Goddess Cerridwen Rune

In honor of Goddess Cerridwen (journeyingtothegoddess.wordpress.com/2012/07/03/goddess-cerridwen/), I have created a bindrune.  This rune will not only help one communicate with and honor the goddess, but should strengthen all of her aspects in life, inviting in inspiration, creativity, poetry, prosperity, the ability to transform and adapt, and the wisdom to face shadows and changes with the desire to chase down what you need.  Placing it in a special container when you wish for a particular aspect or communion with the goddess will be a sign of good faith, that you are stirring your intuitive and magical energies and are ready to face what happens when the goddess’s magic and messages manifest.

 

Cerridwenrune

 

The runes in this bindrune are the letters of Cerridwen’s name (with one ‘e’ Ehwaz and the other Eiwaz).

This rune is designed to emulate the wisdom and creativity potion Cerridwen created with her cauldron and intended for her son.  The up and down line in Nied is expanded on to act as the spoon which stirs the goddess’s magic labors.  I used the color yellow to simulate the grains and herbs Cerridwen is lady of and used in her potion.  I added a crow as this magical bird also belongs to Cerridwen as well as being a carrier of messages between us and our spirit allies.  All glory to the goddess!

 

I have also celebrated her today with eating grains and bacon.  Perhaps my favorite thing though, is that in the Disney picture-a-day calendar I have for the year, the picture that turned up on Cerridwen’s day is the magical cauldron from “Black Cauldron.”  So I am also staring at that and feeling pleasure in the small things the goddess can provide inspiration through.  Happy and inspirational shapeshifting days to you!

 

 

 

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When Positive Thinking Isn’t Helpful

http://mommymystic.wordpress.com/2013/07/03/when-positive-thinking-isnt-helpful/

 

"We've all got both LIGHT and DARK inside of us. What matters is the part we choose to act on, that's who we really are." - Sirius Black (Harry Potter)

“We’ve all got both LIGHT and DARK inside of us. What matters is the part we choose to act on, that’s who we really are.” – Sirius Black (Harry Potter)

“I try so hard to stay positive and be grateful, but I just keep falling into these despairing thoughts. I know this is why I keep getting sick.”

I recently heard this from someone I was working privately with and it really broke my heart. This is a woman who has worked for many years in therapy to overcome feelings of unworthiness and shame stemming from having been sexually abused as a child. She has made great strides, and has been exploring energy work as a way to continue and deepen her healing. Her journey has led her to many valuable teachings that have helped her to shift her thoughts towards the positive, and to manifest more love and beauty in her life.”

Continue it on mommymystic’s blog: http://mommymystic.wordpress.com/2013/07/03/when-positive-thinking-isnt-helpful/

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-I think this is a very pertinent idea and one that Cerridwen’s (http://journeyingtothegoddess.wordpress.com/2012/07/03/goddess-cerridwen/) story expresses well. When her plan to take control and inject something positive into an area of her life goes awry, what does she do? She doesn’t scream or despair or give up, she chases those reasons down-not to harm them, but to ingest them and rebirth them as something glorious.

My Patch

Written in honor of the White Shell Woman (http://journeyingtothegoddess.wordpress.com/2012/03/12/white-shell-woman/) in thanks for her protection, her powerful blanket imagery, and her magic in everyday dreams and aspirations.

 

“My Patch”

 

There’s a patch where I am found;

Dreams wrapped safely all around

Where I can see strength stretch far as the sea

And promise is nothing but the air around me

 

As simple as that-a breath in, warmth out

All the birds call what can be

Sweetness seams bright color about,

Ensconced, still, closed-can be free.

 

Patches float in winds and gales,

Snow and rain drench my place into scales.

The weight of the world is heavy to heft,

And it’s hard to hold to worn pieces left.

 

As simple as that-tear in, wear out

All the whispers chant all’s not what it was

Mending’s sharp work, through hearts and out,

Moving, flowing, with a too-thin because.

 

Resting, color seeps back in with hope,

In cracks called sleep, beauty, and scope-

With pens, with words, with notes and tears,

An answer tucks itself around tired fears.

 

As simple as that-balm in, bleed out

All limbs know when healing to heed

Life is strange work, always on a new route

Finding, loving, holding-so much to need.

 

There’s a patch I know is mine,

Even when it becomes hard to find.

A place that still answers to my heart,

Although new lines score across every part.

 

As simple as that-me in, patch out

Closer than cloaks and warmer than wool,

Patchwork protects my hope from my doubt

Hoping, believing, patches life full.

 

There’s a patch where I am found;

Dreams wrapped safely all around

Where I can see strength stretch far as the sea

And promise is nothing but the air around me

 

As simple as that, breath in-warmth out,

And the future can turn into what I would be,

With love to grow and dreams to sprout,

We’ll undo the  seam between my patch and me.

 

Inner Mermaids, Greek Myths, and a Voice

Lately I’ve been pondering the similarities between the Little Mermaid and the Greek Lara.

 

“Lara, (also known as Larunda, Larunde and Mater Larum) was a naiad or a nymph and was the daughter of the river Almo.  She was incapable of keeping secrets, and so revealed to Jupiter‘s wife Juno his affair with Juturna (Lara’s fellow nymph, and the wife of Janus); hence Her name is connected with lalein. For betraying his trust, Jupiter cut out Lara’s tongue and ordered Mercury, the psychopomp, to take Her to Avernus, the gateway to the Underworld and realm of Pluto. Mercury, however, fell in love with Larunda and made love to Her on the way; this act has also been interpreted as a rape. Lara thereby became mother to two children, referred to as the Lares, invisible household gods, who were as silent and speechless as She was. However, She had to stay in a hidden cottage in the woods so that Jupiter would not find Her.” -(http://journeyingtothegoddess.wordpress.com/2012/02/18/lara/)

 

1. Mermaid or river nymph, both of these women are deeply associated with the element of water: with strong emotions, with flowing energies difficult to contain, and with intuitive wishes.  The little mermaid wished for a new life and an eternal soul.  Lara wished to live life openly and, already possessing an eternal life, wished to promote eternal promises.  In order to anger two gods with one piece of news, one of them being Zeus, Lara must have felt very committed to fidelity, to openness and honesty, or to both.  If she was truly so foolish that she couldn’t keep any secret it is difficult to believe Zeus would have left her able to speak before Hera got there.  In both cases, this story is about a woman with strong desires and convictions, so strong that she couldn’t refrain from pursuing them.  This woman spoke for themselves, in spite of the risks (facing the wrath of Zeus or forsaking home, family, and comfort).

 

2. This is a story about the woman with strong convictions who had her tongue cut out (in Hans Christian Andersen’s tale, that’s what happens) as soon as she entered the masculine realm.  Lara trespassed in Zeus’s affairs and Ariel entered the world of the prince.  Both of these are men in authority who pay attention to their own interests at the expense of a woman’s entire life.  Ariel is completely abandoned in favor of the girl the prince believes rescued him, left to die.  Lara is sent with Mercury to exile in Hades.  No indication that the masculine world does not welcome female input could be clearer.

 

3. In both of the stories, as soon as the woman loses her voice, she is placed Entirely under the power of a male.  Hermes loved and laid with Lara when she was solely under his charge and had no recourse but him-whether she consented or not, she had no power or say whatsoever.  Hermes had a desire and she could grant it or be in hell.  Ariel’s life lies in the hands of the prince, dancing when he wishes her to dance even though each step feels like knives piercing her feet, going where he goes.  Ariel does this willingly to try and attract the prince, but the command is his, the dominion is his, Ariel has no say.  And not just because her tongue is cut out.  The message is clear: let a woman lose her voice and she will lose every vestige of power.

 

4. The last stage of the story is rescue.  On the verge of dying and dissolving as foam, the daughters of the air rescue the mermaid.  “A mermaid has not an immortal soul, nor can she obtain one unless she wins the love of a human being. On the power of another hangs her eternal destiny. But the daughters of the air, although they do not possess an immortal soul, can, by their good deeds, procure one for themselves. We fly to warm countries, and cool the sultry air that destroys mankind with the pestilence. We carry the perfume of the flowers to spread health and restoration. After we have striven for three hundred years to all the good in our power, we receive an immortal soul and take part in the happiness of mankind. You, poor little mermaid, have tried with your whole heart to do as we are doing; you have suffered and endured and raised yourself to the spirit-world by your good deeds; and now, by striving for three hundred years in the same way, you may obtain an immortal soul…Unseen we can enter the houses of men, where there are children, and for every day on which we find a good child, who is the joy of his parents and deserves their love, our time of probation is shortened. The child does not know, when we fly through the room, that we smile with joy at his good conduct, for we can count one year less of our three hundred years. But when we see a naughty or a wicked child, we shed tears of sorrow, and for every tear a day is added to our time of trial!”

 

The story explicitly states that Ariel’s entire destiny had always been in the power of another-singular.  However, the daughters of the air, while having their own agency, are far from independent.  Only by living for others, for giving her whole heart to promote their health, and by finding good children rather than bad can the strong-spoken woman be redeemed.  She must give up her own convictions and become a servant, subjected to sorrow for indulging in emotions like tears, and tied explicitly to the welfare of children.  Lara’s fate parallels this: she may live hidden in the woods where her only outlet and power lies in her children who may guard homes and family life, but cannot speak.  This story invites women to live solely for their children, for their homes, to exist only as a caregiver for others.  To attempt to help themselves would send Lara and Ariel both to death.

 

Yet, the woman in this story is speaking to us.  Above all, this is the story about a woman who is a survivor.  Muted since ancient Greece and deprived of her tongue again by Hans Christian Anderson, Lara is a goddess who persists with her message no matter what.  By illustrating what can happen when the world of water is disparaged and people refuse to listen to their emotions, their intuition, and their attraction to eternal cycles, this story urges everyone to value that side of them.  So often in this world we are cutting out the tongue of our own inner mermaids and naiads-refusing to care for our emotional side, and ignoring our intuitions.  We admonish ourselves to give ourselves over to others rather than retain our own individual voices.  We endure pain like knives piercing us with every step because we think it’s our duty to do things for the sake of others, even when they don’t notice.  Lara’s story is here, surviving through Ariel’s tales, to remind us of the importance of having a voice.  To remind us that deep emotions and intuitive desires can lead us where we need to go, that we should never be fully separated from them.  To remind us to listen to that watery part of ourselves that knows how to imagine new things and follow our dreams.  Forget about children’s behavior, this is a goddess who feels a little less sorrow every time we let our inner mermaids out and listen to our watery side.  This is one of those rare times when Disney got something true: this whole story is about that voice.  Without it Ariel is a shadow, dependent on her friends for help.  With it, she is a princess and rescuer who can obtain anything she wants.

 

There’s a reason everyone who sees “The Little Mermaid” decides to dress up as the mermaid, not the human Ariel-they know what this woman’s voice is really saying: allow yourself the freedom to swim, to imagine, to feel, to sing…and to speak.

 

 

 

Fulla’s shadow: Rapunzel

Lately I’ve felt drawn to contemplate Fulla.  (“Fulla, whose name means ‘Fullness,” “Bounty” or “Plenty.” Fulla is most often described as a handmaiden, possibly sister of the Goddess Frigga. According to the Edda, as Frigga’s Handmaiden, Fulla is entrusted with carrying her casket, looking after Her shoes, and being privy to Her secrets.Fulla might have been viewed as a Goddess of abundance, wealth, prosperity, harvest, and maybe even household management.the gold band Fulla wears round her forehead symbolizes nobility and Her unbound hair indicates Her unmarried status. (Karlsdottir, p. 133). She also speculates that like Sif, Fulla’s long and flowing hair can be viewed as being symbolic of the ripening grain, which would tie nicely into Her role as Habondia, Goddess of the earth’s bounty.”  From: http://krasskova.weebly.com/1/post/2010/11/decembers-deity-of-the-month-fulla-keeper-of-friggas-treasures.html)

 

The more I think about this quiet goddess, the more she seems to be the matriarchal, powerful version of Rapunzel, before patriarchy decided she needed a prince to save her:

-Firstly, both ladies are recognizable by their long, flowing hair.  This is not as superficial as it might sound as in both cases this hair is a link to the earth, to welcome (through bringing people inside the tower or through working together to bring in the harvest and/or sharing the plenty you have), and to abundant growth.   The difference is that Fulla’s abundance feels free and natural, and belongs wholly to herself, whereas Rapunzel is depicted as needing her plentiful hair for protection and escape, as a conduit to external power.  The symbol’s basically the same, the difference is that one lady is powerful and the other is victimized.

 

-Secondly, both Fulla and Rapunzel are linked to the earth-Fulla through portraying wheat and nature’s bounty, and Rapunzel through her mother’s need for rampion plants.  Even in this backstory, Fulla brings out the positive and best in nature, symbolizing control and Rapunzel’s life is worsened and controlled by her link to nature.  Yet, both ladies symbolize the fruits of a harvest, their beauty reflects the generous and good parts of nature, and they remind us that all life should be connected to the earth.  One lady is simply denied her authority and agency in portraying this legacy.

 

-Thirdly, Fulla’s duties center around the space and belongings of her sister Frigga.  Her duties to guard Frigga’s casket and slippers would dictate that Fulla spend much of her time in Frigga’s apartments.  This echoes the relationship of Rapunzel and the witch: she must stay inside a space belonging to the more powerful woman, who has at least an adopted family kinship with the long-haired maiden.  Once again, the similarities are striking but the role of power is completely switched.  Fulla’s position as right-hand lady to Frigga granted her great power and knowledge.  Fulla’s ability to keep secrets and be trusted with important messages is a testament to the wealth of reliance and ability attributed to this goddess.  Most importantly, Fulla keeps by her sister’s things in order to protect them, to support her sister in her power and therefore claim recognition for being partly the source of the abilities of the mistress of Asgard.  It is Fulla in the proactive role, using her agency, and creating even the power technically outside of her and belonging to her sister.

Rapunzel, on the other hand, is shown to be kept within the witch’s confines for her own protection, rather than in order to protect her tower.  Even the versions that show the witch as gaining power from Rapunzel in some form deny Rapunzel agency or power in that dynamic.  So long as the witch is there, Rapunzel cannot have power-she needs to overthrow this other woman.  In Asgard, women knew how to work together to share and build power.  Rapunzel’s story undermines this by denying non-absolute views of authority-it must be oppressor and oppressed.  Moreover, the ability of the maiden to offer protection and plenty is completely reversed.  Rapunzel’s tower has become a symbol of denial, rather than a bastion symbolizing her strength and guarding ability.

 

-Fourthly and most basically, Fulla the maiden goddess owns her own golden band of nobility.  She needs no prince to ennoble or enrich her, just as she needs no prince to rescue or act for her.  Just because this archetype has been carried off and subjected to male dominance does not mean we need to forget her calm power, reassuring protection, or empowering support.

All hail Fulla.

A Tea Song

I had been considering revisiting a Tea Song that I recently wrote, and today is perfect for three reasons:

1. First of December

2. First snowfall here.

3. Goddess Unchi-Ahchi is celebrated today.  She rules over tea, tea sets, and tea hearths, and is honored by enjoying her heat, drinking her drink, and sharing these things along with its uses to aid in meditation and spiritual things with close ones.    http://journeyingtothegoddess.wordpress.com/2012/12/01/goddess-unchi-ahchi/

 

As it is hard to share a drink of tea over the internet, I offer you my song.

 

“Tea Song”

 

The kettle is on,

About to sing its smoke-sweet song.

We’ll pour it in shares,

comforting to our cares,

As the aroma erases what’s wrong.

 

Set out the mugs!

It’s time to pour our liquid hugs,

And get out the honey,

the sugar, and milk

to stir into our drink deep.

 

There’s herbs and there’s spice

to make our world nice

As we sip from the magic we’ve steeped.

It’ll flow to our toes,

Curing as it knows,

And the warmth is for us to keep.

 

Set out the mugs!

It’s time to pour our liquid hugs,

And get out the honey,

the sugar, and milk

to stir into our drink deep.

 

Crossposted on http://wheresmytower.wordpress.com/