The Pagan Christmas Tree – Storytelling for Everyone

Legend and Lore

Victorian Christmas Tree

The “first decorated indoor tree” was recorded in 1605, in Strasbourg, Germany, decorated with roses, apples, wafers and other sweets. Demand for Christmas trees was so high in the 15th century that laws were passed in Strasbourg cracking down on people cutting pine trees.

For many, it’s unthinkable to celebrate Christmas without a beautiful evergreen fir in the living room decorated with sparkling ornaments and wrapped presents. Like most Christmas traditions, including the celebration of Christmas itself, the origin of the Christmas tree can be traced to pagan traditions. 

In fact, were it not for Queen Victoria, the most powerful monarch of her time, decorated fir trees might have remained an obscure custom that only a couple of Germanic and Slavic countries practiced. Here’s a brief rundown of the Christmas tree’s intriguing history.

Long before Christianity appeared, people in the Northern Hemisphere used evergreen plants to decorate their homes, particularly the doors, to celebrate the Winter Solstice. On December 21 or December 22, the day is the shortest and the night the longest.

Traditionally, this time of the year is seen as the return in strength of the sun goddess (Sól/Sunna/Sunne, the common Sun goddess among the Germanic tribes, from Proto-Germanic Sōwilō, and was chased across the sky in her horse-drawn chariot by a wolf) had been weakened during winter.

The evergreen served as a reminder that the goddess would glow again and summer was to be expected.

The clergy banned these practices from the public life, considering them acts of heathenry. So, some collected evergreen branches or trees and brought them to their homes, in secret.

During these early days of the Christmas tree, many statesmen and members of the clergy condemned their use as a celebration of Christ. Lutheran minister Johann von Dannhauer, for instance, complained that the symbol distracted people from the true evergreen tree, Jesus Christ. 

The English Puritans condemned a number of customs associated with Christmas, such as the use of the Yule log, holly and mistletoe. Oliver Cromwell, the influential 17th-century British politician, preached against the “the heathen traditions” of Christmas carols, decorated trees, and any joyful expression that desecrated “that sacred event.”


In mild climates, the Christmas rose flowers in winter, which accounts for its common name. This association with the Yuletide season was emphasized by medieval Nativity plays which presented a story similar to one associated with the poinsettia in later years.

The story tells of a young shepherd girl who was tending her family’s flock on Christmas eve. After witnessing the events of that night, she eagerly accompanied the other shepherds to visit the Holy Child. Distraught that she had no gift to offer, the girl began to cry.

An angel had pity on her led the girl outside where the cherub touched the cold ground. Immediately, a Christmas rose appeared and provided the girl with a gift to offer.

Because of this legend, it was long believed that the Christmas rose was a holy flower with mystical powers. It was often planted close to the entrance of a home in the belief that it would prevent evil spirits that might be passing by from entering the house.



Goddess Demeter – Storytelling for Everyone

Greek Mythology

Demeter appeared most commonly as a grain goddess. The name Ioulo (from ioulos, “grain sheaf”) has been regarded as identifying her with the sheaf and as proving that the cult of Demeter originated in the worship of the grain mother.

Demeter, in Greek religion, daughter of the deities Cronus and Rhea, sister and consort of Zeus (the king of the gods), and goddess of agriculture. Her name indicates that she is a mother.

Demeter is rarely mentioned by Homer, nor is she included among the Olympian gods, but the roots of her legend are probably ancient. The legend centers on the story of her daughter Persephone, who is carried off by Hades, the god of the underworld. Demeter goes in search of Persephone and, during her journey, reveals her secret rites to the people of Eleusis, who had hospitably received her (see Eleusinian Mysteries).

Another important aspect of Demeter was that of a divinity of the underworld; she was worshiped as such at Sparta, and especially at the festival of Chthonia at Hermione in Argolis, where a cow was sacrificed by four old women.

The epithets Erinys (“Avenger”) and Melaina (“the Black One”) as applied to Demeter were localized in Arcadia and stress the darker side of her character.

Demeter also appeared as a goddess of health, birth, and marriage. A certain number of political and ethnic titles were assigned to her, the most important being Amphiktyonis, as patron goddess of the Amphictyonic League, subsequently well known in connection with the temple at Delphi.

Among the agrarian festivals held in honour of Demeter were the following: Haloa, apparently derived from halōs (“threshing floor”), begun at Athens and finished at Eleusis, where there was a threshing floor of Triptolemus, her first priest and inventor of agriculture; it was held in the month Poseideon (December).

Chloia, the festival of the grain beginning to sprout, held at Eleusis in the early spring (Anthesterion) in honour of Demeter Chloë (“the Green”), the goddess of growing vegetation.

Proerosia, at which prayers were offered for an  abundant harvest, before the land was plowed for sowing. It was also called Proarktouria, an indication that it was held before the rising of Arcturus. The festival took place, probably sometime in September, at Eleusis.  

Thalysia, a thanksgiving festival held in autumn after the harvest in the island of Cos. The Thesmophoria, a women’s festival meant to improve the fruitfulness of the seed grain. The Skirophoria held in midsummer, a companion festival.

Her attributes were connected chiefly with her character as goddess of agriculture and vegetation—ears of grain, the mystic basket filled with flowers, grain, and fruit of all kinds. The pig was her favourite animal, and as a chthonian (underworld) deity she was accompanied by a snake.

In Greek art Demeter resembled Hera, but she was more matronly and of milder expression; her form was broader and fuller. She was sometimes riding in a chariot drawn by horses or dragons, sometimes walking, or sometimes seated upon a throne, alone or with her daughter.

The Romans identified Demeter with Ceres.



Author adminPosted on July 11, 2022Categories Legends, Myth, Nature, SeasonsTags Ceres, Eleusinian Mysteries, grain, greek, harvest, mythology, Persephone, wheat

The Apple Tree – Storytelling for Everyone

Jewish Folktale

In a great oak forest where the trees grew tall and majestic, there was once a little apple tree. It was the only apple tree in that forest and so it stood alone.

One night the little apple tree looked up at the sky and saw a wonderful sight. The stars in the sky appeared to be hanging on the branches of the oak trees.

“Oh God, oh God,” whispered the little apple tree, “how lucky those oak trees are to have such beautiful stars hanging on their branches. I want more than anything in the world to have stars on my branches, just like the oak trees. Then I would feel truly special.”

God looked down at the apple tree and said, “Have patience, little apple tree.”

Time passed.  The snows melted and spring came to the land. Tiny white and pink apple blossoms appeared on the branches of the apple tree. Birds came to rest on its branches.  People walked by and admired the beautiful blossoms. The apple tree continued to grow all summer long. The branches filled with leaves and blossoms, forming a canopy overhead.

Night after night, the little tree looked up at the millions upon millions of stars in the sky and cried out, Oh God, I want more than anything in the world to have stars in my tree, on my branches and in my leaves – just like those oak trees.”

God looked down and said, “You already have gifts. Isn’t it enough to have shade to offer people and fragrant blossoms, and branches for birds to rest upon so they can sing you their songs?”

The apple tree sighed and answered simply, “Dear God, I don’t mean to sound ungrateful, but that is not special enough.  I do appreciate how much pleasure I give to others, but what I want more than anything in the world is to have stars, not blossoms on my branches.  Then I would feel truly special.”

God smiled and said, “Be patient, little apple tree.”

The seasons changed again.  Soon the apple tree was filled with beautiful apples.  People, walking in the forest, reached up and picked apples to eat.

Still, when night fell on the forest, the apple tree looked at the stars in the oak trees and called out, “Oh God, I want more than anything in the world to have stars on my branches.  Then I would feel truly special.”

God asked, “Isn’t it enough that you now have wonderful apples to offer?  Doesn’t that satisfy you? Doesn’t that give you enough pleasure and make you feel special?”

Without saying a word, the apple tree answered by shaking its branches from side to side.  God caused a hard wind to blow. The great oak trees began to sway and the apple tree began to shake. An apple fell from the top branch and split open when it hit the ground.

“Look,” commanded God.  “Look inside yourself.  What do you see?”

The little apple tree looked down and saw that right in the center of the apple – was a star.

“A star. I have a star!”

God laughed a gentle laugh and added, “So you do have stars on your branches.  They’ve been there all along.  You just didn’t know it.”


Note:  We usually cut an apple by holding it with the stem up. In order to find the star, turn it on its side.

If we change direction in life, we can find the spark that ignites the star within each of us. Look carefully and you’ll find that beautiful star.

Note: Chopped apples are often part of the Passover meal.


Source: This story was published as an illustrated book by Peninnah Schram and Rachayl Eckstein Davis, The Apple Tree’s Discovery. Illustrated by Wendy W. Lee. Minneapolis MN: Kar Ben Publishing, 2012.

This story also appears in the following anthology: Schram, Peninnah, Editor. CHOSEN TALES: STORIES TOLD BY JEWISH STORYTELLERS. Published by Jason Aronson Inc., an imprint of Rowman & Littlefield, 1995. Sixty‑eight stories written by storytellers/rabbis/educators. Foreword by Rabbi Avraham Weiss. National Jewish Book Award winner in Folklore. “The Apple Tree’s Discovery” appears on pp. 1-4.

Greek Goddess Gaia – Storytelling for Everyone

Mother Earth

Gaia was historically one of the most important of all Greek gods and goddesses, although her name is not one that is often thought of today. In Ancient Greece though she was revered, for not only was Gaia the Greek goddess of the Earth, but she was also the Mother Goddess, the ancestor of most other deities.

Gaia would come into existence at the very start of the cosmos, for she, according to Hesiod, was one of the first gods, a Protogenoi, emerging from Chaos. There were four “first born” deities, Chaos, Gaia, Tartarus and Eros.

The earth at this time was shapeless, but Gaia would get to work bringing forth features and life. Gaia would also bring forth other Protogenoi, the ten Ourea, the Mountains, Pontus, the Sea, and Ouranos, the Sky.

Ouranos would become the first supreme deity, and would thereafter partner with Gaia, with the Earth giving birth to the three Cyclopes, the three Hecatonchires, and the 12 Titans.

With Pontus, Gaia would also give birth to several sea deities, including Ceto, Eurybia, Nereus, Phorcys and Thaumas.

Gaia Angered

Ouranos, the son of Gaia, might be the supreme deity, but he was by no means secure in his position, and fearful that he might be overthrown, Ouranos would imprison the Cyclopes and Hecatonchires within Tartarus, the hell pit found deep within the bowels of Gaia.

This imprisonment caused Gaia both physical and mental pain, but strangely, Ouranos was not fearful of the Titans, and so Gaia plotted with her 12 children.

Cronus would take up an adamantine sickle, and whilst his brothers held Ouranos still, Cronus would castrate his father, and as the blood of the Sky god fell onto Gaia, Gaia would give birth to the Gigantes, the Erinyes and the Meliae.

Gaia Angered Again

Cronus would become the new dominant god, and yet he was no more secure in his position, and so he kept the Cyclopes and the Hecatonchires imprisoned, oblivious to Gaia’s wishes. Gaia would make a prophecy that Cronus himself would overthrown by his own child.

To circumvent this Cronus would swallow his children when they were born to his wife Rhea, and so Cronus angered both Gaia and Rhea. The sixth child born to Rhea, Zeus, was secreted off to Crete by Gaia and Rhea, as Gaia plotted her revenge on Cronus.

Eventually Zeus would lead a rebellion against the Titans, and overthrow them during the Titanomachy.

Gaia Angered for a Third Time

Gaia was initially pleased when Zeus freed her children, the Cyclopes and Hecatonchires, from Tartarus, but then was displeased when Zeus locked up many of the Titans in their place.

Gaia would then incite her 100 Gigantes sons in rebellion, although this rebellion, the Gigantomachy, was less successful than the ones previously undertaken at her behest, for the gods of Mount Olympus, aided by Heracles, would defeat and kill the Gigantes.

Zeus though did not punish his grandmother, and indeed Gaia would bear Zeus a son, King Manes, with Poseidon she would mother Antaeus and Charybdis, and with Hephaestus she bore King Erichthonius.

Gaia was widely worshipped in Greece for she was the ancestor to most of the most important deities, and she was also the first goddess associated with the vitally important Oracles.



Mabon—Autumn Equinox – Storytelling for Everyone

Welsh Mythology

This festival is named after the God of Welsh mythology, Mabon. He is the Child of Light and the son of the Earth Mother Goddess, Modron.

Here is another point of perfect balance on the journey through the Wheel of the Year, its counterpart being Ostara or the Spring Equinox. Night and day are again of equal length and in perfect equilibrium – dark and light, masculine and feminine, inner and outer, in balance. But we are again on the cusp of transition and from now the year now begins to wane and from this moment darkness begins to defeat the light. 

The cycle of the natural world is moving towards completion, the Sun’s power is waning and from now on the nights grow longer and the days are are shorter and cooler. The sap of trees returns back to their roots deep in the earth, changing the green of summer to the fire of autumn, to the flaming reds, oranges and golds. We are returning to the dark from whence we came.

This is the Second Harvest, the Fruit Harvest and the Great Feast of Thanksgiving. The Goddess is radiant as Harvest Queen and the God finally dies with His gift of pure love with the cutting of the last grain. He will return. As the grain harvest is safely gathered in from Lammas and reaches completion, we enjoy the abundance of fruit and vegetables at this time. It is time to thank the waning Sun for the wealth of harvest bestowed upon us. It sometimes seems that each Festival requires the making of celebration and the giving of thanks, but this really is so, each turn of the Wheel brings both inner and outer gifts and insights.

So, Mabon is a celebration and also a time of rest after the labour of harvest. In terms of life path it is the moment of reaping what you have sown, time to look at the hopes and aspirations of Imbolc and Ostara and reflect on how they have manifested. It is time to complete projects, to clear out and let go that which is no longer wanted or needed as we prepare for descent, so that the winter can offer a time for reflection and peace. And it is time to plant seeds of new ideas and hopes which will lie dormant but nourished in the dark, until the return of Spring.

Symbols & Rituals of Mabon

The Cornucopia
The Cornucopia, or Horn of Plenty, is a traditional symbol for Mabon. It is a wonderful symbol for the wealth of harvest and is beautifully balanced symbol which is both male (phallic) and female (hollow and receptive)

The Apple
The apple is the symbol of the Fruit Harvest. The apple figures significantly in many sacred traditions. It is a symbol for life and immortality, for healing, renewal, regeneration and wholeness. It is associated with beauty, long life and restored youth. The Ogham name for apple is Quert and Quert is the epitome of health and vitality. The apple is at the heart of the Ogham grove and is the source of life.

For Pagans, the apple contains a ‘secret’: Cut an apple width ways and it reveals a pentagram containing seeds. It is a much loved symbol of Paganism. The five points represent the elements of Earth, Air, Fire, Water with Spirit at the top, and thus also the directions of East, South, West, North and Within.

A circle around the pentagram represents the eternal circle/cycle of life and nature, and of wholeness. In ritual and ceremony the pentacle corresponds to the element of Earth. It is believed to be a protection against evil for both the person and the home, worn as an amulet or used to guard entrances to the home through windows and doors.

Colours of Mabon
From green to red, orange, yellow, brown and gold.

The Mabon Altar
Your altar should be dressed in the very best produce you can find from field, forest and market, from garden and the wild. Apples, pears, damsons, sloes, rose hips, elderberries, blackberries, hawthorn berries, the possibilities are large. If you collect from the wild, be not greedy – always leave plenty of fruit and berries for the birds and wee creatures.

Make an outdoor shrine for the nature spirits in thanks for the bounty they help to provide. Leave one of each flower, fruit and vegetable that you have, as a gift.

Great Feast of Thanksgiving

Celebrate with a feast for friends and family using as much fruit & veg, locally grown, as you can.

Go Walking
Go for a walk and collect as much of nature’s wild abundance as you can, while respecting the need to leave enough for everyone else including the nature spirits. You will find wild damsons, sloes, rosehips, elderberries, blackberries, hawthorn berries and more. Remember the fruit is the carrier of the precious seed.

Clear Out and Complete
We think of Spring as the time to clear out but now is the perfect time to complete unfinished projects and clear your home of unwanted stuff. Prepare to hibernate.

Plant Bulbs
This is an excellent time to plant tree seeds and shrubs.They have all of winter in the darkness to establish and germinate. Plant bulbs which will hide in the earth until early Spring beckons. Make each one a hope, idea or aspiration for Spring and wait until their little green buds show above ground – to remind you.


How Coyote Stole Fire – Storytelling for Everyone

Northwest Shoshone Tale

Long ago, when the world and human beings were new, there were times of great happiness: when spring danced across the forests and cool breezes nodded flowers heads and rippled streams, when summer embraced the earth as though the Sun were enfolding it in its arms, when trees were ablaze with autumn fire and made a canopy of colors across the sky.

But always the autumn leaves fell and the earth froze. Winter made people very sad and also very afraid, for in the winter many, many died of the cold and food was scarce. The oldest and newest humans suffered the most, but fear and sadness for them made the others suffer all the more.

Coyote was one of the wisest animals and a sly trickster but also a friend of the people. One morning in early spring, he heard the women of the village singing in voices so low and sad that he paused to listen. They were singing for the old and new ones who had died in the winter. Their deep moans were so filled with despair that it made the hair on Coyote’s back freeze like upside down icicles.

 “The sun! The sun!” Coyote heard one of the women say. “If we just had a piece of it to carry with us through the winter it would end the great suffering of our people.”

Coyote had an idea. He knew a place, far away on a mountain top, where three Fire Spirits lived. They tended a piece of the sun but guarded it with their very lives, because they did not want human beings to have it. They were afraid that, if they did, they’d be as strong as the Fire Spirits and that would place them at a decided disadvantage.

They had eyes that burned black and red like hot coals and sharp talons like an eagle’s for hands but Coyote wasn’t afraid of them. In fact, he not only didn’t like them, but he longed for an excuse to play a trick on them for their selfishness. He set out that day to the mountain of the Fire Spirits to steal their secret and help the human beings.

The Fire Spirits thought he was just a regular old coyote sniffing through the woods, so he had little trouble getting close to them and their fire. He sat patiently and watched, to learn how to tend and keep it himself. He learned that they fed the fire wood and bits from trees like pine cones. He learned that when flames stretched out and threatened dry grass nearby they stomped it out, keeping the fire.

He learned that at night the Fire Spirits took turns sitting beside the fire, guarding it and keeping it alive. Coyote saw that it was not only because they didn’t want someone to steal the fire that the Fire Spirits guarded it so closely but also because Fire was something that could not and should not be left alone.

Coyote also learned that there was one part of the day that the Fire Spirits were not completely consumed with tending their fire. Early each morning, the Spirit on watch at night had a difficult time waking the Spirit who’s turn it was next up. Sometimes, in his impatience to go to sleep, he left before the next Spirt took her place.

After studying all of this, Coyote went down the mountain to the village. He told the people and the animals about the Fire Spirits and how they tended a piece of the Sun. All agreed that they wanted fire and that they would help Coyote get it for them.

Coyote again went to the mountain-top. Again the Fire Spirits feared a thief in their midst but found only a coyote. Thinking he was just an ordinary coyote, they ignored him and went about their business as usual.

Coyote waited through the day and through the night until the dawn. The night guard Fire Spirit tried, as usual in vain, to wake his sister up to watch the fire. When she was slow in coming out and he’d just walked away in frustration,

Coyote lept forward, grabbed a flaming stick and took off down the mountain.

The Fire Spirits pursued him, screeching and hissing as they flew. Their coal black eyes burned and gleamed fiendishly with red. Their sharp talons grabbed and snatched, hurling branches, small birds and whatever else they could fling at Coyote. He ran like the wind but they were fast as flame and caught up to him.

One stretched out a formidable talon and, though she was only able to grab the tip of his tale, managed to hold it long enough that it turned the hairs white. That is why the tip of Coyote’s tail is white to this day.

Badly hurt, Coyote flung the fire away from him. Squirrel caught it and put it on her back. She too was burned, so badly that her tail curled up, as it still does today. Squirrel threw the fire to Chipmunk. She froze in her tracks with fear and one of the Fire Spirits clawed her, leaving three stripes from his talon down her back, which are still there today.

Chipmunk threw the fire to Frog, and one of the Spirits grabbed his tail, trying desperately to take back the fire. Frog leapt away but left his tale in the hand of the Fire Spirit. And frogs have not had tails since.

Frog flung the fire into Wood and Wood would not let the fire go. Even the Fire Spirits couldn’t get the fire from Wood. They promised gifts, they sang, they danced, they struck Wood and hacked it with their knives. But Wood would not give up fire. Defeated, the Fire Spirits went back to their home on the mountain top. They never again left the fire unattended but it was too late, human beings already had their secret.

Coyote, because he was so clever, had been able to trick wood into telling him how to get the fire out of it. He then showed the people how to rub two dry sticks together, and how to spin a sharpened stick in a hole made in another piece of wood. Doing this drew fire out of Wood in a way the Fire Spirits had not had the patience or presence of mind to accomplish.

So, thanks to Coyote, Squirrel, Chipmunk and Frog, human beings were able to keep a piece of the sun to keep them warm in the winter. And we keep it still.


Source: One Who Gathers Tribes shared with love and respect from my sister, Darlene:

Jade Rabbit – Storytelling for Everyone

Chinese Legend

Cute, fluffy, and white, the Jade Rabbit is no ordinary bunny. Calling the moon its home, the Jade Rabbit is a mystical and enchanting East Asian legend. When the bunny isn’t busy making immortality elixirs, it keeps the beautiful goddess Chang’e company in the Moon Palace.

In East Asia, the Jade Rabbit is a widespread cultural symbol, and the various legends associated with this Eastern bunny differ from country to country. This is how one Chinese legend, an ancient Buddhist story, goes:

The Jade Emperor disguised himself into a poor, starving old man and begged for food from monkey, otter, jackal, and rabbit. Monkey gathered fruit from the trees, and otter gathered fish from the river. Jackal stole a lizard and a pot of milk curds.

Rabbit though, could only gather grass. Knowing well enough that grass can’t be offered as food to humans, rabbit decided to offer its own body, sacrificing itself in the fire the man had started. Somehow, though, rabbit wasn’t burned.

The old man suddenly revealed himself to be the great Jade Emperor! Touched deeply by rabbit’s selfless sacrifice, he sent it to the moon to become the immortal Jade Rabbit. There, it finds the Jade Rabbit busy at work—pounding herbal medicine into magical elixir with its mortar and pestle.

It is said that if you look up at the moon, you can see an outline of the Jade Rabbit pounding with a pestle. More than just cute, fluffy, and white, the Jade Rabbit is a sign of selflessness, piety, and sacrifice.

Maybe that’s why the Jade Rabbit is on the moon—so that no matter where we are on Earth, we always have the bright symbol of righteousness and self-sacrifice to look up to.

The next time you look up at the moon, recall the Jade Rabbit who has nothing to give but himself—for others.



Note: Ancient China was a land where gods and mortals lived in tandem and created a divinely inspired culture. And so it was that early Chinese history and mythology are wholly intertwined. Our new “Mythistory” series introduces you to the main characters of the marvelous legends of China.

Author adminPosted on January 25, 2023January 25, 2023Categories Animal, Fables, Legends, Myth, NatureTags Asian, Buddhism, East Asian, moon, rabbit, sacrifice

Aine, Goddess of Summer, Wealth, and Sovereignty – Storytelling for Everyone

Celtic Myth

Aine is often remembered as a Celtic goddess of love. But she was also a deity of wealth, sovereignty, and the summer. Her sensitive and joyful personality brought her many followers in the Celtic world. The heart of her cult was located in Limerick, Ireland, though her fame spread like the sun’s rays over many other regions.

Associations between Aine with Venus, Aphrodite, and any other love deity are vague. She was a very complex goddess. One may assume that the goddess of love would have had bright and happy myths surround her, however the legends about Aine are rather depressing. Stories often told of the goddess being raped and murdered, as well as facing many other difficult situations.

Yet these sad stories actually brought her closer to the women who lived in the tough Celtic world. It is important to remember that when the Celtic army worked for others or fought for their land, women also had to protect their homes, towns, and settlements. Therefore, death, cruelty, and sexual abuse were unfortunately quite common for women.

Despite the sad tales, Aine brought women hope and reminded them of the joys of summer and more pleasant times. This may be why she was worshipped instead of some other deities. Aine brought women hope and reminded them of the joys of summer and more pleasant times.

A Sunny Goddess

Celtic legends say that Aine was the daughter of Eogabail, who was a member of the legendary Tuatha Dé Danann. In folklore, she was also recognized as the wife of the sea god Manannan Mac Lir – a deity who was very important for Celtic warriors.

In ancient Irish myths and legends, Aine is described as a Faery Queen, a goddess of the earth and nature, and a lady of the lake. It was believed she brought luck and good magic to her worshippers. Some identify her as a brighter side of the famous goddess Morrigan.

Aine is also known as the goddess who taught humans the meaning of love. She took many human men as lovers and bore many Faerie-Human children. There are countless stories about her escapades with human lovers. Most of the stories about Aine and her lovers were happy and peaceful tales, but some were also sad or disturbing.

Aine’s Encounter with Ailill Aulom

One of the unpleasant legends speaks of a man who didn’t want to learn the meaning of love, but was only driven by his sexual desires. This lout was the King of Munster called Ailill Aulom. According to the traditional story, he raped Aine, so she bit off his ear – which made people call him ‘One-eared Aulom.’

In Old Irish law, kings needed to have a perfect appearance and a complete body. Thus, Aulom lost his authority. This story shows that Aine was also a powerful goddess of sovereignty. As a deity, she granted power to good people, but also took it away from the bad.



Author adminPosted on June 23, 2023Categories Fairy Tales, Legends, Myth, Nature, SeasonsTags Celtic, Faery, fairy, goddess, Ireland

Mount Shasta and the Lemurians – Storytelling for Everyone

California Legends

Mount Shasta, the beautiful volcano, has graced the Northern California skyline for centuries. With its luminous glow at sunset, the amazing formation of rare clouds that shroud the mountain, and its prominence in the landscape, there is no wonder that legend and myth have revolved around this mountain for just as long.

In my opinion, the most intriguing of the Mount Shasta mysteries, is that of the lost civilization of the Lemurians. This is a story that I have heard many times: a whole civilization of people, from the lost continent of Lemuria, built a self-sustainable empire inside California’s fifth highest peak.

There are many aspects of the legend. Some versions tell of the Lemurians having the capability of time travel and connections with aliens. Some tell of the vast cavernous tunnels inside the mountain, full of gold and precious gems.

In other tales, hikers in the area are contacted by tall, spiritual beings who appear out of nowhere and disappear in just the same manner. Other tales simply mention the presence of colored orbs and lights in the landscape.

I wanted to know the origin of the tales of Lemurian civilization and what I found in the research was very interesting.

On a fair-weather day in 1883, 17-year-old Frederick Spencer Oliver from Yreka, California, was mapping his family’s property line at the base of Mt. Shasta. As described later to his mother Mary, he began writing uncontrollably with the pen and paper he held in his hand. The mysterious writings detailed that he was the subject chosen to be the amanuensis [scribe] for Phylos the Thibetan, and he would transcribe the book, A Dweller on Two Planets.

Oliver took dictations from Phylos the Thibetan, for about three years, and the writings were eventually published by his mother in 1905, six years after Oliver’s death. A Dweller on Two Planets is a first person account of the Atlantean culture, a culture that had reached a high level of technological and scientific advancement. In the book, Phylos the Thibetan gives a detailed personal history of the lost continent of Atlantis, effects of karma, and the cataclysmic destruction of Poseid, Queen of the Waves.

Enter Edgar Lucian Larkin, who was an astronomer at the Mt. Lowe Observatory, outside of Los Angeles, as well as a writer. As a teenager Larkin developed a deep interest in the idea of lost continents after reading Plato, and well into adulthood never doubted Plato’s account of Atlantis. Larkin came across Oliver’s book and was quite impressed by it, so much so that he referenced Oliver’s writings in an article for the San Francisco Examiner in 1913.

The article, titled “The Atlantides,” addressed the question, “Is there any truth in the legend of the lost continent of Atlantis?”

Twelve years later, an author called only Selvius stated in his article in The Rosicrucians Mystic Triangle, “Descendants of Lemuria: A Description of an Ancient Cult in America,” that Larkin had published an account of Lemurian sightings on Mt. Shasta and that he had apparently seen the Lemurians by telescope while at the Mt. Lowe Observatory. Interestingly enough, no such account by Larkin has ever been located.

However, it has been theorized that Larkin’s mention of Atlanteans and Lemurians, the location of Mt. Shasta, and references to Frederick Spencer Oliver, as well as mentioning temples of gold and countless gems (also paraphrased from A Dweller on Two Planets) may be the sources of the information that Selvius misinterpreted.

It appears that Selvius conjured sightings in his own mind and perpetuated the legend of the Lemurians living at Mt. Shasta.

There have been many more authors who have written on the subject. In 1931, Harvey Spencer Lewis, using the pseudonym Wishar Spenle Cerve, wrote a book published by the Rosicrucians about the hidden Lemurians of Mount Shasta. Later William C. Miesse of the College of the Siskiyous described Lewis’ book as “responsible for the legend’s widespread popularity.” 

A local Redding man by the name of Abraham Joseph Mansfield wrote about the folklore in 1976 with his book The King of the Lemurians, the account of a friend who was said they were approached by a Lemurian while hiking on Mt. Shasta in 1931.

So, there it is, a brief history of the tale of the Lemurian civilization. It’s truly no surprise that the beauty and majesty of our beloved Mt. Shasta inspires so many interesting stories, no matter how strange they may be.



By Jeremy M. Tuggle

Summer Sun Goddesses – Storytelling for Everyone

By Susan Morgaine

Hemera, Goddess of the Day

With the Summer Solstice upon us, it is time to turn our attention to the Summer Sun Goddess: Goddesses we can call on while meditating on a sandy beach, or invoke at a warm summer dawn.

There are many Goddesses associated with summer and the sun; these are but a few. May you be blessed by Her this summer.

Hemera (Greek)

Her name, which means “light,” Aurora/Eos is the Goddess of Dawn. She rode her chariot, bringing light across the sky. It is said that She had strong sexual urges, kidnapping men for her own uses. She brought forth hope in every new day and that Her tears create the dew of the morning.

Hemera, is a Greek Goddess of the Day. Her mother, the Goddess Nyx, brought darkness each night and each day, Hemera would brighten the world once again with her morning greeting.

Aestas (Roman)

While there is not much known about this Goddess of Summer, She stands by the throne of Phoebus, the Sun-God. Her name means summer or summer heat and She is depicted standing naked with only wheat sheaves in Her hair. She reminds us to enjoy the abundance and glory of summer.

Aditi (Hindu)

The Hindu Goddess and keeper of all light, Aditi illuminates life as we know it. She has no mother and had no birth. She exists for and from all time. It is said that She birthed a large egg, that moved into the sky and became the sun.

Hathor (Egyptian)

The Egyptian Goddess of the sky, She is still worshipped today. She is the “Mother of the Sun”, and is depicted with a solar disk on Her headdress. Many festivals are held in Her honor, but on New Year’s Day, Her image was brought out of the Temple at Dendera to catch the rays of the newborn sunlight. “She is the body in which the soul resides.”

Aine (Irish)

The Sun Goddess of Ireland, Her name means brightness, joy, radiance and glow; She brings us the power of the sun and the abundance of summer. She was honored at mid-summer at the top of Her Hill on Cnoc Aine. It is said that She gave the gift of grain to the people of Ireland. She could assume the shape of a red mare, at will.

Ameratsu (Japanese/Shinto)

A Japanese Shinto Goddess, She is honored as the ruler of all other deities. As the guardian of Her people, Her name means, ”great shining in heaven.” Her emblem, the rising sun, is on the flag of Japan. She is worshiped at the Shinto Grand Shrine of Ise in Japan.

Wishing you all the joys and blessings of Summer!



(Originally Published at August, 2015)

Author adminPosted on June 24, 2022Categories Folktales, Legends, Myth, Nature, SeasonsTags goddesses, summer, Summer Solstice, sun goddesses