Tag Archive: success


Goddess Amaltheia

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“Amaltheia’s themes are success, humor, reason, devotion and providence. Her symbols are goat, cornucopia and stars.  In Greek mythology, this she-goat Goddess nourished Zeus as an infant. In later years, Zeus broke off one of Her horns, which became the cornucopia, providing sustenance for all earth’s creatures. For Her diligence and service, Amaltheia was transformed into the constellation Capricorn, where She remains.

This astrological sign begins on the first day of winter with the power of logic and reason to guide action, balanced by a keen sense of humor when the going gets tough. Those born under this sign strive tenaciously for success, like the stubborn goat they are.

To improve your personal tenacity, make a paper horn filled with fruit. From now until the end of the year, eat a piece of fruit each day named after the area of your life in which you need Amaltheia’s diligence. Take that energy with you each day so that by the end of the year you will achieve success.

Other ways of emphasizing Amaltheia’s power include keeping the image of a goat (perhaps cut out of a magazine, or one made of stone on your altar or in another place of honor today, carrying fortitude-inspiring herbs like gingerroot and carnation, or tucking in your pocket for the day stones that inspire victory (like marble).”

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

amaltheia

“The Childhood of Zeus” by Jakob Jordaens

Patricia Monaghan wrote: “Whatever the name of Zeus‘ Cretan nurse (see Adamanthea), She fed the infant god on the milk of this magical nanny goat.  When he grew up, Zeus broke off one of Amalthea’s horns and gave it to his nurse; it then turned into the magical ‘cornucopia’.  Just as the magic goat could produce milk rich and copious enough for a god, so part of Her could provide sufficient nourishment for the children of earth.  After thus providing for humankind, the one-horned nanny disappeared into heaven, where She was transformed into the constellation Capricorn” (p. 41).

“In some traditions, the goat’s skin became the Aegis, the legendary shield of Athena.” [1]

 

 

 

Sources:

Lindemans, Micha F. Pantheon.org, “Amaltheia“.

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

 

Suggested Links:

Theoi.com, “Amaltheia“.

Wikipedia, “Adamanthea“.

Wikipedia, “Amalthea“.

Sephira

"Lady of Peace" by ~InfiniteFiend

“Lady of Peace” by ~InfiniteFiend

“Sephira’s themes are miracles, victory, success and overcoming. Her symbol is light.  This ancient Cabalistic Goddess embodies divine light-the active, energetic power that flows through the Universe in all directions. Thus, it is no coincidence that the ten spheres on the Tree of Life are called Sephirah, for this Goddess guides our way and path with Her radiance.

Chanukah (Hannukah) commemorates the rebellion of the Jews against the Syrians, in which a miracle took place. A small bottle of oil stayed lit for eight days, keeping the temple consecrated until more oil could be brought.

Since Sephira is the light of miracles, today’s a good time to focus on seemingly impossible goals or situations that you may have set aside or left behind in discouragement. Revisit those dreams; reconsider the logistics of those circumstances. If there is a better way to approach things, Sephira will illuminate that path or options for you in your meditations.

Make sure to turn on light sources today, and open curtains to let natural light into your home. Symbolically, this welcomes Sephira’s active power into your spiritual life and quest. Also consider following with Jewish tradition and giving coins to friends or family. These tokens draw financial security. Or, eat potato pancakes for providence.”

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

Again today, my research found nothing a specific Goddess named Sephira.  I found that “in kabbalistic thought, a Sephira is a channel for the Divine energy we know as the life-force. The Kabbalah describes an intermediate stage that came about as an emanation of God’s infinite light and which was created during the process of Creation. This intermediate stage consists of ten channels and is experienced by human beings as finite reality. These channels are known as the Ten Sephirot.

The Sephirot interact through a series of interconnecting channels or ‘Tzinorot.’ These channels illustrate the way in which Divine energy imbues all of Creation. The connections show how the Sephirot can interconnect to create subgroups. All the subgroups containing a given Sephira will reflect a common theme.

tree-of-life-diagram

The Kabbalah Diagram from the Tree of Life Teachings

The Sephirot are divided into three groupings of three. Each group of three consists of three levels: right, center, left. The first group of three concerns the powers of the mind and includes Da’at or Keter, Chochmah (Wisdom), and Binah (Intuition). The second group of three consists of the heart’s emotions as they exist prior to any action. This grouping consists of Chessed (Loving kindness), Gevurah (Courage), and Tiferet (Glory). The third group of three is concerned with behavior and actions and consists of Netzach (Eternity), Hod (Majesty), Yesod (Basis). This last grouping also concerns the emotions, but only as they become manifest through behavior.

The endpoint is Malchut (Kingdom) and is sometimes seen as an extension of the third group of three and sometimes as an independent state of being that takes in the energies of the other Sephirot and is what emerges as a result of all the soul has experienced.” [1]

 

 

Sources:

Safed.co.il, “Divine Energy“.

 

Suggested Links:

Afilalo, Raphael. 160 Questions on the Kabbalah.

Amaluxherbal.com, “The Kabbalah made Practical“.

Corax.com, “The Tree of Life“.

d’Este, Sorita. Themagicalbuffet.com, “The Goddess, Wicca & the Qabalah“.

Harrison, Jeff & Karen Charboneau-Harrison. Isisbooks.com, “QABALISTIC MAGIC ARTICLE LESSON 3: History And Differences Between Orthodox Hebrew Qabalah And Western Esoteric Qabalah“.

Inner.org, “The Ten Sefirot: Introduction“.

Treeoflifeteachings.com, “What is the Kabbalah?

Wikipedia, “Sephirot“.

Wikipedia, “Tree of Life (Kabbalah)“.

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 Fortuna Redux

Art by Mario Duguay

“Fortuna Redux’s themes are travel, good fortune, success and fate. Her symbols are chamomile and oak.  This aspect of Fortuna specifically watches over all travellers, especially now that the weather might make for unsafe conditions. Whenever you travel, She goes with you to make a happier, luckier journey filled with success. She can also give you predictions about what to expect during your travels.

If you’ve been thinking about planning a trip, today is the perfect time to start. Fortuna Redux will make sure you get good connections, directions, hotels, or whatever you need so your journey will go off without a hitch.

No matter where you have to go today, you can take this Goddess’s blessing with you simply by carrying some chamomile tea bags or placing an oak leaf in your shoe. This invokes Her protection on your car, the bus, train, or any other mode of transportation to help you avoid mishaps and traffic jams en route!  Better still, if the day gets hectic, you can drink the tea for improved luck!

To see what the future holds in terms of travel, try sprinkling some loose chamomile over a damp surface (ideally your car’s hood). Look to see that patterns emerge. If the flowers form an octagon, for example (the shape of a stop sign), this might be a message to stop your plans temporarily. If they form a wheel, the pattern could be interpreted as an omen to travel by car or bus.”

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

“Tout se placera” by Mario Duguay

Research for today’s Goddess turned up this very informative piece by Thalia Took.  She writes: “Fortuna Redux, one of the many aspects of the Roman Goddess of Luck, Fortuna, was in charge of bringing people home safely, primarily from wars—redux means ‘coming back’ or ‘returning’. She may be one of the later aspects of Fortuna, as the earliest mention of Her is of an altar dedicated by the Senate in 19 BCE for the safe return of the Emperor Augustus. This altar was located near the porta Capena, a gate in the old Servian wall not far from the grove of the Camenae, and at this altar rites were performed by the priests and Vestal Virgins during the Augustalia, games celebrated in honor of Augustus on his birthday on October 12th. Though usually it is only temples that are known to have a dedication date, this altar was considered special enough that its dedication date of the 15th of December was recorded.

She had a temple in Rome in the Campus Martius, a swampy area down by the Tiber dedicated to Mars that had once been used for the assembly of soldiers. The temple to Fortuna Redux there was built by the Emperor Domitian sometime around 93 CE after he had safely returned home from a war in Germany.

Fortuna Redux may have started as a Goddess who primarily made sure the Emperor got home alive, but it seems it was not long before She was invoked to bring others home safely, especially soldiers, as one might expect. Several altars dedicated to Her have been found in Brittania, the frontier of the Empire, especially in the area up by Hadrian’s Wall, the very northern limit of Rome’s power. They commonly come from military bath-houses, and She is sometimes mentioned along with Fortuna Salutaris (‘Health-bringing Fortune’) and Fortuna Balnearis (‘Fortuna of the Bath-House’). At the Roman fort of Cilurnum on Hadrian’s Wall (the modern Chesters, Northumbria, England), Fortuna Redux shared an altar with Aesculapius, the God of Health (the Greek Asklepios); and Her company on these altars imply that She was considered a Goddess who had healing powers, or who at least had the power to preserve health and wholeness, so that Her worshippers would be able to come home.

“Fortuna” by Tadeusz Kuntze

A related aspect of the Goddess of Chance, Fortuna Restitutrix, was also concerned with the health and saftey of soldiers. Her title means ‘She Who Restores’, which can also be translated like Redux as ‘She Who Brings Back’, and She was evidentally worshipped by the military. An altar to Fortuna Restitutrix has been found in the Castra Praetoria, the barracks of the Praetorian guard in Rome, built in the first century CE, about the time Fortuna Redux seems to have come about. Her altar was in a room in the northern part of the barracks set with a black and white mosaic floor.

Also called: Fortuna Reduci, ‘Fortune Returns’; She is depicted on coins with a wheel, sometimes the emblem of Nemesis, Greek Goddess of retribution, law and justice.” [1]

 

 

 

Sources:

Took, Thalia. The Obscure Goddess Online Directory, “Fortuna Redux“.

 

Suggested Links:

Revel, Anita. Reconnect with Your Inner Goddess, “Fortuna“.

Sacred-texts.com, “II. THE ROMAN GODDESS FORTUNA“.

Serenity. Order of the White Moon, “Fortuna“.

Tafarella, Santi. Prometheus Unbound, “The Goddess Fortuna: Thinking about Darwinian Contingency Metaphorically“.

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

Venefica, Avia. What’s-Your-Sign.com, “Goddess Symbols of Fortuna“.

Wikipedia, “Fortuna“.

Goddess Niskai

“Niskai’s themes are cycles, time, luck, home and success. Her symbols are a quarter, calendars and water.  This Western European water Goddess has a threefold nature, exemplifying the full movement of time’s wheel from birth and maturity to death and rebirth. She instills in us a respect for each season and the ability to use time wisely so that all our Goddess-centered efforts will be more successful.
Throughout England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland, Quarter Days mark the four quarters of the year. It is traditionally a time to pay one’s bills in Niskai’s timely fashion so that prosperity stays with you. Also, this is a very propitious time to move into a new residence; it brings luck!

To keep Niskai’s promptness with you and augment your awareness of the cycles in your life, try this spell. Begin with a quarter (which is round, representing the Wheel of Time). Place the token in moonlight for three hours and sunlight for three hours to charge it. Bless it, saying:

‘To everything, there is a reason
To every moment, a reason
For Niskai’s timeliness I pray
Every hour of every day.’

Carry this in your wallet or purse. If, for some reason, you start running late, touch the quarter and recite the incantation again. Then use the quarter to call folks so they don’t worry!”

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

“The Nereids” by Gaston Bussiere

According to Donald A. Mackenzie, Niskai refers to any of the water spirits and Goddesses in Celtic mythology.  Niskai may have a certain minor currency as a Goddess in Neo-Paganism.” [1]

Prudence Jones reaffirms what Mackenzie wrote.  She writes: “Romano-Celtic shrines, like later Celtic myths, tell of triple Goddesses such as the Proximae (kinswomen), Dervonnae (oak-sprites) and Niskai (water-Goddesses).  These are often known as the three Mothers and are particularly numerous in the Rhineland…” (p. 86).

 

 

Sources:

Jones, Prudence. A History of Pagan Europe, “The Celtic Divinities“.

Wikipedia, “Niskai“.

 

Suggested Links:

Celticoldreligion.com, “THE HUMANISED GODS OF CELTIC RELIGION“.

Celtreligion

Goddess Macha

“Macha’s themes are victory, success, protection, fertility and fire. Her symbols are red items, the acorn and the crow.  Macha means ‘mighty one.’ Macha used Her potency to clear the land for wheat, giving Her associations with fertility. She also used Her might to protect the Celts’ lands agains invaders, thereby becoming a war Goddess and guardian. Art shows Her dressed in red (color abhorrent to evil) and with blazing red hair, forever chasing off any malevolence that threatens Her children’s success.

Bonfire Night in Scotland takes place around May 22 and is a festival that originally had strong pagan overtones, the fires being lit specifically for ritual offerings that pleased the Gods and Goddesses and invoked their blessings. Additionally, the bright, red fire looked much like Macha’s streaming red hair, and thus it banished any evil spirits from the earth. So don any red-colored clothing today, or maybe temporarily dye your hair red to commemorate this Goddess and draw Her protective energies to your side. Eating red foods (like red peppers) is another alternative for internalizing Macha’s victorious power and overcoming any obstacle standing in your way.

Or, find some acorns and keep them in a Macha fetish bag (any natural-fiber drawstring bag). Anytime you want her power to manifest, simply plant the acorn and express your wish to it. Macha’s potential is in the acorn, ready to sprout!”

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

The Morrigan

“Macha (pronounced MOCK-uh) is an Irish war Goddess, strongly linked to the land. Several Goddesses or heroines bear Her name, but She is generally thought of as one aspect of the triple death-Goddess the Mórrígan (the “Great Queen” or “Phantom Queen”), consisting of Macha ‘Raven’, Badb ‘Scald Crow’ or ‘Boiling’, and Nemain ‘Battle Fury’. Macha is associated with both horses and crows.

The Mórrígan is both sex and battle Goddess, and Her personality is usually described as both war-like and alluring. She is known to be a prophetess: the Washer at the Ford is said to be one aspect of Her, who appears to those about to die. She is commonly shown washing bloody clothes at a river ford; when approached, She tells the enquirer the clothes are theirs. Like the bean sidhe (banshee), who She is believed related to, She is an omen of death.

As Goddess of the land, the Mórrígan are said to be cognate with Ana or Danu, and Macha is said to be one of the Tuatha de Danann.

Three other aspects of Macha feature in Irish folklore, which likely derive from a common Goddess, as they are all said to have a mother named Ernmas (also considered to be the mother to Ériu, Banba, and Fódla, sacred names for Ireland). One Macha, a seeress, was the wife of Nemed ‘Sacred’, who invaded Ireland and fought the Fomorians in Irish legend. Emain Macha, a bronze-age hill fort in Northern Ireland, and legendary capital of Ulster, is said to have been named for Her.

The second Macha, titled Mong Ruadh (“red-haired”), was a warrior and Queen, who overpowered Her rivals and forced them to build Emain Macha for Her.

“Curse of Macha” by Stephen Reid

The third Macha, and probably the most well-known, was said to be the wife of Crunniuc. Like many supernatural lovers, She warns him to tell no one of Her existence; but he boasts to the king of Ulster that his wife can outrun the fastest chariot. The king then seizes the very pregnant Macha and forces Her to run a race, against Her protests. In spite of this, She does win, and as She crosses the finish line She gives birth. In Her dying pain and anger She curses the men of Ulster to nine times nine generations, that in their time of worst peril they should suffer the pain of childbirth.” [1]

The Goddesses of Ireland and their “fall” as Christianity spread into Ireland

“The Goddess was a ‘dual-natured female figure, beautiful and hag-like by turns in whose gift was great power’.  The Goddesses were especially depicted in three’s, such as Eriu, Banba, and Fotla, all Goddesses of sovereignty. In the 11th century, Ireland was often called Eire (a form of Eriu) and also called ‘the island of Banba of the women’. Goddesses were often hybridized by Roman and Greek influences, but this did not seem to obscure the native elements. For example, Julius Caesar likened one Celtic Goddess to Minerva, a classical deity. In fact, some Celtic Goddesses seemed to share certain of their characteristics. However, there were no Celtic Goddesses of love. There were Goddesses more often associated with fertility and the natural cycle of life, including death. Perhaps most importantly, the Goddesses represented creativity especially as it related to giving life, in all its aspects.

The female warrior Goddesses respect for death, as a natural part of life, which seemed in translate into ‘real’ life as well. This is best seen in the symbolic marriage between the king and the Goddess of sovereignty. This union was to ‘ensure fertility for the land and for his people in the year to come.’

“Triple Goddess” by Amy Swagman

The role of the Goddess in Celtic Ireland was important in to the inter-relatedness with human woman: ‘Since the source of life was so integrally associated with women, it would seem to follow that the origins of life were female. At times of joy or moments of pain, humans would turn to the Goddess who was honored in Her many guises’ (Condren). It would not seem strange then to worship a female deity and consequently treat her female subjects with respect and honor. Descent was also often traced through the mother and a strong emphasis was placed on the mother relationship. However, conservative scholars are quick to point out that the power did not entirely rest on women, rather the focus appears to be on women. Life was of tremendous value in what appears to be the most natural, physical sense. Hence the importance of the woman, Goddess or human.

‘Women were highly honored, female symbolism formed the most sacred images in the religious cosmos, and the relationship with motherhood was the central elements of the social fabric the society was held together by common allegiance to the customs of the tribe loosely organized around the traditions of the Goddess’ (Condren).

What appears to have dismantled this society was the warrior culture and the spread of Christianity into Ireland. The story of Macha is an instructive example of the ‘fall’ of the Celtic Goddess and in some sense the fall of the Celtic woman. Macha (Ulster Epona, the horse Goddess) marries Crunnchua mac Angnoman a rich widower. The two prosper together until one day, Crunnchua wishes to go to the annual assembly of the Ulsterman. Macha pleads with him not to go, but Crunnchua insists. While at the assembly, Crunnchua witnesses a horse race. Those in attendance with him, including the king himself, declare that none can run faster than these horses. Crunnchua knows that his wife can outrun these horses with no problem and decides to challenge the declaration. The king, angered at Crunnchua’s arrogance insists that Crunnchua bring Macha to them for a match. Macha comes reluctantly, but before doing so, pleads, ‘Help me, for a mother bore each of you. Give me, oh, King, but a short delay until I am delivered.’ Macha is pregnant.

“Macha” by Caroline Bradley

This request and the king’s subsequent refusal are striking reminders of the changes that took place not only in the Irish sagas such as this one, but also the changes in the societies that ‘authored’ such work that became, significantly, myth. The king’s ultimate responsibility was to allow the ‘creativity of women to prosper.’ Kings were to promise that no one would die in childbirth, food should grow plentifully, and the traditional dyeing (a woman’s art) would not fail. These promises were related to the ‘needs and concerns of women, and unless the king could be seen to take care of the cultural and fertility needs of the clan, symbolized by these women’s activities, the king would be overthrown’. The king as evidenced in this story, violated the promises he made and instead of being overthrown, is permitted to continue his reign with no apparent resistance from his constituents. This portrayal of Macha is actually the last of three major cycles. In the first She is a brilliant, strong mother-Goddess. In the second She is a helpless (but wise) wife, and the third She is relegated to an existence of shame and forced to abandon Her life-giving gifts, adapting to the new warrior ethos. This is how She had traditionally become associated with the three war-Goddess spiral, joining Badb and Morrigan. The appearance of the war-Goddess appears to develop as a result of the change in Celtic society to one of violence and paradoxically, Christianity.

“Gift of Peace to a War Goddess” by Portia St.Luke

Macha evolves into a warrior-Goddess as the simultaneously the status of women decline in societies constantly under attack, where emphasis is placed on death and bloodlust rather than on life and respect for death. With this, men began to feel threatened by women as well, by any force seen as competition. Importantly another aspect of the decline of Macha (and other Goddesses) was the Christian clerics who began to satirize the Goddesses because their patriarchal system of beliefs stood in direct contrast especially to the worship of a female deity. Goddesses were becoming as violent as the society that ‘created’ them. They were raped, murdered and often died in child birth.

Peter Berresford Ellis in his book, Celtic Women, Women in Celtic Society and Literature, concurs with Condren that Goddesses in literature were often raped, died in childbirth and their status was destroyed by the symbolism of the rape.

The Goddesses, however, gave birth to great men who would in turn become great warriors. Indeed, ‘the famous warrior society triumphed over the culture of the wise women’. Several sources consulted point to the war-Goddess as a symbolic adaptation to the culture who called on Her to wreak death and destruction. The war-Goddess is often portrayed too with a voracious sexual appetite. Ellis quotes Moyra Caldecott:

‘Her twin appetites for sexual gratification and for bringing about violent death are a travesty of the very necessary and natural forces of creation and destruction that keep the universe functioning and imbalance of which brings about disaster’. [2]

Wow…After reading this excerpt from the University of Idaho’s site, it all made so much more sense and brought it all home for me.  I had read in several books that stated that many peaceful agricultural societies worshipped a mother Goddess type deity(ies) who presided mainly over life cycles, vegetation, and agriculture; that it wasn’t until the invasions of the violent war-faring Indo-Europeans that “swept through Old Europe, the Middle East and India bring[ing] their priests, warriors and male gods of war and mountains” [3] with them that the Goddesses started becoming less important, more subservient and taking on more violent and warlike qualities.  Truly, this is not limited to the Celtic culture – look at Inanna for example; or Minerva who evolved from an Italic moon Goddess, into an Etruscan virgin Goddess of poetry, medicine, widsdom, commerce, weaving, dyeing, crafts, the arts, science and magic and later, the Romanized Goddess became associated with war.  Venus who originally was a vegetation Goddess and patroness of gardens and vineyards who had no original myths of Her own became associated with love, fertility and even war under the name Venus Victrix, the Goddess of victory in war.  And let us not forget how Goddesses like Inanna, Asherah and Lilith were demonized by the Abrahamic patriarchal religions for refusing to submit to them and their “all powerful” male deity.

“Morrigan” by Michael C. Hayes

I think it only appropriate to conclude with some words from Jani Farrell-Roberts, “Women often had to fight in the wars. They needed a Goddess of the Battlefield as did the men (thus their talk of heads being ‘the mast of Macha’) – and so grew the myth of the Morrigan into which the kinder harvest Goddess Macha was subsumed as part of a triple Goddess with Her two sisters, Badb and Morrigan. In Britain She was probably Morgan. The Morrigan however came to be hated by men who dreaded the female power She represented – so men tended to depict Her as a hag – or as three hags (perhaps as reflected in Shakespeare‘s Macbeth).

But in the old sagas Her role is much more that of the healer of the wounded and of the taker of the spirits of the dead into the next world. For example, Macha is depicted in these myths as the Sacred Cow whose milk is an antidote to the poison of weapons. She had become the Mother on the Battlefield.” [4]

ASSOCIATIONS:

Pantheon: Celtic

Element: Earth

Sphere of Influence: Protection and sex

Preferred Colors: Red, black

Associated Symbol: Raven

Animals Associated with: Raven, crow

Best Day to Work with: Monday

Strongest Around: Lughnasadh

Suitable Offerings: Acorns

Associated Planet: Moon      [5]

 

 

And now, a tribute to the great Goddess Macha and Her stories…

 

 
Sources:

Eisler, Riane. Iowa State University, “The Chalice and Blade“.

Farrell-Roberts, Jani. The Web Inquirer, “Macha, Brighid, the Ancient Goddess of Ireland“.

PaganNews.com, “Macha“.

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

University of Idaho, “Celtic Women: Myth and Symbol“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Aisling. Order of the White Moon, “Macha“.

AncientWorlds, “Epona“.

Bar, Tala. Bewildering Stories, “Goddesses of War“.

Jones, Mary. Maryjones.us, “Macha“.

Shee-Eire.com, “Macha“.

Skye, Michelle. Goddess Afoot!: Practicing Magic with Celtic & Norse Goddesses, “Macha” (p. 166 – 181).

Wikipedia, “Macha“.

Goddess Fortuna

“Fortuna” by Jean Francois Armand Felix Bernard

“Fortuna’s themes are luck, wealth, abundance, destiny and success.  Her symbols are a wheel and cornucopia.  Fortuna, whose name means ‘she who brings’, is the keeper of our destiny and the guiding power behind all fortunate turns of events. She stands on top of Fortune’s wheel, steering us toward success and victory all year long.

Who of us couldn’t use a little of Fortuna’s assistance with tax day on the horizon. For a little extra cash, dab your automobile’s, bike’s, or motorcycle’s wheels with almond oil or pineapple juice. Symbolically, this invokes Fortuna’s help by keeping money ‘rolling’ in! Also dab your steering wheel similarly – this way you can keep a ‘handle’ on personal finances.

Romans traditionally asked Fortuna about their fate and difficult problems today, then received replies on slips of paper, often baked into small balls akin to a fortune cookie! This is fun for a gathering of people to try. Each person should write a word or short phrase on a piece of paper (all of which are equal in size). These get dropped in a bowl, and at the end of the day everyone can reach in to see what Fortuna has to say!

Wear colors that indicate to Fortuna what you need most (green for prosperity and luck, blue for victory, red for success, yellow for communication and creativity, and purple for spirituality and leadership qualities). Or, don lucky clothing and carry your lucky charms. Fortuna’s energy is already housed within them.”

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

“Fortuna (equivalent to the Greek Goddess Tyche) was the Goddess of fortune and personification of luck in Roman religion. She might bring good luck or bad: She could be represented as veiled and blind, as in modern depictions of Justice, and came to represent life’s capriciousness. She was also a Goddess of fate: as Atrox Fortuna, She claimed the young lives of the princeps Augustus‘ grandsons Gaius and Lucius, prospective heirs to the Empire.

“Tyche” by Tatjana Heinz

Her father was said to be Jupiter and like him, She could also be bountiful (Copia). As Annonaria She protected grain supplies. June 11 was sacred to Her: on June 24 She was given cult at the festival of Fors Fortuna.” [1]

“Fortuna was usually depicted holding in one hand a cornucopia, or a horn of plenty, from which all good things flowed in abundance, representing Her ability to bestow prosperity; in the other She generally has a ship’s rudder, to indicate that She is the one who controls how lives and fates are steered. She could also be shown enthroned, with the same attributes of rudder and cornucopia, but with a small wheel built into the chair, representing the cycles of fate and the ups and downs of fortune. Sometimes She is blind, as an acknowledgment that good luck does not always come to those who seem to most deserve it; at other times She is described as having wings, much like many Etruscan Goddesses—and indeed She was equated with the old Etruscan Fate Goddess Nortia, who was often shown winged.

The name Fortuna finds its root in the Latin fero, meaning ‘to bring, win, receive, or get’. She may have originally been a Goddess of Fertility, Who brought prosperity and success in the form of abundant harvests and offspring. Her worship in Rome traditionally goes back to the time of Ancus Martius, the 4th King of Rome, who is said to have reigned from 640-616 BCE. According to the propaganda of the time (and the Romans invented an awful lot of it to make it seem that their city had always been destined for greatness, and wasn’t just some upstart town founded by a bunch of sheep herders on some hills surrounded by malaria-infested swampland, which it was), when Fortuna first came to Rome, She immediately threw off Her shoes and discarded Her wings, announcing that She’d found Her true home and intended to never leave it.

Alternatively, Fortuna’s name may derive from that of the Etruscan Goddess Veltha or Voltumna, whose name encompasses ideas of turning and the alternating seasons. Voltumna in turn may be related to the Roman Goddess Volumna, who watched over and protected children; and both of these themes are found with Fortuna, who was often depicted with a wheel, and who was said to predict the fates of children at their births. As a Goddess of Fate Fortuna naturally had the power to foretell the future; and under Her aspect of Fortuna Primigenia in Praeneste She had an oracle, in which tablets inscribed with messages were chosen from a jar. She also had an oracular shrine at Her cult-center in Antium.

Fortuna had a very old temple in Rome on a hill between the Forum Romanum (the Roman Forum) and the Forum Boarium (supposedly the old cattle-market), near to the temple of Mater Matuta. Both temples had the same dedication day, the 10th of June, and each had a horseshoe-shaped altar before it of the earliest type. Fortuna’s temple had a very old statue of gilded wood inside, also of an archaic type; and the altar and statue indicate that Her worship dates at least to the earliest days of Rome, if She is not an earlier Goddess of the Latins.

The Emperor Trajan (97-117 CE) dedicated a temple to Fortuna, at which offerings were made to the Goddess on the 1st day of January, at the start of the New Year, probably to ensure good luck and success for the coming year. This temple was dedicated to Fortuna in all of Her aspects.

card 10 from the Fortuna’s Wheel Tarot

With Greek influence, Fortuna was equated to Tykhe, their Goddess of Luck and Fortune. Under the title Dame Fortune, Fortuna never lost Her power as an allegorical figure—She makes an appearance on card 10 of the Tarot Major Arcana, the Wheel of Fortune, and She is still to some extent honored today, for She features in gamblers’ prayers to ‘Lady Luck’.

“Madame Fortune” by Mary Petroff

She is associated with the Goddess Felicitas, the personification of happiness, and Spes, the Goddess of Hope.

Fortuna had quite a few aspects, many of which had their own holidays and centers of worship.” [2] Click here for a thorough listing at Thalia Took’s site, The Obscure Goddess Online Directory.

 

 

 

Sources:

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

Wikipedia, “Fortuna“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Revel, Anita. igoddess.com, “Fortuna: healthy and wealthy – and infinitely wise!“.

Roman Colosseum, “Roman Festivals“.

Sacred-texts.com, “II. THE ROMAN GODDESS FORTUNA“.

Serenity. Order of the White Moon, “Fortuna“.

Tafarella, Santi. Prometheus Unbound, “The Goddess Fortuna: Thinking about Darwinian Contingency Metaphorically“.

Venefica, Avia. What’s-Your-Sign.com, “Goddess Symbols of Fortuna“.

Coinciding with the Spring Equinox, the month of the Alder Moon is a time to focus on balance and fertility.

The Celtic month of Alder runs from mid-March to mid-April.  Significantly, this is a period that includes the Spring Equinox, the day on which the return of spring is celebrated and night and day are of equal length.  Falling at the start of spring, this period symbolizes the reawakening of the Earth Mother’s fertility.

Red alder buds. In moist forest areas red alder will rapidly cover a former burn or clearcut, temporarily preventing the growth of conifers but also improving soil fertility for future growth of conifers.

Growth and Fertility

The Alder month heralds a time of accelerated growth, and the spells you cast during this period can aid any business or creative ventures you undertake, bringing your ambitions closer to fruition.  Your emphasis during the month of the Alder Moon should be on harnessing our hidden potential.

Focusing on the Moon’s influence during this month will also help you bring a sense of balance to your work.  The power of the Alder Moon will be able to unite your intuitive side with a pragmatic approach to planning.

FERTILITY AND COURAGE

The alder tree is also known as the King of the Waters (with the willow tree as its Queen), because its natural habitat is near lakes, rivers and streams.  It actually grow with its roots in the water and its branches in the air and for this reason is associated with the balancing of female and male energies.

Symbols of Fertility

When the wood of the alder tree is cut, it turns from white to red, both of which are colors long associated with the Goddess’s fertility.  The buds of the alder tree also grow in spirals that are a symbol of regeneration and a reminder of the cycle to come.

Wood for Weapons

The Celts traditionally used charcoal made from the alder tree in the making of their weapons. This work was carried out in the spring – in preparation for the hunting season ahead.

 

In Welsh mythology, the alder fought in the front line of the “Battle of the Trees” against the Underworld.  When cut, its wood turns from white to red as though it is bleeding.  Growth near water, the tree has feminine associations, yet its links to war also indicate masculinity.  The Alder, therefore, speaks of balancing masculine and feminine.

ALDER MOON MAGIC

The month of the Alder Moon is the ideal time to focus on balancing your life, setting new goals for yourself and working to achieve them with energy and enthusiasm.

 

Meditating on the Yin-Yang symbol will help put your energies in balance.

Yin-Yang Meditation

The Yin-Yang is a symbol of male and female energies in perfect balance, and is an ideal symbol to use in meditation.  Remember to wear comfortable clothes and relax your body.

1. Look at the Yin-Yang and let your gaze become blurred.  Close you eyes while holding the image in your mind.

2. Concentrate on letting your in-breath become equal in length to your out-breath.

3. Focus on the Yin-Yang symbol and let other thoughts drift away.

 

 

Achieving Balance in Your Life

During the month of the Alder Moon, try to bring more balance into your life with the following tips:

Balance Your Books

Check your bank balance.  Always in the red? Find four ways you can economize this month. Small symbolic steps let the powers of the universe know that you are ready for some big changes.

 

Balanced Diet

Are you eating a balanced diet?  Remember that your body is a temple.  Valuing yourself is the first step to getting what you want.

 

 

Balance Your Emotions

Take up Yoga or Tai Chi during the Alder Moon. The balance of spirituality and physical exercise stimulates feelings of well-being.  your improved posture will radiate poise and confidence to the outside world.

 

Drink Plenty of Water

Take your lead from the alder tree: drink plenty of water and breathe deeply.  If you follow these simple rules, you will find you have more energy to make your dreams come true this spring.

Chocolate Love Ritual

Perform this simple spell with your partner to help your love grow stronger.

You Will Need:

  • A chocolate Easter egg
  • A pin
  • A red candle*
  • Matches

1. Create a romantic setting in the room you wish to use for your rite with soft music and scented candles.

2. Sit facing your partner, look into each other’s eyes and breath deeply.

3. Light the candle, then take it in turns to say these words to each other: “Beneath this Alder Moon I offer my love to you, may it grow ever stronger and ever clearer.  So may it be.”

4. Both use the pin to scratch four things you love about each other onto the chocolate egg.

5. Have fun feeding each other pieces of the egg.

6. Let the red candle burn down.  Your love will grow in the year ahead.

* A red dye can be produced from alder bark.  Utilize this association with red by using red candles in spells cast under the Alder Moon.

 

 

 

Source:
“Enhancing Your Body, Mind and Spirit”, 21 Nature Magic, CARD  8.

 

Suggested Links:

The Blue Roebuck, “Alder“.

Celticradio.net, “Celtic Zodiac: The Alder“.

The Goddess Tree, “Alder“.

White Shell Woman

"White Shell Woman" by Hanehepi Mani Dylan

“White Shell Woman’s themes are magic, overcoming, spirituality, freedom, hope, success, protection, joy and dreams.  Her symbols are eagles, rattles and the color white.  In Native American tradition, White Shell Woman came to earth bearing elemental blankets and the sunshine of protection, dreams and renewed hope. When She arrived a rainbow appeared, banishing sadness with the promise of eventually reuniting humankind with the gods. Today She renews this promise to us, whispering Her message on March’s winds and bearing it on the wings of an eagle.

Sometime in spring, the Pueblos of New Mexico hold an Eagle Dance to bring rain and ensure the tribe’s success in difficult situations. The mimelike movements of the dance unite the dancers with the Eagle spirit, connecting them with the sacred powers.

To adapt this in your own life, grab a feather duster and dance a little of White Shell Woman’s hope into your heart while you clean up your house!

If you have young children in your life, work with them on a Shell Woman anti-nightmare blanket or happiness charm. Take four strips of cloth in elemental colors, or seven in the colors of the rainbow. Sew them together to form a blanket or portable swatch. Bless the charm. saying:

‘Love and joy within each seam brings me only happy dreams Shell Woman, shine through the night Keep me safe till dawn’s first light.'”

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

"White Shell Woman" by Susan Seddon Boulet

“White Shell Woman appears in the creation stories of various Native American tribes, including the Navajo, Zuni, and Apache. In Zuni myth, White Shell Woman is an ancestor of the Sun Father, a creator god and the source of life. She lives with him in the West.

In the Navajo creation story, White Shell Woman (Yoolgai asdzáá) is the sister of the Goddess Changing Woman and a wife of Water. Created when the Talking God and the Wind breathed life into two shells, the Sisters grew lonely and sought company—Changing Woman with the Sun and White Shell Woman with a mountain stream. Eventually They gave birth to two sons, who grew up to battle the monsters that roamed the earth. In some Navajo tales, White Shell Woman and Changing Woman become the same character.

According to the Navajo, when White Shell Woman went to live on Her own, the Talking God and other deities came to visit Her. They brought ears of corn that they covered with sacred blankets to create a man and a woman. White Shell Woman was overjoyed with this couple, who along with the descendants of Changing Woman became the ancestors of the Navajo people.” [1]

 

 

 

Sources:

Myths Encyclopedia, “White Shell Woman“.

 

Suggested Links:

American Studies at the University of Virginia, “Changing Woman: Myth, Metaphor, and Pragmatics“.

The Judicial Branch of the Navajo Nation, “How White Shell Woman Became Known as Changing Woman“.


Goddess Victoria

"Nike goddess of victory" by gregor999

“Victoria’s themes are victory, success and excellence.  Her symbols are wings (or feathers) and laurel.  Victoria, as Her name implies, is the Roman Goddess of attainment. Early in the year She inspires resolve within us to do everything we undertake, with excellence as a goal. In works of art, Victoria is often depicted with wings that allow her to surmount any obstacle or problem.

Drink a tea made from lemon balm, ginger, and a pinch of cinnamon to generate a successful attitude.

Remember : If you think you can, you can!

Put a leaf (a form of laurel) in you shoe so that Victoria’s triumphant energy can walk with you all day long. Later in the day, burn a few bay leaves on a fire source to fill your home with success. Alternative aromas that invoke Victoria’s favour are rose and red sandalwood.

To make a victory charm, find a feather (or cut paper in the shape of a feather) and empower it with this incantation:

‘With the wings of Victoria, I will rise
above all areas where trouble lies
Through diligence and mastery I will see
today begins my victory!’

Carry this token anytime you feel your confidence waning, or when you need a boost to get over any seemingly insurmountable obstacle.”

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

In ancient Roman religion, Victoria was the personified Goddess of victory. She is the Roman equivalent of the Greek Goddess Nike, and was associated with Bellona. She was adapted from the Sabine agricultural Goddess Vacuna and had a temple on the Palatine Hill. The Goddess Vica Pota was also sometimes identified with Victoria.

Unlike the Greek Nike, Victoria (Latin for “victory”) was a major part of Roman society. She was often associated with Jupiter, Mars and other deities and was especially worshipped by the army.  Multiple temples were erected in Her honor. She was normally worshipped by triumphant generals returning from war.  Victoria usually appeared in reliefs on the spandrels of triumphal arches, such as the Arch of Augustus, the Arch of Septimius Severus and the Arch of Constantine.  Augustus had an altar to Victoria installed in the senate building, the Curia Julia, with a statue of Victoria standing with one foot on a globe.  The cult of Victoria was one of the last Pagan cults to succumb to Christianity. When Her statue was removed in 382 CE by emperor Gratianus there was much anger in Rome.

Also unlike the Greek Nike, who was known for success in athletic games such as chariot races, Victoria was a symbol of victory over death and determined who would be successful during war.

Gold coin of Constantine II depicting Victoria on the reverse

 

Victoria appears widely on Roman coins (until the 3rd century CE), jewelry, architecture, and other arts. She is often seen with or in a chariot, as in the late 18th-century sculpture representing Victory in a quadriga on the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany. [1] [2]

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