Celtic Pantheon

               ANGUS OF THE BRUGH Also OENGUS OF THE BRUIG God of youth, son of the
               Dagda. In Ireland, Angus is the counterpart of Cupid. Angus' kisses turn
               into singing birds, and the music he plays irresistably draws all who

               ARIANRHOD "Silver Wheel," "High Fruitful Mother." One of the Three
               Virgins of Britain, her palace is Caer Arianrhod, the Celtic name for
               the Aurora Borealis.

               BADB A goddess of war. One of a triad of war goddesses known
               collectively as the Morrigan. Bird shaped and crimson mouthed, Badb uses
               her magic to decide battles. Badb lusts after men and is often seen at
               fords washing the armor and weapons of men about to die in combat.

               BRIGHID also BRIGIT. Goddess of healing and craftsmanship, especially
               metalwork. Also a patron of learning and poetry. In Wales she is
               Caridwen, who possesses the cauldron of knowledge and inspiration. The
               Celts so loved Brighid that they could not abandon her even when they
               became Christians, and so made Brighid a Christian saint.

               CARIDWEN also HEN WEN; in Wales, BRIGHID "White Grain," "Old White One."
               Corn goddess. Mother of Taliesen, greatest and wisest of all the bards,
               and therefore a patron of poets. The "white goddess" of Robert Graves.
               Caridwen lives among the stars in the land of Caer Sidi. Caridwen is
               connected with wolves, and some claim her cult dates to the neolithic

               CERNUNNOS Horned god of virility. Cernunnos wears the torc (neck-ring)
               and is ever in the company of a ram-headed serpent and a stag. Extremely
               popular among the Celts, the Druids encouraged the worship of Cernunnos,
               attempting to replace the plethora of local deities and spirits with a
               national religion. The Celts were so enamored of Cernunnos that his cult
               was a serious obstacle to the spread of Christianity.

               DAGDA Earth and father god. Dagda possesses a bottomless cauldron of
               plenty and rules the seasons with the music of his harp. With his mighty
               club Dagda can slay nine men with a single blow, and with its small end
               he can bring them back to life. On the day of the New Year, Dagda mates
               with the raven goddess of the Morrigan who while making love straddles a
               river with one foot on each bank. A slightly comical figure.

               DANU Mother goddess, an aspect of the Great Mother. Another of a triad
               of war goddesses known collectively as the Morrigan. Connected with the
               moon goddess Aine of Knockaine, who protects crops and cattle. Most
               importantly, the mother of the Tuatha de' Danann, the tribe of the gods.

               DIAN CECHT A healer. At the second battle of Moytura, Dian Cecht
               murdered his own son whose skill in healing endangered his father's
               reputation. The Judgments of Dian Cecht, an ancient Irish legal tract,
               lays down the obligations to the ill and injured. An agressor must pay
               for curing anyone he has injured, and the severity of any wound, even
               the smallest, is measured in grains of corn.

               DIS PATER Originally a god of death and the underworld, later the cheif
               god of the Gauls. The Gauls believed, as their Druids taught, that Dis
               Pater is the ancestor of all the Gauls.

               DONN Irish counterpart to Dis Pater. Donn sends storms and wrecks ships,
               but he protects crops and cattle as well. Donn's descendents come to his
               island after death.

               EPONA Horse goddess. Usually portrayed as riding a mare, sometimes with
               a foal. Roman legionaires, deeply impressed with Celtic horsemanship,
               took up the worship of Epona themselves and eventually imported her cult
               to Rome itself.

               ESUS A god of the Gauls "whose shrines make men shudder," according to a
               Roman poet. Human sacrifices to Esus were hanged and run through with a
               sword. For unknown reasons, Esus is usually portrayed as a woodcutter.

               GOVANNON The smith god. The weapons Govannon makes are unfailing in
               their aim and deadliness, the armor unfailing in its protection. Also a
               healer. Those who attend the feast of Govannon and drink of the god's
               sacred cup need no longer fear old age and infirmity.

               LUG also LUGH, LLEU A sun god and a hero god, young, strong, radiant
               with hair of gold, master of all arts, skills and crafts. One day Lug
               arrived at the court of the Dagda and demanded to be admitted to the
               company of the gods. The gatekeeper asked him what he could do. For
               every skill or art Lug named, the gatekeeper replied that there was
               already one among the company who had mastered it. Lug at last pointed
               out that they had no one who had mastered them all, and so gained a
               place among the deities, eventually leading them to victory in the
               second battle of Moytura against the Formorian invaders. (The Formorians
               were a race of monsters who challenged the gods for supremacy in the
               first and second battles of Moytura.) The Romans identified Lug with
               Mercury. The most popular and widely worshipped of the Celtic gods,
               Lug's name in its various forms was taken by the cities of Lyons,
               Loudun, Laon, Leon, Lieden, Leignitz, Carlisle and Vienna.

               MACHA "Crow." The third of the triad of war goddesses known as the
               Morrigan, Macha feeds on the heads of slain enemies. Macha often
               dominates her male lovers through cunning or simple brute strength.

               MEDB "Drunk Woman." A goddess of war, not one of the Morrigan. Where the
               Morrigan use magic, Medb wields a weapon herself. The sight of Medb
               blinds enemies, and she runs faster than the fastest horse. A bawdy
               girl, Medb needs thirty men a day to satisfy her sexual appetite.

               MORRIGAN, THE also MORRIGU MORRIGAN A war goddess, forerunner of the
               Arthurian Morgan La Fey. Like Odin, fickle and unfaithful, not to be
               trusted. A hag with a demonic laugh, the Morrigan appears as a grotesque
               apparition to men about to die in battle. Her name is also used for a
               triad of war goddesses, who are often thought of as different aspects of
               the Morrigan.

               NEMAIN "Panic." A war goddess.

               NUADHU also NUD, NODENS, LUD. "Nuadhu of the silver arm." God of healing
               and water; his name suggests "wealth-bringer" and "cloud-maker." At the
               first battle of Moytura, Nuadhu lost an arm, and Dian Cecht replaced it
               with a new one made out of silver. Because of this, Nuadhu was obliged
               to turn leadership of the Tuatha de' Dannan over to Lug. People came to
               be healed at Nuadhu's temple at Lydney, and small votive limbs made of
               silver have been found there.

               OGMIOS also OGMA "Sun Face." A hero god like Hercules, a god of
               eloquence, language, genius. Generally portrayed as an old man dressed
               in a lion skin. From his tongue hang fine gold chains attached to the
               ears of his eager followers.

               SUCELLUS Guardian of forests, patron of agriculture. His consort is
               Nantosvelta, whose name suggests brooks and streams. Sometimes
               considered synonymous with Cernunnos or Daghda.

               TUATHA DE' DANANN The divine tribes and people descended from the
               goddess Danu. Skilled in druidry and magic, the Tuatha de' Danann
               possess four talismans of great power: the stone of Fal which shrieked
               under the true heir to the throne; the spear of Lug which made victory
               certain; the sword of Nuadhu which slays all enemies; and the ever full
               cauldron of Daghda from which no man ever goes away hungry.