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Welcome to the Úlfsvættr Craftsman domain

I want to welcome you to my website of the Úlfsvættr Craftsman. This is the culmination after years of study and working to fine tune my craft in order to produce the highest of quality. Items that easily could become heirlooms passed on to younger generations. But more than that is this Blog where I have so much I want to share with you from my vast experiences and wide variety of knowledge crammed packed into my mind. I hope you enjoy what you see and in some way whether you visit to browse my shop, look through the gallery or just read through this Blog which will be added to four times a month. In time or perhaps by the time you are reading this I will also have a newsletter available as well. Thank you again for taking the time to read this welcome message and remember to always “Keep the Primal Side Alive.”

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Salem Witch Trials: The Accused Bridget Bishop

Salem Witch Trials: The Accused Bridget Bishop by Odin’s Daughter

During the Winter of February 1692, unrest was building in the Village of Salem. Elizabeth Parris and Abigail Williams, through fits and mysterious maladies, were diagnosed with being affected with witchcraft. They soon released the names of the accused to their parents. Leading to more than one-hundred fifty accused. One even being a four-year-old child. Soon, June had arrived and here marks the first of the trials. One of whom was the most severely accused by her community, Bridget Bishop.

Born some time in the 1630s, Bridget Playfer, was born in Norwich, England. Soon to follow in the year 1660, she had her fist marriage to Samuel Wasselbe (spellings vary). It is unknown if Samuel had passed prior to her leaving for the new world or if he was still alive. She in the time of leaving England was in fact pregnant from this marriage, the infant did sadly pass in Massachusetts.

She then married again in Massachusetts in 1666, to a Thomas Oliver. They bought a large property that included orchards. They also conceived a daughter known as Christian. Thomas had 3 older children from his previous marriage. Thirteen years later and Thomas had passed away. In 1685, she remarried again, to an Edward Bishop.

Bishop Account by Samuel Parris

Due to the deaths of two previous marriages, gossip of her being a “witch” ensued. It grew into much more as time went on. Her first accusation was in fact in 1680 by a slave who claimed he saw her specter steal, pinch, and frightened horses; in total 10 people testified against her. There was a list of accusations: force girls to sign “the Devil’s Book”, poppets with stuck pins in them, specter visitations of various men, bewitching of others, declining health of others, stealing, arguments, seeing of imps on her property, her flying over her orchards, witches mark found on her body, and use of magic.

Bishop Account by Ezekiel Cheever

On June 10 th , 1692, Bridget Bishop was convicted of being a witch and using witchcraft. Being escorted by Sheriff George Corwin to Proctor’s Ledge. Where she was hanged at the edge of town publicly. She hung until she passed away. The first of the 19 to be hung and the very last to be exonerated by legislation in the state of Massachusetts in 2001.

Note: Her daughter did live on to be married, but soon died in 1693.

Based on twenty-seven years of original archival research, including the discovery of previously unknown documents, this day-by-day narrative of the hysteria that swept through Salem Village in 1692 and 1693 reveals new connections behind the events, and shows how rapidly a community can descend into bloodthirsty madness. Roach opens her work with chapters on the history of the Puritan colonies of New England, and explains how these people regarded the metaphysical and the supernatural. The account of the days from January 1692 to March 1693 keeps in order the large cast of characters, places events in their correct contexts, and occasionally contradicts earlier assumptions about the gruesome events. The last chapter discusses the remarkable impact of the events, pointing out how the 300th anniversary of the trials made headlines in Japan and Australia.
A girl fell sick in 1692. Her convulsions, contortions, and outbursts of gibberish baffled everyone. Then other girls had the same symptoms. The village doctor could suggest just one cause: Witchcraft.

Further Resources

First Salem witch hanging

Bridget Bishop Home and Orchards

Bridget Bishop becomes the first woman to be hanged during the notorious Salem Witch Trials in 1692

Salem Witchcraft Papers

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The Theban Alphabet: History and Mystical Use

A few years ago I began to look into the history and use of the Theban alphabet which are also known as Witches Runes, Witch writing, Honorian alphabet and the Runes of Honorius. This form of cypher dates back to Medieval times and has been a used in Mysticism and magical practices ever since. In recent years I began making Theban divination sets and find it to be quite a intriguing type of divination. So today’s blog post will be covering all about this interesting alphabet.

The Origins of the Theban

The Witch’s alphabet dates back to the 14th Century and is also known as the Theban alphabet.  Additionally it has been called the Honorian alphabet, Theban Script or the Runes of Honorius.  It’s exact origin is unknown nor is it’s original creator.  As it is with all undocumented ancient history, there is controversy surrounding the Witch’s alphabet.  It’s mostly been attributed to Honorius of Thebes, a Middle Age figure shrouded in so much mystery that some consider his very existence to be a myth.  Many students of the occult believe the Theban alphabet dates back much further, to before the 11th Century.  That group claims it originated as an alchemical cipher with an Avestan influence.  Avestan is oldest preserved Indo-Aryan language and it’s closely related to Vedic Sanskrit.  But this counter-theory is also undocumented and thus un-provable.

However, there is evidence to be gleaned from the shape of the characters and corresponding curve patterns that define Theban.  They show an unmistakable resemblance to characters found in the Avestan alphabet.  This alone doesn’t prove a theory.  There are major differences such as fewer characters and the inclusion in Theban of a symbol to denote the end of a sentence.  Theban does not have an upper or a lower case, so that symbol was critical.  Another comparison has been made with Latin.  There is a one-to-one correspondence between letters of the Witch’s alphabet and Latin alphabets with the exception of the letters j and u.  Those two letters are represented by the letters for i and v.  The Theban alphabet has also been called a runic alphabet but it’s clearly not.  Runes are characterized by straight lines and sharp edges, while the Theban alphabet is mostly based on arcs and curls. SOURCE

The first known recordings of the alphabet came from the astrologer Johannes Trithemius who included it in his 1518 published book Polygraphia. Trithemius stated the alphabet came from the Theban Honorius and it was revealed by Petries de Apono (aka Pietro D’Abano).

Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa studied under Johannes Trithemius. Agrippa started referring to this script as the Theban alphabet in his book Three Books of Occult Philosophy and said it was from Honorius of Thebes.

Since Petries de Apono was close with Pope Honorius IV, some believe him to be the source; or his granduncle, Pope Honorious III. However, there is no proof of this because there has not been any work from either of them that contains this alphabet, including the manuscript written by Pope Honorious III called Grimoire du Pape Honorius.

Another belief connects to the fourteenth-century manuscript The Sworn Book of Honorius authored by Honorius of Thebes. According to lore, Honorius of Thebes was a scribe who complied this information together during a large assembly of deeply knowledgable magical practitioners. However, this is still speculation because the only copy of The Sworn Book of Honorius that remains today states that the Theban alphabet’s origins are from Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa. SOURCE

The Theban alphabet from Francis Barrett’s 1801 book, The Magus

Uses in Magick and Divination

With the exception of the letters J and U / V, this alphabet is a one to one substitution cipher. That means that each character of the Theban alphabet corresponds to one of the letters in the Latin alphabet.

That makes this alphabet very easy to use in your magic writings and other workings. It’s simple to switch one letter for another to obscure what you’re writing.

Especially when the Theban alphabet was created, the Christian church was doing its best to stamp out any ancient practices, paganism, or witchcraft. Writing in a script that couldn’t be translated allowed magicians and witches to record their work without fear of being killed by the church.

The Theban alphabet is popular among witches to give their writings a mystical quality and to hide the meaning of what they are writing. Wiccans and other witches have adopted many substitution ciphers to hide and obscure the contents of their books of shadows. SOURCE

The Theban alphabet can also be used in a similar way in divination like is done with Ogham and Elder Futhark Runes which you can learn more reading HERE and HERE.

Based on the ancient magical writings of 14thcentury magus, Honorius of Thebes, the Theban Oracle is a codex employed for centuries as a means of devotion and divination. Used by such masters of the occult sciences as Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa, Dr. John Dee, Francis Barrett, and later Gerald Gardner, it has remained relatively obscure and elusive to the modern practitioner. Until now.

In this book, author Greg Jenkins, PhD, offers both the complete history of this medieval magical system and a working manual for the modern mage to utilize it. In these pages, you’ll find:

• How to make and care for your own set of stones.
• A variety of methods for divination, from using just one stone to using nine stones and more.
• How to use the Theban stones for spellcasting, including love and purification spells and Theban incense and candle magick.
• A complete lexicon of the Theban alphabet with a who’s who of Theban history along with divinatory meanings and how they relate to the modern world.
• A quick reference to the sacred herbs and angelic orders associated with each symbol.

Prepare yourself to discover the hidden mysteries of the ancients and the magick within you.

In conclusion the Theban alphabet is one that can be used in a variety of ways for spiritual divination and witchcraft practices. It has a fascinating history with origins shrouded in mystery and has been a part of Occult and Mysticism for centuries. Today you can see it used for spells in Grimoires, Book of Shadow and more giving the Theban a practical use still to this day.

An explanation of what the Theban Alphabet is and what is its purpose.

Further Resources

Theban Alphabet

A History of the Theban Magical Library

Theban Magic

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Praying Mantis: Spiritual Meaning & Symbolism

Ever since I can remember I have been fascinated by Praying Mantises. I remember the first house I lived in in Oregon had these bushes around the house that seemed to be a haven for these majestic predatory masters of the insect world. I always would go hunting for other insects to feed them and felt as if I was doing a service for them. Little did I know at such a young age the importance and amazing symbolism that are the Praying Mantises. Many years later after building my own greenhouse I even had acquired a Praying mantis egg pod which I placed into my greenhouse and after a few weeks it hatched over 100 of these beautiful creatures. About 25 or so stuck around living in their new dwelling and that was quite beneficial for my garden.

The fact that there are approximately 1,800 species of this amazing carnivores of the insect world that reside on every continent except Antarctica, there should be no surprise they would hold significance in spiritual symbolism with Human civilization for thousands of years. So today I decided to share with you some great resources regarding my favorite insect, the Praying Mantis.

In some cultures, a praying mantis can be a sign of good luck or fortune.

Native Americans believe the insect came before the creation of man and Earth. Paintings, inscriptions, revered symbols and carvings have the insect depicted as a symbol. The bugs represent wealth, success, large families and the cycle of life.

The stealth movements of the praying mantis have made it a symbol of meditation and contemplation. In China, the insect has long been honored for its mindful movements. It never makes a move unless it is certain that is the right thing to do.

In Japan, a praying mantis is a sign of autumn. The bug is often portrayed with the typical gourds and mums that are popular in the season.

Additionally, the fragile looking insect is an emblem of military strength and courage in both China and Japan because it always moves forward to advance and never retreats. SOURCE

Physical Characteristics

A praying mantis head has a triangular shape with two compound eyes with thousands of light sensors that provide them with three-dimensional vision; it’s believed they’re the only insect able to see this way.

Praying mantis don’t have pupils; instead, you see an optical illusion that’s actually just more light receptors, which is why scientists call this a pseudo pupil.

Their neck is quite flexible, so they achieve a 180° range of vision. They generally measure between 1/2 to 6 inches long, with females usually larger than males.

They have an organ similar to an ear located in the thorax, capable of hearing frequencies above the 20,000 hertz that the human ear can perceive. This allows them to hear and recognize the ultrasonic frequencies used by bats who often hunt praying mantis. SOURCE

Why Are They Called Praying Mantis?

The ancient Greeks gave them the name mantis, which means diviner because it was believed a praying mantis possessed magical abilities. This idea is still reflected in its name, mantid, meaning soothsayer.

They’re called praying mantis because their front legs join together when hunting. This method consists of staying motionless and camouflaging itself until the prey approaches close enough to catch it. Then the mantis snatches its prey with jagged forelegs and begins eating it in less than a second. Since all mantids are carnivorous, preying describes them more accurately than praying. SOURCE

Photo of squatting mantis man from Dr. Mohammad Naserifard SOURCE

A Quick-List of Praying Mantis Symbolism

  • Stillness
  • Awareness
  • Creativity
  • Patience
  • Mindful
  • Calm
  • Balance
  • Intuition

The mantis never makes a move unless she is 100% positive it is the right thing for her to do. This is a message to us to contemplate and be sure our minds and souls all agree together about the choices we are making in our lives.

Overwhelmingly in most cultures the mantis is a symbol of stillness. As such, she is an ambassador from the animal kingdom giving testimony to the benefits of meditation, and calming our minds.

An appearance from the mantis is a message to be still, go within, meditate, get quite and reach a place of calm. It may also a sign for you to be more mindful of the choices you are making and confirm that these choices are congruent.

A Divine Messenger

The Kalahari Bushmen in Africa worship and consider the Praying Mantis as the oldest symbol of God. They believed it to be an incarnation of God, and whenever they would sight one, they would try and decipher its message.

Have you ever come across a praying mantis in most of the places you’ve visited? Or may be it appears in your dreams? I’m guessing that you might have passed it off as just a coincidence, or may be you think you’ve become too obsessed with this special visitor that you see it just everywhere you go? Oh no, you haven’t become obsessed with the praying mantis neither is it a coincidence! It could mean something else too; a divine message for you, or a wake up call to view your situations more closely. SOURCE

They are killers! They kill with unbelievable precision. They fight Kung Fu style and are seen in Japan as a symbol of vigilance – the mantises. Their triangular head with its unique flexibility is conspicuous. Two overdimensioned eyes fixate the distance to their prey rapidly and three-dimensionally. The chest segment of the mantis is prolonged and equipped with spiny appendages that can spear their prey as fast as a jack knife. The mysterious aura that surrounds the praying mantis has a lot to do with the fact that they are rarely seen. They have adapted to their surroundings perfectly. No matter whether leaves, blossoms, tree bark, sandy floors or even orchids – the mantis blends in to all environments.

Did you know?

Spiritual teacher Alyson Charles trusts that animals have a way of coming to us when we need to hear their messages the most. “It’s a guide trying to come into our lives, trying to get our attention,” she explains.

In the case of praying mantises, they can represent everything from precision to prophecy, contemplation to deliberation, as well as vision, prayer, perception, and synchronicity, Charles explains.

If they show up around you, it could be a sign you need to make wise choices and act with precision, deepen your mindfulness practice, or be more patient. This is a creature that encourages us to slow down and connect with inner wisdom and even sharpen our clairvoyant abilities.

Historically, she adds, the praying mantis actually inspired a form of kung fu martial arts. During the Northern Song period (A.D. 960–1126), a Chinese kung fu master named Wang Lang was inspired by the movements of the praying mantis after he lost a martial arts competition.

“He watched a praying mantis trying to catch a cicada and was inspired by the agile moves of the mantis. It is said he then collected praying mantises and took them back to the Shaolin Temple to observe closely, going on to create his own form of kung fu inspired by the mantises’ moves,” Charles writes in her book Animal Power: 100 Animals To Energize Your Life and Awaken Your Soul. SOURCE

Prepare to be enchanted with an in-depth and up-close view of the most loved of all invertebrates, the praying mantis! Keeping the Praying Mantis is a huge resource designed to give mantis enthusiasts every tool needed for feeding, housing, and rearing these magical (almost mythological) creatures. Details on their biology, relationship with man over the ages, behavior, and captive husbandry will give you a solid foundation for successfully keeping fascinating species from around the world. From ant mimics and unicorn mantids to Devil’s flower, orchid, and ghost mantids, there are species to entice every insect hobbyist.

Further Resources

Praying Mantis Meaning – What does it Mean to See a Praying Mantis?

Praying Mantis Symbolism: 14 Spiritual Meanings Of Praying Mantis

Praying Mantis Symbolism & Meaning

Ancient mantis-man petroglyph discovered in Iran

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The Tarot Minor Arcana: Suit of Cups

The Tarot Minor Arcana: Suit of Cups by W1tchsbrew

Be sure to check her Etsy shop Wood ov Wyrd

Introduction:

The Suit of Cups is associated with the element of water. Water is fluid, agile and ‘in flow’ but it’s also very powerful and formative. This tarot suit represents emotions, feelings, subconscious, intuition and psychic ability. 

The Cups often represent one’s emotional condition as it relates to personal relationships, love, hate, and the interaction between one’s spiritual level of consciousness and the natural environment.

Metaphysical Correspondences:

ElementWater

Zodiac SignsCancerPiscesScorpio

Healing CrystalsEmerald

Get to Know the Minor Arcana Suit of Cups:

Ace of Cups
  • Ace of Cups

Upright: When the Ace of Cups appears upright in a tarot reading, it represents an unfailing source of balm for body, heart and soul. It suggests that you can relax into a safety net of love, and support.

Reversed: The Ace of Cups reversed warns of a loss of self-esteem, optimism and faith in the abundance that the universe has to offer. Stop to examine what it is that is causing you to lose altitude. It might be the mental food you are feeding yourself.

Two of Cups
  • Two of Cups

Upright: The Two in this suit signifies a union of souls. This card traditionally describes a romantic relationship, but also includes the idea that all good friendships and partnerships are based on a natural affinity and a deep mutual understanding. As a personal reflection, it can also signify that your mind and your soul are discovering each other, maybe for the first time.

Reversed: The Two of Cups reversed indicates that you may be investing too much in a relationship. Sometimes this is a signal that you must stop seeking so much validation from others.

Three of Cups
  • Three of Cups 

Upright: When seen in a tarot reading, this card resonates with a spirit of agreement, mutual support, encouragement and teamwork. It points to all the benefits of harmonious relationship. This card reassures that it’s ok to ask for the help you may need.

Reversed: The Three of Cups reversed indicates that you may be frustrating the best efforts of those who love you most. Try to find a way to let in some of the love and caring that comes to you.

Four of Cups
  • Four of Cups

Upright: A Four in this suit suggest you may have become dissatisfied with life, and emotionally uncomfortable. You need to take a clear look at how stalled or distracted you have become. You may have been bogged down by negativity, hopelessness or a sense of limitation.

Reversed: The Four of Cups reversed indicates that some part of you is resisting the flow of events. Recognize this mood as a symptom of a deeper dissatisfaction and come clean to yourself about your real feelings. There is something to be learned.

Five of Cups
  • Five of Cups

Upright: When seen upright in a tarot reading, the Five of Cups traditionally portrays the mess that is left after an emotional upheaval, such as a tantrum or fit of rage. Consequences run the gamut from a hangover and lost wages, to abuse and ruined relationships. Take some time to reflect and recover. 

Reversed: The Five of Cups reversed represents a paradoxical situation wherein what seems like the worst thing that could happen actually creates a better circumstance. You are freer to act authentically as a result of this energy turn.

Six of Cups
  • Six of Cups 

Upright: When this tarot card appears upright, it generally represents a refreshing openness and innocence and a willingness to learn. Remember that this same freshness, those new possibilities, are always available to you, even now.

Reversed: With the Six of Cups reversed, you can finally close accounts with the emotional undertow that has been part of your life. Try to revisit those wounded places calmly, without the fear that you will be drawn back in.

Seven of Cups
  • Seven of Cups

Upright: The Seven of this suit typically refers to works of the imagination, the use of dream and vision to invent a future different than the life one is currently living. This card reminds you that your outcomes are not set in stone.

Reversed: The Seven of Cups reversed suggests that you to reawaken to playfulness, joy and curiosity. Perhaps a lack of purpose is having a deadening effect.

Eight of Cups
  • Eight of Cups 

Upright: This is a difficult card, but a realistic one, insofar as it warns against misplaced trust and unguarded vulnerability.

Reversed: The Eight of Cups reversed suggests that you may have experienced a terrible event, yet you have somehow not allowed it to ruin your life. Under the circumstances, you are doing just fine. Recognize how far you’ve come.

Nine of Cups
  • Nine of Cups

Upright: The Nine of Cups in this position advises that you open yourself to circumstances around you. There may be no need to manage a situation that does not require a lot of control or leadership.

Reversed: The Nine of Cups reversed suggests that you are getting what you thought you wanted, but it’s not what you really want at all. This is an essential lesson in life. When you set a goal, specify how you want it to feel in your life, not just what you want to be, do or have.

Ten of Cups
  • Ten of Cups 

Upright: The Ten of this suit upright traditionally signifies family and community. It suggest that you should prioritize teamwork over your personal goals.

Reversed: The Ten of Cups reversed suggests that a group’s collective good will is damaged and its safety net is fraying. Things are being said and done that will be regretted later.

Page of Cups
  • Page of Cups 

Upright: When this card presents itself in a reading, it may be that a sense of being grounded in reality has not yet entirely set in. Be unconcerned with the outcome. Later you will understand why you needed to be in this position. 

Reversed: When the Page of Cups card is reversed it suggests that you may have been overly expressing some self-indulgent feelings. If you impinge upon the good nature of others too much, you may be unpleasantly surprised by the results.

Knight of Cups
  • Knight of Cups 

Upright: The Knight of Cups in this position advises that you jump into your new situation with both feet. Think no more about the route you had to travel to get back here. There is no need to be cavalier about what seems familiar.

Reversed: When reversed, the knight of cups continually looks for excuses or a way to blame his problems on someone else. It suggests you may need to reflect and take personal responsibility for the way things are in your life. 

Queen of Cups
  • Queen of Cups

Upright: The Queen of Cups upright encourages you to be generous, kind and forgiving. Support the ability of others to get what they want. However, you must not allow your willingness to give be misunderstood or abused, as if it were a weakness.

Reversed: When this card is reversed in a reading, it suggests that you stop all efforts to dull your pain or distract yourself from it. Looking the other way is not going to help you anymore. You must be emotionally honest with yourself in order to heal.

King of Cups
  • King of Cups

Upright: When the King of Cups appears in this position, it advises that you closely examine your conscience and bring your personal mission into alignment with what is best for everyone.

Reversed: Reversed, this card suggests you may be bitterly holding a grudge or some hatred — withholding your natural propensity for forgiveness. This will create an emotional vacuum around you. 

What It Takes:

These are extremely brief descriptions of The Suit of Pentacle tarot cards. To fully utilize the art of tarot with confidence takes much time and extensive learning. It is strongly advised that you do further personal research and dive deeper into the complex meanings of each tarot card, prior to practicing this form of divination. 

Further Resources:

A complete beginner’s course with step-by-step lessons on how to work with tarot cards for personal guidance.

Joan Bunning’s “Learning the Tarot—An Online Course” has helped hundreds of thousands of people worldwide discover the personal value of the tarot. Drawing on the material offered in this popular online course and from her previous books, Joan has created a complete guide to tarot for beginners, which serves as a handy and in-depth resource for more experienced tarot card readers as well.

While there are countless books devoted to tarot, what sets Joan Bunning’s book apart is her ability to take a rather complicated esoteric system and break it down into clear, manageable, and easy-to-learn lessons. These lessons cover the basics and then move gradually into more advanced concepts.

Tarot: An Introduction

The Tarot: Major Arcana

The Tarot Minor Arcana: Introduction and Suit of Pentacles

The Tarot Minor Arcana: Suit of Wands

THE SUIT OF CUPS EXPLAINED! Let me teach you Tarot. After the Pentacles and the Wands we are now discussing the Suit of Cups. This is my favorite suit in the Tarot, so I’m really excited to share this with you guys! In this video I explain what the Cups mean in the Tarot, using Astrology and Symbolism, but I also discuss every Cup card one by one. This will definitely be helpful to beginners, but can also add an extra layer to the cards for experienced readers.

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Medusa: The Famous Gorgon of Greek Mythology

Greek mythology has been a fascination of mine every since I was a kid. In fact my very first book regarding any mythology was about the Greek Pantheon. One figure that always stood out for me was the story of the most famous of Gorgons which is Medusa. The tale of Medusa that most know of is nothing less than tragic and a cruel display of the power of the Greek gods and goddesses that we can see in other stories. But perhaps there is another way of see what happened to Medusa as something perhaps more benevolent. Is it possible that Medusa was not cursed but turned into a Gorgon for a form of protection and vengeance? I will explore this idea later on in this post. For now let us explore the origins, life and what is known of Medusa.

The Untold Story of Medusa by Leah M Mariani

While we all know of Medusa with her crown of snakes, less is known of how Medusa became Medusa. There are two origin stories from Greek Mythology, both leading to her well-known grisly end.

The first origin story sees Medusa originally as a stunning young woman, with beautiful ringlets of hair. So alluring is her beauty, that she has many suitors. While praying at the temple of Athena, she catches the eye of the sea god Poseidon, who rapes her (or seduces her, depending on who is telling the story) in the temple. Athena, who is so enraged at her temple being defiled, takes out her revenge on poor Medusa. It has been noted that Athena, who is the goodness of war, rarely supports women. Perhaps she is the precursor to the jealous older woman so often portrayed in the European fairy tales that were to follow. To exact her revenge, Athena takes away Medusa’s most prized feature: her beautiful hair. Again, this is reminiscent of later fairy tales, specifically Rapunzel who is punished for sleeping with a prince by having her hair removed.

Athena makes Medusa unappealing to men by turning her hair into writhing snakes. It’s a classic case of victim blaming. If that isn’t enough, Athena ensures Medusa will forever remain alone by gifting her with a gaze that turns others to stone in an instant. Here we witness the creation of the original ‘death stare’, a weapon that has since been passed onto generations of women. And while over time, the death stare as become less potent and less deadly, it is by no means less scary. I know because my mother possesses such a stare that not only stops you in your tracks but also takes your breath away.

Medusa, however, did not wish to use her powers on mortals and instead retreated to a dark cave. She could not look upon a friend, or even an animal, without killing them, and so she lived a life of solitude. However, this was not to last. Even though Medusa never wanted to harm anyone, the knowledge that she had the power to do so, meant that she could never live a quiet life. Soon enough, men came in search of her and eventually, Perseus, the son of Zeus, finds her and cuts off her head while she sleeps.

The alternate origin story sees Medusa begin life as a Gorgon monster, borne of two sea monsters, and one of three daughters. As a Gorgon monster, Medusa is terrible and fierce and is much less sympathetic than her alter-ego, once-human-form. But what this version lacks in beauty, she makes up for in companionship, because in this version Medusa lives with her two sisters. These Gorgons are described as having snakes on their heads, wings on their back and large mouths with lolling tongues. Whether the sisters were immune to Medusa death stare, (perhaps possessing the same powers themselves) or they were protected by the darkness of the cave, we do not know. We do know her sisters, Stehnno and Euryale, mourned her death. They gave chase to Perseus after he murdered Medusa, and he escaped their clutches thanks only to Athena’s help (she definitely had a thing against Medusa). Upon Perseus’ escape, the sisters release a loud, mournful howl, which is chilling to the bone. Continue reading HERE.

Central panel of a mosaic floor with the head of Medusa, 1st – 2nd century CE. National Museum of Rome, Baths of Diocletian, Rome. SOURCE

Medusa

By Louise Bogan

I had come to the house, in a cave of trees,

Facing a sheer sky.

Everything moved,—a bell hung ready to strike,

Sun and reflection wheeled by.

When the bare eyes were before me

And the hissing hair,

Held up at a window, seen through a door.

The stiff bald eyes, the serpents on the forehead

Formed in the air.

This is a dead scene forever now.

Nothing will ever stir.

The end will never brighten it more than this,

Nor the rain blur.

The water will always fall, and will not fall,

And the tipped bell make no sound.

The grass will always be growing for hay

Deep on the ground.

And I shall stand here like a shadow

Under the great balanced day,

My eyes on the yellow dust, that was lifting in the wind,

And does not drift away.

Early Life of Medusa

Both Aeschylus and Hesiod mention Medusa in some of their early stories. They claim that she spent most of her life in Sarpedon, which was close to Cisthene with her Gorgon sisters and also died there. Hesiod used her in Theogony. Dionysios Skytobrachion wrote about her during the second century and claimed that she both lived and died in an area of Libya. Herodotus found some evidence that she appeared in Berber mythology where she was a major part of their religion.

Legend says that Medusa was one of three children born to Phorcys. Also known as Phorkys, he lay with his sister Ceto. The two had three daughters, including Euryale and Stheno. Though both were marine deities, their children were chthonic monsters. They also had another group of sisters called the Graeae who appeared in Prometheus Bound written by Aeschylus. He claimed that both groups of sisters were monsters. SOURCE

The Complete World of Greek Mythology by Richard Buxton A full, authoritative, and wholly engaging account of these endlessly fascinating tales and of the ancient society in which they were created.
Greek myths are among the most complex and influential stories ever told. From the first millennium BC until today, the myths have been repeated in an inexhaustible series of variations and reinterpretations. They can be found in the latest movies and television shows and in software for interactive computer games. This book combines a retelling of Greek myths with a comprehensive account of the world in which they developed―their themes, their relevance to Greek religion and society, and their relationship to the landscape.

Medusa’s Sisters and Birth

Medusa – whose name probably comes from the Ancient Greek word for “guardian” – was one of the three Gorgons, daughters of the sea gods Phorcys and Ceto, and sisters of the Graeae, Echidna, and Ladon. All of Medusa’s siblings were monsters by birth and, even though she was not, she had the misfortune of being turned into the most hideous of them all.

From then on, similarly to Euryale and Stheno, her older Gorgon sisters, Medusa was depicted with bronze hands and wings of gold. Poets claimed that she had a great boar-like tusk and tongue lolling between her fanged teeth. Writhing snakes were entwining her head in place of hair. Her face was so hideous and her gaze so piercing that the mere sight of her was sufficient to turn a man to stone. SOURCE

Descriptions of Medusa

The traditional description of Medusa and her sisters were of winged women, with large heads; large head that held large staring eyes, and the tusks of swine. Additionally, the Gorgons were also said to have had hands made of brass.

The most striking feature of Medusa and her sisters would be the hair upon their heads, for each lock was made up of a hissing snake.

Medusa was not considered the most deadly of the three Gorgons though, for this accolade was given to Sthenno, who it was said had killed more people than Medusa and Euryale combined.

The home of Medusa and her sisters was a closely guarded secret, a secret kept by the Graeae, but Hesiod suggested that the Gorgons lived upon an island close to the Island of the Hesperides at the western extremes of the known world, although later writers also claimed Medusa and hers sisters were to be found in Libya. SOURCE

Today we once again take a look at Medusa in the hope of finally creating a video that discusses all the various changes her myth has undergone over the years.

A Theory Of Her Benevolence and Different Opinion

I have discussed this theory regarding Medusa and what she symbolizes with friends and there are others out in the world who agree with this idea so allow me to explain. We all know the description of Medusa being this horrific looking scaly-skinned Gorgon with snakes for hair who turns anyone who gazes upon her into stone and that this was done by Athena for “desecrating” her temple due to her being raped by Poseidon. Athena was seen as being a very jealous and vengeful goddess when it came to human women having sexual relationships with her fellow Olympians. So as a punishment, Athena turns her into this hideous Gorgon to live out eternity both in isolation and sorrow.

But what if there is a different way to look at this? Here me out because this one may seem off to some readers. What if Athena had Medusa become a Gorgon but not as what has been interpreted through the centuries. We can see throughout history her appearances in ancient Greece and during the early part of the Roman Empire changed. So is it fair to theorize that perhaps there was actually a benevolent version for Medusa?

Medusa, said to possibly be a Priestess of the Temple of Athena, was indeed raped by Poseidon which is known. But instead of Athena pouring her vengeful rage upon this poor woman, perhaps she had a different intention. Think about the fact that Medusa later in ancient Greece and Rome we find her face on pottery, floor mosaics and other art as a symbol protection, to ward of malevolence and even a symbol of Femininity. Maybe, just maybe Athena gave Medusa this power of wielding her eyes as this vengeful weapon upon those who gazed at her with malevolent sexual desires. A message to others who may look upon women as merely an object for their deviant intentions. Perhaps Medusa kept her goddess-like beauty and the serpents upon her head are just a symbol of something greater. I personally look at Medusa as a champion for women who have suffered sexual abuse and rape. I see Medusa as this powerful goddess-like figure who is a symbol of empowerment, feminine strength and a powerful statement to any man who wishes to do that sort of harm must pay the most extreme of consequences.

Sure we can read the tales and easily look upon Medusa as this hideous, malevolent, cavern-dwelling Gorgon who only wishes to collect stone bodies in her lair of rot and rage. But I prefer seeing the benevolent version of Medusa and use her tale as a powerful one to perhaps aid in giving any woman who needs it the boost of positivity out from something so horrific.

Further Resources

The epic tragedy of Medusa, the most infamous female fiend in Greek mythology, whose look turned every living thing to stone. But what is the true story behind the myth?

The Ancient Gorgon Medusa: 9 Terrifying Facts

Medusa in Ancient Greek Art

The Curse of Medusa in Greek Mythology




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The Tarot Minor Arcana: Suit of Wands

The Tarot Minor Arcana: Suit of Wands by W1tchsbrew

Be sure to check her Etsy shop Wood ov Wyrd

Introduction:

The Suit of Wands all about fiery, creative energy. Whatever you’re about to begin, you couldn’t have hoped for better starting conditions. If you stay focused on your goal, there’s no way you will lose this race.

Metaphysical Correspondences:

Element: Fire

Zodiac Signs : AriesLeo & Sagittarius

Healing Crystals : Carnelian

Get To Know The Minor Arcana Suit of Wands:

Tarot Ace of Wands

Ace of Wands

Upright: The Ace of Wands tarot card brings a message of courage and vitality. If you’ve been struggling with a situation you believed to be hopeless, you are suddenly discovering untapped reservoirs of optimism and resolve.

Reversed: When reversed, the Ace of Wands tarot card points to a moment of confusion. Here, it’s important to keep your head on your shoulders. Your confusion could arise from having too many choices at once. The reversed Ace of Wands also suggests that something is about to come to an end. But that’s not always a bad thing.

Tarot Two of Wands

Two of Wands

Upright: The Two of Wands is a card of accomplishment, opportunity, and risk. Working out all the details and keeping the big picture in mind will do much to tip the scales in your favor. This tarot card also suggests that you have made a commitment to bettering your life and to stay the course.

Reversed: When the Two of Wands is reversed, it’s a good time to review your priorities and long term goals. On a broader scale, the reversed Two of Wands challenges you to examine and overcome your fears. It encourages you to take risks that will profit you in all aspects of your life.

Tarot Three of Wands

Three of Wands

Upright: When the Three of Wands appears upright in a tarot reading, its meanings speak of taking pride in your own strength, learning through experience, and discovering new opportunities.

Reversed: When the Three of Wands tarot card is reversed, it’s a sign the Universe is about to put the breaks on everything. Take a step back and reflect. Your sense of disappointment could be justified. On the other hand, what’s happening may be a blessing in disguise.

Tarot Four of Wands

Four of Wands 

Upright: When you see this card upright in a tarot reading, happiness and joy are right around the corner! The Four of Wands also marks a significant milestone in your personal development. Depending on what your emotional and spiritual needs are, you are about to enter a state of liberation or stability.

Reversed: Sometimes, the Four of Wands card reversed announces a minor delay. It can also suggest that a joyful experience is temporary. But that even if it’s only temporary, it can still be beautiful.

Tarot Five of Wands

Five of Wands 

Upright: This tarot card urges you to prioritize and delegate. When upright, the Five of Wands suggests that you need to become more organized. This card also reminds you to not take things personally. No one means any real harm. 

Reversed: When reversed, the Five of Wands tarot card can also show a period of quiet after a recent turmoil. Now is your chance to regroup and recharge.

Tarot Six of Wands

Six of Wands 

Upright: The Six of Wands not only shows that you are getting the recognition you deserve, it also suggests that your actions inspire others. This tarot card also encourages you not to let fear or misplaced feelings of guilt stand in the way of your success.

Reversed: When reversed, the Six of Wands tarot card cautions that it may be a bit too early to celebrate. It may also suggest that the success of a project you’ve been working on may not be as big as you hoped and to stay grounded.

Tarot Seven of Wands

Seven of Wands

Upright: When the Seven of Wands tarot card presents itself upright in a tarot reading, it’s a sign that now is your chance to show the world what you’re made of! Others can learn a lot from you. This tarot card also indicates an important inner victory.

Reversed: When the Seven of Wands card is reversed, it warns you that you may be sabotaging yourself. This reversal may also be reminding you that quick action is needed before a potential crisis spirals out of control.

Tarot Eight of Wands

Eight of Wands

Upright: When you see the Eight of Wands in a reading, it may suggest that travel may be in your near future. It could be for business trip or that long overdue vacation. The Eight of Wands card could also be an indication of rapid progress. Just be careful not to overlook important details, if you’re in a rush to get things done.

Reversed: When reversed, the Eight of Wands tarot card points out that a situation cannot progress because important issues still need to be resolved. Sometimes it suggests that you are stuck in thinking or behavior patterns that are holding you back.

Tarot Nine of Wands

Nine of Wands 

Upright: This tarot card reassures that you are ready for anything that’s headed your way. Whatever challenges are coming, you already know what they are – and you’re ready for them.

Reversed: When reversed, the Nine of Wands points to obstacles and delays which are often self-created. Maybe you’ve been putting things off for too long, and now your problems have become too numerous and too big to handle on your own. Reversed Nine of Wands suggests that you may need to reach out to others for help, and that’s ok.

Tarot Ten of Wands

Ten of Wands

Upright: The Ten of Wands is a card of success in all things. However it’s also a reminder that there is more to life than work – and that success is not always about you. 

Reversed: When reversed, this tarot card suggests that you need to decide which burdens to carry and which burdens you need to drop. Know your limits and set boundaries. 

Tarot Page of Wands

Page of Wands

Upright: The Page of Wands looks at the world with childlike enthusiasm and optimism. It often suggests new beginnings or looking at the world from a brand new perspective. This card card may also be indicating that you may embark on a quest for spiritual knowledge.

Reversed: When reversed in a tarot reading, the Page of Wand’s childlike disposition can create feelings of confusion or discouragement when faced with obstacles and opposition. Reversed Page of Wands may also point to an immature or simplistic way of looking at things. The Page’s youthful mind reduces everything to its most basic concepts.

Tarot Knight of Wands

Knight of Wands

Upright: When the Knight of Wands tarot card presents itself in a tarot reading, it’s a sign that the road is clear, you know exactly where you’re headed and you can trust your instincts implicitly. Maybe a sudden insight or event is encouraging you to make a life changing decision. New opportunities have come your way, or you’re seeing opportunities you didn’t see before.

Reversed: When reversed, this card suggests that you may be rushing into something that could seriously jeopardize a friendship, relationship – or job. Take your time and think things through before making any important decisions.

Tarot Queen of Wands

Queen of Wands

Upright: The Queen of Wands tarot card embodies creativity, abundance, and fiery passion. This card predicts that you have an ability to see beauty in everything, which allows you to create beauty everywhere. Be passionate in all you do and your passion will inspire others in turn.

Reversed: The reversed Queen of Wands can indicate that certain boundaries have been violated. There are just some lines you should never, ever cross. It may also be a reminder to recharge your emotional batteries every once in a while.

Tarot King of Wands

King of Wands

Upright: An upright King of Wands tarot card symbolizes pure heat and energy. This can be a blessing and a curse. Be sure to direct your energy to the right areas of your life, lest the fire leave you burnt out. 

Reversed: When reversed, the King of Wands cautions you that you need to pay closer attention to how you come across when dealing with people. Try to look at the situation from other’s perspectives so that you can learn to better connect.

What It Takes:

These are extremely brief descriptions of The Suit of Wands tarot cards. To fully utilize the art of tarot with confidence takes much time and extensive learning. It is strongly advised that you do further personal research and dive deeper into the complex meanings of each tarot card, prior to practicing this form of divination. 

Further Resources:

The book includes:
Lessons on how to consider one card by itself, how to look for card pairs, and how to create the “story” of a reading
Contains two pages of information for each card including a picture from the popular Rider Waite deck, a description, keywords, action phrases, and suggestions for cards with similar and opposite meanings
How to work with reversed cards to give tarot readings a natural flow of high points and low points without abrupt transitions
Practical insights on how to work with and interpret a wide variety of tarot spreads

Tarot: An Introduction

The Tarot: Major Arcana

The Tarot Minor Arcana: Introduction and Suit of Pentacles

Basic meanings for the upright and reversed positions for each of the cards in the Suit of Wands in the Rider-Waite Tarot deck.
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Owls: Myth, Folklore and More

Today’s animal blog post on the folklore, mythology and symbolism plus more will be covering the Owl. With approximately 250 species of Owls around the world it is expected that these predators of the night would absolutely become embedded in culture, folklore and even associated with Deities which indeed is the case. Owls to me are very fascinating both with their important roles in nature and how they have had an effect in humans. So today let us dive into the world of Owls and their significance in the myths, folklore and more.

Introduction

Owls in Mythology & Culture By Deane Lewis

Throughout history and across many cultures, people have regarded Owls with fascination and awe. Few other creatures have so many different and contradictory beliefs about them. Owls have been both feared and venerated, despised and admired, considered wise and foolish, and associated with witchcraft and medicine, the weather, birth and death. Speculation about Owls began in earliest folklore, too long ago to date, but passed down by word of mouth over generations.

In early Indian folklore, Owls represent wisdom and helpfulness, and have powers of prophecy. This theme recurs in Aesop’s fables and in Greek myths and beliefs. By the Middle Ages in Europe, the Owl had become the associate of witches and the inhabitant of dark, lonely and profane places, a foolish but feared spectre. An Owl’s appearance at night, when people are helpless and blind, linked them with the unknown, its eerie call filled people with foreboding and apprehension: a death was imminent or some evil was at hand. During the eighteenth century the zoological aspects of Owls were detailed through close observation, reducing the mystery surrounding these birds. With superstitions dying out in the twentieth century – in the West at least – the Owl has returned to its position as a symbol of wisdom. Continue reading HERE.

OWL MYTHS AND LEGENDS by Shani Freidman

Owls and humans are connected from the dawn of history. The nighttime activity, large eyes, acute vision, and “wisdom” of owls were known by the ancients. Dating from a Sumerian tablet (2300 to 2000 BC), Lilith, the goddess of death, has talons for feet, wears a headdress of horns, and is flanked by owls. She is probably the inspiration for Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom and warfare. The rock crevices of Athens and the Acropolis were filled with small owls, believed to be the embodiment of Athena. When the Athenians won the battle of Marathon from the Persians in 490 BC, the warrior goddess Athena assumed the shape of an owl and led them from above.

The Romans, who appropriated many of the Greek beliefs, associated owls with Minerva, the goddess of prophesy and wisdom. Minerva’s role was similar to Athena’s. The prophetic qualities of owls were known. Virgil writes that the hoot of an owl foretold the death of Dido. Pliny reports great confusion and fear in the Forum when an owl entered. Horace associates owls with witchcraft. Romans used representations of owls to combat the evil eye. Owl feathers and internal organs were found in magical potions and pharmaceutical remedies. For example, the ashes of an owl’s feet were an antidote to snakebite, and an owl’s heart placed on the breast of a sleeping woman forced her to tell all her secrets. Continue reading HERE.

Silver tetradrachm coin at the Museum of Fine Arts of Lyon depicting the owl of Athena (circa 480–420 BC). The inscription “ΑΘΕ” is an abbreviation of ΑΘΗΝΑΙΩΝ, which may be translated as “of the Athenians”. In daily use the Athenian drachmas were called glaukes (γλαῦκες, owls). This silver coin was first issued in 479 BC in Athens after the Persians were defeated by the Greeks.

6 Myths and Superstitions About Owls

  1. Owls are famous for their exceptional eyesight and it was thought that you could gain better eyesight by ingesting parts of them. In England, the method was to cook owl eggs until they were ash, then incorporate them into a potion. Folklore from India had a more direct method: just eat owl eyes.
  2. Owls are a sign of death in many cultures, including some Native American tribes. For instance, dreaming of an owl signified approaching death for Apache people. Boreal owl calls were a call from spirits to the Cree people, and if you answered back to the owl with a whistle and didn’t get a response, it was a sign that your death was imminent. On the other hand, Dakota Hidatsa people believed that burrowing owls acted as protective spirits for warriors.
  3. For some cultures, the owl was sacred. Among Australian Aborigines, owls are the spirits of women and so are sacred. The Kwakiutl people also thought owls were the souls of people and shouldn’t be harmed because, if the owl was killed, the person whose soul the owl carried would also die. In fact, many different cultures believed that a person became an owl after death.
  4. Owls are often viewed as a symbol of wisdom. The “wise old owl” character comes from an old English nursery rhyme, which suggests that listening more than talking is a valuable character trait that we would all benefit from developing. As such, the owl has become a sign of learning and mental change. Many people believe that seeing an owl is a profoundly good thing, as it indicates the start of a new phase in life.
  5. Owls are, of course, associated with witchcraft—particularly white ones, which are the most elusive. Greeks and Romans believed witches could turn themselves into owls, and in this form would come to suck the blood of babies. In other cultures, owls were simply the messengers of witches, or hooted to warn of the approach of a witch. Unfortunately this led to many owls being hunted and killed in the Middle Ages.
  6. Though the owl’s nocturnal activity was at the root of many superstitions, the amazing ability of an owl to rotate its neck to extraordinary degrees was even turned into a myth. In England it was believed that if you walked around a tree that an owl was perched in, it would follow you with its eyes, around and around until it wrung its own neck. SOURCE

“You don’t need anything but hope. The kind of hope that flies on silent wings under a shining owl moon.”

-Jane Yolen
Perhaps no other creature has so compelling a gaze as the owl. Its unblinking stare mesmerizes; its nocturnal lifestyle suggests secrets and mystery. This lavishly illustrated book celebrates owls from every corner of the world and offers abundant details on fifty-three of the most striking and interesting species, from the tiny Elf Owl of southwestern American deserts to the formidable Blakiston’s Fish Owl, the largest of all owls.
 Mike Unwin has long studied and admired these remarkable birds from cold northern forests to tropical rivers and beyond. He explains how owls evolved into the supreme feathered predators of the night, and he examines their breeding and hunting behaviors, unusual calls, and the cultural myths and superstitions that surround different species. More than two hundred dramatic color photographs in the wild, taken or selected by David Tipling, capture the wondrous beauty of each owl and the drama of life in its own home region. 

The Owl as a Spirit Guide

When you seek out Owl, it is a way of reaching your Higher Self and truly seeing things from a spiritual perspective; This refreshing vantage point allows you to open doorways into other realms and connect with the Devas, Ancestors, Angels, and the Divine.

Owl has a strong connection with the element of air. Travel with Owl Spirit to the heavens and soar through the halls of the Akashic records. Owl will show you things that might otherwise remain hidden to you, so be open to seeing things in a whole new way.

You cannot deceive Owl, which is why this Spirit Animal reminds us to remain true to ourselves, our voice, and our vision. Owl does not tolerate illusion or secrets. If there are skeletons in the closet, you can trust that Owl will find them and start house cleaning.

It is no surprise that the Goddess Athena held Owls as sacred. Athena is beyond doubt, one of the most complex Deities in history, and Her attributes included wisdom and strategy – so Owl Spirit became the perfect companion. In Greek tradition, Owl was also a protector. It was believed that an Owl flying over a soldier or army portended victory because Owl would remain watchful.

As a creature of the night, the Celts and Egyptians regarded Owl as a gatekeeper to other realms, particularly the souls of the dead. In some stories, this bird actually accompanies a soul, so it doesn’t get lost on its journey.

In Native American tradition, Owl represents sacred knowledge (you’ll get to know me, I live for puns). When you begin studying the mysteries, this Spirit Animal Guide is an amazing helpmate and mentor.

Overall, Owl is a symbol of being able to navigate any darkness in our life; this Spirit brings clarity, prophetic inklings, and a strong connection with the mystical world. SOURCE

“Owls are known as lonely birds, but it is not known that they have the forest as their best friend!”

– Mehmet Murat Ildan
This petroglyph, the ‘Spedis Owl‘ was salvaged from along the Columbia River just before The Dalles Dam flooded the area in 1956. This carving is on display at Horsethief Lake State Park, Washington. Photo © Ralph Turner.

Symbolism

Perception, Silent Observation, Wisdom, Deception

The Owl has a dual symbolism of wisdom and darkness, the latter meaning evil and death. They are symbolically associated with clairvoyance, astral projection and magick, and is oftentimes the medicine of sorcerers and witches, you are drawn to magickal practices. Those who have owl medicine will find that these night birds will tend to collect around you, even in daytime, because they recognise a kinship with you.

The two main symbolic characteristics of the Owl, its wisdom and its nocturnal activity– have made it represent perception. Considering perception in a spiritual context, Owl medicine is related to psychism, occult matters, instincts, and clairvoyance– the true ability to see what is happening around you.

The owl can see that which others cannot, which is the essence of true wisdom. Where others are deceived, Owl sees and knows what is there.

Use your power of keen, silent observation to intuit some life situation, Owl is befriending you and aiding you in seeing the whole truth. The Owl also brings its messages in the night through dreams or meditation. Pay attention to the signals and omens. The truth always brings further enlightenment.

The Owl, symbol of the Goddess, represents perfect wisdom. Owls have the ability to see in the dark and fly noiselessly through the skies. They bring messages through dreams. The Owl is the bird of mystical wisdom and ancient knowledge of the powers of the moon. With wide-open, all-seeing eyes, Owl looks upon reality without distortion and acknowledges it, yet is aware that with ancient magickal and spiritual knowledge, he or she can make changes. SOURCE

This video will discuss about 20 mysterious facts about Owls. As recognized as owls may be, most people don’t actually know a whole ton about them. But the truth is, these birds are incredibly complex creatures with a catalogue of surprising facts.

What Sees the Owl by Elizabeth Sears Bates

His velvet wing sweeps through the night:
With magic of his wondrous sight
He oversees his vast domain,
And king supreme of night doth reign.

Around him lies a silent world,
The day with all its noise is furled;
When every shadow seems a moon,
And every light a sun at noon.

How welcome from the blinding glare
Is the cool grayness of the air!
How sweet the power to reign, a king,
When day his banishment will bring!

For him the colorless moonlight
Burns brilliant, an aurora bright;
The forest’s deepest gloom stands clear
From mystery and helpless fear.

He sees the silver cobwebs spun,
The dewdrops set the flowers have won,
The firefly’s gleam offends his sight,
It seems a spark of fierce sunlight.

Clear winter nights when he so bold,
“For all his feathers, is a-cold,”
Sees the Frost-spirit fling his lace,
And fashion icicles apace.

At his weird call afar and faint
A sleepy echo, like the quaint
Last notes of some wild chant, replies
And mocks his solitude—and dies.

Owls of the World, second edition, is the ultimate photographic resource dedicated to the identification of these charismatic birds of prey. It is packed with spectacular photography of 268 species of owls from all over the world, including extinct species. Many of the images are of highly elusive species very rarely caught on camera.
The vast majority of the roughly 200 species of owls are so-called true owls which possess large heads with round faces short tails and muted feathers with mottled patterns. The remainder accounting for a little over a dozen species are barn owls which can be distinguished by their heart-shaped faces long legs equipped with powerful talons and moderate size. With the exception of the common barn owl—which has a worldwide distribution—the most familiar owls at least to residents of North America and Eurasia are the true owls.
Evolution has an efficient way of relegating animals to particular niches: because other carnivorous birds (like hawks and eagles) hunt during the day most owls have adapted to hunting at night. The dark coloration of owls makes them nearly invisible to their prey—which consists of insects small mammals and other birds—and their wings are structured so as to beat in almost complete silence. These adaptations combined with their enormous eyes makes owls some of the most efficient night hunters on the planet wolves and coyotes not excluded.
One of the most remarkable things about owls is the way they move their entire heads when looking at something rather than simply moving their eyes in their sockets like most other vertebrate animals. The reason for this is that owls need large forward-facing eyes to gather in scarce light during their nocturnal hunts and evolution couldn’t spare the musculature to allow these eyes to rotate. Instead owls have astonishingly flexible necks that allow them to turn their heads three-quarters of a circle or 270 degrees—compared to about 90 degrees for the average human being!

Further Resources

Owls Mythology & Folklore

Owl Names in Mythology – Nocturnal Birds Of Prey In The Mystic Realms

World Owl Mythology

Native American Owl Mythology

Owl Folklore

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Goddess Lilith: Origin, Working with Her and More

I have been aware of the Goddess Lilith most of my life but growing up in the toxic environment during my childhood, Lilith was characterized as an evil and malicious demon which I later learned is a Christianized version twisted for that religions own purpose. The truth is that Lilith’s origins is shrouded in some mystery and is quite a complex Goddess who is deserving of true respect, honor and dedication. That is my purpose of this blog post which is important to me as I have close friends who work with her in their magick practices.

Lilith’s Origins

The exact origins of Lilith are uncertain and there is lot of speculation around the historical accuracy of most versions of her myth.

In Mesopotamian mythology, Lilith was associated with the figure of a female night demon. In this culture, the shadowy creature symbolized the wind and, therefore, had its image related to pests, malaise and death. To get in touch with her universe, Lilith used water as a portal. Already in Hebrew mythology, with quotes in the Midrash and Talmud, Lilith is also seen as a demon.

Among the Sumerians, in the middle of 3000 BC. C., Lilith was known by the name of Lilitu. In that period, her figure appeared, at first, in the representation of a group of demons or spirits related to storms and winds. According to some mythologists, in 700 BC the name was changed to Lilith. As in Sumer, the peoples of Babylon associated Lilith with evil spirits and demonic entities. Symbolizing her by the moon, the Babylonians believed that the female devil varied between bad and good phases. SOURCE

Lilith is a Sumerian or Babylonian demon Goddess, Who is perhaps better known for Her role in Jewish legend. Called “The Dark Maid” or “Maiden of Desolation,” Lilith is associated with owls and is a creature of the night. She is depicted on a Babylonian clay plaque from 2000-1600 BCE as beautiful winged woman with bird’s feet and claws.

As a young woman, Inanna, the Sumerian Goddess of love and war, plants a sacred huluppu-tree from which She hopes to make Her throne (representing Her power as an adult woman) and bed (representing Her full sexuality). But Lilith, along with the serpent and the lion-faced anzu-bird, takes up residence in the huluppu-tree, as a symbol of Inanna’s fears. The hero Gilgamesh eventually drives Lilith out, and Inanna is then able to claim Her throne and bed.

In Jewish legend, Lilith is Adam’s first wife. She refused to have sex with him because she did not want to be beneath him. She left him and was cursed to give birth to one hundred demon children a day who were then killed. She was said to take Her revenge for this curse by stealing or killing human children. Her name means “Screech Owl” or “Night Creature.” She is mentioned in the Bible: as the Hebrew God, Yahweh, threatens the destruction of Edom (a land located to the south and east of the Dead Sea) He describes what will happen after it is laid waste: “…The night creature shall rest there, and find for herself a place of rest” (Book of Isaiah, chapter 34, verse 14). Like in the Inanna legend, Lilith’s presence symbolizes a dark time of fear or desolation. SOURCE

Burney Relief, Babylon (1800-1750 BCE). Some scholars (e.g. Emil Kraeling) identified the figure in the relief with Lilith, based on a misreading of an outdated translation of the Epic of Gilgamesh. ( CC BY-SA 3.0 ) SOURCE

Epithets and Names of Lilith

Lilith has had many names throughout history, some with known origins and some without. A few popular titles are:

  • Screeching Owl
  • Demon of screeching
  • Temptress
  • Night Monster
  • Lilu
  • Lamia
  • The First Feminist

According to the book Folk-lore of the Holy Land, these are the names of Lilith:

Satrinah, Lilith, Avitu, Amiz Raphi, Amizu, Kakash, Odem, ‘ik, Pods, ‘ils, Petrota, Abro, Kema, Kalee, Bituah, Thiltho, Partashah. SOURCE

Lilith out of Eden: Asmodeus’s companion

There are at least three versions of Lilith’s fate outside Eden: the first tells that she was confined to the caves of the Red Sea, where she would still live dedicating herself to pagan rites in full harmony with nature.

On the other hand, the second version says she was the lover of every demon in the world: in essence, once she left the Garden of God, she would have lain with the demons present on earth to prove that she did not need divine grace.

This version, however, would be forced and is not very valid for the followers of Lilith, who point out that since there are only two human beings on a still pure earth, there certainly could not be many demons.

A third version says that Lilith could be allowed to return to Eden as long as she became the protector of all newborns. Lilith, however, saw it as an affront: taking care of children not her own would be a punishment. It seems therefore that she went far away until she met the demon Asmodeus.

Between the two it was an instant love or, at least, it was something that resembled it; it seems that they chose each other as companions and that Lilith gave birth to many Lilim, or demon children, also called jinn.

At this point, it seems that once again God tried to bring her back. He commissioned three angels, Senoy, Sansenoy, and Semangelof, to look for her. The three did not use the right strategy: they ordered her to return by threatening her with death, but she replied that she could not return to Adam after having had a relationship with a demon and that she would never be able to die because she became immortal. Continue reading HERE.

I made this altar piece dedicated to Lilith several years ago for a friend in Switzerland that has the sigil for the Goddess.

Sigil of Lilith

Lilith is a symbol of femininity, beauty, freedom, rebellion, strength and courage. She is the liberator of the women, encouraging them to be strong and to fight for their rights. Lilith is also known to help during the childbirths and all which concerns the femininity.

Lilith is associated to the night and to the moon, to the water, to the rose, to the snake, to big cats, and more particularly to the cat, to the owl and to the hyena.

In the tarot, she is symbolized by the Empress and the High Priestess.

Lilith is often associated with Ishtar/Inanna, with Isis, or with Kitra for vampyres. In the Luciferian Wicca, she embodies the goddess, the symbol of the feminine energy of the universe (associated with the God, Lucifer, the symbol of the male energy).

This book shows you how to get in touch with this powerful Goddess the right way.
There are several books out there that teach magical rituals using the energy of Goddess Lilith. Most of these books teach effective things, but the way they approach the Goddess can be dangerous. In this book I teach you how to contact Lilith safely and efficiently.

Calling on Lilith Ritual

In most Wiccan and pagan traditions, the sacred feminine and masculine represent different aspects of life, personalities, and energies. Often, the masculine (either in energy or via the God) is utilized for spells and rituals focused on strength. But sometimes, what you need can’t come from the masculine. Sometimes what you need is unmatched feminine ferocity, strength pulled from the fury and darkness that has built over millennia. In those instances, calling upon Lilith will aid you in finding your inner strength and releasing that power.

For this ritual, you will need:

  • a sliced apple (to eat, make sure it is in good shape)
  • red wine (or grape juice if you don’t drink alcohol)
  • bloodstone (for strength, courage, and confidence)
  • a small plate
  • chalice
  • any owl or serpent statuary or imagery you’d like to include on your altar
  • music from a female artist you like

Perform this ritual at night. If there is a dark moon soon, wait for that if you can. If you can perform it outdoors, that will work best, as Lilith lives in the wilds. Set your statuary or imagery on your altar if you’d like. Place the bloodstone at the center. Place the plate with the sliced apples to the right of the bloodstone. Place the chalice with the red wine to the left of the bloodstone.

Begin by focusing your intention on calling Lilith and finding your strength. Meditate on your intentions for a few moments. Play the music, pick up the bloodstone, and begin to dance. Dance wildly, widely, without inhibition. Feel the wild within your heart grow and let it flourish in your dance. Dance to a few songs, holding the bloodstone tightly as you do, letting the energy you are raising be intensified by the power of the stone.

Turn down the music (but not off) and return to your altar. Touch the stone to the apple and the wine, then replace it in the center. Hold your hands over the apple and wine and recite this incantation:

Lilith, First Witch, Dark Mother

Protector of all who are othered

Help me release my power

No longer see me cower

Move both hands over the apple. Recite this incantation:

Knowledge from its flesh

Wisdom that is refreshed

I bring your power into me

I set my wildness free

Eat one slice of apple, focusing your intention. Move both hands over the wine. Recite this incantation:

Millennia of tears and blood

Building into a flood

Of women’s fury and power

I bring to myself in this dark hour

Take a sip of the wine, focusing your intention. Turn the music up again and call to Lilith to dance with you.

Lilith, wild, strong, and free

Join in and dance with me

Help my strength to grow

My own power let me know

As you dance, take breaks to thank Lilith, eat more of the apple, and drink more of the wine. Continue until both are gone. Carry the bloodstone with you when you need the strength of the dark feminine. SOURCE

Symbols of Goddess Lilith

Correspondences and Offerings to Lilith

  • Clay: Lilith is said to be made of clay.
  • Figures of animals such as owls and snakes.
  • Books and artwork depicting Lilith
  • Lilith’s Sigil
  • Symbols of the Dark Moon
  • Crystals such as tiger’s eye, amber, bloodstone, moonstone, and obsidian.
  • Black candles
  • Use a scrying mirror to invite her spirit
  • You can use scents such as jasmine, dragon’s blood, musk, and sandalwood.
  • Alcohol, specifically red wine.

Some may choose to use blood as an offering for Lilith, but blood is a powerful connection to your own energy. You should only use blood in a ritual if you have a complete understanding of the energetic implications of doing so. This is not recommended for those who are just beginning to work with any deity. SOURCE

**NOTE** A close friend of mine who works closely with Lilith shared with me that Red Carnelian stone is also associated with Lilith.

A look at the magick and rituals of the most useful Daemon and Goddess in all magick.
Lilith. A daemon to some. A goddess to others. A name which struck fear in the hearts of men and women in the middle ages. A name associated with the most powerful Daemoness in history.
A name that is very maligned. She is actually a goddess of feminism, and encompasses all the aspects of her dual nature: Darkness and Light
The largest book I have ever written on a single Goddess. Lilith is both Goddess and Daemoness, her powers range all across the spectrum.
Lilith’s story has been told and retold by countless religious people, pagans, and feminists. In her story, Lilith was highly feared and regarded as a demon by many religious folks. Today, she is considered a goddess too many women who seek her out via ritual for her guidance with bold sexuality, feminine empowerment, and sacred rebellion.

Further Resources

Goddess Lilith

Lilith the Original Woman: Reclaiming the Wild Instinctual Nature of Woman

Lilith, the Triple Goddess of Astrology

This guided meditation was recorded live during our Lilith Dark Goddess Liberation Session, and then mastered as a stand alone meditation.
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Hag Stones: History, Meaning and use in Magick

Hag stones are something I have been fascinated with for a very long time and enjoy collecting them from all over this country and around the world. Hag stones have been a part of magical practices and folklore for thousands of years and still to this day. They have a variety of other names such as Fairy Stones, Odin Stones, Holey Stones, Witch Stones, Adder Stones, Snake Eggs, Hex Stones, Holeys, and Eye Stones. From viewing into the spirit realm to warding off evil spirits at sea, Hag stones have many uses which will be explained in this blog. Hag stones are most commonly found on beaches along the coast but also can be found on lake shores and even in river beds. So with that all said let us get into the fascinating world of these amazing stones.

Origin of the Term Hag Stone

The name “hag stone” originates in part from ancient beliefs that most maladies, which were curable by using this stone, were caused originally by spectral hags. Other areas call them adder stones because they are believed to protect the wearer from the effects of snake bite. Germanic legend says that adder stones are formed when serpents gather together and use their venom to create the holes in the center of the stones. Hag stones are said to have many uses. They have been used by witches worldwide for centuries in both rituals and spell work. They also have been used, ironically, as a toll to counteract a witch’s magick. Legend has it that they can be used to ward off the dead, curses, sickness and nightmares.

They are used to see invisible creatures of the land of the Fae and open up a window to other realms. They are used as protection against spells, warding, and healing. The spell for fertility magic had a hag stone tied to the bedpost to help facilitate pregnancy. There are stories of very large hag stones; large enough for someone to walk through. These are used by couples trying to achieve pregnancy by walking through it together or holding hands.

Livestock owners would use the stones to protect their animals from bewitchment or being ridden to the Sabbath by witches. A stone would be suspended by a cord in the center of each stable to protect the horses and other live stock. Else a cow would give sour milk and hens refused to lay and eggs. Fisherman and sailors would often find them on beaches during their travels. They would tie them to their boats to keep off evil spirits and witches from affecting their ships and their catch. It was believed that evil spirits and witches would curse ships to have small catches, but a hag stone would prevent this from happening. A few stories speak of them being able to control the winds on the high seas; or more formerly, they could control the weather. Continue reading HERE.

A few uses of Hag Stones

  • Hang it above your front door or over a window to keep evil spirits out. 
  • If you’re a sailor, tie one with rope to your ship to prevent witches clinging to your vessel, and to swing in the wind to help break up storm clouds. 
  • Wear it around your neck on a string to ensure good health and to heal any minor ills. 
  • Nail one above the door of your barn to stop witches souring your herd’s milk or taking your horses for a gallop in the night. 
  • Attach a hag stone to your bedpost to keep bad dreams away. 
  • Tie one to your keys so they will never be lost again. 
  • Use them to help you conceive a baby. (We’re not quite clear on exactly how this is done. Perhaps just have one about your person…)
  • Enter Fairyland through it (apparently the hole is a portal). Again, we’re unsure about how to do this, but it can’t hurt to just have a peer at Fairyland through the hole. 

*Only ever take one at a time though, and only for yourself. The stones are said to find you; you don’t find the stones. And they only work for the person they found. SOURCE

Some of the hag Stones in my personal collection from the Oregon coast, Florida coast and Lake Michigan.

How to Use Hag Stones for Magick

Despite their general state being to banish faeries, if you wish to attract some, you can pour morning dew through a Hag Stone hole and anoint yourself with it. 

Other rituals that can be practiced with these objects, include a fertility ritual, a ritual for increased mental balance and safety while seafaring. 

For the fertility ritual, you must find a Hag Stone that is big enough to walk or crawl through, while most Hag Stones are pebble sized there are a few that are more of a boulder. You must then link hands with your partner then go through together. If all goes well you will be blessed with a baby.

For the ritual of mental healing and balance, tie a Hag Stone to your bedpost or headboard. The next time you take a nap you will be graced with calmness, enhanced mood and other benefits that resemble meditation.

For the final ritual you must nail a Hag Stone to the side of your sea-craft, make sure to secure it very tightly in order to make sure it does not fall into the watery depths of the ocean. After you have done this folklore states that storms and rough tides will be dissuaded from coming your way as will all manner of malevolent sea spirits.

While at sea, Hag Stones could also be utilized for breaking up storms, this also applies on land. In order to do this simply tie a string or rope through the Hag Stone and swirl it around your head, this will dispel the gathering storms. SOURCE

In this video, I talk about the meaning, magick, and folklore of these wonderful stones and how to use them.

Further Resources

This History of Hagstones║Use them in your Witchcraft

Hag Stones and Lucky Charms

Hag Stones and Fairy Stones

Hag Stone Meaning and Magic – Everything You Need To Know

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Romulus & Remus and the She-Wolf of Rome

The history of the ancient Roman Empire has been a fascination of mine for decades and I have always enjoyed anything and all things from that amazing time period from its fruition to the fall of the Roman empire and into the time of the Byzantine Empire. The humble beginnings of Rome far before it became an empire has a really interesting story regarding two orphaned brothers and a She-Wolf simply known as La Lupa and the First lady of Rome. From this it has been always recognized that Rome was founded on April 21, 753 BCE. So today’s blog post will be covering all about Romulus, Remus and the famous She-Wolf of Rome.

La Lupa the She-Wolf

According to tradition, Rome was founded in 753 B.C. by the twins Romulus and Remus. Sons of the god Mars and a mortal woman named Rhea Silvia, a direct descendant of Aeneas, the twins were abandoned by their uncle in the Tibur river. A she-wolf discovered them on the banks of the river and suckled them until they were taken in by a passing sheperd, Faustulus. Faustulus raised the boys together with his own twelve children until they decided to found a city of their own. They chose the spot by the Tibur where they had been rescued by the wolf, which was near the base of the Palatine hill in Rome. The representation of the wolf suckling the twins became a popular subject in Roman Republican and Imperial art. SOURCE

Cristina Mazzoni, She-wolf: The Story of a Roman Icon. Cambridge/New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010

“Lupus est homo homini.” Plautus Asinaria 495

This famous quotation, through its various translations, perfectly encapsulates the themes explored in Cristina Mazzoni’s new book. Man is a wolf to other men—as Plautus undoubtedly meant it——but a wolf can also be interpreted as a human being in particular circumstances. In both Italian and Latin the word lupa can describe a she-wolf or a prostitute, either a ferocious animal or a female human of voracious sexual appetites. This paradox has informed interpretations of the legend of Romulus and Remus since antiquity, where the she-wolf figures as animal, mother, and whore simultaneously, and the complexity and ambiguity of this formative being have given her long life as a symbol representing a myriad of concepts, individuals, and entities. Mazzoni sets herself the ambitious task of exploring the she-wolf in all her forms and interpretations, from the famous Lupa Capitolina to her appearance in modern art, archaeology, poetry, and literature. Continue reading HERE.

Symbolism of the She-Wolf

The she-wolf of Rome represents the following concepts:

  • The she-wolf represents Roman power, which made her a popular image throughout the Roman Republic and Empire. The connection between the Roman state and the she-wolf was such that there were at least two dedications to the she-wolf performed by priests.
  • Wolves, especially she-wolves, are a sacred animal of the Roman god Mars. It is believed that they acted as divine messengers, thus seeing a wolf was a good omen.
  • The she-wolf is associated with the Roman Empire’s wolf festival Lupercalia, which is a fertility festival that starts at the estimated spot where the she-wolf nursed the twin boys.
  • The she-wolf also comes across as a mother-figure, representing nourishment, protection and fertility. By extension, she becomes a mother-figure to the city of Rome, as she lies at the very heart of its establishment. SOURCE
Mosaic depicting the She-wolf with Romulus and Remus, inspired by the legend of the founding of Rome. From Aldborough (UK), about 300-400 CE (Leeds City Museum).

Romulus and Remus

Romulus and Remus were the direct descendants of Aeneas, whose fate-driven adventures to discover Italy are described by Virgil in The Aeneid. Romulus and Remus were related to Aeneas through their mother’s father, Numitor. Numitor was a king of Alba Longa, an ancient city of Latium in central Italy, and father to Rhea Silvia. Before Romulus’ and Remus’ conception, Numitor’s reign was usurped by Numitor’s younger brother, Amulius. Amulius inherited control over Alba Longa’s treasury with which he was able to dethrone Numitor and become king. Amulius, wishing to avoid any conflict of power, killed Numitor’s male heirs and forced Rhea Silvia to become a Vestal Virgin. Vestal Virgins were priestesses of Vesta, patron goddess of the hearth; they were charged with keeping a sacred fire that was never to be extinguished and to take vows of chastity.

There is much debate and variation as to whom was the father of Romulus and Remus. Some myths claim that Mars appeared and lay with Rhea Silvia; other myths attest that the demi-god hero Hercules was her partner. However, the author Livy claims that Rhea Silvia was in fact raped by an unknown man, but blamed her pregnancy on divine conception. In either case, Rhea Silvia was discovered to be pregnant and gave birth to her sons. It was custom that any Vestal Virgin betraying her vows of celibacy was condemned to death; the most common death sentence was to be buried alive. However, King Amulius, fearing the wrath of the paternal god (Mars or Hercules) did not wish to directly stain his hands with the mother’s and children’s blood. So, King Amulius imprisoned Rhea Silvia and ordered the twins’ death by means of live burial, exposure, or being thrown into the Tiber River. He reasoned that if the twins were to die not by the sword but by the elements, he and his city would be saved from punishment by the gods. He ordered a servant to carry out the death sentence, but in every scenario of this myth, the servant takes pity on the twins and spares their lives. The servant, then, places the twins into a basket onto the River Tiber, and the river carries the boys to safety. Continue reading HERE.

The 21st April 753 BC is traditionally the date of the founding of Rome by twin brothers Romulus and Remus. (Romulus would later murder Remus.) Legend has it that they were abandoned as babies by their parents and put into a basket and then placed into the River Tiber. The basket was discovered by a female wolf who nursed the babies for a short time before they were found by a shepherd. It was the shepherd who brought up the twins.
According to legend, Romulus was born to a Vestal Virgin and left for dead as an infant near the Tiber River. His life nearly ended as quickly as it began, but fate had other plans. A humble shepherd rescued the child and helped raise him into manhood. As Romulus grew older, he fearlessly engaged in a series of perilous adventures that ultimately culminated in Rome’s founding, and he became its fabled first king.

Establishing a new city had its price, and Romulus was forced to defend the nascent community. As he tirelessly safeguarded Rome, Romulus proved that he was a competent leader and talented general. Yet, he also harbored a dark side, which reared its head in many ways and tainted his legacy, but despite all of his misdeeds, redemption and subsequent triumphs were usually within his grasp. Indeed, he is an example of how greatness is sometimes born of disgrace.

Regardless of his foreboding flaws, Rome allegedly existed because of him and became massively successful. As the centuries passed, the Romans never forgot their celebrated founder.
The founding of Rome is a legendary tale about the twins and demigods, Romulus and Remus. In Roman mythology, Romulus and Remus were the sons of Rhea Silvia and either the god Mars or the demigod Hercules. Also, in order to synthesize the myth of Aeneas, a Trojan prince who had fought in the Trojan War before setting off to Italy to establish the Roman bloodline, Romulus and Remus were believed to be direct descendants of Aeneas.
During Rome’s 2767th birthday celebrations, Larry Lamb heads to the city to investigate the Romanian Empire. In this first episode, Larry learns how Rome was founded by exploring the story of Romulus and Remus, using the works of ancient Roman historian Livy as a guide. He also goes on to discover how Rome would later become a city.

Further Resources

The legend of Romulus and Remus

Romulus and Remus: Roman mythology

Capitoline She-wolf

The She-Wolf: Mother to Other Species