Carmenta, the original Charmed One, was born in Arcadia, Greece, where she was known as Nicostrata. She moved to Italy and changed her name, emerging as the goddess of prophecy. Carmenta sings the future and the past. The word charm, meaning a spoken or sung magic spell, derives from her name. She is the goddess of charms.
Carmenta travelled to Italy with her son, Evander, whose father was Hermes. Evander is credited as the founding father of Greek colonies in Italy, the first to bring Greek culture and myth to Italy. Carmenta is credited with inventing the Latin alphabet. Her Roman shrine was beside the Porta Carmentalis, the Gate of Carmenta.
In Italy, Carmenta also emerged as a sacred midwife who protects women in childbirth. Carmenta is a goddess of higher learning and may be invoked for help with academic issues, including exams and admissions. Although the majority of Car menta’s celebrants were women, she is not exclusively a women’s goddess.
ALSO KNOWN AS:
Present petitions in the form of rhymes or incantations, i.e., charms.
Her festival, the Carmen talia, was celebrated from 11 January through 15 January (rituals are held on the first and last days).
In the twenty-first century, the word charm has the additional and now more common meaning of a small amulet, as in the charms attached to a bracelet. Offer charms in the form of what you desire or for what you’d like to express thanks. Carmenta drinks Carménère wine.
Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses – Written by Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.