Tag Archive: jupiter


Goddess Tellus Mater

“Mother Earth” by *MD-Arts

“Tellus Mater’s themes are earth, ecology, promises, abundance, prosperity and fertility. Her symbols are the globe, soil and grain.  The Roman Earth Mother celebrates today’s festivities, the Earth’s Birthday, by sharing of Her abundance, being a Goddess of vegetation, reproduction, and increase. In regional stories, Tellus Mater gave birth to humans, which is why bodies are returned to the soil at death – so they can be reborn from Her womb anew.

According to James Ussher, a seventeenth-century Anglican archbishop, God created the earth on October 26, 4004 B.C.E. While this date is uncertain at best, it gives us a good excuse to honor Tellus Mater and hold a birthday party on Her behalf.

Make a special cake for the Earth Mother out of natural fertilizers. Take this to a natural setting (don’t forget the candle). Light the candle and wish for the earth’s renewal, then blow it out, remove the candle, and bury your gift to Tellus Mater in the soil, where it can begin manifesting your good wishes!

While you’re outside, pick up a pinch of soil, a stone, or any natural object that strikes your eye and keep it close. This is a part of Tellus Mater, and it will maintain her power for abundance wherever you go today. It will also help you stay close to the Earth Mother and honor the living spirit of earth in word and deed.”

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

“In ancient Roman religion and myth, Tellus or Terra Mater (‘Mother Earth’) is a Goddess of the earth. Although Tellus and Terra are hardly distinguishable during the Imperial eraTellus was the name of the original earth Goddess in the religious practices of the Republic or earlier.  The scholar Varro (1st century BCE) lists Tellus as one of the di selecti, the twenty principal gods of Rome, and one of the twelve agricultural deities.  She is regularly associated with Ceres in rituals pertaining to the earth and agricultural fertility.

Tellus/Pax panel of Ara Pacis

The attributes of Tellus were the cornucopia, or bunches of flowers or fruit. She was typically depicted reclining.  Her male complement was a sky god such as Caelus (Uranus) or a form of Jupiter. A male counterpart Tellumo or Tellurus is mentioned, though rarely. Her Greek counterpart is Gaia (Gē Mâtēr), and among the Etruscans She was Cel. Michael Lipka has argued that the Terra Mater who appears during the reign of Augustus is a direct transferral of the Greek Ge Mater into Roman religious practice, while Tellus, whose temple was within Rome’s sacred boundary (pomerium), represents the original earth Goddess cultivated by the state priests.” [1]

Patricia Monaghan tells us: “The Roman ‘Mother Earth’ was honored each April 15 [Fordicidia], when a pregnant cow was sacrificed and its unborn calf burned.  The Romans tried to offer appropriate tribute to each divinity and they felt that the earth – pregnant in spring with sprouting plants – would especially appreciate such a sacrifice.

“Ceres” by ~rebenke

Tellus’ constant companion was Ceres, the grain Goddess, and the two of them interested themselves not only in vegetative reproduction but in humanity’s increase as well.  Therefore, they were invoked at every marriage that they might bless it with offspring.  Tellus too was considered the most worthy Goddess on whom to swear oaths, for the earth, witnessing all doings on Her surface, would see that an oath taker kept his promise.  Finally, Tellus, to whom the bodies of the dead were returned as to a womb, was the motherly death Goddess, for unlike Her Greek counterpart Gaia, Tellus was associated with the underworld as well as the earth’s surface” (p. 293 – 294).

“Nerthus” by MarisVision

On a side note, “the identity of the Goddess Nerthus, called Terra Mater, Mother Earth by Tacitus in Germania, has been a topic of much scholarly debate.”  Click here to read a fantastic article by William Reaves entitled “Nerthus: Toward an Identification”.

 

 

 

Sources:

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

Reaves, William P. “Nerthus: Toward an Identification“.

Wikipedia, “Terra (mythology)“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Berger, Pamela C. Goddess Obscured: Transformation of the Grain Protectress from Goddess to Saint.

GardenStone. The Nerthus Claim.

Lipka, Michael. Roman Gods: A Conceptual Approach.

Novaroma.org, “Fordicidia“.

Took, Thalia. Thaliatook.com, “Cels“.

Wikipedia, “Fordicidia“.

Goddess Juturna

* For today’s entry, Patricia Telesco names “Fons” as today’s Goddess. However, my research revealed that “Fontus or Fons (plural Fontes, ‘Font’ or ‘Source’) was a god of wells and springs. A religious festival called the Fontinalia was held on October 13 in his honor. Throughout the city, fountains and wellheads were adorned with garlands…Fons was the son of Juturna and Janus.” [1]

So, for today’s Goddess entry, I will basically be reblogging August 23’s entry on Fons’ mother, the Goddess Juturna.

“Elemental Goddess Water” by `AutumnsGoddess

“[Juturna’s] themes are water, wishes, thankfulness and healing. Her symbols are fountains and water sources.  This Roman Goddess of fountains holds a special place in today’s festivities, when people gather around Her son, Fons, in the spirit of community gratitude for the refreshment that Her son provides in all seasons.

The ancient Roman festival, Fontinalia, gives thanks for fresh drinking water, and many of its traditions are easily assimilated. For example, customarily, fresh flowers were tossed in flowing water sources to thank the spirit of [Juturna] that abides therein. So, float a flower atop a beverage today to honor [Juturna] as part of that drink.

[Juturna’s] waters are also known for healing, cleansing, and wish-granting. To generate well-being, include as many water-based foods and beverages in your diet today as possible. This allows you to partake of [Juturna’s] healing powers.  For wishes, give the Goddess a token (like a coin or flower petals) and whisper your desire to her waters.

For cleansing, take a hot bath or shower so Her waters will carry away your tensions.

Finally, you might want to focus on improving your water supply today. Buy a water filter, get some bottled water, bless your water jugs, or do something else along these lines so that [Juturna] can cleanse and purify everyone in your home.”

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

“Melusina” by *JinxMim

According to the Wikipedia, “Juturna was a Goddess of fountains, wells and springs. She was a sister of Turnus and supported him against Aeneas by giving him his sword after he dropped it in battle, as well as taking him away from the battle when it seemed he would get killed. She was also the mother of Fons by Janus.

Jupiter turned Her into a water nymph and gave Her a sacred well in LaviniumLatium, as well as another one near the temple to Vesta in the Forum Romanum. The pool next to the second well was called Lacus Juturnae. Juturna had an affair with Jupiter but the secret was betrayed by another nymph, Larunda, whom Jupiter struck with muteness as punishment.” [2]

The festival of Juturna was celebrated on January 11, the same day Carmentalia begins.

Art by Augustus Jules Bouvier

A thought on Fontinalia:  “At the end of the sultry summer season in ancient Rome, citizens celebrated Fontinalia, a tribute to Fontus, a water god, by decorating public fountains with garlands of flowers and throwing petals into the waters.  At a time when drought and water pollution threaten millions of people and multinational corporations are hatching plans to privatize water resources in the developing world, we too should be grateful for the gift of fresh water. Celebrate Fontinalia by finding ways to reduce your use of water, by lending a hand to environmental organizations fighting to provide access to clean water for everyone on the planet, and by planning a water-worship ritual of your own—perhaps sprinkling flowers into a nearby stream or lake.” (Walljsaper) [3]

Percentage of Population Without Reasonable Access to Safe Drinking Water

 

 

 

Sources:

Wikipedia, “Fontus“.

Lonestar.texas.net, “Juturnalia“.

Walljasper, Jay. Utne.com, “Fontinalia“.

Wikipedia, “Juturna“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Community-2.webtv.net, “Juturna: From Princess, to Water Nymph, to Goddess“.

Daly, Kathleen N. & Marian Rengel. Greek and Roman Mythology A to Z, “Juturna“.

Grammatici.narod.ru, “Roman Calendar – October“.

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

Sabrina. Goddess A Day, “Juturna“.

Goddess Juturna

“Aquarius” by *moonmomma

“Juturna’s themes are fire, water, fate, divination, protection and balance. Her symbols are fire, water and fountains.  During the festival of Vulcan (the god of fire and the forge), Romans wisely invoked Juturna, a fountain Goddess, to keep fire from damaging the land or homes. On another level, we can call upon Her to put out emotional fires that have gotten out of control.

Historically, Vulcanalia was a time to divine using the smoke from incense (then put out the fire with Juturna’s water). Choose your incense so it matches your question: rose or jasmine for love, mint for money-related matters, vanilla for health. The smoke may respond by creating a symbolic image or by moving in a particular direction. Movement toward your left is negative, to the right is positive and smoke circling the incense stick reflects mingled fortunes or uncertain fates. When you’re done scrying the smoke and have put the incense out, keep the mixture of ash and water. This symbolizes the balance between fire and water. Carry this with you in a sealed container, breaking it open amid aggravating situations. Releasing the contents invites Juturna’s coolheadedness to keep anger reigned in.

To internalize Juturna’s protective, balancing energies, simply stop at any water fountain today for a refreshing drink of Her water.  Whisper Her name just before the water meets your lips to invoke Her presence.”

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

“Melusina” by *JinxMim

According to the Wikipedia, “Juturna was a Goddess of fountains, wells and springs. She was a sister of Turnus and supported him against Aeneas by giving him his sword after he dropped it in battle, as well as taking him away from the battle when it seemed he would get killed. She was also the mother of Fontus by Janus.

Jupiter turned Her into a water nymph and gave Her a sacred well in LaviniumLatium, as well as another one near the temple to Vesta in the Forum Romanum. The pool next to the second well was called Lacus Juturnae. Juturna had an affair with Jupiter but the secret was betrayed by another nymph, Larunda, whom Jupiter struck with muteness as punishment.” [1]

The festival of Juturna was celebrated on January 11, the same day Carmentalia begins.

 

 

 

Sources:

Lonestar.texas.net, “Juturnalia“.

Wikipedia, “Juturna“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Community-2.webtv.net, “Juturna: From Princess, to Water Nymph, to Goddess“.

Daly, Kathleen N. & Marian Rengel. Greek and Roman Mythology A to Z, “Juturna“.

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

Sabrina. Goddess A Day, “Juturna“.

Goddess Juno

“Juno’s themes are femininity, love, relationships, romance, kinship, time, protection (women and children) and leadership. Her symbols are the cypress, peacocks, cuckoos, luxurious clothing, figs and the moon (or silver items).  The supreme Goddess of the Roman pantheon, Juno offers a helping hand in every aspect of our relationships, especially the safety and happiness of women and children in those settings. Juno is also a very modern minded Goddess, taking an active role in public life and finances. Beyond this, She rules women’s cycles, giving Her connections with the moon. Art depicts Juno always wearing majestic clothing befitting the ‘Queen of Heaven.’

According to Roman folklore, marrying today ensures a long, happy relationship. So if you’re planning a wedding or an engagement, or even moving in together, Juno can bless that commitment if you time the big step for today! As part of your devotional ritual, don’t forget to wear special clothing (perhaps something your partner especially likes) to invoke Juno’s attention and loving energy.

If you’d like to connect with Juno’s feminine force, Her leadership skills or Her sense of timing within yourself, eat some fig-filled cookies today (or just some figs), saying,

‘Juno, bring_______to my spirit, my wish fulfill. By your power, through my will.’

FIll the black with whatever aspect of Juno you most need to develop.”

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

“Hera – Queen of Olympus” by Umina

Patricia Monaghan tells us that Juno was “a very ancient Italian Goddess, [and] was originally quite different from the Greek Hera; both, however, were essentially Goddesses of women.  When the Greek sky queen came to Rome during the days of cultural assimilation, She merged with the Roman Goddess and Her legends were told of Juno.  Juno’s separate mythology was lost, except for the tale that, impregnated by a flower, Juno bore the god Mars – a story never told of Hera” (p. 174).

According to Thalia Took “Juno, or to spell it the Latin way, Iuno, is the Roman Great Goddess, the Queen of the Gods, Sky-Goddess, Protectress of Women, Mother of Mars, Wife of Jupiter, She of the many epithets and a long long history of worship in Rome. She was one of the Capitoline Triad, with Jupiter and Minerva, Who were considered the three main Deities of Rome; She was widely worshipped among the Latins, and Her cult was also important among the Etruscans, who called Her Uni or Cupra. She was an especial protectress of women in marriage and childbirth, and many of Her epithets relate to that aspect, but She could also have a more civic or martial character as protectress of the Roman people.

“Hera” by Canankk

Juno’s name may derive from an Indo-European root with connotations of vitality and youth, and if so would suggest that Her aspect as Birth-Goddess is one of Her oldest. Alternatively, Her name may come from the Etruscan Uni, which means ‘She Who Gives’, and which would refer to Her capacity as a benevolent Goddess of abundance who answers the prayers of those in need.

As each man was believed to have a protective guardian spirit called a genius, so each woman had one called a juno. These guardian spirits (in the plural, junones) may have originally been the ghosts of the ancestors who were believed to watch over and protect their descendents. They were usually represented as snakes (probably relating to the chthonic or underworld aspect of the Dead), and were given offerings on the individual’s birthday at the household altar.

The first days of each Roman month, the calends, were sacred to Juno, as was the entire month of June, which is still named for Her. Five cities in Latium (the region of the Latin tribe) also named a month for Her: Aricia, on the Via Appia; Lanuvium, where She was worshipped as Juno Sospita (‘Juno the Saviouress’), Praeneste (modern Palestrina), Tibur (modern Tivoli, the resort town of Rome), and Laurentum, located between Lavinium and Ostia on the coast. And as Juno is the Roman Goddess of Marriage, it is no coincidence that June is still considered the proper month for weddings.” [1]

“Juno–Supreme Goddess of Women” by MiiSweeTesTSiN

“One of Her most famous names was Moneta, ‘warner’, which was earned many times over: once when Her sacred geese once set up such a squawking that the city was warned of invading Gauls, another time when an earthquake threatened and Juno’s voice from heaven alerted the city, and finally when the underfunded Roman generals came to Juno’s temple for advice and were told that any war fought ethically would find popular (and financial) support.  This last effort made Her matron of the Roman mint, which was located in Her temple, and turned Her title into a word for ‘money’.

Most important, Juno was the Goddess of time.  Daughter of Saturn, She was a symbol of the menstrual cycle as time’s indicator; Goddess of the new moon, She was worshiped by Roman women on the Calends, or first of each lunar month.  In addition to these monthly celebrations, Juno was honored in two festivals: the unrestrained Nonae Caprotinae on July 7, when serving girls staged mock fights under a wild fig tree; and the more sedate Matronalia on March 1 when married women demanded money from their husbands to offer to the Goddess of womanhood” (Monaghan, p. 174).

Like Jupiter, Juno was believed to have the ability to throw thunderbolts.

Also called: Junonis or Iuno.

“Hera’s Eyes” by *Ravenhart

Here, then, is the index for as many of Her aspects as I could find, treated individually; they range from simply descriptive titles such as Conciliatrix that may not have had a use in Her cult, to the more important and unusual facets of Her like Curitis, all the way to separate Goddesses who were assimilated to or equated with Juno, such as the Dea Caelestis of Carthage.

AbeonaAdionaCaelestisCaprotina, Cinxia, Cioxia (ruler of the first undressing by the husband), Conciliatrix, Conservatrix, CubaCuninaCupraCuriatiaCuritis, Comiduca, Dea Caelestis, Dea Statina, Domiduca,EducaEdulicaEmpanadaFebrutis, Fluonia, Gamelia, Inferna, Interduca, JugaJugalis, Juno of Falerii, Lacinia, Lanuvina, Levana, LucetiaLucinaMartialis, Maturna, Matrona, Moneta, Nacio, Natalis, Nundina, Nutrix, Nuxia, Opigena, Ossipaga (who strengthens fetal bones), Panda, Perficia, Pertunda, Perusina, Populonia (Goddess of conception), Potina, Prema, Pronuba (arranger of appropriate matches), QuiritisReginaRumina, Seispita, Sispes, Sororia, Sospita (the labor Goddess), SupraUni, Unxia, Vagitanus, Virginalis, Viriplaca (who settles arguments between spouses), Volumna.” [2]

Sources:

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

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

Suggested Links:

Goddess-Guide.com, “Juno“.

Goddess School, Healing Arts and Pagan Studies with GrannyMoon, “An Hymn to Juno“.

Qu’Aryn Teal Moon. Order of the White Moon, “Juno“.

Revel, Anita. igoddess.com, “Juno: mutual mojo“.

Roman Colosseum, “Myths About the Roman Goddess Juno“.

Wikipedia, “Juno“.

Goddess Fortuna

“Fortuna” by Jean Francois Armand Felix Bernard

“Fortuna’s themes are luck, wealth, abundance, destiny and success.  Her symbols are a wheel and cornucopia.  Fortuna, whose name means ‘she who brings’, is the keeper of our destiny and the guiding power behind all fortunate turns of events. She stands on top of Fortune’s wheel, steering us toward success and victory all year long.

Who of us couldn’t use a little of Fortuna’s assistance with tax day on the horizon. For a little extra cash, dab your automobile’s, bike’s, or motorcycle’s wheels with almond oil or pineapple juice. Symbolically, this invokes Fortuna’s help by keeping money ‘rolling’ in! Also dab your steering wheel similarly – this way you can keep a ‘handle’ on personal finances.

Romans traditionally asked Fortuna about their fate and difficult problems today, then received replies on slips of paper, often baked into small balls akin to a fortune cookie! This is fun for a gathering of people to try. Each person should write a word or short phrase on a piece of paper (all of which are equal in size). These get dropped in a bowl, and at the end of the day everyone can reach in to see what Fortuna has to say!

Wear colors that indicate to Fortuna what you need most (green for prosperity and luck, blue for victory, red for success, yellow for communication and creativity, and purple for spirituality and leadership qualities). Or, don lucky clothing and carry your lucky charms. Fortuna’s energy is already housed within them.”

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

“Fortuna (equivalent to the Greek Goddess Tyche) was the Goddess of fortune and personification of luck in Roman religion. She might bring good luck or bad: She could be represented as veiled and blind, as in modern depictions of Justice, and came to represent life’s capriciousness. She was also a Goddess of fate: as Atrox Fortuna, She claimed the young lives of the princeps Augustus‘ grandsons Gaius and Lucius, prospective heirs to the Empire.

“Tyche” by Tatjana Heinz

Her father was said to be Jupiter and like him, She could also be bountiful (Copia). As Annonaria She protected grain supplies. June 11 was sacred to Her: on June 24 She was given cult at the festival of Fors Fortuna.” [1]

“Fortuna was usually depicted holding in one hand a cornucopia, or a horn of plenty, from which all good things flowed in abundance, representing Her ability to bestow prosperity; in the other She generally has a ship’s rudder, to indicate that She is the one who controls how lives and fates are steered. She could also be shown enthroned, with the same attributes of rudder and cornucopia, but with a small wheel built into the chair, representing the cycles of fate and the ups and downs of fortune. Sometimes She is blind, as an acknowledgment that good luck does not always come to those who seem to most deserve it; at other times She is described as having wings, much like many Etruscan Goddesses—and indeed She was equated with the old Etruscan Fate Goddess Nortia, who was often shown winged.

The name Fortuna finds its root in the Latin fero, meaning ‘to bring, win, receive, or get’. She may have originally been a Goddess of Fertility, Who brought prosperity and success in the form of abundant harvests and offspring. Her worship in Rome traditionally goes back to the time of Ancus Martius, the 4th King of Rome, who is said to have reigned from 640-616 BCE. According to the propaganda of the time (and the Romans invented an awful lot of it to make it seem that their city had always been destined for greatness, and wasn’t just some upstart town founded by a bunch of sheep herders on some hills surrounded by malaria-infested swampland, which it was), when Fortuna first came to Rome, She immediately threw off Her shoes and discarded Her wings, announcing that She’d found Her true home and intended to never leave it.

Alternatively, Fortuna’s name may derive from that of the Etruscan Goddess Veltha or Voltumna, whose name encompasses ideas of turning and the alternating seasons. Voltumna in turn may be related to the Roman Goddess Volumna, who watched over and protected children; and both of these themes are found with Fortuna, who was often depicted with a wheel, and who was said to predict the fates of children at their births. As a Goddess of Fate Fortuna naturally had the power to foretell the future; and under Her aspect of Fortuna Primigenia in Praeneste She had an oracle, in which tablets inscribed with messages were chosen from a jar. She also had an oracular shrine at Her cult-center in Antium.

Fortuna had a very old temple in Rome on a hill between the Forum Romanum (the Roman Forum) and the Forum Boarium (supposedly the old cattle-market), near to the temple of Mater Matuta. Both temples had the same dedication day, the 10th of June, and each had a horseshoe-shaped altar before it of the earliest type. Fortuna’s temple had a very old statue of gilded wood inside, also of an archaic type; and the altar and statue indicate that Her worship dates at least to the earliest days of Rome, if She is not an earlier Goddess of the Latins.

The Emperor Trajan (97-117 CE) dedicated a temple to Fortuna, at which offerings were made to the Goddess on the 1st day of January, at the start of the New Year, probably to ensure good luck and success for the coming year. This temple was dedicated to Fortuna in all of Her aspects.

card 10 from the Fortuna’s Wheel Tarot

With Greek influence, Fortuna was equated to Tykhe, their Goddess of Luck and Fortune. Under the title Dame Fortune, Fortuna never lost Her power as an allegorical figure—She makes an appearance on card 10 of the Tarot Major Arcana, the Wheel of Fortune, and She is still to some extent honored today, for She features in gamblers’ prayers to ‘Lady Luck’.

“Madame Fortune” by Mary Petroff

She is associated with the Goddess Felicitas, the personification of happiness, and Spes, the Goddess of Hope.

Fortuna had quite a few aspects, many of which had their own holidays and centers of worship.” [2] Click here for a thorough listing at Thalia Took’s site, The Obscure Goddess Online Directory.

 

 

 

Sources:

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

Wikipedia, “Fortuna“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Revel, Anita. igoddess.com, “Fortuna: healthy and wealthy – and infinitely wise!“.

Roman Colosseum, “Roman Festivals“.

Sacred-texts.com, “II. THE ROMAN GODDESS FORTUNA“.

Serenity. Order of the White Moon, “Fortuna“.

Tafarella, Santi. Prometheus Unbound, “The Goddess Fortuna: Thinking about Darwinian Contingency Metaphorically“.

Venefica, Avia. What’s-Your-Sign.com, “Goddess Symbols of Fortuna“.

Goddess Cybele

“Cybele” by Pamela Matthews

“Cybele’s themes are love, health, humor, victory, strength and relationships.  Her symbols are pine, meteorite stones and keys.  A black stone that personified this Roman earth Goddess is credited with a successful battle against Hannibal. It is this strength, especially in difficult relationships, that Cybele augments in us as this month draws to a close.

Legend tells us that Cybele loved a shepherd named Attis, who went mad and killed himself. Cybelle, in distress, asked Jupiter to restore him. Jupiter responded by making Attis into a pine tree. Symbolically, this allowed him to eternally embrace Cybele, with his roots in the earth.

Following the story of Cybelle and Attis, Hilaria begins in sorrow over Attis’s death and ends in joy. Today, laughter and fun activities are considered healthy. So, rent a good comedy flick, go out to a comedy club, or do something that really uplifts your spirit. Your laughter invokes Cybele’s attention and blessings.

To create stability in a relationship, make this Cybele charm:

Take an iron key (or a piece of iron and any old key bound together). Hold them in your strong hand, visualizing the key being filled with radiant red light (love’s color). Say:

‘Cybele, let this key to our hearts be filled
Love and devotion her instilled.’

 Wear the key on a long chain so it rests over your heart chakra.”

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

The famous leopard-enthroned Goddess from the granary at Çatal Hüyuk, close to 6000 BCE.

Cybele was an originally Anatolian form of Earth Mother or Great Mother. Little is known of Her oldest Anatolian cults, other than Her association with mountains, hawks and lions. She was Phrygia‘s State deity; Her Phrygian cult was adopted and adapted by Greek colonists of Anatolian Asia Minor, and spread from there to mainland Greece and its more distant western colonies from around the 6th century BCE.

“Also known as Kybele and Magna Mater and the Mother of the Gods, the worship of this Goddess spread throughout the Roman Empire. As a Phrygian deity, She was a Goddess of caverns, of the Earth in its primitive state; worshipped on mountain tops. She ruled over wild beasts, and was also a bee Goddess.  Cybele was the Goddess of nature and fertility. Because Cybele presided over mountains and fortresses, Her crown was in the form of a city wall.

Her Greek mythology counterpart was Rhea.” [1]

“Cybele” by Picot

In Greece, Cybele met with a mixed reception. She was partly assimilated to aspects of Gaia (the “Earth”), Her Minoan equivalent Rhea, and the Corn-Mother Goddess Demeter. Some city-states, notably Athens, evoked Her as a protector but Her most celebrated Greek rites and processions show Her as an essentially foreign, exotic mystery-Goddess, who arrives in a lion-drawn chariot to the accompaniment of wild music, wine, and a disorderly, ecstatic following. Uniquely in Greek religion, She had a transgendered or eunuch mendicant priesthood. Many of Her Greek cults included rites to Her divine “Phrygian” castrate shepherd-consort Attis, whose rites and myths appear to have been Greek inventions. In Greece, Cybele is associated with mountains, town and city walls, fertile nature, and wild animals, especially lions.

In Rome, Cybele was known as Magna Mater (“Great Mother”). The Roman State adopted and developed a particular form of Her cult, and claimed Her conscription as a key religious component in their success against Carthage during the Punic Wars. They also reinvented Her as a Trojan Goddess, and thus as an ancestral Goddess of the Roman people by way of the Trojan prince Aeneas, in Rome’s foundation myth. With Rome’s eventual hegemony over the Mediterranean world, Romanised forms of Cybele’s cults spread throughout the Roman Empire. The meaning and morality of Her cults and priesthoods were topics of debate and dispute in Greek and Roman literature, and remain so in modern scholarship.

Dionysius of Halicarnassus records that specific laws were passed when some of the undesirable aspects of the Cybele cult became apparent. Cybele’s religion was a bloody cult that required its priests and priestesses as well as followers to cut themselves during some rituals. The priests castrated themselves at their initiation; there was wild music, chanting, and frenzied dancing.  “As part of their worship, priests also performed mysterious rites in Her honor. Of particular note was the sacrifice of a bull performed as part of an initiation into Cybele’s cult. This ritual was known as the taurobolium, and during the rite a candidate for initiation stood in a pit under a floor with a wooden grate. The bull was sacrificed above the grate, and the blood ran through holes in the wood, showering the initiate. This was a form of ritual purification and rebirth.” [2]

Atia undergoing the taurobolium from HBO/BBC’s series “Rome”

Along with Her consort, the vegetation god Attis, Cybele was worshipped in wild, emotional, bloody, orgiastic, cathartic ceremonies.  Her annual spring festival celebrated the death and resurrection of Her beloved Attis.  During the Republic and early Empire, festival days were celebrated with eunuchs priests, called Corybantes,  preceding the Goddess through the streets, banging cymbals and drums, wearing bright attire and heavy jewelry, their hair long and ‘greased’.  Priests and priestesses were segregated, their activities confined to their temples, and Roman citizens were not allowed to walk in procession with them. Neither Roman citizens nor their slaves were allowed to become priests or priestess in the cult. No native-born Roman citizen was to be allowed to dress in bright colors, beg for alms, walk the streets with flute players or worship the Goddess in ‘wild Phrygian ceremonies’. Those Romans who wanted to continue to worship the Goddess set up secret societies known as sodalitates so they could dine together in the Goddess’ honor. [3] [4]

“The Cult of Cybele has frequently been looked upon as a mystery religion, similar to the Cults of Isis and Demeter. Cybele, however, was completely unlike those two positive and loving Mother Goddesses. Indeed, Cybele appears to have come out of a completely different mold. In fact, Cybele was so completely opposite from Isis, that it is impossible to imagine her even being in the presence of children, much less breast-feeding one. It is extremely doubtful, as well, whether anyone could ever picture Cybele wandering through and nurturing the green fields and peaceful forests of Earth.” [5]

 

Please click here for a very comprehensive article on Cybele, the Great Phrygian Mother Goddess.

Sources:

A Journal of a Poet – The Goddess As My Muse, “Cybele, the Great Phrygian Mother Goddess“.

KET Distance Learing, “The Cult of Cybele“.

Smart, Anthony E. Encyclopedia Mythica, “Cybele“.

Wigington, Patti. About.com: Paganism/Wicca, “Cybele, Mother Goddess of Rome“.

Wikipedia, “Cybele“.

Suggested Links:

Kybele: Gourmet Food Production, “Goddess Kybele”.

The Linen Press, “Cybele“.

MaatRaAh. The Church of the Most High Goddess, “Pagan Goddess of the Sibyl and Cybele Oracle“.

Roman Empire & Colosseum, “Myths about the Roman Goddess Cybele“.

Source Memory, “Cultural Continuities: Goddess of the Feline Throne“.

Theoi Greek Mythology, “Kybele“.

Welcome to the Temple of Cybele.

Women in Greek Myths, “Cybele, Agdistis, and Attis“.

Goddess Minerva

“A Song for Athena” by Elfin-Grrl

“Minerva’s themes are earth and home.  Her symbols are owls, snakes, olive trees and geraniums.  This Etruscan/Italic Goddess blended the odd attributes of being a patroness of household tasks, including arts and crafts, and also being the patroness of protection and of war. Today She joins in pre-spring festivities by helping people prepare their lands for sowing and embracing the figurative lands of our hearts, homes and spirits with Her positive energy.

In ancient times, this was a day to bless one’s land and borders. Gifts of corn*, honey and wine were given to the earth and its spirits to keep the property safe and fertile throughout the year. In modern times, this equates to a Minerva-centered house blessing.

Begin by putting on some spiritually uplifting music. Burn geranium-scented incense if possible; otherwise, any pantry spice will do. Take this into every room of your home, always moving clockwise to promote positive growing energy. As you get to each room, repeat this incantation:

‘Minerva, protect this sacred space
And all who live within
By your power and my will
The magic now begins!’

Wear a geranium today to commemorate Minerva and welcome Her energy into your life.”

* Corn is the name for whatever cereal grain is in common use. The Roman cereal crops were wheat and barley, and they also used millet.

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

Minerva (EtruscanMenrva) was the Roman Goddess whom Romans from the 2nd century BCE onwards equated with the Greek Goddess Athena. She was the virgin Goddess of poetry, medicine, wisdom, commerce, weaving, dyeing, crafts, the arts, science, and magic.  She is also believed to be the inventor of numbers and instruments.  She is often depicted with Her sacred creature, an owl usually named as the “owl of Minerva“, which symbolizes Her ties to wisdom.

Stemming from an Italic moon goddess Meneswā ‘She who measures’, the Etruscans adopted the inherited Old Latin name, Menerwā, thereby calling Her Menrva.  Menrva was part of a holy triad with Tinia and Uni, equivalent to the Roman Capitoline Triad of Jupiter-Juno-Minerva. Extrapolating from Her Roman nature, it is assumed that in Etruscan mythology, Minerva was the Goddess of wisdom, war, art, schools and commerce. She was the Etruscan counterpart to Greek Athena. Like Athena, Minerva was born from the head of Her father, Jupiter. It is possible that such a Goddess was “imported” to both Greece and Italy from beliefs originating in the Near East during the extreme antiquity. The very few extant Lemnian inscriptions suggest that the Etruscans may have originated in Asia Minor, in which case subsequent syncretism between Greek Athena and Italic Minerva may have been all the easier.

As Minerva Medica, She was the Goddess of medicine and doctors. As Minerva Achaea, She was worshipped at Luceria in Apulia where votive gifts and arms said to be those of Diomedes were preserved in Her temple.

“Athena” by InertiaK

Her worship as a Goddess of war encroached upon that of Mars. The erection of a temple to Her by Pompey out of the spoils of his Eastern conquests shows that by then She had been identified with the Greek Athena Nike, bestower of victory. Under the emperor Domitian, who claimed Her special protection, the worship of Minerva attained its greatest vogue in Rome. [1]

In Fasti III, Ovid called Her the “Goddess of a thousand works.” Minerva was worshipped throughout Italy, though only in Rome did She take on the warlike character shared by Athena. Her worship was also taken out to the empire — in Britain, for example, She was conflated with the local wisdom Goddess Sulis.

The Romans celebrated Her festival from March 19 to March 23 during the day which is called, in the neuter plural, Quinquatria, the fifth after the Ides of March, the nineteenth, an artisans’ holiday. A lesser version, the Minusculae Quinquatria, was held on the Ides of June, June 13, by the flute-players, who were particularly useful to religion.

In 207 BCE, a guild of poets and actors was formed to meet and make votive offerings at the temple of Minerva on the Aventine hill. Among others, its members included Livius Andronicus. The Aventine sanctuary of Minerva continued to be an important center of the arts for much of the middle Roman Republic.

Minerva was worshipped on the Capitoline Hill as one of the Capitoline Triad along with Jupiter and Juno, at the Temple of Minerva Medica, and at the “Delubrum Minervae” a temple founded around 50 BCE by Pompey on the site now occupied by the church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva facing the present-day Piazza della Minerva. [2]

Visit Roman Empire & Colosseum, Myths About the Roman Goddess Minerva and Theoi Greek Mythology, Athena Myths sites to read Her myths and stories.  Also see Roman Myth Index, Minerva, Roman Mythology Index.

Lara

“Lake of Eternal Blood” by TheChild13

“Lara’s themes are peace, death and protection.  Her symbols are roses, violets, wine and crossroads.  Lara, whose name means ‘mother of the dead’, was the guardian of ancestral spirits in whose care is the home, the family and by extensions, the community. According to tradition, crossroads are sacred spots for Lara, being the meeting of two roads, symbolic of an area where the temporal world and spirit world ‘cross’ over one another.

In Rome, Parentalia was part of a weeklong observance dedicated to one’s ancestors. So, pull out the scrapbooks, discuss your family tree and fondly remember those who have been a part of your family history. If possible, light a white candle in one of your windows to greet the ancestors and Lara. Or, leave an empty chair at your diner table tonight with some of the deceased’s favorite foods in the empty place at the table to welcome them and Lara into your home.

This is also a time to visit grave sites, leaving roses, violets, wine and other gifts for the deceased. These actions propitiate the spirits and ensure the family of ongoing harmony through the year.

Finally, Romans settled any arguments with family members or friends today, so follow their example. If you can, arrange to meet the person with whom you’ve argued at a crossroads, so that your two minds can ‘meet in the middle’. Scatter rose or violet petals when you meet to inspire Lara’s warmth.”

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

“River Nymph” by Selene Blackthorn

Lara, (also known as Larunda, Larunde and Mater Larum) was a naiad or a nymph and was the daughter of the river Almo.  The only known mythography attached to Lara is little, late and poetic coming to us from Ovid’s Fasti. Lara was was famous for both beauty and loquacity (a trait Her parents attempted to curb).

“Blood and Roses” by SamBriggs

She was incapable of keeping secrets, and so revealed to Jupiter‘s wife Juno his affair with Juturna (Lara’s fellow nymph, and the wife of Janus); hence Her name is connected with lalein. For betraying his trust, Jupiter cut out Lara’s tongue and ordered Mercury, the psychopomp, to take Her to Avernus, the gateway to the Underworld and realm of Pluto. Mercury, however, fell in love with Larunda and made love to Her on the way; this act has also been interpreted as a rape. Lara thereby became mother to two children, referred to as the Lares, invisible household gods, who were as silent and speechless as She was. However, She had to stay in a hidden cottage in the woods so that Jupiter would not find Her.

Larunda is likely identical with Dea Muta “the mute one” and Dea Tacita “the silent one”, nymphs or minor Goddesses. [1][2][3]

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

Took, Thalia. Thaliatook.com, “Acca Larentia“.

Wikipedia, “Larunda“.

Wikipedia, “Mother of the Lares“.

Goddess Victoria

"Nike goddess of victory" by gregor999

“Victoria’s themes are victory, success and excellence.  Her symbols are wings (or feathers) and laurel.  Victoria, as Her name implies, is the Roman Goddess of attainment. Early in the year She inspires resolve within us to do everything we undertake, with excellence as a goal. In works of art, Victoria is often depicted with wings that allow her to surmount any obstacle or problem.

Drink a tea made from lemon balm, ginger, and a pinch of cinnamon to generate a successful attitude.

Remember : If you think you can, you can!

Put a leaf (a form of laurel) in you shoe so that Victoria’s triumphant energy can walk with you all day long. Later in the day, burn a few bay leaves on a fire source to fill your home with success. Alternative aromas that invoke Victoria’s favour are rose and red sandalwood.

To make a victory charm, find a feather (or cut paper in the shape of a feather) and empower it with this incantation:

‘With the wings of Victoria, I will rise
above all areas where trouble lies
Through diligence and mastery I will see
today begins my victory!’

Carry this token anytime you feel your confidence waning, or when you need a boost to get over any seemingly insurmountable obstacle.”

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

In ancient Roman religion, Victoria was the personified Goddess of victory. She is the Roman equivalent of the Greek Goddess Nike, and was associated with Bellona. She was adapted from the Sabine agricultural Goddess Vacuna and had a temple on the Palatine Hill. The Goddess Vica Pota was also sometimes identified with Victoria.

Unlike the Greek Nike, Victoria (Latin for “victory”) was a major part of Roman society. She was often associated with Jupiter, Mars and other deities and was especially worshipped by the army.  Multiple temples were erected in Her honor. She was normally worshipped by triumphant generals returning from war.  Victoria usually appeared in reliefs on the spandrels of triumphal arches, such as the Arch of Augustus, the Arch of Septimius Severus and the Arch of Constantine.  Augustus had an altar to Victoria installed in the senate building, the Curia Julia, with a statue of Victoria standing with one foot on a globe.  The cult of Victoria was one of the last Pagan cults to succumb to Christianity. When Her statue was removed in 382 CE by emperor Gratianus there was much anger in Rome.

Also unlike the Greek Nike, who was known for success in athletic games such as chariot races, Victoria was a symbol of victory over death and determined who would be successful during war.

Gold coin of Constantine II depicting Victoria on the reverse

 

Victoria appears widely on Roman coins (until the 3rd century CE), jewelry, architecture, and other arts. She is often seen with or in a chariot, as in the late 18th-century sculpture representing Victory in a quadriga on the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany. [1] [2]

Goddess Venus

“Aphrodite” by ischarm

“Venus’s themes are love, passion, romance and sexuality.  Her symbols are doves, flowers, berries, trees and pine cones.  Venus was originally an Italic Goddess of blossoms; heart and flowers have slowly become attributed to Her loving, passionate energies. In fact, Her name became the root for the word venerate – to lift up, worship or esteem. So it is that Venus greets pre-spring efforts for uplifting our hearts with positive relationships.

During Lupercalia, an ancient predecessor of Valentine’s Day, single girls put their names in a box and unmarried men drew lots to see with whom they would be paired off for the coming year. To be more modern-minded, try pinning five bay leaves to your pillow instead to dream of future loves. If you’re married or otherwise involved, steep the bay leaves in water and drink the resulting tea to strengthen the love in your relationship.

To encourage balance in a relationship, bind together Venus’s symbols, a pine cone and a flower, and put them somewhere in your home. Or, to spice up a passionate moment, feed fresh berries to each other and drink a berry beverage from one cup (symbolizing united goals and destinies).

In Roman tradition, anywhere there’s a large stone adjacent to a tall tree, Venus is also there. Should you know of such a place, go there today and commune with Her warm, lusty energy.”

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

“Venus is the Roman Goddess of love and beauty, but originally a vegetation Goddess and patroness of gardens and vineyards who had no original myths of Her own. Later, under Greek influence, She was equated with Aphrodite and assumed many of Her aspects. Her cult originated from Ardea and Lavinium in Latium. The oldest temple known of Venus dates back to 293 BCE, and was inaugurated on August 18. Later, on this date the Vinalia Rustica was observed. A second festival, that of the Veneralia, was celebrated on April 1 in honor of Venus Verticordia, who later became the protector against vice. Her temple was built in 114 BCE. After the Roman defeat near Lake Trasum in 215 BCE, a temple was built on the Capitol for Venus Erycina. This temple was officially opened on April 23, and a festival, the Vinalia Priora, was instituted to celebrate the occasion.

Venus is the daughter of Jupiter, and some of Her lovers include Mars and Vulcan, modeled on the affairs of Aphrodite. Venus’ importance rose, and that of Her cult, through the influence of several Roman political leaders. The dictator Sulla made Her his patroness, and both Julius Caesar and the emperor Augustus named Her the ancestor of their (Julian) family: the ‘gens Julia’ was Aeneas, son of Venus and the mortal Anchises. Ceasar introduced the cult of Venus Genetrix, the Goddess of motherhood and marriage, and built a temple for her in 46 BCE. She was also honored in the temple of Mars Ultor. The last great temple of Venus was built by the emperor Hadrianus near the Colusseum in 135 CE.  Roman statues and portraits of Venus are usually identical to the Greek representations of Aphrodite.” [1]

“Venus meant ‘charm’ and this Roman Goddess certainly knew how to do that!  Although She was a latecomer to Roman mythology, She rose quickly among the ranks.  Like the Goddess Aphrodite whose mythology She inherited, the Roman Goddess Venus assumed the divine responsibility for love, beauty, sexuality, military victory, not to mention marriage, procreation and domestic bliss.  Venus was the ultimate multi-tasker!  She was also known as Venus Verticordia, Goddess of chastity in women (despite Her numerous randy affairs with gods and mortals), as Venus Victrix, the Goddess of victory in war and also a nature Goddess, associated with gardens and the arrival of spring. When Her son Aeneas fled Troy and founded the Roman race, Venus became known as the divine ancestor of the Roman people (the Venus Genetrix) and was treated with special honor.

Venus had many identities before She came to Rome – Inanna, Ishtar/Astarte, and the Greek Goddess Aphrodite. She had been recognized since the beginning of time as the brightest “star” in the heavens, except, of course, for the Sun.

Because of Her association with love and with feminine beauty, the Roman Goddess Venus has been a favorite subject in art and poetry.  To this day, She is a cultural icon of love and beauty, a reminder of the awesome power of female radiance and beauty.  The primordial Venus (Inanna, Ishtar and Astarte) was a triple Goddess – the morning (and evening) star represented Her as maiden who rose every morning, renewed in Her youthful beauty, then waxing into Her fullness of motherhood and next becoming the crone, gradually waning in Her power and strength but planting the seed of wisdom for the next cycle as She faded into the darkness of eternal night.” [2]





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