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Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Stuart's Daily Word Spot: Icauna


Icauna: Another of my occasional god/goddess entries, displayed in the hope of helping people understand that religion is neither exclusive nor especially mystical.

Icauna is a Romano-Celtic (Gallic) goddess who is known only from a single inscription, which was discovered at Auxerre, Yonne, France. She appears to be the patroness or guardian of the Yonne River, named after her. The name may well be derived from Celtic root iskā- for water and may be intended to describe the ‘flowing’ action of a river.
The Celts were very keen on water goddesses and made offerings to them, often in the form of discarded weapons, coins and other items with some value, which were tossed into the waters in the hope of favours from the deities thus petitioned.
Call me an old cynic, but I can’t quite cleanse my mind’s eye of the picture of some old scoundrel hiding by the banks of such streams, pools and marshes, waiting for the supplicants to go back to their normal activities, leaving the way clear for the scoundrel to retrieve the objects of value so he/she can sell them.

Pic: Trout stream in Driffield.
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