(This is the Goddess MayAnne I created from farm junk. She lives in the Sacred Garden. Photograph courtesy of No Worries Farm. All rights Reserved.)
My aunt’s impeccable scrolling penmanship screamed, Julia! Are you out of your mind? I am a bride of Christ. I am married to God. There is no way I married a woman!
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You may not know the story of how Arachne defied the Goddess Athena with the beauty of her weaving, and you may know the story of how Arachne, born again as a mortal woman helped the hero Theseus defeat the Minator. But you probably do not know the tale of what came after....
As I feel the decent of the Sun's Scorpio energy falling down upon me I feel deeply grounded, calmed and for the first time during this past cycle of the wheel completely at ease. The Scorpio Sun is true to it's nature in that it is hidden behind dark clouds, felt but rarely seen at the end of this October month, becoming even darker as the Scorpion energy grows in strength throughout the November month. This upcoming month that leads me deeper into darker days and nights is my birth month.
- over~sharing 'senses' that I am picking up, inspirations that are descending upon me and any other seed of internal knowing that has not had time to take root whisks away chances for deep and meaningful work.
- over~scheduling myself with activities, social engagements and work keeps me buoyed to the surface of life during a time when the tides of the Ocean are ripe to pull me down, deep into Her depths.
- over~caffeinating myself keeps me jittery and unable to tap into the inner stillness that connects me to my inner Goddess self.
- over~eating processed and junk foods make me feel zoned out and lethargic during this dark month.
- holding sacred silence, secrecy, a sense of reverence for the mystery that slowly wells up within my womb space, my inner cauldron, my intuitive gut. This sacred silence gives me the space to digest the spiritual messages that I receive at this time and allows them to germinate and to take root within during Winter's hibernation.
- journalling, lucid dreaming, meditation, prayer, yoga. Internal, solitary activities that slow me down and open me up to receiving the potency of the mystery that enshrouds this month.
- this is the time of year when herbs, tinctures, teas, tonics and ciders awaken me to my Priestess self. Earthy potions that nourish my qi and warm me from the inside out keep my inner fires lit during the dark, damp days of November.
- hearty meals, stews, soups, potatoes all keep me grounded as the waters of Scorpio and the winds of the Autumn season call on me to dive deep into the intuitive waters and to rise high into the ethers of my third eye. Earthy foods, cooked at home help to sustain and strengthen my physical vessel as it is stretched wide open and laid at the altar of the Spirit realm.
Frau Holle (or the young girl who faithfully served her) by Otto Ubbelohde.
In this ritual, you will mirror the actions of the heroine in one of the Grimm's fairy tales, "Mother Holle", (also known as "The Golden Girl and the Pitch Maiden"), offering your cares and worries to the Goddess by dropping them on a spindle into a fresh water "well" and praying for her assistance in resolving them. A traditional Northern European blot, a drink offering, begins the ritual. This simplified rite, suitable to any time of year, is part of a longer Norse Winternights Ceremony I wrote honoring the ancestors and the Wild Hunt during the autumn. An especially ideal time for it would be on Mothers' Night, the evening before Yule. (More information on Holle's symbols and nature can be found within that Ceremony.)
The blood mysteries, they have called to me for years. The calling felt distant, an eery echo in an old worn in cave that lived deep within my wombspace, the house of my ancestors.
My initial entry to the goddess path began with a deep intellectual bent; I soaked up myths and studied archetypes like crazy, waiting until the day when I was ready to talk to goddesses on a more tangible, personal level. Because I’ve always been a bit of a myth junkie, and because I’m a scholar at heart, I jumped at the chance to read the late Patricia Monaghan’s revised and re-released Encyclopedia of Goddesses and Heroines, published by New World Library. The book didn’t disappoint my thirst for information.
This large tome differs from Monaghan’s out of print title The New Book of Goddesses & Heroines in both its structure and its scope. Echoing Merlin Stone’s Ancient Mirrors of Womanhood, the Encyclopedia is arranged by continental region, with sections on Africa, Eastern Mediterranean, Asia and Oceania, Europe, and the Americas. Each section begins with a brief overview of cultural and historical information about the region in question, and as can be imagined, the regional sections are subdivided for clarity (and to offer more specific information about, say the Egyptian tradition within the African context).
In addition to the cultural context, Monaghan provides an extensive bibliography, plus a detailed description of how and why she chose to include the sources she did. Despite acknowledging the cultural limitations, Monaghan opted to draw her information only from works available in English, but the bibliography includes information about translations for the serious goddess scholar to track down on her own.
Chock full of information about both goddesses and heroines (historical female figures, or those with supernatural powers that don’t quite elevate them to goddess status), this is an excellent resource for anyone with an interest in goddess lore and the divine feminine. Scholars and casual browsers will both find something to appeal to them, since, as Monaghan notes in her introduction, the faces of goddesses around the globe are incredibly diverse; they “can appear as young nymphs, self-reliant workers, aged sages. They can be athletes or huntresses, dancers or acrobats, herbalists or midwives. We find goddesses as teachers, inventors, bartenders, potters, surfers, magicians, warriors, and queens. Virtually any social role women have played or are capable of playing appears in a goddess myth.” The vastness of goddesses, and, in truth, women, is represented in this volume, and it’s a resource I’m sure I’ll return to again and again.
Image retrieved from New World Library, http://www.newworldlibrary.com/BooksProducts/ProductDetails/tabid/64/SKU/82171/Default.aspx#