Deities

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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Deity of the Day for June 23 is Minerva, Goddess of Wisdom & Crafts

Deity of the Day

 Minerva

 

Areas of Influence: Minerva was the Goddess of wisdom and crafts.

Only in Rome was she worshipped as the Goddess of war.

This Goddess represented the application of intellect to everyday tasks. As the Goddess of wisdom she was accredited with inventing spinning, weaving, numbers and music.

She is also the patron of Goddess of medicine.

Ovid descibed her as the “Goddess of a thousand works.”

Origins and Genealogy: The name of this Goddess is said to be of Etruscan origin.

Her parents were Jupiter and Métis. Elements of the myths surrounding her birth however have been poached from Greek Goddess Athena, as she too is born fully grown, from her father’s head.

She was considered third among the Gods and Goddesses and was part of the Capitolian triad alongside Juna and Jupiter.

Strengths: Wisdom, creativity and strength.

Weaknesses: Out of touch with emotions.

Minerva’s Symbolism

The Roman Goddess of wisdom is depicted in full battle dress with a coat of mail, a helmet and a spear.

Sacred Animal/Insect: Owl and the spider.

Sacred Plants: Her sacred plants were the olive, mulberry and alder trees.

Festivals: The main festival celebrating this Goddess took place March 19th – 23rd.

A smaller festival occurred later in the year on the 13th of June.

Greek Equivalent: Athena

Minerva’s Archetypes

The Teacher/ Inventor:

The Teacher and Inventor communicates knowledge, experience and wisdom.

In it’s shadow aspect, the Teacher may manipulate and mislead their students by indoctrinating them with negative beliefs and destructive behaviours.

This is Minerva’s primary Archetype as she teaches humans how to spin and weave. She is also accredited in Roman mythology for inventing numbers and medicine.

The Warrior:

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

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

Although Roman mythology borrows heavily from it’s Greek counterparts, it is only in Rome that Minerva is worshipped as the Goddess of war, despite always being depicted in full battle dress. This is why I have ranked this Archetype as only of secondary importance for this Goddess.

 

Source:

Goddess-Guide.com

 

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Deity of the Day for June 21 is Juno, Goddess Of Marriage

Deity of the Day

Juno, Goddess of Marriage

Areas of Influence: Juno was the Goddess of marriage, pregnancy and childbirth.

She was the Queen of the Gods and part of the Capitoline triad that also included Minerva and Jupiter.

This Deity was an embodiment of the traditional female roles of wife and mother.

One of her titles was Lucino (meaning light) as she helped to bring children into the light of this world at birth. She was also said to set and strengthen a childs bones.

She was also Goddess of conception, a Goddess to be called upon in labour and one who helped settle disagreements between spouses.

Juno protected the finances of the Roman people. In this role she was the patron Goddess of the royal mint.

Before she absorbed many of Hera’s characteristics several scholars suggest that she was a Maiden Goddess.

The Month of June was named after her and it was considered the most favourable month to get married in.

Her other claim to fame is that as an archetypal figure she appears in Shakespeare’s play The Tempest.

Each Roman woman was said to have her own Juno which represented her female spirit.

Origins and Genealogy: According to later Roman myths she was the sister and consort of Jupiter and the mother of Mars, Hebe and Vulcan.

Mars was conceived when the Goddess was imoregnated by a flower.

Strengths: Leadership and a loyal wife.

Weaknesses: Jealousy and vindictiveness.

Juno’s Symbolism

This Roman Goddess had a more warlike nature than Hera and was often depicted in a goat skin coat that was favoured among Roman soldiers.

She was also able to throw lightning bolts like her husband Jupiter.

Sacred Birds: Geese and peacocks.

Sacred Plants: The wild fig tree.

Festivals: A special ceremony was dedicated to her in the home to celebrate the begining of each lunar month.

Her main festival, the Matronalia was held on 1st March. On this day married woman asked their husbands to give them money to make offerings to the Goddess.

A smaller celebration known as the Nonae Caprotinae took place on 7th July.

Greek and Etruscan Equivalents: The Goddess Hera was the Greek equivalent to Juno.

Uni was the Etruscan Goddess who shared many similarities with this Deity.

Juno’s Archetypes

The Queen :

In the positive aspect the Queen represents the regal feminine. Using her benevolent authority to protect others. This Archetype can signify the power of women who rule over anything from the office to the home environment.

The shadow aspect reflects the tendency to become arrogant, controlling and aggressive when challenged.

As Queen of the Roman pantheon Hera has power and authority. Like her Greek counterpart, Hera, she misuses her position when she feels threatened.

The Companion:

This stereotype is loyal, tenacious and unselfish in their service to a more authoritive figure. In this relationship she provides the with emotional and practical support to enable her partner to concentrate on his mission. This was long considered the traditional role of the wife.

The shadow Companion manifests as betrayal, breaking confidences and identity loss through constantly suppressing your own needs.

Despite her husbands numerous affairs Juno remained loyal to her husband.

Source:

Goddess-Guide

 

 

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Deity of the Day for June 20th – The Celtic God Lugh

Deity of the Day

Lugh, Master of Skills

 

Patron of the Arts:

Similar to the Roman god Mercury, Lugh was known as a god of both skill and the distribution of talent. There are countless inscriptions and statues dedicated to Lugh, and Julius Caesar himself commented on this god’s importance to the Celtic people. Although he was not a war god in the same sense as the Roman Mars, Lugh was considered a warrior because to the Celts, skill on the battlefield was a highly valued ability. In Ireland, which was never invaded by Roman troops, Lugh is called sam ildanach, meaning he was skilled in many arts simultaneously.

Lugh Enters the Hall of Tara:

In one famous legend, Lugh arrives at Tara, the hall of the high kings of Ireland. The guard at the door tells him that only one person will be admitted with a particular skill — one blacksmith, one wheelwright, one bard, etc. Lugh enumerates all the great things he can do, and each time the guard says, “Sorry, we’ve already got someone here who can do that.” Finally Lugh asks, “Ah, but do you have anyone here who can do them ALL?” At last, Lugh was allowed entrance to Tara.

The Book of Invasions:

Much of the early history of Ireland is recorded in the Book of Invasions, which recounts the many times Ireland was conquered by foreign enemies. According to this chronicle, Lugh was the grandson of one of the Fomorians, a monstrous race that were the enemy of the Tuatha De Danann. Lugh’s grandfather, Balor of the Evil Eye, had been told he would be murdered by a grandson, so he imprisoned his only daughter in a cave. One of the Tuatha seduced her, and she gave birth to triplets. Balor drowned two of them, but Lugh survived and was raised by a smith. He later led the Tuatha in battle, and indeed killed Balor.

Roman Influence:

Julius Caesar believed that most cultures worshipped the same gods and simply called them by different names. In his Gallic War essays, he enumerates the popular deities of the Gauls and refers to them by what he saw as a corresponding Roman name. Thus, references made to Mercury actually are attributed to a god Caesar also calls Lugus — Lugh. This god’s cult was centered in Lugundum, which later became Lyon, France. His festival on August 1 was selected as the day of the Feast of Augustus, by Caesar’s successor, Octavian Augustus Caesar, and it was the most important holiday in all of Gaul.

Weapons and War:

Although not specifically a war god, Lugh was known as a skilled warrior. His weapons included a mighty magic spear, which was so bloodthirsty that it often tried to fight without its owner. According to Irish myth, in battle, the spear flashed fire and tore through the enemy ranks unchecked. In parts of Ireland, when a thunderstorm rolls in, the locals say that Lugh and Balor are sparring – thus giving Lugh one more role, as a god of storms.

The Many Aspects of Lugh:

According to Peter Beresford Ellis, the Celts held smithcraft in high regard. War was a way of life, and smiths were considered to have magical gifts — after all, they were able to master the element of Fire, and mold the metals of the earth using their strength and skill. Yet in Caesar’s writings, there are no references to a Celtic equivalent of Vulcan, the Roman smith god.

In early Irish mythology, the smith is called Goibhniu, and is accompanied by two brothers to create a triple god-form. The three craftsmen make weaponry and carry out repairs on Lugh’s behalf as the entire host of the Tuatha De Danann prepares for war. In a later Irish tradition, the smith god is seen as a master mason or a great builder. In some legends, Goibhniu is Lugh’s uncle who saves him from Balor and the monstrous Formorians.

One God, Many Names

The Celts had many gods and goddesses, due in part to the fact that each tribe had its own patron deities, and within a region there might be gods associated with particular locations or landmarks. For example, a god who watched over a particular river or mountain might only be recognized by the tribes who lived in that area. Lugh was fairly versatile, and was honored nearly universally by the Celts. The Gaulish Lugos is connected to the Irish Lugh, who in turn is connected to the Welsh Llew Llaw Gyffes.

Celebrating the Harvest of Grain

The Book of Invasions tells us that Lugh came to be associated with grain in Celtic mythology after he held an harvest fair in honor of his foster mother, Tailtiu. This day became August 1, and that date ties in with the first grain harvest in agricultural societies in the Northern Hemisphere. In fact, in Irish Gaelic, the word for August is lunasa. Lugh is honored with corn, grains, bread, and other symbols of the harvest. This holiday was called Lughnasadh (pronounced Loo-NA-sah). Later, in Christian England the date was called Lammas, after the Saxon phrase hlaf maesse, or “loaf mass.”

An Ancient God for Modern Times

For many Pagans and Wiccans, Lugh is honored as the champion of artistry and skills. Many artisans, musicians, bards, and crafters invoke Lugh when they need assistance with creativity. Today Lugh is still honored at the time of harvest, not only as a god of grain but also as a god of late summer storms.

Even today, in Ireland many people celebrate Lughnasadh with dancing, song, and bonfires. The Catholic church also has set this date aside for a ritual blessing of farmers’ fields.

 

Source:

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Deity of the Day for June 17th is Maat The Egyptian Goddess

Maat The Egyptian Goddess

 

Areas of Influence: Maat the Egyptian Goddess stood for truth and justice. In fact the name Ma’at means truth in Egyptian. Her followers believed that after death their hearts would be weighed against her white feather of judgment. If the heart weighed the same they would be allowed to cross into the kingdom of Osiris (Paradise). However those that failed the test would be devoured by the crocodile headed God Ammut.

She also represented the the primal laws of the universe that supported creation and prevented it from falling into chaos. In this crucial role she stood for balance and harmony. Her power was beyond the Pharaoh’s who declared themselves beloved of Ma’at and upholders of her laws.

This Goddess helped the sun God Ra/Re steer his boat across the sky each day, guiding his direction.

Her roles were later absorbed by the Goddess Isis.

There is a temple dedicated to her in Carnac which unfortunately lies in ruins.

Origins and Genealogy: The Goddess of truth, justice and reality was the daughter of Ra.

Maat the Egyptian Goddess was the consort of Thoth and bore him eight children known collectively as the Chief Gods and Goddesses of Hermopolis. Her most famous child was Amon.

Strengths: Balancing and just.

Weaknesses: Very exacting in her standards. There were no second chances.

Maat’s Symbolism

Portrayed as a woman with a white ostrich feather on her head carrying a scepter in one hand and an ankh in the other.

Ma’at was also sometimes shown as a winged Goddess.

The symbol of the primeval mound was also used to represent this Goddess. This is the mound upon which the creator Gods stood at the beginning of time.

Sacred Bird: Ostriches.

Ma’ats Archetype

The Judge:

The Judge’s role is to balance justice with compassion. Ensuring a distribution of power that provides realistic and fair boundaries that encourage people to take responsibility for their actions.

Shadow Judge misuses his power to enforce rules over others by manipulating laws. They are over critical and very judgmental of others, the sort of tyrant that makes you feel you are tip toeing round on eggshells trying not to draw their wrath.

This is an obvious choice of Archetype for Maat the Egyptian Goddess as her name means truth and her principles became partly codified in Egyptian laws.

 

Source:

The Goddess-Guide

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Deity of the Day for June 16th is Arianrhod

Deity of the Day

Arianrhod

 

Areas of Influence: Arianrhod was the Celtic Goddess of fertility, rebirth and the weaving of cosmic time and fate.

Her name has been translated as silver-wheel, a symbol that represents the ever-turning wheel of the year.

The wheel may also refers to the oar wheel upon which she carried the dead back to her heavenly northern land the Corona Borealis. Here according to some Welsh traditions the dead souls waited for the Goddess and her female attendants to decide their fate before being reincarnated.

Alternative spellings of her name include Arianrhod and Arianrhod.

In Celtic mythology her uncle Math, had to keep his feet in the lap of a virgin when he was not at war. When the virgin is raped whilst the king is away on a military campaign, the Arianrhod brother suggests she would make a good replacement.

Maths demands to test her purity by making her step over his magician’s rod. As she does this she gives birth to Dylan a sea spirit who flees to the ocean and a formless blob who only her brother Gwydion notices. The moon Goddess runs away ashamed of the public humiliation. Gwydion scopes up the blob and puts him into a magical chest.

Four years later he takes the child back to the Goddess. She refuses to acknowledge the boy and curses him saying he will never be allowed a name, to bare arms or to marry any woman of this Earth.

Using trickery and magic Gwydion breaks the curses even forming Lleu Llaw a wife out of flowers.

Origins and Genealogy: Her mother was Don the great Celtic Mother Goddess and her father is said to be Beli Mawr.

She had several siblings including three sisters, Gwenna, Maelen and Elen and two brothers, Gwydion and Gifaethwy.

She bore two children Dylon and Lleu Llaw Gyffes.

Strengths: A free spirited Goddess who is not prepared to bend to any one’s expectations of her.

Weaknesses: She is vindictive and unable to let go of the past.

 

Arianrhod’s  Symbolism

She is usually depicted as a pale skinned, fair haired Goddess .

Her symbols include the Silver wheel, weaving implements the full moon and the Corona Borealis.

Sacred Bird: The Goddess shape-shifted into a large wise owl which enabled her to see into the dark depths of the human soul.

Sacred Plant: Ivy.

Spiders are also associated with this Goddess as she is seen as a weaver of fate.

 

Arianrhod’s Archetype

The Mother: This Archetype 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.

This Celtic moon Goddess is a Mother Goddess as she is a fertility Goddess. However in her role as a mother she represents the shadow aspect not even wishing to acknowledge her children’s rights and existence.

 

Source:

Goddess-Guide.com

 

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Odin’s Sacrifice To Give the World The Runes

Odin’s Sacrifice To Give the World The Runes

 

In the Havamal (“Sayings of the High One”), Odin recorded the time he spent learning the magic from runes.

 

  138 I know that I hanged on a windy tree
nine long nights
wounded with a spear, dedicated to Odin,
myself to myself,
on that tree of which no man knows
from where its roots run.

139 No bread did they give me nor a drink from a horn
downward I peered;
I took up the runes, screaming I took them,
then I fell back from there.

Havamal from Poetic Edda
translated by Carolyne Larrington

 

On the windy days, Odin was hanging from the branch of Yggdrasill, the cosmic World Tree, with a rope around his neck. He was also suffering from a wound that was pierced by his own spear (Gungnir).

Odin remained there for nine days and nine nights. And in the next line [140], Odin learned nine mighty spells, from his grandfather Bolthor, as well as drinking from the precious mead from Odrerir. The number nine was also significant, in term of symbolism and magic.

From lines 144-145, he not only speaks of carving the runes, but also of sacrifice. It was believed that you could only learn the magic spells from the runes if you were dead. And since it was he who wanted to learn the runes, a sacrifice was needed. Odin paid the sacrifice himself. Which is why he was hanging with a hangman’s noose around his neck, so that is why Odin had acquired the name – Hanga-tyr (“god of the hanged”).

The ninth night coincided with the festival of May Eve (April 30), otherwise known as Walpurgis’ Night, where Odin mastered his ninth and final spell, which the hanged god ritually died. During this final night, all light were extinguished with his supposedly death. It was at this time that chaos and the spirit world reigned supreme and the witchcraft or sorcery is most potent. Odin’s death lasted until midnight, and then light would return to the world. Like the Celtic Beltane or May Day, the night was celebrated with large bonfires lighted around the countryside.

In the Eddiac poem, Sigrdrifumal (“Lay of Sigrdrifa”), the Valkyrie Sigrdrifa (generally known as Brynhild) was punished for letting the wrong king die in battle, so Odin had drugged her to sleep. She would have to marry a mortal when she was wakened, but she refused to marry anyone unless he was a hero who has no fear. Sigrdrifa informed Odin that she would teach this hero about the runes of powers. From lines 5-19, Sigrdrifa listed several spells using runes. They were victory-runes, ale-runes, helping-runes, sea-runes, limb-runes, speech-runes, mind-runes and book-runes.

The most interesting is the victory-runes, when you wish for victory in battle or combat. Sigrdrifa suggested that runes should be cut into sword’s hilts, blade-guard and plates, then invoking the name of Tyr. Tyr is the god of war, though Odin also used the name Tyr, such as Sigtyr, which means god of victory or god of war.

It is interesting that the origin of sacrificing by hanging victim had existed and written some hundreds of years before the Havamal was written. According to Tacitus, a Roman historian (fl. AD 100), he recorded an older tradition practised by the Cimbri, an ancient Germanic tribe. The Cimbri sacrificed their victims to Wodan (Woden), the Germanic form of Odin (some called him by his Roman name, Mercury), by hanging their victims over a cauldron. The priestess then cut the hanged victims’ throats, so that they would bleed in the cauldron, before their bodies were thrown into sacred lakes.

This custom was practised by the Cimbri had nothing to do with learning runes, but the sacrifices were used as a mean to appease Wodan (Odin).

 

Source:
Timeless Myths

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Odin’s Thirst for Knowledge and Power

Odin’s Thirst for Knowledge and Power

Knowledge is power, so the saying goes. Which means that secret knowledge is secret power.

Odin did not seek knowledge for its own sake. Rather that he tried to find a way to circumvent the destruction of the gods and the world he helped to create. Odin learned from the seeress Sibyl and the Norns that gods will fight a final battle against the frost-giants at Ragnarök. Few gods will escape death and destruction. Odin was one of them doomed to die.

Odin seemed obsessed with Ragnarök, as it can be seen in several poems of the Poetic Edda: Voluspa (“Sibyl’s Prophecy”), Havamal (“Sayings of the High One”), and Vafthrudnismal (“Sayings of Vafthrudnir”).

Odin tried to gain knowledge and power by speaking to wise people, such as seers, prophets, kings, and philosophers, as he did in the three poems I mentioned above.

Odin had several means of gaining news from around the world. One of the means of gaining knowledge comes from his two ravens – Hugin (“Thought”) and Munin (“Memory”). These two birds fly throughout the world, each day. Then they fly back giving Odin news of what was happening anywhere around the world, while he sat on Hlidskialf, his throne, in the hall of Valaskialf.

Hlidskialf also allowed Odin to see what was happening around the world without moving from the throne.

Of all the gods, Odin was one who tried to secure knowledge, no matter what. Odin will try everything he can to gain knowledge. Odin will resort to deception, betrayal and murder. Odin was the breaker of oaths, since he would break his vows, especially if he could gain advantages from it.

 

Source:

Timeless Myths

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