Rosmerta

Rosmerta

The Great Provider

Origin:

Celtic

Rosmerta is a goddess of abundance, well-being, prosperity, peace, and plenty. She is a love goddess who bestows fertility. No myths involving Rosmerta currently survive but she is a great goddess who was once incredibly popular. Rosmerta was venerated over a huge swathe of Celtic Europe. She had shrines throughout Gaul, on both sides of the Rhineland, and in the British Isles where her veneration was centered in Gloucester. Her shrines were usually connected with therapeutic spring sanctuaries, as for instance at Wiesbaden.

Rosmerta is considered the deity who bridges Celtic, Roman, and Germanic cultures as indicated by her marriages. She was partnered with different male deities depending on region. Among her consorts are Mercury, Wotan, and the Celtic deity Esus. In Lyon, she was paired with Lugh. However, Rosmerta was also venerated independently, all by herself, no consort needed.

Post-Christianity many of Rosmerta’s functions were reassigned to Mary. In 994 CE, Saint Gerard of Toul replaced the statue of Rosmerta in her shrine on Mount Sion-Vaudémont in Lorraine with a statue of Mary.

• Rosmerta may hide beneath the mask of the Black Madonna of Avioth.

• Madame Rosmerta, great provider, owns the pub the Three Broomsticks in J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter novels.

Iconography:

She is a beautiful woman portrayed with arms outstretched to her viewer. An image from Wiesbaden shows her sitting on her throne while Mercury offers her the contents of his purse.

Attributes:

Cornucopia, patera (offering plate), wooden ironbound bucket, ladle, torch, double-axe, scepter. Rosmerta also sometimes shares Mercury’s attributes, the caduceus and purse.

Spirit allies:

Fortuna, Mercury; she is accompanied by an entourage of ghosts of dead children.

Creatures: Snake, horse

Sacred site:

Mount Sion-Vaudémont her holy mountain where she was venerated alongside Wotan. (Vaudémont derives from his name.)

Offerings:

Spring water, bowls of fresh fruit, and gifts fit for a queen.

See Also:

Berchta; Black Madonna; Black Madonna of Avioth; Fortuna; Hulda; Lugh; Mercury; Odin

Source:

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.