The 15th Day Before Yule – Consualia or Consuales Ludi


Yule Comments & Graphics

Consualia or Consuales Ludi

(Roman)

This was the festival of Consus, god of the grain stores and councils, who also had festivals on July 7th and August 21st. (His consort Opalia was honoured on December 19th and his August festival followed by the Opiconsivia in her honour on August 25th ). His name seems to be Etruscan or Sabine in origin and relate to ‘crops/ seeding’ (conserere = ‘to sow’). He may have become the god of secret councils from a misinterpretation of his name, from consilium (‘councils/assemblies), not to be confused with counsel (‘advice’).

At this time of year, the harvest was in stored vaults underground. The temple of Consus was also underground, near the Circus Maximus, with an altar covered with earth which was only uncovered for this festival. He was represented by a grain seed.

During the celebration horses, mules, and asses were exempted from work, and were led through the streets adorned with garlands and flowers. Chariot races were held this day in the Circus Maximus, which included an unusual race in which chariots were pulled by mules. Consus was often called Neptunus Equestris (‘Equestrian Neptune’) and seems to be connected with Neptune (Poseidon), the sea god who created horses.

Mars, as a protector of the harvest, was also honored on this day, as were the lares, the individual household Gods.

Anna Franklin, Yule (The Eight Sabbats)

Calendar of the Sun for March 5th

Calendar of the Sun

5 Hrethemonath

Navigium – Poseidon’s Day

Colors: Blue and blue-green of the sea
Element: Water
Altar: Set with sea-colored cloths, figures of dolphins, the figure of a ship, a compass, and a great bowl of salt water.
Offerings: Sea salt. Face some emotion that seems overwhelming to you.
Daily Meal: Fish. Seafood. Seaweed.

Invocation to Poseidon

Great Bull from the Sea
Crashing against the rocks
Master of the waves and depths
Foaming horses champing wild
Break against the yielding shore
And you, Lord of bitter brine,
Sink not our ships as they make their way
From safe harbor to safe harbor.
And we shall sing the praises of Poseidon
Earth-shaker, loudest voice
In the world between heaven and underworld,
The voice that booms up from the depths
Of every water-borne soul.

Chant:
Earth-Shaker
Storm Maker
Lord of the Wave

(The compass is then passed from hand to hand, and each person in turn says, “Guide me in my navigations, Lord of the Unending Waters, and bring me safe home again.” The bowl of salt water is then passed hand to hand, and each splashes a bit onto their heads. The rest is poured out as a libation.)

(All join hands including those girl children who wish it, and dance in a circle.)

 

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Deity of the Day – Poseidon

Deity of the Day – Poseidon

Poseidon

(Neptune)

Son of Cronos (Saturn) and Rhea, he is represented wielding a trident being pulled by monsters in a chariot. After Zeus’ victory over Cronos (Saturn), the gods, who preferred life on earth, divided the various domains of earth. Poseidon chose the seas. He represented the hidden forces of germination and death. Together with his wife Amphitrite, he had powerful ties with Gaea, the Earth, mother of the Titans. As subterranean Gods, they shook the world from inside. Poseidon caused earthquakes when he made love to his wife. The mystery isle of Atlanta belonged to Poseidon. Poseidon could provoke storms, set fire to rocks on shore and create springs of water. He had many children, most wicked and violent, like the Cyclops of the Oddessy.

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IN PRAISE OF THE GREAT MOTHER

IN PRAISE OF THE GREAT MOTHER

by H. Jeremiah Lewis

I know why they call you the Great Mother – Rhea, Cybele, Idaia or whatsoever thy name may be. You are the Mother of All Nations, the Queen whose Name is glorified everywhere and at every time.

You, Mother were the first, before you there were no gods. You brought all things into being and from your holy womb came the multitudes – stars, gods, men and all creatures that populate the world. We all share the same birth, the same flesh, the same Mother. It is to you that we return, when the measure of our days has been poured out. You are the comforter, and you welcome us back to you with wide-open arms. Mother, you are the end, and yet you promise us a new beginning as well – for in you all is made new.

Men know you by many names and  by  many  faces.  Sometimes  they  call  you “One”, sometimes “Many”. You are the fulfillment of the gods – you  are  the power by which they rule. This is why men  call  you  “Great”,  for  in  the world and among the gods you are indeed the Greatest.  Like  Zeus  you  have authority and power. Your words are commandments, and the  whole  of  nature hearkens to you. If you say  “Mountain,  be  lifted  up,”  the  earth  shall tremble and the great Parnassus shall be torn from its foundations and  hang in the air before you. If you say, “River, roll against  your  course,”  the water will leap at your word and rise like a salmon against the current.

And yet you are the one who set down Themis, who laid out  the  eternal  law by which even gods are bound to obey. With Pallas  you  are  the  keeper  of peace, and the protector of cities. You defend us from the wild  beast,  and the arrows of our enemies. You also assure that neighbors treat  each  other with civility, and that our appointed leaders govern us  according  to  your precepts.

The home is your primary concern, as it is with Hestia, and you watch  after women with a careful eye. You make sure  that  there  is  a  good  home  for children to be raised in; A clean place, with much  laughter  and  joy,  and always enough food for  their  bellies.  In  a  house  where  you  are  well honored, there is peace between  the  husband  and  wife  and  love  is  the foundation of the family.

But you watch over even the unhappy  family.  When  the  man  stumbles  home after too much time with Bacchus, you make sure that he  passes  out  before he can set into the woman, or you stop his angry hands from doing  too  much harm. Anyway, men like this usually die  early  and  leave  happy  widows  – which I think you have something to do with.

You are the Mother that Hera should be, for you do not make distinctions  in your love. All men and all gods are your children. You do not  pay  overmuch attention to our sins,  and  even  when  we  fall  short  of  our  goal  and disappoint you, your love is evident in  the  chastening  hand.  Men  should recognize that we share a common Mother and stop this endless bickering.  Do we think that it will make you love us any more?

Men and gods are not your only children. The animals share in your love,  as they share in Artemis’. You delight in the wild creatures, in the  lion  and the hound and the stag in the forest. You join them in  the  hunt,  in  wild dances through moonlit trees, and in the  tearing  of  raw  flesh.  You  are honored in the spilling of warm blood and in the glory of life continued.  I have seen you appear, goddess, in a swarm of bees and in  a  squirrel  in  a tree. You are the kitten’s warm underbelly, and the wise  old  crow  that  I share my lunch with.

That bread – I recognize as a gift from you, even as I give  it  to  you  as the crow. For you, goddess, as Demeter discovered and bestowed  to  man  the gift of grain, that we might put aside uncivilized fare, and eat  that  holy and nurturing food, bread. You have ordained that we should eat  other  food as well. Life-giving grains and fresh salads and grapes from  the  vine  and so much more. And all this bounty comes from you Mother,  for  you  are  the earth itself.

You are broad bosomed and firm of foundation, for  it  is  on  you  that  we build our homes and live out our lives. You rise  up  in  the  mighty  snowtopped  peaks, and you slope down into the gentle  valleys  rich  with  corn. The forest is one of your faces, and so  is  the  desert  valley.  A  single blossom reveals your presence in a barren field, and your hand  is  felt  in my garden. What extraordinary beauty you show to us  goddess,  it  fills  me with excitement just to think about it.

How like Aphrodite you are in this, for  love  of  the  general  can  easily shift to love of the specific. For instance, I hold in my heart  a  love  of all mankind, but when that pretty girl with the big brown eyes  comes  along it’s not her noble spirit that I am thinking about!  O  goddess,  thank  you for lust! When I am with my love, how  great  it  is  to  feel  your  warmth throughout my body, and to feel my flesh rise  under  your  gentle  coaxing. The smell of her hair, the taste of her  lips,  the  softness  of  the  skin beneath her knee, the breath she releases as I explore her body – these  all are sacraments and together we worship you, goddess, for  you  are  the  one who delights in life and all of its expression.

Though you share Poseidon’s realm, there is no animosity between you and Athena. Indeed, Mother, you are both wisdom and the inspiration of wisdom. All knowledge comes from you, especially the inspired and impassioned sort. You bring thoughtful men to greatness, and those that govern themselves according to your precepts are called “Wise”. You, Mother, are a Mystery. Only those who approach you with humbleness in their heart will gain an understanding of you, and even then, it will be a partial understanding – for you are too great to know in full. The fool approaches you boldly and proclaims that he knows all of your mysteries, but when questioned, he replies with nonsense. He knows nothing. (Although I know I’m right, I wonder if you give a special revelation to the fool. Is he more knowledgeable in your ways than I?  Would you tell me if it were so?)

Like the Muses you delight in music and in song, and you share these things with men. It was you who taught us to stretch skins across the drum, and to bring out its wonderful rhythms. You taught us to play on the pipes as well, and to chant hymns to you and your honor. This was the first music, and is still the best to my mind.

I shall come to you, Mother, whenever I am trying to craft a poem, and you will help me discover the right words and the right shape for the thing. This is how it has always been, even with this poem. It shall remain so forever.

The moon and the sun govern time, and you are revealed in both. Like the moon, you delight in torches, drums, and rituals at night. You, Mother, are many-formed like the moon, passing through one shape into another, embracing a multitude of meanings. You also govern magic, and bestow on your followers the utmost power. Your servants are only limited in what they can do by their imaginations, for you have taught them the secrets of the universe, and put into their hands the power to change their world.

Like the sun you are strong and all-powerful. You reach down and comfort us, pushing back the shadows that we might grow in the light. One may know that you are near by the attendant warmth and glow that can be found in only one other place – the sun. One of the greatest joys that I have had is to spend a day in the fields with a good book, lying out in the sun. This is another pleasure from you.

We come to you from diverse paths. War brings many, and disease. Old age is a great man-harvester, and so too the passions of youth which are frequently attended by folly and haste. You embrace all who come to you, Mother, and in your arms we find comfort and the pain that we felt in dying is gone. You wipe aside our tears, and sing to us comforting songs, for we are your children. All of the miseries that we felt in life, the pains and sorrows that continually assailed us are washed away in your embrace, and all that is left is joy. Death is not forever, and soon we are returned to the living, to struggle once more and to find joy in the moment.

In your many facets, you do not abandon those who are among the dead and those who are dying. No, you are with them ’till the end, and beyond. The soldiers laid out with their wounds too great, they call upon you, each one. “Mother,” they whisper and shout, as you walk among the line, offering what comfort you can. You stroke the cheek of this one, wiping the sweat from his brow, while the next man’s pain is too great, and all that you can do is close his eyes and help ease his way into Hades’ land.

You were with these brave young men when they were in  the  field,  and  you helped steady their spear and shield and urged them on  against  the  enemy. You made them noble, Mother, you filled their hearts with bravery  and  gave them strength to do what they must in this terrible situation. And if  their bravery began to wane, you were close at  hand,  riding  with  them  in  the chariot, marching with them through the mud.

To offer one’s life for the defense of another is the noblest thing  that  a man can do, and all who do so receive honors from you as well as from  Ares, for you, Mother, are the Queen of Hosts, and the defender of  the  innocent. You share with Hades the world below, and to you come all the multitudes  to be reborn. For the grave is your womb, and in its shadowed depths  men  find rebirth.

Another deep place that you rule is the sea. All waters belong to you, and their flow is governed by your hand. The mysteries of the ocean are your mysteries, and you know all that is hidden within them. You protect the ships on the surface, and many are your companions below the waves. The dolphin and octopus are most sacred to you, but you delight in all the creatures of the sea. It is fitting that this is one of your elements, for water sustains life. Without water nothing in the world could live. It is the same with you, Mother. No man could draw breath but for you.

This, then, is why they call you the Great Mother – for in all the world there is not another who possesses so much power and beauty, and unifies so many within herself. Blessed is the Mother, and blessed all who call upon her!

Calendar of the Moon for July 12

Calendar of the Moon

12 Duir/Skirophorion

Skirophoria

Colors: Grey and brown
Element: Earth
Altar: Divide the altar in half, with one grey cloth and one brown cloth. On the grey side place a ship and a fish for Poseidon, and for Athena a stack of books selected for their wisdom, the figure of a small city, and a glass cup of wine. On the brown side lay a sickle, a hoe, a basket full of poppies, many small bowls of grain, a cup of ale, and the figure of a small peasant’s hut. On the line between them, place the figure of a golden sun. Before it should be a bowl containing Pentaploa, a mixture of wine, honey, cheese, grains, and olive oil.
Offerings: If you are rural, visit the city. If you are urban or suburban, visit a farm. Do so in the spirit of discovery and appreciation. Also, the day’s exercise at Gymnastika should be running a race, and the runners should carry grapevines in their arms, in honor of the boughs brought to the temple of Athena by ancient runners. Deposit the grapevines before Athena’s shrine.
Daily Meal: Eat food on your trip, wherever you go.

Skirophoria Invocation

(To be given by five people, one each representing Athena, Poseidon, Demeter, Persephone, and Helios. They should wear white, blue, green, red, and gold respectively. They should come together under a white canopy.)

Athena: On this day, long ago, so tradition says, the first harvest was cut of the first grain that mankind ever sowed. Ever since then, the people have been fed from the land. Those of us whose hearts are in the city do come before you today to honor the givers of our nourishment.
Poseidon: From the metropolises of the coasts to the great gathering places of plateau and mountain we come on this day. For we could not live without you to support us. We feed from you, and give you little in return, save trinkets and trouble.
Demeter: We thank you for your honor, and we promise in turn that our abundance shall never cease, so long as you continue your respect. Our lands must remain clean and unfettered by disease and pollution. So long as you grant us that, and safety, and fair commerce, there will always be an equal exchange.
Persephone: We thank you for your honor, but you are wrong in that you give us nothing. You are the keepers of thought and culture. When darkness rushes across the land, as it sometimes must, it is in your domain that such things are kept. You are the memory of our people, as we in our eternal round of seasons cannot always be.
Helios: I have come before you to hear your oaths. Will you serve and protect each other?
All: We shall be as two hands on one body.
Helios: So it is witnessed by the overarching Sun. So shall it be written, so shall it be done.
All Present: So it is witnessed by the overarching Sun. So shall it be written, so shall it be done.

(The Pentaploa is passed and shared, and the ale and wine are poured as a libation.)

[Pagan Book of Hours]

The Wicca Book of Days for March 10th – Nebulous Neptune

The Wicca Book of Days for March 10th

Nebulous Neptune

We are now more than midway through the zodiacal month of Pisces, which means that the rule of the Fishes’ governing planet, Neptune, has been well established for some time. Following its discovery in 1846, the tradition of calling the planets after Roman Gods as perpetuated through the naming of Neptune. Both the Roman Sea Deity and His Greek counterpart, Poseidon, were said to wield a fisherman’s trident, and it is this that forms the basis of Neptune’s sigil, or astrological symbol. Neptune’s influence is far from aggressive, however, for it is said to make us dreamy, intuitive, and imaginative, as well as altruistic, idealistic, and spiritual.

 

Godly Gray

Water, if not transparent, typically appears gray, which is why this is usually regarded as Neptune’s shade. Affirm your connection with Neptune today by using a gray candle or cord in your rituals or by wearing gray garments.

Calendar of the Sun for Monday, March 5th

Calendar of the Sun
5 Hrethemonath

Navigium – Poseidon’s Day

Colors: Blue and blue-green of the sea
Element: Water
Altar: Set with sea-colored cloths, figures of dolphins, the figure of a ship, a compass, and a great bowl of salt water.
Offerings: Sea salt. Face some emotion that seems overwhelming to you.
Daily Meal: Fish. Seafood. Seaweed.

Invocation to Poseidon

Great Bull from the Sea
Crashing against the rocks
Master of the waves and depths
Foaming horses champing wild
Break against the yielding shore
And you, Lord of bitter brine,
Sink not our ships as they make their way
From safe harbor to safe harbor.
And we shall sing the praises of Poseidon
Earth-shaker, loudest voice
In the world between heaven and underworld,
The voice that booms up from the depths
Of every water-borne soul.

Chant:
Earth-Shaker
Storm Maker
Lord of the Wave

(The compass is then passed from hand to hand, and each person in turn says, “Guide me in my navigations, Lord of the Unending Waters, and bring me safe home again.” The bowl of salt water is then passed hand to hand, and each splashes a bit onto their heads. The rest is poured out as a libation.)

(All join hands including those girl children who wish it, and dance in a circle.)

Dark Goddesses, Not So Dark: Understanding Hecate

Dark Goddesses, Not So Dark: Understanding Hecate

Author: Hecates Moon0013

There are many Goddesses who are considered “Dark Gods/Goddesses and who tend to be misunderstood or seen as “evil.” A few examples are Hecate, the Morrigan, Anubis, Poseidon and quite a few more, I’d wager as well. In my case, the “Dark Goddess” is my Patroness, Hecate. She has indeed a long history, and has been known in Her many different aspects, such as the three-faced crone, Goddess of Magic, Queen of the Night, Goddess of the Crossroads, and more. One culture supposedly offered dogs as a sacrifice to her out of honor and respect. (Although I personally don’t find that necessary to ever do myself!) In others, they offered feasts and left offerings at the crossroads.

The goddess Hecate is indeed widely known as a Dark Goddess and is associated with the darkness… But what exactly makes many people consider darkness as ‘evil’? Honestly, I see Her more as a mother figure. She looks after those who work with her.

Is She associated with the dark? Answer: Yes! However, She is not the darkness, but rather the light that guides people through the darkness. She watches over us all, and, in fact, helps nurture us. She is also not afraid to act. She, Hecate, Protects those that follow her like any other Goddess. Furthermore if you ask for her help, she will help and then ask simply “What’s next?” She finds ways to help Her adherents to grow both inside and out.

At this point, I would like to clear up a few misconceptions. First of all She, Hecate, is often portrayed as a Goddess Who is not fond of males, but favors female. This however is not true. As I know from personal experience, She will work with both.

Also it is thought that She is against love and marriage. However there is documentation that is not the case. She actually is all right with marriage, though She is strict on how it happens. She will not condone any form of sexual contact unless it is mutually acceptable between the two partners. She considers marriage and dating as normal things; marriage and childbirth, she considers “sacred things.”

One of the symbols that represent Her, in my opinion, is the Torch. Hecate, as I have said before, leads us through the hard times… through our anguish, through our grief, and She is there to comfort us, to warm us, and to guide us with Her light. Hecate herself is ‘The Torch’. She is the light within the eternal Darkness. One thing for sure, Hecate has seen me through many dark times, and has also helped me to learn more about myself… by helping me through those rough times she has shown me that, though sometimes life in itself can be scary, if we acknowledge it and learn to embrace ourselves for what might come, and learn to look through it, we will find ourselves at last in peace. We are able to walk through the fires, so to speak, of life and still be standing tall as we overcome the negative situations that we face.

When my first struggle with faith happened, Hecate was there. When I grieved over the loss of good friends and family, Hecate was there… When I felt lost, alone, and questioned Wicca, and religion itself, She was there. Hecate, at all of my crossroads, has brought people to help me in my time of need, and I have been brought in turn to help others in their times of need. If anything, Hecate has taught me that everyone is afraid, but we have to move on. Hecate also has taught me time and time again, that when you act with compassion, things in general are better for everyone.

I once struggled with Wicca. I had gotten myself to the point where I felt abandoned, and that I would never be able to feel energy or work with the Craft again. It was so bad, I questioned my sanity, wondering, is this even real?” Am I not supposed to be a part of this religion? Have the Gods and Goddesses abandoned me in my time of need? Why else could this possibly be happening? I prayed to Hecate to please watch over me and to help me overcome.

I eventually came across a group of people who helped me with my problem. I was looking for a group to work with and learn from in hopes I could find some clarity. I ended up finding a group, and though things did not work out for me with the group, I made some amazing friends. The people in it taught me a lot about myself, and other things as well. To this day, my ability to feel energy is not the same as it used to be, nor is my level of energy, but it is better. Not only that, but I have gained more confidence in myself.

I owe Hecate a lot. As odd as it might sound to some of you, I feel, to an extent, that I owe Hecate my life. She also taught me a valuable lesson: just because people are helpful does not mean that mistakes are not made. I learned to expect both good and bad from people and that we are all capable of both. No matter how good we are, or how bad we are, we are still capable of both. Because of this insight, I tend to look for the good in a negative situation. For there is always something, good and/or positive that can come out of any situation. The real trick is to find it in things and in people.

Now, most people are wondering, “Aren’t Dark Goddesses vengeful?” I feel the best answer for this is: What God or Goddess can’t be vengeful? In truth, they all can be. Hecate is literally a Mother Goddess. She is the ‘Okay. Done. What’s next?’ sort of Goddess. She is only vengeful to those who would harm Her charges, or rather those that She works with if someone would Harm them.

Hecate is able to give us so much knowledge, and teach us so much, that condemning Her without even getting to truly know Her I feel is a sad thing indeed. Furthermore, she teaches us that if we learn to accept the bad things in life, we become better… for Hecate carries the key to unlock that which we keep hidden. and once we discover ourselves, and accept things as they really are, we feel relieved. She helps us not only to see, but helps us to understand things in the ‘rawness of it all’.

I write this near the time of Samhain. For me, this holiday represents Hecate very well as she is also associated with the dead. One of my favorite characteristics of Hecate is that She teaches us to respect those who have come before us. As a Goddess of the crossroads, She makes the holiday even more meaningful. Samhain is the time when we are supposed to remember those who have helped pave our way. As the Goddess of the crossroads, Hecate compels us to reflect not only over what we have done or should have done, but also to remember that while we have gone through so much, it could have been worse. We are more blessed than we realize.

Hecate is more than just a simple Goddess. Hecate is my Mother, who protects me and nurtures me as I go through life. Hecate is my Patroness whom I am grateful to. I know that She is always there willing to help me, if ever I ask. Hecate is so misunderstood that, honestly, it saddens me a bit. If anything working with Hecate has truly been a blessing. I don’t think I would have been able to do, let alone get through, a lot of the things I have if not for her help, and for that I will always be eternally grateful.

Knowing that, as the sun sets, She is all around me at night is a comfort in so many ways. At night time, She is all around me, protecting me, and watching over me…and I know that when I am at the next crossroad, at some future turning point in my life, She will be there waiting for me, always more than willing to help me through the next hurdle. And so, I will continue to worship and work with Her, for She is not ‘the darkness that is evil’, but is, in fact, a guiding Light and a help for those who feel lost. And if you call to Her, Hecate will be there to help guide you through the rough times as well.

May Hecate bless you, and watch over you always!
Blessed Be!



Footnotes:
Understanding the Warrior Goddess by the author: Stephanie Woodfield

WATER

WATER
Direction: West.
Rules: Emotions, feelings, love, courage, daring, sorrow, the ocean, the tides,
lakes, pools, streams, and rivers, springs and wells, intuition, the unconscious
mind, the womb, generation, fertility.
Time: Twilight.
Season: Autumn.
Colors: Blue, blue-green, green, gray, indigo, black.
Signs of the Zodiac: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces.
Tools: Cup.
Spirits: Undines, ruled by King Niksa.
Angel: Raphael.
Name of the West Wind: Zephyrus.
Sense: Taste.
Jewel: Aquamarine.
Incense: Myrrh.
Plants: Ferns, lotus, mosses, rushes, seaweed, water lillies, and all water
plants.
Tree: Willow.
Animals: Dragons (as serpents), dolphins and porpoises, fish, seals and sea
mammals, water-dwelling snakes, all water creatures and sea birds.
Goddesses: Aphrodite, Isis, Mariamne, Mari, Tiamat.
Gods: Dylan, Ea, Llyr, Manannan, Osiris, Neptune, Poseidon.