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Gods & Goddess

Xtah

Rain Festivals ( Mexico/Central America )
Themes: Weather, harvest, fertility, & prayer
 
About Xtah: The Guatemalan Goddess of Rain and Water sprinkles Herself
into today’s celebration in answer to Her people’s fervent prayers. As
She does, Her rain also bears constructive, fulfilling energy to
maintain the gardens of our spirit with Spring’s growth-centered magick.
 
To Do Today: This is the time of the year when peoples in this region
begin praying to the sacred powers for rain. In Guatemala,
specifically, they pray and make offerings to the Goddess so the crops
will not fail from draught.
 
If your spiritual life has seemed a bit “dry” lately or lacking in real
substance, pray to Xtah with words like these:
 
“Xtah, as you pour forth from the heavens, see my need ( pour out a
glass of water
here–this is a type of sympathetic magick that encourages Xtah to
follow your example ).
Rain upon my life and heart with Your fruitful waters so I may grow with
clarity of spirit.
Thank You for Your bounty, for refilling my inner well with your
richness.
So be it.”
 
If it’s raining outside, dance in the rain as you pray so you can
literally touch Xtah’s presence. Alternatively, pray in the shower or
in the rains created by a lawn sprinkler.
 
Wear water-coloured clothing today ( blue, purple, dark green ) to
accent whichever of Xtah’s attributes you want to develop.

from 365 Goddess – A Daily Guide of the Magick and Inspiration of the
Goddess
by Patricia Telesco

Goddess Meditation

Life, illness, love, and death — together they continue to be my great
Teachers.
Moon and Sun rule the sky above.
Here on Earth, the Goddess rules.
Here on Earth, the seven Goddesses.
O Goddess, pure and cherished one!
We sing sweet songs over and over,
inventing pleasing rhymes for her.
Oh, our songs are so sweet that She
forgives us anything to keep us singing.
~ Sri Lankan Song
 
We can find the Goddess everywhere, if only we know how to look. It is
easy to find Her on a sunny day in Spring, or in the happy look on a new
lover’s face. But She is there in the dark storm clouds as well, in the
late frosts that nip the budding flowers, in the ungainly and the
frightening. Anything that exists partakes of Her, participates in Her.
There is nothing that is not part of Her.
 
We must let go of judging this world if we are to truly understand the
Goddess’ truth. We cannot pick and choose, controlling life so that we
only see what is pleasant to our prejudices. We cannot have birth and
love but not death; we cannot have the flower and the honey without the
stinging bee. We need not claim to enjoy pain in order to accept it as
part of life. We need only feel it, accept it, and move on, knowing it
to be part of this life which the Goddess blesses us.

from The Goddess Companion – Daily Meditations on he Feminine Spirit
by Patricia Monaghan

Whale Goddess

 
Themes: Nature, meditation, rebirth, movement
Symbols: Water, whale
 
About Whale Goddess: In Arabic tradition, the Whale Goddess swallowed
Jonah, neatly giving him time to consider his life and actions seriously
before his figurative rebirth. Let’s hope she doesn’t have to go that
far to get our attention this month ( or anytime, for that matter ).
 
In some stories, the earth rests on this Goddess’s back, and earthquakes
result when she gets upset and shakes her tail. Symbolically, when your
life seems on shaky ground, consider what this goddess is trying to tell
you!
 
To Do Today: Around this time of year in Northern California, people
examine the coastline with renewed interest and anticipation. They’re
watching the annual whale migration-a breathtaking sight. Since many of
us cannot experience this firsthand, consider the whale as a magical
symbol instead. The Gods ride whales to carry messages to the mortal
world. Witches ride them to bear their magic on the water. In both
instances the whale carries something-either to your heart or toward a
goal. Use this image in meditations for movement, and consider the
symbolism if whales show up in your dreams tonight.
 
If possible, visit an aquarium and watch whales there. Or send a
donation to an accredited facility to give something back to the Whale
Goddess and her children.

from 365 Goddess – A Daily Guide on the Magick and Inspiration of the
Goddess
by Patricia Telesco

Goddess Meditation
Great Spirit, teach me the power of the four directions
Before the earth, before the sky,
was there nothing?
No. There was something.
Something like a cloud
or a nebula, a mist with no source.
It was all silence and distance.
But it moved, like a great silent
wheel, in its great solitude.
This was the source of all,
the mother of creation.
If you were forced to name it,
I will call it The Great Tao,
the way itself, endless and eternal.
~ Chinese Tao Te Ching
 
During the slow days as winter relaxes its grip upon us, we feel the
stirrings of new life, new thoughts, new dreams. In many myths, new life
rises out of the void, a place such as that in which we find ourselves
in late winter. However dry and sterile it may seem, that void is the
source of all growth and change. In this paradox is the greatest wisdom.
 
It is difficult to love the void. Sometimes, it is even difficult to
accept it. But without periods of apparent sterility in our lives, we
would not grow into our finest selves. Study the void, even if you
cannot yet embrace it. Look upon its great emptiness without flinching.
There is nothing to fear. There is, in fact, sublime hope to be found in
the depths of emptiness, for from the void emerges the path.

from The Goddess Companion – Daily Meditations on the Feminine Spirit
by Patricia Monaghan

White Shell Woman

 
Themes: Magick, overcoming, spirituality, freedom, hope, success,
protection, joy & dreams
Symbols: Eagle, rattle & white
 
About White Shell Woman: In Native American tradition, White Shell Woman
came to Earth bearing elemental blankets and the sunshine of protection,
dreams, and renewed hope. When she arrived a rainbow appeared, banishing
sadness with the promise of eventually reuniting humankind with the
gods. Today she renews this promise to us, whispering Her message on
March’s winds and bearing it on the wings of an eagle.
 
To Do Today: Sometime in Spring, the Pueblos of New Mexico hold an Eagle
Dance to bring rain and ensure the tribe’s success in difficult
situations. The mimelike movements of the dance unite the dancers with
the Eagle spirit, connecting them with the sacred powers. To adapt this
in your own life, grab a feather duster and dance a little of White
Shell Woman’s hope into your heart while you clean up the house!
 
If you have young children in your life, work with them on a Shell Woman
anti-nightmare blanket or happiness charm. Take four strips of cloth in
elemental colours, or seven in the colours of the rainbow. Sew them
together to form a blanket or portable swatch. Bless the charm, saying,
 
“Love and joy within each seam brings me only happy dreams;
Shell Woman, shine through the night; keep me safe till down’s first
light.”

from 365 Goddess – A Daily Guide of the Magick and Inspiration of the
Goddess
by Patricia Telesco

Goddess Meditation  
On Hildar Hill the goddess sat.
Poets someday will say that
light itself paled beside Her,
casting shadows on the wall.
On Hildar Hill the goddess sat,
radiance streaming from Her.
Poets someday will say that
looking at Her was like staring at fire.
On Hildar Hill the goddess sat,
combing out Her fine hair.
Poets someday will say that
it was as fine-spun silk
and shone like gold.
~ Song from the Faroe Islands
 
As the Sun grows in strength at this time of year, we become more and
more aware of the world around us. Winter is a time of retreat. Even
though our electric lights open possibilities never dreamed of by
earlier people, we still find ourselves slowly withdrawing in Winter. We
may become less active; we may see people less frequently; we may engage
in quieter pastimes. But then, as light returns, we wake up to the world
around us.
 
And again, we see its beauty. Even before the plants begin their annual
cycle of budding and blooming, we see the sky opening up to the
sunlight. White clouds scud across the blue, or wispy ones decorate the
sky’s dome. Light dazzles us with its golden radiance. Absorbed in the
world’s beauty, we move together toward the dawning springtime.

from The Goddess Companion – Daily Meditations on the Feminine Spirit
by Patricia Monaghan

Voluspa

 
Theme: Foresight, history, perspective, divination, time.
Symbols: Stories or storybooks.
 
About Voluspa: An old festival in Iceland known as the Isledingadagurinn
preserves Voluspa’s energy by recounting local heritage and custom in
public forum including theater, singing, writing and costumes.

For our adaptation, I suggest taking out or working on a family tree or
perhaps a personal journal. Read over the chronicles of people from your
ethnic background and honour their lives in some appropriate manner (
perhaps by lighting a candle ). Voluspa lives in these moments and at
any time that we give ourselves to
commemorating the past.
 
Alternatively, get out some good storybooks and read! Turn off the TV
for a while and enrich your imagination with the words of the bards who
keep Voluspa’s power alive in the world. Especially read to children, so
they can learn of this Goddess of Wonders.
 
from 365 Goddess – A Daily Guide of the Magick and Inspiration of the
Goddess
by Patricia Telesco

Goddess Meditation

The summer clouds are beautiful,
yes they are. Yes, they are.
The summer clouds are like flowers,
yes they are. Yes, they are.
The clouds blossom in the sky,
yes they do. Yes, they do.
The blossoming clouds are coming here,
yes they are. Yes, they are.
~  Zuni “Song of the Blue Corn Dance”
 
Summer is, indeed, a beautiful season. Yet it is also a busy one.
Vacations, social engagements, outdoor concerts, and the usual press of
work and laundry and errands and …
 
Summer whirls by. It is July already, when May seems to have been
yesterday. How can we enjoy our lives when they are led at such a pace?
What will you remember of this summer? If you are too tired to watch a
firefly on a sultry night, too busy to notice that a favorite flower has
bloomed, too much in transit to enjoy conversation with a friend what
will you have to hold, to treasure, in winters to come?

For we cannot savor what we rush through. Let some things slide this
summer. Don’t worry about them.
You will never remember if you did the laundry and you will never forget
the fragrance of new roses.

from The Goddess Companion – Daily Meditations on the Feminine Spirit
by Patricia Monaghan

Vesta

by Micha F. Lindemans

On of the most popular and mysterious goddesses of the Roman pantheon. Vesta is the goddess of the hearth, equated with the Greek Hestia. There is not much known of her origin, except that she was at first only worshipped in Roman homes, a personal cult. Her cult eventually evolved to a state cult.
 
One myth tells that her service was set up by king Numa Pompilius (715-673 BCE). In her temple on the Palatine Hill, the sacred fire of the Roman state burned, which was maintained by the Vestal Virgins. At the start of the new Roman year, March 1, the fire was renewed. The sacred fire burned until 394 CE. Vesta’s temple was situated on the Forum Romanum and was built in the third century BCE. None of her temples, however, contained a statue of the goddess. Her festival is the Vestalia, which was observed from June 7 – 15. On the first day of this festival, the ‘penus Vestae’, the inner sanctum of the Vesta temple which was kept closed the entire year, was opened for women who came to bring offerings bare-footed. The temple was ritually cleansed on the last day.
The ass is Vesta’s sacred animal, whose braying supposedly kept the lascivious Priapus away. Vesta is portrayed as a stern woman, wearing a long dress and with her head covered. Her right hand rests against her side and in her left hand she holds a scepter.

Article created on 03 March 1997; last modified on 20 February 2002.
© 1995-2004 Encyclopedia Mythica. All rights reserved.

Vatiaz

 
Themes: Sports, tradition, strength, excellence & recreation.
Symbols: Charms for strength or physical well-being.
 
About Vatiaz: Vatiaz is the Mongolian Goddess of physical prowess. Her
name even means “woman of great strength.”  Now that Summer is fully
underway, we could use some of Vatiaz’s endurance just to keep up!
 
To Do Today: The Nadam festival began in the 13th Century with Marco
Polo, who reported a gathering of 10,000 white horses with Mongolian
leaders participating in numerous games of skill ranging from archery to
wrestling. Today the tradition continues with sports, focused on
exhibiting excellence and skill, followed by a community party to
celebrate and revel in local customs. If there’s a sports exposition
or game that you enjoy, try to get out to the proverbial “ball park”
today to honour Vatiaz and enjoy her excellence as exhibited through
professional athletes.
 
For those who are not sports fans, making a Vatiaz charm for strength
and vitality is just as welcome by the Goddess and invokes her ongoing
participation in your life. You’ll need a bay leaf, a pinch of tea,
and a pinch of marjoram ( one herb each for body, mind, and spirit
). Wrap these in a small swatch of cotton, saying,
 
“Health, strength, and vitality,
Vatiaz, bring them to me!”
 
Put the swatch in the bottom of your daily-vitamin jar to empower the
vitamins with Vatiaz’s well-being.

from 365 Goddess – A Daily Guide of the Magick and Inspiration of the
Goddess
by Patricia Telesco

Goddess Meditation
 
The corn is growing.
Water falls from dark clouds, drop, drop.
The rain is falling.
Water falls from corn leaves, drop, drop.
The rain is passing.
Water from corn plants, drop, drop.
The corn is growing.
Water from the dark mists, drop, drop.
 
Corn is one of the plants that grows, not in the sunlight, but at night.
Some people claim they can hear the swish of the plants as they grow in
the hot darkness of Summer.
 
We often think of personal growth as taking place in the open: in
classes and workshops, in a therapist’s office, in the company of a
loved one. But, as often, our growth occurs invisible even to us. Within
our own hot darkness, we are maturing, growing, developing into the
people we will someday reveal ourselves to be. Trusting in this inner
process is sometimes difficult because we want visible, tangible
results. But just as the seed must grow beneath the ground, establishing
firm roots to uphold its growth, so our inner growth must be well rooted
and be free to grow in secret, until it is ready to be harvested.
 
from The Goddess Companion – Daily Meditations on the Feminine Spirit
by Patricia Monaghan

Tiamat

 
Themes: History, change, spirituality, fertility, birth, creativity.
Symbols: Reptiles, seawater.
 
About Tiamat: The personification of creative, fertile forces in
Assyro-Babylonian traditions, Tiamat gave birth to the world. She is the
inventive power of chaos, whose ever-changing energy hones the human
soul and creates unending possibilities for its enlightenment. In later
accounts, Tiamat took on the visage of a half-dinosaur or dragonlike
creature, symbolizing the higher and lower self, which must work
together for positive change and harmonious diversity.
 
To Do Today: Taking place at the Dinosaur National Monument, this
festival celebrates the ancient, mysterious dinosaurs that speak of the
Earth’s long-forgotten past – a past that Tiamat observed and nurtured.
One fun activity to consider for today is getting an archaeology
dinosaur kit at a local science shop and starting to “dig up” the past
for yourself! As you work, meditate on the meaning of Tiamat’s energy in
your life. The more bones you uncover, the more you’ll understand and
integrate her transformative energy.
 
Carry a fossil in your pocket today to help keep you connected to Tiamat
and her spiritual inventiveness. Or, wash your hands with a little
saltwater so that everything you touch is blesses with Tiamat’s
productive nature and cleansing.

from 365 Goddess – A Daily Guide of the Magick and Inspiration of the
Goddess
by Patricia Telesco

Goddess Meditation

The Goddess Durga unleashed a shower of weapons, and demons by the
hundreds fell down dead. Others fell senseless, deafened by the
ringing of her bell. Some of them she bound with ropes and dragged along
the ground. Some of them she split in half, and some she
bashed with her mace. Some demons vomited blood; others looked like
porcupines, so many arrows filled their
flesh. Arms, legs, hands littered the battlefield. Dead and dying demons
covered the battlefield. Blood ran so thick
the ground was impassable. This was Durga: a forest fire, consuming all
in its path, that was how she dealt with the demon army.
~ Indian Devi Mahatmya
 
The Goddess is far from being always peaceful and sweet. She has a
fierce side, too, as this passage from Indian epic poetry shows. Durga
came into existence when the world was threatened with destruction from
a demon army. All the gods could not conquer them and it looked as
though the world would indeed be demolished. But the great Goddess
Parvati knit her brow in concern. All her anger consolidated itself
there and from the third eye in the center of her forehead, an armed
figure sprang. This was Durga, who proceeded to destroy the demon army
and to free the world from their pernicious influence.
 
The feminine principle is shown, in this great myth, as fierce and
unyielding. Like the Greek Athena, the Roman Minerva, the legendary
Amazon warriors and many other fighting Goddesses, Durga shows that
strength and power are not limited to the masculine.
 
from The Goddess Companion – Daily Meditations on the Feminine Spirit
by Patricia Monaghan

The Green Man

I am the laughter in the forest,
I am the king in the wood.
And I am the blade of grass
That thrusts through the stone-cold clay
At the death of winter.
I am before and I am after,
I am always until the end
I am the face in the forest,
I am the laughter in the leaves
~Mike Harding~

Mike Harding The Green Man is an archetypal image, found upon
churches, from the ancient Celtic churches at the furthest west point
of Ireland and Britain, to the newly built churches in parts of Asia
and North Africa. He is also often found painted onto Buddhist walls,
high in the Himalayas, and in Northern India.

“But what has any of this got to do with Pagans??” I hear you
cry. “Why is this information on a Wiccan site?”

Because of one simple fact – although chiefly found in and around
churches, from misericordias to roof bosses, the Green Man is an
ancient Pagan symbol, and was carved into these ancient churches by
the people converting to Christianity, so as not to dishonor the
Pagan gods when forced to convert. They wanted to keep the gods with
them, even if they were worshipping with a different God – one,
notably, that many of them did not want to worship.

The Green Man represents a Pagan fertility figure. He was mentioned
in the Arthurian epic ‘Gawain and the Green Knight’, and in the epic
of Gilgamesh, where Enkindu and Gilgamesh behead the Guardian of the
Forest, with terrible results. He appears in mythology as Dionysos,
Osiris, Odin, Tamuz, and even Jesus Christ – this suggests another
strong link of the Christian tradition to ancient Pagan beliefs. His
realm spans half of the world – he stares down from the door of
Chartres Cathedral, and smiles from the pillar of a Jain temple in
Rajasthan. In May Day celebrations, he still dances in front of the
May Queen at Knutsford in England. He is probably as old as humankind
itself. John Barleycorn, the Corn Spirit, Puck, Jack in the Green,
the Old Man of the Woods, or simply the Green Man – we know him
without understanding him.

There are four main types of Green Man:

The foliate head- This Green Man has a face that becomes leaves.

The spewing head- The Green Man spews out leaves or foliage from his
mouth.

The ‘bloodsucker’ head- Leaves and foliage spew from the ears, eyes,
and nose of the Green Man, not just the mouth.

Jack-in-the-Green- This is often just a head poking out from amongst
the leaves.

There is one common theme, which unites all of the Green Men ? the
connection between the vegetable and human world. All flesh is grass,
and the Green Man represents this better than any other image
illustrates the principle of death and corruption, resurrection and
re-birth.

Where the name ‘Green Man’ originally came from has been debated for
a long time. Lady Raglan, who described the head in Llandwm, likened
the image to “The Green Man or Jack in the Green, such as the inn
signs, or the figure in the May Day processions.” However, the term
is much older than this, although the masons and woodcarvers who cut
and carved the faces to begin with, may have had a name completely
different for the figures. In the Medieval Ages, though, we do know
for sure that Green Men paraded around in foliage and greenery in
processions.

The Green Man has many legends, much information, and a fortune of
stories to reveal to us. If only we could learn how to listen.

by D~M

Sources:
‘A Little Book Of The Green Man’, by Mike Harding
‘The Green Man’ by Kathleen Basford

The Dark Mother

 

The Dark Mother is the most misunderstood of the triple aspects of the Goddess. Her color is Black and she absorbs everything, including light and life. The dark of the Moon is Her time, the Abyss and darkness of space Her home. Her number is nine, symbolizing wisdom and sacred magick. Nine is also the number of completion and the completion of beginnings is the Crone’s place in the cycle of birth-life-death.

The greatest fear in Western Society is the fear of death and so many have turned away from this face of our Mother. We see this in our fevered need for eternal “youth and beauty” (as defined by society) and in the medical community’s fight against aging and death. Who among us had not had a friend or family member kept “alive” on life support long after the soul has left the body to resume its journey?

We also see this turning away in the way this country treats its elderly. At a time of life in which a person should be venerated for wisdom and knowledge they could pass on to the young ones among us, the elderly are at best “taken care of” (read: loss of privacy, dignity and freedom) or at worst completely ignored. Advanced age should be a time to look forward to in our lives. We should be able to look back and remember all that has happened to us with wisdom and good humor. We should be given the chance to relax and rest and contemplate our lives in preparation of a joyful reunion with the Dark Mother, come to take us into Her starry womb once more. Instead because we don’t build a comfortable relationship with the Crone early in our lives, near the end all we feel is frustration and fear.

How do we build a relationship with the Crone, this Dark Mother who upholds the laws of life and death with a rigorous need for balance that may seem so many times harsh to us? First we must realize that Death is not the only domain of the Crone. Endings of all sorts fall under Her sway, and endings always lead to new beginnings.

You can get in touch with the Crone during many transitional periods in your life; during the ending of relationships or jobs, when you need to regroup your energies at the end of a project or problem, even when you are getting your garden ready for the winter. The Dark Mother also covers trance states, spirit communication, and prophecy. Menopause is also a time to learn about the Crone aspect of the Goddess.

Crone magick is not all that different from Her other three aspects, one must simply remember that the Crone is not a Goddess of birth, but of the harvesting and resting of all life. One may use meditation, candle burning and other general tools of magick to draw Her energies near. Her power may be called upon with dark candles such as black, dark blues or deep purples. Another of Her magickal domains is retribution, but you must be certain that you are justified in your need. Do not ask for revenge (remember the Law of Three!), do not be specific in anything that you want done. Simply lay the problem before Her and allow Her to decide whether or not there has been a true imbalance of justice.

At the Winter Solstice, you can burn white, red and black candles to be reminded that everything is born, lives and dies to be born again.

In the end, all must confront the Dark Mother, willingly, or unwillingly. How much better it would be to realize that She is not to be dreaded, a figure in black come to take us away from all we know and love, but a loving Goddess come to take us home so that we may rest and revive and begin our journey on the Wheel of Life once more.

The Veelas

 
Themes: Faeries, nature, healing, wealth, abundance.
Symbols: Sweet bread, sacred faery plants (oak, ash, thorn, foxglove,
etc.), healing herbs.
 
About the Veelas: These Balkan goddesses preside over the woodlands and
have the power to heal or harm, depending on the circumstances. The
Veelas kindly treat humans who respect them and the Earth, rewarding
them with the knowledge of how to work harmoniously with the land,
which, in turn, creates prosperity and abundance.
 
To Do Today: In ancient Macedonia, today was a time to appease the
spirits of nature, called Drymiais. We can follow their customs by not
harvesting any plants ( especially vining ones ), and not doing any
cleaning ( especially with water ). If you must do one of these
forbidden activities, carry iron to protect you from mischievous faery
folk.
 
If you live near any oak, ash or thorn trees, leave under it a little
gift of sweet bread for the Veelas. As you do, whisper a short request
to the Veelas for renewed health and permission to gather some herbs
associated with health and healing today.

Afterward, look for an ash or oak leaf or some tansy flowers. These will
act as an amulet for well-being whenever you carry them with you.
 
For prosperity and abundance and to improve your connection with the
Earth, give the Veelas an offering of honey instead and a bit yourself
to consume the Earth’s sweetness.

from 365 Goddess – A Daily Guide of the Magick and Inspiration of he
Goddess
by Patricia Telesco

Goddess Meditation

I open the window to the Sun.
I look out at the Goddess.
Ah, my! It is too short,
this life we lead in Her light!
I look at Suale and I see
my mother. Look at them:
both, so beautiful, both
so pale, so very pale.
~ Lithuanian and Latvian Folksongs
 
In the Baltic lands, the greatest Goddess was the Sun Mother, Saule. And
beside Her, at all times, was Her daughter Saules Meita, the Sun Maiden.
Saules Meita was a lovely young woman whose outer demeanor hid a
tragedy, for she had been raped by her father, the man in the Moon. Her
mother, finding Her weeping, near heaven’s central fountain, went in
pursuit of the Moon man. Slashing his face, she drove him from heaven,
leaving scars still visible on the Moon’s face today. But the damage,
alas, had been done and could not be undone.
 
Like Saules Meita, there are many among us who have been deeply injured
by those whom they loved. We may not know, from their carriage and
speech and appearance, the depth of their pain. Opening the heart of
compassion to others means learning how little we know of others until
they have revealed themselves to us.

from The Goddess Companion – Daily Meditations on the Feminine Spirit
by Patricia Monaghan

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