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Maidens Knot, Artemis, Mary undoer of Knots and magical presences


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#1 Guest_monsnoleedra_*

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Posted 17 May 2015 - 01:20 AM

Let me preface this with this is an article / subject I've been musing over for a bit and in the process of writing a more complete and in-depth article.

If one looks to the older stories and such about Artemis you will find the story of the Athenian Arkteia or Bear Maidens dedicated to Artemis. One significant aspect of the story is the belief that it is one of the final stages select young girls from the Athenian high class will undergo before being married off. A second aspect for consideration is the age frame of these girls tended to be say 12 - 18 though probably closer to the 12-15 range. Closely tied to this fact is the average age of marriage for these girls tended to be between the ages of 12-18 though 14 - 15 seems to be the most common age. From a medical aspect, especially under Hippocrates influence, we also see the presumption that women's internal structure is like a jar or cub and proper health is achieved by a heavy menstrual cycle and is even encouraged. That for the young girl or parthenos the breaking of the maidens knot serves to both transition her from untamed girl into woman and removes her from the wild aspect of her social status.

So consider that the cultural belief's loosely state that upon reaching marital age the young parthenos passes from the influence of Artemis and moves to one of the gyne identified goddess such as Demeter or Hera. Figure by definition a parthenos is defined as " A girl who combines the features of being childless, unmarried yet of the age for marriage" while a gyne is defined as "A woman who has given birth with the first birth ending the transition process which began with the first menstrual blood signaling the bodies readiness of available blood to form the child and to receive the male sperm" pg 23, HIPPOCRATES Woman by Helen King. A stage that was achieved as soon as possible of becoming pregnant immediately upon being married.

So part of the transition from parthenos to gyne is breaking of the maidens or virgin's knot. Historically a secondary name for the hymen and broken upon the first penetration. A penetration that is highly reccomended to occur as soon as possible after the onset of their first menstrual cycle. Perhaps serving to further limit the period of instability that seems implied to occur between the onset of menstruation and first sexual experience.

Yet is there more to the scenario than might be seen upon initial observation. Consider for instance that poltergeist type activity is very closely equated to a prepubscent girl getting her first period and her body becoming a transitional host. Moving from the parthenos to gyne and having her body change and all the issues that resulted from moving from the wild and free stage to that of the settled woman. Consider the transition and influence of Artemis and her guiding the parthenos into womanhood. Overseeing and guiding the transition as if to control some dangerous situation that the parthenos is experiencing with the parthenos dedicating her girl items to the goddess upon completion of the transition.

A transition which seems to suggest a danger to the parthenos but also to those about her. As if some force or biological change is occurring and requiring the very hand of a goddess to ensure the transition does not destroy the perthenos.

While the story of Artemis gets removed from the process as society changes and becomes more Christian does it mean the process and guidance needed didn't change? Consider the notion of Mary undoer of the knot and how her image contains a lot of references to both young girls, a crescent moon and even the image of the snake and it's earlier connection to Artemis and Hekate in their roles as a transitional goddess but also one who aides in childbirth. While Christian texts try to equate Mary undoer of knots more to life situations and difficulties it can not, to me anyway, hide the dangers implied to the young girl transitioning into adulthood. (see attached photos of Mary undoer of knots) Attached File  2e464bab3c6956ce2e60bc9945846dc6.jpg   77.21KB   0 downloadsAttached File  undoer_of_knots_statue__50276.1423521120.451.416.jpg   31.3KB   0 downloads

If one looks closely at the imagery of the Mary, Undoer of Knots it's hard not to notice the "Knot" in question is a white ribbon and is being un-knotted as it is passed from one girl to another. IF one accepts the equation of white to purity and virginity and passing of the cleaned or broken / un-knotted line then it seems, to me anyway, to further support the notion of passage from one stage to another. By cleaning away or breaking the knot the girl passes into the hands of a new situation all the while being guided and watched over by a divine being. By passing into a situation of motherhood as the mother of Christ. Yet I think it also implies that state of danger that requires the divine hand to guide and aide the young girl from one stage to another.

If I further take this to observance and recall of my own youth I see something similar regarding my sisters. As each of them came of menstrual age and a change in how they were treated but also things they were being shown to handle the imbalance of their own energies. I am reminded of stories I read dealing with Native American's and the Moon Lodge and how young girls were especially subject to being possessed or ridden during that initial time.

So it suggests that the danger to both the young girl and her surroundings have been known and observed for a great many years. One danger appearing to be the uncontrollable nature of their own bodies and energies. A danger to both their physical body yet also a danger to their very mental health as well. A danger that in some capacity it was seen as requiring a divine being to not only guide and perhaps control them but only such a person could do so.

Yet there must have been some sort of mental charge as well in that the are records of girls reaching the state and killing themselves in mass. Some to avoid marriages for certain but some to avoid passing out of it or beyond the influences of Artemis. One city going so far as to parade the naked bodies of the dead girls through the streets to shame them from suicide. Yet the suicide also suggests the power was tied tightly to the blood in the body and its sacredness. A typical suicide for young girls being recorded as either hanging or drowning which resulted in no loss of blood from the body.

As I stated this is just an article I have been piecing together but wanted to present the general idea and see what people think of it. In many ways the Mary, undoer of Knots seems to continue the association of Mary to Artemis and later Diana, especially in their Ephesian capacity. It suggests a continuation of a divine feminine and the transition as a guide / protector from wild daughter to womanhood. To me it seems to imply not only a physical need but a spiritual or psychological need for such a divine being. While it mostly pertains to the passage of girls into adulthood or womanhood if one equates the stealing of the cheese in Sparta or similar rites for boys then it might be suggested such an in-balance occurs with boys and those same feminine divinities watch over them as well yet it is not as critical a transition.

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#2 Marrena

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Posted 17 May 2015 - 12:01 PM

I think Shakespeare might be confusing you with his mentioning a "virgin's knot" in The Tempest. In the Middle Ages that was a common belief, that there was a knot in the vagina, but I don't think the Greeks or Romans thought of the hymen as a knot. It's true that Greek maidens gave up their maiden's girdle upon marrying, but I think that was more like a bra. I think it was like a belt worn under the breasts to give support. I'm guessing it would get in the way for nursing moms, and for convenience they gave up wearing it. I might be wrong about that--do you have links about the Greeks and knot = hymen (that don't reference The Tempest)?

Certainly Mary was used as a catch-all for all sorts of local goddesses, but I suspect that the idea of her being the Undoer of Knots has more to do with the knot/hymen belief in the Middle Ages, and that basically she lost her hymen without male assistance, rather than an arcane reference to Artemis. Of course in the case of Diana/Artemis, the transformation to Mary was deliberate, with the dedication of her temples to Mary, the same feast days, etc. I just don't think the knot thing came up until later.

I like knot magic myself, especially with weatherworking. I get more of a thrifty, saving-it-for-later vibe from knotwork rather than something that might be helpful in dealing with teenaged girls. Although I'm all ears, having a couple of them myself, and boy are they a pain in the ass! I suppose knotwork is good for binding, but my feeling is that any knot tied up will be untied later. Although the untying can be a good delaying tactic for entities.

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Posted 17 May 2015 - 05:49 PM

Not really regarding Shakespeare's influence.

The notion of a virgin's knot as a reflection of the hymen has been around since as far back as the ancient Greeks. The Hippocratic texts on virgins, women in general and maidens actually has quite a bit to say on the virgin's knot, menstruation, wandering womb, etc. The story of Pandora goes pretty deeply into the notion of the parthenos and gyne and how both were viewed in Greek culture. It's her creation per some histories that causes later issues for women in general and the insistence of the menstrual cycle and virgin's knot or virginity.

The maiden's girdle or belt was also symbolic of the knot in the aspect that it was removed on the wedding night by the husband and was supposed to indicate the bride was still a virgin. The maiden's knot is also seen as the plug in the internal jar structure of the woman's body that gets tied to the menstrual cycle though to be honest parts of the Hippocratic text get really confusing there as one word can imply a number of things. One needs a medical background far deeper than my limited one where that is concerned. Where the maiden's belt gets confusing is the women also wore the strophion which was a belt, rope or band like item that wrapped about the body, usually just beneath the breast but at times also crisscrossed between the breast and under them. It was mostly worn with the Chiton garment whether it was the long garment or the short activities garment. So that visible band it seem's has become conflated with the idea of the maiden's belt and knot. Fell for that trap myself early on, especially regarding some of the bands fashions which was to tie it off beneath the breast giving the appearance of a knot.

Have to admit I've tried a number of places to resolve that issue and separate the two. Yet all I find indicates children wore no clothing as a norm until they got of school age then they wore the same as the adults. About the only difference was the colors that seem to suggest certain colors equated to certain stages or conditions of their life. A few references i've seen pertaining to the Arkteia suggest a saffron color might also indicate a parthenos had come of age and was ripe for marriage. Perhaps the color suggesting the onset of the menstrual cycle and excess blood needed to form a child in the wandering womb. Yet virginity was often only confirmed upon the marital bed though the father and the dowry often was used to "Confirm" the virginal status. So as near as I can conclude at this time it was the color of the band that might have denoted it as a maiden's belt and ensured, well implied, the maiden's knot was intact. A man could return the bride and get a divorce if it was discovered on the wedding night the wife was in fact not a virgin though legal issues arose as to the dowry, repayment or compensation for used goods as it were. Yet that's a whole different ball game so to speak.

I admit I am torn on the idea of Mary. Yet The Cult of Mary which inspired many of the Mary persona's was heavily built upon the Ephesian Artemis / Diana. Even many of the titles and such for Mary straight out usages of the earlier "Goddess" influence. I vaguely recall the cult of Mary existed in recognized form from something like 2 A.D. to about late 5 A.D. by the church. So how her imagery was used gets tricky for certain, though latter church officials and such went to great lengths to change what each aspect represented to the observers.

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Posted 17 May 2015 - 05:54 PM

As a reference that's a good read I recently read HIPPOCRATES' WOMEN regarding the Female Body in Ancient Greece by Helen King. Routledge publishing ISBN 0-415-13894-9 (hbk) and ISBN 0-415-13895-7 (pbk). Some aspects accepted by modern medical practices and academia while other's are disputed of course.
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#5 Marrena

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Posted 18 May 2015 - 01:55 PM

Here's a link to that reference:

https://books.google...&q=knot&f=false

"The use of the zone, or girdle in female clothing reflects the stages of a Greek woman's life. A young girl is "ungirdled" (Call fr.620A) and the first girdle, put on at puberty, is later dedicated to Artemis as a part of the marriage process; a special girdle, tied with a ritual knot, is worn on the wedding night and untied by the spouse, a married woman unties her girdle in labour (Schmitt, 1977).

--snip--

Birth is not, however, the only time when Artemis releases. The phrase luien ten zonen, to release the girdle, is used not only in labour (Sor. Gyn. 2.6; T 74) but also for defloration (Anth. Pal. 7.164, 324; Eur Alc. 177; EG 319.3. 684.3) and the epithet Lysizonos evokes the presence of Artemis on both occasions."

I am wrong, you are correct. I learned something new, thank you. I also learned not to google defloration at work! :)

I think you are also correct about the cult of Mary being based on Diana worship--I used to be married to a religious historian.

We both are right about where the girdle was worn--it depended on the fashion at the time:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kolpos

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Posted 18 May 2015 - 02:37 PM

It's sort of a shame in that you'd think that would be something that would be recorded better but it seem's it was so assumed known by the public that it didn't need to be recorded in great detail. Though my grasp of Greek, especially archaic Greek is really limited so there probably are a lot of books in Greek or Latin that may address it much better but have not been translated into English. Though to be honest women's studies has also lagged very badly so there are lots of things omitted or sort of deemed not important to earlier historians.

Being male I get asked at times why I try to dig so deeply into Artemis' lore even if I am blood bound and sworn to her. Makes for some interesting conversations at times.

I'm sort of debating about expanding the knot idea to include the Hanging Woman aspect of Artemis and how the wandering womb and sensation of being chocked or hung was applied to the menstrual cycle and a sense of being bloated and internals pressing into the chest area. Yet it to ties back into the notion of untying the knot and in-balance which affects / effects the mental and physical state of the person which has to affect their magical energy.

More of the feminine mysteries that so critically impact upon magical ability and personal energy yet seems ignored in pursuit of the latest spell or how to use something.

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#7 Marrena

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Posted 18 May 2015 - 07:42 PM

I think a woman's magical energy has more to do with the phase of the moon than their point in the menstrual cycle. Now if a woman can sync up with the moon, it increases power. I think that recent research into a woman's subconscious control over ovulation timing is pretty fascinating. And then of course there is the better researched aspect of women's cycles getting in sync when they live together. But I think the main way a woman's cycle would influence would be by the impact on her libido, if she uses her chakras in spellwork. It takes a certain amount of base libido to get the energy up to the higher chakras, and there are a few days out of the month when libido is negatively impacted by the cycle.
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Posted 18 May 2015 - 09:48 PM

You wouldn't believe how many times I've been read the riot act for even saying a woman's cycle might be aligned to the moon cycle. Everyone automatically assumes your implying the menstrual cycle aligns to the moon influence and can't seem to consider there might be a deeper cyclic clock contained within the body. Yet considering the amount of liquid in the human body and the moon's influence upon watery bodies on the earth it seem's illogical to me not to think there is a connection.

That doesn't even touch upon the earth's natural energy field and how it influences our bodies and that cyclic pattern. Just my personal opinion but I think many times we see the usage of three worlds and a world tree type concept that gives us Chthonic, Celestial and physical. Yet what if those are actually chthonic is the earth energy field that acts upon us, Celestial is the heavenly energy field that acts upon us and physical is our own bodies way of balancing the opposing cycles? Then consider the notion of patterns and cycles within patterns and cycles and how they may even conflict with each other or even dominate a lessor force. Somewhat passing into the notion of so called sacred geometry and patterns that constantly reappear through out history as well as in the natural order of things.

Yeah I know I have some out there idea's and theories that float about my head. Get told it's a shamanic thing because we're never fully into one reality but walk in multiple realities and dimensions all at once.

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#9 Marrena

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Posted 19 May 2015 - 01:21 AM

you and the Prince of Wales. Unless he's witch.

Maybe he is :vhappywitch:

It has been disproven that women apart from artificial light line up with the moon's cycle, but what I'm saying is that a witch can intentionally line up her cycle with the moon's.

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#10 RoseRed

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Posted 19 May 2015 - 03:04 PM

Do you knit, crochet or embroider? If you're a natural with knot magic - go you! The only thing that I could think of for teenage girls (I've got one, too) is a calming, loving, safe embrace. I need to make my daughter another afghan.
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#11 RoseRed

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Posted 19 May 2015 - 03:13 PM

Hey guys, I'm late to the party. I also didn't realize there were so many posts before mine. LOL Don't mind me, poison oak, steroids and benedryl.

I love how this conversation is going. It's actually a conversation!!! :biggrin2:




Anyways, I find this to be exactly where my life is at right now with my daughter. What timing! ;)

Is there a reason that we're getting hung up on the common clothing styles of the day? Does that answer some big question that went over my head?

It can be quite frustrating to be a male Talent that's drawn to the Women's Mysteries. You were surrounded from before birth - you didn't have a chance or a choice. But it prepared you for the Work that you're doing now. Dude, you've eaten a lot of shit over the years for this but you've been true to your Calling. It ain't easy.

Marrena, it is really nice to have you here. I look forward to some great conversations.

Actually, I was never able to line mine up with the moon cycle. I couldn't figure out how. It doesn't matter now for me but it could be helpful for my decendents. How the hell do you do that?

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Posted 19 May 2015 - 04:01 PM

The idea of dress in archaic Greece, probably Rome as well, did a lot to express culture and custom on a visible scale. Yet I think it also had the early signs of medical understanding given for the time frame. Especially in the aspect that there was no generational difference between how a child of school age and an adult dressed. So to define age and placement I think it became necessary to use ornaments and such to tell generations apart. Whether ornamentation was jewelry, garment pins and broaches to clasp clothes or colored belts and girdles it's hard to say. It could have been one of these or any combination of them. There are references that women in mourning did wear darker colors to denote mourning. There are statuary indicators that wearing of veils of some sort was also pretty common though that might have been for mature or adult women vice children or teens. Hard to say on that aspect as everything I've seen suggests statuary is the main source of confirmation.

Yet a lot of the physical dress also reflected both Hippocratic medicine and temple medicine in how the woman's body was viewed. Especially in the sense that the vaginal opening was seen as the other end of the oral opening via the mouth. As such it allowed for the notion of the wandering womb and various illnesses due to that and treatment many times involves something sweet breathed in on one end and something foul on the other to cause the womb to move. Imagine a sweet ointment or such applied via the vaginal opening to entice the womb back down even as foul smelling things were wrapped over the mouth and nose or applied to the tongue to get it to move away from the upper end of the body. Of course inversely the application could be reversed to cause the womb to climb back up or realign itself so that menstrual blood showed so you knew excess blood was available for the creation of both mother's milk and development of the child in the womb. For men such extra blood also existed but was seen in the production of semen and no visual discharged needed to let you know he was an adult and now capable of fathering children.

The story of Pandora's box takes on a whole new meaning when you look at her against Hellenic norms. She was born a mature women and there for a gyne who had given birth and such from visible representations. Yet also a parthenos in that she had never bleed and perhaps still didn't have menstruation to indicate she was a gyne or adult woman. She also becomes the notion of the inside of a woman's body being reflective of being a jar or cup and having two openings for entry into the jar or cup. Figure archaic Greeks would not open the body up via dissection to discover how the body worked so it was all judged from surface and visual comparisons.

Really wish I had a better medical background at times because of how it was all viewed between temple medicine and Hippocratic medicine.

On many levels it strikes me as knowing how magic and magical energy is created which allows you to control it or create it. All the spells in the world, magical items, etc mean nothing really when you consider use it and it's gone. Yet if you know how it's created and under what conditions then it becomes something you can both recreate or recognize the conditions that allow for the natural creation of such items. Even perhaps to the degree that if humanity on some level holds X amount of magical energy and potential and a process is identifiable it would suggest or imply, to me anyway, that similar conditions could be recognized in the natural order of things. I suppose equatable to the notion we know diamonds grow under certain conditions and are to be found mostly in certain sediment types magical creation and potential could be identified under such conditions as well potentially.

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Posted 19 May 2015 - 04:35 PM

you and the Prince of Wales. Unless he's witch.

Maybe he is :vhappywitch:

It has been disproven that women apart from artificial light line up with the moon's cycle, but what I'm saying is that a witch can intentionally line up her cycle with the moon's.



I always find it interesting to ask which moon cycle? It used to surprise me how many equated the moon cycle to the visible moon in the sky and not the actual physical attraction and repulsion created by the moon's movement through the heavens. A pull that starts before the moon rises into the visible heavens and continues after it's dropped below the horizon. Have never really checked into it but wonder if the zodiacological movements might not be a better indicator of celestial influences upon the body. Especially when you consider so many ancient celebrations, rituals and events were based upon those movements vice rotation of the moon itself.

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#14 Marrena

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Posted 19 May 2015 - 07:35 PM

@Monsnoleedra--the zodiac moon cycle and the regular calendar moon cycle line up exactly, at least in Western astrology (I believe also in other astrological systems, but not certain). A new moon is a new moon. Where it is different is in old religious calendars, where they often go by the first sighting of the crescent moon in the sky to denote a new moon.

@RoseRed--pheromones, mostly. Of course if you are around other menstruating women, not much you can do.

http://www.inforefug...cycle-modulator

If a man is not handy, you can buy male pheromones.

Also light exposure:

http://www.ncbi.nlm....les/PMC1851732/

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Posted 19 May 2015 - 08:10 PM

@Monsnoleedra--the zodiac moon cycle and the regular calendar moon cycle line up exactly, at least in Western astrology (I believe also in other astrological systems, but not certain). A new moon is a new moon. Where it is different is in old religious calendars, where they often go by the first sighting of the crescent moon in the sky to denote a new moon.

@RoseRed--pheromones, mostly. Of course if you are around other menstruating women, not much you can do.

http://www.inforefug...cycle-modulator

If a man is not handy, you can buy male pheromones.

Also light exposure:

http://www.ncbi.nlm....les/PMC1851732/



Not exactly the zodiac rotation I was talking about. Consider the Constellation Delphinus (dolphin) it was worked through out the year and it's presence in the heavens signaled the Delphi oracle's month of visionary readings. Yet it was only visible on its descending movement from Delphi due to the lands physical nature and construction features. It formed parts of the Hellenic heavens and while not exactly a zodiac in traditional western sense it is part of the zodiac and constellation system to the archaic Greeks. http://www.constella...-constellation/

So while some aspects of the society used the common 12 some used the 13 zodiac system yet all of them relied heavily upon stories and movements of zodiac and constellations that were seen as part of the heavenly zodiac system.

Regarding moon cycle, again consider were speaking about the Hellenic culture. A culture that based it's original calendar on the moon and the dark moon period was as important as the full moon period to the society. A calendar that was based upon the complete moon cycle not just the typical 12 moon cycle that we base the current year off of. A cycle that is not bound to truly a hard number count when you consider just how many months we have now that have two moon's per month and not a rigid x number of days between rising, full and waning periods much less dark moon periods, While Selene was Goddess of the Moon and there for responsible for all things pertaining to the moon, Artemis and Hekate become conflated with moon aspects or moon influences but not specifically with the moon itself. Then comparing possible influences it had upon later influences such as Mary the undoer of knots.

That to me is the difficulty of looking at archaic civilizations in that you have to include their lore and mythology to see how they viewed the world. Yet so often we look back but try to use modern usage and assumption in visualizing things. Floating calendars that required certain signs in the heavens that didn't include the moon but were seen as having an influence upon things. I suppose equatable to the modern usage of Mercury Retrograde to blame for everything going wrong. It's there, it's influencing and acting upon it but has nothing to do with what is visible.

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