Libera is the feminine counterpart of Liber. She is the goddess of libido; spirit of irrepressible female vitality. Liber guards seed; Libera makes sure that seed is planted in a fertile, nurturing environment. The relationship between Liber and Libera is not entirely clear. She may be his:
• Some or all of the above
In their most ancient manifestations, Liber and Libera may have been the Italian equivalent of sacred yang and yin energy. Eventually Liber was considered to be the spouse of Ceres with Libera as their daughter. Under Greek and Roman influence, Libera became identified with Persephone. (The logic being that if Ceres is identified with Demeter; then her daughter must be Persephone.) Liber and Libera were also identified with Dionysus and Ariadne. Less is now known about Libera than Liber possibly because no matter how offended later Christian commentators were by Liber’s phallic processions, Libera’s, which displayed vaginal images, must have been even more shocking.
One version of their myth suggests that Liber died when Libera conceived. Liber was reborn as her child and in the process Libera became Ceres, the Corn Mother. Liber is the corn, eternally born, cut down and born again.
Statues of Libera sometimes depict her as Persephone or Ariadne. She may also be represented by cleft stones or images of female genitalia.
17 March, the Liberalia
Vulva shaped candles
- Roman Mythology
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.