Author Archives: solsdottir

About solsdottir

I am a writer who has had five books published. The most recent are Njord and Skadi: a Myth Explored, and Brigantia: Goddess of the North. I enjoy reading, gardening and doing research.

Nehalennia – from Livius.org

Nehalennia is known from more than 160 votive altars, which were almost all discovered in the Dutch province of Zeeland. (Two altars were discovered in Cologne, the capital of Germania Inferior.) All of them can be dated to the second and early third centuries CE.

via Nehalennia – Livius

Nodons: healing god

It may seem strange that in Roman times the British god Nodens, famous for his healing shrine, was associated with Mars, a god more likely to do damage than to cure it. However, other Celtic “Mars” gods such as Lenus and Ocelus were healers, and not just to soldiers or men, but women and children.

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Esus: the third god

When the Roman poet Lucan wanted to show the savagery of Gaulish religion, he used the bloodthirsty cults of three Gaulish gods to make his point: Taranis, Toutatis and Esus. While the first two had well-established cults in Gaul and Britain, Esus is more elusive.

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The Sovereignty Goddess of Ireland

via The Sovereignty Goddess of Ireland

Toutatis: god of the tribe

The god Toutatis occupies a interesting place in the Gallic pantheon. His name, which means “of the tribe,” could equall well be a title, perhaps hiding another name. Against this, however, we have many artifacts, espeically rings, with his name on them, suggesting it was the commonly-used name for this god.

He is best-known from the Roman writer Lucan, who counts Taranis, Esus and Toutatis as notable for their desire for blood. (And presumably because they were major Gaulish gods.) Although it’s tempting to see them as a Gaulish answer to the Roman Jupiter, Mars and Quirinus, there’s no evidence to back this.

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Link

Leena Naidoo interviewed me for her blog, the InBetweener:

https://leennanaidoo.wordpress.com/2018/05/25/on-writing-non-fiction-with-sheena-mcgrath/

Mardoll’s Tears and the Shining Sea

When writing my last post on Heimdall, I wondered if his name was connected to one of Freyja’s by-names, Mardoll. It’s usually translated as “Beauty of Light on Water”, perhaps inspired by the sun sparkling on the sea. It’s an appropriate name for Freyja, too, since her father controlled the waters, and she was the most desirable of goddesses.

The Scandinavians were a coastal people, who relied on the sea for food, trade and travel. Winter was when ice closed up harbour entrances and people stayed home; sun shimmering on the water meant spring had come and travel could begin again.

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Is Isis a Moon Goddess or a Sun Goddess?

After all, the Egyptians seem to have associated the moon with gods: Thoth, Khonsu, Aah. The Greeks, however, saw the moon as feminine, so when the Ptolemies ruled Egypt, Isis became a moon goddess. Isis is a very complex goddess, however, who can’t be defined by any one function or aspect.

Isiopolis

A lovely painting of a lunar Isis by artist Katana Leigh. Visit her site here. A lovely painting of a lunar Isis by artist Katana Leigh. Visit her site here.

Modern Pagans often think of Isis as a Moon Goddess. And, it’s true, in later periods of Her worship, She was indeed associated with the Moon—and, in fact, that’s how She entered the Western Esoteric Tradition. The Isis-Moon connection first started when Egypt came under Greek rule in the 3rd century BCE, following the conquest by Alexander the Great. To the Greeks, Goddesses were the lunar Deities, so as Isis made Her way into Greek culture and hearts, Her new devotees naturally associated Her with the Moon.

In Egypt, Osiris, Khons, Thoth, and I’ah were the Deities most associated with the Moon. Isis, for Her part, was connected with the star Sirius as far back as the Pyramid Texts; the star was said to be Her ba, or soul. Yet Isis is also linked…

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Spring’s Victory: the Goddess Hretha

Two weeks ago I wrote about the goddess Eostre, who gave her name to the Easter festival. In Anglo-Saxon times, Eostre’s festival was in April, while March belonged to another goddess, Hretha.

If we know very little about Eostre, we know even less about Hretha. The only source we have for either of them is the Venerable Bede‘s book on the calendar, where he lists the names of the Anglo-Saxon months in England, with brief explanations of each name. I think you’ll agree his descriptions are terse:

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The Horned God: Not as Old as You Think

Reblogged from Jason Mankey’s Raise the Horns blog on Patheos:

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/panmankey/2016/02/the-horned-god-not-as-old-as-you-think/?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Pagan&utm_content=37