Tag Archive: honor


Goddess Ame no Uzume

“Ame no Uzume ‘s themes are honor, longevity, wisdom, psychic abilities, prosperity, protection and kinship. Her symbols are antique items, aged wines or cheese (anything that grows better over time) and sacred dances.  A Japanese ancestral Goddess, Ame no Uzume’s magic is that of generating a long, happy life for Her followers. Shinto festivals in Her honor include special dances that invoke the Goddess’s favor for longevity, honor, prosperity, protection and a close-knit family. In some areas, people also turn to Her for foresight, considering Ame no Uzume the patroness of psychic mediums.

Join with people in Japan and celebrate the wisdom that longevity brings for the aged. If there is an elder in your family or magic community who has influenced your life positively, pray to Ame no Uzume for that person’s ongoing health and protection. Go see that individual and say thank you. The gesture greatly pleases this Goddess, who will shower blessings on you, too!

To gain Ame no Uzume’s insight in your psychic efforts, find an antique item that you can wear during readings, like a skeleton key (to ‘fit’ any psychic doorway). Empower this token, saying:

‘Ame no Uzume, open my eyes, help me to see!
Let nothing be hidden that need to be known, whene’re I speak this magical poem.’

Touch the key and recite your power phrase, the incantation, before reading.”

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

“Ame-no-Uzume-no-mikoto is the Goddess of dawn, mirth and revelry in the Shinto religion of Japan, and the wife of fellow-god Sarutahiko Ōkami“. [1]

“Uzume” by Hrana Janto

Patricia Monaghan writes that Uzame was “ancient Japan’s shaman Goddess…who lured the sun Goddess Amaterasu from the cave where She’d hidden.  She did so by a merry mockery of shamanic ritual.  Tying Her sleeves above Her elbows with moss cords and fastening bells around Her wrists, She danced on an overturned tub before the heavenly Sky-Rock-Cave.  Tapping out a rhythm with Her feet, She exposed Her breasts and then Her genitals in the direction of the sun.  So comic did She make this striptease that the myriad gods and Goddesses began to clap and laugh – an uproar that finally brought the curious sun back to warm the earth.

Shaman women who followed Uzume were called miko in ancient Japan.  First queens like Himiko, later they were princesses and even later, common-born women.  Some Japanese women today, especially those called noro and yuta in Okinawa and the surrounding islands, still practice shamanic divination” (p. 305).

“Ame-no-Uzume-no-Mikoto is still worshiped today as a Shinto kami, spirits indigenous to Japan.  She is also known as Ame-no-Uzume-no-Mikoto, The Great Persuader, and The Heavenly Alarming Female.  She is depicted in kyōgen farce as Okame, a woman who revels in her sensuality.” [2]

“The dances of Uzume (Ama-no-uzume) are found in folk rites, such as the one to wake the dead, the Kagura (dance-mime), and another one which symbolizes the planting of seeds.” [3]

 

 

 

Sources:

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

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

Wikipedia, “Ame-no-Uzume-no-Mikoto“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Agaliha. Mysticwicks.com, “Ama-no-Uzume“.

Ampontan. Ampontan.wordpress.com, “Yuta: The Japanese Shamans“.

Ashkenazi, Michael. Handbook of Japanese Mythology.

Corrao, Tom. Chicagookinawakenjinkai.blogspot.com, “Okinawan Uta – The Shaman Women of Okinawa“.

Goddessgift.com, “Amaterasu Goddess of the Sun/Uzume Goddess of Mirth and Dance“.

Lysianassa. Bukisa.com, “The Goddess Ame No Uzume in Mythology and History“.

Mydailygoddess.blogspot.com, “Uzume – Laughter“.

Schoenberger, Karl. Latimes.com, “Shamans Look to Spirits for Guidance: In Okinawa, Supernatural Is Taken Very Seriously“.

Wikipedia, “Ryukyuan Religion“.

Willis, Roy G. World Mythology, “The Divine Crisis“.

Goddess Anahita

(This is another of the several Goddesses that Patricia Telesco makes a second entry on in her book.  You can view my previous entry on Anahita here.)

“Inanna” by Lisa Hunt

“Anahita’s themes are honor, love, fertility, pleasure and cleansing. Her symbols are water, lunar objects and colors and green branches.  Anahita is the Zoroastrian moon Goddess who shines upon the darkness in our lives, replacing loneliness with true love, barrenness with fertility and impotence with pleasurable unions. She is the Lady of Heaven, the flowing force of the cosmos, whose name means ‘Pure’. A traditional offering for Anahita is green branches, which represent Her life-giving power.

Today marks the birthday of Zoroaster, the founder of a religious sect that influenced the Magi of the Bible. Amidst Zoroaster’s pantheon we find this Goddess, radiating with the beautiful things of life, but only after a good ‘house cleansing’. Honor Her by washing your floors with pine-scented cleanser (i.e. green branches so her energies can purify the sacred space of home.) Afterward, light a white candle to represent Anahita’s presence therein. Add a simple invocation like this one:

‘Lady of Purity, Lady of Light, be welcome in my home and my heart.’

Purify yourself, too, so that Anahita’s passion can flow unhindered. Take a ritual bath, adding any woodsy aromatic to the water. As you wash up, say,

‘Anahita, carry the darkness away,
so my body and spirit may revel in your pleasures,
giving and receiving them equally.’

Then spend time with your loved one, letting nature take its course.”

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

“Morning Star” by Mahmoud Farshchian

Patricia Monaghan tells us that Anahita was called the “‘Immaculate one’, also called Ardvi Sura Anahita (‘humid, strong, immaculate one’), She was one of the ruling deities of the Persian Empire. Anahita embodied the physical and metaphoric qualities of water, the fertilizing force that flowed from Her supernatural fountain in the stars.  By extension She ruled semen – which flows forth and fertilizes  – and thus human generation as well as all other forms of earthly propagation.

A 4th century BCE depiction of Anahita, radiant and mounted on a lion, being worshipped by Artaxerxes II.

She originated in Babylonia, whence She traveled to Egypt to appear as an armed and mounted Goddess.  Her worship spread east as well; She became the most popular Persian deity, worshiped, it is said, even by the great god Ahura Mazda himself.  Nevertheless, Zoroaster did his best to ignore Anahita, although later writings reveal that the sage was specifically commanded by his male god to honor Her.

“Persian Pride” by Hojatollah Shakiba

In this tall and powerful maiden, Her people saw the image of both the mother and the warrior; She was a protective mother to Her people, generously nurturing them while fiercely defending them from enemies.  In statuary, Anahita was the ‘golden mother’, arrayed in golden kerchief, square gold earrings, and a jeweled diadem, wrapped in a gold embroidered cloak adorned with thirty otter skins. She was also described as driving through our world in a chariot drawn by four white horses that signify wind, rain, clouds, and hail.

‘Great Lady Anahita, glory and life-giver of our nation, mother of sobriety and benefactor of mankind,’ the Armenians called out to their beloved Goddess.  They honored Her with offerings of green branches and white heifers brought to Her sanctuaries.  They may have offered themselves as well; the traveler Strabo said that sacramental promiscuity was part of the honor due this rule of reproduction who ‘purifies the seed of males and the womb and milk of females.’

 

Healer, mother, and protector of Her people, She was worshipped throughout the Persian Empire for many centuries.  To the west She was said to be identical to Anat; the Greeks contended She was Aphrodite, when they did not claim She was Athena” (p. 45).

 

 

 

Sources:

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

 

 

Suggested Links:

Avesta — Zoroastrian Archives, “Angels in Zoroastrianism“.

Enkidu, Leah. Shrine, “Return of the Holy Prostitute“.

Iranpoliticsclub.net, “Persian Mythology, Gods and Goddesses“.

Langdon, S. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, January 1924, Vol. 56, Issue 01, “The Babylonian and Persian Sacaea1

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

Milo. TeenWitch.com, “Anaitis Anahita“.

Nabarz, Payam. Iranian.com, “Anahita – Lady of Persia“.

Skakti156. Shaktiwomyn.com, “52 Goddesses – Week 1 – The Goddess Anahita“.

Wikipedia, “Anahita“.

“Thoughts of A Dead Husband” by Rickbw1

“Nakisawame-no-Mikoto’s themes are peace, honor, history, death and forgiveness. Her symbols are trees.  The Goddess of mourning in Japan, Nakisawame-no-Mikoto weeps with the memories of the many innocent people who have died in wars throughout the ages. She comes into our hearts today in the hope that we will learn form our collective past.

According to tradition, Nakisawame-no-Mikoto lives in the base of trees, her roots holding firm to the earth and its history. This also speaks strongly of our family trees and the importance of kinship.

On August 6, 1945, the atom bomb landed in Hiroshima, resulting in the loss of thousands of lives and many years of radiation sickness. In the spirit of Nakisawame-no-Mikoto, today acts as a memorial to the people who died and a celebration of the peace that has been maintained. Traditionally, tiny paper lanterns are floated on flowing waters as wishes for the dead.

So, light a candle today for someone you know who died needlessly, or fighting a just cause. The flame of the candle reperesnts the Goddess and the memory of that person whose efforts light the way for a better future.

To encourage peace between yourself and someone else, plant a token that represents your desire beneath a tree so that this Goddess can begin helping you achieve harmony.”

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

“Keiko” by Iridescence-art

“Naki-sawa-me-no-kami is the Japanese Goddess of mourning. She was born from the tears of Izanagi, weeping over the loss of his wife, Izanami. Naki-sawa-me lives in the base of the trees on the foothills of the mountain Amanokaguyama. Her name, which means ‘weeping marsh woman Goddess,’ is also seen as Naki-sawa-me-no-mikoto, Naki-saha-me-no-kami, and Naki-saha-no-me-no-mikoto.” [1]

 

 

 

Sources:

Sabrina. Goddess A Day, “Naki-sawa-me-no-kami“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Crystalinks.com, “Japanese Creational Myths“.

Encyclopedia of Shinto, “Kami in Classic Texts“.

Encyclopedia of Shinto, “Nakisawame“.

Goddess Thmei

“Maat” by Lisa Hunt

“Thmei’s themes are freedom, justice, honor, divination, balance, equality, foresight and morality. Her symbols are scales or balanced items and ostrich feathers.  This Egyptian Goddess of law and Mother of Virtue watches over human conduct, looking for right action, wise decisions, ethical dealings and just outcomes. On a broader scale, She also tends to matters of Universal Law, that we might learn its patterns, internalize its ideals and then use this awareness throughout the year.  In some instances, Thmei is considered a prophetic Goddess to call on in determining the outcome of any course of action, especially legal ones. Egyptian art depicts Thmei bearing a single ostrich feather, the symbol of truth with self and others.

Celebrate your personal independence and break free from any constraints that seem unjust or unethical, asking Thmei for the power and courage to endure.

To make a Thmei charm that draws equity into all your dealings, find a portable token that, to you, represents balance, harmony and fairness. Put this on your bathroom scale saying,

‘Balance and harmony within this shine,
Thmei, make impartial dealings mine!’

Carry this token with you, or leave it in the area where you feel inequality or discord exists.”

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

The researched information on Thmei today comes from the book entitled The Manners and Customs of the Ancient Egyptians by John Gardner & Sir Wilkinson.  “This Deity had a two-fold character, as Goddess of Truth and of Justice.  Her figure is frequently represented in the hands of the Kings, who present it as a fit offering to the Gods; and many, in their regal titles, are said to love, or to be loved by, Thmei.  A small image of this Goddess was also worn by the chief judge while engaged in listening to the cases brought before them in court; and when the depositions of the two parties and their witnesses had been heard, he touched the successful litigant with the image, in token of the justness of his cause.  A similar emblem was used by the high priest of the Jews; and it is a remarkable fact, that the word Thummim is not only translated ‘truth’, but being a plural or dual word, corresponds to the Egyptian notion of the ‘two Truths’ or the double capacity of this Goddess.

According to some, the Urim and Thummim signify ‘lights and pefection’ or ‘light and truth,’ – which last present a striking analogy to the two figures of Rê and Thmei, in the breast-plate worn by the Egyptians.  And though the resemblance of the Urim and the Uraeus (or basilisk), the symbol of majesty, suggested by Lord Prudhoe, is very remarkable, I am disposed to think the ‘lights,’ Aorim or Urim, more nearly related to the Sun, which is seated in the breast-plate with the figure of Truth.

This Goddess was sometimes represented by two similar figures placed close to each other; or by one figure wearing two ostrich feathers, Her emblem; and sometimes by the two feathers alone, as in the scales of final judgement.  It is to these figures that Plutarch alludes, who he speaks of the two Muses at Hermopolis, under the names of Isis and Justice.  Diodorus describes the chief judge in the sculptures of the tomb of Osymandyas, with the figure of Truth suspended to this neck, with Her eyes closed; and it is worthy of remark, that the same mode of representing the Goddess occurs in the paintings at Thebes, confirming the account of the historian, and establishing Her claims to the character I have given Her.

Her principle occupations were in the lower regions, and She was on earth the cardinal virtue.  For the Ancients considered, that as Truth or Justice influenced men’s conduct towards their neighbours, and tended to maintain that harmony and good will which were most essential for the welfare of society, it was of far greater importance than the the other three,  – Prudence, Temperance, and Fortitude.  These qualities were reflective qualities; and more immediately beneficial to the individual who possessed them, than to those with whom he was in the habit of associating.

As the dead, after the final judgement and admission into the regions of the blessed, bore Her emblem (either the ostrich feather, or the vase which indicated their good deeds, taken from the scales of Truth), and were considered approved or justified by their works, the hieroglyphics of Her name were adopted to signify ‘deceased,’ or in other words, ‘judged’ or ‘justified’.

The same idea may be traced in an expression of Plato’s Gorgias, where, in speaking of the judgements of the dead, Socrates says, ‘sometimes Rhadamanthus, beholding the soul of one who has passed through life with Truth, whether it be of private man, or any other, is filled with admiration, and dismisses that soul to the Islands of the Blessed.  The same is also done by Æacus.’  Indeed, the modern Persian or Arabic expression in relation to the dead is not very dissimilar, which styles them ‘pardoned,’ or ‘to whom the mercy of God has been shown,’ answering to our more simple and matter-of-fact ‘the late,’ or ‘the departed.’

Diodorus mentions a figure of Justice without a head, standing in the lower regions, ‘at the gates of Truth,’ which I have found in the judgement scenes attached to the funeral rituals on the papyri of Thebes.  In one of the subjects of a mummy case in the British Museum, the Goddess occurs under the form of a sceptre (surmounted by an ostrich feather), from which proceed Her two arms, supporting the body of the deceased.  Another figure of the same Goddess, issuing from the mountain, presents him at the same time two emblems, supposed to represent water, or the drink of Heaven.

Thmei was always styled the daughter of the Sun, and sometimes ‘chief’ or ‘Directress of the Gods.’

From Her name the Greeks evidently borrowed their Themis, who was supposed to be the mother of Dikē, or Justice; but the name of the Egyptian city Thmuis does not appear to have been called from the Goddess of Truth.” [1]

“The Goddess Thmei, or Mei, Truth personified, is always represented as a female wearing upon Her head an ostrich-feather; because all the wing-feathers of this bird were considered of equal length, and hence meant ‘true’ or ‘correct’…Thmei is sometimes represented accompanying Thoth, and the native monarchs often presented a small figure of Truth to different deities.” [2]

 

 

Sources:

Arundale, Francis, Joseph Bonomi, & Samuel Birch. Gallery of Antiquities, Selected from the British Museum, “Thmei“, (p. 28).

Gardner, John & Sir Wilkinson. The Manners and Customs of the Ancient Egyptians, “Thmei, Truth or Justice“, (p. 28 – 31).

 

 

Suggested Links:

Bastow, James Austin. A Biblical Dictionary, “Urim and Thummim“, (p. 755).

Encyclopaedia Britannica: A Dictionary of Arts, Science, and General Literature…, “Egypt“, (p.538).

Goddess Antheia

“The Oracle” by Howard David Johnson

“Antheia’s themes are promises, friendship, trust, honor, community, love and relationships. Her symbols are gold colored items, honey and myrrh.  Since 800 B.C.E. Antheia has been known as the Greek Goddess of marriage, companionship and good council. These attributes manifested themselves in a triple Goddess figure who flowered, sought a mate and reached perfection. Today we ask Her to bless our rites by flowering within our souls so we too can obtain spiritual perfection.

In ancient Greece, Arretophoria – the festival of trust and friendship, was held sometime between June and July. Each year, two maidens were given a special honey-laden diet and clothed in golden robes to take on a special trust. They delivered a package untouched to a secret place in a local temple, then spent the year in community service, never peeking inside the box. This sounds like a fun activity for couples or friends. Each person picks out a trust gift for the other and gives it to them to put in a special place. The entire time the gift remains there unopened, Antheia will energize it and bless the people in that relationship, so don’t get tempted to peek. Believe me, when I say it’s worth the wait. At the end of the year, don something gold, burn myrrh to create a sacred space in which Antheia dwells and open the gifts, explaining the significance of the items. I guarantee it’s a present you’ll never forget.”

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

“Charites: Spring” by iizzard

“Antheia was one of the Charites, or Graces, of Greek mythology and ‘was the Goddess of flowers and flowery wreaths worn at festivals and parties.’ Her name is derived from the Ancient Greek word anthos, meaning flower, and She was depicted on vases as an attendant of Aphrodite with other Charites. She was known to the Romans as Anthea. Her center of worship was on the island of Crete.

Antheia is also the Greek name of Ancient Sozopolis in modern Bulgaria, and another Antheia was a village which was later adopted into Patras around 1000 BC.

“: : A n t h e i a : :” by Lil-kokoro

Antheia was the Goddess of Vegetation, Lowlands, Marshlands, Gardens, Blossoms, the Budding Earth, and Human Love.” [1]

 

 

 

Sources:

Wikipedia, “Antheia“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Her Cyclopedia, “The Goddess Antheia“.

Theoi Greek Mythology, “Kharites“.

Hermaphroditos

“Hermaphroditos’ themes are balance, masculinity, femininity, honor, reason and leadership. Symbols are two-sided items and Yin/Yang symbols.  This androgynous deity was once the son of Hermes, but he loved the nymph Salmakis so much that the lovers became one body and soul, neither the male nor the female being discernible. In this form, Hermaphroditos reminds us that the Goddess is also God, blending the best of both sexes together into powerful, productive energy.

At the midpoint of the year we take a moment’s pause from the Goddess to honor Her consort and other half, the God, represented by fathers everywhere. Take time to thank the special men in your life and pamper them today. Ask Hermaphroditos to show you the Goddess within them, and how God and Goddess work together, making each person unique.

In magic traditions, the God aspect is the conscious, logical force of the universe who offers us the attributes of leadership, reason and focus.

This persona and energy is part of the Goddess – one cannot be serparated from the other.

This is a good day to look withing yourself, find both aspects of the divine and concentrate on bringing them into balance. If you’re normally headstrong, back off a bit. If you’re normally a wallflower, get daring! If you like to plan, become spontaneous – and so forth. Hermaphroditos will show you the way.”

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

“The Nymph Salmacis and Hermaphroditus” by François-Joseph Navez

“In Greek mythology, Hermaphroditus was the son of Hermes, messenger of the gods, and Aphrodite, Goddess of love.  The boy was so beautiful that a nymph named Salmacis fell in love with him and prayed that they would be united forever. The gods granted her the wish one day when Hermaphroditus came to the fountain where she lived. As he was bathing, Salmacis embraced him and pulled him underneath the water, and their bodies merged into one. The result was a person with the figure and breasts of a woman but with the sex organs of a man.

Other versions of the story claim that any man who bathed in the fountain was transformed into a half man, half woman just like Hermaphroditus. It was also said that the waters of the fountain caused anyone who drank from it to grow weak. The original story appears in the [Book IV of] Metamorphoses by the Roman poet Ovid. The English writer Edmund Spenser includes the notion of such a pool, which weakened those who drank from it, in the Faerie Queene.” [1]

“Hermaphroditus’ name is derived from those of his parents, Aphrodite and Hermes [and is the basis for the word hermaphrodite].  All three of these gods figure largely into the Greek tradition of fertility gods and all possess distinctly sexual overtones. Sometimes, Hermaphroditus is referred to as Aphroditus. Half-siblings of Hermaphroditus include the phallic god Priapus and the youthful god of desire Eros.

Contrary to Patricia Telesco’s account, another version of Hermaphroditus’ story goes like this: “Hermaphroditus was raised by nymphs on Mount Ida, a sacred mountain in Phrygia. At the age of fifteen, he grew bored of his surroundings and traveled the cities of Lycia and Caria. It was in the woods of Caria that he encountered Salmacis the Naiad in her pool. She is overcome by lust for the boy, and tries to seduce him, but is rejected. When he thinks her to be gone, Hermaphroditus undresses and enters the waters of the empty pool. Salmacis springs out from behind a tree and jumps into the pool. She wraps herself around the boy, forcibly kissing him and touching his breast. While he struggles, she calls out to the gods in prayer that they should never part. Her wish is granted, and their bodies blend into one intersexual form. Hermaphroditus, in his grief, makes his own prayer: cursing the pool so that any other who bathes within it shall be transformed as well.” [3]

“Salmacis and Hermaphroditus” by Jean François de Troy

Salmacis is a very interesting character to me.  “In Greek mythology, Salmacis was an atypical naiad who rejected the ways of the virginal Greek goddess Artemis in favour of vanity and idleness. Her attempted rape of Hermaphroditus places her as the only nymph rapist in the Greek mythological canon (though see also Dercetis).

‘There dwelt a Nymph, not up for hunting or archery:
unfit for footraces. She the only Naiad not in Diana’s band.
Often her sisters would say: “Pick up a javelin, or
bristling quiver, and interrupt your leisure for the chase!”
But she would not pick up a javelin or arrows,
nor trade leisure for the chase.
Instead she would bathe her beautiful limbs and tend to her hair,
with her waters as a mirror.’

Ovid, Metamorphoses. Book IV, 306-312.

“The Water Nymph” by Herbert James Draper

In Ovid’s Metamorphoses, she becomes one with Hermaphroditus, and Hermaphroditus curses the fountain to have the same effect on others. However, it’s very likely that Ovid fabricated the entire tale himself – his use of ‘praetereo, dulcique animos novitate tenebo’ could be read in several ways, as ‘novitate’ could be translated as either something strange or something new, which would imply that it was a new tale. Salmacis could also have been intended simply as a contrast to the previous tales in Ovid’s Metamorphoses, as others involve a dominant male pursuing an elusive female.” [4]

One blogger writes that this minor Greco-Roman deity of bisexuality, effeminacy, sexuality and fertility “except for one myth of his own life appears no where else in Greek or Roman mythology .  His character suggests very little about his personality.  Hermaphroditus is literally the combination of the male and female aspects, which I suppose, depending on how you look at it, can be both a positive and a negative trait.  But considering his final wish, Hermaphroditus sounds like an angry and bitter person, one who wishes others ill in order to make them suffer the pain he also suffered.  There was no logical reason for him to ask for the pool to be cursed (but then, when has anything truly been logical in myths?)” [5]

Herm of Aphroditus at the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm.

“The oldest traces of the cult in Greek countries are found in Cyprus. Here, according to Macrobius (Saturnalia, iii. 8), there was a bearded statue of a male Aphrodite, called Aphroditos by AristophanesPhilochorus in his Atthis (ap. Macrobius loc. cit.) further identified this divinity, at whose sacrifices men and women exchanged garments, with the Moon. A terracotta plaque from the 7th century BC depicting Aphroditos was found in Perachora, which suggests it was an archaic cult.

The deification and the origins of the cult of hermaphrodite beings stem from Eastern religions (see Ardhanarishvara – the composite androgynous form of the Hindu god Shiva and his consort Parvat), where the hermaphrodite nature expressed the idea of a primitive being that united both genders. This double sex also attributed to Dionysus and Priapus – the union in one being of the two principles of generation and conception – denotes extensive fertilizing and productive powers.

This Cyprian Aphrodite is the same as the later Hermaphroditos, which simply means Aphroditos in the form of a herm (see Hermae), and first occurs in the Characters (16) of Theophrastus.  After its introduction at Athens (probably in the 5th century BCE), the importance of this deity seems to have declined. It appears no longer as the object of a special cult, but limited to the homage of certain sects, expressed by superstitious rites of obscure significance.” [6]

 

 

Sources:

Hellenica, “Hermaphroditus“.

Myths Encyclopedia, “Hermaphroditus“.

Sita. A Witchy Life, “Weekly Deity: Hermaphroditus“.

Wikipedia, “Hermaphroditus“.

Wikipedia, “Salmacis“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Theoi Greek Mythology, “HERMAPHRODITOS“.

Wikipedia, “Aphroditus“.

Wikipedia, “Metamorphoses“.

Wikipedia, “Salmacis (fountain)“.

Goddess Seshat

“Seshat’s themes are honor, learning, history, time and Karma. Her symbols are books and writing implements. Seshat is the Egyptian record keeper of the gods and a Goddess to whom history, writing and books are all sacred. Seshat reminds us that to change both our collective and our individual futures, we must first learn from the past. Measuring time and helping people plan out sacred buildings, Seshat often appears in art with a severn-pointed rosette and a wand (likely to inscribe Her notes).

A time to remember people who have died in battle, Memorial Day also affords us a moment to remember those who have fought for freedom in alternative faiths. For the phrase, ‘never again the burning’ to mean something, we have to open our ‘broom closets’ and begin education the public about the beauty of magical traditions instead of using the usual hype. If you know someone who’s been curious about magic, sharing your knowledge today honors Seshat and all the people who have kept records of our metaphysical legacy even when rising their lives.

Attend to your magical books today: read, write, make notes of your experiences with all due diligence and ask Seshat to help you see the bigger picture. Don’t dawdle today! Commit yourself to eliminating the phrase ‘pagan standard time’ from your vocabulary. Being timely is something this Goddess appreciates.”

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

 

Art by Jenny Carrington

“Seshat (Sesha, Sesheta or Safekh-Aubi) was a Goddess of reading, writing, arithmetic and architecture who was seen as either the female aspect of Thoth, his daughter or his wife. They had a child called Hornub. This actually means “gold Horus“, so Seshat was sometimes associated with Isis. She was the scribe of the pharaoh, recording all of his achievements and triumphs including recording both the booty and the captives taken in battle. She was also thought to record the actions of all people on the leaves of the sacred persea tree.

Seshat, inscribing the years of reign for the king on the palm-leaf rib which served for tallying up the years and so had become the hieroglyph for “year”.

She was known by the epithet ‘Mistress of the House of Books’ because She looked after the library of the gods and was the patron of all earthly libraries. She was also patron of all forms of writing, including accounting, auditing and the taking of census. According to one myth, it was actually Seshat who invented writing, but it was her husband Thoth who taught the people to write. It is interesting to note that She is the only female character who was actually depicted in the act of writing. A number of other women were depicted holding the scribes palette and brush, indicating that they could write, but not actually engaged in writing.

She was also given the epithet ‘Mistress of the House of Architects’ and from at least the Second Dynasty She was associated with a ritual known as ‘pedj shes’ (‘stretching the cord’) which was conducted during the laying of the foundations of stone buildings. The ‘cord’ refers to the mason´s line which was used to measure out the dimensions of the building. She was occasionally associated with Nephthys. For example, in the Pyramid Texts She is given the epithet ‘The Lady of the House’ (nbt-hwt, ie Nephthys) while Nephthys is described as ‘Seshat, Foremost of Builders’.

So far, no temple specifically dedicated to Her has been located and there is no documentary evidence that one ever existed. However, She was depicted on a number of other temples and we know that She did have Her own priests because Prince Wep-em-nefret (Dynasty Four) was described as ‘Overseer of the Royal Scribes’ and ‘Priest of Seshat’. However, it seems that as Thoth grew in importance he absorbed Her roles and Her priesthood.

She was depicted as a woman wearing a leopard skin dress (as worn by Sem preiests) wearing a headdress composed of a flower or seven pointed star on top of a pair of inverted horns. She was ocassional called ‘Safekh-Aubi’ (or ‘Safekh-Abwy’ meaning ‘She of two horns’) because of this headdress, although it is also suggested that ‘Safekh-Aubi’ was in fact a seperate (if rather obscure) Goddess. However, others have suggested that the horns were originally a crescent moon, representing Her husband (or alter ego) Thoth. Finally, it is sometimes suggested that the ‘horns’ actually represent a bow. Unfortunately there is no clear evidence to confirm which view is correct. Her headdress also represents Her name which was not spelled phonetically (the semi-circular breadloaf and the seated woman are both female determinatives). She is often shown offering palm branches (representing ‘many years’)to the pharaoh to give him a long reign.” [1]

 

 

 

Sources:

Hill, J. Ancient Egypt Online, “Seshat“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Aleff, H. Peter. Recoveredscience.com, “Seshat and Her Tools“.

Goddess-Guide.com, “Seshat The Egyptian Goddess“.

Isis-Seshat Journal, “Who Is Seshat?

Seawright, Caroline. Tour Egypt, “Seshat, Female Scribe, Goddess of Writing Measurement“.

Wikipedia, “Seshat“.

The Gratiae

“Charites: Spring” by iizzard

“The Gratiae’s themes are the arts, creativity, honor, love, excellence and beauty.  Their symbols are sweet aromas, art (all), and wine.  The Gratiae are akin to the Greek Graces, who inspire all arts, from a dancer’s elegance, a model’s beauty, and a diplomat’s words to a terminal romantic’s loving presentation. They arrive as earth is blossoming to encourage a flood of creativity that leads to excellence. It is traditional to offer them the first draught of wine at a gathering to invoke their blessing and aid.

The Gratiae were present in spirit on this day in 1916 when the American Academy of Arts was signed by Woodrow Wilson to honour excellence in the industry. Toast the occasion with wine or grape juice, giving the first glass to these creative Ladies to encourage their energy to visit your home.

Wear a sweet-smelling perfume or cologne today as an aroma therapeutic supplication to the Gratiae. Each time you catch that fragrance it will motivate beauty in any of your artistic skills. Better still, through the aroma the Gratiae can attract the attention of potential lovers!

Consider stopping at an art exhibition today or doing something creative yourself (even coloring!). Otherwise, do a little decorating. Hang a new poster, put out some fresh flowers, rearrange your knickknacks in a way that is aesthetically pleasing. These kind of actions appeal to the Gratiae’s sense of style and tempt them to join you!”

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

“The Three Graces were Goddesses of gracefulness, the charms of beauty, and cheerful amusement (the characteristics of loveliness). They appear to have received these designations from the Greeks during the archaic and classical periods (5th to 8th centuries B.C.), and they were known most commonly at that time as the Three Charities. This appellation was later Latinized by the Romans occupying the formerly Greek regions in which they were worshiped, and this resulted in the designation by which western civilization knows them today, the Three Graces.

“The Three Graces” by Josephine Wall

Initially in Greek mythology they were seen as simple guardians of the vernal sweetness and beauty of nature, and only later as the friends and protectors of everything graceful and beautiful. Pindar has written about the Graces as the source of all decorum, purity of happiness in life, good will, and beneficence and gratitude among men. Beauty, sweetness, and the best charm of poetry are believed to come from the Graces. The Greeks believed that without gracefulness, all labor was in vain and meaningless. Hence, the three deities assisted Hermes (Mercury) in his capacity as the god of oratory. In all things they were characterized as the spreaders of joy and enhancers of enjoyment of life. Social intercourse, manners, and culture were their domain, and they were frequently the subject of artists and poets alike.

“Primavera” by Sandro Botticelli (c. 1482) Left to right: Mercury, the Three Graces, Venus, Flora, Chloris, Zephyrus.

The Charities are not known for an independent mythological presence, that is, they are typically depicted and described in relationship to other gods and Goddesses in Greek mythology. Their strongest association is with Aphrodite (Venus), and it has been reported that they were present at Her birth.  While their earliest forms were less defined, they were generally represented in the form of young maidens and portrayed as dancing, singing, charming, and running or bathing in fountains, or decking themselves in flowers (the rose was their sacred flower as it was Aphrodite’s, and they were reputed to facilitate its growth and blossom). Their attributes also included the myrtle and dice (a symbol of cheerful amusement). They are depicted holding apples, perfume vases, ears of corn, heads of poppies, or musical instruments such as the lyre, flute, or syrinx.

The Graces in a 1st century fresco at Pompeii

During their early development they were occasionally shown clothed (mostly during the classical period in Greece), but since Hellenistic times they have been shown almost exclusively nude or wearing transparent gowns. The reason for such a display was to convey sincerity and candor, without disguise or pretense.

“The Three Graces” by Paul Vincenti

Their home was among the muses upon Mount Olympia. Usually Zeus is considered to be their father, but their mother has been believed to be Hera, Eurynome, Eunomia, Eurydomene, Harmonia, or Lethe. Others have indicated them to be daughters of Apollo and Aegle or Euanthe, or of Dionysus and Aphrodite or Coronis. However, they are most frequently thought of as offspring of Zeus and Eurynome (daughter of Oceanus). Although the Three Graces are often thought to be the sole attendants of Aphrodite, they are commonly presented beside the Muses and the four seasons (Horae). It has been said, while the Muses inspired, the Charities applied the artists products to the embellishment of life (author unknown). In addition to the Muses and seasons, other companions of the trio were Hera, Hermes, Eros, Aphrodite, and Apollo. In earlier times, Dionysus was also a companion until his worship turned to riotous celebration and drunkenness, behaviors incompatible with the more refined tastes of the Graces that advocated moderation in everything.” [1]

“They ordinarily numbered three, from youngest to oldest: Aglaea (“Splendor”), Euphrosyne (“Mirth”), and Thalia (“Good Cheer”).  The Charites were also associated with the Greek underworld and the Eleusinian Mysteries.

The river Cephissus near Delphi was sacred to them.” [2]

 

 

 

Sources:

Ancient Numismatic Mythology, “Three Graces Mythology“.

Wikipedia, “Charites“.

Suggested Links:

Theoi Greek Mythology, “Kharites“.

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