Posts Tagged With: triple goddess

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

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.

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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

A Magick Circle

Last night’s full moon energy was amazing.
My circle was positively vibrant with magickal energy.

After having used fairy lights to decorate my altar for Yule, I was inspired to use them to mark the boundary of my circle.
I highly recommend this.
As well as providing light, they lend a bright and happy atmosphere to the circle.

I was so happy with last nights workings, and the beauty of my circle, I just had to share these photos with you all.

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I hope your circle was as filled with light and life as mine was last night.

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

Hekate

H is for Hekate.
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I started out writing this post as I usually do for Gods, Goddessess and Mythology, researching and writing a few myths and correspondences.
But for Hekate, my Matron Goddess, this didn’t feel right.
So, this post is written and sourced from my own experience with Hekate.

Hekate, Goddess of Crossroads, Magic, Witchcraft, The Night, Moon, Ghosts and Necromancy.
Hekate is guardian of the mysteries, of night-wandering souls, protector of the household and the newly born.
She holds sway over the three domains of heaven, earth and sea.
Hekate is a Goddess of great power, both feared and revered, and the matron Goddess of many a witch.
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Hekate’s appeal to witches, both modern and ancient, lies in the vast reach of her powers.
Her Priestesses, Circe and Medea, were bestowed with the ability to raise the dead, to curse and to heal.
In modern practise, Hekate’s aspect as guide holds her in high stead.
With her torches held aloft, she guides one through the darkness and into the light, from ignorance to enlightenment.
She is a ‘Dark Goddess’, but is not of the darkness, she is the bearer of light within that darkness.

Hekate is also a Goddess of change.
She facilitates the biggest of our life changes, from childbirth, to death and rebirth.
Hekate guides departed souls towards their destination in the Underworld.
She also holds the power to lead them out, to accompany her on her night wanderings.
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In my personal experience, Hekate is a protector of animals, especially dogs.
I have heard many an experience of a long-missing dog, returned safely home, after it’s owner has petitioned Hekate.
I regularly ask her blessings for my own, much-loved, canine companion.
I have also had a strange experience with the return of a cat, missing from home, when a fierce storm suddenly struck.
This cat, Garri, never strays far from the house, so I was worried she had become lost.
I sat at my altar, and petitioned Hekate for the safe return of the cat.
Not five minutes later, I sense something, so open the door.
Here is the cat, on the doorstep, not a drop of rain on her, despite the downpour and everything else being soaked.
I had to give my thanks that day!

I love working with Hekate, she has provided me with some awe-inspiring encounters.
She is not a shy Goddess, her presence is always strongly felt.
Some encounters, particularly during the dark moon, are very intense.
During the waxing and full moon, her presence is lighter, sometimes even playful.
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Being my ‘Lady Of The Altar’, I give my devotions to Hekate on a daily basis.
Since she first appeared to me, my life has certainly changed for the better.
Like a lot of Hekate’s devotees, she came to me during a time of crisis, of being ‘at the crossroads’, so to speak.
In times of darkness, she shines her torches and leads the way out, and this she has done for me.

Hekate does tend to have a bad reputation, and I don’t really understand this.
I have had some pretty intense experiences with her, sometimes in meditation, but more often in Shamanic work.
Sometimes these encounters can be frightening, but there is always a purpose to it, I have gained something valuable, some deep insight or knowledge.
Hekate tends to work inwardly, and a lot of times, with aspects of ourselves we may not necessarily like.
But how can we grow and change for the better if we don’t acknowledge and face the darkest aspects of ourselves?
Don’t be frightened away, but look within, find the purpose among the horrible and you will be rewarded for it.
More often, she comes to me more gently, a soft knowing, a flash of intuition, a gut feeling.
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Hekate herself is solitary.
So she is the perfect guide for the solitary witch, leading them on towards great understanding.
She holds the keys to the mysteries, to knowledge of the self and to the esoteric.
I have a ‘Charge of The Dark Goddess’ in my Book of Shadows, which states, “Close your eyes my child and call to me, for I am there, within your darkness”.
The truth of Hekate is held within this statement.
She resides within, a guide of the heart and the soul, of walking our own path, of finding our way through the darkness and towards the light.
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Categories: Gods and Goddesses, Pagan Blog Project | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Winter Winds of Change (My Inner Goth)

Tomorrow is the first day of winter here in the Southern Hemisphere, and it certainly feels it.
I’ve removed the Autumn leaves from my altar and made a few more changes to suit the season.

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I love setting up my winter altar, black and minimalist, it appeals greatly to my inner goth.

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I found the branch today, dropped from a pine tree, a sign that it is time for a change.
Sitting here now, candles aglow, I love how it reflects the skeletal hands of the branch up the wall.

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This altar reminds me of why I love the dark part of the year and feel most at home with the crone aspect of the Goddess.

Winter is a time of quiet, of looking inward.
It is a time to meditate and reflect on the year that has passed.
I love to sit quietly at my winter altar, meditate and just ‘be’.

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Daily Tarot

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The cards of these last three days have a strong spiritual calling. The Queen of  Pentacles and The Empress spoke to me of connecting with the natural rhythms of the earth. Combine this with The High Priestess and there is a connection between the outer world and spiritual development.

There is a calling here, a chance to tap into the subconscious, the intuition. To connect with nature is a way of developing our own inner worlds. Meditation, dream work and shamanic practice will be very enlightening at this time. There is an opportunity for spiritual growth and development.

The High Priestess is magickal knowledge. This knowledge is not taught, it is intuited, found in nature, developed from within. Take the time to be still, reflect, hear your subconscious speak to you. What you discover will be profound, with the potential to elevate and grow spiritually.

Categories: Daily Card | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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