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Design by kind permission of Michael Thompson

OUR CIRCLE OF GODDESSES

Circle of Goddesses PP.jpg

Copyright ©  2023 by Caryl

with emotional healing contributions by Carina

Meet the Goddess Andraste

In the centre of our Wheel is the Goddess for whom it is named

     

She who encompasses all the Goddesses on the Wheel, for all Goddesses are but one.  

 In our heart centre we hold Andraste, the Invincible One, the Warrior Goddess,

the Goddess of Victory and the patron Goddess of the Iceni tribe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                      Artwork by Suzi Edwards-Goose

 

 

Andraste is a true Triple Goddess, encompassing Maiden, Mother and Crone; as Maiden, She was worshipped as Goddess of the hunt, and as a Mother Goddess she is the creator and bringer of life, Goddess of fertility and Goddess of love.  In Her Crone aspect, She is seen as the cutter of the threads of life and death, the One to whom all return, which is not so strange since death is so much a part of warfare.

She brings constancy, for She is true in Her love of Her land and its people. She also brings endurance urging us never to give up, to do what needs to be done.

She is the Warrior bringing protection. She will never abandon those who call to Her. In Her Warrior Goddess aspect, we see Her less as a warring Goddess but a protecting Goddess of Her land and Her people.

 

East Anglia is Her sacred land. She was worshipped throughout the southeast of England, where many Sacred Groves were dedicated to Her. She is the Goddess of the Woodland Groves.

             

She is a Goddess of divination and the mysteries. Boudicca evoked Her to divine the outcome of the battle ahead, after which She would let lose a hare. Whichever way the hare ran would determine where they would attack. She would also ask for Andraste’s guidance as well as Her protection and victory. 

The Romans knew Her as Andred, a lunar Mother Goddess of fertility and love. She is also known as Andrasta, and probably associated with Andarte of Gaul.

Known as the Invincible One, She brings victory, not over our enemies, but over our inner fears and insecurities. She makes us secure in Her love, and we become confident. She empowers us to be the person we should be. She teaches us endurance, and we learn that what cannot be changed must be endured. We must strive for what we want and for what makes us happy.  Then we can truly value all that we have achieved.

She brings protection of Her lands and People. All in Her nature is glorious on land, in the sea or flying above us.  She sends the rain to make the crops grow, the Sun to ripen and the wind to cool and blow the fruits from the trees. All this is upon Her body, Mother Earth. In all of this She is constant, never changing, never wavering in the gifts that She brings us.

Her colours are Red and Black.

 

Creatures of Andraste

Black Shuck 

 A fearsome large black dog with huge red eyes is said to roam the countryside of East Anglia, and many sightings have been recorded.  Some say that if you look upon Black Shuck you would die before the year was out, others see Black Shuck as a protector, especially for lone women or a guide to lost travellers.

Its origins are not clear; some believe that the dog accompanied the Norse God Thor to Britannia in the Viking long boats, others believe that the dog was with two fishermen in the sea that got into trouble. One of the men washed up at Overstrand, the other at Beeston. The black dog survived, and his ghost can be seen roaming the coastline looking for his two masters.

Ravens

 The Raven is a highly intelligent bird. It is associated with prophecy and second sight. It is also associated with the Goddess, often the Dark Mother because Ravens are often symbols of death, where they would pick at the bodies of the dead warriors on the battlefields.

In some myths King Arthur was turned into a Raven when he died. Because of this it is considered unlucky to kill a Raven in Cornwall.

The Celtic God Bran the Blessed, who had immense strength and was a fierce warrior, was associated with Ravens.  It was claimed that his head continued to speak after he was beheaded, and that his head was buried at the White Mount in London, which is the site of the White Tower, in the Tower of London.  The word ‘Bran’ means Raven; this may be how the story of the Ravens at the Tower originated. The collective noun for Ravens is an ‘unkindness’.

Robin

 The Robin is Britain’s favourite bird, holding a special place at Yule, yet they are ferocious fighters when protecting their territory.  The Robin holds a special place in mythology and should never be harmed.

In legend, both the Robin and the Wren would work together by covering the bodies of dead people with leaves, and this was mentioned in the tale of the Babes in the Wood.

The Crane  

 The Crane’s beauty and their spectacular mating dance have made them symbolic birds in many cultures.  The Greeks and Romans portrayed their dance as a celebration of life and of love and joy.  Throughout Asia the Crane symbolises happiness and eternal youth.

The Crane was believed to be extinct in the UK until it was first found in Norfolk in the 1970s.  We celebrate the bird as a creature of Andraste.

The Hare

 Represents love, fertility, growth and independence, it is a creature of the Goddess, probably because it is nocturnal and probably does Moon gaze, and of course the Goddess is of the Moon.

In the long fields of East Anglia, the Hare can be seen racing across the fields, leaping in pure joy of life. Sometimes they appear to be boxing. It is believed it is probably the does who are boxing the bucks, looking to find who is the strongest of them to sire her offspring. Or perhaps also to deter unwanted attention!

Woodpecker

 There are two birds native to Britain - the Lesser and the Greater Spotted Woodpecker.  

The Native American myth is that the Great Spirit had come to earth, he sat by the fire of a woman disguised as an old man, asking for food. The woman made him a little cake and put it to bake. When it was baked, it looked a lot larger than she thought it would be. The woman thought "I will keep this and bake a smaller one".  The second cake was larger still, as was the third, which was the largest of all, for the Great Spirit was making it larger.   The woman would not give the old man any of the cakes, telling him that he should go into the forest to hunt for food in the bark of trees.

The Great Spirit stamped his foot, and the woman grew smaller and smaller, wings grew from her body as feathers grew upon her. With a loud cry she flew up and into the forest.  To this day Woodpeckers live in the forest and hunt for food in the bark of trees.

The Magpie

 Magpies have a reputation for stealing, probably because they are attracted to shiny things. They have a beautiful shining blue/green plumage and long tails, and they can be heard chucking in the treetops or on roofs. 

Magpies are intelligent, sociable birds and they often mimic other birds and sounds. They mate for life, and legend says that when their mate dies, they call together other Magpies to remember the dead bird, before a new partner is chosen.

They are associated with bad luck, especially if you see a lone Magpie. To ward off the bad luck you must wish it a "Good Morning"

Herbs of Andraste   

Blackberry Leaf

 An herb of the Goddess Brigantia, it was a sacred plant of the Celts who used it with Rowan and Yew for their sacred fires. To dream of passing through a blackberry thicket with difficulty, portends trouble with enemies. Whilst passing through easily means triumph over one’s enemies.

 

Frankincense

 Frankincense is a gum resin. Its name comes from the 10th Century French and means ‘luxuriant incense’.  It has been used in religious and magickal work for centuries all around the world.  It cleanses and purifies and raises vibrations.  Its milky tear drops represent the bounty of the Mother Goddess.

 

Jasmine  

 Jasmine is called the 'King of Flowers' as opposed to the rose which is the 'Queen'.  Its scent has always been highly valued, and the incense smoke of Jasmine can be directed around the aura to boost after depletion through illness or emotional stress. It also brings psychic protection.

 

Lady’s Mantle 

 Associated with Earth Goddesses, it is also known as a 'Woman’s Best Friend', 'Breakstone' and 'Lion’s Foot'.

Its botanical name, Alchemilla, meaning alchemy, as it was believed that it was used by alchemists for healing.  It is also known as Dewcup, because the dew that collects in its folded leaves are said to have great magickal powers. Medicinally it is used for ‘women’s complaints' and the fresh juice can be used to treat acne.

Lady’s Mantle is a plant of the Goddess and the feminine power of nature.

Rose  

 It has always been the emblem of love and was considered an aphrodisiac. It was said that Cleopatra seduced Anthony whilst knee deep in roses. 

It has long been valued for its medicinal properties. It is recommended for strengthening the heart and refreshing the spirits.

Strawberry Leaf  

 Strawberry was listed in the 10th Century Plant List for its medicinal and magickal qualities.   It brings you luck if a leaf is carried and carrying a small packet of seeds eases labour pains.

Strawberries are sacred to the Mother Goddess and make a suitable food at Her rites.

 

Associated with Andraste

Divination  

 Boudicca called upon Andraste to divine the outcome of battle. She is a powerful Goddess upon whom evoking Her before scrying and reading, will assist in bringing help and psychic abilities.

Poppies

 The fields and the hedgerows, particularly in East Anglia. abound with Poppies during the spring and summer. They are flowers of the field, representing the blood on the battle fields, made more poignant now with the poppy fields of WW2, connecting to Andraste for Her endurance and victory.

ANDRASTE has been constant in Her protection of us, constant in Her beautiful nature that is on Her earth body, constant in Her enduring love that is unconditional.  

Yet Her voice has been heard by only a few through the many, many years.

Now She is reclaiming Her place in our lands, now we are hearing Her call.  Now we are responding to Her, whose name is thought to also mean ‘She who has not fallen’.  For She is not fallen, nor forgotten any more, for She is in our minds and hearts, and we are free to fly in Her loving embrace.

 

ANDRASTE has been constant in Her protection of us, constant in Her beautiful nature that is on Her earth body, constant in Her enduring love that is unconditional.  

Yet Her voice has been heard by only a few through the many, many years.

Now She is reclaiming Her place in our lands, now we are hearing Her call.  Now we are responding to Her, whose name is thought to also mean ‘She who has not fallen’.  For She is not fallen, nor forgotten any more, for She is in our minds and hearts, and we are free to fly in Her loving embrace.

Andraste.jpg

Andraste

 Artwork by Willow Wand

Copyright © EAGT 2022

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