Goddess of the Day for November 5th – Demeter

Goddess of the Day

 

Demeter

The goddess of agriculture, horticulture, grain and harvest. Demeter is a daughter of Cronus and Rhea and sister of Zeus, by whom she bore Persephone. She was depicted as a mature woman, often crowned and holding sheaf’s of wheat and a torch. Her symbols are the Cornucopia (horn of plenty), wheat-ears, the winged serpent and the lotus staff. Her sacred animals are pigs and snakes.

Calendar of the Moon for June 8th

8 Huath/Thargelion

Thargelia Day II: Festival of the First Fruits

Color: Green

Element: Earth

Altar: Upon a green cloth lay five stones of different colors, an urn of white wine, and a basket of the first produce of the year.

Offerings: The first fruits from the garden, some of which should be shared with outsiders.

Daily Meal: Vegan. Barley. Figs. Dates.

Demeter’s Thargelia Invocation

The road to which our feet are set
Is in a harvest way,
For to the fair-robed Demeter
Our comrades bring today
The first fruits of their harvesting
She on the threshing place
Great store of barley grain outpoured
For guardian of Her Grace.
O great earth-bound Demeter
Whose daughter is the spring,
Whose hands bring forth the golden grain,
These gifts to you we bring:
Our hands, our hearts, our bellies
Once empty and now filled,
The greening of the garden,
The flour of the mill,
We thank you for our sustenance
The bounty of field and hill,
Your touch upon the barren land
Will make it more fertile still.

Chant:
Demeter Demeter Mother of the Grain
Fruit of the Harvest come with the rain

(The produce is brought forward to the altar and laid in baskets, one at a time, kneeling. Afterwards it is shared with others brought in from outside, for generosity begets abundance. The wine is poured out as a libation for Demeter.)

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Water Witch Lore – Legendary Rivers

Legendary Rivers

River in general have some rather dark folklore about them. In Scotland and Ireland, superstition holds that each river demands one life as its due each year. Rivers are a common theme in mythology as gateways to the other side, the land of death. The river Styx, for example, was the portal to the land of the Underworld.

Styx was considered so holy that to swear by it was sacred, even for the Gods. The person making the promise was bound by the river to tell the truth. The water was undrinkable  – it would cause even a deity to lose their voice for nine years. If one swore an oath by the Styx and did not keep it, Zeus himself would force the oath breaker to drink from its waters.

In order to cross the river Styx into the land of Hades, one had to pay the ferryman, Charon. The ancient Greeks buried the dead with coins under their tongues to ensure that their loved ones would be carried safely across.

Styx, which translates to “river of hate,” was only one river in the Greek Underworld. The other four rivers in the Underworld were as follows:

Acheron:  The “river of woe”

Cocytus:  The “river of lamentation”

Phlegethon:  The “river of fire”

Lethe:  The “river of forgetfulness”

In Norse folklore, the Underworld was known as Niflheim. It was ruled over by the Goddess Hel. It was said to have eleven icy cold rivers, which eventually emptied into the river Styx. The river Slith was a combination of floating blades, blood, tears, waste and poison. The river Gjall was called the “river of echoes.” It had many waterfalls, strong currents, and bones floating in its waters.

Though the connection between rivers and the Underworld in folklore may be a dark theme, rivers have their light side too. It is said that no vampire, demon, ghost, or attacking spirit can follow one across a river.

Rivers with an inspirational overtone far outnumber the darker rivers of myth. The Nile, the Ganga, and the Niger just to name a few, are thought to be life-giving. Millions of lives depend on the waters from these rivers. The Nile River is said to be responsible for Egypt’s existence, as it could never be what it is without her power. The people also credit the river with growth in the areas of friendly personalities, generosity, and love. When it comes to rivers in general, the Water Witch understands that sitting on a riverbank and watching the sun sparkle on the water is actually a way of soaking up the love of the universe.

 

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.

Calendar of the Sun for Friday, Jan. 27th

Calendar of the Sun
27 Wolfmonath

Day of the Dioscuri

Color: Blue
Element: Air
Altar: Upon a cloth of blue place two blue candles, two red candles, two figures of horses, to small mirrors, and four knives, one before each candle. Place there also four cups, one containing white wine, one containing red wine, one containing grape juice, and one containing bitter tea.
Offering: Meditate on your inner divisions.
Daily Meal: Poultry.

Invocation to the Dioscuri

Hear ye the story of the Dioscuri, the sacred twins:
Leda, Queen of Sparta, opened herself to her lawful husband,
Tyndareus of Sparta, and also to great Zeus, king of the Gods.
She bore two sets of twins, and of each pair
One was mortal, and the other a divine child.
Castor, son of Zeus, loved his brother,
Pollux son of Tyndareus, with a love that could not separate them,
And Pollux returned that love. Each protected the other’s life,
As it should be between the mortal and immortal part
Of any being. Yet Pollux was stricken, slain, brought down,
As will come about for anything mortal, and went to Hades.
Therefore did Castor grieve, and offered up half his right to Olympus,
So that both spend half their time in the darkness, and half in heaven.
Yet hear the tale of the other twins: Helen the beautiful
Scorned her plain mortal sister Clytemnestra,
Saw her married at twelve, widowed at thirteen,
Raped on the bed beside her murdered babe,
Locked in a tower by her second husband
To prove as brood mare, whilst Helen, fairer of face
Than any mortal woman, went from prince to prince,
Fought over like a proud jewel. Yet the abused sister
Overthrew her oppressors, chose her own mate, turned a kingdom
Back to the ways of old before her death, whilst Helen
Was slain by raging mortal woman, like the sister she had scorned.
And so it is: The Divine and mortal parts must love each other,
More than life itself, and learn to work together,
And be prepared to sacrifice, or both shall be ever lost.

(The four cups are poured out as libation, first the white wine and the grape juice for Castor and Pollux, then the red wine and bitter tea for Helen and Clytemnestra.)

“Demon” Summoning Hecate (1)

Hecate, Queen of Witches,  pre-eminent deity of the ancient nation of Caria, Matron of Midwives, and psychopomp maintains office hours only at night: formal petitions and invitations must be offered after dark. A particularly ancient spirit, the only source of illumination she favors is fire.

Summon Hecate at night by a three-way crossroads. Ideally, light your way with a mullein torch. Offer her garlic, lavender, and honey. If you have a dog, bring it with you. Keep an eye on the dog; it’s likely to perceive Hecate, who adores dogs, before you do. Why would you wish to contact Hecate? Because she can teach you to do anything you can imagine. Because she can grant you enhance psychic powers, fertility, romance, protection, freedom from illness, and magickal restitution for any crime committed against you.

Deity of the Day for 3/29 is ADONIS

Deity of the Day

ADONIS

Handsome God of Desire and Manly Good Looks. Has a very high squeee! factor.

For reasons we won’t go into, APHRODITE turned his mother Myrrha into a pregnant myrrh tree. When it split and the baby was revealed, APHRODITE was enchanted. “Ooh, he’s gorgeous. I’m saving him for later”, she decided.

So she put him in a box and checked him in at the Underworld Bank Vault under the care of PERSEPHONE, who took a quick peek and had the same thought.

When ADONIS grew old enough to be ‘Gods Gift to Women’, PERSEPHONE refused to hand him over. The case went to arbitration and CALLIOPE was asked to bring about a settlement.

Her final judgment was this: For four months of the year, he would live with APHRODITE. Then she must hand him over for four months with PERSEPHONE. For the remaining four months the choice was up to him.

As APHRODITE was the first to find him, she had the first go. Using her girdle of desire, she declared that ADONIS loved only her and PERSEPHONE could take a running jump.

So PERSEPHONE took a running jump to ARES (who was very struck on APHRODITE himself) and said: “Your fancy woman has got herself a mortal lover. And you don’t stand a chance, he’s absolutely gorgeous!”

ARES was furious, and being of a boorish disposition, changed himself into a boar and killed ADONIS in a hunting accident. This resulted in much hair-pulling and scratching and shrieking in Olympus.

Eventually ZEUS decided it was time for a bit of peace. He declared that ADONIS was not totally dead, but could spend six months with each of them.

So now APHRODITE has him in the spring and summer, and he goes down to the Underworld for autumn and winter. This is why everything fades and gets miserable during the winter months. So the Underworld would seem a good place to choose for a winter break.