Posts Tagged With: Zeus

Deity of the Day for October 17th – Gaia, the Great Mother

Deity of the Day

 

Gaia

 

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.

Source:

Facts-Index.com

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Celebrating Spirituality 365 Days A Year – Herakles/Hercules

Gothic Comments

March 11th

Herakles/Hercules

This day celebrates the super-human strength of the Greek hero-God Herakles, son of Alcmene by Zeus. His many adventures included fighting a bull-headed snake to win the  love of his earthly wife Deianeira. During the battle, he tore off one of the animal’s horn which became the cornucopia. He then tought and killled the centaur Nessus, who had tried to rape her. Before Nessus died, he gave deianeria some of his Herakles by burning him. Distressed Herakles sacrificed himself upon Mt. Oeta. When Herakles was admitted to Mt. Olympus as a God, Zeus gave his daughter Hebe for his wife. They had two children, Alexiares and Anicerus.

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ZEUS BINDING SPELL

ZEUS BINDING SPELL

  God: I call upon Zeus, chief ruler of immortals

And mortals alike, most powerful of all the gods,

Who was known as the omnipotent Father Zeus,

And to the Romans as Jupiter, and who punishes

those who lie and break. 

Around I bind you three times three 

No more bad things you’ll think of me    

Around I bind you three times three 

No more bad things you’ll say of me 

Around I bind you three times three 

No more bad things you’ll do to me 

Around I bind you three times three    

And if these things continue to be 

Then back upon you three times three 

‘Til totally vanquished you will be 

By the powers of three times three 

By Earth and Fire, Air and Sea 

I fix this spell, then set it free

‘Twill give no harm to mine or me    

As I so will, So Mote It Be!

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The Myth of Cupid and Psyche (The Divine Love Story)

The Myth of Cupid and Psyche

The Divine Love Story or Myth of Cupid and Psyche

By , About.com

The great Greek goddess of love and beauty, Aphrodite, was born from the foam near the island of Cyprus, for which reason she is referred to as “the Cyprian.” Aphrodite was a jealous goddess, but she was also passionate. Not only did she love the men and gods in her life, but her sons and grandchildren, as well. Sometimes her possessive instincts led her too far. When her son Cupid found a human to love — one whose beauty rivaled hers — Aphrodite did all in her power to thwart the marriage.

How Cupid and Psyche Met

Psyche was worshiped for her beauty in her homeland. This drove Aphrodite mad, so she sent a plague and let it be known the only way the land could get back to normal was to sacrifice Psyche. The king, who was Psyche’s father, tied Psyche up and left her to her death at the hands of some presumed fearsome monster. You may note that this isn’t the first time in Greek mythology that this happened. The great Greek hero Perseus found his bride, Andromeda, tied up as prey for a sea monster. Andromeda was sacrificed to appease Poseidon who had ravaged the country of Ethiopia, which was ruled by her father, after Queen Cassiopeia had boasted about her own beauty. In the case of Psyche, it was Aphrodite’s son Cupid who released and married the princess.

The Mystery About Cupid

Unfortunately for the young couple, Cupid and Psyche, Aphrodite was not the only one trying to foul things up. Psyche had two sisters who were as jealous as Aphrodite.

Cupid was a wonderful lover and husband to Psyche, but there was one odd thing about their relationship: He made sure Psyche never saw what he looked like. Psyche didn’t mind. She had a fulfilling night life in the dark with her husband, and during the day, she had all the luxuries she could ever want.

When the sisters learned about the luscious, extravagant lifestyle of their lucky, beautiful sister, they urged Psyche to pry into the area of his life that Psyche’s husband kept hidden from her.

Cupid was a god, and gorgeous as he had to have been with Aphrodite for a mother, but for reasons known best to him, he didn’t want his mortal wife to see his form. Psyche’s sister didn’t know he was a god, although they may have suspected it. However, they did know that Psyche’s life was much happier than theirs. Knowing their sister well, they preyed on her insecurities and persuaded Psyche that her husband was a hideous monster.

Psyche assured her sisters they were wrong, but since she’d never seen him, even she started having doubts. Psyche decided to satisfy the girls’ curiosity, so that night she took a candle to her sleeping husband in order to look at him.

Cupid Deserts Psyche

Cupid’s angelic form was exquisite, so Psyche stood there gawking at her husband with her candle melting. While Psyche dawdled, ogling, a bit of wax dripped on her husband. Her rudely awakened, irate, disobeyed, injured husband-angel-god flew away.

“See, I told you she was a no good human,” said mother Aphrodite to her convalescing son Cupid. “Now you’ll have to be content among the gods.”

Cupid might have gone along with the de facto divorce, but Psyche couldn’t. Impelled by love of her gorgeous husband, she implored her mother-in-law to give her another chance. Aphrodite agreed, but ungraciously, saying, “I cannot conceive that any serving-wench as hideous as yourself could find any means to attract lovers save by making herself their drudge; wherefore now I myself will make trial of your worth.”

The Epic Trials of Psyche

But Aphrodite had no intention of playing fair. She devised 4 tasks (not 3 as is conventional in mythic hero quests; this is a feminine story), each task more exacting than the last. Psyche passed the first 3 challenges with flying colors:

  1. sort a huge mount of barley, millet, poppy seeds, lentils, and beans.   Ants (pismires) help her sort the grains within the time allotted.
  2. gather a hank of the wool of the shining golden sheep.   A reed tells her how to accomplish this task without being killed by the vicious animals.
  3. fill a crystal vessel with the water of the spring that feeds the Styx and Cocytus.   An eagle helps her out.

But the last task was too much for Psyche:

4. Aphrodite asked Psyche to bring her back a box of Persephone’s beauty cream.

Going to the Underworld was a challenge for the bravest of the Greek mythical heroes. Demigod Hercules could go to the Underworld without much bother, but even Theseus had trouble and had to be rescued by Hercules. Psyche barely batted an eye when Aphrodite told her she would have to go to the most dangerous region known to mortals. That part was easy, especially after the tower told her how to find the entryway to the Underworld, how get around Charon and Cerberus, and how to behave before the Underworld queen.

The part of the fourth task that was too much for Psyche was the temptation to make herself more beautiful. If the perfect beauty of the perfect goddess Aphrodite needed this Underworld beauty cream, Psyche reasoned, how much more would it help an imperfect mortal woman? Thus, Psyche retrieved the box successfully, but then she opened it and fell into a deathlike sleep, as Aphrodite had secretly predicted.

  “And by and by shee opened the boxe where she could perceive no beauty nor any thing else, save onely an infernall and deadly sleepe, which immediatly invaded all her members as soone as the boxe was uncovered, in such sort that she fell downe upon the ground, and lay there as a sleeping corps.”   William Adlington Translation (1566)

Reunion and Happy Ending to the Myth of Cupid and Psyche

At this point, divine intervention was called for if the story were to have an ending that made anyone really happy. With Zeus’ connivance, Cupid brought his wife to Olympus where, at Zeus’s command, she was given nectar and ambrosia so she would become immortal.

  “Incontinently after Jupiter commanded Mercury to bring up Psyches, the spouse of Cupid, into the Pallace of heaven. And then he tooke a pot of immortality, and said, Hold Psyches, and drinke, to the end thou maist be immortall, and that Cupid may be thine everlasting husband.

On Olympus, in the presence of the other gods, Aphrodite reluctantly reconciled with her pregnant daughter-in-law, who was about to give birth to a grandchild Aphrodite would (obviously) dote on, Pleasure.

Another Story of Cupid and Psyche

C.S. Lewis took Apuleius’ version of this myth and turned it on its ear in Till We Have Faces. The tender love story is gone. Instead of having the story seen through the eyes of Psyche, it’s seen through her sister Orval’s perspective. Instead of the refined Aphrodite of the Roman story, the mother goddess in C.S. Lewis’ version is a far more weighty, chthonic Earth-Mother-Goddess power.

More on C.S. Lewis and the re-telling of the Cupid and Psyche myth: A Great Gulf Fixed: The Problem of Obsessive Love in C.S. Lewis’ Till We Have Faces

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In The Honor Of Hecate – Hecate Blessing Rite

Witchy Cat Graphics & Comments
Hecate Blessing Rite

Items You Will Need:

An altar or small table covered with a black cloth

One black candle

A glass or chalice filled with red wine

Patchouli incense

A plate filled with bread

Goat cheese

Smoked fish

The Wheel of Hecate symbol (pictured) inscribed with silver ink on black card stock (the wheel should be the size of a dessert or small dinner plate.)

To begin the rite, light the black candle as you say:

Mistress of Magick,
Great Hecate,
Let your Light
Now lead the way.
 

Set the plate of food on top of the Wheel of Hecate. Hold your hands over the food and ask Hecate to bless it as follows:

I summon thee by Witches Rune,
Waxing light and Waning Moon.
With the turning of the tide,
All that’s past be laid aside.
Threefold Goddess of the night,
Bless me from the shadows light.
Banish now all trouble and fear,
Bring me happiness for all the year.
 

You will now want to bless the wine by holding your hands over the chalice or glass of wine as you say:

Let now the knowledge of the light,
Bring me wisdom and inner sight.
For all that was, has now passed away,
That new beginnings shall come my way.
 

In honor of Hecate, eat a portion of food and drink some of the wine. Take a few moments to reflect on the rite, and then extinguish the black candle as you say:

O glorious Hecate your are my power
Bless me my Lady from this hour.
 

To ensure that Hecate will bless you in the coming year, you must now take the remaining food and wine to the nearest crossroads and leave it. Place the food in the center of the crossroads and pour the wine over it. As you do this, ask Hecate to bless you. When you return home, clear the altar, and hang the Wheel of Hecate over your altar or bed.

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Celebrating Spiritual 365 Days A Year – Feast of Hecate

Witchy Cat Graphics & Comments

Celebrating Spiritual 365 Days A Year – Feast of Hecate

Hecate is one of the oldest embodiments of the Triple Moon Goddess worshipped today. She holds power over the heavens, the earth and the underworld, where she is in control of birth, life and death. Hecate is the giver of visions, magick, and regeneration. Her chief symbol is the crossroads where all paths connect—the past where one has been, the present where one stands, and future where one is headed. In ancient Rome, statues of Hecate were place at the important crossroads. Those who frequently traveled would make offerings to the Goddess in return for her blessings.

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May the Goddess Bless You With Warmth & Comfort on this Wednesday!

Blessed Be Comments

Faith is the Dark Moon
Unseen in the night
We know it is present
Yet long for the light.
 
Faith is the wind
That whispers around us.
 
We cannot touch it
And must take it on trust.
 
Faith is the soft voice
Of the Goddess of Old
Who warms us in the Winter
And wards off the cold.
 
Let my heart feel the warmth
Let my soul hear Her voice
Let me find faith in the darkness
And my spirit rejoice.
 

So Mote It Be.

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Calendar of the Sun for Monday, January 27th

Calendar of the Sun
27 Wolfmonath
Day of the Dioscuri

Color: Blue
Element: Air
Altar: Upon a cloth of blue place two blue candles, two red candles, two figures of horses, to small mirrors, and four knives, one before each candle. Place there also four cups, one containing white wine, one containing red wine, one containing grape juice, and one containing bitter tea.
Offering: Meditate on your inner divisions.
Daily Meal: Poultry.

Invocation to the Dioscuri

Hear ye the story of the Dioscuri, the sacred twins:
Leda, Queen of Sparta, opened herself to her lawful husband,
Tyndareus of Sparta, and also to great Zeus, king of the Gods.
She bore two sets of twins, and of each pair
One was mortal, and the other a divine child.
Castor, son of Zeus, loved his brother,
Pollux son of Tyndareus, with a love that could not separate them,
And Pollux returned that love. Each protected the other’s life,
As it should be between the mortal and immortal part
Of any being. Yet Pollux was stricken, slain, brought down,
As will come about for anything mortal, and went to Hades.
Therefore did Castor grieve, and offered up half his right to Olympus,
So that both spend half their time in the darkness, and half in heaven.
Yet hear the tale of the other twins: Helen the beautiful
Scorned her plain mortal sister Clytemnestra,
Saw her married at twelve, widowed at thirteen,
Raped on the bed beside her murdered babe,
Locked in a tower by her second husband
To prove as brood mare, whilst Helen, fairer of face
Than any mortal woman, went from prince to prince,
Fought over like a proud jewel. Yet the abused sister
Overthrew her oppressors, chose her own mate, turned a kingdom
Back to the ways of old before her death, whilst Helen
Was slain by raging mortal woman, like the sister she had scorned.
And so it is: The Divine and mortal parts must love each other,
More than life itself, and learn to work together,
And be prepared to sacrifice, or both shall be ever lost.

(The four cups are poured out as libation, first the white wine and the grape juice for Castor and Pollux, then the red wine and bitter tea for Helen and Clytemnestra.)

[Pagan Book of Hours]

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