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Overflowing Abundance: A Ritual with Amalthea's Horn of Plenty

I'm in the middle of revising the first book I ever published, Ancient Spellcraft, for a second edition. In the sixteen years since it came out (good grief, has it really been that long?) I've learned a thing or two and have deepened my relationships with many of the deities the book addresses, including Amalthea, the Minoan goat-goddess. She has been with me for years, since I was a teenager, if I'm really honest, but she's one of the lesser-known Minoan goddesses. I wrote a bit about her in a blog post a while back and today I thought I'd share a working from Ancient Spellcraft that involves her.

Her horn is the cornucopia, out of which so many good things come. Here in the U.S., cornucopias spring up around Thanksgiving, but I have one on my altar all the time. Amalthea is a goddess of abundance and like the Roman goddess Fortuna, who inherited her cornucopia, she's very generous.

This is a spell/rite/working/whatever-you-want-to-call-it that I've done enough times to have it tweaked so it works quite well. It's a nine-day spell, something the Romans were quite fond of but that many other cultures also used. There's something magical about three-times-three, and putting in some effort over the course of several days builds the energy toward your purpose.

If you prefer, you can call to Fortuna rather than Amalthea with this one - just be sure to choose only one goddess. Don't call both of them, thinking that will net you more good luck. If you're looking for more help in the abundance department, try this working that I posted a while back. It's an offering to Europa, who is also a loving and generous goddess.

Here's the rite:

A Full Cornucopia

Fortuna, the Roman goddess of luck and good fortune, is often pictured with an overflowing cornucopia in her arms or at her feet. Originally a Minoan and later Greek symbol of the goat-goddess Amalthea, the cornucopia is a large horn-shaped container that magically fills itself with whatever its owner requests. It was originally Amalthea’s curving horn, symbolizing the changing phases of the moon (among other things—you can find out more about Amalthea in my book Labrys and Horns). As symbols of abundance and prosperity, cornucopias are frequently seen in modern America around Thanksgiving time.

The goddess’ cornucopia fulfills a similar role to the goddess’ vase or cauldron in other ancient traditions, which was sometimes inherited later on by a god: It represents her overflowing, never-ending abundance. We’re all heir to this abundance. All we need to do is ask and she’ll share it with us. Remember, though, that what Amalthea and Fortuna bring is good fortune, in other words, amazing luck and all-round abundance. I realize that many images of Fortuna include a cornucopia that’s spilling over with money (we don’t have any Minoan-era images of Amalthea that we can identify for certain) but she’s a good bit subtler than that. Instead of demanding cash from these goddesses, try asking instead for luck and abundance. Think of the ways in which you’d like to be lucky, fortunate. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with how well they respond to those kinds of ideas.

If you feel more affinity for the Minoan deities than the Roman ones, I encourage you to address Amalthea in this spell instead of Fortuna. After all, the cornucopia belonged to Amalthea centuries before Fortuna inherited it. I’ve done it both ways and it works quite well, but either way, it’s a good idea to develop a relationship with whichever goddess you intend to focus on. The gods aren’t cosmic vending machines (you don’t insert an offering and out pops a goodie). These are ancient goddesses with a great deal of power, and if you allow them into your life, they can help you in ways you never imagined.

The Spell

What you’ll need:

A cornucopia. This needs to be a real one, not a picture. Craft and gift shops often carry cornucopia-shaped baskets.

Nine small items that represent good fortune to you. They should all fit into the cornucopia together, filling it to overflowing.

Frankincense incense, either purchased incense sticks/cones or real frankincense tears and incense charcoal to burn them on (and, of course, a fire-safe container for the charcoal).

This is a simple spell but it takes nine days to perform. The number nine is sacred in many cultures, so repeating the spell nine days in a row makes it especially powerful and fortuitous. This is a form of the ancient Roman votum, or nine-day spell. At the end of the nine days, when you have completed the spell, set the filled cornucopia where it can remain undisturbed as a reminder of the prosperity the goddess brings to you.

To begin, set the cornucopia somewhere it can stay for the full nine days of the spell. Line up the nine prosperity items in front of it. On each of nine consecutive days, light some incense, then hold up one of the prosperity items and say:

“Sweet goddess [name either Amalthea or Fortuna here], may you shine your good fortune on me. May you fill my cornucopia to overflowing and pour out the blessings of prosperity on me every day of my life.”

Place the prosperity item in the cornucopia. Envision the kind of good fortune that particular object symbolizes for you. Picture abundance and incredible good luck flowing into your life. Allow the incense to finish burning naturally; don’t put it out.

Repeat the spell each day until you have put all the prosperity items in the cornucopia and it’s full. Thank the goddess for her help, then set the full cornucopia where it will remain undisturbed as a reminder of your spell and of the goddess’ generosity.

In the name of the bee,

And of the butterfly,

And of the breeze, amen.

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I'm an artist, writer, and lover of all things ancient and mysterious. The Minoans of Bronze Age Crete have been a particular passion of mine since a fateful art history class introduced me to the frescoes of Knossos back in high school. My first book was published in 2001; one of my most recent works is Labrys and Horns: An Introduction to Modern Minoan Paganism. I've also created a Minoan Tarot deck and a Minoan coloring book. When I'm not busy drawing and writing, I enjoy gardening and giving living history demonstrations at local historic sites.

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