Tag Archive: inspiration


Goddess Castalia

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

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

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

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

The Nymph Kastalia (or Castalia) of Delphi

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

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

“Apollo and Daphne” by Henrietta Rae

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

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

 

 

 

Sources:

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

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

Wikipedia, “Apollo and Daphne“.

Wikipedia, “Castalia“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

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

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

Theoi.com, “Castalia“.

Wikipedia, “Castalian Spring“.

Goddess Nisaba

“Egyptian Girl with Snakes” by Frances Bramley Warren

“Nisaba’s themes are creativity, communication, excellence, inspiration, Universal Law, divination and dreams. Her symbols are pens, computers, books and snakes (Her sacred animal).  In Sumerian tradition, this Goddess’s name means ‘She who teaches the decrees’, referring specifically to imparting divine laws to humankind. In order to communicate these matters effectively, Nisaba invented literacy, and She uses creative energy to inspire scribes. Besides this, Nisaba is an oracular Goddess, well gifted in dream interpretation.

Since 1928, this day, Author’s Day, has been observed as a time to honor authors who have contributed to American literature and encourage new writers in their talents. If you’re an aspiring author, today’s definitely the time to submit a poem, article, or manuscript, invoking Nissaba’s on it before sending it out.  Also, take a moment to ask Nisaba to empower all your pens, pencils, resource books, computer, and so on, so that all your future writing efforts will be more successful and fulfilling.

For those who don’t consider authorship a forte, you can ask Nisaba to give you a symbolic dream instead.

Put a marigold, rose, or onion peel under your pillow to help with this, and keep a dream journal or tape recorder handy. Immediately upon waking, record any dream you recall. Then go to a favored dream guide, and whisper the Goddess’s name before looking up interpretations.”

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

Patricia Monaghan writes: “‘She who teaches the decress’ of divinity to humans, this Goddess brought literacy and astrology to a Sumerian king on a tablet inscribed with the names of the beneficent stars.  An architect as well, She drew up temple plans for Her people; She was also an oracle and dream interpreter.  The most learned of deities, this snake Goddess also controlled the fertility of Her people’s fields” (p. 231).

Nisaba’s “sanctuaries were E-zagin at Eresh and at Umma. On a depiction found in Lagash, She appears with flowing hair, crowned with horned tiara bearing supporting ears of corn and a crescent moon. Her dense hair is evoked in comparison in the description of similarly hairy Enkidu in the Gilgamesh epic.

As with many Sumerian deities, Nisaba’s exact place in the pantheon and Her heritage appears somewhat ambiguous. She is the daughter of An and Urash. From Sumerian texts, the language used to describe Urash is very similar to the language used to describe Ninhursag. Therefore, the two Goddess may be one and the same. Nisaba is the sister of Ninsun, the mother of Gilgamesh. If Urash and Ninhursag are the same Goddess, then Nisaba is also the half sister of Nanshe and (in some versions) Ninurta.

In some other tales, She is considered the mother of Ninlil, and by extension, the mother-in-law of Enlil.

The god of wisdom, Enki, organized the world after creation and gave each deity a role in the world order. Nisaba was named the scribe of the gods, and Enki then built Her a school of learning so that She could better serve those in need. She keeps records, chronicles events, and performs various other bookwork related duties for the gods. She is also in charge of marking regional borders.

She is the chief scribe of Nanshe. On the first day of the new year, She and Nanshe work together to settle disputes between mortals and give aid to those in need. Nisaba keeps record of the visitors seeking aid and then arranges them into a line to stand before Nanshe, who will then judge them. Nisaba is also seen as a caretaker for Ninhursag’s temple at Kesh, where She gives commands and keeps temple records.

The Goddess of writing and teaching, She was often praised by Sumerian scribes. Many clay-tablets end with the phrase “Nisaba be praised” to honor the Goddess. She is considered the teacher of both mortal scribes and other divine deities. In the Babylonian period, She was replaced by the god Nabu, who took over Her functions. In some instances, Nisaba was his instructor or wife before he replaced Her.

As the Goddess of knowledge, She is related to many other facets of intellectual study and other gods may turn to Her for advice or aid. Some of these traits are shared with Her sister Ninsina. She is also associate with grain, reflecting Her association with an earth Goddess mother.” [1]

Also seen as Nissaba, Nidaba, Nanibgal, and Nunbarshegunu (lady whose body is dappled barley).

 

 

 

Sources:

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

Sabrina. Goddess A Day, “Nisaba“.

Wikipedia, “Nidaba“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Agaliha. Mysticwicks.com, “Thread: Nisaba {Goddess of the Week}“.

Artesia. Goddessschool.com, “Nisaba: Sumerian Wise Woman and Mother Goddess“.

Black, Jeremy & Anthony Green. Gods, Demons and Symbols of Ancient Mesopotamia: An Illustrated Dictionary, “Nisaba“.

Etcsl.orinst.ox.ac.uk, “A Hymn to Nisaba (Nisaba A): translation“.

Gatewaystobabylon.com, “Nabu“.

Lambert, Wilfred G. Babylonian Wisdom Literature, “Nisaba and Wheat“.

Monaghan, Patricia. Goddesses in World Culture, Volume 1, “Nisaba of Eresh: Goddess of Grain, Goddess of Writing“.

Robson, Eleanor. Mathematics in Ancient Iraq: A Social History.

Sitarik, Jessica. Crystalvaults.com, “Nisaba: Sumerian Knowledge Goddess“.

Stuckey, Johanna. Matrifocus.com, “Ancient Grain Goddesses of the Eastern Mediterranean“.

Tudeau, Johanna. Oracc.museum.upenn.edu, “Nidaba (goddess)“.

Ungnyeo (Bear Woman)

“Bear with Me” by Raventalker

“Ungnyeo’s themes are change, peace, devotion, inspiration and patience. Her symbols are bears, wormwood and garlic. Korean myth recounts the tale of two friends, a bear and a tiger, who wished to be human. To receive this transformation, the two had to stay in a cave eating wormwood and garlic for one hundred days. Unfortunately, the tiger lacked patience, found this too difficult, and left. The bear, however, stayed determined. After one hundred days, she transformed into a beautiful human woman and then bore a son who founded Korea, naming it ‘the land of the morning calm’. This quiet peacefulness and devotion is what Ungnyeo inspires, especially for personal transformation.

In Korean tradition, today is Gaecheonjeol (National Foundation Day), the time when Ungnyeo’s son founded the country.  To commemorate this and strengthen your connection with Ungnyeo, include garlic in your diet today (or, if you’re a really devoted garlic fan, add it to one meal a day for one hundred days)!

Should you need improved tranquillity, try visualizing yourself in a deep cave (this is Bear Woman’s womb). Stay here as long as you wish in your meditations until the quiet solitude saturates your inner self.

Finally, for any personal transformation you need to undertake, carry any image of a bear with you. This will inspire Ungnyeo’s tenacity for success.”

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

“Ungnyeo in the Cave” by Charles Alexander Moffat

Ungnyeo was a bear that became a woman. She was featured prominently in the creation myth of the Korean nation.

In the tale, a tiger and a bear (Ungnyeo) lived together in a cave and prayed to the divine king Hwanung to be made human. Hwanung heard their prayers and gave them 20 cloves of garlic, a bundle of mugwort and ordered them to stay out of the sunlight and eat only this food for 100 days. Due to hunger, the tiger left the cave after roughly 20 days, but the bear remained inside. After 21 days, she was transformed into a woman.

Ungnyeo was grateful and made offerings to Hwanung. Her lack of a husband drove her to depression, and she began to pray beneath a sacred betula tree to be blessed with a child. Hwanung heard her prayers and was deeply moved. He took Ungnyeo as his wife and soon after, she gave birth to a son, Dangun, who would go on to found the nation of Korea.” [1]

 

 

Sources:

Wikipedia, “Ungnyeo“.

 

Suggested Links:

English.visitkorea.or.kr, “The Legend of Dangun“.

Mythologydictionary.com,Korean Lore, Gods, Demigods, Heroes, Symbols, and Other Famous Mythological Characters“.

Rendezvous-inmyblog.blogspot.com, “The day the heavens opened – Korea’s founding myth“.

Wikipedia, “Hwanung“.

Goddess Mari

“The Sabbath of Witches” by Francisco de Goya

* For today’s entry, Patricia Telesco names “Akerbeltz” as today’s Goddess. However, my research revealed that Akerbeltz is a black he-goat known in Basque mythology to be an attribute of the Goddess Mari. [1] “From the Basque language ‘aker’ (male goat), and ‘beltz’ (black). He protects against illnesses and evil spirits and he sends beneficial force fluxes to animals placed under its protection. From his name comes the word ‘aquelarre’ that presently designs a secret meeting of evil witches adoring the Devil. But long ago, it was just an assembly of people celebrating in honour to this well-meaning being.” [2]

So, for today’s entry, I assume that Telesco’s attributes for Akerbeltz would be appropriate for the Goddess Mari, whom Akerbeltz is said to have originated from.

“Goddess Of The Rainbow” by Prairiekittin

“[Mari’s] themes are the harvest, charity, health, thankfulness, beauty and peace. Her symbols are rainbows, health and healing amulets.  This Basque Goddess attends the human body by protecting it from disease, encouraging health and offering healing when needed, especially when we overdo summer activities! Being a Goddess of earth and nature too, She sometimes appears as a rainbow, a bridge that takes us from being under the weather to overcoming circumstances.

The Tabuleiros has been celebrated for six hundred years in Portugal by honoring the harvest, giving thanks to the Goddess for Her providence and making donations to charitable organizations. The highlight of the day is a parade in which people wear huge headdresses covered with bread, flowers and doves – symbols of [Mari’s] continued sustenance, beauty and peace. These are retained by the wearer through the year to keep [Mari] close by, warding off sickness. A simpler approach for us might be to get a small rainbow refrigerator magnet or window piece that reflects this Goddess’s beauty throughout our home to keep everyone therein well and content.

Also, give a little something to someon in need today. Doing good deeds for others pleases [Mari] because it makes them healthier in spirit. She will bless you for your efforts with improved well-bing, if only that of the heart.”

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

“Mari is the Basque Goddess of the Moon.  She is the supreme Goddess of the Basque pantheon.  Mari is associated with the various forces of nature including the wind, storms, and lightning. She creates storms to chastise disobedient people.  She often travels across the sky as a fireball or as a blazing crescent going from one mountain peak to another. Sometimes Her chariot is being pulled by four white horses and other times, She is seen riding a white ram.  Mari has many homes on the high mountain summits and deep within the caves below.

Mari is a shape shifter who can appear as any animal, but sometimes will assume the shape of a white cloud or a rainbow. She is often pictured as a woman of fire or as a thunderbolt.  Legends revere Her as a prophetess and oracle; She is said to rule over sorcery and divination. She upholds the law code and is known to punish anyone who is guilty of lying and stealing. She condemns pride and boasting and ensures a high level of moral conduct. Her symbol is the sickle which is still used today to ward off evil. Mari protects the travelers and provides good council to humans.

Unfortunately, with the advent of Christianity, Mari was degraded into an evil spirit.

Mari is the daughter of the Earth Goddess, Lur, and the sister of the Sun Goddess, Ekhi.  The Thunder Spirit, Maju is Her husband, and they apparently live apart for when they do get together, there are severe storms of rain, hail, thunder and lighting. Although the Inquistion ruthlessly persecuted followers of the Goddess as ‘witches’, Mari somehow escaped destruction, and She continues to live on in some parts of Northern Europe.” [3]

In another blog entry, I read, “She is friendly and helpful, protecting travelers and herds and giving good council to those who need it. Legends connect Her to the weather. The Goddess of thunder and wind, She is the personification of the earth, similar to the Greek Gaia. Mari drives a chariot of four white horses across the sky and when She appears, She is a beautiful woman adorned with rainbows.

She does not only appear as a beautiful women but also as a flaming tree, a white cloud, a rainbow, a gust of wind, a bird, a sickle made of fire, moving from one mountain peak to another. She lives underground, normally in a cave in a high mountain(Anboto). Where she and her other half Sugaar meet every Friday in the night of the Akelarre or witch-meeting, to conceive the storms that will bring fertility to the land and the people. Mari is served by a court of sorginak (witches).” [4]

“Mari is the main character of Basque mythology, having, unlike other creatures that share the same spiritual environment, a god-like nature. Mari was regarded as the protectoress of senators and the executive branch.  Mari is often witnessed as a woman dressed in red. She is also seen as woman of fire, woman-tree and as thunderbolt. Additionally She is identified with red animals (cow, ram, horse) and with the black he-goat [Akerbeltz].

Margaret Bullen has noted ‘the myth of Mari brings together male and female attributes and qualities’, and that Mari is to be regarded as ‘a model of androgyny and a metaphor for liberation in which sexual difference should cease to be the basis for inequality’.” [5]

 

 

 

Sources:

Fleurvb’s Blog, “Article 1: Isolated and earth-based mythologies“.

Gomez, Olga. Encyclopedia Mythica, “Akerbeltz“.

MXTODIS123. An Inner Journey: The Moon, Mythology, and You, “Mari, Basque Goddess of the Moon“.

Wikipedia, “Akelarre (witchcraft)“.

Wikipedia, “Mari (goddess)“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

The Apricity Forum: A European Cultural Community, “Basque Gods and Creatures“.

Arcadia93.org, “Basque Paganism“.

Burns, Phyllis Doyle. BellaOnline: The Voice of Women, “Mari, Supreme Goddess of Basque Mythology“.

Dametzdesign.com, “Mari a Basque Goddess“.

Dashu, Max. Suppressedhistories.net, “The Old Goddess (Excerpt from the SECRET HISTORY OF THE WITCHES)“.

Gimbutas, Marija and Miriam Robbins Dexter. The Living Goddesses, “The Basque Religion” (p. 172 – 175).

Spencer, Krishanna J. Witchvox Article, “Subterranean Goddess: Mari of the Basques“.

Wikipedia, “Basque Mythology“.

Williams, M.A. Annette Lyn, M.A. Karen Nelson Villanueva and Ph.D. Lucia Chiavola Birnbaum. She Is Everywhere! Vol. 2: An anthology of writings in womanist/feminist spirituality, “Mari: God the Mother of the Basque” (p. 223 – 236).

Goddess Cerridwen

“Cerridwen’s themes are fertility, creativity, harvest, inspiration, knowledge and luck. Her symbols are the cauldron, pigs and grain. The Welsh mother Goddess, Cerridwin also embodies all lunar attributes and the energy of the harvest, specifically grains. In Celtic mythology, Cerriwin owned a cauldron of inexhaustible elixir that endowed creativity and knowledge. At the halfway point of the year, Her inspiration comes along as motivation to ‘keep on keepin’ on.’ Her symbol is a pig, an animal that often represents good fortune and riches, including spiritual enrichment.

Since most folks don’t have a cauldron sitting around, get creative! Use a special cup, bowl or vase set in a special spot to represent Cerridwin’s creativity being welcome in your home. Fill the receptacle with any grain-based product (like breakfast cereal) as an offering. Whisper your desire to the grain each time you see it or walk by. At the end of the day, pour the entire bowl outside for the animals. They will bear your wishes back to the Goddess.

For meat eaters, today is definitely a time to consider having bacon for breakfast, a ham sandwich for lunch or pork roast for dinner to internalize Cerridwin’s positive aspects. Vegetarians? Fill up your piggy bank with odd change you find around your house and apply the funds to something productive to inspire Cerridwin’s blessing.”

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

Thalia Took tells us that “Cerridwen [pronounced (KARE-id-ooín or KARE-id-win)](‘White Sow’, or ‘White Crafty One’) is the Welsh grain and sow-Goddess, keeper of the cauldron of inspiration and Goddess of transformation. Her son Afagddu was so horribly ugly She set to making a brew of wisdom for him, to give him a quality that could perhaps overcome his ugliness. Every day for a year and a day She added herbs at the precise astrological times, but on the day it was ready the three magical drops fell instead on the servant boy, Gwion Bach, who was set to watch the fire. Instantly becoming a great magician, the boy fled from Her wrath, and as She pursued him they each changed shape–a hound following a rabbit, an otter chasing a salmon, a hawk flying after a sparrow–until finally the boy changed to a kernel of wheat, settling into a pile of grain on a threshing-floor. Cerridwen, becoming a black hen, found him out and swallowed him down.

Nine months later She gave birth to Taliesin, who would be the greatest of all bards.

“Shapeshifter” by Lisa Hunt

Called ‘the White Lady of Inspiration and Death’, Cerridwen’s ritual pursuit of Gwion Bach symbolizes the changing seasons. Her cauldron contains awen, meaning the divine spirit, or poetic or prophetic inspiration. Her link as the Mother of Poetry is seen in Her reborn son Taliesin, and in the Welsh word that makes up part of Her name, cerdd, which also means poetry.

Cerridwen signifies inspiration from an unexpected corner. Plans may go awry; projects may change. Do not be too quick to hold a project to its course–instead let it take its shape as it will.

Variant spellings: Ceridwen, Caridwen, Kyrridwen” [1]

“Cerridwen – the Magician” by Lisa Hunt

ASSOCIATIONS:

Pantheon: Celtic

Element: Earth

Sphere of Influence: Magic and fertility

Preferred Colors: Green

Associated Symbol: Cauldron

Associated Animal: Crow

Best Day to Work with: Monday

Best Moon Phase: New

Strongest Around: Imbolc

Suitable Offerings: Vervain, acorns

Associated Planet: Moon   [2]

 

 

This 13 minute video does a wonderful job discussing Her story and Her aspects.

 

 

 

Sources:

PaganNews.com, “Cerridwen“.

Took, Thalia. A-Muse-ing Grace Gallery, “Cerridwen, Welsh Goddess of Inspiration“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Covenofthegoddess.com,Goddess Cerridwyn“.

Daily Goddess, “Cerridwen: Death & Rebirth“.

Goddess-Guide.com, “Ceridwen“.

LadyRavenMoonshadow.  Within the Sacred Mists, “Goddess of the Week: Cerridwen“.

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

MoonBird, Maeve.  Order of the White Moon, “Ceridwen“.

PaganPages.org, “Cerridwen“.

Revel, Anita. igoddess.com, “Cerridwen: mighty and magical can-do woman!“.

The Sisterhood of Avalon, “The Goddesses“.

Took, Thalia. A-Muse-ing Grace Gallery, The Tale of Cerridwen, Welsh Goddess of Inspiration“.

Wikipedia, “Ceridwen“.

Goddess Mawu

“Mawu” by Sandra M. Stanton

“Mawu’s themes are creativity, Universal Law, passion, abundance, birth, and inspiration.  Her symbols are clay and the moon.  Mawu arrives on an elephant’s back, expectant with spring’s creative energy. Hers is a wise passion and a timely birth, being ruled by natural laws and universal order. In Africa, She is a lunar-aligned creatrix who made people from clay. As a mother figure, Mawu inspires the universe’s abundance and every dreamers imagination.

Rituals for Mawu rejoice in Her life-giving energy, often through lovemaking. In Africa, people take this seed generation literally and sow the fields, knowing that Mawu will make the land fertile. So get yourself a seedling today and bring it into the house to welcome Mawu and Her creative powers. Name the sprout after one of Mawu’s attributes that you want to cultivate. Each time you water or tend the plant, repeat its name and accept Mawu’s germinating energy into your spirit.

Alternatively, get some non-hardening clay and begin fashioning a symbol of what you need. Devote yourself to spending time on this over twenty-eight days (a lunar cycle), until it’s complete. Each time you work, say:

 ‘Mother Mawu, make me whole
Help me obtain my sacred goal.’

By the time this is finished, you should see the first signs of manifestation.”

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

In Dahomey mythology, Mawu, (pronounced MAH-woo) and sometimes alternatively spelled Mahu, is a West African Mother Earth creator Goddess associated with both the sun and moon.  She is the Goddess of the night, of joy, and of motherhood as well as the ruler of the world’s wisdom and knowledge.   She is the one who brings the cool nights to the hot African world. Sometimes She is seen as a moon Goddess, the twin sister-wife of the sun god Lisa (alternatively spelled Liza), but sometimes “She” is seen as one androgynous or hermaphroditic deity, Mawu-Lisa.  Mahu and Lisa are the children of Nana Buluku, and are the parents of Xevioso.   [1] [2] [3]

“Mawu and Lisa had fourteen children, seven sons and seven daughters, and they divided the responsibilities of the world among them. Mawu is also the Goddess of motherhood, since it was she that created the first humans out of clay, and she gives humans their souls.”  [4]

“Mawu” by Lisa Iris

“After creating the earth and all life and everything else on it, She became concerned that it might be too heavy, so She asked the primeval serpent, Aido Hwedo, to curl up beneath the earth and thrust it up in the sky. When She asked Awe, a monkey She had also created, to help out and make some more animals out of clay, he boasted to the other animals and challenged Mawu. Gbadu, the first woman Mawu had created, saw all the chaos on earth and told her children to go out among the people and remind them that only Mawu can give Sekpoli – the breath of life. Gbadu instructed her daughter, Minona, to go out among the people and teach them about the use of palm kernels as omens from Mawu. When Awe, the arrogant monkey climbed up to the heavens to try to show Mawu that he too could give life, he failed miserably. Mawu made him a bowl of porridge with the seed of death in it and reminded him that only She could give life and that She could also take it away.

This myth is similar to the Yoruba story of Yemaja and Aganju, parents of the Orishas.” [5]

“Mawu” by Lisa Hunt

In another version of Her story I read,  “Mawu is said to have created all of the life on earth with Her husband, Liza, but after doing so, She worried that it might be too heavy…and so She called on the serpent Aido Hwedo for help. Legend has it that the serpent thus curled itself into a ball beneath the earth and pushed it up into the sky; Mawu then retired to the jungle realm of heaven and for awhile, all remained in peace and harmony.

But, before long, the people of the earth began to fight amongst each other….having forgotten that it was Mawu who had provided each of them with not only the world on which they lived, but also the essence of life, their souls.   To fight each other was to fight Mawu as well.  Mawu then sought aid from the monkey, Awe, who turned out to be an insolent braggart who boasted that he was just as powerful as She.  He boasted that he, too, could make life…and when the people of Earth heard this, they began to believe him.

To prove it, he chopped down a tree and carved on it all the features of a person, and when he was finished, he stepped back and said that he had created a person.  Mawu observed that wooden figure lying on the ground and remarked that the figured didn’t do anything and She challenged Awe to breathe life into it.  Awe then gulped a tremendous breath of air and blew it strongly, but the person continued to lie still and mute on the ground.  Once again he tried and this time, he blew so strongly that the wooden figure moved in the wind’s path, but it remained lifeless.  After two more attempts, he admitted that he had been defeated and hung his head in shame, acknowledging that only Mawu could make life; he said that he would return to the world below and tell everyone that he had been wrong.

But, Mawu knew he really didn’t mean it, that he was a charlatan, and once he returned to earth, he would only start boasting again.  So, She made him a bowl of porridge to eat before his long journey, and into this porridge She had put the seed of death.  And only after Awe had finished eating did he learn of the seed he had eaten and would carry back to earth the knowledge that She and no other is the giver and taker of life.” [6]

Sources:

Andarta, Boudicca. PaganPages.org, “Mawu“.

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

Sabrina. Goddess A Day, “Mawu“.

Wikipedia, “Mawu“.

Suggested Links:

Antoine Family Reunion. Antoine Family Reunion, “The Vodun Creation Story“.

Goddess. The Grateful Goddess, “Goddess of the Month ~ Mawu“. 

Iles, Susan. Susanneiles.com, “The Dragon & Creation: Reclaiming the Sacred“.

The Goddess Temple, Inc. Talk with the Goddess, “Goddess Mawu“.

Moon, Tora. The Goddess Speaks, “Mawu – Goddess of Creation (Dahomey of West Africa)“.

Solarlottery.com, “Mawu-Lisa the Creators: An African Tale“.

West African Diaspora Mami Wata Vodoun, “Exploits of the Gods“.

Goddess Coventina

"Cascade" by Jonathon Earl Bowser

“Coventina’s themes are wishes, water, purity, and innocence.  Her symbol is water.  This British/Celtic Goddess of sacred water sources flows with the Blajini (water spirits) to enrich our life with clarity and virtue and to answer our heart’s desires. In works of art She is depicted as a water nymph floating on a leaf while holding vessels teaming with water. Customary offerings to encourage Conventina’s favor include pins, votives, coins and semiprecious stones.

In Romania, water spirits are called Blajini, or ‘gentle ones’, because they kindly reward people who give them an offering (much like wishing wells in Europe). These are citizens of the Conventina’s fairy realm, whose motivations are pure and guileless. To keep the Blajini happy and encourage Conventina’s sanction, present a special offering to them while whispering your hopes and dreams. Go to any fountain (perhaps one at the mall) and toss in a coin. The Blajini will bear the coin and the wish to Conventina for manifestation.

For personal clarity or to inspire principled actions in a situation in which you might be tempted to be a proverbial ‘bad witch’, start the day off with a glass of water. Recite this incantation over it before drinking:

 ‘Conventina, keep my magic pure
within my spirit let Goodness endure.’

Repeat this phrase throughout the day anytime you have water.”

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

“Coventina was a Romano-British Goddess of wells and springs. She is known from multiple inscriptions at one site in Northumberland county of the United Kingdom, an area surrounding a wellspring near Carrawburgh on Hadrian’s Wall. It is possible that other inscriptions, two from Hispania and one from Narbonensis, refer to Coventina, but this is uncertain and disputed.”[1]

"Coventina" by destinysolo

“Coventina is associated with healing, renewal, abundance, new beginnings, life cycles, inspiration, childbirth, wishes and prophecy.  In worship to Her, coins and other objects were tossed into the wells as offerings for sympathetic magick. These wells represent the earth womb, where the Celts felt Her power could be most strongly felt. Her symbols are the cauldron, cup, water, coins, broaches and wells. The moon that corresponds to Her is the Reed Moon and Her aspect is divination. A lot of the information on Her has been lost, even so it known that She was looked upon as the queen of the river Goddesses. From Scotland comes Her association with the Underworld, where She was the Goddess of featherless flying creatures which could pass to the Otherworld. Being a river Goddess She is connected the ebb and flow of time.” [2]

"Carrawbrough: Coventina's Well" Bas-relief of triple Coventina.

“Coventina is depicted as a nymph and invoked as a triple Goddess.  The possible invocation of Coventina as a triple mother Goddess is interesting, given the offerings found in the well dedicated to Her. The votive pins strongly suggest a fertility cult and association with childbirth, as does the bronze horse, a distinct fertility symbol. The dog is associated with the Greco-Roman physician Aesculapius in classical mythology, though in Celtic mythology it is also linked to human lifespans; strongly suggesting a healing aspect to the Goddess’ cult; which is also a function of the spring itself. Thus fecundity and healing are suggested by the votive offerings though She is obviously predominantly a water deity. The presence of bronze heads and head plaques, as well as face pots, one of which protrays an elegant female face (possibly the Goddess herself?) as well as the human skull suggests that the cult of the head may have been prevalent at Coventina’s shrine. However, the human skull may be a red herring, part of the shrine’s desecration during the Christian era. Though the dedication of heads and head representations to watery shrines is a well-attested practice which may also have been conducted at this shrine.” [3]

For more information on Conventina, please visit Coventina – a website devoted to the Goddess Coventina. Here you’ll find everything you need to know about this Romano-Celtic water Goddess, including Her history, Her myth, images of Her in ancient and contemporary art, all about the archaeological site associated with Her, and a little bit about Her significance in modern spirituality.

Sources:

Nemeton: The Sacred Grove, Home of the Celtic gods, “Coventina, A Brythonic Goddess, also known as Covetina, Covventina, Cuhvetena: Disappearing Memory, Memory of Snow“.

Tranquillity Fearn.  The Order of the White Moon, “Coventina: Queen of the River Goddesses“.

Wikipedia, “Coventina“.

Suggested Links:

Dumas, Adrienne. The Faeries And Angels Magazine, “Goddess Coventina: Water Healing“.

Ford, David Nash. Early British Kingdoms, “Nimue, alias Vivienne, Lady of the Lake“.

The Goddess Temple, Inc. Talk with the Goddess, “Goddess Coventina“.

Midgley, Tim.  The Midgley Web Page, “Coventina: A Romano-British Goddess of Freshwater“.

Nicole, Shantel. Angelic Connections with Shantel Nicole, “Coventina“.

Tehomet. Coventina.

Goddess Sága

“Sága’s themes are foresight, divination, inspiration, femininity, psychic abilities, kindness and tradition.  Her symbols are cups, water and fish.  Sága is an attendant of Frigg, is a Scandinavian Goddess whose name means ‘seeress’. Saga is a student of the Universe, ever watchful and ever instructing us about the value of keen observation. She is directly connected with the sign of Pisces, which governs artistic expression, psychic abilities and sensitivity toward others’ needs.

In artistic representations, Sage bears a long Viking braid, an emblem of womanhood and honor. According to the Eddas, Sága lives at Sinking Beach, a waterfall, where she offers Her guests a refreshing drink of inspiration from a golden cup. Later, Her name got applied to the sacred heroic texts of the Scandinavian people.

Tend your sacred journals today. Write about your path, your feelings, where you see yourself going, and where you’ve been. Saga lives in those words – in your musing, memories and thoughts – guiding them to the paper to inspire you now and in the future.

Invoke any of Sága’s attributes in your life today simply by practicing the art of observation. Really look at the world, your home, and the people around you. As you do, remember that little things count. Saga’s insight lies in the grain of sand and the wildflower as well as the stars.”

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

“Sága is one of the twelve major Goddesses, second only to Frigg according to Snorri in Prose Edda. She sits by the stream of memory and drinks from golden chalices at Her grand estate called Sökkvabekkr. Sökkvabekkr means ‘Sinking Beach’ and was a landscape of flowing waterfalls. There She and Oðin drink every day from golden chalices.  The liquid is either the waters of memory, or pehaps from the Well of Urðr.

Sága pours Odin a drink in an illustration (1893) by Jenny Nyström.

Her name means ‘seeress’ or ‘ominiscience’ and is connected with the Norse word for history – thus, some call Her the Goddess of history.  She is often assumed to be the sibyl or seeress who prophesizes Ragnarök.  Sága’s name is most likely directly related to the word saga (epic story) which in turn comes from the Old Norse verb segja ‘to say, tell’.

It has also been postulated that since Frigg knows everything about the present, and Sága knows all about the past, that Sága is an aspect of Frigg as Memory.

Sága’s genealogy is lost in the mists of time, and seems to belong to an older generation than that of the Vanir or Æsir, like Týr.  It is thought that She may have been an ancient sea deity akin to a Nerthus/Njörðr or Ægir/Rán combination, which is why sometimes She has been described as the Grandmother of Heimdall (who had nine mothers, the waves).

From Grímnismál
Oðin is describing the halls of the gods:

‘Sökkvabekkr, a fourth is called, and cool waves resound over it; there Oðin and Sága drink everyday, joyful, from golden cups.’ From the Poetic Edda, translated by Carolyne Larrington

From Gylfaginning
In answer to ‘Who are the  Asyniur?’

‘The highest if Frigg.  She has a dwelling called Fensalir and it is very splendid.  Second is Sága.  She dwells atSökkvabekkr, and that is a big place.’ From Snorri Sturluson’s Edda, translated by Anthony Faulkes

There is also some speculation that Iðunn and Sága might be one in the same.” [1]

 

 

Sources:

Ladysaga.tripod.com, “Saga“.

 

Suggested Links:

Krasskova, Galina. Exploring the Northern Tradition, “Saga“.

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

Wikipedia, “Sága and Sökkvabekkr“.


Goddess Brigit

“Brigid” by Lisa Iris

“Brigit’s themes are health and inspiration.  Her symbol is a cauldron.  Brigit is an Irish Goddess known throughout Europe as ‘the Bright One’ because of Her inspiring beauty and fiery qualities. Today is Brigit’s festival in Ireland because it’s the traditional first day of spring there, when lingering winter shadows are banished by the sun’s radiance. Anyone desiring fertility, health or creativity should invoke Brigit’s blessings today, as the ancients did.

During the winter months it’s easy to get a case of the blahs of sniffles. Brigit comes to our aid by offering us the spiritual elixir in her cauldron. Make yourself a nourishing broth today (like chicken bouillon) and serve it in a cauldron (a three-legged bowl). If you don’t have one, any cup or mug would do. Bless the broth by holding your hand over the top, visualizing golden light filling the liquid, and saying something like this:

‘Brigit, hear my Prayer
and bless my Cauldron (or cup) of inventiveness
Renew my body, inspire my heart
Throughout my life
your wholeness impart
So be it.’

Drink the broth to internalize inspiration.

For health, take any candle (a green one is ideal for healing) and carve nineteen crosses into it. The number nineteen and the symbol of a cross are both sacred to Brigit. Light this candle for a few minutes every day for the next nineteen days. Or, you can let the candle burn for nineteen minutes instead.”

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

“Goddess Brigit is a beloved Celtic Goddess associated with Healing Waters, Wells and Springs.  She is the Lady of the Sacred Flame, the Flame of Inspiration, the Flame of Creative Consciousness.  Brigit is the “Bringer of Prosperity,” Goddess of Fertility, New Growth and Birth.  She is the Patroness of Poetry, Healing, Smithcraft, Midwifery and Animal Care & Breeding.  Brigit is Warrior and Healer, Protectress and Goddess of Healing Grace.

“Imbolc” by Wendy Andrew

Brigit is said to have been born at the exact moment of day break, She rose with the sun, Her head radiant with rays of luminous light, associating Her with ascended awareness, enlightenment, new beginnings, sun beams and warmth. She is celebrated on Imbolc, falling on February 1 or 2, celebrating the return of the light and the coming of the spring.  Thus Her solar aspects may also represent Brigit as the Promise of Spring, the Bringer of Light after the dark months of winter. This energy brings with it HOPE, renewed enthusiasm, renewal, and new beginnings.

Imbolc and Brigid the Triple Goddess

Brigit is considered a Triple Goddess, yet many references distinguish Brigit differently than the traditional Triple Goddess aspects of Maiden, Mother and Crone.  Rather Brigit is frequently referenced having three sister selves with three distinct roles, Lady of Healing Waters, Goddess of the Sacred Flame and Goddess of the Fertile Earth.  These roles are then multiplied through Brigit’s vast and varied responsibilities . . .

As a Fertility Goddess, a patroness of domestic animals and crops, Brigit is the Bringer of Prosperity through the abundance and wealth of the land. In addition to its healing associations, Brigit’s Green Mantle may also be associated with the green fertile earth, bringing the wealth of well being, and the remembrance of our own innate fertility to grow and prosper. A Goddess of Sovereignty, her Green Mantle may also represent the remembrance of our Sovereign Self, remembrance of our Divine Authentic Self.

“Imbolc” by Nicole Samlinski

She is the Lady of Healing Waters, Wells and Springs; many wells in Ireland are dedicated to Brigit and the waters are believed to be blessed with the healing grace of the Lady.  Combining the solar light of Brigit’s birth with her healing waters, the sparkling light dancing upon the water’s surface is believed to have spectacular healing attributes, especially healing for the eyes. Also associated with divination, Her wells may represent portals to portend the future, windows to glean helpful guidance and insight.

“Keeper of the Sacred Flame” by Elfdaughter

Brigit is probably most frequently associated with Fire, She is the Lady of the Sacred Flame, the Eternal Flame of Life, the Flame of Inspiration, the Flame of our Creative Consciousness. This luminous, bright, fiery energy is the energy of creation, the creative power of our consciousness and the creative power of all that is.  Her Sacred Flame brings inspiration and ignites our calling to create, illuminating our personal creative talents and gifts.

“Brigid of the Forge” by Lindowyn

From her Fire aspects, Brigit is also associated with the fire the forge and the fire of the hearth. Goddess of Smith Craft, she is patroness of metal workers and crafters of all kinds.  Through the fire of the hearth, Brigit brings the blessings of warmth and light to the home.

She is the Lady of Literature, the Goddess of Creative Expression; She is the Luminous Muse of the Poetic Voice. Brigit is the patroness of poets, writers and bards, lending grace and inspiration to creative writing.

“Brigid” by tattereddreams

She is the Lady of Literature, the Goddess of Creative Expression; She is the Luminous Muse of the Poetic Voice. Brigit is the patroness of poets, writers and bards, lending grace and inspiration to creative writing.

Aligned with the Divine Flame of Inspiration, Goddess Brigit is a magnificent muse, illuminating our natural and true state of inspiration, allowing for our creative energies to flow freely.  We are empowered, motivated and inspired to create. With this energy we realize our innate and eternal connection to the Divine Universal Source, we realize our own Inner Light is illuminated Divine Essence. We remember that we are an aspect of the Eternal Flame of Inspiration and that we are always aligned with divine inspiration.

Goddess Brigit inspires, empowers and encourages us to express our Truth through our purpose.  She offers assistance in releasing and transcending fears; self-limiting patterns and unhealed energy, helping us to feel protected and supported through any and all aspects of self-expression and communication.

This Celtic Queen of Creative Expression reminds us of the power we wield with our words and encourages us to utilize our Empowered Voice.  When we use our Empowered Voice we align our words and thoughts with affirmative language.  We ascend from the passive voice and align with firm, focused, decisive, empowered energy that carries a creative force channeled through all aspects of our communication.  Whether through written word, verbal communication, song lyrics, poetry and/or through our thoughts, Brigit reminds us to align our language with the Empowered Voice, to wield the magic of our words with that which we desire to create, realize and experience.  With this energy, Brigit reminds us of our True Power, with this remembrance we are able to recognize the tremendous creative essence of our Being.

Brigit also supports and encourages us to Speak our Truth. Brigit explains that being able to speak our truth is a tremendous gift.  When the power of our voice rings with the purity of our personal truth, the harmony of our Ascended Self is expressed. This expression wields such blessings of empowered grace, for the truth expressed resonates throughout our consciousness with a cohesive energy, raising the vibration and bringing into harmony the body, mind and spirit with the high vibration of our essential truth.  From this expression of truth confidence is born, the strong and graceful confidence of our Higher Enlightened Self. From this place of empowered truth, confidence and grace, our experience is that of perfect peace, peace with our self and peace with all that is.

“Brigid” by Sharon McLeod

A Goddess of Healing and Midwifery, Brigit lends healing grace within all aspects of health and healing, aids women and animals in childbirth and will also support the birthing process of our creative projects.

Brighid the Warrior

In Her aspect of Warrior Goddess, Brigit is the Protecress of Her People, a devoted and steadfast guardian to all who would call upon Her. Brigit shields those who call upon Her from harm, being kept lovingly guarded within Her protective embrace.  Within the cover of Brigit’s colossal cloak, we feel safe and supported; we transcend the fears founded within illusions of separateness and ascend within the illuminated essence of our True Essential Self.

She is both a warrior and a healer, aligned with fire and water; Brigit helps us to honor our polarities, bringing balance within these polarities and utilizing the vast and infinite nature of our consciousness for the greatest benefit of the whole.

Brigid: Saint and Goddess

Brigit’s name is said to mean “The Exalted One”, “The Bright One”, “Bright Arrow”, “The Powerful One”, and “The High One.”  Known as a Great Mother Goddess of Ireland and also as a Saint, Brigit provides a beautiful bridge between beliefs and practices.  With this energy, Brigit brings the remembrance of our Oneness and is an awesome affirmation of the Eternal Essence of the Divine Feminine.

Some of Her symbols and correspondences include fire, sparks of fire, candles, forges, hearth, sunrise, sunbeams, springs and wells. Oak trees, acorns, lambs and ewes, dairy cows, milk, spears and arrows, snowdrops, blackberries, ivy, crocuses, clover, heliotrope, heather, and the colors green, white, black, red, and yellow, St. Brigit’s Cross, and Corn Dolls.

Goddess Brigit is an all encompassing aspect of the Divine Feminine, reminding us that our own True Potential is beyond any means of measurement.  This lovely, illuminated aspect of the Lady is dedicated to the rediscovery and remembrance of our Divine Power. Goddess Brigit is a devoted and steadfast ally to any and all who call upon Her.” (Rhiannon Barkemeijer de Wit, 2011) [1]

For a collection of links to lore, books and jewelry related to the Goddess Brighid, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND visiting Brigid – Celtic Goddess and Saint.

 

ASSOCIATIONS:

Pantheon: Celtic

General: Fire (especially sparks, sudden flames), hearth, forge, light, candles, sunrise, springs and wells, poetry, whistling, embroidery, arrows, bells, thresholds and doorways, sandstone rock formations (i.e. large monoliths like those found at Stonehenge), St. Brigid’s cross, cloak, midwifery, middle of winter (Imbolc), corn dolls, and the number 19.

Elements: Fire, water

Sphere of Influence: Abundance, fertility

Preferred Colors: Red, yellow, orange, blue, white, black

Associated Symbol: Eternal Flame, mantle, well

Animals Associated with: White, Red-eared cow, lambs and ewes, dairy cows, bees, owls, serpents (especially two entwined), and all hibernating animals (i.e. snakes, badgers, grounhogs).

Plants: Dandelion, snowdrop, crocus, trillium, acorns and oak tree, corn, oat, sage, pumpkin seeds, heather, chamomile, broom, shamrock, rushes, straw, and all field flowers.

Perfumes/Scents: Heather, wisteria, violet, lavender, lemon verbena, and heliotrope.

Gems and Metals: Gold, brass, silver, carnelian, agate, copper, amethyst, jasper, and rock crystals.

Best Day to Work with: Friday

Best Time to Work with: Sunrise

Strongest Around: Imbolc

Suitable Offerings: Coins, fire, blackberries

Associated Planet: Venus                                               [2] [3]

 

 

My tribute to the Blessed Brighid

 

 

 

Sources:

Barkemeijer de Wit, Rhiannon. Pyramidcompany.com, “Who is Goddess Brigit?

Goddessgift.com, “Goddess Symbols: Brigid“.

Pagannews.com, “Brighid“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Blueroebuck.com, “Brighid“.

Catsidhe, Grey. Ditzydruid.com, “Brighid: My Muse“.

Celtnet.org.uk, “Brigantia

Jones Celtic Encyclopedia, “Brigit“.

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

Ord Brighideach International

Revel, Anita. igoddess.com, “Brigid: ignite your passion – goddess of the flame“.

Rhiannon. Faeryshaman.org, “BRIGID, BRIGHDE, BRIDE, BRIDEY, BRIGANTIA, BRIGANDU, BRIGGIDDA,BRIG, BRIGHID, BRIGIT, BRIDGE,  BRIGITTE“.

Shee-eire.com, “Celtic Goddess Brigit Datasheet“.

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