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Who is Bona Dea - The Good Goddess?


This is a great question because this particular goddess is so ancient and secretive that not much is known about her.  Bona Dea is her proper untranslated name and she was worshipped in Ancient Rome and was considered to be very powerful. So powerful that men who ruled those times would not dare to do anything that might be seen to betray or belittle her. Men were not allowed to speak her name and could only use Bona Dea to name her and were unable to know more details about her.  Due to the fact historians were men and men weren't allowed to know of Her, she is a mysterious goddess with little written about her.  One of the common beliefs is that this powerful goddess is said to have been the wife of Faunus, a God of nature and good fortune. Her name then was Fauna. She lived a life of abuse at the hands of men and was caught drinking wine to medicate herself. This was not allowed. When found, her husband attempted to 'seduce' her and she refused his advances. He then beat her to death with branches of Myrtle. She was later deified for her bravery.  It was rare in those times for poor people, slaves and Plebians to worship, but they did worship this goddess because she was known as benevolent and was a goddess of women and community, as well as fertility and wealth.  There was a festival celebrating her every year on 1st May and this was held at her temple on Aventine Hill and it lasted until 4th May with everyone taking part.  The temple was said to be a place of contrast to Rome itself, as it was a place where women were independent and rebellion was encouraged.  In early December, there was a women only festival in her honour and this was one of secret rituals and rites with no men allowed.  We like to think she is a goddess of quiet revolution, bringing in changes in support of and inclusion of everyone.  We'd love to know your thoughts about The Good Goddess. Let us know what you think.  Lots of love, The Good Goddess Project Team. 

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