Goddess of beauty and grace; wife of King Mider; one of the “White Ladies” of the Faery.
Etain, whose name literally means ‘Shining One’, was a Celtic moon goddess, the second wife of Midir, King of the Underworld. Midir’s first wife, Fuanmach, was jealous of Etain and turned her into a butterfly. Falling into a glass of wine, Etain drowned. She was reborn, interestingly enough in the ways of gods and goddesses, as the daughter of Fuanmach and Midir, and eventually married Eochaid, a fertility god. Midir challenged Eochaid to a game of chess – winning this game, his demand was that Etain spend half her time in the Underworld, and half her time on earth. Etain is especially a symbol of fertility, of the vitality and life of all growing things, as well as the cycles of the seasons. A goddess familiar with both life and death, she teaches that wherever we are, on earth or in the depths of the underworld, we too can be shining.
Woodland God associated with hunting, the sword, the Golden Tull (Tarvos), and the bow and arrow; pictured as a woodcutter. This is the God “whose shrines make men shudder”. Human sacrifices were hung and run through with a sword. A Gaulish/Continental divinity revered before and during the Roman occupation of Gaul, most of our information about him comes from the Roman author Lucan, who speaks of dark and savage human sacrifices to this woodland God. Although a number of altars and memorial stones of Esus survive, his attributes have become mysterious and his story has more-or-less vanished. He is often portrayed in the act of cutting willow branches, and his images often connect him with waterbirds, particularly storks or cranes.