Magickal Connections

Tarot & Witchcraft ~ with author, Amythyst Raine

#5 Goddess Connection ~ Flora, Freya, Green Tara, Hathor, Hecate

Flora
Her Story:
Flora, the Roman goddess of spring, rules flowers, foliage, and springtime.  Her festivals are celebrated in April and early May.  Flora’s energies and influences include the protection of vegetation from disease, flowering plants and fruits, as well as menstruation– the flowering of young girls into budding womanhood.
____________________
The Blood of the Moon (menstrual blood) is one of the most powerful magickal potions known.   Menstrual blood is used in a variety of spells for love, as well as hexing, and has been used traditionally as such since ancient times.  It is strongly connected to Flora through her very essence as a goddess of maturation, flowering, coming of age, the ascension to womanhood.

In biblical times, menstruating women were considered unclean and banished to The Red Tent.  Here they sat out there isolation from the rest of the community until their periods stopped and they had completed a rigorous “cleansing” ritual.  Only after that were they allowed to resume normal life among the general population.

Unclean?  Really?  I don’t think so.

I have a different theory for their reasons behind isolating menstruating women:  They were afraid of them.

In those very ancient times, still immersed closely with pagan roots and practices, the power of menstrual blood and a menstruating woman would have been very clear in their minds, very close to their hearts.  The people of this time were caught in a struggle, a struggle between the old ways, the old religion– goddess worship, natural earth based spirituality– and the new religions of Judaism and Christianity.  The true power of women would have still been common knowledge.

Embrace this aspect of your womanhood.  Understand the inspiration behind menstruation of creation, and magick, strength, mystery, and miracles.  Align your energies with the Blood of the Moon.  Celebrate the miracle you are.

Embracing the Goddess:
Flora’s most amazing magic, aside from a landscape full of beautiful blossoms, is the budding of young girls into maturity, the coming of age that brings with it the menstrual cycle, emphasizing the feminine connection to the moon and its power, fertility, and passage into womanhood.

Western civilization seems to keep the blossoming of female puberty shrouded in out-dated shame and secrecy.  When a girl gets her first period, it’s generally not something that is mentioned, much less celebrated, particularly in mixed company.  By contrast, in the Apache Native American tradition, the onset of menstruation is a time of open celebration for the entire community.  There are days of rigorous rituals involving a tribal celebration of young girls who are coming of age.  They celebrate the fertility insinuated by the beginning of menstruation.  They celebrate pride in feminine puberty and growth.  They celebrate the wonder of nature and the miracle that it truly is.

Call upon Flora to celebrate the coming of age for yourself, your daughter, your granddaughter, your nieces, or other young women in your life.  Emphasize how special this time is, how beautiful, and how fulfilling it will be.

Flora’s Correspondences:
Herbs: mugwort, oleander, tulip, barley, primrose
Animal: dove
Color: green, brown
Planet: Gaia (earth)
Day: all seven
Element: Earth
Feminine Face: Maiden
Symbol: spring flowers

Freya
Her Story:
Freya is the Norse goddess of love and war, “Queen of the Valkyries” and “Mistress of Cats”, a divine escort for the souls of the dead and especially for fallen warriors, taking them through to the afterlife.

This goddess is considered a poet’s muse and inspiration.  She’s invoked for issues involving relationships, particularly in matters of love and family.  Freya is also a potent goddess in matters of sensuality and sexuality, igniting passion.  She is considered the most beautiful of the goddesses and totally irresistable to mortal males.
____________________
In honor of Freya, Mistress of the Cats, here’s a wee bit of herbal cat magick.  Use the correspondences for this goddess, as well as the correspondences for this herb, to cast some wild wicked cat magick.

Catnip is commonly used in sleeping potions. The easiest and most pleasant way I can think of to use catnip for this purpose is to make a delicious pot of tea. Catnip is one of the herbs that I grow in my own garden, so all I have to do when I want to brew a pot of catnip tea is to step outside and snatch a handful of the fresh herb. I usually use both the flowers and the leaves. How much you use is going to depend upon how strong you like your tea and the size of your pot. You can sweeten it with honey or sugar. Since catnip is a member of the mint family, I’m guessing that if you like mint in your tea, you’ll like catnip, though to me it is more pungent.

Catnip has an absolutely intoxicating effect on cats, and it was actually hard getting the catnip started in my garden because my cats wouldn’t leave it alone. I’d plant a nice lush bunch of catnip, and the next morning I’d go out to find nothing but bare stems.  I can’t tell you how many times we’ve looked out the kitchen windows to watch one of our cats, or a stray cat, rolling around our garden in drunken bliss.

Catnip is sacred to all pagan gods/goddesses who manifest as a cat or feline creature, including: Sekhmet, Bast, Mau, Tefnut, Mafdet, and Freya.

Correspondences for Catnip:
Energy: Feminine (Receptive)
Planet:  Venus
Element: Water
Magick:  cat magick, love, beauty, well-being

It’s believed that a gift of catnip from you to your cat will create a magickal and psychic bond between the two of you. Since I’ve experienced this myself, I have to say that it truly works in beautiful ways. If you make a catnip talisman for your kitty, keep this in mind. Remember that concentrating on your intentions when crafting magickal items imbues that object with the magick. Catnip is also used in love spells, often as an ingredient in mojo bags or candle magick. Just as the cat finds this herb intoxicating and irresistable, so will the one you target in love magick, using catnip to draw them to you. Hang a bunch of dried catnip over the threshold of your home to draw good spirits and good luck, as well as to draw the blessings of cat goddesses. Catnip is also used in beauty spells, either as a tincture you can use to bathe your face, or with candle magic. It’s believed that this herb will mesmerize those targeted in such spells to see you as youthful and beautiful. This type of enchantment is considered a glamoury.

Embracing the Goddess:
Freya is the goddess for all of us “Crazy Cat Ladies”, and I’m proud to count myself in this company.  Call upon this goddess when working cat magic, to call upon the cat as a totem animal, or just to honor this magical creature.

Freya’s Correspondences:
Herbs: catnip, geranium, willow, goldenrod, magnolia
Animal: cat
Color: green, pink
Planet: Venus
Day: Friday
Element: Water
Feminine Face: Maiden
Symbol: cats, the number 13

Green Tara
Her Story:
Green Tara is known as “The Mother of Compassion”.  She’s worshipped in a variety of Hindu and Buddhist traditions and guards against natural disasters, the elements of mother nature.  Green Tara nurtures humanity on a worldly level, alleviating suffering and misery.  This goddess influences self-mastery through meditation and can be called upon to help us strengthen those areas of our personality, ego, and self-esteem which need improvement.
____________________
Light a green candle to Green Tara, and recite the mantra below out loud, over and over again, if necessary, until you believe it with all your heart:

If I am weak, I will be strong; if I am stubborn, I will be flexible; if I am arrogant, I will be humble; if I am cruel, I will be kind.

I will succeed at all endeavors, and if I should slip up on one or two, it won’t be because I have not tried.  I am intelligent and worthy of success.  I am beautiful inside and out; I am creative; I am sensitive; I am healthy; I am cunning; I am energetic; I am a shaker and a mover; I am a good wife, mother, daughter…I am an exeptional wife; I am an exceptional mother; I am an exceptional daughter.

I shine.
I succeed.
I am.

Embracing the Goddess:
When going through any type of life crisis, whether physical illness, mental challenges, or self-esteem issues, Green Tara can be invoked for deep meditation, allowing us to safely journey within ourselves to find and follow the paths lease tread within our psyche.  She will open new doors of understanding, enabling us to grow from within and manifest our growth to the physical world around us.

Green Tara’s Correspondences:
Herbs: eyebright, marjoram, mint, slippery elm, anise
Animal: sow, raven, mare, owl
Color: green, yellow
Planet: Mercury
Day: Wednesday
Element: Air
Feminine Face: Maiden
Symbol: malachite, emerald, mirrors (for self-examination)

Hathor
Her Story:
Hathor is the Egyptian goddess of love and beauty, wealth, music, and the arts.  She rules womanhood and femininity and is the patron goddess of dancers and musicians.  Worship Hathor with offerings of rich perfumes, songs, and dance rituals.  This goddess is most often depicted as a beautiful woman with the ears of a cow carrying a sistrum.
____________________
The Skrying Mirror:
There is an ancient Egyptian tradition steeped in the mystery of the skrying mirror and the goddess Hathor.  It’s said that if you create a skrying mirror consecrated to this goddess, the mirror will give you the power of a vision which enables you to see your strengths and your weaknesses when you gaze into it.  This is, in itself, an amazing revelation if you are strong enough and honest enough with yourself to accept what you see without flinching.

The skrying mirror is actually an old divinatory practice.  Not only will you see your strengths and your weaknesses, which will allow you to adjust your energy and retain your personal power, but you will also be blessed with a second sight that allows you to see visions of prophecy and revelation.  It allows you to view the past and glean information from it, and it allows you to look into the future, giving you the ability to direct your destiny.

A skrying mirror is not a piece of reflective glass, but a black surface.  You can easily transform a traditional mirror into a skrying mirror by painting the surface.  The important part will be consecrating it to the goddess Hathor with candles and herbs, incense and music.

Embracing the Goddess:
Embrace Hathor by celebrating your womanhood and the passage of its stages, from maiden, to mother, to crone, with rituals, music, and dance.  Know that you are beautiful in all phases of life, in all sizes and shapes.

Know this and accept it.

Hathor’s Correspondences:
Herbs:  myrrh, goldenrod, lavender, cardamom, hibiscus
Animal:  cow
Color:  yellow, pink, green
Planet:  Mercury, Venus
Day: Wednesday, Friday
Element: Air, Water
Feminine Face:  Mother
Symbol:  sistrum, mirror

Hecate
Her Story: 
Hecate is one of the triple goddesses, often depicted in art as a single body with three heads.  She is the goddess of witchcraft; the moon; the spirit realm; nature and night visions; considered protectress of the Witches.  She also protects women in childbirth, is the guardian of the spirit world, and “Queen of the Crossroads”– a place of dark magic, spiritual wisdom, and terrible power.
____________________
The moon’s shadow fell as a pattern on the dirt road beneath the trees.  The young woman’s cloak hid her face as she leaned on her knees to dig a small hole, depositing a knotted scarf holding herbs and stones, a tiny carved image, and her menstrual blood.  Her lips moved silently as she invoked the presence of Hecate.

As the young woman covered her sacred bundle with earth and rose from her knees, the sound of a hound baying at the moon echoed in the distance.  The breeze picked up, moving the tree limbs above, shifting the shadows on the road into eerie patterns.  A chill ran up the woman’s spine, and she gathered her cloak more tightly about her shoulders, shivering with the knowledge that the great goddess Hecate was moving through the crossroads.

Embracing the Goddess:
Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself.  So often women are under the impression that someone else is responsible for their protection, but this isn’t true.  We’re responsible for protecting ourselves, and sometimes this can mean making difficult decisions.

Hecate’s correspondences:
Herbs: garlic, lavender, honey
Animal: dog
Color: purple
Planet: Jupiter
Day: Thursday
Element: Earth
Feminine Face: Crone
Symbols: a torch; a dagger; the crossroads;
the moon; the serpent; fire

Invoke this goddess in the sacred darkness of night, at a crossroads, which is her favored realm, in the light of a fire.  The presence of a dog is desirable, and this creature will not only be pleasing to Hecate, but may very well announce her beautiful and terrible presence before you are aware of it.

goddess-9