Well, I have made it to the week mark of this personal Challenge after missing a few days which are up as well. Today we’re going to visit some of the gods and goddesses that become more prominent as we near Samhain. It seems the closer we get to this holiday the more excited I get, and I love seeing the season really taking into effect with all the colors of fall. This time of year also brings some interesting things as the veil thins we see more and more of the spirit world in the real world and a few more things that go bump in the night.
The aspect of the Goddess at Samhain is the Crone. The Crone is the Old one, who teaches us wisdom and helps us let go when we need to change and grow. Growing older means losing something as well as gaining something. The Crone teaches us that letting go is a natural part of life.
When we let go, we make space for something new, just as when a person dies, they make room for another person to be born. When we let go of the old year, let it die, we make room for the new year to be born.
The time between Samhain and Winter Solstice (Yule) is the waiting time, like when a babe is in the womb, not yet ready to be born. We don’t yet know what the new year will bring, but we can dream, and imagine, and plan!
We can feel close to the Crone at this time of year by spending some time with an older person. Visit your grandparents, or an elderly neighbor, who can tell you stories about their life. Knit or Crochet blankets to donate to a retirement home at Yule.
The God at Samhain
The aspect of the God at Samhain is the Horned God, the stag whose antler are fully developed. In ancient times, people depended on hunting for their food. The Horned God was the God of the hunt, and he represents the animal that gives its life so we can be fed.
Today, most of us buy our meat at the store, and some of us are vegetarians. But even the vegetables and grains were once alive. The Horned God reminds us that our lives are gifts given to us by other living beings. Because all food is a gift of a life, it is sacred. We treat food with respect.
We feel close to the Horned God by stopping for a moment before eating, to thank the plants and animals that have given their lives to be our food. We also say thanks for the work of all those who grew and harvested that food.
In our family, we take the opportunity of the Thanksgiving holiday (which does fall during the Samhain season!) to honor the Horned God, to give thanks for the “harvest” of the past year. (information is taken from D.J. Conway’s Celtic Magic, Scott Cunningham’s Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner, Silver RavenWolf’s To Ride a Silver Broomstick, and Gerina Dunwich’s Everyday Wicca )
Here is a meditation for Hecate
DESCEND TO THE REALM OF HECATE
In this trance journey through the deep earth, you will discover the realm of Hecate, the Crone Goddess of Wisdom. She is the dark face of the goddess, and many fear her. It is Hecate who attends women in childbirth, and it is she whom we will face at the end of our life’s journey. Take this opportunity to name and face your fear. Is it advanced age? Death? To create positive change, you must honor her with respect to receive her blessing and aid.
You are standing in a vast and empty field. The last of the harvest has been cut and gathered and stands to dry in the barn. In the distance, an orchard of apple trees stands fruitless, save for the last few fallen apples of the season that rest on the ground as if the very wind has made an offering to the earth mother.
You face the setting sun, which sinks lower in the sky, illuminating the painted leaves that rush by. A strong wind from the east is at your back, and the tumultuous journey of the swirling leaves echoes a feeling from deep within your soul.
You feel the earth start to tremble. It is as if you are standing on a fault line and the tectonic plates have begun to shift. You experience a sense of exhilaration as if a mighty change is about to occur. Your intuition proves to be absolutely correct.
You watch in amazement as the earth opens before you. What began as a rumble, then a crack emanating from the very place where you stand turns into a deep chasm. You peer inside, noticing the vast network of roots still clinging to the earth from stalks long since cut.
You take a step into the gap in the earth. You notice small tunnels made by burrowing insects and small animals. A family of chipmunks huddles together, bracing for the coming cold. You feel no fear, only curiosity as to the secrets of the dark earth.
You are compelled to go further. You step carefully, loosened rocks tumbling on ahead to unseen realms. You notice the colorful striations in the rocks as you descend. Pockets in the matrix reveal glittering crystals, so perfectly formed they look as though they had been deliberately placed along your path.
Light begins to fade as the surface of the Earth retreats into the distance, but you forge ahead, led by the sensation that a great mystery is being revealed to you. You feel the pulsating rhythms of the Earth itself and a great truth is affirmed for you. The earth is alive and teeming with life. As it is above, so it is below.
You are enveloped in the darkness, when, strangely, you begin to perceive a light. This seems as strange and fantastic as the journey you are presently undertaking. The faint light of a gently glowing ember guides you along your path until you find yourself unexpectedly facing a woman. Her hair is long and white, and her face is etched with the songs and stories of a thousand lifetimes. You recognize her instantly. She is the grandmother of all, the ancient crone of your imaginings.
You stop and stand before her in awe. At her feet is a large black cauldron. Beneath the cauldron is the fire that led you to her. Without speaking, her voice appears in your mind and she asks you why you have come to her. You reply, “I seek to learn the mysteries of the earth and to honor you with respect.”
She nods and stirs the cauldron and asks, “Who are you?” You pause because you know her question is more profound than it seems. She is not asking your name. She is asking you to name the desire of your soul, to make a connection between yourself and the divine, to acknowledge yourself as an integral part of the earth you have chosen to penetrate and explore.
You answer wordlessly, “I do not know.” She stops stirring the cauldron and bids you to gaze into its depths. You do not know the liquid that it contains, but it swirls around as though she was still stirring it.
You see your own face reflected on the surface, and as the surface churns, your appearance begins to change. You see yourself as a very young person, full of energy and vitality. Then the image begins to change again before your eyes. You see yourself as a mature person, fulfilled and happy. Another spiral sweeps this vision from your eyes and lifetime dancing in your eyes. You look up into the eyes of the crone and you hear a voice inside your head. You are not certain if it is your own voice or that of the manifestation of the goddess before you, but you cannot argue with its message:
“I am the Maiden, seeker of Wisdom,”
“I am the Mother, giver of Wisdom,”
“I am the Crone, keeper of Wisdom,”
You understand that this truth has been revealed to you through the woman standing before you. She is the woman you will one day become, just as surely as the reflections in her dark cauldron are aspects of yourself as well. By approaching her with honor and respect instead of fear, you have enabled yourself to embody this truth and you know it is now time for you to leave the underground realm of darkness and mystery.
You now realize that in the span of your own lifetime, however long or short, you have already learned many things, taught many things, and have much still to learn. As the maiden, you learned how to navigate through all of life. You began life as a helpless infant and learned independence. At the same time, you taught your parents how to nurture and ultimately how to let go. As the mother, you nurtured dreams of your own and shared your wisdom with others. As the crone, most of your life lies behind you. You own all of your achievements, triumphs, and trials. And there is still more than you desire from life. You have already died and been reborn many times within this one lifetime.
With this realization, you face her one last time. Her visage vanishes before your eyes, as does her cauldron and its reassuring glow. You are alone and standing in near-total darkness, yet you feel a comforting warmth about your shoulders. You turn around and see that the glowing embers that lit the cauldron have been replaced by the waning rays of the setting sun, seemingly miles away, dancing on the surface of the Earth as you remain far beneath.
You begin the slow ascent back up to the surface of the world. You pass by the glittering gems hidden deep within the matrix, a tangible testament to the power of change. Years of pressure and temperature changes have yielded something unique and beautiful in a purely natural state, a treasure meant for your eyes alone.
You climb higher and notice again the colorful striations in the compacted soil and marvel at the intricate network of deep roots that penetrate the dark earth, as complex and thick and sturdy as an oak branch that weaves its way through the sky. The earth is living all around you, home to insects and small animals and all kinds of plants, forming delicate connections never seen by the light of day or by the light of the moon.
You emerge just as the sun makes its final descent below the horizon, bathing the field in the magical purples of twilight. The brightest stars are becoming visible now. You notice that the wind has shifted and now blows from the west.
You smile as you stand among the swirling leaves that come rushing towards you. Your change has come. (from The Wiccan Year by Judy Ann Nock)
Other Deities are:
- Anubis – Egyptian
This god has the head of a Jackal and is associated with death and mummification. It’s Anubis that decides whether or not the deceased is worthy of reaching the realm of the dead.
- Osiris – Egyptian
The story of Osiris’ death and his dismemberment by his brother Set, then his resurrection by his dearly beloved Queen and lover Isis has been associated with the last harvests.
- The Morrigan – Celtic
A warrior goddess that is associated with death and is often represented by a trio of ravens. It is she who decides who shall leave the battlefield alive and who shall be carried away on their shields.
- Yama – Hindu
In Hindu tradition, Yama was the very first mortal to die and go to the next world, where he is appointed as king of the dead.
- Hel – Norse
She is the ruler of the underworld in Norse mythology, that is also named Hel. Mortals that do not die in battle, normally from sickness or old age, join her in Éljúðnir
- Freya – Norse
Normally Freya is associated with fertility and abundance, but she is also known as a goddess of battle and war. Half of the man that died in battle would go to Valhalla, but the rest would join Freya in Folkvangr.
- Demeter – Greek
Through the loss of her beloved daughter, Persephone, Demeter is linked to the changing of the seasons and is her imagery has been linked to the Dark Mother and the death of the fields, with Hades stealing Persephone, Demeter let the death die for half the year until her daughter returns.
- Hades – Greek
The Greek God of the Underworld, and keeper of the dead. The ancient Greeks named the Underworld after this imposing God. He would ensure the souls of the dead remained in the Underworld where they belonged.
There are many other of course, from many other traditions, but these are the most “popular” deities in modern paganism. (https://www.magicalrecipesonline.com/2017/10/samhain-gods.html)
I hope you all enjoy and Blessed Be )0(