When I started the ADF training there was a section on choosing your hearth deities. While my workings with Brighid have always been constant, I felt I needed to find some dieties that balanced me out. I couldn’t have just one, as incredible and watchful as my Brighid is. My pagan OCD demanded 3 😉 Brighid is often depicted as a triple goddess, with Smith, Healer, and hearth-maker being shown.
Brighid is my healing mother. I’ve always connected with her water/spring aspects and I asked for her blessings when applying to massage school. I began to think about the Smithing aspect and how that relates to horses. Those who know me know I’ve loved horses my entire life-what could be more perfect than honoring Epona (Rhiannon) in my hearth as well. So she became my Smith/hearth maker. Diana (Artemis) has become my hearth-maker/huntress. My draw to her has also been lifelong and as an archer I feel drawn to her.
The goddesses of my hearth do no all rest in one culture but have been carried by those in the Gaulish/Celtic/Roman hearts for some time. The fact that they are not easily pinned to one location and that they were all loved so deeply that they transcended culture, time, and religions is very appealing to me.
I commissioned Evren on a whim to paint something for me a couple years ago and after a brief initial consult there wasn’t a lot of communication about what I thought. As Evren is pagan as well I wasn’t too worried that he would do these women justice.
This painting is EVERYTHING, everything I’d imagined it would be. My Epona’s attitude, her bounty and blessings and horses behind her, I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect tribute. Below are the photos and the gratitude ritual I did for Evren’s beautiful gift.
This ritual was constructed around The Solitary Druid Fellowship’s All purpose simple liturgy: An all-purpose, abbreviated liturgy for use at any occasion where a brief ritual is called for.
I am one and we are many. Fellowship, in solitude. May all that hinders me be released, May all that binds me be released, May the outdwellers of my heart Be released, That I may be made pure. Earth Mother, I call upon you. Bless this rite. I come to pray with a good fire. I come to honor the Gods.
Specifically my dear Epona, with roses, oats and apples I come to give gratitude for her gift of companionship and presence to my sweet Evren.
I stand with the strength of an Oak. I move with the grace of the Willow. I reach deep into earth, High towards the sun, And within my being, I am still.
Here at the center of all things, Before the Fire, Well, & Sacred Tree, I create the hallows.
Fox, I call on you and ask that you be with me in this place, and I make to you an offering of this egg. May you receive it in warmth of heart and gratitude.
Take this [candle], and transform it. Let it become the Sacred Fire, gateway to the heavens; gateway for the Shining Ones. Fox, make this fire a gate!
Take this [water], and transform it. Let it become the Sacred Well, gateway to the underworld; gateway for the Ancestors. Fox, make this water a gate!
Take this [wood], and transform it. Let it become the Sacred Tree, connecting heavens and underworld, standing as a gateway in the midearth; a gateway for the Spirits of the Land.
Fox, make this wood a gate!
Through your power and magic, sweet Sionnach… Let the gates be open!
Mighty Kindred, come close, that you might hear my praise and receive my offerings. I stand before the Sacred Fire, At the Center of All Things, And lift up this oil. Shining Ones, accept my sacrifice!
I stand before the Sacred Well, at the Center of All Things, and lift up this Whiskey. Ancestors, accept my sacrifice!
I stand before the Sacred Tree, at the Center of All Things, and lift up this Bread. Nature Spirits, accept my sacrifice!
Epona, I stand before these sacred Hallows, at the center of all things and lift up this refreshing water, these strong oats, sweet apples and beautiful roses. Epona accept my sacrifice and praise. Thank you for aiding Evren in his depiction of you. For watching over him while he was a far. For sheltering and comforting him and his loved ones. Thank you for showing your self to him and his dear spirits, ancestors, and blessed kin. Thank you for witnessing his strength, transformation and talent.
This painting will be with me for always as my vision of you, my reminder of your courage, vitality, and wisdom. For your presence and guidance in my life…for your warm embrace, your sweet company and lessons, I am grateful. May I always know the comforting smell of hay, oats, and leather and always hold your name in my mouth. May I always know the sight of high mountains, beautiful fields, and peaceful rivers and always see your face in my reflection. May I always know the feel of warm withers, soft breath, and steady pace of strong hooves under me and feel your influence on my life.
May I always remember: The hooves of horses! Oh! witching and sweet Is the music earth steals from the iron-shod feet; No whisper of lover, no trilling of bird, Can stir me as much as hooves of horses Have stirred.
Mighty Kindred, You have heard my praise And seen the evidence of my devotion. With this final offering I lift up my heart, my being, As a sign of my commitment to you. Mighty Kindred, accept my sacrifice! [pour apple cider onto ground and into cup]
[Take omen.]I received the 8 of wands, G the 4 of wands and E received the rebirth card. More on these omens later!
Mighty Kindred, I am open to your blessing. I receive the gifts you offer. May your generosity fill my body. * Into my being, I accept the blessings of The Kindred. * [drink]The blessings are received, Into my body and spirit. I have reaffirmed my relationship With the world, and with the Kindred.
I have prayed with a good fire. I have made offerings to the Kindred, And I have received their blessings.
Now, I give thanks.
To Epona, I give thanks. I thank you for your joining me on this Day, for receiving my offerings, And for your great generosity. I am blessed to be in relationship With you. [turn offering bowl into river]
Nature Spirits, I give thanks. I thank you for your joining me on this Day, for receiving my offerings, And for your great generosity. I am blessed to be in relationship With you.[turn excess bread into river]
Ancestors, I give thanks. I thank you for your joining me on this Day, for receiving my offerings, And for your great generosity. I am blessed to be in relationship With you. [turn excess whiskey into river]
Gods and Dear Spirits, I give thanks. I thank you for your joining me on this Day, for receiving my offerings, And for your great generosity. I am blessed to be in relationship With you. [turn excess oil into river]
Dear Fox, I give thanks to you for aiding me in this rite. I ask now that you undo what you have done. * LET THE GATES BE CLOSED!
Earth Mother, I give thanks to you. May we keep you In our minds and hearts, And may we honor you in every action.
I am one and we are many. Fellowship, in solitude. It is done!