Asherah And The Tree Of Life  

Posted by Stella Clark

Asherah And The Tree Of Life Image
Asherah is the oldest of the Canaanite Goddesses; She is also known as Mother Goddess, the Giver of Life. She has always been associated with trees, and many of Her pictures characterize Her as being the "Tree of Life. "Her images have been discovered in temples, on hilltops, and in the sacred groves. She is often represented by carved or plain peices of wood. Her figurines alwayshave full breasts and many show Her with Her hands cupped beneath them... which is suggestive of nurture and plenty.

She is mentioned many times in the Old Testament, and we find Her named in the Book of Joshua as one of the "false gods" against whom the Hebrews waged war upon their invasion of Canaan, their promised land. Here, the Hebrews discovered a fertile land albeit with a thriving Goddess religion, so they set out to destroy it. However, this destruction was not always successful, and many aspects of Asherah's cult were instituted elsewhere...even into the Temple of Jerusalem. Many subsequent kings tried alternately to destroy Her and then to restore Her for many hundreds of years but Her legacy lived on...and when the people of Judah were exiled into Egypt, Jeremiah laid blame on the false idol. It was then that the people then spoke back and stated that it was wneh they stopped giving offerings to the Goddess that their troubles actually began.

The Goddess Asherah reminds us ot the strength and rootedness that can never be destroyed nor taken away from us. We can reflect on Her sacred groves, and the energy of the Earth will allow us to grow upwards and outwards. If we find ourselves feeling unsteady, rootless, or unsure of where to place ourselves, we can be inspired by the solid earth that is Asherahs' and by Her "Tree of Life."

"SIT OR STAND WITH YOUR BODY EXTENDED AND ERECT. BREATHE DEEPLY AND WITH A RHYTHM. FEEL YOUR SPINE BEGIN TO STRAIGHTEN...NOW, IMAGINE THAT YOUR SPINE IS THE TRUNK OF A TREE....FEEL YOURSELF AS TALL AND STRONG....FEEL YOUR FEET CHANGE INTO ROOTS...STRONG, HEALTHY AND DEEP....BRANCHES FROM THE TOP OF YOUR TREE NOW BEGIN TO SWEEP DOWNWARDS, AS A WEEPING WILLOW MIGHT, TO TOUCH THE GROUND BELOW. YOU WILL FEEL THE ENERGY OF THE EARTH PULSING AROUND YOUR ROOTS....PULL THAT ENERGY TOWARD YOU....FEEL THE POWER WHICH IS NOW MOVING INTO YOU...EACH BREATH YOU TAKE DRAWS THE POWER FURTHER UP, INTO YOUR SPINE, THE TRUNK OF YOUR TREE...THE POWER OF THE EARTH RISES UP TO THE CROWN...FEEL THE ENERGY AS IT MOVES FROM THE CROWN OF THE TREE DOWN THE BRANCHES, TO RETURN TO THE EARTH. "

"TAKE A DEEP BREATH. FEEL THE ENERGY TRAVEL BACK INTO THE GROUND...NOW, RELAX."

"BLESSED BE ASHERAH!"

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Persephone The Basics  

Posted by Stella Clark

Persephone The Basics Image
In Greek mythology, Persephone (also called Kore) was the Queen of the Underworld, the kore (or young maiden), and a daughter of Demeter and Zeus. In the Olympian version, she also becomes the consort of Hades when he becomes the deity that governs the underworld.

The figure of Persephone is very well-known today. Her story has great emotional power: an innocent maiden, a mother's grief over her abduction, and great joy after her daughter is returned. It is also cited frequently as a paradigm of myths that explain natural processes, with the descent and return of the goddess bringing about the change of seasons.

In Greek art, Persephone is invariably portrayed robed. She may be carrying a sheaf of grain and smiling demurely with the "Archaic smile" of the Kore of Antenor. Her Roman equivalent is Proserpina.

APPEARANCE: Persephone appears as a beautiful young maiden, just on the edge of womanhood.

SYMBOL OR ATTRIBUTE: The pomegranate. The narcissus, which Hades planted in a meadow to entice her to pluck it; pulling on the flower opened up the Underworld and Hades sprang out, carrying her off.

STRENGTHS: Loving and lovely.

WEAKNESSES: Beauty so ravishing it attracts Hades' unwanted attention.

SPOUSE: Hades, with whom she must stay part of each year because she ate a few pomegranate seeds in the Underworld.

SOME MAJOR TEMPLE SITES: The spooky Nekromanteion, still visitable today.

BASIC STORY: Hades springs out of the earth and captures Persephone, dragging her off to be his queen in the Underworld; her dad Zeus told him it was okay to take her as his bride, and Hades took him a bit literally. Hades was also her own uncle, which didn't make this exactly a myth of good family mental health. Her distraught mother Demeter searches for her and stops all foods from growing until she is returned. Even Zeus has to give in and help work out a deal - one myth says Persephone stays one-third of the year with Hades, one-third of the year serving as a handmaiden to Zeus, and one-third with her mother Demeter-... an interesting ancient balancing of family, spouse, and career. The better-known tale equally divides her time just between hanging out with Mom and then ruling the underworld with Hades.

INTERESTING FACT: Persephone is also sometimes known just as Kore, or the Maiden. She was sometimes called "the maiden of the beautiful ankles". While most sources indicate Persephone was not happy to be "married" by Hades, others assert that she ate the pomegranate seed (or seeds) deliberately, as a way of breaking free from Mom, and that she was actually content with the final arrangement.

Sources: Wikipedia, About.com

Art by Corina Chirila



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Goddess Medb  

Posted by Stella Clark

Goddess Medb Image
"MEDB" (SHE WHO INTOXICATES) ALSO KNOWN AS MAEV, MAEVE, MAEBH IS A CELTIC/IRISH GODDESS OF INTOXICATION. HER BODY WAS THE EARTH; HER BODY PROCESSES WERE THE EARTH AS IT CREATED. SHE WAS THE FORCE OF THE RUSHING WATERS, THE WINDSWEPT MOUNTAINS, AND THE FERTILE PLAINS. AND, LIKE MANY OTHER DEITIES, MEDB IS ALSO ASSOCIATED WITH DEATH AS WELL AS FERTILITY AND INEBRIATION.

IN THE IRISH MYTHOLOGICAL CYCLE, IT WAS MEDB WHO WHO WHO NOT ONLY SET THE CONDITIONS FOR KINGSHIP, BUT ALSO CHOSE AND TESTED HER PARTNERS... TEMPORARILY MARRYING THOSE WHO PASSED HER TESTS. NO KING COULD EXCEPT THE TITLE UNLESS SHE OFFERED HIM THE "CUP OF SOVEREIGNTY. SHE DESTROYS THOSE KINGS WHO SPURN HER AND HAS BEEN KNOW TO SEND THEIR WARRIORS TO THEIR DOOM.

MEDB IS A TRIUNE GODDESS WHO, IN ONE OF HER AVATARS, WAS ABLE TO ASSUME HUMAN FORM AND LIVE AMONG US MORTALS AS A WARRIOR QUEEN; IN FACT, MEDB IS THE MOST FAMOUS QUEEN OF IRISH LITERATURE. SHE IS OFTEN PORTRAYED AS A PALE WOMEN WITH LONG FLOWING HAIR; SHE WEARS A RED CAPE AND CARRIES A SPEAR, WHILE A RAVEN AND A SQUIRREL ARE PERCHED ON HER SHOULDER.

SHE HAD A REPUTATION FOR DESTRUCTIVE AND WANTON BEHAVIOR AND WAS THE DOMINANT PARTNER IN ALL OF HER SEXUAL AFFAIRS. IT IS SAID THAT SHE NOT ONLY INCITED MEN TO FIGHT, BUT FOUGHT ALONGSIDE THEM. SHE WAS SEXUALLY PROMISCUOUS AND INSATIABLE, AND IT TOOK MANY MEN TO SATISFY HER.

SHE LIVED BY VIOLENCE AND SHE DIED BY VIOLENCE. HER REIGN ON EARTH EVENTUALLY CAME TO AN END AS THE RESULT OF HER MURDERING HER PREGNANT SISTER, CLOTHO. THE BABY MANAGED TO SURVIVE, AND WHEN HE GREW UP, HE REVENGED HIS MOTHER BY KILLING MEDB.



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