GUIDE TO THE GODDESS MAIA

As we move towards Spring’s peak, it’s time to delight in the playfully creative energies of the Goddess Maia, says Rebecca Farrar …

Photo: Mari Lezhava

From the flowers blooming (aka plant sex organs!) to the weather warming, May is a month for delight and desire …

Named after the Earth Goddess Maia, or Maja, who represents passion, wishes, and playfulness, the month of May brings a slow burn after Ostara’s April spark. With the same root as the word “majesty,” Goddess Maia represents the peak of spring’s fertility and blooming.

Throughout history, May has been a month of celebrations, and in Roman, Greek, and Celtic traditions, Goddess Maia has represented sexuality, creativity, and growth. In ancient Greece and Rome, the first and fifteenth days of the month were particularly sacred for honoring her. And in Celtic traditions, Beltane or May Day rituals focused on feeding the senses. During the holiday, unmarried men and women jumped over bonfires wishing for partners and fertility, and the Maypole was originally a tree tied with flowers and ribbons, which represented the wrapping of female energies around the phallus. 

Goddess Maia also has an asteroid named after her. Astrologically, Maja is currently hanging out in tight conjunction with Neptune in Pisces. Making for a dreamy and romantic month ahead in May 2018 … 

>>>

Tap into your own playful and sensuous Spring nature by finding Maia in your own chart. Wherever she’s placed, you’re invited to offer your wishes for more blossoming this month.

Below are questions to consider for reigniting creative sparks and growth with Maia’s help …

**To find Maia/Maja in your chart, go to astro.com, enter your birth information, choose “Extended Chart Selection,” scroll down to “Additional Asteroids,” and type in 66.

1st house// Where do I lack purpose or intention in my life? How can I become re-inspired?

2nd house// What makes my heart beat faster? Is it specific people, activities, being outside?

3rd house// Which books, media, or resources provoke or scintillate me? Conversely, which ones dull my senses or excitement?

4th house// How do my emotions put me into contact with my artistic process? How can I use them as fuel for my own fire?

5th house// Where and how do I experience my creative spark? What makes me shine and light up?

6th house// What habits or routines help me stimulate my imagination? How can I add them into my day-to-day rituals?

7th house// Have I been putting aside my own creativity because I’ve been focusing too much on others? Instead, can this relationship put me in touch with my own muse?

8th house// What kindling is missing from my inspiration fire? Do I need more nurturing, community, or time alone?

9th house// How can I re-create my own life vision and come more into alignment? Are there places I need to expand into or explore physically or emotionally?

10th house// Where have my passions been left behind in place of responsibility? How can I commit more to my own passion projects?

11th house// When and where do I come into contact with my creativity in the world? Is it through others or alone?

12th house// How can I move out of wishful thinking and fantasy around something I care about? What concrete actions can I take?

Photo: Caique Silva

>>>

And no matter where the asteroid is in your chart, here are ways to connect to the seductive Spring goddess this May …

// Style // Show some skin, or your favorite body part- whatever makes you feel sexy

// Food //Sensual and decadent foods such as figs, truffles, or dark chocolate

// Workout // Think playful and sexy … pole dancing or Zumba

// Home // Add a romantic touch with flowers, soft colors, candles, or fairy lights

// Healing // Sacred sex practices alone or with a partner

HOW THE PATRIARCHY MADE YOU FEAR FRIDAY 13TH—AKA “GODDESS DAY”

In the Goddess calendar, Friday 13th is the luckiest day of the year. Lucy North shares 10 simple rituals to reclaim the power of this sacred date with the Divine Feminine …

Photo: Pansy 

One of the biggest “cosmic jokes” the patriarchal system has pulled on the Divine Feminine is the demonization of the number thirteen. Skipped in airplanes and hotels the world over, it’s become the scariest number within mass consciousness.

Possible justification for this comes from speculative claims that both The Last Supper and the Crucifixion allegedly happened on Friday 13th. But the patriarchy has always had it in for Friday 13th—and this is likely a cover up for something that runs much deeper.

Not only did the number 13 happen to be the luckiest number in the Goddess calendar, Friday 13th was the luckiest day of the year!

In Pagan times, the year was not divided into 12 months but 13. The new month began every 28 days, in accordance with a woman’s menstrual cycle and the New Moon. This was the Goddess calendar. Then the church got involved and … “rejigged” things. Looking to move power away from the Divine Feminine, it added two or three days onto each month and got rid of the 13th month.

February is the one month of the year that still only has 28 days, and this is out of respect to our original Girl Friday: Freyja, the Pagan Goddess of erotic love. Yes, Fri-day is also named after her (hello, date night!) So, this Friday 13th, let’s reunite with our Goddess roots—and honor this sacred day with some of the following rituals …

>>>

1. Invoke the vibrant confidence and freedom of Freyja and smile at 13 women who you wouldn’t normally smile at or acknowledge.

2. How about doing something really wild—and going to bed really early! Freyja was instinctively connected to the rhythms of our planet, as all Goddesses are at heart. Being completely in sync with the earth, let’s go to sleep at sunset and get up at sunrise. For new Yorkers, this currently means tucking up at 6.20pm—and getting up at 7.30am. (Tip: Do this for one week and watch your life change. Your soul will love it.)

3. Patriarchal religions have drummed it into women that the only archetypes available to us are “virgin”, “whore”, “wife” and “mother.” No more! Write a small list on four pieces of paper under each of these archetypes. Now write out some of the emotional words associated with being or not “achieving” this archetype. Burn the paper.

4. Freyja’s nickname was Frigg—still a term for female self-pleasuring in the UK. There is actually a name for the fear of Friday 13th—”friggatriskaidekaphobia.” It has Freyja’s nickname in it, so the fear of this day is directly linked to a fear of women pleasuring themselves! So, let’s write this word out on a piece of paper—and burn that too.

Author Lucy North in Goddess mode …

5. It’s only patriarchal religions that have associated virginity with purity. In Freyja’s day, virgins were seen as dangerously vibrant—ready to burst forward with forthcoming sexual energy. If there has ever been a day dedicated to sacred self-love, a Kundalini wake up call, or divine sexual union, this is it.

6. After today, our next Friday 13th will be in April 2018. In tune with the seasons, dedicate a moment today to thinking of something that you want to incubate and work on over the next six months. It might be a new project, a new way of thinking, or a life goal. Put in place a plan for how this can come to fruition, in time for April’s Friday 13th—when Freyja’s energy will be rising with the vibrant reawakening of Spring!

7. The number 13 was also the number of witches in a coven. Text 12 of your friends—and wish them a Happy Goddess Day!

8. Take a moment to take 13 deep breaths. With each in breath, breathe in the positive energy you wish to receive on each of the next 13 lunar cycles. Allow the out breath to represent the releasing of all that is no longer serving you. Like the tides of the ocean that come in and out of the shore, allow your breath to rise and fall like waves. Be at one with the rhythms of the moon, the ocean and your own divinity.

9. Many of the flowers dedicated to Freyja within Pagan folklore are not in season right now. But google-search images of snowdrops, Cowslips, Wild Daisies, and other flowers, such as the Harlequin-bonnet Columbine and the Scarlet Pimpernel, and you’re good to go! Send a quick sketch or drawing of one of these flowers as a gift to a male friend or colleague, your partner, your son – or a friend’s little boy. The celebration of Friday 13th is not just for women—it’s for ALL genders! And drawing and painting is a fantastic meditation practice. Even is it’s a doodle on your iPad!

10. Freyja’s sacred tree was the Linden Tree (known as the Lime in the UK). If you have one near you, this weekend is definitely the time to go pay it a visit and give it a hug!

Lucy North is a writer, meditation teacher, and artist. She will be running a Women Who Run With The Wolves healing circle on tomorrow evening (Saturday October 14th) at Maha Rose in Greenpoint Brooklyn. Click HERE to reserve your spot.

BOOK OF SHADOWS: A WINTER SOLSTICE RITUAL

December 21 is the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year. Ruby Warrington has a simple ritual to mark what some see as our Astrological New Year…Video: Christel Chaudet feat. The Unseen

I first came across this simple winter solstice ritual several years ago, when I was working at the Sunday Times Style magazine. Our editor had arranged for our office Christmas dinner to take place on December 21, the winter solstice, or shortest day – and longest night – of the year.

Excited, I told my boss I thought we should mark the occasion. “Great idea! You can lead a ritual,” she told me – as my stomach dropped through the floor, and I broke out in a cold sweat. My passion for astrology had already got me the office nickname “Mystic Ruby” – but this was taking things to another level…

Determined to do things properly, I reached out to a designer I’d recently met – who also happened to be a practicing Druid. He gave me the following simple winter solstice ritual (which can also be used to mark the summer solstice, as well as the spring and autumn equinoxes), and for the event itself I also invested in a vintage black fur cape, as I figured it would also help if I dressed the part (it does).

:: WINTER SOLSTICE RITUAL ::

  • Begin with a short meditation to connect to the energy of the Earth element. With eyes closed, visualize roots growing from the soles of your feet and your tailbone, down to the molten crystal rock at the core of the Earth, winding around this three times, and pulling snug. Breathing deeply into your core, allow your body to relax and experience the sensation of being completely supported by the Earth.
  • Meditate on the year that has just passed, allowing memories to surface effortlessly. Now take a pen and paper, and write down all the things that come up that you would like to bid farewell or move on from this year.
  • Take a lighter or match and burn the paper, to symbolize these energies being transmuted into creative passion for your adventures to come.
  • Now meditate on the year ahead, allowing yourself to visualize everything you would like to come to pass. Take your pen and paper and write down all your hopes and dreams for the coming year.
  • Fold this paper and bury it, to symbolize the seeds of these intentions being planted in your future path. (This can be done up to a week after the ritual).

The Book of Shadows notebook by The Unseen is bound in calf leather, and hand-dyed with environmentally reactive ink to respond to your touch as if by magick…Theunseenemporium.co.uk

The Unseen Book of Shadows, from £35

ROUND THE MAYPOLE: WHY BELTANE IS THE SEASON TO BE SEXY

Does the Beltane maypole really represent the phallus? Elyssa Jakim uncovers the Pagan roots of pole dancing, and has some sexy tips for spring… Image: Ania Powalowska

The wheel of the year is turning toward Beltane. Traditionally celebrated on the first of May, this wiccan/pagan holiday conjures up the famous image of the maypole. I wasn’t told until recently that the circling maypole is an inherently phallic symbol—decorating and dancing around, well, a large penis. So much the better! Beltane is about fertility, sexuality, and abundance. This time of year, we are beginning to really dust off our bodies from the stiffness of winter, to come home to our sensuality. We’re moving from April showers to May flowers. It is all about blossoming. As such, it is the perfect time to celebrate sexuality fertility.

I’ve been getting this hint in strange ways in my inbox all week. Emails about “my orgasm type?”, an offer for a month of erotic tips, a request from a friend to be interviewed about love, a video about how to be a conscious and loving parent. It’s seems like we’re all tuning into this energy (subtly and not so subtly) so why not embrace it?

And so, because it’s fun, I’ve gathered a few tips to help you love up your sexual self and celebrate Beltane! I’ll also be offering a by-donation Beltane ritual at Species by the Thousands in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, on May 5, if you want to keep the juiciness flowing through the coming Full Moon period.

:: SPRING SEXY TIME TIPS ::

Light some genital candles. Seriously. Penis and pussy candles, sold at Enchantments among other places, are extremely powerful. They come in red, white, and black—my preference being the white ones, for healing and purification. You can light each candle with the intention of stepping into your sexual power, fully embodying the divine feminine and masculine, celebrating the goddess and the god, and clearing old sexual hurts.

I recently lit a penis candle as a way to “say goodbye to the old dicks” in my life, and heal past sexual relationships, wishing all old lovers light. I then lit the pussy candle with the intention of fully honoring and loving her, of stepping into my sexual power and sensuality. Of course, which candle you light and how you light it will depend on your sexual preferences and history and your intuition. There is no right or wrong way to do this.

Love up your whole body. Get some shea butter, coconut oil, or any nice body moisturizer that you enjoy, and use it to anoint every inch of your body. Go slowly, celebrating each part of you, telling yourself how beautiful you are, noticing small details and marks, and breathing through the experience. This process may not be easy, as we all have so many stored, often hidden, feelings about our bodies – which in turn store feelings that may be released through this practice. My advice is to go slowly and gently, play soft music and offer yourself as much compassion as you can. And don’t worry, it’s largely lovely and enjoyable!

Do something romantic for yourself. Buy yourself flowers. Take a bath with essential oils, rose petals, crystals, and candles. Take yourself out on a date and get dressed up for yourself. Then take yourself home and make love to yourself. And if you have a partner, do all of this for them too!

Play a secret, sexy game. Whenever you see someone you’re sexually attracted to, check in with your genitals and see how they feel. Intentionally connecting our visual cues of attraction from our eyes to our sex center is so healing and opening for us. This one is great for the subway. Oh, and throw in some kegels too, why don’t you?

Go out dancing. The Earth gods and goddesses (not to mention the fairies) just love dancing. So go dance for them! Dance for your body, and dance!

Happy Beltane all. I hope that by loving up your body and sexual essence your inner fire can melt away those last vestiges of winter, making you be ready for a spring that’s full of play.

Have you been feeling the Beltane awakening? Share your spring rituals with us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook!

Elyssa’s Beltane workshop takes place at Species By The Thousands on May 5. For more information visit Elyssajakimwellness.com