Tag Archive: wisdom


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“.

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“The wisdom of the Crone is all around us, we have but to notice Her.” – Abby Willowroot, Spiral Goddess Grove

Matrignosis: A Blog About Inner Wisdom

The powers most capable of halting the escalation of hatred and chaos are not political.  They are psychological and spiritual. These powers are activated in individuals whose minds are committed to seeking justice for all, whose hearts are filled with caring and compassion, and whose behavior is directed toward connecting and healing. When everything we say and do originates from that core of love, it spreads through Indra’s diamond net and quickens the sacred spark that lives in every soul. Each of us can make this contribution to healing the separations within and between the peoples of the world.

Throughout history mothers and grandmothers have dedicated most of their energy, and often their lives, to nurturing and preserving life. Of course, many fathers and grandfathers have done the same. But women’s contributions have been educationally, financially, politically and spiritually restricted, vastly underrated, and largely taken for granted except for occasional lip service.

It doesn’t have to be this way. In a world splitting apart to birth a more evolved consciousness, the most important…

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Goddess Ennoia

“Yemanja/The Awakening of the Heart” by A. Andrew Gonzalez

“Ennoia’s themes are mediation, communication, magic and knowledge. Her symbols are angels. In Gnostic tradition, Ennoia is the Goddess of knowledge, intention and thought. Through Her all things were designed and manifested, including the angels. Through Ennoia we can learn the art of magic and how to communicate with angels as mediators between us and the Gods.

Today is Guardian Angel Day, a time to give thanks to the angels in our lives – those powers and people who protect, inspire and watch over us. One easily adapted tradition from Spain is that of wearing scarves and bells. These represent the beauty and music angels are said to bear into human life.

Second, take a moment to give back to the people in your life who have been like earthly angels (you know, the folks who bring soup when you’re sick, or offer money when funds are tight). Do something really nice for them, or minimally, light a candle on their behalf asking for angelic blessings in their lives.

Finally, try to connect with your guiding guardian angel(s). During your daily prayers or meditation, ask that power to reveal itself in words comfortable to you. Wait, watch and listen. The angel may reveal itself as the sound of bells or quiet music, with radiant light, or in other manifestations. If the being speaks with you, write down the words and ponder them in the days ahead.”

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

According to the blog, Prayers and Reflections, “Ennoia means ‘thought’ Sophia in Her high form as Pleromic, is the first thought (so She is the first Aeon, or Pleroma, and the last one as well). Creation happens in the triad of thought, word, and action.” [1]

“Alchemico d’Amore” by A. Andrew Gonzalez

“The Ennoia is important in Gnostic Magic, because She is the feminine counterpart or spiritual consort of God. She is the Womb of all manifestation, and thus is similar to the Egyptian Goddess Nut or Nuit. In a psychological (Jungian) sense, She is the archetype of the feminine principle.” [2]

I came across a lot of interesting information while researching this Goddess; everything from identifying Her with Sophia and the Holy Spirit, as Divine Female – the Wisdom Goddess who assisted in creation to being stripped of Her holiness, portrayed as foolish, conceiving alone without a male consort resulting malformed creatures and “falls” to the “lower” world, into bondage and even whoredom in need of rescuing (see The Ennoia).  In an attempt to demote, degrade and overthrow Her, the patriarchy even splits Her,  “Through disconnecting from the divine oneness it is also Sophia who has to exist in two forms: Sofia Ennoia i.e. the High Sofia, Neverending One, The Power of the Thoughts as well as the Low Sofia called the Small Sophia or Sophia of Death. In this way Sophia combines two elements: the divine and the human one.” [3]  I even found a few references to Her as being a daughter of Lilith….Not sure if this is a totally different deity or what the deal with that is…a little confusing….

Max Dashú has a lot to say about Her and Her “downfall” and can be read on Suppressedhistories.net by clicking here (scroll down to The Gnostic Goddess).

 

 

 

Sources:

Dashú, Max. Suppressedhistories.net, “Khokhmah and Sophia“.

Landofgoddesses.wordpress.com, “SOPHIA (CHOKMAH/SHEKHINAH)“.

Magdelene.wordpress.com, “Gnostic words for May 14, 2007: Ennead, Ennoia, Epiphanes, Epiphanius, Epinoia, Eros“.

Schuelers.com, “A BRIEF HISTORY OF GNOSTICISM“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Forrest, M. Isidora. Isis Magic: Cultivating a Relationship With the Goddess of 10,000 Names, “The Gnostic Sophia” (p. 193).

Magisteria.wordpress.com, “Ennoia, A Gnostic Tale“.

Metaconscious.tumblr.com, “Ennoia“.

Wikipedia, “Sophia (Gnosticism): The Ennoia“.

I really wanted to share this here with you as we think about and meditate on the Autumn season, finding balance and get ready for the coming winter.  This comes from today’s DailyOm, entitled “Seasons of Beauty”.

As we cultivate our life, our beauty becomes as much about what we are creating and doing as it is about our appearance.


We tend to associate youth with beauty, but the truth is that beauty transcends every age. Just as a deciduous tree is stunning in all its stages—from its full leafy green in the summer to its naked skeleton during winter and everything in between—human beings are beautiful throughout their life spans.

The early years of our lives tend to be about learning and experiencing as much as we possibly can. We move through the world like sponges, absorbing the ideas of other people and the world. Like a tree in spring, we are waking up to the world. In this youthful phase of life, our physical strength, youth, and beauty help open doors and attract attention. Gradually, we begin to use the information we have gathered to form ideas and opinions of our own. As we cultivate our philosophy about life, our beauty becomes as much about what we are saying, doing, and creating as it is about our appearance. Like a tree in summer, we become full, expressive, beautiful, and productive.


When the time comes for us to let go of the creations of our middle lives, we are like a tree in autumn dropping leaves, as we release our past attachments and preparing for a new phase of growth. The children move on, and careers shift or end. The lines on our faces, the stretch marks, and the grey hairs are beautiful testaments to the fullness of our experience. In the winter of our lives, we become stripped down to our essence like a tree. We may become more radiant than ever at this stage, because our inner light shines brighter through our eyes as time passes. Beauty at this age comes from the very core of our being—our essence. This essence is a reminder that there is nothing to fear in growing older and that there is a kind of beauty that comes only after one has spent many years on earth.

 

I also came across this beautiful and inspirational video today from the Tuatha de Brighid Flamekeepers group I belong to.  Learning to Dance in the Rain Movie.  Enjoy!

 

Source:

~ Dailyom.com, “Seasons of Beauty“.

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 Ame no Uzume

“Ame no Uzume ‘s themes are honor, longevity, wisdom, psychic abilities, prosperity, protection and kinship. Her symbols are antique items, aged wines or cheese (anything that grows better over time) and sacred dances.  A Japanese ancestral Goddess, Ame no Uzume’s magic is that of generating a long, happy life for Her followers. Shinto festivals in Her honor include special dances that invoke the Goddess’s favor for longevity, honor, prosperity, protection and a close-knit family. In some areas, people also turn to Her for foresight, considering Ame no Uzume the patroness of psychic mediums.

Join with people in Japan and celebrate the wisdom that longevity brings for the aged. If there is an elder in your family or magic community who has influenced your life positively, pray to Ame no Uzume for that person’s ongoing health and protection. Go see that individual and say thank you. The gesture greatly pleases this Goddess, who will shower blessings on you, too!

To gain Ame no Uzume’s insight in your psychic efforts, find an antique item that you can wear during readings, like a skeleton key (to ‘fit’ any psychic doorway). Empower this token, saying:

‘Ame no Uzume, open my eyes, help me to see!
Let nothing be hidden that need to be known, whene’re I speak this magical poem.’

Touch the key and recite your power phrase, the incantation, before reading.”

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

“Ame-no-Uzume-no-mikoto is the Goddess of dawn, mirth and revelry in the Shinto religion of Japan, and the wife of fellow-god Sarutahiko Ōkami“. [1]

“Uzume” by Hrana Janto

Patricia Monaghan writes that Uzame was “ancient Japan’s shaman Goddess…who lured the sun Goddess Amaterasu from the cave where She’d hidden.  She did so by a merry mockery of shamanic ritual.  Tying Her sleeves above Her elbows with moss cords and fastening bells around Her wrists, She danced on an overturned tub before the heavenly Sky-Rock-Cave.  Tapping out a rhythm with Her feet, She exposed Her breasts and then Her genitals in the direction of the sun.  So comic did She make this striptease that the myriad gods and Goddesses began to clap and laugh – an uproar that finally brought the curious sun back to warm the earth.

Shaman women who followed Uzume were called miko in ancient Japan.  First queens like Himiko, later they were princesses and even later, common-born women.  Some Japanese women today, especially those called noro and yuta in Okinawa and the surrounding islands, still practice shamanic divination” (p. 305).

“Ame-no-Uzume-no-Mikoto is still worshiped today as a Shinto kami, spirits indigenous to Japan.  She is also known as Ame-no-Uzume-no-Mikoto, The Great Persuader, and The Heavenly Alarming Female.  She is depicted in kyōgen farce as Okame, a woman who revels in her sensuality.” [2]

“The dances of Uzume (Ama-no-uzume) are found in folk rites, such as the one to wake the dead, the Kagura (dance-mime), and another one which symbolizes the planting of seeds.” [3]

 

 

 

Sources:

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

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

Wikipedia, “Ame-no-Uzume-no-Mikoto“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Agaliha. Mysticwicks.com, “Ama-no-Uzume“.

Ampontan. Ampontan.wordpress.com, “Yuta: The Japanese Shamans“.

Ashkenazi, Michael. Handbook of Japanese Mythology.

Corrao, Tom. Chicagookinawakenjinkai.blogspot.com, “Okinawan Uta – The Shaman Women of Okinawa“.

Goddessgift.com, “Amaterasu Goddess of the Sun/Uzume Goddess of Mirth and Dance“.

Lysianassa. Bukisa.com, “The Goddess Ame No Uzume in Mythology and History“.

Mydailygoddess.blogspot.com, “Uzume – Laughter“.

Schoenberger, Karl. Latimes.com, “Shamans Look to Spirits for Guidance: In Okinawa, Supernatural Is Taken Very Seriously“.

Wikipedia, “Ryukyuan Religion“.

Willis, Roy G. World Mythology, “The Divine Crisis“.

Make the most of this month to open your mind and exercise your intellect with the learned power of the Hazel Moon.

This is the best time of year to focus on gaining wisdom and absorbing knowledge.  Cast spells to heighten your senses and concentration.

The Celtic name for the hazel tree is “coll” meaning “nine”, and the Hazel Moon is the ninth month of the Celtic Tree Calendar.  A myth tells how nine nuts of wisdom fell from the hazel tree into a river where a magical salmon ate them.  The salmon then became a prized catch, gifted with shape-shifting powers and infinite wisdom.

A Time for Learning

The Hazel Moon offers you an opportunity to connect with your inner reserves of wisdom and intuition.  Study of all kinds is blessed during the Hazel Moon, so magic that uses ancient knowledge is most effective now.

This is also an excellent time to learn to read Tarot Cards or Runes because lunar energy will enhance your memory and psychic powers.  Maintain an optimistic approach and follow your enthusiasm.

 

PROTECTION AND RENEWAL

Rods made from the wood of the hazel tree have been used for diving water and earth energies.  The wood is pliant and supple and is immediately responsive to subtle energy vibrations and environmental changes.

Fertility Charm

As well as being an excellent source 0f protein, hazelnuts have long been used as a magical fertility charm.  Carry one with you if you wish to conceive or collect a small bag of nuts as a gift for a bride.

Good Fortune

Hazelnuts are also a symbol of good luck; if you find two in the same shell, eat one and throw the other over your left shoulder to make your wish come true.

HAZEL MOON MAGIC

You can bring the magical powers of the hazel tree to your magic.  Use this time to inspire your inner creativity and wisdom to ground yourself in nature.

Hazel Spells

You can use the qualities of hazel in a variety of ways in your magic working.

  • Make an all-purpose magical wand from a straight twig of hazel wood the length of your forearm.  Charge under the full Moon.
  • Draw a circle around your bed with a hazel stick to keep nightmares away.
  • Eat a feast of salmon and hazelnuts before an exam to heighten your powers of concentration and boost your memory.

Meditation

Practicing this meditation will help you to move through creative blocks, get inner guidance and develop your intuition.

  • Approach a hazel tree from the north.  When you are within the circumference of its branches, introduce yourself and ask permission to come closer.
  • If if feels right to proceed, circle the truck clockwise.
  • Try to sense the spirit of the tree and open your heart.
  • Sit with your back against the trunk and breathe deeply.  Empty your mind and try to attune to the tree’s energy.

Meditate outside under a hazel to draw upon the tree’s creative energy and open your mind to new possibilities.

 

 

Hazel Energy In Your Life

Bring the creativity and inspiration of the Hazel Moon into your life, both at work and at home.

1. Enroll in an evening class.  Now is an auspicious time to learn a new skill – try painting, learning a language or dance.

2. Keep a journal.  Just writing down your wishes and experiences will help you tune into your inner wisdom.

3. Go outside at night and look at the Moon.  Staying connected to nature will bring powerful insights and help you remain grounded.

4. Feed your mind: buy a book of inspiring quotes and read one each day to stimulate your intellect and sharpen your thinking.

 

Making A Diving Rod

You can use the magical powers of the hazel tree to make your own diving rod.

1. Cut a forked twig, less than a yard in length.

2. Give thanks to the tree by pouring nourishing water onto its roots.

3. Pass your rod through incense smoke and state your intention to learn the mysteries of nature.

4. Hold a fork in each hand and pull them apart so that the twig is under constant pressure.  As you walk over a water source or energy line, the rod will twitch in your hand.

5. Use your diving rod to explore the energies of sacred sites, old buildings and even your own home.

 

 

 

Source:

“Enhancing Your Body, Mind and Spirit”, 21 Nature Magic, CARD  13.

 

Suggested Link:

The Goddess Tree, “Hazel“.

Goddess Athena

“Athena” by InertiaK

“Athena’s themes are protection, victory, courage and leadership. Her symbols are new clothing, olives, owls and the oak.  Among the Greeks, especially those dwelling in Athens, Athena was the great protectress, standing for personal discipline and prowess, especially in battles. When you find your self-control lacking or you need the courage to withstand a storm, Athena stands ready to come to the rescue. Grecian art shows Athena bearing a spear, wearing a breastplate and accompanied by an owl. She is also the patroness of spinners and many other forms of craftspeople who work with their hands.

The Greeks celebrated this Goddess by giving Her a new wardrobe today, making offerings and taking Her images out for cleansing. So, if you have any likeness of the Goddess, dust them off and adorn them in some way, perhaps using an oak leaf for a dress to honor Athena.

Wearing a new piece of splendid clothing or adding olives to your diet today draws Athena’s attributes into your life. Or, use pitted olives as a spell component. On a small piece of paper, write the word that best describes what you need from Athena. Stuff this into the olive and bury it. By the time the olive decomposes, your desire should be showing signs of manifestation.

Finally, place a small piece of oak leaf in your shoe today so Athena’s leadership and bravery will walk with you, helping you to face whatever awaits with a strong heart.”

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

“Athena” by Howard David Johnson

Patricia Monaghan provides us with some very interesting information (some of which is new to me).  She says, “[Athena] was not always accepted as patron of the famous city that bears Her name.  Greek legend says that the sea god, Posidon, disputed with the Goddess for rulership of the city.  It came to a vote of the people of the town in question.  The citizens, men and women alike, gathered and cast their ballots.  Naturally, the men voted for the god, the women for the Goddess.  As it happened, there was one more voter on the women’s side, and so Athena won the day.  (An alternate version says that the Olympian deities judged the contest.  They ruled that because Athena had planted the first olive tree, whereas all Poseidon could offer was the changeful sea, the Goddess would be a better city ruler than the god).

"Athena & Poseidon" by Rachael McCampbel

“Athena & Poseidon” by Rachael McCampbell

The men of Athens bitterly agreed to accept the Goddess as their patron.  But being poor losers, they levied three heavy requirements on the women: that they should forgo being called citizens, that they should no longer vote, and that their children should be called by their fathers’ rather than their mothers’ names.

They then prepared a new identity for the city’s Goddess.  They claimed that She was a virginal Goddess without sexuality, a motherless Goddess who sprang full-grown from the head of Zeus, who had swallowed Her mother, Metis.  This Athena was ‘all for the father’ (as Aeschylus had Her say), who voted on the side of the new patriarchal order against the earlier system of mother right.  But hidden in the legend of the Athenian vote are clues to Athena’s original identity.  If children did not bear their mothers’ names, if women were not full citizens, if women did not vote, why bother to legislate against it? [Makes you think about what’s going on in today’s political arena here in the US, doesn’t it?]

“Athena” by Hrana Janto

There was yet another version of the birth of Athena [which is completely new to me], one that is far less flattering to male divinity.  This story says that She  was the daughter of Pallas, a winged giant.  He tried to rape his virginal daughter, so She killed him.  She tanned his skin to make a shield and cut off his wings to fasten to Her feet.  Another myth in which virginity is threatened says that Hephaestus, the smith god, attempted to rape Her, but only managed to ejaculate on Her leg.  The Goddess wiped it off in disgust.  But the semen touched all-fertile Gaia, whereupon a half-serpent boy named Erichthonius was born.  Athena accepted the boy as Her offspring and gave him to the Augralids to guard.

A curious part of this relatively obscure story is the shaky nature of the boy. As Hephaestus had no known reptile ancestors, it must be that Athena provided the serpent blood. Her intimate connection with Medusa, whose snake-haired visage Athena wears on Her goat-skin cloak called the aegis, is also relevant. Similarly, the massive snake that reared beside Her statue in the Parthenon, Her major temple on the Athenian Acropolis, suggests that the snake was one of the primary symbols of the virgin Goddess.

“Snake Goddess” by Pamela Matthews

It is now well established that Athena–Her name is so ancient that it has never been translated–was originally a Minoan or Mycdenaean household Goddess–possibly related to the bare-breasted Cretan figures seen embracing snakes or holding them overhead. This original Athena was the essence of the family bond, symbolized by the home and its hearth–and by the mild serpent, who– like the household cat, lived in the storehouse and protected the family’s food supplies against destructive rodents. As household Goddess, Athena ruled the implements of domestic crafts: the spindle, the pot, and the loom. By extrapolation, She was the guardian of the ruler’s home, the Goddess of the palace; by further extrapolation, She was the symbol of the community itself, the larger social unit based on countless homes [much like Minerva‘s origins if you recall].

Although Minoan civilization declined, Athena was not lost. A maiden Goddess, apparently called Pallas, arrived with the Greeks; She was a warrior, a kind of Valkyrie, a protector of the tribe. This figure was bonded to that of the indigenous tribal symbol to form Pallas Athena, and Her legend was re-created to suit the new social order. But Athena’s ritual reflected Her origins. Each year midsummer Her splendid image was taken from her temple on the Acropolis and borne ceremoniously down to the sea. There Athena was carefully washed and, renewed in strength and purity, was decked in a newly made robe woven by the city’s best craftswomen. It was the same ritual that honored Hera and showed Athena as a woman’s deity–the mistress of household industry and family unity” (p. 59 – 60).

Pallas Athene, 1898, Historisches Museum der Stadt Wien, Vienna

Thalia Took explains that “Athene was probably originally a Goddess of lightning and storms, hence the spear (representing the lightning) and Her famous brilliant eyes, which earned Her the epithet Oxyderkes, the Bright-Eyed. Birds as creatures of the air are Hers as well, especially the owl, with its bright eyes and reputation for wisdom [see Athena Glaukopis].

Athena can be summed up in one word: ability. That ability encompasses just about everything: wisdom, war, weaving, shipbuilding, dance, athletics, music, invention, crafts, and technology in general. Athene brings strength and wisdom, and aid in determining the best course–consult Her in a situation when you are not sure whether to use diplomacy or if the time has come to fight.

“Athena” by Green–Cat

Some of Her epithets include: Polias (‘of the City’), Parthenos (‘Virgin’), Promachos (‘Champion’), Ergane (‘Worker’), and Nike (‘Victory’).

Athena has many, many epithets and aspects. Articles marked with an * have illustrations, by me (and you can reasonably expect some more, since, as I’ve said, I’m on a wicked Athena kick lately). Here we go:

Aeantis, Aethyia, Ageleia, Agoraea, Agripha, Akraia, Akria, Alalkomeneis, Alea, Alkimakhe, Amboulias, Anemotis, Apatouria, Areia, Asia, Axiopoinos, Boarmia, Boulaia, Contriver, Damasippos, Dea Soteira, Ergane, Erysiptolis, Glaukopis*, Gorgopis, Hephaistia, Hippia, Hippolaitis, Hygieia, Itonia, Keleuthea, Khalinitis, Khalkeia, Kissaea, Kledoukhos, Koria, Koryphasia, Kranaia, Kydonian, Kyparissa, Laossoos, Laphria, Larisaea, Leitis, Lemnia, Mekhanitis, Metros, Narkaea, Nike, Nikephoros, Onga, Ophthalmitis, Optiletis, Oxyderkes, Paeonia, Pallas, Panakhaia, Pania, Pareia, Parthenos, Phratria, Polias, Poliatas, Polyboulos, Polymetis, Poliykhos, Promakhorma, Promakhos, Pronaia, Pronoia, Pylaitis, Saitis, Salpinx, Skira, Sthenias, Soteira, Souniados, Taurobolos, Telkhinia, Tithrones, Tritogeneia, Xenia, Zosteria

Note on the spelling: I have kicked all the C’s (a Latin convention) out of the spelling, since they didn’t exist in Greek, even to replacing ‘ch’ with ‘kh’.” [1] [2]

“Athena” by louelio

ASSOCIATIONS:

General: Sun, golden shield and helmet, spear, spindle, bowl, intertwined snakes, the Parthenon, the seven auras, and the number 7.

Animals: Owl (wisdom), dove (victory), ram, eagle, tiger, leopard, and other cats.

Plants: Geranium, tiger lily, oak, cypress, olive tree, Hellebore (Christmas and Lenten roses), and citrus trees.

Perfumes/Scents: Patchouli, dragon’s blood, musk, indigo, orange blossom, cinnamon, and cedarwood.

Gems and Metals: Onyx, ruby, star sapphire, turquoise, gold, lapis lazuli, and ivory.

Colors: Gold, orange, yellow, emerald green, and royal blue. [3]

 

 

 

 

Sources:

Goddessgift.com, “Goddess Symbols: Athena“.

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

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

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

 

 

Suggested Links:

Aethyia. Order of the White Moon, “Athena“.

ancientgreece.com, “Athena – Ancient Greek Goddess“.

The Shrine of the Goddess Athena.

Goddessgift.com, “Athena, Greek Goddess of Wisdom“.

Revel, Anita. igoddess.com, “Athena: firm but fair – goddess of war and diplomacy“.

Stebbins, Elinor. Sweet Briar College {History of Art Program}, “Athena, Goddess of Wisdom“.

Took, Thalia. The Obscure Goddess Online Directory, “Athena Glaukopis“.

Theoi Greek Mythology, “Athene“.

Wikipedia, “Athena“.

“Light of the Dharma” by Anya Langmead

“Buddhabodhiprabhavasita’s themes are wisdom, meditation, Universal Law, overcoming, spirituality and banishing. Her symbols are the color yellow and Prayer Wheels.  This Buddhist Goddess controls the awareness of Buddha, personifying spiritual regeneration and the power of light to overcome any darnkess in our lives. Since Buddhabodhiprabhavasita has the ear of Buddha, She makes an excellent mediator and teacher of universal truths.

In Tibet, this is a time for the Cham-ngyon-wa (“Old Dance”) in which monks to bring out costumes fashioned after Manchu dynasty tradition and dance in a parade of cymbals, flutes, gongs and drums. Their dance portrays the demons of hell fighting against the favorite regional deities (who of course win the symbolic battle by the end of the exhibition). To adapt this, go through your living space making lots of noise to banish any negativity that lurks within. Turn on the lights as you go to literally ‘turn on’ Buddhabodhiprabhavasita’s insight within yourself and use any wheel as the focus for your prayers. For example, write your needs on your automobile tires or attach them to bicycle spokes so that each time the wheel goes round, the prayer goes out to the Goddess.”

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

“Expansion and Fulfilment” from Circle of Good Will

I could not find anything on a specific Goddess called Buddhabodhiprabhavasita (try saying that 3 times fast!).  I did run across this tidbit of information from a blog called The One and Only; according to it’s author, ketutar, “Buddha and Bodhi are basically the same – Bodhi means enlightenment and Buddha The Enlightened Prabha is the Universal Light and one of the names of Lakshmi.  Vashita is the Goddess of Air and communication – She controlls the senses and thus can make you see and hear what ever She wants. (Vasitas are minor Buddhist Goddesses).  So Buddhabodhiprabhavasita is one of Lakshmi’s aspects, the Light and Air that carries communication – that makes communication possible.” [1]

So, I’ve got the “Buddha” and “Bodhi” broken down.  Looking up “Prabhavati”, I found mention of “a 4th century regent of the western Indian Vakataka dynasty” [2] and Prabhavati Devi whowas at the forefront of freedom struggle in Bihar” [3].  According to babynamesworld.parentsconnect.com, Prabhavati means “Having light; luminous” in Sanskrit and Indian. [4]

I FINALLY came across this entry in the Encyclopedia of Hinduism by Sunil Sehgal: “Buddhabodhiprabhavasita (Control of the light of knowledge of Buddha) Minor Goddess. Buddhist. One of a group of twelve vasitas personifying the disciplines of spiritual gegeneration. Colour: yellow. Attributes: prayer wheel and jewelled banner” (p. 309). [5]

 

 

 

Sources:

babynamesworld.parentsconnect.com, “Prabhavati“.

ketutar. The One and Only, “Buddhabodhiprabhavasita“.

Sehgal, Sunil. The Encyclopedia of Hinduism, “Buddhabodhiprabhavasita“.

Wikipedia, “Prabhavati“.

Wikipedia, “Prabhavati Devi“.

Goddess Mala Laith

“Mala Laith’s themes are justice, community, peace, wisdom, knowledge, forgiveness, maturity and unity. Her symbols are the color gray, pigs, deer, the horse and birds.  Known often simply by the designation ‘Gray One’, Mala Laith is the ancient Celtic crone Goddess. Mala Laith is said to have made the mountains and formed many stone circles, alluding to Her age and power. She travels in the company of birds, pigs, deer or a gray horse, carrying wisdom, knowledge, understanding, sensibility and preparation to us as gifts that come with maturity.

On this day, people on Mann honor Tynwald, the old Norse assembly system instituted over one thousand years ago, by gathering to discuss legal matters and end internal bickering. As they do, Mala Laith stands by, offering good counsel and sagacity. For us this means taking a moment out to make sure things in our life are in order and being properly attended to. Review your checking account, follow up on legal matters, make peace with someone from whom you’ve been estranged and generally spend the day focusing on sound action, wise words and sensible thinking. This invokes Mala Laith’s energy.

Wear something gray today to honor the Goddess and watch to see if any of Her sacred animals show up (in logos, on billboards, anywhere) during your day. If they do, pay close attention to their movements and actions. They’re bringing a message to you from Mala Laith, and it’s well worth heeding!”

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

“‘Grey eyebrows’ was the name given to the Cailleach in Ross and Cromarty in Scotland,” Patricia Monaghan tells us.  “She was said to tend a herd of pigs, which included the wild boar of Glen Glass” (p. 205).  As to be expected, Mala Laith “(pronounced MAH-lah LEE-ah) She is often equated with Cerridwen.” [1]

 

About Cailleach

“Cailleach” by Mairin-Taj Caya

“‘Cailleach’ (pronounced KAL-y-ach) derives from the old Irish caillech, or ‘the veiled one’. The modern word cailleach means ‘old woman’ or ‘hag’ in Gaelic. The Cailleach is a widespread form of Celtic hag-Goddess tied to the land and the weather who has many variants in the British Isles.

The Caillagh ny Groamagh (‘Gloomy Old Woman’, also called the Caillagh ny Gueshag, ‘Old Woman of the Spells’) of the Isle of Man is a winter and storm spirit whose actions on the 1st of February are said to foretell the year’s weather–if it is a nice day, She will come out into the sun, which brings bad luck for the year. The Cailleach Uragaig, of the Isle of Colonsay in Scotland, is also a winter spirit who holds a young woman captive, away from her lover.

The theme of winter holding spring captive is also seen in the tale that the Cailleach imprisons the beautiful young goddess Bride inside of a mountain over the winter. At Bride’s release, spring comes to the world.

“Cailleach Bhéara” by Max Dashu

The Cailleach Bheur (‘genteel old lady’) of Scotland is a blue-faced hag of winter, who ages in reverse–from old and ugly (symbolizing winter) to young and lovely (spring). The Cailleach Bhéirre of Ireland represents sovereignty over the land and is ancestress of many peoples. Like Dame Ragnell of the Arthurian legends, She appears to the hero as an hideous old woman seeking love; if She gets it, She becomes a beautiful young woman. In legends dating from Christian times, She is sometimes said to be a nun, perhaps linked to the meaning of Her name.

Alternate names: Cailleach Bheur, Cailleach Uragaig, Cailleach Beinne Bric (‘Old Woman of the Speckled Mountain’), Cailleach Mor (‘Great Old Woman’) (Scotland); Cailleach Bheirre, Cailleach Bolus, Cailleach Corca Duibhe (Ireland); Caillagh ny Groamagh, Caillagh ny Gueshag (Isle of Man).” [2]

 

 

 

Sources:

Joelle. Joelle’s Sacred Grove, “Mala Laith“.

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

Took, Thalia. A-Muse-ing Grace Gallery, “The Cailleach, Celtic Crone Goddess of Winter“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Forest, Danu. Danuforest.co.uk, “The Cailleach, the old woman of winter“.

Mysterious Britain & Ireland, “The Caillech Bheur“.

PaganPages.org, “Cailleach“.

Metropolitan Films Ltd. Thisisirishfilm.ie, “An Cailleach Bheara (2007)“.

Shee-Eire.com, “Cailleach Beara“.

Sparrow. Journey Around the Wheel of Life, “Cailleach“.

The Suppressed History Archives, “Crone“.

Wikipedia, “Cailleach“.

WolfWinds, Silver. Order of the White Moon, “Cailleach“.

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