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White Oak Grove CUUPS

Exploring Pagan Traditions in Rockford, IL

COVID-19 Pandemic Precautions

Out of an abundance of caution for the health and well being of our members and friends, all in person meetings and events for White Oak Grove CUUPS have been canceled until further notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  See our facebook group for upcoming online events.

Stay safe, stay strong, stay home. 

Featured post

Hermes The Multi-faceted

Born in a cave of Mount Cyllene, Arcadia to Zeus and Maia, the daughter of Atlas, Hermes is an old God whose existence is recorded as early as Linear B tablets of the Mycenaean civilization from the 15th to 13th century BCE.  The second youngest of the 12 Olympians. So cunning was the child that just shortly after his birth, he escaped from his cradle, went to Pieiria, and stole the oxen of Apollo. 

The multi-faceted Hermes is known as the Olympian god of herds and flocks, travelers and hospitality, roads and trade, thievery and cunning, heralds and diplomacy, language and writing, athletic contests and gymnasiums, astronomy and astrology. He was the herald and personal messenger of Zeus, King of the Gods, and also the guide of the dead who led souls down into the underworld.

Aesop featured him in several of his fables, as ruler of the gate of prophetic dreams, as the god of athletes, of edible roots, and of hospitality. He also said that Hermes had assigned each person his share of intelligence.

PERSONALITY

Hermes’ character is believed to be disarmingly charming, and friendly towards all. In working with this God your unique personal gnosis may show him in many different ages throughout his life.  While one person may view him as the energetic and mischievous child, another may experience him in later years as a wisened traveler.  Hermes can be a trickster, with a penchant for fraud, perjury, and the inclination to steal.  It has often been said that he is friend to everyone, which can make him difficult to work with in unexpected ways.  The idea of his being the herald and messenger of the gods, of his travelling from place to place and concluding treaties, necessarily implied the notion that he was the promoter of social intercourse and of commerce among men.

ASSOCIATIONS

  • Herma – Piles of stones to mark roadsides.
  • Hare
  • Cattle Herds
  • Dove Killer Hawk
  • Tortise
  • The Number Four
  • Crocus
  • Strawberry Tree
  • Palm Trees
  • Golden Short Sword
  • Shepard’s Pipe – Invented by Hermes and traded to Apollon
  • Ram – As the God seen most to care for and increase flocks
  • Winged Boots – Gave him swift flight through the air.
  • Winged Hats & Travelers Hat – His wide-brimmed felt cap was the hat of Aidoneus was said to render its wearer invisible.
  • Heralds Rod – which could lull mortals to sleep, or cause them to wake.
  • Hermes is said to have invented the alphabet, numbers, astronomy, music, the art of fighting, gymnastics, the cultivation of the olive tree, measures, weights, and many other things.
  • Sacrifices offered to him consisted of incense, honey, cakes, pigs, and especially lambs and young goats.

DAY OF HERMES

Hermes is associated with the number four as he was born on the fourth day of the month.  The fourth day of the week (Wednesday) was named after him.  The Greeks called it Hermes’ day, in Latin Mercurius’ day, and in Germanic it was Woden’s day–the Norse god Woden-Odin being identified with Hermes-Mercurius. 

Ancient Hymns To Hermes


“To Hermes, Fumigation from Frankincense.

Hermes, draw near, and to my prayer incline,

messenger of Zeus, and Maia’s son divine;

prefect of contests, ruler of mankind,

with heart almighty, and a prudent mind.

Celestial messenger of various skill,

whose powerful arts could watchful Argos kill.

With winged feet ’tis thine through air to course,

O friend of man, and prophet of discourse;

great life-supporter, to rejoice is thine in arts gymnastic, and in fraud divine.

With power endued all language to explain,

of care the loosener, and the source of gain.

Whose hand contains of blameless peace the rod,

Korykion (Corycion), blessed, profitable God.

 Of various speech, whose aid in works we find,

and in necessities to mortal kind.

Dire weapon of the tongue, which men revere,

be present, Hermes, and thy suppliant hear;

assist my works, conclude my life with peace,

give graceful speech, and memory’s increase.”

Orphic Hymn 28 to Hermes (trans. Taylor) (Greek hymns C3rd B.C. to 2nd A.D.) :

Altar Inspiration Pin Board

The leaves are budding across the land

on the ash and oak and hawthorn trees.

Magic rises around us in the forest

and the hedges are filled with laughter and love.

Dear lady, we offer you a gift,

a gathering of flowers picked by our hands,

woven into the circle of endless life.

The bright colors of nature herself

blend together to honor you,

Queen of spring,

as we give you honor this day.

Spring is here and the land is fertile,

ready to offer up gifts in your name.

we pay you tribute, our lady,

daughter of the Fae,

and ask your blessing this Beltane.

Prayer to Honor the May Queen. ( Source )

Spring has come to the earth.

the land is fertile and ready at Beltane,

seeds will be sown, and

new life will begin once more.

Hail, great gods of the land!

Hail, gods of resurrected life!

Hail, Cernunnos, Osiris, Herne, and Bacchus!

Let the soil open up

and mother earth’s fertile womb

receive the seeds of life

as we welcome the spring.

Prayer to the Gods of the Forest. ( Source )

Beltane Pin Board

Myths & Legends Pin Board

April Crystal of the Month – Hematite

Hematite is a master of grounding via the root chakra, Hematite can help ground the mind and bring focus back to the body when you are feeling scattered. A sponge for your negative thoughts, it always helps you to find the silver lining in things.

Associated with the Greek God Aries, it’s name means “blood-like.” When in a ground powdered form, Hematite is also known as red ochre. Greek warriors would paint their bodies with it before battle, and it was used in the world’s first cave paintings.

Beware of fakes!! Real Hematite is NOT magnetic.

Hail, and welcome!

Green life returns to the earth

blooming and blossoming

once more from the soil.

We welcome you,

goddesses of spring,

Eostre, Persephone, Flora, Cybele,

in the trees,

in the soil,

in the flowers,

in the rains,

and we are grateful

for your presence.

Prayer Honoring the Goddesses of Spring ( Source )

Ostara Pin Board

March Discussion Recap

For our march meeting members of White Oak Grove CUUPS gathered online to discuss our favorite subject, our pets! Well, not quite; from familiars, to guides, to divination, the participation of animals in magic was the subject of our monthly discussion this time around. Those on a pagan or earth based path would be no stranger to the connection between animals and magic. Topics up for discussion was the role of animals as magic familiars, particularly whether they can be pets or not, the role and differences of spirit animals and of animal spirits, animals appearing in divination methods, and the bond that those on a pagan path often have with animals of all shapes and sizes.

Our discussion leader, Juliette, recommended these books and oracle decks for those looking to further their bond with or understanding of animals in magic:

  • Animal Magick by D.J. Conway
  • Llewellyn’s Complete Book of Correspondences by Sandra Kynes
  • Animal Speak: The Spiritual & Magical Powers of Creatures Great & Small by Ted Andrews
  • Intimate Nature: The Bond Between Women and Animals – Edited by Linda Hogan, Deena Metzger and Brenda Peterson
  • The Druid Animal Oracle – Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm
  • The Spirit Animal Oracle – Colette Baron-Reed
  • Oracle of the Shapeshifters – Lucy Cavendish
  • The Secret Language of Animals Oracle – Chip Richards
  • Messages From Your Animal Guides Oracle – Stephen D. Farmer

Matronalia: The Festival of Women Pin Board

Celebrated on March 1st, Matronalia is a Roman festival dedicated to the Goddess Juno Lucina, who watches over married women and women in childbirth. On this day gifts are to be offered both to the goddess and to the important women in one’s life ( such as your mother! ).

Join us on May 2nd 2021 as we present a Mother Goddess class and discussion.
More details can be found on our facebook group.

March Crystal of the Month – Fluorite

A colorful mineral with green, purple and white mottling it is a protective stone that is excellent for grounding. Fluorite was prized in ancient Rome and is a harmonizer that brings with it peace and bliss. Use this stone to clear away brain fog and rid yourself of negative energy. People born under the signs of Pisces and Capricorn are especially in tune with Fluorite.

  • Green Fluorite: Access intuition
  • Purple Fluorite: Focus on expression of spirit.
  • White: Aligns all the chakras.

The Elements Pin Board

February Discussion Recap

This month members of White Oak Grove CUUPS gathered online for our regular meeting where we took a look at the path of Alchemy, it’s relationship with the elements, and it’s practitioners. If you weren’t able to make the session you can find the full set of class notes on our facebook page.

Defined as the process of taking something ordinary and turning it into something extraordinary, sometimes in a way that cannot be explained, Alchemy is the medieval forerunner of chemistry based on the supposed transformation of matter. Beginning about 100 AD, alchemy was an art based partly upon magic and partly upon experiment. They became investigators of natural processes, looking for a mythical substance called a “Philosopher’s Stone”. It turns out that this might not have ever been a literal stone, but a way or powder that had a magical influence on the base metals to attempt to turn them into gold and make one able to achieve immortality. While there’s no proof of the “Philosopher’s Stone” ever existing that has never stopped Alchemists, both modern and ancient, from trying to achieve it.

It turns out that when Alchemists talk about turning led into gold, they may actually be talking about a spiritual journey and transformation rather than turning actually turning the first into the latter! Early philosophers tried to explain the existence of gold and other substances and the theory that elements in the earth matured from “least perfect” (lead) to “most perfect” (gold). By combining the methods of science, psychology, and religion Alchemists embark on a unique spiritual journey in the hopes of turning themselves into the legendary “Philosopher’s Stone” by achieving perfect balance of the elements within themselves.

Interested in learning more? Check out these books recommended by by our presenters Betsy and Warren:

  • Alchemy – The Medieval Alchemists and their Royal Art by Fabricus, Johannes
  • The Herbal Alchemist’s Handbook by Harrison, Karen
  • Idiot’s Guide to Alchemy by Hauck, Dennis
  • The Last Sorcerers: The Path from Alchemy to the Periodic Table by Morris, Richard

February Crystal of the Month – Rose Quartz

A happy stone that exudes love & kindness Rose Quartz has an energy that is all about empathy, compassion, and forgiveness. Rose Quartz adds loving energy to relationships and gives its wearer a boost of self-confidence. An ancient Greek symbol of love it was said to be given to humans by the God Eros as a gift of love… or perhaps the blood of Aphrodite trapped in quartz.

Perfect for Pisces Rose Quartz supports selfless empaths who strive to help others.

♥ NOTE ♥ It’s not smart to use Rose Quartz as a pendulum because it has a tendency to only tell you what you want to hear.

Mighty Brighid, keeper of the flame,

blazing in the darkness of winter.

O goddess, we honor you, bringer of light,

healer, exalted one.

Bless us now, hearth mother,

that we may be as fruitful as the soil itself,

and our lives abundant and fertile.

Prayer to Brighid, Keeper of the Flame. ( Source )

Spells, Chants & Prayers Pin Board

“Magic, madam, is like wine and, if you are not used to it, it will make you drunk.”

~ Susanna Clarke, The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories

January Discussion Recap

Members of White Oak Grove CUUPS gathered online for our monthly discussion group, and this month we focused on Common Pagan Chants and Songs. During our time together we learned some Pagan songs and chants that folks are likely hear used in rituals, gatherings, or even just as entertainment.

The idea of including chants and songs into our rituals is one that’s been around for awhile. One doesn’t even have to really think that hard to realize that something which can be repeated over and over again in a chant will be quick to catch onto, or that something with a familiar or easy tune. The use of songs and chants in our rituals and gatherings helps to focus and direct the energy of the group, and the ones created for fun help us connect to our heritage and community. So it seems to me that the songs and chants of the pagan community will be around for an even longer time to come.

 If you weren’t able to make the session, check out these online resources:

Or listen to the picks of our discussion leader April Kane!

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