Monday, October 24, 2011

The Thinning Veil - This is Samhain

The thinning veil.  Now is the time when whispers of those who have passed before us can be heard on the cool winds.
The leaves are turning with bright yellow, oranges and reds filling the trees.  The harvest is ending as the last crops are picked from the fields.
Pumpkins begin to decorate the homes, their carved faces glowing from candle and light.  The Jack-O-Lantern stands guard.
This is SAMHAIN!!!  This is HALLOWEEN!!!

Now is the time to honor those who have passed before us.  We seek to speak to them once again, to ask questions, and to seek knowledge.  We do so with reverence and awe since we know this will only happen this night, the thinning of the veil.

Take up staff and cast a circle vast.  Welcome the spirits of element and guide, the Lord and Lady, beckon to our side.  Enjoy the night and seek you knowledge, let loose that has kept you and cleanse your way.  To the fire give all that is spent and cleanse your way.  In crystal, mirror and water gaze, seeking knowledge through the ethereal haze.  Dine with them who have eaten not.  Bid you farewell to those who were called.  Elements, guides, Lord and Lady to their halls.  Close your circle and yet be sure that what you have gained is hallowed and pure.  

Blessed Be!!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Charge of the Goddess - Do you really know it?

The Charge of the Goddess has been around for some time.  The one that we are most familiar with was penned by Doreen Valiente the High Priestess of Gerald Gardner in the 1950's.  It is believed that the final work by Gardner and Valiente was derived from various sources.  Among these is the book by Charles Godfrey Leyland, Aradia or the Gospel of the Witches.

Normally during ritual the Charge of the Goddess is read by the High Priest and the High Priestess.  But during the last ritual I attended, our High Priestess was absent so I read the charge.  Now I have read the Charge before but never in a ritual atmosphere.  I will say it was different.  Reading it gave me pause and made me think.  Do I really know it?  How many read it and don't think about it?  They are just going through the motions.

I am going to post the Charge of the Goddess.  Full version by Doreen, not the version by Starhawk.  Read it and then really read it.  Think about it.  It is the pure Charge with all the old English so it might be hard to read at first but if you truly read it will flow easily.

Charge of the Goddess
by Doreen Valiente
Now listen to the words of the Great Mother, who was of old also called among men Artemis, Astarte, Athene, Dione, Melusine, Aphrodite, Cerridwen, Diana, Arianrhod, Isis, Bride, and by many other names.  At her altars, the youth of Lacedaemon in Sparta made due sacrifice.
Whenever ye have need of anything, once in a month and better it be when the moon is full, then shall ye assemble in some secret place, and adore the spirit of me, I who am Queen of all Witches.
There shall ye assemble, ye who are fain to learn all sorcery, yet have not won its deepest secrets; to these will I teach all things that are as yet unknown.
And ye shall be free from slavery; and as a sign that ye be truly free, you shall be naked in your rites; and yea shall dance, sing, feast, make music and love, all in my praise.  For mine is the ecstasy of spirit, and mine also is joy on earth; for my law is love unto all beings.
Keep pure your highest ideals; strive ever toward them, let nothing stop you or turn you aside. For mine is the secret door which opens upon the Land of Youth, and mine is the cup of wine of life, and the Cauldron of Cerridwen, which is the Holy Vessel of Immortality.  I am the gracious Goddess, who gives the gift of joy unto the heart of man.
Upon earth, I give the knowledge of the spirit eternal; and beyond death, I give peace, and freedom, and reunion with those who have gone before.
Nor do I demand sacrifice; for behold, I am the mother of all living, and my love is poured out upon the earth.
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 mystery of the waters and the desire of the heart of man.
I call upon thy soul to arise and come unto me.  For I am the soul of Nature, who gives life to the Universe.  From me all things proceed and unto me all things must return; and before my face, beloved of gods and of men, let thine innermost divine self be enfolded, in the rapture of the infinite.
Let my worship be within the heart that rejoices for behold, all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals.  Therefore, let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence within you.
And thou who thinketh to seek for me, know thy seeking and yearning shall avail thee not, unless thou knoweth the mystery; for if that which you seek, you find not within yourself, you will never find it without.
For behold, I have been with thee from the beginning; and I am that which is attained at the end of desire.

Read it out loud as well as to yourself.  Feel the power as the words are spoken allowed.  Read it during your daily devotion as a way to honor the divine.
Copy it into your book of shadows.  Keep it and know it.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Egyptian Gods, like you have never seen them.

The sands of the desert stir and swirl.  The winds rise and fall.  Clouds gather and darken the sky.  The gods are coming.

Egypt hosts a diverse group of gods from the glorious Isis to the preternatural Seth.  Traditionally these gods have been depicted in the same way since the origination in the Nile Valley from 5000 BCE to 300 CE.

Now that has changed with these new statues of Isis, Anubis, Bastet, Horus and Seth.

The Goddess Isis is one of the more famous and popular goddesses of the Ancient Egyptian pantheon, Isis is the wife of Osiris and the mother of Horus. She is often viewed as the ideal mother, as well as the Goddess of magic and nature. Isis is also viewed as a champion for sinners, slaves, and those who are down on their luck, and was revered by the poor and the wealthy alike as the goddess of fertility.  As the wife of Osiris, she is also viewed as the protector of children, and the dead, and it was said that the fertility of the Nile more.

Perhaps most famously recognized as the Egyptian god with the head of a jackal, Anubis is the ancient Egyptian god of the afterlife. Within ancient Egyptian culture his position among the gods was sacred, and of great importance, as he is the guardian of the dead. Anubis is the patron god of embalmers, who preserve the dead, and is also often viewed as the Lord of the Dead, who guards the scales of the underworld and weighs the heart of the dead against a feather, determining the place of the deceased within the underworld. Here he is portrayed as a stern figure, with the burly, broad-chested body of a man and the traditional jackal-head, set with a serious expression. With the feet of a jackal, more.

Shown here in her the form of a woman rather than a Lion or a domestic cat, the Ancient Egyptian goddess Bastet is portrayed as the epitome of the feminine divine. Regarded as a goddess who protected Egypt, its royal family, and its people, Bastet was particularly revered, as were all cats within the land. She was also associated with beauty of movement, agility, strength, caution and other such feline qualities that she was said to embody. In this case, she is imbued more.

One of the most important Gods of the deities of the ancient Egyptians as well as one of the historically oldest, Horus is the Falcon-headed god of the land of the pyramids. He was revered as the God of the sky, and as such it was said that the moon was his left eye and the sun his right. He is also the Egyptian god of hunting, and war, who warred at length with Set at the instruction of his mother, Isis, who set him to protect Egypt from the lord of the deserts. Here he is shown as a barrel-chested man with jet-black skin, and the head and face of a Falcon. Upon his head sits a more.

Seth (also found spelled as Set) is the ancient Egyptian god of the desert, storms, darkness and Chaos. Indeed, in ancient Egyptian culture his very name meant to be an instigator of confusion, a deserter, or a drunkard. He was known for his conflict with Osiris, whom he attacked out of jealousy and envy, dismembering Osiris and throwing his pieces into the Nile. This conflict also brought about his contention with Horus, who was the son of Osiris and Isis. Here he is portrayed with jet-black skin, as are many of the deities of ancient Egypt, with the body of a man and the head of a more.

You will notice that each of these figures now depict the ancient gods and goddess of Egypt in a more 'human' way.  Personally I find this more pleasing and more how I see the gods.  I don't see them as the blocky figures on a cartouche.

Now is the time to feel the supreme power of the Egyptian gods with theses effigies.  Let one or all grace your altar or sacred space.

At this point in time it is unclear as to whether other gods such as Osiris, Hathor and Sekhmet will also be honored by this makeover.

All of these statues and the traditional ones are available in our store at Grove of the Ancients Pagan Store.

Fly on by and check out our annual Samhain sale too.  Sign up with the store to get our newsletter and get special discounts.