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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in dawn goddesses

Posted by on in Culture Blogs



We have no idea if the Goths—the ancient Germanic tribe, that is, not the eye-liner'd latter-day Dark Romantics—worshiped a Goddess of Dawn and Spring as did their (later) Anglo-Saxon and Continental German cousins.

If they did, they would have called her Austrô (OW-stroe).

The Goths were the very first of the Germanic-speaking peoples to be converted to Christianity, so very little survives concerning their traditional religion. But if they did indeed honor the Lady Austrô, we can, by way of comparative method, make some educated guesses about what that might have looked like on the ground.

  • They would have worshiped Her toward the East.
  • They would have offered (i.e. sacrificed) to Her before Sunrise on the Spring Evenday/Vernal Equinox.
  • They would have viewed Her as Goddess of both Dawn, the daily Spring, and of Spring, the yearly Dawn, and hence of new beginnings generally.
  • They would have spoken of Her as an ever-young Maiden, sister (or daughter) to the Sun.
  • Given morning's erotic associations, they would probably also have viewed Her as Lady of Love.
  • They would have associated Her with birds, who sing in Her honor every morning, and with the eggs that they lay: as fine a symbol of new beginnings as anyone could ask for.

Who knows? They may even have colored eggs in Her honor, just as we do today.

Hail to thee Austrô, Lady of Love: ever-young goddess, sister to the Sun.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs



Opening Paganicon 2022


Paganicon 2022 being held over the Equinox weekend, we'll start off our time together with a grand public offering to the many-named and many-colored Lady of Spring.

As always during sacrifice, people will be making their own personal prayers, but the public prayers will be for the well-being of pagans everywhere, especially those of Ukraine.

Please come and join your prayers to ours. If you won't be joining us at Paganicon, I invite you to act in concert by using these prayers on your own recognizance.

And better it be if you pair them with a gift. Remember: “The offering bears the prayer.”


 Now the Green Blade Riseth

Bidding Prayers


Ever-young goddess, Lady of Dawn,

we your people stand here before you:

we ask your blessing upon us, and upon our time together.

So may we grow in wisdom and understanding;

may we leave better pagans than when we came.

And let us all say:

So mote it be.


Ever-young goddess, Lady of Divinations,

you who shine light upon that which is dark:

we ask for renewal of the Old Ways, wherever they are found.

May what has been lost to us, come once again to light;

and let us all say:

So mote it be.


Ever-young goddess, Lady of Spring,

we pray for the well-being of pagans everywhere,

especially the pagans of Ukraine;

may we daily grow in numbers, strength, and confidence.

Shine your light upon our ways, that we may walk in wisdom.

And let us all say:

So mote it be.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Conjunction of the waning crescent Moon and Venus at dawn | Flickr


6:30 a.m. Three goddesses stand in the sky.

I go down to the kitchen to put the kettle on. As my father did every morning of his life, I look out the window to see which of the Winds—the Winds, which the ancestors accounted gods—is blowing. Once you know that, you know something of what the day will bring.

The waning Moon, not long risen, stands in the southeastern sky. (“The New Moon rises with the Sun,” goes the saying, but that's more than a sennight off.) Nearby, a mere handspan away, the Morning Star throbs with light.

In the East, the sky is awash with color. In three weeks' time, we will feast the Lady of Dawn—Dawn both yearly and daily—with eggs dyed in these very colors.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs



As pagans in the Northern hemisphere prepare to celebrate the feast of the Many-Named Goddess of Dawn and Spring, I would invite us all to contemplate Her many titles.

I've written out some here as an extended litany; the list, of course, could be extended indefinitely.


 Litany for the Dawn Goddess


Many-Named Goddess

Lady of Dawn

Lady of Springtime

Lady of Dawn

Lady of Daily Spring

Lady of Dawn

Lady of Yearly Dawn

Lady of Dawn


Lady of Dawn

Ever-Young Goddess

Lady of Dawn

Undying Goddess

Lady of Dawn

Lady of Color

Lady of Dawn

Lady of Birds

Lady of Dawn

Lady of Birdsong

Lady of Dawn

Lady of Eggs

Lady of Dawn

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Tree of Dawn

In the traditional Baltic symbol-set known as the raksti, each of the Old Gods has his or her own symbol.

The Sun's is a Sun-Wheel, the Moon's a crescent. Fire has a fylfot (swastika), Thunder a compound fylfot, the Winds an equal-armed cross.

The symbol of the Goddess of Dawn is a Tree. In Latvia, Austras koks, Dawn's Tree, is a popular motif on Easter eggs to this day. (Austra, of course, is sister to the other Dawn Goddesses of the Indo-European world: Easter, Ostara, Aurora, Eos, and Vedic Ushas among them.)

Why would a tree be the emblem of Dawn?

Look East just before Sunrise. There you will see Dawn Herself standing in the sky, making Her Presence known primarily through light and color, attributes difficult to capture in a glyptic symbol.

Hence Austra's Tree. In a given landscape, Dawn first shines Her light on the high points. In low-lying, flat country like the Baltics, these would be the trees.

There's more. Lady of Dawns both diurnal and annual, the Dawn Goddess everywhere is also deemed the Goddess of Spring. What better symbol of Spring than the Tree of Life: sap running, buds enscaled, drawing up abundance from the Earth.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
OH-star-ah or oh-STAR-ah?

The many-hued Lady of Spring goes by many names. The ancient Continental German-speaking peoples knew Her as Ostara.

(The name itself has not been preserved per se in any surviving documents—although we do find it in the plural, Ôstarûn—but the original singular form can be confidently reconstructed on the basis of Her Old English name, Éastre or Éostre [depending on which dialect of Old English you grew up speaking]).

Among contemporary pagans, Her name is usually pronounced with the stress on the second syllable: oh-STAR-ah.

Well, I hate to break it to you, but the ancestors would have laughed to hear you say it that way.

Like the other Germanic languages, Old High German was (for the most part) a stress-initial language: i.e. the first syllable in a word gets the major emphasis. Historically speaking, the correct pronunciation is OH-star-ah (rhymes—kind of—with MOST o' ya).

Well, in language, use determines correctness, they say. So, you can either say it the way the ancestors did, or you can tag along like a sheep after everyone else. You decide. Really, what's so wrong with "Sam Hane"?

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Now the Green Blade Riseth: Invoking the Lady of Spring at Paganicon 2020

What follows is the Invocation/Bidding Prayer from the Rite of Welcome at this year's upcoming Paganicon. The prayer will be chanted together by the priest (=yours truly) and the people. The people's lines are in italic.

Ushrine is the name of the Baltic (specifically Lithuanian) Goddess of Dawn; Her name is cognate with many of the other Indo-European dawn-goddesses here invoked. Note that the invocation consists of Nine Names, and that these play out, as one might expect, from West to East. A good spell is one in which the words themselves do what they say.


Invocation/ Bidding Prayer (sung)


Priest (facing people):

Let us lift up our hands.

(Turns, faces altar.)


Many-named and many-hued Lady of Spring,

radiant goddess of the Day's Dawn,

radiant goddess of the Year's Dawn also,

we your people call to you:


You who are called Eostre,


you who are called Ostara,


you who are called Ushrine,


you who are called Aurora,


you who are called Eos,


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