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Monday, 25 February 2013

Fiery Thrud, Daughter of Thor



The most interesting and overlooked goddess in North mythology is Thrud (also spelt Thudr and Thudra). The name Thrud means "strength". She is the beautiful daughter of the powerful thunder god Thor. She is said to have her father's strength in essence, beauty, charm and magic. She's a gentle goddess, as well as a Valkyrie. Some say that the Valkyrie Thrud is another individual but with two different named girls in Norse/Germanic myth, it's a coincidence. Thrud is likely a term used and associated with daughters of powerful gods. Thor's daughter Thrud is also named Thudra, and I shall draw attention to Her meaning.

Thrud, daughter of Thor, is a young goddess who survives Ragnarok.
She is a maiden goddess with a lovely kind nature.
Possibly a Valkyrie, as the goddess girl might be part of this mystical order.
The inner strength of Thrud is feminine lightning, storms and flowers.
She's a goddess of willows, trees, flowers and grass. 

This daughter has special gifts. She is capable of time travel, light travel (speed of light journeying: psychic journeying), reads dreams, tells fortunes, understands all stones including runes and riddles. She is artistic, bright, beautiful, sensual, maidenly, charming, graceful and poetic. She is protected by Thor. She is loved by her father, and mother, and she is precious. She is like gold. She's also a Valkyrie, and a priestess, a dreamer, a weaver, and she survives darkness. She isn't the kind of valkyrie to rage against souls. She's a healer that takes those into the peaceful afterlife. She loves animals, and she shares many attributes and traits to the goddess Kore (or Persephone), who was daughter of Zeus (a Greek counterpart of Thor) and Demeter (a counterpart of Sif).

There is very little told about Thrud in mythology during researching. There was a story of Thrud and a dwarf named Alviss. It's said that Alviss wanted to to marry Thrud, or tried to take her away as his bride in payment for crafting weapons. Thor prevented this happening so he turned Alviss into stone. Other than this, little is told about her. The goddess Thrud now appears as a character in modern fiction and comics.

What the young goddess symbolises:
Nature
Trees
Flowers
Grass
Heath
The spring
Fireworks
Storms
Rain
Rainbows
Flames
Agriculture
Arts
Perfume
Maidens
Dreams
           
Greek and Roman counterparts of Thrud:
Persephone (Kore)
Proserpina

Star of Thrud:
Asteroid Belt

Animals associated with Thurd:
Bat
Goat
Butterfly
Most birds

Stones and metals of Thrud:
Amber
Agate 
Jasper
Gold

Colour associated with Thrud:
Yellow

Element of Thrud:
Fire

The goddess Thrud can be honoured during specific rites aimed at goddesses. She can be invoked and thanked. She responds well to fire, so use candlelight and torches. She's a goddess of fire, flowers, and dreams, so use golden colours on Her alter. Golden flowers, such as the fragrant evening primrose, yellow jasmine, honeysuckle, mock lemon, alder and marigold. Make the alter light and flowery (even use battery fairy lights to make the alter look pretty). You can compose a written prayer or poem to Thrud.

Maiden goddess Thrud, who appears at new light, when Springtime is just around the corner. She walks the earth blazing, and breathing life on meadows, heaths and gardens. Flowers blossom and leaves grow full on trees. Give thanks to Her and all the other maiden goddesses that charm the land with her.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Flowers charming the plough



It's late Winter and the landscape is filled with pretty new flowers. The early wildflowers of the year at the end of winter are often very tough and commonly seen everywhere. Snowdrops, daffodils and crocuses.

Snowdrops are the first wildflowers to appear in late winter. These are bunched together with white cupped petals across a muddy, frosty cold ground. Snowdrops grow anywhere there is grass. They can be found growing in gardens, alongside footpaths, in graveyards, parks, woodlands and forests. These flowers produce galantamine, which can help heal against pain and Alzheimer's disease. Snowdrops got their name from an older word for "earring"! The Latin name for snowdrop is Galanthus that means "milk flower" in English. Snowdrops were considered unlucky to pick or use at weddings. Associated with the dead, and the freezing cold, snowdrops are regarded as "Candlemas Bells".

"The Snowdrop, in purest white array, First rears her head on Candlemas Day." (Traditional rhyme).

Candlemas is a Christianised version of ancient celebrations of the turning of the wheel. The Heathens call it a time of "Disting" or charming of the plough, when winter fades and the land becomes softer and ready to dig. It's also regarded as a time of "Imbolc", new beginnings and a season of light.

Crocus flowers appear just after snowdrops have bloomed. There are many types of crocus flowers, but the species, such as the Biflori, that grows this time of year have blade-shaped petals in a rainbows of blue, violet, yellow and cream colours. They belong to the iris family. Late winter and spring crocuses are said to be used as charms in cleansing spells and love spells. Other species of crocus, such as the flowers that grow later in the year, produces spicy saffron.

Daffodils grow next. They appear like a cheerful sunny bloom of golden flowers. These are larger and taller flowers with full petals. Some of the daffodil species are white with orange centres. Others are yellow, gold, orange, or a bi-coloured and tri-coloured because many have developed from hybrids. Often used in perfume these daffodils are quite poisonous and shouldn't be eaten. Symbolic of rebirth, daffodils are a sign of light and hope. A bunch of daffodils in the house can bring some fortune.

These are the earliest flowers after the extreme winter.
        

      

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Hearts and Howls



As many of you are aware, that Valentine's Day is a time for showing ones affection towards the other, or expected to do so. The time of year is in late Winter, during the bloom of early flowers in the cold mists. Snowdrops, crocus flowers and daffodils open. Some trees already have pink blossoms. Birds are active in nests. Foxes, that can't be trusted, scavenge and run over frosty grasses. The air is chilled but the sun seems brighter. Darkness fades. People are swamped, not just with the ongoing wintry cold, mud and damp, but with red hearts and red roses. I want to mention that the true essence of Valentine's Day has been lost. It isn't really about giving gifts to lovers. It's something else.

Firstly, V Day is pagan in origin. It goes back to ancient times where people had fertility celebrations during this period. The 14th February was a day in celebration of the goddess Juno. Girls names were put in jars, and selected by potential mates. People treated it with more spice, and there was more emphasis on sex than romantic love. It was about one-night-stands, love games, orgies, drinking and reveling. All the stuff that modern people would regard as "bad". Lupercalia was similar to the Greek day Lykaia.

There was the pagan Lupercalia Day, held on the 15th February, in celebration of the nature god Faunus (Pan). Animals were sacrificed. Young men chased women with whips. This day was dedicated to the she wolf goddess Lupa, who raised the founders of Rome. The day was celebrated throughout Italy and Gaul.

The season is part of the tradition of the Saxon Solmonath ("cake month"), by offering cakes and food to the gods. There is the "Feast of Vali" that was in honour of the warrior son of Odin, light over darkness. This ancient northern celebration "Feast of Vali" was about showing love (compassion, respect, loyalty) throughout the community among family and friends.

The symbol of Valentine's Day is a heart and the flowers are red roses. The heart is a symbol of Freya. Red roses are sacred flowers of love goddesses Freya, Aphrodite and Venus.  Showing the hearts everywhere is a secret honouring to Freya. Giving out chocolates and roses was something that people gave to the gods (cake month).

The love people share one another, as in couples celebrating this time, is what used to be for the gods, a devotional love for the divine. The secret of Valentine's Day is that the ancient meaning is lost today.

So enjoy V day. 

     

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Golden Girl Project - Lady Godiva



The famous English legend of Lady Godiva can be examined thus. I will describe the story, dates and historical details.

The legend comes from medieval England, about a beautiful lady called Godiva who rode through the streets of Coventry, wearing nothing but her long golden hair. This was done to show her husband how seriously she cared about the poor people living there. When her husband previously failed to listen to Godiva who pleaded with him to lower taxation on the citizens, she was given a choice: Undress in the streets to lower the taxes or don't and the taxes stay unfair.

When she'd ridden naked through the streets of Coventry, her husband did as he promised he would. He lowered the taxes.

While Lady Godiva was preparing to do this unusual dare, she didn't want anyone seeing her. The people of Coventry were ordered to stay indoors and shut doors and windows. However, as she rode naked on horseback through the derelict streets, someone disobeyed. A tailor by the name of "Thomas" looked out of the window to witness this naked lady on her horse. He was struck blind. The common phrase "Peeping Tom" originates from this particular character.

In some versions of that legend, the Peeping Tom was struck dead.  

How true is that story?

Lady Godiva's actual name was Godgifu. She was an Anglo Saxon noblewoman who owned land and property, which was rare in the times of the Norman conquest. She was a Countess Godgifu of Mercia, married to Earl Leofric. Godgifu was a Catholic and she honoured the Virgin Mary, and founded the Benedictine priory in St Osburg's Nunnery. She had her jewels, gold and silver made into crucifixes. 

She's mentioned in the Domesday Book as the owner of lands in different counties. Her husband Leofric died in 1057. It isn't known when Godgifu died but it's assumed a decade or so after the death of her husband. It isn't known where she was buried.     

It's not certain if she really rode naked but taxes had been lowered according to documents. The event itself corresponds with the May Queen riding through the streets. It goes back to early history and in pagan lore. As for Peeping Tom, it's not known if he was a real person or not. If so then possibly someone executed for breaking the rules of looking upon a lady. Blinded after seeing a naked woman also comes from mythology. Mortal men were blinded or killed after looking upon a naked goddess (for example, the man Tiresius was struck blind after looking at goddess Athena who was having a bath).  

In Coventry, there is a pageant dedicated to Lady Godiva.

Links:

An Anglo Saxon Tale: Lady Godiva
Lady Godiva in Popular Culture
The image is "Lady Godiva" by Josephine Wall