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Book of Shadows
Children's Circle

Celtic Gods and Goddesses

Aine - (AN-yuh) Ireland; a woman of the Leanan Sidhe (Sweetheart of the Sidhe). Some said she was the daughter of Manannan, some said she was the Morrigan herself. There was a stone, Cathair Aine, belonging to her and if anyone sat on the stone, they would be in danger of losing their wits, sit three times and they would lose them forever. Aine was very revengeful, and it was not a safe thing to offend her.

Aine of Knockaine - (AN-yuh of knock-AN-yuh) Ireland; moon goddess and patroness of crops and cattle; associated with the Summer Solstice. Also Aine Cliach, and Cnoc Aine.

Amaethon - Wales; god of agriculture.

Angus Mac Og - Ireland; god of youth, love, and beauty. One of the Tuatha De Danann, name means "young son". He had a harp that made irresistible music, and his kisses turned into birds that carried messages of love. His brugh, underground fairy palace, was on the banks of the Boyne River. Variants: Angus or Oengus of the Brugh, Angus Mac Oc.

Anu - Ireland; goddess of plenty and Mother Earth. Greatest of all Irish goddesses, deity of cattle, health, fertility, prosperity, and comfort.

Aoibhell - (Evill) 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.

Arawn - Wales; god of the dead and the underworld Annwn. Only until Christian conversion, the Welsh didn't look on the underworld as hell. God of revenge, terror, and the dead.

Arianrhod - Wales; goddess of beauty, fertility, and reincarnation. Known as Silver Wheel and the High Fruitful Mother, the palace of this sky goddess was Caer Arianrhold (Aurora Borealis). Keeper of the Silver Wheel of Stars, a symbol of time and karma. Her ship, Oar Wheel, carried dead warriors to Emania (Moon-land).

Badb - (Bibe) Ireland; goddess of enlightenment, inspiration, life, wisdom. Sister of Macha, the Morrigan, and Anu, the name of this goddess means "boiling," "battle raven," and "scald-crow". Known as Cath Bodva in Gaul. A Mother Goddess and Triple Goddess, Badb's cauldron boiled with the ever-producing mixture that produced all life. Variants: Badhbh, Badb Catha.

Banba - Ireland; one of a triad of goddesses that included Fotia and Eriu.

Bel - Ireland, Wales; god of cattle, crops, fertility, fire, healing, hot springs, prosperity, purification, science, success. A sun and fire god closely connected with the Druids and the festival of Beltaine (May 1). Variants: Belenus, Belinos, Beli Mawr (Wales).

Blodeuwedd - Wales; goddess of flowers, lunar mysteries, wisdom. Known as the Ninefold Goddess of the Western Isles of Paradise and Flower-Face, goddess was created by Math and Gwydion as a wife for the god Lleu. Her symbols were the owl and the moon. Variants: Blodwin, Blancheflor.

Boann - Ireland; goddess of the River Byone and mother of Angus Mac Og by the Dagda. She held the powers of healing. Variants: Boannan, Boyne.

Bran the Blessed - Wales; god of prophecy, the arts, war, music, writing. Associated with ravens; the brother of Manawydan ap Llyr and Branwen. His father Llyr was a sea god. Variant: Benedigeidfran.

Branwen - Wales; goddess known as Venus of the Northern Seas was the deity of love and beauty. Daughter of Llyr and one of the three matriarchs of Britain.

Brigit - Ireland; goddess of agriculture, fire, healing, inspiration, learning divination, occult knowledge, poetry, prophecy, smithcraft. Her Gaelic name of Breo-saighead means "fiery arrow" or "fiery power". Celts often referred to her as being three in one - the Triple Brigits or the Three Mothers. An ever-burning fire was kept in her honor by her nineteen priestesses who lived in a sacred temple at Kildare. She was also a daughter of the Dagda. Variants: Brid, Brig, Brigid, Brighid.

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.

Caillech - Ireland, Scotland; goddess of disease and plague. A Destroyer, or Crone, goddess, she was also called "Veiled One". As the Crone, she ruled with the Maiden and the Mother. Dogs guarded the gates of her afterworld realm where she received the dead. Celtic myth has her gatekeeper dog named Dormarth "Death's Door". Irish bards who could curse with satire were often called cainte "dog".

Cernunnos - all Celtic areas in some form; god of animals, commerce, crossroads, fertility, reincarnation, virility, warriors, woodlands. Druids knew him as Hu Gadarn, the Honored God. Ancient Celtic images show him seated in a lotus position, naked, with antlers or horns on his head. Animals that were sacred to him: bull, ran, stag, and horned serpents. Variants: Cerowain, Cernenus, Herne the Hunter.

Cerridwen - Welsh; goddess of death, initiation, inspiration, magic, regeneration. Known as a moon goddess, Great Mother, and grain deity; wife of the giant Tegrid. She brewed a magical potion of wisdom in her cauldron, and forced the young Taliesin to stir it for a year and a day. When he accidentally swallowed the last three drops, he was transformed into a bard. Welsh bards once called themselves Cerddorion "sons of Cerridwen," meaning they received their initiation from Cerridwen herself. Variants: Caridwen, Ceridwen.

Creiddylad - Wales; goddess of flowers, love. A daughter of the sea god Lir, connected with the festival of Beltaine and called the May Queen. Variants: Creudylad, Cordelia.

The Dagda - Ireland; god of the arts, knowledge, magic, music, prophecy, prosperity, regeneration. Known as the "Good God" and "Lord of the Heavens," he was one of the high kings of the Tuatha De Danann and had four great palaces under hollow hills. Of his children, the most important are Brigit, Angus, Midir, Ogma and Bodb the Red. His magical cauldron had an inexhaustible supply of food and his oak harp made the seasons change.

Diancecht - Ireland; god of healing, magic, medicine, regeneration. Physician-magician of the Tuatha De Danann; his sons were Miach, Cian, Cethe, and Cu, his daughter Airmed was also a great physician. Variant: Dian Cecht.

Danu - Ireland; Mother of the Gods, she was goddess of rivers and wells, magic, plenty, wisdom. Possible aspect of Anu; ancestress of the Tuatha De Danann. Variant: Dana.

Don - Ireland, Wales; in Ireland, goddess who ruled over the Land of the Dead. In Wales, goddess of sea and air. For both, generally a goddess of the elements, communicating with the dead.

Donn - Wales; the sea goddess.

Druantia - several Celtic areas; goddess known as Queen of the Druids and Mother of the tree calendar.

Dylan - Wales; sea deity and the some of Gwydion and Arianrhod, this god was called Son of the Waves, and a silver fish was his symbol.

Eadon - Ireland; nurse of poets

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.

Epona - Britain, continental Gaul; goddess of horsebreeding, healing spring, prosperity. Called Divine Horse and the Great Mare, the goddess of horses was acknowledged and worshipped by Roman soldiers. Her symbols were horses and dogs.

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

Goibniu - Ireland, Wales; god of blacksmiths, weapon-makers, brewing. One of a triad of Tuatha De Danann craftsmen, he was called the Great Smith. Weapons that he forged always hit their mark and made fatal wounds. The other two craftsmen were Luchtain the wright, and Creidne the brazier.

Gwethyr - Wales; King of the Upper world, this god was the opposite of Gwynn ap Nudd.

Gwydion - Wales; god of enchantment, illusion, magic. A son of Donn, the sea goddess, and brother to Govannon, Arianrhod, and Amaethon (god of agriculture). Known as a great wizard and bard in northern Wales. He was many skilled, like the Irish god Lugh, he was a shapeshifter whose symbol was a white horse.

Gwynn ap Nudd - Wales; first known as King of the Fairies and Lord of the Underworld, this god later ruled over the Plant Annwn, subterranean fairies.

Llew Llaw Gyffes - Wales; son of Arianrhod and raised by his uncle Gwydion. A curse prohibited him from having and earthly wife, so his uncles made him one out of flowers and named her Blodeuwedd. She and her lover, Gronw Pebr, plotted Llew's death, but because of Llew's divine origins, the death simply became an annual duel between the two men. His symbol is a white stag, and is celebrated on August 1, the Celtic ceremony of Lunasa.

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

Llyr - Ireland, Wales; god of sea and water, may have also ruled the underworld. The father of Manawydan, Bran the Blessed, and Branwen.

Lugh - (Loo) Ireland, Wales; a sun god of all crafts and arts, healing, journeys, prophecy. Son of Cian, a Tuatha De Danann. Of legend, his skills were without end; in Ireland he was associated with ravens; and a white stag as his symbol in Wales. He had a magic spear and otherworldly hounds. His festival was Lughnassadh, or Lunasa - August 1. Variants: Llew, Lug, Lugus, Lugh Lamhfada (of the long arm), Lug Samildananch (much skilled).

Macha - Ireland; goddess of cunning, death, sheer physical force, war; protectoress in both battle and peace. Known as Crow, Queen of Phantoms, and the Mother of Life and Death, she was honored at Lunasa. Variants: Mania, Mana, Mene, Minne.

Manannan Mac Lir - (May-nah-naun) Ireland, Wales; a shapeshifting god of the sea, magic, navigators, commerce, storms, rebirth, weather. The chief Irish sea god whose special retreat was the Isle of Man. In Wales his name was Manawydan ap Llyr. He had several magical weapons and a suit of armor that made him invisible; and his swine kept the Tuatha De Danann from aging.

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

Math Mathonwy - Wales; legend has him as a king who was also a god of enchantment and magic.

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.

Morrigan - Ireland, Wales, Britain; a shapeshifting war goddess of lust, magic, prophecy, revenge, war. Known as Great Queen, Supreme War Goddess, Queen of Phantoms, and Specter Queen, she kept company with Fea (hateful), Badb (fury), and Macha (battle). Variants: Morrigu, Morrighan, Morgan.

Neit - Ireland; god of battle.

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

Nuada - (Noo-ada) Ireland, Wales; god of harpers, healing, historians, magic, poets, warfare, writing. King of the Tuatha De Danann at one time, he had to step down when he lost his hand in battle; it was replaced by a silver one. Variants: Lud, Lludd, Llaw, Ereint, Nudd, Nodens.

Ogma - God of eloquence, inspiration, language, magic, music, physical strength, poets, writers. Invented the Ogam script alphabet and carried a huge club similar to Hercules'. Variants: Oghma, Ogmios, Grianainech (sun face), Cermait (honey-mouthed).

Pwyll - Wales; god of cunning, virture. Called Pwyll pen Annwn (Pwyll, head of Annwn) because he replaced Gwynn ap Nudd as ruler of the underworld at one time.

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.

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.

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.


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Last modified: 07/11/04