The Goddesses

Deity of the Day for January 23rd is Calliope, Greek Muse

Deity of the Day

Calliope

Greek Muse

The Greek muse Calliope was, along with her other eight sisters, the muses, the daughter of Zeus and of the Titaness Mnemosyne.

She was the oldest and the wisest of the muses. She was considered the muse of epic poetry and of eloquence and was often depicted as holding a writing tablet and a stylus or a scroll and with a golden crown on her head.

Calliope was thought to be the muse who had inspired Homer to write the Illiad and the Odyssey. Some even think that she was Homer’s real mother.

Her most famous son is Orpheus, whose father was the king Oeagrus of Thrace. Orpheus lived with his mother on mount Parnassus. God Apollo taught him to play the lyre and his mother taught him to make the verses (but some consider Apollo as his father).

Some say that Zeus appointed Calliope as a judge in the dispute between Persephone and Aphrodite over the handsome Adonis. Calliope decided that Adonis should spend half of the year with Aphrodite and the other half with Persephone. But the goddess of love was not satisfied with this arrangement, so she made the Thracian women kill Calliope’s son, Orpheus.

Calliope is also considered the mother of Linus, another famous singer in Greek mithology.

It is also said that the muse of heroic poetry had children – the Corybantes – with her own father, Zeus, but in other versions the Corybantes took care of baby Zeus, so they can’t possibly be his children.

 

Source:

Greek Gods and Goddesses

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Deities of the Day for January 20th is The Norns

Deities of the Day

The Norns

 

The Norns are amongst the most powerful and mysterious beings known in the cosmos, and in fact they are not even unique to the Norse pantheon, as an identical triad of sisters are extant in the Greek pantheon, where they are known as the Fates. The Norns and the Fates may very well be the same beings, with power that extends over all pantheons and all sentient beings anywhere in the universe. Though the Norns are described in the myths as the three goddesses of destiny, it’s quite clear they are not so much deities as personifications of the universal force of Fate, Destiny, or Kismet (take your pick of terminology), with each of the sisters representing a different aspect of time as mortals experience it in seemingly linear fashion–Urd represents the past, Verdnadi represents the present along with destiny in general, and Skuld represents the future. They are visualized by both the Norse and the Greeks in the form of three enigmatic sisters of variant ages (sometimes, but not always, as elderly) who are garbed in hooded robes.  They are said to weave the tapestry of destiny for all sentient beings in the cosmos, including the deities themselves, which is why even the most powerful of the Asgardians respects their power and scope of influence. Though predestination is unknown to the Norse, and free will is believed to predominate our sphere of existence, certain events can be foredestined, but the individual decisions made by various beings during the course of their lives will determine to what degree–if any–these events will be actualized on any given timeline. Despite the existence of free will, the Norns nevertheless possess the power to greatly influence the course of events and to insure a beneficial outcome for the universe in general in most cases. They are said to often congregate before the Well of Urd (I am not sure why this celestial well was named after this particular sister), located in some far distant reaches of Asgard, but more likely in some realm that is accessible from but not actually within any of the Nine Worlds of Norse cosmology, since these beings could interact with deities of other pantheons who resided in otherworldly realms that were entirely outside of the Nine Worlds (such as Olympus, where the Greek deities live). It would appear that wells were for some reason archetypal symbols of areas where great knowledge or forces of various sorts could be accessed (note the Well of Mimir, also).  This is possibly related to the fact that wells played such an important role in the material realm of humanity in ages past, since they provided life-sustaining water to those who lived in these agrarian societies of previous eras.

 

Forces of the universe have always been a major part of the mythos of various faith systems, and polytheistic faiths have often perceived them as able to manifest as sentient beings who are interpreted by mortals to be particularly powerful and mysterious deities.  Even the proper deities give reverence to these great forces, because though some of the gods and goddesses are able to tap into and control these forces to a great extent, they nevertheless remain subject to their universal influence just as their mere mortal followers are. This is implicit in the story of Ragnarok, as Odin went to great lengths to try and prevent this destined cataclysm that would destroy all the Nine Worlds of Norse cosmology, but according to the myths he was ultimately helpless to prevent it. This would appear to make it clear that even the most powerful of the deities must to some degree bow to the great Universal Forces (which includes Fate/Destiny/Kismet, Death, Eternity, Order, Chaos), or at the very least being required to work with these forces rather than rising above them entirely.  For this reason, I fear the Norns and the force of the universe they represent more than any single deity (including Odin, Loki, and Hela), and I often feel helpless beneath their irresistible metaphorical heel. However, I am also well aware that free will is another powerful force in the universe to be reckoned with, and I realize that I can affect the world I live in by the wisest possible decisions that I make, as well as by calling upon various of the deities, along with the Norns themselves, to do my best to control my destiny and forge it into something positive for both myself and for the greater good.

 

Source:

Shrine To The Gods of Asgard

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Deity of the Day for January 15th – Banba, Irish Goddess

Deity of the Day

Banba

 

In Irish mythology, Banba (modern spelling: Banbha, pronounced [ˈbˠanˠəvˠə]), daughter of Ernmas of the Tuatha Dé Danann, is the patron goddess of Ireland.

She was part of an important triumvirate of goddesses. According to Seathrún Céitinn she worshipped Macha, who is also sometimes named as a daughter of Ernmas. The two goddesses may therefore be seen as equivalent. Céitinn also refers to a tradition that Banbha was the first person to set foot in Ireland before the flood, in a variation of the legend of Cessair.

In the ‘Tochomlad mac Miledh a hEspain i nErind: no Cath Tailten’, it is related that as the Milesians were journeying through Ireland, ‘they met victorious Banba among her troop of faery magic hosts’ on Senna Mountain, the stony mountain of Mes. A footnote identifies this site as Slieve Mish in Chorca Dhuibne, County Kerry. The soil of this region is a non-leptic podzol. If the character of Banbha originated in an earth-goddess, non-leptic podzol may have been the particular earth-type of which she was the deification.

The LÉ Banba (CM11), a ship in the Irish Naval Service (now decommissioned), was named after her.

Initially, she could have been a goddess of war as well as a fertility goddess.

 

Source:
Wikipedia

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WOTC Extra – A Few Of The Hearth Goddesses


Egyptian Comments & Graphics

A FEW OF THE HEARTH GODDESS

The goddess of hearth and fire dwells within every hearth, whether large or small. In many ancient religions, a fire was kept constantly burning to represent the presence of the goddess. These would be put out and relit with great ceremony on special occasions.

Hestia

In Greek myth the hearth goddess is Hestia. She refused a throne on Olympus to look after the hearth, and never took part in the wars and arguments of the gods. Instead she was the calm centre, the safe haven of the home, where people could seek refuge and shelter. She was worshipped as that centre, whether the centre of the city, the house, even the centre of the world, the omphalos (‘the navel’) at Delphi. As the domestic hearth is the centre of the home, the hearth of the gods is the centre of the cosmos. According to Plato the twelve Olympian gods – who represent the twelve constellations of the zodiac – circle the House of Heaven, while Hestia remains at the centre, tending the hearth, which is called ‘the Everlasting Place’, the still heart of creation around which everything else revolves.

She is the gentlest and most principled of all the gods, and the hearth is both her altar and shrine. She represents security and the solemn duty of hospitality. She presided over all hearth and altar fires, and was worshipped every day with prayers before and after meals. Her hearth was in the care of the woman of the house and before each meal an offering thrown onto the fire. Each city had a public hearth dedicated to her, and in new cities the public hearth would be lit from that of another city; this ensured that every city had a living heart and spirit (which is something that new cities often seem to lack today).

Hestia was the first born of the Olympian deities and last to be released by her father Cronos (Father Time), who had swallowed all of his offspring to prevent them from usurping his throne. Thus it is said that she is both the beginning and the end- alpha and omega. Her name, according to Plato, means ‘the essence of things'; a formless core symbolised by the flame, an essence that flows through everything that has life.

Vesta

Vesta is the virgin fire goddess of Rome, equivalent to the Greek Hestia. She refused a place in heaven, preferring to remain on Earth, tending the fires in homes and temples. She was worshipped in private households and every day, during a meal, a small cake was thrown on the fire for her; it was good luck if it burnt with a crackle. She was also worshipped in an important state cult, maintained in a sacred building on the Forum Romanum with a circular chamber housing an eternal flame that was never allowed to die out. It is said that the cult was founded by king Numa Pompilius (715-673 BCE) and the sacred fire burned until 394 CE. Vesta is usually depicted as an austere woman, wearing a long dress and with her head covered. In her left hand, she holds a sceptre. She represents shelter and the safety and security of life.
Vesta’s temple was served by six chaste priestesses called the Vestal Virgins. When a position became vacant, the Pontifex Maximus (‘high priest’) would select a girl from candidates offered by the best Patrician families. She had to be between the age of six and ten, fair of face and without physical defect or blemish. The new priestess was then taken by the hand with the words “I take you, you shall be the priestess of Vesta and you shall fulfil the sacred rites for the safety of the Roman people”. Her hair would be cut, and then she would be dressed in bridal white, with a white fillet binding her hair and a white veil. During the period she was to serve as a Vestal, the priestess undertook to keep a vow of chastity. After thirty years, Vestals were able to leave and marry if they wished; their elevated positions and personal wealth ensured that they were much sought after as wives.

While in service the Vestal Virgins enjoyed enormous privileges: their person was sacred, they were free from the control of the pater, and they were allowed to own and dispose of property as they saw fit. They even had the prerogative of freeing criminals sentenced to death. When they went out, fasces were carried before them to symbolise their authority.

The Vestals’ chief function was to tend the ignis inextinctus (‘undying fire’) and the priestess who neglected her duty was flogged. The Romans regarded hearth and home as sacrosanct, the foundation on which the stability of Roman society rested. The Hearth of Vesta symbolised the spirit and permanence of Rome itself: to offend against it was to bring bad luck to Rome. If the fire went out, it had to be rekindled in the ancient way, by the use of friction. The cult of Vesta probably originated in tribal society when a fire was the central focus of the village. This may have been attended by women chosen as its priestesses, forerunners of the Vestal Virgins. Vesta symbolises the purity of fire, so it is appropriate that her priestesses should be virgins.

Brighid

Brighid is pan-Celtic goddess, appearing as Brighid or Brigit in Ireland, Brigantia in Northern England, Bride in Scotland, and Brigandu in Brittany. Her name is variously interpreted as meaning ‘Fiery Arrow’, ‘The Bright One’ and ‘the Powerful One’ or ‘The High One’. She is a fire/dawn goddess born at sunrise when immediately a tower of flame emerged from her forehead that stretched from earth to heaven. She is the daughter of the Dagda (‘good god’) and the wife of Bres. Her face is either pied, half youthful and half crone, or half beautiful and half ugly.

Brighid is a triple goddess: the Brighid of poetry, prophecy and inspiration who invented Ogham; the Brighid of healing waters and midwifery; and lastly the Brighid of fire who oversees the hearth and the forge and who is the patroness of craftsmen and women. This triplication was represented by the Druidic sign of awen (‘inspiration’), known as the fiery arrows of Brighid since it is represented by three shafts of sunlight. It was likely Brighid who inspired the line in the famous Song of Amergin: “I am a fire in the head.” She also has aspects as a goddess of fertility, livestock and warfare.

Her festival is Imbolc (2nd February) also called Oimelc (‘ewe’s milk’) which marked the first stirrings of spring when young sheep were born and when ewes came into milk. On this day, the first of the Celtic spring, she was said to use her white wand to “breathe life into the mouth of the dead winter” meaning the white fire of the sun awakened the land.  In Christian times the festival became Candlemas, when church candles were blessed. Imbolc remained a popular occasion in Celtic areas and most of its customs are plainly Pagan. Brighid was invited into the home by the woman of the house in the form of a doll or corn dolly dressed in maiden white. Oracles were taken from the ashes of the hearth fire which people examined for a sign that Brighid had visited i.e. a mark that looked like a swan’s footprint: if found, it was a lucky omen (the swan was an ancient attribute of the goddess Brighid). Many Irish homes still have a Brighid’s cross hung up. This four equal-armed cross was originally a solar symbol.

The goddess’s chief shrine was at Kildare (Cull Dara = ‘Temple of the Oak’) where a perpetual flame was kept burning behind a circular hedge of shrubs or thorns. It was tended by a college of nineteen virgin priestesses called Daughters of the Flame. Each day a different priestess was responsible for maintaining the flame from sundown till sundown. On the twentieth day, Brighid herself tended the flame. No man was allowed to enter the shrine or have contact with the priestesses; any male who did went mad. With the coming of Christianity, the priestesses became nuns of the abbey said to have been founded by ‘Saint Brigit’ and kept the flame burning for another thousand years, until the Vatican decreed it was merely a Pagan ritual and ordered it extinguished. During the Vatican modernization program of the 1960’s St. Brigit was decanonised.

Hearth Witch (The Eight Paths of Magic)
Anna Franklin

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Deity of the Day for December 30th is Eirene, Greek Goddess of Peace

Deity of the Day

the

Eirene

Greek Goddess of Peace

 

Eirene Greek goddess of peace was said to be the daughter of Zeus and Themis. She was one of the Horae, and her sisters were Eunomia (goddess of order, law and legislation) and Dike (goddess of moral justice). The Horae were also goddesses of the seasons (spring, summer and autumn in Greece) and Irene was the goddess associated with spring and all things blooming.

She was represented with a cornucopia, a sceptre and a torch. In art, she was depicted as a beautiful young woman. In one of the most famous statues from the Greek antiquity, Eirene Greek goddess of peace holds in her left arm baby Ploutos, the god of wealth and plenty. This statue was sculpted by Cephisodotus the Elder (father of Praxiteles) and was located in the agora of Athens, to celebrate the Common Peace of 371 BC (i.e. peace between all parts involved in a war, not just bilateral peace established between two cities). This statue was a reminder for everyone that properity flourishes when there is peace.

In Aristophanes’ comedy called Peace, Trygaeus, a citizen of Athens, flies on a giant dung beetle to the house of the gods in heavens, because he wants to plead with them to restore peace on earth. There, he only finds Hermes, who tells him that the other gods are sick of war and of the prayers of the mortals and just went away. Only Polemos (War) lives there now. He imprisoned Peace in a cavern and we wants to grind all Greeks to paste, in a giant mortar.

When War goes looking for an adequate pestle, Trygaeus calls all Greeks to come and free Peace. All kind of Greeks, from many city-states, come to the rescue. Those who work most are the farmers, because they are those who appreciate Peace more.

In the end, Eirene/Peace is freed, but she does not want to speak to the Greeks: she is angry with them because they made her suffer. She whispers in Hermes’ ear that she offered Greeks truces, many times, but they all spoke in the assembly against her and in favour of War. Trygaeus apologizes for all his countrymen.

When he returns on earth, Trygaeus prepares a sacrifice for Eirene Greek goddess of peace, but a slave tells him not to kill the lamb on the goddess’ altar, because she hates to see blood.

The Chorus sings about how nice it is to spend winter afternoons with friends, in front of the fire and enjoying the good life in times of peace, as opposed to having to do the regimental drill in times of war.

Now, that Eirene came back to Greece, the businesses of the sickle maker and of the jar makers flourish again, while those who make weapons and war equipment should reconvert their object: Trygaeus suggests that spears should be turned into vine poles, helmet crests should be used as dusters and breastplates as chamber pots!

 

Source:

Greek Gods and Goddesses

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Deity of the Day for December 29th is Jord, Norse Earth Goddess

Deity of the Day

Jord

Norse Earth Goddess

The goddess of the uncivilized, uncultivated, wild earth, Jord is little mentioned in any of the myths. Her name means simply “Earth”, and she is the daughter of Nott, the goddess of Night, and her second husband Annar, an island-giant whose name may or may not mean “Water”. One could metaphorize from here and see the daughter of Night and Water, dark and flowing, whose strongest connection is the fertile earth. In a way, Jord is the ultimate example of the earth-giantess, the being that is entirely in touch with the fertile soil. She is also not a “wifely” goddess. Jord seems to be very centered in herself and her fertility, and though she might willingly mate with a man, she would not center herself around being his partner.

Ari, a spamadhr, writes: “Ah, Jord! What can I say about her except to sing her praises? She lives in the area of Jotunheim that is the most fertile, and her very touch causes trees to fruit and seeds to sprout. In her own way she is just as much a mistress of fertility as any of the Vanir gods. Long hair and eyes the chocolate of rich, turned earth, skin darker than that of most Jotnar. Nothing small about her — belly of billowing female flesh, breasts that could drown a man, hips broad enough to spill forth triplets with ease.

She is very often pregnant by her various lovers. It is probably impossible to calculate how many children she has borne. She is like the Earth itself, drawing you into her strong, soft, motherly embrace. Probably one of the most generous and giving etin-women in existence. I can see why Odin fell in love with her. I can also see why he left her — a man could get lost in her bed and never come out again to do any brave, heroic deeds. I have to wonder if Thor’s ambivalent relationships with giantesses suggest how hard it was to cut the apron strings with such a powerful mother.”

It is said that Jord was Odin’s first consort, before taking an “official” Aesir wife. Perhaps he found her lushness irresistible; perhaps he was acting out an archetypal role of sky-father mating with the Earth-mother. Their son, Thor, is certainly one of the Aesir, but he is in many ways the most giantlike of the lot of them, both in appearance and in behavior.  Jord is also said to have borne a second son by Odin named Meili, but no one knows anything about him.

Alternate names for her are Fjorgyn and Hlodyn; the first name also refers to a parent of Frigga, so it is very likely that she is Jord’s daughter, regardless of whether Fjorgyn is Jord or a male consort of hers. Many of the folks who work with Jord have been told this by her. As Frigga is a dignified and maternal goddess, it is easy to see her as the more civilized daughter of the wild earth mother. This would make Frigga an older half-sister of her stepson Thor. One can also see Jord passing the young and eager Odin off to her daughter for more civilizing. Whichever it might be, if this is the case, Odin did the tribal equivalent of marrying his stepdaughter, trading the motherly but independent Jord in for her beautiful Asa daughter. Frigga, in her turn, was much more willing to assume the role of Royal Wife and Consort, making herself the mistress of Odin’s halls and realms.

 

Source:

Northern Paganism.org

 

Categories: Articles, Daily Posts, Deities, The Goddesses | 2 Comments

Deity of the Day for December 24th is Mehet-Weret

Deity of the Day

Mehet-Weret

 

Mehet-Weret (mḥ.t-wr.t) is a goddess of the sky in Ancient Egyptian religion. Her name means “Great Flood”.

She was mentioned in the Pyramid Texts. In Ancient Egyptian creation myths, she gives birth to the sun at the beginning of time, and in art she is portrayed as a cow with a sun disk between her horns. She is associated with the goddesses Neith, Hathor, and Isis, all of whom have similar characteristics, and like them she could be called the “Eye of Ra”.

Mehet-Weret is primarily known as being the “Celestial Cow” or “Cow Goddess” because of her physical characteristics, but she contributes to the world in more ways than that. She is also the Goddess of Water, Creation, and Rebirth; in Egyptian mythology, Mehet-Weret is one of the main components in the making and survival of life.

Origin

Mehet-Weret was responsible for raising the sun into the sky every day. Not only did this goddess produce the light for the crops of those who worshipped her, she was also what caused the annual Nile River flood that fertilized each of the crops with her plentiful water. In Patricia Monaghan’s The Encyclopedia of Goddesses and Heroines, she describes Mehet-Weret as the Goddess of Creation because she gives birth to the sun every day, creating life for all those who worship her.[4]

In Egyptian mythology, Mehet-Weret was known as the Goddess of Water and Creation, but Geraldine Pinch also introduces the idea that she was a piece of the nighttime sky. She is referenced as being the river of stars known as the Milky Way, because of her physical traits of being the responsible for the annual flood of the Nile River.

Birthing Ra

Mehet-Weret is described as being the mother of Ra, the ancient Egyptian solar deity. As the Goddess of Creation, she gives birth to the sun every day and is the reason the world isn’t in the dark. In her physical description, she is described as having a sun disk between her horns; in typical motherly fashion, she protects her son Ra and keeps him close to her.

Physical description

Mehet-Weret is described as having a woman’s body with a cow’s head, and as such, is sometime called the Cow Goddess. A sun disk lays between the horns on her head, which connects her to the creation of the sun.

Sarcophagus of Khonsu

Mehet-Weret is featured on the sarcophagus of Khonsu. The hieroglyphics painted on the outside of the sarcophagus are yet another way to protect the deceased; they are used to paint a journey to the afterlife for the pharaoh. Even in hieroglyphics, Mehet-Weret is dressed in many ritual artifacts as a way to keep her goddess-like standing. The picture features a human bowing and adoring her; this was meant as a way to signify her importance as a divine being. In this picture, Mehet-Weret signifies that after his death, the pharaoh will be reborn into the afterlife.

Relationships

Hathor

“Myth of the Heavenly Cow” by Nadine Guilhou tells the story of a separate goddess that is related to Mehet-Weret who is named Hathor. Hathor is seen as more troublesome than Mehet-Weret, because she creates chaos in the human world. The title of the story of the “Myth of the Heavenly Cow” is also known as “The Destruction of Mankind” because Hathor was sent to kill the rebels who acted against the sun god Ra and his plans to rearrange the cosmos. While Hathor is the bloodthirsty warrior cow, focused on the destruction of humankind, Mehet-Weret is responsible for creating some of the most basic needs for humankind: sun and water.

Death and afterlife

The goddess Mehet-Weret was featured in a number of spells in The Book of the Dead, including spell 17. In this spell she was credited for the birth of Re, also known as the Sun God Ra. But she is also the one who protects Re, because it was believe by the ancient people of Egypt that the sun died every day and was reborn by Mehet-Weret. She was responsible for taking him into the underworld, or night because of the darkness, and then bringing him back to the world the next day, almost as if in the afterlife. The people of Egypt believe that Mehet-Weret was the Goddess of Creation and Rebirth, so she was featured in one of the spells to help the humans make their way into the afterlife. The Book of the Dead is an important text in the Egyptian culture because it allows the audience to understand the different journeys that the ancient Egyptians believed in to get to the afterlife.

 

Source:
Wikipedia

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Deity of the Day for December 22nd is Eirene, The Greek Peace Goddess

Deity of the Day

Eirene

The Greek Peace Goddess

 

Areas of Influence: Eirene was the Greek peace Goddess. She is also the patroness of wealth and prosperity, this is because in times of peace people have the opportunity to plough the fields and make and sell, goods and services. War only breeds famine and destruction.

Her name can also be spelt Irene and Irini

She was one of the three Horae who are the maintainers of law and order that a stable society depends upon. They were also the Goddesses of the seasons and the natural divisions of time. In the lliad the Horae are also described as the guardians of the gates to Olympus.

Origins and Genealogy: She was the daughter of Zeus and Themis. She had two sisters Eunomia (order) and Dike (Justice) who were other two members of the Horae.

Strengths: A peacemaker.

Weaknesses: As a personification of peace and wealth she has no other distinctive personality traits.

Symbolism: Often shown as a young woman holding an olive branch or Hermes’s staff. She wore ears of corn that represented wealth and prosperity. In one statue by Kephisodotos she is shown holding the infant Ploutus (Wealth).

Sacred Animal/Bird/Plant: Corn and the olive tree.

Roman Equivalent: Pax.

Eirene’s Archetype

The Diplomat/Peacemaker

The Diplomat Archetype is able to mediate between different groups, as they are able to quickly assess the situation, understanding both sides point of view. Helping them to find a middle ground upon which they can both agree.

The Shadow Diplomat manipulates both sides to achieve their own personal agenda.

This is the most fitting Archetype for the Greek Peace Goddess as it is through successful diplomacy that conflicts can be resolved and wars averted.

 

How To Work With This Archetype

The Diplomat/Peacemaker

To have the Diplomat as one of you main archetypes you do not have to be a diplomat by profession. However you must have a life-long commitment to resolving disputes and bringing people together. This can often occur within families where one member of the family is constantly trying to keep the peace and the family together.

Check you are not stepping into this Archetype’s shadow by asking yourself if it is you who will benefit most from the outcome you are steering the different sides towards?

 

Source:
Goddess-Guide.com

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