Lepa Mara means beautiful woman when she wakes up in March when the thunder god Perun, her father and the lightning goddess Perunika, her mother makes their first thunder and lightning together to open heaven’s gates in Spring for their daughter Mara. Mara and her Mother Perunika are symbols of feminine rebirth and resurrection of nature from its winter sleep into spring.
In the homes of the ancient Slavs there were small altars in the corner of the house with wax, amber or wooden figurines where girls and women used to offer sacrifices like flowers, ribbons, embroidered napkins, etc. A fire burns or candles here that could be put out only using your fingers, otherwise the peace of the house would be put out with it.
Mother and daughter also represent the feminine or female principle embodied of woman which are: The primal principles, the soul, the instinctual and intuitive, the feeling, the subconscious, the conscious, the dreamer, the seeker, the journey, beauty, attraction, desire, love, the moving force of the world.
Spring is the time when her future husband and twin brother, the mythical Green Man sets her free from a treasure chest and she descends from heaven in the golden bough of a mythical tree on the first full moon after the spring equinox.
She drinks dew and gets her strength from the spirit of the wind and her joy from the smell of flowers. She is tall and thin, has rosy cheeks more beautiful than a rose, black eyes like the thorn bush and walks making small steps like a quail.
She wears a white dress decorated with roses and stars, with golden circles embroidered on it, she has a crown of ocean pearls on her for head and around her neck. She wears a cape of flowers, leaves and moonlight. She is a sacred weaver goddess and an embroiderer, lace maker, knitter, keeper of the home fire, baker, inn keeper, shepherdess, coach woman, chaser of witches, medicine woman, poetess, moonlight, dawn, giver of light, love, happiness and fertility.
During the day she is a kind woman who sits on the branch of the mythical tree in the middle of Paradise or a flowering meadow and at dusk or during the night. In winter she is a woman whose together with her mother she is represented as an unknown, poor, fickle, proud, evil, cruel or ageing resident and ruler of the west or underworld.
Her mother is the Fire Lightning Goddess Perunika and is Baba Jaga/Luca/Roga/Yaga and the Lithuanian Rugiuboba who is the power of death itself. The mother is then known as Jagbaba, Jez(i) baba, Marzana, Mokos, Vodanojka, Zimna (”winter”), Zderacica (”devourer”).
When her great goddess mother was banished as the keeper of balance of life and death, by religious fathers who corrupted her and turned her dark, her daughter Lepa Mara then becomes a stranger, a woman from Arabia, Greece, Turkey and the poor Cinderella, changeable moon or moonlight, a proud girl or cruel Morana. The name Morana comes from the Indo-European stem ”mer”, meaning ”to crumble” or ”to die”.
Croatian words ”mrijeti”, ”umirati”, ”umarati”, ”smrt”, ”moriti”, ”zamor”, ”odmor”, ”mrak”, ”Mura” all meaning death or tiredness (Mura is the name of a river in Croatia) and where the river got its name from. Since the Christians took over, both mother and daughter are inconstant like the time of day or the seasons. Changing their form from fairies into witches, into death, who they represent as the fragmented soul or dual spirit of nature.
Before Christianity they represented the place in-between both darkness and light, white and black, clear and cloudy, summer and winter, plenty and hunger, medicinal and poisonous, health and sickness, youth and old age, love and hate, care and carelessness, morality and greed, fortune and misfortune, good and evil.
She gives flame to the moon, and when man lets go and changes, it frees her of her chains, she marries Green Man on a white whinged horse and shares part of her flame but never to give man all of it again. She is a golden apple from the Paradise tree and her necklace, the first morning or spring light helps her remember how men enslaved her and her mother.
Green Man in return gives her a golden ring and both enable enchantment and love and thus make all living creatures grow and bear fruit. On each young Friday, that is the first Friday of the month celebrations and rituals connected with the fertility of the fields, orchards and gardens. In fact Mary of Fire and Beautiful Mara, although they are represented as mother and daughter in the Croatian oral tradition, show the bonds between mother and daughter and how the family flourishes or perishes.
They are represent the plants: basil, peach, birch, lily of the walley, ox eye daisy, apple, strawberry, fir, violet, poppy, olive, lime-tree, rose, rosemary, dog-rose and plum. When they are represented as animals they are the dove, quail, mare (horse), doe, cow, sow, cuckoo, purple marten (in Russian vernacular an expression for the female sex organ), hen, swan, weasel, swallow, butterfly, fox, bee, partridge, falcon, otter, she-wolf, snake, frog and woodpecker.
Mara is both a spirit and earth goddess, like her mother. At the same time she is a kind sister and a passionate lover. She and her mother Perunika (Lightning and Fire) are goddesses of beauty, love, fertility, marriage, marital happiness and the house or hearth fire.
The Zorya are the three Slavic Mythological Guardian (warrior) Goddesses, known as the Auroras. They guard and watch over the doomsday hounds (shadow people) who threatens to eat the constellations of the Great Bear and the Little Bear (Ursa Major & Minor).
If the chain breaks loose, the earth’s time is said to end and completed and the dreaming time returns. The Auroras are the Morning Star, the Evening Star, and the Midnight Sun who are depicted as the goddesses Zwezda Dnierca, Zwezda Wieczorniaia, and Zwezda Polnoca.
Zwezda Dnieca – Maiden – Aurora of the Morning Star, a warrior maiden who opens the Gate of Heaven for the Sun every morning to emerge and bring the day light. She is the goddess of horses. A fully armed warrior Goddess, courageous in temperament in her youth. Slavs portrayed her each morning as the Sun rose just as the other pagan traditions of the world did with Venus. She is one who stands on the side and views death in battle, and her prayers were addressed as “Defend me, O Maiden, with your veil from the enemy, from the arquebus and arrow.
Zwezda Wieczoniaia – Mother – Aurora of the Evening Star, the great and powerful warrior Mother of the Zoryas. She closes the Gates of Heaven and Death each evening as the aged Sun God returns from across the skies. She is patron of protection and was, before the sun became too greedy, lineage to the shamanic cultures of her ancient people. The fullness of the night sky, its stars and star light, the falling and shooting stars of fate.
Zwezda Polnoca – Grandmother – The Midnight Sun, the Golden Baba (grandmother) of the Zoryas. She is the Zorya of death itself, keeper of the four seasons and one to whom the Sun God returns to die and who she gives life to again in the morning. She is death and rebirth, magic and wisdom, she the is the wise elder of the collective and the Night and the Sky Light and all its magic which belongs to nature. The warriors in battle fear her, for she judges not only their actions but also the wounds or bitterness in their heart. She opens the gates of the underworld to return them to sit and wait for their rebirth (reincarnation). She is closely related to Baba Jaga in prehistory (not pagan or religion’s views of her).
To read more about the Night Goddesses, Shamans who are Dreamers and the Mysticism of the Season of Night (Autumn and Winter) and the Midnight Sun: The Generous Invitation to the Marriage of the Spirit of the North’s Wisdom: “The Midnight Sun” Kolyadky and Auseklis
In the earliest prehistoric period Astghig, commonlyy referred to as Asya, Astghik, or Astlik, (Armenian: Աստղիկ) had been worshiped as the Armenian Goddess Deity of Creation which actually means Creator, later the sky light had been considered her personification making her a Sky Goddess. In later heathen periods, she became the Goddess of love and demoted to the maiden beauty. Astghig Creator aspect, she was origin of the Wind and Water Deity of Storms, Lightening and Springs.
The Vartavar Festival devoted to Astghik that had once been celebrated in mid July but was transformed into the Christian holiday of the Transfiguration of Christ, and is still celebrated by the Armenians. As in pre-Christian times, on the day of this feast, the people release Doves and sprinkle Water on each other with wishes of health and good luck.
She is creator of heaven and earth and the supreme goddess who birthed Aramazd, a father god (the sun being worshiped as his personification) and Anahit that had been worshiped as Great Lady and Mother Deity in more modern times as a Moon Being – worshiped as her personification, she forms the astral trinity in the pantheon of Armenianheathen deities. In the period of Hellenistic influence, Astghik became similar to the Greek Aphrodite which again connects her to Urania and the Mesopotamian Ishtar.
Her name is the diminutive of Armenian աստղ astġ, meaning “Star”, which through Proto-Indo-European she is the Night Goddess or Star Light that shines down on earth (Heaven Creator). Her principal seat was in Ashtishat (Taron), located to the North from Mush, where her chamber and Temple were. Other temples and places of worship of Astghik had been located in various towns and villages, such as the mountain of Palaty (to the South-West from Lake Van, in Artamet.
The unique monuments of prehistoric Armenia, “Višap” (‘Serpent, Dragon’) known as ancient “Dragon Stones”, spread in many provinces of Armenia, the Dragon Mother of Gegharkunik, Aragatsotn, Javakhk, Tayk, etc., and are another manifestation of her worship.
Goddess Aphrodite Urania & Pandemos – Greek
There is a double tradition of Aphrodite’s birth suggested as a basic duality in her character or the existences of two separate goddesses: Urania the Sky Goddess, Goddess of Heaven (Celestial Aphrodite) who sprung from the great divine and Aphrodite Pandemos (Aphrodite of All the People). Aphrodite Urania has immense energetic (weather wind rain lightening) power. Aphrodite Pandemos is more like the Venus we have today and seems to have been a goddess who inspired beauty, art and peace or concord among the people.
Dione (Demeter) was the Titan Goddess of the Oracle of Dodona in Thesprotia, mother of Aphrodite. The three old Prophetesses of the Shrine, are known collectively as the Peleiades, where her priestesses were named “The Doves” after the Sacred Bird of her daughter Aphrodite – who also possessed a temple within the shrine. Dione was identified with both the Titanis Phoibe and Dione’s Titan Sisters were similarly Oracular:
The Sky (Heaven) as Aphrodite Ourania; The Sea (Creation) Aphrodite Pontia; The Earth as Aphrodite Porne; The Underworld (Death, then Rebirth) as the Khthonic Aphrodite Androphonos (‘killer of men’)
Her mythologies regarding the time between her birth and her arrival at Olympus are not extensive: the classical writers speak only of her love for the Sea-God Nerites and of her arrival at Rhodes, where she was prevented from stopping there by the sons of Poseidon. From Evelyn B. Harrison: “Pausanias who was a Greek traveler in the 2nd century ce, lived in the times of Hadrian, Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius. He saw in the sanctuary of Aphrodite in the Gardens near the Ilissos in Athens an image of Aphrodite, that was square like a herm, with an inscription saying that Aphrodite Ourania is the eldest of those called the Moirai. The Moirai or Moerae are often known as the Fates, white-robed incarnations of Destiny.
Two statues of Aphrodite Ourania by Pheidias are one of gold and ivory in Elis’ and one of Parian marble in Athens. The attribution of that in Elis is more secure, since it is also mentioned by Plutarch as a work of Pheidias. The Aphrodite Ourania of Elis had one foot on a tortoise. Pheidias was likely to have used it as a deeper symbol of the nature of Aphrodite Ourania. Settis has explored in an extensive monograph the meanings of Ourania as an epithet of Aphrodite and the appropriateness of the Tortoise as a symbol of such an Aphrodite. He concludes that in the time of Pheidias “Ourania” designate Aphrodite both as Goddess of the Heavens and as the Goddess born of the Ocean, according to the Hesiodic legend, from the Sea foam surrounding the severed member of Ouranos.
Aphrodite was depicted with a background of a dark stone, against which the golden figures of the divinities who shone like stars. The dark color can have represented both Sea and Night Sky alike. We know from Pausanias that Aphrodite is coming up out of the Sea. Aphrodite is certainly Ourania, in the literal meaning of Heaven as well as in the manner of her birth. In attempting to visualize the Pheidian Aphrodite of Elis, scholars have generally started with a marble statue in Berlin, the so-called Brazza Aphrodite, whose raised left foot requires such a support as the tortoise would have furnished. A comparable pose of Aphrodite with the left knee raised is seen on two classical vases with Aphrodite and one with the Anodos of Persephone.
In my own work of the Goddess, I see the Sky Goddess & Underworld Goddess as one Goddess of prehistory which were the “seasons” of Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter. This was before separation of consciousness of the mysteries of nature (animism) and the feminine mysteries of the grandmothers. Early shamanic cultures of the grandmothers, later called goddess, expressed all divination as animals, birds, oceanids, insects etc. Later grew the human association of woman figures as goddess. The pre-dawn (time) Goddess is both “Sun Goddess: Spring and Summer”; and “Underworld or Night Goddess; Autumn and Winter.”
Plato: “Of the two goddesses, Aphrodite Urania is older, stronger, more intelligent and more collective.” The first inspires a relationship between the “lover” and the “beloved,” and in an ascent of the objects of love, leads to the love of humanity much like a buddha would be regarded. The cult of Aphrodite in foreign lands, Herodotus. Around the precinct live Phoenicians of Tyre, and the whole place is called the “Camp of the Tyrians.” There is in the precinct of Proteus a temple called The Temple of the Stranger Aphrodite; Temple of Helen, daughter of Tyndarus, because it bears the name of the Foreign Aphrodite: for no other of Aphrodite’s temples is called by that name.
Al-Uzza – Arabian
“The Most Mighty” worshiped as uncut aniconic stones is Al-Uzza, a Sky (Star Night) Goddess, associated with Aphrodite (Venus) honored by the Koreishites (the tribe in which Mohammed had come from) as one of their highest Goddesses of Heaven. She was reputed to accept human sacrifices, which in real terms, one made personal sacrifices (not human sacrifices).
The Culture of Sheba in the south of Arabia, present-day Yemen also worshiped Al-Uzza and her sanctuary in a valley on the road from Mecca, was comprised of three Acacia Trees in which she was said to descend. Some scholars believe she may even have been the Goddess of Mecca itself.
At Mecca the Goddess of rulership was Shaybah or better known as Sheba, the Old Woman, worshiped as a black aniconic stone like the Goddess of the Scythian Amazons. The sacred Black Stone now enshrined in the Kaaba at Mecca was her feminine symbol, marked by the sign of the yoni, and covered like the ancient Mother by a veil.
The Black Stone rests in the “Sanctuary” which originally meant the Temple of Women: in Babylon, a shrine of the Goddess Har, mother of harlots. Hereditary guardians of the Haram were the Koreshites, “children of Kore,” Mohammed’s own tribe. The holy office was originally held by women, before it was taken over by male priests calling themselves Beni Shayban, “Sons of the Old Woman.”
Al-Uzza is a member of the Nabatean Zodiac and has been called from their writings as the Queen of Heaven. She seems to have been the premier Goddess worshiped in their capital city of Petra, located in present-day Jordan. Petra was a major stop on the spice roads and was a very wealthy City under Al-Uzza. Tombs or temples are carved out of the living rock and the main way into the city is through a dramatic tunnel-like narrow gorge, nearly a mile long, that suddenly opens on to the city. Latin meaning of “Petra” is from the Greek word πέτρος (petros) meaning “Stone.”
When Theseus had united into one state the many Athenian parishes, he established the cultures of Aphrodite Pandemos (Common) and of Persuasion. The old statues no longer existed in my time, but those I saw were the work of no inferior artists. There is also a sanctuary of Earth, Nurse of Youth, and of Demeter Chloe (Green). You can learn all about their names by conversing with the priests.
My apprentice had a dream connecting Urania and the Sky Goddess to Tamar, the Georgian Goddess… “In Georgian mythology, Tamar is the Georgian Sky Goddess who controlled the weather. Tamar enslaved Dilis Varskvlavi, the Morning Star (currently known as Venus) who was master of Winter; whenever he escaped, snow began to fall, but annually she captured him and brought summer back to the land. She was an eternal one who rode through the air on a serpent saddled and bridled with gold.”
As I was looking for names associated with Urania’s Mirror again, because I have Urania conjunct my Mid-heaven and Pluto and “Noctua” was one of the names on the list of association star constellation cards of Urania’s Mirror. These are a set of constellation cards. Urania’s Mirror (32 cards) consists of: “Noctua, Corvus, Crater, Sextans Uraniae, Hydra, Felis, Lupus, Centaurus, Antlia Pneumatica, Argo Navis, and Pyxis Nautica.”
I decided to look and see if there was an asteroid and there is, Noctua sits at 18 degrees Scorpio conjuncting my 18 degree Scorpio Ascendant. How this plays out is even the most asleep athiest person, who has no contact with their soul or has no empath abilities consciously, are effected with the openness of my death aspects of a Scorpio Rising and the soul “energy of interior and exterior auric energy that is undulating” freely from me.
Ishtar – Babylon
Nina or Ishara was a water deity identified at an early date with the constellation Scorpio. The ideogram for Nina was also pronounced tt-ha, but the form s-ha-na probably arose by adding an Heaven to Esha, deities who had been identified with Stars. Nina is too strong to be rejected, and if Nana be a corruption of Nina the evidence is conclusive. The Sumerians pronounced her name as Nin-a, Lady of Waters, which survived as Nana, and Esha, Goddess of the Fish house, i. e. thejsea ; after the identification with Scorpio she became Iskana, Heavenly Goddess of the fish, a word which survived as Ishara.
Old Babylonian period Queen of Night relief, represents Ishtar’s sister Ereshkigal. The original Nin-an-na are the variants of Innina, Ninina, Tnnana, Enm m, and simply Nin, Ninanna, Innini, her identification with Aphrodite (Venus.) is similar. Ishtar arose a tendency to regard these names as connoting two deities. In fact a considerable portion of the pantheon was derived by erecting a new name into a separate deity. Prehistoric periods probably had these four names for the sister of Tammuz, viz. Gestin-anjaa, barra, Nina, and Innini. We have seen how Nina and Esharra became severed from this cult. At a time almost prehistoric the Semites. Invaded Mesopotamia, bringing with them the Cult of Byblus.
Goddess Ceres (Demeter) – Roman
She said, and forth she fared, trailing a cloud behind her, and passed to her Dragons, then soared aloft in her winged chariott. She left behind bold Sunium, and the snug harbor of Piraeus, and the coast that lies on the right hand. From there she came to the Aegean, where she beheld all the Cyclades; she skimmed the wild Ionian and the Icarian Sea; passing through the cities of Asia she made for the long Hellespont, and pursued aloft a roving course, this way and that.
For now she looked down on the incense-gathering Arabs, and now on the Indians: beneath her lay on one side Libya, on the other side Meroe, and the parched land. Now she visited the western Rivers, the Rhine, the Rhone, the Po, and thee, Tiber, future parent of a mighty water. Whither do I stray? ‘Twere endless to tell of the lands over which she wandered.
No spot in the world did Ceres leave un-visited. She wandered also in her Sky, and accosted the Constellations that lie next to the cold Pole (Star) and never dipped in the ocean wave.
“Ye Parrhasian Stars, reveal to a wretched mother her daughter Persephone; for ye can know all things, since never do ye plunge under the Waters of the Sea.”
So she spoke, and Helice answered her thus:
“Night is blameless. Ask of the Sun concerning the ravished Maiden: far and wide he sees the things that are done by day to her.” Appealed to, the Sun said, “To spare thee vain trouble, she whom thou seekest is wedded to Jove’s brother and rules the third realm.” (Jove is Juniper, the Roman Zues.)
After long moaning to herself she thus addressed the Thunderer, and in her face there were deep lines of sorrow:
“If thou dost remember by whom I got Persephone, she ought to have half of thy care. By wandering round the world I have learned naught but the knowledge of the wrong: the ravisher enjoys the reward of his crime. But neither did Persephone deserve a robber husband, nor was it meet that in this fashion we should find a son-in-law.
What worse wrong could I have suffered if Gyges had been victorious and I his captive, than now I have sustained while thou art sceptered of heaven? But let him escape unpunished; I’ll put up with it nor ask for vengeance; only let him restore her and repair his former deeds by new.”
Goddess of Lightning Fulgora – Etruscan / Roman
Fulgora is an active principle of a Star and Sky Goddess, her names in Latin means “Lightning,” “Flashing,” or “Brightness.” There is not much in the source material on Her. The only mention of Fulgora by name that I could find in classical texts was in Saint Augustine’s City of God, where he quotes the Roman rhetorician (orator) Seneca, from a work presumably lost to us. Augustine, who lived in the fourth and fifth centuries of the common era, was a North African Pagan (a Berber from Algeria, to be precise) who later converted to Christianity (after saying goodbye to his companion of thirteen years, a concubine he calls simply “The One”).
He wrote the book mentioned above, whose full title is The City of God Against the Pagans, then in vogue, that the downfall of the Roman Empire was attributable to the rise of the Church; much the same charge has been leveled in modern times (for example in the question, What made the Dark Ages dark? The answer to which is: Christianity, with its condemnation of the learning of the ancients) and I can’t help but think the ancient Pagans had a point.
Augustine quotes Seneca, who lived a good four centuries earlier, right around the time of the BC/BCE switch. I’ve no idea why the idea that some Goddesses were unmarried in the mythology should be so shocking, nor can I account for Seneca’s sarcasm, but apparently considers Populonia, Fulgora, and Rumina not of marriage able material. Oddly enough, both Populonia and Rumina are considered aspects of Juno, who are especially concerned with fertility and motherhood; perhaps he is objecting to the idea of unmarried mothers. Though given that grouping I find myself wondering, probably without reason, if Fulgora likewise might have something to do with Juno; Juno was, after all, one of the special class of Deities Who had the ability to throw thunderbolts.
The lack of mention of Fulgora, or evidence of temples or rituals to Her is a little surprising, given the Roman interest in the phenomenon of lightning, which they considered an especially important portent. Perhaps She is simply lightning personified (though the noun fulgura itself is neutral, not feminine). The Roman fascination with lightning was inherited from the Etruscans, who had books devoted to the practice of haruspicy, or divining the will of the Gods, said to have been invented by Tarkhies (Latin Tages), the Etruscan God of Wisdom who was born from the Earth.
Nowadays haruspices are mostly remembered for predicting the future by the shape of sheep’s entrails (especially the liver); but reading lightning was another of their specialties, and the Etruscan books concerning the art were called the Libri fulgurales, or “books about lightning-omens.” In a more official capacity, the augurs, a college of priests concerned with making sure the state was doing things in line with the will of the Gods, also read the signs, including lightning.
As an omen, lightning was considered an auspicia oblativa, an unsought auspice, meaning one out of the blue and not officially requested through ritual. Lightning and thunder were of a class of omens called ex caelo (“from the heavens”) and were the most important type; and if an augur officially reported thunder or lightning, the comitia (officially assemblies) were not to be held.
Lightning was recognized as several different types, which affected the interpretation of the sign: there were for example types considered “punishing”, “ominous,” “decisive,” or “boastful.” Pliny the Elder, who lived in the first century CE (and who died in the famous eruption of Mount Vesuvius) says in his Natural History that according to the Etruscans there are nine Gods who have the ability to send lightning, but eleven types of lightning, since Jupiter throws three kinds. (Though he also says that the Romans only recognize two Gods who sent lightning: Jupiter in the daytime, and Summanus or Pluto at night.) We know of at least seven Gods who were thought to throw thunderbolts: Jupiter, Juno, Mulcibar/Vulcan, Minerva, Mars, Saturn, and Summanus/Pluto (though besides Pliny I haven’t found anything linking Summanus and Pluto, so perhaps they are to be considered separately).
In the Etruscan system the sky was divided into four parts, with four smaller subdivisions; lightning seen in the eastern part of the sky was considered lucky or favorable, while that from the northwest quadrant was thought especially terrible and unfortunate. Pliny also says that only lightning that comes without thunder or noise is properly a sign from the Gods. He then makes the astonishing statement that lightning could be conjured from the sky by humans, if the proper rituals were observed; and that he knew of groves and altars set aside for that purpose. (Don’t try this at home, I feel I should warn.)
A place that had been struck by lightning was called a bidental, and was considered sacred to Jupiter. It was marked off and made separate, neither to be walked on nor even looked at, and a two-year-old sheep was traditionally sacrificed. A bidental was often given an altar, and a structure called a puteal, or “well-head” (which was usually used for just that, wells or springs) was used to cover the spot. The name is a little mysterious, though: it is derived from bidens “two teeth” and may refer to either the young sheep sacrificed, or to the forked appearance of lightning.
All this Roman fascination with lightning—what it might mean as message from the Gods, and the proper respect and rituals around places it has struck—makes it all the more odd that we have just a single mention of Fulgora. That Fulgora protected Her devotees from lightning is a not unreasonable supposition based on Her name. The practice of burying stone axes thought to represent thunderbolts at Roman sites has been taken as an attempt to prevent lightning strikes. It would make sense that Fulgora had a part in these practices, or was invoked in the sacrifices at a bidental, but we don’t really know.
Athene Noctua (counterpart to the Night Skies of Ourania) – Greek
In the mythology of ancient Greece, Athene was so impressed by the great eyes and solemn appearance of the Owl that, having banished the mischievous crow, she honored the night bird by making her the favorite. Athene’s bird is the Owl, (Athene noctua). This Owl is protected and inhabited the Acropolis in great numbers. It is believed that a Magical “inner light” gave Owls their Night Vision. As the symbol of Athene, the Owl is her protector. If an Owl flew over it means success in battle or victory over any issue.
The word “Noctua” in Latin literally means ‘Night Bird.’ Nocturnalis, from Nocturnus meaning ‘Of the Night,’ from Nox and Noct meaning ‘Night.’ In Constellation Astrology the head of an obsolete modern constellation, Turdus Solitarius, encroaches onto one of the scales of Libra, the one with the alpha star, Zuben Algenubi. Turdus Solitarius, the solitary Thrush was a constellation that was never widely recognized and was replaced by other birds, including Noctua, the Owl and the Hermit Bird (Night Bird). The constellation was located on the end of the tail of Hydra the Water-Snake, just below Libra. Its stars have been incorporated back into Hydra. Manilius says the Scales represent ‘Balancing Night with Day’.
The words ostrich and thrush comes from the same root, ostrich avis + Late Latin struthio, Greek strousthos, turdus and thrush from Greek strousthos. The Egyptian goddess Maat uses her ostrich feather to measure the weight of the soul (karma), in which a person’s soul lies in one and the ostrich feather of the Goddess Maat in the other. In earlier times, Libra is represented not by a balance, but as the Claws of a Scorpion, Scorpius. At first Scorpio’s claws were the scales.
The Zuben- prefix in the names of the stars of Libra is from the Arabic word for ‘Claw’. The Romans created the constellation, Chelae, ‘Claws’, a common Roman title for Libra, but as Ian Ridpath (Star Tales) explains the idea of a balance in this area did not originate with the Romans, it is the Sumerians who knew this area as ZIB-BA AN-NA, the Balance of Heaven, 2000 years bce, where the Arabs got the name Zuben. Hence it seems that the Romans revived a constellation that existed before Greek times.
Noctua is the only caelregio with two separated parts with the smaller part being Serpens Cauda, which is one of the two parts of the constellation Serpens. The two parts of Noctua are separated by Tarandus while the two parts of Serpens are separated by Ophiuchus the Serpent-Holder.
* Tarandus is named after the Latin word for “Reindeer.” This caelregio can also be called Rangifer since it also means Reindeer in Latin. It is imagined that Reindeer, although winter creature, does share a relationship with Eagle (Aquila). Reindeer wears the shield for protection as worn by Athena, especially from arrows of (Sagitta). In Greek mythology, the Little Owl is messenger of Athene, not Hermes or Mercury, for she is the Goddess of Wisdom and Nature, where the animals and avian are closer associated with Goddess Cultures. In later years, the Romans appropriated the Owl as a companion for their Goddess of Wisdom, Minerva as they spread the stories once associated with Athene and were retold in the name of Minerva.
The name of the owl in some countries are derived from Minerva, for example is Minervanpöllö in Finland & Minervauggla in Sweden. Noctula and Nottola, which the Italians give to bats, because they appear at night, as the owl. Italian influences: And like the owl… I am like a pelican of the wilderness, I am like an owl of the desert.” Aretino continues: ” ma si come un nottola – (i.e. bat); “owl” in Italian is ” civetta.” Dante uses the word ” vespertiglio ” (which also means bat). In Teutonic myth, its stated as Klag-Mutter – Owl, Woodwife, Owl-Mother, Witch, 1643.
Persephone – Greek
I sing of thee, Night Queen, fervent lover of the darkest lord; Iron Queen, unbending ruler of the dead; Bright Queen, removed from a mother’s shadow; Winter Queen, ethereal, smoke-born maiden; Infernal Queen, keeper of the natural balance; Motherly Queen, defender of the dying and forsaken;
Summer Queen, bringer of life and fertile love; Young Queen,champion of the lovelorn; Vengeful Queen, mistress of the fair Eumenides; Lovely Queen, bringer of moonlit magic;
Shadow Queen, savior of the broken; Child Queen, keeper of the earthly fruits; Patient Queen, unmovable in justice and honor; Ghastly Queen, lady of the shades of the dead; Eternal Queen, existing in the shadow-world; Persephone,bringer of light to dusky dark.
Various Sources: on the web, Evelyn B. Harrison, Wiki (major revisions of Wiki); Tammuz and Ishtar : a monograph upon Babylonian religion and theology containing extensive extracts from the Tammuz liturgies and all of the Arbela oracles”; Thaliatook.com; mirrorpalace.wordpress.com; Pagan Armenia at https://rentyerevan.com; Compilation and revisions by Phoenix and additions by Sarah Burnt Stone.
Additions by Phoenix of Elder Mountain – Word magic, ideas of magic as an alphabetical river, weaving a mysterious interlacing of mental characters, mental words and the mind’s spoken voice was adopted in the middle ages. This was how magic was marked by written forms of symbols that were much older and changed. Then there were the educated book rhetoric for profiting god(s), kingdoms and kings and for the seeds of prosperity and wealth.
Before the middle ages or earlier traditions there were no written words, nor books nor runic languages for spells or the casting of magic in the earliest pagan traditions. Magic was not something to caste, it was within the person and within nature to be touched and experienced. Its hard to understand a spirituality and impressions of magic that has nothing to do with power or personal empowerment, and from earlier millenniums into shamanic cultures before paganism, where its a birth rite of our Soul for healing.
Every modern pagan runs across the healing aspects of magic whether they do it for themselves when they get cancer and chose not to go to doctors or to seek a shaman who has healed many of their own diseases through self healing and natures magic. However we get there, there is always more to learn.
Aficionados of the culinary arts and herbal remedies, should also know that bain-marie, namely, a container which holds hot water into which a pan is placed for slow cooking, was believed also to be her invention and named after her. Ask any modern Witch about her own Cauldron and she will say it obviously must have been a woman who created it, otherwise we would have not carried into our modern traditions today.
The etymology of the word alchemy itself abracadabra, is complicated and still debated via the Old French and Medieval Latin, coming from the Arabic “al-kīmiyā”, itself derived from ancient Greece χημεία or χημία, also attested as χυμεία, “the art of alloying metals, alchemy.”
Preceded by the Arabic definition and according to one interpretation, χημ(ε)ία could derive from Χημία, the Greek rendering of Kmt which is the “The Black Land,” an Egyptian designation for Egypt under the Clans of the Black Vulture (condor or thunderbird) of the Goddess Nehkebet (Night) which represents our Soul, all birds represent our soul. So literally, the first most powerful magical word, means the night soul and its healing.
Nehkebet’s sister, the Cobra Goddess Wadjet is the Serpent Goddess (healing applied to the soul issues of karma). These are the oldest two symbols of the goddess on the oldest stones of the neolithic eras, when they ruled before the Pharaohs (pre-Sphinx and the first Pyramid society). People just automatically think the Pharaohs were the power behind the earliest kingdoms, they were not. They were women, especially Grandmothers who were shamans and chief leaders. It was only the invention of writing that weeded them out of existence and more control through writing could do that.
To demonstrate that magical names, often unjustly neglected and considered to be owned by a particular era or religion is just not true. The etymology of post-classical Latin Abracadabra has been the subject of much conjecture; no documentation has been found to support any of the various conjectures which have been put forward. Some have suggested an origin within Latin or Greek, e.g. as an alteration of abecedarius abecedary adj. with insertion of euphonic elements (e.g. -ra-), others a borrowing from languages as diverse as Thracian (a sparsely attested Indo-European language) and Sumerian.
A connection with post-classical Latin abraxas, Hellenistic Greek abraxas has also frequently been suggested, but the nature of any relationship is really unclear. A further large group of etymological suggestions tries to derive the word from Hebrew or Aramaic or even Arabic in various ways, involving, for example, an alteration of an unknown Aramaic name of a demon, or a connection with a Hebrew word’, but again, supporting evidence is lacking, and the uses of the magical word in Jewish sources does not seem to be attested before the early Middle Ages, or around the 13th century CE which is relatively new uses of the word.
Magic outsides the context of mind, mental body, paganism and even witchcraft is a different relationship to magic for those willing to begin anew as a soul and not “use” magic but rather… “be” magical in its natural forms, not mental form and let the magic come to you in nature’s forms, not human forms. For the directions and realms of the mental body has controlling aspects of desires, that are put forth and where there is desire there is ego and control issues.
Long time practitioners will tell you that the personal journey equals the magical journey and how they master their own issues and heal them, adds to the greater magic applied. Some are naturals when young of course, but karma is a bitch when it returns what you have sent out from being young and unaware of the 360 degrees, rather than 180 or 90 degrees or even the linear process of how the mind actually works. I think modern Chaos Magic practitioners try to touch on some of the more shamanic magic but they are prisoners of the mind and not shamans.
To touch real chaos, it is a development of behavior, of attitudes, of healing and of disciplines. In other words, the undeveloped nature of the higher self, living a lower or little self with the idea of the great power of magic bypassing real life. In the magic of the soul and of nature, it’s quite the opposite its an incorporation of real life of the natural self and the natural world, not the world of power but empowerment. Although the meanings that are embedded in our souls memories and soul remembrance are far deeper and older than the 12th century, more than formulated letters, runic charms or sigils and spells.
Even the root, older than Nordic and German runes are the Hungarian or Magyar “rovás” runes which is ignored by runologists, even when they discuss the possible origin of the runes. A handful of faithful Hungarians who try to show the antiquity of their rovás writing. When we move out of these written origins of mag we move into the breathing of the life forces into the world from one’s soul which receives the earths magic, natures magic from its own source.
Silence, Breathing or Whispering will connect with the energy of magic’s energy, as a still step into soul’s magic energy of what is around you. Its what around you that is more important than you. A little bit at a time without words, books or the alphabet if rightly told; surely the ancient belief that whispering, like the Slavonic whisperers is a kind of multi-dimensional loom of women who with their clan or nomadic families were ceremonial weavers before they every called themselves magic. All of this type of magic was dissipated after the 12th century mostly because of Heraldic Religious suppression all over the world.
Magic has its other realms, it has sight, it has smells of the olfactions and its formula layering outside the context of writing and runic writing into form, into image and into pure art (creative). Its our ability of human’s interactions with the in-between the worlds magic which is untouchable and cannot be owned or used for self-reasons, because its not based on the physical. It is the Clair-alliances, Clair-audience, Clair-degustation and Clair-sentenance forms of nature that come forth and make themselves present to you. Some call this the mystery and mystical experiences, I call that magic born not of the mind but the soul. For a human does not approach this type of magic, it approaches you and with it, a storm of the winds of a reality that no longer exists in a claimed way.
In modern magic (1000 bce to present), the transcribed, the scribes, the knowledge, the divination of priestesses, the symbolic or runic languages were created to bring word form into the right here. But in prehistory these magic applications were dances, song and a shamanizing action, sometimes with a drum and with the more rare, with the soul of the self activating pain. Interceptions actually created more power then for men during the pagan era, and then the original voodoo witchcraft for men (was to gain power through woman’s soul and womb as one) and steal her fire began to spread… the Hebrew Demon Bowls are proof.
There was a site that referenced abracadabra as “a word of Kabbalistic“ significance that was, and still is used for incantations. It was declared that when written, folded so as to conceal the writing, sewn with white thread and worn around the neck, your ailments would subside. Sometimes you were required to remove letters and this would further cause the illness to diminish.” Did this work? Well the journals do not give accounts to this experimental time on earth of who, when, where and what. So no, there is no accountable data for that.
To dive deeper, you can walk further into it, but the notion is hardly unique that the myth of the power of words and language has a heavenly effect, but more of a power and control effect. In Arabic, Hebrew, Sanskrit, Chinese and Japanese, there are dozens of mystical scripts and amalgams of marking alphabets or ideograms that are moved to talismanic objects equal to this one Kabbalistic reference.
Another reference is that the phrase is Roman in origin — with a slightly different spin: “from ancient Rome the phrase abracadabra! It’s likely a version of the Aramaic words abra (to create) and cadabra (“as I say”)— or “create as I say.” According to the 2nd century CE – physician Serenus Sammonicus, who was Emperor Caracalla’s personal doctor, said it was an incantation used to weaken the hold that disease or illness would have over a person.
Shamans who undo curses, or bind demon vampires, werewolves, witches, evil sorcerers or undo sickness of the soul, travel to the place of the sickness within the soul, with their own soul to cut the chords between the human and their demon. That is magic at its highest and full conscious levels. The mind has no jurisdictions here, except observation. When a dreamer (death shaman) consciously leaves her body with her soul (astral body) she has the power to slay the sickness or the persons karmic astral body (demon or shadow) and send it back to the underworld where it belongs and was freed by that person through shamanic plants, drugs, psych meds etc, either consciously or unconsciously. The unbinding then has really occurred. If abracadabra was written and worn in a container around the neck, it would cure something only if the soul was involved. This is the earliest magic of the pre-pagan eras, in the shamanic eras.
The earliest destruction’s account was a Biblical account, found in the history of Rachel. When with her sister Leah, and her husband Jacob, they left the house of her father, and the first connection of a female holding magic in her hand, was documented saying that Rachel was a thief. Of course when it comes to women, we know the hate of religious father’s hell pit of distortion and misunderstandings and slaughter of women.
Douglas Harper, etymological wizard, offers, “magical formula, 1690s, from the Latin (Q. Severus Sammonicus, 2th century), from Late Greek — Abraxas, a kabalistic or gnostic name for the supreme god, and thus a word of power. It was written out in a triangle shape and worn around the neck to ward off sickness, etc. Another magical word, from a mid-15c. writing, was ananizapta.
The earlier recollection than Kabbalistic reference, is that which comes from Egyptologist, Orientalist and Philologist, E. A. Wallis Budge, in a reference work on talismans and amulets, that the word meant, from the Hebrew — abreq ad habra —
“Hurl your Thunderbolt even unto Death.”
This is the holiest of its meanings and leaves the human teaching out of it, and goes further back into the goddess era’s of nature and natural phenomena, instead of human magic as a human creation. Nature at the root assists us and I believe the entanglement of our lives in our adult stage (not youth or elder) is what magic & meaning holds from within, extracted outwards and taking non-magical paths of learning which unfolds magic even deeper.
What lies beneath our mind and body is our soul, and she requires many sacrifices and humbling pain in order to enter her swirling realms of energetic information, the great spiral must first be walk, then limp, then crawled in libation to power humans cannot even imagine. In other words, at the greatest levels you suffer, are the greatest levels of your souls abilities. All this lays in the womb of woman and she is crippled in her maiden stages (0-30) and much of their adulthood is a path that requires healing in their 40s and 50s and sometimes even their 30s to reclaim what they lost in their youth. The magic of healing of emotions, not words is the medicines that heal her.
With all magic, even modern Hebrew (after 2000 bce), there is also the shadow or demon aspects, nowadays, such demonic forces of real living humans and their shadows may seem foreign to us, but in our culture too, often unknowingly, we still allude to shadows that keep us separate from our own shadow, such as the word “nightmare,” for example. “Mare” is not an evil spirit to suffocate sleepers by lying upon them, so if we move beyond these surface teachings, the mares are one of the shamanic terms that bring the dreams. In Slovak mythology it is said that we do not feed the horses with oats but water them with fog. This is a direct meaning of the shamanic aspects of horses which are the unbridled or uncontrolled nature of the emotions of living things and of water (emotion) of nature.
Amenta sometimes called Amente, is the Goddess of the Psychopomp, identified as Thoth, and identified with Hermes by the Greeks and later known as Hermes Trismegistos, and Mercury of the Romans, who is regarded as the founder of alchemy, hence, of course, the word “hermetic” in the sense of “esoteric, cryptic” but also, surprisingly, of “airtight.”
Indeed, the expression “hermetically sealed” derives from the fact that airtight containers were used in the Hermetic art of alchemy to collect vapors after heating substances. Such an early distillation apparatus called κηροτακίς and used by Egyptian alchemists was considered to be the invention of Mary the Jewess, a famous alchemist, said to have lived in Alexandria in the first century CE and who used to write under the pen name of Miriam the Prophetess, sister of Moses.
Sources – Ancient Anatolia (Troy) effigy of the Goddess Culture, Turkey; Many various writings on the web, wiki, etc. all adjusted and shamanized into a new direction, by Phoenix; One of the Magical Talisman (working) Stones of Baba Phoenix of Elder Mountain; Symbol Somugriem Emaljētajās saktās Ugunskrusts
Phoenix of Elder Mountain – Each new and full moon, I receive my signs and synchronicity just like you, and its how those of us, who take them much more seriously, guide a lot of our moon and dreaming path, in order to sharpen our focus and our intuitive nature as the years go buy. The second half of this Solar Eclipse (August 21, 2107) cycle, is this full moon, the more internal eclipsing and reflection to release what has surfaced. Eclipses always set off a cycle of seasons and half yearly seasons.
Water is a language of the emotional body and our many souls, regardless of how many souls are re-attained. These are the empaths, the feelers, the seers, the intuitive (not the psychic) because its the gifts of the emotional body and soul bodies, not the mental body like channelers, psychics and mediums experience. The water women are atoned to body and soul, not mind body.
There are water women who range from simple to the most complex and to the highest spiritual levels of simplicity. Not everyone will go pass the half way journey because the sacrifices are too demanding in loss and isolation. The mermaid and water sprites are the simplest of all water women, they are maiden regardless of age, and more group oriented. The nymph and rusalka are much more complex and fall into the adult or mother stages as water women who nurture and bring forth life.
The celestial water spirits, like Arethusa or the Goddesses of the Oceans are the grandmother stages, and can be attained as a water journey, if both their maiden and mother years were lived, experienced self destruction, healed the self through it all and then became free and forgiving to all. The journey of a water grandmother as a water being is the most difficult of earth, air and fire, for it encompasses almost all of the earth (the water) and its fluid yet destruction for purification purposes.
I had come upon the Lydian kingdom the past two weeks, which was an ancient culture in Troy (modern day Anatolia or Turkey) and Anatolia had appeared three times since the Solar Eclipse as a synchronicity. The third is always a charm for me when something appears. Its said that the Lydians of ancient Turkey were the first to actually invent money in the form of official coins. Running across Arethusa a few days later, I felt a strong pull with her essence and I know that somehow, there is a connection to do some weaving magic in my dreams at night, my waking life and the passion of ancient wisdom.
The city of Syracuse is located on the east coast of Sicily and was originally a Greek colony founded by Corinth in 734 bce. The city enjoyed a period of expansion and prosperity under the tyrant Gelon in the 5th century BCE, survived a two year siege by Athenian forces from 415 to 413 bce, and again prospered under the tyrant Dionysus in the 4th century BCE when the city controlled much of Sicily and large portions of southern Italy. Dionysus was the first ancient Greek to figure out exactly how to destroy the prehistory circle of woman, by luring the maidens with dark sex and drug/alcohol rituals.
Once maiden became unstable, she left the eternal goddess spiritual circles of mothers and grandmothers and the elder male stepped in to teach her the new ways of serving men as women and elder women. The seeds are so corrupt at the beginning that when women try to heal today, they must go back so far into their past lives to free their soul. That takes lifetimes of healing as the water women suffered the greatest and their gifts were then under siege and used against them, call magic or the mysteries of woman’s path.
Under Dionysus rulership into the temples along with the political cult of Apollo, and his teachings spread life wild fire all over the world. We call that paganism today at its root beginnings or its foundation from the past.
Arethusa of Siracusa (asteroid #95) has been one of my synchronicity that has arrive, and there is not much written about her. I find that interesting because there are so many coins with her portrait (a symbol of value), for such a random Nereid (nymph). I looked up both where Arethusa falls in my own natal chart and where she is for all of us this full moon.
Lets begin with the rising of the tides, of that powerful water and fire within us to move deeper into what holds us back and make our personal spiritual journey more ‘personal’. That takes courage to crash against the shore over and over to find the medicine or gems we need to feel at peace, to heal our self, to speak our truth and practicing healing or letting go of relationships that are abusive to us or tear our self esteem down.
ARETHUSA arose from her couch of snows in the Acroceraunian mountains; From cloud and from crag with many a jag, Shepherding her bright fountains. She leapt down the rocks with her rainbow locks streaming among the streams;
Her steps paved with green the downward ravine which slopes to the western gleams; and gliding and springing, she went, ever singing, In murmurs as soft as sleep.
The earth seemed to love her, and heaven smiled above her, As she lingered towards the deep. Then Alpheus bold, on his glacier cold with his trident the mountains strook; And opened a chasm In the rocks; with the spasm, as all Erymanthus shook. and the black south-wind.
It concealed behind the urns of the silent snow and earthquake and thunder did rend in sunder the bars of the springs below; The beard and the hair of the river-god were seen through the torrent’s sweep, As he followed the light of the fleet nymph’s flight, to the brink of the Dorian deep.
“O, save me! O, guide me, and bid the deep hide me, for he grasps me now by the hair!” The loud Ocean heard, to its blue depth stirred, and divided at her prayer; and under the water, the Earth’s white daughter fled like a sunny beam.
Behind her descended her billows, unblended with the brackish Dorian stream; like a gloomy stain on the emerald main, Alpheus rushed behind as an eagle pursuing a dove to its ruin. Down the streams of the cloudy wind. Under the bowers where the ocean powers sit on their pearled thrones.
Through the coral woods of the weltering floods, Over heaps of unvalued stones; through the dim beams which amid the streams weave a network of colored light; And under the caves, where the shadowy waves are as green as the forest’s night.
Outspeeding the shark, and the sword-fish dark, under the ocean foam, and up through the rifts of the mountain cliffs, they passed to their Dorian home. And now from their fountains in Enna’s mountains, down one vale where the morning basks, like friends once parted, grown single-hearted, they ply their watery tasks.
At sunrise they leap from their cradles steep in the cave of the shelving hill; at noontide they flow through the woods below and the meadows of asphodel; And at night they sleep in the rocking deep beneath the Ortygian shore; Like spirits that lie In the azure sky, when they love but live no more.
“The Syracusans seemed to have a special pride in their Arethusa. After all, her fountain and pool was in their city. Unlike the great pan-Hellenic gods and goddesses (Zeus, Athena, etc.) that could be claimed by all of the Greek people, Arethusa was viewed as Syracuse’s own unique Deity and most likely was the Patron Goddess before invasions. Furthermore, Arethusa was portrayed as noble, beautiful, charming, graceful and even stunning. Perhaps these attitudes motivated the Syracusan die-engravers to create numismatic art of the highest order.”
Goddess Nymphs (spirits of the earth, air, water and fire)…
There are two Arethusas, one who was the Nymph of Syracuse, Sicily and the other, a Hesperide nymph who live in the beautiful garden, situated in the Arcadian Mountains (Greece) and at the western extreme of the Mediterranean, near Mt. Atlas. In this garden grows the trees with the golden apples of Immortality. The Hesperides are Aegle, Arethusa, Erytheia and Hesperia. They are also called The African Sisters.
The Hesperides were the most famous Greek Goddess-Nymphs of evening and the golden light of sunsets. They were the daughters of Nyx (Night) and were entrusted with the care of the tree of the golden apples, which was had been presented to the goddess Hera by Gaia or Mother Earth. They were assisted by a hundred-headed guardian, a Dragon named Ladon, who would ensure that safety of the golden apples, even if they had gotten into the hands of darkness, would take vengeance if compromised, when that time came in the future.
This is because the Hesperides were also the keepers of the balance of Heaven. The nymphs and their glowing, golden apples were regarded as the source of the golden light of the humans who had reached immortality, and the symbol of that was the golden light of sunsets – a phenomena of heaven. Because the demonic forces of the underworld also must pay for their imbalances and destruction by tearing down the earth making it hell on earth, so too does heaven tear down the great forces of evil. This happens every 25,000 year cycle at its end of time into no time or dreamtime.
The etymology of the word Syracuse seems to have derived from “Sirokos” which means the Sirocco Wind, or from “Sirakousai” which means the “Salt Water” and some scholars, however, argue that the name is in reality of Phoenician origin, signifying The “Rock of Sea-gulls”.
Areth means “Waterer” and usa means “Essence” and together, she bears the great title of the Nereid who is the “Essence of Water.” Like fire, water is the great purifier and the great renewal of life. Arethusa is the original water bearer of the dreaming cultures, long before any Greek every stepped foot on earth. In her mere mortal goddess life, she was the daughter of Nereus and the Goddess Doris and it seemed that power was part of the essence of the earlier nymphs.
According to Greek tradition, Crete was also a Nymph, who gave her name to the island. The name Crete could have probably some connection with the words krato, -ein, “reign,” and kratis, -o, “strong, powerful.” Crete’s father was said to be the Sun God Helios and the tales about her origin and about her relations had to demonstrate the glory of the island Crete, showing it as powerful.
Nymphs were associated with the Spirit of water or land in a more celestial light. The Roman writer Ovid called Arethusa by the name “Alpheias”, because her streams are believed to have a subterranean communication with the River Alpheius, in Peloponnesus. Arethusa was a daughter of Siracusa (Syracuse), the ancient Mediterranean cultural place, which has vast archaeological sites, on the edge of their modern city today. Rare treasures of temples, amphitheaters and an ancient castles, on the Island of Ortygia which was a center of Greek, Byzantine and Judaic civilizations. Physical evidence of these three cultures can still be seen today and finds items that date back to 1500 bce. Prehistory Siracusa (Sicily) had lasted for a thousand years until Rome conquered it in 212 bce.
After the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the fifth century, it was destroyed and taken over again by Vandals and Goths, and the Byzantine Greeks of the Eastern Roman Empire took it in 535 ce. For a few years in the middle of the seventh century, the Emperor Constans made it his capital and then the Arabs arrived in the ninth century, converting the large cathedral into a mosque, which earlier was converted from a large Greek temple to Athena.
All of these destruction’s eclipsed Syracuse in population and affluence. Arethusa as the spirit of the sacred waters, sacred springs, lakes and rivers connects her more to the indigenous tribes of those thousand years. In her beginning story, she had to flee her home in Arcadia beneath the Sea and came up as a fresh water fountain on the island of Ortygia in Syracuse, Sicily. This makes her an actual “element” spirit or goddess, like the winds of Zepher, or the Spirit of Water and Fire, not a human nymph. Needless to say, Arcadia was important to her story and why she fled. Why do women ever flee, women know why afterwards, but not during their great flight.
The Arcadians were an ancient tribe situated in the mountainous Peloponnese (what is now southern Greece and later famous because of Hercules). It was considered one of the oldest tribes which settled the area, and were proto-Greeks, mentioned by the ancient authors as Pelasgians. It is clear that the Arcadians were considered as the original inhabitants of the region and Arcadia seems to have been a cultural refuge.
When the Greek Dark Age descended (1200 bce – 800 bce), certain gods and goddess became more in demand, and as patrons of Arcadia who are: Hermes, Psychopomp, Magic and Thievery; Pan (Dionysus), Destroyer of the circle of maiden, mother and grandmother through dark sex magic, intoxication and alcohol into rituals; and Atalanta, Daughter of the King of Arcadia. Why did Arethusa leave Arcadia? Most likely war and the destruction of the old goddess.
After her arrival to Syracuse, she who was the River and Springs Goddess, were given to the god Alpheus and she was demoted to Nereid. In Arcadia, in her clear stream and was bathing in the form of a human, not water, not knowing the river god Alpheus was watching her, he flowed down through Elis to the sea. He fell in love with her during their encounter, but she fled after discovering his intentions. She wished to remain independent and the attendant of Artemis who was the newly founded political goddess.
After a long chase, she prayed to her goddess to ask for protection, and Artemis hid her in a cloud, adding the element of cloud goddess of rain, moisture, storms to her story. But Alpheus was persistent, and she began to perspire from fear, and soon transformed herself into her stream form. Artemis then broke the ground allowing Arethusa another attempt to flee. Her stream traveled under the sea to the island of Ortygia, but Alpheus flowed through the sea to reach her and mingled with her waters. This short story of Arethusa says so much, not only on a goddess level, but also a shamanic culture level of the soul and its ability to shape shift. Since the Greeks chose to share nothing of woman’s powers, their gifts of the actual souls ability, small pieces of very small stories say so much.
Arethusa is on the coins of Syracuse, Sicily, which were minted between 415-400 bce, during Demeter’s search for her daughter Persephone. In symbolism, coins and money mean value or values, and combining that with her soul water element, it is the value of the soul that she had stood for before Greek conquests. For the soul is eternal, but needs the moisture of nature, love, stability and peace in order to heal or retain gifts of the soul, or to return them.
In one of her stories, Arethusa entreated Demeter to discontinue her punishment of Sicily for her daughter Persephone’s disappearance. She told the goddess that while traveling in her streams, she saw her daughter looking weak and sick as the queen of Hades. Arethusa’s most popular version of the legend as daughter of Nereus and Doris who passed her time in the retinue of Artemis the Romans’ Diana, Huntress and Goddess of the woods.
Herself a huntress, Arethusa vowed never to marry and be a priestess of Artemis. But these were newer stories, as the long-lived, beautiful nymphs maidens were usually associated with natural locations, such as streams, mountains or forests. But not the stream itself. Arethusa was a river nymph and her myth originates geographically with the River Alpheius in the city state of Elis in the northwestern region of Peloponnese.
Certain parts of this river, which empties into the Ionian Sea, passes underground. The message of the story, if one can be said to exist, involves more than lust, love or desire. It seems to say something about some woman’s need to be free and escaping judgment and repression emotionally.
The Arethusan Spring on Ortygia was a sacred place to the cult of Artemis. The Greek flowers that grew there were said to come directly from Greece, and it was said that a cup tossed into the Greek river would emerge in Arethusa’s Syracusan spring, which today is a freshwater pool. The classical names Aretha and Areta are based on the name of this eternal nymph, the ancient Sicilians’ protectresses of Syracuse. It has been suggested that the Arethusa’s underground spring feeds the mikvah of Syracuse in Ortygia’s Jewish Quarter.
For eight centuries the legend of Arethusa survived as part of the fabric of Syracusan life, just as Persephone’s cult endured at Enna in central Sicily. Their stories bear a striking similarity which may not be entirely coincidental. The cult of Arethusa remained strong throughout the Roman rule of Syracuse.
The statue of Arethusa laying at the feet of Artemis…
The coinage of Syracuse began around 515 BC and, unlike the coinage of other city-states, tetradrachms were among the first coins minted. The availability of silver to the Syracusan coiners was the most likely reason for the prompt development of this large denomination.
The silver coinage of Syracuse is interesting in terms of both its artistry and diversity. Arethusa was the water nymph associated with Syracuse. She was pursued by the river god Alpheos from Peloponnese to the small island of Ortegia, which is a part of Syracuse. When she re-emerged in the freshwater spring at Syracuse, she became the patron of this city-state which was dependent upon the water that surrounded it.
Over the next several decades, her head was enlarged to take up most of the coin while the four corners of the squares metamorphosed into four dolphins, re-affirming Arethusa’s status as a water-nymph. By the fifth century, the artists of Syracuse were experimenting with a multitude of different styles and images for the water nymph. Through varied hairstyles and different types of ornamentation, the artists achieved the greatest elaboration when they signed their work.
A usage of simple design and low relief mark the first issues of the fifth century. Arethusa has an archaic eye, a fleshy nose, parted and slightly upturned lips, as well as simply-punched hair that invites comparison to the immensely popular Athenian trade coins of the same time. Several years later, the artists developed a more naturalistic Arethusa with more realistic hair formed by lines rather than punched dots, a beaded diadem or laurel wreath instead of the modest linear diadem, and eye features that fill the voids prevalent in the earlier issues.
Astrological chart for the Full Moon in Pisces, within the Solar Eclipse cycle (Aug 21 2017) and awakens the great renewal and karmic purification.
Phoenix is a dreamer (shaman); folk healer; emotional body healer, wise elder, astrologer, energy healer, seer reader, and much more. If you would like to work with her, please write Eldermountaindreaming@gmail.com. Sources: Steven Roach was a PCGS intern in 1999. About the Author: Palermo native Vincenzo Salerno has written biographies of several famous Sicilians, including Archimedes, Frederick II and Giuseppe di Lampedusa; Tetradrachm of Syracuse Arethusa, 400 BC-classical-period coins; www.bestofsicily.com; Sarah Young’s Illustration of Arethusa. Hesperides and the golden apple tree, Athenian red-figure hydria 500 bce.
Our Elder Mountain’s video of the “Burning of Marzanna”, its a little long! Marzanna was put into the Magical pond here and she burned very rapidly, intense and fast this year, compared to last year. It was as if a wind whirl came, but there was hardly any wind to fuel the fire at that intensity. I then hung a Russian decorated Egg on our life tree afterwards… Spring is here and let the New Year (mother earths) year begin!
If you join us next year in making your Marzanna, the instructions are here and let us know your making one:
Slavic & Balkan Traditions: Marzanna (Polish), Morė (Lithuania), Morana (Czech, Bulgaria, Slovene, Serbian, Bosnia, Croatia), Morena (Slovak, Macedonia), Maslenitsa (Russia), Mara (Belarus, Ukraine), Maržena, Moréna, Mora or Marmora is a Baltic/Slavic goddess of the seasonal rites of death and rebirth of nature and woman. All prehistory goddesses associated with Grandmother stage of Winter’s death, then the rebirth of dreams and Maiden and Mother’s stages of Kostroma, Lada and Vesna represents Spring.
Blessings upon me from the Mother of the Moist Earth from whom my Soul and the Children of the Souls are all born. I take your hand as you are the binding that weaves the river into matter, into me. There is nothing false about any Mother Goddess and all she contains, she is the great Creator of Life, the Supreme Goddess of Humanity.
Great Mother of the dark fertile earth, who shines the light of the Sun, so we can honor all of your blessings and abundance. We call to you great Mother (earth), your names are Mati Syra Zemila, Mokosh and Matka, who guides your wisest ones to speak with the animals, the plants or even a single leaf. The greatest magic of the flower and the clouds, the spirit of the wind and the water, the snow, rain, fog and mist all come forth into your mystical children.
We breath in this magic, we honor your gift of prophesy and reincarnation, the house where our souls rest. Mother in our heart, may we, your children bring Joy to your gardens of love.
Image of the Goddess and Daughter by Katya Filippova