Saturday, February 26, 2011
Maeve was known to be quite a promiscuous Goddess. Legends say that she claimed to have slept with 30 men in one night! And she was said to have had many lovers. What I find interesting, is that most all of Celtic folklore and beliefs were passed down by word of mouth for many many years. Until they were Christianized, and Christian scribes started recording all of the Celtic myths and legends. So the fact that much of the Irish myths were recorded by Christians, who were trying to convert people, could mean that some of the stories were re-worded to be in the favor of the new religion. So I guess we will never truly know for sure, all the actual attributes, of a Goddess like Maeve. What we do know is that she was a very powerful, beautiful and intoxicating Goddess of Celtic Ireland.
Maeve fought in the famous "Cattle Raid of Cooley". Where her and her men were fighting for ownership of the magic Brown Bull of Cooley. All of her men end of getting slaughtered by the great hero CuChulain, and her magic Bull ends up getting attacked by another Bull, and dies. Even though Maeve lost the battle, she accepts what she has been given, and moves on with her life. She does not dwell in the negative aspects, and moves forward always being in the present moment. She teaches us to do the same in our life. To not makes excuses for why certain things happen, learn to accept things for the way they are and move on strong and true. Maeve is a confident and strong warrior Goddess who tells us to accept ourselves the way we are. To become a warrior in our own life. She was seen as so powerful and important in ancient Ireland, that battle would stop while she was menstruating. She celebrates and honors her moon time and encourages us as women to do the same.
Call on Maeve when you need help accepting responsibility for yourself and your actions. Or call on her for strength, power and sexual acts. She can bring passion to anything sexual and intoxicating. Let Maeve remind you to always be in the present moment, and not to dwell in the past or future. On your altar to Maeve have colors of red, to represent the moonblood. She is also associated with herbs like yew, coltsfoot and hemp. If you are inclined or permitted to do so, have mead or wine on your altar. Also a crow feather or representation of a bull as she was associated with both. Enjoy working with this sexually intoxicating warrior Goddess of Ireland!
Photo courtesy of hranajanto.com (this website has a great list of Goddesses and beautiful artwork!)
Sunday, February 20, 2011
The Goddess Freyja, is one of my favorites, and is part of my personal pantheon. There aren't too many books on this complex Goddess, so when I found Freyja, Lady Vanadis by Patricia Lafayllve, I was so excited!
As far as Norse Gods and Goddesses go , there isnt an overwhelming amount of information about them. Most information comes from the Poetic and Prose Edda's which is a series of poems telling the myths and legends of Norse mythology. So authors, historians and mythological researchers have dissected these poems to find their hidden meanings, to better understand the Norse myths. Patricia Lafayllve does an excellent job describing Freyja, warrior Goddess of love and sex.
In the first part of this book she goes into detail describing all the myths associated with Freyja, and tries to understand why she has been given the labels she currently has. She debates the reason for saying that Freyja is a Goddess of love and sex, because she explains, "there isnt much evidence to support Freyja as being a Goddess of love and sex". There are myths which describe Freyja's promiscuity and she is rumored to be a lover of Odin. But in the ancient Norse world, sex wasnt seen as such a "taboo" subject. And considering that the Poetic and Prose Edda's were written in the 13th century most likely by a Christian society.....well I imagine you can guess where Im going with this. Even though, there is still much valuable information in both of these great works.
She also goes on to discuss Freyja's association with the Valkryies, which she also doesn't necessarily agree with. She also points out that Freyja was a practitioner of seidr, which is a very similar practice to that of shamanism. Magic, shape shifting and divination are all part of seidr. In one of her myths it is said that Freyja has a magical cloak made of falcon feathers, which allows her to change shape and fly in the sky as a bird. Quite obviously representing her shape shifting abilities .It is also said that Freyja taught the practice of seidr to Odin along with other Gods.
In the back of the book she gives some rituals to Freyja along with chants and altar associations.
All in all this book is a great introduction to the Goddess Freyja. I really enjoyed reading it and refer back to it often. If you have any interest in Freyja at all read this book! Enjoy!
Saturday, February 12, 2011
The famous Venus figurines are widely known in the Goddess and Archeological communities. The great debate over whether or not these figurines of women were looked at as a Mother Goddess, or something else, is still being discussed today. The evidence that these figurines were looked at as representations of a Mother Goddess, is in my opinion, overwhelming. Everything from the exaggerated breasts and belly's of the figures, down to the point that nearly no male figurines have been found. The female figurines outnumber the male by a long shot. Of course, while there were some male statuettes found, the over abundance of female representations simply can't be ignored.
There are many different female figurines that have been found all over the world. Some dating as far back as 35,000 years ago. I will cover two of those figurines with you here. These are the Venus of Laussel, and the Venus of Lespugue .
The Venus of Laussel (pictured left) was found in southwest France and dates back 25,000 years. It is actually a bas-relief carving made of limestone, that was found on a big stone block very near to the prehistoric caves of Lascaux. In the relief, a women is standing nude with exaggerated breasts and stomach, and she is holding a bison horn with 13 notches in it. Many think this represents the menstrual or moon cycles throughout the year. She was lightly painted with red ochre, many of the Venus figurines have had traces of red ochre on them, which is seen as the life giving color of blood. She is pretty featureless besides her exaggerated areas, and she holds her hand over her belly. Some have suggested that this carving might have once stood at the entrance to sacred caves where rituals of fertility took place. Many prehistoric people held rituals in caves, evidence of this comes to us by cave art found deep within them.
The Venus of Lespugue (pictured right) was found in the stone age cave of Les Rideaux in the Haute Garonne region of France. She is carved from mammoth ivory and dates back about 25,000 years ago. This particular female figurine shows the most exaggerated features of any kind, especially her breasts. She is also shown wearing what seems to be a skirt, which is said to be the earliest representation of spun thread. This figurine was actually damaged during excavation and had to be restored.
What I find interesting, is that many of the female figurines, have been found in or near caves. In prehistoric times, tribes people would hold rituals in caves. Many archaeologists believe that these rituals pertained to hunting magic, fertility and initiation. It is said that sacred caves were seen as the womb of the mother. So it would make sense that many of these figurines were found in or around caves. Again relating it all to the Great Mother Goddess figure our prehistoric ancestors revered so much.
For more information on the Venus of Laussel check out Wikipedia
For more information on the Venus of Lespugue check out Wikipedia
To read about more types of Venus figurines check out VisualArtsCork.com
Or to read more about ancient cave ceremonies and artwork check out Wikipedia
Friday, February 11, 2011
I would also like to thank White Moon Witchcrafts for donating their lovely Love Spell incense! I hope everyone had fun playing. Misty, enjoy your incense! Check back soon for next months giveaway.
Thursday, February 3, 2011
This month in honor of Valentines Day, we are having a giveaway for Love Spell Incense! Handmade by White Moon Witchcraft, we're sure this incense will spice up your romantic night. I had the chance to speak with the owner of this magical shop, here's what she had to say:
1.Tell us a little about your business.
White Moon Witchcraft was just opened in November of 2010, and has been a source of much happiness so far. It's a little home-based witchcraft shop carrying hand made Wiccan and Pagan treasures and trinkets, such as oils, spell kits, charms, witch bottles, and an upcoming section of items for home decor that integrate Wiccan and Pagan beliefs into the everyday. The shop is constantly growing and expanding. White Moon Witchcraft creates products under the appropriate moon phase for the strongest empowerment. Created with love, harmony, strength and intent, I pour lots of love and time into each and every item I make.
2.How long have you been crafting magical goods?
I began crafting magical items for my own use when I was just starting out on my current path, over 17 years ago now. I've always been an artist and loved making things with my hands, and these traits combined with my passion for the metaphysical turned into a true love of making magic items. I've always been especially drawn to runecraft, essential oils and herbs, and gemstones. Put this together with a constant urge to create artistically, and you have a very happy lady who can't stop pumping out the magical goods! Creating these is an endless source of fascination and joy. There are so many things I want to make, and so little time!
3.Do you have a favorite product that you make?
If so what is it? Definitely my clay products, such as the charms for hanging around the house, which bring prosperity, love, family harmony, protection, and other things. Many have runes inscribed on them that work together for a certain end, and combine colour and gemstone magick as well. The artist in me loves making things look attractive and clay leaves a lot of room for that. Also it's incredibly interesting to turn a lump of plain old clay into a powerful amulet or focus piece.
4.Please explain the item you are giving away.
This Love Spell Incense is made with herbs and oils known to bring love -- Lavender has a distinctly sexual energy and has been used as a lust-inducing herb for centuries. Rose petals are traditionally linked with emotional love and are often used to draw a relationship and deeper feelings. A pinch of passion flower adds just a tweak of calming energies (contrary to its name) so all this sexual energy doesn't get out of hand! I always add a pinch of powdered Amber to my products because Amber adds extra power to every spell or magickal item. Of course I have added some secret ingredients too, but I'm not telling! This love incense is perfect to use during a Valentine's day spell to draw love into one's life, or just burn on it's own on the special day with a lover.
Burn this incense on the charcoal disc included, and see the smoke as carrying your desire for love to the universe to manifest. See how all the smoke touches becomes infused with love. This incense can also be simmered on the stove over low heat as a potpourri, or kept in a special box as a dry potpourri -- as you inhale the scent see yourself full to the brim with love from others and yourself.
Ok now for the rules for entering. Go to White Moon Witchcrafts, find a product or two that you like, come back here and comment on it. Please make sure to leave your email address in the post so I can contact you! The giveaway will end Feb 11 when I announce the winner. I will be choosing the winner randomly using random.org. Check out White Moon Witchcraft's blog here, also check out her fan page on facebook for product updates and specials. Good luck to everyone who enters! Thank you to White Moon Witchcrafts for donating they're Love Spell Incense! Have fun!
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Imbolc is the time of year when we start planning for the coming of Spring. When we say good bye to the Crone of winter, and prepare to greet the Maiden once again. It's a day we starting planting our seeds for our ideas, goals and inspirations. It is also a day that we celebrate Brigid, Celtic Goddess of fire, poetry, hearth and home. Call on her and ask her to warm you with her passionate fire. The fire of inspiration and creativity.
There are many crafts to make and ways to honor Brigid on Imbolc. In the old Celtic lands, people used to make corn dollies in honor of this Great Goddess. They would then take these dolls door to door to celebrate her sacred day. There is also the Brigid's cross, usually make of reeds of some kind. I actually made one of these, and I had so much fun! You could also use pipe cleaners, which are much easier, but I decided to go the traditional route. If you are going to use reeds, soak them for a couple of hours, or maybe even overnight to make sure they can bend easily. I found step by step directions on About.com, please give your hand a try, it's not as hard as it might seem. Make a Brigid's Cross
In honor of Brigid and her sacred day, I decided to post a meditation dealing with Brigid and her cross. Yes you have to make the Brigid's cross for this! This is a meditation about crossroads, about the crossroads we all come to in life, and can't decide which path to take.
Begin by closing your eyes, and thinking about where you've been in the past year, spiritually, emotionally, even physically. What things have you done that bring your regret? What things have brought you joy? Is there anything you wanted to do, but didn't get a chance to? Picture yourself wandering along a path, out of the past and into the present. Let your mind roam freely, and visualize yourself approaching a crossroads. Perhaps it's a place in a forest, where a pair of deer trails run together. Maybe it's in the mountains, where streams intersect. Or maybe you picture yourself out in a wide open space, with roads connected in the middle of nowhere.
Regardless, see yourself at that crossroads. You are at the center, and branching out from where you stand are many paths. Each leads in a different direction. Each path will take you to something new. Begin creating your Brighid's Cross and as you weave the straws together, think about what may lie in each direction. As you look out over your choices, thinking about which way to travel, Brighid herself is standing beside you. Continue weaving your cross, and watch her. She points out one of the roads.
When you've finished your cross, close your eyes once more, and meditate on the path which Brighid indicated for you. What lies in that direction? Is it something familiar and comforting? Something new and unknown? Focus on the cross you've made, and let this newly chosen path inspire you. Know that it will ultimately bring you to something good and positive and strong.I hope you enjoyed this meditation! On your altar for Imbolc have lots of candles (to represent fire), an image of Brigid, your Brigid's cross and/or a corn dolly, colors of yellow and orange to represent the sun.
Have a Blessed Imbolc!
Meditation taken from About.com
Photo courtesy of Wendy Andrews