Goddess of the Week: Holda

Getting ready for Santa Claus? Thank Holda. This Teutonic goddess, depicted as a gorgeous blond in a flowing red and white gown, governed many realms. It all depended upon who you asked and where you asked them. She was known variously as goddess of the

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weather, goddess of winter, goddess of wealth and prosperity, and the goddess of generosity.

She flew through the night on December 24th, which was known as Mother Night, bringing gifts and happiness to all she encountered. She was especially fond of children and was known to drop down chimneys and bring them presents.

To thank Holda for her generosity, people often left milk and food out for her on her special night of gift giving.

Now doesn't this sound familiar?

Channel this goddess when: Aren't you channeling her already? Or are you one of those smarty pants who's already finished her Christmas shopping. Ho, ho, ho.

Need a goddess? Of course you do! Leave me a comment telling me what you need her for and I'll see what I can do.


Wise Women Friday: Joan Didion

Words of wisdom from American writer Joan Didion:

There is one last thing to remember: writers are always selling somebody out.

The annual visit to a department store Santa C...Image via Wikipedia

Today, I sell out an old dear friend, someone I believed in for a very long time, one might say an embarrassingly long time, but who, for personal gain, I am now throwing under the bus. Today, I sell out Santa Claus. Click here to find out how.

And while you are there, click here to read my short story "Sweet Revenge," which is up for this site's story of the year. Finalists are based on number of unique views, so no need to re-read it if you have already.


Goddess of the Week: Siduri Sabitu

Gidyean asks for a goddess of laughter who can "whisk him away from this god-forsaken place." Well, Gidyean, since I recently posted about the Shinto goddess of laughter, Uzume, I'm going to focus on the whisking away part of your request. For you, I have the Babylonian goddess Siduri Sabitu.

SIDURI09012_cl.jpgImage by jspatchwork via Flickr

A fate goddess and the mother of the stars, Siduri Sabitu lived in a cave covered with beautiful gems. The night sky was her cauldren and in it she stirred the mead of regeneration, which gave the gods immortal life.

The hero Gilgamesh went to see Siduri Sabitu. His best friend had died, and poor Gilgamesh had come to realize that not even heroes can live forever. Being a hero, however, he refused to take death lying down. "I don't want to die," he told the goddess. "Can I have some of your mead?"

"Look, Gilgamesh, do you even know how full of yourself you guys are? The only thing that gives people an ounce of humility is the looming threat of death. If even one of you got to live forever you'd be like a pig at a buffet. We'd hear you snorting a mile off. Stop this quest. You knew friendship! You knew love! Focus on that."

(Yeah. I know. But goddesses say things like that. If Gilgamesh didn't want that kind of advice he should have stayed home and talked to his mother).

Anyway, Siduri Sabitu tried to send him on his way, but Gilgamesh looked
so sad that she gave him some wine and let him play Wii Sports Resort for a while. Then she sent
him on his way, but he never did get the mead.

Siduri Sabitu reminds us that while this life can seem god forsaken, it's the only one we've got. There are lots of ways we can try and forget that -- Barbara Walters' increasingly plastic face comes to mind -- but bottom line: we don't get the regenerative mead. We do get regular mead, however, and studies show that, in moderation, it might actually improve your health! So pour yourself a glass and then pour one for a friend. The world seldom seems as drab when your not alone.

Channel this goddess: When life seems a disappointment, when ennui has you down, when you're not sure what your next cocktail should be, and when you're having a hard time living in the moment.

Gidyean: Hope this goddess works for you. Now go get that cocktail.

Need a goddess: I've got goddesses! Leave me a comment about what you need or who you need one for. I'll see what I can do.


Wise Women Friday: Edna Ferber

Words of wisdom from American writer Edna Ferber:

Christmas isn't a season; it's a feeling.

Don't get me wrong. I like Christmas. I like Christmas carols, Christmas trees, Christmas books and movies and cards and crafts and cookies and hot chocolate, and Santa Claus, and ho ho ho, and mistletoe and presents for pretty girls.

But, right now, Christmas has me feeling like a fox trying to escape from pursuing hounds. Believe me, those Christmas hounds are so close on my heels that I can smell their candy cane breath. I'm barely over Thanksgiving. My house is still stuffed with Halloween candy. And now it's Christmas!

I missed two parties today. Two! The first one I plum forgot. I tried to make it to the second party but I ran out of time. I am not so popular that I can afford to go missing parties. I am invited to a limited amount of parties each year. My fragile ego needs them all.

You know what I did instead? I took my dog to get her teeth cleaned. That's right. Her TEETH CLEANED. Like everything else, I put the deed off until after the semester, and now the semester is over and I am drowning in gnat-like errands and biting little to dos. There are teeth marks, and they are not pretty.

Well. Fine. To the organized go the mini quiches and sparkling conversations. To the distracted go the Milkbones.

Ho, Ho, Ho.


Goddess of the Week: Tykhe

Central part of a great floor mosaic from a Ro...Image via Wikipedia

Once upon a time there was a bank manager who had recently been downsized. He was gardening in the backyard when he stumbled upon a treasure that had been buried and forgotten centuries before. The downsized bank manager was so excited that he made an altar to Gaia, mother earth.

Standing in front of the altar, he said, "Woo Hoo! Thank you, Gaia! Now I can rehire my gardener and never touch dirt again!"

Tykhe, the Greek goddess of good fortune, found out about this and got totally pissed. She was all, "Gaia, Gaia, Gaia. Everyone always thanks Gaia. What about me? Could that guy have even found that treasure without me? No. And that's not all. Ten bucks says that guy blows his entire fortune in Las Vegas and fricking blames me."

So Tykhe pulled a few strings and got the IRS to audit the guy.

Some people don't believe luck. I do. How else can you explain that my mother-in-law wins things all the time. She just won a GPS system. Over the years, she's won televisions, cameras, hams and luggage. Once she even won $5,000. I, on the other hand, win nothing. It can't just be coincidence or the fact that I never actually enter contests. My mother-in-law is lucky. That's all there is too it.

I hate to say this, but writers -- actually artists in general -- need luck. Sure, they need talent. Sure, they need to hustle and network and have good query letters and elevator pitches and, I'm quite convinced that good hair and cheekbones don't hurt. But they also need luck, which includes good timing, connections, the proper alignment of the constellations, and naturally good hair and cheekbones.

If, like me, however, you are unlucky and with kind of low-hanging doughy cheeks, you can still try and channel Tykhe. Woo her with hard work (luck does, indeed, favor the prepared), humility, and gratitude. Also, chocolate never hurts. But don't give her vampire books. She's sick of those. Then, if you're lucky, your audience will find you and recognize you for the genius that you are. If not...well...remember, success is not measured by the number of pages published, but by the number of friends damning the entire publishing industry on your behalf.

Channel this goddess: Always. Ingratitude for the luck you already have is the quickest route to misfortune.

Desiree: This one's for you! I thought I'd go kind of a different route. What d'ya think?

Need a goddess: I got goddesses! Leave me comment telling me what you need your goddess for or who you need her for. I'll get you what you need.
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Wise Women Friday: Josephine

Words of Wisdom from Josephine:

Trust to me, ladies, and do not envy a splendor which does not constitute happiness.

Since I excel at envy, I know that it is easy to envy the rich and famous and the beautiful eye candy that drapes from their arms. It is tempting to think that their lives are easy even though history and golfers' wives teach us that money can't buy us love or happiness.

Personally, however, I would like to try throwing money at my problems, just for the experience, just to see if it leaves me feeling empty and hopeless. For example, I would like to throw money at my poison-spitting children problem. I would like to see if owning a house with a master suite the size of Wyoming with an enormous bath that could block out the noise of constant girl yapping would relieve my stress. Likewise, I would like to know if the ability to give a college a new dorm or science lab would make me worry less about my yappy girls' futures.

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, Margaret, trust Josephine. She was the empress of France and all her splendor did not constitute happiness. Money will only buy you woe. Be happy with what you have.

You're right, of course. Still, in the name of scientific research, I'd be willing to experiment.


Dear Carbs: Wish me a Merry Christmas

5 lbs. of Chocolate SantaImage by markpayne via Flickr

Dear Carbs:

About Thanksgiving. Yes. The stuffing was delicious. Yes. The homemade sweet potato pie with the crumbly, buttery crust that could only have been made by the fluttering of wings by little baby angels was excellent.

I admit that, after all this time, it was nice to sit down at the table with you. You are looking good. Very fluffy. And it's nice to see you looking so happy. I can see you've moved on. Good for you. I'm glad. No. Really. I'm the one who broke it off, after all.

Still, I'm a little hurt. I really mourned you, and now I see that you just didn't care. I was a bauble to you, a jolly round bauble. When I was drowning my sorrows in god-forsaken CHICKEN, you were shipping off chocolate Santas and candy canes and caramels and bon bons and peppermint bark. You were stripping the poor Williams Sonoma catalog of all its respectability and sleazing it full of food porn. You were smacking Paula Deen with hams. You were creating these.

You're ruthless. You know that? Ruthless? But, try as I may, I just can't quit you.

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