The Celtic Goddess, Boann

Stair na hÉireann/History of Ireland

BOANN (Boínd, Boínn) is the Goddess of water, fertility, inspiration and knowledge. Her name is interpreted as ‘white cow’ (bó fhionn) in the Dindsenchas. According to the Lebor Gabála Érenn she was the daughter of Delbáeth, of the Tuatha Dé Danann. Her husband is variously Nechtan, Elcmar or Nuada Airgetlám. Her lover is the Dagda, by whom she had her son, Aengus. In order to hide their affair, the Dagda made the sun stand still for nine months; therefore, Aengus was conceived, gestated and born in one day.

As told in the Dindsenchas, Boann created the Boyne. Though forbidden to by her husband, Nechtan, Boann approached the magical Well of Segais (also known as the Connla’s Well), which was surrounded by hazels. Hazelnuts were known to fall into the Well, where they were eaten by the speckled salmon (who, along with hazelnuts, also embody and represent wisdom in Irish mythology)…

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