Tag Archive: harvest


Goddess Meme

 

“African Spirit Series II” by Ricardo Chávez-Méndez

“Meme’s themes are ghosts, joy, health, offerings, longevity and the harvest. Her symbols are beer and corn. The Ugandan creatrix of life, Meme was also the first woman of the region. In Her human form She taught shamans the art of healing, and She continues to be called upon to aid in all matters of health and well-being.

The Misisi Beer Festival in Uganda takes place right after the millet harvest, with a plethora of beer, plantain, bullock and chicken. Any of these foods can be added to your diet today in thankfulness for Meme’s providence.

Follow Ugandan custom and join with your family or friends. The eldest member of the gathering should pour a libation to the ground in Meme’s name and then offer the rest to those gathered. This mini-ritual ensures long life and unity for everyone. It also ensures a good harvest the next year (of a literal or figurative nature).

To inspire Meme’s health or request her aid in overcoming a specific fall malady, carry a corn kernel with you today, and consume corn during your dinner meal. Bless the corn beforehand to ingest this Goddess’s vitality.

Alternatively, take a small bowl of beer and place a finger into it. Channel your negativity and illness into the beer (visualize this as dark, muddy water leaving your body), then pour it out to disperse that negative energy and give it into the Goddess’s care.”

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

I couldn’t find anything at all at first on today’s Goddess.  I thought that Meme was perhaps another name for the Goddess Mawu at first, as She is described as a supreme deity and creatrix of the universe and life; or even Her daughter, Gbadu who was the first woman that Mawu had created…or even Nowa – an African shaman Goddess.  I finally did though come across Meme’s name while doing a search in Google Books.

“Mother Nature IV” by Anthony Burks

In African Mythology, A to Z, Meme is mentioned under an entry on about a god named Adroa.  “Adroa is a god of the Lugbara people of central Africa. Adroa has two aspects: one good and one evil. He is the creator of Heaven and Earth, and he appears to those about to die. His good and bad aspects are depicted as two half bodies: the evil one is short and coal black while his good aspect is tall and white.” [1]  “Adroa created the first man and woman – a pair of twins, Gborogboro [‘the person coming from the sky’] and Meme [‘the person who came alone’].  Meme gave birth to all the animals and then to another pair of male-female twins.  These first sets of twins were really not human; they had supernatrual powers and perform magical deeds.  After several generations of male-female miraculous twins, the hero-anscetors Jaki and Dribidu were born.  Their sons were said to be the founders of the present-day Lugbara clans” (Lynch & Roberts, p. 4).

 

 

 

Sources:

Lynch, Patricia Ann & Jeremy Roberts. African Mythology, A to Z, Adroa“.

Wikipedia, “Adroa“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Middleton, John. Lugbara Religion: Ritual and Authority Among an East African People.

Newuganda.com, “Lugbara People and Their Culture“.

Wikipedia, “Lugbara Mythology“.

Goddess Çhicomecoatl

“Çhicomecoatl’s themes are fire, providence, energy, community, abundance, fertility and strength. Her symbols are hot spices (especially chili peppers), corn and fire.  In Mexico, this Goddess presides over maize and all matters of plenty during this time of harvest. Çhicomecoatl is also the hearth Goddess and provides warmth, energy and fertility in those in need. Her fiery, strong character is depicted vibrantly in artistic renderings in which Çhicomecoatl bears the sun as a shield.

Around this time of year, people in New Mexico celebrate The Whole Enchilada Festival in which they enjoy a day of taste-testing a ten-foot-long enchilada in a communal atmosphere, and you might like to follow suit.  The hot spices in enchiladas (or other Mexican foods you like) motivate Çhicomecoatl’s fire within for physical and emotional warmth. If you’re sensitive to hot peppers, add corn to your diet today instead. This invokes the Goddess’s strength and fertility.

More simply still, Çhicomecoatl abides in any fire source. So, light a candle first thing in the morning to welcome Her into your home today. For portable magic, carry matches or put a lighter in your pocket. Throughout the day, light a match or the lighter when ever you need a boost of energy or vitality, or when you need to improve your communications with those around you. This action also draws Çhicomecoatl’s attention to your financial needs.”

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

“In Aztec mythology, Chicomecōātl (‘Seven snakes’), was the Aztec Goddess of agriculture during the Middle Culture period. She is sometimes called ‘Goddess of nourishment’, a Goddess of plenty and the female aspect of corn. Every September a young girl representing Chicomecōātl was sacrificed. The priests decapitated the girl, collected her blood and poured it over a figurine of the Goddess. The corpse was then flayed and the skin was worn by a priest.

She is regarded as the female counterpart of the maize god Centeōtl, their symbol being an ear of corn. She is occasionally called Xilonen, (‘the hairy one’, which referred to the hairs on unshucked maize), who was married also to Tezcatlipoca.

She often appeared with attributes of Chalchiuhtlicue, such as Her headdress and the short lines rubbing down Her cheeks. She is usually distinguished by being shown carrying ears of maize.” [1]

“CHICOMECOATL” by ~marffi89

“This maize Goddess of the Aztecs had many forms, as many as did the growing corn: She was a maiden decked with water flowers, a young woman whose embrace brought death, a mother carrying the sun as a shield.  One of the most popular divinities of ancient Mexico, She was depicted wearing a four-sided headdress and carrying a magic corncob labeled ‘forgiving strength.’  It is possible that Çhicomecoatl was originally worshiped by the residents of central Mexico who preceded the Aztecs, and that Her rites in their era were less bloody than the Aztec sacrifices of young girls in Çhicomecoatl’s name” (Monaghan, p. 85).

 

 

 

Sources:

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

Wikipedia, “Chicomecoatl“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Key, Anne. Matrifocus.com, “Chicomecóatl: Goddess of Sustenance“. (HIGHLY RECOMMEND!  As always is the case with MatriFocus, a great in-depth article)

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, “Maize Deity (Chicomecoatl)“.

Goddess Chup

“Autumn Harvest” by Kandra Orr

“Chup’s themes are the harvest, reason, weather and providence. Her symbols are acorns, oak, rainwater and fire.  As a Native American Goddess of food, Chup is the founder of our feast today, the Miwok Acorn Feast.*  She oversees nature’s energies, specifically those of wind, rain and fire, and teaches people to use a combination of reason and their emotions to solve difficult problems.

This is an event of the Miwok people, who gather today as they have for thousands of years to celebrate the harvest through ritual and feasting. Acorns get made into breads and soups, having been a regional staple for early peoples.

Therefore, I advocate finding some creative uses for acorns, perhaps making them into runes or using them to mark the sacred circle in the east, west and south (the elemental regions that correspond to Chup).

To increase your reasoning skills, especially for a pressing situation, try this Chup spell: The next time it rains, gather the rainwater and warm it, gently blowing over the top of the pan three times and saying:

‘By Chup’s sensible winds, let this magic begin.
Within this water I bind keenness of mind.
By the fire actuate, all confusion abates.’

To this water add some spearmint leaves and a pinch of rosemary to augment conscious thought, then drink the tea to start the transformation process.”

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

My goodness, this Goddess was difficult to find!  I came across a Mayan moon Goddess called Ix-Chup and an Ainu moon/sun Goddess, Chup-Kamui, but no Chup.  After searching through Miwok mythologies, stories and lists of their spirits (they seem to have had a very animistic world view), and even Miwok baby names, I came across a blog entry called “Just Call me Chup, the Chumash goddess of wind“.  Yes!  A clue!  After Googling “Chumash goddess Chup”, I came across this paper on escholarship.org entitled, “The Integration of Myth and Ritual in South-Central California: The “Northern Complex” by Travis Hudson and Thomas Blackburn.  After searching the PDF file I downloaded, I came across this piece of information:

“Gaia” by Susan Seddon Boulet

Tsúqqit [Earth Goddess and creator of the human race with the help of Her five divine borthers], as mother of mankind and provider of knowledge, seems equivalent in some ways to earth; this suggests a secondary (or even primary?) Sky Father-Earth Mother theme with parallels elsewhere in southern California.  The apparent Chumash equivalent is Chup, described as a provider of food and an important female supernatural being.  It is interesting that Chup was frequently associated with the deer in Chumash ritual practices; for example, an ‘antap costumed as a deer opened the Earth ceremony, and deer-tibia whistles were used by the ‘antap during the ritual.  The ‘antap were also said to have played these whistles at Iwihinmu, where the appearance of deer apparently had ritual significance.  The Chumash, like the Kitanemuk, also believed Sun and Earth were in balance with one another; this recalls the Kitanemuk belief that Sun and Tsúqqit were opponents in the celestial peon game…” (p. 237).

In her book, Goddess in a Box, Nancy Blair writes: “It’s nearly impossible to name only one attribute of this many-named Spirit Mother of the California Chumash people.  She is the guardian of family and nation, intelligence, creativity and weather – the basic elements of life.  She is the One in All, as so many female deities are.  Her ritual name is Hütash.  In many Native American languages, there are dozens if not hundreds of words to describe the natural World.  One name doesn’t fit all contexts” (p. 43).

Earth Mother/Sky Father

Hope B. Werness writes: “Hutash (Chup or Shup in secular contexts). The Chumash and other California natives worshipped the earth as Hutash, a feminine being, source of all sustenance.  Highly sacred, Hutash possessed will, reason, emotions and power.  Her three aspects were wind, rain and fire – white, blue or black and red respectivley, depicted in the rainbow, a sign of plenty and good luck.  Hutash was depicted as a large encompassing disk or circle in Luiseno and Diegueno sand paintings and in Chumash rock paintings.  The Chumash believed the earth and heavens were equal and complementary forces, mirroring one another” (p. 139).

“Sadness of Gaia” by Josephine Wall

“In the Chumash story ‘The Rainbow Bridge,’ the Earth Goddess Hutash created the first people on Santa Cruz Island from seeds She gathered from a magic plant. One day Hutash’s husband, the Sky Snake (the Milky Way), gave the people the gift of fire. This gift warmed them and was used to cook food, which helped the people to grow strong and thrive. Soon the island became overcrowded. Hutash decided that some of the people would have to move to the mainland, and that’s how the Chumash came to populate the coastal mainland and what are now known as the Channel Islands.” [1]

“Earth Goddess” by Robert Florczak

 

* Please note: It was pointed out to me by a person of Miwok descent that Chup is indeed a Chumash Goddess derivative of a Mayan Goddess.  There is no indication of a Goddess linked by that name to the Miwok and furthermore that there are no legends on such a Goddess. It is apparent that Patricia Telesco cross miss identified nations with the Acorn Festival and the Chumash – totally different peoples and different histories.  My only thought on this is that as with many of her posts, Telesco meant to compare and illustrate the common essences of the two different cultures.

 

 

Sources:

Blair, Nancy. Goddess in a Box, “Chup“.

Hudson, Travis & Thomas Blackburn. Escholarship.org, “The Integration of Myth and Ritual in South-Central California: The ‘Northern Complex’“.

Native-languages.org, “Kitanemuk Legends“.

Weareca.org, “The Chumash Creation Story“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Bsahighadventure.org, “The Chumash Creation Myth“.

Ortiz, Beverly. Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature, “Miwok People” (p. 1094 – 1096).

Heizer, Robert & William C. Sturtevant. Handbook of North American Indians, Volume 8: California, “Kitanemuk“, (p. 567 – 568).

Leeming, David Adams. Creation Myths of the World: An Encyclopedia, Volume 1, “Miwok“.

Rain.org, “The Rainbow Bridge, a Chumash Legend“.

Suntree, Susan. Sacred Sites: The Secret History of Southern California.

Wikipedia, “Miwok Mythology“.

Autumnus

“Autumn Nymph” by ~limch

“Autumnus’s themes are the harvest, abundance, thankfulness, balance, wisdom, foresight and Autumn. Her symbols are fall leaves and harvested items. This is the Roman personification of the autumn season. While the actual gender of this being is often left to the imagination, the strong connection with the harvest, wines, and fruits intimates a powerful earth Goddess, blossoming with Her seasonal array.

In magic traditions, today is a time to appreciate the earth’s abundance somewhat cautiously. After this festival, the daylight hours will begin to wane, meaning wise prudence is called for. So while we reap Autumnus’s bounty from the sowing season, we also begin prudently planning.

Decorate your dining table or sacred space with colorful autumn leaves today. Enjoy as many harvested fruits and vegetables (perhaps from a farmer’s market) as possible to internalize Autumnus’s prosperous, wise energy. Leave out a libation of wine or grape juice for the Goddess to please Her and to encourage continuing providence when Her stores begin to wane.

For children, today is a perfect time to have a leaf-raking party in which they figuratively gather what they need from the Goddess, then play happily in Her energy afterward by jumping in the piles.”

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

For today’s entry, the only thing I could find on “Autumnus” comes from Wikipedia in which it states, “The word autumn comes from the Old French word autompne (automne in modern French), and was later normalised to the original Latin word autumnus.” [1]  I also found that Autumnus was defined as “personification; portrayed as mature and manly.” [2]  Hhmm, not very Goddess oriented, huh?

So, what I would like for you to do today is reflect on Autumn.  What does it mean to you?  What does it make you think of?  How does it make you feel?  What do you associate with Autumn?  I must admit that this is my FAVORITE time of year.  I love to watch and take in the splendor of the season’s transformation as the trees begin to change from green to bright reds, oranges and yellows.  I love the smell of the leaves on the ground, the smell of wood smoke rising from a bonfire, the crisp nights that make you want to snuggle up under a warm blanket in front of a crackling fire with a cup of hot cocoa or mulled cider.  I love the frosty mornings and the crunch of the leaves and twigs under my feet.  I love the sound of the crickets and the geese as they make their way south.  I love the harvest; the corn, the grains, the apples and fruits of the season and the smells of spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.

Or, does it make you feel sad as it marks the approach of the dark season, knowing that death and winter are on the horizon?  Does it make you miss the heat, beauty and energy of summer?  Does it make you feel anxious knowing that you only have so long to prepare and gather up and store what you need before the first snow begins to fall to make it through the long, cold and dark winter looming ahead?

Photo by Lauren Withrow

Regardless of how you view Fall, Autumnus’s spirit lives and resides in it, in all of it – everything from the beauty of the changing leaves, the romance and activity of the harvest to the dull, dried out dead stalks, death and the peaceful quietude that falls upon the land once all has been reaped, has fallen and died.

 

 

 

Sources:

Encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com, “Autumnus“.

Wikipedia, “Autumn“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Aloi, Peg. Witchvox.com, “You Call it the Autumn Equinox, We Call it Mabon“.

Wigington, Patti. Paganwiccan.about.com, “All About Mabon, the Autumn Equinox – What is Mabon?

Goddess Papa

“Inward Journey” by Gilbert Williams

“Papa’s themes are providence, thankfulness, abundance, earth, fertility, weather, grounding, the harvest and the moon. Her symbols are the moon, harvested foods, rainwater and rocks.  Polynesians summon Papa to help in all earthly matters. She is, in fact, the Earth Mother who gave birth to all things by making love to the sky. To this day, the earth and sky remain lovers, the sky giving its beloved rain for fertilization. Papa is sometimes known by the alternative title Papa Raharaha, ‘supporting rock’, through which She provides foundations and sustenance for our body, mind, and spirit.

Harvest moon festivals take place during the full moon closest to the autumnal equinox. The full moon here represents the earth (Papa) in all its abundance and the crop’s maturity. If it’s raining today, skip an umbrella for a moment and enjoy a little of the sky’s love for Papa. Gather a little of the water and drink it to encourage more self-love.

Carry any crystal or stone with you today to manifest Papa’s firm foundations in all your endeavors. And definitely integrate harvested foods into your menu. Some that have lunar affiliations include cauliflower, cabbage, cucumber, grapes, lettuce, potatoes, and turnips. Thank Papa for Her providence before you eat, then ingest whatever lunar qualities you need for that day or for the rest of the year.”

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

“Papahanaumoku (literally, broad place who gives birth to islands), or Pāpā, is the name of the Kanaka Maoli creator Goddess in Hawaiian mythology. Together with Her husband Wākea (sky father) Pāpā is the ancestor of all people and Kalo, and mother of islands as the Kanaka Maoli manifestation of Mother Earth.” [1]

“Papa & Wakea” by Linda Rowell Stevens

Patricia Monaghan writes: “The word we use for father was used by the Polynesians to summon mother earth, who existed from the beginning in perpetual intercourse with Her lover, the say god Rangi.  They left no room between them, creating darkness everywhere, which stifled the gods that resulted from the divine union.  Finally, the young gods decided to separate their parents.  Although apart, the pair remained lovers still; the earth’s damp heat rose lustfully to the sky, and the rain fell from heaven to fertilize beloved Papa” (p. 248).

Kalo, also known as the taro plant.

“There are many legends surrounding Papa…According to [one] legend, Papahanaumoku was born in Halawa Valley, Oʻahu and spent Her early childhood there. She travelled throughout the islands, and eventually wed Wakea. Together they had a daughter, Hoʻohokukalani (literally, one who creates the stars of heaven). As the girl grew, Wakea fell in love with his daughter and began to have an intimate relationship with her. He tricked Papa (in some versions of the story, the institution of the kapu system was part of his scheme) in order to keep Her away, so that he could seduce Hoʻohokukalani. When Papa discovered the truth, She was furious. However, when Hoʻohokukalani gave birth to a stillborn baby, it was Papa who named the child Haloa and buried him in the soft earth; from that place sprung the first kalo. Hoʻohokukalani again mated with her father Wakea, and had a living child, who was also named Haloa. This child became the ancestor to all Kanaka Maoli, or all humans (depending upon interpretation). [2]

“Papahanaumoku is worshipped by Native Hawaiians, especially by women, as a primordial force of creation who has the power to give life and to heal. A women’s temple, called Hale o Papa, is the primary religious structure associated with Her worship. Hale o Papa are often built in connection with Luakini, or men’s temples (places of ‘official’ ceremony, which are primarily dedicated to the gods  and Lono), although it is believed by many practitioners that they may also exist independently.

Widespread destruction of religious structures by the forces of Kahekili II and by the Christian-converted kahuna, Hewahewa have made archaeological proof of many known sites difficult. Some also question the possibility of regular ‘covering up’ and/or ‘minimizing’ of archaeological and historical data, due to the impact of this data on development interests and other economically powerful factors.” [3]

“In the Aloha ʻAina movement, Papa is often a central figure, as Her spirit is that of the life-giving, loving, forgiving earth who nurtures human life, and who is being abused by the misdeeds of mankind, especially in regard to the abuse of nature.

Papahānaumokuākea MNM approximate boundary outlined

In 2008, Papahanaumoku and Wakea’s names inspired the newly inaugurated Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.” [4]

 

 

 

Sources:

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

Wikipedia, “Papahanaumoku“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Donch.com, “Heiau: Native Hawaiian Temples“.

Hawaiialive.org, “Moku‘ula“.

Powersthatbe.com, “Goddess Papa“.

Sacred-texts.com, “Papa and Wakea“.

Wikipedia, “Rangi and Papa

 

Goddess Meng Jiangnu

“Meng Jiangnu’s themes are the harvest, children, unity, kinship and community. Her symbols are pumpkin and squash.  In the true spirit of a global culture, Meng Jiangnu is ‘imported’ for today’s festivities from China, being a pumpkin girl born from the vines of two different households. Her birth united the two families and brought them harmony where strife had once been. Today She continues to offer us unity with those we love, plus a profusion of positive feelings.

Around this time of year in France, people gather in central markets looking for the Mother of all Pumpkins, which actually gets enthroned for the festivities! This is later made into a communal soup, so those who eat it are magically partaking of Meng Jiangnu’s energy. Eating this soup reaffirms community spirit and ensures a good pumpkin harvest the next year. So definitely make pumpkin or squash a part of your menu today. Consider pumpkin bread for breakfast with a friend or family member to encourage good feelings toward each other throughout the day. At lunch, a warm buttered squash side dish keeps love warm. Last of all, don’t forget some pie for dessert after dinner to bring sweetness to your relationships!

Carve a pumpkin or squash with a symbol of any pressing need you have in a relationship. Put a candle inside and light it up so the pumpkin girl can shine Her energy into that situation and begin the healing process.”

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

In reading the above description given by Patricia Telesco, I truly don’t believe that pumpkins would be a symbol for Meng Jiangnu considering that pumpkins are native to North America and wouldn’t have been found in China when Meng Jiangnu’s story takes place – which was set during the Qin Dynasty (221 BCE-206 BCE).  “Extensive documentation [tells us] that pumpkins (Curcubita Pepo) are a New World crop introduced to China along with corn, peppers, potatoes, tobacco etc., durng the late Ming [1368 CE – 1644 CE]/early Qing period [1644 CE – 1912 CE].” [1]

Patricia Monaghan tells us that Meng-Jiang Jyu a “Chinese folktale heroine…was born in a miraculous way.  Two neighboring families, both of them childless, found a watermelon exactly halfway between their homes.  Within it was this magical girl, whom the families decided to raise jointly.  Meng-Jiang was a good girl who make both sets of parents happy.  When she came to marry, she was lucky enough to find a young man in the village [Fan Qiliang] who cherished her.  All went well until one summer day the emperor’s soldiers came and, without giving him a choice, conscripted Meng-Jiang’s husband to build the Great Wall.

Months passed and, worried that her husband would be cold without his winter clothes, Meng-Jiang set off to find him.  She walked and walked, asking everyone for her lover, but each village sent her further.  She almost drowned crossing the Yellow River, but the river god became sympathetic to her cause and saved her.  Finally, she reached her destination, only to find that her beloved husband had died; his bones had been interred somewhere in the Wall.  She cried out to heaven, and the Wall collapsed – revealing thousands of bones.  How could she find her husband’s?  Recalling their vow to be blood of each other’s blood, she bit herself and, bleeding, walked among the bones.  Those of her husband’s recognized and absorbed her blood, so she was able to give them a proper burial” (p. 215).

“Meng’s tragedy was related to the atrocious Emperor Qin Shihuang who came to survey the damage done to the wall. But when he saw Meng Jiang, he was enchanted by her beauty and wanted to marry her. Meng Jiang said she would only marry him on three conditions – first, her former husband was to be given a grand burial; second, the emperor and his court must go into mourning for Qiliang; and third, she wanted to visit the ocean. Although the emperor hated the idea of officially mourning a commoner, he agreed so he could gain her hand in marriage. After Meng Jiang got her third wish, she scolded the Emperor bitterly and committed suicide by casting herself into the ocean. The Emperor sent his men to dredge the ocean but the waves chased them away.

The image of Meng represents the kindness of ancient women and the torture brought on the people by war. The story shows the dislike ancient people had towards war. It has been passed down from generation to generation in Bo Shan.

the Statue Lady Meng

The section of the Great Wall that was toppled by Meng and the sea where she committed suicide are in today’s Zibo City, Shandong Province. The Temple of Lady Meng-Jiang, first established in the Song Dynasty about 1,000 years ago, has been maintained and worshipped at the eastern beginning of the Great Wall till this day in Qinhuangdao City of Hebei Province today.” [2]

 

 

 

Sources:

Monaghan, Patricia. The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines, “Meng-Jiang Jyu”.

Wikipedia, “Lady Meng Jiang“.

 

Suggested Links:

Kaleidoscope.cultural-china.com, “A Chinese Folklore: Tears of Meng Jiang Nu“.

The Sphinx

“The Sphinx’s themes are the harvest, protection, water, beginnings and fertility. Her symbols are water, sand and pyramids.  This Goddess is the Egyptian guardian of the Pyramids, but also has other important duties. She signals the beginning of the Nile’s fertile flooding, the water which replenishes the soil at this time of year. This abundance, productivity and protection is what the Sphinx offers us in preparation for Autumn’s harvest.The Egyptian New Year is celebrated in September to correspond with the annual flood cycle of the Nile and to mark a new planting season. The Sphinx joins in this celebration by producing plenty wherever it’s needed.

To encourage this further, find a pyramid-shaped object (like a fluorite crystal) and place a symbol of your need beneath it (like a dollar for money). This puts your goal beneath the Sphinx’s watchful eye so She can attend to that matter diligently.

If you hold any type of ritual today, use sand to mark the magic circle, along with this invocation to the Goddess (you can change the words boldfaced here to reflect more personal requirements:

‘Great watcher, Lady of the Pyramids, I sprinkle your sands to the wind –
Let the magic begin.
Sand to the east for abundant hope;
sand to the south for fiery energy;
sand to the west for flowing love;
sand to the north for firm foundations;
and sand in the center to bind the powers together. So be it.'”

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

“Sphinx” by Hrana Janto

The ‘strangler’ started Her life in Egypt, where the lion-bodied monster had a bearded male head and represented royalty.  But in Greece – in a city with the  Egyptian name Thebes – the Sphinx became female.  She was said to have been a Maenad who grew so wild in Her intoxicated worship that She became monstrous: snake, lion, and woman combined.

The guardian of Thebes, She prevented travelers from passing by strangling them if they could not answer a mysterious riddle.  (Possibly She descended from the underworld guardian Goddess who, in many cultures, prevented the passage of the living into death’s territory.)  What, the Sphinx would ask, walked on four legs in the morning, two at noon, and three in the evening?  Finally one traveler, who would become King Oedipus of Thebes, answered Her: Human beings, who crawl as children, walk upright as adults, and rely on canes in age.  Her reason for existance having been destroyed, the Sphinx destroyed Herself” (Monaghan, p. 285).

 

 

Sources:

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

 

Suggested Links:

All-about-egypt.com, “Sphinx Facts“.

Hadingham, Evan. Smithsonianmag.com, “Uncovering Secrets of the Sphinx“.

Mydailygoddess.blogspot.com, “Sphinx: Challenge“.

Theoi.com, “Sphinx“.

Wikipedia, “Sphinx“.

Goddess Matrona

“Matrona’s themes are the harvest, providence, health, abundance, autumn and love. Her symbols are Swiss cheese and water.  This Teutonic Mother Goddess is the great provider of both food and refreshment, especially freshwater. A benevolent figure, She personifies the earth’s abundance during the fall and offers to share of that wealth freely. Judging from artistic depictions of Matrona in the company of a dog, or carrying palm fronds, She may have also had a connection with the healing arts.

People in the Swiss Alps gather today to enjoy the fruits of their labors, specifically cheese that has been stored in cellars since grazing season in the summer. In many ways this is a harvest rite, rejoicing in Matrona’s ongoing providence.

Consider enjoying a Swiss fondue today, complete with sliced harvest vegetables and breads from Matrona’s storehouse. The melted cheese inspires warm, harmonious love. Matrona makes that love healthy and abundant.For physical well-being and self-love, simply add some sautéed garlic to this blend, or add other herbs known to combat any sickness with which you’re currently coping.

Other ways to enjoy this Goddess and invite her into your day – Have an omelette with cheese and harvest vegetables for breakfast, or grilled cheese and ice water at brunch.  If you own a dog, share a bit of your healthful meal with it!”

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

“Goddess Gaia – Great Mother” by ~Umina

“In Celtic mythology, Dea Matrona (‘divine mother Goddess’) was the Goddess of the river Marne in Gaul.

Terracotta relief of the Matres, from Bibracte, city of the Aedui in Gaul

In many areas She was worshipped as a triple Goddess, and known as Deae Matres (or Deae Matronae), with a wider sphere of believed influence. This triadic deity is well attested throughout northern Europe (more generally as the Matres or Matrones), not just in Celtic areas, and was similar to the FatesFuriesNorns, and other such figures.

The Gaulish theonym Mātr-on-ā is interpreted to mean ‘great mother’. The name of Welsh mythological figure Modron, mother of Mabon is derived from the same etymon. By analogy, Dea Matrona may conceivably have been the mother of the Gaulish Maponos.” [1]

“Modron” by Shanina Conway

Conerning Modron: “In Welsh mythology, Modron (‘divine mother’) was a daughter of Afallach, derived from the Gaulish Goddess Matrona. She may have been the prototype of Morgan le Fay from Arthurian legend. She was the mother of Mabon, who bears Her name as ‘Mabon ap Modron’ (‘Mabon, Son of Modron’) and who was stolen away from Her when he was three days old and later rescued by King Arthur.

In the Welsh Triads, Modron becomes impregnated by Urien and gives birth to Owain and Morvydd.

Her Gaulish counterpart Matrona is a Celtic mother Goddess and tutelary Goddess of the River Marne. She is also a fertility and harvest deity often equated with Greece’s Demeter or Ireland’s Danu. In Britain, She appears as a washerwoman, and thus there would seem to be a connection with the Morrígan.” [2]

Relief of three Goddesses, or Matres, Corinium Museum, Cirencester

Pertaining to Deae Matres, Patricia Monaghan tells us that “Their names – bestowed by scholars – may be Latin, but the Deae Matres were Celtic, the primary divine image of the continental tribes.  No legends survived of this trinity of earth Goddesses, although hundreds of inscriptions and sculptures attest to the strength of Their worship.

Their religion was apparently destroyed early in the Roman occupation, but Their names and images survived into the days of the empire.  They were were then called sorceresses of the early days, thus holding the attention and reverence of their people in ancient Gaul and Germany.

The ‘mother Goddesses’ – for this is what their Latin name means – were always shown as three robed women bearing baskets of fruit and flowers; sometimes they also carried babies.  Seated under an archway, They were depicted wearing round halolike headdresses; the central Goddess was distinguished from the others by standing while They sat or by sitting while They stood.  They were probably ancestral Goddesses, rulers of fruitfulness of humanity as well as that of the earth” (p. 99).

 

 

 

Sources:

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

Wikipedia, “Dea Matrona“.

Wikipedia, “Modron“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Celtnet.org.uk, “Modron: A Cymric, Brythonic and Gaulish Goddess, also known as Matrona: Divine Mother“.

Her Cyclopedia, “The Triple Goddess Deae-Mates“.

Joellessacredgrove.com, “Deae Matres“.

Journal of a Poet, “Morgan Le Fay“.

Spangenberg, Lisa L. Digitalmedievalist.com, “Who is the Celtic Mother Goddess?

Took, Thalia. Amusedgrace.blogspot.com, “Goddess of the Week: Morgana“.

Wikipedia, “Matres and Matrones“.

 

Goddess Baba Yaga

“Baba Yaga” by ~sgorbissa

“Baba Yaga’s themes are the harvest, rest, providence, thankfulness and cycles. Her symbols are corn sheafs, wreaths of wheat, corn, rye and wild flowers.  This Lithuanian/Russian Goddess of regeneration, Baba Yaga is typically represented as the last sheaf of corn in today’s festivities – Obzinky. As both young and old, She reawakens in us an awareness of time’s ever-moving wheel, the seasons and the significance of both to our Goddess-centered magic.

Follow with the tradition and make or buy a wreath or bundle of corn shucks or other harvest items. Keep this in your home to inspire Baba Yaga’s providence and prosperity for everyone who lives there.

For breakfast, consume a multigrain cereal, rye bagels or wheat toast. Keep a few pieces of dried grains or toasted breads with you. This way you’ll internalize Baba Yaga’s timeliness for coping with your day more effectively and efficiently, and you’ll carry Her providence with you no matter the circumstances.

Feast on newly harvested foods, thanking Baba Yaga as the maker of your meal. Make sure you put away one piece of corn that will not be consumed today, however. Dry it and hang it up to ensure a good harvest the next year, for your garden, pocketbook or heart.

Finally, decorate your home or office with a handful of wild flowers (even dandelions qualify). Baba Yaga’s energy will follow them and you to where it’s most needed.”

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

“Baba Yaga” by Hrana Janto

Patricia Monaghan writes that “the ‘old woman’ of autumn was called Baba by the Slavic inhabitants of eastern Europe, Boba by the Lithuanians. This seasonal divinity lived in the last sheaf of grain harvested in a year, and the woman who bound it would bear a child that year. Baba passed into Russian folk legend as the awesome Baba Yaga, a witchlike woman who rowed through the air in a mortar, using a pestle for Her oar, sweeping the traces of Her flight from the air with a broom.

A prototype of the fairytale witch, Baba Yaga lived deep in the forest and scared passersby to death just by appearing to them. She then devoured Her victims, which is why Her picket fence was topped with skulls. Behind this fierce legend looms the figure of the ancient birth-and-death Goddess, one whose autumn death in the cornfield led to a new birth in spring” (p. 65).

“Baba” by Karlen Tam

As explained by Freya: “Usually, Baba Yaga is a frightening Witch who lives in the middle of a very deep forest, in a place which is often difficult to find unless a magic clue (a ball of yarn or thread) or a magic feather shows the way. The old hag lives in a wooden hut on two chicken legs (sometimes three or four legs are described). Usually the hut is turned with its back towards a traveler, and only magical words can make it turn around on its chicken legs to face the newcomer. Very often, the hut revolves with loud noises and painful screams that make a visitor cringe. This serves to frighten the reader, showing the hut’s old age, and to show that Baba Yaga does not care about her hut’s well being. It is also fascinating that some fairy tales describe the hut as being a unique evil entity: firstly, it has the ability to move on its chicken legs. Secondly, it understands human language and is able to decide whether and when to let a visitor enter its premises. Finally, the hut is often depicted as being able ‘to see’ with its eyes (its windows) and ‘to speak’ with its mouth (its doorway). I also cannot help feeling that the hut is able ‘to think’, and one can observe these thoughts as wild powerful clouds of steam emerging from the hut’s chimney. What powerful imagery!

Baba Yaga’s hut is often surrounded by fence made of human bones and topped with human skulls with eyes. Instead of wooden poles onto which the gates are hung, human legs are used; instead of bolts, human hands are put in; instead of the keyhole, a mouth with sharp teeth is mounted. Very often Baba Yaga has her hut is protected by hungry dogs or is being watched over by evil geese-swans or is being guarded by a black cat. The gates of Baba Yaga’s villa are also often found to be guardians of Yaga’s hut as they either lock out or lock in the Witch’s prey.” [1]  (You can click on the [1] to finish reading the imagery).

“Baba Yaga” by ~lpeters

She quite reminds me of another well known Goddess, Kali.  Freya goes onto explain: “Baba Yaga is a Slavic version of Kali, the Hindu Goddess of Death, the Dancer on Gravestones. Although, more often than not, we consider Baba Yaga as a symbol of death, She is a representation of the Crone in the Triple Goddess symbolism. She is the Death that leads to Rebirth. It is curious that some Slavic fairy tales show Baba Yaga living in Her hut with Her two other sisters, also Baba Yagas. In this sense, Baba Yaga becomes full Triple Goddess, representing Virgin, Mother, and the Crone. Baba Yaga is also sometimes described as a guardian of the Water of Life and Death. When one is killed by sword or by fire, when sprinkled with the Water of Death, all wounds heal, and after that, when the corpse is sprinkled with the Water of Life, it is reborn. The symbolism of oven in the Baba Yaga fairy tales is very powerful since from primordial times the oven has been a representation of womb and of baked bread. The womb, of course, is a symbol of life and birth, and the baked bread is a very powerful the image of earth, a place where one’s body is buried to be reborn again. It is interesting that Baba Yaga invites Her guests to clean up and eat before eating them, as though preparing them for their final journey, for entering the death, which will result in a new clean rebirth. Baba Yaga also gives Her prey a choice when She asks them to sit on Her spatula to be placed inside the oven: if one is strong or witty, he or she escapes the fires of the oven, for weak or dim-witted ones, the road to death becomes clear.” [2]

As Fiana Sidhe explains: “Baba Yaga is a very misunderstood Goddess. She is not just the stereotypical wicked witch. She often appears as a frightening old hag, but can also appear as a beautiful woman who bestows gifts.

She is wild and untamed but also can be kind and generous. Even in Her haggard form, Baba Yaga has many gifts to share.

Baba Yaga is the old crone who guards The Waters of Life and Death. She is the White Lady of Death and Rebirth, and is also known as The Ancient Goddess of Old Bones. The old bones are symbolic of the things we cling to, but must finally let lie. When we experience a death, darkness, depression, or spiritual emptiness in our lives, we journey to Baba Yaga’s hut, where She washes new life into us. She collects our bones and pours the waters on them, while She sings and chants and causes us to be reborn. She destroys and then She resurrects. Baba Yaga symbolizes the death of ignorance. She forces us to see our true, darkest selves, then She grants us a deep wisdom that we can attain by accepting the dark shadows within ourselves. We can only receive help from Baba Yaga by learning humility. Her gifts can destroy or enlighten us.” [3]

I absolutely love this explanation of Baby Yaga as the Wild Woman written by Sr. Dea Phoebe: “So, while She is certainly a dark Goddess, a death Goddess, and may even seem ‘wicked’ in ways, Baba Yaga is hardly the villain of Her stories. But also, Baba Yaga is not a nice, clean, civilized Goddess. In the story of Valalisa the Wise, triple Goddess imagery repeats throughout – in Valalisa and her doll’s white, red, and black clothing, (colors traditionally associated with the Maiden, Mother, and Crone,) in the repetition of threes throughout the story (three colors, three enemies in the stepfamily, three riders, three tasks, three questions, three pairs of hands) and in Valalisa, (the maiden beginning her journey), her mother (who has given Valalisa gifts to guide her), and of course, in Baba Yaga as the crone. As a denizen of the deep forest, Baba Yaga is the wild aspect of the psyche, what Estés calls [in her book Women Who Run with the Wolves] the Wild Hag or the Wild Woman —not the gentle grandmother that bakes you cookies and tells you stories, but the stern grandmother that might just smack your rear with a spoon and tell you to smarten up! She is not pretty to look at, and she represents the deepest mysteries of death. No wonder she has a reputation of a scary old witch!

“Baba Yaga” by *MarkTarrisse

When we work with Baba Yaga, when we take that path into the deep forest to face the mysteries of death and emerge with the light of wisdom, we also face the wild aspects of ourselves. They may not be pretty, they may have long stringy hair and iron teeth and a wild cackle, but they also hold mysteries our more civilized day-to-day selves never think upon. Baba Yaga is not tied by social norms and mores. She flies about in yet another symbol of transformation; She wipes away the signs of Her passing so you’re never sure if She’s really been there. She’s rude, She’s crude, and She lives in a hut that doesn’t have the manners to sit down and stay like we expect a house should—and you can bet She enjoys all of this. She is less concerned about what is civilized and polite than what is true.

When you find yourself in need of true wisdom, when you find yourself being too nice, too polite in the face of ongoing boundary violations, when you find yourself stagnated by the expectations of others, it might just be time to retrieve your Wild Woman (or Man.) It might be time to brave the forest and meet Baba Yaga.” [4]

ASSOCIATIONS:

Astrological Sign: Scorpio

Colors: White, red, and black

Gemstones: Garnet, bloodstone, tourmaline, smoky quartz

Goddesses: Hecate, Hel, Kali

Goddess Aspect: Crone

Festival Date: January 20

Herbs/Flowers: Patchouli, sandalwood, geranium

Moon Phase: Waning/Dark

Other Names: Baba, Boba, Baba Den, Jezi Baba

Sacred Animals: Snake, cat

Season: Autumn

Symbols: Mortar and pestle, broom

Tree: Birch                                   [5]

 

 

 

Sources:

Arteal. Order of the White Moon, “Baba Yaga“.

Freya. Realmagick.com, “Baba Yaga: A Demon or A Goddess?

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

Phoebe, Sr. Dea. Order of Our Lady of Salt, “The Goddess and the Wheel: Baba Yaga – Wicked Witches and Wild Women“.

Sidhe, Fiana. Matrifocus.com, “Baba Yaga, The Bone Mother“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Goddess-guide.com, “Crone Goddesses“.

Mydailygoddess.blogspot.com, “Baba Yaga – Wild Woman“.

Oldrussia.net, “Baba Yaga“.

Revel, Anita. igoddess.com, “Baba Yaga: cross the shadow side – then come out!

Russianclub.com.ua, “Baba-Yaga“.

Russiapedia.rt.com, “Of Russina origin: Baba Yaga“.

Sacred-texts.com, “Baba Yaga“.

Weed, Susun. Matrifocus.com, “Baba Yaga Stories“.

Wikipedia, “Baba Yaga“.

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“.

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