Mother Goddesses

When Margaret Murray wrote her ground-breaking God of the Witches in 1931, scholars quickly dismissed her theory of a universal, pre-Christian cult of witches who worshiped a singular mother goddess. However, she wasn’t completely off-base. Many early societies had a mother-like godform, and honored the sacred feminine with their ritual, art and legends.

Take, for instance, the ancient carvings of rounded, curved, feminine forms found in Willendorf. These icons are the symbol of something once revered. Pre-Christian cultures in Europe, like the Norse and Roman societies, honored the deities of women, with their shrines and temples built to honor such goddesses as Bona Dea, Cybele, Frigga, and Hella. Ultimately, that reverence for the archetype of “mother” has been carried over in modern Pagan religions. Some might argue that the Christian figure of Mary is a mother goddess as well, although many groups might disagree with that concept as being “too Pagan.” Regardless, those goddesses of motherhood from ancient societies were a widely varied bunch — some loved unwisely, some fought battles to protect their young, others fought with their offspring.

To read the rest of this article by Patti Wiggin please click on this link: http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/godsandgoddesses/a/MotherGoddess.htm

The Celtic Hearth Goddess Brighid

Brighid was a Celtic hearth goddess who is still celebrated today in many parts of Europe and the British Isles. She is honored primarily at Imbolc, on February 2, and is a goddess who represents the homefires and domesticity of family life. Be sure to read our collection of articles related to this powerful triune goddess.
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Flashback 2008 – Winter Solstice

Yule

At Yule, the Oak King who rules during the waxing year conquers the Holly King in order to reign until Midsummer, when the two meet again. It is believed that the Holly King has evolved into the modern day Santa Claus, wearing red, with holly in his hat. His eight deer represent the Pagan sabbats, as animals as regarded scared by the Celtic gods. Although the Oak King and the Holly King are opposing forces at Litha and Yule, they com[lement each other. In ancient times, the Sun’s return after a long period of scarcity and darkness affirmed survival and resilience in the winter season.

A few days before Yule, decorate your home with oranges studded with cloves to release a warm, yuletide aroma. It’s time to feast, exchange gifts, and thank the Goddess for the return of abundance and light. At your Yule gathering, cozy up up to your favorite people and enjoy some delicious mulled red wine infused with cinnamon sticks and whole cloves. Serve warm in chalices, with a sprinkling of nutmeg, to toast the rebirth of the Oak King. When you take a sip from the chalice, hold hands with your guests and shout, “Wassail” – the old English word for “your health”

Copyright Emely Flak – Llewellyn Witches’ Datebook 2008 Pg 129

The Loving Lady of the Moon

As I sit at the train station waiting to go to my daughter’s home to watch my youngest two grandsons I’m bathe in the light of the Waning Moon. Being a Crone myself I feel strength and calmness coming from the Crone of the Triple Goddess. She is peaking out from behind wispy clouds that enhance her beauty. I so enjoy early mornings when the birds and other daytime critters are waking up to embrace the Sun. While all around me the nocturnal critters are finding a comfortable, inviting spot to tuck into sleeping the day away. When dusk comes and the critters reverse their potions as the quite of the night strolls in again I’m reminded of how blessed I am to have a snug, comfortable home to shelter me and my familiars as we sleep also. Our lovely Goddess shining down to give us strength and comfort. Continue reading “The Loving Lady of the Moon”

Offerings to the Gods and Goddesses

The Cosmic Cookie Trail led me to the following post about offerings for Gods and Goddesses.  I like to change my altar for the Turning of the Wheel and I change the offering I put out as well.  I have many new ideas after reading this post.  You can read it at the following link:

http://wiccanmoonsong.blogspot.com/2012/05/offerings-to-gods-and-goddesses.html

May the Cosmic Cookie Trail lead you on your own spiritual journey of discovery!

©10052016 Wolf Woman Ways

God/Goddess Healing Ritual

For those of us who want to do something privately for Lady A or even someone else that needs healing, I found this relatively easy healing ritual by Patti Wigington on About.com. Here is the link if you want to check out the article or others on various subjects on the About.com’s website: http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/wiccanandpaganrituals/a/God-Goddess-Healing-Ritual.htm (This article has not been changed in any way by myself, so any typos were already there.)

Updated May 01, 2016.

This ritual is one which can be done on behalf of an ill friend or family member. They do not have to be present for you to do this ritual. In many traditions it is customary to at least ask permission before doing healing (or any other sort of) magic. However, it is often acceptable to assume you have implied permission – in other words, if you believe in good faith that the individual would want you to perform this rite on their behalf, then you may go ahead and do so without specifically asking for their approval in advance. Follow the guidelines of your own tradition’s belief system and ethical standards.

Keep in mind that someone who is terminally ill may not wish to live longer, and may instead be wishing for release from their pain. As a contrast, someone who is suffering from an acute illness rather than a long-term one may simply want to feel better immediately.

This ritual asks the goddess (or god) of your tradition to watch over the ailing individual and assist them with healing.

There are a number of different deities associated with healing, from a variety of different pantheons. If your particular flavor of Paganism doesn’t have a god or goddess of healing, consider using one of these:

Celtic:

Greek:

Norse:

Roman:

Egyptian:

Yoruba:

You will need the following items:

  • A small (votive or even tealight size) white candle to represent the individual for whom you are doing the ritual
  • Healing incense (loose blend) of allspice, bay, yarrow, apple blossoms, lemon balm, cinnamon
  • A candle in any color representing the god or goddess you wish to petition for assistance

Begin by casting a circle, if your tradition requires you to do so. Set up your altar as you normally would, placing the god/goddess candle behind the individual candle. In this sample ritual template, we will be using Brighid, but you should substitute the name of the deity upon whom you are calling when you perform this rite.

Say:

I call upon you, Brighid, in a time of need.
I ask your assistance and blessing, for one who is ailing.
[Name] is ill, and she needs your healing light.
I ask you to watch over her and give her strength,
Keep her safe from further illness, and protect her body and soul.
I ask you, great Brighid, to heal her in this time of sickness.

Place the loose incense blend on your brazier (or, if you don’t use a brazier for incense, use a charcoal disc in a bowl or plate) and light it. As the smoke begins to rise, envision your friend’s illness wafting away with the smoke.

Brighid, I ask you to take away [Name]’s illness,
Carry it out to the four winds, never to return.
To the north, take this illness away and replace it with health.
To the east, take this illness away, and replace it with strength.
To the south, take this illness away, and replace it with vitality.
To the west, take this illness away, and replace it with life.
Carry it away from [Name], Brighid, that it may scatter and be no more.

Light the candle representing the god or goddess.

Hail to you, powerful Brighid, I pay you tribute.
I honor you and ask this one small gift.
May your light and strength wash over [Name],
Supporting her in her this time of need.

Use the flame on the deity candle to light the smaller candle, representing your friend.

[Name], I light this candle in your honor tonight.
It is lit from the fires of Brighid, and she will watch over you.
She will guide you and heal you, and ease your suffering.
May Brighid continue to care for you and embrace you in her light.

Take a few moments to meditate on what you really wish for your friend. Once you have finished, allow the candles to burn out on their own if possible.

The Symbolism of the Skull

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A beautiful blood stone skull is in my guardianship that I have lovingly named Prometheus. Being with him during a meditation the other day invoked a thoughtful process of the meaning of the human skull throughout the ages.

You often find it in ghoulish pictures of Gothic inspired imagery created to invoke mystery, but the human skull has held a far greater meaning one that is held in both reverence and fear.

One of the classical meanings of the human skull is that of “memento mori” that which means to remember your mortality. This expression is directed to remember your death or literally to die. The ancient Greek philosophers that practiced Stoicism, Neoplatonism and Epicurean philosophy often pondered on the meaning of death, a subject that has not been diluted over time. One that was most probably taken from the ancient Sanskrit of the Verdict system.

The idea of philosophy as the “Practice of Death” is central to the western philosophical tradition and the meditation of death is the meditation of life.

“The exercise of living well

And the exercise of dying well

Are one and the same”

-Epicurus- (340BC)

It is through this practice that philosophers maintain tranquillity in the midst’s of the tumultuous circumstances of life therefore inward concentration can be thought of dying before you die. This will assist in living in the present and making the most of your life, it will assist you to live in whatever Nirvana you choose. It will encourage you to seize the day or “Carp Diem” usually represented as a skull with a red rose wreath.

Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism and even Christianity all hold similar concepts, even in the macabre meaning of the Knights Templar that is associated with the Holy Grail all of which create a state of enlightenment akin to that spoken of by the Gnostics, alchemists and mystics.

For some, skulls can also symbolise protection, strength, power, fearlessness, wisdom, guidance, surviving through difficult times and immortality all of which lean towards the mysteries of dying before you die.

A beautiful poem by Rumi invokes feelings of the ancient translation of death one that reverberates till this day.

“Die! Die! Die in this love! If you die in this love, your soul will be renewed. Die! Die! Don’t fear the death of that which is known if you die to the temporal, you will become timeless.”

-Rumi-

Halloween, All saints day, All souls day, The Day of the Dead in Mexico (Dia De Mouertos) all have similar meaning. These festivals are popular with the symbolism of the skull that is identified with death. This is the time where the veil between the worlds is thin and therefore a good time to communicate with those from the spirit world. They will hear your prayers, they will give you guidance, and they will even offer you protection. These festivals span thousands of years and in Mesoamerica were dedicated to the Lady of the dead.

Another image that you may be familiar is the serpent crawling through the eye sockets of the skull. The serpent is considered a Chthonic God of Knowledge and Immortality (God of the Underworld). The serpent is always making its way thought the skull, representing knowledge that persists beyond death. As the Serpent guards the tree in the Garden of Hesperides and in a familiar story thousands of years later in the Garden of Eden it holds the secrets to the cosmos. The eternal knowledge within, the Holy Grail, the Kapala (in Sanskrit) and all of infinity.

Goddess Ritual Guidebook

I just received a link to download a free Goddess Ritual Guidebook.  I thought I would share the link!

http://sistershipcircle.com/goddess-guidebook/?sister=237

I downloaded the free e-book and right away found a nice ritual invoking Aphrodite.  It is used to balance the masculine and feminine energies.  It seemed pertinent  at this time.  They would like you to join their sisterhood but you can still download the free e-book!

©08112016 Wolf Woman Ways