The Earth or Mother Goddess was an extremely important concept to the faith of the Celts and Anglo-Saxons, as she represented the land itself (which they considered sacred) and was seen as the source of life. For this reason many springs and rivers were consecrated to her, as were hills that resembled womanly curves. Generally in humanised form the Earth Goddess is represented as a naked, sometimes heavily pregnant and wode-tattooed, beautiful woman. She could also represent the Tripartite or ‘Triple-Aspect’ common in some readings of Celtic Lore and as such could be the mother who nurtures, the sister who befriends or the lover who puts the knife in the back and twists. The Earth Goddess had many names according to time, tribe and locality but to all she was the fount of birth, life and death, of fertility, healing and regeneration. But as well as being beautiful and nurturing, like nature itself, she sometimes displayed a ferocious aspect to her character. As Dana, the Earth Goddess was the mother of the Tuatha de Danaan - the race of people that evolved into the Daoine Sidhe or Faeries. In other aspects she is the earth itself and mother of all.
text abridged from Strange Lands: A Field Guide to the Celtic Otherworld by Andrew L. Paciorek
Happy Earth Day !!
Image © Andy Paciorek