Monday, September 20, 2010

Goddess Aspects, How Do You Know?

I've spent the better part of the late afternoon and evening...well at this point night, looking up a few of the Goddesses I am interested in or drawn to. My personal library has zero resources I can pull from, and the public library system well they leave much to be desired. So I turn to the web in its vast array and wealth of information. But my gods I've never hit so many brick walls like I did today. Not just on information on a Goddess but even finding out what aspect she might be.

I tried different ways of Google searches and no matter what I did or how I searched I almost always got the same results. Then, after say looking at page 3 of said results, most of the stuff was just cut and paste from another site I just looked at in the last few clicks. Talk about frustrating!

So how do you know or figure out what aspect a Goddess might be? How do I know if she is a Maiden, Mother, or Crone aspect?

For instance, Airmid. I could find an assortment of information on her and that she's a Goddess of healing. How when her brother died 365 herbs grew on his grave. But no where could I find what aspect she would be. Or Rhiannon, I found a lot of information on her, but nothing again as to her aspect. Cerridwen however was clearly stated she was the Crone aspect. Most sites said the same about Morrigan.

Is it that the information isn't out there? Was I looking in the wrong places and using the wrong key words for my searches? Or do not all Goddesses correspond to one of the aspects?

I primarily (for now) am focusing on Airmid, Rhiannon, Morrigan and Cerridwen. Anyone know of a good source online that doesn't have the same one line of info that's been rehashed on every other website?


Wendy said...

A great site for all things "mythological" is Mything Link...She was a former teacher of mine and has some great knowledge. I'm not sure she has everything you might be looking for, but definitely a site to check out:

As far as the Greek/Roman Goddess' one of my favorite books is more psychological and you find out more about your inner goddess and traits is : Goddesses in Every woman by Jean Shinoda Bolen. I love the book. If you find some good resources, I'd love to hear about them :)

Anonymous said...

Hello lovely lady
Aimed - there is very little known of her at all bar the very basics of Her story. You'll just have to ask Her! Interesting enough Aimed is a Goddess that jumped out at me as being somebody I would 'chose' if it worked that way around! And Rhiannon has been drawing my attention again too.

The thing with Rhiannon is that although she features in the Mabinogion She is shown as very human rather than a Goddess. I for one believe Her to be a Goddess though as do plenyt of others. What has been written about Rhiannon is very rehashed and basically I can find very little 'new' information on Her either. Again I think the only way is going to be to ask Her! I'm starting to think that the maiden/mother/crone division is something really quite modern. While the triparte thing was going on way back when I think the way we've come to view it now has lost something significant (but I'm not sure what yet!!!) Rhiannon is obviously a mother in Her story and Her story links very much with that of the Modron. But for me She is also that stage so badly defined in modern terminology - between maiden and mother. She is WOMAN at the height of her sexual power, full to the brim with the magic of life. She is the full cup. I have always felt her to be very maternal but I don't think this necessarily means that She has to embody 'mother' as an aspect. Aspects I think can be very limiting for us in trying to understand a divinity. How I relate to Her and She to me is not necessarily how you and She would interact if you take my meaning?
Of course Rhiannon is also very much Queen of the Otherworld and that I feel is another category altogether too, giving her dark Goddess undertones. I think perhap if you look you will find all 'aspects'. Rhiannon is also known as Rhiannon of the birds, Rhiannon of the sea as well as of the horses and Queen of the Otherworld. Go have a look at the Amused Grace blog (it's in my 'following' on my profile) and send a little email asking for some info as the author is enormously knowledgable and might be able to point you in the right direction.
Takecare x
Good luck with this!

Elle Hull said...

I find the best way to connect with a Goddess is through reading Her myth. In some respects this can be difficult when published versions of these myths are scarce or unavailable. Through reading a Goddess' story, I begin to understand Her and Her aspects. For example, in the Wheel of Ana, which I work with, Rhiannon is celebrated as a Lover Goddess, presiding over the time of Beltane. However, this is not how I connected with Her. After reading Her story, I connected with Her as a Mother Goddess. But upon delving more deeply, I felt that Rhiannon was a triple Goddess who encompasses all aspects: Maiden, Lover, Mother, Queen, Crone. So when I talk about Rhiannon, I talk about Her many aspects and how She can be followed through all phases of life. She is a very dynamic Goddess who cannot really be pigeon-holed into one way of being. How you work with Her, though, is dependent upon what aspect of Her you connect with most.

Some Goddesses it's more easy to pinpoint how they are most celebrated, as you've found. Morrigan, as you point out, is a Crone aspect but Her sisters Badb and Macha represent Maiden and Mother aspects. These sisters had another three sisters, another triple Goddess, named Eiru, Fodhla and Banbha. Ireland was named after Eiru.

In respect of Morrigan, I'd recommend reading about the Celtic Book of Invasions, especially about the Race of Cesair and the Race of the Nemedians. The site I often refer to is They have decent information about the Book of Invasions and the basic stories of the Five Races. Many Celtic Goddesses come from these stories. Sorita d'Este and David Rankine also wrote a book about the Morrigan which may be helpful to you. They've written several books about various Goddesses. The Isle of Many Gods may also be helpful to you.

I think as we study Goddess myth and legend, She begins to reveal Herself to us in the way She wants us to see Her. Sometimes this way may not be the accepted aspect that She is most known for or you may find that She is all encompassing and can be celebrated in any aspect.

I wish you the best in your quest to connect with the Goddesses you are studying. I hope it all goes very well for you.