Deities Associated With Friday – Aphrodite, Greek Goddess of Love

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Deities Associated With Friday – Aphrodite, Greek Goddess of Love

Aphrodite was the Greek goddess of love and sexuality. According to legend, she was born fully formed from the white sea form that arose when the god Uranus was castrated. She came ashore on the island of Cyprus, and later was married off by Zeus to Hephaistos, the deformed craftsman of Olympus. Despite being married to Hephaistos, Aphrodite took her job as a goddess of sexuality seriously, and had a multitude of lovers, but one of her favorites was the warrior god Ares.

At one point, Helios, the sun god, caught Ares and Aphrodite romping around, and told Hephaistos what he had seen. Hephaistos caught the two of them in a net, and invited all the other gods and goddesses to laugh at their shame… but they had none whatsoever. In fact, Aphrodite and Ares had a good laugh about the whole thing, and didn’t particularly care what anyone thought. In the end, Ares ended up paying Hephaistos a fine for his inconvenience, and the whole matter was dropped.

At one point, Aphrodite had a fling with Adonis, the young hunter god. He was killed by a wild boar one day, and some tales indicate that the boar might have been a jealous Ares in disguise.

Aphrodite had several sons, including Priapus, Eros, and Hermaphroditus.

In many myths and legends, Aphrodite is portrayed as self-absorbed and cranky. It would seem that like many of the other Greek gods, she spent a lot of time meddling in the affairs of mortals, mostly for her own amusement. She was instrumental in the cause of the Trojan War; Aphrodite offered Helen of Sparta to Paris, the prince of Troy, and then when he saw Helen for the first time, Aphrodite made sure he was inflamed with lust, thus leading to Helen’s abduction and a decade of war.

A festival was held regularly to honor Aphrodite, appropriately called the Aphrodisia. At her temple in Corinth, revelers often paid tribute to Aphrodite by having rambunctious sex with her priestesses. The temple was later destroyed by the Romans, and not rebuilt, but fertility rites appear to have continued in the area.

In addition to her association with the sea and shells, Aphrodite is connected with dolphins and swans, apples and pomegranates, and roses.

 

Author

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

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January’s Full Moon – The Cold Moon

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January’s Full Moon – The Cold Moon

In January, the nights are long and dark, and many of us are trying to stay warm under a blanket of snow as the Cold Moon approaches (in some cultures, the Cold Moon is the name given to December’s moon, instead). Some of the native tribes of North America called this time the Wolf Moon, because this was when the wolves were howling, hungry, outside lodges where people stayed warm within. Other groups referred to it as the Snow Moon, for obvious reasons.

This time of year, we’re all feeling a bit slow and “off” as our bodies adjust to chillier temperatures. It’s easy to just lie on the couch watching Netflix and eating comfort food when it’s cold and gloomy outside, and making any kind of magical effort can seem like a real challenge right now.

Correspondences:
Colors: Black and white, silver
Gemstones: Hematite
Trees: Birch, Hazel
Gods: Inanna, Freyja
Herbs: Thistle, nuts and seeds, marjoram
Element: Air

Cold Moon Magic
This is a good time to work on magic related to protection, both physical and spiritual. Use this time to develop your inner self, and advance spiritually, becoming closer to the higher aspects of your deities.

Take the time in your busy schedule to meditate and think about what it is you really want out of life, and whether you’re showing people your true self.

January is also a great time to work on full moon magic – after all, the nights are long and dark, and in some areas the moon itself is the only source of light. Put aside your lethargy, and focus some energy on developing your intuition and wisdom.

Finally, for many people, winter is a season of simplification. Set aside everything you don’t need, and try a minimalist approach instead. On a mundane level, try doing a thorough cleaning of your physical space – get rid of the clutter. On a spiritual and emotional level, try to do the same thing – teach your mind to let go of the things that are creating excess baggage for your spirit and soul.

 

Author

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

The Pagan Calendar for Thursday, November 12th to 13th


Egyptian Comments & Graphics

November 12 evening to November 13 evening

 

Maimakterion Noumenia

 

Old Greek festival honoring all the Gods and Goddesses. Flutes were played; prayers were said; offerings of barley, olive oil, incense, and food were burned in an offering hearth; and libations of water and wine were made.

Let’s Talk Witch – Modern Paganism and Ancient Gods

WitchMODERN PAGANISM AND ANCIENT GODS

Some modern Pagans have a devotion to a particular Goddess or God; others choose to venerate the Divine through the Gods and Goddesses of one particular pantheon. Often, however, Pagans honour the Gods under a number of different names. This can seem somewhat bewildering but it is perhaps less so if the Gods are thought of as different personalities through which the Divine has chosen to manifest Itself at different times and to different peoples.

Although modern Pagans worship the Gods using their ancient names, this does not mean that we think of our Gods in exactly the same way as ancient Pagans did. If a modern Irish woman chooses to call the Great Goddess Isis, this does not mean that her concept of Isis is exactly the same as that of an Egyptian woman 4,000 years ago. Over time, our ideas about the Gods and the nature of the Divine have changed. We are not seeking to restore our Paganism to exactly the same practices as those of our ancestors, even if this were possible. Much has been lost to us; much of our religious thinking has evolved. We must examine the ancient myths and legends in order to find a new way forward for the future. Paganism can be considered a lost knowledge which has now been rediscovered and must be reinterpreted in ways which meet the needs of people today.

Some aspects of our ancestors’ Pagan practice would not find favour today. Like Judaism and other religions of the pre- Christian period, many types of Paganism practised animal sacrifice. This is not acceptable to modern Pagans and indeed there were many ancient Pagans who practised vegetarianism. Other ancient Pagan ideas would seem bizarre nowadays. Our ancestors thought it perfectly normal to honour a Deity, make requests and then to threaten to take their worship elsewhere if their requests were not carried out. When the Gods are seen as different personalities, it is logical for people to switch allegiance if they feel they can get a ‘better deal’ elsewhere – as indeed people did with Christianity. Modern Pagans would not consider this an appropriate way in which to treat their Gods.

Today, Pagans worship the Divine as Goddess, God and also as the Great Spirit or One who is beyond all these. Some Pagans honour the Gods in their Norse form, others in Celtic form, Egyptian form or according to the ways of Native American ancestors. A distinctive feature of Paganism, however, is the emphasis it places on the Divine in female form – the Goddess.

Paganism: A Beginners Guide to Paganism
Sarah Owen

 

Spell Of The Month

Thin Veil Spell

Best Day To Cast:  December 21st – Yule – Winter Solstice

Color of the Day:  White

Incense of the Day:  Vanilla

The Spell:

The Winter Solstice marks the beginning of the returning light of the Sun. It is the shortest day and longest night. In pre-Celtic Ireland, a wonderful ancient tomb and fairy mound called Brug na Boinne, located near modern Newgrange, contained a passageway which was aligned with the Sun on the Winter Solstice. On this day, sunlight streamed into the back of the sacred site. Like other sacred days, the Winter Solstice is a time when the veil between the worlds is thin, and contact with the Gods may be auspicious. A ritual sleep or vision quest prior to the solstice morning ceremony may bring you visions of what is to grow in your life. Before bed, recite these words inspired by the Scottish “Lullaby of the Snow” until you fall asleep:

Cold, cold this night,
Lasting this night my
sleep.
My eye is closed,
My sleep is heavy,
Bring visions of my soul
to me.

 

– Sharynne NicMhacha

Llewellyn’s Witches’ Spell-A-Day Almanac