Celtic Goddess of plenty
By Anu Pagan
First I would like to introduce myself. I am Anu Pagan from "Yggdrasil" Anu is the name for the Celtic Goddess of plenty or Great Earth Mother. Also sometimes known as Gaia.At the head of my little family is Taliesin, another Celtic name meaning Prince of Song, and my "sister" Aphrodite. Named after the Greek Goddess of love, beauty and fertility.
We named our land Yggdrasil, The Tree of Life, as coming to 3rg gave us a new lease of life when we were about ready to give up in virtual worlds.
As this is our first article, I thought I should give you a basic overview and explain Paganism in its simplest terms.
Pagans are polytheistic. That means they worship more than one God and/or Goddess.
A Pagan is a person who believes that everything has a soul or spirit. This is called Animism, and all Pagan religions share this belief. Rivers, animals, rocks, trees, land are all filled with there own unique spirits for people who are Pagans. Christians believe that only humans have souls or spirits, Pagans see the divine spirit in all life.
There are hundreds of different Pagan Religions. Some of the best known Pagan religions are Buddhism, Shintoism, Native American Religions, Hinduism, Taoism, Wicca, Druidism, Asatru, Shamanism, Neo- Paganism and Eclectic Paganism and more.
More people on Earth are Pagans than any other faith.
I Classify myself as Wiccan or a Solitary Witch, but tend to veer away from the term "witch" as it has many negative connotations attached to it.
Wiccans and most other pagans adhere to three main rules.
1 Respect all things that live or have lived
2 What you give out comes back to you times three
3 If it harms none do as you will
We celebrate 8 "sabbats" in a year. This is known as the wheel of the year.
Samhain. Yule. Imbolc. Ostara. Beltane. Litha. Lughnasadh. Mabon.
The Wheel of the Year is seen to begin at Samhain,(pronounced Sow-in), which is also known as Hallowe'en or All Hallows Eve. This is the Celtic New Year, when the veil between the worlds of life and death stands open. Samhain is a festival of the dead, when Pagans remember those who have gone before and acknowledge the mystery of death. As Pagans we celebrate death as a part of life.
Yule is the time of the winter solstice, when the sun child is reborn, an image of the return of all new life born through the love of the Gods. The Norse had a God Ullr, and From which we get the name Yule.
Imbolc ( pronounced Im - mulk), also called Oimelc and Candlemas, celebrates the awakening of the land and the growing power of the Sun. Often, the Goddess is venerated in her aspect as the Virgin of Light and her altar is decked with snowdrops, the heralds of spring.
Ostara (easter to the Christians), When Day and night are of equal length. The Sun grows in power and the land begins to bloom. By Spring Equinox, the powers of the gathering year are equal to the darkness of winter and death. For many Pagans, the youthful God with his hunting call leads the way in dance and celebration. Others dedicate this time to Eostre the Anglo- Saxon Goddess of fertility.
Beltane (my personal favourite) The powers of light and new life now dance and move through all creation. The Wheel continues to turn. Spring gives way to Summer's first full bloom and Pagans celebrate Beltane with maypole dances, symbolizing the mystery of the Sacred Marriage of Goddess and God.
Litha. At summer solstice is the festival of Midsummer, sometimes called Litha. The God in his light aspect is at the height of his power and is crowned Lord of Light. It is a time of plenty and celebration.
Lughnasadh (pronounced Loo-nassa), otherwise called Lammas, is the time of the corn harvest, when Pagans reap those things they have sown; when they celebrate the fruits of the mystery of Nature. At Lughnasadh, Pagans give thanks for the bounty of the Goddess as Queen of the Land.
Mabon. The second time in the year when Day and Night are of equal length. As the shadows lengthen, Pagans see the darker faces of the God and Goddess. For many Pagans, this rite honours old age and the approach of Winter.
And then we are back to Samhain again.
We are currently approaching Litha. Although as a family we will celebrate privately, if anyone would like to share this ritual with us no matter what faith if any you hold, please let one of us know. Of course anyone is free to use our ritual area for their own private celebration at any time.
There are many Myths and Misconceptions surrounding paganism and rituals but I will cover that next month. However, I would like to say that a ritual to us is the same as going to church for a service for a christian etc. Just because we normally celebrate outdoors rather than inside, for some reason the uninformed view this as "bad" or "evil" in some way.All I can say to those people is that you are free to observe at any time, with no obligation or pressure to join in and that way you can see for yourself.
I could go on typing this article forever as it is a subject very dear to my heart. However, I shall leave it there for now and if anyone has any questions about anything I have mentioned so far, or anything to do with paganism please feel free to ask myself, Taliesin Pagan or Aphrodite Pagan. We are always happy to enlighten and inform .
Merry Part and Blessed Be to you all