(Date Posted:01/12/2009 21:37 PM)
Dagda, pronounced “dôh-da,” is the High King of a race called the Tuatha Da Danann.
Tuatha Da Danann
– The “Tuatha” are the immortal faerie people of Ireland. They were
conquered by the Milesians, who were human invaders who forced the
Tuatha underground. As a result the Tuatha destroyed all the wheat and
milk of the Milesians, and caused all grass and grain to stop growing
until a treaty could be reached.
Christianity started to influence the Celtic Mythology, the Tuatha
became faeries, the people of the Sidhe (pronounced “Shee”), also
called elves. In order to protect themselves, they cast a veil of
invisibility on themselves, which they can lift at will. It must be
remembered that Faeries in Celtic myths are nothing like “Tinkerbell”
of Peter Pan fame. They could be tall or short, beautiful or ugly.
They are very skilled in art, science, poetry, and magick. These were
the people whom Dagda ruled. His specific area of rule was over
Uisnech in Co. Meath.
– Dagda was called by many names, but his most popular acronym is “Good
God” – which has nothing to do with morality, but rather meaning that
he was good at everything he did, and that he protected their crops.
He was also called Eochaid Ollathair (All Father), Ruad Rofessa (Mighty
Red One of Perfect Knowledge), the God of Earth and Treaties, the Ruler
over Life and Death, the Master of Magick, the God of Time, the
Protector of the Tribe, and the God of Love.
Food – His favorite foods were oat bannocks, porridge, and ale. His favorite burnt offering is butter.
– Dagda is the son of Beli and the goddess Danu. His Great-Grandfather
is Net; his Grandfather is Delbaeth mac Net; his Father is Elada; his
Brother is Ogma; his Half-Brother is Bres; and his Uncle is Goibniu.
His Wife is Breg; his Lover is Boann. His Sons are Aongas mac Og
(Angus); Badb Dearg (Badb the Red) who succeeded him as King after he
resigned the throne. His Daughters are Ainge and Brigit – goddess of
fire, fertility, cattle and poetry. His Grandsons are Mac Cuill; Mac
Cecht, and Mac Gréine. His Sacred Tree is the Yew.
– Dagda was very successful, sexually, with both women and goddesses.
He is always portrayed with a very large, erect phallus and is
considered an ithyphallic deity, which emphasized his fecundating
function. (He was lewd and produced a lot of offspring!) He mated
with the sinister war goddess, Morrigan, on Samhain, while she
straddled the river Unius, so she would give him a plan for victory
over the Formorians. His “wild ways” resulted in his often being
associated with “The Wild Herdsman.”
– Dagda wore a brown patch low-necked tunic of 9 colors, which just
reached his hips. His kilt was of burnished leather. His arms and
legs bore bands of gold, and he wore a torc around his neck which had
bull-headed finials. His hooded scarlet cloak was fastened with a
great brooch, and it barely covered his shoulders. He wore horse-hide
himself had a large paunch, for his appetite for food (and for sex) was
insatiable. His uncut hair and beard were red. He had broad features
and smiling eyes and lips. He is usually seen dragging his magick
club, with his magick harp on his back, and his magick steaming
cauldron under his left arm. He is credited with many magickal powers,
and is associated with Ostara.
– There are several magickal objects associated with Dagda. Among them
are fruit trees that are never barren; and his 2 pigs – one always
growing larger and the other always roasting. But his “Big Three”
magickal objects were his Club, his Cauldron, and his Harp.
carried a huge club which could kill 9 men with a single blow. But
after killing them with one end of the club, he could bring them back
to life with the other end. When it was dragged along the ground the
club cut a furrow as deep as the boundary ditch between two provinces.
Tuatha received 4 magick treasures – one from each of the mythical
cities: Falias, Gorias, Finias, and Murias. The gift from Murias was
the “Cauldron of Abundance.” It was called “Undry” or “Never Dry,”
because it served each person their favorite food. The cauldron was
never empty, and therefore provided endless nourishment for Dagda’s
people. The only people it would not serve were cowards and oath
other magickal power was if a dead person was placed in the cauldron,
they would spring out alive and young again – but without the power of
speech, in case they say too much about the afterlife. The magickal
cauldron is often associated with the grail of the later Arthurian
third of the main magickal objects of Dagda is his harp, called
“Uaithne,” which was made of Oak and is sometimes referred to as “The
Oak of Two Greens.” It was beautiful to look upon, mighty in size, and
ornamented with gold and jewels. Among its magickal properties were:
it played by itself; it would leap into Dagda’s hands upon command;
when played it put the seasons in the correct order so that spring came
after winter, summer after spring, and autumn followed summer; and it
played three magical songs – the song of sorrow (tears), the song of
joy (mirth), and the song of dreaming (sleep).
is definitely seen by the Druids as the Celtic “Father Figure” of the
Gods. In conclusion I would like to quote a poem by Ian Corrigan which
sums up many of Dagda’s qualities and attributes:
Hymn to the Dagda
Dagda most honored
To you we make sacrifice
Oats from our bounty we freely give
To Eochaid the All-Father
You, the Fire Beneath the Cauldron
Hear us, Old Giant
God with the Great Staff
Lord of Secret Knowledge
Fire of the Sacrifice, great in appetite
To you we do honor Excellent God
Mate of the Great Queen
Fergus, the Mare’s Son
Chieftain of Dana, Bountiful Giver
Flame in the belly that sustains Life
Flame in the loins that continues Life
Flame in the eye that comprehends Life
Be in us as we are in you
Kindle in us as we make our offering
Oats of the Stallion we give you
Boiled in the Cauldron upon
The Sacred Fire
O Harper of the Seasons
Taker of the Sacrifice
Druid of the Oak and Hazel
Great Good God!
Accept our sacrifice!
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(Date Posted:01/12/2009 21:38 PM)
Sabbat is named for Mabon, the Welsh God who symbolized the male
fertilizing principle in the Welsh myths. In this sense, Mabon is the
masculine counterpart of Persephone -- the male fertilizing principle
seasonally withdrawn. Modron corresponds with Demeter.
and night are equal and the God prepares to depart and begin the
journey back to the strength and development within his mother's, the
Goddess', womb. Both sad and joyful, the Goddess lovingly awaits her
the wheel of the year turns, we're ready for the funeral of the God,
Mabon, who was born of the Goddess last Yule. He grew into a scrappy
and energetic toddler at Imbolc. The forests were his playground, as a
spritely golden-haired youth, at Oestara. At Beltane we see him with
his newly-won Bride. A man in his prime at Litha. At Lughnassadh, a
leader and a teacher of His people. Now, at Mabon he is a man of
advancing years, still strong in intellect, but caged in a weakening
body. As He looks back on the year, He knows He will die at Samhain.
passing of Mabon is inevitable and He should be mourned. But He is not
without fond remembrances of His life. So we, too, must remember, all
things must end, but the ending is always a good time to celebrate our
successes, thank our selves and those who helped us, and take part in
the balance of life.
word Mabon is Welsh for Son, and refers to the Welsh God of youth, the
Divine Child who the Druids believe is within us all. He is a child of
the otherworld, stolen when he was three nights old. Mabon ("Great
Son") is a Welsh god. He was a great hunter with a swift horse and a
wonderful hound. He may have been a mythologized actual leader.
universal story of Mabon and his mother, Modron has been passed down to
us from the ancient proto-Celtic oral tradition. Mabon ap Modron,
meaning "Great Son of the Great Mother", is the Young Son,
Divine Youth, or Son of Light. Just as the September equinox marks a
significant time of change, so, too, does the birth of Mabon. Modron,
his mother, is the Great Goddess, Guardian of the Otherworld,
Protector, and Healer. She is Earth itself.
the moment of the Autumn Equinox, the Sun's strength diminishes, until
the moment of the Winter Solstice in December, when the Sun grows
stronger and the days once again become longer than the nights. Mabon
also disappears, taken at birth when only three nights old (some
legends say he was stolen from Modron at the age of three years).
Modron cries in sweet sorrow... and although his whereabouts are veiled
in mystery, Mabon is eventually freed with the wisdom and memory of the
most ancient of living animals - the Blackbird, the Stag, the Owl, the
Eagle, and the Salmon (other legends state that King Arthur himself was
along, Mabon has been quite a happy captive, dwelling in Modron's
magickal Otherworld - Modron's womb. It is a nurturing and enchanted
place, but also one filled with challenges. Only in so powerful a place
of renewable strength can Mabon be reborn as his mother's champion, as
the Son of Light. Mabon's light has been drawn into the Earth,
gathering strength and wisdom enough to become a new seed.
The Faeries roam this land and mournful
music fills the air this day, at this hour.
Modron, O! great Queen and Earth Mother,
we call you here to share your sorrow.
O! shadowed God, great son of Modron,
we plead your return from the mysterious world that keeps you.
The power of your brilliance is the joy of your mother.
Modron is Earth and the Mother we all attend
Her bittersweet lament
nurtures your return to be born again and again.
usertype:1 tt= 0
(Date Posted:01/12/2009 21:38 PM)
Green Man is the ever-returning energy of vegetation and wild Nature.
His magic is celebrated througout the world, but he is most often
associated with northern Europe and Celtic cultures.
great cathedrals of Europe are adorned with thousands of GreenMan
gargoyles and carvings. The Dark-Ages, the Middle-Ages and the
Renaissance saw European indigenous religions and Nature under constant
attack by the christian church.
the church's most virulent wars on the people's belief in the sanctity
of Nature, stone masons carved images of the GreenMan and Sheela-Na-Gig
into christian cathedrals as part of the ornamentation. The presence of
the GreenMan and the Sheela-Na-Gig remained strong and constant source
of strength to the people. The GreenMan's image silently echoed the
spirit of the Sacred Cycles of Nature.
the GreenMan is re-emerging into our consciousness, along with the
Goddess. His presence brings balance and energy to the reclaiming of
our ancient heritage. Throughout the ages the Goddess has often
appeared with a male aspect in the form of Horus, Tammuz, the Horned
God, GreenMan and many others.
It is through the GreenMan that many men come to understand Nature's mysteries and connect with the Goddess.
return of the GreenMan brings new hope and understanding of the true
strengths of balanced masculine energy. For too long, men have been
isolated from that part of themselves that honors the Sacred Mother,
the divine in Nature, and the true divinity in themselves.
piping and chanting draws the GreenMan close. The slow, steady healing
rhythm of drumming opens the psyche and expanded awareness, attracting
the playful and powerful aspects of the Greenman.
He dances the Moon with power and grace
Amidst the hills and trees, in His sacred space
A dancer moving swiftly between the realms
There in the leaves . . . . what do you see?
If you honor the Old Ways ~ it may be He
is accepted as an Ancient Druid Stone Circle. It is the best known of
the many ancient ritual sites in the British Isles. The Druid Priests
and Priestesses were the most learned and respected visionaries, seers,
healers and astronomers of their time.)
Druids presided over the spiritual well being of the community and at
Tara, even the High Kings spoke only after the Chief Druid had spoken.
High Queens also played an important role at Tara. The High Kings were
granted their authority to rule only by the presence of their High
Queen. She was the living embodiment of the Goddess and represented the
will of the people to be governed. Without her blessing, a King could
not govern or become a High King of Ireland.
mysteries of Nature are waiting to reveal themselves to you, just
outside the realm of the mundane. . . . . If you follow the path of the
dancing Cernunnos, you may find that the world is a much more magical
place than you ever imagined. . . . . Embrace a tree, relax in a
garden, or sit in a wooded glen, to find the GreenMan. Focus on the
mystery of a single clump of grass or a leaf. . . . . . If you are
patient and engrossed in your appreciation of simple nature, the
GreenMan will come to you!
usertype:1 tt= 0
(Date Posted:01/12/2009 21:39 PM)
NAME: Herne, Herne the Huntsman, Master of the Hunt, Lord of the Wild Hunt, Cernunnos.
SYMBOLS: Stag horns, Hounds, Hunting Horn.
USUAL IMAGE: A large man with the horns of a stag, sometimes show with midnight black skin and glowing green eyes.
HOLY DAYS: The
whole of the winter months, like most Celtic 'horned' gods, Herne was
said to rule the cold months. The Goddess ruled during the summer
PLACE OF WORSHIP: The wild wood.
MAJOR TABOOS: Escaping.
FORM OF WORSHIP: "All heads turn when the hunt goes by."
SYNODEITIES: Silvanus (another Celtic God), Pan (Greek/Roman), Buffalo (Native American), Mielikki (Finnish).
is the silent master of the Wild Hunt, a legend that is found in most
Celtic lands. Herne is also one of a number of horned gods that are
found in Celtic tales. Like the others he was a symbol of the life
force. Herne, like the Greek Pan, was a symbol for a wilder form of
that force. Just as Pan's pipes drove people to pan-ic, Herne also had
a highly effective horn. Only his did not drive one to panic but called
all who heard it to joint he wild hunt and be filled with an
uncontrollable lust to hunt down and rip to shreds what or whom ever
was unlucky enough to become the object of this hunt. He was always
aided in this by a number of large hounds.
usertype:1 tt= 0
(Date Posted:01/12/2009 21:39 PM)
AONGHUS: God of Love, the Celtic answer to CUPID.
Also known as AENGHUS, OENGHUS, MAC-OG
As a love child of DAGDA
he carried on the tradition to become a love God, learning to play the harp and lulling the ladies with his smoochy lyrics.
To sustain his reputation as a Romantic Rascal he ran off with ETAIN
the wife of his stepbrother MIDIR
the loves and doves side, four of these lovebirds were often to be seen
circling above the curly head of this holy heartthrob. These are the
symbols used for kisses at the end of love letters. xxxx. More than
four and they will go to waste.
usertype:1 tt= 0
(Date Posted:01/12/2009 21:40 PM)
Gods of Ancient Wales and the Celtic Britons
By John Patrick Parle
common temptation is to think that civilization reached Great Britain
through the vehicle of Roman occupation. But Celtic civilization
existed in Britain centuries before the Latins' arrival, and before the
Celts, societies existed in Britain sophisticated enough to build
The mythology of the Celtic Britons
harkens back to a time before there was an England (that is, before the
invasion of Angles and Saxons brought Germanic-speaking tribes to Great
The Celtic Briton myths are centered mostly in
Wales and are written in Welsh, a Celtic language. One can easily
speculate that the deities of Welsh mythology once had a broader appeal
throughout Britain, as has the mythic Celtic mortal from the region
known to us as King Arthur.
The pantheon of Welsh gods and goddesses came largely from two mythic
Families: the Children of Dôn and the Children of Llyr.
was a goddess of the sky, and Llyr was a god of the sea. Charles Squire
speaks of a struggle and opposition of these two divine families of the
sky and of the sea. He envisages a general conflict of the powers of
the sky/light/life versus the sea/darkness/death.
like the Irish goddess Danu, was a divine mother image. Among her
children were the god Gwydion and the goddess Arianrod, both described
Through her husband Beli, Dôn conceived Nudd (sometimes called Lludd), who founded a dynasty of his own.
Welsh Triad (a short descriptive verse) sees Nudd as one of the "three
generous heroes of the Isle of Britain." Another triad sees him as
having nearly inexhaustible wealth--being the owner of 21,000 milch
cows. Nudd (or Lludd) was said in myth to have founded London.
There he built Caerlud (the Castle of Lludd), which over time came to be called
Caerlondon, and finally London. According to tradition, St. Paul's Cathedral in
That city is where a temple of Nudd once stood. The son of Nudd was Gwyn, a
we might note that texts sometimes vary in the depictions of various
figures in Welsh mythology as to whether they were gods or mortals.
example is the god Pwyll, who is often represented as a mortal Prince
of Dyfed. Ample confusion was accomplished by chronicler Geoffrey of
Monmouth, who saw Lludd as an ancient king of the Britons.
Squire sees the early version of Arthur of Camelot as a sort of divine
figure. Suffice it to say, that some characters listed as gods here
also are represented as mythic mortals elsewhere.
for Llyr, his chief contributions to existing copies of Welsh myth are
his children: Brân the Blessed, Branwen the Fair Bosomed, and
Each of these figures have captivating stories from centuries past. It is entirely
Possible that tales of Llyr were once vast, but have been lost to the ages.
god was important enough to have a city named after him in ancient
times, now Leicester in the mid area of England. This primary center of
his veneration was originally called Caer Llyr (or Castle of Llyr), and
then Llyr-cester, before its present name.
Squire believes that legends of Llyr influenced the early content found
in Shakespeare's King Lear, the story based on a mythic king of the
usertype:1 tt= 0
(Date Posted:01/12/2009 21:41 PM)
[Loo] The Shining One; Sun God; God of War; "Many Skilled";
"Fair-Haired One"; "White or Shining"; a hero god. His feast is
Lughnassadh, a harvest festival. Associated with ravens. His symbol was
a white stag in Wales. Son of Cian and Ethniu. Lugh had a magic spear
and rod-sling. One of his magic hounds was obtained from the sons of
Tuirenn as part of the blood-fine for killing his father Cian. Also
called Samhioldananach, meaning "master of all arts", or Lamhfada
(La-VAH-dah), "the long-armed".
symbol was a spear. He was always accompanied by two ravens. Sometimes
he is shown as one-eyed. Predecessor of the Germanic Wotan and the
Norse Odin? He was a God of the sun, light, and the grain harvest, who
is honored at the Sabbat of Lughnassadh. Like Brid, he is a deity of
many skills and was even said to be able to come into human form to
worship among the Druids for whom he was a primary deity. He is also
worshipped as the God of fire, metallurgy, crafting, weaving, and as a
protector of the weak.
Also known as Lugh of
the Long Arm. He killed his grandfather, Balor, during a battle in
which the new order of gods and goddesses took over from the primal
gods. He defeated his enemies with a magic spear. Also known as Lug
Samildanach or Lug.
Considered the chief Lord
of the Tuatha De Danaan, the Celtic Zeus. His archetype appears to
derive from an early solar deity, and he has many epithets and
sobriquets, among which: Lamhfhada, Long-arm, referring to his skill
with spear or sling; Samildanach, much-skilled, having many talents;
Ildanach, seer; and Maicnia, boy-warrior.
scholars believe he was originally a king of the Fomorians who was
adopted by the Tuatha De Danann and then by the Celts. He sided with
the Tuatha in the Second Battle of Tireadh (Moytura) and led their
forces against the Formorians. It was here that he killed his
grandfather Balor, a sacrificial God whom Lugh was destined to replace.
Though he was a divine being, he was said to have an earthly father.
Because of this association, he is seen as a bridge between human and
the divine worlds.
More statues and holy sites
were erected to him than any other Celtic deity, and many of these
sites remain for us today. His continental name was Lugus. He is often
equated with the Greek God Apollo.
Luga; Lamhfada [lavada - of the Long Arm]; Llew; Lug; Lugus; Lug
Samildanach (many skilled); Lleu Llaw Gyffes ("bright one of the
skillful hand"); Lleu; Lugos
usertype:1 tt= 0
(Date Posted:01/12/2009 21:42 PM)
The Story of Brân the Blessed
was a Welsh god of the underworld whose eminence is most often
associated with his the "Wonderful Head." Though he could present
himself as a principal of battle, Brân was also a patron on bards,
minstrels, and musicians.
He was huge, colossal. No house or ship was large enough to hold him, according
the stories of hyperbole. In the tales, Brân's sister Branwen the Fair
Bosomed was married to King Matholwch of Ireland. Due to various
affronts of Branwen, not to mention the later death of Branwen's son,
the Welsh crossed the Irish Sea to attack Ireland.
on the east coast of Erin saw an eerie vision of a mountain and a
forest on the water. Branwen informed King Matholwch that the mountain
was Brân walking across the sea, and that the forest was a multitude of
masts from Welsh naval ships coming to bring her just relief.
Welsh landed and fought furiously against the Irish. The warriors of
Ireland seemed to have the upper hand. This was because they had the
cauldron of Brân, which was given to Matholwch as a wedding present.
The Irish needed only to plunge their slain warriors into the cauldron,
and they would be brought back to life.
The Welsh discovered this and successfully destroyed the Cauldron.
warriors of Wales proceeded then to defeat the Irish. But there were
only seven Welshmen left unhurt, including Pryderi, Manawyddan,
Taliesin the Bard, and four others. The high drama of the situation was
that Brân himself was seriously wounded, pierced in the foot with a
poison arrow. He was in agony. Brân asked his seven fellow warriors to
cut off his head, carry it to London, and bury it there with his face
towards France. This was so that Brân in his death could stand watch
against any foe that tried to invade Britain. So Brân's head was
removed, and at this point proceeded to become famous in Celtic
seven bearers of Brân's head began the journey to London, but stopped
for a feast and to be serenaded by the three birds of Rhiannon. These
birds sang so sweetly that the men slid into a state of oblivion and
lost all track of time. For seven years the men drank and ate, and
conversed in an agreeable and pleasant fashion with the head of Brân,
which behaved like it was very much alive. Then they journeyed further,
only to stop and have an eighty year feast, again losing all sense of
time, and talking amiably with the animated head of Brân.
then one of the seven head bearers realized that 87 years had passed
since their journey had begun. And upon seeing Cornwall, they all
resolved that their mission must be completed.
Brân's head was buried in London facing France, only to be disinterred
by King Arthur in a later myth. Brân is often called in legend "the
Blessed," and he is considered alternately to have had a Noble,
Venerable, and Wonderful Head
usertype:1 tt= 0
(Date Posted:01/12/2009 21:43 PM)
Gwydion and the Battle of the Trees
of the common themes in Welsh mythology involves raids into the
Underworld. This nether land realm is called by different sources
Annwn, Achren, Caer
Sidi, or by modern English references: Hades or the Otherworld.
images of the Welsh Underworld were similar to the Irish Celts and
their portrayal of the Fomor under-demons who lived beneath the sea.
The Welsh gods made forays into the Underworld to gain precious
commodities for themselves and mankind.
The god Gwydion once invaded the Underworld, but was captured by Pwyll and
Pryderi. The jail where he was lodged was known in legend to make its captive either inspired or mad after a single night.
escaped after a stay there, and emerged as the gifted bard of the gods.
His ordeal did not prevent him from making other raids into the Welsh
The beings of the nether land
realm had three possessions that Gwydion felt should be made available
to mankind: the dog, the deer, and the lapwing bird. Gwydion made a
boon request for these creatures, but King Arawn of the Underworld
refused, and was held strong in this position with the help of Brân.
enlisted the help of his brother Amaethon, the god of agriculture, and
Lleu to lead a battle march on King Arawn's dominion. The footsoldiers
in this invasion of the Underworld were a battalion of trees, brought
to life by Gwydion's magic. Each of the types of trees had strengths or
weaknesses in this army. For instance, the oak trees caused the heaven
and earth to tremble in their advance forward; the birch fought
courageously; the holly and hawthorns defended themselves with their
spikes; the willows and rowans arrived as reinforcements; and so on.
This Battle of the Trees saw a formidable opponent guarding the gates of the
Underworld--a terrifying one hundred-headed beast! But magic carried the day.
was determined that the gods and the battalion of trees could not win
the battle unless they guessed by name one of the ferocious fighters of
the Underworld army.
was on the mark--he named Brân. Thus the powers of darkness lost the
battle, and dogs, deer, and the lapwing birds became available to
Another raid of the Underworld by Gwydion made available yet another precious
Celtic expert Georges Dottin claims that the ancient Celts had roasted
pigs and swine as their favorite meat. Indeed, the pig and boar are
frequent figures in Celtic metalwork art. It is not surprising that the
Celts invented a myth to account for the beginnings of the cooking of
pork among them.
As the story goes, Gwydion heard that a strange new beast had become popular
in Dyfed, a Welsh territory connected with the Underworld. King Arawn of the
land had given animals named "pigs" to Pryderi of Dyfed. The flesh of
the pig was considered to be better and sweeter than the flesh of oxen.
Gwydion wished to obtain some of these
pigs and received consent for a boon journey from god Mâth, himself
residing in Caer Dathyl. Gwydion, in myth "the best teller of tales in
the world," led a group of eleven other bards to Pryderi's palace in
Dyfed. Magnificent story-telling was given to the court of Pryderi. In
return, Gwydion made a boon request for these wonderful new
animals--the pigs. Pryderi refused though, saying that he had promise
King Arawn that he would neither sell nor give away the pigs.
magic and chicanery Gwydion was able to obtain some of the pigs and
made his way back to Caer Dathyl. According to Charles Squire, even to
this day there are many place names in Wales between Dyfed and Caer
Dathyl that contain the word "pig," in commemoration of this journey.
Pryderi of course was enraged. He pursued Gwydion and two battles were fought
over the pigs. Finally, Gwydion and Pryderi engaged in single combat. In
This Pryderi was slain, and Gwydion and the forces of light became the ultimate
usertype:1 tt= 0
(Date Posted:01/12/2009 21:43 PM)
Giver God from "dati" - to give.
The sun personified - may be the same as Khors.
son of Swiantowid emerged from his Eastern palace every morning in a
two wheeled, diamond chariot, pulled by twelve fire-breathing horses
with manes of gold.
He would travel across the heavens each day through his twelve kingdoms (zodiac signs?).
Some believed that he emerged each day as a beautiful infant and would age until his death as an old man in the West.
was also a god of justice who sat seated on a purple throne surrounded
by his seven judges (the planets?) The morning and evening stars, seven
messengers who fly across the heavens with fiery tails(comets) and
sometimes, Mjestjas, his bald uncle - the moon. In some legends, Mjesyas
is his wife. He has many children who, according to legend, live among
the stars and the Russian people, who call themselves "Dazhdbog's
usertype:1 tt= 0
(Date Posted:01/12/2009 21:44 PM)
Celtic Gods and Heroes:
The Gods of Ancient Ireland
Celtic peoples established themselves in Ireland about 2,500 years ago. But
Humans had inhabited the island long before that, as evidenced by the
site at Newgrange dating to 3000 B.C., as well as the prehistoric
megaliths at Carrowmore in Sligo, and other dolmens and cairns. The
Celts formed myth to make an accounting for these earlier peoples, and
to fit the existing
Celtic gods into the Irish landscape.
What resulted from such myth-making was the Lebor Gabala, or in English, the
"Book of Invasions," written with the Roman alphabet in the Gaelic tongue, presumably originating in the Dark Ages.
general threads of myth exist in this work. First, stories recount the
successive waves of conquests of Ireland up to the coming of the Celtic
Milesians, and including the entry of the Gods and divine beings onto
Second, intricate stories tell the
beginnings and successive wanderings of the Celtic Milesians before
they came to the Emerald Isle.
According to the Book of Invasions, there were five earlier conquests or "takings" of Ireland before the arrivals of the Celts:
- Cessair and her group;
- the Race of Parthelon;
- the Race of Nemed;
- the Fir Bolgs;
- the Tuatha Dé Danann, or gods and goddesses of the ancient Celts in Ireland.
To review these briefly:
as fashioned a bit by the monk transcribers, was said to be the
granddaughter of Noah, and arrived in Ireland forty days before the
Flood, thus becoming the first human on the island.
with a entourage of fifty maidens and three men. These men quickly did
their arithmetic and divvied up Cessair's women, such that each man had
17 maidens for himself. Well, this didn't last long. Though Noah
calculated that the Flood would not reach the Western World, his
estimates were wrong, and the waters swept Ireland and all of Cessair's
following--except for Fintan, a male who pops up now and again over the
centuries to help retell various other myths. (Such is the freedom of
the Celtic mind!)
The Race of Parthelon, according to the
Book of Invasions, arrived in Ireland about three hundred years after
the Flood, during the age of the Biblical Abraham. Parthelon and his
people were an industrious lot, clearing plains for planting and
constructing buildings. They rewarded themselves by brewing the first
beer in Ireland. Although they began only as a group of forty-eight men
and women, over the three centuries they lived in Ireland, their
numbers grew to five thousand. But ill-luck came upon them by way of a
plague, wiping out the Race of Parthelon.
Next came the
Race of Nemed, a people who carried on the diligent work of Parthelon.
But bad fortune struck again, as Nemed and many of his followers died
in an epidemic, and the remaining population experienced other sore pains and eventually left Ireland.
next colonizers were the Fir Bolgs, who some experts believe were the
Celts' representation of the pre-Celtic indigenous peoples of Ireland.
The Fir Bolgs were said to be the first to divide Ireland into its
historical provinces: Leinster, Munster, Connaught, Meath, and Ulster.
A famous mythic king of the Fir Bolgs was Eochaid the Proud.
Another breed of beings were a source of menace to the peoples of Parthelon,
Nemed, and the Fir Bolgs. These were the Fomors, often called the Fomhoire,
Fomors were malevolent giants, fearsome diabolical creatures, who lived
beneath the sea near the northwest part of Ireland. They had a Glass
Castle on Tory Island, their surface stronghold off of the coast of
county Sligo. Awful stories abound about the Fomors, for instance, that
two-thirds of the children born to the Race of Nemed were surrendered
to the Fomors every Samhain.
The Tuatha Dé Danann in the age
when the Fir Bolgs and Fomors roamed Ireland, the gods and goddesses
made their appearance on the feast of Beltaine. Some sources say they
descended from the sky. The deities brought with them four important
- The magic sword of Nuada,
- the enchanted spear of Lugh,
- the charmed cauldron of Dagda,
- and the Stone of Destiny (which uttered a loud cry when touched by the
Rightful king of Ireland).
gods and goddesses were called the Tuatha Dé Danann, or the "Tribe of
the Goddess Danu." They became the divine beings homaged by Gaelic
peoples, though not before an ironic story of conquest. the divine
pantheon of the Gaels were children of Danu, a symbol of the universal
mother. Among the greatest of her children was Nuada the Silver Handed,
the early king of the gods. He possessed an invincible sword, as well
as the powers of the throne.
A table of the successive deity kings is given below.
(or Morrigú) was a supreme war goddess, someone you didn't mess with.
She had a triad of female personifications: Nemen the Venomous, Badb
the Fury, and Macha the Battle. Morrigan's favorite shape-shifting
disguise was a crow.
- The doyen of the gods was the Dagda, or
the "Good God." The Dagda had three prized possessions. First was his
eight-pronged war-club, which he moved with the help of a wheel. Second
was his magic cauldron, called "The Undry," which was sort of a
cornucopia for porridge (Dagda's favorite food), and from which none
went away unnourished. Dagda's third prized possession was his
enchanted oak harp, which enabled the seasons to follow in order when
he played on its strings. The Dagda had numerous children, including
Brigid, Angus, Mider, Ogma, and Bodb the Red.
- Brigid was the goddess of fire and the hearth, as well as of poetry. She
invented keening, the Irish wailing song for loved ones at death. Brigid also
had some fertility aspects, for the Celtic feast of Imbolc in early February was
in her honor. For sake of diplomacy, Brigid married Bress the Fomor, and they had a son named Ruadan.
Kings of the Irish Gods (in succession over time)
1. Nuada (king when the gods came to Ireland)
2. Bress the Fomor (made king for diplomatic reasons)
3. Nuada (reinstated as king upon Bress's downfall)
4. Lugh (one of the kings after Nuada's death)
Mac Cuill, Mac Cecht, Mac Greiné (sons of Ogma; these three kings were
on the throne when the Celtic Milesians arrived; their wives: Banba,
Fotla, and Eriu)
6. The Dagda (assigned sídh "fairymounds" to gods after Celtic conquests)
7. Bodb the Red (king even to the time of the Fenians)
8. Finvarra (present king of the fairies; also called Fionnbharr)
NOTE: Other sources include additional names of kings of the Gaelic gods,
such as Delbaeth and Fiachna.
the Young was a sort of Gaelic god of love. He was very handsome and
had a golden harp that played so sweetly that maidens were naturally
drawn to it. The kisses of Angus were transformed into birds which
whispered thoughts of love into the ears of girls. In one story, Angus
is visited by a beautiful dream maiden each night during sleep. Angus
pines for her, and being lovesick, refuses nourishment. Finally he
discovers that the dream maiden is named Caer, an enchantress
surrounded by thrice times fifty attending nymphs. After much wooing,
Caer finally agrees to marry Angus, and they find much happiness at his
Lir was the primary sea god of the Gaels. Among
his children were Finola, a daughter, and three sons: Aed, Fiachra, and
Conn. A jealous stepmother named Aeife cast a cruel spell with a magic
wand, turning these four children of Lir into swans, and they flew and
wandered about Ireland until the coming of St. Patrick. This is one of
the saddest stories in Celtic mythology Another son of Lir was
Manannán, a Gaelic god for whom the Isle of Man is named. Manannán had
a whole array of treasured possessions: three magic swords, called The
Retaliator, The Great Fury, and The Little Fury; two magic spears,
called Yellow Shaft and the Red Javelin; a boat propelled and guided by
his wishes, called the Wave-sweeper; a horse that could run swiftly
over the sea, named Splendid Mane; invincible armor and helmet; and a
cloak that made the wearer invisible. Manannán was the host of the
Feast of Age, a banquet where the guests never grew old.
others of the Irish pantheon were Goibniu, the metal worker of the
gods, and the brewer of the ale of immortality, a beer that enabled the
drinkers to live forever.
Diancecht was the god of medicine, and was responsible for naming the River Barrow.
was the divine champion, a patron of literature, and the inventor of
the ogham alphabet. Among his sons was Cairpré, the bard of the Tuatha
The Conquest by the Gods
the Tuatha Dé Danann arrived in Ireland, being gods and goddesses, they
realized immediately what a marvelous isle it was. Of course, they
wanted Ireland for themselves, to serve as their new home. But first
they needed to contend with the Fir Bolgs and the Fomor giants.
The Tuatha Dé Danann moved on the Fir Bolgs first. Morrigan with the help of
and Macha sent a shower of fire and blood upon the Fir Bolgs for three
days and nights, to warn them that change was impending. Nuada, the
king of the gods, attempted to work diplomacy with the Fir Bolg king
Eochaid the Proud, offering to divide Ireland in half between the gods
and the humans. But Eochaid rejected this, saying: "If we once give
these beings half, they will soon have the whole."
winds of war stirred between the Tuatha Dé Danann and the Fir Bolgs.
Their two armies met near the village of Cong in the province on
Connaught, in western Ireland. At first, fighting began as a sort of
deadly hurling match where thrice nine warriors on each side fought to
the death. Then single combats commenced, and continued on for four
days. In one, Streng the Fir Bolg shore off the hand of King Nuada.
But, the Fir Bolgs, thirsty and in search of water, then travelled as
far as Ballysadare in County Sligo. They were pursued by the gods, and
there, King Eochaid of the Fir Bolgs was killed.
By then the
Fir Bolgs were down to three hundred men. The Tuatha Dé Danann offered
them peace and a fifth of Ireland. The Fir Bolgs consented, and chose
Connaught as theirs. And even up to the 17th century of our age, there
were men in
Connaught who claimed their lineage traced back to Streng the Fir Bolg!
the war with the Fir Bolgs left a toll on the Tuatha Dé Danann. Nuada
had lost his hand in battle. Diancecht, the physician of the gods, made
Nuada a silver artificial hand that worked nearly perfectly (hence
Nuada's name, the Silver Handed). But this artificial hand was still a
blemish, the gods could not have an impaired being sitting on their
throne. So Nuada was required to step down.
The gods decided
that it would be wise to make a diplomatic move with the Fomor giants,
and form a peaceful alliance with them. So, they offered the throne of
the gods to Bress, the son of the Fomor king. And too, marriage unions
were formed: Brigid of the gods married Bress the Fomor; and Cian, the
son of the god Diancecht, married Ethniu, the daughter of Balor the
Fomor. But, the idea of Bress the Fomor being king of the Tuatha Dé
Danann wasn't working out. Bress was oppressive. He exacted heavy taxes
on the gods, and Bress required that even the greatest of gods do work
tolls for him. So there were situations like Ogma being sent to chop
fire wood for Bress, and the Dagda being required to build forts and
castles for him. To make matters worse, Bress had no largesse at
feasts: he would provide no bards, musicians, or jugglers to give
pleasure to the gods. Discontent was in the air. Finally, Bress made a
grave mistake--he insulted the bard of the gods, Cairpré. To this,
Cairpré wrote a stinging satire against Bress, ending with these words: "May Bress's cheer be what he gives to others."
children of Diancecht thus went to work to fix Nuada's hand. With great
magic, they restored his hand from silver to actual flesh. No longer
with a blemish, Nuada was now free to regain his throne of the gods.
Bress was forced to abdicate. He went back to the Fomors, and their
assembly agreed to make war against the Tuatha Dé Danann.
for war lasted seven years. In this time, Lugh arrived at the court of
the gods at Tara, and took a leadership position under King Nuada. The
Dagda was sent as a pre-battle ambassador to the Fomors, and there ate
an enormous meal of porridge, a meal that took so long that it gave the
Tuatha Dé Danann more time to prepare for war. On the eve of Samhain
the hostilities began.
The battles were so fierce that Nuada
was slain. But the gods and goddesses won the war with the Fomors. In
vengeance the retreating Fomors stole the Dagda's harp, but Lugh, Ogma,
and the Dagda pursued them and fetched the prized possession, thus
assuring the change of seasons. Morrigan, Badb, Mider, and Angus
finally forced the last Fomors off of Ireland for all time. The gods
and goddesses now possessed the Emerald Isle
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(Date Posted:01/12/2009 21:45 PM)
Also Kernunnos, Cernenus, Cernowain, Cerne, Herne, Herne the Hunter, Uindos, Finn, Bok, Dumas, Belatucadros, Vitiris
Meaning of name: “The Horned One”
Druidic name was “Hu Godarn.” His worship was so popular that
Christianity had a very difficult time trying to eradicate him. They
modeled their Christian Devil after him in hopes of dissuading
worshippers from following him.
is normally portrayed with the antlers of a stag, carrying a purse full
of coins, seated in a cross-legged position. He has long hair and a
beard. He is usually shown very “well endowed” and is shown in an
ithyphallic state. He has a torq (a rigid circular necklace donating
wealth, high social status, nobility) around his neck and another in
his right hand. In his left he holds a ram-headed serpent (symbol of
his sexual power and knowledge sacred to the Goddess) which seems to be
unique to him. He often has the legs and hooves of a goat. He is most
often surrounded by animals of the forest: the stag, the fox, a wild
boar, and others.
The Gundestrup Cauldron:
most detailed, clear and famous of all images of Cernunnos comes from a
unique and marvelous piece of Celtic art work called The Gundestrup
Cauldron. Cauldrons had magickal significance for the Celts, and this
is the most ornate ever found. It was beaten out of 10 kg of silver,
probably in the second century BCE, constructed from 13 heavily
decorated rectangular panels and a plain bowl containing a 14th
circular one. The entire assembly is 70 cm in diameter.
around the birth of Christ it was disassembled and apparently just left
on the ground in a bog near what is now the hamlet of Gundestrup in
Northern Jutland (Denmark), where it gradually became overgrown and
covered with peat. It remained there until its discovery by peat
cutters in 1891.
eight external panels (of which one is missing) each feature what
appears to be the single face of a different god or goddess, surrounded
by much smaller humanoids or beasts. The five interior panels each
depict many characters, men, women, gods and beasts, in what may be a
of these panels depicts Cernunnos. He is seated cross-legged. He has
antlers with seven tines, and is, unusually, depicted clean-shaven. He
wears a torque and carries a second one in his right hand. He wears a
tunic and bracae (Celtic trousers) which cover him from the wrist to
above the knee, and a patterned belt. He wears sandals on his feet.
His hair appears to be brushed straight back. In his left hand he
holds the ram-horned serpent.
him are many beasts. The nearest, on the left, is a stag. Close to
him on the right is a dog. There are other animals resembling ibexes,
lions, and a boy on a fish.
is a triple god: Father, Son, and Wild Spirit. Cernunnos can appear
under a variety of guises, the most mysterious of which is perhaps the
“three headed visage,” in which the Stag is “three-faced,” as if just
having looked to his right and to his left. This visage of the Horned
One alludes to something very unusual about him; that he is triple in
and unto himself. Many Celtic deities appear to us in triads, each
“person” in the triple manifestation having its own name, aspects or
characteristics. The triple aspect of the Goddess would be an
excellent example: Maiden, Mother, and Crone. Cernunnos is unusual in
that he is a single deity, yet he can suddenly appear in this
can also appear in human form, usually as a man with horns or antlers
growing from his head. Occasionally he is imaged as having a man’s
body and a stag’s head. At other times he seems entirely human, until
you see those two small horns growing out of his head just above his
brow, mostly hidden under his crop of long, matted and quite straggly
black or dark brown hair.
was worshipped by the Iron Age Celts across Europe until the end of the
first century. There is very little in existence about him in
documents, due to the fact that the druids were forbidden to write down
any of their knowledge, but his image appears on numerous stone
carvings throughout Europe. 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. Icons of
Cernunnos in stone, paint and engravings have been found throughout the
territory of the ancient Celts, from Spain to Romania and from Northern
Italy up to Ireland and Scotland. The Celts made numerous models, or
icons, of their various gods, and there are over 60 depicting
Cernunnos, from all over Europe. We only know his name because it is
very clearly carved on a single one of these icons, made by sailors
from the Gallic Parisii tribe in the first century CE. He has long
been associated with Druids, mystics and magickians in Celtic
Irish stories describe Cernunnos (Uindos) as the son of the high god Lugh. He is called a wild hunter, a warrior, and a poet.
is regarded as the guardian of animals, fertility, forests, the hunt,
harvest, life, death, reincarnation, crossroads, sacrifice, Magick,
initiation, wealth, the underworld, physical love, and is most
specifically a Nature God. The idea that he is an Underworld God is
backed by the fact that he carries coins, which are an Underworld
titles include Lord of Animals, Lord of Beasts, Stag Lord, Lord of the
Hunt, Lord of the Forest, The Green Man, God of the Hunt, The Horned
God of the Hunt, The Horned One, The Horned God, and Lord of the
Underworld,. In his Underworld Aspect he is known as The Dark Man, the
god who dwells in the House Beneath the Hill. He is the one who
comforts and sings the souls of the dead to their rest in the
Summerlands of the Otherworld. In modern times he is often referred to
as God of the Witches. Following him through the Veil between the
Worlds is one of the surest ways of making the journey and returning
unscathed, as he generally won’t abandon those who follow him with good
is the Oldest of the Ancient Ones, first born of the Goddess. At the
time of First Earth, Cernunnos grew in the womb of the All Mother, Anu,
waiting to be born, to come forth to initiate the everlasting, unbroken
circle of Life.
Things Sacred to Him:
oak is his sacred tree. His sacred animals include the stag, ram,
bull, antelope, crane, sheep (ram), goat, boar, horned serpent, all
horned animals, snake, and all mammals. Honor him at Samhain, Ostara,
Beltain, and at Midsummer, when he leads the Wild Hunt.
Bay, Heliotrope, Oak, Orange, Patchouli, Sandalwood, Sunflower
Cernunnos and the Wheel of the Year:
Spring: We celebrate his birth, child of the Goddess, embodiment of the budding, growing, greening world.
Summer: We celebrate and honor him as the Green Man, vibrant, the consort of the Green Lady Goddess.
Autumn: The dying time, he is the Horned God, sacrificed and wounded, begins journey to the Underworld.
Winter: The seeds of light from his decaying body will quicken the Goddess’ womb with a new Sun (son) once again.
Another interpretation of his life cycle is as follows:
the vernal tides he is often manifest as a young man – often adolescent
– with horns. In this guise he is similar in aspect to Herne the
Hunter or a very young Green Man who is not yet sexually or poetically
mature, yet vigorous and enthusiastic. It is in this form that
Cernunnos and the Triple Goddess make the fields fertile by their
union. At Summer’s Solstice the Horned One becomes known through the
presence of the Green Man. Then, in August, after Lughnassadh, as the
sun begins to wane, he shifts form again, coming to us as the
ever-pesky Puck. At the autumnal equinox he appears as the Old
Antlered One, Downie Hornie, in which guise he haunts us until
Samhain. After this turnstile in the earthen year he usually withdraws
his presence from mortals, disappearing until he is reborn during the
Season of the Winter Solstice as the Gifting Stag; a young hart whose
virility and strength will enable him to survive the long winter months
ahead while the rest of Nature sleeps.” Copyright 2002 by Montague
Reasons to Invoke:
Cernunnos for magick, prosperity, wealth, commerce, rebirth,
regeneration, virility, reincarnation, shamanism, abundance, knowledge,
fertility, shape-shifting, male potency, good fortune, love spells, sex
magick, hunting, male mysteries, Earth mysteries, workings which relate
to the spiral of life, protecting wild animals, helping to maintain the
balance of Nature, and working with animals. Sitting in the lotus
position is appropriate for his invocation.
Invocation to Cernunnos:
"Hail Cernunnos, Stag of the Woods
Come to us we pray you!
Inspire us with an earthen faith
And an adventurous love of life!
Lead us and we will follow you
Through the wildwood and to the heath
Where the haunted ones of the Sidhe
worship in the dark night
Of Mystery’s embrace! Nema!"
"Great God Cernunnos, return to earth again !
Come at my call and show thyself to men.
Shepherd of Goats, upon the wild hill's way,
Lead thy lost flock from darkness into day.
Forgotten are the ways of sleep and night -
Men seek for them whose eyes have lost the light.
Open the door, the door which hath no key,
The door of dreams, whereby men come to thee.
O Mighty Stag, O answer to me !"
The God in the Wild Wood:
the Sacred Centre, in the Grove of all Worlds, He sits with legs
crossed beneath an ancient Oak. Entranced, connecting the three worlds
Earth, Sea, and Sky and the worlds behind the worlds, the god and the
Great Tree are One, His immense limbs widespread, stretching into
distant sky and starry space. His massive trunk, spine of the
Middleworld, is the heart of the Ancient Forest around which all Life,
all worlds turn. His limitless root web growing deep into secret earth
and Underworld. Above him the great turning circles of Sun, Moon, and
Stars. All around Him subtle movements of the leaves in melodious,
singing air. Everywhere the pulsing, gleaming Green awash in drifts of
gold and shimmering mist. Beneath Him soft moss creeping over the
dark, deep, moist of spawning earth. At His feet the great Cauldron
from which the Five Rivers Flow. Through the forest stillness they
come, whispering wings and secret glide, rustling leaves, and silent
step, the first Ancestors, the Oldest Animals, to gather around Him:
Blackbird, Keeper of the Gate; Stag of Seven Tines, Master of Time;
Ancient Owl, Crone of the Night; Eagle, Lord of the Air, Eye of the
Sun; and Salmon, Oldest of the Old, Wisest of the Wise leaping from the
juncture of the Five Springs. He welcomes them and blesses them, and
they honor Him, Cernunnos of the nut brown skin and lustrous curling
hair. The god whose eyes flash star-fire, whose flesh is a reservoir
of ancient waters, His cells alive with Mystery, original primeval
essence. Naked, phallus erect, He wears a crown of antlers limned in
green fire and twined with ivy. In his right hand the Torq of gold,
testament of his nobility and his sacred pledge. In his left hand the
horned serpent symbol of his sexual power sacred to the Goddess.
Cernunnos in His Ancient Forest, His Sacred Temple, His Holy Grove,
Cernunnos and His children dream the Worlds.”
A Wiccan Bible by A.J. Drew
Cernunnos by Dr. Anthony E. Smith
Cernunnos: Celtic Horned God of the Animals by Morning Glory Zell
Cernunnos: The Celtic Horned God by Montague Whitsel
Cernunnos the Stag Lord by lugodoc.demon
Complete Book of Witchcraft by Raymond Buckland
Horned God, The by John Rowan
Invocation for Witches by Eileen Holland
Magick of the Gods and Goddesses by D.J. Conway
Origin of the Gundestrup Cauldron by Berquist, Anders & Taylor
Truth About the Druids, The by Tadhg MacCrossan
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