Ostara


Gender: Feminine

Origin: Germanic

Meaning: “Eastern; where sun rises; Dawn.”

Pronunciation: (0h-STAHR-uh)

Nicknames: Ossie, Ozzie, Star

Detail: Ostara, may come from the word “east”, meaning dawn.

Teutonic dawn goddess of fertility. Her name was derived from the ancient word for spring: “eastre.”

Variations:

  • Ausos
  • Austron
  • Easter (English)
  • Eastra
  • Eastur
  • Eostra
  • Eostre (Germanic)
  • Eostur
  • Ostara (Germanic)
  • Ostare
  • Ostern

Pasiphae


Gender: Feminine

Origin: Greek

Meaning: “Wide shining.”

Pronunciation: (pah-SIH-fah-ee)

Nicknames: Pasi, Posy, Phae, Fae

Detail: In Greek myth, Pasiphae is the daughter of Helios and Perse, and wife of King Minos. When Minos had the misfortune of insulting Poseidon, the god kindled a passionate love in Pasiphae for a bull. She had Daedalus design a construction so that she could mate with the bull, and thus she became the mother of the Minotaur.

Pomona


Gender: Feminine

Origin: Latin

Meaning: “Fruit tree.”

Pronunciation: (pah-MOH-nah)

Nicknames: Pomme (French word for apple), Pomy, Poppy, Mona

Detail: From the Latin pomus “fruit tree”. This was the name of the Roman goddess of fruit trees.

In the Harry Potter series Pomona Sprout the professor of Herbology.

Eponine


Heading East by sagetopaz

Gender: Feminine

Origin: Gaulish

Meaning: “Horse Goddess.”

Pronunciation: (EP-oh-neen)

Nicknames: Eppie, Poe, Poni, Nina

Detail: The name Epona, “Horse Goddess” is from the Gaulish language; it is derived from the inferred proto-Celtic ekwos ‘horse’ (Compare Latin equus)

In Gallo-Roman religion, Epona was a protector of horses, donkeys, and mules.

Variations:

  • Empona (Gaulish)
  • Epona (Celtic)
  • Eponine (French)
  • Epponina (Italian)

Nimue


Gender: Feminine

Origin: Welsh

Pronunciation: (NIM-oo-ay)

Nicknames: Nim, Moon

Detail: A moon goddess who was sometimes called Lady of the Lake. The Lady of the Lake is usually referred to by various spellings of the names Nimue or Vivienne.

Nimue is thought to be related to Mneme, the shortened form of Mnemosyne, one of the nine water-nymph Muses of Roman and Greek Mythology who gave weapons, not unlike Arthur‘s sword, to the heroic Perseus.

Iris


Gender: Feminine

Origin: Greek

Meaning: “Rainbow.”

Pronunciation: (AHY-ris)

Nicknames: Iri

Detail: Iris was the ancient Greek goddess of the rainbow, the messenger of the Olympian gods.

Her name contains a double meaning, being connected both with iris, “the rainbow,” and eiris, “messenger.”

Iris can also refer to a genus of ornamental flowering plants, or a part of the eye.

Onatah


Gender: Feminine

Origin: Iroquois

Meaning: “Daughter of the Earth and Corn Spirit.”

Pronunciation: (oh-NAH-tah)

Nicknames: Nat, Ona, Ota

Detail: In Iroquois mythology, Onatah is the corn goddess. She was the daughter of Eithinoha (Mother Earth).

Onatah was kidnapped by the ruler of the underworld. Her mother searched everywhere for her, to no avail. She grieved and while she grieved no crops grew. Finally, the sun found where she was, split open the ground and rescued her, and the earth flourished. However, the spirits of the underworld miss Onatah, and whenever the sun sleeps they snatch her back (winter), and then a great human effort in ceremonies and offerings are needed to awaken the sun and rescue her again (spring).

Uzume


Gender: Feminine

Origin: Japanese

Meaning: “Whirling.”

Pronunciation: (oo-ZOO-mey)

Nicknames: Zume, Zumi, Uma, Uzu

Detail: A goddess of laughter & merriment.

Uzume is the name of a Japanese Shinto goddess and means “whirling”. The story of Uzume tells of her strange dance that lured the sun goddess, Amaterasu, out of the cave where she had hidden herself.

Freyja


Gender: Feminine

Origin: Norse

Meaning: “Lady.”

Pronunciation: (FREY-yah)

Nicknames: Frey, Fay, Reya, Ray

Detail: Freyja is a goddess in Norse mythology associated with love, beauty, fertility, gold, seiðr (witchcraft), war, and death.

In most Germanic languages the day is named after Freyja, such as Frīatag (Old High German), Freitag (Modern German), Freyjudagr (Old Norse), Vrijdag (Dutch), Fredag (Swedish, Norwegian, and Danish)

Variations:

  • Freia
  • Freja
  • Freya
  • Freyja

Persephone


Gender: Feminine

Origin: Greek

Meaning: “Bringer of death; Destoyer.”

Pronunciation: (per-SEF-oh-nee)

Nicknames: Sephy, Seffy, Poppy, Phee, Effy, Posy

Detail: As the story goes, one day in the valley of Enna, where spring reigns eternal, Persephone was innocently picking flowers. Hades, god of the underworld, saw her and it was love at first sight. He came charging in his chariot into the valley and snatched her away.

Demeter finally persuaded Zeus through adamant pleading, to demand for her daughter back from Hades. Hades agreed to return Persephone as long as she had not eaten anything from the underworld. (There is a permanent bond for those who consume food in the Underworld; they are bound to it eternally.) However the sly Hades, who fancied Persephone to pieces, duped her into snacking on a few pomegranate seeds.

This caused some intense arguing, but Zeus, being the crafty old mediator that he was, came up with an agreement by which Persephone could stay with Demeter in the spring and summer to help out with the botany business and then go back down to live with Hades for six months or so, creating a season for nature to take time off, winter break.

Demeter has never been satisfied with this, and that is why winters are so gaunt and cold. So you can thank Hades for when you have Jack Frost nipping at you.