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from Goddesses and Heroines
|Exerpt from Goddess & Heroines by Patricia
[Used by permission. This text is NOT included in the Goddess Oracle]
The ancient British goddess of healing waters had her special shrine at the spa we call Bath, where her power was strongest. Some scholars say that she was a solar divinity, deriving her name from the word that means "sun" and "eye." This interpretation may account for the perpetual fires at her shrines; the fact that her springs were hot, rather than cold, is additional evidence in favor of considering her a sun goddess.She was honored into historic times; the Roman occupiers called her Minerva Medica ("healing Minerva"); occasionally she is called Sulivia. In statuary and bas-reliefs, she was shown as a matronly woman in heavy garments with a hat made of a bear's head and her foot resting on a fat little owl. In Bath and on the continent, she also appears in multiple form, as the tripartate Suliviae. The latter name is also used of the pan-Celtic divinity Brigid, suggesting a connection between these figures.
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Published by Llewellyn, copyright 1997. Used by permission of the author.