three dark goddesses

from sagegoddess

The Dark Goddesses of October –
Lilith, Hecate, and Morrigan

We honor Hecate, Lilith, and Morrigan – The dark goddesses from various pantheons – at October’s full moon. As we move into this season of darkness and shadow, the Veil between the worlds becomes thinner. In the Northern Hemisphere, we shift to the dark half of the year, and thus we move into the deep personal work of engaging with our own darkness. This month’s triple goddess full moon ritual kit honors the three dark goddesses so that we can call in their various energies as we go about our work leading up to Samhain.

Hecate is the Greek goddess of the in-between, the place between life and death, and acts as the guardian of the crossroads. She was often depicted with a torch bringing light and wisdom to the world, as well as keys to open the gates between the worlds and access to the hidden knowledge beyond. Call on Hecate to see what is unseen and to guide you through indecision.

Lilith originates in Sumerian tradition, appearing in The Epic of Gilgamesh. She appears again in the Kabbalistic tradition as the first wife of Adam. She was created as his equal, and demanded she be treated as such – a demand which cast her out of Eden. Associated with the dark moon, her themes are freedom, playfulness, sensuality, and sexuality. Call on her to invoke your inner wild woman.

Morrigan comes to us from the Celtic tradition, and she has been known by many names – Morrigu, Morgana, the Morrighan, and Morgan Le Fey – wife of Merlin. She is The Witch Goddess, known for her ability to shapeshift (most often into Crow), and is associated with water. She is believed to be the Lady of the Lake, and is a triple goddess herself, with embodiments of maiden, mother, and crone.

We tap into the gifts of these three goddesses this month for our own work in the shadows. Hecate’s guidance and protection at the crossroads and the in-between, Lilith’s potent sexuality and empowerment, and Morrigan’s shape-shifting and magic. You can invoke their energies to connect you to your deepest self, to guide you as you journey into the darkness, and to empower you as you tap into the infinite reservoir of Divinely infused power within you.

If you would like to learn more about these dark goddess archetypes and how to work with their energies, you can join my Magical Sabbatical program.

You can find a set of tools aligned to the energy of our Dark Goddesses, and don’t forget to join me on October 16th online or here at SGHQ when we meet for our ritual to honor the Full Moon and the dark goddesses.

If you missed my previous Full Moon Goddess rituals, you can watch them on my YouTube channel

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goddess Ma’at

The Goddess Ma’at

from SageGoddess

“Ma’at is not only a goddess of the ancient Egyptian pantheon, but her name literally represents a concept of truth and justice, which came to shape ancient Egyptian law and society. Ma’at is the daughter of the Egyptian sun God Ra, and she is the wife of the moon god Thoth. With Thoth, Ma’at has eight children, one of them being the important fertility god Amun. In mythology, Ma’at was the one who helped her father Ra steer his boat across the sky each day, thus bringing guidance and purpose to his direction.

Ma’at is known as one of the highest respected Egyptian gods, because even the Gods must follow her laws and judgements. Her energies of balance and order were necessary to the ancient Egyptians, because she provided an explanation for the forces of the Universe. The Egyptians strongly believed that the universe was ordered and rational. The regular rising and setting of the sun, the flooding of the Nile, and the predictable course of the stars in the sky reassured them that there was a permanence to their existence, which was central to the nature of all things. However, the forces of chaos were always present and threatened the balance of Ma´at, thus each person was duty bound to preserve and defend her, and the Pharaoh was perceived as the guardian and Earthly keeper of Ma´at’s balance and law.

It was Ma’at who maintained the momentum of the stars and planets, the changing seasons, and the balance between the worlds. This equilibrium is the natural state of being, but of course, there is a duality, and the opposite to Ma’at was known as Isfet, or the principle of chaos. Without one, the other could not exist, and so these forces are codependent on each other. Ma’at helps us to see the Universal Truth that says for one thing to exist so must its opposite. It’s no coincidence we will work with her during the month of Mabon – the Autumnal Equinox; the day of balance between light and dark.

You can find a set of tools aligned to Ma’at’s energy here, and don’t forget to join me on September 16th online or here at SGHQ when we meet for our ritual to honor the Full Moon and the Goddess Ma’at.

If you missed my previous Full Moon Goddess rituals, you can watch them on my YouTube channel.”

The Goddess Pachamama

from the lovely sagegoddess

Pachamama is the Andean goddess of the Earth, fertility, agriculture, planting, and harvesting. She is the female embodiment of the Earth in ancient Incan mythology; she and her father were two important deities in Incan custom. She was said to be a dragon who lived at the base of a mountain, and she could cause earthquakes and facilitate change. She was also sometimes depicted as a woman made of corn.

With the European conquest, colonization, and forced conversion of South America,  Pachamama became to be heavily associated with The Virgin Mary, but recently, Pachamama is re-emerging in South American culture and modern lifestyles as her own entity. There are many shrines to her in South America located near rocky areas, and also near tree trunks. She is depicted in reverence as a woman bearing harvested crops. You may see her carrying corn, potatoes, or cocoa leaves. Her husband was Pacha Kamaq, and she had two children: the sun god Inti and the moon goddess Killa. Pachamama is the source of the main cosmological elements to the Quechua people. Water, Earth, sun, and moon are a part of her domain.

In ancient mythology, Pachamama’s legends portrayed her as an often vengeful goddess, pleased by ritual sacrifices. Today she is known and respected among Andean cultures as a compassionate, generous, female embodiment of the Earth. A belief remains that when humans are careless with the Earth and her resources, Pachamama can become angered, and cause problems and natural disasters, such as earthquakes. Her energy can help facilitate rapid change and transformation.

You can find a set of tools aligned to Pachamama’s energy here.

If you missed my previous Full Moon Goddess rituals, you can watch them on my YouTube channel.

The Goddess Asherah

fun info from sage goddess!

Asherah is the great mother goddess of the Middle East. She is the Shekina in the Kabbalah, and she appeared in the Bible as the consort of Yahweh – the wife of God. As such, she is known as the Queen of Heaven. Asherah was effectively written out of the modern Bible, even though she was mentioned over 40 times throughout the Old Testament. She is an all-encompassing Divine Mother goddess, and is connected, through her evolution and existence, to other goddesses of this region of the world, such as Ishtar and Astarte, and according to some sources she is linked even to Athena and Inanna. Her symbol is the Tree of Life, and she was very connected to trees. Her worshipers used to carve her likeness into wooden poles and stick them in the ground to honor her. She came to be heavily associated with Kabbalah and the Kabbalah Tree of Life, as well as the ancient Jewish mysticism surrounding it. She was associated with all that was symbolized by the Tree of Life, including the Menorah. Asherah’s sacred animals were the lion and the ibex. She was a loving goddess who was honored during planting season, embodying the fertility needed to tend to our fruits of intention, as well as the children we give life to. She was also revered for her great wisdom and knowledge of all things; past present, and future. Ancient Hebrew women prayed to her for all matters on which they needed guidance and support.

According to the Bible, Asherah was officially worshipped in Israel around the 9th century BCE. Jezebel was said to have popularized her cult. All of her sacred objects and associations were known as ‘Asherim’. In her sacred groves of idols, wooden poles would be placed next to shrines to Yahweh, as an act of homage to both the Divine Masculine and Feminine energies. These places were often located at the tops of hills and deep in the forest. She was truly connected to the Earth, and was known as the Bread of Life. Hebrew women even baked loaves of Asherah bread, which would be blessed by priestesses and eaten in ritual.

Ancient cuneiform tablets found in Syria tell us another story of Asherah, a fertility goddess with carved wooden totems. She was said to have birthed 70 sons. She was worshipped as the one true fertility goddess, force of life and nature. She was represented by farm lands and animals, in groves of trees, and in fresh waters.

Asherah was widely worshipped before the patriarchy became the dominant force of the world, driving and influencing the polytheistic religions towards a masculine, monotheistic viewpoint. After the dominance of the patriarchy, Asherah became to mean “sacred grove.”  As the monotheistic belief progressively gained strength in ancient times, her followers, and anyone who worshipped multiple gods, would be punished, and Asherah’s sacred groves were burnt to the ground. Still, her patrons continued to worship her, because they needed a loving and compassionate Mother goddess to call upon. She was that sacred and divine Mother for many. She remains a powerful maternal figure for us today.

You can find a set of tools aligned to Asherah’s energy here, and don’t forget to join me on June 20th online or here at SGHQ when we meet for our ritual to honor the Full Moon and the Goddess Asherah.

Goddess Goodness: Oshun

Goddess Oshun

Our April goddess is Oshun, ithe African Yoruba goddess of love, fresh waters, and fertility. She is a Divine Mother goddess, very connected to her own sensuality and sexuality. She is the most compassionate and loving of all the Yoruba goddesses, and seen as the savior of humanity. Oshun is a healer as well as a nurturer who cares for the sick, poor, and anyone in need of her kind and loving energy. She is one of the most powerful orishas, who are similar to angels, and retains some aspects of human nature as well.

One myth from the Yoruba tradition details her position in the Divine scheme of all creation; this myth tells of how the orishas were sent by Olodumare, the supreme deity, to populate the Earth. Oshun was the only female orisha out of the seventeen sent. The other orishas were all male, and were not able to populate the Earth on their own. Of course this required some help from Oshun! When the male orisha asked for her help, Oshun agreed, and used her power over the waters on Earth to bring all life to the land, humanity, plants, and animals. If she would not have beseeched the orisha, there would be no life on Earth. Other myths describe the sending of Oshun to the world in order to bring a missing sense of sweetness and love to the Earth.

However, when angered, Oshun can take away life just as freely as she gives it. Water has both a restorative and a destructive nature, and so Oshun would use her power to withhold water from the land, causing drought. In one myth, Oshun is infuriated by the people, and sends down torrential rain, almost causing a devastating flood. Yet once calmed, Oshun saved Earth by stopping the rainfall.

Legends tell of the first interaction between Oshun and humanity taking place in Osogbo, Nigeria. The city is still considered sacred, and it is believed that Oshun is the protector of it. She is said to have blessed the creation of the city, vowing to take care of, protect, and grant the wishes of those within Osogbo who worshipped her with offerings, prayers, and rituals. There is a festival devoted to Oshun, still practiced today by the Yoruba people. Every year, those who worship the Divine Mother goddess go to the Oshun river to honor her and ask for her blessings in terms of prosperity, health, and happiness. Osogbo is also home to the Osun-Osogbo Sacred Grove, a beautiful protected UNESCO Heritage site in the wilderness, with many shrines and beautiful artwork dedicated to her.

Oshun is sacred to many African women. She is called upon by those wishing to start a family, and she she is very connected to feminine power. She is also called upon in times of strife and drought. With the African diaspora, Oshun’s legends and magic traveled with the Yoruba people to North and South America, where she is known as Oxum in Brazil and Ochún in Cuba.

Goddess Goodness: Artemis

Goddess Artemis – Huntress, Sister, Protector
from SageGoddess

Artemis is the Greek goddess of the hunt, the moon, and the natural world. She is also a healer who protects pregnant women and relieves them of pain during childbirth. As a virgin goddess who gave up a life of love in favor of a life in service, she hunts the forests with her female companions; her bow and arrow unwavering. Artemis is often depicted with a torch in hand, illuminating the darkness, and blazing a path through the unknown with courage and fortitude. While fiercely independent, she was a compassionate goddess, and a natural born leader.

Artemis was very connected to her animal companions and the animal spirits living in the wilderness she roamed in. One myth recalls the king Agamemnon killing one of Artemis’s sacred stags and bragging that he was a better hunter than her. In revenge for his transgression, (something quite common for this strong-willed goddess to do), Artemis halted Agamemnon’s ships at sea, on their way to fight in the war at Troy. His ships were then stuck in the ocean with no wind to propel them. Artemis demanded that Agamemnon kill his own daughter if he wanted to continue his seaward journey. Some versions of this myth say that he in fact did sacrifice his own daughter, and other myths suggest that Artemis saved her in the end.

When she was a young woman, Artemis asked her father Zeus to grant her wish for 80 virgin nymphs to always accompany her always, and he did so to appease her. Artemis was always surrounded by this epic troupe of ladies. Her feminine companions followed her through hunt, battle, and even dancing and bathing together. In this, we can learn about the energies of sisterhood and female bonding that Artemis cultivated. The powerful, warrioress energy was strong in her, and she rarely ever had male companions, except her twin brother, Apollo. Another myth tells of the hunter Actaeon watching Artemis bathe with her entourage, and being dumbstruck with the sight of all the women bathing in the river. Artemis had no patience for his staring, so she turned him into a stag and made his own dogs attack and kill him.

Artemis took great pride in her independence, and never had any love affairs, except one. The mortal Orion was the only one ever known to have captured the goddess’s heart. Artemis was positively in love with him. However, when Apollo realized that his beloved twin no longer wanted to spend as much time with him because of these affections, he became incredibly jealous. One day when Orion was swimming in the ocean, Apollo made a bet with Artemis that she couldn’t hit the distant object on the horizon with her bow and arrow.

Artemis, being the cunning and competitive archer she was, couldn’t stand being challenged, and proudly drew her bow and shot the swimmer. Once she won, though, she realized that the object she shot was actually her true love. In overwhelming grief, the goddess turned Orion into various stars and shot him up into the night sky, making him a constellation for eternity.

We exalt Artemis’s free spirit and her light, active, and cunning energy during our March Full Moon Ritual. You can find a set of tools aligned to Artemis’ energy here, and don’t forget to join me on March 23rd online or here at SGHQ when we meet for our ritual. We will honor the divine feminine strength and energy she exudes, and the bonds of sisterhood and female bonding that she sustained.

Goddess Lore: Brighid

From Sage Goddess:

By all appearances, the Northern Hemisphere is deep in winter slumber. The air is chilly, the ground is cold and frozen. Living creatures remain in hibernation. But beneath the ice and snow, Mother Earth is coming to life. The season of dormancy and rest is ending and tomorrow, we honor the official halfway point between winter and spring: Imbolc. This ancient Celtic sabbat is one of my favorite to celebrate. It marks the return of warmth and growth, the lifecycle churning into a period of activity yet again. Trees will soon bear fruit, seeds will blossom into flowers, animals will give birth to new young. And we, too, will enter a season of productivity.

The goddess Brigid reigns over this time. She is goddess of the Eternal Flame. She is with us, our guide in this new phase of the Great Wheel. And she is also within us, emboldening us to start stoking our inner fire. By honoring her with your springtime rituals, you also honor yourself, and the work you are about to do.

So gather your strength. Prepare to kindle that spark of creativity and confidence. I am excited to see what flourishes for you this year.

May your fire burn bright, this season and always,

Athena

Brigid

Brigid is the Celtic goddess of fire, the hearth and home, poetry, healing, childbirth, midwifery, unity, and the protectress of all children. She is a triple-goddess, and is also recognized by many Christians as St. Brigid, who is perhaps the most powerful female in all of Irish history.

She was born at dawn, and ascended into the sky towards the sun, with great beams of firelight coming from her head. Her father was Dagda, the father-god of Ireland. Early Druidic myths about her infancy and childhood recall her being fed by the milk of a magical cow from the Otherworld, tending to her livestock, and harvesting the apples from her orchard in the Otherworld.

Brigid above all else was a bringer of peace to the lands. Her husband, Bres, was the king of a rival tribe who was at war with Brigid’s tribe. Their marriage was part of a Divine plan to bring unity to the lands, however, their son, Ruandan, was killed in battle. This caused Brigid to experience immense heartbreak, and her grief was so profound it ceased the war on both ends. The people’s love for Brigid was so great that it created unity between all the Celts across Europe.

Once, two lepers appeared at Brigid’s sacred well at Kildare and asked her to heal them. She directed them to bathe each other in the water until they were healed. The first man was healed, but after was disgusted by the other man and refused to help him. This angered the goddess, and she caused the first man’s leprosy to return. Then, she gently placed her cloak around the other man, instantly healing him. Brigid presides over many springs and wells of water across Ireland. Water is one of our portals to the Otherworld, and represents infinite knowledge and healing.

Brigid is one goddess who always rewards offerings made to her; so many people would throw money into her sacred pools of water to entreat her. This is where the custom of throwing pennies into wells and fountains comes from! And at Imbolc, offerings of clothes, food, and money are often left out, inspiring the goddess to protect and bless the homes of those families.

At her shrine near Kildare, by an ancient and powerful Oak tree, Brigid shared her knowledge of healing plants and herbs with humans. She also taught them proper livestock care, and metalsmithing. This shrine is believed to have once been the site of an ancient gathering of priestesses. These priestesses there learned the sacred art of tending to Brigid’s eternal flame.

Brigid is most widely known for the devotion shown to her at Imbolc, the Pagan festival of mid-winter that honors her spirit. This feast day exalts Brigid’s reign over the warm days on the horizon. Imbolc falls on February 2nd this year, and in the Northern Hemisphere, this is our unofficial return of Spring. My Imbolc Ritual Kit is a powerful offering for this holiday, and my February Full Moon Kit honors Brigid’s Divine Femininity.

Hestia – Goddess of the Home, Hearth, & Altar

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Hestia, also known by her Roman name, Vesta, resides in every home as the keeper of the flame. Although she is often overlooked and underplayed in mythology, her kind, compassionate spirit listens rather than overpowers. A quiet goddess, who never married or had children, Hestia (which literally means “hearth”) tends to the fires that warm our homes, and our hearts. And without her, we’d be living a much colder experience – both literally, and spiritually.

Hestia was the first child of Kronos and Rhea. However, her father swallowed her when she was an infant, and then regurgitated her at Zeus’ command, making her both the oldest and youngest born sibling. She is depicted as being veiled, and is often accompanied by a flowering branch or kettle.

This is fitting because Hestia oversees cooking and the preparation of the sacred family meal. During the month of November, we can honor her with offerings of fruit and wine from our tables. When we take part in these ancient rituals that pay tribute to her, Hestia bestows her warm strength and blessings upon us, as we prepare our own hearths for the holiday gatherings and feasts ahead.

While she is peaceful, she also embodies the active side of fire magic. Dance, play, creativity, and passion. These may not seem like the gifts of the usually still Hestia, but when we invoke the mysteries of this goddess, they reveal themselves. In ancient Greece, the household hearth also served as the sacrificial altar wherein offerings were made to the gods, and would entreat protection for the dwellers of the home. Hestia would attend all of the traditional sacrifices, and protected those who made offering to her. Hestia’s promise to us is to keep stoking our summertime flames all year long. So if you want to hold onto summer for a while longer, call on Hestia to keep an eye on you and help maintain your creative fire into these fall and winter months.

Goddess Oracle: Sekhmet (Anger and Rage)

This particular card made me a little uncomfortable when I first pulled, but maybe once I meditate on it, it will make more sense…

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Mythology:
Sekhmet, the lion-headed Egyptian Sun Goddess, is known as the destructive aspect of the Sun.  Vowing to destroy all humanity in a fit of rage, she went on a killing spree.  She was stopped by the intervention of Ra, the high God, who put huge vats of beer mixed with pomegranate juice in her path.  Mistaking it for human blood, Sekhmet consumed the drink and became intoxicated. When she woke up, her rage was gone.  Red in this image signifies Sekhmet’s scorching, smoldering nature.

Meaning of the Card
Sekhmet leaps into your life to help you face your anger. Does anger, yours or someone else’s, make you feel uncomfortable?  Do you fear your anger because you were taught anger isn’t nice? or expressing anger is ugly?  Have you repressed or disconnected from it so much that you don’t know how to express it now?  Perhaps you’ve gone beyond anger to rage.  Rage is accumulated anger gone out of control.  Perhaps you’re in a slow boil all the time and don’t know how to take the pot from the fire. Sekhmet says our anger is part of our power as women.  Don’t give away your anger. Learn to express it in a way that it can be heard.  Learn to transform it so it empowers and energizes you.  Your path to wholeness will be more vital when you make your anger your ally.

Ritual Suggestion: Dancing with Sekhmet
Find a time and place when and where you will need not be disturbed and where you can make noise.
You will need a drum or pillow or bataka bat (a bat made out of foam that is safely used to express anger).
You can dance or do this while sitting, whatever feels appropriate for you.
Sit or lie comfortably with your spine straight.
Take a deep breath and release it slowly on the count of eight.
Take another deep breath and sense, visualize, or feel a beach.
It can be a beach you know or one that you imagine.
Take a slow deep breath, inhaling the smell of the sea, and as you release it, go there.
Feel the hot sun on your skin, and the cool breeze from the ocean.
Call Sekhmet and ask her to be present to help you with and to witness your anger.
She appears, and sits in front of you.

Ask yourself, “where do I have anger?” and listen for the answer.
(It can be a recent anger or a long-buried one.)
Sekhmet tells you to search for your anger in a relaxed way and assures you that if you call, it will come.
When you have it, allow yourself to relive the incident in which you felt anger, while repeating the words, “I am angry.”
Also say what you are angry about.
Sekhmet witnesses your anger, and says “I hear you are angry.”

From your safe space on the beach, either sit or stand, but keep repeating the words, “I am angry.”
If you have a drum, beat your feelings of anger on the drum.
If you choose to beat a pillow or a bataka bat, allow your body to feel the anger and express it.
Move, vocalize, dance, or do whatever feels right.
Above all, allow yourself to feel your anger and express it fully.
Know that it is safe to do so, that Sekhmet is witnessing your anger and loving you for it, that it is yours and you have a right to it.
Press deeper into the anger until you feel done or until it changes into something else.

When you are finished, take a deep breath, inhale all the energy you have raised and transformed.
Sekhmet tells you what a joy it is to have witnessed and held the space for you to express your anger.
You feel energized and refreshed.
You thank Sekhmet and she asks you for a gift.
You give it to her with an open heart, then she leaves.
Take another deep breath and, as you release it, open your eyes.
Welcome back!

After going through this, I am feeling that it maybe isn’t put here for me, but for someone who reads…I hope it resonates with one of you and is helpful…