The Goddess of the hot springs at Bath, England
(the only hot springs in Britain), Sulis's name come from a root meaning "eye"
or "gap", referring both to the spring from where half a million gallons
of hot water still well up every day, as well as to Her powers as seeress.
Her hot spring has been renowned for its healing
powers since ancient times, and when the Romans arrived in Britain they built
a bath complex around the spring, and named the place Aquae Sulis ("the
Waters of Sulis"). Pilgrims came from mainland Europe to bathe in the therapeutic
waters, and references to Sulis are known from as far away as Germany.
The Romans equated Sulis with their Minerva, and
so She was known to them as Sulis Minerva--which is somewhat unusual, since the
Romans generally used the native Celtic deity name after the Roman name. This
is taken as an indication of Her importance and fame.
Though famous for healing, Sulis could curse as
well as cure, and in Bath many "curse tablets" have been found, asking
Her to punish people suspected of wrongdoing.
She is shown here with one of the small offering-pans
dedicated to Her by worshippers which were found at the site of Bath; they were
usually inscribed "DSM", short for the Latin Dea Sulis Minerva,
"to the Goddess Sulis Minerva". Her dress is the same milky greeny-grey
as the water of the springs, and Her hair is the bright orange of the deposits
left by the mineral-rich waters.
now available on a myriad of products at the
Cat and Cauldron online shop.