Tag Archive: romance


Goddess Boldogasszony

“Boldogasszony’s themes are winter, love, romance, relationships, devotion, purity and fertility. Her symbol is milk.  This Hungarian mother and guardian Goddess watches diligently over Her children, wanting only the best for them, as any mother would. Her sacred beverage, milk, is also considered a suitable libation when asking for this Goddess’s blessing.

Hungarian wedding festivals often take place in winter, after the harvest season and meat preparation. The traditions here are laden with magic we can ‘borrow’ for building strong personal relationships, asking for Boldogasszony’s blessing by having a cup of milk present at any activity. For example, cutting a rope that is attached to your home symbolizes your release from the old ways and freedom to enter into commitment. Stepping across birch wood purifies intentions and ensures a fertile, happy union.

Lighting a torch (or candle) represent vigilant devotion in a relationship. Do this at the time of your engagement, as you recite vows, or as you both enter a new residence for the first time so that commitment will stay with you. Wherever you are, eating off each other’s plates and drinking from one cup deepens harmony (include a milk product like cheese). Finally, dancing with kitchen utensils ensures that the home fire will always stay warm.”

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

According to the Wikipedia, Boldogasszony was a mother Goddess.  “Her name means ‘Blessed Lady’ or ‘Bountiful Queen’. She was the Goddess of motherhood and helped women in childbirth. After Hungarians were Christianized with the help of St. Gerard of Csanad, Her figure fell out of favor for that of the Virgin Mary. She is also considered the ‘Queen (Regina) of Hungary'”. [1]

I pretty much found the same information on Britannica.com: “Boldogasszony, also called Nagyboldogasszony,  the Hungarian equivalent of the Beata Virgo (Latin: ‘Blessed Virgin’), referring to the Virgin Mary as the patron saint of the Hungarian nation. Originally, Boldogasszony was probably one of the main deities of pagan Magyar mythology. The name was transferred to the Virgin Mary on the advice of St. Gerard of Csanad (Gerard Sagredo), one of the chief Christian evangelizers of Hungary.

Stephen I, the first Hungarian king (997–1038), offered his country to Mary as the patroness of the Hungarians (Magyarok Nagyasszonya) at the end of his reign. As a consequence, the country was often referred to as Mary’s realm, the Regnum Marianum. On the occasion of the country’s millennial celebrations (1896), Pope Leo XIII sent an encyclical letter to the Hungarian nation, granting permission for Hungarian Catholics to celebrate the feast of the patroness Boldogasszony.” [2]

According to the Encyclopedia of Spirits: “Boldog Asszony literally means ‘Happy Woman.’  Asszony, translated as ‘woman,’ possesses an extra nuance: Asszony indicates a relationship so close and intimate that, though not a physical blood relative, it is impossible to conceive of having a wedding or funeral without Her.  That’s the gist of Boldog Asszony, presiding spirit of life cycles, especially births and weddings.

Boldog Asszony grants fertility, oversees pregnancy, and supervises birth.  It is traditional to honor Her immediately after birth.  An offering table is laid to Her, and She must be formally thanked.  She is, as Her title indicates, a generally benevolent, patient Goddess not given to the temper tantrums displayed by some Birth Fairies.  If a family fails to honor Her, it may take years for Her displeasure to manifest: fail to thank Boldog Asszony at the birth of a baby, and that baby may never have a happy marriage.  (The opportunity exists in the years in between to apologize and make amends.)

Art by Réka Somogyi

Boldog Asszony is a title, not a name, and it is now generally applied to the Virgin Mary, but the original Boldog Asszony was a Goddess with dominion over joy, fertility, and abundance, among the primary deities of the Hungarian pantheon.  Saint Gellert, who converted the Hungarians to Christianity in the eleventh century, wrote that the Church was associating Boldog Asszony with Mary and calling Her the Queen of Hungary.

Boldog Asszony has seven daughters who bring good fortune.  To differentiate Her from Her daughters, She is called Nagy Boldogaszony (‘Big or Great Boldog Asszony’) while Her daughters are Kis Boldogaszony (‘Little Boldog Asszony’).  She is intensely identified with Mary.  Alternatively, She is identified with Saint Anne, while Little Boldog Asszony, reduced to one daughter, is identified with Anne’s daughter, Mary.

Day: Tuesday. (Do not do laundry or anything that pollutes or dirties water on Her day).

Sacred day: She is now associated with Christmas and with various harvest festivals throughout the year.

Offerings: Water, wine, pastries, dried and fresh fruit, Palinka (Hungarian fruit brandy).

See also: Atete; Black Madonna; Fairy, Birth; Szépasszony” (Illes, p. 292 – 293).

 

 

In this video, Zsuzsanna Budapest tells her story with her experience with Boldogasszy during WWII and the Hungarian Revolution.

 

 

 

Sources:

Britannica.com, “Boldogasszony“.

Illes, Juika. Encyclopedia of Spirits, “Boldog Asszony“.

Wikipedia, “Magyar mythology“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Content.yudu.com (Goddess Magazine – August 2009), “Boldogasszony – Glad Woman” (p. 14- 17).

Goddesses-and-gods.blogspot.com, “Goddess Boldogasszony“.

Hamori, Fred. Users.cwnet.com, “The Sumerian and Hungarian Fertility Goddess“.

Holland, Ellen. Holland’s Grimoire of Magickal Correspondences: A Ritual Handbook.

Infinite8design.com, “Goddesses of Hungary“.

Zbudapest.com, The Goddess/Wiccan Movement: Interview with Z Budapest“.

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Goddess Felicitas

“Roman Matron” by JW Godward

“Felicitas’ themes are kindness, charity, love, romance, joy, success and luck. Her symbols are greetings (greeting cards). This Roman Goddess brings happiness, success, and good fortune whenever someone salutes another with good words or amiable deeds. She comes to us today to energize late fall and early winter with the transformational power of kindness.

While Sweetest Day seems to be focused on lovers these days, in earlier years it represented an opportunity to shower anyone and everyone with cheerful trinkets, kind acts, and gentle words to lift people’s spirits.  By looking for Felicitas for help, we can return this holiday to its original form and bring joy to people who might otherwise be feeling a case of autumn blues. Look for, or make, some humorous greeting cards to send to folks you know would appreciate the thought. Lay your hands on them and invoke Felicitas’s blessings in any way that feels right.

To improve the effect further, anoint the cards with rejuvenating aromatic oils that match the recipient’s needs (such as pine for money, rose for love or peace, cinnamon for luck, sandalwood for health, and lavender to combat depression). This way, when they open that card, the magic and the aroma will be released together to bless, energize, and bear Felicitas’s greetings along with your heartfelt wishes!”

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

“‘Good fortune’ was a Roman Goddess distinct from Fortuna, another divinity of fate.  Shown on Roman coins in the form of a heavyset matron, Felicitas was Goddess of personal happiness, while Fortuna ruled the fates of cities and nations” (Monaghan, p. 124).

Other names and epithets include: Fausta Felicitas, Felicitas Deorum (“Luck of the Gods”), Felicitas Perpetua (“Everlasting Happiness”), Felicitas Republicae (“Fortune of the State”), Felicitas Romanorum (“Success of the Romans”), Felicitas Saeculi (“Happiness of the Age”), or Felicitas Temporum (“Luck of the Times”).  [1]

Click here to read a fantastic piece written by Thalia Took on Fausta Felicitas.

“Blind Fortuna” by Kuntz Konicz

In comparing Felicitas and Fortuna, Delia O’Riordan writes: “Despite Her connection with both luck and success, Felicitas was sometimes conflated with the Goddess of Destiny, Fortuna, whose symbol was the Wheel of Fortune which spun until it arbitrarily stopped in a position that would decide the outcome of events.  Whereas Felicitas was seen as the particular patroness of military exploits and successful harvests, Fortuna was seen as having a direct and personal effect on the totality of everyone’s life through the working of Destiny. Romans believed that the overall Destiny of a person was somewhat ‘fixed’ from birth but the intervention of Fortune in the form of the unexpected or chance happening could alter that Destiny. In addition, the Roman Gods like the Greeks before them, were notoriously moody and unpredictable. If one inadvertently offended a powerful God or Goddess, their wrath could be epic so it was important to stay on good terms with them all as far as possible. To have Felicitas and Fortuna both on your side was a powerful combination and devotees often honoured both Goddesses in household shrines as well as the temples. In the age of science and technology, we see these ancient deities as archetypes created in consciousness by more primitive minds than ours. But archetypes carry energy and if we don’t learn how to work with those energies, they can influence our decisions and behaviours from within the recesses of our unconscious selves and wreak havoc in our lives in the form of neuroses, addictions, compulsions, etc.” [2]

 

 

Sources:

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

O’Riordan, Delia. Psychic-delia.com, “Spirits Matters: Success and Destiny“.

Took, Thalia. Thaliatook.com, “Fausta Felicitas“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Lunesoleil. Lunesoleil23.wordpress.com, “Les astéroïdes de la #chance avec Fortuna , Félicitas et Tyché” (translated from French).

Roman-colosseum.info, “Roman Gods and Goddesses“.

Wikipedia, “Felicitas“.

Goddess Kamuhata Hime

Art by Susan Seddon Boulet

“Kamuhata hime’s  themes are love, arts, relationships, devotion and romance. Her symbols are woven items.  A Japanese Goddess of weaving, Kamuhata hime braids the strands of fate to help out anyone seeking solid relationships. Through Her careful, artistic eye, She binds devotion with love into a beautiful, strong tapestry between two committed people.

The Tanabata weaving festival is a traditional day for marriage in China, commemorating the time when two stellar deities meet and celebrate their love (see my entry on Chihnu), thanks to the help of celestial magpies who build a winged bridge across the Milky Way, bringing them together this one day out of the year.

Stargazing is a favorite activity that you can participate in, watching as Kamuhata hime weaves the heavens into a feast for the eyes and soul. As you gaze out into the stars, watch closely the area of the Milky Way. If you see a shooting star, make a wish for love or the improvement of a relationship and Kamuhata Hime will answer it.

If you’re thinking of deepening your commitment to someone, tonight is an excellent time to recite your promises to each other beneath the stars. As you do, braid three strands of cloth or yarn, making a vow at each juncture. Keep this as a Kamuhata hime amulet to protect the love and devotion in your relationship. Unbind this if the two of you ever part ways.”

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

So, apparently, Kamuhata hime is the Japanese version of the Chinese Goddess Chihnu and is called the Heavenly Weaver Girl. [1]

Woman Weaving by Kitagawa Utamaro

This was the only real article I could find on Kamuhata hime specifically.  It was translated from German, so bear with it.  “Kamuhata Hime is a weaver Goddess Nihigi followed, as he came from heaven to earth. Kamuhata Hime went up on the ridge of Futakami no mine of Himuka in Tsukushi. Later She moved on to Futakami Hikitsune Woka in Mino. Later, during the reign of Prince Mimaki ( Sujin Tenno ), left Her descendant and ancestor of the same Nagahatabe – Family, Tate Mino and settled in Kuji, where he built a hut and began to weave fabrics. These substances had magical powers, and made themselves into clothes that are never needed to cut or sewn. Tate substances were utsuhata (woven perfectly). In another version called Tates was kind of weave utsuhata because he is of weaving while retreating to his cabin, so that his technique could not be stolen. It is said that these substances were so hard that not even a soldier, She could cut with a sharp blade.

In various works even the Goddess Amaterasu is known as Weaver. [I think that reference is to the Goddess Wakahiru – a Japanese Goddess of weaving who is sometimes identified as Amaterasu’s younger sister, and sometimes as an aspect of Amaterasu Herself).

According to Hitachi Fudoki, Kamuhata Hime shrine is in Nagahatabe two miles east of the village Ohota worshiped in the former province of Kuji, Iwate in today Präektur in Tohoku. Every year people take silk as a gift for Kamuhata Hime.” [2]

 

 

 

Sources:

Fudoki-pedia, “Kamuhata hime“.

Tara the Antisocial Social Worker. Dailykos.com, “How a Woman Becomes a Goddess: Chih Nu“.


Goddess Aphrodite

“Aphrodite” by LinzArcher

“Aphrodite’s themes are love, romance, passion, sexuality, luck, fertility, beauty and pleasure. Her symbols are roses, copper, turquoise and sandalwood.  Since 1300 B.C.E., Aphrodite has been worshipped as the ultimate Goddess to inspire passion, spark romance, increase physical pleasure, augment inner beauty and improve sexual self-assurance. Consequently, many artistic depictions show Her naked, with erotic overtones. Aphrodite’s name means ‘water born’ or ‘form born’, intimating a connection with the ocean’s fertility.

Follow the Greek custom of Rosalia and shower whatever Goddess image you have at home with rose petals, or dab it with rose-scented oil. If you don’t have a statue, poster or painting, any visually beautiful object can serve as a proxy. This gesture honors and entreats Aphrodite, who responds by granting good luck, especially in matters of the heart.

Another tradition is bathing yourself in rose water to emphasize Aphrodite’s comeliness (both within and without). Rose water is available at many Asian and international supermarkets. Or you can make it easily be steeping fresh rose petals in warm (not hot) water and straining. If you don’t have time for a full bath, just dab a little of the rose water of the region of your heart to emphasize this Goddess’s love and attractiveness where it can do the most good – in you emotional center.”

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

Patricia Monaghan tells us that “one of the most familiar of Greek Goddesses, Aphrodite was not originally Greek at all.  She was the ancient mother Goddess of the eastern Mediterranean who established Herself first on the islands off Greece before entering the country itself.  There, Her journey with the sea traders who brought Her across the waters was expressed in a symbolic tale” (p. 50).

“The Birth of Venus” by Sandro Botticelli

“In the Iliad, She is the daughter of Zeus and the Titoness Dione, though the usual legend is that She was born from the blood and foam on the surface of the Sea after Ouranos was castrated by Kronos.” [1]  “[Kronos’] penis fell into the ocean and ejaculated a final divine squirt.  The sea reddened where it fell, and then the foam gathered itself into a figure riding on a mussel shell (whence the epithet Anadyomene, ‘she who rises from the waves’).  She shook off the seawater from Her locks and watched drops fall, instantly turning to pearls at Her feet.  She floated to the islands off Greece, for which She is sometimes named Cytherea or Cypris.  She landed at Cyprus and was greeted by the lovely Horae, who provided attire worthy of Her beauty and who became Her constant companions.

The story of Her birth is an obvious description of this Near Eastern Goddess to Her new home in Greece.  It is also allegorical: the sky god impregnates the great sea womb with dynamic life, a story that the Greeks reiterated in the alternate version of Aphrodite’s birth by sea sprite Dione and the sky god Zeus” (Monaghan, p. 51).

“Birth of Venus” by Brenda Burke

“Graceful and gorgeously seductive, Aphrodite possessed a magic girdle that made Her irresistable to all who saw Her (and which She often lent out to other Goddesses such as Hera). She was officially married to Hephaestos, the crippled god of the forge, though Her numerous affairs resulted in numerous children. By Ares She bore Phobos (‘Fear’) and Deimos (‘Terror’); by Hermes, Hermaphrodite; by  DionysosPriapos; and by Anchises, a mortal, the hero Aeneas.” [2]  Aphrodite also had fallen in love with a beautiful young man named Adonis (click here to read their story).  This story bears many similarities between the story of Ashtart and Adon, or Inanna and Dumuzi.

“In their attempt to assimilate the alien Goddess, the Greeks converted Aphrodite into a personification of physical beauty.  But She remained so problematic that Plato distinguished Her by two titles: Urania, who ruled spiritualized (platonic, if you will) love; and Aphrodite Pandemos, the Aphrodite of the commoners, who retained Her original character in debased form.  in this form, She was called Porne, the ‘titillater.’

It was this later Aphrodite who was worshiped at Corinth, where the Near Eastern practice of sacramental promiscuity deteriorated into a costly prostitution about which the Greeks warned travelers, ‘The voyage to Corinth is not for everyone.’ However degraded the practice became in a patriarchal context, the ‘hospitable women’ (Pinder) who engaged in it were highly valued, serving as priestesses in public festivals, and of such rank and importance that at state occasions as many hetaerae as possible were required to attend” (Monaghan, p. 51- 51).

Born from the Sea, She is also Goddess of sea-voyages who protected sailors and seamen and She represents the creative powers of nature and the sea.

Offerings to Aphrodite include flowers and incense.

Some of Her myriad epithets include: Doritis (‘Bountiful’), Pontia (‘Of the Deep Sea’), Pasiphaë (‘Shining on All’, also the name of the mother of Ariadne), Ourania (‘the Heavenly’), Aphrogeneia (‘Foam-born’), Anadyomene (‘Rising From the Sea’), and Pornos (‘Whore’).” [3]

To read Her tale, go here.

Her Roman counterpart was Venus.

“Aphrodite” by lilok-lilok


ASSOCIATIONS:

Pantheon: Olympian

Element: Water

Sphere of Influnce: Love and beauty

Best Day to Work with: Friday

Best Moon Phase: Waxing

Strongest Around: Litha

Suitable Offerings: Pomegranates, limes  [4]

General: Scallop shell, seashells, mirrors, golden apples, the Evening Star (planet Venus), number 5, the ocean, the triangle and heart.

Animals: Dolphin, swan, dove, sparrow, bees and goats.

Plants: Rose (especially any fragrant rose), quince, myrtle, mint, grape (fruit, leaves and vines), apples, artichokes, laurel, ash and poplar trees.

Perfumes/Scents: Stephanotis, musk, verbena, vanilla, incense, vervain and rose.

Gems and Metals: Pearls, gold, aquamarine, rose quartz, jade, sapphire, silver and copper, pink tourmaline, emerald (pink or green stones), garnet, smoky quartz.

Colors: Red, pink, violet, silver, aqua, pale green (seafoam), and any shade of light blue.  [5]

 

 

 

Sources:

Goddessgift.com, “Goddess Symbols of Aphrodite“.

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

Pagannews.com, “Aphrodite/Venus“.

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

 

 

Suggested Links:

Aspen Willow. Order of the White Moon, “Aphrodite“.

Goddessgift.com, “Aphrodite, Greek Goddess of Romance and Beauty“.

Revel, Anita. igoddess.com, “Aphrodite: self-acceptance to self-love“.

Goddess Juno

“Juno’s themes are femininity, love, relationships, romance, kinship, time, protection (women and children) and leadership. Her symbols are the cypress, peacocks, cuckoos, luxurious clothing, figs and the moon (or silver items).  The supreme Goddess of the Roman pantheon, Juno offers a helping hand in every aspect of our relationships, especially the safety and happiness of women and children in those settings. Juno is also a very modern minded Goddess, taking an active role in public life and finances. Beyond this, She rules women’s cycles, giving Her connections with the moon. Art depicts Juno always wearing majestic clothing befitting the ‘Queen of Heaven.’

According to Roman folklore, marrying today ensures a long, happy relationship. So if you’re planning a wedding or an engagement, or even moving in together, Juno can bless that commitment if you time the big step for today! As part of your devotional ritual, don’t forget to wear special clothing (perhaps something your partner especially likes) to invoke Juno’s attention and loving energy.

If you’d like to connect with Juno’s feminine force, Her leadership skills or Her sense of timing within yourself, eat some fig-filled cookies today (or just some figs), saying,

‘Juno, bring_______to my spirit, my wish fulfill. By your power, through my will.’

FIll the black with whatever aspect of Juno you most need to develop.”

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

“Hera – Queen of Olympus” by Umina

Patricia Monaghan tells us that Juno was “a very ancient Italian Goddess, [and] was originally quite different from the Greek Hera; both, however, were essentially Goddesses of women.  When the Greek sky queen came to Rome during the days of cultural assimilation, She merged with the Roman Goddess and Her legends were told of Juno.  Juno’s separate mythology was lost, except for the tale that, impregnated by a flower, Juno bore the god Mars – a story never told of Hera” (p. 174).

According to Thalia Took “Juno, or to spell it the Latin way, Iuno, is the Roman Great Goddess, the Queen of the Gods, Sky-Goddess, Protectress of Women, Mother of Mars, Wife of Jupiter, She of the many epithets and a long long history of worship in Rome. She was one of the Capitoline Triad, with Jupiter and Minerva, Who were considered the three main Deities of Rome; She was widely worshipped among the Latins, and Her cult was also important among the Etruscans, who called Her Uni or Cupra. She was an especial protectress of women in marriage and childbirth, and many of Her epithets relate to that aspect, but She could also have a more civic or martial character as protectress of the Roman people.

“Hera” by Canankk

Juno’s name may derive from an Indo-European root with connotations of vitality and youth, and if so would suggest that Her aspect as Birth-Goddess is one of Her oldest. Alternatively, Her name may come from the Etruscan Uni, which means ‘She Who Gives’, and which would refer to Her capacity as a benevolent Goddess of abundance who answers the prayers of those in need.

As each man was believed to have a protective guardian spirit called a genius, so each woman had one called a juno. These guardian spirits (in the plural, junones) may have originally been the ghosts of the ancestors who were believed to watch over and protect their descendents. They were usually represented as snakes (probably relating to the chthonic or underworld aspect of the Dead), and were given offerings on the individual’s birthday at the household altar.

The first days of each Roman month, the calends, were sacred to Juno, as was the entire month of June, which is still named for Her. Five cities in Latium (the region of the Latin tribe) also named a month for Her: Aricia, on the Via Appia; Lanuvium, where She was worshipped as Juno Sospita (‘Juno the Saviouress’), Praeneste (modern Palestrina), Tibur (modern Tivoli, the resort town of Rome), and Laurentum, located between Lavinium and Ostia on the coast. And as Juno is the Roman Goddess of Marriage, it is no coincidence that June is still considered the proper month for weddings.” [1]

“Juno–Supreme Goddess of Women” by MiiSweeTesTSiN

“One of Her most famous names was Moneta, ‘warner’, which was earned many times over: once when Her sacred geese once set up such a squawking that the city was warned of invading Gauls, another time when an earthquake threatened and Juno’s voice from heaven alerted the city, and finally when the underfunded Roman generals came to Juno’s temple for advice and were told that any war fought ethically would find popular (and financial) support.  This last effort made Her matron of the Roman mint, which was located in Her temple, and turned Her title into a word for ‘money’.

Most important, Juno was the Goddess of time.  Daughter of Saturn, She was a symbol of the menstrual cycle as time’s indicator; Goddess of the new moon, She was worshiped by Roman women on the Calends, or first of each lunar month.  In addition to these monthly celebrations, Juno was honored in two festivals: the unrestrained Nonae Caprotinae on July 7, when serving girls staged mock fights under a wild fig tree; and the more sedate Matronalia on March 1 when married women demanded money from their husbands to offer to the Goddess of womanhood” (Monaghan, p. 174).

Like Jupiter, Juno was believed to have the ability to throw thunderbolts.

Also called: Junonis or Iuno.

“Hera’s Eyes” by *Ravenhart

Here, then, is the index for as many of Her aspects as I could find, treated individually; they range from simply descriptive titles such as Conciliatrix that may not have had a use in Her cult, to the more important and unusual facets of Her like Curitis, all the way to separate Goddesses who were assimilated to or equated with Juno, such as the Dea Caelestis of Carthage.

AbeonaAdionaCaelestisCaprotina, Cinxia, Cioxia (ruler of the first undressing by the husband), Conciliatrix, Conservatrix, CubaCuninaCupraCuriatiaCuritis, Comiduca, Dea Caelestis, Dea Statina, Domiduca,EducaEdulicaEmpanadaFebrutis, Fluonia, Gamelia, Inferna, Interduca, JugaJugalis, Juno of Falerii, Lacinia, Lanuvina, Levana, LucetiaLucinaMartialis, Maturna, Matrona, Moneta, Nacio, Natalis, Nundina, Nutrix, Nuxia, Opigena, Ossipaga (who strengthens fetal bones), Panda, Perficia, Pertunda, Perusina, Populonia (Goddess of conception), Potina, Prema, Pronuba (arranger of appropriate matches), QuiritisReginaRumina, Seispita, Sispes, Sororia, Sospita (the labor Goddess), SupraUni, Unxia, Vagitanus, Virginalis, Viriplaca (who settles arguments between spouses), Volumna.” [2]

Sources:

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

Took, Thalia. The Obscure Goddess Online Directory, “Juno“.

Suggested Links:

Goddess-Guide.com, “Juno“.

Goddess School, Healing Arts and Pagan Studies with GrannyMoon, “An Hymn to Juno“.

Qu’Aryn Teal Moon. Order of the White Moon, “Juno“.

Revel, Anita. igoddess.com, “Juno: mutual mojo“.

Roman Colosseum, “Myths About the Roman Goddess Juno“.

Wikipedia, “Juno“.

Goddess Ashtart

“Ashtart’s themes are love, prophecy (especially by stars), hope, protection, victory and romance. Her symbols are the star, fire, red and white items and the lion. A Lebanese Goddess for the lovelorn, Ashtart fell from the heavens as a star and landed in Byblos. She became the city’s patroness, renowned for Her prophetic insight, assistance in relationships and protectiveness, especially when one faces a difficult battle. This tremendous power explains the artistic depictions of Ashtart riding a lion (a solar/fire symbol) or having the head of a lion.

International music festivals have been held in Byblos since the late 1960’s to celebrate it as one of the oldest towns in the world with ongoing inhabitants (and an ever-present Goddess!). It was here that a forerunner of the alphabet developed, inspired by the papyrus export trade. With this in mind, take a piece of onionskin paper and describe your emotional needs on it with red ink or crayons. Burning this releases the wish to Ashtart and begins manifesting the magic.

Honor Ashtart and gain Her insight by star-gazing tonight. If you see a falling star and can repeat your wish for love three times before it disappears, folklore says it will be granted. If you see a meteor shower, count the sparks you see while thinking of a suitable binary question for this Goddess. An ever-numbered answer means ‘yes’, an odd-numbered answer means ‘no’.”

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

“Ishtar” by Selina French

“Ashtart (either ‘the Star’, or ‘She of the Womb’), is better known by the name Astarte, the Greek version of Her name. Ashtart is a Semitic Goddess of Love and War and the Canaanite Great Goddess who is the cult partner of Ba’al (“the King”). Semitic describes a group of languages, and by extension, kindred cultures of the Near East and Africa which include Phoenician, Arabic, Hebrew and Assyrian. She is the Deity of the Planet Venus and a Fertility Goddess, and Her cult was known throughout the ancient world for its practice of temple prostitution. She was the main Deity of the cities Sor (more familiarly Tyre), Zidon (Sidon) and Gubla (Byblos), and is frequently shown as an archer either beside or standing on a lion, much like the Babylonian Ishtar, who is quite similar. Snakes and the cypress tree are sacred to Her; and, like the related Arabic Goddess Al-Uzza, whose name, “the Mighty One”, is an epithet of Ashtart, the acacia tree is also Hers.

“Ishtar” by Lisa Iris

As with many of the other Near Eastern Goddesses of the planet Venus, two of Her aspects are that of the Goddess of War and the Goddess of Love. As Venus the Morning Star, Ashtart is a Goddess of War and Hunting; and as the Evening Star, She is the Goddess of Love, Sex, Fertility and Vitality, depicted as a nude woman. In Her role as Goddess of Love She was honored with sexual rites, especially in the city of Sidon or Zidon, and some of Her priests and priestesses there were chosen from the royal family.

In the legends of Ugarit (the modern Ras Shamra on the coast of Syria) of the 14th century BCE, Ashtart is mentioned with the virgin Warrior-Goddess Anath (Anat) as restraining the young God Ba’al, who wishes to overthrow the River God, Yam. When Yam is taken captive, Ba’al kills him, and Ashtart rebukes him for the murder, cursing Him with His own name. She is sometimes called “Ashtart-Name-of-Ba’al” which may refer to Her magical knowledge of His secret name in which His power resides; the idea of a secret or cult name of a Deity, known only to the initiated, was not uncommon in the area: Jehovah is supposed to possess a secret name of power, uttered by Lilith when She left the Garden; and in a legend of Isis, the great Egyptian Goddess, She brings about the downfall of the aging God Ra by speaking his hidden name.

Gold pendant, possibly Astarte. Ugarit. 1500-1200/1150 BCE. Drawing by Stéphane Beaulieu

Several gold pendants from Ugarit, dating to about 1300 BCE depict Ashtart in a highly stylized manner. From a flat gold plate, roughly teardrop-shaped, Her face and breasts emerge; and Her pubic area is depicted as a triangle with dots, I assume representing hair. There is also, however, what appears to be a stylized tree ‘growing’ from that triangle and which ends just below Her navel. This ‘tree’ is perhaps to be equated with the Near Eastern Tree of Life.

Ashtart was worshipped with the young God ‘Adon, son of Malidthu, in the town of Aphek or Aphaca in Palestine, the modern Afka. ‘Adon is a title, rather than a name (as is common among the Phoenicians) meaning ‘Lord’, and He may actually be Eshmun, the young God of Health. The site of the town Aphek was known for its stunning beauty, as it was situated high on a cliff from which a river issued to fall in a great torrent. Under the Greek name Adonis (which also means ‘Lord’), He was a young and very beautiful God with whom Aphrodite (the Greek equivalant of Ashtart) fell in love. Alas, one day while out hunting He was killed by a boar and the Goddess mourned terribly for Him. He represents the young vegetation/crops that are killed in the droughts of the dry season, and the river at Aphek was said to run red with His blood in the rainy season. He had a famous festival in midsummer celebrating His death and resurrection that eventually spread with His worship to Greece, Egypt and Rome, and which was celebrated primarily by women.” [1]

“Astarte” by Christian Brinton

Patricia Monaghan tells us that “Astarte (‘womb’ or ‘she of the womb’) was the Goddess who appears in the Old Testament as Ashtorth, a non-name formed by misreading the Goddess’ name with different vowels so that the word becomes ‘shameful thing.’  What seems to have been shameful to the patriarchal Hebrews was the untrammeled sexuality of the Goddess, one of those who ‘conceived but did not bear’ offspring for Her partners.  In this, Her identity as the Canaanite version of Ishtar becomes more clear, in the ancient eastern Mediterranean the spirit of sexuality was the Goddess who ruled the planet Venus.  As the morning star Astarte was like Anat, a war Goddess robed in flames and armed with a sword and two quivers full of death-dealing arrows, flying into battle like a swallow.  But as the evening star, a Goddess of desire, Astarte descended to the Underworld to reclaim a lost lover, thereby causing all human and animal copulation to cease until She returned” (Monaghan, p. 57)

“For some time Ashtart under the name Ashtoreth seems to have been worshipped side by side with the Hebrew God as His consort; He was early on called Ba’al, a general title meaning ‘Lord’, used in the area to refer to each people’s particular patron God, though their real (and sometimes secret) names were different. This fell out of favor in time as the Hebrews transitioned to monotheism. Apparently they had a hard time with this, though, as Jehovah is forever chiding His people for ‘backsliding’ and returning to the worship of Ba’al and Ashtoreth. Ashtoreth in the Bible is worshipped in groves called after Her asherah and may have been honored as a pillar of wood, or as manifest in the grove itself. In one tale from the Biblical book Judges, Jehovah has Gideon destroy his own father’s shrines to Ba’al and Ashtoreth, which he does in the middle of the night under cover of darkness, as he was too scared of the repercussions to do it in broad daylight.

King Solomon, famous for his great wisdom, was said to have had 700 wives, many of whom were from neighboring Pagan tribes. To accommodate their religions, he built for them temples to their Gods, including a sanctuary to Ashtart in Jerusalem. Jehovah, known far and wide for His jealousy, couldn’t tolerate this and brought about Solomon’s death. On other occasions when the Hebrews reverted to the old religion, Jehovah in a divine fit of pique ‘gave them over into the hands of their enemies’ (also from Judges).

Ashtart also had temples in Ascalon in Philistia, about 40 miles southwest of Jerusalem, and Beth-shean, or Scythopolis, near the Sea of Galilee. She is also said to be the mother of the maiden Yabarodmay, by Ba’al.

The Goddess Athirat-of-the-Sea, who also features in the Ba’al legend, is the wife of El, the Father of the Gods; She has much in common with Ashtart and the two may be aspects of the same Goddess. Some sources make Athirat the Goddess worshipped by the Hebrews as Jehovah’s consort; the two are quite confused, both by modern scholars and the ancients.

Ashtart’s name has many variations depending on the language or city in which She was worshipped. Some examples: She is Astarte to the Greeks, Ashtoreth or Ashtaroth among the Hebrews, Attart or Athtart in the city of Ugarit, Astartu in Akkadian.

Epithets: ‘Goddess of Heaven’, ‘Ashtart-Name-of-Ba’al’, ‘Ashtart-of-the-Sky-of-Ba’al’, ‘The Strong One’, ‘Ashtart-of-the-Fields’, ‘Ashtart-of-the-Battle’; and Kbd, ‘Glory’.” [2]

“Inanna” by Hrana Janto

“Her colors were red and white; in Her honor the acacia tree produced flowers in these colors, so She called it Her emblem.  She also loved the cypresses of Her native country and the stallions that She rode, the first fruits of the harvest, the firstborn of the womb, and all bloodless sacrafices.  In some pictures, Astarte stands small-breasted and naked on the back of a lioness, with a lotus and a mirror in one hand and two snakes in the other.  At other times, to show Her fierce and hungry nature, She was shown with the head of lioness” (Monaghan, p. 57).

“Inanna” by Lisa Hunt

She is the western Semitic equivilant of the Eastern Semitic Inanna, of the Sumerians and Ishtar of the Babylonians; the Greeks identified Her with their Aphrodite, who may have Her origins in Ashtart anyway, as She was believed to have come from the East. Atargatis is confused or equated with Her, and may have originally been the same Goddess; Ba’alat, ‘the Lady of Gubla’ (Byblos) is likely a title for Ashtart. She was equated by the Etruscans with their Mother and Sky Goddess Uni, and is related to Tanit of Carthage.” [3]

* A note on Goddesses of the Near East – “It is often difficult to distinguish the like-named Goddesses of the ancient Near East, partially because the persecuting Hebrews blurred the distinctions between them and partly because over the ages tribes identified their native Goddesses with those of conquering or neighboring peoples.  Such is the case with Astarte, ofter fused or merged with Anat, Asherah, even Atargatis.  Whether She was origionally an independent deity whose identity grew indistinct, or whether Her name was at first a title of Asherah or another Goddess, may never be known.  But Astarte was probably the West Semitic (especially Phoenician) version of that Goddess named, in other languages, Ishtar and Aphrodite” (Monaghan, p. 56 – 57).

Sources:

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

Took, Thalia. The Obscure Goddess Online Directory, “Ashtart“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Crystalinks, “Astarte“.

Enkidu, Leah. Shrine, “Return of the Holy Prostitute“.

Ishtara. Order of the White Moon, “Ishtar“.

Mikha, Abbey. Assyrian Voice,One Goddess With Many Names“.

Monaghan, Patricia. Encyclopedia of Goddesses and Heroines, “Ashtart“.

Revel, Anita. igoddess.com, “Astarte: survive and surmount life’s battles – goddess of victory“.

Stuckey, Johanna H. MatriFocus Web Magazine for Goddess Women, “Goddess Astarte: Goddess of Fertility, Beauty, War and Love“.

Took, Thalia. The Obscure Goddess Online Directory, “Phoenician“.

Wikipedia, “Astarte“.

Goddess Bai Mundan

“Warm Winds II” by Jia Lu

“Bai Mundan’s themes are love, devotion, romance, femininity and promises. Her symbols are any items associated with love and romance; and the peony. This Goddess is beautiful and sensual, but also filled with only the most honorable intentions. It is Her sacred task to tempt the ascetics in the keeping of their vows (turning the tables somehow on the theme of this holiday). Her name means ‘white peony’, a flower that in Chinese tradition affords this Goddess’s protection.

The story of Ch’un Hyang is one of the best known ancient novels of Korea. The heroine, Ch’un Hyang, secretly married a nobleman’s son. Even when beaten by a lusty governor, however, she remained devoted and refused all advances, as if guided by Bai Mundan’s fidelity and esteem. For modern-minded people, this basically means ‘loving the one you’re with’ and really appreciating their companionship today. If it’s been a while since you’ve gotten your partner a gift for no reason, or spent quality time alone with them, by all means, do so! Bai Mundan’s energy is wherever two hearts emit true, faithful emotions.

If you don’t have a partner, try this Bai Mundan love spell. You’ll need a white peony (or any other white-petaled flower, like a daisy). Slowly tear off all the petals, saying,

‘Bai Mundan, for love I ask; help me in this sacred task.’

Let the earth and air accept the petals but one, which you should carry with you as a love charm. Release it in thankfulness when your wish is answered.”

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

It took me quite awhile to pan out anything Goddess related for Bai Mundan.  At first, I found that Bai Mudan or Bai Mu Dan, is known as ‘White Peony’ and is a type of White tea made from plucks, each with one leaf shoot and two immediate young leaves. [1]

I also found that Bai Mu Dan was a character in a Singapore TV series entitled “Legend of the Eight Immortals“; though Bai Mu Dan wasn’t a part of the original Eight Immortals of Chinese mythology (or so I originally thought) as Immortal Woman He, or He Xiangu, was the only female deity among them…

I found some clips on Youtube of a Chinese opera called “Lu Dongbin and Bai Mudan“.  Lu Dongbin, or Lǚ Dòngbīn, is a historical figure and also a deity/Immortal revered by many in the Chinese culture sphere, especially by Daoists/Taoists. Lǚ Dòngbīn is one of the most widely known of the group of deities known as the Eight Immortals and considered by some to be the de facto leader. [2]

Lǚ Dòngbīn’s apparent well known overindulgence and taste for women led me to a story in which Lǚ Dòngbīn once incurred the wrath of a heavenly queen for wooing the famous Luoyang courtesan White Peony. [3]  On the Foundations of Daoist Ritual, 6 – 8, it sites a few more references to White Peony: from the book “The Taoist Body” by Kristofer Schipper, it describes Lü Tung-Pin’s (Lǚ Dòngbīn) seduction of White Peony, or Ho Hsien-ku (the Immortal Maiden Ho) as the future Immortal would be called.  After making love with Lü Tung-Pin, She received his “powerful drug of immortality [and] in this way it happened that the young woman was victorious in the battle of love and, at the same time, fulfilled Lü’s desire by allowing him to recruit the Immortal he needed to complete his band” to bring to the Queen Mother of the West‘s forthcoming banquet of peaches. [4]  So, I do conclude that Bai Mundan (White Peony) is indeed Ho Hsien-ku.

A reference to White Peony is also made in the Ming-dynasty novel Pure Yang Lu: of the Tang Dynasty Achieves the Dao, the 5th chapter “Pure Yang Lu: Sleeps with White Peony”, based on the play Lu: Dongbin’s love affair with White Peony, “Yellow Dragon is the instigator.” [5]

 

 

Sources:

Foundations of Daoist Ritual, 6 – 8, “White Peony“.

Schipper, Kristofer Marinus. The Taoist Body, “The Immortals” (p. 163).

Taiwan-panorama.com, “It’s a God’s Life“.

Wikipedia, “Bai Mudan Tea“.

Wikipedia, “Lü Dongbin“.

 

Suggested Links:

Idema, Wilt L. The Butterfly Lovers: The Legend of Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai, Four Versions With Related Texts.

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 Venus

“Aphrodite” by ischarm

“Venus’s themes are love, passion, romance and sexuality.  Her symbols are doves, flowers, berries, trees and pine cones.  Venus was originally an Italic Goddess of blossoms; heart and flowers have slowly become attributed to Her loving, passionate energies. In fact, Her name became the root for the word venerate – to lift up, worship or esteem. So it is that Venus greets pre-spring efforts for uplifting our hearts with positive relationships.

During Lupercalia, an ancient predecessor of Valentine’s Day, single girls put their names in a box and unmarried men drew lots to see with whom they would be paired off for the coming year. To be more modern-minded, try pinning five bay leaves to your pillow instead to dream of future loves. If you’re married or otherwise involved, steep the bay leaves in water and drink the resulting tea to strengthen the love in your relationship.

To encourage balance in a relationship, bind together Venus’s symbols, a pine cone and a flower, and put them somewhere in your home. Or, to spice up a passionate moment, feed fresh berries to each other and drink a berry beverage from one cup (symbolizing united goals and destinies).

In Roman tradition, anywhere there’s a large stone adjacent to a tall tree, Venus is also there. Should you know of such a place, go there today and commune with Her warm, lusty energy.”

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

“Venus is the Roman Goddess of love and beauty, but originally a vegetation Goddess and patroness of gardens and vineyards who had no original myths of Her own. Later, under Greek influence, She was equated with Aphrodite and assumed many of Her aspects. Her cult originated from Ardea and Lavinium in Latium. The oldest temple known of Venus dates back to 293 BCE, and was inaugurated on August 18. Later, on this date the Vinalia Rustica was observed. A second festival, that of the Veneralia, was celebrated on April 1 in honor of Venus Verticordia, who later became the protector against vice. Her temple was built in 114 BCE. After the Roman defeat near Lake Trasum in 215 BCE, a temple was built on the Capitol for Venus Erycina. This temple was officially opened on April 23, and a festival, the Vinalia Priora, was instituted to celebrate the occasion.

Venus is the daughter of Jupiter, and some of Her lovers include Mars and Vulcan, modeled on the affairs of Aphrodite. Venus’ importance rose, and that of Her cult, through the influence of several Roman political leaders. The dictator Sulla made Her his patroness, and both Julius Caesar and the emperor Augustus named Her the ancestor of their (Julian) family: the ‘gens Julia’ was Aeneas, son of Venus and the mortal Anchises. Ceasar introduced the cult of Venus Genetrix, the Goddess of motherhood and marriage, and built a temple for her in 46 BCE. She was also honored in the temple of Mars Ultor. The last great temple of Venus was built by the emperor Hadrianus near the Colusseum in 135 CE.  Roman statues and portraits of Venus are usually identical to the Greek representations of Aphrodite.” [1]

“Venus meant ‘charm’ and this Roman Goddess certainly knew how to do that!  Although She was a latecomer to Roman mythology, She rose quickly among the ranks.  Like the Goddess Aphrodite whose mythology She inherited, the Roman Goddess Venus assumed the divine responsibility for love, beauty, sexuality, military victory, not to mention marriage, procreation and domestic bliss.  Venus was the ultimate multi-tasker!  She was also known as Venus Verticordia, Goddess of chastity in women (despite Her numerous randy affairs with gods and mortals), as Venus Victrix, the Goddess of victory in war and also a nature Goddess, associated with gardens and the arrival of spring. When Her son Aeneas fled Troy and founded the Roman race, Venus became known as the divine ancestor of the Roman people (the Venus Genetrix) and was treated with special honor.

Venus had many identities before She came to Rome – Inanna, Ishtar/Astarte, and the Greek Goddess Aphrodite. She had been recognized since the beginning of time as the brightest “star” in the heavens, except, of course, for the Sun.

Because of Her association with love and with feminine beauty, the Roman Goddess Venus has been a favorite subject in art and poetry.  To this day, She is a cultural icon of love and beauty, a reminder of the awesome power of female radiance and beauty.  The primordial Venus (Inanna, Ishtar and Astarte) was a triple Goddess – the morning (and evening) star represented Her as maiden who rose every morning, renewed in Her youthful beauty, then waxing into Her fullness of motherhood and next becoming the crone, gradually waning in Her power and strength but planting the seed of wisdom for the next cycle as She faded into the darkness of eternal night.” [2]





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