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We've had some drama and are currently doing some internal housekeeping and rewriting here on Gypsy Magic.

It's going to take a while to get things set right here and I am really sorry for any inconvenience this may cause. I apologize for links to a "page not found" instead of something cool and magickal.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Magick Rose Spell For Love


Gather your rose on the 27th of June; let it be full blown, and as bright a red as you can get. Pluck it between the hours of three and four in the morning, taking care to have no witness of the transaction.

Convey it to your chamber, and hold it over a chafing dish or any convenient utensil for the purpose, in which there is charcoal and sulphur of brimstone; hold your nose over the smoke for about five minutes, and you will see it have a wonderful effect on the flower.

Before the rose gets the least cool, clap it in a sheet of writing paper, on which is written your own name and that of the man you love best; also the date of the morning star that has the ascendency at that time.

Fold it up and seal it neatly with three separate seals, then run and bury the parcel at the foot of the bush from which you gathered the flower.

Here let it remain untouched till the 6th of July. Take it up at midnight. Go to bed and place it under your pillow, and you will have a singular and eventful dream before morning, or, at least, before your usual time of rising. You may keep the rose under your head three nights without spoiling the charm. When you have done with the rose and paper be sure to burn them.

Found in:
Encyclopaedia of Superstitions, Folklore, and the Occult Sciences of the World

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sweet Thoughts Bottle Spell

On a popsicle stick, write your full name. On the other side of the popsicle stick, write the full name of a person you want sweet thoughts from. Get a jar big enough to put the popsicle stick inside and fill the jar with water, honey, and sugar. Seal up the lid of the jar tight so that its contents can't spill out.

In your mind get a clear image of the person whose name you have written on the popsicle stick opposite your own. Shake the bottle as you chant three, five, seven, or nine times:

Sweet, sweet
thoughts of me,
you will think,
constantly.

It is said that each time you shake the bottle, the person will think sweet thoughts of you.

From: Charms, Spells, and Formulas

Averting the Evil Eye

The belief that some persons had the power of injuring others by their looks, was as prevalent among the Greeks and Romans as it is among the superstitious in modern times. The ὀφθαλμὸς βάσκανος, or evil eye, is frequently mentioned by ancient writers. It was supposed to injure children particularly, but sometimes cattle also.

"Nescio quis teneros oculos mihi fascinat agnum." 
~Virgil


Various amulets were used to avert the influence of the evil eye. The most common of these appears to have been the phallus, called by the Romans fascinum, which was hung round the necks of children. Pliny also says that Satyrica signa, by which he means the phallus, were placed in gardens and on hearths as a protection against the fascinations of the envious; and we learn from Pollux that smiths were accustomed to place the same figures before their forges with the same design.

Sometimes other objects were employed for this purpose. Peisistratus is said to have hung the figure of a kind of grasshopper before the Acropolis as a preservative against fascination Another common mode of averting fascination was by spitting into the folds of one's own dress.

According to Pliny, Fascinus was the name of a god, who was worshipped among the Roman sacra by the Vestal virgins, and was placed under the chariot of those who triumphed as a protection against fascination; by which he means in all probability that the phallus was placed under the chariot.

From: A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, John Murray, London, 1875.

Druid Curse Bath Salts


  • 1 cup salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon dill weed
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground hyssop
  • 4 drops myrrh oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon powdered galangal
  • 2 drops anise oil
Lightly mix the ingredients together and place them in a jar for storage.

From: Moon Magick

Friday, June 21, 2013

Solstice Wheels of Fortune


In Sweden and Norway at the Solstice, people made wheels of fortune. Some of the wheels were wrapped in straw, set on fire, and rolled down hill. Other wheels were decorated and kept. These were used in two ways: One, the wheel was rolled away from a person to take away misfortunes; two, it was rolled toward a person to bring all kinds of good fortune.

To make a good fortune wheel, use a piece of wire that has been fastened in a circle. An embroidery hoop will work also. Wrap yarn or ribbon around the hoop until it is completely covered. To this wheel, tie dried or artificial flowers, good luck tokens, and streaming ribbons. These wheels can be hung as wall decorations or twirled so they spin toward you during spellwork.

From: Moon Magick

Crab as a Magickal Ingredient

Ruler: Venus
Type: Shellfish
Magickal Form: Meat, Shell

Eat crabmeat to protect home and family. Use the shell of the horseshoe crab for real estate magick. Stuff the empty shell with lavender and sage to protect your dwelling. This is particularly effective when you are in danger of losing a space because of financial problems. If you are buying or renting property and need to come up with a down payment, stuff the crab shell with cinnamon sticks, bay leaves and sea salt.

From: The Encyclopedia of Magickal Ingredients

Cancer Begins

Themes: Kinship; Protection; Kindness; Moon; Love; Devotion; Fertility; Relationships
Symbols: Fish; Moon; Silver (lunar), Blue Items (her favorite color); Crab
Presiding Goddess: Lady of Regla

About the Lady of Regla: This West Indian fish mother swims in with summer rains as the bearer of fertility, family unity, prospective life mates, and other traditionally lunar energies. Shown in art looking much like a mermaid, the Lady of Regla is also the patroness of this astrological sign.

To Do Today:

In astrology, those born under the sign of Cancer have a great deal of compassion, desire family closeness and stability, and are ruled by the moon, all of which characterize this goddess's energies to a tee. How you emphasize those powers depends on what you need. For harmony at home, add blue highlights to your decorating scheme, and wear pale blue clothing when having difficult conversations.

Eat fish or crab today to digest a little extra self-love or empathy, or to encourage fertility in any area of your life. To spice up this magic, serve the fish with a bit of lemon juice - a fruit that emphasizes devotion and kinship.

If you'd like to dream of future loves or get the Lady of Regla's perspective on a difficult family situation, leave her an offering of yams before going to bed. According to local custom, this invokes Regla's favor and you will experience helpful night visions - so take notes!

From: 365 Goddess


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Eagle Symbols and Meanings


One of the most important archetypal bird symbols, the prominence of the eagle is a worldwide phenomenon. The eagle is the "King of the Birds" and the "Lion of the Skies," and its use as a symbol is clear. It resembles power, authority, nobility, and truth, it is the ultimate solar symbol. In Greek, the name of the eagle shares the same stem as aigle, meaning "ray of light."

Over the years in Christian iconography, the eagle has represented a special messenger from Heaven, the spirit of prophecy, a prayer rising swiftly to God, and even the Ascension of Christ. St. John the Evangelist is identified with the eagle. Here, the eagle represents divine inspiration.

Psalms 103:5, "so that thy youth is renewed like an eagle's"; and Isaiah 40:31, "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles," both allude to the old Hebrew belief that the eagle had the ability to plunge into the sea and regenerate itself every 10 years.

The saying "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" also applies here, because the bird is reputedly the natural enemy of snakes, and the eagle has been regarded as on the "side" of God ever since the Devil was symbolized as the serpent in the Garden of Eden, tempting Adam and Eve away from the straight and narrow path of good towards the twisting and corrupting path of evil.

However, the eagle and the snake seen together symbolize the opposing concepts of matter and spirit, Earth and Heaven, instinct and intellect, the mundane and the sublime, and therefore the unity of the cosmos. In Norse mythology, the eagle sits in the great World Tree, Yggdrasil, counterbalanced by the serpent that twines about the tree's roots.

The eagle's reputation as a symbol of truth comes from its sharp sightedness; the eyesight of the eagle is at least four times superior to that of human beings, and combined with its high-flying abilities it means that the bird can see the bigger picture, quite literally. Therefore, it is meant to be able to discern truth from falsehood.

Because it flies so high, often appearing to be heading straight for the Sun, people believed that the eagle was the only creature in the world able to gaze directly into the brightness of the Sun without hurting its eyes. Therefore, the bird also symbolizes mental and spiritual enlightenment and the aspiration of a pure heart, able to look into the face of God with no fear.

Shamans believe that the eagle communicated their gifts directly from God, the bird acting as intermediary. Because the eagle could appear to fly so close to the sun, the Medicine priests of all the tribes regarded the large bird as a very special messenger of the Great Mystery. They believe that the first shaman was conceived after an eagle impregnated a woman, another symbol of the bird as a divine spirit or winged messenger. This has parallels with another winged creature, the Angel Gabriel, who told Mary of her impending condition. In both cases, the resulting child is a sort of spiritual hybrid, able to connect God and Man.

In the old days, eagle feathers were used whenever possible on Native American war bonnets, rattles, shields, pipes, baskets, prayer sticks, and all kinds of ceremonial costumes. The very style in which the feathers were clipped, colored, and arranged on a chief's or warrior's clothing would reveal his rank in the tribe and the deeds that he had accomplished to earn that rank. Today, of course, with the eagle on the endangered species list, psuedo-eagle feathers are created from crow, chicken, and turkey feathers.

For native Americans, the power of the eagle is such that possession of one of its feathers is the ultimate accolade, a sacred symbol of the mightiness of the bird and of its special place within the Native American pantheon. The eagle is the "father" of the people, a God, and illicit possession of a feather by anyone who does not have the right to have it is punishable by hefty fines.

The origin of placing such high esteem on eagle feathers was told in an old Native American folktale that recounts how all the birds met one day to decide once and for all which could fly the highest. Some flew up very swiftly, but soon became tired, but the eagle flew beyond them all and was about to calim the victory when the crafty gray linnet suddenly emerged from its hiding place on the eagle's back and, fresh and rested, succeeded in flying the highest.

When the birds came back to alight on the Earth Mother, the great council of fowls still voted to award the prize to the eagle, for not only had it flown closer to the sun than the other birds, it had done so with the linnet on its back. Hence, from that day forward, the feathers of the eagle were esteemed the most honorable adornment for the warrior, as it is not only the bravest bird, but it is also endowed with the strength to soar the highest.

The eagle feather is not only sacred to Native Americans, but to Hindus, too, where the eagle brought a food called Soma to humankind from the Gods. In India, the Vedic tradition portrays the eagle as a messenger of divinity and as the bearer of soma, the favorite drink of the Vedi gods, from Indra.

For the Aztecs, the eagle was not associated with the lion but with the jaguar, and the throne of the Aztec emperor was decorated with eagle feathers and jaguar skin to symbolize his association with these powerful creatures. The eagle "told" the people where Mexico City should be built, duly appearing perched on a cactus growing out of a rock, as decreed by an ancient legend.

An old Aztec folktale tells of the ciuapipiltin, spirits of women who died in childbirth, who returned to the earth to snare the children of living mothers. These entities could appear in the form of ghostly women or as an eagle, swooping down from the sky.

Among ancient Mediterranean people, the eagle was associated with the sun god, fire, and lightning. Zeus, the father of the classical gods, took the form of an eagle when he carried his young lover Ganymede to Mt. Olympus. This was often interpreted as a symbol of the father-god's reception of men's souls when they were initiated into the solar Mysteries.

For the Romans, the eagle became a symbol of the soverignty of its emperors, and the image was carried before the Empire's legions as they set about conquering the known world. As the royal bird of Rome, and the embodiment of deified emperors, the eagle was worshipped by Roman legionaries. Each legion had its sacred eagles, carried into battle like banners. If a legion should lose its eagles, the disgrace was unbearable; another whole expedition might be mounted to recover them.

The Roman imperial emblem was inherited by the Germanic "Holy Roman Empire" and its Kaisers, derived from Caesars. Thus the eagle became a Teutonic symbol of soverignty.

The eagle has always been the emblem par excellence of emperors and empires, even prior to its presence on the imperial standard of the Caesars and it's latter-day use as the symbol of the United States, where the altogether more humble dove balances its grandiose power. The death of an emperor was heralded by the release of eagles into the skies, symbolic of the soul ascending to the Heavens.

The eagle became a popular symbol of power among the Germanic people because the great bird was representative of Wodan, the ruler of the gods. As with the Romans before them with their Caesars the eagle's mastery of the heavens came to symbolize the sovereignty of the German kaisers. However, more sinisterly, the symbolic power and attributes of the eagle were appropriated by the Nazis to bolster their own image. This is an instance where a powerful symbol can be abuse, something that also happened to another ancient solar symbol, the swastika, whose implicit benevolent meaning is unfortunately still tainted because of its use by the Nazis.

The Greeks, too, accorded the eagle with the power to indicate a sacred site, and Delphi, the site of the Omphalos (the "navel" or the spiritual center of the world) was established at the spot where two eagles, released from the ends of the earth by Zeus, crossed in the sky.

The eagle shares much of the same symbolism as the phoenix - that of the Sun that never dies. The eagle was often identified with the fire bird, who underwent a baptism of the fire that "burns all sins" and was reborn from his own ashes. The eagle also stood for the soul of Heracles, who passed through fire into heaven at seasonal festivals of Tarsus, and inspired St. Paul's belief in the virtue of giving one's body do be burned (1 Corinthians 13:3). The eagle was the totemic form of Prometheus, who "stole" fire from heaven, like the eastern fire-lightning-sun hero, man, or angel embodied in the Garuda bird. Garuda flew to the mountain of paradise to steal the gods' secret of immortality. Later, he assumed the golden body of the sun. American Indians had a similar hero, the thunderbird or lightning bird.

Classic soul-bird, symbol of apotheosis the eagle is associated with the sun god, fire, and lightning. Greeks thought eagles so closely akin to the lightning spirit that they nailed eagles to the peaks of temples to serve as magic lightning rods. Hence the name aetoi, "eagles," for the pediments of Greek temples. These were ancient forerunners of the "weather-vanes" on the rooftree of a barn or house.

The eagle was connected with rites of calling down "fire from heaven," probably with a burning-glass, to consume sacrifices on the altar. Such "fire from heaven" came down from Yahweh to consume the sons of Aaron (Leviticus 10:2), who died like sacrificial victims to the solar gods of Tyre. Such victims "passed through the fire" as offerings, and rose to heaven in the form of eagles.

Cults of fire and sun made the eagel a bearer of kingly spirit: the god's soul returning to heaven after a period of earthly incarnation as the king. It was the Roman custom to release an eagle above the funeral pyre of each emperor, just as an Egyptian pharoah rose to heaven on the wings of the solar hawk.

Note: We must bear in mind that in the East, whence all these beliefs and cults derive, not only was fire regarded as an all-powerful purifying agent, but death by fire was looked upon as an apotheosis which raised the victim to the rank of the gods..."Fire," says Iambilchus, "destroys the material part of sacrifices, it purifies all things that are brought near it, releasing them from the bonds of matter and, in virtue of the purity of its nature, making them meed for communion with the gods. So, too, it releases us from bondage of corruption, it likens us to the gods."

From: Element Encyclopedia of Signs and Symbols and Spirit Lodge

Bald Eagle Day

Themes: Freedom; Perspective; Overcoming; Health; Power; Destiny; Air Element; Movement
Symbols: Feathers (not Eagle - gathering these is illegal)
Presiding Goddess: Mother of All Eagles


About the Mother of All Eagles: On the warm summer winds, Eagle Mother glides into our reality, carries us above our circumstances, and stretches our vision. Among Native Americans, the Eagle Mother represents healing, her feathers often being used by shamans for this purpose. Beyond this, she symbolizes comprehension, finally coming to a place of joyfully accepting our personal power over destiny.

To Do Today:

On this day (June 20), in 1982, President Reagan declared Bald Eagle Day to honor the American emblem of freedom. In Native American tradition, this emblem and the Eagle Mother reconnect us with sacred powers, teaching us how to balance our temporal and spiritual life on the same platter.

Find a new, large feather for an Eagle Mother talisman. Wrap the pointed end with cloth crisscrossed by leather thongs or a natural fabric ribbon. Each time you cross the leather strings, say:

______ bound within;
when released by wind, let the magick begin.

Fill in the blank with the Eagle Mother attributes you desire, then have the feather present or use it in rituals or spells to disperse incense, thereby releasing its magic on the winds.

From 365 Goddess

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Stay Away From Me Spell


We have the right to include or exclude anyone from our homes or even our immediate surroundings if we do not wish their presence.

This binding spell is very simple, but requires full concentration. Use a short length of black thread. Visualize the person or persons you wish to exclude. Tie a knot in one end of the thread, saying:

One to seek him/her/them.
Tie a knot in the middle and say:
One to find him/her/them.
Tie a knot in the other end saying:
One to bring them/her/him
Tie ends together and say:
One to bind him/her/them.

Stone to stone, forever one.
So say I. This spell is done.

Bury the knotted thread off your property. If you can't do that, drop it in a river, or out the car window along the highway headed out of town. The idea is that as you tie the knots you are binding (or attaching) the person into the knot and once the spell is cast, the thread must be disposed of in a way that it can't come back to you.

Note: This spell can also be used to get rid of situations and circumstances that look as if they might be headed in your direction. Also, be aware, the intention of the spell is to keep someone away from you - not to cause them harm.

Found in:  Moon Magick

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Hemis Festival

I have been enjoying the book, 365 Goddess. In this book, the author explores a different goddess every day in the context of rituals, feast days, holidays, festivals, and celebrations from around the world. Today is the celebration is the Hemis festival.

This festival includes a ritual play in which all manner of mythic creatures are poised against the Tibetan lamas, symbolizing the battle between good and evil. bells, censers, cymbals, and drums draw in positive magic, banish evil, and win the fight for goodness.

The goddesses assigned for this day are the Ratna Dakinis. In Tibet, these goddesses rule over all gestures of goodness and compassion, which naturally help improve karma. Collectively, their names mean "inestimable," showing us the true power and value in acts of kindness that are driven by a pure heart.

The book also includes ideas for simple magical rituals and/or easy spells that are in keeping with the theme for the day. And so we find that for the Hemis festival the themes are the: banishing; victory; kindness; karma, and the color  yellow.

For today, the suggestions are to wear something yellow, and also try to keep the Ratna Dakinis in mind so that your actions will be gentle and filled with kindness. You could also, using yellow ribbons, string together a collection of small bells for a Ratna Dakinis house amulet. Hold these in your hand and empower them by saying:

Let your goodness ring, let purity sing,
with each wind Ratna Dakinis' blessing bring!

Hang these where they will catch the wind regularly, releasing the magic.

Other ideas include the following:

Do something nice for someone who's been feeling blue lately, "just because". Give them some yellow flowers, offer a hug, or maybe make an extra bell amulet for them too! This boosts good karma, makes both of you feel good, and invokes Ratna Dakinis' blessings through thoughtfulness.

Note: This post was put together by Shirley Twofeathers for Gypsy Magic, you may repost and share it only if you give me credit and a link back to this website. Blessed be.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Fish as a Magickal Ingredient

Ruler: Christ, Neptune, Venus, all ocean deities
Type: Animal
Magickal Form: Raw; Cooked; Flesh; Eyes; Skin; Images

The eyes of a fish are particularly protective; eat them to invoke the magick. Cook and eat whole fish while visualizing protection. Draw fish images on parchment or formed out of metal to create talismans. Also eat fish for prosperity. A coin with a symbol of a fish makes a great talisman to carry for wealth. Use the skin of a fish in fertility magick.

From: The Encyclopedia of Magickal Ingredients

50 Fishy Superstitions


Here is a nice collection of folklore and superstitions about fish:
  1. A certain bone in the head of a fish will bring good luck, if kept on your person. 
  2. An empty fish tank means bad luck financially.
  3. When a pet fish dies, something bad was deflected from the owner or household.
  4. To ensure good luck and safety, a fish should always be eaten from the head toward the tail.
  5. It's a bad sign to get married when the fish aren't biting.
  6. Throw back the first fish you catch then you'll be lucky the whole day fishing.
  7. If you count the number of fish you caught, you will catch no more that day.
  8. Sometimes fish fall during a rain. 
  9. It's bad luck to say the word "pig" while fishing at sea.
  10. To dream of fish means someone is going to have a baby.
  11. In Japan, all fish are considered lucky, as the word for fish, “yu” is pronounced the same as the word for bounty or surplus.
  12. A crawfish pinching one of your toes will not let loose until it thunders. 
  13. There is a precious stone in the head of a crawfish.
  14. Carry on your person the precious stone from the head of a crawfish and you will have good luck. 
  15. Carrying a carp fish charm brings good luck, especially to lovers.
  16. Carrying the dried eye of a cod will bring good luck.
  17. Koi fish bring fame and riches.
  18. If you have goldfish in the house, you will be ailing all the time until you get them out. 
  19. If you blow your breath into a goldfish jar, the fish will die. 
  20. Having a painting of a gold fish is just as lucky as having an actual fish.
  21. It causes bad luck to keep goldfish in the house. 
  22. Never let anyone give you a goldfish or you will have bad luck. 
  23. Eat snappers and groupers, you will live a long time.
  24. If you say the entire word "plecostomus" outloud, your Pleco will die. 
  25. It's bad luck to step on a catfish.
  26. A giant wriggling catfish makes earthquakes.
  27. Do not count the crabs until all are collected or it is bad luck on the uncollected pots.
  28. Keep a piece of oyster shell in your pocketbook for luck and money. 
  29. Minnows come by spontaneous generation. 
  30. If the Arowana jumps out of the tank and dies, it means it saved you or your family from a bad omen.
  31. The bone in the head of a white perch is especially lucky, if carried by a fisherman. 
  32. When Sharks are following a ship, especially three sharks, it’s a death omen.
  33. Wearing an eelskin garter cures cramps.
  34. Rubbing a wart with eels’ blood makes it go away.
  35. A live eel in a drink cures a person from drunkenness.
  36. Witches and sorcerers wearing eelskin jackets protects them from bullets.
  37. A cooked eel will become raw if left uneaten.
  38. A whole eel can be used to cure deafness.
  39. Eel fat will render fairies visible to humans
  40. Eating an eel heart gives you the power of prophecy
  41. Eating a whole eel will strike you dumb.
  42. It’s bad luck to burn a haddock.
  43. Shedding blood near where herring frequent causes the herring to desert the area.
  44. Laying a salted herring at your feet will relieve a sore throat.
  45. Suspending a herring from the ceiling on Good Friday will keep your house free from flies during the summer.
  46. Eating tench makes you strong and wise and can cure illness.
  47. Other freshwater fish rub themselves against tench when they are sick.
  48. Putting a trout’s head into a patient’s mouth cures whooping cough.
  49. Drinking beer in which a trout has been drowned cures whooping cough.
  50. Drinking milk in which a live trout has been made to swim cures whooping cough.
Note: This post was put together by Shirley Twofeathers for Gypsy Magic, you may repost and share it only if you give me credit and a link back to this website. Blessed be.

Sir Fish

Also known as: Ca Ong; Mr. Fish; Grandfather Fish; Lord Fish
Origin: Vietnam
Favored people: Fishermen and men in general; Sir Fish is a men's deity.

Sir Fish is not exactly a fish: he's a whale. Sir Fish, King of the Sea, is a guardian deity in the form of a whale. He is the patron of fishermen whom he protects out on open waters. Sir Fish is widely venerated along the central and southern coasts of Vietnam. Festivals are held in his honor. He may be an incarnation of the Lord of the South Seas. Sir Fish is associated with prominent Vietnamese male military or naval heroes and may be enshrined alongside them.

Whales are Sir Fish's sacred messengers and must be treated with immense respect. (Disrespect directed toward his messengers is the equivalent of disrespect directed towards Sir Fish.) The first person to catch sight of a whale carcass is considered as one of Sir Fish's elder sons and must arrange and observe appropriate funeral rites for the whale. The whale carcass must be respectfully interred. In return, the man will receive blessings of good fortune from Sir Fish.

Sacred sites: Whale bones that have washed ashore are enshrined in his many temples along vietnam's southern coast.

From: Encyclopedia of Spirits

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day With 365 Goddess

Themes: Balance; Masculinity; Femininity; Honor; Reason; Leadership
Symbols: Two-sided Items; Yin/Yang Symbol
Presiding Goddess: Hermaphroditus

About Hermaphroditus: This androgynous deity was once the son of Hermes, but he loved the nymph Salmakis so much that the lovers became of one body and soul, neither the male nor the female being discernible. In this form, Hermaphroditus reminds us that the Goddess is also God, blending the best of both sexes together into powerful, productive energy.

To Do Today:

At the midpoint of the year we take a moment's pause from the Goddess to honor her consort and other half, the God, represented by fathers everywhere. Take time to thank the special men in your life and pamper them today. Ask Hermaphroditus to show you the goddess within them, and how god and goddess work together, making each person unique.

In magic traditions, the god aspect is the conscious, logical force of the universe who offers us the attributes of leadership, reason, and focus. This persona and energy is part of the goddess - one cannot be separated from the other. This is a good day to look within yourself, find both aspects of the divine, and concentrate on bringing them into balance. If you're normally headstrong, back off a little. If you're normally a wallflower, get daring! If you like to plan, become spontaneous - and so forth. Hermaphroditus will show you the way.

From: 365 Goddess

Friday, June 14, 2013

Strawberry Magick

Ruler: Erzuli, Venus
Type: Fruit
Magickal Form: Fruit or leaves, fresh or dried

Flirtatious and fun, strawberries can also stir things up and cause a lot of trouble - so be careful when you use them.

The fruit is often mixed into love potions, aphrodisiacs, and spells to attract an extramarital affair or to force a change in partners. The leaves can be used in lucky mojo bags, and also luck charms.

In France, strawberries are considered an aphrodisiac, and in mythology the strawberry is the symbol of Venus, the goddess of love. Also in France, newlyweds were served a traditional breakfast of strawberry soup with sour cream, sugar, and borage to celebrate their love.

In the folklore of several cultures it is believed that if two people split and share a double strawberry they will fall in love.

Strawberries were also served at important political and social events in the belief that they brought prosperity and peace.

Use strawberry fruits and baked goods as offerings when invoking Venus for help and support when it comes to matters of the heart.

Collected from various sources

Strawberry Facts and Folklore


The strawberry is a berry that is attached to many positive things through symbolism and folklore. The
flowers and berries together symbolize righteousness, perfection and spiritual merit in Christian art. The structure of the leaves, being trifoliate, represents the trinity. During medieval times, stone masons applied their carved strawberry signs onto altars and at the tops of pillars in churches and cathedrals.

Pagan tradition echoes this in that the three leaves are thought to represent the three-fold Earth or Mother Goddess. In Victorian flower language, the berry symbolizes perfection and “sweetness in life and character.” It also represents modesty because the berries are often found under the leaves.

In mythology, Strawberries are connected to the Norse goddess of love, Freyja. Also, a Norse legend  exists where the spirits of children enter the afterlife by hiding in strawberries that are taken to heaven by Frigga, Oden’s wife. This may be related to the Native American view that wild berries are “a special gift of Creation” to children and women.

Many Native Americans believe that during enstruation and pregnancy a woman’s body becomes very toxic. Since they view strawberries and their leaves as blood purifiers and builders, laxatives, diuretics, and astringents, they can be used to cleanse the woman’s body during menstruation and after childbirth.

Because of their bright red colors and heart shapes, strawberries were the symbol for Venus, the Goddess of Love. Legends often tell about love rituals. Be careful with whom you share a double strawberry. It is destined that the two of you may fall in love.

If you live in Bavaria, somewhere out in the country, you might be participating in an annual spring ritual that recognizes the importance of strawberries. The farm folk make an offering to the elves that they believe will help their cows produce healthy calves and a good supply of milk. The spring offerings of little baskets filled with wild strawberries are tied to the horns of their cattle to wait for the berry-loving elves to enjoy the berries and offer their good spirits to their hosts.

Birthmarks that are the size, shape and/or color of strawberries are often called strawberry marks, and historically have been seen as a sign of witchcraft. Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII, had a strawberry shaped birthmark on the back of her neck that was used as proof that she was a witch.

Karl von Linne, a Swedish botanist whose Latinized name was Carolus Linnaeus, defied common thinking and ate a diet of only strawberries to prove them quite edible.

But true to the nature of folklore in which something like the strawberry can have different meanings to different cultures, the strawberry was considered hazardous in certain parts of South America.

The Seneca Indians linked strawberries to spring and rebirth because they were the year’s first fruit. As such they hold a special place in the culture and, therefore, bring good health.

And, of course, there are the Roman legends about strawberries. Most commonly, that when Adonis died, Venus wept tears that dropped to the earth and became heart shaped strawberries.

Ever consider bathing in the juice of fresh strawberries? Twenty-two pounds of crushed strawberries made up the bathwater that went into the tub when Madame Talien, one of the court figures of Emperor Napoleon, took her bath. This ritual did not occur often since people did not bathe regularly during Napoleon's time, mid 1700s into the early 1800s.

Note: This post was compiled by ShirleyTwofeathers for Gypsy Magic. You may repost it only if you give credit and a link back. Bright Blessings.

Celebrating Strawberry Festival Season

Themes: Harvest; Tradition; Growth; Longevity; Community
Symbols: Turtle; Seeds
Presiding Goddess: Awehai

About Awehai: In Iroquois tradition, this goddess reigns in the sky and the heavens, watching diligently over family life and the community. Mythology tells us that Awehai grabbed seeds and animals as she fell from heaven, landing on the back of a great turtle. From here, Awehai scattered the seeds and freed the animals, resulting in a growing, fertile earth filled with beauty.

To Do Today:

June is strawberry festival time, and the dates vary from place to place. According to the book, 365 Goddess , the strawberry festival in Tonawanda New York was instituted by the Iroquois Indians. Here people come to the longhouse to enjoy ritual dancing, chanting, and the sounding of turtle-shell rattles, a symbol of Awehai. So, if you know any type of traditional ritual dances or chants, consider enacting them outside as you scatter grass seed to the wind. This will manifest Awehai's productivity in your life and in the earth.

Another custom is simpler and a lot of fun: consuming strawberries in as many forms as possible. In Iroquois tradition, these pave the road to heaven, and eating them ensures you a long life and Awehai's fertility. Share strawberries with a loved one to inspire Awehai's community oriented energy in your home, and consume fresh strawberries to harvest her powers for personal growth.

From:  365 Goddess

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Duan Wu Festival


On the 5th day of the 5th lunar month, Chinese communities celebrate the Duan Wu Festival 端午节, also known as the Dumpling Festival, or the Dragon Boat Festival. As it is a Chinese Lunar date, it falls on different days on the Gregorian calendar. In 2013, it falls on June 12.

In Korea, rice farmers wash their hair in a stream on this day as part of an annual ritual to dispel bad luck and to ensure an abundant crop. This ritual has taken place since ancient times.

Dano, also called Surit-nal, is a Korean traditional holiday that falls on the 5th day of the fifth month of the lunar Korean calendar. It is an official holiday in North Korea and one of the major traditional holidays in South Korea. South Korea has retained several festivals related to the holiday, one of which is Gangneung Dano Festival (강릉단오제) designated by UNESCO as a "Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity".

In the Mahan confederacy of ancient Korea, this was a day of spiritual rites, and enjoyment with song, dance, and wine. Traditionally, women washed their hair in water boiled with Sweet Flag (changpo (창포)), believed to make one's hair shiny. People wore blue and red clothes and dyed hairpins red with the iris roots. Men wore iris roots around their waist to ward of evil spirits. Herbs wet with dew on this morning were said to heal stomachaches and wounds. Traditional foods include surichitteok, ssuktteok, and other herb rice cakes.

The persisting folk games of Dano are the swing and ssireum (씨름). The swing was a game played by women, while ssireum was a wrestling match among men. In addition, mask dance used to be popular among peasants due to its penchant for satirical lyrics flouting local aristocrats.

Three of the most widespread activities for Duanwu Festival are eating (and preparing) zongzi, drinking realgar wine, and racing dragon boats.

Other common activities include hanging up icons of Zhong Kui (a mythic guardian figure), hanging mugwort and calamus, taking long walks, and wearing perfumed medicine bags. Other traditional activities include a game of making an egg stand at noon, and writing spells. All of these activities, together with the drinking of realgar wine, were regarded by the ancients as effective in preventing disease or evil and promoting health and well-being.

Found at: Wikipedia

Dragons and the Dragon Boat Festival


Duanwu Festival, also known as Dragon Boat Festival and the Double Fifth, is a traditional and statutory holiday originating in China and associated with a number of East Asian and Southeast Asian societies.The festival occurs on the 5th day of the 5th month of the lunisolar Chinese calendar. This is the source of the alternative name of Double Fifth. The date varies from year to year on the Gregorian calendar in 2013, the date is today, June 12.

To the Chinese, dragons were not evil creatures, but helpful ones. They were said to bring rain and prosperity, rule all water, be healing, and chase away evil. Most people are familiar with the dragon images paraded during the Chinese New Year celebrations, but few understand that China had many other dragon festivals. Dragons are fascinating, but wily, creatures who have great power and magickal knowledge.

Boats decorated as dragons were sailed on rivers and lakes in the moonlight to entice the dragon-energies to come into the community. The people floated flowers on the waters to carry their messages to the dragons.

Dragons are wonderful supernatural beings. They have had bad experiences with human adults, though, and tend to be wary about making themselves known. If you are patient and persistent, you can entice dragons to be friends. The easiest to encounter are the guardian dragons, the "baby" of the species.

Personal guardian dragons come in various shapes and sizes, and are usually quite small in comparison with the adults. They come in all colors, pastel or light shades with belly scales of a multitude of hues. The little guardian dragons are almost always supervised by one or more adult dragons, which you may or may not see.

The little dragons are not as powerful as the larger ones, but they can help with protection, friendship, love, divination (such as tarot, runes, crystal reading) the development of psychic abilities, dancing, music, and general rituals. Their most important task, however, is protection of you, your family, and your home. They are more or less astral watch-dogs.

These little personal dragons are the most friendly of their species and the most fun=-loving. They enjoy impromptu rituals that include dancing, singing, and fun in general. They like ginger and sweet smelling or spicy incenses. They are likely to hang over your shoulder while you read cards or look into a crystal. If you have trouble visualizing your dragons, try putting a piece of crystal to your third eye on your forehead.

If you want to make friends with your guardian dragons, and let them know you are aware of their existence,do this simple welcoming ritual. Burn a candle, any color except black; this color is predominantly that of the huge Chaos Dragons. Burn a spicy or sweet incense. Set out a few crystals to draw their attention. then chant:

Little dragons, rainbow bright
Good friends of this family,
Send good wishes to us all.
Join our rituals merrily.
Protect us through each day and night,
While awake or while asleep.
Through your love and vigilance
Do this family safely keep.

From: Moon Magick

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Image Magick For Healing Others

If someone you know is sick and you would like to help, make an image of them using green or blue cloth. If you are no expert at sewing, you still should be able to cut out two crude human outlines and stitch them together. The image can be very simple - or you can decorate it. The idea is that the cloth image or doll represents the person to receive the healing.

Just before they are completely sewn together, stuff the image with healing herbs. You can pick one or more from the following list and then stitch the image shut.

Amaranth, Anemone, Apple, Ash, Balm of Gilead, Carnation, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus, Hops, Lavender, Myrrh, Narcissus, Onion, Peppermint, Red Geranium, Rose, Rosemary, Rue, Sage, Sandalwood, Spearmint, Thistle, Violet.

Place the herb stuffed doll gently between two blue candles. Light the candles and, if possible, burn a healing incense (one can be made using a mixture of cinnamon, rosebuds, and myrrh) in a censer placed behind the image.

All the while during the construction of the doll, concentrate on the person as being fully healed, alive, well, and back to normal. Do not see the disease or wound; do not think of it at all. Banish all thoughts of it from your mind; see the person as whole and well again.

When the image is completed, and it is lying between the candles, with the incense smoke twisting up behind it, say the following, or any heart-felt plea:

I have fashioned this image
Which is the perfect image of (name of person)
There is no need for (name of person) to be struck down 
or harmed by any disease, illness, or health problem.
I know that you can restore her/him,
I know that his/her body can heal itself, 
You, great healing god/goddess, you who are all powerful, 
Can make this happen in the best possible way for (name of person
All powerful (name of god or goddess),
Heal (name) of that which cannot be healed in any other way.

Any impassioned plea will be heard by the deity of your choice. If you are unsure who to call upon, here is a short listing of Gods and healing spirits that can be called upon for healing.

Sekhmet, Black Madonna, Brigit, Buddha, Coventina, Damballah La Flambeau, Kuan Yin, Gaea, Minerva, Isis, Bast, Gula, Hekate, Kupala, Ha'iaka, Imhotep, Khensu, Apollo, Asclepius, Pan, Faunus, Cernunnos, Bel, Lugh, Thoth, Merlin, Marduk, Shiva, Raphael, Hygeia

A picture of the God or Goddess you are petitioning may be placed under the doll to help establish a deeper connection with the healing spirit.

After the healing prayer, spend a few minutes in silence, then quench the candles and put everything carefully away.

Repeat the process for seven days in a row, placing the image between the candles and saying the above or similar words. During this time do not talk about the person as if they are ill, assume they are completely well and the illness or medical problem is just an illusion that will soon fade. If no promising results come immediately following those seven days, take the cloth doll carefully apart, scatter the herbs, bury all in the Earth, and make a new image. Work with this precisely as you did the last one.

Note: Such spells, of course, should be used in conjunction with orthodox healing methods, or when such methods have failed.Also, remember that the person receiving the healing must genuinely want to be well or the healing will not occur.

Adapted from a spell found in Earth Power

The Goddess Matuta


June 11 is the feast day of the Goddess Matuta, also known as Mater Matuta. Before the revision of the calendar, this was very close to the Summer Solstice. The goddess Fortuna shares the same feast day.

This Roman Goddess is the goddess of the dawn light but also has dominion over infants and sea travel. Her festival incorporated elaborate theatrical rituals enacted by Roman ladies of status in precisely this order:

  1. A slave woman brought into Matuta's temple was then driven out with slaps and blows.
  2. The women carried their sisters' children in their arms to receive matuta's blessings.
Exactly what these rituals meant to the Romans is now unclear, but the first part is often interpreted as a reenactment of Dawn vanquishing nocturnal spirits. The second part may represent Matuta's nurturing the sun, who is not her child but a relative. Alternatively it's a reminder to entrust your children to family, not to strangers or slaves. This was a women's Mystery tradition. There may have been an accompanying myth that is now unknown.

Matuta is invoked to protect your sister's children. An aunt must perform the invocation, not the mother.Favored people: Newborn babies whom she protects. Obviously, others may petition on their behalf.

Sacred sites: Harbors and ports.
Offerings: Cakes, traditionally baked in terracotta; flowers.

From: Encyclopedia of Spirits

Kamehameha Day

Themes: Unity; Tradition; Protection; Creativity; Change
Symbols: Fire: Red-colored items
Presiding Goddess: Pele

About Pele: In Hawaii, Pele's fires develop and redevelop the islands through volcanic activity. It is this creative force that comes into our lives today, cleansing, transforming, and rebuilding, augmented by summer's fiery energy.

According to local legend, it is unwise to take any souvenir from Pele's mountain without asking or leaving a gift, lest bad luck follow you everywhere. She is zealously protective of her lands and her children. Traditional offerings include coins, strawberries, hair, sugarcane, flowers, tobacco, brandy, and silk.

About today:  

Kamehameha the Great was the monarch of Hawaii between 1782 and 1819. He is well-known and respected for uniting and establishing the Kingdom of Hawaii in 1810. Kamehameha Day is held in his honor on June 11 each year.

King Kamahameha united the Hawaiian people, protecting commoners from the brutality of overlords, much as Pele unites them through her creative, protective power. This festival commemorates him and the traditions of Hawaii through arts and crafts, paradse, hula dancing, and luaus. 

To do today:

At home, this might translate into having some tropical foods served steaming hot (the heat represents Pele's activiting energy). For example, eat pineapple fried in brown sugar for sweet harmony. Or consume fresh strawberries soaked in brandy to ignite your inner fires with Pele's inspiration. Finally, wear something red today to energize Pele's attributes in your efforts all day long.

From: 365 Goddess

The Goddess Pele


Also known as: Pele-honu-amea (Pele of the Sacred Land); Pele-'ai-honua (Pele Eater of Land)
Attributes: Flames are her primary attribute, she may also leave behind three long silver hairs as her calling card.
Color: Red, orange, flame
Element: Fire
Spirit allies: Kamapua'a; Pele has a close relationship with many shark spirits. (She is literally related to many of them.)
Creatures: Dog, Shark
Tree: Ohi'a lehua (Metrosideros collina)
Plant: Sadlaria (red) ferns, ohelo (Vaccinium reticulatum).

Pele is currently the world's most famous volcano goddess, but she is also so much more. Pele is a divine ancestress and a spirit of righteous, if temperamental, justice. She provides for those she considers her people in times of famine, drought, and need. Pele destroys, but she is also a vigilant guardian. Pele is a love goddess: much of her mythology focuses on her romantic and erotic adventures. She is incredibly generous and incredibly temperamental. Her fury is akin to a volcano blowing its top. She is a lusty goddess who loves music, dance, food, drink, and handsome men.

Pele is an ancient goddess and a modern urban legend. She is a living spirit who likes to mingle with people. Pele makes frequent corporeal appearances. In other words, those who encountered her first thought she was a human being until Pele somehow revealed her goddess identity. Pele may be the prototype for the modern urban myth of the vanishing hitchhiker.

Hawaii's most famous goddess, daughter of Haumea and Kanehoalani, was born in the Society Islands in either Tahiti or Bora Bora. When she was born, the image of flames could be seen in her eyes. Her uncle Lonomakua, the island's fire keeper, had been waiting for years for someone to whom he could transmit his knowledge. When he saw Pele's eyes, he knew she was the one.

Fiery phenomena increased. Island hot spots spontaneously burst into flames. Pele and her uncle were blamed, accused of stoking fires in subterranean caverns. Pele and her older sister, the water goddess Namaka fought and Pele was banished, placed on a canoe with supplies and any siblings who chose to travel with her.

Her arrival in Hawaii was heralded by lightning and volcanic eruptions. She initially had trouble finding a home. Namaka pursued her, dousing Pele's flames. Finally Pele burrowed into the volcano Kilauea on the big island of Hawaii, her home base ever since. Pele likes to travel. There are legends about her throughout the Hawaiian isles. She is not a stay-at-home goddess but likes to get out and see people. Pele rescues people who are gracious, polite and kind to her (usually by warning of dangers on the road).

On the other hand, she allegedly curse those who remove anything from her volcano (rocks, plants). The curse manifests as bad luck, trouble, unemployment, illness, or accidents. Some claim that this is an invented legend, but over two thousand pounds of rocks are returned to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park annually, accompanied by letters from people describing their misfortune. Even if Pele didn't originally think of the curse herself, she seems to have adopted it with gusto.

Pele claims the ohelo berries that grow on her mountain. The ohelo is not just any plant: it grew from the bones of her mortal sister, Ka'ohelo. The mountain berries are reserved for Pele and endangered Hawaiian mene geese.

Pele is an extremely adaptable goddess, very capable of adjusting to modern times. She likes roads. She likes cars. She seems to have fun playing the role of vanishing hitchhiker. She may or may not actually hitchhike. She often stands or walks on a very lonely road after dark. She appears old and fragile, not at all threatening. A kind person would stop and ask if she was all right or if she needed a ride. Those who do not pick her up often meet with trouble. Alternatively, she just magically appears in their car anyway.

Pele protects her descendants and those she loves. She is a mistress of magic and hula dancing. The official 2008 poster for the annual Merrie Monarch Festival of Hula and Hawaiian Culture features an image of Pele.

In December 1824, Chieftess Kapiolani, an early and fervent convert to Christianity, defied Pele. She traveled up to the Kilauea fire pit. People followed weeping, convinced that she would die. Kapiolani marched several hundred feet into the crater. Then she threw rocks into the pit, announcing that Jehovah was her god and that he, not Pele, had kindled the volcano flames. That story is very famous. There's a second half that's less frequently recalled.

In 1881, almost sixty years after Kapiolani's defiance, lava streamed toward the town of Hilo. Princess Ruth Ke_elik_lani, a traditionalist who hewed to Hawaiian spiritual traditions, was delegated to propitiate Pele. She brought her brandy, silk scarves, and offered traditional prayers right in sight of a Christian Church. The lava, which had already reached the outskirts of Hilo, immediately stopped.

Manifestation:

Pele manifests in any form she desires: young, old, gorgeous, haggard. Her hair may be black, red, white, or silver. She likes to dress in red. Pele's skin may be scorching hot or ghost cold to the touch. Theoretically any woman might be Pele, so all women should be treated with respect.

If she wants to identify herself, she will. The classic example involves a mysterious hitchhiker who after settling herself in the vehicle requests a cigarette. Before the person who gives it to her can offer a light, the hitchhiker manifests fire right out of her naked hands. She lights her cigarette, the flame in her hands vanishes, she has no burns. She; may disappear shortly after.

When she hitchhikes, Pele appears as a solitary old lady, often in traditional Hawaiian dress. She appears on the beach as a beautiful young Hawaiian woman in a scarlet muummuu accompanied by an entourage of dancers. In any guise, her most frequent companion is a little white dog. So-called ghost-lights may signal her presence.

Sacred sites:


Active volcano Mount Kilauea (she reputedly lives within Halema'uma'u crater but the whole mountain is her home). The site of her ancient temple is now occupied by the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory and the Thomas A Jaggar Museum, which features Herb Kawainui Kane's Pele murals. Mauna Loa also belongs to her.

Offerings:

Offerings are traditionally left respectfully at the crater's edge but may be placed on home altars, too: crystals, roast chickens, flowers, ohelo berries, flame-colored silk scarves or other luxurious fabrics. Pele is frequently given cigarettes, gin, brandy, or other alcoholic beverages. However, this is controversial - many traditional Hawaiians do not approve.

From: Encyclopedia of Spirits

Monday, June 10, 2013

An Oak Leaf Hat


On June 10, the Oak Moon begins. The Oak King, the Green Man, and the Lord of the Forest Cernunnos) were probably aspects of one deity. To honor this god of Nature, children (and adults) can make and wear an oak leaf hat.

Collect a number of large oak leaves. Using either short pieces of tender twigs or toothpicks, begin by pinning two leaves together in two different places. Place the first twig near the stem and the other near the lobe. Arrange the leaves so they meet at the top. Continue adding and pinning the leaves together. Shape to the head, being careful not to make the hat too flat. 

These hats remind me of the woodland faeries one sees peeking from behind trees.

From: Moon Magick

The Green Man


The Green Man is the Spirit of Irrepressible Life. Pave over Earth as much as you like: weeds will continue to poke through. That irrepressible urge to live and procreate is the Green Man. He personifies the regenerative powers of nature. He is the essence of the life-force, the libido, the male impulse to procreate. The Green Man is also emblematic of decay: the body returned to Earth, covered in foliage. The Green Man is lord of the eternal cycle of life and death.

The Green Man appears in the form of a tree man: a man completely covered in vines and leaves. If Earth (Gaia) is perceived as a fertile woman, then trees are big, hard erections eternally penetrating her. Tree sap was once equated with semen.

The Green Man names a spirit but also an architectural, ornamental motif. In terms of visual imagery, there are basically two forms of Green Men:
  1. A male head that is formed from leaves or extensively crowned with leaves (the oldest form).
  2. Foliage emerges from the Green Man's mouth and occasionally through other orifices, too. (One way of interpreting this is the Green Man speaks through plants.)
The Green Man is an extremely Pagan looking image: he's a wild man of nature. However, although the Green Man predates Christianity, it is now most famous as an architectural motif featured on Gothic churches. Green Men are found in Bamberg, Chartres, Dijon, Norwich and Fribourg, as well as many other cathedrals and churches. There are twenty Green Man carvings within Exeter Cathedral.

Images of the Green Man proliferated in conjunction with the cult of Black Madonnas. Many cathedrals were built over sties once dedicated to Isis. Dale Pendell, author of Pharmakol Poeia, theorizes that if Isis is the Madonna and Horus is the Divine Child, then the Green Man hiding among foliage may be Osiris, who in Egyptian myth was hidden in foliage. Dionysus is sometimes considered the prototype for the Green Man. Others associated with him include Robin Hood and Saint George.

Meditate on the image of the Green Man or surround yourself with his images when you need a fertility boost or seek reinvigoration - physical, spiritual, or emotional.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Bendis - Goddess of the Moon


Other Names: Bendida
Origin: Thrace; Dacia; Scythia
Animals: Fox, deer, leopard, snake.
Plant: Mistletoe
Attributes: Torch, spear, dagger, bow and arrow in a fquiver, cup, staff, phallus.
Mounts: A doe or a leopard; Bendis rides a chariot drawn by three winged horses.
Spirit Allies: Bendis is accompanied by an entourage of Nymphs, maenads, and satyrs. She is closely allied with Artemis.
Planet: MoonBendis is especially powerful during waning and dark moon phases. She is also the goddess of the winter sun.

Bendis is so primordial her origins are lost in the mists of time. Bendis was the great goddess of gynocratic Lemnos and Thrace, where girls worked the land and tended the sheep and cattle. She was known as the fierce Huntress of the Two Spears. She provided the religious underpinning for the Lemnosian women’s revolt through which each of the men of the island were slain. Her name means “to tie”. In Her image She is depicted holding a branch of the tree that is thought to grant passage towards underworld. It is told that Her women wore lion pelts and fox skins. Those that worshipped Her did so in her own Sacred Groves.

Bendis' name is interpreted as "moon" or "to bind." "Binding" may indicate marriage or shamanism: Bendis binds different realms together. She is the mother of the now nameless spirit called the Thracian Rider, Horseman, or Hero. Her procreative powers are so great that she brought forth her son from herself without male assistance. Mother and son may be venerated together.

Hesychius says, how the poet Cratinus called this goddess dilonchos, either because she had to discharge two duties, one towards heaven and the other towards the earth, or because she bore two lances, or lastly, because she had two lights, the one her own and the other derived from the sun.

Thracian immigrants brought her to Greece, where she became very popular. She was famed in a ceremonial in Athens called the Bendideia,  which included grand processions and races. The Thracians themselves may have received her from their neighbors, the Dacians, whose kingdom was mainly in what is now Romania and Moldava but also incorporated parts of modern Bulgaria, Hungary, and Ukraine. Bendis may originally be of Scythian origin.

A Thracian mother goddess. Bendis was often identified with the huntress goddess, Artemis. She was a huntress, like Artemis, but was accompanied by dancing satyrs and maenads. Bendis first came out in Athens, through the Peloponnesian War, where she was Hellenised. Because of this, what is now known of Bendis tends to be filtered through Greek vision.To the Greeks, Bendis was the actual same Thracian Artemis worshipped by the Amazons as Tauropolis. She was also closely aligned with Cybele and Hecate. As Hecate, She was Moon and Night; Earth and Nature. She had great control of heaven and earth. She’s also the goddess of healing.

By approximately 428 BCE, Bendis had an official state cult near Athens. An annual feast, Bendidea, was held in their own honour. The geographer Strabo says how the rites and customs with the Bendidea are just like those within Thracian and Phrygian different types of revelry – Bacchus (Dionysus) and Rhea (actually Cybele). The philosopher Plato also mentioned the festival within the dialogue between Adeimantus and Polemarchus in the Republic about a horse-race at nighttime, where each rider carried a torch. Although honored, she was also considered disreputable, a goddess of foreigners. She never shed her Thracian identity (unlike Dionysus, who was incorporated into the Olympian pantheon). The Greeks identified Bendis with Artemis and Hekate, although she is even more intensely lunar than either.

Bendis is at home in the wild and in the city. She is a spirit of divine ecstasy and passion. Bendis epitomizes lunar, female power. She is petitioned for fertility, successful childbirth, protection, good health, and good fortune.

Manifestation: Back in the day, Bendis was described as wearing a peaked Thracian hat, cloak, short tunic, and fox-skin boots. Often she is depicted holding a torch.

Iconography: In the fourth century BCE, Bendis was depicted with a group of male devotees, winners of nocturnal races in her honor; the men are depicted as significantly smaller than she is and display erect phalli. In second centry BCE, Bendis; peaked Thracian hat is sometimes designed to resemble a phallus.

Sacred days: She had various festivals throughout the year: two were celebrated at the full moons just preceding or coinciding with the solstices; her festival, the Bendidaea, featured ecstatic dancing, sexual rites, and nightly foot races and/or horse races with torches. Eventually, the Athenian government banned all her rituals except for the races. Other rituals were forced underground and practiced in secret.

Offerings: Lunar images and images of her sacred animals.

From: Encyclopedia of Spirits and various other sources.

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