Posts Tagged With: Mother goddess

Flashback Litha/Summer Solstice 2014

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An example of a Litha altar

Litha – Day of Motherhood

At Litha, the Earth is burgeoning with life. The trees and bushes are all leafed out. Flowers are in bloom. Gardens are producing green fruit and vegetables. Birds and animals have babies with them. The sun, too, reaches its peak at Midsummer, the longest day and shortest night of the year.

Likewise the Mother Goddess represents the creations of life. She swells and grows with the summer season. You may see images of her pregnant belly painted like the Earth or holding an infant. When we honor her, we also honor the human mothers who keep humanity moving forward. This theme is ideal if you have a pregnant women or new mothers in your coven,

For this holiday, decorate your altar with images of the mMother Goddess and pregnant women. Any historic (or modern) Venus figure will do. The color red symbolizes the sun, womanhood, and lifeblood. Gold also stands for the sun, abundance, and things to come to fruition. Choose seasonal foods for the feast. Perform a myth about any Mother Goddess. Coveners may also enjoy sharing their stories about pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood; by telling stories of our lives, we connect with the timeless myths.

Copyright Elizabeth Barrette Llewellyn’s Witches’ Datebook 2015 Page 77

Categories: Coven Life, The Goddesses, The Sabbats | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Defining Pagan by Edian McCoy

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“When one defines oneself as Pagan,
it means she or he follows an earth or nature religion,
one that sees the divine manifest in all creation.
The cycles of nature are our holy days, the earth is our temple,
its plants and creatures our partners and teachers.
We worship a deity that is both male and female,
a mother Goddess and a father God,
who together created all that is, was, or will be.
We respect life, cherish the free will of sentient beings,
and accept the sacredness of all creation.” —

Edain McCoy

Bless be sisters and brothers of The Old Ways

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Deities of the Spring Equinox

Deities of the Spring Equinox

 

Spring is a time of great celebration in many cultures. It’s the time of year when the planting begins, people begin to once more enjoy the fresh air, and we can reconnect with the earth again after the long, cold winter. A number of different gods and goddesses from different pantheons are connected with the themes of Spring and Ostara. Lets take a look at some of the many deities associated with spring, rebirth, and new life each year.

 

Asase Yaa (Ashanti)

This earth goddess prepares to bring forth new life in the spring, and the Ashanti people of Ghana honor her at the festival of Durbar, alongside her husband Nyame, the sky god who brings rain to the fields. As a fertility goddess, she is often associated with the planting of early crops during the rainy season. In some parts of Africa, she is honored during an annual (or often bi-annual) festival called the Awuru Odo. This is a large gathering of extended family and kinship groups, and a great deal of food and feasting seems to be involved.

In some Ghanaian folktales, Asase Yaa appears as the mother of Anansi, the trickster god, whose legends followed many West Africans to the New World during the centuries of the slave trade.

Interestingly, there do not appear to be any formalized temples to Asase Yaa – instead, she is honored in the fields where the crops grown, and in the homes where she is celebrated as a goddess of fertility and the womb. Farmers may opt to ask her permission before they begin working the soil. Even though she is associated with the hard labor of tilling the fields and planting seeds, her followers take a day off on Thursday, which is her sacred day.

 

Cybele (Roman)

This mother goddess of Rome was at the center of a rather bloody Phrygian cult, in which eunuch priests performed mysterious rites in her honor. Her lover was Attis (he was also her grandson, but that’s another story), and her jealousy caused him to castrate and kill himself. His blood was the source of the first violets, and divine intervention allowed Attis to be resurrected by Cybele, with some help from Zeus. In some areas, there is still an annual three-day celebration of Attis’ rebirth and Cybele’s power.

Like Attis, it is said that Cybele’s followers would work themselves into orgiastic frenzies and then ritually castrate themselves. After this, these priests donned women’s clothing, and assumed female identities. They became known as the Gallai. In some regions, female priestesses led Cybele’s dedicants in rituals involving ecstatic music, drumming and dancing. Under the leadership of Augustus Caesar, Cybele became extremely popular. Augustus erected a giant temple in her honor on the Palatine Hill, and the statue of Cybele that is in the temple bears the face of Augustus’ wife, Livia.

Today, many people still honor Cybele, although not in quite the same context as she once was. Groups like the Maetreum of Cybele honor her as a mother goddess and protector of women.

 

Eostre (Western Germanic)

Little is known about the worship of this Teutonic spring goddess, but she is mentioned by the Venerable Bede, who said that Eostre’s following had died out by the time he compiled his writings in the eighth century. Jacob Grimm referred to her by the High German equivalent, Ostara, in his 1835 manuscript, Deutsche Mythologie.

According to the stories, she is a goddess associated with flowers and springtime, and her name gives us the word “Easter,” as well as the name of Ostara itself. However, if you start to dig around for information on Eostre, you’ll find that much of it is the same. In fact, nearly all of it is Wiccan and Pagan authors who describe Eostre in a similar fashion. Very little is available on an academic level.

Interestingly, Eostre doesn’t appear anywhere in Germanic mythology, and despite assertions that she might be a Norse deity, she doesn’t show up in the poetic or prose Eddas either. However, she could certainly have belonged to some tribal group in the Germanic areas, and her stories may have just been passed along through oral tradition.

So, did Eostre exist or not? No one knows. Some scholars dispute it, others point to etymological evidence to say that she did in fact have a festival honoring her.

 

Freya (Norse)

This fertility goddess abandons the earth during the cold months, but returns in the spring to restore nature’s beauty. She wears a magnificent necklace called Brisingamen, which represents the fire of the sun. Freyja was similar to Frigg, the chief goddess of the Aesir, which was the Norse race of sky deities. Both were connected with childrearing, and could take on the aspect of a bird. Freyja owned a magical cloak of hawk’s feathers, which allowed her to transform at will. This cloak is given to Frigg in some of the Eddas.

As the wife of Odin, the All Father, Freyja was often called upon for assistance in marriage or childbirth, as well as to aid women struggling with infertility.

 

Osiris (Egyptian)

Osiris is known as the king of Egyptian gods. This lover of Isis dies and is reborn in a resurrection story. The resurrection theme is popular among spring deities, and is also found in the stories of Adonis, Mithras and Attis as well.

Born the son of Geb (the earth) and Nut (the sky), Osiris was the twin brother of Isis and became the first pharoah. He taught mankind the secrets of farming and agriculture, and according to Egyptian myth and legend, brought civilization itself to the world. Ultimately, the reign of Osiris was brought about by his death at the hands of his brother Set (or Seth).

The death of Osiris is a major event in Egyptian legend.

 

Saraswati (Hindu)

This Hindu goddess of the arts, wisdom and learning has her own festival each spring in India, called Saraswati Puja. She is honored with prayers and music, and is usually depicted holding lotus blossoms and the sacred Vedas.

 

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Deity of the Day for March 16th – Cybele (Roman Goddess)

Deity of the Day

Cybele

(Roman Goddess Associated With Ostara)

 

This mother goddess of Rome was at the center of a rather bloody Phrygian cult, in which eunuch priests performed mysterious rites in her honor. Her lover was Attis (he was also her grandson, but that’s another story), and her jealousy caused him to castrate and kill himself. His blood was the source of the first violets, and divine intervention allowed Attis to be resurrected by Cybele, with some help from Zeus. In some areas, there is still an annual three-day celebration of Attis’ rebirth and Cybele’s power.

Today, many people still honor Cybele, although not in quite the same context as she once was. Groups like the Maetreum of Cybele honor her as a mother goddess and protector of women.

 

Source:
Author: Patti Wigington, Paganism/Wicca Expert

Article Found On & Owned By About.com

 

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Celebrating Other Spirituality 365 Days A Year – Festival of Yemanja (lemanja of Brazil)

Celtic & British Isles Graphics
February 9 and 10

Festival of Yemanja (lemanja of Brazil)

 

In Afro-Brazilian spiritual traditions, Yemanja is the Goddess of all sea waters and a symbol of mastery. Her name means “the mother whose children are the fish.” She is considered to be a Mother Goddess and has dominion over all large bodies of water, including the depths of the ocean.

Yemanja is the patron of motherhood and is often associated with the moon. Her colors are blue and white. Her symbols include the fan, mermaid, a silver crescent, and all things that come from the sea.

On this day in Brazil, great festivals honor Yemanja. They begin at daybreak with ocean-bound processions of singers and dancers, all expressing their love for the Goddess. Those participating carry candles and offerings carved with fish to the seashore. Thousands of candles in tiny paper boats are set afloat on the ocean as participants make wishes for the coming year


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Deity of the Day for July 4th – Rhea, The Greek Goddess

Deity of the Day

Rhea

The Greek Goddess

 

Areas of Influence: Rhea was an Earth Goddess, responsible for the fertility of the soil, women and motherhood. She took over most of these responsibilities from her mother Gaia/Gaea.

Her name means “flow” and “ease” relating to her role of the Great Mother where the flow refers to menstrual blood. It also links her to the tides and the moon.

She is closely identified with the Anatolian Great Mother Goddess, Cybele. They shared similar roles and symbolism.

Together with Cronus she ruled over the Titans. Her position as Queen was succeeded by Hera when the Titans were defeated by the Olympians.

This ancient deity had priest’s were called Curetes.

Origins and Genealogy: Her parents were Gaia and Uranus.

This Goddess had many brothers and sisters including the Titans: Cronus, Hyperion, Lapetus, Theia, Themis Mnemosyne, Pheobe and Tethys.

She married her brother Cronus and had six children by him: Demeter, Hera, Hestia, Hades Poseidon and Zeus.

Rhea was horrified when Cronus swallowed each of them whole at birth as he feared the fulfillment of a prophecy that predicted he would be overthrown by one of his children.

When Zeus was born she tricked her husband into swallowing a stone wrapped up in his swaddling clothes. Zeus was then hidden and taken to Crete.

Later, when Cronus was dethroned and imprisoned she had an affair with Olympus and gave birth to two more children, Alce and Midas.

Crete became the main centre of this Mother Goddesses cult.

Strengths: A Mother figure, generally gentle but becomes fearsome when crossed.

Weaknesses: She deserts her husbands but who can blame her?

Rhea’s Symbolism

Rhea is usually shown as a matronly woman with a turret crown, standing between two lions or on a chariot pulled by lions.

The moon is another one of her symbols representing her role as a fertility Goddess.

Other symbols include a lighted torch, brass drums and a double ax.

Sacred Animal: Lions,

Sacred Plants: Fruit bearing trees, pine and the oak.

Sacred Day: Saturday was devoted to this Goddess.

Her close ties with Cybele, link this Goddess to Spring Festivals held to honour the Great Mother. This celebration is the origin of Mothering Sunday.

Rhea’s Archetype

The Mother:

The Mother Archetype is a life-giver and the source of nurturing, devotion, patience and unconditional love. The ability to forgive and provide for her children and put them before her self is the essense of a good mother.

In its shadow aspect the Mother can be devouring, abusive and abandoning. The shadow Mother can also make her children feel guilty about becoming independent and leaving her.

Rhea is a Mother Goddess caring for the earth. When it comes to the care of her own children her credentials as a loving mother are less convincing. She is unable to stand up to cruel husband and only saves them through trickery and by sending Zeus to be cared for in Crete.

How to Work with this Archetype

The Mother:

You do not need to be a biological mother to have this Archetype. The Mother Archetype refers to anyone who has a lifelong pattern of nurturing and devotion to any living thing including plants and animals.

You are exhibiting the features of the shadow mother if you smother your children and are over protective. You need to encourage independence, allowing children to make mistakes but be available to give care and advice when it’s needed.

The other shadow Mother is the one that abandons her children or is so busy that she has no time for nurturing her young.

 

Source:
The Goddess-Guide.com

 

 

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Blessings of Litha To All My Dear Family & Friends!


Litha Comments & Graphics

Blessings of Litha

 

This wheel keeps turning
Turning on and on
As each new Season dawns…
 
It keeps turning
As we pray for the coming of Litha
That’s when we ask you…
Oh Litha carry us into
Sister Moon grace us into
Brother Sun face us towards
Mother Goddess place us
Place us in the blessings of Litha
 
The blessings of Litha that are
Malina’s warm sun
Flora’s sweet flowers
Psyche’s beautiful butterflies
Gaia’s lush green
Yemaya’s liquid bliss
Iris’ colorful rainbow
 
As we dance for the coming of Litha
That’s when we ask you…
Oh Litha embrace us
Sister Moon grace us
Brother Sun face us
Mother Goddess place us
Place us in the blessings of Litha
 
The blessings of Litha that are
Malina’s warm sun on our faces
Flora’s sweet flowers under her graces
Psyche’s beautiful butterflies dancing on the wind
Gaia’s lush green that covers the earth from end to end
Yemaya ‘s liquid bliss that surrounds us with love
Iris’ colorful rainbow that imbues us from above
 
As we sing for the coming of Litha
That’s when we ask you…
Oh Litha carry us into
Mother Earth’s sweet face look over us
Oshun’s liquid grace bliss us
Gaia’s beautiful hidden spaces protect us
Mother Goddess’ wishes place us
Place us in these blessings of Litha
 
These blessings of Litha that are
Given to us with love
From our Mother Goddess above
 
Given to us while this wheel turns
Turns on and on
As each new Sabbat dawns
 
 
By Savannah Skye
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Deity of the Day for June 16th is Arianrhod

Deity of the Day

Arianrhod

 

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

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

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

Alternative spellings of her name include Arianrhod and Arianrhod.

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

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

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

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

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

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

She bore two children Dylon and Lleu Llaw Gyffes.

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

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

 

Arianrhod’s  Symbolism

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

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

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

Sacred Plant: Ivy.

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

 

Arianrhod’s Archetype

The Mother: This Archetype is a life-giver and the source of nurturing, devotion, patience and unconditional love. The ability to forgive and provide for her children and put them before herself is the essence of a good mother.

In its shadow aspect the Mother can be devouring, abusive and abandoning. The shadow Mother can also make her children feel guilty about becoming independent and leaving her.

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

 

Source:

Goddess-Guide.com

 

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