March - Ostara

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Ritual for Freya


To bring Freya into your life, enjoy a breakfast of cereal with strawberries (her sacred fruit), or share a dessert of chocolate covered strawberries with your lover; wear gold clothing or jewelry, an amber necklace or keep a small swatch of gold fabric on you so you can connect with Freya throughout your day.

Freya is the Goddess of the harvest; send a prayer to her and you will be sure to have a successful growing season. For those who are seeking inspiration in writing, painting or other artistic endeavors, Freya is the one to call on. She can also be called on for matters of love, beauty, enchantments, witchcraft, wisdom, and magic.

RITUAL

When you need more passion in you life try this Freya ritual.

Altar: Decorate with red cloth and red candles. Have incense of sage or sandalwood burning on your altar and/or rub your candles with these oils, additionally you can burn sage herbs in a cauldron. You may also want to wear Gold jewelry or clothing or have a piece of Amber or Tiger Eye on your altar as well.

You will also need colored ribbon or cord…one of these should be red to represent Freya and passion, the others should be colors that you associate with your need…for example, yellow for creativity, pink for a better love life, blue for the ability to speak about matters that mean the most to you, etc.

Cast your circle and call in the four quarters to help you:

Greetings Powers of Earth, I invite you to join me in this time within a time, this space within a space to help me harvest more passion into my life.

Greetings Powers of Air, I invite you to join me in this time within a time, this space within a space to help me find creative ways to gather more passion into my life.

Greetings Powers of Fire, I invite you to join me in this time within a time, this space within a space to help me remember passion brings much needed changes into a stagnant life.

Greetings Powers of Water, I invite you to join me in this time within a time, this space within a space to talk to me in dreams in visions on how to bring passion into my life.

Stand in the center of your circle and call upon Freya, the Queen of the Valkyries:

"Great Goddess Freya,
I call upon you in this time within a time,
this space within a space to bring more passion to my endeavors.
You are the beautiful Aesir Goddess,
the Goddess of love, fertility, magic and passion.
"

Sit or kneel before your altar and tie a knot at the top of your cords to bind them together, the cords can be big enough to wear as a sash around your waist or small enough to wear as a bracelet. Begin to braid the cords together as you focus on the aspect of your life that you need more passion in. While you're braiding, say the following chant: Oh lady Freya, Goddess of love and fertility, please send your passion into me.

When you're done braiding, offer your finished braid up to Freya…place it on your waist, neck, crown or wrist and dance and hum to raise your energy. At the right time send your energy out into the universe and cry Passion!

Ground and center. Thank Freya for coming into your circle and sending you her gift of passion. Acknowledge and thank the four quarters: Greetings Powers of Earth: I humbly and gratefully accept your assistance in this time within a time, this space within in space as you helped to harvest more passion into my life. Blessed be. Greetings Powers of Air: I humbly and gratefully accept your assistance in this time within a time, this space within in space as you helped to gather more passion into my life. Blessed be. Greetings Powers of Fire: I humbly and gratefully accept your assistance in this time within a time, this space within in space as you helped to bring more passion into my life. Blessed be. Greetings Powers of Water: I humbly and gratefully accept your assistance in this time within a time, this space within in space as you helped to open up my subconscious mind to opportunities to have more passion into my life. Blessed be. Open your circle and enjoy the gift of Passion from the beautiful Goddess Freya.

~~ Source: White Moon Gallery

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Myth of Rhiannon


Rhiannon, the Celtic goddess of the moon was a Welsh goddess. The goddess Rhiannon's name meant “Divine Queen” of the fairies. In her myths, Rhiannon was promised in marriage to an older man she found repugnant. Defying her family’s wishes that Rhiannon, like other Celtic goddesses, declined to marry one of her "own kind".

Instead, the goddess Rhiannon chose the mortal Prince Pwyll (pronounced Poo-ul or translated as Paul) as her future husband. Rhiannon appeared to Pwyll one afternoon while he stood with his companions on a great grass-covered mound in the deep forest surrounding his castle. These mounds, called Tors, were thought to be magical places, perhaps covering the entrance to the otherworld beneath the earth. It was thought that those who stood upon them would become enchanted, so most people avoided them.

So it is no surprise that the young prince was enchanted by the vision of the beautiful young goddess Rhiannon, who was dressed in glittering gold as she galloped by on her powerful white horse. Rhiannon rode by without sparing him even a glance. Pwyll was intrigued and enraptured, and his companions were understandably concerned.

Ignoring the protest of his friends, Pwyll sent his servant off riding his swiftest horse to catch her and asked her to return to meet the prince. But the servant soon returned and reported that she rode so swiftly that it seemed her horse’s feet scarcely touched the ground and that he could not even follow her to learn where she went.

The next day, ignoring his friends’ advice, Pwyll returned alone to the mound and, once more, the Celtic goddess appeared. Mounted on his horse, Pwyll pursued her but could not overtake her. Although his horse ran even faster than Rhiannon's, the distance between them always remained the same. Finally, after his horse began to tremble with exhaustion, he stopped and called out for her to wait. And Rhiannon did.

When Pwyll drew close she teased him gently, telling him that it would have been much kinder to his horse had he simply called out instead of chasing her. The goddess Rhiannon then let him know that she had come to find him, seeking his love.

Pwyll welcomed this for the very sight of this beautiful Celtic goddess had tugged at his heart, and he reached for her reins to guide her to his kingdom. But Rhiannon smiled tenderly and shook her head, telling him that they must wait a year and that then she would marry him. In the next moment, the goddess Rhiannon simply disappeared from him into the deep forest.

Rhiannon returned one year later, dressed as before, to greet Pwyll on the Tor. He was accompanied by a troop of his own men, as befitted a prince on his wedding day. Speaking no words, Rhiannon turned her horse and gestured for the men to follow her into the tangled woods. Although fearful, they complied. As they rode the trees suddenly parted before them, clearing a path, then closing in behind them when they passed.

Soon they entered a clearing and were joined by a flock of small songbirds that swooped playfully in the air around Rhiannon’s head. At the sound of their beautiful caroling all fear and worry suddenly left the men. Before long they arrived at her father’s palace, a stunning site that was surrounded by a lake. The castle, unlike any they had ever seen, was built not of wood or stone, but of silvery crystal. It spires soared into the heavens.

After the wedding a great feast was held to celebrate the marriage of the goddess. Rhiannon’s family and people were both welcoming and merry, but a quarrel broke out at the festivities. It was said that the man she’d once been promised to marry was making a scene, arguing that she should not be allowed to marry outside her own people.

Rhiannon slipped away from her husband’s side to deal with the situation as discreetly as she could . . . using a bit of magic, she turned the persistent suitor into a badger and caught him in a bag which she tied close and threw into the lake. Unfortunately, he managed to escape and later returned to cause great havoc in Rhiannon's life.

The next day Rhiannon left with Pwyll and his men to go to Wales as his princess. When they emerged from the forest and the trees closed behind them, Rhiannon took a moment to glance lovingly behind her. She knew that the entrance to the fairy kingdom was now closed and that she could never return to her childhood home. But she didn’t pause for long and seemed to have no regret.

Rhiannon was welcomed by her husband’s people and admired for her great beauty and her lovely singing. However, when two full years had passed without her becoming pregnant with an heir to the throne, the question of her bloodline, her “fitness” to be queen began to be raised.

Fortunately, in the next year she delivered a fine and healthy son. This baby, however, was to become the source of great sorrow for Rhiannon and Pwyll.

As was the custom then, six women servants had been assigned to stay with Rhiannon in her lying-in quarters to help her care for the infant. Although the servants were supposed to work in shifts tending to the baby throughout the night so that the goddess Rhiannon could sleep and regain her strength after having given birth, one evening they all fell asleep on the job.

When they woke to find the cradle empty, they were fearful they would be punished severely for their carelessness. They devised a plan to cast the blame on the goddess Rhiannon, who was, after all, an outsider, not really one of their own people. Killing a puppy, they smeared its blood on the sleeping Rhiannon and scattered its bones around her bed. Sounding the alarm, they accused the goddess of eating her own child.

Although Rhiannon swore her innocence, Pwyll, suffering from his own shock and grief and faced with the anger of his advisers and the people, did not come strongly to her defense, saying only that he would not divorce her and asking only that her life be spared. Rhiannon’s punishment was announced.

For the next seven years the goddess Rhiannon was to sit by the castle gate, bent under the heavy weight of a horse collar, greeting guests with the story of her crime and offering to carry them on her back into the castle.

Rhiannon bore her humiliating punishment without complaint. Through the bitter cold of winters and the dusty heat of four summers, she endured with quiet acceptance. Her courage was such that few accepted her offer to transport them into the castle. Respect for her began to spread throughout the country as travelers talked of the wretched punishment and the dignity with which the goddess Rhiannon bore her suffering.

In the fall of the fourth year three strangers appeared at the gate—a well-dressed nobleman, his wife, and a young boy. Rhiannon rose to greet them saying, “Lord, I am here to carry each of you into the Prince’s court, for I have killed my only child and this is my punishment.” The man, his wife, and the child dismounted.

While the man lifted the surprised Rhiannon onto his horse, the boy handed her a piece of an infant’s gown. Rhiannon saw that it was cloth that had been woven by her own hands. The boy then smiled at her, and she recognized that he had the eyes of his father, Pwyll.

Soon the story was told. Four years earlier, during a great storm, the nobleman had been called to the field to help a mare in labor, when he heard the infant’s cries and found him lying abandoned. He and his wife took the baby in, raising him as if he were their own.

When the rumors of the goddess Rhiannon’s fate had reached his ears, the farmer realized what had happened and set out at once to return the child to his parents. Most legends suggest that the badger actually was the enraged suitor that Rhiannon had rejected who had escaped and taken his revenge by kidnapping Rhiannon's infant son.


Pwyll and his people quickly recognized the boy for Pwyll and Rhiannon’s son. The goddess Rhiannon was restored to her honor and her place beside her husband.
Although she had suffered immensely at their hands, Rhiannon, goddess of noble traits, saw that they were ashamed and was filled with forgiveness and understanding.

In some versions of the legend, Rhiannon was the Celtic goddess who later became Vivienne, best known as the Lady of the Lake. She was the Celtic goddess who gave Arthur the sword Excalibur, empowering him to become King in the legends of Camelot.


~~ Courtesy of goddessgift.com

Friday, October 23, 2009

My Encounter with a new Deity


Ok, the other night I was under a lot of stress, due to things going on in my personal life. To try to calm down, I took a nice warm bath, complete with sea salt & oils. After the bath I went into my room, lit some Patchouli incense (my fav) and a single white candle. I got into my usual meditation pose and proceeded to ground myself.

As I was asking for the Goddess' guidance, I had a song pop into my head. Normally I don't use music as I meditate and I was focused on my task. The song, Fleetwood Mac's "Rhiannon". I've never had something so strong pop into my head like that before. It was like as if the radio was on full blast on my nightstand. I haven't heard that song in a while, so I was a bit floored, to say the least.

Through my 3rd eye I had a vision of a woman in rich cloaks standing at the end of my bed, smiling at me. She had long, flowing, strawberry blonde hair. Then I heard her voice in my head, speaking to me that things will be alright. That I shouldn't worry about my son and what he's going through at school. She also reassured me about my journey & that They are all looking out for me. I felt so at peace listening to her words of encouragement. She also gave me some advice about being so rigid during my solo rituals...lighten up. I laughed, she did too. She also said that within the next few days, a gift will come to me from her. I don't know what this can be. I'm not one for surprises, being a Capricorn & all, I have to know everything. She knows that Lady Freyja is my Patron Goddess, but she is also one of mine as well, that I can call on her, too, if needed.

Ok, after my meditation ended, I felt a lot calmer & more focused. Since I don't know too much of Rhiannon, I Googled her & her myths. I also asked my friend, Suzanne about her. She's going to tell me about her next time we talk.

So, that was my encounter with a new Deity. I thought it was cool.

)O( Blessed Be,
Rowan

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Triple Goddess

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Horned God Chant

Invocation to Freyja


Freyja,
Golden one,
Exquisite, beautiful, and charming,
You open me
And set me free.

Fruitful and sexy,
You give of yourself
Without hesitation,
Without bounds,
Knowing the love of all.

Mail-clad and strong,
You gather the warriors
Of your choice,
Honoring their sacrifice
In your hall of hosts.

Secretive and sly,
You divine the future,
Bending will,
Bending fate,
Bending wyrd.

O Golden Lady,
Lady most blessed,
Teach me your skills.
Honor me with your gifts.
Allow me to become one with you.

So I may fly.

Prayer to Freyja

Great Goddess, Mistress of cats,
Lady of love, beautiful Vana-Goddess,

Fulfill my greatest needs, O glorious one.


Teach me the magic I need.

Give me a glimpse of your deep wisdom.


Teach me in dreams. Enrich my life.


O Lady, you are Golden-Tears of Asgard
Lady of love, beautiful Vana-Goddess,

You are the Shape-shifter, the Sayer,

The Independent One.


Give me the strength and the magic I need.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Prayer to Cernunnos


God of the green,
Lord of the forest,
I offer you my sacrifice.
I ask you for your blessing.

You are the man in the trees,
the green man of the woods,
who brings life to the dawning spring.
You are the deer in rut,
mighty Horned One,
who roams the autumn woods,
the hunter circling round the oak,
the antlers of the wild stag,
and the lifeblood that spills upon
the ground each season.

God of the green,
Lord of the forest,
I offer you my sacrifice.
I ask you for your blessing.

My Patron God - Cernunnos

Cernunnos is a horned god found in Celtic mythology. He is connected with male animals, particularly the stag in rut, and this has led him to be associated with fertility and produce. Depictions of Cernunnos are found in many parts of the British Isles and western Europe. He is often portrayed with a beard and wild, shaggy hair -- he is, after all, the lord of the forest.

With his mighty antlers, Cernunnos is a protector of the forest and master of the hunt. He is a god of vegetation and trees in his aspect as the Green Man, and a god of lust and fertility when connected with Pan, the Greek satyr. In some traditions, he is seen as a god of death and dying, and takes time to comfort the dead by singing to them on their way to the spirit world.

In Margaret Murray's 1931 book, God of the Witches, she posits that Herne the Hunter is a manifestation of Cernunnos. Because he is found only in Berkshire, and not in the rest of the Windsor Forest area, Herne is considered a "localized" god -- and could indeed be the Berkshire interpretation of Cernunnos. During the Elizabethan age, Cernunnos appears as Herne in Shakespeare's Merry Wives of Windsor. He also embodies fealty to the realm, and guardianship of royalty.

In some traditions of Wicca, the cycle of seasons follows the relationship between the Horned God -- Cernunnos -- and the Goddess. During the fall, the Horned God dies, as the vegetation and land goes dormant, and in the spring, at Imbolc, he is resurrected to impregnate the fertile goddess of the land. However, this relationship is a relatively new Neopagan concept, and there is no scholarly evidence to indicate that ancient peoples might have celebrated this "marriage" of the Horned God and a mother goddess.

Because of his horns (and the occasional depiction of a large, erect phallus) Cernunnos has often been misinterpreted by fundamentalists as a symbol of Satan. Certainly, at times, the Christian church has pointed to the Pagan following of Cernunnos as "devil worship." This is in part due to nineteenth century paintings of Satan which included large, ram-like horns much like those of Cernunnos.

Today, many Pagan and Wiccan traditions honor Cernunnos as an aspect of the God, the embodiment of masculine energy and fertility and power.

Friday, September 25, 2009

In Norse mythology, Freya is a goddess of love and fertility, and the most beautiful and propitious of the goddesses. She is the patron goddess of crops and birth, the symbol of sensuality and was called upon in matters of love. She loves music, spring and flowers, and is particularly fond of the elves (faeries). Freya is one of the foremost goddesses of the Vanir.

Goddess of sex, battle, and pleasure, most beautiful and desirable of white-armed women, Freyja was sister to the male fertility god Freyr. Freyja had unusual parity with Odin, for they divided the heroic dead amongst themselves. Half went to live eternally in Odin's hall, and half in Freyja's hall Sessrumnir- and the goddess got first pick.

As befits a goddess, Freyja owned potent magical equipment. Like Frigg, she possessed a falcon skin, which when pulled over her shoulders, allowed her to take the form of that raptor.This also provided a useful disguise when needed - important to a goddess whose personage made her instantly recognisable.

Freyja's most wonderful adornment was her necklace (or possibly a jewelled belt), Brisingamen.It was crafted by four dwarfs, and was of exceptional beauty.Freyja so longed for it that she consented to spend one night each in the arms of its makers as her payment.This was a just recompense in the eyes of the goddess, for as the necklace was the finest of all things the dwarfs could produce, the utter summation of their skill, why not repay them with an equally precious example of her love-art?

Freyja always wished to give her love freely.Her beauty and desirability often attracted the attention of those she did not want, such as the giant who offered to build an impregnable defensive wall around Asgard, the dwelling of the gods, in exchange for taking Freyja away as his wife. The goddess knew nothing of this agreement, and her outraged indignation at being so wagered grew the greater as the wall grew taller. Never believing they would have to forfeit Freyja, the gods grew more and more uneasy in their wager, until Loki ,who had urged the agreement, was forced to utilise his trickster ability to the fullest.

Three animals are associated with Freyja. She is pulled about in a cart to which two cats are harnessed. Their sinuous beauty and comfort-loving nature recall one side of the goddess. The other two animals are direct symbols of sexuality and strength.

Her golden-bristled boar is called Battle Swine (Hildisvini), and recalls her role as the receiver of heroic dead. Battle helmets topped with iron and bronze images of boars have been found throughout England and Scandinavia, for the boar's savage and cunning nature was widely revered. The other animal is the mare, associated with night, unbridled sexuality, and dangerous magical power. To "ride the night-mare" meant then, as now, to have bad dreams.


My Matron Goddess

In Norse mythology, Freya is a goddess of love and fertility, and the most beautiful and propitious of the goddesses. She is the patron goddess of crops and birth, the symbol of sensuality and was called upon in matters of love. She loves music, spring and flowers, and is particularly fond of the elves (faeries). Freya is one of the foremost goddesses of the Vanir.

She is the daughter of the god Njord, and the sister of Freyr. Later she married the mysterious god Od (probably another form of Odin), who disappeared. When she mourned for her lost husband, her tears changed into gold.

Her attributes are the precious necklace of the Brisings, which she obtained by sleeping with four dwarfs, a cloak (or skin) of bird feathers, which allows its wearer to change into a falcon, and a chariot pulled by two cats. She owns Hildesvini ("battle boar") which is actually her human lover Ottar in disguise. Her chambermaid is Fulla. Freya lives in the beautiful palace Folkvang ("field of folk"), a place where love songs are always played, and her hall is Sessrumnir. She divides the slain warriors with Odin: one half goes to her palace, while the other half goes to Vahalla. Women also go to her hall.

Freyja's Symbolism:

Freyja is often depicted as a blonde Goddess wearing a Viking Helmut and carrying a sword.

She rode a chariot driven by two blue cats given to her by Thor. Other myths say she rode upon Hildisvini a battle swine who is a symbol of fertility and a protective talisman for those going to war.

She had a cloak of feathers that enabled her to fly in the form of a raven.

As a fertility Goddess she is linked to the full moon.

This Goddess is associated with the runes, the wheel of fortune and other forms of divination.

The Northern Lights were said to be caused by her traveling through the night's sky with the Valkyries.


Sacred Animals: Cats and wild pigs.

Sacred Birds: Ravens, falcon and swans

Sacred Plants: Cowslip, daisies, mistletoe and primrose.

Sacred Crystals: Amber.

Sacred Food: Strawberries

Sacred Day: Friday

Freyja inspires all sacred poetry, love, beauty, animals, sex, enchantments, witchcraft, wealth, trances, wisdom, magick, writing and protection

Thursday, March 26, 2009

My Triple Goddess



Guardian Deity: CERRIDWEN

Other Names: CARIDWEN / CERIDWEN/ CREIDDYLAD / CREUDYLAD / CORDELLIA/ Cerridwen / Cereduin / Keridwen and Kerridwen.

How to pronounce Cerridwen? (Ker-RID-Wen). Other spellings of her name include

Location: (Welsh, Scottish)

Description: Moon Goddess, Great Mother; Grain Goddess. Goddess of Nature

Areas of Influence: Her name is derived the Celtic word cerru meaning cauldron which like the Goddess herself, symbolizes the transformative power of magic, wisdom, rebirth and creative inspiration. She was also keeper of the cauldron. For these reasons she is seen as a Patron Goddess of witches and wizards. She is also associated with the moon, fertility, science, prophecy and poetry.



Rules Over: Death, nature, fertility, regeneration, inspiration, magick, science, astrology, herbs, poetry, music, art, spells, knowledge, wisdom, past lives, divination

Welsh Bards called themselves Cerrdorion (sons of Cerridwen). The Bard, Taliesin, founder of their craft was said to be born of Cerridwen and to have tasted a potent from her magick cauldron of inspiration. In her magickal cauldron, she made a potion called greal (from which the word Grail most likely came from). The potion was made from six plants for inspiration and knowledge. Her symbol was a white sow.



Origins and Genealogy: She Married Tegid Voeland and was mother to three children: Creirwy, Morfan and Taliesin. There is no mention of her own origins in the surviving myths



Strengths: Wise, powerful and resourceful.



Weaknesses: She tries to interfere in her children's lives.



Symbolism: The Cauldron and the dark moon are associated with this Goddess.



Sacred Animals: This Goddess often transformed into a white sow to address her people. In her myths she also shape shifted into a greyhound and an otter



Sacred Birds: Hawks and hens.



Sacred Plants: Corn.



Ceridwen’s Myth: The Goddess uses her knowledge of magic and herbs to create a potion to transform her ugly son Morfan into a wise boy. The potion needs to be boiled in her cauldron for a year and a day. She leaves her servant Gwion in charge of the mixture until one day when he accidentally spilt three drops on his hand and licked it off, empowering him with the brews knowledge and power. Frightened of the Goddesses reaction he turned himself into a rabbit. Cerridwen gave chase in the form of a greyhound. He then became a fish and jumped into a river and she became an otter. He turned into a bird and she followed as a hawk. Eventually Gwion transformed into a grain of corn and is eaten by the Goddess who had become a hen. The grain took seed in her womb, and nine moons later, she gave birth to the Taliesin. She is unable to kill the child, instead she wraps him up in a leather bag and sets him out to sea. He survives and becomes the famous Welsh poet Taliesin

Cerridwen's Archetypes:



The Crone: The Crone represents the wise old woman whose child bearing days are behind her. Other associations with this Archetype include: compassion, transformation, healing and bawdiness death and endings. She is the respected older woman or grandparent at the heart of family who enjoys life and sharing her experience. Unfortunately the word Crone or Hag often has negative connotations as many wise woman and midwives were persecuted as witches in the middle ages. Shadow Crone is the bitter, old woman who has failed to learn from her life. She blames all her failings and unhappiness on a society that no longer respects the elders. As a result she becomes increasingly isolated and fearful. Cerridwen is often depicted as a Crone Goddess as she is wise and due to her associations with transformation and rebirth.



The Shape-shifter: The Shape Shifter has the ability to change her physical appearance. They are also able to adapt easily to different environments by altering there behavior. Shadow Shape Shifter is fickle, lacking conviction and constantly reinventing themselves like politicians to appeal to most people. Cerridwen has the power to transform herself into many different creatures. As well as being regarded as a Crone Goddess she is also said to represent the Mother and Maiden aspects of the Triple Goddess.



How To Work With These Archetypes:

The Crone: This maybe one of your Archetypes if you have gained wisdom, learning from your mistakes and showing a willingness to adapt to changing circumstances. You are experiencing the Crone's shadow if you have become rigid in your beliefs and have become stuck in a rut having lost all ability to let those areas of your life go that no longer serve you.

The Shape-shifter: The shape-shifter is a useful archetype to have if you need to be flexible or perform lots of different roles. The shadow side asks whether your chameleon like tendencies reflect a deep insecurity and inability to commit to any particular path.

All content on this blog is copyrighted to Candles & Wicks, unless otherwise stated. Ask permission first if you want to copy anything on here, thanks. )O(