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Meeting the 9 daughters of Ran

Week 9: Pic-Nic With The St-Lawrence River Goddess - Sequana

Personal Gnosis on Sequana UPG

Week 9: The River Previous MermaidNext Mermaid Week 11: Bylgja

Sequana - River Goddess, mallard


Tuesday August 10, 2010

Being away at EtinMoot for the weekend, I could not do the regular Sunday visit to the river. Thus I sent a message to Blodughadda while driving over the bridge, that this trip was necessary in my learning to honor Her kin. I believe She agreed on my delaying the next offering. When you’re going to miss an appointment with a Goddess, it is a VERY good idea to send a message explaining why, and ask for lenience. It severely cuts down on the smiting and all.

The previous Sunday,  I had made offering to Himinglava at the river that bordered the Pagan festival I was at. It was much further removed from the sea, and it still worked, but it was like receiving a weak television signal. She was much more see-through than those I’d met in the St-Lawrence. Afterwards, my girlfriend commented that she had felt the river spirit make room for the visitor, and that I probably should have talked to the river spirit first. I pretty much slapped my forehead at that point. Yes, speaking to the river spirit, asking its permission and help in bringing a sea goddess to this place would have been a good idea. Making offering to the river spirit FIRST would have been an even better idea!

So I knew that when I returned to Montreal, I should make offering to the River Goddess before anything else. I’d made offerings and talked to that spirit many years before, but it hadn’t been much more than a salute whenever I crossed the bridge and I hadn’t felt much of a response from the river.

Still tired from my trip, I managed to motivate myself to get out of the house to go buy some craft supplies, figuring I’d feel more energy once I was out. After my purchases, I walked by a sushi store. I was hungry and considered it. “Wait, is this a suitable offering for today?” Big yes from my intuition! “Okay then!” I got a roll of salmon and avocado maki and drove off for the river. I still needed a fruit for the regular offering, in case one of the 9 Sisters showed up, so I stopped at a grocery store, got an orange and an egg salad sandwich for myself. I figured I’d have a pic nic with the river spirit.


Meeting The St-Lawrence River Goddess

So after parking near the river, I went rummaging through my stuff for my swimsuit to put under shorts and t-shirt. Most of my camping stuff was still in the car, but I couldn’t find my offering kit with the lancet, so I hoped I wouldn’t need to make blood offering. I picked up my stuff and headed to the river, chanting Blodughadda’s song. I saw a figure almost immediately in the water, but I couldn’t make it out. I made my way to a place under a tree, perfect for a pic nic. I still couldn’t recognize who it was. “Blodughadda, is that you?” She nodded no. But then again, She clearly didn’t have red hair. It looked very dark and long, and She had a white robe with dagged sleeves. Eventually, I asked “Are you the spirit of this river?” She nodded yes.

I explained to Her that I had been offering to the sea goddesses, and that I realized that I should be offering to Her as well, this being Her home turf. “Yes,” She answered, “They complained to me about it.”

“They complained about what?”
“About you not offering to me first.”
I blushed a little, realizing how rude I’d been, inviting guests to someone else’s home without permission. I said:
“I realize it was rude, humans in general are clueless about that, but I’m doing my best to be a bit less clueless.”

I spoke of how most of my food came from various places, but the water was pretty much all from the St-Lawrence, that my body was mostly made of Hers.


A Fowl Thing Indeed

“I’ve brought offerings for you, I thought I would share my food with you. Would that please you?”
She nodded yes. I picked up a piece of sushi, but I saw ducks to my right on the other side of the tree. “Would you prefer I give it to you, or to the ducks?”
“Give it to my little ones,” She answered. So I threw it to the ducks, who flocked towards it, but it sank before they could find it. So I walked up with a second piece and put it on a rock protruding in the water. I backed up, and this time they found it. And they liked it!
“I hope this pleases you,” I bowed to Her.
“You have pleased my little ones, so you have pleased me,” She answered. “Are the ducks especially sacred to you?” She nodded. She was far more subdued than the Mermaids had been.

“I have in the past called the river spirit Loriana… is that a name you bear?” She remained silent. I looked over at the ducks and thought of Gaulish mythology. “Sequana is a river goddess name I know, whose sacred animal is the duck”

“That name pleases me,” She answered.

Okay then! Sequana it is. Surprising, since that’s the goddess of the Seine, the biggest river in France. But as I later pondered, I’m French, and so are most of the people who live by the St-Lawrence. Perhaps it’s an ancestral thing. And who better than Sequana to awaken feelings of reverence and respect towards a river, in French-Canadians descended from these Gauls? The Nine want people to stop using water as their trash disposal, so I don’t know if waking Sequana in this river is Their doing. Perhaps this is the same river spirit honored by Natives, choosing a name and guise known to my ancestors to communicate with us silly white folks. Maybe some day I’ll find out. In the meantime, I’ll honor Her however She likes.

I smiled. “Would it be better if I shared my lunch with them over there then?” She nodded.
So I took my food and bag, going over to the shore where they were, on the other side of the tree. As I chowed down on the sushi and egg salad sandwich, I started throwing crackers to the ducks. They eagerly jumped on them, and I continued occasionally throwing some, closer and closer, switching to bread crusts mid-way, until they came right up to snatch the food from my hand. So cute!

I reminded Sequana of the offerings I’d made to the river many years ago, and the help She’d given me. I told Her the names I carried, and that I wanted to be able to call on Her, to make offerings, and occasionally, if She was willing, ask for Her help. I said if there was some way I could help Her, within reason, I would be happy to do so. She eyed me somewhat dubiously. Few respect the river, and fewer still honor Her.


Testing The Waters, as it were

Then I heard behind me a screeching sound like a duck being tortured. I didn’t think, I just jumped up to my feet fast as I could, to help save the poor duck from whatever people were doing to it! I ran up the bank through the tall plants to the path above… only to find a group of young people, one of them playing some sort of duck call, badly. I muttered something about it sounding like a duck being tortured, and sheepishly made my way back to the shore.

I was greeted by Sequana’s large smile. “So, Defender of Ducks!” She said. I realized then I had just been tested, and I’d passed. Not only that, but She had given me a new spirit name! My first gut reaction was to save the ducks and beat up the people if need be. That’s what She wanted to know, what was in my heart, and She was pleased.

She asked me into the water, to give Her my hand. Taking my hand in Hers, She placed some sort of mark on me, and added: “Defender of Ducks, I will remember you.” She put in me Her spirit song, so that I could call Her. At first I was having a hard time getting it… until I realized it was meant to be sung in French, so I mentally switched languages. Then it made much more sense, rhymed and alliterated. Clearly, it was meant for the French to call Her.


Sequana's Chant

“Sequana, saute en ta joie.
Canards qui m’appellent, au-delà
Reviens, reviens, reviens.”


She told me we were done today, and I could leave. Dismissed, I left with a smile. Her spirit chant seemed intended to actually help the descendants of Her people remember Her, the ancient river and healing waters goddess of the Gauls, and to remember to treat water with respect. It’s what’s keeping us alive, after all.

Hail Sequana, Goddess of the healing river and ducks!




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