Book Review of Epona: Hidden Goddess of the Celts by P.D. Mackenzie Cook
The author, P.D. Mackenzie Cook, a life-long pagan, has written an amazing book.
While it is a book of the Goddess Epona, it also contains a wealth of information about early Goddess worship and the birth of patriarchy. He discusses how the changes to a male dominated culture came about slowly and changed the landscape of civilization and *attempted* to wipe out the Goddess, and Her worship.
Mr. Cook’s love of Epona shines forth in every word, as he discusses Her symbolism, the animals and plants associated with Her, as well as, of course, the symbolism of the horse.
He goes on to discuss how Epona fits into well-established Goddess norms of Maiden, Mother, Queen and Crone, whilst also adding Her as both Warrior and Healer. Also, like Hecate, she fits into the Triple Mother aspect.
Epona’s romantic and sexual liaisons are detailed, many of which were with Roman deities, such as Mars, Apollos and Jupiter.
It is not until about halfway through the book that Epona’s origins begin to be discussed. As the author states, much of Her beginnings are shrouded in myth. Her worship was, most likely, as with all traditions, a Mystery.
Epona, apparently, has links and connections to many other Goddesses, from other cultures, such as Demeter and Her association with fertility, and there is evidence of Her being linked to the Mysteries of Isis. Demeter and Isis are just two of the Goddesses she may have been linked to.
As a woman living in a patriarchal culture and world, one of the things that most impressed me was Mr. Cook’s feelings toward the Goddess, in general, as put forth in the following quotes:
“………Indeed, it may only be through Her embodiment in women
that modern men can truly embrace the Divine Feminine.”
“The simple truth that men who respect feminine wisdom –
and who take the time to listen to it –
are led to deeper insight, knowledge and
understanding than those who do not.”
The book closes with Epona’s re-discovery in a world that has, thankfully, seen a resurgence of Goddess worship. There are several personal stories, from both men and women, who have been touched by Epona and how her power manifested itself in them.
I would wish that the book would have been slightly less academic in nature to make it a bit of an easier read. There is so much information contained within, that it would take several read-throughs to fully come to know and understand Epona. With that being said, I did thoroughly enjoy the book and would recommend it to anyone with an interest in, not only Epona specifically, but in the Goddess entire.