Tag Archives: Fertility

Your Daily Rune for May 6th is Ingwaz

bw-ingwaz

bw-ingwazYour Rune For Today
Ingwaz

Ingwaz signifies completion, success and fertility. Your present ambitions are about to be met. You are fecund in both mind and body.

Additional information about Today’s Rune, Ingwaz

inguz : Ing

Phonetic equivalent: ng

DIVINATORY MEANINGS: work, productivity, bounty, groundedness, balance, connection with the land

MAGICAL USES:  fertility, farming, growth, general health, balance

ASSOCIATED MYTHS & DEITIES: Freyr / Ing, Nerthus, Thor, the Vanir

ANALYSIS:  Ing is a Danish / Anglo-Saxon name for Freyr, the God of agriculture and fertility.  Agriculture represents one of the first attempts by mankind to control the environment, and the fertility of crops, animals and people has always been the primary concern and religious focus of most Pagan agrarian societies.  From the earliest Sumerian accounts to modern-day British folk custom, people throughout history have sought to ensure the success of their crops.
The vast majority of people in Western society have lost all contact and connection with the land and the process of growing things.

The spiritual consequences of this segregation from the earth have been disastrous, since most people find it difficult to relate to deity in a purely man-made environment.  The shape of this rune can be likened to that of a field, but its real significance may lie in its balance, representing the harmonious relationship between ourselves and the four elements / four directions.  Inguz reminds us of that ancient connection between the Gods and the land, and re-links (the real meaning of the ‘religion’) us with our spiritual natures through the realm of the physical.  It is quite literally a grounding rune, and by reintroducing us to the earth, it reconnects our bodies, our minds and our spirits.
ðagaz

Celebrating May Day – Beltane History

Celebrating May Day – Beltane History

 

The Fires of Tara:

Beltane kicks off the merry month of May, and has a long history. This fire festival is celebrated on May 1 with bonfires, Maypoles, dancing, and lots of good old fashioned sexual energy. The Celts honored the fertility of the gods with gifts and offerings, sometimes including animal or human sacrifice. Cattle were driven through the smoke of the balefires, and blessed with health and fertility for the coming year.

In Ireland, the fires of Tara were the first ones lit every year at Beltane, and all other fires were lit with a flame from Tara.

Roman Influences:

The Romans, always known for celebrating holidays in a big way, spent the first day of May paying tribute to their Lares, the gods of their household. They also celebrated the Floralia, or festival of flowers, which consisted of three days of unbridled sexual activity. Participants wore flowers in their hair (much like May Day celebrants later on), and there were plays, songs, and dances. At the end of the festivities, animals were set loose inside the Circus Maximus, and beans were scattered around to ensure fertility. The fire festival of Bona Dea was also celebrated on May 2nd.

A Pagan Martyr:

May 6 is the day of Eyvind Kelda, or Eyvind Kelve, in Norse celebrations. Eyvind Kelda was a Norwegian martyr who was tortured and drowned on the orders of King Olaf Tryggvason for refusing to give up his Pagan beliefs. A week later, Norwegians celebrate the Festival of the Midnight Sun, which pays tribute to the Norse sun goddess.

This festival marks the beginning of ten straight weeks without darkness.

The Greeks and Plynteria:

Also in May, the Greeks celebrated the Plynteria in honor of Athena, the goddess of wisdom and battle, and the patroness of the city of Athens (which was named after her). The Plynteria includes the ritual cleansing of Athena’s statue, along with feasting and prayers in the Parthenon. On the 24th, homage is paid to the Greek moon-goddess Artemis (goddess of the hunt and of wild animals). Artemis is a lunar goddess, equivalent to the Roman moon-goddess Diana – she is also identified with Luna, and Hecate.

The Green Man Emerges:

A number of pre-Christian figures are associated with the month of May, and subsequently Beltane. The entity known as the Green Man, strongly related to Cernunnos, is often found in the legends and lore of the British Isles, and is a masculine face covered in leaves and shrubbery. In some parts of England, a Green Man is carried through town in a wicker cage as the townsfolk welcome the beginning of summer. Impressions of the Green Man’s face can be found in the ornamentation of many of Europe’s older cathedrals, despite edicts from local bishops forbidding stonemasons from including such pagan imagery.

Jack-in-the-Green:

A related character is Jack-in-the-Green, a spirit of the greenwood. References to Jack appear in British literature back as far as the late sixteenth century. Sir James Frazer associates the figure with mummers and the celebration of the life force of trees. Jack-in-the-Green was seen even in the Victorian era, when he was associated with soot-faced chimney sweeps. At this time, Jack was framed in a structure of wicker and covered with leaves, and surrounded by Morris dancers. Some scholars suggest that Jack may have been a ancestor to the legend of Robin Hood.

Ancient Symbols, Modern Rites:

Today’s Pagans celebrate Beltane much like their ancestors did. A Beltane ritual usually involves lots of fertility symbols, including the obviously-phallic Maypole dance. The Maypole is a tall pole decorated with flowers and hanging ribbons, which are woven into intricate pattern by a group of dancers. Weaving in and out, the ribbons are eventually knotted together by the time the dancers reach the end.

In some Wiccan traditions, Beltane is a day in which the May Queen and the Queen of Winter battle one another for supremacy. In this rite, borrowed from practices on the Isle of Man, each queen has a band of supporters. On the morning of May 1, the two companies battle it out, ultimately trying to win victory for their queen. If the May Queen is captured by her enemies, she must be ransomed before her followers can get her back.

There are some who believe Beltane is a time for the faeries — the appearance of flowers around this time of year heralds the beginning of summer and shows us that the fae are hard at work. In early folklore, to enter the realm of faeries is a dangerous step — and yet the more helpful deeds of the fae should always be acknowledged and appreciated. If you believe in faeries, Beltane is a good time to leave out food and other treats for them in your garden or yard.

For many contemporary Pagans, Beltane is a time for planting and sowing of seeds — again, the fertility theme appears. The buds and flowers of early May bring to mind the endless cycle of birth, growth, death and rebirth that we see in the earth. Certain trees are associated with May Day, such as the Ash, Oak and Hawthorn. In Norse legend, the god Odin hung from an Ash tree for nine days, and it later became known as the World Tree, Yggdrasil.

If you’ve been wanting to bring abundance and fertility of any sort into your life — whether you’re looking to conceive a child, enjoy fruitfulness in your career or creative endeavors, or just see your garden bloom — Beltane is the perfect time for magical workings related to any type of prosperity.

 

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Flashback 2003 Ostara Celebration

OSTARA

An example of an Ostara altar

“Spring is a time of new beginnings, and a good time to work magic for the season ahead. Since it’s also time to plant seeds to later transplant outdoors, why not combine the two into a spell>

Choose seeds you would normally plant outdoors, like tomatoes and peppers, as well as a few herbs and plants with magical connotations, depending on what you wish to “plant” in your life in the coming season. Consult a good herbal, such as Scott Cunningham’s Magical Herbalism.

Gather all your seeds, pots, soil, etc, together and cast a circle. You might wish to invoke Demeter, Flora, or some other goddess of plants and growing things. Raise your hands over your head, and draw down the energy of the heavens and say, “Bless me, and bless what I sow in the coming season.” Then hold your hands down toward your feet and say, “Give me and mine strength and life.” Plant your seeds as you usually would; after you have planted each type of seed, meditate on what it will bring to your life, be it love, prosperity, or the joy of fresh home-grown tomatoes.”

Copyright 2001 Magenta Griffith Lleweylln’s Witches Datebook Page 55

Your Rune For January 27th is Ingwaz

bw-ingwaz

bw-ingwazYour Rune For Today

Ingwaz

Ingwaz signifies completion, success and fertility. Your present ambitions are about to be met. You are fecund in both mind and body.

 

Additional information about Today’s Rune, Ingwaz

inguz : Ing

Phonetic equivalent: ng
DIVINATORY MEANINGS: work, productivity, bounty, groundedness, balance, connection with the land
MAGICAL USES:  fertility, farming, growth, general health, balance
ASSOCIATED MYTHS & DEITIES: Freyr / Ing, Nerthus, Thor, the Vanir
ANALYSIS:  Ing is a Danish / Anglo-Saxon name for Freyr, the God of agriculture and fertility.  Agriculture represents one of the first attempts by mankind to control the environment, and the fertility of crops, animals and people has always been the primary concern and religious focus of most Pagan agrarian societies.  From the earliest Sumerian accounts to modern-day British folk custom, people throughout history have sought to ensure the success of their crops.
The vast majority of people in Western society have lost all contact and connection with the land and the process of growing things.  The spiritual consequences of this segregation from the earth have been disastrous, since most people find it difficult to relate to deity in a purely man-made environment.  The shape of this rune can be likened to that of a field, but its real significance may lie in its balance, representing the harmonious relationship between ourselves and the four elements / four directions.  Inguz reminds us of that ancient connection between the Gods and the land, and re-links (the real meaning of the ‘religion’) us with our spiritual natures through the realm of the physical.  It is quite literally a grounding rune, and by reintroducing us to the earth, it reconnects our bodies, our minds and our spirits.
ðagaz

Cast The Stones, Your Past, Present & Future Reading for Jan. 10th

Cast The Stones, Your Past, Present & Future Reading

 

bw-laguzThe Past
Laguz

Laguz is the feminine Rune. It denotes a deep sexuality and fertility. Laguz also represents that which is ever changing and renewal. You may be in a tremendous spiritual growth period.

 

bw-jeraThe Present
Jera

Jera denotes positive, recurring cycles, fertility and a time to harvest rewards from your hard work.

 

bw-ingwazThe Future
Ingwaz

Ingwaz signifies completion, success and fertility. Your present ambitions are about to be met. You are fecund in both mind and body.

Other Gods And Goddesses – Deities Of The Moon

Other Gods And Goddesses

Because the deities come from so many cultures and times, it is important to invoke only the positive qualities you need and to remember that some did reflect dark as well as benign aspects of divinity. For example, Diana, the goddess of the Moon and the hunt, is thought by most to be a sympathetic soul; but you might be surprised to learn that she would, according to myth, have her rejected lovers torn apart by her hounds. So, when setting up your icons, read about them first, and decide which are the attributes that will assist your magical workings. Some deities fit into more than one category, so I have listed them under their most significant one.

Deities Of The Moon

Invoke these for gentle increase, power and banishing energies, fertility, intuition, magick and dreams.

Arianrhod

Arianrhod is a Welsh goddess of the full moon and also of time, karma and destiny. She ruled over the realm of the Celtic Otherworld, called Caer Feddwidd, the Fort of Carousa. Here a mystical fountain of wine offered eternal health and youth for those who chose to spend their immortality in the Otherworld. She brings inspiration, renewal, health and rejuvenation, and is a focus for all magick, as she is a witch goddess.

Diana

Diana is the Roman counterpart of Artemis, and because of her strong association with the Moon in all its phases, is a goddess of fertility as well as love. Like Artemis, she is goddess of the hunt and a virgin goddess, but can be invoked in her role as an Earth goddess and as protector of women in childbirth. Her beauty and hunting skills make her a perfect focus for the pursuit of love, especially from afar.

Myesyats

Like the lunar goddesses, Myesyats, the Slavic Moon God, represented the three stages of the life cycle. He was first worshipped as a young man until he reached maturity at the full moon. With the waning phase, Myesyats passed through old age and died with the old moon, being reborn three days later. As he was the restorer of life and health, parents would pray to him to take away their children’s illnesses and family sorrows. Other sources have a female version, Myesytsa, a lovely Moon maiden who was the consort of Dazhbog the Sun God, and became mother of the stars.

Myesyats brings healing and family harmony.

Selene

Selene is the Greek goddess specially associated with the full moon, sometimes forming a triplicity with Diana and Hecate, the twin sister of Helios the Sun God. Selene rises from the sea in her chariot drawn by white horses at night and rides high in the sky in her full moon.

At the time of the full moon, she is invoked by women for fertility and by all who seek the power of intuition and inspiration.

Mother Goddesses

Mother Goddesses are for fertility, abundance of all kinds, female power and all rituals for women.

Astarte

Astarte is the supreme female divinity of the Phoenicians, goddess of love and fertility, associated with the Moon and all nature.

Invoke her for power and wisdom, seduction and passion as well as fertility.

Cerridwen

Cerridwen is the Welsh Mother Goddess, the keeper of the cauldron and goddess of inspiration, knowledge and wisdom. She is a natural focus for rituals involving all creative ventures and for increased spiritual and psychic awareness. Invoke her for divination and especially scrying and for all rituals of increase.

Ceres

Ceres is the Roman goddess of the grain and all food plants. Her daughter Proserpina was taken into the Underworld for three months of the year by Pluto, causing Ceres to mourn and the crops to die. This was the origin of winter.

Through this, she is seen as goddess of fertility and abundance, as well as a deity of the natural cycles of the year. She represents loss and is a focus for rites concerning grief and mourning, with the hope of new joy ahead for women and especially for mothers. Her Greek counterpart is Demeter.

Demeter

Demeter, the Greek Corn Goddess or Barley Mother, was the archetypal symbol of the fertility of the land. Demeter is often pictured as rosy-cheeked, carrying a hoe or sickle and surrounded by baskets of apples, sheaves of corn, garlands of flowers and grapes. Like Ceres, she mourns for her lost daughter Persephone for three months of the year and so is another icon for those who are feeling sorrow or loss and for maternal sacrifice. But she can be invoked for all matters of abundance, for reaping the benefits of earlier work or effort, for all mothering rituals and as a protectress of animals.

Innana

Innana was a Sumerian goddess, known as the Queen of Heaven, who evolved into the Babylonian goddess Ishtar. Innana was goddess of beauty, abundance, fertility and passion, famed for her loveliness and her lapis lazuli necklaces. She was the first goddess of the morning and evening stars, a legacy that has passed to Aphrodite and Venus.

Like many of the Mother Goddess icons, she descended into the Underworld annually to face and overcome many trials, to bring back to life her shepherd god consort Dumuzi.

Ishtar

Ishtar, the Babylonian version of Innana, also descended into the Underworld each year to restore her consort Tammuz to life. She was a fierce goddess of weapons and war. In Ancient Babylon, a sacred marriage took place each year between Tammuz and Ishtar. This was celebrated at the festival of Akitu, or Zag-Mug, which marked the rising of the waters of the Tigris and the Euphrates and the coming of the spring rains, to bring fertility, at the spring equinox.

Like Innana, she is a goddess of fertility, restoration, renewal, birth and the life cycles; she also
represents power with responsibility and necessary sacrifice for future gain, but above all

Isis

The Egyptian goddess Isis is the most powerful and frequently invoked goddess in formal magick. She is mother, healer and the faithful wife who annually restored her consort Osiris to life, thus magically causing the Nile to flood and fertility to return to the land. She is the patroness of magick and spell-casting, having tricked Ra the Sun God into giving her his secrets. Some accounts say she was taught by Thoth, god of wisdom and learning.

Her cult spread throughout the Roman Empire and she remained in Mediterranean lands in her guise as the Black Madonna, holding her infant son Horus, until the Middle Ages. She is sometimes represented as a vulture, in which form she appears on amulets (protective charms) with an ankh, the symbol for life, engraved on each talon. Isis demonstrated the power of maternal protection when she hid Horus in the marshes from his evil uncle who would have destroyed him.

Make Some for Fertility Bread for Beltane

Fertility Bread

By

 

Fertility Bread

 

Breads seem to be one of the staple foods of Pagan and Wiccan rituals. If you can tie your break baking into the theme of the Beltane Sabbat, even better. In this recipe, use an uncooked loaf of bread (available in the refrigerated section of your grocery) and turn it into a phallus.

To make your fertility bread, you’ll need the following:

  • 1 loaf refrigerated bread dough
  • Melted butter

The phallus bread, naturally, represents the male. He is the horned god, the lord of the forest, the Oak King, Pan. To make the phallus, use one of your refrigerated tubes of dough. Cut the dough into three pieces – a long piece, and two smaller, rounder pieces. The longest piece is, of course, the shaft of the phallus. Use the two small pieces to form the testes, and place them at the bottom of the shaft. Use your imagination to shape the shaft into a penis-like shape.

Once you’ve shaped your bread, allow it to rise in a warm place for an hour or two. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes or until golden brown. When it comes out of the oven, brush with a glaze of melted butter. Use in ritual or for other parts of your Beltane celebrations.

Admittedly, the one in the photo is a bit… thick, but hey, use your imagination!

Fertility Customs and Magic Associated With Beltane

Fertility Customs and Magic

By , About.com

 

The Beltane season is a time of fertility, not only for people but for the land as well. If you plant a garden each summer, Beltane is a good time to do some fertility magic so that you will have an abundant crop by the time the harvest rolls around. There are many different methods of ensuring the fertility of the land, and you can incorporate any of these into your rituals and ceremonies.

  • In ancient Rome, it wasn’t uncommon for the master of the land to take his wife out to the fields and have sex right there on the ground. If you had a lot of land, this could take all day, but it was practically guaranteed to ensure that the field would be fertile and productive once your slaves got the planting done.
  • In some traditions, menstruating women add a bit of their blood to the soil to add potency. It’s a scientific fact that blood contains a lot of nutrients, so it makes sense to blend this in with the dirt before planting.
  • Farmers in the Congo region of Africa make offerings to the spirits of the land before they begin clearing it for planting. In addition to the offerings, there is also a great deal of chanting, drumming and singing, and it is only after the spirits indicate that they are pleased with the gifts and performances that the farmers may plant their crops.
  • The Algonquin peoples of the mid-Atlantic region performed ritual dances to ensure a bountiful agricultural crop each year. Dances involved a lot of noise, in order to wake the sleeping earth.
  • In Crete, a sword dance called the Kuortes was held each spring. During the Kourtes, a group of men gathered together, moving in unison with sticks or swords. Although it sounds warrior-like, it wasn’t a martial dance but one that scholars say promoted fertility, instead. If you think about it, banging a stick or sword on the freshly plowed earth has quite a bit of fertility symbolism.
  • Roman women paid tribute to Flora, the goddess of flowers, in order to ensure fertility of both the land and the womb. A woman who was having trouble conceiving a child might offer flowers at Bona Dea’s temple on the Aventine Hill. In an interesting paradox, Bona Dea was a goddess of both virginity and fertility, and was represented by the snake, often connected to fertility as well.
  • In Nagoya, Japan, residents still celebrate the annual Honen-sai festival. This is held each year in the spring, to make sure the crops will be plentiful, and includes a parade – the highlight of which is a giant penis on a float (the penis, carved from a cypress tree, is about fourteen feet long and quite impressive indeed).