Monday, December 21, 2009

Wishing YOU ALL A GODDESS-FILLED WINTER SOLSTICE!


A few Winter Solstice Goddesses:
Alcyone (Greek): Alcyone is the Kingfisher goddess. She nests every winter for two weeks, and while she does, the wild seas become calm and peaceful.
Ameratasu (Japan): In feudal Japan, worshippers celebrated the return of Ameratasu, the sun goddess, who slept in a cold, remote cave. When the other gods woke her with a loud celebration, she looked out of the cave and saw an image of herself in a mirror. The other gods convinced her to emerge from her seclusion and return sunlight to the universe.
Bona Dea (Roman): This fertility goddess was worshipped in a secret temple on the Aventine hill in Rome, and only women were permitted to attend her rites. Her annual festival was held early in December.
Cailleach Bheur (Celtic): In Scotland, she is also called Beira, the Queen of Winter. She is the hag aspect of the Triple Goddess, and rules the dark days between Samhain and Beltaine.
Demeter (Greek): Through her daughter, Persephone, Demeter is linked strongly to the changing of the seasons and is often connected to the image of the Dark Mother in winter. When Persephone was abducted by Hades, Demeter's grief caused the earth to die for six months, until her daughter's return..
Frau Holle (Norse): Frau Holle appears in many different forms in Scandinavian mythology and legend. She is associated with both the evergreen plants of the Yule season, and with snowfall, which is said to be Frau Holle shaking out her feathery mattresses.
Frigga (Norse): Frigga honored her son, Baldur, by asking all of nature not to harm him, but in her haste overlooked the mistletoe plant. Loki fooled Baldur's blind twin, Hod, into killing him with a spear made of mistletoe but Odin later restored him to life. As thanks, Frigga declared that mistletoe must be regarded as a plant of love, rather than death.
La Befana (Italian): This character from Italian folklore is similar to St. Nicholas, in that she flies around delivering candy to well-behaved children in early January. She is depicted as an old woman on a broomstick, wearing a black shawl.
Spider Woman (Hopi): Soyal is the Hopi festival of the winter solstice. It honors the Spider Woman and the Hawk Maiden, and celebrates the sun's victory over winter's darkness

~from the article "Thanks to Deities of the Winter Solstice,”
by Patti Wigington

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Thanx to Oriana.Italy for the pic; go here to see more.

4 comments:

AnnaPerenna said...

Hope you had a great Solstice as I had (and the sun could melt some of this Iceage please)!

Frau Holle is of course the ancient Hel, preserved in norse folklore :)
During the Yuletide in North a solar goddess was also celebrated: Lusse, known also saint Lucy/Juno Lucia of Rome (goddess of light, sun, fire and the first light babies saw when they got born and opened their eyes).
Til this very day Lusse enjoys her day on December 13th (saint Lucia day), where every nordic school is visited by a procession of white clad girls with candles, led by the Lucia-bride wearing a lit candle wrath on her head and singing :) Very beautiful and quite unusal for the secular Scandinavians. Also, very archaic, sweet Lusse-buns and breads are baked in her honour, in form they date back to Celtic Iron Age archeological findings :)
It was believed in common folklore her night was dangerous and nobody was allowed to go outside or she would get offended and let her birds take you.

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