CELTIC ANGUS OF THE BRUGH Also OENGUS OF THE BRUIG
God of youth, son of the Dagda. In Ireland, Angus is the counterpart of Cupid.
Angus' kisses turn into singing birds, and the music he plays irresistably draws
all who hear.
"Silver Wheel," "High Fruitful Mother." One of the Three
Virgins of Britain, her palace is Caer Arianrhod, the Celtic name for the Aurora
Borealis. Read more!
A goddess of war. One of a triad of war goddesses known collectively as the
Morrigan. Bird shaped and crimson mouthed, Badb uses her magic to decide battles.
Badb lusts after men and is often seen at fords washing the armor and weapons
of men about to die in combat.
BRIGHID also BRIGIT.
Goddess of healing and craftsmanship, especially metalwork. Also a patron of
learning and poetry. In Wales she is Caridwen, who possesses the cauldron of
knowledge and inspiration. The Celts so loved Brighid that they could not abandon
her even when they became Christians, and so made Brighid a Christian saint.
CERIDWEN also HEN WEN; in Wales, BRIGHID
"White Grain," "Old White One." Corn goddess.
Mother of Taliesin, greatest and wisest of all the bards, and therefore a patron
of poets. The "white goddess" of Robert Graves. Caridwen lives among
the stars in the land of Caer Sidi. Caridwen is connected with wolves, and some
claim her cult dates to the neolithic era. Read more!
Horned god of virility. Cernunnos wears the torc (neck-ring) and is ever in
the company of a ram-headed serpent and a stag. Extremely popular among the
Celts, the Druids encouraged the worship of Cernunnos, attempting to replace
the plethora of local deities and spirits with a national religion. The Celts
were so enamored of Cernunnos that his cult was a serious obstacle to the spread
of Christianity. Read more!
Earth and father god. Dagda possesses a bottomless cauldron of plenty and rules
the seasons with the music of his harp. With his mighty club Dagda can slay
nine men with a single blow, and with its small end he can bring them back to
life. On the day of the New Year, Dagda mates with the raven goddess of the
Morrigan who while making love straddles a river with one foot on each bank.
Mother goddess, an aspect of the Great Mother. Another of a triad of war goddesses
known collectively as the Morrigan. Connected with the moon goddess Aine of
Knockaine, who protects crops and cattle. Most importantly, the mother of the
Tuatha de' Danann, the tribe of the gods.
A healer. At the second battle of Moytura, Dian Cecht murdered his own son whose
skill in healing endangered his father's reputation. The Judgments of Dian Cecht,
an ancient Irish legal tract, lays down the obligations to the ill and injured.
An agressor must pay for curing anyone he has injured, and the severity of any
wound, even the smallest, is measured in grains of corn.
Originally a god of death and the underworld, later the cheif god of the Gauls.
The Gauls believed, as their Druids taught, that Dis Pater is the ancestor of
all the Gauls.
DONN Irish counterpart to Dis Pater.
Donn sends storms and wrecks ships, but he protects crops and cattle as well.
Donn's descendents come to his island after death.
EPONA Horse goddess.
Usually portrayed as riding a mare, sometimes with a foal. Roman legionaires,
deeply impressed with Celtic horsemanship, took up the worship of Epona themselves
and eventually imported her cult to Rome itself. Read more!
A god of the Gauls "whose shrines make men shudder," according to
a Roman poet. Human sacrifices to Esus were hanged and run through with a sword.
For unknown reasons, Esus is usually portrayed as a woodcutter.
The smith god. The weapons Govannon makes are unfailing in their aim and deadliness,
the armor unfailing in its protection. Also a healer. Those who attend the feast
of Govannon and drink of the god's sacred cup need no longer fear old age and
LUG also LUGH, LLEU
A sun god and a hero god, young, strong, radiant with hair of gold, master of
all arts, skills and crafts. One day Lug arrived at the court of the Dagda and
demanded to be admitted to the company of the gods. The gatekeeper asked him
what he could do. For every skill or art Lug named, the gatekeeper replied that
there was already one among the company who had mastered it. Lug at last pointed
out that they had no one who had mastered them all, and so gained a place among
the deities, eventually leading them to victory in the second battle of Moytura
against the Formorian invaders. (The Formorians were a race of monsters who
challenged the gods for supremacy in the first and second battles of Moytura.)
The Romans identified Lug with Mercury. The most popular and widely worshipped
of the Celtic gods, Lug's name in its various forms was taken by the cities
of Lyons, Loudun, Laon, Leon, Lieden, Leignitz, Carlisle and Vienna. Read more!
The third of the triad of war goddesses known as the Morrigan, Macha feeds on
the heads of slain enemies. Macha often dominates her male lovers through cunning
or simple brute strength. MEDB "Drunk Woman." A goddess of war, not
one of the Morrigan. Where the Morrigan use magic, Medb wields a weapon herself.
The sight of Medb blinds enemies, and she runs faster than the fastest horse.
A bawdy girl, Medb needs thirty men a day to satisfy her sexual appetite.
MORRIGAN, THE also MORRIGU MORRIGAN
A war goddess, forerunner of the Arthurian Morgan La Fey? Like Odin, fickle
and unfaithful, not to be trusted. A hag with a demonic laugh, the Morrigan
appears as a grotesque apparition to men about to die in battle. Her name is
also used for a triad of war goddesses, who are often thought of as different
aspects of the Morrigan. Read more!
A war goddess.
NUADHU also NUD, NODENS, LUD.
"Nuadhu of the silver arm." God of healing and water; his name suggests
"wealth-bringer" and "cloud-maker." At the first battle
of Moytura, Nuadhu lost an arm, and Dian Cecht replaced it with a new one made
out of silver. Because of this, Nuadhu was obliged to turn leadership of the
Tuatha de' Dannan over to Lug. People came to be healed at Nuadhu's temple at
Lydney, and small votive limbs made of silver have been found there.
OGMIOS also OGMA "Sun Face."
A hero god like Hercules, a god of eloquence, language, genius. Generally portrayed
as an old man dressed in a lion skin. From his tongue hang fine gold chains
attached to the ears of his eager followers.
SUCELLUS Guardian of forests, patron of agriculture. His consort
is Nantosvelta, whose name suggests brooks and streams. Sometimes considered
synonomous with Cernunnos or Daghda.
TUATHA DE' DANANNLast updated: December 31, 1969
The divine tribes and people descended from the goddess Danu. Skilled in druidry
and magic, the Tuatha de' Danann possess four talismans of great power: the
stone of Fal which shrieked under the true heir to the throne; the spear of
Lug which made victory certain; the sword of Nuadhu which slays all enemies;
and the ever full cauldron of Daghda from which no man ever goes away hungry.
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