Tag Archives: dogs

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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Sirius: the Scorcher

Sirius is the brightest star in the night sky – its modern name comes from the Ancient Greek Seirios (“glowing” or “scorcher”). It is actually another one of those binary stars, a white star and a white dwarf. Like Procyon, its nearness to Earth makes it much brighter in the night sky than many other stars. It is brighter than our sun, but dimmer than Rigel and Canopus.

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Procyon: Torch Bearer

Procyon suffers from an inferiority complex – even its name points to a more important star. Procyon means “before the dog”, meaning Sirius, the dog-star. (Fun fact: the racoon genus is called Procyon, because it used to be thought that raccoons evolved before dogs.)

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Sirona: healer goddess

My last post was about Sirona’s consorts and partners, but she did sometimes appear alone. We find her in inscriptions, and images, suggesting that her cult existed before the advent of the Romans.

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1. Mythological Wolves: Garm, Fenrir, and Loki

Wolves occupied a very ambiguous place in Norse myth and thought. The best of dogs is said to be Garm, but everywhere else Garm is a wolf, and a dangerous one at that. Garm is the wolf that kills Tyr at Ragnarök, (Gylf. 51) and the similarly named Mánagarm devours the moon (and presumably Máni the moon-god):

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sea shells beach

Garmangabi: Matres and Mortality

The porch of an Anglican church might seem like a strange place to find an altar to a pagan goddess. In Lancaster, Co. Durham, however, a stone altar to the goddess Garmangabi coexisted with the established church.

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