goddess spotlight: carmenta

Originally a Greek goddess named Nicostrata, Carmenta was renamed as such as a Roman goddess, where she ruled over childbirth and midwives. She is also invoked for contraceptive purposes for women who wish to avoid pregnancy. She is also a protector of mothers and children.

She is also the goddess of divination and prophecy, and her name comes from the Latin word carmen, which means spell or oracle.

She is also associated with poetry, and writing in general, as she is said to have been who altered 15 of the letters in the Greek alphabet to become the Latin alphabet. She also introduced poetry and music to the early peoples inhabiting what would later become modern-day Italy, and is even said to have laid some of the physical foundations of the city of Rome.

She is the mother of Evander by Hermes.

Also associated with bodies of water, as she was the primary or leader of the Camenae, who were water goddesses or nymphs who ruled over springs and wells, as well as larger bodies of water in and around Rome. Because of this association, she and the other three Camenae (Egeria, Porrima, Postverta), could also be invoked for healing.

Correspondences and Associations of Carmenta

  • Color: Yellow, Blue, White
  • Element: Water, Air
  • Days: January 11th and 15th, or a festival celebrated for 5 days from Jan 11-15
  • Winter, Yule, Imbolc
  • Education, learning
  • Writing
  • Fertility/pregnancy
  • Foresight/prophecy
  • Raspberries
  • Water
  • Contraception
  • Music
  • Destiny
  • Magick
  • Spells, particularly charms

Magickal Symbolism of the Iris

This flower is found in depictions and art dating back to as far back as people drew flowers. Renowned the world over for its beauty and sensuality, the iris features in many magickal or spiritual contexts, as well.

Irises are some of the first flowers to bloom in the spring, symbolizing transformation, renewal, and hope. They are brightly colored and showy, reminding us to show up for ourselves, and to let our own true colors shine.

And, irises are here to remind us of our own sensuality. Their leaves are harsh, sharp, and phallic, juxtaposed next to the soft, delicate, and sensual petals opening in layers, just like a vulva. In fact, it is common in many cultures, such as Japan, to drink tea of iris petals and bathe in a bath of iris blossoms to ensure virility and good health.

Irises were planted on the graves of women in Greece, so that their souls could be guided by the goddess Iris, who shuttled them between the physical world and the Elysian fields of the afterlife. The goddess Iris was the female equivalent of Hermes, with her own wings and caduceus. Her symbol was the rainbow, which was how she traveled between the Earth and Olympus.

Irises are also considered protective, especially against disease and evil spirits. The flower can be planted on the sides of your porch or front door to ward off spirits and misfortune, and to welcome prosperity and protection. The blossoms are also placed upon the roofs of homes in Japan to protect against evil spirits.

The iris is also the flower depicted in the French fleur de lis, and the three petals of the flower shown symbolize faith, wisdom, and valor.

Irises can be found in virtually every hue of the spectrum, and, depending on what color they are, can symbolize more specific things for you beyond just beauty, transformation, femininity, balance, hope, and power.

What can’t the iris be for you? …that’s probably a better question, because these powerful and unique flowers are excellent for all kinds of spiritual or magickal uses.

Here are just a few suggestions:

  • use a red iris in love spells, especially those involving passion or lust
  • use an orang iris for friendships, knowledge, and educational pursuits
  • use an yellow iris for creativity and inspiration
  • use a green iris for money, finance, and career spells
  • use a blue iris for communication or psychic dreams
  • use a purple iris for power, intuition, or connection to your higher self
  • use a black or white iris for protection
  • use a white iris for purification or protection
  • use any color iris for good health, beauty, lust/sexuality, and confidence

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