Today Belongs to Freyja, Friday’s Namesake, Goddess of Abundance, Fertility and War

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Today Belongs to Freyja, Friday’s Namesake,

Goddess of Abundance, Fertility and War

Freya was the sister of the god Freyr, and was one of the Vanir, the Norse deities of earth and water that lived in Asgard. Venerated by women, heroes and rulers alike, she was the Scandinavian goddess of fertility and abundance. Freyja could be called upon for assistance in childbirth and conception, to aid with marital problems, or to bestow fruitfulness upon the land and sea.

In some traditions, she is known not only as Freyr’s sister but his wife as well.

Like Freyr, she is associated with material wealth. She was known to wear a magnificent necklace called Brisingamen, which represents the fire of the sun, and was said to weep tears of gold. In the Norse Eddas, Freyja is not only a goddess of fertility and wealth, but also of war and battle. In fact, she is the lady of the hall of the battle-fallen in Valhalla. While some have theorized that she was the leader of the Valkyries, the Eddas don’t specifically identify her as such. She also has connections to magic and divination.

Freyja was similar to Frigg, the chief goddess of the Aesir, which was the Norse race of sky deities.

Both were connected with childrearing, and could take on the aspect of a bird. Freyja owned a magical cloak of hawk’s feathers, which allowed her to transform at will. This cloak is given to Frigg in some of the Eddas.

Author

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

 

Celebrating 365 Days of Legends, Folklore & Spirituality for Friday, November 6th – Tiamat, St. Leonard

Dark Magic

November 6th

Tiamat, St. Leonard

 

In ancient Babylonian culture this day was celebrated as the birth of Tiamat, the primordial sea Goddess (the salt water), who with her consort Apsu (the sweet waters) created the world. According to mythology it was Tiamat that brought forth the heaven and earth. Sometimes she is pictured as a dragon or serpent—the unconscious in its most primitive state.

St. Leonard’s cult developed around the 11th century, when he refused to become a bishop and instead opted for being a simple monk. He was the patron of women in childbirth, having helped the queen when no one else was around. But he is most famous for his patronage of prisoners, especially those unjustly accused and bound in chains. Numbers of stories have been told of shackled prisoners that upon praying to St. Leonard found their chains broken.

 

A Little Humor for Your Day – Things Not To Say During Childbirth

Things Not To Say During Childbirth

– Gosh, you’re lucky. I sure wish men could experience the miracle of childbirth.

— Do you think the baby will come before Monday Night Football starts?

— I hope your ready. The Glamour Shot photographer will be here in fifteen minutes.

— If you think this hurts, I should tell you about the time I twisted my ankle playing basketball.

— That was the kids on the phone. Did you have anything planned for dinner?

— When you lay on your back, you look like a python that swallowed a wild boar.

— You don’t need an epidural. Just relax and enjoy the moment.

— This whole experience kind of reminds me of an episode from I Love Lucy.

— Oops! Which cord was I supposed to cut?

— Stop your swearing and just breathe.

— Remember what we learned in Lamaze class! HEE HEE HOO HOO. You’re not using the right words.

— Your stomach still looks like there’s another one in there

Calendar of the Sun for January 10th

Calendar of the Sun

10 Wolfmonath

Ilithyia’s Day of the Midwives

Color: Red
Element: Earth
Altar: The altar shall be the same as Sponde the previous day.
Offerings: Give aid to a midwife.
Daily Meal: Center around milk and dairy products.

Ilithyia Invocation

Slim maiden with quick hands
That bring forth the life of others,
Daughter of Hera, child of marriage,
Daughter of Zeus, child of kingship,
Your hands reach forth
To every matron’s opening womb,
Bringing the new bride into the world of family,
Bringing the maiden into the time of mothering,
Bringing the tribe a new life.
Let us learn from you, maiden midwife!
For though we do sometimes find ourselves
Bringing new life into the world,
More often we kneel in your place,
As you kneel between the laboring woman’s thighs,
Watching the opening of the sacred door,
Kneeling in honor of the power of birth,
We find ourselves assisting in the birth
Of the others who struggle,
Who writhe and twist and despair of being done,
Who need out skilled hands, our urgent voices,
Our love and care and attention
That what must be birthed shall come to be.
Teach us, Ilithyia, of how to better hold the labor of another
In our waiting hands.

Chant:
From the dark of the womb we bring forth life
From the dark of the mind we bring forth light
From the dark of the dream we bring forth sight
From the dark of the Wheel we bring forth fate
From the dark of the night we bring forth day
From the dark of the heart we seek the way.

[Pagan Book of Hours]

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On Becoming a Crone

On Becoming a Crone

Author:   Belladonna SilverRayne   

Why is it so hard to admit we’re growing older? Why do we fight it tooth and nail? Society and the media as a whole, wants to show aging as something to be fought against, to be put off as long as possible. Why? Look at any sit-com, news broadcast, music video…. it’s all about being young and “beautiful”. Youth is made out to be the epitome of what we all want to be. Who wants to get old, right? Wrong!

I will be 45 on my next birthday. A fact that, when said out loud at first, made me mentally cringe. “Me? 45?? That means only 5 more years till I’m 50!!” After I said it aloud several times, and really thought about it, I could say it with confidence. Yes. Me. 45 going onto 50.

And I love it! I am moving into the Crone stage of my life, and enjoying every minute of it!

I loved the Maiden stage, when I was young, supple, carefree, and self-indulgent. Who among us didn’t? Life seemed so simple, so easy to handle. And it was. My biggest worry was what outfit I’d wear out to the club to dance and make merry with friends.

I sowed my oats, looked out for number one (me, of course) and just basically did my own thing. I moved at the speed of light, never really stopping to appreciate the things around me, never really taking anything in. Just “doing”. As I got a little older, I met the person that would become my husband and the father of my kids and we began our life together.

And I grew.

Then came Mother-hood. My body showed great evidence of the birthing of my children, as did my energy levels, emotional (in) stability, and newfound patience. I now had three other human beings, put on this Earth by me, all looking TO me to provide, nourish, teach, and love. Wow! As they grew, learned, made mistakes, and matured, I did as well. I managed to learn along the way to slow down a bit, to really notice things as they happened around me. I watched and listened a little more carefully now. I loved every moment, good and not so good, watching these amazing people who were once actual, living parts of my own body, turn into individuals, all truly unique within themselves, seeing them overcome hurdle after hurdle. Such a reward in life I will never receive again. Or will I?

I divorced my husband, and watched my kids growing older, going out on their own, and beginning their lives as young adults.

And I grew.

When I first began my Pagan path, I was still in what is considered the Mother stage, my kids were still relatively young and “needed” me in a mommy way. I was still very fertile, and the idea of having another baby sometime was not out of the question. Time passed and that idea faded, along with my monthly menses. (Can’t say I miss them much!)

It took me quite awhile to realize that I was no longer in that stage once the Croning period began. I wanted to fight it, to deny it, all for vain reasons, I’m sorry to say. I wanted to cling to that youth, or at least the image of it. Or so I thought. Now, after having met, gotten to know, and come to love, many admirable women, all in the Crone cycle of life, I am fully aware that I too am at that stage. And come to find out, it’s not so bad after all!

As I move into my Croning time, I don’t look at it as an ending, but a beginning, very akin to giving birth (only this time, I don’t think I’ll need all the medications!) . I will be giving birth to my Self. I can allow my Self to now grow, learn, and experience life, as I once allowed my children to do these things.

I am eager to gain more wisdom as time goes by, as the Great Wheel turns, and as season drifts into season.

I am learning to cherish the lines on my face, as each one stands for some lesson learned, some path walked down, perhaps a hardship suffered and come through stronger because of it.

I have begun to admire my stretch marks as battle scars, won not on the field of some war, but fighting to bring life into this world, one wonderful child at a time.

I now embrace the fullness of my softened body, knowing that even though it may not bring life into this world any longer, or be as taut and supple as it was two decades ago, it can still allow for pleasures, for physical support, and for living life in a healthy, Goddess-filled way!

I am now allowing my mature mind to expand and create in ways that it could not in the past.

I enjoy the younger ones coming to me, asking for my opinion, needing a particular sort of comfort that only someone my age can offer.

I am now ready to walk towards the end of my path in this particular life, knowing that even though it comes towards me quicker than ever, there is still much to gather, much to pass on, but still much MORE to learn and take in.

In Pagan societies (as well as many others) Elders are looked to for advice, comfort, wisdom, and as examples. Who better to follow than a grand Crone or Sage, not past their prime, but fully embracing it, fully aware of themselves as human beings? I so hope to be such an example, to my children, my Pagan brothers and sisters, and non-Pagan friends, alike. I want to show what it is to age gracefully, to accept that life is a never-ending cycle of birth, growth, death, and re-birth, in so many ways. I want everyone to see that while youth has it’s merits and perks, so does growing older and wiser.

Whatever stage of life you may be in as a woman. Maiden, Mother, or Crone, realize the absolute beauty of the moment, embrace it for all it is worth, and live each cycle to the fullest. Know that you have earned all that you are made up of, inside and out. And fear not, for Crone is not the end of the line, it is the goal we, as women, all strive to attain.