Rosmerta, the Great Provider – a Celtic Goddess of Abundance by Judith Shaw


judith Shaw photoAs we near August 2, known to the ancient Celts as Lughnasadh or Lammas, examples of abundance are everywhere.  Gardens and farms are in full bloom with some crops ready for harvest and others very near.  Lambs born in spring are now reaching maturity. Days are still long and we are full of energy. It is a perfect time to remember the Celtic Goddess, Rosmerta.

Rosmerta,  a goddess loved by both Celtic and Roman Gauls was known as ”The Great Provider”. She is a goddess of fertility and wealth. She was worshipped in South-western Britain, Gaul, and along the Rhone and the Rhine rivers.

Rosmerta, Celtic Goddess painting by Judith ShawAfter the region was conquered by Rome, Rosmerta was incorporated into the Roman pantheon, becoming associated with Mercury.  Though She has been called Mercury’s consort there is no evidence that was the nature of their relationship.  She survived in the Roman era as a powerful goddess in Her own right, being depicted alone many times.  Alone and with Mercury, She carries a cornucopia and a basket of fruit, symbols of abundance.   A giving goddess, She was often shown with a patera, a ritual offering bowl, and with a ladle or scepter.

Rosmerta has a unique attribute which has been difficult to decipher.  Marian Green suggests that this attribute is a butter churn.  In lands where cattle is wealth one would expect milk to be an important part of the economy and of religious ritual.  It is not hard to imagine a link between Rosmerta’s butter churn and the magic cauldrons found so often in Celtic mythology.   Both are sources of plenty and transformation.

In addition Rosmerta was often depicted with the caduceus, Mercury’s wand with two entwined snakes.  The caduceus is associated with healing, making Rosmerta a healing goddess also.   A bronze statue of Her from Haute-Savoie, a department in the Rhône-Alpes region of eastern France, shows Her sitting on a rock holding a purse with the wings of Mercury on Her head.  Rosmerta with a purse suggests that she also bestowed abundance in the form of money.  It seems that Rosmerta was able to not only share but also to appropriate Mercury’s powers.

Call on Rosmerta for help with material well-being –  sales for your business,  a raise at your job, finding a job and financial investments are all things with which She can help. Rosmerta will also help with the abundance we need from Mother Earth.  In these days of crazy weather events which affect our ability as a species to grow and harvest crops call on Rosmerta to help us all maintain an abundant supply of food.   Her powers of fertility and abundance, combined with Her healing skills makes Her a perfect Goddess to call on to heal our world and bring us to a state of harmony and abundance.

Rosmerta and Mercury
rosmertaRosmerta and Mercury

Sources: http://earthandstarryheaven.com/2015/02/14/rosmerta/, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosmerta, http://www.deomercurio.be/en/rosmertae.html, http://www.joellessacredgrove.com/Celtic/deitiesr-s.html, https://inanna.virtualave.net/celtic.html

Update – Judith’s deck of Celtic Goddess Oracle Cards is ready for publication and will begin shipment by the end of November.  Her Celtic-Goddess-Oracle-cards-by-judith-shawcrowdfunding campaign was successful, ending on 10.19.17 at 120% funded.  You can still  Pre-order your deck on Judith’s website. Bring the wisdom of the Celtic Goddesses into the world.

Judith Shaw, a graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute, has been interested in myth, culture and mystical studies all her life.  Not long after graduating from SFAI, while living in Greece, Judith began exploring the Goddess in her artwork.  She continues to be inspired by the Divine Feminine in all of Her manifestations. Originally from New Orleans, Judith now makes her home in New Mexico where she paints and teaches part-time.  She is currently hard at work on a deck of Goddess cards. Her work, which expresses her belief in the interconnectedness of all life, can be seen on her website.

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Categories: Art, Goddess, Goddess Spirituality, Paganism

Tags: , , ,

15 replies

  1. Thank you for introducing me to Rosmerta! I had not met her. I will definitely call on her. Today is also Mary Magdalen’s feast day. The Maeve Chronicles, featuring a Celtic Magdalen, just came out as audiobooks. Rosmerta thank you for your help and being a feminine Celtic Mercury, you may be especially able to help me figure out all the electronic aspects of promotion which at the moment have my mind boggled. Your portrait is gorgeous. I love all Judith’s work. Inspiring.

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    • Elizabeth, thanks for the info about Mary Magdalene. Is her feast day celebrated in Ireland? And what a great prayer to Rosmerta. I did not snap to the Mercury retrograde effect and how She might be able to help with that.
      Congratulations on the release of the audiobook version of the Maeve Chronicles. I assume the written version is available on Kindle? I believe my Kindle needs those Chronicles.

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  2. Thanks for writing this about Rosmerta. Most of us know about the Greek, Roman, and Norse pantheons, but the deities of Middle Europe, Germany, and the Celtic regions are less well known. I wonder if that’s because we used to study Greek and Latin in school, but who has ever studied Gaelic outside the Celtic parts of Europe? These Celtic deities are as powerful and beautiful as any on the planet. Thanks again for the introduction. Brava!

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    • Barbara, I’ve wondered the same thing myself, not only about our lack of knowledge of the Celtic deities but also a certain attitude toward the Celts which focuses on their violence. Perhaps this is a way of regarding them as “less-than” (as if they were the only ancient people- or modern people – who practiced violence).

      I’ve recently learned that in 7th century Ireland, under the Brehon Laws, women had more rights and protection than any other Western law code at the time or until recent times. Women could be political leaders, warriors, physicians, poets, artisans, lawyers and judges. Maybe that’s why we see some of the Goddesses take on military aspects more often seen in Gods in other traditions.

      Thanks again for reading.

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  3. Your symbols of abundance work well with all that wonderful golden sunlight in your painting, thanks so much, Judith. There might be a connection of the light with the triple spiral on Rosmerta’s dress, that is, as a Celtic emblem. I saw a photo of the triple spiral, recently at Newgrange in Ireland (dates back to about 3000 BCE). Apparently, at the time of the winter solstice, the rising sun shines directly through a long passage there, illuminating the inner chamber and revealing the carvings inside, including the large, triple spiral on the front wall of the chamber, a celebration perhaps of enlightenment and rebirth.

    However, any symbol is in itself a form of abundance, as Emily Dickinson says:

    “Emblem is immeasurable —
    that is why it is better than fulfillment,
    which can be drained.”

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    • Sarah, A great thought, connecting the triple spiral to the light and to abundance – I so love the way others find things in my painting which I was not aware of consciously. That’s a great Dickinson quote!

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  4. Judith, the image included with your post is just beautiful. Did you use watercolor or acrylic? I love the symbolism included and can see the influence of magic, myth and mysticism in your work – well done!

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    • Jessica,
      My series of Celtic Goddess paintings are all done using gouache (a water-based paint which is opaque) on paper. They are all 12″x6″ so that I can turn them into a deck of oracle cards. Much of my work is done with oil on canvas but since I am attempting to do one of these Celtic Goddess paintings a month I need to work them quicker – which never happens for me when working in oil.

      Glad you like my image of Rosmerta. Yep – magic, myth and mysticims – that about sums it up.

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      • Well – that’s just awesome! I’m working on a PhD in transformative studies – looking at the intersection between the process of making art and the pursuit of spirituality through the feminist lens. As I get closer to dissertation writing I may contact you to be interviewed if interested.

        A goddess deck sounds just awesome and just what the world needs! Best wishes and lots of sparkly blessings to you.

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      • Jessica, Congratulations on your huge PhD undertaking. You are welcome to contact me when you are ready. I recently was interviewed for another PHD student working on her dissertation about art and ecofeminism. Glad to participate.

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  5. Lovely post, Judith. Thank you:-)

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  6. I’m from Africa,
    I’m just hearing about Rosmerta for the first time, i will someone there to put me through on how to get impacted from Rosmerta blessings.
    I have a lots of financial challenges which I the assistance of the goddess of favor and providers yo intervene.

    Yours
    Folly.

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    • I’m sorry to hear about your financial challenges. I believe the main thing the Goddess can provide is inner strength to carry one through the difficulties of life. Our world continues along with extreme difficulties – the Goddess reminds us that peace and prosperity is possible and helps us to keep our minds and our souls focused on that instead of focusing so intently on the lack we are experiencing. I also have serious financial challenges and that focus helps to keep me from freaking out, helps to keep me believing that prosperity is possible.

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