Deities Associated With Friday – Aphrodite, Greek Goddess of Love

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Deities Associated With Friday – Aphrodite, Greek Goddess of Love

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Author

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

Your Charm for June 29th is Necklace of Charms

Your Charm for Today

Necklace of Charms

Today’s Meaning:
What you need in this aspect is a bit of understanding. You can find happiness in abundance if you understand and accept the differences of those with whom you share your life within this aspect.

General Description:
This is an Egyptian group of amulets. The centre ornament is the Lotus, from which hangs the emblem of Millions of years — Thou shalt never perish, never, never come to an end. The Lotus bestowed upon the wearer Light and Understanding, the gifts of the god Ra, their sun god, king of gods and of men. The Fish, the symbol of the Egyptian goddess who controlled the rising of the Nile brought Abundance and Riches. The other pendant is in the form of a lock of hair, the meaning of which is obscure.

Good Blessed Solstice Morning To You, My Brothers & Sisters Of The Craft

Good Blessed Solstice Morning To You, My Brothers & Sisters Of The Craft,

What a glorious event awaits us on the longest night of the year. We will gather with loved ones, family and friends alike. We will sing carols, play games, talk and fellowship. Have a huge traditional Yule supper. I can almost smell it now. After we are through eating, we will exchange presents with each other. Then I am sure for the children stories will read. Preparation for the burning of the Yule log begins. You can either burn it in your fireplace or go outside and build a bonfire.

Each of our traditions vary on how we do things. But the men here go and prepare a huge stack of wood to be burned. Then on top, the yule log is placed. We are central time remember. Around 3:30, we light the fire. We start by singing carols and praying to the Goddess. Then it is time for our ritual. I have included it here so perhaps in some way we can all be together this year.

It has always been a dream of mine, that one day we could all meet and have a ritual together. This year would have been exceptionally nice. With all the horrors and tragedies that have occurred it is comforting to have a kindred spirit with you. You can hold each other and give comfort, cry, let all you feelings that have been bottled up out. Let your sadness go, turn it over to the Goddess. Now is the time to start anew. We have a fresh start with the rebirth of our Sun. The promise of life, love and hope.

With this fresh new season upon us, let us pray. Pray that mankind becomes kind and gentler. Pray that we learn how to show compassion and love to all. Pray for an end to all the senseless killings of our children, our future. Pray that the Goddess continues to watch over us, keep us in her love and light.

Now join us in ritual, my dear brothers and sisters!

Our Yule Ritual We Would Like To Share With You

Our Altar has:

Presence candle
Goddess and God candles
salt
water
small cauldron with sand for incense stick
bell
chalice, four decanters and juice
plates with bread

Corner candles are set out and lit.

HP:    Let it be known that the circle is about to be cast, let none
be here but of their own free will.

Priestess:      “I cleanse and purify this space with sound.”

Rings bell three times, circling deosil.

HPS  lights Presence candle.

I light this Candle (light
Presence Lamp)
in the name of that ancient presence,
which is, was, and ever shall be
male, female, all-knowing, all-powerful
and present everywhere.

And in the names of the four Mighty Ones,
the rulers of the elements,
may power and blessing descend
in this hour upon this place
and those gathered here.”

HPS:  Salt and water blessings, fire and air blessings

Priestess:      “With water and earth I cleanse and purify this space.”

Sprinkles consecrated salt and water.

Priestess:      “With fire and air, I cleanse and consecrate this
space.”

Circles deosil with incense.

HPS:

Take up athame, face north and say:

I conjure thee, O Circle of Power, as a boundary between the worlds. A
meeting of love and joy and truth; a shield against all wickedness and
evil; a Rampart and Protection that shall preserve and contain the
power which we shall raise within thee.  I do bless and consecrate
thee.

Cast circle to the east.  See it glow.  Salute the East, then draw an
invoking pentagram and say:

Spirit of the East!  Spirits of Air!
Oh Lords of the great icy towers of the North,
I, Lady of the Abyss, do summon, stir and call you up
To guard our circle and Witness our rites!
We ask you to come to us now on the cold winter wind
and breathe into us the spirit of the pure joy of life.
So mote it be!

Cast circle to the south.  See it glow.  Salute the south, then draw
an invoking pentagram and say:

Spirit of the South!  Spirits of Fire!
O lords of the firey towers of the South,
I, Lady Of The Abyss, do summon, stir and call you up
To guard our circle and Witness our rites!
We ask you to come forth from the fires that
warm the planets heart, from the fires that
protect us on this winters night. Kindle
within us the warmth of spiritual awakening.
So mote it be!

Cast circle to the west.  See it glow.  Salute the west, then draw an
invoking pentagram and say:

Spirit of the West!  Spirits of Water!
I, Lady Of The Abyss, do summon, stir and call you up
To guard our circle and Witness our rites!
We ask you to come forth from the streams,
the lakes, from the vast expanse of your watery realm.
Bring to us the water of life to wash away our fears and resentments
that we may find peace of mind.
So mote it be!

Cast circle to the north.  See it glow.  Salute the north, then draw
an invoking pentagram and say:

Spirit of the North!  Spirits of Earth!
I, Lady Of The Abyss, do summon, stir and call you up
To guard our circle and Witness our rites!
We ask you to come forth from the fertile bosom of our Blessed
Mother Earth, and nourish us so that our wisdom may grow in strength.
So mote it be!

Close the circle, then turn to the altar and say:

HPS:
The circle is cast.  We are between the worlds.

Tonight we celebrate the Solstice, the night that the darkness is
triumphant over light,  and yet on the morrow, the dark begins to give
way and the light will return.

The spirit of nature is suspended, all living things wait the
transformation of the Dark Lord of Shadow into the newborn Child of
Light.   We watch for the coming of Dawn, when the Holy Mother will
again give birth to the Divine Child, the Sun God who is the bringer
of the life of Spring and the promise of Summer.  We call the Sun from
the womb of night, and so, turn the Wheel.

Blessed be!

All:    Blessed Be!

HPS:    Antlered God, Winter God, Father of the Sun, with frost upon your
beard and the blazing of Yule fires in your eyes, you bless us with
your presence. We invoke and greet you!

All:    So mote it be.

HP:     Blessed Lady, Maiden, Mother and Crone, Mother heavy with unborn
child, we greet you and ask your blessings upon your people gathered
here.  We invoke and adore thee!

HPS:
The light was born, and the light has died.

All:     Everything passes, all fades away.

The God enters in the west,  HPS goes to him and  raises him up.  He
begins  to  dance and chant , deosil around the circle:

At Yule I’m born and at Yule I’ll die,
round and round the wheel,
forever flying thru the sky,
ever mindful of what must be.

All:    So turns the wheel.

At spring I nourish the seed and hide therein growing with the light!
Round and round the wheel,
forever flying thru the sky,
ever mindful of what must be.

All:    So turns the wheel.

In summer the young stag am I in love and lust I seek the Goddess, our
union and bliss sustains the world.
Round and round the wheel,
forever flying thru the sky,
ever mindful what must be.

All:    So turns the wheel.

In fall as I weaken with the sun, the grain is cut
for Harvest, that all may carry on.
Round and round the wheel,
forever flying thru the sky,
ever mindful of what must be.

All:    So turns the wheel!

In winter old and tired am I, dying with the light.
Round and round the wheel,
forever flying thru thr sky,
ever mindful of what must be.

All:    So turns the wheel!

God falls into crouch, dies, is covered by black cloth, behind the
birthing  mother.

All light is extinguished and the Mother wails for the loss of the
God.

All:     Start chanting “It is Winter, It is night chant”

It is winter, it is night,
We await the sun,
We await the light.
In the darkness
In this night,
We await the warmth,
We await the light.

The Mother, kneeling in the east moans in labor., Make ’em fit the
breaks in the sentences of HPS/narrator.

HPS:  I am the great Mother.  I exist beyond time and space.  I bring
forth all of creation.

Moan.

HPS:  My voice rides upon the wind.  Stars pour from my soul.  I am
the silence of the sea, and the secret of the standing stones.

Moan.

I am the Mother of all things, and the soul of nature, who gives life
to the universe.

Moan.

I am the Giver of light.  Tonight I give light back to the world as I
mourn the death of the God and rejoice in his birth.

Moans come to crescendo.

HP exits from beneath Mother’s legs, then lights fireplace match.

All chant:

Mother who has birthed this light
In the darkness of this night
Infant child of glowing light
We celebrate you both tonight!

Light cauldron, all other candles.
Repeat, with drumming, dancing and singing, then send off the power.
When everyone has calmed down a bit, have them gather again into a
circle.

HPS:    Blessings of the Goddess and God upon this bread and the fruit of
the vine!

Pours out juice into decanters, holds hands over them.

May you never thirst!

Holds hands over bread plates.

May you never hunger!

Juice and Bread are passed among gathered folk.
When everyone has partaken, ground the energy (two hands on the
floor).

Then dismiss the elementals, and open the circle.

The Winter Solstice – Yule Lore

The Winter Solstice – Yule Lore

The date varies from December 20 to December 23 depending on the year in the Gregorian calendar. Yule is also known as the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere and the summer solstice in the southern hemisphere due to the seasonal differences.Yule, (pronounced EWE-elle) is when the dark half of the year relinquishes to the light half. Starting the next morning at sunrise, the sun climbs just a little higher and stays a little longer in the sky each day. Known as Solstice Night, or the longest night of the year, the sun’s “rebirth” was celebrated with much joy. On this night, our ancestors celebrated the rebirth of the Oak King, the Sun King, the Giver of Life that warmed the frozen Earth. From this day forward, the days would become longer.

Bonfires were lit in the fields, and crops and trees were “wassailed” with toasts of spiced cider. Children were escorted from house to house with gifts of clove spiked apples and oranges which were laid in baskets of evergreen boughs and wheat stalks dusted with flour. The apples and oranges represented the sun. The boughs were symbolic of immortality (evergreens were sacred to the Celts because they did not “die” thereby representing the eternal aspect of the Divine). The wheat stalks portrayed the harvest, and the flour was accomplishment of triumph, light, and life. Holly and ivy not only decorated the outside, but also the inside of homes, in hopes Nature Sprites would come and join the celebration. A sprig of Holly was kept near the door all year long as a constant invitation for good fortune to visit tthe residents. Mistletoe was also hung as decoration. It represented the seed of the Divine, and at Midwinter, the Druids would travel deep into the forest to harvest it.

The ceremonial Yule log was the highlight of the Solstice festival. In accordance to tradition, the log must either have been harvested from the householder’s land, or given as a gift… it must never have been bought. Once dragged into the house and placed in the fireplace it was decorated in seasonal greenery, doused with cider or ale, and dusted with flour before set ablaze by a piece of last years log, (held onto for just this purpose). The log would burn throughout the night, then smolder for 12 days after before being ceremonially put out. Ash is the traditional wood of the Yule log. It is the sacred world tree of the Teutons, known as Yggdrasil. An herb of the Sun, Ash brings light into the hearth at the Solstice.

A different type of Yule log, and perhaps one more suitable for modern practitioners would be the type that is used as a base to hold three candles. Find a smaller branch of oak or pine, and flatten one side so it sets upright. Drill three holes in the top side to hold red, green, and white (season), green, gold, and black (the Sun God), or white, red, and black (the Great Goddess). Continue to decorate with greenery, red and gold bows, rosebuds, cloves, and dust with flour.

Many customs created around Yule are identified with Christmas today. If you decorate your home with a Yule tree, holly or candles, you are following some of these old traditions. The Yule log, (usually made from a piece of wood saved from the previous year) is burned in the fire to symbolize the Newborn Sun/Son.

Deities of Yule: All Newborn Gods, Sun Gods, Mother Goddesses, and Triple Goddesses. The best known would be the Dagda, and Brighid, the daughter of the Dagda. Brighid taught the smiths the arts of fire tending and the secrets of metal work. Brighid’s flame, like the flame of the new light, pierces the darkness of the spirit and mind, while the Dagda’s cauldron assures that Nature will always provide for all the children.

Symbolism of Yule:
Rebirth of the Sun, The longest night of the year, The Winter Solstice, Introspect, Planning for the Future.

Symbols of Yule:
Yule log, or small Yule log with 3 candles, evergreen boughs or wreaths, holly, mistletoe hung in doorways, gold pillar candles, baskets of clove studded fruit, a simmering pot of wassail, poinsettias, christmas cactus.

Herbs of Yule:
Bayberry, blessed thistle, evergreen, frankincense holly, laurel, mistletoe, oak, pine, sage, yellow cedar.

Foods of Yule:
Cookies and caraway cakes soaked in cider, fruits, nuts, pork dishes, turkey, eggnog, ginger tea, spiced cider, wassail, or lamb’s wool (ale, sugar, nutmeg, roasted apples).

Incense of Yule:
Pine, cedar, bayberry, cinnamon.

Colors of Yule:
Red, green, gold, white, silver, yellow, orange.

Stones of Yule:
Rubies, bloodstones, garnets, emeralds, diamonds.

Activities of Yule:
Caroling, wassailing the trees, burning the Yule log, decorating the Yule tree, exchanging of presents, kissing under the mistletoe, honoring Kriss Kringle the Germanic Pagan God of Yule

Spellworkings of Yule:
Peace, harmony, love, and increased happiness.

Deities of Yule:
Goddesses-Brighid, Isis, Demeter, Gaea, Diana, The Great Mother. Gods-Apollo, Ra, Odin, Lugh, The Oak King, The Horned One, The Green Man, The Divine Child, Mabon.

 

–Adapted by Akasha Ap Emrys For all her friends and those of like mind–
Akasha, Herne and The Celtic Connection wicca.com.