Posts Tagged With: goddess

International Women’s Day

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Wishing all my female readers a great International Women’s Day.
Embrace your inner Goddess.

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Reflections On Goddess – What Does Goddess Mean To Me?

The Goddess is the feminine energy of the earth and of the universe.

She is the energy that nurtures and brings forth life.

She is receptive, taking in male energy, slowly nurturing the seed to life.

She is the earth, giving forth her abundance.

 

She is the natural cycles of the seasons, the growth of summer, the dormancy of winter.

She is the bright, shining Lady of summer, green grass, grain and fruit.

She basks in the glow of the sun, taking in solar energy and giving back as sustenance.

The Goddess gives, providing for all that she has given life to.

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Goddess is the death of winter, the still and barren landscape.

She brings death, just as she brings life.

Goddess Winter bears her sickle and makes way for next summer’s growth.

 

Goddess gives and Goddess takes.

It is she that measures the thread of our lives, it is she that cuts that thread.

She weaves, measures and cuts.

Goddess is the rose and Goddess is the thorn.

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Goddess is provider, giving her creatures all they need to survive.

She is the crops of grain, sweet summer fruits and the sweet mountain river water.

She brings forth life and she provides for life.

Goddess is mother to us all.

 

Goddess is the silvery light of the moon.

She is the star-spangled night sky.

She is the comforting darkness of night.

She is the guiding light of the star, the mysterious light of the moon.

She holds her secrets of life and death, the mysteries we seek.

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Goddess is the cleansing ocean, the great womb from which we all emerged.

She is the water that sustains the land; rain, river and sea.

 

Goddess is all that nurtures, protects, brings forth and takes away.

She is life and death, nurture and protection.

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Personally, Goddess is my mother and my guide.

She provides the wisdom I need to grow.

She supports my understanding and learning.

She is the dark depths of the cauldron of wisdom, held deep within all women.

It is she who holds the mysteries, and plays them out all around us in the natural cycles of the earth. 

She is supportive and loving, but as mother, she can also give firm discipline.

As Dark Mother, she is ready with her sword, to cut away all that has outlived it’s purpose.

She wields the sword of justice and kindles the fires of transformation.

Mabon by Bastet

Mabon by Bastet

Goddess is mother.

She gave me life, she supports my life, and eventually, she will take my life.

But it is from her that I learn that all things are cyclic.

There are no endings without beginnings.

Life into death, death into life.

The infinite cycle of the universe.

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Finding Aphrodite

Aphrodite is the salty sea.
Ocean waters both calm and wild, like the temperament of woman.
She is skinny dipping under the light of a full moon.
The soft caress of water on bare flesh.
The cool kiss of the waves on a hot summer day.
She is drinking from the waters of a sweet mountain stream, invigorating and refreshing.

Aphrodite is the sensual sway of a woman’s body, as she dances to a heavy drumbeat.
She is the curves of a woman, a breast, a hip.
She is her velvet soft skin.

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Sourced from Pinterest, photographer unknown

Aphrodite is wild sex on a hot summers day.
She is slow and sensual love-making on a warm summer eve.
Skin, sweat, heat and passion.
She is the early stages of love, simmering desire and romance.

Aphrodite is the verdant earth under summer sun.
She is summer flower, the red blush of bottle brush.
I see her in the native flora of Australia, heat and beauty combined.

Aphrodite is the heat of the summer sun on my skin.
She is pure physicality.
Those moments when I feel most in my body.

She is the beat of rhythmic music, enticing me to dance.
She is the overt sexuality of the belly dancer, all skin, breast and swaying hips.
She is movement and the joys of the flesh.
She is the sexuality of all women who have ever been desired

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Aphrodite is a warm bubblebath by candlelight.
Water on flesh, relaxation, sensuality.

Aphrodite is beauty.
The soft and supple body of the young woman.
The curve of the mother’s belly.
Ample breasts and full hips.

Aphrodite is Venus.
The morning and evening star, a shining jewel on the horizon.
She is the silvery glow of the full moon, the bright promise of the waxing crescent.

Sunlight. Summer. Heat. Passion. Sensuality. Sex. Sweat. Skin. Orgasm. Delight.

Aphrodite is the beauty and pleasures of life.
Both those of our bodies and those of the wonders that surround us.
She is laughter and pure naked joy.
In the best moments of our lives, can Aphrodite be found.
She is among the simple things, the tinkling of a bell in the breeze.
The sweet scent of the rose in full bloom and the velvet touch of a petal.
She is inherent in all things that bring pleasure to our senses.

Aphrodite is woman.
She is the hidden mysteries of the vulva and clitoris, that which brings pleasure and brings forth new life.
She is within all women, to varying degree.
She brings the confidence that comes with wearing beautiful clothes, or fitting into that old pair of jeans again.
The confidence and grace of knowing one’s own beauty, however fleeting.
Aphrodite is within the woman who holds her head eye and struts forth with confidence.
She is us when we are feeling our best, beautiful, confident and knowing we are desired.

 

Aphrodite – Lover Of Laughter

Categories: Gods and Goddesses | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ostara – Spring Equinox

Ostara celebrates the high point of Spring and the perfect balance of night and day, dark and light.

 

From here on in, the days get longer, leading us out into the Summer months.

The earth has awakened from her winter slumber and is now in full bloom, cloaked in petals, a riot of color.

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At the Spring Equinox, the sun reaches its midpoint along the eastern horizon.

During the year, the sun travels from north to south and back again.

At the Winter Solstice the sun can be seen rising from its furthermost point of travel northward.

At the Summer Solstice the sun rises from its furthest point in the south.

If you are observant of the sun, you can clearly see the sun travel along the horizon as the year waxes and wanes.

As the sun reaches this point of balance, it brings us back into the light half of the year and leads us into summer.

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For me, Ostara is my Jasmine bushes, bursting into flower.

Ostara is the sweet scent of flowers on the breeze.

Ostara is gold and green, fields of canola and wheat, side by side.

It is my garden in bloom, a mass of color.

It is the buzzing of bees and the scent of a freshly mown lawn.

Ostara is the nostalgia of Summer, soon to come.

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Fertility is the main symbolism of Ostara.

The hare accompanies the Goddess, a symbol of rampant fertility, and a reference of the Lunar Goddess, as a Hare can be seen in the moon.

Eggs are a huge part of the symbolism of Ostara, of which the fertility reference cannot be ignored.

The egg is symbolic of the female reproductive egg and rebirth and renewal.

Ostara Maiden by art of the empath

Ostara Maiden by art of the empath

Another symbol of Ostara, is the snake.

Snakes are now emerging from hibernation, awakening and warming themselves in the growing heat of the sun.

A snake is also symbolic of renewal, as it sheds its skin, new life emerging from the old.

Many snakes lay eggs, giving birth to the fertility of spring.

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Ostara is the rebirth of Persephone.

Having made the long ascent from The Underworld, she has returned to her Mother, Demeter’s side.

Persephone is the petal, the flower, the fresh spring growth.

Demeter rejoices at the return of her Daughter, and blesses the earth with fertility, bringing forth the agricultural year.

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At Ostara, God and Goddess reach sexual maturity.

Their rising desire is all around us, the blooming of plants, awakening of the earth, the rising sap in the trees.

God and Goddess now come together and make love for the first time.

 

The fertility theme is incorporated into the very name of this Sabbat.

Eostre is an old lunar Goddess and is the origin of the word ‘estrogen’, the female hormone.

 

The Christian celebration of Easter is a shameless rip-off of the Ostara Sabbat.

The symbolism of the hare and Easter egg are overtly Pagan, and while the egg can easily be said to be a symbol of resurrection, Christians find the Easter Bunny a bit harder to explain!

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Ostara is at once a time of renewal and of letting go.

As the earth shrugs free from the chains of Winter, we too can take the opportunity to free ourselves of that which no longer serves us.

This is a good time to let go of bad habits and old resentments, so we can begin the light half of the year anew.

Just as the dark side of the wheel comes to a close, the light half now begins, so this is also the perfect time to start something new.

 

What do you need to free yourself of?

What do you wish to begin?

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Ostara Incense:

  • 3 part Frankincense
  • 2 pt Sandalwood
  • 1 pt Benzoin
  • 1 pt Cinnamon
  • Few Drops of Patchouli Oil

Deities:

  • Aphrodite
  • Cernunnos
  • Eostre
  • Green Man
  • Persephone
  • Gaia
  • Maiden Goddesses
  • Solar Goddesses
Spring altar of Gaia

Spring altar of Gaia

Colors:

  • Pink
  • Yellow
  • Pastels

Symbols:

  • Flowers
  • Light
  • Eggs
  • Jasmine
  • Snakes
  • Eostre baskets
  • Hares, Rabbits
  • Petals
  • Green Leaves
  • Blossoms

Stones:

  • Amethyst
  • Red Jasper

Herbs & Plants:

  • Jasmine
  • Lavender
  • Wisteria
  • Dandelion
  • Young Leaves
  • All flowering plants

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Categories: Pagan Blog Project, The Sabbats | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Imbolc – First Stirrings

The Sabbat of Imbolc is celebrated at the height of winter, but in contrast to the cold and dreary days, this is a celebration of the early signs of spring.

Imbolc (or Imbolg), translates to ‘In the belly’, a reference to the potential for life, held within the belly of the Great Mother, our earth.

Another version of Imbolc, is ‘Oimelc’, which means ‘Ewe’s Milk’, making reference to the lambing season which Imbolc coincides with.

 

Imbolc marks the halfway point between the Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox.

The days are gradually growing longer, with the sun rising a few minutes earlier each morning.

The trees are beginning to bud and seeds begin to stir under the soil.

In the midst of winter, the promise of spring abounds.

Imbolc is a fire festival, though not a solar celebration, but a day when we celebrate a return to the light and the lengthening of the days.

Personally, Imbolc is a celebration of the quickening earth, a joyous recognition of the Great Mother awakening from her winter slumber.

The Goddess Awakens

The Goddess Awakens

I know when Imbolc has arrived, by the profusion of yellow across the countryside.

Wattle is the harbinger of spring for me.

It’s bright and cheery color is a welcome relief from the dreary winter landscape and brings with it the hope that the warmth and light of Spring shall soon be upon us.

The small yellow flowers of the wattle are symbolic of the sun.

Here in Australia, with our warm climate, the early signs of spring are very evident, as the almond and wild cherry trees blossom white, alongside the vibrant yellow of the wattle.

Platypus {Ornithorhynchus anatinus} swimming underwater

Imbolc sees the commencement of the breeding season of the platypus, the native monotreme unique to Australia.

The platypus is an extremely elusive animal, which lives in the creeks and streams.

I have lived in Australia my entire life, and have sighted the platypus only once in the wild.

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In rural Australia, Imbolc is lambing season.

This brings us the traditional roots of Imbolc: milk, cheese and dairy products.

Milk again begins to flow, as new life pops up in paddocks everywhere.

This would have been a festive time in the old days, having dairy products again, as winter food supplies began to dwindle.

The return of milk brought promise of the abundant food supplies soon to come.

 

Mythology-

The Goddess is evident in all three aspects.

She is the Maiden, young and playful, leading us out into Spring.

She is the Mother, nurturing her seeds within the Earth.

She is the Crone, retreating into the shadows of Winter.

Imbolc is sacred to Brighid, the Celtic Triple Goddess of Fire, Poetry, Metal Working, Crafts, Fertility and Healing.

Hestia, the Greek Goddess of the Hearth and Home, has several similarities to Brighid, and can be honored at Imbolc also.
Ask Hestia for assistance in ritually purifying the home, as part of your Imbolc celebrations.

Brighid by Jo Jayson

Brighid by Jo Jayson

The Great Goddess has now recovered from giving birth at Yule, the young God, the child at her breast.

He is reflected in the gradually growing sunlight which gently caresses the earth, the Maiden, the Mother,  in childlike innocence.

The Goddess is Mother, yet she turns to her aspect of Maiden at Imbolc, her innocence and fresh vitality reflected in the buds and early flowering blossoms.

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Persephone prepares to return from her time in The Underworld.

She will soon rejoin her Mother, Demeter, who will rejoice at her return, bringing the lush profusion of Spring upon the earth.

Persephone is the seed that lies in the soil, no longer dormant, but ready to burst forth under the light of the growing sun.

In The Underworld she has been renewed, life from death in the fecund earth that is the realm of the Queen of Corpses.

During Winter she presides over the shades of the dead, but upon her return she is the vibrant daughter, the bright petalled flower.

During Spring she is life just begun, life in all its infinite possibility.

Persephone Awakens

Persephone Awakens

Another myth of Imbolc is that of the Cailleach, the old crone that brings winter down upon the land.

It is said that the length of the winter can be determined by the weather on the day of Imbolc.

If she intends to make the winter last longer, she will need to replenish her wood pile to keep herself warm in the days ahead.

If the day is sunny, then the Cailleach will be out wood carting.

But if the day of Imbolc brings bad weather, the old woman sleeps, and will soon deplete her stock of wood, being forced to bring an end to winter.

The Cailleach - Altara The Dark

The Cailleach – Altara The Dark

Imbolc Activities- 

At Imbolc we plant the metaphorical seeds of our goals and plans, for the year ahead.

In practical terms, I will list my goals and the steps I need to take to achieve them.

I have many ideas floating around this year and need to decide which of them I wish to plant and nurture.

Imbolc is the perfect time to begin planning the achievements of your goals, working with the natural flow of the Earth.

It also sets a natural time of completion, of achievement, for the harvest Sabbats towards the end of the year, Lughnasadh, Mabon and Samhain.

Working with the natural rhythms of the earth and sun in this way, has brought about much success for me, and each year I look forward to harnessing this power to realize my ambitions.

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Imbolc is a time of purification, cleansing and new beginnings.

It is a good time to reflect on the bad habits you no longer wish to carry with you, and to perform banishing spells to free yourself of the burden.

Spell work of purification, rejuvenation, health and vitality, fertility and growth and renewal, are all the work of Imbolc.

Ritual purification and cleansing of the home should be performed, clearing the home of negativity and setting a positive trend for the year ahead.

Work that blesses your future endeavors, such as good luck and prosperity spells are appropriate.

This is also a good time to cleanse and rededicate your Craft tools and sacred spaces.

Fire- Element of Cleansing and Purification

Fire- Element of Cleansing and Purification

Imbolc is sometimes also known as Candlemas, which comes from the Christian festival.

Interesting in itself, because Brighid herself was made a Saint in the Catholic Church.

The name, Candlemas, can also be interpreted literally, as it is traditional Imbolc practice to light every candle in the house, or place a lit candle in every window, as a way to welcome back the light.

It is also a good time to cleanse and consecrate new candles for future ritual use.

Imbolc is a powerful time for working candle magick in all it’s forms.

A great Imbolc activity, is to actually make candles for future ritual and spell use.

Otherwise, cleanse and consecrate candles you have purchased for future use.

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As a time of beginnings, Imbolc is the perfect time for initiations into the Craft.

I like to use Imbolc as a time to rededicate myself to my practice and my Mother Goddess.

This is something I like to do annually, to renew my promise to myself and my Mother and to set new spiritual ideals for myself.

 

Imbolc Altar

Imbolc Altar

As Brighid is a Goddess of craft, you can also get creative at Imbolc.

Making Brighid’s crosses is traditional for Imbolc.

As is making a ‘bed’ for Brighid, to welcome her into the home.

You can also make a pine cone wand, which is a symbol of The God and represents the promise of God and Goddess coming together at Beltane.

Brighid's Cross

Brighid’s Cross

One of my favorite Imbolc traditions, is that of Brighid’s mantle.

Brighid taught the Irish to weave and is the Patron Goddess of Knitting and Crochet.

She would sit at her loom, beside the hearth, weaving the very flames into her work.

If you knit, crochet or quilt, make a blanket or shawl and leave it outside your house at Imbolc.

As Brighid passes, it will drawn her attention.

As she admires your handiwork, her touch will bless your creation and it will bestow her healing energy on anyone who wears it.

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On a more practical level, honor the spirit of Imbolc by spring cleaning your home and ridding yourself of possessions you no longer use.

Having a good spring clean is a good way to start a new, clutter-free, year.

 

Take the time for a walk through the countryside, keeping your eyes open for signs of the return of Spring.

Spring is discreet right now, but she is making her first appearance.

 

 

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Imbolc Incense:

  • 3pt Frankincense
  • 2pt Dragons Blood
  • 1/2pt Red Sandalwood
  • 1pt Cinnamon
  • Few drops Red Wine
  • Pinch of the first flower available (Dried)

 

Brandied Milk and Honey:

This is a traditional favorite for my family and I.

  • 375ml Full Cream Milk
  • 75g Honey
  • 75ml Brandy
  1. Stir milk and honey over low heat until honey dissolves.
  2. Bring to just below boiling. (Be very careful not to let it boil!)
  3. Remove from heat and stir through the brandy.
  4. Serve hot.

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Imbolc Colors:

  • White
  • Red
  • Pale Yellow
  • Silver
  • Pink

Herbs:

  • Basil
  • White Sage
  • Bay
  • Chamomile
  • Cinnamon
  • Crocus
  • Dandelion
  • Dill
  • Frankincense
  • Myrrh
  • Primrose
  • Rosemary
  • Wattle
  • First flowers of the year.

Symbols:

  • Lamps
  • Wells
  • Cauldrons
  • Candles
  • Besom
  • White Flowers
  • Candle Wheels
  • Brighid’s Bed
  • Brighid’s Crosses
  • Anything Iron, like horseshoes
  • The Star tarot card

Animals:

  • Lamb
  • Platypus
  • Snake
  • Swan

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Foods:

  • Curries
  • Onions
  • Chives
  • Garlic
  • Wine
  • Seeds
  • Honey Cakes
  • Milk
  • Yogurt
  • Cheese

Stones:

Deities:

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Categories: The Sabbats | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

At The Crossroads – Finding My Way

Things have changed for me in a big way this past week.

Hecate, my Matron Goddess, has reawakened with the dawning shadows of Winter and is asserting her will, strongly, as is her way.

I have found myself at her crossroads, only there is no decision to be made, for my torch bearing Goddess has marked the way.

With the revelations of the past week, I have dropped the title of Wiccan for something I feel is more expansive, I am a Witch.

 

Only a week ago, I would have identified my path as Wiccan.

Wiccan in the sense that there is a God and a Goddess.

That the Wheel Of The Year is celebrated.

That the Full Moon is a time of ritual celebration.

That the Dark Moon may or may not be a time of darker magick, meditation and looking within.

 

I have tried the ways of Wicca for a few years now, but it has never felt quite right for me, never really came from the heart.

There are many parts of Wicca that do work.

A symbolistic approach to the Wheel works.

The Goddess works.

Much of the Wiccan ritual structure works.

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What doesn’t work is the strong focus on polarity.

Always male and female. masculine and feminine, anima and animus, God and Goddess.

This has never worked for me.

Invoking The God during a full moon rite, has never felt right.

I could never put my heart into it, so abandoned that whole idea quickly.

I understand about the moon only being lit by the sun, but this never seemed to matter.

Deep down inside, it just never resonated for me.

For me, my Full Moon rites are worked with The Goddess.

Just her and I , under the light of the moon.

This works and just feels right.

 

I have never really had a Patron God.

I have tried, have made connections.

Herne was with me for a while and I thought I had found Him.

I was sad when he left, but understood he had left me a gift.

He had been with me when I was in need of his particular energies.

He gave what he needed, wanted, to give and then he left.

 

Hecate has been there from the beginning, has been with me always.

She called me to her and has been by my side ever since.

The reality of her presence in my rites is something to behold.

She has always been so strong and vital in my life.

I have never experienced that level of thereness, with any other Deity I have worked with.

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Now, during a week of some deep Dark Goddess work, I know where my path leads.

My path is Hecate, in all her varied aspects and splendor.

Hecate, both light and dark.

She has much to teach me, much to give me and she wants my full and undivided attention.

This sits well with me, as deep down, I have always known she was my Goddess, my only Goddess.

She is creator, protector, teacher, guide, friend and mother.

Hecate is the Goddess who will guide me, into the light, into the dark, towards wisdom, knowledge and the mysteries.

 

Now, finally, I have surrendered to her will.

I redressed my altar, dedicating it solely to her, as it was when I began these ways.

Hecate has been a happy participant during this process, even providing some of the items upon said altar.

When my Husband brought me home a shed snake-skin, I couldn’t help but smile knowingly.

 

My Horned God statue now sits proudly on the small communal altar in my lounge room.

This too feels right, as the solar Sabbats are celebrated as a family.

I enjoy celebrating Sabbats, as does my muggle family (even if just for the lavish feasts I prepare), and we will continue to do this.

Honoring the cycles of the sun, the endless wheel of the seasons, is just part of who I am.

Even though fitting the Wheel Of The Year to the Australian climate requires much juggling, I have found much symbolism and discovery within its framework.

At the Sabbats, I give thanks for His light, His energy, His yearly sacrifice.

I love the concept of the Horned God and His Wild Hunt.

Yet, honoring The God has always been an outer activity, one to celebrate and share with my family.

Honoring The Goddess is a personal and quiet affair, Her mysteries aren’t conducive to sharing, they are just known and understood.

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Polarity and equality has just not worked for me.

Working with both God and Goddess at every rite, every working.

I tried, but it never rang true to me.

I believe this is to do directly with Hecate.

Other Goddesses pair well with their masculine counterparts, Aphrodite and Pan at Beltane, for instance.

But Hecate just seems to have both bases covered in this regard.

She feels whole and complete.

 

Hecate is a loner, a solitary Goddess.

She also carries symbols that are considered to be masculine, her sword and her torches.

Hecate is enough for me, she fulfills me in ways a pair of Deities just do not.

But then, this is why I am a proud solitary.

I can work my path any which way I please.

I am not bound by tradition, either in the larger sense or with the traditions and beliefs of a specific coven.

My path is mine and mine alone, I can do with it as I please.

Or maybe, as She pleases.

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At this time, as the sun wanes in the sky, as the days become noticeably shorter, I feel the pull of The Dark Goddess.

From now until the Wheel turns anew, my path is that of the Dark Moon, the Dark Goddess and The Underworld.

It is time to draw within, to learn of myself and the sometimes harsh, sometimes compassionate, face of the Dark Goddess.

Who better than to lead the way down these darkened paths and the treacherous caverns of The Underworld, than that ancient guide herself,  Hecate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Witchcraft | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Aphrodite – Lover Of Laughter

Aphrodite is well-known as the Goddess of Love.
She also goes by the names Lover of Laughter and The Golden One.
I believe these two titles sum up the sparkling energy of Aphrodite, the original Mother Goddess.

Beltane and Litha is the time of the year when the magic of Aphrodite is most strongly felt, when you don’t have to be Pagan to feel her abundant summer energy.
As summer begins, Aphrodite awakens the earth, just as she awakens our spirit.
Her passion can be felt in the lengthening days, the flourishing earth, the growing heat of the sun.
As the roses bloom, so to does the influence and love of Aphrodite.

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As the Goddess of Love, Aphrodite brings peace, compassion and civilization to humanity.
In the southern hemisphere, Litha (or Midsummer) coincides with Christmas celebrations, the so-called time of goodwill and peace on earth.
I believe this harmony of existence stems more from the influence of Aphrodite, than our backwards summer Christmas.
Around this time, approaching the end of the year for most (for Witches, Litha marks the height of the year), people are kinder towards one another, more compassionate to their fellow-man.
No doubt the holiday season contributes to this, but love, peace, compassion and kindness are all qualities inspired by the Goddess of Love.

Aphrodite was born of the sea, springing from a combination of the blood of Ouranos and sea-foam, a child of the heavens and the sea.
After her inception, she washed up upon the shores of Cyprus, a Divine child upon the waves.
Each year, Aphrodite returns to the place of her birth to wash herself clean, restoring her virginity in the waves of her birth.
Because of this process, she can be both sexually active and eternally virginal.

When Aphrodite found her way to Mount Olympus, the home of the Gods, Zeus knew instantly that her arrival would cause problems.
Being so divinely beautiful, there were sure to be arguments and strife, as Gods and Goddesses alike fought for her attentions.
In this Zeus was right, as it is only Athena, Artemis and Hera who are resistant to the womanly charms of Aphrodite.

Hephaestus

Hephaestus

Zeus solved this problem by marrying her off to Hephaestus, God of the Smith.
Hephaestus was an ugly old man and a cripple, he was also kind and of a good nature.
Hephaestus’ calm and gentle demeanor was not enough for a Goddess who worshipped beauty, and she began to stray from her arranged marriage.
Aphrodite and Ares, the God of War, began an affair early on in Aphrodite’s marriage to Hephaestus.
It would seem Aphrodite, like many women, was attracted to the bad boy type, Ares being a bit of a renegade and rebel among the Gods of Olympus.

Aphrodite’s affair with Ares did cause her some problems.
During one of their dalliances they were spotted by Apollo, the Solar God.
Apollo was quick to dob in the pair and Hephaestus quick to act.
He crafted and unbreakable net using his forge and set off to surprise his wayward wife and her lover.
When he came upon them, locked in their lovers embrace, Hephaestus threw his net, capturing them both inside.
He then called upon the other Gods to come and witness Aphrodite in her shame.
The Gods acquiesced and appeared at the bedside of the captured lovers, laughing and pointing, relishing in their shame.

Aphrodite and Ares

Aphrodite and Ares

This public shaming did not stop Ares and Aphrodite, though.
She would go on to bear three children to the God of War; a daughter she named Harmony, and two sons, Fear and Terror.
An interesting combination the two Divinities make, Love and War, to then go on and give birth to Fear, Terror and Harmony.

Though she had many affairs with Ares, the true love of Aphrodite’s life is Adonis, the God of Beauty and Desire.
(Adonis is often portrayed in the modern age, as Cupid).
Adonis’ pregnant mother was turned into a Myrrh tree by the Gods for her own protection.
Born of the tree, Adonis was then left without a Mother to care for him.
Aphrodite came upon the defenceless infant and took him in, giving him a home.
She loved the young God dearly, trusting him only to Persephone to babysit.
Persephone was also enraptured with the beauty of the God, falling in love with him, as had Aphrodite.
When Aphrodite returned to the Underworld to take back the child, the two Goddesses fought viciously over him.
Hearing the great ruckus, Zeus intervened, and settled the argument of the warring Goddesses by splitting the custody of Adonis between them.
Adonis would spend four months of the year above ground with Aphrodite, and four months in the Underworld with Persephone.
The remaining four he could spend as he pleased, though he always chose to stay by the side of Aphrodite.
As Adonis matured into adulthood, everyone was happy with this arrangement.

Aphrodite and Adonis

Aphrodite and Adonis

Adonis loved the thrill of the hunt, spending much of his above ground time engaged in the sport.
Although hunting goes against the nature of the Goddess of Love, she took up the sport to spend time with her beloved.
One day while the pair were out hunting wild boar, Aphrodite tired of the chase and decided to return home.
She pleaded with Adonis not to put himself in danger, that if any boar should show aggression, he should concede and return home to her.
Unfortunately, Adonis did not heed the warning of the Goddess, and when a boar decided to charge him, he stood his ground.
In the scuffle, Adonis was mortally wounded by the boar, ( Who could likely have been a jealous Ares in disguise).
Hearing his cries, Aphrodite rushed back into the forest, returning to find her dying lover, bleeding his last onto the earth.
Aphrodite was too late and was unable to save him.
Adonis again descended to the Underworld, this time his stay was to be permanent.

Death of Adonis

Death of Adonis

A grieving Aphrodite, deeply mourning the loss of her lover, petitioned Zeus that Adonis be returned to her.
Seeing the depth of her grief  Zeus conceded, permitting Adonis to return to the earth, to Aphrodite, for half of the year.
The other half to be spent as a shade in the Underworld.
As such, Adonis is a sacrificial god, his return bringing the delight of Aphrodite upon the earth, his descent bringing her mourning, the annual death and rebirth of the earth.

Aphrodite is the epitome of a fertility Goddess.
She is the original earth Goddess, bringing growth and abundance in her wake.
Wherever she walks, flowers bloom in her wake.
Patriarchy diminished the true nature of Aphrodite, as it did to many of the ancient Goddesses, reducing her to only a Goddess of sex and passion.
Her temples were the home of her sacred prostitutes, where men could go and make love to these priestesses of Aphrodite, symbolically making love to the Goddess herself.
This no doubt pleased Aphrodite, as she loves pleasure in all its forms, but it is sad that this is all she became.
Her aspects of fertility and Mother Goddess buried beneath the sex and passion aspects of the Goddess.

Aphrodite and Adonis

Aphrodite and Adonis

As a Goddess of Love, Aphrodite rules over all things of beauty, love, sex, passion, of friendship, compassion and earthly pleasures.
She is playful, affectionate and loving.
She brings passion and desire to a marriage, renewing relationships gone stale, breathing the energy of young love into our hearts and souls.
Aphrodite can return us to the spirit of our youth, returning a sense of wonder, discovery and joy to our lives.
She enjoys our human and material pleasures, looking after your body and pampering yourself pleases Aphrodite.
Her Sabbats of Beltane and Midsummer are a time of laughter, joy, friendship, dancing and wild abandon.
All these things are that which please Aphrodite.

Love has the power to change our lives, and Aphrodite changes our hearts and our souls with love and compassion.

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Correspondences Of Aphrodite:

Colors: 

  • Pink
  • Red
  • White
  • Gold

Symbols:

  • Morning and Evening Star
  • Venus
  • Hand Mirror
  • Sea Shells
  • Ocean
  • Roses
  • All Aphrodisiacs

Animals:

  • Dolphin
  • Goat
  • Swan
  • Goose
  • Dove
  • Birds In General

Crystals:

Moon Phase:

  • Waxing
  • Full

Seasons & Sabbats:

  • Spring
  • Summer
  • Beltane
  • Litha ( Midsummer Solstice)

Herbs & Plants:

  • Rose
  • Jasmine
  • Lily
  • Frankincense
  • Hyacinth
  • Apple
  • Pomegranate

Offerings:

  • Rose and Rose Petals
  • Red Wine
  • Honey
  • Gold
  • Gold Jewellery

 

Finding Aphrodite

 

Categories: Gods and Goddesses | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Heart Of Witchcraft

What is Witchcraft?

 

Witchcraft is casting circle under the light of a full moon.

Drawing up the energy of the earth, feeling it flow into your body, your soul.

Feeling earth energy merge into your own, your very being.

Feeling that energy pour from your body, to create a sphere of protection, of harmony.

 

Witchcraft is calling upon the elements that sustain life.

Feeling the breeze in your hair, on your face.

Feeling the wind cleanse your soul.

 

Feeling the solid earth beneath your feet.

Becoming still, becoming grounded, becoming as ancient stone.

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Feeling the gentle caress of water, reflecting moonlight in its depths.

The soft, pliant energy of the heart.

Feeling sadness, joy, all emotion together as one.

 

Feeling the heat of the summer sun.

The joy of adventure, the heat of desire.

 

Feeling it all entwine, come together, encircle you, empower you.

Feeling balanced, complete, one with creation.

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Witchcraft is the full moon in a starlit sky, bathing you in its ethereal silver glow.

Witchcraft is the moon reflected on a silver blade.

It is calling down the moon, invoking the lunar Goddess.

Watching her descend, enclosed in her silver light.

Spiralling light, bathing, filling, replenishing.

It is feeling the power of the Goddess around you, within you, becoming one, becoming her.

Witchcraft is completeness, empowerment, joy, love and wild abandon.

 

Witchcraft is the Charge of The Goddess, spoken in a voice that is no longer quite your own.

It is hearing the tones of the moon, the Goddess, flowing from your tongue.

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Witchcraft is the Great Rite.

The flash of blade thrust into chalice.

It is power, energy, magick.

It is partaking of the blessing.

Red wine, filled with power.

 

Witchcraft is moonlight, firelight, candlelight.

It is energy, power, empowerment.

Witchcraft is casting circle under the light of the moon.

Witchcraft is the Goddess, joining, as one.

Witchcraft is becoming one with the universe and knowing your are, at this moment, at the centre of it all.

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Categories: Pagan Blog Project, Witchcraft | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Lunar Eclipse In October

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Just a little heads up.
On the night of the October full moon, there will be a full lunar eclipse happening.

The Goddess has really put on a celestial show, these last few months, what with all those beautiful and powerful super moons.

I am especially excited about this eclipse, as with the weather finally warming up, this will be my first esbat circle of the year (Witch’s year) which I can comfortably hold outdoors.
This amazing event feels like a little ‘welcome back’ gift from Selene herself. 

What are your plans for this special Esbat?
Do you work with an eclipsed moon, or just enjoy the show?
I’d be interested in hearing some opinions and ideas on lunar eclipse energy. 

Categories: the moon, Witchcraft | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Persephone

P is for Persephone, Maiden of Spring and Queen of the Dead.

Known also as Kore, young maiden, or Proserpina, by the Romans.

persephonemaidenPersephone led a peaceful and quiet life, up until her kidnapping.

Though, due to her great beauty, she was highly sought after as a consort, her Mother, Demeter, sheltered her much-loved Daughter and kept her far away from Olympus.

Hermes, Ares, Apollo and Hephaestus had all tried their hand with Persephone, but Demeter had rejected their advances on her Daughter’s behalf.

Demeter and Persephone were earthly Goddesses, preferring to keep their own company and live among the wilds of nature.

Persephone, walking ahead of her Mother, bought the growth of Spring upon the land.

 

The peaceful existence of Mother and Daughter came to an end, when unbeknownst to them both, a deal was struck between Hades and Zeus, Persephone’s Father.

Zeus agreed that Hades may take Persephone as his Wife, and the two plotted together to make this happen.

persephoneflowers

Zeus had laid some beautiful flowers in a meadow, in order to lure Persephone to the trap.

The most beautiful flower, of one hundred, sweetly scented petals, laid in wait for a girl “of a flowers beauty”.

Persephone came upon this garden of allure, while out picking flowers with Artemis and some nymphs.

When she saw the beautiful flower, she reached out to pick it.

The moment her hands touched its stem, the earth opened up beneath her and Hades grabbed hold of the lovely Maiden, dragging her down into The Underworld.

Despite being in company, the abduction happened so quickly,  that none of Persephone’ companions saw it happen.

The only witnesses to the kidnapping was Helios, the Sun God, and the Goddess Hecate, who heard Persephone’s cries for help from her cave.

Demeter was frantic when she discovered her Daughter missing, and fell into a deep depression.

She was furious at the nymphs that had been with her Daughter, and had not intervened.

In punishment, Demeter turned them into the Sirens.

 

On the tenth day of Demeter’s search, Hekate came to her and told her that though she had not seen the abduction, she had heard the girl’s cries.

Hekate suggested approaching Helios, to see what he knew of the disappearance.

Helios told the two Goddesses all he knew, the abduction, the plot and the player’s behind it.

Helios also suggested to Demeter that she leave things as they were, that Hades was a powerful Lord of many and that he would make a good Husband for her Daughter.

Demeter did not, could not, accept this, so she took her plight to Zeus.

Zeus too, refused to return Persephone, arguing that Hades was the right match for the Maiden Goddess.

persephone and hades

Demeter went away with a heavy heart and refused to fertilize the Earth.

The seasons came to a standstill, plant life withered and died.

It wasn’t until Zeus tired of the cries of the hungry mortals below, that he knew he had to right the situation.

Hekate, who is at home in The Underworld, was sent to retrieve Persephone, but Hades, unwilling to relinquish his beautiful new bride, had a trick up his sleeve.

Before he released The Maiden to Hecate, he tricked her into eating four pomegranate seeds, one for each month that she would have to return to him.

ER-Skull-and-Pomegranates

So, although Persephone was returned to her mother, she was bound to return to The Underworld for four months of every year.

When Mother and Daughter are together, the Earth grows and flourishes, food is abundant.

Every year, when Persephone returns to her Husband, the earth withers and dies.

The ascent and descent of Persephone brings us the changing seasons.

awakening

Hekate became close to the two Goddesses during their time of need.

When it is time for Persephone to descend to The Underworld, Hekate bears her torches and lights the way forward for the young Goddess.

On the return journey, Hekate leads the way to the surface.

Though, not only does Hekate walk in front of Persephone, as her guide, she also follows up from behind, protecting her from any harm.

Hekate guides Persephone, not only in her travels, but offering guidance on the ways of The Underworld, on ruling over the souls of the dead, as well.

Hekate is a guide, protector and friend of Persephone, in both her light and dark aspects.

This is also where the Triple Goddess of Persephone, Demeter and Hekate springs from.

hekate and persephone

During the Spring and Summer, Persephone’s time above ground, she is the Maiden.

She is innocence, virtue and purity.

During the Autumn and Winter, she is the Queen of the Dead, a Dark Goddess, who shows no mercy.

Only once, was her heart moved, when Orpheus came to King and Queen, to beg for the return of his beloved.

Persephone granted his wish.

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Persephone is also a character in the story of Adonis.

When Adonis was born, Aphrodite, Goddess of Love and Lust, took him under her wing, though she had her own agenda.

She was so enamoured with Adonis’ unearthly beauty, that she planned to seduce him.

Aphrodite gave him to Persephone to watch over him for a while, but Persephone also became entranced with his great beauty and refused to give him back.

The two Goddess fought bitterly over this exquisite beauty.

Their argument was eventually settled by Zeus, with Adonis spending four months with Aphrodite, four with Persephone and four on his own.

hades and Persephone

There is a belief that Persephone ate of the pomegranate seeds of her own free will, that she was a willing consort to the Lord of the Underworld, his Bride of Death.

Either way, each Winter, she descends to The Underworld and takes her throne beside her King.

Here she presides over the dead, her stoney gaze turned upon her shared Kingdom and the shades of the dead.

As Underworld Queen, she is also Queen of the Erinyes, sending them out from the Underworld, to fulfill curses made in her name.

Persephone is light and dark, life and death, holder of the Mysteries.

 

Symbols Of Persephone:
  • Spring
  • Spring Growth
  • Flowers
  • Waterfalls
  • Rivers
  • Springs

Animals:

  • Bats
  • Rams
  • Parrots and talking birds
  • Monkeys

Plants:

  • Asphodel
  • Pomegranate
  • White Rose
  • Narcissus
  • Willow Tree
  • Lily
  • Ivy
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Maidenhair Fern
  • Daisy
  • Lavender
  • Mint
  • Aconite
  • Spring Flowers

Incense / Oils:

  • Floral Scents
  • Jasmine
  • Narcissus
  • Bergamot
  • Hyacinth
  • Frangipani

Gems / Metals:

  • Crystal
  • Quartz
  • Agate
  • Onyx
  • Pink Tourmaline
  • Sapphire
  • Obsidian

Colours:

  • White
  • Black
  • Light Green
  • Purple
  • Light Blue

Demeter and Persephone

Categories: Gods and Goddesses, Pagan Blog Project | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

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