Beyond the Mists

  • The Goddess: Sekhmet (10/30/2020)

    SHE WHO IS ALL – GODDESSES AND THE DIVINE FEMALE 2ND EDITION

     September 1, 2020

    Sekhmet

    “I am pure strength. I honor my anger by

    giving voice to it”

    (Photo and Quote from The Divine Feminine Oracle by Meggan Watterson)

    Sekhmet, the lion-headed Goddess of the Egyptians, harnesses the destructive powers of the sun. She is also known as “One Before Whom Evil Trembles”, “Mistress of Dread”, and “Lady of Slaughter”.

    She is the Goddess of the sun, war, destruction, and, oddly enough, healing. She is also a protective Goddess, as seen by the lion headdress she wears. The lion is a strong animal with protective attributes.

    Her solar disk shows that She is a solar deity, in Her case, one who is connected with the burning, destructive heat of the sun. Her breath created the desert.

    As befits one who is also called The Red or Scarlet Lady – red being the color of blood – She is often seen wearing a red dress. She is sometimes portrayed as holding an ankh, the symbol of life.

    In some mythology, She is the daughter of Ra; in others, She is the daughter of Nut, the Sky, and Geb, the Earth.

    She felt that humankind was not living up to the

    principles of Ma’at* (justice/balance). Her rage overcame Her and She began to slaughter them. Ra mixed beer with pomegranate juice and placed it in Her Path. Thinking it was blood, She consumed it all and became drunk. When She awoke, Her rage was gone, thus saving humankind once again.

    Sekhmet is truly a warrior Goddess. Rituals were held at the end of wars and at the beginning of each New Year to tame Her anger.

    As women, we are told that showing our anger is not becoming, it is not lady-like, but anger, as every other emotion, is valid. Sekhmet represents the sacred rage that is ours, our true strength as women. Our anger is sacred and holy; it is the anger to change worlds — think Joan of Arc, Rosa Parks. Anger forces us to action.

    “I burn and fume

    and shoot daggers from my eyes

    I erupt and roar

    (though you’ve not pulled my tail)

    my edge are sharp

    and I cut deep

    my energy is strong and fierce

    and my displeasure

    needs to be expressed

    Though sometimes mild

    I can be very intense

    Once incited

    I am difficult to put out

    I am always appropriate

    always needed

    Don’t try to get rid of me

    I need to be acknowledged and heard.

    I am anger”

    (Photo and quote from The Goddess Oracle

    by Amy Sophia Marashinsky)

  • The Goddess: Mira Bai/MiraBai (1498-1546 CE) (10/11/2020)

    She Who is All – Goddesses & The Divine Female

    September 1, 2020

    Mira Bai/MiraBai (1498-1546 CE)

    (Image Credit: learnreligion.com)

    Mirabai, also known as Meera, is a Bhakti poet and mystic from India. She is the central poet of the Bhakti movement, a path of spirituality that focuses on a personal love for the Divine, and that one is able to have direct access to the Divine through this intense devotion. She became a symbol of the suffering and persecution of her people, of all castes.

    She was born into the Rajput aristocracy. Legend has it that when she was a mere four-year old, she and her mother witnessed a wedding procession. She seriously looked at her mother and asked who her bridegroom would be. Not knowing how seriously her answer would be taken, her mother pointed to a statue of Lord Krishna and said he is your bridegroom.

    In 1516, Meera was made to marry the Crown Prince of Mewar, much against her will. She felt that the Lord Krishna was her true husband.

    She refused to worship her husband’s family’s Goddess, due to her vow to Krishna.

    She did not fulfill the duties and expectations of a dutiful and obedient wife. This continued until the death of her husband, when she refused, as custom demanded, that she throw herself on his funeral pyre.

    (Photo Credit: feminisminindia.com)

    Her husband’s family tried several times to have her killed. Once she received a basket of flowers designed to hide a cobra; when she opened the basket, she discovered a garland and an idol of her beloved Krishna. Another time, as an offering, she was given a cup of poison; as was her habit, she offered it first to Lord Krishna. When she drank the contents of the cup, she was not harmed.

    Mirabai’s love for Krishna surpassed all other. In doing this, she forsake a life of luxury and began her non-violent fight against persecution.

    After her husband’s death, her husband’s family, due to their disapproval of her, tried to lock her in the house, and ultimately, turned her away. She returned to her own family, who also disapproved and turned her away.

    She began to travel, write her devotional poetry to Krishna. She sang and danced in her intense devotion and began to gain many followers. There is a temple to her in Chittorgarh, not far from where she was born.

    (Photo Credit: tourmyindia.com)

    What Meera or Mirabai tells us is to do what it right for us, to stand up for what we believe and for what we know is best for us, and not what someone else thinks is best for us. Be sovereign; be authentic.

    (Photo Credit: The Divine Feminine Oracle by Meggan Watterson)

    The following is a sample of Mirabai’s poetry:

    MINE IS GOPAL

    Mine is Gopal,

    the Mountain-Holder;

    there is no one else.

    On his head he wears the peacock-crown:

    He alone is my husband.

    Father, mother, brother, relative:

    I have none to call my own.

    I’ve forsaken both God, and the familys honor:

    what should I do?

    I’ve sat near the holy ones,

    and Ive lost shame before the people.

    I’ve torn my scarf into shreds;

    I’m all wrapped up in a blanket.

    I took off my finery of pearls and coral,

    and strung a garland of wildwood flowers.

    With my tears,

    I watered the creeper of love that I planted;

    Now the creeper has grown spread all over,

    and borne the fruit of bliss.

    The churner of the milk churned with great love.

    When I took out the butter,

    no need to drink any buttermilk.

    I came for the sake of love-devotion;

    seeing the world, I wept.

    Mira is the maidservant of the Mountain-Holder:

    Now with love

    He takes me across to the further shore.

  • The Goddess: Blodeuedd/Blodeuwedd (7/1/2020)

    She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

     July 1, 2020

    Blodeuedd/Blodeuwedd

    (Image: The Avalonian Oracle)

    Flower face. Innocent. Delicate. Brought into being without consent, without question, without knowing.

    Arianrhod swore that her son would remain nameless, unless given a name by her. She swore that her son would never get arms/weapons, unless given them by her. She swore that her son would never have a wife from the land.

    Her son got a name, Llew Llau Gyffes and was armed by his mother through trickery and deceit. When he wanted a wife, one was made for him from oak, meadowsweet and broom, among other herbs and flowers. Blodeuedd, as she was originally named, was made by the magician, Gwydion and Math of Mathonwy, the king of Gwynedd; made by charms and enchantments.

    Other than his wanting a wife, he cared nothing for Blodeuedd; his goal was to defy his mother and break her curse. His feelings were what mattered and what he concerned himself with. She was wanted only to make a point to his mother and to do what tradition dictated in having a wife.

    Brought into this world without a thought to her, they are married. She was then left alone. Think of how she must have felt, brought into existence and left in a life and a world that she did not comprehend.

    (Image: Pinterest)

    While Llew Llau is away, the castle is visited by a neighboring lord, Gronw Pellyn, whom she invites in. They both immediately fall in love, one with the other. Gronw Pellyn, *sees* her, really sees her, as a woman and not just a means to an end.

    The invites him to stay and stay he does, for three nights, bonding and consummating their love.

    Gronw wants Blodeuedd and they hatch a plan whereupon she will find out how her husband can be killed. She gets the information from Llew Llau and lets Gronw know where he should be hiding, which day and which location. Gronw hits Llew Llau with a poisoned spear; he turns into an eagle and flies away. Gronw took possession of the land and was with his beloved.

    Gwydion, the magician who was Llew Llau’s uncle, searched high and low until he came upon his nephew and he was transformed back into a man and brought back to health, whereupon he wanted revenge.

    His wife, Blodeuedd, fled with her maidens, who because they kept looking back, all fell into a lake and drowned. This lake is Lynn Morwynion, Lake of the Maidens.

    When they caught up with Blodeuedd, they did not kill her. Instead, Gwydion turned her into and owl and renamed her Blodeuwedd, which means owl. Llew Llau got his revenge upon Gronw by killing him at the same location where Gronw tried to kill him.

    When Blodeuwedd is thought of now, she is almost always remembered as a traitor, betrayer and cheat. But is she, truly?

    I think not. I believe she was, ultimately, a woman, faced with a choice of being stuck in a world she did not know, a life she did not choose, with a man to whom she never gave consent, and being her own authentic person, choosing her own Sovereignty, choosing what she wanted instead of being told what she wanted.

    How is that even a choice. You choose your path or, eventually, you wither and die. There is no other choice for her to make, and so, she does. She shows courage, and the strength of her convictions and confidence in herself. So should we all.

  • The Goddess: Nabia/Navia (6/1/2020)

    She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

     June1, 2020

    Nabia/Navia

    The Goddess Nabia, also known as Navia, is a Goddess of many functions. She comes to us from ancient Lusitania on the Iberian Peninsula, on what is now Portugal.

    Her main function seems to be as a Goddess of waters, rivers and fountains, however, She is also worshiped in forested areas.

    It is possible Her name comes from the Sanskrit word, “navya”, which means water course. Also, the Portuguese name for ship is “navio”.

    Numerous rivers still have the name, as the River Navia in Northern Portugal.

    There have been at least 20 inscriptions dedicated to her throughout Western Iberia, which is Portugal and western Spain. Many of these are found near water and sacred springs/fountains.

    One of these fountains is the Fonte do Idolo, or the Fountain of the Idol, in Braga, Portugal. This fountain is dedicated to Nabia and most likely depicts the Goddess Herself.

     

     

    Inscriptions to Her have also been found in Serta in the Castelo Branco region of Portugal, as well as this one from Marecos, and another in Guntin.

    An inscription in Marecos mentions animals that were being sacrificed to Her, and indicates that she is a “virgin nymph”, who may also have war attributes. The name of the people sacrificing to. Her were the “Danigo”.

    The date of this inscription is April 9, which is now assumed to be her feast day.

     

     

    The inscription in Guntin shows a crescent moon carving, which would indicate Her to be a lunar Goddess, as well. There are indications that She is a chthonic Goddess, leading souls to the Underworld by underground streams and springs which were her purview. As with the River Styx, waters lead to the Underworld.

    Some inscriptions have been found on mountains and possibly show that She may have been consort to Reo, God of thunder, mountains and sky.

     

    As with most Goddesses, her responsibilities are many, the waters, the mountains, the forests, a Sovereignty Goddess, a lunar Goddess, as well as a guide to the Other-world.

    **All graphics from herminiusmons.wordpress.com

  • The Goddess: Sulis/Sul (2/1/2020)

    She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

     February 1, 2020

    Sulis/Sul

    It is all one

    being ill

    being well

    It is all energy

    energy in constant motion

    energy in constant flux

    restless energy that is never still

    ruthless energy that acts like a steam roller

    boundless energy that brings possibilities

    sparkling energy that tickles and sings

    stored energy that waits for release

    The healing waters at my shrine

    regenerated

    revitalized

    brought clarity

    mended holes

    opened vision

    allowed flow

    with energy flowing

    the dance of life resumes

    illness and wellness

    all one

    all energy

    all flow

    (Image and Poem Credit: The Goddess Oracle by Amy Sophia Marashinsky, Illustrated by Hrana Janto)

    Sulis is the ancient British Goddess of healing waters. She oversees all sacred wells and springs. She was also seen as a life-giving Mother Goddess. It is said that She is a sun Goddess as the meaning of Her name in Celtic means “sun” and “eye”. She is a Goddess for light, healing and wellness.

    She was normally shown as matronly, with a hat made out of a boar’s head and a foot resting on an owl.

    Her power was strongest at the mineral springs in Bath, which, archeologists say, have been in use at least 10,000 years. The spring has been renowned since these ancient times for its’ healing powers. People came from all over the world, and still do, for their own health and healing.

    (Image Credit: ancient-origins.net)

    When the Romans came to Britain, they build a bath complex around the spring and called it “Aquae Sulis”, The Waters of Sulis. The Romans equated Sulis with their own Goddess, Minerva and called her Sulis-Minerva.

    (Image Credit: Wikipedia)

    Sulis’ themes are healing and blessings; Her symbols are water and fire.

    Sulis asks us to look deep within ourselves to see where we are healthy and where we are ill. She wants us to take the time for self-care and to see where we are lacking in taking care of ourselves and to bring our focus and our energies to where they are most needed.

    Fill your bathtub with hot water and sea salt. Light yellow candles and incense of cinnamon or cloves, next to a vase of sunflowers. Lower yourself slowly into the bathtub, lie back, closing your eyes and slowing your breath. Open yourself up to your inner most thoughts and speak to Sulis. Listen for Her words and heed Her advice.

  • The Goddess: Vajrayogini (11/13/2019)

    She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

     November 1, 2019

    Vajrayogini

     

    (Photo Credit: The Divine Feminine Oracle Guidebook by Meggan Watterson)

    Vajrayogini is considered to be the prime deity of the Tantric pantheon, the principal female deity of the Chakrasamvara Cycle of Yantras, and central to the practice of Vajrayogini Buddhism.

    She is a Dakini (Tantric Priestess) and female Buddha, the complete essence of Buddhahood in female form, and is common to all Tibetan Buddhism schools.

    Her red body symbolizes Her inner fire, while the flames surrounding her represent Her elevated wisdom and spiritual transformation. The ability to see with clarity in the future, as well as the present and past, is evident in Her third eye chakra.

    (Photo Credit: Wikipedia)

    She carries a bowl filled with blood, which represents the sacred blood of menstruation and birth. It also represents the clear light of bliss that can be attained by letting go of our attachment to ego.

    There are different forms of Vajrayogini, each having a different name and appearance. Some of Her names are descriptive; some refer to Her lineage. The following examples are from the website himalyanart.org

    Vajrayogini has been called the Buddha for our time, this time we live in with our busy, hectic lives, our myriad of problems and fears of work, paying our bills, the terrifying issues around the world. She is both peaceful and full of wrath. Vajrayogini is a meditation deity. She helps us to see the truth, free of our illusions, free of being selfish. She works always for others and their well-being and helps us to destroy us of our hanging on to our egos. Vajrayogini is easy to reach during our dark times. She is anxious to help us and bring us to Enlightenment.

    You can meditate upon Her likeness, one of Her mandalas or chant Her mantra.

    (Photo Credit: Pinterest)

    There are several temples in the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal, dedicated to Vajrayogini, three of which are below. Sankhu Vajrayogini Temple, Guhyeshwari Temple and Vidhyeshvari Vajrayogini Temple.

     

    (Photos from Wikipedia)

    ***

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  • The Goddess: Dakini (8/1/2019)

    She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

     August 1, 2019

    Dakini

    (Photo Credit: The Divine Feminine Oracle Deck by Meggan Watterson – Photo by Susan Morgaine)

    Female, Powerful. Supernatural. Wisdom. Enlightenment.

    The Dakini are beyond intelligence; they are the embodiment of female wisdom and enlightenment.

    Dakini, translated, means “sky dancer”. They are seen as the attendants of Kali. Like Her, they can be vengeful and protective. The Dakini can be unruly; they make their own rules and love their freedom. They can appear as intense or nurturing as they represent energy in in all of it’s ever-changing forms.

    Their resemblance to Kali is seen within the garland of skulls that they wear.

    She/they is also seen carrying a vessel of menstrual blood – the elixir of life.

    In other representations, She holds a gold Tantric staff, which symbolizes the ultimate union she has attained within herself.

    In Tibetan Buddhism, the Dakini is the most sacred feminine principle. As Tantric Priestesses, they are limitless possibility.

    She represents the inner realm as a meditation guide, and the outer realm as a Tantric yogini.

    A Dakini can also be a sacred female spirit, a woman who has reached a certain amount of spiritual development and who teaches truth and spiritual wisdom in every aspect of her life. She carries power and grants insights to the serious yogini, especially those who practice Kundalini Yoga.

    It was believed by Padmasambhava, who was a pioneer in Buddhism, that women were better able to go more deeply into meditation than males and, thus, were able to realize the wisdom of his teachings.

    There were many Dakini temples, round structures, with no roof, open to the sky. The most famous is the 64 Yogini/Dakini Temple, which has 64 niches with carvings representing various aspects of this Goddess.

    (Image Credits: tsemrinpoche.com)

    ***

  • The Goddess: Sophia (6/1/2019)

    She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

    SOPHIA

    (Image Credit: crystallinks.com)

    Wisdom is calling us, Sophia is calling
    Raising her voice, she stands by the city gates,
    at the crossroads, on the mountaintop.
    At every entrance, she is standing, shouting
    to us: “O people”, she calls, “learn from me!”
    Listen to me, for I speak nothing but the truth.
    Know my ways, for they are richer than silver.
    Know my secrets, and you do not need gold.
    Listen to me, my words are more precious than rubies.
    My words are riper than figs, sweeter than dates,
    more nourishing than applies and olives.
    Kings and princes and careful judges know me,
    and so do those who simply love knowledge.
    Follow me on the path of truth.
    Follow me to the way of justice.

    ~ Proverbs 7 – 9

    Sophia. Wisdom.

    Hohkma in Hebrew, Sapientia in Latin, Sophia in Greek.

    Sophia is the personification of Wisdom. She is the Mother of Creation. She is the female soul/spirit, seen by some as the true power behind the Judeo-Christian god. She is the Mother of All, born of Silence according to the Gnostic creation myth, as well as the Gnostic conception of the female Holy Ghost.

    She gave birth to both female and male, who created the elements of this world. Her aspects include Mother of God, Black Goddess, Divine Female.

    Her sacred number is seven, due to the seven pillars, at Her home, built by Her own hands.

    Her symbol is the dove, which not only represents spirit, but has always represented the Great Goddess, and is one of the primary symbols of female sexuality. Doves were raised within Her temples, as well as in the temples of myriad other Goddesses.

    (Image Credit: Pinterest)

    One of Her main temples is the Hagia Sophia, in Istanbul, where She is crowned with stars, a symbol of absolute divinity.

    She is wise, loving, protective, giving, and truthful and wishes to communicate with us. Her wisdom leads to truth. Pay attention, over the din of the world, to what She has to say. We need but be still and listen.

    From the moment you enter
    till the time to surrender to death
    all that you experience
    directly for yourself
    all the burnt fingers
    to discover that the fire is hot
    all the falling flat
    when your reach exceeds your grasp
    all the explorations
    of territory known and unknown
    all these are pathways to me
    Seek to know
    and you are me
    stretch to become
    and you are me
    The Feminine quests for wisdom
    The Feminine is part of all women
    All women are the Goddess
    All women have wisdom
    All women are Sophia

    ~ Image and Verse from “The Goddess Oracle” by Amy Sophia Marashinsky

  • The Goddess: Lalita (5/1/2019)

    She Who Is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

     May 1, 2019

    Lalita, the Red Goddess

    (Image Credit: The Divine Feminine Oracle Deck by Meggan Watterson)

    Lalita Tripura Sundari, also known as Lalita, is an Hindu Goddess, connected to playfulness and desire.

    Lalita is “She Who Plays”. Her name in Sanskrit is comprised of Lila, meaning “divine play”, Tripura, meaning three worlds, and Sundari, meaning beautiful; hence, Tripura Sundari is “She who is beautiful in three worlds”. She is known for Her spontaneity and joy.

    Lalita is part of a group of ten Goddesses called the Mahavidyas, or Great Wisdom. She is seen to be an aspect of manifestation of Parvati, as well as “Adi Parashakti”, a Goddess considered a Supreme Being in the Shaktism sect of Hinduism.

    (Image Credit: Wikipedia)

    Lalita is sometimes seen sitting upon a lotus of 16 petals and is known as the Fulfiller of all Desires. Her devotional text, the Lalita Sahasranamam, is a list of her 1,000 names that fulfills the desires of those reciting it.

    She holds a golden bow, which represents the wind and five golden arrows to represent the five senses. Her forehead is sometimes shown with a crescent moon.

    Her yantra (mystical diagram/sacred geometry) is a red flower, symbolizing Her as the Red Goddess.

    (Image Credit: yes2spirituality.wordpress.com)

    According to Meggan Watterson of The Divine Feminine Oracle, Lalita represents the waking, dreaming, deep sleep states of our consciousness. She helps us to find joy in our own consciousness and within the world.

    (Image Credit: journeyingtothegoddess.wordpress.com)

    ***

  • The Goddess: The Cosmic Egg (4/1/2019)

    She Who Is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

    The Cosmic Egg

    (Image Credit: From The Divine Feminine Oracle by Meggan Watterson)

    The Cosmic Egg from whom all life has sprung, the beginning of all life, is the symbol of the Divine Female’s creative force.

    The Cosmic Egg represents the Cosmos, full of new life, promise and potential.

    This was described in the Rig Veda, the oldest Indian collection of Vedic Sanskrit hymns. The Cosmic egg, as primal, creative force has also been described as Shakti, the female energy from which all things come.

    In ancient Egypt, the hieroglyph used for the Cosmic Egg was the same as that used to describe the child in her mother’s womb. In ancient Greece, it was called the Orphic Egg.

    In the Lagos Museum, there is a 7,000 year old stone sculpture, six feet in length and imprinted with a symbol reminiscent of the strands of DNA; found in Silves, Algarve-Portugal, it was immediately named a “cosmic egg”.

    (Image Credit: look4ward.co.uk)

    Creation always begins with an egg, the mother, the woman. The primal universe and/or the Great Mother who created it, took the form of an egg.

    As stated by Diane Stein in her book, “The Guide to Goddess Craft”, formerly known as “The Women’s Spirituality Book”,

    “Egg are also the univeral symbols of cretion, birth, rebirth, the

    moon and the goddess. They are often seen in conjunction with the

    serpent or snake………….”

    (Image Credit: Wikipedia)

    “The goddess birthed both {the egg and the snake} from

    her body and they floated on the waters of chaos. By wrapping

    herself around the egg, the snake broke it open and from it

    hatched all the forms of the universe.”

    Hildegard of Bingen, who was a German abbess, as well as a writer, composer, visionary and mystic had visions, the third of which can only be described as a vision of The Cosmic Egg:

    “I saw a huge form, rounded and shadowy, and shaped like an egg… Its outer layer consisted of an atmosphere of bright fire with a kind of dark membrane beneath it… From the outer atmosphere of fire, a wind blew storms. And from the dark membrane beneath, another membrane raged with further storms which moved out in all directions of the globe.”

    (Image Credit: Pinterest)

    “Mother Earth lies in the world’s midst rounded like an egg

    and all blessings are there inside her as in a honeycomb.”

    – – – Petronius, Roman Novelist

    Is it possible that the ancient tradition of coloring eggs for Easter in the spring is a way of paying homage to the Goddess and her womb – the Cosmic Egg? I would say, yes, absolutely.

    ***

  • The Goddess: Akhilanda (3/1/2019)

    She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

     March 1, 2019

    Akhilanda

    (artwork by Pieter Weltevrede)

    Akhilanda is the Hindu Goddess of Never Not Broken. Her formal name is Akhilandeswari Ma, and is known informally as Khodiyar Ma, a form of the Great Mother Goddess.

    In Sanskrit, Akhilanda means “never not broken” and Ishwari is Goddess or female power. She is one of India’s oldest depictions of the Goddess.

    She is said to be originally a Vedic Goddess, the Vedas being the oldest layer of Sanskrit scripture. She is also known as the Goddess of the “agamas”, the texts known as tantra. She has been described as a form of the Goddess Parvati and as associated with Goddess Durga.

    She carries a trident and stands upon a crocodile upon a rushing river.

    (Image credit: hinduismtoday.com)

    “Everything happens for my liberation. I choose to become only more love” – Divine Feminine Oracle

    She moves and allows herself to be moved by the motion of the crocodile upon the rushing waters of the river. She surrenders herself to the movement.

    (Image Credit: MEDIUM.COM)

    Her power comes from being pulled apart and coming back together again; always broken, so she can never BE broken. She is destroyed (broken) and created/re-created again and again.

    Akhilanda represents where we are broken, our pieces instead of our whole. The crocodile is our fears, our vulnerabilities.

    She teaches us that our power is in our pain and that we have the strength and ability to pull ourselves back together, again and again, after breaking. We re-create and rebuild ourselves over and over into whom we wish to be.

    Akhilandra is there to help us transition from one place to another after we are hurt, when we feel sadness, when we have suffered loss. She assists us to grow, to transform, to heal and mend those broken bits and pieces. Just as she surrenders to the motion of the crocodile and the waters of the river, so we should surrender to whatever we are feeling, trusting that we will once again be whole.

    ***

  • The Goddess: Hygiea (2/5/2019)

    She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

     February 1, 2019

    Hygiea

    (Image Credit: Amazon)

    Hygiea, the daughter of Epione, the Goddess of the Soothing of Pain, and Aslepius, God of Medicine, is the Greek Goddess of Health and Healing. Hers is a healing family, as Her sisters are Panakeia, the Goddess Who Cures All and Iaso, the Goddess of Remedies.

    Called Salus in Rome, She is also the healer of both physical and mental disease. She is sometimes called the Protectress of Mental Health.

    Her symbol is a cup, or chalice, surrounded by a snake, as She is most commonly shown with a snake wrapped around Her body, holding a bowl for libations.

    The cult of Hygiea started in the 600’s BCE and spread during the plague of the 400’s BCE. A statue of Her stood at the entrance of the Acropolis, along with Athene.

    Hygiea was very holistic in Her approach to good health, professing the benefits of eating well, getting enough exercise and the concept of disease prevention from cleanliness and hygiene, from whose name comes the words and its’ variations.

    We would do well to follow Her advice in the present day, as well.

    (Image Credit: earthandstarryheavens.com)

  • The Goddess: Aa (1/12/2019)

    She Who Is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

     January 1, 2019

    Aa

    (Image Credit: freedom for humanity2016.wordpress.com)

    She to whom January 1st is dedicated and to whom is honored on this day is the Babylonian Goddess, Aa.

    She is also known as:

    Great Mother

    Mother of All Things

    Goddess of the Dawn

    Goddess of the Light

    While She is known as Aa in Babylonia, She is also known as Serida in Sumeria, and in Akkadian as Aya, which means “dawn” in Akkadian.

    She is “the Beginning” and “The Mother of All Wisdom” and is associated with the eastern mountains which bring the sun into the sky.

    (Image Credit: earthandstarryheaven.com)

    Her symbol is an 8-rayed sphere representing the symbol of light. As the consort of Shamash, the god of the sun, She was also called Bride of the Sun. Her sacred marriage to Shamash brought all thing to grow and prosper.

    Aa brings the energy from the dawning of the sun on a new day.

    (Image Credit: historymaniac.megan.com)

    Other Goddesses who have their feast days in January include:

    January 2 – Inanna’s Day (Sumerian)

    January 5 – Kore’s Day (Greek)

    January 8 – Justicia’s Day (Roman)

    January 11 – Carmentalia (Roman)

    January correspondences:

    Gem/Birthstone: Garnet

    Full Moon – Cold Moon

    Herb – Thyme

    Color – White

    Tree – Birch

    ***

  • The Goddess: Agischanak (12/12/2018)

    She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

     December 1, 2018

    AGISCHANAK

     

    As I sit here looking out at the world outside my window, covered with the first snowfall of the season, wrapped in a shawl due to the cold. My thoughts turn to Alaska and what Goddess I may find there.

     

    My search brings me to Agischanak.

    Goddess of the

    Mountains.

    Goddess of the

    Earth.

    Protector of Her

    people.

     

    (Image Credit: hubpages.com)

     

    Agischanak is a Goddess in Southeastern Alaska. She lives on top of Mt. Edgecumbe, near Sitka.

     

    (Image Credit: listverse.com)

     

    She is kindly and protects Her people and all of the peoples of the Earth. However, She is also forceful and powerful, as She must be as it is She who supports the pillar on which the Earth rests.

     

    For visitors, She has her brother, who comes but once a year to bring her the news of the world. The trickster, Raven, also comes to visit, always attempting to woo Her away, thereby abandoning Her post. Of course, it is a post She does not abandon. Raven provokes and annoys her at his own peril, as she responds with earthquakes.

     

    It is cold where Agischanak is holding up the Earth, and Her people come to Her and light roaring fires, as an offering, to keep Her warm.

     

    Remember, were it not for Agischanak, the Earth would sink into the powerful depths of the ocean.

     

    (Image Credit: liminallandscapes.com)
  • The Goddess: Sedna (11/7/2018)

    She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names
    Susan Morgaine November 1, 2018

    SEDNA

    (Image Credit: yousense.info)

    The story of Sedna, the Mother and Mistress of the Sea, the Goddess of marine mammals, is, to me, one of sadness and betrayal.

    In the Arctic Ocean of the Inuits, Sedna lived with her family. She was very beautiful and was wooed by many in Her community. She refused them, one and all. Her father, taking matters into his own hands, gave Her to an unknown hunter, in return for fish to keep the rest of his family fed. This unknown hunter was, in reality, a bird-spirit, and whisked Sedna away while She was asleep.

    Another version states that Sedna went with the unknown hunter of Her own free will, as he promised Her a life filled with everything She could dream of – warmth, and food.

    Either way, to Her dismay, Her new home was not as promised, as She found herself awakening on a high cliff, in a nest, surrounded by birds.

    She got a message to Her father of Her plight. Her father, Anguta, attempted to help Her by putting Her into his kayak to return Her to their home. The birds, seeing this, flew after them, surrounded the kayak, seeking vengeance for the removal of Sedna from the nest.

    To save himself, Anguta, threw his daughter overboard. She reached for the side of the kayak to save Herself and Her father cut off her fingers. As She brought her arms up to reach into the kayak, he then cut off Her arms. Sedna sank to the bottom of the sea.

    (Image Credit: Hanie Mold/Pernastudios – Deviant.com)

    She became the Queen and the Goddess of the Deep, Her fingers and arms becoming the seals, walruses, whales, those ocean mammals most hunted by the Intuit.

    Sedna lived, then, beneath the waves, in the Kingdom of Adlivan, the Intuit Land of the Dead, in a home-made of stone and the ribs of whales. She was responsible for sending the sea creatures to the human hunters to feed their families. She took Her responsibility seriously, but She had a provision that when one of them died, their souls would stay with their bodies for three days, whereupon they would bring news to Sedna of how the people behaved. If any of Her laws were broken, She would not send the food to the hunters. This brought Her pain.

    When this happened, a Shaman had to visit Her, by passing through terrifying lands and tests, to heal and soothe Her, until Her pain had passed and things were put right once more.


    Sculpture of Sedna in Nuuk, Greenland

    (Image Credit: alamy.com)

    **My fingers were cut off then

    I was kicked

    I was hurt

    I was wounded

    I was lied to

    I was betrayed

    I was abandoned

    My suffering was great

    but down below in the deeps

    in the heart of the ocean

    where I was left to lie

    I realized my powerlessness

    the way my life was lived

    helpless and afraid

    always being done to

    instead of doing

    and saw what I did

    As realization expanded my

    consciousness

    fish and sea mammals

    grew out of my cut fingers

    I became “old food dish”

    She who provided for her people

    Victim no more**

    **From “The Goddess Oracle by Amy Sophia Marashinsky. Image credit also goes to “The Goddess Oracle”.

    ***

  • The Goddess: Dzivaguru (10/9/2018)

    She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

     October 1, 2018

    Dzivaguru

    (Photo Credit: patientenbetelligung.info)

     

    This Mother Earth Goddess was of the Shona-speaking Korekore peoples of Zimbabwe.

    She was the Goddess of Earth and the Darkness of Night. It was She who controlled the clouds and the rain, and the pools and the streams.

    Dzivaguru was kind and compassionate toward her people. She brought the rain, and with the help of her two beautiful, golden Sunbirds, She brought the sun. Because of Her, Her land was fruitful and abundant.

    She lived in a palace which was on an ancient lake. She walked freely, and often, amongst her meadows and forests, drinking from her magical cornucopia, which brought Her everything She could ever wish for.

    There came a time when the Sky God’s son, Nosenga, became jealous of Her land and Her wealth. He wanted all that She had and so, decided to just take it from Her.

    Dzivaguru was smart, however, and knew his plans, and so concealed all of Her wealth and lands in fog to conceal it. He used a magic ribbon to see and was able to finally find Her palace.

    She tried to flee but he set a trap for Her by trapping Her two beautiful Sunbirds, bringing the

    sunshine.

    (Photo Credit: Offbeat Mythology Wiki)

     

    Dzivaguru was angered by Nosenga’s actions. He had Her Sunbirds and he took Her lands. She left, but not before taking Her lake, and with it, Her control over the waters and the rain.

    She cursed him, saying that his worship would be short-lived and that because he stole Her birds, that the sun would never set and the lands would be parched and cracked because She would not bring the rains. Thus, She disappeared. To this day, Her people still call out to her for rain.

    (Photo Credit: medium.com)

  • The Goddess: Goddesses Who Protect Travelers (9/3/2018)

    She Who Is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

     September 1, 2018

    Goddesses Who Protect Travelers

    As we begin to look forward to September and the first day of Fall, we remember that, for now, it is still Summer. This means there is still plenty of time to take a vacation and travel.

    With that being said, this column looks at three Goddesses who will protect you on your journeys far and wide.

    *************************

    (Graphic: bonstore.org)

    CHAM MO LAM LHA

    Cham Mo Lam Lha is the Tibetan Goddess of Travelers. She is a worldly protectress who rode on the back of a bee to insure smooth travel.

    She not only will help with outward traveling, but also the travel of an inward spiritual journey

    (Graphic: Pinterest)

    ABEONA

    Abeona is the Roman Goddess of Outward Journeys and Safe Passage. She protects travelers on their departure. She also guides and protects the first steps of children, as well as their first steps away from home.

    Abeona’s name means “to depart, or to go forth”. As such, She is also the Goddess of Partings.

    (Graphic: religion.wikia.com)

    ADEONA/ADIONA

    Adiona is the Roman Goddess of Safe Return. She protects travelers on the arrival back home. She also protects children, as they leave home and reassure parents that they will return home, at least to visit.

    Her name means “to approach or to visit”.

    Abeona and Adiona are both thought to be aspects of Juno due to their special focus on children. These two Goddesses worked together protecting travelers as they departed and made sure that they returned home safely.

    May you be blessed on your adventures and travels and may these Goddesses of travel watch over you on your journeys.

    Blessings!

  • The Goddess: Lilith (7/1/2018)

    She Who Is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

     July 1, 2018

    LILITH

    (Painting by John Collier – Source: Wikipedia)

    When my children were small, I was good friends with a woman whose birth family practiced Orthodox Judaism. We had known each other many years, our children were close and we had each been to many family gatherings. One summer, we were attending a pool party at her house and her parents were in attendance. I went to say hello to her father and then asked him about Lilith, as the first wife of Adam. His response was to look at me, say nothing, then turn to walk away. He never really spoke to me much afterward.

    THAT is the power of Lilith.

    Who was the powerful woman? Was she a demon? Was she a woman that refused to be subservient to a man? Did she leave Eden on her own? Was she kicked out?

    Her origins seems to be rooted in Babylonian demonology. In Sumerian, her name comes for “lilitu”, which means “female demon” or “wind spirit”.

    In the Sumerian tale of Gilgamesh, the hero (Gilgamesh) goes to help the Goddess Inanna, who was being beset by demons, one of which was Lilith. This part of the tale was added some 600 years after the original.

    (Source: YouTube)

    In Jewish tradition, Lilith is a dark demon, but others see her as a dark Goddess, but either way, she is ancient and powerful. In the Talmud, she was described as being sexually wanton and the stealer of men’s sperm from which she gave birth to demons. The Talmud, the book of civil and ceremonial law, states, “It is forbidden for a man to sleep alone in a house, lest Lilith get hold of him”.

    It is in the Genesis Rabba, religious texts with rabbinical interpretations of Genesis, that we first hear of Lilith as the first woman, created at the same time as Adam.

    Adam demanded that she life beneath him and she refused. Adam wanted her to be subservient to him and she refused. She stated, “We are equal because we are both created from the earth.”

    (Photo Source: The Lilith Library)

    This myth was added to book “The Alphabet of Ben Sira”, which added that Lilith then fled into the desert. Adam complains to God that the woman that was given to him has left. Three angels are sent after her. The angels tell her that she must return but she refuses and says, strangely, that she knows that she was made to harm children, but that if she sees the names of these angels on amulets, then that child will be saved.

    Some would say that when she refused to lie beneath Adam, that she was turned into a demon, a succubus, and banished from Eden. For some, she became a sacred whore, beautiful, dangerous, who would seduce men and kill them.

    Eve was then created from Adam’s rib, making her made from him, submissive to him and would lie beneath him.

    She has been an influence in literary characters, such as in “The Coming of Lilith” by Judith Plaskow, among many other stories, novels and poems. It is said that C.S. Lewis’ “The Chronicles of Narnia”, that the White Witch was influenced by Lilith. There is the Lilith Faire, which raises money for battered women’s shelters and breast cancer awareness.

    Girl God Publications has the “My Name is……” series, written for children, where Goddesses who have been demonized, have their stories told in a positive, affirmative manner. The third in this series is “My Name is Lilith“, by Monette Chilson, which I highly recommend.

    (Photo: Amazon)

    Lilith has become an icon for feminists who see her refusal to lie beneath Adam as a call to freedom, a rallying cry to break away from the bonds of patriarchy.

    She can be looked to for inspiration in being and accepting who we are – strong, empowered, independent women, making our own choices and living the lives we choose.

    Blessings!

  • The Goddess: Nu Kua (6/1/2018)

    She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

     June 1, 2018

    The Goddess Nu Kua

    (Photo Credit – acutonics.com)

    Nu Kua is the Creatrix Goddess of Ancient China.

    When the heavens and earth were separated, there were no human beings. Nu Kua was bored and lonely and so made the first humans out of clay made from mud from the Yellow River. Her breath and Yin became the first women; Her breath and Yang became the first men. The first of these were fashioned, and molded, with her hands. However, as she found how tedious and time-consuming this was, she began to drop a rope into the river’s clay and to allow droplets to form and to fall from the rope. Hence, those that were molded became the nobles and those who were unmolded became the peasants.

    She is said to have the body of a woman from the waist up, and the body of a serpent/snake/dragon from the waist down. There are also myths of her having the body of a Tortoise.

    (Photo Credit: goddesses-and-gods.blogspot.com)

    (Photo Credit: opednews.com)

    As the myth goes, the monster, Kung-Kung, during a great battle, flattened the mountains, tore a hole in the sky, and tilted the Earth.

    Nu Kua came to restore order. She melted five sacred, colored stones and repaired the sky. She took control of water, enabling the rains to fall when and where necessary and put out fires. She put the seasons in the right order.

    (Photo Credit: flickr.com)

    She replaced the pillars of heaven with the legs of a great turtle/tortoise so that they would not collapse; Dragons on these pillars guard the path of the sun and the moon.

    She corrected problems on Earth by quelling the problems of human chaos, by establishing marriage, ensuring that children would be raised correctly.

    After restoring order, Nu Kua retreated to her domain, the sky, wearing a compass to symbolize order.

    She has dominion over marital relations and fertility. It is said that she responds to prayers directed toward her.

    Nu Kua represents order and its’ restoration, is a calming influence in stressful situations and also helps with a positive attitude after negative events.

    *******************************

    Order

    There is a Way

    and I am that Way

    the Way of Nature that moves in all things

    In the beginning

    I created the universal pattern

    the Way things are

    the Way things flow

    the Way things need to be

    Then

    I sequenced the seasons

    harmonized the hillsides

    organized the oceans

    till all was auspiciously arranged

    I am the natural order of things

    I am the Way

    (From The Goddess Oracle by Amy Sophia Marashinsky & Hrana Janto)

    (Photo Credit: The Goddess Oracle

    by Amy Sophia Marashinsky & Hrana Janto)

    Goddess Blessings!!

    ***

  • The Goddess: Hippolyta (5/1/2018)

    She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

     May 1, 2018

    HIPPOLYTA

    (Photo Credit: brooklynmuseum.org)

    While there may be those who would argue that Hippolyta was not a Goddess, I feel that, since most of her legends describe Her as being the daughter of Ares, She is, indeed, a Goddess.

    Hippolyta was the greatest of all of the Amazon Queens. Fathered by Ares, the God of War, who was himself born of Zeus and Hera, She was beautiful and strong, skilled in endurance and weapons. She was a formidable Warrior Woman. It is quite possible that She was trained in combat moves by Ares himself.

    Hippolyta and her Amazons lives in Themiscyra, and kept largely to themselves. While they would mate with males from other tribes, they normally did not keep the male children, either sending them to live with their fathers, abandoning or killing them but always keeping, and raising, daughters for future Amazon generations.

    Most of the legends of Hippolyta are her being involved in the exploits of men, as one would expect in a patriarchal society. Reading these myths, it makes perfect sense that the Amazons and their Queen would isolate themselves from much of the world.

    Hippolyta was in possession of a golden belt, “the magic girdle”, that was gifted to Her by Ares. It was this belt, along with her skills, that made her the Queen of the Amazons.

    (Photo Credit: greekmythology.wikia.com)

    There are at least two versions of Her story with Hercules The first is that the Greeks decided that they wanted Hippolyta’s golden belt and send a raiding party to attack and rape the women warriors. These Greeks were led by Hercules.

    She found Hercules somewhat attractive and, as was Her custom, wish to wrestle with him to determine if he was strong enough and that She would not give birth to a weak child. Her followers thought that Hercules was attacking their Queen and, in turn, attacked him. The women lost the battle to Hercules’ raiding party. One version of the story tells that Hercules killed Hippolyta and stole the golden belt. Another version says that She was not killed and gave the belt to Hercules of her own free will. Yet another, says that it was Hera, always the enemy of Hercules, who disguised herself as one of the Amazons, told the rest of the warrior women that Hippolyta was going to be kidnapped by the Greeks, and this is what started the skirmish between the two parties.

    (Photo Credit: Wikipedia)

    Another rendering of the story tells of King Eurysthesus giving Hercules 12 challenges or labors. The nineth labor was for Hercules to retrieve (read steal) the golden belt from Hippolyta and giving it to his daughter. Again, here, it is said that Hippolyta gave him the belt. The stories differ once again; one says that She gave him the belt because she was so enchanted by him; another says that the challenges were given to Hercules as punishment for killing his own children in madness and rage, a torment brought on by Hera, and that when Hippolyta heard his story, she was overcome with compassion and offered him the belt. Keeping in mind that the Amazons, while being warriors, what they hoped to offer and teach, was peace, making it quite plausible that She gave the golden belt to Hercules.

    While Hercules was a demi-god, Theseus was a mortal who also visited Hippolyta at Themiscyra. Theseus, it was rumored, had killed a minotaur. Recalling Her past experience with outsiders, She prayed that no harm would come to her people as She ordered a great feast to be held in his honor. Theseus asked Hippolyta to come on to his ship, which She did. Theseus had fallen in love with Her and asked Her to stay with him. Hippolyta refused, as She wished to stay with Her Amazons. When She went to disembark from the ship, the crew immediately set sail for Greece, with Hippolyta as a prisoner.

    The Amazons were furious and immediately followed to retrieve their Queen. Theseus, having no clue he was being followed, started to plan a grand wedding to marry the kidnapped Amazon Warrior Queen. The Amazons planned their attack to take place deep into the night while everyone was asleep, and were able to rescue Hippolyta just in time. Shakespeare tells his version of Hippolyta’s story with Theseus in his “A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream”.

    Not surprisingly, the Amazons and their Queen became very suspicious and leery of all visitors.

    (Photo Credit: screenrant.com)

    In pop culture, Hippolyta is the mother of Wonder Woman, who was fashioned a baby from clay and had the life breathed into her by the gods.

    Hippolyta – Queen, Warrior, Mother, Goddess

    ***

  • The Goddess: Zemyna (4/1/2018)

    She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

     April 1, 2018

    Zemyna

    (Photo Credit – Pinterest)

    Zemyna is a Lithuanian Earth Goddess. She is the Mother of all things. As the Goddess of Childbirth, one of Her functions concerns fertility. She creates life out of herself and represents the rebirth and renewal of every living thing.

    She is honored at the birth of every child. Offerings to Her are left at stones, near trees and in the water, thanking Her for a new life.

    Her name, literally, means “Earth”. She is also called *Blossomer*, *Bud-Raiser* and *Flower-Giver*.

    All that comes of, and from, the Earth returns to the Earth and so, She also is related to Death.

    She is the personification of the fertile earth and nourishes all of the life on Earth, whether is be plant, animal or human. Trees with three leaves or nine branches were especially connected to Her, the most revered being oak, linden and spruce.

    (Photo Credit: Wikipedia)

    Her people believed that all plant and human life were connected and flowed together. They believed that souls took up residence in the trees that have died. The souls of women went in to lindens and spruce; men in to oaks, maples and birches, while the ancestors of the village would be within the fruit trees. Birds nesting in these trees became symbols of the force of life itself.

    The love that the people had for the plant life of the Earth is in the “dainas”, spiritual folk songs of their culture.

    With the people being a part of nature, Zemyna helps and supports those who treat the Earth with respect, and helps Her in Her mission of defending the Earth.

    It was a terrible thing to dig or strike into the Earth with an iron implement before March 25, as the Earth is pregnant at that time.

    If you were to kill an animal for food, Zemyna would forgive you. If, though, you were to kill an animal for fun, or for the pleasure of it, Zemyna would not let you get away with that, and consequences will surely follow. The more you negatively do to Nature, the more She will make you pay. You can pray, but you will not deflect Her anger.

    (Photo Credit – lituanus.orgSculpture by Vytautas Maciuika)

    Beyond this, Zemyna is loving and good-natured. She rewarded those who took care of the Earth. She was a source of strength and power to Her people. Respect could be shown to Her by pouring some of whatever you were drinking upon the Earth itself.

    Offerings were also left at regular intervals, mostly of bread and ale. If offerings were not made, there could be dire consequences. These offerings were left at Her places of worship, near large stones, which were a representation of the Omphalos, the power center of the Earth.

    She may have been married to Perkunas, the thunder God. The wedding is celebrated in the Spring, when the Earth reawakens.

    Her greatest festival is at Summer Solstice. Families bathe in streams and rivers in celebration of the moisture of the earth.

    (Photo Credit – Pinterest by Jennifer Kuhns)

    The worship of Zemyna is different than that of the patriarchal religions, which state that the Earth is secondary to man and that it is here for man’s consumption. For Zemyna, Her people know that Nature is sacred and permanent. While we, as humans, may die, Nature is always here.

    “When we are gone,

    they will remain,

    wind and rock, fire and rain

    They will remain

    when we return

    the wind will blow

    and the fire will burn”

    ~~ Reclaiming

    [youtube]

    ***

  • The Goddess: Nammu (3/1/2018)

    She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

     March 1, 2018

     

    The Goddess Nammu

    (Photo Credit: crystalinks.com)

    In Sumeria, whose civilization dates back to 3500 BCE, Nammu was the Goddess of the Waters of Creation. She was the great abyss, the endless primeval sea in which the Universe floated, that which She brought forth.

    She was also called the “Mother of Everything” and “Mother, First One who Gave Birth to the Gods of the Universe”. According to the An-Anum, the list of Mesopotamian deities, She is called “The Mother Who Gave Birth to the Heavens and the Earth.

    (Photo Credit: Pinterest)

    Creation came from the Great Goddess, from those Waters of Creation; and so, Nammu is as old as time itself, as She was always there and always will be there. She has no beginning and She has no end; all life is owed to Her. She is the Creation of all things.

    Her name was/is written with the sign for “engur”, which is also used to write “Apsu”, the sweet fertile waters.

    She gave birth to An/Heaven, a Sky God and to Ki/Earth, an Earth Goddess. An and Ki produced air between them. This air stirred the waters surrounding the large mountains between them and so was separated the Earth and the Sky.

    She also birthed the first gods, who represented the ocean water, far down beneath the Earth, which was the source of the life-giving water and fertility of its’ people.

    It is said that She also helped Mani, an All-Mother herself, form humanity. Mani was a potter who mixed clay over the cosmic abyss to form 14 images of herself. She put them in two rows, seven on Her left and seven on Her right, and with life-giving incantations, humankind was born.

    (Photo Credit: gatewaystobabylon.com)

    An and Ki gave birth to the Trickster god, Enki, God of Water and Wisdom. In early traditions, it is said that She is also grandmother to Inanna, a daughter of An and Ki.

    With the onset of sky gods, and the very beginnings of patriarchy, Nammu was demoted and Her power stripped away like so many other Goddesses. Most of Her power and credit for Her Creations were then given to Enki.

    Nammu corresponds to the Babylonian Tiamat, who also lost Her power and position to Marduk, a sky god, when Babylon took over Sumeria. Allegedly, Marduk created the heavens and earth by murdering Tiamat.

    (Photo Credit: Pinterest)

    ***

  • The Goddess: Sheela-Na-Gig (2/1/2018)

    She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

     February 1, 2018

    Sheela-Na-Gig

    (Photo Credit: knowth.com)

    What better representation of the Goddess for February than Sheel-Na-Gig?

    All over Europe, primarily Ireland and England, adorning castles, churches, sacred sites, you will find carvings in stone of the beautiful Sheela-Na-Gig, a big smile on her face, squatting knees apart, exposing her powerful vulva. It is believed that these carvings were done during the Neolithic and Paleolithic eras. There is still and old energy that lies within these carvings.

    While many find Her akin to a gargoyle, or a figure of lust. Many women, though, believe her to be an ancient fertility figure and a representation of the Mother Goddess.

    The term “gyg”, in Norse, means giantess or a deified female, aka Goddess. It is thought that these carvings were meant for protection and to ward off evil, which goes a long way toward understanding their appearance on ancient churches.

    (Photo Credit: www.beyond-the-pale.org/uk)

    The vulva is a holy symbol of birth and life; representing regenerative powers of an Earth Mother/Goddess. The vulva of Sheela-Na-Gig is in the shape of a triangle, another hint that She is a representation of the Goddess. The triangle is a symbol of the three aspects of the Goddess – Maiden, Mother and Crone – the full cycle of a woman’s life (yes, I am not including all of the new additions of Queen, etc.)

    It is thought that graves were built in the shape of the Goddess and that Her vagina was the passageway to regeneration and rebirth.

    I believe that it is most likely unknown how many of these carvings there are, but this link will give you an idea of those that are in Ireland: http://www.irelands-sheelanagigs.org/

    This article researches those in Southern England: http://www.sheelanagig.org/wordpress/category/southern-england/

    (Photo Credit: www.atlasobscura.com)

    Some of these carvings may be seen as lying on their side or upside-down, which indicates re-use of the stone which originally held the Sheela-Na-Gig carving.

    Many of these carvings were taken down and destroyed with the growth of the church, as well as the beginning and rise of patriarchy. It is believed by many that these carvings of Sheela-Na-Gig gave rise to the demonization of women, and of women being portrayed as an ugly hag or crone.

    While there are women who find these carvings grotesque and obscene, women who “know”, see Her as an invitation from the Goddess to explore and delve into their own divine feminine. She is the gateway to new adventures, new projects and new paths.

    Sheela-Na-Gig is the invitation, the gateway and the re-birth of women who have the courage to really see Her, choose to delve into Her Mysteries and be reborn, knowing of their own Goddess power within and without.

    With the fast and rampant rise of patriarchy, women were reduced to nothing but one who serves at home for their spouse, and as sex objects, which is how many see Sheela-Na-Gig. With this reduction of the powerful force of women and the Goddess, women lost their power.

    We, as women, need to remove ourselves from the yoke of patriarchy. The time is now for women to rise up and reclaim the power of the Goddess and the power that is held within them; rise up and proclaim “THIS is our power”.

    (Photo Credit: www.beyond-the-pale.org/uk

  • The Goddess: Themis (1/1/2018)

    She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

     January 1, 2018

    Themis

    Statue of Themis at Chuo University

    (Photo Credit: Brittanica.com)

    The Goddess Themis – We see her everywhere as the personification of blind justice. Her image is used in courtrooms, attorney’s offices, anywhere justice is served.

    As one of the Titans, She was the daughter of Gaia and Uranus, and is the representation of the natural and moral order of everything, which was extremely important to the ancient Greeks.

    She was the second wife of Zeus, and as the Goddess of Wisdom, sat at his right hand as one of his councilors.

    Her name “Themis” means “divine law”, and it was She who instructed mankind in the laws of justice and morality, those being piety, hospitality and governance.

    (Photo Credit: souvenirsofgreece.com)

    As the Goddess of Divine Law and Order, She is seen carrying the scales and wearing a blindfold. She also would sit in judgment of those recently deceased, and so She is associated with the Egyptian Goddess, Ma’at. (See: http://paganpages.org/content/2016/12/she-who-is-all-the-goddess-of-ten-thousand-names-22/ )

    (Photo Credit: Wikipedia)

    You will sometimes see her carrying a cornucopia, due to Her being the Mother of Seasons through Her children, the Horae, who were the Goddesses of the seasonal, never-ending Wheel of the Year and determined the time of the Earth’s waking and blooming. Through Her children, the Horae, Themis is the Goddess of Moral Order. There are two generations of Horae and they are:

    The Horae

    First Generation

    Auxo – Goddess of spring growth

    Carpo – Goddess of the fruits of the earth and She represented Autumn a

    Thallo – Goddess of spring buds and shots. She represented Summer

    Second Generation

    Dike – Goddess of fair judgements, based on laws, and moral order. She protected the wise administration of justice

    Eirene – Goddess of peace

    Eunomia – Goddess of order and law. The Greeks also identified her as a spring goddess of green pastures

    (Photo Credit: britannica.com)

    She was also Mother to the Moirae, or the Fates, and through them She was the Goddess of Natural Order.

    Moirai (Fates)

    Atropos – Goddess of inevitable. She was the oldest of three fates

    Clotho– Goddess of spinning the thread of lives, the Weaver

    Lachesis – Goddess of destiny. She measured the life spun by Clotho

    She was also a Goddess of Prophecy and once sat at the Temple of the Oracle at

    Delphi, which was a Temple to the Goddess before it was overtaken by the god, Apollo.

    Her symbols are the Scales of Justice and the Cornucopia. Her Festival day is

    September 23rd.

    (Photo Credit: fr.fotolia.com)

    ***

  • The Goddess: White Buffalo Woman (12/1/2017)

    She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

     December 1, 2017

    White Buffalo Woman

    (Photo Credit: ancient-origins.net)

    The legend of White Buffalo Woman is an old one and centers around the spiritual practices of many Native American tribes of North American. It centers mostly around the Lakota Nations, but She is also central to other Tribes, including the Sioux and the Oglala. It is important to know that the buffalo are sacred, representing abundance and harmony.

    White Buffalo Woman, also known as Ptesan-Wi is a strong, powerful woman, bringing to the North American Native Americans some of their most sacred ceremonies.

    The myth, as it is told, tells of two warriors sent out from a Lakota camp, looking for food. Appearing before them was a white buffalo, which transformed into a beautiful woman, dressed in white. One of the men found himself overcome with her beauty and wished to possess Her. He ran to her and they were covered with a black cloud. When the cloud dissipated, the remaining man found his fellow warrior was nothing but bones. She turned to the second man, explaining that his friend had bad intent and that she would not hurt him. She told him to go back to the campsite and build a tipi with 24 poles; adding that She would come to them in four days.

    In 4 days’ time, She approached the campsite, once again in the form of a white buffalo, whereupon She turned from white to black to yellow and red before appearing again as a beautiful woman. She carried a bundle, along with a fan of sage leaves.

     

    (Photo Credit: white-buffalo-calf-woman-sings.blogspot.com)

    She walked four times around the central fire, walking the sacred and endless circle. As She did so, She filled the sacred pipe – the chanunpa – saying that the smoke was Tunkashila’s breath, the living breath of Grandfather Mystery. She sang a pipe-filling song to the Sky and to Grandmother Earth and to the four directions.

    She showed them how all things were connected and taught them about the Earth, their Mother and about Her Mysteries and urged them to always honor Her. She told them that they were to be the caretakers of the Land and to follow the Earth path and to walk it as a living prayer.

    As She taught them how to pray with words and gestures, She also brought to them the teachings of the Seven Sacred Rituals, which are the following ceremonies:

    Purification Ceremony/Sweat Lodge

    Naming Ceremony

    Healing Ceremony

    Making of Family (Adoption) Ceremony

    Marriage Ceremony

    Vision Quest

    Sundance Ceremony (the people’s ceremony for all of the Nations)

    White Buffalo Woman stayed with them for four days teaching them all that She would.

    She left Her sacred bundle and the White Buffalo Woman Pipe in their care.

     

    (Photo Credit: Pinterest)

    She told them that one day she would return to bring harmony, peace and balance to the world. She prophesied that one day a white buffalo calf would be born and this would be the sign that She would soon be returning.

    As She left, She rolled over four times, once again changing from black, red, yellow and finally to white; it was then that a great herd of buffalo surrounded the camp, that was used as food, clothing and bones for their tools. The Lakota honored the Pipe and the buffalo were plentiful.

    It was told that next time there is

    chaos and disparity,

    she would return again.

    She said she would return as

    a White Buffalo Calf.

    Some believe she already has.

    Words of Chief Arvol Looking Horse,

    19th Generation Keeper of the

    Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe

    of the Lakota Nation

    *******************************

    “A white buffalo is the most sacred living thing you could ever encounter.”

    John Lame Deer

    ******************************

    A white buffalo was born in Wisconsin in 1994. Some say this was the fulfillment of the prophesy; some not.

    With Mother Earth in danger and climate change getting worse on a daily basis, when Tribal lands are ravaged to put in pipelines, when administrations dismiss scientific claims, maybe this is the time for White Buffalo Woman to return and bring balance, peace and harmony to the world, and to help save Mother Earth beneath our feet.

    ***********************************

    “Now, more than any time in history, we need the sacred feminine to balance our lives and to balance our world. We must be spiritual warriorsculling the profound and important aspects of the power of feminine wisdom and directing them toward peace within, as without, and utilizing the energies of the goddess and all mythical women and spiritual heroines to help direct the course of history.

    Laurie Sue Brockway

    “A Goddess is a Girl’s Best Friend”

    (Photo Credit: Youtube.com)

    ***

  • The Goddess: The Nereids (12/1/2017)

    She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

    The Nereids

    (Photo Credit: Pinterest)

    The Nereids are Sea Goddesses/Nymphs and the daughters of Nereus and Doris, who was the daughter of Oceanus. Doris’ name means bounty of the sea, which is perfect for the Mother of the Nereids, who represent all that is beautiful about the sea.

    They are 50 in number, all of whom loved to dance and sing with their melodious voices. They dressed in the finest silks and their heads were crowned with red coral.

    All of them were oracles and had the gift of prophesy and divination. They could prophesy shipwrecks and storms, as they rode whales and dolphins throughout the ocean. They were the protectors of the sailors and fishermen, whom they would save when the predicted storms would appear.

    They lived with their father, Nereus, but would go forth to accompany the King of the Sea, Poseidon, who was married to Amphitrite.

    (Photo Credit: Pinterest)

    Each of them represented a part of the sea and the oceans bounty.

    The Greek poet, Hesoid called them truthful and unlying” and beyond reproach”.

    These 50 sisters had one brother, named Nerites, who was born after all of them. It is said that he was the most beautiful male and, one can assume, spoiled by his sisters.

    While not all of the Nereids has their own legend, they each had their special part of the sea or specialty.

    Aktaia – “Goddess of the sea shore”;

    Doto – “safe passage to boats and ships; She also had a temple in Gabala;

    Amatheia – a healer, who nursed and nurtured the fish of the sea;

    Galateia – “Goddess of the sea foam”;

    Amphinome  “the seas bounty”;

    Keto – “sea monsters”;

    Amphitrite – Possessed the power to calm the waters and quiet the wind; She did this along with Her sisters, Kymatolege and Kymodoke and Kymo;

    Amphithoe – “moves swiftly”;

    Eukrante – “successful voyage”;

    Galene – “calm seas”;

    Eunike – “maritime victory”;

    Autonoe – “with her own mind”;

    Dynamene – “the power of the sea”;

    Erato – “the lovely”;

    Halia – “of the brine”;

    Kallianas – “lovely queen”;

    Eudora – “fine gifts of the sea”;

    Eukrante – “successful voyage”;

    (Photo Credit: xletsos-basilhs.blogspot.com)

    Eulimene – “good harbor”;

    Lymnoreaia – “salt marsh”;

    Eumolpe – “fine singer”;

    Oreithyia – “raging sea”;

    Pherosa – “rescuing sailors”;

    Protomedeia – “first queen”;

    Psamathe  “Goddess of Sand”;

    Agave  “the illustrious

    Thetis – “the unofficial leader of the Nereids

    (Photo Credit: beazley.ox.ac.uk)

    The remaining Nereids are Thaleia, Theisto, Thoe, Laomedeia, Maira, Leagore, Melite, Panopeia, Nemerites, Menippe, Neomeris, Neso, Nesaire, Apseutes, Dero, Pherosa, Ploito, Eione, Polynome, Dexamine, Pontomedousa, Eugare, Proto, Kallianeira, Pontoporeia, Poulynoe, Kalypso, Eupompe, Klaia, Pronoe, Euarne, Hippothoe, Klymene, Iaira, Kranto, Ianassa, Ianeira and Ione.

    MYTHS & LEGENDS

    In the legend of Jason and his search for the Golden Fleece, the Nereids were instrumental in helping him and his crew survive. Hera had asked Thetis to protect Jason from the anger of Zeus. As Jasons ship, the Argo, was sailing between the Wandering Rocks (which would destroy the ship and everyone aboard), the Nereids surrounded the ship while Thetis took hold of the rudder blade. Thetis directed the course of the ship, the Neireds tossed the ship back and forth, carrying it above the waves. The ship would have been destroyed, if not for the bravery of the Nereids.

    (“Tritons & Nereids” by William Russell Flint)

    One day as the Sisters were out frolicking between the sand and sea, Thetis was captured by the Warrior/King Peleus, who wanted to marry her. She unsuccessfully tried to run. She was, at that time, very unwilling to marry but eventually did so, with all of her sisters in attendance.

    Thetis was the mother of Achilles; and so, the Nereids were present, marching in his funeral procession. As they proceeded upon the sea shore, they grieved with their sister.

    Theseus was the son of Poseidon and Amphitrite, but his claim was disputed by King Minos of Crete. Minos flung his ring far out into the sea and demanded that Theseus retrieve it, to prove his claim. Theseus dove right into the ocean, where he was picked up by dolphins and brought to his mothers court, where the Nereids gave him a golden crown to prove his royal heritage.

    The Nereids were mentioned not only in the works of Hesoid, but also Baccylides, Ovid, Plato and Sappho, amongst many others.

    It is easy to imagine that all of our present tales and myths of sea monsters and mermaids that help sailors come to us from these legends of the Nereids.

    (Previously Published on Motherhouse of the Goddess – SM)

    ***

  • The Goddess: Hestia & Vesta (11/1/2017)

    She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

     November 1, 2017

    Hestia & Vesta, the Goddesses of Hearth & Home

     

    As we enter into that time of the year when folks gather together with family and friends, what better time to honor Hestia and Vesta, the Goddesses of Hearth and Home, in Greece and Rome respectively.

     

     

    (Photo credit: goddessgift.net)

    Hestia is the Greek Goddess of Hearth and Home. She took no human form, but was only seen in the fire of the Hearth.

    Homes were built from the center outward; this center always being the hearth, in which Hestia was always welcome. She was honored each morning and evening with an offering from each family, at their respective hearths, Hestia’s sacred place. Hestia was the embodiment of family unity.

    If each hearth was the center of the home, then the hearth’s flame becomes Hestia’s altar. Every woman who was in charge of her own household, therefore, becomes a Priestess of Hestia.

    There was also a public hearth, where Hestia was also honored and worshiped. This was the eternal flame, the “prytaneion”, which was never-ending and where the first fruits, wines and oils were sacrificed to Her. This public fire represented the energy of all life.

     

    (Photo Credit: greekgodsandgoddesses.net)

    Her name means “the essence”, as in the truth of all things. She was one of the most revered Greek Goddesses. She was gentle and kind, loving and forgiving, peaceful and dignified.

    She was both the first, and last, child of Chronos and Rhea (Titans). She was the firstborn, and was promptly swallowed by her father, who had a prophecy that one of his children would be stronger than he. He did this with each subsequent child. After Zeus was born, Rhea tricked Chronos into swallowing a rock wrapped in a blanket. He promptly became sick and vomited up each child. Hestia being the first child born and swallowed, became the last child to be brought back up. Hence, the name of “Hestia, First and Last”.

    Hestia was courted by both Apollo and Poseidon, but She swore to never be married, to always be true to Herself and make Her own choices, a true Sovereign Goddess.

    Her temples were located at Olympia and at Delphi. It is said that the source of Her sacred fire was the lava at the center of the Earth, which connected the Oomphalos to Delphi, which was a city of great energy and wisdom. Her festival day was held on June 8th.

     

     

    (Photo Credit: commons.wikipedia.org)

    Of Vesta, it was said, that She was fire and that fire was She. Worship of Vesta dates back to the 7th century BCE.

    She, also, did not take human form, although She was later seen as a veiled figure on Roman coins.

    Vesta was also honored each day at Her sacred place, the hearth of each home.

    (Photo Credit: alamy.com)

    In public, She was worshipped at the only round Roman temple, which was at the Forum Romanum. It also had it’s eternal flame. This flame, and the temple were tended by the Sisterhood of the Vestal Virgins. Once a year, on March 1st, this flame was put out by the Vestals and re-lit.

    Vesta’s other sacred day was on June 9th, the festival of Vestalia. Food baked on all hearths, was offered to Her, as well as the sacrifice of salted cakes baked on Her sacred flame by the Vestals. Offerings would take place for 8 days, whereupon the temple would be closed, cleaned and re-opened.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    (Photo Credit: alamy.com)

     

    It was considered bad luck and an ill omen for either of these sacred flames to go out.

    Vesta and Hestia also shared common symbols, fire and a circle, the circle representing that they were complete Goddesses, in and of themselves.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    While the following is for Hestia, from The Goddess Oracle by Amy Sophia Marashinsky, it is also true for Vesta.

    I am what’s at the core

    the indescribable

    the elusive

    the living presence

    that inhabits and transforms

    a building

    a dwelling

    an edifice

    taking it from the realm of

    marble

    stone

    or wood

    and with its hearth fire lit

    making it a home.

    May the Goddesses of Hearth and Home, Hestia and Vesta, bless you and yours during the upcoming holiday season.

     

    ***

  • The Goddess: Baba Yaga (10/1/2017)

    She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

     October 1, 2017

    Baba Yaga

    (Photo Credit – journeyingtothegoddess.wordpress.com)

    In Slavic and Russian folklore, Baba Yaga is the old woman of autumn. She was a fearsome witch-like woman with iron teeth, who rowed through the air in a mortar, using a pestle as an oar. As she travels, she sweeps away all traces of herself with a broom made of silver birch.

    She is the epitome of the fairy-tale witch, who lives in a hut deep in the forest, this hut having the legs of a chicken and would spin around and around. Its’ windows are its’ eyes. This hut is surrounded by a fence on which skulls are placed, with eyes a-blazing. She would scare people with just a look, and her appearance would cause the wind to blow wildly, leaves blowing helter-skelter. It is said that her traveling companions were spirits. She has bodiless pairs of hands that act as her servants and could call on the White, Red and Black Horsemen. She was also called Baba Yaga Bony Legs, as, even though she had a ferocious appetite and ate those who did not complete the tasks she had given them, she was extremely skinny. She had two older sisters, both of whom were also known as Baba Yaga. She would sleep sprawled out on her stove, which was the length of the hut and her long nose would hit the ceiling as she snored.

    Baba Yaga would always ask visitors if they were sent to her, or if they came of their own free will. She had no power over the pure of heart or were protected by love or virtue.

    One of the most famous stories of Baba Yaga was about a young girl named Vasalisa.

    (Photo Credit – Wikipedia)

    Vasalisa was the daughter of a merchant, whose wife dies when the girl was 8 years old. While on her deathbed, the mother gives Vasalisa a small wooden doll. She told her that if Vasalisa fed it a small amount to eat and drink if she were in need, then the doll would help her. She did so and the doll comforted her. Eventually, as men will do, her father remarried, to a woman who had two daughters of her own. This woman was very cruel to Vasalisa, who was always able to do all of the chores assigned to her, with the help of her little wooden doll. Her stepmother would not allow her to be married before her own daughters and send all suitors away, as they had no desire to wed Vasalisa’s step-sisters.

    On a day that Vasalisa’s father left on a trip, the stepmother sold his home and moved them to a hut in the forest, which was very dark and gloomy. She gave each of the girls a chore to do and put out all the fires in the hut, except for one candle. The older step-sister sent Vasalisa to see Baba Yaga to fetch more light. With the help of her doll, she knew where to go, and so she went.

    As she traveled she passed a man, dressed in white, on a white horse; then a man dressed in red, on a red horse. She soon came to a house which stood on chicken legs, whereupon she noticed that the fence was made with bones. A man dressed in black on a black horse, then rode past here. She was frozen with fear and so Baba Yaga found her when she returned home.

    (Photo Credit – Pinterest)

    To earn the fire, Baba Yaga told Vasalisa that she must perform certain tasks or she would be killed. Vasalisa cleaned the house, the yard, washed Baba Yaga’s laundry, cooked her food and on and on. Vasalisa was exhausted and scared that she would never complete the tasks given to her. Her small wooden doll once again came to the rescue, completing the work while Vasalisa slept. Each of the horsemen rode by again, and when Baba Yaga returned home, she found nothing that she could complain about. She allowed Vasalisa to ask questions of her, and when she inquired of the horseman, Baba Yaga explained that the white one was Day, the red one the Sun and the black one, Night. She also asked Vasalisa how she was able to complete her chores and was told that it was by the blessing of Vasalisa’s mother. Baba Yaga threw Vasalisa out of her home, not wanting any blessings. She gave Vasalisa a lantern made out of a skull that was full of burning coal for her family. When she returned home, she learned that no one in her family had been able to light any candles or fire while she was gone. Vasalisa’s step-mother and step-sisters were burned to ashes by the coals in the skull, and so Vasalisa buried the skull so that no one else would be harmed by it again.

    In origin, Baba Yaga was an ancient Birth and Death Goddess, whose death in autumn, led to new birth in spring. She lives in the last sheaf of grain harvested and whichever woman would bind that grain would bear a child that year.

    She is the Arch-Crone, the Goddess of Wisdom & Death, who brings the death of ego, the re-birth through death. Baba means “grandmother” or “old woman”. She is the Eternal Mother. She is the Earth Mother, wild but kind, as the Earth is in both it’s gentle rain and it’s furious hurricanes. She is the Guardian to the Fountain of the Waters of Life and Death. She is the Ancient Goddess of Old Bones. She brings us from our darkness to Light, death to re-birth.

    She is the Wise Hag, giver of wisdom and magic gifts. She is all-knowing and all-seeing and shares her gifts with those who are brave enough to ask. She keeps her promises to those who come to Her.

    She is the Crone within the Triple Goddess.

    As Goddess, Her themes are the harvest, prosperity, rest and giving thanks, bringing us awareness of the Wheel of the Year. You can bring Her prosperity to you by bringing a wreath of harvest items into your home.

    (Photo Credit – Etsy.com)

    Her symbols are corn, sheafs of wheat and wild flowers.

    Her colors of White, Red and Black, the colors of Her horsemen, the colors of the Maiden, Mother and Crone.

    Stones: Black tourmaline, smoky quartz

    Her season is Autumn and She is the Waning and Dark Moon. Her tree is the silver birch.

    Her festival is celebrated on January 20th.

    The following is an excerpt from The Goddess Oracle by Amy Sophia Marachinsky, with artwork by Hrana Janto.

    “I walk in the forest

    and speak intimately with the animals

    I dance barefoot in the rain

    without any clothes

    I travel on pathways

    that I make myself

    and in ways that suit me

    my instincts are alive and razor sharp

    my intuition and sense of smell are keen

    I freely express my vitality

    my sheer exuberant joyfulness

    to please myself

    because it is natural

    It is what needs to be

    I am the wild joyous life force

    Come and meet me.”

    ***

  • The Goddess: Kwan Yin (9/1/2017)

    She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

     September 1, 2017

    KWAN YIN

    (Lovingly dedicated to Bridget)

     

    In the past few weeks, it has become apparent that there is a large part of this country (US) that has completely opposite feelings than the rest of the country when it comes to race, culture, gender. There is a segment of the population that is now being open with their hatred for anyone different than they and they are encouraged from the highest office. In light of this, the Goddess that I have chosen for this month is Kwan Yin, She of Mercy and Compassion, which is how we should all deal with each other, even those with whom we may disagree.

     

    *******************************

     

    (Photo: Pinterest)

     

    “She is a boat, She is a light

    High on a hill in dark of night.

    She is a wave, She is the deep,

    She is the dark where angels sleep

    When all is still and peace abides,

    She carries me, to the other side.”

    “She Carries Me”

    by Jennifer Berezan

    [youtube]

    Kwan Yin is a bodhisattva (Buddha in the making), who is now seen as a Goddess. While she is most revered in Asia, Her worship has gone beyond into the western world.

     

    Her name translates to “she who hears the cries of the world”.

     

    She is one who has attained enlightenment and chose to stay until all of humankind has attained enlightenment.

     

    She is a symbol of compassion and peace.

     

    She banishes fear and hardship.

     

    As the Goddess of 10,000 hands and 10,000 eyes, she sees everything.

    (For a beautiful performance of Thousand Hand Kwan Yin from China, please watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTesehdHbqs )

     

    [youtube]

    She is the Goddess of love and care.

     

    She is a fertility Goddess, bringing children to those who want them.

     

    Her energy is that of the Divine Mother, which is the same as Mother Mary’s in Christianity and the beloved Isis in Egyptian mysteries.

     

    She resides on P’u T’o Shan and answers every prayer sent to Her. She is gentle and one is assured of being free from physical and spiritual harm by saying Her name in prayer and meditation.

     

    She is associated with the heart chakra, which is the center of our being.

     

     

     

     

     

    Kwan Yin with a Willow Branch (Photo: Pinterest)

    She is not associated with that chakra in terms of a romantic or sexual love, but a love and acceptance of ourselves and others.

     

    She wears flowing robes and carries a vase with the waters of life, the dew of compassion, from which she blesses all souls. She carries pearls of enlightenment to see clearly and a willow branch to heal illness. She is also seen carrying a white lotus blossom. Each of Her hands is held in a specific mudra (yoga for hands). Her other symbols are the dove (peace) and scrolls containing dharma (sacred teachings).

     

    She is most revered in all of Asia, but Her worship has gone beyond and into the western world. She also goes by the names Kannon in Japan, Gwan-eum in Korea and Kuan Im in Thailand, among others.

     

    It is said that She began life as a princess named Maio Shun. The earth shook and She was enveloped in the smell of flowers when She was born, as Her mother had dreamt of the moon at the moment of her conception. It was known that She would be a goddess, however, Her parents, the king and queen, were disappointed as they had wanted a son.

     

    Her father insisted that she marry and she refused. Because she was so innocent and gentle, not eating the flesh of animals, she was known as the Maiden with the Heart of the Buddha. Due to her refusal, her father made her do the dirtiest and hardest chores around the castle. She requested to go to a nunnery and he agreed but first, went to the abbey and told the nuns to treat her as badly as possible. At the Temple of the White Bird, she felt weighed down by her chores but did them cheerily nevertheless. The Master of Heaven sent animals to help her.

     

    When she still refused to marry, her father sent soldiers to the nunnery with orders to kill all of the nuns. The soldiers set the nunnery aflame and all of the nuns blamed Maio Shun and they turned on her. She pricked her mouth and spit out blood which turned into enormous rain clouds from which torrential rain came to put out the fire.

     

    The King brought her back to the castle for execution. The executioner’s sword broke, his spear dissolved and he did the deed by choking her. A tiger came and stole her dead body away, putting an immortality pill in her mouth. When she came back to life, she meditated, strengthening her nature as a Bodhisattva.

     

    Her father became ill and no one could cure him. A monk came and told the king that if he could find someone who would willingly sacrifice and eye and an arm, that a medicine could be made from them. The monk also told him where such a person could be found. The King sent a messenger to the nearby mountain and, of course, it was his daughter, who willingly gave up both arms and both eyes. The king was cured and went to the mountain with the queen to thank this person. When he saw it was his daughter, he begged her forgiveness. She then ascended to become the Thousand Armed and Thousand Eyed Kwan Yin.

     

    It is said that her name chanted repeatedly becomes a prayer, and she hears and listens to all of the prayers sent to her.

     

    Another of Her creation stories says that She was born from Buddha’s eye. There are several myths of Her beginning Her life as a male, Avalokitesvara, but it is as the female Kwan Yn that She is most beloved

     

    Her mantra is OM MANI PADME HUM – The Jewel is in the Heart of the Lotus.

     

    Om – seed sound of the Universe

    Mani – Jewel

    Padme – Lotus

    Hum – represents that which is constant and immovable

     

    *******************************

    GUIDED MEDITATION

     

     

     

     

     

    (Photo: Pinterest)

     

    Bring yourself lying down on the floor. Close your eyes and take several deep inhales/exhales.

    Transport yourself to a field near the waters where white lotus blossoms bloom. See yourself there, walking leisurely enjoying the sight of these beautiful flowers. Smell the heady scent as your roam aimlessly, enjoying the beauty of this place.

    You find a clearing and sit down, enjoying the peace and calm. You allow yourself to lie down on your back.

    You look up and see that it is the night of the full moon. She looks larger than you have ever seen her, surrounded by the stars, in a velvety black sky. You gaze at the moon, mesmerized by her beauty, which draws you in. The moon seems to expand and grow brighter and you feel her energy filling you and you feel as if you are floating above Mother Earth.

    As the moon expands, you notice that a shape begins to take form. As it becomes clearer, you see that it is Kwan Yin descending from the sky and surrounded by the light of the moon. She brings herself amongst the lotus blossoms surrounding you.

    She looks at you and smiles. You begin to chant her name and she nods. She comes closer and hovers a few inches of the ground. She extends her hands to cup around your head and above your crown chakra.

    You feel an energy enter you that you have not felt before. You feel yourself filling with her love, for you and for all of humankind. She fills you with the compassion and mercy that she feels toward everyone and she shares this feeling with you.

    The light that surrounds her begins to surround you. You feel lighter, calmer, more accepting of what you perceive to be your own inadequacies, the things about yourself you do not like. You have more compassion for yourself, and feel yourself healing all of those little areas that have brought you emotional pain. This acceptance, this compassion grows within you to embrace all of the people in the world, accepting them, as well, and sending this energy out to heal all of them and blessing them with the light that has been so beautifully shared with you.

    You feel her take her hands away from your head. While you miss the feeling, you also know that what she has given you, will always be with you. You have surrendered yourself to her and you will never be the same. When you open your eyes, She is gone.

    You take a moment, remembering all that has happened and then you turn to, once again, walk near the lotus blossoms, picking one to bring with you as you return home, returning to yourself.

    ****************************

    About the Author:

    Susan Morgaine is a Daughter of the Goddess, Witch, WriterTeacher, Healer, and YoginiShe is a monthly columnist with PaganPages.org Her writings can be found in The Girl God Anthologies, Whatever Works: Feminists of Faith Speak” and Jesus, Mohammed and the Goddess, as well as Mago Publications She Rises, Volume 2, and “Celebrating Seasons of the Goddess”. She has also been published in Jareeda and SageWoman magazines. She is a Certified Womens Empowerment Coach/Facilitator through Imagine A Woman International, founded by Patricia Lynn Reilly. She has long been involved in Goddess Spirituality and Feminism, teaching classes and workshops, including Priestessing Red Tents within MA and RI. She is entering her 20th year teaching Kundalini Yoga and Meditation, being a Certified instructor through the Kundalini Research Institute, as well as being a Reiki Master. She is a member of the Sisterhood of Avalon. She can be found at https://mysticalshores.wordpress.com/and her email is MysticalShores@gmail.com

  • The Goddess: Tamar (8/1/2017)

    She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

     August 1, 2017

    TAMAR

    (Lovingly Dedicated to my Goddess-Sister, Tamara)

    Tamar was an ancient Goddess in Georgia. She lived in a palace in the mountains. This palace was built by storks and nightingales. She rode a serpent bridled with gold.

     

    (Photo Credit: Pinterest)

    Tamar captured Dilis Varskulavi, the Morning Star, who was the Master of Winter.

     

    When he escaped, which he did repeatedly, the snow would come. As many times as he would break free, each summer, Tamar would re-capture him to bring summer, which she ruled, back to the land.

     

    This made Tamar a Sky Goddess, who controlled the weather and the seasons.

     

    A beam of light once came through Her castle walls, impregnating the ever-virgin Goddess. She gave birth to a son who She abandoned in the woods. This child was then raised by deer and, eventually, grew to be an angel.

     

    She was also identified with Lamara, whose name means “eye of the Earth”, who was also a Georgian Goddess.

     

    Some of Tamar’s attributes were Her strength, Her courage and Her power. As Her serpent’s bridle can attest to, Her symbols were gold, serpents and snakes.

     

    One of the most famous women to bear the name, Tamar, was Queen Tamar, one of Georgia’s most famous rulers; true to her name, she apparently was a fierce Warrior Queen. (See: http://www.badassoftheweek.com/index.cgi?id=754345014062)

     

     

    (Photo Credit: Pinterest)

    ***

     

    There were two other Goddesses who were known by the name Tamar.

     

    One is from Syria; She was an Earth Goddess associated with prophesy and fertility. The name “Tamar” in Arabic means “date palm”. She was also closely associated with nourishment, as food would come from the tree of life.

     

    “She is a tree of life to them that lay hold

    upon her, and happy is every one that

    retaineth her.”

    Proverbs 3:18

    “The story of Tamar told in Genesis 38 suggests and expresses

    a powerful indestructible divine feminine energy

    that personifies in a mythic way. Tamar herself

    represents an archetype of divine feminine power

    revealed by her name, which translates as ‘palm tree’.

    In the Babylonian myth of the primal garden, the

    palm tree was the Tree of Life, a dwelling place of the

    Goddess Astarte. The Hebrew version of her name

    was Tamar, ‘palm tree’.”

    From

    “Feminine Mysteries in the Bible – The Soul Teachings

    of the Daughters of the Goddess”

    by Ruth Rusca

    This Tamar, as can be seen, is linked to Astarte. She could conceivably also be linked to the Egyptian Goddess, Hathor, who brings nourishment to Her people in the form of a sycamore tree, as well as Inanna, the Queen of Heaven, who some say her original name was “Goddess of the Date Storehouse”.

    (Photo Credit: Story Tree Tales)

    ***

    Lastly, there is the Celtic Tamara, who as a Water Goddess, protected the waters, especially those of the River Tamar, which bears Her name. This River separates Cornwall from the rest of England.

  • The Goddess: Kupala (7/1/2017)

    She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

     July 1, 2017

    Kupala

    (Photo Credit: holladaypaganism.com)

    Kupala, whose name means “to bathe” is a Slavic mid-summer Goddess. She is known as a Goddess of Springs and Water.

    Her worshippers bathed in local rivers and collected dew each morning in June. The waters had been blessed by Kupala and had healing and purification powers, which also makes Her a Goddess of Healing.

    She is also a Goddess of Fire, with it’s purifying and protective qualities. At Her annual mid-summer festival, young men and women would jump over a purifying bonfire, dragging a straw maiden along with them.

    (Photo Credit: meettheslavs.com)

    This image was garlanded with flowers and dressed in a beautiful gown. The straw maiden was then hung in a birch tree, which had been cut ritually, having all of its’ upper branches trimmed. This ritual was only done by women. Men could not touch either the figure, or the tree.

    The straw maiden was then released to the water and drifted away. As she floated away, Kupala removed all evil energies from the village.

    Kupala, as a Goddess of water personifies the magic inherent in water, and she is also known by the name of Water Mother.

    Offerings of flowers and plants, especially purple loosestrife and fern, which were sacred to Her, were often left as offerings at the river. Ferns are also called “the fire flame of Kupala”, and the roots of purple loosestrife banished both bad dreams and demons, but needed to be gathered at dawn on mid-summer.

    (Photo Credit: blog.slavicsouvenirs.com)
    As the summer unfolds, may you be blessed many times by Kupala and Her healing and purifying waters.
    )O(

  • The Goddess: Cliodnha (6/1/2017)

    She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

     June 1, 2017

    Cliodnha

    goddess1

    (Photo Credit : Pinterest)

    Cliodnha, known as the Queen of the Banshees, or Queen of all the Fairies of the HIlls, is part of the Tuatha Du Danaan, subject to the Goddess Danu.

    Cliodnha presides over Tir Tairngire, or the Land of Promise, a place of happy feasting, with no aging, violence, death or decay, which some say is the Celtic Otherworld.

    She has three colorful birds, who eat apples from a tree in that Otherworld, that can heal the sick with the beauty of their song.

    (Photo Credit: wolfanita@deviantart)

    She is a Goddess of love and beauty. She would take the form of an enchantingly beautiful human woman and use her beauty to take many mortal lovers. She was associated with light and happiness, but with a dark edge because when we was done with her mortal lovers, she would sometimes lure them to their deaths by the sea.

    She fell in love with a human man named Ciabhan, and wished to be with him. But she was lulled to sleep by the music of one of Manannan mac Lir’s minstrels, and was swept away by a wave. She is said to rule the ninth wave of every series of waves, which was larger than the preceding eight. Large waves are knows as “Cliodnha’s Waves”.

    (Photo Credit: inochitohi.deviantart.com)

    One of the best known stories of Cliodnha is when Cormac mac Carthy asked her help in a lawsuit in the 15th century. Her advice to him was to kiss the first stone he saw in the morning. He did so and easily won his court case by the eloquence of his speech. This stone is the famous Blarney Stone. Cormac mac Carthy was so concerned that everyone would kiss the stone and the land would become a home to those who “could deceive without offending”, that he hid the stone in his castle, where it is to this day.

    Cliodnha resides in her palace in the center of a sacred hill in County Cork, called Carrig Cliodnha.

    May the blessing of Cliodnha be with you.

    )O(

  • The Goddess: Bast/Bastet (5/1/2017)

    She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

     May 1, 2017

    Bast/Bastet

     

    (Graphic: ancientegyptonline.com)

    The Egyptian Goddess Bast or Bastet was originally a Lion-Headed Goddess, who gradually changed into the Cat-Headed Goddess we are more familiar with.

    Even though Her outward appearance changed, Her temperament did not. She was still as fierce as a lion, while having the playfulness, grace, and dignity of a cat, sometimes affectionate, sometimes not, depending upon Her mood. Those of us who have a cat for a companion can certainly attest to that!

    (Graphic: Wikipedia)

    Bast was thought to be the daughter of Ra, and as such, was called the “Eye of Ra”. It is said that She rode with her father in his chariot, pulling the sun across the sky.

    She is portrayed as holding an ankh, for immortal life, and occasionally, a papyrus wand, which was a symbol of Lower Egypt, as well as the all-seeing eye of Horus.

    She is known to have protected Her father, Ra, from Apophis/Apep, the serpent, who was one of Ra’s greatest enemies. When Ra’s priests could not vanquish the serpent with their magic, Bast, who saw all with her eyes, killed the snake. Due to this, She was known as a Goddess of Protection.

    As most Goddesses, She has many aspects and names. Because of Her travels across the sky with Ra, she is known as the Lady of the East and Goddess of the Rising Sun. She is a Moon Goddess, as the glowing eyes of the cat remind one of the radiant moon.

    She was the Goddess of Health, as it was believed that she bestowed both physical and mental health. She was the Protector of the Household, as cats protected homes from both rats and snakes.

    She has Warrior aspects, as we have seen; but She is also a Lover. She ruled sensual pleasure, dancing and music. At Her temple in the city of Bubastis, Her priestesses wore red and danced erotically at Her festivals. These festivals were always joyous occasions filled with the music and dancing that Bast loved. She also loved erotic scents. The scents most sacred to Her were musk, cinnamon and sandalwood.

    (Graphic: Pinterest)

    Bast is closely linked to Hathor; She sometimes carried a sistrum which was one of Hathor’s symbols. They are both honored at the Temple of Denderah, which was sometimes called the Bubastis of the South. They are both in the Kafre Temple at Giza – Hathor for Upper Egypt and Bast for Lower Egypt.

    The Temple of Bupastis was filled with sacred cats, which Her priestess believed to all be incarnations of Bast herself. When the Temple was excavated, more than 300,000 mummified cats were found at the cat cemetery located there.

    In honor of Bast, cats were sacred to the population of Egypt and were cherished. Cats were dressed in beautiful earrings and other jewelry. It was a serious crime to harm a cat and those who did, were punished.

    Bast was also honored as a Goddess of Fertility and Childbirth, due to the ease with which cats seem to deliver their kittens, and the nurturing shown to the kittens after their birth.

    Bast’s colors were black, silver, turquoise and red; Her gems were lapis lazuli, jasper and, of course, cat’s eye. It should come as no surprise that Her plant was catnip.

    No matter which aspect was primary at any one given time, Bast was always who

    She was, totally accepting of the being that She was. If there is anything that one can learn from Her, it is that we are who we are and we should accept and embrace ourselves.

    May the Blessings of Bast be upon you!

  • The Goddess: The Wild She (Kali) (5/1/2017)

    She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

    May 1, 2017

    THE WILD SHE – KALI

    The Wild SHE – Which Goddess comes to your mind when you hear “The Wild SHE”? For me, that will always be Kali.

    “By you this universe is borne, by you this world is created

    By you it is protected, O Devi. By you it is consumed at the end

    You who are eternally the form of the whole world,

    at the time of creation you are the form of the creative force,

    at the time of preservation you are the form of the protective power
    and at the time of the dissolution of the world
    you are the form of the destructive power
    You are the Supreme Knowledge, as well as ignorance,
    intellect and compassion”
    From the Devi-Mahatmya

    In Hinduism, the Goddesses are “Devi”, which means “deity”. She, of course, has different aspects: Durga, Lakshmi, Tara, Sarasvati, Parvati, Kali. Kalis name means “Time”.

    Her stories are bountiful. Born from the brow of Parvati, Kali killed the demonic forces that were threatening. She danced with the Lord of the Dance, Shiva, and it is said the dance grew wilder and wilder, and as the dance continues, it will one day shake the world to pieces. She killed other demons during another battle, and it is said that after they were dead, exhilarated, laughing and roaring, Kali happily drank their blood and began to dance wildly, hence Her dance of death and destruction.

    She is seen as a Dark Goddess, as she dances the dance of death and destruction, but She is also keeper of time and will be there when new things emerge from Her destruction. When you see Her, there is no mistaking Her. She wears a necklace of skulls around Her neck, She holds weapons in her numerous hands. Her tongue protrudes from Her mouth. She can be terrifying to behold and to work with. Do not ask from Her which you are incapable of receiving as she is fierce in her love for Her daughters.

    This is why She is also worshipped by many as the Mother Kali or Kali Ma, in which Her worshippers surrender to Her utterly. Abrahim Khan, an anthroplogist, said that to belong to Her, the worshipper must surrender not jus the intellect, but the entire self, that is the mind, the body.” To me, that is the key to working with Kali.

    To this day, Kali is still one of the most worshipped Goddesses in India and other parts of the world. Kali is more than a Dark Goddess who destroys. She is also the Goddess who helps us to face our fears head on. She is strength. She is courage. She helps us to face our own darkness. She will help you destroy the obstacles blocking your path.

    The following is a meditation from one of my workshops called *Healing Dance of the Kali Dakini*.

    Sit quietly, breathing deeply, closing eyes. Visualize yourself in darkness, a cave, deep within the womb of the Earth. Breathe into your sacred feminine energy. Now, open yourself to She, who is Kali, who is both fearsome and spiritually liberating, offering you healing from your emotional wounds. Sense Her in whatever way you wish and allow her to see you in your entirety, the good and the bad. Let your breath connect to her. Draw her presence into your body, into each part of yourself. As you do this, allow the release of all obstacles, accepting the freedom that She offers.

    This is a lovely song for a Kali meditation:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJa4r-OydDM&list=PL_dIya2JbVnTkujuSpjPc-hZV6LbKSnTX&index=2

    I also recommend what I call the Dance of Kali’s Dakini,(also from my workshop). The idea behind this is to just dance, allowing your body to move freely without inhibition. Feel free to stomp your feet or yell loudly, mouth open, tongue out. You may find it helpful to start with a slower song, moving into progressively faster ones to get the full benefit of the dancing meditation. As you dance, visualize yourself healed – a blissful Kali Dakini dancing in the light in service to Kali.

    (Note: a Dakini translates as sky dancer. She is a spiritual disciple of Kali, the creative personfication of the Divine Feminine)***

    I would recommend lying down and relaxing with long deep breathing for at least 10 minutes after the above meditations. Take several long, deep breaths, stretching fully and completely before rising.

    May Kali bless you (and challenge you)on your journey!

    )O(

    Resources: ***The Healing Dance of Kali, Workshop taught by

    Susan Morgaine

    Kali, The Feminine Force by Ajit Mookerjee

    **Previously published at Motherhouseofthegoddess.com

    ***

  • The Goddess: Sif (4/1/2017)

    She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

     April 1, 2017

    SIF

    (Photo Credit – debsden.blogspot.com)

    Sif is a Norse/Scandinavian Grain Goddess, associated with the Earth and its’ vegetation. One species of moss is named after Her, “haddr sifjar” or “Sif’s hair”, which is great praise, as her golden mane of hair was Her most striking feature. Her name possibly means “relation by marriage” which would be descriptive to Her role in Asgard.

    Sif was a swan-maiden, similar to the Valkyries, in that she was able to take the form of a swan.

    She is a Prophetess, as well as the Goddess of wheat, fertility and family. Some say She is also a Goddess of fidelity, but that title is debatable, as you will see later.

    Her first husband was the Giant Orvandil, whom whom She had a son, Ullr the Magnificent, God of Winter.

    Sif, then married Thor, the Great God of Thunder, which whom She had a daughter, Thrudr, Goddess of Storms and Clouds, and two sons, Magni (Might) and Modi (Brave).

    Sif and Thor were happy for a time and loved to make love in the fields during the summer, the thunder from Thor and the lightning from Sif, could be seen for long distances on these occasions. With Thor being a Sky God and Sif being an Earth Goddess, this follows the path of many myths and legends whereupon their consummation symbolically gives life to the Earth.

    Her symbols are the sun, gold, Her hair.

    She is connected to the Rowan tree.

    “The holy plant of Sif is the rowan,

    The protective tree with its berries of sacred red.

    The tree that is called Thors salvation.

    It saved Thor from the anger of vengeful giantesses,

    Let it save you too.

    Pass beneath the rowan three times and receive Sifs blessing.“**

    **By Thorskegga Thorn

    Sif’s hair was long, golden and beautiful. Once Loki, the Trickster, came and stole her hair. Thor was incensed. He forced Loki into the realm of the Dwarves. Their best craftsmen made Her new hair of spun gold which, when attached to Sif’s head, would grow as if it were Her own. It is believed that Her golden hair is a metaphor for the golden grain, with which She is connected.

    More than one of the gods told Thor that Sif had a lover, which angered him and lends some doubt to Her being a Goddess of fideltity. Some would say that Her lover was Loki himself. In Stanzas 53 and 54 (below) of the Lokasennaone of the poems of in Poetic Edda, a collection of old Norse poems.

    When Sif went forward and poured out mead for Loki into a crystal cup and said:

    Welcome now, Loki, and take the crystal cup

    full of ancient mead,

    you should admit, that of the children of the Æsir,

    that I alone am blameless.

    He took the horn and drank it down:

    That indeed you would be, if you were so,

    if you were shy and fierce towards men;

    I alone know, as I think I do now,

    your lover beside Thor,

    and that was the wicked Loki.”

    Bringing Sif into modern times, a moon on Venus was named, “Sif Mons” after Her.

    Probably most significant are the changes to Her within the Marvel Universe. She is sister to Heimdall, the Watchman of Asgard. In their telling, the Dwarves that spun her golden hair became Trolls. As Loki stole the hair without paying for it, the Trolls had not been able to bespell it, and so, over time, Her golden hair turned to ebony. As Sif was very vain about Her hair, Her parents sent her away to learn the ways of the Shield-Maiden. When Sif returned to Asgard, she was a highly skilled Warrior. She has a sword charmed by Odin that will forge pathways between dimensions, mostly between Asgard and Earth. Her fighting ability is only surpassed by the Valkyrie Brunnhilde.

    (Photo Credit: Writeups.org)

    Odin chooses Sif to be wife to his son, Thor, as he recalled that they were childhood friends with strong feelings toward each other. They were happy together until the time that Thor preferred the mortal realm, while Sif preferred the immortal realm. They are still together, but marriage has been delayed. What the future will hold for them is unknown.

    (Photo Credit: Pinterest)

  • The Goddess: Yemaya (3/1/2017)

    She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

     March 1, 2017

    Yemaya

     

    Yemaya1

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    (Photo Credit: the divinemoon.com)

     

     

    Yey Oma Eja – *Mother Whose Children are the Fish”, or as She is more commonly known, Yemaya, *Mama Watta*, Mother of Waters, Queen of the Sea, Mother of the Fishes, Ocean Goddess of the Crescent Moon, Lady of the Rain, Daughter of the Sea, Constantly Changing Woman, Creator Mother, Patroness of Witches, Sirena.

    Yemaya. She is known by all of these names and more.

    (Photo: Pinterest)

    She was originally a River Goddess of the Ogun River in Yoruba. She was a powerful guardian and nature spirit, a Goddess of the African diaspora. When the people of Africa were stolen and brought to lands far away, She came with them, protecting them on their journey, becoming Goddess of the Ocean, on which they unwillingly traveled.

    She was married to Orungan. When she gave birth to 14 Orisha, the breaking of her birth waters caused a great flood on Earth that created the oceans and the Seven Seas. It is said that even as She sleeps, water gushes forth each time she turns over.

    Her first gift to humans was a large shell, in which one would always hear Her voice; to this day, we hold a shell to our ear to hear the ocean which is Her voice.

    (Photo Credit: lightgrid.ning.com)

    She is a Mother Goddess, the Mother of All – home, fertility, life. She rules the life giving, creative and nurturing forces of the sea. She is the Matron Goddess of pregnant women, and spiritual Mother to all who need Her.

    In Her skirt of seven layers of blue and silver, Yemaya loves to dance. She moves, dips and flows as Her skirt swirls to symbolize the movement of the waves.

    Her symbols include all of the waters of the Earth; the shining Crescent Moon;

    the fish, dolphins, sea horses, and all the creatures of the sea. Her colors are blue and silver, the colors of the ocean. She loves coral and pearls and aquamarine. Her number is seven.

    She is sometimes depicted as a beautiful mermaid swimming amongst the waves that are Her home.

    (From The Goddess Oracle by Amy Sophia Marashinsky; Photo Credit: tarotpassages.com)

    Her festival days are February 2, the Summer Solsitce and, in Santeria, on September 7. People dress in blue and silver and flock to the ocean beaches, dance and make offerings.

    Her worship spans the Earth, where She is known by Imanje, Yemanja, Ymoga, Imaga.

    As water is essential to life, so is Yemaya essential to our lives. She teaches us to be flexible in our thoughts and in our lives, to go with the flow of each event and situation that comes our way, to not become attached as things will always change, as the ocean changes, swirling, churning, constantly moving, ebbing and flowing.

    In the Goddess Oracle by Amy Sophia Marashinsky, Yemaya symbolizes *Surrender*.

    “Come with your cares

    come with your woes

    come when life is joyful

    come when life weighs you down

    comes when you take on too much

    come when you are spread too thin

    come when you are danced out

    come when you seek renewal

    all I ask when you come

    is that you surrender to me

    mother ocean

    my watery womb wants to hold you

    nurture you

    birth you anew

    when you let go and give over all to me”

    (Photo Credit: sacredsource.comwhere statue is available for sale. Disclaimer: I have no connection to Sacred Source as anything but a customer.)

    Ms. Marashinsksy states that Yemaya coming into our life “signals a time for surrender”. We give over to Her, asking for guidance, realizing “that the only way through some situations is surrender and open to something greater”.

    To worship Her, just travel to the nearest ocean, river, sea or lake. There you will most definitely find Her. Walk into the waves, open yourself to Her and find yourself cleansed, reborn, alive.

    At home, set up an altar with Her image, upon a blue and/or silver altar cloth. Adorn the altar with sea shells, pearls, sea coral, river stones. Light blue candles and incense reminiscent of the sea. Close your eyes. Breathe and focus on Her. Ask for Her protection and guidance. When you are done, be sure to thank Her for any answers She may have given you.

    Prayer to Yemaya

    May Yemaya protect and heal you

    with the waters of the ocean of life.

    May you never thirst in body or spirit

    under her protection.

    May the waves, evershifting, remind you

    that we are beings of change and that,

    like the water, we are flexible, not hard and set.

    So be it.

    [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7w6POosly5E?enablejsapi=1&autoplay=0&cc_load_policy=0&iv_load_policy=1&loop=0&modestbranding=0&rel=1&showinfo=1&fs=1&theme=dark&color=red&autohide=2&controls=2&playsinline=0&]

    May you be blessed and cleansed by the

    waters of Yemaya.

    (Photo Credit: Susan Morgaine. My interpretative sculpture of Yemaya)

  • The Goddess: Libertas (2/1/2017)

    She who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

     February 1, 2017

    LIBERTAS

    As I write this, it is the day after the presidential inauguration of 2017, and the day of the Women’s March(es) across the country and around the world. Millions of people, the majority of them women, took to the streets to protest what many see as a threat to the personal freedom of many communities, not only in the US, but everywhere around the globe. They see a threat to justice. They see a threat to liberty and freedom. They are afraid, and rightfully so. With this in mind, it seems a perfect time to speak of Libertas.

    Libertas was a Roman Goddess; her name is the Latin word of Freedom.

    She symbolized independence, freedom from restraint, and personal and societal freedoms. Her Greek name is Eleutheria. She was, and is, the personification of Liberty and Freedom.

    (Photo Credit: insightfulvision.com)

    She is depicted wearing a long, flowing gown and holding a rod, called a vindicta, and a cap, called a pilleus, which were two of Her symbols. She sometimes is shown wearing a crown of laurel leaves and with a cat at Her feet.

    The reason behind Her symbols was that, within Roman society, when a slave was given his freedom, her/his head was shaved, they were tapped with the vindicta, and given a pilleus. Appropriately enough, She was honored and worshipped by all freed women and men.

    Her first temple, located on Aventine HIll was ordered by the Tribune, Tiberius Gracchas and was dedicated in 238 BCE. There is smaller shrine to her located at Cicero’s home on Palantine HIll, and there is a small statue of her inside the Roman Forum. Many Roman coins and seals of the time bear Her image.

    Libertas’ likeness was used many times and in many places around the world to symbolize Liberty and Freedom.

    Columbia was used as a poetic name for the United States and was one of the names of its’ female personification. She became a symbol in the 1700’s when Paul Revere created an obelisk using Her image to celebrate the repeal of the Stamp Act. It is believed that the name, Columbia, originated from Christopher Columbus. It is from Her that the name District of Columbia was born.

    (Photo Credit: Pinterest)

    In France, She became Marianne, standing for reason and liberty, and a symbol of the French Revolution in the 1780’s-90’s. The Great Seal of France bears Her likeness.

    (Photo Credit: Wikipedia)

    It was this Great Seal of France that became the inspiration for Frederic Bartholdi, when he designed and built the Statue of Liberty, the most visual and the most famous of all depictions of Libertas, because make no mistake, the Statue of Liberty *IS* the Goddess Libertas.

    Even though She was a gift from France to the US, the Statue of Liberty is a symbol of freedom, liberty and justice to the entire world. Her original name was “Liberty Enlightening the World”.

    This Libertas statue wears a crown of seven solar rays, which represent the seven continents and the seven seas. This crown is similar to that of Ishtar, the Babylonian Goddess, who crown was ringed with 8 stars. She holds the Flame of Freedom, or the Torch of Enlightenment in Her right hand. Her gown is remarkably similar to the original Roman Libertas. Her feet are surrounded by broken chains to symbolize Freedom.

    (Photo Credit: everymanempire.com)

    The Statue of Liberty was dedicated in 1886. The era’s suffragettes, in a boat riding around Liberty island, proclaimed Her their symbol in their demand for the right to vote.

    As a symbol of light and liberty, of freedom from tyrants and any tyranny, Her likeness abounds — on state flags, on the state seals of Virginia and New Jersey, on stamps, on both coins and paper money. She stands upon the Capitol Building in Washington D.C. When students demonstrated in Beijing, China in 1989, the Statue of Liberty as Libertas, became the Goddess of Democracy.

    Many Pagans, Wiccans and Witches, invoke Libertas, in her guise as the Statue of Liberty, in their personal rituals for freedom and liberation from any form of tyranny.

    Circle Sanctuary (circlesanctuary.org), located in Wisconsin, is a well-known Pagan church and community, which offers workshops, rituals, gatherings and more. Their religious freedom network is called “The Lady Liberty League”, and has done much for freedom of religion for all Pagans.

    The Festival of Libertas is celebrated on April 13th, and, of course, the Statue of Liberty is celebrated on July 4th. Both of these are set aside to honor Her.

    (Photo Credit: evilyoshida.com)

    One way to honor Her is to stand up for personal freedoms, your own and others’; work against injustice, wherever you find it; fight for what you believe in, in whatever way you can, such as protesting, marching, writing letters to the editor of your local newspaper. Carry that work into the rest of the year, for liberty and freedom is hard won, but easily lost.

    In personal work, place Her likeness on your altar as either Libertas, or in Her guise as the Statue of Liberty. You may ask for Her help in liberation from an addiction, from a hated job, from an unhealthy relationship, in whatever you personally feel that you need freedom from.

    May we all continue to have the Liberty, Freedom and Justice that we hold so dear and is so important in a democracy.

  • The Goddess: Achlys (1/1/2017)

    She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

     January 1, 2017

    ACHLYS

    Achlys (pronounced Akh-Loos) is the name, and personification, of Eternal Night.

    (Photo: Pinterest)

    She is also known as Mist of Death, which is another meaning of Her name. It describes the mist that fell before one’s eyes before dying. As such, Her likeness was borne upon the Shield of Hercules.

    She is a pale, thin Goddess with long sharp fingernails, which she will use as claws, which in turn explains Her bloody cheeks. Her teeth are as fangs. She is covered in dust, as She roams the world. Her incessant crying gives her the name of the Goddess of Misery and Sadness.

    One of Her myths is that She is the only being to precede Chaos, and that the entire world came from her. This makes Her a primordial, creative being, akin to Shakti, in the Hindu world.

    (Photo: ninecircles.co)

    She is the Mistress of Poisons, who could create poisonous flowers by just summoning them, and not a few of Her potions could turn humans into animals.

    Nonnus, Dionysiaca 14. 143 ff (trans. Rouse) (Greek epic 5th century AD):

    “[Hera spies the nurses of the infant god Dionysos:] Hera, who turns her all-seeing eye to every place, saw from on high the everchanging shape of Lyaios [Dionysos], and knew all. Then she was angry with the guardians of Bromios. She procured from Thessalian Akhlys (Achlys, Death-Mist) treacherous flowers of the field, and shed a sleep of enchantment over their heads; she distilled poisoned drugs over their hair, she smeared a subtle magical ointment over their faces ,and changed their earlier human shape. Then they took the form of a creature with long ears, and a horse’s tail sticking out straight from the loins and flogging the flanks of its shaggy-crested owner; from the temples cow’s horns sprouted out, their eyes widened under the horned forehead, the hair ran across their heads in tuft, long white teeth grew out of their jaws, a strange kind of mane grew of itself, covering their necks with rough hair, and ran down from the loins to feet underneath.”

    (Wikepedia)

    Goddess myths don’t always make sense. As we know, Goddess stories and myths from around the worlds can become confused; names are similar, some Goddesses become combined with other Goddesses. It is no different here.

    To contradict the origin myth of Achlys, it is also said she that she was one of the Keres/Ceres, the female death spirits, who were the daughters of Nyx, whose name means “night”, similar to Achlys’ Eternal Night.

    The Keres’ names were Moros, meaning *Doom*, Ker meaning *Violent Death*, Hypnos meaning *Sleep* and Theoneiroi meaning *Dreams*. The description of the Keres being dark and mysterious beings with sharp teeth and claws, wearing bloody garments is similar enough to that of Achyls to let you think that She was one of their number. The Keres hovered over battlefields searching for wounded and dying men, as they relished the violent and cruel deaths that battle and murder wrought. Perhaps Achylis joined them, dropping the Mist of Death before the eyes of these men, before the Keres would take their bodies and souls.

    (Photo: Pinterest)

    As this quote shows, it is believed, too, that the Keres were released into the world by the opening of Pandora’s box; this would have included Achylis:

    Hesiod, Works and Days 90 ff (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C8th or C7th B.C.) :

    “For ere this [the opening of Pandora’s jar] the tribes of men lived on earth remote and free from ills (kakoi) and hard toil (ponoi) and heavy sickness (nosoi) which bring the Keres (Fates) upon men; for in misery men grow old quickly. But the woman took off the great lid of the jar (pithos) with her hands and scattered all these and her thought caused sorrow and mischief to men. Only Elpis (Hope) remained there in an unbreakable home within under the rim of the great jar, and did not fly out at the door; for ere that, the lid of the jar stopped her, by the will of Aigis-holding Zeus who gathers the clouds. But the rest, countless plagues (lugra), wander amongst men; for earth is full of evils and the sea is full. Of themselves diseases (nosoi) come upon men continually by day and by night, bringing mischief to mortals silently; for wise Zeus took away speech from them. So is there no way to escape the will of Zeus.”

    (Theoi.com)

    goddess

    (Photo: paleothea.com by Hein Lass)

    Whatever Her true myth and origins, there is no doubt that Achlys is one of the many Dark Goddesses. While we may wish to turn our head, the wise know that without the Dark, there is no Light; without Death, there is no Life.

  • The Goddess: MA’AT (12/1/2016)

    She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

     December 1, 2016

    MA’AT – EGYPTIAN GODDESS OF JUSTICE

    (Photo Credit: Wikipedia)

    Ma’at may seem, to some, a strange choice for a Goddess during the Winter Holiday Season, but after the US election outcome, this will not truly be a normal holiday season for some who are afraid of what the future may hold, and so, in a feeling of hopefulness, which I have lacked these last couple of weeks, I call on Ma’at, the Egyptian Goddess of Justice and Truth.

    Ma’at can be recognized, always, by the ostrich feather on her headdress. She represents truth, justice and morality. She was also known as the Lady of Judgement Hall and Mistress of the Underworld. She was the daughter of Ra (sun) and wife of Thoth (moon).

    Ma’at represents the stable universe; She kept the stars in motion, She maintains the order of Earth and Heaven; She changes the seasons. As the concept of order and balance, She brought balance to the daily life of the Egyptians, which was extremely important. Ma’at represented “ma-akheru” or “true of voice”, which was the aim of every Egyptian if they were to have a good afterlife. As such, Ma’at became, in principle, the the morality and ethics of Egypt that each person was expected to follow; She was the rules that became the basis for all Egyptian laws. The thought became, “will there be karma to be paid at this action?”.

    Pharaohs became known as the “Beloved of Ma’at” and would carry a small statue of her to show that his regime was on of harmony, order and truth.

    (Photo Credit: goddessschool.com)

    The Vizier of Justice was always a Priest of Ma’at and wore a feather to identify him. He would draw a green-dyed feather across his tongue to signify that his words were true and that his judgement was balanced and fair.

    “Crimes against Ma’at” were jealousy, dishonesty, gluttony, laziness, injustice, ingratitude. You were punished by death for violating Her spirit and then you would face punishment again in the Underworld in the Hall of Two Truths in the “Ceremony of Justification”. Written in the Egyptian Book of the Dead is a spell called “Forty-two Declarations of Purity” or “Negative Confessions” and they were read as:

    I have not committed a sin.

    I have not committed robbery with violence.

    I have not stolen.

    I have not slain men and women.

    I have not stolen grain.

    I have not purloined offerings.

    I have not stolen the property of God.

    I have not uttered lies.

    I have not carried away food.

    I have not uttered curses.

    I have not committed adultery; I have not lain with men.

    I have made none to weep.

    I have not eaten the heart.

    I have not attacked any man.

    I am not a man of deceit.

    I have not stolen cultivated land.

    I have not been an eavesdropper.

    I have not slandered.

    I have not been angry without any cause.

    I have not debauched the wife of any man.

    I have not debauched the wife of man.

    I have not polluted myself.

    I have terrorized none.

    I have not transgressed.

    I have not been wroth.

    I have not shut my ears to the words of truth.

    I have not blasphemed.

    I am not a man of violence.

    I have not been a stirrer up of strife.

    I have not acted with undue haste.

    I have not pried into matters.

    I have not multiplied my words in speaking.

    I have wronged none, I have done no evil.

    I have not worked witchcraft against the king.

    I have never stopped water.

    I have never raised my voice.

    I have not cursed God.

    I have not acted with arrogance.

    I have not stolen the bread of the gods.

    I have not carried away the khenfu cakes from the Spirits of the dead.

    I have not snatched away the bread of a child, nor treated with contempt the god of my city.

    I have not slain the cattle belonging to the god.

    **************************************

    (Photo Credit: forums.smitegame.com)

    But all who successfully reached the Underworld would be judged. This judgement consisted of the weighing of their heart or soul (resources vary on which it was). The heart/soul was placed on one side of Ma’at’s scales to be weighed against Her ostrich feather. Resources also vary on whether it was Osiris who did the weighing, or if it were Anubis who oversaw the weighing, and then brought the heart/soul to Osiris for judgement. If the heart/soul was lighter than the feather, then that person would leave for the Afterlife. If, however, the heart/soul was heavier than the feather, indicating evil, then that person would immediately be eaten by the Goddess Ammit, who stood by waiting. Ammit had the head of a crocodile, the front legs of a lion and the back legs of a hippopotamus.

    Normally, Ma’at was shown standing or seated upon a stone platform or foundation. She has outstretched wings attached to both of Her arms, and sometimes holds a scepter in one hand and an ankh in the other. The stone foundation which holds Her represents the stable base on which Egypt’s balance and order has been built.

    The heiroglyph for the word “truth” is a feather. It is part of Ma’at’s name in heiroglphyics : the Feather of Truth, a symbol for bread, which equals a provider of food, a feminine egg and Ma’at herself, in a seated position

    (Photo Credit: goddessschool.com)

    Ma’at’s colors were black and purple and Her symbols are the ostrich feather, the platform throne and the ankh. She is the element of Air, the scent of Rose, and the Amethyst crystal.

    There is a small temple dedicated to Ma’at at Karnak, inside the precinct of Monto. it is the smallest of the temples there and is believed to be built by the beloved Hapshepsut. There may be evidence to indicate that a temple to Ma’at was built by Amenhotpe II at Ipet-Isut.

    In the name of Ma’at, I wish everyone a Blessed Yule/Winter Holiday Season, and to everyone around the world, a wish for truth, justice and freedom. So Mote It Be.

    Brightest Blessings

    )O(

    Resources:

    The New Book of Goddesses & Heroines by Patricia Monaghan

    The Mysteries of Isis by DeTraci Regula

    ancient-origins.net

    crystallinks.com

  • The Goddess: Vinayaki (11/1/2016)

    She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

     November 1, 2016

    Vinayaki

    This Goddess makes me so very happy. Finding her started last Yule when my husband gave me a statue of Ganesha. I was surprised because my spirituality is Goddess-based only. I placed him amongst my Hindu Goddesses. A couple of months later, looking at Him, it occurred to me that there just HAD to be an elephant-headed Hindu Goddess. Frantic research ensued, and voila……I give you Vinayaki.

    (Photo Credit: exoticindiaart.com)

    Little is found in Hindu scriptures about Vinayaki and just a few images exist of Her. She is most generally associated, of course, with Ganesha and is assumed to be his Shakti. She is also said to be the 5th of Ganesha’s 32 forms. In this form, She would be the protector of the householder, vanquishing evil and bringing peace to the home.

    She is known by various names, such as Sri Ganesha, meaning female Ganesha; Vainayaki; Gajanana, meaning elephant faced; Vighneshvari, meaning Mistress of Obstacles and, in Tibet, Ganeshani.

    She is very often seen as part of the 64 Yoginis. The 64 Yoginis was a cult of mystical, female dakinis, now usually called yoginis, between the 9th-13th centuries. It is thought that their worship was a blending of Shaktism and Tantric. A yogini is used to refer to the forms of Devi, the Great, Supreme Goddess, and/or different parts of Her body. A dakini is most often thought to be a messenger or attendant to Devi. Devotees of Devi were also called Shaktas. There are believed to be nine 64 Yoginis Temples located in India.

    (Photo Credit: travelblog.org)

    (Photo Credit: kkyatri.blogspot.com)

    At the 64 Yoginis Temple in Chausath, She is the 41st of the 64 Yoginis and is named here as Sri Aingini. She is slender, with full breasts. She is also depicted in Chitrapur Math Shirali, holding a sword and a noose.

    In Satna, there is an image of five Goddesses, one of which is the cow-headed Vrishabha, who is holding the infant, Ganesha. Vinayaki is portrayed holding an elephant goad, or bullhook, much like the adult Ganesha. This could indicate that Vinayaki and Ganesha are siblings.

    One myth tells us that the demon Andhaka wanted the Goddess Parvati for his wife. Shiva fought Andhaka, but each drop of his blood made another demon. Parvati called on all of the Shaktis, which included Vinayaki, to drink the demon’s blood before it hit the ground and Andhaka was destroyed. At this time, Vinayaki became a handmaiden to Parvati.

    Some see Her as part of the Matrika or Divine Mother Goddesses, a group of Hindu Goddesses always depicted together, which may or may not be the same group of Shaktis called upon by Parvati in the above story. In this stone tableau of the Matrikas, you can see Vinayaki on the far right.

    (Photo Credit: thevedicage.wordpress.com)

    The fourth day after a new moon is called Vinayaki Chaturi. Even though this day is sacred to Ganesha, it is named after Vinayaki.

    In Buddhist traditions, She is an independent Goddess and is called Ganapatihrdaya, which means “heart of Ganesh”.

    Whatever Vinayaki may be – Yogini, Dakini, Matrika, or independent Goddess, She is more than welcome into the pantheon of Hindu deities.

    (Photo Credit: drikpanchang.com)

    Goddess Blessings to All!

    )O(

  • The Goddess: The Korrigan (10/1/2016)

    She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

     October 1, 2016

     

    The Korrigan

    While the Korrigan, or Korrigans, were not necessarily Goddesses themselves, depending upon which myth and/or legend you believe, they were most definitely Her priestesses, and yes, The Korrigan, alone, may have been a Goddess.

    In France, Korrigan was the name of the Goddess of underground springs and wells. It was rumored that She was the grand-daughter of a great Druid Priestess. She was beautiful and She was radiant. Her powers were strongest at night, when she appeared as a Maiden. During the day, in her guise as the Crone, her powers waned.

    She was said to be not only beautiful, but dangerous; however, the danger was never toward women. Men who saw who were killed outright or forced to marry her and never return to their own lives.

    In other myths, the Korrigans were faeries or spirits. They may have possibly been water faeiries, haunting fountains and wells, where they would lure men to them, in the way of Sirens. This, ulitmately, would end in the death of the man.

    The Korrigans were thought to be the spirits of Priestesses who were angry at the rise of Christianity and fought it.

    (Note: This would make sense due to the possibility of the Korrigan (singular) being the grand-daughter of a Priestess.)

    Because of this, the new church portrayed them as demonic, as they did with so much of the old pagan traditions and deities. In turn, the Korrigans were do what they could to tempt and lure the priests. These priests would ring the church bells, as it was said that the Korrigans could not abide the sound.

    On the night of Samhain, they would lurk near dolmens, stone tombs, and waiting for a victim; they most likely were the ones who would switch a human infant with a changeling.

    The Korrigans would have their Spring Festival, where a goblet of inspiration and wisdom was passed from one to another. Apparently, any man who saw this ritual would instantly fall dead.

    However, not all stories of the Korrigan or Korrigans were dark and mischievous.

    One legend has it that there were nine of them, all healers, living in a sacred grove. They are described as being shape-shifters, which explains how they were sometimes seen as water faeries, goblins, beautiful young girls or wizened crones.

    The nine would circle a fountain, dancing under the light of the full moon, as in ritual.

    Looking at the stories of them as Priestesses living in a sacred grove, and combine that with the fact that there is mention made of the Nine Korrigans of the Sacred Isle and the Nine Fays of Britain. This directly connects them to the Nine Sisters or Morgens of Avalon. If you look at their Spring Festival, it is easy to see that this goblet of inspiration and wisdom is actually the Holy Grail, the cup and womb of the Goddess.

    This would bear witness to how some of the old pagan stories were changed by the new religion of Christianity until there was almost nothing left of their origins, except in instances like this, where we can connect the one to the other and find their common beginning.

    Were the Korrigan(s) dark, evil and murderous? Or were they Goddesses, or at least, Priestesses of the Goddess? I’m going to go with the latter of the two. I believe their stories/myths/legends were changed to fit a new paradigm; a paradigm that would not tolerate a beautiful Goddess or Her Priestess that could shift their shapes, foretell the future and heal the sick.

  • The Goddess: Evaki (9/1/2016)

    She who is All; The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

     September 1, 2016

    EVAKI

    To the Bakairi Indians of South America, Evaki was the Goddess of Night and Day. She was also revered as the Goddess of Darkness, the Guardian of the Sun and Keeper of Dreams.

    Evaki, who was sometimes represented as a bat, possessed a pot with a lid. Each morning, She would remove the lid in the East to release the sun at its’ starting point as it began its’ journey across the sky. Each evening, She would recapture the sun, place it in Her pot and replace the lid. It was She who filled the day with light and the night with darkness.

    (Photo Credit: nmorpa.com)

    Evaki was also known to be the Goddess of Sleep and Dreams. It as she who stole the power of sleep from the lizards to share with all other living creatures. She held the power of dreams and their meanings, teaching those who would interpret them.

    It is said that Evaki is the daughter of Coniraya, God of the moon, water and rain. Coniraya took the Goddess Konassa and they had several children. Legend has it that Coniraya gave his daughter, Evaki, to an Incan king in a box, which when it opened, was filled with light. This is the box that Evaki possessed throughout Her life.

    Evaki was aunt to the twin heroes, Keri and Kame, sons of Her brother, Oka. It was Keri and Kame who adapted the Earth for humans to live; and it is they who taught men to hunt and to use fire.

    (Photo Credit: whatsyoursign.com)

    One of the legends surrounding Evaki, is that She had chosen a young woman of the Tribe, named Aiyana, to teach her about dreams and how to interpret them.

    Aiyana did not find love while she was younger, and so grew older, without husband or child. She wanted a child desperately, and so prayed to Evaki to send her a dream on how she could get the child she so wanted. Evaki went to the other Gods and Goddesses for advice, but since Aiyana was now too old to conceive, there was not much they could do for her. Because of this Evaki sent her a dream that she should travel to the river. When Aiyana arrived, she found an abandoned baby, which she took and raised as her own, naming her Ho’kee. Ho’kee grew to be so beautiful that men fought over her; her beauty was such that it started a war. Aiyana once again prayed to Evaki, who told her to take Ho’kee and hide until the fighting was over. They were taken in by a nearby peaceful tribe and lived there until Aiyana died a natural death. Ho’kee was devastated until Evaki came to her, letting her know that Aiyana was with Her and was happy.

    May Evaki brighten your days and bless your nights with sweet dreams.

    (Photo Credit: emaze.com)

  • The Goddess: Domnu (8/1/2016)

    She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

     August 1, 2016

    Domnu

    (Photo Credit: www.tianaart.com)

    Not very well known, Domnu is the Ancient Mother Goddess of the Fomorii, ancestors to the Celts, before the arrival of Danu and the Tuatha de Dannaan, by whom, it is said, She was overthrown.

    Domnu was in the *before time*, deeply asleep in the abyss in the land of mist. She spoke the spell:

    “I am Domnu the spirit that moves in the abyss beyond time,

    My face is desire, my eyes sees all, my pain is loneliness, and my womb give birth to all,

    And my breast will feed the voided,

    For I am Domnu mother and bringer of life and bringer of death renewed,

    I am the eye that sees, I am the heart that thinks, and the tongue that speaks,

    I am the three I am the one, I am the Mother of all.

    And an eternal mist spread to the fire eternal, and the mist was cold that fire eternal,

    And Tir-na-h’Oigh was formed, and the secret pathway was laid, and this would be a place of eternal beauty at no living eyes would see, Sep in a dream.”

    At Her words, the world and its’ peoples were birthed.

    Domnu’s name means “the deep” and that is where Her children, the Formorii, are said to have come, from deep within the darkness of the sea, the depths of the waters, where all life is born.

    She is the great Mother of the Oceans and her names are many — Queen of the Deep, Lady of Springs and Wells, Goddess of the Deep and Flowing Water.

    (Photo Credit: avalonessences.co.uk)

    The waters of Her ocean home evaporate in to the clouds, which bring rain to our Earth, giving us lakes, rivers, and streams. The water returns to the ocean and, thus, the cycle begins again.

    With her deep connection to the waters, it is no surprise that She is associated with the whales, dolphins, seals and selkies. She, herself, is sometimes seen as a Mermaid.

    Just as She is the element of Water, from which all life flows, She is our emotions, as it is from Her that we receive our passions and our desires. She is in our blood, our sweat and our tears.

    She insists that we feel, and feel deeply. She knows that with her gifts of compassion and understanding, we can cleanse ourselves in her waters, heal our emotional wounds and gain an inner wisdom. Her wish is for us to learn to live with the ebbs and flows of our lives, like the ebbs and flows of the ocean tides.

    Domnu’s Sabbat is the just-passed Summer Solstice (in the Northern Hemisphere) and, naturally Hers colors are the blue and turquoise of the sea.

    (Photo Credit: www.tianaart.com)

    You can honor Domnu in many ways: going to the beach and immersing yourself in the ocean; you may take a ritual bath, at home, in salted water; decorate your altar with a chalice and shells, two of her symbols. You can donate your money or your time to organizations that work to save the oceans and the life within it, such as Ocean Conservancy, Oceana or Save the Whales.

    As the summer gets going in all its’ glory, take the time to find your way to the ocean, immerse yourself in Her watery depths, and honor this ancient Mother Goddess. Domnu will bless you for it.

    Resources:

    oldtales.ning.com

    goddessaday.com

    norfolkgoddesstemple.co.uk

  • The Goddess: Ix Chel (6/1/2016)

    She who is all – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

     June 1, 2016

    IX CHEL

    Ix Chel is the Mayan Snake Goddess of the Water. She is the Goddess of the moon, childbirth and weaving. She is also a Fertility Goddess, who brings the rain to feed the crops and who insured fertility by overturning her sacred urn. She is the weaver of the circle of life.

    She is the Goddess of the Moon and healing, overseeing the medicinal plants and herbs, healing and the phases of the moon.

    Her name Ix Chel is broken down to Ix = Goddess of the feminine and Chel = Rainbow or Light. Some of her many names are:

    Lady of the Rainbow or Lady Rainbow

    Lady of the Sacred Light

    Midwife of Creation.

    Keeper of Souls

    Ix Chel has been described as beautiful, with long flowing hair. All who saw her, wanted her, but she had eyes on for Kinich Ahau, the Sun. As she followed him as he glided across the sky, she was unaware that she was causes havoc, as her inattention caused water in the form of floods to destroy the fields and crops.

    Finally, she took the Sun as a lover, but her grandfather, for whatever reason, became jealous and threw lightning and killed her. She lay dead for 183 days as dragonflies sang about her until she returned to life. She also returned to the Sun, whereupon it was his turn to be jealous and accuse her of cheating with his brother, the Morning Star. When the Sun threw her from the sky, she sought and received sanctuary from the Vulture God. The Sun, being unhappy with this arrangement, came and begged her to come back. She did, only to be faced once again with the Sun’s jealously. Ix Chel, tired of this childish behavior, left and wandered the night, doing as she wanted. Whenever the Sun would come near, she would make herself invisible so as not be seen.

    (Photo of card from The Goddess Oracle by Amy Sophia Marashinsky and Hrana Janto)

    Ix Chel is depicted in all three aspects of the Goddess – Maiden, Mother & Crone.

    As Maiden, she is the beautiful, young lover of the Sun.

    As Mother, she is the Fertility Goddess caring for all women who are pregnant and in labor and is seen as sitting in a crescent moon, holding a rabbit.

    As Crone, she is seen as sitting with a serpent upon her head, wearing a skirt and crossbones, holding an urn in her hands, with represents the gift of water. The snake on her head is relative to her association with healing and intuition.

    Statue of Ix Chel in Cozumel

    (Photo Credit: Pinterest)

    Cozumel and the Isla Mujeres, (Island of Women) are devoted to her worship.

    (Photo Credit: IxChelmassage.com)

    Goddess Blessings!!

    Resources:

    The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines by Patricia Monaghan

    goddessgift.com

    holisticnp.com

  • The Goddess: Maia (5/1/2016)

    She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

     May 1, 2016

    Maia

    (Photo Credit: femcompetitor.com)

    Maia is the Goddess for whom the month of May is named. 

    Various meanings of her name are *grandmother*, *midwife*, *wise one*, *She Who is Great*. In Rome, she was also known as “Maia Maiestas”, meaning “Maia the Majestic”.

    While much of Her story has been forgotten, there are a few things we do know about Her.

    She was the eldest daughter of Atlas and Pleione, the oldest of what came to be known as the Pleiades; as such, in Greece, She was also called the Goddess of the Night Sky.

    The Pleiades were the 7 Sisters who were nymphs in the company of emis. Their name became the name of the 7 star-cluster constellation in our night sky. They were born in a cave on Mount Cyllene, where Maia continued to live, quite secluded.

    (Photo Credit: Pinterest)

    Apparently, she was not quite secluded enough as Zeus found her, and in due course, She gave birth to Hermes, the Messenger of the Gods. She is sometimes called the *Grandmother of Magic*, as it is said (but highly doubtful) that Hermes invented magic. Maia was also given Arcas, Zeus’ son by Callisto, to raise as Callisto was turned into a bear by the Goddess Hera, who was ever jealous of Zeus’ extra-marital relationships.

    In Rome, She was Earth Goddess; the goddess of youth, love, birth and sexuality. She was the goddess of plants and of Spring. She was also a Fire Goddess, who ruled growth, warmth and sexual heat. She was paired with the God Vulcan, as he also was a deity of heat and fire. She was

    honored in Rome in the month of August at August Volcanalia, a festival to ward off fires that were caused by the dry weather and extreme heat that could destroy the harvest.

    She was celebrated as the Goddess of Spring, welcoming in the renewal and rebirth of the new season, shedding the death of winter. She represented growth and fertility and was honored with an abundance of flowers at her festival on May 1st. This festival was eventually changed to honor Mary as the Queen of Flowers, but it will always belong to Maia.

    (Photo Credit: greekgoddesses.wikia.com)

    In both Greek and Roman cultures, Maia was strongly identified with Mother Earth, who in Greek was Gaia to the Roman Terra. She was also identified with Bona Dea, The Good Goddess.

    (Photo Credit: listal.com)

    May all the joys of Spring be yours!

    Many blessings!

    )O(

  • The Goddess: Gaia (4/1/2016)

    She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

     April 1, 2016

    Gaia

    “Gaia, the beautiful, rose up,

    Broad blossomed, She that is

    the steadfast base of all things.

    And fair, Gaia first bore the

    starry heaven, equal to Herself,

    to cover her on all sides, and to be

    a home for the blessed gods”

    ~~ Hesiod, Ancient Greek Poet

    In the beginning, there was Chaos — and then, Gaia rose.

    *********************************************

    (Photo credit: Pinterest)

    There was no shape, no boundaries; chaos coalesced into our Mother, Gaia, the Earth beneath our feet, Great Mother of us all, complete within Herself.

    Before Time, there was only She. Time, named Chronos, was her child, but she was lonely and felt desire. She created Uranus, her son, as the heavens above her. and brought forth the deities of heaven. The consummation of Her desire awoke her creativity and more of Her children came forth – the Titans, Cyclops, the Giants, the Meliae and the Erinyes. She created the sea and named it Pontus, from whom came the deities of the ocean.

    Uranus was jealous of Gaia’s other children and so she hid them deep within Her womb. When She became so heavy, that She could no longer hide them, She asked them to help Her deal with Uranus. All but one refused. Gaia formed a sickle and Chronos went forth and hid himself. When Uranus came to force himself upon Gaia, Chronos was ready. He grabbed Uranus’ genitals and castrated him. The blood of Uranus formed the Furies.

    Her symbols were the fruit and grain, and the Earth itself. She was worshiped with offerings of barley and honey, in caves that were seen as the womb of the Earth, Her womb.

    “I shall sing of Gaia,

    Universal Mother,

    firmly founded,

    Oldest of all the Holy Ones.”

    (Photo credit: yoganonymous.com)

    ~~ Homer, Ancient Greek Author

    Her shrines were many — in Tetrapolis, Claros, Patara, Patrai, Athens, Phyle, Tegea, Salamis and a deep sanctuary in Gaios. The most famous shrine, of which She was the original deity, was at Delphi.

    Her priestesses were the Sibyls, the Pythias and the Melisea. The priestesses heard Her wise words and spoke Her wisdom at the sacred caves and shrines.

    At Delphi, which was said to be the navel of the center of the Earth, both priestesses and worshippers bathed in the Castalian Spring, bubbling up from the deep. Her words came to both the rich and the poor alike, as all sought out Her wisdom.

    When the barbarians from the north came with their male-identified religions and conquered the matriarchal societies, they took over Her shrines and tried to diminish Her power.

    With the new patriarchal religions, the name of Gaia Olympia was changed to Olympus as Zeus came to rule. Delphi was also conquered and given to Apollo, who told all to ignore the wisdom of Gaia and to only listen to his wisdom. He took control of the Gaian rites of worship and turned them to his worship.

    As he took control, it is said that Gaia’s priestess, Delphyna, tried to bar him from entering the sacred shrine; Apollo sent her to her death.

    Many years later, the shrine was still held as a sacred site, but was closed by one of the Roman emperors as a threat to Christianity; the subsequent emperor ordered it completely destroyed. Yet, to this day, two of the fountains that were fed by the Castalian Spring still survive.

    It is said that all of the Gaian prophecies were written down and hidden. Whether this is true or not, I could not say, but nevertheless Gaia’s wisdom lives on.

    (Photo Credit: sodahead.com)

    Resources:

    The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines by Patricia Monaghan

    Ancient Mirrors of Womanhood by Merlin Stone

  • The Goddess: Ixcacau (2/1/2016)

    She Who is all – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

     February 1, 2016

    Ixcacau

    In honor of Valentine’s Day and the exorbitant amount of chocolate that is given as gifts, this month we honor Ixcacau, the Mayan Goddess of Chocolate and Cocoa (the word “cocoa” comes from Her name).

    Ixcacau was a symbol of strength. She was one of the Ancient Fertility Goddesses, a Goddess of the Earth, a Goddess of Abundance. Hunger was banished as She took responsibility to feed Her people. Her people never feared under her protection.

    She was also worshipped in Central and South Americas, and for the Azteccs, She was Xochiquetzal, Goddess of Fertility, Flowers and Fruit.

    There are several stories of Her that stand out in the Mayan legends.

    Long ago, the Grandmother Goddess, Ixmucane was raising her grandchildren, as so many grandparents do. Her sons had been killed during a journey to the Underworld. I know not why they went to the Underworld in the first place. Ixmucane was a Seer; knowing the ways of the Earth. She was concerned as to what might happen when she and her grandchildren died out; what would happen to the Earth?

    A young woman came to her, saying that she was pregnant with the child of one of Ixmucane’s sons. This woman told Ixcumane that her father was lord of the Underworld and she had shamed him by getting with child; she was banished.

    As Ixcumane questioned this story, She set forth to test the young woman by telling her to go to the field and fill a large net with food. The young woman set out only to find that only one corn plant was growing. She began to pray,

    Ixcenil, Goddess of Seed, hear me

    Ixtoq, Goddess of Rain, help me

    Ixcacau, Goddess of Chocolate, see my tears

    and come to my aid”

    She received the seed from Ixcenil. Ixcacau taught the young woman how to plant and harvest each crop. She stayed to stand guard until all the plants had reached fruition, with the help of Ixtoq, Goddess of Rain.

    The young woman returned to the home of Ixcumane and was welcomed into Her family.

    As the peaceful matriarchal societies were conquered and overthrown by the violent patriarchal ones and the Goddesses were replaced or taken by the Gods, Ixcacau was forced to become the wife of the God of Commerce and watch as her cocoa beans became the money of the day. She then witnessed as her beloved chocolate was taken away from the people and given to only rulers and warriors, as it was now only “food fit for the gods”.

    Annually, one of the people was offered for ritual sacrifice as part of the new sacred rites to the Sun God. Ixcacau offered her presence to this young man, staying by him, giving him goblets of liquid chocolate, as it was originally taken in a liquid form, for strength and giving him what comfort She could, She herself wishing that there was not a need for human sacrifice.

    One day, Ixcacau was visited by Huicato, the Goddess of Love. She was concerned because there was no more pleasure in the life of the people, no more dancing in the fields, which angered the Sun Gods. Under patriarchal rule, they were working harder than ever and receiving nothing in return. The ruling class cared nothing for the people and their labors.

    Huicato requested that Ixcacau do something; and, so She did. She taught the kings how to ferment the cocoa into wine to make it a heady aphrodisiac.

    The kings became gluttonous, drinking huge amounts of this wine to give them energy for their harems, and strength for the petty wars with other kingdoms. No one seemed to be paying much attention to the Earth and her people. The land became a place of war, and the men conscripted to become its’ warriors.

    One of the ancient gods, who had sacrificed himself for the people returned in human form and sacrificed himself again, banishing human sacrifice.

    The fields began to flourish once again. Huicato was pleased with what Ixcacau had done and covered her in white flowers, as She returned to the fields, where the people once again danced.

    She directed Her people to always take the time to slow down, rest from their labors, spend time with their loved ones, listen to music, dance, and most of all, take the time for Love, and so, Ixcacau became not only a Goddess of Fertility and Abundance, but one of love and pleasure.

    Ixcacau reminds Her people, and us now, to slow down. We must take the time to rest, refresh and renew ourselves. We should appreciate the beauty that surrounds us. We should experience bliss in all it’s forms; rather like that feeling when eating a piece of chocolate – Ahh, Bliss!

    Bright Blessings & Love!

    )O(

  • The Goddess: Isis (1/1/2016)

    She who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

     January 1, 2016

    Isis

    I have chosen Isis for this month’s column because I do believe it is time for us and Her to reclaim Her name from those who use it to bring terror, evil, murder and injustice into our world. She is a Goddess from the beginning and She is still worshipped today. Let Her name be heard and live beyond those who dishonor her.

    There, in the beginning was Isis, Oldest of the Old, She

    was the Goddess from whom all Becoming arose.

    She was the Great Lady, Mistress of the Two Lands,

    Mistress of Shelter, Mistress of Heaven, Mistress of

    the House of Life. She was the Unique. In all Her

    great and wonderful works, She was a wiser magician

    and more excellent than any other.”

    ~ ~ R. E. Witt

    (Photo credit: nasrinsafai.com)

    Our beloved Isis was the first daughter of Nut, the Sky Goddess and Geb, the Earth God. Her twin sister-Goddess was Nepthys.

    Isis was kind to her people, spending time with them, teaching the women how to grind corn and make bread. She taught the people agriculture and reading.

    One of the stories surrounding Her is the anger she felt at Ra’s uncaring and cruelty to the people. She fashioned a snake out of mud and Ra’s saliva, which she had stolen. When Ra was subsequently bitten by this snake, becoming very ill, he ironically called for Isis to cure him due to her powerful healing magic. She refused to do this unless he gave to Her his secret name of power. Continuing to feel ill, Ra agreed and whispered his secret name to Her, realizing that from that point on, Isis would then have power over him.

    While Isis loved Her people, She most loved her beloved brother/ lover/consort/husband Osiris. Overcome with jealously, their brother Set, who wanted Isis for his own, killed Osiris. Isis went into mourning, deeply grieving for him. She set out to search for his body.

    In her travels, She came upon the Phoenician Queen, Astarte, who did not recognize her and hired her as a nursemaid for her child. Isis attempted to gift this child with immortality, laying him within a fire. The Queen saw this and became angered, pulling the child from the fireplace. As she turned to face the nursemaid, She revealed Herself as Isis. In atonement for her anger against the Goddess, Astarte revealed that Osiris’s body was hidden in a nearby tamarisk tree.

    As Isis is returning to Egypt, Set comes upon Her and steals the body of Osiris, dismembering it and hiding each part separately. Once again, Isis searches for Her beloved. She finds each piece but one. She fashions Osiris a new penis out of gold, anoints him with oils and brings him back from the land of the dead. He impregnates Her and their son, Horus, is born.

    (Photo Credit: ancienttreasures.com)

    Isis was also known as Au Set, Auzit, Eset and Isis, the All Goddess.

    These are but a few of her names. As Her own powers grew and as She took on the powers of lesser Goddesses, her names also grew.

    Her name is similar to Ishtar, Astarte, Ashtoreth and it has been suggested that they have a common distant origin. She was associated with the Goddess Hathor, with whom she has sometimes been mistaken and had a close relationship with the Goddess Bast, who’s name is “Ba-Ast”, or “Soul of Isis”. There were always cats in the temples of Isis.

    She was known as “Isis Myrionymos” or Goddess of Ten Thousand, which we know Her as still today.

    (Photo Credit: ahanaenterprises.com)

    She is the Mother of the Sun, She is the Moon. She is the Goddess of the Earth and Stars; the Goddess of Healing and Magic, as we have seen from the two previous stories; She is the Goddess of Love and Motherhood. She is the Goddess of Medicine and Wisdom. She is the Giver of Life and Guide to the Underworld, protecting all with Her outstretched wings.

    She was also known as the Goddess of the Sea, known as “Isis Euploia” or “Isis of Good Sailing”. One of Her festivals is the “Isidis Navigium”, held on March 5. There was joy, music and dancing as boats were dedicated to Her, as She held the power of the seas and the tides.

    Other of Her festivals are the “Going Forth of Isis”, held on October 7, when Her image was decorated and proceeded to “visit” the temples of other deities.

    June 14 is the “Night of the Tear Drop”, to commemorate and remember Her mourning of Osiris. It is said that when She wept, the Nile flooded.

    Of course, one must not forget Her birthday celebrations on July 30.

    Some of Isis’ many symbols are the full moon, the stars, Her diadem headdress (moon with horns), the ankh and the sistrum, used in Her many celebrations.

    Of the many temples that were dedicated to Her, the one in Abydos was said to pre-date the pyramids. Of course, there were temples to Her in Alexandria, Petra, which was used for healing, Coptos and at least one in Roman London.

    (Photo credit: dreamstime.com)

    Some of these temples have been removed from Egypt. The Temple of Tafla is now located at the Museum of Antiquities in Leiden in the Netherlands. The Temple of Debad is in Municipal Park in Madrid, Spain. The one closest to my heart, as I have been there several times, is the Temple of Dendur which now resides at the Metropolitan Museum of in New York City, New York, USA. Please see this month’s “Sacred Place/Sacred Space” column for more on the Dendur Temple.

    (Photo Credit: Susan Morgaine)

    I wish you peace and the blessings of Isis.

    **Personal Note: In my quest to reclaim Isis’ name, I currently have her on my Yule altar. After the new year, I will be putting together a ritual to continue this. If anyone is interested in joining me, please email me at MysticalShores.wordpress.com and I will be happy to send you the ritual when it is finished.**

    Resources:

    The New Book of Goddesses & Heroines by Patricia Monaghan

    The Mysteries of Isis by DeTraci Regula

    Isis Magic by M. Isadora Forrest

  • The Goddess: Frau Holle/Hold/Hulde (12/1/2015)

    She Who is All – Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

     December 1, 2015

    Frau Holle/Hold/Hulde

    (Photo Credit: www.udagen.de)

    Frau Holle is a Germanic/Scandinavian Goddess, who is celebrated at the Winter Solstice. The wonderful Maria Gimbutas believes that Frau Holle pre-dates most of the Scandinavian pantheocon.

    It is said that Holle lives in a cave nestled in the mountains or at the bottom of a deep well. She is Maiden. She is Mother. She is Crone.

    As an Earth Goddess, she represents fertility and growth, as well as being the feminine spirit of the woods and plants. Her special plants are in the evergreen family, such as mistletoe and holly. Her tree is the Elder, which is called “the medicine of the common people”, for all the herbal remedies which come from the Elder Tree.

    Holle is identified as one of the Protectress of Witches. She is a leader of women and the female nocturnal spirits of these women, who would leave their bodies to ride with Holle throughout the skies. She is the mother of small creatures and the souls of dead children.

    She is also a Lady of Hearth and Home, and the Queen of the Hunt. She is sometimes seen as a beautiful, shining, young woman and at others, the old hag, riding her broom.

    With Her feast day being held on the Winter Solstice, she is viewed as the Queen of Winter. There are processions throughout the streets, where women are masked to look like Her. At night, She rides her broom, wearing a red cloak, filling children’s shoes with presents.

    It is said Holle brings the first snowflakes of the year; as She shakes out her comforter, a gentle snow comes and covers the Earth. The sun comes out when She combs Her hair and it rains when she throws out Her laundry water. As such, She is a Goddess of the Weather.

    (Photo Credit: genius.com)

    Holle is the inventor of all domestic acts, but her specialty was spinning. The stories tell of Frau Holle checking the spinning of everyone, and if they were diligent in their work and their spinning was good, She would reward them with gold thread; if their work was lazy, she would tangle and dirty it. She disliked laziness, and approved of good, hard work, both of which are rewarded by Her.

    Holle travels the world in her wagon from the Solstice through the beginning of January. It is said that once she broke a wagon wheel on her travels and a man stopped to help her. When She was once again on her way, she gave him 3 rocks and told him to put them on his window when he arrived home and he would be rewarded for his diligence and kindness. He did not believe her and grumbling, went home to follow her instructions. When he arose the next morning, the stones had turned into gold, thus she had rewarded him!

    Another story of her rewarding kindness and hard work is the tale of two sisters. One sister fell down a deep well, arriving in Holle’s realm. As she journeyed, she helped everyone she came in contact with, eventually finding herself at the home of Holle, where she continued to help and keep Holle’s home clean. When she returned home to her mother, she found that each time she spoke, gold would fall from her lips, and thus, she was rewarded by Holle. When the mother saw this, she threw her other daughter down the well. This daughter would help no one and offered no kindness to anyone on her journey, including Holle. When she returned home, she found, to her and her mother’s dismay, each time she spoke, toads fell from her lips. This daughter was rewarded in a different way.

    You will recognize Frau Holle in stories by the Brothers Grimm, as one of the names they called Her Old in their stories was Mother Frost.

    You can call on Frau Holle this Winter Solstice, using meditation, falling down her well, and going deep within on your own journey through her realm. What will await you? What will you be called on to do? How will you be rewarded by Holle?

    (Photo Credit: janeewardart.org)

    As always if you have any questions or comments, I can be reached at MysticalShores.wordpress.com.

    I wish you the blessings of the Goddess throughout this holiday season. Be healthy, be happy, be blessed.  )O(

  • The Goddess: Goddesses of Giving Thanks and the Harvest (11/1/2015)

    She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

     November 1, 2015

    Goddesses of Giving Thanks and the Harvest

    Festivals of thanks and the harvest have been, and are, celebrated the world over, and have been for hundreds of years. The harvest has always been associated with the Goddess of Earth and Fertility. She is and always will be the Source of all Creation.

    Chicomecoatl

    The Aztec Goddess of Maize (corn), she is dressed in flowers, carrying ripened ears of corn and a shield in the form of the sun. She is sometimes shown with a corncob engraved with the words, forgiving strength. She is the Goddess representing the mother aspect of the corn, while Xilonen is the Goddess representing the maiden aspect.

    (Photo Credit: museumsyndicate.com)

    Demeter

    Demeter was the Greek Goddess of the Harvest, who was the source of the Earths growth. When Persephone, her daughter, disappears and cannot be found, Demeter starts to look for her. As she searches in vain, her energy no longer feeds the earth; plants start to wilt and change color, heralding the first Autumn. When Persephone returned and Demeter reunited with her beloved daughter, Spring returned and the Earth was reborn. She is most often portrayed with sheaves of grain.

    (Photo credit: timeless myths.com)

    Pomona

    As the Roman agricultural Goddess, Pomona cultivated and protected Her fruit trees and gardens. She was celebrated in a November 1st festival with nuts and fruits. Her sacred grove was known as Pomonal.

    (Photo Credit: talesbeyondbelief.com)

    Selu/Corn Mother


    (Photo Credit: angelfire.com)

    Selu and Corn Mother are just two of the many names used by Native Americans to call their Harvest Goddess. Selu is the Cherokee First Woman and Corn Mother. To feed her people, she planted her heart within the Earth, and from this, corn grew.

    The name of Corn Mother is given to the Goddess of the Arikara Tribe. Born of the corn, She was the protector of Her people. As the spirit of the corn, She taught the tribe to farm.

     (Photo Credit: redbubble.com)

    Ceres

    This Roman Goddess is the growth of the Earth. She assured that the crops were successful and harvested in abundance. She was often paried with Tellus, as the Earth Herself. Her festival was held in August at the harvest.

    (Photo Credit: etsy.com)

    Feronia

    This Goddess lived a solitary life in the orchards and fields of Italy. Feronia was a fire Goddess, watching over the fires deep within the Earth that helped the crops to grow and flourish. Her festival was also held in November when the Earths first fruits and plants were most abundant.

    (Photo Credit:sacred-texts.com)

    May you all be blessed with an abundance of love, joy and happiness during this month of thanks and gratitude.

    )O(

    Resources:

    goddessgift.net

    native-languages.org

    The New Book of Goddesses & Heroines by Patricia Monaghan

  • The Goddess: Hecate/Hekate (10/1/2015)

    She Who is All – Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

     October 1, 2015

    Hecate/Hekate

    Hecate IS the magickal power of the Word. She was worshipped in Ancient Egypt, the Black Sea, Africa, Greece.

    She is said to be the mother of the Heka, the Egyptian word for magic, and for those who perform magic. Heka was also the name for an ancient Egyptian god of magic and healing.

    She is known by many names:

    Queen of the Night

    Queen of Death

    Goddess of Witches

    Goddess of Witchcraft

    Mistress of the Night

    Dark Goddess

    The Crone of the Triple Moon Goddess

    Guardian of the Crossroads

    She is all of this and more. She is the keeper of ancient knowledge. She is the sacred cauldron of secrets. She is the dark aspect of the Goddess, the Crone of the Maiden, Mother, Crone, the waning of the moon, when all is dark. She is a fertility Goddess, her torch being carried over fallow fields to symbolize the moon’s fertilizing power.

    (photo credit: tvtropes.org)

     

     

    The rituals of Demeter

    and the terrifying nights

    of the goddess Hecate

    are among the mysteries

    I have experienced.

    ~~ Roman Priestess Sabina

    She is honored at the Crossroads, which She guards, holding her torch and accompanied by her faithful hounds. It is said that her hounds have three heads so that they are able to look in all directions. She, too, has the power to look in three directions, representing Past, Present and Future.

    (photo credit: etsy.com)

    Hecate was an ancient dark Goddess before the Olympian gods conquered and took power, She was the only Goddess that Zeus allowed to keep her authority and powers, one of which She shared with him, that of granting or denying what She wished for humanity.

    When the Catholic Church was rising to power, they (mostly) succeeded to put down the Goddess, whom they described as evil, ugly and a hag. (I say mostly, because She was never gone and was always there for those who knew and revered her.) When the church described the Goddess, it was Hecate of whom they spoke. As such, Hecate stands for women in their fight against patriarchy; She helps women free themselves from the bonds of traditional, patriarchal religion, culture and society.

    She was/is also honored at “Hecate’s Suppers” where the Witches of Hecate share their magickal knowledge, leaving the leftovers outside for Her hounds. If you hear dogs howling at night, it means that She is near. She is celebrated on November 16th, which is the Night of Hecate.

    Hecate is the Goddess of death and the Underworld, as well as guidance and protection. Call upon her for protection when you believe someone is out to do you harm, to cease negativity against you and reverse the spell back to its’ owner. With her torch, she encourages us to make our way through obstacles and lights the way for our inner journey.

    (photo credit: noblepagan.tumblr.com)

    As a Goddess of herbs and poisons, She is associated with belladonna, cyclamen, mint, garlic, wolfsbane, hemlock, and dandelion. The tools most closely associated with Her are Her torch, the broom, and, of course, the cauldron.

    Hail, Hecate! Underworld goddess,

    you make dogs tremble when you

    walk through cemeteries, you make

    the blood of the dead run black.

    Hail, Hecate! Assist me

    in making this potion. Make it

    as strong as Circe’s, as strong as Medea’s,

    as strong as that little blonde Perimede’s

    ~~ Greek poet Theocritus, Idyll

    Wishing everyone a most blessed Samhain.

    Resources:

    The Grandmother of Time – Z Budapest

    Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs – Scott Cunningham

    Ancient Mirrors of Womanhood – Merlin Stone

    goddessgift.com

    The New Book of Goddesses & Heroines – Patricia Monaghan

    ancientegyptonline.com

    sibyllineorder.org

    The Goddess Companion – Patricia Monaghan

  • The Goddess: Tara (9/1/2015)

    She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

     September 1, 2015

    Tara

    Tara is the Great Goddess in Celtic lore, where her name is the root of *Tor*, a hillock of earth with a spiritual connection to other planes.

    The name “Tara” is also connected to “Terra”, our Mother Earth.

    However, the origins of the Tara most known today are in Hinduism, where she was seen as a manifestation of both Kali and Parvati. Her name means *star* and she was thought to have been a Boddhisattava, and a Goddess of Mystery and Mysticism.

    Tara was adopted into Buddhism and became one of the most popular Goddesses in their pantheon. To them, her name comes from the root “tri”, which means “to cross”, which is why she is also the one who “ferries her people from delusion to knowledge”.

    (Photo from goddessgift.net)

    She has compassion for all living beings, desiring to save them from suffering, which connects her to the Boddhisattava/Goddess Kwan Yin, who also hears the cries of those who suffer and offers them mercy and compassion.

    There are two main origin stories for Tara. One is that she was a spiritual and compassionate princess who prayed and gave offerings to the local monks and nuns. When one of the monks said that he would pray for her to be reborn as a man, she replied that there was no male/no female/no reality. She would stay in her female body to help others reach enlightenment. I adore the feminism in her ancient statement, which is still relevant now.

    “There are many who wish to gain enlightenment 
    in a man’s form,
    And there are few who wish to work 
    for the welfare of living beings 
    in a female form.
    Therefore may I, in a female body, 
    work for the welfare of all beings, 
    until such time as all humanity has found its fullness.” **

    **goddessgift.net

    The other origin story, which explains the existence of two Taras, is that She/They were born from the tears of Avalokiteshvara, the Buddha of Compassion. As he was crying from seeing the suffering in the world and of his people, two giant tears fell from his eyes, resulting in the birth of the peaceful White Tara and the ferocious Green Tara.

    (Photo from exoticindiaart.com)

    While they call Green Tara ferocious, She is mainly playful and full of mischief, always ready for call to action and activity. This is evidenced in Her posture upon Her lotus; Her right leg is extended ready to jump up, while her left leg is folded upon the lotus itself.

    Green Tara symbolizes the night and holds a blue lotus in her left hand for purity and power; she is covered in bracelets, necklaces and jewels. With her right hand, she grants wishes and overcomes fears.

    (Photo from exoticindiaart.com)

    While Green Tara is mostly seen as a young woman, White Tara is seen as a mature, full breasted woman. She is the Mother of All Buddhas and symbolizes day.

    She has seven eyes – – the two usual, one in the Ajna (third eye) chakra, one on each hand and foot – – to more closely see the suffering in the world.

    In her left hand, in the mudra (hand yoga) of protection, she holds a white lotus for complete truth and purity. This lotus has three blooms. The first bloom, with seeds, represents the Past; the second bloom in full flower, represents the Present, and the third, which is ready to blossom, represents the unknown Future. She is the essence of all three.

    Tara is also known as *She Who Brings Forth Life*, *The Great Compassionate Mother”, “Embodiment of Wisdom”, and The Great Protectress”.

    Her influence is widely felt, as evidenced by these stamps from Mongolia:

    (Photos from colnect.com)

    Tara’s mantra is *Om Tare Tuttare Ture Svaha*; here it is chanted by the incomparable Deva Premal :  

    [youtube]

    May the Goddess, by whatever name you call her, bless you and keep you safe.

    Blessings, Peace & Namaste…

    (Photo from wildmind.org)

    Resources:

    The New Book of Goddesses & Heroines by Patricia Monaghan

    exoticindiaart.com

    goddessgift.net

  • The Goddess: Summer/Sun Goddesses (8/1/2015)

    She Who is all – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

     August 1, 2015

    Summer/Sun Goddesses

    Aurora (Greek)/ Eos (Roman)

    Her name, which means “light”, is the Goddess of Dawn. She rode her chariot, bringing light across the sky. It is said that She had strong sexual urges, kidnapping men for her own uses. She brought forth hope in every new day, and it is said that Her tears create the dew of the morning.

    Hemera

    A Greek Goddess of the Day. Her mother, the Goddess Nyx, brought darkness each night and each day, Hemera would brighten the world once again with her morning greeting.

    Aestas

    While there is not much known about this Goddess, She stands with Phoebes, the Sun-God. Her name means summer or summer heat and She is depicted standing naked with only wheat sheaves in Her hair. She reminds us to enjoy the abundance and glory of summer.

    Aditi

    The Hindu Goddess and keeper of all light, Aditi illuminates life as we know it. She has no mother and had no birth. She exists for and from all time. It is said that She birthed a large egg, that moved into the sky and became the sun.

    Hathor

    The Egyptian Goddess of the sky, She is still worshipped today. She is the “Mother of the Sun”, and is depicted with a solar disk on Her headdress. Many festivals are held in Her honor, but on New Year’s Day, Her image was brought out of the Temple at Dendera to catch the rays of the newborn sunlight. “She is the body in which the soul resides”.

    Aine

    The Sun Goddess of Ireland, Her name means brightness, joy, radiance and glow; She brings us the power of the sun and the abundance of summer. She was honored at mid-summer at the top of Her Hill on Cnoc Aine. It is said that She gave the gift of grain to the people of Ireland. She could assume the shape of a red mare, at will.

    Ameratsu

    A Japanese Shinto Goddess, She is honored as the ruler of all other deities. As the guardian of Her people, Her name means,”great shining in heaven”. Her emblem, the rising sun, is on the flag of Japan. She is worshipped at the Shinto Grand Shrine of Ise in Japan.

    I wish you all the joy and abundance of summer, and the blessings of each Summer Goddess.

  • The Goddess: Healing Goddesses (7/1/2015)

    She Who is all – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

     July 1, 2015

    Healing Goddesses

     

    Like so many others this week, I am saddened and devastated by the recent racist murders in South Carolina, US. In memory and honor of those whose lives were taken and in hopes that this country, and this world can begin to heal the hatreds that tear it apart, this month’s Goddess column will be on just a few of the Healing Goddesses, whom I ask to please look kindly upon us all.

     

     

    COVENTINA – The British Goddess of springs and wells, she was also a Goddess of abundance and inspiration. Her sacred well, located in Northumberland, is considered a sacred healing site.

     

     

    ANAITA – While there is not much information on her, Anaita was an Italian Goddess of the Oscan tribe, a Goddess of witchcraft and healing. It is said that she is the originator of herbal charms.

     

     

    AKESO – The daughter of Askelpios, the God of Medicine and Epione, the Goddess of Pain Relief, Akeso is the Greek Goddess of healing and curing, which is the meaning of her name. She is also associated with the moon.

     

    SULIS (OR SUL) – Another British Goddess of Healing, Sulis oversees the sacred wells and springs, all of which bring healing and blessings. Her most sacred site is the healing hot springs at Bath, where thousands still gather for Her annual Festival.

     

    AIRMED – She is of the Tuatha De Danaan, the Irish race of Gods and Goddesses, founded by the Mother Goddess, Danu. Airmed healed those who fell in battle. It is said that the healing herbs of the world fell from her eyes as she wept of her dying brother’s body.

     

     

    AJA – A powerful healer of the Orisha, her name means “wild wind”. It is said that she is the one who taught all of the worlds’ healer.

     

    ISIS – The Egyptian Goddess Isis, THE Goddess of Ten Thousand Names; her worship has circled the world. While stories abound of Isis and Her magic, Her powers of healing are foremost in the story of her searching and finding the dismembered pieces of her beloved Osiris’ body, killed and scattered by their brother, Set. She searched the world over to resurrect him.

    Another story of Her healing powers, She cured Ra of a snake bite, although truth be told She sent the snake and blackmailed him for the name of his power before She cured him.

    May we be healed. May we have peace. May we all be blessed  )O(

  • The Goddess: Kawn Yin (6/1/2015)

    She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

     June 1, 2015

    Kwan Yin, The Goddess of Mercy and Compassion

    (This column is dedicated to my dear friend, Denise M.)

    I think that, at least one time or another, we all need a little mercy and compassion in our lives. When times are such that this is what you need, look no further than Kwan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy and Compassion.

    She is known by many names in many place – Kannon in Japan; Gwan-Eum in Korea, Kuan Im in Thailand; and other similar pronunciations in bordering countries.

    ******************************

    A mind perfected in the four virtues, 
    A gold body filled with wisdom, 
    Fringes of dangling pearls and jade, 
    Scented bracelets set with lustrous treasures, 
    Dark hair piled smoothly in a coiled-dragon bun, 
    And elegant sashes lightly fluttering as phoenix quills, Her green jade buttons 
    And white silk robe 
    Bathed in holy light; 
    Her velvet skirt
    And golden cords 
    Wrapped by hallowed air, 
    With brows of new moon shape 
    And eyes like two bright stars, 
    Her jadelike face beams of natural joy, 
    And her ruddy lips seem a flash of red. 
    Her immaculate vase overflows with nectar from year to year, 
    Holding sprigs of weeping willow green from age to age. 
    She disperses the eight woes; 
    She redeems the multitude; 
    She has great compassion; 
    Thus she rules on the T’ai Mountain, 
    And loves at the South Sea . 
    She saves the poor, searching for their voices, 
    Ever heedful and solicitous, 
    Ever wise and efficacious. 
    Her orchid heart delights in green bamboos; 
    Her chaste nature loves the wisteria. 
    She is the merciful ruler of Potalaka Mountain, 
    The Living Kuan Yin from the Cave of Tidal Sound.

    ***********************************

    Because there are different interpretations of Kwan Yin in different countries, there are several stories of her origination. I will share two of them here.

    The Story of Thi Kinh

    Thi Kinh was a young girl who lived with her parents in a small village. Her father owed money to his landlord and gave his daughter to the landlord’s son to marry. One night as her husband was sleeping, she took a scissors to cut a hair out of a mole on his face. He awoke and thought that she was trying to kill him. She was thrust out on her own, with no family and no where to go. She decided to shave her long hair and dress as a monk so that she would be able to stay at the Buddhist temple. One of the village girls saw her (dressed as a monk) and became infatuated. One night she saw someone she thought was him (really her) and invited him in, whereupon they had sex. When she became pregnant, she named Thi Kinh as the father.

    Thi Kinh was banished from the temple, once again becoming homeless, never telling anyone that she was a woman, so as not to shame the young pregnant village girl, even though it would exonerate her. She chose to live her Buddhist beliefs and forgive the young girl, protect her and suffer the abuse of the village.

    The child was given to Thi Kinh to raise. She went from village to village begging for food for the child, and was abused at each place she stopped for shaming Buddhism But she continued on, until at one village, she was beaten to death. When her clothing was removed, it was discovered that she was, indeed, a woman and could not have gotten the young village girl pregnant. The villages then revered Thi Kinh for what suffered on behalf of this young girl. Her spirit became Kwan Yin.

    ******************************************

    The Story of Princess Miao Shan

    At the time of Miao Shan’s birth, her mother the queen, dreamed about the moon; the earth shook and the child was born amidst the smell of flowers. She was enveloped in a radiant light and all knew she was a Goddess. However, her royal parents had wanted a son.

    She was extremely kind and patient and refused to marry as her father insisted. As he grew angry, he made her do the worst chores around the palace and barely gave her food; he then sent her to a nunnery, insisting that they continue her punishment for disobeying him. She did all of them without a complaint. The Master of Heaven, seeing her, sent animals and birds to help her. When she still refused to marry, her father sent his men to kill all of the nuns by setting fire to the nunnery. When the nuns turned on her for bringing this upon them, she felt responsible and punctured the top of her mouth and spit blood into the air, praying to the Buddha. The blood turned into water and put out the fire. Her father then brought her back and had her executed. The Master of Heaven sent a giant tiger to bring her body to him. She came back to life after living in heaven for a while, and went to live upon a mountain. Her evil father was constantly ill due to the vileness of his nature. While he lay dying, a strange monk came and told him if he could “take the arm and eye of one who is without anger”, he should combine them and apply them to become well. No one was without anger, and no one would sacrifice themselves for this evil man. The monk told him that someone such as this lived on the nearby mountain. Her father sent a message, not knowing it was the daughter he had killed. When she heard her father was dying, she gouged out her eyes and cut off both of her arms and her father was cured. Her parents traveled to visit this person and recognized her as their daughter and begged her forgiveness.

    She rose into the air to become the Thousand-Armed and Thousand Eyed Guan Yin, for she now would have 10,000 eyes to see the suffering of the world, and 10,000 arms and hands to help those in need.

    In Talmage, Mendocino County, California is the international Buddhist community known as the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas. In the Buddha hall, there are really 10,000 small buddha statues in niches in the walls. This hall is for meditating and chanting and is dominated by a large golden statue of Kwan Yin.

    Kwan Yin is a manifestation of the Divine Mother, the nurturer, the caregiver, the comforter, the one who hears the cries of all those who are suffering. She is sometimes seen as holding a willow branch, which she uses to heal illness and to fulfill the requests of her followers. She is also seen with a vase symbolizing the nectar of compassion and her wisdom. Most often, she is seen as sitting upon a lotus blossom. The lotus is an amazing flower, which grows from the mud, opens and blooms each morning and closes each night. The lotus symbolizes rising to the occasion and blooming to your true potential.

    Namo Guan Shih Yin Pu-Sakwan4

    (Hail to Kwan Yin Bodhisattva)

    May the blessings of the Goddess be upon you.

    Namaste

    )O(

  • The Goddess: Shakti Goddesses (5/1/2015)

    She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

     May 1, 2015

    SHAKTI GODDESSES

    Adi Shakti, Adi Shakti, Adi Shakti, Namo Namo
    Sarab Shakti, Sarab Shakti, Sarab Shakti, Namo Namo
    Pritham Bhagvati, Pritham Bhagvati, Pritham Bhagvati, Namo Namo
    Kundalini Mata Shakti, Mata Shakti, Namo Namo

    Translation:
    I bow to the primal power.
    I bow to the all encompassing power and energy.
    I bow to that through which Goddess creates.
    I bow to the creative power of the Kundalini, the Divine Mother Power.

    You Tube Link for above Mantra:

    Shakti is, at it’s root, power; divine feminine creative power. This power is infinite and is always present; it manifests itself in awareness, in peace, in ecstacy, in our willfullness, in our intuition.

    There are many Shakti Goddesses and here, we will meet four of them.

    DURGA

     

    O Queen of the Universe, you protect
    the universe. As the self of the universe,
    you support the universe. You are the
    goddess worthy to be adored by the Lord
    of the universe. Those who bow in
    devotion to you themselves become the
    refuge of the universe.
    ~~ From the Devi Mahatmyam

    Durga is usually seen riding a lion or a tiger. She is the Divine Feminine in action. She carries a discus, a spear, a mace, a sword and a lotus. Durga was brought forth by male gods, who found themselves unable to defeat an attacking demon. They sent their power out as light and Durga was born. As she is the Protector of the World, she is victorious in fighting the gods’ battle.

    Later, when two brothers attempt to take over the world, the male gods once again turn to Durga, begging for her help. She assents and goes to them, whereupon she is insulted and offended by comments that she will be “of use” to the brothers. She informs the brothers that they both must fight her. Laughing, they agree and a great bloody battle ensues. Again, victory is hers.

    Invoke Durga when you are in need of her help, when you find yourself lacking in strength and courage.

    Mantra to Durga: Aum Dum Durgaye Namaha

    (oom doom door-gai-yay nuh-muh-huh)

    I bow to Durga
    **********************************************************************************

    KALI

    O Warrior Goddess with streaming
    black hair,
    One swing from your sword of wisdom
    Will cut every egocentric root
    And clarify the heart forever.
    I will tame the primal obsesssions,
    Greed, anger, pride, hatred,
    and use them as powerful bullocks
    To plow the field of consciousness.
    Sowing the seeds of Om Kali Ma,
    Transmitted to me by a skillful farmer,
    I will reap a vast harvest of illumination for all living beings.
    ~~ From the Ramprasad Sen

    Kali, Divine Kali, born from the eye of Durga at the battle with the demon brothers, born with a sword in her hand, cutting down the demon hordes. It is said that she used her long tongue to lick and drink the blood of her enemies. The battle puts her into a frenzy and she begins to dance her dance of death, faster and faster, destroying her enemies, crushing them under her feet. This is the dance of Kali.

    In more recent history, she is also Kali Ma, the Mother Kali, a loving presence to whom to pray.

     

    As with so many Goddesses, Kali is both light and dark, Destroyer and Nurturer.

    Invoke Kali when you are in need of having obstacles removed, when you need freedom from negative situations. Remember, though, do not call on Kali lightly, as she is fierce when invoked.

    Aum Adyayai vidmahe
    Parameshwarayai dhimahi
    Tanno Kali prachodayat

    Ohm ahd-yah-yai vid-muh-hey
    pah-rah-mesh-war-ay-ai dhee-muh-hee
    ta-no Kah-lee pra-cho-dah-yaht

    Oh, may I know the primordial one
    My the supreme goddess illuminate my intellect
    May I meditate on Kali

    ************************************************************************************
    LAKSHMI


    I hereby invoke Sri Lakshmi
    Who is the embodiment of absolute
    bliss;
    Whose luster is that of burnished gold;
    Who is as wet as it were (from the Milky Ocean)
    Who is blazing with splendour, and is the
    embodiment of the fulfillment of all wishes;
    Who satisfies the desire of her devotees;
    Who is seated on the lotus and
    beautiful like the lotus.
    ~~ From the Sri Sukta

    As she floats on a lotus, Lakshmi is spiritual enlightenment. She is the symbol of spiritual prosperity, love and happiness. She embodies goodness. She is the symbol, also, of material prosperity and wealth. Her worship, in Hindu India, is the basis for the reverence of cows.

    Lakshmi serves as a balance to both Durga and Kali.

    Invoke Lakshmi for her blessings, for good fortune, wealth, success and goodness in life.

    Aum Shrim Maha Lakshmyai Namahah

    Ohm shreem muh-huh luhk-shmyai nuh-muh-hah

    Om, I offer salutations to the Great
    Goddess of good fortune

    ****************************************************************************
    SARASWATI

     

    May Saraswati – goddess of knowledge,
    who is praised by the wise, reside on my
    tongue.
    ~~ Hymn to Saraswati

    She whose name means “the flowing one”, you will find her on the lotus of upon a swan. She is the Goddess of water, from which all life flows. She is the symbol for creativity, writing, music. She has been here since the beginning and will always be here. She is the womb, the waters of life. She is there when we are inspired, when we are moved to *create*.

    Invoke Saraswati when you need help with communication of all kinds, in music, in literary ventures, and when you need inspiration, or to just trust in your intuitive creativity.

    Aum Aim Saraswatyai Namaha

    ohm aim suh-ruh-swah-tyai nuh-muh-huh

    I bow to the Goddess of Speech

    ************************************************************************
    Each of these invocation mantras can be used to not only invoke, but to meditate upon each of these Shakti Goddesses. The mantras should be chanted 208 times, the easiest way being to use mala beads (http://paganpages.org/content/2015/03/a-moment-for-meditation-7/)
    These are just some of the Shakti Goddesses. For further reading, I highly recommend the book, “Awakening Shakti” by Sally Kempton. For mantras, I would recommend the CD, “Goddess Blessings” by Mary Marzo

    I am the sovereign queen, the treasury of all treasures,
    whose breathing forth gives birth to all the worlds and yet
    extends beyond them – so vast am I in greatness.
    ~~ From the Devi Sukta

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    (My own personal Shakti Goddess altar)

    May the Goddess Bless you!

  • The Goddess: Ostara/Eostre (4/1/2015)

    She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

     April 1, 2015

    Ostara/Eostre

    Ostara is the Goddess of Spring and of the Dawn. Her name, which in German, means “movement toward the rising sun”, is also used by some for the Spring Equinox.

    Legend has it that Ostara found an injured bird. In order to save its’ life, she transformed it into a rabbit. The transformation was successful in that the rabbit survived, but it was not quite complete, as this rabbit could lay eggs as if it were still a bird. In gratitude, the rabbit would decorate its’ eggs and leave them for the Goddess.

    In Anglo-Saxon, her name is Eostre or Eastre. Her name has lived on in the holiday of Easter, another Spring holiday, which is also about resurrection and rebirth, if not of the Earth, but of hope and renewal. In this way, the Goddess Ostara is celebrated from the Spring Equinox until Easter.

    This Goddess is about the returning light and warmth; and the Earths abundance as it is reawakened and reborn. Eggs, rabbits, flowers – all symbols of fertility – all first signs of spring – are sacred to Her.

    Ostara’s symbols also became the symbols of Easter, which came much later.

    Rituals to Ostara would include seeds, what you wish to grow and sow; planting a garden; coloring eggs and leaving them outside for the animals who are coming out of hibernation; taking a mindful walk, noticing the Earth as she begins to come out of her slumber, breathing in the freshness of the air, listening to the songs of the birds and the buzz of insects, feeling the sunshine.

    May you all be blessed by Ostara this Spring!

  • The Goddess: Freya (3/1/2015)

    She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

     March 1, 2015

    Freya

    Untitled

    Freya, or Freyja, Queen of the Valkyries and Queen Mother of the Vanir, is both a goddess of love, peace and sexuality, as well as the ruler of war and death.

    As a goddess of peace, she is the spirit of the Earth’s fertility, as she is always there when Spring has awakened, and removes herself from earth in the Fall and Winter.

    As one of the Vanir, she was a giver of magic, and as such, she taught women chosen by her, magic songs to allow them to see into the future.

    As Queen of the Valkyries, she clothed herself in a falcon-feathered cloak and her amber necklace, donned a war helmet and carried a spear. As she drove her cat-drawn chariot of gold, she would claim the spirits of those who had fallen on the battlefield and bring them with her to her palace, in Folkvangir, in Asgard. Those whom she chose, would live with her and their afterlives were filled happiness. Those whom she did not choose would be escorted by her Valkyries to Odin. She would ease the transition of the deceased to Valhalla.

    Although she was married to Od, the god of ecstasy, she took many of the gods as her lovers.

    At one time, she visited the Land of the Dark Elves and watched them forge a most beautiful necklace; this necklace, she felt, should be hers. Every offer she made to the Elves was refused. She told them that whatever they wanted for the necklace would be theirs. Each of them asked for one night with her; and so, she stayed with each of the elves for one night and she received the necklace from them. As the necklace was placed upon her neck, it blazed with fire as a rainbow appeared in the sky. The morning star of the dawn was brought down by the light of the necklace, the flame of its’ forging. She brought these gifts to 

    her people. This necklace became Brisingamen. Freya’s necklace is what some Norse still call the Milky Way.

    Brisingamen was stolen from Freya by Loki, who turned himself into a flea, and while she slept, bit her on the cheek. This caused Freya to turn and allow Loki to remove the necklace. Loki brought the necklace to Od, as proof of Freya’s promiscuity. Od disappeared without a trace. Freya donned her feather cloak and searched the world for him, all the while weeping tears of gold. She searches for him still.

    Goddess Blessings!

  • The Goddess: Brigid (2/1/2015)

    She Who Is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

     February 1, 2015

    Brigid

    As I sit here writing this column, it is only a handful of days until Imbolc, which makes it easy to choose Brigid as this month’s Goddess.

     

    She is known today, by many, as St. Bridget of the Christian church.  Oh, but she was and is so much more.

     

    Brigit, pronounced “Breed” started at a triple goddess in Ireland and surrounding areas.  In England, she was known as Brigantia; in Scotland, Bride; in Celtic France, Brigandu.  Her name means “bright one” or “bright arrow”.  A great flame went out from her head and into the sky on the day of Her birth.  This flame, tended at a sacred shrine in Kildare by 19 maiden women, named the Daughters of the Flame, perpetually burned; and, it was said that it was tended by Brigit, herself, on the 20th day.   This flame was looked on only by women so that its’ purity would be always protected.

     

    As a triple goddess, Her aspects are linked by both fire and water.

     

    Brigit is the Keeper of the flame, and is credited with the invention of smithcraft, She is the Goddess of the forge and of the Hearth in each home.  She is the Poetess, the Goddess of storytelling and inspiration.  She brings wisdom and guidance as the Goddess of prophecy and divination.  She is a nurturer, the bringer of children as a mid-wife.

     

    She is a Goddess of healing and well-being.  Numerous healing wells are dedicated to her, many in the surrounding areas of Kildare.

     

     

     

     

    As Christianity conquered the pagan people of old, the church found that Brigit was so loved and so revered, that they could not eradicate her worship.  As they did with so many of of our ancient deities and customs, they co-opted her into the church, transforming her into St. Bridget, claiming that she was a Druid’s daughter and baptized by St. Patrick, he who allegedly drove the snakes (pagans) from Ireland.

     

    Her sacred flames burned until 1220, when a Norman Bishop, angered by the fact that men were not allowed into the presence of the sacred flame, forced his way in with his men and had the flame put out, using its’ pagan beginnings as his reasoning.  The flame was re-lit in 1993; it is now maintained by the Sisters of Bridget.

     

    The Goddess Brigid has many symbols — the forge, the hearth, the wheel, the crossroads, which represent transformation, as they stand between light and dark.   There is also Brigid’s cross, which is said to bring good luck and to protect a home from fire.   There are many websites that can help you with instructions on how to make your own Brigid’s cross.

     

     

     

     

    Brigid is celebrated on Imbolc, February 1st, which is a time of purification and cleansing.   With her two opposite symbols of fire and water, it reminds us to always maintain a balance within our lives.  This is a time of transformation, and new beginnings.

     

    To celebrate Brigid, one of the first things that should be done is to set up your Imbolc altar.  No matter the amount of space that you have available, a beautiful altar is yours for the making.  A statue of Brigid is a lovely addition to the altar, as are candles (for the symbol of fire), and chalices, (for the symbol of water).  Any spring-blooming plants would be appropriate.  Of course, your Brigid’s cross, if you have made one, would be perfect.  (The opening photo is the beginnings of my own Brigid/Imbolc altar.)

     

    Before your ritual, knowing that this is a celebration of purification and cleansing, you should bath first with a mixture of sea salt, epsom salt, baking soda and lavender oil.

     

     

     

    There are many rituals surrounding both Brigid and Imbolc.  This is the perfect time to re-dedicate yourself to your path.  For other ideas,  please check out:   http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/imbolcfebruary2/a/AllAbout_Imbolc.htm

     

     

    “IRISH PRAYER TO BRIGID”

     

    Brigid, gold-red woman

    Brigid, flame and honeycomb

    Brigid, sun of womanhood

    Brigid, lead me home

     

    You are a branch in blossom

    You are a sheltering dome

    You are my bright precious freedom

    Brigid, lead me home

     

     

     

    As always, I can be reached at MysticalShores@gmail.com

     

    I wish you all a very blessed Imbolc and may Brigid watch over you.

     

    Resources:  The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines by Patricia Monaghan

                         Ancient Mirrors of Womanhood by Merlin Stone

                         Gathering for Goddess by B. Melusine Mihaltses

                         The Goddess Companion by Patricia Monaghan

                          http://paganwiccan.about.com

     

  • The Goddess: Kali (1/1/2015)

    She Who Is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

     January 1, 2015

    Kali

     

    “By you this universe is borne, by you this world is created

    By you it is protected, O Devi. By you it is consumed at the end

    You who are eternally the form of the whole world,

    at the time of creation you are the form of the creative force,

    at the time of preservation you are the form of the protective power
    and at the time of the dissolution of the world
    you are the form of the destructive power
    You are the Supreme Knowledge, as well as ignorance,
    intellect and compassion”
    From the Devi-Mahatmya

    I was unsure of which Goddess to choose for the January column.  December was fun in choosing Winter Goddesses.  January is cold and dreary in most of the northern hemisphere.  Should the Goddess be all about the light?  Apparently not.

     

    I have been having Kali visit me in the quiet of my mind these past few months, and She got me to thinking.  The New Year is a time of change for many people.  Most run around making resolutions that, honestly, dont make it through the first month.  Some make the same resolution every year — Im going to give up smoking, I am going to exercise everyday, and so on.   The thing we most want and what we focus on are our obstacles, and THAT, is where Kali comes in.  She will help you destroy those obstacles and free you to make the changes you wish.

     

    In Hinduism, the Goddesses are Devi, which means deity.  She, of course, has different aspects: Durga, Lakshmi, Tara, Sarasvati, Parvati, Kali.  Kalis name means Time

     

    Her stories are bountiful.  Born from the brow of Parvati, Kali killed the demonic forces that were threatening.   She danced with the Lord of the Dance, Shiva, and it is said the dance grew wilder and wilder, and as the dance continues, it will one day shake the world to pieces.   She killed other demons during another battle,  and it is said that after they were dead, exhilarated, laughing and roaring,  Kali happily drank their blood and began to dance wildly, hence Her dance of death and destruction.

     

     

    She is seen as a Dark Goddess, as she dances the dance of death and destruction, but She is also keeper of time and will be there when new things emerge from Her destruction.  When you see Her, there is no mistaking Her. 

    She wears a necklace of skulls around Her neck, She hold weapons in her numerous hands.  Her tongue protrudes from Her mouth.  She can be terrifying to behold and to work with. 

     

     

    However, She is worshiped by many as the Mother Kali or Kali Ma, in which Her worshipers surrender to Her utterly.   Abrahim Khan, an anthropologist, said that to belong to Her, the worshiper must surrender not just the intellect, but the entire self, that is the mind, the body.”   To me, that is the key to working with Kali.

     

    Even so, Kali is still once of the most worshiped Goddesses in India and other parts of the world.   Kali is more than a Dark Goddess who destroys.  She is also the Goddess who helps us to face our fears head on.  She is strength.  She is courage.  She helps us to face our own darkness.

     

    The following is my meditation from a *workshop that I have taught, Healing Dance of the Kali Dakini.***

     

    Sit quietly, breathing deeply, closing eyes.  Visualize yourself in darkness, a cave, deep within the womb of the Earth.  Breathe into your sacred feminine energy.  Now, open yourself to She, who is Kali, who is both fearsome and

    spiritually liberating, offering you healing from your emotional wounds.  Sense Her in whatever way you wish and allow her to see you in your entirety, the good and the bad. Let your breath connect to her.  Draw her presence into your body, into each part of yourself.  As you do this, allow the release of all obstacles, accepting the freedom that She offers.

     

    This is a lovely song for a Kali meditation:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJa4r-OydDM&list=PL_dIya2JbVnTkujuSpjPc-hZV6LbKSnTX&index=2

     

    I also recommend the Dance of Kali, which I also do in my workshop.  The idea behind this is to just dance, allow your body to move freely without inhibition.  As you dance, visualize yourself healed – a blissful Kali Dakini dancing in the light in service to Kali.  (Note: a Dakini translates as sky dancer.  She is a spiritual disciple of Kali, the creative personification of the Divine Feminine)***

     

    I would recommend lying down and relaxing with long deep breathing for at least 10 minutes after the above meditations.

     

     

    That is Kali.  You can reach me at MysticalShores at gmail.com if you have any questions or (nice) comments.

     

    May Kali bless you on your journey!

     

     

     

     

    Resources:  ***The Healing Dance of Kali, Workshop taught by Susan Morgaine

                                   (@ShaktiSpirit 2014)

                         Kali, The Feminine Force by Ajit Mookerjee

                         The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines by Patricia Monaghan

                                 (a must-have)

                          Ancient Mirrors of Womanhood by Merlin Stone

                                 (also highly recommended)

  • The Goddess: Winter Goddesses (12/1/2014)

    She Who Is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

     December 1, 2014

    Winter Goddesses

    As I am writing this, it is a week before the holiday of Thanksgiving, meaning that Winter Solstice is just around the corner. Here in the northeast section of the United States, the weather has begun to get quite chilly and we have had the first tiniest taste of snow, while in other parts of this country, the ice and wind chill has already begun to wreak havoc.

    So, I thought this would be the perfect time to write about just a few of the many Winter Goddesses that abound throughout the world.

     

    Colleda is the Goddess of Winter in Serbia.
    She was the one to whom the Yule Log was
    given as the light from the past year drained
    away. When the sun was reborn, the children
    went from house to house and received
    sweet cakes for the Goddess who brought
    back light and growth. She is known as
    Kolleda in Russia who embroiders a new
    world each Solstice.

     

     

    Angerona is the Roman Goddess of the Winter Solstice. Her feast in held on December 21st, just as the sun energy begins to increase; but just before the balance tips, Angerona reminds her worshippers of how frail the natural balance of the world truly is. She is most often portrayed with her finger to her lips for silence.

     

     

    Befana is called “the lady of twelfth night” in Italy. Many places in Italy still follow the Befana tradition of hanging a lady dressed in rages outside the home on January 5th. Befana delivers gifts to the children and, it is said, she will sweep up before she leaves. Many of us still have representations of Befana in our home without even being aware of who she really is. I have a small statue of her in my kitchen, which is there year-round. She is the proverbial kitchen witch.

     

    Cailleach is the gloomy old woman, also called the winter hag. She is known at Cailleach Bheur in Scotland and Cailleach Bhera in Southern Ireland. She is also known as Baira, The Queen of Winter. She is said to rule winter between Samhain and Beltaine. She is capable of ruling the weather, as the staff that she carries freezes the ground. Before there was the groundhog, there was Cailleach. It is said that on Feburary 1st, if it is sunny and bright, the winter will be longer and that She is gathering firewood to keep herself warm for the prolonged winter.

    Wah-Kah-Nee is “the drifting maiden” of the Chinook Tribe on the Pacific Coast of the United States. Her tribe was struck by a never-ending winter. The ice blocked the rivers from flowing; the cold winds killed the crops. They feared for the survival. It was said that the winter was caused by someone killing birds, but all who were questioned denied it, but a young girl was blamed. The tribe dressed her and exposed her on a block of ice as an offering to the Winter spirits. The ice broke and summer returned. Months later, a block of ice containing the girl, Wah-Kah-Nee, was found. She survived and was then treated as a sacred being by the Tribe. She could could walk unprotected through the winter months and communicate with the spirits.

     

    Frau Holle is known throughout Germany, Austria and the surrounding countries. Snow covered the earth when she shook out a feather comforter. She rode in a wagon, on the wind and rewarded good people with gold; she invented spinning. Between December 25th and January 5th, the 12 days of Xmas, she traveled the world. She is associated with many of the evergreen plants used around Yule, such as holly and mistletoe.

    These are just a few of the many Winter Goddess from around the world. I hope you have enjoyed reading about them.

    I wish you all a blessed Holiday season, filled with happiness, love and joy. Keep the light burning in your heart all year long.

    Blessings
    )O(

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