Spirit Beings – Aetna

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Aetna

Aetna is the volcano goddess of Sicily’s Mount Etna, the spirit for whom the mountain is named. Etna is the highest mountain in Italy south of the Alps and Europe’s most active volcano. In ancient days, Mount Etna was hot property, not just in the volcanic lava sense but also in the real-estate sense of that phrase. Because it was so coveted, it’s difficult to unravel Aetna’s own personal myth. Various deities claim to be married to her, thus laying claim to her sacred mountain.

• Her original consort, or at least the earliest documented, is Adrano.

• Later myths suggest a marriage between Aetna and Zeus or Aetna and Hephaestus.

Aetna is the one with ultimate control over the volcano, and perhaps over Sicily. As is the nature of volcano goddesses, she is fiery, temperamental, passionate, and generous. Aetna is a powerful goddess: when Demeter and Hephaestus argued about property rights on the island, it was Aetna who brokered their truce. Aetna may hide beneath the mask of Saint Agatha.