Saturday, June 30, 2012

Sekhmet, Lioness Goddess of Egypt

Sekhmet is the lion headed, Egyptian Goddess of war and healing. Her name is said to mean "The Powerful One". She is also a solar Goddess and wears a sun disc crown upon her head. Daughter to Ra, the Sun God, Sekhmet was said to be a fierce Goddess. She is a misunderstood Goddess quite frequently. She represents the lioness, and they are fierce creatures, especially when it comes to the protection of their cubs. Sekhmet also is the fierce mother, and has the wildness of a lion.

In her myth, the sun God Ra, is said to be the creator of all things, including mankind. He started to hear, that mankind was making fun of him and saying bad things of him. This enraged Ra, so he decided to set out Sekhmet to dispel all the bad humans, who were speaking evil things against him. So Sekhmet started on her rampage of slaughtering humans and drinking their blood, so much so, that Ra feared there would be no more humans left. So he devised a plan to trick Sekhmet. He ordered his men to make seven thousand jugs of beer, containing blood and mind altering herbs. They brought the red beer out to the slaughtering fields and poured it everywhere. Sekhmet, thinking it was blood, drank it all up and became so intoxicated she fell asleep and the massacre was over.

There was a festival held every year in honor of this story. It is said that her priestesses drank red wine laced with mind altering herbs, like Sekhmet did, to appease her wildness. This would be a great festival and thousands were said to have attended. They would all drink and become intoxicated to mimic Sekhmet in the myth, and then dance, sing and make love to soothe the Goddesses fierce nature. As a result of this, Sekhmet is also a Goddess associated with sexuality. She was also associated with the Goddesses Hathor and Bast.

Sekhmet represents letting go of anger, and letting go of the things that hold you back from starting a new life or enjoying the one you have. She teaches us to move past old hurts and to forgiveness. She is also known for her healing qualities and can be called on for these matters as well. Being that she is a lioness, she can also be seen as a Mother Goddess, possibly a dark Mother Goddess. You may also call on her for matters of becoming a stronger person, and also for sexuality.

On your altar to Sekhmet, have colors of red, orange and yellow, crystals of citrine, tigers eye, ruby or garnet, herbs of myrrh and catnip, a picture or statue of Sekhmet, representation of a lioness or a snake, and red wine.

I hope you enjoyed learning about the fierce Lioness Goddess of Ancient Egypt!

Photo courtesy of Stuart Littlejohn

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Time for the Summer Solstice!

 Today is the Summer Solstice also known as Litha or Midsummer. It is the longest day of the year, and from here on out, the days become shorter. It is a time to honor the sun and faeries as well. Goddesses that are known to be honored at this time of year are Isis, Amaterasu and Vesta. I found a lovely poem about the Summer Solstice, written by Laurie Corzett, that I thought I would share. Enjoy!

The Longest Day

Earth of sea and land and air
Lit into opportunistic life
by her mother star
Energy for you and me to
burst into bloom
flit fly in
busy devious thievery
cacophonous rambling

Surging through veils,
storms breathing ice, sand,
the fire of prophecy
the flood of melting,
glacial migration
bequeaths rage, rampage,
rapacious gratuities
boiling beneath.
It’s not winter here, nuclear quiet,
all’s right for the longest of nights.
Not yet.

The eternal balance
rocks, stars, dark
inconsistencies with
metaphors of the righteous
long ceased bowing to scriptures.
Tomorrow, the Sun will rise.
The Earth will revolve.
Life will adjust, compromise.
After the workday, we celebrate
potent evening light.

Wishing everyone abundant Midsummer blessings!

Poem found on

Photo courtesy of Sue Miller

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Women of History, Sappho, Ancient Greek Poetess

Sappho and Alcaeus - Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema 1880

Sappho was born on the island of Lesbos sometime between 630 - 600 BCE. Not much is known about her life, but some of her poetry and great notoriety has survived. Sappho was a lyric poet, which means her poems were sung, usually accompanied by a lyre, which was a type of musical instrument. She was included in the list of the Nine Lyric poets, which were seen as highly esteemed poets to the scholars Hellenistic Alexandria. It is widely thought that Sappho was born to an Aristocratic family, her father is said to have been Scamandronymus, and her mother Cleis, which Sappho is said to have named her daughter after. Her poetry was mostly about the love and passion of women, and men as well, though known of her poems contained explicit "lesbian" sexual content. It is also said that she wrote about Goddesses such as Aphrodite, Greek Goddess of Love. She was said, as read in some of her poems, to be a Priestess of Aphrodite, which, if this was the case, she would have been a sacred prostitute. Although this is not known for sure because unfortunately not much of her story has survived. 

Sappho lived around the time of some other Lesbian poets, such as Alcaeus and Terpander, both men. The word Lesbian, as it is used today in its sexual connotation, did not appear until the nineteenth century. It is said that Alcaeus was Sappho's lover at one point as well as Anaktoria, a woman, who was mentioned in  one of her poems as being her lover. Sappho's poems were said to be collected three hundred years after her death, and complied in Alexandria into nine books. When the library of Alexandria was burned down by the Christians, so were Sappho's books. Only few scraps and fragments survive.

Around 600 BCE or so, Sappho was exiled to Sicily after political turmoil and the rise of Pittacus, Mytilenaean general, in Lesbos. Cicero, Roman statesman and philosopher, writes that there was a statue of her put in the town-hall of Syracuse. She is said to have gone back to Lesbos at some point after her exile, and spent most of her life there.    

Out of the fragments of poetry that has survived of Sappho, is that of her Hymn to Aphrodite:

"Immortal Aphrodite of the shimmering thone, daughter of Zeus, weaver of wiles, I pray thee crush not my spirit with anguish and distress, O Queen. But come hither if ever before thou didst hear my voice afar, and hearken, and leaving the golden house of thy father, camest with chariot yoked, and swift birds drew thee, their swift pinions fluttering over the dark earth, from heaven through mid-space. Quickly they arrived; and thou blessed one with immortal countenance smiling didst ask: What now is befallen me and why now I call and what I in my heart's madness, most desire. What fair one now wouldst thou draw to love thee? Who wrongs thee Sappho? For even if she flies she shall soon follow and if she rejects gifts, shall soon offer them and if she loves not shall soon love, however reluctant. Come I pray thee now and release me from cruel cares, and let my heart accomplish all that it desires, and be thou my ally." - Sappho

Her poetry was described by Posidippus, a Greek poet, as "divine songs". Plato is said to have called Sappho wise, and Horace, a Roman lyric poet, referred to her poetry as being "worthy of sacred admiration". Sappho and her beautiful poetry were honored and respected up until the time that Christianity took over. Her poems were made by the Christian church to look as erotic transgendered love stories. Though in the ancient world, the act of homosexuality was not seen as taboo or evil. And her works are said to be not "erotic" in the least as the Christian church liked to make everyone believe. 

Sappho was a woman ahead of her time, and loved by many. It is said that she lived on Lesbos until the time she died which is though to have been around 570 BCE. There is a myth about her death that was formed sometime in the Renaissance period, that she flung herself off a cliff for her love of man named Phaon. Though this could never be proven, and is thought by most scholars to have been a romanticized myth concocted by other poets during the Renaissance. 

I hope you enjoyed learning about the powerful and wise poetess, Sappho.

Photo courtesy of  Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema - Sappho and Alcaeus

Friday, June 8, 2012

Winner of Summer Solstice Candle!

Thank you to everyone who entered, and thank you to Monterrsat for donating her lovely Summer Solstice candle. And the winner is......Nicolette Vallejo! Congratulations! I hope you all enjoyed playing. Stay tuned next month for our next giveaway. Enjoy your new candle Nicolette!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Giveaway! Summer Solstice candle from Montserrat!

This months giveaway comes to us from Montserrat at The Sacred Feminine. She has donated her Spirit of Summer candle in honor of the upcoming Summer Solstice. I've featured Montserrat's work here before and am a big fan of her lovely products! Here's a little background on Montserrat and her business:

Hi my name is Montserrat. I started my candle company in 1996, Candles by Montserrat, wanting to create spiritual and holistic candles to aid us with our prayers and rituals. My candles are made with natural essential oils, and cotton wicks. They are made for you, at the time you order them, so that the oils are fresh. All my themes are spiritual and the candles are designed by me, including the labels, that depict my original images. I find that most of the candles sold these days are made by people who don't really care about the candles. It is just a job for them. It is easy to see why you should clear a store bought candle before you use it. All my candles are a conscious creation into which only high and inspiring thoughts and intentions are projected. You will feel the difference.

The Spirit of Summer candle represents prosperity, abundance and fertility, and its made with natural essential oils of Lavender, Rosemary and a touch of Jasmine.

Now for the rules to enter, go to Montserrat's shop: The Sacred Feminine and come back here to comment on any items you like. For extra credit, Check out her facebook fan page and become a fan. The giveaway will last for one week, at which time I will choose the winner using Make sure I have a way to contact you in case you win! Have fun playing and Good luck!
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