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Posts Tagged ‘Goddess’

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As we focus on advancing in spiritual growth and our magickal skills the general goal is one of doing the work needed to connect with that Divinity which is non-corporeal, transcendent and more highly evolved than we perceive ourselves to be. We are always seeking what is the deeper mystery and hidden from our human perceptions. We generally consider ourselves to be the blessed and privileged ones when we experience the presence of the Divine as we invoke the Gods into our work and our lives. And, indeed we are blessed to be able to engage with those unseen beings. The thought that they are just as richly blessed in the commune with corporeal beings such as ourselves is a concept largely overlooked.

You see the fact of the matter is that we have something they desire just as we aspire towards the rare forms that they are. We have been gifted with manifest form that can experience the physical pleasures of touch, the ability to hold someone or something with our flesh and bones, the ability to walk on the surface of a living planet and the ability to create physical life from our own. I have talked before about the role of the Soul as being a stream of the essence of our pure Spirit that descends into physical form and takes in all the lessons of a human life to return these to the formlessness of our Spirit. In many ways this concept punctuates the phrase that “we are Divine Beings having a human experience”.

We are indeed twice blessed to be able to walk between the worlds of the non-corporeal and the physical. As we grow and expand in our work of learning the nuances of energy, vibration and the cyclical rhythms that flow in, around and through us our perceptions of those realms of the non-corporeal opens. It is this work and action that trains us in the receptivity of being able to move in synchronicity with those realms to the degree that we “feel” the presence of Deity in our devotional and ritual work. This is also the space of opening that allows Deity to experience a portion of our human-ness.

So, next you seek out the presence of the Divine, remember…

We work with flesh and bone
The flexing of muscle supports
The action of our daily work.

We touch our beloved ones with care
We see the pain of a suffering world
We hear the music of stars and planets
We taste the products of loving hands
We smell the changing of the seasons
All of these and more the gift of
Manifest human form.

We call out to our Gods and Goddesses
The Limitless All and the Divine
Yearning for their essence to mingle
Join and be as one with our own.

The bliss of union enfolds us in
Its ephemeral embrace and we
Surrender to the loosening of
Flesh and bone absorbed into
The vastness of ocean Divine.

We move on waves of ecstasy
Gently kissing shorelines of
Humanity’s sculpted form
Moving into every life giving
Crevice that has served as the
Astral inroad for time immortal.

The Human hungers for what
He/She has lost the memory
Of its treasure and value.

The Divine yearns for the tales
Of life in form that its progeny
Settles into burrowing deeply
Into the body of Spirit’s lover.

Each seeks the embrace of the other 
To more deeply know the pleasure
Pain and sacrifice of the other’s existence.

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Midsummer calls to you saying
Awaken and revel in the day as
My light stretches long and bright
Before night crowds greedily in.

Draw back the curtains that
Shroud the hidden spaces
Of your mind and heart.

Midsummer’s sun will light
The way before retreat into the dark.

Breathe in the scent of life
Ripe and full bursting forth.
Let it intoxicate and enchant
As daylight persistently lingers.

Midsummer’s sun will quicken
The way before all withers falling into the dark.

Step into waters warmed long and
Filled with sunlight’s waxing grace.
Emotions are enlivened for the imminent
Sacrifice of daylight’s harvest bounty.

Midsummer’s sun will set ablaze
The way before heart turns within to face the dark.

Clothe yourself in sunflower and bee
Drinking deeply from the nectar of
Sun Lord and Lady’s golden orb.

Midsummer’s sun will be your lantern
As you surrender to the dark.

Midsummer calls to you saying
Awaken from your slumber
Lift the veil of shaded cover
And step out into the blessed gift
Of the final waxing of Sun-filled
Solstice Light.

Hail and Welcome to the Summer Solstice! Hail and Welcome to the Fullness of the Sun’s Light! Hail and Welcome to the Blaze of Our Inner Sun! Hail and Welcome to the Light We Have Become!

Today and Saturday will be the longest days of the Solar Year (15hrs and 38mins). The Summer Solstice officially occurs on Saturday, but we can gather today’s energy as preparation for the outpouring of the Noonday Sun. There are many ways to celebrate the Solstice and each has the cyclical underpinnings of strengthening and re-affirming the Light. Bonfires, the reclaiming of power of the Holly King from the Oak King, the fullness of the Mother Goddess, the power of the Solar Father or simply remaining outside longer and marking the setting of the Sun and the beginning of the Waning year are tools of our connection to this auspicious day.

From Beltane’s pleasures of late Spring, we find ourselves drawn to the longer days that have been gradually moving towards the apex of this day of the longest hours of light. We feel ourselves emerging into the fullness of this Light filled with the realized potential and life sustaining energy of the sun. We are infused with its power and take pleasure in opening our senses to the full experience of being lit from within and shining that magick on all we encounter. This is the center of our focus and we cling to the last vestiges of daylight before the cycle moves towards the waning time.

And, it is from this place of extreme that we drink in all of the light we able to hold to carry us forward in the days and months ahead, knowing they will bring increasingly shorter hours of daylight and longer times of nightscape. This absorption of the catalytic fires will be the fuel that will burn throughout the months ahead as we move into the space of darkness, cold and introspection and become the lantern of that light.

I usually craft a personal working for the solstices and the equinoxes using the solar energies as the continuous energetic thread. Each of the workings I do serves to enliven and increasingly strengthen the solar current. It is this current that I use for energetic protocol and workings. And, it is this current that supports the lunar work that I do. In this way, I maintain the tools that are needed so that I may remain in sync with the energetic tides that flow around me and have as my foundation the Inner Sun that will Light the way.

 

This and other Sabbat Poems and Articles may be found in my listings on WitchVox. The poem for this year’s Solstice is available here: 

Waning Light-The Summer Solstice (2014)

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I wrote last week about the God Jupiter and his abundance. This week’s post is about the Roman Goddess Juno who, like Jupiter, is expansive and multi-faceted in her attributes and abilities. She was considered the Queen of the Gods and as such was connected to all aspects of life notably those that concerned women. In the broadest sense she was the embodiment of the feminine principle and seen as the protective guardian “spirit” (Juno) of women in the same way the “genius” was attributed to men.

Of the Roman Gods none but Apollo were worshipped more widely or more often appeased when thought to have been provoked to anger. Juno, in her more ancient aspect is often depicted as the jealous and vengeful wife of Jupiter, in his archaic form of philanderer and womanizer. She would stop at no means to attain her ends and was in particular a vital and powerful ally for women regarding matters of marriage and their life cycles. These negative traits gave way in light of her overwhelming devotion to women and their safeguarding and she became a most beloved Goddess to be called upon in all affairs.

Juno was the daughter of Saturn and Rhea and sister (as well as wife) to Jupiter. The Roman Poet, Ovid speaks of Juno as being jealous of the birthing of Minerva from the head of Jupiter and sought the aid of Flora who gave her an herb that enabled the birthing of Mars. Juno’s other children are noted as Vulcan, the God of Fire (and Volcanos) and Juventas, whose name means “youth” and rejuvenation. These became energies associated with Juno as well, having bestowed them on her daughter.

Juno was noted as a Goddess of the “Capitoline Triad” and in this role was known as Juno Regina, or Queen Juno.

” In ancient Roman religion, the Capitoline Triad was a group of three supreme deities who were worshipped in an elaborate temple on Rome’s Capitoline Hill, the Capitolium. Two distinct Capitoline Triads were worshipped at various times in Rome’s history, both originating in ancient traditions predating the Roman Republic. The one most commonly referred to as the “Capitoline Triad” is the more recent of the two, consisting of Jupiter, Juno and Minerva and drawing on Etruscan mythology. The earlier triad, sometimes referred to in modern scholarship as the Archaic Triad, consisted of Jupiter, Mars and Quirinus and was Indo-European in origin. Each triad held a central place in the public religion of Rome during its time.” (1.)

Her epithets were many and were customized in accord with the particular function that was assigned to her. As Queen of the Heavens, Juno was depicted in a chariot drawn by her sacred animal, the Peacock…

“When Juno appeared as the majesty of heaven, with her sceptre and diadem beset with lilies and roses, her chariot was drawn by peacocks, birds sacred to her; for which reason, in her temple at Euboea, the emperor Adrian made her a most magnificent offering of a golden crown, a purple mantle, with an embroidery of silver, describing the marriage of Hercules and Hebe, and a large peacock, whose body was of gold, and his train of most valuable jewels.” (2.)

As the Juno Moneta (she who warns) she guarded over the finances of the empire and had a temple on the Arx (one of two Capitoline hills), close to the Royal Mint. This attribution ensured her place as one of governance over the State and its affairs.

As Juno Lucina she became the Goddess of childbirth. As Juno Sospita (Saviour) she was depicted wearing battle attire, ready to protect the welfare of women and eventually, as her popularity and power grew she became known as the defender and protector of the state. This spoke to both her sovereignty and fertility in maintaining order.

Image: Statue of Juno Sospita in the Round Hall in the Vatican Museums

Her Festivals were frequent, especially because of her influence in so many diverse areas of daily life. These became more widespread as her archetypal energy was assimilated as Rome’s cultural impact spread.Known as Fluviona and Februalis, Juno embodied the purification and fertility rites of February in preparation for Spring’s new life. A special ceremony was dedicated to her in the home to celebrate the beginning of each lunar month…

“ The first days of each Roman month, the calends, were sacred to Juno, as was the entire month of June, which is still named for Her. Five cities in Latium (the region of the Latin tribe) also named a month for Her: Aricia, on the Via Appia; Lanuvium, where She was worshipped as Juno Sospita (“Juno the Saviouress”), Praeneste (modern Palestrina), Tibur (modern Tivoli, the resort town of Rome), and Laurentum, located between Lavinium and Ostia on the coast. And as Juno is the Roman Goddess of Marriage, it is no coincidence that June is still considered the proper month for weddings.” 3.

And, Juno’s main festival, the Matronalia was held on March 1st. On this day married woman asked their husbands to give them money to make offerings to the Goddess.

There are many ways to incorporate Juno’s energies into your workings and daily devotionals. Call upon her to rejuvenate your relationships. Call upon her when you need courage and strength in support of a worthy cause. Call on her in childbirth and to ease the monthly cycles of menstruation. Call on her as Queen of the Heavens and welcome her into your home to weave her magick of new beginnings and harmonious relations.

Read more about the Goddess, Juno at Sacred Texts:

Sacred Time:The Month of June

Resources:

1. Dumézil, Georges (1970). Archaic Roman Religion with an appendix on the Religion of the Etruscans. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago

2. E.M. Burens. Myths and Legends of Ancient Greece and Rome. New York. Maynard, Merril and Co.

3. Obscure Goddess Online Directory

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Xochiquetzal

The post for this week prompted me to look beyond the pantheons that I normally work with and brought me to a Deity of the Aztecs. Xochiquetzal is a Goddess of love, beauty, sex, fertility and protector of women and mothers, pregnancy and the crafts of women such as weaving. Unlike many ofthe Aztec Goddesses who are assigned to the agricultural responsibilities only, she embodies life itself and all of the pleasures, excesses and enjoyment of physical expression. Her archetypal energy is echoed in the more familiar goddesses of Hathor, Brighid, Aphrodite and Parvati.

Xochiquetzal’s  name itself is a composite of two words – xochitl (flower) and quetzalli (feather or precious feather) and when combined means precious flower feather or maiden. She is closely tied to vegetation and butterflies and flowers follow her in honor.  A festival that was held every eight years in honor of Xochiquetzal was highlighted by the maidens wearing animal and flower masks.

She is depicted as a youthful and attractive woman, fully aware of her power of seduction and the potential of that power to be prone to excess. It is for this reason that unlike many of the deities she is depicted wearing fine garments and adorned with luxurious regalia as symbol of the sexual power of youth.

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Her twin brother is the flower prince,  Xochipilli. Similarly his kingdom was one of painting, dance and music and the beauty of the natural world. Together, they are the masculine and feminine energies that flowed through the Aztec people embracing their human qualities fully and aligning them with the beauty of their natural world devoid of the worries and concerns normally befalling an ancient society. These Deities and celebrations of them offered respite from the hard work that typified their existence. 

I always find it interesting to learn more about another Deity from a lesser known pantheon. The treasure hunt continues on making the connections to those deities and pantheons I do know and comparing the cultural and societal differences that arise.  In meditating on Xochiquetzal’s energies the raw experience of that energy and the strong currents of the feminine polarity and gender were quite profound in their simplicity.

The raw power was that of dipping deeply into that well spring of first aroused sexuality; the first experience that seems to validate your place in this cycle of living creative power and the opening of youthful eyes to the beauty and fertility of life that surrounds you at every turn.  You see every thing from a different perspective and experience the pleasures of day to day living with heightened awareness and sensitivity.

I would imagine that this is the same flow of energetic current that sustained and upheld the hard work ad at times harsh conditions of the ancient peoples. This spring of youthful pleasure and the affirmation of their place in a greater cycle of continuum that was life itself.  Every so often its good to take a side trip down a road you’ve not been and open to the experience of another pantheon or another way of experiencing the Gods and Goddesses. What you may find is a reawakening to the vibrancy you once felt when coming upon what currently sustains your practice.

Pictures:
Xochiquetzal: From the Codex Borgia
Xochipilli. Statue from the Lombards Museum

Resources:
The Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia Mythica

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