November 11th, 2007 by sabrina
Today is my birthday, so I get to be the Goddess of the Day! I’m not actually named after her though; I’m named after Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Of course, these days I’m Sabrina the Thirty-something Witch. And with the 3 names I’m adding today, my total count is now up to 1000!
Sabrina is the Celtic Goddess of the river Severn, which flows from its source in Wales through England and empties into the Bristol Channel and then on into the Celtic Sea. The river is named for Sabrina, whose original Welsh name was Havren or Habren; Sabrina is the Romanized version.
The legend of how the Severn got its name begins with Brutus of Troy. He led a band of Trojan exiles to Britain, and the land was named for him. On Brutus’s death, the land was divided into four parts and given to his three sons, Locrine, Camber, and Albanact, and his good friend Corineus. To cement the alliance, Corineus’s daughter Guendolen was promised to Locrine in marriage. Before they were to be married, Britain was invaded by the Huns, and Locrine led the fight against the invaders. A princess named Estrildis was one of those captured, and Locrine fell in love with her. He asked Corineus to let him out of his engagement to Guendolen, but Corineus would not hear of it. Locrine married Guendolen, but he had secret rooms built under the castle where he hid Estrildis away. For the next seven years, Locrine continued to see his true love, using the excuse that he was making offerings to the Gods. After a time, Estrildis gave birth to Locrine’s daughter, Havren.
When Corineus died, Locrine divorced Guendolen, sent her back to her father’s kingdom, and acknowledged Estrildis and Havren as his family. The jilted Guendolen raised an army of her father’s men against Locrine, and he was killed in battle. Guendolen ordered that Estrildis and Havren be thrown into the mighty river that ran through Locrine’s kingdom. She then declared that the river would be henceforth named after Havren, so that Locrine’s infidelity would be forever remembered. When the Romans invaded, they changed the name to their own version, Sabrina, which means “from the boundary”.
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