Is the Goddess of love calling to you? Aine (AHN-ya) is an Irish Celtic goddess who rules over love, fertility, summer, the self, the sun, wealth, agriculture, and the moon. Aine literally means bright, joy, radiance, and splendour. She is a goddess full of energy and generosity but can also bring justice through intellect when necessary. So, how do you work with Aine? Here we discuss who Aine is and how to work with her in your magickal practice.
Like many Celtic deities, Aine is known by many names and her lore is woven in and through many mythological tales. Most prominently, Aine is known as the Faery Queen of Munster whose home resides at Cnoc Aine. Munster is a province in Knockainey Co. (also named after the goddess) in Southwest Ireland while Cnoc Aine is her sacred faery hill. It’s interesting to note, in addition to being an earth goddess, she’s also connected to the water element. She’s the Lady of the Lake in some myths.
Aine is depicted as wearing a flowing yellow dress and having long red hair held in place by a headband full of stars. This is a nod to her association with both the sun and the moon. She also has shapeshifting abilities and is seen on occasion as a red mare, Lair Derg.
Aine is present in many myths and is associated with a wide variety of mortals and deities within Celtic lore. In some stories, she is said to be coveted by the human Earl of Desmond who won her over with a magickal cloak. In others, it is said that the Earl forced himself upon her and in return she bit his ear so that he could no longer retain his power (you could not hold a position of power if you were physically imperfect). And still in others, it is said that instead of violence, she strikes a deal with the Earl that ultimately grants her freedom from the Earl. However, in every version of the story, the two produce a son who becomes ‘The Magician’ (some speculate Merlin himself).
She is also heavily associated with the sea God Manannan Mac Lir in one format or another. Some tales say she’s the sea god’s daughter, and in others she’s his wife. And in a third version of the myth, she is the daughter of Lir’s foster son. Her exact association with Manannan remains shrouded in mystery. Perhaps this is where her connection to the water element originated.
Her union with Gerald FitzGerald, the Earl of Desmond, is the beginning of a long line of FitzGeralds who claim Aine as their ancestor. Intriguingly, the FitzGerald clan wasn’t originally Irish as they came from Normandy. Yet they considered Ireland their home so much so that Aine became their ancestor. So, if you have FitzGeralds in your ancestry, you too can claim Aine as your divine ancestor!
On the Celtic Irish side, the clans that stem from the Eoganachta dynasty claim Aine as their ancestral goddess. This connection being through Aine’s forced union with the “unfit king” Ailill Aulom. Some of those clan names include MacCarthy, O’Callaghan, O’Keefe and MacAuliffe. So, if you or your ancestors claim these names, you can claim descent from Aine herself.
Aine taught her human children how to love one another and how to express that love. She teaches sovereignty, bestows gifts upon her followers, and rules over land, sea, and sky. Aine is associated with the sun and moon, fertility, love, sex, agriculture, livestock, prosperity, abundance, luck, summer, wealth, healing, water, and air.
Aine, like all the Fae, can be elusive. She favors farmers, women, lovers, mothers, musicians, magicians and healers. There are many ways to work with this Goddess of ecstasy, but here are our favorites:
Summer is the season of Aine. She is most present during the summer solstice aka Litha and Lughnasadh. It is sacred to honor her on these holy sabbats as well as for the two days after Litha. However, as a representative of the sun, Aine generally hangs around during the summer months until the winds begin to change when she becomes far less active and turns inward with the mother nature.
Though Aine’s stories are complex, they all reflect that she was a goddess of many lovers and many children – most of which were half human. Aine is the supreme goddess to call on for love and fertility (or conception) spells. She has the unique power of being a goddess who can help attract a partner or cause chaos to an unwanted lover. She also can bring misery to those who mistreat women just as she did to the Earl when she bit off his ear and forced him to give up his throne. In some folklore, she is referred to as the Leanan sidhe which translates to faery lover. The Leanan sidhe was known to take human lovers and inspire them in exchange for their unwavering love and devotion – an almost vampiric relationship.
Having an altar space dedicated to Aine gives her a gateway into this world. Things you can add include horseshoes, horse/swan/rabbit figurines or photos, The Moon or The Magician Tarot card, or a harp.
In addition to keeping space for her, giving offerings is another great way to work with her, as with any deity. Aine loves any instrumental music (she plays a harp that can inspire others or drive them mad), meadowsweet, honey, lavender, menstrual blood, as well as corn and grain in any format.
Because Aine is a ruler of livestock, animal stewardship is looked upon with favour. Feeding, breeding, and caring for livestock all fall under this category. Aine is especially partial to cattle and horses.
Aine loves playing her harp. When it falls on deserving ears, it leaves its listeners in a state that is one of divine inspiration. When it falls on undeserving ears, her melodic symphonies drive humans to insanity. Listening to or learning to play the harp is a huge honor to Aine.
The most powerful time to invoke Aine in ritual is during a Full Moon. Healing, love, childbirth, creativity, prosperity and abundance work during the full moon when Aine is invoked are extremely potent. The Full Moon is also indicative of the mother aspect of the triple Goddess. Aine is certainly a mother, and she is part of a triple goddess archetype with her sisters Fenne and Grainne.
Aine is a goddess of great generosity. She is a goddess of agriculture, fertility, and abundance. It is said that she bestowed grain upon the first people of Ireland and blesses the fields so that the crop yield will be plentiful. Any magick that involves manifestation, or even a manifestation mindset, can do wonders in honouring the Faery Queen of Munster. This also applies to money and prosperity magick.
Lough (Lake) Gur is an enchanted lake that lies on the other side of Cnoc Aine. Lough Gur is also known for its sacred dedication to Aine. Through Aine’s association’s with Mannan Mac Lir and Lough Gur, she is thus associated with water. Aine is also known to be one of the fastest of the fae when in the form of Lair Derg, the red mare. Because of her speed on land and her faerie association she also presides over the element of air.
Aine’s sacred lake, Lough Gur, is known for its healing qualities. During the Full Moon, aka All Heals Eve, people were brought to the lake for healing. In our modern world we can honor this aspect of Aine by learning about or engaging in hydrotherapy healing or any healing modality that relies on water.
Because Aine is the daughter of Eogabail, a member of the Tuatha de Dannan, and therefore she is considered one of the faery folk in Ireland. If you want to work with fairies in your practice, call on Aine for guidance and protection. After all, she’s a queen of the fairies and likely held in high favor in the Otherworld.
If you live in Ireland or are planning a trip there, consider visiting Knockaine Hill and the beautiful Lough (lake) Gur. The hill and lake have a long history dating back at least six thousand years and some sources say the lake was once used as healing waters. This is the lake where Aine sometimes manifests and becomes a Lady of the Lake. What’s even more interesting is that Aine shapeshifts into a red mare in some tales, and Lough Gur is in the shape of a horseshoe! I plan to visit this Summer.
Aine is a nurturing and sensual muse capable of bringing both joy and pain. She gives gifts to those in her favour and punishes those who disrespect what she presides over. Call on her to attract love, fertility, prosperity, and abundance into your life. From all of Aine’s folklore it’s safe to say that if she had a saying it would be: As you sow, so shall you reap.
Allorah Rayne is a practitioner of amnestic and wayfaring witchcraft and has been part of the online spiritual community since 2012. Her introduction to tarot was the age of nine and she pursued more intensive learning at fifteen. Allorah is the founder of The Wayfaring Witch © where she offers soul origin profiles, tarot and oracle card readings, digital downloads, workshops, and mentorships in the ways of the witch. She is also the co-founder of The Otherworldly Oracle Official Podcast, Spread This, Witches! and Witches in the Woods. You can contact Allorah at the following social media sites Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, on The Wayfaring Witch © website via live chat, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
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