Tag Archive: white items


Goddess Aine

queen-fairies-animation-girl

“Aine’s themes are protection, healing, The Spark of Life, divination, luck, fertility, earth and the moon. Her symbols are moon (lunar items), silver & white items and meadowsweet.  This Celtic Goddess of the moon shines on today’s celebration, Her name meaning ‘bright’. Aine has strong connections with the land. Her blessing ensures fertile fields. She also gives luck to mortals and keeps us healthy.

Dating back to the 1400s, Zibelemärit, an onion festival, takes place in Bern, Switzerland. It includes several parades with intricate mechanical figurines and a huge harvest festival with – you guessed it – tons of onions!   Magically speaking, onions are closely related to Aine because of their lunar appearance. According to metaphysical traditions, carrying or growing onions grants safety and banishes negativity.

A freshly cut onion rubbed on sores, bug bites, or scratches restores Aine’s healthy energy by gathering the problem and taking it away. Bury or burn this slice to dispel the problem altogether.

One great (and tasty) way to invoke Aine, improve well-being, and improve your lunar attributes is by making and eating onion soup (or any other onion dish) today. Use red, Spanish, white, and cooking onions along with chives. By heating and blending them, you mix the magic to perfection. Stir clockwise, whispering Aine’s name into to soup so she abides in each vitality-laden sip.”

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

Art by Briar

Art by Briar

Aine (pronounced AW-neh) was one of the very ancient and powerful Goddesses of sovereignty in Ireland. She was a fertility Goddess in that She had control and command over crops and animals and encouraged human love.  ”One of the great Goddesses of ancient Ireland survives in modern times as the queen of the fairies of south Munster, the southwest corner of the island, who is said to haunt Knockainy Hill there.  Originally Aine was a sun Goddess who assumed the form of Lair Derg (‘red mare’), the horse that none could outrun.  Her special feast was Midsummer Night, when farmers carried torches of straw in procession around Knockainy and waved them over the cattle and the fields for protection and fruitfulness.

Two stories are told of Aine.  In one, She was the daughter of an early Irish god [Egobail, foster son of Manannan mac Lir; while some versions say She was daughter or wife of Manannan mac Lir] and was infatuated with the semidivine hero Fionn.  She had taken a geasa (magical vow) that She would never sleep with a man with gray hair, but Fionn was young with no silver streaking his bushy hair.  One of Aine’s sisters, Miluchrach, was also interested in Fionn: She enchanted a lake and tempted Fionn to take a dip.  When the hero emerged from the magic waters, his body was still youthful and strong, but his hair was stained gray.  True to Her geasa, Aine thereafter scorned the hero” (Monaghan, p. 37).

“In early tales She is associated with the semi-mythological King of MunsterAilill Aulom, who is said to have ‘ravished’ Her, an affair ending in Áine biting off his ear – hence ‘Aulom’, meaning ‘one-eared’. By maiming him this way, Áine rendered him unfit to be King, thereby taking away the power of sovereignty.” [1]  ”After the rape Áine swore vengeance on Ailill and eventually contrived his death. This story is about what happens when a ruler decides to rape the Land rather than enter into a marriage with Her. Áine knows the energies of a righteous vengeance quite intimately. She said:
I’ll have you been to me, to have done me violence and to have killed my father. To requite this I too will do you violence and by the time we are done I will leave you with no means of reprisal. *
The descendants of Aulom, the Eóganachta, claim Áine as an ancestor.” [2]

“Lady of the lake” by *oloferla

“Lady of the lake” by *oloferla

“In another story, Gerald, the human Earl of Desmond, captured Aine while She was combing Her hair on the banks of Her sacred lake (thought to be based on the story of Ailill Aulom).  Aine bore the first Earl Fitzgerald to the man, but made Gerald promise never to express surprise at the powers his son might develop.  All went well for many years until one day when Gerald saw his son jump into and out of a bottle.  He could not contain an exclamation of shock and the boy disappeared, flying away in the shape of a wild goose.  Disappointed in Her human mate, Aine disappeared into Knockainy, where She is said to still live in a splendid castle” (Monaghan, p. 37).  ”Thus the FitzGeralds also claim an association with Áine; despite the French-Norman origins of the clan, the FitzGeralds would become known for being ‘More Irish than the Irish themselves.’” [2]

“She is credited for giving meadowseet its delicate scent.   Some also claim that She was a minor moon Goddess, or that Her identity may have later become merged with the Goddess Anu.” [3]  She is also associated with the Morrigan (probably by means of Anu – as Anu is one of the Goddesses that makes up the trinity along with Badb and Macha to form the Morrigan; or perhaps the Lair Derg (‘red mare’) and Macha).  The feast of Midsummer Night was held in her honor. In County Limerick, She is remembered in more recent times as Queen of the fairies.

fairy-fairies-18369084-1024-768

ASSOCIATIONS:
Pantheon: Celtic
Element: Air
Direction: Northwest
Planets: Sun, moon
Festivals: Midsummer/Summer Solstice
Sacred Animals: Red mare, rabbit, swan   [4]
Colors: Red, gold, green, blue, and tan
Representations: Hay, straw, fire
Stones/Incense: Bloodstone, dragonsblood, fairy dust

HERBS, TREES & FUNGI:
Healing : AngelicaBalm,  BlackberryCowslipElderFennelFlaxGarlicGoat’s RueMugwort,NettleOak
Fertility : HawthornMistletoeOak
Prosperity : AlfalfaAshElder
Protection : AgrimonyAngelicaAshBirchBlackberryBladderwrackBroomElderFennel,FlaxHollyLavenderMallowMistletoeMugwortNettleOakParsley            [5]

 

 

 

 

* “To me this is a warning about what the Land will eventually do to us all if we continue on the path of resource rape, and environmental poisoning that our current society follows. Áine will protect Herself.” [4]

 

 

 

Sources:

Cetictale.com, “Áine“.

Gods-heros-myth.com, “The Goddess Aine“.

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

Yourinnergoddess.net, “Aine“.

Shee-Eire.com, “Aine“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Agaliha. Mysticwicks.com, “Áine {Goddess of the Week}“.

Áine.com

Ancientworlds.net, “Cnoc Áine“.

Faeryhealing.com, “The Faery Healing Goddesses“.

Goddessgift.com, “The Goddess Aine and Her Midsummer Lavender Cookies“. – for the kitchen witches ;)

Jarvis, Lana. Goddessalive.co.uk, “AINE: Goddess of Midsummer, Goddess of the People“.

Journal of a Poet, “Aine, Irish Love Goddess and Faerie Queen“.

Kuchinsky, Charlotte. Voices.yahoo.com, “Unveiling the Celtic Goddess, Aine“.

Kynes, Sandra. Kynes.net, “Pilgrimage to Ireland“.

Monaghan, Patricia. Matrifocus.com, “The Stone Heart of Summer“.

Talkwiththegoddess.wordpress.com, “Goddess Card Dec. 5“.

Indigoreadingsblog.blogspot.com, “Today’s Reading – Aine“.

Goddess Leucothea

“The Archer” by `Heidi-V-Art

“Leucothea’s themes are creativity, energy, communication, balance, harmony and change. Her symbols are bow and arrow, white items, milk and seawater.  In Greek tradition, this woman gave birth to the centaurs [though there seems to be some conflict in that] and was a wet nurse to Dionysus. Her name translates as ‘milk-white-Goddess’, alluding to a strong maternal nature. In later times She became a sea Goddess, bearing the visage of a mermaid. Through this transformation we see the mingling of the spiritual nature (water) with that of the earth (half-human appearance) to create Sagittarius’s customary energies.

In astrology, Sagittarius is the centurion archer who represents a harmonious mingling of physical and spiritual living. Those born under this sign tend toward idealism, upbeat outlooks, and confidence. Like Leucothea, Saggitarians seem to have a strong drive for justice, especially for those people under their care.

To consume a bit of Leucothea’s maternal nature or invoke Her spiritual balance in your life, make sure to include milk or milk products in your diet today. Or, wear something white to figuratively don Her power.

For help with personal transformations, especially those that encourage personal comfort and tranquillity, soak in a nice, long saltwater or milk bath today. As you do, ask Leucothea to show you the right steps to take next.”

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

“Elemental Goddess Water” by `AutumnsGoddess

“In Greek mythology, Leucothea (‘white Goddess’) was one of the aspects under which an ancient sea Goddess was recognized, in this case as a transformed nymph.

In the more familiar variant, Ino, the daughter of Cadmus, sister of Semele, and queen of Athamas, became a Goddess after Hera drove her insane as a punishment for caring for the newborn Dionysus. She leapt into the sea with her son Melicertes in her arms, and out of pity, the Hellenes asserted, the Olympian gods turned them both into sea-gods, transforming Melicertes into Palaemon, the patron of the Isthmian games, and Ino into Leucothea.

In the version sited at Rhodes, a much earlier mythic level is reflected in the genealogy: there, the woman who plunged into the sea and became Leucothea was Halia (‘of the sea’, a personification of the saltiness of the sea) whose parents were from the ancient generation, Thalassa and Pontus or Uranus. She was a local nymph and one of the aboriginal Telchines of the island.

Halia became Poseidon‘s wife and bore him Rhodos/Rhode and six sons; the sons were maddened by Aphrodite in retaliation for an impious affront, assaulted their sister and were confined beneath the Earth by Poseidon. Thus the Rhodians traced their mythic descent from Rhode and the Sun god Helios.

In the Odyssey (5.333 ff.) Leucothea makes a dramatic appearance as a gannet who tells the shipwrecked Odysseus to discard his cloak and raft and offers him a veil (kredemnon) to wind round himself to save his life and reach land. Homer makes Her the transfiguration of Ino. In Laconia, She has a sanctuary, where She answers people’s questions about dreams. This is Her form of the oracle.”

In more modern works, Leucothea is mentioned by Robert Graves in The White Goddess.

In Ezra Pound‘s Cantos, She is one of the Goddess figures who comes to the poet’s aid in Section: Rock-Drill (Cantos 85–95). She is introduced in Canto 91 as “Cadmus’s daughter”:

As the sea-gull Κάδμου θυγάτηρ said to Odysseus
KADMOU THUGATER
“get rid of parap[h]ernalia”

She returns in Cantos 93 (‘Κάδμου θυγάτηρ’) and 95 (‘Κάδμου θυγάτηρ/ bringing light per diafana/ λευκὁς Λευκόθοε/ white foam, a sea-gull… ‘My bikini is worth yr/ raft’. Said Leucothae… Then Leucothea had pity,/’mortal once/ Who now is a sea-god…'”), and reappears at the beginning of Canto 96, the first of the Thrones section (‘Κρήδεμνον…/ κρήδεμνον…/ and the wave concealed her,/ dark mass of great water.’).

Leucothea appears twice in Dialoghi con Leucò (Dialogues with Leucò) by Cesare Pavese.

Leucothoé was the first work by the Irish playwright Isaac Bickerstaffe published in 1756.

A similar name is carried by two other characters in Greek mythology.

Leucothoë: a mortal princess, daughter of Orchamus and sister of Clytia, Leucothoë loved Apollo, who disguised himself as Leucothea’s mother to gain entrance to her chambers. Clytia, jealous of her sister because she wanted Apollo for herself, told Orchamus the truth, betraying her sister’s trust and confidence in her. Enraged, Orchamus ordered Leucothoë buried alive. Apollo refused to forgive Clytia for betraying his beloved, and a grievous Clytia wilted and slowly died. Apollo changed her into an incense plant, either heliotrope or sunflower, which follows the sun every day.

Leucothoë: one of the Nereids.” [1]

“The Etruscan Losna may well be comparable.” [2]

“The Sacrifice of Iphigenia” by Timanthus

Now, concerning Ino, Patricia Monaghan tells us that Ino was the daughter of Harmonia, ‘she who makes sinewy’ and was originally a Goddess of orgiastic agricultural rites in pre-Helleinc Greece, to whom human victims apparently were sacraficed in a magical attempt to make rain fall as freely as blood on the soil.  When later tribes brought their own pantheon into Ino’s realm, the religious conflict that ensued was recorded in the legend that Ino was a rival of the King’s wife Nephele.  Ino brought on a famine and in punishment was pursued into the sea bearing Her son Melicertes.  Both were then ‘transformed’ into sea deities by Greek legend” (p. 163).

Wow, I thought, how could this be?  That seemed a bit of a stretch.  However, going back and reading about Ino from Wikipedia, it states: “In historical times, a sisterhood of maenads of Thebes in the service of Dionysus traced their descent in the female line from Ino; we know this because an inscription at Magnesia on the Maeander summoned three maenads from Thebes, from the house of Ino, to direct the new mysteries of Dionysus at Magnesia.” [3] Ah…there it is – there’s the connection between the orgiastic agricultural rites Monaghan spoke of and the Dionysian Mysteries.

 

 

 

Sources:

Mlahanas.de, “Leucothea“.

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

Wikipedia, “Leucothea“.

 

Suggested Links:

Theoi.com, “INO LEUKOTHEA“.

Wikipedia, “Ino“.

Goddess Axtis

art by Hojatollah Shakiba ?

“Axtis’ themes are peace, justice and victory. Her symbols are white items, peace signs, charms and tokens. This Iranian Goddess’s name means ‘victorious peace’ – peace with ourselves, each other, and the world. The victory here comes from finding the right opportunity to create symmetry where only discord once dwelled.

Celebrated by Church Women United, World Community Day encourages world peace and justice through proactive community service. Axtis’s spirit permeates this festival and provides heartfelt comfort before winter moves into full swing.

To honor this idea and Axtis, do something in your area to likewise engender harmony. Help two warring neighbors take the first step toward understanding. Get involved in a community campaign to improve local laws so they’re equitable. Make a donation to any organization dedicated to fostering international peace.  Meditate to find Axtis’s peace within yourself; then extend that power outward to transform everything and everyone you touch.

Wear white today (the color of truce) and carry an amethyst, carnelian, or sodalite stone with you to generate harmony wherever you go. Keep your words serene today (try to keep your cool no matter what). This extends Axtis’s gentle nature to others. You’ll be surprised at how potent quiet discourse can be.”

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

I could find nothing on this Goddess under this name; so, I wondered if She was a Zoroastrian deity, Amesha Spenta or angel under a different variant or spelling.  I checked a list of Yazatas and found one possible match: “Akhshti [pronounced Ak-hesh-tee]: Yazad personifying peace”. [1]  In a book entitled Zoroastrian Theology: From the Earliest Times to the Present Day, it states that Akhshti was the angel of peace.  “This female divinity is peace personified, but even though perfectly clearly recognizable as such, She is very obscurely outlined as to traits.  She is invoked in company with Vohu Manah, or Good Mind, for nothing can break the inner peace in which the spirit of a man of good thoughts reposes.  Akhshti is usually called victorious [Bam!  There it is – “victorious peace”].

The term ākhshti occurs also as a common noun.  This peace as well as war lies in the power of Mithra to bring upon the country.  The rules invoke Chisti to procure peace for their countries, and the faithful pray that peace and concord may drive out discord and strife from their abodes” (Dhalla, p. 115).

 

 

Sources:

Avesta.org, “Angels in Zoroastrianism – List of Yazatas: Akhshti”.

Dhalla, Maneckji Nusservanji. Zoroastrian Theology: From the Earliest Times to the Present Day, “Akhshti“.

 

Suggested Links:

Apranik. Apranik.blogspot.com, “Women of Persia: Zoroastrianism“.

Bashiri, Iraj. From the Hymns of Zarathustra to the Songs of Borbad (p.11). (PDF file )

Jackson, A. V. Williams. Zoroastrian Studies: The Iranian Religion and Various Monographs, “The Host of Heaven” (p. 63).

Logicalzoroastrianism.blogspot.com, “What’s in a Word?

Nabarz, Payam. Iranian.com, “Persian Angels and Demons“.

Wikipedia, “Yazata“.

Goddess Ra’i Ra’i

“Ra’i ra’i’s themes are children, youthfulness, recreation, play, joy and fairies. Her symbols are sunlight and white or pastel-yellow items.  In Polynesia, Ra’i ra’i is the Goddess of unbridled happiness and sunshine, lighting the way for truly joyful living. When Ra’i ra’i came to earth to mother the first humans, She brought with Her tiny frolicsome fairies who live in the elements, often playing with people and watching over nature.

Follow Samoan tradition of White Sunday and wear white to inspire your inner child, then go enjoy the children in and around your life. In this part of the world, the entire day today is dedicated to children and activities to promote their delight.

Go for a nature walk and look for signs of Ra’i Ra’i’s fairy friends. Small circles of mushrooms, a ring of trees, the sound of tiny bells all indicate the fey are nearby watching you!

Get outside and allow this Goddess’s warm light into your body through the sun today. If the weather isn’t cooperating, wear any golden or pastel-yellow items today as a type of color therapy to inspire Ra’i Ra’i’s youthful energy within.

Definitely take time to do something frisky today. If there’s a recreational activity you enjoy, go play! This invokes Ra’i ra’i’s happiness and pleases this Goddess greatly.”

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

Art by Susan Seddon Boulet

So, I couldn’t dig too much up on today’s Goddess.  I’m not entirely sure as to how factual all of this information is, as it kind of has a New Age-y type feel to it (not that that’s necessarily a bad thing, I just really prefer more scholarly type references) but I will share it with you anyways.  From what I could piece together: “Ra’i Ra’i is the name given in the Tumuripo Story of Creation [I could find no reference to or definition of ‘Tumuripo’] for the divine progenitress of the Hawaiian people (the People of Havai’i). According to Melville, ‘Ra’i Ra’i was chosen, by royal command of the Goddess of the Sun, Lady Ra, to perform a mission of transfiguration. She was sent to deliver into being upon this earth the human beings who were soon to blossom as branches of the Tree of Life in Po’ (the Celestial Realm of the Gods)  [I’m thinking something similar to this]. The place which Ra’i Ra’i established for this creation was the ‘Garden of Sunshine’ in the Land of Rua (Mu) [the name of a hypothetical continent that disappeared at the dawn of human history]. There to help Her in the Garden where the Menehunes, whom Melville equates to ‘brownies‘. He states that the little people who populated Hawai’i in the early period of the islands were ‘Manahunes’ and were simply a human dwarf race, not related to the Menehunes.

In addition to the Menehunes, the other nature beings in the Garden of Sunshine are the following. I am giving Melville’s comparisons to western names for them as well as their Hawaiian counterparts. These western comparisons may or may not be entirely accurate in my estimation. The descriptions come from Melville’s translations of The Tumruipo chant (again, I could find no reference for this chant).

a) eepas (elves)

b) tup’ua (fairies — tiny winged creature, feminine in shape who lived above the ground in the blossoming branches)

c) mo’o (water nymphs–shaped like mermaids)” [1]

* Now on Sacred-texts.com, it states that “Hawaiian families count the Menehune as their ancestral spirits and helpers, and these little people play the part of benevolent godparents to their descendants. On the other hand, Hawaiians speak of eepa spirits who are tricky rather than helpful to mankind. A family story told in Kau district on Hawaii illustrates the benevolent activities of the Menehune spirits and many examples occur in old legends like those of LakaHainakolo, and Kawelo.

Back to Ra’i ra’i – Frank Joseph in his book The Lost Civilization of Lemuria writes, “In Hawaiin myth itself, the firstborn of Ra’i ra’i, a sun Goddess, was Mu Re, ancestor of the islands’ earliest inhabitants.” [2]  According to James Churchward, Ra Mu was the King-High Priest of the Motherland – Mu (Ra meaning “Sun” and Mu meaning “Land”).  Churchward goes on to explain that, “Many generations before, the people had selected a king and added the prefix Ra to his name. He then became the hieratical head and emperor under the name ‘Ra Mu’.  The empire received the name ‘Empire of the Sun’.

As high priest, Ra Mu was the representative of the Deity [whose name was never spoken and was worshiped through a symbol out of deep reverence] in religious teachings. It was thoroughly taught and understood that Ra Mu was not to be worshiped, as he was only representative” (p. 24).

 

I’ve included some “Suggested Links” that don’t necessarily pertain to Ra’i ra’i per se, because I really couldn’t find that much; however, I felt the information in these links were relevant to the overall mythology surrounding Her and the characters of this interesting creation story.

 

 

Sources:

Churchward, James. lost_continent_mu_churchward_1931. (PDF file)

Joseph, Frank. The Lost Civilization of Lemuria, “Hawaiian Motherland” (p. 166 – 169).

Pihanakalani.spiritmythos.org, “Children of the Rainbow“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Beckwith, Martha Warren. Hawaiian Mythology, “Legend of the Mu People“.

Crystalinks.com, “Lemuria“.

Gudgeon. Jps.auckland.ac.nz, “THE TIPUA-KURA, AND OTHER MANIFESTATIONS OF THE SPIRIT WORLD“.

Jantsang, T. Guardiansofdarkness.com, “Two Articles on Polynesians and Cthulhu Oceanic Mythos“.

Joesting, Edward. Kauai: The Separate Kingdom.

Marsh, Amy. Waihili.blogspot.com, “A Hidden Meaning of the Mo’o Goddesses?

Mythicalrealm.com, “The Menehune: Also known as Nawao“.

Sacred-texts.com, “Mu and Menehune People“.

Schweitzer, Veronica S. Coffeetimes.com, “Guardian Geckos“.

Wesselman, Hank. Sharedwisdom.com, “Hawaiian Perspectives on the Matrix of the Soul“.

Westervelt, W.D. Hawaiian Legends of Volcanoes (Forgotten Books), “Hiiaka’s Battle with Demons” (p. 69).

Westervelt, William Drake. Hawaiian Legends of Ghosts and Ghost Gods, “Aumakuas, or Ancestor-Ghosts“.

Goddess Holde

“The Goddess Holda” by Carrie Kirkpatrick

“Holda’s themes are longevity, wisdom, kinship, magic, destiny and karma. Her symbols are white items and aged items. Among the Teutons, Holda is known as the White Lady, an appellation that alludes to the color of Her hair. This Goddess is the wise, ancient crone, who has learned the lessons of destiny and karma from a long, well-lived life and who bears the knowledge of magic’s deeper mysteries to us with patience and time.

In Massachusetts, the first Sunday in October is set aside to honor grandparents and their vital role in families. Customarily, grandparents (or ‘adopted’ ones) are invited for dinner and showered with attention. I think this is a lovely tradition as it stands, honoring Holda’s wisdom through the elders in our community. Go to a nearby nursing home and spend half an hour or more cheering up someone. Listen to people’s stories of days gone by, and let their insights inspire you.

To improve your own awareness of karmic law, or to increase your magical insights, wear Holda’s white (a scarf on your head would be good) or carry a white stone with you to represent Her (coral is ideal, being a stone of wisdom). Alternatively, eat some aged cheese or drink aged wine to remind yourself that ‘old’ doesn’t mean outmoded. People can become better with time and with Holda’s guidance, if we remember to appreciate the years and the people who have gone before us on this path.”

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

“Holda” by Neil Geddes-Ward

There was a ton of information on Holda to go through!  She turns out to be a very interesting and complex and all encompassing Goddess; seen as the maiden in summer sitting by a lake combing Her beautiful white hair; as mother who made the fields, animals and women fertile and protected women and children, as well as accompanying those infants who had died before they’d been named to the Other World;  and as wizened crone in the winter who was stern and despised laziness.  She also had connections with many different Goddesses, both within the Germanic and Norse pantheons and even outside: Goddesses to include Freya due to Her association with cats (appaerntly the name of the cave She lived in, Kitzkammer means ‘Cat Chamber’) and Frigga for Her associations with the household, women, spinning and children; Perchte and Berchta (which appears to be debatable to some as to whether they were the same Goddess or entirely different Beings with similar attributes); and later in post-Christian times, even Diana and Habondia as She was demonized and said to lead “a wild hunt in which She led the souls of infants who died unbaptized, witches, and heathens in general.” [1]

“Åsgårdsreien” by Peter Nicolai Arbo

In a paper written by SummerGaile, she explains that: “In Jacob Grimm’s Teutonic Mythology, Holda is spoken of as host to the Wild Hunt or ‘Wilde Heer’.  In this account She is the consort of Woden, supreme god of the Germanic tribes occupying central Europe in ancient times.   There are many variations of this story, but the themes that are most prominent are the ones that illustrate Holda leading a Wild Hunt to gather those souls that may still be lingering earth bound; and it is She who gathers them during this ride to usher them into the Other World.  Another variation of this record is that She gathers un-baptized children, or more accurately, she gathers those born and who died without having been given a birth name, and takes them safely to the Other World.” [2]  Due to Her connections with death, magic and witches, She is also sometimes associated with Hecate and Hel.

Hag by Angie (aka DeadSpider)

And of course, in the post-Christian times as we see with many independent mother Goddesses, She is transformed from Mother Holda, or “Gracious One” who helped and protected women and children into the “Goddess of the Witches” – an old ugly hag who rode a broom across the night sky; as well as many of Her symbols taking on new evil attributes: “No where is this demonization more clear than in ‘Sleeping Beauty’ where the spinning wheel and spindle are turned into symbols of evil. Many of Her other attributes were turned around as well. Her protection of the dead soul of infants was turned around to Her creeping in and stealing children from their cradles. Her image as wise old woman, instilling moral values turned to the foolish old Mother Goose who spreads wives tales.” [3]

“Alma Parens” by William Bouguereau

“Throughout German, Austrian and Swiss folktales we find this former Goddess demoted, together with Her twin Perchta, to a witch.  Frau Holle was the more pleasant of the two: sunshine streamed from Her hair when She combed it, snow covered the earth when She shook a feather comforter, and rain fell when She threw away laundry water.   She was a splendid white lady who appeared each noon to bathe in the fountain, from which children were said to be born.  She lived in a cave in the mountain or in a well, and people could visit Her by diving into it.

She rode on the wind in a wagon.  Once She had to have a broken lynchpin repaired, and the man who helped Her later found that savings of wood from the project had fumed to gold.  In addition to gold, She rewarded good people with useful gifts, such as the invention of flax and spinning.

Her feast day was celebrated on winter solstice, when She checked the quality of each spinner’s work.  A good spinner would wake to find Frau Holle had left her a single golden thread, but sloppy ones found their work tangled, their spinning wheels shattered or burnt.

The period between December 25 and January 6 – the ‘twelve days of Christmas’ – were sacred to Frau Holle during that time She traveled the world in Her wagon.  No rotary actions were allowed; sleighs were used instead of wagons, and all meal-grinding had to cease.  Her twin Perchta was, if not welcomed, at least acknowledged at the same season” (Monaghan, p. 127).

“Frigga, Goddess of Women & Wisdom” by Thorskegga

 

Correspondences
Other Names: Frau Holda, Frau Holle, Winter Goddess, White Lady, Mother Yule, Hulde
Attributes: Virtue, Motherhood, Wisdom
Season: Winter, Yule
Symbols: Spindle, Spinning Wheel, Flax, Geese, Apples, Milk, Elder Tree, Elderberry Tea
Colors: White, Ice Blue
Symbols: Snow, Snowflakes, Well      [4]

 

 

 

Sources:

Eaves, Susan “Ratatask”. Eplagarthrkindred.org, “HoldaArticle“.

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

Paxson, Diana L. Hrafnar.org,”Holda“.

SummerGaile. Order of the White Moon, “The Sacred Journey and Migration of Frau Holda Into our Modern Reality“.

Zmaj, Majka. Order of the White Moon, “Holda: White Lady of Winter“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

AOR, Thorsigurd. Odinic-rite.org, “Holda“.

Finnegan, Margaret. Margaretfinnegan.blogspot.com, “Goddess of the Week: Holda“.

Fox, Selena. Beliefnet.com, “Riding with Holda“.

Dashu, Max. Suppressedhistories.net, “The Old Goddess“.

GardenStone. Goddess Holle: In Search of a Germanic Goddess.

Glaux. Afwcraft.blogspot.com, “Faces of the Golden Queen“.

Graves, Shannon. Northernpaganism.org, Who is Holda?

Motherholda.blog.com, “Holda

Linda-heathenycatmusings.blogspot.com, “H is for the goddess HOLDA – Ancient Lady of the Sacred Land, Queen of the ‘other folk’“.

Marks, Dominic. Lowchensaustralia.com, “Norse Goddess Names“.

Motz, Lotte. Winterscapes.com, “The Winter Goddess: Percht, Holda, and Related Figures“.

Theoddgods.com, “Perchta/Berchta“.

Seigfried, Karl E. H. Norsemyth.org, “THE GODS & GODDESSES, Part Two“.

Swampy. Dutchie.org, “Goddess Berchta“.

Wikipedia, “Holda“.

Goddess Rhiannon

“Rhiannon’s Ride” by Selina Fenech

“Rhiannon’s themes are movement, communication, rest, ghosts, fertility and leadership. Her symbols are the color white, horses and the moon.  This Celtic horse Goddess rides into our festival calendar today on a white mare bearing fertility, leadership, and a means to get things moving where they may have stagnated. Some historians believe the swiftness of Her steed (which is white, a lunar color) alludes to a lunar Goddess. In stories, Rhiannon commands singing birds that can wake spirits or grant sleep to mortals.

In Britain, people would come to Berkshire hillside today to partake in the White Horse Festival in which they scour the white horse that adorns the grasses here. This ancient galloping steed is created from pale clay, and this ritual kept it, and Rhiannon’s memory, vibrant.  So, if you have any images of horses (magazines, statuary, paintings) around, dust them off and put them in a place of honor today.

Since this was a festival for horses, you might consider tending to your own ‘horse’, be it a car or a bicycle!

Give it a tune-up or oil change, then take a ride! As you go, visualize yourself on the back of Rhiannon’s horse moving swiftly toward attending productivity or improved authority wherever you need it. Alternatively, wear something silver or white so that Rhiannon’s lunar energies can begin filtering into your day through the color’s vibrations.”

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

This is pretty much a repeat of the entry I did on Rigantona back June 28.

“Rhiannon” by Caroline Gully-Lir

The great Goddess Rhiannon is a potent symbol of fertility, yet She is also an Otherworld and death Goddess, a bringer of dreams, and a moon deity who is symbolized by a white horse. Her father was Heveydd the Old, and She was married to both Pwyll and Manan. The story of Her marriage to Pwyll, and the subsequent accusation of the murder of Her child, is well documented and most people are familiar with Rhiannon from this tale. [Click here to read Her tale].

“Rhiannon” by Susan Seddon Boulet

Patricia Monaghan comments: “What can one expect of a Goddess of death? Her son disappeared, and the queen was found with blood on Her mouth and cheeks. Accused of murder, She was sentenced to serve as Pwyll’s gatekeeper, bearing visitors to the door on Her back; thus She was symbolically transformed into a horse. All ended happily when Her son was found; Rhiannon had been falsely accused by maids who, terrified at finding the babe absent, had smeared puppy blood on the queen’s face.

Behind this legend is doubtless another, more primitive one in which the death queen actually was guilty of infanticide. This beautiful queen of the night would then, it seems, be identical to the Germanic Mora, the nightmare, the horse-shaped Goddess of terror. But night brings good dreams as well as bad, so Rhiannon was said to be the beautiful Goddess of joy and oblivion, a Goddess of Elysium as well as the queen of hell” (p. 266 – 267).

“Rhiannon” by Helena Nelson-Reed

“In Her guise as a death Goddess, Rhiannon could sing sweetly enough to lure all those in hearing to their deaths, and therefore She may be related to Germanic stories of lake and river faeries who sing seductively to lure sailors and fishermen to their doom. Her white horse images also link Her to Epona, and many scholars feel they are one and the same, or at least are derived from the same archetypal roots.

In today’s magick and ritual, Rhiannon can be called upon to aid you in overcoming enemies, exercising patience, working magick, moon rituals, and enhancing dream work.” [2]

“Call upon Rhiannon to bless rites of fertility, sex magick, prosperity and dream work. Work with Her to enhance divination skills, overcome enemies, develop patience, and to gain self confidence. She is most definitely a Fae that every woman can relate to on some level. Her perserverance and will is an example of what we as women are, have been, and will continue to be for millennia to come. Solid, unwavering beauty and strength, like Mother Earth below our feet.” [3]

 

ASSOCIATIONS:

General: Moon, horses, horseshoe, songbirds, gates, the wind, and the number 7.

Animals: Horse, badger, frog, dogs (especially puppies), canaries and other songbirds,hummingbirds, and dragons.

Plants: Narcissus and daffodils, leeks, pansies, forsythia, cedar and pine trees [evergreens], bayberry, sage and rosemary,[jasmine, any white flower]

Perfumes/Scents: Sandalwood, neroli, bergamot, lavender, narcissus, and geranium.

Gems and Metals: Gold, silver, cat’s eye, moonstone, crystal, quartz, ruby, red garnet, bloodstone, turquoise, and amethyst.

Colors: Dark green, maroon, gold, silver, rich brown, white, black, charcoal grey, and ruby red.   [4]

Element: Earth

Sphere of Influence: Animals and fertility

Best Day to Work with: Monday

Suitable Offerings: Music

Associated Planet: Moon    [5]

Moon Phase: Waning

Aspects: Leadership, movement, change, death, fertility, crisis, magic for women, protection, strength and truth in adversity, dreams

Wheel of the Year: Willow Moon (Saille): April 15 – May 12

Ivy Moon (Gort): September 30 – October 27   [6]

 

 

Great Goddess, help me remember that times of sorrow are opportunities for the greatest growth.  Rhiannon, I affirm that I have the courage to overcome my doubts and fears.

And here’s a great 13 minute video on Goddess Rhiannon, The Great Queen

Sources:

Goddessgift.com, “Goddess Symbols: Rhiannon“.

LadyRavenMoonshadow. Within the Sacred Mists, “The Celtic Tradition of Witches and Wiccans“.

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

PaganNews.com, “Rhiannon“.

 

 

Rhiannon – Divine Queen

Saille, Rowen. Order of the White Moon, “Rhiannon: Great Queen of the Celts“.

Suggested Links:

Barkemeijer de Wit, R. Celestial Journey Therapy, “Who is Goddess Rhiannon?

Epona.net, “Later Influences of Epona“.

Goddessgift.com, “Activities to Invoke the Goddess Rhiannon“.

Goddessgift.com, “Meditations to Invoke the Goddess Rhiannon“.

Goddessgift.com, “Rhiannon, Celtic Goddess“.

Griffith, Carly. PaganPages.org, “Rhiannon“.

The Mabinogion, “Rhiannon“.

Monaghan, Patricia. The Encyclopedia of Celtic Mythology and Folklore, “Mórrígan” (p. 339 – 340)

Nemeton, The Sacred Grove: Home of the Celtic gods, “Rhiannon, A Cymric and Brythonic Goddess, also known as Rigatona: Great Queen“.

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

Shaw, Judith. Feminismandreligion.com, “Rhiannon, Goddess of Birds and Horses“.

Sisterhood of Avalon, “The Goddesses“.

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

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

Wikipedia, “Epona“.

Wikipedia, “Rhiannon“.

Isolt

“Triple Goddess” by NinfeAde

“Isolt’s themes are love, fertility and sexuality. Her symbols are white items.  Known throughout Western Europe as the lover of Tristan, Isolt of the White Hands is a Celtic Goddess who encourages devoted love and improves sexual expression within a relationship. Close studies of stories indicate three women who held this role, alluding to an ancient triple Goddess whose role changed with time and bardic adaptations.

In France, this is a time for women to come to a cave in Provence thought to be an ancient dwelling of the Goddess (later attributed to Mary Magdalene). They travel here from miles around seeking love and/or fertility, the cave acting like a creative womb in which the Goddess’s power grows. If you’re fortunate to live in an area with caves, take a moment to visit one today. Sit inside and let Isolt hold you in Her loving arms or fill you with an appetite for your partner. Otherwise, create a makeshift cave out of blankets draped over a table. Meditate inside, visualizing Isolt’s white light filling your heart chakra until it all but bursts with devotion and fervor.

If you’re seeking a mate, use this time to express your desire to Isolt, visualizing your ideal mate in as much detail as possible. Then get out and start socializing, so the Goddess can open the path to love.”

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

“Isolde (or Iseult)” by Gaston Bussière

“Iseult, alternatively Isolde, Iseo, Yseult, Isode, Isoude, Esyllt, Isotta, is the name of several characters in the Arthurian story of Tristan and Iseult. The most prominent is Iseult of Ireland, wife of Mark of Cornwall and adulterous lover of Sir Tristan. Her mother, the Queen of Ireland, is also named Iseult. The third is Iseult of the White Hands, the daughter of Hoel of Brittany, sister of Sir Kahedin, and eventual wife of Tristan.” [1]

“Tristan and Isolde” by John Duncan (redone by Saxon-Knight)

Patricia Monaghan tells us that “in the cycle of British myths that came into literature as the “Matter of Britain” – the stories of the fabled realm of Camelot – this heroine is the center of a tale of fated love.  A single strand of [Iseult’s] gorgeously golden hair attracted the attention of Mark of Cornwall, who sent his knight Tristan to find and fetch her.  On the boat back to Mark, the couple mistakenly drank a potion intended to make the newlywed couple fall hopelessly in love – and thus Iseult found herself irrevocably in love with Tristan.  They attempted to fulfill their assigned roles, Iseult as Mark’s wife and Tristan as his vassal, but they were doomed to love each other, and their love eventually led to Tristan’s banishment and Iseult’s death.  Afterwards, Tristan married another woman, Iseult of the White Hands.  As Arthurian legend frequently hides ancient Celtic and even pre-Celtic mythology, we can here detect an ancient Goddess of sovereignty, who must mate with the king to solidify his claim to the land.  In a struggle between contenders to the Goddess’ hand (or bed), the younger and more vigorous finally wins – although the late legend disguises this fact by offering a second Iseult to the victorious Tristan” (p. 164).

 

 

 

Sources: 

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

Wikipedia, “Iseult“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Green, Thomas. Arthuriana.co.uk, “The Other Early Arthurian Cycle: the Tale of Tristan and Isolt“.

Kingarthursknights.com, “Other Characters of Arthurian Legend ~ Iseult“.

Kirsten. Indigo Reading Blog, “Todays Reading – Isolt“.

Nicole, Shantel. Angelic Connections with Shantel Nicole, “Isolt“.

University of Rochester, “TRISTAN and ISOLT“.

Wikipedia, “Tristan and Iseult“.

Goddess Hina

“Hina” by Susan Seddon Boulet

“Hina’s themes are the moon, communication, cycles and mediation. Her symbols are lunar (silver/white items or any corresponding plants/stones) and coconuts.  This Tahitian Goddess is the Lady in the Moon who shines on us with Her changing faces. As the dark moon, She presides over death. As the waxing moon, She is the creatrix who made people from clay and the moon, Her home. As the full moon, She embodies a mature woman’s warrior spirit. As the waning moon, She is the aging crone full of wisdom and insight.

According to tradition, coconuts were created from the body of Hina’s lover, an eel god, after he was killed by superstitious locals. She also governs matters of honest communication and when properly propitiated, Hina sometimes acts as an intermediary between humans and the gods.

On July 20, 1969, American astronauts visited Hina in person, landing on the moon’s surface and exploring it. In spiritual terms this means taking time to explore the magical nature of the moon today. If the moon is dark, it represents the need to rest from your labors. If it is waxing, start a new magic project and stick with it so the energy grows like the moon. If Hina’s lunar sphere is full, turn a coin in your pocket three times, saying “prosperity” each time so your pocket remains full. If the moon is waning, start taking positive action to rid yourself of a nagging problem. Eat some coconut to help this along by internalizing Hina’s transformative powers.”

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

“Hina” by Lisa Hunt

Patricia Monaghan has this to say about the Goddess Hina, “The greatest Polynesian Goddess was a complex figure of whom many myths were told.  Like other major divinities, She was associated with many aspects of life and had many symbols: She was the tapa-beating woman who lived in the moon; She was Great Hina, the death mother; She was a warrior  queen of the Island of Women.  An all-inclusive  divine archetype, Hina appeared in many Polynesian legends, some of which – not surprisingly, for such a complex and long-lived Goddess – contradicted others.

In some legends, Hina was said to have been created of red clay by the first man.  But others – in Tahiti, for instance – knew Hina as the preeminent Goddess, for whose sexual pleasure the first man was created.  This Goddess has two faces, one in front as humans do, one at the back of Her head. She was the first female being on earth, many bearing Her name.

One of these was the dawn Goddess Hine-tita-ma, who was seduced by Her own father, while unaware of his identity.  Furious and ashamed on discovering this trickery, Hina ran away to Po, the Polynesian underworld; this was the first death in creation.  Her fury was so unquenchable that She announced Her intention of killing any children begotten by Her father, thereby assuring that death would remain a force on earth.

“Hina” by Herb Kane

How the Goddess Hina reached the moon – She who had originally lived on earth and populated it  – was a matter of numerous myths.  In Tahiti, Hina was a canoeist who enjoyed the sport so much that She sailed to the moon, which proved to be such a good boat that She stayed there, guarding earthly sojourners.  Others told of Hina being sent to the moon by violence.  Her brother, hung over from indulgence in kava, became infuriated at the noise Hina made while beating tape cloth.  When She would not cease Her labors for Her brother’s convenience, he hit Her, sending Her sailing into the sky.  Because tapa-beating was thought to be like the process by which the human body is slowly beaten down to death, this Hina of the moon, the tapa-maker of the sky, was closely related to the Great Hina of the underworld.  Finally, a Hawaiian variant of these legends said that Hina, a married woman, grew tired of constantly picking up after Her family and She simply left the earth to pursue a career as the moon’s clothmaker.

“Hina” by by Joanna Carolan

One guise Hina wore was a warrior of the Island of Women, a place where no men were allowed, where trees alone impregnated the residents.  A man washed up on the shore and slept with Hina, the ageless and beautiful leader. He stayed for some time.  But every time She began to show Her years, Hina went surfing and came back renewed and restored.  At the same time, Her human lover gradually bowed under the years.  Hina returned the man to his people on a whale, which the humans impudently and imprudently killed.  The whale was Hina’s brother, and She sent terrible sufferings on the people  as a result.

Among all the many stories of Hina, however, probably the most commonly known one was that of the Goddess and Her lover, the eel.  Living on earth as a mortal woman, Hina bathed in a quiet pool where, one day, She had intercourse with an eel.  Her people, afraid of the power of the serpent, killed him, only to find that Hina had been mating with a god.

Furious and despairing at having Her affair so terminated, Hina took the eel’s head and buried it. Five nights later the first coconut there, a staple product thereafter to Hina’s folk” (p. 153).

 

 

 

Sources:

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

 

 

Suggested Links:

Circlingin, “Hina- Woman in the Moon- selected from the ‘Goddesses Knowledge Cards’ by Susan Seddon Boulet and Michael Babcock“.

Hall, Leigh. Order of the White Moon, “The Goddess Hina“.

King, Serge Kahili. Aloha International, “Hawaiian Goddesses“.

MXTODIS123. An Inner Journey: The Moon, Mythology, and You, “Goddess Hina“.

Powersthatbe.com, “Goddess HINA“.

Revel, Anita. igoddess.com, “Hina: champion of words“.

Sacred-texts.com, “HINA, THE WOMAN IN THE MOON“.

Skye, Michelle. Goddess Aloud! Transforming Your Mind Through Rituals & Mantras, “Hina: Hawaiian Goddess of Self-Liberation“.

Tate, Karen. Sacred Places of Goddess: 108 Destinations, “Rainbow Falls“.

Telesco, Patricia. Gardening With the Goddess: Creating Gardens of Spirit and Magick, “Hina: Warrior Garden“.

Wikipedia, “Hina (goddess)“.

White Painted Woman

“White Painted Woman’s themes are maturity, cycles, femininity and tradition. Her symbols are white colored items.  White Painted Woman taught Her people sacred rituals and She can change Her appearance at will to that of a young girl or an old woman, representing the full cycle of life and all that awaits us in between. When White Painted Woman was a girl, She went away to the mountains, where the sun taught Her how to conduct puberty rites, which is Her function in today’s Apache Puberty Ceremony.

About this time of year, Apache girls participate in a special coming-of-age ritual that takes place over four nights. Part of the ritual commemorates White Painted Woman’s adventure in the mountains and in another part the young women take on Her role so they can prepare for adulthood. In modern times, rites of passage have been somewhat overlooked, but today is definitely a time to consider reinstating them to honor White Painted Woman and draw Her blessings into someone’s life. If you know a child who has reached an important juncture (going to school, getting their driver’s license, graduating) find a way to commemorate that step in their personal growth.

For school, bless a special lunch box or book bag with rosemary oil for mental keenness. For a license, make them a protective automobile amulet (perhaps something to hang off the rearview mirror). Whatever you do, fill this person’s life with magic!”

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

For today’s entry, I’d like to share an article with you by Charlotte Kuchinsky entitled, “The Navajo Myth of the Changing Woman”.  It explains both Changing Woman, White Painted, their similarities and their differences.

“The Changing Woman, is a powerful deity among the tribes of the Navajo and Apache (where she is also called the White Painted Woman). She is considered a benevolent goddess that represents both creation and protection. As such, she is recognized as the goddess of fertility and reproduction.

“Changing Woman” by dreamagic

The Changing Woman got Her name from Her ability to change along with the seasons. In the spring and summer, She appears as a young maiden full of life, vitality and, of course, fertility. In the fall and winter she transforms Herself into an old woman, representing the desolateness of age, infertility, and eventual death.

According to Navajo legend, First Man is responsible for discovering the Goddess at the summit of a mountain where She was born. As the story goes, the sun fed Her with pollen to sustain Her while the rain helped Her grow into a full size woman within a mere eighteen days. But still, She was nothing more than a lifeless figure until the great wind gave Her the breath of life.

The sun immediately fell in love with his creation and took Her for his wife. She bore him a son, which was named Monster Slayer. He was to become the salvation of his people by ridding the world of all monsters.

Eventually, the sun built a very special house for his wife; hidden deep within the western woods surrounded by four mountains to the east, west, north, and south. It is said that when the sun sets in the west because he is going home to his beloved.

“The Dancing Princess” by Lee Bogle

So pleased was Changing Woman with Her home, that She danced gleefully upon each of the four mountaintops. As She did so, She bestowed great gifts upon mankind.

Her dancing created rain clouds from the eastern mountain, bringing the soft rain that would sustain all life. Her dance on the southern mountain brought forth beautiful woven fabrics and jewels. Her dance upon the western mountain caused plant life to spring forth in great abundance. Finally, Her dance on the northern mountain created all of the animals that would help sustain the earth.

After Her dance was finished, Changing Woman sat down to rest. As She sat there, She rubbed off the outer layer of Her skin from various parts of Her body. The flakes hit the fertile earth and immediately spring forth new human beings. These became the various clans of the Navajo.

Changing Woman taught humankind how to appreciate earth’s many gifts as well as how to control the elements of nature. She also bestowed gifts upon them through various rituals referred to as Blessingways.

Each Blessingway served a particular purpose such as blessing a wedding, childbirth, or other happy occasions among the Navajo. It took several days to complete each Blessingway ritual, which contained songs, prayers, and ceremonial baths in the milk of cacti.

One such important Blessingway was called the Kinaalda. It recognized a girl’s growth from childhood to maturity. Much of the honoree’s time during the early stages of that ritual was spent grinding in excess of 100 pounds of corn and wheat.

These, along with prepared cornhusks, were used to form a giant cornmeal cake, which was cooked underground during the Kinaalda.

The ritual also involved the honoree running from west to east while singing and continuing her prayers. She would then take part in a ritual ‘molding’ which is similar in nature to the Apache Sunrise Ceremony. One major difference between the ceremonies, was that in the Kinaalda the girl had to remain awake both the dayand night of her initial ceremony. She was to spend that time in contemplation and prayer.

The last day of the ceremony, the girl ran toward the sunrise one final time and then blessed the cake that she had prepared. The first piece was offered to the sun, while the remainder was used to feed her people.

While many of the Apache and Navajo beliefs and rituals in this respect are the same, there are some differences as well. According to Apache legend, White Painted Woman (another name for Changing Woman) survived the flood in an abalone shell. She was then impregnated twice; first by the sun for whom She bore a son named Killer of Enemies. Later, She was also impregnated by the rain for whom She bore a son named Son of Water.

White Painted Woman also had the ability to change form. When She became old, She would walk east until She met Her younger self and merged to become young once again.

White Painted Woman also taught Her people in a ceremonial ritual. One of the most important was for young girls who had just reached puberty. It represented the rights of womanhood. The ceremony always took place at sunrise and, therefore, became known as The Sunrise Ritual.  Photos of such an ceremony can be seen here and here.

The first part of the ceremony always re-enacted the creation myth. It was meant to help the young girl get in touch with the spiritual side of her people. It also emphasized her strength and ability to overcome the dark side of her nature by tapping into her own inner spirituality.

Next, she was taught what it meant to become a woman, with emphasis on menstruation and sexuality. But it was also an exercise in physical strength and endurance as the girl took part in a four-day ritual involving both dance and running. The sacred ordeal was meant to strengthen the girl physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Finally, the girl experienced the reality of womanhood and all that it entailed; hard work, the numerous cultural demands of the tribe, as well as her commitment to all of humankind. During this time, the girl was expected to give gifts of herself to her people. These might include food, clothing, assistance with daily chores, personal prayers and much more. In return, her people responded with wishes for her prosperity and long-life.

However, the ceremony wasn’t just for the girl. It also brought the community together to recognize binding ties and to form new bonds of family and friendship.

The songs and prayers of both tribes, with regard to their spiritual rituals, are both moving and insightful. The spirituality with which these Native Americans approached life is awe inspiring indeed. It is a shame that the whiteman’s greed and selfishness managed to rob us of such rich history. Without it, we are all greatly diminished.” [1]

Also see my entry on the Goddess Estsanatlehi and White Shell Woman.

 

 

Here is a preview of a documentary entitled “The Sunrise Dance”, showing the ancient, sacred Apache ritual that has never before been filmed.

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

Kuchinsky, Charlotte. Yahoo! Voices, “The Navajo Myth of Changing Woman“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

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

Cosmic Dust. Earth-Age, “Sunrise Dance“.

Daughters of the Earth, “The Feminine Divine“.

Eller, Jack David. Womennewsnetwork.net, “Documentary: The Sunrise Dance“.

Sharp, Jay W. Desertusa.com, “Profile of an Apache Woman“.

Yupanqui, Tika (Tracy Marks). Web Winds, “Becoming Woman: Apache Female Puberty Sunrise“.

Goddess Rigantona

“Rhiannon” by Hrana Janto

“Rigantona’s themes are sports, excellence, magic, fertility, movement and travel. Her symbols are horses, the moon, white items and birds.  A Roman/Italic form of Rhiannon, this Goddess travels the earth on a swift white horse, a lunar symbol, sweeping us up to travel along and get everything in our lives moving! Stories portray Rigantona in the company of powerful magical birds and She also represents fertility.

In Italy, people attend the Palio Festival, a horse race that started in the 13th century and has continued ever since as a time to show physical skill and cunning. It’s a perfect place for Rigantona to shine. Any type of physical activity that you excel in will please Rigantona today and encourage Her motivational energy in your efforts. Get out and take a brisk walk, swim, rollerblade. As you move, visualize yourself atop a white horse, the Goddess’s symbol, approaching an image of a specific goal. All the energy you expend during this activity generates magic for attainment.

If birds fly into your life today, pay attention to the type of bird and its movements, because birds are Rigantona’s messengers. Birds flying to the right are good omens, those moving to the left act as a warning of danger and those flying overhead indicate productivity in whatever you try today. If any of these birds drops a feather, keep it as a gift from the Goddess.”

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

Rhiannon (from the Mabinogion) by Alan Lee

Rigatona (pronounced REE at-on-a) meaning “Great Queen” is thought to be from where the Welsh Goddess Rhiannon’s original name derived.  “Continuation of the name would indicate the existence of a Brythnoic Goddess known as Rīgantona, though no trace of Her (save for the name of Rhiannon) has been left to us. Whether this Rīgantona was an independent deity or represented an aspect of Epona (who is occasionally referred to in the plural and may be a triple-Goddess) may not be known for certain though the surviving tales of Rhiannon would suggest the later interpretation. Thus there may once have been an insular Brythonic deity known as Rīgantona Epona.

Rhiannon’s name is directly cognate with the Irish goddess Mórrígan (which also menans ‘Great Queen’). In terms of attributes, however, Rhiannon is most closely similar to an sapect of the triple-Goddes, Mórrígan known as Macha; a Goddess of war, horses and kingship.” [1]

Rhiannon is a potent symbol of fertility, yet She is also an Otherworld and death Goddess, a bringer of dreams, and a moon deity who is symbolized by a white horse. Her father was Heveydd the Old, and She was married to both Pwyll and Manan. The story of Her marriage to Pwyll, and the subsequent accusation of the murder of Her child, is well documented and most people are familiar with Rhiannon from this tale. [Click here to read Her tale].

“Rhiannon” by Susan Seddon Boulet

Patricia Monaghan comments: “What can one expect of a Goddess of death? Her son disappeared, and the queen was found with blood on Her mouth and cheeks. Accused of murder, She was sentenced to serve as Pwyll’s gatekeeper, bearing visitors to the door on Her back; thus She was symbolically transformed into a horse. All ended happily when Her son was found; Rhiannon had been falsely accused by maids who, terrified at finding the babe absent, had smeared puppy blood on the queen’s face.

Behind this legend is doubtless another, more primitive one in which the death queen actually was guilty of infanticide. This beautiful queen of the night would then, it seems, be identical to the Germanic Mora, the nightmare, the horse-shaped Goddess of terror. But night brings good dreams as well as bad, so Rhiannon was said to be the beautiful Goddess of joy and oblivion, a Goddess of Elysium as well as the queen of hell” (p. 266 – 267).

“Rhiannon” by Jan Hess

“In Her guise as a death Goddess, Rhiannon could sing sweetly enough to lure all those in hearing to their deaths, and therefore She may be related to Germanic stories of lake and river faeries who sing seductively to lure sailors and fishermen to their doom. Her white horse images also link Her to Epona, and many scholars feel they are one and the same, or at least are derived from the same archetypal roots.

In today’s magick and ritual, Rhiannon can be called upon to aid you in overcoming enemies, exercising patience, working magick, moon rituals, and enhancing dream work.” [2]

“Call upon Rhiannon to bless rites of fertility, sex magick, prosperity and dream work. Work with Her to enhance divination skills, overcome enemies, develop patience, and to gain self confidence. She is most definitely a Fae that every woman can relate to on some level. Her perserverance and will is an example of what we as women are, have been, and will continue to be for millennia to come. Solid, unwavering beauty and strength, like Mother Earth below our feet.” [3]

 

ASSOCIATIONS (Rhiannon):

General: Moon, horses, horseshoe, songbirds, gates, the wind, and the number 7.

Animals: Horse, badger, frog, dogs (especially puppies), canaries and other songbirds, hummingbirds, and dragons.

Plants: Narcissus and daffodils, leeks, pansies, forsythia, cedar and pine trees [evergreens], bayberry, sage and rosemary,[jasmine, any white flower]

Perfumes/Scents: Sandalwood, neroli, bergamot, lavender, narcissus, and geranium.

Gems and Metals: Gold, silver, cat’s eye, moonstone, crystal, quartz, ruby, red garnet, bloodstone, turquoise, and amethyst.

Colors: Dark green, maroon, gold, silver, rich brown, white, black, charcoal grey, and ruby red.   [4]

Element: Earth

Sphere of Influence: Animals and fertility

Best Day to Work with: Monday

Suitable Offerings: Music

Associated Planet: Moon    [5]

Moon Phase: Waning

Aspects: Leadership, movement, change, death, fertility, crisis, magic for women, protection, strength and truth in adversity, dreams

Wheel of the Year: Willow Moon (Saille): April 15 – May 12

Ivy Moon (Gort): September 30 – October 27   [6]

 

 

 

Great Goddess, help me remember that times of sorrow are opportunities for the greatest growth.  Rhiannon, I affirm that I have the courage to overcome my doubts and fears.

And here’s a great 13 minute video on Goddess Rhiannon, The Great Queen

Sources:

Goddessgift.com, “Goddess Symbols: Rhiannon“.

LadyRavenMoonshadow. Within the Sacred Mists, “The Celtic Tradition of Witches and Wiccans“.

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

Nemeton, The Sacred Grove: Home of the Celtic gods, “Rhiannon, A Cymric and Brythonic Goddess, also known as Rigatona: Great Queen“.

PaganNews.com, “Rhiannon“.

Rhiannon – Divine Queen

Saille, Rowen. Order of the White Moon, “Rhiannon: Great Queen of the Celts“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Barkemeijer de Wit, R. Celestial Journey Therapy, “Who is Goddess Rhiannon?

Epona.net, “Later Influences of Epona“.

Goddessgift.com, “Activities to Invoke the Goddess Rhiannon“.

Goddessgift.com, “Meditations to Invoke the Goddess Rhiannon“.

Goddessgift.com, “Rhiannon, Celtic Goddess“.

Griffith, Carly. PaganPages.org, “Rhiannon“.

The Mabinogion, “Rhiannon“.

Monaghan, Patricia. The Encyclopedia of Celtic Mythology and Folklore, “Mórrígan” (p. 339 – 340)

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

Sisterhood of Avalon, “The Goddesses“.

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

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

Wikipedia, “Epona“.

Wikipedia, “Rhiannon“.

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