An Invocation to the Goddess of Samhain

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Underworld Goddess
who comes softly
and gathers up the shadows
of those no longer living
and all of the days
that came brightly. 

You with your wisdom
You with your angels
Your mantle about me
Wings beating softly
Under the earth world
Guide my soul being.
Illuminate with torches
the path to your garden. 

Saturnine Goddess,
innermost spirit memory of ancestors,
altar of repose,
overgrown with bitter herbs, rue and vervain.
Glittering twilight your temple,
a valley of tall yews,
and the mystery of crumbling leaves.
Serpentine urns and trembling thresholds, abandoned places,
repetitive spirals,
ivy, 
wood bane,
and old trees.

The Old One Washes Her Plaid

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“There are three great ages; the age of the yew tree, the age of the eagle, the age of the Cailleach.” -An ancient Celtic poem

The Great Mother Cailleach is an Ancestral Mother who shaped the land. It is said she once lived in the Beara jut in the south of Ireland. Her name means, old woman, crone. An Cailleach Bhéarra is very old. She herself does not know her own age, nor does anyone else. The Cailleach was a young girl when the ocean was a forest covered with trees. There are many places named for her, craggy, mountainous places, and many stories told about her existence. Numerous mountains have formed from stones dropped from her wicker basket. With her hammer she shapes the hills and valleys. She is found in the high mountains, the wild places with her deer, the fairy cattle. She sings to them a loving Mother’s lullaby. She keeps them safe from hunters and only allows a kill when there is great need. With a Black Elder slachdan, a wand of power, she walks the hills. When she strikes the earth with her staff, mountains are formed, cold winds blow and the earth is covered with frost. 

Once in a hundred years she goes to the water to wash her plaid and renew herself. The Corryvreckan whirlpool off the west coast of Scotland is named “the Cauldron of the Plaid.” It is said to be the washtub of the Cailleach. It is here she washes her plaid till it turns white. She wraps it around herself and the earth is covered with an apron of snow. Read more

Winter Goddess Shakes Her Feather Bed

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December’s Cold Moon finds us beneath a dusting of snow as the White Lady travels the sky in her wagon.
Snowflakes tumble to earth when Dame Holle is shaking her feather bed. As the Teutonic (ancient Germanic people) Goddess of Winter, Dame Holle, Holla, Hulda, or Holda is the Mittwinterfrau (Midwinter Goddess) wearing linen as white as snow, crowned with candles and dressed in straw. She will shake her feather bed and the magical snowflakes will become glistening specs of gold that chime. She is a fate goddess who spins the threads of life and assigns destiny.  So industrious, her right foot is flatter than the other from working the spinning wheel pedal. She is called goose-footed after her sacred bird. Holda is said to be the source of the fairy tale character Mother Goose. She is the kindly, hidden one who haunts lakes and fountains. To find her, you must jump into her magical well. 

 

You begin the quest by offering her cakes and milk upon bedtime. Then resting snuggly under cozy comforters, fall into a deep sleep and dream of the forest floor and a clearing with an old apple tree. 

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On your way to the forest you see a flock of geese flying overhead, led by none other than Mother Goose herself – the goose-footed spindle goddess. You come upon an old well. You peer into the well and see a glimmering object within. You lean deeper into the well and begin to tumble downward onto a spinning wheel made of gold. With a thump you land in the midst of a stand of elder trees and hear their scratching branches jangling in the wind. The Hylde Moer she is called. The elder tree is sacred to the Winter Goddess, its Old High German name is Holantar, its spirit guards the road to the Underworld. You are at a hedgerow of elder, at the crossroads of the old year and the new one, in a place out of time. You see before you The White Lady. She is here to help you leave the past behind and draw nearer to a bright future. Read More.

 

Proserpina Sleeps: New Moon in Scorpio (11/2017)

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Goddess Proserpina is known as the Roman Queen of the Underworld, a place where all that once was alive transforms. Her goddess asteroid is located in the sign of Scorpio. She is the Crone and Destroyer form of the Earth Goddess Ceres/Demeter. Her Greek name is Persephone. To the Greeks she is known as the maid Kore, her mother-form being Demeter-Pluto the preserving mother or “abundance.” “Originally Pluto was female, and her ‘riches’ were poured out on the world from her breasts.”

Proserpina is the Goddess of Riches and transformations that shatter our illusions.

She was Queen of the Underworld long before her story was changed and her mother aspect became a male god. Her violent separation from her mother is the Olympian myth that depicts the rise of the patriarchy.  Proserpina herself holds the keys to heaven and earth, travelling freely between them as the seasons change. She is Goddess of Seasonal Change, Goddess of the Rising Spring, and Savior Goddess who rules the cycles of death and rebirth. Her symbols, the asphodel a relative of the lily that carpets the underworld and serves as food for the dead, and the pomegranate, a symbol of life and renewal, the apple of many seeds which represents the earthen womb in which she sleeps for a time. Each fall she descends to the underworld – she rules the land of dreams in fields of asphodel.

Descend to the underworld of your dreams. Leave behind your illusions. What will be transformed when you rise?

Read more (including a specific meditation).

Golden Athena Rises

Infuse this moon cycle with the divine passion to be by weaving webs that unite your purpose with your actions. What do you want to put into action? What will you create?

The Full Moon in Aries

Goddess Athena lends power to this Full Moon in the sign of the Spiritual Warrior. Athena is a virgin Goddess, one of the few goddesses known today who escaped the ravage of patriarchy and comes to us with stories that span the pre-Hellenic as well as the Olympian era. Originally, she was a goddess of the arts who inspired writing, inventing, as well as weaving and spinning. Promoter of agriculture and culture bringer are a few more of her achievements. Patriarchal myth transformed Athena from a peaceful strategist, protector of the home, to an armor-clad daddy’s girl born from her father’s head. She became protector of the city named for her – Athens, and she rose up as Goddess of war. In modern times, she is the defender of women, warrior spirit who protects the righteous, and restores balance to civilization.

Athena, or Ath-enna is the Maiden form of the Libyan Triple Goddess Neith, also known as Metis, Medusa, Anatha or “Anat, Strength of Life.”  She was born of the Gorgon Medusa whose snake hair symbolized Female Wisdom. Her name means “I have come from myself.”   

Athena’s oiled skin reflects the light of this Full Moon. She shines brightly with her scepter of sovereignty and Nike, the Lady Victory. Homer speaks of Athena the Maiden as having the face of an owl – night creatures known for capturing the unseen.

Goddess of useful skills and crafts, Patroness of the creative arts, she cultivates learning and expression. One of her gifts, the olive tree is possibly the greatest contribution to agriculture. In ancient times the oil of the pressed olive was used to cleanse the skin and light lamps. The olive tree is a source of nourishment, a symbol of peace, wisdom, and victory.

Full Moon in Aries Ritual