The Celtic Pantheon


The Celts were not unified either culturally or politically.  Many of the Celtic deities were local tribal gods, who often had Roman equivalents. There were, however, a few gods that were broadly recognized by the Celts as a whole. The Celtic god Sucellus (the Irish Dagda) was known as the Good Striker. The powers attributed to him include protection as symbolized by a mallet and provision which was symbolized by a libation saucer.  Julius Caesar equated him with the Roman god Dis Pater, the god of the underworld.


Another prominent god of the Celtic pantheon was Taranis, the god of thunder who Caesar equated with Jupiter.  Votive Celtic wheels, found by the thousands, were dedicated to him. He is represented with a thunderbolt in one hand and a wheel in the other. He was associated with a triad of gods to whom human sacrificial offerings were dedicated.


The god appearing most frequently in the tales is Lugh. Caesar said that Mercury (Lugh?) was the god most revered in Gaul.  Caesar described him as a patron of trade and commerce, protector of travellers, and the inventor of all the arts.

Many others deities resided in the Celtic Pantheon including the goddess Brigid and Epona, the horse goddess. Many representations have been found that have no deity’s name identified.  The images include a three headed or three faced god, a squatting god, a god with a snake, a god with a wheel, and a horseman with a kneeling giant.

Tomorrow,  The Druids   Rita Bay

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