Who is Boánn?

Boann, sometimes called Boand, is a pagan Irish goddess. Her name means "she who has white cows".

Irish mythology tells the story of the well of knowledge, caretaken by the god-king Nechtan, Boann's husband. Nine trees surrounded this well and bore the crimson hazel nuts of wisdom. No one, not even Nechtan himself, was allowed to eat these nuts. They would ripen and fall into the well where they were consumed by the salmon within, who would instantly know all things.

Boann was known for her curiosity. One day she drew water out of the well, against the commandment. The well rose up and became a fast-moving river, washing Boann away. Some stories say she was drowned, others say she escaped. Her spirit merged with that of the river, called today the Boyne. The salmon still swim up and down the river looking for the hazels.

Another story tells of Boann's affair with the leader of the band of gods known as the Dagdha. This affair resulted in pregnancy. Boann and her lover conspired to hide the pregnancy from Nechtan. They did this by making the sun stay in the sky for nine months, allowing Boann to carry the baby to term in only one day. The baby became Oenghus, the god of love. Nechtan, apparently, was none the wiser.

Today, Boann is associated with the river, fertility, and wisdom, all things we wish for our farm.

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