Tag Archives: Goddess

9 Symbols of Christmas

A SEA OF XMAS LITES JULIA

9 Symbols of Christmas

Yule–now known as Christmas–once designated a specific period of time, about two months long, from December to January. This period was a time for important feasts, such as the Winter Solstice Festivals. Eventually Yule came to designate a pagan feast lasting twelve days in mid-winter around the time of the Winter Solstice.

The time of Yule historically marked the sun’s rebirth when the longest night of the year (Winter Solstice) gave birth to the beginning of longer days. Norse people considered the sun a giant wheel of fire which rolled away from earth then at Winter Solstice the sun began rolling back closer to earth again. One of the traditions–originally a Nordic tradition–linked to this time period was the yule log.

The yule log symbolized the fire and the light of the sun.  Some people thought that the ashes of the yule log would make a home immune to evil spirits and lightning strikes. The logs could be decorated with evergreen–sacred to the Celts as the tree did not “die” and represented the Eternal aspect of the Divine; and dusted with flour to signify triumph, light and life.

–The yule log was actually an entire tree. The tree was chosen and brought into the house with ceremony. Tradition decreed that the log/tree must be harvested from the householder’s land or given as a gift.

–The large end was put in the fireplace with the rest of the tree sticking out into the house. Some people used a log instead of the entire tree. A bit of last year’s tree–having been carefully stored–was used to get the present yule log to burn.

–Different countries used different types of trees for the yule log.

England: oak      Scotland: birch

France: cherry    Devon and Somerset, UK: large bunch of Ash twigs instead of log

Some parts of Ireland: large candle instead of a log and it’s only lit on New Year’s Eve and Twelfth Night.

In present day: a yule log can be a chocolate sponge cake rolled and layered with cream; chocolate icing and sometimes decorated to look like a bark-covered log.

Or, a piece of log/wood that is planed flat on the bottom and has three holes drilled in it for three candles.

The Norse celebrate the return of the sun–a male deity–with the yule log. Other traditions, such as the Balts, celebrate the return of the sun–a female deity–with many traditions similar to the Norse and involving fire.

According to the Journal of Baltic Tradition, 1994, Winter Solstice celebrations marked the rebirth of the Great Goddess Saule (SOW-lay). Saule means the sun itself. The Great Goddess Saule was regarded as Queen of Heaven and Earth and the Matriarch of the Cosmos.

The Yule Log is not the only tradition to be handed down to modern Christians via pagan rituals.

–During Winter Solstice the Norse Goddess Freya sits at her spinning wheel weaving the fates. The Wheel of Fate symbolizes the cycle of the seasons, the continuity of life–birth, life, death, and rebirth. The wreath once symbolized the Wheel of Fate.

–Trees (now Christmas trees) were brought in to attract and honor tree spirits. The hope was that during the coming warm time the trees would thrive and produce food. Part of attracting these spirits was to sing as a group to guide them to the homes where various foods decorated the tree for them.

–Foods (now Christmas ornaments) decorating indoor trees also symbolized the abundance to come when the sun shed warmth again.  blue xmas ornament

–The five pointed star was put on the tree to symbolize the five elements: earth, air, water, fire, and spirit.

–Bells were rung to drive away the demons that surfaced during the dark and cold time of the year.

–Candles symbolized fire and the light of the sun.

candle in dark

–Evergreens held power over death and held the power to defeat winter demons and had enough tenacity to urge the coming of the sun.

xmas tree star

–Legend says the snowflake was formed from Demeter’s tears when Persephone descended to the Underworld. The flakes have six sides representing the months of her time in the Underworld. Six is also the numerological digit associated with affection. For pagans, snowflakes are the winter symbol for love.

Were you aware of the origins of some of these symbols of Christmas? Do you know any myths attributing different origins to these symbols of Christmas? (Please share!) Leave a comment!

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References:  Wikipedia  Blog.dictionary.com  Shootingforthemoon.com/yuletraditionsandsymbols
Dictionary.com    Journal of Baltic Tradition, issue #2, 1994
Whychristmas.com/customs/yulelog.shtml   Religionfacts.com/neopaganism
Photo credits: all-free-downloads.com   Candle: geralt  Ornament: Hans  Tree with star: Paul Barrows    Sea of Christmas lights: Julia

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The Truth About #Vampires

In the Secret Archives of The Matriarch
Dissertation: The Truth about Vampires
By Serena Longer, First Councilwoman of the North America Vampires

Through the millennia vampires have had to propagate certain falsehoods for their safety, and the safety of humans closely associated with them. Here is a brief, and true, history of the vampire race, and the establishment of the North America Region.

When Cain murdered his sister, Abella, he and his children then attempted to eradicate Abella’s progeny. They cruelly hunted the children, murdering and torturing any they found. Their rationalization for such extreme actions was that Abella’s children followed a false diety, the Great Mother.

Artemis, Protector of the Vulnerable, intervened. She granted certain powers to Abella’s children, making them no longer fully human. She granted them superior strength, speed, intelligence and senses as well as near immortality. Goddess Hecate, the Mother of Magic, added certain magical abilities to the vampire race, though those abilities varied with each vampire line.

In return for the Warrior Goddess’ protection and Hecate’s magical abilities, the Children of Abella gave an oath to Artemis to follow the Goddess’ Purpose. According to The Purpose, Abella’s children would use their gifts to guide and to protect Cain’s progeny. They were to aid in the salvation of human souls by helping humans to evolve beyond their genetic predisposition to murder and destroy not only other two-legged, sentient beings but the other beings, such as animals, birds, even the trees and the Earth Mother as well.

A thousand years after The Purpose was set out, a number of vampire families fell away from The True Path of Artemis. They began to use their ability to enthrall and to enslave humans and other Supernatural races, and to treat all humans with contempt. Certain powerful vampire families often left drained human bodies where they died. Since at this time, humans were well aware of the existence of vampires, there was no doubt as to what type of being killed their sisters and brothers.

Panic among the human population ensued. Years of bloody fighting occurred. This was the time of The Great Fall. Many of the vampire Ancients and the vampire Teachers were murdered either by powerful vampires wanting to usurp their Families and Clans or by panicked bands of humans. Humans rioted through many vampire estates burning and beheading.

At this time there arose a type of human, from Cain’s descendants, who wielded magical powers given to them by the gods who were jealous of Great Goddess and the Goddesses. These magical wielders came to be known as Magic Users. Among their abilities was the magic that allowed them to break the enthrallment that some vampires indiscriminately used to bind humans, taking away the human’s freewill.

Magic Users despised vampires and lived only to destroy the vampire race. Though human, they frequently lived for much longer than normal human lifespans. Their powers increased as they aged and they experienced no human tendency toward disease or disability. Magic Users would gather enthralled humans, break their enthrallment and lead them to destroy vampire compounds and villages.

Between devastation reeked by humans and the destruction visited upon smaller, weaker vampire Families and Clans by those vampires of superior military strength, many vampire Clans were greatly reduced. Some vampire Clans were wiped out completely during the time known as The Great Fall.

Fortunately, the vampires who sought to enslave humans, other vampires and other Supernaturals also suffered grievous losses during this war. Weakened and at risk of being totally destroyed, the vampire race as well as other Supernaturals went into hiding; often in plain sight.

Humans who once knew about vampires and other Supernaturals eventually died off, as humans are prone to do. Knowledge about vampires and other Supernaturals became relegated to the status of legend and myth. Vampires in positions of power in the human world—either as educators or historians especially–did much to obfuscate the truth about the existence of vampires, witches and other Supernaturals.

For many generations, vampires exercised caution and took only what they needed. Using their powers, they confused the minds of the humans they drank from, leaving those humans to believe that they dreamed of the encounters. If a human was drained, the offending vampire—fearing vampire justice—carefully hid the body. Many returned to The True Path and to the Teachings of Artemis.

Hundreds of years of relative peace and prosperity for vampires followed. Until The Time of Hunting. Human history notes this era as the Dark Ages. Old legends were revived. Magic Users, who understood the fears of their fellow humans, slowly came out of hiding. They led the populace against the vampires and other Supernatural races. During this time, some vampires fled Europe. The ones who remained went deep underground.

After the hysteria died down, The Time of Hunting came to an end. The vampire population had once again been decimated. The Families and Clans who survived created the Matriarchs’ World Council comprised of the five surviving Ancients—those Matriarchs who were among the Original Vampires. The Council set out certain rules of conduct known as the Edicts of the World Council or Vampire Law.

The first and most stringent Edict was against Open Enthrallment. The Policy of Open Enthrallment upheld a vampire’s right to enthrall humans who would then be compelled to provide sustenance in the form of blood for the vampire and any she/he chose. This was much like the keeping of cattle among humans. Once the human grew too old or too ill to provide sustenance, or to be used as a slave, they were killed. Furthermore, selected humans could be Changed against their will.

The First Edict of the World Council was The Policy Against Open Enthrallment. It provided strict guidelines governing who could be enthralled, as well as who could be Changed, and under what conditions.

The second most important edict, The Edict of Mythology, decreed that all vampires propagate certain mythologies concerning Vampires and other Supernaturals.

These major reason for these mythologies was to convince humans that vampires and other Supernatural races only lived in one’s imagination or as stories told to frighten children into behaving.

Among the many mythologies some of the most popular ones are:
–Vampires are destroyed by sunlight.
–Vampires cannot go into a church, or other holy edifice.
–Vampires must sleep in coffins, sometimes with dirt from their homeland.
–Holy water and other holy artifacts can physically harm, and sometimes destroy, vampires.
–Vampires must kill in order to stay healthy.
–Vampires are cold to the touch.
–Vampires have no heartbeat.
–Vampires do not breathe.
–Vampires do not have souls.
–Vampires cannot propogate, except by ‘turning humans.’

There are, of course, other mythologies that usually spring from specific localities or cultures.

The Matriachs’ World Council, however, refused to enforce Artemis’ Purpose. It was decided that such matters must lie within the power of each vampire to individually decide.

After The Time of Hunting, the Matriarchs divided the world into five Regions. The Longer Family, led by Matriarch Belora, eventually immigrated to the New World, claiming the North America Region, which consisted of what came to be known as the United States of America, Canada and Mexico.

This paper is an overview of the history of the founding of the Vampire Race and the establishment of the North America Region.

See other entries in the Secret Archive of the Matriarch for further information and additional subjects.

To learn more about Serena Longer and vampires, be sure to read Artemis’ Warriors, Book 1, The Vampire War https://www.amazon.com/Artemis-Warriors-Aya-Walksfar-ebook/dp/B0158NZ1L6

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Is She or Isn’t She?

Ever wonder if that reclusive neighbor is something….different? Read on and get the real scoop!DSC09897

From the Archives of the Matriarchs

At the beginning, Great Goddess was. She is the Alpha and the Omega. She is Creative Force of all that Was, Is and Ever Will Be.

From Her Very Soul, she ripped pieces and formed the Goddesses in her own image. In blood and pain and sacrifice she gave birth to them. Their names are Mother of Magick who came to be called Hekate, Athena who was first known as Mother of Wisdom and Learning, Warrior Woman and Protector who came to be called Artemis, Woman of the Sun who refused any other name, and Woman of Fierce Darkness once called Amanirenas. These were the first five. Companions and co-creators with Great Goddess.

When their souls demanded them to create, she warned them that creation must come from ripping pieces of their own souls loose and implanting those pieces in the new creation. She told them that Creation could only be done amidst blood and pain and sacrifice for such is the nature of creation. Still their souls demanded for them to create and so they did.

Together they created all the universes, all the worlds, and all that lives within them. Except the Earth. Mother Earth was endowed with a strip of the soul of Great Goddess. From different parts of that strip of soul came the mountains, the valleys, the lakes, the oceans, the plains, the volcanoes, and all that make the body of Mother Earth.

Woman of the Sun took a piece of her soul and Created Father Sun then set him in the sky to warm the Mother. Amanirenas placed Grandmother Moon to shine when Mother Earth needed a rest from the strong rays and the warmth of Father Sun. Grandmother Moon fostered the quiet, the time for contemplation and feeling. Father Sun fostered action and growth.

Then Great Goddess took pieces of her soul and made the trees, the grasses, the flowers, and all that clothe Mother Earth.

Hekate, Athena and Artemis took pieces of their souls and made the animals, the creatures of air, of water, of earth. And because each piece of soul was unique, each creation–be it tree or be it tiger–was unique.

Great Goddess called together her companions and co-creators and they shared the worlds and universes they had created–each beautiful in its own way. Yet, when they gazed upon Mother Earth, in spite of all they had Created, they felt something was missing. Some essential element still needed to be brought forth. They Dreamed long and finally decided. This was a world where they could place small images of themselves, to watch each one grow and develop; to watch as they came into their creative powers. And so it was that Woman was Created. They let their Creative Powers rejoice and out of this celebration came the many colors and shapes and sizes of these replicas of Great Goddess and the Goddesses that Great Goddess named Woman. In a great burst of joy, they also created almost-replicas of themselves that Great Goddess named Man, for he was not fully a woman.

They Gifted Woman with a small bit of their own Creative Power. In her, new life could grow, but only in the image of the female. So it was that tigers gave birth to tigers and humans gave birth to humans.

Man begged to feel closer to Great Goddess and the Goddesses, begged to become more like them. And so, it came to pass that Great Goddess Gifted man with a seed that could assist in the creation of new life. Man rejoiced to be so close to Great Goddess, to be a part of creation.

Great Goddess created almost-replicas of the Goddesses and called them gods. They, like the almost-replicas on Mother Earth, could not create as the Goddesses did.

For millennia, all grew and prospered both in the Heavens and on Mother Earth. Woman and Man took only what they needed to live and they gave back as much as they took. So the balance continued.

After many millennia, the gods became restless. Unbeknownst to Great Goddess, they incited human males to anger and envy of the human females’ ability to create life. They filled the weaker male minds with thoughts that were subversive to all that Was and Ever Had Been.

Eventually, human males who followed the gods enticements were named Caine by the gods to distinguish them from the ones that followed the Way of Great Goddess. They named those Abella, as the leaders were always females.

During the Dark of the Moon, the followers of Caine rose up and slaughtered the unsuspecting followers of Abella, those who held tight to the Teachings of Great Goddess and the Goddesses. Millions died. That period of time came to be known as The Great War.

Because each living being held a piece of Great Goddess’ soul or a piece of the souls of the Goddesses, and therefore were given freewill, Great Goddess could not allow interference in The Great War, could not allow the usurpation of Freewill.

There came a time, however, when Artemis wept and threw herself at the feet of Great Goddess. Those the Goddesses loved had been reduced to small groups and even then the Children of Caine hunted them. She begged Great Goddess to allow her to save the remnants of their people, those who were known as the Children of Abella.

And so it came to pass that Artemis bestowed upon the Children of Abella certain powers. Among those powers were enhanced senses, enhanced strength, and near-immortality. The other Goddesses gathered close and they, too, bestowed certain powers upon the Children of Abella. In return for the many powers, Artemis demanded that the Children of Abella adher to the Purpose set by Great Goddess Herself.

The Children of Abella must never kill without reason, and must seek to help the Children of Caine overcome their blood that had been poisoned by envy, greed, hate, and needless violence.

So the Children of Abella would never forget their connection to the Children of Caine, Artemis decreed that in order to live, the Children of Abella must drink the blood of the Children of Caine. To remind the Children of Abella that none are free of fault, they were afflicted by sexual lust. The only way to be free of the Lust was to find their True Mate, be that mate a Child of Caine or a Child of Abella. Not all would find a True Mate.

Because the root of human male envy was the human females’ ability to create life, among the Children of Abella only the female could create life. To more tightly bind the Children of Abella to the Children of Caine, only a liaison with a human male would result in a child.

Because males brought about destruction, only females could hold power over the Children of Abella. Born females received Powers upon their 24th birthday. Before the receiving of power, they were brought to the House of the Head of their Family and watched over as the Power Came Upon them. Not all survived the Coming of Power. Born males never received powers nor were they able to impregnate females of either species.

Both Born male and female could Create new Children of Abella through a controlled bite and sharing of blood. Only females were allowed to do so without explicit permission of the Head of the Family. Created males were a lower caste than Born males. They could aspire to the Born male caste through accomplishments.

Huvams–those children born to a Vampire mother with a human father–became the leaders of the Children of Abella. Created females could aspire to leadership through their accomplishments.

A World Council of Five Matriarchs ruled all the Children of Abella.

The world was divided into regions and each region was headed by a Matriarch. Within the regions, First Councilwomen ruled the Heads of Family. The Heads of Family were responsible for all Children within their extended Family.

Over time, the Children of Abella came to be called Vampire. The Children of Caine came to be called Human and mostly forgot that the Children of Abella still lived.

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