Tag Archive: maiden


Goddess Hina

“Hina” by Susan Seddon Boulet

“Hina’s themes are the moon, communication, cycles and mediation. Her symbols are lunar (silver/white items or any corresponding plants/stones) and coconuts.  This Tahitian Goddess is the Lady in the Moon who shines on us with Her changing faces. As the dark moon, She presides over death. As the waxing moon, She is the creatrix who made people from clay and the moon, Her home. As the full moon, She embodies a mature woman’s warrior spirit. As the waning moon, She is the aging crone full of wisdom and insight.

According to tradition, coconuts were created from the body of Hina’s lover, an eel god, after he was killed by superstitious locals. She also governs matters of honest communication and when properly propitiated, Hina sometimes acts as an intermediary between humans and the gods.

On July 20, 1969, American astronauts visited Hina in person, landing on the moon’s surface and exploring it. In spiritual terms this means taking time to explore the magical nature of the moon today. If the moon is dark, it represents the need to rest from your labors. If it is waxing, start a new magic project and stick with it so the energy grows like the moon. If Hina’s lunar sphere is full, turn a coin in your pocket three times, saying “prosperity” each time so your pocket remains full. If the moon is waning, start taking positive action to rid yourself of a nagging problem. Eat some coconut to help this along by internalizing Hina’s transformative powers.”

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

“Hina” by Lisa Hunt

Patricia Monaghan has this to say about the Goddess Hina, “The greatest Polynesian Goddess was a complex figure of whom many myths were told.  Like other major divinities, She was associated with many aspects of life and had many symbols: She was the tapa-beating woman who lived in the moon; She was Great Hina, the death mother; She was a warrior  queen of the Island of Women.  An all-inclusive  divine archetype, Hina appeared in many Polynesian legends, some of which – not surprisingly, for such a complex and long-lived Goddess – contradicted others.

In some legends, Hina was said to have been created of red clay by the first man.  But others – in Tahiti, for instance – knew Hina as the preeminent Goddess, for whose sexual pleasure the first man was created.  This Goddess has two faces, one in front as humans do, one at the back of Her head. She was the first female being on earth, many bearing Her name.

One of these was the dawn Goddess Hine-tita-ma, who was seduced by Her own father, while unaware of his identity.  Furious and ashamed on discovering this trickery, Hina ran away to Po, the Polynesian underworld; this was the first death in creation.  Her fury was so unquenchable that She announced Her intention of killing any children begotten by Her father, thereby assuring that death would remain a force on earth.

“Hina” by Herb Kane

How the Goddess Hina reached the moon – She who had originally lived on earth and populated it  – was a matter of numerous myths.  In Tahiti, Hina was a canoeist who enjoyed the sport so much that She sailed to the moon, which proved to be such a good boat that She stayed there, guarding earthly sojourners.  Others told of Hina being sent to the moon by violence.  Her brother, hung over from indulgence in kava, became infuriated at the noise Hina made while beating tape cloth.  When She would not cease Her labors for Her brother’s convenience, he hit Her, sending Her sailing into the sky.  Because tapa-beating was thought to be like the process by which the human body is slowly beaten down to death, this Hina of the moon, the tapa-maker of the sky, was closely related to the Great Hina of the underworld.  Finally, a Hawaiian variant of these legends said that Hina, a married woman, grew tired of constantly picking up after Her family and She simply left the earth to pursue a career as the moon’s clothmaker.

“Hina” by by Joanna Carolan

One guise Hina wore was a warrior of the Island of Women, a place where no men were allowed, where trees alone impregnated the residents.  A man washed up on the shore and slept with Hina, the ageless and beautiful leader. He stayed for some time.  But every time She began to show Her years, Hina went surfing and came back renewed and restored.  At the same time, Her human lover gradually bowed under the years.  Hina returned the man to his people on a whale, which the humans impudently and imprudently killed.  The whale was Hina’s brother, and She sent terrible sufferings on the people  as a result.

Among all the many stories of Hina, however, probably the most commonly known one was that of the Goddess and Her lover, the eel.  Living on earth as a mortal woman, Hina bathed in a quiet pool where, one day, She had intercourse with an eel.  Her people, afraid of the power of the serpent, killed him, only to find that Hina had been mating with a god.

Furious and despairing at having Her affair so terminated, Hina took the eel’s head and buried it. Five nights later the first coconut there, a staple product thereafter to Hina’s folk” (p. 153).

 

 

 

Sources:

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

 

 

Suggested Links:

Circlingin, “Hina- Woman in the Moon- selected from the ‘Goddesses Knowledge Cards’ by Susan Seddon Boulet and Michael Babcock“.

Hall, Leigh. Order of the White Moon, “The Goddess Hina“.

King, Serge Kahili. Aloha International, “Hawaiian Goddesses“.

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

Powersthatbe.com, “Goddess HINA“.

Revel, Anita. igoddess.com, “Hina: champion of words“.

Sacred-texts.com, “HINA, THE WOMAN IN THE MOON“.

Skye, Michelle. Goddess Aloud! Transforming Your Mind Through Rituals & Mantras, “Hina: Hawaiian Goddess of Self-Liberation“.

Tate, Karen. Sacred Places of Goddess: 108 Destinations, “Rainbow Falls“.

Telesco, Patricia. Gardening With the Goddess: Creating Gardens of Spirit and Magick, “Hina: Warrior Garden“.

Wikipedia, “Hina (goddess)“.

Goddess Bast

“Bast – Egyptian Cat Goddess” by Sharon George

“Bast’s themes are animals, magic, overcoming, playfulness, joy and humor.  Her symbols are cats.  Bast is the Egyptian cat-faced Goddess of sorcery, beneficence, joy, dance and fertility. Being a cat in nature, Bast teaches us to land on our feet in any situation, using a positive, playful attitude as our best ally. Bast and Her minions were so revered in Egypt that to kill cats was a crime punishable by death. Archaeologists uncovered mummified cats there, whose owners wanted the companionship of cats even in the afterlife. May is one of Bast’s traditional festival months.

In Belgium, people dress as cats today and hold a parade, known as The Kattenstoet, in which Bast is featured as the Queen of Cats. So think cat magic! If there’s a cat in your life, pamper the creature today and include it in spell craft as a magical partner (traditional ‘catty’ role in history). For example, if you find any of your cat’s whiskers, keep them. These may be burned for Bast in return for a wish. Or, carry a pinch of cat hair to tickle your funny bone.

Painting the image of a cat on a paper lantern and lighting it (with either a bulb or flame) draws Bast’s attention and energies to you. Or, carry a cat’s eye in your pocket today to begin developing catlike instincts and playfulness.”

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

“Bast” by *Badhead-Gadroon

“Bast, Egyptian Goddess of sensual pleasure, protector of the household, bringer of health, and the guardian saint of firefighters – was the original mistress of multi-tasking!  Bast is a daughter of the Sun God, Ra, sister of Sekhmet (wife of Ptah) and wife of Anubis.  One of the most ancient of the Egyptian Goddesses, She is depicted as a slender woman having the head of a domestic cat. Sometimes She is shown holding a sistrum, a rattle used as a musical instrument in ancient times. Agile and lithe, Bast was recognized as the Goddess of music and dance.  Her worship began around 3500 BCE, before the invention of writing.” [1]

According to Patricia Monaghan, “Bast originated in the Nile delta, but by 930 BCE, the power of Bast was acknowledged by all Egyptians, even those a thousand miles south of Her original home. At first She was lion Goddess of sunset, symbolizing the fertilizing force of the sun’s rays.  Later Her image grew tamer: She became a cat carrying the sun, or a cat-headed woman who bore on Her breastplate the lion of Her former self.

“contest prize – bast” by myworld1

Bast ruled pleasure and dancing, music and joy. At the city of Bubastis (“house of Bast”), the center of Her worship, great celebrations were held.  Boatloads of worshippers – hundreds of thousands of them, Herodotus said – were greeted by pleasant flute melodies as they debarked for a worship service combined with a vast trade fair.  Bast’s followers believed that in return for this reverent celebration Bast bestowed both mental and physical health.

As part of Bast’s worship, Egyptians honored live cats.  Domesticated (if cats can ever truly be said to be domesticated) during the early period of agriculture, cats were  useful to keep down the rodent population and therefor to assure a stable diet for humans.  Egyptians cherished their cats, often decking them with golden earrings or other jewelry.  When they died, the cats were mummified and buried in the vast cat cemetery at Bubastis.” (p. 66 – 67).

“Cats were honored in the temples of Bast and many felines were in permanent residence there. If a local house caught on fire, the cats would be dispatched to run into the flames, drawing them out of the building. (History’s first record of a fire brigade!)” [2]

“Bast” by MaatKaaRe

[As mentioned earlier] “Bast began Her life as a protector Goddess of Lower Egypt. She was as a fierce lioness; Her name is given to mean ‘devourer. She is usually shown in art as a cat-headed woman carrying a basket or as a whole cat. Quite often though, there are kittens at Her feet in the pictures. A woman who wanted children sometimes wore an amulet showing the Goddess with kittens, the number of which indicated her own desired number of children.

“Bast” by valse-des-ombres

Bast is the protector of cats, women and children.  There are many legends that connected Her as an ancient sun and War Goddess.  One legend says that She accompanied the sun god, Ra’s, boat for a million years on its daily journey through the sky. At night She was said to transform Herself into a cat to protect Her father from Apep, a serpent – Her father’s greatest enemy. His greatest and strongest followers attempted to kill the vile creature, but to no avail. Eventually, Bast, with Her superb feline night vision, managed to destroy the serpent thereby ensuring humankind that the warmth of the sun would continue to bless the earth.  Ever watchful, Bast protected Her father from his enemies, thereby becoming known as the ‘Lady of the East’, ‘Goddess of the Rising Sun’, and ‘The Sacred and All-Seeing Eye’.  As a protector, She was seen as a defender of the Pharaoh.

“funeral dance” by B-a-s-t-e-t

Bast can be viewed as an integrative Goddess in Her several aspects.  She is both the sun and the moon. In fact, She is one of the few sun Goddesses that can also be classified as a moon Goddess; Her glowing cat eyes reminds us of the moon that they reflect. She is venerated for singing, dancing, and childbirth suggesting ritualistic ceremonies. Above all, She is concerned with the enjoyment of life and the joy of music, dance, and bright colors. Her shrine in Baubasis was fashioned with blocks of pink granite with an entrance lined with trees. It was once one of the most beautifu temples in the world, but, alas, today, no shrines or temples remain of Bast in Egypt; even Bubastis is mostly in ruins.

“Egyptian Goddess Bast” by Diveena

Her name translates as ‘female of the ointment jar; hence She would gradually become the Goddess of Perfumes and Oils. In connection with this, when Anubis became the god of embalming, Bast, as Goddess of ointment, came to be regarded as his wife.

Statues of cats are commonly passed off as facsimiles of Bast, but this is incorrect. The cat was indeed Her sacred animal and the people of the time tended to see the Goddess in every cat that walked past, but Her original depiction was as a royal lady or a priestess with a cat’s head. The ancient Egyptians celebrated Her feast day on October 31st with lots of merry making, music, dancing in the streets and drinking with friends. Sadly, in modern times, Bast and Her feast day are overlooked, but you could perhaps say that Halloween was originally celebrated as the Feast of Bast.

She also has the gift, like all cats, of looking deep into your soul.Take a moment today to honor this ancient Egyptian Goddess. Light a green candle, Her sacred color, and be affectionate to a cat, Her cherished animal. When you address a cat, remember you are speaking to a little divinity, and a creature beloved of Bast.” [3]

“The Egyptian Goddess Bast reminds us of all that is feline and feminine.  Her gifts, very cat-like in nature, include the refusal to be at everyone’s beck and call and an insistence on the freedom of expression. She teaches us to relax and never waste energy, reminding us to luxuriate in beauty, perfume, and to sway in graceful movement. Bast refuses to take anything too seriously. But most importantly, Bast leads us to accept the true nature of things (ourselves included) and helps us remain unswayed by the opinion of others. Curled up like a cat lying in the sun, the Goddess Bast foms a complete circle . . . a symbol of the eternal.” [4]

“Bast” by Lisa Hunt

ASSOCIATIONS:

General: Cats, rising sun, utchat (the “All-Seeing Eye”), pottery jars as perfume holders, parades (and floats), castanets and rattles (as musical instruments), beer, music and dance.

Animals: Domestic cats, lions

Plants: Cattails and other reeds, yew, cypress, mint (especially catmint), barley, and hemp

Perfumes/Scents: Musk, cinnamon, frankincense, myrrh, hemp, catnip, vervain, sandalwood, geranium, and lavender

Gems and Metals: Cat’s eye, sunstone, agate [esp. fire agate], jasper, lapis lazuli, pyrite, and jasper

Colors: Black, gold, red, turquoise, clay and silver   [5]

Also seen as Bastet, Baast, Pacht, Pasht Pasch, Ubast, Ubasti and Baset.

Sources:

Goddessgift.com, “Bast, Goddess of Protection and Pleasure“.

Goddessgift.com, “Goddess Symbols: Bast“.

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

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

Suggested Links:

Carnaval.com, “Bast“.

Egyptian Myths, “Bastet“.

Fearn, Tranquillity. Order of the White Moon, “Bast: Queen of Cats“.

Goddess-guide.com, “The Egyptian Cat Goddess Bast“.

HDW Enterprises & Foothill Felines Bengals, “The History of the Domestic Cat“.

Hill, J. Ancient Egypt Online,Ancient Egyptian Gods: Bast“.

Moggies, Home of the online Cat Guide, “Bastet – Cat Goddess“.

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

Revel, Anita. igoddess.com, “Bast: enjoy play-time – Egyptian cat goddess“.

Seawright, Caroline. Tour Egypt, “Bast, Perfumed Protector, Cat Goddess…

Shira. All About Belly Dance by Shira, “The Goddesses of Ancient Egypt“.

Temple of Creation, “Working with the Goddess Bast“.

Tiamat, Avalon Sakti. Way of the Wild Rose, “The Goddess Bast“.

Wikipedia, “Bastet“.

Goddess Ix Chel

“Medicine Woman” by Lisa Iris

“Ix Chel’s themes are weather, children, fertility, and health.  Her symbols are water, turquoise, jade, silver, and blue or white items.  The aqueous Mayan Goddess of water, the moon, medicine and childbirth, Ix Chel lives in the land of mists and rainbows. Art shows Her wearing a skirt that flows with fertile waters, dotted with water lilies, and adorned with tiny bits of turquoise and jade. This skirt reaches all the way to earth, filling our lives with Ix Chel’s well-being and enrichment.

Believing that the Frost Spirit lives in the cliffs of Santa Eulalia, people brave the sheer stones once a year and make prayers to the weather deities to keep away further intrusion by the frost, which would ruin crops. Ix Chel is present to witness, being part of the frost and part of the nurturing rains, for which the priest also pray. For our purposes this equates to calling on Ix Chel’s energy to ‘defrost’ a frozen or emotionally chilly situation, or to rain on us with her healing power.

To protect your health specifically, carry a turquoise, which also safeguards you during your travel today. To inspire productivity or fertility, wear blue and white items, repeating this incantation as you put them on:

Ix Chel, be in this <…….> of blue
so my thoughts stay fixed on you
Ix Chel, be in this <…….> of white
bring abundance both day and night.'”

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

“Ix Chel” by Hrana Janto

Ix Chel (pronounced ‘ee shell’) is the Maya Goddess of the Moon, Water, Weaving and Childbirth. She was worshipped among the Maya of the Yucatan peninsula.  She is the Mother of all of the Mayan deities and rules over the cycles of life and death.  As the ‘Keeper of Souls’, She is constantly evolving from a young beautiful maiden into the wisened old crone who shares the wisdom of the ages with Her people.

Ix-Chel was almost too beautiful, this girl with opalescent skin who set in the skies brushing Her Shimmering hair for hours on end.  All the gods were captivated by Her.  All but one, that is.  Kinich Ahau, the Sun God, seemed immune to Ix-Chel’s charms. Yet he was the only one She really ever wanted. For years She had longed for him as She watched him glide across the sky in all his golden splendor.

But the more Ix-Chel followed him around, the worse the weather on earth became.  As She chased after him the tides would rise, creating floods that inundated the fields and caused the crops to die. So enamored was She, that Ix-Chel did not even notice the havoc She was causing.

Like many moon Goddesses Ix-Chel was a fine weaver, and it was the beautiful cloth She wove that finally captured Kinich Ahau’s attention. Soon they had become lovers.

“Mayan Myth – Goddess Ixchel” by emanuellakozas

Out of disapproval, Her grandfather hurled lightning jealously at Her, killing the girl. Grieving dragonflies sang over Ix Chel for 13 days, at the end of which time She emerged, whole and alive, and followed Her lover to his palace. But there the sun in turn grew jealous of the Goddess, accusing Her of taking a new lover: his brother, the morning star. He threw Ix Chel from heaven; She found sanctuary with the vulture divinity; the sun pursued Her and lured Her home; but immediately, he grew jealous again.

During the time the two were together, Ix Chel had born the Sun God four sons.  They are the jaguar gods who are able to creep through the night, sight unseen.  They were named for the ‘Four Directions’, and it is said that each one is responsible for holding up his corner of the earth.

“Ix Chel” by Susan Seddon Boulet

Ix-Chel finally realized that Kinich Ahau was not going to change and decided to leave him for good. Waiting until he fell asleep, She crept out into the night, taking the form of a jaguar and becoming invisible whenever he came searching for Her.

“Ix Chel” by Marcia Snedecor

Many nights She spent on Her sacred island, Cozumel, nursing women during their pregnancies and childbirth. Ix-Chel, like other moon Goddesses, governed women’s reproductive systems so it was quite understandable that She would become the protector of women during pregnancy and labor.  Mayan women were expected, at least once in their lifetime, to complete a pilgrimage to Her sacred island to offer Her gifts and to receive Her blessings.  For hundreds of years, these women made the twelve mile trip by boat, and many of the Mayan shrines dedicated to Her are still standing today.

The small Isla Mujeres (“Island of Women”) was devoted to the worship of Ix-Chel. Comfortable with all phases of life, She was honored as the weaver of the life cycle. She protected the fertility of women and was also the keeper of the souls of the dead.

“Ix Chel” by Meg Easling

As the ancient fertility Goddess, Ix Chel was responsible for sending the rains which nourished the crops, and while She was fulfilling that function, She was called ‘Lady Rainbow’.  Ix stands for Goddess and Chel for rainbow. [1] [2] [3]

“Ix Chel is shown below in three of Her many aspects. Left to right: Chak Chel, the Old Moon Goddess, called the Midwife of Creation; Ix Chel in Her main form as Mother Goddess and Weaver who set the Universe in motion; and the Young Moon Goddess, shown with Her totem animal the rabbit.

“Ix Chel” by Thalia Took

Ix Chel is a great Water Goddess, the consort of the chief God of the Maya pantheon, Votan. Her name means “Lady Rainbow”, and She is said to have founded the city of Palenque at the command of the Gods. She is a Weaver Goddess, whose whirling drop spindle is said to be at the center of the motion of the Universe. She has many aspects and titles, such as Ix Kanleom, the ‘Spider’s Web Catching the Morning Dew’, and Ix Chebal Yax. Her Nahua (Mexican/Aztec) counterpart is said to be Chalchiuhtlicue.

Chak Chel, ‘Great (or Red) Rainbow’ is the Goddess who brings about the destruction of the third creation by causing a great flood. By pouring the waters from Her jar, She prepared the way for the next age, known in Maya legend as the Fourth Sun. She is shown as an old midwife, for experienced elderly women helped younger women to give birth, and were traditionally caretakers of children. Chak Chel also helped the Maize God to be reborn, and helped in the birth of His own sons. She is shown in a pose traditional to Her, with the twisted hair-do of elderly women (though they usually wrapped it up with a strip of cloth rather than a snake).

The Young Moon Goddess may have originally been a different Goddess of the Moon who was later absorbed into Ix Chel’s legend. She is often depicted with a rabbit, for the Maya, like the Chinese, saw a rabbit in the markings on the face of the Moon. She is said to be of a merry and somewhat loose character, and rabbits are also famed for their reproductive abilities. She (as Ix Chel) had a great shrine on the island of Cozumel (one of the places to which hurricane Wilma recently caused great destruction) to which pilgrims came from all over. The crescent-shaped chair on which She sits is the Maya glyph for the Moon, Her symbol.

Thalia Took pained Ix Chel in modern Maya traditional clothing featuring the astonishing gorgeous handwoven textiles still made in remote areas of Maya country (mostly modern-day Guatemala). She sits upon a Sky-Bar, known from Maya glyphs and carvings and used as a symbol of the sky; figures drawn above or over the Sky-Bar are usually deities, or the dead. Chak Chel pours water from a jar marked with the glyph for water, and the color scheme and water critters are taken from the beautiful Maya-style frescoes found at Cacaxtla, Mexico.” [4]

“Ix Chel Mayan Moon Goddess” by Katherine Skaggs

“There is a lot we can learn from Ix Chel.  Ix Chel is the Goddess who REFUSED to become a victim of oppression.  This was a woman who, when faced with adversity, took control of Her own life and turned it around.  She teaches us that women do not have to be a victim, that we have the power of choice, and we should never let anyone take that away from us. She encourages us to acknowledge the negative forces affecting our lives and prompts us to assert ourselves fully in the face of physical or emotional violence that would diminish our sense of self.” [5] [6]

ASSOCIATIONS:

Related Names: The Queen, Lady Rainbow, Eagle Woman, Our Mother, the White Lady, Goddess of Becoming, Mother Earth, the Womb, the Cave of Life, Keeper of the Bones

Related Patronages: Water, Healing, Medicine, Weaving, Sexuality, Fertility, Childbirth, Magic

Related Animals: Dragonfly (symbolizing sense of self and creative imagination); Feathered Serpent (symbolizing energy of transformation); Snake (symbolizing renovation, renewal and medicine); Rabbit (symbolizing abundance and fertility); Red Jaguar (symbolizing authority and power)

Related essences: Almond, bergamot, marigold, oriental lily, vanilla

Related gemstones: Agate, brown jasper (orange stones), carnelian, coral

 

Sources:

Franklin, Anna. merciangathering.com, “IX CHEL“.

Goddessgift.com, “Ix-Chel, Goddess of the Moon“.

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

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

Mystic Wicks, “Ix Chel {Goddess of the Week}“.

Sabrina. Goddess A Day, “Ix Chel“.

Took, Thalia. A-Muse-ing Grace Gallery, “Ix Chel“.

Suggested Links:

Artemisia. Order of the White Moon, “Ixchel“.

The Blue Roebuck, “Ix Chel“.

Carol. Tribe.net, “Ix Chel – Goddess of the Moon“.

Home, Shonagh. Ix Chel Wisdom: 7 Teachings from the Mayan Sacred Feminine.

Revel, Anita. igoddess.com, “IxChel: romantic radiance“.

Wikipedia, “Ixchel“.

Xtah

“Mayan Princess” by castrochew

“Xtah’s themes are weather, harvest, fertility and prayer.  Her symbols are rainwater.  The Guatemalan Goddess of rain and water sprinkles Herself into today’s celebration in answer to Her people’s fervent prayers. As She does, Her rain also bears constructive, fulfilling energy to maintain the gardens of our spirit with spring’s growth-centred magic.

This is the time of the year when people in Mexico and Central America begin praying to the sacred powers for rain. In Guatemala, specifically, they pray and make offerings to the Goddess so the crops will not fail from draught.

If your spiritual life has seemed a bit ‘dry’ lately or lacking in real substance, pray to Xtah with words like these:

 Xtah, as you pour forth from the heavens, see my need
[Pour out a glass of water Her,
this is a type of sympathetic magic
that encourages Xtah to follow your example]
Rain upon my life and heart with your fruitful waters
so I may grow with clarity of spirit
Thank you for your bounty
for fulfilling my inner well with your richness
So be it.’

If it’s raining outside, dance in the rain as you pray so you can literally touch Xtah’s presence. Alternatively, pray in the shower or in the rains created by a lawn sprinkler.

Wear water-colored clothing today (blue, purple, dark green) to accent whichever of Xtah’s attributes you want to develop.”

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

“Original Mayan Art – Lady Hand Sky” by rico2012

I pretty much found nothing on this Goddess.  The only reference I found to Her was with another Goddess named Xpuch.  Xpuch and Xtah were “maidens of the Vuc Amag tribe who were forced to offer themselves to the gods Tohil, Avilix and Hacavitz, who would leave the tribe alone if the maidens returned with proof they had been violated by the gods. This tale appears in the Popol Vuh, an ancient Maya manuscript combining mythological characters and history.”

Sources:

Marks, Dominic. Chinaroad Löwchen. “Mayan Goddesses“.

Suggested Links:

Florida International University, “Popul Vuh“.

Goddess Gefn

“Freyja” by paintedflowers

“Gefn’s themes are sun, winter, spring, protection, health, love, divination, magic, fertility, foresight, and growth.  Her symbols are all green or growing things.  A Goddess whose name means simply ‘giver’, Gefn was regarded by the Norse-Germanic people as a frolicsome, fertile figure and seeress who embodied the earth’s greenery. Gefn brings this abundance to us today: abundant well-being, abundant companionship, and abundant Goddess-centered magic!

Walpurgisnacht with a German saint (Saint Walburga), who had curative powers and taught people how to banish curses. For our purpose, Gefn stands in, offering to heal the curse of a broken heart by filling our lives with love and hope-filled foresight. If someone has completely overlooked or trashed your feelings recently, ask Gefn for help in words that you find comfortable. She’s waiting and willing to apply a spiritual salve to that wound.

Also try the German custom of ringing bells and banging pots to frighten away any malicious or prankish magic (or people who make it) before your spring activities really start to rock ‘n’ roll. Make this as playful as possible to encourage Gefn’s participation. Burning rosemary and juniper likewise cleanses the area, and if you can get either of these fresh, Gefn’s presence lies within. The burning releases Her energy.”

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

“In Norse mythology, Gefjon (pronounced GEF-yon) or Gefjun (with the alternate spelling Gefion) is a Goddess associated with ploughing, the Danish island of Zealand, the legendary Swedish king Gylfi, the legendary Danish king Skjöldr, foreknowledge, and virginity. Gefjon is attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources; the Prose Edda and Heimskringla, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson; in the works of skalds; and appears as a gloss for various Greco-Roman Goddesses in some Old Norse translations of Latin works.

Gefjon ploughs the earth in Sweden by Lorenz Frølich

The Prose Edda and Heimskringla both report that Gefjon plowed away what is now lake Mälaren, Sweden, and with this land formed the island of Zealand, Denmark. In addition, the Prose Edda describes that not only is Gefjon a virgin Herself, but that all who die a virgin become Her attendants. Heimskringla records that Gefjon married the legendary Danish king Skjöldr and that the two dwelled in Lejre, Denmark.

Scholars have proposed theories about the etymology the name of the Goddess, connections to fertility and ploughing practices, the implications of the references made to Her as a virgin, five potential mentions of the Goddess in the Old English poem Beowulf, and potential connections between Gefjon and Grendel’s Mother and/or the Goddesses Freyja and Frigg.” [1]

The Gefion Fountain, located on the harbour front in Copenhagen, Denmark. Photo by Oliver J. Schirmer

“The predominant myth about Gefjon is from a ninth century poem by Bragi the Old and was retold by Snorri Sturluson in the thirteenth century. He relates how Odin had sent Gefjon out to look for more land, and She came to the court of King Gylfi of Sweden. She entertained the king, and in return he gave Her a grant of as much land as four oxen could plough in one day and one night. Gefjon went to the land of the giants where She had four sons with a giant. She turned the four sons into oxen and brought them back to King Gylfi. They dug up so much earth that they created a lake, Lake Mälaren, and the earth that they had dug they dumped into the sea where it formed an island, Zealand, which is now part of Denmark. Gefjon then moved to the island and married Odin’s son Skjöld, and their children became the royal family of Denmark.

Elsewhere in his works, Snorri Sturluson refers to Gefjon as a virgin Goddess, although the trickster God Loki claims that this is not true. Gefjon is one of Frigg’s handmaidens, and She in turn is served by women who died as virgins.” [2]

 

ASSOCIATIONS:

Also Called: The Giver; Mistress of Magick

Colors: Green, gold

Symbols: Plow, wheat, corn

Stones/Metals: Amber, malachite, copper

Plants: Hawthorn, alder, wheat, corn, elder, thyme, yarrow

Day: Friday

Runes: Gebo, Fehu, Jera       [3]

 

 

 

 

Sources:

Pagan Rights Coalition, “Gefjon“.

Sabrina. Goddess A Day, “Gefjon“.

Wikipedia, “Gefjon“.

 

Suggested Links:

Odin’s Volk, “Gefjon“.

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

Quarrie, Deanne. Global Goddess, “Gefjon the Giver“.

Thomas, Dawn “Belladonna”. Global Goddess, “Goddess Gefjon and a Sample Ritual“.

VAIDILUTE, “Asgard and the Gods – Part 4

Wikipedia, “List of names of Freyja“.


Goddess Flora

"Flora" by Evelyn de Morgan

“Flora’s themes are beauty, sexuality, love, spring, and fertility.  Her symbols are all flowers.  Roman prostitutes considered Flora their own Goddess, protecting all acts of beauty, especially heartfelt lovemaking. She is also a spring Goddess from whom we get the word flora, meaning ‘blossom’ or ‘plants’. Symbolically, this flowering pertains to the human spirit too, one that can appreciate beauty in the body without necessarily making it into a sex object.

Wearing bright colors on this day is customary, as is decorating everything with a plethora of flowers, each of which has Flora’s presence within. If flowers prove difficult to obtain or too costly, think floral aromas instead. Pull out a blossoming air freshener, light floral incense, or wear a floral perfume. Flora is as much a part of the scent as She is the petals, conveying love and passion on each breeze!

Another traditional activity for this day is erotic dancing. If you have someone special in your life, tantalize them with a bit with slow, sexy movements. Let Flora’s passion fill both of you to overflowing, then let nature take Her course.

Finally, make yourself a Flora charm that incites the interest of those from whom you seek it. Take three flower petals and tuck them in your clothing, keeping an image of your partner in mind, and say:

 ‘One for interest
Two for Flora’s desire
Three to light passion’s fire.'”

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

“Flora is the Roman Goddess of flowering plants, especially those that bear fruit. Spring, of course, is Her season, and She has elements of a Love-Goddess, with its attendant attributes of fertility, sex, and blossoming. She is quite ancient; the Sabines are said to have named a month for Her (which corresponds to our and the Roman April), and She was known among the Samnites as well as the Oscans, where She was called Flusia. She was originally the Goddess specifically of the flowering crops, such as the grain or fruit-trees, and Her function was to make the grain, vegetables and trees bloom so that autumn’s harvest would be good. She was invoked to avert rust, a nasty fungal disease of plants that causes orange growths the exact color of rusting iron, and which was (is) an especial problem affecting wheat. Hers is the beginning of the process that finds its completion with Pomona, the Goddess of Fruit and the Harvest; and like Pomona, Flora had Her own flamen, one of a small number of priests each in service to a specific Deity. The flamens were said to have been instituted by Numa, the legendary second King of Rome who succeeded Romulus; and whether Numa really existed or not, the flamens were undoubtedly of ancient origin, as were the Deities they served.

"Flora" by InertiaK

In later times Flora became the Goddess of all flowering plants, including the ornamental varieties. Her name is related to Latin floris, meaning naturally enough ‘a flower’, with the additional meaning of ‘[something] in its prime’; other related words have meanings like ‘prospering’, ‘flourishing’, ‘abounding’, and ‘fresh or blooming’. In one story, Flora was said to have provided Juno with a magic flower that would allow Her to conceive with no help from a man; from this virgin-birth Mars was born. A late tale calls Flora a courtesan and gives Her a story similar to Acca Larentia: Flora was said to have made a fortune as a courtesan, which She bequeathed to Rome upon Her death, and for which She was honored with the festival of the Floralia. As Flora was originally a Sabine Goddess, and as the Sabines were a neighboring tribe whom the Romans conquered and assimilated into Rome, perhaps this is an acknowledgement of the land so acquired, put into legendary terms.

"Flora" by Louise Abbéma

Flora had two temples in Rome, one near the Circus Maximus, the great “stadium” of Rome where chariot races were held, and another on the slopes of the Quirinal Hill. The temple on the Quirinal was most likely built on the site of an earlier altar to Her said to have been dedicated by Titus Tatius, King of the Sabines, who ruled alongside Romulus for a time in the very early (hence legendary) days of Rome. Her other temple was built quite near to the Circus Maximus, though its exact site has not been found, and was associated with a neighboring temple dedicated to the triad of Ceres (the Grain Goddess) and Liber and Libera (God and Goddess of the Vine). These Deities and Flora were all concerned with the fertility and health of the crops. Flora’s temple by the Circus was dedicated on the 28th of April in 241 (or 248) BCE in response to a great drought at the command of the Sybilline books, and this day became the starting date of Her great festival, the Floralia. In Imperial times (1st century CE) this temple was rededicated (I assume after some restorations were made) on the 13th of August, and this date was given to a second festival of Flora, coinciding with the ripening of the grain, whose flowers She had set forth.

Proper Piatti (and workshop): Floralia, 1899

The Floralia of April was originally a moveable feast to coincide with the blossoming of the plants, later becoming fixed with the dedication of Her temple on the 28th (or 27th, before the calendar was reformed–I mention this because holidays were almost always held on odd-numbered days as it was considered unlucky to start a festival on an even-numbered day), though ludi or “games”–horse-races or athletic contests–were not held every year. By the Empire the festival had grown (or should I say, blossomed) to seven days, and included chariot-races and theatrical performances, some of which were notoriously bawdy. It was given over to merriment and celebrations of an amorous nature, much like that northern flower-and-sex festival Beltaine whose date neatly coincides. Prostitutes considered it their own special time, and the Floralia gained a reputation as being more licentious and abandoned than the Saturnalia of December, whose name is legendary even now.

"Flora" by Neonescence

At the chariot-races and circus games of the Floralia it was traditional to let goats and hares loose, and lupines, bean-flowers and vetch (all of which have similarly-shaped blossoms and are a sort of showier version of wheat in bloom) were scattered, symbolic of fertility. Brightly colored clothes were a must, as were wreaths of flowers, especially roses; and the celebrations drew great crowds. Of the two nationalized chariot-teams who shared a deep rivalry, the Greens and the Blues, the Greens (of course) were Hers, and She had been invoked at chariot-races from ancient times. The last day of the festival, May 3rd, was called Florae; it may be a special name for the closing day of the Floralia, or it may refer to a seperate ceremony conducted in Her temple on the Quirinal.

Ancient Roman Fresco - Flora (Khloris), the Goddess of flowers, fills Her basket with freshly picked blooms.

Flora was depicted by the Romans wearing light spring clothing, holding small bouquets of flowers, sometimes crowned with blossoms. Honey, made from flowers, is one of Her gifts, and Her name is said to be one of the secret (holy) names of Rome. She is sometimes called the handmaiden of Ceres. Ovid identifies Her with the Greek flower-nymph Chloris, whose name means ‘yellow or pale green’, the color of Spring. The word flora is still used as a general name for the plants of a region.

Alternate names/epithets: Flora Rustica, ‘Flora the Countrywoman’ or ‘Flora of the Countryside’, and Flora Mater, or ‘Flora the Mother’, in respect to Her ancient origins. Among the Oscans She was known as Flusia.” [1]

Here is a little visual tribute to the Goddess Flora set to Concerto No. 1 in E major, Op. 8, RV 269, “La primavera” (Spring) by Antonio Vivaldi for your viewing and listening pleasure

Sources:

Took, Thalia. The Obscure Goddess Online Dictionary, “Flora“.

Suggested Links:

Agaliha. Mystic Wicks, “Flora {Goddess of the Week}“. 

Carnaval.com, “May Day“.

Gill, N.S. About.com, “Floralia“.

MoonBird, Maeve Cliodhna. The Goddess Within, “Beltane-Celebrating the Goddess Flora of Springtime and the May Queen“.

Theoi Greek Mythology, “Khloris“.

Wikipedia, “Flora (mythology)“.

Goddess Lada

“Goddess Lada” by Lady-Ghost

“Lada’s themes are spring, protection, overcoming, kinship, energy, and joy.  Her symbols are birch and bells.  Lada bursts forth from Her winter hiding place today in full Slavic costume and dances with joy, grateful for spring’s arrival. As Lada moves, Her skirts sweep away sickness and usher in the earth’s blossoming beauty. She bears a birch tree and flowers to honor the earth’s fertility and to begin planting anew.

Sechseläuten, a traditional Swiss spring holiday, is overflowing with Lada’s vibrancy and begins with the demolition of a snowman, symbolic of winter’s complete overthrow. If you don’t live in a region where there’s snow, take out an ice cube and put a flowering seed atop it. Let is melt, then plant the seed with ‘winter’s’ water to welcome Lada back to the earth.

Bells ring throughout this day in Switzerland to proclaim spring and ring out any remaining winter maladies and shadows. Adapt this by taking a handheld bell (you can get small ones at craft stores) and ringing it in every room of the house, intoning Lada’s revitalizing energy. Or, just ring your doorbell, open the door, and bring in some flowers as a way of offering Lada’s spirit hospitality.

Finally, wear something with a floral print today or enjoy a glass of birch beer. Better still, make a birch beer float so the ice cream (snow) melts amid Lada’s warmth, bringing that transformative power into you as you sip.”

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

“Lada is the Slavic Goddess of spring, love, and beauty. She was worshipped throughout Russia, Poland, and other areas of Eastern Europe. She is usually depicted as a young woman with long blonde hair. She carries wild roses, and is also known as the ‘Lady of the Flowers’. As Goddess of spring, Lada is associated with love and fertility in both humans and animals. She is said to return from the underworld every year at the Vernal Equinox, bringing the spring with Her.” [1]

“The Slavic Goddess of love and beauty, who appears as Freya, Isis, or Aphrodite with other peoples. She is, of course, linked to the planetary power of Venus who is, besides love and beauty, associated with fertility. Lada is represented as a girl with long golden hair sometimes with a wreath of ears of grain braided into Her hair, which symbolizes Her function of fertility deity thus making Her an aspect of Mother of Wet Land. A symbol of Sun, a mark of lifegiving power was sometimes on her breasts. As a fertility Goddess, Lada has Her annual cycles, which can be shown by the belief that She resides in the dwelling place of the dead until the vernal equinox comes. This world of the dead is called Irij, and here, besides Lada, dwells Veles, the horned god of cattle. [Does this story ring a bell?  A connection between Persephone/Kore in Greek mythology or Oniata in the Americas?]

At the moment when Lada is supposed to come out into the world and bring spring, Gerovit opens the door of Irij letting the fertility Goddess bless the earth. At the end of summer, Lada returns to Irij (there is a similar myth in German mythology in which Freya spends a part of the year underground among the elves, whereas Greek Persefona dwells in Hades during the winter period). Although Her reign begins on the 21st of March, Lada is primarily the Goddess of summer. She follows Vesna, the Slavic spring Goddess. However, both of these Goddesses are associated with fertility so sometimes it can sometimes be difficult to separate their functions. As we can see, Lada’s reign begins in spring, the proof of which is ladenjanother name for April, given after this Goddess. Apart from the Sun, Lada is also associated with rain and hot summer nights, the ideal time for paying respect to the love Goddess.

Lada’s animals are a cock, a deer, an ant and an eagle, whereas Her plants are a cherry, a dandelion, a linden and a peony. Besides Venus, Lada is connected with the constilation of Taurus, which Aleksandar Asov wrote about in The Slavic Astrology. Here, we can once again Her function of fertility Goddess, whose reign begins in spring, mix with the function of the Goddess Vesna. A myth says that Lada is married to Svarog who is only with Her help able to create the world. According to another one, She is a companion of Jarilo, thus associated with Aphrodite, whose lover is Ares. Rituals performed in Lada’s honor are most often linked with contracting marriages, or choosing a spouse. One of the known rites is ladarice, also performed under the name of kraljice in Serbia. Vuk Karadžić described the basic characteristics of this ritual. On Holy Trinity Day, a group of about ten young girls gathers, one of them is dressed like a queen, another one like a king, and another one like a color-bearer. The queen is sitting on a chair, while the other girls are dancing around Her, and the king and the color-bearer are dancing on their own. In this way the queens go from house to house looking for girls of marriageable age. Jumping over the fire is another characteristic of rituals performed in Lada’s honor. This custom existed in all parts of Europe and its purpose was to ensure fertility as well as to protect people and cattle from evil forces.” [2]  This very similar to the customs of Beltane; celebrating the May Queen and jumping the balefire for purification purposes and to ensure fertility.

“Lady Galadriel” by Josephine Wall

“Lada’s name means peace, union, and harmony.  Lada creates harmony within the household and in marriages;  She blesses unions of love with peace and goodwill.  In Russia, when a couple is happily married it is said that they ‘live in Lada.’  Rituals performed in Her honor are most often linked with contracting marriages and and choosing a spouse.” [3] 

 

 

Sources:

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

Kakaševski, Vesna (translated by Jelena Salipurović). Starisloveni.com, “Lada“.

Sabrina. Goddess A Day, “Lada“.

Goddess Marazanna

“Marazanna’s themes are spring, weather, protection, winter, death, rebirth, cycles, change and growth.  Her symbols are dolls (poppets) and water (including ice and snow).  The Polish Goddess for whom this holiday is named represents an odd combination of winter, death and the fruit field’s growth and fertility. As such, She oversees the transitions we wish to make in our lives.

Marzanna is a Polish spring festival which an effigy of Marzanna is tossed into a river to overcome Her wintery nature and ensure that there will be no floods that year. This tradition is likely an antecedent of ancient river sacrifices made to appease the water spirits. Following suit, resolutely throw a biodegradable image of something you wish to overcome this season into any moving water source (even your toilet!). Let Marzenna carry it away, slowly breaking down that negative energy and replacing it with personal growth. Burying an image has the same effect.

To invoke Marzenna’s protection until next winter, write your name and birth date on a piece of paper and freeze it in an ice cube.

Keep the cube in a safe place in the back of your freezer to keep yourself surrounded by Marzenna’s safe barrier. Melt the ice cube later in the year if you need a boost of spring’s revitalizing energy.”

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

“Witch .Marzanna” by smokepaint

“Marazanna is a Slavic Goddess associated with death, winter and nightmares. Some sources equate her with the Latvian Goddess Māra, who takes a person’s body after their death. Some medieval Christian sources such as the Mater Verborum also compare Her to the Greek Goddess Hecate, associating Her with sorcery. The Polish chronicler Jan Długosz (15th cent.) likened Her to Ceres, the Roman Goddess of agriculture.” [1] “In pre-Christian times, She was also associated with the harvest.  She was worshipped as the Mother and Goddess of corn and held in very special reverence.  She appears as an old woman dressed in white who becomes a hag when winter hits and slowly dies off.  She is sometimes associated with Witchcraft and divination.” [2]

The tradition of burning or drowning an effigy of Marzanna to celebrate the end of winter is a folk custom that survives in Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.  This folk custom falls always around the date of 20/21 March – at the vernal equinox when the Spring begins. The female straw effigy of Marzanna can vary in size – it may be a small puppet or a life-size dummy. The doll is set on fire, drowned in a river or both. The ritual is a symbolic farewell to Winter and the dark days that it involved. It shows joy of rebirth of Spring and victory over death. It was believed that the ritual would ensure good harvest. Destroying the effigy of evil Goddess was believed also to remove all the effects brought by Her. According to the custom the straw effigy was placed on a stick and covered with linen. She was also decorated with ribbons and necklaces. Village children would march with Marzanna – and branches of juniper in their hands – around the whole village. They would drown the Marzanna doll in every river (or generally every water – let it be river, pond or puddle) on the way. In the evening Marzanna effigy would be given to the village youth that would take her out of village and (in the light of burning juniper twigs) they would set a doll on fire and drown in the river. There were of course many superstitions connected with that custom. One could not touch Marzanna after it had been drowned in the river (as he would be in danger of losing the hand), looking back on the way back could bring serious disease and stumbling or falling down could predict death within the next year.

Christianity would forbid this Slavic custom. In 1420 Polish clergy was advised not to allow the villagers to celebrate ‘drowning of Marzanna’. When that would not help, the priests would invent their own habit to replace Marzanna custom with it. On Wednesday preceding Easter holidays an effigy of Judas would be thrown down from church tower. But that would not help either to forget about ‘Drowning of Marzanna’ habit.

Nowadays the ritual is kept within schools and kindergartens. During field trips children perform with their teachers ‘Drowning of Marzanna’ to prepare warm welcome to Spring.” [3]

“‘It concerns the ‘drowning of Marzanna’, a large figure of a woman made from various rags and bits of clothing which is thrown into a river on the first day of the spring calendar. Along the way, she is dipped into every puddle and pond … Very often she is burned along with herbs before being drowned and a twin custom is to decorate a pine tree with flowers and colored baubles to be carried through the village by the girls. There are of course many superstitions associated with the ceremony: you can’t touch Marzanna once she’s in the water, you can’t look back at her, and if you fall on your way home you’re in big trouble. One, or a combination of any of these can bring the usual dose of sickness and plague.’  —Tom Galvin, “Drowning Your Sorrows in Spring”, Warsaw Voice 13.544, March 28, 1999″ [4]

Sources:

Stella. Gods and Goddesses, “Goddess Marzanna“.

Swiech, Barbara. BellaOnline: The Voice of Women, “Slavic goddess and Spring“.

Wikipedia, “Marazanna“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Rolek, Barbara. About.com, “The Drowning of Marzanna or Frost Maiden – Topienie Marzanny“.

Svätoslava. Slavorum: Perserving Slavic Heritage,Burning Morena“. (Fabulous background information, photos and videos about Burning of Morena).

Butterfly Maiden

"Butterfly Maiden" by Kristi Davis

“Butterfly Maiden’s themes are rebirth, beauty, fertility, balance, freedom, and nature.  Her symbols are  butterflies, seedlings, rainwater, and spring flowers.  In Hopi tradition, the Butterfly Maiden is a kachina (spirit) who rules the springtime and the earth’s fertility. Butterfly Maiden flutters into our lives today to reconnect us with nature and to help us rediscover that graceful butterfly within each of us – the one that effortlessly rises above problems, making the world its flower.

In magical traditions, the equinox celebrates the sun’s journey back to predominance in the sky and the return of fertility to the earth. It is a joyous fire festival when the elements are in balance, giving us the opportunity to likewise balance our lives. If anything has held you back from real spiritual growth, now is the time to banish it and move on. Visualize yourself as the caterpillar who becomes a becomes a butterfly, then let the Butterfly Maiden give you wings with which to overcome anything!

To inspire Butterfly Maiden’s beauty within and without, wash your face and chakras (near pulse points as well as at the top of the head, in the middle of the forehead, over the heart, near the groin, behind the knees and at the bottom of the feet) with rainwater first thing in the morning (dawn is best). Go outside afterward and toss some flower petals into a spring breeze, saying:

‘Butterfly Maiden, liberate me
Let me mind and spirit ever be free!’

The winds will carry your wish to heaven/the Goddess.”

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

“The Butterfly Maiden, is a Hopi Kachina that governs the Spring.  Kachinas’ are supernatural beings who control nature and have the spirits of living things such as animals and plants within them.  Some Kachinas also hold the spirits of the non-living as well–wind, rain, thunder, lightning, clouds, etc.

            

Examples of Native made Butterfly Maiden kachina dolls.  Click on each picture to be taken to the artist’s site.  

Although most Kachinas’ are not considered to be gods, Butterfly Maiden is believed to be a fertility Goddes who brings about transformation, new beginnings, and fresh starts in life.  She is often pictured as a young Native American woman dressed in and surrounded by butterflies.   She lives within the plants, animals, and female ancestors who  link the human with the Divine.  It is said that She pollinated the world with our nighttime dreams, carrying the life force from Dreamtime into reality; in essence, She makes our dreams come true.  She is a creative force and a symbol of rebirth and regeneration.

"Butterfly Maiden" by Sharon George

In the Native American world, we find that each animal, plant, and insect is said to have energy and spirit.  Their healing qualities are referred to as medicine.   Because butterflies are deeply symbolic of our own unique struggle to grow, butterfly medicine represents transformation and our personal power to heal and transform ourselves.  The butterfly begins its life as an unappealing larva which one day goes into seclusion and emerges  as a beautiful winged creature  which spreads the rest of its life spreading beauty and joy as it flits from one flower to the next.  And as we move through our daily lives which are filled with chaos and challenge, it would do well for us to remember that each of us has one of these beautiful winged creatures inside of us…just waiting to emerge from the darkness.  And, like the butterfly, we need only to enter the stillness and solitude, to look within ourselves.  There we will find this wise inner self waiting to transform us.” [1]

“Butterflies have a complex social meaning to the Hopi people.  They are a symbol of renewal and spring.  Butterflies adorn Hopi basketry,  textiles, pottery and jewelry.  Butterflies are associated with much needed rain for growing corn and other crops.  The butterfly dance, a social dance that occurs at the end of every summer, has spiritual significance.  The dance is a prayer to bring rains and also is a community celebration in the gathering of dancers, singers, and families.” [2]

Sources:

An Inner Journey: The Moon, Mythology, and You, “Butterfly Maiden“.

Cantley, Janet. It’s a Bug’s World…Insect Motifs in American Indian Art,  Heard Museum West in the Heard Museum Journal

Suggested Links:

Anderson-Childers, Molly J. Creativity Portal, “Soaring with the Hopi Butterfly Maiden“.

Fewkes, J. Walter. American Anthropologist, “The Butterfly in Hopi Myth and Ritual“.

Lavanee. Goddess School, “Butterfly Maiden“.

Martise, Cloe. “The Nine Native Holy Women”.

Sacred Space Sister Goddess Circle Blog, “Butterfly Maiden: Transformation“.

Taphorn, Sharon. Lightworkers.org, “Butterfly Maiden ~ Working with Butterfly Medicine“.

Venefica, Avia. What’s-Your-Sign.com, “Butterfly Animal Symbolism“.

Goddess Ostara

“Ostara” by Asaenath

“Ostara’s themes are fertility and rebirth.  Her symbols are eggs.  The Teutonic Goddess Ostara presides over personal renewal, fertility and fruitfulness. Now that spring is here, it’s a good time to think about renewal in your own life. Ostara represents spring’s life force and earth’s renewal. Depicted as lovely as the season itself, in earlier writings She was also the Goddess of dawn, a time of new beginnings (spring being the figurative dawn of the year). One of Ostara’s name variations, Esotara, slowly evolved into the modern name for this holiday, Easter.

All spells and foods that include eggs are appropriate today. If you’ve been ill, try an old folk spell that recommends carrying an egg for twenty-four hours, then burying it to bury the sickness.

To improve fertility of all kinds, make eggs for breakfast at dawn’s first light, the best time to invoke Ostara. As you eat, add an incantation like this one:

 ‘Ostara, bring to me fertility
With this egg now bless my fruitfulness!’

Or, if you’re feeling down and need a little extra hope, get up before the sun rises and release a symbol of your burden to the earth by dropping or burying it. Don’t look at it! Turn your back and leave it there. Turn toward the horizon as the sun rises, and harvest the first flower you see. Dry it, then carry it with you often as a charm to preserve hope in your heart.”

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

“Ostara” by Mickie Mueller

The Goddess Ostara, or Eostre, is the Anglo-Saxon Goddess of Spring, the East, Resurrection, and Rebirth, is also the Maiden aspect of the Three-fold Goddess.  She gave Her name to the Christian festival of Easter (which is an older Pagan festival appropriated by the Church), whose timing is still dictated by the Moon. Modern Pagans celebrate Her festival on the Vernal Equinox, usually around March 21, the first day of Spring.

Ostara was an important Goddess of spring to the ancient Saxons, but we know little else of Her other than this. Some have suggested that Ostara is merely an alternate name for Frigg or Freya, but neither of these Goddesses seem to have quite the same fertility function as Ostara does. Frigg, Goddess of the home, wouldn’t seem to be associated with such an earthy festival and Freya’s form of fertility is more based on eroticism than reproduction.

However, Ostara is associated, almost interchangebly, with many different Goddesses.  [Again, purely speculation] She is essentially identical to Freya, for She is the Goddess of the fertile spring, the resurrection of life after winter. She was equated with the Goddess Idunna, who bore the Apples of Eternal Youth to the Aesir, and many believe that Ostara and Idunna are the same, or represent the same principle. She is almost certainly the same as the Greek Goddess Eos, Goddess of the Dawn. (Again, following the threefold theme — Eos is the Maiden aspect of the three goddesses Eos /Dawn, Hemera /Day and Nyx/Night.) As Ostara is Goddess of the Dawn, we can understand why sunrise services have always been an important aspect of the spring resurrection/rebirth observances of other cultures.

Eggs and rabbits are sacred to Her as is the full moon  [though there is no historical record of this], since the ancients saw in its markings the image of a rabbit or the hare. Pagan Anglo-Saxons made offerings of colored eggs to Her at the Vernal Equinox. They placed them at graves especially, probably as a charm of rebirth. (Egyptians and Greeks were also known to place eggs at gravesites). The Goddess of Fertility was also the Goddess of Grain, so offerings of bread and cakes were also made to Her. Rabbits are sacred to Ostara, especially white rabbits, and She was said to be able to take the form of a rabbit.

One myth says Ostara found a bird dying from the cold. She changed it to a rabbit so it could keep warm. Maybe this is why the Easter Bunny brings eggs to children on Easter. Traditionally German children are told that it is the Easter hare that lays all the Easter eggs. [1][2]

“Ostara” by Helena Nelson-Reed

“Part of the story of the Easter bunny is excerpted below, but you can use this link to read the complete version of Easter History and Traditions, including the stories of the Goddesses, at the website: Easter History and Traditions

The Goddess Ostara and the Origin of the Easter Bunny: A Modern Neo-Pagan Tale

Ostara, the Goddess of Dawn (Saxon), who was responsible for bringing spring each year, was feeling guilty about arriving so late. To make matters worse, She arrived to find a pitiful little bird who lay dying, his wings frozen by the snow. Lovingly, Ostara cradled the shivering creature and saved his life.

Legend has it that She then made him Her pet or, in the X-rated versions, Her lover. Filled with compassion for him since he could no longer fly because of his frost-damaged wings, the Goddess Ostara turned him into a rabbit, a snow hare, and gave him the name Lepus.

She also gave him the gift of being able to run with astonishing speed so he could easily evade all the hunters.  To honor his earlier form as a bird, She also gave him the ability to lay eggs (in all the colors of the rainbow, no less), but he was only allowed to lay eggs on one day out of each year.

Eventually Ostara lost Her temper with Lepus (some say the raunchy rabbit was involved with another woman), and She flung him into the skies where he would remain for eternity as the constellation Lepus (The Hare), forever positioned under the feet of the constellation Orion (the Hunter).

But later, remembering all the good times they had once enjoyed, Ostara softened a bit and allowed the hare to return to earth once each year, but only to give away his eggs to the children attending the Ostara festivals that were held each spring.” [3]  Again, there is no historical documentation or lore that states this and I really have no idea where the tale originated from.

Variant spellings: Eostra, Eostrae, Eostre, Eástre, Austra [4]

 

 

 

Sources:

Ashliman, D.L. The University of Pittsburgh: German 1500: Germanic Myths, Legends, and Sagas,Ostara’s Home Page: The Germanic Goddess of Springtime“.

The Goddess Gift E-zine, “The Goddess Ostara and the Easter Bunny: The Art of Renewal“.

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

Yvonne. Earth Witchery, “Ostara or Eostre“.

 

 

 

Suggested Links:

Aloi, Peg, Witches’ Voice, “You Call It Easter, We Call It Ostara“.

The Blue Roebuck,”Eostre“.

Cavalorn. Cavalorn.livejournal.com, “Eostre: The Making of a Myth“.

Fox, Selena. Circle Sanctuary, “Ostara Meditation“.

Goddess E-zine, “The Goddess Ostara, the Easter Bunny, and Their History in Easter Tradition“.

Goddessgift.com, “Goddess Ostara: History of Easter Eggs, History of the Easter Bunny, Goddess Ishtar and the First Resurrection“.

Goddessgift.com, “Ostara (Oestre): Saxon Goddess of the Dawn and Spring“.

Love of the Goddess, “Ostara, Celebration of the Goddess of Spring.”

Revel, Anita. igoddess.com, “Eostre: walk with a ‘spring’ in your step“.

Wikipedia, “Ēostre

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