Goddess Epona

Areas of Influence: Epona was the Celtic Horse Goddess whose worship spread to Britain and Rome from Western Europe.

Her name means "Divine mare" in Gaulish. Despite being a Gaulish word most of the surviving inscriptions and texts that mention this Goddess are in Latin.

The Roman cavalry had shrines dedicated to her she became almost like a patron emblem of certain factions of the Roman army.

Her popularity did not end there it was common to find small shrines in stables eventually she was so popular that a temple dedicated to her in Rome.

There was also a Roman Festival to honour her which was celebrated on 18th December. 

The mare was an ancient symbol of fertility, this has lead to suggestions that she was an early Mother Goddess figure, whose role was later reduced to protector of horses.

Her cornucopia and the basket of fruit she carried provide further support for her role as a fertility Goddess.

This Goddess is often liked to both Rhiannon in Wales and Macha in Ireland due to their shared association with Horses.

There are no surviving Gaullish myths dedicated to this Goddess.

She was the bestower of sovereignty in Celtic kingship rites.

The Celtic horse Goddess has been linked to the White Horse at Uffington and Lady Godiva.


Origins and Genealogy: There are no accounts of her parentage or suggestions that she married and had children.

Strengths: Protector especially of horses and horsemen.

Weaknesses: As the information about this Goddess comes mainly from archaeological finds there is little information on this Goddess’s personality.

Epona's Symbolism


She is depicted as a young Goddess, either sitting side saddle on a horse or feeding mares and foals food from a cornucopia or fruit basket.

There are also several images showing her riding a horse and cart.

Sacred Animals: Horses, mules, donkeys, dogs and birds.

Sacred Plants: Garlands of roses were used to decorate her shrines. incense and wine was offered.

Archetypes


I have not assigned a specific Archetype to this Goddess as she has no distinct personality.

She could be seen as a Child of Nature due to her link with horses and dogs. I dismissed this option however as this Archetype conjures up images of wild animals rather than domesticated ones.



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