Tuesday, May 21, 2013

"A Mantle of Stars" update

Astarte by Sebastian P Haines
Back in December last year there was a proposed devotional anthology that caught my attention.  A Mantle of Stars: A Devotional Anthology in Honor of the Queen of Heaven was putting out a call for poetry, rituals as well as essays and even artwork that would be edited by Jen McConnel.  When I visited the web site recently, I noticed the submission date had been to extended from April until 1 August 2013.  How wonderful, I thought.  Despite having already forwarded an essay on one aspect of the "Queen of Heaven" that had been accepted for submission, I have another piece that I am contemplating sending through - based from a more personal relationship with the "Queen of Heaven". 

The title "Queen of Heaven" is widely used within Christianity to refer to the "Mother of God", Mary herself.  Why, then, is she catching my interest?

The title of "Queen of Heaven" has been given to many Goddesses over the millenium, especially around the ancient Mediterranean and Near East regions, in particularly Anat, Isis, Inanna, and Astarte as well as Hera and her Roman counterpart, Juno.  Other cultures also include Goddesses who shared the title, such as the Norse Frigg.  

According to the Book of Prophet, worship of the "Queen of Heaven" was perceived as being "blasphemy" and in "violation of the teachings of the god of Israel".  As such, in Jeremiah 7:18 it is recorded:

"... the children gather wood, the fathers light the fire, and the women knead the dough and make cakes of bread for the Queen of Heaven. They pour out drink offerings to other gods to provoke me to anger."

This "Queen of Heaven" being worshipped was the Semitic Goddess Asherah.

Gazing upward into the night sky, we see her arching over us as the global mother who is protecting her earth bound children.  As such, the ancient Egyptians call her Nut, the Goddess of the nightime sky who eventually was referred to as simply the sky goddess whereby she was depicted stretching across the heavens with her body adorn with stars.

If you are interesting in submitting something to A Mantle of Stars: A Devotional Anthology in Honor of the Queen of Heaven, information how this can be done can be found here.

As Doreen Valiente wrote in her Charge of the Goddess:

Hear the words of the Star Goddess,
the dust of whose feet are the hosts of heaven,
whose body encircles the universe:
"I who am the beauty of the green earth and the white moon
among the stars and the mysteries of the waters,
I call upon your soul to arise and come unto me.
For I am the soul of nature that gives life to the universe"

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"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 www.createspace.com 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.