The Order of the White Moon Goddess Gallery Presents
A Level II Final Project for the Sacred Three Goddess School by Adept Emily Beatrice
(©2020. All original material in this work is under copyright protection and is the intellectual property of the author.)
NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR
I never had any interest in the Celtic Pantheon until I began to think about what I wanted to write about for this project. I had casually come across Sulis's name in 365 Goddess by Patricia Telesco. I was looking for a Goddess of Healing. Sulis was one a name that got stuck in my head.
She is one of those Goddesses whose name does not come up right away when thinking about the Celtic Pantheon. At first I found her to be an interesting companion to work with. Eventually the companionship I felt grew to a level of admiration. I created this project as an ode to Sulis. I found her to be a soothing source during a turbulent time in my life. If you choose to invite her into your practice, a ritual, or life may you find her presence to be a reassuring and soothing force where you need it.
Figure 1: Sulis Minerva (https://pixabay.com/photos/goddess-face-sculpture-709468/)
There is some variation of Sulis throughout early Pagan Europe. The Sulis that many of us are familiar with today is the product of what the Romans called interpretatio romana or roman interpretation. (See Figure 1) The veneration of Sulis has certainly lasted throughout the centuries, and the origin and rituals surrounding her worship have become vague over the years. In this virtual exhibition you will find information about what we know about the worship of Sulis through the centuries. You will also find information about her role in prayer, and magick looking at how she interreacts with the spiritual work of her followers.
Figure 2: Yellowstone Hot Spring (https://pixabay.com/photos/yellowstone-national-park-geyser-1730076/)
Not a lot of information has survived about Sulis in her Celtic form. What we know has been absorbed into the Roman Pantheon as Sulis Minerva. Also known as interpretatio romana. (Hofeneder, 2010) What we know about this Goddess pre-Roman conquest has been pieced together by scholars and admirers. The construction of a temple by the Romans dedicated to Sulis Minerva in Bath, England occurred during the 1st Century AD. “Archaeological evidence shows that the mineral hot springs at Bath were first used by Neolithic people at least 10,000 years ago.” (Shaw, 2013)
The Celts arrived around 800BC. Bath was considered a major place of power for the Celts. The assumption has been that the Celts were attracted to Bath because of the importance of hot springs (See Figure 2) and their healing power. Hot springs were also considered a gateway to the underworld. “Water sources were extremely sacred and the creation of life was believed to have taken place in a boiling cauldron.” (Kearns, 1998)
Figure 3: Roman bath in Bath, England built upon the original hot springs (https://pixabay.com/photos/roman-baths-bath-england-252279/)
When the Romans arrived they implemented interpretartio romana seeing many similarities with the Goddess Sulis and their own Minerva. This was not as peaceful as one would hope. “If you had been a Druid, you might have been killed or forced to flee your home during the conquest, for while the Romans tended not to interfere with local religions, they did object to a priesthood that used its political and spiritual power to organize military opposition.” (Raeburn, 2001, pg. 12) Interestingly enough, Bath was not a really great militaristic strategic point. Archeologists and scholars theorize that the Romans settled there simply because of the hot springs.
The temple built by the Romans is one of two only truly classical temples in Britain known to date. After the Romans left in 400AD their temple to Sulis Minerva fell into disrepair. Today a Georgian building sits on top of the Roman baths. The Roman Baths themselves are not safe for bathing due to the water still passing through the lead pipes built by the Romans. (See Figure 3)
SACRED TO HER
Figure 4: "The Sun Healer" original drawing by Amaya Wolfe
Sulis Goddess of healing, nourishment, water, the sun, prophecy, justice, and blessings. (See figure 4)
Other names: Sulis Minerva, Solimara, sulevia, sulevias, suleviae (possibly), sulevis, idennica.
Name Meaning: Suil means eye, gap. Suli means sun.
Symbols: Water, wheat cakes, fire, sacred wells, springs, and self care. Provider of healing waters. Cauldron
Festival Day: May 1st Beltane
Shrine or Holy Place: Bath England, Aquae Sulis.
Element: Water and Fire
Colors: Gold, Yellow, Blue, and Green
Incense: Cinnamon, cloves, frankincense, and laurel
Plants: Acacia, Bay laurel, chamomile, citrus fruits, marigold, and sunflower.
Trees: Acacia, ash, bay laurel, birch
Animals: Eagle, lion, owl, bear, and phoenix
Figure 5: Sulis calling on the Sun's healing power. Original painting in acrylic by Emily Beatrice.
DAILY PRACTIE SUGGESTOINS
-Bless a yellow hair tie, ribbon, or scarf to wear in your hair.
-Use "sun water" (sterile water that's been sitting in the sun) to rinse your face in your daily face cleansing ritual.
-Incorporate bay leaves into a recipe OR make a recipe that calls for bay leaves.
-Volunteer or get involved with your local Audubon society or wildlife/Owl/Eagle rescue.
-Plant sunflowers or buy a bouquet for your home. (You could also plant any of the plants listed as sacred to Sulis in honor of her.)
-Drink a cup of chamomile tea during/before/or after the meditation below.
-Have a spa day! Visit a local spa or indulge in a day of self-care at home.
(Taken from page 93 Celtic Wicca: Ancient Wisdom for the 21st Century by Jane Raeburn.)
Meditate on the invocation below. As you meditate, ground yourself and visualize the warmth and healing of spring.
Warmth of the sun
Mystery of the deep earth
Power of the flowing water
Healing of ills
Righting of wrongs
Cleansing of impurity
Sight of the owl
Hearing of the dolphin
Speed of the snake
Written by Emily Beatrice
This ritual was created as a means to invite Sulis and her healing presence into your life. It can be used for any type of healing to boost the best possible outcome. Please read the Sulis Meditation above. If memorization isn’t your thing, you might consider recording it as you are going to be using it throughout the ritual.
It is a ritual that can be used at any time. However, I would suggest that you consider the moon phase and harness that power depending on your intention. While this ritual is designed to invite Sulis and her healing presence it can also be tweaked to focus your intention more precisely.
-Altar space set up as normal. Feel free to decorate it in warm golds, yellows, blues, and greens.
-Bay laurel incense or bay leaves.
-Offering to Sulis (Consider the Sacred to Sulis section above for inspiration)
-Have a drum, play list, chant on hand or be prepared for some improvised singing, or be prepared to participate in angel singing.
Before this ritual clean your space as well as your ritual bath space. Once the space is clean, decorate and prepare it. As you set up your ritual space consider the meditation above. You might want doing this on a sunny day if possible. Open the blinds or curtains and let the healing warmth of the sun shine in as you prepare your ritual space. Once everything is cleansed prepare your ritual bath.
**The only guideline I will give in regards to the ritual bath is to take a lot of time for self-care and pay attention to your needs. Really pamper yourself. Consider doing a clay face mask, or a hair mask. You might have incense from the list burning, or an essential oil diffusing. You could also consider incorporating as many candles as is safe into the ritual bath space. (Please be sure to extinguish them once your ritual bath is complete.) Again, while you are bathing think about the Sulis meditation above. Meditate on it.
This ritual can be done skyclad or clothed in gold, yellow, blue or green accented clothing or jewelry.
Purify your space using an essential oil or incense that honors Sulis. Ground yourself by chanting a section that you most connect with from the Sulis Meditation above. Once you have ground yourself to your satisfaction, state your purpose.
I/We are here to ask Sulis, Goddess of (Healing or nourishment or water or the sun or prophecy or justice or blessings) For (State your intention)
Open your circle as you normally would. *Note: I like to leave as much room for improvisation as possible in order to make the ritual your own.
Call The Quarters
Power of Air guarding the East, you bring new beginnings as the healing warmth of the sun rises to great us. I ask you to come forth and guard my circle. Hail and welcome.
Power of Fire guarding the South, healing heat I ask you to come forth and guard my circle. Hail and welcome!
Power of Water guarding the west, home of the ocean who is affected by mother Moon. I ask you to come forth and guard my circle. Hail and welcome!
Power of Earth guarding the North, home of the great woods and the wild mountains. I ask you to come forth and guard my circle. Hail and welcome!
Power of the Sky who watches over us from the beauty of the vast sky, I ask you to come forth and join my circle. Hail and welcome!
Great Goddess Sulis. (I/We) am here to ask you Goddess of (Healing or nourishment or water or the sun or prophecy or justice or blessings) For (State your intention). Hail and welcome!
From here let the energy to take you where you want it to go. Consider a play list or drumming. Let the moment take you. Sing, dance or move in order to raise the energy spiraling up calling Sulis into your life. At the very top of the spiral, let that energy take the shape of one of the sacred animals of Sulis.
*Note: You can pick this animal days in advance if you feel called to it or wait and chose while you are meditating during your ritual bath. Sometimes you don’t feel what that animal messenger will be until the moment it takes shape.
Once the animal has reached its full completed form send that animal to Sulis. As the animal leaves humbly invite Sulis into your life and make your offering to her. Be spontaneous. Be authentic. Allow yourself to enjoy this time in this space.
Closing the Quarters
Thank you Sulis, for your presence here in this circle. You are free to go, but welcome to stay. Hail and farewell!
Thank you Sky spirit for always being the over-watch. Thank you for your presence here in this circle. You are free to go if you must, but welcome to stay. Hail and farewell.
Power of Earth guarding the North, thank you for your presence here in this circle. You are free to go, but welcome to stay. Hail and farewell!
Power of Water guarding the west, thank you for your presence here in this circle. You are free to go, but welcome to stay. Hail and farewell!
Power of Fire guarding the South, thank you for your presence here in this circle. You are free to go, but welcome to stay. Hail and farewell!
Power of Air guarding the East, thank you for your presence here in this circle. You are free to go, but welcome to stay. Hail and farewell!
Allow the energy to spiral down back into the earth and ground it.
Open your circle as you normally would.
Watch for signs of Sulis over the next few days.
A special thanks to Amaya Wolfe for collaborating and creating an image of Sulis for this project!
Celtic Bath (2019) Retrieved from: http://bath.co.uk/history/bath-through-the-ages-celtic-bath
Hofeneder, A. (2010) Vestiges of sun worship among the celts. Adalbert J. GAIL (Hg.), Sun Worship in the Civilisations of the World (= Pandanus 10’: Nature in Literature, Art, Myth and Ritual, vol. 4/2), Prag 2010, 85–107 https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Andreas_Hofeneder/publication/277665982_Vestiges_of_sun_worship_among_the_Celts_in_Adalbert_J_GAIL_Hg_Sun_Worship_in_the_Civilisations_of_the_World_Pandanus_10'_Nature_in_Literature_Art_Myth_and_Ritual_vol_42_Prag_2010_85-107/links/556f819e08aeab7772288229.pdf
Kearns, R. and Gesler, W.M. (1998) Putting health into a place: landscape, identity, and well being. Syracuse University Press. Syracuse, New York. Pages 17-35. Retrieved from: https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=neegZiHOzRoC&oi=fnd&pg=PA17&dq=Celtic+Goddess+SUlis&ots=eIy4M9ocMB&sig=-aq9YZ3nHNRIAB1tgzL3TUSZtJo#v=onepage&q=Celtic%20Goddess%20SUlis&f=false
Paxson. D. (April 30, 2001) Sagewoman. Page 33. Retrieved from: https://search-proquest-com.libaccess.sjlibrary.org/docview/221834910?pq-origsite=primo
Raeburn, J. (2001) Celtic wicca: ancient wisdom for the 21st century. Kensington Publishing Corporation. New York, New York. Page 12. Retrieved from: https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=y30a1mV2KpIC&oi=fnd&pg=PR7&dq=Celtic+Goddess+SUlis&ots=HZX_GSPeiP&sig=UvYvL3DjwqZ3Dm94vVOAvhvuOXI#v=onepage&q=Sulis&f=false
Revell, L. (2007). Religion and Ritual in the Western Provinces. Greece & Rome,54(2), 210-228. Retrieved from www.jstor.org/stable/20204190
Roman Baths. (2019) Sacred Destinations. Retrieved from: http://www.sacred-destinations.com/england/bath-roman-baths
Roman Temple. (2019) Retrieved from: https://www.romanbaths.co.uk/roman-temple
Shaw, J. (June 16, 2013) Sulis, celtic sun goddess of healing and prophecy. Feminism and Religion. Retrieved from: https://feminismandreligion.com/2013/06/16/sulis-celtic-sun-goddess-of-healing-and-prophecy/
Sulis. (May 1995) Holladay Paganism: Her Cycle of Transformations: Retrieved from: http://www.holladaypaganism.com/goddesses/cyclopedia/s/SULIS.HTM
Telesco, P. (October 21, 1998) 365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess. Kindle Edition.
Widungeni, S. (November 23, 2015) Sulis. Polythesist.com: Honoring Many Gods. Retrieved from: http://polytheist.com/segomaros/2015/11/23/sulis/