Tag Archive: lilies


Dainichi-nyorai

“Amaterasu” by Hrana Janto

“Dainichi-nyorai’s themes are beauty, cleansing, protection, spirituality and weather. Her symbols are lilies, gold-colored items and light.
This light bearing Goddess comes in answer to the the Japanese people’s prayers for sunlight. Having all the sun’s power, Dainichi-nyorai embodies pure goodness, Her name meaning ‘great illuminator.’ With this in mind, call upon this Goddess at midyear to assist your quest for enlightenment and keep the road ahead filled with radiance.

In Shinto tradition, today marks a time when people gather lilies as an offering to entreat the Goddess to stop flooding rains. This is really a form of weather magic. If you need rain in your area, burn a lily; to banish rain, wave the lily in the air to move the clouds away!

It is customary to anoint one’s hearth (the stove) today with lily (or any floral scented) oil. This welcomes Dainichi-nyorai in all Her radiant goodness into the heart of your home an the hearts of all those who live there. Wear something gold while doing this, or decorate your kitchen with a yellow or gold-toned candle. When you light the candle, whisper Dainichi-nyorai’s name so She can live through the flame, warming every corner of your life.

By the way, if you feel adventurous, lily buds are edible; they have a nutty taste. Try cooking them in butter and eating them to internalize all the positive energies of this festival and the Goddess.”

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

Dainichi Nyorai (Skt. = Vairocana / Mahavairocana)

During my research for today’s entry, I found that Dainichi-nyorai (also seen as Vairocana, Vairochana or Mahāvairocana) was not a Goddess at all, but a celestial Buddha who is often (e.g. in the Flower Garland Sutra) interpreted as the Bliss Body of the historical Gautama Buddha. In Sino-Japanese Buddhism, Vairocana is also seen as the embodiment of the Buddhist concept of shunyata or emptiness. In the conception of the Five Wisdom Buddhas of Vajrayana Buddhism, Vairocana is at the center. His consort in Tibetan Buddhism is White Tara (for every dhyani Buddha there is an affiliated female Buddha in the Tibetan Tradition).” [1]

Upon further research, I found “Dainichi (lit. ‘Great Sun’) is worshipped as the supreme, primordial sun Buddha. Under the syncretic doctrine of honji suijaku, the Shinto sun Goddess Amaterasu was considered a manifestation of Dainichi Nyorai. The term Nyorai (lit. ‘thus-come one’) is an epithet for the enlightened Buddhas that occupy the highest rank in the Japanese Buddhist pantheon.” [2]

Calling Dainichi-nyorai a Goddess was too much of a stretch for me; but at least I see the connection between between Dainichi-nyorai and a Goddess – the Goddess Amaterasu. “With the identification of the Dainichi Nyorai with a Shinto kami so began the syncretism of Shintoism and Buddhism.” [3]

Sources:

Facts-about-japan.com, “Religion in Japan“.

Wikipedia, “Dainichi Nyorai (Enjō-ji)“.

Wikipedia, “Vairocana“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Hoffert, Brian. North Central College, “Shingon Buddhism“.

OnMarkproductions.com, “SHINTŌ GUIDEBOOK“.


Goddess Blodeuwedd

“Blodeuwedd” by Scarlettletters

“Blodeuwedd’s themes are beauty, relationships, charity, and hope.  Her symbols are flowers and owls.  This intensely beautiful Welsh Goddess’ name means ‘flower face’, because magicians fashioned Her visage from oak, meadowsweet, and broom flowers. Folktales say that Blodeuwedd was unfaithful to Her husband. As punishment for Her crime, the same magicians who gave Her a flower face chose to be merciful and transformed Blodeuwedd into an owl rather than inflicting some other punishment. She has forever remained in this form, mourning the loss of love and reminding people of two important lessons: relationships are fragile, and beauty is indeed only skin deep.

The English sell geraniums today to collect funds for charities, specifically those that support services for the blind, who cannot see Blodeuwedd’s radiance as we do. In the language of flowers, geraniums represent solace – which is what any act of charity stimulates today. It provides hope to those in need and inspires Blodeuwedd’s beauty within your soul. Even if your pocket is empty, extend assistance to someone or something in need. Offer to help an elderly friend with chores, give some returnable bottles to a homeless person, act as big brother or sister to orphans, give water to a stray cat. Benevolence had many forms, and it makes the world a much nicer place in which to live!”

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

“Blodeuwedd in Bloom” by Selina Fenech

“Blodeuwedd (pronunciation: bluh DIE weth [“th” as in “weather”]) is the Welsh Goddess of spring created from flowers, and the wife of Lleu Llaw Gyffes, son of Arianrhod and is a central figure in the fourth branch of the Mabinogi. In the late Christianized myth, She was created by the great magicians Math and Gwydion to be Lleu’s mate, in response to a curse pronounced by his Mother that he would never have a wife from any race then on the Earth. They fashioned Blodeuwedd from nine types of blossom–oak, meadowsweet, broom, cockle, bean, nettle, chestnut, primrose, and hawthorn–and breathed life into Her. She proved treacherous to Lleu, and She and Her lover Gronw Pebyr plotted against him, killing the invulnerable Lleu by tricking him into the only pose in which he could be harmed. Blodeuwedd was punished for this by being transformed into the night-bird, the owl, though She kept Her name–in Welsh, blodeuwedd, meaning “Flower-face”, is a name for the owl.

She is the white Goddess of Death and Life in Her May-aspect, and part of a triad consisting of Arianrhod (virgin), Blodeuwedd (lover), and Cerridwen (crone).

She represents temporary beauty and the bright blooming that must come full circle through death: She is the promise of autumn visible in spring.

Alternate spellings: Blodeuedd, Blodewedd” [1]

“Many researchers and historians see Blodeuwedd as the symbol of betrayal (Amy Sophia Marashinsky in the “The Goddess Oracle”) or a representative of the May Queen, who was wedded ritually to the king who would be sacrificed to Her (Robert Graves in “The White Goddess”), but I believe that Her story can be interpreted in a different way.
Blodeuwedd was the Flower Maiden, made by men, for a man, in ‘the image of their own desires, feelings and ideas about what a Lover should be.’ Blodeuwedd married Llew and became the perfect wife and mate. When She meets Gronw, something deep within Blodeuwedd came alive. She embraces and declares Her feelings of love and makes a choice to be with Gronw. Blodeuwedd takes Her power back and in this act, becomes the Mother aspect of the Goddess– a woman who is strong in who She is and who embraces Her power; the power to nurture, to heal, and to love with abandon.

“Blodeuwedd” by Hrana Janto

After Llew is killed, She is pursued and as a punishment, turned into an owl. Owls are associated with wisdom. Blodeuwedd has become the Crone. She has learned what happens when She accepts Herself and turns against what others want Her to be. Blodeuwedd was ‘transformed into the diametrical opposite of her previous self. From a meek, gentle, smiling, benign, beautiful and perfect Mate, She became a solitary night predator, maw gaping in silent flight, screech cutting through the forest. In a positive sense, we may say that She became assertive, independent, self-realized – and wise.’ For me, the lesson of Blodeuwedd is that we must leave behind our youth and innocence and claim the Feminine Divine in order to transform and become wise.” [2]

 

ASSOCIATIONS:

Pantheon: Celtic/Welsh

Element: Water

Sphere of Influence: Promotion and Wisdom

Preferred Colors: White, yellow

Associated Symbols: Owl, lilies

Animals Associated With: Owl

Best Day to Work with: Monday

Best Moon Phase: Full

Suitable Offerings: Lilies

Associated Planet: Moon  [3]

Festival Day: Beltane, 1st May

Associations: Nine flower blossoms of primrose, bean, broom, meadowsweet, cockle (burdock), nettle, oak, hawthorn and chestnut

Aspects: Goddess as Lover, Goddess as Sexual Love, Goddess as Virgin complete unto Herself

Names: Flower Goddess; Lady of Flowers; Lady of the Nine Buds of Plant and Tree; Lily Maid of Celtic initiation ceremonies.  Also known as the Ninefold Goddess of the Western Isles of Paradise.

Associations: Elen, Olwen of the White Tracks, Rhiannon.  [4]

 

 

A great 13 minute video discussing the Goddess Blodeuwedd

 

 

 

Sources:

Cross, Jamie.  Order of the White Moon, “Blodeuwedd“.

Goddess Within, “Goddess Invocations: Blodeuwedd“.

PaganNews.com, “Blodeuwedd“.

Took, Thalia. A-Muse-ing Grace Gallery, “Blodeuwedd“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Burning Snow. Order of the White Moon, “Blodeuwedd“.

DAlba, Mary, PaganPages.org, “Blodeuwedd“.

Elm. Tribe of the Sun, “Blodeuwedd“.

Kennelly, Patty. Daily Goddess, “Blodeuwedd: Betrayal“.

Monaghan, Patricia. Encyclopedia of Celtic Mythology and Folklore, Blodeuwedd.

Monaghan, Patricia. Encyclopedia of Goddesses and Heroines, excerpt on Blodeuwedd

Oak, Broom and Meadowsweet, “Legend of Blodeuwedd“.

Revel, Anita. igoddess.com, “Blodeuwedd: wisdom, age (and vise versa)“.

Sisterhood of Avalon, “What We Believe: The Goddesses“.

Skye, Michelle. Goddess Afoot!: Practicing Magic with Celtic & Norse Goddesses, “Blodeuwedd“.

Took, Thalia. A-Muse-ing Grace Gallery, “The Tale of Blodeuwedd“.

Venefica, Avia. Whats-Your-Sign.com, “Celtic Symbols of Blodeuwedd“.

Wikipedia, “Blodeuwedd“.

Goddess Asherah

(This is one of the several Goddesses that Patricia Telesco makes a second entry on in her book.  She spells Asherah’s name as “Aherah” for today’s entry, but I could find no reference to “Aherah”.  You can view my previous entry on Asherah here.)

 

"Goddess of the Tides" by Jonathon Earl Bowser

“Asherah’s themes are luck, health, blessings, wisdom and divination.  Her symbols are a wooden pole and bricks.  Asherah is the Phoenician/Mesopotamian Mother of all Wisdom and Propriestress of Universal Law. On this day She offers Her perspective on the present and the future to begin settling the first quarter of the year sagaciously.

In Iranian stories, Asherah could walk on water, gave birth to over seventy deities, and taught people the arts of carpentry and brick building.

Sizdah Be-dar is part of the new year festivities in Iran. Follow Iranian tradition and generate Asherah’s fortuitous, healthy energy in your life by going on a picnic (or have one in the living room if the weather doesn’t cooperate, but leave the windows open).  It’s bad luck to stay inside today! Or, to make a spring wish, toss any type of spring water sprouts in water while focusing on your goal. If it is meant to be, the wish will manifest before the next Sizdah Be-dar. The alternative to sprouts is any newly sprouting seed, which should be planted afterwards to encourage the magic to grow.

For wisdom, find a small piece of wood or brick to represent Asherah. Lie down and meditate with the token over your third eye (located in the middle of the forehead and reputed to be a psychic center), visualizing purple light pouring through it. Chant:

‘Asherah abide in me
with your wisdom
let me see!’

Carry the token when you need to act judiciously.”

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

Asherah is the wise, loving, giving, Grandmother of Muslims, Jews and Christians.  Over 4,000 years ago, most Canaanites and Hebrew households had altars dedicated to their beloved household Goddess Asherah; She inspired great devotion.  Many Asherah figures have been found, and many of Her altars have been found in the ruins of ancient kitchens. [1]

Asherah Figurines (9th-7th Centuries BCE)

“Archaeologists have found many statues of Goddess Asherah without finding a matching number of male figurines. By the early 1940s, over 300 terracotta figurines of nude goddesses had been unearthed in digs around Jerusalem supporting Her worship was an integral part of their religion.

As with all Goddess based religions it took a great deal of effort by the male-dominated priesthoods to erase Goddess worship among the common people. As the history of Canaan would change and the Hebrew bible expanded, Goddess Asherah would be mentioned several times as a companion God. Many scholars now weigh the idea of Yehweh actually having a wife? Eventually any mention of Goddess Asherah would be totally discredited from the transcriptions of the ancient writings.

"Morning Star" by Mahmoud Farshchian

As more and more information of Goddess Asherah becomes known, we know Her to be a Goddess of fertility, bringing special blessings to the family, and helping people achieve their goals and dreams. She was the Goddess worshipped by King Solomon, a King that dare worship his choosing rather than bending to the invasion of a War of men in the name of control through God. The many aspects of Goddess Asherah included Ashratum, Atharath, Astoreth, Elath, Eliat, Queen of Heaven, Lady of the Sea and She Who Gives Birth to the Gods. She has been called the mother of the Goddess Anath and Mother of Baʿal. It is well accepted in a time of God dominated worship it was as always the women who kept the Goddess alive.” [2]

“Even though Her name changes, Asherah remains the feminine face of God down through the present day. Her themes are kindness, love, divination and foresight. Her symbols are lions, lilies, a tree or a pole and a triangle on a pole or a cross.” [3]

 

 

“As women and daughters of the Goddess we remember this lost Goddess. Though Her myths are scarce, we know Her well. She is the Maiden, Mother and Crone that has existed since the beginning. She is beautiful, taking on the face of Her people and She is the strength of Her people. She is promise of the future and She is the wisdom of the ancestors. She is the prosperity and peace they know form living tribal in harmony and respect for each other. She is the treasured Mother Earth that sustains them and She is the blood of their life. We only need to turn within to know this Goddess man would try to erase.

"Tree Goddess" by Octavia Cheetham

As women it is through us She lives. In remembering Goddess Asherah we acknowledge our voice of self and the gift we have today to be authentic.  In remembering Goddess Asherah we also acknowledge how easily this can be striped from us by all who would think to program us with their thinking. As in the day of old we must recognize those who would know best for us without giving thought to who we would choose to be and we must not give that of ourselves. It is with open eyes we must take responsibility for ourselves and the magick or chaos we call forth in our life. We must know Goddess to know this truth least we surrender and forget.

As women we must remember or origins back to our primal Goddess of beginnings. In Her there is sanctuary and abundance of self. There is no true sanctuary without Her; there are only repeated patterns of disappointments. As women we gather and celebrate the lost Goddess Asherah that we might be lost as well. Blessed Be to Goddess Asherah and blessed be to the Goddess within.” [4]

 

 

Sources:

Coven of the Goddess, “Goddess Asherah, the Forgotten Goddess“.

Medusa. Order of the White Moon, “Asherah“.

Spiral Goddess Grove, “Asherah Altar“.

Suggested Links:

Carisa. Queen of Heaven, “Asherah, Part I: The Lost Bride of Yahweh” ; “Asherah: Part II: The Serpent’s Bride“; “Asherah” Part III: The Lion Lady“.

Binger, Tilde.  Asherah: Goddesses in Ugarit, Israel and the Old Testament.

Monaghan, Patricia. Goddesses in World Culture, “Asherah: Hidden Goddess of the Bible“. (p. 39 – 54).

PaganNews.com, “Asherah“.

Rankine, David. The Cosmic Shekinah, “The Goddess Asherah“.

Stuckey, Johanna H. MatriFocus Web Magazine for Goddess Women,  “Asherah and the God of the Early Israelites“.

Goddess Asherah

“Lioness” by Karl Bang

“Asherah’s themes are kindness, love, divination and foresight.  Her symbols are lions, lilies, a tree or a pole.  Asherah, a Canaanite Goddess of moral strength, offers to lend support and insight when we are faced with inequality or overwhelming odds. In art, She is often depicted simply as an upright post supporting the temple. This is a fitting representation, since Her name means ‘straight’.

Traditionally, Asherah is a mother figure often invoked at planting time, embodying a kind of benevolent, fertile energy that can reinforce just efforts and good intentions. Beyond this She is also an oracular Goddess, specifically for predicting the future.

In Israel, Ta’anit Ester commemorates Esther‘s strength and compassion in pleading with King Ahasuerus to save her people held captive in Persia. It is a time of prayer when one looks to the divine to instill similar positive attributes within us. For help in this quest, we turn to Asherah with this simple prayer:

‘Lady, make me an instrument of kindness and mercy
Let my words be gentle and true
My actions motivated by insight and fairness
Where there is prejudice
Let me share your vision
Where there is uncertainty
Let me share your vision
Where there is disharmony
Let me show love
Amen.’

Plant a tree today to remember Asherah, and tend it often. As you do, you tend attributes in your heart.”
(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

“Ashera” by Hrana Janto

Asherah was the great Canaanite Mother Goddess since about the 13th century BCE and is arguably the most important Goddess in the Canaanite pantheon.  Like Anat, She is a was well-documented Goddess of the northwest Semitic pantheon.  We have long known Asherah from the immense library of thirteenth-century cuneiform tablets found in Syria at the site of Ugarit.  She is the Shekinah, consort and beloved of Yahweh; God-the-Mother.  Her sacred pillars or poles once stood right beside Yahweh’s altar, embracing it.  Moses and Aaron both carried one of these Asherah “poles” as a sacred staff of power.  The Children of Israel were once dramatically healed simply by gazing at the staff with serpents suspended from it.  This symbol, the snakes* and the staff, has become the modern universal symbol for doctors and healers.

According to the 13th century cuneiform tablets found in Syria at the site of Ugarit, She is the wife of El in Ugaritic mythology, known as Elat (the feminine form of El; compare Allat); a fertility Goddess and the wooden cult symbol that represented Her. As El’s first wife, She was said to have birthed 70 sons. All gods of the myths were born to Asherah and El, with the exception of Baʿal, whose parentage is uncertain. El had 2 wives but it was Asherah alone who nursed the newly born gods. Seeing as She had birthed so many children it is only normal that She was worshipped as the true fertility Goddess, force of life and nature. She manifests in domestic herds and flocks, in groves of trees and in the nurturing waters. Her powers and her presence were invoked not only during planting time but also during childbirth.  She is the Goddess who is also called Athirau-Yammi: “She Who Walks on (or in) the Sea.”  She was the chief Goddess of Tyre in the 15th century BCE, and bore the appellation Qudshu, “holiness.”

“Asherah” by Sandra M. Stanton

“She was often portrayed with a lion or ibex on either side as in the bottom register of the Canaanite ritual stand from Taanach, late 10th century BCE in the tree trunk on the right. A Tree of Life with 3 pairs of branches, an ibex and a lion on either side can be seen two registers above. Later, after patriarchal systems prevailed, Her name came to mean grove or trees. As a Goddess worshipped in Her own right in the ancient Hebrew religion, She was associated with all that was symbolized by the Tree of Life. In making the first Menorah, the ancient Hebrews were instructed to have three branches coming out of either side of a central stand with an almond shaped cup and a flower at the end of each one, resembling an almond tree. Among the trees considered to be the Tree of Life, the almond tree was highly regarded as it was the first to flower in spring, even before leafing out. The progression from Asherah, to the Tree of Life to the Menorah is revealed in the 4th century CE Roman gold glass base in the tree branches depicting a Menorah with a lion on either side. Asherah is wearing a necklace from Deir el-Balah, 14th-13th century BCE with an ibex-headed pendant from Ashod, 4th century BCE.” [1]

Food for Thought – “The Hebrew name used for God in Genesis is Elohim, a derivative of El. Many people find the passage in Genesis that says, “Let us make humankind in our own image” a little confusing. If there is only one true God, then who was he talking to? Some have said he was talking to the Holy Spirit, another aspect of Elohim, which is also seen as a male type or at least, as a non-gender. Others have asserted that he was talking to Eloah, the female aspect of Elohim. The world Elohim is actually plural, so that implies there is more than one “Being” involved in Elohim. Since there were only two kinds of people created, male and female, one could probably assume that man was made in the El’s image while woman was made in Eloah’s image. Thus, we were all, male and female, made in Elohim’s image, encompassing both the male and female aspect of God.” [2]

“Asherah” by Sami Edelstein

“There are more than 40 references to Asherah in the Old Testament.  Asherah appears as a Goddess by the side of Baʿal, whose consort She evidently became, at least among the Canaanites of the south.  We remember that, according to the Bible itself, in the ninth century BCE Asherah was officially worshipped in Israel; Her cult was matronized by Jezebel who, supposedly, imported it from her native Phoenician homeland. However, most biblical references to the name point obviously to some cult object of wood, which might be cut down and burned, possibly the Goddesses’ image (1 Kings 15:13, 2 King 21:7). Her prophets are mentioned (1 Kings 18:19), and the vessels used in Her service referred to (2 Kings 23:4). The existence of numerous symbols, in each of which the Goddess was believed to be immanent, led to the creation of numerous forms of Her person, which were described as Asherim.  In reference to the Tree of Life of which She is associated with, an object called an Asherah was a sacred pole carved out of the terebinth tree and placed next to the altars of Yahweh, thus worshipping both the mother and the father at once. Her own specific places of worship were on hilltops, (called  “High Places” in the Bible), and in forests and groves. Through Her association with trees, She was seen as the part of Elohim who brought fertility, new growth, successful crops and watched over nature. Along with life in nature, She was also seen as the Bread of Life for the Hebrew people. Hebrew women would make special loaves of Asherah bread, which would be blessed, then ritually eaten. Some scholars say this is the precursor of the communion wafer.  These practices and the cult objects themselves were utterly detestible to faithful worshippers of Yahweh (1 Kings 15:13).” [3]

“After Abraham was called by Yahweh and recruited some followers, he had a difficult time cutting out Asherah and the other regional gods. However, as time progressed in the Old Testament, the temptation to worship other gods lessened, while the blatant worship of Asherah along side of Yahweh continued.  It was difficult for the religious leaders in early Judaism to suppress Asherah because of a universally desire to recognize a nurturing, compassionate, Mother Goddess.

“Come with Me” by HandmaidenPhi

Hebrew women had a closer attachment to Her, seeing as how they did not play much of a role in their religion. Of course, there were some great women such as Esther, Deborah, and Rebecca, but women playing a part in early Judaism was definitely the exception instead of the rule. In archaeological sites that date back to Biblical times, small statues of Asherah are found in what would likely be bedrooms and kitchen areas. It is widely accepted that although the religious leaders frowned on the worship of Asherah, the common people, mainly women, would still have small figures of Asherah in their households.  This should not come as a surprise, since women of that time had a considerably lower status than they do today, and since there were no priestesses for them to go to for support, they had to find their own faith. What could Yahweh know about childbirth without epidurals? How could they pray to him for relief of menstrual pain in a time before Ibuprofen? What did Yahweh know about being beaten by a husband or raped by a neighbor?

There were no Battered Women’s Shelters then, or anti depressants for post-partum depression. It would not make sense for them to pray to a male god for female issues. I’m sure that if there was ever a society that had only one Deity and it was a Goddess, the men might feel strange praying to a Goddess to cure him of impotence or premature ejaculation.

It would appear that Hebrew men slightly understood this dilemma that their wives and sisters faced and they were more lenient on Asherah worship than they were of Ba’al worship or other gods. An interesting, but little known fact about the Temple of Jerusalem is that an Asherah statue was housed there for two-thirds of the time that the Temple stood during Biblical times. Apparently, one of the wives of Solomon brought it with her when she married him, and he allowed it to remain in the Temple for quite some time; and he was viewed as the wisest man who ever lived! Also, when Elijah wanted to prove the power of God or Yahweh, he called out the 450 priests of Ba’al and the 400 priestesses of Asherah. Although he was there to disprove both Ba’al and Asherah, he focused on the priests of Ba’al and derided them during their prayers, eventually killing them all, but he does nothing to the priestesses of Asherah.” [4]

“Other traces in the Bible either angrily acknowledge Her worship as Goddess (II Kings 14.13, for instance, where another royal lady is involved), or else demote Her from Goddess to a sacred tree or pole set up near an altar (II Kings 13.6, 17.16; Deuteronomy 16.21 and more). The authors of the biblical text attack Asherah relentlessly. They praise Asa, king of Judah (911-870 BCE), for removing his mother Ma’acah from official duties after “she had an abominable image made for Asherah” (I Kings 15.13, II Chronicles 15.6). They condemn the long-reigning Manas’seh of Judah (698-642) for doing “what was evil in the sight of the Lord” in “making an Asherah” (II Kings 21.7).

And they trumpet the achievements of Josiah (639-609), including the destruction of offerings made to Asherah at the temple in Jerusalem, the abolition of “the Asherah from the house of the Lord,” and demolition of a shrine there in which women “did weaving for Asherah” (II Kings 23).  These passages reflect both the popularity of Asherah’s worship and efforts to stamp out Her cult during in the Iron Age. But it was only in the succeeding Persian period, after the fall of Judah in 586 BCE and the exile in Babylon, that Asherah virtually disappeared.

“Tree of Life” by Willow Arlenea

Ultimately, the campaign to eliminate the Goddess has failed. “Asherah was buried long ago by the Establishment,” declares respected biblical scholar William H. Dever. “Now, archaeology has excavated her.” Dever is quite certain that he knows who the Asherah of ancient Israel and of the biblical texts is–She is the wife or consort of Yahweh, the one god of Israel. Many of his colleagues would agree.” [5]

ASSOCIATIONS:

Pantheon: Canaanite

Element: Fire

Sphere of Influence: Sex and love

Preferred Colors: Green, red

Animals Associated With: Lions, serpents

Best Day to Work With: Friday

Strongest Around: Ostara

Associated Planet: Venus   [6]

*A word about snakes:  The Serpent, though a frightening symbol because of its ability to bring death, stood also for ancient wisdom and immortality.  (Note that it hung out in the Tree of Knowledge and preached a doctrine of immortality, “ye shall NOT surely die.”) Many early societies revered the snake and used it to symbolize different ideas.  In much the same way, today we revere the Lion or other ferocious big-cats even though they’re dangerous.  An early American symbol used the snake as a statement of power, a warning, saying, “Don’t tread on me!”

Sources:

Amenahem, Bathia.The Mother Goddess: As She Appears in Cultures Around the World, Judaism“.

Archeology, The Lost Goddess of Israel.

A-Muse-ing Grace Gallery, “Athirat“.

The Esoteric Seminary, “The Hebrew Goddess“.

The Goddess in World Mythology, “Asherah“.

Order of the White Moon, “Asherah by Medussa“.

PaganNews.com, Asherah“.

Suggested Links:

Monaghan, Patricia. Goddesses in World Culture, “Asherah: Hidden Goddess of the Bible“. (p. 39 – 54).

Binah

"Goddess of the Black Moon V1NC" by Roland Burbon

“Binah’s themes are peace, cooperation, unity and spirituality.  Her symbols are bees, lilies and lead. In Cabalistic tradition, Binah embodies spiritual discernment, love, stability and awareness. As the third sephirah of the Tree of Life, Binah becomes a Divine Mother, guiding Her children toward attainment and comprehension.

Her name literally translates as ‘the understanding’, which gives form and function to all other aspects of life. Bees are sacred to Her (as divine messengers), as are lilies (white in purity), and lead (which gives us a foothold in reality).

Binah’s energy was present in 1934 when Brotherhood Day began to bring people of diverse faiths together in an atmosphere of tolerance and respect. The thrust of the day is universal brotherhood, accenting our likenesses instead of our differences.

So, take time today to learn more about other faiths and foster an open exchange of ideas. Perhaps visit a church or temple and observe quietly, seeing the the Goddess is there too.

To promote strong spiritual roots in your own life, as well as the understanding to nature those roots, try this spell:

Take a piece of lead (maybe from a pencil) and hold it in your dominant hand, saying:

‘Binah, walk with me; understanding impart
Every day be part of my Heart.’

Write this down and put the incantation in your shoe so that Binah will walk with you wherever you may be.”

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

Binah is the Intuitive Self, Understanding, the Foundation of primordial Wisdom. Understanding is the essence of Binah. Wisdom suggests complete and infinite knowledge while Understanding suggests the ability to grasp the unfoldment or use of this wisdom. She is Organization and Form as well as Female Potency. Her Yetziratic title is ‘The Sanctifying Intelligence’ (that which makes consecrates and makes holy) and the three other names for Her signify Binah’s triple aspect – Marah, the Great Sea, The Mother of all Living from which all life has its beginnings (and which is the root for Mary, Mother of all living); Aimah, the Fertile or Light Mother and Ama, the Dark Mother and Crone; all aspects of the Goddess from innocent Persephone to terrifying Cailleache belong to Binah. She is the archetypal womb from which all life sprang into existence. The Hebrew God-name for Binah is Elohim which is a feminine beginning ending with a male pronoun – in other words – the Gods and Goddesses to whom She gives birth. Binah is the Supernal Mother – the Feminine Aspect of God.  She is compared to other Goddesses like Shakti, Maya, Anima Mundi and the black Madonna.

Keter, Kochma & Binah form a balanced triad: The infinite realized self (Keter), Spiritual will and purpose (Kochma) and Spiritual love and awareness (Binah).

Binah is associated with the color black.  She is not depicted as a dark woman per se, but the characteristics suggest it. Binah is one of the levels in the Tree of Life system.  Each accomplished point is characterized by a color and aspects.  Near the top of this tree is a dark sphere called Binah. It is the Third Path.  The next two paths are called Kochma (the Second Path) and Keter (the First Path).  Binah is linked to the Supernal Mother and the womb.

Binah is black because She is veiled, conceiling the brillance that lies underneath.  Binah is a disciplind teacher, Her form is Saturn and demands patience and consistency from Her student.  She can answer all questions, even those that are most difficult.  Binah works slowly because She is powerful.  It takes much discipline and understanding to manage the full power found on path of Binah.  Because of the special connection to Saturn, many assume Binah is masculine but in essence is feminine.  Even with all the demands Binah makes on those in the soul-cultivation process of the Kabbalah, Binah is a dotting mother, nurturing and given to help those influenced by Her to grow and mature strongly.

The virtue of Binah is Silence. Silence invites receptivity. If we are silent, we can listen and so learn, but if we are talking the gates of entrance to the mind are closed. It is the resistance and receptivity of Binah which are Her chief powers and what She uses to destroy Her enemies. As one learns and achieves a level of wisdom, the wisdom must be shared not hoarded.

Binah is the mark of the scientific and rational thinking.  Other characteristics include rational intelligence which is displayed and cultivated in philosophers, scientists and writers. (Matomah Alesha, The First Book of the Black Goddess, p. 249).

In Binah you come to understand that true understanding stems from knowing what you must struggle through and what you must let go of to grow. It is here that you learn the whys of the necessity of restrictions, of forms, and of limitations operating within your life. It is here that you touch and understand the mysteries of birth and death for what they really are, the transition of the immortal soul to a higher plane, purpose, and being. [1][2]

BINAH – THE GREAT MOTHER
God Name – Elohim
Archangel – Tzafkiel
Virtue – Silence
Vice – Avarice
Titles – Ama, Aima, Mara, The Sanctifying Intelligence
Magickal Image – Mature Woman, Vagina
Gods – Saturn, Kronos, Frigg, Kali, Cailleache, Demeter
Planet – Saturn
Stone – Pearl
Animal – Dove, Raven
Herbs – Cypress, Lily Poppy
Fragrance – Myrrh
Experience – the Sorrow of Life which must be transcended
Symbols – Vulva, Chalice and Veil

CROWN CHAKRA MEDITATION

We can invoke Binah to help balance our Crown chakra. Here is a simple Binah Meditation in which Binah’s energy can help you restore inner balance, mental clarity and a connection to spirit back into your life. To invoke the powerful and positive characteristics of Binah, gather together several violet-energy gemstones. Light a violet or white candle (to symbolize the violet or white energy of the Crown chakra) and ask to receive Binah’s energy and abundance. Ask Her to enter your Crown chakra. When you do this, you may feel a tingling sensation – this is normal and just means you have connected with this chakra. Ask Binah to heal your chakra and help restore balance. Sit in this space for a while and when you feel ready, thank Binah and bring your conscious mind back to the room you are in. Hopefully you will feel restored, energized and in balance after this simple meditation. [3]

For some further in-depth and detailed information on Binah, please visit Isis Book & Gift, Qabalisitc Magic Article Lesson 10: Binah and WisdomsDoor/Reality Creator Books, Binah: The Tree of Life.  Also check out The Internet Sacred Text Archieve, The Kabbalah and Whispering Worlds, The Tree Of Life: The Kabbalah.
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