Whenever you need anything, once a month, best when the moon is full and eight times more in the year, you shall meet in some safe place to celebrate my spirit , who am the queen of all women. You shall meet in freedom, and as a sign of trust you shall be open in your rites. Sing, feast, dance, make music and love, all in my presence, for mine is the ecstasy of the spirit and joy on earth. My only law is love unto all. Mine is the secret that opens the door of birth and mine is the mystery of life, the cauldron of Hecate, the womb of immortality. I give knowledge of the all-creative spirit and, beyond death I give peace and reunion with those gone before. Nor do ask for any sacrifice, for I am the mother of all things, and my love is the breast milk that nourishes the earth.
I who an the beauty of the green earth and the white moon among the stars and the mysteries of the water, I call upon your soul to come forth and arise and come unto me. For I am the soul of nature that gives life to the universe. From me all things proceed and to me they must return. Let my worship be in the heart that rejoices, for behold-all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals. Let there be beauty and strength , power and compassion, honour and humility, mirth and reverence within you. And you who seek to know me, know that your seeking and yearning will avail you not, unless you know the mystery: For if that which you seek you do not find within yourself, you will never find it without. For behold, I have been with you from the beginning, and I am that which is attained at the end of desire.
- adapted from starhark "the spiral dance"
The main 4 archetypes of the goddess can seen in the phases of the moon, the seasons, the suns daily path.
"Whenever you need anything, once a month, best when the moon is full and eight times more in the year ." the charge of the goddess begins. Ritual is the ceremonial act or a series of such acts. It can be a simple lighting a candle with reverence, or an elaborate as a casting the circle, calling the corners, invocating the goddess ect, or some happy medium.
Formal ritual starts with preparation of the tools, writings and equipment you will need. Purification of self: this could involve a bath with scented water, simple breathing meditation or even "washing" the smoke of incense over yourself. Purification of space is next this could be the sweeping of the floor (I have a special "witches" broom) or sprinkling salt, or playing some beautiful peaceful music. Creating sacred space could be as involved as casting a circle, and calling the corners or as simple as lighting candles. Ideas for invocation of goddess could be a mantra using goddess names or a goddess poem, or reaching towards the moon. Ritual observance, now is the time to celebrate the reason you are doing the ritual, (see below for idea's for each celebration) Energy raising for whatever you choose to do; healing, earth rites, prosperity, cleansing, guidance. Earthing the power is important to centre us and return yourself to physical reality. Eating and drinking is a good exercise, simple bread and water is fine, or laying on the earth and visualising the energy flowing back to earth. You could thank the goddess by saying " goddess thank you for coming to this ritual go in peace" or make you own thank-you up. To Break the scared space if you have caste a full circle you should thank the corner, and the close the circle, if you are being less formal you could just blow out the candles with reverence.
Moons- there are 12-13 a year full moons in a year or one every 28 ¼ days, ritual can be performed at just full moon, or at both full and dark moon. At full moon, to observe the moons power you could light a round white candle, or read a full moon poem or chant "lunar". At dark moon you could light a black candle, meditate and call on Hecate to give you guidance for the next month.
Suns- there are 8 sun feasts in a year:
Midsummer - around 22 December - Midsummer, Litha, summer solstice falls on the longest day of the year, and is filled with the abundance of summer. I have a Midsummer's night dreaming party, with fairy lights and music and laughter.
Lammas - 1 February - Lammas, Lughnasadh, feast of bread, harvest home, is the first festival of the harvest . I invite loved ones around to feast on food and I ask them to bring cans to donate to a charity.
Mabon - around the 22 March Mabon, Autumn Equinox, and the second harvest celebration. I have a pot lucky dinner, where every one brings there a favourite dish and the recipes, and then I photocopy all them and send them out with the thank you notes. I good time to take stock of what you have, spiritually and physically. A time to be grateful.
Samhain 30 April Samhain, Hallowe'en, feast of the dead, feast of apples, all souls night. Samhain means "summers end" It marks the final harvest, and is a day to honour and remember the dead. During ritual for this day, you could light a candle for each loved one that has past on during the year. May it's a good time to visit cemeteries, and go thought photo albums. Visit elderly relative, you could take out a relative that isn't as mobile a they use to be, I take my granny shopping in town, she doesn't like to take the trip in by her self. You could donate some time to a nursing home, reading to the residence.
Midwinter -around the 22 June - Yule, Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year, and we celebrate the returning sunlight. At this time of year I have a Yule feast with my friends and family, it's a good way to include non-pagans in your celebration, as Xmas at midyear is becoming popular. I put on a big feast, winter roast with all the trimmings, that big heavy meal that is too much during their summer Xmas, and I asked them to each bring a blanket that I donate to a charity for the homeless. A meditation retreat at time of year is very healing.
Imbolc - 1 august - Imbolc, Candlemas, feast of torches, Oimelc, Lupercalia, Feast of pan, snow drop festival, feast of the waxing light, Brigid's day, we celebrate the first stirrings of spring. I have a candle light dinner. I do a spring clean of the house, and get ready for the warmer weather.
Ostara - around 21 September - Ostara, Spring Equinox, Eostra's day. The day and the night are equal . You could invite the girls around for a "high tea" with plenty of delicious food, and gossip and giggles. The garden is an inviting place this time of year.
Beltaine - 31 October - Beltane, May Day, is a fun, vibrant holiday to celebrate the fertility of the coming harvests. I send this time with my partner, doing things together that strengthen our relationship.
The relevance for goddess spiritually today is strong and varied. We need her at a time went women's body image is squeezing in to a Barbie mould, we need her to reinforce the fact that woman's body are beautiful in all shapes and sizes. We need her when the world is at the edge of war, to guide us to make wise decisions that are not swayed by racial intolerance and ignorance. We need her when the birth rate in western countries is the lowest it has been in centuries, not because women don't want children, but because we cant afford to stop working to have them. We need her love strength and wisdom
" Goddess who cradles the world in her arms, may peace prevail on earth"
More details to any goddesses named above
|Artemis||Greece||Artemis is the goddess of the wilderness, the hunt and wild animals, and fertility. She was often depicted with the crescent of the moon above her forehead|
|Athena||Greece||Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom, war, the arts, industry, justice and skill. One of her symbols is the owl.|
|Brighid||Ireland||Brighid is a Celtic three-fold goddess. Known by many names, Brighid's three aspects are Fire of Inspiration as patroness of poetry, Fire of the Hearth, as patroness of healing and fertility, and Fire of the Forge, as patroness of smith craft and martial arts. She is mother to the craftsmen.|
|Freya||Norse||In Norse mythology, Freya is a goddess of love and fertility, and the most beautiful and propitious of the goddesses She is the patron goddess of crops and birth, the symbol of sensuality and was called upon in matters of love. She loves music, spring and flowers, and is particularly fond of the elves (fairies).|
|Gaia||Greece||Gaia, known as Earth or Mother Earth (the Greek common noun for "land" is ge or ga). She was an early earth goddess and it is written that Gaia was born from Chaos, the great void of emptiness within the universe. She gave birth to the Sea and the Sky. This was achieved parthenogenetically (without male intervention).|
|Hecate||Greece||Hecate is the Greek goddess of the crossroads. She is most often depicted as having three heads; one of a dog, one of a snake and one of a horse. She is usually seen with two ghost hounds that were said to serve her. She is said to appear when the ebony moon shines.|
|Hestia||Greece||Hestia is the Greek goddess of the hearth fire, hence presiding over domestic life. Every hearth on Earth was her altar|
|Isis||Egypt||She was worshipped as the divine mother-goddess Isis was depicted as a woman with the solar disk between the cow horns on her head|
|Kali||India||Kali "the black one" is the Hindu mother goddess, symbol of dissolution and destruction. She destroys ignorance, maintains the world order, and blesses and frees those who strive for the knowledge. Her appearance is fearsome: baleful eyes, a protruding tongue, and four arms. In her upper left hand she wields a bloody sword and in her lower left hand she holds the severed head of a demon.|
|Kwan Yin||China||The Chinese goddess of mercy. The myth of the life is that on earth she was known as Miao-shan, the youngest daughter of a king. Her father wanted her to marry, but she wanted to study, so she ran awy to a Buddhist convent. the king allowed this as long as she did all the work and cooking in the convent for the 500 other nuns. By magic the gods did this work for her, so that she could study. Her father, found this out, and, in anger, tried to burn down the convent. Miao-shan put out the flames. The king tried to cut off her head , but the sord broke. Finally he strangled her, and on her way to the other side she resisted the holy books, and the gods send her back, so that she could gain more wisdom, and they made her immortal. Her father became ill with an fatal disease that could only be cured with living human flesh, so Kwan-yin cut off her hands and then she was made whole again.|
|Mawu||Africa||Mawu is the supreme deity of the Fon (or Dahomey) people of modern Benin. (Africa). She is the sun.|
|Ostara||Anglo-Saxon||In ancient Anglo-Saxon myth, Ostara is the personification of the rising sun. In that capacity she is associated with the spring and is considered to be a fertility goddess. She is the friend of all children and to amuse then she changed her pet bird into a rabbit. This rabbit brought forth brightly coloured eggs, which the goddess gave to the children as gifts. From her name and rites the festival of Easter is derived.|
|Persephone||Greece||Persephone is the goddess of the underworld in Greek mythology. Persephone was such a beautiful and curious girl that and everyone loved especially her mother Demeter .When she was a little girl, she, when suddenly the earth opened and Hades rose up from the gap and abducted her. None but Zeus had noticed it. Broken-hearted, Demeter wandered the earth. Demeter was so angry that she withdrew herself in loneliness, and all fertility on earth stopped. Finally, Zeus convinced Hades to release Persephone. Hades grudgingly agreed, but before she went back he gave Persephone a pomegranate to eat, thus she would always be connected to his realm and had to stay there one-third of the year. The other months she remained with her mother. When Persephone was in Hades, Demeter refused to let anything grow and winter began. This myth is a symbol of the budding and dying of nature|
|Spiderwoman||Hopi||Spider Woman is an important mythic being among both the Eastern Pueblos and the Western Pueblos of New Mexico and Arizona. They taught the Navaho people how to weave, and established the four warnings of death.|
365 goddess - Patricia Telesco
The woman's spiritually book - Diane Stein
A compainion to world mythology - Richard Barber
The spiral dance - Starhark
Wheel of the year - Teresa Moorey and Jane Brideson
A Historical Detailed Approach
Compiled by The Wayfinder
Copyrighted 2002 by The Wayfinder for and on behalf of The Temple of the Way. All rights reserved.