Celtic Pantheon

Celtic Pantheon

 

ANGUS OF THE BRUGH Also OENGUS OF THE BRUIG God of youth, son of the
Dagda. In Ireland, Angus is the counterpart of Cupid. Angus’ kisses turn into singing birds, and the music he plays irresistibly draws all who hear.

ARIANRHOD “Silver Wheel,” “High Fruitful Mother.” One of the Three Virgins of Britain, her palace is Caer Arianrhod, the Celtic name for the Aurora Borealis.

BADB A goddess of war. One of a triad of war goddesses known collectively as the Morrigan. Bird shaped and crimson mouthed, Badb uses her magic to decide battles. Badb lusts after men and is often seen at fords washing the armor and weapons of men about to die in combat.

BRIGHID also BRIGIT. Goddess of healing and craftsmanship, especially metalwork. Also a patron of learning and poetry. In Wales she is Cerridwen, who possesses the cauldron of knowledge and inspiration. The Celts so loved Brighid that they could not abandon her even when they became Christians, and so made Brighid a Christian saint.

CERRIDWEN also HEN WEN; in Wales, BRIGHID “White Grain,” “Old White One.”
Corn goddess. Mother of Taliesen, greatest and wisest of all the bards, and therefore a patron of poets. The “white goddess” of Robert Graves. Cerridwen lives among the stars in the land of Caer Sidi. Caridwen is connected with wolves, and some claim her cult dates to the Neolithic era.

CERNUNNOS Horned god of virility. Cernunnos wears the torc (neck-ring)
and is ever in the company of a ram-headed serpent and a stag. Extremely
popular among the Celts, the Druids encouraged the worship of Cernunnos,
attempting to replace the plethora of local deities and spirits with a
national religion. The Celts were so enamored of Cernunnos that his cult
was a serious obstacle to the spread of Christianity.

DAGDA Earth and father god. Dagda possesses a bottomless cauldron of
plenty and rules the seasons with the music of his harp. With his mighty
club Dagda can slay nine men with a single blow, and with its small end
he can bring them back to life. On the day of the New Year, Dagda mates
with the raven goddess of the Morrigan who while making love straddles a
river with one foot on each bank. A slightly comical figure.

DANU Mother goddess, an aspect of the Great Mother. Another of a triad
of war goddesses known collectively as the Morrigan. Connected with the
moon goddess Aine of Knockaine, who protects crops and cattle. Most
importantly, the mother of the Tuatha de’ Danann, the tribe of the gods.

DIAN CECHT A healer. At the second battle of Moytura, Dian Cecht
murdered his own son whose skill in healing endangered his father’s
reputation. The Judgments of Dian Cecht, an ancient Irish legal tract,
lays down the obligations to the ill and injured. An agressor must pay
for curing anyone he has injured, and the severity of any wound, even
the smallest, is measured in grains of corn.

DIS PATER Originally a god of death and the underworld, later the cheif
god of the Gauls. The Gauls believed, as their Druids taught, that Dis
Pater is the ancestor of all the Gauls.

DONN Irish counterpart to Dis Pater. Donn sends storms and wrecks ships,
but he protects crops and cattle as well. Donn’s descendents come to his
island after death.

EPONA Horse goddess. Usually portrayed as riding a mare, sometimes with
a foal. Roman legionaires, deeply impressed with Celtic horsemanship,
took up the worship of Epona themselves and eventually imported her cult
to Rome itself.

ESUS A god of the Gauls “whose shrines make men shudder,” according to a
Roman poet. Human sacrifices to Esus were hanged and run through with a
sword. For unknown reasons, Esus is usually portrayed as a woodcutter.

GOVANNON The smith god. The weapons Govannon makes are unfailing in
their aim and deadliness, the armor unfailing in its protection. Also a
healer. Those who attend the feast of Govannon and drink of the god’s
sacred cup need no longer fear old age and infirmity.

LUG also LUGH, LLEU A sun god and a hero god, young, strong, radiant
with hair of gold, master of all arts, skills and crafts. One day Lug
arrived at the court of the Dagda and demanded to be admitted to the
company of the gods. The gatekeeper asked him what he could do. For
every skill or art Lug named, the gatekeeper replied that there was
already one among the company who had mastered it. Lug at last pointed
out that they had no one who had mastered them all, and so gained a
place among the deities, eventually leading them to victory in the
second battle of Moytura against the Formorian invaders. (The Formorians
were a race of monsters who challenged the gods for supremacy in the
first and second battles of Moytura.) The Romans identified Lug with
Mercury. The most popular and widely worshipped of the Celtic gods,
Lug’s name in its various forms was taken by the cities of Lyons,
Loudun, Laon, Leon, Lieden, Leignitz, Carlisle and Vienna.

MACHA “Crow.” The third of the triad of war goddesses known as the
Morrigan, Macha feeds on the heads of slain enemies. Macha often
dominates her male lovers through cunning or simple brute strength.

MEDB “Drunk Woman.” A goddess of war, not one of the Morrigan. Where the
Morrigan use magic, Medb wields a weapon herself. The sight of Medb
blinds enemies, and she runs faster than the fastest horse. A bawdy
girl, Medb needs thirty men a day to satisfy her sexual appetite.

MORRIGAN, THE also MORRIGU MORRIGAN A war goddess, forerunner of the
Arthurian Morgan La Fey. Like Odin, fickle and unfaithful, not to be
trusted. A hag with a demonic laugh, the Morrigan appears as a grotesque
apparition to men about to die in battle. Her name is also used for a
triad of war goddesses, who are often thought of as different aspects of
the Morrigan.

NEMAIN “Panic.” A war goddess.

NUADHU also NUD, NODENS, LUD. “Nuadhu of the silver arm.” God of healing
and water; his name suggests “wealth-bringer” and “cloud-maker.” At the
first battle of Moytura, Nuadhu lost an arm, and Dian Cecht replaced it
with a new one made out of silver. Because of this, Nuadhu was obliged
to turn leadership of the Tuatha de’ Dannan over to Lug. People came to
be healed at Nuadhu’s temple at Lydney, and small votive limbs made of
silver have been found there.

OGMIOS also OGMA “Sun Face.” A hero god like Hercules, a god of
eloquence, language, genius. Generally portrayed as an old man dressed
in a lion skin. From his tongue hang fine gold chains attached to the
ears of his eager followers.

SUCELLUS Guardian of forests, patron of agriculture. His consort is
Nantosvelta, whose name suggests brooks and streams. Sometimes
considered synonymous with Cernunnos or Daghda.

TUATHA DE’ DANANN The divine tribes and people descended from the
goddess Danu. Skilled in druidry and magic, the Tuatha de’ Danann
possess four talismans of great power: the stone of Fal which shrieked
under the true heir to the throne; the spear of Lug which made victory
certain; the sword of Nuadhu which slays all enemies; and the ever full
cauldron of Daghda from which no man ever goes away hungry.

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Deity of the Day for Friday, January 8th is Eirene, The Greek Peace Goddess

Deity of the Day

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Eirene

The Greek Peace Goddess

 

Areas of Influence: Eirene was the Greek peace Goddess. She is also the patroness of wealth and prosperity, this is because in times of peace people have the opportunity to plough the fields and make and sell, goods and services. War only breeds famine and destruction.

Her name can also be spelt Irene and Irini

She was one of the three Horae who are the maintainers of law and order that a stable society depends upon. They were also the Goddesses of the seasons and the natural divisions of time. In the lliad the Horae are also described as the guardians of the gates to Olympus.

Origins and Genealogy: She was the daughter of Zeus and Themis. She had two sisters Eunomia (order) and Dike (Justice) who were other two members of the Horae.

Strengths: A peacemaker.

Weaknesses: As a personification of peace and wealth she has no other distinctive personality traits.

Symbolism: Often shown as a young woman holding an olive branch or Hermes’s staff. She wore ears of corn that represented wealth and prosperity. In one statue by Kephisodotos she is shown holding the infant Ploutus (Wealth).

Sacred Animal/Bird/Plant: Corn and the olive tree.

Roman Equivalent: Pax.

Eirene’s Archetype

The Diplomat/Peacemaker

The Diplomat Archetype is able to mediate between different groups, as they are able to quickly assess the situation, understanding both sides point of view. Helping them to find a middle ground upon which they can both agree.

The Shadow Diplomat manipulates both sides to achieve their own personal agenda.

This is the most fitting Archetype for the Greek Peace Goddess as it is through successful diplomacy that conflicts can be resolved and wars averted.

How To Work With This Archetype

The Diplomat/Peacemaker

To have the Diplomat as one of you main archetypes you do not have to be a diplomat by profession. However you must have a life-long commitment to resolving disputes and bringing people together. This can often occur within families where one member of the family is constantly trying to keep the peace and the family together.

Check you are not stepping into this Archetype’s shadow by asking yourself if it is you who will benefit most from the outcome you are steering the different sides towards?

 

Source:
Goddess-guide.com

Deity of the Day for January 3rd is Branwen, Celtic Goddess

Deity of the Day

Branwen

Branwen

Branwen, Daughter of Llŷr is a major character in the Second Branch of the Mabinogi, which is sometimes called the Mabinogi of Branwen after her. Branwen is a daughter of Llŷr and Penarddun. She is married to the King of Ireland, but the marriage does not bring peace.

Her story

The story opens with Branwen’s brother Bendigeidfran (Brân the Blessed), King of Britain, sitting on a rock by the sea at Harlech and seeing the vessels of Matholwch King of Ireland approaching. Matholwch has come to ask for the hand of Bendigeidfran’s sister Branwen in marriage. Bendigeidfran agrees to this, and a feast is held to celebrate the betrothal. While the feast is going on, Efnisien, a half-brother of Branwen and Bendigeidgfran, arrives and asks why there are celebrations. On being told, he is furious that his half sister has been given in marriage without his consent, and vents his spleen by mutilating Matholwch’s horses. Matholwch is deeply offended, but conciliated by Bendigeidfran who gives him a magical cauldron which can bring the dead to life; he does not know that when the dead are brought back, they will be mute.

When Matholwch returns to Ireland with his new bride, he consults with his nobles about the occurrences in the Isle of the Mighty. They are outraged and believe that Matholwch was not compensated enough for the mutilation of his horses. In order to redeem his honor, Matholwch banishes Branwen to work in the kitchens. Branwen is treated cruelly by her husband Matholwch as punishment for Efnisien’s mutilation of the horses, though not before she gives birth to an heir, Gwern. She tames a starling and sends it across the Irish Sea with a message to her brother and Bendigeidfran brings a force from Wales to Ireland to rescue her. Some swineherds see the giant Bendigeidfrân wading the sea and report this to Matholwch, who retreats beyond a river and destroys the bridges. However, Bendigeidfran lays himself down over the river to serve as a bridge for his men, uttering the gnomic words, “A fo ben, bid bont” (‘He would be a leader, let him be a bridge”). Matholwch, fearing war, tries to reconcile with Bendigeidfran by building a house big enough for him to fit into in order to do him honour. Matholwch agrees to give the kingdom to Gwern, his son by Branwen, to pacify Bendigeidfran. The Irish lords do not like the idea, and many hide themselves in flour bags tied to the pillars of the huge newly built house to attack the Welsh. Efnisien, checking out the house prior to the arrival of Bendigeidfran and his men, guesses what is happening and kills the hidden men by squeezing their heads. At the subsequent feast to celebrate Gwern’s investiture as King of Ireland, Efnisien in an unprovoked moment of rage throws his nephew Gwern into the fire.

War against Ireland

In the ensuing war, all the Irish are killed save for five pregnant women that lived in Wales who repopulate the island, while only seven of the Welsh survive to return home with Branwen, taking with them the severed head of Bendigeidfran. On landing in Wales at Aber Alaw in Anglesey Branwen dies of grief that so much destruction had been caused on her account, crying “Oi, a fab Duw! Gwae fi o’m genedigaeth. Da o ddwy ynys a ddiffeithwyd o’m hachos i” (‘Oh Son of God, woe to me that I was born! Two fair islands have been laid waste because of me!’). She was buried beside the river Alaw.

Bendigeidfran had commanded his men to cut off his head and to “bear it even unto the White Mount, in London, and bury it there, with the face towards France.” And so for seven years his men spent feasting in Harlech, accompanied by three singing birds and Bendigeidfran’s head. After the seven years they go to Gwales in Penfro, where they remain for fourscore (80) years. Eventually they go to London and bury the head of Bendigeidfran in the White Mount. Legend said that as long as the head was there, no invasion would come over the sea to Britain.

Branwen’s Grave

At Llanddeusant, Anglesey on the banks of the Alaw can be found the cairn called Bedd Branwen, her supposed grave. Now in ruins, it still has one standing stone. It was dug up in 1800, and again in the 1960s by Frances Lynch, who found several urns with human ashes. It is believed that if the story of Branwen is based on real events, these must have taken place during the Bedd Branwen Period of Bronze Age British history.

 

Source:
Wikipedia

Deity of the Day for December 28th – Athena, the Greek Goddess of Wisdom

Deity of the Day

Athena

Greek Goddess of Wisdom

She sums up many of the Greeks’ gifts to Western culture, from philosophy to olive oil to the Parthenon. Athena, daughter of Zeus, joined the Olympians in a dramatic way and figured in many founding myths, including taking an active part in the Trojan War. She was the patron of the city of Athens; its iconic Parthenon was her shrine. And as the goddess of wisdom, the strategy of war, and the arts and crafts (agriculture, navigation, spinning, weaving, and needlework), she was one of the most important gods to the ancient Greeks.

 

The Birth of Athena

Athena is said to have emerged fully formed from the head of Zeus, but there is a backstory. One of Zeus’ many loves was an Oceanid named Metis. When she became pregnant, the King of Gods remembered the danger he posed to his own father, Cronos, and in turn, how Cronos dealt with his father Ouranos. Wary of continuing the cycle of patricide, Zeus swallowed his lover.

But Metis, in the darkness of Zeus’ interior, continued to carry her child. After some time, the King of Gods came down with a royal headache. Calling upon the blacksmith god Hephaestus (some myths  say it was Prometheus), Zeus asked that his head be split open, whereupon sprang gray-eyed Athena in her glory.

Myths About Athena

Befitting the patron of one of Hellas’ greatest city-states, Greek goddess Athena appears in many classic myths. Some of the most famous ones include:

Athena and Arachne: Here, the Goddess of the Loom takes a skilled but boastful human down a peg, and by transforming Arachne into tiny, eight-legged weaver, invents the spider.

The Gorgon Medusa: Another tale of Athena’s vengeful side, the fate of Medusa was sealed when this beautiful priestess of Athena was wooed by Poseidon in the goddess’ own shrine. Snakes for hair and a petrifying gaze ensued.

The Contest for Athens: Once again pitting the grey-eyed goddess against her uncle Poseidon, the contest for the patronage of Athens was decided for the god who bestowed the best gift to the city. Poseidon brought forth a magnificent (salt water) spring, but wise Athena gifted an olive tree—source of fruit, oil, and wood. She won.

The Judgement of Paris: In the unenviable position of judging a beauty contest between Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite, the Trojan Paris put his money on the one Romans would call Venus.

His prize: Helen of Troy, née Helen of Sparta, and the enmity of Athena, who would tirelessly back the Greeks in the Trojan War.

 

Athena Fact File

Occupation:

Goddess of Wisdom, Warcraft, Weaving, and Crafts

Other Names:

Pallas Athena, Athena Parthenos, and the Romans called her Minerva

Attributes:

Aegis—a cloak with the head of Medusa upon it, spear, pomegranate, owl, helmet. Athena is described as gray-eyed (glaukos).

Powers of Athena:

Athena is the goddess of wisdom and crafts. She is the patron of Athens.

Sources:

Ancient sources for Athena include: Aeschylus, Apollodorus, Callimachus, Diodorus Siculus, Euripides, Hesiod, Homer, Nonnius, Pausanias, Sophocles and Strabo.

A Son for a Virgin Goddess:

Athena is a virgin goddess, but she has a son. Athena is credited with being part-mother of Erichthonius, a half-snake half-man creature, through an attempted rape by Hephaestus, whose seed spilled on her leg. When Athena wiped it off, it fell to earth (Gaia) who became the other part-mother.

The Parthenon:

The people of Athens built a great temple for Athena on the acropolis, or high point, of the city. The temple is known as the Parthenon. In it was a colossal gold and ivory statue of the goddess. During the annual Panathenaia festival, a procession was made to the statue and she was clothed in a new outfit.

More:
Since Athena was born without a mother — sprung from her father’s head — in an important murder trial, she decided that the role of the mother was less essential in creation than the role of the father. Specifically, she sided with the matricide Orestes, who had kiled his mother Clytemnestra after she had killed her husband and his father Agamemnon.

 

Source:

Let’s Talk Witch – THE GODDESS


Egyptian Comments & Graphics

 THE GODDESS

 

One of the things that sets Paganism apart from most of the other religions in the world is our belief in not just a patriarchal male god but in a matriarchal goddess as well. Father and mother, if you will.

As a nature-based religion, it makes sense to follow the patterns that we see everywhere in nature: male and female, that is, not just one or the other or neither (unless you’re an amoeba).

The goddess we worship comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors, and we call her by various names, depending on our personal preferences or the needs of the occasion. There is even a common goddess chant that merely repeats the names of some of the most well known: Isis, Astarte, Diana, Hecate, Demeter, Kali, Inanna.

As you can see by this list, our goddesses are drawn from many cultures, including Greek, Roman, Celtic, Indian, Egyptian, and Sumerian. Does anyone know where Sumeria was, by the way? I certainly don’t. Many times, the goddesses we call upon have actually outlived the culture that spawned them. Now that’s immortality.

The goddess is generally known in three forms: maiden, mother, and crone, collectively referred to as the triple goddess. She changes shape as the year changes: young in the spring, middle-aged in the late summer, old in the winter, and young again as spring returns.

Most Pagans find one or more goddesses who appeal to them in particular (or who speak to them in an especially loud voice-sometimes the goddess picks you, and not the other way around) and call on her most often. Some just say “goddess” without feeling the need to attach a name. Either way, our belief in the goddess strengthens our connection to the female in all of us (yes, guys too) and to the duality in the natural world that surrounds us.

No matter what name you call the goddess or goddesses you worship, remember to treat her with respect and a bit of caution as well. These are powerful, many-faceted deities, after all. Even the lovely Venus, goddess of love and beauty, was known for her twisted sense of humor on occasion. Ever have a bad blind date? Yup, that’s her too.

–Deborah Blake, Everyday Witch A to Z: An Amusing, Inspiring & Informative Guide to the Wonderful World of Witchcraft

Deity of the Day for November 17th is Kali, The Hindu Goddess

Deity of the Day

kali-1

Kali

(Raja Ravi Varma)

 

Kali is the Hindu goddess (or Devi) of death, time, and doomsday and is often associated with sexuality and violence but is also considered a strong mother-figure and symbolic of motherly-love. Kali also embodies shakti – feminine energy, creativity and fertility – and is an incarnation of Parvati, wife of the great Hindu god Shiva. She is most often represented in art as a fearful fighting figure with a necklace of heads, skirt of arms, lolling tongue, and brandishing a knife dripping with blood.

Kali’s name derives from the Sanskrit meaning ‘she who is black’ or ‘she who is death’, but she is also known as Chaturbhuja Kali, Chinnamastā, or Kaushika. As an embodiment of time Kali devours all things, she is irresistibly attractive to mortals and gods, and can also represent (particularly in later traditions) the benevolence of a mother goddess.

Kali’s name derives from the Sanskrit meaning ‘she who is black’ or ‘she who is death’.

The goddess is particularly worshipped in eastern and southern India and specifically in Assam, Kerala, Kashmir, Bengal, – where she is now worshipped in the yearly festival of Kali Puja held on the night of a new moon – and in the Kalighat Temple in the city of Calcutta.

Kali’s Birth

There are several traditions of how Kali came into existence. One version relates when the warrior goddess Durga, who had ten arms each carrying a weapon and who rode a lion or tiger in battle, fought with Mahishasura (or Mahisa), the buffalo demon. Durga became so enraged that her anger burst from her forehead in the form of Kali. Once born, the black goddess went wild and ate all the demons she came across, stringing their heads on a chain which she wore around her neck. It seemed impossible to calm Kali’s bloody attacks, which now extended to any wrongdoers, and both people and gods were at a loss what to do. Fortunately, the mighty Shiva stopped Kali’s destructive rampage by lying down in her path, and when the goddess realised just who she was standing on, she finally calmed down. From this story is explained Kali’s association with battlegrounds and areas where cremation is carried out.

In another version of the goddess’ birth, Kali appeared when Parvati shed her dark skin which then became Kali, hence one of her names is Kaushika (the Sheath), whilst Parvati is left as Gauri (the Fair One). This story emphasises Kali’s blackness which is symbolic of eternal darkness and which has the potential to both destroy and create.

In a third version, men and gods were being terrorised by Daruka who could only be killed by a woman, and Parvati was asked by the gods to deal with the troublesome demon. She responded by jumping down Shiva’s throat. This was because many years previously Shiva had swallowed halahala, the poison which had risen from the churning of the ocean during the creation and which had threatened to pollute the world. By combining with the poison still held in Shiva’s throat, Parvati was transformed into Kali. Leaping from Shiva’s throat in her new guise, Kali swiftly despatched Daruka and all was well with the world once more.

Finally, in yet another version of Kali’s birth, there is the story of the terrible demon Raktabija (Blood-seed). This demon was, like most demons, causing a great deal of trouble with people and gods alike but even worse was his ability to produce more demons every time a drop of his blood spilt to the ground. Therefore, each time Raktabija was attacked, the only result was more demons to deal with. The gods decided to work together and combine all of their shakti or divine energy and produce one super being that could destroy Raktabija; the result was Kali (in another version only Durga produces Kali). Given all the divine weapons of the gods, Kali swiftly sought out Raktabija and his demons and proceeded to swallow them all whole so as not to spill anymore blood in the process. Raktabija himself was killed when Kali lopped off his head with a sword and then drank all of his blood, making sure none fell to the ground and thereby ensuring no more demons could menace the world.

Another famous story involving Kali is her escapade with a band of thieves. The thieves wanted to make a human sacrifice to Kali, and unwisely chose a Brahmin monk as a likely victim. Dragging him to the nearest temple, the thieves prepared to make the sacrifice in front of the statue of Kali when suddenly the statue came to life. Outraged at the thieves’ plan to kill a monk, the goddess took swift revenge and decapitated the whole gang, even tossing their heads about for fun, whilst naturally the Brahmin escaped to continue his life of scholarly reflection.

Kali In Hindu Art

In art Kali is most often portrayed with blue or black skin, naked, and wearing a Bengali type crown of clay which is painted or gilded. She is, like many Hindu deities, a multiple armed figure with the number of arms being four, eight, ten, twelve, or even eighteen. Each arm usually holds an object and these can include a sword, dagger, trident, cup, drum, chakra, lotus bud, whip, noose, bell, and shield. Sometimes her left hand forms the abhaya mudra, whilst the right makes the offering varada mudra. She is often represented seated with legs crossed and having eight feet.

Kali’s most common pose in paintings is in her most fearsome guise as the slayer of demons, where she stands or dances with one foot on a collapsed Shiva and holds a severed head. She wears a skirt of severed human arms, a necklace of decapitated heads, and earrings of dead children, and she often has a terrifying expression with a lolling tongue which drips blood.

 

 

About the Author

Mark Cartwright

Mark holds an M.A. in Greek philosophy and his special interests include the Minoans, the ancient Americas, and world mythology. He loves visiting and reading about historic sites and transforming that experience into free articles accessible to all.

Located on the website, Ancient History Encyclopedia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gods and Goddesses of Death and the Underworld

Gods and Goddesses of Death and the Underworld

Death is rarely so apparent than it as at Samhain. The skies have gone gray, the earth is brittle and cold, and the fields have been picked of the last crops. Winter looms on the horizon, and as the Wheel of the Year turns once more, the boundary between our world and the spirit world becomes fragile and thin. In cultures all over the world, the spirit of Death has been honored at this time of the year.

Here are just a few of the deities who represent death and the dying of the earth.

  1. Anubis (Egyptian): This god with the head of a jackal is associated with mummification and death in ancient Egypt. Anubis is the one who decides whether or not one the deceased is worthy of entering the realm of the dead.
  2. Demeter (Greek): Through her daughter, Persephone, Demeter is linked strongly to the changing of the seasons and is often connected to the image of the Dark Mother and the dying of the fields. When Persephone was abducted by Hades, Demeter’s grief caused the earth to die for six months, until her daughter’s return.
  3. Freya (Norse): Although Freya is typically associated with fertility and abundance, she is also known as a goddess of war and battle. Half of the men who died in battle joined Freya in her hall, Folkvangr, and the other half joined Odin in Valhalla.
  4. Hades (Greek): Hades was the Greek god of the underworld – let’s look at some of his legends and mythology, and see why this ancient god is still important today.
  5. Hecate (Greek): Although Hecate was originally considered a goddess of fertility and childbirth, over time she has come to be associated with the moon, cronehood, and the underworld. Sometimes referred to as the Goddess of the Witches, Hecate is also connected to ghosts and the spirit world. In some traditions of modern Paganism, she is believed to be the gatekeeper between graveyards and the mortal world.
  6. Hel (Norse): This goddess is the ruler of the underworld in Norse mythology. Her hall is called Éljúðnir, and is where mortals go who do not die in battle, but of natural causes or sickness.
  7. Meng Po (Chinese): This goddess appears as an old woman, and it is her job to make sure that souls about to be reincarnated do not recall their previous time on earth. She brews a special herbal tea of forgetfulness, which is given to each soul before they return to the mortal realm.
  8. Morrighan (Celtic): This warrior goddess is associated with death in a way much like the Norse goddess Freya. The Morrighan is known as the washer at the ford, and it is she who determines which warriors walk off the battlefield, and which ones are carried away on their shields. She is represented in many legends by a trio of ravens, often seen as a symbol of death.
  9. Osiris (Egyptian): In Egyptian mythology, Osiris is murdered by his brother Set before being resurrected by the magic of his lover, Isis. The death and dismemberment of Osiris is often associated with the threshing of the grain during the harvest season.
  10. Whiro (Maori): This underworld god inspires people to do evil things. He typically appears as a lizard, and is the god of the dead.
  11. Yama (Hindu): In the Hindu Vedic tradition, Yama was the first mortal to die and make his way to the next world, and so he was appointed king of the dead. He is also a lord of justice, and sometimes appears in an incarnation as Dharma.
Source:

Deity of the Day for October 19th is The Norns

Deity of the Day

The Norns

The Norns, or Nornir, were the Norse and Germanic fates, the demi-goddesses of destiny. The Æsir often sought their council. They are similar to the Moirae  and Fates of Greco-Roman myth. As in the Germanic mythological tradition, they were known to be three sister goddesses: Clotho (“The Spinner”), Lachesis (“The Decider”), and Atropos (“The Inevitable”).

The original Norn was undoubtedly Urd, a word which can be translated to mean “Fate”. The Well of Urd, which was situated at the base of the great cosmic tree Yggdrasil, is named after this Norn. The two additional Norns that are known by name are Verdandi (“Present” [or “Necessity” in some versions]) and Skuld (“Future” [or “Being” in some versions]). All three Norns live at the Well of Urd in Asgard.

Domain

It was believed that the Norns decided the destinies of gods, giants, and dwarfs, and were responsible for the fates of every individual human being. The Anglo-Saxons referred to Urd by the name of Wyrd, and in England there was maintained a belief in the tremendous powers of the three sisters long after the arrival of Christianity. For instance, in Shakespeare’s tragic play Macbeth, the Three Sisters on “the blasted heath” were obviously inspired by the Norns and other mythological fate goddesses.

It would seem more than possible that the Norns were also originally conceived as spinners. However, in Germanic mythology, the Greek and Roman concept of the Fates spinning an individual length of yarn for each mortal life does not appear.

In Mythology

According to Norse mythology, nothing lasts forever, and even the great Yggdrasil has been said to decay one day. The Norns try to stop or slow this process by pouring mud and water from the Well of Urd over its branches. The magical liquid stops the decaying process for a short time.

In other versions pertaining the Norns, they were thought to give assistance to birth, and that each person has their own personal Norn.

 

Source:

Mythology Wikia

 

Goddesses Who Can Assist You In Your Spellcrafting

Goddesses Who Can Assist You In Your Spellcrafting

Aphrodite: Greek; Goddess of passionate, sexual love. Aphrodite will assist you in pulling loving energy toward yourself.

Aradia: Italian; Queen of the Witches, daughter of Diana. Aradia is an extremely powerful entity and a protectress of Witches in general.

Artemis: Greek; Goddess of the Moon.

Astarte: Greek; Fertility Goddess. Whether you wish to bear children or have a magnificent garden, Astarte will assist in your desire.

Demeter: Greek; Earth Mother archetype. Excellent Goddess where birthing or small children are involved.

Diana: Roman; Moon Goddess and Goddess of the Hunt. Diana is many faceted. She is seductress (as she enchanted her brother Lucifer to beget Aradia in the form of a cat) as well as a mother figure for Witches.

Isis: Egyptia; represents the complete Goddess or the Triple Goddess connotation in one being.

Persephone: Greek; Goddess of the Underworld as well as Harvest. Daughter of Demeter.

Selene: Greek; Goddess of the Moon and Solutions. Appeal to Selene to bring a logical answer to any problem.

Venus: Roman; Goddess of Love and Romance

Deity of the Day for September 25th is Hera, Queen of the Gods in Greek Mythology

Deity of the Day

Hera

Queen of the Gods in Greek Mythology


Definition:

In Greek mythology, the beautiful goddess Hera was queen of the Greek gods and the wife of Zeus, the king. Hera was goddess of marriage and childbirth. Since Hera’s husband was Zeus, king not only of gods, but of philanderers, Hera spent a lot of time in Greek mythology angry with Zeus. So Hera is described as jealous and quarrelsome.

Hera’s Jealousy

Among the more famous victims of Hera’s jealousy is Hercules (aka “Heracles,” whose name means the glory of Hera).

Hera persecuted the famous hero from before the time he could walk for the simple reason that Zeus was his father, but another woman — Alcmene — was his mother. Despite the fact that Hera was not Hercules’ mother, and despite her hostile actions — such as sending snakes to kill him when he was a newborn baby, she served as his nurse when he was an infant.

Hera persecuted many of the other women Zeus seduced, in one way or another.

“The anger of Hera, who murmured terrible against all child-bearing women that bare children to Zeus….”

Theoi Hera: Callimachus, Hymn 4 to Delos 51 ff (trans. Mair)

“Leto had relations with Zeus, for which she was hounded by Hera all over the earth.”
Theoi Hera: Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1. 21 (trans. Aldrich)

 

Hera’s Children

Hera is usually counted single parent mother of Hephaestus and the normal biological mother of Hebe and Ares. Their father is usually said to be her husband, Zeus, although Clark [“Who Was the Wife of Zeus?” by Arthur Bernard Clark; The Classical Review, (1906), pp.

365-378] explains the identities and births of Hebe, Ares, and Eiletheiya, goddess of childbirth, and sometimes named child of the divine couple, otherwise.

Clark argues that the king and queen of the gods had no children together.

Hebe may have been fathered by a lettuce. The association between Hebe and Zeus may have been sexual rather than familial.

Ares might have been conceived via a special flower from the fields of Olenus. Zeus’ free admission of his paternity of Ares, Clark hints, may be only to avoid the scandal of being a cuckold.

On her own, Hera gave birth to Hephaestus.

 

Parents of Hera

Like brother Zeus, Hera’s parents were Cronos and Rhea, who were Titans.
Roman Hera

In Roman mythology, the goddess Hera is known as Juno.

 

Fast Facts About Hera

Name: Greek – Hera; Roman – Juno

Family

Parents: Cronus and Rhea

Foster Parents: Oceanus and Thetys, among others

Siblings: Hestia, Demeter, Poseidon, Hades, and Zeus

Mates: Zeus

Children: Ares, Hephaestus, Eileithyia, Hebe

Role of Hestia

For Humans: Hera was goddess of marriage. In later myth, Hera is treated as the queen of heaven, the female counterpart of Zeus
For Gods: Queen

Canonical Olympian? Yes. Hera is one of the canonical Olympians.

 

 

Source:

Author: N.S. Gill

N.S. Gill’s Ancient/Classical History Glossary

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