Gemini – The Twins – May 21 to June 20

“Gemini – sign of increase and duality –
is sharp witted and clever
with a big heart that’s warm and kind.
Her silver tongue could talk forever,
for she’s articulate and likes to speak her mind.
She’s open and fast thinking
and accepts all for who they are.
A marvellous storyteller and lover of people –
no matter what she chooses, her flexibility will take her far.”
– by Silvestra Silvermoon

Goddess Symbolism

The Twins are all about duality, the two different sides of the same coin.

A long time ago, when life was still seen as cyclical, when death wasn’t understood as being a final end but merely a resting stage prior to (re-)birth, people knew the Goddess to be both Creatrix and Distructress. She destroys in order to make way for new creation, as without death and destruction of the old there cannot be birth and creation of the new. The Goddess is therefore often depicted as having two faces or being a twin goddess. Over time this dual nature would evolve into the symbol of the twin pillars.

With this in mind, the original meaning of the Twins is simply the dual nature of life – of increase followed by decrease followed by increase. We see this everywhere: birth-growth-maturity-decay-death followed by regeneration and renewal. This is true for all life forms from animals to plants, as well as the moon and sun cycles and thus the seasons.

By extension, duality also symbolises two parts of a whole. Only by joining these two parts can completion and wholeness be achieved.

Both parts of the pair complement each other and are equally as valid and as important as each other to the whole.

Examples of this concept include the Chinese Yin-Yang philosophy as well as the Tantric belief that only through joining with a woman can a man become complete. In modern western psychology we speak of conscious and unconscious parts of ourselves as well as left and right brained thinking. By joining these aspects within ourselves, by respecting each one equally and using them in unison so that our logical mind and intuitive instincts complement each other, we can achieve completion and become the best we’re capable of.

The key thing here is that the two parts of the pair are complementary to each other and not at all in conflict with each other. There is no opposition, but only duality, twinning and completion to form a whole. Value judgements such as one being “better” than the other or even one being “good” while the other is “bad” are completely non-sensical and out-right wrong. Unfortunately these polarised ideas of “good” vs. “evil” as well as the obsession with opposites and opposition are something that our western society has great difficulties in overcoming. Like the Goddess Herself all of Her children have the capacity for creation and destruction. Life for one creature in more times than not means death for another.

The same as two parts make a whole, so does duality – TWO – also symbolise progress, whereby ONE splits into TWO. This is often represented by the Goddess giving birth from within Herself to a son child who is not the same but different to Her.

The Goddess is the immortal creatrix of all – She is Mother Nature Herself who will always prevail. The infant is the many transient life forms – you and I included – and other creations that the Goddess manifests as. The infant, although separate from his mother, is still very much a part of her, both psychologically and physically. Young babies feel completely one with their mothers and don’t realise they’re separate beings until quite a few months old. This unique bond is nurtured and maintained beyond pregnancy through the mother feeding her baby from her own body. It is exactly that very same bond that the imagery of the Goddess with Her infant son is portraying. Mother Nature has given birth to a great variety of galaxies, celestial bodies and of course vastly different life forms. She continues to feed and sustain us from Her own body, our precious Mother Earth.

Gemini encompasses all of those different aspects of duality: creation and destruction as essential complementary parts of the cycle of life whereby one splits into two and thus multiplies.

Gemini, being the sign of communication and networking also allows us to understand that community and by extension civilisation is based on the interaction between one self and other beings.

Gemini’s Characteristics and Traits

Being a sign of spring Geminis have an exuberant, outgoing and warm nature.

Geminis are extremely clever and sharp witted people. They are mentally agile and are able to think and do many things at once. Geminis are curious and interested in the workings of almost everything. They make fantastic researchers who love to experiment and find out everything first hand (rather than listening to hearsay).

Geminis are exceedingly open-minded and tolerant of other people’s life choices. They rarely see life in absolute terms, but understand that everything is graded.

They are real people’s people who thrive on human-to-human contact. Geminis are social and love to chat. True to their dual nature they are able to access their unconscious minds and express the symbols and impressions they find there beautifully in words. For that reason they often make great writers and storytellers.

Geminis make wonderful friends and partners, as they easily share with and relate to others. Geminis have big hearts and can love many people equally as much at the same time.

In summary Gemini women (and men) are:

– quick-thinking
– witty
– good at multitasking
– perceptive
– sharp
– curious
– clever
– resourceful
– multi-talented

– researcher
– experimental
– experiencing everything first hand
– enjoying the process

– versatile
– flexible
– open-minded
– dual in nature
– not seeing things in “black” or “white” terms
– tolerant
– idealistic

– expressive
– communicative
– articulate
– talkative
– chatty
– eloquent
– storyteller

– sharing
– open
– emotionally intimate / close to loved ones
– bridge-building
– peaceful
– friendly
– outgoing
– people’s person
– big hearted
– suitable for non-traditional family structures such as multiple partners
– need space at times

– youthful nature
– interesting
– sexy
– good humoured
– full of movement

Gemini is a mutable Air sign that is ruled by Freyja, Goddess of Communication, Travel and the Power of the Mind.

Due to its sunny disposition the sign is associated with the colour yellow.

Within the body Gemini is linked to the lungs and limbs, in particular the arms and hands.

Gemini qualities are most prominent when the Sun, the Moon or the Ascendant (Rising Sign) are in the sign of the Twins.

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Taurus – The Bull – April 21 to May 20

“Taurus – sign of springtime and fresh start –
is the creatrix of the zodiac
with languid sensuality and great depth of heart.
A lover of beauty and harmony
she gives form to what’s inside.
A scultpress, an artist, a singer extraordinaire,
she’s physical and constant,
no others can compare.”
– by Silvestra Silvermoon

Goddess Symbolism

As far back as the Paleolithic or Old Stone Age, over 20,000 years ago, an artist chiseled what we know as the Goddess of Laussel – a female figure holding a bison horn – into a cave wall in Southern France.

Even then the curved shape of bovine horns held special meaning to our foremothers. They are reminiscent of the crescent Moon and are therefore sacred to the Goddess.

One of Her main manifestations is the Moon with her three phases. Especially in hotter climates it was the Moon who was seen as the creative source of life. She was linked to water and thus rain.

Due to the connections between the cresent Moon, the shape of bovine horns and the Moon being seen as the generating source of life, the Mother Goddess since the dawn of time has been depicted as a cow. She is the Holy Heifer, the Heavenly Cow. She gives birth to all and nourishes and sustains us with Her celestial milk, the life-giving rainwater. Later mythology connects the cow also with the creation of civilisation for it was only due to farming and agriculture that our foremothers were able to settle in one place and start to pursue more artistic activities such as sculpting, baking and pottery. Ancient records refer to Goddesses such as Hathor, Isis, Hera and Inanna as the Celestial Cow, the Bringer of Civilisation.

During the Neolithic or New Stone Age, around 8,000 years ago, bucrania, which are the head and horns of bovines (cows & bulls) were affixed at the entrances to earth tombs as well as painted onto vases and bowls. Due to their uncanny resemblance to a womb with fallopian tubes they symbolise the Goddess’s womb and Her life-creating power. They represent regeneration and rebirth.

At some point during the Neolithic, especially in Çatal Höyük in Anatolia, today’s Turkey, people started to depict the Goddess as a Mother holding an infant or small child. At that time the infant never grew up, but remained a child, usually a boy. This male child is a pictoral representation of the Goddess’s regenerative, life-creative power. He represents all of nature – the vegetation and the animals including ourselves. It is important to note that at this time the Goddess and Her son were still one entirety – the Goddess was the creative force and Her son was that what She created. The son who never grew up was forever a part of his mother, the Great Mother Goddess.

As the Goddess is the Heavenly Cow, so Her son must be the Young Bull. He is the new growth of spring, the new life, the new beginning. This is the original meaning of the bull.

When during the Bronze Age the Goddess gave birth to a son who would eventually become Her lover, She would always be the Cow while Her son would be the Bull. This is true for Inanna and Dumuzi as well as Isis and Osiris. As expected the sign of Taurus, the young bull, is ruled by Inanna-Venus, the Mother Goddess Herself, which confirms that the ancient Sumerians, who were the first to write down their astrological beliefs, still understood this original Goddess meaning of the bull as the son of the Great Cosmic Mother.

As patriarchy took over, the bull son would eventually grow into the bull as husband or father (see Zeus who was often described as a bull). The meaning of the bull, which initially was a sign of regeneration and merely a representation of the Goddess’s creative power, also changed and became to stand for strength, virility and warrior prowess.

Returning to the original matristic symbolism of the sign of Taurus, I believe it is twofold, as initially the young bull son was understood to being an inherent part of the Mother Goddess, an aspect that cannot exist on its own. As said before he simply represents all those different life forms that the Goddess creates. So, on the one hand, Taurus is the Goddess Herself as the Celestial Cow, the permanent creative force of the universe. And on the other hand, Taurus is the bull son, the transient life that the Goddess gives birth to.

As a side note according to Geraldine Thorsten in “God Herself – The Feminine Roots of Astrology” at the time when modern western astrology was first written down the Sun was in the constellation of Taurus at the spring equinox and with that the sign of the Bull was the first and not second sign of spring. This fits perfectly with its symbolism of regeneration and new life.

Taurus’ Characteristics / Traits

Taurus is all about creation. Taureans are very physical and grounded people who love to make things and not just anything, but beautiful things that enrich our lives. This can take the form of virtually anything from a sculpted piece of art or a beautiful dance to growing a garden or building a new house.

Taureans are very calm and relaxed and go about their business in a deliberate and careful manner. They are stong and steadfast, loyal and honest. They feel things very deeply and make wonderful, reliable friends. Taureans seek security and stability in order to create a sense of permanence.

Taureans are exceptionally sensual people whose sense of touch, taste and smell are their most prominent. Being “at home” within their own bodies, Taureans live very much according to the principle “your body is a temple”: they enjoy all physical pleasures from sex to food as well as like to indulge in the finer things in life. True to their love of all things beautiful and harmonious Taurean homes are usually luxurious rather than basic. However, despite their love for luxury Taureans are very earthy and love to be outdoors in nature. With a Taurean it’s never about prestige, but always about beauty – both a stunning home and a breathtaking view across a glade or valley nourish their souls.

In summary Taurean women (and men) are:

– powerful
– strong
– energetic
– with inner vitality

– enduring
– consistent
– resilient
– slow
– steady
– steadfast
– solid
– stable
– stubborn

– calm
– deliberate
– slow
– careful
– thorough

– loyal
– faithful
– deep
– honest

– realistic
– pragmatic
– practical
– grounded

– nature lovers

– creatrices
– builders
– active -> always making something

– joyful
– imaginative

– possessive

– very physical
– sensual
– with natural magnetism

– with a love for beauty and harmony
– with a love for physical pleasure

Taurus is a fixed Earth sign that is ruled by Inanna, the Goddess of Love, Beauty and Harmony

True to its earthy nature the colour that is associated with Taurus is green and blue-green.

Within the body Taurus is linked to the neck and throat. Accordingly, Taureans often have beautiful voices.

Taurean qualities are most prominent when the Sun, the Moon or the Ascendant (Rising Sign) are in the sign of the Bull.

Aries – The Ram – March 21 to April 20

“Aries – sign of rebirth and renewal –
is a starter and a pioneer.
With her passion and drive
and her zest for life,
she’s creative and honest
and rarely succumbs to fear.”
— by Silvestra Silvermoon

Goddess Symbolism

Due to the spiral shape of his horns the ram is one of the Goddess’s special animals.

Even during the Paleolithic, as far back as 20,000 years ago, the spiral was understood to be a sacred shape. It is particularly associated with snakes and water, but can be found all across the animal world, including snails and, of course, the horns of the male sheep. The spiral is also the shape of our galaxy.

The ram’s spiralled horns are associated with the Eye Goddess, whose all-seeing eyes they often represent.

The ram is also closely linked to the ancient Bird and Snake Goddess.

The Bird Goddess is Mistress of the Upper Waters. Her celestial milk is the rain that nourishes and sustains the Earth. She is the Birth Giver who laid the Universal Egg, but She is also the Goddess of Death for in Her vulture form She assists the passage of the UnBorn back to Her womb.

The Snake Goddess is Mistress of the Lower Waters. She is the primordial Creatrix of the Universe, the Regeneratrix who heals and renews all life. Even today we still associate the symbol of the curled snake with healing.

Spirals, coils and meanders (which are sytlised spirals) are symbolic of the Bird and Snake Goddess. They represent the labyrinth, the passageway that leads from the visible world to the invisible. It is the spiralled labyrinth that leads to the regenerating Womb of the Goddess and restores that what is dead back to life.

The spiral represents the immortal, continuous dynamic life energy of the universe. It is the energy of transformation. It symbolises regeneration, renewal and rebirth.

The ram with his spiral-shaped horns is therefore a sign of renewal and regeneration. It is the sign at the cusp of spring when the Earth awakens from Her long slumber and new growth and life sprits up everywhere.

According to Geraldine Thorsten in “God Herself – The Feminine Roots of Astrology” once upon a time when modern western astrology was born, Aries wasn’t the first sign of the zodiac starting at the spring equinox, but was actually the last sign. I believe this to be true, as to my mind the ram’s spiral-shaped horns represent the process of rebirth rather than the actual birth itself. It would therefore make more sense to have it as the sign just before the onset of spring. However, we don’t know what Aries’ traits might have been before the change, whether they were the same or different, and so we will have to stick with what we know today.

Aries’ Characteristics / Traits

Aries is the sign of youth. With its youthful exuberance and innocent excitement it’s the most childlike sign of the zodiac:

Instead of spending a long time contemplating the pros and cons of doing something, Aries tend to just give whatever it is a try. If they succeed, then that’s fantastic and if they fail, then they’ve learned something for the next venture.

Aries are full of life and love being in the thick of it. They’re do-ers and go-getters. They know what they want and try their best to make it a reality. They’re not held back by fear and caution and love to experience all life has to offer.  Aries are freedom-loving and independent. There’s rarely a dull moment with an Aries, who’s always bursting with new ideas. Aries are “exciting whirlwinds” who might not make it to the end of every project, but they are honest and fair.

In summary Aries women (and men) are:

– enthusiastic
– vital
– positive
– idealistic
– inspiring
– viabrant
– exciting

– dynamic
– energetic
– driven
– active
– ambitious

– fiery
– passionate
– willful
– instinctive

– starters / taking the initiative
– pioneering
– adventurous

– bold
– courageous
– assertive
– risk-taking

– independent
– autonomous

– fair
– honest

Aries is a cardinal Fire sign that is ruled by Pele, the Goddess of Drive, Passion and Courage.

Accordingly, the colour that is associated with Aries is red, the colour of life blood, rebirth and passion.

Within the body Aries is associated with the head.

Aries qualities are most prominent when the Sun, the Moon or the Ascendant (Rising Sign) are in the sign of the Ram.

The Sun: Hathor-Sekhmet in Her Aspect as the Golden and Fiery Sun (Egypt)

The Sun is quite literally the star of our solar system. She is at the centre of our existence with all other planets revolving around her.

The Sun is hot, fierce, radiating, illuminating and, most importantly, life-giving.

In astrology her main themes are: ego, vitality and individuality.

I’ve decided to assign the Egyptian Goddess Hathor-Sekhmet to represent our Mother Sun, as I felt that unlike many of the other solar Goddesses such as Amaterasu and Arinna, She exhibits both the gentle life-giving, nurturing side of our star (Hathor, the Heavenly Cow) as well as her destructive power (Sekhmet, the Lion). To find out more about Hathor, who represents the Sun in springtime – note how Taurus, the Bull, is the fixed spring sign – and Her dark aspect Sekhmet, who represents the summer Sun – note how Leo, the Lion, is the fixed summer sign – then please check out my post entitled “Hathor-Sekhmet – Holy Heifer – Lioness – Egyptian Goddess of the Sun, the Moon and the Heavenly Sky“.

Hathor-Sekhmet‘s traits and what She is about

Hathor-Sekhmet is unique, She is fiery and hot, She is vital and life-giving, She is quite literally our centre, our core.

Everything revolves around Hathor-Sekhmet and is dependent on Her and Her life-giving and -sustaining rays.

Hathor-Sekhmet represents qualities such as independence, freedom, honour, vitality and leadership. She represents our life essence.

Her main areas of focus are:

Unique Identity

– ego
– basic identity
– individuality
– uniqueness
– self-confidence
– self-esteem
– fame
– “stardom”

Vitality

– will: “I want”
– power
– vitality
– joy

Leadership

– influence
– success
– prominence
– honour
– leadership

Freedom

– independence
– freedom

Hathor-Sekhmet‘s metal is gold.

Within the body Hathor-Sekhmet is associated with the heart and the immune system.

Hathor-Sekhmet in a Horoscope

In western astrology Hathor-Sekhmet holds a special place. She is the driving force, the life essence, behind a birth chart. Everything Hathor-Sekhmet touches becomes illuminated and warmed by Her (although occasionally Her brightness and vitality can be dampened by another planet such as Mother Holle-Saturn).

Hathor-Sekhmet describes our core, our character. This is our inner essence, as opposed to the outer persona that we show to other people (this is usually described by the Ascendant or Rising Sign).

Hathor-Sekhmet represents our ego, which is the person we believe we are and with whom we identify ourselves. The ego is the person we like to be seen as. It is the ego that gets upset when our not-so-nice shadow rears its head and upsets the “perfect” image we’ve created of ourselves in our minds.

Hathor-Sekhmet tells us what our life purpose is, what are main goals and ambitions are. She tells us our intentions and direction and what is important to us. Hathor-Sekhmet also tells us the way in which we pursue our goals.

The House that Hathor-Sekhmet is in shows us the – most likely – most important area in our life.

The sign that Hathor-Sekhmet is in describes the person we strive to become.

Hathor-Sekhmet rules Leo, the Lion, the honourable fiery leader of the zodiac who enjoys basking in the limelight. She feels most at home, i.e. is exalted, in Aries, the Ram, which makes perfect sense, as Aries is driven and passionate and is described as the pioneer of the zodiac. Aries is ruled by Pele-Mars, whose energy is similar to that of Hathor-Sekhmet, the Sun.

Hathor-Sekhmet – Holy Heifer – Lioness – Egyptian Goddess of the Sun, the Moon and the Heavenly Sky

Hathor and Sekhmet are two sides of the same Goddess. Hathor is Her gentle, nurturing and life-giving aspect, while Sekhmet is Her fierce and destructive side.

Hathor, the Holy Heifer, symbolises the entire heavens including the Sun, the Moon and the stars. She is depicted as a cow, which is a symbol of nurture and life and by extension represents civilisation. Hathor reveals Her origins through Her headdress which consists of a solar disc surrounded by two lunar cow horns and the ancient wise serpent symbol, the Uraeus cobra. Hathor’s cow belly is descibed as being full of stars, which connects Her to the Goddess Neit, who is the heavens.

Hathor’s origins lie in southern Upper Egypt. It is speculated that She is about 6,000 years old, as Her image has been found drawn on rocks near Naqada and at the settlement of Girez. Both excavations have been dated to the Predynastic Period of about 4,000 BCE.

Although later Egyptian mythology was similar to Classical Greek mythology in that it had an entire pantheon with goddesses and gods that were very human with family trees and life stories, earlier predynastic beliefs were much more animistic and nature based. With that in mind, Hathor – who wasn’t always called that, but nobody knows Her original name for sure – literally IS the sky, the Moon and the Sun.

Hathor, who Merlin Stone suggests was once one and the same as Neit, Methyer and Meh Urit, is the primordial gentle aspect of the universe. She is the gentle life-giving aspect of our Sun without which there would be no life on Earth. She is also the gentle Moon with Her three phases that are so closely linked to women, water and magic. Hathor’s celestial milk is the nourishing rain that fills the rivers and sustains life. She is all the stars in the sky, although over the years She became particularly associated with the seven stars of the Sothis constellation (Canis Major).

The ancient Egyptians pictorally visualised the sky, the Sun, the Moon and all the stars as being a living cow who sustained Her children with Her nourishing milk, i.e. the rain. Later mythology would associate Hathor solely with the sky while Horus would come to represent the Sun. This is also where Hathor got Her name from. About 3,000 BCE Upper and Lower Egypt were forcibly united into one large country. At the same time the “Shemsu Hor”, the People of Horus arrived. They re-named the Great Cosmic Mother, the Holy Heifer, the Giver and Sustainer of Life, to “Hat Hor” or “House of Horus”. Unfortunately, as said before, nobody knows for sure what Her original name was.

As the Goddess as the Sun Hathor-Sekhmet symbolises both aspects of our beautiful star. While Hathor, the Celestial Cow, represents the gentle spring Sun – note how Taurus, the Bull, is the fixed sign of spring – Her alter ego Sekhmet, the Fiery Lioness, represents the hot burning summer Sun – again, note how Leo, the Lion, is the fixed sign of summer.

Like Hathor, Sekhmet also wears the Sun disk and the Uraeus Serpent as Her headdress. She does not, however, wear the lunar cow horns, as She is solely linked to the Sun.

Sekhmet, the Mighty One, the destructive mid-summer Sun, is hot, fierce and dangerous. She is also called “Nesert”, the Flame, as the dry summer heat is often linked to destructive wild fires.

Although the fierce African sun is potentially life-threatening, in small doses it can be medicinal. All life on the surface of the Earth needs sunlight to thrive, so even in mid-summer the Sun has healing properties. Sekhmet is “the Great One of Healing” and Her priestesses were renowned for their medical expertise.

Returning to gentle Hathor, here is a little more about Her:

Hathor is the Goddess of Song and Dance. The ancient Egyptians believed that it was She who taught humans how to sing and dance the sacred dance of the sistrum rattle with its jingling rhythms. The sistrum was associated with Hathor and treated with great reverence.

Hathor is the Goddess of Happiness, Joy, Love and all Good Things. She was worshipped all across Egypt and beyond, as far north as Byblos in Phoenicia (today’s Lebanon) and as far south as Nubia, northern Sudan.

Hathor is

– Lady of the Stars
– The One Who Shines as Gold
– Mistress of the Desert
– Lady of Heaven
– Sovreign of Imaau [1]

It is said that Hathor is right there when a baby is born. It is She who breathes life into her or his nostrils with Her sacred Ankh. As the Sacred Seven She prophesises each infant’s destiny.

Hathor is the wind and the rain. She quenches our thirst with Her celestial milk. She heals and sustains us with Her gentle life-giving sun’s rays.

Every year the ancient Egyptians celebrated the Feast of Hathor in the third month of the Flooding Season (Inundation) at the end of August. They would party like crazy with sistrum music, dancing, lovemaking and lots of intoxicating red barley beer.

The origin of this can be traced to two stories. The first one is definitely a dynastic story, so is tainted with ideas of manly pride and war. It was a story told by the followers of the Sun god Ra in his main centre of worship Heliopolis. The second story rings much more ancient, as Hathor seems to be still autonomous. It comes from Denderah near the ancient rocks of Naqada, Hathor’s likely place of origin.

Starting with the first story, this tells us a little more about Hathor-Sekhmet and the significance of the red barley beer that was consumed so liberally at Hathor’s Feast Day.

According to legend one day the Sun god Ra turned to Hathor for help and protection. Apparently he’d overheard a group of men on top of a moutain plotting a conspiracy against him. He asked Hathor to “neutralise the threat”, as it were. This is when gentle nurturing Hathor transformed Herself into the fierce lioness Sekhmet. She slayed all of Ra’s enemies, but didn’t stop there. Having got a taste for human blood, She went on a rampage that nearly killed all of humanity. In order to stop Her Ra apparently made up a brew from red ochre and barley beer to trick Sekhmet into thinking this was blood. He poured all 7,000 jugs onto the ground and the Goddess drank and drank and drank until She was so intoxicated She fell asleep and returned to being gentle Hathor.

A lot of people have interpreted this to reveal Sekhmet as a Goddess of War. I personally believe this story symbolises the change of the seasons from spring to summer that brings with it the danger of fire as the intensity of the Sun increases to incredible levels, especially in Egypt that is surrounded by desert. While fire is a valuable tool when used with care and respect, it can become a life-threathening danger when left uncontolled. Sekhmet is the wild fire that kills, destoys plants and homes alike. She may also be the fire that was set on purpose or by accident that got out of control, raging across the land. As summer gives way to autumn Sekhmet returns to being gentle Hathor.

Red ochre is usually a symbol of rebirth: Ancient people including Neanderthals used to cover their dead with red ochre as they carefully returned them to the earth, the dark Womb of the Goddess. With that in mind the red barley drink symbolises the regeneration and revitilisation of the Earth after summer’s fierceness and the return of the gentler autumn sun, represented by the Goddess as Hathor.

The second, most likely older, story from southern Egypt centres around Hathor as the life-giving river Nile. Like the first story it is about the changing of the seasons, but here the agricultural seasons from growth (autumn / winter) to dryness (spring) to eventually the flooding of the Nile (summer).

One day Hathor grew very angry and threathened to destroy the entire universe She had previously created. She was going to throw the earth back into the sea and return to Her own primordial serpent form. Before She actually went through with any of it, Hathor transformed Herself into a lioness and went to Nubia just south of Egypt. While She was gone chaos and grief swept across the land, everything dried up and life became difficult for all.

In order to persuade Her to return to Egypt, Her brothers Shu and Thoth also transformed themselves into lions and followed Hathor. They did eventually manage to change their sister’s mind and She went back north with them. As the Goddess returned to Egypt, so did peace and happiness. The Nile swelled and life was beautiful again. The time of Hathor’s return and the swelling of the Nile coincided with the rising of the star Sothis (Sirius to us) at the same time as the morning sun. From then on, the rising of the “Dog Star” on the eastern horizon would mark the new year and the season of the Inundation (Flooding) that followed would be dedicated to Hathor. Her special feast day at the end of August marked the time of the peak floods. Later mythology would associate the annual Nile flooding with Osiris.

Adoration to You, Het-Hert, Mistress of Iunet, the August One in the Sanctuary of the August One.
The One Shining as Gold in the Sanctuary of Gold, the Atenet, eldest child of the Aten.
I adore Your Majesty with Your heart’s desire, I exalt Your Ka to the height of Nut.
I praise Your Manifestation to the limits of the rays of the Aten; I serve Your Majesty in Your shrine.
The Powerful One, the Great One, Mistress of Fear, Great of Terror among the Netjeru.
The Horizon-Dweller, Mistress of Heaven, the Brilliant One who creates the rays of the sun; the Netjeru rise early in the
morning to pay You homage.
Your beautiful face is satisfied by the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Lord of the Two Lands, beloved of the Great Het-Hert,
Mistress of Iunet, the Eye of Ra.

— From the Temple of Dendera, in S. Cauville: Dendera I

— translated into English by Neferuhethert, c. 1999

NOTES

[1] From Merlin Stone’s “Ancient Mirrors of Womanhood”

[2] Some people talk of Hathor and Sekhmet as being two parts of a Triple Goddess: Bast-Hathor-Sekhmet, whereby Bast is the Maiden, Hathor the Mother and Sekhmet the dark Crone aspect. This is a very valid connection, although I don’t believe it ever existed in ancient Egypt in quite that form. Sekhmet most certainly isn’t a lunar Goddess and Bast is quite a separate Cat Goddess from the Northern Lower Egypt. Saying that, the connection I’m discussing here with Hathor and Sekhmet being two aspects of the same Goddess, may not actually have existed in prehistoric Egypt either, as the “creation” of Sekhmet is linked to the Sun god Ra, who most certainly is a much later dynastic development.

Mars: Pele, Goddess of Drive, Passion and Courage (Hawaii)

The planet Mars is the first of the outer planets, which means that unlike Freyja-Mercury and Inanna-Venus who from our vantage point never stray far from the Sun and either appear as morning or evening stars, Mars stays with us throughout the year. The so-called “red planet” glows bright orange in the night sky and can be easily spotted with the naked eye.

Mars energy is similar to that of the Sun: It is free, unbound and available for action. This planet is the planet of “doing”. Her main themes are: action, passion, drive and courage.

Traditional astrology considers Mars energies to be “typically” male and, yes, it is certainly true that after a few thousand years of patriarchy men are able to access those qualities much more easily and readily from within themselves than many of today’s women can. For a very very long time our society thought our foremothers to be everything BUT active and driven. Unfortunately, even in today’s world where girls and boys are brought up alongside each other and schools and work places offer equal opportunities for both sexes (although still not always!), those memes that tell us that little boys are active, wild and brave, while little girls are cute and good and gentle continue to stay with us.

Memes are cultural norms that are passed on within a society just as genes are passed on from parents to children. Memes are the reason why we dress little girls in pink and little boys in blue. They’re what tell us that little girls are made of “sugar and spice and everything nice” while little boys are made of “snips and snails and puppy dog tails.” They’re also what tell us that girls are quiet and cutesy, love flowery dresses and want to grow up to be princesses. Boys on the other hand are wild and rough, they like to climb trees, do sports and play-fight. None of this is true, but nonetheless we teach our children to act like that. For instance, most fairy tales and even adult stories are based around a male hero who saves the damsel in distress. When was the last time you heard a traditional children’s story where the female lead was heroic all by herself and saved the prince and the queendom (not kingdom for a change!)? Memes and cultural norms are very slow to change, but they do eventually. Today’s European-American society takes it for granted that women can vote and conduct business in their own names. This was unheard of only 100 years ago! And so will the old Grimm’s fairy tales with many of the overtones of the time (the Grimm brothers lived in Germany just after hundreds of years of witch burnings had finally come to an end!) be superseded by new tales that are not as sexist and puritan as the original ones while retaining all the valuable Goddess imagery.

And so, in order to make my own little contribution towards our brighter egalitarian non-sexist equal-opportunities future for all, I declare that action and passion and drive and courage are situated right there within EVERYONE’S heart and that includes all women. (And I refuse to call this “animus”, our little man inside!) We only have to remember heroines from days gone by like Celtic Boudicca and Eleanor of Aquitaine to KNOW what we’re capable of. These so-called “male” attributes are very much part of the female psyche. We just have to remember that truth and KNOW that we’re courageous and strong and capable of anything and everything we put our minds to.

For that reason I have assigned Pele, the Hawaiian Fire and Volcano Goddess to replace Mars, the Roman God of War, as the new archetype for the fiery planet of action. I initially considered Boudicca to be the Goddess of Drive and Passion, but then decided that I didn’t want to use a war-faring image to represent a trait that is positive and good and so very vital. It’s those very traits that allowed our Cretan and Indus Valley foremothers to create beautiful, peaceful societies with scientific feats of indoor plumbing for all! It’s what’s driven every creative, artistic, scientific advancement in the world. It’s a positive energy of the will that should never ever be misused in the pursuit of war and violence!

The other heroine I considered was Pohaha, the young Hopi-Tewa warrior maiden from the Cottonwood Clan, who successfully led the defence attack against raiders and who lifted her skirts to declare to all that it was a woman who was defeating them. Again, I decided against this particular story, as like Boudicca it associates the fiery qualities of Mars with war and fighting.

For more info on Pele, please check out my post entitled “Pele – The Hawaiian Volcano and Fire Goddess“.

Pele‘s traits and what She is about

Pele is hot and fiery. She is the planet of doing as opposed to thinking about it. Pele‘s character is actually very similar to that of young children: she is not afraid to try something new. Failure or success are not something Pele worries about, rather it’s the experience of doing something that’s important. Pele is a natural risk-taker.

She is passionate and driven, but also selfish. Pele is all about wants and desires, She’s the planet of the will.

Pele‘s energies are focused on ourselves, on what’s important to us, the individual. In effect Pele is about getting our own way. She’s also about protecting what we consider to be ours. [1]

Her main areas of focus are:

Action

– doing not thinking
– physical energy
– vitality
– personal power
– strength (body and mind)
– go-getting

Drive

– will
– motivation
– competitiveness
– assertiveness
– ambition
– enthusiasm

Pioneering (leading to progress)

– creativeness
– instigation
– initiation
– taking a chance
– risk taking

Bravery

– daring
– courage
– endurance
– taking something on the chin
– fiery
– “having guts”

Me, myself and I

– selfish
– “I want”
– child-like
– young spirited
– positive
– this is “mine”
– defending what is “mine”

Passion

– desire
– love for life
– survival
– instincts
– wildness
– excitement
– raw animal sexuality

Pele‘s metal is iron.

Within the body Pele governs the sexual organs, the muscles and the oxygen-rich arterial blood.

Pele in a Horoscope

Pele is a personal planet, which means that it’s possible to affect or alter Her traits through will power.

Pele is our active expression of our life force, of our sexual energies.

Within a horoscope, the sign that Pele was in at the time of birth tell us what exactly gets us going, what makes us want to assert ourselves. It tell us how we go about doing things and what actions we take.

Pele describes what we want and how we go about getting it. She tells us what we consider to be “ours” and how we go about defending that.

Pele rules Aries, the sign of the Ram, the fiery pioneer of the zodiac, as well as Scorpio, the passionate and possessive Water sign. Pele exalts in Capricorn, the practical “doing stuff” Earth sign, which means that Her energies feel at home and comfortable here.

NOTE

[1] Pele‘s traits are actually part of those once attributed to the original Venus Goddesses. To find out more, please check out my post entitled “The Original Venus – Goddess of Heaven, Earth and the Underworld“.

Pele – The Hawaiian Volcano and Fire Goddess

Pele is the Goddess of Fire and Volcanoes of the Hawaiian people. She is “She Who Shapes the Sacred Land”.

Pele is a Destructress-Creatrix. She embodies Divine Creative Power that here manifests as the Volcano Kilauea on the Big Island of Hawaii. Pele destroys in order to clear the way for new creation. It is Pele who has shaped the island to what it is and continues to do so to this day.

She is “Pele Honua Mea” – “Pele of the Sacred Earth”.

She is “Pele Ai Honua” – “Pele Who Devours the Earth”

Pele is the Divine Flame. She is the Flame of Passion, the Fire of Purpose. Pele embodies Dynamic Creation, Drive and Action. She exudes Energy. Pele is Raw Power.

Pele represents confidence and courage. She is beautiful, awe-inspiring, strong, powerful, creative, active, enthusiastic, spontaneous, alive, passionate, hot and eruptive. Pele is dangerous, yet giving and kind.

Pele is the Regeneratrix of the Dead. She receives the souls of those who have died and renews them for rebirth with Her Fires of Creation.

It is said that Pele’s origins lie on the island of Tahiti in the South Seas. There, legend says, She once lived with Her mother, the Earth Goddess Haumea, and Her many sisters and brothers. Pele, being a Fire Goddess, has always been fascinated with fires and flames, which makes Her sister Namaka, the Goddess of the Sea, very angry. Pele, as the fiery volcano, and Namaka, as the sea, have always been at odds with each other. As soon as Pele starts to burn and bursts out in a hot gush of fiery lava, Her sister Namaka with Her tidal waves quenches the fires and cools the burning flow of molten rocks.

One day Pele had had enough and decided to move away from Tahiti. She set off in a canoe cradling the egg of Her unborn sister Hi’iaka within Her armpit. Hi’iaka would one day become the Goddess of Hula. Their journey was a long one and many times Pele tried to settle on some of the islands they encountered. But every time She tried to set up Her burning volcano-home Her flames would be put out, either by Her sister Namaka who continued to pursue Her in the form of blizzards and giant waves, or the many Snow Goddesses who Pele and Hi’iaka found living on the top of island mountains.

Eventually Pele reached the area where today lie the islands of Hawaii. She caused the volcanoes under the sea to erupt and thus created the islands we know today. She Herself settled as the Volcano Kilauea on the Big Island. Here, She’s been able to live in peace with neither Her sister – the Sea – nor the Goddesses of Snow reaching Her. However, to this day you can witness Pele and Namaka fighting whenever the molten lava is cooled by the splash of the waves as it reaches the shores.

Pele loves Her home and guards it jealously. It is said that Her anger is easily roused when Her island body isn’t honoured and tourists take Her lava stones with them as souvenirs. Then She stamps Her foot so that the earth shakes. It is even said that those who dare to take Pele’s stones away with them will be cursed with bad luck. True stories tell of how tourists have returned the taken pieces to the island together with offerings and even letters of forgiveness to the Goddess. They say that their bout of bad luck breaks abruptly after that.

Pele has many forms. Besides being the volcano, the lava and the fire’s flame, Pele is also symbolised by the “Ohi’a Lehua”, a tree that grows quickly on fresh lava flows. The lehua flowers are sacred to Her, as is the Hawaiian honey creeper that drinks the nectar from the lehua blossoms.

Pele sometimes transforms Herself into a young maiden or an old crone with a white dog. Reports tell of how a young woman with long brown hair wearing a red dress is sometimes seen dancing on the rim of the Kilauea crater. Others tell of an old woman who wanders the area close to the volcano with Her little white dog. She sometimes asks for a cigarette which She lights with no more than the snap of Her fingers. Grandmother Pele or Tutu Pele, the old woman, is the most commonly reported sighting of Pele in human form. Tutu Pele is greatly beloved by the people of Hawaii, for She gives advice, passes on wisdom and warns of impending dangers. She disappears into thin air as quickly as She arrived.

The people of Hawaii consider Pele to be their “aumakua” or Guardian Spirit. Before the spreading of white man’s memes on the islands, Pele’s priestesses would wear robes with burned sleeves and hems. They carried a wand symbolising the “Paoa” staff that Pele is said to have used to create Her volcanic craters. Despite modern belief systems, Pele’s people still remember their Goddess and continue to bring Her offerings of fish, flowers and fruit.

According to Merlin Stone in “Ancient Mirrors of Womanhood” despite discouragement of Pele’s worship by Christian missionaries “…when Mauna Loa erupted in 1880, sixty-three year old Princess Ruth Keelikolani still knew the ancient chants of the priestesses of Pele.” In order to protect the town of Hilo, the princess walked up to the edge of the lava flow, reciting the ancient chants and presenting Pele’s lava stream with gifts of silk cloths and brandy (to represent the ancient sacred “awa” drink). The eruption stopped the very next day before the lava ever reached Hilo! A similar thing occurred in 1955 when the village of Kapoho was threatened. Villagers offered Pele gifts of food and tobacco and again, the lava stream stopped just before reaching the village.

 

Call to Pele
by
Ka Wahine Ahi

Aloha Pele Honua Mea!
Aloha Pele Ai Honua!
E komo mai!

I smell sulphur in the air and feel heat rising from deep in the Earth below.
The ground trembles beneath my feet.
You light the night in crimson, gold and orange,
As lava and flame flow from Your domain at the world’s core.

I ask You to hear my call and grace me with Your awesome presence.
I ask You to hear my call and bestow Your Protection on me.
I ask You to hear my call and enlighten me with Your wisdom.
I ask You to hear my call and heed my entreaty.

Ignite my passion!
Kindle my fire!
Send Your blazing energy to inspire!

– from orderwhitemoon.org

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