A couple of years back, I was afforded a rare glimpse and flirtation towards working with Flidais, the Irish Goddess of the Woodlands (among other things). After a time, the flirtation faded, and from time to time I would believe to catch a glimpse of Her from time to time in my meditations. After the Iceland trip last year, She began to spend more time being seen, allowing me to notice that She was not who I thought She was. In late December, during a time frame where I had been approaching the final aspects of healing from my pneumonia, I had several very deep, intimate meditations and dreams featuring this new figure. When we finally communicated between one another, She was very direct. No beating around the bush like there had been with Flidais. She announced Herself as Abnoba.
The name was immediately familiar to me. Back when I was in the United States Air Force and stationed at Sembach Air Base, one of my “touristy” things was to visit old Roman baths. One such bath is located at Badenweiler, which is about thirty kilometers from Frieburg, where one of my unit’s tenant sub-groups was located. When visiting there on a training mission, I got one of the folks I knew there to take me to the baths located there. These baths are dedicated to “Dianae Abnoba”. There is also a fascinating scene fresco there that depicts a dance between the living and the dead. “We are what you were, and you will be what we are” is what is translated from the fresco.
Abnoba, as I recalled from my visit there, is the Gaulish equivalent to the Roman Goddess Diana, thus the mixing of the two names at the dedication stone for the Roman baths. I understand the mixing of the two, but being the hard Polytheist that I am, I see Them as two different, distinct Beings. The Romans mixed their Gods and Goddesses with local Gods and Goddesses to better assimilate the local populace, in hopes of keeping the peace and getting the locals to adopt Roman customs as their own.
Since then, I have added a weekly devotion to Her, and have spent some dedicated time in focused meditation with Her. There are no requests for me to be Her Priest, attendant or any other role. Merely for me to return to my focus of being with the lands I am currently within.
There is a strong pull, given that I spent the last years of my Air Force career wandering through the wooded areas that are Hers. I also spent much of my youth, as a US Air Force military brat, wandering through these same woods. So I comprehend the strong pull. My personal heritage is Germanic, which also feeds into all of that. I have no desire to explore the Heathen pathways though…those are not my footfalls to follow.
I am not really sure where this new direction will take me. I know that I move forward with Crow still on my shoulder, Coyote still at one side, and Abnoba slightly in the lead, going through the thick trees and underbrush of the darkened forest. The fir trees are old and very tall. Their canopy blocks most of the light, though streams of light can be seen piercing the hood of darkness all around. The air is still, though a breeze can be heard high above, moving the upper part of the canopy. Dead pine needles cover most of the ground, stifling our footsteps. Where ground can be seen, it is wet, and covered in patchy moss. These rare patches of ground are punctuated by large rocks and boulders. These are the woods of my childhood. I walk these in my meditations and dreams. In my youth, I walked these paths in real life. Now, I am here again…