Thursday, March 31, 2016

Women of History, Artemisia of Caria

Statue of Artemisia in Turkey

Today is the last day of Women's History month and to honor that I wanted to write a post about a powerful female figure from history, Queen Artemisia of Caria.

Artemisia was Queen of Halicarnassus and was a known warrior and ally to King Xerxes of Persia. Born sometime around the 5th century BCE, Artemisia was daughter to Lygdamis, King of Halicarnassus and her mother is unknown but said to have been of Cretan descent.

Artemisia commanded her own naval fleet at the Battle of Salamis in 480 BCE. 

It is said that Xerxes asked all of his naval commanders if he should attack the Greeks in a naval war. All but Artemisia agreed that he should attack. Artemisia did not agree and advised Xerxes not to attack the Greeks. According to Herodotus, Xerxes appreciated her advice and admired her for her opinion although he decided against it and attacked the Greeks anyway.

Xerxes was defeated at the Battle of Salamis and feeling disheartened at his loss he once again seeks the advice of Artemisia.  

Which of course if he had taken her advice initially things might have turned out differently. She advises him to return home and abandon his campaign. This time he relents, takes her advice and returns home.

Artemisia was renowned for her cunning tactics and craftiness on the battlefield. 

She was known to fly the enemy's flag on her ship to confuse them into thinking that her ship was on their side. Most of Artemisia's story comes to us from Herodotus although still not much is known about her life. We do know that she did not die in battle, although there are a few different stories about her death. One in particular say that she flung herself off a cliff into the sea because of a broken heart. This seems unlikely for a conquering warrior woman but alas this is one of the stories.

Artemisia was known as a warrior, conqueror and commander. 

One of the many inspiring warrior women from history.

Do you have a warrior woman from history that inspires you?

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Honoring the Goddess as Mother

The Goddess can act as a mother to those of us priestesses who crave a mother figure in our lives.  

When I first came to Goddess spirituality it felt like a home coming, a long time in the making. I started working with Goddess energy and found that She would guide me in all aspects of my life. She acted as a mother would or should act as far as teaching her daughter how to deal with the world at large.

It wasn't long after I dedicated myself to my Goddess (Hekate) that I started to think and refer to Her as Mother. 

As hard as it may be to admit or for society to talk about, not every earthly mother is such a great mother figure for her children. It's taboo to talk about "bad mothers" because the typical image of a mother figure is the all nurturing, caring and compassionate woman who loves all of her children unconditionally. Although some of us were not so lucky to have had this type of stereotypical mother. For me, my Goddess is my true mother and I go to Her whenever I need any guidance or advice.

Coming to Goddess spirituality made a huge impact on my life. 

And I think for many women with emotionally absent or uncaring mothers it would do the same. Over the years I've read stories from other women who have also had less than stellar mothers and it's sad but it's also nice to have that connection. To know that you are not alone and that there is nothing wrong with you. But at the same time we need that mother connection. We crave love and acceptance and there are times when we need guidance. The Goddess has acted as Mother to me for some time now and it's helped me more than I can say.

Working with the Goddess as Mother has given me a chance to have a profound connection with Her. 

Whenever something has gone awry in my life I go to my Goddess for support. Or when I need help making a decision or just need to get something off my chest I also to go Her. As a priestess I believe that it's imperative to have a close connection to your Goddess. Honoring the Goddess as Mother can help you to get that close motherly connection we so desperately crave. 

The Goddess does not judge you or expect you to be a perfect reflection of Her. 

She wants you to be you. She accepts you for who you are and by honoring yourself as you are you are also honoring Her. If you would like to start working with your Goddess as Mother all you need to do is dedicate yourself to Her. Tell her that you feel blessed to be Her priestess and earthly daughter. For some of us this is not the first life in which we have been a priestess of our Goddess. So some of this may come naturally.

What about you? Do you view the Goddess as Mother? If not, how do you view Her?

Art courtesy of These Little Joys

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Giveaway! Ostara Goddess Coloring Page!

Since Ostara is right around the corner I decided to have a giveaway for my Spring Goddess mandala coloring page.  

This mandala is all about Spring with rabbits, decorated eggs, flowers, leaves and shining suns. Coloring is a great meditative tool to use to clear your mind and connect with your inner self. You can color this mandala and place it on your Ostara altar or you can choose to color the mandala on the day of Ostara in order to connect with the energy of Spring.

To enter the giveaway please check out my shop on etsy and come back here and comment on your favorite mandala. 

The winner will receive one pdf download of the Spring Goddess mandala which you can then print out and color. Regular computer paper works fine for these but if you'd like something a little more substantial get a thicker card-stock paper from your local office supply store. The best kind of paper that I love to use is called Vellum Bristol paper 67lb. 

Good luck and thank you to all who enter the giveaway! 

Make sure you leave your email address or some way for me to contact you if you win. The winner will be announced on Saturday.

Ostara blessings!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Vesna, Slavic Goddess of Spring

Vesna is the Slavic goddess of Spring and fertility

The name Vesna in the Slovene language translates to literally mean "Spring". Vesna is known as a beautiful and youthful goddess with flowers in her hair and long flowing locks that reach down to her knees. Sometimes she is portrayed scantily covered in leaves while holding an apple in one hand and grapes in the other.

She was honored at Spring and was a Goddess much loved and respected by her people. 

She was said to be a happy and cheerful Goddess and people would name their daughters after her in the hopes that they would live a happy and cheerful life. She was also seen as a Goddess of victory as the Spring season represents a victory over the cold of winter. Because of this Vesna was a very popular Goddess with her people. She represents the coming of life after winter and the return of the light after the darkness so it's no wonder that she was adored by her people.

It is said that Vesna carries the scent of Spring flowers with her wherever she goes.

She was portrayed as always smiling and full of life. Vesna was celebrated up until very recently at the Spring equinox in March. People would carry clay figures of birds decorated with flowers out to the fields and sing and dance in her honor. Vesna was said to reside in the mountains and could only come out in the month of February which was named for her.

Since we are quickly approaching Spring (in the northern hemisphere) now is the perfect time to honor Vesna.  

Decorate your altar with flowers and sing and dance in her honor. Now is the time to be cheerful and grateful for the coming of Spring after the long winter. This is a time to celebrate life and rebirth. In doing this you will be honoring the spirit of Vesna. 

Art courtesy of JankaLart on etsy

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Goddess Mandala Coloring Ritual

Engaging in a creative act is a great way to honor your deity.  

Being in tune with your creative self is a wonderful form of self expression. Creativity expresses us as who we are at our core. The Goddess loves to have us connecting with our creative selves because that is when we are at our most truest form. And as priestesses we are always on a mission to not only know our Goddesses but to also know ourselves. 

The Goddess mandala coloring ritual is something you can use to honor your deity creatively and give her a unique offering. 

For my personal ritual I chose to honor the Goddess Hekate because as many of you know, I am her priestess. To begin your ritual first choose a Goddess you would like to honor. Or if you just want to honor the divine feminine in a general sense that is fine too. Now choose a mandala from my shop that you want to color and give as an offering to your Goddess.  You can choose to get a mandala of your particular Goddess or you can choose from some of the more general goddesses as well. If you do not see your particular Goddess please contact me and I can create a custom one for you. I am always adding new Goddesses but I don't have all of them quite yet. 

Now that you have chosen your mandala, print it out, choose your colors and set up everything at your altar. 

Light some candles, incense and a smudge stick to cleanse your area. Also cleanse the mandala and infuse it with your energies. Make sure to ground and center yourself and then call on your Goddess. Ask her to lend you some of her energy to help you create this offering in her honor. Meditate with her energy for a few minutes. Absorb yourself in the moment and take your time. Really feel and connect with her energy. Once you feel ready, thank her for her assistance and come out of your meditation with a few deep cleansing breaths. 

Now you can start to color in your mandala!

You can choose to stay at your altar and color or you can set up wherever you feel comfortable. Take your time coloring. It's ok if you don't finish coloring it that same day. Take a few days or longer if you need. When you are done with her, offer it to your Goddess and place it on your altar. These mandalas look great in a frame and placed on your altar with some flowers and candles. You can perform this ritual anytime you color a new mandala as well. 

Please send me pictures of your mandalas once you've colored them! 

I would love to see them! I also like to share them in the Facebook page to inspire others.  

So, which Goddess did you choose to do your ritual for?
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...