The Rowdy Goddess

An Ecstatic Vision of the Goddess, dancing in harmony with the Universe.

Archive for the tag “Tea”

SpiritualiTEA: Pachamama and Mate

Modern depictions of Pachamama

Modern depictions of Pachamama

I checked this morning and it’s still winter and predictions of snow and storms are still filling most of the news for various parts of the U.S. including ours.  In addition to the complaining and kvetching, most of us seek something to release the burden of snow and darkness from our minds.   For me, one of the most uplifiting things in life is tea in all its varieties.  Tea preparation, experiementation, and drinking it is part of my connection to the Goddess and the sacred; tea is an important part of my spiritual practice and daily routine.    Imagine my delight when research an earth goddess for a meeting of my circle, I came across another connection to one of my favorite, mate!   There are no ancient pictures or statues of her but plenty of modern ones.  She is also a really great of example of the Rowdy Goddess.  She was not content to stay as the ancients portrayed her and she has evolved into a goddess for the 21st century.

Pachamama is an Earth and Time Goddess revered by the indigenous peoples of the Andes Mountains, a range that covers Bolivia, Peru, and Argentina.  She was seen as Mother Earth and was often depicted as a dragon that could cause earthquakes when things no longer pleased her.  In the time of the Incas, she was a fertility goddess who presided over planting and harvesting.  Llamas and clothing were sacrificed to her and she was seen a cruel goddess who eagerly demanded her sacrifices.  Her husband was the Supreme God, of whom it is said that she birthed him from her own body.  Her children are the sun and the moon. After the Spanish Conquest and the forcible conversions to Catholicism, she became associated with the Virgin Mary.  As Peru and the other nations evolved, so did she.  To this day, she is seen as a benevolent goddess, ever present, self-sufficient with a creative power to sustain and nurture the earth.   Now when people talk of taking too much from the earth, they phrase it as taking too much from Pachamama.  Many environmental activist groups take her name in honor of the earth.

There are a number of festivals in her name, both community and in the home.  Most of her festivals involve food, pouring food and drink onto the ground, or honoring her with thanks and celebrations.  August in the southern hemisphere is the coldest month and many rituals involve protection the people, the crops, and the earth.  People drink mate to bring them luck.

Mate is a South American caffeinated drink made from steeping the dried leaves of the yerba mate.  There are many traditional preparations and rituals surrounding the drink.  In the industrialized world, it is sold as a tea and while technically not a tea, it is often used as a substitute for coffee because of its strong, rich, bold, caffeinated flavor.  The legends of the Guarani (Paraguay, Bolivia, and Argentina) say that mate was created when the Moon and the Cloud came to Earth to visit.  Instead of a friendly greeting, they were met by a jaguar, ready to attack them.  An old man rescued them and with gratitude, these Goddesses gave him a new plant from which he could make the “drink of friendship.[1]”  In tribute to Her and the great Earth she is and protects, I add a simple ritual to my morning mate routine.

Mate Ritual for Pachamama

This is a morning ritual for your first warm beverage of the morning, preferably mate.  Brew a pot or cup of mate in your preferred method.   Pour yourself a cup of the mate with this charm:

I pour this liquid in my cup

So all day long I’ll have good luck.

Add sweetener (honey or sugar) and cream, if you prefer.  Regardless of whether you add or not, stir the liquid deosil and say these words:

Sweetness and nourishment combine

With flavors rich, bold and strong

And stay with me, Goddess, all day long.

Take your drink to a special place outdoors[2], and pour a portion onto the ground with this prayer:

In gratitude and blessings, I call to Pachamama

Mother of Earth, Mother of Time

She of the sowing, weeding, reaping and storing,

She who brings forth the bounty and nurtures the earth

I thank you for the beauty of the green earth

The strength and illumination of the sun and moon,

I honor the sacrifice, benevolence, and love

With this drink made with your leaves.

Thank you for this day lit well with sunlight

And thank you for the night illuminated by moonlight!

Blessed Be.

[1] Wikipedia articles “Pachamama” and “Yerba Mate.”

[2] If the weather or situation means you must stay indoors, pour your gift to the Goddess into a small bowl of soil to be left outdoors at another time.  B*B

A Monday Morning TEAser!

a nice hot cup of tea!

a nice hot cup of tea!

I’ve been away from blogging for a while.  My mother went into hospice last April and passed peacefully away surrounded by her family.  I needed a lot of time to grieve.  I’m still very sad and there’s still a lot of stuff to do, but I wanted to get back to some things I love to do. One of the things that remind me of my mother is tea.  She tried many kinds and always went back to Liptons.  She drank a lot of tea!  When I was a kid, she drank coffee with cream and sugar.  When she started teaching during my junior high school years, she switched to tea.  Story was, that the teachers she hung out with, charged 50 cents for a cup of coffee but tea was free.  Fifty cents was a lot of money for a cup of coffee, so she switched to tea.  And loved it.  She never went back to coffee.

I love a good cup of tea and I like variety.  I’m not a purist, I just like what I like.  To me it’s a mini-retreat in the midst of a busy day.  Tea is also a pick-me-up and an oasis.  I am trying to give up diet soda and now tea is my go-to drink.  Note:  I gave it up for several months but after several long car trips, diet soda was the easiest.  So I will be switching back to tea.

Tea often gives rise to reflections, divination and “deep thoughts.”  Sometimes, though, a cup of tea is just a cup of tea!  Whatever the moment, it is refreshing.

I read somewhere that starting with a spicy drink, such as pepper, cinnamon, or similar tea, can boost your metabolism and help you towards better fitness.  I have several and sometimes I think it works.  Today’s tea is from serendipiTea and is called Sssssspicey, and is an “organic Blend of Cinnamon, Ginger, Clove and Black Pepper.”  Technically, it’s a tisane since there is no tea in the blend.

It is wonderful and VERY spicy.  The blend gives you both a foretaste and a nice afternote.  The spices are very aromatic and just smelling it is an energizing experience.  It certainly is an invigorating tea for a Monday morning at work!  It is definitely effective.  I have gotten a lot done this morning.

As you can see, it’s a loose blend.  As I was sniffing it, I dropped the tea strainer into the brew and my cup was awash with the leaves and bits of herb.  I had to strain it again.  The tea did not guarantee grace or a spell against clumsiness!  Even after I finished the cup, the scent lingered on.

May your Monday be an energetic delight, and end by relaxing into sereniTEA!

A Winter Gathering of the Rowdy Goddesses

Tomorrow is Mardi Gras, but we’ve celebrated it already with “Let the Rowdy Times Roll!” It seems that once a year at Womongathering isn’t enough. So this year, our dear friend Phaezara opened her hearth and home to a gathering. Traveling from Philadelphia, Virginia, and from points across New York, rowdy women gathered to party. Included were women from Womongathering and also some of our friends who haven’t been able to make it to the summer gathering.

We went shopping at Seven Rays in Syracuse and then we went to tea at the White Dove Tea Room. A caravan of six cars is often hard to lead and to follow, but we all made it even after getting double parked in at the Church of the Assumption. Shows what assumptions will do for you…get you blocked in and unable to move forward.
It was wonderful, capped off by a ritual involving the beauty and wonder of our masks. Let’s face it, we have them. They are beautiful, our masks are barriers, and they are our aspirations. More to explore with masks……
May wonder and beauty be yours as you let your Rowdy times roll!!!!

Tea, Hot Water, and the Goddess

Tea, Hot Water and the Rowdy Goddess!

“A woman is like a tea bag. It’s only when she’s in hot water that you realize how strong she is.”
This quote, attributed to both Eleanor Roosevelt and Carl Sandburg, attracted my attention because I want to write a book on the Magick of Tea; so I collect information, lore, superstition and magical attributes of tea. If I had included it in the Crone posting, I’d be making smart-aleck remarks about old bags. Another day for that!
Tea & the Goddess
Tea is wonderful not only for its flavor, aroma and health benefits, but because its history is also so rich. The history of tea is full of legend, corruption, and political intrigue. The tea trade was enormously influential in the history of Europe and the history of its land of origin, China.
And always, when I’m researching something, I’m looking for the Divine presence in the lore and uses of it. For tea, topping the list is Kuan Yin, the bodhisattva of mercy. Some people will be quick to correct you and tell you that She is not a Goddess. To me she is, and she has been revered in such a way, that she is a goddess. Her mercy and compassion speaks to everyone. The oolong tea, Tieguanyin Oolong Tea is named for her and is one of the most prized teas growin china.
How it became named for her is a beautiful story of devotion. Centuries ago, there was a tea farmer named Mr. Wei. He was very poor and worked very hard to create a living for his family. Each day, both morning and evening, he would pass a neglected temple, the Temple of T’ieh-Kuan-Yin. The degraded state of the temple awakened his devotion to Kuan Yin and he began to light incense and pray at the temple; each day doing a little clean-up and polishing of the temple and the statue of Her.
Moved by his devotion, Kuan Yin appeared to him in a dream. She said to him, “Beind the temple, deep in a cave is a treasure for you and the generations to come. You must share it with all of your neighbors.” Upon awakening, he rushed to the cave and searched and searched. He found nothing be a small sprig of tea. Unhappy that he did not fulfill Her instructions, he took the sprig of tea back to his home and planted in his garden. He tended it and it grew over the years into a bush. He noticed that as he created infusions that the fragrance was beautiful and long-lasting.
He began to cultivate the tea bushes and shared the shoots and seeds with his neighbors, naming the tea after T’hei-Kuan-Yin. The temple was repaired and funds were set aside for its perpetual upkeep. The region flourished as tea traders flocked to the region to buy this lovely tea.
Tiequanyin is also called Iron Goddess Tea and the less romantic researchers say that it is called this because of the appearance of its processed leaves, “dark as iron and heavier than other teash, but with the quality as pure and beautiful as Guanyin.” Well, maybe there is more poetry in that statement. [quote from All the Tea in China by Kit Chow and Ione Kramer]
Kuan Yin inspires devotion all over the world from traditional Buddhists to the pagan and Goddess communities. She is the embodiment of compassion (Karuna) and mercy. She is Mistress of the Southern Seas and is often depicted riding across the ocean either in a lotus or on a dragon. She holds a vase with the nectar of compassion and wisdom, and she is also shown with a Willow branch from which she sprinkles the divine nectar of life. She is the bestower of children and the dove is the symbol of her fecudity. She is also shown with a book or scroll of prayers, representing her mastery of dharma (teaching) and text (sutra). She is shown with a rosary which she uses to call on the Buddha for succor on behalf of all who call her name.
There is strong trust in her grace, mercy and healing powers that to call her name is to call her to you. Om Mani Padme Hum is her mantra and it means “Hail to the Jewel in the Lotus.”
People tend to look at her as very holy and without fault since she is deserving of nirvana and chooses to stay and help others achieve enlightenment. She has been in my life since I was a girl. My great-aunt and my grandmother collected images of her, referring to her by one of her other names Mei-Ling. When my grandmother passed away, I inherited her collection of figurines along with her love of this wonderful Goddess. Whenever I do Reiki healing and teaching, Kuan Yin is the Goddess who appears. To me, though, there is an element of playfulness about her. She isn’t completely somber and serious. In my work with her, I’ve learned she enjoys a good joke, likes physical exercise and loves cats. Her mastery of dragons resonates with me and tells me that her strength comes not from holy stillness but an active, strong physical presence. She is vibrant and vital as she appears to me.
For my birthday, Mouse gave me a wonderful Kuan Yin pendant from Jane Iris [] that is shown in this blog entry. I love that she has perky breasts and tips her hip’ she looks saucy! A boddhistava that wants to have fun…..It shows me that Kuan Yin has her connection to the exuberant, ecstatic flow of energy in her being and she continues to communicate that fabulous energy to us. So every time you breathe in the delicate fragrance of Oolong tea, find the essence of the Goddess there as well.
Oolong Tea
There a lots of varieties of tea, and oolong is a delicate variety somewhere between black tea and green tea in its oxidation. The flavor is somewhere between black and green, favoring the green without the grassy taste of green tea. Oolongs flavor has many sides beginning with a strong almost bitter taste with an afternote of sweetness. The term oolong means “black dragon” or “black snake” because its leaves look like little black dragons when you pour hot water over them.
Oolong is said to enhance meditation. So settle back with a nice cup of tea and meditate on Kuan Yin in all her compassionate mercy and sassy rowdiness.
The Kuan Yin image is copyrighted by Jane Iris and used with permission. See their wonderful wares at

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