Artwork by John Shannon

“Sequana’s themes are wishes, youthfulness, luck, health, and movement.  Her symbols are ducks and boats.  A Celtic river Goddess, Sequana flows in with April showers, raining good health and improved fortunes upon us. Statuary of Her shows Sequana standing in a duck-shaped boat (the duck is Her sacred animal) with open arms ready to receive our prayers.

Children in France run merrily to the Rhine River around this date to launch miniature boats with candles inside. Each boat represents life’s voyage being filled with joy. Anyone finding a boat later may make a wish as they bring it to shore. This is a charming custom that you can re-create if you have a stream, river, pond or lake nearby. Or, fill a children’s pool with water. Make a wish to Sequana  as you launch your boat. Putting the boat on the water invokes Sequana’s happiness and motivational energy for achieving a personal goal. Coax the boat toward a friend or partner on the other side so they can make a wish!

If neither of these options works out, float a rubber ducky in your bathtub and soak in Sequana’s revitalizing waters. Add to the bath pantry herbs that match your goals. For wishes add sage, for youthful energy add rosemary, for luck, allspice, for health, fennel, and for movement, ginger. No time for a bath? Make these five herbs into a tea and quaff them to internalize Sequana’s powers for the day.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

In Gallo-Roman religion, Sequana  (pronounced sek-oo-ANN-a) was the Goddess of the river Seine, particularly the springs at the source of the Seine, and the Gaulish tribe the Sequani. Her name means “the fast-flowing one” and is also seen as Sequanna, Siquanna, and Secuana.

The springs, called the Fontes Sequanae (“The Springs of Sequana”) are located in a valley in the Châtillon Plateau, to the north-west of Dijon in Burgundy, and it was here, in the 2nd or 1st century BCE, that a healing shrine was established. Her waters were believed to heal physical infirmities, especially diseases of the eye.  “As in many other cases to be river-Goddess meant that you were strongly connected to a role as healer (see also for example Sulis)” [1].

This bronze figure of the Goddess Sequana was discovered in 1937.  The statue is some eighteen inches high. Photographer: DAVID ARNOLD/National Geographic Stock

The sanctuary was later taken over the by Romans, who built two temples, a colonnaded precinct and other related structures centered on the spring and pool and continued Her worship.  Many dedications were made to Sequana at Her temple, including a large pot inscribed with Her name and filled with bronze and silver models of parts of human bodies to be cured by Her. Wooden and stone images of limbs, internal organs, heads, and complete bodies were offered to Her in the hope of a cure, as well as numerous coins and items of jewellery. Respiratory illnesses and eye diseases were common. Pilgrims were frequently depicted as carrying offerings to the Goddess, including money, fruit, or a favorite pet dog or bird.  [2] [3]

“The only surviving image of Sequana is a large bronze statue of a woman draped in a Romanesque gown and with a diadem on Her head who stands on a boat, the prow of which was shaped like the head of a duck. This statue can now be seen in the Museé Archeologique de Dijon. Though duck lore is scarce in later Celtic writing it may be, by association with Sequana as a healing water Goddess that the duck was also associated with healing cults. Indeed, inscriptions at the site thanking Sequana for Her gift of healing conclusively prove that Fontes Sequanae was a healing center and Sequana Herself was a healing Goddess.

From other surviving inscriptions it would seem that Sequana’s sanctuary was usurped by Christianity and re-dedicated to a supposed male saint, St. Sequanus so that the healing cult of the Goddess continued, only in a different guise. The Goddess is also invoked as Siquanna at Saint-Germain-la-Feuille, Côte d’Or, France.” [4]


DameBoudicca. Pride & Sensibility, “Goddess of the week – Sequana“.

Nemeton: The Sacred Grove, Home of the Celtic gods, “Sequana: A Gaulish Goddess, also known as Secuana, Siquanna: The Fast-flowing One“.

Sabrina. Goddess A Day, “Sequana“.

Wikipedia, “Sequana“.

Suggested Links:

Dashu, Max. The Suppressed Histories Archives: real women, global vision, “Gaels and Gauls“.

Davidson, Hilda Ellis. Roles of the Northern Goddess.

An Inner Journey: The Moon, Mythology, and You, “Sequana“.

Floyde, Marilyn.,History of Burgundy – The Celts“.

Jackson, James Warren. James Warren Jackson’s Notes from Penhook, “Sequana, Celtic River Goddess“.

Luke, Coral.  This French Life, “The Mystery of the Goddess Sequana“.