Nemetona is one of those goddesses that we get only tantalising glimpses of in ancient history, but who strikes a chord with modern pagans. She is a goddess of sanctuaries, boundaries and groves within the forest, and a new book has just been published about her.
Dancing with Nemetona: A Druid's Exploration of Sanctuary and Sacred Space,by Joanna van der Hoeven is in the Pagan Portals series and is intended as an introduction to this fascinating goddess as well as a guide to how we can create sacred space within our own lives.
Publisher Moon Books says about the book on its website: "Nemetona is an ancient goddess whose song is heard deep within the earth and also deep within the human soul. She is the Lady of Sanctuary, of Sacred Groves and Sacred Spaces. She is present within the home, within our sacred groves, our rites and in all the spaces that we hold dear to our hearts. She also lies within, allowing us to feel at ease wherever we are in the world through her energy of holding, of transformation."
The book starts with covering what little can be found out about the way Nemetona was worshipped in the past. Joanna says: "Very little is known about the goddess Nemetona. We have a few inscriptions found at sacred spots, such as at Altripp, Trier, and Eisenberg in Germany. There is also an inscription to her at Bath, Somerset, in the United Kingdom... She was also known in Gaul, where the Treveri tribe originated... There was also a tribe called the Nemetes (People of the Sacred Grove)."
Yet despite this sparsity of archaeological information, Nemetona is making a comeback. One of the reasons for this is possibly that the 21st century world we live in is so crowded that space has become more precious than at any time before. Dancing with Nemetona looks at such things as our own personal sense of space: the space we need around our own bodies, the sense that our homes - or perhaps just one room within our home - can be a sanctuary from the outside world, and the sacred spaces those following a pagan path create during rites and ceremonies.
Joanna offers meditations, chants, rituals and other practical ways of learning to recognise, honour and make the most of sacred space to bring peace and sanctuary into our lives.
Author Joanna van der Hoeven is an Ovate of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids (OBOD) and a former trustee of the Druid Network.
Pagan Portals - Dancing with Nemetona: A Druid's exploration of sanctuary and sacred space