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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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Brighid – Hearth Goddess of Ireland


Imbolc/Candlemas Comments
Brighid – Hearth Goddess of Ireland

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.

Celebrating Brighid

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.

 

 

 
By Patti Wigington, Paganism/Wicca Expert
Originally published on & owned by About.com


About the Greek Goddess, Hestia, Goddess of the Hearth

I'll put a spell on you About the Greek Goddess, Hestia, Goddess of the Hearth

 

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.
 

Author

 

Patti Wigington, Paganism/Wicca Expert
© 2017 About, Inc. — All rights reserved.

 

Deity of the Day for August 23rd – Eos The Dawn Goddess

Deity of the Day

Eos

The Dawn Goddess

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.

Strengths: Passion.

Weaknesses: Insatiable desire.

Roman Equivalent: Aurora.

 

Source

Goddess-Guide.com

Deity of the Day for August 20th – Rhiannon, Horse Goddess of Wales

Deity of the Day

Rhiannon

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.”

 

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