Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Falcons and Goddesses

On Saturday, we headed out to the Portland Audubon Society for a reading of Lisa Manning's Falcons in the City. It was thrilling to see the live falcon - and also my first owl up close!!  I thought the owl was the most beautiful animal I have ever seen!  (Note: both birds are injured and could not survive in the wild.)  I wish my husband had been there with his fancy camera, as my son's phone camera doesn't do either of them justice!

Lisa's book is a loving testament to the importance of Falcons in our community. She shares several true stories about the birds in Portland. We all left the event very excited and have enjoyed reading the book since.

Last night, my daughter and I picked up Burleigh Muten's wonderful book on Goddesses, and read about the Welch and Scandinavian Goddesses.  I always enjoy this book because it is so non-traditional in the way it describes the actions of the women. I had forgotten that Freya had a falcon connection! After the kids went to bed, I went online to find out more.

"Freyja was said to be a sorceress who could fly in a falcon's skin and some traditions state that on her arrival in Asgard she taught the gods the spells and charms of the Vanir (the group of Gods and Goddesses that is older than those of the Aesir).

According to another source: The Magical Pantheons says Freya, a triple goddess, had many attributes. She was considered a goddess of fertility and of wealth, but also a goddess who went to the land of the dead (or underworld), in the guise of a falcon. She would return from the underworld with prophecies. From a Kabbalistic perspective, the journey of Freya resembles the journey through Daath. Though she has some Venusian qualities, she also has some Jovian traits as well. She was the guardian of feminine magic who was always ready to unleash magical forces if it please her. Freya was a skilled warrior, as well as a goddess of love. This seems to correspond well with the name for Chesed-Gedulah (Greatness).

The goddess Freya is depicted with her falcon wings. The feathers grow from her arms, held forward to protect yet reveal her nude feminine form. Freya embodies the sensuality of the lover and mistress, whereas Frigg (card number 14) represents the good wife and mother. Decorating Freya's neck and breast is a gold necklace, an emblem of the stars and the fecundity of the earth. Freya hovers in flight in a sky of soft clouds in which a swallow flies high in the foreground. Beneath the goddess's wings is a spring and flower of the elder, Fehu's tree. Emerging from the clouds is the profile of a grey tabby's cat's head, white whiskers spread forward, its bright-yellow eye gazing ahead. Grey cats are always associated with Freya. At the top right hand corner of this scene is the rune Fehu which is shown in red, the correct colour for this symbol. "


I plan to look into this a bit more, but I found this passage about Egyptian Goddesses as well:

Nephthys (Nebet-het, Nebt-het) is the head of the household of the gods, and was the daughter of Seb and Nut, sister of Osiris, Isis, and Set, wife of Set, mother of Anubis, either by Osiris or Set. Nephthys is sometimes depicted as a falcon or as a woman with falcon wings. Nephthys was a death goddess as well as being a goddess of women and the house and a companion of Isis.

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