Kate Monk's Onomastikon

(Dictionary of Names)

Celtic Religion

Many deities seem to have been associated with aspects of nature and worshipped in sacred groves. Some appear in all Celtic areas while others have purely local significance. A large number of minor gods and goddesses are mentioned in inscriptions and sculptures but Lugh, Epona and Cernunnos were among the most important. The Celtic oral tradition meant that the myths and legends were not written down until after the Christian church had been established in Britain so the versions that exist were subject to its influence. The deities were changed into fairies and their powers into magic while the great festivals were included in the Christian calendar.

The Druids or priests were more important than the kings in Celtic society and their decisions were law. Even the king could not speak first. Their training took some years and there were special colleges in which philosophy, law, poems and stories were learnt by rote which preserved the mystery of Druidic doctrines. They were credited with supernatural powers of healing and prophecy and were believed to be able to enter the Otherworld.


Name Attributes Area

Lugh, Llew, Lugoves light, sun  
Daghda Sky  
Arawn Underworld  
Donn 'dark god' of the dead  
Camulos War  
Credenus Craftsman  
Cernunnos horned god, fertility  
Diancecht Healing  
Goibniu Smith  
Govannen/Gofannon Smith  
Manannen Mac Lir Sea  
Neit Battle  
Nuada Argetlamh    
Ogma / Ogmios writing, wisdom, eloquence  
Sucellos chief Gaul
Havgan Arawn's rival  
Teutates war, lord of the tribes/clan  
Esus cruel hearth, water  
Maponus/Mabomus   Lochmaben, Dumfries
Tridamus   Dobunni tribe
Rigisamus   Central Gaul
Coroticaus like Mars  
Belatucadrus/Belutocadros Local, war Carlisle
Cocidius Defence/hunting  
Jalonus Contrebis   Lancaster
Rigonemetes like Mars  
Mogonitus Local Hadrians wall area
Braciaca Brewing Derbyshire
Vosegos stag Vosges Mts, France


Name Attributes Area

Epona Horses  
Brigit Poetry  
Taranis Thunder (like Diana)  
Keridwen, Cerridwen earth  
Badb(h) Battle  
Morrigu/Morrghan War  
Macha War  
Flidais Huntress  
Sulis, Sul Healing (Bath - Aquae Sulis)
Sadb Deer  
Eadon Nurse  
Rosmerta Assoc Minerva  
Andraste, Andaste    
Artio bears Bern, Switzerland
Dana, Anna, Non    
Tutela Boudiga    
Nehalennia   Holland
Dea Arduinna Wild boar Ardennes
Sequanna personification of River Seine France


Name Date Celebrations

Imbolc 1st February sacred flame to wake sun from winter sleep - 'lactation of sheep'
Beltane 1st May fertility gathering, dancing around fires
Lughnasa 1st August harvest, devoted to Lugh the sun god
Samhain 1st November Celtic New Year, free access between this world and the Otherworld

This collection of names was compiled by Kate Monk and is ©1997, Kate Monk.

Copies may be made for personal use only.

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