Tag Archive | goddesses

Sister Goddesses

Found a poem I wrote about my coven sisters in 1991

Sister Goddesses

Spider spinning, spinning

Weaving, whirling

Weaving light and life and air

Shadows playing, leaping

Growing , shrinking

Now they’re here

And now they’re not

Dancing, loving, disappearing

Coming back to love again

Sapphire glowing, winking

Flashing, smiling

Bringing us a new idea

Playing us some new found music

Listening,  a heart that’s clear

Rose, growing, changing

Rearranging, gathering

Shining lightstone bright and clear

Warm of touch and warm of spirit

Gift of goddess, light and rare

Brigid burning, learning

Seeking, following

Strength of purpose

Flight of fear

Crystal strong and crystal brilliant

Ringing her truth loud and clear

Kwan Shee Yin flowing, guiding

Calming, centering, singing,

Center of peace, ocean of calm

Loving path of ancient healing

Shelter from a fiery storm

Three more Winter Goddesses in my life

reblogged from last year but the way this year is going…

Uranata, Rudolpha and Digita Frigida.

We have three new Goddesses in Southern California courteous of Climate change. The average low temperature for Los Angeles is 49.7 and for the last 2 weeks it’s been in the high 20’s and the low 30’s in the San Fernando Valley. Last night was a low record of 34 in downtown. It’s time we got to know the goddesses from other parts of the word.

Uranata is the goddess associated with dead runs to the toilet to pee induced by sudden exposure to cold. She is friendly with a previously mentioned goddess Sonambula. She can be invoked by sticking a foot out from under the blanket if a hot flash hits, stepping onto a kitchen’s tile floor, walking to the bus in the morning and out of work at night and drinking tea or hot chocolate before bed. Her sacrifices are the noise made when hitting cold bathroom tile in the night and the involuntary exhalation when hitting a frigid toilet seat and the freezing of the hands washing up afterwards. She has a wicked sense of humour as does Rudolpha.

Rudolpha is the goddess of red noses, chapped cheeks and reddened lips and ears. Her dedicants are popular on travel posters of Sweden , Scotland and other northern climes but she is steadily working her way south to Southern California like every other snowbird. She is invoked by quick walks to the bus or train, checking for mail or the newspaper and any other outside venture in cold temperatures. Her sacrifices are the flaking skin from chapped skin and the surface of your tongue if you are stupid enough to lick something metal when it’s freezing.

Digita Frigida is the goddess of cold hands and feet. The easiest of the goddess to propitiate via a pair of gloves or mittens or warm socks and if necessary sticking your hands in your armpits. Or if she follows you to bed, under the dog or cat or if necessary the back of anyone you share a bed with. This last one can get you summarly dumped out of the afore mentioned bed. If not propitiated correctly she delights in stiffening your hands and sometimes causing pain in the fingers and toes. Her sacrifices are the stinging sensation as the fingers and toes warm up and in extreme cases the loss of said digits. She is the most cruel of the winter goddesses.

My Winter Goddesses

I find that in winter I’m held hostage to 3 dark goddesses who demand constant offerings, Arthritica, Xerosia, and Sonambula, These goddesses are the harsh mistresses of Winter.

Arthritica demands offerings of Tiger Balm, Thermacare and the occasional poor hapless Ben Gay. Arthritica is invoked with a sudden grab of a body part and the emitting of either a high pitched whine or an inappropriate 4 letter word. She is usually invoked when the barometer is falling or rain and snow are. She often makes her presence felt in mornings upon waking or when in the act of making a sudden grab for things. She has 2 children Bum Knee and Knobby Knuckles. She is a harsh mistress and all too often is our introduction to the Crone and Sage life paths.

Xerosia is a goddess most often found where the children of cold winters have lived or migrated to. She is particularly fond of people from Northern European countries like Scotland and Scandinavia. You know her by the cherry cheeks on children on travel posters and the cracks in your hands. Her dedicants can be found buying back scratchers at Cost Plus and rubbing up and down on rough surfaces like bears rub on trees. Her offerings are Advanced Therapy lotion, Bath oil, massage oils, large glasses of water and saunas. She also will accept a large serving of oily nuts or sardines. She loves houses with central air and a good blustery day.

Sonambula is the goddess of midnight darkness but her greatest delight is to make people sleep and to make them crave a nap.  As the nights grow longer around Solstice she likes to send people off to the land of Nod for short visits at inopportune moments. Should you want to invoke her, hot cocoa and warm milk are her offerings. She also likes to see her adherents in flannel pj’s and flannel sheets even if this can make the dedicant feel like they are re-enacting a Sunday School flannel board presentation.  She has several children , Snoozia, goddess of the snooze alarm and her brothers 5moreminute and Snorius, god of loud sleepers being the most invoked. Her dedicants can be found saying things like “I’m only resting my eyes!” and “How did that program end?”  People with pets may feel like their pets are in league with Sonambula on cold nights when the bed becomes crowded.

Goddesses of Los Angeles – Temple of Isis/Los Angeles

image

Yes, it’s not a statue today. Tomorrow there will be more but these ladies are some of my personal goddesses whom I love dearly. The picture was taken a few years ago at an Isis birthday ritual on Isadore Dockweiler Beach.

There is no goddess, the Cailleach of Winter!

This because I’m spiritually cranky today, but it still pisses me off. There are two beings that do not exist in history that pagans love to create, one is Lord Samhain. THERE IS NO SUCH GOD! And the other is The Cailleach, WHO ALSO DOES NOT EXIST!

I did a bunch of research today to try to confirm what I have always been told and did not find one single source that refers to a goddess named the Cailleach. Cailleach is a descriptive term meaning old woman. Old men in the Outer Isles of Scotland refer to their wives as the Cailleach which is the equivalent of a biker referring to his partner as my old lady. See the book “Crowdie and Cream” for an example.

Every primary source I could find equated a reference to the word Cailleach as a reference to an aspect of Brighid. The word itself refers to some one who wears a shawl or a veil. Women in the Highlands wore shawls as part of their everyday dress and it was often worn over their head.

The word is used as part of several terms: the cailleach oidhche is an owl, literally old woman of the night. The cailleach dhubh is a nun or the veiled woman in black. Cailleach feasa is a wise woman. Cailleach phiseogach is the old woman magic maker or sorceress. Cailleachanta is to be old wifish or to be cowardly though why being an old woman would be cowardly I do not know since I would not mess with any old Scottish woman, especially one like my grandmother or her mother.

After harvest the last grain sheaf is the Cailleach rather like the last corn kernel unpopped is the Old Maid. The only reference I could find to a being even close was the Cailleach Bheur which is the Old Woman of Bearra and a gentleman in the 20th century by the name of Donald Alexander MacKenzie invented her as a compilation of all the winter gods and goddesses in Scottish myth. Why he felt the need to do this when all those winter goddesses hae proper names I do not know. So there was no Cailleach of Winter until he invented her that I can see.

Some of the references were really stretching it. One cited the Carmina Gaedelica. Um, which of the 10 volumes and where? And did they refer to the English translation or did they actually read the Gaelic? That’s rather like using the King James version of the Bible and citing the verse about, “thou shalt not suffer a witch to live” when the Hebrew says “thou shalt not suffer a poisoner to live.”

So I wish people would stop making up Celtic goddesses. If you want to flaming call Brighid. CALL HER!

Okay, after much searching the Carmina Gaedelica I found what they think is the passage about the Cailleach. It isn’t. It’s called The carlin of Beinn Bhreac. (lower case letters in the citation) Carlin is another form of the word cailleach but and it’s a HUGE BUT! The two songs are about one of the Fae. The Fae are not deities and it very well might offend them to call them so. They are the Fae, unique unto themselves, and I don’t mean little cutesy Victorian faeries. If you want to know more about the Fae I suggest reading some of RJ Stewart’s work or better yet, take one of his classes. Again there is no Cailleach that is a deity nor Carlin. And if you look at the stories at the end of how Alexander collected them the woman in the song is referred to as using Fath fith (also fith fath, and it pronounce it the th s are silent). An occult power that changes women into in a deer, cat or hare form. (Men change to horses, bulls and stags. MacClennan) This is a faery power.

There are plenty of quite awesome, in the true sense of the word, Celtic/Scottish deities with out inventing one and using it in ignorance.
***

MacClennan, Malcolm, Gaelic Dictionary

Carmichael, Alexander, Carmina Gaedelica, not found as Cailleach, see song 517 & 518 the second is clearly titled “the fairy woman and the hunter”. In the chapter called Fairy Songs.

Logan, James, The Scottish Gael Celtic Manners being a historical and descriptive account of the inhabitants, antiquities and national peculiarities of Scotland. 1830 edition, also no reference found.

Only newage sources mention a goddess called the Cailleach and they are not good sources and Wikipedia also only references her newage sources and vague other sources with no exact citing.

I have over a hundred books on Scottish traditions and lore some of which are very old and fragile. I trust my sources.

I’m not the only one with a hair (hare?) up their butt about this. I once heard Steve Blamires go off at Harvest Moon about it one year.

BunniHoTep meets Baba Yaga – reprinted because I feel like it

Once upon a time BunniHoTep was in her Temple dusting the altar because it was the Priestesses day off when she heard a strange booming noise. The noise was coming closer and closer and started to shake the Temple a small bit. BunniHoTep went running outside into the twilight to see the strangest sight.

There standing on 4 immense chicken legs was a small cabin. On the porch stood a gnarled old woman shading her eyes against the setting sun. She had come from the Northeast and was dressed for a much warmer climate.

She hailed BunniHoTep from her high perch in harsh sounding voice.. “You there! Can you help me?”

BunniHoTep looked dubiously at the woman and her cabin. She had a bad feeling about this but she decided she was probably safe if she stayed away from those big talons. “Yes, what do you need”, said BunniHotep?

“Have you seen a very large pestle? The woman asked.

“A pestle as in mortar and pestle?” Asked BunniHoTep. “ I haven’t seen anything like that around here. Where did you lose it?”

The house was turning this way and that as the woman stood on her porch leaning on a broom. “It somehow got away from me and I need it as a rudder for my flying mortar. My name is Baba Yaga and I’m the guardian spirit of the Waters of Life and Death and the nights this time of year are when I have the most work.” The old woman said. “This is harvest season and it’s my busiest time of year but I can’t fly without that blasted pestle.”

BunniHoTep said carefully, I don’t remember seeing a pestle but there is a new obelisk on the Avenue of the Gods. It came floating down the Nile the other day all by itself. Should we go look? By the way my name is BunniHoTep”

The woman stopped in thought, “Well, it does seem to have a mind of its own some days. I think it’s been hanging around the house too much.” The woman climbed down a ladder that had extended itself from the center of the floor of the cabin. “These old bones don’t get this far south in my travels usually.”

BunniHoTep looked at the woman. She was as wrinkled as the dried apples that came from the northern orchards and she was a lot fairer of face than most Egyptians. She also noticed that the cane the woman had produced was a very long thigh bone. BunniHoTep guided the woman to the Avenue of the Gods and sure enough the last and smallest new obelisk was the pestle. The pestle started to shake as Baba Yaga walked up to and she rapped it smartly when she walked up to it. “You know better than this! We need you at home right now.”

The pestle wrestled itself out of the ground and hopped along with the two goddesses as they walked back to the Temple.

“Where do you come from?” asked BunniHoTep curiously.

“I come from the deep forests of the north where it starts to get very cold this time of year. The souls will start to fly home soon and I need to be there to meet them. I want to thank you for helping me. Anytime you want a visit to the trees. Call for me and I will come but ask the cabin nicely and it will turn for you so the door will open. It gets very cranky when the hero types come and try to break in when all they need to do is ask nicely.” The woman climbed the ladder and the pestle followed her up and sheepishly went into the cabin. If a pestle could look sheepish it is certain this one did.

The house turned three times and walked away to the North. BunniHotep waved to the woman on the porch as long as she could see her. She hopped back into her Temple. That was surely one of the strangest encounters she had ever had she thought to herself. “I think its time for some tea and carrots.” And she hopped toward her awaiting tea.

Benzai-Ten
Benzai-Ten

I learned about a new goddess this am. Benzai-Ten is the only female in the 7 lucky gods of Japan. Some sites said she was the counter part of Sarasvati in India. She is the goddess of everything that flows: words (and knowledge, by extension), speech, eloquence, and music.

“Female. The sea goddess Benzaiten is the sole female among the Seven Lucky Gods of Japan. Her temples and shrines are almost invariably in the neighborhood of water — the sea, a river, or a pond. She is the patroness of music, the fine arts (dancing, acting, visual), and good fortune in general, and is often shown carrying a biwa (Japanese mandolin) or playing a lute. She is often represented as a beautiful woman with the power to assume the form of a serpent, or shown seated on a dragon or serpent and playing a lute. In fact, the snake is almost always associated with Benzaiten, who was originally a Hindu deity (Sarasvati) who represented learning, music and poetry. Such artistic learning and wisdom often bring prosperity, hence her inclusion in the Japanese group of seven luckies. She also has a jewel that grants desires. Some say it is a jade, while others say it is a pearl.” http://www.onmarkproductions.com/html/benzaiten.shtml

Very cool way to start the day. I discovered her on a Blackmore’s Night album delivered to me last night from a pillage of Amazon.com Friday.