December 23, 2019

Dec 24th: Modraniht, Night of the Mothers

From "Juno Covella" by Lawrence Durdin-Robertson: 

DECEMBER 24th - Anglo-Saxon: THE MOTHERS; Modraniht, Night of the Mothers. (Hislop, "The Two Babylons", p. 93):

"As the 25th of December was called by our Pagan Anglo-Saxon ancestors, 'Yuleday', or the 'Child's day', and the night that preceded it, 'Mother Night' (Sharon Turner's "Anglo-Saxons", Vol. i, p. 219)  . . (Hilda Davidson, "Gods, Myths, N. Europe", p. 112) "Inscriptions are known from Roman times in Germany, Holland and Britain in honour of groups of female beings known generally as 'the mothers' . . Female deities of this kind seem to have been worshipped by both the Celts and the Germans, and they were evidently associated with fertility and with the protection of hearth and home. In some form they were known to the Anglo-Saxons, for Bede mentions them in De Temporum Ratione (13), where he tells us that the night before Christmas was known in heathen times as Modraniht, 'the Night of the Mothers'. There seems little doubt that they were closely connected with the birth of children".

(© Cave of the Mothers, Foundation Center Temple, photo by Minette Quick)

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