Tag Archives: Flidais

Carvonia: Doe-Goddess

I thought I was done with deer-goddesses, after the posts on Flidias, hunting goddesses and horned goddesses. Sometimes, however, you’re only done with a subject when it’s done with you. I couldn’t leave this topic without mentioning Carvonia, a Celtic goddess from Central Europe.

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Horned goddesses

When I was writing about the Irish goddess Flidais, I said that I would be covering hunting goddesses and horned goddesses in another post. The post on hunting goddesses was duly written, but the horned goddesses slipped away.

This may be due in part to the fact that I thought of horned goddesses as a mainly modern phenomenon. The first inkling I ever had of them came from Chesca Potter’s artwork. Her image of the folkloric figure Elen (heroine of “The Dream of Macsen Wledig“,  in the Mabinogion) as a horned goddess caught my attention. However, I had no context for it, and it remained an interesting picture, and nothing more.

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Goddesses of Hunting and the Wild

Besides Flidais, there are many Celtic goddesses of the hunt and the wild. I have listed several Gaulish ones below, as well as the evidence for the cult of Diana in Britain.

The Gaulish goddesses are easier to read, because they appear under their own names, while Diana may or may not be hiding a native goddess. (The god Silvanus presents the same problem.) Ironically, the only real evidence we have for Diana being assimilated into a native cult is from the continent, in the form of Diana Mattiaca and Abnoba.

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The Tain Bo Flidais

The Táin Bó Flidhais, or The Book of the Driving of Flidais’ Cattle, is the main source of information about the goddess Flidais. This story has been preserved in two versions, a shorter version in the Book of Leinster, and a longer one in the Yellow Book of Lecan.

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