Deity of the Day for September 25th is Hera, Queen of the Gods in Greek Mythology

Deity of the Day


Queen of the Gods in Greek Mythology


In Greek mythology, the beautiful goddess Hera was queen of the Greek gods and the wife of Zeus, the king. Hera was goddess of marriage and childbirth. Since Hera’s husband was Zeus, king not only of gods, but of philanderers, Hera spent a lot of time in Greek mythology angry with Zeus. So Hera is described as jealous and quarrelsome.

Hera’s Jealousy

Among the more famous victims of Hera’s jealousy is Hercules (aka “Heracles,” whose name means the glory of Hera).

Hera persecuted the famous hero from before the time he could walk for the simple reason that Zeus was his father, but another woman — Alcmene — was his mother. Despite the fact that Hera was not Hercules’ mother, and despite her hostile actions — such as sending snakes to kill him when he was a newborn baby, she served as his nurse when he was an infant.

Hera persecuted many of the other women Zeus seduced, in one way or another.

“The anger of Hera, who murmured terrible against all child-bearing women that bare children to Zeus….”

Theoi Hera: Callimachus, Hymn 4 to Delos 51 ff (trans. Mair)

“Leto had relations with Zeus, for which she was hounded by Hera all over the earth.”
Theoi Hera: Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1. 21 (trans. Aldrich)


Hera’s Children

Hera is usually counted single parent mother of Hephaestus and the normal biological mother of Hebe and Ares. Their father is usually said to be her husband, Zeus, although Clark [“Who Was the Wife of Zeus?” by Arthur Bernard Clark; The Classical Review, (1906), pp.

365-378] explains the identities and births of Hebe, Ares, and Eiletheiya, goddess of childbirth, and sometimes named child of the divine couple, otherwise.

Clark argues that the king and queen of the gods had no children together.

Hebe may have been fathered by a lettuce. The association between Hebe and Zeus may have been sexual rather than familial.

Ares might have been conceived via a special flower from the fields of Olenus. Zeus’ free admission of his paternity of Ares, Clark hints, may be only to avoid the scandal of being a cuckold.

On her own, Hera gave birth to Hephaestus.


Parents of Hera

Like brother Zeus, Hera’s parents were Cronos and Rhea, who were Titans.
Roman Hera

In Roman mythology, the goddess Hera is known as Juno.


Fast Facts About Hera

Name: Greek – Hera; Roman – Juno


Parents: Cronus and Rhea

Foster Parents: Oceanus and Thetys, among others

Siblings: Hestia, Demeter, Poseidon, Hades, and Zeus

Mates: Zeus

Children: Ares, Hephaestus, Eileithyia, Hebe

Role of Hestia

For Humans: Hera was goddess of marriage. In later myth, Hera is treated as the queen of heaven, the female counterpart of Zeus
For Gods: Queen

Canonical Olympian? Yes. Hera is one of the canonical Olympians.




Author: N.S. Gill

N.S. Gill’s Ancient/Classical History Glossary

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Let’s Talk Witch – Concept of Deity

Autumn Comments & GraphicsConcept of Deity

I think it is always interesting to hear people’s thoughts on deity. Depending on your point of view, your thoughts on deity can be quite varies. I once read a quote that said “If you ask 10 Wiccans about their religion you will get 15 different answers”, I have found this to be very true. Just as we all are individuals and very different, so are our views. There are monotheistic Wiccans, who believe in a supreme being; and consider the Goddess and God the feminine and masculine aspect of a single deity. And there are duo theistic Wiccans, who worship the God and Goddess as separate beings. Then there are polytheistic Wiccans, who recognize the existence of many Gods and Goddess.

There are some that take the stance that all gods are one god. The One is the all encompassing unity of all things which exist; the divine creator of all life and existence. The One is infinite to a point that the human mind simply cannot comprehend its vastness. The One goes by many names and many faces, but is essentially the same Supreme Being; called by whatever name.

Along those same lines, some believe that there is one Supreme Being, but because there is much difficulty in relating to it, they link with that force through their deities. And in accordance with the principles of nature, the Supreme Being is personified into two beings; the Goddess and the God. There is a balance in nature, so it is natural that their also be the same balance in deity. They believe that every deity that receives worship exists within the God and Goddess; and that the different pantheons of deities are simply aspects of the two.

When envisioning the Goddess and God, may Wiccans see them as well-known deities from ancient religions. Many of these deities, with their corresponding histories, rites and mythic information, furnish the concept of deity for Wiccans. Some feel comfortable associating such names and forms with the Goddess and God, feeling that they can’t possibly revere nameless divine beings. Others find a lack of names and costume a comforting lack of limitations. They have been given so many names they have been called the Nameless Ones. In appearance they look exactly as we wish them to, for they’re all the deities that ever were.

Sometimes a particular deity or even a small group of deities will make themselves known to an individual or even a group. Sometimes they will make themselves known through dreams, divinatory tools or in other ways in our daily life. Other times they find themselves pulled towards a particular deity, and give them preference over the other deities.

To know your deity you must make contact with them. Talk to them and be sure to listen to their answers. Talk to others about them, and look for the deity’s signature in everything around you. If you watch carefully you will see them in all things around you. As you begin to tune into their voices, you will realize that they were speaking to you all along; you just didn’t stop and notice.

The Magical Circle Newsletter: Mabon
Collen Criswell


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Deity of the Day for Thursday, September 17th is Ogma, Celtic God

Deity of the Day


Celtic God


In Irish-Celtic myth, Ogma is the god of eloquence and learning. He is the son of the goddess Danu and the god Dagda, and one of the foremost members of the Tuatha Dé Danann. He is the reputed inventor of the ancient Ogham alphabet which is used in the earliest Irish writings.

In the final battle at Mag Tuireadh he managed to take away the sword of the king of the Fomorians, but had to pay with his life for this feat. His Celtic equivalent is Ogmios.

Ogma or Oghma is a character from Irish mythology. A member of the Tuatha Dé Danann, he is often considered a deity and may be related to the Gaulish god Ogmios.

He fights in the first battle of Mag Tuired, when the Tuatha Dé take Ireland from the Fir Bolg. Under the reign of Bres, when the Tuatha Dé are reduced to servitude, Ogma is forced to carry firewood, but nonetheless is the only one of the Tuatha Dé who proves his athletic and martial prowess in contests before the king. When Bres is overthrown and Nuadu restored, Ogma is his champion. His position is threatened by the arrival of Lugh at the court, so Ogma challenges him by lifting and hurling a great flagstone, which normally required eighty oxen to move it, out of Tara, but Lugh answers the challenge by hurling it back. When Nuadu hands command of the Battle of Mag Tuired to Lugh, Ogma becomes Lugh’s champion, and promises to repel the Fomorian king, Indech, and his bodyguard, and to defeat a third of the enemy. During the battle he finds Orna, the sword of the Fomorian king Tethra, which recounts the deeds done with it when unsheathed. During the battle Ogma and Indech fall in single combat, although there is some confusion in the texts as in Cath Maige Tuired Ogma, Lugh and the Dagda pursue the Fomorians after the battle to recover the harp of Uaitne, the Dagda’s harper.

He often appears as a triad with Lugh and the Dagda, who are sometimes collectively known as the trí dée dána or three gods of skill, although that designation is elsewhere applied to other groups of characters. His father is Elatha and his mother is usually given as Ethliu, sometimes as Étaín. His sons include Delbaeth and Tuireann. He is said to have invented the Ogham alphabet, which is named after him.

Scholars of Celtic mythology have proposed that Ogma represents the vestiges of an ancient Celtic god. By virtue of his battle prowess and invention of Ogham, he is compared with Ogmios, a Gaulish deity associated with eloquence and equated with Herakles. J. A. MacCulloch compares Ogma’s epithet grianainech (sun-face) with Lucian’s description of the “smiling face” of Ogmios, and suggests Ogma’s position as champion of the Tuatha Dé Danann may derive “from the primitive custom of rousing the warriors’ emotions by eloquent speeches before a battle”, although this is hardly supported by the texts. Scholars such Rudolf Thurneysen and Anton van Hamel dispute any link between Ogma and Ogmios.

A Proto-Indo-European root *og-mo– ‘furrow, track, incised line’ may be the origin of the stem of the name. In addition, Proto-Celtic had a causative verbal suffix *-ej– ~ *-īj-. A hypothetical Proto-Celtic *Ogm-īj-o-sogm-. This agent noun would therefore mean ‘furrow-maker, incisor’ and may have had a metaphorical sense of ‘impresser.’ therefore looks very much like an agent noun derived from a verb formed by the addition of this causative suffix to the stem *

The Irish god of writing, eloquence and poetry. Ogma was credited of being inventor of the Celtic writing systems that the Druids used for their magic. These scripts were known as Ogham.

Ogma was the son of Dagda and the goddess Danu. Some other writers say that Ogma and Dagda were brothers; in this version they were the sons of Eithne. Ogma had also being called the son of Elatha, the king of the Fomorians.

Ogma was one the seven champions in the First Battle of Moytura (Mag Tuired), but when Bres became the king of Tuatha dé Danann, Ogma was degraded into working on humiliating manual job of gathering firewood.
When Lugh went to Nuada, asking for a place to serve the king, Ogma seemed to be Nuada’s foremost fighter. During the second battle of Moytura, Ogma had killed one of the Fomorian leaders, named Indech, the son of Domnu.

Ogma had married Etain, the daughter of Dian Cécht. Ogma had a son named Caipre. Some say that he was the father of MacCuill, MacCecht and MacGrené (MacGrene), the three Danann kings who ruled Ireland, during the Milesian invasion, though other say that Neit was their father.
To the Celtic Gauls he was called Ogmios. According to both Gallic and Irish myths Ogma was a warrior god, depicted as a wrinkled old man, wearing lion’s skin cloak, carrying a bow and club. The Romans considered Ogmios as the Celtic equivalent of Hercules (Greek Heracles). They also depicting Ogimos as holding people chained to his tongue by their ears, to indicate he was the god of eloquence and poetry.

Author: Agaliha
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Deity of the Day for September 14th – Njord, Norse God of the Sea

Deity of the Day


Norse God of the Sea


In Norse Paganism, Njörðr is a god among the Vanir. Njörðr, father of the deities Freyr and Freyja by his unnamed Vanir sister, was in an ill-fated marriage with the goddess Skaði, lives in Nóatún and is associated with sea, seafaring, wind, fishing, wealth, and crop fertility.

Njörðr is attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources, the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson, in euhemerized form as a beloved mythological early king of Sweden in Heimskringla, also written by Snorri Sturluson in the 13th century, as one of three gods invoked in the 14th century Hauksbók ring oath, and in numerous Scandinavian place names. Veneration of Njörðr survived into 18th or 19th century Norwegian folk practice, where the god is recorded as Njor and thanked for a bountiful catch of fish.

Njörðr has been the subject of an amount of scholarly discourse and theory, often connecting him with the figure of the much earlier attested Germanic goddess Nerthus, the hero Hadingus, and theorizing on his formerly more prominent place in Norse paganism due to the appearance of his name in numerous place names. Njörðr is sometimes modernly anglicized as Njord, Njoerd, or Njorth.

The name Njörðr corresponds to that of the older Germanic fertility goddess Nerthus, and both derive from the Proto-Germanic *Nerþuz. The original meaning of the name is contested, but it may be related to the Irish word nert which means “force” and “power”. It has been suggested that the change of sex from the female Nerthus to the male Njörðr is due to the fact that feminine nouns with u-stems disappeared early in Germanic language while the masculine nouns with u-stems prevailed. However, other scholars hold the change to be based not on grammatical gender but on the evolution of religious beliefs; that *Nerþuz and Njörðr appear as different genders because they are to be considered separate beings. The name Njörðr may be related to the name of the Norse goddess Njörun.

Njörðr’s name appears in various place names in Scandinavia, such as Nærdhæwi (now Nalavi), Njærdhavi (now Mjärdevi), Nærdhælunda (now Närlunda), Nierdhatunum (now Närtuna) in Sweden, Njarðvík in southwest Iceland, Njarðarlög and Njarðey (now Nærøy) in Norway. Njörðr’s name appears in a word for sponge; Njarðarvöttr (Old Norse “Njörðr’s glove”). Additionally, in Old Icelandic translations of Classical mythology the Roman god Saturn’s name is glossed as “Njörðr.


Theories about Njord


Njörðr is often identified with the goddess Nerthus, whose reverence by various Germanic tribes is described by Roman historian Tacitus in his 1st CE century work Germania. The connection between the two is due to the linguistic relationship between Njörðr and the reconstructed *Nerþuz“Nerthus” being the feminine, Latinized form of what Njörðr would have looked like around 1 CE. This has led to theories about the relation of the two, including that Njörðr may have once been a hermaphroditic god or, generally considered more likely, that the name may indicate an otherwise unattested divine brother and sister pair such as Freyr and Freyja. Consequently, Nerthus has been identified with Njörðr’s unnamed sister with whom he had Freyja and Freyr, which is mentioned in Lokasenna.


In Saami mythology, Bieka-Galles (or Biega-, Biegga-Galles, depending on dialect; “The Old Man of the Winds”) is a deity who rules over rain and wind, and is the subject of boat and wooden shovel (or, rather, oar) offerings. Due to similarities in between descriptions of Njörðr in Gylfaginning and descriptions of Bieka-Galles in 18th century missionary reports, Axel Olrik identified this deity as the result of influence from the seafaring North Germanic peoples on the landbound Saami.


Parallels have been pointed out between Njörðr and the figure of Hadingus, attested in book I of Saxo Grammaticus’ 13th century work Gesta Danorum. Some of these similarities include that, in parallel to Skaði and Njörðr in Skáldskaparmál, Hadingus is chosen by his wife Regnhild after selecting him from other men at a banquet by his lower legs, and, in parallel to Skaði and Njörðr in Gylfaginning, Hadingus complains in verse of his displeasure at his life away from the sea and how he is disturbed by the howls of wolves, while his wife Regnhild complains of life at the shore and states her annoyance at the screeching sea birds. Georges Dumézil theorized that in the tale Hadingus passes through all three functions of his trifunctional hypothesis, before ending as an Odinic hero, paralleling Njörðr’s passing from the Vanir to the Æsir in the Æsir-Vanir War.


In stanza 8 of the poem Fjölsvinnsmál, Svafrþorinn is stated as the father of Menglöð by an unnamed mother, who the hero Svipdagr seeks. Menglöð has often been theorized as the goddess Freyja, and according to this theory, Svafrþorinn would therefore be Njörðr. The theory is complicated by the etymology of the name Svafrþorinn (þorinn meaning “brave” and svafr means “gossip”) (or possibly connects to sofa “sleep”), which Rudolf Simek says makes little sense when attempting to connect it to Njörðr.



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Deity of the Day for September 4 is Cybele, Mother Goddess of Rome

Deity of the Day


Mother Goddess of Rome

Cybele, a mother goddess of Rome was at the center of a rather bloody Phrygian cult, and was sometimes known as Magna Mater, or “great goddess.” As part of their worship, priests performed mysterious rites in her honor. Of particular note was the sacrifice of a bull performed as part of an initiation into Cybele’s cult. This ritual was known as the taurobolium, and during the rite a candidate for initiation stood in a pit under a floor with a wooden grate.

The bull was sacrificed above the grate, and the blood ran through holes in the wood, showering the initiate. This was a form of ritual purification and rebirth. For an idea of what this probably looked like, there’s an amazing scene in the HBO series Rome in which the character Atia makes a sacrifice to Cybele to protect her son Octavian, who later becomes the emperor Augustus.

Cybele’s lover was Attis, and her jealousy caused him to castrate and kill himself. His blood was the source of the first violets, and divine intervention allowed Attis to be resurrected by Cybele, with some help from Zeus. Thanks to this resurrection story, Cybele came to be associated with the endless cycle of life, death and rebirth. In some areas, there is still an annual three-day celebration of Attis’ rebirth and Cybele’s power around the time of the spring equinox, called the Hilaria.

Like Attis, it is said that Cybele’s followers would work themselves into orgiastic frenzies and then ritually castrate themselves.

After this, these priests donned women’s clothing, and assumed female identities. They became known as the Gallai. In some regions, female priestesses led Cybele’s dedicants in rituals involving ecstatic music, drumming and dancing. Under the leadership of Augustus Caesar, Cybele became extremely popular. Augustus erected a giant temple in her honor on the Palatine Hill, and the statue of Cybele that is in the temple bears the face of Augustus’ wife, Livia.

As the Roman Empire spread, deities of other cultures found themselves absorbed into Roman religion. In the case of Cybele, she later took on many aspects of the Egyptian goddess Isis.



Author: Patti Wigington, Paganism/Wicca Expert

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Deity of the Day for August 31st is Bacchus, Roman God of Wine and Fertility

Deity of the Day


Roman God of Wine and Fertility

In Roman legend, Bacchus stepped in for Dionysus, and earned the title of party god. In fact, a drunken orgy is still called a bacchanalia, and for good reason. Devotees of Bacchus whipped themselves into a frenzy of intoxication, and in the spring Roman women attended secret ceremonies in his name. Bacchus was associated with fertility, wine and grapes, as well as sexual free-for-alls. Although Bacchus is often linked with Beltane and the greening of spring, because of his connection to wine and grapes he is also a deity of the harvest.

A celebration is held in his honor each year at the beginning of October.

Bacchus has a divine mission, and that is his role of “liberator.” During his drunken frenzies, Bacchus loosens the tongues of those who partake of wine and other beverages, and allows people the freedom to say and do what they wish. In mid-March, secret rituals were held on Rome’s Aventine hill to worship him. These rites were attended by women only, and were part of a mystery religion built up around Bacchus.

In addition to being the patron of wine and drink, Bacchus is a god of the theatrical arts. In his incarnation as the Greek Dionysus, he had a theater named for him in Athens. He is often portrayed as a slightly effeminate figure, prone to good humor and general bawdiness.

Bacchus was the son of Jupiter, and is often portrayed crowed with vines or ivy. His chariot is drawn by lions, and he is followed by a group of nubile, frenzied priestesses known as Bacchae. Sacrifices to Bacchus included the goat and the swine, because both of these animals are destructive to the annual grape harvest — without grapes, there can be no wine.



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Deity of the Day for Tuesday, August 25th is Bellona, Roman Goddess of War

Deity of the Day


Roman Goddess of War

Bellona was an Ancient Roman goddess of war. She was called the sister of Mars, and in some sources, his wife or an associate of his female cult partner Nerio. Bellona’s main attribute is the military helmet worn on her head, and she often holds a sword, a shield, or other weapons of battle.

Politically, all Roman Senate meetings relating to foreign war were conducted in the Templum Bellonæ (Temple of Bellona) on the Collis Capitolinus outside the pomerium, near the Temple of Apollo Sosianus. The fetiales, a group of priest advisors, conducted ceremonies to proclaim war and peace, and announce foreign treaties at the columna bellica, in front of her temple.

The name Bellona is transparently derived from the Latin word bellum “war”—the older form Duellona demonstrates its antiquity, showing the same sound change as duellum.

In art, she is portrayed with a helmet on her head, usually wearing a breastplate or plate armour, bearing a sword, spear, shield, or other weaponry, sometimes holding a flaming torch or sounding the Horn of Victory and Defeat. In heraldic crests, she may be shown as a goddess with spread feathered wings bearing a helmet or coronet.

Ammianus Marcellinus, in describing the Roman defeat at the Battle of Adrianople refers to “Bellona, blowing her mournful trumpet, was raging more fiercely than usual, to inflict disaster on the Romans”.

Near the beginning of Shakespeare’s Macbeth (I.ii.54), Macbeth is introduced as a violent and brave warrior when the Thane of Ross calls him “Bellona’s bridegroom” (i.e. Mars). In Henry IV, Part I, Hotspur describes her as “the fire-eyed maid of smoky war” (IV.i.119). And in The Two Noble Kinsmen (1613), set in pre-Roman Athens, the sister of Hippolyta will solicit her divine aid for Theseus against Thebes (I.iii.13).

The goddess has also proved popular in post-Renaissance art as a female embodiment of military virtue, and an excellent opportunity to portray the feminine form in armour and helmet.

The composer Francesco Bianchi and the librettist Lorenzo da Ponte together created a Cantata first performed in London on 11 March 1797 & called Le nozze del Tamigi e Bellona, (The Wedding of the Thames and Bellona), to mark the British naval victory over the Spanish at the Battle of Cape St Vincent.

Also, the “Temple of Bellona” was a popular choice of name for the small mock-temples that were a popular feature of 18th- and 19th-century English landscaped gardens (e.g. William Chambers’s 1760 Temple of Bellona for Kew Gardens, a small Doric temple with a four-column facade to contain plaques honouring those who served in the Seven Years’ War of 1756–64).

First World War poet Edgell Rickwood wrote a poem “The Traveller” where he marches toward the front line in company of Art, the God Pan and the works of essayist Walter Pater. As they approach the active war, they meet Bellona. One by one the pleasurable companions are forced to flee by the violence of war, until Bellona rejoices in having him to herself.

Samuel R. Delany’s 1975 novel Dhalgren is set in the city of Bellona.

The detective novel The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club by Dorothy L Sayers is set at a fictional London club whose membership is composed of active or retired military officers, and is named after the goddess.


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Deity of the Day for August 20th – Pomona, Roman Goddess

Deity of the Day

Goddess Pomona


Areas of Influence: Pomona was one of the Numina, the Roman guardian spirits who watched over people, homes and special places. She protected fruiting trees and gardens.

She is an agricultural Goddess , responsible for the care and cultivation of fruit trees and orchards. Her name is actually derived from the Latin word pomun, meaning fruit. Her dedication to her work left her little time for love. She turned down the offers of marriage from Silvanus and Picus but was eventually tricked into marriage by Vertumnus. This deity was served by high priests known as Flamen Pomonalis in a sacred grove known as the Pomonal.

Origins and Genealogy: I can find no references to her parents, siblings and children.

Strengths: A nurturer, dedicated to her job. As a fertility Goddess she represented abundance.

Weaknesses: So busy looking after her trees that she has little time for herself.

Symbolism: A popular figure in art she is shown as a beautiful Goddess carrying a knife to prune with and a platter of fruit or a cornucopia.

Sacred Animal/Bird/Plant: Apples.

Festival: A feast was held annually on the November 1st when apples, nuts and grapes were consumed to celebrate the harvest.

Unlike many of the Roman Goddesses she has no specific Greek equivalent.

Pomona’s Archetype

The Mother

The Mother is a life-giver and the source of nurturing, devotion, patience and unconditional love. The ability to forgive and provide for her children and put them before herself is the essence of a good mother.

In its shadow aspect the Mother can be devouring, abusive and abandoning. The shadow Mother can also make her children feel guilty about becoming independent and leaving her. It is not necessary to be a biological Mother to have this stereotype. It can refer to anyone who has a lifelong pattern of nurturing and devotion to living things.

As Goddess of the harvest she represents the Mother Archetype as she nurtures the fruits, trees and the plants in the garden.

How to Work With This Archetype

The Mother

You are exhibiting the features of the shadow Mother if you smother your children and are over protective. Encourage independence and allow children to make mistakes but be available to give care and advice when it’s needed.

The other shadow Mother is the one that abandons her children, or is so busy that she has no time for nurturing her young.




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