Scholars of myth and symbolism have observed, and my own research has revealed the same truth, that certain symbols appear in iconography around the world that are always associated with the sacred feminine. Examples are spirals, birds, serpents and trees. Early one morning, in a startling flash of inspiration, I perceived that these symbols could be overlaid on, or exchanged with, the traditional symbols of the astrological signs, creating a feminine zodiac. What I call the Goddess Signs are my vision of the twelve traditional signs with symbols that are universally associated with the Goddess.
The zodiac is a circle of sky that surrounds the Earth, and is also an annual cycle of time that begins at spring equinox and is based on the seasons. Some sources have called the zodiac the girdle of the Goddess. I also believe that the wheel of the year symbolically frames the cycles of women’s lives. The ancients worshiped a Triple Goddess, who manifested as Maiden, Mother and Crone, or Elder. This trinity represented the phases of feminine experience, or cycles of blood, that all women experience. Women’s lives are demarcations of menstruation and the ability to bear children, and this ancient Great Goddess was intimately connected to Earth, fertility and annual growing cycles. My book, Goddesses For Every Day assembles 366 sacred feminine archetypes, one for every day of the year, and arranges them within the twelve Goddess Signs.
The Sun is currently moving through the sign of Leo, the Lion. In astrology, Leo is ruled by the Sun. Several cultures have imagined the motion of the Sun across the sky to be like an undulating serpent. Therefore, I chose the cobra as the Goddess Sign for Leo. As the lion is often called “king of the beasts,” I believe the cobra can be seen as queen of serpents. Many cultures have viewed serpents as symbols of wisdom, especially feminine wisdom. Even the Bible quotes Jesus as telling his followers to be “wise as serpents.”
In ancient Egyptian imagery the cobra was called the fiery eye of Re, the Sun god. The likeness of the cobra goddess Wadjet appeared on the crown of the pharaoh as a majestic snake with her hood spread. Cobra venom is deadly, so this goddess embodied protection as well as death and altered states of consciousness. Sometimes Wadjet was shown with the head of a lion, also linking her to the sign of Leo. In Hinduism, Kundalini is a goddess, and is depicted as a coiled serpent of energy that resides at the base of the spine in a state of potential, waiting to be uncoiled. When released, this serpent energy becomes the motive force of enlightenment as the spirals of her energy move up the spine and awaken the higher chakras. This process eventually results in a state of illumination, or enlightenment, as the mind is filled with the light of this divine feminine energy.
The Hindu goddess Shakti, whose name comes from the Sanskrit word shak, “to be able,” is another manifestation of this energy. She is the sacred force, or empowerment, literally the primordial cosmic energy that moves through the universe. No Hindu god was able to move or act without his Shakti.
In the next feature we will explore more Leo goddesses. At this time of year, as the Sun travels through Leo, we can invoke the energies of powerful solar goddesses to aid us on our journey.
Based on, and excerpts from Goddesses for Every Day © 2010 by Julie Loar. Printed with permission of New World Library, Novato, CA. www.newworldlibrary.com. Now available at Satiama by clicking here.
About The Author: Julie Loar is the multiple award-winning author of six books and dozens of articles. She has a BS in Psychology, has done postgraduate work, and has been certified in numerous professional training and development programs. Julie was a Human Resources executive in two major corporations, and an independent training consultant, working with large companies. Her latest book, Goddesses For Every Day: Exploring the Wisdom & Power of the Divine Feminine Around the World, has won three national awards. Her popular astrology feature appears in ATLANTIS RISING magazine, and she is a featured contributor on John Edward’s web site, InfiniteQuest.com where she has her own internet TV show. She has traveled to sacred sites around the world, researching the material for her books and teachings. Each year she leads a sacred journey to Egypt. Visit her at http://www.julieloar.com