More Greek Goddesses  

Posted by Stella Clark

More Greek Goddesses Cover
ARTEMIS (DIANA) - Daughter of Zeusand Leto. The huntress, she is seen as the forever young goddess. She is proud ofher shapeliness and keeps her virginity to protect it. She was a warrior,joining Apollo to kill Python and other exploits. Anyone who offended her or tried to win her virginity paid dearly. They werekilled, transformed, or mutilated. She defended modesty and punished illicit love and excesses. She avenged rape. She also took out her anger on those virgins who gave in to love. She did not mind marriage, but when a virgin married she was to give up all the things of childhood, toys and dolls, locks of hair, etc., leaving them on her altar.

APHRODITE (VENUS) - Daughter of Zeus and Dione according to Homer. 'The Woman Born Of The Waves' according to Hesiod, born of the foam impregnated by the sexual organs ofUranus, which Cronos (Saturn) had severed and thrown into the sea. Plato identifies these as two separate Aphrodites. One Urania, the daughter of Uranus was goddess ofpure love.The other, called Pandemos, (Root of pandemonium?) was the Goddessof'common'love. She married Hephaestus, but was unfaithful with Aries.

Aries was caught and humiliated. Aphrodite fled in shame to Cyprus, and there took Thrace as lover, resulting in the birth of Eros (Love), Anteros (Love in return), Deimos and Phobos (Terror and Fear). She also was a lover ofAdonis, a human shepherd named Anchises who fathered Aneas, of Hermes and of Dionysus who fathered Priapus. She was known for jealousy. She made Eos (Dawn) fall in love with Orion in spite for her seduction of Aries. She punished all who did not succumb to her.A beauty competition between Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite was proposed by Eris (Discord) with the prize being a golden apple. It was judged by thehuman Paris. All the Goddesses offered him bribes to win.

Aphrodite offered Helen, most beautiful of all Humans. She won and thus caused the Trojan War. Eros was the primordial god of instinct. When Aphrodite appearedhe adapted himself and joined forces withher. At this time the sexes became distinct. Aphrodite's kingdom was the place of desire. Young girls were said to pass from the place of Artemis (chastity and games) to the place of Aphrodite, where they become women. Considered by some to be an affliction or madness that women must bear. She represents female lust and passion, and demonstrates its potential for destructive effect. Young girls gave their virginity to the Goddess by living in her temples and offering themselves to passing strangers.

ATHENA (MINERVA) - Daughter ofZeus and Metis. Metis wasswallowed by Zeus, and when it was time for Diana's birth, he had Hephaestus crack open his skull and she came forth in full armor shouting a war cry. Also a virgin Goddess, she lived among men without fear due to her warrior's skills. She was the protectress of Odysseus and other men. She was a warrior who used strategy, ambush, cunning, and magic rather than brute force. Her shield bore the head of a gorgon and sheparalyzed her adversaries and made her companions invincible. She was againstexcess, both in war and every day life. She taught men to control their savagery and to tame nature. Was the initiator ofall skills. Taught Pandora to weave, trainedhorses and invented the chariot. She was the patroness of blacksmiths andcarpenters. She built the first ship and the boat of the Argonauts.

CYBELE - Was born as Agditis, a hermaphrodite monster, from a stone fertilized by Zeus. The Gods decided to mutilate him and made the Goddess Cybelefrom him. Her love for Attis, a human shepherd, drove him insane and he castrated himself for her. Her priests were eunuchs dressed as women. It is from the temple of Cybele that the reference in the Wiccan Charge of the Goddess to "At mine Altars, the youths ofLacedaemon in Sparta made due sacrifice.", comes.

DEMETER (CERES) - Daughter of Cronos (Saturn) and Rhea, the Goddess of corn and grain. Demeter bore Persephone. She renounced her duties as goddess and began a fast and went into exile from Olympos when her daughter was abducted into the underworld until her daughter should be returned to her. She caused the spread of the knowledge of the cultivation of corn.

During her exile the earth became barren until Zeus demanded that Hades return Persephone. She had eaten from a pomegranate, however, and was forever bound to the underworld. As a compromise, she was allowed to rise up into the world with the first growth of spring and return to the underworld at seed sowing in fall. And so the Earth is barren in the winter, while Demeter mourns, and becomes fruitful again when Persephone is released. Demeter made herself known to the children of Eleusis, who raised her a temple and instituted the Eleusinian mysteries. In Sept.-Oct., the candidates for initiation purified themselves in the sea, then processed down the sacred path from Athens to Eleusis. The rites remain secret, but involve asearch for a mill for grinding corn, and a spiritual experience. During the rites, men women and slaves were all treated as equal.

ERINYES, THE - Alecto, Tisiphone, and Megaara. They were born from drops of blood that fell from Uranus's severed Penis, and did not recognize the authority ofthe gods ofOlympos. They hounded and tortured their victims, driving them mad. Also called the Eumenides, The Good Ones, to divert their wrath. Assimilated by the Romans as the Furies. They were implacable and demanded punishment for every murder. To them murder was a stain. The murderer had to be banished and driven mad before purification could occur. They were blind and carried out their punishments indefinitely.

HERA (JUNO) - Daughter ofCronos (Saturn) and Rhea brought up by Oceanusand Tethys. Married Zeus. It was claimed that each year Hera regained her virginity by bathing in the spring ofCanathus. According to some traditions Hephaestus, Aries, and Hebe (Youth) were conceived by her alone without male assistance. As Zeus' legitimate wife, her fury at his infidelities was boundless, and she took vengeance on his lovers and any progeny ofthe affair without distinction. Zeus wasoften reduced to hiding or disguising his children to protect them.

HARPIES - Greek genii/spirits - Daughters ofThaumes andElectra: Nicotho or swift-footed, Ocypete or swift of flight, and Celaeno, the dark one. Were either women with wings or birds with the heads ofwomen. Called the 'hounds ofZeus' and seized children and souls. Skillful at torture, they could pester a victim into madness.

HESTIA/VESTA - Daughter of Cronos (Saturn) and Rhea. Goddess of the hearth,she had the privilege of retaining her virginity forever. Her symbol was the fire, which was never allowed to go out. The young bride and newborn child were presented to her and she was invoked before each meal. Her temple in Rome was served by the young vestal virgins.

MUSES - Nine daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne (Memory). Calliope ruled epic poetry, Clio ruled history, Polyhymnia mime, Euterpe the flute, Terpsichore dance, Erarto lyric art, Melpomene tragedy, Thalia comedy andUrania astronomy. They delighted the Gods and inspired poets. The Muses created what they sang about. By praising the gods, they completed their glory, by boasting of valiant warriors, they wrote their names in history. They were celebrated by the Pythagoreans as the keepers of the knowledge of harmony.

MOERAE (PARCAE) - The Three Fates. Atropos, Clotho, Lachesis, daughters ofZeus and Themis. The first spins a thread symbolizing birth. The second unravels it, symbolizing life's processes, andthe third cuts it, symbolizing death. They too were blind and ruled destiny. They were also symbols of a limit which could not beoverstepped. Were connected to their sisters, the furies, who punished crime.

NYMPHS -Daughter ofZeus and usually part of a greater god(esses) entourage. Not immortal, though long lived. Mostly lived in caves. Were dark powers whose beauty alone could lead to madness. Were seducers of many of the gods. Were considered secondary deities.

NEMESIS -Daughter and Night. Ruled over the distribution of wealth, looked after balance, took revenge on arrogance and punished excess, including excessive happiness, riches and power. Moderation in all things was her creed.

THETIS - Daughter of the old man of the sea. Very beautiful. Mother of Achilles.Saved Zeus from a plot to overthrow him and was an ally ofHera. Saved the Argonauts as they passed between the clashing rocks.

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Oshunmare  

Posted by Stella Clark

Oshunmare Cover
Oshunmare (also Oshumare, Oxumare) is a divine serpent which is believed to create the rainbow, both male and female, and is a symbol of creation, human procreation and the link between the world of the mundane and that of the ancestors. This idea is more a part of worship in the Americas than it is in West Africa.

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