Deities

Deity of the Day for July 13 is Baldur, Norse God of Light

Deity of the Day

Baldur, Norse God of Light

 

Baldur was the son of Frigga and Odin, and the twin brother of Hod, or Hodur. Baldur’s name sometimes appears as Balder, or alternately Baldr. Baldur was beautiful and radiant, and was beloved by all the gods. Hodur, on the other hand, was dark and moody, spent a lot of time in darkness because of his blindness, and was generally unpopular with everyone he met.

In one famous story, after Baldur reveals that he’s been having foreboding dreams, Frigga asked all of nature to promise not to cause any harm to her beloved son.
From Sæmund’s Edda:
“On a course they resolved,
that they would send
to every being,
assurance to solicit,
Balder not to harm.
All species swore
oaths to spare him;
Frigg received all
their vows and compacts.”

Unfortunately, in her haste, Frigga overlooked the mistletoe plant, so Loki – the resident trickster – took advantage of the opportunity and fooled Hod into killing his twin brother with a spear made of mistletoe. Baldur was later restored to life.

Because of the story of his life, death and resurrection, Baldur features prominently in Norse mythology. An important festival was held in honor of Baldur the Good at midsummer, because it was known to be the anniversary of his death and descent into the underworld. Celebrations were held involving big bonfires and outdoor festivities, much of which involved watching the sun rise and set. Bear in mind that in the extreme Northern latitudes inhabited by the Norse peoples, the sun never really sets at midsummer; instead, it touches the horizon and then rises again to begin a new day.

When Christianity moved into the Norse countries, Baldur’s celebration became the festival of St. John instead.

 

Source:
Author:aganism/Wicca Expert

Website: Article Found On & Owned By About.com

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Deity of the Day for July 8th is Ares, Roman God of War

Deity of the Day

 

Ares
Greek God of War

Ares, the Greek Warrior God:

Ares was a Greek god of war, and son of Zeus by his wife Hera. He was known not only for his own exploits in battle, but also for getting involved in disputes between others. Furthermore, he often served as an agent of justice.

The Rape of Alkippe:

A Greek legend tells the tale of Ares slaying of one of Poseidon’s sons. Ares had a daughter, Alkippe, and Poseidon’s son Halirrhothios attempted to rape her.

Ares interrupted before the act was completed, and promptly killed Halirrhothios. Poseidon, livid at the murder of one of his own children, put Ares on trial before the twelve gods of Olympus. Ares was acquitted, as his violent actions were justified.

Worship of Ares:

As a warrior god, Ares wasn’t quite as popular with the Greeks as his counterpart, Mars, was among the Romans. This may have been due to his unreliability and unpredictable violence – something which would have been completely contrary to the Greek sense of order. He doesn’t seem to have been very popular among the Greeks, who appear to have been mostly just indifferent to him.

In fact, many of the legends surrounding Ares culminate in his own defeat and humiliation. In Homer’s Odyssey, Zeus himself insults Ares after his return from the battlefields of Troy – where Ares was defeated by the armies of Athena. Zeus says:
Do not sit beside me and whine, you double-faced liar.
To me you are the most hateful of all gods who hold Olympus.
Forever quarreling is dear to your heart, wars and battles.

His worship was centered in small cults, rather than amongst the general populace of Greece. Specifically, more warlike areas like Macedonia, Thrace, and Sparta paid homage to Ares.

There are numerous accounts of a Spartan man, Menoikeus, offering himself as sacrifice to Ares, in order to secure the gates of Thebes. Gaius Julius Hyginus, a Greek historian, wrote in Fabulae, “When the Thebans consulted Teiresias, he told them that they would win the battle if Kreon’s son Menoikeus [one of the Spartoi] were to offer himself as a victim to Ares. When he heard this, Menoikeus took his life in front of the gates.”

Although little is known of the cults of Ares and how they specifically paid tribute, most sources do refer to sacrifices being made prior to battle. Herodotus refers to the offerings made by the Scythians, in which one of every one hundred prisoners taken in battle is sacrificed to Ares. He also describes, in his Histories, a festival which took place in Papremis, part of Egypt. The celebration re-enacts the meeting of Ares with his mother, Hera, and involves beating priests with clubs – a ritual which often turned violent and bloody.

The Warrior Oath

Aeschylus’ epic narrative, Seven Against Thebes, includes a warrior’s oath and sacrifice to Ares:
Seven warriors yonder, doughty chiefs of might,
Into the crimsoned concave of a shield
Have shed a bull’s blood, and, with hands immersed
Into the gore of sacrifice, have sworn
By Ares, lord of fight, and by thy name,
Blood-lapping Terror, Let our oath be heard-
Either to raze the walls, make void the hold
Of Cadmus – strive his children as they may –
Or, dying here, to make the foemen’s land
With blood impasted.

Today, Ares is seeing a resurgence in popularity thanks to a number of pop culture references. He appears in Rick Riordan’s highly successful Percy Jackson series for young readers, as well as Suzanne Collins’ books about Gregor the Overlander. He also shows up in video games, such as God of War and was portrayed by the late actor Kevin Smith in the Xena: Warrior Princess television series.

Some Hellenic Pagans pay tribute to Ares as well, in rituals honoring his bravery and masculinity

 

Source
Author:Patti Wigington , Paganism/Wicca Expert

Website: Article found on & owned by About.com

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Goddess For Today: Thmei

4th of July Comments

Goddess For Today: Thmei
Independence Day (United States)

Themes   Freedom; Justice; Honor; Divination; Balance; Equality; Foresight; Morality
Symbols   Scales or Balanced Items:  Ostrich Feathers

About Thmei:  This Egyptian Goddess of Law and Mother of virtue watches over human conduct, looking for right action, wise decisions,
ethical dealings, and just outcomes.  On a broader scale, she also tends to matters of universal law, that we might learn its patterns, internalize
its ideals, and then use this awareness throughout the year.

In some instances, Thmei is considered a prophetic Goddess to call on in determining the outcome of any course of action, especially legal ones.
Egyptian art depicts Thmei bearing a single ostrich feather, the symbol of truth with self and others.

To Do Today:  Celebrate your personal independence, and break free from any constraints that seem unjust or
unethical, asking Thmei for the power and courage to endure. To make a Thmei charm that draws equity into all
your dealings, find a portable token that, to you, represents balance, harmony, and fairness.  Put this on your
bathroom scale, saying, Balance and harmony within this shrine, Thmei, make impartial dealings mine!
Carry this token with you, or leave it in the area where you feel inequity or discord exists.
)0(
By Patricia Telesco ~ From “365 Goddess” and GrannyMoon’s Morning Feast

 

Courtesy of GrannyMoonsMorningFeast

Categories: Articles, Daily Posts, Deities, The Goddesses | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Deity of the Day for July 3rd is Khepri, The Egyptian God

Deity of the Day

Khepri

 

Khepri (also spelled Khepera, Kheper, Khepra, Chepri) is a god in the ancient Egyptian religion.

Khepri was connected with the scarab beetle (kheprer), because the scarab rolls balls of dung across the ground, an act that the Egyptians saw as a symbol of the forces that move the sun across the sky. Khepri was thus a solar deity. Young dung beetles, having been laid as eggs within the dung ball, emerge from it fully formed. Therefore, Khepri also represented creation and rebirth, and he was specifically connected with the rising sun and the mythical creation of the world. The Egyptians connected his name with the Egyptian language verb kheper, meaning “develop” or “come into being”. Kheper, (or Xeper) is a transcription of an ancient Egyptian word meaning to come into being, to change, to occur, to happen, to exist, to bring about, to create, etc. Egyptologists typically transliterate the word as ?pr. Both Kheper and Xeper possess the same phonetic value and are pronounced as “kheffer”.

There was no cult devoted to Khepri, and he was largely subordinate to the greater sun god Ra. Often, Khepri and another solar deity, Atum, were seen as aspects of Ra: Khepri was the morning sun, Ra was the midday sun, and Atum was the sun in the evening.

Khepri was principally depicted as a scarab beetle, though in some tomb paintings and funerary papyri he is represented as a human male with a scarab as a head. He is also depicted as a scarab in a solar barque held aloft by Nun. The scarab amulets that the Egyptians used as jewelry and as seals represent Khepri.

 

Source:
Wikipedia

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WOTC Extra (b) – The Divine Masculine

Witchy CommentsThe Divine Masculine

The feminine is not complete without the masculine; together, these energetic polarities form a whole. Before the re-emergence of Goddess-centered spirituality, only the male divinity’s face was present in most parts of the world. Some Wiccans and Witches concentrate on the Divine Feminine. Others, however, believe that the Divine expresses as both male and female.

Witches often depict the Divine Masculine as having three faces, which represent the stages of a man’s life: youth, maturity, and old age. However, Witches aren’t the only ones who envision a tripart God. Christians honor the male trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In the Hindu religion, Brahma represents the creative principle of God, Vishnu is considered the preserver, and Shiva is the destroyer. Although the cultural aspects of these deities may differ, they still recognize the tripart expression of the masculine force.
The Only Book of Wiccan Spells You’ll Ever Need (The Only Book You’ll Ever Need)
Marian Singer; Trish MacGregor

 

Categories: Articles, Daily Posts, Deities, The Gods | Leave a comment

WOTC Extra (a) – The Divine Feminine

Witchy Comments The Divine Feminine

Many Wiccans believe that the Divine is both feminine and masculine, so they venerate the Goddess and God. The Goddess is symbolized by Mother Earth. Concern for the environment and “green” practices demonstrate respect for the Goddess, who is manifest in all of nature. It’s no accident that movements honoring the Earth and the Goddess evolved simultaneously. Indeed, many Witches believe that unless Goddess energy reawakens within each of us and in the world as a whole, the planet may be destroyed.

Witches often depict the Goddess in three stages that represent the three phases of a woman’s life: maiden, mother, and crone. Celtic art illustrates this tripart nature as three interlocking pointed loops called vesica piscis, which symbolize the opening to the womb. Others show the feminine trinity as three phases of the moon: waxing, waning, and full.

The Only Book of Wiccan Spells You’ll Ever Need (The Only Book You’ll Ever Need)
Marian Singer; Trish MacGregor

Categories: Articles, Daily Posts, Deities, The Goddesses | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Let’s Talk Witch – Honoring and Invoking Deities

Witchy CommentsHonoring and Invoking Deities

Many witches believe that divine assistance is always available to you and that Gods and Goddesses gladly offer their guidance, help, and energy to humans to use for positive purposes. Some view divine beings as higher aspects of human consciousness, which can be accessed and activated through magickal means.

Ask First!

If you want to connect with a particular entity, first ask that god or goddess to listen to your request and come to your aid. One theory states that deities will not interfere with your own free will— you must ask them sincerely for help.

If you aren’t used to considering a divine being as a partner in your spiritual and practical pursuits, you may wonder how to go about petitioning your favorite god or goddess for assistance. Here are a few suggestions:

Make an offering of some sort to the deity. Burning incense is a popular offering, although you may wish to choose an offering that more specifically corresponds to the nature of the deity whose help you seek.

Place a figurine of the chosen deity on your altar and focus your attention on it.

Use an oracle, such as tarot cards or runes, to access divine wisdom and open your mind to messages from the deities.

Pray.

Meditate.

Light a candle in honor of the deity you wish to petition.

Design and perform a ritual to the deity.

Write your request on a slip of paper, then burn it.

Choose a crystal or gemstone that relates to the deity. Carry the stone in your pocket and touch it periodically.

Plant herbs or flowers in honor of the god or goddess. Choose plants that correspond to the deity’s nature and your intent, such as roses for love or mint for prosperity.

 
The Only Book of Wiccan Spells You’ll Ever Need (The Only Book You’ll Ever Need)
Marian Singer; Trish MacGregor

Categories: Articles, Daily Posts, Deities, The Goddesses, The Gods | Leave a comment

Deity of the Day for June 30 is Helios

Deity of the Day

Helios

 

Helios (/ˈhiːli.ɒs/; Ancient Greek: Ἥλιος Hēlios; Latinized as Helius; Ἠέλιος in Homeric Greek) was the personification of the Sun in Greek mythology. He is the son of the Titan Hyperion and the Titaness Theia (Hesiod) (also known as Euryphaessa (Homeric Hymn 31)) and brother of the goddesses Selene, the moon, and Eos, the dawn.

Helios was described as a handsome titan crowned with the shining aureole of the Sun, who drove the chariot of the sun across the sky each day to earth-circling Oceanus and through the world-ocean returned to the East at night. In the Homeric hymn to Helios, Helios is said to drive a golden chariot drawn by steeds (HH 31.14–15); and Pindar speaks of Helios’s “fire-darting steeds” (Olympian Ode 7.71). Still later, the horses were given fiery names: Pyrois, Aeos, Aethon, and Phlegon.

As time passed, Helios was increasingly identified with the god of light, Apollo. However, in spite of their syncretism, they were also often viewed as two distinct gods/titan (Helios was a Titan, whereas Apollo was an Olympian). The equivalent of Helios in Roman mythology was Sol, specifically Sol Invictus.

The best known story involving Helios is that of his son Phaëton, who attempted to drive his father’s chariot but lost control and set the earth on fire.

Helios was sometimes characterized with the epithet Panoptes (“the all-seeing”). In the story told in the hall of Alcinous in the Odyssey (viii.300ff.), Aphrodite, the consort of Hephaestus, secretly beds Ares, but all-seeing Helios spies on them and tells Hephaestus, who ensnares the two lovers in nets invisibly fine, to punish them.

In the Odyssey, Odysseus and his surviving crew land on Thrinacia, an island sacred to the sun god, whom Circe names Hyperion rather than Helios. There, the sacred red[citation needed] cattle of the Sun were kept:

You will now come to the Thrinacian island, and here you will see many herds of cattle and flocks of sheep belonging to the sun-god. There will be seven herds of cattle and seven flocks of sheep, with fifty heads in each flock. They do not breed, nor do they become fewer in number, and they are tended by the goddesses Phaethusa and Lampetia, who are children of the sun-god Hyperion by Neaera. Their mother when she had borne them and had done suckling them sent them to the Thrinacian island, which was a long way off, to live there and look after their father’s flocks and herds.

Though Odysseus warns his men, when supplies run short they impiously kill and eat some of the cattle of the Sun. The guardians of the island, Helios’ daughters, tell their father about this. Helios appeals to Zeus telling them to dispose of Odysseus’ men or he will take the Sun and shine it in the Underworld. Zeus destroys the ship with his lightning bolt, killing all the men except for Odysseus.
Solar Apollo with the radiant halo of Helios in a Roman floor mosaic, El Djem, Tunisia, late 2nd century

In one Greek vase painting, Helios appears riding across the sea in the cup of the Delphic tripod which appears to be a solar reference. Athenaeus in Deipnosophistae relates that, at the hour of sunset, Helios climbed into a great golden cup in which he passes from the Hesperides in the farthest west to the land of the Ethiops, with whom he passes the dark hours. While Heracles traveled to Erytheia to retrieve the cattle of Geryon, he crossed the Libyan desert and was so frustrated at the heat that he shot an arrow at Helios, the Sun. Almost immediately, Heracles realized his mistake and apologized profusely, in turn and equally courteous, Helios granted Heracles the golden cup which he used to sail across the sea every night, from the west to the east because he found Heracles’ actions immensely bold. Heracles used this golden cup to reach Erytheia.

By the Oceanid Perse, Helios became the father of Aeëtes, Circe and Pasiphaë. His other children are Phaethusa (“radiant”) and Lampetia (“shining”).

Helios is sometimes identified with Apollo: “Different names may refer to the same being,” Walter Burkert observes, “or else they may be consciously equated, as in the case of Apollo and Helios.”

In Homeric literature, Apollo is clearly identified as a different god, a plague-dealer with a silver (not golden) bow and no solar features.

The earliest certain reference to Apollo identified with Helios appears in the surviving fragments of Euripides’ play Phaethon in a speech near the end (fr 781 N²), Clymene, Phaethon’s mother, laments that Helios has destroyed her child, that Helios whom men rightly call Apollo (the name Apollo is here understood to mean Apollon “Destroyer”).

By Hellenistic times Apollo had become closely connected with the Sun in cult. His epithet Phoebus, Phoibos “shining”, drawn from Helios, was later also applied by Latin poets to the sun-god Sol.
Coin of Roman Emperor Constantine I depicting Sol Invictus/Apollo with the legend SOLI INVICTO COMITI, c. 315 AD.

The identification became a commonplace in philosophic texts and appears in the writing of Parmenides, Empedocles, Plutarch and Crates of Thebes among others, as well as appearing in some Orphic texts. Pseudo-Eratosthenes writes about Orpheus in Catasterismi, section 24:

“But having gone down into Hades because of his wife and seeing what sort of things were there, he did not continue to worship Dionysus, because of whom he was famous, but he thought Helios to be the greatest of the gods, Helios whom he also addressed as Apollo. Rousing himself each night toward dawn and climbing the mountain called Pangaion, he would await the sun’s rising, so that he might see it first. Therefore Dionysus, being angry with him, sent the Bassarides, as Aeschylus the tragedian says; they tore him apart and scattered the limbs.”

Dionysus and Asclepius are sometimes also identified with this Apollo Helios.

Classical Latin poets also used Phoebus as a byname for the sun-god, whence come common references in later European poetry to Phoebus and his car (“chariot”) as a metaphor for the sun. But in particular instances in myth, Apollo and Helios are distinct. The sun-god, the son of Hyperion, with his sun chariot, though often called Phoebus (“shining”) is not called Apollo except in purposeful non-traditional identifications.

Despite these identifications, Apollo was never actually described by the Greek poets driving the chariot of the sun, although it was common practice among Latin poets. Therefore, Helios is still known as the ‘sun god’ – the one who drives the sun chariot across the sky each day.

 

 

Source:
Wikipedia

Categories: Articles, Daily Posts, Deities, The Gods | 1 Comment

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