Tag Archive: solstice


Goddess Iris

"Iris" by Howard David Johnson

“Iris” by Howard David Johnson

“Iris’ themes are winter, peace, protection, air, meditation, promises and beginnings. Her symbols are rainbows and water. This Greek messenger to the gods traverses between the Earth and heavens, appearing as a winged maiden on a shining, hopeful rainbow. In this form She represents the calm after the storm – the end of the year’s activities and the advent of a new beginning. Traditional offerings to Her include figs, cakes, wheat and honey. In some stories it was Iris’ job to gather water from the Underworld for use in taking sacred oaths.

The phrase Halcyon Days comes from the ancient belief that fourteen days of calm weather were to be expected around the winter solstice—usually 21st or 22nd of December in the Northern Hemisphere, as that was when the halcyon calmed the surface of the sea in order to brood her eggs on a floating nest. The Halcyon days are generally regarded as beginning on the 14th or 15th of December. Thus, the week before and after the winter solstice are said to bear both the halcyon’s and Iris’s calm ambiance and hopeful demeanor.

To inspire an improved outlook, find a rainbow sun catcher and put it in a window today so that Iris’s radiance can fill your home. Get an extra one for your car (or maybe a rainbow-colored air freshener), so you can keep that energy with you throughout the day.

For another aromatic approach, open a window briefly today and let Iris fly in on wings of change and refreshment. Burn some violet or lavender incense as you do. These two aromatics accentuate this Goddess’s vibrations.”

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

"Iris" by Josephine Wall

“Iris” by Josephine Wall

Patricia Monaghan wrote that “the rainbow Goddess Iris was Hera‘s messenger, a winged maiden who – when not delivering messages for Her mistress – slept under Hera’s bed.  It was Iris who, when Her mistress slept with Zeus, prepared their bed with sanctified hands.  She was one of the few Olympians who could journey at will to the underworld, where She fetched water for solemn oaths; for this reason, She was sometimes called a form of the witch Goddess Hecate” (p. 164).

 

 

 

Sources:

Monaghan, Patricia. The New Encyclopedia of Goddesses and Heroines, “Iris”.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Goddess-guide.com, “Iris The Greek Goddess of the Rainbow“.

Illes, Judika. Encyclopedia of Spirits, “Iris” (p. 512 – 513).

Lady Zephyr. Orderwhitemoon.org, “Iris“.

Mythagora.com, “Iris“.

Theoi.com, “Iris“.

Hildreth, S.Y. Orderwhitemoon.org, “Iris“.

Wikipedia, “Iris (mythology)“.

Goddess Xi Hou

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“Xi Hou’s themes are kinship, longevity, unity, divination and weather. Her symbols are sunlight and gold dragons. As the Chinese mother of the sun, this Goddess joins our festivities today to celebrate Her child’s rebirth. Each morning, Xi Hou diligently bathes one of ten suns in the lake of creation so it can shine in purity, and then She puts it on top of the trees, where it’s received by a dragon chariot that moves the sun across the sky.

Consider following Chinese custom, and rejoice in the solstice by gathering in the kitchen with your housemates and leaving offerings of chopsticks, oranges, incense, and candles for unity and long life for all those gathered. Open a curtain to let the sun light flood in, than thank Xi Hou for Her child and its warmth. Also, at some point during the day, enjoy some Oriental-style dumplings (dim sum) for kinship.

Among the favorite activities today are weather prophecies. Go outside and see what direction the wind is coming from. An east wind portends trouble, west winds indicate the ripening of an effort or a good grain crop, south winds counsel watching your money, as the harvest will be poor (don’t invest in crop shares!), and north winds foretell bounty.

Red clouds reveal that your personal energy will wane and droughts may follow, black clouds predict floods, yellow clouds precede prosperity and abundant crops, and white clouds reveal arguments or war.”

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

Hsi-Ho-large

“Hsi-Ho” by Janet Hess

The Goddess Xi Hou (pronounced SHE-hoe) is the “mother of the ten suns; this ancient Chinese heroine created the calendar by selecting the order in which She would bathe Her children – thus establishing which day came before which.  After bathing the child in the sweet waters of the Kan Yuan Gulf, She hung the day’s sun in a mulberry tree and raised it into the sky” (Monaghan, p. 156).

Also seen as Xi He and Hsi-Ho (see my February 7th entry Goddess Hsi-Ho).

 

 

Sources:

Monaghan, Patricia. The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines, “Hsi-Ho”.

 

Suggested Links:

Cnculture.org, “Ho Yi Shoots down the Suns“.

Wikipedia, “Dōngzhì Festival“.

Goddess Sakwa Mana

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“Blue Corn Maiden” by Cher Lyn

“Sakwa Mana’s themes are prayer, communications, cycles, harvest, health and joy. Her symbols are the color blue, corn, prayer sticks and pine. The Hopi Blue Corn Maiden, this Goddess participates in the Soyal festival by carrying a tray of blue corn and spruce bows, both of which represent the Goddess’s ongoing providence, no matter the reason.

The Zuni and Hopi gather in kivas today and celebrate Soyal, the winter solstice ceremony of the Zuni and Hopi. They celebrate in order to comfort and bring happiness to the old year so that the new one will be filled with earth’s and Sakwa Mana’s bounty. Several customary activities today are fun to try. First, offer the gift of a feather to a friend. This ensures them of a new year filled with health and joy. To invoke Sakwa Mana’s blessing on the gift, pack it with a few pine needles. Over time, the feather will absorb the Goddess’s aroma and disperse her power each time it’s fanned in ritual.

Making a sun shield brings victory in your life over any darkness holding you back. To create a simple one, cut out a round piece of paper and decorate it with your creative vision of the sun. Either keep this with you or put it in a predominant spot in your home. When success comes, burn the paper with a thankful heart.Finally, find a fallen pine twig outside and attach a small feather to it. This represents both the Goddess and your wish for a gentle voice in prayer.”

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

Gilbert-Atencio-Blue-Corn-Maiden

“Blue Corn Maiden” by Gilbert Atencio

According to Hopi legend, Blue Corn Maiden was the prettiest of the corn maiden sisters. The Pueblo People loved Her very much, and loved the delicious blue corn that She gave them all year long. Not only was Blue Corn Maiden beautiful, but She also had a kind and gentle spirit. She brought peace and happiness to the People of the Pueblos.

One cold winter day, Blue Corn Maiden went out to gather firewood. This was something She would not normally do. While She was out of Her adobe house, She saw Winter Katsina. Winter Katsina is the spirit who brings the winter to the earth. He wore his blue and-white mask and blew cold wind with his breath. But when Winter Katsina saw Blue Corn Maiden, he loved Her at once.

He invited Her to come to his house, and She had to go with him. Inside his house, he blocked the windows with ice and the doorway with snow and made Blue Corn Maiden his prisoner. Although Winter Katsina was very kind to Blue Corn Maiden and loved Her very much, She was sad living with him. She wanted to go back to Her own house and make the blue corn grow for the People of the Pueblos.

Winter Katsina went out one day to do his duties, and blow cold wind upon the earth and scatter snow over the mesas and valleys. While he was gone, Blue Corn Maiden pushed the snow away from the doorway, and went out of the house to look for the plants and foods She loved to find in summer. Under all the ice and snow, all She found was four blades of yucca.

She took the yucca back to Winter Katsina’s house and started a fire. Winter Katsina would not allow Her to start a fire when he was in the house.

When the fire was started, the snow in the doorway fell away and in walked Summer Katsina. Summer Katsina carried in one hand fresh corn and in the other many blades of yucca. He came toward his friend Blue Corn Maiden.

Just then, Winter Katsina stormed through the doorway followed by a roar of winter wind. Winter Katsina carried an icicle in his right hand, which he held like a flint knife, and a ball of ice in his left hand, which he wielded like a hand-ax. It looked like Winter Katsina intended to fight with Summer Katsina.

As Winter Katsina blew a blast of cold air, Summer Katsina blew a warm breeze. When Winter Katsina raised his icicle-knife, Summer Katsina raised his bundle of yucca leaves, and they caught fire. The fire melted the icicle.

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“Corn Maiden” by Hrana Janto

Winter Katsina saw that he needed to make peace with Summer Katsina, not war. The two sat and talked.

They agreed that Blue Corn Maiden would live among the People of the Pueblos and give them Her blue corn for half of the year, in the time of Summer Katsina. The other half of the year, Blue Corn Maiden would live with Winter Katsina and the People would have no corn.

Blue Corn Maiden went away with Summer Katsina, and he was kind to Her. She became the sign of springtime, eagerly awaited by the People.

Sometimes, when spring has come already, Winter Katsina will blow cold wind suddenly, or scatter snow when it is not the snow time. He does this just to show how displeased he is to have to give up Blue Corn Maiden for half of the year.

 

 

 

Sources:

Firstpeople.us, “Blue Corn Maiden and the coming of Winter“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Brownielocks.com, “The History of the Soyaluna (Soyal, Soyala, Sol-ya-lang-eu)“.

Great-spirit-mother.org, “Corn Mother creation story“.

Lyn, Cher. Mysticartmedicine.com, “Blue Corn Maiden“.

Pyramidmesa.com, “The Revenge of Blue Corn Ear Maiden“.

Also see my previous posts on Yellow Woman, First Woman, Selu, Corn Mother, and Iyatiku.

At the height of the Midsummer, the Celtic Moon month of Oak is the perfect time to cast spells that encourage growth of all things.

The longest day of the year and the shortest nightfall is during the Oak Moon.  Known as the Summer Solstice, celebrations revolve around the power of the Sun at its zenith.  Folklore decrees, “He who sleeps on the shortest night shall sleep all year,” meaning that this is a time for action, not rest.

 

Magical Solar Energy

Magic at this time should concentrate on areas of life that fall under sunny auspices, such as health, success, prosperity and blessings.  Cast spells that inject solar energy into your projects by decorating your altar with gold and yellow.  Wear orange to boost your and stamina.

 

A TREE OF HEALING AND PEACE

Artwork by Eugene Damblans

The oak can be used as a haven for restoration.  When your spirit needs rest and comfort it can be soothed beneath the tree’s vast branches, and many sacred rituals were conducted in the shadow of an oak tree in Ancient Britain.  Meditating with your spine resting on the trunk of an oak tree soothes the nervous system and induces feelings of inner peace.

Brave Energy

Oak trees act as a conduit for the energy of endurance, fortitude and strength, offering a magical remedy for fear and despair.  They bring courage and protection from adversity.

Community Tree

The great size and age of the oak made it a symbol of the continuity of the community.  The water that collects in the dips of its branches were thought to be sacred and was used to cleanse and heal the body of negative energy.

 

OAK MOON MAGIC

Growth and fertility spells work best at this time of year.  Focus on building and consolidating your wisdom, endurance and security.

Feel energized by the power of the Sun and oak during this magical time of year.  Harness powerful solar energies for Oak Moon spells to bring cheer and success to your life. 

An Oak Vision Quest

Go on a vision quest during the Oak Moon and spend time in nature to receive messages from the oak tree.  For best results carry out this quest at the time of the Summer Solstice to enhance your insight with the energy of the Sun.  As you’ll need to spend a night outside for this quest, It’s best to do it with a friend.

“Oak Tree Meditation” by Laura Iverson

1. Go to a hilltop where both sunset and sunrise will be clearly visible.

2. Begin the quest at sunset, ending at sunrise.

3. As the Sun falls say a prayer to the great oak tree for guidance.

4. Look out for signs, such as animals that cross your path, or shooting stars.

5. Keep a record of your feelings and thoughts throughout the quest.

6. At sunrise give thanks for what you have received from the natural world.

Oak Moon Activities

As the Sun reaches the height of its power in the month of Oak, so then energy of the natural world – and your own spirits will soar.  Use this abundant feeling of vitality to attune yourself to the season and engage in some of these activities.

  • Dance outside in the Sun – it’s so energizing.
  • Go for a walk every day and enjoy the long, light summer evenings.
  • Keep an acorn form the fall and use it as a charm during the Oak Moon.
  • Have a gold-themed dinner to celebrate the Sun.
  • Bury a letter to the fairies under an oak tree, detailing your summer wishes.
  • Wear an oak leaf in your hair to bring you luck.
  • Kiss an oak tree to increase your attractiveness.

Solar Success Spell

Make a wish during the Oak Moon to imbue it with solar energy.  You’ll need to choose a wishing symbol, such as a coin for wealth.

You Will Need:

  • Gold candle
  • Symbol of your intention
  • Oak leaves

1. Hold the gold candle towards the sky and say, “Power of the Sun enter this candle.  May the flame of success burn brightly.”  Place the candle in a holder next to a spell symbol that represents your wish.

2. Surround the candle with oak leaves and say, “Mighty oak tree, lend me your strength.”

3. Light the candle and make your wish, then let the candle burn down – success will be yours.

A Purification Spell

Fallen Oak Leaf – air dried, pulverized and blessed ready to be used – for sale by Lady of the Moss on etsy.com.

You can burn oak leaves to purify the atmosphere and banish fear and doubt.

You Will Need:

  • Small bottle of wine
  • Basket
  • Pestle and mortar
  • Needle and thread
  • Fireproof bowl
  • Charcoal disk and matches

1. On the night after the full Moon go to an oak tree and pour a libation of wine onto the roots, asking the tree for its help.

2. Gather a basket of leaves and sew them together, then hang up the leaves to dry out for three days.

3. When the leaves have dried, carefully remove the thread and pound the leaves with a pestle and mortar into a kind of incense.  Light the charcoal in the fireproof dish.

4. When it glows red add the dried leaves to create a magical purification smoke.

Source:

“Enhancing Your Body, Mind and Spirit”, 21 Nature Magic, CARD  11.

 

 

Suggested Links:

The Goddess Tree, “Oak“.

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