Thursday, April 28, 2016

Airmid, Celtic Goddess of Healing, Plants and Herbs

Since the Spring season is upon us and the snow is melting away (for some) I wanted to write about a Goddess associated with plants and herbs.  

Just in time for your Spring/Summer gardening! Airmid was a Celtic Goddess of the healing arts especially dealing with herbs and plants. She was the daughter of Dian Cecht who was the God of Medicine and chief physician to the Tuatha de Danann, the Gods of Ireland. Airmid had four brothers Miach, Cian, Cu and Cethe who also followed the path of healing and medicine.

The Tuatha de Danann went to war with the Fir Bolgs when they invaded Ireland. 

The king of the Tuatha de Danann, Nuada, was injured in battle and his arm had been severed. According to the laws it was said that no man could be king whose body was not whole, so Nuada immediately called on his physician, Dian Cecht. The physician brought his daughter Airmid and his son Miach with him since they were both skilled healers.

Dian Cecht had planned to reconstruct a new arm for Nuada made of silver but since Airmid was known for her regenerative skills she was able to create an arm made of human flesh.

Miach was known for his surgical skills and he was able to attach the new arm to Nuadas body so that it looked like he had never lost an arm in the first place. So great was Miachs surgical skills that his father became jealous and in a fit of envious rage he grabbed a sword and cut off Miachs head.

Airmid was beside herself with grief after losing her brother. 

She buried him and made a cairn of stones over his grave. She visited his grave to mourn his loss everyday for a year. Than one day when she went to sit at his grave she came upon 365 different herbs growing on top and all around his burial site. She laid out her cloak to gather all the herbs and as she gently plucked them from the fertile earth they whispered their unique healing properties to her. There was an herb for each joint, organ and bone in the body.

Her father Dian Cecht, still jealous of his sons vast knowledge, found Airmid and overturned her cloak scattering the herbs to the wind so that no one but she would know of the healing herbs secrets. 

Thankfully, Airmid had already committed everything to memory and could regrow all the herbs to continue her and her brothers healing work. Airmid was called upon when men and women were hurt during battle. She was also said to be a healer for the fairies and other magical creatures of the forests and mountains of Ireland. 

Airmid can be called upon today for any healing work you are doing. 

Or any herbal medicine preparations. She can also be called on while you're gardening and planting as she will watch over the plants and lend them her healing powers and magic.

So, have you ever worked with Airmid? 

Beautiful art courtesy of Cheryl Yambrach

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