'Liban', by Robert M. Place

Liban, the merrow, or mermaid goddess, hails from Ireland. Some legends say she was originally a human who drowned and was transformed into a mermaid. She became a sanctified mermaid (the only one I’ve ever read about) because she petitioned St. Comgall to help grant her a soul. Other legends tell of a sacred healing well and an arrogant woman who didn’t give the well its due respect. In rage the well overflowed, drowning the entire village, which included Liban and her dog. And yet others say she is the daughter of the Irish god, Eochaid, who ran off with his stepmother. Liban and her lapdog were the only ones who survived the flood sent to his household by the angry gods in vengeance for Eochaid’s flagrance.

For hundreds of years Liban lived in the depths of the sea, she in the shape of a salmon, a fish of knowledge and wisdom to the Celts, and her dog as an otter. Curious about what was happening on land, Liban transformed herself into a mermaid and allowed herself to be caught with her faithful otter friend. While the both of them were being exhibited as a curiosity, a vicious, depraved man killed the otter. Out of grief for the loss of her animal companion, Liban changed into a human and died.

Liban is a lover of animals, a virgin (and here virgin means whole unto herself without a consort or partner), and capable of connecting to her deepest most spiritual parts.

Excerpt from Mermaid Magic by Amy Sophia Marashinsky (HarperElement, 2005)


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