Friday, November 26, 2010

Bast - Egyptian Cat Goddess

From around the third millennium BCE Bast (also referred to as Baast, Ubasti and Baset) originated as a protector Goddess of Lower Egypt (the delta of the Nile River), where she was seen as the defender of the ruling pharaoh, and consequently Ra, the Solar deity.  This gained her the titles of "Lady of the Flame" and "Eye of Ra", thus symbolising the fertilising force of the Sun's rays.  By 930 BCE, the power of Bast was acknowledged by all Egyptians.

Bast's role diminished over time however as, after the unification of upper and lower Egypt, Sekhmet, a similar Lioness war deity, became more dominant.  In the first millennium BCE, as domesticated cats were becoming more and more popular as pets, Bast began to be represented as a woman with the head of a cat.  In some images, she was depicted as a cat carrying the Sun.  By the Middle Kingdom, the domesticated cat had appeared as her sacred animal, and later during the New Kingdom, Bast was depicted as a woman with the head of a cat or a lioness, carrying a sacred rattle and a box or basket. 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Kali-Ma – the Terrible Mother

After a rather impromptu rite to Kali-Ma undertaken this week, I thought I would share part of an article that I had written about Kali-Ma for "Insight" magazine (either in 2009 or early 2010).

The Hindu religion has a myriad of Gods and Goddesses that are openly revered and worshipped, and within this religion, the Goddesses fall into not only the nurturing side of the Divine Feminine (as we are used to in the West), but also into the destroyer aspect.  The most revered Goddess is Kali.  She is usually pictured wearing a necklace of skulls and girdle of human hands, dancing on the body of her consort, Shiva. 

With her dishevelled hair and protruding tongue, Kali does not portray the demure image of the Divine Feminine that we in the West are comfortable with, such as the Virgin Mary found within Christianity. 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Astarte - the Canaanite Goddess of Fertility

Astarte (also known as Astarat and Astoreth) was believed to be the chief Goddess of Tyre and Sidon, who was also adopted by the Phoenicians, the Hittites, and the Egyptians. To the Phoenicians, she became the predecessor to the Greek Goddess Aphrodite. The Sumerians knew her as Inanna and Ishtar. As "Queen of the Morning Star", she was the Goddess of War. As "Queen of the Evening Star", she was also the Goddess of Passionate Love.

This Semitic Goddess was worshipped by the Syrians, Palestinians, Phoenicians, Egyptians and other Semitic Tribes. King Solomon built a Temple to Her as Astoreth, near Jerusalem.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Goddess of Dark and Light

For the four or five years I have been running various workshops as well as presenting lectures about the Dark Goddess - and in fact this year, 2010, I have given two major presentations on what is fast becoming a favourite subject of mine.  Is it a sign of the times that people are curiously peaking into the shadows to see what lies beyond the light?  Or is it a sign of spiritual maturity, an awareness that, as the Daoist believe, the "dark" is just as necessary as the "light"?  In fact, once we ponder this statement we soon release that we cannot actually appreciate the "light" or even truly understand it, without the "darkness". 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Unearthing the Great Goddess

(by Abby Willowroot)

The many images and icons of the Great Goddess that come to us from our ancient past give us glimpses into another world - a world where the mothers and elder women were held in great respect; a world that worshipped the Great Goddess in all her fullness and abundance.

Many so-called experts have discounted these goddess figures as “fertility figures” but there is evidence that refutes this assessment.  With their pendulous breasts, full bellies and buttocks these goddess figures suggest women of some age and wisdom (not fertility).  The features of these goddesses also display age and gravity, suggesting these were figures of veneration that celebrated the Mother and Crone stages of life, rather than the Maiden or young woman.

"Dancing the Sacred Wheel" now available again

"Dancing the Sacred Wheel" now available again
The second edition of "Dancing the Sacred Wheel: A Journey through the Southern Sabbats" is now available through or direct from the author (Australian customers only) for an autographed copy.

Great Goddess Isis

Great Goddess Isis

Exhortation of Isis

You are She in the dust of whose feet is the hosts of Heaven,
Whose body encircles the Universe,
Who turns the Earth in its orb,
Who gives light to the Sun,
Who rules the World.

You tread death underfoot.
To Thee, the stars are responsive,
To Thee the seasons turn and the Gods rejoice
And the elements are in subjugation.

You are She that is the natural Mother of all things,
Mistress and governor of all elements,
The initial progeny of worlds,
Chief of Divine powers,
Queen of Heaven,
Principle of all the Gods celestial and the light of Goddesses.

At Your will are disposed the planets of the air,
The wholesome winds of the seas
And the silences of the unseen world.