A note: I'm post dating this entry so it stays pinned to the top . The entire post is on my main blog. You can read the rest of it by clicking the button below.
That’s a more than fair question. I’m still figuring some of that out myself. Here is the best in a nutshell response I can give you for now, with hopes to elaborate further at a later point.
This blog started out as a “goddess blog” in its previous incarnation on a personal site and it started to evolve into a deeper exploration. I hope to continue in that vein, I’m going to start with revamping some of the original topics and branch out. I hope it inspires you.
What Is Mother Goose Doing Here?
One of the first entries on the original, Thought Of The Deity, blog was a very short piece about Mother Goose. Yes, Mother Goose of nursery rhyme fame! I've decided to fatten up the original goose, er post, with some more in depth information.
The origins of the Mother Goose Goddess archetype may go back to the ancient Egyptians who believed that “The Great Chatterer” aka “The Nile Goose” laid the golden egg from which the sun god Ra emerged. Look through many ancient goddess pictures and you will see the goose as her symbol or companion! The goose is a solar bird. She announces the dawn.
Yes, the goose is a solar bird. The tradition of the Christmas goose symbolizes the annual death of the sun at winter solstice.
Where the Mother Goose nursery rhymes and character came from and how she evolved is a bit of a muddled mystery. Theories abound. Was she based on an historic person? A goddess? A witch? Is she an amalgamation of lore? Should we look at this whimsical image of a jolly old lady with her squawking feathered conveyance more seriously? Perhaps. Was she turned into the wicked, cackling, wart nosed Halloween witch by The Fecking Patriarchy?
Maybe It's Just Me, But....
Much of the available research finds a closer connection to the Germanic Winter Solstice Goddess, Holda or Frau Holle, the original Domestic Goddess, the one who watches out for housewives, children and all the household arts. In many stories she seems like a kinder, gentler, all together friendlier version of Baba Yaga. Instead of a walking house with chicken feet, she just glides in on her goose.
I find the similarities to Baba Yaga intriguing, though as far as I know, I'm the only one to make the connection. Like Baba Yaga, Frau Holle suffers no fools. If they are lazy, she is quick with punishment but is extremely generous at rewarding those who are honest and work with diligence and effort. Holda and Baba Yaga either protect children or steal their souls, depending on the circumstances and which story you read. When I see Mother Goose as a kindly old woman, I think of Holda and when I see her as a witch, I think of Baba Yaga.
The Cool Goddess With The Warm Heart
Holda is a winter goddess associated with Yule. She is not always seen as an old woman but sometimes as a beautiful maiden or as a mother so she fits into the triple goddess archetype. In some stories she is seen with two faces, one a young woman, the other a crone. In some traditions Holda is the one who decides which children are naughty or nice and brings them gift if they deserve them, not Saint Nicholas. Holda shakes the comforter on her bed, or her glistening white cape and snow falls down upon the land so she is also a weather goddess.
"Yule, the longest day of winter, was her holiday, and until recently she was one of the Christmas gift-givers in parts of Germany. There she was pictured as a red-cloaked witch on a broom who would fill children’s shoes with goodies and then move on. German children left milk and bread for her, in hopes of better presents.
"In particular, the customs associated with Holda seem to have to do with rituals of preparation for the New Year. To provide closure for the year that is passing, try to finish up any tasks that you have been putting off for too long. Keep New Year’s day as one of rest and celebration, and include pickled herring and oatcakes on the menu. Other foods might include elderberry tea and pfeffernusse, those gingery German cakes covered with powdered sugar which cover anyone who eats them with a dusting of sugar like snow."
She Does All The Things!
This powerful creator goddess is a far cry from the diminished, albeit enduring, character with her whimsical rhymes.
“There was an old woman who lived under a hill; and if she’s not gone, she lives there still.”
While she may be hidden in a simple nursery rhyme, Goddess can't be watered down. She is ancient and contemporary, powerful and alive!
Honk. Honk. Hellooooo!
Thought Of The Deity
A VERY eclectic Witch, Writer, Muse, Artist, Animal wrangler, Cross-Cultural -Polytheistic - Agnostic Pagan with an active inner 12 year old!