December 18th, Three Days Before Yule – Eponalia

Yule Comments & Graphics

Eponalia

(Roman/Celtic)

Eponalia is a day dedicated to the goddess Epona, it falls on the 2nd day of Saturnalia.

Epona is the patron goddess of horses, donkeys, mules and other animals, her name translates as “Divine Mare”. She is a powerful Gallo-Celtic goddess who is also associated with the Earth, fertility, rebirth and abundance, making her a Mother Goddess.

She is often depicted as a young maiden, either riding a horse (which was revered in the Celtic world for it’s beauty, speed and bravery), or standing between 2 horses. She often carries a cornucopia and basket, which further supports her role as a fertility and abundance goddess. People would adorn pictures and statues of her with rose garlands, in the shrines.

Horses were very important to our ancestors and cults worshipping horses was commonplace. They left much evidence to show how significant horses were to them, such as The White Horse of Uffington.

The origins of Epona are thought to have started in the Gallic region of northern France. She has many guises, being worshipped in Wales as Rhiannon and in Ireland as Macha. She is the only Gallo-Celtic goddess that made her way into the Roman Empire and was highly worshipped amongst the Roman cavalry, almost every stable had a shrine for her.

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