Saturday’s Witchery

goddess 4
Saturday’s Witchery

Saturday is a day filled with opportunities to clean up and clear out. So if you are wondering why Hecate is assigned to this day, take another look at what she symbolizes and the magick that is associated with her. That should answer the question.

Hecate was the oldest form of the Greek Triple Goddess, as she presided over heaven, the underworld, and earth. Crossroads where three roads met were especially sacred to Hecate, earning her the title of Hekate of the Three Ways. It’s interesting to note that even after the worship of other goddesses waned, ancient people still worshiped Hecate as the Queen of the Underworld and the Guardian of the Three-Way Crossroad. It was also believed that if you left her an offering of food there, she would grant you her favors. As Hecate Trivia, her triple images were often displayed at these crossroads, where she was petitioned on the full moon for positive magick and on the dark of the moon for cursing and dark magick.

While this last bit of information sounds a little ominous, keep in mind that Hecate/Hekate was known by many titles and is a shapeshifter. Her appearance could and did change often. As a dark moon goddess, her faces are many. To some she may appear as a old crone, hunched over a smoking cauldron and draped in a midnight cape. To others she may appear as a dark beautiful, mysterious, and mature woman wearing a shimmering crown. To some she may be perceived as a maiden priestess. She was called the “most lovely one,” the Great Goddess of Nature, and the Queen of the World of Spirits. This dark goddess knows her way around the earth and the underworld. All the powers of nature, life, and death are at her command.

 
Book of Witchery
Spells, Charms & Correspondences for Every Day of the Week

Ellen Dugan

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Saturday’s Witchery

GOTHIC

Saturday’s Witchery

Saturday is a day filled with opportunities to clean up and clear out. So if you are wondering why Hecate is assigned to this day, take another look at what she symbolizes and the magick that is associated with her. That should answer the question.

Hecate was the oldest form of the Greek Triple Goddess, as she presided over heaven, the underworld, and earth. Crossroads where three roads met were especially sacred to Hecate, earning her the title of Hekate of the Three Ways. It’s interesting to note that even after the worship of other goddesses waned, ancient people still worshiped Hecate as the Queen of the Underworld and the Guardian of the Three-Way Crossroad. It was also believed that if you left her an offering of food there, she would grant you her favors. As Hecate Trivia, her triple images were often displayed at these crossroads, where she was petitioned on the full moon for positive magick and on the dark of the moon for cursing and dark magick.

While this last bit of information sounds a little ominous, keep in mind that Hecate/Hekate was known by many titles and is a shapeshifter. Her appearance could and did change often. As a dark moon goddess, her faces are many. To some she may appear as a old crone, hunched over a smoking cauldron and draped in a midnight cape. To others she may appear as a dark beautiful, mysterious, and mature woman wearing a shimmering crown. To some she may be perceived as a maiden priestess. She was called the “most lovely one,” the Great Goddess of Nature, and the Queen of the World of Spirits. This dark goddess knows her way around the earth and the underworld. All the powers of nature, life, and death are at her command.

Book of Witchery
Spells, Charms & Correspondences for Every Day of the Week

Ellen Dugan

Saturday’s Witchery

Gothic
Saturday’s Witchery

Saturday is a day filled with opportunities to clean up and clear out. So if you are wondering why Hecate is assigned to this day, take another look at what she symbolizes and the magick that is associated with her. That should answer the question.

Hecate was the oldest form of the Greek Triple Goddess, as she presided over heaven, the underworld, and earth. Crossroads where three roads met were especially sacred to Hecate, earning her the title of Hekate of the Three Ways. It’s interesting to note that even after the worship of other goddesses waned, ancient people still worshiped Hecate as the Queen of the Underworld and the Guardian of the Three-Way Crossroad. It was also believed that if you left her an offering of food there, she would grant you her favors. As Hecate Trivia, her triple images were often displayed at these crossroads, where she was petitioned on the full moon for positive magick and on the dark of the moon for cursing and dark magick.

While this last bit of information sounds a little ominous, keep in mind that Hecate/Hekate was known by many titles and is a shapeshifter. Her appearance could and did change often. As a dark moon goddess, her faces are many. To some she may appear as a old crone, hunched over a smoking cauldron and draped in a midnight cape. To others she may appear as a dark beautiful, mysterious, and mature woman wearing a shimmering crown. To some she may be perceived as a maiden priestess. She was called the “most lovely one,” the Great Goddess of Nature, and the Queen of the World of Spirits. This dark goddess knows her way around the earth and the underworld. All the powers of nature, life, and death are at her command.

Book of Witchery
Spells, Charms & Correspondences for Every Day of the Week
Ellen Dugan

Saturday’s Witchery

Saturday’s Witchery

 

Saturday is a day filled with opportunities to clean up and clear out. So if you are wondering why Hecate is assigned to this day, take another look at what she symbolizes and the magick that is associated with her. That should answer the question.

Hecate was the oldest form of the Greek Triple Goddess, as she presided over heaven, the underworld, and earth. Crossroads where three roads met were especially sacred to Hecate, earning her the title of Hekate of the Three Ways. It’s interesting to note that even after the worship of other goddesses waned, ancient people still worshiped Hecate as the Queen of the Underworld and the Guardian of the Three-Way Crossroad. It was also believed that if you left her an offering of food there, she would grant you her favors. As Hecate Trivia, her triple images were often displayed at these crossroads, where she was petitioned on the full moon for positive magick and on the dark of the moon for cursing and dark magick.

While this last bit of information sounds a little ominous, keep in mind that Hecate/Hekate was known by many titles and is a shapeshifter. Her appearance could and did change often. As a dark moon goddess, her faces are many. To some she may appear as a old crone, hunched over a smoking cauldron and draped in a midnight cape. To others she may appear as a dark beautiful, mysterious, and mature woman wearing a shimmering crown. To some she may be perceived as a maiden priestess. She was called the “most lovely one,” the Great Goddess of Nature, and the Queen of the World of Spirits. This dark goddess knows her way around the earth and the underworld. All the powers of nature, life, and death are at her command.

 

Book of Witchery
Spells, Charms & Correspondences for Every Day of the Week
Ellen Dugan

Saturday’s Witchery


Samhain Comments & Graphics

Saturday’s Witchery

 

Saturday is a day filled with opportunities to clean up and clear out. So if you are wondering why Hecate is assigned to this day, take another look at what she symbolizes and the magick that is associated with her. That should answer the question.

Hecate was the oldest form of the Greek Triple Goddess, as she presided over heaven, the underworld, and earth. Crossroads where three roads met were especially sacred to Hecate, earning her the title of Hekate of the Three Ways. It’s interesting to note that even after the worship of other goddesses waned, ancient people still worshiped Hecate as the Queen of the Underworld and the Guardian of the Three-Way Crossroad. It was also believed that if you left her an offering of food there, she would grant you her favors. As Hecate Trivia, her triple images were often displayed at these crossroads, where she was petitioned on the full moon for positive magick and on the dark of the moon for cursing and dark magick.

While this last bit of information sounds a little ominous, keep in mind that Hecate/Hekate was known by many titles and is a shapeshifter. Her appearance could and did change often. As a dark moon goddess, her faces are many. To some she may appear as a old crone, hunched over a smoking cauldron and draped in a midnight cape. To others she may appear as a dark beautiful, mysterious, and mature woman wearing a shimmering crown. To some she may be perceived as a maiden priestess. She was called the “most lovely one,” the Great Goddess of Nature, and the Queen of the World of Spirits. This dark goddess knows her way around the earth and the underworld. All the powers of nature, life, and death are at her command.

 

Book of Witchery
Spells, Charms & Correspondences for Every Day of the Week
Ellen Dugan

Whispering Woods Dragon Lore Course – Lesson Five – Dragon Lore from other parts of the world

Whispering Woods Dragon Lore Course

Lesson Five
Dragon Lore from other parts of the world

Egyptian:
Many believe this is the era in history where the dragon originated. In early Egypt the Dragon was chiefly a representation of the snake.

In Egyptian myth “Re” (the sun god) traveled through Duat (the underworld) each night. During the journey through the underworld Re reaches two open doors guarded by snakes, some having human heads and four legs, while others having three snake heads and wings. Re passes by these without incident as they are only guards.

Later on Re observes the demise of Apophis, the giant serpent representing chaos, whose severed coils are bound by Aker, a Dragon representing the Earth.

There are many occurrences of Dragons in Egyptian mythology, another example being Denwen. Denwen was attested in the third millennium B.C.E. and is described as a fiery serpent that would have caused a conflagration destroying all of the gods if it had not been thwarted by the King.

Amphitptere:
This dragon is thought to be one of the oldest varities of Dragon; the Amphitptere was a winged serpent-type without legs. In ancient history it was recorded in Egypt and in Arabia. Many believed that it guarded the precious Frankincense trees, from which a resin comes that is used in many cultures for religious purposes.

Babylonian:
The Babylonian Dragon is found in the Epic of Creation from the early second millennium B.C.E.
It details the struggle of “Apsu” (God of the primordial waters under the earth) and “Tiamat” (the sea) against their son “Ea”. Accordingly, Apsu is said to be defeated by Ea, who takes over his domain and produces a son, the god-hero “Marduk”.

Tiamat created all sorts of Dragons, including the Mushussu Dragon, in order to have her revenge, but she is defeated in single combat by Marduk and her body is split to form the earth and the sky.
The Mushussu is subdued by Marduk and takes its place at his feet. These images were relatively short lived however, as the Chinese Lung types soon came to dominate in later Near Eastern mythology.

Lindworm:
The Lindworm had a serpentine-type body, one pair of legs, and it was wingless, therefore, it could not fly. Lindworms were found in Central Asia.

India:
From thehe birthplace of Buddhism, around 500 BCE, we find pre-Buddhist snake or serpentine-like creatures known as the NAGA were incorporated early on into Buddhist mythology. Described as “water spirits with human shapes wearing a crown of serpents on their heads” or as “snake-like beings resembling clouds,” the NAGA are among the eight classes of deities who worship and protect the Historical Buddha.

Even before the Historical Buddha (Siddhartha, Guatama) attained enlightenment, the Naga King Mucilinda (Sanskrit) is said to have protected Siddhartha from wind and rain for seven days. This motif is found often in Buddhist art from India, represented by images of the Buddha sitting beneath Mucilinda’s hood and coils.  In early India, images of the Dragon were in some ways similar to the Egyptian ones in that they resembled the snake. There were those, however, that represented the form of the crocodile, such as the “Makara”.  In Hindu myth the Indians identified the Dragon with nature. One of the Indian Dragons, “Vritra”, caused drought by withholding water in its body until it is slain by Indra, god of rain, with a bolt of lightning thus starting the monsoon. While there are many similarities with the Egyptian images, we can also see influences from the Chinese Lung type.  The Indians Naga are more snake-like with a human head and a long thin limbless body.  But they are also water elementals, controlling rain and thus determining the flooding of the major river deltas.

They live in an underground city (some describe it as a watery underworld) and are also believed to protect springs, wells and rivers. They are also the symbol of fertility. In Hindu mythology, the serpent-dragon Vritra, which adopts a cloud-like form, absorbed the cosmic waters then coiled upon a mountainside. When it was killed by the thunderbolts thrown by the god Indra, life-giving waters flowed down the mountains.

Islamic:
Dragons in the Islamic world initially started out as astronomical figures, and were linked to the Egyptian myth of Re’s voyage through the underworld.

The Dragon “Jawzahr” was thought to be responsible for eclipses and comets. The Dragons “Draco” and “Serpentarius” were emblazoned in the stars.

There are many tales in Persian mythology of Dragons representing evil being slain by heroes, influenced by the Greek legends.

It is from this that the idea of Dragons guarding treasure emerges, the treasure eventually passing to the King who represents good.

This, however, was not to last. (When the Mongols invaded Persia they imposed their own Chinese style images).
Mayan and Aztec:

The Mayan “Kukulkan”, later the Aztec “Quetzalcoatl”, was both good and evil, and it was thought to rule the four parts of the Earth. The greatest god of the Aztecs was “Xiuhtecuhtli” who took on many manifestations, one of which being the fire serpent. There are parallels with the Chinese myths in that Quetzalcoatl is described as being able to take the form of the Sun and is depicted as being swallowed by the Earth serpent thus causing an eclipse.

African:
The “Amphisbaena” was a two-headed dragon (one at the front, and one on the end of its tail). The front head would hold the tail (or neck as the case may be) in its mouth, creating a circle that allowed it to roll.

Apocalyptic beast:
{Biblical – Most likely Middle East} A creature mentioned in the Book of Revelation in the Bible. It has two horns, speaks like a dragon, and bears the mystical number of the devil.

Malay mythology:
Raja Naga, the King of Serpents is dragon-like and lives in the sea. In Indonesian mythology, the dragon-like creatures are more earth than water elements. The Javanese Naga of lore (left) is a mythical serpentine dragon that rules the underworld, hoarding immense treasures.
Batak lore speaks of Silampane or Naga Padoha who rules the middle-earth and can take the vital essence of the man who faces the wrong direction when fighting.

He also rules the moon and his wife lays eggs. Antaboga is an Indonesian underworld serpent that controls the production of rice. In Thailand, the Naga often has five heads and is a symbol of Narayana. In Myanmar, the naga are called Nats or serpent-gods.

Vietnam:
Dragons are similar to Chinese Dragons in appearance and behavior but are more sinuous and spit fire. But they also control rain and the weather, and are associated with the major rivers and the sea.
The Vietnamese Dragons are also closely associated with royalty. Like the Chinese and Japanese Dragons, they are believed to be the progenitors of the Vietnamese race.

North America:
The Piasa originated in North America, and was worshipped by the Algonquians. It had the body of a dragon, the head of a person, a lion’s mane, and a tail twice as long as a person.
This was a neo-dragon which lived near the Mississippi River. This dragon did not bother humans until it found dead ones and tried the meat. To its surprise, it liked the taste. It now hunted humans and abducted people to bring them back to its lair for dinner.

Ethiopia:
There is another neo-dragon known as “The Ethiopian Dream.” This type of dragon had four wings and two feet with claws. They have no breath, but they ate poisonous plants to make their bite and their scratches deadlier. They were large enough to kill elephants. Once four of them were reported to have woven themselves into a raft and sailed over the Red Sea to Arabia, where there was better places to hunt.
Quiz:
1. One of the oldest varieties of Dragon is thought to be the  _____________.
2. Lindworms were found in _________   ______.
3. The Dragon “Jawzahr” was thought to be responsible for _______ and ________.
4. Antaboga is an Indonesian underworld serpent that controls the production of ______.
5. The “Makara” represented the form of a __________.
6. The Babylonian Deity _______, created all kinds of dragons.
7. The “Amphisbaena” was a ___ – _____ dragon.

Author & Researcher: Crick
Website: The Whispering Woods

Whispering Woods Dragon Lore Course – Lesson Five

Whispering Woods Dragon Lore Course
Dragon Lore from other parts of the world

 Lesson Five

Egyptian:

Many believe this is the era in history where the dragon originated. In early Egypt the Dragon was chiefly a representation of the snake.

In Egyptian myth “Re” (the sun god) traveled through Duat (the underworld) each night. During the journey through the underworld Re reaches two open doors guarded by snakes, some having human heads and four legs, while others having three snake heads and wings. Re passes by these without incident as they are only guards.

Later on Re observes the demise of Apophis, the giant serpent representing chaos, whose severed coils are bound by Aker, a Dragon representing the Earth.
There are many occurrences of Dragons in Egyptian mythology, another example being Denwen. Denwen was attested in the third millennium B.C.E. and is described as a fiery serpent that would have caused a conflagration destroying all of the gods if it had not been thwarted by the King.
Amphitptere:

This dragon is thought to be one of the oldest varities of Dragon; the Amphitptere was a winged serpent-type without legs. In ancient history it was recorded in Egypt and in Arabia. Many believed that it guarded the precious Frankincense trees, from which a resin comes that is used in many cultures for religious purposes.

Babylonian:

The Babylonian Dragon is found in the Epic of Creation from the early second millennium B.C.E.
It details the struggle of “Apsu” (God of the primordial waters under the earth) and “Tiamat” (the sea) against their son “Ea”. Accordingly, Apsu is said to be defeated by Ea, who takes over his domain and produces a son, the god-hero

“Marduk”.

Tiamat created all sorts of Dragons, including the Mushussu Dragon, in order to have her revenge, but she is defeated in single combat by Marduk and her body is split to form the earth and the sky.

The Mushussu is subdued by Marduk and takes its place at his feet. These images were relatively short lived however, as the Chinese Lung types soon came to dominate in later Near Eastern mythology.
Lindworm:
The Lindworm had a serpentine-type body, one pair of legs, and it was wingless, therefore, it could not fly. Lindworms were found in Central Asia

.
India:
From thehe birthplace of Buddhism, around 500 BCE, we find pre-Buddhist snake or serpentine-like creatures known as the NAGA were incorporated early on into Buddhist mythology. Described as “water spirits with human shapes wearing a crown of serpents on their heads” or as “snake-like beings resembling clouds,” the NAGA are among the eight classes of deities who worship and protect the Historical Buddha.
Even before the Historical Buddha (Siddhartha, Guatama) attained enlightenment, the Naga King Mucilinda (Sanskrit) is said to have protected Siddhartha from wind and rain for seven days. This motif is found often in Buddhist art from India, represented by images of the Buddha sitting beneath Mucilinda’s hood and coils.  In early India, images of the Dragon were in some ways similar to the Egyptian ones in that they resembled the snake. There were those, however, that represented the form of the crocodile, such as the “Makara”.  In Hindu myth the Indians identified the Dragon with nature. One of the Indian Dragons, “Vritra”, caused drought by withholding water in its body until it is slain by Indra, god of rain, with a bolt of lightning thus starting the monsoon. While there are many similarities with the Egyptian images, we can also see influences from the Chinese Lung type.  The Indians Naga are more snake-like with a human head and a long thin limbless body.  But they are also water elementals, controlling rain and thus determining the flooding of the major river deltas.

They live in an underground city (some describe it as a watery underworld) and are also believed to protect springs, wells and rivers. They are also the symbol of fertility. In Hwaters then coiled upon a mountainside. When it was killed by the thunderbolts thrown by the god Indra, life-giving waters flowed down the mountains.
Islamic:
Dragons in the Islamic world initially started out as astronomical figures, and were linked to the Egyptian myth of Re’s voyage through the underworld.

The Dragon “Jawzahr” was thought to be responsible for eclipses and comets. The Dragons “Draco” and “Serpentarius” were emblazoned in the stars.

There are many tales in Persian mythology of Dragons representing evil being slain by heroes, influenced by the Greek legends.

It is from this that the idea of Dragons guarding treasure emerges, the treasure eventually passing to the King who represents good.

This, however, was not to last. (When the Mongols invaded Persia they imposed their own Chinese style images).
Mayan and Aztec:
The Mayan “Kukulkan”, later the Aztec “Quetzalcoatl”, was both good and evil, and it was thought to rule the four parts of the Earth. The greatest god of the Aztecs was “Xiuhtecuhtli” who took on many manifestations, one of which being the fire serpent. There are parallels with the Chinese myths in that Quetzalcoatl is described as being able to take the form of the Sun and is depicted as being swallowed by the Earth serpent thus causing an eclipse.
African:
The “Amphisbaena” was a two-headed dragon (one at the front, and one on the end of its tail). The front head would hold the tail (or neck as the case may be) in its mouth, creating a circle that allowed it to roll.
Apocalyptic beast:
{Biblical – Most likely Middle East} A creature mentioned in the Book of Revelation in the Bible. It has two horns, speaks like a dragon, and bears the mystical number of the devil.
Malay mythology:
Raja Naga, the King of Serpents is dragon-like and lives in the sea. In Indonesian mythology, the dragon-like creatures are more earth than water elements. The Javanese Naga of lore (left) is a mythical serpentine dragon that rules the underworld, hoarding immense treasures.

Batak lore speaks of Silampane or Naga Padoha who rules the middle-earth and can take the vital essence of the man who faces the wrong direction when fighting.

He also rules the moon and his wife lays eggs. Antaboga is an Indonesian underworldindu mythology, the serpent-dragon Vritra, which adopts a cloud-like form, absorbed the cosmicserpent that controls the production of rice. In Thailand, the Naga often has five heads and is a symbol of Narayana. In Myanmar, the naga are called Nats or serpent-gods.
Vietnam:
Dragons are similar to Chinese Dragons in appearance and behavior but are more sinuous and spit fire. But they also control rain and the weather, and are associated with the major rivers and the sea.

The Vietnamese Dragons are also closely associated with royalty. Like the Chinese and Japanese Dragons, they are believed to be the progenitors of the Vietnamese race.
North America:
The Piasa originated in North America, and was worshipped by the Algonquians. It had the body of a dragon, the head of a person, a lion’s mane, and a tail twice as long as a person.

This was a neo-dragon which lived near the Mississippi River. This dragon did not bother humans until it found dead ones and tried the meat. To its surprise, it liked the taste. It now hunted humans and abducted people to bring them back to its lair for dinner.
Ethiopia:
There is another neo-dragon known as “The Ethiopian Dream.” This type of dragon had four wings and two feet with claws. They have no breath, but they ate poisonous plants to make their bite and their scratches deadlier. They were large enough to kill elephants. Once four of them were reported to have woven themselves into a raft and sailed over the Red Sea to Arabia, where there was better places to hunt.
Quiz:
1. One of the oldest varieties of Dragon is thought to be the  _____________.
2. Lindworms were found in _________   ______.
3. The Dragon “Jawzahr” was thought to be responsible for _______ and ________.
4. Antaboga is an Indonesian underworld serpent that controls the production of ______.
5. The “Makara” represented the form of a __________.
6. The Babylonian Deity _______, created all kinds of dragons.
7. The “Amphisbaena” was a ___ – _____ dragon.

 

Source:

Author & Researcher

Crick

Website: Whispering Woods

Crick also offers an online ezine which is located at Black Hen E-Zine

 

The Myth of Cupid and Psyche (The Divine Love Story)

The Myth of Cupid and Psyche

The Divine Love Story or Myth of Cupid and Psyche

By , About.com

The great Greek goddess of love and beauty, Aphrodite, was born from the foam near the island of Cyprus, for which reason she is referred to as “the Cyprian.” Aphrodite was a jealous goddess, but she was also passionate. Not only did she love the men and gods in her life, but her sons and grandchildren, as well. Sometimes her possessive instincts led her too far. When her son Cupid found a human to love — one whose beauty rivaled hers — Aphrodite did all in her power to thwart the marriage.

How Cupid and Psyche Met

Psyche was worshiped for her beauty in her homeland. This drove Aphrodite mad, so she sent a plague and let it be known the only way the land could get back to normal was to sacrifice Psyche. The king, who was Psyche’s father, tied Psyche up and left her to her death at the hands of some presumed fearsome monster. You may note that this isn’t the first time in Greek mythology that this happened. The great Greek hero Perseus found his bride, Andromeda, tied up as prey for a sea monster. Andromeda was sacrificed to appease Poseidon who had ravaged the country of Ethiopia, which was ruled by her father, after Queen Cassiopeia had boasted about her own beauty. In the case of Psyche, it was Aphrodite’s son Cupid who released and married the princess.

The Mystery About Cupid

Unfortunately for the young couple, Cupid and Psyche, Aphrodite was not the only one trying to foul things up. Psyche had two sisters who were as jealous as Aphrodite.

Cupid was a wonderful lover and husband to Psyche, but there was one odd thing about their relationship: He made sure Psyche never saw what he looked like. Psyche didn’t mind. She had a fulfilling night life in the dark with her husband, and during the day, she had all the luxuries she could ever want.

When the sisters learned about the luscious, extravagant lifestyle of their lucky, beautiful sister, they urged Psyche to pry into the area of his life that Psyche’s husband kept hidden from her.

Cupid was a god, and gorgeous as he had to have been with Aphrodite for a mother, but for reasons known best to him, he didn’t want his mortal wife to see his form. Psyche’s sister didn’t know he was a god, although they may have suspected it. However, they did know that Psyche’s life was much happier than theirs. Knowing their sister well, they preyed on her insecurities and persuaded Psyche that her husband was a hideous monster.

Psyche assured her sisters they were wrong, but since she’d never seen him, even she started having doubts. Psyche decided to satisfy the girls’ curiosity, so that night she took a candle to her sleeping husband in order to look at him.

Cupid Deserts Psyche

Cupid’s angelic form was exquisite, so Psyche stood there gawking at her husband with her candle melting. While Psyche dawdled, ogling, a bit of wax dripped on her husband. Her rudely awakened, irate, disobeyed, injured husband-angel-god flew away.

“See, I told you she was a no good human,” said mother Aphrodite to her convalescing son Cupid. “Now you’ll have to be content among the gods.”

Cupid might have gone along with the de facto divorce, but Psyche couldn’t. Impelled by love of her gorgeous husband, she implored her mother-in-law to give her another chance. Aphrodite agreed, but ungraciously, saying, “I cannot conceive that any serving-wench as hideous as yourself could find any means to attract lovers save by making herself their drudge; wherefore now I myself will make trial of your worth.”

The Epic Trials of Psyche

But Aphrodite had no intention of playing fair. She devised 4 tasks (not 3 as is conventional in mythic hero quests; this is a feminine story), each task more exacting than the last. Psyche passed the first 3 challenges with flying colors:

  1. sort a huge mount of barley, millet, poppy seeds, lentils, and beans.   Ants (pismires) help her sort the grains within the time allotted.
  2. gather a hank of the wool of the shining golden sheep.   A reed tells her how to accomplish this task without being killed by the vicious animals.
  3. fill a crystal vessel with the water of the spring that feeds the Styx and Cocytus.   An eagle helps her out.

But the last task was too much for Psyche:

4. Aphrodite asked Psyche to bring her back a box of Persephone’s beauty cream.

Going to the Underworld was a challenge for the bravest of the Greek mythical heroes. Demigod Hercules could go to the Underworld without much bother, but even Theseus had trouble and had to be rescued by Hercules. Psyche barely batted an eye when Aphrodite told her she would have to go to the most dangerous region known to mortals. That part was easy, especially after the tower told her how to find the entryway to the Underworld, how get around Charon and Cerberus, and how to behave before the Underworld queen.

The part of the fourth task that was too much for Psyche was the temptation to make herself more beautiful. If the perfect beauty of the perfect goddess Aphrodite needed this Underworld beauty cream, Psyche reasoned, how much more would it help an imperfect mortal woman? Thus, Psyche retrieved the box successfully, but then she opened it and fell into a deathlike sleep, as Aphrodite had secretly predicted.

  “And by and by shee opened the boxe where she could perceive no beauty nor any thing else, save onely an infernall and deadly sleepe, which immediatly invaded all her members as soone as the boxe was uncovered, in such sort that she fell downe upon the ground, and lay there as a sleeping corps.”   William Adlington Translation (1566)

Reunion and Happy Ending to the Myth of Cupid and Psyche

At this point, divine intervention was called for if the story were to have an ending that made anyone really happy. With Zeus’ connivance, Cupid brought his wife to Olympus where, at Zeus’s command, she was given nectar and ambrosia so she would become immortal.

  “Incontinently after Jupiter commanded Mercury to bring up Psyches, the spouse of Cupid, into the Pallace of heaven. And then he tooke a pot of immortality, and said, Hold Psyches, and drinke, to the end thou maist be immortall, and that Cupid may be thine everlasting husband.

On Olympus, in the presence of the other gods, Aphrodite reluctantly reconciled with her pregnant daughter-in-law, who was about to give birth to a grandchild Aphrodite would (obviously) dote on, Pleasure.

Another Story of Cupid and Psyche

C.S. Lewis took Apuleius’ version of this myth and turned it on its ear in Till We Have Faces. The tender love story is gone. Instead of having the story seen through the eyes of Psyche, it’s seen through her sister Orval’s perspective. Instead of the refined Aphrodite of the Roman story, the mother goddess in C.S. Lewis’ version is a far more weighty, chthonic Earth-Mother-Goddess power.

More on C.S. Lewis and the re-telling of the Cupid and Psyche myth: A Great Gulf Fixed: The Problem of Obsessive Love in C.S. Lewis’ Till We Have Faces

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Celtic Tree Month – Reed (October 28th – November 23)

It is Now The Celtic Tree Month – Reed

Reed Moon

October 28 – November 23

Reed is typically used to make wind instruments and this time of year, its haunting sounds are sometimes heard when the souls of the dead are being summoned to the Underworld. The Reed Moon was called Negetal, pronounced by the Celtics and is some times referred to as the Elm Moon by modern Pagans. This is a time for divination and scrying. If you’re going to have a seance, this is an excellent month to do it. This month, do magickal workings related to spirit guides, energy work, meditation, celebration of death and honoroing the cycle of life and rebirth

How To Honor the Dark Mother at Mabon

How To Honor the Dark Mother at Mabon

By , About.com Guide

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

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

Here’s How:

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

What You Need

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