Last year, I felt called to begin building a shrine to honor Airmed. For those who are unfamiliar with her, she is an Irish Goddess – one of the Tuatha Dé Danann. Along with her brother, Miach, and her father, Dian Cecht, she helped to heal the other Tuatha Dé Danann. The King of the Tuatha Dé Danann, Nuada, lost his arm in battle and, as a result, was seen as unfit to rule. Dian Cecht made him a metal arm to compensate, but his son, Miach, was a more talented healer. He made Nuada a new arm of flesh and blood so that he could once more resume his place as leader. Dian Cecht was driven mad with jealousy; he murdered his son. From Miach’s body grew all the healing herbs, each growing from the body part it is capable of healing. Wise Airmed gathered them on her mantle according to their function. Still jealous at the knowledge of his children, Dian Cecht flung the mantle and scattered the herbs so that others could not easily know the knowledge of the herbs. Only Airmed, who so tenderly gathered and organize the plants in tribute to her brother, knew their secrets.
Because of her herbal wisdom and healing knowledge, Airmed is an excellent ally for herbalists of all levels. I’m still very much a novice, and cultivating a relationship with her feels important. Using a broken bit of concrete I found nearby, I painted a simple figure to represent her. I placed this in a pot and surrounded it with some cilantro and dill that were growing wild in the mulch in my front shade/fairy garden. Since I rent and strangers periodically come through to weed-whack anything I’m not growing in a container, I wanted to give the plants a better chance. They look a little limp right now, but I’m hoping love from myself and Airmed will give them the strength they need to adapt and persevere. I placed a small, leaf-shaped dish in front of her for offerings, then built a spiral of stones in front of that.
There is more I would like to do, but that will entail surrounding her with even more herbs! I love how the shrine is taking shape. It adds so much magic to my home, and I pray that Airmed is pleased.