Welcome to Tursan Tuesdays, where I take you on a journey through the Celtic world.
I’m back, and I’m healthy! No more bronchitis, the head cold is pretty much gone. The stitches from oral surgery have dissolved…what, too much? Ok, fine.
Let’s do this…
Wikipedia offers a lovely list of fertility deities…far too many to compare here in this little blog, but feel free to peruse at your leisure.
For the purposes of this blog, we’ll compare Macha, from Celtic mythology, Anahit, from Armenian mythology, and Freyja, from Norse mythology. Ooooh, this is gonna be good!
Daughter of Áed Rúad and Ernmas the ban tuathid, or female druid, Macha is said to portray the Fertile Woman aspect of the Celtic goddess, Danu. She hales from Ulster, one of the four provinces of Northern Ireland.
Known as a Triple Goddess herself, Macha has aspects to her other than fertility. She is also goddess of agriculture, war, and death. In fact, you may recall she is sister to The Morrígan.
It is interesting to note, Macha is listed as a fertility goddess, but is mostly known for her powers in war, death, and battle. Her fertility aspect may have come from the traditions of Celtic warriors in Northern Ireland collecting the severed heads of their foes, calling them “Macha’s Acorn Crop”…grisly.
She is the goddess of fertility, water, wisdom, and healing. Anahit is quite beloved and cherished by her people, and is considered their mother-goddess. In this respect she is similar to the Celtic goddess, Danu or Anann.
Known as the “Great Lady Anahit,” ancient Armenians believed the world existed at her will alone. She has many temples in her honor, and an entire mountain in Armenia is her throne.
Like Macha, Anahit is also known as a goddess of war.
The patron and protectress of the human race, Freyja, or The Fair One, is goddess of fertility, love, beauty, war and death. I believe I see a trend here…
It is said that Freyja and Odin split the courageous dead from the battlefield, Odin taking his half to Valhalla and Freyja taking her half to Fólkvangr. Some speculate that Freyja’s oft absent husband, Odur, of whom little is known, is in fact the battle god, Odin.
And did I mention Freyja has a chariot pulled by cats?
So talk to me. What do you think of these lovely ladies? I find it interesting that these fertility goddesses have such strong connections with war. Do you see the mother quality in each of these goddesses? Can you relate them to the mother in you? Do you know of other interesting fertility goddesses? Do you have stories of one of these portrayed here?