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Author Topic: Witch Goddess  (Read 7446 times)

Haugatysja

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Witch Goddess
« on: May 03, 2012, 05:05:11 am »
I'm not sure if this should be in this part of the forums or in the witchcraft part, feel free to move it if I posted in the wrong section :).

In traditional witchcraft there is a lot of talk about a witch goddess. I'm referring to books like The Call of the Horned Piper by Nigel Jackson, Cochranes writings, Treading the Mill: Practical Craft Working in Modern Traditional Witchcraft by Nigel Pearson, Light from the Shadows: A Mythos of Modern Traditional Witchcraft by Gwyn, Hedge-Rider: Witches and the Underworld by Eric de Vries etc. Pauld Huson writes about Habondia in his book Mastering Witchcraft: A Practical Guide for Witches, Warlocks, and Covens.

Jackson for instance, writes about Holda/Hel and then in the next sentence Freyja/Holda. I can buy the Holda/Freyja similarities, but Holda/Hel seems a bit off to me. Jackson like others writes that the Indo-European goddess *Kolyo is the original witch goddess, and that Calypso and Cailleach originally come from this goddess too (Jackson 1994:17-18).
Gwyn writes that goddesses associated with witches in the classical world are Hecate and Diana-Artemis (Gwyn 1999:40). Later in the book she mentions Venus, and Holda/Freyja, Frigg/Freya and even later Nicnevin. Holda is supposed to be associated with spinning witch also seems to be true about Frigg, but not Freyja and I'm not sure as others seem to be that Freyja and Frigg are the same goddess. Gwyn also writes about the norns as fate goddesses witch is mentioned in on of the other books aswell.

Pearson writes about the Bright and Dark queens, but does not refer to any particular goddess. Eric de Vries has a chapter titled "At Fate's Well: The Wyrd Sisters and Frau Holle" (de Vries 2008). In this book the goddess names Holda/Holle/Hel are said to originate from the name *Kolyo.  Holle is also said to be "the Half White Half Black Goddess of Fate" (de Vries 2008: 49). Names like Frau Wod, Frau Gaue, Frau Gode that are associated with Holle seem to also be associated with Freya.

I don't have a problem with the Holle/Holda/ Freya parallel. I also think that ther are similarities between Holda and Hel. Hecate, Hel and Nicnevin also seem to share attributes, sometimes they overlap, and in some ways they differ. I just can't wrap my head around Freyja/Hel, and I would really like to get some comments on this. I'm pretty confused and I guess it shows. I am reading about Proto- Indo- European religion and about the goddesses I have mentioned but it all just doesn't make sense to me.

Holdasown

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Re: Witch Goddess
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2012, 09:11:06 am »
Quote from: Haugatysja;52935
I don't have a problem with the Holle/Holda/ Freya parallel. I also think that ther are similarities between Holda and Hel. Hecate, Hel and Nicnevin also seem to share attributes, sometimes they overlap, and in some ways they differ. I just can't wrap my head around Freyja/Hel, and I would really like to get some comments on this. I'm pretty confused and I guess it shows. I am reading about Proto- Indo- European religion and about the goddesses I have mentioned but it all just doesn't make sense to me.


I have Frau Holda as my matron and I am learning spinning to honor her. I have never felt drawn to Freyja or Frigga. To me they are all three separate deities with Holda being specifically German (perhaps a wight how has achieve goddess stature with worship?). I have been reading Raven Kaldera's books. He's a Northern Shaman. He has said basically the same thing with Frigga being the weaver of wool and Holda of flax. Holda is Vanir like Freyja but not the same and Hela is no where near any of them being the ruler and goddess of Helheim, land of the dead.

As far as witchcraft I think lots of Holda's story is tainted by Christianity. Freyja is a witch who Odin went to to learn her particular brand of craft. I believe that spinning with intent is a form of witchcraft making your thread charged with intent. Frigga and Holda would both know how to do this.

Most of the Northern gods/goddesses are magic in nature. Odin practices several types of magic himself. If one goddess had to be called a witch goddess I would go with Freyja. That all personal gnosis though.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2012, 09:11:50 am by Holdasown »

SatAset

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Re: Witch Goddess
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2012, 11:00:54 am »
Quote from: Haugatysja;52935
Names like Frau Wod, Frau Gaue, Frau Gode that are associated with Holle seem to also be associated with Freya.


Freyja is only found within the Scandinavian material.  

Frau Wode is "Mrs. Wodan" and this I've seen as associated with Frigga before.  Some see Frau Holda and Frigga as the same.
I am the Goddess of Who I can Become. I mix the magic of the sorceress with the blade of a warrior. I walk the liminal pathways to see the face of the Goddess, both terrible and kind. As She stares back at me, I tremble in awe and ecstasy.  --SatAset

Juniperberry

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Re: Witch Goddess
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2012, 11:32:55 am »
Quote from: Haugatysja;52935

 I just can't wrap my head around Freyja/Hel, and I would really like to get some comments on this.


Freyja and Hel  have some similarities as Death Goddesses, and the dead are major contributors in the visions and workings of seidr.
The pace of progress in artificial intelligence (I’m not referring to narrow AI) is incredibly fast. [...] The risk of something seriously dangerous happening is in the five year timeframe. 10 years at most.--Elon Musk

I am in the camp that is concerned about super intelligence," [Bill] Gates wrote. "First the machines will do a lot of jobs for us and not be super intelligent. That should be positive if we manage it well. A few decades after that though the intelligence is strong enough to be a concern. I agree with Elon Musk and some others on this and don\'t understand why some people are not concerned."

Haugatysja

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Re: Witch Goddess
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2012, 11:59:42 am »
Quote from: Ula;52942
Holda is Vanir like Freyja but not the same and Hela is no where near any of them being the ruler and goddess of Helheim, land of the dead.
Most of the Northern gods/goddesses are magic in nature. Odin practices several types of magic himself. If one goddess had to be called a witch goddess I would go with Freyja. That all personal gnosis though.


I don't understand what you mean with "Holda is Vanir". I mean, the Vanir are fertility dieties. Do you mean that Holda turned into Freyja in the Norse pantheon?

Freyja does seem like a witch goddess to me, but Hel doesn't at all. I have read about her being associated with the Wild Hunt and therefore with Frau Woden, but I don't have any sources for this. And as far as I know Hel is not associated with witchcraft.

Haugatysja

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Re: Witch Goddess
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2012, 12:04:03 pm »
Quote from: Juniperberry;52963
Freyja and Hel  have some similarities as Death Goddesses, and the dead are major contributors in the visions and workings of seidr.

 
Of course, I had forgotten about that. Freyja is supposedly the one that taught Odin seidr, and there is something about her and seidr in the Eddas. Hel on the other hand is not associated with seidr, is she?

Haugatysja

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Re: Witch Goddess
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2012, 12:11:54 pm »
Quote from: Haugatysja;52935
I just can't wrap my head around Freyja/Hel, and I would really like to get some comments on this.

 
It seems to me that the witch goddess in traditional witchcraft is either one of the goddesses I mentioned in my first post, depending on witch culture the witch belonged to, or a mixture of the two, but I don't understand where this idea comes from.

Juniperberry

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Re: Witch Goddess
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2012, 12:12:56 pm »
Quote from: Haugatysja;52969
Of course, I had forgotten about that. Freyja is supposedly the one that taught Odin seidr, and there is something about her and seidr in the Eddas. Hel on the other hand is not associated with seidr, is she?


Hel originally just meant grave and the afterlife is the source of mystical knowledge, the well of wyrd, etc. And the manipulation/uses of such. It seems to me that the authors are connecting all the later incarnations of death/underworld goddesses to an original concept, and not saying Hel is necessarily a witch goddess now. Is that correct?
The pace of progress in artificial intelligence (I’m not referring to narrow AI) is incredibly fast. [...] The risk of something seriously dangerous happening is in the five year timeframe. 10 years at most.--Elon Musk

I am in the camp that is concerned about super intelligence," [Bill] Gates wrote. "First the machines will do a lot of jobs for us and not be super intelligent. That should be positive if we manage it well. A few decades after that though the intelligence is strong enough to be a concern. I agree with Elon Musk and some others on this and don\'t understand why some people are not concerned."

Holdasown

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Re: Witch Goddess
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2012, 12:22:53 pm »
Quote from: Haugatysja;52967
I don't understand what you mean with "Holda is Vanir". I mean, the Vanir are fertility dieties. Do you mean that Holda turned into Freyja in the Norse pantheon?

Freyja does seem like a witch goddess to me, but Hel doesn't at all. I have read about her being associated with the Wild Hunt and therefore with Frau Woden, but I don't have any sources for this. And as far as I know Hel is not associated with witchcraft.


No I mean that Holda's "place/home" would be in Vanir as opposed to Aesir. She did not replace anyone but is her own deity. She grows flax and would therefore fall under fertility. One other part of Holda is she accepts children who pass away. I don't know if this is something she did before of if it came from Christian practices. If the child died before it was christened it could not go to heaven. She takes those children. There are so few texts that are pure pagan sometimes it's just a gut feeling thing.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2012, 12:25:49 pm by Holdasown »

Haugatysja

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Re: Witch Goddess
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2012, 01:35:20 pm »
Quote from: Juniperberry;52974
Hel originally just meant grave and the afterlife is the source of mystical knowledge, the well of wyrd, etc. And the manipulation/uses of such. It seems to me that the authors are connecting all the later incarnations of death/underworld goddesses to an original concept, and not saying Hel is necessarily a witch goddess now. Is that correct?


Hel, means "whole" at least in swedish I don't know where the word comes from. Hel is by some of the authors said to come from the Proto- Indo- European goddess Kolyo which means "the coverer". It's not just about death/underworld goddesses. It's more about fertility/death and one goddess being responsible for both, or two sides of one goddess, one "white" and one "black". I guess what I would like to know is if the "witch goddess" as just one goddess has any base in history, and also where the Freya/Hel similarities come from?

I found a pretty good article about this, I haven't read all of it yet, but it's about this topic and I thought it might interest some of you. I hope it's ok to post links.

http://www.suppressedhistories.net/secrethistory/witchtregenda.html

Juniperberry

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Re: Witch Goddess
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2012, 05:52:58 pm »
Quote from: Haugatysja;53919
Hel, means "whole" at least in swedish I don't know where the word comes from. Hel is by some of the authors said to come from the Proto- Indo- European goddess Kolyo which means "the coverer".


What I'm saying is that before Hel was a goddess (if she ever was a goddess, it's debatable) that it only meant a place. Going to "hel" just meant dying, going to the grave, etc.

O.E. hel, helle, "nether world, abode of the dead, infernal regions," from P.Gmc. *haljo "the underworld" (cf. O.Fris. helle, Du. hel, O.N. hel, Ger. Hölle, Goth. halja "hell") "the underworld," lit. "concealed place" (cf. O.N. hellir "cave, cavern"), from PIE *kel- "to cover, conceal, save" (see cell).

Quote
It's not just about death/underworld goddesses. It's more about fertility/death and one goddess being responsible for both, or two sides of one goddess, one "white" and one "black".


It's actually more likely that Freyr was the deity where death and fertility were joined.

Quote
I guess what I would like to know is if the "witch goddess" as just one goddess has any base in history,


No.

Quote
and also where the Freya/Hel similarities come from?


They aren't the same goddess...maybe if you could be more specific about the similarities noticed by the authors you're reading?
The pace of progress in artificial intelligence (I’m not referring to narrow AI) is incredibly fast. [...] The risk of something seriously dangerous happening is in the five year timeframe. 10 years at most.--Elon Musk

I am in the camp that is concerned about super intelligence," [Bill] Gates wrote. "First the machines will do a lot of jobs for us and not be super intelligent. That should be positive if we manage it well. A few decades after that though the intelligence is strong enough to be a concern. I agree with Elon Musk and some others on this and don\'t understand why some people are not concerned."

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Re: Witch Goddess
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2012, 11:56:29 pm »
Quote from: Haugatysja;53919
I found a pretty good article about this, I haven't read all of it yet, but it's about this topic and I thought it might interest some of you. I hope it's ok to post links.

http://www.suppressedhistories.net/secrethistory/witchtregenda.html

 
Links are fine, but that one needs a caveat:  its "histories" aren't so much "suppressed" as just plain false.

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Haugatysja

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Re: Witch Goddess
« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2012, 06:37:18 am »
Quote from: Juniperberry;53958
What I'm saying is that before Hel was a goddess (if she ever was a goddess, it's debatable) that it only meant a place. Going to "hel" just meant dying, going to the grave, etc.

O.E. hel, helle, "nether world, abode of the dead, infernal regions," from P.Gmc. *haljo "the underworld" (cf. O.Fris. helle, Du. hel, O.N. hel, Ger. Hölle, Goth. halja "hell") "the underworld," lit. "concealed place" (cf. O.N. hellir "cave, cavern"), from PIE *kel- "to cover, conceal, save" (see cell).


Ok, then there is evidence for Hel and Kolyo having things in common. Kolyo was just seen as death in PIE religion (or the reconstruction of it). "The Coverer" and "halja" etc seem have similar meanings.


Quote from: Juniperberry;53958
They aren't the same goddess...maybe if you could be more specific about the similarities noticed by the authors you're reading?

 
Well, this is going to be fun :). In Hedge-Rider, Eric de Vries writes: "Sometimes Frau Holle appears as a woman with half a black and half white face" (De Vries 2008: 46-47). This makes me think of He since she is often descibedl as half human half skeleton. And: "From the root "kol", meaning hollow, the words hill, hall, hole, hollow, Hell and the name Hel are derived.[...] Also the name Holda/Holle is derived from the root "kol", basically stating that Holda/Holle means exactly the same as Hel" (De Vries 2008: 49).

And further on: "Not only does She bring fertility in the sense of children, she also is the Matron of Marriage and governs the more sensual aspects also attributed to Freya. In fact Freya and Holda are in several ways one and the same" ( De Vries 2008: 53). To me this means Hel is Holda, is Holle, is Freya, and it does not make sense.

In Light from the Shadows: A Mythos of Modern Traditional Witchcraft Gwyn writes: " Holda is both a "Hag goddess of winter, and a vibrant queen of sexuality who is the bestower of gifts"[...]" (Gwyn 1999:47). A couple of pages further on Gwyn states: "Holda in fact shares many attributes with the Norse Goddess Freya [...]" (Gwyn 1999: 49). Gwyn does not mention Hel, she does mention the Norns though.

Nigel Aldcroft Jackson writes in Call of the Horned Piper "[...] Frau Holda is the archaic underworld earth Mother, mistress of death, initiation and rebirth, who rules over the chthonic realm of Hel or Annwyn. In Scandinavia she is known as Hela, [...] of whom is related that half of her is fair and half black with decay. This signifies her bright and dark aspects as Freya/Holda mistress of life and death" (Jackson 1994: 17).

I'm actually getting a bit confused as to what I'm actually trying to find out, but I think the focus is the Hel/Freya/Holda parallels drawn by Eric de Vries and Nigel Jackson. I get the Holda/Freya similarities, but if Holda and Hel are the same, then so should Hel/Freya, or so it seems, hence the confusion.

Haugatysja

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Re: Witch Goddess
« Reply #13 on: May 11, 2012, 06:40:09 am »
Quote from: SunflowerP;54025
Links are fine, but that one needs a caveat:  its "histories" aren't so much "suppressed" as just plain false.

Sunflower

 
Do you mean that the author is making things up?
I haven't read the whole article yet and I can't really say anything about it's authenticity.

Juniperberry

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Re: Witch Goddess
« Reply #14 on: May 11, 2012, 10:00:52 am »
Quote


I'm actually getting a bit confused as to what I'm actually trying to find out, but I think the focus is the Hel/Freya/Holda parallels drawn by Eric de Vries and Nigel Jackson. I get the Holda/Freya similarities, but if Holda and Hel are the same, then so should Hel/Freya, or so it seems, hence the confusion.


Well here's part of the problem:

"Overview Hedgerider: Witches and the Underworld is a re-interpretation of (Hedge-)Witchery. Drawing from an extensive historical, folkloric and mythological body it re-attributes and re-defines Witchery as a Heathen Cult centred around the journey to the Underworld and contact with the Unseen."

Don't have a lot of time right now to address the rest.
The pace of progress in artificial intelligence (I’m not referring to narrow AI) is incredibly fast. [...] The risk of something seriously dangerous happening is in the five year timeframe. 10 years at most.--Elon Musk

I am in the camp that is concerned about super intelligence," [Bill] Gates wrote. "First the machines will do a lot of jobs for us and not be super intelligent. That should be positive if we manage it well. A few decades after that though the intelligence is strong enough to be a concern. I agree with Elon Musk and some others on this and don\'t understand why some people are not concerned."

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