Tag Archive: knowledge


Goddess Samjuna

“Ushas” by Lisa Hunt

“Samjuna’s themes are knowledge, learning, excellence and reason. Her symbols are walnuts (the mind). In Hindu tradition, this Goddess is the source of all conscious thought and action. Her name even means ‘consciousness’, and She is the patroness of learning, reason, logic and knowledge.

Every year at this time, the Nobel Prize is awarded for mastery in chemistry, medicine, literature and peace keeping. It is a time to revel in humankind’s achievements and limitless potential for good, motivated by Samjuna’s gentle leadings.

To honor this Goddess and the people who have achieved the pinnacle of what She represents, spend time enriching your mind today. For instance, you might read field manuals applicable to your career to advance your knowledge, watch educational television; go to a library, and perhaps donate to its shelves some old books that you no longer read; organize a local reading group for improved literary appreciation; or turn off the television and engage in intelligent conversation for mutual edification. The options here are limitless.

For a Samjuna charm that improves conscious awareness and your reasoning powers, carry a shelled walnut today. The shape of this nut equates to the mind. Eat this at the end of the day to internalize her power for thoughtful actions.”

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

Surya and Sanjana

According to Patricia Monaghan, “‘Knowledge’ was the Indian wife of the sun [Surya], whose brilliance finally so tired Her that Samjuna hid in the wilderness disguised as a mare, leaving behind a replica of Herself [Chhaya or Savarna].  But he discovered Her ruse and transformed himself into a stallion to seek Her and, finding Her, to have intercourse with Her.  From this union came the twin gods of agriculture , the horse-headed Aswins.  Samjuna agreed to return to the sky with the sun god, but first She had Her father [Vishwakarma] trim away some of the sun’s rays to diminish his brightness.  From the extra pieces of the sun were fashioned the weapons of other gods”  (p. 272).

“The Goddess Within Painting” by Louise Green

“Saranya, or Saraniya (also known as Saranya, Sanjna, or Sangya) is the wife of Surya, and a Goddess of the dawn and the clouds in Hindu mythology, and is sometimes associated with Demeter, Greek Goddess of agriculture. According to Max Müller and A. Kuhn, Demeter is the mythological equivalent of the Sanskrit Saranyu, who, having turned Herself into a mare, is pursued by Vivasvat, and becomes the mother of Revanta and the twin Asvins, the Indian Dioscuri (the Indian and Greek myths being regarded as identical). She is also the mother of Manu, the twins Yama and Yami. According to Farnell, the meaning of the epithet is to be looked for in the original conception of Erinys, which was that of an earth-Goddess akin to Ge, thus naturally associated with Demeter, rather than that of a wrathful avenging deity. [1]

“She is considered as the Goddess who gave birth to all animals.  She is also thought to be the Vedic Mare Goddess.” [2]

 

 

 

Sources:

Indianetzone.com, “Saranyu“.

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

Wikipedia, “Saranyu“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Crystalinks.com, “Gods and Goddesses of Ancient India“.

Held, Catherine Anne. Dreamhorsewomen.wordpress.com, “Saranyu: the Runaway Horse Goddess: Part I” & “Saranyu: the Runaway Horse Goddess: Part II“.

Wikipedia, “Chhaya“.

The Goddess of Reason

“Goddess of Lughnasadh” by Shadowmagi

“The Goddess of Reason’s themes are logic, reasoning, learning and the conscious mind. Her symbols are a crown of oak leaves (representing the seat of the divine). While this lady had no other specific designation other than the Goddess of Reason, She dispenses the power of knowledge to those who seek Her. The French honored this Goddess with celebrations at Notre Dame, the world’s most acclaimed center of scholarship. Traditionally, the women depicting Her wore a blue robe and red cap, then were crowned in laurel at the end of a processional.

To improve awareness and logical abilities, tuck a bay leaf in your shoe today so the Goddess of Reason walks with you. Or, wear any garment with predominantly blue or red coloring to invoke Her powers through color therapy!

Today is an excellent day to take up any course of study you’ve been considering. Burn incense blended from dried sage (for wisdom), rosemary (for memory improvement), and mint (for alertness). If possible, pre-prepare the incense at noon to accent conscious awareness and the rational self. Move your study tools through the smoke of the incense, saying:

“Goddess of Reason, see my desire
Ignite in me knowledge’s fire!”

Finally, wax an oak leaf (press it in waxed paper with an iron) and keep it in a book that you’re studying. This keeps reason with you while you read.”

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

So here’s what I found on this “Goddess of Reason”…

“During the French Revolution, on 10 November 1793, a Goddess of Reason (most likely representing Sophia (wisdom)) was proclaimed by the French Convention at the suggestion of Chaumette. As personification for the Goddess, Sophie Momoro, wife of the printer Antoine-François Momoro, was chosen. The Goddess was celebrated in Notre Dame de Paris (She was put on the high altar in the Cathedral).” [1]

“Mademoiselle Maillard” by Jean Francois Garneray

Now, other sources (mainly Catholic and a few anti-Illuminati sites) say that a prostitute, half clothed, was laid out on the altar.  They say the part of the Goddess was played by Marie-Therese Davoux (nicknamed Mademoiselle Maillard), a French opera singer/dancer, who was crowned as the Goddess of Reason at the Festival of Reason.  However, Wikipedia states that it was Sophie Momoro (née Fournier), who played the part of the Goddess at the cult’s infamous “Festival of Reason” on 20 Brumaire, Year II (November 10, 1793). [2]

Procession of the Goddess of Reason by Henri Renaud

On Bartleby.com, it reads: “The Goddess of Reason was enthroned by the French Convention at the suggestion of Chaumette; and the cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris was desecrated for the purpose. The wife of Momoro the printer was the best of these goddesses. The procession was attended by the municipal officers and national guards, while troops of ballet girls carried torches of truth. Incredible as it may seem, Gobet (the Archbishop of Paris), and nearly all the clergy stripped themselves of their canonicals, and, wearing red nightcaps, joined in this blasphemous mockery. So did Julien of Toulouse, a Calvinistic minister.

“Mrs. Momoro, it is admitted, made one of the best goddesses of Reason, though her teeth were a little defective.”—Carlyle: French Revolution, vol. iii. book v. 4.

 

 

 

Sources:

Bartleby.com, “Goddess of Reason“.

Wikipedia,”Antoine-François Momoro“.

Wikipedia, “Goddess of Reason“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Birkhead, Alice. Heritage-history.com, “Story of the French Revolution“.

Chair, Renée Casin. Napoleonicsociety.com, Marie-Therese Davoux, nicknamed Mademoiselle Maillard (1766-1856)“.

Doorzicht.eventwebsitebuilder.com, “Festival of Reason“.

Hollis, Edward. The Secret Lives of Buildings, “Notre Dame de Paris“.

Hughman, James. Nourishingobscurity.blogspot.com, “[goddess of reason] whom to believe“.

Jamesford. Patheos.com, “Recalling the Goddess of Reason“.

Wikipedia, “Cult of Reason“.

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)“.

Goddess Nótt

“Nott” by Giovanni Caselli

“Nótt’s themes are learning, knowledge and communication. Her symbols are books, writing utensils and stars. A Teutonic Goddess of the night sky, Nótt generates artistic inspiration and knowledge. She refreshes those suffering from creative blockages and arouses new visions for any endeavor, especially when fall’s declining energies get the best of us. Myths portray Nótt as bearing the silver-studded night sky like a blanket across the dusk. Her chariot bears a frost mare, alluding to the moon.

Buchmesse is the world’s largest book fair for the publishing industry, featuring exhibitors from over ninety countries and attended by over two hundred thousand people. In this region of the world, book fairs have been around for over eight hundred years, making Germany one of the centers of world literacy.

For writers, today is the perfect time to ask for Nótt’s blessing on your efforts. Submit a poem, article, or manuscript to potential publishers. Write in your journal. Draft a meaningful ritual for improved creativity, and let Nótt’s energy guide your hand.

Alternatively, read a favorite poem or book – Nótt’s power is beneath those words – or make a book donation to the local library to honor this Goddess’s contribution to human civilization.

Finally, gather all your pens and pencils in a basket and empower them for all your writings by saying:

‘Nótt, inspire creativity
when taken to hand
then magic is free!'”

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

“Nótt” by Peter Nicolai Arbo.

“In Norse mythology, Nótt is night personified, grandmother of Thor. In both the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources, and the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson, Nótt is listed as the daughter of a figure by the name of Nörvi (with variant spellings) and is associated with the horse Hrímfaxi, while the Prose Edda features information about Nótt’s ancestry, including Her three marriages. Nótt’s third marriage was to the god Dellingr and this resulted in their son Dagr, the personified day (although some manuscript variations list Jörð as Dellingr’s wife and Dagr’s mother instead). As a proper noun, the word nótt appears throughout Old Norse literature.” [1]

Timelessmyths.com tells us that “Nott was the daughter of a giant named Norfi or Narfi, but two Eddaic poems called Nott’s father, Norr (not to be confused with Nór), primarily for reasons of alliteration.

Nott had three husbands, and had a child with each of Her husband. Her first husband was a giant, called Naglfari, and they had a son named Aud.

Her second husband was named Annar (Onar), who was probably also a giant, and they had a daughter, named Jörd (Earth), the mother of Thor.

Her last husband belonged to the Aesir and he was named Delling. Their son was named Day (Dag), god of day.

“Dagr” by Peter Nicolai Arbo

When the Aesir created the world, Odin gave a chariot to Her and another chariot to Her son Day. They travelled the sky, following one another, as day follow night. Her horse was called Hrimfaxi, ‘Frost-mane’, which caused dew from the horse’s bit. While Her son’s horse was called Skinfaxi, which means ‘Shining-mane’, because the mane was so radiant that it brought light to the world.” [2]

 

 

Sources:

Timelessmyths.com, “Nott“.

Wikipedia, “Nótt“.

 

Suggested Links:

Krasskova, Galina. Northernpaganism.org, “The Northern Sky: Praising Nott“.

Marks, Dominic. Lowchensaustralia.com, “Norse Goddess Names: Nott“.

“The wisdom of the Crone is all around us, we have but to notice Her.” – Abby Willowroot, Spiral Goddess Grove

Matrignosis: A Blog About Inner Wisdom

The powers most capable of halting the escalation of hatred and chaos are not political.  They are psychological and spiritual. These powers are activated in individuals whose minds are committed to seeking justice for all, whose hearts are filled with caring and compassion, and whose behavior is directed toward connecting and healing. When everything we say and do originates from that core of love, it spreads through Indra’s diamond net and quickens the sacred spark that lives in every soul. Each of us can make this contribution to healing the separations within and between the peoples of the world.

Throughout history mothers and grandmothers have dedicated most of their energy, and often their lives, to nurturing and preserving life. Of course, many fathers and grandfathers have done the same. But women’s contributions have been educationally, financially, politically and spiritually restricted, vastly underrated, and largely taken for granted except for occasional lip service.

It doesn’t have to be this way. In a world splitting apart to birth a more evolved consciousness, the most important…

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Goddess Ennoia

“Yemanja/The Awakening of the Heart” by A. Andrew Gonzalez

“Ennoia’s themes are mediation, communication, magic and knowledge. Her symbols are angels. In Gnostic tradition, Ennoia is the Goddess of knowledge, intention and thought. Through Her all things were designed and manifested, including the angels. Through Ennoia we can learn the art of magic and how to communicate with angels as mediators between us and the Gods.

Today is Guardian Angel Day, a time to give thanks to the angels in our lives – those powers and people who protect, inspire and watch over us. One easily adapted tradition from Spain is that of wearing scarves and bells. These represent the beauty and music angels are said to bear into human life.

Second, take a moment to give back to the people in your life who have been like earthly angels (you know, the folks who bring soup when you’re sick, or offer money when funds are tight). Do something really nice for them, or minimally, light a candle on their behalf asking for angelic blessings in their lives.

Finally, try to connect with your guiding guardian angel(s). During your daily prayers or meditation, ask that power to reveal itself in words comfortable to you. Wait, watch and listen. The angel may reveal itself as the sound of bells or quiet music, with radiant light, or in other manifestations. If the being speaks with you, write down the words and ponder them in the days ahead.”

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

According to the blog, Prayers and Reflections, “Ennoia means ‘thought’ Sophia in Her high form as Pleromic, is the first thought (so She is the first Aeon, or Pleroma, and the last one as well). Creation happens in the triad of thought, word, and action.” [1]

“Alchemico d’Amore” by A. Andrew Gonzalez

“The Ennoia is important in Gnostic Magic, because She is the feminine counterpart or spiritual consort of God. She is the Womb of all manifestation, and thus is similar to the Egyptian Goddess Nut or Nuit. In a psychological (Jungian) sense, She is the archetype of the feminine principle.” [2]

I came across a lot of interesting information while researching this Goddess; everything from identifying Her with Sophia and the Holy Spirit, as Divine Female – the Wisdom Goddess who assisted in creation to being stripped of Her holiness, portrayed as foolish, conceiving alone without a male consort resulting malformed creatures and “falls” to the “lower” world, into bondage and even whoredom in need of rescuing (see The Ennoia).  In an attempt to demote, degrade and overthrow Her, the patriarchy even splits Her,  “Through disconnecting from the divine oneness it is also Sophia who has to exist in two forms: Sofia Ennoia i.e. the High Sofia, Neverending One, The Power of the Thoughts as well as the Low Sofia called the Small Sophia or Sophia of Death. In this way Sophia combines two elements: the divine and the human one.” [3]  I even found a few references to Her as being a daughter of Lilith….Not sure if this is a totally different deity or what the deal with that is…a little confusing….

Max Dashú has a lot to say about Her and Her “downfall” and can be read on Suppressedhistories.net by clicking here (scroll down to The Gnostic Goddess).

 

 

 

Sources:

Dashú, Max. Suppressedhistories.net, “Khokhmah and Sophia“.

Landofgoddesses.wordpress.com, “SOPHIA (CHOKMAH/SHEKHINAH)“.

Magdelene.wordpress.com, “Gnostic words for May 14, 2007: Ennead, Ennoia, Epiphanes, Epiphanius, Epinoia, Eros“.

Schuelers.com, “A BRIEF HISTORY OF GNOSTICISM“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Forrest, M. Isidora. Isis Magic: Cultivating a Relationship With the Goddess of 10,000 Names, “The Gnostic Sophia” (p. 193).

Magisteria.wordpress.com, “Ennoia, A Gnostic Tale“.

Metaconscious.tumblr.com, “Ennoia“.

Wikipedia, “Sophia (Gnosticism): The Ennoia“.

Goddess Durga

“Durga’s themes are power over evil and negativity, knowledge and sustenance. Her symbols are fire, yellow-colored items, lions, rice bowls and spoons.  The Hindu warrior Goddess Durga is typically depicted as a beautiful woman with ten arms that bear divine weapons to protect all that is sacred – including you. Her role in Indian mythology is so powerful that the national anthem sings Her praises as a guardian. According to the stories, Durga overpowered the great demon who threatened to destroy not only the earth but the gods themselves.

Durga’s festival (Durga puja or Durgotsava) comes during the early fall, when the skies are growing darker. As this happens, she offers to zealously defend goodness against any malevolence that dwells in those figurative shadows.  If there is a special person or project that you want protected, pray for Durga’s aid today. Light a yellow candle (or any candle) and say:

‘Durga, protectress and guardian
Watch over (person, situation or project)
with all due diligence
Take the sword of truth
the power of justice
and the light of decency
to stand guard against any storms that come
So be it.’

Blow out the candle and relight it anytime you need safety.

To encourage Durga’s providence, set a bowl of rice on your altar with a spoon today. This is the symbol of Annapoorna, an aspect of Durga who supplies daily food.”

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

“All Goddesses in Hindu belief are ultimately the same Goddess, often called simply ‘the Goddess’ or ‘Devi.’ But She appears in different forms with different names. One of the fiercest of Devi’s forms is Durga. She was also the eldest: during the primordial war between gods and antigods, Durga was the first manifestation of Goddess-energy. The war was a standoff; neither side was winning, and the battles dragged on without victory. Almost hopeless, the gods gathered and concentrated their energies. Flames sprang from their mouths and formed Durga, the first female divinity in the universe. Although produced by the gods, the Goddess was stronger than any of them, or all of them together, and She was fiercely eager to fight.

Recognizing Her power, the gods handed their weapons to Durga. She mounted a lion to ride toward the antigods’ chief, the demon Mahisa. That magical being, terrified of this new apparition, used his powers to assume one fearsome form after another. Still the Goddess advanced, until finally, as the demon assumed the form of a buffalo, Durga slaughtered him. The demon nonetheless tried to escape through the dying beast’s mouth, but Durga caught him by the hair and butchered him, thereby freeing the earth for the gods to inhabit.

The Goddess in this form not only symbolizes the fierce power of the combat against evil but also the rule of the intellectual sphere, for Durga (‘unapproachable’) represents the end of all things; to seek to understand Her is to engage in the most powerful intellectual exploration possible” (Monaghan, p. 106 – 107).

Shri Gyan Rajhans explains the Mother Goddess Durga and Her symbolism: “The word ‘Durga’ in Sanskrit means a fort, or a place which is difficult to overrun. Another meaning of ‘Durga’ is ‘Durgatinashini,’ which literally translates into ‘the one who eliminates sufferings.’ Thus, Hindus believe that Goddess Durga protects Her devotees from the evils of the world and at the same time removes their miseries.

 The Many Forms of Durga

There are many incarnations of Durga: Kali, Bhagvati, Bhavani, Ambika, Lalita, Gauri, Kandalini, Java, Rajeswari, et al. Durga incarnated as the united power of all divine beings, who offered Her the required physical attributes and weapons to kill the demon ‘Mahishasur‘. Her nine appellations are Skondamata, Kusumanda, Shailaputri, Kaalratri, Brahmacharini, Maha Gauri, Katyayani, Chandraghanta and Siddhidatri.

Durga’s Many Arms

Durga is depicted as having eight or ten hands. These represent eight quadrants or ten directions in Hinduism. This suggests that She protects the devotees from all directions.

Durga’s Three Eyes

Like Shiva, Mother Durga is also referred to as ‘Triyambake’ meaning the three eyed Goddess. The left eye represents desire (the moon), the right eye represents action (the sun), and the central eye knowledge (fire).

Durga’s Vehicle – the Lion

The lion represents power, will and determination. Mother Durga riding the lion symbolizes Her mastery over all these qualities. This suggests to the devotee that one has to possess all these qualities to get over the demon of ego.

 

Durga’s Many Weapons

  • The conch shell in Durga’s hand symbolizes the ‘Pranava’ or the mystic word ‘Om’, which indicates Her holding on to God in the form of sound.
  • The bow and arrows represent energy. By holding both the bow and arrows in one hand ‘Mother Durga’ is indicating Her control over both aspects of energy – potential and kinetic.
  • The thunderbolt signifies firmness. The devotee of Durga must be firm like thunderbolt in one’s convictions. Like the thunderbolt that can break anything against which it strikes, without being affected itself, the devotee needs to attack a challenge without losing his confidence.
  • The lotus in Durga’s hand is not in fully bloomed, It symbolizing certainty of success but not finality. The lotus in Sanskrit is called ‘pankaja’ which means born of mud. Thus, lotus stands for the continuous evolution of the spiritual quality of devotees amidst the worldly mud of lust and greed.
  • The ‘Sudarshan-Chakra’ or beautiful discus, which spins around the index finger of the Goddess, while not touching it, signifies that the entire world is subservient to the will of Durga and is at Her command. She uses this unfailing weapon to destroy evil and produce an environment conducive to the growth of righteousness.
  • The sword that Durga holds in one of Her hands symbolizes knowledge, which has the sharpness of a sword. Knowledge which is free from all doubts, is symbolized by the shine of the sword.
  • Durga’s trident or ‘trishul’ is a symbol of three qualities – Satwa (inactivity), Rajas (activity) and Tamas (non-activity) – and she is remover of all the three types of miseries – physical, mental and spiritual.

Devi Durga stands on a lion in a fearless pose of ‘Abhay Mudra’, signifying assurance of freedom from fear. The universal mother seems to be saying to all Her devotees: ‘Surrender all actions and duties onto me and I shall release thee from all fears’. [1]

 

 

Here is a beautiful rendition of the Shree Durga Chalisa for your listening and viewing pleasure

Sources:

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

Rajhans, Shri Gyan. About.com – Hinduism, “The Goddess Durga“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Dollsofindia.com,Goddess Durga: the Female Form as the Supreme Being“.

Jade. Order of the White Moon, “Durga“.

Koausa.org, “Goddess Durga“.

Kumar, Nitin. Exoticindiaart.com, “Goddess Durga – Narrative Art of Warrior Goddess – Exotic India Art“.

Laka. Order of the White Moon, “Durga“.

Wikipedia, “Durga“.

Goddess Astraea

Art by Lisa Iris

“Astraea’s themes are excellence, learning, purity, justice, knowledge, reason and innocence. Her symbols are stars.  This Greek Goddess motivates fairness and virtue within us. She empowers our ability to ‘fight the good fight’ in both word and deed, especially when we feel inadequate to the task. According to lore, She left earth during the Iron Age because of man’s inhumanity to man. She became the constellation Virgo.

In astrology, people born under the sign of Virgo, like Astraea, strive endlessly for perfection within and without, sometimes naively overlooking the big picture because of their focus on detail. Astraea reestablished that necessary perspective by showing us how to think more globally. To encourage this ability, draw a star on a piece of paper and put it in your shoe so that your quest for excellence is always balanced with moderation and sound pacing.

To meditate on this Goddess’s virtues and begin releasing them within, try using a bowl (or bath) full of soapsuds sprinkled with glitter (this looks like floating stars) as a focus. Light a candle nearby and watch the small points of light as they dance; each one represents a bit of magical energy and an aspect of Astraea. Tell the Goddess your needs and your dreams, then float in Her starry waters until you feel renewed and cleansed.”

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

Art by Kagaya

Astraea (“the star maiden”) was a daughter of Themis and Zeus, “She lived on earth in the Golden Age when all lived in peace together.  But as humankind grew more and more violent, the gods abandoned this world and retreated to the heavens.  Patient and hopeful, Astraea was the last of the immortals to leave, but finally even She was forced to abandon the earth” (Monaghan, p. 57).

“Fleeing from the new wickedness of humanity, She ascended to heaven to become the constellation Virgo the scales of justice She carried became the nearby constellation Libra, reflected in Her symbolic association with Justitia in Latin culture. In the Tarot, the 8th card, Justice, with a figure of Justitia, can thus be considered related to the figure of Astraea on historical iconographic grounds.

According to legend, Astraea will one day come back to Earth, bringing with Her the return of the utopian Golden Age of which She was the ambassador.

Astraea is always associated with the Greek Goddess of justice, Dike, who used to live on Earth but left, sickened by human greed. Astraea is sometimes confused with Asteria, the Goddess of the stars and the daughter of Koios and Phoebe.” [1]

 

 

Sources:

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

Wikipedia, “Astraea“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Gods-and-monsters.com, “Astraea of Greek Mythology“.

Theoi Greek Mythology,Astraea“.

Make the most of this month to open your mind and exercise your intellect with the learned power of the Hazel Moon.

This is the best time of year to focus on gaining wisdom and absorbing knowledge.  Cast spells to heighten your senses and concentration.

The Celtic name for the hazel tree is “coll” meaning “nine”, and the Hazel Moon is the ninth month of the Celtic Tree Calendar.  A myth tells how nine nuts of wisdom fell from the hazel tree into a river where a magical salmon ate them.  The salmon then became a prized catch, gifted with shape-shifting powers and infinite wisdom.

A Time for Learning

The Hazel Moon offers you an opportunity to connect with your inner reserves of wisdom and intuition.  Study of all kinds is blessed during the Hazel Moon, so magic that uses ancient knowledge is most effective now.

This is also an excellent time to learn to read Tarot Cards or Runes because lunar energy will enhance your memory and psychic powers.  Maintain an optimistic approach and follow your enthusiasm.

 

PROTECTION AND RENEWAL

Rods made from the wood of the hazel tree have been used for diving water and earth energies.  The wood is pliant and supple and is immediately responsive to subtle energy vibrations and environmental changes.

Fertility Charm

As well as being an excellent source 0f protein, hazelnuts have long been used as a magical fertility charm.  Carry one with you if you wish to conceive or collect a small bag of nuts as a gift for a bride.

Good Fortune

Hazelnuts are also a symbol of good luck; if you find two in the same shell, eat one and throw the other over your left shoulder to make your wish come true.

HAZEL MOON MAGIC

You can bring the magical powers of the hazel tree to your magic.  Use this time to inspire your inner creativity and wisdom to ground yourself in nature.

Hazel Spells

You can use the qualities of hazel in a variety of ways in your magic working.

  • Make an all-purpose magical wand from a straight twig of hazel wood the length of your forearm.  Charge under the full Moon.
  • Draw a circle around your bed with a hazel stick to keep nightmares away.
  • Eat a feast of salmon and hazelnuts before an exam to heighten your powers of concentration and boost your memory.

Meditation

Practicing this meditation will help you to move through creative blocks, get inner guidance and develop your intuition.

  • Approach a hazel tree from the north.  When you are within the circumference of its branches, introduce yourself and ask permission to come closer.
  • If if feels right to proceed, circle the truck clockwise.
  • Try to sense the spirit of the tree and open your heart.
  • Sit with your back against the trunk and breathe deeply.  Empty your mind and try to attune to the tree’s energy.

Meditate outside under a hazel to draw upon the tree’s creative energy and open your mind to new possibilities.

 

 

Hazel Energy In Your Life

Bring the creativity and inspiration of the Hazel Moon into your life, both at work and at home.

1. Enroll in an evening class.  Now is an auspicious time to learn a new skill – try painting, learning a language or dance.

2. Keep a journal.  Just writing down your wishes and experiences will help you tune into your inner wisdom.

3. Go outside at night and look at the Moon.  Staying connected to nature will bring powerful insights and help you remain grounded.

4. Feed your mind: buy a book of inspiring quotes and read one each day to stimulate your intellect and sharpen your thinking.

 

Making A Diving Rod

You can use the magical powers of the hazel tree to make your own diving rod.

1. Cut a forked twig, less than a yard in length.

2. Give thanks to the tree by pouring nourishing water onto its roots.

3. Pass your rod through incense smoke and state your intention to learn the mysteries of nature.

4. Hold a fork in each hand and pull them apart so that the twig is under constant pressure.  As you walk over a water source or energy line, the rod will twitch in your hand.

5. Use your diving rod to explore the energies of sacred sites, old buildings and even your own home.

 

 

 

Source:

“Enhancing Your Body, Mind and Spirit”, 21 Nature Magic, CARD  13.

 

Suggested Link:

The Goddess Tree, “Hazel“.

Goddess Mala Laith

“Mala Laith’s themes are justice, community, peace, wisdom, knowledge, forgiveness, maturity and unity. Her symbols are the color gray, pigs, deer, the horse and birds.  Known often simply by the designation ‘Gray One’, Mala Laith is the ancient Celtic crone Goddess. Mala Laith is said to have made the mountains and formed many stone circles, alluding to Her age and power. She travels in the company of birds, pigs, deer or a gray horse, carrying wisdom, knowledge, understanding, sensibility and preparation to us as gifts that come with maturity.

On this day, people on Mann honor Tynwald, the old Norse assembly system instituted over one thousand years ago, by gathering to discuss legal matters and end internal bickering. As they do, Mala Laith stands by, offering good counsel and sagacity. For us this means taking a moment out to make sure things in our life are in order and being properly attended to. Review your checking account, follow up on legal matters, make peace with someone from whom you’ve been estranged and generally spend the day focusing on sound action, wise words and sensible thinking. This invokes Mala Laith’s energy.

Wear something gray today to honor the Goddess and watch to see if any of Her sacred animals show up (in logos, on billboards, anywhere) during your day. If they do, pay close attention to their movements and actions. They’re bringing a message to you from Mala Laith, and it’s well worth heeding!”

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

“‘Grey eyebrows’ was the name given to the Cailleach in Ross and Cromarty in Scotland,” Patricia Monaghan tells us.  “She was said to tend a herd of pigs, which included the wild boar of Glen Glass” (p. 205).  As to be expected, Mala Laith “(pronounced MAH-lah LEE-ah) She is often equated with Cerridwen.” [1]

 

About Cailleach

“Cailleach” by Mairin-Taj Caya

“‘Cailleach’ (pronounced KAL-y-ach) derives from the old Irish caillech, or ‘the veiled one’. The modern word cailleach means ‘old woman’ or ‘hag’ in Gaelic. The Cailleach is a widespread form of Celtic hag-Goddess tied to the land and the weather who has many variants in the British Isles.

The Caillagh ny Groamagh (‘Gloomy Old Woman’, also called the Caillagh ny Gueshag, ‘Old Woman of the Spells’) of the Isle of Man is a winter and storm spirit whose actions on the 1st of February are said to foretell the year’s weather–if it is a nice day, She will come out into the sun, which brings bad luck for the year. The Cailleach Uragaig, of the Isle of Colonsay in Scotland, is also a winter spirit who holds a young woman captive, away from her lover.

The theme of winter holding spring captive is also seen in the tale that the Cailleach imprisons the beautiful young goddess Bride inside of a mountain over the winter. At Bride’s release, spring comes to the world.

“Cailleach Bhéara” by Max Dashu

The Cailleach Bheur (‘genteel old lady’) of Scotland is a blue-faced hag of winter, who ages in reverse–from old and ugly (symbolizing winter) to young and lovely (spring). The Cailleach Bhéirre of Ireland represents sovereignty over the land and is ancestress of many peoples. Like Dame Ragnell of the Arthurian legends, She appears to the hero as an hideous old woman seeking love; if She gets it, She becomes a beautiful young woman. In legends dating from Christian times, She is sometimes said to be a nun, perhaps linked to the meaning of Her name.

Alternate names: Cailleach Bheur, Cailleach Uragaig, Cailleach Beinne Bric (‘Old Woman of the Speckled Mountain’), Cailleach Mor (‘Great Old Woman’) (Scotland); Cailleach Bheirre, Cailleach Bolus, Cailleach Corca Duibhe (Ireland); Caillagh ny Groamagh, Caillagh ny Gueshag (Isle of Man).” [2]

 

 

 

Sources:

Joelle. Joelle’s Sacred Grove, “Mala Laith“.

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

Took, Thalia. A-Muse-ing Grace Gallery, “The Cailleach, Celtic Crone Goddess of Winter“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Forest, Danu. Danuforest.co.uk, “The Cailleach, the old woman of winter“.

Mysterious Britain & Ireland, “The Caillech Bheur“.

PaganPages.org, “Cailleach“.

Metropolitan Films Ltd. Thisisirishfilm.ie, “An Cailleach Bheara (2007)“.

Shee-Eire.com, “Cailleach Beara“.

Sparrow. Journey Around the Wheel of Life, “Cailleach“.

The Suppressed History Archives, “Crone“.

Wikipedia, “Cailleach“.

WolfWinds, Silver. Order of the White Moon, “Cailleach“.

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