Deity of the Day for May 4th is Bona Dea, The Good Goddess

Deity of the Day

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 Bona Dea

The Good Goddess

Bona Dea (“The Good Goddess”) was a divinity in ancient Roman religion. She was associated with chastity and fertility in women, healing, and the protection of the Roman state and people. According to Roman literary sources, she was brought from Magna Graecia at some time during the early or middle Republic, and was given her own state cult on the Aventine Hill.

Her rites allowed women the use of strong wine and blood-sacrifice, things otherwise forbidden them by Roman tradition. Men were barred from her mysteries and the possession of her true name. Given that male authors had limited knowledge of her rites and attributes, ancient speculations about her identity abound, among them that she was an aspect of Terra, Ops, the Magna Mater, or Ceres, or a Latin form of Damia. Most often, she was identified as the wife, sister or daughter of the god Faunus, thus an equivalent or aspect of the nature-goddess Fauna, who could prophesy the fates of women.

The goddess had two annual festivals. One was held at her Aventine temple; the other was hosted by the wife of Rome’s senior annual magistrate, for an invited group of elite matrons and female attendants. The latter festival came to scandalous prominence in 62 BC, when the politician Clodius Pulcher was tried for his intrusion on the rites, allegedly bent on the seduction of Julius Caesar’s wife, whom Caesar later divorced because “Caesar’s wife must be above suspicion”. The rites remained a subject of male curiosity and speculation, both religious and prurient.

Bona Dea’s cults in the city of Rome were led by the Vestal Virgins, and her provincial cults by virgin or matron priestesses. Surviving statuary shows her as a sedate Roman matron with a cornucopia and a snake. Personal dedications to her are attested among all classes, especially plebeians, freedmen and women, and slaves. Approximately one third of her dedications are from men, some of whom may have been lawfully involved in her cult.

Titles, names and origins

Bona Dea (“The Good Goddess”) is both an honorific title and a respectful pseudonym; the goddess’ true or cult name is unknown. Her other, less common pseudonyms include Feminea Dea (“The Women’s Goddess”), Laudandae…Deae (“The Goddess…to be Praised”)., and Sancta (“The Holy One”). She is a goddess of “no definable type”, with several origins and a range of different characteristics and functions.

Based on what little they knew of her rites and attributes, Roman historians speculated her true name and identity. Festus describes her as identical with a “women’s goddess” named Damia, which Georges Dumézil sees as an ancient misreading of Greek “Demeter”. In the late Imperial era, the neoplatonist author Macrobius identifies her as a universal earth-goddess, an epithet of Maia, Terra, or Magna Mater, worshiped under the names of Ops, Fauna and Fatua. The Christian author Lactantius, claiming the late Republican polymath Varro as his source, describes her as Faunus’ wife and sister, named Fenta Fauna, or Fenta Fatua (Fenta “the prophetess” or Fenta “the foolish”).

Republican era

The known features of Bona Dea’s cults recall those of various earth and fertility goddesses of the Graeco-Roman world, especially the Thesmophoria festival to Demeter. They included nocturnal rites conducted by predominantly or exclusively female intitiates and female priestesses, music, dance and wine, and sacrifice of a sow. During the Roman Republican era, two such cults to Bona Dea were held at different times and locations in the city of Rome.

One was held on May 1 at Bona Dea’s Aventine temple. Its date connects her to Maia; its location connects her to Rome’s plebeian commoner class, whose tribunes and emergent aristocracy resisted patrician claims to rightful religious and political dominance. The festival and temple’s foundation year is uncertain – Ovid credits it to Claudia Quinta (c. late 3rd century BC). The rites are inferred as some form of mystery, concealed from the public gaze and, according to most later Roman literary sources, entirely forbidden to men. In the Republican era, Bona Dea’s Aventine festivals were probably distinctly plebeian affairs, open to all classes of women and perhaps, in some limited fashion, to men. Control of her Aventine cult seems to have been contested at various times during the Mid Republican era; a dedication or rededication of the temple in 123 BC by the Vestal Virgin Licinia, with the gift of an altar, shrine and couch, was immediately annulled as unlawful by the Roman Senate; Licinia herself was later charged with inchastity, and executed. By the Late Republic era, Bona Dea’s May festival and Aventine temple could have fallen into official disuse, or official disrepute.

The goddess also had a Winter festival, thoroughly documented but attested on only two occasions (63 and 62 BC). It was held in December, at the home of the current senior annual Roman magistrate cum imperio, whether consul or praetor. It was hosted by the magistrate’s wife and attended by respectable matrons of the Roman elite. This winter festival is not marked on any known religious calendar but was dedicated to the public interest and supervised by the Vestals, and therefore must be considered official. Shortly after 62 BC, Cicero presents it as one of very few lawful nocturnal festivals allowed to women, privileged to those of aristocratic class, and coeval with Rome’s earliest history.

Festival rites

The Winter festival is known primarily through Cicero’s account, supplemented by later Roman authors. First, the house was ritually cleansed of all male persons and presences, even male animals and male portraiture. Then the magistrate’s wife and her assistants made bowers of vine-leaves, and decorated the house’s banqueting hall with “all manner of growing and blooming plants” except for myrtle, whose presence and naming were expressly forbidden. A banquet table was prepared, with a couch (pulvinar) for the goddess and the image of a snake. The Vestals brought Bona Dea’s cult image from her temple and laid it upon her couch, as an honoured guest. The goddess’ meal was prepared: the entrails (exta) of a sow, sacrificed to her on behalf of the Roman people (pro populo Romano), and a libation of sacrificial wine. The festival continued through the night, a women-only banquet with female musicians, fun and games (ludere), and wine; the last was euphemistically referred to as “milk”, and its container as a “honey jar”. The rites sanctified the temporary removal of customary constraints imposed on Roman women of all classes by Roman tradition, and underlined the pure and lawful sexual potency of virgins and matrons in a context that excluded any reference to male persons or creatures, male lust or seduction,. According to Cicero, any man who caught even a glimpse of the rites could be punished by blinding. Later Roman writers assume that apart from their different dates and locations, Bona Dea’s December and May 1 festivals were essentially the same.

Clodius and the Bona Dea scandal

The Winter rites of 62 BC were hosted by Pompeia, wife of Julius Caesar, senior magistrate in residence and pontifex maximus. Publius Clodius Pulcher, a popularist politician and ally of Caesar, was said to have intruded, dressed as a woman and intent on the hostess’ seduction. As the rites had been vitiated, the Vestals were obliged to repeat them, and after further inquiry by the senate and pontifices, Clodius was charged with desecration, which carried a death sentence. Cicero, whose wife Terentia had hosted the previous year’s rites, testified for the prosecution.

Caesar publicly distanced himself from the affair as much as possible – and certainly from Pompeia, whom he divorced because “Caesar’s wife must be above suspicion”. He had been correctly absent from the rites but as a paterfamilias he was responsible for their piety. As pontifex maximus, he was responsible for the ritual purity and piety of public and private religion. He must act to ensure that the Vestals had acted correctly, then chair the inquiry into what were essentially his own household affairs. Worse, the place of the alleged offense was the state property loaned to every pontifex maximus for his tenure of office. It was a high profile, much commented case. The rites remained officially secret, but many details emerged during and after the trial, and remained permanently in the public domain. They fueled theological speculation, as in Plutarch and Macrobius: and they fed the prurient male imagination – given their innate moral weakness, what might women do when given wine and left to their own devices? Such anxieties were nothing new, and underpinned Rome’s traditional strictures against female autonomy. In the political and social turmoil of the Late Republic, Rome’s misfortunes were taken as signs of divine anger against the personal ambition, religious negligence and outright impiety of her leading politicians.

Clodius’ prosecution was at least partly driven by politics. In an otherwise seemingly thorough account, Cicero makes no mention of Bona Dea’s May festival, and claims the goddess’ cult as an aristocratic privilege from the first; the impeccably patrician Clodius, Cicero’s social superior by birth, is presented as an innately impious, low-class oaf, and his popularist policies as threats to Rome’s moral and religious security. After two years of legal wrangling, Clodius was acquitted – which Cicero put down to jury-fixing and other backroom dealings – but his reputation was damaged. The scandalous revelations at the trial also undermined the sacred dignity and authority of the Vestals, the festival, the goddess, office of the pontifex maximus and, by association, Caesar and Rome itself. Some fifty years later, Caesar’s heir Octavian, later the princeps Augustus, had to deal with its repercussions.

Imperial Era

Octavian presented himself as restorer of Rome’s traditional religion and social values, and as peacemaker between its hitherto warring factions. In 12 BC he became pontifex maximus, which gave him authority over Rome’s religious affairs, and over the Vestals, whose presence and authority he conspicuously promoted. His wife Livia was a distant relative of the long-dead but still notorious Clodius; but also related to the unfortunate Vestal Licinia, whose attempted dedication of Bona Dea’s Aventine Temple had been thwarted by the Senate. Livia restored the temple and revived its May 1 festival, perhaps drawing attention away from her disreputable kinsman and the scandalous events of 62 BC. Thereafter, Bona Dea’s December festival may have continued quietly, or could simply have lapsed, its reputation irreparably damaged. There is no evidence of its abolition. Livia’s name did not and could not appear in the official religious calendars, but Ovid’s Fasti associates her with May 1, and presents her as the ideal wife and “paragon of female Roman virtue”. Most of Bona Dea’s provincial and municipal sanctuaries were founded around this time, to propagate the new Imperial ideology. An Imperial cult centre in Aquileia honours an Augusta Bona Dea Cereria, probably in connection with the corn dole. Other state cults to the goddess are found at Ostia and Portus. As the Vestals seldom went beyond Rome’s city boundary, these cults would have been led by leading women of local elites, whether virgin or matron.

Livia’s best efforts to restore Bona Dea’s reputation had only moderate success in some circles, where scurrilous and titillating stories of the goddess’ rites continued to circulate. Well over a century after the Clodius scandal, Juvenal describes Bona Dea’s festival as an opportunity for women of all classes, most shamefully those of the upper class – and men in drag (“which altars do not have their Clodius these days?”) – to get drunk and cavort indiscriminately in a sexual free-for-all.

From the late 2nd century, an increasing religious syncretism in Rome’s traditional religions presents Bona Dea as one of many aspects of Virgo Caelestis, the celestial Virgin, Great Mother of the gods, whom later Mariologists identify as prototype for the Virgin Mary in Christian theology. Christian theologists present Bona Dea – or rather, Fauna, whom they clearly take her to be – as one of the innumerable Roman gods who supposedly show the immorality and absurdity at the heart of traditional Roman religion; according to them, no prophetess, merely “foolish Fenta”, daughter and wife to her incestuous father, and “good” (bona) only at drinking too much wine.

Temples

Bona Dea’s Roman temple was situated on a lower slope of the northeastern Aventine Hill, beneath the height known as Saxum, southeast of the Circus Maximus. Its foundation year is unknown. According to Dumezil, Festus’ identification of Bona Dea with Damia infers a foundation date in or shortly after 272 BC, after Rome’s capture of Tarentum; but Cicero claimed the goddess’ cult as coeval with Rome’s foundation. In the middle Republican era, the temple may have fallen into disrepair, or its cult into official disfavour. In 123 BC the Vestal Licinia gave the temple an altar, small shrine and couch for the goddess, but they were removed as unlawful by the pontifex maximus P. Scaevola. Its use and status at the time of the Bona Dea scandal are unknown. It was restored in the Imperial era, once by the empress Livia, wife of Augustus, and perhaps again by Hadrian. It survived to at least the 4th century AD. Nothing is known of its architecture or appearance, save that unlike most Roman temples it was walled. It was an important centre of healing; harmless snakes roamed its precincts, and it held a store of various medicinal herbs that could be dispensed at need by its priestesses. Men were forbidden entry but could dedicate offerings to the goddess, or, according to Ovid, could enter the precincts “if bidden by the goddess”.

Most provincial sanctuaries and temples to Bona Dea are too decayed, despoiled or fragmentary to offer firm evidence of structure and layout, but the remains of four confirm a layout consistent with the sparse descriptions of her Aventine temple. In each, a perimeter wall surrounds a dense compound of annexes, in which some rooms show possible use as dispensaries. The layout would allow the concealment of inner cults or mysteries from non-initiates. There is evidence that at least some remained in use to the 4th century AD as cultic healing centres.

Dedications and iconography

Despite the exclusively female, aristocratic connections of her winter festival at Rome and her high status as a protecting deity of the Roman state, elite dedications to Bona Dea are far outnumbered by the personal dedications of the Roman plebs, particularly the ingenui; the greatest number of all are from freedmen and slaves; and an estimated one-third of all dedications are from men, one of whom, a provincial Greek, claims to be a priest of her cult. This is evidence of lawful variation – at least in the Roman provinces – from what almost all Roman literary sources present as an official and absolute rule of her cult. Inscriptions of the Imperial era show her appeal as a personal or saviour-goddess, extolled as Augusta and Domina; or as an all-goddess, titled as Regina Triumphalis (Triumphal Queen), or Terrae marisque Dominatrici (Mistress of sea and land). Private and public dedications associate her with agricultural deities such as Ceres, Silvanus, and the virgin goddess Diana.[47] She is also named in some dedications of public works, such as the restoration of the Claudian Aqueduct.

Most inscriptions to Bona Dea are simple and unadorned but some show serpents, often paired. Cumont (1932) remarks their similarity to the serpents featured in Pompeian lararia; serpents are associated with many earth-deities, and had protective, fertilising and regenerating functions, as in the cults of Aesculapius, Demeter and Ceres. Some Romans kept live, harmless snakes as household pets, and credited them with similarly beneficial functions.

Images of the goddess show her enthroned, clad in chiton and mantle. On her left arm she holds a cornucopia, a sign of her abundant generosity and fruitfulness. In her right hand, she holds a bowl, which feeds a serpent coiled around her right arm: a sign of her healing and regenerative powers. This combination of snake and cornucopia are unique to Bona Dea. The literary record offers at least one variation on this type; Macrobius describes her cult statue as overhung by a “spreading vine”, and bearing a sceptre in her left hand.

Mythology

Cicero makes no reference to any myth of Bona Dea. Later Roman scholars connected her to the goddess Fauna, a central figure in Latium’s aristocratic foundation myth, which was thus re-embroidered as a Roman moral fable. Several variants are known; Fauna is daughter, wife or sister of Faunus (also named Faunus Fatuus, meaning Faunus “the foolish”, or seer). Faunus was son of Picus, and was the first king of the Latins, empowered with the gift of prophecy. In Roman religion he was a pastoral god and protector of flocks, with a shrine and oracle on the Aventine, sometimes identified with Inuus and later, with Greek Pan. As his female counterpart, Fauna had similar gifts, domains and powers in relation to women. In Plutarch’s version of the myth, the mortal Fauna secretly gets drunk on wine, which is forbidden her. When Faunus finds out, he thrashes her with myrtle rods; in Lactantius’s version, Faunus thrashes her to death, regrets the deed and deifies her. Servius derives the names Faunus and Fauna, collectively the Fatui, from fari (to prophesy): they “are also called Fatui because they utter divine prophecy in a state of stupor”. Macrobius writes that Bona Dea is “the same as Fauna, Ops or Fatua… It is said too that she was the daughter of Faunus, and that she resisted the amorous advances of her father who had fallen in love with her, so that he even beat her with myrtle twigs because she did not yield to his desires though she had been made drunk by him on wine. It is believed that the father changed himself into a serpent, however, and under this guise had intercourse with his daughter.” Macrobius refers the serpent’s image at the goddess’ rites to this mythical transformation, and to the live, harmless serpents who roamed the goddess’ temple precincts.

Varro explains the exclusion of men from Bona Dea’s cult as a consequence of her great modesty; no man but her husband had ever seen her, or heard her name. For Servius, this makes her the paragon of chaste womanhood. Most likely, once Fauna’s mythology seemed to offer an explanation for Bona Dea’s mysterious cult, the myth developed circumstantially, to fit what little was known of the practice. In turn, the cult practice may have changed to support the virtuous ideological message required of the myths, particularly during the Augustan religious reforms that identified Bona Dea with the empress Livia. Versnel (1992) notes the elements common to the Bona Dea festival, Fauna’s myths, and Greek Demeter’s Thesmophoria, as “wine, myrtle, serpents and female modesty blemished”.

Cult themes in modern scholarship

Bona Dea’s is the only known festival in which women could gather at night, drink strong, sacrificial-grade wine and perform a blood sacrifice. Although women were present at most public ceremonies and festivals, the religious authorities in Roman society were the male pontiffs and augurs, and women could not lawfully perform rites at night, unless “offered for the people in proper form”. Women were allowed wine at these and other religious occasions. At other times, they might drink weak, sweetened, or diluted wine in moderation but Roman traditionalists believed that in the more distant and virtuous past, this was forbidden, “for fear that they might lapse into some disgraceful act. For it is only a step from the intemperance of Liber pater to the forbidden things of Venus”. Some ancient sources infer that women were banned from offering blood-and-wine sacrifice in their own right; even banned from handling such materials; both claims are questionable. Nevertheless the strong, sacrificial grade wine used in the rites to Bona Dea was normally reserved for Roman gods, and Roman men.

The unusual permissions implicit at these rites probably derived from the religious authority of the Vestals. They were exceptional and revered persons; virgins, but not subject to their fathers’ authority; and matrons, but independent of any husband. They held forms of privilege and authority otherwise associated only with Roman men, and were answerable only to the Senior Vestal and the Pontifex Maximus. Their ritual obligations and religious integrity were central to the well being of the Roman state and all its citizens.

The euphemistic use of wine at this festival has been variously described as a substitution for milk and honey, relatively late in the cult’s development; as a theologically absurdity;unacceptable outside this specific religious sphere. Fauna’s myths illustrate the potential of wine as an agent of sexual transgression; wine was thought to be an invention of Liber-Dionysus, who was present as the male principle in certain “soft fruits”, including semen and grapes; and ordinary wine was produced under the divine patronage of Venus, the goddess of love and sexual desire. Its aphrodisiac effects were well known.

For Staples, the euphemisms are agents of transformation. The designation of wine as “milk” conceives it as an entirely female product, dissociated from the sexually and morally complex realms of Venus and Liber. Likewise, the wine jar described as a “honey jar” refers to bees, which in Roman lore are sexually abstinent, virtuous females who will desert an adulterous household. Myrtle, as the sign of Venus, Faunus’ lust and Fauna’s unjust punishment, is simply banned; or as Versnel puts it, “Wine in, Myrtle out”. The vine-leaf bowers and the profusion of plants – any and all but the forbidden myrtle – transform the sophisticated, urban banqueting hall into a “primitive” dwelling, evoking the innocence of an ancestral golden age in which women rule themselves, without reference to men or Venus, drinking “milk and honey”, which are “markers par excellence of utopian golden times” – under the divine authority of Bona Dea.

Source:
Wikipedia

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Deity of the Day for April 27th – Hebe, Greek Goddess of Youth

Deity of the Day


Hebe
The Greek Goddess of Youth

 

Areas of Influence: Hebe was the Goddess of youth, she personified the beautiful maiden and everlasting life.

Her name means “youth” or “prime of life.”

She was the cup bearer who served nectar to the Olympian Gods to give them immortality.

This Deity was one of Hera’s handmaidens, her job was to prepare the royal chariot.

As a servant she also prepared Are’s bath for him after a battle.

In one myth she granted a man named Iolaus his youth back for one day so he could fight his enemy Eurystheus.

There is controversy over whether Ganymede took over her position as the cup bearer or whether in fact he just represented her male counterpart.

She was one of Aphrodite’s Bridal attendants and is said to be one of three Greek Goddesses associated with marriage.

Hebe was also the Goddess of forgiveness, granting pardons to prisoners.

Origins and Genealogy: the Goddess of youth was Zeus and Hera’s youngest daughter. Her siblings were Ares and Eileithyia.

This Deity married the Hero Hercules who was made into a demi God, together they had two children Alexiares and Anicetus.

Strengths: Youthful.

Weaknesses: She has less charisma than many of the Greek Goddesses, relying on her gifts to get attention.She was also said to be clumsy.

Temples: Her most famous places of worship were an altar at Cynosarges in Athens and the sacred cypess grove on the Phliasian citadel.

Hebe’s Symbolism

Shown in art either topless or in a sleeveless dress to accentuate her youthful features.

Her ankles were often mentioned , they were described as nicely shaped or neat suggesting the health and fitness of youth.

She carried a pitcher of nectar and a cup to serve the Gods.

Plants: Lettuce as her mother became pregnant without Zeus by eating this plant. Ivy sprigs.

Roman Equivalent: Juventas

Archetype

The Maiden:

The Maiden Archetype represents purity and the innocence of childhood. Where the soul’s dreams, magic and make believe still prevail.

It is also an aspect of the triple goddess, together with the Mother and the Crone they represents the cycles of the moon and the different stages of a woman’s life.

Shadow Maiden is very self centered all, her dreams and energy is expended on achieving her own personal needs and goals.

As a symbol of everlasting youth Hebe is considered to be a Maiden Goddess despite the fact that she is married and is no longer a virgin.

 

How To Work with This Archetype

The Maiden:

The Maiden is one of your Archetypes if you are life still in touch with your childhood intuition and fantasies and have used these to fulfill your dreams. Hence you can still have this archetype at any time of life.

The Maiden reminds you to look after the magical child that lies within us all.

Shadow Maiden asks you to look at whether your dreams and aspirations are selfish and take no account of the needs of others.

 

 

Source:
The Goddess-Guide.com

Earth Day 2015

Remember to give thanks to Mother Earth today and every day for all she gives to us. When you go for a walk take a small bag with you and pick up trash you come across and then throw the bag away or separate the recyclables properly when you get home.

Earth-Quotes-6

What are you ideas for helping Earth to become more beautiful once more and able to sustain a better quality of life for generations to come?

Deity of the Day for April 20th – Cliona, Goddess Of The Fair Hair

Deity of the Day

Cliona

Of The Fair Hair

 

In Irish mythology, Clíodhna (Clídna, Clionadh, Clíodna, Clíona, transliterated to Cleena in English) is a Queen of the Banshees (fairies) of the Tuatha Dé Danann. Cleena of Carrigcleena is the potent banshee that rules as queen over the sidheog (fairy women of the hills) of South Munster, or Desmond. She is the principal goddess of this country.

In some Irish myths Clíodhna is a goddess of love and beauty. She is said to have three brightly coloured birds who eat apples from an otherworldly tree and whose sweet song heals the sick. She leaves the otherworldly island of Tir Tairngire (“the land of promise”) to be with her mortal lover, Ciabhán, but is taken by a wave as she sleeps due to the music played by a minstrel of Manannan mac Lir in Glandore harbour in County Cork: the tide there is known as Tonn Chlíodhna, “Clíodhna’s Wave”. Whether she drowns or not depends on the version being told, along with many other details of the story.

She had her palace in the heart of a pile of rocks, five miles from Mallow, which is still commonly known by the name of Carrig-Cleena, and numerous legends about her are told among the Munster peasantry.

In general, it has been observed that Cleena is especially associated with old Irish families of Munster. Cleena has long been associated with the lands that had been the territory of the Ui-Fidgheinte (O’Donovans and O’Collins) during their period of influence (circa 373 A.D. to 977 A.D.), or were later associated with what had been the Ui-Fidghente territory (MacCarthys and FitzGeralds).

Cleena is referred to as an unwelcome pursuer in Edward Walsh’s poem, O’Donovan’s Daughter. And, in an ode praising Donel O’Donovan upon his accession to the chiefship of Clancahill, Donal III O’Donovan he is referred to as the “Dragon of Clíodhna”.

Clíodhna is also associated with the MacCarthy dynasty of Desmond, who adopted her as their fairy woman, and the O’Keeffes and FitzGerald dynasty, with whom she has had amorous affairs Clíodhna appears in the name of one O’Leary in a medieval pedigree, as Conor Clíodhna or “Conor of Clíodhna”, and it is notable that the family were originally based in the area of Rosscarbery, very near to Glandore, before moving north to Muskerry. The O’Learys belong to the ancient Corcu Loígde.

The most traditional story of the famous Blarney Stone involves Clíodhna. Cormac Laidir MacCarthy, the builder of Blarney Castle, being involved in a lawsuit, appealed to Clíodhna for her assistance. She told him to kiss the first stone he found in the morning on his way to court, and he did so, with the result that he pleaded his case with great eloquence and won. Thus the Blarney Stone is said to impart “the ability to deceive without offending”. He then incorporated it into the parapet of the castle. To be fair, Clíodhna does not take credit for all the blarney of the MacCarthys. Queen Elizabeth noted in frustration that she could not effect a negotiation with Cormac MacCarthy, whose seat was Blarney Castle, as everything he said was ‘Blarney, as what he says he does not mean’.

It has been suggested that Clídna derives from the Gaulish goddess Clutonda or Clutondae.

 

Source:
Wikipedia

WOTC Extra – Hecate Chant for Swift Justice

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Hecate Chant for Swift Justice

The chant below brings swift justice to those who treat you unfairly. Take caution in using it, though, especially if you have also behaved inappropriately. Hecate’s justice knows no bounds. She sees to it that all involved get precisely what they deserve.

“Hecate, Dark One, hear my plea,
Bring justice now, I ask of Thee!
Right the wrongs that have been done,
Avenge me now, oh Mighty One.
Turn misfortune back to those
Who cause my problems and my woes.
And heap upon them karmic debt
Lest they all too soon forget
Their wrongful actions, words, and deeds
Don’t let them get away scot-free.
Bring them forth from where they hide,
Bring swift justice ~ wield your knife.
Hasten, Dark One; hear my plea ~
Do what it is I ask of Thee.”

Excerpt from

Everyday Magic: Spells & Rituals for Modern Living
by Dorothy Morrison

Let’s Talk Witch – Hecate, the Goddess of Witches

hecate4

 

Let’s Talk Witch – Hecate, the Goddess of Witches

 

Today, I want to talk about some of the lessons that Hecate’s temple teaches. In the temple of the Dark Goddess Hecate we learn of what many people call our shadow selves. Hecate is the Goddess of the passage into the underworld, of death, of change, and of our shadows. She stands at the Crossroads of life’s journey and holds a torch (or lantern) and provides for us some understanding of the road ahead. She is often depicted as a bent over hag cloaked in black and hooded. One of her methods of teaching is she removes her hood and reveals to you your own true shadow. This is not meant to frighten or scare you but only so that you may be aware of it and overcome its hideousness. She does this because she knows that only once you have released your shadow and your fear you are then able to move on past her into change. Effectively dying, or leaving your old self behind and immerging transformed into the light. She is not necessarily the goddess of the underworld, but rather the Goddess of slef-transformation.

To apply or acknowledge Hecates lesson we must first identify our shadow selves. We bring back the symbolism of Hecate’s veil. When she lifts her veil what you are seeing is not her but rather your true self. No matter how horrifying it seems. To identify our shadow selves look for what annoys you in other people. What is it that you get so negative about? What about that certain somebody can you completely not stand? This is our shadow selves. From personal experience one of the things I couldn’t stand was certain friends being to controlling. It seemed like no matter what someone did they would always get annoyed. The lesson I learned from this is simple. I was really being to controlling. I was really passing judgment of people that did not deserve it. In truth, we were both being far too judgmental and negative of issues than was necessary. I know now that one of my personal issues that I work to overcome is to not be so judgmental of people.

Don’t get the lesson wrong. I’m not saying that the people who don’t annoy you aren’t the problem, because the qualities that annoy you are still present in them. Hecate’s temple teaches that these qualities are not only in them but in you as well. So yes, that one person on your mind right now is exactly what you are thinking they are, but have you ever stopped to say “Hey, maybe I’m to blame as well”. Accepting the fact that we are not all perfect people and we do make mistakes and have flaws is not only necessary to Hecate’s teachings but also essential. Acceptance and acknowledgement is what Hecate truly teaches at the fundamental core of her lessons. The power to over come our fears and shadows is a spiritually profound phenomenon. However the power to accept ourselves in EVERY aspect of who we are, be it light, dark or in between is where the true enlightenment comes from. Hecate’s lantern is just that, one of enlightenment. The road that she travels on with you may be dark, but she teaches us that from this darkness we learn acceptance and we turn it into enlightenment.

To bring the energy of Hecate’s Lantern into your life, I would suggest several things. Keep a journal someplace where you can write and learn about yourself. Make notes of traits in people that annoy you and see if you can find that issue and flaw within yourself. Every once and a while, sit in a dark room with nothing but a single candle or lantern lighting the room and meditate on the dark side of yourself and thing about how you can acknowledge, accept, and move past it into enlightenment. Learning about the Darkness of ourselves is how we find within us the true light.

Source:

Stories from a Witches Cabinet

 

The Goddess as Focus

The Goddess as Focus

 

Many beliefs emphasise the polarity of the female/male, Goddess/god and anima/animus energies. The bringing together of these two powers, the Sacred Marriage that is celebrated symbolically in the Great Rite of the union of Earth and Sky, is a ritual that permeates all cultures.

In Egyptian mythology, Isis, the sister-wife of Osiris, sought and reassembled his body after his murder and dismemberment by his brother Seth. In this connection, she took on the role of the goddess of rebirth, the Bone Goddess, and restored him in a more evolved form. The annual celebrations of this event coincided with the rising of the dog star, Sirius, which heralded the flooding of the Nile and the restoration of fertility to the land and symbolically to the people.

As the Sky Gods gained supremacy, they married the Earth Goddesses who slowly evolved into patronesses of women, marriage and childbirth. So, for example, Odin the Norse All-Father married Frigg, goddess of women, marriage and motherhood.

But in witchcraft, though the Sky Fathers and their wives are used for the focus of specific rites, the Goddess retains the earlier form as the creative principle. As the Triple Goddess – maiden, mother and wise woman or crone – she is frequently central to coven work.

Generally in magick the Goddess is recognized as the prime mover of existence, bringing forth from herself in the first virgin birth the animus, or male, principle. For this reason, it is often the High Priestess who casts the circle, though in some covens the Goddess rules over the spring and summer and the Horned God over the autumn and winter.

 

Reaching Gods And Goddesses In Trance

Reaching Gods And Goddesses In Trance

 

Modern Wiccans call into themselves the energies of the Goddess to amplify their own innate divine spark and at times may work in a deep trance, uttering words of prophecy or profound teaching. This is said to increase the power entering the body, like turning up the current from a power source. But until you have practised magick for many years, I would advocate working only in light trance and then only in the controlled situation of a very spiritual group. You can think of this as opening a channel between your own higher energies and the Goddess or powers of light.

I said just now that the power of a trance can be compared to an electric current. The analogy can be taken further: just as sending a sudden surge of electricity can cause a power failure, deliberately inducing a deep trance can be dangerous. Those who use drugs to induce such experiences are, in my opinion, playing with fire and may in fact be blocking their innate wisdom in return for an artificial mind-bending experience.

Most people quite rightly shy away from the idea of possession by a force, however benign, preferring to work with the energies indirectly – and this is what I believe is safest and most effective. For even if you are working with an experienced group in healing magick and do want to allow power of light or the Goddess to manifest in you directly, it is pretty heady stuff. So go cautiously, work only in the most positive of minds for the good of all, and for trance work have other experienced witches or mediums to guide you and help you to centre.

The gods themselves can offer protection when you are performing rituals. In formal magick, the Guardians, or Devic Lords of the Watchtower, are invited to guard the four directions of a magical circle. The term deva in Sanskrit means ‘shining one’, and the Devas represent the higher forms, akin to angels, who watch and direct the natural world.

They communicate with people by psychic ‘channeling’ and rule over the beings associated with the four elements, Fire, Air, Water and Earth. In less formal practices, either archangels or pillars of light may be visualized in the corners of the room to offer protection at a time when a person is opening then-psyche to the cosmos, to keep out all negativity, earthly or otherwise. But the greatest protection is a pure heart and pure intent, much harder to attain than learning any complex ritual.

 

Source:
Cassandra Eason

The Goddess And The Horned God In Wicca

The Goddess And The Horned God In Wicca

 

Neither evocation nor invocation is part of modern witchcraft, however, and white witches do not recognize any demonic figures in their religion. When we refer to the Goddess and her son-consort, the Horned God of Wicca, we are referring to the archetype or source energies of the feminine and masculine aspects of ultimate power. They are the creative female and male principles, acting not in opposition to each other but as complementary and necessary parts of a whole. All the named goddesses and gods in witchcraft represent the different qualities of these supreme forms, for example the goddesses of the hunt, or specific forms in different cultures.

There are, of course, variations within Wicca; some traditions emphasise the importance of the Goddess, while others regard the Horned God as her equal, with each assuming different aspects according to the season and ritual. For example, the Goddess may appear as the Earth or Moon deity, and her male counterpart as the Corn God or the Sun.

 

Source:

Cassandra Eason

Goddess Recipes: Oils, Perfumes, Etc.

GODDESS RECIPES: OILS, PERFUMES, ETC.

MOON PRIESTESS PERFUME:

1 Drop Queen of the Night Oil
3 drops rose oil
1 drop lemon verbena oil
4 fl. oz (120cc) white spirit

Blend the three oils in a bottle. Add the white spirit, and shake all vigorously. A cologne can be made by adding another 1 FL. oz (30cc) of white spirit and 3 fl. oz (90cc) of distilled water.

MOON PRIEST COLOGNE:

1 fl. oz (30cc) lemon verbena or Lime oil
2 fl. oz (60cc) coriander oil
1/2 fl. oz. (15cc) camphor or myrrh oil
1/4 fl. oz. (7cc) white spirit
3 3/4 fl. oz. (105cc) distilled water

Blend the oils in a bottle, add the spirit and water and shake all vigorously. Increasing the myrrh oils gives a darker perfume; increasing the camphor, a lighter and more spicy one. All perfumes ‘behave’ differently on different skins, so it is worth experimenting to find your own balance.

EARTH MOTHER PERFUME:

Musk oil
Patchouli oil
Rose Oil

Blend in equal parts, bottle and shake well.

ISIS PERFUME:

Rose oil
Blue Lotus Oil

Blend equal parts, bottle and shake well.

SUN GODDESS PERFUME:

Cinnamon Oil
Lemon Verbena Oil
Ylang-Ylang Oil

Blend equal parts, bottle and shake well.

OIL FOR THE DARK OF THE MOON:

2 fl. oz.(60cc) tincture of myrrh
1 fl. oz.(30cc) oil of cinnamon
1/4 fl. oz.(7cc) Queen of the Night Oil
1 fl. oz.(30cc) oil of rose

Blend, bottle and shake well.

OIL FOR THE RITES OF ISIS:

7 drops oil of rose
2 Drops oil of Camphor
2 drops tincture of myrrh
3 drops oil of blue hyacinth

Blend the oils of rose, camphor, and blue hyacinth during the waxing moon. Bottle and keep till the Moon wanes. Add the Myrrh

KALI INCENSE:

This is an individual and personalized incense, for attunement to your own Dark of the Moon.

1 oz (30gm) sandalwood chips
1 oz (30gm) Dried jasmine flowers or 6 drops jasmine oil
1/2 oz (15gm) dried rose petals
2 drops of your own menstrual blood

Blend and use for private meditation during the onset of your menstruation.

MORRIGAN INCENSE:

1 oz. (30gm) musk amberette
1/2 oz. (15gm) dragon’s blood (resin used in violin staining)
4 drops patchouli oil
4 drops civet oil
4 drops of blood from your own finger

Blend at the dark of the Moon, put in a jar and bury in the earth for 6 weeks (a flower pot of peat in a cool cupboard will do).

ATHENA OIL & INCENSE:

The olive is sacred to Athena, so use pure olive oil as an anointing oil in particular, rub between the palms of your hands and anoint your feet, forehead
and lips. For the Incense:

1 oz. (30gm) Cedar wood chips
1/2 oz. (15gm) camphor
7 drops musk oil
Female sweat (as much as possible)
6 olives unstuffed and preferably black
Blend the first four ingredients well, at the full moon, and add the olives. Put in a jar and leave for one month to mature. Then remove the olives (Which will have imparted their essence to the rest) and throw them away. Stuffed olives, both black and green, are an obvious food for a ritual of Athena, also stuffed vine leaves, a very Athenian dish. If possible, of course, the wine should be
Greek – especially retina, though that is an acquired taste.

PRE-RITUAL BATH SCENTS:

To cleanse and relax the body before a ritual, and to energize the psychic centers. Fill small sachets of muslin cloth with equal amounts of the following herbs:

Basil (for psychic energy)
Borage (to strengthen the inner self)
Lavender (to banish mental and emotional stress)
Centaury (a traditional witch herb)
Rue (a traditional bathing herb)

Put a sachet into your bath five minutes before you get in, to give the aromatics time to work.

DIANA OF THE MOON INCENSE:

It is recommended that it be made in the hour and the day of the Moon – i.e. the first or eighth hour after sunrise, or the third or tenth hour after sunset, on a Monday.    Thoroughly mix equal amounts of the following:

Gum mastic
Jasmine
Mandrake
Orris root

Add a few drops of wintergreen oil and moisten with a little clear mineral oil

AINE of KNOCKAINE INCENSE:

1/2 oz. (15gm) Meadowsweet flowers and leaf (gathered when the plant is in full bloom and dried)
1/2 oz. (15gm) finely chopped pine needles
1/2 fl. oz. (15cc) lemon verbena oil

By the way, Meadowsweet blossom also makes a delicious