Thursday, March 29, 2012

Giveaway from The House Of Eleggua

This giveaway comes to us from Carolina Gonzalez, owner of The House Of Eleggua, artist and creator of magical and mystical products. In honor of Spring, she has graciously donated a print of her drawing of the Goddess Flora. Many of you, I'm sure, already know of her work, we had actually did a giveaway together some months back for a beautiful print of the Goddess Hekate! Here's what Carolina had to say about herself and the gorgeous print she's giving away:

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 2150 sales and 282.000 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.

3. Please explain the item you are giving away.
House Of Eleggua is giving away a 4x6 inches print of Flora, a drawing made by House Of Eleggua's owner, Carolina Gonzalez. The original drawing was made in ink and colour pencils on fine arts paper, and was the cover of January 2012's issue of The Essential Herbal magazine. The print has been professionally made in high quality, acid-free photographic paper.

Flora, Goddess of Spring, enjoys the scent of a rose while standing on a heart-shaped wreath of flowers and herbs. The rose is the holiest flower for many spiritual paths, and a symbol of divinity and sensuality. A little bit of the abundance and beauty of Spring, to be enjoyed on every season, as Flora is an archetype of rebirth, renewal and inner growth.

Now to enter the giveaway, go to Carolina's shop, find a product or two that you like and come back here to comment on them. Please make sure to leave your contact info in case you win! I choose the winner randomly at, and the winner will be announced in one week. Thank you to Carolina for donating her beautiful print for this giveaway! Happy entering and good luck!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Zenobia, Warrior Queen of Palmyra

Zenobia was born Around 240 CE in the Palmyrene Empire, which was known as Roman Syria. She was thought to be of Arab descent and claimed to be related to Queen Cleopatra and Queen Dido of Carthage. She became wife to Septimius, the King of Palmyra, in 258 CE. Septimius had a son from his first wife when he married Zenobia, and then he and her had a son of their own, Vaballathus. This name is said to have come from an Aramaic term meaning "The Gift of the Goddess". The city of Palmyra was built around an oasis in the desert situated in the middle of the Roman and Persian Empires. It was a city filled with trade and culture from the Greeks, Romans, and Mesopotamians.

Septimius, Zenobias husband, and his son end up being mysteriously murdered and Zenobia assumes the throne, with an infant son. It is said that she gave herself the title Augusta and her son the title Augutus. Zenobia was known to be a real Warrior Queen to her people. She would ride out to battle, in the lead, and fight alongside her fellow warriors. Around 270 C.E. Zenobia conquered Egypt which at the time was under Roman rule. When her forces approached Egypt, the Roman Perfect, Probus, and his men tried to fight off the army of Zenobia. Until some of her men captured Probus, and beheaded them. She then claimed Egypt for her own, and Alexandria as being "her ancestral city", encouraging her Egyptian descent.

She then went on with her army, conquering other lands such as, areas of Anatolia, Syria, Palestine and Lebanon. She was creating her own empire, sick of being ruled by the Roman Empire for so long, she took it upon herself to create a domain of her own. And very successfully so. It is said that she then declared her empire independent to that of Rome. Queen Zenobia's strength and warrior power, reminds me of someone like Queen Boudicca. Ready to fight with her army, and ready to revolt against those who restrained her and her culture. It takes true courage and total confidence to try and take over those who currently rule your country. Zenobia was also known to be very beautiful, she was said to have long dark black hair and beautiful dark eyes. As well perfect skin and a "harmonious" voice. Much like her claimed ancestress, Cleopatra.

It was around 273 C.E that the Roman Emperor Aurelian, after fighting the Gauls, decided that it was time to take back his empire from Zenobia. He and his large army met Zenobia with her warriors at Antioch, an area of modern day Turkey, to fight. Zenobia was there with her army, proud and confident and ready for war. Unfortunately, the Romans end up defeating the Palmyrenes, and Zenobia with the rest of her remaining warriors fled to Emesa. Aurelian and his army flee after them, finally catch up with them, and hold the soldiers by force. It is said that Zenobia fled from her army back to Palmyra, where Aurelian eventually caught, and captured her. She and her son Vaballathus were then taken as hostages of Rome. It is said that on the journey back to Rome, Zenobia's son died, the cause seems to be somewhat unknown. It could have been something as simple as heat exhaustion or lack of water. When they finally reach Rome, they flaunted their captor, Zenobia, shackled with golden chains for the military victory parade through the streets of Rome.

After this, her life becomes somewhat of a mystery. There are several stories about what happened to Zenobia. Some say she committed suicide, to emulate her favorite declared ancestress, Cleopatra. Others say, that she was married off to a Roman Senator, lived with him in Tivoli, and even had children. It is said that evidence of this story can be confirmed by an inscription found in Rome, naming a descendant of hers.

I love learning about stories of warrior women and warrior Queens in history. Women certainly had their place in history, and its nice to learn their stories and gain some encouragement and confidence from them. A woman like Zenobia was not afraid to fight for what she believed in, and she did so victoriously.

I hope you liked learning about another famous Warrior Queen in history!

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia: Herbert Schmalz

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Hera, Greek Queen of the Gods

Hera is the Greek Goddess of marriage, childbirth, women and Queen of the Greek Gods. Wife to Zeus and daughter to Rhea and Cronos, she was often depicted as a beautiful woman wearing a crown and holding a staff. She was one of the twelve Olympians and was the eldest of her siblings, she was said to be one of the most beautiful Goddesses, and her brother Zeus chased after her for sometime.

In the myth of how Zeus tricks and seduces Hera into becoming his wife, Zeus decides to disguise himself as a cuckoo to win Hera's affection. He appears on Hera's staff one day, and she decides to make him her pet. He was then able to change back to his natural form, seduce Hera and make her his bride. They had many children, some of which are Ares, God of War, Eileithyia, Goddess of Childbirth, and Eris, Goddess of discord. Zeus was known to be quite an unfaithful husband, having well known affairs was such Goddesses as Metis, Themis and Alcmene to name a few. This enraged Hera and made her very jealous. Many of her myths involve her torturing and persecuting many of the woman Zeus seduced, as well their children.

For example in the myth of Herakles, which is the son of Zeus and Alcmene, after Herakles is born, Hera sends two serpents to his bed at night. Alcmene is terrified and cried out, but Herakles woke up and strangled both serpents to death. Another myth is one that accounts for the creation of the Milky Way. It is said that Zeus tricked Hera into nursing the infant Herakles, and when she realized who he was, she quickly withdrew Herakles from her breast, and sprayed her breast milk across the sky. Which became the Milky Way. As Herakles grew older, Hera's jealousy, and her continuous acts of trying to be rid of him didn't end, and they had a very adversarial relationship.

When Herakles had to fight the many headed serpent water beast known as Lernaean Hydra, Hera sent crabs to bite him in order to distract him. In another myth, when Herakles was returning from retrieving the bull of Geryon, Hera sent the cattle a type of fly to give him a disease, and Herakles shot Hera in the breast with an arrow. Eventually Hera and Herakles patched up their differences, when Herakles saved Hera from the rape of the giant Porphyrion.

Zeus's affairs never seemed to end. One in particular involving Semele, the mortal daughter to the King of Thebes. Zeus fell in love with her the moment he saw her, and he impregnated her. When Hera found out, she disguised herself as the Semele's nurse and convinced her to have Zeus show himself to her in his true form. So when Zeus showed up with his loud thunder and bright lightning, he ended up killing her by the power of those forces. He was able to save her aborted baby, their son, Dionysus. Hera also had one other of Zeus's many lovers, Lamia Queen of Lybia, turned into a monster and murdered her children.

Hera's jealousy and wrath was well known. One can imagine the pain and suffering she went through at her husbands endless selfish affairs. Embarrassing and humiliating the Queen of the Gods, Hera was not going to stand for that. So one day, with the help of some of the other Gods such as Poseidon an Athena, she planned out a way to trick Zeus. She secretly drugged his drink one night and then bound him while he slept. When he awoke we was filled with anger, but could do nothing. Until the many handed giant Hekatonkheires came to his rescue and untied all the knots, setting him free. Zeus was so angry with Hera, that he took one of his thunderbolts and hung her in the sky with golden chains. It is said she wept until Zeus finally freed her.

To me Hera is a powerful and vengeful Goddess who is not afraid to fight for what is right, even if it means she could be putting her own life in danger. She embodies the strength of the Matriarch and courageous feminine energy. Hera was a very loved and respected Goddess, and she had many temples through the Greek world.

Her sacred animals are the peacock and the cow. The apple, pomegranate and poppy are also sacred to her. Lapis lazuli would be a good stone for Hera, and her colors are blue, white and black. Call on Hera when you need the powerful force of the Queen of the Gods, to fight for what is right in your own life.

Photo courtesy of

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Boudicca, Celtic Warrior Queen of the Iceni

Boudicca was the famous Queen of the Iceni tribe in Britain who led the uprising against the Romans. It was thought by some Roman historians that she came from royal decent. She was wife to Prasutagus, who was leader of the tribe, and still held some of his influence as a Celtic King after Rome invaded Britain. The Romans invaded Britain in about 43 C.E., although they still allowed some Celtic Kings a little power. When Prasutagus died, he left is kingdom to his wife and daughters in his will, and upon his death, his will was ignored by the Romans. They came to Boudicca, flogged her and raped her daughters, and took total control over the Iceni land. It was after this that she raised an army and led a revolt against the Romans.

Her army was said to be quite large, about 100,000 or so. They attacked Camulodunum, which is now known as Colchester, first and drove out and slaughtered the Romans. They then went on the Londinium, modern day London, where the Romans fled and abandoned the city for fear of their lives. Boudicca and her army consequently burned down the entire city. Her army was claiming victory for a while, slaughtering the Romans and defeating they're armies one by one. So much so, that the emperor Nero was planning to withdraw his troops from Britain. Until, at the hands of Gaius Suetonius Paulinus, a Roman general, her army was defeated. Boudicca's death is still somewhat of a mystery. Tacitus, a Roman historian, claims that she poisoned herself. Although Cassius Dio, another Roman historian, mentions nothing of suicide, and claims that she fell ill, died and was given a lavish ceremony.

Her name is also a mystery, as it translates to mean victory or victorious. Some scholars and historians have suggested, that she could have also been seen, as a divine personification of a Warrior Goddess herself. She was said to call upon the Warrior Goddesses Andrasta, Badb and The Morrigan. Boudicca was said to invoke the Goddess Andrasta while fighting against the Roman invasion of Britain. According to Dio Cassius, these were her words:

"I thank thee, Andraste, and call upon thee as woman speaking to woman... those over whom I rule are Britons, men that know not how to till the soil or ply a trade, but are thoroughly versed in the art of war and hold all things in common, even children and wives, so that the latter possess the same valour as the men. As the queen, then, of such men and of such women, I supplicate and pray thee for victory, preservation of life, and liberty against men insolent, unjust, insatiable, impious." - Dio Cassius

Boudicca, the strong and courageous warrior queen, is a legend and a hero. An ambitious woman to be admired. A woman who was not about to allow a foreign culture to humiliate her and take over her land. She and her army actually came remarkably close to defeating the Romans. History would have been much different. She is an inspiration to women and men alike. To stand up and fight for what you believe in, and for your freedom, is a very brave and bold act.

Boudicca gives us the courage to call on the Warrior Goddesses when we fight the battle of our own lives. Just like she did.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Winner of Ostara Eggs from The Whimsical Pixie!

Thank you to everyone who entered! And the winner is.........Dottie! Congratulations! I hope everyone had fun playing. Thank you to Paula at The Whimsical Pixie for her lovely donation! Enjoy your new beautiful Ostara eggs Dottie!
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