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</

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

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.

Diana

Deity of the Day

Diana

 

The classical moon goddess, Diana, is still worshipped by neopagans today. Long after Christianity’s triumph over classical paganism, her worship is still going strong. St. Kilian, a Celtic missionary to the pagan Franks, was martyred when he attempted to persuaded the peasants to abandon their worship of this goddess. A writing on the life of St. Caesarius offhandedly mentions “a demon whom simple folk call Diana.”

Diana was the personification of the positive aspects of lunar forces. She was also believed to have led groups of nightriders (known as the “Wild Hunt” or the “Furious Horde”) who flew through the air. The “Wild Hunt” was comprised of “people taken by death before their time, children snatched away at an early age, victims of a violent end.” The goddess would accompany her followers as they wandered at night among the houses of the well-to-do. Whenever they would arrive at a home that was particularly well-kept, Diana would bestow her blessings upon it.

Many benandanti (from the Italian for “those who go well” or “good-doers”) were followers of Diana. The benandanti were members of a fertility cult who were basically anti-witches and practicers of white magic. Nonetheless, they were tortured by the Inquisitors just the same as practicers of the black arts were.

Diana was intrinsically linked with several other witch deities, including Abonde, Abundia, Aradia, Hecate, Herodias, Holda, Perchta, Satia, and Venus.

Bibliography. (Ginzburg 40-46) Bibliography. (King 24)

Great Mother Goddesses

Great Mother Goddesses

Gods/Goddesses– Bel, the Dagda, Don, the Dagda, Bel, Cronus, Uranus, Zeus, Jupiter, Saturn, Amen, Osiris, Ra, Pachacamac, Cerridwen, Danu, Macha, Morrigu, Brigit, Anu, Badb, Rhianon, Demeter, Hera, Rhea, Hecate, Aphrodite, Gaea, Juno, Venus, Ceres, Ops, Bona Dea, Cybele, Isis, Mut, Nut, Coatlicue, Kuan Yin, Ishtar, Astarte, Inanna, Cerridwen, Danu, Morrigu, Anu, Margawse, Growth, Demeter, Gaea, Boreas, Eurus, Ceres
Color– Indigo, Black
Incense/Oil– Holly, Juniper, Yew, Myrrh, Cypress
Animals– Goat
Spirits– Dragon
Stones– Onyx, Jet
Metal– Lead
Plants– Reeds, Solomon’s Seal, Oak, Yew, Beech, Comfrey, Elm, Holly, Ivy, Horsetail, Juniper, Mullien
Wood– Oak
Planet– Saturn
Tarot Cards– Four Queens, Four Threes
Magickal Tools– Sword, Wand
Direction– West
Rituals– Stabilization of Thought and Life, Help with Groups, Comfort, Goddess Power, Developing Power of Faith