I’m thrilled to welcome Christina Phillips here today with her first release from Ellora’s Cave. Christina writes a wickedly hot and sensual tale, and if you like sexy Roman warriors, you won’t want to miss this one! While you’re here make sure you leave a comment to have a chance to win BETRAYED. Over to Christina…
Thank you Shelley for inviting me back to your blog today! I’ve never participated in a Thursday 13 post before, and Shelley suggested I might like to try one. Since BETRAYED, my upcoming release from Ellora’s Cave (my first release from EC and I am So Excited!) involves sexy Roman warriors and magical Druid heroines I thought I would give a run down of 13 of my fave ancient gods and goddesses from the first century AD.
Celtic Gods & Goddesses
1. Annwyn – Not a god but the Otherworld: the Source of the Universal Life Force.
2. The Morrigan – A powerful triple aspect Great Goddess representing the three stages of life: the Maiden, the Mother and the Crone. The Morrigan was also a warrior goddess and could transform into a crow, where she would circle above a battlefield. She was the goddess of death and rebirth – the circle of life.
3. Cerridwen – Goddess of Wisdom and transformation and also associated with the Triad – the Great Goddess in her Mother aspect although sometimes she was worshipped as the Crone. She was the Keeper of the Cauldron (the cauldron representing knowledge and inspiration). Interesting how later the cauldron came to be associated with witches.
4. Blodeuwedd – The Maiden aspect of the Triple Goddess. Also known as Flower Face as she was created from flowers. She represents new beginnings, lunar magick and wisdom.
5. Arianrhod – Goddess of the Moon and weaver of fates. She was a powerful goddess of reincarnation and could shapeshift into an owl, when she could see into the darkness of the human soul.
6. Gwydion – The greatest of the Enchanters, Warrior Magician and God of Illusion. He was also the brother god of Arianrhod.
7. Lugus – God of travelers, Finder of Paths, a champion and historian.
Roman Gods & Goddesses
8. Juno – Queen of the Gods associated with all aspects of a woman’s life, especially married life and childbirth. Protector of the Roman state.
9. Jupiter – King of the Roman gods, river, sky, lightning, thunder; symbol is the Eagle. A legionary known as the Aquilifer was responsible for carrying the eagle standard of a Roman Legion. It was a rallying point for the legionaries in the chaos of battle, a symbol of their power and signified the honor of Rome herself. Losing the Aquila in battle was a great disgrace.
10. Mercury – Guide on the road and in travel; influential in making money and in trade. In the first century BC Caesar noted that of all the gods the Celts of Gallia (Gaul) worshipped, Mercury had the largest number of images. However, it was far more likely that the ancient Celts worshipped Lugus as both gods were depicted as semi-naked youths wearing winged shoes and carrying a distinctive rod with two serpents intertwined.
11. Minerva – Goddess of Wisdom, the learning and arts.
12. Hades – the whole of the Underworld in classical mythology was referred to as Hades, where the spirits of the dead went after their death. There were five regions of Hades, including the River Styx and the heavenly-like Elysium Fields.
13. Tartarus – the fourth region of Hades where the evil spirits would end up in a pit of torment for all eternity.
The Mabinogion, translated by Lady Charlotte Guest. Welsh legends collected in the Red Book of Hergest, a manuscript which is in the library of Oxford University.
Arianrhod’s legend is in the Fourth Branch, Math, the Son of Mathonwy
In 51 A.D., Druid priestess Nimue is injured and enslaved by the hated Roman Legions. Even though she is drawn to her captor, she’s determined to escape and complete her mission for the Briton king and her duty to Arianrhod, the goddess she is bound to.
The tough Roman warrior who captures her is far from the brutal barbarian she expects. His touch inflames her desires and passion burns between them. Though Nimue does not accept her enslavement, her heart surrenders to her enemy. When Arianrhod appears to her in the form of an owl, Nimue knows the union is blessed.
Roman warrior Tacitus is enchanted by the fiery beauty who shows no fear and challenges him at every turn. Though enslaving her goes against his heart, he’s determined to make her his. No woman has ever heated his blood as she does. But when he discovers her true nature as one who actually communes with the gods, his loyalties are torn between his heritage and a woman who could destroy everything he’s ever believed in.
I have an E-copy of BETRAYED to giveaway to one lucky commenter on this post! Just leave a comment or let me know if you have a fave god or goddess and who s/he is (any era, any pantheon!)