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.
|Lugh, Llew, Lugoves||light, sun|
|Donn||'dark god' of the dead|
|Cernunnos||horned god, fertility|
|Manannen Mac Lir||Sea|
|Ogma / Ogmios||writing, wisdom, eloquence|
|Teutates||war, lord of the tribes/clan|
|Esus||cruel hearth, water|
|Mogonitus||Local||Hadrians wall area|
|Vosegos||stag||Vosges Mts, France|
|Taranis||Thunder (like Diana)|
|Sulis, Sul||Healing||(Bath - Aquae Sulis)|
|Dana, Anna, Non|
|Dea Arduinna||Wild boar||Ardennes|
|Sequanna||personification of River Seine||France|
|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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