Tag Archives: goddess

G is for Goddess (Art Nouveau – #AtoZChallenge)


by Lillian Csernica on April 8, 2017

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I’ve had a lifelong interest in mythology, and Greek mythology in particular. Another abundant theme in Art Nouveau is the female form, presented in profile, the face as centerpiece, a maiden in Nature, and of course, the main Goddesses.

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Antique sterling art nouveau locket — large size with repousse Greek Goddess of the Night Nyx. Depicts owl, moon, stars, torch.

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Nike, Goddess of Victory

Gold and enamel, diamond, ruby, pearl and carved opal.

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Zeus and Hera, in gold and sapphire.

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Diana, goddess of the hunt. Brass plated in antique gold. Fine bronze filigree encases the black and ivory cameo. The pendant is decorated with Swarovski opal stones and a black diamond Czech crystal drop.

The Goddess Ceres. Peachy-pink coral, 14k gold with thistle motif.

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Head of the Gorgon Medusa, late 19th Century, Czechoslovakia. The brooch is made of gold, jasper, and pearl. (I include Medusa here because A) some consider her the Goddess of PMS, and B) this is a singular piece.)

This piece of the “Sacred Fire Odyssey” collection represents Vesta, the Goddess of Fire. For me, this is one of Rene Lalique’s supreme creations. From Lalique:

“The majestic, Fine Jewellery Vesta necklace is a perfect demonstration of the House’s craftsmanship and its emblematic jeweller features: a piece that adapts to four different wearing styles, including necklace, brooch or pendant, and the famous mixed-materials technique introduced by René Lalique, in which the precious and non-precious combinations serve the beauty of the motif – a fusion of gold, sapphire, diamond, fire opal, moonstone, engraved mother-of-pearl, cloisonné enamel and crystal.”

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Filed under #atozchallenge, Art Nouveau, artists, Blog challenges, classics, creativity, fairy tales, fantasy, history, legend, nature

O is for Occult


by Lillian Csernica on April 18, 2016

As fond as I am of folklore and mythology, part of me is always on the alert for signs of magic or the occult in cultures I’m visiting.  I was born and raised in Southern California, so I come from the land of the free and the home of the New Age.

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During the summer trip to Ohio when I was thirteen, my father took me to visit his older brother, my Uncle Dean.  This visit stands out in my mind for two reasons.  First, Uncle Dean gave me a brick of fireworks.  That’s right, a whole brick.  I couldn’t believe Daddy let me accept them.  Second, I met Uncle Dean’s next door neighbor, who told me she was a witch.  This woman was young, pretty, had a cute little boy, and in every other way seemed to be your typical American housewife.  She got her degree in witchcraft through a mail order course.  Uh huh.  This was thirty-seven years ago, so such a claim was more than a little bizarre.  I investigated the mail order course, and it really did exist.

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My travels took me to New Mexico once.  I’d met some people at an SCA event, the Estrella War, and later paid them a visit at their home in Albuquerque.  The Southwest is where you will find the Pueblo Indians.  The occult event that happened to me had little to do with First Nations medicine.  It involved a mirror and a candle.  With all other lights out, I sat in front of the mirror with the candle behind me.  What was I supposed to see?  The record of my past lives.  I saw seven faces, three male and four female.  Did it work?  Or was it just a matter of the power of suggestion and my overactive imagination?  I’m not sure.

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On my trip to Maui with Mom, I was looking forward to seeing signs of the menehune, the Little People of the Hawaiian Islands.  Some people believe that when you see those cairns or pillars of stones by the side of the road, the menehune have made them.  Do not disturb those, and don’t ever take any of the rocks from the Big Island.  Legend has it that Pele the Volcano Goddess will hunt down such thieves and punish them.  Something must be happening, because the forest rangers in charge of the national parkland there tell stories of how often they receive packages from tourists who have been to Hawaii and picked up a pebble as a souvenir.

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And then there’s Santa Cruz, California, home of all the weirdness you could possibly desire.  From the schizophrenic homeless people who live close to downtown to the occult supply shops just waiting to accept those tourist dollars to the amazing mixture of cultures and beliefs found within the city limits, we’ve got it all here, folks.  (Santa Cruz does contain the Mystery Spot!)  I  know several practicing Wiccans, a few ceremonial magicians, at least one curandera, and a few of those folks who insist on taking the salad bar approach to their spirituality.  Pentacles, Thor’s hammers, dream catchers, and more can be seen in the jewelry and the tattoos worn by the good people of Santa Cruz County.

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Filed under Blog challenges, dreams, Family, fantasy, home town, Lillian Csernica, memoirs, mother, research, travel, Writing