Posts filed under ‘Deities’

Hreda & Eostre

We have very little info on the Anglo-Saxon goddesses (if they were goddesses) Hreda and Eostre. A while back this scholarly book came out that has some info-

Pagan Goddesses in the Early Germanic World: Eostre, Hreda & the Cult of the Matrons by Philip Shaw

Review by Rhiannon (mostly talking about Eostre)

From same book- Notes & Quotes from Heathen Chinese about Hreda

Molly Khan’s posts on Hreda- about the info written about her in Bede and another about her own UPG and another about Eostre

March 1, 2016 at 9:32 pm 1 comment

Irish Deities/Spirits

Tuatha De

Aine

Aine, Goddess of Midsummer

Knock Aine

Airmid

Angus mac Og

Dream of Angus

Boann

Brighid

Milk and Blood: Brigit and the Morrigan

Brigantia: tribal goddess

Dagda

How Dagda Got His Magic Staff

Flidais Foltchaoin

Flidais as Goddess

Tain Bo Flidais

Flidais’ Chariot of Deer

Goibhniu

Macha

The Dindshenchas of Emain Macha

Macha Mesrad and Heads

Morrigan

Nuada Airgetlamh

Catching Wisdom: Nuadhu,Nechtan,Nodens

Oghma

Ogma: champion of the Tuatha

Ogmios: Strong Persuader

Non-Tuatha De

Cailleach

Crom Dubh/Cruach

Donn- Tech Duinn

Lugh

Mannanan mac Lir

Solsdottir

Lairbhan

Tailtiu– Fir Bolg queen

Heroes/Legendary People

Cuchulainn

Fionn mac Cumhaill– 30 Days of Devotion

Medb

Scathach

Suibne

Naomh Damhnait (Saint Dymphna)

January 29, 2016 at 4:18 am Leave a comment

Morrigan

Articles (Scholarly/Works Cited)

The Irish War Goddesses by Saigh Kym Lambert

Fulacht na Morrigna (the Morrigan’s cooking hearth) by Morgan Daimler

Articles (Personal Insight/No Works Cited)

The Morrigan and Personal Sovereignty by Morgan Daimler

Ways to Feel More Connected to the Morrigan by Morgan Daimler

Books

By Blood, Bone and Blade: A Tribute to the Morrigan

The Morrigan: Meeting the Great Queen by Morgan Daimler

Morrigan/Warrior Bibliography by Saigh Kym Lambert

Not Recommended Books-

Feast of the Morrigan by Christopher Penczak- review by Morgan Daimler

Groups/Organizations (Note: I have put the more general groups at the top and the more priestly/dedicated warrior ones towards the bottom)

Call of the Morrigan Community– For anyone who honors/worships the Morrigan in any of Her aspects

Clann na Morrigna– Facebook group for all genders dedicated to the Morrigan as warriors

Ban gaiscedach na Morrigna–  Facebook group for women (trans-inclusive) dedicated to the Morrigan as warriors

Coru Cathubodua: A Morrigan Priesthood- accepts people of all genders who wish to dedicate themselves to Her service.

January 29, 2016 at 3:56 am 1 comment

The Tale of Danu: Part 1

Early Celtic scholars- we need a coherent genealogy for the Tuatha De

Medieval Irish texts: Ha ha! That’s not gonna happen

Early Celtic scholars- We need a mother goddess. A mother of the whole tribe of gods.

Medieval Irish texts: Eh, that’s not really there…lots of ladies of sovereignty, river goddesses

Some scholars be all “Vedic everything! Indo-European studies! Everything Celtic must have a Vedic connection!” So Danu, the Vedic river goddess- her name is linguistically connected to the Danube river, and the Welsh Don

Medieval Welsh texts: Don, who’s also an abstract motherly figurehead?

Early scholars- Shutup, texts! We get to decide how to interpret you. So we’re going with it, Tuatha De Danann, people of the goddess Danu. We also need a daddy figure- this Bile guy will do.

Other scholars- Or is that People of Skill/Arts- as in the Aes Dana, the skilled class? Bile who?

Revival & Neo-Pagan Druids- Eh, we’ll go with it! We need, like a Celtic Gaia.

Goddess-worshippers- All Hail the Great Mother Danu! Who is also Brighid, the Morrigan and any other strong female character in myth we think is cool.

Later scholars- There’s a mother of the three sons of Tuireann- Brian, Iuchar & Iucharba, the Gods of Skill- Danann.

October 22, 2015 at 7:26 am Leave a comment

Lugh

Note that some of these articles are solely about the Irish Lugh Lamfada, others also compare him to the Welsh Lleu and Gaulish Lugus. I’ll leave it up to the reader to determine whether the three are ultimately the same or not- it’s probably beyond our knowing, as mortals.

General overview

The Nature & Character of Lugh by Tressa Disney (Ozark Pagan Mamma)

Specifics

What’s in a name: Lugh

Family Members

Tales of Eithliu– Story Archaeology podcast, Notes on Eithliu– Yew, Oak, Apple blog

The Women Lugh Wed, The Marriages of Lug– Yew, Oak, Apple blog

Pan-Celtic

Lugus: The Many-Gifted Lord by Alexei Kondratiev

Gaulish

Lugus by Segomaros Widugeni

Comparison to non-Celtic cultures

The Birth of Lugh– Odin & Loki Among the Celts by Thor Ewing

 

 

July 21, 2015 at 8:19 am 3 comments

Tailtiu

Last Queen of the Fir Bolg (the people pre-dating both the Tuatha De Danaan & the Fomhoire. She died of exhaustion while clearing a forest for agriculture. Her foster-son, Lugh began the tradition of holding funeral games in her honor.

Family members: father- Mag Mor, husband- Eochaid, Foster-son- Lugh

Sacred Places- Teltown in County Meath

Sacred Days: Bron Trogain (August 1)

Since there is not much info on this Lady, I’ve included articles that are more personal inspiration-based- use these to connect with Her, and develop your own imbas.

Literary Sources

Metrica Dindshenchas

Articles

Tailtiu: Harvest Goddess– Overall, good info- but with some speculation

How I came to Love Tailtiu, Earth Goddess of Ireland , Part 2 by Shiri Sazynski- Historical info & personal experience

Tailtiu, Primal Earth Goddess for this Season

July 11, 2015 at 1:59 am 2 comments

Holda, Lady of Hearth & Spindle

I have been learning about a mysterious and fascinating goddess this past year, in my studies of Urglaawe, the Deitsch tradition of Heathenry. Frau Holle or Holda is the chief goddess of the Urglaawe pantheon, and is believed to have led the Deitsch people to the New World. You won’t find her listed in most books or websites on Asatru, as she is specifically a German goddess, appearing as a witch or a lady in white in fairy tales to teach young girls the value of hard work, how to spin and keep the house clean, or teaching a man how to plant and grow flax. Perhaps it is due to her closeness to the home and her protective and teaching role she takes with humanity, that she lived on in folk memory and now can reclaim her rightful place as a goddess.

Frau Holle makes it snow by shaking her feather bed, and her bird is the goose, whose feathers keep the bed warm. It has been suggested that the figure of Mother Goose can be traced back to her. She is the leader of the Wild Hunt, by herself or perhaps sharing the duty with Woden, who may be her consort. She may be the same as Frigg. She oversees childbirth and protects children, and watches over children who die young. Because of this death association, some see her as the same as Hela, but the Urglaawe folk I have talked have asserted that she is not. She is the mistress of magic, especially the patroness of kitchen witches.

References:

Frau Holle- fairy tale from Brothers Grimm

From Fairy Tale to Goddess: Frau Holle and the Scholars Who Reveal Her Origins by Cat Heath

Perchta/Berchta

Rituals:

Winternights Ceremony to Frau Holle

Interesting Blog posts (sources not cited)

Frau Holle from the Urglaawe Perspective– interpretation of the fairy tale

Faces of the Golden Queen– American Folkloric Witchcraft

Question: Frau Holle, Skadi and Hel on grumpylokeanelder’s tumblog

Winter Goddesses– thoughts on Holda, Perchta & Baba Yaga from Dver

Beth identifies Frau Holle with Bestla, the mother of Odin

January 18, 2015 at 7:13 pm 3 comments

More Writing Collaboration Requests (Blogs & Books)

There’s getting to be so many of these CFS’s I made a page for reference for the books. Please comment if you know of any others!

From Kvasir Among the Gods:

“I am going to be engaging in something similar to those “30 Days of Devotion” things that are going around.  I’ve fleshed out some of the questions I intend to use, and I’ve also taken inspiration from some of the memes of other bloggers.  My plan, however, is not to start with a script of thirty days worth of questions.  Instead, I’m looking to have about twenty question (or so) related to devotional work, philosophy, worship, and spirituality…and the rest will be questions I answer from any readers and/or peers who care to post them.  If I get less than thirty, I’ll still have the chance to charge my batteries and restore my focus.  If I end up with more than thirty, I’m just help to contribute to the dialogue surrounding devotional practices.  Either way, it’s a net positive.  I’m looking to help myself expand my spiritual horizons and, at the same time, get some respite from all of the horrific, soul-sucking news that’s going on in the realm of current events.  I want to re-immerse myself in my spirituality, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that my devotional work took a downward spiral while I was so focused on the headlines.

So in the comments below, post some of your favorite devotional/worship/spirituality based questions.  Ones that you have struggled with, ones that you think are at the core of spirituality itself, or things that you just want to see be talked about more.  If you think of some after I start, feel free to post them as well…in any of the posts with “The Days of Devotion” as a category, for ease of organization.  If you are a blogger yourself, perhaps you can answer your own question as well.  Better yet, I’ll be posting the initial schedule a day or two before I begin and it’ll be adjusted with any needed updates.  So if you want to repeat this entire meme later or even participate in it along side of me, you’ll be able to do so.  Devotional rumination for it’s own sake, on a community based level, can be a potent force…and if I (or we) can help recharge the batteries of others along the way, all the better.

This suggestion is not limited to Northern European/Heathen based Polytheism either; if the project sounds worthwhile to you, and you are a devotionally engaged, Polytheist of any sort, feel free to join in!  There is nothing wrong with taking a moment to remind yourself that the world is still a potentially beautiful place in spite of all of the despicable nonsense that occurs around us.  I’ve been focusing a lot on the former lately, and I feel that it is high time to take a moment for some of the later.

More details to come, so stay tuned!”

From Nornoriel: “My awesome colleague at Staff of Asclepius at Patheos, CJ Blackwood, has a WordPress blog entitled The Crimson Crescent and is seeking contributions within the community from feminist witches (can be Dianic, non-Dianic, also do not have to be women or assigned female at birth to contribute, blog is trans-friendly) on where feminism and witchcraft/paganism intersect.  I support this project and I figure of the 1100 of you who follow this blog now, someone’s got to find this relevant to their interests and have something to contribute.”

Wytch of the North: Call for Submissions: Mask of the High One, a Devotional Anthology for Odin- Submissions will close on May 1st, 2015. As far as I am able, I want to make this book a true reflection of some of Odin’s countless masks (both historical and modern), His relationships with His devotees, and the myriad ways in which He inspires and changes people’s lives. To that end, I am interested in all of the following: personal anecdotes and gnosis/doxa, original retellings of myths, prayers, songs, scholarly articles, essays, hymns, poems, artwork (clear black and white images or black and white photographs, please!), spellwork, recipes (for food and drink offerings, incense, oils, baths, etc.), sacred fiction (no erotica, please; I don’t necessarily find this disrespectful as such, but it is one of the few boundaries I wish to maintain in this book), and rituals celebrating Odin and His Family. (Pieces touching on His relationships with Frigga, Balder, Loki, Gunnlod, Bragi, and Bestla are especially welcomed.)

Call for Submissions for book on basics of different Pagan traditions

We would like to hear from founders and leaders of as many different traditions and organizations, established and brand new, as possible.

 Deadline for submissions is March 1, 2015.

By no means can we capture a portrait of every Pagan path. What we are trying to do is give aspiring and knowledgeable Pagans alike a springboard for proceeding with their studies, with information and stories from a wide selection of Pagan traditions.

We are looking specifically for articles and stories from tradition/organization leaders and founders as well as other leaders who have a wider view of the Pagan landscape.

 

September 1, 2014 at 2:29 am 2 comments

Gods of Hollywood vs. Gods of Asgard

I wrote the previous post to survey what all is included in the large umbrella category of “Pop Culture Paganism” and what within it I personally find to be of interest. That does not mean I am giving my stamp of approval on every type of PCP-ism that exists and everything that each PC Pagan says or does. That would silly. Heck, even in more specific traditions/organizations I belong to like ADF, I certainly don’t agree with all of my co-religionists on everything and share all their individual beliefs and practices. 

Anyway, Lovemydane brought up an issue that is a major point of contention among the Asatru/Heathen community- the depiction of Thor, Loki, Odin et al. in Marvel comics.  I haven’t read any of the Thor comics or seen any of the movies so I can’t comment on them too directly. However, I do enjoy watching Oh My Goddess! an anime series (based on manga) that draws inspiration from Norse mythology. The main character, Belldandy (Japanese rendering of Verdandi) works for a “Goddess Help Line” which is accidently dialed by Keiichi Morisato, a shy college student. Belldandy appears in his dorm room and tells him that she will grant him any wish he makes. Befuddled by this gorgeous woman claiming to be a goddess, he thinks it’s a joke and wishes that she will stay be his side forever. She stays on Earth, realizing that she has created a contract with him that she is bound to fulfill. Later her sisters, Urd and Skuld show up.

Those of you who are familiar with Norse mythology know these three sisters as the Norns, the powerful Goddesses who decide the fates and  of humans by measuring and cutting the thread of life- and Wyrd. The cosmology of Oh My Goddess! is very different from Norse cosmology, and bears an obvious influence from Christianity- the universe is divided into Heaven, Earth and Hell, Verdandi, Skuld and Urd and others are under the authority of the Allmighty One (Odin- with some Jehovah influences) whereas in Norse myth, there are 9 worlds, and Odin, while powerful cannot determine Wyrd as the Norns can. Likewise, in Greek mythology Zeus is subject to the power of the Fates/Moirae. Watching this anime is just a form of entertainment, a purely secular activity though I find it interesting and fun to compare with what I know of Norse mythology. 

So, what if someone were to watch Oh My Goddess! and decide that they want to worship Belldandy, the character as a goddess. Would that be a problem? Well that depends. If they decided to completely base a religious practice off of the show and manga, it could be a rather unbalanced and shallow practice, because the media are designed to entertain, not to do all the things religions are intended to do. But that would be a problem for that one individual and would not really be anyone else’s business. Now if this person decided that Belldandy was the same as Norse myth Verdandi, and Oh My Goddess! cosmology/laws of the universe trumped Norse mythology, and was more “real”, “valid” and called themselves a Heathen/Asatruar and came into a Heathen forum, or offline in-person blot with all of these ideas, or tried to explain to the public (or just their friends/family) that what they’re doing is actual Heathenry, then yeah. Those would all be major ethical violations of Heathen community norms of piety and hospitality and we would be right to be offended. 

  On the other hand, there some people who initially come across Norse or Greek mythology references in pop culture and get interested in learning about the originals. It might just remain an intellectual/aesthetic interest for them or it might develop into a religious practice. If they come into a forum and mention that their interest was piqued by Hercules, Xena or Marvel comics, we shouldn’t attack them for it, but we should check to make sure they understand the difference. In works of fiction that draw on history, people will often put in a disclaimer that this is a work of fiction and not historically accurate. However they do not have that responsibility with mythology. (This movie not approved by Homer or Snorri Sturlson!) We can be offended when they get our mythology “wrong” but I think it’s better to just see as a different, alternate mythology. 

So if you want to worship a pop culture version of a deity, do you have ethical responsibilities to a community that worships a more traditional form of the deity? (Which you may or may not see as the same being, but they probably don’t) Yes, you do. You have the responsibility to not misrepresent yourself or your religious practice to the general public, the Pagan public and that specific community. As long as you do that, the more traditionally-minded polytheists ought to leave you alone. 

For more on the Marvel Thor issue:

Worse than Breasts & Melanin by Kvasir amongst the Gods

August 15, 2014 at 9:42 pm 1 comment

Prometheus

Prometheus is a Titan, the son of Iapetos and Klymene.

In the war between the Titans and the Olympians, Prometheus (his name means “foresight”) knew that the Olympians would win, so he convinced his brother Epimetheus to join him in siding with them. Prometheus created humans out of clay. Later he noticed that humans were cold on earth, and feeling compassion for them,  he decided to steal fire from Olympus to share with them. In punishment, he was chained to Mt. Parnassus, and every day an eagle would come and eat his liver. Every night his liver would grow back, in a cycle of endless torture. Finally his agony was ended when he was freed by Herakles, and apparently by that point Zeus had gotten over it- or maybe it was because it was his son that was freeing him?

I tend to think of Prometheus as a patron of reason, free-thinking and humanism- which may seem contradictory, but as I’ve stated before humanism does not necessarily exclude theism. I also associate the flaming chalice symbol of Unitarian Universalism with him- it represents the torch of civilization being passed on and the light of reason. Prometheus reminds as we revere the gods to not forget about humanity. He inspires us to challenge unjust authority, while his story warns us that rebellion does come at a cost.

Theoi article on Prometheus

Speculation on Reddit: Were the Titans the gods of a pre-Greek society that was supplanted?

Origin of the Flaming Chalice as a symbol of UU-ism

Threads on the Cauldron Forum: Honoring Prometheus, Experiences Honoring Prometheus?

August 1, 2014 at 8:26 pm 5 comments

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