Mighty Aphrodite!

The Goddess Aphrodite aka VenusMighty Aphrodite!
Aphrodite is the Goddess of Love and Sexual Desire. Her role as the goddess of love was to make love and inspire others to so as well. Aphrodite’s Roman name is Venus, and she is known as the Greek Goddess of love, desire, beauty, fertility, the sea, and vegetation. It is said that when Cronus was castrated by Uranus, and his part was thrown into the sea, Aphrodite was thus born and arose on a large shell, which was then carried to land, thus her name being translated “foam-risen”.

     Aphrodite’s tree is the myrtle, and her bird(s) are the swan, the sparrow, and sometimes the dove.

Aphrodite is thought to be a West Asian goddess brought to Greece -and Greek myth-by sea-traders.

     The sea nymphs dressed her and adorned her with flowers and gold. She now represents Erotic Love as a form of Divine influence, which has resulted in many men becoming capable of falling in love with her. There are many other tales of Aphrodite, as her Roman name is Venus, she is also known as the daughter of Zeus and Dione.

In Homeric legend Aphrodite was forced to marry…|

the ugly god of fire, Hephaestus, with this marriage, she had hoped to reach the freedom she needed instead of being controlled. Aphrodite was very independent and constantly in search for a new lover.
One of her more familiar lovers was Ares, the god of war, whom she later married. Aphrodite felt no pain in being deceitful, as she flourished in the fact that she could have anyone and everyone, love and admire her. Aphrodite has had many miscellaneous children as a result of her whimsical affairs, but a few of her more familiar ones are, Eros (god of Love), Rhodos, Herophilus, Hermaphroditus, Priapus, and Aneas. We can remember Aneas as the founder of Rome. Aneas had fled Troy when it was destroyed, accompanied by his son. He traveled far and wide, lived and heard many tales of the past and the future, until he found Rome and claimed it.
Aphrodite’s more admired child is Eros. Eros or the Roman Cupid. Eros (Cupid) means desire, for Eros is the god of Love. Just as Aphrodite was married to an ugly god, Hephaestus, she had her son follow in similar footsteps. Eros was in love with Psyche, a beautiful princess. Except Psyche was a mortal, and Aphrodite hated her for her beauty. Aphrodite had Eros persuade Psyche to fall in love with a monster (Eros really), so he hid his identity from her, for she believed him to be hideous. She would only see him at night, as Eros kept her hidden away from all people. One night, Psyche’s curiosity got the best of her, and she looked upon Eros by candlelight as he slept. Eros was so enraged by her spying that he left her to wander the world in misery, but he knew that his love for her was too strong. He begged Zeus to change her to an immortal, and they were finally married. We see Eros today as the symbol of love on Valentines Day, and other sweetheart moments. Many of the portraiture of Aphrodite is recognizes by the image of Eros by her side, such as Venus, Cupid, Folly and Time by Bronzino.
Legends
The most famous legend of Aphrodite is the beginning of the Trojan War. Aphrodite was among two other goddess, Hera and Athena, who were invited to the wedding of King Peleus and his sea nymph Thetis. Eris the goddess of discord was so outraged that she was not invited, so she threw a golden apple labeled “to the fairest” in the center of the floor. All three goddess knew that they were the fairest, and fought over it. Since Zeus would not choose the fairest, the goddess’s looked upon Paris, the Prince of Troy, to make the award. Each goddess offered poor Paris a bribe for them to be the chosen one. Thus the bribe he could not turn down was that of Aphrodite, as she offered him the most beautiful woman in the world, Helen of Troy. Helen however was the of the Greek king Menelaus, so Paris’s abduction of Helen led to the Trojan War.
The Lessons of this Goddess
Aphrodite is here with her dance of love, inviting you to luxuriate, bask, and revel in love for yourself. Do you spend the day without thinking or saying how much you love yourself? Do you do little loving things for yourself? Or are you miserly, keeping yourself on a diet of starvation rations? Do you listen to your needs in a loving, respectful way, or do you criticize yourself for balking at the schedule you keep, for complaining about the job you hate, for bemoaning the relationship you endure? Now is the time to love yourself! The Goddess says that to be able to love another, you must be able to love yourself. Loving others means being able to allow them to be exactly as they are. It means witnessing yourself and your loved ones with love, amusement, and delight. The amount of space we can allow another is dependent on the amount of space we can allow for ourselves. Wholeness is achieved when we can hold infinite space and patience for ourselves first and then extend it to others.
Invocation
Hail Aphrodite Maiden born of the Sea She Who Shines Brightly Ever Luminous Morning Star Radiant Goddess of Feminine Beauty Mistress of the Maiden’s Sensual Allure Eternal Venus of Beauty & Grace Dancer in the Light, of every Woman’s Eye The Maiden Who lives within Mother & Crone Feminine Sensuality Eternally Re-born in Woman
source:http://www.arthistory.sbc.edu/imageswomen/papers/parisaphrodite/aphrodite.html

This is my goddess for I believe there is nothing in this world without love.

LadyDawn

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The Fires of Beltane

Fires of Beltane!The Fires of Beltane The Witches’ Sabbat of Beltane officially begins at moonrise on May Day eve, April 30th. is a fire festival and is opposite Samhain on the Wheel of the Year. Samhain is the time when the veil between the worlds is the thinnest, and Beltane is the time when the worlds are furthest apart.

     On this day we celebrate the May Queen of fertility and passion, a time when the Maiden of Spring comes of age and celebrates the fullness of her sexuality. The Maypole, symbol of the Tree of Life, or Moon Tree, is decorated with flowers and ribbons. The Great Rite is sexual license, “When we act out the lovemaking of nature by loving each other”. It is the celebration of youth, of love and fun. It is a time of jumping through the Beltane bonfire. You can also light a fire in your fireplace. If you do not have a fireplace, you might light thirteen dark green candles to symbolize the Beltane fire. Dress in springtime colors.

Incense: Frankincense, lilac, rose, musk, civet, ambergris, jasmine, sandalwood, myrrh and myrtle.

Candle colors: Emerald, orange, carnelian, sapphire, rose quartz.

Ritual Herbs: Almond, angelica, ash tree, bluebells, cinquefoil, daisy, frankincense, hawthorn, ivy, lilac, marigold, meadowsweet, primrose, roses, woodruff, yellow cowslips.

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~ A Valentine’s Day Love Spell ~

Valentine’s Day is the ideal time of the year for women and men to perform love magic. To attract a new lover into your life, draw a bath during any of the Venus hours of this day (7:00 am, 2:00 pm, or 9:00 pm). To the bathwater add a handful of rose petals and six drops of music oil. (Six is a magical number ruled by Venus.) To enhance the spell, burn love-attracting incense such as African violet, cherry, cinnamon, gardenia, ginger, hibiscus, jasmine, lavender, lotus, rose, strawberry, or vanilla. Surround the tub with the flickering flames of pink candles and then fill your mind with romantic thoughts as you bathe and whisper the following rhyme: “Lover hear me call to thee. Let these words enchant and draw. Lover find your way to me. Love is the magic, love is the law. As it is willed, so mote it be.”
… by Gerina Dunwich

…from Spell-a-Day Almanacs

 

Have a Blessed Valentine Day with lots of love.LadyDawn

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What Tarot Card are You? Take the Test to Find Out.

http://www.flarn.com/~warlock/tarot   Take the Test to Find Out

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Fall Equinox 2010

Reprint from:

13 Moons Newsletter
Johnson City, NY
2010 Fall Equinox
by Brigid, NC


Mabon Lore

Autumn Equinox, around September 21, is the time of the descent of the Goddess into the Underworld. With her departure, we see the decline of nature and the coming of winter. This is a classic, ancient mythos, seen the Sumerian myth of Inanna and in the ancient Greek and Roman legends of Demeter and Persephone.

In September, we also bid farewell to the Harvest Lord who was slain at Lammas. He is the Green Man, seen as the cycle of nature in the plant kingdom. He is harvested and his seeds are planted into the Earth so that life may continue and be more abundant.

Mabon ("Great Son") is a Welsh god. He was a great hunter with a swift horse and a wonderful hound. He may have been a mythologized actual leader. He was stolen from his mother, Modron (Great Mother),when he was three nights old, but was eventually rescued by King Arthur (other legends say he was rescued by the Blackbird, the Stag, the Owl, the Eagle, and the Salmon). All along, however, Mabon has been dwelling, a happy captive, in Modron’s magickal Otherworld — Madron’s womb. Only in this way can he be reborn. Mabon’s light has been drawn into the Earth, gathering strength and wisdom enough to become a new seed. In this sense, Mabon is the masculine counterpart of Persephone — the male fertilizing principle seasonally withdrawn. Modron corresponds with
Demeter.

From the moment of the September Equinox, the Sun’s strength diminishes, until the moment of Winter Solstice in December, when the Sun grows stronger and the days once again become longer than the nights.

Symbols celebrating the season include various types of gourd and melons. Stalk can be tied together symbolizing the Harvest Lord and then set in a circle of gourds. A besom can be constructed to symbolize the polarity of male and female. The Harvest Lord is often symbolized by a straw man, whose sacrificial body is burned and its ashes scattered upon the earth. The Harvest Queen, or Kern Baby, is made from the last sheaf of the harvest and bundled by the reapers who proclaim, "We have the Kern!" The sheaf is dressed in a white frock decorated with colorful ribbons depicting spring, and then hung upon a pole (a phallic fertility symbol). In Scotland, the last sheaf of harvest is called the Maiden, and must be cut by the youngest female in attendance.


Here is a Mabon ritual of which I am quite fond, from the Witchery.

Autumn Equinox 2010
September 21/22

Mabon Ritual

Setup
Items for this ritual include: Two brown or yellow candles for the altar; Chalice; A basket of apples; enough for the circle boundary (they need not touch each other); Three additional apples; A sharp knife to cut the apples; Several gourds; Blackberry wine or juice; A small bowl of hazelnuts; Vines (real or from a craft store) to decorate your altar (optional); Drum (optional).

Background
This is Mabon, time of the second harvest. We enjoy a wealth of good food and weather that is neither too hot nor too cold. Beauty surrounds us as autumn colors begin to blaze. We reap the beauty and bounty of this earth. We also reap the fruit of the seeds we have symbolically sewn in our lives this year. Tonight we take time to count our blessings and give thanks to the Lord and Lady.

Dance
The vine dance can be done in group or solo rituals because it is the dance step that creates the “vine.” To move deosil, your left leg will advance your step. Your right leg will move first, behind then in front of the left to simulate the winding growth of a vine. Place your right foot behind the left, then step sideways with your left foot. Cross your right foot in front of the left, and then take another step with your left foot. Keep alternating the movement of your right foot behind, then in front of your left.

The Ritual
Take an apple from the basket and hold it in both hands. Feel the wisdom and love of the Goddess; feel her generosity. Walking deosil, place apples on the floor to mark your circle as you say:
This is an ancient symbol of the Goddess; of her great knowledge and power of healing. It holds her wisdom, and provides a gateway into other realms. As above; so below. Sacred is this space decreed with the riches of the Great Mother’s body.

Cut two apples in half across their middles.
This sacred fruit contains the five-pointed star—the symbol of my ancient faith and connectedness to all life.

Place half an apple at the edge of the circle in the respective directions after speaking.
Spirits of North, element Earth, your golden fields provide the promise of a comfortable winter. I celebrate in the abundance of your blessings. Join me in my circle this night.

Spirits of East, element Air, your warm summer breezes yield to the autumn chill that gives birth to a blaze of bright color. I appreciate the blessings of the beauty you bestow on this world. Join me in my circle this night.

Spirits of South, element Fire, your brilliant August sun is becoming a memory that will dance through my heart in the dark months to come. May I find your spark to illuminate my path ahead. Join me in my circle this night.

Spirits of West, element Water, your cool autumn rains wash the emptying fields to make way for a winter’s rest. May I receive the blessing of your cleansing showers. Join me in my circle this night.

Cut another apple in half. Hold one half at a time as you call the Goddess and God. After speaking, place it on the altar and light a candle.
Sun King, Corn King, God of the Harvest, your seed has provided a bounty that has greened the meadows and filled the fields. As the burning embers of summer are overtaken by darkness and you begin your descent to the Underworld, bestow your blessings on my circle.

Great Mother Goddess, Brigid, Demeter, Queen of the Harvest, your body has provided abundance and beauty. As you begin your metamorphosis into Crone, bless me with your wisdom.

Lord and Lady of the Harvest, as this year wanes into darkness, come to me one last time as Queen and Consort. Join me in my circle this night.

Take a moment or two and give thought to what you have been blessed with this year. When you are ready, go to the altar and take a gourd from the basket. With both hands raise the gourd above the altar and say:
Lord and Lady, I thank you for ______________ (state the blessings you have received.)

To give power to your thanks as you release it to the world, raise energy with the vine dance. As you move around the circle, chant:
Harvest dance, go round and round,
With blessings for all to be found.

After the energy has reached its peak and has been released, bring your dancing and chanting to an end. Take a few moments to ground your energy.
My world passes from summer into the dark of the year. On this day of the Equinox, this day of balance, I pause on the threshold where light begins to fade. As the nights grow longer it is time to reflect on my life and cultivate inner wisdom.

Raise the bowl of hazelnuts, saying:
Hazel is a symbol of wisdom. I call on the Wise Ones to guide me through the dark that lies ahead. Teach me to hear the inner voice that whispers of ancient ways.

Raise the wine, saying:
Blackberries, fruit sacred to Brigid. Sweeten my lips and warm my heart with memories of this summer past.

Perform the Great Rite, lowering the athame into the chalice, saying:
The Horned One returns to the belly of the Mother.
The Great Goddess transforms into the powerful Crone.
I follow them into darkness, as two become one.
The seasons change, the Wheel of the Year turns.

Pour the wine into the chalice, saying:
Mother, bless this wine and food.

Before taking a bite of the hazelnuts and a sip of wine say, respectively:
May I never hunger. May I never thirst. I look ahead to the darkness for rest and renewal.
Great Mother, as you enter your most powerful aspect of Crone, I ask that you favor me with your wisdom. Guide me through the coming dark. I bid you farewell.

Extinguish one of the candles.

Horned One, Warrior of Light, go to your rest and dream of rebirth. Endings are beginnings. I shall await your return. I bid you farewell.

Extinguish the other candle. Pick up the half apple placed at the edge of the circle for each direction, and then place it on the altar after speaking.

Spirits of West, element Water, thank you for your presence this night. Stay if you will; go if you must. I bid you farewell.

Spirits of South, element Fire, thank you for your presence this night. Stay if you will; go if you must. I bid you farewell.

Spirits of East, element Air, thank you for your presence this night. Stay if you will; go if you must. I bid you farewell.

Spirits of North, element Earth, thank you for your presence this night. Stay if you will; go if you must. I bid you farewell.

The Lord has gone to his rest, and the Lady gathers strength. I witness their parting as the Wheel of the Year continues to turn. In faith and unity, blessed be.


Mabon Recipes
for your Celebrations or just when you need an idea for something different!
from The Witchery

Cheater Baked Apples
apples
cranberries
teaspoon brown sugar for each apple
teaspoon cinnamon for each apple

Core and wash one apple per person. Place in individual sherbet dishes. Fill each apple with cranberries, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Microwave until baked (approximately 3 minutes per apple). Serve warm, topped with whipped cream.

——–

Mabon Apple Crisp
6 cups sliced and peeled apples
2/3 cup flour
1 1/3 cup Oatmeal
1 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
2/3 cup Melted Butter
½ cup of walnut (optional)

Spread apples evenly on the bottom of an oblong baking dish. In a bowl mix together remaining ingredients until everything is moistened. Spread evenly over top of apples. Bake in a 375 degree oven until apples are soft (about 30 minutes) and topping is crisp.

Serve warm or cold. I like warm apple crisp topped with vanilla ice cream! YUM!!
Recipe by: Pauline Mansberger.

——–

Harvest Morning Muffins
3 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup grated apples
1 cup grated carrots
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tbs. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 12-muffin tin or line it with paper liners. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, blend the eggs, sugar and oil until well combined. Stir in the grated apples and carrots. In a separate bowl, sift the flours, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Blend the dry ingredients with the apple mixture until just combined. Spoon the batter into the muffin tins and bake for 25 minutes.
Makes 12 muffins.

——–

Baked Squash and Apple Casserole
1 small Butternut squash, about 2 pounds
2 apples, cored, peeled, sliced
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cold margarine
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Peel squash, scoop out seeds, and cut in small pieces.
Place squash and apple slices in oblong baking dish (7×11-inch). Blend remaining ingredients with fork or pastry cutter until crumbly.
Distribute over squash and apple.
Cover and bake at 350 degrees for about 45 to 50 minutes.
Serves 6 to 8.


Here is a beautiful poem by Dolores Stewart Riccio to add to your celebrations. From her "Doors to the Universe," Bellowing Ark Press, 2008.

September Mosaic

Before we come with rakes and crackling
energy to clean it up,
the backyard is precisely
as the dog prefers it — left alone,
a natural selection

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