Tag Archive: luck


“Sunset Kwan Yin” by Christal

Bixia Yuanjin’s themes are air, protection, luck, freedom, birth and movement. Her symbols are wind, clouds, kites and chrysanthemum petals.  A weather Goddess who lives in cloudy high places, Bixia Yuanjin attends each person’s birth to bestow good health and luck upon the child. She is also a wind deity, helping to liberate and motivate us with fall’s gently nudging winds.

During mid-autumn, the Chinese take to nearby hills and fly kites to commemorate a sage, Huan Ching, who saved villagers from disaster by instructing them to take to high places, thereby protecting them from a mysterious plaque.  So, consider doing likewise today, even if it means just climbing a ladder! Move up off the ground, breath deeply of Bixia Yuanjin’s fresh air, and discover renewed wellness.

If you feel adventurous, chrysanthemum wine and cakes are traditional feast fare for longevity and good fortune. An alternative is steeping chrysanthemum petals in water and then adding the strained water to any soups, or other water-based foods and beverages for a similar effect.

Should the winds be with you, fly a kite named after a burden and liberate yourself in the winds. Also, carefully observe the shapes in the clouds today. If you have a pressing question on your heart, Bixia Yuanjin can answer it through these, her messengers.”

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

“Bixia Yuanjin (pronounced BEE-cha you-on-JEEN) is the Chinese Taoist Goddess of the dawn, childbirth, and destiny. As Goddess of dawn, She attends the birth of each new day from her home high in the clouds. As Goddess of childbirth, She attends the birth of children, fixing their destiny and bringing good fortune. Bixia Yuanjin is venerated in the Temple of the Purple Dawn at the summit of the holy mountain, Tai Shan, where women wishing to conceive come to ask for Her help. Her father, Tai Shan Wang, is the god of the mountain and judge of the underworld. Her name is also seen as Bixia Yuanjun, Bixia Yuan Jun, Pi Hsia Yuan Chun, and T’ien Hsien Niang Niang, and epithets for her include Princess of the Rosy Clouds, Princess of the Azure Clouds, and the Jade Woman.” [1]

“Bixia Yuanjun (Sovereign of the clouds of dawn) is a Daoist Goddess connected with Mt. Tai in Shandong province.  As the easternmost of the five sacred peaks of China, Mt. Tai was considered the gateway to the afterlife throughout Chinese history.  Bixia and Her main temple located there attained prominence in the early Ming dynasty (1368 – 1644).  Centered in northern China, the Goddess’s popularity extened from the imperial family to common people.  Bixia was granted elevated titles, such as Tianxian shengmu (Heavenly immortal, saintly mother) and Tianxian yünu (Hevenly immortal, jade maiden), but She is commonly known as Taishan niangniang (Our Lady of Mt. Tai) or Lao nainai (Granny) in Chinese popular religion.  She was charged with setting human life spans and judging the dead, but Her ability to facilitate the birth of male children made Her a particularly popular Goddess among women.

Several disparate versions of Bixia’s hagiography outline Her origins.  Elite texts preserved in the Daoist canon declare Her to be the daughter of the god of Mt. Tai whose history as a judge in the courts of hell extends back to the seventh century.  Late Ming popular sectarian scriptures, or baojuan (precious volumes), assert that Bixia was the daughter of a commoner.  According to the accounts, Her prayers to an ancient Daoist Goddess Xiwangmu (Queen of the West), along with Her practice of self-cultivation, helped Her to achieve immortality.

Temples throughout northern China include images of Bixia.  She is most readily identified by Her headdress, which features three or more phoenixes, Bixia usually appears seated with legs pendant and sometimes hold a tablet inscribed with a representiation of the Big Dipper as a symbol of Her authority.  Two Goddesses who often attend Bixia are Zisu niangniang (Goddess of children) and Yanguang niangniang (Goddess of eyesight), but Bixia can also appear with in a group of Goddesses” (Jestice, p. 128 – 129). [2]

 

 

Sources:

Jestice, Phyllis G. Holy People of the World: A Cross-Cultural Encyclopedia, Volume 1, “Bixi Yuanjun (Pi-hsia yuan-chün)“.

Sabrina. Goddess A Day, “Bixia Yuanjin“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Goddess-guide.com, “Fertility Goddesses and Goddesses of Pregnancy and Childbirth“.

Javewu.multiply.com, “Pictures of Bi Xia Yuan Jun“.

Kohn, Livia. Daoism Handbook, “Women in Daoism” (p. 393).

Little, Stephen. Toaism and the Arts of China, “The Taoist Renaissance” (p. 278).

Naquin, Susan & Chün-Fang Yü. Pilgrims and Sacred Sites in China (Studies on China), “PI-HSIA YUAN-CHÜN” (p. 78).

Pomeranz, Kenneth. Saturn.ihp.sinica.edu.tw, “Up and Down on Mt. Tai: Bixia Yuanjun in the Politics of Chinese Popular Religion, ca. 1500 – 1949“.

Song, Eric. Ericsong.hubpages.com,Bixia Yuanjun’s Palace“.

Tour-beijing.com, “Miao Feng Shan Goddess Temple, Miao Feng Shan Niang Niang Temple“.

Westchinatours.com, “Taishan Attractions“.

Wikipedia, “Mount Tai“.

Goddess Lakshmi

“Lakshmi’s themes are devotion, luck, wealth, relationships, prosperity, love, the harvest and autumn. Her symbols are a lotus, rice, coins and basil.  A favorite Goddess in the Hindu pantheon, Lakshmi brings devoted love into our lives, along with a little luck and extra pocket change to help things along. When called upon, Lakshmi opens the floodgates of heaven to meet our heart’s or budget’s needs.

The annual Lakshmi Puja festival celebrates Lakshmi and honors Her ongoing goodness, which manifests in an abundant autumn harvest.

If you are a merchant or store owner, it’s customary to appeal to Lakshmi today for the ongoing success of your business. You can do this by placing a few grains of rice, some basil, or a coin in your daily tally sheets. This neatly tucks Lakshmi’s fortunate nature into your finances.

For those wishing luck in love, gather a handful of rice cooked in basil water (the cooking process adds energy and emotional warmth). Sprinkle this on the walkway leading up to your home and your preferred vehicle, saying:

‘Lakshmi, let true love find its way to my home;
Let me carry luck with me wherever I roam.’

Keep a pinch of this in an airtight container and carry it with you into social situations. It will act as a charm to improve your chances of meeting potential mates.”

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

Patricia Monaghan tells us that “ancient India did not erect temples to this Goddess, for why try to contain the one who embodies Herself in all forms of wealth? Lakshmi is everywhere: in jewels, in coins, in rare shells, in every child born to welcoming parents, and particularly in cows. The well-known reverence for cows in Hindu India is based on the worship of this Goddess, called the Shakti of life-preserving Vishnu. Hindu philosophy defined male godhead as passive and abstract, distant and powerless, unless activated by the Goddess. In Vishnu’s case, his power to maintain and enrich life only functions when Lakshmi inspires it. Therefore it is thought good policy to bestow reverence on those embodiments of wealth-the cows who in some parts of India are simply called ‘lakshmi’ after their owner.

“Laksmi” by Hrana Janto

Some myths say that Lakshmi existed from all time, floating before creation on a lotus; for this She is called Padma (‘lotus-Goddess’), whose symbol became the sign for spiritual enlightenment throughout Asia. Some stories say that Lakshmi sprang up from the ocean when it was churned by the gods, emerging like a jewel in all Her beauty and power, covered with necklaces and pearls, crowned and braceleted, Her body fat and golden [Hhmm, kind of reminds me of someone else I know – Aphrodite or Venus perhaps?]. Many interpreters see the variant legends as recording Lakshmi’s preeminence in pre-Aryan India, where She was Goddess of the earth and its fructifying moisture, and Her later incorporation into Vedic theology when Her worshipers would not abandon their devotion to the lotus Goddess. Once established in the religious amalgam called Hinduism, Lakshmi grew to symbolize not only the wealth of the earth but of the soul as well, becoming a magnificent symbol of the delights of spiritual prosperity” (p. 190).

“Also called Mahalakshmi, She is said to bring good luck and is believed to protect Her devotees from all kinds of misery and money-related sorrows.  Representations of Lakshmi are also found in Jain monuments.

Lakshmi is called Shri or Thirumagal because She is endowed with six auspicious and divine qualities, or Gunas, and also because She is the source of strength even to Vishnu. When Vishnu incarnated on earth as avatars Rama and Krishna, Lakshmi incarnated as his consort. Sita (Rama’s wife), Radha (Krishna’s lover) and Rukmini and the other wives of Krishna are considered forms of Lakshmi.

Lakshmi is worshipped daily in Hindu homes and commercial establishments as the Goddess of wealth. She also enjoys worship as the consort of Vishnu in many temples. The festivals of Diwali and Kojagiri Purnima are celebrated in Her honor.” [1]

Gyan Rajhans breaks down and explains Her iconography and their symbolism:

“The Four Arms & Four Hands

In Goddess Lakshmi’s case upper left back hand represents Dharma (duty). The lower left frontal hand represents Artha (material wealth). The right lower frontal hand represents Kama (desire) and the upper back right hand representsMoksha (salvation).

Half open Lotus (Upper left hand)

In the upper left hand Goddess Lakshmi holds a half-blossomed lotus, which has a hundred petals. In philosophical terms, the number 100 represents the state of Sadhana. Notice that this lotus is basically red. It is not in full blossom. It has streaks of whiteness. The red in it represents Rajoguna, the functional aspect, and the white represents Satoguna, the purity aspect. In other words this symbolizes progress in both mundane and spiritual walks of life side by side.

Gold Coins (Lower left hand)

Invariably this hand of the Goddess is shown dropping gold coins on the ground, where we find an owl sitting. The dropping of coins represents prosperity in all directions, or total prosperity. The gold coins do not only represent money; they also symbolize prosperity at all levels.

Abhaya Mudra (Right lower hand)

Now we come across the right lower hand, which is held in Abhaya Mudra (the pose signifying assurance of freedom from fear). The Gita says fear is caused by unfulfilled desires. The ultimate gift of the Goddess is the blessing of deliverance from fears.

Lotus in The Right Upper Hand

This hand is holding a lotus, which is fully opened; a lotus with one thousand petals (in contrast to the upper left hand holding half open lotus having a hundred petals), which is synonymous with sahasra-ra-chakra (the highest point in the evolution of the Kundalini Shakti). This lotus has a red base, with a blue tinge. The red in it represents ‘Rajas‘ and the blue represents ‘Akasha‘ (space). They signify total evolution.

The Red Sari (dress)

Lakshmi is shown wearing a red sari. It is again the colour of Rajas, which means creative activity. The golden embroidery indicates plenty. This re-affirms the idea of prosperity in general. This is in keeping with Her being the Goddess of prosperity.

Sitting on Lotus

The Goddess is shown sitting on a lotus. This posture means ‘Live in the world, but do not be possessed by the world’. The lotus keeps smiling on surface of water. Its origin is in mud, deep under water but its flowering is above the water-surface. Detachment and evolution is the message of this poetic symbol.

The Owl

The owl sitting on the left side of Lakshmi, where gold coins are falling, represents darkness.

An owl, generally speaking, is a night bird. It is very clever. It can’t see clearly in the daytime.

It represents perversion of attitudes in material prosperity. Undue attachment to wealth shows ignorance (darkness) and disturbs the economic balance in society. If man does not keep his balance when he gets a lot of material resources, he is bound to become a nuisance to himself and to others around him.

Four Fair Elephants Pouring Water (From Golden Vessels)

In common pictures of Lakshmi, we see four whitish elephants pouring water drawn from the ocean on the Goddess. This water is contained in golden vessels. Those four elephants represent the four directions—North, South, East, and West. The white hue here means purity. Wisdom has been occasionally represented in Hindu mythology by the form of an elephant.
The symbol of four elephants pouring water from golden vessels on the Goddess suggests that the chain of Purushartha (endeavour), dharma, artha, kama and moksha has to be continuously strengthened with wisdom, purity and charity.

Thus, we see that the idol or picture of Goddess Lakshmi represents prosperity and activity for achievement of liberation and attainment of self-realization.” [2]

“Lakshmi has many names. She is known to be very closely associated with the lotus, and Her many epithets are connected to the flower, such as:

  • Padma: lotus dweller
  • Kamala: lotus dweller
  • Padmapriya: One who likes lotuses
  • Padmamaladhara devi: One who wears a garland of lotuses
  • Padmamukhi: One whose face is as beautiful as a lotus
  • Padmakshi: One whose eyes are as beautiful as a lotus
  • Padmahasta: One who holds a lotus
  • Padmasundari: One who is as beautiful as a lotus

Her other names include:

  • Vishnupriya: One who is the beloved of Vishnu
  • Ulkavahini: One who rides an owl

Her other names include: Manushri, Chakrika, Kamalika, Lalima, Kalyani, Nandika, Rujula, Vaishnavi, Samruddhi, Narayani, Bhargavi, Sridevi, Chanchala, Jalaja, Madhavi, Sujata, Shreya and Aiswarya. She is also referred to as Jaganmaatha (‘Mother of the Universe’) in Shri Mahalakshmi Ashtakam. Rama and Indira are popular.” [3]

 

Lakshmi Chalisa is a forty verse prayer dedicated to Maha Lakshmi. Verses are usually dedicated to praise the goddess. The acts and deeds of Goddess Lakshmi are recalled in these verses to aid the devotee to meditate on virtuous and noble qualities.

 

 

I also really liked this video too.  This is Lakshmi Ashtottara Satha Nama Stotram – 108 names of Goddess Lakshmi Devi and is a Hindu devotional mantra.

 

 

 

 

Sources:

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

Rajhans, Gyan. Gyansrajhans.blogspot.com, “Ma Lakshmi’ Symbols explained“.

Wikipedia, “Lakshmi“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Andromeda. Order of the White Moon, “Lakshmi“.

Barkemeijer de Wit, Rhiannon. Pyramidcompany.com, “Who Is Goddess Lakshmi?

Blue, Nazarri. Order of the White Moon, “Lakshmi“.

Brockway, Laurie Sue. Goddessgift.com, “Lakshmi, Hindu Goddess of Good Fortune“.

Das, Subhamoy. Hinduism.about.com, “Lakshmi: Goddess of Wealth & Beauty!“.

Exotic India, “Lakshmi: The Lotus Goddess“.

Gil / Govinda. Myspace.com, “Symbolism of Lakshmi devi: Very Important!

Kumar, Nitin. Exoticindiaart.com, “Hindu Goddesses – Lakshmi and Saraswati“.

Omgan.com, “Goddess Lakshmi Worship“.

Pandit, Bansi. Koausa.org, “Goddess Lakshmi“.

Sai MahaLakshmi.com, “Goddess Lakshmi Maha Lakshmi“.

Took, Thalia. A-Muse-ing Grace Gallery, “Sri Lakshmi“.

 

Goddess Niskai

“Niskai’s themes are cycles, time, luck, home and success. Her symbols are a quarter, calendars and water.  This Western European water Goddess has a threefold nature, exemplifying the full movement of time’s wheel from birth and maturity to death and rebirth. She instills in us a respect for each season and the ability to use time wisely so that all our Goddess-centered efforts will be more successful.
Throughout England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland, Quarter Days mark the four quarters of the year. It is traditionally a time to pay one’s bills in Niskai’s timely fashion so that prosperity stays with you. Also, this is a very propitious time to move into a new residence; it brings luck!

To keep Niskai’s promptness with you and augment your awareness of the cycles in your life, try this spell. Begin with a quarter (which is round, representing the Wheel of Time). Place the token in moonlight for three hours and sunlight for three hours to charge it. Bless it, saying:

‘To everything, there is a reason
To every moment, a reason
For Niskai’s timeliness I pray
Every hour of every day.’

Carry this in your wallet or purse. If, for some reason, you start running late, touch the quarter and recite the incantation again. Then use the quarter to call folks so they don’t worry!”

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

“The Nereids” by Gaston Bussiere

According to Donald A. Mackenzie, Niskai refers to any of the water spirits and Goddesses in Celtic mythology.  Niskai may have a certain minor currency as a Goddess in Neo-Paganism.” [1]

Prudence Jones reaffirms what Mackenzie wrote.  She writes: “Romano-Celtic shrines, like later Celtic myths, tell of triple Goddesses such as the Proximae (kinswomen), Dervonnae (oak-sprites) and Niskai (water-Goddesses).  These are often known as the three Mothers and are particularly numerous in the Rhineland…” (p. 86).

 

 

Sources:

Jones, Prudence. A History of Pagan Europe, “The Celtic Divinities“.

Wikipedia, “Niskai“.

 

Suggested Links:

Celticoldreligion.com, “THE HUMANISED GODS OF CELTIC RELIGION“.

Celtreligion

“Saki-yama-hime’s themes are freedom, luck, prosperity and wealth. Her symbols are insects and the number 7.  The Japanese Goddess of fortune and abundance visits today’s festivities, freeing the insects, with Her lucky energy, especially for improving finances. In the spirit of the moment, She also provides a little serendipity to help free you from any burdens weighing you down.

Throughout Japan, vendors line the streets around this time of year with small cages that house crickets and other insects. People purchase them to take to temples and free the insects, thereby ensuring luck and prosperity. This would be a fun activity for children who have a nearby park or woods where they can find a cricket. Alternatively, have them look for an ant on the sidewalk. Treat the insect kindly all day, giving it buts of grass or a pinch of sugar. Then, come nightfall, release the creature back to the earth. It will tell the Goddess about the human who took care of it!

Saki-yama-hime can then respond by bringing more good fortune your way.

An adult version of this festival might simply entail not killing any insects today. Take spiders gently outside the home, try not to step on the creepy-crawlies on the sideways, and so on. Generally treat nature’s citizens with respect so Saki-yama-hime can reward you with liberation and financial security.”

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

Sorry guys, I could find no reference to this Goddess.  That’s not to say of course that She doesn’t exist – perhaps under some variant spelling(s) or name(s) as is so common I’ve found with many of the Asian deities.  As usual, if anyone has any info pertaining to this Goddess, you’re more than welcome to share it here.

Goddess Laima

“Brigit” by Pamela Matthews

“Laima’s themes are love, unity, blessing, luck, destiny and magic. Her symbols are wreaths and swans.  The Lithuanian Goddess of fate, luck, beauty and magic swoops into our lives in the form of a swan (* please see “UPDATE”) reminding us of the transformative power of love. Traditionally, all Laima needs to change from one from to another is a swan feather, alluding to Her nature as a shape-shifter who uses magical charms to manifest Her will.

Around this time of year, young people in Lithuania gather in a temple at sunset, then go into the forest to harvest summer flowers. From these, circlets and strings are made to crown and bind lovers together in Laima’s and nature’s beauty. Then the young people dance to together round a birch tree (rather like a Maypole) singing to the Goddess and asking for Her blessing. This is a lovely tradition that can be adopted by gathering summer flowers and holding hands around them at your family supper table. Allow Laima to renew your love and unity in a moment of silence before dinner. If you live alone, invite a close friend to join you instead.

Also, find a small rose-vine wreath at a craft shop. Adhere the image of a swan to this somehow (representing Laima), and hand it where you can easilty see the wreath regularlily. Each time you do, remind yourself that love is the most pwerful of all the Goddess’s magic – and that includes loving yourself.”

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

“The 3 Fates” by watergal28

Patricia Monaghan tells us that this “Baltic Goddess of fate sometimes appears as three [with Her sisters Kārta and Dēkla] or seven Goddesses to symbolize the many fates possible.  Laima, like the Norns and Fates, measures the length and happiness of a person’s life.  Sometimes called Laima-Dalia, ‘happy fate’, She was invoked in prayers: ‘Oh, Laima, thou art healthy; give me thy health.’  Often mentioned in the same prayer was the sun Goddess Saule, for Laima measured the length of the sun’s day as well as a woman’s life.  Laima was Her name in Latvia; She was Laime in in Lithuania; in both countries She was sometimes pictured as a swan maiden (please see “UPDATE”) or as a multiple Goddess” (p. 189).

“Dalia Lithuanian Goddess of Fate” by Emily Balivet

“Laima…[is] generally associated with the linden tree. Together with Dievs, the sky, and Saule, the sun, Laima determines the length and fortune of human life. In the course of each life She helps arrange marriages, oversees weddings, protects pregnant women, and appears at childbirth to pronounce each infant’s destiny.

Revered as patroness of cows and horses, Laima decides the life span of plants and animals and determines the length of the day.” [1]

I did come across one piece of conflicting information.  Monaghan states that “Laima was Her name in Latvia; She was Laime in Lithuania” (p. 189).  Wikipedia states that “In the Lithuanian mythology, Laima (fate, destiny) is often confused with Laimė (good fortune) and Laumė (fairy). Other related deities include Dalia (fate) and Giltinė (The Reaper).” [2]  However, Encyclopedia Britannica states that “Laima, also called Laima-dalia, (from Lithuanian laimė, ‘happiness,’ ‘luck’)” [3].

 

 

* UPDATE  (06/25/2013):

A very knowledgeable native Latvian lady I exchanged emails with shared some wonderful information with me that contradicted what Patricia Telesco and Patricia Monaghan wrote concerning Laima’s association with swans.  She stated that Laima is “connected to a cockoo, a black or white chicken or a black or blue snake, but never with a swan.”  She also stated that “Laima appears with a green linden or birch sauna besom like this: pirtsslota2

 

Also, the information found in the Wikipedia is very accurate: “The most important goddess of fate is Laima (luck). She lives on Earth and is closely involved in human life. Her basic function is related to birth of child and deciding its fate. Traditionally women would give birth in bathhouse. The path to it would be cleaned so Laima could easily make her way to help in the birthing process. The woman would be ritually cleansed and would offer prayers and give ritual offerings to Laima. After successful birth married women would feast, with Laima being reserved a place of honour, in the bathhouse as sign of gratitude. She would also determine persons fate – a decision even she herself could not alter afterwards. She was expected to help in other important aspects of life as well and cared for well being of the people in general. Unmarried girls would pray to her to give them good husbands and happy marriage. She also ensured fertility of fields and animals (horses in particular) to some extent.  Another two goddesses with similar function are Kārta and Dēkla.  Goddess Māra also has several functions in common with Laima.  Although this view has been criticized, many researchers agree that Māra is synonymous with Saint Mary. It has been suggested that Mary took over some functions of earlier deities, including Laima.  However, Māra was used to refer to Saint Mary, who was also called upon during childbirth and to help with number of ailments by either her modern Latvian name Marija or number of Christian euphemisms.  All these were also used as euphemisms to refer to uterus in folk magic.  The opposing view, based on comparative linguistics linking her with wide range of other Indoeuropean deities, is that she was important pre-Christian chthonic deity that both gives and takes life.” [4]

 

 

 

Sources:

Britannica Online Encyclopedia, “Laima“.

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

Wikipedia, “Laima“.

Wikipedia, “Latvian Mythology: Fate goddesses“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Bookrags.com, “Laima Research and Articles“.

Covenantofrhiannon.org, “Ancient Lithuanian Mythology and Religion“.

Latvianstuff.com, “Latvian Earth and Water Deities“.

Mallory, J.P. & Douglas Q. Adams. Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture, “Fortune Goddesses” (p. 212).

Motz, Lotte. The Faces of the Goddess, “Laima: Goddess of Birth and Fate” (p. 80 – 83).

Ortega, Pedro. Heresy and Beauty, “Lithuanian Goddess“.

Wikipedia, “Latvian Mythology“.

Goddess Minne

“Minne’s themes are protection, love, luck, devotion and unity. Her symbols are the linden tree, cups, and beer.  Minne is a German Goddess of love and fertility. Her name – meaning ‘remembrance’ – was applied to a special cup for lovers in this part of the world. The cup was filled with specially prepared beer and raised between two people wishing to deepen their love. This gives Minne a strong association with devotion, unit and fidelity.

During the second weekend in July, people in Geisenheim, Germany, celebrate Lindenfest by gathering around an ancient linden tree (six hundred-plus years old) and celebrate the year’s new wine. All aspects of the festival take place beneath the linden’s branches, which in magic terms represent safety and good fortune. The linden flowers portray Minne’s spirit, having been used in all manner of love magic! To protect a relationship, two lovers should carry dried linden flowers with them always.

When making a promise to each other, a couple may drink a wooden goblet of beer today, linking their destinies. Raise the glass to the sky first saying, ‘Minne’s love upon our lips, devotion in each sip.’

Drink while looking deeply into each other’s eyes. Or, exchange pieces of linden wood as a magical bonding that invokes Minne’s blessing. If linden isn’t native to your area, other trees and bushes that promote Minne’s loving qualities include avens, elm, lemon, orange, peach, primrose, rose and willow.”

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

I really couldn’t find anything on the Goddess Minne.  I thought I had found a reference in the glossary of The Elder Edda of Saemund Sigfusson, “MUNINN, mind; memory, recollection; G. minne, love” [1], but upon further research, Muninn turned out to be one in a pair of ravens who, along with Huginn (‘thought’), flew all over the world and brought the god Odin information. [2]

I found Minne defined as “An ancient Pagan Goddess who is said to have granted women and men permission to engage in lovemaking. Her name was a synonym for ‘love’, and She was often called Lofn (‘Goddess of Love’). In medieval times, Minne (like Melusine) was worshipped as a mermaid tailed Aphrodite by followers known as Minnesinger and Minstrels.” [3]

“Miranda” by David Delamare

Researching the mermaid aspect, I found this description, “Literally Virgin of the Sea, the mermaid was an image of fish-tailed Aphrodite, the medieval Minne, Maerin, Mari, or Marina. Her Death-Goddess aspect, sometimes named Rán, received the souls of those put to sea in funeral boats.” [4]

While researching Her mermaid aspect, I ran across this information and thought was pretty interesting: “The legends of mermaids may have evolved from snake Goddesses such as the ones found at Knossos in Crete, the largest of the Greek islands. Thousands of years ago, the snake was sacred for its ability to transform in the shedding of its skin and to explore the light of day and the darkness of the earth. The mermaid is a fish-tailed Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love who represents the power of creativity inspired by love. She brings visions to the surface and inspires dreams and desires. She is able to move from the receptive watery depths to the focus of firm land.” [5]  I never really thought about the snake/scale/mermaid connection before, but it makes sense.

“Lofn, Goddess of Love” by Thorskegga

Back to the reference to Lofn, Patricia Monaghan tells us that Lofn, “the Scandinavian Goddess of love had a special purpose: She was charged with smoothing over love’s difficulties.  Lofn (‘mild’) received prayers of those separated from their lovers and was empowered to bring together those She favored” (p. 198).

“Psyche” by Granger

I also found that “Lofn (pronounced LAW-ven) is the Norse Goddess of forbidden love. She is one of Frigg’s handmaidens, and serves Frigg (who is the Goddess of marriage) by removing the obstacles that lovers face. She also presides over the marriage of the two that She has brought together. Lofn’s name, which means ‘praise,’ is also seen as Lofna, Lofe, and Lofua.” [4]

This all seems a little scattered to me, though I can make some connections.  Minne is a Germanic/Norse Goddess of love.  Aphrodite was also a Goddess of love associated with the ocean.  Considering how the Wave Maidens came to be identified with mermaids in Norse mythology, I certainly don’t see any issues preventing the identification of Minne with mermaids either.

 

 

 

Sources:

Iliana’s Faery Realm, “Celtic, Roman, Greek, Norse, & Other Goddesses of Europe: Minne“.

Like a Cat Jewelry and Crafts, “Mermaid-Small“.

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

Moore, Mary Ann. Flying Mermaid Studio, “circles, workshops & retreats; flying mermaids writing circles & retreats“.

Sabrina. Goddess A Day, “Lofn“.

Wikipedia, “Huginn and Muninn“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Chalquist, Craig. Terrapsych.com, “Glossary of Norse and German Mythology – Lofn“.

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

Goddess oShion

Art by Robin Pushay

“oShion’s themes are luck, health, home, travel, prosperity, work and wealth. Her symbols are your lucky numbers, clothing and tokens.  Among the Romani, oShion rules over all matters of fortune and fate, including having the good timing it takes to really see a lot of luck! As we go about our summer activities, oShion keeps things interesting by mixing in a little serendipity.

Legend tells us that Gabriel declared this day among the most fortuitous on the calendar, especially for those wanting to travel, find a new home, improve their health, or embark on any prosperous project (like looking for a new job). oShion joins in these efforts by adding even more luck to a day already filled with positive influences. Take out any lucky items and wear or carry them today to augment the energy further.

Add luck-inspiring foods and spices to your diet to help you internalize your good fortune and make it last longer than twenty four hours. Examples include consuming oranges, pineapples and strawberries (or juices from these fruits) for breakfast. Or, bake with allspice and nutmeg.

As you dress, add a rose or violet to your outfit; both of these vibrate on lucky levels. Alternatively, carry a piece of turquoise, a piece of jet or an apache tear in your pocket to transport oShion’s good fortune wherever you go today. Leave an extra stone at home to encourage luck there too!”

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

“The Gypsy 2” by amoxes

Well, I had no luck on finding any information on this Goddess anywhere other than what others had restated from Patricia Telesco’s book.  A few sites listed Her as a minor European deity.  Seeing how the Romani trace their origins to the Indian Subcontinent, I can’t help but wonder if She is a local Romani tribal Goddess who may have had origins in India whose myths and stories had been lost and/or changed along the way; blended with that of other deities as She made Her way from India into Europe.  I base  this theory off of the the revered Romani deity, Kali Sara – whose origins seem to remain a mystery as well as how Kali came to be fused with the Black Madonna.  In saying that, could She then be a “sister” of  a Goddess such as Lakshmi – the Hindu Goddess of wealth, prosperity (both material and spiritual), fortune, and the embodiment of beauty?  Or Mahalakshmi (another name for Lakshmi), who is said to bring good luck and is believed to protect Her devotees from all kinds of misery and money-related sorrows?

Until I find the time to do some real in-depth research on the Romani culture, I fear She will remain a mystery to me…

 

 

 

Sources:

Lee, Ronald. Romano Kopachi, “The Romani Goddess Kali Sara“.

Wikipedia, “Lakshmi“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Kaplan, Jeff,  Bron Taylor & Samuel S. Hill. The Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature, “ROMANI (“GYPSY”) RELIGION“.

Romaculture.com.mk, “Roma Culture – History“.

Sharanya: The Maa Batakali Cultural Mission, Inc., “Saint-Sara-la-Kali: A Sister to Kali Maa

Twroz, Karol. WROTA Podkarpackie, “Roma“.

Wikipedia, “Romani People“.

Goddess Nemetona

“Mother Nature” by Rozairo

“Nemetona’s themes are wishes, protection, joy, fairies, magic, luck and nature. Her symbols are Hawthorn trees (or trees in general).  In Romano-Celtic regions, Nemetona guards groves of trees with a special protective presence that marks the area as a sacred site. Within this space, the soul is hushed and calm, becoming one with nature and the Goddess. Nemetona’s name means ‘shrine’ giving new depth of meaning to William Cullen Bryant’s poetic phrase ‘the groves were God’s first temples.’

Bawming the Thorn‘ is a ritual that takes place around this time of year in Appleton, England. It is an occasion for the community to gather together and decorate a hawthorn tree in the center of town. Local people believe this was a spot of ancient Pagan worship, which is highly likely since hawthorns are sacred to both witches and fairy-kind. In magic traditions, carrying a hawthorn ensures happiness and promotes good luck (not to mention bearing a bit of Nemetona with you). Wherever the oak, ash and thorn grow together is a very magical spot filled with Nemetona’s power and one that will be visited regularly by fairies!”

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

“Queen of Forest” by maillevin

Patricia Monaghan tells us that Nemetona was “the British ‘Goddess of the sacred grove’ as one of the divinities worshiped at Bath, where Sul was honored as patron of the thermal springs.  Nemetona was depicted as a seated queen holding a scepter, surrounded by three hooded figures and a ram” (p. 228).

I found what Sora Nalani wrote to be very informative and inspiring: “A Continental Deity revered during Roman times; Her name may be cognate with the Irish Valkyrie Nemain, and in fact the Romans seem to have regarded Her as having some connection with Mars.” [1]

“Nemetona is a very ancient Goddess of the Celts, specifically those in Gaul (what is now France). As well, She is thought to have been the eponymous deity of the Nemetes, a group of Germano-Celtic people living by the Rhine in an area now called Trier in Germany. The Celts, in general, did not build temples, but rather practiced their spirituality in sacred groves and Nemetona personifies this belief in the sacred land. Her name literally means ‘sacred space’, from the Celtic root ‘nemeto’ which means ‘sacred area’. She is related to the druidic concept of nemeton, the designation of sacred spiritual space.

Nemetona was worshipped primarily in what is now France and Germany, but Her worship extended into England, where there is an altar dedicated to Her in Bath. Her name survives through many place names including Augustonemeton (France), Nemetacum/Nemetocerna Atrebatum (Northern France), Nemetobriga, Nemetodurum (modern Vernantes), Nemetatae (A tribe in Northern Spain), Nemetostatio (England), Vernenetum and Medionemeton (both in England).

Loucetios Celtic God of light

Inscriptions found have shown that the Romans afflicated Nemetona with Mars. In Trier and Altrip, in Germany, inscriptions have been found pairing Her with Mars specifically and in Bath with Loucetios Mars. It is well know that as the Romans spread through the Celtic world that they paired their deities with the local deities, finding commonalities. Loucetios was a storm god, the divine mate of Nemetona, whose name means ‘bright’ or ‘shining one’. It is thought that he may be the original form of Lleu/Lugh, the Welsh god of light. With Lugh figuring as a ‘divine warrior’ in many myths, it makes a certain sense that the Romans would equate Loucetios with their god of war, Mars. Still, the fit is awkward and does little to retain the original power and meaning of both Nemetona and Her consort. As is often the case with the Roman deity overlays, it seems as if there was some breakdown of communication as the Romans tried to fit their war hungry gods over the more shamanistic gods of the Celts.”

Sora Nalani goes on to say: “At first I had found the fit of Nemetona and that of Mars to be almost ridiculous, it just didn’t seem as if it could be. But when I found a pairing of her with the Brythonic God, Mars Rigonemetis ‘King of the sacred grove’, a new picture began to form in my mind, one of a year King associated with the sacred Goddess whose tendrils of energy were inseparable from the land. It is very possible that Rigonemetis was the guardian of the sacred grove, the guardian of the sacred mother and wellspring of life; Nemetona. I then read that the Celtic ‘Mars’ was a god of protection and healing, along with agriculture in addition to the war-like aspects. Even Loucetios, a lightening god, is associated with sacred groves, as the druids associated lightening with sacred trees, in particular oaks. It is very possible the Loucetios would have been associated with ‘drunemeton‘: the sacred oak grove.

It seems a cruel twist of fate that some think She survives on as Nemhain, the Irish Goddess of battle frenzy . While the path from Goddess of the groves to the Goddess of the battlefield is not so farfetched through Her association with Her divine consort who inevitable was linked with Mars, the god of war, the pairing of Nemetona and Nemhain seems little more than a construct of similarity in names rather than an real evolution of Goddess worship.

I could not find many images of Nemetona but in the surviving iconography, She is pictured seated, holding a scepter surrounded by 3 hooded figures and a ram. This portrayal feels more Roman than it does Celtic, it seems more likely to me that her presence would have been found in the spiraling knotwork and the labyrinth iconology of the Celts.

“Nemetona” by Selina Fenech

Nemetona is a difficult Goddess to wrap my mind around. She is somewhat nebulous in my mind, partially because She seems inextricably linked with the land. She is the sacred grove and it is Her. She is sacred space, whether that is found within the majestic trees of a grove or if it is held simply within one’s heart. She is holy breath, the sanctuaries we create, not out of stone and mortar, but out of love and reverence. She is a sacred link between ourselves and the living planet. But in my mind, not in an all-consuming way, such as a deity like Gaia, but in a very personal , intimate way, our link to the land our feet walk on, to the trees our ears hear singing in the wind and the leaves that season with us. She is the animation of the living space around us, a reminder to create that which is sacred within and carry it through all our trials and journeys. She is the circle unto herself and we are within Her circle, found within our relationship with our most intimate and immediate environments. She is the wholeness within each single leaf on the plant that sits beside you, or the moving cells of your body, and the embodiment of all personal spiritual cycles. Simply put, she is sacred space.” [2]

Other names: Nemetonia, Nemetialis

 

 

Sources:

Joelle’s Sacred Grove, “Celtic Gods and Goddesses“.

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

Nalani, Sora. Spira, “Nemetona: Goddess of the Sacred Grove“.

Suggested Links:

Druidnetwork.org, “Nemetona“.

Eagle Feather, Lavender. The Simplified Witch, “Goddess Guidance…Nemetona

Nemeton – the Sacred Grove: Home of the Celtic gods, “Nemetona: A Gaulish and Brythonic Goddess (She of the Sacred Grove)“.

The Order of the Sacred Nemeton.

Wikipedia, “Nemetona“.

Goddess Habonde

“Habonde’s themes are abundance, joy, health, fertility, luck, magic and cleansing. Her symbols are ale and fire.  In Celtic tradition, Habonde is a witchy Goddess who represents abundance: an abundance of joy, health, fertility and luck. Customarily, people honored Her by dancing around magical ritual fires who smoke was said to purity both body and soul.

On the first Monday in July, people in Wales prepare for a lunch of ale brewed eight months ago. This is taken joyfully around town and shared to bring joy, prosperity and longevity to everyone, courtesy of the Goddess and the local brewers’ guild. If you’re a home brewer, this is an excellent day to make ritual beer or wine, both of which have to boil on the hearth, a symbol of Habonde. As you work, stir clockwise to draw positive energy your way. When your schedule’s too hectic for this, pour yourself a smal glass of beer (you can use the nonalcoholic kind), and lift it to the sky saying,

‘Habonde, bring abundance.  Habonde, health and luck bring.
When through my lips this liquid passes, let my soul sing!’

Drink expectantly.

Lighting any fire source honors Habonde and draw Her attention to areas where you feel Her energies are needed. Light a candle at home (or light the stove for a moment or the fireplace). And at the office? Just light a match (make sure it’s allowed by company rules or go to the smoking lounge!)”

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

“Habondia” by Amanda Clark (available for purchase on etsy.com)

Habondia (pronounced Hahb-OEN-dee’uh) also Abondia, Abunciada, and Habonde, was a Goddess of abundance and prosperity, demoted to a ‘mere witch’ in medieval English lore in order to strip Her of Her great power in the minds of the rural folk who depended upon Her benevolence for their crops and herds.” [1]

According to Patricia Monaghan, the Goddess Habondia is the “Goddess of abundance [that] was celebrated, particularly in medieval European times, as the special divinity of the witches.  Apparently, She was, or was descended from, an ancient Germanic or Celtic earth Goddess” (p. 143).

According to Myth Woodling, “Like Diana and Herodias (Erodiade), Habondia was one of the names of the medieval Queen of the Witches who led the ‘night flight.’ Her name, quite likely, derived from the Roman Abundantia, a minor Goddess who personified abundance. She was also a nocturnal spirit, as She was credited with entering the households of Her followers at night to bring prosperity. See Abundantia and Abundia.” [2]

I also found that “She was at one time bonded with Cernunnos [though this seems to be debatable]. Her followers were gradually absorbed into the folds of Brigid worship and She has been much forgotten, although at one time She was thought sacred to every Celtic home [which also seems to up for some debate]. The Feast of Habondia itself is a celebration of summer ripeness and potency and was said to be observed with sexual expression evident of the headiness of the season invoking continued blessings for the fertile crop. Yet as well, it was thought a family festival observed with reunions, gatherings and bondings of the clans. At this feast of the summer harvest, Habondia’s blessings were called upon for the ripe summer fruit and first harvest grains of the season.” [3]

 

 

 

Sources:

Celt Eros, “Feast of Habondia“.

Joelle’s Sacred Grove, “Celtic Gods and Goddesses“.

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

Woodling, Myth. The Goddess Aradia and Other Subjects, “What is the Amalthean Horn – Habondia“.


Suggested Links:

The Cauldron, “Habondia“.

Felene. Habondia. The Rune, “Goddess of the Summer Harvest“.

Leland, Charles Godfrey. Aradia: Or the Gospel of the Witches.

MysticWicks, “Habondia“.

Witchcraftassociation.org, “About Habonde, my Patron Goddess“.

Goddess Cerridwen

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Shapeshifter” by Lisa Hunt

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

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

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

“Cerridwen – the Magician” by Lisa Hunt

ASSOCIATIONS:

Pantheon: Celtic

Element: Earth

Sphere of Influence: Magic and fertility

Preferred Colors: Green

Associated Symbol: Cauldron

Associated Animal: Crow

Best Day to Work with: Monday

Best Moon Phase: New

Strongest Around: Imbolc

Suitable Offerings: Vervain, acorns

Associated Planet: Moon   [2]

 

 

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

 

 

 

Sources:

PaganNews.com, “Cerridwen“.

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

 

 

Suggested Links:

Covenofthegoddess.com,Goddess Cerridwyn“.

Daily Goddess, “Cerridwen: Death & Rebirth“.

Goddess-Guide.com, “Ceridwen“.

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

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

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

PaganPages.org, “Cerridwen“.

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

The Sisterhood of Avalon, “The Goddesses“.

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

Wikipedia, “Ceridwen“.

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