Monday, August 2, 2010

Revelation about the Celtic gods

I was reading the OBOD material on the Lughnasah ritual the other day. Good stuff in there. One bit said that older scholars had considered Lugh to be a solar deity, but that more recent re-examination of his myths indicated that perhaps he was more a deity of oaths and laws. I thought about this and the more I thought about it, the more the idea seemed valid and fit in with his lore much better then as a solar deity. Let me point out some supporting evidence. 1. When Lugh's father was murdered and Lugh found out who the culprits where, he did not just go out and kill them but followed the law and found his revenge through the law and a blood price. In my mind oaths and law are closely related. 2. As a god of Oaths its important that Lugh be familier and better yet a master of every art, in which Oaths may be a part of it. 3. Lugh of the long arm my be in reference to the long length of most Oaths taken, as well as to his spear, which may be a subtle warning of the divine wrath should one break a vow. 4. It has often been said and generally accepted that the Fomorians, against whom Lugh is fighting represent not evil, but the forces of chaos and entropy. Oaths are a force for order and law. Then I started thinking that Lugh is the bright and shining example of manhood. It's not impossible for Oaths and Law to be in a "solar" realm. He is the "golden child" of the Tuatha De Danan. This then led me to thinking about the other Irish celtic deities. Which then led me to thinking why do we need to give them a set portfolio. It occured to me that what people are trying to do with the Celtic deities is to make them fit in nice neat boxes like they do/have done with the greek pantheon. Why? It seems to me that the Celts didn't see their gods like that. They didn't say Lugh is the sun god, Morigan is the goddess of death, the Dogda is the god of men with giant phallices! It has come to me that the Celtic deities are much more like "real" people. You can't just put them in catagorical boxes. Sure one god might have more of an aptitude for some things then another, but one could ask any of them for any thing. They are gods after all. Work with the gods that you have a relatioinship with. You wouldn't walk up to a stranger and ask them to help you find your lost cat. So in turn, is it fair to beseech Cernnernos "lord of the animals" to return your lost cat to you when you have never developed a relationship with him? (though arguable this is one way to start one isn't it.) It would make sense to ask aid from another deity to which you already have a relationship with, one who would be willing to help, such as Brigit, Lugh, Dagda, or even the Morrigan. Odds are they will help you in their own unique ways, but that's the differences in their personalities. Brigit would go looking for your cat, Lugh would protect your cat till it came home on its own, Dagda would give you a new cat, and the Morrigan might give you insight as to where you can find your cat for example. This isn't so much about what they are the god/goddess of, but rather just who they are and how they "think". Reading the mythos of Celtic deities is the beginning of learning about them. So get out there, pick up the stories and start to get to know them.


  1. Hello - I'm a new reader, I popped over when BlueDruid nominated you for an award and thought I'd stay awhile and have a read ;)
    'Lugh of the long arm' definitely mades a lot of sense in that respect doesn't it! It brings to mind that you can't outrun his justice, he WILL find you!
    The myths of the Celtic deities don't seem to be out there as much in the cultural consciousness as for example the Greek myths, which most people seem to have caught at least a whiff of. I've found that learning about the Celtic mythologies takes a bit more work than the famous Greek mythologies because the information just isn't as accessible. Often I'll hear brief mentions of things that then need tracking down. Maybe this is just me and I'm looking in the wrong places!
    Great post!

  2. HI Nellie,
    Thanks for Commenting. I hope you enjoy the blog and are able to take some things from it. I agree with your assesment that the Celtic myths just aren't out there as much. One really has to put their time into researching it. Like most things in life this has both pros and cons about it.
    May Nwyvra flow through you, and Awen fill you.