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Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Wolf Goddesses


The Wolf as Goddess. In my previous Wintry entries, I have dealt with a couple of subjects about the Wolf Goddess. There are many but with so few references, or few known with a doubtful notion. So I have decided to make a single entry about as many of the wolf goddesses that I can think of.

Anyone is free to send me or post comments with their own ideas or reminders in case I missed someone out. With that please anticipate editions.

The most famous Wolf Goddess in Europe is Lupa. Other names that she has been knowned by is Luperca and Acca Larentia. She is a Roman goddess of fertility and the earth, who took on the shape of a wolf. She is the foster mother of the mystical twin boys, Romulus and Remus. The boys are sons of the god Mars and vestal virgin/priestess Rhea Silvia or Llia. Lupa was the wife of Lupercus, a Roman god of fertility who was celebrated as a festivity "Lupercalia" on February 13th to the15th. Lupercalia has ancient Greek roots in the Lykaia festival, named after the Lykaian hills or "Wolf Mountain" the largest peak in Arcadia: Source. Now the modern version of Lupercalia is Valentine's Day, celebrated on the 14th February, with Roman origins also.

The Valkyries (or Valkyrja) are said to have ridden wolves instead of horses. Regarded as swan maidens and battle maidens, the Valkyries are divine women or goddesses have been linked to wolves. One Valkyrie named "Gondul" was considered a shapeshifter who became a wolf so her other name meant "she-were-wolf". The Valkyries or "choosers of the slain" entered a battlefield and led the souls of dead warriors into the afterlife. Some warriors were sent to Valhalla and others were taken to Einherjar. Valkyries are linked wih ravens as well as warfare and death. They were regarded as sinister far back in the past although the modern idea of a Valkyrie is a shining warrior woman figure.

Closely resembling the Norse Valkyrja is "The Morrigan" of Celtic myths. This goddess is said to have been called the "Great Queen" or "Phantom Queen". Also she is perhaps a triple goddess and her three identities are Badb, Macha and Nemain. Transforms into a wolf and also a raven.She's a war goddess of death.

I also mentioned that Hecate and Artemis are wolf goddesses that I discussed in previous entries.

The Sumer goddess Inanna was a goddess of love and war had a wolf at her side.

Returning to Norse myths, the giantess Skadi was associated with wolves and winter. Angrboda or Angerboda, is the mother of Fenris the giant wolf.

If you dig deeper you'll find that many goddesses, giantesses, mythical women and female spirits have some brief connection to wolves. What I found is that, unless I research even more intensely, a catalogue of association of wolves with gods and goddesses differs. When it comes to folklore about human societies and people, wolves are only seen as quite dangerous animals who should be feared.

The divine aspect of the wolf can be found in far more ancient myths and among different cultures. The divine wolf is mostly found to be with gods and men but hardly for goddesses and women.

Today in modern culture there is folklore being created, but I should say resurfaced from the deep wells of the subconsious human psyche. Therianthrope is a spiritual sensation, movement, development and embrace of the divine within us towards the divine animals. Plenty of novels and games have sparked off the divine wolf aspect of females and women. More women than ever are becoming fascinated by werewolves, wolves and mystical canids. The she-wolf goddess comes in all aspects and guises. She may even resemble a beautiful woman.

Check out these sites:
Therianthropy
Encyclopedia Mythica
A Guide to Ancient Ireland
Timeless Myths
The Obscure Goddess Dictionary
Sacred Texts

Above is a beautiful painting by artist Julie Bell

Friday, 21 May 2010

The Wolf Wheel



The symbol of the sun is a wheel. The sun wheel is shaped like a disk and it has an interior cross like the spokes of wheels. The cross of the sun cross represents a spinning and cycle of nature. The seasons are divided into four groups: Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter. The cross of the sunwheel shape can be a symbol of the seasons, a circle of the year or wheel of the year.

(I have a very beautiful wheel shaped calander at home. Look at this website for details of the astro calander 2010 who created it and see for yourself).

The sunwheel cross could also be a navigational cross showing: North, South, East, West. Again the wheel of the disk is both for direction and time. The system of the wheel cross is what I'm going to explain here. The "Wolf Wheel" is something I invented. It shows a selection of elements as in the above picture like Earth, Air, Fire and Water. In divination when making casts, the wheel image showing the four elements is used. The elements, time and navigation can be associated with one another.

SPRING - EAST
SUMMER - SOUTH
AUTUMN - WEST
WINTER - NORTH

With the elemental feelings and colours (earth, air, fire, water) they are sometimes including extra elements such as metal and ice and spirit. People place earth, air, fire and water in a category of their choosing. The Spring is linked with East because of the rising sun and dawn, it means earliness, youth, blossoming daylight, gentle sunlight, warmth, newness. The Summer is linked with the South because it shows the heat, bright sunlight, long days, scorching weather. Autumn means Fall, when leaves turn dry and red and harvest time and lowering sunlight, cooler temperatures and darkening days. This is what sunset reminds me of so therefore that season belongs to the West. Winter is the darker season and it's very cold, so it represents the North.The basic elements of earth, air, fire and water are associated with their behaviour and temperatures.

FIRE - SUMMER - SOUTH
WATER - WINTER - NORTH
AIR - SPRING - EAST
EARTH - AUTUMN - WEST

According to the ancient Greeks, the properties of those elements are described as being "hot, warm, a little wet, wet," ect.

Now the WOLF WHEEL acts in a similar way. The NORTH wolf is Arctic, from the snowy landscapes, appearing as the brightest wolf in dreams. This white wolf, and ice wolf, is the spirit of the northern lost lands, legends of Britain and Scandinavia (even wolves from Alaska, Greenland and Siberia). The Husky is considered a "Polar Dog" and it is a cousin of the wolf but husky's don't tolerate hot weather. The EAST wolf is the Forest Wolf, or Eurasian wolf. Found in mainland Central and Eastern Europe. The SOUTH wolf is the ancient wolf of Africa, the Middle East and Australasia Ancestor of the Wolf but wolves thrive better in cooler climates. There are many other different canids that dwell in hot regions. The ancient Egyptian god Anubis was a jackel. Jackels are relatives of wolves. The WEST wolf is the Timber wolf or the grey wolf of the Americas. If people wish to associate their wolf elements with literal and geographic wild canids then that's pretty cool.

EARTH WOLF - The WEST.
AIR WOLF - The SPRING
FIRE WOLF - The SUMMER   
WATER WOLF - The WINTER.

Above art by Wolfdog

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Hay fever, Canola and poisonous flowers

 

There are fields in the north of England, glowing the most brilliant yellow. As a therianthrope, I'm often getting hay fever this time of year. I'm sneezing and have a runny nose. Up and down the country there are crops with such bright, beautiful golden flowers like those around me. The fields are of luminous yellow like the shining halo yellow of the sun's rays. One can only dream of dancing in those fields of rich bright flowers. I wandered there to one of the local fields of yellow flowers and I stood beside a yew tree. Bees and other insects danced there and it felt like being in a fairy glade. These yellow dreamy flowery fields are scattered like patchworks of precious gold around this part of England. So what are these amazing fields of golden flowers?

They are fields of rapeseed, or otherwise called Canola. It's grown for production. It gives us plenty of Vitamin E and Omega 3 and it has only 6% of saturated fat when other oils have 14% fat. The oilseed rape is an ingredient used in food, medicines, soap and as a form of cooking oil. It's also a less fattening substitute for butter and margarine in bread. Canola or oilseed rape (rapeseed) is different to other oils because it's cold pressed (sqeezed dry). Other oils are refined and cut at high temperatures. 

Some people believe that Canola is not fit for human consumption and should only be used for industry. Canola is related to the mustard plant family and rapeseed has been used in cooking for centuries. There are many For and Against debates about this but there is a lot of negative feeling towards this particular plant. I personally think this debate is endless but we're given a choice. Some say sugar is bad for our health while others insist we don't have enough. Now salt is apparantly no good either and yet our bodies need some amount of salt. People are taken in by eating "5-a-day" portions of fruit and vegetables but dentists say too much of that causes tooth decay! Canola is a diet that gives us an amount of vitamins and omegas. Also this plant isn't popular because it's considered a "gmo" export and it makes some people feel a bit scared to touch it (although they probably eat chocolate and drink tea). Canola comes from a natural plant that has benefitted human beings since time began. It's like a turnip or a potato or a tomato and possibly bread, even!  

Oilseed Rape (Canola)
Canola Info

The Canola blossoms are scented like burnt honey. And just like any other plant, Canola pollen causes hay fever. This season is when I have rhinitis because of pollen floating in the air or it's from household dust. Pollen from trees, grass, weeds and dandilion seeds.

"Win the war against allergies" (One of my favourite TV commercials)

Canola is quite safe and edible. It looks golden and lovely in fields, and people may find them strangely luminous. There are far more dangerous gold flowers to worry about such as these: Yellow orleander, calla lily, daffodils, horse chestnut, Laburnum, pyrethrum and yellow starthistle. Most people assume that daffodils are harmless because they appear at the beginning of Spring and last a while into Summer, and they look nice in gardens or in vases. But the truth is daffodils are really quite noxious flowers. Their bulbs contain an alkoloid that will cause an illness if eaten. This site shows you more about other poisonous plants and flowers: Poisonous Plants

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Fire and Ice



Raykjavik Volcano erupts as the British parliament undergoes radical, new and different changes. A new PM as well as a coalition not seen in the UK since the Second World War. During this phase a cold spell hung across Britain as the temperatures plummet to frost, wind and some light sleet in the northernmost uplands. The volcanic ash veils across the country and other parts of Europe. Fire and ice. A time of fire and ice is the symbolic and alchemical metaphore of two elements. Fire and Ice coming together is a form of union and procreation. There are giants of ice and giants of fire in Norse mythology. The age of fire and ice is a phase when life begins. The ice world Niflheim and the fire world Muspellheim both togther produced life.

Raykjavik Volcanic webcam
Volcanic update
Creation: Norse mythology

Ice doesn't move. It's stable, rigid, kept in place. It only forms and melts. Fire moves. It's noisy, can spread around, flexible. It only grows and settles. They both create patterns within. One provides warmth, the other provides coolness. To extremes they can both take life but also in gentler stages they can sustain life. Life wouldn't exist without them.

What of the fire and ice or ice and fire within us?

Ice and Fire have qualities that we need. Fire is the ability to dream, think, imagine, desire. Ice is the holder of memories and recognition, the keeper so to speak. One is the library, the other is the book maker. Fire is the urge to create an art form. Ice is the ability to retain and display the art form. Subconsious and then consiousness. Dream and reality. Spirit and understanding. Thoughts and actions. Fire is inside us and we feel it when we have emotions and ideas. Ice is the reaction or the response and even the result. Fire is the dream to make a beautiful toy made of anything. Then ice is the result of that dream, which is the physical reality that you hold before you. I want to do this... and here we are, I've done it now.

Can fire be outside and ice inside? Yes of course it can.

External fire is the act of will, and the display and character, the personality traits, the physical appearance, the style, the glamour. Internal ice is belief, faith, ambition and those things that anchor a person. Yet both can change.

Ice is recognised as being Winter and Silver. And even the Moon. Therefore, some would and could say that Ice is winter, Yule, a time of snow and darkness, the metal of silver, the moon, and yes WOLVES. Fire is associated with Summer and Gold and the Sun or solar. Then the Fire is summer and light, flowers, warmth, sunlight, the metal gold, the sun and WILD CATS. Absolutely!

Cats and dogs. Wolves and wild cats. Most of the wild cats, all of them really, are found in warmer and hotter climates. Fire animals. Animals associated with fire. Even though the domestic cat is associated with the moon and night, that is mere supersticious rings.   
....
Above art from Dyan Allaire

Friday, 7 May 2010

Beside a river



The river that passes by the village town is beautiful, gentle, rippling, healthy and clean. It moves over the rocks. It sounds very soothing. It carries leaves, twigs and blossoms. The river looks enchanting in the day but eerily cool at night as a place that Therianthropes would love to visit. Near this river is a field of growing corn. The wolf within senses that there are small wild animals living around there. I ventured further out and I stumbled upon burrows and hiding places. I knew who was in there, or who wasn't. Today I found a fallen eggshell from a bird's nest, and it was beside the rose bush in my garden. A bit further away is a very creepy looking old barn yard. At night, when stars shine above it, the bard yard is probably haunted. I need a camera! The visions and scents of the place is magic.

When you look at the eyes of a wolf,
You seek itself.
The wolf stares at you,
and you are afraid.


A wolf's ancient journey is embedded in the land across the countryside. It's still there from times past, that long ago, when the last wolves of the British Isles roamed freely. I found a way to track it. Find rare ancient wolf bone and teeth, that would interest a museum.

The campaign against wolves in this country by Edward I was quite successful and allusions to them became fewer in historical documentation. At an abbey in Herefordshire, an iron wolf head is supposedly a memorial to Edward’s campaign.
Source
The demise of the native wolf has never been forgotten. Humans are afraid of nature. This is tragic. People should get to grips with nature and learn they're part of it and NOT seperate from it.
A worrying thought that what happened to the British wolf is almost happening now to the landscape. 

Wolves and Humans
Its Nature
Reintroduce Wolves