Celebrating Legends, Folklore & Spirituality 365 Days A Year for Feb. 24th – Festival of Shiva

goddess of deep sea

February 24

Festival of Shiva

Shiva, the moon God of the mountains, is honored annually on this date. Folklore and myth portray Shiva with the moon in his hair, through which flows the River Ganges. As it poured down from the heavens, Shiva protected the earth against the mighty Goddess Ganga, who could have flooded all of India. Shiva forced her to stream through his matted hair, thus slowing her force until the waters reached the earth. This is why there are so many small streams converging in the lower Himalayas to form one great divine river, the Ganges. It is still believed that her power is so strong that all people, the living as well as the dead, are purified by her holy waters.

During the festival of Shiva, worshipers gather in his temple to celebrate his celestial dance of creation. The sacred rites are followed by an oil lamp vigil known as the Shibaratri (Shiva’s night) that culminates with a great feast.

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Celebrating Legends, Folklore & Spirituality 365 Days a Year for January 4th – Sacrifice to the 7 Stars

Queen Of The Dragons

Sacrifice to the 7 Stars

The ancient Greeks set this day aside to honor Callisto, the moon Goddess who was loved by Zeus. Callisto bore Zeus a son, Arcas, and was then changed into a bear either by Zeus, wishing to hide her, or by Hera herself. As a bear she was shot by Artemis in the forest, who then placed her among the stars as the She Bear connected with the Ursa Major constellation.

In Greek Callisto was also called Helice, which means both “that which turns” and “Willow branch”-a reminder that the willow was the sacred tree favored by Helice and Callisto.

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

Aradia: Gospel of the Witches (Chapter 12: Tana The Moon Goddess)

Chapter XII

Tana The Moon Goddess

Charles G. Leland


The following story, which appeared originally in the Legends of Florence, collected from the people by me, does not properly belong to the Witch’s Gospel, as it is not strictly in accordance with it; and yet it could not well be omitted, since it is on the same subject. In it Diana appears simply as the lunar goddess of chastity, therefor not as a witch. It was given to me as Fana, but my informant said that it might be Tana; she was not sure. As Tana occurs in another tale, and as the subject is certainly Diana, there can hardly be a question of this.

Tana was a very beautiful girl, but extremely poor, and as modest and pure as she was beautiful and humble. She went from one contadino to another, or from farm to farm to work, and thus led an honest life.

There was a young boor, a very ugly, bestial, and brutish fellow, who was after his fashion raging with love for her, but she could not so much as bear to look at him, and repelled all his advances.

But late one night, when she was returning alone from the farmhouse where she had worked to her home, this man who had hidden himself in a thicket, leaped out on her and cried, “Thou canst not flee; mine thou shalt be!”

And seeing no help near, and only the full moon looking down on her from heaven, Tana in despair cast herself on her knees and cried to it:

“I have no one on earth to defend me,
Thou alone dost see me in this strait;
Therefore I pray to thee, O Moon!
As thou art beautiful so thou art bright
Flashing thy splendor over all mankind;
Even so I pray thee light up the mind
Of this poor ruffian, who would wrong me here,
Even to the worst. Cast light into his soul,
That he may let me be in peace, and then
Return in all thy light unto my home!”

When she had said this, there appeared before her a bright but shadowy form, which said:

“Rise, and go to thy home!
Thou has well deserved this grace;
No one shall trouble thee more,
Purest of all on earth!
Thou shalt a goddess be,
The Goddess of the Moon,
Of all enchantment Queen!”

Thus it came to pass that Tana became the dea or spirit of the Moon.

Though the air be set to a different key, this is a poem of pure melody, and the same as Wordsworth’s “Goody Blake and Harry Gill.” Both Tana and the old dame are surprised and terrified; both pray to a power above:

“The cold, cold moon above her head,
Thus on her knees did Goody pray;
Young Harry heard what she had said,
And icy cold he turned away.”

The dramatic center is just the same in both. The English ballad soberly turns into an incurable fir of ague inflicted on a greedy young boor; the Italian witch-poetess, with finer sense, or with more sympathy for the heroine, casts the brute aside without further mention, and apotheosizes the maiden, identifying her with the Moon. The former is more practical and probable, the latter more poetical.

And here it is worth while, despite digression, to remark what an immense majority there are of people who can perceive, feel, and value poetry in mere words or form – that is to say, objectively – and hardly know or note it when it is presented subjectively or as thought, but not put into some kind of verse or measure, or regulated form. This is a curious experiment and worth studying. Take a passage from some famous poet; write it out in pure simple prose, doing full justice to its real meaning, and if it still actually thrills or moves as poetry, then it is of the first class. But if it has lost its glamour absolutely, it is second rate or inferior; for the best cannot be made out of mere words varnished with associations, be they of thought or feeling.

This is not such a far cry from the subject as might be deemed. Reading and feeling them subjectively, I am often struck by the fact that in these Witch traditions which I have gathered there is a wondrous poetry of thought, which far excels the efforts of many modern bards, and which only requires the aid of some clever workman in words to assume the highest rank. A proof of what I have asserted may be found in the fact that, in such famous poems as the Finding of the Lyre, by James Russell Lowell, and that on the invention of the pipe by Pan, by Mrs. Browning, that which formed the most exquisite and refined portion of the original myths is omitted by both authors, simply because they missed or did not perceive it. For in the former we are not told that it was the breathing of the god Air (who was the inspiring soul of ancient music, and the Bellaria of modern witch-mythology) on the dried filament of the tortoise, which suggested to Hermes the making an instrument wherewith he made the music of the spheres and guided the course of the planets. As for Mrs. Browning, she leaves out Syrinx altogether, that is to say, the voice of the nymph still lingering in the pipe which had been her body. Now to my mind the old prose narrative of these myths is much more deeply poetical and moving, and far more inspired with beauty and romance, than are the well-rhymed and measured, but very imperfect versions given by our poets. And in fact, such want of intelligence or perception may be found in all the ‘classic’ poems, not only of Keats, but of almost every poet of the age who has dealt in Greek subjects.

Great license is allowed to painters and poets, but when they take a subjective, especially a deep tradition, and fail to perceive its real meaning or catch its point, and simply give us something very pretty, but not so inspired with meaning as the original, it can hardly be claimed that they have done their work as it might, or, in fact, should have been done. I find that this fault does not occur in the Italian or Tuscan witch versions of the ancient fables; on the contrary, they keenly appreciate, and even expand, the antique spirit. Hence I have often had occasion to remark that it was not impossible that in some cases popular tradition, even as it now exists, has been preserved more fully and accurately than we find it in any Latin writer.

Now apropos of missing the point, I would remind certain very literal readers that if they find many faults of grammar, misspelling, and worse in the Italian texts in this book, they will not, as a distinguished reviewer has done, attribute them all to the ignorance of the author, but to the imperfect education of the person who collected and recorded them. I am reminded of this by having seen in a circulating library copy of my Legend of Florence, in which some good careful soul had taken pains with a pencil to correct all the archaisms. Wherein, he or she was like a certain Boston proof reader, who in a book of mine changed the spelling of many citations from Chaucer, Spenser, and others into the purest, or impurest, Webster; he being under the impression that I was extremely ignorant of orthography. As for the writing in or injuring books, which always belong partly to posterity, it is a sin of vulgarity as well as morality, and indicates what people are more than they dream.

“Only a cad as low as a thief
Would write in a book or turn down a leaf,
Since ’tis thievery, as well is know,
To make free with that which is not our own.”

Moon Symbols

MOON SYMBOLS

Moon Symbols: Certain Symbols have been associated with the Moon and Moon deities for thousands of years. Many symbols recur in diverse cultures with no contact with each other. Ancient spiritual leaders knew how to communicate with the collective unconscious, which is the storehouse of all knowledge, and hear the deities’ voices which speak there.

Using these symbols in meditation, ritual, or spell-working may intensify your connections with the archetypal powers of the Moon. Examine the entries carefully and decide what is appropriate for the situation, be it simple meditation of a full-blown ritual. For instance, I have no trouble identifying with Cats, but have never been able to decide on how to use Bats.

Ambrosia: The feminine mysteries of the menstrual cycle; the re-creative power of menstrual blood. Called soma among the Hindus, red claret of the faeries, and wise blood.

Bat: A creature of frequent association with the Moon and darkness. In China, bats were symbols of good fortune and happiness; in Europe, a companion creature of the Goddess Hel. Christians made the bat evil and demonic in order to disengage people from the Goddess.

Blood: The words “blessing” and “blood” are related. Red has always been considered the color of life. It is also the color of the Mother aspect of the Triple Goddess, indicative of Her fruitfulness through menstruation and birth. Smudging and staining the hands and feet with henna was practiced by followers of Hecate, Anath, and many Hindu Goddesses. Altars and people were consecrated by sprinkling with blood in these ancient times. Today, objects and people are sprinkled with salted water.

Boat: The Moon was called the Boat of Light by the Babylonians. Egyptians depicted the Crescent Moon with the horns turned upward either as part of the lunar deities headdress or carved sky-boats, such as the ones pictured in the temple of Isis.

Bull: Originally the lunar symbol of the Great Mother with the horns representing the Crescent Moon, the bull later came to represent the Sun Gods. However, it was often still connected with a Moon Goddess such as Cybele or Attis.

Cat: Mau: The Egyptian word for Cat. To the Egyptians especially, the cat was a Moon creature, and sacred to such Goddesses as Isis, Bast, Artemis, Diana, and Freyja. When Diana became known as Queen of Witches in the Middle Ages, the cat was associated with Witchcraft and Goddess worship.

Circle: The circle was symbolic of the Moon long before being seized by the Sun Gods. In Scotland, the Orkney Islands are still called Temples of the Moon. The ancient Greek divinatory tool known as Hecate’s Circle was a gold sphere with a sapphire in its center, and was hung on a thong of oxhide.

Color: Primary Moon deity colors are white, red, or black, depending on Moon phase. The Hindu Goddess Kali and many European Triple Goddesses specifically used these colors to designate their various aspects: white – maiden; red – mother; black – crone.

Cow: Feminine symbol of both Moon and the Earth. Egyptian Moon Goddesses connected with the cow were Isis, Hathor, Neith, amongst others.

Crescent: The New Moon; marking the change from the Dark Moon, it is the very first sliver of Moon. Old European designs portray the lunar cycle by a right crescent, a circle, and a left crescent. At times, the circle was replaced with a large snake coil. Semicircles also symbolized the crescent, as did bull horns. U-shaped marks not only represented crescents, but were also combined with dots to symbolize owls – Moon birds. The croissant, or any crescent-shaped
cake is sacred to Moon deities.

Crow: This bird was frequently associated with the Dark Moon Goddesses such as the Morrigan, due to its black color.

Crystal: This stone most often represents the Full Moon and its divinatory powers.

Dew, Rain: Many cultures associate these forms of condensation with the Moon. The early dew after a Full Moon is said to heal and improve beauty if rubbed into the skin. Certain phases and signs of the Moon are purported to be conducive to rain.

Dogs: Canines have long been associated with Moon deities, especially Crescent New Moon Goddesses. Managarmr (Moondog) was the mightiest of all dog-wolf supernatural beings according to a Norse story.

Dragon: Dragons are primarily associated with solar eclipses, but are also associated with the Moon and lunar eclipses. The idea of dragons and eclipses was held in China, Northern Asia, Finland, Lithuania, North Africa, and Persia. Legend dictates that dragons often fly about in the moonlight.

Eye: Often associated with the Moon, especially in ancient Egypt. Many little Eye Goddesses have been found in Mediterranean and European sites.

Fan: Among the ancient Asiatic and Oriental cultures, the fan represented the phases of the Moon.

Fish: Some cultures symbolized the Moon with a fish instead of a snake. Some Moon Goddesses were depicted with fish-tails, akin to mermaids.

Frog: Many times a lunar symbol; sometimes called a toad. Hekat the frog Goddess was connected with birth in ancient Egypt.

Grotto, Garden: It was common to worship a Moon Goddess or God in a grotto or garden. These sacred spaces usually contained a Moon tree such as an olive, a sacred stone, or a spring, or all of these.

Groves: Groves of trees were often sacred to the Moon Mother, especially if they held springs, pools, or lakes. Ceremonies of drawing water and pouring it were part of her rituals. If a grove contained a grotto where water came directly out of a rock, it was especially sacred.

Hare or Rabbit: Many cultures around the world, including Tibet, China, Africa, Ceylon, and some Native Americans, said that a hare lived on the Moon along with the ruling Moon deity. Especially associated with lunar Goddesses.

Horns: Bull or cows horns have always been connected with the Moon and Moon deities. Cattle and bison horns have been recovered that have thirteen notches carved into them; the Great Goddess of Laussel is such an example. These notches represent the thirteen Moon months of a seasonal year. The Greek Hera was also called Keroessa (“Horned One”) in her aspect of Io, the Moon Cow.

Horseshoe: A crescent Moon symbol and also a yonic emblem.

Hounds, Dogs: Packs of hounds, such as Alani of Diana, represent the dangerous energies of the Moon.

Labrys, Double Axe: A Goddess and Moon symbol, said to have been one of the weapons preferred by the Amazons. A thunderbolt was said to have been given in this shape to the Amazons by Hera. In Crete and at Delphi, both originally Goddess centers, the labyrs was a ceremonial scepter.

Lamp: The Moon is called by many the lamp of the night. Their close connection with the Moon’s light is demonstrated by the additional titles attached to Goddess names such as Juno Lucina , and Diana Lucifera.

Mirror, round: The Moon is called the heavenly mirror in Central Asia and many other parts of the world. The mirror is a Goddess symbol sometimes called a soul-carrier or soul-catcher. Some cultures believed that the souls of the dead went to the Moon to await reincarnation.

Moonstone: A feldspar gemstone with a white, cloudy form. It is said to contain the image of the Moon. The Hindus said it was formed from the congealing of the Moon’s rays. Pope Leo X (1475-1521 CE) was said to own a moonstone that waxed and waned in brilliance with the Moon. The stone is said to cure nervousness and bring luck to the owner.

Old Man, Old Woman: The markings on the Moon surface are often called the Old Man or Old Woman in the Moon. Some cultures such as the Asians, Mayans, or Aztecs, called these markings the hare, frog, or toad.

Owl: A night hunter possessing large eyes, the owl has long been associated with the Moon. The Egyptians considered the owl a symbol of death, night, and cold. To the Greeks, however, it was an emblem of wisdom and the Goddess Athena. Its staring eyes connected it with the Eye Goddesses, Lilith, Minerva, Blodeuwedd, Anath, and Mari, among others. The owl has long been associated with the Moon, wisdom, sacred lunary mysteries, and initiations.

Ox: In Greece and Rome, this animal was seen as a lunar animal.

Pomegranate: Due to its blood-red juice and its many chambers and seeds, the pomegranate is symbolic of blood, the Dark Moon deities, and the land of the Dea.

Pillar, Cone: The earliest representation of the Moon; sometimes this stone was a meteorite. Often it was grouped with a circular stone which represented the Full Moon. Some pyramids fall into this category.

Raven: A black bird associated with the Dark Moon Goddesses such as the Morrigan and Rhiannon.

Scythe, Sickle: A symbol of the Crescent Moon. Used by the Amazons and women who worshipped Moon Goddesses, particularly Crone deities. Even the Druids used a Moon-shaped sickle for their sacred ceremonies.

Semicircle: The semicircle represents the Crescent Moon in symbology.

Shell: A symbol of the Great Mother and related to the Moon.

Silver: This metal has long been regarded as the Moon’s metal. Silver was used for divinatory cups.

Snake: As a Goddess symbol, the snake is the same as the spiral when it is coiled. Each turn of the coil marks a day in the lunar calendar. Zigzag lines represent snakes. Serpents were associated with the Dark Moon because they were considered related to the Underworld. Some Dark Moon Goddesses were depicted with snakes as hair. There are pictures showing Cybele offering a cup to a snake. In the mythology of Mexico are tales of the woman serpent (Moon) who is devoured by the Sun, a description of an eclipse or the phases of the Moon.

Soma: A sacred liquid connected with the Moon. In India it was called soma; the Persians knew it as haoma, and the Celts as red claret. See Blood. The Chinese Goddess Ch’ang-O drank this sacred liquid, then fled to live on the Moon.

Sow: The white sow has been associated with Moon deities from the Celtic lands to the Mediterranean. It was connected with Astarte, Cerridwen, Demeter, Freyja, and the Buddhist Marici.

Spiral: The spiral, whichever way it turned, represented an aspect of the Great Goddess, and also the Moon. The upward and downward spiraling, or in and out, can be compared with the waxing and waning of the Moon. The Greek Crane Dance, probably originally performed in Crete by the bull-dancers, was danced around a horned altar which was part of the labyrinth. Spirals appear on some ancient Goddess statues, primarily replacing what would be eyes.

Toad: Some cultures saw a toad, instead of a hare, in the Moon. In some parts of Asia, Africa, and North America, the toad is a symbol of the Moon and fertility.

Tree: Frequently a tree, called a Moon tree, was an emblem of the Moon. Many Assyrian pictures portray this. Sometimes, it is more like a maypole with ribbons hanging from it rather than an actual tree. Often the Moon tree was guarded by animals.

Triple Symbols: Many groups of triple symbols represent the three phases of the Moon. Hecate Triformis is an example of the Triple Moon Goddess, as is the Celtic Morrigu. The tripod, triangle, and trident are all connected directly with the three phases of the Moon Goddesses, or with Gods who are consorts of these Goddesses.

Wishing Well: There is an Icelandic charm of this name which has four Crescent Moons as dippers about its edge. The Moon has long been associated with water and the granting of wishes or prayers. Several Goddesses, such as the Greek Demeter and the Celtic Brigit, had sacred Moon wells where rituals, large and small, were held for the granting of desires.

Wheel: Though the wheel has most often been a Sun symbol, there were occasions when it represented the Moon. Arianrhod’s Silver Wheel or Oar Wheel is really the Moon.

Willow: A Moon tree sacred to such Dark Moon Goddesses as Hecate, Circe, and Persephone. The willow (helice) gave its name to the Helicon, abode of the nine muses, the orgiastic abode of the Moon Goddess.

Wings: Long before the Persians adopted the winged disk as a symbol of their Sun God, the Moon Goddess was shown with wings. Sometimes the Moon itself, whether Crescent or Full, was pictured with wings. Certain birds, such as doves and pigeons, were associated with the Moon.

Wolf: Many Gods and Goddesses who had connections with the Moon, also had the wolf as their symbol. The wolf howls as the Moon, as do dogs; they hunt and frolic by moonlight. The Moon priestesses of many cultures were adept at astral traveling and shape shifting, both talents usually practiced at night. They also practiced rituals, dancing and singing, outdoors under the Moon. A Roman festival, the Lupercalia, was in honor of the wolf Goddess Lupa or Feronia. The
Norse believed that the giant wolf Hati dogs the courses of the Moon, and in the final days will eat this celestial body.

Yin and Yang: This Chinese symbol represents the joined powers of the male and female, positive and negative; in other words, a cyclical alternation of duality. At one point in ancient Chinese history, this design symbolized the phases of the Moon, the light and dark cycles. Much of the ancient world spoke of the Two Ladies or Two Mistresses of the Moon.

Deities of the Moon

Deities of the Moon

 

Aditi: Hindu mother goddess, mother of the sun and moon Gods, Mitra and Varuna.

Aine of Knockaine: Irish-Celtic Goddess of love and fertility, related to the moon.

Alcyone: Greek Goddess of the moon and tranquility.

Alphito: Greek Goddess of destiny and the moon.

Anu: Irish-Celtic Goddess of the moon and air. She is also the Mother Earth Goddess and Maiden aspect of Morrigu.

Aradia: Italian Goddess, protector of Witches. Symbolises the element of air and the moon.

Baal: Canaanite rain God who symbolises air, fertility, health and the moon.

Cerridwen: Welsh-Celtic moon and nature Goddess.

Chons: Egyptian God of the moon.

Coyolxuahqi: Aztec moon Goddess; symbolises the element of fire.

Diana: Queen of the Witches – love, luck, the moon and general magic are hers.

Don: Welsh-Celtic Queen of the Heavens and Goddess of air and sea, who ruled the land of the dead. Also known as Danu (Irish-Celtic) .

El: Canaanite God of fertility and the moon.

Epona: Gaulish Goddess of horses and birds, represents the moon, enchantment and charms. Also called Rhiannon (Welsh-Celtic) .

Freya: Norse Goddess of love, and fertility, symbolises war, the moon and poetry

Frigg: Norse Goddess of marriage and motherhood, symbolises foresight, wisdom and the moon. Also called Frigga.

Hathor: Egyptian Goddess of joy and love, who symbolises the element of Air and the moon.

Hecate: Goddess of the Witches and the Dark Moon. The Crone aspect of the triple Goddess.

Hera: Greek Goddess who can be invoked for love, the moon, element of Air,motherhood.

Jana: Italian Goddess of the moon.

Kuu: Finnish moon Goddess.

Luna: Roman moon Goddess, also known as Lunah.

Neith: Egyptian Goddess of war and weaving, symbolises the moon and courage.

Phoebe: Roman moon Goddess and teacher to sorcerers; also known as Selene(Greek).

Rhiannon: Welsh-Celtic Goddess of horses and birds, represents the moon, enchantment and charms. Also called Epona (Gaul).

Selene: Greek moon Goddess and teacher to sorcerers; also known as Phoebe(Roman).

Tlazolteotl: Aztec Goddess of the crescent moon.

Varuna: Hindu moon God.

WOTC’s Extra – Goddesses/Gods You Can Call On for Specific Spellworking

Goddesses You Can Call Upon for Specific Spellwork:

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

 

Gods You Can Call Upon for Specific Spellwork:

Adonis: Greek; consort of Aphrodite. Also another name for “lord”.
In Phoenician his counterpart is Astarte.
A vegetarian God. Roman counterpart is Venus.
Apollo: Greek and Roman; twin brother of Artemis. God of the Sun, Light and the Arts.
Cernunnos: Celtic; Horned God and consort of the Lady. Also Kernunnos.
Eros: Greek; God of Romance and Passionate Love.
Hymen: Greek; God of Marriage and Commitment. His counterpart is Dionysus.
Luce: Italian; Soul mate and Brother of Diana. Father of Arcadia. God of the Sun and Light.
Osiris: wiccan; counterpart of Isis. Over-all God form including vegetation and after-life.
Pan: Greek; God of Nature and the Woods, Laughter and Passion.
Also music and personal abandon. Of course, you can refer to either the God and/or Goddess as merely Lord and Lady if it makes you feel more comfortable.

 

 

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SONG OF THE GODDESS

Witchy Comments & Graphics
SONG OF THE GODDESS

I am the Great Mother, worshipped by all creation and existent prior to their
conscious-ness. I am the primal female force, boundless and eternal.

I am the chaste Goddess of the Moon, the Lady of all magick. The winds and
moving leaves sing my name. I wear the crescent Moon upon my brow and my feet rest among the starry heavens.  I am mysteries yet unsolved, a path newly set upon. I am a field untouched by the plow. Rejoice in me and know the fullness of youth.

I am the blessed Mother, the gracious Lady of the harvest. I am clothed with the
deep, cool wonder of the Earth and the gold of the fields heavy with grain.  By
me the tides of the Earth are ruled; all things come to fruition according to my
reason. I am refuge and healing. I am the life-giving Mother, wondrously
fertile.

Worship me as the Crone, tender of the unbroken cycle of death and rebirth. I am the  wheel, the shadow of the Moon. I rule the tides of women and men and give release and renewal to weary souls. Though the darkness of death is my domain, the joy of birth is my gift.

I am the Goddess of the Moon, the Earth, the Seas.  My names and strengths are
manifold. I pour forth magick and power, peace and wisdom. I am the eternal
Maiden, Mother of all, and Crone of darkness, and I send you blessings of
limitless love.

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For The Beginner – Witchcraft 101 – Lesson 3

Lesson 3

The 8 Sabbats

Samhain/Halloween October 31 or first full Moon in Scorpio. Ancestor night. Feast of the Dead. Halloween. Pronounced “sow-en” or “sow-un”.  This is the last day of the Pagan year. The new year begins November 1. This is the day when the veil between this world and the spirit world is thinnest. Communication with the dead is easiest and spirits are most common.  Also an excellent night for divination. Feasts and parties are held in remembrance of those who have died. This is a time for resolving problems.

Ways of celebrating Samhain can be the traditional giving of candy to trick-or-treaters, divining, or placing out cookies and cakes for the spirits. Leave doors and windows open as it is thought to allow the dead to pass through the house without getting confused and lost inside.

Samhain (pronounced SOW-EN) literally  means “summer’s end.” Today, Samhain falls on October 31st and most know it as  Halloween. Halloween, from “hallowed eve” (meaning “sacred night”) is one of the  most important and sacred holidays of the pagan year. Traditionally, Samhain  begins at sundown on October 31st and runs through a set of 2 days,: Oct 31st  and November 1st. The days between Samhain and Yule are considered the “Time  which is no time.” Depending on your traditions, the new year can begin at  Samhain or at Yule. This time between the worlds has been considered very  magickal and dangerous. it is a time when the veil that separates the world of  the living and the world of the dead is at its thinnest. It is for this reason  that many consider this to be a time that does not exist on our earthly realm.     Samhain is also called the “Feast of the Dead.” During this  time, the dead can return to visit their loved ones and the gates to faery  kingdoms are opened. It is traditional to leave cakes, honey, milk and cider  outside for the fey. If they are not given gifts of food, they will play tricks  on those who are not generous. most pagans set a place at the dinner table for  their dead ancestor.     Samhain is also known as the “Last Harvest.” Originally  celebrated when the Sun reached 15 degrees Scorpio, Samhain was the last day  that crops were harvested. Animals were slaughtered on this day giving the name  of the full moon in October the “blood moon” and much of the harvest and meat  was dried and preserved and stored away for the coming winter months. Samhain is  a time of feasting and of celebrating the harvest and the gifts of the earth.     Samhain is also a time for divination. it is easier to  commune with spirits, both human and non-human and it is a very powerful time  for divination, especially for divining the outcome of the winter months to  come.     The tradition of trick-or-treating originated in and is  unique to the United States. Children dress in costume and go from door to door  asking for treats. This tradition may stem from an ancient tradition of  traveling door-to-door asking donations of food for the Halloween town feast. It  may also come from the tradition of leaving sweets on the porch for the faery  folk to prevent them from doing harm during the year.     Even jack-o-lanterns come from old Irish traditions. The word  jack-o-lantern comes from the old Irish tale “Jack of the Lantern.” As the story  goes, there was an evil old man named Jack who, upon death, was neither allowed  into heaven or hell and was cursed to roam the earth with only a candle in a  turnip to light his way through the night. Irish children carved and carried  lanterns of turnips, a symbol of the harvest, over the moor sides on Samhain  night. Pumpkins were not used until settlers arrived in America and discovered  squashes along with other harvest symbols such as corn and turkey.     Most importantly, Samhain is a time to spend with family,  both living and deceased. It is a time to think about our own mortality. Altars  are set up as shrines to the dead and are decorated with skulls, skeletons and  other symbols of death flanking pictures and belongings of our deceased and  candles. It is also traditional to light a special candle for the new year and  allow it to burn throughout the night.

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Yule/Winter Solstice December 21 or Winter Solstice. Alban Arthuan. Festival of lights. The first day of winter and the longest day of the year.  This day is celebrated as the death and birth of the Sun God – the Divine Child. The full moon after Yule is considered the most powerful of the whole year. Yule is the celebration of the death of the Holly king and the rebirth and renewed reign of the Oak king.

We celebrate Yule nearly exactly as you would Christmas. When the  pagans of old were taken over by Christian rule, the Christians found it  impossible to convert the pagans. They eventually allowed the pagan peoples to  keep their holidays as long as they did them in the name of their Lord, Jesus  Christ. This is why Christians celebrate the birth of their lord on this night,  even though (even stated in the bible for those bible thumpers out there) Christ  was born in the spring with the lambs. The Yule log, made of oak, is burned as  sacrifice of the old dead Holly king. This day is a light festival, with as many lights on the tree  and altar as possible to celebrate the coming of the new child. Mistletoe is  hung because in the ancient days couples would play out their trial marriages on  this day. ceremonies were held beneath Oak trees strung with garlands of  mistletoe.

Yule is known to Pagans as the “Time of  Great Darkness.” The nights grow long and the days grow short and the Sun before  Yule seems to wither and die. Yule marks the coldest, darkest and harshest part  of the year. Yule is always celebrated on the Winter Solstice. The Christian  holiday Christmas was adapted from the ancient pagan tradition of celebrating  the coming of the newborn Sun/Son to light the world. In the Pagan traditions he  is born unto the Mother Goddess and in the Christian religions he is born to the  Mother Mary.

“The first written record for this  holiday’s occurrence on December 25th was in 354 AD in Rome when one scholar  wrote: ‘It was customary for Pagans to celebrate the birth of the Sun…when the  doctors of the church perceived that the Christians had a leaning to this  festival, they took counsel and resolved that the true Nativity should be  solemnized on that day.'” (From “You Call it Christmas, We Call it Yule” by Peg  Aloi – Witches’ Voice writer)

Pagans celebrate Yule by blessing their  crop plants and animals. A common Yule practice is Wassailing. Apples from the  fall harvest are made into a cider known as wassail. To ensure the fertility of  their apple trees for the coming years, bits of cider-soaked bread were placed  in the branches of the trees and libations of cider were poured over their  roots. Later in history, guns were fired up through the branches to ward off  evil spirits. In the same way, cider was often poured on livestock to ensure  their fertility and good health for the next year.     Kissing under the mistletoe also stems from ancient Celtic  traditions. The Winter Solstice was a time for marriage ceremonies. There was  feasting and games and couples who wished to marry would come together at this  time. Mistletoe was considered a very sacred plant and was thought to grow  between the worlds symbolically because it grew on trees and not out of the  ground. It was considered especially lucky when mistletoe grew on oaks because  oaks have antibiotic properties which prevent fungi from growing on them.  Mistletoe on oak was a symbol of harmony in unity and became an important symbol  for marriage. Garlands of mistletoe were strung between trees and couples would  dance or pass under the boughs and kiss, thus sealing their marriage for 1 year  and 1 day. After this time if they no longer wished to be married, they could go  their separate ways. This began the modern tradition of kissing under the  mistletoe.     Holly is used in Yule decorations to symbolize the Holly King  who dies at Yule to make way for the Oak King. The Yule log stems from this  tradition. Some say that the log should be oak, some say ash and others say  holly. Burning the Yule log symbolizes the sacrificial death of the Holly King  and the reign of the Oak King over the second half of the year. The Yule log is  decorated with paper decorations and plants such as holly, mistletoe, and  evergreen sprigs. Red ribbons and tinsel are tied to the top of the  log  before it is burned in the fire. The Yule log must be lit on the first try and  must remain burning for 12 hours for good luck. a piece of the log is saved to  use to light the next year’s fire.     There are many ideas on where Christmas trees originally came  from. Some say that the practice originated in ancient Egypt. Others say that it  stems from ancient tree-worshiping practices. Today many Pagans refuse to cut  down trees and use fake trees instead. Those who still cut down trees every year  say that you must cut your own instead of buying one and afterward, the tree  should be burned.     During this night, the longest night of the year, Pagans  light as many candles as can be found both to symbolically wait out the death of  the Lord and to celebrate the coming of new light. At no other time of the year  is light more sacred. Many believe that it is taboo to extinguish any flame or  to travel at Yuletide.     Feasting has always been a Yule tradition. These meals  celebrate the harvest that was gathered in the autumn and to celebrate the  passing of winter. It is the time when the days begin to grow longer as the Lord  grows stronger and climbs further and further up the sky. Tables, altars, and  Yule trees are covered in lights and candles. As many lights as possible lie  strewn about in anticipation of the birth of the new child Sun King from the  womb of the Mother.

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Imbolc/Imbolg/Candlemas February 1 or the first full moon in Aquarius. Brigantia, Imbolc, Candlemas.

The time of cleansing and newborn lambs. The name is from “oimelc” or “sheep’s milk”. The word has also been know to mean “in the belly.” Festival of the maiden, in preparation of growth and renewal. Time of spring cleansing.  Festival of the goddess Brigit, whose breath gave life to the dead.

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Ostara/Spring Equinox March 21. Ostara, Aeostar, Easter. Spring Equinox. The first day of spring. Time when light and dark are in perfect balance, yet the light is growing stronger. Sowing time in the North. New beginnings.

Ways of celebrating are dying beautiful eggs and leaving them in the forests and the gardens for the spirits and little people. Leave dyed eggs in the fields to promote fertility of crops and abundance. You can also celebrate by allowing the children to find the eggs and then going back and leaving the most beautifully dyed eggs for the nature spirits. This is also another Pagan holiday turned Christian. One must wonder, after all, what dyed eggs and fertility bunnies have to do with Christ’s resurrection. This is also a time for lovers to get together. Celebration often involves lovemaking.

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Beltane/Mayday May 1 or first full moon in Taurus. May Day. Lady Day. A fertility festival with nature enchantments. Powers of elves and fairies are growing and will peak at the Summer Solstice. A time of great magic, it is good for divination and for establishing a woodland or guardian shrine.

Ways of celebrating are building shrines to nature spirits. This is the time to honor the house guardians. Leave small gifts of honey cakes, wine and sweets for the little people.

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Midsummer/Summer Solstice June 22. Alban Heruin. The first day of Summer. This is a time of dedication to your religion. The sun casts three rays to light the world.

Celebration includes dedication ceremonies, giving of thanks and the lighting of yellow candles.

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Lughnassadh/Lammas August 1 or the first Full Moon of Leo. Lunasa. This is the turning point of the year. The waning God and waxing Goddess.

Celebration includes harvest festivals and spell work for good fortune and abundance.

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Mabon/Autumnal Equinox September 21, Alban Elved. First day of autumn. The balance of light and dark. Time of long rest after labor and completion of the harvest. A time of thanksgiving.

Celebration includes quiet feasting, and meditation and reincarnation in preparation for Samhain.

The Esbats Esbats are the full and new moons of every month. Certain spell work is done during different phases of the moon.

-Spells for invoking or drawing things toward yourself are done on the Waxing (getting larger) moon. -Spells for banishing or repelling things away from you are done on the Waning (getting smaller) moon. -The full moon is the most powerful moon. Most spells are done during the full moon. Spell work is often for banishing unwanted influences, protection magic, and divination. Planning, releasing and working backwards in time are done on the full moon as well. Spells for renewal and new beginnings are done during the new moon, as well as personal growth, healing, and the blessing of a new project or venture. -A blue moon is a month that contains more than one full moon.

There are thirteen full moons during the month:

January – Wolf Moon February – Storm Moon March – Chaste Moon April – Seed Moon May – Hare Moon June – Dyad (pair) Moon July – Mead Moon August – Wyrt (green plant) Moon September – Barley Moon October – Blood Moon November – Snow Moon December – Oak Moon (variable) – Blue Moon

The Pentacle

The pentacle, or pentagram, is the most revered and most popular sign of the craft. It is similar to the Cross or Crucifix of the Christian religions. This symbol has nothing to do with the devil or with evil.  Devil worshippers use this symbol inverted as a symbol of Satan, but it has  nothing to do with the devil in our religion. Devil worshippers use this symbol  because it was once a popular Christian symbol used to signify the five wounds  of Christ. It was abandoned early in history but can still be found in much of  the art and architecture of old churches and monasteries. This, for its  protection and Christian meaning, was the symbol carried on sir Gawain’s shield.

In witchcraft the pentagram and pentacle represent the five  elements and are symbols not only of the religion, but also as a sigil of protection and unification. The elements are Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Spirit. This is not to be confused with the Holy Spirit of the Christian religion. The spirit is the energy vibration attributed to each and every thing. People have them as well as animals, stones, trees, planets, moons, stars, even the universe. It is often used for protection and is included on most amulets and talismans. It can be drawn in certain ways to promote specific results in spell work.

The banishing (getting rid of something – i.e.: negativity,  evil, etc.) pentagram is drawn starting at the bottom left-hand point going up to the top, down to the bottom right-hand corner and so on. This pentacle is drawn this way in all rituals involving banishing. It is also drawn over doors and windows to prevent evil from entering a space.

The invoking (bringing something toward you – i.e.: money,  luck, etc.)  pentagram is drawn starting at the top corner, down to the bottom left hand corner, up to the top right hand corner and so on. The invoking pentacle is drawn in this way when you want to draw something toward you or to gain something. This pentacle heightens power and aids in invocative spell work.

The pentacle is also representative of the five points on the human body. The circle is considered feminine and is indicative of the womb and the points represent the male member. Sometimes the inverted pentacle is used to signify the God and the upright pentacle is used to represent the goddess. This method is not often used, however, as it has very evil connotations in other religions. In many other pagan religions, the pentacle was the symbol of the earth or the earth-womb and is often used to signify the earth. It is also used to represent the God and Goddess at each point. The top three points represent the aspects of the goddess: Maiden, Mother and Crone. The bottom two are the aspects of the god: Oak King – light, and the Holly King – dark. It also represents the 5 stages of     life: birth, Maiden, Mother, Crone, death. The Wiccan kiss, or the five-fold kiss is used in ritual and is represented by the pentacle: feet, knees, womb, heart and lips.

The All – Gods and Goddesses Witches do not worship any single God or Goddess. Witches believe in the balance and equality of all things. The All is sometimes referred to as the Wiccan deity. The All is just that. It represents  everything of everything. It is all that is and is not. The All is divided into two “categories” which are masculine and feminine. All gods are of the masculine division and all Goddesses are of the  feminine division. Think of it as the yin and the yang. Dark an light, good an  evil, male and female. Though there are two parts, they are always together,  always the same and yet different, and always co-existing in harmony.

The God and Goddess do not really play a part in my religion as I choose to work with spirits and elements. It is hard and rather unnerving for me to envision gods who look and act like people (which seems also highly unlikely to me). If you choose to incorporate them into your religion then you will wish to know the following:

The God: Lord of the underworld (not hell), the sun, life itself, passion, male aspects. Fire and Air elementals. He is worshipped in rituals for passion, fertility, meditation and all other fire and air rituals.

The Goddess: Mate and Mother of the lord. (yes, it sounds strange, doesn’t it?) She gives birth to the new lord in the winter and when the male aspect grows older in the spring, becomes her lover. She is motherhood, femininity, water, earth, the moon, the night,  love and caring, nurturing, and also a warrioress and fierce protector.

List of Gods and Goddesses -by Silver Ravenwolf

GODDESSES:

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.

Arianrhod: Welsh; Goddess of the stars and reincarnation. Call on Arianrhod to help with past life memories and difficulties as well as for contacting the Star People.

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.

Athena: Greek; Warrior Goddess and Protectress and Goddess of wisdom. Someone giving you a rough time at work? Call on Athena to help you.

Atlas: holds the world up on his shoulders: symbol  of strength

Atropos: Goddess of Death

Bast: Egyptian; Goddess of Protection and Cats. Bast is great for vehicle travel as well as walking down a dark alley. Call on her essence in the form of a giant panther to see you through to your destination.

Brigid: Celtic; Warrior Goddess and Protectress. Brigid is also a Triple Goddess. She is strong and wise. Call on her to help protect your children in a rough situation.

Ceres: Roman; Goddess of the Harvest.

Cerridwen: Welsh; Moon and Harvest Goddess, also associated with the Dark Mother aspect of the Crone.

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

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

Dryads: Greek feminine spirits of the trees.

Flora: Roman; Goddess of Spring and Birth. For beautiful flower, babies and all bounties of Earth Mother.

Fortuna: Roman; Goddess of Fate.

Freya: Scandinavian; Moon Goddess and wife/lover of Odin. Also commander of the Valkyries.

Gaia: mother earth; goddess of the earth

Hades: God of the underworld

Hathor: Egyptian; Protectress of Women in business. A Hathor’s Mirror is very important for the Witch. Hathor was cunning as well as beautiful.

Hecate: Greek; Goddess as in Crone or Dark Mother.

Hera: Greek;  Goddess of marriage and childbirth. If handfasting or some type of commitment is the issue, Hera is the Goddess to seek. Just remember that she has a vindictive side.

Hestia: Greek; Goddess of home and hearth. Building a house, remodeling or apartment hunting. Safety in the home and the family unit.

Inanna: Sumerian; Goddess representation of the Mother.

Isis: Egyptian; represents the Complete Goddess or the Triple Goddess connotation in one being.

Kali: Hindu; Creative/Destructive Goddess. Protectress of abused women. Kali-Ma should be called if a woman is in fear of physical danger. Her power is truly awesome.

Lilith: Hebrew; Adam’s first wife and said to be turned into a demoness; however, if ou have ever read any of Zecharia Sitchin’s work, you may change your mind. In my opinion, Lilith was a Star Woman bred with Adam. This would make her a goddess of Higher Intelligence o a representation of the Star People.

Maat: Egyptian; Goddess of Justice and Divine Order. Maat is the true balance of any situation. She plays no favorites and will dispense justice to all parties involved. Be sure your own slate is clean in the situation before you call her.

Morgan: Celtic; Goddess of Water and magic. Morgan was said to be married to Merlin. It was from him that she learned her magic. She was also doubled with the Lady of the Lake.

Muses: Greek; Goddesses of Inspiration who vary in number depending upon the pantheon used.

Nephtys: Egyptian; Goddess of Surprises, Sisters and Midwives.

Norns: Celtic; the three sisters of the Wyrd. Responsible for weaving fate – past, present and future.

Nuit: Egyptian; Sky Mother. Often seen depicted in a circular fashion cradling the stars.

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.

Valkyries: Scandinavian; women warriors who carried the souls of men slain in battle to heaven.

Venus: Roman; Goddess of Love and Romance.

Vesta: Roman; Goddess of Fire.

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GODS

Achilles: Great warrior

Adonis: Greek; consort of Aphrodite. Also another name for “Lord.” In Phoenician his counterpart is Astarte. A vegetation god. Roman counterpart is Venus.

Anubis: Egyptian; guardian of Isis. Jackal-headed God of Protection, death and the underworld. Call on him to protect both home and person.

Apollo: Greek and Roman; twin brother of Artemis. God of the Sun, Light and the Arts.

Apsu: Babylonian; his mate is Tiamat.

Cernunnos: Celtic; Horned God and consort of the Lady. Also Kernunnos. Lord of the wild, spirit, animals and plants; nature in general.

Cronus: god of time

Erebus: personification of darkness

Eros: Greek; God of Romance and passionate love.

Hephestus: blacksmith of the Greek gods

Horus: Egyptian; Head of a Falcon and body of a man. God of the all-seeing eye and healing.

Hymen: Greek; God of Marriage and Commitment. His counterpart is Dionysus.

Lucifer: Italian; Soulmate and Brother of Diana. Father of Aradia. God of the Sun and Light.

Mithra: Persian; Sun God and bringer of Light. A soldier’s God.

Neptune: Poseidon: god of the sea

Nyx: god of night

Odin: Scandinavian; counterpart of Freya. This is the God who hung on the Tree of Yggdrasil to obtain second sight. His familiars are the Raven and the Wolf. In his youth he is depicted as a terrible God, in his old age as a God of Wisdom and psychic sight.

Osiris: Egyptian; counterpart of Isis. Over-all God form including vegetation and after-life.

Pan: Greek; God of Nature and the woods, laughter and passion. Also music and personal abandon.

Poseidon: Greek; God of the Sea. His familiars are dolphins and horses.

Ptah: Egyptian; Expert craftsman and designer. God of creative enterprise with the hands.

Shiva: Hindu; consort of Kali. God of the universal cycle of birth-death-rebirth. Shiva can be both kind and terrible.

Thor: Scandinavian; God of Sky and Thunder. A kindly God of the common people, including farmers and sailors.

Thoth: Egyptian; God of Reincarnation. Also a Moon God and favorable to science and wisdom.

Uranus: god of the sky

Zeus: supreme ruler and father of the gods

Magical Names There are many kinds of witches and many different beliefs on the Craft name. Some will tell you that you must be given your name by an accomplished witch after a year and a day of study. I believe, as do others, that you only need to choose a name that you like. It should be a name that you feel comfortable with. A Craft name can be changed at any time (because you change as well) and many witches will change their names a number of times before they settle on one for life.  You do not have to choose a craft name, but many witches choose one for their working. It is a symbol of rebirth and using a craft name allows you to step out of your “real” self so that the pressures of daily life can be left behind you when you are performing magic and rituals. There is also a numerological method of determining if your name is right for you. Though I do not use this method, many will swear by it. Begin by adding the digits of your birth date:

May 10, 1980 = 5+1+0+1+9+8+0=24=2+4= 6

in the above case, your astrological number would be 6. Then you would take your name and refer it to a numerological chart as follows:

1          2            3            4            5            6            7        

A         B            C            D            E            F            G

J           K           L           M            N           O            P

S         T            U            V            W           X           Y

 

8         9

H        I

Q        R

Z

Take your craft name and determine the number of each letter. Then add them together as you did your birth date.

AmberSkyfire = 1+4+2+5+9+1+2+7+6+9+9+5 = 60 = 6+0 = 6

If both of the numbers from your name and your birth date match, then your name is said to be right for you.

Lady Pixie  Moondrip’s Guide to Magickal Names – go ahead, have a laugh

Witchcrafted

Song of the Goddess

Goddess Comments & Graphics
Song of the Goddess


I am the Great Mother, worshipped by all creation and existent prior to their consciousness. I am the primal female force, boundless and eternal.


I am the chaste Goddess of the Moon, the Lady of all magic. The winds and moving leaves sing my name. I wear the crescent Moon upon my brow and my feet rest among the starry heavens. I am mysteries yet unsolved, a path newly set upon. I am a field untouched by the plow. Rejoice in me and know the fullness of youth.


I am the blessed Mother, the gracious Lady of the harvest. I am clothed in the deep, cool wonder of the Earth and the gold of the fields heavy with grain. By me the tides of the Earth are ruled; all things come to  fruition according to my season. I am refuge and healing. I am the life giving Mother, wondrously fertile.
I am the Crone, tender of the unbroken cycle of death and rebirth.  

I am the wheel, the shadow of the Moon. I rule the tides of the oceans and of women and men. I give release and renewal to weary souls.


I am the Goddess of the Moon, the Earth, the Seas. My names are many, yet know that by all names I am the same. I pour forth insight, peace, wisdom and understanding. I am the eternal Maiden, Mother of all, and Crone of reckoning, and I send you blessings of limitless love.


Author Unknown