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
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 Germano–Celtic people known as the Nemetes; evidence of her veneration is found in their former territory along the Middle Rhine as well in the Altbachtal sanctuary in present-day Trier, Germany. She is also attested in Bath, England, where an altar to her was dedicated by a man of the Gallic Treveri people.“
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!