English Water Goddesses

English: Roman Baths, Bath. The 'sacred pool' ...

Roman Baths at Bath. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As people who’ve been around here for a while know, my primary personal deity work is with two deities, one of whom has been a consistent presence in my life since the fall of 2002, when she showed up in a dream, and then meditation work, and then other Drawing Down and related ritual work. (And her consort: I’m His because of Her.)

I don’t have a name for her (beyond “Blue”). I don’t have a lot of identifying information for her. And most of the time, this doesn’t bother me. I’m her’s, and it works, and it’s all good.

However, I’m currently poking at planning a trip to England a year from now, and I’m trying to figure out if I can narrow it down enough to maybe go to suitable locations (or at least make the attempt). And I know we also have some posters here since the last time I brought this up who might have more ideas.

The things I know:

Origin: I am about 95% certain she’s English (or from Angle or Saxon roots) rather than Celtic in origin. (Because she is deeply amused by Celtic deities, and yet so very Glad I’m Not Related To Them at times.) And also (as below) not necessarily well known within whatever culture she comes from.

I am also fairly certain that she’s one of the (very many) English water deities. Her consort reads as ‘settled lands’ – the image I get of him very strongly is someone riding the bounds of farmlands or settled areas and tending to them. (The strongest impression I get is of sunlight through trees on a path, and the sound of galloping hooves.)

Visuals: I’ve always seen her in meditation as having long dark hair, usually pulled back but not in a fancy way, sensible sorts of shoes or sandals, and wearing the kind of ‘pinned at both corners’ sort of robe/dress that covers everything from pre-history through the medieval period. Indigo blue, and pretty clearly wool.

In terms of spaces: there’s a whole meditation thing with an earlyish medieval manor house (either made of white stone or later fronted with it) and a sunken garden in the back with a pool, but it’s the kind of architecture that could date from about 12th century to 15th. (It is pretty clearly English, though, and it is decidedly not a castle. Not overtly Tudor, could well have multiple layered historical periods.) The landscape is rolling hills, lots of green, varied plant life, but nothing that is particularly geographically identifying.

Other than the flowers mentioned below, I don’t have animals or plants or other symbolic things that have come up.

Relationships: The very first dream I had of her was her getting married, and my running around doing a lot of necessary tasks. The strongest impression I had was of the family dynamics: that she adores the man she was marrying, but that they were both very much secondary figures in the larger scheme (that the wedding was a big deal because it was an excuse for the rest of the family to politic and influence each other, and that the two of them were a footnote.)

Items of interest: In that first dream, at one point I was holding an armful of long flowers on a stem – it looked a bit like a foxglove (and might have been) or althaea officinalis (marshmallow), and there was a very strong smell that reminds me of summers visiting my grandmother in England (very classic country garden), but that I can’t pin down to a particular flower easily.

(I have wandered around conservatory gardens smelling things, but I’m pretty sure at this point it’s something that doesn’t readily grow places I’ve been living. Very strong smell, sweet without being sickly sweet, and something that doesn’t easily translate into perfumes, like a number of flowers.)

Other references: I’ve long gotten a sense that she has been very ‘quiet’ for several centuries: not a deity who has come back into major public notice, and who has not been very dominant since about the invention of the printing press.

The clearest and most easily shared instruction I have from her is “Reach out to those who thirst” with a clear twist on ‘thirst’ that is about both water and knowledge, and really, they’re the same thing, on some level, for Her. (In terms of types of water, it’s smaller rivers, ponds, etc. rather than a massive river.)

Places I’ve already looked: I’ve regularly poked around the lists of British deities: Sulis is not quite right, Coventina is not quite right, and so on. (And besides, at that point, we get down to “We have about 3 pieces of archaeological evidence to go on.” and that may not be enough to rummage with anyway.) There’s a way in which there’s a number of parallels to some of the earlier medieval approaches to the Ladies of the Lake, but that’s also clearly not quite it either (same thing, different family? I don’t know.)

But clearly, it’s time for another round of looking, so if you have suggestions that ping for you, or sources that I should take a good look at (and why), I’d love to hear them.

It’s totally okay with me if I don’t work this out, just that if I *am* going to be in England, and can identify a place that might be Hers, I’d rather figure it out so I could plan to visit it.

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