The Goddess Path  Issue #041

The Goddesses of Spring

April, 2006


This Issue: Table of Contents

1. Rebirth: The Message of Spring
~ from SoulFullFilled Living Newsletter~
2. The Goddesses of Springtime
3. Party Time
4. The Red Headed Girl from the Bog:
by Patricia Monaghan
5. Bunnies and Baskets:
The Pagan Origins of our Easter Traditions


There are few things that charge our batteries more than more daylight. It's almost like, as the buds pop and the bulbs sprout that we pop and sprout too - stretching into a new season with a big 'ahhh'. It feels good, doesn't it - bursting with all that possibility?

Now if we could ask those buds and sprouts if their popping and sprouting was a bit uncomfortable at times, they'd likely say yes. Not unlike most new mom's would about the pains and strains of labor.

But who'd trade the prize when the popping and sprouting and stretching is done? Who'd trade the new life that arrives? Not us - although mid sprout, or pop, we might occasionally be tempted to do a bit of bargaining...

Life - all of life - is a journey of many steps, many seasons, each of them intended to help us know us and be us - the real us - right down to our toes. And each step along the way, jagged or smooth, up or down, is a blessing filled with newness and the riches of moment by moment opportunity: to understand and flat out marvel at ourselves if we just take the time to pop - to unwrap the gift of that momentous step - and the piece of ourselves in it.

And tomorrow, there's more!

~from the SoulFullFilled Living newsletter (April, 2005)

Do you believe in Kismet (as in, meant for each other)? Love at first sight?  Let me introduce you to my new friends, Randy Boles and Lissa Bergin-Boles of SoulFullFilled Living. They are a Canadian couple, both life coaches, who describe their work as supporting and enhancing "authentic and soul-full-filled living and loving".

And in their spare time, they manage to put out one of the finest e-newsletters that I've ever read! I fell in love with it on first glance. What an unexpected gift for all of us! This monthly e-newsletter is full of spirit, good humor, and it absolutely sparkles with soul filling energy. 

So if you've got an inch of space left in your email inbox (and you should if you followed last month's recommendation to do your Spring Cleaning to make room for good things in your life!) ......You're invited. So use this link to sign up for the Soul FullFilled Living Newsletter.  You'll be in for a real treat!
 


The Goddesses of Spring

Spring . . . a time of rebirth and renewal, a time to reclaim the heady powers of youth. A time to let go of any weary cynicism that doesn't serve us well and to reach out to embrace the new possibilities that are spread before us, to shed the old, itchy skin and start again shiny and refreshed.

These are the lessons of the goddesses of springtime.

For Kore, the young daughter of Demeter, it was time to leave the innocence of childhood to become Persephone, the Queen of the Underworld. Never mind that she did not choose to go -- she learned to love and chose to stay, becoming a woman in the process.

Persephone reminds us that, not matter how many roles (and competing ones at that) a woman plays in her daily life, she can handle them with grace. But to do that she must take care to return from time to time to allow herself to be the one who's pampered and, yes, even babied for a little while.

Flora, Roman goddess of spring, insists that we invites riotous color, heady fragrance, and wild abandon into our lives.  Her festival was the rowdy Floralia that culminated with May Day.

The goddess Brigid, and the Celtic festival of Imbolc, urge us to nourish the tender new urges that try to establish themselves and become part of our being . . . and also to be gentle and forgiving when we face our weaknesses and failures.

The Lady arrives in spring and bids us to find our passion, the purpose and meaning of our lives. Her coupling with the Horned God each year during the Beltane fires empowers us to achieve the great things of which we dream.

 


Spring is nature's way of saying, "Let's party!"
         ~ Robin Williams

A recent customer who was excited about receiving her Goddess Report contacted us saying she wanted to order 16 more to give to her friends when they have their annual 'Women's Weekend' this spring. They've declared a goddess theme for the event and she called to get my help in arranging for her friends to take the Goddess Quiz without their knowing about the report so she could surprise them by giving them their reports at the retreat. What fun!!

Her phone call reminded me that many of you who are new subscribers had probably missed the "Goddesses Gathering" issue that we did some time ago. So perhaps it's time to revisit this piece that celebrates the value of friendship between women and contains the wonderful stories that subscribers shared about their own celebrations of the goddess with their friends.

For a delightful read (and lots of ideas for a gathering of your own), check out: Goddesses Gathering.

(And be sure to read the fantastic review of the Goddess Quiz that appeared recently in the Soul FullFilled Living newsletter. How kewl is that!)  Read the Rave Review
 


Sometimes a Great Notion . . .

. . . comes along and the world is never the same. Perhaps the concept of 'The Goddess Path' has been around since time immemorial but it was the work of Patricia Monaghan who put it all together and enhanced the lives of countless contemporary women by showing them how they could reconnect with the ancient goddess energies.

And now she's done it again! The author of The Goddess Path, The Goddess Companion, and numerous other 'goddess books' has a new one that deserves space on our shelves.

  The Red-Haired Girl from the Bog: The Landscape of Celtic Myth and Spirit is partly an exploration of the myths and legends of Ireland, partly a travel memoir of a search for the spiritual essence that has shaped  Ireland . . . all of it movingly told in the powerfully human voice of this brilliant scholar whose works have brought the goddess back into our awareness.

And such a captivating title!


A Brief Reminder

. . . that we recently set up a separate mailing list for those of you wishing to be notified when we become aware of joint ventures that others are offering lots of special gifts or freebies.  If you haven't signed up already, now's your chance-- there are a couple of "biggies" coming up within the next few weeks. Click here to sign up for the: Special Offers Mailing List.
 


Bunnies and Baskets:
The Pagan Origins of our Easter Traditions

The history of Easter reveals rich associations between the Christian faith and the seemingly unrelated practices of the early pagan religions. Easter history and traditions that we practice today evolved from pagan symbols, from the ancient goddess Ishtar to Easter eggs and the Easter bunny.

Easter is named for a Saxon goddess who was known by the names of Oestre or Eastre, and in Germany by the name of Ostara. She is a goddess of the dawn and the spring, and her name derives from words for dawn, the shining light arising from the east. Our words for the "female hormone" estrogen derives from her name.

One year the Goddess Ostara arrived late with her gift of spring. Feeling quite guilty about it she took time to save the life of a poor bird whose wings had been frozen by the snow. She made him her pet or, as many versions have it, her lover.

Filled with compassion for him since he could no longer fly, Ostara turned him into a snow hare, named him Lepus, and gave him the gift of being able to run with incredible speed so he could protect himself from hunters.  In remembrance of his earlier form as a bird, she also gave him the ability to lay eggs (in all the colors of the rainbow, no less).

The randy little rabbit started fooling around with some bunnies and Ostara, in anger, threw him into the skies where he would remain as the constellation Lepus (The Hare). When she calmed down a bit she decided to lighten the punishment and allowed him to return to earth occasionally,  but only once each year to give away his eggs to the children attending the Ostara festivals that were held each spring.

And this is the story of the origin of the Easter bunny.

You can use this link to read about the goddess Ishtar and the first resurrection, the history of Easter eggs, and other pagan traditions that have been incorporated into the Easter holiday: Easter Traditions
 


In closing, remember to . . . .

Lighten up,
notice the wondrous world around you,
celebrate the possibilities in your life,
then sprout and grow!
 

Sharon
The Goddess Path
  To Goddess Gift