Celtic Gods and Goddesses


(Welsh) The Goddess of sovereignty who held the feet of Math while he reigned. She was only exempt from doing so when he went to war.

In old northern and western European cultures kings were often semi-divine beings having need to rest their feet in the lap of a queen by whose grace they ruled. When Goewin was kidnapped by Gilfaethwy, he also captures the means of stealing the throne.

She is often equated with Queen Guinevere.
deity hr
godGOIBNIU (Irish, Welsh) "Great Smith"; one of a triad of craftsmen with Luchtaine the write and Credne the brazier. Similar to Vulcan. He forged all the Tuatha's weapons; these weapons always hit their mark and every wound inflicted by them was fatal. His ale gave the Tuatha invulnerablity. God of blacksmiths, weapon-makers, jewelry making, brewing, fire, metalworking.

Aside from his craftsmanship, he is known as the provider of the Fled Goibnenn, a Sacred Feast. Associated, among other things, with brew-crafting, he is said to have created a brew which bestowed both immortality in battle, and release from illness and death for the one who imbibed. Note the similarity with the Greco-Roman Hephaestus/Vulcan, a divine smith who was also a brewer. His name survives in Abergavenny (Goibhniu's River).

Also: Gofannon; Govannon (Welsh)

deity hr


(Wales) [GO-loo-theeth] A Welsh princess who married a prince but remained barren. When she finally became pregnant, she went mad and refused to live indoors. She disappeared into the forest and when her time came to give birth she regained her sanity. She found herself in a swineherd's yard, where she bore a son, was aptly named Culhwch (pig).

When she was about to die, she made her husband, Kliydd, promise that he would not remarry until a briar bush with at least two heads sprang from her grave. Such briars do not grow heads until their seventeenth year of maturity. In Celtic mysticism the number seventeen relate to the splitting of clans. Every seventeenth year th oldest women and strongest warriors were allowed to branch off from the clan if they wished.

She was also an aunt of King Arthur and this folktale is really about an ancient sow goddess of fertility.
deity hr

(Welsh) God of smiths and metalworkers. The weapons he makes are deadly in their aim, the armor unfailing in its protection. Those who drink from his sacred cup need no longer fear old age and infirmity.

See also Goibniu.
deity hr


(Scottish, Anglo-Celtic, Continental) An early continental God of mineral springs whose shrines have been found in the English town of Musselburgh, in Auvergne, France, and near Edinburgh, Scotland.

On the continent he was a minor sun God and God of the healing arts. Like many people today, the early Celts sought out mineral springs for their healing benefits, particularly for degenerative muscle ailments or arthritis.

Grannos is also given a role as a harvest deity in a children's rhyme sung at harvest bonfires which calls Grannos friend, father, mother, and child.

He is sometimes listed as the consort of Sirona
deity hr
GoddessGREEN MAN, THE (Also see Cernunnos.) A horned deity of trees and green growing things of Earth; god of the woodlands. In Old Welsh his name is Arddhu (the Dark One), Atho, or the Horned God.

One of the most ancient figures in European tradition, pre-dating perhaps even the Aryan invasions. He seems to be a God of vegetative strength, a masculine figure of fertility and life-energy. He is usually imaged as a large or giant male, clad entirely, or perhaps actually composed entirely, in green leaves. He appears on the fringes of popular awareness in a bewildering number of guises: his archetype may be recognized in as widely divergent sources as the central figure in the 14th century poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight on the one hand, and on the other as the basis behind the modern commercial image of the Jolly Green Giant®.

His is an image which transcended all other Celtic God forms and became a version of the Christian Devil every bit as potent as the Horned God. His randy woodland image became firmly linked in the minds of the churchmen with "evil" witches who cavorted with him under the light of the full moon. He is possibly an Oak King image, a symbol of fertility and of the waxing year. He is also linked to Cernunnos, the Horned God of the wild. Archetypally, he is the male fertility principle of the Earth Mother.
deity hr
GoddessGUINEVERE, QUEEN (Welsh, Cornish) Also Gwenhwyfar, Gueneve, and Gwenivere. Her name means "white shadow", the sovereign power behind King Arthur's throne.

While the Camelot stories surrounding her, King Arthur, and his rival, are romantic in nature, these modern incarnations demean the status of the sovereign Goddess in their telling.. She was the sovereign who gave Arthur his right to rule simply by being with him. When she left him he pursued her not for love, but because without her his kingdom would crumble for lack of leadership. The role of Goddess of sovereignty is more clearly seen in her legends than in many others. Her duty is to blend the king's energy with the energy of the land. It is in many myths that when the king forgets where his power comes from that the queen will seek other champions and lovers to remind him as she gladly did.

She is also a May Queen who is occasionally thought of as a female Gwyn Ap Nuad, and Otherworld king and God of the hunt.

Original Welsh legends list three different queens for Arthur all named Guinevere, making her a triplicity unto herself.
deity hr


(Welsh) [GWID-ee-ohn or GWITH-ee-oh] Also Gwidion Ap Don and Gweir. A son of Don, and the uncle of Llew who changed his wife Blodeuwedd into an owl. Perhaps all the Arthurian legends were once attributed to him, but they were eventually grafted solely onto King Arthur.

Gwyddion was very wise, especially in music magick, and he once rescued Llew by singing an enchantment. He was referred to as master if illusion, a helper of humankind and a fighter against the greedy and small-minded. He supported the cultural arts and learning, and tried to stamp out ignorance. Because of all this praise., he is sometimes called the Druid of the Gods.

He got his own education from his uncle Math. Like many other Pagan cultures, it was customary for the mother's brother to teach her sons.

Gwyddion and his brothers fought in the Battle of the Trees to ensure that the dog, deer, and lapwing he took from Annwn could remain on earth. His last foray into the Otherworld resulted in pigs (sacred to many Goddesses, most notably Cerridwen) being brought to humankind.
deity hr


(Welsh) This one time sea God came down in myth as a monster of faery of the ocean. He had many treasures on his sea floor home, one of which had to be obtained by Culhwch if he wished to have Olwen for his wife.

His world is known as the "drowned kingdom", and his story may also be one which refers to the intriguing and controversial lost continent of Atlantis.
deity hr


(Welsh) King of the Fairies and the underworld. Later he became King of the Plant Annwn, or subterranean fairies. His name means "white son of darkness" and he was the child of the sun/death God Llud, also called Nuad or Nudd, the leader of the hunt.

God of war, death, and the hunt, and a patron God of fallen warriors. He is equated with Ireland's Fionn MacCumhal as both Gwyn and Fion mean "white". As the master hunter, he rode a wild horse and had three massive hounds; one red, one black, and one white. In an early Welsh poem he is a God of battle and of the Underworld, the escort of dead souls to Annwn. Rural people claim they can sometimes hear his wild chase at night. (The hunt is a metaphor for gathering souls for the Otherworld.)

Today he is often thought of as king of the Tylwyth Teg, the faeries of Wales who can be equated with the Tuatha of Ireland. Modern legend has him living on the summit of high Welsh hills looking down on his people.

Also: Gwynn ap Nudd
deity hr


(Welsh) Opposite and rival deity of Gwyn ap Nuad. He is King of the Upper World, and a solar deity who was sentenced to battle eternally for the hand of the Creiddylad, daughter of Llud. The two combatants represent the polarities of dark and light and as such are the personification of the Holly King/Oak King who fight for rulership of the winter and summer halves of the Celtic year.

Also: Gwythyr [gwee-theer];

deity hr


(Anglo-Celtic) Habetrot was a "spinning" Goddess. Spinning is both Pagan lingo for spell casting and for the turning of the Wheel of the Year. She may have been a Goddess of magick or a seasonal mother/creatrix figure since spinning women are usually linked to Pagan creation myths.

Habetrot is best known for her powers of healing which were linked to her skills with weaving fiber. All who wore the clothing she made would never fall ill.
deity hr


(Anglo-Celtic) [Hahb-OEN-dee'uh] Also Abondia, Abunciada, and Habonde. She was a Goddess of abundance and prosperity, demoted to a "mere witch" in medieval English lore in order to strip her of her great power in the minds of the rural folk who depended upon her benevolence for their crops and herds.

She is descended from a Germanic Goddess of the Earth.

deity hr


(Scottish) A Goddess of Tungrain origin who was worshipped in Dunfriesshire. Most likely a Goddess of protection. Also called by the name Viradechthis.
deity hr


(Welsh) He was the rival of Arawen for the kingship of the Otherworld. He was defeated at the hands of Pwyll

deity hr


(Anglo-Celtic) [HEN-oon] A sow Goddess much like her Welsh counterpart Cerridwen. She is the deity who brought abundance to the land by giving birth to an assortment of "litters" throughout England. For example, she left a litter of bees in one spot, wheat in another, barley in another, eagles in another, etc. But she did not produce dogs, pigs, or other animals thought to be the sole possession of the Otherworld inhabitants.
deity hr


See Cernunnos
deity hr


(Pan-Celtic) The Holly King and the Oak King are two sacrificial Gods who, in the manner of such deities, are two aspects of the same being. The Holly King represents the waning year, and battles the Oak King at Midsummer (probably once at Bealtaine) for rulership. Likewise, the Oak King is the God of the waxing year, and battles with the Holly King at Yule (probably once at Samhain) for the same honor.
deity hr


(Pan-Western European) Opener of the Gates of Life and Death; Herne the Hunter; Cernunnos; Green Man; Lord of the Wild Hunt. The masculine, active side of Nature; Earth Father. His sacred animals were the stag, bull, goat, bear. Growing things, the forest, Nature, wild animals, alertness, annihilation, fertility, panic, desire, terror, flocks, agriculture, beer and ale. See Cernunnos
deity hr


(Welsh, Cornish) Also known as Hu Gadarn and Hugh Guairy. In many myths he is portrayed as the common ancestor and father God of the Cymry (the Welsh). He came to Wales from the "east", possibly meaning India or Constantinople, and became part of the Welsh deluge myths.

He taught his people to plow, farm, and work the land, and to sing old sacred songs, especially as an aid to memory for transmitting oral traditions.

A team of Hu's oxen dragged Addanc, the faery/monster/God, from his lair in Llyn Llion Lake after the great flood.
deity hr
deity hr

[Celtic Art] [Celtic History] [Celtic Deities] [Celtic Tree Calendar] [Celtic Traditions] [Wiccan Beliefs] [Wiccan Tools] [Wiccan Texts] [Wiccan Traditions] [Solitary/Coven] [Sabbats] [Esbats] [Pagan Traditions] [Candle Magick] [Clip Art] [Desktop Themes] [Circle of Fairies] [Herb Garden] [WWotW] [Celtic Links] [Wiccan/Pagan Links] [Favorite Links] [Home] [Webrings] [Site Map] [Reading List] [Guestbook]

deity hr