Sunday, July 19, 2015

Deity and the Divine: The Golden Eyed Goddess

July 2015

Here's my shrine for Ceres.  Not finished yet, but it's up and it makes me happy.  It hangs just outside of my kitchen...because there's no space on my walls in the kitchen.  I felt that either in or nearest to the kitchen was a better place for Ceres, than in the living room with the others.  Food, nourishment, family, and all that jazz.  At least until I can get a space set up outside, but all of that hinges on whether or not we're going to be able to purchase this house in the coming fall.  I'd like to have either a shed for Her or a place in the garage.  

Sitting there, I have an old hand scythe that belonged to my grandma, a gift from my husband's grandma of two children harvesting melons (the kids also represent Ceres' children), a bottle of local honey; a bottle of flax meal, brewer's yeast, salt, and corn kernels; a piece of raw amber, and a white candle.  Given that Ceres is more so associated with wheat and grains, I feel that I need some wheat sheaths up there, and maybe thisHarvest Spirit.  Of course, there are two images of Ceres that I absolutely adore and wouldn't mind having hanging in that blank spot on the wall:  Thalia Took's Ceres and thisDeviant Artist's Demeter.

Ceres is the Roman Goddess of Agriculture, Grains, the Harvest, and Fertility of the Land.  She is the Greek Demeter's equal.  She's kind to humanity and showed humans how to farm the land and harvest their crops.  Yet, She also brings drought, death, infestation, and famine.

Like how Artemis has Nymph handmaidens who aid Her, especially in the care of Her hounds, Ceres has helpers in the fields, by the names of: "Vervactor, Reparator, Imporcitor, Insitor, Obarator, Occator, Serritor, Subruncinator, Messor, Conuector, Conditor, and Promitor" (Wiki).

A bit of UPG, as of right now, I only associate Ceres with the harvest seasons, instead of all seasons, like Demeter.  As I've written before, unlike Hestia and Vesta, I don't see Demeter and Ceres as being the same Goddess, because I don't feel any connection to Demeter.  However, I feel one to Kore/Persephone and Dionysus, but not to Prosepina, Libera, and Liber.  Weird, right?  But until those Deities actually come wanting a follower, I won't delve into their stories as much.  Although Dionysus apparently likes to hang out on Full Moons.  I'm just flowing with with it.  AND I do feel that many of the symbols are the same, just not their individual selves... (I'm still exploring this).  Harvest deities tend to have the same symbols associated with them, no different than most other deity groups.

She's a Goddess of the people--of Farmers, of Homesteaders.  I don't feel that Ceres is just connected to crops, but to all aspects of farming, from animal husbandry to the fields, and the processes from beginning to end, from seed to the kitchen (from here, the preparation of food then belongs to Hestia).  Ceres reigns over every domestic harvest, plant and animal, throughout the year (whereas Artemis reigns over the wild harvests).  For me, until I have a garden/backyard farm of my own, my main focus of honoring Her will be in the late summer and fall, which is also my main focus for Artemis, as these were the times my family and I would hunt.

As I mentioned in Amber Waves of Grain, I find it important to honor and celebrate the workers--they are the backbone of our country--of life, really.  Like on the Fourth of July, I didn't just honor the soldiers, but also farmers.  Everyone who helped with the birth of America, who helped make America what it is today, and continue to make it a better place.  This past fourth, I also gave offerings to Ceres, a Patron of Farmers, and will continue to do so for years to come.

Some of these associations are UPG:

  • Festivals/Sacred Days:  Full Moons, The Cerealia (April 19th), Fourth of July,  The First Harvest (August 1), Fall Equinox/Second Harvest (September 20-22), The Last Harvest (Thanksgiving).  There's a couple other days, but I need to do more research, because of some of it confusing to me, with the different perspectives out there.  
  • Patron of: Farmers, Homesteaders, Ranchers, and other terms for these works who supply us with food, drink, hides, fabrics, and so on.  
  • Symbols: Farm Equipment and Tools (shearers, scythes, tractors, shovels, saws, etc), Cornucopia, Wheat Sheaves, Torch, Harvest, Grains, Nourishment, Community, Golden Eyes, Fertility, Barns, Fields, Baskets, Drums, Violins (due to Red Dead Redemption, actually.  In the game, the ranch hands would rest around a fire and one would usually be playing a violin), Burlap.
  • Plants: All Crops (domestic veggies, fruits, herbs, edible flowers, edible seeds, grains, roots, etc.): Wheat, Acorns, Oak Tree, Poppies, Cloves, Apples, Pumpkins.
  • Animals: All Domestic Animals and Work Animals; Pigs, Cattle, Mother Bear, * Lions, Ants, Snakes, Bees, Outdoor Cats.
  • Scents: Soil, Corn, Patchouli, Myrrh, Frankincense.
  • Stones: Amber, Moonstone, Emerald, Moss Agate, Pearls, Carnelian.
  • Metals: Copper, Mercury, Silver. 
  • Energy/Actions: Reaping, Rewards, Endurance, Gratitude, Diligence, Patience, Motivation, Preparation.
  • Offerings: Sow/Pork, Flour/Grains, Bread, Honey, Soil, Seeds, Water, Milk--really anything listed above, I'd think.  I think objects found or harvested might be better than store bought, but that's just me.  Although I don't exactly have a goat or a cow to milk, or a sow to slaughter, so some store (preferably farmer's market) items are fine.  

* My two-year-old actually reminded me to work on this post by pretending to be a lion.  Lion reminded me of the savanna, savanna of wheat fields, wheat fields of the Golden Haired and Golden Eyed Goddess.  I wanted to go outside and gather long grasses for Her shrines, but then a storm rolled in, so I'm sitting here working on this post instead.  But at least I'll have something this week!

Working with Her, also has me thinking a lot of about my Ancestors who worked on the fields and had their own farms (even those of today).  It has me thinking a lot about the land and the history of peoples who once walked and worked it, going back through the centuries.  I often picture myself in 1800 period clothing, working with crops and animals.

I also find myself thinking a lot about Artemis, the Harvester of the Wilds (plant and animal) (the similarities I feel that She shares with Ceres), and Her relationship to the fields and the home.  Which has me realizing that I have my own Triple Goddess set up: Artemis, Ceres, Hestia.  Maiden, Mother, Crone.  Wilds, Fields, Home.  All, to me, deal with nourishing the family, protecting the home, and coexisting with the land and nature.  (although Hestia doesn't quite fit my take on a Crone, necessarily, nor do I associate the waning moon with Her).

I got lots on the brain, including plans for the First Harvest.  We'll be spending it celebrating 'Hester Fest' at my Uncle's, in memory of my grandmother, but I'll still be able to do something in the morning for Father Sun and Ceres.

My Pinterest Board: E-Shrine: Ceres.

(Also posted on Book of Mirrors)

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