Learning To Walk Alone

Learning To Walk Alone

Author: Mistress Ravenfyre

Requests. Requests. Requests.

Is this all the Gods and Goddesses ever hear? Over and over again they listen to us who worship them tell of our woes, tales of sorrow, our despair. In times of sorrow, stress and loneliness, we reach out for them. Calling their names individually, seeking their guidance. Pouring out our trials and tribulations hoping to be heard. Hoping to have some kind intervention. Will there be a miracle to save us from whatever is going on in our lives that is making us call them in this manner? Are we seeking instant gratification instead of taking the long road ourselves?

Do the Gods and Goddesses ever tire of these requests placed upon their shoulders? When they know that they are unable to intervene even in a small way, do they hang their heads and say a silent prayer for us? Do the thoughts run through their heads that certain people only call upon them when they are in trouble but no other time? Knowing that the reason that there will be no help from them is because these people have to learn to help themselves. Just as we parents must let go of our toddlers, letting them experiment. Using trial and error. They too do the same for us.

I am sure that they do tire of all this. Hearing it from thousands upon thousands, day in and day out. This can be wearisome. Not to mention – do these same people give thanks to the Gods and Goddesses when times are good? Or simply when the going gets tough? Hearing the pain in their voices, seeing the tears cascade down their faces. Holding their heads in hands, weeping. No, I am not talking about us, mortals. I am speaking of our Gods and Goddesses. Are we so selfish and wrapped up in our lives and ego that we forget that they too feel these pains from us? They feel our despair. Yet they at times know that it is our job, here on our planet, to solve our problems without their help.

They are giving their help. They are helping us by not helping. Letting us make mistakes, solve these mistakes and pave the road smoother for our travels. Each individual, as they know, has a path to walk. This path may be filled with ruts and holes, but it is the path we must travel. To learn to fill in these ruts is our job. Not the Divine Ones. We need to learn to fill these ruts with concrete. Filling one hole at a time. Once we do this, our travels are not as burdened.

Our Gods and Goddesses, whoever they may be, know that we must learn to solve our own problems. Solving our own problems alone teaches us those life lessons that are needed for us to grow inside. Each time we solve these problems we have laid another new section on our road.

This re-building of our paths seems to be never-ending. Obstacles seem to be placed in front of us. Making us stop, not being able to go around whatever is there. Sometimes we must open our mind’s eye to see the solution. Causing us to bring out our inner strengths and trust. Worry, doubts, fears are those main obstacles that, in any given situation, prohibit us from coming up with a viable solution. Once we are able to overcome the fears, doubts and worries, we are able to free our mind and let the soft inner voice caress us with the answers. Listening to this voice can be all the help that you need. For you have opened up to see and hear the signs that are leading you to the solution. You are now able to walk straighter and see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Nobody said that life was easy all the time. If it were easy what would we learn? Would we in fact have our faith?

If we did not have these opportunities to overcome obstacles would we recognize a Divine Intervention? Would we appreciate it? The awe would seem to be gone.

Our Gods and Goddesses may revel in our accomplishments. For they know that even by the tough love that they sometimes send out, we have survived another passage. Instead of tears of sadness, they shed tears of happiness in our advancements.

We will grow each time by learning to be strong, independent and happy individuals.

They see us and smile, knowing that we are doing fine alone most of the time. Our faith guides us. Our intelligence and perseverance to face the hardships are only stepping stones on the way to enlightenment.

You know and feel that their eyes and hearts are never closed to us. They are doing us a favor by allowing us “free will.” Their silent prayers are our answers to our requests. We just have to learn to open our minds and listen for them. They have done more for us by doing nothing.

After the hardships are behind you, please remember to thank your Gods and Goddesses for the blessings that you have in your life. One should do this daily. Whether in time of need or not. Don’t just call upon them in times of sorrow or hard times. Share your happiness with them. Your love and faith should be shown to them continuously by the things you do each day. Use personal words or prayers created just for them. Speak to your chosen Gods and Goddesses as if they are with you, because they are. Choose to do whatever makes you feel closer to them.

While you are alone, look again at the path you are traveling. See where you have been, where you are and where you are going. See how far you have come. See the things that brightened your life.

Finally, raise your eyes and arms to the heaven; say a silent prayer of love and gratitude to your Gods and Goddesses for their safe travels.

Lady of the Crossroads

Lady of the Crossroads
by
Heathwitch

One on three
which way to go
a second stood
still
faces outcast
Darkness about clasped
with snake and lion and
hound
thin veins under leather
untouched by time
outstretched a
touch
with eyes of heaven.
One on three
take a step
make a
choice
I will be with you
silent when needed
A fury when you
fear
Face the Moon
I will be here.
.
At Samhain, our thoughts turn
toward the memory of our ancestors, the mysteries of death and rebirth, the
practice of divination. We decorate our altars with blacks and oranges,
photographs of those who have passed on, and we commune with the Lords and
Ladies of the Underworld  such as the Greek Goddess Hecate.

Hecate is
the Thracian Goddess of the moon, absorbed as a Titan by the Greeks and
worshipped at crossroads, for She has the ability to see past, present and
future pathways. Though most commonly perceived as a Crone Goddess, Hecate can
also appear as a Maiden, terrible and beautiful to behold.

She is the
dark Goddess, the Lady of the Wild Hunt and keeper of occult knowledge and
wisdom. Known as the “Goddess of Witches” and the “Patroness of Priestesses”,
Hecate stands at the gateway between life and death, such is Her role as Queen
of the Underworld and the Lady of Spirits. She is also the changer, the one who
destroys in order to cause rebirth and regeneration.

Hecate’s roles are
not solely tied to the “darker” aspects of life however. She is also the midwife
who blesses new life in the world, the teacher who guides seekers and the
witness who aides with decision-making and determining truth, the giver of
courage and strength. She is intuition and psychic ability, the Lady of dreams
and nightmares who helps us see the deeper, shadow-side of our psyches. She is
the Wise Woman who sees all and knows all, and who will willingly share Her
knowledge and wisdom with you, if you but ask.

Hecate’s colours are deep
reds, purples and black, and She rules over all wild animals  in particular
dragons, dogs, frogs, horses, reptiles, toads and snakes. Her trees are willow
and yew, most commonly seen in graveyards, and She can be found in the tarot
cards the Hermit, the Moon and the High Priestess.

You can invite Hecate
into your life by mixing an oil for Her (add 10 drops cypress oil, 6 drops
patchouli oil and 4 drops sandalwood oil to 20ml of base oil) and including it
in a ritual or meditation dedicated to Hecate. Alternatively you could make an
incense blend to honour this Goddess  try the following recipe:

½ part
crushed garlic
½ part mandrake root
½ part mugwort
2 parts willow
bark
1 part lavender
4 parts myrrh
A few drops of cypress oil
A few
drops of myrrh oil

You can also work with Hecate in ritual; She can be
invoked to aid in inner exploration, dream-work, divination, healing, spells of
all kinds, banishings and the release of negativity, communicating with the
dead, and meditations and journeys to your inner self.

At Samhain,
Hecate can be called upon to focus your intuition when practicing divination on
this night when the veils between the world are thin. She can be invoked for
help in spell workings and the making of charms, or to help in soul-searching
meditations.

Most often, though, Hecate is invoked at Samhain to aid in
honouring and contacting our Beloved Dead, those who have passed from this
physical life before us:

Decorate the altar with blacks and oranges. Use
flowers of the same colours, and fruits of the season (pumpkins, root
vegetables). Light orange and black candles if possible and use a mixture of
cedarwood and sweetgrass incense — cedarwood for purification, sweetgrass for
your ancestors.

Assemble on your altar pictures of your ancestors and
mementos you may have received from them.

Cast circle in your usual way.
Invoke Hecate:

“Hecate, Goddess of the Realm of Spirits,
She who
stands at the crossroads,
Seer of past, present and future,
Guardian of
all Witches and Lady of the Dark,
I ask you to come forth into my
circle
And stand with me this night
Hail and welcome!”

Feel Hecate
come into your circle. Sit with your altar and slowly focus on each of your
ancestors. Speak aloud of their life and their impact on you. Ask Hecate to
acknowledge your reverence of those who have gone before, and ask that your
ancestors know of your love and thoughts.

Take your time and do not be
afraid of the emotions which may come to you; embrace them and welcome them into
your circle. As you speak of your ancestors you may feel them draw near from the
Summerlands; do not be afraid — instead, feel touched by their presence and
thank them for all they mean to you.

Thank Hecate and your ancestors for
their presence and say goodbye. Blow out the candles and take up
circle.

Have a Blessed Samhain!

Sources:
———-
Ann,
Martha, and Dorothy Myers Imel. Goddesses in World Mythology: A Biographical
Dictionary. Oxford University Press: New York (1995).
Ardinger, Barbara.
Goddess Meditations. Llewellyn: Minnesota (1998).
Conway, D. J. The Ancient
and Shining Ones. Llewellyn: Minnesota (1993).
Franklin, Anna. Magical
Incenses and Oils. Capall Bann: Berkshire (2000).
Marashinsky, Amy Sophia.
The Goddess Oracle: A Way to Wholeness through the Goddess and Ritual. Element:
Boston (1997).
Sjöö, Monica & Mor, Barbara. The Great Cosmic Mother:
Rediscovering The Religion of the Earth. HarperCollins: San Francisco (1991).

Zell, Morning Glory. “Manifesting Hecate”, SageWoman # 60 (Winter 2003).
Blessed Bee: California (2003).
.
About The Author: Heathwitch is a
Witch, teacher and author. She runs courses and workshops on energy work,
healing, Witchcraft and magic. High Priestess of the Circle of the Moon coven, Heathwitch lives in Cheshire, England.

Excerpt taken from:

Seasons of the Moon E-zine

The Ancient Druids

The Ancient Druids

In about 750 CE the word druid appears in a poem by Blathmac, who wrote about Jesus saying that he was “…better than a prophet, more knowledgeable than every druid, a king who was a bishop and a complete sage.” The druids then also appear in some of the medieval tales from Christianized Ireland like the Táin Bó Cúailnge, where they are largely portrayed as sorcerers who opposed the coming of Christianity. In the wake of the Celtic revival during the 18th and 19th centuries, fraternal and Neopagan groups were founded based upon the ideas about the ancient druids, a movement which is known as Neo-Druidism.

According to historian Ronald Hutton, “we can know virtually nothing of certainty about the ancient Druids, so that—although they certainly existed—they function more or less as legendary figures.” However, the sources provided about them by ancient and medieval writers, coupled with archaeological evidence, can give us an idea of what they might have performed as a part of their religious duties.

Druid History

One of the few things that both the Greco-Roman and the vernacular Irish sources agree on about the druids was that they played an important part in pagan Celtic society. In his description, Julius Caesar claimed that they were one of the two most important social groups in the region (alongside the equities, or nobles), and were responsible for organizing worship and sacrifices, divination, and judicial procedure in Gaulish, British and Irish society. He also claimed that they were exempt from military service and from the payment of taxes, and that they had the power to excommunicate people from religious festivals, making them social outcasts. Two other classical writers, Diodorus Siculus and Strabo also wrote about the role of druids in Gallic society, claiming that the druids were held in such respect that if they intervened between two armies they could stop the battle.

Pomponius Mela is the first author who says that the druids’ instruction was secret, and was carried on in caves and forests. Druidic lore consisted of a large number of verses learned by heart, and Caesar remarked that it could take up to twenty years to complete the course of study. There is no historic evidence during the period when Druidism was flourishing to suggest that Druids were other than male. What was taught to Druid novices anywhere is conjecture: of the druids’ oral literature, not one certifiably ancient verse is known to have survived, even in translation. All instruction was communicated orally, but for ordinary purposes, Caesar reports, the Gauls had a written language in which they used Greek characters. In this he probably draws on earlier writers; by the time of Caesar, Gaulish inscriptions had moved from the Greek script to the Latin script.

The Druid’s Religious Practices & Philosophy

Greek and Roman writers frequently made reference to the druids as practitioners of human sacrifice, a trait they themselves reviled, believing it to be barbaric. Such reports of druidic human sacrifice are found in the works of Lucan, Julius Caesar, Suetonius and Cicero.Caesar claimed that the sacrifice was primarily of criminals, but at times innocents would also be used, and that they would be burned alive in a large wooden effigy, now often known as a wicker man. A differing account came from the 10th-century Commenta Bernensia, which claimed that sacrifices to the deities Teutates, Esus and Taranis were by drowning,mhanging and burning, respectively.

Diodorus Siculus asserts that a sacrifice acceptable to the Celtic gods had to be attended by a druid, for they were the intermediaries between the people and the divinities. He remarked upon the importance of prophets in druidic ritual:

“These men predict the future by observing the flight and calls of birds and by the sacrifice of holy animals: all orders of society are in their power… and in very important matters they prepare a human victim, plunging a dagger into his chest; by observing the way his limbs convulse as he falls and the gushing of his blood, they are able to read the future.”

There is archaeological evidence from western Europe that has been widely used to back up the idea that human sacrifice was performed by the Iron Age Celts. Mass graves found in a ritual context dating from this period have been unearthed in Gaul, at both Gournay-sur-Aronde and Ribemont-sur-Ancre in what was the region of the Belgae chiefdom. The excavator of these sites, Jean-Louis Brunaux, interpreted them as areas of human sacrifice in devotion to a war god, although this view was criticised by another archaeologist, Martin Brown, who believed that the corpses might be those of honoured warriors buried in the sanctuary rather than sacrifices.Some historians have questioned whether the Greco-Roman writers were accurate in their claims. J. Rives remarked that it was “ambiguous” whether the druids ever performed such sacrifices, for the Romans and Greeks were known to project what they saw as barbarian traits onto foreign peoples including not only druids but Jews and Christians as well, thereby confirming their own “cultural superiority” in their own minds. Taking a similar opinion, Ronald Hutton summarised the evidence by stating that “the Greek and Roman sources for Druidry are not, as we have received them, of sufficiently good quality to make a clear and final decision on whether human sacrifice was indeed a part of their belief system.” Peter Berresford Ellis, a Celtic nationalist who authored The Druids (1994), believed them to be the equivalents of the Indian Brahmin caste, and considered accusations of human sacrifice to remain unproven,whilst an expert in medieval Welsh and Irish literature, Nora Chadwick, who believed them to be great philosophers, fervently purported the idea that they had not been involved in human sacrifice, and that such accusations were imperialist Roman propaganda.

Druids And The Irish Culture

During the Middle Ages, after Ireland and Wales were Christianized, druids appeared in a number of written sources, mainly tales and stories such as the Táin Bó Cúailnge, but also in the hagiographies of various saints. These were all written by Christian monks, who, according to Ronald Hutton, “may not merely have been hostile to the earlier paganism but actually ignorant of it” and so would not have been particularly reliable, but at the same time may provide clues as to the practices of druids in Ireland, and to a lesser extent, Wales.

The Irish passages referring to druids in such vernacular sources were “more numerous than those on the classical texts” of the Greeks and Romans, and paint a somewhat different picture of them. The druids in Irish literature—for whom words such as drui, draoi, drua and drai are used—are sorcerers with supernatural powers, who are respected in society, particularly for their ability to perform divination. They can cast spells and turn people into animals or stones, or curse peoples’ crops to be blighted. At the same time, the term druid is sometimes used to refer to any figure who uses magic, for instance in the Fenian Cycle, both giants and warriors are referred to as druids when they cast a spell, even though they are not usually referred to as such; as Ronald Hutton noted, in medieval Irish literature, “the category of Druid [is] very porous.”

When druids are portrayed in early Irish sagas and saints’ lives set in the pre-Christian past of the island, they are usually accorded high social status. The evidence of the law-texts, which were first written down in the 7th and 8th centuries, suggests that with the coming of Christianity the role of the druid in Irish society was rapidly reduced to that of a sorcerer who could be consulted to cast spells or practice healing magic and that his standing declined accordingly. According to the early legal tract Bretha Crólige, the sick-maintenance due to a druid, satirist and brigand (díberg) is no more than that due to a bóaire (an ordinary freeman). Another law-text, Uraicecht Becc (‘Small primer’), gives the druid a place among the dóer-nemed or professional classes which depend for their status on a patron, along with wrights, blacksmiths and entertainers, as opposed to the fili, who alone enjoyed free nemed-status.

Whilst druids featured prominently in many medieval Irish sources, they were far rarer in their Welsh counterparts. Unlike the Irish texts, the Welsh term commonly seen as referring to the druids, dryw, was used to refer purely to prophets and not to sorcerers or pagan priests. Historian Ronald Hutton noted that there were two explanations for the use of the term in Wales: the first was that it was a survival from the pre-Christian era, when dryw had been ancient priests, whilst the second was that the Welsh had borrowed the term from the Irish, as had the English (who used the terms dry and drycraeft to refer to magicians and magic respectively, most probably influenced by the Irish terms.)

As the historian Jane Webster stated, “individual druids… are unlikely to be identified archaeologically”, a view which was echoed by Ronald Hutton, who declared that “not one single artifact or image has been unearthed that can undoubtedly be connected with the ancient Druids.” A.P. Fitzpatrick, in examining what he believed to be astral symbolism on Late Iron Age swords has expressed difficulties in relating any material culture, even the Coligny calendar, with druidic culture. Nonetheless, some archaeologists have attempted to link certain discoveries with written accounts of the druids, for instance the archaeologist Anne Ross linked what she believed to be evidence of human sacrifice in Celtic pagan society—such as the Lindow Man bog body—to the Greco-Roman accounts of human sacrifice being officiated over by the druids.

An excavated burial in Deal, Kent discovered the “Deal warrior” a man buried around 200-150 BCE with a sword and shield, and wearing a unique crown, too thin to be a helmet. The crown is bronze with a broad band around the head and a thin strip crossing the top of the head. It was worn without any padding beneath, as traces of hair were left on the metal. The form of the crown is similar to that seen in images of Romano-British priests several centuries later, leading to speculation among archaeologists that the man might have been a druid.

The Demise And Revival Of The Druids

During the Gallic Wars of 58 to 51 BCE, the Roman army, led by Julius Caesar, conquered the many tribal chiefdoms of Gaul, and annexed it as a part of the Roman Empire. According to accounts produced in the following centuries, the new rulers of Roman Gaul subsequently introduced measures to wipe out the druids from that country. According to Pliny the Elder, writing in the 70s CE, it was the emperor Tiberius (who ruled from 14 to 37 CE), who introduced laws banning not only druidism, but also other native soothsayers and healers, a move which Pliny applauded, believing that it would end human sacrifice in Gaul A somewhat different account of Roman legal attacks on druidism was made by Suetonius, writing in the 2nd century CE, when he claimed that Rome’s first emperor, Augustus (who had ruled from 27 BCE till 14 CE), had decreed that no-one could be both a druid and a Roman citizen, and that this was followed by a law passed by the later Emperor Claudius (who had ruled from 41 to 54 CE) which “thoroughly suppressed” the druids by banning their religious practices.

The best evidence of a druidic tradition in the British Isles is the independent cognate of the Celtic *druwid- in Insular Celtic: The Old Irish druídecht survives in the meaning of “magic”, and the Welsh dryw in the meaning of “seer”.

While the druids as a priestly caste were extinct with the Christianization of Wales, complete by the 7th century at the latest, the offices of bard and of “seer” (Welsh: dryw) persisted in medieval Wales into the 13th century.

Phillip Freeman, a classics professor, discusses a later reference to Dryades, which he translates as Druidesses, writing that “The fourth century A.D. collection of imperial biographies known as the Historia Augusta contains three short passages involving Gaulish women called “Dryades” (“Druidesses”).” He points out that “In all of these, the women may not be direct heirs of the Druids who were supposedly extinguished by the Romans — but in any case they do show that the druidic function of prophesy continued among the natives in Roman Gaul.” However, the Historia Augusta is frequently interpreted by scholars as a largely satirical work, and such details might have been introduced in a humorous fashion. Additionally, Druidesses are mentioned in later Irish mythology, including the legend of Fionn mac Cumhaill, who, according to the 12th century The Boyhood Deeds of Fionn, is raised by the druidess Bodhmall and a wise-woman.

The story of Vortigern, as reported by Nennius, provides one of the very few glimpses of possible druidic survival in Britain after the Roman conquest: unfortunately, Nennius is noted for mixing fact and legend in such a way that it is now impossible to know the truth behind his text. He wrote that after being excommunicated by Germanus, the British leader Vortigern invited twelve druids to assist him.

In the lives of saints and martyrs, the druids are represented as magicians and diviners. In Adamnan’s vita of Columba, two of them act as tutors to the daughters of Lóegaire mac Néill, the High King of Ireland, at the coming of Saint Patrick. They are represented as endeavouring to prevent the progress of Patrick and Saint Columba by raising clouds and mist. Before the battle of Culdremne (561) a druid made an airbe drtiad (fence of protection?) round one of the armies, but what is precisely meant by the phrase is unclear. The Irish druids seem to have had a peculiar tonsure. The word druí is always used to render the Latin magus, and in one passage St Columba speaks of Christ as his druid. Similarly, a life of St Bueno’s states that when he died he had a vision of ‘all the saints and druids’.

Sulpicius Severus’ Vita of Martin of Tours relates how Martin encountered a peasant funeral, carrying the body in a winding sheet, which Martin mistook for some druidic rites of sacrifice, “because it was the custom of the Gallic rustics in their wretched folly to carry about through the fields the images of demons veiled with a white covering.” So Martin halted the procession by raising his pectoral cross: “Upon this, the miserable creatures might have been seen at first to become stiff like rocks. Next, as they endeavored, with every possible effort, to move forward, but were not able to take a step farther, they began to whirl themselves about in the most ridiculous fashion, until, not able any longer to sustain the weight, they set down the dead body.” Then discovering his error, Martin raised his hand again to let them proceed: “Thus,” the hagiographer points out, “he both compelled them to stand when he pleased, and permitted them to depart when he thought good.”

From the 18th century, England and Wales experienced a revival of interest in the druids. John Aubrey (1626–1697) had been the first modern writer to connect Stonehenge and other megalithic monuments with the druids; since Aubrey’s views were confined to his notebooks, the first wide audience for this idea were readers of William Stukeley (1687–1765). It is incorrectly believed that John Toland (1670–1722) founded the Ancient Druid Order however the research of historian Ronald Hutton has revealed that the ADO was founded by George Watson MacGregor Reid in 1909. The order never used (and still does not use) the title “Archdruid” for any member, but falsely credited William Blake as having been its “Chosen Chief” from 1799 to 1827, without corroboration in Blake’s numerous writings or among modern Blake scholars. Blake’s bardic mysticism derives instead from the pseudo-Ossianic epics of Macpherson; his friend Frederick Tatham’s depiction of Blake’s imagination, “clothing itself in the dark stole of mural sanctity”— in the precincts of Westminster Abbey— “it dwelt amid the Druid terrors”, is generic rather than specifically neo-Druidic. John Toland was fascinated by Aubrey’s Stonehenge theories, and wrote his own book about the monument without crediting Aubrey. The roles of bards in 10th century Wales had been established by Hywel Dda and it was during the 18th century that the idea arose that Druids had been their predecessors.

The 19th-century idea, gained from uncritical reading of the Gallic Wars, that under cultural-military pressure from Rome the druids formed the core of 1st-century BCE resistance among the Gauls, was examined and dismissed before World War II, though it remains current in folk history.

Druids began to figure widely in popular culture with the first advent of Romanticism. Chateaubriand’s novel Les Martyrs (1809) narrated the doomed love of a druid priestess and a Roman soldier; though Chateaubriand’s theme was the triumph of Christianity over Pagan druids, the setting was to continue to bear fruit. Opera provides a barometer of well-informed popular European culture in the early 19th century: in 1817 Giovanni Pacini brought druids to the stage in Trieste with an opera to a libretto by Felice Romani about a druid priestess, La Sacerdotessa d’Irminsul (“The Priestess of Irminsul”). The most famous druidic opera, Vincenzo Bellini’s Norma was a fiasco at La Scala, when it premiered the day after Christmas, 1831; but in 1833 it was a hit in London. For its libretto, Felice Romani reused some of the pseudo-druidical background of La Sacerdotessa to provide colour to a standard theatrical conflict of love and duty. The story was similar to that of Medea, as it had recently been recast for a popular Parisian play by Alexandre Soumet: the diva of Norma’s hit aria, “Casta Diva”, is the moon goddess, being worshipped in the “grove of the Irmin statue”.

A central figure in 19th century Romanticist Neo-Druidism is the Welshman Edward Williams, better known as Iolo Morganwg. His writings, published posthumously as The Iolo Manuscripts (1849) and Barddas (1862), are not considered credible by contemporary scholars. Williams claimed to have collected ancient knowledge in a “Gorsedd of Bards of the Isles of Britain” he had organized. Many scholars deem part or all of Williams’s work to be fabrication, and purportedly many of the documents are of his own fabrication, but a large portion of the work has indeed been collected from meso-pagan sources dating from as far back as 600 CE.Regardless, it has become impossible to separate the original source material from the fabricated work, and while bits and pieces of the Barddas still turn up in some “Neo-druidic” works, the documents are considered irrelevant by most serious scholars.

T.D. Kendrick’s dispelled (1927) the pseudo-historical aura that had accrued to druids, asserting that “a prodigious amount of rubbish has been written about druidism”; Neo-druidism has nevertheless continued to shape public perceptions of the historical druids. The British Museum is blunt:

Modern Druids have no direct connection to the Druids of the Iron Age. Many of our popular ideas about the Druids are based on the misunderstandings and misconceptions of scholars 200 years ago. These ideas have been superseded by later study and discoveries.

Some strands of contemporary Neodruidism are a continuation of the 18th-century revival and thus are built largely around writings produced in the 18th century and after by second-hand sources and theorists. Some are monotheistic. Others, such as the largest Druid group in the world, The Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids draw on a wide range of sources for their teachings. Members of such Neo-druid groups may be Neopagan, occultist, Reconstructionist, Christian or non-specifically spiritual.

Earth Goddesses – DEMETER

Earth Goddesses – DEMETER 

Demeter is the Greek goddess of the grains, agriculture, and fertility. She is the daughter of the Titans Cronus and Rhea. She is an Olympian.

Demeter is so prevalent in the Greek myths that she is even responsible for the changing of the seasons. In Homer’s Hymn to Demeter, he relates the tale. Demeter, whom Homer describes as a stately goddess, had a child with Zeus named Persephone. Unbeknown to Demeter, Zeus had planned with Hades to ensnare the young Persephone so that Hades would have a wife and therefore a queen of the Underworld. Zeus cunningly brought forth the brightly colored narcissus flower in an attempt to lure Persephone away while she was at play in the fields.

As Persephone set about gathering a bouquet of lovely irises, roses, hyacinths, violets and crocuses, she caught sight of the most magnificent flower in the field – the narcissus. Persephone, stunned by the flower’s beauty, reached out with both hands to pick it for her bouquet. As she did, the Earth opened wide and Hades, riding upon his golden chariot led by immortal horses, snatched the beautiful Persephone and took her wit him into the Underworld. Persephone cried out for her father to save her. Her cries echoed across the countryside, yet no one except Demeter heard her.

Demeter searched the Earth for nine days, grieving so desperately that she touched not a single drop of drink or bite of food. On the tenth day, at the crack of dawn, Hecate spoke with Demeter. She sent Demeter to speak with Helios, the sun god. Demeter begged Helios to tell her who had taken her beloved daughter. Helios replied that it was Zeus himself and explained the role of Hades in the plot.

Demeter was furious and grief stricken. She left Olympus and wandered to Eleusis. For a year she stilled the Earth from fruitfulness. In her grief, the flowers no longer bloomed and the gardens withered and died. The Earth was barren. Zeus sent Iris to try to persuade Demeter to come home, but Demeter would not budge. One by one, each of the gods tried to talk Demeter into returning to Olympus. She refused them all, saying that she would never return until she could lay eyes again on her beloved daughter.

Zeus upon hearing this, sent Hermes to speak with Hades and attempt to cajole him into releasing Persephone. Hades agreed and asked only that Persephone keep him in her heart fondly. With that he tricked her into eating three pomegranate seeds, thereby assuring that she had to return to him. Persephone happily ate the seeds and went on her way back to her mother. When Demeter was greeted by the sight of her daughter, the Earth was once again fruitful and the people rejoiced. Afraid, Demeter asked her daughter if she had eaten anything while in the Underworld, to which Persephone replied that she had eaten the seeds of a pomegranate. Demeter explained that she must live in the Underworld for one third of each year. She swore that while Persephone was on the Earth, she would hold it in bloom for her daughter’s pleasure., but that while Persephone was in the Underworld, it would be barren and cold. Thus, the season were born.

Demeter, with her somewhat ironic sense of humor, placed the poppy in the corn and barley fields. She put all of her sweetness into the fig, which grows alongside wild herbs. As the poppy and the fig grow around the base of her more substantial foodstuffs, they represent the dark side of Demeter. The dark side is the side that holds the life and death of mortals in her hands and carries the seeds of each in her womb. Demeter represents both hunger and abundance.

In one myth, Demeter condemns a man to eternal hunger for daring to attempt to chop down her sacred grove to make a roof for his hall from the wood. The man subsequently eats until there is only one thing left to eat – himself. He devours his own limbs.

Demeter was also a goddess of fertility and, in one myth, coupled with a human in the field. The pairing produced a child. Soon after Demeter became known as a goddess who guarded marriage and was included in ancient marriage rites. Concubines and the like were condemned to her stone gardens, where no plants could ripen and bloom. Demeter’s festival, held in late autumn was celebrate by legitimate wives and included a ritual sowing of the field. It was conducted with the hope of a harvest of beautiful children, a bounty borne from human seed.

Earth Goddesses – FLORA

Earth Goddesses – FLORA

Flora (“flourishing one”) in the Roman and Greek goddess of flowers, youth, fertility, and springtime. She is also identified with the Greek Goddess Chloris. It was said in the Greek myths that when Chloris (originally a nymph) was captured by Zephyrus, he gifted her with the realm of flowers in return for marrying him. So Chloris became known as the Roman Flora.

Flora was thought to give the charm to youth and the sweetness to honey and to protect the petals and give the fragrance to blossoms. She was particularly important in Roman society. Her cults are among the oldest found in Rome, and she was one of the few deities that had her own priests, who were known as the Flamen Floralis. Her bounty was the precursor of modern medicine, as Flora was not only responsible for flowers but was originally responsible for all crops. All gardens fell under her protection, and iron was strictly prohibited within them to allow the plant devas and nature spirits to prosper peacefully. Fairy folk are known for their aversion to iron.

Flora had a special garden of her own, which featured all of the mythological creatures that turned into flowers upon their deaths. Among the blossoms were Narcissus; Ajax, who became a larkspur; Clytie, who became a sunflower; Hyacinth, who had been Apollo’s lover; and Adonis, who became the anemone.

Greek myths also relate a tale where Flora was responsible for the rose. While on an early morning walk through the woods, she stumbled upon the dead body of a beautiful young girl. Saddened to see such a lovely creature dead, she decided to restore her life by transforming her into the most delicate and beautiful of all flowers. In order to accomplish this, she called upon her husband, Zephyrus, god of the western wind, to blow away all of the clouds from the sky. She then called upon Apollo to send his warm rays of sunlight down as blessings. She called upon Aphrodite to add beauty and grace and Dionysus for nectar and fragrance. Everyone agreed that this was the most beautiful of all the flowers.

Flora went to work gathering dewdrops to restore life to the flower and crowned her queen of all flowers. She then called upon Aurora and Iris in spread the word about this new flower. Iris borrowed just a touch of the flower’s color to spread among her rainbows, and Aurora painted the morning sky with the rose-tinted hue.

Aphrodite named the flower the rose in honor of her son Eros, the Greek god of love. Hence, roses are associated with love. Flora presented Eros with the rose as his own in the hope that it would maintain the romantic associations. Eros shared it with Harpocrates, the god of silence, as a bribe to keep secret the indiscretions of his mother, and the rose became associated with silence and secrets as well as love.

According to Roman legend, Flora also had a hand in the creation of Mars, the god of war. Juno, the wife of Jupiter, was jealous that Jupiter had given life to Minerva on his own, so she enlisted the aid of Flora to help her create a son of her own. Flora reluctantly agreed after Juno swore by the river Styx to never tell Jupiter that Flora had taken part. Flora touched Juno with a magickal flower, and Mars began to grown in Juno’s womb. Mars was born and went on to sire Romulus and Remus, who became the founders of Rome.

There was an ancient and somewhat infamous, Roman festival held in Flora’s honor, called the Floralia. It was celebrated annually from the end of April through the beginning of May. The dates suggest that the original purpose of the festival was to beseech Flora to refrain from allowing mildew to fall upon the crops. It is further believed that the Floralia was the inspiration for the Maypole and Mayday celebrations known today as Beltane. The floralia featured chariot races, theater shows, games and lavish banquets. Altars and temples were decorated with every type of flower known to humankind. The participants wore wreaths of flowers in their hair and left offerings of milk and honey.

The Floralia was also a festival known for its unrestrained pleasures. During the celebrations, marriage vows were temporarily forgotten and the celebrants allowed themselves a wide range of a sexual partners. Prostitutes claimed Flora as their matron deity and celebrated her festival vigorously.

Later, as Beltane traditions evolved, Flora became known as a companion of the fairies. This eventually evolved into legends of Flora as a fairy herself. However, it is believed that was borne of some confusion between the Goddess Flora and the fairy Florelia, who is mentioned in tomes of old as a treasure of the Earth akin to Queen Mah.

The role of the flower, and therefore that of Flora, is as important today as it was in ancient times. Almost all holidays and customs include an appropriate flower. We often send flowers to cheer those who are sick, to say farewell to those who have passed, and to celebrate mile-marker events such as birthdays, weddings, and anniversaries. We make use of the scents in perfumes and potpourris and bathing products. We make candles, jellies, wines, and salads from the petals. Flora’s bounty covers everything from poisonous to healing flowers. Chamomile, jasmine, and linden flowers are commonly added to herbal teas. The purple foxglove is the base of the medicine digitalis, which is used in the treatment of heart conditions.

Flowers also have magickal qualities, many of which are steeped in superstition. For instance, the daisy is often used as a divination tool in love matters by plucking the petals off while reciting, “He/she loves me, he/she loves me not.” The dandelion is often used as a tool to bring one’s wishes to fruition by flowing the seeds to the wind. As the wind carries the seeds, it carries one’s wishes to the Goddess as well.

In the Victorian era, flowers were given their own language. A certain type of flower had a specific meaning, which was further sub-divided into categories determined by the color of the flower. For instance, to send a red rose meant “I love you,” whereas to send a yellow rose meant friendship or jealousy. The number of flowers sent also had a specific meaning. It was said to be bad luck to send an even number of flowers.


When the Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon landed in Florida, he looked around at all the many flowers and thought he had found the land containing the Fountain of Youth. He then name the state Florida in honor of Flora.

While we may not choose to celebrate Flora the same way the Romans did, we can honor her on her special days with simple things that remind us of her presence. We can drink flower teas, add flower petals to our baths, prepare meals with edible flowers, decorate our homes and altars with garland and wreaths, wear floral colors, or perform a ritual, or even simply take a walk through flower-strewn fields.

Wishing You A Super Sun Shiny Sunday, dear ones!

Good Afternoon Images, Pictures, Comments
Hey, it’s hard thinking of new greetings each day, lol! I hope you are having a fantastic Sunday. I feel so good today there ought to be a law against it. The glorious Sun is shining, brightly. It looks so warm outside. I watched the Weather Broadcast this morning. The weatherman said it was going to be up in the 60’s and you better get out there and enjoy the day. Well dumb butt, believed him, I always wear shorts around the house. So I figured if it is supposed to be that warm, I would run out in them. I opened the door, not to bad. My big mistake was shutting the door. Good grief! The wind is blowing a gale and I think the wind chill is 10 degrees out there. It’s my own fault, I should know by now, never, ever trust the local weather people.

So I hope your morning is nice and warm. Remember if it looks warm outside, stick your toe out first. Well with that helpful tip, how about we get on with more important matters.

Have a Very Blessed Day!

 

Affirmation of the Day for Sun. January 29th

“I do not seek perfection – only to do the best that I  an. If others do better. I will admire them without envy while trying to do better myself.”

 

Thought of the Day for Sun. January 29th

The Flight of Icarus

According to Greek mythology, Icarus was a young man who tried to escape from a labyrinth wearing a pair of waxen wings made by his father Daedalus. However, despite his father’s warning. Icarus flew too close to the sun, his wings melted and he fell to the Earth. Hold this story in your mind to remind yourself of the need to balance idealism and aspiration with a realistic awareness of human limitation.

Today We Honor The Goddess Hecate

Hecate – Dark Goddess of Magic & Sorcery

By Patti Wigington

Hecate (sometimes spelled Hekate) was originally a Thracian, and pre-Olympian Greek goddess, and ruled over the realms of earth and fertility rituals. As a goddess of childbirth, she was often invoked for rites of puberty, and in some cases watched over maidens who were beginning to menstruate. Eventually, Hecate evolved to become a goddess of magic and sorcery. She was venerated as a mother goddess, and during the Ptolemaic period in Alexandria was elevated to her position as goddess of ghosts and the spirit world.

Much like the Celtic hearth goddess Brighid, Hecate is a guardian of crossroads, and often symbolized by a spinning wheel. In addition to her connection to Brighid, she is associated with Diana Lucifera, who is the Roman Diana in her aspect as light-bearer. Hecate is often portrayed wearing the keys to the spirit world at her belt, accompanied by a three-headed hound, and surrounded by lit torches.

The epic poet Hesiod tells us Hecate was the only child of Asteria, a star goddess who was the aunt of Apollo and Artemis. The event of Hecate’s birth was tied to the reappearance of Phoebe, a lunar goddess, who appeared during the darkest phase of the moon.

Today, many contemporary Pagans and Wiccans honor Hecate in her guise as a Dark Goddess, although it would be incorrect to refer to her as an aspect of the Crone, because of her connection to childbirth and maidenhood. It’s more likely that her role as “dark goddess” comes from her connection to the spirit world, ghosts, the dark moon, and magic. She is known as a goddess who is not to be invoked lightly, or by those who are calling upon her frivolously. She is honored on November 30, the night of Hecate Trivia, the night of the crossroads.

 

The Goddess Diana

 

Research on the Goddess Diana

Part 1

“Goddess Of The Hunt”

Diana (lt. “heavenly” or “divine”) was the goddess of the hunt, being associated with wild animals and woodland, and also of the moon in Roman mythology. In literature she was the equal of the Greek goddess Artemis, though in cult beliefs she was Italic, not Greek, in origin. Diana was worshiped in ancient Roman religion and is currently revered in Roman Neopaganism and Stregheria. Dianic Wicca, a largely feminist form of the practice, is named for her. Diana was known to be the virgin goddess and looked after virgins and women. She was one of the three maiden goddesses, Diana, Minerva and Vesta, who swore never to marry.

Along with her main attributes, Diana was an emblem of chastity. Oak groves were especially sacred to her. According to mythology, Diana was born with her twin brother Apollo on the island of Delos, daughter of Jupiter and Latona. Diana made up a triad with two other Roman deities: Egeria the water nymph, her servant and assistant midwife; and Virbius, the woodland god.

Diana (pronounced with long ‘i’ and a’) is an adjectival form developed from an ancient *divios, corresponding to later ‘divus’, ‘dius’, as in Dius Fidius, Dea Dia and in the neuter form dium meaning the sky. It is rooted in Indoeuropean *d(e)y(e)w meaning bright sky or daylight, from which also derived the name of Vedic god Dyaus and the Latin deus (god), dies (day, daylight).

The Greek αδει(αν)ός (adei(an)os) means empty, because Aeneas’s mother, Venus, in the form of a hunting woman was very similar to the goddess Diana and because the Aeneid describes that since Paris (mythology) the temples hallow an empty name and she went down the empty sky when Eurytion held the arrow ready on his bended bow.

Theology

The persona of Diana is complex and contains a number of archaic features. According to Dumezil it falls into a particular subset of celestial gods, referred to in histories of religion as ‘frame gods’. Such gods, while keeping the original features of celestial divinities, i.e. transcendent heavenly power and abstention from direct rule in worldly matters, did not share the fate of other celestial gods in Indoeuropean religions – that of becoming dei otiosi, since they did retain a particular sort of influence over the world and mankind.

The celestial character of Diana is reflected in her connexion with light, inaccessibility, virginity, and her preference for dwelling on high mountains and in sacred woods. Diana therefore reflects the heavenly world (dium) in its sovereignty, supremacy, impassibility, and indifference towards such secular matters as the fates of men and states. At the same time, however, she is seen as active in ensuring the succession of kings and in the preservation of mankind through the protection of childbirth.

These functions are apparent in the traditional institutions and cults related to the goddess. 1) The institution of the rex Nemorensis, Diana’s sacredos in the Arician wood, who held its position til somebody else challenged and killed him in a duel, after breaking a branch from a certain tree of the wood. This ever totally open succession reveals the character and mission of the goddess as a guarantee of the continuity of the kingly status through successive generations.The same meaning implying her function of bestower of regality is testified by the story related by Livy of the prediction of empire to the land of origin of the person who would offer her a particularly beautiful cow. 2) Diana was also worshipped by women who sought pregnancy or asked for an easy delivery. This kind of worship is testified by archeological finds of votive statuettes in her sanctuary in the nemus Aricinum as well as by ancient sources, e.g. Ovid.

According to Dumezil the forerunner of all frame gods is an Indian epic hero who was the image (avatar) of the Vedic god Dyaus. Having renounced the world, in his roles of father and king, he attained the status of an immortal being while retaining the duty of ensuring that his dynasty is preserved and that there is always a new king for each generation. The Scandinavian god Heimdallr performs an analogous function: he is born first and will die last. He too gives origin to kingship and the first king, bestowing on him regal prerogatives. Diana, although a female deity, has exactly the same functions, preserving mankind through childbirth and royal succession.

Dumezil’s interpretation appears deliberately to ignore that of James G. Frazer, who links Diana with the male god Janus as a divine couple. Frazer identifies the two with the supreme heavenly couple Jupiter-Juno and additionally ties in these figures to the overarching Indoeuropean religious complex. This regality is also linked to the cult of trees, particularly oaks. In this interpretative schema, the institution of the Rex Nemorensis and related ritual should be seen as related to the theme of the dying god and the kings of May.

Physical Description

Diana often appeared as a young woman, age around 12 to 19. It was believed that she had a fair face like Aphrodite with a tall body, slim, small hips, and a high forehead. As a goddess of hunting, she wore a very short tunic so she could hunt and run easily and is often portrayed holding a bow, and carrying a quiver on her shoulder, accompanied by a deer or hunting dog. Sometimes the hunted creature would also be shown. As goddess of the moon, however, Diana wore a long robe, sometimes with a veil covering her head. Both as goddess of hunting and goddess of the moon she is frequently portrayed wearing a moon crown.

Worship

Diana was initially just the hunting goddess, associated with wild animals and woodlands. She also later became a moon goddess, supplanting Titan goddess Luna. She also became the goddess of childbirth and ruled over the countryside.

Diana was worshipped at a festival on August 13, when King Servius Tullius, himself born a slave, dedicated her temple on the Aventine Hill in the mid-sixth century BC. Being placed on the Aventine, and thus outside the pomerium, meant that Diana’s cult essentially remained a ‘foreign’ one, like that of Bacchus; she was never officially ‘transferred’ to Rome as Juno was after the sack of Veii. It seems that her cult originated in Aricia, where her priest, the Rex Nemorensis remained. There the simple open-air fane was held in common by the Latin tribes, which Rome aspired to weld into a league and direct. Diana of the wood was soon thoroughly Hellenized, “a process which culminated with the appearance of Diana beside Apollo in the first lectisternium at Rome”. Diana was regarded with great reverence by lower-class citizens and slaves; slaves could receive asylum in her temples. This fact is of difficult interpretation. Wissowa proposed the explanation that it might be because the first slaves of the Romans must have been Latins of the neighbouring tribes.

Though some Roman patrons ordered marble replicas of the specifically Anatolian “Diana” of Ephesus, where the Temple of Artemis stood, Diana was usually depicted for educated Romans in her Greek guise. If she is accompanied by a deer, as in the Diana of Versailles this is because Diana was the patroness of hunting. The deer may also offer a covert reference to the myth of Acteon (or Actaeon), who saw her bathing naked. Diana transformed Acteon into a stag and set his own hunting dogs to kill him.

Worship of Diana is mentioned in the Bible. In Acts of the Apostles, Ephesian metal smiths who felt threatened by Saint Paul’s preaching of Christianity, jealously rioted in her defense, shouting “Great is Diana of the Ephesians!” (Acts 19:28, New English Bible). After the city secretary (γραμματεύς) quieted the crowd, he said, “Men of Ephesus, what person is there who does not know that the city of the Ephesians is the keeper (guardian) of the temple of the great Diana and of her image that fell from heaven ?” (Acts 19:36)

Sanctuaries

Diana was an ancient goddess common to all Latin tribes. Therefore many sanctuaries were dedicated to her in the lands inhabited by Latins. The first one is supposed to have been near Alba before the town was destroyed by the Romans.

The Arician wood sanctuary near the lake of Nemi was Latin confederal as testified by the dedicatory epigraph quoted by Cato.

She had a shrine in Rome on the Aventine hill, according to tradition dedicated by king Servius Tullius. Its location is remarkable as the Aventine is situated outside the pomerium, i.e. original territory of the city, in order to comply with the tradition that Diana was a goddess common to all Latins and not exclusively of the Romans.

Other sanctuaries we know about are listed here below:

Temple of Diana, in Evora, Portugal.

Colle di Corne near Tusculum where she is referred to with the archaic Latin name of deva Cornisca and where existed a collegium of worshippers.

The Algidus Mount, also near Tusculum

At Lavinium

At Tivoli, where she is referred to as Diana Opifera Nemorensis

A sacred wood mentioned by Livyad computum Anagninum(near Anagni).

On Mount Tifata, near Capua in Campania.

In Ephesus, where she was worshiped as Diana of Ephesus and the temple used to be one of world’s seven wonders.

Legacy

In religion

Diana’s cult has been related in Early Modern Europe to the cult of Nicevenn (aka Dame Habond, Perchta, Herodiana, etc.). She was related to myths of a female Wild Hunt.

Wicca

Today there is a branch of Wicca named for her, which is characterized by an exclusive focus on the feminine aspect of the Divine. In some Wiccan texts Lucifer is a name used interchangeably for Diana’s brother Apollo.

Stregheria

In Italy the old religion of Stregheria embraced goddess Diana as Queen of the Witches; witches being the wise women healers of the time. Goddess Diana created the world of her own being having in herself the seeds of all creation yet to come. It is said that out of herself she divided into the darkness and the light, keeping for herself the darkness of creation and creating her brother Apollo, the light. Goddess Diana loved and ruled with her brother Apollo, the god of the Sun. (Charles G. Leland, Aradia: The Gospel of Witches)

Since the Renaissance the mythic Diana has often been expressed in the visual and dramatic arts, including the opera L’arbore di Diana. In the sixteenth century, Diana’s image figured prominently at the Château de Fontainebleau, in deference to Diane de Poitiers, mistress of two French kings. At Versailles she was incorporated into the Olympian iconography with which Louis XIV, the Apollo-like “Sun King” liked to surround himself.

There are also references to her in common literature. In Shakespeare’s play, Romeo and Juliet, many references are made to Diana. Rosaline, a beautiful woman who has sworn to chastity, is said to have “Dian’s wit”. Later on in the play, Romeo says, “It is the East, and Juliet is the sun. Arise fair sun, and kill the envious moon.” He is saying that Juliet is better than Diana and Rosaline for not swearing chastity. Diana is also a character in the 1876 Leo Delibe ballet ‘Sylvia’. The plot deals with Sylvia, one of Diana’s nymphs and sworn to chastity and Diana’s assault on Sylvia’s affections for the shepherd Amyntas.

In Jean Cocteau’s 1946 film La Belle et la Bête it is Diana’s power which has transformed and imprisoned the beast.

In literature

In Shakespeare’s Pericles, Prince of Tyre Diana appears to Pericles in a vision, telling him to go to her temple and tell his story to her followers.

Diana is also used by Shakespeare in the famous play As You Like It to describe how Rosaline feels about marriage.

Diana is used by Shakespeare in Twelfth Night when Orsino compares Viola (in the guise of Cesario) to Diana. “Diana’s lip is not more smooth and rubious”

Speaking of his wife, Desdemona, Shakespeare’s Othello the Moor says, “Her name that was as fresh/As Dian[a]’s visage, is now begrim’d and black/As mine own face.”

There is also a reference to Diana in Shakespeare’s play Much Ado About Nothing where Hero is said to seem like ‘Dian in her orb’, in terms of her chastity.

In All’s Well That Ends Well Diana is seen again, not only as a figure in the play, but also where Helena makes multiple allusions such as, “Now, Dian, from thy altar do I fly…” and “…wish chastely and love dearly, that your Dian/was both herself and love…” The Steward also says, “…; Dian no queen of virgins,/ that would suffer her poor knight surprised, without/ rescue in the first assault or ransom afterward.” It can be assumed that ‘Dian’ simply a shortening of ‘Diana’ since later in the play when Parolles’ letter to Diana is read aloud it reads ‘Dian’.

The Goddess is also referenced indirectly in Shakespeare’s player A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The character Hippolyta states “And then the moon, like to a silver bow new bent in Heaven”. She refers to Diana, Goddesse of the moon, who is often depicted with a silver hunting bow. In the same play the character Hermia is told by the Duke Theseus that she must either wed the character Demetrius “Or on Diana’s alter to protest for aye austerity and sinle life”. He refers to her becoming a nun, with the Goddesse Diana having connotations of chastity.

In The Merchant of Venice Portia states “I will die as chaste as Diana, unless I be obtained by the manner of my father’s will”. (I.ii)

In Romeo & Juliet, Romeo describes Rosaline, saying that “She hath Dian’s wit”.

Carlos Fuentes’s novel entitled, Diana o la cazadora solitaria (Diana or the lone huntress), was based on The Goddess. Diana Soren was also a character that being described as having the same personality as the goddess.

In “The Knight’s Tale” in The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer, Emily prays to Diana to be spared from marriage to either of her admirers Arcite or Palomon.

In “To Science”, the sonnet by Edgar Allan Poe, science “dragged Driana from her car” (9).

In language

Pomona (left, symbolizing agriculture), and Diana (symbolizing commerce) as building decoration

Both the Romanian word for “fairy”, Zână and the Leonese word for “water nymph”, xana, seem to come from the name of Diana.

In Arts

Diana had become one of the most popular theme of arts. Painters like Titian, Peter Paul Rubens, François Boucher, Nicholas Poussin had made her as a major theme. Most of stories that being exposed are the stories of Diana with Actaeon, story of Callisto, and when she rested after hunting. Some famous work of arts with Diana theme are :

  • Diana and Actaeon, Diana and Callisto, and Death of Actaeon by Titian.
  • Diana and Callisto, Diana Resting After Bath, and Diana Getting Out of Bath by François Boucher.
  • Diana Bathing With Her Nymphs by Rembrandt.
  • Diana and Endymion by Poussin.
  • Diana and Callisto, Diana and Her Nymph Departing From Hunt, Diana and Her Nymphs Surprised By A Faun by Rubens.
  • Diana and Endymion by Johann Micheal Rottmayr.
  • The famous fountain at Palace of Caserta, Italy, created by Paolo Persico, Brunelli, Pietro Solari told a story about when Diana being surprised by Acteon.
  • A sculpture by Christophe-Gabriel Allegrain could be seen at the Musée du Louvre.
  • A sculptural mascot on the Diana car manufactured by the Diana Motors Company.

In Beaux Arts

Beaux Arts architecture and garden design (late 19th and early 20th centuries) used classic references in a modernized form. Two of the most popular of the period were of Pomona (goddess of orchards) as a metaphor for Agriculture, and Diana, representing Commerce, which is a perpetual hunt for advantage and profits.

In Parma at the convent of San Paolo, Antonio Allegri da Correggio painted the camera of the Abbess Giovanna Piacenza’s apartment. He was commissioned in 1519 to paint the ceiling and mantel of the fireplace. On the mantel he painted an image of Diana riding in a chariot pulled possibly by a stag.

In Film

Diana/Artemis appears at the end of the ‘Pastoral Symphony’ segment of ‘Fantasia’.

In his 1968 film La Mariée était en noir François Truffaut plays on this mythological symbol. Julie Kohler, played by Jeanne Moreau, poses as Diana/Artemis for the artist Fergus. This choice seems fitting for Julie, a character beset by revenge, of which Fergus becomes the fourth victim. She poses with a bow and arrow, wearing white.

Other

  • In the funeral oration of Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997, her brother drew an analogy between the ancient goddess of hunting and his sister – ‘the most hunted person of the modern age’.
  • William Moulton Marston used the Diana myth as a basis for Wonder Woman.
  • For the album art of Progressive metal band Protest the Hero’s second studio album Fortress, Diana is depicted, protected by rams and other animals. The theme of Diana is carried throughout the album.

 

“Hail Diana”

Hail Artemis Diana
Blessed Lady of the Beasts
I dedicate myself to You

May my path honor Thee
May my spirit celebrate Thee
May my life force magnify Thee

These things I pray
Be fulfilled this day
Goddess Mother help me
To know what is right.”
– Goddess Prayers and Invocations

Research on the Goddess Diana

Part 2

Diana . . . The Roman Goddess was known by many names including Queen of Heaven; the Great Goddess; Lunar Virgin; Mother of Animals; Lady of Wild Creatures; and the Huntress. Diana as the Roman Moon-Goddess was originally worshipped on the mountain Tifata near Capua and in sacred forests. Later she was given a temple in the working-class area on the Aventine Hill where she was mainly worshipped by the lower class (plebeians) and the slaves, of whom she was the patroness. She is often depicted carrying a bow and arrow and wearing animal skins or accompanied by animals.

When the Greek city of Ephesus fell to Roman rule, Goddess Diana was merged with the Greek Goddess Artemis. This is most likely due to the fact that around the time of the Roman empire, Romans would allow the places they over took to continue worshipping their own Gods and Goddesses, incorporating those Goddesses into the Roman Pantheon. Artemis and Diana were worshipped at the same times historically and when the Great Greek Temple of Artemis was destroyed the Romans rebuilt it in honor of Diana and the myth of Goddess Diana of Ephesus began.

Stories of Goddess Diana are told form the beginning of Troy to the Christian Bible of King James in the scriptures of Acts and the gospels of Paul.

Ephesians.”

The multi-breasted statue of Diana at Her Temple in Ephesus displayed her capability to nourish all creatures and provide for them. Worshippers adored Goddess Diana so much that the only way the Christians could rid the people of their Goddess was by assimilating her into their new religion. Thus Ephesus became a place of Mary, Mother of God. The church even invented stories of Mary living at Ephesus and being entombed there.

In Babylonia, and in the nation of Assyria, she was known as “ISHTAR” The Phoenicians called her “ASTARTE”. The Israelites knew her as “ASHTORETH”.

Diana was also the goddess of the Latin commonwealth where She rule with Her brother Lucifer. Lucifer being a Latin word for “Light Bringer”.

In Italy the old religion of Stergheria embraced goddess Diana as Queen of the Witches. Witches being the wise women healers of the time. Goddess Diana created the world of her own being having in herself the seeds of all creation yet to come. It is said that out of herself she divided into the darkness and the light, keeping for herself the darkness of creation and creating her brother Lucifer, the light. Goddess Diana loved and ruled with her brother Lucifer, the god of the Sun and Moon.
As time went on, the Earth was created and Diana descended to Earth, as did her brother Lucifer. Diana taught magick and witches were born. One night using witchcraft in the form of a cat, His most beloved animal, Diana tricked Lucifer. She gained entrance to His chamber where She seduced Him. From this union a daughter was born. Goddess Aradia.
In other versions of this myth we find the similarities the Christain tales take as their own in attempts to dispel the Goddess.
The first being, Lucifer who is so proud of his beauty, and who for his pride is driven from the Paradise of Goddess as is the tale of Lucifer falling from Gods grace.
The second being Goddess Diana also sends Her daughter Aradia to live as a mortal and save the misfortunate people of Earth as does God send His son Jesus to live as a mortal and save the people.

As pagans my sisters, Goddess Diana is the eternal Mother of all creation, the first that is and the last that will be. She is the Huntress of the forest seeking means of survival. She is the call of the wild, the beating heart of the forests, the animal spirit within, urging us to remember our origins. She awakens nature within us that we remember to feel the rustling wind through our hair, to hear the howling of a wolf or the echo of a voice in the forest. Goddess Diana calls to us to let our animal essence out and hone our inherent sensibilities. Dance and sing to the moon, run until our heart pounds to the top of a hill, to take a swim in a creek, roll around in the grass as we once did as a children, or just gaze upon the stars in wonderment; knowing all the while that Goddess Diana is within us, sharing sharing our journey.

As with the Christian invasion into the old religion , we too are told as women what is right and wrong. We are told what is the correct thinking to blend into a society that denies us our truth. Not tonight my sisters, tonight we pray to the Goddess Diana that you never forget the wonders of creation, the joy of being alive, and the importance of being a woman. Tonight we pray to Goddess Diana to be filled with Her strength to survive the challenges that would steal our dreams. under Her Full Moon we are alive in Her reflection. As a Circle of women we pray to Goddess Diana to grants us development and change within ourselves. As we embrace Her energy that is the vibrations of the universe that lives within us let the hunt begin. Let us seek out and tame the resources that is the beast and the forest of our lives. As goddess Diana let us be the huntress of our path. Tonight as women we say “Great is the Goddess Diana and Great is the Goddess in Me”.

Research on the Goddess Diana

Part 3

Ode to Diana

I am Diana

Know me

I have many names, many faces

You know me as the Queen of Heaven, The Huntress, Lady of the Wild Creatures, Lunar Virgin, Daughter of the Moon,

My name has been Ishtar, Astarte, Artemis, Ashtoreth.

I am mother to Aradia. Sister to Lucifer. Daughter of Zeus, most high.

You will find me in Tifata, nearCapua.

My temple is atEphesus, before the time of others that stole.

My temple is in your heart.

My name is your name.

My life is your life, our hearts beat as one.

I am Diana

Celebrate me

When I am a maiden on Ostara, call me by name…

Diana, Aphrodite, Arianrhod, Venus, Cybele, Freya, and Rhiannon.

When I am the mother on Litha, call me by name…

Amaterasu, Hestia, Juno, and Sunna

When I am the Crone on Samhain, call me by name…

Hecate, Inanna, Machi, Mari, Ishtar and Lilith.

Call me down when the moon shines full.

Embrace me when the moon is dark.

Caress me when the moon waxes and wanes.

I am Diana

Honor me

In the night sky as the Great She Bear.

In the phases of the moon,

In nature, the beauty of a sunrise

The mystery of the moon rise.

Speak to me at dawn, at noon when the sun’s heat warms your face

Whisper to me at dusk when purple fingers of nights stain the sky

Sing to me at midnight as you dance beneath my silvery luminescence.

Light a white candle and I am there

Use jasmine and breathe in my spirit.

Place a moonstone in your pocket and I walk with you.

Carry me within your heart and we shall be together

Always.

Written by Ladyhawke. Copyright 2008

Diana in prayer, magic and divination.

Hail Diana

Hail Artemis Diana
Blessed Lady of the Beasts
I dedicate myself to You

May my path honor Thee
May my spirit celebrate Thee
May my life force magnify Thee

These things I pray
Be fulfilled this day
Goddess Mother help me
to know what is right

~ Abby Willowroot © 1999

 

Earth Witch Lore – Crossroads

Earth Witch Lore – Crossroads

 

Crossroads are considered sacred in almost all magical traditions. A crossroads is a universally accepted place to hold rituals, leave offerings, or dispose of items you wish to be rid of. While this is not a natural creation but one that is homemade, it still falls in the realm of earth.

 

It is believed tat Hecate rules over the three-way crossroads. She can see the past, present and future, It is said that if you should approach a three-way crossroads at night, you would hear her black dogs howling. Her altars have been erected at such places for centuries.

 

The four-way crossroad are considered to be powerful because all four directions meet at one point. Dirt, rocks and sticks gathered from such a crossroads are said to have powerful spiritual connections, albeit tricky ones to master. In Greek myths, Oedipus met his fate at the crossroads. From the Yoruban people we have Legha (a god known for his clever tricks) ruling the crossroads.

 

Ancient people were afraid of what it meant when one direction met another direction. All manner of folklore is available concerning the crossroads. Fairies are said to hand about there, along with ghouls and goblins. Even the Christian Satan is said to roam the crossroads.

Earth Witches know that a crossroad is actually a place of sacred transformations, manmade or not. Frequently they see them as a metaphor for transformational points in our lives. In such a capacity the crossroads relate to time.

ARISTAEUS

ARISTAEUS

The deity from Greek Mythology

Pastoral God. Particularly keen on Honey and Dairy produce.

The son of CYRENE and APOLLO, he had a good education thanks to being taught by the Centaur CHIRON and a team of NYMPHS. Fond of country pursuits, ARISTAEUS grew olives and went in for bee-keeping in a big way. He also cultivated the art of curdling milk and may have made the first goat’s milk cheese. We go to enormous lengths to cater for all tastes.

ARISTAEUS married a daughter of CADMUS and had a son Acteon, who upset ARTEMIS and was sadly eaten. ARISTAEUS himself was fond of pursuing nymphs and DRYADS — particularly EURYDICE. It was running away from his advances that caused her to tread on a viper with such tragic results.

The DRYADS (her ilk) sought revenge by killing all his bees. He ran to Mother who sent him to PROTEUS, who had to be restrained before he would consent to do anything. Then four bulls and four heifers had to be sacrificed — and then there was a big buzz as swarms of bees emerged from each carcase.

Courtesy of
Godchecker.com
http://www.godchecker.com/