Tag Archive: wisdom


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

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

 

Magical Solar Energy

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

 

A TREE OF HEALING AND PEACE

Artwork by Eugene Damblans

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

Brave Energy

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

Community Tree

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

 

OAK MOON MAGIC

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

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

An Oak Vision Quest

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

“Oak Tree Meditation” by Laura Iverson

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oak Moon Activities

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

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

Solar Success Spell

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

You Will Need:

  • Gold candle
  • Symbol of your intention
  • Oak leaves

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

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

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

A Purification Spell

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

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

You Will Need:

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

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

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

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

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

Source:

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

 

 

Suggested Links:

The Goddess Tree, “Oak“.

Goddess Blodeuwedd

“Blodeuwedd” by Scarlettletters

“Blodeuwedd’s themes are beauty, relationships, charity, and hope.  Her symbols are flowers and owls.  This intensely beautiful Welsh Goddess’ name means ‘flower face’, because magicians fashioned Her visage from oak, meadowsweet, and broom flowers. Folktales say that Blodeuwedd was unfaithful to Her husband. As punishment for Her crime, the same magicians who gave Her a flower face chose to be merciful and transformed Blodeuwedd into an owl rather than inflicting some other punishment. She has forever remained in this form, mourning the loss of love and reminding people of two important lessons: relationships are fragile, and beauty is indeed only skin deep.

The English sell geraniums today to collect funds for charities, specifically those that support services for the blind, who cannot see Blodeuwedd’s radiance as we do. In the language of flowers, geraniums represent solace – which is what any act of charity stimulates today. It provides hope to those in need and inspires Blodeuwedd’s beauty within your soul. Even if your pocket is empty, extend assistance to someone or something in need. Offer to help an elderly friend with chores, give some returnable bottles to a homeless person, act as big brother or sister to orphans, give water to a stray cat. Benevolence had many forms, and it makes the world a much nicer place in which to live!”

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

“Blodeuwedd in Bloom” by Selina Fenech

“Blodeuwedd (pronunciation: bluh DIE weth [“th” as in “weather”]) is the Welsh Goddess of spring created from flowers, and the wife of Lleu Llaw Gyffes, son of Arianrhod and is a central figure in the fourth branch of the Mabinogi. In the late Christianized myth, She was created by the great magicians Math and Gwydion to be Lleu’s mate, in response to a curse pronounced by his Mother that he would never have a wife from any race then on the Earth. They fashioned Blodeuwedd from nine types of blossom–oak, meadowsweet, broom, cockle, bean, nettle, chestnut, primrose, and hawthorn–and breathed life into Her. She proved treacherous to Lleu, and She and Her lover Gronw Pebyr plotted against him, killing the invulnerable Lleu by tricking him into the only pose in which he could be harmed. Blodeuwedd was punished for this by being transformed into the night-bird, the owl, though She kept Her name–in Welsh, blodeuwedd, meaning “Flower-face”, is a name for the owl.

She is the white Goddess of Death and Life in Her May-aspect, and part of a triad consisting of Arianrhod (virgin), Blodeuwedd (lover), and Cerridwen (crone).

She represents temporary beauty and the bright blooming that must come full circle through death: She is the promise of autumn visible in spring.

Alternate spellings: Blodeuedd, Blodewedd” [1]

“Many researchers and historians see Blodeuwedd as the symbol of betrayal (Amy Sophia Marashinsky in the “The Goddess Oracle”) or a representative of the May Queen, who was wedded ritually to the king who would be sacrificed to Her (Robert Graves in “The White Goddess”), but I believe that Her story can be interpreted in a different way.
Blodeuwedd was the Flower Maiden, made by men, for a man, in ‘the image of their own desires, feelings and ideas about what a Lover should be.’ Blodeuwedd married Llew and became the perfect wife and mate. When She meets Gronw, something deep within Blodeuwedd came alive. She embraces and declares Her feelings of love and makes a choice to be with Gronw. Blodeuwedd takes Her power back and in this act, becomes the Mother aspect of the Goddess– a woman who is strong in who She is and who embraces Her power; the power to nurture, to heal, and to love with abandon.

“Blodeuwedd” by Hrana Janto

After Llew is killed, She is pursued and as a punishment, turned into an owl. Owls are associated with wisdom. Blodeuwedd has become the Crone. She has learned what happens when She accepts Herself and turns against what others want Her to be. Blodeuwedd was ‘transformed into the diametrical opposite of her previous self. From a meek, gentle, smiling, benign, beautiful and perfect Mate, She became a solitary night predator, maw gaping in silent flight, screech cutting through the forest. In a positive sense, we may say that She became assertive, independent, self-realized – and wise.’ For me, the lesson of Blodeuwedd is that we must leave behind our youth and innocence and claim the Feminine Divine in order to transform and become wise.” [2]

 

ASSOCIATIONS:

Pantheon: Celtic/Welsh

Element: Water

Sphere of Influence: Promotion and Wisdom

Preferred Colors: White, yellow

Associated Symbols: Owl, lilies

Animals Associated With: Owl

Best Day to Work with: Monday

Best Moon Phase: Full

Suitable Offerings: Lilies

Associated Planet: Moon  [3]

Festival Day: Beltane, 1st May

Associations: Nine flower blossoms of primrose, bean, broom, meadowsweet, cockle (burdock), nettle, oak, hawthorn and chestnut

Aspects: Goddess as Lover, Goddess as Sexual Love, Goddess as Virgin complete unto Herself

Names: Flower Goddess; Lady of Flowers; Lady of the Nine Buds of Plant and Tree; Lily Maid of Celtic initiation ceremonies.  Also known as the Ninefold Goddess of the Western Isles of Paradise.

Associations: Elen, Olwen of the White Tracks, Rhiannon.  [4]

 

 

A great 13 minute video discussing the Goddess Blodeuwedd

 

 

 

Sources:

Cross, Jamie.  Order of the White Moon, “Blodeuwedd“.

Goddess Within, “Goddess Invocations: Blodeuwedd“.

PaganNews.com, “Blodeuwedd“.

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

 

 

Suggested Links:

Burning Snow. Order of the White Moon, “Blodeuwedd“.

DAlba, Mary, PaganPages.org, “Blodeuwedd“.

Elm. Tribe of the Sun, “Blodeuwedd“.

Kennelly, Patty. Daily Goddess, “Blodeuwedd: Betrayal“.

Monaghan, Patricia. Encyclopedia of Celtic Mythology and Folklore, Blodeuwedd.

Monaghan, Patricia. Encyclopedia of Goddesses and Heroines, excerpt on Blodeuwedd

Oak, Broom and Meadowsweet, “Legend of Blodeuwedd“.

Revel, Anita. igoddess.com, “Blodeuwedd: wisdom, age (and vise versa)“.

Sisterhood of Avalon, “What We Believe: The Goddesses“.

Skye, Michelle. Goddess Afoot!: Practicing Magic with Celtic & Norse Goddesses, “Blodeuwedd“.

Took, Thalia. A-Muse-ing Grace Gallery, “The Tale of Blodeuwedd“.

Venefica, Avia. Whats-Your-Sign.com, “Celtic Symbols of Blodeuwedd“.

Wikipedia, “Blodeuwedd“.

Goddess Asherah

(This is one of the several Goddesses that Patricia Telesco makes a second entry on in her book.  She spells Asherah’s name as “Aherah” for today’s entry, but I could find no reference to “Aherah”.  You can view my previous entry on Asherah here.)

 

"Goddess of the Tides" by Jonathon Earl Bowser

“Asherah’s themes are luck, health, blessings, wisdom and divination.  Her symbols are a wooden pole and bricks.  Asherah is the Phoenician/Mesopotamian Mother of all Wisdom and Propriestress of Universal Law. On this day She offers Her perspective on the present and the future to begin settling the first quarter of the year sagaciously.

In Iranian stories, Asherah could walk on water, gave birth to over seventy deities, and taught people the arts of carpentry and brick building.

Sizdah Be-dar is part of the new year festivities in Iran. Follow Iranian tradition and generate Asherah’s fortuitous, healthy energy in your life by going on a picnic (or have one in the living room if the weather doesn’t cooperate, but leave the windows open).  It’s bad luck to stay inside today! Or, to make a spring wish, toss any type of spring water sprouts in water while focusing on your goal. If it is meant to be, the wish will manifest before the next Sizdah Be-dar. The alternative to sprouts is any newly sprouting seed, which should be planted afterwards to encourage the magic to grow.

For wisdom, find a small piece of wood or brick to represent Asherah. Lie down and meditate with the token over your third eye (located in the middle of the forehead and reputed to be a psychic center), visualizing purple light pouring through it. Chant:

‘Asherah abide in me
with your wisdom
let me see!’

Carry the token when you need to act judiciously.”

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

Asherah is the wise, loving, giving, Grandmother of Muslims, Jews and Christians.  Over 4,000 years ago, most Canaanites and Hebrew households had altars dedicated to their beloved household Goddess Asherah; She inspired great devotion.  Many Asherah figures have been found, and many of Her altars have been found in the ruins of ancient kitchens. [1]

Asherah Figurines (9th-7th Centuries BCE)

“Archaeologists have found many statues of Goddess Asherah without finding a matching number of male figurines. By the early 1940s, over 300 terracotta figurines of nude goddesses had been unearthed in digs around Jerusalem supporting Her worship was an integral part of their religion.

As with all Goddess based religions it took a great deal of effort by the male-dominated priesthoods to erase Goddess worship among the common people. As the history of Canaan would change and the Hebrew bible expanded, Goddess Asherah would be mentioned several times as a companion God. Many scholars now weigh the idea of Yehweh actually having a wife? Eventually any mention of Goddess Asherah would be totally discredited from the transcriptions of the ancient writings.

"Morning Star" by Mahmoud Farshchian

As more and more information of Goddess Asherah becomes known, we know Her to be a Goddess of fertility, bringing special blessings to the family, and helping people achieve their goals and dreams. She was the Goddess worshipped by King Solomon, a King that dare worship his choosing rather than bending to the invasion of a War of men in the name of control through God. The many aspects of Goddess Asherah included Ashratum, Atharath, Astoreth, Elath, Eliat, Queen of Heaven, Lady of the Sea and She Who Gives Birth to the Gods. She has been called the mother of the Goddess Anath and Mother of Baʿal. It is well accepted in a time of God dominated worship it was as always the women who kept the Goddess alive.” [2]

“Even though Her name changes, Asherah remains the feminine face of God down through the present day. Her themes are kindness, love, divination and foresight. Her symbols are lions, lilies, a tree or a pole and a triangle on a pole or a cross.” [3]

 

 

“As women and daughters of the Goddess we remember this lost Goddess. Though Her myths are scarce, we know Her well. She is the Maiden, Mother and Crone that has existed since the beginning. She is beautiful, taking on the face of Her people and She is the strength of Her people. She is promise of the future and She is the wisdom of the ancestors. She is the prosperity and peace they know form living tribal in harmony and respect for each other. She is the treasured Mother Earth that sustains them and She is the blood of their life. We only need to turn within to know this Goddess man would try to erase.

"Tree Goddess" by Octavia Cheetham

As women it is through us She lives. In remembering Goddess Asherah we acknowledge our voice of self and the gift we have today to be authentic.  In remembering Goddess Asherah we also acknowledge how easily this can be striped from us by all who would think to program us with their thinking. As in the day of old we must recognize those who would know best for us without giving thought to who we would choose to be and we must not give that of ourselves. It is with open eyes we must take responsibility for ourselves and the magick or chaos we call forth in our life. We must know Goddess to know this truth least we surrender and forget.

As women we must remember or origins back to our primal Goddess of beginnings. In Her there is sanctuary and abundance of self. There is no true sanctuary without Her; there are only repeated patterns of disappointments. As women we gather and celebrate the lost Goddess Asherah that we might be lost as well. Blessed Be to Goddess Asherah and blessed be to the Goddess within.” [4]

 

 

Sources:

Coven of the Goddess, “Goddess Asherah, the Forgotten Goddess“.

Medusa. Order of the White Moon, “Asherah“.

Spiral Goddess Grove, “Asherah Altar“.

Suggested Links:

Carisa. Queen of Heaven, “Asherah, Part I: The Lost Bride of Yahweh” ; “Asherah: Part II: The Serpent’s Bride“; “Asherah” Part III: The Lion Lady“.

Binger, Tilde.  Asherah: Goddesses in Ugarit, Israel and the Old Testament.

Monaghan, Patricia. Goddesses in World Culture, “Asherah: Hidden Goddess of the Bible“. (p. 39 – 54).

PaganNews.com, “Asherah“.

Rankine, David. The Cosmic Shekinah, “The Goddess Asherah“.

Stuckey, Johanna H. MatriFocus Web Magazine for Goddess Women,  “Asherah and the God of the Early Israelites“.

Goddess Tashmit

"Mary" by Pamela Matthews

“Tashmit’s themes are prayer, blessing, unity and hope.  Her symbols are folded hands.  The Goddess is timeless and eternal, and She has many faces with which She conveys the concepts of truth and beauty to the world’s people. Tashmit, the Chaldean Goddess of wisdom and teaching, in particular, stands ready today. Her name means ‘bearing’; it is She who listens intently to our prayers.

On the first Friday in March, people in over 170 countries join in prayer, and the Goddess asks that we do similarly. Prayer is something that seems to have gone by the wayside in our ‘instant’ world. Yet, it takes only a moment to honor the sacred. This prayer is but one example; change or adapt it liberally to suit your needs and vision:

Lady of Wisdom, Tashmit, I come to you for guidance
Shine on my path today that I might see others in an equal light
That I might walk the Path of Beauty with a loving heart and peaceful spirit
Hear the voices of your people raised together today in oneness
Hear our  prayers
Let us find unity in diversity
Heal the world
Let us know peace and guard it as sacred
With a thankful heart, so be it.'”

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

"Deep Thoughts" by Hojatollah Shakiba

“Tashmit was the Assyrian spouse of Nebo.  Her name signifies ‘Obedience’…or ‘Hearing’ and carried the prayers of worshippers to Her spouse.  As Isis interceded with Osiris, She interceded with Nebo, on behalf of mankind.  But this did not signify that She was the least influential of the divine pair.  A Goddess played many parts: She was at once mother, daughter and wife of god; servant of one god or the ‘mighty queen of all the gods’.  The Great Mother was…regarded as the eternal and undecaying one; the gods passed away, son succeeding father; She alone remained.  To Her was ascribed all the mighty works of other days in the lands where the indigenous peoples first worshipped the Great Mother as Damkina, Nina, Bau, Ishtar, or Tashmit, because the Goddess was anciently believed to be the First Cause, the creatrix, the mighty one who invested the ruling god with the powers he possessed–the god who held sway because he was Her husband, as did Nergal as the husband of Eresh-ki-gal, queen of Hades.”

Tashmit was a Goddess of supplication and love who had a lunar significance.  A prayer addressed to Her in association with Nannar (Sin) and Ishtar, proceeds:

‘In the evil of the eclipse of the moon which … has taken place, In the evil of the powers, of the portents, evil and not good, which are in my palace and my land, (I) have turned towards thee!… Before Nabu (Nebo) thy spouse, thy lord, the prince, the first-born of E-sagila, intercede for me! May he hearken to my cry at the word of thy mouth; may he remove my sighing, may he learn my supplication!’
The Goddess Damkina is similarly addressed in another prayer:

O Damkina, mighty queen of all the gods, O wife of Ea, valiant art thou, O Ir-nina, mighty queen of all the gods … Thou that dwellest in the Abyss, O lady of heaven and earth!… In the evil of the eclipse of the moon, etc.

The Goddess Bau is also prayed in a similar connection as ‘mighty lady that dwellest in the bright heavens’, i.e. ‘Queen of heaven’.” [1]

Tashmit is also mentioned in a Penitential Psalm “that was said by a petitioner after singing a hymn of praise to the god Marduk: …’O brave Marduk, destroy my sin, do away my sin. O great goddess Erua, destroy my sin.  O Nabu, of fair name, destroy my sin.  O goddess Tashmit, destroy my sin.  O brave Nergal, destroy my sin.  O ye gods who dwell in the heaven of An‘, destroy my sin…'” [2]

Other names and/or Goddesses that Tishmit has been associated with are: Urmit, Varamit, Ninkarrak and Nisaba. [3]

 

 

Sources:

Budge, E. A. Wallis. Babylonian Life and History at p. 134.

Mackenzie, Donald A. Myths of Babylonia and Assyria at pp. 350 – 351.

Sophia, “Holy Wisdom”.


Binah

"Goddess of the Black Moon V1NC" by Roland Burbon

“Binah’s themes are peace, cooperation, unity and spirituality.  Her symbols are bees, lilies and lead. In Cabalistic tradition, Binah embodies spiritual discernment, love, stability and awareness. As the third sephirah of the Tree of Life, Binah becomes a Divine Mother, guiding Her children toward attainment and comprehension.

Her name literally translates as ‘the understanding’, which gives form and function to all other aspects of life. Bees are sacred to Her (as divine messengers), as are lilies (white in purity), and lead (which gives us a foothold in reality).

Binah’s energy was present in 1934 when Brotherhood Day began to bring people of diverse faiths together in an atmosphere of tolerance and respect. The thrust of the day is universal brotherhood, accenting our likenesses instead of our differences.

So, take time today to learn more about other faiths and foster an open exchange of ideas. Perhaps visit a church or temple and observe quietly, seeing the the Goddess is there too.

To promote strong spiritual roots in your own life, as well as the understanding to nature those roots, try this spell:

Take a piece of lead (maybe from a pencil) and hold it in your dominant hand, saying:

‘Binah, walk with me; understanding impart
Every day be part of my Heart.’

Write this down and put the incantation in your shoe so that Binah will walk with you wherever you may be.”

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

Binah is the Intuitive Self, Understanding, the Foundation of primordial Wisdom. Understanding is the essence of Binah. Wisdom suggests complete and infinite knowledge while Understanding suggests the ability to grasp the unfoldment or use of this wisdom. She is Organization and Form as well as Female Potency. Her Yetziratic title is ‘The Sanctifying Intelligence’ (that which makes consecrates and makes holy) and the three other names for Her signify Binah’s triple aspect – Marah, the Great Sea, The Mother of all Living from which all life has its beginnings (and which is the root for Mary, Mother of all living); Aimah, the Fertile or Light Mother and Ama, the Dark Mother and Crone; all aspects of the Goddess from innocent Persephone to terrifying Cailleache belong to Binah. She is the archetypal womb from which all life sprang into existence. The Hebrew God-name for Binah is Elohim which is a feminine beginning ending with a male pronoun – in other words – the Gods and Goddesses to whom She gives birth. Binah is the Supernal Mother – the Feminine Aspect of God.  She is compared to other Goddesses like Shakti, Maya, Anima Mundi and the black Madonna.

Keter, Kochma & Binah form a balanced triad: The infinite realized self (Keter), Spiritual will and purpose (Kochma) and Spiritual love and awareness (Binah).

Binah is associated with the color black.  She is not depicted as a dark woman per se, but the characteristics suggest it. Binah is one of the levels in the Tree of Life system.  Each accomplished point is characterized by a color and aspects.  Near the top of this tree is a dark sphere called Binah. It is the Third Path.  The next two paths are called Kochma (the Second Path) and Keter (the First Path).  Binah is linked to the Supernal Mother and the womb.

Binah is black because She is veiled, conceiling the brillance that lies underneath.  Binah is a disciplind teacher, Her form is Saturn and demands patience and consistency from Her student.  She can answer all questions, even those that are most difficult.  Binah works slowly because She is powerful.  It takes much discipline and understanding to manage the full power found on path of Binah.  Because of the special connection to Saturn, many assume Binah is masculine but in essence is feminine.  Even with all the demands Binah makes on those in the soul-cultivation process of the Kabbalah, Binah is a dotting mother, nurturing and given to help those influenced by Her to grow and mature strongly.

The virtue of Binah is Silence. Silence invites receptivity. If we are silent, we can listen and so learn, but if we are talking the gates of entrance to the mind are closed. It is the resistance and receptivity of Binah which are Her chief powers and what She uses to destroy Her enemies. As one learns and achieves a level of wisdom, the wisdom must be shared not hoarded.

Binah is the mark of the scientific and rational thinking.  Other characteristics include rational intelligence which is displayed and cultivated in philosophers, scientists and writers. (Matomah Alesha, The First Book of the Black Goddess, p. 249).

In Binah you come to understand that true understanding stems from knowing what you must struggle through and what you must let go of to grow. It is here that you learn the whys of the necessity of restrictions, of forms, and of limitations operating within your life. It is here that you touch and understand the mysteries of birth and death for what they really are, the transition of the immortal soul to a higher plane, purpose, and being. [1][2]

BINAH – THE GREAT MOTHER
God Name – Elohim
Archangel – Tzafkiel
Virtue – Silence
Vice – Avarice
Titles – Ama, Aima, Mara, The Sanctifying Intelligence
Magickal Image – Mature Woman, Vagina
Gods – Saturn, Kronos, Frigg, Kali, Cailleache, Demeter
Planet – Saturn
Stone – Pearl
Animal – Dove, Raven
Herbs – Cypress, Lily Poppy
Fragrance – Myrrh
Experience – the Sorrow of Life which must be transcended
Symbols – Vulva, Chalice and Veil

CROWN CHAKRA MEDITATION

We can invoke Binah to help balance our Crown chakra. Here is a simple Binah Meditation in which Binah’s energy can help you restore inner balance, mental clarity and a connection to spirit back into your life. To invoke the powerful and positive characteristics of Binah, gather together several violet-energy gemstones. Light a violet or white candle (to symbolize the violet or white energy of the Crown chakra) and ask to receive Binah’s energy and abundance. Ask Her to enter your Crown chakra. When you do this, you may feel a tingling sensation – this is normal and just means you have connected with this chakra. Ask Binah to heal your chakra and help restore balance. Sit in this space for a while and when you feel ready, thank Binah and bring your conscious mind back to the room you are in. Hopefully you will feel restored, energized and in balance after this simple meditation. [3]

For some further in-depth and detailed information on Binah, please visit Isis Book & Gift, Qabalisitc Magic Article Lesson 10: Binah and WisdomsDoor/Reality Creator Books, Binah: The Tree of Life.  Also check out The Internet Sacred Text Archieve, The Kabbalah and Whispering Worlds, The Tree Of Life: The Kabbalah.

Goddess Sarasvati

“Goddess Saraswati”

“Sarasvati’s themes are learning, wisdom and communication.  Her symbols are white flowers (especially Lotus), marigolds and swans. A Hindu Goddess of eloquence and intelligence, Sarasvati extends a refreshing drink from her well of knowledge to complete the month with aptitude. In Hindu tradition, Sarasvati invented all sciences, arts and writing. In works of arts she is depicted as white-skinned and graceful, riding on a swan or sitting on an open lotus blossom.

Today is an excellent time to embark on any course of study or to reinforce your learning in a specific area. In Hindu tradition, Sarasvati’s festival is held on or around this date. During the celebration, students gather in the Katmandu Valley (Nepal) bearing gifts for the Goddess, who visits here today. Traditional offerings at the temples include lotus and marigold blossoms and incense, while students often bring pens or books to invoke Sarasvati’s aid with their studies.

Adapting this a bit, try dabbing your personal tools or educational books with a little lotus oil, and burn any sweet-scented incense to improve your awareness (rosemary is a good choice).

To generate Sarasvati’s assistance in matters of communication, find a white flower and remove its petals. Place these in any moving water source, saying something like:

‘Sarasvati, let my words bear gentle beauty and truth
falling lightly on other’s ears
even as these petals to the water.’

Let the water (which also represents this Goddess) carry your wish.”

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

Patricia Monaghan wrote: “As every Hindu god must have a Shakti, or enlivening female force, to function, so Brahma the creator needed Sarasvati for the world to come into being. She is not only the water Goddesses, one of the trinity that also includes Ganga and Yamuna, but She is also the Goddess of eloquence, which pours forth like a flooding river.

Inventor of all the arts and sciences, patron of all intellectual endeavors, Sarasvati is the very prototype of the female artist. She invented writing so that the songs She inspired could be recorded; She created music so the elegance of her being could be praised. In her identity as Vach, Goddess of speech, She caused all words to come into being, including religious writings. Sometimes it is said that She is the rival of Laksmi, Goddess of material wealth; if anyone has the favor of one Goddess, the other will turn away so that no one is ever blessed with both Sarasvati’s genius and Laksmi’s blessing” (p. 273).

Saraswati, known as Sraosha in Zoroastrianism is the guardian of earth. Sraosha (“obedience”) is also the wife and messenger of Ahura Mazda, and her role as the “Teacher of Daena”, Daena being the hypostasis of both “Conscience” and “Religion”. She also guides the souls of the deceased to find their way to the afterlife. Her symbolic animal is the peacock, whose crowing calls the pious to their religious duties. She is also called Druga for fighting off Drug (Drug, the name for female demon in ancient Veda, from the Sanskrit root druh “to be hostile”). The name Druga is made of Sanskrit dru or dur “with difficulty” and gā or jā (“come”, “go”). Saraswati is known as a guardian deity in Buddhism who upholds the teachings of Gautama Buddha by offering protection and assistance to practitioners. She is known in Burmese as Thurathadi or Tipitaka Medaw, Chinese as Biàncáitiān (辯才天), in Thai as Surasawadee (สุรัสวดี) and in Japanese as Benzaiten (弁才天/弁財天). In the East Indian states of Bihar, West Bengal, Orissa: Saraswati is considered to be a daughter of Lord Shiva and Durga along with her sister Lakshmi and her brothers Ganesha and Karthikeya. [1]

It is believed that Goddess Saraswati endows human beings with the powers of speech, wisdom and learning. She has four hands representing four aspects of human personality in learning: mind, intellect, alertness and ego. [2]

“Sarasvati is one of the many faces refelceted in the image of the Divine Mother.  Called the Goddess of the Word, Sarasvati means “the one who gives the essence (Sara) or our own Self (Swa).”  She is also known as the Goddess of Learning and is the consort (wife) of the Hindu God Brahma (the Creator).

Considered knowledge itself personified as a feminine deity, Sarasvati is closely identified with culture, language, speech, wisdom, intellect, creativity and inspiration.  She contains all forms within Her, pervades all creation and is the power of intellegence and thought.” [3]  She is the Goddess of eloquence, and words pour from Her like a sweetly flowing river. One myth of this Goddess is that She is a jealous rival of the Goddess of wealth, Lakshmi, and that pursuing wealth alone will assure that Sarasvati’s gifts will desert you.

“She holds in her four hands a vina instrument, an akshamala (prayer beads) in the right hand, and a pustaka (book) in the left, which represents the knowledge of all sciences. Holding the book or scriptures in one hand also indicates that this knowledge alone can bring us to the Truth. The vina shows the beauty of learning the fine arts. Playing her vina, she tunes the mind and intellect with her knowledge, and thus the seeker can be in harmony with the universe. The prayer beads represent all spiritual sciences, like meditation and japa (chanting the holy names of God), and, being held in the right hand, that it is more important than the secular knowledge contained in the book in her left hand. Her four arms represent her unrestricted power in the four directions. She also represents creativity, or the combination of power and intelligence, the basis of creativity.” [4]

The following popular ‘pranam mantra’ or Sanskrit prayer, Saraswati devotees utter with utmost devotion eulogizes the goddess of knowledge and arts:

Om Saraswati Mahabhagey, Vidye Kamala Lochaney |

Viswarupey Vishalakshmi, Vidyam Dehi Namohastutey ||
Jaya Jaya Devi, Charachara Sharey, Kuchayuga Shobhita, Mukta Haarey |
Vina Ranjita, Pustaka Hastey, Bhagavati Bharati Devi Namohastutey ||

The beautiful human form of Saraswati comes to the fore in this English translation of the Saraswati hymn:

“May Goddess Saraswati,
who is fair like the jasmine-colored moon,
and whose pure white garland is like frosty dew drops;
who is adorned in radiant white attire,
on whose beautiful arm rests the veena,
and whose throne is a white lotus;
who is surrounded and respected by the Gods, protect me.
May you fully remove my lethargy, sluggishness, and ignorance.”
[5]

I had to throw this in.  Looking at the Hindu Sarasvati, Goddess of learning and the creative arts, She bears some striking resemblances to Brigit, as well as some important differences. Click here to read further in exploring  the image of Sarasvati as She appears in the Vedas and is developed in later Hinduism, compared images of  Brigit.

Sources:

Das, Subhamoy. About.com, “Saraswati: Goddess of Knowledge & Arts“.

Knapp, Stephen. Stephen-knapp.com, “Sarasvati, the Goddess of Learning“.

Prophet, Elizabeth & Mark L. Sacredwind.com, “Sarasvati“.

Wikipedia, “Saraswati“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Faerywillow. Thegoddesstree.com, “Sarasvati“.

Wood, Hilaire. Brigitsforge.co.uk, “Sarasvati, Brigit and the Sacred Word“.

Yarber, Angela. Feminismandreligion.com, “Painting Saraswati By Angela Yarber“.

Goddess Jun Ti

18 Arms of Cundi Bodhisattva

“Jun Ti’s themes are long life, fertility, wisdom and tradition.  Her symbols are dragons, sun and moon, the numbers 3 and 18.

This Chinese Buddhist Goddess oversees all matters of life generously. In works of art she is depicted as living on Polaris, the star around which all things revolve, including each individual’s fate. She has three eyes for wise discernment, eighteen arms holding weapons with to protect Her people, and a dragon’s head that symbolizes Her power and wisdom.

Jun Ti can help you live a more fulfilled life this year be overseeing your fortune and well-being. To encourage Her assistance, think silver and gold (or white and yellow) – the colors of the moon and the sun. Wear items is these hues, or perhaps have a glass of milk followed by pineapple juice in the morning to drink fully of her attributes!

On or around this day, the Chinese take to the streets with new year festivities that last two weeks. Eating various rice-based dishes today encourages fertility, respect and long life, while wearing new shoes brings Jun Ti’s luck. It is also customary to be on one’s best behavior and honor the ancestors throughout the day for good fortune. The climax of festivities is a dragon parade, the beast, Jun Ti’s sacred animal, being associated with ancient knowledge and tradition. So, find a way to commemorate your personal of family customs today to draw Jun Ti’s attention and blessing.”

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

While researching Jun Ti this evening, as with many of the East Asian Goddesses I research, I ran across several variations of Her name to include Jun DiZhunti/Zhuenti, Chun Ti, Chandi, Cundi, Cundi Guan Yin and Juntei Kannon.  I also found some associations with the Taoist Goddess Dou Mu Yuan JunKwan YinAvalokiteśvara and Marici.

Cundi is immensely popular in East Asian Buddhism. While Cundi is less well known in the Tibetan Vajrayāna Buddhist community, she is revered in the Chinese and Japanese Buddhist Esoteric sects. In China, she is known as Zhǔntí Púsà (準提菩薩, “Cundi Bodhisattva”) or Zhǔntí Fómǔ (準提佛母, “Cundi Buddha-Mother”), while in Japan she is known as Juntei Kannon (准胝観音, “Cundi Avalokitasvara”). She is recognized as one of the many forms Guan Yin – the Bodhisattva of Compassion. A Bodhisattva is anyone who vows to cultivate Wisdom and Compassion to save sentient beings from suffering.

The word ‘Cundi’ literally means ‘extremely pure’. Due to Her status as the Mother of all the Lotus Deities in Tantrism, so She has the epithet of Mother Buddha, Cundi Mother Buddha is also called the Seven Koti Mother Buddha, which means that She is the Mother of Seven Billion Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.

The cult of Cundi probably originated from Mahayana Buddhism’s absorption of some elements of Indian religion in which the Mahayanists accepted the Goddess Chandi as a bodhisattva (just as many Chinese deities were eventually absorbed into the pantheon of Chinese Buddhism and declared by Chinese Buddhists to be “Dharma protectors”). Perhaps the original intended audience of the Maha Cundi Dharani Sutra were devotees of Chandi who believed in the efficacy of magic spells and as an upaya, a text that would appeal to them and encoded with Buddhist teachings was composed. The Dharma is infinitely accommodating and can be expressed in different ways to people of different levels and perceptions.

Cundi can be seen as a personification of the Enlightened Mind of Compassionate Wisdom. Her devotees revere her as “The Mother of Seven Million Buddhas”. This is perhaps a poetic way of saying that the Reality which Cundi represents is the Source of All Enlightenment. Each one of Cundi’s eighteen arms represent a particular quality of enlightenment such as the unflagging zeal to save sentient beings and perfect knowledge of the past, present and future. Each one of her hands are either forming a mudra or holding an instrument symbolizing an activity characteristic of an enlightened being. For example in one of her arms, Cundi holds an axe which signifies the elimination of evil. Another of Cundi’s arms form the Abhaya Mudrā which signifies the bestowing fearlessness to Her devotees.

Jun Ti

A production of Lucky Thanka

The Symbolism and Meaning of the Eighteen Arms of Cundi
Cundi is depicted seated with eighteen arms, all wielding implements that symbolize skillful means of the Dharma or Tantra.  The symbolism of each arm is as follows:
1. The original 2 hands forming the root Mudra of Expounding the Dharma represents the fluency of elucidating all Dharma.
2. The hand holding the wondrous precious banner represents the ability to build a most magnificent, great monastery.
3. The hand forming the Fearless Mudra represents the ability to deliver sentient beings away from all terror and fears.
4. The hand holding a lotus flower represents the purification of the six senses which, untainted, are as pure as the lotus flower.
5. The hand holding a sword of wisdom represents the severing of the entanglements of afflictions and the three poisons of greed, anger and ignorance.
6. The hand holding an empowerment vase represents the flowing of nectar to nurture all sentient beings so that they may receive the empowerment of the buddhas.
7. The hand holding a wonderful jewelled headdress represents the wish to be linked to wonderful dharma art.
8. The hand holding a vajra lasso represents the ability to attract all into the yoga tantra.
9. The hand holding a wonderful celestial fruit represents the accomplishment of the fruition of enlightenment, and the extensive cultivation of good karma.
10. The hand holding an eight-spoke wheel represents the constant turning of the great dharma wheel, radiating its magnificent lights over the three lower realms.
11. The hand holding a battle axe represents the elimination of all evil practices and the severing of attachment to oneself and others.
12. The hand holding a large dharma shell represents the expounding of pure Dharma which shakes the universe.
13. The hand holding a vajra hook represents the skill to magnetize and attract all phenomena within one’s view.
14. The hand holding a wish-fulfilling vase represents the function of manifesting all treasures and scriptures at will.
15. The hand holding a vajra represents the collective convergence of support given by the eight classes of celestial beings and dragons. It also represents the subjugation of stubborn sentient beings.
16. The hand holding a wisdom sutra represents the self-cognition of knowing the profound and wonderful truth without any guidance from a teacher.
17. The hand holding a mani or wish-fulfilling pearl represents the vibrant and luminous state of mind which is flawless, pure and perfect.
18. The two original hands, beginning with the first hand, are held in the Dharma Expounding Mudra. Hence, the eighteen arms.

Some images of Cundi Bodhisattva depict different gestures, such as forming the root mudra or holding mala beads. The meaning remains the same, regardless. Her eighteen arms also represent the eighteen merits of attaining Buddhahood, as described in an appendix to the Cundī Dhāraṇī Sūtra or that of Cundi Bodhisattva.

 Details of Cundi’s iconography can be found here.

Additional Sources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cundi_(Buddhism)
http://cundimantra.weebly.com/
http://www.godchecker.com/pantheon/chinese-mythology.php?deity=JUN-DI
http://www.meditationexpert.com/meditation-techniques/m_buddhist_zhunti_meditation_opens_your_heart_chakra_for_enlightenment.htm
http://www.taoistsecret.com/taoistgod.html#17
http://www.thangka-art.blogspot.com/view/classic
http://theyoungpolytheistic.blogspot.com/2011/07/gods-and-goddesses-jun-di.html

Goddess Gunnlod

"Gunnlöð" by Anders Zorn

“Gunnlod – Her themes are creativity, wisdom, health, protection and fertility.
Her symbols are mead, poetry, the cauldron or cup and apples.  This Teutonic Goddess guards the mead (a honey wine often made with apples) of sagacity and the muse – a refreshment most welcome at the outset of a new year. In art, Gunnlod is depicted as a giantess; according to stories about her, she stood vigilantly by the magic cauldron of Odherie until Odin wooed her and stole much of the elixir away.

For inspiration and insight, pick out a cup that’s special to you and fill it with apple tea and a teaspoon of honey (a mock mead). Stir it clockwise, saying:
‘Gunnlod, come to me
put ingenuity in this tea.’

Drink the tea to internalize the magic. If possible, sip it quietly while enjoying a good book of heartening poetry.

Alternatively, sip some mead, quaff some apple juice or eat an apple today for health and give a little of the leftover liquid to nearby trees. In Anglo-Saxon tradition, Wassail Day marked a time to enjoy wassail, a spiced apple cider or mead with herbs. Farmers shared this beverage with the apple groves to keep them fertile. Wassail literally means ‘be well’ or ‘be whole’. Drink of the wassail cup to ensure yourself of Gunnlod’s gifts of well-being, creativity and happiness all year.”

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

Odin and Gunnlöd

In Norse mythology, Gunnlöð (Old Norse “war-foam”) is a giantess. Her name could be written as Gunnlod.

She is daughter of the giant Suttungr, who was set guard by her father in the cavern where he housed the mead of poetry Her grandfather was Giling. Gunnlöð was seduced by Odin, who according to the Prose Edda bargained three nights of sex for three sips of the mead and then tricked her, stealing all of it. However, the poem Hávamál of the Poetic Edda tells the story a bit differently:

Gunnlod sat me in the golden seat,
Poured me precious mead:
Ill reward she had from me for that,
For her proud and passionate heart,
Her brooding foreboding spirit.
What I won from her I have well used:
I have waxed in wisdom since I came back,
bringing to Asgard Odhroerir,
the sacred draught.
Hardly would I have come home alive
From the garth of the grim troll,
Had Gunnlod not helped me, the good woman,
Who wrapped her arms around me.

 It would seem, from this version of the tale, that Gunnlöð helped Odin willingly, and that he thought well of her in return. [1]

Click here to read Gunnlod’s tale from Elizabeth Vongisith.

Befana

“Befana’s themes are overcoming evil and wisdom. Her symbols are brooms, horns and hag poppets.  Befana is the Italian crone Goddess. Call on her for wisdom and guidance through the other eleven months of the year. Because she has lived a long life, her astute insight will serve you well. Today is her festival day in Italy, celebrated with horns, noise makers, songs and music. These loud sounds drive out evil and mark the passage of winter’s darkness of the region. Have any children in your life follow the Italian tradition of leaving Befana a broom to fly on and a gift basket. According to legend, Befana rewards this kindness with little gifts in stockings, much like Santa Claus.

Find a ‘kitchen witch’ at a gift shop and hang it up near the hearth to welcome Befana’s wisdom into your home. Or, take a broom clockwise around your home, sweeping inward toward a central spot to gather her beneficent energies.

To protect your home for the rest of the year, use a kazoo or other noise maker (pots with wooden spoons work well). Go into each room and make a loud racket, saying something like this:
‘All evil, fear ! Befana is here!
Away, away, only goodness may stay.’

If your schedule allows, make a poppet that looks like an old woman. Fill it with dried garlic, pearl onions and any other herbs you associate with safety. Keep this near the stove or hearth to invoke Befana’s protection.”

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

Suggested Links:

Dragonfly, Talitha. Witchvox.com, “La Befana“.

Richter, Athmey M. Sacredmistsblog.com, “Witches of Antiquity: Befana, the Santa Claus Witch of Epiphany“.

Wikipedia, “Befana“.

 

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