Maiden Mother Crone  

Posted by Stella Clark

Maiden Mother Crone Image
The triple Moon is a representation of the phases the Moon goes through in its cycle, and its symbolism is also linked closely to the Goddess. The Moon phases which shared an association with the growing seasons are linked with the phases of a woman's life. These phases are described as Maiden, Mother, and Crone.

The Maiden stage represents the first stage; it is that time during the Moon's cycle when it is new and waxing to full. It is represented as the time of the Maiden...a young, unattached woman who is full of potential for growth...youth, purity, innocence. As the symbolism hints, this is also a time for beginning new things and a building of energy. Springtime rituals most often involve the Maiden Goddesses.

The Mother represents the second stage; it is the time of the Full Moon. Her role is one of fertility, growth, and ripeness. She is also in a position of power. She is represented by a pregnant woman both in body and in mind, nurturing and protective. This period symbolizes a time of fruitfulness, a time when our plans are actualized. Summer and fall rituals most often involve the Mother...when crops are growing and harvested.

The Crone represents the final stage; it is the time of the Waning Moon. It is represented by an old woman full of wisdom earned with the struggles of learning and bringing forth, offering guidance. This is the woman at the end of her life, ripe with experience. She is symbolic of wisdom, experience, change, transformation, and death. Winter is Her season. Working with the Crone is related to rituals which involve the ending of things...such as a job, a relationship, menopause.

It is important that during this cycle of our lives that we not allow our bodies to vegetate, but must continue to exercise in whatever way suits each of us. It is important for us to take the time to learn new skills and expand on the old ones; you are NEVER to old to learn. At 52 I became a certified substance abuse counselor, at 56 I got a bachelor's in criminal justice, at 58 I began taking my Druid courses, at 60 I became a Bard, and now at 62 I am working towards my Ovate certificate.

Each one of us must come to terms, sooner or later, with the Dark Mother or the Crone aspect of the Goddess, the winter of our lives. And each of us will find out that there is no such thing as eternal youth no matter how hard we may try to find it. Both men and women go through this stage when their hormones decrease and and their bodies begin to change. It is a time in life to look over our lifetimes with introspection, by remembering the good times with gladness and the bad times for the wisdom they gifted us with.

After yesterday's post, I was recalling a very sad incident that happened when I was in my 40's...I worked a 4 pm to 12 am shift and as I entered the train station I notice a woman who was walking along in front of me. She was dressed in a red fuzzy sweator, ultra-short black leather mini-skirt, fishnet stockings, and and stiletto black heels. Her crowning glory was her magnificent mane of golden blond hair which fell almost to her waist. And as she walked, I noticed that everyone, man and woman alike, couldn't help but watch her as she passed by...and now I was more than a little intrigued.

"Who was this woman and what did she look like? She must be beautiful...otherwise, why else would she be drawing so much attention to herself. And, I don't care what a woman says, we WANT to know what the competition looks like, so I sped up to catch up and pass her. And, I have to tell you, I was totally caught off-guard by what I saw. Contrary to my initial belief, this was no beautiful model/actress type; indeed, the poor woman must have been in her late 70's close to 80. Her face was matted white with far too much powder; her cheeks were like flame. Her eyelids were coated with a thick, caked blue shadow, and she wore a bright red lipstick which she had drawn over her thin, shriveled lips in an attempt to make her lips look large and pouty....And the poor thing was smiling from all the attention she was getting; you could just tell she thought it was the greatest by the way she was strutting her stuff.

I promised myself that day that that would NEVER be me, but, one day I realized that that WAS me....maybe not as blatant as she, but I was a woman who one day looked into the mirror and saw someone looking back who had not yet become comfortable with her age. The hairdo, a ponytail piled high atop the head, was a sharp contrast to the furrowed brows. The dark shadow and thick lashes only served to accentuate the undereye crowsfeet and dark circles. The red lipstick looked too sharp, too aging.

So now, at 63, well almost 63, I wear the minimal of makeup...a tinted moisturizer, a light blush, a thin coating of mascara, and a brownish pink lipstick. My hair is now mostly pulled back into a low pony tail and I dress in clothes more appropriate for my age group....And you know what? I feel so much better about myself now. I am not trying to be someone I am not. So, here's to all of you....the Maidens, the Mothers, and the Crones. Be yourself. Maidens, don't try to grow up too quickly. There is time enough for that. Mothers, cherish what you have. And Crones, be the wise woman life has made you to be.

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Goddess Parvati  

Posted by Stella Clark

Goddess Parvati Image
PARVATI is the Hindu Goddess of love and devotion. She is the second wife of the Lord God Shiva, forming a trinity with Lakshmi (wife of Vishnu) and Sarasvati (wife of Brahma). After Shiva's first wife, Dakshayani, killed herself in shame because her father had insulted Shiva, he withdrew from the world and spent his days meditating in a cave. At this time, the Gods had been driven from heaven by demons, and without Shiva, they were hard-pressed to defend themselves. The Gods went to the mother Goddess, Shakti, to find a solution. Shakti said that only a son of Shiva would be able to defeat the demons, and she volunteered to be reincarnated as the Goddess who would persuade Shiva to create this new God. Shakti was reborn as the daughter of Himavat, God of the Himalayan mountains, and Mena, an asparas or nymph, and was named Parvati, "she of the mountains".

Parvati quickly found Shiva in his cave, and brought him gifts of fruit and flowers every day. Shiva ignored her, partly because he found her dark skin unattractive. Parvati decided to try something different, and withdrew into the mountains to develop her own spiritual powers, hoping that this would attract Shiva's attention. She lived in the forest with no food or clothing and soon mastered her physical needs. Her powers grew to such heights that the supreme God Brahma took notice. After Parvati told him the story of her love for Shiva and his indifference to her, Brahma told her that he would grant her one wish. Knowing that Shiva disliked her dark skin, Parvati asked for golden skin instead. Brahma took away the darkness, creating the Goddess Kali with it.

When Shiva saw Parvati with her new golden skin, he was struck by her beauty and power, and agreed to marry her. Parvati, remembering the reason why she was incarnated in the first place, gave a portion of Shiva's aura to the Gods, which they used to create the war God Skanda. Skanda defeated the demons and gave heaven back to the Gods. Parvati, meanwhile, longed for a child of her own. Shiva did not wanted to be bothered with children, so he gave her a piece of cloth and told her to make a doll and pretend that it was her child. Angered and hurt, Parvati left Shiva to live in a cave, taking the cloth with her. Parvati's tears fell on to the cloth and it was transformed into the God Ganesha.

Ganesha's first encounter with his father came shortly thereafter. Parvati had asked Ganesha to guard her cave and not allow any strangers to enter. Shiva, regretting his actions toward his wife, came to ask for her forgiveness, but Ganesha did not recognize him and would not permit him to pass. Shiva grew angry with this obstacle to his wife and, not knowing that Ganesha was his son, beheaded him. When Parvati discovered what had happened, her grief was immense, and Shiva promised to find a new head for his son. He could only find the head of an elephant, and used it to bring Ganesha back to life.

Through all her ordeals, Parvati's love for Shiva never wavered. She is an affirmation that women can do whatever they set their minds to, no matter what obstacles they face. It is said that Parvati is the source of all power in the universe and that Shiva's powers derive from her. Variations on her name include PARVARTI, PARVATHI, and PARVATHY.

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Persephone Comes Home  

Posted by Stella Clark

Persephone Comes Home Image
ACCORDING TO MYTHOLOGY, THE "SPRING EQUINOX" IS THE TIME, THAT "PERSEPHONE," THE GREEK GODDESS OF SPRING, STARTS HER JOURNEY BACK TO EARTH AND HER BELOVED MOTHER, " DEMETER." EACH YEAR AT THE END OF THE WINTER SEASON, SHE RETURNS TO THE SURFACE OF THE EARTH FOR A JOYFUL REUNION WITH HER MOTHER. IN WINTER, SHE RETURNS TO LIVE IN THE "UNDERWORLD" AS THE "QUEEN OF HADES." PERSEPHONE" IS THE "GODDESS" OF DEATH, YET WITH A PROMISE OF LIFE TO COME.

Persephone loves helping her mother, "Demeter," cover the Earth with plants and seeds. When Hades snatches Persephone to be his wife in the underworld, "Demeter" will not rest until She gets her daughter back. "I" WILL NOT LET ANYTHING GROW", SHE CRIED, AND THE EARTH GREW COLD AND BARREN. HER SADNESS OVER THE LOSS OF HER DAUGHTER WAS SO DEVASTATING THAT HER TEARS FELL AS ICE.

FINALLY "DEMETER" WENT TO HER BROTHER, "ZEUS" AND PLEADED WITH HIM TO HELP FIND "PERSEPHONE. ZEUS," SITTING WAY UP THERE ON TOP OF "MOUNT OLYMPUS," WAS ABLE TO SEE WHERE "PERSEPHONE" WAS. HE TOLD "HADES" TO GIVE HER BACK. BUT "HADES" WAS SHREWD AND SAID HE WOULD ONLY GIVE "PERSEPHONE "BACK IF SHE HAD REALLY NOT EATEN OR DRUNK ANYTHING FROM THE LAND OF THE DEAD. NOW, AS IT TURNS OUT, "PERSEPHONE" HAD ALREADY EATEN SIX POMEGRANATE SEEDS. SO, IT WAS AGREED THAT SHE COULD SPEND SIX MONTHS A YEAR ABOVE GROUND WITH HER MOTHER, BUT SHE WOULD HAVE TO SPEND THE OTHER SIX MONTHS IN THE LAND OF THE DEAD WITH "HADES."

And so it is that AT THE TIME OF THE "SPRING EQUINOX, PERSEPHONE "BEGINS HER JOURNEY OUT OF THE UNDERWORLD. OVER THE COLD DARKNESS OF THE WINTER "PERSEPHONE" AND "HADES" HAD REUNITED, AND NOW SHE BEGINS TO HER ANNUAL RETURN TO THE LIGHT. DAYLIGHT AND DARKNESS ARE EQUALLY REPRESENTED AT THE "SPRING EQUINOX "AS "PERSEPHON"E HOLDS THE BALANCE BETWEEN HER TWO SEPARATE WORLDS.

"Blessings to all of you at this most special time of the year."

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