Black Petals Issue #100 Summer, 2022

Mars-News, Views and Commentary

Editor's Page
Mars-Chris Friend
BP Artists and Illustrators
Baby, You're the Best: Fiction by Hillary Lyon
The Darkest Day:Fiction by Richard Brown
They Feed on Light:Fiction by Kilmo
Step Eight: Fiction by Paul Lubaczewski
Reunion:Fiction by Gene Lass
Highwayman's Trousers:Fiction by Michael W. Clark
The Dutiful Hit:Fiction by Jay Flynn
Flight of Fantasy: Fiction by Martin Taulbut
He Asked Me to Do It: Fiction by R. A. Cathcart
Lagniappe: Fiction by Michael Stoll
No Spark, No Flame: Fiction by Hillary Lyon
The Bathroom Light: Fiction by Craig Shay
Dave Jenkins, Flayed: Flash Fiction by Brian Barnett
Beauty Sleep: Flash Fiction by Simeon Care
Head Games: Flash Fiction by Philip Perry
Hurry Home: Flash Fiction by M. L. Fortier
You'll See, She Said: Flash Fiction by Robb White
Captain Yeah-Way: Flash Fiction by Cindy Rosmus
Attic Notes: Poem by Michael S. Love
Exit Strategy: Poem by C. Renee Kiser
You Can Pretend: Poem by C. Renee Kiser
Gold Star: Poem by C. Renee Kiser
Conflict of Interest: Poem by David C. Kopaska-Merkel
Recording: Poem by David C. Kopaska-Merkel
Litha: Poem by Christopher Friend
Sleeping Beauty: Poem by Christopher Friend
It Began with Violence: Poem by Donna Dallas
Rocking Zebra Déjà vu: Poem by Donna Dallas
Circle: Poem by Donna Dallas
Love is a Ghost: Poem by Donna Dallas
Together: Poem by A. N. Rose
Silence: Poem by A. N. Rose
Dead at 21: Poem by Daniel G. Snethen
House Centipede: Poem by Daniel G. Snethen

Summer, 2022-Chris Friend

Art by Chris Friend © 2021

     Greetings from Mars!

     As a follow up article to my article on the Celtic deity Grannus who was a spirit who ruled healing hot springs, I decided to do one on a similar Celtic deity. The goddess Sulis ruled over the healing hot springs of Bath, England. Both the hot spring and town was formerly known as Aque Sulis or 'the Waters of Sulis'. Her name is likely derived from the Celtic word for sun. The hot springs were so warm as to be heated by the sun. Since the waters of Sulis are warm and therapeutic she is considered a goddess of healing as well as justice. She can be vengeful too, being called upon by her disciples to avenge wrong doings, such as stealing. Sulis is an ancient goddess going back before the Romans. Her sacred animal is the pig which is credited for discovering the hot springs. This was due to the fact that pigs loved to wallow in the warm mud of the springs. The Celts were nature-based and erected the first shrine to Sulis in rustic settings.

     The Romans were well known lovers of hot springs and quickly adopted Sulis and her hot springs with passion. The Romans soon associated Sulis with their own goddess Minerva. By 65 CE the Romans replaced Sulis with a great shrine dedicated to Minerva and built a massive temple with the springs being turned into a large pool. Sulis' new shrine became a site of pilgrimages and a tourist destination. Like our modern practice of tossing coins into a wishing well, the shrine of Sulis held a similar practice. Over sixteen thousand coins have been found at the site of the sacred springs.

     Since Sulis was also a deity of justice she was also called on for curses. Small metal tablets had a petition written on them and tossed into the deep depths of the spring from which they could not be retrieved, keeping the curse from being broken. Sulis provided justice for those who felt they had been wronged. Her shrine was also a place where amulets and charms were made and blessed. Molds for making her amulets have been found at her shrine. Her amulets were often in the form of body parts such as breasts to help with body functions such as breast feeding. Her bath is said to be full of coins and sometimes dice.

Art by Chris Friend © 2021

Chris Friend,, of Parkersberg, W.Va , writes and illustrates our “MARS News” column. He did a cover for Black Petals back in 2000 for the fall issue, and has been around ever since. BP prints his column in the issue quarterly. Chris has a gallery at and was featured artist in Kurt Newton’s Ultimate PerVersities (Naked Snake) [Jan. 2011].

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