Deity of the Day – Arianrhod

Deity of the Day

Arianrhod

 

Is a major goddess in Welsh legends. Her name means “silver wheel” or “silver disk”. Legend has it that Arianrhod claimed to be a virgin, but when her virginity was tested she gave premature birth to twins – Dylan who escaped into the sea, and Lleu Llaw Gyffes who became the object of his mothers scorn.

Many Wiccans believe that Arianrhod is a noon goddess and they associate her with birth and rebirth. In some traditions she is perceived as the triple goddess – Arianrhod, Blodeuwedd and Cerridwen. She is also connected with the “Spiral Dance”.

THE GODDESS

THE GODDESS

The Goddess is the universal mother. She is fertility, endless wisdom and love. She is all aspects of nature, harmful and helpful. Wiccans acknowledge both aspects of Her nature.   The Goddess has three aspects; The Maiden (Anu, Elaine, Blodeuwedd), The Mother (Badb, Arianrhod, Margawse), and The Crone (Morgan LeFey, Cerridwen, Macha). The Maiden is innocence, Springtime, renewal, youth, dawn and the continuation of all life. The Mother is the richness of life, nurturing, Summer, the day and a teacher. The Crone is darkness, night, the rest before the continuation of life, wisdom, counsel and reincarnation. Each of these aspects shows different stages of a women’s life, and each can be placed with the phases of the moon; The Maiden being the waxing moon, The Mother the full moon and The Crone the waning moon. (2)

The Goddess of the Wicca is the Great Goddess. She is the Ground of Being, the Mother of All Living; the Creatrix, and the Destroyer, for She is ever Dual. She is the Earth Mother, the Lady of the Moon, and the Star Goddess. She is Queen of Heaven, Queen of Earth, and Queen of the Underworld. She is the Triple Goddess: the Virgin, the Bride, and the Hag, called the Three Mothers in Celtic regions.

The three aspects of the Triple Goddess are usually described as the Maiden, the Mother, and the Crone; it must be remembered that the connotations of age associated with those titles derive from the experience of humans, who are subject to age and death; the Goddess is eternal: ever-changing and ever self-renewing, She will be young or old as She pleases.

As the Virgin, She is the Creatrix, the Lady of Birth and Death, the Star Goddess, the Queen of Heaven, the Giver of Inspiration, the Initiatrix.

She is Diana, Lady of the Moon and the Wild Things, Ever Virgin unto Pan: virgin unto the All, and therefore wed to None.She is also the Virgin Mother; and Her blue and white colors, and title “Queen of Heaven”, were borrowed by the Catholic Church for the Virgin Mary. Hers are the Waxing Moon, Venus as Morning and Evening Star, and all the vast starry realm; Her sacred color is White.

As the Bride, She is the Preserver, the Lady of Growth and Fertility, the Earth Mother, the Goddess of flocks and herds, Lady of Love and Fruitfulness and the fertility of the land; as Goddess of the Land She is also the Goddess of Sovereignty, and it is only by Sacred Marriage to Her that the King holds the right to the Throne. Hers are the Full Moon, the Earth, fruits and flocks and fields; Her sacred color is Red.

As the Hag, She is the Destroyer, the Lady of Decay and Death, the Goddess of Night and the Underworld, and also the cave and the tomb. For that which is born must also age, and decay, and die; and out of that which is dead and decaying arises new fertility, for life feeds ever on life. She is the Sow who eats Her own young, the “Nightmare Fertility and Death in One”, the Great Necessity by which the food chain and the cycle of life continue. Hence She is also the Goddess of regeneration. Hers is the Waning Moon, the dark night, the silence of the shadows, the midnight crossroads, and the wailing of the widow; Her sacred color is Black.

The Goddess is the Queen of all Witcheries: She is the Enchantress, the Shape-Changer; She is Isis, the “Lady of the Words of Power”; She is Cerridwen, the Sorceress at Her Cauldron; She is Hecate, the Mistress of the Magick of the Dark Moon. She is the Great Lady. She is the Goddess.

Excerpt from:

Wiccan’s One Universe

Crone Inspiration

Crone Inspiration

Author: Rev. etain.butterfly

I work in an outpatient surgery center and I must share a story about a lively 92-year-old Crone that came in for cataract surgery. As I was interviewing her I noticed she was really tan so I ask if she had been on vacation and she said with a gleam in her eyes “Why yes, I just got back from visiting my son and his wife in Florida.” I ask if she had a nice time and she chuckled and said, “Not really; I thought they were boring. All they wanted to do was watch TV.” I ask her what she would have liked to do and she answered “Go parasailing on the beach, do some snorkeling to view the beautiful fish in the ocean, and to go horseback riding’.

Wow, what an amazing energetic view on what a vacation should be. She was so full of positive energy and love of life. I couldn’t help thinking…”I want to be like that when I am her age”. She was a real ‘Crone – Inspiration’ and a joy to listen to. When it was my break time I sat with her in recovery room and listened to her views on life and the importance of keeping active.

According to Wikipedia: “The crone is a stock character in folklore and fairy tale, an old woman who is usually disagreeable, malicious, or sinister in manner, often with magical or supernatural associations that can make her either helpful or obstructing. She is marginalized by her exclusion from the reproductive cycle, [1] and her proximity to death places her in contact with occult wisdom. As a character type, the crone shares characteristics with the hag”.

Funny, I don’t see myself as disagreeable (although I can be at times) , malicious, or sinister in manner. Just for the record I don’t have a huge wart on my nose either.

According to Merriam-Webster: “Origin of Hag – Middle English hagge demon, old woman. First known use: the 14-century. The word became further specialized as the third aspect of the Triple Goddess popularized by Robert Graves and subsequently in some forms of neopaganism, particularly Wicca.”

Crone Council states: “Crone, hag, and witch once were positive words for old women. Crone comes from crown, indicating wisdom emanating from the head; hag comes from hagio meaning holy; and witch comes from wit meaning wise. Crones, hags, and witches frequently were leaders, midwives and healers in their communities. The meanings of these three words, however, were distorted and eventually reversed during the 300 years of the Inquisition when the male-dominated church wanted to eliminate women holding positions of power. Women identified as witches, who were often older women, i.e. crones and hags, were tortured and burned, and the words witch, crone, and hag took on the negative connotations that continue in our language. The Crone Movement, however, is re-claiming the positive meanings of these words.
The Crone began re-emerging into our consciousness in the early 1980s, and today many older women are embracing this connection. We are tapping into the ancient crone’s attributes of wisdom, compassion, transformation, healing laughter, and bawdiness. The ancient crone archetype strengthens our belief and confidence in age-accumulated knowledge, insights and intuitions enabling women to stand up for their rights.”*

The Crone Goddess or dark mother is the last aspect of the Triple Goddess, [Maiden, Mother and Crone] and she represents part of the circle of life. In today’s society where it seems everyone worships youth and beauty, this aspect of the Goddess is the most frightening and misunderstood of the three, as she symbolizes our destruction, decay and death. Here, as in nature, the death of winter is followed by the promise of rebirth in the spring.

Her positive attribute is often depicted as a Grandmother, a wise woman, or a midwife. She is beyond child bearing and now is the wisdom keeper, seer, and healer that is often sought out to guide others during life’s hardships and transitions. Her color is black and she is associated with waning or new moon, autumn and winter.

When I look into the mirror I see some wrinkles representing the aging process. My step isn’t like it was in my 20s; however some say it is hard to keep up with my pace. I don’t dwell on the changes happening to my body. I embrace the gift of living and all that the God and Goddess have allowed me to experience. I don’t sit home watching TV – I am out adding new experiences to my long list of things to do. Right now I am concentrating on Poi, and learning a new Tarot deck.

My 92-year-old patient told me to always treat your body as a temple – for God will reward you for taking care of yourself. She also said looking at the glass as half empty instead of half full will drain the life energy right out of you. She also said to look at life as if you were an innocent child and in doing so you will see adventure all around you. With that sparkle in her eyes she also said, “It doesn’t hurt to have a glass or two of good wine” She won my heart over with that remark.

I am Crone and I am a proud Crone. I have been on a journey of self-discovery for many, many years. I have learned many things as I have traveled on my true path of life. I have made mistakes; learned by those mistakes and moved on. I have learned to be more kind, show more compassion, learn to listen more and speak less. I have learned to share my life’s experiences. I am a Crone, I am a wise Crone, and most importantly I am a Happy Crone.
I wrote this poem to express what being a Crone means to me…

I am Crone (by Etain©)

I am Crone
I have learned to Know
I have wisdom to share and show

I am Crone
I have learned to Will
Manifest for goodwill

I am Crone
I have learned to Dare
It’s energizing I do declare

I am Crone
I have learned to Keep Silent
My happiness is reliant

 


Footnotes:   * http://cronescounsel.org/The_Ancient_Cone

The Witches Magick for October 8th – Empowerment Spell

goth114

Empowerment Spell

To increase power and use it wisely

Optional extras:

Orange candle

High John the Conqueror oil

Notes: The best time to do this spell is at midnight on a full moon, but if you don’t want to stay up that late, you can work it at any point on the full moon night or on a Sabbat.

Since you are asking to draw in power, be sure you are firmly grounded and centered before casting this spell and that the space you are working in is protected. Unlike some of the spells in this book where it makes little difference whether or not you start by casting a formal circle, in this case I would recommend you do so. This is not a spell to be cast lightly.

Cast your circle, ask for help from the four quarters, invoke the triple goddess of your choice (I like either Hecate or Brigid, but any triple goddess [maiden/mother/ crone] will work), then anoint the candle if using the High John oil. Be sure you are centered before reciting the spell.

As my craft I work to hone
At this deep and sacred hour
I call on Maiden, Mother, Crone
To send me wisdom, strength and power
 
 
Lend me power for my spells
Power for work and power for play
Send wisdom so I’ll use it well
Growing in power every day.

Crone Chant for Good Judgment

Goddess Comments & Graphics

Crone Chant for Good Judgment

Ancient Hag, Wise Grandmother,
You of Wisdom, like no other,
Help me weigh choices with precision,
To make a good and fair decision
Show me what I need to see,
Shed some light on what should be.
And should I turn a deafened ear
Open it so I can hear
Help me feel what I should know.
Show me now which way to go.    
Guide me in what I just do.
This, Old Crone, I ask of You.

Why We Should Agree to Disagree

Why We Should Agree to Disagree

Author: Elevander

I was wandering around on the Internet the other day and came across an article on Wicca and Christianity. As I began to read it, I felt as though someone had punched me physically in the stomach, such was the hatred and vehemence behind the words.

A large portion of it was dedicated to emphasizing how, according to the Bible, Witches are Satanists, heretics and sinners, i.e. children of the devil. We do not follow their texts and their God and so we are painted as being evil and wrong.

The author dismisses emails he had received from Wiccans informing him that we do not believe or have a place for a devil in our faith and pointing him towards websites such as witchvox.com for a clearer view of our faith, by stating that just because we do not acknowledge Satan does not mean that it is not he who leads us.

It is an example of the shining white of the Christian God; if we do not worship him then we must be completely dark and led by Satan. It is a comfort to me that the Lord and Lady are both light, dark and shades of grey, and so nothing I experience will ever be a mystery to them but rather a part of them.

Instead of becoming angry at the intolerance in the words, I found myself considering the similarities between the two faiths, rather than the differences. Wiccans believe that the divine is represented by both male and female, the God and Goddess who were created by The One.

A popular school of thought is that all Goddesses are one; different aspects of the female divine that can be found in every pantheon, the same applies to the God and the male divine. This could be interpreted as there being one God.

The concept of a Goddess places the first stumbling block, and yet Christianity does have a female figurehead in the form of the Virgin Mother (notably Catholicism in which Mary can be revered even more than Jesus, especially by the women).

Ignoring the inherent dehumanization of her title, Mary the Virgin Mother does provide a female influence even if her importance in relation to the Christian God is generally iniquitous within the texts and their followers.

It may be suggested that, similar to the Triple Goddess, the Christian God is considered to have three aspects, which make up the Holy Trinity; the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, although Christians have said that this is not the case and that the three are One together, rather than being three separate aspects of the One.

This is rather confusing as they are mentioned separately by name in the new testament and yet the old testament uses the term ‘God/Lord’ throughout, suggesting that the two options are synonymous like the Goddess, whose three aspects can be spoken to separately or as one; but all are the Goddess.

I see more similarities on a moral level, the Bible containing parables and passages about the way you should treat your fellow man.

The Bible contains the story of Moses and the 10 commandments – the Christian ‘laws’ if you will, such as “Thou shalt not steal…commit murder…adultery, etc.

We Wiccans have one law ‘An’ it harm none, do as thou wilt’. It seems to me that this encompasses the 10 commandments and more besides, but without all the negative commands such as ‘Put to death any woman who practices magic’ (Exodus 22:18).

Are the two faiths really all that different?

I mean obviously there are differences in outlook as Wiccans do not seek to recruit others or disparage their paths as each person’s path is their own, but surely it is how people behave towards each other that is most important, not the fine details of exactly what they believe?

A point was made that Wiccans have no place or need for forgiveness within our faith and so no concept of sin. I personally believe this to be untrue, anything which goes against the Rede is wrong and therefore could be considered a ‘sin’, it is just that we do not need to ask forgiveness from a perfect God, but rather seek understanding and forgiveness from a divine that is both darkness and light and therefore a divine that understands.

As we are a part of the divine, we must also be able to forgive ourselves our mistakes and make conscious efforts to learn from them, so that they may not repeat themselves.

I suppose a concise way of looking at it would be that Wiccans try to make up for our mistakes while we are alive, and so learn lessons, rather than pay for them and be punished once we have died.

Perhaps what I will say next will seem simplistic, but if everyone made the effort to see common areas rather than differences we may all be better off and happier in ourselves.

Even if this means placing importance on different (and possibly more constructive) parts of the Bible teachings such as “Love thy neighbor as thy brother”, “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you” and “Judge not, lest ye be judged” (‘Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to ye again’ Ibid 7:1-2).

There are more cultures, faiths and origins in today’s society than we can count and yet intolerance and prejudice has not been diminished.

With the growing unrest and suspicion due to the ongoing wars and the media panic over terrorism where everyone is a potential enemy, tolerance needs all the help it can get – even if it means that those who walk in peace must agree to disagree in order to concentrate on the wider issues.

Footnotes:
– Christians Don’t Understand Wicca? David J Stewart

– The Holy Bible

The Maiden, Mother and Crone Within the Mundane

The Maiden, Mother and Crone Within the Mundane

Author:   Dharma Chai 

The Maiden

There was once a time in your life that everything was filled with wonder and hope. Everything was brand new, colorful and the world immense and full of beauty. We were young and innocent. Life was the priceless pearl we discovered by opening the shell. There were Fairy Tales with happy endings where everyone lived happily ever after, and we believed in this possibility. Dandelions were just as lovely as roses and we gathered them as offerings of love to our mothers. We were imaginative; our creative spark took us anywhere we wished to be. Strangers were exciting and mysterious, but were not to be feared. Instead they were heroes with make believe talents and abilities. Clouds became a never-ending parade of circus animals. Unicorns danced in our dreams. We were open to possibilities. We could be anything we wanted to be. We knew without a doubt that some day we would meet our prince charming. We would live happily ever after.

Over time, we were taught to be strong and capable. We were taught that dreams were okay, but we needed to keep our feet on the ground. Our heads were filled with ideals that weren’t our own. We learned to be afraid. The world wasn’t what we imagined, but a place where danger lurked at each corner.

Childlike and innocent is the Maiden. Her hopes and dreams are as certain as truth. Loving and gentle, her world is very fragile as her trust rules over fears. She dreams of a loving relationship that will outshine any tale. Yet she blushes easily when admired. She has not experienced the ways of the world. She is the eternal optimist. Her spirit cannot be crushed and hope reigns eternal. The world is enchanting and magickal. She resides within each of us as the innocent one. She dances with us in a field of wildflowers and tumbles to ground next to us in ecstasy. She whispers her secret desires to the winds and they tickle our ears as the find their place in our heart. We are the oysters and she is the pearl contained within. She is the beauty emanating from within our being for the world to see. She is pure, untouched by the harsh reality of the mundane world.

I can see her as if standing before me, her long hair flowing about her as she dances with the Fae in a circle beneath the crescent moon. Her graceful, lithe body moves gently in the rhythm of lunar energies. Her spirit glows, the radiant light emanating from her heart. Her long flowing gown cannot hide the young woman’s frame beneath. Her laughter is like chimes in my ears. Her smile lights the universe.

Growing in strength and brightness each night, the Maiden, known as Diana and Artemis in the Mediterranean area, is usually depicted carrying a bow and quiver. She is the first aspect of the triple Goddess. Sometimes called the virgin or huntress, she represents the spring of the year, the dawn, fresh beginnings of all life, the repeating cycle of birth and rebirth, the waxing moon and the crescent moon, enchantment and seduction. She shows the way through the inner labyrinth to the divine center where the greatest of spiritual mysteries lie. She is matter and energy held in suspension until the right time arrives. She is a shape shifting Goddess who drives a chariot pulled by silver stags. She helps women who are threatened or harassed by men.

She rules over animals, singing, enchantment, psychic power, fertility, purification, magic, sports, mental healing, dance, forests, and healing. She carries the seeds of all potential: anything is possible and all possibilities are within her. She does not limit herself by the needs or beliefs of others. She is in love with the mystery of life. The Maiden represents expansion, the female principle, and promise of new beginnings, youth, and excitement. The Maiden is associated with the colors white, light pink and light yellow. She symbolizes youth and anticipation of life. Associated with purity and nature, She is usually seen in the company of animals. In the aspect of the Maiden we see the world with child-like wonder, and also huntress and warrior, as Athena and Artemis are known to be.

The Mother
There is nothing like being pregnant. When I was pregnant with my daughter I was happier than I had ever been in my life. Knowing that a life was growing inside me was amazing. I felt more alive than ever before. I could not wait to hold this little miracle of love.

Okay, there are times where you are so sick you want to die. When the baby decides to try to use your rib cage to score a touchdown it doesn’t feel great. You have weird cravings for food.
You are swollen and can’t see your toes and feel like a blimp that swallowed a blimp.

When a child is born, we always want to count fingers and toes and to know once and for all, girl or boy. We have such great expectations for this tiny bundle of joy. Perhaps he will be president. Perhaps she will be a ballerina. We cannot wait to dress them, to show them off and to take pictures of everything from their first diaper change to the first smile.

Fear sets in once you get home. You call the doctor often. Is this the best formula? Are these the best diapers? She/He spit up, is she sick? Do I need to bring the baby to the hospital! The baby gets colicky and cries all the time. You can’t sleep because you worry excessively. You can’t sleep because the baby is crying. Is she hungry or sick? You have to go check and make sure she is breathing! Our maternal, protective instinct has kicked into high gear.

Now, imagine for a moment, we may have a few children; some families have 13 or more, think how many the Goddess has! We are all children of the Goddess, no matter our age. Our child learns to speak and says Mama so many times we want to pull our heads off! Imagine all of the voices and prayers going out at any given time to our Mother, the Goddess.

Our Goddess Mother has our best interest at heart. She wants for us to be happy and healthy. She never turns away because she is tired and wants some peace and quit. She loves us unconditionally. She understands our hopes and desires and dreams. She lives within our hearts. You can lean on her when you need strength and patience with your little one. You can place your child and yourself within the love and light of the Great Mother and trust that she will always be there for you.

The second Goddess aspect is the Mother, the archetype involved in active creation. She represents the summer, blazing noon, reproduction and fertility, the ripeness of life, the Full Moon, and the high point in all cycles. Her traditional color is red, the color of blood and of life itself. She is the great teacher of the Mysteries. The Romans named her Ceres and the Greeks named her Demeter. A virgin of the oldest sense, independent and unmarried, this Goddess gives birth to a son. Called the Grain Mother, the Eternal Mother, and the Sorrowing Mother, she is the mother of Persephone, who wed the lord of the Underworld. Her power extends over protection of women, crops, initiation, renewal, fertility, civilization, law, motherhood, marriage, and higher magic.

The mother devotes herself to “other”: people and things outside of herself. Though the archetype of the mother often makes one think of a woman giving birth to or devoting herself to her children and family, here we are speaking of all of the possibilities of creation. She is a selfless soul whose devotion and love are unconditional. It is here that responsibility and commitment is established.

Some of the symbols of the goddess in the Mother aspect include the serpent, the poppy, and the symbol of Underworld Goddesses, the torch. The Mother also represents fulfillment, stability, and power. The color associated with the Mother is red, the color of blood and the life force, and green, a fertile color. In ancient societies, the pregnant Mother was a metaphor for the fertile fields that sustained the people of the land. The menstrual blood of the Mother has been associated with magick and ritual since Paleolithic times and was thought to have power for healing and fertility.

The Mother is a pillar of grace under pressure. She is capable, strong, and loving. She smiles as the young child plays, joy flooding her heart as her offspring giggles in delight at some new discovery. She keeps the fear and panic hidden when we are sick, be it in body or in spirit. She continually prays for us. She wipes the tears from our eyes, chases us down to give us medicine, and helps to build a pretend fort with blankets. She watches you while you are sleeping and love fills her heart. She is like a tree in that she is able to bend, but is has a strong foundation supporting her.

Climb into the Mothers arms and be nurtured. Within her embrace we are ever safe and loved. Share your dreams with her. She will do all things possible to help you to achieve them and more.

The Crone

We have all seen the little old woman, her hair thin and sparse, her skin aged with wrinkles, her smile crooked as her false teeth lay in a glass to the side. Many associate this image with the Crone. Her hands tremble as she brings food to her mouth. She looks like a baby with food dripping down her chin. Time isn’t always kind to us in that our bodies betray us. But if you were to take some time with this woman, you would find a font of wisdom, a history of love, of sorrow, of experience.

Her spirit still shines. Her face is soft and compassion flows from her heart. Though she appears weak, her essence is strong and sure. She understands your dreams and desires. She has shared them and she has experienced them. She knows what is important in life. She no longer rushes about headstrong seeking. She delights in the memories of all she has seen and known. Some think she has endured. The truth is, she has lived. That is what is important, the living and loving.

Pain causes a momentary tremor in her voice. She will tell you truths. Will you be willing to listen, to hear her words? Can you sit and hold her hand and experience the journey she is willing to share with you? Can you look at her with respect? Can you look beyond the fears of your body aging?

I see my grandmother, gentle and soft spoken, holding me close in her lap. Beside her lays some yarn and knitting needles. She always has time for me and my questions. She receives great joy in watching the young ones at play and reminiscing about her life as the children begin their lives. There is depth to her heart and eyes that show the years of learning the importance of compassion. There is understanding well beyond that of the dreamer’s hopes.

She moves a little slower now and can no longer bare children. In this day and time, people tend to cast the elderly aside. This is heartbreaking. There is so much love and wisdom they have to share. It may be a time of rest, but it isn’t a time to be tossed away. They should not have to live through memories, as they are still able to give so much to this world!

Most cultures cherished their grandmothers and counted them as wise ones once upon a time. They had seen things and done things to survive in new worlds. Once upon a time they were maidens. Once upon a time they were mothers. They know the mysteries of womanhood.

As I entered into the stage of the Crone, I realized that all I have seen and done helped me to become whom I am today. I am a little slower, but I have more patience, more love, and more compassion. I know there are times to sit quietly and say nothing. I know there are times I should offer my wisdom. What others think of me isn’t important, as I know self-love. I know how precious life and time are. I have found that worry does not save me from sorrow or pain. I have found that life isn’t about satisfying the ego. Life is about acknowledging the blessings we have received from joy and from pain, from fear and from faith. I realize that I cannot change the past but that what I have learned from it provides comfort. She is a fount of wisdom, untapped by a modern world. Not because she isn’t willing to share her wisdom, but because we are so self-involved. I cry for the Crone because so many have forgotten her value.

The Crone, also called the Dark Mother, the Old Wise One, or the hag, represents winter, the night, the universal abyss where life rests before rebirth, the gateway to death, reincarnation, the waning moon and the New Moon, and the deepest of Mysteries and prophecies. She is the third aspect of the Triple Goddess. Her traditional color is black and sometimes the deepest of purples or dark blue. She is the initiator into the Mysteries. This aspect symbolizes death and dissolution. Everything in the universe has a life cycle, at the end of which they malfunction, decay, and transform into a different set of materials, elements that are recycled and reformed into something new. The souls of humans are recycled by the Crone and her cauldron, into a new incarnation.

The embodiment of the Crone, Hecate, Queen of the world of spirits, Patron of Priestesses, and the Goddess of Witchcraft, has keys and cauldrons as her symbols. She has power over enchantments, averting evil, dark magic, riches, wisdom, transformation, purification, limits, incantations, and renewal. She is not detached from the world; just not involved in the ways she was before. She can be completely honest because she has nothing to lose. She holds the wisdom, teaches and shares stories with those who will listen.

The crone was once revered as an old woman embodying wisdom and for her knowledge of the truth of cyclic existence. Crones cared for the dying and were spiritual midwives at the end of life, the link in the cycle of death and rebirth. They were known as healers, teachers, way-showers, and bearers of sacred power. They knew the mysteries, were mediators between the world of spirit and the world of form. In pre-patriarchal societies, women’s wisdom held healing power. The crone wisdom was the most potent of all. For nearly thirty thousand years, old women were strong, powerful sources of wisdom. Crones were respected and honored in their communities.

Our appearance may show a lot about our lives. Weathered hands showing our hard work. Our skin weathered like tanned hides show we spent a lot of time outdoors. These outward appearances don’t begin to show the person beneath the surface. They don’t show the entire journey. Look beyond the obvious and you will discover the treasures of life, the joy, the sorrow, all blessings, to the Crone. Don’t sorrow for her because her time draws nigh upon this plane. Rejoice with her. Embrace what will come, accept what has been, and dare to experience all.

From my manuscript – From My Pagan Heart by Lady Kiya

The Maiden, Mother and Crone Within the Mundane

The Maiden, Mother and Crone Within the Mundane

Author:   Horizons Coven 
 

The Maiden

There was once a time in your life that everything was filled with wonder and hope. Everything was brand new, colorful and the world immense and full of beauty. We were young and innocent. Life was the priceless pearl we discovered by opening the shell. There were Fairy Tales with happy endings where everyone lived happily ever after, and we believed in this possibility. Dandelions were just as lovely as roses and we gathered them as offerings of love to our mothers. We were imaginative; our creative spark took us anywhere we wished to be. Strangers were exciting and mysterious, but were not to be feared. Instead they were heroes with make believe talents and abilities. Clouds became a never-ending parade of circus animals. Unicorns danced in our dreams. We were open to possibilities. We could be anything we wanted to be. We knew without a doubt that some day we would meet our prince charming. We would live happily ever after.

Over time, we were taught to be strong and capable. We were taught that dreams were okay, but we needed to keep our feet on the ground. Our heads were filled with ideals that weren’t our own. We learned to be afraid. The world wasn’t what we imagined, but a place where danger lurked at each corner.

Childlike and innocent is the Maiden. Her hopes and dreams are as certain as truth. Loving and gentle, her world is very fragile as her trust rules over fears. She dreams of a loving relationship that will outshine any tale. Yet she blushes easily when admired. She has not experienced the ways of the world. She is the eternal optimist. Her spirit cannot be crushed and hope reigns eternal. The world is enchanting and magickal. She resides within each of us as the innocent one. She dances with us in a field of wildflowers and tumbles to ground next to us in ecstasy. She whispers her secret desires to the winds and they tickle our ears as the find their place in our heart. We are the oysters and she is the pearl contained within. She is the beauty emanating from within our being for the world to see. She is pure, untouched by the harsh reality of the mundane world.

I can see her as if standing before me, her long hair flowing about her as she dances with the Fae in a circle beneath the crescent moon. Her graceful, lithe body moves gently in the rhythm of lunar energies. Her spirit glows, the radiant light emanating from her heart. Her long flowing gown cannot hide the young woman’s frame beneath. Her laughter is like chimes in my ears. Her smile lights the universe.

Growing in strength and brightness each night, the Maiden, known as Diana and Artemis in the Mediterranean area, is usually depicted carrying a bow and quiver. She is the first aspect of the triple Goddess. Sometimes called the virgin or huntress, she represents the spring of the year, the dawn, fresh beginnings of all life, the repeating cycle of birth and rebirth, the waxing moon and the crescent moon, enchantment and seduction. She shows the way through the inner labyrinth to the divine center where the greatest of spiritual mysteries lie. She is matter and energy held in suspension until the right time arrives. She is a shape shifting Goddess who drives a chariot pulled by silver stags. She helps women who are threatened or harassed by men.

She rules over animals, singing, enchantment, psychic power, fertility, purification, magic, sports, mental healing, dance, forests, and healing. She carries the seeds of all potential: anything is possible and all possibilities are within her. She does not limit herself by the needs or beliefs of others. She is in love with the mystery of life. The Maiden represents expansion, the female principle, and promise of new beginnings, youth, and excitement. The Maiden is associated with the colors white, light pink and light yellow. She symbolizes youth and anticipation of life. Associated with purity and nature, She is usually seen in the company of animals. In the aspect of the Maiden we see the world with child-like wonder, and also huntress and warrior, as Athena and Artemis are known to be.

The Mother
There is nothing like being pregnant. When I was pregnant with my daughter I was happier than I had ever been in my life. Knowing that a life was growing inside me was amazing. I felt more alive than ever before. I could not wait to hold this little miracle of love.

Okay, there are times where you are so sick you want to die. When the baby decides to try to use your rib cage to score a touchdown it doesn’t feel great. You have weird cravings for food.
You are swollen and can’t see your toes and feel like a blimp that swallowed a blimp.

When a child is born, we always want to count fingers and toes and to know once and for all, girl or boy. We have such great expectations for this tiny bundle of joy. Perhaps he will be president. Perhaps she will be a ballerina. We cannot wait to dress them, to show them off and to take pictures of everything from their first diaper change to the first smile.

Fear sets in once you get home. You call the doctor often. Is this the best formula? Are these the best diapers? She/He spit up, is she sick? Do I need to bring the baby to the hospital! The baby gets colicky and cries all the time. You can’t sleep because you worry excessively. You can’t sleep because the baby is crying. Is she hungry or sick? You have to go check and make sure she is breathing! Our maternal, protective instinct has kicked into high gear.

Now, imagine for a moment, we may have a few children; some families have 13 or more, think how many the Goddess has! We are all children of the Goddess, no matter our age. Our child learns to speak and says Mama so many times we want to pull our heads off! Imagine all of the voices and prayers going out at any given time to our Mother, the Goddess.

Our Goddess Mother has our best interest at heart. She wants for us to be happy and healthy. She never turns away because she is tired and wants some peace and quit. She loves us unconditionally. She understands our hopes and desires and dreams. She lives within our hearts. You can lean on her when you need strength and patience with your little one. You can place your child and yourself within the love and light of the Great Mother and trust that she will always be there for you.

The second Goddess aspect is the Mother, the archetype involved in active creation. She represents the summer, blazing noon, reproduction and fertility, the ripeness of life, the Full Moon, and the high point in all cycles. Her traditional color is red, the color of blood and of life itself. She is the great teacher of the Mysteries. The Romans named her Ceres and the Greeks named her Demeter. A virgin of the oldest sense, independent and unmarried, this Goddess gives birth to a son. Called the Grain Mother, the Eternal Mother, and the Sorrowing Mother, she is the mother of Persephone, who wed the lord of the Underworld. Her power extends over protection of women, crops, initiation, renewal, fertility, civilization, law, motherhood, marriage, and higher magic.

The mother devotes herself to “other”: people and things outside of herself. Though the archetype of the mother often makes one think of a woman giving birth to or devoting herself to her children and family, here we are speaking of all of the possibilities of creation. She is a selfless soul whose devotion and love are unconditional. It is here that responsibility and commitment is established.

Some of the symbols of the goddess in the Mother aspect include the serpent, the poppy, and the symbol of Underworld Goddesses, the torch. The Mother also represents fulfillment, stability, and power. The color associated with the Mother is red, the color of blood and the life force, and green, a fertile color. In ancient societies, the pregnant Mother was a metaphor for the fertile fields that sustained the people of the land. The menstrual blood of the Mother has been associated with magick and ritual since Paleolithic times and was thought to have power for healing and fertility.

The Mother is a pillar of grace under pressure. She is capable, strong, and loving. She smiles as the young child plays, joy flooding her heart as her offspring giggles in delight at some new discovery. She keeps the fear and panic hidden when we are sick, be it in body or in spirit. She continually prays for us. She wipes the tears from our eyes, chases us down to give us medicine, and helps to build a pretend fort with blankets. She watches you while you are sleeping and love fills her heart. She is like a tree in that she is able to bend, but is has a strong foundation supporting her.

Climb into the Mothers arms and be nurtured. Within her embrace we are ever safe and loved. Share your dreams with her. She will do all things possible to help you to achieve them and more.

The Crone

We have all seen the little old woman, her hair thin and sparse, her skin aged with wrinkles, her smile crooked as her false teeth lay in a glass to the side. Many associate this image with the Crone. Her hands tremble as she brings food to her mouth. She looks like a baby with food dripping down her chin. Time isn’t always kind to us in that our bodies betray us. But if you were to take some time with this woman, you would find a font of wisdom, a history of love, of sorrow, of experience.

Her spirit still shines. Her face is soft and compassion flows from her heart. Though she appears weak, her essence is strong and sure. She understands your dreams and desires. She has shared them and she has experienced them. She knows what is important in life. She no longer rushes about headstrong seeking. She delights in the memories of all she has seen and known. Some think she has endured. The truth is, she has lived. That is what is important, the living and loving.

Pain causes a momentary tremor in her voice. She will tell you truths. Will you be willing to listen, to hear her words? Can you sit and hold her hand and experience the journey she is willing to share with you? Can you look at her with respect? Can you look beyond the fears of your body aging?

I see my grandmother, gentle and soft spoken, holding me close in her lap. Beside her lays some yarn and knitting needles. She always has time for me and my questions. She receives great joy in watching the young ones at play and reminiscing about her life as the children begin their lives. There is depth to her heart and eyes that show the years of learning the importance of compassion. There is understanding well beyond that of the dreamer’s hopes.

She moves a little slower now and can no longer bare children. In this day and time, people tend to cast the elderly aside. This is heartbreaking. There is so much love and wisdom they have to share. It may be a time of rest, but it isn’t a time to be tossed away. They should not have to live through memories, as they are still able to give so much to this world!

Most cultures cherished their grandmothers and counted them as wise ones once upon a time. They had seen things and done things to survive in new worlds. Once upon a time they were maidens. Once upon a time they were mothers. They know the mysteries of womanhood.

As I entered into the stage of the Crone, I realized that all I have seen and done helped me to become whom I am today. I am a little slower, but I have more patience, more love, and more compassion. I know there are times to sit quietly and say nothing. I know there are times I should offer my wisdom. What others think of me isn’t important, as I know self-love. I know how precious life and time are. I have found that worry does not save me from sorrow or pain. I have found that life isn’t about satisfying the ego. Life is about acknowledging the blessings we have received from joy and from pain, from fear and from faith. I realize that I cannot change the past but that what I have learned from it provides comfort. She is a fount of wisdom, untapped by a modern world. Not because she isn’t willing to share her wisdom, but because we are so self-involved. I cry for the Crone because so many have forgotten her value.

The Crone, also called the Dark Mother, the Old Wise One, or the hag, represents winter, the night, the universal abyss where life rests before rebirth, the gateway to death, reincarnation, the waning moon and the New Moon, and the deepest of Mysteries and prophecies. She is the third aspect of the Triple Goddess. Her traditional color is black and sometimes the deepest of purples or dark blue. She is the initiator into the Mysteries. This aspect symbolizes death and dissolution. Everything in the universe has a life cycle, at the end of which they malfunction, decay, and transform into a different set of materials, elements that are recycled and reformed into something new. The souls of humans are recycled by the Crone and her cauldron, into a new incarnation.

The embodiment of the Crone, Hecate, Queen of the world of spirits, Patron of Priestesses, and the Goddess of Witchcraft, has keys and cauldrons as her symbols. She has power over enchantments, averting evil, dark magic, riches, wisdom, transformation, purification, limits, incantations, and renewal. She is not detached from the world; just not involved in the ways she was before. She can be completely honest because she has nothing to lose. She holds the wisdom, teaches and shares stories with those who will listen.

The crone was once revered as an old woman embodying wisdom and for her knowledge of the truth of cyclic existence. Crones cared for the dying and were spiritual midwives at the end of life, the link in the cycle of death and rebirth. They were known as healers, teachers, way-showers, and bearers of sacred power. They knew the mysteries, were mediators between the world of spirit and the world of form. In pre-patriarchal societies, women’s wisdom held healing power. The crone wisdom was the most potent of all. For nearly thirty thousand years, old women were strong, powerful sources of wisdom. Crones were respected and honored in their communities.

Our appearance may show a lot about our lives. Weathered hands showing our hard work. Our skin weathered like tanned hides show we spent a lot of time outdoors. These outward appearances don’t begin to show the person beneath the surface. They don’t show the entire journey. Look beyond the obvious and you will discover the treasures of life, the joy, the sorrow, all blessings, to the Crone. Don’t sorrow for her because her time draws nigh upon this plane. Rejoice with her. Embrace what will come, accept what has been, and dare to experience all.

From my manuscript – From My Pagan Heart by Lady Kiya

Witch’s Rosary

Witch’s Rosary

If these beads sound familiar, it is because they have been borrowed
from The Christian Rosary. And why not? Christians have always
borrowed from Pagans when it comes to spirituality, so why not
borrow back? Remember, all the Gods are One God.

The Rosary was invented in the Middle Ages as a devotion to Mary,
the mother of Jesus. Although the Church is quick to define Mary as
simply “first among the saints,” it is clear the common people from
the first century CE onwards saw Mary as the continuation of the
Queen of Heaven: Astarte in Palestine, or Isis in Egypt. It is
fitting, then, to adapt a Marian devotion for honor to the Goddess,
the Queen of Heaven. These beads honor the Goddess in her three-
fold, or triple, nature as Maiden, Mother, and Crone.

The components of a Witch Rosary are:

1) Moonstone (The Moon)
2) Hematite (Fire)
3) Crystal Quartz (Air)
4) Earth Stone (Earth)
5) Lapis Lazuli (Water)
6) Amber (Sun)
7) Birthstone (Stars)
8) Ankh, as pendant or buckle

Substitutions may be made as follows:

Substitutions may be made as follows:

1) Opal, Mother of Pearl
2) Flame Agate
3) Crystal
4) Emerald
5) Blue Amethyst
6) Chrysolite
7) Gem with a Natural Star
8) No substitute for the Ankh

If worn as a necklace, the stones may be separated by knots in the
cord, or there may be three silver beads between each stone.

If it is worn as a belt, there may be three wooden beads between
each of the leather pouches that holds a stone; these wooden beads
may in turn be separated by knots in the leather cord (usually), if
a cord is used.

You will need:

13 white 8mm beads for the Maiden
13 red 8mm beads for the Mother
13 black mm beads for the Crone
1 silver 10mm bead representing the Full Moon
52 silver spacer beads
(class “E” 6/0) representing the Moonlight.
Nylon thread: white or ecru, or color of choice

You may begin and end stringing anywhere in the loop, but the tie-
off is
less visible in the midst of the black beads.

The silver Moon bead is separated from the White Maiden beads by
four (4) silver spacer beads. Each white Maiden bead is followed by
one silver spacer bead, but the thirteenth bead is followed by four
(4) spacer beads. Then come the red Mother beads, each followed by
one silver spacer, but the 13th bead is followed by four (4)
spacers. Then come the black Crone beads, each followed by one
silver bead, but the 13th is followed by four (4) spacers. And so we
are back at the silver Moon bead. In other words, beads of the same
color are separated by one spacer. The three sets of beads and the
larger Moon bead are separated by four spacers. Thirteen (13) beads
are used in each set to signify the thirteen months of the lunar
year. The silver spacers represent moonlight issuing from the Full
Moon bead throughout the life cycle of Maiden, Mother, Crone.
Prayers are said on each bead, while meditating on the mysteries of
the Triple Goddess, and the experience of the human life cycle. Men
may wish to make a devotion to the Horned God, and honor the life
cycle of Youth, Father, and Sage.

Prayers for your witch’s Rosary

On the silver Moon Bead say:
Blessed Mother, come to me,
and cast your lovely, silver light.
Un-cloud your face that I may see
unveiled, its shining in the night.
Triple Goddess, Blessed Be,
and Merry Meet, my soul’s delight!

On the space say:

I bind unto my self today the
Fertility of the Maiden.

Meditate of the Presence of the Maiden. On each Maiden Bead say:

Maiden daughter, sister, lover,
White-light, Night-light, love’s embrace;
Seeking love, we find each other
By the radiance of your face.

On the space say:

I bind unto myself today the
Power of the Mother.

Meditate on the Presence of the Mother. On each Mother Bead say:

Mother of all, radiant, beaming,
Full and heavy womb with expectation bright;
Be present here, full moonlight gleaming,
And bless your child with truth and light.

On the space say:

I bind unto myself today the
Wisdom of the Crone.

Meditate on the Presence of the Crone. On each Crone Bead say:

Crone now stands in moonlight gleaming,
Starlit night and silver hair;

Peace and wisdom from you streaming,
Goddess, keeper of our care.

On the space say:

I bind unto myself today the
Fertility, Power, and Wisdom of the Goddess.

On the silver Moon Bead conclude:

Blessed Mother, stay by me,
and cast your lovely, silver light.
Un-cloud your face that I may see
unveiled, its shining in the night.
Triple Goddess, Blessed Be,
and Merry Meet, my soul’s delight!
So Mote it be!

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

Goddesses of the Season

Goddesses of the Season
By: Heathwitch, The Order of the White Moon
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Flaming arrow of light Prophecy in your sight Inspire me this day Show me the world of Fey Power Renown, draw near Protect me without fear
May ink and quill flow free For Blessed Ladies three Your Fire ever a-burn By its light I do learn Secrets from birth to death Wisdom within your breath   Poetess, healer true Bring knowledge anew Teach spells and sacred rites Help me soar to new heights Let inspiration flow Oh Great Fiery Arrow
Yuletide is over, and though the land is still resting in the midst of winter, the days are gradually beginning to lengthen and the Goddess begins to plan. This is the time for new ideas, new thoughts, in the same way that the Earth’s new growth phase beginnings to stir. At Imbolc our thoughts turn towards new projects, new plans, with creativity and inspiration brimming forth to carry us into spring.
Imbolc is a true fire festival, with colours of red, white and orange, with black accents. In line with this festival’s name (the term “Imbolc” means “in milk” or “in the belly”), pregnant sheep begin to lactate and the natural world looks towards the joys of springtime. Soon, the land will be woken by the fire of the sun… A fire that, in the Celtic tradition, is ascribed to Brighid.
.
Brighid is the Celtic Goddess of fire, healing, poetry, and smithcraft. She is seen as a goddess of regeneration and abundance, and protectoress of domesticated animals, livestock, healers, poets and smiths. Also known as Brigit, Bridget, Bride or Brigandu, she is seen as an “unconventional” Triple Goddess — three aspects of the one divinity, identical, and not part of the typical Maiden-Mother-Crone sequence. The three aspects of Brighid (the healer, the poet and the smith) were unified in the symbol of fire, for her name means “bright arrow,” or simply the “bright one.” Her sacred, undying fire at Kildaire was tended by 19 virgins except on the 20th day of each cycle, when the fire was miraculously tended by Brigid herself.
To mix an incense for Brighid, blend together the following:
1 part crushed rowan berries 1/4 part blackberry leaves 1 part birch bark 1 part willow bark 1/2 part bistort root 1 part oak bark 1/2 part snowdrop flowers 1/4 part flax flowers
Brighid’s symbols are the fire, sun, snake, cow, and wolf. Her colours are red and white. She is the Goddess of fertility, wells and springs, and of creativity. To invoke Brighid, why not try the “The Forge in the Forest” ritual by Mara Freeman:
Light your candle. Gaze into the flame for a few moments, then close your eyes. You will still see the image of the flame against your eyelids. Now imagine it is growing brighter and brighter, and go one step further and imagine you are standing in a place filled with the warmth and red gold light of leaping flames… Imagine, in fact, that you are standing in the entrance to a forge in a forest, where a blazing fire is roaring, and in front of it stands a woman. Thick, auburn hair is tied back, but a few rippling curls have escaped around
her face. She is dressed in dark green with sleeves rolled up to the elbows, revealing strong white arms. Brigit, for of course it is she, stands over a large anvil where all her concentration is focused on beating a sheet of soft gleaming bronze with a great hammer… At last, she looks up and smiles at you warmly. She has finished her creation and holds it up to the light of the fire for you to see. As you look at it, it appears to continually change shape: first it seems to be a leaf, then a globe, … and now it has become a star. Brigit laughs deeply, musically, and tosses the star into the air, where it sails into the night sky and takes its place among the glittering constellations…
And now Brigit turns towards you and asks: What have you come here to create? … You tell her of your vision, whether great or small, personal or for the wider community… and she beckons you over to the fire. As you look into the flames, pictures start to move and you see yourself at work, filled with enthusiasm and passion as you make your vision a reality… …  You and your creation are surrounded and shot through with the golden light of inspiration. Brigit is there too, watching over you with love as you work, encouraging you and filling you with confidence and creativity… If any self-doubt or fears start to arise, see Brigit surrounding you with her mantle of protection: a warm soft cloak of green that makes you feel safe and inviolable… Now see yourself with your vision turned into reality, feeling a sense of accomplishment and pride… Thank Brigit for showing you this vision, and ask her to tell you what your first step should be towards bringing it into reality….  Listen carefully, and ask her questions if you need more clarity…  When you have finished the conversation with her, see the forge suddenly glow even more brightly, so that all forms and shapes, including that of Brigit herself, melt into a suffusion of golden light… and now see that the light is just the candle flame reflected on your eyelids…Slowly come back to the room. Open your eyes and write down what she has suggested. In the coming weeks, call upon Brigit to help keep your inspiration alight.
. Have a Blessed Imbolc!
Sources: Franklin, Anna. Magical Incenses and Oils. Capall Bann: Berkshire (2000). Brighid, Goddess and Saint at http://www.brighid.org.uk/ The Wheel of the Celtic Year at http://www.celticspirit.org/imbolc.htm
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About The Author: Heathwitch is a Witch, teacher and author. She runs courses and workshops on energy work, healing, Witchcraft and magic. High Priestess of the Circle of the Moon coven
.
About The Author: Heathwitch is a Witch, teacher and author. She runs courses and workshops on energy work, healing, Witchcraft and magic. High Priestess of the Circle of the Moon coven

Dancing in a Wiccan Wonderland!

Yule Comments & Graphics

Dancing in a Wiccan Wonderland!

by Alexander and Aarcher

Pagans sing, are you listenin’
Alters set, candles glisten,
Its a magical night, we’re having tonight
Dancing in a Wiccan Wonderland

Blades held high, censor smoking,
God and Goddess, we’re invoking,
Through Elements Five, we celebrate life,
Dancing in a Wiccan Wonderland,

Queen of Heaven, is in her place,
Triple Goddess, now the Crone face
Above and below, She’s the Goddess we know,
Dancing in a Wiccan wonderland.

Now the God, is the provider
Supplying game for our fire,
Above and below, He’s the Horned one we know,
Dancing in a Wiccan Wonderland

In a circle we can burn a Yule fire,
And await the rising of the Sun, It’s the great wheel turning for the new year,
Loaded with abundance and great fun

Later on, by the fire,
Cone of Power, gettin’ higher
Its a Magickal Night, we’re having tonight,
Dancing in a Wiccan Wonderland!

~Magickal Graphics~

MAKE A YULE LOG

MAKE A YULE LOG

To make a Yule Log, simply choose a dried piece of oak and decorate with burnable ribbons, evergreens, holly, and mistletoe. To make a Yule Log with candles (suitable for indoor observances when a fireplace is not available), you will need a round log at least thirteen inches long and five inches thick. Flatten the bottom of the log with a saw (preferably a power saw) by trimming off an inch or two so the log will sit without wobbling. Next determine where the three candle holes should be drilled along the top of the log. They should be evenly spaced. The size of the holes will be determined by the size candles you are using. Drill the holes 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch to accommodate the candles.

The log with candles may be painted or sprayed with varnish or shellac to keep it from drying out. When the varnish is dry, insert candles and decorate it with holly, evergreens, and mistletoe. Candles may be green, red, and silver or white to represent the Oak King, the Holly King, and the Goddess; or white, red, and black to represent the Triple Goddess.

The Triple Goddess

The Triple Goddess

 

Another of the differences in beliefs is the idea of a Triple Goddess. This is something that is not found in Traditional Witchcraft. The Goddess is not seen  in the forms of Maiden Mother and Crone, but rather as having three functions. Each of these three functions will have something to do with a specific path  that one would follow, so the Witch will only follow and honor one of the Goddess’s three functions. At other times in their lives, they may find a need  to draw from one of the other two functions of their chosen Goddess, but there is always one of the three that is more pronounced and important to them.

The idea of the Triple Goddess, or any Deities seen in three forms or phases, has been traced back to Anatolia (now called Turkey), where in around 7,000 BC  a Goddess being worshiped in the triple form of virgin, mother, and hag was found. However, sine this is the only place that this practice was seen, and this  was in the Near East and not in Europe, it’s not something that is part of Traditional Witchcraft.

Deity of the Day for August 17: Brigid

Brigid

by Lisa Spindler
Name Cognates: Breo Saighead, Brid, Brighid [Eriu], Brigindo, Brigandu [Gaul], Brigan, Brigantia, Brigantis [Briton], Bride [Alba].Breo Saighead, or the “Fiery Arrow or Power,” is a Celtic three-fold goddess, the daughter of The Dagda, and the wife of Bres. Known by many names, Brighid’s three aspects are (1) Fire of Inspiration as patroness of poetry, (2) Fire of the Hearth, as patroness of healing and fertility, and (3) Fire of the Forge, as  patroness of smithcraft and martial arts. She is mother to the craftsmen. Sons of Tuireann: Creidhne, Luchtaine and Giobhniu.

Excalibur, King Arthur’s sword, was forged by the Lady of the Lake, a figure sometimes associated with Brighid because of her fire and forgery aspect. Like the Arthurian Avalon, or “Isle of Apples,” Brigid possessed an apple orchard in the Otherworld to which bees traveled to obtain it’s magickal nectar.

Brigid, which means “one who exaults herself,” is Goddess of the Sacred Flame of Kildare (derived from “Cill Dara,” which means “church of the oak”) and often is considered to be the White Maiden aspect of the Triple Goddess. She was Christianized as the “foster-mother” of Jesus Christ, and called St. Brigit, the daughter of the Druid Dougal the Brown. She sometimes also is associated with the Romano-Celtic goddess Aquae-Sulis in Bathe.

Brighid’s festival is Imbolc, celebrated on or around February 1 when she ushers Spring to the land after The Cailleach’s Winter reign. This mid-Winter feast commences as the ewes begin to lactate and is the start of the new agricultural cycle. During this time Brigid personifies a bride, virgin or maiden aspect and is the protectoress of women in childbirth. Imbolc also is known as Oimelc, Brigid, Candlemas, or even in America as Groundhog Day.

As the foundation for the American Groundhog Day, Brigid’s snake comes out of its mound in which it hibernates and its behavior is said to determine the length of the remaining Winter.

Gailleach, or White Lady, drank from the ancient Well of Youth at dawn. In that instant, she was transformed into her Maiden aspect, the young goddess called Brigid. Wells were considered to be sacred because they arose from oimbelc(literally “in the belly”), or womb of Mother Earth.

Because of her Fire of Inspiration and her connection to the apple and oak trees, Brighid often is considered the patroness of the Druids.