Tag Archive: britain


Goddess Henwen

“Demeter” by ~eclipse79

“Henwen’s themes are peace, prosperity, fertility and the harvest. Her symbols are sows, grain, honey, eagles and wolves.  This fertile British Goddess appears in the form of a pregnant sow who births abundance in our lives. In mythology She wandered the countryside mothering grains, bees, cats, eagles, and wolves as She travelled. Henwen also presides over all physical and magical agricultural efforts.

In Devon village, England, there lies an old stone called Devil’s Boulder. Legend says that during a battle, Satan flung this stone into the village. To keep peace and prosperity in the town and ensure continued good harvests, the stone must be turned annually.  For us, this might translate into an annual furniture rearrangement, leaving one piece of grain in each piece to invoke Henwen’s ongoing providence for your home.

To partake of Henwen’s abundance and encourage your own nurturing nature, try eating a whole-grain toast for breakfast with honey (which comes from the Goddess’ bees!). Or enjoy a BLT for lunch and pork roast for dinner. Since the sow in Henwen’s sacred animal, eating its meat symbolically allows you to ‘take in’ this Goddess’ essence.

If you have indoor plants, ask Henwen to keep them green and growing by putting a piece of grain or small dab of honey in each pot. This will become part of the soil, nourishing the plant with Henwen’s power.”

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

“Ceridwen” by =wintersmagic

“Henwen, pronounced [HEN-oon] was a sow Goddess much like Her Welsh counterpart Cerridwen.” [1]

“In British mythology, this magical sow Goddess came forth early in creation to give life to the world.  As She roamed the hilly countryside, She gave birth to litter after litter.  But instead of piglets, Henwen produced a grain of wheat and a bee; a grain of barley and a bee; a wolf cub, an eaglet, and a kitten, each strange litter in a different part of the country” (Monaghan, p. 150).

 

 

Sources:

Joellessacredgrove.com, “Celtic Gods and Goddesses“.

Monaghan, Patricia. The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines, “Henwen”.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Bamfield.eu, “The Celts and Their Pigs“.

Blair, Nancy. Goddess in a Box, “Henwen“.

Celtnet.org.uk, “Henwen: A Cymric Goddess: Old White“.

Illes, Judika. Encyclopedia of Spirits, “Henwen“.

Lowchensaustralia.com, “Ancient Celtic Mythology – Caridwen or Hen Wen; in Wales, Brighid“.

Mallory, James. Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture,Pig” (p. 427).

Wikipedia, “Henwen“.

Goddess Sulis

“RiverGenesis” by Jonathon Earl Bowser

“Sulis’s themes are  water, healing, sun, blessings, wishes, community and offerings. Her symbols are water, wheat cakes and fire. The Celtic Goddess Sulis oversees all sacred wells and springs, which give healing and other blessings to those who pray at them. She also has associations with the sun, which explains the ever-burning fires in Her temples.

One hundred miles outside of London, Sulis’s ancient natural springs lie as they did for over seven thousand years until they were discovered by the Romans, who used them for ritual, wish magic, socialization and healing. The Festival at Bath revels in this region’s history, especially Sulis’s hot springs, which continue to bring thousands of visitors here annually, few of whom know that the springs are ten thousand years old and part of Sulis’s spirit. To my mind this equates with enjoying time in a hot tub or sauna (perhaps you can take part of the day at a local spa).

If a spa isn’t possible, let your bathroom get really steamy from a hot-water shower, then sit inside for awhile absorbing Sulis’s cleansing power into your pores. Release you tensions and dis-ease to Her. Maybe light a candle to represent Sulis’s presence with you, and meditate as you relax. Remember, the bathroom is one of the few places you can be assured of a private moment with the Goddess, so take advantage of it!”

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

“Sulis” by Thalia Took

“The Goddess of the hot springs at Bath, England (the only hot springs in Britain), Sulis’s name come from a root meaning ‘eye’ or ‘gap’, referring both to the spring from where half a million gallons of hot water still well up every day, as well as to Her powers as seeress.

Her hot spring has been renowned for its healing powers since ancient times, and when the Romans arrived in Britain they built a bath complex around the spring, and named the place Aquae Sulis (‘the Waters of Sulis’). Pilgrims came from mainland Europe to bathe in the therapeutic waters, and references to Sulis are known from as far away as Germany.

The Romans equated Sulis with their Minerva, and so She was known to them as Sulis Minerva–which is somewhat unusual, since the Romans generally used the native Celtic deity name after the Roman name. This is taken as an indication of Her importance and fame.

Though famous for healing, Sulis could curse as well as cure, and in Bath many ‘curse tablets’ have been found, asking Her to punish people suspected of wrongdoing.

She is shown here with one of the small offering-pans dedicated to Her by worshippers which were found at the site of Bath; they were usually inscribed ‘DSM’, short for the Latin Dea Sulis Minerva, ‘to the Goddess Sulis Minerva’. Her dress is the same milky greeny-grey as the water of the springs, and Her hair is the bright orange of the deposits left by the mineral-rich waters.” [1]

 

 

“Sulis” by Hrana Janto

According to Patricia Monaghan, “the ancient British Goddess of the healing waters had Her special shrine at the spa we call Bath, where Her power was strongest.  Some scholars say that She was a solar divinity, deriving Her name from the word that means ‘sun’ and ‘eye’.  This interpretation may account for the perpetual fires at Her shrines; in fact that Her springs were hot, rather than cold, is additional evidence in favor of considering Her a sun Goddess.

She was honored into historic times; the Roman occupiers called Her Minerva Medica (‘healing Minerva’); occasionally She is called Sulivia.

 

 

 

 

 

“Minerva” by Simon Vouet

In statuary and bas-reliefs, She was shown as a matronly woman in heavy garments with a hat made of a bear’s head and Her foot resting on a fat little owl.  In Bath and on the continent, She also appears in multiple form, as the tripartite Suliviae.  The latter name is also used of the pan-Celtic divinity Brigid, suggesting a connection between these figures” (p. 286 – 287).

Sulis’s name is also seen as Suliviae, Sulivia, Sul, Sulei, and Sulla.

 

 

 

 

Sources:

Monaghan, Patricia. The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines, “Sul”.

Took, Thalia. The Obscure Goddess Online Directory, “Sulis“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Billington, S. The Concept of the Goddess, “Sulis: Healer and Avenger” (p. 33 – 36).

English, Mary. Homeopathy and Astrology to help you Heal with Mary L. English, “The Homeopathic Proving of Aquae-Sulis“.

Goddessrealm.com, “Sulis“.

Goddessschool.com, “Sulis Minerva“.

Nemeton, The Sacred Grove: Home of the Celtic gods, “Sulis“.

Roman-Britain.org, “AQUAE SVLIS“.

Shaw, Judith. Feminism and Religion, “Sulis, Celtic Sun Goddess of Healing and Prophesy“.

Spiritblogger’s Blog, “Spirit Message of the Day – Recharge, Refresh, Renew – THE GODDESS SULIS“.

Wikipedia, “Sulis“.

Goddess Cordelia

“Fleurs” by Nicole Hill – Confetti Garden

“Cordelia’s themes are blessings, prayer, beauty, fairies and wishes. Her symbols are flowers and water.  A British nature Goddess, Cordelia is part of every spring and summer flower that blossoms. This is the beauty She brings into our lives today, along with all the positive energies of spring. Traditionally, Cordelia does not appear until May, when the earth is fertile enough to sustain Her glory. Art sometimes depicts Her as being a citizen of fairy realms, and perhaps a flower princess.

Well-dressing festivals go back to animistic times, when people believed sacred wells held beneficent indwelling spirits. To appease these powers, people decked the wells with Cordelia’s symbols: garlands of spring flowers. They then asked for the gods’, goddesses’ or spirits’ favor. So, if you have any type of fountain or well fountain nearby, today is the day for wishing! Take a small offering (coins if a a fountain; a flower if a natural water source) and toss it in while whispering your desire.

To draw attention of Cordelia and Her companions, the fey, into your life, take a dollhouse chair and glue any or all of the following items to it:

Thyme, straw, primrose, oak leaves, ash leaves and hawthorn berries or leaves. Leave this on a sunny windowsill (preferably one with a plant on it) to encourage fairy guests, who will bring all manner of spring frolic into your home.”

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

“Cordelia” by Wendy Andrew

“Cordelia is the beautiful Goddess of spring and summer flowers, and of flower fairies. Shakespeare portrayed Cordelia as the daughter of King Lear in his play of the same name. However, She’s actually the daughter of the sea god, Lir, so She was born a sea Goddess.

Cordelia is celebrated on May 1 during Beltane, an ancient celebration marking the beginning of summer, when the weather is warm enough to allow ranchers to let cattle out of their pens and into the fields.

Cordelia helps with celebration, courage, gardening and flowers, joy, life changes and stress management.

The stones associated with Cordelia are carnelian and citrine.” [1]

Upon further research, I found that Cordelia was connected with the Welsh Goddess Creiddylad.  According to Patricia Monaghan, “We know the ancient Welsh Goddess [Creiddylad] as Cordelia, daughter of King Lear in Shakespeare’s play; She was originally a sea queen, daughter of the sea god, Lyr.  Geoffrey of Monmouth claimed that Cordelia, the human form of the Goddess, ruled the land after her father died [see Cordelia of Britain].  Shakespeare of course, killed her off alongwith Lear.  By then, the real legend of Creiddylad and Lyr was probably lost” (p. 92).

On a personal note, coming into contact with Cordelia could not have come at a better time.  I’ve been going through a little bit of a low right now, revisiting some old personal issues that I thought I had come to terms with.  I spend a lot of time in the house, in my little computer room (my cave as I like call it) working on a few online college courses while trying to keep my home and family taken care of.  Cordelia’s message is one that rings true and speaks directly to me, especially now: “Being cooped up in doors is not the way to live your life in this beautiful world. Go outside and experience what is out there. It will revive your spirit and soul, and perhaps retrieve your faith in the planets existence. Pay attention to the flowers that are budding, the birds singing and allow the wind to blow through your hair” (From Doreen Virtue’s Goddess Guidance Oracle Cards).  I’ve been doing that, little by little.  I managed to get outside a few days ago and get my Goddess statue out, set up my fountain, plant some flowers with my children and hang some hanging baskets up.  I like it – its a work in progress…makes me think of a healing little sanctuary (except the house we’re currently living in is located right up on a fairly busy intrastate).

Hummingbirds…I’ve found myself thinking about hummingbirds a lot for some reason lately.  I found a plant at the store a few days ago – a pink and white Aquilegia for 50% off and it was the last one.  I read that it was supposed to attract hummingbirds.  “Perfect!” I thought.  (Note to self – also on the list to pick up are a few hummingbird feeders.)

Yesterday morning, I dreamed of a ruby-throated hummingbird visiting me as I sat lamenting and staring out the window into a dark starry night sky.  I meant to research it when I woke up, but as usual, I got distracted by Facebook.  It just so happened that when I was reading down through the feeds, I came across a post describing the hummingbird and it’s totem meaning.  WOW!  Thank you Universe!  The meaning of the hummingbird as a totem animal that I read can be found by clicking here.  Very profound – speaking directly to my psyche and soul.

And now, for the really cool part (or really cool for me anyways).  Last night, I was out in my new little “shrine”, making an offering of beer.  No sooner had I finished pouring my offering, that a ruby-throated hummingbird flew up to the Aquilegia beside my Goddess statue where I had just poured my offering!  How freakin’ awesome is that?!

So this summer, it looks like I will be working with Cordelia, flowers and hummingbirds…Last summer, it was Brighid and a pigeon that came to visit me EVERYDAY.  After I noticed it coming by everyday out of the blue  just sitting on my front porch, I started leaving offerings of birdseed that I’m sure it really appreciated 😉

My little familiar back in Alaska, July 2011

It seems that I have an affinity for birds as messengers and totems.  In dreams, my life totem was revealed to be a hawk, my spirit totem a raven, and the cockatoo as an unknown totem.  I’ve had contact with owls, seagulls, and swans as messenger totems (through dreams and in the physical world).  What is it with birds I wonder?  Maybe someday I’ll figure it out. All I know is that it is time now to meditate and heal with Cordelia, flowers and hummingbirds…

 

 

 

Sources:

Monaghan, Patricia. The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines, “Creiddylad”.

Nicole, Shantel. Angelic Connections with Shantel Nicole, “Goddess Cordelia“.

Virtue, Doreen. Goddess Guidance Oracle Cards, “Cordelia”.

 

Suggested Links:

Nemeton, the Sacred Grove: Home of the Celtic gods,Creiddylad, Cymric Goddess and Heroine of the Mabinogion: Engenderer of Waters“.

Reeves, Debi Wolf. Debi Wolf Reeves, “The Goddess Card of the Day – Cordelia“.

Revel, Anita. igoddess.com, “Cordelia: turn sissy to sassy!“.

Shaw, Judith. Feminism and Religion, “Creiddylad, Welsh Goddess of Flowers and Love“.

Sammie. Lost Woodland, “Creiddylad or Creudylad, the Queen of May and Goddess of Summer Flowers and Love♥“.

Talk with the Goddess, “Goddess Card September 10th (Cordelia)“.

Wikipedia, “Cordelia of Britain“.

Wikipedia, “Creiddylad“.

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