Goddess Friday with Playful Bast!

Deep Pink Zinnia, by Cheryl

 

Hello! It’s Goddess Friday again and a new month!

This week I want to share a beginning of the month ritual with you…

I like to choose a guide at the beginning of a new month to help me throughout that month with intuitive nudges and a connection to their energy and aspects. Often that guide is a Goddess! Sometimes I just know who the guide will be – they sort of show up for me. Other times I’ll use an oracle deck to choose a guide. This month the Egyptian Goddess Bast wants to help me remember how to lighten up and enjoy life, but also to be fierce when needed.

Bast is a cat-headed Goddess. In her temple in Lower Egypt were the sacred cats who were considered to be incarnations of the Goddess. They were even embalmed when they died (over 300,000 mummified cats were found in the area of her temple at Bubastis). Bast is known for her playfulness, grace, and affection. She’s the Goddess of pleasure as well – from the enjoyment of music and art, to the pleasures of dance and sex. Especially pleasures of a sensual nature are in her area of influence – enjoying the warm sun on your body, the joy of spending time in nature, good food, and a delicious stretch are all ways to connect with the energy of Bast. She’s also a predator – as all cats are. A hunter and warrior, she rules the moon and is a protective mother. Her statues were kept in homes to protect against thieves.

I invited Bast to help me this month by just asking her nicely. Each day I’ll check in with her, and later I’ll create a collage about what she means for me this month. I also drew some tarot cards asking for her help in answering my questions. Here is the simple spread I used:

  • What do I need to know this month?
  • Tell me more…
  • What is possible for me this month?

You can see my cards below, I used the Housewives’ Tarot deck by Paul Kepple and Jude Buffum. The cards tell me that most of my work is done, but a re-evaluation is in order. That will guide me to the fine-tuning I need to do to truly be free. This process may include some grief and loss though. A retreat for rest and recovery is definitely possible, and likely needed, this month. And with Bast along for the ride some pleasure, as well, will be an important part of replenishing myself.

My Tarot Draw for March

Ironically, I already have a break planned! Now I’ll be sure that it includes plenty of rest, solitude, and play! A good ritual offers so much insight and clarity. My mind can be a jittery place and these types of practices help to ground, comfort, and inspire me.          

Happy March to you! Do you choose a guide or have a special New Month ritual? I’d love to hear about it! Write to me at cheryl@theintrepidgoddess.com or set up a free call here. You can also find me on Instagram. And I don’t want to forget to tell you about my offering the Goddess Inspiration Session! I draw an oracle card for you and together we tease out the meanings and messages there for you. (Learn more about this offering right here.)

Sending a Big Hug to you and hoping your Friday is delight-filled!

Love,

Cheryl    

 

Choose a Goddess! (for Goddess Friday)

Peonies, by Cheryl

It’s Goddess Friday again!

Today, for fun, I’m sharing a little about three Goddesses and their questions for you. To determine your Goddess for today, simply choose a number – one, two, or three. Choose the one that resonates for you. You might close your eyes and a number will show up in your imagination. Or you can sense how each number feels in your heart and choose the one that feels expansive and open. If that doesn’t work, you could look below at the images and choose the one that appeals to you. Or read them all – it doesn’t matter – however you want to play!

The card images below are from The Goddess Oracle by Amy Sophia Marashinsky, illustrated by Hrana Janto, but I haven’t used the oracle book for meanings here. I’ve chosen to let Spirit talk through my own intuition. I hope you find a message that is meaningful and helpful for you.

Let’s Play!

Choose a Goddess! (the super low tech version 🙂

If you chose….

One:

Then your Goddess is – Demeter – Greek Goddess of the Seasons

Demeter is known for various things (agriculture, harvest, fertility, grieving the loss of a child, etc.), but today I feel she is sharing her wisdom of the seasons with you. Seasons are delightful changes in the world around us that tell us another trip around the Sun is occurring. They each hold their own celebrations, and meanings, and beauty. But seasons can be about cycles of any kind, particularly the cycle we all follow from birth to death.

The questions that Demeter asks you today are: What life season are you in right now? Do you surrender to the cycle you’re in, or fight it? What celebrations are you enjoying in this cycle? What have you learned here? What beauty do you feel and see? What does it mean to you to be at this place in the cycle of your life?

Two:

Your Goddess is – Ix Chel – Mayan Goddess of the Moon and Personal Rebirth

Ix Chel is a goddess of fertility and harvest, like Demeter, but she is also a goddess of personal rebirth. She was killed by her grandfather for loving the Sun, but then magically brought back to life by dragonflies. She returned home and was beaten by her husband (the Sun) because of his jealousy. After a while she decided that was enough, and she transformed into a jaguar so that she couldn’t be seen by him. She’s a goddess of transformation, but also self-understanding and acceptance. She accepts and loves herself, but when others can’t she leaves them behind. She moved to an island where she wove the cycles of the world and helped women with pregnancy and childbirth.

Ix Chel asks you: Where are you dreaming of change in your life? Is there anything or anyone that you need to step away from, that doesn’t support you as you are? In what ways do you accept yourself as you are? When you think of a personal rebirth what comes up? What would that personal rebirth look like for you? Can you think of a step you would like to take?

Three:

Your Goddess for today is – Baba Yaga – Slavic Goddess of Old Bones

Baba Yaga is such a favorite of mine! I love how she brings up the dark noises in the night, the ones that we fear without even shining light on them. She’s supposed to be scary, and I suppose she can be. But she will also lovingly hold your hand as you look at the darkest things you have been keeping buried deep. These are the Old Bones. The things we’re afraid to examine too closely, the ones we hope will go away, the potentially disgusting and embarrassing stuff. Baba Yaga isn’t afraid of the dark, and she wants to help you to heal by looking at those old bones and seeing what’s truly there. Once you shine the light the dark is rarely as bad as you think it will be.

Baba Yaga asks you: What have you been burying deep? Is it an old experience, a story, a belief, an emotion, a fear? If you took it out and looked at it in the light what do you think might happen? Do you have someone in your life who can hold your hand while you look? What is your life like without this old bone? What freedom is there in releasing it to the Light?

Sending Goddess love to you. They ask the best questions and they’re there to help us access the answers. I hope you discovered something that frees you and opens you to your most delightful life!

Best wishes for a truly lovely weekend!

Love, Cheryl

Sulis of the Healing Waters

Hydrangeas, by Cheryl

For this Goddess Friday post I drew a card from one of my goddess oracle decks to share with you. My intention was to draw a card with the Goddess who could be of help to everyone who reads this post. And I drew one of my favorites:

The Warm and Healing Sulis!

Sulis, like many other ancient goddesses, has transformed over the years, and the origins of her worship are hidden in time. She was the Celtic deity of the healing warm springs at Bath and her name means either eye/gap or sun. When the Romans came to Britain they syncretized her with the Roman goddess Minerva. She is the life-giving mother Goddess of healing waters, nourishment, vision, the sun, and, strangely, of curses (tablets were found in her springs that requested justice or vengeance against theft). It’s theorized that her aspect as a sun goddess took her to the underworld in her travels each day, so that she was a Goddess of light and darkness.

My favorite approach to the energy and wisdom of Sulis is from The Goddess Oracle by Amy Sophia Marashinsky (it is also the card deck I used for this post – you can see the card image below). Amy sees Sulis primarily in her aspect of offering warm healing waters, and in understanding the depths that create illness in order to heal.

“Illness is a way for us to come face-to-face with what is no longer working for us and change it. Have you been ignoring your own deep requests for more time, more space, more attention? Perhaps you have been too busy attending to everyone else’s needs and putting your own last. Perhaps illness is the only way out of a messy or painful situation. Do you experience any resistance to being in the dance of illness/wellness? Any blame? Regardless of what brought you to this dance, you are here and you need to put everything aside that doesn’t nourish and support your healing.” Amy Sophia Marashinsky

I have never been to Bath, but I do know about the healing properties of water. We all do! Drinking a warm beverage, taking a hot shower, relaxing in the tub, going to the ocean, taking a swim or a paddling a kayak in a lake, watching a river flow – all are supremely delightful ways to find healing. And as Amy says, to experience the healing of rest, warmth, time, nourishment, and space we need to give our healing (and our staying healthy) priority.

Do you give your wellness priority? Do I? I know that I’ve had illnesses that were absolutely because I needed to rest and take a break from my life. How about you? And I would say that, at times, that was completely fine with me. I pushed when I needed to push, and when I couldn’t do it anymore my body gave me an “out” that the people around me could understand much more than saying I needed to take time for myself. Taking time for ourselves isn’t exactly condoned in our culture, is it? Still I would like to heal the cycle of Illness/Wellness and learn to make choices that allow me to say, “I need time for myself, I need to rest, I need a break”, before I get sick!

I’m getting much better at it. How about you? Here’s to nourishing your wellness with love and caring, and some warm water perhaps. You can always ask Sulis to help you to know when you need to rest and/or to practice healing behavior for yourself. I certainly do! She’s a warm, gentle guide who can also help you see what you do that is shadowy and leads to feeling unwell.

I’m wishing the very best health and wellness for all of you!  

Love and Healing,

Cheryl

 

Sulis from The Goddess Oracle, Illustration by Hrana Janto

Goddess of the Sacred Home Fires

Fiery Flower by Cheryl

Hestia, in the high dwellings of all, both deathless gods and men who walk on earth, you have gained an everlasting abode and highest honour: glorious is your portion and your right. For without you mortals hold no banquet, — where one does not duly pour sweet wine in offering to Hestia both first and last.  (from Homeric Hymn 29)

Hestia, the Ultimate Domestic Goddess of Hearth & Home {and quite a lot more…}

I have this category on on my blog called Goddess of the Month and – it’s sadly mostly empty. It was a good thought that never quite panned out for me. But since I’ll be posting for four Fridays on this 30 Day Blogging Love Challenge I thought I would try my hand at Goddess Fridays instead. I always think of goddesses on Friday, as it’s a day ruled by lovely Freya and Venus. Today I want to share a few things about one of my favorites – Hestia. I adore her – she’s like a big warm hug! And also a vital protector of the things that matter most to us – home, community, warmth, spirituality, and food.

Hestia is from the Greek pantheon and is a sister to all of the big Gods there – Zeus, Poseidon, Hera, Demeter, and Hades. But she isn’t really like them, though she has a very specific area of influence, she’s a bit of an outsider and yet also like the glue that holds it all together. She’s the Goddess of domesticity, the hearth, the hearth fire, family, cooking, and the spirit of home in each private residence. She invented the building of houses and so she’s the Goddess of architecture too. But her fires weren’t limited to the private sphere of life – she also ruled over the Hearth of the Gods and of that of each Greek state, city, and village. Greek political entities – like a city or town – each had an area called the prytaneium – a central hearth, a sacred fire. This is Hestia’s sanctuary. She didn’t have many temples, because she was basically honored wherever there was a hearth.

The importance of the prytaneium in Greek life always gives me a bit of a thrill because this sacred fire was never allowed to go out! And fire from here was carefully carried when a new area was settled to light the new hearth fires there. The fire was tended by the king (or the highest authority in the area) and his family. It was a meeting place, and the political and spiritual center of life. These shared hearths offered asylum, welcomed guests, and they represented the unity and vitality of the community. How delightful that is – a center that represents the unity and vitality of your community – your city or country. I want one! I have tried to think of a comparable institution in my world, but somehow the county courthouse just doesn’t seem the same!

One of the best things I’ve ever read about Hestia is that she is the giver of domestic blessings and happiness. Though she decided not to marry (and she was asked by both Poseidon and Apollo) and to stay “pure”, she was the Goddess you went to for harmony and delight in your home life. I often ask her for help when things get frazzled at home – she is the queen of domestic order, after all. I definitely can use her on my side! I picture her sitting by my fireplace, sometimes shaking her head at me, and lovingly offering her peace, purity, warmth, and blessings. (Below is a gluebook page I made for her.)

The energies of the Goddesses (and Gods) that were worshiped in other times and in other places are still here with us. Perhaps because they are truly aspects of ourselves personified and set apart – and in which we can still find ourselves. But also they can offer us things we think we don’t have – perhaps courage, or wisdom, or the ability to be blessed in our home and at unity with our community.

I’m adding this to my Goddess of the Month category – the rules are pretty loose, so I can do that! I hope you found something of value or interest here. If you have any questions or comments you can always contact me via email at cheryl@theintrepidgoddess.com.

Happy Freya Day all!!

Love,

Cheryl

Hestia gluebook page by Cheryl

 

Aphrodite: Goddess of the Month

Aphrodite {Goddess of Love, Beauty, and Self-Worth}

Image by Morgan Sessions

This is my first Goddess of the Month post and it came about by accident – as some of the most delicious things do. I’ve been used to receiving a Goddess Reading from the amazing and wise Amy Palko (and I highly recommend them! You can sign up here). This month it didn’t come and I found I really missed my monthly guide. The readings are insightful; and they give me an idea of areas in my life, or in myself, to look for more inspiration or learning that is really relevant to my life right now. So, I decided to choose a goddess (all by myself) and access my own intuition to see what she has to tell me. I used my trusty Goddess Oracle cards (by Amy Sophia Marashinsky), drew a goddess card and wrote about what Aphrodite meant to me, and what I felt she wanted me to know more about this month.

Below is the result. I decided to share it here – in case you’re looking for some goddess guidance, or a new (fun!) practice for accessing your deeper self. Or you just might want to answer the questions at the end – they’re important ones to visit now and again to help you sustain love for your life and remember to take joy in it!

Aphrodite (or Venus) was born of the sky and the sea. Her beauty and allure are undeniable. She is a goddess of Love and Beauty, she rules Compassion and Passion. She is one of the top players in Greek mythology. Originally a Mediterranean Mother Goddess, she was later was added to the Greek pantheon. The Greeks “demoted” her and married her to Hephaestus, arguably the least favored, loved, or respected god of all. Love married to craft, to engineering, to the God of the Forge; Beauty united with the Beast. It tells you a bit about how the Greeks perceived Aphrodite’s kind of Love, the dark and the light of it. Unsatisfied with her husband, she was constantly having trysts with other gods – most notably with Ares/Mars the God of War. Love and War, they don’t play well together, but they have a passionate relationship according to the ancient Greek mind.

I also looked at the way astrology sees Venus (the Roman version of Aphrodite). Along with beauty and love she rules self-value, the money you make for yourself, life balance, art, relationships, your connection to your inherent gifts, the social graces, and romance. This is no silly, jealous woman. She brings energy to the parts of life that must be attended to so you can enjoy it and connect meaningfully with others.

She can seem a bit capricious, but she’s having fun and wants you to as well. Love is serious, but it is also playful; it is necessary, but also desired; it is delicious, but may seem to open you to pain. It’s about that opening though, the allowing of love (even if it may be painful), that brings joy, and zest, and value to life.  It’s about seeing the value in yourself, loving yourself. It’s about sex, and flirting, and pleasure. It’s about creativity and making a beautiful life. It’s about supporting yourself well, in many ways, including financially.

What is love? And beauty? What does balance look like to you? What makes a good relationship? A perfect home? Can you see Beauty and the Beast in yourself? How do they play out in your life? Do you have compassion for both?  How do you express your creativity? When do you play? Do you flirt (with others, with life, with love)? How do you feel about your finances? Do you support yourself in ways that make life feel delightful?

These are questions Aphrodite asks. Answer them for yourself. These questions have the ability to open our eyes to the most amazing life we desire to live, and offer ways to make adjustments (slight, huge…) so we can make it happen now.

Sending Love!

Cheryl