Little is known of Coventina, Goddess of sacred waters, other than that she was a purely local British goddess and had some importance. She apparently had high status. She is referred to in inscriptions as “Augusta” and “Sancta.” During the period of the Roman occupation, she was observed to show a classical influence, but is clearly Celtic in origin. Coventina was a goddess of wells and springs. She was known to represent abundance, inspiration, and prophecy. She is depicted in triple form or as a water nymph on a leaf, pouring water from a vessel. It is thought that she was to have been worshipped from around 200BC to 400AD.
Coventina is more what we generally think of as a trinity of Maiden, Mother, and Crone for she is often depicted in triple form. She is also seen as a water nymph on a leaf, pouring water from a vessel.
She was most closely associated with England’s Caldew River. It is well known that she was looked upon as the queen of river Goddesses. The Celtic believe the power of the river deity could be seen and its energy most keenly felt, particularly the watershed.
She, like most river deities, represented abundance, inspiration, and prophecy. Offerings to Coventina include coins, brooches, rings, pins, glassware, and pottery. The coins were thought to be sacrifice in hopes of sympathetic magick.
The Scottish have also depicted her as the Goddess of featherless flying creatures. It is thought to have possibly represented some type of blockage to passing into the Otherworld. There is also evidence of her having been worshipped in Celtic Gaul. Sculptures known as reliefs have been found depicting her reclining on a floating leaf.
There is a wellspring near Carrawburgh known as Hadrian’s Wall. Here, votive deposits were found in a walled area which had been built to contain the outflow from a spring which is now called “Coventina’s Well”. The site near Coventina’s Well was excavated by a British archaeologist in 1876. The date of the wall at Coventina’s Well is uncertain, but some have theorized that it was built sometime after the completion of the Roman fort. The contents of the well included 13487 coins from Mark Anthony to Gratain, a relief of three water nymphs, the head of a male statue, two dedication slabs to the goddess Coventina, ten altars to Coventina, two clay incense burners, and a wide range of votive objects.
Though her spring is now no more than a muddy pool, she remains, like clear water from a bubbling spring, a source, somewhere to return to, an unsullied stream flowing into the Romano-British myth river.
Peace, Love, and Blessings!