Mater Matuta of Rome

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An ancient Italic Goddess, Mater Matuta is the Goddess of the Dawn. Often confused with the Greek Goddesses Ino or Leukothea, Mater Matuta had none of their attributes. As the Goddess of the First Light, She cares for the newborns. (Romans consider the dawn to be the luckiest time to be born.)

At the Matralia (June 11), single women and married women (in their first marriage) would meet at her temple. Bringing toasted cakes in earthenware, they would make offerings to this Goddess. After praying for their sisters’ children, the women would drive a slave from the temple.

The focus of the Matralia is to consider the importance of parenting children. At this time, the women reestablish their ties with their nieces and nephews. The women are directed by Mater Matuta to care for these children if their parents died. The ousting of the slave demonstrates their resolve not to have their sisters’ children be raised by strangers.

Salve Mater Matuta!
Goddess of the Dawn
You smile on the Newly Born
Goddess of First Light
You gather the children in your arms

Salve Mater Matuta!
Guide us with our nephews
Guide us with our nieces
Salve Mater Matuta!
Help us smile upon them
Help us gather them in our arms

Salve Mater Matuta!
Goddess of the Dawn
Goddess of First Light

Girra (Gibil): God of Fire of Babylon/ Sumer

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The God of Fire, Girra (Gibil) is also the God of Light. His temple in Mesopotamia was called the “House of Awesome Radiance.” Because fire is basic to civilization, He is regarded as the “Founder of the Cities.”

As fire, Girra has many forms. He is the burning heat of summer, the destroyer of crops. Burning the fields, Girra sears the plains. He is the heat that warms the home and cooks the food. As the fire of purification, Girra burns away the baleful energies. He brings the creative fire to the smith and mason.

Note: Gibil and Girra were once regarded as separate Gods. Later, they were merged into one God.

Noble Girra
You purify the temples
You purify the bridal beds

Noble Girra
You sear the land
You set the mountains on fire

Noble Girra
You warm our hearts
You cook our food

Noble Girra
You set the brain on fire
You spark new ideas

Noble Girra
You are the Founder of Cities

Maia, Goddess of Rome

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The Goddess of Springtime Warmth, Maia brings the inner fire of the season. With her gentle touch, the earth springs to life with flowers blooming and plants sprouting. Hers is the warmth of spring melding into the heart of summer. Her Consort, Volcanus (Vulcan), the God of Fire, brings the searing fire of the summer. He ripens the fields, and starts the harvet. Meanwhile, Her Son, Mercurius (Mercury), the God of Commerce brings the flash of heat for trade to grow after the harvest.

Traditional Roman offerings to Her was a pregnant sow, since pigs have large litters. Today, offering flowers to friends and neighbors honors Maia.

Salve Maia Maiestas!
Great and Powerful Maia
With Your Fire
You warm the earth

We dance with the flowers.
We celebrate the spring.
We offer our gratitude.
Salve Maia Maiestas!

Note: Maia is often confused with that of the Greek Goddess. That Maia is often called the “Good Mother” and “Midwife.”

Tasmetu, Consort of Nabu of Babylon

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The Goddess of Listening, Tasmetu (Tashmetum) is the consort of Nabu, the God of Wisdom. Since Nabu is the God of Writing, Tasmetu can be considered the Goddess of Oral Wisdom for She hears and remembers. Her name derives from the Akkadian for “the granting of requests.” Therefore this Goddess is known as an advocate who answers heart-felt prayers.

For the Assyrians, Tasmetu is the “Beloved Consort.” Because of this, She is also the Goddess of Sexual Attraction. Rarely separated from Nabu, the Divine Scribe, the Two Gods share their temples.

From the Assyrian Texts: Love between Nabu and Tasmetu
Let who will thrust where he trusts,
As for us, our trust is in Nabu,
We give ourselves over to Tashmetum.
What is ours is ours: Nabu is our lord,
Tashmetum is the mountain we trust in.

NABU: “Why, why are you adorned, my Tashmetum?”

TASMETU: “So I can go to the garden with you, my Nabu.”

NABU: “There, bind fast, hitch up, bind your days to the garden and to the Lord,
Bind your nights to the exquisite garden, Let my Tashmetum come with me to the garden, among the wise folk her place be foremost.

My Prayer to Tasmetu
Gracious Lady, Beloved of Nabu
He speaks, You listen
Going deep inside, You grant us wisdom
You hear us, Gracious Lady
Grant us, Lasting Love
We thank you, For your wisdom.

Luna, Moon Goddess of Rome

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Luna, the Moon Goddess, is an old Italic God. She is one of the twelve Gods who guide Roman farmers. She told them when to plant, plow, and harvest. As one of the twenty principal Gods (di Selecti) of Rome, Luna kept time for the festivals. In the “Carmen Saeculare” (17 BCE), Horace calls Luna, “the two-horned Queen of the Stars” (siderum Regina bicornis) Nightly, She drives her biga (two-horse chariot) across the heavens. (Note)

King Titus Tatius imported the worship of Luna to Rome from the Sabines. Later King Servius Tullius erected a temple to Her in the 6th Century BCE. Founded on March 31, this temple was on Aventine Hill. Luna shared another temple with her cult partner, Sol Indiges (the Native Sun) near the Circus Maximus. They have a festival together on the date of that temple’s founding which August 28, 1st Century BCE.

Note: Sol Indiges drives the quadriga (four-horse chariot). The two Gods could be considered Patrons of Drivers.

Salve Luna Notiluca!
Shining Lady of the Night
Lady of the Two Horns

Glowing Brightly,
You look for us.
Turning Ebony,
We look for You.

You guide us through the Night.
You whisper in our dreams.
You awaken our visions.

Salve Luna Notiluca!
Siderum Regina Bicornis