The Gods of the Celts
The Celtic pantheon of Gods and Goddesses is diverse and complex, and varies depending on the region and time period.
Some of the most well-known Celtic deities are listed below:
Dagda – God of the earth, knowledge, magic, and abundance
Dagda is considered one of the most important gods of the ancient Irish pantheon. He was known by many titles, including Eochaid Ollathair (meaning “Eochaid the All-Father”), Ruad Rofhessa (meaning “the Red One of Great Knowledge”), and Fer Benn (meaning “the Horned Man”).
Dagda was associated with many aspects of life, including fertility, agriculture, the arts, and magic. He was often depicted as a large, powerful figure with a great club or mace, which was said to be able to kill nine men with one blow, but could also bring the dead back to life.
According to mythology, Dagda was the father of many important figures in Irish mythology, including the goddess Brigid and the gods Aengus and Cermait. He was also said to be the chief of the Tuatha Dé Danann, a group of supernatural beings who were believed to have inhabited Ireland in ancient times.
Dagda was a complex figure in Irish mythology, embodying both the life-giving and death-dealing aspects of nature. He was often depicted as a jovial and generous god, but could also be fierce and vengeful when provoked.
Morrígan – Goddess of war, fate, and death
Morrigan is associated with war, fate, and death. She was known by many names, including Mórrígan, Morrígu, and Mor-Ríoghain, among others. Her name is often translated as “Great Queen,” and she is often depicted as a powerful and ominous figure.
Morrigan was often described as a shapeshifter, and was said to be able to transform herself into a crow or raven. In some stories, she was said to be a harbinger of death, appearing on battlefields to gather the souls of fallen warriors.
Morrigan was also associated with the concept of sovereignty, and was sometimes said to be the embodiment of the land itself. In this aspect, she was often depicted as a beautiful and powerful queen, who could confer kingship upon a worthy candidate.
In Irish mythology, Morrigan was sometimes depicted as a member of the Tuatha Dé Danann, a group of supernatural beings who were believed to have inhabited Ireland in ancient times. She was also sometimes associated with the goddesses Badb and Macha, with whom she was said to form a triad of powerful goddesses.
Lugh – God of light, arts, crafts, and warfare
Lugh is associated with skill, wisdom, and the arts. He was known by many names, including Lugh Lámhfhada (meaning “Lugh of the Long Arm”), Lugh Samildánach (meaning “Lugh the Many-Skilled”), and Lugh Mac Ethlenn (meaning “Lugh, son of Ethliu”).
Lugh was often depicted as a handsome and heroic figure, with great physical strength and skill in many areas, including combat, music, and craftsmanship. He was said to have been skilled in all of the arts and crafts of his time, and was often associated with the sun and the harvest.
According to mythology, Lugh was the son of Cian and Ethniu, and was raised by the smith god Goibniu. He was a member of the Tuatha Dé Danann, a group of supernatural beings who were believed to have inhabited Ireland in ancient times.
In Irish mythology, Lugh is perhaps best known for his victory over the Fomorians, a race of malevolent supernatural beings who were said to have threatened the Tuatha Dé Danann. Lugh is said to have led the Tuatha Dé Danann to victory in a great battle against the Fomorians, using his great skills and strength to defeat their armies.
Brigid – Goddess of poetry, healing, and smithcraft
Brigid (also spelled Brigit, Bride, or Bríd) is a goddess from Irish mythology who is often associated with poetry, healing, and smithcraft. She was also later venerated as a Christian saint, and her feast day on February 1st is known as St. Brigid’s Day or Imbolc.
In Irish mythology, Brigid was one of the Tuatha Dé Danann, a group of supernatural beings who were believed to have inhabited Ireland in ancient times. She was often described as a triple goddess, with three aspects: one associated with poetry and inspiration, one associated with healing and fertility, and one associated with the forge and the fires of the smith.
As a goddess of poetry, Brigid was said to be a patron of poets and bards, and was often invoked to inspire creativity and wisdom. As a goddess of healing and fertility, she was associated with midwifery, childbirth, and the protection of women and children. As a goddess of the forge and the fires of the smith, she was associated with metalworking and craftsmanship.
After the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, Brigid was venerated as a saint, and her feast day on February 1st became associated with the beginning of spring and the end of winter.
Cernunnos – God of fertility, animals, and the underworld
Cernunnos is a horned deity associated with nature, fertility, and the hunt. He was worshipped by the ancient Celts across much of Europe, and his name and image have been found in a variety of contexts.
Cernunnos is often depicted as a horned man, with antlers or horns on his head, and he is sometimes shown holding a torque, a symbol of wealth and power in ancient Celtic culture. He is also sometimes associated with animals, such as stags or serpents, and is often depicted in a woodland or natural setting.
The worship of Cernunnos was likely connected to the cycles of nature, and the changing of the seasons. He was often associated with fertility and the growth of crops, and was sometimes invoked for protection during the hunting season.
Cernunnos was also sometimes associated with death and the underworld, and some scholars have suggested that he may have been seen as a guide for the souls of the dead.
Arianrhod – Goddess of the moon, stars, and fertility
Arianrhod is a goddess from Welsh mythology who is associated with the moon, the stars, and the cycles of life and death. She is also sometimes referred to as the “Silver Wheel,” a reference to her connection with the movements of the moon and stars.
According to mythology, Arianrhod was the daughter of the sea god, and she was said to have lived in a castle on an island in the sky. She was also said to be the mother of the heroes Dylan Eil Ton and Lleu Llaw Gyffes.
Arianrhod’s story is often associated with the symbolism of the moon, and she is sometimes depicted as a woman with long, flowing hair, dressed in white, and holding a silver wheel. She was also said to have the power to determine the fate of mortals, and to have the ability to see into the future.
Manannán mac Lir – God of the sea, weather, and the Otherworld
Manannán mac Lir is associated with the sea, the underworld, and the afterlife. He was also known as a trickster figure, and was said to have the power to shapeshift and control the elements.
In mythology, Manannán was often depicted as a powerful magician, and was said to have the ability to make himself and his possessions invisible to others. He was also associated with the Otherworld, a mystical realm that was said to be inhabited by the gods and spirits of the dead.
Manannán was often depicted as a skilled sailor, and was believed to be able to control the seas and the weather. He was sometimes associated with the cycles of nature, and was said to have the power to bring about the changing of the seasons.
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