About our cover art – issue 25

Enchanted Moon Goddess Cabinet, by Rachel Pereira

Enchanted Moon Goddess Cabinet

 

Rachel Pereira is a Somerset born, self-taught artist. She travels a lot around Europe and has a 5 year old son. Her interests include  folklore, herbalism, crystals, community living, art and design, yoga,  psychology and children. She is also a vocalist, lyricist and writer.

Rachel is available to customise furniture for your special gift - wedding, christening, blessing, birthday, etc, and also paints murals or canvases.  You can contact her at her website: aeonloveboutique.com or via her email.

 

Ix Chel in my Window

by Annelinde Metzner

Ix Chel - © Katherine Skaggs, www.katherineskaggs.com

Goddess of the Moon! Ix Chel,
translucent and ever-changing weaver woman,
creator, destroyer, healer,
Lady Rainbow,
sleek jaguar of stealth and grace,
how you awaken me each morning!
Long before the sun's rise, now in early Spring,
you are there, Ix Chel, in my window,
sparkling bright mystery upon my sleepy eyelids.
I pull the blankets up to my eyes, and give gratitude,
oh most lovely Woman of the Isle of Women!
Before the day begins, you awaken me tenderly,
fresh from dreams, half asleep.
"Remember me! I pass here each night,
I touch your forehead with my luminous beauty,
I bless you, I reach for you,
I am Ix Chel, your sister,
gracing you once more
with my lightest spark of transformation
and truth. I only ask
that you receive me gladly."

Annelinde Metzner
March 21, 2014

Ix Chel - girls throwing petals. © Michael and Jennifer Lewis, www.mandjphoto.com

Geraldine Charles

Geraldine Charles

Geraldine is the founder and editor of Goddess Pages. She is also a Priestess of the Goddess, a founder member of the Glastonbury Goddess Temple and a former Glastonbury Goddess Conference ceremonialist.
A web designer and all-round computer person, Geraldine is responsible for a number of websites. In her spare time she writes articles and poems, loves researching Goddess in mythology and also produces artwork on her beloved computer. She also runs an online correspondence course called "Getting to know the Goddess". 
Geraldine Charles

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The Waters of Life

by Hannah Spencer

Clouties hanging from a tree near Madron's Well, Cornwall - by Jim Champion (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Clouties hanging from a tree near Madron's Well, Cornwall - photo by Jim Champion

From the waters of Nu, the primeval ocean of Egyptian myth, to the river Styx, which deceased souls cross on their final journey, from the world-encircling oceanic serpent known as Oceanus or Jormungand, to the celestial river of The Milky Way which flows to the land of the soul, water has always denoted the confines of earthly existence, both at its beginning and at its end, and in both a physical and spiritual sense.

This belief evolved because water is the life force of Mother Earth. Just as blood flows through the veins of our bodies, so water flows through the rivers and oceans of the Earth, in a lovely demonstration of the macrocosm-microcosm relationship: “as above, so below.” No living thing can survive without water, and as birth is heralded by the breaking of the waters, so it was believed that the soul was also carried out of this world by a celestial river. Therefore it is no surprise that water has always held such importance in belief and tradition.

Breaking Boundaries

Like all boundaries, those defined by water can be breached. Oceans, rivers, lakes and springs have all been traditionally considered liminal zones - places where the metaphysical boundaries between our world and the spirit world are weak. Crossing of water was often associated with physical and spiritual journeys to other worlds. The Irish folk heroes, Oisin and Bran and also the Japanese hero Urashima all sailed across the ocean to reach a paradisiacal land, and Gawain in the 14th century saga, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, had to cross water to reach the Green Knight's castle, an allusion to the spiritual initiation or test that he was undergoing. "Beyond the seventh wave" was a Celtic metaphor synonymous with the land of the spirit. Continue reading "The Waters of Life"

Serket, the Goddess who understands Poisons

by Lesley Jackson

Serket image by Jeff Dahl
Serket image by Jeff Dahl

We are accustomed to lovely and inspiring creatures associated with the Goddess; from the elegant ferocity of the lioness of Sekhmet to the gentler cat of Bastet, or even the endlessly hypnotic snakes of the Cobra Goddesses. Given the variety of animals that the Ancient Egyptians encountered it is surprising that they should associate a scorpion with a Goddess, particularly a largely benevolent one.

The Scorpion Goddess Serket (Selkis or Selket) is first attested to in the 1st Dynasty so she will have been a Pre-dynastic Goddess (before 3,100 BCE). Serket can be depicted either as a woman with a scorpion on her head or as a scorpion with a woman's head and torso. Her name Serket Hetyt means "she who causes the throat to breathe".1 A Goddess responsible for the divine breath of life or a euphemism referring obliquely to the effect that scorpion venom has on its victim's breathing.

Scorpions were very common in Ancient Egypt and they have a unique and distinct appearance. Scorpion stings were a common, but none the less distressing, hazard. Attendance registers from Deir el-Medina contain many occurrences of men missing work because of scorpion stings. The potency of the venom varies and some species are relatively harmless. The symptoms are burning pain followed by shortness of breath but for the young, elderly and weak the poison could be fatal. It is because of the latter symptom that Serket was thought to control breathing. Female scorpions are larger than the male and so have more venom. Was this why they were associated with a Goddess rather than a God, or was it pure misogyny?

Why was the scorpion associated with the divine anyway? It could have been regarded as a demon, perhaps such a powerful entity needed placating not demonising. One reason might be that the agent which inflicted the damage was the one best able to remove it, or at least reduce its impact. To the ordinary Egyptian, at the base of a rigid social hierarchy, there was a direct correlation between rank and power. In an absolute monarchy their king was almost godlike in his power over the life and death of his subjects. Any creature, such as the scorpion, with the ability to kill appeared to have an equivalent divine power. Continue reading "Serket, the Goddess who understands Poisons"