Goddesses Associated With Friday
Friday For Freya: Astarte, Aphrodite, Erzulie, Aida Wooo, Eve, Venus, Diana, Isis, the Witch of Gaeta, Chalchiuhtlique
The Goddess Book of Days
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
Origins of Brighid
In Irish mythological cycles, Brighid (or Brighit), whose name is derived from the Celtic brig or “exalted one”, is the daughter of the Dagda, and therefore one of the Tuatha de Dannan. Her two sisters were also called Brighid, and were associated with healing and crafts. The three Brighids were typically treated as three aspects of a single deity, making her a classic Celtic triple goddess.
Patron and Protector
Brighid was the patron of poets and bards, as well as healers and magicians. She was especially honored when it came to matters of prophecy and divination. She was honored with a sacred flame maintained by a group of priestesses, and her sanctuary at Kildare, Ireland, later became the home of the Christian variant of Brighid, St. Brigid of Kildare. Kildare is also the location of one of several sacred wells in the Celtic regions, many of which are connected to Brighid. Even today, it’s not uncommon to see ribbons and other offerings tied to trees near a well as a petition to this healing goddess.
There are a variety of ways to celebrate the many aspects of Brighid at Imbolc. If you’re part of a group practice or a coven, why not try Honoring Brighid With a Group Ceremony? You can also incorporate prayers to Brighid into your rites and rituals for the season. Having trouble figuring out what direction you’re headed? Ask Brighid for assistance and guidance with a Brighid’s Crossroads Divination Ritual.
Brighid’s Many Forms
In northern Britain, Brighid’s counterpart was Brigantia, a warlike figure of the Brigantes tribe near Yorkshire, England. She is similar to the Greek goddess Athena and the Roman Minerva. Later, as Christianity moved into the Celtic lands, St. Brigid was the daughter of a Pictish slave who was baptized by St. Patrick, and founded a community of nuns at Kildare.
In addition to her position as a goddess of magic, Brighid was known to watch over women in childbirth, and thus evolved into a goddess of hearth and home. Today, many Pagans honor her on February 2, which has become known as Imbolc or Candlemas.
Winter Cymres at the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids, calls her a “complex and contradictory” sort of deity. Specifically, “She possesses an unusual status as a Sun Goddess Who hangs Her Cloak upon the rays of the Sun and whose dwelling-place radiates light as if on fire. Brigid took over the Cult of the Ewes formerly held by the Goddess Lassar, who also is a Sun Goddess and who made the transition, in the Isles, from Goddess to saint. In this way Brigid’s connection to Imbolc is completed, as the worship of Lassar diminished, only to be revived later in Christian sainthood.”
Crafts to Honor Brighid
In many Pagan traditions today, Brighid is celebrated with crafts that honor her role as the protector of the hearth. You can make a Brighid corn doll, as well as a Bride’s Bed for her to sleep in. Perhaps the best known decoration is the Brighid’s Cross, whose arms represent the place where a crossroads comes together, the space between light and dark.
Brighid and Imbolc
Like many Pagan holidays, Imbolc has a Celtic connection, although it wasn’t celebrated in non-Gaelic Celtic societies. The early Celts celebrated a purification festival by honoring Brighid. In some parts of the Scottish Highlands, Brighid was viewed as a sister of Cailleach Bheur, a woman with mystical powers who was older than the land itself. In modern Wicca and Paganism, Brighid is sometimes viewed as the maiden aspect of the maiden/mother/crone cycle, although it might be more accurate for her to be the mother, given her connection with home and childbirth.
The Greek goddess Hestia watched over domesticity and the family, and 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.
Hestia the Hearthkeeper
As the equivalent of the Roman Vesta, Hestia was known as the virginal daughter of Cronus and Rhea, and sister of Zeus, Poseidon and Hades. She tended the fires of Mount Olympus, and because of her devotion to her duty as hearthkeeper, she managed to stay out of a lot of the shenanigans of the other Greek gods. She doesn’t appear in too many of the Greek myths or adventure stories.
Hestia took her role as a virgin seriously as well, and in one legend, the lustful god Priapus tried to take advantage of her. As Priapus crept to her bed, planning on raping Hestia, a donkey brayed loudly, waking the goddess.
Her screams woke the other Olympians, much to Priapus’ great embarrassment. In some stories, it is said that Priapus believed Hestia to be a nymph, and that the other gods hid her by turning her into a lotus plant.
Ovid describes the scene in Fasti, saying, “Hestia lies down and takes a quiet, carefree nap, just as she was, her head pillowed by turf. But the red saviour of gardens, Priapos, prowls for Nymphai and goddesses, and wanders back and forth. He spots Vesta… He conceives a vile hope and tries to steal upon her, walking on tiptoe, as his heart flutters. By chance old Silenus had left the donkey he came on by a gently burbling stream. The long Hellespont’s god was getting started, when it bellowed an untimely bray. The goddess starts up, frightened by the noise. The whole crowd fly to her; the god flees through hostile hands.”
Hospitality and Sanctuary
As a hearth goddess, Hestia was also known for her hospitality. If a stranger came calling and seeking sanctuary, it was considered an offense against Hestia to turn the person away. Those who followed her were obligated to provide shelter and food to anyone truly in need. It was also emphasized that female guests given sanctuary were not to be violated — again, a grave offense against Hestia.
Because of her role over the hearth, she was allocated a special role in household ritual. Cicero, the first-century Roman rhetorician, wrote, “The name Vesta comes from the Greeks, for she is the goddess whom they call Hestia. Her power extends over altars and hearths, and therefore all prayers and all sacrifices end with this goddess, because she is the guardian of the innermost things. Closely related to this function are the Penates or household gods.”
Plato points out that Hestia is theologically significant because she is the one who is invoked, and to whom sacrifices are made, before any other deity in ritual.
Honoring Hestia Today
Hestia is traditionally represented by an image of a lamp with a perpetual flame. Today, some Greek reconstructionists, or Hellenic Pagans, continue to honor Hestia and all that she stands for.
To honor Hestia in your own rituals, try one or more of the following ideas:
Early worshipers offered young cows to Hestia, but that may not be practical for you. Instead, offerings of wine, olive oil, and fresh fruit are an acceptable substitute.
Keep a candle dedicated to Hestia burning on your hearth or mantle – if you don’t have a fireplace, your kitchen can be representative of the hearth.
When you’re working on any sort of domestic, home-focused project, honor Hestia with prayers, songs, or hymns.
Areas of Influence: Eos, Goddess of the dawn in ancient Greece was one of the Titans.
Every morning she awoke and used her rosy fingers to open the gates of heaven. This enabled her brother Helios (the sun God) to ride his chariot across the sky. She also brought forth the hope of a new day.
The dew was said to be her tears.
This female deity is most noted for her insatiable appetite for young men. Her desire is said to have been the result of a curse, placed upon her by Aphrodite, when she discovered her affair with Ares. She also kidnapped four lovers: Cephalus, Clitus, Ganymede and Tithonus. The later was a Trojan prince whom she begged Zeus to grant immortality. What she forgot to ask for was eternal youth. Eventually he shrivelled up with old age and she turned him into a grasshopper.
Her love for Orion was unrequited.
Origins and Genealogy: She was daughter of the Titans Theia and Hyperion. She had two close siblings Helios (the sun) and Selene (the moon).
With Aeolus the keeper of the winds, she bore four sons these became the winds of the cardinal directions.
Weaknesses: Insatiable desire.
Roman Equivalent: Aurora.
Horse Goddess of Wales
In Welsh mythology, Rhiannon is a horse goddess depicted in the Mabinogion. She is similar in many aspects to the Gaulish Epona, and later evolved into a goddess of sovereignty who protected the king from treachery.
Rhiannon was married to Pwyll, the Lord of Dyfed. When Pwyll first saw her, she appeared as a golden goddess upon a magnificent white horse. Rhiannon managed to outrun Pwyll for three days, and then allowed him to catch up, at which point she told him she’d be happy to marry him, because it would keep her from marrying Gwawl, who had tricked her into an engagement. Rhiannon and Pwyll conspired together to fool Gwawl in return, and thus Pwyll won her as his bride. Most of the conspiring was likely Rhiannon’s, as Pwyll didn’t appear to be the cleverest of men. In the Mabinogion, Rhiannon says of her husband, “Never was there a man who made feebler use of his wits.” After Pwyll’s death, Rhiannon married Manawyden.
The goddess’ name, Rhiannon, derives from a Proto-Celtic root which means “great queen,” and by taking a man as her spouse, she grants him sovereignty as king of the land.
In addition, Rhiannon possesses a set of magical birds, who can soothe the living into a deep slumber, or wake the dead from their eternal sleep.
Her story features prominently in the Fleetwood Mac hit Rhiannon, although songwriter Stevie Nicks says she didn’t know it at the time. Later, Nicks said she “was struck by the story’s emotional resonance with that of her song: the goddess, or possibly witch, given her ability with spells, was impossible to catch by horse and was also closely identified with birds — especially significant since the song claims she “takes to the sky like a bird in flight,” “rules her life like a fine skylark,” and is ultimately “taken by the wind.”
Primarily, though, Rhiannon is associated with the horse, which appears prominently in much of Welsh and Irish mythology. Many parts of the Celtic world — Gaul in particular — used horses in warfare, and so it is no surprise that these animals turn up in the myths and legends or Ireland and Wales. Scholars have learned that horse racing was a popular sport, especially at fairs and gatherings, and for centuries Ireland has been known as the center of horse breeding and training.
Judith Shaw, at Feminism and Religion, says, “Rhiannon, reminding us of our own divinity, helps us to identify with our sovereign wholeness. She enables us to cast out the role of victim from our lives forever. Her presence calls us to practice patience and forgiveness. She lights our way to the ability to transcend injustice and maintain compassion for our accusers.”
Symbols and items that are sacred to Rhiannon in modern Pagan practice include horses and horseshoes, the moon, birds, and the wind itself.
An Iowa Pagan named Callista says, “I raise horses, and have worked with them since I was a child. I first encountered Rhiannon when I was a teenager, and I keep an altar to her near my stables. It’s got horsey things on it, like a horseshoe, a horse figurine, and even braids from the manes of horses I’ve lost over the years. I make an offering to her before horse shows, and I invoke her when one of my mares is about to give birth. She seems to like offerings of sweetgrass and hay, milk, and even music – I sometimes sit by my altar and play my guitar, just singing a prayer to her, and the results are always good. I know she’s watching over me and my horses.”
The Roman equivalent of Aphrodite, Venus was a goddess of love and beauty. Originally, she was believed to be associated with gardens and fruitfulness, but later took on all the aspects of Aphrodite from the Greek traditions. She is considered by many to be the ancestor of the Roman people, and was the lover of the god Vulcan, as well as of the warrior god Mars.
Worship and Celebration
The earliest known temple to Venus was dedicated on the Aventine hill in Rome, around 295 b.c.e. However, her cult was based in the city of Lavinium, and her temple there became the home of a festival known as the Vinalia Rustica. A later temple was dedicated after the defeat of the Roman army near Lake Trasimine during the Second Punic War.
Venus appears to have been very popular amongst the plebian class of Roman society, as evidenced by the existence of temples in areas of the city which were traditionally plebian rather than patrician. A cult to her aspect of Venus Erycina existed near Rome’s Colline gate; in this guise, Venus was a goddess primarily of fertility.
Another cult honoring Venus Verticordia also existed between the Aventine hill and Circus Maximus.
As often found in Roman gods and goddesses, Venus existed in many different incarnations. As Venus Victrix, she took on the aspect of warrior, and as Venus Genetrix, she was known as the mother of the Roman civilization. During the reign of Julius Caesar, a number of cults were started on her behalf, since Caesar claimed that the family of the Julii were directly descended from Venus. She is also recognized as a goddess of fortune, as Venus Felix.
Brittany Garcia of Ancient History Encyclopedia says, “Venus’ month was April (the beginning of spring and fertility) when most of her festivals were held. On the first of April a festival was held in honor of Venus Verticordia called Veneralia. On the 23rd, Vinalia Urbana was held which was a wine festival belonging to both Venus (goddess of profane wine) and Jupiter. Vinalia Rusticia was held on August 10th. It was Venus’ oldest festival and associated with her form as Venus Obsequens. September 26th was the date for the festival of Venus Genetrix, the mother and protector of Rome.”
The Lovers of Venus
Similar to Aphrodite, Venus took a number of lovers, both mortal and divine. She bore children with Mars, the god of war, but doesn’t seem to have been particularly maternal in nature. In addition to Mars, Venus had children with her husband, Vulcan, and when conflated with Aphrodite, is commonly believed to be the mother of Priapus, conceived during a fling with the god Bacchus (or one of Venus’ other lovers).
Scholars have noted that Venus doesn’t have many myths of her own, and that many of her stories are borrowed from the tales of Aphrodite.
Venus in Art and Literature
Venus is nearly always portrayed as young and lovely. Throughout the Classical period, a number of statues of Venus were produced by different artists. The statue Aphrodite of Milos, better known as the Venus de Milo, depicts the goddess as classically beautiful, with womanly curves and a knowing smile. This statue is believed to have been done by Alexandros of Antioch, around 100 b.c.e.
During the European Renaissance period and beyond, it became fashionable for upper class ladies to pose as Venus for paintings or sculptures. One of the best known is that of Pauline Bonaparte Borghese, younger sister of Napoleon. Antonio Canova sculpted her as Venus Victrix, reclined on a lounge, and although Canova wanted to sculpt her in a robe, Pauline apparently insisted on being portrayed nude.
Chaucer wrote regularly of Venus, and she appears in a number of his poems, as well as in The Knight’s Tale, in which Palamon compares his lover, Emily, to the goddess. In fact, Chaucer uses the turbulent relationship between Mars and Venus to represent Palamon, the warrior, and Emily, the lovely maiden in the flower garden.
How can you honor Diana today, as a modern Pagan? There are a number of ways you can celebrate Diana in her many aspects. Try one or more of these as part of your magical practice:
Are you a Pagan who is also a hunter? Honor Diana before you set out, by making an offering to her of bread or fruit, or clay images. She seems to appreciate song as well – why not sing a song in her honor, asking for assistance with your hunt?
If your hunt is successful, make sure you thank Diana afterwards. You can do this by singing her praises as you dress your kill.
If you’re pregnant, and want her to watch over you in childbirth, create an altar to Diana. Include requests for protection on a small clay tablet tied with ribbon, or images of motherhood and children.
Write prayers to Diana on ribbons or strips of fine cloth, and tie them to trees in the forest.
Celebrate Diana at the time of the full moon with an altar full of candles designated in her name, or by calling upon her in a Drawing Down the Moon ritual.
Airmid, also known as Airmed or Airmeith, is the Celtic Goddess of the Healing Arts. She was also a member of the Tuatha De Danaan, the most ancient race of deities in Ireland and just as they did, she had great magickal powers. When the Goddess Danu first created the Tuatha De Danaan, she made sure that its members were very powerful gods, filled with great wisdom and skilled in every possible area of expertise.
Some people believe that the Tuatha De Danaan was comprised of Druids, who were extremely knowledgeable in both prophecy and magick. When the members of the Tuatha De Danaan decided to study something, not only did they simply learn about it, they actually went much farther, by deeply immersing themselves in that particular field to the point where they became the greatest experts in the world. They believed strongly in the three components of life: the Earth, the Mysteries, and the Spirit realm and that they were all of equal importance.
Airmid was the daughter of Diancecht, the God of Medicine, and the Chief Physician and Magician of the Tuatha De Danaan. She also had four brothers: Miach, Cian, Cethe, and Cu, and they all followed closely in their father’s footsteps. Airmid also had a sister named Etan, who was a poet who was also married to Oghma. Coming from that kind of a heritage, there can be little doubt that Airmid and her brothers excelled in the healing arts.
When the Fir Bolgs first arrived in Ireland, the Tuatha De Danaan fought against them in a great war, protecting its people and land from invasion. During the first battle, the Tuatha defeated the Fir Bolgs and killed their king, Eocchid MacEric. Nuada, the King of the Tuatha De Danaan was also seriously injured in that battle when his arm became severed from his body.
Since Diancecht was the Chief Physician of the Tuatha De Danaan, he was immediately called upon to attend to Nuada’s wounds, and he brought Airmid and Miach with him to assist. While Diancecht was working upon Nuada, it became increasingly clear that Airmid’s and Miach’s skills as healers were much greater then those of their father.
While Diancecht had decided to replace Nuada’s severed arm with one that he had constructed from silver, Airmid was actually able to regenerate the King’s own arm to perfect working order. Then Miach, using his amazing surgical skills, took the regenerated arm and re-attached it to the King’s body. These actions were extremely important to the Tuatha De Danaan and especially to Nauda, because according to its laws, no one could ever be its king, whose body was not completely whole. If Nuada’s arm had not been re-attached to his body, through Airmid and Miach’s amazing skills, then his reign as King would have ended.
Airmid, Miach and Diancecht built the Well of Slaine in Ireland, which was also known as the Well of Health. They then caste spells over it, so that the well’s magickal waters could not only restore life to those warriors who had been killed in battle; it could actually return them all to perfect health. When a wounded warrior was brought to the well his body was immediately immersed in its waters, which not only brought him back to life, but also made him well enough to return to the battle.
However, during the second Battle of Moytura, things did not go well for the Tuatha De Danaan because their enemies had filled the Well of Slaine with stones. That made it impossible for them to bring their warriors bodies back to life, and the well soon became known as the “Heapstown Cairn.”
Airmid’s brother Miach was an extremely talented healer, and when Diancecht realized that his son’s abilities were so greatly superior to his own he became extremely jealous. Soon, that jealousy began to turn into rage, and that rage became so great that he drew his sword and slashed Miach quite badly. Miach, however, using his superior medical knowledge and magickal skills, immediately healed the wound.
That just made Diancecht’s anger grow even greater, and for a second time he drew his sword, this time cutting Miach through to the bone. Just as quickly, however, Miach was able to heal himself once more.
It was at that point that Diancecht finally lost what little control he had left over his rage and, once again taking his sword in his hand, he sliced directly into his son’s brain tissue. What happened then was truly miraculous. Miach showed himself to be the outstanding physician that he was, and he actually was able to heal himself one more time.
Finally, it became extremely clear that Diancecht’s hatred of his son had reached the point of no return. Slowly, Diancecht drew his sword and then, for the final time, he struck his son in the head, this time severing Miach’s brain completely from his skull. It was then that Diancecht just walked away, leaving his wounded son who was no longer able to heal himself lying there on the ground to die. Legend has it, that when Diancecht looked down upon his dying son, he never once exhibited even the slightest bit of remorse.
Airmid also had great magickal powers and herb craft was her specialty. Miach had taught her well, and she knew the different uses of each and every plant. When Airmid buried her brother it was with great sorrow. She missed him dearly, since they had always been so very close, and she frequently would go to visit his grave. One day, when she arrived at Miach’s grave, she was amazed to find 365 healing herbs growing on and around his grave, with one herb for every joint and organ of his body.
Methodically, Airmid began to gather up the herbs. Then, quite amazingly, the herbs began to speak to her, telling her of the full range of their healing powers. Airmid then took the herbs and separated each from the other. Then she arranged them systematically upon her cloak, each according to its own particular use or special properties. With the knowledge she had gained from the herbs, she then proceeded to use it to heal people who needed medical attention.
Amazingly, Diancecht’s obsessive hatred for his son did not end with Miach’s death. Still consumed by his enormous rage, Diancecht went over to Airmid’s cloak and overturned it, scattering all the herbs into the wind; thereby making certain that no one except Airmid would ever know the use of the herbs’ healing properties or the secret of how to achieve immortality which was made possible through the herbs proper use.
Even though Diancecht was her father, Airmid found herself unable to have any feelings for him, and refused to have anything to do with him. In fact, she found it so impossible to even go anywhere near him, that she travelled far away to a place where she would never have to see him again.
It is believed that Airmid still works as a Physician, high in the mountains of Ireland, spending much of her time healing Faeries, Elves and humans; bringing them all back to good health through her practical knowledge and amazing magickal skills.