Posts Tagged With: Greek mythology

Deity of the Day for September 25th is Hera, Queen of the Gods in Greek Mythology

Deity of the Day


Queen of the Gods in Greek Mythology


In Greek mythology, the beautiful goddess Hera was queen of the Greek gods and the wife of Zeus, the king. Hera was goddess of marriage and childbirth. Since Hera’s husband was Zeus, king not only of gods, but of philanderers, Hera spent a lot of time in Greek mythology angry with Zeus. So Hera is described as jealous and quarrelsome.

Hera’s Jealousy

Among the more famous victims of Hera’s jealousy is Hercules (aka “Heracles,” whose name means the glory of Hera).

Hera persecuted the famous hero from before the time he could walk for the simple reason that Zeus was his father, but another woman — Alcmene — was his mother. Despite the fact that Hera was not Hercules’ mother, and despite her hostile actions — such as sending snakes to kill him when he was a newborn baby, she served as his nurse when he was an infant.

Hera persecuted many of the other women Zeus seduced, in one way or another.

“The anger of Hera, who murmured terrible against all child-bearing women that bare children to Zeus….”

Theoi Hera: Callimachus, Hymn 4 to Delos 51 ff (trans. Mair)

“Leto had relations with Zeus, for which she was hounded by Hera all over the earth.”
Theoi Hera: Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1. 21 (trans. Aldrich)


Hera’s Children

Hera is usually counted single parent mother of Hephaestus and the normal biological mother of Hebe and Ares. Their father is usually said to be her husband, Zeus, although Clark [“Who Was the Wife of Zeus?” by Arthur Bernard Clark; The Classical Review, (1906), pp.

365-378] explains the identities and births of Hebe, Ares, and Eiletheiya, goddess of childbirth, and sometimes named child of the divine couple, otherwise.

Clark argues that the king and queen of the gods had no children together.

Hebe may have been fathered by a lettuce. The association between Hebe and Zeus may have been sexual rather than familial.

Ares might have been conceived via a special flower from the fields of Olenus. Zeus’ free admission of his paternity of Ares, Clark hints, may be only to avoid the scandal of being a cuckold.

On her own, Hera gave birth to Hephaestus.


Parents of Hera

Like brother Zeus, Hera’s parents were Cronos and Rhea, who were Titans.
Roman Hera

In Roman mythology, the goddess Hera is known as Juno.


Fast Facts About Hera

Name: Greek – Hera; Roman – Juno


Parents: Cronus and Rhea

Foster Parents: Oceanus and Thetys, among others

Siblings: Hestia, Demeter, Poseidon, Hades, and Zeus

Mates: Zeus

Children: Ares, Hephaestus, Eileithyia, Hebe

Role of Hestia

For Humans: Hera was goddess of marriage. In later myth, Hera is treated as the queen of heaven, the female counterpart of Zeus
For Gods: Queen

Canonical Olympian? Yes. Hera is one of the canonical Olympians.




Author: N.S. Gill

N.S. Gill’s Ancient/Classical History Glossary

Article located on

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Whispering Woods Dragon Lore Course – Lesson Seven – A History of European Dragons

Whispering Woods Dragon Lore Course

Lesson Seven
A History of European Dragons

In the mythology of the western world, dragons were thought to abduct maidens, wreak havoc on the populace, steal gold and destroy villages. Unlike its counterpart in the East, Western dragons were seen as symbols of destruction and evil. This could be related to the un-due influence that the Christian invasion has had on the Western mind set where everything is seen as good versus evil.

Heraldic: The Heraldic is probably the most well known western Dragon. The Heraldic has dangerous fangs, four legs complete with claws, and a ridge of sharp spines that run from its head to its tail tip.

Guivre: The Guivre was both legless and wingless, and appeared somewhat serpent-like in appearance. Its head had horns and its jaw was bearded. It favored any location near water.

European: These types of dragons are found in the pages of early Greek, Roman, Norse, and medieval legends. They had wings, two or four legs, and depending on the type color can vary. They were believed to breathe fire. Sadly, many Europeans considered the dragon to be evil and malevolent, however, the Greeks held the idea of the Dragon as a Guardian Serpent.

Some examples of these dragons are:
Fafnir: A Norse dragon who was guardian of the treasure later known as the Nibelung hoard.

Hydra: Some argue that Hyrda was a dragon, others argue not. Hydra had several heads, the center one was said to be immortal. (When one of the hydra’s heads was cut off two grew in its place) It was said to haunt the marshes of Lerna near Argos. The destruction of the hydra was one of the twelve labors of Hercules.

Wyvern: The Wyvern was a feared Dragon of Britain, for the Europeans believed it to be evil and vicious. It had a coiling trunk that had a pair of birds-type legs which were tucked beneath its wings.

Tatzlwyrm: A winged, fire-breathing dragon.

Apocalyptic beast – (Biblical, Most likely Middle East). This is a creature mentioned in the Book of Revelation in the Bible. It has two horns, speaks like a dragon, and bears the mystical number of the devil.

Cecrops ~ {Greek} the mythical founder of Athens; first king of Attica; represented as half human, half dragon; credited with inventing writing and establishing marriage and burial customs. .

Draco (Greek). Draco is a constellation in the north containing the star of the north pole of the ecliptic. Legend states this constellation was named after the Athenian statesman and lawgiver Draco or Dracon.

Fafnir (Norse mythology) a dragon and guardian of the treasure later known as the Nibelung hoard.

Hydra (Greek mythology) A gigantic monster resembling a dragon with several heads (usually nine, though the number varies), the center one of which is immortal. It is said to haunt the marshes of Lerna near Argos.

The destruction of the hydra was one of the 12 labors of Hercules. When one of the hydra’s heads was cut off two grew in its place.

Leviathan (Bible, Job ix, 13 and Isa. xxvii, 1) A Hebrew name for a sea monster. It was also a dragon of turmoil which contested against God.

Tatzlwyrm (Germanic legend) it was said to be a winged, fire-breathing dragon monster.

Wyvern (U.K.) A winged, two-legged dragon with a barbed tail. The wyvern often appears on heraldic shields and symbolizes guardianship.

Jormungand (Norse Legend) The world serpent that dwelled at the bottom of the sea,and that encircled the whole world.

It was to rise against the gods at Ragnarok, helping the Fenris Wolf and Surt,and the other enemies of the gods, to destroy both Asgard and Midgard.

Dragon Symbols:
Wales is symbolized by a red dragon. In the Mabinogion the tale of Lludd and Llewelys speaks of the struggle between this red dragon and the white dragon.

It was long ago in the days of the Saxon invasions that this story takes place and it is no wonder that the white dragon is the invader, the Saxons, come to battle the red. As the symbolic struggle comes to a close, the two opposing dragons become drunk with mead.

It is in this drunken state that they are both buried in a large stone coffin and placed to rest in the center of the island of Britain.

The story goes that so long as the pair remains buried beneath Oxford the island will be protected from invasion.

Saint George is known as a Martyr and the Patron Saint of England. He was originally a Roman Calvary officer who was known for his courage in war. He was a mighty site on his white war-horse.

He eventually converted to Christianity, and to show the people that Christians did not have to be meek, he sought out to fight a dragon that was destroying the area around Cappadocia.
The people of the town tried to calm the beast with sacrifices of their best sheep. This worked for a while, but then the dragon attacked again. The poor people had to give up what they thought would rid the animal of their town: a virgin princess. George killed the dragon with the lance he had in his hand while charging with his huge steed.

Because of this heroic deed, other Christian Knights sought out to save damsels in distress from dragons, and this is how dragons eventually got slaughtered into being just a myth.

1. Leviathan is a _________ name for winged, fire-breathing dragon monster.
2. Wales is symbolized by a ____   _______.
3. Fafnir is a _______ dragon.
4. Wyvern is a winged, ___ – ______ dragon with a barbed tail.
5. Many Europeans considered the dragon to be ____ and ________.
6. Jormungand is the _____   _______.   7. Hydra is said to haunt the marshes of ______ near Argos.

Author & Researcher: Crick
Website: The Whispering Woods


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The Mystery of Flowers and Plants (Part 2 C – D)

Cactus – (endurance – burning love – maternal love – strength)

Cacti are unique, distinctive plants, adapted to extremely arid and hot climates and have water conserving features. Their stems have green succulent structures containing the chlorophyll necessary for growth and life, the leaves have become the spines for which cacti are so well known. The cactus is a hardy and resilient plant.

Calendula – (despair – grief – sorrow)

Calendula blossoms are used to ease indigestion, and calendula petals are used in ointments to heal skin irritations, jaundice, sore eyes and toothaches.

Calla Lily – (magnificent beauty)

The calla lily is native to southern Africa and is visible in many works of art.

Camellia – (perfection – gratitude – reasoning – admiration – good luck)

Each colour has a symbolic meaning including innate worth, adoration, perfection and loveliness (white) innate worth, adoration, perfection, loveliness, (pink) longing, longing for love, (red) excellence, heart flame. The English name is derived from the Latin name camellia, named after the Czech-born missionary and botanist George Josef Kamel, whose name was originally derived from the word kamel, meaning “camel.”

Carnation – (impulsiveness – joy – devotion – love – fascination – capriciousness) white carnation meaning (disdain – refusal)

Carnations were used in Greek ceremonial crowns. The name carnation may come from the Greek carnis (flesh) and refer to the incarnation of God made flesh. The English name derived from the flower name, from French carnation, meaning “complexion,” from Italian carnagione, meaning “flesh-colored.” The carnation is also known as “the poor man’s rose.”

Cattail – (prosperity – peace)

Cattails or bulrushes, are wetland plants with spongy, strap-like leaves and creeping stems, the thick root can be ground to make a flour substitute. The spread of cattails assists the process of open water bodies being converted to vegetated marshland and eventually to dry land.

Chamomile (action – movement – energy)

The extract of German chamomile is taken as a strong tea and is used in herbal medicine as a digestive aid, it has anti-inflammatory properties. Chamomile tea is used to calm the nerves and chamomile makes an excellent mouthwash against mouth and gum infections. It is used in ointments and lotions and is very soothing.

Cherry Blossom (learning – education)

In China the cherry blossom is a symbol of feminine beauty, it represents the feminine principle and love. Falling blossoms symbolise fallen warriors who died in battle, and symbolise the samurai. Cherry blossoms in Japan are symbolise the transience of life because of their short blooming times.

Christmas Rose

The Christmas rose is purported to have flowered on Christmas Day, thus associated with the infant Jesus. It is a member of the genus Helleborus and is not related to the rose bush. The Christmas Rose (sometimes known as the Lenten Rose) of Mary Gardens, bears pure white or pink flowers.

Chrysanthemum – (wealth – optimism – cheerfulness – abundance)

The name is derived from the feminine form of Greek (Chrysanthos), meaning “golden flower.” Chrysanthemums are associated with death in Italy. Colour meanings (white) truth, hope, rest and friendship, (red) love, (yellow) slighted love. The Japanese put a single chrysanthemum petal on the bottom of a wine glass to sustain a long and healthy life, and Japanese emperors sat on their Chrysanthemum throne. The name is derived from the feminine form of Greek Chrysanthos, meaning “golden flower.

Crocus – (joy – happiness – cheerfulness)

The genus crocus is in the iris family, the plants grow from corm, are mainly perennials and found in woodland and meadows, crocuses are native to central and southern Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, central Asia and China.

Cyclamen – (goodbye – resignation)

Cyclamen grow in dry forest or scrub areas, have white, bright pink, red or purple flowers, and are native to Africa and the Mediterranean. They are part of the primrose family, although bare no resemblance.

Daffodil – (regard – chivalry – respect – unrequited love – sunshine – happiness)

In Greek mythology the daffodil is described as a pale yellow deathless kind of lily flower, that overspreads the plains of Hades, and is the favourite food of the dead. The traditional daffodil has a yellow to golden-yellow color all over, and due to breeding the daffodil may be variously colored. Breeders have developed some daffodils with double, triple, or ambiguously multiple rows of petals, and several wild species have double variants. The English name is derived from the flower name, from Latin asphodelus, from Greek asphodelos, meaning “asphodel flower.”

Dandelion (nature’s oracle)

In Medieval times the dandelion was called lion’s teeth, because its leaves had jagged tooth like edges. The dandelion has for centuries been consulted as an oracle, the time can be told by the number of blows to get rid of the seeds. For a prophecy about how long it is until your wedding day, count the number of seeds left after you have blown on them once, the number of seeds left tells you how many years it will be.

Dahlia – (forever – dignity – elegance – forever thine)

The dahlia was used as a food source in the 1940’s by the Europeans, when the French potato crop was destroyed by disease. The dahlia is named after Anders Dahl, the 18th century Swedish botanist. The English name is derived from the flower name, taken from the surname of Anders Dahl, meaning “valley,” from this “dahlia flower” or “valley flower. The Aztecs used dahlias to treat epilepsy.

Daisy – (feelings shared – innocence – purity – beauty – simplicity – loyalty – love) also known as (“flowery mead”)

The English name is derived from the flower name, from Old English daegeseage, “day’s eye. “Hairpins decorated with daisies were found during the excavation of the Minoan Palace on the Island of Crete, and daisies are believed to be several thousand years old. Egyptian ceramics were decorated with daisies. Maidens grabbed a bunch of daises with their eyes closed, then counted them to find out how many years until they were to marry. Originally known as ‘bruisword’, and used to heal bruises. It is considered good luck to step on the first daisy of the year

Dandelion – (affection requited – sympathy – happiness – love’s oracle – faithfulness – desire)

The dandelion is native to Europe and Asia, in northern areas and places where the dandelion is not native, it has become a weed.

Day Lily – (forgetting worries) in China (symbolic of devotion to mother)

The flower means “Suited for A Boy,” it was used as a lucky talisman by expectant mothers who wished for a baby boy. “In China when the day lily has a cheerful position, the flower is called “Wong Yu.”

Delphinium – (levity – ardent attachment – fun – light of heart – joyous)

Delphinium derived from the French form of the Latin, Delphinia, meaning “woman from Delphi.” The flower resembles nose of the dolphin, and delphiums were thought to repel scorpions. The Native Americans used delphiniums to make blue dye, and the Europeans made ink.


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Deity of the Day for January 4th – Helios, The Sun God

Deity of the Day


The Sun God

Helios is the Greek Sun god, whom the Romans called Sol. Most often, people viewed or portrayed Helios as a mighty charioteer, driving his flaming chariot (or gleaming horses) from east to west across the sky each day.

At night, according to the legend, Helios crossed back to the east by floating in a golden cup on the stream of Ocean, the mythical river thought to encircle the flat earth.

Because Helios was in the sky all day looking down on the earth, people assumed he saw and heard everything that went on in that domain; thus, both gods and humans called on him as a witness to various events or oaths sworn.

Helios was usually depicted as a beardless and very handsome man in purplish robes, crowned with a golden aureole, which accented his role as the Sun God. The characteristic chariot was drawn by four winged horses.

Family tree of Helios

Father: Hyperion

Mother: Theia

Sisters: Eos (Dawn) and Selene (Moon)

Who was the god of the Sun? Helios or Apollo here is a confusion in Greek Mythology regarding the identity of the god of the Sun. There are historians and followers of the Greek mythology that denote the role of god Apollo, as God of the Sun, although it is evident that Greeks believed in a separate Sun God.

Helios is mentioned in numerous philosophic texts and poetic or fictional texts; for instance, Homer is the one who refers to Helios as the Sun God, claiming that he was the God who could hear and understand everything that was happening on Earth.

Greek myths about Helios

There are many Greek myths about Helios, the Sun God. For example, the goddess Demeter consulted him after her daughter, Persephone, disappeared; Helios told her that Hades, ruler of the Underworld, had abducted the girl.

The most famous myth in which Helios takes part is that of his mortal son, Phaethon. The boy demanded that his father Helios allow him to drive his gleaming chariot across the sky for a day. However, Phaethon was unable to control his father’s horses, and the chariot ran wild through the heavens until Zeus intervened and struck the young man dead.

Helios and Rhodes

In another story, one day Zeus made each of the gods the patron deity of one or another earthly land or city—all except for Helios, that is, who at the time was fulfilling his daily duty of driving his chariot across the sky.

To compensate for the oversight, Zeus gave Helios dominion over the newly created island of Rhodes. Rhodes is a Greek island located off the southwestern coast of Asia Minor, in the complex of the Dodecanese islands.

There, the sun god’s three grandsons — Camirus, Lindus, and Ialyssus—ruled and gave their names to the three largest cities.

This myth was the basis of the Rhodians’ worship of Helios as their national god. Still, Rhodes is called the Island of Sun.

They honored him as the subject of the huge bronze statue they erected circa 280 B.C. at the entrance to their main harbor. Called the Colossus of Rhodes, it later made the prestigious list of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

It is said that the huge statue Colossus broke and collapsed after a massive earthquake that hit the island of Rhodes in the ancient years.

Heliopolis, the city of God Helios

Helios was worshiped in many cities, states and countries. In Ancient Egypt, there was a city, Heliopolis, built in honor of the Sun God. Heliopolis was the seat of worship of God Helios, therefore its name means the Sun City in Greek.



Greeks Myth & Greek Mythology

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Gods of the Ancient Greeks

Gods of the Ancient Greeks


The ancient Greeks honored a wide variety of gods, and many are still worshiped today by Hellenic Pagans. For the Greeks, much like many other ancient cultures, the deities were a part of daily life, not merely something to be chatted with in times of need. Here are some of the best-known gods and goddesses of the Greek pantheon.

•Aphrodite, Goddess of Love

Aphrodite was a goddess of love and romance. She was honored by the ancient Greeks, and is still celebrated by many modern Pagans. According to legend, she was born fully formed from the white sea form that arose when the god Uranus was castrated. She came ashore on the island of Cyprus, and later was married off by Zeus to Hephaistos, the deformed craftsman of Olympus. A festival was held regularly to honor Aphrodite, appropriately called the Aphrodisiac. At her temple in Corinth, revelers often paid tribute to Aphrodite by having rambunctious sex with her priestesses.

•Ares, God of War

Ares was a Greek god of war, and son of Zeus by his wife Hera. He was known not only for his own exploits in battle, but also for getting involved in disputes between others. Furthermore, he often served as an agent of justice.

•Artemis, the Huntress

Artemis was a Greek goddess of the hunt, and like her twin brother Apollo possessed a wide variety of attributes. Some Pagans still honor her today because of her connection to times of female transition. Artemis was the Greek goddess of both hunting and childbirth. She protected women in labor, but also brought them death and sickness. Numerous cults dedicated to Artemis sprouted up around the Greek world, most of which were connected to women’s mysteries, such as childbirth, puberty, and motherhood.

•Athena, the Warrior Goddess

As a goddess of war, Athena often shows up in Greek legend to assist various heroes — Heracles, Odysseus and Jason all got a helping hand from Athena. In classical myth, Athena never took any lovers, and was often revered as Athena the Virgin, or Athena Parthenos. Although technically, Athena is a warrior goddess, she is not the same sort of war god that Ares is. While Ares goes to war with frenzy and chaos, Athena is the goddess who helps warriors make wise choices that will eventually lead to victory.

•Demeter, Dark Mother of the Harvest

Perhaps the best known of all the harvest mythologies is the story of Demeter and Persephone. Demeter was a goddess of grain and of the harvest in ancient Greece. Her daughter, Persephone, caught the eye of Hades, god of the underworld.By the time she finally recovered her daughter, Persephone had eaten six pomegranate seeds, and so was doomed to spend six months of the year in the underworld.

•Eros, God of Passion and Lust

Ever wonder where the word “erotic” comes from? Well, it has a lot to do with Eros, the Greek god of and lust. Often described as a son of Aphrodite by her lover Ares, the god of war, Eros was a Greek god of lust and primal sexual desire. In fact, the word erotic comes from his name. He is personified in all kinds of love and lust — heterosexual and homosexual — and was worshipped at the center of a fertility cult that honored both Eros and Aphrodite together.

•Gaia, the Earth Mother

Gaia was known as the life force from which all other beings sprang, including the earth, the sea and the mountains. A prominent figure in Greek mythology, Gaia is also honored by many Wiccans and Pagans today. Gaia herself caused life to spring forth from the earth, and is also the name given to the magical energy that makes certain locations sacred.

•Hades, Ruler of the Underworld

Hades was the Greek god of the underworld. Because he’s unable to get out much, and doesn’t get to spend a lot of time with those who are still living, Hades focuses on increasing the underworld’s population levels whenever he can. Let’s look at some of his legends and mythology, and see why this ancient god is still important today.

•Hecate, Goddess of Magic and Sorcery

Hecate has a long history as a goddess, from her days in pre-Olympian times to the present. As a goddess of childbirth, she was often invoked for rites of puberty, and in some cases watched over maidens who were beginning to menstruate. Eventually, Hecate evolved to become a goddess of magic and sorcery. She was venerated as a mother goddess, and during the Ptolemaic period in Alexandria was elevated to her position as goddess of ghosts and the spirit world.

•Hera, Goddess of Marriage

Hera is known as the first of Greek goddesses. As wife of Zeus, she’s the leading lady of all the Olympians. Despite her husband’s philandering ways — or perhaps because of them — she is the guardian of marriage and the sanctity of the home. She was known to fly into jealous tirades, and wasn’t above using her husband’s illegitimate offspring as weapons against their own mothers. Hera also played a crucial role in the story of the Trojan War.

•Hestia, Guardian of Hearth and Home

Many cultures have a goddess of hearth and domesticity, and the Greeks were no exception. Hestia was the deity who watched over the home fires, and offered sanctuary and protection to strangers. She was honored with the first offering at any sacrifice made in the home. On a public level, Hestia’s flame was never allowed to burn out. The local town hall served as a shrine for her — and any time a new settlement was formed, settlers would take a flame from their old village to the new one.

•Nemesis, Goddess of Retribution

Nemesis was a Greek goddess of revenge and retribution. In particular, she was invoked against those whose hubris and arrogance got the better of them, and served as a force of divine reckoning. Originally, she was a deity who simply doled out what people had coming to them, whether good or bad.

•Pan, the Goat-Legged Fertility God

In Greek legend and mythology, Pan is known as a rustic and wild god of the forest. He is associated with the animals that live in the woods, as well as with the sheep and goats in the fields.

•Priapus, God of Lust and Fertility

Priapus is best known for his huge and constantly erect phallus, but he was also considered a god of protection. According to legend, before his birth, Hera cursed Priapus with impotence as payback for Aphrodite’s involvement in the whole Helen of Troy fiasco. Doomed to spend his life ugly and unloved, Priapus was tossed down to earth when the other gods refused to let him live on Mount Olympus. He was seen as a protector deity in rural areas. In fact, statues of Priapus were often adorned with warnings, threatening trespassers, male and female alike, with acts of sexual violence as punishment.

•Zeus, Ruler of Olympus

Zeus is the ruler of all the gods in the Greek pantheon, as well as the distributor of justice and law. He was honored every four years with a great celebration at Mt. Olympus. Although he is married to Here, Zeus is well known for his philandering ways. Today, many Hellenic Pagans still honor him as ruler of Olympus.



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Herb of the Day for November 16th – Belladonna

Herb of the Day


Its scientific name derives from Atropos, one of the Fates in Greek mythology, who held the shears to cut the thread of human life.                                                                                                                                                               

Medicinal Uses: Belladonna has a sedative, anticholinergic (an agent that blocks parasympathetic nerve impulses) and spasmolytic effects on the gastrointestinal tract. The leaves applied externally are used as a treatment and possible cure for cancer. Treats nervous congestion, suppresses the action of smooth muscles, and is helpful for kidney pains, and colitis. During the Parthian Wars it was said to have been used to poison the troops of Marcus Antonius. In the 16th century, herbalists laid moistened leaves on the head to induce sleep. Small doses to allay cardiac palpitation was administered by applying a plaster to the region of the heart. Atropine is used today to dilate eyes prior to eye surgery, and for certain eye exams.

Magickal uses: Belladonna is ruled by Saturn and is considered feminine. It is the plant of Hecate, Bellona and Circe. Encourages astral projection and produces visions. Belladonna is used in funeral rituals to aspurge the circle, helping the deceased to let go and move forward.

Properties: Antispasmodic, diuretic, anodynic, narcotic, sedative, anodynic, calmative, relaxant, mydriatic. Contains various alkaloids, such as  hyoscyamine and scopolamine, belladonnine, atrosin and  atropine. Acts through the central nervous system. Small, minute doses stimulate, large doses paralyze and can result in fatality. Atropine is a powerful nerve poison.

Growth: Atropa belladonna is a poisonous plant with reddish flowers and shining black berries. It is native to Europe, Asia, and North Africa. It is naturalized in the eastern United States. It is found in meadows, forests and waste places.   Belladonna grows to a height of five feet with a much branched lax, purplish colored stem. The leaves are a dull, darkish green, oval and pointed, of unequal size being 3 to 10 inches long. The lower leaves are solitary, the upper in alternate pairs on opposite side of the stem, one leaf of each pair being much larger than the other. They are pale green on the underside with prominent veins; mid-rib is depressed on the upper surface. Dingy purple-brown to purple bell-shaped flowers, about 1-inch long, dangle in the axils of the leaves; corolla has 5 large teeth or lobes, slightly refracted; the 5-cleft calyx clings to the berry. The smooth berries contain several seeds and follow the flower, turning from green to a jewel-like black and ripen in September.

This herb can could cause death or other serious consequences. Its use is not recommended without professional medical guidance. Every part of the plant is extremely poisonous.
Author: Crick
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Deity of the Day for October 17th – Gaia, the Great Mother

Deity of the Day




Gaia (“land” or “earth”, also spelled Ge or Gaea) in Greek mythology embodies the fertility of the Earth. Behind particular aspects of the three-fold goddess, stands the pre-Indo-European Great Mother, a nurturing goddess of death and birth, who was venerated from Neolithic times in the ancient Near East and the Aegean cultural sphere, as far as Malta and the Etruscan lands. Some anthropologists and members of certain religions believe the same divine spirit appeared under many names. These names are said to include Demeter (Roman Ceres) the “mother”, Persephone the “daughter” or Hecate the “crone.” She could be identified as Rhea. In Anatolia (modern Turkey) she was Cybele. The Greeks never forgot that her ancient home was Crete, where she had always been worshipped as Potnia Theron, the “Mistress of the Animals” or simply Potnia.

The coming of the Olympian gods with immigrants into the Aegean during the 2nd millennium BCE, and the sometimes violent struggle to supplant Gaia, inform Greek mythology with its characteristic tension. Echoes of Gaia’s power lingered into the mythology of classical Greece, where her roles were divided among Zeus’ consort Hera, Apollo’s twin and consort Artemis, and Athena.

Unlike Zeus, a roving nomad god of the open sky, Gaia was manifest in enclosed spaces: the house, the courtyard, the womb, the cave. Her sacred animals are the snake, the lunar bull, the pig, and bees. In her hand the narcotic poppy may be transmuted to a pomegranate. Though she is complete in herself, the Triple Goddess often takes a male consort.

She was the daughter of Chaos, or according to another version Aether and Hemera, and the mother of Uranus (also her husband), Ourea and Pontus. Uranus and Pontus were born of Gaia alone, without a father.

Only a distant echo of Gaia’s primal power is to be found in her Roman equivalent, Magna Mater, who was most strongly identified by Romans with Cybele.


Gaia in Mythology

With Uranus, Gaia had three sets of children: one-hundred armed giants called Hecatonchires and one-eyed giants called Cyclopes were the youngest, and significantly later, the Titans. Occasionally, the Erinyes were considered a fourth set of children by Gaia and Uranus.

Uranus hid the (Hecatonchires) and the Cyclopes in Tartarus so that they would not see the light, rejoicing in this evil doing. This caused pain to Gaia (Tartarus was her bowels) so she created grey flint (or adamantine) and shaped a great sickle and gathered together Cronus and his brothers to ask them to obey her. Only Cronus was willing to do the deed, so Gaia gave him the sickle and set him in ambush. Cronus jumped out and lopped off his father’s testicles, casting them behind him. From his blood on the Earth came forth the Gigantes, Erinyes and Meliae. From the testicles of Uranus in the sea came forth Aphrodite. For this, Uranus called his sons Titans, meaning “strainers” for they strained and did presumptuously a fearful deed, for which vengeance would come afterwards.

After Uranus’ castration, Gaia gave birth to Echidna and (sometimes) Typhon by Tartarus. By Pontus, Gaia birthed Nereus, Thaumas, Phorcys, Ceto and Eurybia.

As Uranus had been deposed by his son, Cronus, so was Cronus destined to be overthrown by his son. To prevent this, he swallowed his children as soon as they were born. Gaia gave Cronus’ wife, Rhea the idea to save the last child, Zeus, by giving Cronus a stone wrapped up like a baby. Gaia then raised Zeus (according to some versions of the story), who eventually rescued his brothers and sisters, eaten by Cronus, as well as releasing the Cyclopes, Hecatonchires and Gigantes from Tartarus. Together, Zeus and his allies overthrew Cronus.

When Apollo killed Gaia’s child, Python, she punished him by sending him to King Admetus as a shepherd for nine years.

Zeus hid one lover, Elara, from Hera by hiding her under the earth. His son by Elara, the giant Tityas, is therefore sometimes said to be a son of Gaia, the earth goddess, and Elara.

Gaia made Aristaeus immortal.

Gaia was the original deity behind the Oracle at Delphi. She passed her powers on to, depending on the source: Poseidon, Apollo or Themis.


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Deity of the Day for August 26th is Athena

Deity of the Day


The Greek Goddess

Areas of Influence: Athena Goddess of war and wisdom

Unlike the war God Ares, she was not known for her brutality and bullying behavior. She was more of a strategist and a diplomat and was called upon to mediate in several disputes and wars amongst the Gods.

This Greek Goddess was also associated with domestic crafts.

In Greek mythology she taught Prometheus architecture, astrology, mathematics, medicine and navigation. She is credited with the invention of spinning, weaving, the plough and rake.

She is the Patron Goddess of the city of Athens where her most famous statue is situated in the Parthenon.

Athena assisted many of the Greek heroes in their quests including Perseus, Hercules and Jason.

Goddess Athena’s Family: This Goddess had a very unusual birth as she sprung fully grown from the head of her father, Zeus. Her pregnant mother, Metis a nymph, was swallowed whole by her father. This was because like his father before him he feared that his position would be usurped by one of his children.

Athena the Greek Goddess was Zeus’s favorite child, he entrusted her with his shield the Aegis.

She had lots of half brothers and sister’s including: Aphrodite, Apollo, Ares, Artemis, Hephaaestus, Hebe, Hermes, Persephone, the Fates, the Graces, the Muses, Tityus. The number would be even greater if I included all of the children from her father’s affairs with mortals.

She herself never married. There are several myths where Athena defends her virginity when she receives unwelcome male attention. This is why the temple dedicated to her is called the Parthenon as the word means temple of the virgin in Greek.

Despite being a virgin she had a child named Erichthonius. He was born after a failed rape attempt when his father’s seed fell upon the fertile earth.

Strengths: Rational, intelligent, a powerful defender and arbitrator.

Weaknesses: Too ruled by her head and out of touch with her emotions and femine side. Unapproachable and lacking in compassion.

Roman Equivalent: Minerva

Athena’s Symbols

The Archetypal female Warrior, she is usually depicted wearing a helmet and a goat skin breastplate known as the aegis. On the breastplate she mounted the terrifying head of the Goddess Medusa.

This Greek Goddess was referred to as the Goddess with bright eyes. Some scholars suggest that this supports the theory that in earlier times she was also a storm and lightening Goddess. For pictures of Athena please follow this link

Sacred animals: Snakes form part of her famous statue.

Sacred birds: The owl is linked with Athena the Greek Goddess as it represents wisdom and watchfulness.

Mulberry, oak and olive trees.

Athena The Greek Goddess’s Archetypes

The Warrior:

This 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 principals to prove your supremacy.

The Greek Goddess main Archetype is that of the female Warrior. This is illustrated by her role of patron and defender of Athens. She also became involved in the war against the giants and the siege of Troy.

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.

In Greek mythology this Goddess is the protector and advisor of the heroes Hercules, Perseus and Ulysses.

As an Inventor this Goddess teaches mankind how to spin and weave, however it is in this role that we see her need to control her “students” and she will not allow anyone to surpass her accomplishments.


How to Work With These Archetypes.

The Warrior:

If you are drawn to work with this Goddess you may require her Warrior spirit to help you to stand up for your rights and set firm personnal boundaries. This Goddess can be a great stereotype to work with if you want to take control in your life, and wish to no longer play the role of the victim.

You may also wish to call upon this Goddess to champion the cause of others.

Conversely this Goddess may appeal to you if you have a very strong sense of self and are proud of the victories you have achieved. The shadow side of this Goddess may be asking you to reflect honestly on the cost of these victories. Have they been at the expense of others or your principles?

The Teacher/ Inventor:

This Archetype may suggest a love of passing on wisdom and learning to others.

This Goddess wise counsel can also be called upon to help you see a way through any present difficulties or to help you to master a new skill.

The shadow aspect of this stereotype is also a reminder that whenever we find ourselves in a teaching or mentoring role we must aim to be a positive role model, encouraging others to reach their full potential.



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

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