Author Interview Linnea Tanner ManyBooks

Author Interview Linnea Tanner on ManyBooks

I am pleased and honored to reblog “Linnea Tanner – Fascinated with Ancient Rome and Britannia,” posted 27th of March, 2020 by Naomi Bolton and featured on ManyBooks Author of the Day. The interview provides insight into what inspired me to write Dagger’s Destiny (Book 2 Curse of Clansmen and Kings). In conjunction with the interview, the price of Dagger’s Destiny has been reduced to 99 cents through March 31st.

For the original post, click Interview ManyBooks

 

tanner2
Award-winning Author Linnea Tanner weaves Celtic tales of love, magic, adventure, betrayal, and intrigue into historical fiction set in Ancient Rome and Britannia. Since childhood, she has passionately read about ancient civilizations and mythology which held women in higher esteem. Of particular interest are the enigmatic Celts who were reputed as fierce warriors and mystical Druids. Depending on the time of day and season of the year, you will find her exploring and researching ancient and medieval history, mythology and archaeology to support her writing. As the author of the Curse of Clansmen and Kings series, she has extensively researched and traveled to sites described within each book. A native of Colorado, Linnea attended the University of Colorado and earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemistry. She lives in Windsor with her husband and has two children and six grandchildren. As our Author of the Day, Tanner tells us all about her book, Dagger’s Destiny.

Please give us a short introduction to what Dagger’s Destiny is about.

Dagger’s Destiny continues the story of Catrin, a Celtic warrior princess, and Marcellus, the great-grandson of Mark Antony, that began with the first awarding-winning novel, Apollo’s Raven, in The Curse of Clansmen and Kings series. Book 2: Dagger’s Destiny sweeps you into an epic Celtic tale of forbidden love, mythological adventure, and political intrigue in Ancient Rome and Britannia.

When the story begins, war looms over 24 AD Britannia where rival tribal rulers fight each other for power and the Romans threaten to invade to settle their political differences. King Amren accuses his daughter, Catrin, of treason for aiding the Roman enemy and her lover, Marcellus. The ultimate punishment is death unless she can redeem herself and prove her loyalty by forsaking Marcellus and defending their kingdom. Yet, when Catrin again reunites with Marcellus, she is torn between her love for him and duty to her people.

What inspired you to write about a Celtic princess accused of treason?

The choice of love versus duty is a universal theme that has fascinated me in such stories as Mark Antony and Cleopatra and Juliet and Romeo. I explore this theme in Dagger’s Destiny in which both a king and his daughter struggle to balance love and duty. Beginning in Dagger’s Destiny, Catrin faces consequences for saving her enemy lover, Marcellus, in a prisoner exchange that erupted into a conflict between her people and the Romans.

King Amren, who was seriously wounded in the conflict, accuses Catrin of treason for betraying him and his people. It is his duty as king to administer the same punishment to his beloved daughter as he would exact on any traitor in his kingdom. Ultimately, King Amren also faces ramifications for his brutality as king to maintain power while his daughter sacrifices almost everything for love. The struggle to balance love and duty will continue to be a theme throughout the series.

Why Ancient Rome and Britannia? Where does your fascination with this time period come from?

Since childhood, I’ve been fascinated with Ancient Rome after watching 1960’s movies such as Ben Hur and Spartacus and reading ancient history. Although the Roman empire was often depicted as corrupt and debauched, its culture and language left a lasting impact on modern-day western civilization.

On a business trip to the United Kingdom, I was fascinated by the statue of Boudicca, a warrior queen, and her daughters in a chariot. I learned that this formidable Celtic queen united the tribes in ancient Britain to rebel against the Romans. And she almost succeeded!

I became intrigued by the Celts and discovered they also had a lasting impact. During their golden age in 200-300 BC, the Celts spread from Ireland, across Europe, and to Turkey. They were a tribal, warrior society with oral traditions and a common language.

How much research did this book require from you? What is the most interesting aspect of this research?

I extensively researched Roman and Celtic history and visited archaeological sites in the United Kingdom and France. The research on the Celts was the most challenging as they left limited written records. Their history was told through the eyes of their enemies: Julius Caesar and Greek and Roman historians. Monks in medieval monasteries wrote down stories from oral Celtic traditions in Wales and Ireland, but the stories often reflected their Christian values.

One of the most interesting aspect of my research is reading about archaeological evidence that puts a different spin on the Roman conquest of Britannia in 43 AD. Evidence suggests the Roman heavily influenced the politics of British kings after the military excursions of Julius Caesar in 55-54 BC. There was probably a Roman military presence in Britannia to protect their interests and pro-Roman kings prior to Claudius’s conquest in 43 AD. The political situation was not much different than Cleopatra’s Egypt.

This is Book 2 in the Curse of Clansmen and Kings series. Can it be read as a standalone?

Although there is sufficient background information so Dagger’s Destiny can be read as a standalone, it would be helpful to read Apollo’s Raven first for the background on how the story begins.

Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?

I am an avid gardener. Last year, I grew cantaloupes up to 10 pounds. I also have about 80 roses which I constantly prune and fertilize during the growing season.

Tell us more about the cover and how it came about.

The cover represents Catrin’s struggle to forsake Marcellus so she can accept her duty as a warrior to defend her kingdom. In the background, her homeland is ablaze and in conflict—a consequence of her forbidden love. A curse she tries to break is etched on the dagger in her hand.

Why did you find it important to weave mythological references and mystical experiences into the story?

In the beginning, the Curse of Clansmen and Kings series was intended to be a historical fiction with elements of Celtic religion sprinkled in. However, I couldn’t truly tell Catrin’s story without weaving in her mystical experiences to reflect her culture and pagan beliefs. One of the aspects I found most interesting about the Celts is their belief that the soul is immortal and, upon death, enters into a new body. Celtic artwork reflects how gods or semi-divine shapeshift to appear as animals, a recurring theme in Irish and Welsh mythology. Merlin’s mystical powers from King Arthur legends reflect this Celtic pagan belief. I freely use the concept of the soul to explain Catrin’s shapeshifting abilities and how she views the world.

Tell us more about Catrin. What makes her tick?

Catrin is a strong-minded adolescent fraught with conflicting emotions about her mystical powers that she can’t seem to control and her struggle to do her duty despite her overwhelming blind love for Marcellus. In the eyes of her people, she is a fool. Yet, despite her challenges, she rises above them, even when she is knocked down.

What is your favorite line from this book? Please explain why.

This was a difficult question to answer, but I finally chose a line near the ending: “Pull the dagger out of the stone and embrace my curse as your destiny.” This line is intended as a metaphor that a person’s character is tested by fire and cast into stone as a weapon to overcome life’s challenges and to fulfill his or her destiny.

The book contains quite a couple of twists. Did you plan them all out before you started writing?

Ideas for twists often bubbles up during periods of writer’s block. It is a signal that my plot is not working, and I need to do something different. It is as if the characters in my head are telling me to get out of the way and allow them to tell the story.

What are you working on right now?

I’m now working on Book 4: Skull’s Vengeance in the Curse of Clansmen and Kings series. Although this book has been drafted for a few years, I’m changing the storyline because of unexpected twists in Book 3: Amulet’s Rapture. The epic series continues to evolve as I edit and revise.

Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?

Readers can discover more of my work at the websites below:

Author website

Amazon author page

Goodreads author page

Readers can interact with me through social media provided below:

Bookbub

Twitter

Facebook

Linked-in

Message from LInnea Tanner

My heart extends out to everyone during this difficult time, particularly those directly impacted by COVID-19. The health professionals on the front lines are the true heroes during this crisis. Please keep well and practice social distancing to help defeat this pandemic. I am truly grateful to the readers who have supported me as an author.

Take care,
Linnea Tanner

 

Upcoming Events NY Book Expo America and Denver Pop Culture

Upcoming Events and Awards

I’m excited to announce that I’ll be signing my books in the Curse of Clansmen and Kings series at the following events this week: 1) Book Expo America in New York City and 2) Denver Pop Culture. If you plan to attend these events, please drop by and say hi.

Book Expo America in New York City

My first event this week is the Book Expo America (BEA) at the Javitz Center in New York City on May 29 through May 30. Book Expo is where authors, booksellers, distributors, librarians, literary agents, publishers and more unite to build relationships, learn ways to bolster books, and to understand today’s shifting marketplace. The event focuses on the global publishing industry and celebrates storytelling in all its forms.

While there, I’ll be signing free copies of my latest book, Dagger’s Destiny, at Booth 1003 (Ingram Pavillion) from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 29th.  Book supplies will be limited. I’ll be available to speak with book buyers, librarians, the press, and readers at the booth. Drop by and say hi.

For more information about the event, click Book Expo America.

Denver Pop Culture

My next event this week is the 2019 Denver Pop Culture Con at the Colorado Convention Center in downtown Denver at 700 14th Street on May 30 – June 2. This is a 3-day, family-friendly pop culture fan extravaganza, featuring the best in pop culture entertainment. Denver Pop Culture Con is a program of the Colorado nonprofit Pop Culture Classroom, whose mission is to inspire a love of learning, to increase literacy, celebrate diversity and build community through pop culture education. The proceeds from this annual event benefit Pop Culture Classroom’s overall educational endeavors.

Come and meet Colorado authors from the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, including myself. You can get my signed books of Book 1: Apollo’s Raven and Book 2: Dagger’s Destiny in the Curse of Clansmen and Kings at a discount. I’ll be at Table 19 along with authors Brenda Hardwick and Dacia Arnold.

Location:
Colorado Convention Center
700 14th Street
Denver, CO

Hours:
Friday, May 30 – Sunday, June 2
Friday and Saturday, 10 am – 7 pm
Sunday, 10 am – 6 pm

For more information about the event, click Pop Culture Denver

Book Awards Dagger’s Destiny

I’m honored to announce that Book 2 of the Curse of Clansmen and Kings Series, Dagger’s Destiny, has won the following awards in both the genres of historical fiction and fantasy.

Dagger’s Destiny sweeps you into an epic tale of forbidden love, mythological adventure, and political intrigue in Ancient Rome and Britannia. The story of Catrin, daughter of King Amren, and King Amren’s sworn enemy Marcellus, who through a wicked twist of fate has become Catrin’s lover. Catrin must prove her loyalty to her father by forsaking Marcellus and defending her kingdom—even if it could ultimately mean her death.

 

Thank you for your continued support.

Best Wishes,
Linnea Tanner

SFF Bonanza 99 Cent Deal and Cover Reveal Amulet’s Rapture

SFF Book Bonanza

For those who love to read science fiction and fantasy, check out the SFF Bonanza 99c Promo this week (18 – 24 March) in which you have close to 40 books to select from. As part of this promotion, Apollo’s Raven has been reduced to 99 cents at Amazon, Barnes&Noble, Kobo, Apple Books, and Google Play. Click on the image to check out the wide assortment of books  offered at 99 cents for a limited time.

 

 

Cover Reveal Amulet’s Rapture

I am thrilled to reveal the book cover for Amulet’s Destiny (Book 3: Curse of Clansmen and Kings) that is anticipated to be released in late fall of this year. This book will focus on the relationship of Marcellus and Catrin as they continue their epic journey together in Gaul and Rome. As the book gets closer to release, more information will be provided on how to pre-order. Subscribers to my newsletter will have a chance to win an advance copy of the book before its release.

Please share your comments on what you think of the book cover.

Amulet’s Rapture Book Cover

 

Synopsis Amulet’s Rapture

 

Blood stains her Celtic home and kingdom.
The warrior Druid Princess will do anything to retake her kingdom.

Although Catrin is the rightful heir to the Celtic throne in Britannia, she is lucky to be alive. After witnessing the slaughter of her family at the hands of her half-brother, who was aided by the Romans, she is enslaved by a Roman commander. He disguises her as a boy in the Roman Legion with the belief that she is an oracle of Apollo and can foretell his future. The sole bright spot in her miserable new life is her forbidden lover Marcellus, the great-grandson of the famed Roman General Mark Antony.

But Marcellus has been wounded and his memories of Catrin and their secret marriage were erased by a dark Druidess. Though Marcellus reunites with Catrin in Gaul and becomes her ally as she struggles to survive the brutality of her Roman master, he questions the legitimacy of their marriage and hesitates to help her escape and retake her throne. If their forbidden love and alliance are discovered, her dream of returning to her Celtic home with Marcellus will be shattered.

InD’tale Book Review

I’m honored to share the review of Dagger’s Destiny that was recently posted in the InD’Tale Magazine. Dagger’s Destiny received 5 of 5 stars and was recognized as a “Crowned Heart” book for excellence. An excerpt from the review is as follows: “Dagger’s Destiny is historical fantasy at its finest, and a must read for anyone who enjoys history involving Ancient Rome.”

Click on the book cover below to see the full review and to take a look at this great magazine.

 


Thank you for your continued support.

Best wishes,
Linnea Tanner

Linnea Tanner, Author, Curse of Clansmen and King Series

Dagger’s Destiny Released by Linnea Tanner

DAGGER’S DESTINY Released by Linnea Tanner Released on September 26, 2018

Continue the rich and vibrant Celtic tale of forbidden love, magical adventure, and political intrigue in the new book release of DAGGER’S DESTINY (Book 2 in the Curse of Clansmen and Kings Series); launched on September 26. DAGGER’S DESTINY is available as an e-book, a paperback, and an audio-book (coming soon).

Click on links below to purchase:

 

Amazon e-book

Amazon paperback

Barnes&Noble

Kobo

iTunes

Google Play

 

Genre: Historical Fantasy, Fantasy Historical, Myths and Legends



Celtic warrior princess accused of treason for aiding her enemy Roman lover must win back her father’s love and trust

War looms over 24 AD Britannia where rival tribal rulers fight each other for power and the Romans threaten to invade to settle their political differences. King Amren accuses his daughter, Catrin, of treason for aiding the Roman enemy and her lover, Marcellus. The ultimate punishment is death unless she can redeem herself. She must prove loyalty to her father by forsaking Marcellus and defending their kingdom—even to the death. Forged into a warrior, she must overcome tribulations and make the right decisions on her quest to break the curse that foretells her banished half-brother and the Roman Empire will destroy their kingdom.

Yet, when Catrin again reunites with Marcellus, she is torn between her love to him and duty to King Amren. She must face her greatest challenger who could destroy her life, freedom, and humanity.

Will Catrin finally break the ancient prophecy that looms over her kingdom? Will she abandon her forbidden love for Marcellus to win back her father’s trust and love? Can King Amren balance his brutality to maintain power with the love he feels for his daughter.

Editorial Review

“Imbued with both Roman and Celtic traditions, myths and legends, the story draws a contrastive parallel between the two cultures and civilizations. There are memorable scenes such as the brilliant description of the fertility rite meant to validate Marcellus’s claim to kinship and to symbolize his union with the Earth Goddess who bestows rich crops and large livestock. The realism of the story is ensured by the constantly changing network of political alliances and backstabbing; its beauty springs from the wonderfully interwoven mythological references and enlightening mystical experiences.”—OnlineBookClub.org

APOLLO’S RAVEN RELAUNCHED 99 cents at Amazon Limited Time

Award-winning APOLLO’S RAVEN has been relaunched under a new book cover and series title, Curse of Clansmen and Kings. Be sure to take advantage of the BARGAIN price of  99 cents at Amazon for a limited time until October 2, 2018

Genre: Historical Fantasy, Fantasy Historical

New Book Cover Apollo’s Raven

A Celtic warrior princess is torn between her forbidden love for the enemy and duty to her people.

AWARD-WINNING APOLLO’S RAVEN sweeps you into an epic Celtic tale of forbidden love, mythological adventure, and political intrigue in Ancient Rome and Britannia. In 24 AD British kings hand-picked by Rome to rule are fighting each other for power. King Amren’s former queen, a powerful Druid, has cast a curse that Blood Wolf and the Raven will rise and destroy him. The king’s daughter, Catrin, learns to her dismay that she is the Raven and her banished half-brother is Blood Wolf. Trained as a warrior, Catrin must find a way to break the curse, but she is torn between her forbidden love for the enemy and loyalty to her people.  She must summon the magic of the Ancient Druids to alter the dark prophecy that threatens the fates of everyone in her kingdom.

Will Catrin overcome and eradicate the ancient curse? Will she be able to embrace her forbidden love for Marcellus? Will she cease the war between Blood Wolf and King Amren and save her kingdom?

 

Vision of Celtic Warrior Princess Catrin

“If you’re looking for something entertaining with a fast, action-paced rhythm, Apollo’s Raven by Linnea Tanner is a definite must. For a woman who is trying to figure out where she belongs in her world, this tale is relatable to other young women in our timeline who are also trying to figure out where they belong.”—Literary Titan (Gold Book Award)

“Apollo’s Raven is a soaring epic that carries its audience on an adventure full of ancient magic, passionate romance, and political intrigue.” —IndieReader (IndieApproved)

GIVEAWAYS FOR PREFERRED SUBSCRIBERS IN OCTOBER

Be sure to subscribe to my preferred e-mail subscriber list for chances to win an Amazon gift card, Signed First Edition of APOLLO’S RAVEN, and e-books in October. Click SUBSCRIBE

You’ll receive an additional bonus of the first three chapters of Dagger’s Destiny for subscribing 

Thank you for helping me to celebrate the book launch of DAGGER’S DESTINY!

Best wishes,
Linnea Tanner

Websites Merge; Pre-order Dagger’s Destiny

Websites Merge

The link to my author website linneatanner.com has now been merged with this website due to ongoing maintenance issues. Any new updates and blog posts will be posted on this site. I’ll keep everyone informed of new developments for the websites.

All subscribers to my author website will receive a separate newsletter providing additional details.

Dagger’s Destiny Pre-Orders

Exciting news! The release date for Book 2: DAGGER’S DESTINY of the Curse of Clansmen and Kings series has been set for September 26th. In the rich and vibrant epic tale, the story of Catrin and Marcellus continues, which began with the awarding-winning novel of APOLLO’S RAVEN in the Curse of Clansmen and Kings series. You can now pre-order the e-book at the reduced price of $2.99 by clicking on Amazon.

A Celtic warrior princess accused of treason for aiding her enemy Roman lover must win back her father’s love and trust

War looms over 24 AD Britannia where rival tribal rulers fight each other for power and the Romans threaten to invade to settle their political differences. King Amren accuses his daughter, Catrin, of treason for aiding the Roman enemy and her lover, Marcellus. The ultimate punishment is death unless she can redeem herself. She must prove loyalty to her father by forsaking Marcellus and defending their kingdom. Forged into a warrior, she must overcome tribulations and make the right decisions on her quest to break the curse that foretells her banished half-brother and the Roman Empire will destroy their kingdom.

Yet, when Catrin again reunites with Marcellus, she is torn between her love to him and duty to King Amren. She must ultimately face her greatest challenger who could destroy her life, freedom, and humanity.

Will Catrin finally break the ancient prophecy that looms over her kingdom? Will she abandon her forbidden love for Marcellus to win back her father’s trust and love? Can King Amren balance his brutality to maintain power with the love he feels for his daughter?

Relaunch of Apollo’s Raven

The first book, APOLLO’S RAVEN, in the Curse of Clansmen and Kings series will soon be relaunched and widely distributed with a new book cover but with the same epic Celtic tale of forbidden love, mythological adventure, and political intrigue. Special deals and availability of books will soon be announced!

Thanks so much for your continued support and patience with the changes on the websites. Everyone have a lovely week.

Best wishes,
Linnea Tanner

 

Curse of Clansmen and Kings on the Horizon

Curse of Clansmen and Kings on the Horizon

Changes are on the horizon for my epic Celtic series now titled Curse of Clansmen and Kings. Although the award-winning  tale in Book 1: Apollo’s Raven will remain the same, it will premiere a new book cover in the near future that will reflect the heroine journey of the Celtic Warrior Princess Catrin and her relationship with Marcellus—the great-grandfather of Marc Antony. The series will follow the star-crossed lovers whom are partly based on the legacy of Mark Antony and Cleopatra, but with a Celtic twist.

Book 1: Apollo’s Raven Book Cover Reveal

Based on the feedback I’ve received, below is the final front cover for Apollo’s Raven:

Apollo's Raven Front Cover

Newly Revised Apollo’s Raven Book Cover

A Celtic warrior princess is torn between her forbidden love for the enemy and duty to her people.

AWARD-WINNING APOLLO’S RAVEN sweeps you into an epic Celtic tale of forbidden love, mythological adventure, and political intrigue in Ancient Rome and Britannia. In 24 AD British kings hand-picked by Rome to rule are fighting each other for power. King Amren’s former queen, a powerful Druid, has cast a curse that Blood Wolf and the Raven will rise and destroy him. The king’s daughter, Catrin, learns to her dismay that she is the Raven and her banished half-brother is Blood Wolf. Trained as a warrior, Catrin must find a way to break the curse, but she is torn between her forbidden love for her father’s enemy, Marcellus, and loyalty to her people. She must summon the magic of the Ancient Druids to alter the dark prophecy that threatens the fates of everyone in her kingdom.

Will Catrin overcome and eradicate the ancient curse? Will she be able to embrace her forbidden love for Marcellus? Will she cease the war between Blood Wolf and King Amren and save her kingdom?

You will be informed where to purchase APOLLO’S RAVEN with the next cover beginning in August on my website. The availability of the digital books will include more online choices.

Book 2: Dagger’s Destiny Book Cover Reveal

Book 2 in the Curse of Clansmen and Kings series will now be titled DAGGER’S DESTINY. Subscribers will have an opportunity to win free advance copies of this book before it is released to the general public on October 1. The book cover for this book is  shown below. Its theme is in keeping with Book 1: Apollo’s Raven.

Book 2: Dagger’s Destiny Front Cover

A Celtic warrior princess accused of treason for aiding her enemy lover must win back her father’s love and trust.

In the rich and vibrant tale, author Linnea Tanner continues the epic tale of Catrin and Marcellus that began with the award-winning novel APOLLO’S RAVEN in the Curse of Clansmen and Kings Series.

War looms over 24 AD Britannia where rival tribal rulers fight each other for power and the Romans threaten to invade to settle their political differences. King Amren accuses his daughter, Catrin, of treason for aiding the Roman enemy and her lover, Marcellus. The ultimate punishment is death unless she can redeem herself. She must prove loyalty to her father by forsaking Marcellus and defending their kingdom—even to the death. Forged into a warrior, she must overcome tribulations and make the right decisions in her quest to break the curse that foretells her banished half-brother and the Roman Empire will destroy their kingdom.

Yet, when Catrin again reunites with Marcellus, she is torn between her love for him and duty to King Amren. She must ultimately face her greatest challenger that could destroy her life, freedom, and humanity.

Will Catrin finally break the ancient prophecy that looms over her kingdom? Will she abandon her forbidden love for Marcellus to win back her father’s trust and love: Can King Amren balance his brutality to maintain power for the love he feels for his daughter?

You will be informed on where to pre-order DAGGER’S DESTINY beginning in August on this website.

Radio Interview

I am pleased to announce that I was interviewed by Patricia (Pat) J. Rullo—an author, national radio talk show host, and a sought after speaker.  In 2012, Pat teamed up with Salem Media Group to produce a radio talk show based on her book – Speak Up and Stay Alive, the patient advocate hospital survival guide. The radio program became a broadcast success through Salem and other stations across the United States, including iHeart Radio and over 5,000 stations via XDS Cumulus Satellite.

At Speak Up Talk Radio Network, the interview is available on ‘live streaming’ combined with ‘on demand.’ Below are links where you can listen to the interview:

Speakuptalkradio Linnea Tanner Interview

iheart radio podcast Linnea Tanner Interview

Thank you for your continued support and joining me on the heroine mythological journey of Catrin in the Curse of Clansmen and Kings Series.

Best wishes,
Linnea Tanner

Celtic Sovereignty Goddess

Introduction

When I was writing the second book, Dagger’s Destiny, in the renamed series, Curse of Clansmen and Kings, the story went into a direction I had not anticipated. It is based on the concept of the Celtic sovereignty goddess. The goddess associated with the land confers kingship upon a mortal man whom she decides is worthy to rule. The sacred marriage ritual of the sovereignty goddess is hinted in The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley. The mystical Morgaine is chosen as a symbol of the Goddess to sleep with her brother, Arthur, and confer kingship to him.

Below is an overview of some of the mythology and rituals associated with the Celtic sovereignty goddess.

Celtic Sovereignty Goddess 

The idea that the divine female personifies sovereignty is persistent in early Irish mythology. She is the goddess of the land, the spirit or essence of Ireland itself. Fortunes, fertility, and prosperity of her territory depend upon her guardianship. The Celtic sovereignty goddess legitimizes a mortal king by marrying and/or having sex with him. Stone carvings of a divine couple representing the goddess of the land and the mortal king have been found in regions of France, United Kingdom, and Ireland. The goddess often carries a cornucopia, a symbol of abundance. Her male companion often bears a spear, a symbol of protection.

The Celts and Roman venerated the  horse-goddess Epona as a protector of their soldiers and their mounts. She represents the well-being of the tribal land with domestic prosperity and fertility. However, lands must also be protected and defended through warfare. Both Romans and Celts prayed to Epona to protect their horses used in battle.

Epona with Her Horses

The nature of  the Celtic sovereignty goddesses is dynamic and complex. She is responsible for the fertility of the land. In this role, she symbolized sexual promiscuity and polyandry. Her marriage to several successive mortal kings is not the result of unbridled sexual appetite but the need to choose the best consort for the benefit of the realm. Sexual prowess and the ability to shape-shift were also frequently linked. For instance, Morrigan had the power to transform herself into a raven.

Many of the sovereignty war goddesses were represent as triplicate goddesses with different functions. She was first and foremost a goddess of war and destruction, but was also strongly linked with fertility and sovereignty.

Stone-carved Triplicate Goddesses Displayed at Bath

Sacral Kingship

A key aspect to the Irish sovereignty myth was the sacred marriage. It is the ritual union of the goddess of the land with the mortal king. The key element of the sacred marriage—and kingship—was the consummation between the king and the goddess of the territory he was to rule over. The goddess only enters this marriage if the king is suitable, and even after marriage, she can reject a weak ruler in favor of a man who is better suited.

The ritual of the goddess handing the sacred goblet of wine to the king symbolizes his sacred partnership with his kingdom. Their sexual union legitimizes his rule over the land, which should then make the kingdom prosper. The goddess Eriu, after whom Erin (Ireland) is named, gives her mate a golden cup of wine, interpreted by some as symbolic of the sun.

Mebd of Connacht

One of the best known figures in Irish mythology is Medb from the Ulster Cycle. She is a queen-goddess who emerges as the great Connacht leader of the conflict with the neighboring province of Ulster. She is sexually vigorous and a warrior, with the death-dimension seen in the Irish Goddesses Macha and the Morrigan. She emerges as a powerful ruler with substantial wealth and leads her kingdom’s army as a battle-commander in the campaigns against Ulster. Mebd would ride her chariot around the battlefield, encouraging her soldiers. She started quarrels and bribed warriors to take up arms against friends and relatives. She gloried in war, bloodshed, and destruction; she was the essence of death.  She mated with nine kings and allowed no man to rule at the royal court of Tara unless he slept with her.

Celtic Warrior Goddess-Queen in Chariot

Mebd is interpreted as “she who intoxicates,” and is associated with mead. Drinking of liquor emboldens warriors with a fighting temperament and symbolizes the union of the sovereignty goddess with the mortal ruler.  Given the close relationship between inauguration and drinking, part of the king’s inauguration involved his intoxication (at the hands of the goddess, in the process of their marriage). The ritual drunkenness during inauguration opens the king up to an ecstatic state in which he is lifted out of himself in the hope of  contacting with the divine. The drink itself is representative of sovereignty. Accepting the drink being served by the goddess of the land is the same as accepting the kingship.

Conclusion

The Celtic goddesses were guardians and protectors of the land. Much of the power of these goddesses stemmed from their sexuality. Not only was sexual energy linked to fertility and abundance, it was associated with warfare, sovereignty, and healing. These goddesses were powerful entities that embraced the entire religious spectrum: from warfare to healing; from sovereignty to destiny; from creation to destruction. They could be capricious and vengeful but also gentle and benevolent. Their treatment of humans depended on the respect shown to them.

References

  1. Miranda Green, Celtic Goddesses: Warriors, Virgins, and Mothers; British Museum Press, London, 1995.
  2. http://www.juleswatson.com/myth.html

Thank you for your continued support.

 

Best wishes,
Linnea Tanner