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The Goddess Path  Issue #27

Finding Goddesses Everywhere

March, 2005


This Issue: Table of Contents

Goddesses Surround Us
Goddess Playshops:You're Invited
Found Goddesses & Micro-Goddesses
The Curse of Ondine
Caffeina: Goddess of Energy and Clarity
Women of A Like Mind, Part II
 


Goddesses Surround Us

Seems to me that if you keep your eyes open and your feet on the Goddess Path, you're going to encounter a lot of goddesses along the way. Most of them we recognize as contemporary incarnations of ancient goddesses and we honor them by adding them to our list of friends.

But some of them seem to be a brand-new thing, a type of goddess that wasn't know in ancient times . . . what we call a "found" goddess. (More on that below.)

One of the great joys in the early days of creating the Goddess Gift website was meeting others on the net. These were bright, creative, people who were still up in the middle of the night with a cup of coffee close at hand. They were willing to lend a helping hand to this neophyte webbie, mostly by answering my stupid questions. Yes, I know that no question is really stupid--but some of mine came mighty close!

One of those goddesses who came into my life was the delightful 'Aussie goddess', Anita.  If you'd like to get to know her too, just read on . . .


Coming to USA - Goddess Playshop Tour

Australian author, Anita Ryan, is touring the south-west corner of the US in April 2005 and bringing a ton of goddess goodies with her - including the magical Goddess Playshop.

A Goddess Playshop is a group of like-minded friends/clients who get together to reconnect with their inner goddess in a loving space. Cost per participant is US$20 (hostess is free), and this includes:  

  • a bottle of Goddessence oil for each participant to take home

  • a chakra-balancing session with various techniques

  • pampering with Goddess Glow 100% pure massage oil 

  • play with affirmations and goddess games 

  • mini-Readings to find your goddess guide, and 

  • a whole lot of soul-sharing and fun      

Check the tour schedule online at www.goddess.com.au
 


'Found' and 'Micro-' Goddesses

Found goddesses are modern deities . . . goddesses that, according to Barbara Ardinger, we create when we notice a need and meet it with a sense of humor. They are everyday goddesses meant to address modern situations that our goddess-loving ancestors never dreamt of.

Just as there are river goddesses and moon goddesses, we now have a pantheon of office goddesses. They include Phonia, Agendia, Stressa, Filus, Hernia, and my personal favorite Computa (who protects you from annoying popups, disk crashes, and the dreaded buildup of spam in your inbox).

The notion of the 'found goddesses' came to mind recently since I've been "puny" and undergoing a series of seemingly never-ending 'workups'. They haven't gotten to the bottom of "it" yet, but they keep finding, other, unexpected things.

I began to wonder if all this bother might be the influence of a 'found goddess' that was trying to get my attention. I've named her "Obscura: Goddess of the Ill-defined Malady".

Her latest contribution to my personal list of maladies is sleep apnea (a not-uncommon disorder that means you stop breathing in your sleep and is usually successfully treated by attaching yourself to a torture machine when you go to bed).

Until they get my device ready, I'm limiting intake of coffee and tea to decrease the workload of the heart. Not a happy picture, I assure you!

All these changes in my life put me in mind of two specific micro-goddesses for us to consider this month. (Micro-goddesses is a term I use to mean "even more minor than the minor goddesses; goddesses that few have ever heard of", ones people think you made up even though you really didn't.)

So may I introduce you to the goddess Caffeina . . .


Caffeina, Goddess of Energy and Clear Thinking

The patroness of coffee, tea, and other caffeinated drinks or foods, Caffeina is the Roman goddess of energy, stamina, and determination. Usually portrayed as a beautiful woman rising from a coffee cup, Caffeina gives clear thought, energy and creativity.

Here is a legend about the origins of Caffeina:

During the third century there lived a Roman nobleman named Julianus. A good and pious man, Julianus was a follower of the Great Goddess and spent a great deal of time in meditation and prayer.

Goddess worship had fallen out of favor with the government and worshippers were often persecuted. Consequently, Julianus prayed only at night. Often he would get so weary that he fell asleep without finishing his prayers. He prayed that the Great Goddess would send him a way to stay awake at night to pray.

One day while he was out for a walk Julianus met a shepherd who was surrounded by a frolicking herd of leaping and dancing sheep. Julianus had never seen sheep behave like this.

Julianus asked the shepherd why the sheep were so lively. The shepherd pointed to a bush and explained that the sheep had started cavorting just after eating some of the beans growing on the bush.

Julianus plucked one of the beans and popped it in his mouth. He suddenly felt so energized that he wanted to dance too! The Goddess had answered his prayers!

So Julianus boiled the beans and made a beverage from them. The drink, of course, was coffee. It was quite tasty, and he decided that he would drink it every night. Now he found it easy to stay awake to pray and meditate. He thought "This must be a miracle sent by the goddess."

And so began the Romans' devotion to the goddess Caffeina.

Soon Julianus became the emperor of Rome (Julianus II). Even though he had been educated as a Christian, he worked to restore the paganism.  For this reason he is often called Julianus the Apostate. Following his death in Persia in 363 A.D., no other champion of religious freedom emerged to assume leadership and the empire returned to Christianity as the only government sanctioned religion.

Is Caffeina for real? Or is she a 'found goddess'?

Frankly, I don't know. Coffee was 'invented' in the Middle East, though it easily would have made its way to Rome. And I haven't been able to find a truly authoritative source that really mentions a goddess Caffeina specifically, so I have my doubts about her presence in antiquity.

But I depend on her helpful influence in my life nonetheless!


Invoking Caffeina

A Modern Ritual to Honor the Goddess Caffeina*

    Stand, facing east, holding a small cauldron (cup), filled with the mystical brew,
    in your power hand, and assume a posture of wakeful alertness.    
Bring your coffee cup to your forehead and intone: "LATTE"
    Lower your coffee cup to the vicinity of your navel: "MOCHA"
    Bring your coffee cup to your left shoulder: "CAPPUCCINO"
    Bring it across to your right shoulder: "ESPRESSO"
Put the cup to your lips. Take a big swig, and chant:
    "OH, GODDESS,  I NEEDED that!"

*Adaptation of the Caffeina Cross, found at numerous sites on the world wide web. Author unknown.

And now the story of . . .

goddess Brigid

The Curse of Ondine

Ondine was a nymph, a water goddess in French folk tale written by Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué. She was breathtakingly beautiful and possessed of a streak of independence, truly what we call a 'free spirit'.

Like all nymphs and mermaids, she was leery of men. If a nymph ever falls in love with a man and bears his child, she will begin to age like a mortal woman, losing her eternal youthfulness and everlasting life.

Nonetheless, when Ondine saw the handsome young Palemon she was smitten and began to watch for him on his daily walks. When Palemon noticed her, he was taken by her incredible beauty and came back frequently to try to get a glimpse of her again.  

Eventually they talked and fell in love. He broke his engagement with the young noblewoman Berta and, in time, convinced Ondine to marry him. When they exchanged their wedding oaths, Palemon vowed that "My every waking breath shall be my pledge of love and faithfulness to you."

But it was not to be.

The following year Ondine gave birth to their son. From that moment on, her beauty began to fade, her body suddenly susceptible to the effects of age. As her youthful attractiveness gave way to a more mature beauty, Palemon's eye began to wander to the younger women he met at court.

One fateful day Ondine was out walking on their estate when she heard the sound of Palemon's familiar snoring. Planning to take him back home so he could finish his nap, the amused Ondine entered the stables to wake him.

The scene she encountered filled her with great sorrow. Discarded garments littered the floor and her beloved Palemon lay sleeping in the haystack, his arms wrapped around his former fianceé Berta. Having sacrificed her immortality for this man, she was filled with anger and regret.

Kicking her sleeping husband, she woke him and uttered her curse. "You pledged faithfulness to me with your every waking breath and I accepted that pledge. So be it. For as long as you are awake, you shall breathe. But should you ever fall into sleep, that breath will desert you."

Ondine still retained some of her magic . . . enough to make the curse come true. And so it was. Palemon would never sleep again.

(Note: There actually is a medical disorder, a genetic form of sleep apnea, that is named 'The Curse of Ondine'. It is a devastating illness that causes rapid aging and, fortunately, is rare.)

Women of A Like Mind, Shall We Play it Again??

Many of you will recall that last spring we put out a special edition of the newsletter called "Women of a Like Mind" that featured small ads from subscribers and friends and involved a goddess poetry contest with fabulous prizes that you entered by visiting the sponsors' links.

Thought that this year it might be fun to have a "Create a Goddess" contest, with the challenge being to invent a 'found goddess' we all could enjoy.

Great fun was had by all (especially the prize winners).

Shall we do it again this year? Would love to hear from you.

Use this link if you're one of those who might want to advertise or contribute a prize. The rest of you can just drop me a note to let me know what you think: sturnbull@goddessgift.com
.


And as always, here's the link if you want to read our monthly progress report: Blog

In closing, a reminder to...

Pay attention,
      keep an eye out for the goddesses
         you meet each day,
             sleep well,
                  and, now matter how busy your life may be,
                       remember to breathe!

Sharon
The Goddess Path

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