Celebrating Legends, Folklore & Spirituality 365 Days a Year for Jan. 6 – Twelfth Night, Epiphany of Kore, and Persephone

HALLOWEEN

January 6

Twelfth Night, Epiphany of Kore, and Persephone

Traditionally, on this day the ancient Greeks would carry the statue of Kore around her temple seven times as they prayed for protection and good fortune. Following the temple activities ties a nocturnal rite was held in honor of Kore (daughter of Zeus and Demeter, whose name means “maiden”), an aspect of Persephone before her marriage to Hades.

On this day in Old Europe the ashes from the Yule log were removed, and either stored for magickal purposes or scattered on the fields to insure fertility. Later on in the day the Lord of Misrule, known as the King of the Bean, was selected. Cakes were made, and a bean was baked into one. Whomever found the bean in his cake was then elected king for the day. The king, along with the Queen of the Pea (selected by finding the pea baked into another batch of cakes) ruled over the final Yuletide festivities.

The Witches Correspondence for Samhain

Magical Halloween Pictures

The Witches Correspondence for Samhain

 

Date: October 31st

Colours: Black, orange

Stones: Bloodstone, jet, obsidian, ruby, beryl, carnelian

Herbs: Bay leaf, mugwort, nutmeg, sage, wormwood

Foods: Apples, nuts, beef, turnips, pears, pomegranates, pumpkin, corn

Drinks: Mead, mulled wine, apple juice, absinthe

Flowers/Decorations: Chrysanthemum, hazel, thistle, pumpkin, autumn leaves

Type Of Magick/Activity: Banishing, breaking bad habits, divination, drying herbs, past life recall, clearing out everything you don’t want in the new year (habits and personal items).

Some Appropriate Goddesses: All crone and underworld Goddesses, Cerridwen (Welsh), Freya (Norse), Hecate (Greek), Morrigan (Celtic), Persephone (Greek), Rhiannon (Welsh)

Some Appropriate Gods: All old and underworld Gods, Cernunnos (Celtic), Anubis (Egyptian), Hades (Greek), Odin (Norse), Osiris (Egyptian)

ZEUS BINDING SPELL

ZEUS BINDING SPELL

  God: I call upon Zeus, chief ruler of immortals

And mortals alike, most powerful of all the gods,

Who was known as the omnipotent Father Zeus,

And to the Romans as Jupiter, and who punishes

those who lie and break. 

Around I bind you three times three 

No more bad things you’ll think of me    

Around I bind you three times three 

No more bad things you’ll say of me 

Around I bind you three times three 

No more bad things you’ll do to me 

Around I bind you three times three    

And if these things continue to be 

Then back upon you three times three 

‘Til totally vanquished you will be 

By the powers of three times three 

By Earth and Fire, Air and Sea 

I fix this spell, then set it free

‘Twill give no harm to mine or me    

As I so will, So Mote It Be!

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Deity of the Day – The Erinyes

Deity of the Day – The Erinyes

Children of the Night and Daughters of the Earth and Darkness

“Then fell Tisiphone with Rage was stung,

and from her mouth th’ untwisted serpents hung,

Girt in a bloody gown a torch she shakes,

And round her neck twines speckled wreathes of snakes.

Part of her tresses loudly hiss, and part

Spread poison as their forked tongues they dart…” (Metamorphoses, Book IV)

The Erinyes, the three Goddesses of revenge, are among the most ancient Goddesses and predated Zeus and all the other Olympians. In Greek mythology, They gare called the Erinyes – in Roman mythology They are called the Furies (“the furious”) or Dirae (“the terrible”). They are usually represented as three black sisters: Alecto (“the Unceasing”), Megaera (“the Grudging”) and Tisiphone (“the Avenging”).

The Erinyes are the children of Gaia and Uranus. They were created from drops of blood coming from the wounds of Uranus when He was castrated by His son Cronus and which fell upon the Earth (Gaia). The first drop of blood formed Aphrodite, which is why She is sometimes referred to as the oldest of The Erinyes.

Artists in ancient times depicted The Erinyes as women with fiery eyes and snake hair and with attributes such as torches and whips. Sometimes They were dressed as hunters.

The Erinyes were placed in Hades and are Goddesses of the dead. They also are called upon to revenge the crimes – especially those against women and mothers – of murder, perjury, ingratitude, disrespect, harshness, violation of filial piety and the laws of hospitality. They are impartial and impersonal, and pursue these wrongdoers until they are driven mad and die. But even in death, the criminal does not find rest until he shows remorse.

The Erinyes are associated with funeral trees: the alder, the black poplar, and the yew. The color associated with the three is black and the animal associated with Them is the snake.

 

The Witches Correspondence for Samhain

Samhain Comments & Graphics
The Witches Correspondence for Samhain

Date: October 31st

Colours: Black, orange

Stones: Bloodstone, jet, obsidian, ruby, beryl, carnelian

Herbs: Bay leaf, mugwort, nutmeg, sage, wormwood

Foods: Apples, nuts, beef, turnips, pears, pomegranates, pumpkin, corn

Drinks: Mead, mulled wine, apple juice, absinthe

Flowers/Decorations: Chrysanthemum, hazel, thistle, pumpkin, autumn leaves

Type Of Magick/Activity: Banishing, breaking bad habits, divination, drying herbs, past life recall(see meditation page), clearing out everything you don’t want in the new year (habits and personal items).

Some Appropriate Goddesses: All crone and underworld Goddesses, Cerridwen (Welsh), Freya (Norse), Hecate (Greek), Morrigan (Celtic), Persephone (Greek), Rhiannon (Welsh)

Some Appropriate Gods: All old and underworld Gods, Cernunnos (Celtic), Anubis (Egyptian), Hades (Greek), Odin (Norse), Osiris (Egyptian)

Calendar of the Moon for October 10th

Calendar of the Moon

9 Gort/Puanepsion

Stenia Day 1

Color: Brown
Element: Earth
Altar: Upon cloth of brown set two green candles and the Thesmoi, the sacred figures to be put into the Mundus Cereris. They include snakes, phalli, and pigs all made of bread. Unlike the regular opening of the Mundus Cereris, only women with wombs can move the stone today.
Offerings: Thesmoi. Ritual sex is an appropriate offering for this day.
Daily Meal: Pork and bread.

Stenia I Invocation

We gather today in the name of Demeter,
To fertilize the Earth with our spirits.
The Earth yields to us, and gives us nourishment,
But we must return our energy to Her body,
Give and take in equal parts. So today we give forth
What energy we can. Bring forth the Thesmoi,
Give them the warmth of your love.

(The women with wombs take the Thesmoi from the altar, and bring them to any men with testicles to hold, bless, and place energy within them. Women without wombs and men without testicles must watch and chant, but cannot touch the Thesmoi once they are placed on the altar, for this magic must be that of fertility.)

Hail, Demeter! We bring you our gifts,
To be placed in the dark of your womb!
We bring you our hopes, our joys,
Our passions and desires, that you may
Enjoy them, and your womb fill to overflowing
And burst forth in goodness upon our world.
As you have given to us, so we give to you.

Chant: Mother Earth I sing to you
Demeter and Gaia
Mother Earth I bring to you
All within my hands

(The women with wombs carry the Thesmoi to the Mundus Cereris, roll back the stone, and place them within, also chanting. They reset the stone, return to the altar room, and announce, “It is done!” All who have been chanting cry out “Hail Demeter!” and the rite is ended.)

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Calendar of the Moon for October 9th

Calendar of the Moon

9 Gort/Puanepsion

Stenia Day 1

Color: Brown
Element: Earth
Altar: Upon cloth of brown set two green candles and the Thesmoi, the sacred figures to be put into the Mundus Cereris. They include snakes, phalli, and pigs all made of bread. Unlike the regular opening of the Mundus Cereris, only women with wombs can move the stone today.
Offerings: Thesmoi. Ritual sex is an appropriate offering for this day.
Daily Meal: Pork and bread.

Stenia I Invocation

We gather today in the name of Demeter,
To fertilize the Earth with our spirits.
The Earth yields to us, and gives us nourishment,
But we must return our energy to Her body,
Give and take in equal parts. So today we give forth
What energy we can. Bring forth the Thesmoi,
Give them the warmth of your love.

(The women with wombs take the Thesmoi from the altar, and bring them to any men with testicles to hold, bless, and place energy within them. Women without wombs and men without testicles must watch and chant, but cannot touch the Thesmoi once they are placed on the altar, for this magic must be that of fertility.)

Hail, Demeter! We bring you our gifts,
To be placed in the dark of your womb!
We bring you our hopes, our joys,
Our passions and desires, that you may
Enjoy them, and your womb fill to overflowing
And burst forth in goodness upon our world.
As you have given to us, so we give to you.

Chant: Mother Earth I sing to you
Demeter and Gaia
Mother Earth I bring to you
All within my hands

(The women with wombs carry the Thesmoi to the Mundus Cereris, roll back the stone, and place them within, also chanting. They reset the stone, return to the altar room, and announce, “It is done!” All who have been chanting cry out “Hail Demeter!” and the rite is ended.)

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Calendar of the Sun for October 4th

Calendar of the Sun

4 Winterfyllith

Jejunium Cereris: Fast for Demeter

Color: Brown
Element: Earth
Altar: Upon cloth of brown place a clay cup of water, empty bowls, plates, and an empty cornucopia.
Offerings: Give food to the hungry.
Daily Meal: Fasting today, from the night before until Hesperis.

Jejunium Cereris Invocation

Demeter weeps.
She mourns all losses,
All that passes from our hands
Into the gaping earth of the Mother’s womb.
Across the land, there are places
Where the Earth is barren, and no mouths
Shall be fed from Her soil.
The people starve, they cry out, they fall,
But there is no mercy for them
Until the Wheel turns yet again.
So if we cannot feed them all,
If we cannot be Demeter Herself,
For our hands are too few,
Our work is too little,
Our efforts fall like a drop into a wasteland,
Let us still be that drop of hope
And let us, for one day, mourn with them.
For all that we have not, there are others
Who have less, and on this day
We give out some of what we have,
For true wealth is counted only
By how much you can give away.
For today, we shall fast with them
And we shall remember.
Blessed be Demeter in Her weeping,
Blessed be Demeter in Her mourning,
May we be blessed with Her tears.

Chant: By the dust of the Earth we live
By the work of our hands we give
By the work of our hearts we open the world.

[Pagan Book of Hours]

The Celtic Calendar for Saturday, January 12th

Celtic Comments & Graphics


The Celtic Calendar for January 12

Earth Mysteries

The Sun has been growing stronger since the Winter Solstice, and this Capricornean day is also linked with the element of Earth, making January 12 the perfect time to read up on Earth mysteries, or the Cults of Natural and Spiritual death and rebirth, that attracted devotees in ancient times. These included the Greek Eleusinian mysteries, which focused on the reaction of Demeter, Mother Earth, to the abduction of her daughter, Kore (“Maiden” in Greek), or Persephone, by Hades, the ruler of the underworld. In her grief, Demeter caused all plants to die, except at Eleusis, until Kore was returned to her for six months of ever year.

Calendar of the Sun for January 6th

Calendar of the Sun

6 Wolfmonath
Day of Kore Underground

Colors: Dark brown and white
Element: Earth
Altar: Set with a brown cloth, a white candle, a bowl of earth saved from the Day of Kore’s Descent, a cup of well water fed by an underground stream, a dead twig, and the figure of a serpent.
Offerings: Dried flowers. Shed skins of snakes. Seeds that will be planted in spring. A promise to bring joy into a dark place, even at the peril of your own life or happiness.
Daily Meal: Dark, coarse bread. Root vegetables. Poppy seeds. Millet. Nuts and seeds.

Invocation to Kore Underground

Cold lies the Earth
And all things upon it,
And our spirits are chilled
With the sight of Earth asleep.
The Maiden of Spring lies
Deep underground with her bridegroom,
Lying with the Lord of Death,
Lying with the ghosts of our ancestors,
Lying with all that is forgotten,
And we are called merely to endure
Cold and darkness
As She willingly goes below the Earth
To bring comfort and light
To the realm of cold and darkness.
Let us never forget
That even in the time of winter
We can, as She does,
Give of ourselves
To bring light to the darkest places,
To endure them with faith in the cycle of life
And never to fail in our hope
Of the coming of the Spring.

Chant:
Kore Kore Kore Proserpina
(Let one chosen for the work of the daily ritual carry the bowl of earth from person to person about the hall, and let each one take a bit of the earth and rub it on their faces, and let it remain until the evening ablutions. Then let the water be poured as a libation to Kore into the remainder of the earth, and be carried outside and poured onto the Earth itself. Gather new earth, which will be saved until the day of Kore’s return.)

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Goddess of the Day for November 5th – Demeter

Goddess of the Day

 

Demeter

The goddess of agriculture, horticulture, grain and harvest. Demeter is a daughter of Cronus and Rhea and sister of Zeus, by whom she bore Persephone. She was depicted as a mature woman, often crowned and holding sheaf’s of wheat and a torch. Her symbols are the Cornucopia (horn of plenty), wheat-ears, the winged serpent and the lotus staff. Her sacred animals are pigs and snakes.

Calendar of the Moon for October 14th

Calendar of the Moon

 
14 Muin/Boedromion

Day of Hades

Color: Black
Element: Earth
Altar: Upon a black cloth set several black candles; incense of vervain, agrimony, and rue; a chalice of red wine, a jewel, and a life-size skull.
Offerings: Drops of blood. Tend to the dead in some way.
Daily Meal: Red meat.

Invocation to Hades

Dark Lord of the Underworld,
We stand trembling at your approach.
King of the uncounted legions of the dead,
Ruler of the hidden wealth
That bejewels the caverns beneath
The Earth our Mother’s skin,
Darkened by the ashes
Of a thousand cremations,
Invisible One, passing through
The chaos of humanity unseen
In your helm of obscurity,
You see us from a more distant place,
A world of ephemeral life.
We come and go, but you, Lord,
Are eternal in your watching.
Help us to see the darkness
Of endings as part of the cycle,
And to mourn our losses
In a way that does them honor.
And should we journey to your dark realm,
In life or after it,
Do not keep us past our endurance
But give us gracious passage
Out into our new lives.

Chant: Pluto Dominum Pluto Dominum

(Pour out the wine as a libation. Let all come forth and sit around the altar and meditate on Death, and let the candles be put out one by one until the room is in darkness, and one candle only be carried to light the way to the door.)

[Pagan Book of Hours]

How To Honor the Dark Mother at Mabon

How To Honor the Dark Mother at Mabon

By , About.com Guide

Demeter and Persephone are strongly connected to the time of the Autumn Equinox. When Hades abducted Persephone, it set in motion a chain of events that eventually led to the earth falling into darkness each winter. This is the time of the Dark Mother, the Crone aspect of the triple goddess. The goddess is bearing this time not a basket of flowers, but a sickle and scythe. She is prepared to reap what has been sown.

The earth dies a little each day, and we must embrace this slow descent into dark before we can truly appreciate the light that will return in a few months.

Here’s How:

  1. This ritual welcomes the Dark Mother, and celebrates that aspect of the Goddess which we may not always find comforting or appealing, but which we must always be willing to acknowledge. Decorate your altar with symbols of Demeter and her daughter — flowers in red and yellow for Demeter, purple or black for Persephone, stalks of wheat, Indian corn, sickles, baskets. Have a candle on hand to represent each of them — harvest colors for Demeter, black for Persephone. You’ll also need a chalice of wine, or grape juice if you prefer, and a pomegranate.
  2. If you normally cast a circle, or call the quarters, do so now. Turn to the altar, and light the Persephone candle. Say:The land is beginning to die, and the soil grows cold. The fertile womb of the earth has gone barren. As Persephone descended into the Underworld, So the earth continues its descent into night. As Demeter mourns the loss of her daughter, So we mourn the days drawing shorter. The winter will soon be here.
  3. Light the Demeter candle, and say:In her anger and sorrow, Demeter roamed the earth, And the crops died, and life withered and the soil went dormant. In grief, she traveled looking for her lost child, Leaving darkness behind in her wake. We feel the mother’s pain, and our hearts break for her, As she searches for the child she gave birth to. We welcome the darkness, in her honor.
  4. Break open the pomegranate (it’s a good idea to have a bowl to catch the drippings), and take out six seeds. Place them on the altar. Say:Six months of light, and six months of dark. The earth goes to sleep, and later wakes again. O dark mother, we honor you this night, And dance in your shadows. We embrace that which is the darkness, And celebrate the life of the Crone. Take a sip of the wine, and savor the taste upon your lips. If you are doing this rite with a group, pass it to each person in the circle. As each person drinks, they should say:Blessings to the dark goddess on this night, and every other.
  5. As the wine is replaced upon the altar, hold your arms out in the Goddess position, and take a moment to reflect on the darker aspects of the human experience. Think of all the goddesses who evoke the night, and call out:Demeter, Inanna, Kali, Tiamet, Hecate, Nemesis, Morrighan. Bringers of destruction and darkness, I embrace you tonight. Without rage, we cannot feel love, Without pain, we cannot feel happiness, Without the night, there is no day, Without death, there is no life. Great goddesses of the night, I thank you.
  6. Take a few moments to meditate on the darker aspects of your own soul. Is there a pain you’ve been longing to get rid of? Is there anger and frustration that you’ve been unable to move past? Is there someone who’s hurt you, but you haven’t told them how you feel? Now is the time to take this energy and turn it to your own purposes. Take any pain inside you, and reverse it so that it becomes a positive experience. If you’re not suffering from anything hurtful, count your blessings, and reflect on a time in your life when you weren’t so fortunate.When you are ready, end the ritual.
  7. You may wish to tie this rite into a celebration of the Harvest Moon.

What You Need

  • A candle to represent Demeter
  • A candle to represent Persephone
  • Wine or grape juice
  • A pomegranate (and a bowl)

Calendar of the Moon for September 20

Calendar of the Moon

20 Muin/Boedromion

Greater Mysteries Day 6: Ritual

Colors: Gold and black
Element: Earth
Altar: Upon cloth of black and gold set a single white candle to burn, with incense of myrrh, and a great pitcher of mint-barley tea, with many cups around it. Before the altar lay the Kistai, the round box of holy objects, and a basket with a sheaf of grain in it. The curtains are drawn, and a single torch lights the room.
Offerings: Oneself, as an initiate.
Daily Meal: Fasting until Mesembria of the next day, except for the “kykeon” tea.

Mysteries Invocation VI:

(The invocation opens with a wordless, many-toned chant that all sing.)

We have walked in the footsteps of Demeter,
Who understands the mourning of the loss so terrible
That you think you may die from it.
We have walked in the footsteps of Persephone,
Who understands being taken against your will
To a dark place where only love can change things.
We are come to the moment of seeing, of knowing,
Of bringing together what has been parted,
Yet knowing also that both are changed,
And will never be what they were before.
Mother and daughter must find a new relationship,
As we must find a new way after each of our losses.

(The chant is repeated. Then the Kistai is opened, and each of the holy objects is removed, and explained to the folk. They come forth to touch them as they are brought forth.)

Hail to Demeter, Lady of the Earth,
Giver of nourishment!
As Demeter in her mourning, in her barrenness
Was given kykeon to drink by Metaneira,
Was given shelter and care by mortals
Who would not see an old woman weary on the road
Without offering comfort, so we see
That mortals can offer comfort to the Gods, and to each other.
Here, take, drink of Comfort in the time of darkness.

(Then the kykeon is passed to drink, and all speak in turn of their losses, and how they came forth to find a new path. If this ritual takes longer, it may go late into Arktos without trouble, as there is no dinner; it is important that all get the chance to speak, and weep if necessary. When all have finished, the officiant says:)

Remember always this:
That darkness yields to light, and light to darkness,
And out of every woe comes some good thing,
Even if it is not given to the sufferers.
For lo, Persephone the ravished maiden is now Queen,
And Counselor to the sorrowing Dead,
Bringing healing to the pain of others.
How will you, too, heal from the memory of wounds?

(Each speaks of how they will bring healing to the world, and the rest of the kykeon is poured out as a libation.)

Hail to Persephone, Maiden who goes down into the dark,
And has learned to love the Dark, and its center!
Hail to She who arises again in the spring,
Reminding us that spring will always come again,
No matter how long and cold the winter!
Hail to Hades, Lord of the Underworld,
Who gives the Dead their food, their shelter,
And what care and love he can,
Who gave them the greatest gift of all:
The gift of Persephone, Maiden of the Spring,
To succor them and give them hope.
For lo, they have birthed them a child,
And his name is Brimos, and he is given back to all of us,
Given to the living for our sustenance,
Nourishment born of tears, Birth born of Death,
As all life feeds on Death, as all things turn on the wheel.
Hail to Brimos, born in the darkness,
And may we follow you back to the light!

(End with the wordless chant again, lasting for some time as the torch is put out. Then all should go out into the light as if for the first time, and sing while they work for the rest of the work-hours.)

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Demeter, Dark Mother of the Harvest

Demeter, Dark Mother of the Harvest

Perhaps the best known of all the harvest mythologies is the story of Demeter and Persephone. Demeter was a goddess of grain and of the harvest in ancient Greece. Her daughter, Persephone, caught the eye of Hades, god of the underworld. When Hades abducted Persephone and took her back to the underworld, Demeter’s grief caused the crops on earth to die and go dormant. By the time she finally recovered her daughter, Persephone had eaten six pomegranate seeds, and so was doomed to spend six months of the year in the underworld. These six months are the time when the earth dies, beginning at the time of the autumn equinox. Each year, Demeter mourns the loss of her daughter for six months. At Ostara, the greening of the earth begins once more and life begins anew.

In some interpretations of the story, Persephone is not held in the underworld against her will. Instead, she chooses to stay there for six months each year so that she can bring a little bit of brightness and light to the souls doomed to spend eternity with Hades.