Tag Archive: thankfulness


Autumnus

“Autumn Nymph” by ~limch

“Autumnus’s themes are the harvest, abundance, thankfulness, balance, wisdom, foresight and Autumn. Her symbols are fall leaves and harvested items. This is the Roman personification of the autumn season. While the actual gender of this being is often left to the imagination, the strong connection with the harvest, wines, and fruits intimates a powerful earth Goddess, blossoming with Her seasonal array.

In magic traditions, today is a time to appreciate the earth’s abundance somewhat cautiously. After this festival, the daylight hours will begin to wane, meaning wise prudence is called for. So while we reap Autumnus’s bounty from the sowing season, we also begin prudently planning.

Decorate your dining table or sacred space with colorful autumn leaves today. Enjoy as many harvested fruits and vegetables (perhaps from a farmer’s market) as possible to internalize Autumnus’s prosperous, wise energy. Leave out a libation of wine or grape juice for the Goddess to please Her and to encourage continuing providence when Her stores begin to wane.

For children, today is a perfect time to have a leaf-raking party in which they figuratively gather what they need from the Goddess, then play happily in Her energy afterward by jumping in the piles.”

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

For today’s entry, the only thing I could find on “Autumnus” comes from Wikipedia in which it states, “The word autumn comes from the Old French word autompne (automne in modern French), and was later normalised to the original Latin word autumnus.” [1]  I also found that Autumnus was defined as “personification; portrayed as mature and manly.” [2]  Hhmm, not very Goddess oriented, huh?

So, what I would like for you to do today is reflect on Autumn.  What does it mean to you?  What does it make you think of?  How does it make you feel?  What do you associate with Autumn?  I must admit that this is my FAVORITE time of year.  I love to watch and take in the splendor of the season’s transformation as the trees begin to change from green to bright reds, oranges and yellows.  I love the smell of the leaves on the ground, the smell of wood smoke rising from a bonfire, the crisp nights that make you want to snuggle up under a warm blanket in front of a crackling fire with a cup of hot cocoa or mulled cider.  I love the frosty mornings and the crunch of the leaves and twigs under my feet.  I love the sound of the crickets and the geese as they make their way south.  I love the harvest; the corn, the grains, the apples and fruits of the season and the smells of spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.

Or, does it make you feel sad as it marks the approach of the dark season, knowing that death and winter are on the horizon?  Does it make you miss the heat, beauty and energy of summer?  Does it make you feel anxious knowing that you only have so long to prepare and gather up and store what you need before the first snow begins to fall to make it through the long, cold and dark winter looming ahead?

Photo by Lauren Withrow

Regardless of how you view Fall, Autumnus’s spirit lives and resides in it, in all of it – everything from the beauty of the changing leaves, the romance and activity of the harvest to the dull, dried out dead stalks, death and the peaceful quietude that falls upon the land once all has been reaped, has fallen and died.

 

 

 

Sources:

Encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com, “Autumnus“.

Wikipedia, “Autumn“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Aloi, Peg. Witchvox.com, “You Call it the Autumn Equinox, We Call it Mabon“.

Wigington, Patti. Paganwiccan.about.com, “All About Mabon, the Autumn Equinox – What is Mabon?

Goddess Papa

“Inward Journey” by Gilbert Williams

“Papa’s themes are providence, thankfulness, abundance, earth, fertility, weather, grounding, the harvest and the moon. Her symbols are the moon, harvested foods, rainwater and rocks.  Polynesians summon Papa to help in all earthly matters. She is, in fact, the Earth Mother who gave birth to all things by making love to the sky. To this day, the earth and sky remain lovers, the sky giving its beloved rain for fertilization. Papa is sometimes known by the alternative title Papa Raharaha, ‘supporting rock’, through which She provides foundations and sustenance for our body, mind, and spirit.

Harvest moon festivals take place during the full moon closest to the autumnal equinox. The full moon here represents the earth (Papa) in all its abundance and the crop’s maturity. If it’s raining today, skip an umbrella for a moment and enjoy a little of the sky’s love for Papa. Gather a little of the water and drink it to encourage more self-love.

Carry any crystal or stone with you today to manifest Papa’s firm foundations in all your endeavors. And definitely integrate harvested foods into your menu. Some that have lunar affiliations include cauliflower, cabbage, cucumber, grapes, lettuce, potatoes, and turnips. Thank Papa for Her providence before you eat, then ingest whatever lunar qualities you need for that day or for the rest of the year.”

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

“Papahanaumoku (literally, broad place who gives birth to islands), or Pāpā, is the name of the Kanaka Maoli creator Goddess in Hawaiian mythology. Together with Her husband Wākea (sky father) Pāpā is the ancestor of all people and Kalo, and mother of islands as the Kanaka Maoli manifestation of Mother Earth.” [1]

“Papa & Wakea” by Linda Rowell Stevens

Patricia Monaghan writes: “The word we use for father was used by the Polynesians to summon mother earth, who existed from the beginning in perpetual intercourse with Her lover, the say god Rangi.  They left no room between them, creating darkness everywhere, which stifled the gods that resulted from the divine union.  Finally, the young gods decided to separate their parents.  Although apart, the pair remained lovers still; the earth’s damp heat rose lustfully to the sky, and the rain fell from heaven to fertilize beloved Papa” (p. 248).

Kalo, also known as the taro plant.

“There are many legends surrounding Papa…According to [one] legend, Papahanaumoku was born in Halawa Valley, Oʻahu and spent Her early childhood there. She travelled throughout the islands, and eventually wed Wakea. Together they had a daughter, Hoʻohokukalani (literally, one who creates the stars of heaven). As the girl grew, Wakea fell in love with his daughter and began to have an intimate relationship with her. He tricked Papa (in some versions of the story, the institution of the kapu system was part of his scheme) in order to keep Her away, so that he could seduce Hoʻohokukalani. When Papa discovered the truth, She was furious. However, when Hoʻohokukalani gave birth to a stillborn baby, it was Papa who named the child Haloa and buried him in the soft earth; from that place sprung the first kalo. Hoʻohokukalani again mated with her father Wakea, and had a living child, who was also named Haloa. This child became the ancestor to all Kanaka Maoli, or all humans (depending upon interpretation). [2]

“Papahanaumoku is worshipped by Native Hawaiians, especially by women, as a primordial force of creation who has the power to give life and to heal. A women’s temple, called Hale o Papa, is the primary religious structure associated with Her worship. Hale o Papa are often built in connection with Luakini, or men’s temples (places of ‘official’ ceremony, which are primarily dedicated to the gods  and Lono), although it is believed by many practitioners that they may also exist independently.

Widespread destruction of religious structures by the forces of Kahekili II and by the Christian-converted kahuna, Hewahewa have made archaeological proof of many known sites difficult. Some also question the possibility of regular ‘covering up’ and/or ‘minimizing’ of archaeological and historical data, due to the impact of this data on development interests and other economically powerful factors.” [3]

“In the Aloha ʻAina movement, Papa is often a central figure, as Her spirit is that of the life-giving, loving, forgiving earth who nurtures human life, and who is being abused by the misdeeds of mankind, especially in regard to the abuse of nature.

Papahānaumokuākea MNM approximate boundary outlined

In 2008, Papahanaumoku and Wakea’s names inspired the newly inaugurated Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.” [4]

 

 

 

Sources:

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

Wikipedia, “Papahanaumoku“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Donch.com, “Heiau: Native Hawaiian Temples“.

Hawaiialive.org, “Moku‘ula“.

Powersthatbe.com, “Goddess Papa“.

Sacred-texts.com, “Papa and Wakea“.

Wikipedia, “Rangi and Papa

 

Goddess Baba Yaga

“Baba Yaga” by ~sgorbissa

“Baba Yaga’s themes are the harvest, rest, providence, thankfulness and cycles. Her symbols are corn sheafs, wreaths of wheat, corn, rye and wild flowers.  This Lithuanian/Russian Goddess of regeneration, Baba Yaga is typically represented as the last sheaf of corn in today’s festivities – Obzinky. As both young and old, She reawakens in us an awareness of time’s ever-moving wheel, the seasons and the significance of both to our Goddess-centered magic.

Follow with the tradition and make or buy a wreath or bundle of corn shucks or other harvest items. Keep this in your home to inspire Baba Yaga’s providence and prosperity for everyone who lives there.

For breakfast, consume a multigrain cereal, rye bagels or wheat toast. Keep a few pieces of dried grains or toasted breads with you. This way you’ll internalize Baba Yaga’s timeliness for coping with your day more effectively and efficiently, and you’ll carry Her providence with you no matter the circumstances.

Feast on newly harvested foods, thanking Baba Yaga as the maker of your meal. Make sure you put away one piece of corn that will not be consumed today, however. Dry it and hang it up to ensure a good harvest the next year, for your garden, pocketbook or heart.

Finally, decorate your home or office with a handful of wild flowers (even dandelions qualify). Baba Yaga’s energy will follow them and you to where it’s most needed.”

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

“Baba Yaga” by Hrana Janto

Patricia Monaghan writes that “the ‘old woman’ of autumn was called Baba by the Slavic inhabitants of eastern Europe, Boba by the Lithuanians. This seasonal divinity lived in the last sheaf of grain harvested in a year, and the woman who bound it would bear a child that year. Baba passed into Russian folk legend as the awesome Baba Yaga, a witchlike woman who rowed through the air in a mortar, using a pestle for Her oar, sweeping the traces of Her flight from the air with a broom.

A prototype of the fairytale witch, Baba Yaga lived deep in the forest and scared passersby to death just by appearing to them. She then devoured Her victims, which is why Her picket fence was topped with skulls. Behind this fierce legend looms the figure of the ancient birth-and-death Goddess, one whose autumn death in the cornfield led to a new birth in spring” (p. 65).

“Baba” by Karlen Tam

As explained by Freya: “Usually, Baba Yaga is a frightening Witch who lives in the middle of a very deep forest, in a place which is often difficult to find unless a magic clue (a ball of yarn or thread) or a magic feather shows the way. The old hag lives in a wooden hut on two chicken legs (sometimes three or four legs are described). Usually the hut is turned with its back towards a traveler, and only magical words can make it turn around on its chicken legs to face the newcomer. Very often, the hut revolves with loud noises and painful screams that make a visitor cringe. This serves to frighten the reader, showing the hut’s old age, and to show that Baba Yaga does not care about her hut’s well being. It is also fascinating that some fairy tales describe the hut as being a unique evil entity: firstly, it has the ability to move on its chicken legs. Secondly, it understands human language and is able to decide whether and when to let a visitor enter its premises. Finally, the hut is often depicted as being able ‘to see’ with its eyes (its windows) and ‘to speak’ with its mouth (its doorway). I also cannot help feeling that the hut is able ‘to think’, and one can observe these thoughts as wild powerful clouds of steam emerging from the hut’s chimney. What powerful imagery!

Baba Yaga’s hut is often surrounded by fence made of human bones and topped with human skulls with eyes. Instead of wooden poles onto which the gates are hung, human legs are used; instead of bolts, human hands are put in; instead of the keyhole, a mouth with sharp teeth is mounted. Very often Baba Yaga has her hut is protected by hungry dogs or is being watched over by evil geese-swans or is being guarded by a black cat. The gates of Baba Yaga’s villa are also often found to be guardians of Yaga’s hut as they either lock out or lock in the Witch’s prey.” [1]  (You can click on the [1] to finish reading the imagery).

“Baba Yaga” by ~lpeters

She quite reminds me of another well known Goddess, Kali.  Freya goes onto explain: “Baba Yaga is a Slavic version of Kali, the Hindu Goddess of Death, the Dancer on Gravestones. Although, more often than not, we consider Baba Yaga as a symbol of death, She is a representation of the Crone in the Triple Goddess symbolism. She is the Death that leads to Rebirth. It is curious that some Slavic fairy tales show Baba Yaga living in Her hut with Her two other sisters, also Baba Yagas. In this sense, Baba Yaga becomes full Triple Goddess, representing Virgin, Mother, and the Crone. Baba Yaga is also sometimes described as a guardian of the Water of Life and Death. When one is killed by sword or by fire, when sprinkled with the Water of Death, all wounds heal, and after that, when the corpse is sprinkled with the Water of Life, it is reborn. The symbolism of oven in the Baba Yaga fairy tales is very powerful since from primordial times the oven has been a representation of womb and of baked bread. The womb, of course, is a symbol of life and birth, and the baked bread is a very powerful the image of earth, a place where one’s body is buried to be reborn again. It is interesting that Baba Yaga invites Her guests to clean up and eat before eating them, as though preparing them for their final journey, for entering the death, which will result in a new clean rebirth. Baba Yaga also gives Her prey a choice when She asks them to sit on Her spatula to be placed inside the oven: if one is strong or witty, he or she escapes the fires of the oven, for weak or dim-witted ones, the road to death becomes clear.” [2]

As Fiana Sidhe explains: “Baba Yaga is a very misunderstood Goddess. She is not just the stereotypical wicked witch. She often appears as a frightening old hag, but can also appear as a beautiful woman who bestows gifts.

She is wild and untamed but also can be kind and generous. Even in Her haggard form, Baba Yaga has many gifts to share.

Baba Yaga is the old crone who guards The Waters of Life and Death. She is the White Lady of Death and Rebirth, and is also known as The Ancient Goddess of Old Bones. The old bones are symbolic of the things we cling to, but must finally let lie. When we experience a death, darkness, depression, or spiritual emptiness in our lives, we journey to Baba Yaga’s hut, where She washes new life into us. She collects our bones and pours the waters on them, while She sings and chants and causes us to be reborn. She destroys and then She resurrects. Baba Yaga symbolizes the death of ignorance. She forces us to see our true, darkest selves, then She grants us a deep wisdom that we can attain by accepting the dark shadows within ourselves. We can only receive help from Baba Yaga by learning humility. Her gifts can destroy or enlighten us.” [3]

I absolutely love this explanation of Baby Yaga as the Wild Woman written by Sr. Dea Phoebe: “So, while She is certainly a dark Goddess, a death Goddess, and may even seem ‘wicked’ in ways, Baba Yaga is hardly the villain of Her stories. But also, Baba Yaga is not a nice, clean, civilized Goddess. In the story of Valalisa the Wise, triple Goddess imagery repeats throughout – in Valalisa and her doll’s white, red, and black clothing, (colors traditionally associated with the Maiden, Mother, and Crone,) in the repetition of threes throughout the story (three colors, three enemies in the stepfamily, three riders, three tasks, three questions, three pairs of hands) and in Valalisa, (the maiden beginning her journey), her mother (who has given Valalisa gifts to guide her), and of course, in Baba Yaga as the crone. As a denizen of the deep forest, Baba Yaga is the wild aspect of the psyche, what Estés calls [in her book Women Who Run with the Wolves] the Wild Hag or the Wild Woman —not the gentle grandmother that bakes you cookies and tells you stories, but the stern grandmother that might just smack your rear with a spoon and tell you to smarten up! She is not pretty to look at, and she represents the deepest mysteries of death. No wonder she has a reputation of a scary old witch!

“Baba Yaga” by *MarkTarrisse

When we work with Baba Yaga, when we take that path into the deep forest to face the mysteries of death and emerge with the light of wisdom, we also face the wild aspects of ourselves. They may not be pretty, they may have long stringy hair and iron teeth and a wild cackle, but they also hold mysteries our more civilized day-to-day selves never think upon. Baba Yaga is not tied by social norms and mores. She flies about in yet another symbol of transformation; She wipes away the signs of Her passing so you’re never sure if She’s really been there. She’s rude, She’s crude, and She lives in a hut that doesn’t have the manners to sit down and stay like we expect a house should—and you can bet She enjoys all of this. She is less concerned about what is civilized and polite than what is true.

When you find yourself in need of true wisdom, when you find yourself being too nice, too polite in the face of ongoing boundary violations, when you find yourself stagnated by the expectations of others, it might just be time to retrieve your Wild Woman (or Man.) It might be time to brave the forest and meet Baba Yaga.” [4]

ASSOCIATIONS:

Astrological Sign: Scorpio

Colors: White, red, and black

Gemstones: Garnet, bloodstone, tourmaline, smoky quartz

Goddesses: Hecate, Hel, Kali

Goddess Aspect: Crone

Festival Date: January 20

Herbs/Flowers: Patchouli, sandalwood, geranium

Moon Phase: Waning/Dark

Other Names: Baba, Boba, Baba Den, Jezi Baba

Sacred Animals: Snake, cat

Season: Autumn

Symbols: Mortar and pestle, broom

Tree: Birch                                   [5]

 

 

 

Sources:

Arteal. Order of the White Moon, “Baba Yaga“.

Freya. Realmagick.com, “Baba Yaga: A Demon or A Goddess?

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

Phoebe, Sr. Dea. Order of Our Lady of Salt, “The Goddess and the Wheel: Baba Yaga – Wicked Witches and Wild Women“.

Sidhe, Fiana. Matrifocus.com, “Baba Yaga, The Bone Mother“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Goddess-guide.com, “Crone Goddesses“.

Mydailygoddess.blogspot.com, “Baba Yaga – Wild Woman“.

Oldrussia.net, “Baba Yaga“.

Revel, Anita. igoddess.com, “Baba Yaga: cross the shadow side – then come out!

Russianclub.com.ua, “Baba-Yaga“.

Russiapedia.rt.com, “Of Russina origin: Baba Yaga“.

Sacred-texts.com, “Baba Yaga“.

Weed, Susun. Matrifocus.com, “Baba Yaga Stories“.

Wikipedia, “Baba Yaga“.

Goddess Mari

“The Sabbath of Witches” by Francisco de Goya

* For today’s entry, Patricia Telesco names “Akerbeltz” as today’s Goddess. However, my research revealed that Akerbeltz is a black he-goat known in Basque mythology to be an attribute of the Goddess Mari. [1] “From the Basque language ‘aker’ (male goat), and ‘beltz’ (black). He protects against illnesses and evil spirits and he sends beneficial force fluxes to animals placed under its protection. From his name comes the word ‘aquelarre’ that presently designs a secret meeting of evil witches adoring the Devil. But long ago, it was just an assembly of people celebrating in honour to this well-meaning being.” [2]

So, for today’s entry, I assume that Telesco’s attributes for Akerbeltz would be appropriate for the Goddess Mari, whom Akerbeltz is said to have originated from.

“Goddess Of The Rainbow” by Prairiekittin

“[Mari’s] themes are the harvest, charity, health, thankfulness, beauty and peace. Her symbols are rainbows, health and healing amulets.  This Basque Goddess attends the human body by protecting it from disease, encouraging health and offering healing when needed, especially when we overdo summer activities! Being a Goddess of earth and nature too, She sometimes appears as a rainbow, a bridge that takes us from being under the weather to overcoming circumstances.

The Tabuleiros has been celebrated for six hundred years in Portugal by honoring the harvest, giving thanks to the Goddess for Her providence and making donations to charitable organizations. The highlight of the day is a parade in which people wear huge headdresses covered with bread, flowers and doves – symbols of [Mari’s] continued sustenance, beauty and peace. These are retained by the wearer through the year to keep [Mari] close by, warding off sickness. A simpler approach for us might be to get a small rainbow refrigerator magnet or window piece that reflects this Goddess’s beauty throughout our home to keep everyone therein well and content.

Also, give a little something to someon in need today. Doing good deeds for others pleases [Mari] because it makes them healthier in spirit. She will bless you for your efforts with improved well-bing, if only that of the heart.”

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

“Mari is the Basque Goddess of the Moon.  She is the supreme Goddess of the Basque pantheon.  Mari is associated with the various forces of nature including the wind, storms, and lightning. She creates storms to chastise disobedient people.  She often travels across the sky as a fireball or as a blazing crescent going from one mountain peak to another. Sometimes Her chariot is being pulled by four white horses and other times, She is seen riding a white ram.  Mari has many homes on the high mountain summits and deep within the caves below.

Mari is a shape shifter who can appear as any animal, but sometimes will assume the shape of a white cloud or a rainbow. She is often pictured as a woman of fire or as a thunderbolt.  Legends revere Her as a prophetess and oracle; She is said to rule over sorcery and divination. She upholds the law code and is known to punish anyone who is guilty of lying and stealing. She condemns pride and boasting and ensures a high level of moral conduct. Her symbol is the sickle which is still used today to ward off evil. Mari protects the travelers and provides good council to humans.

Unfortunately, with the advent of Christianity, Mari was degraded into an evil spirit.

Mari is the daughter of the Earth Goddess, Lur, and the sister of the Sun Goddess, Ekhi.  The Thunder Spirit, Maju is Her husband, and they apparently live apart for when they do get together, there are severe storms of rain, hail, thunder and lighting. Although the Inquistion ruthlessly persecuted followers of the Goddess as ‘witches’, Mari somehow escaped destruction, and She continues to live on in some parts of Northern Europe.” [3]

In another blog entry, I read, “She is friendly and helpful, protecting travelers and herds and giving good council to those who need it. Legends connect Her to the weather. The Goddess of thunder and wind, She is the personification of the earth, similar to the Greek Gaia. Mari drives a chariot of four white horses across the sky and when She appears, She is a beautiful woman adorned with rainbows.

She does not only appear as a beautiful women but also as a flaming tree, a white cloud, a rainbow, a gust of wind, a bird, a sickle made of fire, moving from one mountain peak to another. She lives underground, normally in a cave in a high mountain(Anboto). Where she and her other half Sugaar meet every Friday in the night of the Akelarre or witch-meeting, to conceive the storms that will bring fertility to the land and the people. Mari is served by a court of sorginak (witches).” [4]

“Mari is the main character of Basque mythology, having, unlike other creatures that share the same spiritual environment, a god-like nature. Mari was regarded as the protectoress of senators and the executive branch.  Mari is often witnessed as a woman dressed in red. She is also seen as woman of fire, woman-tree and as thunderbolt. Additionally She is identified with red animals (cow, ram, horse) and with the black he-goat [Akerbeltz].

Margaret Bullen has noted ‘the myth of Mari brings together male and female attributes and qualities’, and that Mari is to be regarded as ‘a model of androgyny and a metaphor for liberation in which sexual difference should cease to be the basis for inequality’.” [5]

 

 

 

Sources:

Fleurvb’s Blog, “Article 1: Isolated and earth-based mythologies“.

Gomez, Olga. Encyclopedia Mythica, “Akerbeltz“.

MXTODIS123. An Inner Journey: The Moon, Mythology, and You, “Mari, Basque Goddess of the Moon“.

Wikipedia, “Akelarre (witchcraft)“.

Wikipedia, “Mari (goddess)“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

The Apricity Forum: A European Cultural Community, “Basque Gods and Creatures“.

Arcadia93.org, “Basque Paganism“.

Burns, Phyllis Doyle. BellaOnline: The Voice of Women, “Mari, Supreme Goddess of Basque Mythology“.

Dametzdesign.com, “Mari a Basque Goddess“.

Dashu, Max. Suppressedhistories.net, “The Old Goddess (Excerpt from the SECRET HISTORY OF THE WITCHES)“.

Gimbutas, Marija and Miriam Robbins Dexter. The Living Goddesses, “The Basque Religion” (p. 172 – 175).

Spencer, Krishanna J. Witchvox Article, “Subterranean Goddess: Mari of the Basques“.

Wikipedia, “Basque Mythology“.

Williams, M.A. Annette Lyn, M.A. Karen Nelson Villanueva and Ph.D. Lucia Chiavola Birnbaum. She Is Everywhere! Vol. 2: An anthology of writings in womanist/feminist spirituality, “Mari: God the Mother of the Basque” (p. 223 – 236).

Goddess Sedna

“Sedna” by Hrana Janto

“Sedna’s themes are are thankfulness, providence, nature and abundance. Her symbols are water, an eye and fish.  The mother of the sea, which is sometimes called the ‘eating place’ in northern climates, Sedna is a very important figure in Alaskan mythology as the provider of nourishment for both the body and soul. In narratives, Sedna gave birth to fish, seals, polar bears and whales – the life sustaining animals in this region. Artistic renderings show Her as having one eye that sees all things in Her domain.

At this time of year, fisherman in Alaska dance through town giving out whale meat. According to custom, this dance propitiates the spirits of the food-providing whales who have died in the previous year. It also ensures an abundance of food in the year ahead. Adapting this a bit, abstain from your favorite meat product today and ask for Sedna’s blessing on the animals who provide your food year-round. Vegetarians can forgo their favorite staple and ask Sedna to bless the Earth’s greenery instead! Eating fish, however, is perfectly suited to the occasion, as it will fill you with Sedna’s nourishment. Remember to eat thankfully!

To keep a small token in your home that will continually draw Sedna’s blessing to you, get a goldfish and name it after Her! Each time you feed the fish you’re symbolically giving an offering to the Goddess. When you have a need, whisper it to the fish so Sedna hears you.”

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

Sedna from the Goddess Guidance Oracle Deck

Patricia Monaghan tells us Sedna’s sad story: “Beside the Arctic Ocean, there once lived an old widower and his daughter, Sedna, a woman so beautiful that all the Eskimo men sought to live with Her. But She found none to Her liking and refused all offers. One day, a seabird came to Her and promised Her a soft life in a warm hut full of bearskins and fish. Sedna flew away with him.

The bird had lied. Sedna found Her home a stinking nest. She sat, sadly regretting Her rejection of the handsome human men. And that was what She told Her father, when She listed Her complaints when he visited Her a year later.

Anguta (‘man with something to cut’) put his daughter in his kayak to bring Her back to the human world. Perhaps he killed the bird husband first, perhaps he just stole the bird’s wife, but in either case the vengeance of the bird people followed him. The rising sea threatened the escaping humans with death. On they struggled, until Anguta realized that flight was hopeless.

“Sedna” by Lisa Hunt

He shoved Sedna overboard to drown. Desperate for life, She grabbed the kayak with a fierce grip. Her father cut off Her fingers. She flung Her mutilated arms over the skin boat’s sides. Anguta cut them off, shoving his oar into Sedna’s eye before She sank into the icy water.

At the bottom of the sea, She lived thereafter as queen of the deep, mistress of death and life, ‘old food dish,’ who provided for the people. Her amputated fingers and arms became the fish and marine mammals, and She alone decided how many could be slaughtered for food. She was willing to provide for the people if they accepted Her rules: for three days after their death, the souls of Her animals would remain with their bodies, watching for violation of Sedna’s demands. Then they returned to the Goddess, bearing information about the conduct of Her people. Should Her laws be broken, Sedna’s hand would begin to ache, and She would punish humans with sickness, starvation, and storms. Only if a shaman traveled to Her country, Adlivun, and assuaged Her pains would the sea mammals return to the hunters, which, if the people acted righteously, they did willingly.

“Sedna” by Susan Seddon Boulet

In Adlivun in a huge house of stone and whale ribs, Sedna dragged along the ground with one leg bent beneath Her. A horrible dog guarded Her, said by some to be Her husband. Anguta himself lived there too; some versions of the myth say that, hoping the seabirds would think Sedna dead, he allowed Her back into the kayak and returned home. But She hated him thereafter and cursed Her dogs to eat his hands and feet; the earth opened and swallowed them. In any case, Anguta served Sedna by grabbing dead human souls with his maimed hand and bringing them home. These dead lived in a region near Sedna’s home through which shamans had to pass to reach the Goddess. There was also an abyss, in which an ice wheel turned slowly and perpetually; then a caldron full of boiling seals blocked the way; finally, the horrible dog stood before Sedna’s door, guarding the knife-thin passageway to Her home. Should the shaman pass all these dangers and ease Sedna’s aching hands, the Goddess permitted him to return, bearing the news that Old Woman had forgiven Her people, that the seals would again seek the hunter, that the people would no longer starve” (p. 275-276).

“Sedna is widely worshipped among the Inuit peoples of the polar regions and has many forms and names: Ai-Willi-Ay-O or Aiviliajog; Kannakapfaluk, Arnakapfaluk (‘Big Bad Woman’) of the Copper Inuit; Idiragijenget for the Central Inuit. She is called Ikalu nappa in Her form as half-woman, half-fish; Meghetaghna in Siberia; Nerchevik in Labrador; and Nerrivik (‘Food Dish’) or Nivikkaa (‘Woman Thrown Backward Over The Edge’) in Greenland. For the Iglulik Inuit of Baffin Island She is Uiniyumayuituq or Unigumisuitok, ‘The One Who Did Not Want a Husband” [1].  Other names include Sanna, Nuliajuq, and Arnarquagssaq. [2]

“Sedna Transformed” by Susan Seddon Boulet

Charlotte Kuchinsky writes, “There seems to be no clear picture of whether the Goddess was evil or good or perhaps somewhere in between. She was definitely respected by the Inuit, but some feared Her while others cherished Her, which makes for an interesting dichotomy.

Many believe that the story of Sedna is an allegory to teach mankind that it is sometimes necessary to delve into places where we would prefer not to go. However, if we have faith and are worthy, the outcome will be positive and rich with the rewards of life.

Others believe that the story is a reminder that all of us have negative qualities that we must learn to control. However, such qualities do not immediately negate our being deserving of love and respect.

“Sedna” by Erika Brandner

I believe either is an important message to remember. All human beings have fears that hold us back and keep us from achieving all of which we are capable. I also believe that all human life deserves respect and that everyone needs the healing power of love.” [3]

I can sympathize with Sedna; I know and can understand all too well Her sadness, Her grief, Her sorrows, Her regrets, Her bitterness, Her anger, Her frustration, Her pain and fits of rage…I’ve been very much in tune with those same feelings, emotions and energies myself these past few days.  That does not make Her evil though.  Like Her, I did not die as result of my ordeals, I live to tell my tales; and like Her, yes, they’ve mentally and emotionally mutilated me, hurt me, and have made me bitter and angry, and still do lead to occasional bouts of rage when I feel threatened or wronged; or that my boundaries and limits have been breached.

“It is Her occasional anger with humans which brings about violent storms and destructive winds when She feels that Her rules have been broken or She has been wronged.  When this happens the Inuit tribal shaman is required to take a shaman’s journey to the bottom of the ocean to speak to the Goddess. The shaman will often transform into a fish and then he or she will swim down to the bottom of the ocean to appease Sedna. Often, the shaman will comb the tangles out of Sedna’s hair and put it into braids [and massage and work the knots and tension out of Her aching muscles], since, fingerless, She is unable to. As innocuous as this sounds, because Sedna is so volatile and often hostile, this is considered the most dangerous journey an Inuit shaman can ever be called upon to make.” [4]

“Pana” by Lisa Hunt

To me, She is comparable to Ereshkigal and a strong Dark Goddess to work with if one were brave enough to descend to the icy depths of the watery Underworld and confront their own mutilations.  Questions to ask yourself: “In what ways have the painful incidents in your life taught you about your own Divine nature? How has personal loss or suffering helped you set your own personal code of ethical conduct? In what ways can your anger be of benefit or harm?

And, from the shaman’s perspective, under what circumstances, if any, can you imagine that you would be willing to face danger and even risk your life for the greater good? What would that look like to you?” [5]

 

 

Sources:

Beth. Beth Owl’s Daughter, “The Goddess Sedna“.

Kuchinsky, Charlotte. Yahoo! Voices, “Understanding the Moral Behind the Inuit Goddess Sedna“.

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

Native-languages.org, “Legendary Native American Figures – Sedna“.

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

 

Suggested Links:

Balladeer. Balladeer’s Blog, “The Top 12 Deities From Inuit Mythology“.

Bianca. Order of the White Moon, “Sedna: Goddess of the Icy Sea“.

Goddessgift.com, “Sedna, Inuit Goddess of the Deep Sea“.

Rainewalker.com, “Sedna’s Gifts“.

Sutton, Brenda. Mythicjourneys.org, “Sedna of the Sea“.

Talk With the Goddess, “Goddess Card June 8th – Goddess Sedna“.

Temple of Sedna, “Sedna the Goddess“.

Wikipedia, “Sedna (mythology)“.

Willowroot, Abby. Spiralgoddess.com, “Sedna of the North“.

Goddess Rangda

"Rangda's Illusion" - unknown

“Rangda’s themes are thankfulness, magic and fertility.  Her symbols are a pregnant Goddess, round-shaped fruits, hibiscus and the color yellow.  A witch Goddess in Bali, Rangda takes on a function many witches have throughout history, that of a woman’s helpmate, especially in conception. To men, Rangda offers physical fertility or improved energy for magical workings.

Now that the earth is fertile, Rangda’s power is even more abundant. To commemorate this and generate some literal or figurative fertility in your life, do as the Balinese do. Wear saffron dyed (yellow) clothes, and leave Rangda an offering of fruit or flowers somewhere special. As you do, pray for an unborn child’s well-being, for pregnancy, or for fruitful productivity in whatever area of your life needs it most.

Rangda can fulfil your desire for successful living. To manifest Her profuseness, take a round watermelon and cut it in half. Make melon balls, and add any other round-shaped fruit (especially tropical fruit). Before eating, add this incantation:

‘Rangda, fullfil me
Rangda, complete me
As my hunger is filled
Let my spirit find satisfaction.’

Eating the fruit salad internalizes Her sweet, helpful energy.

Finally, to invoke Rangda’s blessing and aid in conception, decorate your bedroom with yellow highlights before making love. Find a yellow light bulb, put yellow-toned sheets on your bed, and place yellow flowers (or hibiscus) by the bed.”

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

"Rangda" by unded

Terrifying deities, spirits and other supernatural creatures are a common theme throughout the world’s different cultures and mythologies; in East Asia, the Goddess Rangda is one such example. “Rangda is the ‘Witch Goddess of Bali’ and the ‘Queen of Sorcery’ and a symbol of darkness.  She is the ancient widow who dances over graves.  She is the source of supernatural power and is depicted as a nude old woman with large breasts, long and tangled red hair (representing wildness), sharp teeth, and flames spewing form Her mouth.  She is associated with the sea…which most Balinese fear.*  She possesses righteous people and drives them to sinful behavior.  She is the model of untamed fertility that can be dangerous to overcome.” [1]

"Rangda's Girl" by LowKeyReality

Rangda can be identified with the wrathful form of the Hindu god Shiva as Bhairava, portrayed in his legends. The demon queen is everything that the Balinese abhor and try to stay away from in their everyday lives. Her name has been translated as meaning ‘widow’. She is depicted in art as a repugnant, cannibalistic demon with enormous fangs and shown devouring babies or shown with skulls and garlands of entrails. She is believed to be death itself, haunting graves and the death temples. Her followers are said to be the leyak (humans who have cannibalistic tastes like that of their mistress), who are given their powers by the Goddess Herself to kill people out of malice.” [2]

It has been suggested that the Goddess Rangda derives from an 11th century Balinese queen, Mahendradatta or Gunapriyadharmapatni, a Javanese princess sister of Dharmawangsa of East Javanese Isyana Dynasty of late Medang Kingdom period, who was exiled by the king for practicing witchcraft against his second wife. In retaliation for this, the queen attempted to destroy the king and his kingdom. She was eventually overcome by the powers of a holy man, but not before half the population died from plague. [3] [4]

Another story says that She is “the incarnation of Calon Arang, the legendary witch that wrecked havoc in ancient Java during the reign of Airlangga in late 10th century. It is said that Calon Arang was a widow, powerful in black magic, who often damaged farmer’s crops and caused disease to come. She had a girl, named Ratna Manggali, who, though beautiful, could not get a husband because people were afraid of her mother. Because of the difficulties faced by her daughter, Calon Arang was angry and she intended to take revenge by kidnapping a young girl. She brought the girl to a temple to be sacrificed to the Goddess Durga. The next day, a great flood engulfed the village and many people died. Disease also appeared.

King Airlangga, who had heard of this matter, then asked for his advisor, Empu Bharada, to deal with this problem. Empu Bharada then sent his disciple, Empu Bahula, to be married to Ratna. Both were married with a huge feast that lasted seven days and seven nights, and the situation returned to normal. Calon Arang had a book that contained magic incantations. One day, this book was found by Empu Bahula, who turned it over to Empu Bharada. As soon as Calon Arang knew that the book had been stolen, she became angry and decided to fight Empu Bharada. Without the help of Durga, Calon Arang was defeated. Since she was defeated, the village was safe from the threat of Calon Arang’s black magic.” [5]

Rangda is believed to be the enemy of Baraong Ket, the leader of the forces of good, and battles with him with Her army of evil witches. Although She is constantly defeated by the forces of good, (Baraong Ket), She always turns to battle again.  She is closely associated with the Indian Goddess Durga, and may also be linked to Kali, the dark mother of destruction, transformation and protection in Hinduism. [6] [7]

“While many may see Her as fearsome, if treated well, She is actually to be considered a protective force in some parts of Bali, and in this form, She is sometimes depicted as beautiful.  Her colors are black, white and red.  The Balinese people believe that by including Rangda in ritual dramas, they hold the dangers of chaos in check.” [8]

Click here to watch a scene from such a theatrical Balinese performance depicting the Barong and his assistants trying to attack the Rangda.

Photo from 'Life of a Lil Notti Monkey: Barong and Rangda *by JS*'. Click on the photo to visit the site and view more pictures from the Barong and Rangda Dance.

“Today, She is mainly known by westerners as an evil character in a play where Her legends are staged. As a pemurtian, Rangda stands for the wrathful forms of Durga, Shiva (Bhairava), and Vishnu in Balinese theatre. Although known for Her terrifying intentions, as scholars have stated, even as ‘widow-witch’, the Goddess Rangda ‘functions in a paradoxically protective way. Within the metaphoric world of the Calon Arang story, Rangda is the mistress of black magic and the container of all that is monstrous and evil. But within the effective structure of ritual, She functions as the protector of the community, defusing the power of those who practice black magic and directly challenging human malefactors to match their powers against hers.'” [9]

I would like to leave you with this final thought:  Johanna Stuckey wrote an article entitled “Goddesses and Demons: Some Thoughts” and puts it best as stated here, “These female demons [Rangda, LamashtuLilithMedusa] from different cultures have much in common, and their commonalities reflect male-dominated societies’ disapproval of females of the uppity sort, as well as implicit approval for their opposite, the feminine, biddable wives and daughters. The demons are all physically hideous. All are anti-mothers in one way or another, and all are childless or give birth in abnormal ways. All are dangerous and threaten humans with both diseases and death. All live in exile or, at least, are distanced from the cultures that produced them. All, eventually even the dead Medusa, partake to some extent of deity. All are independent of men and to a large extent autonomous. Finally, all are brought under control by males.

"The Rangda" by adhytcadelic

All possess characteristics that undermine or challenge male-dominated societies. War-like societies such as those of Mesopotamia could find a use for Inanna/Ishtar‘s warrior characteristics. So She became a war Goddess, while Her sexual self became a Goddess of love. Thus divided, She was less of a threat to a developing patriarchy. Demonizing the dangerous elements of a minor goddess performed a similar function, and it also provided a scapegoat for when things went wrong, as they always would. Perhaps at one time Rangda was a sea Goddess, who became evil because of where She came from. It seems likely that Lamashtu and Lilith were once minor deities who both caused infant death and disease and protected against them.  And Medusa — what do we make of Her? Certainly male-dominated society co-opted Her “malevolence” to serve its burgeoning state. Her snaky head became a powerful warding-off or apotropaic device on shields and on temples and other buildings to be protected. Such analysis is not new, I know, but I am surprised to find that it applies just as neatly to Balinese culture as it does to cultures that fed into ours. Still, perhaps this shouldn’t surprise me.” [10]

 

* It’s important to note that in the Balinese culture the sky is divine while the sea is demoniac, as in the best patriarchal tradition. Rangda is probably the heir of a pre-Hindu Goddess of the sea turned into a demon the same way that often occurred in history at the changeover with patriarchal cultures. [11]

 

 

 

Sources:

Lysianassa. Bukisa.com, “The History and Significance of the Goddess Rangda“.

Pirera, Anna. Goddess Gallery, “Kali“.

Stella. Goddesses and Gods, “Goddess Rangda“.

Stuckey, Johanna. MatriFocus: Cross-Quarterly for the Goddess Woman (Beltane 2007 Vol 6 – 3), “Goddesses and Demons: Some Thoughts“.

Wikipedia, “Rangda“.

Suggested Links:

Padangtegal, Desa Adat. Monkeyforestbud.com, “The Temples: Indian Hindu Gods and Goddesses“.

crdmwritingroad

Coralie Raia's Writing Road Blog

Moody Moons

A Celebration of the Seasons & the Spirit

Nicole Evelina - USA Today Bestselling Author

Stories of Strong Women from History and Today

Eternal Haunted Summer

pagan songs & tales

Whispers of Yggdrasil

A personal journal to share my artistic works, to write about Norse shamanism and traditional paganism, European History, Archaeology, Runes, Working with the Gods and my personal experiences in Norse shamanic practices.

Sleeping Bee Studio

Art, Design, Batik & Murals

Pagan at Heart

At peace with myself and the world... or at least headed that way

McGlaun Massage Therapy, LLC

Real Healing for the Real You

TheVikingQueen

- A Modern Viking Blog written by an Ancient Soul -

Seven Trees Farm

Diversified subsistence farming in Whatcom County, WA since 2005

The World According to Hazey

I'm not good, I'm not nice, I'm just right. I'm the Witch. You're the world.

Migdalit Or

Veils and Shadows

Of Axe and Plough

Anglo-Saxon Heathenry and Roman Polytheism

Walking the Druid Path

Just another WordPress.com site

body divine yoga

unlock your kundalini power, ignite your third eye, awaken your inner oracle

Joyous Woman! with Sukhvinder Sircar

Leadership of the Divine Feminine

The Raven's Knoll Quork

Spirituality - Nature - Community - Sacred Spaces - Celebration

Journeying to the Goddess

Journey with me as I research, rediscover and explore the Goddess in Her many aspects, forms and guises...

witchery

trapped in the broom closet

Rune Wisdom

Ancient Sacred Knowledge - Daily Wisdom Practices: A place to explore Runic relevance in today's world.

Sarenth Odinsson

Heathen Spirit Worker

Stone of Destiny

Musings of a Polytheistic Nature

1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

Adventures in Vanaheim

Musings on Vanic Paganism (and life in general) from a lesbian feminist geek

Flame in Bloom

Dancing for Freyja

Golden Trail

A wayfarer's path

The Druid's Well

Falling in Love with the Whole World

Georgia Heathen Society's Blog

Heathen's in Georgia

Mystic Fire Blog

A Spiritual Blog by Dipali Desai. Awaken to your true nature.

art and healing Blog

Art heals yourself, others, community and the earth

My Moonlit Path.....

The Story of My Everyday Life.....

Raising Natural Kids

Because knowledge is the key to making informed decisions for your family.

Philip Carr-Gomm

Philip Carr Gomm

The Northern Grove

Celebrating Pagan History and Culture of Northern Europe

The Belle Jar

"Let me live, love and say it well in good sentences." - Sylvia Plath

The Witch of Forest Grove

Animism, Folk Magic, and Spirit Work in the Pacific Northwest

star & stone

a hearth-centred polytheist life

WoodsPriestess

Exploring the intersection between Nature, the Goddess, art, and poetry as well as the practical work of priestessing.

Waincraft

Following the Call of the Land