Deities

WOTC Extra – Honoring and Invoking Deities

Book & Candle Comments

 

 Honoring and Invoking Deities

 

How can you get a god or goddess on your side? Many witches believe that divine assistance is always available to you and that the deities 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.

 

If you aren’t used to considering a divine being as a partner in your spiritual favorite god or goddess for assistance 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

 Source:

The Everything Wicca and Witchcraft Book: Rituals, spells, and sacred objects for everyday magick

Skye Alexander

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Let’s Talk Witch – The Divine Masculine

Book & Candle Comments

The Divine Masculine

 

The feminine is not complete without the male; 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 Son

The youthful aspect of the God is depicted as the Son. He signifies naiveté, daring, a sense of adventure, vitality, action, exuberance, and freedom. The ancient Egyptians expressed this archetype as Horus, who flies through the sky freely, with the sun in one eye and the moon in the other.

 

The Horned God that witches honor also symbolizes this facet of the Divine Masculine. His wildness, sensuality, and passion make him brashly attractive. This deity expresses the witch’s connection to nature as well, and to all the primal magick therein. Cupid (the son of Venus) is another easily discernible example of the youthful virility associated with the Son.

 

The Father


In the Father, the mature face of the God is emphasized. This aspect of the Divine Masculine represents strength, power, authority, leadership ability, protection, responsibility and courage. He is viewed as the warrior king in some cultures, the wise ruler in others. In modern Western society, he could be seen as the capable corporate executive.

 

Like the Goddess, the God possesses a creative aspect. Indeed, both forces are necessary for creation. The Father God in some early cultures oversaw the crafts, such as those of the smiths who were regarded as magick workers in their own right. Hephaestus, originally a fire god in Lycia and Asia Minor, eventually became the god of craftspeople in Greece. He earned this reputation by constructing palaces for the gods and fashioning Zeus’s thunderbolts. This creative aspect of the Father can also be seen in the figure of Bahloo, the Australian aborigine All-Father, whose job was to create all animals and people with his consort.

 

The Grandfather

 

The elder aspect of the masculine deity, or Grandfather, is as wise and wily as his female consort. He oversees the underworld (the place where souls are said to go between lives), destiny, death, resurrection, and justice. Like the Crone’s, his concerns extend beyond the physical world and involve the process of transformation assimilation of knowledge, and movement between the various levels of existence.

 

The mythological elder god, known as the Holly King, who battles with the Oak King is one version of the grandfather archetype. Truthfully, the grandfather could win this battle with his wits if he so chooses. Nonetheless, he allows himself to lose so that the Wheel of Life will keep turning.

 

Source:

The Everything Wicca and Witchcraft Book: Rituals, spells, and sacred objects for everyday magick

Skye Alexander

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

Deity of the Day for June 28th is The Morrighan

Deity of the Day

The Morrighan

 

Areas of Influence: The Goddess Morrigan represented the circle of life, she was associated with both birth and death.

Her name means great queen or phantom queen. It is spelt in several different ways including Morrigu, Morgane, Morrighan and Morgan le Fay in the Arthurian legends.

She is one of the triple Goddesses, her different aspects are represented by Anu (the fertility maiden), Badh (the boiling mother cauldron) and either Macha (the death crone) or Nemain.

As the battle Goddess she appeared on the battlefield in the form of a crow and returned later to feed on the dead.

Morrigan is also a water Goddess, ruling over rivers and lakes. In one myth she appears as an old washer woman at the ford and offering her love to Cu Chulainne. He failed to recognize Morrigan on this occasion and on several others. Enraged she threated to hinder him in battle, when he is killed as a result of this she appears on his shoulder as a crow.

This Goddess also grants monarchs the power of sovereignty.

Origins and Genealogy: I can find no mention of her parentage but in some myths she was said to be the consort of Dadga

Morrigan was also one of the Tuatha de Danann (The tribe of the Goddess Danu). She protected her people by blowing a fog over the land, the lack of visibility discouraged invading armies.

Strengths: Fearsome and strong.

Weaknesses: She is vindictive, killing the person she loves when he fails to recognize her.

Morrigan’s Symbolism

As a symbol of death the Goddess Morrigan is linked with the festival of Samhain.

Sacred Bird: Crows and ravens.

Sacred Plants: Mugwort, yew and willow.

 

Morrigan’s Archetype

The Shape-Shifter:

The Shape Shifter has the ability to change her physical appearance. They are also able to adapt easily to different environments by altering there behavior.

Shadow Shape shifter is fickle, lacking conviction and constantly reinventing themselves, like politicians trying to appeal to more people.

Morrigan is a bird Goddess who shape-shifts into the form of a hooded crow and a washer woman at the ford.

 

Source:
The Goddess-Guide.com

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Let’s Talk Witch – How do Gods and Goddesses Reveal themselves?

Witchy Comments

How Do Gods and Goddesses Reveal Themselves?

The answer depends on the person asking the question. If you tend to be a visual person, you might see a vision that you associate with a particular god or goddess. Isis, for instance, might send an image of winged arms or appear as a great bird. If your auditory sense is strong, you may hear a deity speak to you. Brigid might invite you to stir her cauldron or Yemaya’s song might penetrate your dreams. Apollo may make his presence known via the scent of bay leaf, one of his sacred plants. Suffice it to say that the Divine knows how to connect with each person through a medium that he or she will understand.

 

Frequently, deities communicate with humans through dreams. While sleeping, you’re more receptive to symbols and signs than you are in your ordinary waking state. Gods and goddesses may slip you messages while you’re meditating, too. Perhaps you may receive insights while you’re engaged in mundane tasks, such as putting on makeup or washing dishes—when your mind is only partly focused on the familiar activity, allowing room for spiritual discourse to take place.

 

Pay attention to signs. To American Indians, the appearance of an animal or bird may be a signal from a divine being who has assumed the creature’s form in order to convey information. Listen to your intuition, too—hunches can be messages from a higher source.

 

Source:

The Everything Wicca and Witchcraft Book: Rituals, spells, and sacred objects for everyday magick (Everything®)

Skye Alexander

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Deity of the Day for June 27th is Hathor

Deity of the Day

Hathor

 

The feminine goddess par excellence in ancient Egypt, Hathor was a pre-Dynastic goddess who gained enormous popularity early on. Her name is translated as “the House of Horus”, which may be a reference to her as the embodiment of the sky in her role of the Celestial Cow, being that which surrounds the decidedly sky-oriented hawk-deity, Horus, when he takes wing. If Horus was the god associated with the living king, Hathor was the god associated with the living queen.

In earlier periods she was most often depicted as a full cow with the sundisk between her horns or as a slender woman wearing the horns-and-a-sundisk headdress (which may or may not have a uraeus upon it). She was also shown as a hippopotamus, a falcon, a cobra, or a lioness, however these were not as frequent as the woman or the cow. While there are some depictions of Hathor as a woman with a cow’s head, this is mainly found only in the later periods.

Hathor’s symbology included such items as sistra (a type of rattle), the horns-and-sundisk headdress (in much later times incorporated into the attire of Isis), the menat (a type of ritual necklace that may have been used for percussive music), and mirrors. Many ancient mirrors and sistra decorated with smiling, often nude Hathors on them have been uncovered over the years, and Hathor’s visage (with cow ears) commonly appeared at the top of stone columns in Egyptian temples, many of which can still be seen today. Her cult flourished in Ta-Netjer (“Land of God” — modern day Dendera) in Upper Egypt and her priests included both men and women, many of whom were dancers, singers, or musicians as the arts fell under Hathor’s domain. Priests of Hathor were also oracles and midwives, and people could go to some temples of Hathor to have their dreams interpreted by her priests. Hathor’s protection was invoked over children and pregnant women.

Hathor, as the Eye of Ra, “becomes” Sakhmet in the story “The Destruction of Mankind”. Engraved into one of the shrines of Tutankhamen’s tomb, the story tells how Hathor, at the request of her father (Ra), turns into Sakhmet in order to punish humans for transgressing against him. When she nearly wipes out all of humanity, Ra tries to stop her and, failing in that, contrives to get her drunk, whereupon she immediately forgets what it was she was doing and goes back to being Hathor. Hathor also appears as a minor character in “The Contendings of Horus and Seth”. Her father (Ra) falls into a black mood so Hathor sets forth to cheer him up. Removing her clothing, she dances around his throne until he smiles again.

An additional myth, sometimes called “The Distant Goddess”, tells of how Hathor became angry with Ra and wandered away from Egypt. Great sadness falls over the land and Ra, lost without his Eye, decides to fetch her back. However, Hathor has now become a deadly wild cat who destroys all that approaches her, and so no man or god will volunteer to go get her. Thoth eventually agrees to lure her back and, dressed in disguise, manages to coax the angry goddess to return to Egypt by telling her stories. Back in her homeland, she bathes in the Nile and once again settles into her normally gentle demeanor, but not before the waters turn red from the effort of cooling her rage. In some versions of this story it is Tefnut, not Hathor, who wanders away from Egypt, and Shu, not Thoth, who brings her back.

Hathor is associated with numerous other Egyptian goddesses. Her connections with Bastet helped to “soften up” that deity’s visage, and as discussed previously Hathor was the other side of the Sakhmet coin. Hathor also seems to have absorbed many of the properties of Bat (another pre-Dynastic cow goddess), who is depicted at the top of the famous Narmer palette overseeing the events detailed therein.

Hathor is also known as the “Lady to the Limit” (“limit” meaning the edges of the known universe) and the “Lady of the West”; her image is sometimes seen on funerary depiction as she stands behind Osiris, welcoming the dead to their new home. Other titles of Hathor include the “Divine (or Celestial) Cow”, “Mistress of Heaven”, and “Lady of Gold”, the last two of which were sometimes attributed to the queens of ancient Egypt. Hathor was also known as the “Lady of Greenstone and Malachite” due to her being regarded as a goddess of the desert fringes where such mines existed.

The Greeks called Hathor by the name of their goddess, Aphrodite. In the very late stages of Egyptian religion (over two millennia after Hathor had first appeared) she became almost totally absorbed into Isis (who acquired, aside from Hathor’s headdress, the sistrum as well), resulting in frequent mistaken identity between the two. There are, however, subtle differences. When Isis is shown with the horns she is also (usually) shown with either the vulture headdress (which was associated with Mut, a goddess of Thebes), winged, or wearing a multi-colored feathered dress. There are of course exceptions (such as in the tomb of Horemheb), in which case knowledge of hieroglyphs is necessary to discern which goddess is which.

At the temple of Nefertari at Abu Simbel, Nefertari is shown as Hathor in many places, and Ramses II (the husband of Nefertari) is shown in one sanctuary receiving milk from Hathor the cow. When a child was born in Egypt, seven Hathors (somewhat like European fairy godmothers) would appear to “speak with one mouth” and determine the child’s fate. Hathor’s own child was Ihy, who was worshipped in Dendera with her and Horus-Behdety. Like his mother, Ihy was a god of music and dancing, and was always depicted as a child bearing a sistrum.

 

Source:

Author: Stephanie Cass

Website: Encyclopedia Mythica

 

 

 

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Deity of the Day for June 26th is Epona

Deity of the Day

Goddess Epona

 

Areas of Influence: Epona was the Celtic Horse Goddess whose worship spread to Britain and Rome from Western Europe.

The Roman cavalry had shrines dedicated to her. In fact she was so popular that a temple dedicated to her in Rome.

A Roman Festival to honor her was celebrated on 18th December.

Her name means “Divine mare” in Gaulish.

The mare was an ancient symbol of fertility, this has lead to suggestions that she was an early Mother Goddess figure, whose role was later reduced to protector of horses.

Her cornucopia and the basket of fruit she carried provide further support for her role as a fertility Goddess.

This Goddess is often liked to both Rhiannon in Wales and Macha in Ireland due to their shared association with Horses.

She is also linked to birds and dogs.

There are no surviving Gaullish myths dedicated to this Goddess.

She was the bestower of sovereignty in Celtic kingship rites.

The Celtic horse Goddess has been linked to the White Horse at Uffington and Lady Godiva.

Origins and Genealogy: There are no accounts of her parentage or suggestions that she married and had children.

Strengths: Protector.

Weaknesses: As the information about this Goddess comes mainly from archeological finds there is little information on this Goddess’s personality.

Epona’s Symbolism

She is depicted as a young Goddess, either sitting side saddle on a horse or feeding mares and foals food from a cornucopia or fruit basket. There are also several images showing her riding a horse and cart.

Sacred Animals: Horses, mules, donkeys, dogs and birds.

Sacred Plants: Garlands of roses were used to decorate her shrines.

Source:

The Goddess-Guide.com

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Deity of the Day for June 25th is Hermes, The Greek God

Deity of the Day

Hermes

 

Hermes, the herald of the Olympian gods, is the son of Zeus and the nymph Maia, daughter of Atlas and one of the Pleiades. Hermes is the god of shepherds, land travel, merchants, weights and measures, oratory, literature, athletics and thieves, and known for his cunning and shrewdness. Most importantly, he is the messenger of the gods. Besides that he was also a minor patron of poetry. He was worshiped throughout Greece — especially in Arcadia — and festivals in his honor were called Hermoea.

According to legend, Hermes was born in a cave on Mount Cyllene in Arcadia. Zeus had impregnated Maia at the dead of night while all other gods slept. When dawn broke amazingly he was born. Maia wrapped him in swaddling bands, then resting herself, fell fast asleep. Hermes, however, squirmed free and ran off to Thessaly. This is where Apollo, his brother, grazed his cattle. Hermes stole a number of the herd and drove them back to Greece. He hid them in a small grotto near to the city of Pylos and covered their tracks. Before returning to the cave he caught a tortoise, killed it and removed its entrails. Using the intestines from a cow stolen from Apollo and the hollow tortoise shell, he made the first lyre. When he reached the cave he wrapped himself back into the swaddling bands. When Apollo realized he had been robbed he protested to Maia that it had been Hermes who had taken his cattle. Maia looked to Hermes and said it could not be, as he is still wrapped in swaddling bands. Zeus the all powerful intervened saying he had been watching and Hermes should return the cattle to Apollo. As the argument went on, Hermes began to play his lyre. The sweet music enchanted Apollo, and he offered Hermes to keep the cattle in exchange for the lyre. Apollo later became the grand master of the instrument, and it also became one of his symbols. Later while Hermes watched over his herd he invented the pipes known as a syrinx (pan-pipes), which he made from reeds. Hermes was also credited with inventing the flute. Apollo, also desired this instrument, so Hermes bartered with Apollo and received his golden wand which Hermes later used as his heralds staff. (In other versions Zeus gave Hermes his heralds staff).

Being the herald (messenger of the gods), it was his duty to guide the souls of the dead down to the underworld, which is known as a psychopomp. He was also closely connected with bringing dreams to mortals. Hermes is usually depicted with a broad-brimmed hat or a winged cap, winged sandals and the heralds staff (kerykeion in Greek, or Caduceus in Latin). It was often shown as a shaft with two white ribbons, although later they were represented by serpents intertwined in a figure of eight shape, and the shaft often had wings attached. The clothes he donned were usually that of a traveler, or that of a workman or shepherd. Other symbols of Hermes are the cock, tortoise and purse or pouch.

Originally Hermes was a phallic god, being attached to fertility and good fortune, and also a patron of roads and boundaries. His name coming from herma, the plural being hermaiherm was a square or rectangular pillar in either stone or bronze, with the head of Hermes (usually with a beard), which adorned the top of the pillar, and male genitals near to the base of the pillar. These were used for road and boundary markers. Also in Athens they stood outside houses to help fend off evil. In Athens of 415 BCE, shortly before the Athenian fleet set sail against Syracuse (during the Peloponnesian War), all the herms throughout Athens were defaced. This was attributed to people who were against the war. Their intentions were to cast bad omens on the expedition, by seeking to offend the god of travel. (This has never been proved as the true reason for the mutilation of the herms.)

The offspring of Hermes are believed to be Pan, Abderus and Hermaphroditus. Hermes as with the other gods had numerous affairs with goddesses, nymphs and mortals. In some legends even sheep and goats. Pan, the half man half goat, is believed to be the son of Hermes and Dryope, the daughter of king Dryops. Pan terrified his mother when he was born, so much so that she fled in horror at the sight of her new born son. Hermes took Pan to Mount Olympus were the gods reveled in his laughter and his appearance and became the patron of fields, woods, shepherds and flocks. Abderus, a companion of the hero Heracles, is also thought to be a son of Hermes, he was devoured by the Mares of Diomedes, after Heracles had left him in charge of the ferocious beasts. Hermaphroditus (also known as Aphroditus) was conceived after the union of Hermes and Aphrodite. He was born on Mount Ida but he was raised by the Naiads (nymphs of freshwater). He was a androgynous (having the characteristics of both sexes) deity, depicted as either a handsome young man but with female breasts, or as Aphrodite with male genitals.

It was Hermes who liberated Io, the lover of Zeus, from the hundred-eyed giant Argus, who had been ordered by Hera, the jealous wife of Zeus, to watch over her. Hermes charmed the giant with his flute, and while Argos slept Hermes cut off his head and released Io. Hera, as a gesture of thanks to her loyal servant, scattered the hundred eyes of Argos over the tail of a peacock (Heras’ sacred bird). Hermes also used his ingenuity and abilities to persuade the nymph Calypso to release Odysseus, the wandering hero, from her charms. She had kept Odysseus captive, after he was shipwrecked on her island Ogygia, promising him immortality if he married her, but Zeus sent Hermes to release Odysseus. Legend says that Calypso died of grief when Odysseus sailed away. Hermes also saved Odysseus and his men from being transformed into pigs by the goddess and sorceress Circe. He gave them a herb which resisted the spell. Hermes also guided Eurydice back down to the underworld after she had been allowed to stay for one day on earth with her husband Orpheus.

Known for his swiftness and athleticism, Hermes was given credit for inventing foot-racing and boxing. At Olympia a statue of him stood at the entrance to the stadium and his statues where in every gymnasium throughout Greece. Apart from herms, Hermes was a popular subject for artists. Both painted pottery and statuary show him in various forms, but the most fashionable depicted him as a good-looking young man, with an athletic body, and winged sandals and his heralds staff. His Roman counterpart Mercury inherited his attributes, and there are many Roman copies of Greek artistic creations of Hermes.

The Greek post office has Hermes as its symbol.

 

Source:
Author: Ron Leadbetter

Website: Encyclopedia Mythica

 

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Deity of the Day for June 24th is Bast

Deity of the Day

Bast

The Egyptian Cat Goddess

Areas of Influence: The Egyptian cat goddess Bast had numerous areas of influence that developed over time. In the early days she was the fierce lion headed Goddess of the lower Nile who protected the Pharaoh and the sun God Ra. This is why she has the title of Goddess of protection. In this role she became Goddess of the rising sun and holder of the Utchat, the all seeing eye of Horus. Statues of this Goddess would be placed in households to protect them from thieves.

In the Book of the Dead she is mentioned as destroying the bodies of the deceased, with the royal flame, if they failed the judgment hall of Maat.

Later she was depicted with the head of a domestic cat, representing her more nurturing aspects. Woman of the time would buy amulets of this Goddess illustated with different numbers of kittens, representing the number of children they wished to have. The links to fertility and childbirth were further strengthened by the Greeks. They likened this Goddess to Artemis and she also became associated with the moon and children.

As a cat Goddess she also protected houses from rats and snakes and so ensured the health of the occupants.

The Goddess was linked to the music and dance due to the special rattle that she carried known as the Sistrum. The rattles were used to celebrate her festivals.

She was connected with perfumes as she shares a hieroglyph with that which represented the bas jar. These were ceramic vessels used to hold expensive perfumes. Her son was also linked to perfumery.

A Patron Goddess of fire fighters due to the Eygptian belief that if a cat ran through a burning household she would draw the flames out behind her.

Her cult was centered in Bubastis, when her temple was excavated they found the mummified remains of over 300 000 cats. She was worshipped throughout the lower Nile.

She was also known by several different names including Bastet, Basthet, Ubasti and Pasht. The name Pasht is the root of our word passion, linking this Goddess to physical pleasure.

Origins and Genealogy: In common with many Egyptian Goddesses her lineage is complicated. She was the daughter of Ra and is often said to be the sister of Sekhmet.

Linked with many of the Egyptian Gods and Goddesses she bore a son called Nefertem. Mut later absorbed her identity together with that of Wadjet to become Mut-Wadjet-Bast before also taking over the identities of Sekhmet and Nekhebet.

Strengths: Protector, sensual and caring mother figure.

Weaknesses: Chameleon like and fierce when threatened.

Bast’s Symbolism

Presented as a lion headed or Cat headed woman often carrying an ankh or papyrus wand. She is associated with the all seeing eye (the utchat) and a rattle (the sistrum).

Sacred Animals: Lions and domestic cats.

Sacred Plants: Catnip.

Festivals: According to the Herodotus her festivals were licentious and popular affairs also celebrated with music, dancing, drinking. No wonder Bast is considered the Goddess of Pleasure.

Bast’s Archetypes

The Warrior:

Represents physical strength, and the ability to protect and fight for your rights and those of of others.

Whilst the shadow side of the Warrior reflects the need to win at all costs, abandoning ethical principals to prove your supremacy.

Bast is a Warrior protecting her father and the Pharoh. As a mother cat figure she is fierce in the protection of her young.

The Lover:

Represents passion and selfless devotion to another person. It also extends to the things that make our hearts sing, like music art or nature.

The shadow aspect is obsessive passion that completely takes over and negatively impacts on your health and self esteem.

Bast was the Lover of many Gods and Goddesses. She is also associated the pleasures of music, dancing and perfumery.

 

Source:
Goddess-Guide.com

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