Category Archives: The Gods

Deity of the Day for Beltane is The Green Man, Spirit of the Forest

Deity of the Day for Beltane

The Green Man

Spirit of the Forest

For our ancient ancestors, many spirits and deities were associated with nature, wildlife, and plant growth. After all, if you had just spent the winter starving and freezing, when spring arrived it was certainly time to give thanks to whatever spirits watched over your tribe. The spring season, particularly around Beltane, is typically tied to a number of pre-Christian nature spirits. Many of these are similar in origin and characteristics, but tend to vary based on region and language.

In English folklore, few characters stand out — or are as recognizable — as the Green Man.

Strongly connected to Jack in the Green and the May King, as well as John Barleycorn during the fall harvest, the figure known as the Green Man is a god of vegetation and plant life. He symbolizes the life that is found in the natural plant world, and in the earth itself. Consider, for a moment, the forest. In the British Isles, the forests a thousand years ago were vast, spreading for miles and miles, farther than the eye could see. Because of the sheer size, the forest could be a dark and scary place.

However, it was also a place you had to enter, whether you wanted to or not, because it provided meat for hunting, plants for eating, and wood for burning and building. In the winter, the forest must have seemed quite dead and desolate… but in the spring, it returned to life. It would be logical for early peoples to have applied some sort of spiritual aspect to the cycle of life, death and rebirth.

Folklorist James Frazer associates the Green Man with May Day celebrations, and with the character of Jack in the Green, who is a more modern adaptation of the Green Man. Jack is a more specifically defined version of the nature spirit than the earlier Green Man archetype. Frazer speculates that while some form of the Green Man was probably present in a variety of separate early cultures, he developed independently into a variety of newer, more modern characters. This would explain why in some areas he is Jack, while in others he is Robin of the Hood, or Herne the Hunter in different parts of England. Likewise, other, non-British cultures seem to have similar nature deities.

The Green Man is typically portrayed as a human face surrounded by dense foliage. Such images appear as far back as the eleventh century, in church carvings. As Christianity spread, the Green Man went into hiding, with stonemasons leaving secret images of his face around cathedrals and churches. He enjoyed a revival during the Victorian era, when he became popular with architects, who used his visage as a decorative aspect in buildings.

Legends connected to the archetype of the Green Man are everywhere. In the Arthurian legend, the tale of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is a prime example. The Green Knight represents the pre-Christian nature religion of the British Isles. Although he originally confronts Gawain as an enemy, the two later are able to work together – perhaps a metaphor for the assimilation of British Paganism with the new Christian theology. Many scholars also suggest that the tales of Robin Hood evolved from Green Man mythology. Allusions to the Green Man can even be found in J.M. Barrie’s classic Peter Pan – an eternally youthful boy, dressed in green and living in the forest with the wild animals. Today, some traditions of Wicca interpret the Green Man as an aspect of the Horned God, Cernunnos.

 

Author:

Article found on & owned by About.com

 

Candle Magick for Helping Plants grow

This spell is from the Coven Life Beltane gathering. Should be performed in a sacred circle or a sacred space for the most energy to empower the candles.

On your altar set a green candle on your right and a yellow candle on your left.

Using your pointer fingers place one on each candle on each candle you say,

“I empower these candles with love and light,

to keep my plants healthy from blight.

They will bless my gardens from sunrise to sunrise,

My harvest from, my plants will be my prize.

With your finger from your power hand (the hand you write with) on the green candle you say, “Morrigan I ask you to infuse this candle with your power and energy to help my plants be bountiful and prosper.”

With your finger from your power hand (the hand you write with) on the the yellow candle you say, “Green Man I ask you to infuse this candle with your power and energy to help my plants be bountiful and prosper.”

These are my words, This is my will, so mote it be.

Repeat spell three times over both candles except the last line that is in green. That line is only said at the end of the spell.

You will have excess energy make sure to ground it to Mother Earth is help her and all living things on her to heal. If you have any questions about the spell please write to me ladybeltane@aol.com BEFORE starting the spell. Thank you

Copyright 2015 Carla Schultz-Ruehl.

Holly Bush

HOLLY

(This is just one type of Holly bush. There are a few different varieties.)

The holly was a deeply masculine symbol to the Celts, one that represented the God and his polarity with the Goddess. Its magical and ritual uses are numerous, and so are its gifts.

Often we don’t know what it is we really need. We’re usually pretty sure we know what we want, but when we get it we end up reminded of the old adage, “Be careful what you wish for.”

During the Holly Moon, approach the as the embodiment of your father God, and ask if you may take a sprig of the plant. Place it under your pillow for the next seven night. As you ready yourself to fall asleep, pray to the God for enlightenment. Look to your dreams for answers. During the day be aware of things you haven’t noticed before or opportunities that present themselves unexpectedly.

Copyright Edian McCoy Llewellyn’s Witches’ Datebook 2004 Page 83

 

Deity of the Day for April 17th is Atlas

Deity of the Day


Atlas

Atlas was one of the Titans, son of Iapetus and Clymene, and brother of Prometheus, Epimetheus and Menoetius. During the Titanomachy, the War between the Titans and the Olympian gods, Atlas and his brother Menoetius sided with the Titans, while Prometheus and Epimetheus helped the Olympian gods. Atlas was the leader in the batttle; however, being on the losing side, Zeus condemned him to eternally stand on the western side of Gaea (the earth) holding Uranus (the sky) on his shoulders. Therefore, the contemporary depiction of Atlas holding the Earth on his shoulders is a misconception.

He was the Titan god of astronomy and navigation and he was married to his sister, Phoebe. He had numerous children, including the Hesperides, the Hyades, Hyas, the Pleiades, Calypso, Dione and Maera. He was associated with the Atlas mountains in northwest Africa. According to a later myth, when Perseus went to that region, a giant named Atlas tried to drive him away. So, Perseus revealed Medusa’s head, whom he had already killed, thus turning Atlas into stone (the Atlas mountains themselves).

In the myth of the Twelve Labours of Heracles, the demigod was sent to bring the golden apples from Hera’s garden, tended by the Hesperides and guarded by the dragon Ladon. Heracles asked Atlas to bring the apples to him; during that time, he would replace him in holding up the sky. Atlas went and brought the apples to Heracles; he then attempted to trick him into holding the skies forever. However, Heracles managed to evade the trick and left with the apples.

 

Source:
Greek Mythology

Flashback 2001Beltane

BELTANE 2001

An example of a simple Beltane Altar

“Beltane honors the sacred marriage of the God and Goddess, whose union will produce the harvests to come. It also celebrates the start of summer in full bloom. For this ritual, gather or purchase wildflowers. With raffia, twine or string tie the flowers together in long garlands, ten feet in length or longer is perfect. These don’t have to look professional crafted. They only need to hold together for the purpose of your ritual. When you have completed the garlands, go out to a park or wooded area. Touch the land and its plants and trees with your hands, allowing yourself to connect with the plusing lifeforce of the area. Look around for items that are either feminine or masculine in their energy and begin to link them together with the flowery garlands to honor the union of the divine male and female energies. For example, you can link stones to oak trees, riverbanks to abandoned fire pits, or flowering plants to spiky ones.”

Copyright 2001 Edain McCoy Llewellyn’s Witches’ Datebook 20001 Page 67

Deity of the Day for March 23 is Lenus

Deity of the Day

Lenus

 

Lenus was a Celtic healing god worshipped mainly in eastern Gaul, where he was almost always identified with the Roman god Mars. He was an important god of the Treveri tribe, who had large sanctuaries at medicinal springs at Trier and the Martberg by Pommern in what is now Germany. Two dedications to him are also known from southwestern Britain (Chedworth and Caerwent). Edith Wightman characterizes him as “one of the best examples of a Teutates, or god of the people, equated with Mars—protector of the tribe in battle, but also […] bestower of health and general good fortune” (p. 211). His sanctuary ‘Am Irminenwingert’ at Trier had a large temple, baths, smaller shrines and a theatre; that on the Martberg also included a large variety of buildings, probably including rooms for health-seeking pilgrims to stay. Despite his associations with healing, Lenus Mars is depicted classically as a warrior with Corinthian helmet in a bronze statuette from the Martberg.

His name most often appears in inscriptions as ‘Lenus Mars’, rather than ‘Mars Lenus’ as would be expected from other most syncretized names. At Trier, Lenus Mars’s divine partners were the Celtic god Ancamna and the Roman Victoria, as well as the Xulsigiae, who are perhaps water nymphs. An inscription from Kaul in Luxembourg appears to invoke Lenus Mars ‘Veraudunus’ along with the Celtic god Inciona.

Lenus was not the only Celtic god identified with Mars by the Treveri; others, such as Iovantucarus (apparently a protector of youth), Intarabus, Camulos, and Loucetios were identified with Mars and perhaps, by extension, with Lenus. His name occasionally appears as ‘Mars Laenus’; the more usual form ‘Lenus Mars’ is accompanied by the epithets Arterancus and Exsobinus on one inscription each.

In Britain, Mars Lenus may have been identified with Ocelus Vellaunus, on the evidence of this inscription on the base of a statue:

DEO MARTI LENO SIVE OCELO VELLAVN ET NVM AVG M NONIVS ROMANVS OB IMMVNITAT COLLEGNI D D S D GLABRIONE ET HOMVLO COS X K SEPT

To the god Mars Lenus or Ocelus Vellaunus and to the Numen of the Augustus, M. Monius Romanus dedicated this from the privilege of the college during the consulship of Glabrio and Homulus ten days before the Calends of September.

 

Source:
Wikipedia

Blessed Mabon to All Our Friends Downunder

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From WOTC to all our readers in the Southern Hemisphere we wish you a happy and blessed Mabon. We hope your gardens have given you a good harvest this year. We send love and light to help you through the deary, cold months.

I hope the information, rituals, etc that I posted today and through out the last couple of weeks has help to increase your knowledge about Mabon. I  tried to do a good mixture of information to maybe give you some new ideas on ways to celebrate.

To me Mabon is a time I serve a meal almost completely from my vegetable garden with some type of meat to round it out. I tried to sneak tofu in one year in a stir fry but my husband knew immediately it wasn’t “real” meat. I tried to explain it was a little healthier then the usual steaks he grills to go with our veggies but he didn’t go for it so he made himself a hot dog to go with the stir fry…I just shook my head and enjoyed the meal.

I use leaves from our yard, flowers from our flower beds along with a candle I made at Imbolc to decorate the table every year. The candle is blessed to give continuous thanks to Mother Earth, Ra and the four elements for all they gave to help our gardens grow. I do not grow anything that is considered a fall flower, like Mums, because of allergies. I write a new “prayer” every year to give thanks not just for the food we have been given but also for having a warm, dry home to spend the winter in (as well as all the other seasons), blankets, enough food, warm clothes and boots to keep us warm and hopefully help to keep us healthy through out the cold months to come.

During the day I take out everything I have canned or frozen from the garden say a “prayer” of thanks for the ability to grow and have enough food for the cold months.

What you will need for the blessed candle:

1 -2/5.08 cm inch votive candle in red or yellow or orange

1 candle holder or eve better a heat proof plate with extra room under the candle

Enough sand to fill the bottom of the candle holder about 1/2 or 1.3 cm in deep

The blessing/spell I empower my candle with is:

Mother Earth, Ra, Ancient powers of Air Fire Water and Earth

I empower this candle to give thanks for all we have been given from our land

I ask you all to sit at our hearth

Until this candle burns down to the sand

The candle will go out once it reaches the sand. The melted wax will mix with the sand. I take this out and bury it in one of my flower beds or vegetable garden on a rotating basis. I feel this way the candle helps bless the garden or bed I bury it in. To bury it I dig down about 3-4 inches/7.62-10.16 cm and make the hole about the same size around. I loosely pack the dirt around the candle/sand disk and then mulch the garden or bed for the cold months. When the weather warms again the wax will flow into the ground and the sand just mixes with the dirt. The wax does not hurt the growth of anything because there isn’t much of it. If you only have one garden or flower bed bury the candle/sand disk in a different corner every year, this way you do not get a waxy build up in any one place.

If you would like to read even more ideas and information for Mabon click on this link: http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/mabonrituals/

1 CANDLE MABON

 

The Legend of Mabon

“Mabon is the second of three harvest sabbats and the first dark sabbat. According to Celtic and Welsh lore, Mabon (which means “Great Son”) was the son of the Mother Goddess. As an infant, he was abducted  and imprisoned. Later,he was freed and returned to his Great Mother an the Young God, a youth in his prime. His story is appropriate for this time of year, for as Mabon disappears into the darkness and later returns, nature, too, begins to enter the darkness which now overshadows the light, until Ostara, the Spring Equinox, arrives, and the light again gains control.”

Copyright 2003 James Kamnbos Lleweylln’s Witches’ Datebook Pages 10-11