Solitary Witchcraft - The Goddess
The Three Faces of the Goddess
This article focuses on the concept of the Goddess as I perceive Her. The central concept comprises the idea of three separate female figures being united; the Maiden, the Mother, and the Crone, each of which symbolizes both the three stages in the life cycle as well as three visible phases of the moon. This concept represents the feminine part of Wicca's duotheistic theological system, the masculine counterpart is the God who also has three phases which I will address in another hub. Many other neopagan belief systems follow this in their use of the Triple Goddess.
Onatah (oh-NAH-tah ) :
In Iroquois mythology, Onatah was the corn goddess and the daughter of Eithinoha. She was kidnapped by the ruler of the underworld. Her mother searched everywhere for her, grieving and while she grieved no crops grew. Finally the god of the sun realized where she was and radiated warmth for weeks on end until the heat split open the ground and rescued her. However, the spirits of the underworld missed Onatah, and so whenever the sun would rest for the winter they snatch her back. Great effort in ceremonies and offerings would be needed to waken the sun and rescue her each spring.
Many of the details found in the myth featuring this particular Iroquois goddess are remarkably similar to incidents in the story of the Greek goddess Persephone. First, both were agricultural deities and daughters of the primary mother goddess (Demeter for the Greeks; Eithinoha for the Iroquois.) Secondly, both were abducted by the Underworld god (actually more like a demon according to the Iroquois stories; Hades, of course, in the Greek tales).
As the Maiden, Onatah is the daughter, the sister, and the girlfriend. She is the confidant who keeps your secrets, She is the one shares your joys and woes. She is youth and energy during her waking time.
How you visualize the Goddess is purely personal. This is how I visualize Onatah in this aspect. She is a young woman (mid-teens to mid-20s) with curly black hair. Her skin is pale with a light golden hue. Her body is slender with the blossom of new womanhood. Her eyes are a brilliant sapphire blue or sometimes emerald green. She has garland of spring flowers woven into her hair. She wears a short tunic without sleeves. Sometimes it is white or sometimes it is blue or green. Always a color of spring flowers in their brilliance. Often I see her in a meadow of tall grass, flowers blooming beneath each of her dancing steps. The air ripples with the sound of her laughter, full of joy and the love of life.
In Iroquois mythology, Eithinoha is the mother earth, and mother of Onatah. She is associated with agricultural fertility, spring and summer.
As the Mother,Eithinoha is the golden lady, our mother, the hug when we feel alone. She is the warm praise when we’ve done well and the source of comfort and nurturing.
This how I visualize Eithinoha in this aspect: She is tall and voluptuous. She carries the glow of a woman who holds new life within her womb. Her hair is butter gold that falls in waves to her hips. Her skin is a warm golden brown, kissed by the sun. She wears a long silky dress of butter gold that leaves her arms and throat bare and almost the same color of her skin. She walks with a sensuous grace through green fields of grain, the tops sprouting the promise of seedlings that sway in the warm gentle wind. Her smile is warm and wise as she walks arm in arm with the God.
NOKOMIS (noh-KOH-miss ): Nokomis was the Algonquin earth goddess. It was her responsibility to feed all the world's living things, even plants. According to the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Nokomis fell to earth and gave birth to a girl named Wenonah, who grew to become the wife of Hiawatha.
This how I visualize Nokomas in this aspect: She is an older woman, full figured and a little stooped from the burdens she has carried in her long life. She is dressed in decorated leathers of white and black. Her hair is very long and straight with many streaks of silver. Her skin is a dark brown with overtone of ebony. She is wise and a little sad, but not grieving or regretting. In her presence you feel comforted and loved. She is the favorite grandmother who cooks your favorite food, who listens with endless patience. She is the one hears every word, every secret and emotion. She comforts or praises or scolds but always with love. When the time comes to pass from this life she will be there waiting for you. She takes your soul into her embraces as she would a beloved child allowing your soul to pass through her as you travel from one life to the next and you feel from her the promise of rebirth.
My Personal Favorite: Bast
I have seen it written where you shouldn’t mix your pantheons. I encourage you to follow the adage of do what feels right to you. But sometimes I need to commune more closely to a specific aspect of the goddess. In this case I often align myself with the Egyptian goddess Bast.
Bast is a daughter of the sun god Ra. She is the goddess of fertility, sensuality and fire prevention. She is also known for avenging wrongs. Her official headquarters appears to have been at Bubastis on the Nile Delta, where she had an annual festival. In the event of fire, her cat servants would run into the flames to draw out the power. You could say these were the first fire extinguishers.
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