Lilith was the first wife of Adam, created as his equal; she was cast out of the garden of Eden when she refused to submit (and stroke Adam’s fragile ego) and lie beneath him during sex. It is said that submissive controllable women are descendants of Eve, while the wild, untamed, and free-spirited women are descended from Lilith. Lilith is associated with the night and is worshipped as a goddess of feminism and female power, granting her followers courage and strength.
Though not much is known about her due to the Christian bastardization of her image, it is believed that praying to her can grant the courage to leave a toxic, abusive, or apprehensive relationship or situation. Lilith is also the patroness of bodily autonomy, believing in the health and choices over one’s body should be their own; especially in the case of pregnancy. Feminists and Wiccans alike worship Lilith as the master of educated and empowered womxn. Unlike the misogynistic tales of Christianity, Lilith was not a foe of eve, but a sister in arms; nor was Lilith “cast out” as the Christian (men) claim, but she left willingly after having been mistreated by a weak man. Lilith’s sacred symbols are owls, crossroads, the dark moon, the crescent moon, mirrors, poppies, snakes, bones, goats, trees, and birds.
Prayer to Lilith
By: Lady Wynifred H. Loveney APs
Heaven’s first queen
Cast out for your strength
And beholden to none
Though art the goddess of feminine strength
Adversity In the face of oppression
And a pillar of the divinity of women
Hear us now in our hour of worship
And bless us with the gifts of thine sacred womb
Be welcomed now in this sacred space
An honored guest amongst the witches
Forsaken by the church that demanded submission
Suppressors of women
Your act of rebellion
Set the course for greatness
They say their “pure” are daughters of Eve
But those of us who rebelled
Are fruit of thine womb
I am proud to be your daughter
Oh great mother
I am proud to be a warrior woman
Proud to be the sole commander of my own autonomy
The sole decision maker for my own body
And the strong, beautiful, intelligent vessel
That you paved the way to create
So Hail now
Praise be upon thee
May you join us at your leisure
Within this sacred space
And throughout our lives
So mote it be!
Painting: Lady Lilith by Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Book of Shadows pages: Greek Deities
Aphrodite is the goddess of love, beauty, pleasure, passion, and procreation. Her Roman counterpart is Venus. Aphrodite’s sacred symbols include myrtles, roses, doves, sparrows, and swans. Aphrodite was married to Hephaestus, the god of blacksmiths and metal workers, but she was frequently unfaithful. Aphrodite was one of the three goddesses who started the trojan war (with Athena and Hera), as they fought over the mortal Adonis. The festival Aphrodisia was in her honour.
Athena is the goddess of wisdom, handicraft, and warfare. Her Roman counterpart is Minerva. Athena’s sacred symbols include owls, olive trees, snakes, and the gorgonian. Known as the virgin, the patron goddess of heroic endeavors and was believed to have aided Perseus, Hercules, and Jason. Moreover, she along with Aphrodite and Hera started the trojan war over the mortal Adonis.
Demeter is the goddess of the harvest and agriculture, and the fertility of the earth. Her sacred symbols are cornucopias, wheat, torches, and bread. The mother of Persephone, Demeter is the reason for the seasons, as her grief and sadness at her child’s decent to Hades caused her to cease her gifts. Her blessings return with Persephone in the spring.
Hera is the queen of the gods and wife of Zeus; and is the goddess of marriage and childbirth. Hera’s jealousy is legendary, and she was known to prolong the labors of Zeus’s mistresses. Hera is known to punish mortals who cross her.
Artemis is the goddess of the hunt, the wilderness, wild animals, the moon, and chastity. Artemis is the first child of Zeus and Leto; her mother’s labor, delayed by the angry Hera was hard, but once Artemis was born, she acted as Leto’s midwife to bring Apollo into the world. Artemis is the protector of young girls and is a goddess of midwifery.
Hades is the god of the dead and ruler of the underworld, and brother of Zeus. Hades Kidnapped the daughter of Demeter, then called Kore, and was able to wed her through negotiation with Zeus. Though rocky at first, Hades was always deeply in love with Kore, by then called Persephone.
Persephone was the daughter of Demeter and Zeus; she was kidnapped by Hades, whom she would later marry. Persephone is both the goddess of spring and vegetation, and the queen of death. The kidnapping of Persephone was the subject of the Eleusinian mysteries.
Hephaestus is the god of Blacksmiths, metalworkers, carpenters, craftsmen, artisans, sculptors, fire, and volcanos. As a smith god, he was in charge of making all the weapons used by the Olympians. His symbols are the smiths hammer, the anvil, and tongs.
Hestia is a virgin goddess of the hearth, the right ordering of domesticity, the family, and the home. Hestia received the first offering of every sacrifice in the household. The flame of Hestia was used to bless all new homes.
Gaia is the primordial goddess, mother of the earth, the gods, and of men. She ruled over the universe before anything else existed. Gaia is the nourisher of small children and of plants and the giver of dreams. Gaia, being the mother f earth, is often portrayed with a big pregnant belly that is painted to look like earth to show that she is primordial.
Pan is the god of the wild and is often considered to be one of the oldest deities in the Greek pantheon. Pan is associated with nature and wooded areas, as well as with pasturelands, to which his name is affiliated.
Asclepius is the hero god of medicine. The rod of Asclepius is often used on hospitals to bring his guidance and protection to all who enter. Asclepius is known for his kindness and was given the great secrets of medicine from a sacred snake he helped.
Medusa was a beautiful Greek virgin who remained chaste in order to be a priestess of Athena. Poseidon, who was feuding with Athena, saw Medusa as something he could take from the goddess in order to hurt her, so he raped Medusa in Athena’s temple. Athena, who knew she would need to act as the gods would see it as an affront to them, turned Medusa into a gorgon, but in doing so, blessed her with the power to turn men to stone so shed never be hurt again. Many modern pagans and scholars view her as a matron saint of sorts to rape victims and those who have been violated. She is a symbol of strength in the face of adversity and is often prayed to for protection against abusers.
Nyx is the goddess of the night and is considered a primordial goddess; she created darkness and the night and is often portrayed as winged or as a charioteer. Though Nyx didn’t have her own temples, she was often worshiped alongside Hekate and Artemis.
Hekate is the goddess of witchcraft, magick, crossroads, night, herbology, ghosts, necromancy, sorcery, and is the keeper of the keys. A triple goddess she was worshipped and prayed to for protection. She is also the goddess of wisdom, choices, victory, vengeance, death, and travel. Hekate is often invoked for justice, especially for sexual crimes against girls and women, and especially when justice isn’t naturally forthcoming. She has the power to grant mortal wishes and is often evoked to protect dogs. Moreover, she is prayed to for fertility, especially in hopes for female children. Hekate can also be invoked for healing when medicine has failed; and has been known to grant swift and painless death when requested. Hekate’s favourite people include Midwives, writers, healers, herbalists, dog lovers, and rescuers; she is a matron of women in general and protects and protects those who ride horses. Hekate is portrayed as having three bodies, one of the maiden, one of the mother, and one of the crone, and her sacred symbols are keys, torches, cauldrons, knives, and the witch’s broom. Dogs, snakes, toads, dragons and cats, though ESPECIALLY dogs are extremely sacred to her. Her sacred plants include lavender, garlic, and henna. And she favors the end of the month for her magickal workings.
Book of Shadows pages: Norse Deities
The allfather, Odin is the king of the gods, the god of wisdom, magick, shamanism, death, and divination; Odin sits on the throne of Valhalla. Odin is often accompanied by two ravens; it is said that anyone who dies in battle (this includes childbirth) may ascend to Valhalla.
The eldest son of Odin, Thor is the god of thunder and lightning, and is associated with strength, storms, hollowing, and fertility. Thor is the champion of Midgard and Asgard and is said to protect both realms.
Loki is the trickster god, adopted son of Odin, and brother of Thor. He is a shapeshifter, and conflicting accounts exist regarding his relevance to the Norse pantheon. Some accounts list him as a helpful albeit mischievous deity that brings fortune to those who best him; but other accounts list him as purely mischievous and with negative intentions toward the other gods. He is also the father of the half goddess Hel, who rules over the Norse underworld realm of the same name.
Hel is the goddess who rules over the Norse underworld, a realm that bears her name; her name means hidden. She is the daughter of Loki and the Giant Angrboda and is the sister of the wolf Fenrir and the world serpent Jormungand.
Idun is the Scandinavian goddess of vegetation; it was said that her fruits, often assumed to be apples, grant immortality and happiness to those who eat them. Idun is often linked to gardening and orchards and is sometimes prayed to ad harvest.
Freyja is the goddess of Love, beauty, sex, fertility, war, death, and marriage. The most beautiful and refined of the goddesses, she rides o a chariot pulled by two cats. Freyja rules over the heavenly fields of Folkvangr where she receives half of all who die in battle. Freyja is a warrior goddess and is known to be an advanced practitioner of magick. She is also the patroness of crops and childbirth and is prayed to by lovers. In Scandinavia brides were given kittens on their wedding days as they were sacred to Freyja. Freyja is married to Óðr an the two were deeply in love; when he was away, she cried red and gold tears that fell to earth as amber. It is believed that Amber is sacred to Freyja.
Frigg is the Norse goddess of marriage, family and motherhood. As the wife of Odin, Frigg rules as queen of Asgard alongside her husband. She is the only person other than Odin who is permitted to sit on the throne. Frigg is a dedicated and dutiful wife and is seen as Odin’s equal. She was seen as the epitome of female strength and was the matron of married women. Frigg is also a goddess of destiny and is blessed with the gift of psychic foresight. Frigg’s sacred objects are the spinning wheel (symbolic of domestic life), and keys which are a symbol of home protection.
Book of Shadows pages: Celtic Deities
Goddess of the underworld and keeper of the cauldron of prosperity. Cerridwen is a shapeshifting goddess and rules the realms of death, fertility, magic, regeneration, inspiration, magick, enchantment, and knowledge. Known for being a white witch and goddess, she is associated with herbs and astrology, and represents the need for change and transformation for the better. She is also linked to the phoenix legend as death brings renewal.
One of the Celtic triple goddesses, the raven queen, and goddess of the dark moon. The Morrigan is also the goddess of war, fate, and death, rivers, and lakes. The Morrigan is also the patroness f revenge, magick, night, prophecy, witches, and priestesses. Once a goddess of strife and fertility, as well as battle, most modern pagans see her in a different light; she is seen as the appropriate deity for strong, independent persons. Altars for the Morrigan are dressed in red cloth and raven r crow feathers.
The Celtic horned god, embodiment of the divine masculine, lover, father, sage. Cernunnos is the god of beasts and nature, often serving as their mediator, is often honored with great feasts and hedonism. When seeking blessings for gardening and agriculture, prayers should be made to Cernunnos. It is also believed that he is a fertility god and is the one whom one prays to for male fertility.
Daughter of Dagda, Brighid (pronounced Breed), is the goddess of healers, poets, smiths, childbirth, and inspiration. She is also the goddess of fire and hearth, and is a matron of warfare. The colours white, red, and green are sacred to Brighid, as it the Brigid’s cross and fires. On Imbolc, great feasts are had in her honour to bring forth the blessings of fertility.
Dagda is the chief of the Tuatha de Danan, and father to Brighid. God of seasons, agriculture, fertility magic, and Druidry. He wields the three sacred treasures; a cauldron of plenty, a club of life and death, and a harp that controls both men and seasons. Men should pray to Dagda for fertility.
The god of Nobility, Lugh of the longarm and master of crafts and the cunning warrior. Lugh is also the god of oaths and serves over making deals and creating alliances. The feast of Lughnasadgh is in his honour, and is the Celtic harvest festival.
Danu is thought to be the mother of all Celtic gods, having birthed them all into existence. She is the goddess of earth, wind, fertility, wisdom, and is the goddess of the fairies. Queen of the Tuatha de Danan, Danu is prayed to by seaman for protection.
Lady Wynnie is the ArchPriestess and founder of Covenant of the Rose. She is also a talented writer who will be blogging about the coven and it's happenings!