The past few months I have found myself worshiping the Idesa or tribal mothers more and more, also called the Matronae. It started quite simply. I called on their help with a project at work, and made an offering when I got their help. I then needed help with another project, and one thing lead to another, and now I pray to them at least once a week, and make an offering a month.
Evidence of their worship in ancient times is widespread. Amongst Germanic mercenaries in the Roman legions, altars were erected to their worship. These altars bore names such as Alatievia, Gabiae, and Aufanie. Many of the names deal with giving and gifts. According to Winifred Hodge Rose in her article, “Matrons and Disir:The Heathen Tribal Mothers,” “The primary functions of the mothers, as shown in the inscriptions, were to help in time of need, to protect, to watch over a family or clan, to help in fertility and childbirth, to heal, and possibly to give protection in battle.” It is not clear whether they are to be identified with the Norse Dúsir or not. Like the Dúsir, the Matronae seem linked to war, fate, and the family. It is probably safe to assume they are one and the same, although I am sure arguments could be made they are not. Scholar Rudolf Simek sees them as being so, and also links Anglo-Saxon Modraniht to the Matronae. That is Modraniht or “Mothers’ Night” was a celebration of the Matronae.
Back to my own interaction with them, I usually pray to them and ask for some favor. It is nothing elaborate, really quite simple. I then offer them something in return if they help me, a bottle of wine, piece of jewelry, or a poem in their honor. If I receive their help, and I have yet to fail in getting their help, I give them the gift, again in a quite simple way. I have found my interaction with them far more rewarding than with the greater Gods and Goddesses or even the land wights. I would strongly suggest that if a Heathen does not already, that they include the Idesa in their worship.