Tag Archive: gallic goddesses


Goddess Matrona

“Matrona’s themes are the harvest, providence, health, abundance, autumn and love. Her symbols are Swiss cheese and water.  This Teutonic Mother Goddess is the great provider of both food and refreshment, especially freshwater. A benevolent figure, She personifies the earth’s abundance during the fall and offers to share of that wealth freely. Judging from artistic depictions of Matrona in the company of a dog, or carrying palm fronds, She may have also had a connection with the healing arts.

People in the Swiss Alps gather today to enjoy the fruits of their labors, specifically cheese that has been stored in cellars since grazing season in the summer. In many ways this is a harvest rite, rejoicing in Matrona’s ongoing providence.

Consider enjoying a Swiss fondue today, complete with sliced harvest vegetables and breads from Matrona’s storehouse. The melted cheese inspires warm, harmonious love. Matrona makes that love healthy and abundant.For physical well-being and self-love, simply add some sautéed garlic to this blend, or add other herbs known to combat any sickness with which you’re currently coping.

Other ways to enjoy this Goddess and invite her into your day – Have an omelette with cheese and harvest vegetables for breakfast, or grilled cheese and ice water at brunch.  If you own a dog, share a bit of your healthful meal with it!”

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

“Goddess Gaia – Great Mother” by ~Umina

“In Celtic mythology, Dea Matrona (‘divine mother Goddess’) was the Goddess of the river Marne in Gaul.

Terracotta relief of the Matres, from Bibracte, city of the Aedui in Gaul

In many areas She was worshipped as a triple Goddess, and known as Deae Matres (or Deae Matronae), with a wider sphere of believed influence. This triadic deity is well attested throughout northern Europe (more generally as the Matres or Matrones), not just in Celtic areas, and was similar to the FatesFuriesNorns, and other such figures.

The Gaulish theonym Mātr-on-ā is interpreted to mean ‘great mother’. The name of Welsh mythological figure Modron, mother of Mabon is derived from the same etymon. By analogy, Dea Matrona may conceivably have been the mother of the Gaulish Maponos.” [1]

“Modron” by Shanina Conway

Conerning Modron: “In Welsh mythology, Modron (‘divine mother’) was a daughter of Afallach, derived from the Gaulish Goddess Matrona. She may have been the prototype of Morgan le Fay from Arthurian legend. She was the mother of Mabon, who bears Her name as ‘Mabon ap Modron’ (‘Mabon, Son of Modron’) and who was stolen away from Her when he was three days old and later rescued by King Arthur.

In the Welsh Triads, Modron becomes impregnated by Urien and gives birth to Owain and Morvydd.

Her Gaulish counterpart Matrona is a Celtic mother Goddess and tutelary Goddess of the River Marne. She is also a fertility and harvest deity often equated with Greece’s Demeter or Ireland’s Danu. In Britain, She appears as a washerwoman, and thus there would seem to be a connection with the Morrígan.” [2]

Relief of three Goddesses, or Matres, Corinium Museum, Cirencester

Pertaining to Deae Matres, Patricia Monaghan tells us that “Their names – bestowed by scholars – may be Latin, but the Deae Matres were Celtic, the primary divine image of the continental tribes.  No legends survived of this trinity of earth Goddesses, although hundreds of inscriptions and sculptures attest to the strength of Their worship.

Their religion was apparently destroyed early in the Roman occupation, but Their names and images survived into the days of the empire.  They were were then called sorceresses of the early days, thus holding the attention and reverence of their people in ancient Gaul and Germany.

The ‘mother Goddesses’ – for this is what their Latin name means – were always shown as three robed women bearing baskets of fruit and flowers; sometimes they also carried babies.  Seated under an archway, They were depicted wearing round halolike headdresses; the central Goddess was distinguished from the others by standing while They sat or by sitting while They stood.  They were probably ancestral Goddesses, rulers of fruitfulness of humanity as well as that of the earth” (p. 99).

 

 

 

Sources:

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

Wikipedia, “Dea Matrona“.

Wikipedia, “Modron“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Celtnet.org.uk, “Modron: A Cymric, Brythonic and Gaulish Goddess, also known as Matrona: Divine Mother“.

Her Cyclopedia, “The Triple Goddess Deae-Mates“.

Joellessacredgrove.com, “Deae Matres“.

Journal of a Poet, “Morgan Le Fay“.

Spangenberg, Lisa L. Digitalmedievalist.com, “Who is the Celtic Mother Goddess?

Took, Thalia. Amusedgrace.blogspot.com, “Goddess of the Week: Morgana“.

Wikipedia, “Matres and Matrones“.

 

So, I’m very thankful – it’s been a very successful week, both spiritually and mundanely…well, except for this morning when I had to be up at 4:30AM to drive my husband to the airport (Army stuff).  But, then again, I’m thankful for that now that I think about it because this school he is going to and the orders we will receive when he completes it has stopped him from being deployed to Afghanistan…so yes, I can say that I’m thankful for that.

Anyways, spiritually – I’ve made a very long-awaited connection with Epona.  As I’ve stated in comments under my Epona entry, I’ve always loved and had a strong connection with horses.  Equine Science was my first college major until I’d gotten into a car accident on my way to college one early icy morning on my way to the horse barn to groom and take care of the horse that I was responsible for, Briar.  Despite having to be up at 5AM every morning to get to the horse barn, it was well worth it to me as I loved EVERYTHING about it.  I loved the smells, the sounds of the horses whinnying and snorting, and most especially grooming her.  That was when I was at peace in my “happy place” – spending that one on one time with her rubbing, brushing and picking hooves.  I also loved riding – the freedom from all my cares that came with it was amazing…

“Rhiannon” by Amanda Walsh

In my younger days, when confronted, being “cut down” or if someone tried to discourage me from doing something I had set my mind to, I remember “feeling” like a wild horse saying, “I will not be broken!”  Stubborn…very stubborn (if truth be told, I still am).  I’ve felt a faint connection with Epona for several years now; with Her name popping into my head for no apparent reason and calling out to Her when feeling weak, hurt and vulnerable.  For the past few weeks, I’ve been feeling Her energy grow stronger and stronger as She made Her way into my life and really made Her presence known.  Perhaps that began when during our last Druid study group several weeks ago, I pulled the Horse card from the Druid Animal Oracle deck after focusing on the question, “What do I need to focus on today?”  I’ve also felt a spark with Rigantona and Rhiannon, even Macha; but more so with Epona.  Maybe because Her energy just feels so much “older” and primal to me than Rhiannon, Rigantona and Macha.

“Epona the Horse Goddess” by Gene Avery North

It’s been extremely healing, opening up a whole new sense of deeper love, understanding, forgiveness and acceptance that I was afraid that I’d never come to know.  I had a friend a long time ago that said, “Pony medicine is good medicine – healing medicine,” and as far as I’m concerned, he was right on the money!  I’m not sure what finally sealed the deal completed this connection – perhaps when it was when I was riding one of the horses with my daughter at the Renaissance Festival last Sunday – I have no idea.  All I know is that She’s here and I’m so thankful for Her warm, loving and peaceful presence I feel when my anger or feelings of discontent and frustration flare up.  I can “see” Her: a milk-white mare with big soft brown eyes just staring at me and feel Her comforting warmth.

I’ve also decided to try to work with Her as a Gatekeeper, which I understand is usually a male deity.  However, I feel She would make a perfect Gatekeeper as She is associated with protection, keys, the Otherworld and Underworld, being a psychopomptravel, shape-shifting, dreams, the Feminine and magic – just to name a few of Her associations.  As I have more of a Dianic nature, it just feels right.

“Green Goddess of Beltane” by ArwensGrace

I’ve thought a lot about the Goddesses that I feel connected to and noticed a pattern.  First off, Brighid – Celtic, who goes by many names depending on the region or tribe you’re looking at (i.e. Brìde in Scotland, Brigindū in GaulBrigantia in Great Britain, etc.).  Nemetona – Celtic, worshiped in eastern Gaul.  Sulis – Celtic, another Gaulish Goddess worshiped at the thermal spring of Bath (with associations with Brighid).  And now Epona – another Gaulish Goddess worshiped throughout the Celtic and even Roman world.  I also have an interest in Artio a Celtic/Gaulish bear Goddess, worshiped notably at Bern (Switzerland) and Abnoba, another Gaulish Goddess who was worshipped in the Black Forest and surrounding areas with connections to Diana (another favorite Goddess of mine).  Do you see a pattern?  They’re all Celtic Goddesses, yes, but more specifically, they’re all Gaulish.  I think I’ve found my pantheon 🙂

This kind of surprised me as I had expected it to be more of an Irish pantheon, but the feeling of connectedness just isn’t as strong as it is with the Gaulish pantheon.  Perhaps because of my Ancestors?  I will freely admit that yes, I am a mutt – Sicilian, Polish and Czechoslovakian on my father’s side and Irish, German, Polish, English, French and Dutch on my mother’s side.  Now, I know that there are people who say that ancestry doesn’t have too much of an influence on what deities call to you, and I agree with that; however, I feel that sometimes, it does.

Onto a different topic now…

I’ve just now discovered a very yummy and acceptable offering to the Shining Ones – Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey.  It caught my eye one day as I was walking through the PX looking for a bottle of whiskey to use for my offerings, especially after our very successful garage sale we’ve been running all this past week.  I felt a collective acceptance from the Shining Ones as we gave offerings of thanks for our blessings we had received.

That then inspired my husband…mead making.  Eventually, when he retires from the military, we would really like to live a self-sustainable life.  My aunt and uncle are beekeepers and sell their own honey.  I one day want to learn this skill and sell honey and make soaps and skincare products.  My husband sees an opportunity to make and sell mead as well.  Perhaps some Divine Inspiration?  🙂  Who knows…we’ll see where this dream takes us…

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