Monday, June 21, 2010

Cailleach winter Goddess

I reside in each warm heart."
Pantheon: - Irish/Scottish
Moon Phase: - Triple
Energies: - Divination, prophecies, wisdom, Goddess of Winter
Symbol: Mountains, hills, hammer, deer, staff

**Cailleach is referred to as the “Mother of All” in parts of Scotland. Also known as Scotia, she is depicted as an old hag with cailleach300.jpgthe teeth of a wild bear and boar’s tusks. She is believed to be a great sorceress.

One superstition regarding Calliach is that the farmer who is last to harvest his grain would be the person to “look after” Caileach for the rest of the year, until the next harvest. The first farmer who finishes harvesting would make a corn-dolly from the grain he has harvested. He would, then, pass it on to the next farmer who finishes. It would keep going until the corn-dolly ends up with the last farmer. That last farmer would be obligated to watch the “old woman”.

She is also known to have created the earth. “With her hammer she alternately splinters mountains, prevents the growth of grass, or raises storms. Numerous wild animals follow her…”
– Encyclopedia of the Occult, 1920


Sunday, June 20, 2010


image by Sandra Stanton

Sekhmet (pronounced sek’met), the lion-headed Egyptian Sun Goddess, is known as the destructive aspect of the Sun. Vowing to destroy all humanity in a fit of rage, she went on a killing spree. She was stopped by the intervention of Ra, the high God, who put huge vats of beer mixed with pomegranate juice in her path. Mistaking it for human blood, Sekhmet consumed the drink and became intoxicated. When she woke up, her rage was gone. Red in this painting signifies Sekhmet’s scorching, smoldering nature.

"The Terrible One", "She who is Powerful" "Eye of Ra"

A lion head goddess and a ruler of human fate. She is both a Goddess of war , and a Goddess of Love

Metropolitan Museum of Art

: - Egypt Sekhmet was associated with Upper Egypt, Bast was associated with Lower Egypt.Sekhmet was depicted as a lion-headed woman with the sun disk and uraeus serpent headdress. Although she is connected with Bast, she has no family relationship with the cat goddess. They are two distinct goddesses in their own rights - the Egyptians did not claim they were siblings of any kind. Bast and Sekhmet were an example of Egyptian duality - Sekhmet was a goddess of Upper Egypt, Bast of Lower Egypt (just like the pharaoh was of Upper and/or Lower Egypt!)... and they were linked together by geography, not by myth or legend.
Moon Phase: -Crone
Energies: -destruction, death, rebirth and wisdom. Brings closure to unhealthy things
Symbol: colour red for both the power of the sun & the colour of blood that is shed during battle. Lioness, the cobra, flaming sun, element fire.
Plants and herbs

I burn and fume

and shoot daggers from my eyes

I erupt and roar

(though you’ve not pulled my tail)

my edges are sharp

and I cut deep

my energy is strong and fierce

and my displeasure

needs to be expressed

Though sometimes mild

I can be very intense

Once incited

I am difficult to put out

I am always appropriate

always needed

Don’t try to get rid of me

I need to be acknowledged and heard

I am anger


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Hecate Greco-Roman goddess associated with magic and crossroads.

Hecate by Sandra Stanton

“Be comforted. I am here to guide you through the dark.”

Hecate is the Greek goddess of the crossroads. She is most often depicted as having three heads; one of a dog, one of a snake and one of a horse. She rescued Persephone from the Underworld. Hecate is said to haunt a three-way crossroad, each of her heads facing in a certain direction. She is said to appear when the ebony moon shines.
Hecate – William Blake

Greek mythology combined in her person aspects of the moon, earth and underworld, with power over the sky, earth and sea; she was also associated with witchcraft, magic and the supernatural.

Hekate & Cerberus, Apulian red-figure krater
C4th B.C., Antikensammlungen, Munich

Hekate was usually depicted in Greek vase painting as a woman holding twin torches. Sometimes she was dressed in a knee-length maiden's skirt and hunting boots, much like Artemis.

Hecate, is guardian of the household, protector of everything newly born, and the goddess of witchcraft

A beautiful and powerful goddess in her own right, the Greek goddess Hecate was the only one of the ancient Titans who Zeus allowed to retain their authority once the Olympians seized control. Zeus shared with Hecate, and only her, the awesome power of giving humanity anything she wished (or withholding it if she pleased).

"Hecate (Hekate), a primordial Goddess whose genealogy goes back to Her birth which is said to be at the beginning of time, is a goddess shrouded in mystery. She was originally the Goddess of the wild places, childbirth, and the crossroads. These are all considered to be in between spaces that have been associated with the spirit world, and because these in between spaces are thought to be the places where the veils between the worlds believed to be at their thinnest, they have also been associated with witches, magic, and ghosts. It is from these links that Hecate gained the titles of Queen of Witches, Queen of the Dead, Mistress of Magic, and Queen of Ghosts to eventually become the Crone Goddess. Witches have long evoked her to make their spells more powerful. She is also associated with divination for it is believed she can cut through the darkness, bring visions, call back the past, and reveal the future.

: - Greek?Roman
Moon Phase: - Triple
Energies: - Witchcraft, huntress, wisdom, birth, life, death
Symbol: Dogs, crossroads.

Plants and herbs

The yew, cypress, hazel, black poplar and willow are all sacred to Hecate. The leaves of the black poplar are dark on one side and light on the other, symbolizing the boundary between the worlds. The yew has long been associated with the Underworld. Garlic, almonds, lavender, myrrh, mugwort, cardamon, mint, dandelion, hellebore, and lesser celandine. Several poisons and hallucinogens are linked to Hecate, including belladonna, hemlock, mandrake, aconite (known as hecateis), and opium poppy.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Water Element

Water represents our emotions, healing and psychic abilities. It is the elemnet of wisdom, clarity & common sense. It contains aspects of transformation & purificcation and can also represent death & rebirth - think Crone.

  • Transformation
  • Subconscious
  • Fertilization
  • Purification
  • Reflection
  • Intuition
  • Renewal
  • Blessing
  • Motion
  • Life

Zodiac Sign: Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces. People born under these water astrological signs have dominant water personalities. Water personalities are generally very sensitive, emotional and gifted with intuitive awareness.

Water Planets: Moon, Pluto & Neptune.

Colour: Blue, blue-green, green, grey, silver, white
Direction: West

Time of day: Twilight/evening/dusk

Days of Week: Monday, Friday

Season of year: Autumn

Elemental beings: Undines, sirens, Mermaids, fairies of lakes, streams or ponds.

Places: rivers, lakes, ponds, streams, the ocean, rain - linked to moon as moon controls the

Energy: Femine

Witch's tool - Cup, cauldron, sea salt, bowl

Witch's Pyramid - To Will

Placing on pentagram: upper right.

Magick working: Healing, love, emotions, fertility, dreams, sleep, peace & prophecy, courage, daring,sorrow, intuition,fertility, plants, pleasure, friendship, marriage, happiness, sleep, dreams, reflection, power to dare, cleansing, security

Moon: waning

Tarot cards: cups which represent water element - the emotional side of life.
The Moon card - subconscious
The Temperance card - harmony with cycles.
The Star card - intuition.

Deities: Morgan - nimu (Lady of the Lake), Aphrodite, Oshun the Yoruban river goddess, Isis (Egyptian Fertility Goddess), Hapi (hermaphrodite: Goddess of the Nile)
Poseidon, Triton, Yemaya, Neptune

Archangel: Gabriel

Natural representations: Sea shells, water smoothed pebbles & water.

Animals: Whales, dolphins & fish

Metals: Silver, mercury, copper.

Plants: Blue flowers to represent water & west, chamomile, jasmine, periwinkle, daffodil, yarrow, tomato

Candle; Blue candle

Gemstones: Blue lace agate, aquamarine, blue topaz, fluorite, mother of pearl, pearl, jade, lapis lazuli, sodalite

Essential oil: Jasmine, rose & sandlewood.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Brigit Celtic Goddess of Fire

Brigid, gold-red woman,
Brigid, flame and honeycomb,
Brigid, sun of womanhood,
Brigid, lead me home.

Brigit is both Pagan Goddess and as Christian thought invaded the ancient world, the Goddess Brigid was so powerful that She was morphed into Saint Brigid of Kildare.

Goddess Brigid may indicate that Saint Brigid is partially or entirely a fictional creation based on the pagan figure in order to convert Celts to Christianity; the euhemerization of pagan figures and tradition was a common practice of Christian missionaries However the saint may merely have been named after the goddess.

In Irish mythology, Brigit or Brighid was the daughter of the Dagda and one of the Tuatha Dé Danann. She was the wife of Bres of the Fomorians, with whom she had a son, Ruadán. She had two sisters, Brigid the Physician and Brigid the Smith, but it is generally thought that all three were aspects of the one goddess of poetry, healing, and smithcraft. Elsewhere she is described as the patron of other vital crafts of early Celtic society: dying, weaving and brewing. A goddess of regeneration and abundance, she was greatly beloved as a provider of plenty who brought forth the bounties of the natural world for the good of the people. She is closely connected with livestock and domesticated animals. She is considered a classic Celtic Triple Goddess.

Brigid is celebrated at the Gaelic festival of Imbolc, when she brings the first stirrings of spring to the land. Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox Christians, and some Anglicans mark the day as the Feast of Saint Brigid; the festival is also known as Candlemas and Purification of the Virgin.

: - Celtic
Moon Phase: - Triple
Energies: - arts & crafts, healing, home and hearth, fertility.
Symbol: - Fiery arrow, fire, heath, light, candles, sunrise, springs, wells poetry, thresholds and doorways, bells, cloak, Imbolc, St. Brigid's cross.

I am under the shielding
Of good Brigit each day.
I am under the shielding
Of good Brigit each night.
I am under the keeping
Of the nurse of Mary,
Each early and late,
Every dark, every light.
Brigit is my comrade woman,
Brigit is my make of song,
Brigit is my helping woman,
My choicest of women,
My woman of guidance.

--Carmina Gadelica

If Candlemas day be fair and bright, Winter will have another flight.
If Candlemas day be shower and rain, Winter is gone and will not come again.

"Feed your fires!"

This card in a reading indicates bright inspiration and renewal. Healing may be accessed in both inner and outer aspects of your life, with balance being the key and the method.

St Bride’s day, wherever it is celebrated, is one of the clearest examples of a pagan festival being adopted by Christianity because even the name has not changed. St Bride or Brigid simply took over the mantle of the pagan Brigid, chief goddess of not only the ancient Irish but Celts across a wide swathe of western Europe. The name in Gaelic means ‘bright flame’. In northern Britain she was called Brigantia, chief deity of the Brigantes tribe who were often led by warrior queens. Elsewhere she was called Brigit, Bride, Brighid, Brigandu and Berecynthia.

Brigid’s festival was one of the four main events in the ancient Celtic calendar because it marks the invisible rewakening of Nature within the cold earth. It was also sometimes called Oilmec, ‘Ewe’s Milk’ because it opened the season of lambing.


Monday, June 7, 2010


Achillea millefolium white yarrow or common yarrow.

Achillea millefolium rosea - Red yarrow

yellow Yarrow.

The English name, Yarrow, comes from the Saxon word 'Gearwe.'

The Latin name, Achillea millefolium, is derived from the fact that the herb was dedicated to the God Achilles and the millefolium refers to the many fine leaflets on each yarrow leaf. Achilles said yarrow cured the warriors using yarrow leaves during the battle at Troy. This is probably why yarrow is sometimes called Soldier's Woundwort. Yarrow is also known as Military Herb, Carpenters Weed, Milfoil, Old Mans Pepper, Thousand Leaf, Nosebleed, Seven Year's Love, Devil's Nettle and Devil's Plaything amongst other names.

In ancient China, yarrow stalks were used for divining, although they probably used Chinese yarrow (Achillea asiatica). This method of divination was known as the I Ching or the Yarrow-Stalk Oracle and was done using 50 straight stalks of yarrow. Some still use this method today although, now, the yarrow is usually replaced by 3 coins.

In the Orkney Islands of Scotland, Yarrow tea was a cure for melancholy, while in the Hebrides, a leaf of Yarrow held against the eyes gave "second sight."

Goddess offerings -
God Achilles

Folklore meanings
The witches herb. The beautiful flowers are a welcome addition to any magical altar. Yarrow is nick named "A witches best friend"

Where the Yarrow grows, there is one who knows Clairvoyance - a tea made of 1 tablespoon to 8oz of water will enhance one's powers of perception...

Used in love sachets yarrow can help you find your true love, by sleeping with yarrow under your pillow to bring dreams of your true love.
'Thou pretty herb of Venus' tree,
Thy true name it is Yarrow;
Now who my bosom friend must be,
Pray tell thou me to-morrow.'
---(Halliwell's Popular Rhymes, etc.)

Place in wedding bouquets, as it has the power to keep a couple together happily for seven years.

Worn as an amulet it wards of negativity.

Held in the hand it stops all fear. Gives one courage.

It is said to attract friends and distant relations to you

Flowers - - great as dried flowers - remember always blossoms always look best displayed in odd numbers. brilliant in a moon garden as the white blooms shine and brings the faery folk to play.. Other nice white moon plants are white alyssum, white petunias, moon plants, jasmine tobacco, evening primrose, four o'clocks, evening scented stock.

Yarrow is easily cultivated, will survive in poor soil. Prefers a well-drained soil in a sunny position. A very good companion plant, it improves the health of plants growing nearby and enhances their essential oil content thus making them more resistant to insect predations also improves the soil fertility.
In the garden, yarrow is a useful plant to grow because it will help improve the health of surrounding plants due to the phosphorus, calcium and silica the plant contains. It attracts hoverflies, ladybirds and predatory wasps to help with aphid control. It can help to concentrate the scent and flavour of other herbs growing close by.

Propagation -
In spring, divide and replant established clumps to keep the plants fresh; in summer cut back to prevent self seeding (unless you want it to self seed); in autumn raise new plants from seeds or cuttings as well as divide and replant clumps.

Dried yarrow flowers can be used for decoration and in pot-pourri mixes. Harvest when they are at their peek, Band together & cover with a paper bag - hang upside down to dry.

Add leaves to you compost to help activate soil micro-organisms. One leaf will speed decomposition of a wheelbarrow full or raw compost.

Yarrow's root secretion will activate the disease resistance of nearby plants.

An infusion of yarrow added to the garden to boosts copper levels

Astringent - it tightens tissue to stop bleeding. If you cut yourself and are bleeding (good for shavers), grab a handful of yarrow leaves, rub them to release their juice and pack onto the cut. It will help stop the bleeding If the wound is bad add some thyme leaves to help stop infection. Washed bruised , rolled up leaves of yarrow put up your nose will also helps stop a bleeding nose.

Infuse as a teas and use for:
Peripheral vasodilator - dilates blood vessels especially in the hands and feet

Diaphoretic - assists fever by inducing perspiration.

Digestive stimulant

Anti - spasmodic - helps to relax tight muscles and spasms

Menstrual regulator

Gather leaves & flowers late summer

pick when at their best - they will flower for about 6 weeks. If you dead head them after they have faded, you will get another flowering late Summer - autumn.

Friday, June 4, 2010


There are two plants - Verbena officinalis Also known as Vervain Verbenacae
and Verbena bonariensis known as purple top.

Verbena Officinalis is used for medical purposes. Verbena bonarinsis is the purple top variety and is used in cottage gardens & for magick.

in Egypt Vervain was believed to have originated from the tears of Isis. Greek priests wore its root with their vestments. Vervain was the roman word for alter plants used for spiritual purification. A herb of prophecy by the magi. Anglo-Saxons thought it was as a powerful protector and plant of the holy salre against demons or disease.

Being sacred to Venus - it is used in love potions.

Goddess offerings - Aradia:- rue, vervain/verbena & apple

Cerridwen: vervain/verbena

Folklore meanings

Vervain means witchcraft

Verbena means spellbound.

stem - stiff, upright, square stemmed, hairy stem, die off in winter & re sprout from the base in spring

Leaf - on opposite sides of stem, slightly hairy, saw toothed, dark green

Flowers - small purple flowers in dense, showy clusters at top of the stem - flowers in Nz Jan - June

Grows in dense clumps ideal for cottage garden.

Hardy herbaceous perennial (living for more than 2 years & usually flowering each year)

Roots creeping rhizomes (underground stem, usually spreading horizontally)

site - direct sun or light shade

soil - fertile, well drained loam

propagation - sow in spring

Growing - thin or transplant to 12 inches apart.


verbena purple top Leaf - for love potions

Vervain infuse for eyes as an eye bath

Vervain hair tonic, mix with rosemary & massage infusion into scalp & use it as a rinse


Vervain Whole plant infused as a teas for digestive and for a sedative night cap after nervous exhaustion. For promotion of urine. As an anticoagulant or as a wash for bruising and to cool feverish foreheads

Vervain Leaf infuse as a gargle for sore throats. a poultice of dried leaves to treat wounds.


Pick leaves as required

cut whole plant when in bloom

dry leaves or whole plant if required

Worth reading....

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Broom. broomstick, besom

Besom is a bundle of twigs attached to a handle and used as a broom not to physically clean a floor as a kitchen broom but more to purify and protect - IE sweep away negative energies.

To do this clean the area well with a kitchen broom or vacuum cleaner then work sun wise - so for us in the southern hemisphere widdershins or anti clock wise sweep with the besom a few inches off the floor. Using a besom can be in place of incense to purify a space - especially good option if you have allergies to incense. The broom represents the Element of Air.

Ancient Broom FolkLore
Oil your broom with anointing oil four times a year during each turn of the wheel - Yule (winter), Ostara (spring) Litha (summer) and Mabon (autumn)

Never leave home for long periods of time without informing your broom.

Never use the broom for actual cleaning a floor - inform family members as it can be tempting to play with the broom.

Always stand the broom with the bristles standing up and handle to the floor.