Sunday, February 13, 2011

Cupid

Cupid is from the Roman Mythology from the Latin word, Cupido which means 'desire'. He was the god of desire, affection and erotic love. His parents were the goddess and god, Venus and Mars. In Greek mythology he was known as Eros who was also seen as one of the prim ordeal gods.
     Cupid was depicted has having wings, sometimes wearing a helmet, carrying a buckler, a bow and a quiver of arrows that some say were gold tipped.
     He was a very mischievous deity, who a lot of times got into trouble especially through the guidance of his mother. In a lot of art he is shown amusing himself just as a child would. Sometimes he is shown driving a hoop, throwing darts, catching a butterfly or flirting with nymphs.
     In one story, Venus became very jealous of the princess Psyche. She was loved by many men and her subjects. So much that they forgot to worship Venus, of course this made Venus angry. She ordered Cupid to make Psyche to fall in love with the most evilest thing world. As Cupid was sneaking into her room, he accidentally scratches himself with one of his arrows thus causing him to fall in love with Psyche.
     Cupid began to visit Psyche each night while she would be sleeping. He would speak with her as long as she didn't look at him. Eventually Psyche was informed by her two sisters that Cupid was a monster.  One night during Cupid's visit, she tried to look at him which in turn angered Cupid and he left never to return. Psyche looked all over the world for him. Her search lead her to seek out Jupiter. Jupiter took pity upon Psyche and gave her the gift of immortality so that she could be with Cupid.  Cupid and Psyche had a daughter name Voluptas or Hedone which means pleasure. Through time, Psyche became a goddess. Her name meaning soul.

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day as we know it today had it's beginning from ancient Christian and Roman traditions. Legends state that is had originated from an ancient Roman festival call Lupercalis or Lupercalia. It was a fertility celebration that was observed annually on February 15th. Through time just the same as many pagan traditions were, Lupercalis was 'adopted' into the Christian beliefs to convert the Pagans.
     Pope Gelasius is credited with the conversion of Lupercalia into a Christian festival day in 496 AD and set it's date from February 15th to one day earlier the 14th. Of course, he had to have a Christian deity to replace the Pagan one, so he choose that the day of feasting would be in honor of St.Valentine who was a Roman martyr that had lived in the 3rd century.
     Who was St. Valentine?  According to the pages of recorded history, we find that there were at least 3 saints by the name of Valentine. One was a priest in Rome, who lived around 270 AD and was very dis-favored by the Roman Emperor Claudius II. Another was a bishop of Interamna ( modern Terni ) in 197 AD. He was martyred during the rule of Emperor Aurilian. He was / is buried on the Via Flaminia. At the Basilica of Saint Valentine are relics of this particular saint.
     The third, not much is known about him except that he died in Africa.
     The first Valentine is the one that most people give credit to, St. Valentine of Rome.
     Around 270 AD Rome was in turmoil with their government falling apart from the inside out, the border of their once mighty kingdom was being bombarded by Huns, Turks, Gauls, Slavs and the Mongolians so Claudius needed more men to fill his armies. As the necessity of young men began to grow, Claudius felt that for them to be more focus on their duty as a soldier, they were not to be married. He passed a law forbidding the act of marriage for any of the young soldiers.
     St. Valentine didn't agree with the law and thought it was unfair. During time, when a lot of the young men thought about marrying someone they would go to St. Valentine. He would then marry them in secret. Valentine became the 'friend of lovers' and of course word got out and eventual fell upon Claudius' ears. Claudius had St. Valentine arrested.
     As many saints do, Valentine was thought to have healing abilities. While he was in jail, his jailer, Asterius asked him to please heal his daughter who was blind. Valentine fulfilled the request.
     When Claudius II met Valentine he was very impressed by him. The two got into a conversation about the ban on marriage in which Valentine still held to his faith. During this conversation, Claudius tried to convert Valentine to the Roman Gods. Valentine still refused and in return tried to convert Claudius to the Christian path. This angered Claudius very much, so much that he had Valentine executed.
      According to legend, during his time in the Roman jail, Valentine fell in love with a jailer's daughter. Some legends says that is was the blind daughter of Asterius. Before his execution, Valentine asked for a pen and paper so he could write a farewell to her. Part of the farewell was "from your Valentine" and it has stuck ever sense.  It is believed he was executed on February 14th, 270 AD which became a day for all lovers. The Romans began to annually give hand written greetings to their lovers and called them Valentines.
     During the Middle Ages, St. Valentine became one of the most popular saints in England and France which pushed the celebration of February the 14th as the day of love and romance even further.
     In the 14th Century, Chaucer and his friends which became known as Chaucer's Circle, started sending each other poems of love. The first Valentine card?  Chaucer would use images of birds to represent lovers in his poems.
     The Victorian age came around and gave St. Valentine's Day another push. People started using ribbons, lace and images of love such as hearts on their cards of greetings.
      In the 18th Century, gift giving and exchanging homemade cards became common in England and when the early American colonist came to Americas, the tradition came with them.
     One of the earliest known Valentine was sent in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans. It was to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London. The card is now in the British Museum.
     Eventually the Saint was dropped from the Lover's Day to what we know it as today, Valentine's Day.
  

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Potato / Money Spell

This is a spell that was given to me when I was very little by my grandfather. This spell is a money spell and trust me it does work, but there is a warning tag that goes along with it. DO NOT USE THIS SPELL IF YOU HAVE TRIED EVERY & ANY WAY POSSIBLE TO ATTAIN MONEY. THIS SPELL IS ONLY FOR LAST RESORT.  I have given this spell to a number of people along with the warning.
    I had a friend who was trying to get her disability check and it wasn't coming quick enough for her. So I went over to her house and showed her how to do it. In my opinion she really didn't need the disability check for I didn't see any disability except for being lazy. She very well could have worked a job. I warned her and she didn't listen. I continued to instruct her on how to do the spell and of course she did it.  About a week later, she got her check in the mail.  Several months went by and somehow the government found out that she could / can work and her checks was cut and she had to pay back all the money that the government had given her. I warned her. So please heed the warning.
  
     For the spell you will need the following items:
          1 large potato
          9 toothpicks
              and any 3 of the following items: pine straw, any type of seeds, acorns, flour, cornmeal, rice, a coin.

     Take the potato hold it in your power hand, the hand that you use the most. While holding it add some of your energy to the potato empowering it to grow. Think about how the potato has feed lots of people. Think about how the potato is from the Mother Earth herself and how with just a little piece of it, you can grow some food to feed a family.
     Then cut the potato in half, vertically. Take a spoon and dig out the meat or the inside of each half of the potato while thinking about what I suggested in the last paragraph. This spell is all about empowerment as most spells.  While scooping out the meat try not to break the outer skin of the potato because you are going to place items inside the potato.
     Then choose any three of the items that I mentioned above: pine straw, any type of seeds, an acorn, flour, cornmeal, rice or a coin.  These items represent growth, being feed and not being hungry, fertility and richness; not by today's standard but by the standards of the ancients. These are things that you can find in your cabinets or out in your yard. If you choose anything from the outside and off the land leave some type of offering.
     After you have chosen 3 of the items that you wish to use or could find, then hold each one in your power hand and empower it. Think about what that item means, for example if you choose rice, think about how it grows from the water, how it feeds large populations and etc. Also give thanks for this item.
     After you have blessed or empowered each item that you have chosen to use, place them inside the halves of the potato that you have scooped out. Remember only choose 3.
     This is where the 9 toothpicks come into place. Place the two halves back together with the 3 items that you have chosen inside. Take the 9 toothpicks and 'sew' the potato back together, holding the two halves together. Go all around the cut that you made when you cut the potato in half. Space out the toothpicks so that you use all of them and that they go around the whole of the potato. Don't use any less than 9 or any more than 9. You are literally sewing the potato back together. If you have any questions about this part them please email me at Grannulus1@yahoo.com with subject line Potato Spell and I will try to answer them.
     After you have done this, then hold the whole potato with hands and again empowering it.
     Take the potato outside and bury it deep; deep enough that nothing will dig it up.  As you are 'planting' the potato say a prayer to Mother Earth. Something like this:
      " Dear Blessed Mother Earth. Take my offering and my prayer. I need this for ______________. I thank you for all that you have done for me and given me.  I need your help in my desperate hour. "
      This will give you an idea on what you could say.
     I have buried the potato at different times of the day and it still has worked, but the most powerful time that I found to do this is at night under a full moon.
     After you have buried it, forget about it.
     I had one friend who did this spell and later the potato started growing out of the ground, which of course it would normally do if you were planting a garden. The spell worked twice for her.  We thought that was real special.  She had forgotten about it until she notice the plant coming out of the ground.
     The reason for 3 items and 9 toothpicks is because the ancient Celtics considered the numbers 3, 6 and 9 to be special and sacred, particularly the number nine because it was 3 multiplied 3 times.  Three repesented and was sacred to the Triple Goddess; Maiden, Mother & Crone.
      I hope this spell helps you in many ways. Please remember though, DON'T USE IT UNLESS YOU DESPERATELY NEED IT AND HAVE TRIED EVERYTHING THAT YOU MORALLY AND POSSIBLY COULD TRY. If you don't heed this warning it will come back on you. I have seen it happen so many times.
    
    
   

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Groundhog Day

On February 2nd, people through-out North America waits upon the groundhog to predict if winter is going to last longer or if spring is coming sooner. Where did this custom start?
     In the ancient times in the European countries our ancestors look to many different types of animals to make weather predictions. Groundhog day has it's origins tied in with the Christian celebration of Candlemas which in turn has it's tie with the Pagan celebration of Imbolc; the celebration of the first stirring of Spring. Instead of a groundhog making the weather forecast it was usually a badge or a bear. Many customs taught that between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox was the best time to make weather predictions.
     Some legends state that the Romans actually used or watched the groundhog during the first days of February which was the best to make weather forecast for the future. According to traditions Groundhog day was started in Germany by blending the Christian and Roman customs and then German immigrants brought the customs to Pennsylvania. In Germany, the badger was used instead of the groundhog. The Germans believed that the badger had the power to predict the coming of Spring. They would watch the activity of the badger which then would tell them when to start planting.
     A similar custom is practiced in Serbia on Feb. 15th, among Orthodox Christians. They would join in the feast of Sretenje or the Meeting of the Lord. They believed on this day a bear will awake from it's long winter nap. If the bear sees it's shadow then it would be scared back into it's den and sleep for another 40 days and winter would be prolonged.
     The largest Groundhog Day celebration is held in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania with a crowd of 40,000 people and has been celebrated since 1887. A group of groundhog hunters from Punxsutawney gave themselves the name of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club and their furry oracle was named Punxsutawney Phil. According to their folklore, Phil has lived a very long life, over 100 years because he partakes of the 'elixir of life' which is served to him every summer at the annual Groundhog Picnic and they don't allow any pictures of this event. Hmmmm...
     Another similar custom is also celebrated in Portugal on February the 2nd. It is called The Candelaria Day which refers to Jesus at the Temple. If it's a sunny day, winter is still to come. If it's raining, then winter is out.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Imbolc

Spring is almost upon us and many people are looking for it especially those in the Northern United States. I know that I can wait.
     To our ancient European ancestors this was a time of purification and getting the farmstead ready for Spring. This was a time that the Celtic people called Imbolc, Oimelc or Oimealg which is Gaelic for 'ewe's milk'. This was a time when the ewes or the sheep was having their babies and their milk was flowing which to the ancients herald the return of the life giving forces of spring.
     In Old Scotland, the month of Feb. fell in the middle of a period which was known as Faoilleach, the Wolf-month also known as a' marbh mhio's, the Dead month. They couldn't wait for the promise of the Sun lord to come out and warm the flesh of Mother Earth. They celebrated with many festivals of dancing, food and bonfires. The Old Woman of Winter, the Cailleach, is returning as the Bride, the Young Maiden of Spring. She would be dressed in white and then she would breath life into the mouth of the dead winter
     In Ireland, the farmers started preparing the land for ploughing with the calves being born. The fishermen, preparing their boats while they wait for the winter storms to cease so that they could launch their boats.
     There were/are many traditions that came with the celebration of Imbolc, many which are familiar such as the young girls would make Bride dolls out of wheat and placing in a bed decorated with white flowers and such. Then these beds would be passed from door to door, spreading her blessings upon the households.
     Imbolc was also a time of blessing the seeds before placing in the furrows usually this was done by the Druids or the Celtic Shamans. Today though because of the Catholic Church stealing or putting it nicely, 'adopting', the holiday into their religion as St. Bridget's Day, a Catholic priest anoints the seeds.
     Through-out many of our ancient European countries, Imbolc included lighting of candles, gathering of stones, decorating the ploughs, feasting and bonfires.
     One tradition that I founds was the decoration of ploughs. A decorated plough with ribbons and flowers would be dragged from door to door while costumed children would follow asking for food, drinks or money. Sounds like Samhain, doesn't it? If they are refused then they would plough up the front yard or garden.  Some villagers after the plough was decorated would pour whiskey onto to it. The whiskey was also known as the 'water of life', of course. Then pieces of cheese and bread was left beside the plough and then they were placed in the newly turned furrows as offerings to the natural spirits.
     Not just our Celtic ancestors had celebrations this time of the year.
     The Romans celebrated Lupercalea. It was a purification ritual in which a goat was sacrificed and a scrouge was made out of it's hide.  Men dressed in thongs would then go around the villages whacking people with the hide. The people that was struck was considered lucky and fortunate. I figure there was a lot of citizens standing out in the roads and squares waiting to be whack. This celebration didn't have anything to do with any deities or temples but the celebration of the founding of Rome, by twins, Romulas and Remus. They were raised by a she-wolf in a cave known as the 'lupercale'.
     In ancient Egypt, there was a celebration known as the Feast of Nut, whose birthday fell on Feb. the 2nd. Nut was considered as the mother of the sun god Ra, who at sunrise was known as Khepera and took the form of the Scarab beetle.
     The celebration of Imbolc went by many names. In Caledonni it was called Imbogc Brigantia, the Teutonic version was called Disting and celebrated on Feb. the 14th and in the Strega belief is was called Lupercus.
     In this post I haven't mentioned anything about Bridget, the Goddess of Imbolc which I will in another posting. I just wanted to concentrate on the celebration of Imbolc itself.
     Have a Blessed Imbolc!