Tag Archives: Roman mythology

Fae Friday: Summer Vibes

Ipogeo di via livenza, diana cacciatrice

Goddess Diana hunting, Roman fresco [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Enjoy Alexander Pope’s exquisite imagery in an excerpt from his poem, Summer.

Diana the Huntress by Orazio Gentileschi (17th-century)

Diana the Huntress, Orazio Gentileschi [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

See what delights in sylvan scenes appear! 
Descending Gods have found Elysium here.
In woods bright Venus with Adonis stray’d,
And chaste Diana haunts the forest shade.
Come lovely nymph, and bless the silent hours,
When swains from shearing seek their nightly bow’rs;
When weary reapers quit the sultry field,
And crown’d with corn, their thanks to Ceres yield.
This harmless grove no lurking viper hides,
But in my breast the serpent Love abides.

Solstice Blessings,
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: 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: 13 Little Known Nature Deities

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Evelyn De Morgan [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

13 LITTLE KNOWN NATURE DEITIES

The ancients were closer to nature than we. Nightime was dark, seriously dark, untempered by street lamps, store lights, and the steady hum of our modern need for twilight. Only the communal fire offered safety from the terrors looming outside the common grounds. Unlike we, who tend to consider humans apart from and superior to nature, ancient cultures viewed themselves as part of a pattern of wholeness. The divine was immanent rather than than transcendent. Spirits, deities, and the activating forces of nature formed the web of life along with humans, and dwelt within the forms of trees, animals, rocks, mountains, rivers, and the like. Mother Earth was the all powerful goddess who gave birth to each form in the world and, upon death, received the form back into herself. Her greatness and glory were celebrated in the naming of sacred springs, wells, trees, mountains, forests, and all natural formations. Each place on earth held her indwelling spirit. Springtime plantings and April’s Earth Day provide a chance to pay homage to the natural splendor in which we live. In celebration of Gaia, here are several lesser known ancient nature beings associated with Mother Earth.

Abnoba – Celtic goddess worshipped in the Black Forest region, also the name of a mountain range. At one ancient shrine the name is added to that of the great goddess of the hunt, Diana. The roots of the word Abnoba pertain to river and tree, and possibly to naked.
Ash – Ancient Egyptian god of oases and vineyards. Wine jars were often inscribed “I Am Refreshed by Ash.” Evidence proclaims him an ancient deity of protodynastic times.
Cernunnos – Celtic horned god of the wild, made visible in all horned and antlered animals. His was the masculine power that mated with the feminine spirit, resulting in the perpetuation of life. The name itself means horned one. Of particular interest to me is his association with a two-faced Janus-like being by the Celts of the Iberian Peninsula.
HibiscusofRonnie1-11-2015Fan Cheng – Chinese god of the hibiscus. Each flower has its own deity, which to me is a wonderful tribute to nature. And I love hibiscus!
Idunn – Norse goddess of spring who guarded the sacred apples that kept the gods young, allowing only the gods to eat of the fruit. Her name means always young or the rejuvenating one. When Loki attacked her, he caused Idunn and her apples to fall into the hands of the enemy giants. The Norse deities began to wither and age, and Loki was charged with restoring Idunn and her apples to safety and glory.
Korrigans – Spirits of underground healing springs. They were fairy beings of ancient Britany who were beautiful, tiny, and so shining as to be translucent. At night a Korrigan’s form was that of a young maiden, but in the harshness of day she became a withered crone who could be dangerous to any man that interfered with her rituals or sacred ceremonies.
Jurate – Mermaid sea goddess of the Baltic who lived in an undersea castle made of amber and watched over fishermen, allowing them plentiful hauls.
Medeina – Lithuanian goddess of the forest whose sacred animal is the hare. She was a huntress protecting the forest and a she-wolf who ran with the wolves. Her name means tree. Shrines to her have been located in the form of stones with hollows that resemble wolf prints.
Ningikuga – Sumerian goddess of reeds and marshes who wore jewelry made of lapis lazuli, the gold flecked, dark blue gemstone. I find her interesting, as the dwellers of the southern marshlands were generally looked down on as a lesser class by the city folk of ancient Mesopotamia. She is sometimes associated with the great goddess Ningal and sometimes designated as Ningal’s mother.
Ops – Roman goddess of the fruitfulness of earth. She gave grain and fruit to the people and comes down to us in the word opulent.
Qocha Mana – Hopi white corn maiden, also known as Kachina and Goddess Yellow Woman. She gave the nourishing grain to her people.
Tacoma – Earth goddess of the Cascade Mountains who lived atop the snow-covered peaks of Mount Ranier. She was the protector of the natural, fresh waters and nourishment in the form of salmon.
Xochilpilli – Aztec earth god of maize and ecstatic song. His name translates to Flower Prince and pertains to the joy of the soul’s life. The Mayans worshiped him under the epithet Tonsured Maize God, and he was adorned with a mother-of-pearl pendant in the shape of a teardrop.

I hope you enjoyed hearing about these 13 little known ancient nature deities. Which one appeals to you the most? Here’s to a wonderful spring! I hope you receive all the splendor and blessings Mother Earth can give you.

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

Mythic Monday: The Divine Sneeze

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Photo by Alicia

Do you say Gesundheit or God Bless You when someone sneezes? Just how powerful is a sneeze? Ancient Polynesian mythology tells the story of just such a natural but unexpected event during the creation of mankind. At the beginning of time, the Lords of Light ruled the earth, sea, and heaven. Mankind did not yet exist. One day, Creator took ordinary red clay in his hands and added several drops of his own blood. He kneaded the mixture well and shaped the moistened earth into his likeness. Creator then expelled his breath onto the figure made of earth and blood, and the first man immediately came to life and sneezed. The first man was called Tikiahua, or The Creator’s Sneeze.

The myth contains a seed of sophistication regarding the understanding of the relationship between matter and light and among the body, spirit, and soul. The Polynesians believed in three aspects or bodies of man. The first is the physical body, dense and earthbound. The second is the spirit, which is made of transparent matter and is like visible air. The third is the soul, which is composed solely of light. When the body dies, it releases the spirit. The spirit then dies as well, releasing the soul or final aspect of man. Polynesians acknowledge a sneeze by saying words that will wish the three aspects or bodies to remain together so that the spirit and soul do not separate from the physical body. The words act as a charm to keep the person alive during a sneeze.

Similar protective words are found in our Gesundheit, meaning good health, and God Bless You. This theme runs down through history and through many cultures. According to The Woman’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets by Barbara G. Walker, the Romans said “Jupiter preserve you” when someone sneezed. People in medieval times also spoke protective words toward someone who yawned, and modern Hindus use the technique of snapping their fingers at the yawner to keep the spirit and soul intact in the body.

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

Mythic Monday: Anna Perenna

Originally an ancient Etruscan goddess of the fruitful earth, Anna Perenna went on to become well revered by the Romans. Her feast day is March 15, a time when spring begins to sing and  green shoots stir beneath the fertile ground. During her widely celebrated festival, revelry, merrymaking, and lovemaking were expected of all devout Romans. After the strain of a long winter, folks of all classes needed to let down their hair.

In the earliest Roman calendar, the feast day of Anna Perenna constituted a highlight in the Roman celebration of the new year. Anna Perenna served as GrandmotherofTimegoddess of the year, ushering in new hope and bounty. The metaphysical practitioner and teacher Zsuzsanna Budapest calls her the Grandmother of Time and wrote a book of that title. Because of Anna Perenna, we experience the passing of time as a series of moments, allowing us to engage our senses to discern the deep meaning behind each segment of our lives.

More:http://journeyingtothegoddess.wordpress.com/2012/03/15/anna-perenna/

http://reclaimingthedarkgoddess.blogspot.com/2011/03/anna-perenna.html

http://zbudapest.com/

http://www.thaliatook.com/OGOD/annaperenna.html

http://festivallover.hubpages.com/hub/The-Roman-New-Year-Festival–Anna-Perenna

http://romanpolytheist.wordpress.com/2013/01/04/pbp-a-is-for-anna-perenna/

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