From the blog: Her Maiden Priestess
28 Vaskaras 3336 28 Ceres / 4 September 2016
Today is World Goddess Day, a day of solidarity between Goddess worshippers and interfaith celebration of Her. While we arguably do not have much in common with most ‘Goddess religions’ (a topic I have discussed in the past), I think it is important that we acknowledge our siblinghood with them. We all worship the Divine Feminine, albeit in a different way.
I was planning on doing something small for this day, like talking a walk along and finding somewhere to sit in a park with my scriptures, but unfortunately my awful sleeping cycle and a cold got in the way of this. However, I wanted to make a quick post about this day, since I find it to be a wonderful idea.
“THE WORLD GODDESS DAY PROJECT emerged in 2014 to unite the Mother Goddess’ worshipers world wide through their many expressions and manifestations and held more then 50 events around the World. In 2015, the held more than 80 events. And for 2016 the celebration of the Wolrd Goddess Day will be still bigger!
The purpose of the Project is grant to the Goddess one day of visibility to share Her many myths, stories and worship diversity, so everyone will remember or will know that the first religion of humanity was the Worship of the Goddess.
For many historical reasons the names of the Goddess and her myths have been forgotten and were relegated to mere folkloric curiosity in the Western world by many. The force and power of Her names were lost. Ancient temples are in ruins, ancient chants and invocations are not recited anymore. The many myths of the divine Goddess were set aside and now are part of the fairy tales, losing its sacredness and becoming mere stories only seen by a psychological prism or as sillys legend of ancient people.
Nowdays, the Goddess is reentering into our modern life and bringing back all Her vitality, power, wisdom and healing through the many Pagan traditions that are revitalizing Her worship.”
– World Goddess Day Website
I hope that the souls seeking Dea in this world find Her. While our faith is not for everyone, knowing that there are many others out there who worship Her in some shape or form gives me a great deal of hope.
Using the comparative methodology known as interpretatio graeca, the Greek historian Herodotus (5th century BCE) described Isis by comparison with the Greek goddess Demeter, whose mysteries at Eleusis offered initiates guidance in the afterlife and a vision of rebirth. Herodotus says that Isis was the only goddess worshiped by all Egyptians alike. ( Herodotus, Histories. 2.42 and 156. )
After the conquest of Egypt by Alexander the Great and the Hellenization of the Egyptian culture initiated by Ptolemy I Soter, Isis became known as Queen of Heaven. ( R.E Witt, Isis in the Ancient World, 1997, ISBN 0-8018-5642-6 ) Other Mediterranean goddesses, such as Demeter, Astarte, and Aphrodite, became identified with Isis, as did the Arabian goddess Al-‘Uzzá through a similarity of name, since etymology was thought to reveal the essential or primordial nature of the thing named. This is particularly characteristic of Stoic philosophy. ( See in general Davide Del Bello, Forgotten Paths: Etymology
and the Allegorical Mindset (Catholic University of America Press, 2007). )
An alabaster statue of Isis from the 3rd century BCE, found in Ohrid, in the Republic of Macedonia, is depicted on the obverse of the Macedonian 10 Macedonian denar banknote, issued in 1996. “Banknotes in circulation: 10 Denars”. National Bank of the Republic of Macedonia. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
Roman statue of Isis, black and white marble, first half of the second century CE, found in Naples, Italy. Collection of Greek and Roman Antiquities in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna. The Romanization of the Egyptian Isis is complete with her vesture and iconography. Photo by Gryffindor/Wikimedia Commons.
Diodorus of Sicily (first century BCE) was of the opinion that two of the known world’s most ancient deities would also be the most long-lived—Isis, the moon, and Osiris, the sun. To the newly-forming Roman society, sense had to be made of Egypt’s plethora of deities. As per Diodorus, the Greeks would often appropriate the most famous gods and heroes of Egypt.
As was seen a few centuries earlier under Ptolemy I, Isis and Osiris were decreed to be on the top of the hierarchy. Isis was identified with Hera, Selene, Demeter, Artemis, and other major Greek deities. Both Diodorus and Herodotus preserve claims of the Eleusinian and Demeter mysteries as originating from those of Isis. Diodorus even confidently states that the priestly families of Eleusis at Eumolpidae are Egyptian because they are the only Greeks who “swear by Isis.” When Greece came under Roman dominion, the amalgamated Greek Isis would again merge, this time with Roman counterparts.
An Isis Timeline
Katherine Schaefers, M.A.
(This scholar, makes the mistake of equating a Goddess with the moon, when she was/is a Goddess of the Cosmos).
Comparing Initiation Rites: Isis and Demeter
Ceres statue in Swaffham Norfolk
Ceres, The Roman Goddess Of The Harvest in Norfolk.
(Please click all photos to enlarge into a slide show).
It’s a town that grew in importance during the Middle Ages, and in the 14th and 15th Centuries it was home to a flourishing sheep and wool industry which is why it has its market place with the striking Butter Cross, designed in 1781 and completed in 1784, paid for by George Walpole, 3rd Earl of Orford. You can’t fail to miss it! It comprises of eight stone columns supporting a dome. Resting on top of the dome of The Butter Cross is a statue of the Roman Goddess Ceres, the goddess of agriculture, grain crops, fertility and motherly relationships. As this is a very rural and arable area of Norfolk, Ceres is an appropriate goddess to have!
Images taken today 28th December 2013 of Ceres, the Roman Goddess of the Harvest who stands on top of Swaffham’s Butter Cross on the market place.
In 1795 the Day family of three brothers opened a bank trading under the name of the “Norwich and Swaffham Bank”. It printed its own notes which are still sought after by collectors. It failed in 1826 and eventually became part of Barclays Bank.
The sickle carried by Ceres on the banknote was wrongly engraved. Ceres holds a small sheaf of wheat in her hand instead.
Middle: Norwich & Swaffham Bank One Pound 1825
Right: Norfolk & Norwich Joint Stock Banking Co. £5 dated 183_
Alma Mater Bountiful Mother Grain Harvest
With thanks to ArchMatrona Georgia for inspiring this post.
(Please click on the photographs to enlarge into a slide show.)
Left: Hay Harvest at Éragny by Camille Pissarro 1901
Middle: John Linnell The Harvest Cradle
Right: My Harvest Home 1835
Corn Dolly’s Origins.
The corn dolly’s origins are ancient. Variations of it can be found all over the world.
Farmers used to believe that the spirit of th Corn remained in the last sheaf to be harvested. This had to be preserved to ensure a successful crop next year. Often the last sheaf was made into a Corn Dolly, Harvest maid or Mother of Earth to hold the spirit of the corn over the winter.
It is thought that the earliest type of corn dolly is the cornucopia or Horn
of Plenty. The Neck or traditional dolly found in Britain is a variation of this form. Over the centuries more elaborate types developed, particularly in the East of England.
“Harvest home, harvest home,
We have ploughed, we have sowed,
We have reaped, we have mowed,
We have brought home every load,
Hip, hip, hip, harvest home.”
(traditional harvesting song).
Harvest celebrations and rituals varied in different parts of the country, and even between farms in the same village. But some of these traditions existed throughout the country.
The workers would elect a Lord of the Harvest to organise the bringing in of the corn.
The last sheaf or ‘neck’ would be tied and all the workers would stand in a circle and throw their scythes at it. This meant that no one person was responsible for cutting the last sheaf, which was considered unlucky. This act was accompanied by a shout to let the neighbours know the harvesting was successful. This was known as ‘crying the neck’. The neck was often made into a corn dolly.
The harvest procession with the last load back to the farm was loud and colourful. In the evening the harvest supper took place, a great celebration of a successful harvest. A corn dolly would be present throughout.
The corn dolly was kept in the farmhouse until next year’s crop had been sown. It was then broken on the field to make sure the spirit of the corn made the next crop grow.
Although the corn dolly and harvest traditions are pagan in origin, these rituals were gradually absorbed into the Christian calendar. These celebrations are now preserved in church harvest festivals.
Making a Corn Dolly.
Modern wheat varieties have short, solid brittle stems to enable combine harvesters to work effectively. It is not possible to make corn dollies out of this straw.
The straw needs to be pliable and tough. It needs to be hollow so that a new straw can be inserted to extend the length. It also has to be specially grown and scythed by hand, as combine harvesters damage the straw.
Wheat is most often used, but corn dollies are also made from rye and oat straw.
Plaiting and braiding
Most dollies are made by plaiting the straw.
Only the top of the straw is used, between the ear and the top joint. Before use it is dampened (‘tempered’) in hot water for about an hour. This makes the straw more pliable.
To make a traditional dolly or neck about 150 straws are needed. About 80 of these are used to make a cigar-shaped core (A). A 5 straw plait is then woven around the solid core (B). This gives the dolly its familiar spiral pattern. At the end of the core the plait forms a length of briad which is bent round to form a loop (C). A number of corn heads are inserted at the opposite end to finish the dolly (D).
Most types of corn dolly are decorated with a ribbon bow.
The colours are traditional and have their own meanings.
White is for purity
Blue is the colour of the corn flower, and also stands for truth.
Red is the colour of the poppy and the blood of sacrifice.
Yellow represents the sun and ripe corn.
Green stands for fertility and new growth in spring.
“These originally represented the Goddess, as their names show – Kern Baby (from Keres), Cailleach (ancient Lady), the Maiden, etc. These were reminiscent not only of the Daughter, who refers to Herself as ‘the ear of corn that is reaped in silence’ (Mythos: 7: 19: the respect shown to the last sheaf, from which the doll was often made, reflects this image), but also of the Mother, whose continuous act of creation maintains the cycles fo life from seed to harvest.”
The Coming Age, Autumn, 1976 Issue 4.
I would also include the Great Mother as Ground of All Being, Source of All.
Top Left: Fylfot Corndoll a sun wheel or brighids cross, found in the Museum of Rural Life in Reading, Berkshire
Top Right: Corn Sun Wheel
Middle Right: Mexican Heart of Corn
Bottom Left & Right: Cornucopia of Corn
The centuries old local names for the figure created from the last precious stalks of wheat were (and still are) used, names such as Cailleach, Churn, Clyack, Corn Maiden, Hag, Harvest Maid, Ivy Girl, Kern Baby (Kirk baba), Kern Maiden, Maiden, Mell, Mare, and Neck and in other countries, Arûseh (Corn Bride) and Corazón (Heart).
The term ‘Corn Dolly’ is a relatively modern generic one, coined in the early part of the 20th Century, together with names such as Cambridge Umbrella, Stafford Knot, Suffolk Horseshoe, etc. which described the style of a Corn Dolly from a particular region. Prior to this they were known as ‘Harvest Trophies’.
My research also revealed that “Dolly” may be a corruption of the word “idol” or may have come directly from the Greek word eidolon, that which ‘represents something else’.
Ops Consiva meaning Wealth from Planting.
From her name, we derive the word opulent. Her medieval name was Habondia or Abundance.
She is both a goddess of sowing and reaping.
Worshippers invoked her by touching the ground.
August 25 Opiconsivia
A Roman harvest festival in honour of Her.
Farias, Helen, Calendar Notes, The Beltane Papers, 1992
30th July 2016 Baling on my mother family’s land Midlands
18th August 2016 wheat harvesting on my mother family’s land Midlands
16 Vaskaras 3336
Today is the Day of Werde, a day in which Deanists examine the spiritual direction we are taking in our current lives, and how they will affect things in the future, both for us and others around us. The Three Werdes (similar to the Three Fates in Greek Mythology) weave the web of fate, and we can altar that web with the things we do and say each and every day. Many of us are familiar with ‘the butterfly effect’. A butterfly flapping its wings in the desert might start a hurricane elsewhere, and one kind action can prompt the receiver of your kindness to perform a kind action towards somewhere else, and the chain continues.
One of my favourite animated movies, The Prince of Egypt (which tells the story of Exodus from the Torah and the Bible), has a lovely song called Through Heaven’s Eyes, which has some lines that sum up some of the key principles of this day:
“A single thread in a tapestry, though its color brightly shine
Can never see its purpose in the pattern of the grand design”
“If a man lose ev’rything he owns, has he truly lost his worth?
Or is it the beginning of a new and brighter birth?”
“No life can escape being blown about by the winds of change and chance
And though you never know all the steps, you must learn to join the dance”
I would like to share some of my personal goals this Day of Werde:
- Go vegetarian again some time in the next couple of months. Though I am only one person, me becoming vegetarian may prompt others to (as others and Dea’s direction have prompted me to) and thus save more animals and help our sister Earth heal from the wounds she has received due to the farming industry.
- Becoming more spiritually active. I tend to go through cycles of faith. My faith in Dea is always there, but I often find myself becoming spiritually apathetic during the times when I need Dea the most. I want to stop ignoring Her and reaching out to Her more, and performing my duties as a priestess better. This affects my werde my bringing my soul closer to Her, and helping me move forward in future lives.
- Spending more time with loved ones. I got back from holiday last Saturday with my mother and sister, and it made me realised how much I love spending time with them and how I don’t do it enough. Also, my grandmother lives ten minutes away, and I don’t see her as much as I’d like to. I want to make an effort to see her more, since her health is deteriorating as of late due to smoking and she has been very depressed.
- Be more charitable. My cities homelessness rates are some of the worst in the country, and while I sleep comfortably in my bed, there are people who are lucky to find a sheltered spot outdoors to sleep in. I walk past these people all the time and even when I have spare change to give them, I often do not, for one reason or other. If I can help these people just by buying them a sandwich or giving them money to get to a shelter, that’s one positive little wave I’ve created in the ocean of the universe, and that’s what the Day of Werde is all about.
If you’re comfortable sharing, I’d love to hear some of your goals this Day of Werde!
The Moons of Ceres 1st Ceres / 8th August – 28th Ceres / September 4th 2016
Aug 18th: Abundant Moon. (For the Celestial Mother).
Sept 1st: Dark Moon. (For the Great Mother).
– Crescent Moon. (For the Holy Daughter).
In the next Sacred Month of Abalon due to the secular month Black Moon 1st and 30th September 2016
The Black Moon rising on Friday September 30, means the month will be closing with its second very dark night. In fact, the first new moon actually took place on the first of the month, which means September 2016 will be bookended by darkness.
Though the name sounds ominous, according to Space.com, the term Black Moon simply refers to the rare occurrence of two new moons in a single month [secular month].
Thealogically, I think that the absence of a Crescent Moon (For the Holy Daughter) is not a good sign for the month as far as a devotional Rite is concerned.
Sacred Month of Ceres August 8th – September 4th
This is a Clan Jana named month.
Goddess of Corn and grains. The word cereal stems from Ceres.
The Madrian1&2 name was Hesperis meaning evening star because the evenings lengthen.
The month renamed by Clan Jana as Sunna was originally named Kerea from the root word Ker, which means Horn as in Horn of Plenty or Cornucopia.
I see this month as a celebration and thanks giving to
“The Bright Mother and Her gifts to the world. We find in the world a memory of that golden time when the Bright Mother was near to the world and joy held sway over all.
137 From “A Year with Dea” by Brythwen Sinclair
Recommended purchase for Dea’nists and Filianics
In ancient Roman religion, Ceres Latin: Cerēs was a goddess of agriculture, grain crops, fertility and motherly relationships.
The Romans saw her as the counterpart of the Greek goddess Demeter.
Ceres was a kind and benevolent goddess to the Romans and they had a common expression, “fit for Ceres,” which meant splendid.
Ceres was credited with the discovery of spelt wheat (Latin far), the yoking of oxen and ploughing, the sowing, protection and nourishing of the young seed, and the gift of agriculture to humankind; before this, it was said, man had subsisted on acorns, and wandered without settlement or laws. She had the power to fertilise, multiply and fructify plant and animal seed, and her laws and rites protected all activities of the agricultural cycle.
Ceres’ name derives from the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European root *ḱerh₃-, meaning “to satiate, to feed”, which is also the root for Latin crescere “to grow” and through it, the English words create and increase. Roman etymologists thought ceres derived from the Latin verb gerere, “to bear, bring forth, produce”
Throughout the Roman era, Ceres’ name was synonymous with grain and, by extension, with bread.
 Room, Adrian, Who’s Who in Classical Mythology, p. 89-90. NTC Publishing 1990. ISBN 0-8442-5469-X.
 Lexikon der Indogermanischen Verben
There were 2 groups of Madrians, 1 the publicity seeking, lesbian separatists and 2 the more secretive gendar inclusive group from which Clan Jana originates. So in future I will number the source Madrian1 and Madrian2.