Sunday, February 26, 2012

La Madama Doll

La Madama Doll

Aine over at the has posted some very interesting and informative comments on the La Madama doll.
I had made a small one many years ago.  I used to work in a fabric shop. One slow afternoon I picked up some leftover scraps of fabric and quickly constructed my doll, she practically made herself. I was very pleased with the way she turned out and she's been a resident in my studio since. At one time I had thought to sew a pin to her back and use her as a brooch. Some how that didn't seem right and I never followed through with that course of action.
After reading Aine's post and reading the links that explain the doll. I was amazed that once again synchronicity has been at work in my life.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Symbols for Amaterasu

lThe primary symbol for Amaterasu is the eight sided mirror which plays an important role in her story.  Due to her brother Susano-o's destructive behavior after taking her jewels and creating five male deities, Amaterasu who had given her light so generously, shut herself up in her Sky-Rock-Cave.
All the gods and goddesses were desperate for her light and begged her to come out. It wasn't until the shaman goddess Uzume did a wild striptease causing all the gods and goddesses to shout with delight that Amaterasu hearing all the commotion decided to peak out and see what was going on.
The gods and goddesses were prepared with an eight sided mirror which they had placed directly outside of the cave and a rope. Amaterasu had never seen her beauty and was dazzled by her reflection. The other divinities grabbed the door and tied it open. And thus the sun returned to warm the earth.
As a solar goddess, Amaterasu can be invoked at any of the major turning points of the solar year,
the equinoxes on March 21 and September 21, when the sun's light and its absence is balanced; and the solstices, June 21 and December 21, when the sun's light is respectively the greatest and the least of the year.
Amaterasu's myth is one of the sun's retreat and return.
Other symbols for Amaterasu is the number 8 and her necklace of jewels.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Studying Amaterasu- Clarity

When I look up to the royal sky
I see her, a tranquil queen
behind a screen of clouds. The sun!

This invocation to the sun goddess come from the Nihongi, one of the primary Japanese scriptures.

Reading and studying The Goddess Path by Patricia Monaghan has been thought provoking and very informative for me.
 I have begun the chapter for Amaterasu, the Japanese Sun Goddess. I am not familiar with Japanese culture and mythology so I look forward to learning about it.

Amaterasu is the chief divinity of Shinto, the indigenous pre-Buddhist religion of Japan and is the only goddess who leads the pantheon of a major religion today.  Worshiped in simple tree-flanked shrines-for Shinto is a nature-honoring religion-Amaterasu is also seen in the simple circle on the Japanese flag.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Rosemary-Rosemarinus officinalis

Rosemarinus Officinalis
The Latin word for Rosemary is ros marinus which means dew of the sea.  Legend has it that rosemary was draped around the Greek Goddess Aphrodite when she rose from the sea, born of Ourano's semen.
Other common names for rosemary is guardrobe, sea dew, incensier and rosmarine.
Rosemary is believe to help the memory therefore ancient scholars would either wear it or drink a tisane while studying.  In olden times it was considered a staple as a decoration for weddings and funerals.
It's leaves are used both fresh and dried. Because it has connections to the sea, it is used in all sea rituals, as well as in sachets designed to ensure a safe passage on the water.
It's Gender is hot.
Planet association is the Sun and the element Fire.
It's basic powers are purification, love and intellectual protection.
Rosemary and juniper burned together are used as a healing and recuperation incense. Rosemary may be stuffed in poppets to attract a lover or to attract curative vibrations for illness.

A Basic Tea or Tisane Recipe
The leaves should be gathered as young and fresh as possible and a handful placed in a plain brown teapot of good size. Fill the pot with fresh boiling water and allow it to steep for twelve minutes by clock or by hourglass. Pour it then straightaway into a cup; sweeten it with a teaspoon of honey and drink the infusion whilst it is hot.
A few of the well known herbs that may be used for teas and their purposes follow here:

Anise the Amorous:  The seeds, to strengthen passions
Basil, the Courageous: Against faintness of heart
Borage, the Inspiring: Against aches in the limbs
Caraway the Sweet: the seeds, for mental vigor
Mint, the Comforting: Against afflictions of the stomach
Nasturtium, the Pungent: Against the headache
Parsley, the Stout: Against pallor and frailty
Red Clover, the Succulent: The flowers, for good temper
Rosemary, the fair: To soothe the nerves
Rue, the Mysterious: to assuage guilt and sorrow
Sage, the Powerful: Against melancholy and distress of the mind
Thyme, the Sovereign: Against coughs
White Pine, the Healt hful: Against colds

Sunday, February 12, 2012


  The Latin term for Sunday, our first day of the week is Dies Solis ( sun's day). In Ancient Greek, it was called Hemera Heliou. In  the Old English language, it was known as Sunnandaeg; in Middle English, Sonenday.
All of these titles mean the same thing: the day of the Sun.
Sunday brings bright solar energies into your life and has magickal correspondences of success, promotion, leadership, generosity, warmth, fitness and personal growth.
There are many mythological connections between the sun and  male deities. These gods of light and fire were the contrasts to the Moon and its feminine powers of the night and water. 
Helios was the Greek god of the sun.
He was portrayed as sometimes wearing a golden helmet or having a golden halo. He is often characterized in art as a handsome man draped in a white tunic and cloak. He drove a blazing sun-chariot across the sky from east to west every day. This golden chariot was pulled by four white horses named Pyrois, Eos, Aethon and Phiegon.
Symbols for this sun god include the chariot, the rooster, the globe and his white horses.

There were female solar deities as well, such as Sekmet, the Egyptian lion-headed goddess of war and, Amaterasu the Japanese sun goddess. The most well-known feminine solar deity is Sunna, the Norse goddess of the sun.
Sunday got its name by being Sunna's day.
Sunna ( SOO-nah) drives her horse-drawn chariot across the daytime sky. In Norse mythology, she was associated with agricultural ties and land fertility.
Sunna is characterized as a beautiful woman with golden hair. Her symbols include a sunburst, a flaming sun, horses and a golden chariot.
A Celtic goddess of hearth and flame, Brigid is a triple goddess of light, inspiration and healing. She is often associated with smithcraft, well-being and poetry. There are many name varitions of Brigid including Breed, Brigit, Brighid and Brigitania.
She is depicted as a woman with long braided red-gold hair. Brigid keeps the home fires burning. She is the guardian of the hearth and the goddess of flame, light and the sun. Another symbol for Brigid is the cauldron as she was thought to have been the keeper of the cauldron of inspiration. In keeping with her triple aspect her symbols also include the shamrock and the symbol of the triskele and entwined knot of three circles. 

Sunday's Correspondences:
Planetary Influence- Sun
Planetary Symbol is a circle with a dot in the center
Deities- Helios, Sunna, Brigid
Flowers & Plants: Carnation, chrysanthemum, marigold, St. John's wort, Sunflower
Metal: Gold
Colors: Gold, Yellow, yellow-orange, neon shades of orange-yellow and hot pink
Crystals and Stones: Carnelian, Diamond, Amber, Tiger's-eye, Quartz crystal
Essential Oils: Bergamot, calendula, carnation, cinnamon, frankincense, orange, rosemary
tarot cards: The Sun, Ace of Wands, the Chariot
Foods, Herbs and Spices: Orange, Cinnamon,

There are other herbs and spices associated with the sun and fire. Check out S. Cunningham's book, Magical Herbalism. Much of this information was gleaned from E. Dugan's book. Book of Witchery: Spells, Charms& correspondences for the Every day of the Week as well as the World Encyclopedia, Myths & Legends by Philip Wilkinson.




Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Dream Path

I walk this path in my dream
Past a stone wall and a rushing stream.
The wind is cool, the sun is warm upon my face.
I've been here before I know this place.

The path rises and I climb.
I've trod here before in another time.
The house stands there high upon the hill
made of strong wood and heavy stone.
And deep within my bones I hear
the echo loud and clear-

Several years ago I was flipping through a Somerset Studio Magazine and came across one of the free scrap booking papers that the magazine publishes in each issue. It is a photo of a path leading up to a stone house possibly a church and it is printed on vellum.
I was struck by the feeling of such a deep familiarity with the photo of the path and old stone house. I tore out the page and kept it. But it continued to haunt me.
A few nights ago I had a reoccurring dream where I'm walking in a village.  I like visiting this place.
 It feels and looks like it's early Autumn . There are large old trees and a stone wall between the path that I am walking on and a rushing stream. Up the hill  and to my right sits a house, it feels like it is mine or a close relatives.
I never make it to the house, I always wake up.
But I love visiting this place, the trees, path and the river. I always wish I could stay longer.

I have used that vellum photo in a Home and Garden Altered Art Book that I created recently and wrote the poem.
It's in the photo above.