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Celtic Godes and Goddesses

Unidentified Celtic deity from France
with boar carved in torsoThe Celts were a technologically advanced and barbarous people who occupied vast areas of western and central Europe during the last half of the first millenium b.c. Although the early Celts were composed of a number of different races and tribes, and at the height of their power they spread across wide tracts of Europe, they did have a uniformity of religious idiom that enables historians to speak of a Celtic religion. They were linked by common origins and language (P-Celtic spoken in Gaul and Britain, and Q-Celtic spoken in Ireland), common religious traditions, and a close similarity of laws. The Celts were highly ritualistic and religious. Their elaborate burials, under a mound, in a wooden chamber usually made of oak, furnished with highly decorated weapons, food, drink, and personal ornaments point to powerful beliefs about the nature of life after death. The bodies of the wealthy dead were laid out, burnt or unburnt, on four-wheeled wagons in the earliest of Celtic peoples, and later in lighter, two wheeled wagons.
Celtic religion featured many female deities such as mother goddesses and war goddesses. The Mother Goddess of the Celts was often conceived as a warrior, fighting with weapons and instructing the hero in superior secrets of warfare. Celtic deities were tribal by nature, and each tribe or clan would have its own names for particular gods and goddesses. This accounts for the great diversity of names in Celtic mythology, there are over 300 different names recorded. The Celts also believed that it was
dangerous to name a sacred thing by its correct name, the result being that sacred things are often referred to in a roundabout way.
Our knowledge of the religion and mythologies of the Celtic people comes from three different areas in Europe. From Gaul, which is modern day France, Britain (most
specifically Wales), and Ireland. Both Gaul and Britain were influenced by Greco Roman tradition before the advent of Christianity. The Celts themselves did not commit their traditions to writings, regarding their laws, genealogies and spiritual disciplines as sacred, required to be handed down orally. The Druids, the high priests of the Celts, would spend twenty years learning the traditions and oral lessons. The native lore of Wales and Ireland, the oldest outside of classical sources, is a great repository of pre-Christian myth and practices. Fragmentary texts
transcribed during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries provide us with ancient legends and heroic tales,
influenced by the times of the scribes. Archaeological evidence provides us with more clues. The Celts of Ireland maintained their cultural integrity until close to 500 AD, and it is there where the pagan Celtic mythology has been best preserved.
Animal symbolism found in Celtic myths include boars,
birds, serpents, fish, horse and cattle. Boars symbolise courage and strong warriors. Power and strength is attached to the bristles of the boar, which was held in high esteem by the Celts. There are many examples of supernatural boars and their adventures in the literary traditions of the Irish and the Welsh. The otherworld feast is supposed to be sustained by magical pigs which, no matter how many times they are cooked and eaten, are alive again the next day to be cooked again.
Fish, especially salmon are associated with knowledge and secrets. Serpents and dragons are portents of trouble, strife and infertility. Birds also may presage bad luck or bloodshed. Horse and cattle represent fertility, as do many occurrences of animals in Celtic legend. Foliate head images were central to Celtic cultures, also symoblizing fertility. Horns were a powerful symbol of virility and divine power. The Celts not only gave their gods horns, but enhanced their chances of success in battle by wearing horned helmets. In Celtic mythology powerful opponents may use the magic of shape shifting into different animal forms during battle. The number three was sacred to the Celts, and deities were sometimes portrayed in groups of three, or as having three heads or faces. In mythological tales, the deities or semi-divine heroes are described as being one of three people of the same name, or as having been born three times in succession.
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Belenus
God of light, The Shining One, associated with Apollo.
married to Belisama. Belenus was the most widely worshipped Celtic God. Belenus is in charge of welfare of sheep and cattle. Corresponds with Irish God Bile. The Feast of
Beltane means 'Fire of Bel'.
Belisama
(corresponds to classical Minerva) Goddess of light and fire, forging and craft.
Cernunnos
"The Horned One" is a Celtic god of fertility, life,
animals, wealth, and the underworld. He was worshipped all over Gaul, and his cult spread into Britain as well.
Cernunnos is depicted with the antlers of a stag, sometimes carries a purse filled with coin. The Horned God is born at the winter solstice, marries the Goddess at Beltane, and dies at the summer solstice. He alternates with the Goddess of the moon in ruling over life and death, continuing the cycle of death, rebirth and reincarnation. Paleolithic cave paintings found in France that depict a stag standing
upright or a man dressed in stag costume seem to indicate that Cernunnos' origins date to those times. Romans
sometimes portrayed him with three cranes flying above his head.
Epona
The Goddess of horses, mules, and cavalrymen. She was worshipped throughout entire Gaul, and as far as the Danube and Rome. Her cult was eventually adopted by the Roman army and they spread her worship wherever they went. Epona is depicted sitting side saddle or lying on a horse, or
standing with multiple horses around her. Her symbol is the Cornucopia ("horn of plenty") which suggests that she could (originally) have been a fertility goddess. She is also identified with the Celtic goddess Edain.
Nantosuelta (Nantosvelta)
Consort of Sucellus, she is possibly a goddess of nature, valleys and streams. Her symbol, the raven, suggests that she may be associated with Irish war-goddess Morrigan. Ogmios (Sun face)
A hero god, he has gold chains that hang from his tongue attached to the ears of his followers. He is the patron god of scholars and eloquence. It is Ogmios who invented the runic language of the Druids. He is represented as an old man, with a bald head, and dressed in a lion skin. His Irish counterpart is Ogma.
Rosmerta
A Celtic goddess of fertility and wealth, whose cult was widely spread in Gaul. She is the wife of the god Esus, but also of the Gaulish Mercury. Her attributes are a
cornucopia and a stick with two snakes.
Sucellus
He's the guardian of forests and the patron of agriculture. Often seen with a great hammer and a dog by his side, he ferries the dead to the otherworld. His name means 'good striker'
Smertrios
Gallic war deity.
Taranis
His emblems are the wheel and the lightning flash, and his name means 'Thunderer'. This Gaulish god is sometimes identified with Jupiter.
Teutates
Teutates is an ancient Celtic god of war, fertility and wealth worshipped in Gaul. His name means "the god of the tribe". Human sacrifices were made in his name. Teutates is the equivalent of the Roman god Mars.
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I dedicate this page to Celtic Goddess a Magical Friends club member who ask about the Celts:Blessed Be!!!
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Some More Celtic Deities To Work With

Children of Don
One of the rival dynasties of Welsh mythology, and equated with the Tuatha de Danaan of Ireland, the Children of Don includes Gwydion, a warrior magician, and Aranrhod, sky goddess and symbol of fertility. Their sons were Dylan, associated with the sea, and Lleu Llaw Gyffes.
Children of Llyr
Bendigeidfran, Branwen and Manawydan, who appear in the story of 'Branwen Daughter of Llyr.
Amaethon
The Welsh god of agriculture.
Arianrhod Celtic earth goddess. She is the daughter and/or wife of Don, sister of Gwydion.
Bran
Bran ("raven"), son of Llyr and Penarddun, and brother of Branwen and the sea god Manawydan, and half brother Nisien and Efnisien. He is a hero god and perhaps also the god of poetry and the underworld.
Branwen,
Branwen is the Celtic goddess of love and beauty, also worshipped in Manx and Wales. She is the sister of Bran the Blessed and Manannan mac Lir, daughter of Lir, and wife of the Irish king Matholwch. After the death of her brother Bran, due to a war caused by her husband, Branwen died of a broken heart. She corresponds with Aphrodite and Venus. Belatu-Cadros (Belatucadros)
The Celtic god of war and of the destruction of enemies. His name means fair shining one. The Romans equated him with their god Mars.
Caridwen
Mother of Taliesen, greatest and wisest of all the bards, therefore she is patron of poets. Caridwen corresponds with Brigit. She is connected with wolves, and some believe that her cult dates to the Neolithic era. Originally a corn goddess.
Dewi,
An old Welsh god. The official emblem of Wales, a red
dragon, is derived from the Great Red Serpent that once represented the god Dewi.
Dylan
Welsh sea god, brother of Lleu.
Gwydion
Welsh warrior and magician god. By his sister Arianrhod he fatherd Lleu and Dylan.
Lleu
Brother of Dylan, son of Arianrhod and Gwydion. Hero god who corresponds with the Irish Lugh. His festival, teh Lugnasad, was held on the first day of August.
Pwyll,
Prince of Dyfed (southwest Wales) who marries the Goddess Rhiannon and has a son Pryderi.
Rhiannon
Believed to be the Welsh counterpart of Gaulish horse
goddess Epona. Her son, Pryderi, succeeded his father Pwyll as the ruler of Dyfed and of the otherworld.
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Aine
Goddess of love and fertility, later known as an Irish fairy queen..
Airmid
A healing goddess of the Tuatha de Danann, goddess of medicinal plants and keeper of the spring that brings the dead back to life.
Brigit (Bridget, Brighid, Brigindo)
Brigit is the Irish-Celtic goddess of healing and
fertility, patroness of smiths, poets and doctors,
symbolized by a white swan. She is the daughter of The Dagda, the deity of the Tuatha de Danaan, one of the most ancient people of Northern Europe. Brigit is wife of Bres, king of the gods and Ireland. Her festival is that of the Imbolc, observed on February 1. In Kildare, Ireland, she was served by a female priesthood. Brigit shares attributes with the ancient Greek triple goddess Hecat. The
pre-Christian Brigantes, from where her name derives,
honored her as identical to Juno, Queen of Heaven.
So well loved is Brigit, that she was made into a Christian saint when the Celts turned to Christianity.
Fomorians (Fomors)
In Irish-Celtic mythology, the Fomorians are a race of demonic giants, the original occupants of Ireland. The Tuatha DÈ Danann, the Irish race of gods, arrived and destroyed the Fomorian hold over Ireland for good in the second battle of Mag Tuireadh. The Fomorians were given the province of Connacht, and were allowed to marry some of the Tuatha DÈ. The king of the Fomorians is the one-eyed Balor. Bres
The Irish-Celtic god of fertility and agriculture. He is the son of Elatha, a prince of the Fomorians, and the
goddess Eriu.
Bile Corresponds with Gaul god Belenius.
Boann Boann is a Goddess of bounty and fertility, whose totem is the sacred white cow. She was the wife of Nechtan, a water deity. The father of her son Angus was Dagda. To hide their union from Nechtan, Boann and the Dagda caused the sun to stand still for nine months, so that Angus was conceived and born on the same day.
Dagda (Dagde, Dagodevas)
The Irish Celtic God of the Earth and Father God. On New Years Day Dagda mates with his wife the raven Morrigan. His attributes are a bottomless caldron of plenty and a harp with which he rules the seasons. His club can kill as well as restore life. As leader of the Tuatha De Danaan, Dagda is a fearsome warrior and skilled artisan.
Danu
Danu is considered to be the mother of The Dagda, god of the Tuatha de Danaan. She most likely existed in an earlier form as Anu, Universal Mother.
Morrigan
Morrigan was the Celtic goddess of war and death who could take the shape of a crow or raven. She is associated with the sometimes frightening aspects of female energy, and is wife to Dagda. As one aspect of the Celtic triple goddess, Morrigan is seen washing bloody laundry prior to battle by those destined to die.
Lugh
This Celtic deity was worshipped during the 30 day
midsummer feast in Ireland, where sexual magic ensured ripening of the crops and a prosperous harvest. He is
linked with the nature goddess variously named Tailltu,
Machta or Rosmerta in Gaul. His animal totems are the raven and the lynx, and he corresponds with the Roman God
Mercury.
Ogma
Ogmias is his Gaul counterpart. Sometimes associated with the Greek Herakles, he is a great warrior. Here he is seen carrying his club. He is the champion of eloquence.
Shannon
Irish goddess of the river Shannon.
Sidhe
Ancient Irish hill people believed to be the spirits of the dead.
Tuatha De Danann
The Tuatha De Danann ("People of the goddess Danu") are the Irish race of gods, founded by the goddess Danu. These gods, had perfected the use of magic. From the legends of the Tuatha De Danaans we learn that these were deities of learning, magical skills, arts and crafts. The three things that they revered above all others were: the plough, the hazel and the sun.
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Page Dedicated To"Celtic Goddess"A Magical Friends Club Member From "Ireland".see at Magical Friends a members question will always count.and i only hope this page will help some.Blessed Be!

MysticalWolf's Links

MAIN INDEX PAGE: Site Listings
Magical Friends: My club At Yahoo.com
IMBAS: Excelent Celtic Site This Is The Place To Go To Learn About The Celts!!!
CELTIC ASTROLOGY: A Brief Description of Celtic Astrology,also can be found on my Astrology Page.
The Sacred Fire: A good Celtic Site lots of info

MysticalWolf

mysticalwolf777@yahoo.com
Sunbury, PA 17801
United States


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