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Nehalennia: Dutch Goddess of the North Seas

A couple of years ago I learned about the little know Dutch Goddess of the North seas, Nehalennia. Since my main deities are Gods and Goddesses of the seas I had to dive into who this Goddess is and her importance. Nehalennia is the Goddess of the North seas, Sailors, fortune at sea, safe passage at sea and sometimes considered a Goddess of life and death. She is also considered to be a Mothergoddess. So in many ways you can see similarities between Nehalennia and the Norse God Njordr, Ægir and the Goddess Rán. I always like to give lesser known Gods and Goddesses the spotlight they deserve and Nehalennia definitely deserves such honor.

In 1645 a large part of the Zeeland Dunes in Domburg were eroded due to a huge storm. What they found were altarstones or votive stones dedicated to the Goddess Nehalennia. These stones dated back to the second and third century BC. They also find the remains of a Temple. Which suggests that there once was a Temple dedicated to Nehalennia there. Although it is still not known whether this Goddess was Celtic or Germanic, it is known that the Romans in the area worshipped this Goddess. The texts on the votive stones are in Latin. Therefore it is thought that Nehalennia is the name the Romans gave to the Goddess. The stones found in Domburg were displayed in the church, which turned into a sort of museum. However in 1848 lightning struck the church tower, burning it to the ground. Most stones were destroyed.

In 1970 a fisherman at Colijnsplaat in Zeeland noticed four large stones in his fishing net. He decided to take them to shore and showed them to a lot of people. They recognized the name Nehalennia, which was still readable on one of the stones. In the years after this discovery they excavated more of these votive stones, together with pieces of building materials. Suggesting that here too, once a Temple dedicated to the Sea Goddess stood. SOURCE.

Nehalennia Dutch Goddess Statue, Colijnsplaat. Date
ca. 100 CE–ca. 250 CE
Nehalennia, a Dutch Goddess Kindle Edition
by Ingrid de Haas

Further Resources:

Nehalennia (Celtic: “she of the sea”): ancient goddess, venerated in the Roman age at the mouth of the river Scheldt.

A Dutch Goddess, Nehalennia

Nehalennia – the ‘Cailleach’ of Zeeland?

Nelahennia is a native Dutch Goddess

Ancient Goddesses Indigenous to The Netherlands: Nehalennia, Hludana and Tanfana

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Cernunnos – The Celtic Horned God

The Celtic God Cernunnos is a god I feel is somewhat neglected and even misunderstood in modern times by many even though he is a very important and powerful God of the Celtic pantheon. Also I have a few friends who work closely with the Horned God and I myself have studied much about him as well as created things dedicated to him. So with that said I felt it was important to put together this post regarding Cernunnos.

Cernnunos Sleeps

The Old God sleeps

down in the dark, moist,

odorous underfoot,

Waiting for us

To put down our roots.

Cernnunos Sleeps by C. Hue Bumgarner-Kirby

At the Sacred Centre, in the Grove of all Worlds, He sits with legs crossed beneath an ancient Oak. Entranced, connecting the three worlds Earth, Sea, and Sky, and the worlds behind the worlds, the god and the Great Tree are One, His immense limbs widespread, stretching into distant sky and starry space.

His massive trunk, spine of the Middleworld, is the heart of the Ancient Forest around which all Life, all worlds turn; His limitless root web growing deep into secret earth and Underworld; above him the great turning circles of Sun, Moon, and Stars. All around Him subtle movements of the leaves in melodious, singing air; everywhere the pulsing, gleaming Green awash in drifts of gold and shimmering mist; beneath Him soft moss creeping over the dark, deep, moist of spawning earth. At His feet is the great Cauldron from which the Five Rivers Flow.

Through the forest stillness they come, whispering wings and secret glide, rustling leaves, and silent step, the first Ancestors, the Oldest Animals, to gather around Him: Blackbird, Keeper of the Gate; Stag of Seven Tines, Master of Time; Ancient Owl, Crone of the Night; Eagle, Lord of the Air, Eye of the Sun; and Salmon, Oldest of the Old, Wisest of the Wise leaping from the juncture of the Five Springs. He welcomes them and blesses them, and they honour Him, Cernnunos of the nut brown skin and lustrous curling hair; the god whose eyes flash star-fire, whose flesh is a reservoir of ancient waters, His cells alive with Mystery, original primeval essence. Naked, phallus erect, He wears a crown of antlers limned in green fire and twined with ivy. In his right hand the Torq of gold, testament of his nobility and his sacred pledge; in his left hand the horned serpent symbol of his sexual power sacred to the Goddess. Cernnunos in His Ancient Forest, His Sacred Temple, His Holy Grove, Cernnunos and His children dream the Worlds. Continue reading HERE.

Cernunnos from the Pillar of the Boatmen, in the Museum of the Middle Ages, Paris, France

Cernnunos Chant

‘Cern-nu-noh-oh-oh-oh-os

Stag Horned Hunter, Hunted One

Join Us Now

Cer-nu-noh-oh-oh-oh-os

Greenwood Lord of Life and Death

Join Us Now

Cern-nu-noh-oh-oh-oh-os

Herne and Pan and Every Man

Join Us Now’

Who is the Horned God?

Cernunnos – Celtic god of forests, wild animals, vegetation, virility, and fertility

Cernunnos Celtic God: 8 Ways to Work with the Horned God

Faces of the Horned God: Cernunnos

ΚΑΡΝΟΝΟΥ: to CARNONOS

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Ogham: The Mysterious Ancient Irish Script

As much as known by modern scholars, academics and others regarding the ancient Irish script called Ogham, much of it is still shrouded in mystery including a definitive origin. I have been fascinated and studied Ogham for years and still learn more regarding it the more I dig into books and websites I find. I eventually became confident enough with Ogham to not only make divination sets but to actually write in Ogham. So I felt a post about Ogham was definitely needed and I hope you enjoy this one.

Origin Theories

There are four popular theories discussing the origin of Ogham. The differing theories are unsurprising considering that the script has similarities to ciphers in Germanic runes, Latin, elder futhark and the Greek alphabet.

The first theory is based on the work of scholars such as Carney and MacNeill who suggest that Ogham was first created as a cryptic alphabet designed by the Irish. They assert that the Irish designed it in response to political, military and/or religious reasons so that those with knowledge of just Latin could not read it.

The second theory is held by McManus who argues that Ogham was invented by the first Christians in early Ireland in a quest for uniqueness. The argument maintains that the sounds of the primitive Irish language were too difficult to transcribe into Latin.

The third theory states that the Ogham script from invented in West Wales in the fourth century BCE to intertwine the Latin alphabet with the Irish language in response to the intermarriage between the Romans and the Romanized Britons. This would account for the fact that some of the Ogham inscriptions are bilingual; spelling out Irish and Brythonic-Latin.

The fourth theory is supported by MacAlister and used to be popular before other theories began to overtake it. It states that Ogham was invented in Cisalpine Gaul around 600 BCE by Gaulish Druids who created it as a hand signal and oral language. MacAliser suggests that it was transmitted orally until it was finally put into writing in early Christian Ireland. He argues that the lines incorporated into Ogham represent the hand by being based on four groups of five letters with a sequence of strokes from one to five. However, there is no evidence for MacAlisters theory that Ogham’s language and system originated in Gaul.

Mythical theories for the origin of Ogham also appear in texts from the eleventh to fifteenth centuries. The eleventh century Lebor Gabala Erenn tells that Ogham was invented soon after the fall of the tower of Babel, as does the fifteenth century Auraicept na n-eces text. The Book of Ballymote also includes ninty-two recorded secret modes of writing Ogham written in 1390-91 CE. Source

Ogham also is used for divination much like the use of the Elder Futhark Runes with of course their own unique meanings and purpose. This is a source I use and refer to quite often. Ogham Divination

The Ogham Alphabet

The Mysterious Ogham

The Ogham writing system

What is Ogham? A look at the ancient Irish alphabet

Ogham writing

Book Recommendations

Two books I have in my library I highly recommend are below with links to get yourself a copy.

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The Celtic Goddess Morrígan

The Celtic Goddess Morrígan; The Raven Queen; Shapeshifting Goddess; Goddess of War, Life and Death, is a Goddess I have always been fascinated with and I think specifically because of my time in the military and experiencing death on an intimate level. She is a Goddess many fear yet respect and others embrace and love. I feel she is an extremely important Goddess to not only understand but perhaps work with in rituals. I have made many items dedicated to her and continue to do so. With that said I put together this post to allow you the best resources to dive into the amazing world of the Morrígan.

The Morrigan (also known as the Morrigu) was the shape-shifting Celtic Goddess of War, Fate and Death. She also presided over rivers, lakes and fresh water, in addition to being the patroness of revenge, night, magic, prophecy, priestesses and witches.

Her name is interpreted in various forms…”Great Queen,” “Phantom Queen” or “Queen of Demons.” She was said to hover over battlefields in the form of a raven or hooded crow and frequently foretold or influenced the outcome of the fray. The Morrigan was often depicted as a triune goddess whose other aspects were manifested in the Goddess Badb (meaning “Vulture” or “Venomous”) and the Goddess Nemain (meaning “Frenzy” or “Fury”). The Morrigan was one of the Tuatha De Danaan (“People of the Goddess Danu”) and she aided in the defeat of the Firbolgs at the First Battle of Magh Tuireadh and the Fomorii at the Second Battle of Mag Tured.

The Celts believed that, as they engaged in warfare, the Morrigan flew shrieking overhead in the form of a raven or carrion crow, summoning a host of slain soldiers to a macabre spectral bane. When the battle had ended, the warriors would leave the field until dawn in order that the Morrigan could claim the trophies of heads, euphemistically known as “the Morrigan’s acorn crop.” Continue reading HERE.

The Morrígan online shrine

The Morrígan, Celtic Goddess of War

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The Ancient Celts and their History

The Celts, also spelled Kelt, Latin Celta, plural Celtae were a collection of tribes which it is said originated in Central Europe but quickly expanded from the British Isles all the way to the Mediterranean. They even built a massive and vast roadway system long before the Roman Empire. In fact many of the Roman roads were built over ancient Celt roads. The Celts were not just known as fierce warriors but as amazing craftsman making the most intricate of jewelry, weapons and wares. It is believed they came into existence around 1200 BCE and became a true power throughout Europe controlling the regions of Northern Europe north of the Alps up to Great Britian and Ireland in the 3rd Century BCE.

Below is my favorite BBC documentary series that in my opinion covers the vast history of the Celts like none other.

At the bottom are several links as well for reading further on the Celts.

https://www.history.com/topics/ancient-history/celts

https://www.worldhistory.org/celt/

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Celt-people