Daily Archives: June 15, 2012

RHYMING CHARGE OF THE GODDESS

I am the harmonious tune of the songbirdAnd the laughter of a gleeful child. I am the bubbling sound of the running brook And the scent of the flowers wild.

 

I am the floating leaf upon the breeze And the dancing fire in the forest glade. I am the sweet smell of rains upon the soil. And the rapture of passion when love is made.

 

I am the germination of seed in the Spring And the ripening of wheat in the Sun. I am the peaceful depth of the twilight That soothes the soul when day is done.

 

I am found in the twinkling of an aged eye… And found in the birth of a newborn pup… Yes…Birth and Growth and Death, am I I am the gracious Earth, on whom you sup.

 

 

I am your sister, your mother, the wise one. I wrap you gently in the warmth of my love. That which your seek you shall find within: Not without…not below…not above! Remember always, my children, be reverent. Be gentle, loving and kind to each other And hold sacred the Earth and its creatures: For I am the Lady: Creatrix and Mother!

 

-Kalioppe-

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THE GODDESS SALUTE

Place left hand on breast, with right hand raise Athame up and out. Bring Athame to your lips, kiss it, extend it again and return to your side in original position.

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Deities of the Witches

It is certain that the devils have

a profound knowledge of all things.

No theologian can interpret

the Holy Scriptures better than they can;

no lawyer has a more detailed knowledge

of testaments, contracts, and actions;

no physician or philosopher can better understand

the composition of the human body,

and the virtues of the heavens, the stars, birds and fishes,

trees and herbs, metals and stones.

 

A LIST OF DEITIES BELIEVED TO HAVE BEEN WORSHIPPED BY ACCUSED WITCHES DURING THE MIDDLE AGES THROUGH THE RENAISSANCE PERIOD.

 
Aside from worshipping the Devil, witches were purported to have abased themselves to a bevy of other deities.  Many of these goddesses, gods, devils, and demons (the classic horned devil included) were simply familiar deities of antiquity, sometimes given different names.  Where an old god was deemed useful by the Church, it was simply converted into a saint.
The following did not make it into the Christians’ good books:
Abonde, Abundia, Aradia, Ashtaroth, Asmodeus, Beelzebub, Belial, Cernunnos, Diana, Fraw Fenus, Fraw Holt, Fraw Selga, Gulfora,  Hecate, Herodias, Holda, Leonard, Lilith, Mephistopheles, Minerva, Perchta, Put Satanachia, Satan, Satia, Venus, Verdelet.    Abonde
Intrinsically linked with the classical goddess Diana, Abonde also went by the names Abundia, Perchta, and Satia.  Abonde led nocturnal hordes of witches through homes and cellars, eating and drinking all they could find.  If food and drink were left as offerings, Abonde would bestow prosperity upon the occupants of the home.  If nothing was left out for her and her followers, she would deny the denizens of her blessings and protection.
The Thesaurus pauperum of 1468 condemned “the idolatrous superstition of those who left food and drink at night in open view for Abundia and Satia, or, as the people said, Fraw Percht and her retinue, hoping thereby to gain abundance and riches.”  The same practice of offering drink, salt, and food to Perchta, “alias domine Habundie,” on certain days had been taken note of and subsequently condemned in 1439 by Thomas Ebendorfer von Haselbach in De decem praeceptis.
According to Roman de la Rose, written at the end of the thirteenth century, third born children were obligated to travel with Abonde three times a week to the homes of neighbors.  Nothing could stop these people, as they became incorporeal in the company of Abonde.  Only their souls would travel as their bodies remained behind immobile.  There was a downside to this astral projection:  if the body was turned over while the soul was elsewhere, the soul would never return. Bibliography.  (Ginzburg 40-42)

 

Abundia
See Abonde, Diana, or Perchta.

 

Aradia
A corruption of Herodias, Aradia was identified with Diana.  Herodias was directly responsible for the death of John the Baptist.  According to C. G. Leland, Aradia was worshipped by Italian witches.  Aradia is still worshipped today by some neopagans. Bibliography.  (King 25)

 

Ashtaroth
Also known as Astaroth, Ashtaroth was usually depicted as an ugly demon riding a dragon and carrying a viper in his left hand.  He was the Treasurer of Hell, and was also the Grand Duke of its western regions.  He encouraged sloth and idleness.
Ashtaroth was one of two demons prayed to in the Black Masses of Catherine Monvoisin, Madame de Montespan (mistress of Louis XIV), and a 67-year-old priest by the name of Guibourg.  (The other demon prayed to was Asmodeus.)
In 1678, Nicolas de la Reynie, Louis XIV’s Lieutenant-General of Police, arrested these people along with 215 priests, sorcerers, and fortune tellers who had dabbled in black magic.  110 of these people were tried and sentenced. Some were hanged, some were exiled, and some were imprisoned for life.  Of Guibourg, La Reynie said:      A libertine who has traveled a great deal…and is at present attached to       The Church of Saint Marcel.  For twenty years he has engaged continually in      The practice of poison, sacrilege and every evil business.  He has cut the      throats and sacrificed uncounted numbers of children on his infernal altar.       He has a mistress…by whom he has had several children, one or two of whom      he has sacrificed…. It is no ordinary man who thinks it a natural thing      to sacrifice infants by slitting their throats and to say Mass upon the      bodies of naked women.
It seems quite likely that Madame de Montespan was one of the living altars for Guibourg’s masses.  In one such mass, “at the moment of the bread and wine a child’s throat was cut and its blood drained into the chalice.  Simultaneously, a prayer was recited to the demons Ashtaroth and Asmodeus: ‘Prince of Love, I beseech you to accept the sacrifice of this child…that the love of the King may be continued…'”
Shortly before the arrest of Guibourg and his cohorts, a sorcerous attempt was made upon the life of Louis XIV.  An altered consecrated wine was prepared to be slipped into Louis XIV’s food.  In the wine was dried powdered bats, menstrual blood, semen, and, “to give consistency,” flour. Bibliography.  (Masello 26)         Bibliography.  (King 110, 111)

 

Asmodeus
Asmodeus was one of the busiest demons.  He was not only the overseer of all the gambling houses in the court of Hell, but the general spreader of dissipation.  On top of that, Asmodeus was the demon of lust, personally responsible for stirring up matrimonial trouble. Maybe it was because he came from the original dysfunctional family. According to Jewish legend, his mother was a mortal woman, Naamah, and his father was one of the fallen angels.  (Or, possibly, Adam before Eve came along.)  Characterized in The Testament of Solomon, the great manual of magic, as “furious and shouting,” Asmodeus routinely did everything he could to keep husbands and wives from having intercourse, while encouraging them at every turn to indulge their pent-up drives in adulterous and sinful affairs.  When he      condescended to appear before a mortal, he did so riding a dragon, armed with a spear; he had three heads–one a bull’s, one a ram’s, and one a man’s–as all three of these were considered lecherous creatures by nature.  His feet, on the same theory, were those of a cock.
For information on a black mass held for Asmodeus, see Ashtaroth. Bibliography.  (Masello 26)

 

Beelzebub
Part of the Christian mythos, Beelzebub was one of the powerful seraphim first recruited by Satan.  From his new home in Hell, Beelzebub discovered how to tempt people with pride.  He became associated with flies because he had sent a plague of the insects to Canaan.  He may also have become known as the “Lord of the Flies” because of the popular belief that decaying corpses generated flies.
Regardless, when summoned by sorcerers or witches, he would appear in the form of a fly. Bibliography.  (Masello 25)

 

Belial
Much has been made of Belial, one of the Devil’s most venerable demons.  As the demon of lies, he was immortalized in Milton’s Paradise Lost (Book II):      A fairer person lost not Heaven; he seemed      For dignity composed and high exploit:      But all was false and hollow; though his tongue      Dropped manna, and could make the worse appear      The better reason, to perplex and dash      Maturest counsels: for his thoughts were low;      To vice industrious, but to noble deeds      Timorous and slothful.
Before Satan had been the established leader of the forces of evil, Belial had been the undisputed regent of darkness. This view is reinforced in The War of the Sons of Light and the Sons of Darkness from one of the Dead Sea Scrolls: “But for corruption thou hast made Belial, an angel of hostility.  All his dominion is in darkness, and his purpose is to bring about wickedness and guilt.”
Magician and necromancer Gilles de Rais attempted to summon both Belial and Beelzebub by using the severed body parts of a murdered child. Bibliography.  (Masello 27, 28)

 

Cernunnos
A Celtic god whose physical attributes came to be applied to those of Satan. Known as the Horned God and as Hu Gadarn, Cernunnos was the god of nature, astral planes, virility, fertility, animals, sex, the underworld, reincarnation, and shamanism. Bibliography.  (van Hattem)

 

Diana
The classical moon goddess, Diana, is still worshipped by neopagans today. Long after Christianity’s triumph over classical paganism, her worship is still going strong.  St. Kilian, a Celtic missionary to the pagan Franks, was martyred when he attempted to persuaded the peasants to abandon their worship of this goddess.  A writing on the life of St. Caesarius offhandedly mentions “a demon whom simple folk call Diana.”
Diana was the personification of the positive aspects of lunar forces.  She was also believed to have led groups of nightriders (known as the “Wild Hunt” or the “Furious Horde”) who flew through the air.  The “Wild Hunt” was comprised of “people taken by death before their time, children snatched away at an early age, victims of a violent end.” The goddess would accompany her followers as they wandered at night among the houses of the well-to-do.  Whenever they would arrive at a home that was particularly well-kept, Diana would bestow her blessings upon it.
Many benandanti (from the Italian for “those who go well” or “good-doers”) were followers of Diana.  The benandanti were members of a fertility cult who were basically anti-witches and practicers of white magic. Nonetheless, they were tortured by the Inquisitors just the same as practicers of the black arts were.
Diana was intrinsically linked with several other witch deities, including Abonde, Abundia, Aradia, Hecate, Herodias, Holda, Perchta, Satia, and Venus. Bibliography.  (Ginzburg 40-46)                Bibliography.  (King 24)

 

Fraw Fenus
See Venus.

 

Fraw Holt
See Holda.

 

Fraw Selga
Fraw Selga is yet another goddess believed to have led the “Furious Horde.”  A Germanic deity, Fraw Selga was said to be the sister of Fraw Fenus (Venus), and like Venus and Diana, was referred to as “the mistress of the game.”  The processions following Fraw Selga “were composed of souls in purgatory, as well as of the damned who were suffering various punishments.”
Fraw Selga could impart wisdom to her followers.  She knew where buried treasure intended for the God-fearing could be found.
During Fraw Selga’s conventicles (which took place during the Ember Days), followers would partake in scrying.  They stared into a basin “in which the fires of hell appeared,” and they saw “likenesses of the members of the parish who were destined to die within the year.” Bibliography.  (Ginzburg 51)

 

Gulfora
Gulfora, also known as the Queen of the Sabbat, was another goddess in the same vein as Holda, Perchta, and Diana.  She led the Wild Hunt, which is also known as “the days of Jupiter.”
In 1519, Girolamo Folengo wrote Maccaronea, which says,      Not only do old hags bestride cats and goats and pigs, but many      dignitaries too, and civic officials and those who administer justice      to the people in the august senate range themselves to be governed      under Gulfora’s sway. They observe the days of Jupiter; they anoint      their limbs, hurrying to pay court to the Mistress, who is called      Gulfora. Bibliography.  (Wedeck 126)

 

Hecate
Perhaps the most notorious of all witch goddesses, Hecate was a dark manifestation of Diana.  Hecate is the patron goddess of witches and sorceresses because of her skill in the arts of black magic.  She is the queen of darkness, perverse sexuality, and death.  Classically, she is the goddess of “roads in general and crossroads in particular, the latter being considered the center of ghostly activities, particularly in the dead of night. . . . Offerings of food (known as Hecate’s suppers) were left to placate her, for she was terrible both in her powers and in her person–a veritable Fury, armed with a scourge and blazing torch and accompanied by terrifying hounds.”
The followers of Hecate were rumored to have strange powers, such as that of being able to draw down the moon in order to employ the averse aspects of lunar forces.  Followers could metamorphose into animals and birds, had insatiable sexual appetites, and had an intrinsic understanding of aphrodisiac and poisonous herbs.  Witches in the service of Hecate had intense scatological interests, and in one classical account, were known to have “pissed long and vigorously” on the face of a man they captured.  Indeed, one of the epithets of Hecate was “excrement-eating.”
According to Apuleius, (a classical author who once stood trial himself on charges of black magic), witches’ dens contained many questionable materials: incenses, the skulls of criminals who had been thrown to wild animals, metal discs engraved with occult signs, small vials of blood taken from the murdered victims of the witches, the beaks and claws of birds of ill omen, and various bits of human flesh, particularly the noses of crucifixion victims. Bibliography.  (Morford & Lenardon 182)         Bibliography.  (King 16, 17)

 

Herodias
See Aradia or Diana.

 

Holda
Also known as Fraw Holt, Holda became virtually synonymous with Abonde, Diana, and Perchta.  Originally, Holda had been a Germanic goddess of vegetation and fertility, much like Perchta.  Holda was also the goddess of spinning and weaving.
She, like her other manifestations, was the leader of the “Furious Horde” or “Wild Hunt” (Wütischend Heer, Wilde Jagd, Mesnie Sauvage)–“namely of the ranks of those who had died prematurely and passed through village streets at night, unrelenting and terrible, while the inhabitants barricaded their doors for protection.”
Holda had two forms, that of a beautiful girl dressed all in white, and that of a hideous crone with fangs, a hooked nose, and long, tangled gray hair.  In the latter form, she looked just like the stereotypical image of a witch or the evil stepmother of fairy tales.  As the White Lady, she was a fertility goddess who granted prosperity to home, family, and field.  As the Hag, she offered those who ignored or insulted her death, illness, and misfortune.  In this form, she was responsible for fog and snow.
Many animals were sacred to Holda:  birds of prey, bears, horses, goats, wolves, pigs, and hounds.  Along with her sometimes partner the Wood Man, she was the guardian of wild animals.
Holda may be part of the origin of the Santa Clause mythos as well.  She treated children ambivalently.      If they behaved themselves during the year then at Christmas she      rewarded them with gifts and good luck. If they had been naughty they      would be severely punished. Sometimes Holda was used as a bogey      figure and mothers threatened their children that if they did not      behave then she would come and take them off to the woods and teach      them good manners. Holda allegedly kept the children in a well,      endowing the good ones with abundant luck, health and wealth, and      turning the bad ones into Faerie changelings. Bibliography.  (Ginzburg 40)                   Bibliography.  (Hilton)

 

Leonard
Although he had a rather unlikely name for a demon, Leonard was a kind of quality control expert for black magic and sorcery.  He was also the master of sabbats, presiding over them in the form of an enormous three-horned black goat with the head of a fox. Bibliography.  (Masello 43)

 

Lilith
Lilith is a kabalistic demon who appealed more to magicians than to witches. According to legend, Lilith was the first wife of Adam, and the first social feminist.  Made from filth before the creation of Eve, Lilith believed herself to be Adam’s equal and objected to “missionary style” sex.  She believed that sexual relations should take place with the two of them lying side by side. Adam objected to this, so Lilith left him to mate with fallen angels.
Together with the fallen angels, Lilith parented a huge family of female demons called lilim.  Lilim are identical to succubi for all intents and purposes. Both seduce men and take away men’s strength in the night hours. Bibliography.  (King 95)

 

Mephistopheles
The name Mephistopheles comes from the Greek for “he who does not like light.” Mephistopheles is perhaps most famous for being the demon summoned by Faust. Faust had summoned Mephistopheles to teach him great knowledge and to grant him immense power.
Mephistopheles fulfilled all of Faust’s desires.  Nevertheless, at the end of the twenty-four year contract, it was Faust’s turn to please Mephistopheles. All that was left of Faust at the end of the contract was his torn and bloodied corpse.  The soul had been consigned to Mephistopheles in Hell. Bibliography.  (Marlowe)

 

Minerva
Minerva (known by the Greeks as Athena) is yet another goddess thought to have led the Wild Hunt.  Like Holda, Minerva was traditionally thought of as the goddess of weaving, spinning, and of women’s household arts in general.

 

Perchta
Perchta or Percht was yet another manifestation of Diana and was synonymous with Abonde as the leader of the host of the dead.  Perchta was originally a southern German goddess of vegetation and fertility.  She had many different names (and changed her sex) depending on the geographical region.  In “southern Austria, in Carintia, among the Slovenes, ‘Quantembermann’ (the man of the four Ember Days) or ‘Kwaternik'; in Baden, in Swabia, in Switzerland, and with the Slovenes again, ‘Frau Faste’ (the lady of the Ember Days) or similar names such as ‘Posterli,’ ‘Quatemberca,'” and ‘Fronfastenweiber.’ Bibliography.  (Ginzburg 189, 190)

 

Put Satanachia
Put Satanachia was the commander-in-chief of Satan’s army of darkness.  Aside from having profound power over mothers, Put Satanichia had an immense knowledge of the planets.  He also provided witches with their animal familiars. Bibliography.  (Masello 40)

 

Satan
Satan, of course, was the deity of choice during the witchcraze.  Witches’ sabbats, also known as “Synagogues of Satan,” were held in dedication to him. Physical adoration and submission to the Devil were necessary parts of every sabbat.  Satan most often appeared at these sabbats in the form of a black billy goat or tom cat and would copulate with almost everyone present.
This copulation was unappealing as the Devil’s genitals are not only unbearably huge, but also hard and scaly, with the semen being as cold as ice.  Sometimes Satan was represented as having a two-pronged member, a characterization that would certainly have stimulated the prurient imaginations of repressed Inquisitors.

 
Sabbats were basically prayer meetings for Satan.  At these congregations, the Devil would baptize new initiates with a smelly fluid which had, as a main ingredient, urine.  He would also issue forth black sacramental bread (probably dung) and fouled water.  At the Sabbat, witches would offer the osculum infame (the infamous kiss) by kissing Satan’s anus.
Another integral part of Satan worship was the trampling on of the cross and the desecration of the Holy Host.  Many witches purportedly retained the wafer in their mouths after Mass and would spit them on the ground in honor of the Devil.

 

Satia
See Abonde or Diana

 

.
Venus
Venus was originally the Roman goddess of love, but by the time of the witchcraze she was relegated to demon status. She became synonymous with Diana in terms of being followed at night by a retinue of women.  Witches knew her as Fraw Fenus, stating they visited her at night-time.
Venus could grant to these witches the power of astral projection.  Witches could fall into “swoons which rendered them insensible to pricks or scaldings.” When the women revived, they said they had been to heaven and “spoke of stolen or hidden objects.” Bibliography.  (Ginzburg 43, 44)
Verdelet

 
“Verdelet was something of a cross between a maitre d’ and a transportation coordinator.  He was master of ceremonies in Hell, and also shouldered the responsibility of making sure witches on Earth got to their sabbats safely and on time. Bibliography.  (Masello 44)

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BEING CALLED TO A PARTICULAR DEITY

 

I recall someone talking about a feeling of being called to a given deity, and

how to know this was for real, and how to go about making it Signed and

Official(tm) and all that . . . I thought I’d give out with few (yeah, right)

words as to my own experiences this way.

I’m pretty much a believer in the notion that a person is best served by

following their natural inclinations on some ways.  I found my own Craft name

this way — I just sort of waited until I found the “right” name.  I waited

until I got a handle on what I was like at that time (it may change in the

future) and at that point, saw the name as the proper noun that described what I

was, the word for my inner nature.

It’s not a name in any but the most basic sense — a description of what I *am*.

It’s no more a “chosen” name that an apple “chooses” to be called an apple.

It’s simply the name we have for the thing.

Finding a deity figure is similar, and the one that fits you is often different

from time to time.  Don’t look for one that you like and say, “I want to

dedicate myself to that one.”  Look inside yourself and see what’s there — and

don’t lie or hide anything.  Honesty is needed here.  Know yourself, and then

see if you can find a deity matchup for what you see.  This is what I mean by

seeing what your own natural inclinations are and then going with them.

Oftentimes, the deity will just sort of fall into place with no effort, like a

dewdrop rolling off a leaf.  It just finds the proper time and bango — it

happens.  Very zen, actually.  This is similar — if you relax and just know

yourself, the deity will fall into place with no effort. Well, enough effort to

read books and research so that you’ll be able to know him or her when you see

them.  But research isn’t effort — it’s fun!

My own deities are a bit odd — the moirae from the Mycenean/Greek pantheon are

good, as is the Minoan god Kouros.  (Never let it be said that your deity has to

be the same gender!)

Anyway, the only advice I can give you is to know yourself and then when you see

your deity you’ll recognize him or her as the right one. Choosing one that isn’t

a good fit is a bad idea

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BELIEFS OF GODDESS WORSHIP

Christianity teaches that God is transcendent, is separate from nature, and is represented to humankind through masculine imagery. Witchcraft holds a pantheistic view of God. God is nature, therefore God is in all things and all things are a part of God. However, this God is in actuality a goddess.
A fundamental belief in Goddess Worship is the idea that the goddess predates the male God. The goddess is the giver of all life and is found in all of creation. The importance of the Goddess symbol for women cannot be overstressed. The image of the Goddess inspires women to see ourselves as divine, our bodies as sacred, the changing phases of our lives as holy, our aggression as healthy, and our anger as purifying. Through the Goddess, we can discover our strength, enlighten our minds, own our bodies, and celebrate our emotions.

 
The modern Goddess movement is an attempt to integrate the feminine back into the world as we know it. This means bringing the Goddess out of the shadows and back into the limelight where she belongs. Part of most modern Goddess traditions is the idea that Goddess exists within and around everything in creation. Therefore, if Goddess is sacred, then so is the Earth, so our bodies, etc. Moreover, the relationship between all of these things is equally sacred. Therefore, not only do we need to revere the creations of the Goddess, we must revere the relationship and the systems that Goddess has created, for they each have their purpose. The problem is that we don’t always know what the true system is anymore because our society is so corrupted by the patriarchy. For example, if we only examine the system as it exists today, we might come to the conclusion that women’s place within the system is necessarily subservient to the men in the system. Naturally, eco-feminists would laugh at this idea. First of all, eco-feminism maintains that the natural order of things is not linked by hierarchical value, so the very notion of men governing women is absurd. The nature of things would require reciprocal communication and integral networking.

 
In light of this, then, Goddess religion asserts that Goddess and God cannot be viewed separately, but rather as a network of energies that work together to better the entire network.
Goddess Archetypes:

 
THE MAIDEN The Maiden is the first aspect of the Goddess, presented to us as a young woman, blossoming into womanhood, exploring her sexuality and learning of her beauty. She is most often depicted as a teenaged girl or a woman in her very early twenties.

 
Unlike the images of young women in many patrifocal religions, the Maiden is not necessarily depicted as a virgin in most Goddess traditions. In Catholicism, Mary is depicted not only as a virgin maiden, but continues to be a virgin throughout the duration of her lifetime, regardless of the fact that she was married and gave birth to a child. This has more to do with the taint patrifocal religions assign female sexuality than anything else. But because women’s sexuality is not denigrated in Goddess traditions, there is no need to associate virginity with the Maiden Goddess.

 
In fact, the Maiden Goddess is seen as a particularly sexual being. Because she has just bloomed into her womanly form, she is particularly interested in her body and what it can do. She is interested in her beauty, and she learns to manipulate the affections of other’s based upon her feminine wiles.

 
Some might take offense at my use of the word manipulate in the preceding sentence, but in fact, that is what sexuality is about, both on the part of the male and the female. Flirtation, courting and other manners of getting the attentions of the opposite sex is certainly a form of manipulation. It is not manipulation with malicious intent, to be sure, but when you attempt to curb the attitudes or thoughts of others through your own appearance or behavior, this is a form of manipulation, and by no means negative.

 
Because the Maiden is associated with the first blossoming of womanhood, adulthood and sexuality, she is associated with the Springtime. Just as her body develops breasts and she becomes sexually capable, so too does the Earth mimic her development. Flowers bloom, the Earth awakens from the deep sleep of winter and begins to procreate again. Animals lie with one another, flowers are pollinated. Spring is a time for new beginnings. It is the counterpart to the winter of Death.

 
Just as Spring is the counter to Winter, so too is the Maiden the counter to the Crone. The Crone is the embodiment of death, and subsequently rebirth, and it is through the aspect of the Maiden that the Crone is able to pass from this world and be reborn. As the young Goddess delves into her sexuality, and eventually becomes pregnant, the Elder Goddess may pass away and give her life that the Maiden may become Mother, and one day, Crone. The cycle is never ending.

 
The Maiden takes the Green Man (Horned Lord, many other names in many other cultures) as her consort. In some cultures, the Green Man may be her brother or even her son. At first glance, the courtship between the Maiden and the Sun God seems ripe with incest, because he is always somehow related to her. But if you read the myths associated with the Mother Goddess and how it came to pass that she became pregnant, you will usually find that she became pregnant by her husband, who has to give his life for one reason or another, and she agrees to bring him back into he world as the child in her womb. In essence, she gives birth to her husband, rather than taking her son as her lover. This is even true in the Catholic goddess vision: Jesus was the son of God, but he was also God. Because this idea is confusing and can lead to ideas of incest much like I discussed above, the Christian church left Mary a virgin, thus bypassing the whole sexual encounter, and thus the issue of incest altogether.

 
Maiden Goddess of Note include: Diana, Persephone, Kore, Bleudowedd, Artemis, Ariadne, Hestia, Athena, Aphrodite, Minerva, and Venus.
THE MOTHER The aspect of the Mother Goddess is probably the most widely known and most widely envisioned in most cultures. Because the Earth nourishes and replenishes us, most goddess cultures did pay reverence to the Earth as the Mother, and therefore the Goddesses that are most prominent and about whom stories are most prolific are the goddesses that are the representation of the Mother.

 
She is, in virtually every aspect, a divine or celestial representation of our earthly mothers. Everyone has an earthly mother, or at least did at one point, so we readily understand the relationship between mother and child. The mother is the protector, the care-giver, the kisser of wounds, and the disciplinarian. The Divine Mother is no different.

 
Many of the most ancient goddess figures that archeology has uncovered are goddesses depicted as round, pregnant women. They feature large breasts and full, meaty hips. Some archeologists (patriarchal, close minded fellows, to be sure) have written these goddess figures off as nothing more than prehistoric “porn” figures. However, the generally accepted opinion is that these figures, found in such places as France, modern day Turkey, and Egypt, are actually representations of a mother goddess. There is some speculation that perhaps these figures are not goddesses at all, but rather figures used in fertility rites to enable women to conceive children. This too is a possibility, but when combined with other information that we have (such as other evidence of prehistoric goddess worship, and the fact that the connection between sex and pregnancy was not made until much later than the dates associated with these figures) leads most scholars to believe that these statues are indeed goddess representations.

 
Although the depiction of the Mother Goddess as a pregnant woman is prominent, she is certainly not always seen that way. The Mother aspect may be seen with small child in tow (most often a boy, who later becomes her consort, as is discussed in the section on the Maiden). This aspect of the Mother Goddess plays on the care-giving, sweet, loving aspect of the Goddess. However, do not be fooled into thinking that the Goddess as Mother is a pussy cat. She can also be a warrior.

 
Like earthly mothers, the Goddess is fiercely protective of her children, and in order to provide that protection she will often don the face of the warrior. The Warrior Goddess most probably gained popularity among people who had begun to adopt a more patriarchal (or at least patrifocal) structure. It might be presumptuous to say that matrifocal cultures were not particularly warlike, but it is safe to say that patriarchal cultures were more so. In either case, the warrior Goddess did become popular. In this aspect she is Amazon, fierce and strong, and able to take on any man to protect what needs protection.

 
Just as the maiden is represented by the season of Spring, the Mother aspect is present in Summer. By summer, berries and fruits are ripe, ready for the plucking. Vegetable gardens are mature and harvest is close at hand. The sun is high in the sky, and even though the sun is typically seen as a Male Deity, some cultures did associate the sun with the Goddess, (most notably the early Egyptian culture) and thus the high sun of summer was associated with the Mother, who was also seen as the pinnacle of the cycle of life.

 
In western traditions, the Goddess remains pregnant until the Winter Solstice, at which time she gives birth to a sun god of some kind. (Note the adaptation of the Christian church …Christmas, anyone?) The Catholic Goddess Mary also falls into the category of the Mother Goddess, because she does give birth to King at Solstice. (At least this is how the Christians celebrate the holiday, even though biblical scholars suggest Jesus was very likely born during a warm month)

 
Mary is a curiosity though, because she is a Dual Goddess, and not a Triple Goddess as most multifaceted Goddesses are. She is a maiden because she remains a virgin (and though not all maidens are virgins, all virgin goddesses are maidens), and yet because she gives birth, she is also a Mother. However, there is no reference in the Catholic tradition of Mary as an older woman. Therefore, Mary’s development ended with her at the Mother phase.
Mother Goddesses of Note include: Demeter, Isis, Cerridwyn, Kali, Gaia, Oceana, Brigit, Nuit, Hera, Selene, Anu, Dana, Arianrhod, and Epona
THE CRONE The Crone is the final aspect of the Goddess. The Crone is most often depicted as a Grandmother, a SageWoman, or a Midwife. She is the keeper of Occult Knowledge, the Mysteries and the Queen of the Underworld. It is through the Crone that knowledge of magick, the Dark, and other secrets of the ages are passed down.

 
The Crone is, in some ways, a Triple Goddess herself. She has lived through the tender, sensual age of Maidenhood, suffered the birth pains of Motherhood, and now carries with her the memories of these passages into her old age. But though she has experienced these events, these are not the things she represents, and therefore she is not revered for these traits. Nevertheless, having endured these experiences makes her the wise woman that she is, and enables her to guide us through the dark.

 
Her role as Midwife is both symbolic as well as actual. Traditionally, it is always the older women of the tribe who facilitate the birth of children, most likely because they themselves had gone through, but also because the role of midwife was a sacred position, and thus suitable for an older tribeswoman. Certainly the Crone fulfills this aspect in that she is the midwife to the Queen of Heaven when she gives birth to the Oak King at Yule.

 
But symbolically she is the midwife in our lives as well, guiding us from one phase of life to the next. If you see progression from one phase of life to the next and can see it as a rebirth process, then envision the Crone as the aspect of the goddess that guides you through that time. Transition is very difficult, and for most people it is a time of darkness. It is a time where we have to rely on our intuition, because we are unfamiliar with the territory. But according to the myths and ancient lore, we receive our intuition from the Crone. It is she who guides us, and it is she who facilitates our birth.

 
The Crone Goddess is often times the least seen, because she does represent death, and with death comes fear: fear of the unknown, fear of losing our loved ones, and fear of being alone. But we must remember that with death always comes rebirth. The Crone always brings with her promises of the Maiden, and the cycle never ends

 

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The Mother aspect of the Goddess is discussed as being a Warrior Goddess, but the Crone can be a Warrior Goddess as well. Where the Mother Goddess is the blood of battle, the War Cry incarnate, the fighting Amazon, the Crone is the Strategy, the ability to see what cannot be seen. She is the seer, the General. The Crone Goddess does not don the face of the warrior to shed blood, but she will provide the courage to walk through the dark, the ability to seek and destroy the enemy, whether the enemy is actual, or internal.

 
In many respects, the Crone Goddess is the aspect of the Goddess that is most called upon to conquer inner demons. This is due to the fact that as the keeper of mysteries, the Crone is also the Keeper of the Underworld. With her help, we are able to travel into the Underworld and fight whatever demons haunt us. Likewise, once we are ready to be reborn, she again acts as the midwife and guides us once again into the light.

 
Crone Goddesses of Note include: Hecate, Kali, Cerridwyn, Badb, Cailleach, Macha, and the Morrigan

 
written by susan lucas

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Gemstone of the Day for June 15 – Diamond

Spiritual and Healing Properties of Diamonds:

Diamonds are associated with love and romance. It is the stone traditionally chosen for engagement rings. And, rightly so, because diamonds foster unity, trust, and fidelity.

Remedy Benefits of Diamonds:

  • Aids creativity
  • Manifests good fortune
  • Enhances psychic ability
  • In alignment with the white light
  • Promotes harmony and balance
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Herb of the Day for June 15 – Valerian

Valeriana officinalis MEDICINAL:Valerian is a relaxer, and is very effective for insomnia. It is often used as a tranquilizer, but it leaves no sluggish effects on the user. It is used for nervous tension, pain relieving, strengthening the heart, lowering blood pressure, IBS, diverticulosis, menstrual cramps, and for muscle spasms. It should not be taken over a long period of time, as it can cause mental depression in some people after long-term steady use. It is not habit forming.

RELIGIOUS:Valerian is used to get fighting couples back together, in spells of love, and in purification baths.

GROWING: Valerian is a perennial plant that grows to 3 feet tall. It prefers full sun, and average to rich well-drained soil. Root cuttings are best for propogation, and once the plants are established, they self-sow and spread by root runners. Valerian has a similar effect on cats as catnip, so you may need to protect your patch with chicken wire. Harvest roots for medicinal use in the fall of their second year.

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Deity of the Day for June 15 – HELIOS

 

by Micha F. Lindemans

Helios is the young Greek god of the sun. He is the son of

Hyperion and Theia. By the Oceanid Perse he became the father of Aeëtes, Circe, and Pasiphae. His other children are Phaethusa (“radiant”) and Lampetia (“shining”) and Phaeton.

Each morning at dawn he rises from the ocean in the east and rides in his chariot, pulled by four horses – Pyrois, Eos, Aethon and Phlegon — through the sky, to descend at night in the west. Helios once allowed Phaeton to guide his chariot across the sky. The unskilled youth could not control the horses and fell towards his death.

The reverence of the sun as a god came from the east to Greece. Helios was worshipped in various places of the Peloponnesos, but especially on Rhodes, where each year gymnastic games were held in his honor. Rhodos was also where the Colossus of Rhodes (the sixth the seven wonders of the ancient world) was built in his honor. This huge statue, measuring 32 meters (100ft), was built in 280 BCE by Charès of Lindos. In the earthquake of 224-223 BCE the statue broke off at the knees. On other places where he was worshipped, there were herds dedicated to him, such as on the island of Thrinacia (occasionally equated with Sicily). Here the companions of Odysseus helped themselves with the sacred animals. People sacrificed oxen, rams, goats, and white horses to Helios.

He was represented as a youth with a halo, standing in a chariot, occasionally with a billowing robe. A metope from the temple of Athena in the Hellenistic Ilium represents him thus. He is also shown on more recent reliefs, concerning the worship of Mithra, such as in the Mithraeum under the St. Prisca at Rome. In early Christian art, Christ is sometimes represented as Helios, such as in a mosaic in Mausoleum M or in the necropolis beneath the St. Peter in Rome.

His attributes are the whip and the globe, and his sacred animals were the cock and the eagle. Helios sees and knows all, and was called upon by witnesses.

Encyclopedia Mythica

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