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!

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

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.