Category Archives: Uncategorized

A Year’s Journey

“When setting out on a journey do not seek advice from someone who never left home.”        Rumi

A little over a year ago I woke on a snowy morning as the world imploded in the midst of a global pandemic. I had just been laid off from my part-time job because of COVID-19 and I was really worried about finances. On that March morning near spring equinox as we entered lock down, worst case scenarios were being examined and the situation was grim. I felt the world would never be the same. As I look back the world has changed dramatically, but so have I through the journey of this year. 

On that snowy morning I woke from a vivid dream that felt like a “call.” I titled the dream Messenger Bag. In the dream I carried every bit of my work, wallet, worth, and identity in a saddle-colored Messenger Bag. Historically, these bags have been used by Roman legionnaires, army medics, electronics repair people, and college students. Messenger bags are still in widespread use by letter carriers, who rode horses in earlier times, then bicycles, and now trucks, faithfully carrying their messages.

The Messenger bag contained every bit of my life’s work past, present, and future. My first book was titled Messengers, so the symbol had layers of meaning. In the dream I kept putting the heavy bag down, and forgetting to take it with me, as I searched in the dream for a way to get fed. The simple interpretation was I had a great deal of work that needed attention and shouldn’t be ignored or forgotten. In answer to what felt like a clarion call of guidance I turned eighty of my two decades of Atlantis Rising articles into a two-volume Sky Lore Anthology.

And then, I began a new book—Symbol & Synchronicity: Learning the Soul’s Language. The journey of this book began in earnest before I fully understood what the task would entail; but that is the way of a quest. If we knew when we set out what we would face after we cross the threshold we might lose courage. There are always dark times of doubt as well as powerful moments of guidance and miraculous inspiration. My journey through this book has been characterized by both, but I have experienced firsthand the potential for transformation the process contains. I am not the same person who set out on this journey a year ago. 

The journey has taken me from theory to practice in a powerful way. As I finished the first draft and looked back, I knew with a deep sense of wonder that what I had written was indeed a journey that connected inner space with my outer world. Indeed, I feel that the larger purpose of this book, and the profound journey the writing has taken, have made clear to me the power of dreams as guides on our spiritual path. Once we know that we walk this Path with the humble heart of a true pilgrim, dreams become like beacons, milestones, markers along the way. 

 

Over the course of writing this book I had roughly two dozen dreams that I recalled in the morning, recorded, and worked with—some more than others. There were other dream fragments, but they slipped away as I woke, and maybe only one symbol remained. As significant dreams occurred, at what would later be revealed as critical moments, I faced my core issues and did my best to apply what I was learning. Overcoming self-doubt, and gaining courage and confidence, were key to my progress. The journey of the book has been the metaphor for the lessons of my life and the dreams have chronicled the steps. 

After a year’s journey, next month I will begin a crowd funding campaign to finance the publishing of the book. I find that prospect to be one more intense test of courage and confidence. But my faith and heart are stronger, and I feel ready to face the challenge. Stay tuned for the next stage of the journey, and thanks so much for your comradeship along the way. 

Great Wheel of the Ages

Posted on January 7, 2021 by julieloar

“For the present is the point where time touches eternity.” C.S. Lewis

Turning of the Great Wheel

Earth’s Motions

Earth wobbles as she spins and circles the Sun. This wobble is caused by the pull of gravity from the Sun and other objects in the Solar System, and the result causes our view of the sky to slowly change over thousands of years. In astronomy, this motion is known as axial precession, causing the sky to shift over time at the rate of one degree of arc every 72 years. In astrology this slow motion causes different stars to rise ahead of the Sun at spring equinox in the northern hemisphere, which marks the passage of the astrological ages.

Called the Great Year, and composed of twelve cosmic months that are the astrological ages, this cycle lasts roughly 26,000 years. The points of reference for this backward motion, called Precession of the Equinoxes, are the zodiac constellations that form the ecliptic, the Sun’s apparent path. Each age is about 2,160 years and we are now passing from the Age of Pisces into the Age of Aquarius. This cycle is called precession because the motion is in the opposite direction from the Sun’s apparent direction through the zodiac in a year.

Another result of the wobble, which creates another frame of reference, occurs at the poles. Like a spinning top Earth’s axis causes an imaginary circle to be traced in the sky by the poles. As the orientation of the north pole shifts relative to the circumpolar stars, a different North Star moves into position. 12,000 years ago, the star Thuban, brightest star in the constellation of Draco, the Dragon, was the pole star.

Great Ages

A great wheel also exists at the heart of the Hindu tradition in phases that are called yugas. The Greeks and Romans had ages that ranged from an idyllic Golden Age that descended over thousands of years into the Iron Age. The changing of ages has long cusps, or transitional periods, and there are no precise demarcations of the circle where one influence stops and a new one begins. The duration of an astrological age is characterized by the archetypal energies of the constellation whose stars rise before the Sun at spring equinox dawn. We can only look back in time to sense approximately which archetype held sway and what experience humanity drew from to unfold our emerging pattern. The Age of Pisces, the Fishes, began about 2,000 years ago and has been marked by symbols and icons of fish.

Each phase of the Great Year is like a month, possessing a distinct and overarching quality of experience. The ages can be seen as spokes of the cosmic wheel, presenting a phase shift of archetypal energy designed to provide an evolutionary school room for developing humanity. Since the great cycle of the ages is a repeating pattern, perhaps we can learn something about our present and future from a better understanding of the past. What follows are brief reflections on past ages and a short look ahead to the Age of Aquarius. Next month I will explore that topic in more detail.

(Note: The dates given below are approximations, and the decidedly arbitrary lengths of the ages are arrived at by dividing the Great Year by twelve. Many believe the Age of Aquarius has already begun).

Age of Leo – 10,600 BCE – 8440 BCE

The age of Leo may have been the mythical golden age referred to in many ancient legends. The date generally accepted as the final destruction of Atlantis correlates with the timeframe for the age of Leo. According to certain occult traditions Atlantean civilization reached its zenith during this age of kings and also failed whatever tests were presented. Symbolically, humanity’s task during this age was finding the light within, learning self-rule rather than being subject to external authority. All the legends of Atlantis point to the fact that this lesson was not fully learned or integrated. The astronomy work of researchers Robert Bauval and Graham Hancock convincingly argue that the Great Sphinx of Egypt was a lion that mirrored the sky and the constellation of Leo at this time.

Age of Cancer – 8440 BCE – 6280 BCE

Symbolically the oceans of Cancer swallowed up the external evidence of ancient cultures, but new discoveries in Turkey and India, dating to 11,000 years ago, are pushing back the generally accepted dates and ideas about the sophistication of civilizations that existed at this time. The evolutionary lesson for the age of Cancer related to new ideas about home and tribe. After the destruction of Atlantis humanity’s relationship with technology was stripped away and the simple values of the hearth and heart and growing food became the central focus.

Age of Gemini – 6280 BCE – 4120 BCE

Scholars believe this period was characterized by widespread migrations, which is a very Gemini theme. From a post-flood simplicity cultures expanded and spread out, perhaps in many cases as hunter gatherers. Mythically deities were twins, brothers and sisters, during this time. Shadowy origins of pre-dynastic Egypt puzzle researches as a brilliant and complex civilization seems to have sprung full blown from the sands of the desert. Historically the links have been missing, but ongoing discoveries are filling in the blanks. The lessons of the age of Gemini involved making new connections and reintroducing the curious rational mind into the repertoire of skills.

Age of Taurus – 4120 BCE – 1960 BCE

During the age of Taurus the Bull, Minotaurs, Apis bulls, and the Bull of Heaven dominated myth and iconography. Conventional wisdom declares this to be a time of primarily agricultural societies where the domestication of cattle and the mastery of the element of earth is displayed through an emphasis on fertility. Farming and centralized settlements reemerged. In what seems to be a stunning contradiction this period saw the Dynastic period in Egypt where monumental temples and tombs were built. The lessons of the age of Taurus involved humanity’s relationship with the physical world and possessions. Greed versus generosity were themes.

Age of Aries – 1960 BCE – 200 CE

Next the march of ages brought the ram-headed god Khnum of Egypt to the stellar throne. This period might be described as an age of heroes as the “lamb” was ritually slain and the mythic focus turned to conquest and a glorification of war. In this period sons became more important than daughters and inheritance through the male line replaced matrilineal succession. By 330 BCE Alexander’s conquests had established Greece as a major power and the force that seemed to provide the container for “modern” civilization. The lessons of the age of Aries included such positive characteristics as valor and such negative qualities as brutality and mindless exploitation and domination.

Age of Pisces – 200 CE – 2400 CE

The age of Pisces has seen the emergence of hierarchy in organized religion and the growth of monastic orders, following the pattern of the ill-named Holy Roman Empire. After the destruction of the Jerusalem temple in 70 CE what became Christianity began to emerge. By 200 CE this thrust was well entrenched and we have seen increasing industrialization of parts of the world with the centralization of wealth. In the age the lamb of god became the fisher of men. The archetype of suffering has hopefully provided a schoolroom for humanity to become more compassionate.

If Aries is the first sign in the forward motion of the zodiac, then moving in the reverse direction of Precession Aries would complete a cycle. Therefore, the age of Pisces the twelfth sign, would have commenced a whole new cycle of precession. That we started counting time again two millennia ago might be seen as confirmation of this.

Age of Aquarius – 2400 CE – 4560 CE

From the disappearance of Atlantis nearly 13,000 years ago we have moved half way around the wheel of precession. This opposition of signs may well bring the ascension of sunken Atlantis, symbolically if not literally, in terms of reclaimed knowledge. Our understanding of how far back our story goes will be ascertained. As we approach the much-heralded age of Aquarius, the stars of the Water Bearer will replace those of the Fishes. At some point a new archetype for the Aquarian age will emerge and the diversity of this expression can already be witnessed in young people around the world. At the least we can expect a greater degree of scientific detachment. The already exponential growth of technology will continue, and early examples of this are electricity, space travel, and the Internet. The lessons of this age are similar to that of Atlantis; will the enlightened use of technology be used in service of the collective, or will unleashed forces destroy us again?If we learn us lessons in the new age we will travel to the stars and meet the other beings who live there.

Check in next month for a more detailed exploration of the Age of Aquarius.

Sagittarius Goddesses

“Aim for the stars, and keep your feet on the ground.”

Goddesses for Every Day

Sagittarius is a mutable fire sign and embodies the idea of illumination that results from the joining of balanced power in the two prior signs, Scorpio and Libra.  Sagittarius energy is philosophical in nature, seeking wisdom and an understanding of fundamental archetypal principles.  While its opposite sign Gemini tends to gather information, Sagittarius looks for wide and varied experiences that ultimately lead to spiritual understanding.  The path of Sagittarius is to learn the patterns that lie at the root of our problems and challenges.  This search can lead to true perception and the ability to focus and direct the fire of aspiration.

The Goddess Sign for Sagittarius is the Bow and Arrow, and this symbol affirms that we should aim for the stars and keep our feet on the ground.  In traditional astrology, Sagittarius is symbolized by the Archer, who is a centaur.  Many goddesses, in fact some of the most ancient, are huntresses who live in primeval forests and guard the animals who live there.  For these goddesses hunting is not sport but a sacred act of reciprocity that is represented in women’s lives and the Earth herself.  The Sagittarian hunt can also be seen more symbolically as the quest for wisdom, engaging the fire of aspiration that takes us into a larger view of the world.  Goddesses that are included in Sagittarius represent wisdom, dreams, providence, fortune, the voices of oracles, and horse goddesses who are kin to centaurs.  Because Sagittarius is ruled in astrology by the sky god Jupiter, a mythical latecomer, goddesses of light, wisdom, thunder and lightning are also included.

Diana is the Roman goddess of the hunt.  She is equivalent to the Greek Artemis, although Diana is thought be of earlier Italian origin.  Diana was envisioned as riding across the sky in a chariot drawn by two white stags.  Much later, she and her twin Apollo were born on the Greek island of Delos.  Many temples to Diana were later converted to churches dedicated to Mary.  Danu is the ancient mother goddess of the Celtic Tuatha De Dannan, the “people of the goddess Danu.”  They were believed to be a magical race of beings skilled in the lore of the Druids.  They are linked to the legendary fairy folk who live beneath the hills.  The root of Danu’s name means “overflowing abundance,” which is a likely connection to a Sagittarius goddess.  

Fortuna is the Roman goddess whose domain is good fortune, as her name suggests.  She was worshipped far and wide in the Roman world.  People visited her shrines to appeal for her positive intervention in their changing fortunes, and she was usually depicted on a grand scale.  Tyche, whose name also means “fortune,” is a Greek mother goddess who likewise has dominion over fate and luck.  She is usually depicted standing on a wheel, blindfolded and winged.  A statue found in Petra, Jordan, shows Tyche’s face within a zodiac, which is supported by the winged goddess of victory,  Nike.  It was said no ruler of Antioch had the ability to act without Tyche’s favor. 

Bilquis is an Arabian goddess from Yemen who scholars equate with the legendary Queen of Sheba. Bilquis was half djinn, or genie, on her mother’s side, and was endowed with magical powers and great wisdom.  One lineage considers her to be the mother of Menelik, the king of Ethiopia, who was Solomon’s son and part of a dynasty that extends to present-day Rastafarians.  Minerva was the goddess and keeper or guardian of Rome itself, although she is Etruscan in origin.  Her name derives from an Indo-European root that means “mind.”  Minerva was seen as the actual embodiment of wisdom.  Athena, or Pallas Athena, is a famous Greek goddess of wisdom.  The owl, who is able to see in the darkness, is her sacred animal.  The Greeks named the city of Athens for her in gratitude for the gift of the olive tree.  In a contest for the honor, Poseidon struck a rock on the Acropolis and created a spring, but Athena won the day when her olive seed sprouted and bore fruit. 

Sapienta, whose name means “feminine wisdom” is another archetype of wisdom.  Wisdom was sophia to the Greeks and chockmah to the Jews.  The Latin Sapienta thrived as a hidden goddess of philosophical inquiry between the fifth and fifteenth centuries when the sacred feminine was considered heresy.  In a similar way, Shekinah, the feminine side of God in the Jewish tradition, is seen as the principle of light that dwelled at the very heart of the Jerusalem temple. Sarah, who is described in the Bible and the Quran, is really a goddess in disguise.  Her name means both “goddess” and “princess.”  In rabbinic literature her gifts of prophecy were greater than those of her husband, Abraham, since Sarah received her prophecies directly from God rather than from angels.  As a human woman she was a Chaldean princess who brought both wealth and status to her husband.  

Pandora was a Greek goddess whose name means “all giver.”  Her story is an example of how powerful goddesses were diminished as the patriarchy ascended to power.  In the early myths, Pandora was married to Prometheus and she dispensed only good gifts to humanity   The identification of “Pandora’s box” was a later invention and a translation mistake.  The container was a honey jar, a pithos, which poured out only sweet blessings.  Bona Dea, the “good goddess,” was a healer whose special rites were celebrated on December 4, the date she is honored in Goddesses For Every Day.  She was shown seated on a throne and holding a cornucopia.  She was worshipped in gardens of medicinal herbs where sick people were tended.

Rhiannon is a Welsh horse goddess who name derives from Rigantona, which means “great queen.”  She was made famous in modern times by means of the popular song of the same name written and sung by Stevie Nicks.  In the magical and mysterious ways of the Goddess, Nicks liked the name when she read it in a novel but was unaware of the myth until after she wrote the enduring song.  Rolling Stone magazine rated Rhiannon as one of the greatest songs of all time.  

Wherever the idea of wisdom is found in traditions around the world it is always seen as feminine.  I believe it’s because wisdom can be seen as a container in which we gather our experiences and knowledge.  Because vessels are always feminine, and true wisdom involves compassion, it is an essentially feminine and receptive quality—something we attain and hold.  During the time of Sagittarius we can call upon powerful goddesses of wisdom and light to guide us through the dark time of the year.

Sagittarius is a mutable fire sign and embodies the idea of illumination that results from the joining of balanced power in the two prior signs, Scorpio and Libra.  Sagittarius energy is philosophical in nature, seeking wisdom and an understanding of fundamental archetypal principles.  While its opposite sign Gemini tends to gather information, Sagittarius looks for wide and varied experiences that ultimately lead to spiritual understanding.  The path of Sagittarius is to learn the patterns that lie at the root of our problems and challenges.  This search can lead to true perception and the ability to focus and direct the fire of aspiration.

The Goddess Sign for Sagittarius is the Bow and Arrow, and this symbol affirms that we should aim for the stars and keep our feet on the ground.  In traditional astrology, Sagittarius is symbolized by the Archer, who is a centaur.  Many goddesses, in fact some of the most ancient, are huntresses who live in primeval forests and guard the animals who live there.  For these goddesses hunting is not sport but a sacred act of reciprocity that is represented in women’s lives and the Earth herself.  The Sagittarian hunt can also be seen more symbolically as the quest for wisdom, engaging the fire of aspiration that takes us into a larger view of the world.  Goddesses that are included in Sagittarius represent wisdom, dreams, providence, fortune, the voices of oracles, and horse goddesses who are kin to centaurs.  Because Sagittarius is ruled in astrology by the sky god Jupiter, a mythical latecomer, goddesses of light, wisdom, thunder and lightning are also included.

Diana is the Roman goddess of the hunt.  She is equivalent to the Greek Artemis, although Diana is thought be of earlier Italian origin.  Diana was envisioned as riding across the sky in a chariot drawn by two white stags.  Much later, she and her twin Apollo were born on the Greek island of Delos.  Many temples to Diana were later converted to churches dedicated to Mary.  Danu is the ancient mother goddess of the Celtic Tuatha De Dannan, the “people of the goddess Danu.”  They were believed to be a magical race of beings skilled in the lore of the Druids.  They are linked to the legendary fairy folk who live beneath the hills.  The root of Danu’s name means “overflowing abundance,” which is a likely connection to a Sagittarius goddess.  

Fortuna is the Roman goddess whose domain is good fortune, as her name suggests.  She was worshipped far and wide in the Roman world.  People visited her shrines to appeal for her positive intervention in their changing fortunes, and she was usually depicted on a grand scale.  Tyche, whose name also means “fortune,” is a Greek mother goddess who likewise has dominion over fate and luck.  She is usually depicted standing on a wheel, blindfolded and winged.  A statue found in Petra, Jordan, shows Tyche’s face within a zodiac, which is supported by the winged goddess of victory,  Nike.  It was said no ruler of Antioch had the ability to act without Tyche’s favor. 

Bilquis is an Arabian goddess from Yemen who scholars equate with the legendary Queen of Sheba. Bilquis was half djinn, or genie, on her mother’s side, and was endowed with magical powers and great wisdom.  One lineage considers her to be the mother of Menelik, the king of Ethiopia, who was Solomon’s son and part of a dynasty that extends to present-day Rastafarians.  Minerva was the goddess and keeper or guardian of Rome itself, although she is Etruscan in origin.  Her name derives from an Indo-European root that means “mind.”  Minerva was seen as the actual embodiment of wisdom.  Athena, or Pallas Athena, is a famous Greek goddess of wisdom.  The owl, who is able to see in the darkness, is her sacred animal.  The Greeks named the city of Athens for her in gratitude for the gift of the olive tree.  In a contest for the honor, Poseidon struck a rock on the Acropolis and created a spring, but Athena won the day when her olive seed sprouted and bore fruit. 

Sapienta, whose name means “feminine wisdom” is another archetype of wisdom.  Wisdom was sophia to the Greeks and chockmah to the Jews.  The Latin Sapienta thrived as a hidden goddess of philosophical inquiry between the fifth and fifteenth centuries when the sacred feminine was considered heresy.  In a similar way, Shekinah, the feminine side of God in the Jewish tradition, is seen as the principle of light that dwelled at the very heart of the Jerusalem temple. Sarah, who is described in the Bible and the Quran, is really a goddess in disguise.  Her name means both “goddess” and “princess.”  In rabbinic literature her gifts of prophecy were greater than those of her husband, Abraham, since Sarah received her prophecies directly from God rather than from angels.  As a human woman she was a Chaldean princess who brought both wealth and status to her husband.  

Pandora was a Greek goddess whose name means “all giver.”  Her story is an example of how powerful goddesses were diminished as the patriarchy ascended to power.  In the early myths, Pandora was married to Prometheus and she dispensed only good gifts to humanity   The identification of “Pandora’s box” was a later invention and a translation mistake.  The container was a honey jar, a pithos, which poured out only sweet blessings.  Bona Dea, the “good goddess,” was a healer whose special rites were celebrated on December 4, the date she is honored in Goddesses For Every Day.  She was shown seated on a throne and holding a cornucopia.  She was worshipped in gardens of medicinal herbs where sick people were tended.

Rhiannon is a Welsh horse goddess who name derives from Rigantona, which means “great queen.”  She was made famous in modern times by means of the popular song of the same name written and sung by Stevie Nicks.  In the magical and mysterious ways of the Goddess, Nicks liked the name when she read it in a novel but was unaware of the myth until after she wrote the enduring song.  Rolling Stone magazine rated Rhiannon as one of the greatest songs of all time.  

Wherever the idea of wisdom is found in traditions around the world it is always seen as feminine.  I believe it’s because wisdom can be seen as a container in which we gather our experiences and knowledge.  Because vessels are always feminine, and true wisdom involves compassion, it is an essentially feminine and receptive quality—something we attain and hold.  During the time of Sagittarius we can call upon powerful goddesses of wisdom and light to guide us through the dark time of the year.

Based on and excerpts from Goddesses for Every Day © 2010 by Julie Loar.   Printed with permission of New World Library, Novato, CA www.newworldlibrary.com     

Scorpio Goddesses — The spider

“Every strand in the web of life is connected.”

Goddesses for Every Day

Scorpio is a fixed water sign that represents the idea of dynamic power.  This potent energy of desire can be used in construction or destruction, death or resurrection, and is characterized by great intensity.  There is a myth that a scorpion will sting itself just for the intense sensation.  Scorpios deal with issues of power.  Tests include temptation relating to the use of power, exercising discipline, and a need to establish emotional control.  Scorpios are reserved, and more happens internally than is expressed on the surface.  This is a path of transforming the desire nature, of tempering a purely physical desire into spiritual aspiration.  

Scorpio is the eighth zodiac sign, traditionally represented by a scorpion, which has eight legs.  The Goddess Sign for Scorpio is the Spider, which also has eight legs, and her affirmation is “Every strand in the web of life is connected.”  She is the great weaver who spins all of creation into existence, and creates the literal web of life from her own life force.  In Scorpio, the substance of life is spun out of the spider’s belly, creating the potential for something to manifest.  The Scorpio goddesses include spiders and scorpions as well as goddesses who embody passion, sexuality, healing and themes of death and rebirth.  

Spider Woman is a great creation goddess who is still known to Indians as She Who Creates From A Central Source.  Hopi Spider Woman spun threads to form the sacred directions. Cherokee Grandmother Spider brought the Sun into being and thereby gave humanity the gift of fire.  Spider goddesses are wisdom keepers and are seen to guide those who weave magic with the written word.  

Kadru is a Hindu goddess who is the mother of the Nagas, who are a thousand beautiful serpent beings in Hindu myth.  Sesha is the most famous, and his giant coils are thought to turn the mill of life.  The Greek Medusa, whose stare had the power to turn men to stone, was a Gorgon who had snakes for hair.  She was once a beautiful woman who was turned into an ugly hag, representing the ascendancy of the patriarchy and the demonizing of feminine power and wisdom.  I believe “turning into stone” is a clue to the deeper notion of the nature of the wisdom the philosopher’s stone represents.  Yurlunger is the Great Rainbow Serpent, a mammoth copper python, who has a major role in the Aboriginal story of the Wawalag Sisters from Australia.  Egle is a goddess archetype who fell in love with a being who was a serpent god.  Themes of goddesses as serpent beings and dragons are pervasive in myth.  

Selket is an Egyptian goddess who is usually depicted as a beautiful woman with a golden scorpion on her head.  During the Sun’s nightly journey through the underworld it is Selket who subdues an evil serpent who tries to block his way. It was said that a scorpion will never bite those who revere her.  Iktoki is a creator goddess of the Miskito people of Nicaragua who is envisioned as a great Mother Scorpion who makes her home in the stars of the Milky Way.  

Panacea, whose name means “all healing,” and Hygeia, “health,” were sisters and Greek goddesses of healing.  In some stories they are daughters of the famed healer Asclepius.   To this day, physicians swear the Hippocratic Oath of medicine by the names of Panacea and Hygeia.  

The Norse Valkyries were beautiful goddesses who were called “choosers of the slain,”  as they decided who lived and who died in battle.  Their leader was named Brunhilde, which means “victory bringer.”  The Irish Morgen had domain over death and guided souls to the afterlife and aided them in their transition.   Maman Brigitte is a loa, or goddess of Voodoo, who is a guardian of graves in cemeteries and who stands watch over the portal between the worlds.  Nicheven is a Scottish goddess who was called Bone Mother.  Like other Triple Goddess archetypes, she is born, ages, dies and is reborn each year as the light increases and decreases. This archetype was later “borrowed” and is now portrayed as the old year dying and the baby  New Year being born on December 31st.

Lilith is an ancient Mesopotamian goddess who demonstrates how once-powerful feminine deities were demonized by the emerging patriarchy.  She was Adam’s first wife in some Hebrew texts who left the garden because she refused to submit to him.  She claimed they had been created equal and simultaneously, as related in the first creation story in Genesis.  Jehovah sent three angels to bring her back, and when she refused, he turned her into a blood-sucking demon.  It seems a rather harsh punishment for her independence.  In modern times Lilith has become an icon for powerful women.  In her ancient myth from four thousand years ago, she lived in a tree with a dragon at the roots and a nesting bird at the top.  These symbols link her with the sacred feminine as it has been represented in cultures around the world.  

Baubo is a Greek goddess who played a key role in Demeter’s healing after her daughter Persephone was abducted by Hades, lord of the underworld.  Baubo did a bawdy dance and lifted her skirt, making Demeter laugh.  Rati is a Hindu goddess of joyful sexuality and passion. Her name means “one who moves” and is thought to connote the motion of lovemaking.  Her consort is Kama, the god of love.  Sheila Na-Gig is a fascinating representation of feminine sexuality.  The “sheilas” as they are called, are representations of feminine genetalia that appear on churches in Europe. Not surprisingly, controversy surrounds their origin and significance. 

The Scorpio goddesses teach us the nature and lessons of desire and passion.  More than any other sign, Scorpio has the power to harness and direct the life force for either good or ill.  This energy can be used to heal or destroy, to give life or to take it away.  How we use our power makes all the difference, so it’s wise to consider the consequences before acting. 

Scorpio is a fixed water sign that represents the idea of dynamic power.  This potent energy of desire can be used in construction or destruction, death or resurrection, and is characterized by great intensity.  There is a myth that a scorpion will sting itself just for the intense sensation.  Scorpios deal with issues of power.  Tests include temptation relating to the use of power, exercising discipline, and a need to establish emotional control.  Scorpios are reserved, and more happens internally than is expressed on the surface.  This is a path of transforming the desire nature, of tempering a purely physical desire into spiritual aspiration.  

Scorpio is the eighth zodiac sign, traditionally represented by a scorpion, which has eight legs.  The Goddess Sign for Scorpio is the Spider, which also has eight legs, and her affirmation is “Every strand in the web of life is connected.”  She is the great weaver who spins all of creation into existence, and creates the literal web of life from her own life force.  In Scorpio, the substance of life is spun out of the spider’s belly, creating the potential for something to manifest.  The Scorpio goddesses include spiders and scorpions as well as goddesses who embody passion, sexuality, healing and themes of death and rebirth.  

Spider Woman is a great creation goddess who is still known to Indians as She Who Creates From A Central Source.  Hopi Spider Woman spun threads to form the sacred directions. Cherokee Grandmother Spider brought the Sun into being and thereby gave humanity the gift of fire.  Spider goddesses are wisdom keepers and are seen to guide those who weave magic with the written word.  

Kadru is a Hindu goddess who is the mother of the Nagas, who are a thousand beautiful serpent beings in Hindu myth.  Sesha is the most famous, and his giant coils are thought to turn the mill of life.  The Greek Medusa, whose stare had the power to turn men to stone, was a Gorgon who had snakes for hair.  She was once a beautiful woman who was turned into an ugly hag, representing the ascendancy of the patriarchy and the demonizing of feminine power and wisdom.  I believe “turning into stone” is a clue to the deeper notion of the nature of the wisdom the philosopher’s stone represents.  Yurlunger is the Great Rainbow Serpent, a mammoth copper python, who has a major role in the Aboriginal story of the Wawalag Sisters from Australia.  Egle is a goddess archetype who fell in love with a being who was a serpent god.  Themes of goddesses as serpent beings and dragons are pervasive in myth.  

Selket is an Egyptian goddess who is usually depicted as a beautiful woman with a golden scorpion on her head.  During the Sun’s nightly journey through the underworld it is Selket who subdues an evil serpent who tries to block his way. It was said that a scorpion will never bite those who revere her.  Iktoki is a creator goddess of the Miskito people of Nicaragua who is envisioned as a great Mother Scorpion who makes her home in the stars of the Milky Way.  

Panacea, whose name means “all healing,” and Hygeia, “health,” were sisters and Greek goddesses of healing.  In some stories they are daughters of the famed healer Asclepius.   To this day, physicians swear the Hippocratic Oath of medicine by the names of Panacea and Hygeia.  

The Norse Valkyries were beautiful goddesses who were called “choosers of the slain,”  as they decided who lived and who died in battle.  Their leader was named Brunhilde, which means “victory bringer.”  The Irish Morgen had domain over death and guided souls to the afterlife and aided them in their transition.   Maman Brigitte is a loa, or goddess of Voodoo, who is a guardian of graves in cemeteries and who stands watch over the portal between the worlds.  Nicheven is a Scottish goddess who was called Bone Mother.  Like other Triple Goddess archetypes, she is born, ages, dies and is reborn each year as the light increases and decreases. This archetype was later “borrowed” and is now portrayed as the old year dying and the baby  New Year being born on December 31st.

Lilith is an ancient Mesopotamian goddess who demonstrates how once-powerful feminine deities were demonized by the emerging patriarchy.  She was Adam’s first wife in some Hebrew texts who left the garden because she refused to submit to him.  She claimed they had been created equal and simultaneously, as related in the first creation story in Genesis.  Jehovah sent three angels to bring her back, and when she refused, he turned her into a blood-sucking demon.  It seems a rather harsh punishment for her independence.  In modern times Lilith has become an icon for powerful women.  In her ancient myth from four thousand years ago, she lived in a tree with a dragon at the roots and a nesting bird at the top.  These symbols link her with the sacred feminine as it has been represented in cultures around the world.  

Baubo is a Greek goddess who played a key role in Demeter’s healing after her daughter Persephone was abducted by Hades, lord of the underworld.  Baubo did a bawdy dance and lifted her skirt, making Demeter laugh.  Rati is a Hindu goddess of joyful sexuality and passion. Her name means “one who moves” and is thought to connote the motion of lovemaking.  Her consort is Kama, the god of love.  Sheila Na-Gig is a fascinating representation of feminine sexuality.  The “sheilas” as they are called, are representations of feminine genetalia that appear on churches in Europe. Not surprisingly, controversy surrounds their origin and significance. 

The Scorpio goddesses teach us the nature and lessons of desire and passion.  More than any other sign, Scorpio has the power to harness and direct the life force for either good or ill.  This energy can be used to heal or destroy, to give life or to take it away.  How we use our power makes all the difference, so it’s wise to consider the consequences before acting. 

Based on and excerpts from Goddesses for Every Day © 2010 by Julie Loar.   Printed with permission of New World Library, Novato, CA www.newworldlibrary.com     

Virgo Goddesses

Goddess Sign — the Sheaf of Wheat

  “All things bear fruit according to their nature.” Goddesses for Every Day

The Goddess Sign for Virgo is the Sheaf of Wheat, which appears in depictions of the constellation of Virgo as the bright star Spica that is held like a staff in the hand of the goddess.  The mutable earth sign Virgo relates to the stage of spiritual unfolding which focuses on specialization of forms.  Virgo represents the stage in the cycle when the soul’s experience is focused on assimilation of knowledge.  In this phase matter is organized, purified and refined into specific and recognizable objects.  Here we might say the Grand Plan of the Cosmos is carried out in detail. Metaphysically Virgo is the matrix and represents the womb of the inner spiritual self, containing the seed and eventual fruits of the Spirit.  Seeds germinate in darkness, breaking their way out of their shell casings, and sending roots into the Earth.  Like the abdomen and intestines, which Virgo has dominion over, this phase distills the qualitative pearls from life.   

In every case I have been able to find except Egypt, the Earth is always seen as feminine.  She is a great mother goddess who gives birth to and sustains her children from the substance of her body.  This expresses through the fertility cycles of the seasons.  Virgo goddesses include goddess of agriculture and grain, as well as the harvest, and the annual descent into the underworld while the Earth grows barren for a time.  Icons of these goddesses include generous platters of fruits, overflowing cornucopias and waving fields of grain.  

Virgo is the only female among the zodiacal constellations, and other than the twins, Castor and Pollux (Gemini), she is the only human figure.  Author Richard Hinkley-Allen says, “Those who claim very high antiquity for the zodiacal signs (15,000 years ago), assert that the idea of these titles originated when the Sun was in Virgo at the spring equinox, the time of the Egyptian harvest.”  Australian astrologer Bernadette Brady has remarked that, “Whatever image is chosen across time and cultures, what is contained in Virgo is the archetype of the harvest-bringing goddess, pure and good, independent of the masculine.  She gives the four seasons and is the source of the fertile Earth.”  The more ancient concept of “virgin” described a woman who was independent and free to love whom she chose. 

Demeter was the Great Mother earth goddess of the people who preceded the Greeks.  Her sacred rites, known the Eleusinian Mysteries, were celebrated for nearly two thousand years, as long as Christianity has existed, in what is now mainland Greece.  People came from all over the known world to participate in these secret ceremonies.  We don’t know many details of these activities, as the penalty for revealing their contents was death.   Some aspects are known or suspected however, as the high point of the ritual was said to be a “sheaf of wheat reaped in silence.”  The Eleusinian Mysteries are similar in significance to the annual celebration of the mysteries of Isis and Osiris in Egypt.  I believe the deeper meaning is learning move in resonance with shifting seasons of light and dark in order to harvest blessings in their time.  

Based on and excerpted from Goddesses for Every Day © 2010 by Julie Loar.  Printed with permission of New World Library, Novato, CA. www.newworldlibrary.com     

frog blog: a jumpin’ good time in frog town usa

“Sometimes I wonder if the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it.”  Mark Twain

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The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County is an 1865 short story by American author and humorist Mark Twain. The story was actually his first great success as a writer and brought him national attention. Something captured America’s attention and remains a compelling influence. Since 1928 an annual event inspired by Twain’s story has been held at the County Fair in Angels Camp in Northern California’s Calaveras County. Similar events are held in Indiana, Ohio, Washington, Maine, Missouri, Louisiana, New York, and also in Manitoba, Canada.

This May I witnessed the qualifying pre-trials from the bleachers as hopeful entrants coached their frogs into top performance. The contest is simple–which frog jumps the farthest in the one-minute time allowed per contestant. The record holder in Calaveras County is Rosie the Ribiter, who jumped 21 feet and 5 3/4 inches in 1986. Frog jockeys can win a $750 prize, or win the grand prize of $5,000 if a competing frog were to break Rosie’s record. It’s not clear what the frogs get out of the experience.

With 4,000 contestants in 2007, the Calaveras County contest imposed strict rules that regulate the frogs’s welfare, including limiting the daily number of a frog’s jumps, and mandating the playing of calming music in the frog’s enclosures. One assumes this is an attempt to reduce pre-game jitters. Because California’s red-legged frog is an endangered species, it’s barred from the competition. It is also forbidden for any competing frog to be weighted down by any means, as the frog in the Twain story was. Hopefully, the frogs don’t suffer too much as I worry about such things. After all, they’ve been captured and removed from their natural habitat and forced to enter into an all too human realm.

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Photo credit  Frank Schulenburg  CC BY-SA 4.0   2016

The frog jumping competition is a generous slice of American Pie. There is a whimsical quality of tradition, innocence, and plain good fun at a time when simple joys like County Fairs seem to be a thing of the past. Some frogs take the leap right away as if everything depends on the result. Others are frozen in place and never budge from the starting circle no matter the “encouragement” from their jockeys. This year’s winner jumped more than nineteen feet, certainly impressive, but not far enough to break Rosie’s record. Was it frog ambition or just sheer terror that fueled Rosie’s tremendous jump back in 1986? All the jumpers since have to go over that bar and perhaps Rosie was a unique frog at a singular moment. Maybe her frog jockey Joe Giudici had so much faith in her that his energy boosted her rockets.

I reflected on what it is that propels us to our greatest accomplishments and how can we learn to harness that propulsion at will?  Do we make quantum leaps in our own lives through grit and will, or is there something else that moves us to peak moments of achievement? We can’t always choose the arenas of tests and trials that present themselves, but we always have the choice of how we show up to meet the contests.  As we meet the challenges in our lives I believe it makes a difference if we call forth our best effort rather than refusing to try because we’re afraid we’ll miss the mark. Until we try we can’t know how we might be changed by taking the leap. And maybe we also have unseen cheerleaders whose faith in us lifts us to greater heights and longer distances once we jump. We can stay safe in the pond, or maybe become a champion–the attempt is up to us.