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
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:
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
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,
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
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,
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
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
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
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.