Nemetona

Okay, typing this out with possibly a second covid infection on top of my long covid, so the brainfog is real. Hope it makes sense, lol

Some thoughts on Nemetona and sacred space

an areal view of a piece of open field with trees on the left and bottom. Slightly to the right is a labyrinth in the grass.
Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

Basic intro from Wikipedia: “Nemetona, or ‘she of the sacred grove’, is a Celtic goddess with roots in northeastern Gaul. She is thought to have been the eponymous deity of the GermanoCeltic people known as the Nemetes;[2][3] evidence of her veneration is found in their former territory along the Middle Rhine[1][4] as well in the Altbachtal sanctuary in present-day Trier, Germany.[3][2][5] She is also attested in Bath, England, where an altar to her was dedicated by a man of the Gallic Treveri people.[2][6]

So Nemetona is the Goddess of the Sacred Grove, which is what the Gaul and British people possibly used to venerate their deities. A lot of what you find about modern veneration of Nemetona is how she is the Goddess of the Grove, the Goddess of the sacred places deep within the woods. And I have absolutely felt her presence there. So I didn’t bother to look further to be honest.

Then, at the beginning of the week, I felt the call to look deeper into her, and perhaps reconnect with her on a deeper level. I came across the book Dancing with Nemetona by Joanna van der Hoeven. It’s not a great book, and it is not a long book, but it had some pretty good points about where to find Nemetona outside of the Grove:

Your personal space. We all have this bubble of space which we consider “ours”, an invisible border that people can invade when they get too close. This is *your* space, *your* body and therefore it is/can be sacred.

Your home and hearth. Another example of *your* space that hopefully is a safe environment. A place where you can relax and be your true self. Take care to keep it that way, or to create a small bit of safe and comforting space within your home if you share it with others. One room, the showerstall, whatever you need. This can also be sacred space, dedicated to Nemetona.

Ritual space. Joanne is a druid, so they very much still work with casting circles, which is a pretty obvious example of making sacred space. However, your altar/shrine space, your kitchen while creating kitchen magic, your art studio, all can be made sacred if/when you need it.

Sanctuary. We talked about safe space before, so anything that is a sanctuary can also be a sacred space to Nemetona. Wildlife reserves, (women’s) shelters, even churches.

It gave me a lot to think about and new ways to connect with Nemetona without “just” needing to see her as a Goddess of Sacred Groves. So hail the Lady of Sanctuary, hail the Lady of Boundaries and Edges, hail Nemetona!

Floral Pentagram

And it’s finally done! This took months, but I am very proud. My first time drawing botanicles in this way, which was a journey. I’m hoping to get this laserprinted (burned?) onto a ringbinder to serve as a Book of Shadows/Grimoire.

The Crafty Coo!

So my dear and gorgeous friend has just opened their own shop! Queer and witch owned, focusing (for now) on handmade greeting cards (also witch festival themed!) and planner stickers! She will have a launch around each major holiday/season change. Keep an eye on them, there will be queer themes, all witchy holidays, as well as many, many others for many cultures.

Shop, and Etsy Shop

Magic: the Gathering, the oracle

Magic: the Gathering is known for it’s amazing artworks. Did you know that they now have art cards? Did you know these are amazing for making your own oracle deck? Did you know these are cheap????

I mean look at this? Discover the Impossible by Ryan Pancoast. When I saw this card I immediately had several meanings: dreams, imagination, other world, and yeah; discover the impossible.

Introduction to Prophesy by Micah Epstein. Time, divination, visions, discovery of your power.

Crackle with Power by Micah Epstein again! Know your own power, stand your ground, let them see what they are dealing with

I could go on and on but I won’t. So the good: many different styles of art, including watercolour, digital, stained glass, traditional japanese, manga, and black and white lineart. Cheap: I paid €0,50 per card. Fully customizable. With new sets coming out there will be new cards, so you can keep adding things as you like. Beautiful and evocative art. You have signed and unsigned versions, so you can choose. (the website shows the signed versions with the signature in yellow, on the unsigned version there is no signature at all.)

So the… not bad per se, but things to keep in mind: they have no backs. The backs are white and include the M:tG logo, the title of the artwork and the artist. You can always back the cards yourself if you wish to. The cardstock of earlier cards seems lesser. A bit more thin and flimsy, I don’t care, but some might. So far it’s the Zendikar and Kaldheim. The cards come in horizontal and vertical, making readings look a bit more messy. I found that I do not care, the cards are amazing

Stardew Shrines

A thing I’ve been looking into lately is pop culture paganism/witchcraft. There are so many interesting ideas and ways of working to be found, and it’s really been a huge source of inspiration for my own path. One of the things I’ve done is made some shrines in a game! Stardew Valley was my game of choice, and I made some sheds to serve as shrines/temples. Take a look!

Shrine for Cernunnos
Shrine for Nehalennia
Shrine for Baduhenna
Shrine for Liyesa, pop-culture goddess of beauty
Shrine for the Gilded Three, pop-culture triple deity of fate, creativity, and stories

Prayer Beads

A set of prayer beads laying in a spiral. A crystal drop is the first bead, laying on the outside of the spiral. Following are all round beads of the same size. First the colours of the Gilbert Baker pride flag, a pentagram charm, white an grey beads, a triple moon charm with a pentagram in the centre, a string of different coloured beads representing the wheel of the year. Those are shimmery white, soft pink, red, yellow and white striped, green with copper glitter, brown with copper glitter, dark red and black, and crackled transparent. The beads end with a silver key charm.

I’ve been getting back into prayer beads lately, so I thought I would share my latest set! This set is meant to symbolize the Gilbert Baker pride flag and the meaning of each colour, the phases of the moon, and the wheel of the year. A more generalized witchy set, instead of one specific to a deity.

Baduhenna Moodboard

I’ve been taking the time to delve deeper into Baduhenna , and what she stands for beyond the battle aspect. It’s been pretty illuminating for me, although I’m still searching and researching if the UPG that comes up has some bases in history or not. For now, a moodboard on Baduhenna in her aspects of Goddess of the Wetland Forest and Witchcraft (UPG)

A moodboard of nine pictures, all in even squares. The pictures are: a fern, a misty forest edge, a forest from above, bundles of herbs drying on a string, a woman hiding in green ferns with only her eye and part of her face visible, a hand holding a large crystal point, dew on lady's-mantle plant, three tarot cards on a table with a candle and crystals, a river surrounded by trees.

All pictures through Unsplash: [X] [X] [X] [X] [X] [X] [X] [X] [X]

Full Moon powder

A small row of four glass vials with a cork stopper. Inside the vials is a white and cream powder. The vials are standing on a blue and yellow background: Starry night on the Rhone by Vincent van Gogh.

Grind the ingredients up as fine as you’re able. (The shells took me three days! 😭)

  • One part ground sea shell
  • One part elder flower
  • Two parts jasmine flower
  • Two parts sea salt

Use to sprinkle onto your workspace during spellwork, on or around the items you want to charge with the moon’s energy, onto your deck for a full moon reading, or wherever else you wish to!

My view on the Gods

I believe the Gods are the mirror of ourselves. Created by our ancestors’ need for answers and meaningfulness (zingeving), which we’ve fed through the years with worship and sacrifice and stories. We gave them their power and through it they became both the collective of all the people who helped maintain them, and grew beyond it. And because they came from us they are a mirror of us. They show us the parts of ourselves that we need, that we wish to emulate, or that we missed in our interactions with others. But it is all within us. They are within us.

However, simply because they live within the realm of the imagination doesn’t mean that they do not have power, quite the opposite. Human inventiveness, creativity, and imagination, our love and compassion and kindness, are the most powerful things we have. They are the source of our power. They are the source of the power of the Gods. Divinity is found within.

When I call upon deity I call upon this collective archetype that we built together, for ages and ages, and I call upon this power within myself. I use the mirror that is the collective stories and the art and the experiences and rituals of others, to call forth my own power. That power that has been with me since birth, but that I have kindled and nurtured and made grown.

I think the Divine is something that we’ve created ourselves. With our own sense of imagination and wonder at the world around us. We saw the beauty of nature and Named it, and we told its stories, and made it sacred. We had so much love for the world around us, and so much love for ourselves, that we made it powerful. That we lifted it above and beyond us and made it mighty. And isn’t that the most amazing thing?

The power of humanity, the power of love and curiosity. The Divine is not somewhere far removed from us, on a different plain of existence looking down upon their creations. It is us. All of us. Throughout all of time and space. All coming together, living life, looking for answers, being hopeful, seeking spiritual meaning, loving each other and the world around us, being kind. That is what builds and sustains Gods.

Nehalennia Statue

Look at this beauty! I worked together with the lovely people of Godsnorth to create a custom statue for the Goddess Nehalennia. They were such a pleasure to work with and I am absolutely in love with the end result.

Some close-ups:

Some of the details that I wanted included: her loyal dog companion, grain/wheat for the harvest, water/the sea, her having one foot on the boat which is something that is also on a lot of the altar stones, as well as a symbol for her as a psychopomp.

Her signature cloak of course! As well as a basket of harvest abundance. I also love how her hair and clothing seems to flow in the sea breeze. I am in love!

Bonus! The final sketch!

The process went smooth and easy. We talked about what I wanted. She sent a sketch and we went over what I loved and what I wanted to change. Then when I gave the green light they made this beautiful statue (which is now also available to everyone!) I will definitely work with them again for statues of Cernunnos and Baduhenna.