Sunday, February 23, 2014

Aine, Celtic Goddess of Love

Aine is the Celtic Goddess of love, the sun, fertility, water, summer and sovereignty. She is honored for her ability to grant abundance and fertility over the land. Being a Goddess of the sun Aine is said to have been given the nickname "bright". Aine is also known as a Faery Queen and was honored as such in the province of Munster, Ireland. It is said in myth that Aine made love to many humans which created a magical race of faery people. Some people today are said to be related to this race. Daughter to Egobail, a member of the Tuatha De Danann, and sister to Aillen and Fennen, Aine is also honored as a lunar deity. She is said to have been able to shape-shift into "The Red Mare", the horse who could never be outrun.

In Celctic myth Aine was almost raped by King Ailill Aulom of Munster. This ended with Aine biting off the king's ear which gave the him the name "Aulom" which means "one-eared". Because of this Aine saw the king unfit to rule and took away his sovereignty over the land. There is another tale in which Aine did not get out so lucky. While bathing, Aine was approached by Gerald, Earl of Desmond. She was not able to protect herself from being raped this time. Aine became pregnant and gave birth to a son, the second Earl of Desmond. It is said that she did indeed make Gerald pay for what he did by turning him into a goose.

ine is honored at Mid-Summer when the land and animals are at their peak of abundance and fertility. She is also celebrated at Lughnasadh. Aine is a nature Goddess and is associated with all the animals, flowers and the land. Aine was worshiped in the province of Munster and in county Limerick there is a hill that is sacred to her called Knockainey Hill. She is also associated with lakes and rivers.

Call on Aine to invoke your passions, manifest your dreams and follow your heart. She teaches us to take risks and to pursue our true desires. She represents the burning fire of the sun and the burning fire of our passions. Aine teaches us that life is something to be experienced and lived. She tells us to not worry about making the wrong decision, but about making no decision at all.

Art courtesy of Caroline Evans

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