CELTIC MYTHOLOGY

The Gods of Ireland, Scotland, Wales & Gaul

The Gods Of Celtic Mythology

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Introduction

The Celts: an amazing conglomeration of tribes with remarkable staying power.

Refusing to acknowledge Roman rule, the Celts were formidable fighters under any circumstances. Exceedingly good at hit-and-run warfare, they were adept at scattering to isolated areas in small groups — taking their Gods with them.

The famed Asterix comic strip gives an amusing indication of what the Gaulish contingent of Celts felt about the Romans. Ireland (never conquered by the Romans) became another stronghold, and so did the bits of Britain nobody else much wanted. Wales, for example. They also infiltrated the Orkneys, Baleiric Islands, bits of Scandinavia and the Caucasus.

The Celts were doing alright until Christianity came along. The Church nicked some of their Gods for promotional sainthood purposes and thus began the conversion process. Only by building churches on already sacred sites could Celts be converted.

It's only a theory, but we feel the Christians may have cut down the trees that produced the Apples of Immortality. This might have been responsible for reducing the status of Celtic Gods to trolls and fairies. Such creatures are not really immortals — they grow older and smaller but don't actually die. It's all rather sad when you think of LUGH the Shining One reduced to the status of a leprechaun and having to hide his golden investments at the end of a rainbow.

But the power of the Druids is still contained in the yew trees. Just check out all the yew trees growing in churchyards. And thanks to neo-pagan reconstructivism, the deities of the Emerald Isle and elsewhere are still a force to be reckoned with. Traditional mead is still brewing up a treat, and the MORRIGAN in particular enjoys widespread worship in far-flung places. It's only a short flight to Celtsville as the crow flies.


REGIONS COVERED: Ireland, Wales, Scotland, bits of England, and smatterings of Europe.

Many Gods are spread across different regions, cultures and tribes. We've tried to pin them down to a particular area if possible. But corrections are always welcome, especially from people with first-hand knowledge. So if you know the region and would like to comment, we'd love to hear from you. Contact us here.

TRIBES, CULTURES AND PEOPLES COVERED: The Celts include a mix of Irish, Scot, Welsh, English, Gaulish and etc etc etc.

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INTRO
Introduction to the Celtic section

EXPLORE
Browse our entries on Celtic mythology

FIND GODS
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A-Z INDEX
List of names from Celtic mythology