Tag Archive: perspective


Goddess Voluspa

“Crone Ceremony: Voluspa” by Willow Arlenea

“Voluspa’s themes are foresight, history, perspective, divination and time. Her symbols are stories and storybooks.  This Nordic Goddess was born before all things, with the knowledge of all time within Her. When asked to tell a tale to the gods, She recounted history, including the gods’ downfall. To commemorate this, wise women and seers in the northern climes are sill sometimes called Voluspa.  Voluspa teaches us the value of farsightedness and of remembering our history. We cannot know where we’re going if we don’t remember where we came from.

An old festival in Iceland known as the Islendingadagurinn [Icelandic Festival of Manitoba] preserves Voluspa’s energy by recounting local heritage and custom in a public forum including theater, singing, writing and costumes. For our adaptation, I suggest taking out or working on a family tree, or perhaps a personal journal. Read over the chronicles of people from your ethnic background and honor their lives in some appropriate manner (perhaps by lighting a candle). Voluspa lives in these moments and at any time that we give ourselves to commemorating the past.

Alternatively, get out some good storybooks and read! Turn off the TV for a while and enrich you imagination with the words of bards who keep Voluspa’s power alive in the world. Especially read to children so they can learn of this Goddess’s wonders.”

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

The seeress speaks her prophecy from a 19th century Swedish translation of the Poetic Edda. Illustration by Carl Larsson.

Patricia Monaghan tells us that “[Voluspa’s] name, or the similar word volvawas used of wise women in Scandinavia.  The most famous seer in Norse legend was the one for whom the poem Völuspá is named.  Born before this world began, Voluspa was asked to tell the history of the world.  Once started, She did not stop, even though the gods did not wish to hear of their own death at Ragnarok, the doom of the gods” (p. 312).

“Odin and the Völva” by Lorenz Frølich

“The poem [Völuspá] starts with the völva requesting silence from ‘the sons of Heimdallr‘ (human beings) and asking Odin whether he wants Her to recite ancient lore. She says She remembers giants born in antiquity who reared Her.

She then goes on to relate a creation myth; the world was empty until the sons of Burr lifted the earth out of the sea. The Æsir then established order in the cosmos by finding places for the sun, the moon and the stars, thereby starting the cycle of day and night. A golden age ensued where the Æsir had plenty of gold and happily constructed temples and made tools. But then three mighty giant maidens came from Jötunheimr and the golden age came to an end. The Æsir then created the dwarves, of whom Mótsognir and Durinn are the mightiest.

At this point ten of the poem’s stanzas are over and six stanzas ensue which contain names of dwarves. This section, sometimes called ‘Dvergatal’ (‘Catalogue of Dwarves’), is usually considered an interpolation and sometimes omitted by editors and translators.

After the ‘Dvergatal’, the creation of the first man and woman are recounted and Yggdrasill, the world-tree, is described. The seer recalls the events that led to the first ever war, and what occurred in the struggle between the Æsir and Vanir.

The seeress then reveals to Odin that She knows some of his own secrets, of what he sacrificed of himself in pursuit of knowledge. She tells him She knows where his eye is hidden and how he gave it up in exchange for knowledge. She asks him in several refrains if he understands, or if he would like to hear more.

“THE DUSK OF THE GODS” by P. N. Arbo

The seeress goes on to describe the slaying of Baldr, best and fairest of the gods and the enmity of Loki, and of others. Then She prophesies the destruction of the gods where fire and flood overwhelm heaven and earth as the gods fight their final battles with their enemies. This is the ‘fate of the gods’ – Ragnarök. She describes the summons to battle, the deaths of many of the gods and how Odin, himself, is slain.

Finally a beautiful reborn world will rise from the ashes of death and destruction where Baldr will live again in a new world where the earth sprouts abundance without sowing seed. A final stanza describes the sudden appearance of Nidhogg the dragon, bearing corpses in his wings, before the seeress emerges from Her trance.

Versions differ, for example Baldr’s return is present in Codex Regius, but absent in others.” [2]

 

 

 

 

Sources:

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

Wikipedia, “Völuspá“.

 

Suggested Links:

Kodratoff, Yves. Nordic-life.org, “Völuspá“.

Mythencyclopedia.com, “Norse Mythology“.

Sacred-texts.com, “The Poetic Edda: Voluspo“.

Timelessmyths.com, “Norse Creation“.

Wikipedia, “Völva“.

Mother of All Eagles

“Eagle Woman” by Susan Seddon Boulet

“Mother of All Eagles’ themes are freedom, perspective, overcoming, health, power, destiny, the Air Element and movement. Her symbols are feathers (not Eagle – gathering these is illegal).  On the warm summer winds, Eagle Mother glides into our reality, carries us above our circumstances and stretches our vision. Among Native Americans, the Eagle Mother represents healing, Her feathers often being used by shamans for this purpose. Beyond this, She symbolizes comprehension, finally coming to a place of joyfully accepting our personal power over destiny.

On this day in 1982, President Reagan declared National Bald Eagle Day to honor the American emblem of freedom. In Native American tradition, this emblem and the Eagle Mother reconnect us with sacred powers, teaching us how to balance our temporal and spiritual life on the same platter.

Find a new, large feather for Eagle Mother talismans, one different from those you gathered for Maat, because the two have very different energies (check craft shops). Wrap the pointed end with cloth crisscrossed by leather thonging or a natural-fabric ribbon. Each time you cross the leather strings, say,

‘___________ bound within, when released by wind, let the magic being.’

Fill in the blank with the Eagle Mother attributes you desire, then have the feather present or used it in rituals or spells to disperse incense, thereby releasing its magic on the winds.”

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

“Eagle Woman” by Susan Seddon Boulet

Michael Babcock says, “Despite the fact that the life-giving and death-wielding Bird Goddess is one of the oldest representations of the Goddesseagles have usually been linked with the masculine, with a few exceptions (the Sphinx of Egypt had the wings of an eagle, and the Aztec Goddess Cihuacoatl was also called Eagle Woman [as was the Mayan Goddess Ix-Chel]). This Eagle Woman shows a new marriage of the feminine and the eagle. She represents all an eagle stands for: spirit, valor, majesty, renewal, accuracy of sight, spiritual aim, and the ability to soar to the heights. She also holds in Her hands a vessel, the traditional symbol for the feminine, for that which receives, contains, and nourishes. Here both sets of values are joined, emblematic of a different combination of strengths that are part of being woman-born.” [1]

The fearsome skeletal Aztec warrior Goddess, Itzpapalotl with Her wings and long claws also has some eagle attributes. [2]

“The golden eagle is…revered by the Huichol people living along the Sierra Madre Occidental mountains in the Mexican states of Jalisco and Nayarit. The Huichols call themselves Virarica (‘the healing people’) and are believed to have preserved the purest preColombian culture in our hemisphere. The golden eagle, Grandmother Eagle Goddess (Tate Warika Uimari) is guardian of the South (symbolizing the element of air, breath of life and healing). She is one of the guides into the Nierica (or passageway into the ‘other’ World) and connects the earth and sky.” [3]

As a totem, the eagle is associated with spirit, healing and creation.

“The eagle is symbol of the zenith.
A great reminder of your own ability to soar to great heights.
Those with an Eagle totem need to have an involvement with creation;
a willingness to experience extremes;
a willingness to use your ability
even if it means getting ‘scorched’ a little as you fly high;
a willingness to seek out your true emotions.
A demanding totem, but one that offers so much reward at the end of the journey.

Its four-toed feet remind you to stay grounded even went soaring high;
Its talons remind you to grasp the things of the earth;
Its sharp beak shows you when to speak, how much, and how strongly.

This totem will show you opportunities and how to ride the winds to your benefit.
Eagle people can live in the realm of the spirit
yet still remain connected and balanced within the realm of the Earth.

You must become much more than you ever dreamed possible.

Eagles are messengers from heaven and are the embodiment of the spirit of the sun.” [4]

From their Medicine Cards deck, Jamie Sams and David Carlson tell us that “Eagle medicine is the power of the Great Spirit, the connection to the Divine. It is the ability to live in the realm of spirit, and yet remain connected and balanced within the realm of Earth. Eagle soars and is quick to observe expansiveness within the overall pattern of life. From the heights of the clouds, Eagle is close to the heavens where the Great Spirit dwells.

The feathers of Eagle are considered to be the most sacred of healing tools. They have been used for centuries by shamans to cleanse the auras of patients coming to them for healing. Within the belief systems of Native American tribes, Eagle represents a state of grace achieved through hard work, understanding, and a completion of the tests of initiation which result in the taking of one’s personal power. It is only through the trial of experiencing the lows in life as well as the highs, and through the trial of trusting one’s connection to the Great Spirit, that the right to use the essence of Eagle medicine is earned.

If you have pulled this symbol, Eagle is reminding you to take heart and gather your courage, for the universe is presenting you with an opportunity to soar above the mundane levels of your life. The power of recognizing this opportunity may come in the form of a spiritual test. In being astute, you may recognize the places within you soul, personality, emotions, or psyche that need bolstering or refinement.

By looking at the overall tapestry, Eagle teaches you to broaden your sense of self beyond the horizon of what is presently visible.

In learning to fiercely attack your personal fear of the unknown, the wings of your soul will be supported by the ever-present breezes, which are the breath of the Great Spirit.

Feed your body, but more importantly feed your soul. Within the realm of Mother Earth and Father Sky, the dance that leads to flight involves the conquering of fear and the willingness to join in the adventure that you are co-creating with the Divine.

If Eagle has majestically soared into your cards, you are being put on notice to reconnect with the element of air. Air is of the mental plane, and in this instance it is of the higher mind. Wisdom comes in many strange and curious forms and is always related to the creative force of the Great Spirit.

“Eagle Spirit” by Christian Riese Lassen

If you have been walking in the shadows of former realities, Eagle brings illumination. Eagle teaches you to look higher and to touch Grandfather Sun with your heart, to love the shadow as well as the light. See the beauty in both, and you will take flight like the Eagle.

Eagle medicine is the gift we give ourselves to remind us of the freedom of the skies. Eagle asks you to give yourself permission to legalize freedom and to follow the joy your heart desires.” [5]

 

 

Sources:

Babcock, Michael. Goddess Knowledge Cards, “Eagle Woman“.

Lin’s Domain, “Eagle“.

Sams, Jamie and David Carlson. Medicine Cards: The Discovery of Power Through the Ways of Animals, “Eagle Spirit“.

Spiritsong. “Golden Eagle“.

Wikipedia, “Itzpapalotl“.

 

Suggested Links:

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

All Totems, “Eagle Spirit Meaning, Symbols, and Totem“.

Venefica, Avai. Whats-your-sign.com, “Symbolic Eagle Meaning“.


Goddess Isis

“Isis” by Lisa Iris

“Isis’ themes are magic, harvest, dreams, divination, perspective, faithfulness, love, spirituality and destiny.  Her symbols are bloodstones, amethyst, silver, myrrh, hawks and the moon.  One of the most complete Goddess figures in history, Isis breathes on us with spring winds to revitalize and fulfil our spirits in every way. Egyptians venerated Isis as the Queen of Sorcery, Life of the Nile, Mother Moon, and Protectress. Isis taught humankind the basic skills necessary to build civilizations, and She came to represent the powerful attributes of faithfulness, love, inner beauty, oracular insight, and spiritual awareness (to name just a few). She could also change Her followers’ destinies.

Today was the Festival of Isis, a spring harvest festival in Egypt, honoring the giver of all life, Isis. Put a bloodstone or amethyst in your pocket today to inspire any or all of Isis’s characteristics in your soul and life. If you have any silver or white clothing, wearing them will also foster Isis-centered energy, because these colors are associated with the moon.

One traditional activity today is fortune-telling, an art under Isis’ dominion. To encourage visionary dreams from Her, put some rose petals under your pillow before going to bed, and burn some myrrh or jasmine incense. Keep a dream diary handy, and write your impressions immediately upon waking so you won’t lose the insight.”

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

“Isis” by Doreen Virtue

“Isis, the Egyptian Goddess of rebirth remains one of the most familiar images of empowered and utter femininity. The Goddess Isis was the first daughter of Geb, god of the Earth, and Nut, the Goddess of the Overarching Sky. Isis was born on the first day between the first years of creation, and was adored by Her human followers.

Unlike the other Egyptian Goddesses, the Goddess Isis spent time among Her people, teaching women how to grind corn and make bread, spin flax and weave cloth, and how to tame men enough to live with them (an art form on which many of us would welcome a refresher course!).  She was considered the patron saint of women, mothers and children.

Isis taught Her people the skills of reading and agriculture and was worshipped as the Goddess of medicine and wisdom.

It is told that She managed to trick Re into revealing his secret name to Her and in doing so, Isis obtained many magical powers, making Her a Goddess of magic.

More than any other of the ancient Egyptian Goddesses, Isis embodied the characteristics of all the lesser Goddesses that preceded Her. Isis became the model on which future generations of female deities in other cultures were to be based.

As the personification of the ‘complete female’, Isis was called ‘The One Who Is All’, Isis Panthea (‘Isis the All Goddess’), and the ‘Lady of Ten Thousand Names’.

The Goddess Isis, a moon Goddess, gave birth to Horus, the god of the sun. Together, Isis and Horus created and sustained all life and were the saviors of their people.” [1]

Isis and Osiris

“Isis and Osiris” by Susan Seddon Boulet

“The history of Isis and Osiris, the Egyptian god and Goddess, is known throughout Egypt and has become one of the most popular and fabled folklore tale in Egyptian mythology. Isis was believed to be the daughter of Nut and Geb. The Egyptian Goddess Isis later married Osiris, another ancient Egyptian deity and who was also Her brother. Osiris seems to have been in a continual feud with another Egyptian god, Seth. In many versions of the tale, Osiris and Seth are brothers and Isis and Seth’s wife Nephtys are their sisters as well as their wives. Eventually Seth killed Osiris by drowning him in the Nile. Isis the Goddess of magic used Her powers to bring Her husband back to life only to have him once again struck by Seth.

Apparently determined to accomplish the deed in a way that even Isis would be unable to undo, Seth mutilated Osiris into multiple parts and hid them throughout the desert. Isis would not be bested by Seth and in a somewhat romantic tale, proceeded to spend many years searching for Her husband’s various body parts. The Egyptian Goddess Isis finally managed to find almost all of them and once again used Her magical powers to bring about his rebirth. At this point, it appears She became pregnant, although the manner by which She became impregnated seems to be a subject of much debate. Some traditions state that Isis hid Osiris until he was able to impregnate Her and that Osiris eventually succumbed to death from the wounds inflicted by Seth. Other tales instead contend that Isis actually impregnated Herself with her husband’s body.

“Isis” by Hrana Janto

Whatever the method, The Egyptian Goddess Isis gave birth to a son, Horus, who would achieve significant fame throughout Egypt. In later years, it was recounted that Horus sought to avenge of his father’s murder and proceeded to kill Seth.” [2]

The myths of Isis and Osiris caution us about the need for occasional renewal and reconnection in our relationships. Isis also reminds us to acknowledge and accept the depths of our emotions.

Click here to read more of Her stories at Goddess Gift.

“Unlike many Egyptian gods and Goddesses, Isis remained in the same form from the beginning of Her history to current dates. The Egyptian Goddess Isis achieved much fame throughout history and many temples were dedicated to Her honor and for the purpose of worshipping Her.

The Egyptian Goddess Isis played an important role in the development of modern religions, although Her influence has been largely forgotten.

The festivities surrounding the flooding of the Nile each year, originally named ‘The Night of the Tear-Drop’ in remembrance of the extent of the Isis’ lamentation of the death of Osiris, Her tears so plentiful they caused the Nile to overflow, is now celebrated annually by Egyptian Muslims and  is called ‘The Night of the Drop’.

She was worshipped throughout the Greco-Roman world. During the fourth century when Christianity was making its foothold in the Roman Empire, Her worshippers founded the first Madonna cults in order to keep Her influence alive.

Some early Christians even called themselves Pastophori, meaning the shepherds or servants of Isis. . . which may be where the word ‘pastors’ originated. The influence of Isis is still seen in the Christian icons of the faithful wife and loving mother.

Indeed, the ancient images of Isis nursing the infant Horus inspired the style of portraits of mother and child for centuries, including those of the ‘Madonna and Child’ found in religious art.

The power of the Goddess Isis in the ‘public arena’ was also profound. Her role as a guide to the Underworld, was often portrayed with winged arms outstretched in a protective position. The image of the wings of Isis was incorporated into the Egyptian throne on which the pharaohs would sit, the wings of Isis protecting them.

The ancient Egyptian Goddess Isis has many gifts to share with modern women. Isis embodies the strengths of the feminine, the capacity to feel deeply about relationships, the act of creation, and the source of sustenance and protection.

At times Isis could be a clever trickster empowered by her feminine wiles rather than Her logic or brute strength. However, it is also the Goddess Isis who shows us how we can use our personal gifts to create the life we desire rather than simply opposing that which we do not like.” [3]

ASSOCIATIONS:

General:  Full moon, images of madonna and child, rivers (especially the Nile) and the ocean, hair braids, cattails, papyrus, knots and buckles, stars, the ankh symbol, throne, the rattle, diadem headdress (circular disk with horns), cow, wings, milk, perfume bottles, and March 5 (feast day).

Animals: Sparrowhawk, or kite, crocodile, scorpion, crab, snake (especially cobra), and geese.

Plants: Cedar, corn, tamarisk, flax, wheat, barley, grapes, lotus, balsam, all flowers, trees and all green plants.

Perfumes/Scents: Tamarisk, lotus, balsam, amber oil, cedarwood, sandalwood, cinnamon, and sweet orange.

Gems and Metals: Silver, gold, ebony, ivory, obsidian, lapis lazuli, and scarabs.

Colors: Silver, gold, black, red, cobalt blue, and green. [4]

 

 

 

Sources:

Ancient Egypt Online, “A Biography of the Egyptian Goddess Isis“.

Goddess Gift, “Goddess Symbols: Isis“.

Goddess Gift, “Isis, the Egyptian Goddess of Magic and Giver of Life“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Ashwood, Moonwater. Order of the White Moon, “Isis, Healing Queen“.

Being, Venus. Order of the White Moon, “Isis: The Great Mother“.

Hill, J. Ancient Egypt Online, “Isis“.

Love of the Goddess, “Isis, Mother Goddess of the Universe“.

Ravenwing, Morgana. Order of the White Moon, “Isis: The Universal Goddess“.

Revel, Anita. igoddess.com, “Isis: see it clearly, sister“.

Seawright, Carol.  Kunoichi’s Web Page, “Isis“.

Wikipedia, “Isis“.

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

Goddess Aditi

"Universal music" by MysticalMike

“Aditi’s themes are luck, change, perspective, time, protection, prosperity, overcoming obstacles and divination.  Her symbols are butter, the number twelve and anything that changes shape.  Aditi means ‘unfettered’. In India She represents the infinite sky and the boundlessness of time and space. She offers us this expansive perspective – one in which we are citizens of eternity. Additionally, Aditi is a protector who aids in averting or surmounting difficulties. In regional prayers, people refer to Her as the ever-young protectress who guides life’s boat safely through the roughest waters.

Buddhists believe that the world is transient – that only spirit is eternal. The Butter Festival illustrates this concept with huge butter statues of heroes that are torn, distributed to participants for luck, or tossed in a river to melt away into time. Following this custom, take out an ice cube. Relax and watch the ice as it melts. Consider: Is the ice still there, even though it’s gone? Similarly, does the spirit exist outside its ‘shape’ – the body?

For a less ponderous way of honoring Aditi, light twelve candles (yellow is ideal) and watch the flame. Hindus use butter lamps instead, but this is far easier! If the flames appear dark red, your spirit is filled with strife. Mottled flames indicate weakness, tall flames symbolize mental clarity, crescent-shaped ones reveal a peaceful soul, and round ones proclaim magical power.”

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

“One of India’s most honored Goddesses is Aditi. The name means “limitless.” In that respect, it fits Her well because She is considered to be all encompassing.

"Conceiving the Heavens" by B30wuLf

A strong and mighty deity, Aditi is also called Mother Space. As such, She is credited with giving birth to the planets and the stars, which in turn tie her to the seven dimensions of the cosmos. It is said that she has a special connection to the Milky Way, although that connection is never fully explained.

Considered a highly benevolent and gentle Goddess, Aditi holds an honored position in the pantheon of Indian Gods and Goddesses. She is the Goddess of the past as well as the Goddess of the future. She is also the keeper of the light that illuminates all life and ensures consciousness.

According to Hindu myth, Aditi was given as consort to Kasyapa. She gave birth to many children including Vishnu (in his early stages of life) and Krishna (in the latter stages). He is, of course, a figure of great import among the Hindu. Aditi’s son Mitra was god of the sun while Her son, Varuna, was god of the moon. Another of her children, the great Goddess Indra, was called the mother of kings because Her children fathered a long line of rulers.

"Aditi" from The Book of Goddesses by Kris Waldherr

However, Aditi is best known as the mother of the Adityas. These children were amed in Her honor and were later associated with the signs of the zodiac. They were also believed to protect humankind from all illness and catastrophe.

All of this would certainly seem to make Aditi the ultimate mother; having given birth to those who, in turn, brought life to everything else including plants, animals, and human beings. She became the guardian of all life and the supporter of all creatures.

It is in this latter role, that Her people often seek Her assistance in much the same way that a human child would turn to his or her mother. Her children ask for help from everything from sickness to sin. She, in turn, assists them in finding the path that will bring them the happiness and contentment they deserve.

The Goddess Aditi is often shown in the guise of the cow. The reference is considered particularly honorable because of the nurturing parallel. She sustains all life and nourishes the earth in much the same way that a cow nurtures and nourishes human beings with its milk.

Some claim that, while Aditi is always present even though She cannot be seen, that she will make Herself fully visible at the advent of the apocalypse. It is then that She will wrap Her children in Her eternal cloak and protect them for all eternity.” [1]

 

Here is a  reading from “The Book of Goddesses” by  Kris Waldherr about Aditi

 

 

Sources:

Kuchinsky, Charlotte. Yahoo! Voices, “Aditi: Uncovering the Myth of the Indian Goddess”.

 

Suggested Links:

Hinduwebsite, “Aditi, the Mother of Gods“.

Mystic Wicks, “Aditi – अदिति {Goddess of the Week}

Path to the Soul, “Aditi: The Goddess of Void and New Creation

Sitarik, Jessica. Crystal Vaults, “Aditi: Hindu Goddess of the Boundless Sky“.

Wikipedia, “Aditi“.

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