List of Celtic Gods & Goddesses

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A


Abandinus A Romano-Celtic god of whom is little known, except for an inscription found in Cambridgeshire, England.


Abarta An Irish/Celtic god, a member of the Tuatha Dé Danann. His name means performer of feats.


Abellio The Gallic god of apple trees. A local deity of the Garonne valley.


Abhean An Irish/Celtic god, harper of the Tuatha Dé Danann.


Abnoba Romano-Celtic forest and river goddess (Black Forest area). Source of the English river name "Avon" and its cognates in continental Europe. Also goddess of the hunt (similar to the Roman Diana).


Achall (Irish) -- (AKH-ahl) Had a warrior brother who fell in battle. Her grief for him was so deep that she died as well. A good presence to be called upon for a Passing Over ritual. Family bonds and love. Correspondence: running water.


Achtan Irish) -- (AKH-tan) Slept with the High King of Ireland, Art. This was the night before his last battle, and she conceived a son, Cormac MacArt. Mother and child were somehow separated. Cormac was raised by a wolf and reunited with his mother several years later. Together, they made the dangerous journey to Tara so he could claim the throne. Achtan represents the boundless love and dedication a mother has for her child.


Achtland In Celtic legend, this mortal queen could not be satisfied with human men, so she took a giant as her spouse.


Addanc (Welsh) Also spelled Affanc. Flood/deluge myths are almost a universal phenomenon in world mythology, with the best known in the west being the one concerning Noah in the Judeo-Christian tradition. Addanc is part of the Celtic flood myth, a primordial giant/God/faery (some accounts call him a dragon or demon) who created and rode the crest of the flood near his home on the Lake of Waves. he God/Hero Dwyvan, and his wife, the Goddess/Heroine Dwyvach, escaped the flood in an ark. Depending on your version of the myth, Addanc was slain either by oxen belong to Hu the Mighty, or by Peredur, and the waters receded. Though his has been reduced to faery of evil Demi-God by recent mythological scholarship, he was probably once a deity worshipped by the people of the lake region. Today Addanc is a word used to describe any evil fresh water-dwelling faery of Wales


Adsullata A Continental Celtic river goddess, >or of hot springs, who came to Brittany from Celtic Gaul. She is the origin of the Anglo-Celtic sun Goddess Sul, and was most likely a minor sun Goddess in her own right before the time when the Celts relegated the majority of their sun images to male deities, and moon images to female ones.


Aengus God of love. Son of the Dagda and 'the wife of Elcmar', generally believed to be the goddess Boann. He is associated with the valley of the River Boyne. One of the Tuatha De Danann.


Aericura A Romano-Celtic chthonic underworld god.


Aerten (Cornish, Anglo-Celtic, Welsh) Also spelled Aerfen, or Aeron. A Goddess of fate who presided over the outcome of war between several Celtic clans. She had a shrine at Glyndyfrdwy on the banks of the River Dee, where legend says that three human sacrifices had to be made every three years to ensure success in future battles. A Goddess of fate who presided over the outcome of a series of wars fought between rival clans. She is often equated with the Three Fates of Greco-Roman mythology.


Aeval Among the Celts of Ireland, Aeval was the Fairy Queen of Munster. She held a midnight court to determine if husbands were satisfying their wives' sexual needs, or not, as the women charged.


Agrona The Celtic goddess of strife and slaughter. The river Aeron in Wales is named after her.


Aibel An Irish 'fairy' goddess.


Aife (Irish, Scottish) Also spelled Aoife. Aife was a Goddess and queen of the Isle of Shadow, an honor she shared with her rival and sister Scathach. Scathach operated a school on the Isle where she trained fighters, including the nearly invincible Red Branch warriors. Aife also ran a school for warriors, but was much less successful than her sister.


Aimend An Irish sun-goddess.


Aine Irish goddess of love and fertility. Daughter of Eogabail, who was in turn the foster-son of Manannan mac Lir. Later worshipped as a fairy queen in County Limerick.


Airmid Healing goddess, protector of medicinal plants, and the keeper of the spring that brings the dead back to life.


Alaunus The Celtic version Apollo, who was venerated in the areas of Mannheim (Germany) and Salzburg (Austria).


Albion (Anglo-Celtic) A giant fathered by a forgotten Celtic Sea God who may have been part of a lost creation myth. He once was said to rule the Celtic world, and his name became the poetic name for Britain.


Albiorix "King of the world". An alternative name of the Gaulish god Teutates.


Alisanos The Welsh god of agriculture, son of the goddess Don. He is directly responsible for the war between the deities of the underworld, led by Arawn, and the Children of Don. In the Battle of the Trees (Battle of Cath Godeau) Amaethon's brother Gwydion transformed trees into warriors with whose help the deities of the underworld were defeated Ambisagrus A Continental Celtic god. The Romans with equated him with Jupiter.


Amaethon The Welsh god of agriculture, son of the goddess Don. He is directly responsible for the war between the deities of the underworld, led by Arawn, and the Children of Don. In the Battle of the Trees (Battle of Cath Godeau) Amaethon's brother Gwydion transformed trees into warriors with whose help the deities of the underworld were defeated.


Ambisagrus A Continental Celtic god. The Romans with equated him with Jupiter.


Anann A form of the major Irish mother goddess; overlaps with Danu. Worshipped in Munster as a goddess of plenty.


Ancamna A water goddess from Continental Celtic mythology.


Andarta A Gallic warrior and fertility goddess in Celtic France.


Andraste The goddess of war in Celtic Britain. In 61 AD the leader of a rebellion against the Roman occupation, the Queen Boudicca (Latin Boadicea), sacriced captive Roman women to this goddess in 61 AD.


Anextiomarus A British-Celtic tribal deity


Aoibhell Ireland; another woman of the Sidhe, she made her dwelling in Craig Liath. Legend has it that she gave a golden harp to Meardha, Murchadh's son, when he was getting his schooling at the Sidhe in Connacht and learned of his father's death. Whoever heard the playing of the harp would not live long afterward. It was this harp that Cuchulain heard the time his enemies were gathering against him at Muirthemne, and he knew by the sound that his life was near its end.


Annwn An underground Netherworld region found in Welsh legend. Surviving from pre-Christian Celtic mythology, it's immortal inhabitants are the fair folk, demons or thinly disguised deities depending on the viewpoint. Neither Heaven nor Hell in the Christian sense, humans can enter spiritually or corporeally. Annwn, or Annwfn, is ruled by Gwyn ap Nudd or Gwyn, son of Nodons, a briton god whose temple was at Lydney in the forest of Dean. He often appears among mortals to meddle in their affairs. Folklore transforms him into the leader of the Wild Hunt, riding through the clouds raising human shades, along with the red-eared hounds of Annwn.


Anu An Irish/Celtic fertility goddess, venerated as the mother of the gods. The center of her cult was the fertile Munster in southeast Ireland.


Arawn The Welsh god of the underworld. The god Amaethon stole from him a dog, lapwing and roebuck with led to the Battle of the Trees, in which his forces were defeated. A tale in the Mabinogion relates how he persuaded Pwyll to trade places with him for the span of a year and a day. In this period, Pwyll defeated Arawn's rival for dominion of the underworld Hafgan. Because Pwyll also refrained from sleeping with Arawn's wife, they became close friends.


Ard Greimme (Irish, Scottish) His name means "high power" or "High sun". He is the father of the famed warrioress sisters Aife and Scathach, and probably once a sun God in his own right.


Arduinna The Gaulish (Celtic) goddess of the moon, hunting, and forests. She was very popular in the Ardennes, to which she gave her name. She is accompanied by a boar, her sacred animal. The Romans equated her with their Diana.


Ariadne (Continental European) This Goddess of ancient Crete is the only Greek deity known to have been worshipped in Celtic Gaul. Her name is derived from the genus name for the spider, arachnid. In one of the few threads of extant Celtic creation myths, Ariadne spins the universe from the primordial darkness like a spider spins her web, a theme with echoes in the creation myths of many other cultures. Therefore this particular myth strikes many scholars and Pagans as being very un-Celtic, and it may have been a remnant of Indian mythology brought with the Celts on their long journey across the European Continent.


Arianrhod Arianrhod ("silver wheel", thus, the moon), is one of the descendants of Don. She had two brothers, Gilfaethwy and Gwydion the sister of Math ap Mathonwy, whose quality was that he required a virgin's lap to place his feet in, unless he was at war. When this virgin was raped, Math asked for a replacement, and Arianrhod volunteered. But when she stepped over his rod, she immediately gave birth to two children: a young boy and a blob. (This is likely because the word morwyn may mean either 'virgin' or 'free young woman', but it also indicates her divine status.) The boychild was named Dylan; he was a sea-being who returned to the waves. The blob was snatched up by Arianrhod's brother Gwydion, who hid it in a chest until it grew into a baby. Arainrhod imposed three geases upon this boy: he would have no name unless she named him, he would bear no arms unless she armed him, and he would have no human woman to wife. Thus, Arianrhod denied him the three essential passages to manhood. Nevertheless, Gwydion raised the nameless boy, and one day Arianrhod spied a young boy killing a wren with a single flung stone. She called out that he was a bright lion with a sure hand, and thus he took that name: Llew Llaw Gyffes. Later, Gwydion faked an alarm, and tricked her into arming the boy.


Arnemetia The British-Celtic water goddess


Artio Artio of Muri, usually depicted in the form of a bear, she was the continental Celtic goddess of the bear cult. Known from inscriptions in the Bern region of Switzerland.


Arvernus The Gallic god of the Arverni. Aufaniae Continental Celtic deities. They seem to have been matron-like figures.


Avagdu (Welsh) Also spelled Afagddu, he was the son of Cerridwen and Tegid, brother of Movron and dubbed the ugliest child in the world while his sister, Creirwy, was most beautiful. He made up for his shortcomings when his mother brewed him a great cauldron of inspiration and knowledge so that he would be the most learned man in the world. Unfortunately, there are many twists and turns in this tale, and Avagdu never did get his gift of wisdom, though the story makes clear that much of the gift he wanted was within him all the time. The moral to this myth is straightforward enough - there is more to everyone than can be told by mere physical appearance. Always look deeply into yourself and into others. Work with him to discover the hidden wisdom inside yourself.


Avalloc Found in Welsh pedigrees as the father of the goddess Modron. His own status is unclear. He is occasionally mentioned as the king of the otherworldly kingdom of Avalon.


Aveta The Gallic goddess of birth and midwifery.




B


Badb Badb is the Irish (Celtic) goddess of war. She often assumes the form of a raven or carrion-crow (her favorite disguise) and is then referred to as Badb Catha, meaning "battle raven". Not only did she take part in battles themselves, she also influenced their outcome by causing confusion among the warriors with her magic. The battle-field is often called 'land of Badb'. She formed part of a triad of war-goddesses with Macha (Nemain) and the Morrigan.


Balor Celtic-Irish Balor is the god of death and the king of the Fomorians, a race of giants. He was the son of Buarainech and the husband of Cethlenn. Balor had only one eye, which he kept closed because anything he looked at would die instantly. Killed by his grandson Lugh Lamhfada (Lugh of the Long Arm) who had been raised by the sea god Manannan mac Lir of the Tuatha Dé Danann.


Banba The goddess who represents the spirit of Ireland, and who is the wife of king MacCuill. She was thought to be the first settler in Ireland. She is part of a trinity of goddesses, the daughters of Fiachna, together with Fodla and Eriu.


Barinthus (Welsh, Anglo-Celtic) A charioteer to the residents of the Otherworld who was once probably a sea or sun God. He is mentioned by Geoffrey of Monmouth in his Vita Merlini.


Beag An Irish goddess of the Tuatha Dé Danann, associated with a magic well.


Bebhion An Irish underworld goddess and a patron of pleasure.


Belatu-Cadros The Celtic god of war and of the destruction of enemies. He was worshipped in Britain, primarily in Wales. His name means "fair shining one". The Romans equated him with their god Mars.


Belenus Belenus is the Gaulish/Celtic god of light, and referred to as 'The Shining One'. His cult spread from northern Italy to southern Gaul and Britain. Belenus is in charge of the welfare of sheep and cattle. His wife is the goddess Belisama. They can be compared with the continental Apollo and Minerva, but Belenus can also be identified with the Irish god Bile. His festival is Beltine ("Fire of Bel"), celebrated on May 1. On this day, purifying fires were lit and cattle driven between them before being allowed out onto the open pastures. Several Latin writers refer to Belenus in connection with Aquitaine, Austria and northern Italy.


Belisama The Gaulish/Celtic goddess of light and fire, the forge and of crafts. She is the wife of the god Belenus.


Berecyntia A Gaulish goddess, probably the same as Brigid (qv).


Bel (Bile) The Celtic god of light and healing, "Bel" means "shining one". As the Welsh Beli, he is the father of Arianrhod by Don. Patron of sheep and cattle, Bel's festival is Beltane, one of two main Celtic fire festivals. Beltane celebrates the return of life and fertility to the world -- marking the beginning of Summer and the growing season. Taking place on April 30, Beltane also is sometimes referred to as "Cetsamhain" which means "opposite Samhain." The word "Beltaine" literally means "bright" or "brilliant fire," and refers to the bonfire lit in honor of Bel. "Some believe this deity is the equivalent of Belatucadros, the consort of Belisama, another patroness of light, fire, the forge and crafts. Belatucadros, whose name means "fair shining one" or possibly "the fair slayer," is the god of destruction and war and transports the dead to Danu's "divine waters." Celtic deities often reign over seemingly contradictory themes. In the case of Belatucadros, death was simply a pathway to rebirth in the Otherworld, thus linking the two themes together. However, according to Ross's Pagan Celtic Britain, historically the worship of Belatucadros among the Celts was confined only the northwestern region of Britain and has never been associated with the festival of Beltane, healing or with a consort (pg. 235). It has been suggested that the mythological king, Beli Mawr, in the story of Lludd and Llefelys in The Mabinogion, is a folk memory of this god.


Bellona (Scottish) This battlefield Goddess is mentioned in the second scene of Shakespeare's MacBeth. Her name is probably a Latinized or corrupted form of Ireland's Badb, a Goddess with similar properties. In Roman mythology she is a Mother Goddess and Goddess of war. She becomes syncretized with the Cappadocian mother Goddess Ma. The first known temple dedicated to Ma-Bellona by the Romans is dated to 296 BCE. Bellona was attended by Asiatic priests who performed frenzied dances and gashed themselves with swords, offering the blood on the Goddess's altars. Because of its violent nature, Rome refused to officially recognize the cult until the third century CE.


Bendigaid Vran See Bran.


Bladud (Welsh, Anglo-Celtic) This 'flying king' was probably a regional sun God. He is associated with the sacred English hot spring known as Aquae Sulis, and area occupied heavily by Roman forces which appropriated many of the local deities. He is depicted in a famous stone carving near the spring as a very virile male figure with flaming hair, the radiant features making him unmistakable a sun God. Several Goddesses were also sacred to this hot spring, including Brid, whom the Romans called Minerva.


Blodeuwedd Blodeuwedd was created out of flowers by Gwydion to wed Llew Llaw Gyffes. She betrayed Llew, either because she had no soul, being non-human, or because she resented being his chattel, or because the triplet of one woman and two men must play itself out in Welsh myth, and Llew Llaw Gyffes must die. At any rate, she fell in love with Goronwy and, wishing to be rid of Llew, she tricked out of him the clearly supernatural and ritual manner in which only he could be killed: neither by day nor night, indoors nor out of doors, riding nor walking, clothed nor naked, nor by any weapon lawfully made. She asked him to explain this, and he did: he could be killed only if it were twilight, wrapped in a fish net, with one foot on a cauldron and the other on a goat, and if the weapon had been forged during sacred hours when such work was forbidden. Blodeuwedd convinced him to demonstrate how impossible such a position was to achieve by chance, and when he was in it, het lover Goronwy leapt out and struck. Llew was transformed into an eagle and eventually restored to human form, after which he killed Goronwy. Blodeuwedd was transformed into an owl, to haunt the night in loneliness and sorrow, shunned by all other birds.


Boann Goddess of bounty and fertility. Her symbol is the white cow. Her name means "She of the white cattle". Irish goddess. Also goddess of the River Boyne. She is the wife of the water god Nechtan or of Elcmar, and consort of the Dagda, by whom she was the mother of the god Aengus.


Bodb The Irish goddess of battle. She prophesied the doom of the Tuatha Dé Danann after the Battle of Mag Tuireadh (Moytura).


Bodb Dearg 'Bodb the Red', a son of the Dagda who succeeded him as ruler of the gods.


Borvo "To Boil" The Gallic god of hot (mineral) springs and healing. In the Provence (France) he was known as Bormanus, and in Portugal as Bormanious. He was identified with Apollo by the Romans.


Bran Bran ("raven"), son of Llyr and Penarddun, and brother of Branwen and Manawydan, and half brother Nisien and Efnisien. Bran was too large for ordinary houses. When Bran learned of the slavery imposed upon his sister Branwen by her Irish husband Matholwch, he sailed to rescue her. Matholwch was terrified at the sight of a forest approaching Ireland across the sea: Bran's navy, and Bran himself wading through the water. He sued for peace, they built a house big enough for Bran, and Matholwch agreed to settle the kingdom on Gwern, his son by Branwen. Some Irish lords objected, and hid themselves in flour bags to attack the Welsh. But Efnisien, scenting Irish treachery, cast them into the fire, and then cast Gwern himself in (avoiding the geas against shedding kinsmen's blood thereby). A war broke out, and the Irish replenished themselves through the cauldron. Efnisien, repenting, sacrificed himself by feigning death and being thrown into the cauldron, which he then broke, dying in the process. Only seven Welshmen survived, and Bran was fatally wounded. His head, which remained alive and talking, was returned to Wales and buried, and soon afterwards Branwen sailed to Aber Alaw and died. According to legend, England could never be invaded as long as Bran's head, facing south and buried in a hill near London, was left alone.


Branwen Branwen ("white raven") a daughter of Llyr and Penarddun, and sister of Bran, and Manawydan, and half-sister of Nisien and Efnisien. Matholwch of Ireland sued for her hand, and gave horses to Bran. Efnisien mutilated the horses, nearly precipitating warfare, but Matholwch was appeased by the gift of a cauldron that could resurrect the dead. Branwen wed him, and went to Ireland, where she bore him a son, Gwern. But the Irish began to complain about their foreign queen, and she was banished to the kitchen, where she was a slave and boxed on the ears by the butcher daily. This lasted three years, during which Branwen trained a starling to speak and sent it to Wales, where it told Bran of her plight, and he sailed to rescue her. Matholwch was terrified at the sight of a forest approaching Ireland across the sea: no one could make it out, until he called for Branwen, who explained it as Bran's navy, and Bran himself wading through the water. He sued for peace, they built a house big enough for Bran, and Matholwch agreed to settle the kingdom on Gwern. Some Irish lords objected, and hid themselves in flour bags to attack the Welsh. But Efnisien, scenting Irish treachery, cast them into the fire, and then cast Gwern himself in (avoiding the geas against shedding kinsmen's blood thereby). A war broke out, and the Irish replenished themselves through the cauldron. Efnisien, repenting, sacrificed himself by feigning death and being thrown into the cauldron, which he then broke, dying in the process. Only seven Welshmen survived, and Bran was fatally wounded. His head, which remained alive and talking, was returned to Wales and buried, and soon afterwards Branwen sailed to Aber Alaw and died. She is one of the three "matriarchs of Britain", along with (probably) Rhiannon and Arianrhod. The Celtic goddess of love and beauty. Also of Manx and Wales. She is similar to the Greek goddess Aphrodite and the Roman goddess Venus. After the death of her brother Bran, due to a war caused by Matholwch, Branwen died of a broken heart.


Breg Irish goddess, wife of the Dagda.


Bres God of fertility and agriculture. He is the son of Elatha, a prince of the Fomorians, and the goddess Eriu. The goddess Brigid became his wife.


Bride Scotland's version of the Celtic Irish Brigid.


Brigantia The Celtic (British) tutelary goddess of the Brigantes in Yorkshire and the goddess of the rivers Braint and Brent, which were named after her. Brigantia was also a pastoral goddess associated with flocks and cattle. During the Roman occupation she was associated with the Roman goddess Caelestis as Caelestis Brigantia


Brigid Name Cognates: Breo Saighead, Brid, Brighid [Eriu], Brigindo, Brigandu [Gaul], Brigan, Brigantia, Brigantis [Briton], Bride [Alba]. Breo Saighead, or the "Fiery Arrow or Power," is a Celtic three-fold goddess, the daughter of The Dagda, and the wife of Bres. Known by many names, Brighid's three aspects are (1) Fire of Inspiration as patroness of poetry, (2) Fire of the Hearth, as patroness of healing and fertility, and (3) Fire of the Forge, as patroness of smithcraft and martial arts. She is mother to the craftsmen. Sons of Tuireann: Creidhne, Luchtaine and Giobhniu. Brigid possessed an apple orchard in the Otherworld to which bees traveled to obtain it's magickal nectar. Brigid, which means "one who exaults herself," is Goddess of the Sacred Flame of Kildare (derived from "Cill Dara," which means "church of the oak") and often is considered to be the White Maiden aspect of the Triple Goddess. She sometimes also is associated with the Romano-Celtic goddess Aquae-Sulis in Bathe. Brighid's festival is Imbolc, celebrated on or around February 1 when she ushers Spring to the land after The Cailleach's Winter reign. This mid-Winter feast commences as the ewes begin to lactate and is the start of the new agricultural cycle. During this time Brigid personifies a bride, virgin or maiden aspect and is the protectoress of women in childbirth. Imbolc also is known as Oimelc, Brigid, Candlemas. Brigid's snake comes out of its mound in which it hibernates and its behavior is said to determine the length of the remaining Winter. Gailleach, or White Lady, drank from the ancient Well of Youth at dawn. In that instant, she was transformed into her Maiden aspect, the young goddess called Brigid. Wells were considered to be sacred because they arose from oimbelc (literally "in the belly"), or womb of Mother Earth. Because of her Fire of Inspiration and her connection to the apple and oak trees, Brighid often is considered the patroness of the Druids.


Brigindo Name of the Celtic goddess Brigid in eastern France.


Britannia A Romano-Celtic (British) tutelary goddess Bussumarus A continental Celtic god, identified with Jupiter


Bronach An Irish goddess of cliffs.


Bussumarus A continental Celtic god, identified with Jupiter.




C


Caer An Irish swan maiden with whom Aengus (god of poetry) fell in love. He became a swan also.


Caer Ibormeith Ireland; goddess of sleep and dreams; and perhaps a less violent version of Mare; daughter of Ethal Anubail, a faery king of Connacht. She often took the form of a swan who lived on a lake called Dragon's Mouth, and wore a copious golden chain with 130 golden balls on a silver chain about her slender neck. She was loved by Aengus MacOg, god of young love. When he awakened from a dream of her he sought her out. After he found her, he too became a swan, and the two of them flew and sang the sweetest, most restful music ever heard upon this earth. Together they flew away to Bruigh na Boinne, his megalithic site north of Tara, where they sang so wonderfully that the whole of Ireland fell into a peaceful sleep for three days and three nights.


Cailleach Cailleach is referred to as the "Mother of All" in parts of Scotland. Also known as Scotia, she is depicted as an old hag with the teeth of a wild bear and boar's tusks. She is believed to be a great sorceress. One superstition regarding Calliach is that the farmer who is last to harvest his grain would be the person to "look after" Caileach for the rest of the year, until the next harvest. The first farmer who finishes harvesting would make a corn-dolly from the grain he has harvested. He would, then, pass it on to the next farmer who finishes. It would keep going until the corn-dolly ends up with the last farmer. That last farmer would be obligated to watch the "old woman". She is also known to have created the earth. "With her hammer she alternately splinters mountains, prevents the growth of grass, or raises storms. Numerous wild animals follow her..."


Cailleach Beara The Irish/Celtic who was said to turn to stone every April 30 (Beltine) and to be reborn every October 31 (Samhain). She was represented as an old hag.


Camma The goddess of the hunt among the Britons


Camulus A Gaulish war god mentioned by the Romans, who associated them with Mars. He gave his name to the Roman town of Camulodunum (Colchester).


Carlin (Scotland) She was the spirit of the eve of Samhain (Halloween), the night the year turned to winter, and the ghosts of the dead roamed the world of the living. See also Cailleach.


Carman A destructive witch, she was the goddess of evil magic. She had three equally destructive sons: Dub ("darkness"), Dother ("evil"), and Dian ("violence"), who ravaged Ireland. The Tuatha Dé Danann fought against Carman with their most powerful weapons. Finally the sorceress Bechuille, was able to undo Carman's curses. Her sons were destroyed and Carman put in chains, where she died of grief


Cartimandua A legendary warrior queen who waged war against the Roman Empire, she was the leader of the Brigantes, descendants of the goddess Brigantia


Caswallawn A Celtic war god of Britain


Cathubodua Breton) Sometimes seen as a Breton version of the Irish earth Goddess Banbha, most likely with origins in Gaul. Also thought to be a war Goddess who shares Badb's energies.


Cenn Cruaich A Gaelic heaven-god, akin to Zeus.


Ceridwen Ceridwen is a magician who features in the mythical version of the life of the genuine bard Taliesin. Ceridwen had an ugly son, Afagddu ("ugly"), whom she wished to make wise. She brewed a magical liquid and had her kitchen boy Gwion tend it. Three drops scalded his hand and he licked them off, instantly acquiring all the knowledge. In an ancient, ancient hunt she pursued him: first she became a greyhound and he a hare, then she an otter and he a fish, then she a hawk and he a rabbit. Finally, she became a hen and he a grain of corn, and she ate him. She became pregnant with him and he was born nine months later, a boy of astounding grace and beauty whom she named Taliesin and put into a coracle in the sea.


Cernunnos "The Horned One" is a Celtic god of fertility, life, animals, wealth, and the underworld. He was worshipped all over Gaul, and his cult spread into Britain as well. Cernunnos is depicted with the antlers of a stag, sometimes carries a purse filled with coin. The Horned God is born at the winter solstice, marries the goddess at Beltane, and dies at the summer solstice. He alternates with the goddess of the moon in ruling over life and death, continuing the cycle of death, rebirth and reincarnation. 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. Romans sometimes portrayed him with three cranes flying above his head. Known to the Druids as Hu Gadarn. God of the underworld and astral planes. The consort of the great goddess. He was often depicted holding a bag of money, or accompanied by a ram-headed serpent and a stag. Most notably is the famous Gundestrup cauldron discovered in Denmark.




Cessair A great magician, she became the first queen of Ireland. She and her band of female followers inhabited the land after the Great Flood Cethlion The prophetess of the Fomorians who warned of their impending doom at the hands of the Tuatha Dé Danann.


Cliodhna The Irish goddess of beauty. She later became a fairy queen in the area of Carraig Cliodhna in County Cork.


Clota The Celtic goddess of the river Clyde.


Cocidius A hunting deity of Celtic North Britain. The Romans equated him with their Silvanus


Conall Cernach A powerful warrior from Irish myth; his name means "strong and victorious".


Condatis A River god of Celtic Britain, personification of water.


Condwiramur (Welsh, Cornish) [KOND-oor-uh-moor] An archetypal guardian of the feminine mysteries and a Goddess of sovereignty who appears briefly in the Grail legends as the wife of Sir Percival. He weds her and beds her, then immediately sets off for the Grail Castle to which he is finally admitted. After wedding her, Perdival becomes the ruler of the Grail kingdom, acknowledging Condwiramur's sovereign role.


Contrebis A local god in the area of Lancaster in Celto-Roman Britain.


Corchen (Irish, Manx)A very old snake Goddess about whom little is known. Because of her linkage to the serpent image, she was probably one a regional mother earth Goddess, or a Goddess of rebirth. Others speculate that her lost legends were once part of forgotten creation myths.


Corra (Scottish) A Goddess of prophecy who usually appeared in the form of a crane. Similar Irish Goddesses such as Aife and Cally Berry also took this form, and did so to symbolize transcendent knowledge and transitions to the Otherworld.


Coventina (Anglo-Celtic, Scottish, British) Tutelary and water Goddess of uncertain affinities. Little is known of Coventina other than that she was a purely local British goddess of some importance. She is best observed from the period of the Roman occupation, at which time she shows a classical influence but is clearly Celtic in origin. On one bas relief found at Carrawburgh her name is associated with three nymphs holding vessels with issuing streams of water; on another she is pictured as a water nymph on a leaf, pouring water from a vessel. Her Carrawburgh sanctuary, which followed a simple, unroofed design similar to that of a small Romano-Celtic temple, was sited beside a well fed be a sacred spring and was associated with the Roman fort of Brocolitia. The well attests to a cult involving a ritual shaft and water, into which more than 13,000 Roman coins had been thrown dating to the reign of Gratian (407 AD) , indicating Conentin's long-standing popularity. From the late period incense burners have been discovered that were inscribed to "Coventina Augusta." In addition to money, pearls and pins were thrown into the well as votive offerings, the pins possibly implying a role in childbirth. Models of a dog (linked to the Greco-Roman physician Aesculapius) and a horse (a distinct fertility symbol) had also been deposited. Less significant and probably dumped when the temple was desecrated by Christians were a skull, altars, and other carved stones. There is no evidence of connection with a severed head cult. Whatever the original myth might have been has been long lost. It is known that she was looked upon as the queen of river Goddesses, particularly of the watershed where the Celtic believe the power of the river deity could be seen and its energy most keenly felt. She was most closely associated with England's Caldew River. Like other river deities, she represented abundance, inspiration, and prophecy. The coins offered to her appear to be sacrifices made in the hopes of sympathetic magick in which like attracts like. In Scotland she was also the Goddess of featherless flying creatures which may have represented some type of blockage to passing into the Otherworld. There is also evidence of her having been worshipped in Celtic Gaul where reliefs have been found depicting her reclining on a floating leaf.


Cred (Irish, Scottish) Also Creide. This faery queen Goddess is associated with Dana's mountains, the Paps of Any. She promised never to sleep until she found a man who could create for her the most magnificent poem ever penned. It not only had to be perfectly crafted, but describe in vivid detail her home and all its contents. The catch was the no man was allowed within her dwelling's guarded walls (possibly reference to one of the Otherworld realms known as the land of women). Coll, one of the Fianna warriors. finally overcame these obstacles and wrote her the desired poem. She was so greatly impressed that she married him and they now make their home together in the Otherworld. In another myth, she was given a ring by an exiled visitor from Scotland named Cano. The two fell in love, and before Cano left for his home in Scotland, he told her that the ring contained his very life and that she was to guard it carefully. Cano did not return and in her anguish, Cred accidentally dropped the ring and broke it. Cano died three days later.


Creiddylad A Welsh goddess, daughter of Llyr. She appeared in Shakespeare's King Lear as the king's daughter Cordelia


Creidhne Creidhne was the god of metal working. One of the trio of craft-gods of the Tuatha Dé Danann, as were Goibniu and Luchta.


Crone, the (Pan-Celtic) One aspect of the Triple Goddess. She represents old age or death, Winter, the end of all things, the waning moon, post-menstrual phases of women's lives, all destruction that precedes regeneration through her cauldron of rebirth. Crows and other black creatures are sacred to her. Dogs often accompanied her and guarded the gates of her after-world, helping her receive the dead. In Celtic myth, the gatekeeper-dog was named Dormarth (Death's Door). The Irish Celts maintained that true curses could be cast with the aid of a dog. Therefore, they used the word cainte (dog) for a satiric Bard with the magic power to speak curses that came true.


Cunedda (Welsh) [KOON-uh-tha] Also Kwnedda. Cunedda is a figure from early Welsh mythology which tells us that he came to the region with his eight sons, and the nine of them carved out the nine Welsh kingdoms. His stories parallel that of Milesius and his eight sons who conquered Ireland. Archetypally he represents the potent force of a triple triplicity.


Curoi mac Daire A Celtic sun-deity, believed to be a storm-bringing giant, armed with an axe.


Cwn Annwn In Brythonic mythology, the hounds of Annwn. A pack of snow-white, red-eared spectral hounds which sometimes took part in the kidnappings and raids the inhabitants of the underworld sometimes make on this world (the Wild Hunt). They are associated in Wales with the sounds of migrating wild geese, and are said to be leading the souls of the damned to hell. The phantom chase is usually heard or seen in midwinter and is accompanied by a howling wind. Another name is Cwn Mamau ("hounds of the mothers"). In England, they are often called the Gabriel Hounds or Ratchets, and sometimes the Yell Hounds. They are accompanied by the hunter Gwyn, or Bran, or Arthur, but sometimes by Gabriel or Herne the Hunter.


Cyhiraeth The Celtic goddess of streams. She later entered folklore as a spectre haunting woodland streams. Her shriek was said to foretell death.


Cymidei Cymeinfoll (Welsh) [KEEM-ud-day KEEM-een-vol] Her name means 'big belly of battle.' She is a war Goddess who is always paired in stories to her husband Llasar Llaesyfnewid. Together they own a magickal cauldron into which they would cast warriors killed in battle. From the cauldron these dead soldiers would come forth to life again, but minus their power of speech. In later myth, the cauldron became a peach offering to end the war with Ireland. This image marks her as one half of the creative principle. As Wales' supreme war Goddess, she gave birth to its warriors, one every six weeks.


Cythrawl (Welsh) [KEETH-rawl] In Welsh cosmology, Cythrawl archetypally symbolizes the opposing male creative force which represents destruction rather than creation. While this sounds very negative to non-Pagans, Pagans accept the energy as leading towards nothingness and being as necessary to existence as that which leads to creation. Cythrawl's energy has been personified as deity, and his home is in the Otherworld where his energy is first manifested before appearing in the mortal realm.




D


Dagda The Irish-Celtic god of the earth and treaties, and ruler over life and death. Dagda, or The Dagda, ("the good god") is one of the most prominent gods and the leader of the Tuatha Dé Danann. He is a master of magic, a fearsome warrior and a skilled artisan. Dagda is a son of the goddess Danu, and father of the goddess Brigid and the god Aengus mac Oc. The Morrigan is his wife, with whom he mates on New Years Day. The Dagda is portrayed as possessing both super- human strength and appetite. His attributes are a cauldron with an inexhaustible supply of food, a magical harp with which he summons the seasons, and an enormous club, with one end of which he could kill nine men, but with the other restore them to life. He also possessed two marvellous swine---one always roasting, the other always growing---and ever-laden fruit trees.


Dahud (Breton) Also Dahut. Her adoring father, King Gradion (or Gradlon) of Cornwall, built for her the city of Ker-Ys ("city of depth") off the coast of Brittany in order that she might escape the persecutions of the monks who had declared her a witch for her violent opposition to their Christianization of her kingdom. Modern legends tell that her city was swept away by a wave caused by an intervening Christian saint. Pagan stories tell how she asked a city of Korrigans, the Breton sea faeries, to disguise her sea world until it was safe again for them to emerge again in a world without religious persecution. In this way she is similar to the sleeping deities, such s King Arthur, who lie in a state of suspended animation waiting until their people call upon them again. Dahud was dubbed a Goddess of 'debauchery' by her detractors, while some more recent legends go so far as to make her the destroyer of her realm through her excesses and her worship of 'idols'. Patriarchal legends say her father, recognizing her as evil, either escaped her world, or drowned her. She is hailed as a Goddess of earthly pleasure by her followers. Archetypally she can be viewed as a mother Goddess cradling the reborn infant of the Old Religion, and as a rebel against patriarchy and its new rules.


Damara A British/Celtic feritility goddess, associated with the month of May.


Damona A Gallic goddess, known as the "Divine Cow". She is the spouse of Borvo.


Danu Universal mother of the gods. The earth mother. Goddess of rivers,wells, prosperity, plenty, magic and wisdom. The Irish/Celtic earth goddess, matriarch of the Tuatha Dé Danann ("People of the goddess Danu"). Danu is the mother of various Irish gods, such as the Dagda (also mentioned as her father), Dian Cecht, Ogma, Lir, Lugh, and many others. Her Welsh equivalent is the goddess Don.


Deae Matres (Breton, Continental, Romano-Celtic across Europe but particularly Rhineland) [DEE-uh MOT-rays] Triads of mother goddesses. Triads of benevolent mother goddesses were probably worshipped, in the main, as household deities guarding against disease or famine. An important sculpture of Matres was found embedded in the walls of London on a section of fourth century rebuilding adjacent to the Thames. Another, The Matres Aufaniae, was dedicated by Quettius Severus, the quaestor of the colony of Cologne. Several unnamed Matres are held in the Corinium museum at Cireccestedr. The sculptures are often associated with cornucopieae, baskets of fruit, loaves, sheaves of grain, fish or other symbols of prosperity and fertility. They may also carry or suckle children. Many of the triads were specific to regions, hence the Treverae among the Treveri tribe around modern Trier, or the Nemausicae at Nimes. Many of the dedications to such mothers were made by soldiers. There is a slight suggestion that they might also have been linked to victory in battle. The plaque found in London seems to have the mothers holding palm fronds. They are also not infrequently depicted with dogs, which were generally included as symbols of healing. Some, particularly from the Rhineland, show young and older figures, suggesting the different ages of womanhood. They are sometimes associated with Habondia. Also: Matres; Matronae.


Dea Matrona The Celtic deity at the source of the river Marne (northeastern France). See Deae Matres.


Dea Sequana The Celtic deity at the source of the river Seine (northern France).


Dewi An old Welsh god. The official emblem of Wales, a red dragon, is derived from the Great Red Serpent that once represented the god Dewi.


Dia Griene The daughter of the sun in ancient Scotland. She appears in a folktale in which, held captive in the Land of the Big Women, she is freed by the Cailleach, disguised as a fox, and a helpful young bumbler named Brian Dis The name Caesar gave to the supreme god of the Celts he encountered in Gaul. It is uncertain which Celtic deity this refers to.


Dian Cecht The great god of healing and the physician of the Tuatha Dé Danann.


Dispater (Continental) Also Dis Pater. This Gaulish God, whose name means "the Father," was a primal God of creation who later merged with both Don and Cernunnos, the Horned God. The Gauls all believed themselves to be descended from him.


Divona (Gaul) A fertility Goddess associated with water and known only from inscriptions.


Don (Welsh) [pronounced with a long 'o'] "Deep Sea; "Abyss". Queen of the Heavens; Goddess of Sea and Air. The equivalent of the Irish Danu. Control of the elements, eloquence. It is believed by some scholars that Don has roots in the Goddess Danae of the Greeks, while Dana's origins are believed to be Peloponnesian. With her consort Beli, Don is the mother Goddess from whom the Britons believed themselves to be descended. Her children taught the arts to the Brythons. The Mabinogion lists among her famous divine offspring Arianrhod, Gwyddion, Amaethon, and Govannon. The Donwy River is named for her. Also: Domnu; Donn


Druantia Several Celtic areas; goddess known as Queen of the Druids and Mother of the tree calendar. Fir Goddess. Fertility, passion, sexual activities, trees, protection, knowledge, creativity. Druantia probably had her origins in Gaul, the root of her name drus, means 'oak', and links her also with oak trees and Druids. Today she is associated with the Dryads, the tree faeries, and reigns as their queen. The Dryads protect their native trees by punishing those who show disrespect. Archetypally she is an aspect of the eternal mother as seen in the evergreen boughs.


Dwyn The Celtic god of love.


Dwyvach (Welsh) [DOO'ee-vhk] Also Dwyfach. With her husband Dwyvan, they built the ark called Nefyed Nav Nevion in which they and their animals escaped the great flood caused by the dragon king Addanc. In Welsh their names simply mean God and Goddess. Welsh legend says that she and her husband were each part of one river which flowed in to Bala Lake shish was at one time called Lake Dyfrdwy, from the term dyfr-dwyf meaning 'water of the divinity'. This confluence image links them to lost creation myths. Dwyvach embodies the feminine principle of creation.


Dwyvan (Welsh) Also Dwyfan. Dwyvan and his wife, Swyfach, are the heroes of the Welsh flood myth. Together they built an ark, filled it with animals, and survived the great flood caused by Addanc, a lake God/dragon/faery. Though later versions of this myth are distorted in order to make it conform to the Biblical version, the old story shines through and we see that Dwyvan was the personification of the male creative principle which has taken over for the older sacrificed God. The Welsh deluge legend says that he and his wife were each part of one river which flowed into Bala Lake which was at one time called Lake Dyfrdwy, from the term dyfr-dwyf meaning "water of the divinity".


Dylan Dylan ("sea"), a virgin-born son of Arianrhod. He was a sea-creature, and returned to the waves. Much later, he came back upon land and was killed by his own uncle Govannon, who did not know who he was.




E


Eadon Ireland; nurse of poets.


Edain The Celtic goddess who is associated with horseback-riding. She isprobably equivalent to the Gaulish goddess Epona.


Eiru Ireland; daughter of the Dagda, her alternate name, Erin, was given to Ireland.


Elaine Wales, Britain; a Maiden aspect of the Goddess, she was later transformed in the Arthurian sagas.


Elen In the Mabinogion, the Welsh mythic epic, this heroine appears as the world's first highway engineer. When her land was threatened, she magically built highways across the country so that her soldiers could gather and defend it.


Elphame, Queen of (Scottish) Also Elphlane and Elphane, which some claim is a corruption of the world 'elfland'. She is a Goddess of death and disease who is often equated with the famous crone Goddess Hecate. As the crone image began to deteriorate in Europe with the coming of Christianity, she became a Goddess of the "witches" and of evil. In Robert Graves' classic book "The White Goddess", he tells of several sixteenth century Scottish witchcraft trials in which accusations of having "dealings" with the Queen of Elphame brought the death sentence. In the past few hundred years the Queen of Elphame has been seen as a Scottish faery queen and associated with Bealtaine. Thomas the Rhymer always maintained that she appeared to him on a May Eve all dressed in diaphanous green silks and riding a white horse with fifty-nine silver bells tied in its mane (an odd association since Celtic faeries have always been thought to shun the ringing of bells).


Emer An exceptionally beautiful, and intelligent, woman who knew it! Before she would allow the hero Cuchulainn to sleep with her she demanded a number of heroic tasks be successfully completed, reasoning that her superior endowments warranted it


Eostre (Pan-Celtic) [ESS-trah or Y'OSE-tree] Eostre is an Anglo-Saxon Goddess, the one for whom the Ostara Sabbat is named. When the Saxons invaded Britain, they brought this vigorous Goddess with them and she was eventually adopted into the Celtic pantheon. She is seen as spring personified, a Goddess of rebirth, new beginnings, and fertility. The name for animal menstruation, "estrus", meaning fertile period, is derived from her name, and as such, she is also a Goddess of animal reproduction. TheChristian holiday of Easter is also her namesake, and the concept of the Easter Bunny and Easter Eggs come from her legends. See also Ostara.


Epona The Celtic horse goddess whose authority extended even beyond death, accompanying the soul on its final journey. She was worshipped throughout entire Gaul, and as far as the Danube and Rome. Her cult was eventually adopted by the Roman army and they spread her worship wherever they went. She was the only Celtic Goddess to be honored by the Romans with a temple in their capital city. Among the Gaulish Celts themselves, she was worshipped as goddess of horses, asses, mules, oxen, and, to an extent, springs and rivers. Epona is depicted sitting side saddle or lying on a horse, or standing with multiple horses around her. Her symbol is the Cornucopia ("horn of plenty") which suggests that she could (originally) have been a fertility goddess. She is also identified with the Celtic goddess Edain


Epos Olloatir (Pan-Celtic) A horse God often seen as either a male form of the widely worshipped Goddess Epona, or as her consort.


Erce (Anglo-Celtic) [AIR-chay] An earth mother and harvest Goddess symbolized by a womb or by an over-flowing horn of plenty, believed to be Basque in origin.


Eri The mother of Bres Esus "Lord" or "Master". A Celtic agricultural deity of the Essuvi (Gaul), who derived their name from him. His cult was associated with the bull (with three skulls) and he is portrayed with one. He is also represented cutting branches from trees with an axe. According to some he was a bloodthirsty god, while other regard him as a god of commerce (similar to Mercury). His consort is Rosmerta.


Eriu An Irish/Celtic goddess, the personification of Ireland. She belongs to the Fomorians and is the mother of Bres, king of Ireland. The name Ireland comes from her name (Eyre, Eire, or Eiriu).


Esus A Celtic agricultural deity in Gaul. Associated with the bull (with three skulls) and he is portrayed with one. He is also represented cutting branches from trees with an axe. According to some he was a bloodthirsty god, while other regard him as a god of commerce (similar to Mercury). His consort is Rosmerta.


Etain An early sun goddess of ancient Ireland.




F


Fagus A Gaulish / Pyrenean god of beech trees


Fand A sea goddess who made her home both in the Otherworld and on the Islands of Man. With her sister, Liban, she was one of the twin goddesses of health and earthly pleasures. She was also known as "Pearl of Beauty".


Fisher King, the (Welsh, Cornish) A confused but powerful set of tales coalesce in the Arthurian mythos to create this figure. Stripped of all the divergent threads and inconsistencies, the essence of the story seems to be that of a Guardian of a sacred treasure (the Grail, in the Arthurian cycle), who is injured with an incurable but nonfatal wound, brought about by his own misconduct or inability to maintain the superhuman standards of his office. Though imperfect, and in continual suffering, he nevertheless continues to exert himself in the service of Good, and seems to be redeemed in the end. Note the common thread with Arthur and Merlin of the Flawed Hero. Archetypally the Fisher King is not only the guardian of the Grail mysteries, but is a father God whose potency is restored when the feminine principle, which is also a part of him (as manifested in the Grail), is freed, and when it is reunited with the masculine principle as symbolized by the lance. It is only when his wound heals that fertility and abundance are restored.


Flidais Ireland; goddess of forests, wild creatures. A shapeshifting goddess who rode in a deer-drawn chariot.


Fodla One of the three goddesses who ruled Ireland before the first Gauls, came to the island.




G


Goewin (Welsh) The Goddess of sovereignty who held the feet of Math while he reigned. She was only exempt from doing so when he went to war. In old northern and western European cultures kings were often semi-divine beings having need to rest their feet in the lap of a queen by whose grace they ruled. When Goewin was kidnapped by Gilfaethwy, he also captures the means of stealing the throne. She is often equated with Queen Guinevere.


Goibniu An Irish/Celtic smith god, son of the goddess Danu. He manufactures swords that always strike true, and he possesses the mead of eternal life. He makes the arms for the Tuatha Dé Danann together with Credne and Luchtainel. As a brewmaster he was unsurpassed and his beer gave the drinker immortality. The Welsh called him Govannon.


Goleuddydd (Wales) [GO-loo-theeth] A Welsh princess who married a prince but remained barren. When she finally became pregnant, she went mad and refused to live indoors. She disappeared into the forest and when her time came to give birth she regained her sanity. She found herself in a swineherd's yard, where she bore a son, was aptly named Culhwch (pig). When she was about to die, she made her husband, Kliydd, promise that he would not remarry until a briar bush with at least two heads sprang from her grave. Such briars do not grow heads until their seventeenth year of maturity. In Celtic mysticism the number seventeen relate to the splitting of clans. Every seventeenth year th oldest women and strongest warriors were allowed to branch off from the clan if they wished. She was also an aunt of King Arthur and this folktale is really about an ancient sow goddess of fertility.


Govannon The Welsh smith god, the equivalent of the Irish Goibniu. Govannon is a son of the goddess Don and the brother of Gwydion and Amaethon. He slew the sea god Dylan, not knowing who he was.


Grannus The continental Celtic god of healing, associated with mineral springs. The center of his cult was Aquae Granni (Achen, Germany). His consort is the fertility goddess Sirona. The Romans identified Grannus with their Apollo.


Green Man, the (Also see Cernunnos.) A horned deity of trees and green growing things of Earth; god of the woodlands. In Old Welsh his name is Arddhu (the Dark One), Atho, or the Horned God. One of the most ancient figures in European tradition, pre-dating perhaps even the Aryan invasions. He seems to be a God of vegetative strength, a masculine figure of fertility and life-energy. He is usually imaged as a large or giant male, clad entirely, or perhaps actually composed entirely, in green leaves. He appears on the fringes of popular awareness in a bewildering number of guises: his archetype may be recognized in as widely divergent sources as the central figure in the 14th century poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight on the one hand, and on the other as the basis behind the modern commercial image of the Jolly Green Giant®. His is an image which transcended all other Celtic God forms and became a version of the Christian Devil every bit as potent as the Horned God. His randy woodland image became firmly linked in the minds of the churchmen with "evil" witches who cavorted with him under the light of the full moon. He is possibly an Oak King image, a symbol of fertility and of the waxing year. He is also linked to Cernunnos, the Horned God of the wild. Archetypally, he is the male fertility principle of the Earth Mother.


Gwenn Teir Bronn The Celtic goddess of motherhood.


Gwethyr Wales; King of the Upper world, this god was the opposite of Gwynn ap Nudd. See also Gwhythur Ap Gwreidwl.


Gwydion Gwydion, one of the nephews of Math ap Mathonwy, and brother of Arianrhod. He contrived Gilfaethwy's rape of the maiden Goewin, Math's foot holder. He did this by starting a war with Pryderi of Dyfed, stealing his pigs, and thus taking Math away on campaign. But he and Gilfaethwy doubled back and Gwydion forced the other women to leave Goewin with Gilfaethwy, who raped her. When she confessed this to Math, he levied as punishment on his nephews that they spent three years as animals, Gwydion as a stag, a wild sow, and a wolf, breeding each year with his brother Gilfaethwy who was hind, boar, and she-wolf. They produced three offspring, whom Math made human and raised at his court. Afterward, they were restored to the court. Gwydion raised Arianrhod's virgin-born son Llew Llaw Gyffes, winning for him his name and arms by tricking his mother, and created a woman out of flowers to marry him. After that woman, Blodeuwedd, betrayed Llew to his death, Gwydion restored him to life and turned her into an owl.


Gwyddno (Welsh) This one time sea God came down in myth as a monster of faery of the ocean. He had many treasures on his sea floor home, one of which had to be obtained by Culhwch if he wished to have Olwen for his wife. His world is known as the "drowned kingdom", and his story may also be one which refers to the intriguing and controversial lost continent of Atlantis.


Gwynn ap Nudd The south-Welsh god of the underworld. He abducted Creiddylad when she eloped with Gwythr ap Greidawl. She had long been fought over by the followers of Gwynn and Gwythr. This fight (which started on May Day) is believed to represent the seasonal contest between summer and winter. Hafgan In Welsh mythology, Hafgan battled with Arawn for the dominion of the underworld. When Arawn traded places with Pwyll for a year and a day, Pwyll defeated Hafgan at the end of this period


Gwhythur Ap Gwreidwl (Welsh) Opposite and rival deity of Gwyn ap Nuad. He is King of the Upper World, and a solar deity who was sentenced to battle eternally for the hand of the Creiddylad, daughter of Llud. The two combatants represent the polarities of dark and light and as such are the personification of the Holly King/Oak King who fight for rulership of the winter and summer halves of the Celtic year. Also: Gwythyr [gwee-theer].




H


Habetrot (Anglo-Celtic) Habetrot was a "spinning" Goddess. Spinning is both Pagan lingo for spell casting and for the turning of the Wheel of the Year. She may have been a Goddess of magick or a seasonal mother/creatrix figure since spinning women are usually linked to Pagan creation myths. Habetrot is best known for her powers of healing which were linked to her skills with weaving fiber. All who wore the clothing she made would never fall ill.

Habondia (Anglo-Celtic) [Hahb-OEN-dee'uh] Also Abondia, Abunciada, and Habonde. She was a Goddess of abundance and prosperity, demoted to a "mere witch" in medieval English lore in order to strip her of her great power in the minds of the rural folk who depended upon her benevolence for their crops and herds. She is descended from a Germanic Goddess of the Earth.


Harimella (Scottish) A Goddess of Tungrain origin who was worshipped in Dunfriesshire. Most likely a Goddess of protection. Also called by the name Viradechthis.


Hafgan In Welsh mythology, Hafgan battled with Arawn for the dominion of the underworld. When Arawn traded places with Pwyll for a year and a day, Pwyll defeated Hafgan at the end of this period Hooded Spirits A triad of Celtic deities who are associated with healing and fertility.


Henwen (Anglo-Celtic) [HEN-oon] A sow Goddess much like her Welsh counterpart Cerridwen. She is the deity who brought abundance to the land by giving birth to an assortment of "litters" throughout England. For example, she left a litter of bees in one spot, wheat in another, barley in another, eagles in another, etc. But she did not produce dogs, pigs, or other animals thought to be the sole possession of the Otherworld inhabitants.


Herne See Cernunnos


Holly King & Oak King (Pan-Celtic) The Holly King and the Oak King are two sacrificial Gods who, in the manner of such deities, are two aspects of the same being. The Holly King represents the waning year, and battles the Oak King at Midsummer (probably once at Bealtaine) for rulership. Likewise, the Oak King is the God of the waxing year, and battles with the Holly King at Yule (probably once at Samhain) for the same honor.


Horned God, the Pan-Western European) Opener of the Gates of Life and Death; Herne the Hunter; Cernunnos; Green Man; Lord of the Wild Hunt. The masculine, active side of Nature; Earth Father. His sacred animals were the stag, bull, goat, bear. Growing things, the forest, Nature, wild animals, alertness, annihilation, fertility, panic, desire, terror, flocks, agriculture, beer and ale. See Cernunnos.


Hu the Mighty (Welsh, Cornish) Also known as Hu Gadarn and Hugh Guairy. In many myths he is portrayed as the common ancestor and father God of the Cymry (the Welsh). He came to Wales from the "east", possibly meaning India or Constantinople, and became part of the Welsh deluge myths. He taught his people to plow, farm, and work the land, and to sing old sacred songs, especially as an aid to memory for transmitting oral traditions. A team of Hu's oxen dragged Addanc, the faery/monster/God, from his lair in Llyn Llion Lake after the great flood.




I


Icaunus The Gaulish spirit of the river Yonne




J




K




L


Lady of the Lake (Welsh, Cornish, Breton) This is simply a compilation of all the multitudinous lake, river, and water spirits so prevalent in Celtic mythology. Nevertheless, common threads do appear; one of the best documented is that of relic-guardian, holder of the sacred sword Excalibur, who gives it to Arthur, and takes it back at the end of the stories. There seem to be two or perhaps three Named Ladies. Nimue is specifically named as a Lady of the Lake; she is the defeater, or perhaps simply replacer, of Merlin at Arthur's Court. Nineve seems to be the Keeper of Excalibur, and her name may be a variant on Nimue, but she is slain by Sir Balin, and her personality is at variance to Nimue's. There is also a French Lady of the Lake, Viviane. There are, in addition, other unnamed Ladies as well. The Lady of the Lake is by some accounts a faery woman, by others a potent deity of life, death, and regeneration. The Bretons claim she was a Breton addition to the Arthurian myths and that she never appeared in the original Welsh versions of the story. Contrary to the widely popular "sword in the churchyard stone" legends, the Breton version tells us that Merlin and Arthur rode out to the center of the Dosmary Lake in Cornwall, and that it was there that Excalibur was presented to him, the sword embedded in floating stone. When he pulled it out, he reversed the act of the Great Rite, separating the female and male principles of creation which were not to be united again until Arthur's death. The Lady of the Lake is also attributed with being the foster mother of Sir Lancelot, one of Arthur's knights, also a Breton addition to the myth. She is described as sitting on a throne of reeds in the center of the lake's depths. Among her many magickal credits is that of healer.


Latis (Anglo-Celtic) Goddess associated with water. She was originally a lake Goddess who became a Goddess of ale and mead. Evidence of her worship remains at Birdsowald, England. Latis fell desperately in love with a salmon, a totem animal representing knowledge, and, out of pity for her, the other deities turned him into a warrior. However, each winter he must submit to becoming a salmon again until spring. His returning to fish form archetypally represents the demise of the old God who is always condemned to die at winter's beginning (Samhain). He is resurrected in the spring (Bealtaine) when the Goddess ceases to mourn and is his mate once more.


Le Fay (Welsh, Cornish) LeFay was a Goddess of the sea and of the Isle of Avalon. She was an efficacious healer, and drinking water blessed by her provided and instant cure for all ills. Scholars debate whether the "fay" in her name refers to faery, fate, or some blending of both.


Leucetios A Continental Celtic god of thunder.


Litavis (Breton) A God of the forge similar to Rome's Vulcan. See Goibniu for more details.


Llevelys (Welsh, Cornish, Breton) Also Llefellys. A son of Beli, Llevelys was the ruler of Brittany, a land which was under the curse of three plagues: the screams of two battling dragons on May Eve, provisions missing nightly from the royal household, and an evil race of sub-humans called the Corandians. With his brother Llud, a British God/ruler, they devised a way to end the troubles. They got the dragon drunk on Meade, honey-wine drank at Bealtaine; spread poison insects for the Corandians to eat; and discovered the name of the wizard who was stealing form the royal household.


Llew Llaw Gyffes Llew Llaw Gyffes, "the Bright Lion with the Sure Hand", son of the virgin Arianrhod. He could only be killed neither by day nor night, indoors nor out of doors, riding nor walking, clothed nor naked, nor by any weapon lawfully made. Because his mother had cursed him to have no human wife, he married a made woman, created of flowers, Blodeuwedd. She betrayed him with Goronwy, tricked the secret of his death out of him, and led him to it. Llew became an eagle, and was recovered into human form by his uncle Gwydion. He then killed Goronwy, but Blodeuwedd was turned into an owl. Llyr The Welsh sea god.


Llud Llaw Ereint Wales; God of harpers, healing, poets, smiths, sorcerers, and waters.


Llyr The Welsh Sea God. (Lir Llyr) is the father of Bran, Branwen, and Manawydan. He is equal to the Irish god Lir


Lud A mythical king of Britain. According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, the beautifier of London who was buried by the gate which bears his name. It is also suggested that the name is that of a Celtic river god.


Lugh Lugh is the Celtic lord of every skill. He was patron of Lugodunum (Lyons) in Gaul. He and his nature goddess consort (Rosmerta) were worshipped during the 30 day Lugnasad midsummer feast in Ireland. Fertility magic during this festival ensured ripening of the crops and good harvest. He was called Lamfhada or 'of the long arm' in Gaelic because of his great spear and sling. His animal attributes were the raven and the lynx. Lugh mirrors Hindu Karttikeya, the spiritual warrior, and Roman Mercury, the swift messenger. His exploits are recounted in the Celtic epic Tuatha Dé Danann Lugos Gaulish version of Lugh. Identified by the Romans with Mercury Luxovius The Gaulish god of the waters of Luxeuil. Consort of Bricta.


Luxovius The Gaulish god of the waters of Luxeuil. Consort of Bricta.




M


Mabon Mabon son of Modron ("young man" son of "mother goddess") was a hunter-god. He was stolen from his mother at three days, and lived in Annwn, whence he was rescued by Culhwch (and Arthur) as an adult. He was ever-young as a result of this sojourn. He assisted Culhwch in the quest for Olwen. Culhwch's stepmother wished him to marry her own daughter. When he demurred, she cursed him to marry no one but Olwen, daughter of Ysbaddaden. He has the power to make a land flourish or waste away. He enlisted the aid of Arthur to search for Olwen. When they found her, she said her father would not permit her to marry for that would cause his own death. Nonetheless, Culhwych overcame many trials and eventually married her


MacKay (Scottish) MacKay's myth is possibly a reworking of an old story about a fire God. Mackay was the leader of Clan MacKay credited with bringing fire to Scotland, and also for making the little faery lights known as the will o' the wisp impossible for humans to catch. MacKay was desperately trying to start a fire to feed his family when he spotted the faery lights dancing on the horizon. He decided if he could just capture those lights he would never again have to spend time trying to strike a spark. In time he caught the lights and brought fire to Scotland, but the faeries were so outraged that humans had found their sacred fire, that they vowed forever to tease humans with their elusive light and never to allow themselves to be caught again. The motto of Clan MacKay to this day is "Sons of Fire".


Macha One of three aspects of the Morrigan, goddess of war. Macha feeds on the heads of slain enemies.


Magog (Anglo-Celtic) The consort of Gog. They were two mountain deities of which she was the more important. Britain's Megg's Hills are named for her, and several hillside chalk effigies portray her. She is usually depicted as a four-breasted woman astride a horse. Some speculate that he name may mean "mother deity" and that she was once a fertility and mother Goddess. In patriarchal times she became England's St. Margaret.


Mala Liath (Scottish) [MAH-lah LEE-ah] Another name for the Cailleach in southwestern Scotland. She tended a herd of pigs all sired by the famous wild boar of Glen Glass. She is often equated with Cerridwen.


Manawydan Manawydan ap Llyr, son of Llyr and Penarddun and brother of Branwen and half brother of Nisien and Efnisien. Manawydan was a scholar, a magician, and a peaceful man. But when Bran learned of the slavery imposed upon his sister Branwen by her Irish husband Matholwch, he joined the expedition to rescue her. Matholwch was terrified at the sight of a forest approaching Ireland across the sea: Bran's navy, and Bran himself wading through the water. He sued for peace, they built a house big enough for Bran, and Matholwch agreed to settle the kingdom on Gwern, his son by Branwen. Some Irish lords objected, and hid themselves in flour bags to attack the Welsh. But Efnisien, scenting Irish treachery, cast them into the fire, and then cast Gwern himself in (avoiding the geas against shedding kinsmen's blood thereby). A war broke out, and the Irish replenished themselves through the cauldron. Efnisien, repenting, sacrificed himself by feigning death and being thrown into the cauldron, which he then broke, dying in the process. Only seven Welshmen survived, and Bran was fatally wounded. His head, which remained alive and talking, was returned to Wales and buried, and soon afterwards Branwen sailed to Aber Alaw and died. Manawydan inherited after Bran's death, but surrendered the kingdom to his cousin to avoid warfare. He married Rhiannon, widow of Pwyll of Dyfed and mother of Pryderi, and went to live there. One day, all of Dyfed turned into a wasteland, and only Rhiannon, Manawydan, Pryderi, and his wife Cigfa, were spared. Manawydan and Pryderi out hunting followed an enormous white boar into a caer, where Pryderi saw a golden bowl; when he touched it, he was enspelled. Rhiannon went after him and fell under the same spell; the caer then vanished, taking them with it. Manawydan, turning to farming, lost his crops to an army of mice which were clearly faery mice. He managed to catch one, and despite being begged by important passersby (priests in the Christianized version) threatened to hang it. Finally, Llwyd appeared and confessed to being behind all the trouble, in vengeance for Gwawl, Rhiannon's original suitor


Mandred (Cornish) In Cornish legends, Mandred is the true name of God which, when pronounced, draws the All-Power to the one speaking it. Such legends have parallels in Jewish and Arabic mythology, two cultures who will not even attempt to pronounce the name of their God for fear of the power it will unleash.


Mannan The Manx (Isle of Man) counterpart of the Irish sea-god Manannan mac Lir. On Midsummer Eve the people used to carry green meadow grass to the top of Barule in payment of rent to Mannan-beg-mac-y-Leir. People also used to pray to him for a blessing on their boats and a good catch. It was generally believed that Mannan was a great magician who could create an illusory fleet out of pea-shells and stick, to discourage an invasion of the island Maponos The Celtic god of youth Math


Mannanan Irish god of the sea and fertility. He forecasts the weather. His wife is Fand and he is the foster-father of many gods, including Lugh. He is the guardian of the Blessed Isles, and the ruler of Mag Mell the paradise were the deceased live. Manannan has a ship that follows his command without sails; his cloak makes him invisible; his helmet is made of flames and his sword cannot be turned from its mark. He is described as riding over the sea in a chariot. His Welsh equivalent is Manawydan ap Llyr. He is also called Barinthus. He is older than the Tuatha De Dannan, yet appears to be one of them.


Maponos The Celtic god of youth.


Marcia Proba (Anglo-Celtic) This English Goddess' Roman name means "deep march" or "long march", a Celtic warrior queen who lived around the third century BCE. Her laws, known as the Marcian Statutes, were similar to Ireland's Brehon Laws in that they were very fair and gave equal status to women. Though some scholars claim these statutes laid the ground work for the Magna Carta, the newer version ignored women's status.


Margawse Wales, Britain; originally a Mother Goddess, she was transformed in the later Arthurian sagas.


Math Mathonwy (Welsh) A master magician from the Mabinogion, and king of Gwynedd, a Cymric kingdom. As a brother of the mother Goddess Don, he is sometimes seen as a minor ruler or the Otherworld. His name means "coin" or "money", and in myth he is the deity who brought wealth and prosperity to Wales, and who is credited also with bringing pigs to that country for the first time. This stemmed from a common Celtic belief that all wealth (and pigs) originated in the Otherworld, to whose leaders they belonged. He had super hearing, and if any sound was cast into the wind, his ears could catch it. Uncle to Llew. Tutelary to Gwynedd, in North Wales. He is considered the premier sage of Britain: old beyond reckoning, most skilled in Magick, and knowledgeable beyond measure. Math could not live (rule) unless his feet were placed in the lap of a maiden thought there was a provision made for times of war. This stems from a very ancient Celtic concept which views rulers as deities incarnate. Kings had to have the approval of their Queens, in the guise as Goddess of sovereignty, in order to be legitimate. Many old drawings of Celtic rulers depict the king resting his feet in the lap of the queen. In one myth concerning him, his queen was kidnapped and he lost the throne until he found her. He is most famous for having helped his student, Gwyddion, fashion Blodeuwedd as a bride for his nephew Llew.


Mathonwy (Welsh) [MAYTH-on-oo'ee] A father God who, in later myths, became the single being from whom the family of the great Welsh mother Goddess don was descended. In the original myths it is likely that the two were paired, and he was her eternal consort/son who was sacrificed for his people each autumn and reborn to Don at Midwinter.


Matres Celtic mother goddess of Gaul.


Melusine (Breton, Scottish) [Mel-oo-SEEN] Also Melsuline. A serpent Goddess brought to common awareness through the writings of French author Rabelais. She was the daughter of Elinas, a King of Scotland, and a Breton faery woman named Pressine or Pressina. When Elinas discovered Pressine was a faery, he banished her and their three daughters of whom Melusine was the eldest. The banished daughter led her sisters to revenge when they locked their father inside the Brandebois Mountains. The mother, in her outrage, placed a spell on her for this act against the father. The spell would make Melusine appear as a serpent from the waist down on Saturdays. when she married she made a condition that her husband never ask where she was on this day, as her mother had asked before, so that her husband would not know what she was. When he discovered, she sprouted wings and flew away in sorrow leaving her three cherished sons behind. She and her sisters, Melior and Palatina, are a triplicity.


Melwas (Cornish) Also Meleagant in a Breton epic poem, but he seems to be a figure in Arthurian myth unique to Cornwall. He was a "dark God" who lay in wait for an entire year to carry off Guinevere to his palace in Avalon. Some stories have him executing the kidnapping at Mordred's (Arthur's nephew) request. Others call him a God of the Summerland, a popular euphemism for the Otherworld.


Merlin Wales, Britain; god of all forms of magic and prophecy, healing, illusion, the arts. Originally an ancient Welsh Druid, priest of the fair religion, and great magician. He was transformed in the later Arthurian sagas. Tradition says he learned his powerful magic from the Goddess in her forms of Morgan, Viviane, Nimue, and Lady of the Lake. Legend says he now lies sleeping in a hidden crystal cave. Variants: Merddin, Myrddin.


Midir The Irish/Celtic ruler of Mag Mor, the underworld. He is a son of the goddess Danu.


Moccus (Breton, Continental) A pig God of the continental standing stones who had his cloudy origins in Celtic Gaul. He was, perhaps, a masculine version of, or a consort to, the popular goddess known as Cerridwen. He had his own feast day in Celtic Gaul.


Modron A Welsh goddess, daughter of Avalloc, derived from the Celtic goddess Matrona. She is regarded as a prototype of Morgan (from Arthurian Legend).


Mog Ruith The one-eyed Celtic/Irish god of the sun who rides through the sky in a shining bronze chariot, or who flies through the sky like a bird. The word ruith is possibly derived from the Irish roth, meaning "wheel" (representing the sun).


Morgan Le Fay (Welsh) Welsh death-goddess; Morgan the Fate. Glamorgan in Wales is said to be her sacred territory. She can cast a destroying curse on any man. Gawaine of the Round Table bore Morgan's pentacle as a heraldic device on his blood-red shield. She was the daughter of LeFay, a glamorous Welsh sea Goddess. As the half-sister of King Arthur, she possibly was once a Goddess of Glastonbury Tor, a sacred pagan site intimately associated with the Arthurian myths. Archetypally, Glastonbury functions as a gateway to the Otherworld. The root of her name, mor, means "sea", and she was a sea Goddess, the place one must cross to reach the isle of the Otherworld. In Brittany, sea sprites which lure sailors to their deaths are called Morgans after her. Today she is thought of as the final incarnation of the Irish Valkyrie Morrigan, Morgan plays a critical but ambiguous role in the Arthurian cycle. Portrayed as a mortal female deeply learned in Magick and a close relative of Arthur's (maternal half-sister), she is always at odds with Arthur, and is responsible for any of a number of attempts to drag him down. Once he is mortally wounded though, and his cause a pyrrhic and ultimately futile victory, it is Morgan who appears at his side, nursing him and taking him off to the Isle of Avalon, to rest until his presence is needed once more. One gets the distinct impression that she somehow engineered the rise of Arthur to the status of Hero, in order to create an Eternal Champion of Britain. As a goddess of sovereignty, she backed the Green Knight to take over the kingdom of Camelot. Her Breton name is Morgause.


Morgay (Scottish, Anglo-Celtic) A harvest Goddess from the Scottish/English border.


Morrigan The Morrigan is a goddess of battles, war, death, strife, and fertility. Her name translates as either "Great Queen" or "Phantom Queen". The Morrigan appears as both a single goddess and a trio of goddesses. The other deities who form the trio are Badb ("Crow"), and either Macha (also connotes "Crow") or Nemain ("Frenzy"). She is one of the Tuatha Dé Danann. She can take the form of a crow or raven. If seen by a warrior before battle, that warrior will die.


Muireartach (Irish, Scottish) A Goddess of battle often associated with the Morrigan. Her name means "eastern sea", and she personified the storm-tossed seas between Ireland and Scotland. Today an entire race of unpleasant Scottish sea faeries bears her name. She is depicted as a one-eyed crone with a black and blue face and a scaled body. The Fianna claimed she would occasionally fly in from over the sea and fight on their side in battle.


Murigen (Irish, Scottish, Manx) A lake Goddess associated with deluge myths.


Mullo (Breton, Continental) The patron deity of teamsters. He is associated with jackasses, and with the Roman God Mars.


Myrrdin Wyllt (Welsh) A woodland God who deliberately grew feathers so he could leap from tree to tree. He is often equated with Ireland's Suibhne.




N


Nantosuelta "Winding River". A Gallic protective goddess and goddess of water. Among the Mediomatrici of Alsace she is often portrayed holding a model of a house, indicating a domestic function


Nantosuetta A Celtic goddess worshipped in Gaul. She forms a pair with the god Sucellos. Her attribute is as cornucopia ("horn of plenty"), which refers to her aspect of fertility goddess. Occasionally she is represented with a cottage on her hand, which could indicate that she was patroness of the family. Nantosuetta was also a goddess of the realm of the dead


Nechtan (Scottish) A Pictish king who sought the hand of the Goddess Triduana, both because she was beautiful, and because he wished to control his Celtic neighbors through her. He was a water deity, and in some legends is the husband of the Irish river Goddess Boann.


Nehalennia (Breton, Anglo-Celtic) {steerswoman} Primarily associated with protection of travelers over the sea. Her known temple locations are always on the coast, and surviving inscriptions often praise her for successfully completed voyages, or implore her for similar journeys to come. She is invariably associated with a large dog as a companion. She has occasionally been conflated with the Roman Goddess Fortuna.


Neit Ireland; god of battle.


Nemausus The Gaulish god associated with the Springs of Nimes. In later times he became the god of the city of Nimes


Nemetona The Celtic goddess of sacred groves or shrines (nemeton, "shrine").


Niamh (Nee-av) Ireland; possible form of Badb, this goddess was called Beauty and Brightness and helped heroes at death.


Nicevenn Scottish) "Divine"; "Brilliant". A Samhain witch-goddess; equated with the Roman Goddess Diana. In Scotland she is said to ride through the night with her followers at Samhain. During the Middle Ages she was called Dame Habonde, Abundia, Satia, Bensozie, Zobiana, and Herodiana. Also: Nicneven.


Nimue (Welsh, Cornish) See Vivienne. A Celtic Moon Goddess; also called Morgan.


Nisien and Efnisien Nisien and Efnisien, sons of Penarddun by Eurosswydd, who had captured her husband Llyr and held him hostage until she slept with him. They were twins, and half-brothers by Penarddun of the royal Bran, his sister Branwen, and Manawydan. Efnisien mutilated the horses given by the Irish king Matholwch as a bride-price for Branwen, for Efnisien felt that such a marriage was a mortal insult. This act nearly precipitated warfare, but Matholwch was appeased by the gift of a cauldron that could resurrect the dead. Branwen wed him, and went to Ireland, where she bore him a son, Gwern. But she was then imprisoned, and the Welsh had to go and rescue her. Peace was achieved through the efforts of Manawydan. Some Irish lords objected, and hid themselves in flour bags to attack the Welsh. But Efnisien, scenting Irish treachery, cast them into the fire, and then cast Gwern himself in (avoiding the geas against shedding kinsmen's blood thereby). A war broke out, and the Irish replenished themselves through the cauldron. Efnisien, repenting, sacrificed himself by feigning death and being thrown into the cauldron, which he then broke, dying in the process.


Nodens The Celtic river god of the Severn estuary in south-west Britain. See Nudons


Nudons (Welsh, Anglo-Celtic) Also Nodens, Nodonti, and Nodente. A sea God equated with Poseiden, rather than Manannan or Neptune, also thought to be the same as the death and river God Llud. Libations were given to him at his sacred sites where he as worshipped by both the invading Romans and the native populace. The Romans build him a shrine on the banks of the Severn where he was pictured as youthful with a shine around his head like a halo, and flying near him were his faery hosts. The Britons gave him a shrine overlooking the Thames where he was depicted as being beardless (the Roman influence) and driving a chariot while holding the reins and scepter. Near him were a fisherman hooking a salmon, and other marine animals. Shell trumpets were blown to honor him. "He who bestows wealth"; "Silver Hand"; "The Cloud Maker"; chieftain-god. He had an invincible sword, one of the four great treasures of the Tuatha. God of healing, water, ocean, fishing, the Sun, sailing, childbirth, dogs, youth, beauty, spears and slings, smiths, carpenters, harpers, poets, historians, sorcerers, writing, magic, warfare, incantations.


Nuada Also Nudd or Ludd. "Silver Hand." The Irish/Celtic chieftain-god of healing, the Sun, childbirth, youth, beauty, ocean, dogs, poetry, writing, sorcery, magic, weapons, and warfare. Similar to the Roman god Neptune, Nuada also had an invincible sword, one of four great treasures of the Tuatha Dé Danann, that he used to cleave his enemies in half.


Nwyvre A consort of Arianrhod about whom nothing is known but his name. The name itself translates as "sky" or "firmament", indicating that he was likely once a father Sky God.




O


Oanuava (Breton, Continental) An ancient earth Goddess from Celtic Gaul about whom nothing else is known. She may have originally been Roman.


Oengus Mac Oc Oengus Mac Oc, otherwise known as Aengus, is an Irish/Celtic God. He is the god of love, beauty and youth. He is known for his physical beauty and golden hair, and because his kisses become birds. His name means "Son of the Young."


Oghma (Scottish, Irish) [OHG-mah or OW-ma] The God of communication and writing who invented the Ogham Alphabet and gave it to the Druids. He is sometimes thought of as the patron deity of poets. Writing was considered a very sacred and holy act by many early people including the Celts. It is for this reason that the Celts had a strong oral tradition, even among their magickal folk, as very little was believed safe to commit to paper. Aside from Oghma's literary association, he was a warrior of Tara who fought with Llugh against the Fomorians. He was also given a role in myth of helping to escort the recently dead to the Otherworld. He had two nicknames which tell much about his character. One was Cermait, which means "the honey-mouthed", relating to the Irish gift of gab known as blarney, and the other is Grianainech, "the sunny-faced", believed to come from his great wisdom. Ogmios was the Continental name for Oghma where his principal role was that of combatant. An inscription saying "Ogmia" was also found in the north of England.


Ogma Ogma is the god of eloquence and learning. He is the son of the goddess Danu and the god Dagda, and one of the foremost members of the Tuatha Dé Danann. He is the reputed inventor of the ancient Ogham alphabet which is used in the earliest Irish writings.


Ogmios The Celtic patron god of scholars and personification of eloquence and persuasiveness. It is he who invented the runic language of the Druids. Ogmius escorts souls on their journey to the after-live. He is represented as an old man, with a bald head, and dressed in a lion skin. His attributes are a bow and stick. He was worshipped in Gaul (Celtic France). His Irish counterpart is Ogma See Oghma.


Ogyruan The Celtic god of bards. Father of Gwenhwyar


Olwen Olwen ("white track", probably for flowers that blossomed under her feet) was the daughter of the Ysbaddaden, a monstrous figure whose life depended on keeping his daughter. She was a beautiful woman of high degree. When she married, her father's power (and life) was transferred to her husband


Ostara (Pan-Celtic) See Eostre.




P


Pryderi Pryderi ("worry") was the son of Pwyll of Dyfed and Rhiannon, a woman of the otherworld. He was kidnapped at his birth, rescued by Teirnon, and restored to his parents. He grew to manhood in seven years. He married Cigva and reigned in Dyfed after his father's death. He invited his mother's second husband, Manawydan, son of Llyr, to live in Dyfed after their marriage. One day, all of Dyfed turned into a wasteland, and only Rhiannon, Manawydan, Pryderi, and his wife Cigfa, were spared. Manawydan and Pryderi out hunting followed an enormous white boar into a caer, where Pryderi saw a golden bowl; when he touched it, he was enspelled. Rhiannon went after him and fell under the same spell; the caer then vanished, taking them with it. Manawydan and Cigva eventually captured a mouse which was really the wife of Llwyd, an enemy of Rhiannon's, and the spells were lifted. Dyfed was restored, and Pryderi ruled for many years


Pwyll Pwyll, lord of Dyfed, encountered while hunting a strange pack of hounds, pure white except for their red ears. Beating them off their prey, he set his own pack upon them, an act for which he was chided by their owner, who turned out to be Arawn, King of Annwn (the Underworld). Arawn laid upon Pwyll the following penance: he would live in Arawn's place, disguised, for a year and a day, while Arawn lived in his place in Dyfed. At the end of the time, he would do battle with Arawn's enemy, Hafgan, and defeat him, for only a mortal man could so do. Pwyll not only fulfilled this task, but refrained from sleeping with Arawn's wife; as reward, Arawn became his dear friend. Later, Pwyll met Rhiannon, daughter of Hefeydd the Old. She appeared to Pwyll, lord of Dyfed, as a beautiful woman in dazzling gold on a white horse. Pwyll sent his fastest horsmen after her, but could not catch her. On the third day, he spoke and she told him she wanted to marry instead of her espoused husband Gwawl. Pywll met her in a year and a day at the court of her father, where through her aid he won her from Gwawl. She bore Pwyll a son, who vanished. Her women killed a puppy and smeared its blood on her, to avoid blame at the child's loss. As punishment, Rhiannon spent seven years telling her story to all comers and bearing them, like a horse, to the court. The child, meanwhile, turned up at the court of Teyrnon, whose mares foaled on May eve and lost the foals mysteriously. When Teirnonkept watch, he saved a foal from a mysterious beast and also discovered, outside the stable, a child, whom he and his wife adopted. Then child grew to young manhood in seven years, and was given the foal rescued on the night he was found. Teirnonrecognised the child as the son of Pwyll and returned him to his family, where he was named Pryderi ("worry") by his mother. Pwyll reigned happily afterwards until his death




Q




R


Ratis (Anglo-Celtic) Goddess of protective fortification and boundaries. Her name means "of the fortress". She is remembered today because the Britons set up shrines to her at various places along the Roman fortification known as Hadrian's Wall which ran the east-west length of northern England for the purpose of keeping raiding Scottish warriors on their own side of the border. Ratis' most notable worship sites sere near the towns of Birdoswald and Chesters.


Rhiannon Rhiannon (her name is either "Maid of Annwn" or a variant of Rigatona, "Great Queen"), a version of the horse-goddess Epona and of sovereignity. She was mistress of the Singing Birds. She appeared to Pwyll, lord of Dyfed, as a beautiful woman in dazzling gold on a white horse. Pwyll sent his fastest horsmen after her, but could not catch her. On the third day, he spoke and she told him she wanted to marry instead of her espoused husband Gwawl. Pywll was to meet her in a year and a day. He won her at the court of her father, Hefeydd the Old, by her aid. She bore Pwyll a son, who vanished. Her women killed a puppy and smeared its blood on her, to avoid blame at the child's loss. As punishment, Rhiannon spent seven years telling her story to all comers and bearing them, like a horse, to the court. The child, meanwhile, turned up at the court of Teyrnon, whose mares foaled on May eve and lost the foals mysteriously. When Teirnon kept watch, he saved a foal from a mysterious beast and also discovered, outside the stable, a child, whom he and his wife adopted. Then child grew to young manhood in seven years, and was given the foal rescued on the night he was found. Teirnon recognised the child as the son of Pwyll and returned him to his family, where he was named Pryderi ("worry") by his mother. Later, after Pwyll's death, Rhiannon married Manawydan, brother of Bran and Branwen and son of Llyr, a great magician. One day, all of Dyfed turned into a wasteland, and only Rhiannon, Manawydan, Pryderi, and his wife Cigfa, were spared. Manawydan and Pryderi out hunting followed an enormous white boar into a caer, where Pryderi saw a golden bowl; when he touched it, he was enspelled. Rhiannon went after him and fell under the same spell the caer then vanished, taking them with it. She was rescued when Manawydan captured the wife of their enemy, Llwyd, who was taking revenge for the illtreatment of Gwawl


Robin Goodfellow (Anglo-Celtic) Also known as Puck. He is a mischievous imp who delights in pranks and hazings. Boastful and immature, at his best he resembles a kind of Tom Sawyer/Huck Finn figure, if you can imagine those two endowed with supernatural powers. His name is an Anglicized version of the Irish Puca, Cymric Pwcca, ancient Celtic hobgoblinish spirits having the same general attributes as the later figure. Though often thought of today as the goat-footed faery king of the woodlands, Robin was probably once another name for the Horned God, and he is believed to be the source for the folk-tales about the forest-dwelling hero Robin Hood. Also see Cernunnos.


Robur The Gaulish god of oak trees


Rosmerta In Gaulish Celtic mythology,Rosmerta was the goddess of fire, warmth, and abundance. A flower queen and hater of marriage, Rosmerta was also the queen of death. A Celtic goddess of fertility and wealth, whose cult was widely spread in Northeast Gaul. Rosmerta was the wife of Esu, the Gaulish Hermes. Her attributes are a cornucopia and a stick with two snakes


Rudianos A Gallic local god.


Rudiobus (Romano-Celtic, Gaul) Probably a horse God. Known from an inscription at Neuby-en-Sullias that includes a depiction of a stallion.




S


Sabrina The Celtic river goddess of the river Severn (southwestern Great Britain).


Saone A Celtic river deity


Scathach (Scau-ahch) Ireland, Scotland; goddess of healing, magic, martial arts, prophecy. Called the Shadowy One, She Who Strikes Fear, and the Dark Goddess, she was a warrior woman and prophetess who lived in Albion, possibly on the Isle of Skye, and taught martial arts. Variants: Scota, Scatha, Scath.


Scota (Irish, Scottish) She was probably once a mother Goddess in her native Egypt, but her myth and origins today are shadowy. The general agreement is that she was the daughter of the Pharaoh Cingris, after which the stories about her diverge, some even merging her with the Christian biblical figures. In most tales she is the mother of Amergin the bard, though she is said to be the wife of both Milesius and Niul. She died in the Milesian invasion and is thought to be buried near a dolmen (a primitive stone altar) in County Kerry, Ireland. The name Scoti, derived from her own, was once a designation for the Irish, and later became the name of the Scottish people.


Segomo The Gaulish (Continental Celtic) god of war and victory


Sequanna The Celtic goddess of the river Seine


Shannon Goddess of the river Shannon.


Sheila-na-gig The goddess of fertility in British-Celtic mythology. An ugly, troll-like creature. She prominently displays her genitals in an attempt to allay the power of death.


Shoney A Celtic sea deity recognized in Britain


Sirona The Gaulish goddess of astronomy, and goddess of the Mosel Valley


Smertios The Celtic war-god who was especially worshipped by the Gaulish Treveri peoples. He is portrayed as a bearded athlete who, with a club, is about to kill a snake


Somhlth (Irish, Scottish, Manx) A deity with no corporeal incarnation, a representation of pure masculine, divine energy.


Soucana (Gallic, Romano-Celtic) Also Souconna. Guardian and namesake of the river Sâone. Known chiefly from inscription at Chalon.


Stine Bheag O'Tarbat (Scottish) This old woman, who lived near Tarbat Ness, was said to be very powerful, with special mastery over the weather. As her story came into modern times she was reduced to a vindictive old hag or baneful faery who used her powers for spite rather than assistance. In the modern stories abut her, those who come to her for help address her as "mother". It is reasonable to assume that she was once a Scottish Pagan leader, perhaps a highly placed Druidess, or even a local mother Goddess.


Sucellos A Continental Celtic syncretic god whose aspects are not exactly clear. One of his frequently appearing attributes is the hammer, which earned him the title of 'hammer-god' and which reminds of a god of the dead. Often he holds a cup and a purse in his hand, which denotes a fertility god. One of his consorts is Nantosuetta. Sucellos is occasionally confused with the popular vegetation god Silvanus.


Sul The Celtic British goddess of hot springs, especially at Bath (Aquae Sulis).




T


Tailtiu An Irish-Celtic earth-goddess, nurse of Lugh. She raised him until he is able to carry arms.


Taliesin Wales; god of magic, music, poetry, wisdom, writing. Known as Prince of Song, Chief of the Bards of the West, and Patron of Druids, he was a great magician, bard, and shapeshifter who gained his knowledge from the goddess Cerridwen directly.


Tamara (Cornish) Goddess of the river Tamar, which divides the Duchy of Cornwall from the rest of England. She was probably as much of a protective force as she was a water deity.


Tamesis The Celtic goddess of fresh waters. Her name survives in the English River Thames and in Tamise, a French name for the Schelde (Scheldt).


Tannus (Breton, Anglo-Celtic, Continental) Also Tinnus, Taranis, and Taranus. A thunder God who has origins in Celtic Gaul under the more well-known name Taranis (the modern Breton word for thunder is taran). He is not to be confused with the Goddess of the same name. In early Gaul human sacrifices were offered to him to influence the weather. He was also a God of the wheel who was associated with the oak tree and eagles, and was also a God of fertility and a sky God. He is equated with the Nordic God of thunder, Thor, and sometimes with Rome's Jupiter. His feast time is Yule.


Taranis "Thunder". The thunder-god of ancient Gaul, and master of the sky. Hemay be compared to the Roman Jupiter, although his place in the Celtic pantheon was not as prominent as that of Jupiter in the Roman pantheon. His attribute is the wheel, which could be the symbol of thunder. The Romans described as receiving human sacrifices


Tarvos Trigaranos The Gallic bull god who is known chiefly from a monument on the Seine (near Paris). Here he is honored along with Esus


Tethra King of the Fomorians of Ireland, as well as the sea god and god of the otherworld. He was killed in the first battle of Mag Tuireadh. Since then he rules Mag Mell the paradise where the dead live, along with Manannan mac Lir of the Tuatha Dé Danann.


Teutates Teutates is an ancient Celtic god who was worshipped especially in Gaul. He is the god of war, fertility, and wealth. His name means "the god of the tribe", from the Gallic touta which means "tribe" or "people" (similar to the Celtic tuatha). Teutates is also known under the names of Albiorix ("king of the world") and Caturix ("king of the battle"). Human sacrifices were made to appease him. He is the equivalent of the Roman god Mars


Teyrnon (Welsh, Cornish) Also Ternan. Teyrnon is associated with Bealtaine fertility rites. In ancient myth, he was the one who released the sacred stallion on May Eve which would mate with the divine mare, possibly a reference to Epona or Rhiannon. On Bealtaine day a foal would be born to the pair. In Welsh folklore, he was the one who found the child Pryderi, the stolen son whom his mother, Rhiannon, was accused of eating. The child was found in a stall and was raised by Teyrnon and his wife until they discovered his true identity. The stories surrounding Cornwall's St. Erney came from the myths of Terynon. The saint's sacred site on Bodmin Moor was once a shrine to this Pagan God.


Triduana (Scottish) This Goddess of Edinburgh plucked out her eyes to destroy her own beauty rather than submit to the advanced of Nechtan, King of the Picts. She is thought by many to be an Eastern Scotland version of the Irish Goddess Brid.


Triple Goddess, the (Pan-Celtic) The Triple Goddess is known and worshipped in Pagan cultures the world over. She is eternal, yet always changing. Like the moon which represents her, she shows a different face throughout her eternal cycle, yet she is always the same moon. At once she's the Maiden, Mother, and Crone, the creatrix who births all things into being, who devours all at its ending, and who provides life anew when the cycle begins again. Many different colors are attributed to her, but in Celtic Paganism they are white for the Maiden, red for the Mother, and black for the Crone. Throughout the Celtic lands many ancient remnants of her preeminence remain. One of the best examples survives at Corleck, County Cavan, Ireland, where an ancient and weathered stone is carved with three faces. Each face looks out to a different direction.


Tuatha De Danann "People of the goddess Danu". Gods who were descended from Danu, including Lugh, Dagda, Brigit, Ogma and others. Considered to be skilled artisans, poets, magicians and craftsmen.




U


Uathach (Irish, Scottish) The daughter of Scathach and a warrior Goddess in her own right who taught male warriors magickal battle skills. Her name means "spector" which may link her to sovereignity archetypes. She was Scathach's assistant at the warrior school on the Isle of Shadow, and was Cuchulain's lover during the time he stood as guardian of the island school.


Urien (Welsh, Anglo-Celtic) Also Uryen. A minor sun God from southern England who was married to Modron, and was the father of Owain and Mabon. He was killed by Modron during one of her murderous rages. Archetypeally, Urien is a sacrificial deity associated with Samhain.


Uroica (Breton) Goddess of heather and Heather Wine.




V


Verbeia The Celtic goddess of the river Wharfe (North Yorkshire, England).


Vivienne (Welsh, Cornish, Breton) Also Nimue, Niniane, or Chwibmian. She was the lover of Merlin who is sometimes associated with attributes of the Lady of the Lake, and some legends claim she is the Lake Lady's daughter. In Breton legend, Vivienne is the woman who escorts Arthur to Avalon at his death. In this guise as a death Goddess she is often equated with Rhiannon.


Vosegus The Gaulish god of the Vosges Forest in France




W-X-Y-Z


Wachilt (Anglo-Celtic) A minor sea Goddess, later called a "witch" in English mythology. She is the mother of Wayland the Smith.


Wayland the Smith (British, Anglo-Celtic, Welsh, Cornish, Germanic-Celtic) A smith God and consort of the Triple Goddess. The name Smith once referred to a priestly caste of metalworking druids. An English tradition says that Wayland still lives inside a Berkshire hill marked by the White Horse of Uffington. Not British as such, he was imported by the Anglo-Saxons from the continent. He is known in Teutonic sources, Frankish sources, and in Scandinavia, where he is called Volund. The gist of his tale is that he loved a swan-maiden who lived with him for seven years, but disappeared at length. He pines for her, but awaits her return, making wondrous jewelry and artifacts in the meantime. Set upon by an outlaw king and his sons, he is hamstrung and marooned on a small island with a smithy at his disposal. He encompasses the death of the sons, the violation of their sister (who wears the ring he gave to his own love, stolen from him), and escapes the isle on a pair of contrived wings... He became a byword for the art of the smith, and the forging of miraculous objects; and he seems to have had a geas placed upon him with respect to his craft, to the effect that he could not refuse any commission, no matter how impossible the task, once he had been offered a payment. Celtic Smiths have always been known for their potent magick, and their melting vats equated with the sacred cauldron of regeneration. In another tale, Wayland was captured by a jealous Briton king who desired to be the sole possessor of his services. In the manner of ancient kings, he kept his magickal sword-maker isolated, so the king's children stole all Wayland's gold and jewels to make him dependent upon them. Wayland bided his time and plotted his revenge, then flew away on wings he fashioned himself. He is often equated with the Roman God, Vulcan. Also: Weyland, Weiland, Volund, and Weland.


White Lady All Celtic countries; goddess of death and destruction. Called the Dryad of Death and Queen of the Dead, this goddess was a Crone aspect of the Goddess.


Wild Hunt The Wild Hunt is a supernatural force that sweeps across the land at night. The actual object of the Hunt varies from place to place. In some areas it searches for anything that might be unforunate enough to be in its path. Others say it hunts evildoers. The leader of the Hunt also varies. In Celtic Britain it is usually led by Cernunnos, the horned god. In Wales it is led by Gwyn ap Nudd, and sometimes Bran. After the Anglo-Saxons had settled in England, Cernunnos became Herne the Hunter. The Wild Hunt also appears in Teutonic myth, its leader being Woden or Odin


Yonne A Celtic river deity

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