21 Days of Goddesses til’ Imbolc
Day 8— Elphame ( Crown Goddess, Fairy, Otherworld, Nature, Death, Disease)
Elphlane and Elphane, which some claim is a corruption of the world “elfland.” She is a Goddess of death and disease who is often equated with the famous Greek crone Goddess Hecate. As the crone image began to deteriorate in Europe with the coming of the Church, she became a Goddess of “the witches” and of evil. In Robert Graves’ classic, The White Goddess, he tells of several sixteenth century Scottish witchcraft trials in which accusations of having “dealings” with the Queen of Elphame brought the death sentence.
Fairies are common beings in European folklore, perhaps even since pre-Roman times. They are known in most cultures and in different regions around the world. Many legends say that the fairies’ leader is a mysterious queen who wisely ruled all of Fairyland.
There are at least a few well known goddesses that have been linked to fairies. One of them was the famous queen Morrigan. Another one was Danu, a Celtic mother. But the most mysterious of the supposed fairy rulers is arguably the Queen of Elphame (or Elfame), who may be associated with the Scottish goddess Nicnevin.
In the past few hundred years the Queen of Elphame has been seen as a Scottish faery queen, appearing on a May Eve all dressed in diaphanous green silks and riding a white horse with fifty-nine silver bells tied in its mane (an odd association since Celtic faeries have always been thought to shun the ringing of bells).
As a potent crone Goddess her energies are associated with death, destruction, plague, battle, and the Otherworld. By extension, her Beltane associations link her to concepts of rebirth. Respectfully harness her powerful energy as you would any crone’s. Also call upon her as a May Queen and for aid in faery contact.
In Scottish and Northern British folklore the name ‘’Queen of Elphame’’, means ‘’Queen of Fairyland’’. It is unknown when she appeared in history or legends for the first time, but she was mentioned in several old folk stories and also in documents of witch trials.
Correspondences: The moon, silver, the number five, vetiver, rue, the pentagon, primrose, cowslip.
Celtic Goddesses & Heroines: Elen; Elphame, Queen of; Emer.
Elen (Cornish) In Myth: SHe is the daughter of King Eudaf from whom all the Cornish kings claimed descent. Her children…