For the Irish Celts, with the four mythic sequences of gods, kings and warriors — the Mythological , Ulster , Historical and Fenian Cycles — their tales are full of heroism, romance, courage and fearlessness But the Mabinogion , with its interpretations of the Welsh canon 23 , and tales from Brittany in France, The Isle of Man and Cornwall have their own variants.
CELTIC GODS & GODDESSES – Celtic Life International
Another theme is worth highlighting: the intimate sanctity of the land and the people, manifested in the sacred marriage between the mythic kings and Queens, the renewal of the land by the harvest, and the harvest of slaughter in battle by Morrigan; here the land and the people are bound in the imperative of destiny , 29 and the dire consequences of betrayal: there is no escape in a cyclical world view where all deeds are known before they are done, and all matter returns to the land to be judged, re-birthed and renewed. The lure of the Otherworld Avalon , the totemic significance of marriage and harvest, these powerful Celtic themes influenced the Tales of Arthur and were adapted by Christianity in the late Middle Ages into the concept of chivalry as a civilizing force against barbarism 30 , the godliness of royal marriage, and the just cause of war, influencing much of western thought during a crucial period in European history.
B Yeats was part of a Celtic dawn which tried to rescue the origins of the Irish from the clutches of the colonial British, and Christian heritage, but played its own part in the romanticization of ancient origin, with his dramatic poetic imagery of Sluagh Sidhe the Fairy Host or Marcra Sidhe the Fairy Cavalcade , the one more benign than the other.
The Celts, for all the disputes about their origin, the confusion of names, the tortuous translation by conquering Romans, and Christian monks, appropriation by Victorian fairy storytellers and lyrical nationalists, the fugitive ghosts of Celtic mythology remain vital and thrilling today.
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The fascination of ancient history is the mix of mythology, religion and archeology. As with all evidence-based disciplines, from physics and biology to anthropology the latest theory is only as good as the latest discovery as we delve deeper into our past, and out into the universe.
For the Celts this leaves so much space for the imagination because their widespread migrations have left footprints across most of the populated world during the Iron and Middle Ages. Although their influence today is clear in studies of genetic markers and all forms of fantastic literature their oral traditions leave them exposed exclusively to the interpretations of others, without a voice of their own. The medieval Christian church tried its best to assimilate the cultures it encompassed, and with the origins of the Celtic people so uncertain, offered a carefully placed link to events in the Christian Bible, which in a society guided exclusively by the religious was an essential component of order and security.
For my own writing the myths and traditions of the Celts are as central as the concepts of quantum entanglement, fields of time, and the ancient pre-eternal forces of Babylonian mythology. The books play with concepts of light and dark, teasing behind the stereotypes of good vs evil to play with the origins of chaos, the reason for the order of the things, and the consequences of multi-universes. The Celts, with their earthly pre-occupations and indulgent self-gratifications are a satisfying counterpoint to the universal forces of pre-eternity, time and space that thread through the seven novels and 12 short stories so far, a canon of tales expanding into a universe of storytelling, with plans for release from mid onwards.
Celtic myths 1st Univ. Austin: Univ. Encyclopedia of ancient deities. Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn.
The Routledge dictionary of gods, goddesses, devils and demons 2nd ed. The religion of the ancient Celts. Oxford Reference. Alberto Leiden: E. Celts and the classical world Reprint ed.
Koch Celtic culture a historical encyclopedia. Santa Barbara, Calif.
Celtic Religion and Beliefs
Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. CS1 maint: extra text: authors list link. Topics in Celtic mythology. Beira Cailleach. Ancient Gaulish and Brythonic deities. Irish mythological characters. Scottish mythological creatures. Scottish rulers and warriors. Welsh mythological characters. Polytheism Christianity Animism. Calendar Law Warfare Gaelic warfare Coinage.
Lists of mythological figures. Portal Category. However, it was vital for the Selkie never to lose its seal skin for it was that which gave them the ability to return to their original seal from. Sometimes the Selkies were known for shedding their skins and sunbathing on the beaches and rocks in their human form.
The most popular Celtic gods
Selkie males were said to be able to turn into handsome mortals and are noted for their encounters with the women they were able to seduce. Selkie females are also said to be highly attractive in their human form to men. Get dates and venues. Find places to visit. Reconnect with your Celtic heritage. Skip to main content. Transceltic - Home of the Celtic nations. Search form Search. Visit us on Facebook facebook.
And on Twitter twitter. The Selkie Folk of the Scottish Seas The Selkie-folk , in the mythology of Orkney and Shetland, are a supernatural race of shape-shifting seal creatures. Content type: Pan-Celtic. Language: English. Log in to post comments. Latest content Dangers posed by nuclear power.