As the sacred Wheel of the Year having turned to the Spring Equinox, the time when the hours of lightness and darkness are equal for a short period of time before the energies tip and rush towards the Summer Solistice, I thought that an appropriate theme for the October Devotional Service to be held at The Goddess House would be that of the warrior Goddesses.
There are many such Goddesses with Athena being the first which comes to mind. Bursting forth from her father's head (that of Zeus), Athena was fully armed and grown with weapons given by her mother, Metis. The namesake of the Greek capital, Athena was considered to be the Goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, warfare, strength, strategy, female arts, crafts, justice and skill.
The Greek philosopher Plato (429–347 BC) identified Athena with the Libyan Deity Neith, a War Goddess and huntress Deity of the Egyptians since the ancient Pre-Dynastic period, who was also identified with weaving.
In Hindu mythology, the warrior goddess is that of Durga (whose name means the inaccessible" or "the invincible"). An embodiment of shakit, the creative feminine force, Durga exists in a state of independence from the Universe and anything/anybody else, and of fierce compassion. The Dark Mother, Kali, is considered by Hindus to be an aspect of Durga. She is thus considered the fiercer, demon-fighting form of Shiva's wife, Pavati. Durga manifests fearlessness and patience, and never loses her sense of humor, even during spiritual battles of epic proportion.
Within Celtic legend numerous Warrior Goddesses can be found, both factual and in myth - starting with Queen Boudica of the Iceni who led a revolt against the Romans in 60-61 CE. Another factual queen, although possibly not in the same class as Boudica was Cartimandua, the leader of the northern Brigante tribe. Unlike Boudica who fought against Rome, Cartimandua preferred an "honourable surrender". Later she was described as a "traitor" for handing over the Celtic chieftain Caratacus, who fougth a guerrilla styled war against the Romans.
Across th waters in Ireland, we find Medb (Maeve) the daughter of the Irish High King (Eochu Fedlech of the 1st century BCE) who is more commonly associated with the Celtic myth "Tain Bo Cuailnge" (The Cattle Raid of Cooley) where she compared her wealth with that of her lover, Ailill.
From the Scottish isle of Skye, comes the great initiator and Warrior Goddess, Scathach who was said to have trained many warriors including the Irish hero Cuchulainn at her stronghold, Dunscaith.
All these Goddesses and more will be honoured during the October devotional service - Tuesday, 11 October 2011.
The Goddess House devotional services are open to all women on the second Tuesday evening of each month - a fee of $10.00 is asked to help cover the cost of handouts which are provided.
A healing circle is also included in each service, free of charge. To have names added to the healing list, please contact the Priestess in Residence.