Thursday, 12 April 2012

Elen of the ways

I mentioned in a previous post about my Patron Goddess. I call her by the name of Elen of the Trackways and I thought I would shed some light on this enigmatic Lady.
Elen is a very elusive Goddess, so in that sense not much is know about her!
She is a Goddess of "Albion" which is an ancient name for the island of Great Britain and she is a diety associated to the crossroads, trackways, by ways and even paths out to sea.
She is a guardian of the land, sacred springs and waterfalls. Woods, forests sacred groves and all wild animals are sacred to her, especially the Deer and Reindeer.
Elen is aligned with fire and solar imagery and new beginnings and she shares many of the same attributes as Brighid. Elen is "The Maiden of Light", indeed the name Elen means light. She is a deity of the 'between times', of Dawn and Dusk. She is also the protector of the dream pathways.
She has connections with leylines and the energies of the land for which she is intertwined with. From Earth mother, keeper of fates and destines, ruler of the web of wyrd she has many associations.
Many see Elen as a female counterpart to the Green man. She is holder of knowledge of the land, it is, her blood, her body and her spirit.

Sacred to Elen
Colour ~ Red
Season~ Spring
Holiday / Feast Day~ Beltane, May 22nd, August 18th
Talismans~ comb, mirror, shell
Direction ~ Southeast
Aspect~ Lover, Virgin Goddess
Animals~ Dog, Mare, Horse, Dove, Swan, Deer
Region~ Ancient Britan
Food~ Apple
Tree~ Elder
Guardian~ of all who journey

Elen is also mentioned in the Mabinogion.
Elen’ appears in the tale ‘The Dream of Mascen Wledid’, whose character is based on the Roman Emperor Maximus.
Mascen is out hunting with thirty-two companions.* They follow the ‘River that Runs towards Rome’. Mascen gets tired in the heat of the sun at noon so a tent is prepared and he sleeps. Mascen dreams a wonderful dream.

He dreams of undertaking an epic journey, where he travels across mighty rivers, mountains and valleys, all kinds of terrain, until he crosses a sea and eventually comes to a red-gold castle. In the castle he finds two auburn haired youths playing chess, and an old king whittling chess pieces.
On a red-gold throne sits a woman. She is the most beautiful woman Mascen has ever seen. She is Elen.
Mascen awakes, and pines for the woman of his dream. He sends men out on a quest to find her, which they do, in Wales, the land of red gold. They tell her that the Emperor wants her, and Elen says that if the Emperor wants her that badly, he can come and get her himself.
On hearing this, Mascen sets of, and after many adventures, Elen becomes his Bride. She becomes the Empress Helen, has roads built (magically) for the armies of Britain, and for the protection of Britain, (Elen Lwydogg -Elen of the Hosts). The roads are said to link castles across the land. As a Leyhunter this appealed to me – were these more than Roman roads, echoes of ancient pathways, Elen’s roads, memories of the Old straight tracks?
You can walk along her roads still. Sarn Elen, a network, which goes form Caernarfon, the site of Elen’s castle, into South Wales. It is known to be earlier than the Roman period, and being on her highway can be a magical experience, as you are poised in that numinous borderland where magic, myth, and history meet.

My path with Elen
It was of January 2010 when I first became aware of my Lady. I remember having a very detailed dream in which I was in a forest, a very magical feeling forest and I had a pair of amazing antlers on my head. I didn't think much about the dream until I saw a post on facebook by a friend of mine mentioning a Green Goddess who is often depicted with antlers on her head like a female reindeer (The only deer whose females have antlers)
I joined her group to find out more and in my study I realised that this was the Goddess I had been working with for a long time only mistaking her for Artemis.
Upon having a name for my Lady I felt complete a feeling I never had before during my path.
Now I ask for Elen's help when ever I feel lost, and when I am out on my forest walks I ask her to join me. Ever since then I have been blessed to see the wild Deer who live in our local woods every time I ask for her help.

More reading: facebook group
Pathways to Elen, a introductory booklet about Elen including an article I wrote for is now avalible. Read a prieview at


  1. she is a great goddess to follow, and I find really popular too. I love all the history that goes with her though, makes me feel very close to the land, I loved the bit about the inbetween times too.

  2. I grew up a few miles from the reindeer at "operation Santa Claus" who knew the connection with this ancient one, keeper of the Stär-path!