Webs of Woven Words, Threads, Stitches and Enchantments

Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Blessings

Well, I managed to finish this little madonna for my mother, so she will have it tomorrow. I had thought to frame it myself, but have decided to take it to a framer near her and have it done professionally. Now, just a few more stitches on the little prim Time by Primitive Betty's, which I will finish before the new year, then onto other projects.

Stitching witches laughing and stitching. There is nothing like a good friend to wile away the evening with, needles in hands... or in Lucky's case, crochet hook. We talked and laughed all night, but managed to get some stitching done - with a few rip outs! Too much talking can certainly mess with the stitches!

May the New Year bring you joy & love, good health & prosperity
and more love than your heart can hold!

Blessings nine!

Vintage New Year's image courtesy of www.meltingpot.fortunecity.com

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Festival of the Nymphs

Orphic Hymn to the Nymphs

Nymphs, daughters of great-hearted Okeanos,
You dwell inside the earth's damp caves and your paths are secret,
O joyous and chthonic ones, nurses of Bacchos,
You nourish fruits and haunt meadows,
O sprightly and pure travelers of the winding roads
Who delight in caves and grottos.
Swift, light-footed, and clothed in dew
You frequent springs; visible and invisible,
In ravines and among flowers,
You shout and frisk with Pan among mountain sides.
Gliding down on rocks, you hum with clear voice,
O mountain-haunting sylvan maidens of the fields and streams.
O sweet-smelling virgins, clad in white, fresh as the breezes,
With goatherds, pastures and splendid fruits in your domain.
You are loved by creatures of the wild.
Tender though you are, you rejoice in cold
And you give sustenance and growth to many.
O playful and water-loving Hamdryad maidens.
Dwellers of Nysa, frenzied and healing goddesses who joy in spring,
Together with Bacchos and Deo you bring grace to mortals.
With joyful hearts come to this hallowed sacrifice and in seasons of growth
Pour streams of salubrious rain.

(tranlation Athanassakis)

The Nymphai (or Nymphs in English) were minor nature goddesses which populated the cosmos. Although they were ranked below the gods, they were still invited to attend the assemblies of the gods on Olympos.

The Nymphai presided over various natural phenomena: from springs, to clouds, trees, caverns, meadows, and beaches. They were responsible chiefly for the care of the plants and animals of their domain, and as such were closely associated with the prime gods of nature such as Hermes, Dionysos, Artemis, Poseidon and Demeter. (from http://www.theoi.com/Cat_Nymphai.html)

Another interesting article can be found here: http://www.wildivine.org/nymphs_worship.htm

Tonight I will make offerings to the Nymphs, guardians of all nature, at the lake and the hedge. For a libation, spring water sweetened with honey; offerings will be some pretty beads and shells that I have saved for them as well as a little cake flavored with herbs.

Guardians of the Land, of all Nature,

Nymphs, Daughters, Maidens,

Know that you are remembered & revered.

Know that you are beloved.

Accept these offerings truly given by

A Daughter of the Old Ways.

Hear me and know my name.

(E A Kaufman, copyright 2008)

Blessings nine!

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Birthday of Freya

The Welcoming Song

You lead the dance among the witches,
and bring the people joy and riches,
Radiant Lady, ever dear,
Freyja, hasten to us here!*

Blessings nine!

* http://www.hrafnar.org/goddesses/freyja.html

Saturday, December 26, 2009

What A Great Holiday!

This is my pumpkin tira misu - yummy - sprinkled with cinnamon and cocoa, decorated with little plastic Christmas trees - a bit retro. This was enjoyed by all.
I could not believe that this was all that was left of my lasagna for Christmas day!!! They practically ate the whole thing! It was all that laughing, I'm sure, worked up incredible appetites! Mike and I had the smallest Christmas dinner ever, but it was enough added to the memories of the previous night.
This is the newest addition to the witch collection, Jim Shore's Witch's Brew. I think I have all his witches in my collection, they are wonderful. The caption on the cauldron says, "A pinch of this, a dollop of that, chopped mandrake and some vulture fat." Adorable! My Mike is a great guy, he understands my passion for cauldrons and indulges me as often as he can.
This is a Primitive Betty's freebee which I finished AFTER Thanksgiving. I LOVE her designs, in fact I'm working on another one in addition to the piece below.
This is a gift for my mother - since I was not able to finish the Victoria Sampler Heirloom Nativity - the work continues!!! Another little freebee, monochrome, looks like an easy stitch. I started it this afternoon stitching it on some wonderful overdyed linen that looks like a sky with wispy clouds. Hopefully I will have it done to give her on New Year's Eve. There is also a Primitive Betty's mini that, also hopefully, will be done at the same time.

Relaxed, read, stitched and gabbed on the phone all day - gabbed on email as well. It's been a delightful few days. I hope yours was as wonderful!

Blessings nine!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Witchy Ornaments & Other Things

Well, I'm off and running this morning preparing for my open house this evening. We've been doing this for about twenty five years and as much work as it is, I can't image not celebrating with friends and family. The cake for my Yule Log, a sherry sponge, is in the oven. Of course, no one will even taste this except for Mike - he waits until midnight when everyone has departed and then has his first slice. Generally he eats two slices on Christmas Eve and proceeds to eat the rest throughout the week. Sometimes I am permitted a slice. Lasagna and pumpkin tira misu is what the rest of us will be eating, along with the usual dips, crackers, chips and cheeses - and, of course, whatever anyone else brings!

You would think it is an exhausting way to spend Christmas Eve, however, it makes Christmas a day of rest and relaxation! The lasagna just needs to be heated and we generally only have one or two people joining us for dinner. When friends stop by throughout the day, there are still plenty of goodies to offer, I need only bring them out.

I thought I'd share some of my witchy ornaments. I have many antique, handmade and other charming ornaments, but these are the ones that are especially witchy.

Naturally we have one of these!
A celtic blackwork border with an acorn for abundance! And yes, the blackwork is reversible!
And, of course, we have a few of these - with a lovely glass pumpkin and more acorns scattered about the tree.
My tree topper is made from a fabric moon that had a paper angel. I removed the angel and added part of a beautiful winter goddess card along with some crystal snow flakes.

Now this!!!! I went to a nice little craft show in Crystal Beach in October while visiting my mother and found this miniature ouija board. It was supposed to be a necklace, but I immediately thought - ornament for the solstice tree!
And this is one of the ornaments Mike and I made when we first married, not witchy, I was still breaking him in to the idea. He carved the balsa wood and I added the image, cut from a Better Homes & Gardens Country Magazine article on antique Christmas cards.

And now... back to the kitchen, which is actually only across the room. Ah, the scent of baking goodies mingling with evergreen and bayberry, delightful! Enough prosing on, I've got to get back to work!!!

Blessings nine!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Busy Solstice

Art by Tatiana Smirnova

Out of the bosom of the air,

Out of the cloudfolds of her garment shaken,

Over the woodlands, brown and bare,

Over the harvest-fields forsaken,

Silent, and soft, and slow

Descends the snow.

- By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow -

Solstice blessings to all! My Nine Nights continue, including some very satisfying journey work. Of course we are still burning our bayberry candles and making various offerings to my Ladies.

We are having a bit of winter here in South Florida, chilly for us and most enjoyable. I am baking like a fiend and making fudge for gifts. Christmas Eve preparations are under way and most everything is done - the lasagna and pumpkin tira misu along with the yule log cake for Mike, to be done the eve of Christmas Eve. I am looking forward to it all.

A little something from John Matthews' book, The Winter Solstice:

For the return of the Sun, blessings & praise!
For all the gifts we give and receive, blessings & praise!
For all the gift givers, blessings & praise!
For the Children of Wonder, blessings & praise!
For children everywhere, blessings & praise!
For sunsets & starlights, blessings & praise!
For fabulous feast days, blessings & praise!
For those who cook them, blessings & praise!
For the tree in the corner, blessings & praise!
For the candles in the window, blessings & praise!
For the icicles on the trees, blessings & praise!
For the light on the snowfields, blessings & praise!
For the gifts of friendship, blessings & praise!
For hand bell ringers, blessings & praise!
For robin & wren, blessings & praise!
For animals everywhere, blessings & praise!

For all my friends, loved ones and those who stop by to read my musings, I wish you joy and abundance during this and all seasons!
Blessings nine!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Chill In The Air

Well, Mother Winter is certainly making Herself felt in the east. Even in South Florida it is chilly - well, for those of us living here for many years, our blood has thinned and if the temperature drops below 72 we feel like we have to pull our sweaters and jackets, even turn off the A/C!!! I have had the windows opened since yesterday and it is a bit brisk in Toadstool Condo - a perfect excuse to light a fire, make a cup of tea and plan the day.

Last night I spent a lovely evening with witchy friends - there were seventeen of us - celebrating the solstice with ritual, potluck and gift exchange. Thanks to Betty for the wonderful book, Homo Necans, The Anthropology of Ancient Greek Sacrificial Ritual & Myth (Burkert) which was on my Amazon wish list! I also received Pandora's Daughters (Eve Cantarella) from Ruby. Looking forward to a long sit down to read. We had a beautiful fire as the center of the ritual, weather cooperating with its chilliness, and afterwards sat, many of us just gazed into the flames, others were chatting. The best of evenings!

On the agenda today is a cookie decorating party and then baking, baking, baking, candy making and a few other little projects! Gifts are to be given this week and I've got to get down to business. In addition, Christmas Eve with the Pagans and Jews - Pumpkin Tira Misu, lasagna, dips and snacks and of course, dusting and polishing Toadstool Condo. Generally, the toadstool is a clean and comfy haven, but with needlework projects, misc. crafts and books scattered about. I have the infamous "in progress" reading pile as well as the "don't put this away, I'm researching" reading pile and then there are the books and project I simply like to keep out so I can admire them! So... everything must be tidied! What a week this will be!

And... in honor of the season, a little something from Diana Paxson, a modern invocation for Mother Holla!

Holy Holla, in the heavens,
A snowy featherbed you're shaking -
Bless the earth with your white blanket.
Moist the mantle you are making.

Holla high above come riding,
Your wagon rolls through winter weather;
Turn away your face of terror,
Bless us as we bide together.

Holy Holla, here we gather,
Send us skill in all our spinning,
Huldrefolk* to help in housework,
Wealth and health with your aid winning.

Blessings nine!

* Huldrefolk - gnomes

Friday, December 18, 2009

Fourth Night

I was able to get a photo of the entire altar, all my Ladies! The fourth of the Nine Nights proceeds quietly - a very introspective time.

A close up of my Pagan Dickens Village's little working area, miniature stang and lantern included.

"From the beginning, the end comes.
From rest, movement comes.
From life, death comes.
From light, darkness comes.
From darkness comes light.
From death comes life.
From movement comes rest.
From the end comes the beginning."

- Patricia Monaghan -

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Third Night

As I journey through the twilight mists,
Ever closer to deepest night I go.
Given to me, torches of golden light,
My way is clear, the path alight!

copyright 2009 E A Kaufman

Second Night

Second night of the Hallowing, contemplative and quiet. This year, the Hallowing seems more intense, the prayers and invocations more from my heart. Tonight, I called upon all the goddesses I revere: The Great Mother of All, Hekate, of course, Hestia, Artemis, Persephone, Demeter, Athena, Aphrodite, Hera and Tyche. May They know that They are not forgotten. No, in fact, They are remembered everyday. And so, may They know how beloved and revered They are, may They hear me and know my name.

Blessings nine!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

First of Nine Nights of the Winter Solstice Hallowing

Just before midnight earlier this evening, the 15th of December, I began my celebration of the Winter Solstice, the first of nine nights. Each night I will offer prayers to the goddesses to whom I dedicate myself, a libation and offerings, prepare to welcome back the growth of light, and do some journey work.

I will spend three nights focusing on dusk or twilight, beginning the journey down and within. I will then move into three nights of deepest night where I will work some of my most intense meditative journeying. On the Solstice itself, I begin three nights of returning, dawn, coming back from within and beyond. This series of workings has been very fulfilling over the past few years so I set aside time to do this even with the busyness of the season. Even if I just have time to recite prayers and light my candles, I let nothing interfere.

I was first inspired to do this by reading about how another who is dedicated to the Greek pantheon, Hector Lugo, celebrates this time of year. His rites are called the Heliogenea and focus on the return of Helios over a period of three or nine nights. His rite inspired my own, but with the focus on honoring those goddesses I revere.

In addition to this, I also work a bit of magic; the lighting of a bayberry candle with a coin beneath and some herbs scattered around to bring prosperity and good health in the coming year. I learned not to put the herbs in with the candle when, about ten or so years ago, the whole thing went up in flames right in my apartment. Ah, well... fire lessons! All's well that ends well and the worst of it was a stern lecture from my darling husband, bless his understanding soul.

This spell can be performed in a variety of ways; begin, as I am, six nights before the actual Solstice and light a candle for nine nights; light a candle on the Solstice, light a candle each night, the night before, the night of and the night after the Solstice - or... any other way you like. The candle should be true bayberry, I use a bayberry cinnamon candle, the cinnamon giving the spell a little extra kick; or use any candle you have and anoint with a drop of bayberry oil. Use what you have. Place a coin in a candle holder, then work with your candle and place in the holder over the coin. I like to line the holder with some aluminum foil - silver for the goddesses and the moon. I then line my cauldron with another piece of foil and some salt or sand along with a scattering of herbs, such as bayberry, mistletoe and acorns, around the outside of the candle and its holder. When ready, I light the candle and chant the following nine times:

Upon this Solstice Season Night,
I burn this candle, strong & bright!
For me & mine, prosperity grows,
For me & mine, good health to us flows.
As comes the light, sprouts the seed,
By Hekate's hand, fulfilled is our need!

Or... chant whatever you like. Allow the candle to burn itself out. At the end of your spell, be it one night or nine, fold all the remnants up in the foil, place in a green cloth and tie with red thread. Hang the charm over you door, inside your home.

Blessings nine!

All written material copyright 1997-2009, E A Kaufman. Photo copyright E A Kaufman, 2009.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Toadstool Condo is decorated!

The holiday decorating at Toadstool Condo is finished, finally! My altar looks beautiful, if I do say so myself! Two different views so that all my Ladies can be seen!

The Solstice tree is sparkling with an assortment of antique, handmade and modern ornaments. We still hang the ornaments we made when we first got married. I cut out pictures of antique Christmas cards from Better Homes & Gardens' Country Magazine, then decoupaged them on to balsa wood that Mike carved. I can't believe it is almost thirty years ago!!!
And not to be forgotten, our Pagan Dickens Village! It is hard to see, but in the middle is a little circle with an altar, stang and holly tree. All of this activity was followed by a homemade chicken mushroom barley soup dinner with our friend Lucky. Dessert: brownies and hot cocoa coffee - really delicious! You make a pot of coffee and another pot of real hot cocoa - you know, real unsweetened cocoa, sugar and milk. Fill your cup half way with hot coffee, then add cocoa. I add cinnamon and some vanilla to the hot cocoa which gives a nice flavor.
Sterling B (AKA The Schmoodle) found all the activity exhausting and after being petted and spoiled by the three of us, took a nap! I plan to follow his lead - bed and relaxation, along with some stitching tomorrow!

Blessings nine!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Jane Austen Challenge Finished!

Finished at last! Yes, I've completed my Everything Austen Challenge and much more. Originally, beginning July 1st, one was supposed to choose six Austen related tasks and complete them by January 1st. A little ways along, someone came up with the idea to do twelve, I believe. I became so engrossed in this little challenge that I ended up completing thirteen - but of course!!!! What else would a witch do? No mere dozen for me, it had to be... that most mysterious and misunderstood of numbers, thirteen! I was watching DVDs, reading like a mad woman (alright, so that's nothing new) and then finally.... after changing my mind several times, chose a little embroidery piece, Cheerful Company by The Sampler Girl (www.samplergirl.com) and... just a few minutes ago, took the final stitch. So there I am, Everything Austen Challenge complete. Hurray!

Here's my list of completed Austen related tasks:

1. Watched DVD, Persuasion (Amanda Root & Ciaran Hinds)
2. Watched DVD, Lost In Austen
3. Read What Would Jane Austen Do?
4. Read Jane Austen Ruined My Life
5. Read Tea With Jane Austen
6. Read Mr. Darcy, Vampire
7. Read Sense & Sensibility & Sea Monsters
8. Read Pride & Prejudice & Zombies
9. Watched DVD, Northanger Abbey (Masterpiece, 2007)
10. Read Jane Austen, A Life
11. Watched DVD, Becoming Jane
12. Watched DVD, Miss Austen Regrets
13. Stitched Cheerful Company, a design by The Sampler Girl

And here is the sweet little piece, stitched on 40 count Examplar linen, along with a stitching basket purchased long ago, forgotten and abandoned at our storage facility. I came across it a few weeks ago and brought it home. Also you can see a pair of scissors with a little scissor fob. I have so many favorite things that surround me; books, stitching treasures, fabric, threads and charts, tea necessities - need I go on? One can easily see why we have a storage facility in addition to Toadstool Condo - Beneath the Mushroom storage bay, LOL!

Thoroughly enjoyed this and one thing leads to another, so it is likely I will be continuing the Jane Austen adventure. So many books, so many samplers, etc. - I can't help myself. Everyone has their "special stuff" that makes life so delightful. And speaking of delightful things, a cup of an especially soothing tea is in order. I shall put the kettle on the hob... err, the stove - I'm living in Jane Austen mode, sorry!

In other news, today begins the Brumalia, honoring the goddess, Bruma, Roman goddess of the Winter Season. I celebrate for two days - don't really have a reason, I am just inclined to do so. To honor Her, welcome Winter by decorating home and altar with icicles, snowflakes, white candles and white lace. My decorations lean toward that and lots of red on the Solstice tree, among antique ornaments, stitched ornaments, cutest ornaments on the planets...! We are thankful for this time of year where we can be cozy in our homes and enjoy the journey within. Soon enough the days will become longer, embrace the darkness and its healing and contemplative magic.

The clock has just chimed the witching hour here at Toadstool Condo, midnight and time for that tea!

Blessings nine!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Winter Solstice Tree Blessing

Winter Solstice Tree Blessing

Holy Lady, Creator of Trees,
Bestow Your abundant blessings upon
This, our Solstice Tree, a symbol of Joy.
May its evergreen branches be a sign
of Your never-fading love & wisdom.
May its colorful lights and ornaments
decorate our home and our world with love & peace.
May the gifts that surround this tree
be symbols of the gifts we have received
from the beautiful Earth Herself.
Blessed Winter Solstice Tree within our home,
may joy & peace, wisdom & abundance,
compassion & love come nest
in your branches and in our hearts.
So Mote It Be!

(a Christian prayer for blessing the Christmas tree, found at Beliefnet.com and reworded for Pagans by EAK)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Haloia of Demeter

December 7th is the Haloia of Demeter which is a remembrance of Demeter's mourning for Her loss of Persephone. She withdrew Herself from the world and all things ceased to grow. The Earth turned cold, barren, as the one who had provided for all suffered the sorrow and loss of Her daughter.

Much is to be learned from the myth of Demeter and Persephone for women. Many women watch their children grow and leave home, suffering empty nest syndrome and withdrawing themselves from their usual pursuits while they figure out their new life. I have always thought this was exactly what Demeter was doing. Ultimately, there was no choice but to accept the inevitable and continue on, which is just what She did.

At this time, close to the Winter Solstice, the Earth had withdrawn Her bounty, there is cold and stillness, time for reflection, a time to look within and review the past year. In honor of Demeter and Her time of mourning, reflection and moving on, I take time to review and reflect as well. I light some candles, and recite the following prayer, then spend some time considering my own losses and how, whatever the situation, I continue on, as Demeter does, as we all must do. This remembrance is a part of the cycle of life.

Prayer to Demeter Melaina
an adaptation from Jennifer Reif's Mysteries of Demeter

The Land lies barren as You search, dark & sorrowing
For Your maiden daughter.
Your great powers of creation draw inward.
As field & meadow lie fallow, You mourn.
For She who was born from Your womb has descended
Into Tartarus and is no longer by Your side.
But from Thee, Melaina, and Thy shadows
Shall compassion rise.
Into the darkness of Your solitude,
You dwell alone in Your fragrant temple.
Life gives birth to understanding.
One who once raged in sorrow finds tenderness
Being born in Her Divine Being.
In compassion, You descend into the Underworld
To give Your blessings which heal all worlds,
Teaching understanding to
Tartarus, Earth & High Olympus.
O Blessed art Thou, Holy One.
Great praises to both the fallow & the dark.
All honor to Demeter Melaina!

Tonight I make an offering of barley, fruit and seeds along with a libation of sweetened, spiced wine at the hedge circle, then I will have a quiet little time of contemplation. And... I will consider all my blessings as well!

An little tidbit from About.com which I have never heard of and thought was a appropriate finish for this post - "Ancient Greeks might also dedicate sneezes to Demeter, similar to someone saying "God bless you!" An unexpected or timely sneeze could be thought to have oracular meaning as a message from Demeter, perhaps to abandon the idea under discussion. This may be the origin of the phrase "not to be sneezed at", not to be discounted or taken lightly." Well, that is interesting, especially as my post began with a sneeze!

Blessings nine!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Bona Dea, The Good Goddess

Here is a little bit about Bona Dea, the Good Goddess. Tonight and tomorrow are the nights associated with Her December rites.

Bona Dea is an ancient goddess of women and healing, identified with the Great Goddess, the Serpent-Goddess, Artemis, Aphrodite, Persephone, Demeter and Hekate. She is alternately described as sister, wife or daughter of Faunas and called Fauna, Fatua or Oma. An earth and fertility goddess, She is a great protectress of women, She guides us through all phases of female life including sexuality, birth and death. She also was considered a goddess of the Underworld, divination, wealth and abundance, as well as healing.

Bona Dea was worshipped exclusively by women, men being forbidden to participate in Her rites or even to speak or know Her name. Male animals, even paintings of male animals or men were not permitted in Her temple. Her rites, conducted in December and May were secret and little is known about them, but were likely related to agricultural activities. However, the early December nocturnal rites likely had other associations that remain a mystery to us. The Vestal Priestesses were participants in these rites. It is interesting to note that wine was also forbidden in Her rites and temples, yet the women of Rome libated and drank wine, but called it "milk" - wine was never mentioned in the temple or during the rites which were celebrated at the homes of various Roman matrons.

Bona Dea tended the sick in Her temple garden with healing herbs. The myrtle plant however, was forbidden in both Her temple and garden. Consecrated snakes were kept in Her temple in Rome. The snake is one of Her symbols, a symbol of healing.

Max Dashu, on her Suppressed Histories website (www.suppressedhistories.net) includes the following:
Diana had another grove at Tibur, where she was called Opifera, “help-bringing.” [Palmer, 58, 77; Ogilvie, 65-7]
Opifera was also a title of Bona Dea, the “good goddess,” whose temples nourished a culture of female sovereignty and outright resistance. Tradition said that women built the sanctuary of Bona Dea in the distant past, and its association with the women's mysteries endured. [Drinker; Goodrich, 256] No men were allowed in this temple or the nearby temple of Diana, the headquarters of plebian women. Diana was seen as a protector of the oppressed classes, especially the enslaved. This was true of Bona Dea and Ceres as well. [Spaeth, 92, identifies Ceres as the goddess of the plebeians.]

Bona Dea's Roman temple was built over a cave where the priestesses kept sacred serpents. An ancient source says that these snakes “neither felt nor inspired fear.” [Scheid, 391] Statues of the goddess show a snake coiling around her right arm, drinking from an offering bowl in her hand. Her left arm cradles a cornucopia, the attribute of Fortuna and Terra Mater. Her priestesses ran an herbarium: “... all kinds of herbs are found in her temple, from which the priestesses mostly make medicines which they distribute...”[Hurd-Mead, 49; quote, Brouwer, 224] Snakes and healing herbs were also kept at the grove of the goddess Angitia or Anguitina at lake Fuscinus. [Piscinus, online]

From Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, the following information is found: Fauna was also regarded as a goddess possessed of healing powers, as might be inferred from the serpents being part of her worship; but we know that various kinds of medicinal herbs were sold in her temple, and bought largely by the poorer classes. (Macrob., Plut., Arnob. ll. cc.) Greek writers, in their usual way, identify the Bona Dea with some Greek divinity, such as Semele, Medeia, Hecate, or Persephone. The Angitia of the Marsians seems to have been the same goddess with them as the Bona Dea with the Romans.
The women who celebrated the festival of Fauna had to prepare themselves for it by abstaining from various things, especially from intercourse with men. The house of the consul or praetor was decorated by the Vestals as a temple, with flowers and foliage of every kind except myrtle, on account of its symbolic meaning. The head of the goddess's statue was adorned with a garland of vine-leaves, and a serpent surrounded its feet. The women were decorated in a similar manner. Although no one was allowed to bring wine with her, a vessel filled with wine, stood in the room, and from it the women made their libations and drank. This wine, however, was called milk, and the vessel containing it mellarium, so that the name of wine was avoided altogether.

Epithets: Fatuella/Fatua (from fatum, oracle, fate, destiny)
Aurita ( healer of ear diseases)
Oculata Lucifera (She Who Brings Light to the Eyes - healer of eye disorders)
Restituta/Restitutrix (She Who Heals or Restores)

Symbols: Cornucopia, snakes (a symbol of healing), coins

To honor Bona Dea in December, over the nights of the 3rd and 4th, light candles both dark and light: brown and yellow or green and gold; an earthy incense of cypress, evergreen or pine may be burned. A libation of milk laced with wine and offerings of barley, seed from pumpkin or squash, eggs and apples may be offered. Give thanks for all that She has bestowed upon you over the past year.

Bona Dea, both dark and light,
Mistress of the Fertile Earth and the Lands beneath,
I give thanks for the abundance You have bestowed upon me & mine.
May You heal my loved ones and myself and all others with great need.
For You are Mother of us all, Queen of many realms, Mistress of Healing
And I bow before You, Great One, I give these offerings with honor and thanks,
May You find them pleasing for they are truly given in the spirit of love.

Leave the offerings and spill the libation at some quiet and natural place if possible. Let your candles burn themselves out.
(copyright E A Kaufman, 2009)

Blessings nine!