The Goddess: Mira Bai/MiraBai (1498-1546 CE)

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

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

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: Healing Goddesses II

She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

 May 1, 2020

(Previously published July, 2015, with some modifications)

Like so many others, I am saddened, devastated and scared by the outbreak of this horrific and deadly virus that has stricken our world. 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, to send us the strength and courage that we will all need to persevere through this.

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 all stay healthy. May we be healed. May we have peace. May we all be blessed.

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Call For Submissions – On the Wings of Isis: A Woman’s Path to Sovereignty

Susan Morgaine is accepting submissions for the upcoming Anthology of women’s writing: On the Wings of Isis: A Woman’s Path to Sovereignty.

She wants “…to hear from women about finding their path to sovereignty through the loving wings of Isis. Personal essays (up to 2,500 words), academic papers, poetry and (black and white) art are welcome. …”. This is a follow up to her “My Name Is Isis, The Egyptian Goddess” book geared for children.

Submission deadline: May 31, 2020

Scheduled publication: October 2020

Full Details: available here.

My first book, “My Name Is Isis, the Egyptian Goddess”, is geared toward children and will help inquisitive minds of all ages learn more about this ancient deity in a fun, insightful way while reclaiming Her name. Through story and questions designed to inspire and connect all to the people and world around them, the book is an introduction to children that they are all Divine.

The Goddess: Sulis/Sul

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

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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“Dare To Say Her Name” in ‘Original Resistance: Reclaiming Lilith, Reclaiming Ourselves’ (Published June 30, 2019)

Original Resistance: Reclaiming Lilith, Reclaiming Ourselves

There is, perhaps, no more powerful archetype of female resistance than Lilith. As women across the globe rise up against the patriarchy, Lilith stands beside them, misogyny’s original challenger. This anthology—a chorus of voices hitting chords of defiance, liberation, anger and joy—reclaims the goodness of women bold enough to hold tight to their essence. Through poetry, prose, incantation, prayer and imagery, women from all walks of life invite you to join them in the revolutionary act of claiming their place—of reclaiming themselves. Purchase here: Original Resistance.

The Goddess: Sophia

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

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)

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