Goddess Lela  

Posted by Stella Clark

Goddess Lela Image
LELA IS THE SLAVIC GODDESS OF THE FOREST; SHE TAKES CARE OF THE FOREST CREATURES AND THOSE PEOPLE WHO SEEK SHELTER IN THE WOODS. SHE IS A VERY OLD DEITY, AND HER CULT IS MOST LIKELY CONNECTED TO THAT PERIOD OF MATRIARCHY IN THE DISTANT PAST. SHE IS SIMILAR TO THE GREEK GODDESS, ARTEMIS, SINCE BOTH ARE ASSOCIATED WITH WILD FEMALE SEXUALITY DURING A TIME WHEN WOMEN WERE NOT TREATED AS SUBMISSIVE AND INFERIOR TO MEN.

AS THE PROTECTOR OF WOMEN, LELA IS STILL INVOKED BY SERBIAN WOMEN WHO FACE SERIOUS PROBLEMS. SHE IS A GODDESS OF SUMMER AND THE ETERNAL BRIDE OF THE SUN. IN SOME OF THE OLD SLAVIC TALES, SHE IS ALSO REFERRED TO AS THE SUN'S SISTER. IN THE TALES OF LELA, WE CAN ACTUALLY SEE HOW ONE OF THE SUPREME FEMALE DEITIES OF THE PAST WAS DETHRONED AND MADE TO SHARE HER DIVINE FEATURES WITH A MALE COUNTERPART. THE GODDESS OF MATRIARCHY WAS SLOWLY LOSING HER POWER.



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Goddess Daphne  

Posted by Stella Clark

Goddess Daphne Image
"DAPHNE", A BEAUTIFUL RIVER NYMPH, WAS A DAUGHTER OF THE RIVER GOD, "PENEUS". SOME SOURCES SAY SHE WAS OF "GAIA" AND A POTENT ORACLE; BUT MOST AGREE THAT SHE WAS A HUNTRESS WHO DEDICATED HERSELF TO "ARTEMIS", GODDESS OF THE HUNT, AND, LIKE THE GODDESS, REFUSED TO MARRY, AND, ALTHOUGH PURSUED BY MANY ADMIRERS, SHE LOVED HER FREEDOM AND REJECTED EVERY LOVER, INCLUDING THE POWERFUL SON OF "ZEUS, APOLLO", WHO HAD FALLEN IN LOVE WITH HER.

NOW, ACCORDING TO THE MYTH, THIS PASSION HAD BEEN RAISED BY "CUPID," WHO, INCENSED THAT "APOLLO" HAD DISPUTED THE POWER OF HIS DARTS, SHOT "DAPHNE" WITH AN ARROW OF LEAD TO HARDEN HER HEART AND "APOLLO" WITH A GOLDEN ARROW TO MAKE HIM FALL IN LOVE WITH THE FIRST WOMAN THAT HE SAW. AND SO IT WAS THAT WHEN" APOLLO "SAW HER TAKING A WALK, HE WAS WAS LOVE STRUCK. "DAPHNE" FLED WITH "APOLLO" IN FAST PURSUIT, PROFESSING HIS NEVER-ENDING LOVE. "APOLLO" CONTINUED HIS PURSUIT, AND "DAPHNE," WEARING DOWN AND FEARFUL OF BEING CAUGHT, ENTREATED THE ASSISTANCE OF THE "GAIA" WHO TRANSFORMED HER INTO A LAUREL TREE TO PRESERVE HER INNOCENCE FOREVER.

NOTHING WAS LEFT OF "DAPHNE" EXCEPT HER SHINING LOVELINESS, YET EVEN AS A TREE, "APOLLO" LOVED HER, AND WHEN HE PLACED HIS HAND UPON THE TRUNK, HE COULD FEEL HER HEART AS IT CONTINUED TO BEAT. "APOLLO" THEN CUT OFF SOME BRANCHES AND MADE HIMSELF A WREATH IN MEMORY OF HER BEAUTY AND HIS LOVE FOR HER. THE STORY OF "DAPHNE" SERVES AS A REMINDER OF STAYING TRUE TO OUR IDEALS.

DAPHNE


"WHY DO YOU FOLLOW ME?- " ANY MOMENT I CAN BE

Nothing but a laurel-tree.

"ANY MOMENT OF THE CHASE "

I can leave you in my place


A pink bough for your embrace.

"YET IF OVER HILL AND HOLLOW"

Still it is your will to follow,

I am off;-to heel, Apollo!

BY EDNA ST. VINCENT MILLAY



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