Tag Archive: persephone


Full Snow Moon – February

The Farmer’s Almanac tells us that February’s full moon is known as the Snow Moon amongst the Native Americans – Since the heaviest snow usually falls during this month, native tribes of the north and east most often called February’s full Moon the Full Snow Moon. Some tribes also referred to this Moon as the Full Hunger Moon, since harsh weather conditions in their areas made hunting very difficult and the Storm Moon.

According to the Wise Witches Society, this moon is known as the Chaste Moon in the magical world.  The antiquated word for pure reflects the custom of greeting the new year with a clear soul.

LightBody

FEBRUARY: Ice Moon (February) Also known as: Storm Moon, Horning Moon, Hunger Moon, Wild Moon, Red & Cleansing Moon, Quickening Moon, Solmonath (Sun Month), Big Winter Moon
Nature Spirits: house faeries, both of the home itself and of house plants
Herbs: balm of Gilead, hyssop, myrrh, sage, spikenard
Colors: light blue, violet
Flowers: primrose
Scents: wisteria, heliotrope
Stones: amethyst, jasper, rock crystal
Trees: rowan, laurel, cedar
Animals: otter, unicorn
Birds: eagle, chickadee
Deities: Brigit, Juno, Kuan Yin, Diana, Demeter, Persephone, Aphrodite
Power Flow: energy working toward the surface; purification, growth, healing. Loving the self. Accepting responsibility for past errors, forgiving yourself, and making future plans. [1]

 

 

Sources:

Farmers’ Almanac, “Full Moon Names and Their Meanings“.

Willow Grove, “The Witch’s Esbats“.

Wise Witches Society, “Full Moon Names and Their Meanings“.

 

 

 

Suggested Links:

Desai, Dipali. Celestial Space Astrology Blog, “Full Moon in Leo – February 14th, 2014“.

The Fine-Arts and Bluesband & Poetry Press, “The Names of the Moons“.

Macario, Marina. Darkstar Astrology, “February Horoscope – Full Moon Leo“.

National Geographic, “Full Moons: What’s In A Name?

Schaile, Aepril. Aepril’s Astrology, “Aepril’s Astrology VIDEO: Weekend/Full Moon Leo in report for Feb 14, 15, 16!

Virgo Magic, “Reclaiming the Power of Love – Friday’s Full Moon in Leo, Square Saturn“.

What-Your-Sign.com, “Symbolic Native American Full Moon Names“.

* Check out Mooncircles.com every month, or better yet, subscribe to their monthly newsletter to get the scoop on each month’s Full and New Moons, find out more about Moon Astrology  and read blogs.  They even have a different 3-Minute Moon Ritual for each Full Moon! 

Goddess Hecate

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“Hecate” by *mari-na

“Hecate’s themes are the moon, beginnings and magic. Her symbols are serpents, horses or dogs (Her sacred animals), light (especially a torch), myrrh, silver and moonstone. This Greco-Roman Goddess rules the moon and opportunities. Tonight She opens the path through which the old year departs and the new enters. People customarily worship Hecate at crossroads, where worlds meet, which may be why She became a witch’s Goddess. On this, Hecate’s Day, She bears a torch, lighting the way to the future.

At the eve of a New Year, take a moment and pat yourself on the back for a full of Goddess-centered thinking and action. Note your achievements, and thank Hecate for helping you find the way when your vision seemed clouded. An additional benefit here is that speaking this Goddess’s name today banishes unwanted ghosts, including those figurative ghosts of past negative experiences. Let Hecate take those burdens so your new year will begin without anything holding you back.

To accept this Goddess’s powers in your life throughout your celebrations today, wear white or silver items, and light a white candle in Her honor. For a token that will emphasize Hecate’s magic and lunar energies whenever you need them, bless a moonstone, saying something like:

‘Hecate, fill this silver stone
keep your magic with me where ever I roam.’

Carry this, keeping the Goddess close to your heart and spirit.”

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

"Hecate" by Hrana Janto

“Hecate” by Hrana Janto

“At night, particularly at the dark of the moon, this Goddess walked the roads of ancient Greece, accompanied by sacred dogs and bearing a blazing torch. Occasionally She stopped to gather offerings left by Her devotees where three roads crossed, for this threefold Goddess was best honored where one could look three ways at once. Sometimes, it was even said that Hecate could look three ways because She had three heads: a serpent, a horse, and a dog.

"Hecate redux" by ~ArtemisiaSynchroma

“Hecate redux” by ~ArtemisiaSynchroma

While Hecate walked outdoors, Her worshipers gathered inside to eat Hecate suppers in Her honor, gatherings at which magical knowledge was shared and the secrets of sorcery whispered and dogs, honey and black female lambs sacrificed. The bitch-Goddess, the snake-Goddess, ruled these powers and She bestowed them on those who worshiped Her honorably. When supper was over, the leftovers were placed outdoors as offerings to Hecate and Her hounds. And if the poor of Greece gathered at the doorsteps of wealthier households to snatch the offerings, what matter?

"Hecate" by Katlyn Breene

“Hecate” by Katlyn Breene

Some scholars say that Hecate was not originally Greek, Her worship having traveled south from Her original Thracian homeland. Others contend that She was a form of the earth mother Demeter, yet another of whose forms was the maiden Persephone. Legends, they claim, of Persephone’s abduction and later residence in Hades give clear prominence to Hecate, who therefore must represent the old wise woman, the crone, the final stage of woman’s growth-the aged Demeter Herself, just as Demeter is the mature Persephone.

In either case, the antiquity of Hecate’s worship was recognized by the Greeks, who called Her a Titan, one of those pre-Olympian divinities whom Zeus and his cohort had ousted. The newcomers also bowed to Her antiquity by granting to Hecate alone a power shared with Zeus, that of granting or withholding from humanity anything She wished. Hecate’s worship continued into classical times, both in the private form of Hecate suppers and in public sacrifices, celebrated by ‘great ones’ or Caberioi, of honey, black female lambs, and dogs, and sometimes black human slaves.

"Hecate" by *Hrefngast

“Hecate” by *Hrefngast

As queen of the night, Hecate was sometimes said to be the moon-Goddess in Her dark form, as Artemis was the waxing moon and Selene the full moon. But She may as readily have been the earth Goddess, for She ruled the spirits of the dead, humans who had been returned to the earth. As queen of death She ruled the magical powers of regeneration; in addition, She could hold back Her spectral hordes from the living if She chose. And so Greek women evoked Hecate for protection from Her hosts whenever they left the house, and they erected Her threefold images at their doors, as if to tell wandering spirits that therein lived friends of their queen, who must not be bothered with night noises and spooky apparitions” (Monaghan, p. 146 – 148).

hekate__s_advance_by_hellfurian_guard-d38okib

“Hekate’s Advance” by ~Hellfurian-Guard

 

ASSOCIATIONS:

General: Torch, dark moon, raisin & currant cakes, crossroads, three-headed animals or statues, the number 3, masks, and candles.

Animals: Dogs, horses, sheep (especially black female lambs), owls, bats, snakes, and boars.

Plants: Willows, dark yew, blackthorn, groves of trees, saffron, raisins & currants, and gourds (especially pumpkins).

Perfumes/Scents: Queen of the Night (a light flowery fragrance), cinnamon, myrrh, mugwort, honey, lime, and lemon verbena.

Gems and Metals: Sapphire, silver, gold, moonstone, black tourmalin, black onyx, hematite, smoky quartz, and any stone that is dark or luminous.

Colors: Black, orange, yellow-orange, and red-orange.  [1]

 

Some educational and informational videos

 

 

And I just thought this song was kind of catchy 🙂

 

 

 

Sources:

Goddessgift.com, “Goddess Symbols and Sacred Objects of Hecate”.

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

 

 

Suggested Links:

Covenofthegoddess.com, “Goddess Hekate“.

D’Este, Sorita & David Rankine. Hekate Liminal Rites.

Ford, Michael W. Book of the Witch Moon: Chaos, Vampiric & Luciferian Sorcery, “Hecate”. (p. 99 – 107). (For those with a taste for a “darker” flavor 😉 )

Goddessgift.com, “Hecate, Greek Goddess of the Crossroads“.

Grimassi, Raven. The Witches’ Craft: The Roots of Witchcraft & Magical Transformation.

Hecatescauldron.org, “Hecate’s Cauldron“.

Hekate Symposium 2013, “Hekate: Bright Goddess of the Mysteries by Sorita d’Este“.

James-Henderson, Yvonne. Orderwhitemoon.org, “Hecate“.

Kirkpatrick, Carrie. Goddess Enchantment, Magic and Spells Vol 2, “Goddess of Transformation Hecate“.

Littleton, C. Scott. Gods, Goddesses and Mythology, “Hecate” (p. 617 – 620).

MacLeod NicMhacha, Sharynne. Queen of the Night: Rediscovering the Celtic Moon Goddess, “The Double Life of Hecate” (p. 59 -63).

Mydailygoddess.blogspot.com, “Hecate – Crossroads“.

Reichard, Joy. Celebrate the Divine Feminine, “13. Hecate” (p. 167 – 182).

Revel, Anita. igoddess.com, “Hecate: intuitive wise woman“.

Tate, Karen. Sacred Places of Goddess: 108 Destinations.

The-goddess-hecate.blogspot.com, “The Goddess Hecate“.

Theoi.com, “Hecate“.

Took, Thalia. Thaliatook.com, “Hekate“.

Wikipedia, “Hecate“.

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“.

Healing is in the air during the Celtic Month of Willow, inviting you to open your heart and express your emotions.

During this time of April showers, the watery month of the Willow Moon teaches you to release pent-up emotions and experience your grief.  Tears are linked to healing, and as you express difficult and painful feelings, you are able to purge yourself of subconscious fears.  The Willow Moon offered a healing month to the Celts, who literally spring-cleaned themselves in steamy saunas, known as sweat lodges, in readiness for the Beltane festival at the start of May.

Watery Tree

This month is the perfect time to perform lunar magic and to let go of the past.  Cast spells to restore and nurture during the waxing Moon and to release problems during the waning Moon. Drinking more water will help you attune to the Willow Moon and so enable you to connect to the tree’s water magic.

HEALING AND BLESSING

The willow is imbued with the power of the Moon, and so it has always been particularly linked with witchcraft.  The traditional witches’ broom is bound with a willow branch, and lunar wands used specifically for Moon magic are made of willow wood.

A lovely handmade willow wand that can be purchased from the Eire Crescent shop on Etsy.

Broken Hearts

The willow’s close ties to the Moon and tides also connect it to affairs of the heart.  An old English tradition involved jilted lovers wearing a sprig of willow in their hats, which originated from an ancient willow charm to heal a broken heart.

Lucky Tree

It was also believed that knocking on willow wood would help to banish bad luck, and that the tree’s leaves and bark could be added to healing incense and sachets to further promote health.

Focus on bringing someone round to your way of thinking.  Attract love or a new job, or aim to make a good first impression.

WILLOW MOON MAGIC

The Willow Moon provides the perfect time to harness lunar power and energy for wishing spells, divination, healing and protection.

Willow Divination

Willow is a good tree for boosting your intuition because of its watery association with the Moon.  Try these traditional “willow ways” of using your extrasensory perception!

  • Throw your shoe into a willow tree on the new Moon.  If it gets stuck you will be married in the next 12 months, but if it falls you will remain single.  you can try this eight times, if you do not get the desired result the first time!
  • Sleep with willow leaves under your pillow on the night of the full Moon to have a psychic dream.
  • Burning the bark and leaves of willow with sandalwood, outside during the waning Moon, will help you see spirits.

Protection Spell

Planting a willow tree in your yard will banish bad luck from your home.

You Will Need:

  • Willow branch
  • Spring water
  • A clear quartz crystal
  • A lock of your hair

1. On the new Moon, dig a hole and place the quartz crystal inside it.

2. Call upon the blessing of the Earth Mother with the following incantation: “Earth to earth, in power and love grow.”

3. Add the lock of your hair, to bring your own energies to the spell, and say, “I welcome you.”

4. Place the willow branch in the hold and refill the earth around it.

5. Shower the covered earth with the spring water while saying this chant: “Water to water, in power and love grow.”

6. Water the buried branch each day until it is strong.

Moon Water Spell

This willow tree ritual should be performed outside and can be used to make a wish, or heart’s desire, some true.

1. At the time of the full Moon go to a shallow river or stream where willow trees grow.

2. Stand with your feet in the water and hold your arms up to the Moon.

3. Visualize  moonlight flooding your aura, filling your body with each breath.

4. Recite this incantation: “Lady Moon of wax and wane, bring my wish and take my pain.”

5. Perform an act of ritual purification by washing your hands in the water by the roots of the tree.

6. Focus on your wish and tie a knot with a string around a willow branch to seal it.  When your wish comes true, untie the knot.

“Esbat” by NinfeAde

Healing Sachet

Use this charm during the Willow Moon to support your recovery from past bereavement or heartbreak.

You Will Need:

  • White spell bag
  • Willow leaves
  • Willow bark
  • Moonstone crystal

1. Harvest the bark and the leaves on the full Moon, leaving a strand of hair as an offering of thanks.

2. Hold up the moonstone and say “Mother Moon, Fair thou art, may your radiance heal my heart.”

3. Place all the ingredients in the bag, tying three knots to seal it, saying, “By the power of three so let it be.”

 

 

Source:
“Enhancing Your Body, Mind and Spirit”, 21 Nature Magic, CARD  9.

 

 

Suggested Links:

The Blue Roebuck, “Willow“.

Celtic Radio, “Celtic Zodiac: The Willow“.

The Goddess Tree, “Willow“.

Goddess Hera

“Hera” by tygodym

“Hera’s themes are love, romance, forgiveness and humor.  Her symbols are oak, myrrh and poppies. Hera rules the earth, its people and the hearts of those people. Using creativity, Hera nudges star-crossed lovers together, chaperones trysts and helps struggling marriages with a case of spring twitterpation!

Legends tells us that Hera refused to return to Zeus’s bed because of a quarrel. Zeus, however, had a plan. He humorously dressed up a wooden figure to look like a bride and declared he was going to marry. When Hera tore off the dummy’s clothes and discovered the ruse, She was so amused and impressed by Zeus’s ingenuity that She forgave him.

Ancient Greeks honored Hera and Zeus’s reconciliation today during a festival called Daedala, often in the company of old oak trees. Small pieces of fallen wood are collected to symbolize the divinities, then burned on the ritual fire to keep love warm. To mirror this custom, find a fallen branch and burn a small part of it as an offering to Hera. Keep the rest to use as a Goddess image year-round, burning a few slivers whenever love needs encouragement.

Present someone you love or admire with a poppy today to symbolically bestow Hera’s blessings on your relationship. If you have a loved one away from home, burn some myrrh incense in front of their picture so Hera can watch over them and keep that connection strong.

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

“Hera” by Soa-Lee

“Hera is the Goddess who has suffered the most at the hands of those who dabbled in Greek mythology. Summed up and dismissed as a shew and a nag, Hera was in fact the most powerful of all the Olympian Goddesses, the queen of the gods. Before that She was the primary divinity of the pre-Hellenic Greeks who honored Her through festivals similar the Olympics.

Long before the Indo-European Hellenes came down from the north to occupy the land and islands of Greece, a Mediterranean race, speaking a language different from the Hellenes, occupied Greece. The older race which are called Minoan and Early Hellenic, had customs and codes different from those of the incoming Hellenes. The older culture was, for example, matriarchal. Society was build around the woman; even on the highest level, where descent was on the female side. A man became king by formal marriage and his daughter succeeded. Therefore the next king was the man who married the daughter.

 

Until the Northerners arrived, religion and custom were dominated by the female and the Goddess.

Hera was the chief divinity of this culture; She was their queen and ancestral mother, and She ruled alone, needing no king to back Her up. The earliest evidence about Her describes Her as Queen of Heaven, great Mother Goddess, ruler of people. In these images, She was associated with the bird, the snake, and the bull, suggesting connections with water, earth, and life energies.

“Hera” by cheungygirl

The ancient Hera passed through three stages: youth, prime and age. First She was the maiden Hebe or Parthenia, called virginal not because She avoided intercourse but because She had no children and was free of responsibility. In this stage She was also called Antheia (‘flowering one’), symbol of both the flower of human youth and the budding earth in springtime. Next She revealed Herself as the mature woman, Nymphenomene, (‘seeking a mate’) or Teleia (‘prefect one’)’; She was the earth in summer, the mother in Her prime of life. Finally She showed herself as Theria (‘crone’), the woman who has passed through and beyond maternity and lives again to Herself.

In all these stages, She represented the epitome of woman’s strength and power. Far from being spiteful and malicious, She was generous and self-assured. The ancient Hera was so beloved that being recast in such negative aspects in the myths created by the conquering northern Hellenes, She was still worshiped and revered. It seems the women refused to give Her up entirely. In spite of the slanderous tales about Her, She would emerge at festivals in Her honor as a Goddess who cared for women.

Hera has three symbols which can be connected with her three ancient phases. The first of these is the cuckoo, a bird in many places connected with springtime. Later myths frequently mentioned that Hera had a tender spot for the cuckoo. At Mycene, a Creatan colony, on the Greek mainland, miniature temples mounted with cuckoos have been found buried in the rubble along with statuettes of a naked Goddess holding the same birds on Her arms. As Hera’s worship goes back to that period, these statutes may represent Her most ancient worship.

Another symbol of Hera is the peacock. Hera’s watchfulness is symbolized by the peacock and the ‘eyes’ in its feathers. The bird was a sacred symbol of Hera and wandered the in temples of Hera. In addition, the peacock is often associated with summer and therefore this may symbolized Hera’s second phase, the mature woman, the mother phase.

“Hera: Queen of Heaven” by iizzard

The third symbol for Hera is the pomegranate which She shares with Persephone. She is often depicted holding the pomegranate but there is no reference in Her myths to its significant. Ripening late in the year, the leathery-skinned pomegranate, so full of juicy seeds, is a marvelous image for a woman in her late years, Her crone years. The deep red juice of this fruit was often likened to blood and in some areas of Greece, was designated as food for the dead, heightening this connection to Her crone phase.

“Hera Base Card Art – Hanie Mohd” by Pernastudios

Others symbols for Hera include lilies and cows. In ancient Greece at Hera’s temple in Argos, Her priestesses gathered lilies of the valley and garlanded Her alter with them. The lily is a powerful symbol of the feminine and can be given as an offering to honor the Goddess and to invoke Her presence. The cow, a less frequent symbol of Hera, was associated with Her because She was said to have cow eyes, and disguised Herself as a cow in one myth. Also cows were often sacrificed to her. Hera’s cow identity shows Her to be a heavenly Goddess ruling the celestial vault and its luminaries.

Another symbol with Hera is the apple. At Her forced marriage to Zeus, Hera was given a special magic garden in the West where She kept Her apples of immortality. This magical garden was called the Hesperides, probably a symbol of Her regenerating womb; Her apples were guarded by Her sacred serpent.”  [1] <– Click here to continue reading this informative entry by Anne Morgan on the Order of the White Moon’s site, including information on building an altar to Hera, information on Her feasts and rituals and a very thorough bibliography.

 

 

ASSOCIATIONS:

General: Milky Way (our galaxy), the seasons of the year, diadem (diamond crown) or tiara, spas and baths.

Animals: Peacock, cow, eagle, crabs, snails, and other creatures with shells.

Plants: Lilies, poppies, stephanotis, cypress, coconut, iris, white rose, waterlily, maple trees, and all white flowers.

Perfumes/Scents: Rose, iris, myrrh, civet, jasmine, patchouli, and stehanotis.

Gems and Metals: Silver, pearls, garnet, citrine, amber, diamond, platinum and star sapphire.

Colors: White, royal blue, purple, rose, dark green, silver and grey. [2]

 

 

 

Sources:

Goddessgift.com, “Goddess Symbols: Hera

Morgan, Anne.  Order of the White Moon, “Hera: Great Mother Goddess“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Goddessgift.com, “Hera, Greek Goddess of Love and Marriage“.

Heckart, Kelley. Kelley Heckart, author of Historical Celtic fantasy romances, “Pre-Hellenic Goddesses“.

Regula, deTraci. About.com, “Fast Facts on: Hera

Sosa, Sylvia. Sweet Biar College {History of Art Program}, “Hera: The First Greek Goddess“.

Theoi Greek Mythology, “Hera“.

Theoi Greek Mythology, “Hera and HPH“.

Goddess Libitina

“Libitina” by Trashcn

“Libitina’s themes are death and freedom.  Her symbol is fire.  Libitina is the kindly natured Roman Goddess of funerals and pyres. In poetic writings, her name metaphorically equates with figurative or literal demise. Turn to her this month to ‘die’ to outmoded ideas or be freed from bad habits. Or call on her to invoke peace for the spirits in Summerland.

In Rome, Feralia was part of a weeklong festival honoring, appeasing and communicating with the spirits of dead ancestors. If there’s something you want to give to them, today is an excellent time to try this Libitina mini-ritual. Following Roman custom, toss a message or gift into a fire source, focusing on the individual for whom it’s intended. Libitina bears the energy of the gift or note safely to the desires spirit. Emotionally, this type of ritual liberates you from lingering guilt and generates a sense of closure.

Use the same ritual to rid yourself of old ideas or characteristics that fetter spiritual growth. Take any flammable object that represents this characteristic. Hold it in your hand and channel that obsolete energy into it. Toss it into a fire, saying:

‘Libitina, liberate me
as this burns, my spirit is freed.’

 Turn your back to the fire and don’t look back until the symbol is completely destroyed.”

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

In Roman mythology, Libitina was the Goddess of death, corpses and funerals. Her name was also a synonym for death [see Horace Odes 3.30].

“Dark Angel” by ZenkaiAnkoku

Libitina’s face was seldom portrayed; hardly any sacrifices were offered to Her, as they were to Orcus, Her male equivalent. Today, Her very name has sunk into such obscurity that it is seldom mentioned when the Gods and Goddesses of antiquity are reviewed. Her name was comparable to our idea of death, and She was worshipped by the ancients and often sung about by their poets. This female deity, remembered today mostly from Roman verse, was a reigning personification of Death. She was manifest as a black robed, dark winged figure who might, like an enormous bird of prey, hover above Her intended victim until the moment came to seize it. As a deity of death, Libitina was most often invoked at funerals.

She had a sanctuary in a sacred grove (perhaps on the Esquiline), where, by an ordinance of Servius Tullius, a piece of money (lucar Libitinae) was deposited whenever a death took place. Here the undertakers (libitinarii), who carried out all funeral arrangements by contract, had their offices, and everything necessary was kept for sale or hire; here all deaths were registered for statistical purposes. The word Libitina then came to be used for the business of an undertaker, funeral requisites, and (in the poets) for death itself. It is believed that the Colosseum had one gate dedicated to Libitina for all of the fallen gladiators that fought within the Colosseum.

By later antiquarians Libitina was sometimes identified with Persephone, but more commonly (partly or completely) with Venus Lubentia or Lubentina, an Italian Goddess of gardens. Some believe this is a mistake, yet the similarity of name and the fact that Venus Lubentia had a sanctuary in the grove of Libitina favored this idea. Further, Plutarch (Quaest. Rom. 23) mentions a small statue at Delphi of Aphrodite Epitymbia (A. of tombs= Venus Libitina), to which the spirits of the dead were summoned. The inconsistency of selling funeral requisites in the temple of Libitina, seeing that She is identified with Venus, is explained by him as indicating that one and the same Goddess presides over birth and death; or the association of such things with the Goddess of love and pleasure is intended to show that death is not a calamity, but rather a consummation to be desired. Libitina may, however, have been originally an earth goddess, connected with luxuriant nature and the enjoyments of life (cf.lub-et, lib-ido); then, all such deities being connected with the underworld, She also became the Goddess of death, and that side of Her character predominated in the later conceptions. [1] [2]

Goddess Oniata

"One with Nature" by Lee Bogle

“Oniata’s themes are recreation and good sportsmanship.  Her symbols are early-blooming flowers and snow.  Oniata, an Iroquois Goddess, embodies what it means to be a good sport. According to legend She came to live with the Iroquois, who found Her beauty distracting, so much so that men left their families just to catch a glimpse of her radiance. When Oniata found out about this, rather than getting angry with the men, She left the earth. The only trace of Her beauty She left behind was the sprouting of spring flowers peeking out from melting snow.

Plant some early blooming seeds today so that when they blossom, Oniata’s good humor and temperament can also bloom in your life.

In Ottawa, Canada, people take this opportunity to enjoy the last remnants of winter by celebrating Winterlude and participating various sporting activities (especially skating) and by making snow sculptures. Try the latter activity yourself; perhaps create a flower out of packed snow to honor and welcome Oniata.

If you live in a warm climate, you can blend up some ice cubes to a snowy consistency for sculpting, and make it into a snow cone afterward to internalize the energy!

Or, consider going to an ice rink for a little rest and relaxation. Return outside and appreciate any flowers nearby. Oniata lives in their fragrance and loveliness.”

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

“Onatah (pronounced ‘oh-nah-TAH’) is the Iroquois Goddess of corn. She is the beloved daughter of Eithinoha, or Mother Earth. Her name actually means ‘Earth’s daughter’ or ‘of the earth.’ The Iroquois people are originally from what is now New York State. Along with beans and squash, corn was a major staple of their diet.

The story of Onatah is an interesting one. One day, Onatah was kidnapped by the Lord of the Underworld. Her mother became frantic, searching all over for Her. But She couldn’t find Her. She had no help, because the sun god was hibernating for the winter. While Onatah was missing, the crops failed to grow. When the sun god finally woke up, he joined the search and figured out where She was. He heated the ground until it split open, and Onatah was able to escape. With Onatah back, the earth flourished again.

But the spirits of the Underworld missed Onatah, and when the sun god fell asleep again, they recaptured Her. And so the story continues every year, over and over again. When Onatah is in the Underworld, nothing can grow. Spring will only come when She is rescued again.

Does this story sound a tad familiar? Reminiscent of a myth regarding a certain bride of Hades? Well, yes, it does sound remarkably like the story of Persephone and Hades. It stands to reason that every culture that lived in an area with four seasons probably has a story like this. Onatah’s is simply a variation of a theme.” [1]

“Another legend says that men, attracted by Oniata’s loveliness, fought over Her.  When the Iroquois women complained, Oniata explained that She never wished for men’s attentions.  To ensure that the men would return to their families, She left the earth, leaving behind only spring wildflowers.” [2]

Click here to read The Story of Oniata found in The Legends of the Iroquois as told by “The Cornplanter” © 1902.

Snow Moon – February

The Farmer’s Almanac tells us that February’s full moon is known as the Snow Moon amongst the Native AmericansSince the heaviest snow usually falls during this month, native tribes of the north and east most often called February’s full moon the Full Snow Moon. Some tribes also referred to this moon as the Full Hunger Moon, since harsh weather conditions in their areas made hunting very difficult and the Storm Moon.

According to the Wise Witches Society, this moon is known as the Chaste Moon in the magical world.  The antiquated word for pure reflects the custom of greeting the new year with a clear soul.

LightBody

FEBRUARY: Ice Moon (February) Also known as: Storm Moon, Horning Moon, Hunger Moon, Wild Moon, Red & Cleansing Moon, Quickening Moon, Solmonath (Sun Month), Big Winter Moon

Nature Spirits: house faeries, both of the home itself and of house plants

Herbs: balm of Gilead, hyssop, myrrh, sage, spikenard

Colors: light blue, violet

Flowers: primrose

Scents: wisteria, heliotrope

Stones: amethyst, jasper, rock crystal

Trees: rowan, laurel, cedar

Animals: otter, unicorn

Birds: eagle, chickadee

Deities: Brigit, Juno, Kuan Yin, Diana, Demeter, Persephone, Aphrodite

Power Flow: energy working toward the surface; purification, growth, healing. Loving the self. Accepting responsibility for past errors, forgiving yourself, and making future plans. [1]

Sources:

Farmers’ Almanac, “Full Moon Names and Their Meanings“.

Willow Grove, “The Witch’s Esbats“.

Wise Witches Society, “Full Moon Names and Their Meanings“.

Suggested Links:

The Fine-Arts and Bluesband & Poetry Press, “The Names of the Moons

National Geographic, “Full Moons: What’s In A Name?

What-Your-Sign.com, “Symbolic Native American Full Moon Names“.

* Check out Mooncircles.com every month, or better yet, subscribe to their monthly newsletter to get the scoop on each month’s Full and New Moons, find out more about Moon Astrology  and read blogs.  They even have a different 3-Minute Moon Ritual for each Full Moon! 

Goddess Proserpina

"the Kore" by guterrez

“Proserpina’s themes are divination, protection and purification. Her symbols are candles, corn (corn is the name for whatever cereal grain is in common use. The Roman cereal crops were wheat and barley, and they also used millet) and pomegranates.  In ancient Roman mythology, Ceres (an earth and vegetation Goddess) sought her daughter Proserpina, in the Underworld where Pluto held Her captive. During this time nothing grew on the earth. As she searched, Ceres illuminated the darkness of Pluto’s realm with candles, this indicates a time of soul-searching, of finding any dark corners in our spiritual lives and filling them with purity and light. In works of arts, Proserpina is depicted as a young, lovely corn Goddess. In Greek stories She’s known as Persephone.

In magical traditions, people light candles in the Yule log today, giving strength to the sun and chasing away some of the figurative dark clouds that winter left behind. If candles aren’t prudent, turn on every light in the house for a few minutes for a similar effect. Do not burn the Yule log, however, keeping it intact protects your home from mischief.

Another traditional activity for Candlemas is weather divination, which we commonly recognize on this day as Groundhog Day.

So, get up and look out the window! Poor weather portends a beautiful spring and a mild, enjoyable summer. Snow today foretells twelve more snowfalls before April 22 (Saint George’s Eve).”

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

Proserpina is an ancient goddess whose story is the basis of a myth of Springtime. She is the Roman equivalent of Persephone. She was subsumed by the cult of Libera, an ancient fertility goddess, wife of Liber.

Her name comes from proserpere meaning to emerge. She is a life-death-rebirth deity.

She was the daughter of Ceres and Jupiter, and was described as a very enchanting young girl.Venus, in order to bring love to Pluto, sent her son Amor to hit Pluto with one of his arrows. Proserpina was in Sicily, the land over which She was Matron, at the fountain of Aretusa near Enna, where She was playing with some nymphs and collecting flowers on the banks of Lake Peregusa, when Pluto came out from the volcano Etna with four black horses.

"Rape of Persephone" by James Childs

Notably, Pluto was also Her uncle, being Jupiter’s (and Ceres’s) brother. He abducted Her in order to marry Her and live with Her in the Underworld, of which he was the ruler.  She is therefore Queen of the Underworld.

Her mother Ceres, the Goddess of cereals or of the Earth, vainly went looking for Her in any corner of the Earth, but wasn’t able to find anything but a small belt that was floating upon a little lake (made with the tears of the nymphs).

"Demeter - Painful Mother" by Umina

In desperation Ceres angrily stopped the growth of fruits and vegetables, bestowing a malediction on Sicily. Ceres refused to go back to Mount Olympus and started walking on the Earth, making a desert at every step.

Worried, Jupiter sent Mercury to order Pluto (Jupiter’s brother) to free Proserpina.

Pluto obeyed, but before letting Her go, he made Her eat six pomegranate seeds (a symbol of fidelity in marriage) so She would have to live six months of each year with him, and stay the rest with Her mother. So this is the reason for Springtime: when Proserpina comes back to Her mother, Ceres decorates the Earth with welcoming flowers, but when in Fall She has to go back to the Underworld, nature loses any color.

For more information on Proserpina and Her myths and stories, visit Proserpina, Goddess of Sicily and Myths About the Roman Goddess Proserpina.

Goddess Ceres

“Demeter” by Michele lee-Phelan

“Ceres’s themes are fertility, earth, harvest and growth.  Her symbols are grains (especially corn), poppies and bread.  Ceres, the Roman Goddess of corn, returns our attention to the land today to begin preparing for spring’s crop plantings. At the same time, Ceres reminds us to plant some figurative seeds of character now so they will mature throughout this year. Ceres’s name translates as ‘create’. Ceres is truly the creator and mistress of our morning feast table, having lent her name to modern breakfast cereals, which shows her affiliation with essential food crops.

For growing energy and earth awareness, eat any grain-based food today. Ideal choices include corn bread, corn flakes, puffed wheat, buttered corn or corn chowder.

 If you are a gardener, or even if you just enjoy a few houseplants, today is the perfect time to tend the soil. The Romans took time out from their other duties and spent an entire week around this date blessing the land. They invoked Ceres as the essential vegetable spirit for aid after the seeds were laid into the ground.

While we may not be able to spend a week doing likewise, a few minutes of caring for the earth is well worth the time. Put any seeds you plan to plant on an altar or in another special spot. Visualize a yellow-golden light filling and fertilizing them. Leave them here to absorb Ceres’s energy until your traditional planting season begins.”

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

Ceres was the Roman goddess of agriculture, grain and the love a mother bears for her child.  She was the daughter of Saturn and Ops, the sister of Jupiter, and the mother of Proserpine.  Ceres was a kind and benevolent goddess to the Romans and they had a common expression “fit for Ceres,” which meant splendid.

She was beloved for her service to mankind in giving them the gift of the harvest, the reward for cultivation of the soil. Also known as the Greek goddess Demeter, Ceres was the goddess of the harvest and was credited with teaching humans how to grow, preserve, and prepare grain and corn. She was thought to be responsible for the fertility of the land.

“Art Nouveau – Demeter” by Sterendenn

Ceres was the only one of the gods who was involved on a day-to-day basis and whose worship became particularly associated with the plebeian class, or the common folk, who dominated the corn trade (“corn” is the name for whatever cereal grain is in common use. The Roman cereal crops were wheat and barley, and they also used millet). While others gods occasionally “dabbled” in human affairs when it suited their personal interests, or came to the aid of “special” mortals they favored, the goddess Ceres was truly the nurturer of mankind.

She had twelve minor gods who assisted her, and were in charge of specific aspects of farming: Vervactor who ploughed fallow land; Reparator who prepared fallow land; Imporcitor who plowed with wide furrows (whose name comes from the Latin imporcare, to put into furrows); Insitor who sowed seeds; Obarator who traced the first plowing; Occator who harrowed; Sarritor who dug; Subruncinator who weeded; Messor who harvested; Conuector (Convector) who carted the grain; Conditor who stored the grain; and Promitor who distributed the grain. [1]

Ceres was worshipped at Her temple on the Aventine Hill, one of the Seven Hills of ancient Rome.  Her primary festival was the Cerealia or Ludi Ceriales (“games of Ceres”), instituted in the 3rd century B.C.E. and held annually on April 12 to April 19.  Another special time for Ceres was Ambarvalia, a Roman agricultural fertility rite where She was personified and celebrated by women in secret rituals, held at the end of May.  Little is known about the rituals of Cerelean worship; one of the few customs which has been recorded was the peculiar practice of tying lighted brands to the tails of foxes which were then let loose in the Circus Maximus. [2]

The Romans explained the turning of the seasons with the following story:  Ceres was the sister of Jupiter, and Proserpine was their daughter.  Proserpine was kidnapped by Pluto, god of the underworld, to be his bride.  By the time Ceres followed Her daughter, she was gone into the earth.  Making matters worse, Ceres learned that Pluto had been given Jupiter’s approval to be the husband of his daughter.  Ceres was so angry that she went to live in the world of men, disguised as an old woman, and stopped all the plants and crops from growing, causing a famine.  Jupiter and the other gods tried to get her to change Her mind but She was adamant.  Jupiter eventually realized that he had to get Proserpine back from the underworld, and sent for her.  Unfortunately, Pluto secretly gave her food before she left, and once one had eaten in the underworld one could not forever leave.  Proserpine was therefore forced to return to the underworld for four months every year.  She comes out in spring and spends the time until autumn with Ceres, but has to go back to the underworld in the winter.  Her parting from Ceres every fall is why plants lose their leaves, seeds lie dormant under the ground, and nothing grows until spring when Proserpine is reunited with her mother. [3]

Additional Sources:

crdmwritingroad

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Moody Moons

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Award-Winning Author Nicole Evelina

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