The goddess Epona was revered and worshiped by the ancient Celtic people as a loving protector of horses, donkeys and other animals. Commonly represented as a horse figure, a mare and foal or as a woman on horseback, she was also a goddess of fertility, re-birth and abundance. Although originally a Celtic goddess, she was eventually accepted by the Romans who saw her more as a protector of their cavalry.
Etymology of the name Epona:
The name Epona comes from the later Iron Age language of Gaulish. Gaulish was a Celtic language spoken throughout most of the northwest area of continental Europe. In the Gaulish language, Epos meant horse and Epa was the feminine equivalent that meant a female horse, also known as a mare. The component of “on” found in the name Epona was often found in the names of Gaulish and Gallo-Roman goddesses and gods such as Matrona, Divona and Carnonos. So, by putting these together, the meaning of the name Epona is “divine mare” or “she who is like a mare”.
Epona in our everyday lives:
Although Epona was and still is traditionally seen as a horse goddess, she can fit into so many aspects of our lives. She is the goddess of dreams not only of the sleeping kind but the dreams of hope and ambition. She can be helpful in manifesting dreams and is a good protector to have when venturing on a new path in life. A prayer or invocation can be offered to her if one is having trouble sleeping or wishes to have insightful or peaceful dreams. She is a nurturing caregiver and can be called upon as a protector of families, children and women who are about to give birth.
Epona is also good to turn to when seeking positive blessings and prosperity. She is good to call upon during dark, difficult times in life such as grief and loss and can offer guidance that is gentle and loving in nature. Roses are a wonderful offering to leave on your altar for the goddess Epona as are rose petals or rose incense. Sandalwood incense can also be used as an offering. When burning a candle for Epona, the most common color associated with her is white. The following is a list of signs and symbols associated with Epona that you can incorporate into your daily spiritual practice.