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Author Topic: A wild UPG appears! (Sulis and water deities in general)  (Read 6713 times)

Sulischild

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A wild UPG appears! (Sulis and water deities in general)
« on: January 13, 2013, 02:31:52 am »
I'm trying to sort out an interesting series of meditiations/thoughts/hunches/crises of faith, and wouldn't mind a UPG check from any other folk with opinions or thoughts...

I've long suspected that the main deity I work with, who I call Sulis, isn't entirely the Celtic goddess associated with the healing springs at Bath who goes by that name.  I suspect She's something larger and more primal and somehow bigger.   Years ago when Sulis? thwapped me, I was concentrating my work on things specific to my family history (I was a very, very specific reconstructionsist!) and I'd read a lot about Sulis because one branch of my family lived at Bath for generations.  So, given those circumstances it's not impossible another deity might have called themselves by that name to get my attention.

There's also a school of thought that Sulis is an aspect of Brighid, but I don't know enough about Brighid to have an opinion on that.  Whenever I've tried to research or reach out to Her, I've got a sort of 'sorry, but you're not on my list so would you mind backing off?' vibe.

Anyway, I've been doing some meditating on and working with Sulis? of late to try to shed some light on this.  What I've got is the idea of a dual Goddess, Dark Sulis and Bright Sulis, who have polar-opposite portfolios both relating to water.  Dark Sulis looks after still and stagnant water, swamps, underground water and cave water, decay (and possibly death), night time, as well as vindictive acts, revenge and doing people ill.  Bright Sulis looks after running water, springs and above ground water, healing, life and growing things, day time, and justice, fairness and doing good by people.  

Neither appear have any particular interest in the ocean, only fresh (but in Dark Sulis' case, not necessarily clean) water.

Sulis is sometimes considered a triple Goddess, so I'm not ruling out the idea that these might be two of Her three faces and I haven't seen the other one yet.  But Sulis-as-triplicate is usually written about as being domestic, motherly types, and the wild, primal nature of Dark Sulis? seems quite at odds with that.

The meditations and workings where I've got this have the feel of something genuine, rather than my own overactive imagination.  I tell the difference by how things 'look' - when I'm making stuff up, it tends to be a mash-up of places and faces from my own memory.  It's only now and then I get stuff that feels new and doesn't feel like the product of my own mind, and those times are when it's been - I feel  - genuine communication.  This feels like those times.

So, for anyone who's managed to wade through this confused mass of 'durrr hurrrr I like apples'... does the Dark/Bright pair sound like another deity might have used Sulis' name to get my attention?  Do any deities spring to mind?  Or are these the ramblings of a madwoman?
« Last Edit: January 13, 2013, 02:32:52 am by Sulischild »

Aster Breo

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A wild UPG appears! (Sulis and water deities in general)
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2013, 07:25:49 am »
Quote from: Sulischild;90732
So, for anyone who's managed to wade through this confused mass of 'durrr hurrrr I like apples'... does the Dark/Bright pair sound like another deity might have used Sulis' name to get my attention?  Do any deities spring to mind?  Or are these the ramblings of a madwoman?

This won't be terribly helpful for you, I'm afraid, since it's something you've already considered, but...  I feel very strongly that Sulis and Brighid are the same deity -- or maybe different "jobs" the same deity does, or something like that.

Your description of "Dark Sulis" is a large chunk of my description of Brighid as Lady of the Stars.  And your feeling of Her having a wild aspect definitely matches with my feeling of a "feral" component.  The swamp association is not a piece I've had before -- for me it's been more of a "bog" thing.  Your "Bright Sulis" is spot on for Brighid.

You said you've gotten a "thanks, but you're not mine" vibe from Brighid.  Maybe you could try approaching Her as Lady of the Stars and see what happens?  Or maybe each "character" She plays keeps a different list of Their people, and you're on Sulis's list, but not Brighid's.  Or maybe you just haven't done enough learning about Brighid to have that connection yet.  Or something...

I also feel that there are other personas/characters/whatevers that I'm not as familiar with, like Ffraid (who I REALLY need to learn more about!). I think there's a link of some sort to Vesta, in particular, and possibly Hestia.  And -- and these might sound really far out in left field -- maybe Cybele and Inanna, too.

I don't really have any advice for you, other than keep reading and keep asking Her. Ultimately, I don't really think it matters as much as we think it does.  Several years ago, I had the opportunity to talk to Brighid through an oracular seer (most incredible experience EVER!!!), and I asked Her whether my theories about Her connections to other goddess were correct.  The answer I got was essentially "close enough."  Since then, I haven't felt the same drive to FIGURE IT OUT, like a puzzle.  I'm more focused on how I can honor Her and bring Her ever more into my life.

Ultimately, I don't think we can know much about the nature of the gods. I think different deities are connected on ways we can't truly understand because they are so different from the ways humans are connected.  And I've made my peace with that.

But, FWIW, I think you're on the right track.

Oh, and I do have a suggestion for you, after all.  There are 2 books by an author named Stephen J. Yeats that might interest you.  The first is _The Tribe of Witches: The Religion of the Dobunni and Hwicce_, the second is something like  _A Dreaming of Witches_.  They're about the Iron/Bronze Age tribe that lived in the area around Bath (the Dobunni), and the medieval group that lived in the same area (the Hwicce), and the similarities in the religious beliefs of those two groups -- specifically, the goddess they probably worshiped (at least the earlier group), whose name meant "Sacred Vessel".

I've only just started the first book, so I can't tell you any more.  But they might address some of the questions you have.  And probably create more.

~ Aster
"The status is not quo."  ~ Dr. Horrible

Tana

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Re: A wild UPG appears! (Sulis and water deities in general)
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2013, 09:21:47 am »
Quote from: Sulischild;90732


 
First, all what Aster said will be helpful to consider.
Second, I can't connect to Bridget either, yet I agree with Aster that 'her' main Goddess and 'my' main Goddess are probably the very same being.

My advice would be, don't get hung up on the names. Go for the feeling you get and be open to surprising possibilities. :)
\'You had to repay, good or bad. There was more than one type of obligation.
That’s what people never really understood.….Things had to balance.
You couldn’t set out to be a good witch or a bad witch. It never worked out for long.
All you could try to be was a witch, as hard as you could.\'
Terry Pratchett \'Lords and Ladies\'

Confuzzled and proud. :p

Gilbride

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Re: A wild UPG appears! (Sulis and water deities in general)
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2013, 10:04:59 am »
Quote from: Sulischild;90732
Anyway, I've been doing some meditating on and working with Sulis? of late to try to shed some light on this.  What I've got is the idea of a dual Goddess, Dark Sulis and Bright Sulis


Brighid is said in some sources to have a beautiful side of Her face and an ugly side, which could reflect a similar concept.

Annie Roonie

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Re: A wild UPG appears! (Sulis and water deities in general)
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2013, 10:23:54 am »
Quote from: Sulischild;90732
So, for anyone who's managed to wade through this confused mass of 'durrr hurrrr I like apples'... does the Dark/Bright pair sound like another deity might have used Sulis' name to get my attention?

I don't have any suggestions of names but reading this gave me a very familiar feeling. In short, I was drawn to Hekate moved on but still honor her. Moved on to the nameless and when I inquired about the identity of the nameless I was kindly schooled to forget that and just do the learning. In warmer weather I can do this, now with so much time inside, I get too curious. So I inquired again and got Hekate again. The interaction I had did not seem to fit other known UPGs and descriptions. Some very significant differences exist IMO. So I asked if it was someone else too and got a wry Yes. Which put me straight back at nameless. Which I think is where I am supposed to be right now with that.

But yeah, I do think Hekate's name was used to get my attention very much. Probably not done without permission is my hunch and she's probably a part of the nameless in some way. I've begun to regard the nameless as more the various nameless now.

Another similarity is the three. I cannot forget the three who showed themselves to me last summer. They feel present. Every tip I was given for their possible identities led me to stories and other readings that all fit in some parts, but significantly not in others. Primal, yes very much. Healing, life fostering, intense check. Being accepted as if as a child of one, yes. An enormity I cannot fully comprehend, yes.

Last similarity is the feeling of genuine contact. I even got some homework, I think, to direct my curiosity in a more useful way during these indoor times. I need to read of Isis and/or Aset now and their relationship to magic. This is not something I would choose to do. I've actively avoided that pantheon, but am apt to do my homework. I need to do more magic too, more than what I am used to. These are my assignments. I'd given myself other assignments entirely, so the result of this contact was not of my inclination save to do as I am instructed.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2013, 10:27:08 am by Annie Roonie »

Vale

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Re: A wild UPG appears! (Sulis and water deities in general)
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2013, 12:58:22 pm »
Quote from: Sulischild;90732
I'm trying to sort out an interesting series of meditiations/thoughts/hunches/crises of faith, and wouldn't mind a UPG check from any other folk with opinions or thoughts...



Having spent  many hours at her temple over the last 10 years or so I've always experienced Sul as much older, darker and more clthonic than the popular view of her.  It tends to put me at odds with folk on the internet but IRL I am not the only one.

Ffraidd ( Bridget) appears to me entirely differently although I mostly see her dark serious side.

Sage

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Re: A wild UPG appears! (Sulis and water deities in general)
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2013, 01:13:10 pm »
Quote from: Vale;90793
Having spent  many hours at her temple over the last 10 years or so I've always experienced Sul as much older, darker and more clthonic than the popular view of her.  It tends to put me at odds with folk on the internet but IRL I am not the only one.

Ffraidd ( Bridget) appears to me entirely differently although I mostly see her dark serious side.

 
I'd love to hear more about your experiences at Sul(is)'s temple, Vale.

On a slightly different note, does anyone have a list of the goddesses who may be in the constellation of "possibly Brighid"? It sounds like Sulis and Ffraidd (Whom I've not heard of til now) along with St. Brigit are faces of our Exalted Lady. I might tentatively put the Cailleach as, if not one possible iteration of cold/dark/deep Brighid, then a close deity that in some times and places seemed to form a pair with Her.

One lady curious thought: the Morrígan is a triplicate goddess with named deities within Her grouping, but I've only heard of the Brighid sisters as being named Brighid. Is there any lore or upg that might suggest otherwise?
Maker, though the darkness comes upon me,
I shall embrace the light. I shall weather the storm.
I shall endure.
What you have created, no one can tear asunder.

-Canticle of Trials 1:10

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Shine

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Re: A wild UPG appears! (Sulis and water deities in general)
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2013, 01:46:30 pm »
Quote from: Sage;90794
On a slightly different note, does anyone have a list of the goddesses who may be in the constellation of "possibly Brighid"? It sounds like Sulis and Ffraidd (Whom I've not heard of til now) along with St. Brigit are faces of our Exalted Lady. I might tentatively put the Cailleach as, if not one possible iteration of cold/dark/deep Brighid, then a close deity that in some times and places seemed to form a pair with Her.

 
I, too, would be interested in a list.

I don't know a thing about Brighid-related goddesses, but I just wanted to chime in that Brighid does seem to get around quite a lot in one way or another. Some aspects of Bast give me very strong Brighid vibes. o____o The "Lady of the Stars"/"Brighid of the Forge" threads have been. . . interesting in this regard.

But I guess Bast gets around the world quite a lot as well, being her main theophany is a cat and all.
Leave your darkness with me, and I will make you shine.

Gilbride

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Re: A wild UPG appears! (Sulis and water deities in general)
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2013, 02:04:47 pm »
Quote from: Sage;90794
Ffraidd (Whom I've not heard of til now) along with St. Brigit are faces of our Exalted Lady.


Ffraid is not a separate entity. In Celtic languages, the initial sound of a word can mutate depending on its place in the sentence. Gaelic indicates these sound mutations with lenition, so "Bride" (pron. "Breed" or "Bree-juh") mutates to "Bhride" (pron. "Vreed" or "Vree-juh") in some sentences.

Welsh does the same thing, but the spelling rules are different. So "Saint Bride" in Welsh is written "San Ffraid."

"Ffraid" is just how "Bride" sounds in Welsh when you put the word "San" in front of it.

Gilbride

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Re: A wild UPG appears! (Sulis and water deities in general)
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2013, 02:06:48 pm »
Quote from: Shine;90798
I, too, would be interested in a list.


A list of deities who may be culturally/historically part of the same "goddess family," or who may be expressions of the same cosmic/universal power? Because those might not be the same list.

Shine

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Re: A wild UPG appears! (Sulis and water deities in general)
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2013, 02:20:50 pm »
Quote from: Gilbride;90804
A list of deities who may be culturally/historically part of the same "goddess family," or who may be expressions of the same cosmic/universal power? Because those might not be the same list.

 
Both. The second list would be much, much more difficult (and possibly contentious) to compile, however.

Personally, I'm most interested in the Lady of the Stars/Brighid of the Forge (as spoken of on the archive boards) aspect of all of this, because that's where I see different faces of Bast. Less "of the forge" and more "of the ancestors", though. Haven't quite worked out all the kinks.
Leave your darkness with me, and I will make you shine.

Vale

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Re: A wild UPG appears! (Sulis and water deities in general)
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2013, 02:22:19 pm »
Quote from: Gilbride;90803
F

"Ffraid" is just how "Bride" sounds in Welsh when you put the word "San" in front of it.


Ffraidd is  simply the  Welsh name  for Bridget - pronounced approximately as  fraith.  

My family roots are close to Llanffraidd  (usually translated as St Brides in English) and she is Ffraidd to me.   No mutation required here- the ff is needed to give an f sound in Welsh (a single f is pronounced as the English v)

Aster Breo

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A wild UPG appears! (Sulis and water deities in general)
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2013, 02:55:18 pm »
Quote from: Vale;90806
Ffraidd is  simply the  Welsh name  for Bridget - pronounced approximately as  fraith.  


First, just to clarify (since I was far from clear, I'm afraid):  I mentioned Ffraid not as a totally septate entity from Brighid, but as another name or identity of the same being.  What I meant was that I need learn to about the Welsh stories about Her. Ditto for the Scottish.  I'm afraid I've focused on the Irish (and a little on the British) and left the stories of other cultures much more unexplored -- probably because they're not as easy to find.

That said, I know there might be some differences in how the different cultures view(ed) Her.  For example, in some of the Scottish stories, Brighid is closely connected to the Cailleach, and possibly IS the Cailleach.  I'm not familiar enough with Ffraid (or Saint Ffraid) to know if there is that sort of nuance that is different from the Irish lore.  That's why I need to learn about Ffraid.

About the Cailleach:  I personally have never been able to connect to Her.  That makes me think that She is not, actually as closely related to Brighid (to "*my*" Brighid, anyway) as the stories suggest.

Bast is a goddess I've been interested in for a long time.  I agree that there is a possibility of a (strong) link to Brighid.  Bast is another one I need to learn about.  I'd be very interested in exploring that with folks here.

I'm also interested in Who would be on a list of Brighid's "Sisters" or goddesses related to Brighid.  My version of the list includes:  

as sure as I can be: Sulis, Danu

probably:  Aine, Vesta, Hestia, Suale, Sunna (again: I need more exploration)

possibly: Bast, Cybele, Inanna, Nut, Ishtar, Isis, Sophia

I'm sure there are others I don't know about or haven't thought of right now.  I'm very interested to see who other people put on the list.

There's also the question of gender and whether there are any gods who are closely linked to Brighid.  To me, Brighid's energy is definitely female.  But I suspect that is simply the way I, personally, experience it -- the way Brighid is most accessible to me.  However, I believe Brighid is a Force beyond gender, which means that "She" likely includes some personas we have labeled "gods".

Thoughts?

~ Aster
"The status is not quo."  ~ Dr. Horrible

Sage

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Re: A wild UPG appears! (Sulis and water deities in general)
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2013, 03:16:52 pm »
Quote from: Aster Breo;90811
First, just to clarify (since I was far from clear, I'm afraid):  I mentioned Ffraid not as a totally septate entity from Brighid, but as another name or identity of the same being.  What I meant was that I need learn to about the Welsh stories about Her. Ditto for the Scottish.  I'm afraid I've focused on the Irish (and a little on the British) and left the stories of other cultures much more unexplored -- probably because they're not as easy to find.


@_@ And all this time I thought Brighid didn't have a Welsh counterpart! (Which is strange given that she shows up in many other Celtic cultures.) You really do learn something new every day.

Quote
That said, I know there might be some differences in how the different cultures view(ed) Her.  For example, in some of the Scottish stories, Brighid is closely connected to the Cailleach, and possibly IS the Cailleach.  I'm not familiar enough with Ffraid (or Saint Ffraid) to know if there is that sort of nuance that is different from the Irish lore.  That's why I need to learn about Ffraid.


Do you focus on a particular culture when researching Brighid (Irish vs Scottish, f'ex)?

Quote

as sure as I can be: Sulis, Danu


I'd love to hear more of your experiences/UPG/research on Brighid and Danu. When the LotS thing was going on back in 2010, I had a strange trinity going on between Brighid, Danu, and tM as goddesses/Forces who had some pretty slippery identities. All of that was UPG, and partially an attempt on my part to reconcile the fact Brighid is said to be a daughter of either Danu or tM in different myths.

Quote
probably:  Aine, Vesta, Hestia, Suale, Sunna (again: I need more exploration)


I don't know Suale, but I can definitely see Aine and Sunna in this group. (I keep thinking "constellation" as this type of grouping, tbh.)

Quote
possibly: Bast, Cybele, Inanna, Nut, Ishtar, Isis, Sophia


Possibly, instead of "these gals are definitely in the group, these gals might possibly be", you might be talking about different levels or strengths of association? For example, Sulis to you is Brighid, Sunna is a close relative, Bast is further away in relation but still related due to similar purviews? (Or did I just put words in your mouth?)

Quote
I'm sure there are others I don't know about or haven't thought of right now.  I'm very interested to see who other people put on the list.


Do you consider Brigantia to be covered under Brighid's name, or do you consider Her to be separate?

Also, I think I can grok Athena as being a close relative. Women's interests, justice (particularly related to law and equality), warfare, healing, and some solar/light aspects. (I'm thinking of Athena's epithet as Glaukopis, grey/flashing-eyed, though maybe that's a stretch.)
Maker, though the darkness comes upon me,
I shall embrace the light. I shall weather the storm.
I shall endure.
What you have created, no one can tear asunder.

-Canticle of Trials 1:10

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Friday Otherfaith Blogging: last updated 2/27
Join the Emboatening Crew over on Kiva! Emboatening the boatless since Opet 2013.

Shine

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Re: A wild UPG appears! (Sulis and water deities in general)
« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2013, 03:26:47 pm »
Quote from: Aster Breo;90811
Bast is a goddess I've been interested in for a long time.  I agree that there is a possibility of a (strong) link to Brighid.  Bast is another one I need to learn about.  I'd be very interested in exploring that with folks here.


*raises hand* Oh, oh! Can I join in? :ange: Like I said, there are some aspects of Bast that give off major Brighid vibes. I think it's less "these two are sisters/the same" and more "these two have similar work".

When talking about Bast's Eye of Ra aspects, I don't know how much of Brighid is there. When talking about Bast's gentler aspects--especially those that might be related to stars, at least via UPG--that's when I  get hints of Brighid.

Quote
I'm also interested in Who would be on a list of Brighid's "Sisters" or goddesses related to Brighid.  My version of the list includes:  

as sure as I can be: Sulis, Danu

probably:  Aine, Vesta, Hestia, Suale, Sunna (again: I need more exploration)

possibly: Bast, Cybele, Inanna, Nut, Ishtar, Isis, Sophia


Nut and Isis (I wouldn't agree with the inclusion of Aset) are interesting inclusions. I don't have any experience with Isis, just a little with Aset, but Nut. . . maybe. If you see her as a manifestation of the sky I'm not sure how well that'd fit in with Brighid. If you see Nut as a manifestation of the Milky Way, then maybe? I'll be honest and say I know the bare minimum about Brighid. She's a goddess I need to read about over the next few days.

Quote
There's also the question of gender and whether there are any gods who are closely linked to Brighid.  To me, Brighid's energy is definitely female.  But I suspect that is simply the way I, personally, experience it -- the way Brighid is most accessible to me.  However, I believe Brighid is a Force beyond gender, which means that "She" likely includes some personas we have labeled "gods".

Thoughts?


One avenue you might is explore is "duality made into unity" whole. Take, for example, the yin-yang symbol. It combines the apparent opposites of male-female, light-dark, etc into one symbol, in which it becomes apparent that the duality is a unity.

I'm not one hundred percent sure how you'd apply this to Brighid, though.

It's also possible for deities, being beyond the constraints of our "mortal reality", to be both male and female. For example, in Kemetic mythology, many solar deities (but especially Atum and Aten) can be thought of as "mother-father". Akhenaten called the Aten by this phrase, actually. While I can't remember if Atum received the same title, he was sometimes shown in iconography as a male with female breasts. Something to think about.
Leave your darkness with me, and I will make you shine.

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