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Nature Spirits

54 55 The greaT goddeSS the many faces of mother nature Mother goddesses have been worshipped from the time of the earliest civilisations, giving birth, as they do, to the Earth and all of nature. Gaea, Demeter and Rhea to the ancient Greeks, Ishtar in Babylon, Isis in Egypt, associated with the Earth, the Moon, Sun, and all the elements, the great goddess has many faces, the common thread being her divine feminine nature, and her fertility. She embodies all stages of womanhood, as well as all aspects of nature, plants, animals and the Earth itself. The mother goddess is equally welcoming to all, and is still worshipped today in many forms, despite her widespread overthrow by numerous patriarchal systems. She is called upon with songs and offerings, and contact with her always has profound effects, especially on women. In England she is known as Britannia, who gave her name to Britain and as Sil of Silbury the Harvest Hill she is the ever pregnant goddess of the land, a goddess of abundance and harvests, her round belly and breasts forming the curves of the land. In Wales, the ancient mother goddess was known as Modron, meaning simply mother, becoming Matrona to the later Celts. She was also known as Andraste, the protectress of the Iceni tribe, as invoked by Boudicca against the Romans. In Ireland she is Danu, Eriu and Flidais, the goddess of the woodlands, who rides a chariot drawn by deer, a hunter goddess like Diana and Artemis. As Boan, the cow goddess, she grants fertility and is goddess of the river Boyne. Goddesses are often associated with water as well as earth, for water is the prerequisite of life itself. As the Earth, her body is shaped by mountains and rolling hills, so rivers and oceans are her lifeblood, and the fertile soil, her womb, endlessly births life itself.
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