Celtic and Irish Mythology The Ancient Gaels were a Celtic people and their mythology developed from the diverse beliefs and stories told by the Celts; since the Irish recorded many of their old stories, Irish mythology is the form of Celtic mythology that is best known to us.
Is Celtic mythology Irish?Celtic mythology comes from several regions and different tribes. The bulk of them are from Ireland and also Wales. Additional sources include Cornwall, Scotland, and the French region of Brittany. Celtic mythology is divided into four cycles or groups.
Is Irish the same as Celtic?The Irish language is the Celtic language of Ireland (the same one as “Irish Gaelic”). Irish people generally refer to the language of Ireland simply as “Irish“. ... Gaeilge is the word where the English language word “Gaelic” is derived from.
What is Celtic mythology called?Celtic is the mythology of Celtic polytheism, the religion of the Iron Age Celts. Like other Iron Age Europeans, the early Celts maintained a polytheistic mythology and religious structure. ... It is mostly through contemporary Roman and Christian sources that their mythology has been preserved.
Do the Irish have their own language?English and Irish (Gaeilge) are the official languages in the Republic of Ireland. Northern Ireland is where youll hear the soft strains of Ullans (Ulster-Scots). Youll find Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking) areas predominantly along the west coast, where Irish is widely spoken.
Irish Mythology and the Celts Near the onset of the Bronze Age approximately 3000 B. They reached the Caucasus Mountains and became the founders of the Indo-European culture. They continued towards what is now Turkey and then into Eastern and Central Europe.
At this point, various tribes began branching out into new territories. The Celts, who made their way to Rome, were eventually driven out. They, then, settled in parts of what is now known as Spain: Iberia, Gaul, and Galicia. The Romans drove the only remaining Celts, also known as the Gaels or Gaelic people. Celts found their way to Hibernia, an island that is now known as Ireland.
The stories of these people gave rise to Irish mythology, which includes the Irish pantheon and a historical record of the kings and heroes of early Ireland. This cycle includes the stories of the Fir Bolg, Fomorians, and the Tuatha de Danann. These stories tell of King Ulster, Cu Chulainn, Deirdre of the Sorrows, and others.
31 Irish Mythological Creatures (Tales Told By An Irishman)
This cycle includes the story of the Salmon of Knowledge. Fir Bolg, Balor, and the Formorians The Mythological Cycle of Celtic lore tells the stories of pre-Celtic Ireland. Before the arrival of the Gaels, Ireland was inhabited by a race of people called the Fir Bolg.
The Fir Bolg were forced to leave the island by a race of monstrous ancient gods known as the Fomorians. Balor, who was the leader of the Fomorians, was a giant cyclops. He was capable of killing anyone with just a glance of his one eye. The Fir Bolg returned to Ireland and were able to coexist with the Fomorians for a short time before the arrival of the Tuatha de Danann. Tuatha de Danann The Tuatha de Danann consists of a pantheon of Irish gods and goddesses.
They were believed to be the descendants of Danu, the mother of gods and Earth. The Tuatha de Danaan were a magical race that was banished to the Earth because their superior intellect and skills were too great to be contained within the heavens. Legend states that the Tuatha de Danann arrived in Ireland on a mist, and some historians suggest that they were a race of people who came from either west or north of Ireland.
When the Tuatha de Danann arrived in Ireland, they battled with both the Fomorians and the Fir Bolg. The war ended when Balor was defeated by Lugh, the god of sun and light.
Lugh struck Balor in his eye with a stone thrown from a sling. The force was great enough to drive Balor's eye through the Is Celtic and Irish mythology the same? of his head, and it rolled down the hill where the Fomorian and Fir Bolg armies stood.
As the eye turned around, its gaze fell upon the soldiers, and they were instantly killed. After defeating both the Fomorians and Fir Bolg, the Tuatha de Danaan ruled Ireland until they were challenged by the Is Celtic and Irish mythology the same?.
The Milesians were Celts who had come from what is now known as Spain. They were seeking an island that had been promised to them through a prophecy, told to them by the Christian prophet Moses.
Moses had stated that if the Milesians sailed towards the setting sun, they would eventually find an island that did not have any snakes. When the Milesians came upon Ireland, they were sure that they had the right island.
The Milesians were afraid of the Tuatha de Danann and their ability to do magic, but they were determined to claim the island for their own. Many Milesians were killed when a hurricane, conjured by the Tuatha de Danann, struck their ships.
When able to land, the remaining Milesians came ashore to fight the Tuatha de Danann. The Milesians were victorious, and the Tuatha de Danann were forced to retreat. The Tuatha de Danann disappeared into the ground, and Celtic lore states that they built great halls and residences inside the Irish hills. It is suggested that the Tuatha de Danann then became the fairies of Ireland. Celtic Gods and Goddesses The Celtic gods and goddesses are a pantheon of archetypes, each representing an individual or group of characteristics.
Several major Tuatha de Danann deities are prominent in Irish mythology. Danu As mentioned earlier, the Earth goddess Danu is the mother of the Tuatha de Danann.
Being the oldest god, Danu is the mother goddess of all Tuatha de Danann deities. Danu is wise, nurturing, and is associated with the fertility of humans, animals, and the land. Conversely, she is also a warrior goddess, an embodiment of strength and when necessary, wrath. In addition to being the mother of the Tuatha de Danann, she Is Celtic and Irish mythology the same? also their teacher.
She provided them with their knowledge and supernatural abilities. Dagda Dagda was a Celtic god as well as the king of the Tuatha de Danann. Dagda possessed a massive club that could kill nine men with a single swing but could also restore life when touched with its hilt. He also had a cauldron that was bottomless and could provide enough porridge to feed any number of people. Dagda was a skillful harp player that could lull his listeners to sleep, bring joy, or cause tears of grief.
While Dagda was a mighty warrior and generous provider, he was also a heavy drinker and prolific lover. He impregnated humans and goddesses alike and was the father of the god of love, Angus, and the goddess of Spring, Brigid. Lugh Lugh was more than the God who defeated the cyclopes Balor. In addition to the sling which flung the rock that dislodged Balor's eye, Lugh also possessed a long spear that was guaranteed to hit its mark. Lugh was unique Is Celtic and Irish mythology the same?
he was the son of a Fir Bolg woman and a Tuatha de Danann man.
Lugh's uncommon lineage provided him with the ability to be the master of all of the arts, such as craftsmanship, harp playing, sorcery, and poetry. It is this mastery of skills that allowed Lugh to initially enter the ranks of the Tuatha de Danann. The Morrigan The Morrigan is the Celtic goddess of war, specifically of death, prophesy, and fate. She is sometimes described as the embodiment of a trinity which includes her two sisters Bebd and Macha.
The three sisters would chant maliciously and appear as crows or ravens in order to terrorize the enemies of those who they supported in war. Morrigan could also transform herself into a human woman and would either appear as a beautiful young woman or as an aged crone. She would also become a battle-maiden and bring death to those who were fated to die.
Macha was one of the three sisters intertwined in the Morrigan trinity. Morrigan knew everything and would inspire fear with her accurate prophesies and statements. She even knew when and how the world would eventually end. Brigid Brigid is also sometimes viewed as a triple goddess, however, her character is very different from that of the Morrigan.
Figures of Irish Mythology
Brigid was a healer, a mother, and a smith. She was passionate in all of her roles, and this was reflected in her dominion over the fire, a gift she brought to the people of Ireland. Brigid had a more serene side as well and was the goddess of both water and the comforts of home. Brigid is still celebrated today on the Christian holiday St. Brigid's Day, which is also a pagan holiday called Imbolc. Regardless of the form, Brigid is given, her holiday represents the first day of Spring.
Brigid's powerfully domestic archetype allowed her to bridge the gap between Gaelic beliefs and Christianity, and she is one of the very few Celtic deities who was adopted into the Christian faith. Brigid was the goddess of the hearth and fire. She was associated with the comforts of home and warmth.
Donn Donn was the Celtic god of the dead, but he did not reside on the island of Ireland.
Instead, he lived a short distance away and would fly to Ireland on his horse in order to retrieve the dead. He would provide an escort to them by acting as their host.
Donn is associated with the pagan holiday Samhain. Samhain Is Celtic and Irish mythology the same? on the night between the fertile warm season and the desolate cold season. It is also the time when the veil between the living and the dead is at its thinnest. Lesson Summary Irish Mythology is divided into four periods which describe the pre-Celtic history, the origin of the Gaels in Ireland, the stories of the gods, and the history of the kings who ruled prior to the Middle Ages.
Celtic lore provides detailed accounts of the characteristics and activities of the Tuatha de Danann pantheon of gods and goddesses.
Each god or goddess represents an archetype and possesses superhuman skills.