#1 Goddess Connection ~ Airmed, Aphrodite, Arianrhod, Artemis, Astarte

Airmed
Her Story:
Airmed is an Irish goddess of healing, witchcraft, and magic.  This goddess is most noted for healing those who have fallen in battle.  Airmed could be called the patron goddess of the green witch and herbalist, for as the myth goes, when her jealous father murdered her brother Miach, Airmid wept over his grave, and from her tears sprouted the healing herbs now found upon the earth.  However, her father lashed out once more, throwing to the wind those healing herbs which Airmed had so carefully gathered in her cloak.  Thus, the healing herbs of the world were scattered to the four corners, and for this reason it’s said that no single individual will ever know all the secrets of these plants.
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A pinch of this, a pinch of that, a leaf of sage, a leaf of mint, a petal from the rose, and so it goes and goes and goes:  Green Witchcraft.  This is the ultimate practice in cottage (or “kitchen”) witchery.  It brings to mind the stereotypical image of the witch gathering herbs, a basket over one arm, a sharp knife (her bolline) in the other hand, murmuring to herself, leaving a blessing with each plant and the nature fairies connected to it in the form of a silver coin, sacred words, a gentle touch.  The green witch is going to use the herbs she’s so carefully collected to create oils and other magickal potions, bent over her steaming cauldron of brew, dried herbs hanging from the kitchen ceiling in an array of color and scent.

How many people feel the “magick” within flowers, herbs, wild flowers (aka weeds), but they don’t fully understand just what it is they feel or why?  Why are some individuals drawn to a favorite flower?  What’s your favorite flower?  Look up it’s magickal properties, and you may be very surprised at the connection.  There’s a bit of the green witch in us all, deep inside, buried with all the other dormant ancient knowledge and practices of our ancestors.  It’s time to open this door, to reconnect with nature.  It is magick waiting to happen in the form of infinite possibilities.

Embracing the Goddess:
During these times of modern conflict and battle, embrace the goddess Airmed by invoking her energy for protection and healing to those men and women serving in the armed forces.

Airmed’s Correspondences:
Herbs:  patchouli, mugwort, bittersweet
Animal:  Eagle (American Soldiers)
Note:  when invoking Airmed’s energy for healing warriors, call upon the animal energy, the totem, that is connected with your country.
Colors:  green, pink
Planet:  Earth (Gaia)
Day:  Sunday, Friday
Element:  Earth
Feminine Face:  Mother
Symbols:  the sword, battle gear, plants and greenery

Aphrodite
Her Story:
Aphrodite is the “Goddess of the Sea”, the Greek goddess of love and war, which at first sounds conflicted, yet there are similar elements to each.  This is the goddess of both marriage and illicit affairs, her energy geared to the passions found within both.  She is also recognized as the goddess of battles and wars, and in this too is an irony, as romantic relationships can often contain these elements as well as the more conventional and desired emotions.  Aphrodite is the epitome of physical beauty and pleasure.
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What is true beauty, and who’s yardstick are we measuring ourselves by?  Just how idealistic has our culture, our society, become?  Is our obsession with youth connected to our cultural view of what’s beautiful– and what’s not?  Why do we view elderly people, particularly women, as ugly?  Is this why the Fashion Lords feel compelled to label clothes “age appropriate”, so elderly women are kept covered, so we don’t view their wrinkled skin and aging bodies?  And why is it that other cultures don’t seem to reflect this repulsion for older women?

In African communities that are naturally sparsely dressed, you see all ages (men and women) with exposed bodies, and everyone appears to be accepted as is; in fact, no one seems to give it a second thought.  We are a vain, youth obsessed, perfection driven society.  The only way that this stigma can be broken is if women stand up and be heard, shed light on this issue, unite, and make some noise.

It’s time to reclaim the term “beauty”, to redefine it, to embrace womanhood– in all of its ages and stages– as beautiful, magickal, and miraculous.

Embracing the Goddess:
Invoke Aphrodite when you need more self-confidence in yourself, in your personal appearance; when you need assistance with romantic relationships or disputes.  Call upon this goddess for love spells, spells of beauty and youth; call upon this goddess when romantic energy is desired and the flames of passion need some fanning.  Expect her response to be swift and sometimes unexpected.

Aphrodite’s Correspondences:
Herbs:  apple, roses, catnip
Animal:  dove
Color:  red, pink, green
Planet:  Venus
Day: Friday
Element: Water
Feminine Face: Maiden
Symbol:  the mirror

Arianrhod
Her Story:
Arianrhod is a Welsh moon goddess.  She rules not only the moon, but the stars and sea as well.  She’s often referred to as “The Silver Wheel of the Sea”.  This is a goddess of prophecy and dreams, and it’s her energy which is desired for divination by seers and psychics.  Arianrhod is also the ruler of reincarnation, karma, and magical realms.  She radiates feminine authority and feminine power.  A “Time Keeper” of the universe, Arianrhod is one of the five goddesses of Avalon, the legendary island inhabited by priestesses who serve the Mother Goddess.
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The woman entered the grove with a sense of grace and quiet composure.  She walked slowly and carefully through the trees, silently, with only the occasional whisper of her breath or a barely audible footfall.  She walked through the grove until she saw that which she was seeking: a silver pool of light filtering through the trees, filling a small clearing ahead.  Lifting her arm, she gently brushed aside the branches of a young maple tree and stepped into the clearing, into the brilliant glow of the full moon.

The woman reached for the clasp at her neck, and the long robe she
was wearing dropped to her feet, leaving her to bathe within the silver light in naked splendor, her body energized by the moon’s ethereal glow.

Standing straight and tall, her feet slightly apart, the priestess raised her arms before the moon and began to invoke upon herself its energy, to draw down within herself the magic of the moon and the power of the Goddess.

Embracing the Goddess:
Call upon Arianrhod for second sight, to enhance your already natural female intuition.  Call upon Arianrhod when you need to see that which cannot be seen in any natural way.  This goddess will also lend her powerful and graceful energy to esbats, reveling in the magic of the Moon and the
priceless spirituality found within.

Arianrhod‘s Correspondences:
Herbs: apple, catnip, lilac, raspberry, strawberry
Animal: owl
Color: blue, silver
Planet: Moon
Day: Monday
Element: Water
Feminine Face: Mother
Symbol: Moon

Artemis
Her Story:
Artemis is known as “The Virgin Huntress”, a Greek goddess of the hunt.  She personifies independence, strength, and the warrior within each of us.  She protects young girls until the age of marriage, defends those who are weak, and is said to be a protectress to those women enduring childbirth.  Her energy is pure of intention, yet incredibly strong, not for the feint of heart.
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Women can be weak because we’re told we are.  Don’t believe everything everyone tells you.  Deep inside every woman is a rich well of strength that might lay dormant until life’s circumstances trigger this dragon, until there is a need, an urgency, for the warrior within her to rise to the surface.  It will happen in the spark of a moment; it will be like putting a flame to a stick of dynamite; it will be explosive, miraculous, amazing, and significant to everyone connected to this woman and to this woman herself.

Know that there is a warrior within you.  Know that you are so much stronger than anyone tells you; stronger even than you think.  Know that nothing and no one can dominate you, that you are in control of your destiny.  Know that you are a supreme being, complete within yourself, independent, trail-blazing, competent, and awe-inspiring.  Live your life in a manner that honors the warrior goddess within.

Embracing the Goddess:
Call upon Artemis for courage, strength, and protection, especially protection of maidens…for yourself, your daughters, your nieces, your granddaughters.  As she exudes the essence of independence and individualism, so she will teach you to embrace these attributes within yourself.

Artemis’s Correspondences:
Herbs:  wood sorrel, barley, patchouli, primrose
Animal:  deer, bear
Color:   green, brown
Planet:  Earth
Day: all seven
Element:  Earth
Feminine Face: Maiden
Symbol:  bow & arrow

Astarte
Her Story:
Astarte is the Mesopotamian goddess of love and war.  This might, at first, seem oddly conflicting, but on reflection there are more similarities than differences.  Her name literally means “star”; and she is the companion and the power behind the moon.  Astarte is considered Queen of both the morning and evening stars, Venus and Mercury.

She rules the spirits of the dead.  As a love goddess, the energies she influences include sexual experiences, physical passion, marriage, female sensuality, and feminine independence.  As a warrior goddess she influences battles, conflicts, and victories.
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After fifteen years of marriage and six children, I was sitting in the courtroom during our divorce proceedings when my soon to be ex-husband’s attorney pointed a finger in my direction and said to the judge, “She’s unemployable.”

How crushing were those words in the face of the fact that I would soon be  reckoning with the daunting responsiblity of supporting a large family on my own.  Already paniced by the idea, aware of the fact that the last fifteen years as a housewife left me with virtually no work history or references, this comment was a like a final blow to my self-confidence.

But this callous remark, passed off with such finality, did something else– it made me angry.

Deep within the center of me, hidden by the housewife and mother, lay something that had been dormant and repressed for a very long time.  Deep within me, the warrior goddess was stirring, coming to, blinking her eyes in the bright light of necessity, shaking the sleep and cobwebs from her wits. She stood unsteadily to her feet, and as she did so, the earth trembled, the trees shook, the sky darkened.

The warrior goddess was ready to do battle, ready to beat the odds, ready to prove her adversaries wrong.  She was ready to build upon her strengths, to cash in on her intelligence, to flex her mucles in the arena of life.  The warrior goddess was ready to take on the world…and succeed.

Embracing the Goddess:
Women can invoke the goddess Astarte when they are fighting to reclaim their independence, when they are seeking to explore the intimate side of their femininity, when they are in need of strength, direction, purpose, and a touch of the warrior spirit.  Know that within each gentle feminine soul, there resides a steely and daunting heroine just waiting to be awoken.  Call upon her when you need her.

Astarte’s Correspondences:
Herbs:  bay, clove, marigold, hyssop (Fire);
apple, calamus, hibiscus, thyme (Water)
Animal: dove
Color:  yellow, pink, green
Planet: Mercury, Venus
Day: Tuesday, Friday
Element: Fire, Water
Feminine Face: Maiden
Symbol: sphinx, star

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