Celtic Gods and Goddesses


{tal-i-ess-in} (Welsh) "Radiant Brow", Prince of Song; Chief of the Bards of the West; a poet. Patron of Druids, Bards, and minstrels; a shape-shifter. Writing, poetry; wisdom; wizards; Bards; music; knowledge; magic.

A semi-mythical figure whose life has become deeply intertwined with the Divinities of the Celts. He apparently lived in the 6th century CE, and was regarded as the premier bard, or poet of his or any other time. A book of his work exists, set down in the 13th century; several of the works within it are regarded as genuine. He figures in many tales, but chief among them is the story that he began as the boy Gwion, was asked by the Cauldron-Crone Cerridwen to watch the vessel in which she brewed a Knowledge potion, inadvertently tasted it himself, was pursued by her in a chase involving many shapeshifts, and was at length swallowed by Her, to be reborn nine months later as the Divine bard Taliesin.

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(Cornish) Goddess of the river Tamar, which divides the Duchy of Cornwall from the rest of England. She was probably as much of a protective force as she was a water deity.

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(Anglo-Celtic) The Goddess and namesake of the river Thames, later replaced in patriarchal times by Llud, for whom Ludgate Hill in London is named.

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(Breton, Anglo-Celtic, Continental) Also Tinnus, Taranis, and Taranus. A thunder God who has origins in Celtic Gaul under the more well-known name Taranis (the modern Breton word for thunder is taran). He is not to be confused with the Goddess of the same name.

In early Gaul human sacrifices were offered to him to influence the weather. He was also a God of the wheel who was associated with the oak tree and eagles, and was also a God of fertility and a sky God.

He is equated with the Nordic God of thunder, Thor, and sometimes with Rome's Jupiter. His feast time is Yule.

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(Continental) A death GOddess to whom human sacrifices where offered . Some etyologists say than when her name is broken down to its roots it means "tsar of the west", which would link her to the realm of the Otherworld. She should not be confused with the Gaulish God Taranus.

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(Romano-Celtic, Gallic) Bull God known chiefly from a four sided monument erected near Paris by boatmen of the Seine during the reign of the emperor Tiberius. It depicts Esus, Vulcanus, Jupiter, and Tarvos. As Tarvos Trigaranos, he is drawn as a bull with three cranes on his back and can be seen at such places as Dorchester in England. The bull may alternately bear three horns.

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god TEUTATES (British, Gallic) "Ruler of the People"; one of the oldest and most powerful; god of war. (1) (Gaul) He is the god of fertility, war, and wealth. His name means "the god of the tribe". Human sacrifices were made to him (usually they were drowned in giant cauldrons). He is credited with inventing all the crafts of mankind. He is the equivalent of the Roman god Mars. (4) Also: Toutatis; Totatis
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(Welsh, Cornish) Also Ternan. Teyrnon is associated with Bealtaine fertility rites. In ancient myth, he was the one who released the sacred stallion on May Eve which would mate with the divine mare, possibly a reference to Epona or Rhiannon. On Bealtaine day a foal would be born to the pair.

In Welsh folklore, he was the one who found the child Pryderi, the stolen son whom his mother, Rhiannon, was accused of eating. The child was found in a stall and was raised by Teyrnon and his wife until they discovered his true identity.

The stories surrounding Cornwall's St. Erney came from the myths of Terynon. The saint's sacred site on Bodmin Moor was once a shrine to this Pagan God.

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(Scottish) This Goddess of Edinburgh plucked out her eyes to destroy her own beauty rather than submit to the advanced of Nechtan, King of the Picts.

She is thought by many to be an Eastern Scotland version of the Irish Goddess Brid.

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(Pan-Celtic) The Triple Goddess is known and worshipped in Pagan cultures the world over. She is eternal, yet always changing. Like the moon which represents her, she shows a different face throughout her eternal cycle, yet she is always the same moon. At once she's the Maiden, Mother, and Crone, the creatrix who births all things into being, who devours all at its ending, and who provides life anew when the cycle begins again.

Many different colors are attributed to her, but in Celtic Paganism they are white for the Maiden, red for the Mother, and black for the Crone.

Throughout the Celtic lands many ancient remnants of her preeminence remain. One of the best examples survives at Corleck, County Cavan, Ireland, where an ancient and weathered stone is carved with three faces. Each face looks out to a different direction.

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(Irish, Scottish) The daughter of Scathach and a warrior Goddess in her own right who taught male warriors magickal battle skills. Her name means "spector" which may link her to sovereignity archetypes.

She was Scathach's assistant at the warrior school on the Isle of Shadow, and was Cuchulain's lover during the time he stood as guardian of the island school.

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(Welsh, Anglo-Celtic) Also Uryen. A minor sun God from southern England who was married to Modron, and was the father of Owain and Mabon. He was killed by Modron during one of her murderous rages. Archetypeally, Urien is a sacrificial deity associated with Samhain.

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Goddess UROICA

(Breton) Goddess of heather and Heather Wine.

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(Welsh, Cornish, Breton) Also Nimue, Niniane, or Chwibmian. She was the lover of Merlin who is sometimes associated with attributes of the Lady of the Lake, and some legends claim she is the Lake Lady's daughter.

In Breton legend, Vivienne is the woman who escorts Arthur to Avalon at his death. In this guise as a death Goddess she is often equated with Rhiannon.

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(Anglo-Celtic) A minor sea Goddess, later called a "witch" in English mythology. She is the mother of Wayland the Smith.

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(British, Anglo-Celtic, Welsh, Cornish, Germanic-Celtic) A smith God and consort of the Triple Goddess. The name Smith once referred to a priestly caste of metalworking druids. An English tradition says that Wayland still lives inside a Berkshire hill marked by the White Horse of Uffington.

Not British as such, he was imported by the Anglo-Saxons from the continent. He is known in Teutonic sources, Frankish sources, and in Scandinavia, where he is called Volund. The gist of his tale is that he loved a swan-maiden who lived with him for seven years, but disappeared at length. He pines for her, but awaits her return, making wondrous jewelry and artifacts in the meantime. Set upon by an outlaw king and his sons, he is hamstrung and marooned on a small island with a smithy at his disposal. He encompasses the death of the sons, the violation of their sister (who wears the ring he gave to his own love, stolen from him), and escapes the isle on a pair of contrived wings... He became a byword for the art of the smith, and the forging of miraculous objects; and he seems to have had a geas placed upon him with respect to his craft, to the effect that he could not refuse any commission, no matter how impossible the task, once he had been offered a payment.

Celtic Smiths have always been known for their potent magick, and their melting vats equated with the sacred cauldron of regeneration. In another tale, Wayland was captured by a jealous Briton king who desired to be the sole possessor of his services. In the manner of ancient kings, he kept his magickal sword-maker isolated, so the king's children stole all Wayland's gold and jewels to make him dependent upon them. Wayland bided his time and plotted his revenge, then flew away on wings he fashioned himself.

He is often equated with the Roman God, Vulcan.

Also: Weyland, Weiland, Volund, and Weland

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