Pagan at Heart

At peace with myself and the world… or at least headed that way

Archive for the tag “goddess”

Goddesses of Childbirth

It has just occurred to me to look into goddesses associated with childbirth, so here we go!

Today I am 11 weeks pregnant. I was reading the Mabinogion and fell in love with the name Viviane. I went to my favorite site for looking into names and traced the name back to an Irish Celtic name Bebinn, which just so happens to be the name of a goddess of safe childbirth. The way it all came about makes me feel that my discovery of this goddess is important and I’m considering taking her as my patron goddess for the duration of this pregnancy. I’ve enjoyed looking into other goddesses of childbirth, though. Here are my findings thus far:

Artemis (Greece) Despite being a virgin goddess she also presides over childbirth due to the ease of her own birth.

Bast (Egypt) Bast was the cat headed goddess was associated with both childbirth and fertility.

Bebinn (Celtic) Irish goddess of safe childbirth.

Carmenta (Roman) Goddess of prophecy and birth. Pregnant women used to offer her rice for an easy delivery.

Candelifera ( Roman) She was invoked at the beginning of childbirth. Her name means candle bearer and she used this light to help guide the baby into this world.

Diana (Roman) Queen of Heaven. Patroness of childbirth, nursing and healing.

Deverra (Roman) Goddess who protected midwives and women in labor. Her broom was used to sweep away evil influences

Eleithyia (Greek) was the Goddess of childbirth and labour. She was shown as a woman wielding a torch, representing the burning pains of childbirth, or with her arms raised in the air summoning a child to the light.

Frigg (Nordic) associated with easing child birth. A plant called Freya’s grass was traditionally used as a gentle sedative during a difficult labour

Hathor (Egypt) The seven Hathors blessed the newborn and set a child’s destiny. She is also associated with nursing infants.

Hekate (Greek) As a midwife she carried a sacred knife to cut the cord at birth.

Heket (Egypt) Heket the moon Goddess was associated with Hathor as a birth deity. She was said to be the birth goddess of all creatures. She is imaged as a frog, a frog-headed woman or a frog at the end of a phallus. She is the wife of Khnum and is associated with the flooding of the nile. It is Heqet who breathes life into a newborn baby. Some claim that Her priestesses were trained in midwifery, though there is scant evidence of such. Women wore amulets of a frog sitting on a lotus during the last stages of pregnancy to encourage Her blessings.

Hepat (Egyptian) Goddess of Midwives.

Hera (Greece) The Queen of the gods, Hera presided over all things feminine especially maternity and marriage.

Isis (Egypt) Isis had many roles including the protector of motherhood.

Ixchel (Mayan) Role included Goddess of childbirth, lunar cycles, and pregnancy. Panther goddess of fertility and flowing waters – a great one for when waters are about to break.

Juno  (Roman) She protected pregnant woman as well as at birth, bringing the child into the light.

Lucina (Roman) – Goddess of childbirth also known as Juno.

Meskhent (Egyptian) Egyptian Goddess who presided over the delivery of babies.

Mylitta (Babylonian) Mylitta took special interests in the process of childbirth.

Nephthys (Egyptian) Stood at the head of the bed encouraging the mother whilst her sister Isis acted as the midwife.

Ngolimento (Toga) Goddess who cares for the spirit of a child before it is born.

Nixi (Roman) The Nixi were a triad of Goddesses associated with birth

Nintur (Sumerian) Her name meant “Lady Who Gives Form”. She was represented as a woman holding a midwife’s pail of water.

Nona (Roman) Goddess of pregnancy. Her name means nine relating to the ninth month of pregnancy when the expectant mother would call upon her

Pi-hsia-yuan-chun (Chinese) She protects women, children, and presides over birth.

Prorsa Postverta (Roman) Goddess of women in labor she was associated with the position of the child in the womb.

Pukkeenegak (Eskimo) Feminine Goddess who gave children to the Eskimo women.

Renenet (Egypt) Goddess who presided over a baby’s suckling. She bestowed both a name and a personality on a newborn infant.

Shasti (Indian) Feline Goddess, depicted riding a cat. Goddess of childbirth and Protector of Children.

St. Catherine of Sweden (Roman Catholic) Patron saint of miscarriage prevention.

St. Gerard Majella (Roman Catholic) Patron saint of pregnancy and expectant mothers.

St. Raymund Nonnatus (Roman Catholic) Patron saint of midwives.

Tamayorihime (Japan) Ancient sea Goddess who watches over the birth waters to ensure a safe delivery.

Taueret (Egypt) Protected infants by taking the form of a pregnant hippopotamus to frighten demons away.

Uma (India) Her primary function was femaleness in all forms, particularly active ones like childbirth.

*This site was extremely helpful and I give it credit for most of the information in this post.

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I’m Stretchy!

I’m Stretchy!

An update on my personal life plus a new spiritual experience.

And… I’m Back

It’s been awhile since I posted anything here. My mind and time has been filled with exciting, important things and I haven’t felt ready to sit down and write about it until now.

 I’ve made a wonderful new friend who is also pagan at heart. She discovered Wicca in highschool and has been on the path of peaceful living ever since. It’s very exciting to me to have find a true friend who is also pagan – being able to discuss pagan things together is so nice! She led me in a guided meditation last night that was very helpful. It was a very special moment, shared with three cats, a stick of incense, and two intrusive toddlers. I have a lot of pain and negative energy in my life (mostly from the past) that is having a big impact on me. I need to flush it out and fill myself with positive energy. My friend picked up on this and is doing everything she can to help me. 

I’ve been doing lots of reading about Pagan holidays and ways to celebrate them. So many lovely ideas! I checked out a stack of books from the library plus an audio book. Greatly enjoyed Laurie Cabot’s Celebrate the Earth and the audio book Your Primal Nature: Connecting with the Power of the Earth by Caroline Myss. The more I read the more I realize that I actually know about Pagan traditions. 

Now for the big one! I had an important spiritual experience last week. It happened in the tub, of all places. I had been pondering the negative energy that sometimes spring up from within me and makes me feel like an ugly (not in the physical sense) person. I didn’t like who the negative energy was making me and knew I needed to change. I’ve known that for months but haven’t made it very far. In the tub, I began to speak aloud. Speaking aloud is kind of scary to me, not sure why; hearing my own voice shakily saying things to the air is very powerful and scary. I sat there and spoke whatever popped into my head. It was mostly affirmations like “I will do ___” or “I will not do____.” A big one for me was that I would not harm myself and would love myself instead. I don’t cut or engage in other typical forms of self-harm, but I do struggle with being harmful to myself. I have a hard time loving my body or my self, between the things I was told/experienced in the past that impact my body image and then the fibromyalgia that caused my body to devastate my life. Anyway. I kept saying the affirmations and the more I said the more powerful it all felt. It then culminated in me finally stating aloud that I am in fact Pagan and that I want to seek out and serve the God and Goddess. I want to see the god and goddess that is within all other people, including myself, and learn to love and respect that. I want to… not sure what this is all going to entail, but it felt so wonderful to say it. When I had finished speaking, a heavy weight lifted off my body and drifted up to the ceiling and away from me. I felt peace and lightness of spirit – it was amazing. 

A Possible Patron

A Possible Patron

I’m still trying to find my patron goddess. I’m pretty certain she’s in the Celtic pantheon, and seem to have it narrowed down to Airmid or Brigid. This link tells about Airmid and her association with healing herbs. I’m very drawn to herbalism – always have been – and am feeling strong leaning towards Airmid at the moment. There isn’t much said about her in mythology, but she seems beautiful in what I have seen.

While studying various goddesses, I began looking at the beautiful artwork that celebrates the goddesses. I found so many wonderful pictures and wanted to share them with you, so I am. 🙂 Planning on posting two pictures a day.

Exploring the Old Goddesses

Lately I’ve been looking for a patron goddess (and perhaps a god). There are lists and lists of deities out there, but I am looking for the goddess whose name and area of influence speaks to me personally.

Here are the ones who have jumped out at me (there are a lot):

Airmid: Celtic goddess of healing, medicine, and Spring; brings the dead back to life

Arianrhod: Welsh Celtic goddess of air, reincarnation, full moons, the stars, karma, the Wheel of the Year, the web of fate, and retribution

Brigit: Irish Celtic goddess, midwife, protector of women and children; ruled over agriculture, healing, divination, occult knowledge, poetry, prophecy, and metal work

Cerridwen: Welsh Celtic goddess of the moon, magic, poetry, music, luck, earth, agriculture, art, science, astrology, death, and fertility; keeper of the cauldron

Modron: Welsh Celtic goddess of Autumn, the harvest, magic, ritual, and fertility

Rhiannon: Welsh Celtic goddess of sunlight; her name means “the golden wheel” Read more…

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