Beltane: Herne, The Horned God

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Fertility Deities of Beltane

BeltaneFertility Deities of Beltane

 

Beltane is a time of great fertility — for the earth itself, for animals, and of course for people as well. This season has been celebrated by cultures going back thousands of years, in a variety of ways, but nearly all shared the fertility aspect. Typically, this is a Sabbat to celebrate gods of the hunt or of the forest, and goddesses of passion and motherhood, as well as agricultural deities. Here are a list of gods and goddesses that can be honored as part of your tradition’s Beltane rituals.

 

Artemis (Greek): The moon goddess Artemis was associated with the hunt, and was seen as a goddess of forests and hillsides. This pastoral connection made her a part of spring celebrations in later periods.

 

Bes (Egyptian): Worshiped in later dynasties, Bes was a household protection god, and watched over mothers and young children. He and his wife, Beset, were paired up in rituals to cure problems with infertility.

 

Bacchus (Roman): Considered the equivalent of Greek god Dionysus, Bacchus was the party god — grapes, wine, and general debauchery were his domain. In March each year, Roman women could attend secret ceremonies called the bacchanalia, and he is associated with sexual free-for-alls and fertility.

 

Cernunnos (Celtic): Cernunnos is a horned god found in Celtic mythology. He is connected with male animals, particularly the stag in rut, and this has led him to be associated with fertility and vegetation. Depictions of Cernunnos are found in many parts of the British Isles and western Europe. He is often portrayed with a beard and wild, shaggy hair — he is, after all, the lord of the forest.

 

Flora (Roman): This goddess of spring and flowers had her own festival, Floralia, which was celebrated every year between April 28 to May 3. Romans dressed in bright robes and floral wreaths, and attended theater performances and outdoor shows. Offerings of milk and honey were made to the goddess.

 

Hera (Greek): This goddess of marriage was the equivalent of the Roman Juno, and took it upon herself to bestow good tidings to new brides. A maiden about to marry could make offerings to Hera, in the hopes that she would bless the marriage with fertility. In her earliest forms, she appears to have been a nature goddess, who presides over wildlife and nurses the young animals which she holds in her arms.

 

Kokopelli (Hopi): This flute-playing, dancing spring god carries unborn children upon his own back, and then passes them out to fertile women. In the Hopi culture, he is part of rites that relate to marriage and childbearing, as well as the reproductive abilities of animals. Often portrayed with rams and stags, symbolic of his fertility, Kokopelli occasionally is seen with his consort, Kokopelmana.

 

Pan (Greek): This agricultural god watched over shepherds and their flocks. He was a rustic sort of god, spending lots of time roaming the woods and pastures, hunting and playing music on his flute. Pan is typically portrayed as having the hindquarters and horns of a goat, similar to a faun. Because of his connection to fields and the forest, he is often honored as a spring fertility god.

 

Priapus (Greek): This fairly minor rural god has one giant claim to fame — his permanently erect and enormous phallus. The son of Aphrodite by Dionysus (or possibly Zeus, depending on the source), Priapus was mostly worshiped in homes rather than in an organized cult. Despite his constant lust, most stories portray him as sexually frustrated, or even impotent. However, in agricultural areas he was still regarded as a god of fertility, and at one point he was considered a protective god, who threatened sexual violence against anyone — male or female — who transgressed the boundaries he guarded.

 

Sheela-na-Gig (Celtic): Although the Sheela-na-Gig is technically the name applied to the carvings of women with exaggerated vulvae that have been found in Ireland and England, there’s a theory that the carvings are representative of a lost pre-Christian goddess. Typically, the Sheela-na-Gig adorns buildings in areas of Ireland that were part of the Anglo-Norman conquests in the 12th century. She is shown as a homely woman with a giant yoni, which is spread wide to accept the seed of the male. Folkloric evidence indicates that the figures are theory that the figures were part of a fertility rite, similar to “birthing stones”, which were used to bring on conception.

 
Xochiquetzal (Aztec): This fertility goddess was associated with spring, and represented not only flowers but the fruits of life and abundance. She was also the patron goddess of prostitutes and craftsmen.

 
by Patti Wigington
Published on ThoughtCo

 

Venus

The OfferingVenus

“Venus is a Roman goddess principally associated with love, beauty, sex, fertility, prosperity and military victory. She played a key role in many Roman religious festivals. From the third century BC, the increasing Hellenization of Roman upper classes identified her as the equivalent of the Greek goddess Aphrodite which in turn is the copy and the equivalent of the Phoenician goddess Astarte. Roman mythology made her the divine mother of Aeneas, the Trojan ancestor of Rome’s founder, Romulus. Venus was offered official (state-sponsored) cult in certain festivals of the Roman calendar. Her sacred month was April (Latin Mensis Aprilis) which Roman etymologists understood to derive from aperire, “to open,” with reference to the springtime opening of trees and flowers. Veneralia (April 1) was held in honour of Venus Verticordia (“Venus the Changer of Hearts”), and Fortuna Virilis (Virile or strong Good Fortune), whose cult was probably by far the older of the two. Vinalia urbana (April 23), a wine festival shared by Venus and Jupiter, king of the gods. Venus was patron of “profane” wine, for everyday human use. Jupiter was patron of the strongest, purest, sacrificial grade wine, and controlled the weather on which the autumn grape-harvest would depend. At this festival, men and women alike drank the new vintage of ordinary, non-sacral wine in honour of Venus, whose powers had provided humankind with this gift”

 

– Wikipedia

Persephone

Beltane - May QueenPersephone

“In Greek mythology, Persephone, also called Kore (the maiden), is the daughter of Zeus and the harvest-goddess Demeter, and queen of the underworld. Homer describes her as the formidable, venerable majestic queen of the shades, who carries into effect the curses of men upon the souls of the dead. Kore was abducted by Hades, the god-king of the underworld. The myth of her abduction represents her function as the personification of vegetation which shoots forth in spring and withdraws into the earth after harvest; hence she is also associated with spring and with the seeds of the fruits of the fields. Similar myths appear in the Orient, in the cults of male gods like Attis, Adonis and Osiris, and in Minoan Crete. Persephone as a vegetation goddess (Kore) and her mother Ceres were the central figures of the Eleusinian mysteries that predated the Olympian pantheon, and promised to the initiated a more enjoyable prospect after death. The mystic Persephone is further said to have become by Zeus the mother of Dionysus, Iacchus, or Zagreus. The origins of her cult are uncertain, but it was based on very old agrarian cults of agricultural communities. Persephone was commonly worshiped along with Demeter, and with the same mysteries. To her alone were dedicated the mysteries celebrated at Athens in the month of Anthesterion. Her common name as a vegetation goddess is Kore and in Arcadia she was worshipped under the title Despoina “the mistress”, a very old chthonic divinity. Plutarch identifies her with spring and Cicero calls her the seed of the fruits of the fields. In the Eleusinian mysteries her return is the symbol of immortality and hence she was frequently represented on sarcophagi.”

 

– Persephone

Let’s Talk Witch – Who is the Goddess?

SPRING ~ Fairy w. Frog

Who is the Goddess?

For those of you who came to Wicca from Christianity or any of the other Abrahamic faiths, the Goddess may be hard to grasp. You may have felt an emptiness when you look at divinity a lack of the feminine. You may have felt her presence even though you may have been told she doesn’t exist.

 

Making the Goddess nonexistent has been the goal of Christianity and other Abrahamic Faiths for centuries. It has been done for many reasons, but mostly to enforce a patriarchy.

 

Well with our culture’s renewed interest in futures of old, we have what was hidden from us, the Goddess. Humanity has not always shunned the Goddess. At one point in our history and several cultures, she was revered. Now we can begin to connect with the Goddess once again.

 
Now we will talk about the Goddess. The Goddess can be seen as a single being, or as a polytheistic way, as in many separate Goddess. Alternatively, You can see her as many faces but all of one being.

 
You can also see her as a thought form. Being energy created by the thoughts of many people over a long period of time, or as an archetype. The Goddess is typically associated with the moon, but other cultures, she can be associated with the sun.

 
What is the symbol is the sun and what does it mean? It is the symbol of the Triple Goddess. The Triple Goddess is either one Goddess made of three Goddesses or three separate Goddesses. The Triple Goddess concept has its roots in the Celtic and Greek pantheon. It also can be applied to other pantheons.

 
The first crescent on the left is the Maiden Goddess. She is youth, inspiration, new beginnings, growth, and optimism. Any Goddess with these attributes can be considered a Maiden Goddess.  Her color is white.

 
Some Maiden Goddesses examples are Hathor, Egyptian Goddess of love, music, and sex. Athena, Greek Goddess of war and wisdom. Diana, Roman Goddess of the Moon. Artemis, Greek Goddess of the Moon and hunt. Hestia, Greek Goddess of the hearth and home.

 
The middle moon is the Mother Goddess. The mother represents fertility, protectiveness, motherhood, home, and sexuality. Her color is red.

 
Some of the Mother Goddesses are Isis, Egyptian Goddess of Magick. Demeter, Greek Goddess of the harvest. Gaia, Greek Goddess and titan of the earth. Hera, Greek Goddess of marriage and childbirth. Frigg, Norse Goddess of marriage, physical love and children.

 
The third crescent moon is the Crone Goddess. She represents wisdom, endings, prophecy, sorrow and death. Her color is black. A few of the Crone Goddesses are Sekhmet, Egyptian Goddess of war and fire. Hel, Norse Goddess of death. Cerridwen, Celtic Goddess of wisdom.

 
This cycle of Maiden, Mother, Crone plays out not only in the lives of women, but every month in the waxing and waning of the moon, which is sacred to the Goddess.

 

 

Wicca: A Year and A Day in Magick The Complete Beginners Guide
Lady Nephthys

 

About the Goddess Maia

Spring FantasyAbout the Goddess Maia

Maia, in ancient Greek religion, is one of the Pleiades and the mother of Hermes.
Maia is the daughter of Atlas and Pleione the Oceanid,mand is the oldest of the seven Pleiades. They were born on Mount Cyllene in Arcadia, and are sometimes called mountain nymphs, oreads; Simonides of Ceos sang of “mountain Maia” (Maiados oureias) “of the lovely black eyes.” Because they were daughters of Atlas, they were also called the Atlantides.

 
In ancient Roman religion and myth, Maia embodied the concept of growth, as her name was thought to be related to the comparative adjective maius, maior, “larger, greater.” Originally, she may have been a homonym independent of the Greek Maia, whose myths she absorbed through the Hellenization of Latin literature and culture.

 
In an archaic Roman prayer, Maia appears as an attribute of Vulcan, in an invocational list of male deities paired with female abstractions representing some aspect of their functionality. She was explicitly identified with Earth (Terra, the Roman counterpart of Gaia) and the Good Goddess (Bona Dea) in at least one tradition. Her identity became theologically intertwined also with the goddesses Fauna, Magna Mater (“Great Goddess”, referring to the Roman form of Cybele but also a cult title for Maia), Ops, Juno, and Carna, as discussed at some length by the late antiquarian writer Macrobius. This treatment was probably influenced by the 1st-century BC scholar Varro, who tended to resolve a great number of goddesses into one original “Terra.” The association with Juno, whose Etruscan counterpart was Uni, is suggested again by the inscription Uni Mae on the Piacenza Liver.

 
The month of May (Latin Maius) was supposedly named for Maia, though ancient etymologists also connected it to the maiores, “ancestors,” again from the adjective maius, maior, meaning those who are “greater” in terms of generational precedence. On the first day of May, the Lares Praestites were honored as protectors of the city,[18] and the flamen of Vulcan sacrificed a pregnant sow to Maia, a customary offering to an earth goddess[19] that reiterates the link between Vulcan and Maia in the archaic prayer formula. In Roman myth, Mercury (Hermes), the son of Maia, was the father of the twin Lares, a genealogy that sheds light on the collocation of ceremonies on the May Kalends.[20] On May 15, the Ides, Mercury was honored as a patron of merchants and increaser of profit (through an etymological connection with merx, merces, “goods, merchandise”), another possible connection with Maia his mother as a goddess who promoted growth.

Let’s Talk Witch – Who is the Goddess?

In between the worldsWho is the Goddess?

For those of you who came to Wicca from Christianity or any of the other Abrahamic faiths, the Goddess may be hard to grasp. You may have felt an emptiness when you look at divinity a lack of the feminine. You may have felt her presence even though you may have been told she doesn’t exist. Making the Goddess nonexistent has been the goal of Christianity and other Abrahamic Faiths for centuries. It has been done for many reasons, but mostly to enforce a patriarchy.

Well with our culture’s renewed interest in futures of old, we have what was hidden from us, the Goddess. Humanity has not always shunned the Goddess. At one point in our history and several cultures, she was revered. Now we can begin to connect with the Goddess once again.

Now we will talk about the Goddess. The Goddess can be seen as a single being, or as a polytheistic way, as in many separate Goddess. Alternatively, You can see her as many faces but all of one being.

You can also see her as a thought form. Being energy created by the thoughts of many people over a long period of time, or as an archetype. The Goddess is typically associated with the moon, but other cultures, she can be associated with the sun.

What is the symbol is the sun and what does it mean? It is the symbol of the Triple Goddess. The Triple Goddess is either one Goddess made of three Goddesses or three separate Goddesses. The Triple Goddess concept has its roots in the Celtic and Greek pantheon. It also can be applied to other pantheons.

The first crescent on the left is the Maiden Goddess. She is youth, inspiration, new beginnings, growth, and optimism. Any Goddess with these attributes can be considered a Maiden Goddess.  Her color is white.

Some Maiden Goddesses examples are Hathor, Egyptian Goddess of love, music, and sex. Athena, Greek Goddess of war and wisdom. Diana, Roman Goddess of the Moon. Artemis, Greek Goddess of the Moon and hunt. Hestia, Greek Goddess of the hearth and home.

The middle moon is the Mother Goddess. The mother represents fertility, protectiveness, motherhood, home, and sexuality. Her color is red.

Some of the Mother Goddesses are Isis, Egyptian Goddess of Magick. Demeter, Greek Goddess of the harvest. Gaia, Greek Goddess and titan of the earth. Hera, Greek Goddess of marriage and childbirth. Frigg, Norse Goddess of marriage, physical love and children.

The third crescent moon is the Crone Goddess. She represents wisdom, endings, prophecy, sorrow and death. Her color is black. A few of the Crone Goddesses are Sekhmet, Egyptian Goddess of war and fire. Hel, Norse Goddess of death. Cerridwen, Celtic Goddess of wisdom.

This cycle of Maiden, Mother, Crone plays out not only in the lives of women, but every month in the waxing and waning of the moon, which is sacred to the Goddess.

 
Wicca: A Year and A Day in Magick The Complete Beginners Guide
Lady Nephthys

 

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God of the Day for Friday, February 24th is Adonis

IsisAdonis

Greek God of beauty and desire

Adonis was the god of beauty and desire in Greek mythology. He was originally worshipped in Phoenicia (which is now the modern-day Lebanon) but he was adopted by the Greeks later.

He was the son of Theias, the king of Syria. His mother was Myrrha (who was also known by the name Smryna) and she was actually Theias’ daughter. In the myth, Myrrha fell in love with her father and tricked him into having sex with her, which is how Adonis was conceived.

When King Theias found out that his daughter had tricked him he tried to find her and kill her. Myrrha begged the gods for mercy and they transformed her into a myrrh tree.

In tree form, she gave birth to Adonis. At some point, Aphrodite came along and fell in love with him. She protected Adonis and let Persephone take care of him and raise him.

Later on, Aphrodite and Persephone would have a dispute over Adonis because both of the goddesses wanted him and Persephone refunded to give him back. In the end, Zeus had to get involved and settle the argument once and for all.

Zeus told the goddesses that a third of a year should be given to both of them and the other would be for Adonis to decide. Adonis chose to be with Aphrodite for two thirds a year.

Adonis died after being attacked by a wild boar that was sent by Artemis. Artemis was jealous of his hunting skills and wanted to punish him. Another version of that story says that Ares, the god of war, sent the boar to kill Adonis, because he was Aphrodite’s lover.

After the death of Adonis, Aphrodite then let nectar flow over his blood and the anemone flower sprouted.
Roles and Responsibilities of Adonis

From his blood sprinkled with nectar sprung the short lived flower named Anemone and the Adonis river.
He spent one third of the year with Persephone and two thirds of the year with Aphrodite to settle the dispute between the two goddesses.
He was a hunter and was said to have been envied by Artemis which led to his demise.
He was said to be a fertility god.

Appearance and Personality of Adonis

He was said to be an extremely beautiful young man and the most beautiful among men.
Not much of his personality was talked about.

Facts about Adonis

He was a product of incest. Apparently, her mother was struck by Eros instructed by Aphrodite to love his father because of her father bragging that his daughter was more beautiful than Aphrodite.
He was born in a Myrrh tree (his transformed mother).
Aphrodite fell in love at first sight and hid him away with Persephone.
Persephone also loved him as he grew up.
Artemis was said to have killed him by sending a boar.
Other sources say that he was killed by Ares who was transformed into a boar when Persephone taunted him that his beloved had a mortal lover.
He was said to come back to life.
He was also said to be a god of vegetation.
Mostly women worshipped him.
Adoniscries were women’s laments.
There was an Adonis garden adorned with potted flowers surrounding his statue.
His blood was said to have formed the Adonis river which turns to red and fades when he came back to life.

 

Source
Adonis: https://greekgodsandgoddesses.net – Greek Gods & Goddesses, November 24, 2016