Saturday, August 27, 2011

Book Review: Ode to Minoa

The book Ode to Minoa by Theresa C. Dintino, is a fascinating story of a snake priestess living in ancient Crete. The time when the Cretans were a Goddess worshiping people. I don't usually review fiction works on my blog, but this story was so wonderful that I just had to get the word out there! Theresa Dintino must have done her research because she portrays the lives of the Cretans as though she were there herself. In the book, everyone at some point in their life is chosen for a certain path, a path the goddess has chosen for them. The main character Aurellia, learns that she is chosen to become a snake priestess. There are also women who were chosen to be priestesses of the butterfly or the bee.

The story takes you on the life of this snake priestess. The process and the trials and tribulations she encounters on the way. The job of the snake priestess was to dance with the serpent and then be bitten. Immediately some of the venom is squeezed out, and then the priestess gives a prophecy. So basically, it seems the venom was a source for prophetic messages. There are many different Goddess like stories entwined with Aurellia. The cave where the child bearing women go. The cave where the menstruating women go to meditate. The entire community of ancient Crete in this story was involved with the Goddess in one way or another.

The people of this ancient land also swam with dolphins and revered them as wise creatures. There is so much great information in this story, that it makes you think. How great would life have been back in the days of ancient Crete, when everyone worshiped and respected the Goddess, and women. Theresa Dintino does an amazing job of bringing the story of ancient Crete to life in this fabulous book! It's a quick read (and very hard to put down) and you can even buy it used from amazon. Check out this wonderful story I highly recommend it. Please let me know what you think if you do end up reading it. Thank you Theresa Dintino for such an eye opening story of a once vibrant land!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Winner of Hekate print by Carolina Gonzalez!

Thanks to everyone who entered and a special thanks to Carolina Gonzalez for donating her beautiful print. And the winner is........Witch of Stitches! Congratulations! I hope everyone had fun playing and exploring Carolinas beautiful shop. Enjoy your new gorgeous print of Hekate Witch of Stitches! Thanks for playing and stay tuned for our next giveaway!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Giveaway from The Hoodoo Shop!

This months giveaway comes to us from Carolina Gonzalez over at the Hoodoo Shop. She has generously donated one of her prints of the Goddess Hekate! This is my absolute favorite picture of Hekate and I already own a print myself. It's 4 x 6 and perfect to put in a frame to adorn your altar. If you love Hekate, you'll love this print! I had the chance to speak with Carolina, here's what she had to say:

1. Please tell us a little about your magical business.

I have been a self-employed Witch and Artisan since my early twenties, attending local customers; on February 2009, my husband was made unemployed suddenly, and we decided to open The Hoodoo Shop at Etsy, a business devoted to offer our spiritual and creative services worldwide. We are focused on African-origin religions like Santeria, Hoodoo, Voodoo, Umbanda and Candomble, but we serve Pagans of all paths, as many of our customers have mixed pantheons as we do ourselves.

Our work covers three main areas; Tarot and Spell work services, devotional artwork and spiritual supplies. We are highly focused on offering a completely handmade, unique range of items - and we are very proud to say that the response of Etsy's customers has been beyond all our expectations! We have recently passed 1700 sales and 210.000 visits on our blog – we are truly thankful that our view of spirituality is shared with so many awesome people around the world.

We have recently opened our own website, which unites all our services into one address, making it much easier for our customers and readers to access our products. Also, we have created the House Of Eleggua Temple, which is focused on offering free healing services for those less fortunate on our community, and free educational services to our readers worldwide, sharing our knowledge of African religions in a loving, open way, far from fear and prejudices.

2. Do you have a favorite product or products that you make?

Choosing one product or service would be like choosing one of your own children above others – you just can't! I think that the fact that I can go from painting, to oil making, to making a reading and giving someone peace of mind is exactly what makes our work so satisfying. Crafting is a very important part of our lives, but interacting with customers and experiencing the real life of Witches is something that we wouldn't change either. The balance between creative work and counselling is indeed exhausting and hard to accomplish, but we are both constantly learning and giving, and that's what matters at the end of the day.

3. Please explain the item you are giving away.

We are giving away a 4x6, professionally made print of our Hecate painting. The original painting painting was made in 2010 by me in acrylic paints, and depicts Goddess Hekate holding a torch on each hand, adorned by tattoos and wearing a beautiful purple tunic. Her triple aspect is represented behind her, and a decorative frame surrounds her, depicting some of her sacred symbols: the crow, the dog, the key, and three of her sacred herbs: digital, willow and jimsomweed. Check out our website: and also check out our Facebook fan page

Ok so now for the rules to entering. Check out Carolina's shop and come back here to comment on a product or a few products that you like. Please make sure your contact info is easily accessible for me, so that I can contact you if you win. I will choose the winner randomly with The winner will be announced Friday August 26th. Good luck and have fun playing!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Festival To Hekate, Lady of Storms

August 13th marks an ancient festival to Hekate. She was honored on this day as Lady of the Storms. In hopes that she would protect growing crops from being destroyed by fierce storms this time of year. People would leave offerings at crossroads for her on this day. Some researchers think this festival to Hekate actually stems from the ancient Roman festival, Nemoralia. Also known as the "Festival of Torches", this celebration was held on August 13 in honor of the Goddess Diana.

This year, her sacred day happens to fall on the full moon. For me it will be a day of honoring Hekate! First I will be assembling my altar until its to perfection, then my own personal ritual, and when the moon rises, I will go to beach to worship her under the light of the full moon. My husband will be also coming to watch the moonrise with me, although he will be there more so as my "bodyguard" rather than praying to my matron Goddess. Im so happy to have her great presence fill my whole day!

Here is my prayer I wrote in her honor for her sacred day:

Hekate, mistress of earth, sea and sky,
I pray to you on your sacred night,
Torches in your hands, flames burning bright.

Oh mighty crossroads Queen,

Reveal the great mysteries you've seen.

You who dwells in the shadow realms

Liminal lady, enchant us with your ancient spells.

Triple formed woman of the underworld,

Ancient mystic and guide,

Dogs bark and snakes slither devotingly at your side.

Great Enchantress of old,

I honor you on this full moon.

Enjoy honoring our Lady of the Storms and full moon blessings to everyone!

Photo courtesy : My personal altar

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Yemaya, Mother Goddess of the Ocean

Yemaya also spelled Yemanya, is known as the Mother of the oceans. Originating in Africa, her worship spread to the Caribbean and Brazil. She was first known to be a river Goddess worshiped for the rivers of West Africa. She was seen as the source of all water. All waters come from her and all fish were her children. Since life is thought to have originated in the ocean she was also seen as the Great Mother of All.

She was known to cure infertility and help women with childbirth. She was also seen as being very motherly and protective. In Africa she was known as an orisha, a very powerful nature spirit. In her myth, it is said that she was brutally raped by her son. After this she fled to a mountaintop and cursed her son until he died. In her sorrows she decided to take her own life. As she died she gave birth to fourteen powerful orisha, when her water broke it created a great flood which made the seven seas.

Since her worship spread from Africa, she took on different forms in other areas. In Voodoo she is seen as a moon Goddess. In Brazil she is honored at the Summer Solstice as Mother of the Ocean, white and blue flowers are left as her offering. And in the Caribbean she is viewed as the Great Mother of the Oceans.

Yemaya represents the ebb and flow of life much like the flow of the ocean. Yemaya can bring forth life, but just like the ocean she can also cause great destruction, and change. She teaches us to move freely through the waves of change and cycles of life. Yemaya may also be called on during childbirth or fertility issues.

Her symbols are shells, especially cowrie shells. She is often depicted as a mermaid as well so this too is a symbol of her. Her sacred colors are blue, turquoise and white. Her sacred number is seven representing the seven seas.

On your altar to Yemaya, have water, salt water if you have access to it. Shells, representations of sea life, crystals of turquoise and white quartz, colors of the ocean, a mermaid and a picture or statue of the Goddess.

Enjoy honoring this ancient Goddess of water and creation!

Photo courtesy of Sandra M Stanton

Monday, August 1, 2011

Lughnasadh, Harvest Festival of the Grain Goddess

Lughnasadh, also known as Lammas, comes from the ancient Irish celebration held on August 1st. This Celtic festival was held in honor of the Sun God Lugh, and it was the first of three harvest festivals until winter. This was the time when people would start harvesting their crops and baking breads in preparation for the coming months of winter. It is traditional to bake bread at Lughnasadh. Some people would throw bread into their bonfires in sacrifice. Others would bake bread in the shapes of grain deities for offerings.

The Goddesses we honor at the first harvest are Demeter, Ceres and Ker, all of which are grain and harvest Goddesses. Ker was prayed to while ancient women would bake bread on the day of Lammas. They would ask for her to bless their grain so that it would last through the coming months of winter. Demeter, the Greek Goddess of the Harvest, and Ceres, Roman Goddess of Grain, were prayed to in much the same way. In hopes that the abundance of the Harvest would last them throughout the dark and cold months of winter.

Some great crafts to do for Lammas are baking bread and making smudge sticks. Baking bread from scratch can be difficult, so if your not experienced with it, then you could just buy a box mix and bake bread. You could also make shapes of grain Goddesses out of your bread to put on your altar as an offering. I'm blessed enough to have a KitchAid, so I can bake my bread in that. I plan to make a cinnamon bread on Lammas, hopefully it will come out good for the Goddess!

The other craft that I love doing at Lughnasadh, is making smudge sticks. If you have a fresh herb garden great! If not, buying fresh herbs from your local grocery store or Whole Foods Market will do the trick. Some great herbs to use for smudge sticks are sage, rosemary, mugwort and lavender. You must use fresh herbs when you make them, and then you let the rolled smudge stick dry out. All you need is some thread, any color you like, some fresh herbs, and scissors. Directions on how to roll them are here: How to make smudge sticks. My favorite combo is sage and mugwort, and I'm lucky enough to have both growing in my small herb garden! :)

On your altar for Lammas, have representations of grain, warm colors of orange, red and yellow, pictures or statues of the harvest Goddesses, apples, corn or corn dollie, bread, your own handmade smudge stick, and any other harvest symbols that speak to you.

I wish you all abundant blessings on this Lughnasadh!

Photo courtesy of Wendy Andrews
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