Pantheon- People never really stopped believing.

March 24th 2018

Written By Hypatia Of Alexandrea for Coven Life


I started to think back to when I first started observing the different Gods and Goddesses in their glory. Coming from a Christian religion and believing that there was only one God it was difficult for me to truly grasp the Many.

Slowly converting from the monotheistic strict religious guidelines I come to realize that the One was once Many. In other words before monotheism came along there was of course many God’s observed, especially by the very creators of the now dominant monotheistic religions.

The Gods of the Pantheons became rolled into one and most others were given the titles of angels and saints. This is evident in the Orthodox Christian religion where some Gods and Goddesses have the title of saints such as Athena, Apollo, Aphrodite, Artemis and the list goes on!

These Gods never ceased to be observed, they were merely converted into saints and most of the time celebrated accordingly to their healing qualities that are connected to their ancient roots.

Being a practitioner of health I of course am drawn to the healing powers of the God’s. In ancient times entire temples were built where people would flock in dedication to be healed by the God’s of health. Even such greats as Hippocrates the father of Medicine adorned these temples.

On the 27th of March, the 147th day of  the new year one of such Gods is celebrated and Her name was Hygeia.


She was the Goddess of healing powers and medicine. The health bringer, the preserver of humanity from sickness and protecting all those from dangers on land and sea. This is where the very word hygiene was taken from. Along with Her father, Their temples were spruced along the Mediterranean helping those in need. Her father was Asclepius and her siblings were Goddesses also connected to health and well-being. Her symbol just like her father is the serpent. In ancient times the serpent was considered the healer sent from the God’s themselves. It was not until later that monotheistic religions turned the serpent into the villain.



Interestingly in medicine the serpent is still used as a symbol of medicine!


Hygeia’s bowl with the serpent used in pharmacology today.



Her Fathers Rod, The Rod of Asclepius used as a symbol of medicine today.

These Gods have been ingrained into the modern Orthodox Christians DNA, and as you can see above also into our western modern day life. Somehow throughout history clearly the people of the Pantheon were not willing to let go so easily and found ways to weave their God’s into their currant way of life. For instance if you are familiar with the Greek Greeting of Yiasou, or (Γειά σου) stin Igia sou, all that translates to is, “ To your Health or , Hygeia”, as the very Goddesses name now days actually still translates as health or hygiene. So Modern Greek Orthodox are still hailing to the Goddess Hygeia unawares, so much so they have Her in their greetings, in their departures and of course in salutations to their actual health. Western society revers these God’s enough to have them as their symbol.

I myself take great interest in observing the religions and cultures of the world. I not only observe and call upon my ancestral God’s but those that I connect with in my soul. Throughout history one God gets converted into the next, same God’s different names, cultures and times. There is no one more right or wrong, however it is important to recognize rather than deny. Denying and insisting that only you’re God or God’s exist is mere ignorance of the structure of creation. Recognize where our faith, our belief systems and our structures originated from.  Traveling the world you see time and time again the similarities of religious observations throughout all different cultures. Learning to embrace all of humanity together with your own religious path is true spirituality, this is the path of an enlightened healer for the self and others. As a witch, a healer, a sage, a shaman call it what you will you are the Earth keeper, the Keeper and guardian of all that is dear to Her. Respect all that she has granted to humanity, breath her in with utmost gratitude, she is your healer, your Hygeia or call her what you may, she who comes by many names and is still the same and the One.

Happy healing and Γειά σου!

Blessings to you and yours


Ceridwen, The Mother of Poetry and Wisdom



Marc Choyt 10/29/2013

The steam still rises from Ceridwen’s cauldron. She is the mother of poetry, wisdom and prophecy, the triple goddess of Maid, Mother and Crone, shape shifting between life and death. Long, long ago, when the gods and goddesses roamed about the earth, visible to men and women, the White Crafty One, Ceridwen was married to Tegit Foel, the giant deity of a Bala lake.

They had two children—first a beautiful daughter and then, a son. That son was named Morfran. He was so repulsive to gaze upon, so ugly, that he was called Afagddu (“utter darkness”). Ceridwen would give him special powers. She would make him wise, overflowing with poetry and inspiration and for this, she needed a potion. Morda, a blind man, was to tend the fire, while Gwion Bach, a young boy, stirred this gift called, Awen.

Perhaps the cauldron was brimming with the oily light of stars, seasoned with the heart of regenerative joy, the labyerinths of infinite black nights, the sweet and bitter songs from rock and water, the elixir of spirit that can shred and make whole again. Life with all its paradoxes inherit in light and darkness, the seeds of wisdom that spring from the mysteries of contradiction—needed to cook a good long time—a year and a day to be exact. When it was ready, three drops would bring you wisdom but even a drop more than that would kill you. After many days of attentive care, three drops spilled on to Gwion’s thumb.

The pain from the boiling liquid was sharp and he immediately put it in his mouth—thus gaining the wisdom that Ceridwen had intended for Morfran. He knew Ceridwen would be in rage and he fled, using the powers of the elixir to change himself into a hare. Ceridwen shape-shifted to a greyhound, in pursuit. He turned into a fish, jumping into a river; she, an otter. He, a song bird; she, a hawk. Finally, he turned into a kernel of corn and she became a hen, finding him and eating him with little effort.

Yet soon, Ceridwen became pregnant, immediately knowing Gwion was in her belly. Though she was resolved to kill him, when he was born, he was so beautiful that infanticide was impossible. Instead, she sewed him in a leather bag and tossed him into the ocean. In Wales, near Aberdyfi, Wales, by Prince Elffin ap Gwyddno was walking along the shore and found the bag. He opened it up and saw the magic child whose forehead was white, like his mother’s. Immediately, the baby recited this poem:


Fair Elffin, cease your weeping! Despair brings no profit. No catch in Gwyddno’s weir Was ever as good as tonight’s. Let no one revile what is his; Man sees not what nurtures him. Gwyddno’s prayers shall not be in vain. God breaks not his promises. Fair Elphin, dry your cheeks!It does not become you to be sad.Though you think you have no gainUndue grief will bring you nothing, Nor will doubting the miracles of the Lord.Though I am small, I am gifted. From the sea and the mountain, from rivers’ depths God sent bounty to the blessed.Elphin of cheerful disposition— Meek is your mind. You must not lament so heavily. Better God than gloomy foreboding. Though I am frail and littleAnd wet with spume of Dylan’s sea, I shall earn in a day of contention Riches better than three score for you. Elphin of the remarkable qualities, Grieve not for your catch. Though I am frail here in my bunting, There are wonders on my tongue. You must not fear greatly While I am watching over you. By remembering the name of the TrinityNone can overcome you.

He was given the name of Taliesin and was raised by Elphin and his wife with great love and happiness. Their wealth increased through all the days. Taliesin grew up to be greatest of all bards, and sang the ancient and true songs of wisdom in the court of King Author. You can still hear his songs if you put your ear to heartbeat of the earth and feel the steam rising from Ceridwen’s cauldron. For Taliesin and Ceridwen, the mother of poetry, wisdom and prophecy, the triple goddess of Maid, Mother and Crone, lives on even now, shape shifting between life and death.


Readings to inspire the Witch Within



Outstanding! Though many who are in search of a “how to witchcraft” instructional manual may have a hardtime grasping the importance & relevancy of the actual historical research which went into each topic. Also, there are insightful inferences made between witchcraft origins relating to many different “religions”. If you want an intelligent read which will answer so many questions why modern witches do xxx<— (fill in the blank), then this is a book for you. Otherwise I recommend Wicca or Witchcraft for Dummies which actually are wonderful books for the novice or magical dabbler.

Happy reading and blessings


Building a Home Shrine

I spent the weekend building a home shrine. All this time and I’ve never really had one, at least not intentionally. There are plenty of sacred spaces in the house, don’t get me wrong. I have special tabletops and shelves that tend to accumulate meaningful objects, and I have a working altar in my bedroom. Our coven’s altar is erected fresh every time we have circle. I also maintain an altar to Freya, so it’s not that I’m necessarily lacking in sacred space.

But I wanted something that actually does something for the household, even when I’m not actively working magic or in worship. I want to come home from work, light the hearth (so to speak), and know that good things are coming our way. This season is all about beginnings, growth, and setting down new roots and I’ve been looking to rebuild my personal practice. My coven, Foxfire, is self-sufficient enough now that everyone has their own projects and curiosities to pursue without me or my working partner having to step in nearly as frequently. Part of it is that I’ve also relaxed a bit. When you’re first starting a group—at least, if you’re a type A person like me, and especially if it’s a traditional group—it’s easy to feel like you have to control every little thing or else something’s going to blow up in your face. I don’t feel that way anymore.

One of the first steps to building a solitary practice, according to many practitioners and introductory books, is to construct an altar or shrine at home. You may collect elemental symbols, deity representations, or other objects sacred to your personal tradition. It becomes a focal point, and eventually just spending time their can trigger the mental shift required for magic.


It’s a lot of fun going through this process all over again as an old hand, and way more challenging than I thought it would be. The thing is, I didn’t want a lot of holdover from my previously stagnant practice. At some point, clutter just stops being meaningful. The altar I’d had wasn’t flowing the way it should be, and some of the things I’d been carrying around for decades just didn’t carry much meaning anymore beyond the nostalgia.

So I cleared and cleaned the table I wanted to use, which sits in the main room of our covenstead. I dug out a piece of green cloth, one that’s been in my fabric stash for years but I’ve never used for anything. I knew I wanted lots of green and gold, because I was stuck on the idea that part of the home shrine’s job would be to foster wealth, health, and happiness. I made a brand new pillar candle out of palm wax, dyed in layers of green and yellow. I also wanted to use a candle that one of my initiates had given me for Yule, because it reminds me of our relationship, which is one of the most important to me. A censer for incense, too, because that’s an important magical trigger for me. I also added a print of a fox from Wolfsisters Creations, which I picked up at PantheaCon. Fox is our coven symbol, but also a significant personal symbol, and he needed to be part of any home shrine a might build.

I hesitated before adding deity statues. On the one hand, this is a Wiccan household, and the gods of the Wica are central to my personal practice. On the other hand, no statue adequately expresses this, and mine in particular have been carted around for so long that they definitely don’t match up with things in my head, years later. I’ve included them for now, because they do make me feel at home. That may change. I also added one of the altar-sized prints from Laura Tempest Zakroff, made from a recycled hunk of very pointy wood. This image hits me viscerally in a way that the statues don’t.

In the middle, surrounded by the candles, I set a piece of tourmalinated quartz. I’ve actually never used crystals or stones in my magical practice, but I’ve always collected and loved them. Crystals always felt a little too New Agey, so this is very much an experiment. My friend Ari said something to me in February about imagining the tourmaline in the quartz functioning as little roads jutting out in all directions and carrying the energy of the spell along with it. I really dug that image, especially for prosperity and money magic. So if using crystals makes me New Agey, then I guess I’m New Agey. I find that I’m caring less and less about labels these days, anyway.

This morning I lit the candles for the first time, set a fresh bouquet of flowers, and otherwise said hello to the spirits of this household. Things already feel fresher and more open, so I’m really looking forward to maintaining this space over time. I’ve set out an offering bowl, which I intend to keep full of clean water and whatever treats I wrangle as the months pass.

Do you keep a home shrine? Is it separate from your working altar the way mine is? How has it impacted your Craft practice?

Priestesses of the Bee: The Melissae

By Linda Iles
Isis, Lotus of Alexandria Lyceum
The Melissae, also known as The Thriae (also Thriai), a triad of divinatory Priestesses in ancient Greece, were originally Nymphs. The Thriae were able to see the future, interpret signs and omens provided by Nature and the Earth. They taught the God Apollo this art. Their names are Daphnis (Laurel), Kleodora (Famed for Her Gift) and Melaina (The Black).
“And not of every water do the Melissae carry to Deo, but of the trickling stream that springs from a holy fountain, pure and undefiled, the very crown of waters.”
– Callimachus, from his Hymn to Apollo
The Bee and the Great Mother
Ancient Greece and Crete

In the time of ancient Greece, and particularly in the temples of Artemis, Aphrodite, Demeter but also of Cybele, Diana and Rhea, priestesses were called the Melissae, which translates as ‘the bees.’  The Goddess as the Great Mother was sometimes titled Melissa, literally, ‘the Queen Bee.’ Some classical sources describe these priestesses as young and virgin, others tell us the designation of Melissae was a title of honor, bestowed due to devotion and labor for the Great Mother by a certain individual, which was above and beyond the ordinary.  The Pythian oracular priestess at Delphi was known as the Delphic Bee, and the emblem of a bee was placed on Delphic coins in her honor.  Bees sometimes appear on the statues of Artemis, and the officiates at Eleusis during the celebration of the Mysteries were called Bees.

Porphyry (AD 233 to c.304) writes: “The ancients gave the name of Melissae (bees) to the priestesses of Demeter who were initiates of the chthonian goddess; the name Melitodes to Kore herself: the moon (Artemis) too, whose province it was to bring to the birth, they called Melissa, because the moon being a bull and its ascension the bull, bees are begotten of bulls.  And souls that pass to the earth are bull-begotten.”

Archaeologist Marija Gimbutas (1921 – 1994) writes of this passage by Porphyry: “…we learn that Artemis is a bee, Melissa, and that both she and the bull belong to the moon.  Hence both are connected with the idea of a periodic regeneration.  We also learn that souls are bees and that Melissa draws souls down to be born.  The idea of a ‘life in death’ in this singularly interesting concept is expressed by the belief that the life of the bull passed into that of the bees.”

How did these titles of Melissa for the Great Mother and her priestesses as Melissae come about?  The Melissae may have inherited their title from an old order of nymphs – to this day the larva of bees are called nymphs! The myths of ancient Greece link the Melissae with the god Zeus and the island of Crete. Zeus was born in a cave of bees and was fed by them.  Another form of the myth says that Melisseus, king of Crete at that time, discoverer of honey and inventor of bee-keeping, had two daughters, Amalthaea and Melissa, who nourished the youthful Zeus with goat’s milk and honey.  Melissa was eventually appointed by her father as the first priestess of the Great Mother and from that time those who served the Great Mother were called Melissae.

The bee-keeping activities of the Minoans of Crete is documented not in myth but by many other ancient sources, including hieroglyphs, representations of actual beehives and engraved images.  The Greeks eventually took up bee-keeping due to the example set by the Minoans, and also presumably inherited the mythical image of the Great Mother Goddess as the Queen Bee. She was corresponded with regeneration, divinity, healing, purity and magic potency.  To the ancients, the honey bee was not only a messenger but a direct representative of the gods and goddesses of heaven and the airy realms.

In Old Europe

Marija Gimbutas included illustrations and photos of artifacts which depicted goddesses and bees in her book, “The Goddesses and Gods of Old Europe.”  Her detailed research provided ample evidence of a Bee Goddess and many examples of bee symbolism dating well back into the Neolithic period.  She believed that bees were held in high esteem by the Cretans from possibly as long ago as the beginning of the Neolithic period.

Eastern European languages, especially Hungarian, contain root words for mother, like ‘anya’ or ‘méh’which can be found in their words for bee, womb, uterus, to conceive, hive, bee sting, queen bee, cervix, fruit of the womb, apiary, embryo, bee swarm, fetus, and many more similar definitions.  In Lithuania, an ancient method of divination was performed by women who poured melted beeswax into cold, pure water.  Then they would interpret the fortune of the applicant through the resulting shapes taken on by the wax as it solidified.

The ability of bees to create honey was believed to be magical or divine – a kind of natural alchemy. The bee-keepers of Europe believed virtue was required for the production of honey, as bees would never produce unless the keeper was honest and good. It wasn’t until the late nineteenth century that scientists could explain how properties of flower pollen and the enzymes produced by bees could combine to make honey.  


To continue reading please click on to the link bellow


Blessings on Ostara and Happy Spring Equinox

May spring bring you a balance of warm and cold, light and dark, and more positive energy.

May Ostara bless you with a time to get seeds, intentions, and goals ready to plant and grow.

Blessings of love, light, peace ,and all good things dear ones!

Blessed Mabon and Happy Autumn Equinox

May you be blessed with abundance from the fruit of your labors!

As you enter the darker time of the year may your thought and actions stay positive, may you find joy in this time of rest and recharge your batteries.


Blessings dear ones of warmth, light, rest, and comfort!

Herbs and Their Witchy Names

One of the things you might notice when working with spells is they call for some different ingredients. For example, eye of newt, wool of bat, toe of frog. To some who happen across these spells it can help lend to some of the fear surrounding witches. However, none of these ingredients are literal. For example, if you see eye of newt in a spell, you are not going go out and get an actual eye from a newt. It actually refers to mustard seed. The reason we have these names, stems from ancient times when it was not safe to keep spells about. So to protect the craft these names would be used instead. Some of them are just Old English, and some even date back to ancient China. A lot of times it will be based on what the herb resembles. Many witches still use these names to this day. So I wanted to provide you with a basic list that you can use to work with. As you find more you can add more to it. :))

Astrological Herbs

The process of using herbs based on astrology is an ancient system that has proven that many physical ailments correspond to our astrological signs. My fascination with this started quite some time ago and I’ve been collecting information on this in my Book of Shadows over the years. This list is a collection of herbs that I have found in my travels in a variety of books and articles.

I am not familiar with all of the herbs listed, so before using them please be sure to research the herb and become familiar with it to find the best way to incorporate it into your life. You may find that some herbs are great for seasonings or teas, while others may make amazing salves. Some you will find make amazing incense and others you may find you just want to display in your home to have their energy surrounding you. Please also check for personal allergies. As always if you are pregnant, nursing, or trying to become pregnant or have any chronic illnesses please check with a doctor before using any herbs.

The Runes of Odin (12. Jera)

Element : Earth

Star : Sun

Tree : Oak

Plant : Rosemary

Meaning : Harvest

“ You shall reap what you have sown”

Galdr :

Pathwalking with the Rune :


Comfort, harmony with others, this rune symbolises the proper thoughts and actions that lead to the proper results. It is good for gardening and farm work, for a happy home and welbeing. Draw Jera with long lasting ink over the front door at New Year Eve and the good fortune will stay in the home until the ink completely fades.

This is the rune of the Harvest, of the gathering of the crops.  It is used in all legal operations and processes. Jera is connected with justice. It can be used for positive outcome after you have spent money , time and effort to achieve something.

Jera is fertility, creativity, peace, harmony, enlightenment. It symbolises the ever lasting movement of the cycles in the Universe.

Jera is used for manifestation into material world, for the fruition of our plans . It is a prise for the efforts that have been made in the past.  Jera symbolises the 12 months of the year and the natural cycles and the change of seasons. Basically this is a positive rune, but it can be also regarded as the outcome of past deeds that means justice.

Jera does not have reverse meaning

Divination : now you are harvesting the results of your actions or efforts, it is a time to celebrate, a time of abundance and joy. But do not forget that winter comes after the summer / autumn. You should gain wisdom for the next challenge. Expect new challenges. You should prepare the soil and plant the new seeds.

The rune is drawn with the thumb starting from top to bottom.

“Jera is a rune of patience and movement with the harmony with natural tides of life. Moving with such life rhythms brings abundance and plenty. The cyclical recurrences in the biosphere and of the astronomical procession spirals through time, and contains many more profound secrets than does our common involvement with linear time, calendar dates and the clock.

Jera has to do with right timing. Jera is in the maxim “This too shall pass”, the proverb, “As you sow, so shall you reap”, and in the modern adage, “time heals all wounds.” Using this rune is the key to understanding the mysteries of time and the psychological importance of dividing and managing time.  Deadlines bring out the best in us and motivate us to grow to levels beyond our present ability. It also moves us to strategically taking action when the time is right. Take advantage of the ups and coast through the downs.

Jera can magically speed things up or slow things down, and manipulation of subjective time in this manner is governed by this rune. In this rune we see the most stark western counter-point to the maxim ‘time is an illusion’. If a person sows no seeds, does no work, plants no goals and desire in his or her thoughts, Jera will bring about situations which reflect that lack. The ultimate consequences of past human action unfold into the future.

“Time and I Against Any Two.” “

“Jera means “season” or “year”, this rune relates to the cycles of the life. Jera announces the coming in due course of a good harvest if the good gestures were done at the right time. However due to its cyclic action, Jera announces however that it is only temporary, quite as the seasons which pass and follow on infinitely. Everything is in movement and everything returns to the same point because of the Nature’s cyclic movement. Furthermore being connected with Freyr and Freya, the twins gods male and female, Jera symbolizes the mystic union between the Earth and the Cosmos.

This rune can be written of two ways: the one is a rhombus which surrounds a mast, which symbolizes the realization of a stable state, but also the Cosmic Axis surrounded with four seasons. Jera rune also represents, written in this way, the mast carrying the garland of the harvests. Under this shape it means the end of a cycle and the beginning of a new.

The other shape of writing of Jera is the one of two Kenaz which interpenetrate without contacting. Under this shape, Jera is dynamic and symbolizes the change which goes towards the fulfillment.

Jera told us that all which is useful for our progress lies within us. It is just enough to sow according to the rules

Divinatory value : This is the time to harvest what was sowed. An expectation period, a cycle to be completed. If the present is difficult, a better cycle is going to come.

Spiritual value : Jera indicates the end of a negative cycle in the knowledge of oneself, and the beginning of a positive phase.

Physiological value : Influence on the blood circulation, the vertebral column and the intestines.

Wisdom guidance : ” You can reach the harmony only in the acceptance of the inevitable change ! Every thing begins to decline arrived at its peak. When you are at the lowest, you can only go up. All that you will have gained, will be resumed you one day.”

Until we merry meet again

Blessed Be

Mistress of the Mountains