Tag Archive: women


Goddess Ix Chebel Yax

“Ix Chel” by Hrana Janto

“Ix Chebel Yax’s themes are protection, banishing, health, providence and home. Her symbols are lunar emblems, spinning tools and baskets.  In Guatemala, this Goddess bears a striking resemblance to Ix Chel (see May 7) in that She teaches spinning, weaving and basketry to humans. More important, She is a mother figure who watches over all household concerns from the moon, Her home.

Part of the Guatemalan advent season, La Quema del Diablo (The Burning of the Devil) finds people burning bundles of garbage in ritual fires to banish the spirit of evil, negativity and sin from their midst, especially from the home. Doing so also purifies the people, keeping them healthy and staving off hunger. Considering that winter is in full swing, this isn’t a bad idea. Go through your living space and gather up any garbage (including items that have been waiting for a trip to the second-hand shop). Find one item that can be safely burned, and snip a swatch off of it. Release it to any fire source to burn away any tensions or sickness troubling your home.

Afterward, clean as much of your house or apartment as time will allow. Invoke Ix Chebel Yax’s blessing by placing a spool of thread in the room where you’re working (white or green are good choices for peace and health, respectively). Carry this spool from room to room, then put it in your pocket for the day to keep the Goddess and her providence close by.”

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

“Ixchel, Mayan Goddess of the Moon” by Rita Torfs

My research on today’s Goddess from a few different sources seem to back up the claim that very well could have been the same Goddess known as Ix Chel.  Many of the sites that I found that had mentioned Ix Chebel Yax were in Spanish, so honestly, I didn’t browse through or translate too many of them.  In one source, I found that: “Ix Chebel Ya’ax was the wife Itzamná, patron Goddess of painting and embroidery. She was portrayed with a snake coiled on the head and a roll of cotton. Ix Chebel accompanies Itzamná Ya’ax as he also throws water on earth. [1]

Another site stated that “Ix Chebel Yax is the mother of all gods and goddesses. As consort of Itzamna, Mayan creator god, She is also therefore a creator Goddess. Weaving and working cloth was an important feature of all Mesoamerican civilizations, even before the Maya and the Aztecs. Because of this, Ix Chebel Yax occupied a very important position in the pantheon for Mayan women. ” [2]

 

 

 

Sources:

Es.wikipedia.org, “Mayan Pantheon“.

Tribes.tribe.net, “Ix Chebel Yax“.

 

Suggested Links:

Bradley, Kris. Mrs. B’s Guide to Household Witchery: Everyday Magic, Spells and Recipes, “Ix Chebel Yax (Mayan)“.

Kampen, Michael E. Iconography of Religions: Ancient America.

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This was shared with me this evening, and to be honest, I had never heard of this day before – so I really wanted to share and pass this on.

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“Just if you happen to have a spare second and a spare prayer tomorrow…

In Canada, December 6th is the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. It is so named in remembrance of the 14 women that were murdered and 10 that were injured solely for being women in an engineering school. They were separated from the male students, and gunned down… just for being female. Their murderer claimed he was ‘fighting feminism’.

I know it’s a Canadian thing, and we’re not all women here, but it’s something I try to spread word about every year as much as I can. I went to school for engineering, and I very much feel their loss on this day.

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I really appreciate you taking the time to have a read. We’ve come a long way since 1989, but I think the prevention of violence of any kind, anywhere, is something we can all still get behind. ♥ ” – Tara Loughborough

Goddess Mama Kilya

“Mama Quilla” by Lisa Hunt

“Mama Kilya’s themes are fire, the sun, cycles, spring, time, divination, health and prosperity. Her symbols are fire and golden/yellow items. In Incan tradition, Mama Kilya regulates the festival calendar and all matters of time. She is also a prophetic Goddess, often warning of impending danger through eclipses. When these occur, one should make as much noise a possible to frighten away evil influences.

Because they live south of the equator, Incans consider today, which for them is the spring equinox, the sun’s birthday.  Follow with tradition and rise early today to catch the first rays of the sun as they come over the horizon. These rays hold the Goddess’s blessing for health, prosperity, and timeliness.

Another customary practice today was that of sun and fire divinations. If the sun in shining, sit beneath a tree and watch the patterns it creates in the shadows and light. Keep a question in mind as you watch, and see what images Mama Kilya creates in response. Make note of these and look them up in dream symbol books or any guide to imagery for potential interpretive values.

Should the weather be poor, place any yellow-colored herbs on a fire source and watch what happens. Popping and flying indicates lots of energy and a positive response. Smouldering indicates anger and an iffy response. Finally, flames dying out completely is a negative-definitely don’t move forward on this one.”

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

“Goddess: Mama Quilla” by Dylan Meconis

“Mama Quilla (QuechuaMama Killa or Mama Kilya), in Inca mythology and religion, was the third power and Goddess of the moon. She was the sister and wife of Inti, daughter of Viracocha and mother of Manco Cápac and Mama Ocllo, mythical founders of the Inca empire and culture. She was the Goddess of marriage and the menstrual cycle, and considered a defender of women. She was also important for the Inca calendar.

Myths surrounding Mama Quilla include that She cried tears of silver and that lunar eclipses were caused when She was being attacked by an animal. She was envisaged in the form of a beautiful woman and Her temples were served by dedicated priestesses.” [1]

Patricia Monaghan writes: “In ancient Peru, [Mama Quilla] was the name of the moon Goddess, imagined as a silver disk with a woman’s face.  ‘Mother Moon’ was honored at regular calendar-fixed rituals, especially held during eclipses, when a supernatural jaguar attempted to devour Her” (p. 206).

“Mama Quilla” by Ramona Frederickson

“[Another] myth surrounding the moon was to account for the ‘dark spots‘; it was believed that a fox fell in love with Mama Quilla because of Her beauty, but when he rose into the sky, She squeezed him against Her, producing the patches.  The Incas would fear lunar eclipses as they believed that during the eclipse, an animal (possibly a mountain lion, serpent or puma) was attacking Mama Quilla. Consequently, people would attempt to scare away the animal by throwing weapons, gesturing and making as much noise as possible. They believed that if the animal achieved its aim, then the world would be left in darkness. This tradition continued after the Incas had been converted to Catholicism by the Conquistadors, which the Spanish used to their advantage. The natives showed the Spanish great respect when they found that they were able to predict when the eclipses would take place.” [2]

 

 

 

Sources:

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

Wikipedia, “Mama Quilla“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

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

Bingham, Ann & Jeremy Roberts. South and Meso-American Mythology A to Z, “Mama Quilla“.

Browne, Sylvia. Mother God: The Feminine Principle to Our Creator.

Conway, Deanna J. Moon Magick: Myth & Magic, Crafts & Recipes, Rituals & Spells.

Friedman, Amy. Uexpress.com, “Tell Me a Story: The People of the Sun (an Incan Myth)“.

Hunt, Lisa. Celestial Goddesses: An Illustrated Meditation Guide, “Mama Quilla“.

Shewhodreams.weebly.com, “Mama Quilla“.

Waldherr, Kris. Goddess Inspiration Oracle, “Mama Quilla“.

Goddess Anahita

(This is another of the several Goddesses that Patricia Telesco makes a second entry on in her book.  You can view my previous entry on Anahita here.)

“Inanna” by Lisa Hunt

“Anahita’s themes are honor, love, fertility, pleasure and cleansing. Her symbols are water, lunar objects and colors and green branches.  Anahita is the Zoroastrian moon Goddess who shines upon the darkness in our lives, replacing loneliness with true love, barrenness with fertility and impotence with pleasurable unions. She is the Lady of Heaven, the flowing force of the cosmos, whose name means ‘Pure’. A traditional offering for Anahita is green branches, which represent Her life-giving power.

Today marks the birthday of Zoroaster, the founder of a religious sect that influenced the Magi of the Bible. Amidst Zoroaster’s pantheon we find this Goddess, radiating with the beautiful things of life, but only after a good ‘house cleansing’. Honor Her by washing your floors with pine-scented cleanser (i.e. green branches so her energies can purify the sacred space of home.) Afterward, light a white candle to represent Anahita’s presence therein. Add a simple invocation like this one:

‘Lady of Purity, Lady of Light, be welcome in my home and my heart.’

Purify yourself, too, so that Anahita’s passion can flow unhindered. Take a ritual bath, adding any woodsy aromatic to the water. As you wash up, say,

‘Anahita, carry the darkness away,
so my body and spirit may revel in your pleasures,
giving and receiving them equally.’

Then spend time with your loved one, letting nature take its course.”

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

“Morning Star” by Mahmoud Farshchian

Patricia Monaghan tells us that Anahita was called the “‘Immaculate one’, also called Ardvi Sura Anahita (‘humid, strong, immaculate one’), She was one of the ruling deities of the Persian Empire. Anahita embodied the physical and metaphoric qualities of water, the fertilizing force that flowed from Her supernatural fountain in the stars.  By extension She ruled semen – which flows forth and fertilizes  – and thus human generation as well as all other forms of earthly propagation.

A 4th century BCE depiction of Anahita, radiant and mounted on a lion, being worshipped by Artaxerxes II.

She originated in Babylonia, whence She traveled to Egypt to appear as an armed and mounted Goddess.  Her worship spread east as well; She became the most popular Persian deity, worshiped, it is said, even by the great god Ahura Mazda himself.  Nevertheless, Zoroaster did his best to ignore Anahita, although later writings reveal that the sage was specifically commanded by his male god to honor Her.

“Persian Pride” by Hojatollah Shakiba

In this tall and powerful maiden, Her people saw the image of both the mother and the warrior; She was a protective mother to Her people, generously nurturing them while fiercely defending them from enemies.  In statuary, Anahita was the ‘golden mother’, arrayed in golden kerchief, square gold earrings, and a jeweled diadem, wrapped in a gold embroidered cloak adorned with thirty otter skins. She was also described as driving through our world in a chariot drawn by four white horses that signify wind, rain, clouds, and hail.

‘Great Lady Anahita, glory and life-giver of our nation, mother of sobriety and benefactor of mankind,’ the Armenians called out to their beloved Goddess.  They honored Her with offerings of green branches and white heifers brought to Her sanctuaries.  They may have offered themselves as well; the traveler Strabo said that sacramental promiscuity was part of the honor due this rule of reproduction who ‘purifies the seed of males and the womb and milk of females.’

 

Healer, mother, and protector of Her people, She was worshipped throughout the Persian Empire for many centuries.  To the west She was said to be identical to Anat; the Greeks contended She was Aphrodite, when they did not claim She was Athena” (p. 45).

 

 

 

Sources:

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

 

 

Suggested Links:

Avesta — Zoroastrian Archives, “Angels in Zoroastrianism“.

Enkidu, Leah. Shrine, “Return of the Holy Prostitute“.

Iranpoliticsclub.net, “Persian Mythology, Gods and Goddesses“.

Langdon, S. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, January 1924, Vol. 56, Issue 01, “The Babylonian and Persian Sacaea1

Lindemans, Micha F. Encyclopedia Mythica, “Anahita“.

Milo. TeenWitch.com, “Anaitis Anahita“.

Nabarz, Payam. Iranian.com, “Anahita – Lady of Persia“.

Skakti156. Shaktiwomyn.com, “52 Goddesses – Week 1 – The Goddess Anahita“.

Wikipedia, “Anahita“.

Goddess Parvati

“Parvati’s themes are fertility, femininity, cleansing and devotion. Her symbols are lotus, elephants and dance.  The celebrated Hindu Goddess of women is the center of festivities in Nepal today. Parvati’s domain is that of faithful companionship and fertility as She is the consort of Shiva. Art often shows Parvati dancing in the company of Shiva or with an elephant’s head.

Try following Nepalese custom. Wash your hands and feet with henna (or henna-based soap product) for Parvati’s productive energy. Or, go out and swing on a swing set singing sacred songs; this draws Parvati to you.

Another way to invoke Parvati is by giving a special woman in your life (a friend, lover, relative, etc.) a gift of thankfulness for her companionship. The Goddess exists within that friendship and will bless the relationship. Take a ritual bath to cleanse yourself of negativity and problems of the last year. Water offerings are also a suitable gift to the Goddess. Pour a little bit on the ground and then drink some to internalize any of Her qualities that you need.

Wearing fine clothing and flowers is also customary, because all things of beauty please Parvati. So get out your finery for your celebrations and put on a boutonniere! Or wear something with a flower pattern to draw Parvati close to your side.”

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

“One of the greatest Goddesses of India is the daughter of the Himalayas, known as Uma, Gauri, and sometimes Shakti (‘energy’).  She was the consort and enlivening force of Shiva, the lord of life’s dance, and many myths surround Her.

She gained Shiva’s attention by practicing magical asceticism until She had such power that he could not resist Her.  Thereafter he spent this time sexually pleasing the Goddess.  Once, when interrupted before She was satisfied, Parvati cursed the gods so that their consorts were barren but they themselves were pregnant.  They were most miserable with the affliction, until Shiva allowed them to vomit up the semen that had impregnated them.

Parvati had one son of Her own.  It was no thanks to Her spouse, for Shiva did not want to be bothered with children.  As they argued about it one day, Parvati cried out that She wanted a child to hold and caress. Shiva teased Her, ripping a piece of Her skirt and handing it to Her, telling Her to fondle that.  Hurt and betrayed, Parvati grasped the red cloth to Her breast, and – touching the nipples of the mother Goddess – the cloth took form and began to nurse.  Thus was Ganesha, the benevolent god, born.  But Shiva, angry and jealous, found an excuse to behead the child, saying that he had slept in a ritually incorrect way.  Parvati was desperate with grief, and Shiva, ashamed, told Her he would find the boy another head.  The only one he was able to locate – Parvati must have received this news suspiciously – was an elephant’s.  And so Ganesha was reborn half human, half elephant.

Shiva’s Shakti is also called Kali and Durga, for She is at times a fierce form of femininity.  One legend explains how the Goddess divided Herself.  Originally, it seems, She had dark skin, about which Shiva teased Her once too often.  Furious at him – for She felt less than beautiful, wishing that Her skin was golden like his – She set off for the mountains, intending again to practice asceticism until She gained Her desire.  Ganesha accompanied Her; She left Viraka, Shiva’s attendant, to guard his bedroom so that he didn’t enjoy other women’s company during Her absence.  But a demon disguised as Parvati attempted to kill Shiva.  He lured the god to bed after loading his illusory vagina with real nails.  Shiva recognizing the deceit, put a sword on his penis and dispatched the demon.

Parvati’s informants spread the word that a woman had been seen entering Shiva’s bedroom, and Parvati exploded with anger.  Her anger shot out of Her mouth in the form of a lion; She cursed the false guardian Viraka to become a rock.  Then She continued practicing yoga until Brahma took pity on Her and asked Her what She wished.  When She said She wanted a pure golden skin, he blessed Her.  From Her body sprang another Goddess, one ugly and black, usually named Kali.

Now golden and beautiful, Parvati started home.  Viraka, still on guard, refused to let Her enter, not recognizing the Goddess in Her new skin.  Realizing that She made a mistake in cursing him – but unable, so powerful are a Goddess’ words, to recall Her ill wish – Parvati mitigated it by allowing him to be reborn as a girl named Rock” (Monaghan, p. 248 – 249).

“Parvati represents the part of ourselves that creatively brings forth nourishment even in the midst of what seems to be rejection and disapproval. She is a wonderful affirmation that there are no limits to what a woman can do when she uses her spiritual energy in the pursuit of any goal she chooses.  When we embrace love, Parvati is there to bless us.” [1]

 

 

 
Sources:

Goddessgift.com, “Parvati: The Hindu Goddess of Love and Devotion“.

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

 

 

Suggested Links:

Goddessparvati.com, “Goddess Parvati“.

Kumar, Nitin. Exoticindiaart.com, “Parvati the Love Goddess: Tales of Marriage and Devotion in Art and Mythology“.

Lotussculpture.com, “Hindu Goddess Parvati – Daughter of the Mountain“.

Soulcurrymagazine.com, “Goddess Parvati – Wife of Lord Shiva“.

Wikipedia, “Parvati“.

Goddess Juno

“Juno’s themes are femininity, love, relationships, romance, kinship, time, protection (women and children) and leadership. Her symbols are the cypress, peacocks, cuckoos, luxurious clothing, figs and the moon (or silver items).  The supreme Goddess of the Roman pantheon, Juno offers a helping hand in every aspect of our relationships, especially the safety and happiness of women and children in those settings. Juno is also a very modern minded Goddess, taking an active role in public life and finances. Beyond this, She rules women’s cycles, giving Her connections with the moon. Art depicts Juno always wearing majestic clothing befitting the ‘Queen of Heaven.’

According to Roman folklore, marrying today ensures a long, happy relationship. So if you’re planning a wedding or an engagement, or even moving in together, Juno can bless that commitment if you time the big step for today! As part of your devotional ritual, don’t forget to wear special clothing (perhaps something your partner especially likes) to invoke Juno’s attention and loving energy.

If you’d like to connect with Juno’s feminine force, Her leadership skills or Her sense of timing within yourself, eat some fig-filled cookies today (or just some figs), saying,

‘Juno, bring_______to my spirit, my wish fulfill. By your power, through my will.’

FIll the black with whatever aspect of Juno you most need to develop.”

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

“Hera – Queen of Olympus” by Umina

Patricia Monaghan tells us that Juno was “a very ancient Italian Goddess, [and] was originally quite different from the Greek Hera; both, however, were essentially Goddesses of women.  When the Greek sky queen came to Rome during the days of cultural assimilation, She merged with the Roman Goddess and Her legends were told of Juno.  Juno’s separate mythology was lost, except for the tale that, impregnated by a flower, Juno bore the god Mars – a story never told of Hera” (p. 174).

According to Thalia Took “Juno, or to spell it the Latin way, Iuno, is the Roman Great Goddess, the Queen of the Gods, Sky-Goddess, Protectress of Women, Mother of Mars, Wife of Jupiter, She of the many epithets and a long long history of worship in Rome. She was one of the Capitoline Triad, with Jupiter and Minerva, Who were considered the three main Deities of Rome; She was widely worshipped among the Latins, and Her cult was also important among the Etruscans, who called Her Uni or Cupra. She was an especial protectress of women in marriage and childbirth, and many of Her epithets relate to that aspect, but She could also have a more civic or martial character as protectress of the Roman people.

“Hera” by Canankk

Juno’s name may derive from an Indo-European root with connotations of vitality and youth, and if so would suggest that Her aspect as Birth-Goddess is one of Her oldest. Alternatively, Her name may come from the Etruscan Uni, which means ‘She Who Gives’, and which would refer to Her capacity as a benevolent Goddess of abundance who answers the prayers of those in need.

As each man was believed to have a protective guardian spirit called a genius, so each woman had one called a juno. These guardian spirits (in the plural, junones) may have originally been the ghosts of the ancestors who were believed to watch over and protect their descendents. They were usually represented as snakes (probably relating to the chthonic or underworld aspect of the Dead), and were given offerings on the individual’s birthday at the household altar.

The first days of each Roman month, the calends, were sacred to Juno, as was the entire month of June, which is still named for Her. Five cities in Latium (the region of the Latin tribe) also named a month for Her: Aricia, on the Via Appia; Lanuvium, where She was worshipped as Juno Sospita (‘Juno the Saviouress’), Praeneste (modern Palestrina), Tibur (modern Tivoli, the resort town of Rome), and Laurentum, located between Lavinium and Ostia on the coast. And as Juno is the Roman Goddess of Marriage, it is no coincidence that June is still considered the proper month for weddings.” [1]

“Juno–Supreme Goddess of Women” by MiiSweeTesTSiN

“One of Her most famous names was Moneta, ‘warner’, which was earned many times over: once when Her sacred geese once set up such a squawking that the city was warned of invading Gauls, another time when an earthquake threatened and Juno’s voice from heaven alerted the city, and finally when the underfunded Roman generals came to Juno’s temple for advice and were told that any war fought ethically would find popular (and financial) support.  This last effort made Her matron of the Roman mint, which was located in Her temple, and turned Her title into a word for ‘money’.

Most important, Juno was the Goddess of time.  Daughter of Saturn, She was a symbol of the menstrual cycle as time’s indicator; Goddess of the new moon, She was worshiped by Roman women on the Calends, or first of each lunar month.  In addition to these monthly celebrations, Juno was honored in two festivals: the unrestrained Nonae Caprotinae on July 7, when serving girls staged mock fights under a wild fig tree; and the more sedate Matronalia on March 1 when married women demanded money from their husbands to offer to the Goddess of womanhood” (Monaghan, p. 174).

Like Jupiter, Juno was believed to have the ability to throw thunderbolts.

Also called: Junonis or Iuno.

“Hera’s Eyes” by *Ravenhart

Here, then, is the index for as many of Her aspects as I could find, treated individually; they range from simply descriptive titles such as Conciliatrix that may not have had a use in Her cult, to the more important and unusual facets of Her like Curitis, all the way to separate Goddesses who were assimilated to or equated with Juno, such as the Dea Caelestis of Carthage.

AbeonaAdionaCaelestisCaprotina, Cinxia, Cioxia (ruler of the first undressing by the husband), Conciliatrix, Conservatrix, CubaCuninaCupraCuriatiaCuritis, Comiduca, Dea Caelestis, Dea Statina, Domiduca,EducaEdulicaEmpanadaFebrutis, Fluonia, Gamelia, Inferna, Interduca, JugaJugalis, Juno of Falerii, Lacinia, Lanuvina, Levana, LucetiaLucinaMartialis, Maturna, Matrona, Moneta, Nacio, Natalis, Nundina, Nutrix, Nuxia, Opigena, Ossipaga (who strengthens fetal bones), Panda, Perficia, Pertunda, Perusina, Populonia (Goddess of conception), Potina, Prema, Pronuba (arranger of appropriate matches), QuiritisReginaRumina, Seispita, Sispes, Sororia, Sospita (the labor Goddess), SupraUni, Unxia, Vagitanus, Virginalis, Viriplaca (who settles arguments between spouses), Volumna.” [2]

Sources:

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

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

Suggested Links:

Goddess-Guide.com, “Juno“.

Goddess School, Healing Arts and Pagan Studies with GrannyMoon, “An Hymn to Juno“.

Qu’Aryn Teal Moon. Order of the White Moon, “Juno“.

Revel, Anita. igoddess.com, “Juno: mutual mojo“.

Roman Colosseum, “Myths About the Roman Goddess Juno“.

Wikipedia, “Juno“.

Goddess Anahita

“Ishtar” by Lisa Iris

“Anahita’s themes are spring, relationships, equality, fertility and sexuality.  Her symbols are green branches and water.  This Babylon Goddess of fertility embraces the attributes of fruitful, warm waters that flow from the celestial realms into our lives, especially as the earth is renewed. Her name translates as ‘humid immaculate one’, and art shows Her a a strong maiden who creates life and pours blessings. During the height of Babylonian civilization, She was also the patroness of civic prostitutes.

Sacaea – this day marked the Babylonian new year, during which time heaven and earth were considered married. Therefore, this is an excellent date to plan a wedding, hand fasting, or engagement, or just to spend time with someone you hold dear. Bring them a small green branch from a tree to extend Anahita’s love and equality into your relationship.

Traditional roles are often reversed today to emphasize fairness between people. So, if you’re normally passive in your interactions, become a little more aggressive. As you do, feel how Anahita’s passion and energy flow through you.

To increase passion or sexual confidence, take a warm bath before meeting your partner. Perhaps add some lusty aromatics to the water (cinnamon, vanilla, mint or violet) to put you in the right fame of mind. Let Anahita’s waters stimulate your skin and your interest, then enjoy!”

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

“Anahita” by Vaezi

One of the earliest of the Great Mothers, Anahita was the ancient Persian Goddess of water, fertility, and patroness of women, as well as a Goddess of war.  She embodied the physical and metaphorical qualities of water, especially the fertilizing flow of water from the fountain in the stars; thus She ruled over all the waters – rivers, streams, lakes, and the sea, as well as the life-giving fluids of mankind, such as semen and mother’s milk. Rivers and lakes were sacred to Her, as they were thought to be the waters of birth. She is depicted as a beautiful young virgin with full breasts. She is dressed in golden robes complete with jewels and a halo crown or diamond tiara, sometimes carrying a water pitcher. Her name means “the immaculate one” and She was viewed as the “Golden Mother” and also as a warrior maiden. The dove and the peacock are Her sacred animals. Anahita is sometimes regarded as the consort of Mithra.

 Anahita She was very popular and is one of the forms of the ‘Great Goddess’ which appears in many ancient eastern religions (such as the Syrian/Phoenician Goddess Anath).  She originated in Babylon and spread throughout Asia Minor, India and to Kemet (ancient Egypt), where She was depicted as an armed and mounted Goddess. The Greeks associated Anahita with Athena, Aphrodite and even Artemis.

In the Middle East, She was associated with Anat. Worship of Anahita spread to Armenia, Persia, and various parts of western Asia. Zoroaster was specifically commanded by his male god to honor Her. When Persia conquered Babylonia (in the 6th century BCE), Anahita began to show some similarities with the Goddess Ishtar. She was identified with the planet Venus, showing how She was possibly descended from Ishtar, the chief Goddess of the region in the pre-lndo-European era. Anahita was also the patroness of women and the Goddess of war who rides in a chariot drawn by four white horses representing wind, rain, clouds, and hail.

Statue of Anahita riding a chariot in Fouman-Gilan, Iran. Chariots figure prominently in Indo-Iranian mythology. Chariots are also important in Hindu and Persion mythologies, in which deities are portrayed as charioteers.

Her cult included the practice of temple prostitution. During the reign of King Artaxerxes (436-358 BCE) many temples were erected in Her honor; in Soesa, Ecbatana, and in Babylon.  Ritual prostitution occurred in Her temples in order to “purify the seed of males and the womb and milk of females,” according to Strabo. Armenians called out to Anahita “Great Lady Anahita, glory and life-giver of our nation, mother of sobriety, and benefactor of humanity.”

“Anahita” by Trashcn

Along with Mithra and Verethragna,  She lost much of Her power during Zoroastrian period but She did not completely disappear.  She became known as an important Yazata (‘adorable ones’, a created spiritual being, worthy of being honored or praised; ever trying to help people, and protect us from evil), Aredvi Sura Anahitaliterally meaning ‘strong, immaculate Anahita’, female Yazad personifying water; also known as Aban Yazad. She resides in the starry regions. Her hymn is preserved in Yasht 5.

 

 

 

Sources:

Avesta — Zoroastrian Archives, “Angels in Zoroastrianism“.

Langdon, S. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, January 1924, Vol. 56, Issue 01, “The Babylonian and Persian Sacaea1

Lindemans, Micha F. Encyclopedia Mythica, “Anahita“.

Milo. TeenWitch.com, “Anaitis Anahita“.

Wikipedia, “Anahita“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Enkidu, Leah. Shrine, “Return of the Holy Prostitute“.

Iranpoliticsclub.net, “Persian Mythology, Gods and Goddesses“.


Goddess Hera

“Hera” by tygodym

“Hera’s themes are love, romance, forgiveness and humor.  Her symbols are oak, myrrh and poppies. Hera rules the earth, its people and the hearts of those people. Using creativity, Hera nudges star-crossed lovers together, chaperones trysts and helps struggling marriages with a case of spring twitterpation!

Legends tells us that Hera refused to return to Zeus’s bed because of a quarrel. Zeus, however, had a plan. He humorously dressed up a wooden figure to look like a bride and declared he was going to marry. When Hera tore off the dummy’s clothes and discovered the ruse, She was so amused and impressed by Zeus’s ingenuity that She forgave him.

Ancient Greeks honored Hera and Zeus’s reconciliation today during a festival called Daedala, often in the company of old oak trees. Small pieces of fallen wood are collected to symbolize the divinities, then burned on the ritual fire to keep love warm. To mirror this custom, find a fallen branch and burn a small part of it as an offering to Hera. Keep the rest to use as a Goddess image year-round, burning a few slivers whenever love needs encouragement.

Present someone you love or admire with a poppy today to symbolically bestow Hera’s blessings on your relationship. If you have a loved one away from home, burn some myrrh incense in front of their picture so Hera can watch over them and keep that connection strong.

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

“Hera” by Soa-Lee

“Hera is the Goddess who has suffered the most at the hands of those who dabbled in Greek mythology. Summed up and dismissed as a shew and a nag, Hera was in fact the most powerful of all the Olympian Goddesses, the queen of the gods. Before that She was the primary divinity of the pre-Hellenic Greeks who honored Her through festivals similar the Olympics.

Long before the Indo-European Hellenes came down from the north to occupy the land and islands of Greece, a Mediterranean race, speaking a language different from the Hellenes, occupied Greece. The older race which are called Minoan and Early Hellenic, had customs and codes different from those of the incoming Hellenes. The older culture was, for example, matriarchal. Society was build around the woman; even on the highest level, where descent was on the female side. A man became king by formal marriage and his daughter succeeded. Therefore the next king was the man who married the daughter.

 

Until the Northerners arrived, religion and custom were dominated by the female and the Goddess.

Hera was the chief divinity of this culture; She was their queen and ancestral mother, and She ruled alone, needing no king to back Her up. The earliest evidence about Her describes Her as Queen of Heaven, great Mother Goddess, ruler of people. In these images, She was associated with the bird, the snake, and the bull, suggesting connections with water, earth, and life energies.

“Hera” by cheungygirl

The ancient Hera passed through three stages: youth, prime and age. First She was the maiden Hebe or Parthenia, called virginal not because She avoided intercourse but because She had no children and was free of responsibility. In this stage She was also called Antheia (‘flowering one’), symbol of both the flower of human youth and the budding earth in springtime. Next She revealed Herself as the mature woman, Nymphenomene, (‘seeking a mate’) or Teleia (‘prefect one’)’; She was the earth in summer, the mother in Her prime of life. Finally She showed herself as Theria (‘crone’), the woman who has passed through and beyond maternity and lives again to Herself.

In all these stages, She represented the epitome of woman’s strength and power. Far from being spiteful and malicious, She was generous and self-assured. The ancient Hera was so beloved that being recast in such negative aspects in the myths created by the conquering northern Hellenes, She was still worshiped and revered. It seems the women refused to give Her up entirely. In spite of the slanderous tales about Her, She would emerge at festivals in Her honor as a Goddess who cared for women.

Hera has three symbols which can be connected with her three ancient phases. The first of these is the cuckoo, a bird in many places connected with springtime. Later myths frequently mentioned that Hera had a tender spot for the cuckoo. At Mycene, a Creatan colony, on the Greek mainland, miniature temples mounted with cuckoos have been found buried in the rubble along with statuettes of a naked Goddess holding the same birds on Her arms. As Hera’s worship goes back to that period, these statutes may represent Her most ancient worship.

Another symbol of Hera is the peacock. Hera’s watchfulness is symbolized by the peacock and the ‘eyes’ in its feathers. The bird was a sacred symbol of Hera and wandered the in temples of Hera. In addition, the peacock is often associated with summer and therefore this may symbolized Hera’s second phase, the mature woman, the mother phase.

“Hera: Queen of Heaven” by iizzard

The third symbol for Hera is the pomegranate which She shares with Persephone. She is often depicted holding the pomegranate but there is no reference in Her myths to its significant. Ripening late in the year, the leathery-skinned pomegranate, so full of juicy seeds, is a marvelous image for a woman in her late years, Her crone years. The deep red juice of this fruit was often likened to blood and in some areas of Greece, was designated as food for the dead, heightening this connection to Her crone phase.

“Hera Base Card Art – Hanie Mohd” by Pernastudios

Others symbols for Hera include lilies and cows. In ancient Greece at Hera’s temple in Argos, Her priestesses gathered lilies of the valley and garlanded Her alter with them. The lily is a powerful symbol of the feminine and can be given as an offering to honor the Goddess and to invoke Her presence. The cow, a less frequent symbol of Hera, was associated with Her because She was said to have cow eyes, and disguised Herself as a cow in one myth. Also cows were often sacrificed to her. Hera’s cow identity shows Her to be a heavenly Goddess ruling the celestial vault and its luminaries.

Another symbol with Hera is the apple. At Her forced marriage to Zeus, Hera was given a special magic garden in the West where She kept Her apples of immortality. This magical garden was called the Hesperides, probably a symbol of Her regenerating womb; Her apples were guarded by Her sacred serpent.”  [1] <– Click here to continue reading this informative entry by Anne Morgan on the Order of the White Moon’s site, including information on building an altar to Hera, information on Her feasts and rituals and a very thorough bibliography.

 

 

ASSOCIATIONS:

General: Milky Way (our galaxy), the seasons of the year, diadem (diamond crown) or tiara, spas and baths.

Animals: Peacock, cow, eagle, crabs, snails, and other creatures with shells.

Plants: Lilies, poppies, stephanotis, cypress, coconut, iris, white rose, waterlily, maple trees, and all white flowers.

Perfumes/Scents: Rose, iris, myrrh, civet, jasmine, patchouli, and stehanotis.

Gems and Metals: Silver, pearls, garnet, citrine, amber, diamond, platinum and star sapphire.

Colors: White, royal blue, purple, rose, dark green, silver and grey. [2]

 

 

 

Sources:

Goddessgift.com, “Goddess Symbols: Hera

Morgan, Anne.  Order of the White Moon, “Hera: Great Mother Goddess“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Goddessgift.com, “Hera, Greek Goddess of Love and Marriage“.

Heckart, Kelley. Kelley Heckart, author of Historical Celtic fantasy romances, “Pre-Hellenic Goddesses“.

Regula, deTraci. About.com, “Fast Facts on: Hera

Sosa, Sylvia. Sweet Biar College {History of Art Program}, “Hera: The First Greek Goddess“.

Theoi Greek Mythology, “Hera“.

Theoi Greek Mythology, “Hera and HPH“.

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