Tag Archives: Goddess

Fascinating Facts of Europe’s Oldest Writing

Galerie d'Appolllon Le Triomphe de Cybèle par Guichard

Joseph Guichard [Public domain or CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons – Triumph of goddess Cybele

In modern day Turkey, known as the kingdom of Anatolia in ancient times, archaeologists recently discovered a variety of weights used by traders over 4,000 years ago. These were found in one of the 14 layers of the mound of Aemhoyuk. One of these was a piece of rock crystal, which– lo and behold—boasts an actual inscription. This marvelous discovery turns out to be the oldest written document in Anatolia and Europe as a whole. The cuneiform letters have not yet been deciphered, nor is it known whether the writing is in Anatolian or a more widespread international language used for trading purposes.

Antichambre de la reine-BELLONE, DÉESSE DES COMBATS, BRÛLE AVEC UN FLAMBEAU LE VISAGE DE CYBÈLE

By VIGNON, Claude-François (1633-1703) (RMN) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons – goddess Cybele

The Assyrians of Mesopotamia, in the region now known as Iraq, established trade routes and centralized locations for traders to congregate and sell their wares. Purushattum in Anatolia became one of these centers. The civilized world of that time coveted the silver of Purushattum as a prized commodity. Tin and luxurious fabrics were among other items traded.

I look forward to the day when this ancient writing, one lonely line from so long ago on one small rock crystal, is translated. What do you think it is? I’m wondering if it refers to the amount and type of material the weight stood for, e.g., one measure of silver or the like. Trade talk and measurements are among the most common reasons for ancient writing. I remember that was the case for Linear B in Mycenaean and Cretan times.

Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

Tuesday Tales: Writing Lake

Welcome to Tuesday Tales, a weekly blog featuring diverse authors who post excerpts from their works in progress based on word and picture prompts. We’re a book hungry troop that enjoys reading as much as you do. Today our word prompt is lake. This week I’m leaving the vintage romance for a bit and going back to work on one of my soothing (to me) action packed fantasies. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

Helle’s domain was the last place Rhade wanted to visit. When the Goddess of the Underworld summoned, you never knew whether it was for tea and scones or to scourge you bloody. Maybe you’d get out in one piece, or maybe thirteen. The pulse in his throat thudded at the sight of her grim expression.

The tautness of her face indicated disturbing emotions rippling beneath the surface. Flaxen hair framed strong cheekbones. Her wintry gray eyes glittered. In presentation she reminded him of the showcase fountain bearing secret passageway to her palace. An icy lake spurted jets of fire that rose and then crashed in startling and unpredictable abandon.

The Valkyrie's Vigil

Edward Robert Hughes [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Stern soldiers flanked her.

She extended the tips of her fingers. “Warrior.” The provocative scent of Lily of the Valley wafted into his nostrils.

He bowed his head to bestow a respectful kiss. “Divine One, how may I be of service?”

“Come with me.” She swiveled, and a bodyguard advanced beside her. She thrust out a palm. “Halt. You shall remain here.”

The uniformed man appeared bewildered. “But Divine One, your safety is my utmost responsibility. I beg you—”

Her visage turned fearsome. “Stay, I say. I will speak to the warrior in private.”

Beckoning Rhade to follow, she led him beyond the luxurious front rooms, down endless long corridors, and deep into the tunnels circling her cavernous domain. The pathways spiraled and coiled. He doubted even his well-honed sense of direction would save him if she abandoned him here.

What did she have to discuss that her own trusted guard could not hear? A surge of adrenalin sizzled through his body. He had never ventured this far inside Helle’s mysterious netherworld. She appeared to be leading him deep into her innermost sanctum.

I hope you enjoyed the snippet based on the word prompt lake and the quick trip to the Underworld. Thanks for stopping by. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

Mythic Monday: Pomona

Nicolas Fouché 001

Pomona by Nicolas Fouché [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

POMONA

Pomona, a Roman goddess or wood nymph associated with abundance and fruitfulness, is considered a Numina or guardian spirit with domain over a specific aspect of nature. She blesses the autumn season by protecting the orchards and gardens and assuring the people of plentiful food. Apple trees are her particular passion. Pomona’s name is from the Latin word for fruit, and pomme is French for apple. Pomona is often shown surrounded by fruit or holding an overflowing cornucopia. Her holy places were among the fruit trees in sacred groves. Admirably, she is one of the few Roman goddesses without a corresponding Greek counterpart. Courted by several woodland gods, she was tricked into marriage by the lusty Vertumnus who astonishingly appeared to her in the form of an old woman brimming with marital advice. Harry Potter’s professor of magical plant life is named Pomona Sprout. The Roman goddess Pomona is an appealing harbinger of autumn.

from To Autumn by John Keats:
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees.

Many thanks to the goddess Pomona for all the delicious varieties of apples and fruit, and for the gourds and stout orange pumpkins so iconic to the month of October.

Cheers & Happy Reading!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

Mythic Monday: Rainbow Goddess Iris

RainbowAfter three weeks of being in vacation mode, it is terribly difficult to return to the everyday world. Forgive me, but I really loved being at Daytona Beach with the rejuvenating wind and waves, reveling in beach nightlife with music and fire twirlers, at the crazy car races where Tony Stewart and other drivers go 200 mph, on a picnic at a beautiful tucked away springs in the forest, at the old fort and wax museum in St. Augustine, relaxing in the pool at night with a peach margarita, just spending time with family. It was all wonderful. My son, Snickerdoodle senior, took a gorgeous picture of a rainbow while we were at Daytona Beach last week, and I wanted to share it with you. Of course to me it has a heartfelt mythological energy.

In Greek mythology the goddess Iris is the painter of all our breathtaking rainbows. Her name possesses a double meaning, rainbow and messenger, and Iris performs as the personal messenger of the great goddess Hera. In one of my paranormal fantasy romances in progress, Iris descends to earth to bring a message to the heroine. She appears in a colorful fae drawn cart arching down from the sky to the edge of the sea where the heroine, outcast from the parallel Wytchfae world, runs a tiki bar. Oh, and yes, our Daytona hotel had a tiki bar. Are my books drawn from life or are my life symbols born in books? It’s hard to say.

Iris and Jupiter

Iris and Jupiter by Michel Corneille the Younger [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Iris was born of the cloud nymph Elektra, called “amber majesty” and a powerful sea guardian named Thaumas. Spanning the world of the sky and the sea, Iris energizes the clouds, encourages rain showers, and paints glorious rainbows. Our chakras have the same colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. Iris also runs errands for Hera and other deities, and the rainbow is a remarkable symbol for communication from the ethereal dimension to the human world. She has no lover or children, and I see her as young, beautiful, and eternal. She obviously cares for humankind to create such lovely rainbows for us.

There’s still several weeks of summer remaining. Let’s enjoy every moment. Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

Mythic Monday: Maia

075MAIA

Mother of Hermes! and still youthful Maia!
John Keats

With winter harshness behind us and intolerable summer heat not yet a reality, we greet the loveliest month of spring. Maia was a Greek goddess who, naturally, also appeared in the Roman pantheon. She was the daughter of the Titan Atlas, renowned for carrying the earth on his shoulders, and Pleione, who protected sailors. Maia’s name origin relates to mother, grandmother, or perhaps wise one. She was the eldest of seven sisters, represented by the Pleiades in the splendor of the night sky. Seeking solitude from the attentions of the king of the gods, Maia took herself to a remote cavern. Zeus, however, followed her to her dim starlit abode, with the end result being a newborn son, the fleet footed messenger god Hermes, Mercury to the Romans.

Maia, daughter of Atlas, shared the sacred bed of Zeus
and gave birth to Hermes, renowned herald of the gods.
Hesiod, Theogony702

The Romans connected Maia to a goddess of spring and the green growth of nature, and also to fire, including the heat of sexuality and regeneration. For centuries folklore celebrations centered on the maypole, which is a vibrant way of honoring spring. On the Wheel of the Year, the corresponding holiday is Beltane, a cross corner day falling halfway between Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice where participants gather around a celebratory fire.PURPLE Azaleas 2a

In whatever ways you honor spring, Maia, and the rebirth of light and energy, I wish you greenery and colorful blossoms to sparkle up your days.

Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic with Paranormal Fantasy Romance

More: Patricia Monaghan, The Book of Goddesses and Heroines

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/panmankey/2014/04/beltane-traditions/
http://www.pleiade.org/pleiades_02.html 

Mythic Monday: Happy Easter

Spring Equinox with its many celebrations, including Easter, is a sacred time in many faiths and mythologies. The word Easter comes from the Germanic fertility goddess Eostre, whose celebrants gave praise for the first green shoots of springtime and the never ending cycle of life. The rabbit and colorfully painted eggs are also iconic images associated with the beginning of the season. Pagan cultures considered eggs as potent symbols of fertility and rebirth, and many in the Christian faith think of Easter eggs as symbolic of Christ’s resurrection. Today’s children love the annual family ritual of painting eggs and hunting them in all the marvelous hiding places the Easter bunny or their parents gleefully established. It is also a time filled with good food and family oriented feasting, as well as a reverent respect for life. May your Easter and your whole springtime be happy and filled with family, friends, and the opportunity to make marvelous memories together.
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Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic with Romance

Tuesday Tales: Writing Beat

Tuesday TalesTuesday Tales is a weekly blog featuring diverse authors who post excerpts from their WIPs based on word and picture prompts. Our prompt today is beat. The snippet is from a paranormal romance currently being reworked and featuring the goddess Epona, as she is preparing for a lover’s tryst. Please visit the other fabulous authors at Tuesday Tales.

“Come in. Hell’s blaze, there is no need to beat down the door.”

The old woman blustered inside. She wrung her hands together and prattled. “Milady, there is a child begging for a moment of your time. I tried to send her away, but she’s in such distress that I…well…I know you’re anxious to be on your trip, but it’s an emergency.”

Epona stifled an urge to scream. Expelling a long breath, her voice was sharp when she answered. “Oh, all right. Allow me a few minutes to prepare myself.”

“Yes, milady.” Selde backed out of the room, easing the door closed behind her.

Her lips tight, Epona shoved aside clothes in search of her magical bag. Ah, there it was beneath the orchid chemise. Peering inside, she extracted her favorite crystal wand and tied the pouch to the belt of her gown. How fortunate she hadn’t changed out of her ceremonial attire. A few moments saved anyway. She secured the lid over the incense holder on her bedside table and snuffed the ebony candle in the front room before stepping out into the night.

The luscious scent of roses and night blooming jasmine permeated the air, lifting her spirits as she hurried down the hill. She craned her neck upward. Her lingering grumpiness at the unexpected interruption evaporated at the stunning array of stars glittering in the inky blackness of a moonless night.

An errant stone wobbled beneath her foot, and she flailed her arms to save herself from an awkward tumble. Cursing beneath her breath, she swirled the wand. “Come, fire fae, and light my way.”

Hundreds of tiny whirring wings rushed to answer her bidding, and sparkles of light danced around her, creating an iridescent green glow above the meandering pathway. Epona’s lips creased in pleasure. “Thank you, wee ones.”

A few moments later in the gemstone grotto, she resumed her seat on the cushioned floor and accepted the ornate chalice offered by her trusted servant. A sip of blackberry wine might be just the pick me up needed to get her through the additional supplications.

I hope you enjoyed my take on the prompt beat and seeing Epona in her goddess domain. Thanks for stopping by. Please visit the other talented authors at Tuesday Tales.

GuardianoftheDeep_SM (1)Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic with Paranormal Romance

Mythic Monday: Mystical Delphi

Apollo Vanquishing the Serpent Python by Gustave Moreau (1885)

Gustave Moreau [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

What do you picture when you think of ancient Delphi in in the southern crags of Mount Parnassus in Greece? Golden haired Apollo battling the monstrous python? A devoted oracular priestess of Apollo in rapturous trance uttering cryptic prophecies? Delphi’s role as an important religious and mythological center originated long before Apollo’s glory in Greece. The Great Cosmic Mother by Monica Sjoo and Barbara Mor describes how, prior to the rise of Achaean Greeks and the Olympian gods headed up by Zeus, the shrine of the magnificent earth goddess Gaia stood on the sacred site of Delphi. The area was considered the omphalos or navel of the world. There, in an underground chamber shaped like a beehive, lived the powerful spiraling serpent or python, sometimes referred to as drakaina or dragon. The dragon energy and form spiraled around the beehive chamber. It was sometimes seen as the child of Gaia and sometimes as another form of the goddess, who possessed the regenerative powers of the serpent. Gaia’s divine authority included life and death, those most basic of mysteries. Life originated from her womb, and the word Delphi itself comes from the word for womb.

Edward Burne-Jones - Sibylla Delphica, 1868

Edward Burne-Jones [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Later, when the male-oriented culture of the Achaeans rose in Greece, the sun god Apollo assumed exaltation as the primary deity of Delphi. Before the god of light could gain prominence, however, he had to fight and kill the python (overthrow the power of the goddess). He did so with a silver bow and golden arrows forged by Hephaestus, after which he had to purify himself of the murderous blood-guilt by serving as a shepherd for eight years. Even after Apollo took control of Delphi, a powerful priestess known as the Sibyl served as his oracle, and the myth of the goddess continued to be honored there as well. I’d love to visit the mystical site of Delphi, wouldn’t you?

“The sunbeams are my shafts, with which I kill
Deceit, that loves the night and fears the day;
All men who do or even imagine ill
Fly me, and from the glory of my ray
Good minds and open actions take new might,
Until diminished by the reign of Night.”
From Hymn of Apollo by Percy Bysshe Shelley

Cheers and Happy Reading!
GuardianoftheDeep_SM (1)Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic with Paranormal Romance

Mythic Monday: Scorpio Goddess Hecate

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Richard Cosway [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

“He then the name invokes
Of Hecate; abundant honour straight
Shall follow on his path, if to that prayer
Gracious the goddess leans and opulence
Attends his footsteps; for the power is hers.”
     Hesiod, translated by Sir Charles Abraham Elton, from Theogony

“It keeps eternal whisperings around
Desolate shores, and with its mighty swell
Gluts twice ten thousand Caverns, till the spell
Of Hecate leaves them their old shadowy sound.”
     John Keats, from On the Sea

As the Wheel of the Year swirls into late autumn, the energy of Scorpio mirrors the cooling of earth and the slow descent into dormancy. The mood becomes more distant, less fiery and emotional, yet not detached in the way of an air sign. Rather, the sense is of the closeted dampness of inner earth, where mysteries abound and life and death intertwine. Scorpio is self-aware and also cognizant of various realities. During this time of year we survey with wonder the changing colors around us, the dying of what was new last spring, and we are beckoned toward attentiveness to life’s mysteries. It is time for us to feel the energy of that which cannot be seen with the eyes. There is immense power now. Magic abounds. Honor the mystery and learn from it, while protecting your own sense of self. Things are not always what they seem, and differentiation of your spirit among many is a worthy task. I honor the great goddess Hecate as the 2015 patron goddess of Scorpio.

Although Hecate is considered a Greek goddess, Barbara G. Walker in The Woman’s Encyclopedia of Myth and Secrets traces her beginnings back to ancient Egypt, where she was known as Hekat, the powerful goddess of midwifery and magic. Other spellings are Heket and Heqit. Hekat’s powers flowed from the very source of death and creation. As cosmic midwife, she brought spirit into the body and the world of the living. As priestess, she accepted spirit back into the underworld realm at death. Hekat evolved from an even earlier power, the heq or tribal matriarch of pre-dynastic Egypt. The tribal matriarch commanded the sacred mother’s words of power called the hekau. These magical incantations were vital to gain entrance into various areas of the underworld.

Hecate, or The Night of Enitharmon's Joy, Butlin 316

William Blake [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

To the ancient Greeks, Hecate was a Titan, one of the divinities preceding the Olympic gods. Only she and Zeus had the unique power of being able to grant or withhold at will anything from humankind. Some say her worship came to Greece from Thrace. As cosmic midwife Hecate retained her association with the mysteries of life and death. She existed as a trinity, ruling heaven, earth, and the underworld. In heaven she was the moon Hecate Selene, on earth she was Artemis the Huntress, and in the underworld she became Persephone the death goddess. From the trinity of maiden, mother, and crone, Hecate was most aligned with the dark crone aspect. Hebe or sometimes Persephone denoted the maiden. Hera or sometimes Demeter represented the mature woman. As a triple goddess, Hecate was closely associated with moon goddesses Selene, Artemis, and Diana. Offerings were left for her at crossroads where three roads met. She was the queen of witches and magic, and as Diana this association extended through Roman times and the many centuries following. She was invoked at crossroads at the midnight hour, and magical rites were performed in her name. She was sought after for her powers of healing, guidance, prophecy, and compassion for humanity.

May we all be blessed by the healing and reverence of hidden mysteries as bestowed by one of the most ancient goddesses, Hecate. When you look up at the waxing moon tonight and the full moon five days from now, perhaps you’ll think of the moon goddesses of old.

GuardianoftheDeep_SM (1)Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic with Paranormal Romance

Mythic Monday: Libra Goddess Astraea

Libra Hevelius

By Johannes Hevelius [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

As the Wheel of the Year swirled into full autumn, the energy of Libra rose to the forefront.The thematic energy morphed into awe in the face of dramatic change and the increased serenity that comes from a cooling earth and slowing activity. One day the leaves are green and barely tinged with color, and the next they splash out their wild abandon with vibrant scarlet, orange, and gold. The time is ripe for turning your thoughts inward to examination of values, goals, and any mental adjustments that may be needed. It is a chance to take stock during this passage toward stillness. The beauty of maturing nature mirrors the fullness of your inner self as it readies for a calmer season. For many people autumn is an opening of bejeweled inspiration and artistic expression. We feel uplifted and renewed. Allow the universal creativity to flow through you in expressions of love, caring, and beauty. Libra thrives on symmetry, balance, and divine justice. Seek internal equilibrium and a quiet grace. Libra is mellow while experiencing ascendency. Allow yourself to be calmed and soothed by Libra’s nurturing spirit. I honor the goddess Astraea as the 2015 patron goddess of Libra.

The Woman’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets by Barbara G. Walker traces the birth of Astraea to Libya. I suspect the origins come from the Phoenician era of the Libyan region, during the cultural apex of the great city of Carthage. Astraea, the goddess we recognize as holding the scales of justice in balance, went on to influence the Greek and Roman eras. The latter deemed her “the Starry One.” As divine virgin she is affiliated with both Virgo and Libra. The most wonderful story pertaining to Astraea illustrates her compassionate capacity. The ancient Greeks spoke of five ages of man, starting with the Golden Age, and with each subsequent age further deteriorating. Disgusted by the growing degeneration and evil of humans, one by one the gods left the earth. Astraea was the last of the immortals to leave, doing so during the Iron Age. She stayed here longer than the other gods because of her compassion and belief in the ultimate goodness of mankind. Finally, even she could no longer withstand the deception, brutality, and mighty self-interest. With sadness, Astraea reclaimed her birthplace among the stars.

May we all be blessed by the beauty, grace and genuine solicitude bestowed by Astraea.

GuardianoftheDeep_SM (1)Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic with Paranormal Romance