Who were the Maenads?

Written By Priestess Hypatia

For Coven Life

19/12/2019

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Priestess of Bacchus, John Collier (taken from Wikimedia commons), 1886

In Thebes the birth place of Dionysus, the God of wine, the Maenads were born. They were known as the Priestesses who were part of the Dionysus cult and performed ecstatic dance. Roaming the mountains of Thebes, trancing and dancing in fawn skin dresses and panther throws, snake crowns and barefoot. Snakes in ancient times were used as healers.

The list of Maenads is long in history, these women that maintained the Dionysian cult with ecstatic ceremonies were distinct to the Hellenic world. A religious cult unlike no other, the women maintained a frenzied state of ecstasy. Extended periods of dancing (usually to the point of absolute and utter exhaustion) and drinking wine, the Maenads participated in orgiastic celebrations dancing naked through the forests of Thrace.

Dedicated to the God of debauch and fertility the Dionysian followers such as the Maenads experienced states of sexual drunken pleasure that allowed them to become closer to their God.

As members of a respected cult in Hellenic society the Maenads were actually celebrated for their sexual promiscuity, a welcoming change from the ever virtuous virgin Goddesses. Their sexuality gave them power and position more so than many other women in the Hellenic world.

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Dancing Maenad. Detail from an ancient Greek Paestum red figure skyphos, made by Python, ca. 330-320 BC. British Museum, London.

The Drum and Our Heartbeat

This is information on what using a drum to accompany other instruments or by itself means to most Native Americans. Our coven Brother White Wolf wrote to friend and brother named Chief Golden Light Eagle. To listen to more of Chief Golden Light Eagle interesting and truthful videos covering different topics Chief Golden Light Eagle

Now on to the drumming information from Chief Golden Light Eagle via White Wolf…

“Whiteman uses drums in their dances — rock and roll, country and western and all sorts of other music categories — the sound of drums move people  in many different way.  So yes the heartbeat is what everyone depends on to stay alive – the drum helps us to remember our own heart – beat, our own breath and our life.

So yes the heartbeat is what everyone depends onto stay alive – the drum helps us to remember our own heartbeat, our own breath and our life.”

From White Wolf…

“The Native Americans believe that using a drum connects our heartbeat to Mother Earth’s heartbeat”

Week 13 Goddess Knowledge – Spider Woman

Spider Woman is an important goddess among many south-western Native American tribes. Though occasionally destructive, she is nearly always portrayed as a beneficent, The Keresan Spider Woman created everything there is by thinking, dreaming, or naming; she taught the people how to plant seeds. Cherokee Grandmother spider brought people the sun and fire; she taught them pottery, weaving,m and how to make ceremonial blessings. Spider Woman is responsible for bringing fire among the Pueblo, Tewa, and Kiwa tribes. A spider woman named Bliku, found in the Indian subcontinent, also brought fire and light. For the Hopi, Spider Woman is a creator who helped people during their emergence, created the moon, has the power to give and take life, and is connected to hunting and agriculture.

SPider WOman is a reminder that good comes from everywhere. Even the lowly spider, sometimes dismissed as irrelevant, has the power to create and teach

 

More Information About Goddess Spider Woman

Images of the Goddess Spider Woman

Witchcraft with Fairies; Walking the Wild Woods

Here is no protective circle, no prayers, no names of power; we have left the strained company of the magicians and are back in the countryside where the fairies are natural company.” – K. Briggs, in The Anatomy of Puck chapter 8, discussing a folk ritual to obtain a fairy companion.

There is a long history of witches working with fairies in various ways, both learning from them and being in service to them. In modern paganism we more often see this relationship played out very differently, with the Good Folk being approached from a more ceremonial magic perspective or treated as a kind of spirit guide or ally. When we look to folklore and early modern witchcraft we see a different  picture and it is this one that I base my own personal practice on.

To continue reading……

 

Sprites, Faeries and Pixies

The BeginningThey are called the Fae, fay, faeries, sprites and pixies. Are they the same thing? Are there separate variations or species? What are they exactly? Where do they live? Who believes in them and how do they communicate with them? The best place to start this topic is with spellings and definitions. There are several spellings used throughout the world and spiritual community for faeries. Fairy and faerie are the two most common, but they can also be described as fay or fae. Pixie, leprechaun, faerie, brownie, sprite are all terms for these supernatural beings, thought to be helpful or harmful to people.

To read the rest of this authors opinoins on Fea Folk please click on this link: Fea Folk

Tuatha Dé Danaan

Background:
After a great battle with the Formorians, where most of the Nemedians died, three groups managed to escape, and scattered around the world. One group worked hard to hone their skills and returned to Ireland under the aegis of the goddess Danu. Before their return, they had visited four great cities of the North. Falias, Gorias, Finias and Murias. In each city they added to their knowledge of science and craftsmanship, learning from the greatest sages. From each city they collected a magical treasure. From Falias they got the Lia Fáil, the stone of destiny, which roared when a rightful king took his seat upon it. From Gorias they brought the claíomh solais, or sword of destiny. From Murias came the cauldron of the Daghda, which could feed a host, however large, without ever being emptied. From Finias came the Sleá Bua, a magic spear.

Story of the Tuatha Dé Danaan:
Meanwhile, the Fir bolg had come to Ireland and settled there. A great mist descended on Western Connaught, and when it lifted the Firbolg discovered that a fortified camp had been built. They approached the fortifications, where they were met by a group of beautiful, tall, fair people. They curiously examined each other’s weapons. The weapons of the Tuatha were light, bright and sharp, and the weapons of the Fir bolg were blunt and heavy. They agreed that the two races should divide Ireland equally, and join to defend the territory against all newcomers. They bowed, and exchanged weapons.

The Fir bolg later decided to refuse their offer, and a battle commenced on the plains of MoyturaNuada, the king of the Tuatha Dé Danann, had his hand cut off, but they were ultimately victorious. They magnanimously allowed the Fir bolg to keep the province of Connaught, while the Tuatha occupied the rest. Because of his blemish, Nuada could no longer rule as king. The warrior Bres was crowned in his place. Bres was only half Tuatha Dé Danaan, his mother being a Formorian. Because of this relationship with them, Bres allowed the Formorians to impose taxes and to oppress the Tuatha Dé Danann. The Tuatha eventually deposed Bres and refused to pay the tribute, and so the Formorians prepared for battle.

Lugh, also of mixed ancestry, arrived at the fort of the Tuatha.

To read the rest of this article, please click on this link: Tuatha De’ Danaan

A-Z Dictionary of Fairies and the Wee Folk

A-Z Dictionary of Fairies and the Wee Folk

Updated on June 28, 2018
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Kitty has been independently researching and studying the fae for over 15 years. She enjoys sharing what she’s learned with her readers.

Dictionary of Fairies Pictures

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A-Z Dictionary of Fairies

This is your one-stop shop for all terms and definitions related to fairies and the world of the fay. From letters A to Z, you will find fairies’ terms and definitions right here in this article.

Alven: water fairies found in ponds in the Netherlands, though they don’t have wings. They can, however, fly by being encased in bubbles and traveling on the winds. Main home is the River Elbe, as it is sacred to them. Small fairies, extremely light and sometimes shift into otters.

Ashrays: water fairies from Scotland that are mistaken for sea ghosts; have white bodies and look like a twenty-year-old human, both male and female. Nocturnal fairies, if sunlight hits them they will melt into a rainbow-colored pond of water.

Avalon: a mythological island in the Arthurian legends. The place where excalibur was forged and given to King Arthur, and also the place where King Arthur was taken after being wounded in a battle. Morgan Le Fay and Vivianne are said to have dwelled on the isle of Avalon.

To find out about other Fea please click on this link: Fea and Wee Folk

Goddess Aradia

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Aradia was a Moon Goddess from Tuscany, honored by the witches of that region but not well known outside of Italy until in 1899, when the American folklorist Charles Leland published Aradia, or the Gospel of the Witches   Leyland claimed the book was the religious text belonging to a group of Tuscan witches who venerated Diana as the Queen of the Witches.  Leyland was both a hero and a learned scholar educated in Germany and America.  He had a knack of being accepted by secret societies and was embraced by the Tuscan witches.  Leyland was given material for his books from a hereditary witch named Maddalena including the Vangelo or Gospel of the Witches.

To continue reading….

http://sacredwicca.com/goddess-aradia

Four Books To Learn More About Aradia

There may be no other text more debated or controversial than Aradia, or Gospel of the Witches by Charles Leland, purported to be given to him by an Italian Witch named Maddalena. However, there may be no other text that has been as influential on modern witchcraft and particularly Wicca than Aradia, or Gospel of the Witches.

To continue reading…..

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/matauryn/2018/06/22/five-books-to-learn-more-about-aradia/