Tomorrow I get 10 pet rats! I am so excited, I’m like a big kid. I can’t wait to go and pick them up!
Dr Seuss. Love it!
Here are two good websites with info on choosing your magickal name. Highly recommended.
Today is the Feast day of the Celtic Goddess Rhiannon (pronounced hree-an-non). She is a Welsh Goddess, whose name is derived from Rig Antonia or Rigatonia (an even earlier British Goddess) and means “Great Queen”. She is also known as Queen of the Fairies, as she was an Otherworld fairy princess who chose to marry a mortal king of Wales. Her followers worshipped her, preferably outside, at woodland alters, amidst the trees, and underneath the moonlight.
Rhiannon has been described as a tall, slender, and beautiful woman, dressed in royal robes of gold, and riding an unearthly white mare, with a beautiful singing voice. Accompanying her were three beautiful birds from the Otherworld, whose magickal song had the power to lull the living to death, restore the dead to life, and heal all sadness and pain. The symbolism of the three birds, suggests that she was a Triple Goddess. The Otherworld is another name for the Underworld, which is the place that souls go when their bodies die. The souls’ existence in the Otherworld, is similar to that on Earth, and life exists there, much like it does on Earth. The inhabitants of the Otherworld live out their allotted time there, and then they die, just like they do on Earth. When they do die, they are then reborn, once again on Earth, as the cycle continues to go on. Rhiannon is intelligent and wise, and doesn’t hesitate to speak Her mind.
Rhiannon is deeply associated with horses: Pwyll first sees Her riding a marvelous white horse that no one can catch; the vanished child was found by Teyrnon in place of a new-born foal; and Her punishment is to act as a horse. As such she is linked to other Goddesses, all of whom are symbolised by a pure white mare.
Bubona [BOO-ba-na] - Scottish
Epona [Ey-PONE-ah] - Gaul
Eponae [Ey-PONE-ay] - Roman (especially called upon by Roman cavalry)
Lady Godiva - English legend
Mare [MAH-ray] - Irish (source of the term nightmare)
Macha - Irish
Rigatona/Rigantona - Gaul/Italic
Vivienne – Breton. Otherwise 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.
Matrona – Great Mother
It seems likely that Rhiannon was one of a number of epithets for the Great Goddess (whose more personal names would have been a closely guarded mystery). Her myths are recorded in much detail in The Mabinogen.
Aspects – Magick and enchantment, leadership, movement, change, death, fertility, crisis, magic for women, protection, strength and truth in adversity, dreams, transformation, wisdom, rebirth, Queen of the Otherworld, Goddess of the Dead, the Enhancer of Dreams, and a Moon Goddess, Queen of the Fairies.
Colour - Green, white, gold, silver, maroon, rich brown, black, charcoal grey & ruby red.
Symbols - Moon, horses, horseshoe, songbirds, gates, the wind, number 7.
Animals - Horses, birds especially songbirds, such as canaries & hummingbirds, frogs, dogs and especially puppies, badgers, dragons.
Incense/oils - Sandalwood, neroli, bergamot, lavender, narcissus, geranium.
Element - Earth
Planet - Moon (She is a moon goddess).
Moon phase - waning
Herbs/flowers - Jasmine, evergreen, any white flower. Narcissus, daffodils, leeks, pansies, forsythia, cedar & pine trees, bayberry, sage & rosemary
Crystals & metals - Moonstone, Quartz, gold, silver, cat’s eye, ruby, red garnet, bloodstone, turquoise & amethyst
Rhiannon was betrothed to a much older man, Gwawl ap Clud, but she rebelled, wanting to choose her own partner. She met the Welsh King Pwyll (pronounced poo-ul) upon a magickal mound; a Tor. These 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. Pwyll sent his best horsemen after her, but Rhiannon always remained ahead of them, though her horse never seemed to do more than amble.
After three days, pwyll finally called out to her, and she immediately stopped her horse and told Pwyll that she has come seeking him because she would rather marry him than her fiance. Pwyll having instantly fallen in love with her agrees and Rhiannon explains that she will return in a year to be married. Then she 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 song 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. Its 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 shut 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.
Pwyll and Rhiannon attempt to supply an heir to the kingdom and eventually a boy was born. However, on the night of his birth, he disappeared while in the care of six of Rhiannon’s ladies-in-waiting. To avoid the king’s wrath, the ladies smeared the blood of a puppy onto Rhiannon while she slept, and claimed that she had killed and eaten her child.
The penalty for such a crime was death but Pwyll said that he would not kill Rhiannon or divorce her. Instead her punishment 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 had to greet them by 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.” She suffered this for seven years, through cold winters and the heat of summer. Rhiannon bore her humiliating punishment without complaint. Her courage was such that few accepted her offer to transport them into the castle.
Word spread of Rhiannon’s suffering and a stranger come to her one day telling the story of how during a great storm, the nobleman had been called to the field to help a mare in labour, 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. Rhiannon recognized that the boy had the eyes of his father, Pwyll. The boy was renamed Pryderi, meaning “loss” and Rhiannon was restored to her honour and her place beside her husband. Although she had suffered immensely she was filled with forgiveness and understanding.
Most legends suggest that the enraged suitor that Rhiannon had rejected had taken his revenge by kidnapping Rhiannon’s infant son. Some time later, Pwyll dies peacefully and Pryderi ascends to the throne, marrying Cigfa and Rhiannon later took Manawydan (the Welsh equivalant to Manannán, the Irish sea God) as her husband.
In this story, we see Rhiannon, standing tall and proud, even though she was faced with great heartache and adversity. Rhiannon sets a positive example for all women to follow, and through her actions she reflects the best qualities that exist within women everywhere, and which make up the Divine Feminine.
She reminds us of the healing power of humour and forgiveness. She is a Goddess of movement and change who yet remains steadfast, comforting us in times of crisis, loss and illness. Rhiannon bore the burden of her punishment with grace and dignity, and showed compassion, understanding and forgiveness to those who wronged her. Her tears help us to forget and so heal and encourage us to use humour to ease our sufferings. She helps us to cope with this life and at the crossover to the next one.
She brings us the horse energy of endurance and the empowering promise that truth and integrity will always prevail. Through her we are reassured that the natural state of the Universe is balanced, just and true. Therefore, any energy that is out of balance, any energy that is unjust and/or untrue will eventually realign with the natural balanced state of the Universe.
Rhiannon guides us to be true to ourselves and to hold onto our innate knowledge, truth, integrity and freedom despite the opinions and judgements of others. She tells us to have faith and to remain steadfast. We need to reclaim our personal power and not allow ourselves to be the victim. She guides us through the trials we endure in order to learn, grow and ascend. Rhiannon brings the equine energy of Freedom and Balanced Power.
Also aligned with the Winged Ones, Rhiannon is known to have magical birds that sing beautiful songs of enchantment. As animals of the Earth and Sky, they help us to bridge the energy of Heaven and Earth. Bridging the ability to traverse the physical plane while simultaneously remembering our Freedom of Spirit, and with this remembrance we take flight and transcend the illusions of separateness and limitation.
Rhiannon is also considered an Otherworld Goddess and in this aspect Her Light illuminates the path for those who are making their journey from the physical plane back to the Celestial Spiritual Plane. Within this role Rhiannon’s birds assist with the transition process through their songs of transcendence, which assures the transition (the physical death) is painless and peaceful. Rhiannon rides her white horse within the sacred service of guiding newly transitioned souls back to the Light, ensuring safe passage back to Spirit.
As an Otherworld Goddess, Rhiannon has also been associated with the Fairy Kingdom and within this realm she is Queen. Within these Otherworld Aspects, Rhiannon reminds us of our ability to move within and around the magical realms. Both Birds and Horses are often utilized within the shamanic journey to move within different realms and dimensions. Rhiannon and her totems are great journey guides and guardians for those who desire to explore other realms.
This Moon Goddess acts as a Muse, bringing the illuminating energy of Inspiration to writers, poets, musicians and artists. Within this role Rhiannon encourages artistic, creative expressions that provide platforms for remembrance, growth and ascension. Goddess Rhiannon blesses this sacred service encouraging and inspiring those whose life purpose is aligned with creative expression.
Song to Rhiannon
Sing golden birds
bring ease to troubled souls.
Sing of Rhiannon
Great Queen of old.
Carry my burden.
Ease my woes.
Heal me with laughter.
Bring crisis to close.
A cycle in yourself
You guide my life steps.
Mother of fertility and death
You bring peace.
Sweet song of Rhiannon
comfort my soul.
Ease grief and self-doubt
make my heart whole.
The nursery rhyme, “To ride a cock horse” may well refer to Rhiannon.
Today is the Egyptian day of Nut (Pronounced Noot), the Sky Goddess and one of the oldest Egyptian deities.
Nut gives birth to the day each morning, and swallows it again in the evening. She was the daughter of the air God, Shu and water Goddess, Tefnut. Nut is unusual in that she is feminine to represent the sky and Geb is masculine to represent the Earth; the opposite to most mythologies.
She and her husband (and brother) Geb (Earth, pronounced Geeb with a hard G) were separated by the sun God Ra because of their continual incest, so Nut was lifted into the sky by her father Shu, her body forming an arch. Nut was responsible for separating the forces of chaos from the order of the cosmos.
Ra discovered that Nut was to have children and he was furious. He decreed, “Nut shall not give birth on any day of the year.” At that time, the year had only 360 days. Nut spoke to Thoth, God of wisdom, and he had a plan. Thoth gambled with Khonshu, God of the moon, whose light rivaled that of Ra’s. Every time Khonshu lost, he had to give Thoth some of his moonlight. Khonshu lost so many times that Thoth had enough moonlight to make 5 extra days. Since these days were not part of the year, Nut could have her five children; Osiris, Horus the Elder, Set, Isis and Nephthys.
This is her name represented in hieroglyphs.
Nut is a mother Goddess and was usually depicted naked, with blue skin and covered in stars, arching her body over the earth. She was a loving, kind, generous Goddess.
Some of the titles of Nut were:
- Coverer of the Sky: Nut was said to be covered in stars touching the different points of her body.
- She Who Protects: Among her jobs was to envelop and protect Ra, the sun god.
- Mistress of All or “She who Bore the Gods” on account of her five children.
- She Who Holds a Thousand Souls: Because of her role in the re-birthing of Ra every morning and in her son Osiris’ resurrection, Nut became a key god in many of the myths about the after-life. Her image was painted onto sarcophagus lids to mother and protect the dead on their journey to the afterlife.
Nut was sometimes depicted in the form of a cow whose great body formed the sky and heavens, a sycamore tree, or as a giant sow, suckling many piglets (representing the stars).
Nut was seen as a friend and protector of the dead, who appealed to her as a child appeals to its mother: “O my Mother Nut, stretch Yourself over me, that I may be placed among the imperishable stars which are in You, and that I may not die.”
Nut was thought to draw the dead into her star-filled sky, and refresh them with food and wine: “I am Nut, and I have come so that I may enfold and protect you from all things evil.”
Papyrus of Ani: Egyptian Book of the Dead”, Sir Wallis Budge, NuVision Publications, page 57, 2007, ISBN 1-59547-914-7)
The Book of the Dead says, “Hail, thou Sycamore Tree of the Goddess Nut! Give me of the water and of the air which is in thee. I embrace that throne which is in Unu, and I keep guard over the Egg of Nekek-ur. It flourisheth, and I flourish; it liveth, and I live; it snuffeth the air, and I snuff the air, I the Osiris Ani, whose word is truth, in peace.”
Symbols - a pot, representing the womb; night; sky; stars; ladder, which was used by Osiris to enter her heavenly skies. This ladder-symbol was called maqet and was placed in tombs to protect the deceased, and to invoke the aid of the deity of the dead.
Role - Death, rebirth, resurrection, regeneration, protection, guidance, courage, mother, perseverance, overcoming adversity & achieving your dreams, organisation & overcoming chaos. Do not be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
Sacred animals - boar, cow, eagle, pig and peacock.
Colour - blue
Crystals - lapis lazuli and turquoise.
Plant - sycamore tree.
Nut has been calling to me over the last few days, so I’m trying to attune with her, despite her being a Goddess about whom I’ve never connected with before. Her image is sometimes of a woman with great wings and as such, she is often mistaken for Isis. Indeed I keep looking at my statue (supposedly of Isis) and thinking that it is in fact Nut, not least because there is no headdress which would specifically identify her as Isis.
The Book of Goddesses - Nancy Blair
The Goddess Oracle - Amy Sophia Marashinsky
YouTube - Goddess Nut by Rainbowpagan
Today is the feast day of Concordia, an Ancient Roman Goddess of harmony, agreement and understanding, particularly with regards to marriage. In Greece she was known as Harmonia and her sister is Pax (Peace).
She is depicted as
a motherly woman, and was worshipped from the earliest times in Rome.
She was an important deity to the Roman Emperors and was depicted on coins standing between members of the Imperial family, or two other Goddesses - Pax and Salus (well being, health & prosperity), or Securitas (security) and Fortuna (fortune).
Today, 22nd February was the festival of the Caristia or Charistia (meaning “Pardoning”), a holiday celebrated by families in which it was traditional to reconcile differences and to mend quarrels or feuds within the family. Concordia was invoked for Her powers of bringing harmony and agreement, and other Deities invoked at the Caristia were Janus, the double-faced God of New Beginnings, Salus, the Goddess of Health, and Pax, Goddess of Peace.
These four Divinities were honoured with statues grouped together at the Altar of Peace (not the great big famous one built by Augustus, but a smaller one whose location is unknown). They were also said to be worshipped together on the 30th of March and the 30th of January, and Concordia was invoked by matrons on April 1st at the Veneralia, the festival of Venus Verticordia, along with Fortuna and Venus Herself.
She is usually depicted holding onto a patera (an offering bowl), a cornucopia (symbol of prosperity, showing that abundance can be achieved through peace), or a caduceus (symbol of peace and healing). She sometimes holds an olive branch, the traditional offering of peace and hope.
She is associated with the stork, symbolising family devotion, and the dove, universally a symbol of peace and gentleness; as well as a star, the emblem of hope. Another attribute of Concordia is the image of two clasped hands, both of which are right hands (like in a handshake), symbolising two people agreeing.
How to celebrate Concordia:-
Today is the time to make up and make amends, especially with family and friends. If you’ve had an argument with someone, regardless of who started it/is in the wrong; you need to move on.
Do what you can to improve someone’s life, just a simple gift of flowers can really brighten someone’s day. Help someone out, maybe give them a lift, do their shopping, even just opening a door or picking something off the floor that has been dropped sends a message of goodwill and harmony.
Been neglecting your partner lately? You need to make an effort and do something nice. In my experience a massage is always well received! (The specific aspect of the Goddess for matrimonial matters is Concordia conjugalis).
How about thinking a little more outside the box? Look at Amnesty International, Oxfam, or another charity that is working to improve the world and make it a better place, and see what you can do to help.
Happy New Moon Esbat.
My esbat celebration consisted of beginning by doing deep breathing, and then doing a visualisation exercise which began by climbing steep, difficult steps, which started off being hard to climb, up to my sanctuary, and passing through three waterfalls on the way up which cleansed me of all that was holding me back, leaving me lighter and more energetic so that by the time I reached the top of the steps, I was practically flying up them.
I then walked through the beautiful sculpted gardens of my sanctuary and down into a meadow with a stream running through it. I stepped into the stream and laid in it. I was held there by an invisible force while the strong current completed the healing process, removing any last trace of harmful energies and healing my headaches, dizzy spells and lack of energy.
When the healing was complete the current slowed down to total stillness and I floated slowly along the river into a completely still pool. When I felt ready I left the pool and curled up at the foot of a giant oak tree.
Then the Crone Goddess came to me and told me that I needed to strive and to let go; that I was getting too caught up in wanting things and getting stressed about it. Just because I can’t see my path, doesn’t mean that there isn’t one. I just need to let it happen.
Finally I returned to the steps and took them back down to the real world.
Today I began exploring the Crone aspect of the Goddess, as I am working through Timothy Roderick’s book Wicca: A Year and a Day.
To get into the headspace I wore black and grey clothes (I usually wear very colourful clothes!). Also the crystals that I wore were all black - obsidian, tourmaline, and smokey quartz, and interestingly Amethyst called to me.
The Crone Goddess is the old, wise woman, full of knowledge and wisdom. She is no longer fertile or outwardly blooming but she is at the height of her internal power. She doesn’t mince her words and she is no longer consumed with hopes, wishes and dreams. She is beyond such things. Instead she has the power of divination and can tell us what we need to know to grow and change, if only we would ask, even if we don’t really want to hear it!
She is the manifestation of internal movement and mystic insight. She is with you whenever you act in a level-headed, rational, responsible way.
Her dark side manifests as being very controlling, very critical, bitterness, isolation, and being judgemental.
Examples of the Crone Goddess include:- Hecate, Spider woman, Sophia, Kali, Circe, Hera, Fea, Hel, Sekhmet, Inanna, Discordia, Lilith, Minerva, Rhiannon and Fortuna.
Lunar phase - Waning/dark
Seasonal phase - Late Autumn/winter
Colour - Indigo
Pagan celebration - Samhain, October 31st
Direction - West
Time - Dusk
Incense - Mugwort and Star Anise
Essential Oils - Sage and Cedar
Magickal number - 6
Vocalisation - mmmm
Herbs - Nightshade, Fly Agaric
Planets - Saturn, Jupiter
Body part - Eyes
Chakra -Third Eye (between eyebrows, 6th chakra)
When I bathed in the evening I used sage and Tea tree and Cypress essential oils which are very earthy scents - the total opposite of floral! I really feel that I’m connecting to this aspect of Goddess, that I know her. Hecate and Sekhmet are old friends!
When I did my standard cleansing and protection meditation in the bath, I felt the Crone Goddess come to me as an old woman, bent over, wearing a black cloak and walking with a stick (very stereotypical, I know!) She told me that I need to strive. And to let go. I’m not sure quite how I’m meant to achieve both of these things simultaneously, but still.
Yesterday the message from the Mother Goddess was to Trust and Flow. and I’m going to use these words as a new affirmation. I suppose I am getting the same message again. Now I just need to act on it!
Subject: THIS IMAGE SHOULD BE SEEN IN THE WHOLE WORLD
While magazines and TV chains report about the lives and love affairs of movie actors and actresses, football players and other celebrities, the Chief of the Kayapo tribe heard the worst news of his entire life:
Mrs. Dilma, the president of Brazil, has given her approval for the construction of an enormous hydroelectric central (the world’s third largest one).
This means the death sentence for ALL the tribes living at the shores of the river because the barrage will flood more or less 400 000 hectares of the forest.
More than 40 000 natives will have to find other living surroundings where they will be able to survive.
The destruction of the natural habitat, the deforestation and the disappearance of several species of plants and animals will be a fait accompli.
We know that a simple image is the equivalent of a thousand words, it shows the price to be paid for the “quality of life” of our so-called “modern comforts.”
There is no space in the world anymore for those who live differently. Everything has to be smoothed away, that everyone, in the name of globalization must lose his and her identity and way of living.
If this enrages you, I urge and implore you to forward this message to all your friends, relatives and acquaintances.
Thank you in the name of life, nature and biodiversity.
©Hans van Raam
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