Tag Archive: france


The Goddess of Reason

“Goddess of Lughnasadh” by Shadowmagi

“The Goddess of Reason’s themes are logic, reasoning, learning and the conscious mind. Her symbols are a crown of oak leaves (representing the seat of the divine). While this lady had no other specific designation other than the Goddess of Reason, She dispenses the power of knowledge to those who seek Her. The French honored this Goddess with celebrations at Notre Dame, the world’s most acclaimed center of scholarship. Traditionally, the women depicting Her wore a blue robe and red cap, then were crowned in laurel at the end of a processional.

To improve awareness and logical abilities, tuck a bay leaf in your shoe today so the Goddess of Reason walks with you. Or, wear any garment with predominantly blue or red coloring to invoke Her powers through color therapy!

Today is an excellent day to take up any course of study you’ve been considering. Burn incense blended from dried sage (for wisdom), rosemary (for memory improvement), and mint (for alertness). If possible, pre-prepare the incense at noon to accent conscious awareness and the rational self. Move your study tools through the smoke of the incense, saying:

“Goddess of Reason, see my desire
Ignite in me knowledge’s fire!”

Finally, wax an oak leaf (press it in waxed paper with an iron) and keep it in a book that you’re studying. This keeps reason with you while you read.”

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

So here’s what I found on this “Goddess of Reason”…

“During the French Revolution, on 10 November 1793, a Goddess of Reason (most likely representing Sophia (wisdom)) was proclaimed by the French Convention at the suggestion of Chaumette. As personification for the Goddess, Sophie Momoro, wife of the printer Antoine-François Momoro, was chosen. The Goddess was celebrated in Notre Dame de Paris (She was put on the high altar in the Cathedral).” [1]

“Mademoiselle Maillard” by Jean Francois Garneray

Now, other sources (mainly Catholic and a few anti-Illuminati sites) say that a prostitute, half clothed, was laid out on the altar.  They say the part of the Goddess was played by Marie-Therese Davoux (nicknamed Mademoiselle Maillard), a French opera singer/dancer, who was crowned as the Goddess of Reason at the Festival of Reason.  However, Wikipedia states that it was Sophie Momoro (née Fournier), who played the part of the Goddess at the cult’s infamous “Festival of Reason” on 20 Brumaire, Year II (November 10, 1793). [2]

Procession of the Goddess of Reason by Henri Renaud

On Bartleby.com, it reads: “The Goddess of Reason was enthroned by the French Convention at the suggestion of Chaumette; and the cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris was desecrated for the purpose. The wife of Momoro the printer was the best of these goddesses. The procession was attended by the municipal officers and national guards, while troops of ballet girls carried torches of truth. Incredible as it may seem, Gobet (the Archbishop of Paris), and nearly all the clergy stripped themselves of their canonicals, and, wearing red nightcaps, joined in this blasphemous mockery. So did Julien of Toulouse, a Calvinistic minister.

“Mrs. Momoro, it is admitted, made one of the best goddesses of Reason, though her teeth were a little defective.”—Carlyle: French Revolution, vol. iii. book v. 4.

 

 

 

Sources:

Bartleby.com, “Goddess of Reason“.

Wikipedia,”Antoine-François Momoro“.

Wikipedia, “Goddess of Reason“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Birkhead, Alice. Heritage-history.com, “Story of the French Revolution“.

Chair, Renée Casin. Napoleonicsociety.com, Marie-Therese Davoux, nicknamed Mademoiselle Maillard (1766-1856)“.

Doorzicht.eventwebsitebuilder.com, “Festival of Reason“.

Hollis, Edward. The Secret Lives of Buildings, “Notre Dame de Paris“.

Hughman, James. Nourishingobscurity.blogspot.com, “[goddess of reason] whom to believe“.

Jamesford. Patheos.com, “Recalling the Goddess of Reason“.

Wikipedia, “Cult of Reason“.

Bon Dammes

“lyinf around” by ~tytaniafairy

“The Bon Dammes’ themes are rest, pleasure, fairies, playfulness and youthfulness. Their symbols are any fairy plants (foxglove, primrose, oak, thorn, ash).  The Bon Dammes are devic Goddesses in Brittany that appear much like fairies and often act with much impishness. Having a kindly nature, the Bon Dammes inspire playful, youthful outlooks to take with us into early fall with childlike wonder in our hearts.

Follow the custom of all regions the United Kingdom (except Scotland) and take the day off. Enjoy family outings and a little leisure before the warm weather really starts to fade. Sleep in a bit, ask for a few hours off from work, get outside and play with the Bon Dammes. Leave them gifts of sparkling stones, honey, and sweet bread beneath any flower or tree that captures your eye and makes you smile. In return, the Bon Dammes will make sure your day is filled with pleasurable surprises.

Think about an activity you really enjoyed as a kid and recapture that moment sometime today. Jump down a hopscotch board, play tag with the wind, climb a tree (carefully please), pick buttercups, go berry picking, skinny-dip in a stream, or do whatever re-inspires the Bon Dammes’s youthfulness in your heart. You’ll find that this moment refreshes your entire outlook and provides extra energy for the days ahead.”

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

Man, striking out here!  I couldn’t find anything on Saki-yama-hime, Braciaca turned out to be a god, and I could not find anything on the Bon Dammes!  I did however run across two references to “Dames”: Dames Blanches (White Ladies) and Dames Vertes (Green Ladies).  Now, according to Sacred-texts.com, “the Fairy-lore of the North of France, at least of Normandy, is, as was to be expected, similar to that of the other portions of the Gotho-German race. We meet it in the fées or fairies, and the lutins or gobelins, which answer to the Kobolds, Nisses, and such like of those nations.

The Fees are small and handsome in person; they are fond of dancing in the night-time, and in their dances which are circular they form the Cercles des Fées, or fairy-rings. If any one approaches their dance, he is irresistibly impelled to take part in it. He is admitted with the greatest courtesy; but as the whirling movement increases, and goes faster and faster, his head becomes giddy, and he falls to the ground utterly exhausted. Sometimes the fées amuse themselves by flinging him up to a great height in the air, and, if not killed by the fall, he is found next morning full of bruises. These little beings, it is also said, haunt solitary springs, where they wash their linen, which they then dry by way of preference on the Druidic stones, if at hand, and lay up in the hollows of rocks or barrows, thence named Chambres or Grottes des Fées. But, further, it is said of them, like the Lutins, they select particular farms to which they resort at night, and there making use of horses, harness and utensils of all kinds, they employ themselves at various kinds of work, of which, however, no traces remain in the morning. They are fond of mounting and galloping the horses; their seat is on the neck, and they tie together locks of the mane to form stirrups. Their presence, however, always brings luck, the cattle thrive where they are, the utensils of which they have made use, if broken are mended and made as good as new. They are altogether most kind and obliging, and have been known to give cakes to those to whom they have taken a fancy.

The Fées of Normandy are, like others, guilty of child-changing. A countrywoman as she was one day carrying her child on her arm met a Fée similarly engaged, who proposed an exchange. But she would not consent, even though, she said, the Fée’s babe were nine times finer than her own. A few days after, having left her child in the house when she went to work in the fields, it appeared to her on her return that it had been changed. She immediately consulted a neighbour, who to put the matter to the proof, broke a dozen eggs and ranged the shells before the child, who instantly began to cry out, Oh! what a number of cream-pots! Oh! what a number of cream-pots! The matter was now beyond doubt, and the neighbour next advised to make it cry lustily in order to bring its real mother to it. This also succeeded; the Fee came imploring them to spare her child, and the real one should be restored.

“Shaylee of Faylinn” by *DragonDew

There is another kind of Fées known in Normandy by the name of Dames Blanches, or White Ladies, who are of a less benevolent character. These lurk in narrow places, such as ravines, fords and bridges, where passengers cannot well avoid them, and there seek to attract their attention. The Dame Blanche sometimes requires him whom she thus meets to join her in a dance, or to hand her over a plank. If he does so she makes him many courtesies, and then vanishes. One of these ladies named La Dame d’ Aprigny, used to appear in a winding narrow ravine which occupied the place of the present Rue Saint Quentin at Bayeux, where, by her involved dances, she prevented any one from passing. She meantime held out her hand, inviting him to join her, and if he did so she dismissed him after a round or two; but if he drew back, she seized him and flung him into one of the ditches which were full of briars and thorns. Another Dame Blanche took her station on a narrow wooden bridge over the Dive, in the district of Falaise, named the Pont d’ Angot. She sat on it and would not allow any one to pass unless he went on his knees to her; if he refused, the Fee gave him over to the lutins, the cats, owls, and other beings which, under her sway, haunt the place, by whom he was cruelly tormented.” [1]

“Be careful with the Fae” by ~Angueru-sama

Then, there are the Dames Vertes.  Patricia Monaghan writes, “The ‘Green Ladies’ of Celtic French folklore were seductive but cruel, luring travelers from the forest paths and holding them upside down over waterfalls, laughing all the while.  As wind spirits, they traveled speedily over their chosen countryside, invigorating all the plant life they touched.  When visible in human form, the Dames Vertes were said to be tall and seductive, dressed in long green robes, passing so lightly over the grass that it seemed only wind had disturbed it” (p. 96).

Based on this description, the Dames Vertes almost sound similar to the Rousalii or Rusalki of Russian folklore who were also reported to have worn green robes…curious, very curious indeed…

In conclusion, it would seem to me that Bon Dammes would translate to “Good Ladies” and either be related to the Dames Blanches or actually be the Dames Blanches as they clearly don’t fit the description of the Dames Vertes.

 

 

 

Sources:

Monaghan, Patricia. The New Book of Goddess and Heroines, “Dames Vertes”.

Sacred-texts.com, “The Fairy Mythology: Celts and Cymry: France“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Cymru, Gordd. Celtic-twilight.com, “The Fairy Mythology – Great Britain“.

O’Keeffe, Christine. Tartanplace.com, “Christine’s Faery List: Dames Vertes“.

Phillips, Valerie. Dnaalchemy.com, “Devas, Elementals and Fairies“.

Wikipedia, “Fée“.

Goddess Nantosuelta

“Nantosuelta” by YvonneVetjens

“Nantosuelta’s themes are health, miracles, providence and abundance.  Her symbols are spring water and cornucopia.  This Gaulisch Goddess’s name literally translates as ‘of the winding stream’. We can go to Nantosuelta’s cool, clean waters when our body, mind or soul requires refreshment and healing. Additionally, artists often depict Nantosuelta carrying a cornucopia, giving her the symbolism of providence and abundance.

What do you need in your life right now? If it’s love, drink a warm glass of spring water to draw Nantosuelta’s energy and emotional warmth to you. If you need a cooler head, on the other hand, drink the water cold.

On this  day in 1858, a young girl had a vision of Mary (a Goddess type) near a grotto in Lourdes, France. According to magical tradition, this is an area where the Goddess was worshiped in ancient times. After the vision, the water became renowned for its miraculous  healing qualities, reinforcing the fact that the Goddess is alive and well.

While most of us can’t travel to Lourdes, we can enjoy a healing bath at home. Fill the tub with warm water (Nantosuelta exist in the streaming water), a few bay leaves, a handful of mint and a pinch of thyme (three healthful herbs). Soak in the water  and visualize any sickness or disease leaving your body. When you let out the water, the negative energy neatly goes down the drain!”

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

In Celtic mythology, Nantosuelta was a Goddess of nature, the earth, fire, and fertility. The Mediomatrici (AlsaceLorraine) depicted Her in art as holding a model house or dovecote, on a pole (a bee hive). Nantosuelta is attested by statues, and by inscriptions. She was sometimes paired with Sucellus. Nantosuelta was also the Goddess of Nature in Lusitanian mythology. In addition, Her symbol the raven symbolized Her connection as a Goddess of the dead and fertility – which thus linked Her with the Irish Goddess Morrígan and Her two companions.

Relief of Nantosuelta and Sucellus from Sarrebourg

In one relief, Nantosuelta holds a patera, or a broad ritual dish that was used for drinking during a ritual, and tips the contents of the patera onto an altar.  In an English relief, Nantosuelta is shown with apples instead of a patera.  Other attributes include a pot or a beehive. [1]

A depiction of Nantosuelta from Speyer, showing her distinctive sceptre and birds. The head of Sol can be seen in the tympanum.

Nantosuelta’s name was reconstructed by linguists and cannot be definitely translated, yet two accepted approximations of its meaning in Proto-Celtic are “She of the Winding River” and “She of the Sun-drenched Valley”, though Her attributes do not show Her as a water-deity (actually, the watery attributes seem more likely to describe the Goddess Icovellauna, ‘Divine Pourer of the Waters’, a Gallic Goddess who was also worshipped in Metz, France).

“Cathedral of Illumination” by Jonathon Earl Bowser

“For a long time the name Nantosuelta was assumed to mean ‘winding river’, being derived from the reconstructed proto-Celtic from *Nanto-swelt- with the feminine ending ā which can be rendered as ‘river-turning [spirit]’. However, in common with the Brythonic languages it is possible that the Gaulish nanto could mean both river/stream and valley (the Cymric cognate being nant that is usually taken to mean ‘stream’ but which, in its older form, also meant ‘valley’. The swel component of the came could be derived from the proto-Celtic *sƒwol-/*s3li- (sun, which yields the Cymric form of haul). The final particle, ta is contained in the proto-Celtic word tတ-je/o (thaw) and bears the connotation of ‘to warm’. Thus, an alternative interpretation for Nantosuelta would be ‘She of the Sun-warmed Valley’. Potentially this could be used in the context of ‘plenty’ but it might also bear the context of the sun-drenched realms of the netherworld. Thus Nantosuelta’s association with the raven might indicate that She had a function as a psychopomp.” [2]

Chief amongst Her associations is Her little house, usually depicted on a long pole like a scepter of some kind.  Other associated objects, as previously mentioned, include a bird, a bee-hive and honeycombs.  The latter certainly have homely connotations and She therefore appears to have been a Goddess of hearth and home, well-being and prosperity.  Like Her husband, She also had nourishment and fertility aspects and sometimes carried a cornucorpia.  In Britain, She is probably to be found depicted on a small stone from East Stoke in Nottinghamshire…shown [with] bushy hair and carries a bowlful of apples.[3]  More on Nantosuelta’s epigraphy and iconography can be found here.

Variants: (Continental Celtic) Nantsovelta; (Breton Celtic) Nataseuelta

Sources:

Celtnet.org.uk, “Nantosuelta: A Gaulish Goddess (She of the Winding River; She of the Sun-warmed Valley)“.

Earlybritishkingdoms.com, “Nantosuelta, Goddess of the Home“.

Sita. Awitchylife.wordpress.com, “Weekly Deity Nantosuelta“.

Suggested Links:

http://theses.univ-lyon2.fr/documents/getpart.php?id=lyon2.2009.beck_n&part=159118

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