GODDESSES

Across the ages of time and throughout the world people have and still do worship and honour their goddesses. Many witches, pagans, wiccans etc., have a favourite deity they call upon or include in their special festivals and blessings. Among mine, of course is Jana.

Below are some which I find interesting and also some are a little less well known than the usual ones we are familiar with. Many too originate from Britain and many can be traced to actual localities which make it even more fascinating. It's nice to kind of reconnect with the lost and almost forgotten goddesses that our ancestors would have honoured and blessed. The following is a small collection of my interpretation of some of these goddesses.

Aine

An ancient  Irish Earth Goddess.  Her name means "bright", "glowing", "shining".  She was associated with the summer months and the sun and originally worshipped as a sun Goddess, later being known as a protector of animals, nature and the environment.  As well as a Goddess of magic and healing.


Abundantia

A Roman Goddess of prosperity, abundance and plenty.  Our Ancient ancestors would go to this Goddess for financial advice and guidance and be led by signs (from the natural world).  Her image was depicted on many Roman coins, so important was this Goddess to them.


Andraste

The invincible one, a battle goddess of the Iceni tribe (Boudicca) Warrior and protector of women. A raven and hare are her totems. Boudicca would invoke Andraste before a battle to protect her tribe and ensure victory for her women. A hare would often be released in her honour and for divination, depending on where the hare ran would be the outcome of her battle.

 

Aphrodite
Greek Goddess of love, passion and sexuality. She was born, as the story goes from the castrated genitals of Uranus which were thrown into the ocean. From this emerged Aphrodite. The name means "water born" She is one of the more well known Goddesses of love, pleasure and eroticism.


Arianrhod

(See Moon magic page)


Bast

An Egyptian Goddess of cats.  Symbolised as a cat carrying the sun.  Her festival was a happy and joyous occasion, which included lots of dancing, singing and dancing.  All cats were honoured as sacred animals in Egypt and often mummified and buried in their own cemetery.

 

Bloudeuwedd

(Flower face) A welsh flower goddess made up from 9 blossoms and flowers. She was a beautiful and graceful goddess associated with spring, hope and generosity. Night and day, dark and light. Blodeuwedd was changed into an owl for being unfaithful, and mourns her lover still at the dead of night, shunned by other birds and animals of the day.

 

Bona Dea

"The Good Goddess" An early Roman Earth, mother Goddess, honoured only by women. Men were totally excluded from knowing or learning her mysteries, rites and blessings etc. She is therefore obviously a Goddess of women, fertility, healing and femininity, anything to do with women’s issues and interests.


Brittania

An ancient Goddess of healing, harvest, fertility and victory.  Victory and power being the one she is possibly best known for.  Her image was and still is on some coins today.  Her shield originally represented the sun, suggesting a Goddess of fire and strength.  Another Goddess often depicted with a lion by her side.

 

Cailleach
Scottish/Irish Goddess. Queen of winter, storm raiser. The old crone or wise-woman of the earth, both destroyer and creator. A gentle protector of the animals which she would care for and (ironically) feed in the winter and cold, which she herself, brought upon the earth. Also guardian of the spirit world and shape shifter.

 

Carmenta
Primarily a women's goddess. Her name comes from the Latin word "Carmen" meaning magic spells, chants or song. She is a goddess of childbirth and the safe arrival and protection of all new born babies. A goddess of fertility and also of prophecy.

 

Cordelia

A beautifully portrayed Goddess of spring, flowers and blossom.  Associated with fairies, granting wishes and giving blessings.  Also a nature Goddess honoured during May and well-dressing ceremonies.  It was believed that by dressing/decorating sacred wells, would please Cordelia and encourage only good spirits to dwell in them (the wells)
 
Concordia 

An ancient Roman Goddess of harmony and balance, as well as a Goddess of stability and peace within the family. She may have been called upon, particularly to intervene in important disputes, disagreements and rivalry.  Concordia is often depicted holding an olive branch, an emblem of peace.

 

Coventina

A British Goddess of the flowing and sacred waters. Coventina was a goddess of wishes, healing and hopes for the future. A goddess of prediction and inspiration. Her name seems elusive but as well as being a goddess of water (and psychic intuition) she also has been seen as an early earth/mother goddess.

 

Cybele

An early mother and Sun goddess, protector and guardian of all animals, a healer and Goddess of strength and power. The legend goes she found her lover Attis being unfaithful to her and drove him insane. In turn he castrated himself and bled to death. Cybele has the moon and sun as her totems and all silvery and white crystals.


Damara
An old English fertility Goddess, thought to be closely associated with spring and spring celebrations. Damara is a protector and guardian of the young (as symbolised by the season of spring, birth, newness) a gentle healer and inspires wonder and magic within older people.

 

Eguski

Goddess of birth, rebirth, renewal and fertility. The life giver, she is an ancient French, Spanish sun Goddess. The birth of Eguski, 24th December marks the beginning of the growing daylight, warmer days, expectations, hope and warmth. The natural turning of the wheel of life continues, bringing inspiration, joy and energy into our lives. Her colours are gold’s, oranges, bronzes and all colours of the sun.

 

Epona

A Goddess of fertility and also protector and healer of all animals as well as humans. Often depicted as riding on a horse and occasionally a goose. Places in England, such as Uffington and Wandlebury (Cambs) still have the remains or the actual outline of a chalk cutting, honouring her, especially Uffington.

 

Erce

"Erce, Erce, Erce. Mother of earth" Part of an ancient chant. An earth mother, goddess of fertility, harvest and abundance. It is unclear whether Erce is actually a Goddess or the invocation to the earth mother. But either way Erce played a vital part in ancient rituals, festivals, blessings etc., especially in connection with fertility, harvests and general earth magic.

 

Flora

As the name suggests, Flora is an ancient goddess of flowers and plants, also fertility, love and springtime. One of her special days is 23rd May. She is usually shown as a sensual Goddess, surrounded by flowers, aromatic blossoms, bouquets etc. Invoking love, passion and dancing, welcoming in the season of spring.


Fortuna

As her name suggests - a Goddess of fortune, good luck and destiny.  Like the wheel of fortune in tarot, she is a Goddess of chance and fate.  The ancients believed if things went right it was because she had smiled on them.  If angry or displeased with something, she would bring disaster into their lives.

Freya

( see Moon magic page)


Fulla

A Goddess of protection, especially during magical working, she is the protectress of all magical tools. As the name suggests also a goddess of fullness, bountiful, generous and giving. She guards the cycles of life. Clothed in gold, she was entrusted with her sister's (Frigg) box/casket of secrets. Her special day is January 28th.


Gaia 

 Ancient Greek earth Goddess, who gave birth to the universe.  The mother and creator of all.  The nurturer, healer, protector of all.  Forever in harmony with all things.  She was the main Goddess our ancient ancestors would have turned to for help in all matters.


Hecate

(See moon magic page)


Henwen

A welsh Goddess of animals especially domesticated ones and often depicted with pigs and carrying sheaves of grain.  She is the guardian and nurturer and gentle carer of all plants, grain as well  as being a Goddess of safe harvest and fertility.  Watching over the birth and safe arrival of both humans and animals.


Hestia

Greek Goddess of family, household and all domestic/feminine  issues.   Although she never traditionally associated much with humans, she was still considered a peaceful, comforting and warm-hearted Goddess. Never ever turning her back on anybody seeking shelter, refuge, warmth or comfort.


Hygieia

Greek Goddess of health and well being.  She was the Goddess the ancients looked to for healing, recovery, remedies.  For ongoing blessings in maintaining healh.  Often depicted with a snake, which may be a symbolic reference to birth, death and transformation.


Iemanja

A Brazilian water Goddess, her day is 9th February. She is the Goddess of all oceans, seas, rivers etc. Protector and guardian of children and women and being a water Goddess, also psychic, sensitive and feeling. A Mother Goddess. Festivals, dancing and offerings are given to Iemanja, by throwing their wishes and questions into the sea in exchange for her psychic prediction.

 

Iris

A rainbow Goddess. She was a messenger to the gods, as she could travel swiftly from one place to another, travelling with the wind. Also Goddess of the sea and sky and all communication. The rainbow is her message to all those who honour her. Of hope and peace, and a promise of positive beginnings after storms and disruptions.


Isis

( See Moon magic page)


Jana

(See Moon magic page)


Kali 

Hindu Goddess of time and powerful protector of women.  Violence towards any woman, by a man is strictly forbidden and will be bloodily avenged, by her.  She is a Goddess of empowerment, courage, rebirth and transformation:  A destroyer but also a creator.  Usually depicted with a necklace of skulls and severed head.  Fierce, but compassionate.


Kupala

An ancient Slavic water Goddess and Goddess of the summer solstice.  People would honour her in June by bathing in rivers and streams, healing and cleansing themselves, and they would be blessed by her.  Also associated with fertility, all herbs, trees and plants and magic.


Latis
A British water, lake, river Goddess. Both a healer and strong warrior. The legend of Latis says she fell deeply in love with a salmon and the salmon was turned into a handsome warrior for her. However every winter he turns back into a salmon and Latis mourns her lover, the tears and coldness of winter.

 

Lilith

Adams first partner before Eve. But Lilith refused to subordinate herself to him or be dominated. Feeling she was as equal, and for this she was expelled from "Eden". Lilith is a beautiful and strong goddess. Courageous and free thinking, she is seen as a protector and guardian of women and all women’s issues, especially women’s rights.


Luna

(See Moon magic page)


Maia (or Maja)

A  beautiful Roman Goddess of all nature and animals.  She is usually depicted surrounded amongst flowers, blossoms and petals.  Her month obviously being May.  She is also a Goddess of magic, wishes and sensuality.  Often honoured by women only (males excluded).  Perhaps because of her strong association with birth, women and femininity.


Minerva

Roman goddess of wisdom, healing, arts and magic. Often depicted with an owl (also a symbol of wisdom and mysteries). Wife of the great god Jupiter, although some sources say Jupiter was her father and that she had no mother. Even today places all over the world have statues of Minerva. Her special day is 23rd February.

 

Nemesis

“Dispenser of dues” An ancient Roman Goddess of vengeance. Divine anger/retribution and justice.  Dispensing punishment to the guilty.  Happiness and unhappiness were balance, measured and given out equally.  Nemesis was the Goddess who lured Narcissus to a lake, where he fell in love with his own reflection.  He died there unable to leave the water and his reflection.


Nyx

A Goddess of the night. A beautiful and powerful goddess associated with the birth of creation. She was known to have prophetic and psychic powers. She rode through the sky at night, bringing the night, darkness and stars with her. A Goddess of strength and fate.

 

Oonagh

An Ancient Irish Goddess and also Queen of the fairies. Oonagh is a beautiful Goddess of silvery and misty colours and long silky smooth hair. She is the Goddess of all relationships, fairy magic and the natural environment. Call on Oonagh to guide and guard you through magical and spiritual realms.

 

Ops

Goddess of plenty and opportunities. Depicted usually in lush and fertile, beautiful surroundings. She protected and guarded the earth and all things that grew. Her special day was 25th August when people would gather and honour her for her generosity and abundant harvests.

 

Potina

I especially love the sound of this gentle and loving goddess. A Roman goddess of healing and in particular healing potions for children, Potina would ensure that all drinks and liquid potions given to small children were safe and fit to drink. Potina was thought to protect and guard all children. Possibly a mother or earth goddess.


Rhea

Ancient Mother goddess of fertility and motherhood.  Her name is associated with "flow" and "ease" - also referring to the menstrual flow.  Rhea is the wife of Kronos (time) - and this might also represent the flow and passage of time.  Often depicted riding on the back of, or accompanied by lions.

 

Rosmerta

Often associated with the god Mercury as being her consort. Rosmerta was a great goddess of plenty, abundance, the great provider. Considered also as an earth goddess of healing and fertility. She was often shown as carrying a basket of ripe fruit as a symbol of plenty and fertility.

 

Scathach

Ancient Celtic Goddess “The shadowy dark one” associated with the great Irish legend of Cu

Chulainn.  A strong and powerful warrior Goddess, she protects the land with cunning, magic, and shape shifting.  Also a Goddess of prosperity, and abundance.


Selene

(See Moon magic page)


Sulis

An ancient Sun Goddess, particularly associated with Bath & Somerset, though as her name spread, she was honoured in many other places. She is a goddess of waters, hot springs and sacred wells. She gave the gift of healing, wishes and blessed all those that honoured her: As well as being strongly associated with water, Sulis as a Sun goddess was ritually worshipped with fire.

 

Tellus Mater

An ancient bountiful earth Goddess which may have been later replaced by Gaia. Tellus Mater is the protector of earth and all nature within. Also a goddess of fertility, birth and the promise of a full and plenty harvest. The renewal of the passing seasons and year, the wheel of life.

 

Tyche
Daughter of Zeus and Aphrodite. She was a Goddess of destiny, fortune and fate. She was invoked by our ancient ancestors to bring good luck especially when taking big risks. Often depicted in astrology and also, I feel, a little like the tarot card "Wheel of fortune"

 

Venus
Roman Goddess of love, romance, beauty and sensuality. Originally a spring Goddess and goddess of plants, flowers and blossoms. But later became a Goddess of love, relationships, passion and generally anything associated with love and beauty. Associated with the tarot card The Empress and also February 14th.

 

Verbia

An ancient British Goddess, particularly concentrated in the Yorkshire area. She is a water, river Goddess. To be honest I don't know that much about her, but she seems to be associated with cows and calves (they may have been sacrificed to her?) and water suggesting a Goddess of giving and abundance. Protecting the people of that area and maybe predictive powers to those, that pleased her.

 

Victoria

An ancient goddess of victory and success. Usually depicted as a winged (almost angel-like) being carrying a wreath, laurel or feathers (as her totem) Laurel being a symbol of strength. Victoria would be called on to bring confidence and inspiration into the lives of those who needed her powers.

Art on this page by Josephine Wall

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