Tag Archives: hunting

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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Ullr and Skadi: on skis and skates

Skiing and skating were two early solutions to the problem of getting around in winter. The Norse deities Skadi and Ullr were famed for their skiing, and Ullr may have been an early snowboarder.

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Cernunnos and Flidais post for Dun Brython

Check out my piece on Cernunnos and Flidais on the Dun Brython blog.

Perchta, Holda and the Wild Hunt

When we think of the Wild Hunt, we think of Odin, or his Germanic counterpart Woden. However, he was not the Hunt’s only leader. In this post I want to look at Perchta and Holda, and the specially feminine spin they gave their midwinter rout.

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Angry Bird: Horus the Warrior

Horus is one of the oldest Egyptian gods, possibly reaching back to predynastic times. His conflict with Set, the desert-god, was one of the basic myths of Egyptian religion, long before Horus joined to the Isis-Osiris family.

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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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Thrymheim and Skadi

Only four Norse goddesses have homes of their own. Out of these, two are given to Frigg and Freyja, who are the preeminent goddesses of the pantheon and might be expected to own their own property. The other two are Saga and the giantess Skadi.

The latter is extremely interesting because we know that she inherited  her home, Thrymheim, from her father, the giant Thiazi. What little we are told about the Aesir’s homes suggest that they created them from scratch – that Skadi inherits hers tells us that the giants are older beings than the gods. This is why the giants were often shown as knowing the history and layout of the cosmos so well that Odin would come and quiz them about it.

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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 continentsl ones below, as well as the evidence for the cult of Diana in Britain.

These 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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