Ériu – Celtic Goddess of Ireland
Ériu is the sovereign Celtic Goddess of Ireland. She is not a ruler or a queen of Ireland but rather she is Ireland or at least the land that makes up Ireland; and, in a sense, she is the heart of Ireland. Gaia, the Greek mother of all life in some aspects has similarities to her. Both of them are the land, the soil, and the earth; and both are mother goddesses. In a way, they both bring the same feel of warmth into the hearth and home. However Gaia in many ways is singular. In Greek mythology she was the beginning and the mother of all life. Ériu has a mother, father, sisters, brothers and children. She had to find herself a place in the world. Two of her sisters, Banba, Fotla (also spelt Fodla), and Ériu are a triad; she and her sisters represent sovereignty.
Banba, Fotla and Ériu are all equal in power, they all married warriors, and are even triplets. It seems like not much divided them. However they all had their own lives and own way of thinking, of course, but Ériu was able to find herself a place in the crazy world, and later she was able to help her son do so too.
The name Ireland came from Ériu’s name. Long ago warriors came from Spain to conquer what is now Ireland. After being defeated in battle, the triad asked, as a last request, that their names be used to name the land. Fotla and Banba’s names are used sometimes in poetry as names for the land, however Ériu, whose name over time had changed to ‘ire’ has become the name used everwhere.
Thus from there becoming Éire, which in Gaelic means Ériu’s land; later it was somewhat translated to Ireland. Ériu has become world famous in a way.
Ériu can help give others a place in the world. When Ériu was younger she didn’t know she could do this. It wasn’t until a great event in her life that made her realize what she could do.
Once a man approached her while she was on the beach. He asked her to make love to him for one hour. At first she said no because she thought he mistook her for someone else. However this man assured he had not mistaken her. They talked for a bit and after a while Ériu accepted his request to make love. When the hour was over and the man went to leave she started to cry. He asked her why she was crying, Ériu responded saying that she will miss him and that she was upset that she had given away her virginity. To make her feel better the man told her that in nine months’ time she would bear a beautiful son. He told her the only name fitting of this child would be ‘Eochu Bres’ (meaning Eochu the beautiful).
Nine months later, as the man had said, she bore a beautiful baby boy. Other than his undeniably pleasant looks, the boy was definitely nothing special. As the boy grew Ériu guided him in life. She helped him find a place for himself in the world. Eventually the boy had become a king. All his mother had done was guide him and let him follow his heart.
Ériu found her gift and even more so found her place. She knew what she could do and what she could grant. As a mother she did her job, as a goddess and role model to young women she was still learning. In life we all need to find a place for ourselves, control of our surroundings and to follow our hearts. Some of us need help to grow or grow into what is society today and now. If you need help, perhaps inviting this goddess into your life can enlighten you, and bring you a little more control to your own life.
To honor this goddess in your life an emerald or green colored crystal could help. Something as simple as using the emerald or green crystal as a small pendant even can help, this would allow you to more easily invite her into your life and carry her with you from day to day.