Abundantia, the goddess of wealth

Abundance, from the Latin “Abundantia,” is the goddess of wealth, fertility, and the limitless availability of resources that can serve the desires of human beings. Venerated in Italy even before the Romans, there were no temples or altars dedicated to Abundance. She was there and she was everywhere.

The Romans represented her as an elegant young woman with a soft, feminine shape. In the Labyrinth, she is represented as a child instead, symbolizing the energy and vitality that her touch brings to everyone’s lives. She is a child also because she reminds us of the importance of playfulness: to call forth abundance, one must have an open heart and a light spirit… and also a bit of courage: Abundance was also the protector of gamblers!

The cornucopia – the horn of plenty

The magical container that spills forth the goods desired by humans and bestowed by the goddess – came to Abundance from the Greek goddess Euthenia. Zeus himself had created the cornucopia, inadvertently breaking the horn of the goat Amaltea.

The cult of Abundance survived the era of Greek and Roman pagan deities, becoming part of the North European tradition as the patron saint of personal fortunes, a smiling young woman who, with a bundle of wheat under one arm and the magic cornucopia under the other, distributes prosperity where it is merited and needed.

The Italian figure of the Befana – as well Perchta, Bertha and Berchta in northern Europe – are a reminder of this tradition, even though the young and beautiful goddess was transformed into a very old woman who flies on a broom and carries charcoal and sweets.

Abundance is still there and everywhere, even today. Originally, her energy was perceived and described as the will of the universe to take care of her children, pouring forth the gifts that they deserved.

How we are using the resources

Today, connecting with Abundance encourages us to think about how we are using the resources of the planet as well. It provokes a meditation on the relationship we want to create between our desires and their impact on the next seven generations, just as the indigenous peoples call upon us to consider.

In some parts of the world today, it seems that we can have everything, any kind of object and experience. There are things that come forth from the cornucopia of Abundance that the first peoples who heard the voice of the goddess could not have even imagined. However, the face of Abundance is probably not as relaxed and soft as it was in ancient times. Perhaps now she feels that her cornucopia is no longer sufficient to counteract the destructive madness of consumerism, the loss of the enchantment for nature and respect for life.

Perhaps Abundance is trying to speak with us, to urgently share her reflections, her challenge. It is up to us to listen with attention and reverence.

What do we really desire? What “abundance,” what “success,” what “prosperity?” What kind of wealth do we choose to pursue?

Knowing how to make choices

Humanity has the duty to make its own choices, and the divinities have the task of making them possible. Abundance, she who knows and favors prosperity and success, urges us to decide what we want with awareness. We can have things for ourselves by taking them away from others. We can live in the present and destroy the future. We can know many things and understand very little. Or, we can wish for both the present and the future to exist, for ourselves and for others, for knowledge and awareness.

Abundance is sweet, maternal and understanding, and she wants to continue pouring forth her gifts upon us. This is why she is asking us to do our part in making it possible. Learning to choose is perhaps the greatest act of freedom we can accomplish.