Tag Archive: zeus


Goddess Mnemosyne

“Mnemosyne” by Michele-lee Phelan

“Mnemosyne’s themes are creativity, knowledge, history and art. Her symbols are fountains, springs and the number 9.  Mnemosyne means ‘memory’. Remembrance is this Goddess’s gift to us, memories of all the wonderful moments of our lives. In Greek tradition, Mnemosyne also gave birth to the Muses today – the nice creative spirit children that give our lives so much beauty: song, stories, tradition, humor, dance and sacred music. Greeks sometimes worshipped Mnemosyne in the form of a spring, alluding to her profuse, flowing energy.

Absolutely anything thoughtful, creative or inspiring will grab Mnemosyne’s attention and encourage her participation in your day. Try donning a unique combination of clothing that really motivates you to do your best, or something that provokes fond memories from the past. Wear an aroma that arouses your inventive nature or cognitive abilities (jasmine and rosemary are two good choices, respectively).

If there are special arts that you’ve learned from family or friends, celebrate them today. Hum that little ditty from your childhood, dust off that neglected craft item, try those recipes, listen to old songs and let Mnemosyne fill your hours with the encouragement that comes from fond ‘musings’.”

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

“Mnemosyne” by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

“Mnemosyne, Greek Goddess of memory, was considered one of the most powerful Goddesses of Her time.  After all, it is memory, some believe, that is a gift that distinguishes us from the other creatures in the animal world. It is the gift that allows us to reason, to predict and anticipate outcomes, and is the very foundation for civilization.

Mnemosyne is usually depicted with a full mane of luscious hair, often a rich auburn in color.  There are few stories about Her even though She is often mentioned by the ancient poets who recount Her awesome gifts to mankind.

The Goddess Mnemosyne is sometimes credited with being the first philosopher, Her gift the power of reason. She was given responsibility for the naming of all objects, and by doing so gave humans the means to dialog and to converse with each other.  The powers to place things in memory and that of remembrance were also attributed to this Goddess.

Make no mistake about this. Memory was of the utmost importance at the time of Mnemosyne. Long before the invention of the alphabet and the written word, it was critical to the well-being of an individual or a society who had to rely solely on the lessons passed on in an oral history.

Besides, we’re not talking about memorizing shopping lists or the times tables here. The memory of Mnemosyne was much more than that — it was the memory of the rules and energies of the universe, the cycle of life, the memory of how to live in the world.

The ancients believed that when one died and crossed into the Underworld one would be given a choice . . . whether to drink from the river Lethe where you would forget all the pains and terrors of your previous life (and with them, the lessons they brought), or whether to drink from the Mnemosyne, the spring of memory.

Those who chose to forget had to be reborn, to return to earth to learn the lessons they needed.  Those who had chosen to remember were admitted to the Elysian Fields where they would spend eternity in comfort and peace.

The esteem in which the memory was held was made clear in  the initiation rites of the ancient gnostics, who were required to consult with an oracle.

“Memento Mori v2” by chenoasart

Before being brought to the oracle, initiates were taken to a place with two pools lying next to each other. They were instructed to first drink from the pool of Lethe, the Goddess of forgetfulness, in order that they might forget their previous lives. Then they were taken to the spring of Mnemosyne to drink so that they would remember all that they were about to learn from the oracle.

The initiate would then be ‘buried alive’ (i.e., placed in seclusion) for a few days in the ‘tomb’ of the earth god, Trophonios to await the arrival of the oracle. If the initiate had been properly prepared and was found worthy, the mysteries of life would be told to him by the oracle.  And when he was brought back into the realm of the living, the priests would set him upon a special seat, called the Throne of Mnemosyne. While seated there, he would remember and tell all that he had learned below.

“Mnemosyne, Goddess of Memory” by Thomas Dodd

Sadly, the Goddess Mnemosyne is largely forgotten, lost in the mists of time.  When She is remembered it is usually only in the context of her being the mother of the Muses, though all acknowledge that without memory the lively arts of the Muses would never have been possible.

The Muses, whose role it was to inspire poets and musicians and to promote the arts and sciences, were the daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne.  After Zeus led the war against the Titans and established himself as the leader of the Olympians, he feared that, even though he might be immortal, his great victories and decisions might soon be forgotten.

Longing for a way to preserve the memory of his many great feats, he dressed as a shepherd and went to find Mnemosyne. They slept together for nine nights before he returned to his home on Mount Olympus. (By the way, Zeus was still single so this was not one of his famous extramarital affairs.)

Zeus got his wish. Months later Mnemosyne gave birth for nine days, each day delivering a daughter. Collectively they were known as the Muses and were described as ‘having one mind, their hearts set upon song and their spirit  free from care’.

“Apollo and the Muses on Mount Parnassus” by Simon Vouet

No banquet on Mount Olympus was complete without them. Seated near the throne of their father, they entertained the guests, singing not only of the greatness of Zeus, but about the marvelous feats of the Greek heroes and the creation of the heavens and the earth and all its wondrous creatures.”[1]

 

 

 

Sources:

Goddessgift.com, “Mnemosyne: Greek Goddess of Memory“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Theoi Greek Mythology, “Mnemosyne“.

Wikipedia, “Mnemosyne“.

Wikipedia, “Muse“.

Goddess Aphrodite

“Aphrodite” by LinzArcher

“Aphrodite’s themes are love, romance, passion, sexuality, luck, fertility, beauty and pleasure. Her symbols are roses, copper, turquoise and sandalwood.  Since 1300 B.C.E., Aphrodite has been worshipped as the ultimate Goddess to inspire passion, spark romance, increase physical pleasure, augment inner beauty and improve sexual self-assurance. Consequently, many artistic depictions show Her naked, with erotic overtones. Aphrodite’s name means ‘water born’ or ‘form born’, intimating a connection with the ocean’s fertility.

Follow the Greek custom of Rosalia and shower whatever Goddess image you have at home with rose petals, or dab it with rose-scented oil. If you don’t have a statue, poster or painting, any visually beautiful object can serve as a proxy. This gesture honors and entreats Aphrodite, who responds by granting good luck, especially in matters of the heart.

Another tradition is bathing yourself in rose water to emphasize Aphrodite’s comeliness (both within and without). Rose water is available at many Asian and international supermarkets. Or you can make it easily be steeping fresh rose petals in warm (not hot) water and straining. If you don’t have time for a full bath, just dab a little of the rose water of the region of your heart to emphasize this Goddess’s love and attractiveness where it can do the most good – in you emotional center.”

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

Patricia Monaghan tells us that “one of the most familiar of Greek Goddesses, Aphrodite was not originally Greek at all.  She was the ancient mother Goddess of the eastern Mediterranean who established Herself first on the islands off Greece before entering the country itself.  There, Her journey with the sea traders who brought Her across the waters was expressed in a symbolic tale” (p. 50).

“The Birth of Venus” by Sandro Botticelli

“In the Iliad, She is the daughter of Zeus and the Titoness Dione, though the usual legend is that She was born from the blood and foam on the surface of the Sea after Ouranos was castrated by Kronos.” [1]  “[Kronos’] penis fell into the ocean and ejaculated a final divine squirt.  The sea reddened where it fell, and then the foam gathered itself into a figure riding on a mussel shell (whence the epithet Anadyomene, ‘she who rises from the waves’).  She shook off the seawater from Her locks and watched drops fall, instantly turning to pearls at Her feet.  She floated to the islands off Greece, for which She is sometimes named Cytherea or Cypris.  She landed at Cyprus and was greeted by the lovely Horae, who provided attire worthy of Her beauty and who became Her constant companions.

The story of Her birth is an obvious description of this Near Eastern Goddess to Her new home in Greece.  It is also allegorical: the sky god impregnates the great sea womb with dynamic life, a story that the Greeks reiterated in the alternate version of Aphrodite’s birth by sea sprite Dione and the sky god Zeus” (Monaghan, p. 51).

“Birth of Venus” by Brenda Burke

“Graceful and gorgeously seductive, Aphrodite possessed a magic girdle that made Her irresistable to all who saw Her (and which She often lent out to other Goddesses such as Hera). She was officially married to Hephaestos, the crippled god of the forge, though Her numerous affairs resulted in numerous children. By Ares She bore Phobos (‘Fear’) and Deimos (‘Terror’); by Hermes, Hermaphrodite; by  DionysosPriapos; and by Anchises, a mortal, the hero Aeneas.” [2]  Aphrodite also had fallen in love with a beautiful young man named Adonis (click here to read their story).  This story bears many similarities between the story of Ashtart and Adon, or Inanna and Dumuzi.

“In their attempt to assimilate the alien Goddess, the Greeks converted Aphrodite into a personification of physical beauty.  But She remained so problematic that Plato distinguished Her by two titles: Urania, who ruled spiritualized (platonic, if you will) love; and Aphrodite Pandemos, the Aphrodite of the commoners, who retained Her original character in debased form.  in this form, She was called Porne, the ‘titillater.’

It was this later Aphrodite who was worshiped at Corinth, where the Near Eastern practice of sacramental promiscuity deteriorated into a costly prostitution about which the Greeks warned travelers, ‘The voyage to Corinth is not for everyone.’ However degraded the practice became in a patriarchal context, the ‘hospitable women’ (Pinder) who engaged in it were highly valued, serving as priestesses in public festivals, and of such rank and importance that at state occasions as many hetaerae as possible were required to attend” (Monaghan, p. 51- 51).

Born from the Sea, She is also Goddess of sea-voyages who protected sailors and seamen and She represents the creative powers of nature and the sea.

Offerings to Aphrodite include flowers and incense.

Some of Her myriad epithets include: Doritis (‘Bountiful’), Pontia (‘Of the Deep Sea’), Pasiphaë (‘Shining on All’, also the name of the mother of Ariadne), Ourania (‘the Heavenly’), Aphrogeneia (‘Foam-born’), Anadyomene (‘Rising From the Sea’), and Pornos (‘Whore’).” [3]

To read Her tale, go here.

Her Roman counterpart was Venus.

“Aphrodite” by lilok-lilok


ASSOCIATIONS:

Pantheon: Olympian

Element: Water

Sphere of Influnce: Love and beauty

Best Day to Work with: Friday

Best Moon Phase: Waxing

Strongest Around: Litha

Suitable Offerings: Pomegranates, limes  [4]

General: Scallop shell, seashells, mirrors, golden apples, the Evening Star (planet Venus), number 5, the ocean, the triangle and heart.

Animals: Dolphin, swan, dove, sparrow, bees and goats.

Plants: Rose (especially any fragrant rose), quince, myrtle, mint, grape (fruit, leaves and vines), apples, artichokes, laurel, ash and poplar trees.

Perfumes/Scents: Stephanotis, musk, verbena, vanilla, incense, vervain and rose.

Gems and Metals: Pearls, gold, aquamarine, rose quartz, jade, sapphire, silver and copper, pink tourmaline, emerald (pink or green stones), garnet, smoky quartz.

Colors: Red, pink, violet, silver, aqua, pale green (seafoam), and any shade of light blue.  [5]

 

 

 

Sources:

Goddessgift.com, “Goddess Symbols of Aphrodite“.

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

Pagannews.com, “Aphrodite/Venus“.

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

 

 

Suggested Links:

Aspen Willow. Order of the White Moon, “Aphrodite“.

Goddessgift.com, “Aphrodite, Greek Goddess of Romance and Beauty“.

Revel, Anita. igoddess.com, “Aphrodite: self-acceptance to self-love“.

The Gratiae

“Charites: Spring” by iizzard

“The Gratiae’s themes are the arts, creativity, honor, love, excellence and beauty.  Their symbols are sweet aromas, art (all), and wine.  The Gratiae are akin to the Greek Graces, who inspire all arts, from a dancer’s elegance, a model’s beauty, and a diplomat’s words to a terminal romantic’s loving presentation. They arrive as earth is blossoming to encourage a flood of creativity that leads to excellence. It is traditional to offer them the first draught of wine at a gathering to invoke their blessing and aid.

The Gratiae were present in spirit on this day in 1916 when the American Academy of Arts was signed by Woodrow Wilson to honour excellence in the industry. Toast the occasion with wine or grape juice, giving the first glass to these creative Ladies to encourage their energy to visit your home.

Wear a sweet-smelling perfume or cologne today as an aroma therapeutic supplication to the Gratiae. Each time you catch that fragrance it will motivate beauty in any of your artistic skills. Better still, through the aroma the Gratiae can attract the attention of potential lovers!

Consider stopping at an art exhibition today or doing something creative yourself (even coloring!). Otherwise, do a little decorating. Hang a new poster, put out some fresh flowers, rearrange your knickknacks in a way that is aesthetically pleasing. These kind of actions appeal to the Gratiae’s sense of style and tempt them to join you!”

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

“The Three Graces were Goddesses of gracefulness, the charms of beauty, and cheerful amusement (the characteristics of loveliness). They appear to have received these designations from the Greeks during the archaic and classical periods (5th to 8th centuries B.C.), and they were known most commonly at that time as the Three Charities. This appellation was later Latinized by the Romans occupying the formerly Greek regions in which they were worshiped, and this resulted in the designation by which western civilization knows them today, the Three Graces.

“The Three Graces” by Josephine Wall

Initially in Greek mythology they were seen as simple guardians of the vernal sweetness and beauty of nature, and only later as the friends and protectors of everything graceful and beautiful. Pindar has written about the Graces as the source of all decorum, purity of happiness in life, good will, and beneficence and gratitude among men. Beauty, sweetness, and the best charm of poetry are believed to come from the Graces. The Greeks believed that without gracefulness, all labor was in vain and meaningless. Hence, the three deities assisted Hermes (Mercury) in his capacity as the god of oratory. In all things they were characterized as the spreaders of joy and enhancers of enjoyment of life. Social intercourse, manners, and culture were their domain, and they were frequently the subject of artists and poets alike.

“Primavera” by Sandro Botticelli (c. 1482) Left to right: Mercury, the Three Graces, Venus, Flora, Chloris, Zephyrus.

The Charities are not known for an independent mythological presence, that is, they are typically depicted and described in relationship to other gods and Goddesses in Greek mythology. Their strongest association is with Aphrodite (Venus), and it has been reported that they were present at Her birth.  While their earliest forms were less defined, they were generally represented in the form of young maidens and portrayed as dancing, singing, charming, and running or bathing in fountains, or decking themselves in flowers (the rose was their sacred flower as it was Aphrodite’s, and they were reputed to facilitate its growth and blossom). Their attributes also included the myrtle and dice (a symbol of cheerful amusement). They are depicted holding apples, perfume vases, ears of corn, heads of poppies, or musical instruments such as the lyre, flute, or syrinx.

The Graces in a 1st century fresco at Pompeii

During their early development they were occasionally shown clothed (mostly during the classical period in Greece), but since Hellenistic times they have been shown almost exclusively nude or wearing transparent gowns. The reason for such a display was to convey sincerity and candor, without disguise or pretense.

“The Three Graces” by Paul Vincenti

Their home was among the muses upon Mount Olympia. Usually Zeus is considered to be their father, but their mother has been believed to be Hera, Eurynome, Eunomia, Eurydomene, Harmonia, or Lethe. Others have indicated them to be daughters of Apollo and Aegle or Euanthe, or of Dionysus and Aphrodite or Coronis. However, they are most frequently thought of as offspring of Zeus and Eurynome (daughter of Oceanus). Although the Three Graces are often thought to be the sole attendants of Aphrodite, they are commonly presented beside the Muses and the four seasons (Horae). It has been said, while the Muses inspired, the Charities applied the artists products to the embellishment of life (author unknown). In addition to the Muses and seasons, other companions of the trio were Hera, Hermes, Eros, Aphrodite, and Apollo. In earlier times, Dionysus was also a companion until his worship turned to riotous celebration and drunkenness, behaviors incompatible with the more refined tastes of the Graces that advocated moderation in everything.” [1]

“They ordinarily numbered three, from youngest to oldest: Aglaea (“Splendor”), Euphrosyne (“Mirth”), and Thalia (“Good Cheer”).  The Charites were also associated with the Greek underworld and the Eleusinian Mysteries.

The river Cephissus near Delphi was sacred to them.” [2]

 

 

 

Sources:

Ancient Numismatic Mythology, “Three Graces Mythology“.

Wikipedia, “Charites“.

Suggested Links:

Theoi Greek Mythology, “Kharites“.

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“.

Semele

“Semele’s themes are fertility, grounding, joy, playfulness, pleasure and youthfulness.  Her symbols are wine or grape juice and soil.  In Greek mythology, Semele is a young earth Goddess who, in mortal form, gave birth to the ever-exuberant party animal Dionysus (the god of wine).  Today Semele flows into our lives bringing spring’s zeal, joy, and playfulness carefully balanced with the exhortation to keep one foot firmly on terra firma. Semele’s name translates as ‘land’, giving Her additional associations with fertility and grounding.

Semele became a Goddess after insisting on seeing Zeus (Dionysus’ father) in his full glory. This killed Semele, but Zeus rescued Her from Hades and made Her a Goddess.

A three-day celebration began in Athens around this time to celebrate spring known as Antheseria. The first day of the observance was called the ‘opening of the casks’! So, if you have a favorite wine, today is definitely the time to take it out and enjoy it with some friends. Toast to Semele for giving the world a wine god who lives in every drop poured!

To ‘grow’ any of Semele’s virtues within yourself, find a small planter, some rich soil, and a flowering seed. Name the seed after that characteristic, and water it with a bit of wine or grape juice. If you use diligent care and maintain a strong focus on your goal, when the seed blossoms that energy should show signs of manifesting in your life.”

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

“Semele, [also known as Thyone], was the daughter of the Boeotian hero Cadmus and Harmonia.  She was the mortal mother of Dionysus by Zeus in one of his many origin myths.

In one version of the myth, Semele was a priestess of Zeus, and on one occasion was observed by Zeus as she slaughtered a bull at his altar and afterwards swam in the river Asopus to cleanse herself of the blood. Flying over the scene in the guise of an eagle, Zeus fell in love with Semele and afterwards repeatedly visited Her secretly. Zeus’ wife, Hera, a Goddess jealous of usurpers, discovered his affair with Semele when She later became pregnant. Appearing as an old crone, Hera befriended Semele, who confided in Her that Her lover was actually Zeus. Hera pretended not to believe Her, and planted seeds of doubt in Semele’s mind. Curious, Semele asked Zeus to grant Her a boon. Zeus, eager to please his beloved, promised on the River Styx to grant Her anything She wanted. She then demanded that Zeus reveal himself in all his glory as proof of his godhood. Though Zeus begged Her not to ask this, She persisted and he was forced by his oath to comply. Zeus tried to spare Her by showing Her the smallest of his bolts and the sparsest thunderstorm clouds he could find. Mortals, however, cannot look upon Zeus without incinerating, and She perished, consumed in lightning-ignited flame. Zeus rescued the fetal Dionysus, however, by sewing him into his thigh (whence the epithet Eiraphiotes, ‘insewn’, of the Homeric Hymn). A few months later, Dionysus was born. This leads to his being called “the twice-born”. When he grew up, Dionysus rescued his mother from Hades, and She became a Goddess on Mount Olympus, with the new name Thyone, presiding over the frenzy inspired by Her son Dionysus.” [1]

"Bacchanale" by Paul Jean Gervais

 

Sources:

Wikipedia, “Semele

 

Suggested Links:

Gill, N.S. About.com, “Semele

Theoi Greek Mythology, “Semele Thyone

Goddess Irene

Irene“Irene’s themes are peace, cooperation and reconciliation. Her symbols are peace signs, white, gates and entryways. Look to this Greek Goddess of peace to get the year off harmoniously with your neighbors and with all those you meet. Irene is Zeus’s daughter and one of three Horae who together preside over matters of peace, order and justice. They guarded the gates of Mount Olympus to ensure that all who passed had good-intentioned hearts. Offerings to Irene were always bloodless, in honor of her amicable energy.

In 1920, the League of Nations was founded on this date to encourage harmony between nations. To commemorate this and honour Irene, extend the hand of truth of truce to someone with whom you’ve been bickering. Let the energy of this day pour through you to begin healing that situation.

Peace is something that really begins in our own backyards. To generate harmony at home and in your heart, make this simple Irene charm. On a piece of white paper draw a peace sign. Fold this three times, saying words like:

‘Order – never cause, justice – release, let there be peace.’

Put this somewhere safe in your home so Irene’s gentle warmth can fill your words and actions all year. Better still, make two charms and carry one with you to keep the peace in all your interactions!

Wear a white piece of clothing today as a reminder to approach life with peaceful intentions, words and actions.”

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

“The Goddess of Peace” by Cheryl Yambrach Rose-Hall

Eirene (or Irene) was the goddess of peace (eirênê) and of the season of spring (eiar, eiarinos). Late spring was the usual campaign season in Greece when peace was most at risk. Eirene was one of three Horai, Goddesses of the seasons and the keepers of the gates of heaven. Her sisters were Eunomia (Order or Good-Pasture) and Dike (Justice).

She was probably identified with the Hora Thallo (Green Shoots), whose name Hesiod gives to Eirene as an epithet in the Theogony. Her opposite number was Polemos (War).

Horae amongst the gods of Olympus, Athenian red-figure kylix c. 5th BCE, Antikenmuseen, Berlin

In classical art She usually appears in the company of Her two sister Horai bearing the fruits of the seasons.

A reconstruction of the statue “Eirene and Ploutos”. The original statue was erected in Agora, Athens c. 370 BCE; produced after the peace between Athens and Sparta.

Statues of the Goddess represent her as a maiden holding the infant Ploutos (Wealth) in Her arms. In this guise She was identified with Demeter and Tykhe. [1].

Arachne

“Arachne’s themes are work, weaving and destiny. Her symbols are webs, spinning wheels and needles.
Arachne, the Greek spider Goddess, inspires positive changes in your destiny for the new year. Legend tells us that Arachne challenged Athena to a weaving contest and won. In anger, Athena destroyed the girl’s tapestry. Arachne, grief-stricken, took her destiny in hand and turned herself into a spider, but she continues to use her weaving talents to spin and pattern the lives of mortals.

According to lore, Saint Distaff, the patroness of weaving, was a fictional persona made up to mark the resumption of normal activity after the holidays. Instead of this imaginary figure, we turn to Arachne to help us take the strands of our fate in hand and begin weaving a year filled with Goddess energy.

To direct your spiritual focus toward the Goddess, wear something woven today, or display it proudly. If you have no such items, braid together three strands of thread or yarn, saying something like:

‘Arachne, bless this magic braid
so on you my mind is staid.’
Carry this as a charm to keep your thoughts and actions Goddess-centered.

Finally, mend any work clothes in need of repairs to improve your job standing. As you make the final knot in a button or hem, bind the magic by saying:
‘This thread I wind
The Magic bind.’

Visualize your professional goals as you work.”

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

In another version I read, Athena, angered at Arachne’s challenge, as well as the presumptuousness of her choice of subjects, tore Arachne’s tapestry (a tapestry showcasing scenes of Zeus’various infidelities: Leda with the Swan, Europa with the bull, Dana and the golden rain shower) to pieces and destroyed the loom. Then she touched Arachne’s forehead, making sure that she felt full guilt for her actions. Arachne was ashamed, but the guilt was far too deep for her poor, mortal mind. Depressed, she hanged herself.

Athena took pity on Arachne. She most likely did not expect that Arachne would commit suicide. She brought her back to life, but not as a human. By sprinkling her with the juices of aconite, Athena transformed the woman into a spider, her and her descendants to forever hang from threads and to be great weavers.

Goddess Kore

Kore“Kore – Her theme’s are luck, cycles and youthful energy. Her symbols are coins, corn, the Number Seven, flower buds and pomegranate.  An aspect of Persephone before her marriage to Hades, this youthful Goddess motivates good fortune, zeal and a closer affinity to earth’s cycles during the coming months. Kore, whose name means ‘maiden’, is the youngest aspect of the triune Goddess. She was the daughter of Zeus and Demeter, as beautiful as spring’s blossoms and as fragrant as its breezes. It was this beauty that inspired Hades to tempt her with a pomegranate, a symbol of eternal marriage. Because she ate the fruit, Persephone spends winter with Hades as his wife and returns to the earth in spring.

Traditionally, the Festival of Kore is celebrated on this day by the Greeks who carried an image of Kore around the temple seven times for victory, protection and good fortune. Since your home is your sacred space, consider walking clockwise around it seven times with any Goddess symbol you have (a round stone, vase or bowl will suffice). As you go, visualize every nook and cranny filled with the yellow-white light of dawn, neatly chasing away any lingering winter blues.

This is also Twelfth Night. Customarily, all holiday decorations should be down by now. This day marks winter’s passage and perpetuates Kore’s gusto and luck in your home year-round. Also consider carrying a little un-popped popcorn in your pocket to keep Kore’s zeal and vigour close by for when you need it.”

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

Patricia Monaghan wrote: “The most familiar ‘maiden’ goddess (for that is the meaning of her name) to bear this title in Greece was Persophone, but the term was also used of such nubile deities as Despoina, Athene, and Artemis.  Kore was the youngest form of the threefold goddess, the others being matron and crone.  As such, she represented the youthful earth, the fresh season of buds and flowers, and the fragrant breezes of springtime” (p. 183).

Thalia Took tells us that ”

Kore and Demeter are thought of as two faces of the same Goddess, and with Persephone, Kore’s name as Queen of the Underworld, they make up the classic Triple Goddess–Kore (whose name means simply “The Maiden”), Demeter (“Earth or Barley Mother”) and Persephone (“Destroyer of Light”), the Crone or death Goddess. Within Herself, the Goddess (and Woman) contains the whole cycle of life, from birth to death to rebirth.

An early form of Demeter or Kore as Underworld Goddess is the horse-headed black Goddess Melaina. Persephone is also sometimes called the daughter of the Underworld river Styx, and mother of Dionysos.

The journey of the Great Goddess through death and rebirth formed the basis of the famed cult of the Eleusinian Mysteries, initiatory rites to the Goddess held in the Greek city of Eleusis that were said to have been founded by the Goddess Herself. Over time the Mysteries became very popular and were considered a highly ethical ritual to take part in that promised eternal life after death. The mystery of Nature’s death and rebirth told through the tale of Demeter and Kore is a women’s mystery that was recognized as humanity’s mystery.

In a reading this card indicates that the situation is more complex than originally thought. Large patterns and cycles are at play here; it may help to keep in mind that things are cyclical and will come around. It can also represent finding your power in a bad situation–after Kore was carried off against Her will to the Underworld, She became its Queen.

Alternate names: Core, Cora, Persephone, Persephoneia, Persephassa”. [1]

 

 

 

Sources:

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

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

 

 

Suggested Links:

Blueroebuck.com, “Kore“.

Callisto

“Callisto’s themes are instinct, protection and flexibility.  Her symbols are a bear, a willow branch and the constellation Ursa Minor.  Appearing sometimes as a she-bear guarding her cubs, the Greek Goddess Callisto reinspires the natural instincts with which we have lost touch and illustrates the intensity of maternal love. Her other name is Helic, which means ‘to turn’ or ‘willow branch’; she thus had the power to help with personal transformations. In mythology, Callisto became Ursa Major while pregnant with Zeus’s child. Artemis changed her into a bear, along with her son, who became Ursa Minor.

In Korea, the festival of Chilseong-je begins at midnight with an offering of white rice and water to the seven stars (Ursa Major). This gift ensures Callisto’s assistance when needed throughout the coming months. If you can’t stay up till midnight, just leave the rice and water in a special spot before you go to bed.

From her celestial home, Callisto stands ready to protect us in the new year and provide us with adaptability as a coping mechanism. To encourage this, carry a silver or white stone bear, or a piece of dried willow wood. Bless this token, saying words like:

‘Callisto, release in me the power of flexibility
Where’re I carry this little charm
keep me ever safe from harm.’

If these tokens aren’t handy, you can substitute any white or silver item, or a hand-drawn picture of Ursa Major (the Big Dipper).”

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

For more information on Callisto, click here.

Goddess Gamelia

“Hera” by Soa-Lee

“Gamelia’s themes are luck, health, prosperity and new beginnings. Her symbols are two-sided items (representing the Old and New like coins and hourglasses). Gamelia is a lucky aspect of the Greek Goddess Hera, who brings fortune (especially in love). On this day of new beginnings, Gamelia extends a helping hand by teaching about the cycles in your life and how to cope with them more effectively, adding a little luck to make things easier.

In ancient times, people would wash Gamelia’s statues on this day, symbolically wiping winter away. They would also hang bay, palm, dates and figs around the house to inspire a year with Gamelia’s blessings. Remember Gamelia today to manifest her luck and joy in your life. Eat dates or figs (raisins are a handy substitute), leaving a little outside as an offering to her. To encourage a fresh start, consider turning over an hourglass (or egg timer) as midnight tolls.

As you turn the hourglass, recite this incantation:

‘The sands of time turn again with them new life begins The old now departs Gamelia, refresh my heart.’

For prosperity in the new year, carry any silver colored coin in your pocket the entire day, then use it to make a wish at any nearby fountain or water source. To foster Gamelia’s help with the wish, burn a little myrrh incense.”

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

The only thing I could find online in reference to “Gamelia” was from Wikipedia in which it states: “Gamelia  in ancient Athens may be a wedding customary law, a name of a wedding festival or wedding solemnities in general. Gamelion was the name of the month (15 December- 15 January) in Attic calendar, when marriages were used to take place.”  Further down, it states: “Gamelia was also the name of a sacrifice offered to Athena on the day previous to the marriage of a girl. She was taken by her parents to the temple of the goddess in the Acropolis, where the offerings were made on her behalf. (Suidas, s. v. proteleia) The plural, Gameliai was used to express wedding solemnities in general. (Lycophron, ap, Etym. m.s.v.)” [1]

Read more about Hera by clicking here to be taken to my March 10 entry on her.

 

 

Sources:

Wikipedia, “Gamelia“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Goddessgift.com, “Goddess Symbols: Hera

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

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

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

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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