Elen: Reindeer Goddess

Awesome blog post! Just had to share with my readers 🙂

Elen Sentier

I’m doing a load of research for the upcoming workshop, Healing the Wasteland, and currently looking at Inchnadamph a hamlet in Assynt, Sutherland, Scotland. The name is an anglicisation of the Gaelic name Innis nan Damh meaning ‘meadow of the stags’. There are three caves here that have ancient bones in them including reindeer bones, proving that reindeer were once native to Britain.

Elen of the Ways is an antlered goddess, female reindeer are antlered, indeed they are the only female cervid to carry antlers. The statue (of Elen) in the British Museum certainly has antlers similar to those of reindeer. Reindeer paths were some of the earliest trackways and humans have followed reindeer, working with them for meat, shelter, clothing, milk and dung to fuel fires, for millennia. The Sami people still do.  In ancient times our ancestors here in Britain also followed the reindeer. This watercolour of…

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