Gaia (Greek)

Gaia (Greek)

Gaia was known as the life force from which all other beings sprang, including the earth, the sea and the mountains. A prominent figure in Greek mythology, Gaia is also honored by many Wiccans and Pagans today as the earth mother herself.

In Greek mythology, Gaea (or Gaia), the primordial earth or mother goddess was one of the deities who governed the universe before THE TITANS existed.

In the creation myth, CHAOS came before everything else. He was made of Void, Mass and Darkness in confusion; and then earth in the form of Gaea came into existence. From “Mother Earth” sprang the starry heavens, in the shape of the sky God Uranus, and from Gaea also came the mountains, plains, seas and rivers that make up the Earth we know today.

Gaea first appears as a character of divine being in the Homeric poems, in the Illiad, black sheep were sacrificed to her, and people were declaring oaths to invoke her.

The Greek Historian Hesiod wrote that the union of Gaea and Chaos created Uranus. From there Gaea and Uranus gave birth to the Giants, the Titans, Oceanus and the whole world. Uranus decided to stop Gaea from creating anything else and sent his children inside her, imprisoning them in her womb, therefore infuriating Gaea and causing her allegiance to her Titan son Cronus, and together they overthrew Uranus.

CRONUS, using a great iron sickle created by his mother attacked Uranus, castrating him, the drops of blood fell from him and onto Gaea, the earth, and became the seeds of the Erinyes (the spirits of punishments), the Gigantes and the Melian nymphs. Another myth is that Cronus threw Uranus organs into the ocean and the mixing of the blood and sea foam birthed Aphrodite.

Gaea’s allegiance switched to ZEUS due to the cruelty of Cronus, who had imprisoned the same sons and had an insatiable endless determination for domination. Gaea foretold a prophecy that one of Cronus’s sons would dethrone him, due to his distrust; Cronus swallowed each of his children whole to prevent a coup. Zeus was successfully hidden, and when he was older, he returned to his father, forced him to throw up his siblings and together they overthrew him.

Zeus’s toppling of Cronus marked the end of the age of the Titans. Gaea would not be without conflict with Zeus; she was angered by his binding of her Titan sons in Tartarus, so she birthed the tribe of Giants and later the monster Typhoeus (a storm giant) to overthrow Zeus though both were unsuccessful. Her final attempt to dethrone Zeus was by telling him that his next son, birthed to him by Metis would depose him, so he swallowed her causing ATHENA to spring from his head.

Other versions show Gaea was the great mother of all creation; the heavenly gods were descended from her union with Uranus (the Sky), the sea-gods from her union with Pontos (the Sea), the Giants from her mating with Tartarus (the Pit) and mortal creatures born from her earthly flesh. In ancient Greek cosmology, the earth was believed to be a flat disk, encircled by the River and encompassed by the heaven on one side and Tartarus on the other. In a Greek vase painting Gaea was portrayed as a buxom, motherly figure rising from the earth but inseparable from her element. In some mosaic artworks, Gaea is a full figured woman, reclining on the land, clothed in green and surrounded by fruits and the Seasons.

Gaea was the source from which arose the vapours producing divine inspiration and was regarded as an oracular divinity and was said to have had the oracle of Delphi in her possession first.

Gaea was seen was the all-producing and all- nourishing mother; her worship universal amongst the Ancient Greeks.

She had temples at Athens, Sparta, Delphi, Olympia, Bura, Tegea and Phlyus to name a few. Due to her mother like presence she presided over marriages, oaths and was honoured as a prophetess.

Other Interesting Facts About Gaea

• Gaea may have formerly been worshipped in Greece as a mother goddess before the Hellenes introduced the cult of Zeus
• Gaea was described as the giver of dreams and the nourisher of plants and young children
• Gaea was renamed by the Romans as Terra
• In modern times, Earth scientist use the term Gaea to describe the earth as a complex living organism

 

Published on Greek Gods and Goddesses</

Living Life as the Magickal Witch – Acceptable Gifts and Offerings to the Gods

Living Life as the Magickal Witch – Acceptable Gifts and Offerings to the Gods

 

It is a common Pagan and Wiccan tradition that, in order to show respect and gratitude for , gifts and offerings are being made. Each deity responds best to a certain type of gift so when making an offering always think about what the god represents. While, in general, offerings such as bread, milk and wine are appropriate for any deity, this question still arises: “What are the acceptable offerings and gifts to offer each deity?”

Based upon the types of gods, here are some suggestions for specific food, drink and herbs offerings you can make:

1. Gods of Hearth and Home

– Offer food such as bread and grains, salt and cooking oil
– Appropriate drinks are milk, wine and cider
– Herb offerings you can go for are rosemary or thyme

2. Love and Passion Gods

– Best food offerings are apples , honey and eggs
– Drink offerings: wine and fruit juice
– Herbs: lavender and sandalwood

3. Prosperity and Abundance Gods. It is recommended that you offer the following:

– Dairy products and grains
– Milk and beer
– Mint, catnip and pennyroyal

4. Nature and Garden Gods

– Bread, fruits, cornmeal
– Milk and water
– Bay

5. Fertility Goddess

– Eggs and baked sweets
– Milk – breast milk too
– Rose, apple blossoms and sandalwood

6. Ancestor Spirits

– Offer any food and drinks from your family’s table and herbs such as sweet grass or sage.

 

 

Reference:
“The Wayward Wiccan”

The Weeping Willow Tree, The Tree of Hecate

The Weeping Willow Tree, The Tree of Hecate

Folk Names:
“Tree of Enchantment”,”Osier”,and”Sough Tree”

Lore and Divinatory Aspects:

The Willow is associated with the elements of water, the moon, and the gods Artemis, Ceres, Hecate, Persephone, Hera, Mercury, Belili, Circe, and Belenos.
Willow is associated with death, femininity, love, and healing. It posesses the powers of love, divination, friendship, joy, love, peace, protection, and healing.
Magical Usage:

For love magic, protection magic, healing magic, and peaceful magic. Used to create loyalty, make friendship pacts, treaties, or alliances. Used for intuition, knowledge, gentle nurturing, and will elucidate the feminine qualities of both men and women.
Its leaves are used in love attraction sachets and moon magic wands from its wood. Used to dowse for water (underground), earth energies, and buried objects.
Used combined with sandalwood to invoke spirits. Placed in homes, it protects against evil and malign sorcery. Carried, the wood will give bravery, dexterity, and help one overcome the fear of death. If one needs to get something off their chest or to share a secret, confess to a willow and your secret will be trapped.
Willow wood is good for magical harps. Good for planting and lining burial graves for its symbolism of death and protection. If one wants to know if they will be married, on New Year’s Eve, throw your shoe or boot into a willow, if it doesn’t catch in the branches the first time, the individuals has eight more tries, if they succeed, they will wed.
Medicinal Usage:

Dioscorides (1st c. A.D.) discovered its use against pain and inflammation. The Hottentots discovered its use for rheumatic fever.
Willow bark is used to treat rheumatic conditions, gout, heartburn, to stop internal bleeding, gargle for sore throats, skin problems, wounds, and burns.
The purple willow is most effective for lowering fevers.
Black willow bark can be made into an infusion as a sexual sedative and to treat gonorrhoea, relieve ovarian pain, and to curb nocturnal emissions or as a tincture for hysteria, hysteria based on genital organs, nymphomania, spermatorrhoea, satyriasis, erotomania, and lascivious dreams.
Sallow or Goat willow eases indigestion, whooping cough, catarrh, and to disinfect bandages. It is a good eyewash, and if taken orally will clear the skin and face of blemishes, or applied to hair for dandruff. Its flower essences will remedy bitterness and resentment.
Other Uses:

Tender shoots are good for baskets. Willow rods were used as thatching in European traditional homes. Willow protects riverbanks from erosion (Peachleaf Willow), drys the soil in soggy/flooded gardens, and its charcoal (Crack Willow) is used in gunpowder.

Who Is Hecate?

Who Is Hecate?

At night, particularly at the dark of the moon, this goddess walked the roads of ancient Greece, accompanied by sacred dogs and bearing a blazing torch. Occassionally she stopped to gather offerings left by her devotees where three roads crossed, for this three-fold goddess was best honored where one could look three ways at once. Sometimes, it was even said that Hecate could look three ways because she had three heads: a serpent, a horse, and a dog.
While Hecate walked outdoors, her worshippers gathered inside to eat Hecate suppers in her honor, gatherings at which magical knowledge was shared and the secrets of sorcery whispered. The bitch-goddess, the snake-goddess, ruled these powers and she bestowed them on those who worshipped her honorably. When supper was over, the leftovers were placed outdoors as offerings to Hecate and her hounds. And if the poor of Greece gathered at the doorsteps of wealthier households to snatch the offerings, what matter?

Some scholars say that Hecate was not originally Greek, her worship having traveled south from her original Thracian homeland. Others contend that she was a form of the earth mother Demeter, yet another of whose forms was the maiden Persephone. Legends, they claim, of Persephone’s abduction and later residence in Hades give clear prominence to Hecate, who therefore must represent the old wise woman, the crone, the final stage of woman’s growth- the aged Demeter herself, just as Demeter is the mature Persephone.

In either case, the antiquity of Hecate’s worship was recognized by the Greeks, who called her a Titan, one of those pre-Olympian divinities whom Zeus and his cohort had ousted. The newcomers also bowed to her antiquity by granting to Hecate alone a power shared with Zeus, that of granting or withholding from humanity anything she wished. Hecate’s worship continued into classical times, both in the private form of Hecate suppers and in public sacrifices, celebrated by “great ones” or Caberioi, of honey, black female lambs, and dogs, and sometimes black human slaves.

As queen of the night, Hecate was sometimes said to be the moon-goddess in her dark form, as Artemis was the waxing moon and Selene the full moon. But she may as readily have been the earth-goddess, for she ruled the spirits of the dead, humans who had been returned to the earth. As queen of death she ruled the magical powers of regeneration; in addition, she could hold back her spectral hordes from the living if she chose. And so Greek women evoked Hecate for protection from her hosts whenever they left the house, and they erected her threefold images at their doors, as if to tell wandering spirits that therein lived friends of their queen, who must not be bothered with night noises and spooky apparitions.

The New Book Of Goddesses and Heroines by Patricia Monaghan..

HEKATE THOU MOTHER OF MIGHT

Goddess Comments & Graphics
HEKATE THOU MOTHER OF MIGHT
by Jeanne Riegler

“Hecate, thou mother of might
Goddess of magick, of storms, of night.
Moon maiden, mother and crone
Dispensing justice from they lofty throne

Watching now with piercing eye
As thy moon palace doth glide the sky
All of life on the planet Earth
Selecting, weighing and measuring it’s worth

Grant us of thy wisdom sublime
Reveal to us the secrets of time
Help us winnow truth from lies
Harken now, please hear out cries

Hekate, thou mother of might
Goddess of crossroads, bearer of light
Moon maiden, mother and crone
Descend unto us from they lofty throne

Walk amongst us and reveal now
The mysteries of thy shining brow
Past, present and future merge
Let us feel thy power surge

Bestow healing upon this planet
Release the songs of thy stones of granite
Help us, strengthen us, in our resolve
To banish all hate, let it dissolve

Hekate, thou mother of might
Goddess of love, giver of sight
Moon maiden, mother and crone
Ensconced upon thy lofty throne
Acknowledge us, who by our own choice
Have chosen to listen to thy voice
Help us spread wisdom, truth, love and light
To save Earth from her desperate plight

We bide the Wiccan Reed to fulfill
“And ye harm none, do what thou will…”
Help us grow in serving thee
As we will, so mote it be.

Hekate, thou mother of might
Robed in splendor, beauteous, bright
Moon maiden, mother and crone
Shine upon us from thy lofty throne.”

The Sacred Herbs Of The Goddesses

The Sacred Herbs Of The Goddesses:

 

Aphrodite: olive, cinnamon, daisy, cypress, quince.  orris (iris), apple, myrtle

Arcadia: rue, vervain

Artemis:  silver fir, amaranth, cypress, cedar, hazel, myrtle, willow, daisy, mugwort, date palm

Astarte: alder, pine, cypress, myrtle, juniper

Athena: olive, apple

Bast: catnip, Vervain

Bellona: belladonna

Brigit: blackberry

Cailleach: wheat

Cardea: hawthorn, bean, arbutus

Ceres: willow, wheat, bay, pomegranate, poppy, leek, narcissus

Cybele: oak, myrrh, pine

Demeter: wheat, barley, pennyroyal, myrrh, rose, pomegranate, bean, poppy, all cultivated crops

Diana: birch, willow, acacia, wormwood, dittany, hazel, beech, fir, apple, mugwort, plane, mulberry, rue

Druantia: fir

Freya:  cowslip, daisy, primrose, maidenhair, myrrh, strawberry, mistletoe

Hathor: myrtle, sycamore, grape, mandrake, coriander, rose

Hecate: willow, henbane, aconite, yew, mandrake, cyclamen, mint, cypress, date palm, sesame, dandelion, garlic, oak, onion

Hekat: cypress

Hera: apple, willow, orris, pomegranate, myrrh

Hina: bamboo

Hulda: flax, rose, hellebore, elder

Irene: olive

Iris: wormwood, iris

Ishtar: acacia, juniper, all grains

Isis: fig, heather, wheat, wormwood, barley, myrrh, rose, palm, lotus, per sea, onion, iris, vervain

Juno: lily, crocus, asphodel, quince, pomegranate, vervain, iris, lettuce, fig, mint

Cerridwen: vervain, acorns

Minerva: olive, mulberry, thistle

Nefer-Tum: lotus

Nepthys: myrrh, lily

Nuit: sycamore

Olwen: apple

Persephone: parsley, narcissus, willow, pomegranate

Rhea: myrrh, oak

Rowen: clover, rowen

Venus: cinnamon, daisy, elder, heather, anemone, apple, poppy, violet, marjoram, maidenhair fern, carnation, aster, vervain, myrtle, orchid, cedar, lily, mistletoe, pine, quince

Vesta: oak

The Sacred Herbs Of The Gods

The Sacred Herbs Of The Gods:

Adonis: myrrh, corn, rose, fennel, lettuce, white heather

Aesculapius: bay, mustard

Ajax: delphinium

Anu: tamarisk

Apollo:  leek, hyacinth, heliotrope, cornel, bay, frankincense, date palm,

cypress

Attis: pine, almond

Ares: buttercup

Bacchus: grape, ivy, fig, beech, tamarisk

Baldur: St. John’s wort, daisy

Bran: alder, all grains

Cupid: cypress, sugar, white violet, red rose

Dagda: oak

Dianus: fig

Dionysus: fig, apple, ivy, grape, pine, corn, pomegranate, toadstools, mushrooms, fennel, all wild and cultivated trees

Dis: cypress

Ea: cedar

Eros: red rose

Gwydion: ash

Helios: oak

Horus: horehound, lotus, persea

Hypnos: poppy

Jove: pine, cassia, houseleek, carnation, cypress

Jupiter: aloe, agrimony, sage, oak, mullein, acorn,  beech, cypress, houseleek, date palm, violet, gorse, ox-eye daisy, vervain

Kernunnos: heliotrope, bay, sunflower, oak, orange

Kanaloa: banana

Mars: ash, aloe, dogwood, buttercup, witch grass, vervain

Mercury: cinnamon, mulberry, hazel, willow

Mithras: cypress, violet

Neptune: ash, bladderwrack, all seaweeds

Odin: mistletoe, elm, yew, oak

Osiris: acacia, grape, ivy, tamarisk, cedar, clover, date palm, all grains

Pan: fig, pine, reed, oak, fern, all meadow flowers

Pluto: cypress, mint, pomegranate

Poseidon: pine, ash, fig, bladderwrack, all seaweeds

Prometheus: fennel

Ra: acacia, frankincense, myrrh, olive

Saturn: fig, blackberry

Sylvanus: pine

Tammuz: wheat, pomegranate, all grains

Thoth: almond

Thor: thistle, houseleek, vervain, hazel, ash, birch, rowen, oak, pomegranate, burdock, beech

Uranus: ash

Woden: ash

Zeus: oak, olive, pine, aloe, parsley, sage, wheat, fig

 

As the Craft, we will take only that which we need from the green and growing things of the Earth, never failing to attune with the plant before harvesting, nor failing to leave a token of gratitude and respect.

Arachne

Deity of the Day

Arachne

Greek Spider Goddess.

A Lydian girl skilled in weaving, she dared to challenge Athene to compete with her. The contest was held, and Arachne’s work was faultless: impudently, it portrayed some of the Gods’ less reputable deeds, including Athene’s father Zeus abducting Europa. Furious, Athene turned her into a spider, doomed eternally to spin thread drawn from her own body. But the Spider Goddess is more archetypal than this story suggests: spinning and weaving the pattern of destiny like the Moerae or the Norns, and enthroned in the middle of her spiral-pathed stronghold like Arianrhod. Athene here represents Athenian patriarchal thinking, trying to discipline earlier Goddess-concepts.

Hera

Deity of the Day

 

HERA

 

Hera, queen of the gods, the daughter of the Titans Cronus and Rhea, and the sister and wife of the god Zeus. Hera was the goddess of marriage and protector of married women. She was the mother of Ares, god of war; Hephaestus, god of fire; Hebe, goddess of youth; and Ilithyia, goddess of childbirth. A jealous wife, she often persecuted Zeus’s mistresses and children, especially the half- god Hercules, and was known for her vindictive nature.