Tag Archive: seasons


The Horae

“Horae Serenae” by Sir Edward John Poynter

“The Horae’s themes are time and cycles. Their symbols are clocks, hourglasses and egg timers.  These are the Greek and Roman Goddesses of time, ruling over the seasons and every hour if the day. They make sure that nature and life’s order is kept, and they generally strengthen our awareness of time and the earth’s cycles.

In the mid-1700s, Britain changed over from the Julian system to the Gregorian calendar. People went to sleep on Wednesday, September 2 and woke up Thursday, September 14, putting the Horae on notice that humans need help with scheduling! To evoke the Horae’s promptness in your life, try blessing your watch saying,

‘By the minute, by the hour, instill in me a sense of time;
by the season, by the year, renew the magic with this rhyme.’

Repeat this phrase and touch your watch any time you have to be punctual, meet a deadline or stat precisely on schedule for whatever reason. The Horae will then nudge you when you start to dilly-dally, lag behind or get otherwise distracted.

For keeping up with everyday, mundane tasks, this spell works for alarm clocks, bakery timers, hourglasses, water clocks and sun dials. Bless the token using the same incantation. Then attach a schedule or ‘to do’ list to any of these items on and around your home. This symbolically attaches the Horae’s timeliness to those areas, enhancing your productivity levels.”

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

“Horai: Autumn” by *iizzard

The earliest written mention of horai is in the Iliad where they appear as keepers of Zeus‘s cloud gates.  ‘Hardly any traces of that function are found in the subsequent tradition,’  Karl Galinsky remarked in passing. They were daughters of Zeus and Themis, half-sisters to the Moirai.” [1]

Patricia Monaghan writes: “Also called the ‘hours’ or the ‘seasons,’ They were a group of Greek Goddesses and, like other groups, appeared in various numbers.  Sometimes there were two of them: Thallo (‘spring’) [or ‘new shoots’] and Carpo (‘autumn’) [or ‘fruit’] [and Auxo (‘spring growth’) that would make three as the Greeks had only three seasons; spring, summer and winter].  Sometimes there were three: Eunomia (‘lawful order’), Dike (‘justice’), and Irene (‘peace’).  They were the Goddesses of the natural order, of the yearly cycle, of plant growth; They ruled the varied weather of the seasons.  By extrapolation They became the Goddesses who ruled the order of human society.

   

Few legends were told of them, although They made cameo appearances in Olympian celebrations and myths of other Goddesses – clothing the newly born Aphrodite, for example, dancing with the Graces, or opening the gates of heaven for Hera‘s escapes to solitude.  Only Dike had an actual myth to Her name.  The younger self of Her mother Themis – as Hebe was of Hera and Persephone of Demeter – She grew so weary of the constant wars of humankind that She withdrew to the mountains, to await a more peaceful order.  Ages passed, and conditions grew worse instead of better.  Finally Dike, losing hope in humanity, ascended to heaven to become the constellation Virgo” (p. 155 – 156).

“Apollo and the Hours” by Georg Friedrich

“Another set of Horai personified the twelve hours of the day.” [2]

“The Twelve Horai (or Horae) were Goddesses of the hours of the day and perhaps also of the twelve months of the year. They oversaw the path of the sun-god Helios as he travelled across the sky, dividing the day into its portions.

The ancient Greeks did not have hours of fixed length like we do today. Instead they divided the hours of daylight into twelve portions, identified by the position of the sun in the sky. Thus the length of the hour varied between the longer days of summer and shorter ones of winter.

 

The twelve Horai were not always clearly distinguishable from the Horai of the seasons, who were also described as overseeing the path of the sun.” [3]  Wikipedia lists the Twelve Horae:

  • Auge, first light
  • Anatole or Anatolia, sunrise
  • Mousika or Musica, the morning hour of music and study
  • Gymnastika, Gymnastica or Gymnasia, the morning hour of gymnastics/exercise
  • Nymph, the morning hour of ablutions (bathing, washing)
  • Mesembria, noon
  • Sponde, libations poured after lunch
  • Elete, prayer, the first of the afternoon work hours
  • Akte, Acte or Cypris, eating and pleasure, the second of the afternoon work hours
  • Hesperis, evening
  • Dysis, sunset
  • Arktos, night sky, constellation

 

 

Sources:

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

Theoi Greek Mythology, “The Horai“.

Theoi Greek Mythology, Horai“.

Wikipedia, “Horae“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Greek-gods.info, “Horae“.

Sacred-texts.com, “Horai“.

Tuccinardi, Ryan. Encyclopedia Mythica, “Horae“. 

“Grismadevi’s themes are cycles, recreation, rest, summer and time. Her symbols are summer flowers, the color red and cups.  The Buddhist Goddess whose name means ‘summer’ joins us to welcome the season and energize our efforts for Goddess-centered living. In works of art She often appears wearing the color red, the hue of life’s energy and carrying a cup offering refreshment to all in need.

On this day, people in Hong Kong take a much deserved reprieve from their labors to welcome summer and mark the halfway point in the year; we can do likewise today. This is a moment to pat yourself on the back for the magical goals you’ve attained thus far and the growing power of the Goddess within you.

Wear something red or flowery today to accent Grismadevi’s energies in and around your life. Drink red juices or eat red foods to internalize the vibrancy of summer and this Goddess. Suggestions include red grapefruit juice for purification, red peppers for zest, strawberry pie to partake in life’s sweet abundance, a tossed tomato salad for love (the dressings brings harmony), raspberries to protect your relationships and rhubarb for devotion.

FInally, leave a cup filled with reddish-colored liquid or a bouquet of fresh flowers on your alter or family table today to honor Grismadevi and welcome both Her and the summer sunshine into your home.”

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

The information that  I found on today’s Goddess was very limited.  Mythologydictionary.com states, “Grismadevi: Buddhist – A Goddess of summer. One of the attendants of Sri. She is sometimes depicted as having the head of an animal. Also commonly known as dByar-gyi-rgyal-mo or Tibetan dByar-gyi-rgyal-ma.” [1]

The Encyclopedia of Hinduism: C – G, Volume 2 states that She is a “seasonal Goddess.  Buddhist-Lamaist [Tibet].  Also an attendant of Sridevi.  Usually accompanied by a yak.  Colour red.  Attributes: axe and cup.” [2]

 

 

 

Sources:

Mythologydictionary.com, “Grismadevi“.

Sehgal, Sunil. Encyclopedia of Hinduism: C – G, Volume 2, “Grismadevi” (p. 638).

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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