreknowledge, and virginity. Gefjon is attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources; the Prose Edda and Heimskringla, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson; in the works of skalds; and appears as a gloss for various Greco-Roman Goddesses in some Old Norse translations of Latin works.

Gefjon ploughs the earth in Sweden by Lorenz Frølich

The Prose Edda and Heimskringla both report that Gefjon plowed away what is now lake Mälaren, Sweden, and with this land formed the island of Zealand, Denmark. In addition, the Prose Edda describes that not only is Gefjon a virgin Herself, but that all who die a virgin become Her attendants. Heimskringla records that Gefjon married the legendary Danish king Skjöldr and that the two dwelled in Lejre, Denmark.

Scholars have proposed theories about the etymology the name of the Goddess, connections to fertility and ploughing practices, the implications of the references made to Her as a virgin, five potential mentions of the Goddess in the Old English poem Beowulf, and potential connections between Gefjon and Grendel’s Mother and/or the Goddesses Freyja and Frigg.” [1]

The Gefion Fountain, located on the harbour front in Copenhagen, Denmark. Photo by Oliver J. Schirmer

“The predominant myth about Gefjon is from a ninth century poem by Bragi the Old and was retold by Snorri Sturluson in the thirteenth century. He relates how Odin had sent Gefjon out to look for more land, and She came to the court of King Gylfi of Sweden. She entertained the king, and in return he gave Her a grant of as much land as four oxen could plough in one day and one night. Gefjon went to the land of the giants where She had four sons with a giant. She turned the four sons into oxen and brought them back to King Gylfi. They dug up so much earth that they created a lake, Lake Mälaren, and the earth that they had dug they dumped into the sea where it formed an island, Zealand, which is now part of Denmark. Gefjon then moved to the island and married Odin’s son Skjöld, and their children became the royal family of Denmark.

Elsewhere in his works, Snorri Sturluson refers to Gefjon as a virgin Goddess, although the trickster God Loki claims that this is not true. Gefjon is one of Frigg’s handmaidens, and She in turn is served by women who died as virgins.” [2]

 

ASSOCIATIONS:

Also Called: The Giver; Mistress of Magick

Colors: Green, gold

Symbols: Plow, wheat, corn

Stones/Metals: Amber, malachite, copper

Plants: Hawthorn, alder, wheat, corn, elder, thyme, yarrow

Day: Friday

Runes: Gebo, Fehu, Jera       [3]

 

 

 

 

Sources:

Pagan Rights Coalition, “Gefjon“.

Sabrina. Goddess A Day, “Gefjon“.

Wikipedia, “Gefjon“.

 

Suggested Links:

Odin’s Volk, “Gefjon“.

Paxson, Diana L. Hrafnar.org, “Beloved“.

Quarrie, Deanne. Global Goddess, “Gefjon the Giver“.

Thomas, Dawn “Belladonna”. Global Goddess, “Goddess Gefjon and a Sample Ritual“.

VAIDILUTE, “Asgard and the Gods – Part 4

Wikipedia, “List of names of Freyja“.


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