Does this ever happen to you?
Who were the Maenads?
Written By Priestess Hypatia
For Coven Life
Priestess of Bacchus, John Collier (taken from Wikimedia commons), 1886
In Thebes the birth place of Dionysus, the God of wine, the Maenads were born. They were known as the Priestesses who were part of the Dionysus cult and performed ecstatic dance. Roaming the mountains of Thebes, trancing and dancing in fawn skin dresses and panther throws, snake crowns and barefoot. Snakes in ancient times were used as healers.
The list of Maenads is long in history, these women that maintained the Dionysian cult with ecstatic ceremonies were distinct to the Hellenic world. A religious cult unlike no other, the women maintained a frenzied state of ecstasy. Extended periods of dancing (usually to the point of absolute and utter exhaustion) and drinking wine, the Maenads participated in orgiastic celebrations dancing naked through the forests of Thrace.
Dedicated to the God of debauch and fertility the Dionysian followers such as the Maenads experienced states of sexual drunken pleasure that allowed them to become closer to their God.
As members of a respected cult in Hellenic society the Maenads were actually celebrated for their sexual promiscuity, a welcoming change from the ever virtuous virgin Goddesses. Their sexuality gave them power and position more so than many other women in the Hellenic world.
Dancing Maenad. Detail from an ancient Greek Paestum red figure skyphos, made by Python, ca. 330-320 BC. British Museum, London.
The Drum and Our Heartbeat
This is information on what using a drum to accompany other instruments or by itself means to most Native Americans. Our coven Brother White Wolf wrote to friend and brother named Chief Golden Light Eagle. To listen to more of Chief Golden Light Eagle interesting and truthful videos covering different topics Chief Golden Light Eagle
Now on to the drumming information from Chief Golden Light Eagle via White Wolf…
“Whiteman uses drums in their dances — rock and roll, country and western and all sorts of other music categories — the sound of drums move people in many different way. So yes the heartbeat is what everyone depends on to stay alive – the drum helps us to remember our own heart – beat, our own breath and our life.
So yes the heartbeat is what everyone depends onto stay alive – the drum helps us to remember our own heartbeat, our own breath and our life.”
From White Wolf…
“The Native Americans believe that using a drum connects our heartbeat to Mother Earth’s heartbeat”
Witchcraft with Fairies; Walking the Wild Woods
“Here is no protective circle, no prayers, no names of power; we have left the strained company of the magicians and are back in the countryside where the fairies are natural company.” – K. Briggs, in The Anatomy of Puck chapter 8, discussing a folk ritual to obtain a fairy companion.
There is a long history of witches working with fairies in various ways, both learning from them and being in service to them. In modern paganism we more often see this relationship played out very differently, with the Good Folk being approached from a more ceremonial magic perspective or treated as a kind of spirit guide or ally. When we look to folklore and early modern witchcraft we see a different picture and it is this one that I base my own personal practice on.
Tuatha Dé Danaan
After a great battle with the Formorians, where most of the Nemedians died, three groups managed to escape, and scattered around the world. One group worked hard to hone their skills and returned to Ireland under the aegis of the goddess Danu. Before their return, they had visited four great cities of the North. Falias, Gorias, Finias and Murias. In each city they added to their knowledge of science and craftsmanship, learning from the greatest sages. From each city they collected a magical treasure. From Falias they got the Lia Fáil, the stone of destiny, which roared when a rightful king took his seat upon it. From Gorias they brought the claíomh solais, or sword of destiny. From Murias came the cauldron of the Daghda, which could feed a host, however large, without ever being emptied. From Finias came the Sleá Bua, a magic spear.
Story of the Tuatha Dé Danaan:
Meanwhile, the Fir bolg had come to Ireland and settled there. A great mist descended on Western Connaught, and when it lifted the Firbolg discovered that a fortified camp had been built. They approached the fortifications, where they were met by a group of beautiful, tall, fair people. They curiously examined each other’s weapons. The weapons of the Tuatha were light, bright and sharp, and the weapons of the Fir bolg were blunt and heavy. They agreed that the two races should divide Ireland equally, and join to defend the territory against all newcomers. They bowed, and exchanged weapons.
The Fir bolg later decided to refuse their offer, and a battle commenced on the plains of Moytura. Nuada, the king of the Tuatha Dé Danann, had his hand cut off, but they were ultimately victorious. They magnanimously allowed the Fir bolg to keep the province of Connaught, while the Tuatha occupied the rest. Because of his blemish, Nuada could no longer rule as king. The warrior Bres was crowned in his place. Bres was only half Tuatha Dé Danaan, his mother being a Formorian. Because of this relationship with them, Bres allowed the Formorians to impose taxes and to oppress the Tuatha Dé Danann. The Tuatha eventually deposed Bres and refused to pay the tribute, and so the Formorians prepared for battle.
Lugh, also of mixed ancestry, arrived at the fort of the Tuatha.
To read the rest of this article, please click on this link: Tuatha De’ Danaan
A-Z Dictionary of Fairies and the Wee Folk
A-Z Dictionary of Fairies and the Wee Folk
Dictionary of Fairies Pictures
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A-Z Dictionary of Fairies
This is your one-stop shop for all terms and definitions related to fairies and the world of the fay. From letters A to Z, you will find fairies’ terms and definitions right here in this article.
Alven: water fairies found in ponds in the Netherlands, though they don’t have wings. They can, however, fly by being encased in bubbles and traveling on the winds. Main home is the River Elbe, as it is sacred to them. Small fairies, extremely light and sometimes shift into otters.
Ashrays: water fairies from Scotland that are mistaken for sea ghosts; have white bodies and look like a twenty-year-old human, both male and female. Nocturnal fairies, if sunlight hits them they will melt into a rainbow-colored pond of water.
Avalon: a mythological island in the Arthurian legends. The place where excalibur was forged and given to King Arthur, and also the place where King Arthur was taken after being wounded in a battle. Morgan Le Fay and Vivianne are said to have dwelled on the isle of Avalon.
To find out about other Fea please click on this link: Fea and Wee Folk
Aradia was a Moon Goddess from Tuscany, honored by the witches of that region but not well known outside of Italy until in 1899, when the American folklorist Charles Leland published Aradia, or the Gospel of the Witches Leyland claimed the book was the religious text belonging to a group of Tuscan witches who venerated Diana as the Queen of the Witches. Leyland was both a hero and a learned scholar educated in Germany and America. He had a knack of being accepted by secret societies and was embraced by the Tuscan witches. Leyland was given material for his books from a hereditary witch named Maddalena including the Vangelo or Gospel of the Witches.
To continue reading….
Four Books To Learn More About Aradia
There may be no other text more debated or controversial than Aradia, or Gospel of the Witches by Charles Leland, purported to be given to him by an Italian Witch named Maddalena. However, there may be no other text that has been as influential on modern witchcraft and particularly Wicca than Aradia, or Gospel of the Witches.
To continue reading…..
Who Was Aradia? The History and Development of a Legend
Aradia is familiar to most contemporary Pagans and Witches as the principal figure in Charles G. Leland’s Aradia, or the Gospel of the Witches, first published in 1899. Leland presents her as the daughter of Diana, the goddess of the moon, by her brother Lucifer, “the god of the Sun and of the Moon, the god of Light” (Leland, 1899, 1998:1), who is sent to earth to teach the poor to resist the oppression of the wealthy classes through magic and witchcraft. Through Leland’s work, Aradia’s name and legend became central to the Witchcraft revival. Between 1950 and 1960, “Aradia” was probably the secret name of the Goddess in Gardnerian Craft (it has since been changed), and she has also given her name to numerous contemporary Witchcraft traditions (Clifton, 1998:73).
To continue reading please go to links below.
Strawberry History, Folklore, Myth and Magic
Although strawberries have only relatively recently been cultivated in Europe and western cultures, beginning around 1300 C. E. in France, folk all around the world have used strawberries for a variety of purposes for centuries. In South America before the Europeans arrived, strawberries were traded. North American First Nation tribes used strawberries as medicine, particularly as a women’s medicine used to clear toxins and support fertility and child-rearing.
In Asia, strawberry’s detoxifying properties were also recognized as many as 2600 years B. C., at which time the Yellow Emperor used the leaves of the strawberry plant in a weak tea to detoxify and reduce the effects of aging. The Romans used Strawberries to lift the spirits and relieve bad breath as well as to treat a variety of digestive complaints.
Strawberry’s popular reputation, however, solidified around fertility early on, and there it has remained. Strawberry shows up in European mythos as a fertility-inducing and love-producing fruit beloved of goddesses such as Venus, Aphrodite, Freyja, and the Virgin Mary. It was said the fruit of strawberry, when shared with another, would produce love.
To read further on the Magickal properties of the glorious fruit……