Friday, November 25, 2011
This month's giveaway comes to us from The Whimsical Pixie. The owner Paula, has donated a gorgeous Pagan ornament for your Yule/Christmas tree! Her ornaments are some of the most beautiful I've seen! I've already purchased one for myself as well. I had the chance to speak with Paula, here's what she had to say:
1. How long have you been crafting magical products?
Its been a little over 3 years since I've started creating magickal ritual items to sell. It all started because I wanted to make my sister a set of runes; did a Google search for tutorials and found a great one using polymer clay. One link led to another revealing the versatility of the clay and this Pixie took flight!
2. Do you have a favorite product that you make?
In as much as I love creating everything in my Etsy shop, I enjoy the Custom Altars the most. Creating these allows me to get to know the buyer in a more intimate manner. They are by far the most personalized item I create as the person selects the ritual tools, color combination and pyrographed designs. They also allow me to utilize different art mediums which gets the creative juices flowing.
3. Please explain the item you are giving away.
The Triple Moon Goddess and Pentagram Ornament was created using millefiori technique, a very old art form also used for glasswork. Translated millefiori literally means a thousand flowers. Polymer clay is used to fabricate “canes” of different designs; the cane can be reduced in size yet the design of the cane remains the same throughout. Thin slices are then taken from the cane and laid individually on an object to create something truly unique and beautiful. All polymer clay canes are made by me. The cap can be removed to allow you to fill the ornaments with herbs, oils or crystal to your specific intent.
Ok so now to enter, go to The Whimsical Pixie, find a product or two that you like, come back here and comment on them. Also be sure to check out The Whimsical Pixie's Facebook Page! The winner will be picked using random.org, and will be announced in one week. Have fun playing and good luck! Thanks to Paula for donating her beautiful ornament!
Saturday, November 19, 2011
The bee has been associated with the Goddess and Priestesses of the Goddess for thousands of years. The most famous culture that worshiped the bee was the Minoan culture on the island of Crete. As a symbol of The Mother Goddess, bees represented fertility and healing. Since honey has antibacterial properties, it was used in many healing remedies, this made honey sacred. It was also used during ritual by the Bee Priestesses who were called melissae which means "bees". There was a golden seal found buried in Crete, that shows Priestesses dressed as bees dancing together. The photo pictured above is the famous Minoan Bee Pendant, showing two bees carrying nectar back to there hives, and is dated 2000 BCE.
In the book The Myth of the Goddess: Evolution of an Image, by Anne Baring and Jules Cashford, write that "Bees have an ancient reputation as the bringers of order, and their hives served as models for organizing temples in many Mediterranean cultures." The tombs at Mycenea were shaped like beehives, as well as the omphalos at Delphi where the famous Oracle at Delphi recited her prophecies.
In Knossos, jars were found which contained honey, and were said to be used during summer festivals. Honey was known as “the nectar of the Gods” in the ancient world and was seen as sacred all the way back to Neolithic times. The Bee was said to be viewed as a Mother Goddess and creator of life. Since bees gather nectar from flowers, and then create this wonderfully healing, sweet and sacred substance, they were highly revered. In the Homeric hymn to the God Apollo, it is said that his gift of prophecy came to him from three bee maidens. The Bee was also revered in other cultures such as in ancient Egypt. The Bee was associated with Kingship in ancient Egypt, it is said that there was even a bee King. In the ancient Mayan world, bee motifs were found, as honey was seen as food of the Gods.
Goddesses associated with the bee are Persephone, Demeter, Artemis, Aphrodite, Rhea, Cybele and Potnia Theron, which is the Cretan “Mistress of Animals”. In Ephesus where the remains of the Temple of Artemis was found along with the great statue, Artemis of Ephesus, there were bee motifs found on the statues legs and waist. Statues of the Anatolian Goddess, some believe Cybele originated in Anatolia, were shown with the Goddess wearing what looks like a beehive on her head. Possibly as some kind of crown, as some ancient Priestesses were sometimes called “The Queen Bee”
As you can see the bee was a sacred and highly revered animal in the ancient world, along with their highly prized honey. We should honor the bees as well today as givers of life as they pollinate our crops and give us food. Is it said to me to hear of all the bee deaths over the recent years. As followers of the Goddess and worshipers of nature, we need to be honoring animals in the same way the ancient priestesses before us did.
To attract bees to your garden plant things such as daisies, marigold, bee balm, echinacea, foxglove, goldenrod and lavender. I hope you enjoyed learning about the ancient reverence of bees and their sacred nectar!
Photo courtesy of TheBeeGoddess.com
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Today at sunset starts a celebration called The Night of Hekate, where Hekate Trivia (of the three ways) is honored. This is when ancient people would hold what's known as Hekate Suppers which were held at a crossroads, and usually under the dark moon. They would leave meals for her which usually consisted of fish, eggs, cheese, garlic, and sacrificial cakes like the amphiphon, which was like a small cheesecake, surrounded by torches. Hekate Supper's were a very important ritual practice for her followers, and according to Sorita d'Este, author of Hekate Liminal Rites, this practice was extremely hard for the Christian church to get rid of.
Most of the food left for Hekate, was said to be eaten by the poor, some argue that this is how Hekate took her offerings, by letting the less fortunate have a good meal. To me this shows a compassionate side to this misunderstood Goddess.
I wrote a small poem to honor her with for tonight, and I thought I would share:
Hekate, Hekate, my Dark Mother Queen,
Goddess of Crossroads and things unseen,
On this night of the waning moon,
I create this sacred meal in honor of you.
Sorceress of night,
Lady of earth, sea, and sky,
Keyholder to the sacred mysteries,
Mistress of All,
I honor you tonight, Hekate Trivia.
Ancient Mother, please hear my prayer,
I leave this offering to you in which tonight I will share,
I hope those of you who honor Hekate have a wonderful night!
Photo courtesy of my personal photos from Rome.
Saturday, November 12, 2011
I just finished reading the book Celtic Lore & Spellcraft of the Dark Goddess, Invoking The Morrigan by Stephanie Woodfield, and she had a great section on making your own magickal staff. The book itself, by the way, is amazing and anyone who has any interest in The Morrigan should definitely check it out. I loved every second of it!
According to Woodfield, the Celt's viewed trees as "living beings, and their wood being endowed with magickal powers". They also viewed them as "doorways to the Otherworld". So any magical item made from part of a sacred tree was even that much more powerful. The staff symbolizes a connection to the earth and is a great tool to use during earth energy rituals. I made a staff, (pictured to the right) from a branch I found that must have fallen from the big tree that stands right out front of our house. I actually found it right before reading that particular chapter in the book, and something told me to keep it. So once I read the Earth Mother chapter in this book, I knew what I needed it for.
Your staff doesnt have to be real big either. And you can decorate it with feathers, crystals, leather or suede strapping, etc. I decorated mine with black feathers, a jet crystal on top, and little black, red and white stick on crystals around the staff. Along with black suede wrapped around the top and the bottom. You can see in the close up picture of the top of the staff, the decorations I chose a little more clearly. Once you have your staff and it's decorated. Stephanie Woodfield gives you a staff blessings ritual to do with The Morrigan.
What you will need:
*Dragons blood oil
Find a place outside (if you can) where you feel connected to the earths energies. Burn the sage and pass the staff through the smoke saying:
I banish all negative energies from this staff,
that it may be a tool of positive magick
Now take your staff in your power hand, and raise it up toward the sky to honor the realm of the Gods, then hold it at chest level to honor the Middleworld, then tap the staff on the ground to honor the Underworld. Visualize the bottom of the staff sprouting roots that dig deep into the earth, then from the top of the staff, visualize branches reaching towards the sky. See a golden light spiraling up from the ground and filling the staff to where your hand is holding it. Now visualize a spiral of light flowing down from the sky into the top of the staff and meets where your hand holds it. Recite:
I bless this staff in the name of The Morrigan,
Symbol of my connection to the wisdom
and strength of the earth, and the three worlds.
Now anoint the top, middle and bottom of your staff with dragons blood oil. Leave a small offering outside of milk.
Now of course if you don't honor The Morrigan, you can just replace the word "The Morrigan" in your blessing to the Goddess of your choosing, and then you would change your offering as well.
I hope you all enjoy making your very own magickal staff! And if you get the chance, check out Stephanie's book, its truly a masterpiece!
Saturday, November 5, 2011
Lilith is known to be the Sumerian/Babylonian Dark Goddess, and Demon Goddess. She was portrayed with dark wings and sometimes with clawed feet. It seems as though she might have originally been seen as a Bird Goddess from ancient cultures. She also has strong associations with serpents, and in some of her depictions in earlier myths, she is portrayed as having half of her body in the form of a serpent, and the other half with breasts and that of a woman. Some dispute her origins saying that she was much older than the Sumerian/Babylonian culture. Her most famous depiction and myths comes to us from Hebrew texts in the Story of Adam.
Her original myth from Sumerian culture speaks of her being the "hand of Inanna". She was said to find men in the streets and lead them to the temples of the sacred prostitutes. She was also known to assist in childbirth and infant care. Lilith lived inside the huluppu tree which grew in Inanna's garden. After a few years, Inanna came out to harvest the tree for a throne she wanted to build, only to find a serpent living at it's base, a Zu bird with a nest in the branches and the Goddess Lilith living in it's trunk. Gilgamesh, who was known to be a demigod and a king in Sumerian mythology, helped Inanna remove the snake, and the bird, then he forces out the Goddess Lilith who fly's away into the dark sky.
Her most well known myth comes from the Hebrew stories of her being the first wife of Adam. Since Lilith was a powerfully independent, sexual Goddess, she was not used to being submissive to men. That was not how her culture worked. Sexuality was not seen as something bad or evil in the ancient world. Only when the patriarchal cultures such as Judaism and Christianity took over did sexuality become seen as an evil sin. So Lilith refused to lie on her back while Adam took the dominant sexual position. She believed that love making should be equal. Adam did not agree with this and demanded that she be submissive to him. So Lilith left the garden of Eden. Later in Hebrew myth, she became demonized as an evil sexual demon who preyed on men at night. Better known as the Succubus, she would sneak into men's bedrooms at night and give them wet dreams.
It seems that Lilith, like many other Goddesses, was demonized by Patriarchy, in an attempt to stop her worship. Today Lilith represents a strong woman confident in her sexual powers. She teaches us to not be afraid or ashamed of being sexual, and to be comfortable in our sexuality. To be strong and never be submissive to anyone. To stand up for ourselves and be strong confident women. Call on Lilith when you need to feel more power to handle a difficult situation, or to feel more confident in your sexuality as a woman.
Lilith, in my opinion, is really a Goddess for women. Everything she represents is women's power and strength, and her sexual side represents that women too are sexual beings. And that's not something to be demonized as it has been for many years. Many times in our society, if you are a woman who is comfortable in her sexuality, you may be seen as being "promiscuous". It is not as acceptable for a woman to be sexual than it is for a man. It was not this way in the ancient world. Sexuality was seen as totally equal for both men and women, and had no relation to anything evil, sinful or dirty.
On your altar for Lilith, have a picture or statue of the Goddess, colors of black, red, white and blue, have dark feathers and a representation of a snake. Have crystals of turquoise, moonstone, black obsidian, herbs of mugwort, vervain and mandrake. Her moon phases are dark and new.
I hope you enjoy exploring this ancient Goddess of Power and Sexuality!
For more info on Lilith, check out this article: Lilith: from Demoness to Dark Goddess
Image courtesy of Gaia Moon Blog