Goddess Tailtiu

prod691Tailtiu or Tailltiu or Tailte is the name of an Irish Goddess, who is linked to Teltown (Old Irish Tailtiu) in County Meath and she is one of the harvest Goddesses of the time in august called Llhugnashad, Llammas, one of the big pagan festivals of the wheel of the year.

The linguistic analysis of the name reveals that Tailtiu as a place-name derives from a loan word of Brythonic origin represented by the Welsh telediw „well formed, beautiful.“, whilst the mythological character of Tailtiu likely derives her name from the place-name.

She is said that she was the daughter of the king of Spain and the wife of Eochaid mac Eirc, last Fir Bolg High King of Ireland, who named his capital after her (Teltown, between Navan and Kells). She survived the invasion of the Tuatha Dé Danann and became the foster mother of Lugh, the celtic God of light. Tailtiu allways cared for Her people and is said to have died of exhaustion after clearing the plains of Ireland for agriculture. Lugh held Her in such high regard that he created the Tailtean games, which took place during Lammas (rather like the Olympics). The name of the festival is Lughnasadh, one of the great fire festivals of ancient and modern Celtic peoples. It is a time to bring the harvest in and be greatful for what you have got. This honor may have also had something to do with Tailtiu’s association as an earth Goddess.

Lugh established a harvest festival and funeral games, Áenach Tailteann, in her honour, which continued to be celebrated as late as the 18th century.

The first Áenach Tailteann, later the Tailtin Fair, was held at Teltown. Historically, the Áenach Tailteann was a time for contests of strength and skill, and a favoured time for contracting marriages and winter lodgings. A peace was declared at the festival, and religious celebrations were also held. Aspects of the festival survive in the celebrations of Lughnasadh, and were revived as the Teltown Games for a period in the twentieth century.

Small exercise and questions for you:

Tailtiu asks – “What are you grateful for in your live? What is the harvest of the last year for you, that gives you the biggest pleasure? Which things and projects worked out in your live, this year, which ones where not so fruitful…? How do you feel about it?”


Sources: Wikipedia and the Llammas lesson script of my teacher Suzanne Corbie



Venus Pompeji

Venus on seashell, from the Casa di Venus, Pompeii. Before 79 AD.

Venus is a Roman goddess whose functions related to love, beauty, sex, fertility, prosperity and desire. In Roman mythology, she was considered the mother of Romans through her son, Aeneas, who escaped the fall of Troy and fled to Italy. Julius Caesar claimed her as his ancestor. Venus was important to many religious festivals, and was revered in Roman religion with numerous cult titles. Venus is the Roman Goddess of Love who acquired most of her qualities from the Greek Goddess Aphrodite who represented love, sexuality, abundance and fertility in all living beings and things – in all forms. So The Romans changed and adapted the myths and iconography of her Greek counterpart Aphrodite fort he benefit of Roman art and Latin literature. In the later classical Western tradition, Venus becomes one of the most widely known deities of Greco-Roman mythology and the embodiment of love and sexuality. She is also associated through the evening star with Ishtar of Mesopotamia, Inanna of Sumeria and Hathor of Egypt. Venus was connected with cultivated fields and gardens and the abundance of growth and life. Venus represents sex, love, beauty, enticement, seduction, and persuasive female charm among the pantheon of immortal gods; in Latin orthography, her name is identical to the Latin noun venus („sexual love“ and „sexual desire“), from which it is taken. Venus has been said to be perhaps „the most original creation of the Roman pantheon“, and „an ill-defined and assimilative“ native goddess, combined „with a strange and exotic Aphrodite“.[

Her cults possibly suggest the religiously derived legitimate charm and seduction of the divine by mere mortals, in contrast to the more formal, contractual relations between most members of Rome’s official pantheon and the state, and the unofficial, illicit manipulation of divine forces through magic. The ambivalence of her function can be seen in the etymological relationship of the root *venes- with Latin venenum (poison), in the sense of „a charm, magic philtre“.

In myth, Venus-Aphrodite came from sea-foam. Roman theology presents Venus as the yielding, watery female principle, of great importance to the generation and balance of life. Her male equivalents in the Roman pantheon, Vulcan and Mars, are active and fiery. Venus absorbs and moderates the male essence, uniting the opposites of male and female in mutual affection. She is essentially assimilative and benign, and embraces several otherwise quite differing functions. She can give military victory, sexual success, good fortune and prosperity. In one context, she is a goddess of prostitutes; in another, she turns the hearts of men and women from sexual vice to virtue.

Venus‘ signs were for the most part the same as Aphrodite’s. They include roses, myrtle, which was cultivated for its white, sweetly scented flowers, aromatic, evergreen leaves and its various curative properties. Myrtle was considered to be a particularly potent aphrodisiac. The female pudendum, particularly the clitoris, was known as murtos (myrtle). As goddess of love and sex, Venus played an essential role at Roman prenuptial rites and wedding nights, so myrtle and roses were used in bridal bouquets.


Venus was offered official (state-sponsored) cult in some festivals of the Roman calendar. Her sacred month was April (Latin Mensis Aprilis) which Roman etymologists understood to derive from aperire, „to open,“ with reference to the springtime blossoming of trees and flowers.

As with the majority of major gods and goddesses in Roman mythology, the literary concept of Venus is embellished with whole-cloth borrowings from the literary Greek mythology of her counterpart, Aphrodite. In some examples of Latin mythology Cupid was the son of Venus and Mars, the god of war. In other periods, or in similar myths and theologies, Venus was believed to be the consort of Vulcan. Virgil, in compliment to his patron Augustus and the gens Julia, strengthening an existing connection between Venus, whom Julius Caesar had adopted as his protectress, and Aeneas. Vergil’s Aeneas is shown the way to Latium by Venus in her heavenly form, the morning star, shining brightly before him in the daylight sky; much later, she lifts Caesar’s soul to heaven. In Ovid’s Fasti Venus came to Rome because she „preferred to be worshipped in the city of her own offspring“. In Vergil’s poetic writing of Octavian’s victory at the sea-battle of Actium, the soon to be emperor is an ally of with Venus, Neptune and Minerva. Octavian’s opponents, Antony, Cleopatra and the Egyptians, assisted by strange and unhelpful deities such as „barking“ Anubis, lose the battle.

In the interpretatio romana of the Germanic pantheon during the early centuries AD, Venus became connected with the Germanic goddess Frijjo, which led to the loan translation „Friday“ for dies Veneris. The historical cognate of the dawn goddess in Germanic tradition, however, would be Ostara.



MorriganIn der nördli chen Hemisphäre werden die Nächte wieder länger und die Zeit der Dunkelheit legt sich wie jedes Jahr wie ein Schatten über das Land und unsere Seelen. Es ist die Zeit, wo in der Natur vieles Ab-stirbt und daher eine Zeit der „Dunklen Göttinnen“ und der „Todesgöttinnen“, die ich hier als einen der vielen Aspekte der Göttin darstellen möchte. Eine dieser dunklen, destruktiven Göttinnen aus Irland ist die Morrigan.
Der Name lässt sich aus dem protokeltischen marwo für ‚tot‘ und altirisch rígain ‚Königin‘ erklären. Diese Deutung war im Mittelalter mit der Gleichsetzung mit Morgane als Abholerin des Leichnams von König Arthur auf die Apfelinsel Avalon vorherrschend. Für die Antike und das Frühmittelalter kommt aber auch die Deutung der ersten Silbe als mór für ‚groß‘ in Frage. Die Morrígan geht wahrscheinlich auf die alte keltische Göttin Rigani zurück, die als Götterkönigin und Göttermutter galt. Verwandt mit ihr ist die kymrische Rhiannon.
Sie gilt im Lebor Gabála Érenn zusammen mit Macha/Nemain und Badb/Fea als eine von drei Schwestern, Töchtern der Ernmas und Enkelinnen von Bresal. Morrigan gehört zu den Túatha Dé Danann, (Volk der Göttin Danu), einem uralten mythischen Volk Irlands mit besonderen magischen Fähigkeiten. Die Morrígan wird auch mit der Göttin Anu (Danu) gleichgesetzt. Morrígan erscheint als schöne junge Frau sowie als hässliche Alte und wie ihre Schwester Badb auch in Gestalt einer Krähe oder eines Raben und zählt zu den Tripple Goddesses, den Dreifachgöttinnen (Mädchen – Mutter – Alte). In der Erzählung über die Schlacht von Mag Tuired (Cath Maige Tuired) ist sie eine der Partnerinnen des Dagda und erschlägt den letzten Firbolg-König Eochaid mac Eirc. In der Táin Bó Cuailnge, der wichtigsten Sage des altirischen Ulster-Zyklus, tritt sie als Widersacherin des Helden Cú Chulainn auf. Sie erscheint nacheinander in Gestalt einer schönen Frau, eines Aals, eines Wolfs und einer Färse und versucht ihn an der Verteidigung Ulsters gegen den Angriff des Heers von Medb und Ailill zu hindern. Cú Chulainn widersteht ihr jedoch und verletzt sie, woraufhin sie ihn mit einer List dazu bringt, sie wieder zu heilen.
Morrigan wird oft als düstere und häufig auch bösartige Gestalt dargestellt, sie kann als „shape shifter“ ihre Gestalt verändern. Sie ist die Göttin des Todes, des Krieges, der Friedhöfe und der Schlachtfelder. Daher ist sie uns in jahreszeitlichen (Allerheiligen, Zeit vor Weihnachten) und persönlichen dunklen Zeiten nahe und lehrt uns den dunklen und destruktiven Anteil in uns und im Leben anzunehmen, der Teil, der zerstört, um für Neues Platz zu machen und hervorzubringen. Sie drängt uns, unser Leben anzuschauen und Revue passieren zu lassen – was bleibt von uns, wenn wir gehen?

Die Morrigan spricht – „Die dunkle und wilde Seite gehört zu unserer persönlichen Ganzheit und will integriert werden“!