I haven't seen a post here in a while so I thought I ll try and post something even though my knowledge is quite limited regarding this path. The followin information were originally given to me in Finnish while I was studying about Suomenusko (finnish faith).
The names of the Celtic gods were pointed to their duties, and their own very natures. Most of the Celtic deities were tribal dieties mostly, who had a particular place, in the tribe of the region bound. Scientists have discovered more than 350 different Celtic dieties, the majority of which are presented only once engraved on the stones. The only way to explore the Celtic deities tasks is to examine the names.
The Celtic deities are divided into three categories:
- Earth Goddesses
- The tribal gods
- The warrior gods
Tribal Gods symbolism is often associated with heaven. This can be noted in the statues fount that represent the deity holding in his hand the sun spinning or standing on top of a high pillar. Custodians of tribal land were female goddesses.
Warrior Gods were described as representing masculinity and strength. Virility, health and strength presented, for example, by describing the gods and goddesses sometimes wearing horns. The horns of rams' horns, for example, ranged from a bull or deer horns.
The Celts worshiped and treated their Gods with great respect. The gods were asked for help and advice. Sacrifices were present in the religious practices. The sacrificies were carried out in the temples mainly using animal bones. Human life stages and turning points were also celebrated. In Irish folklore, in man could be reborn as an animal or a human figure.
The Celts also believed in nature spirits, who were, for example, mountains, rocks, and rivers. Those beliefs have survived to this day and are particularly strong in Ireland. Respect for the old beliefs has also continued in the Christian period.
Druid's turning point is Samhain, an ancient Celtic New Year celebration. Samhain marks the end of the summer and is now located at the turn of October to November. Samhain was the day that the line between the spiritual and pfysical world was thin and therefore spirits were closer to humans at that day. Druids used to make bonefires in order to banish bad spirits and attract kind ones.
Imbolc, was a feast celebrated in early February. It was a celebration for the goddess of fertility and healing.
Beltaine is in the first of May to around the Spring Festival.
First half of August is also celebrated . It is a harvest festival, whose name derives from Lug-god.
In addition to the four seasons celebration modern Druids celebrate the year's quarters ie the winter and summer solstice and the spring and autumnal equinox.
Re: Celtic/ druidity By: Lark Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 2 Sep 16, 2015
There is some inaccurate information in this post, primarily because so very, very little is known about who and how the ancient Celts worshiped.
Most Celtic gods appear to be tribal in that their names are found associated only with specific Celtic tribes. The Gods of the Celts in the British Isles are different from those of mainland Europe and it could be assumed they are different from those Celtic tribes who settled in what is now modern Turkey. As an example, in Britain there is evidence of a goddess named Brigantia who is solely associated with the Brigantes, a tribe from north-central Britain.
As has been said, the vast majority of Celtic deities, such as Cerridwen and Cernunnos, are known only from single images, inscriptions, or myths. This makes it almost impossible to say what they represented to the ancient Celts. We can only make suppositions. The exception are those deities for whom a number of stories have been handed down. This is particulary true of the Tuatha de Danann in Irish tales and the Welsh stories of the Mabinogian.
We have some evidence that the ancient Celts held celebrations on the cross-quarter days that we refer to as Imbolc, Beltane, Lughnassad, and Samhain. But we have no idea what or how they were celebrating. The quarter days of Yule, Oestara, Litha, and Mabon have no link to the historic Celts and were largely added by Ross Nichols when he created modern Neo-Druidry. An excellent study on what very little we know about the celebrations of the Celts from the British Isleas is "Stations of the Sun" by Ronald Hutton.
There are only a few examples of anything resembling temples in the archeological record. Contemporaries of the ancient Celts stated that they worshiped in groves of trees rather than in buildings. Nor do we know much about whether they engaged in blood sacrifice; although such practices were common throughout the ancient world. The Romans, enemies of the Celts, stated that they engaged in human sacrifice; however, it could be assumed that the Romans had a vested interest in making the Celts look like primitive barbarians. Other than statements from sources hostile to the Celts we are missing solid evidence to indicate that they engaged in blood sacrifice of any kind.
The major problem we have is that the ancient Celts did not have a written language (Ogham is much later and used only on memorial and boundary stones.) Without something in writing passed down from the Celtic culture we are lacking any solid evidence of who they worshiped, how they worshiped, and what they believed. Most of what one finds on-line these days is the watered down modern version of the Celtic religion which has been highly colored by modern beliefs.
Thank you both for the reply. I m sorry about any missinformation as I previously mentioned my knowledge on this field is limited. I simply gathered a few information in order to activate this forum since it was always interesting and I would like to know more about druidity. Thank you for the corrections and additional information, they are always highly apreciated.
Re: Celtic/ druidity By: Brysing Moderator / Adept
Post # 8 Sep 17, 2015
For the reason we know very little about Celts is the same reason we know so little of the Druids. They never wrote anything down!
And, when the Druids were driven out of Wales, they settled on the island of Anglesey . But they were still having influence on the mainland.The Roman Army then raided the island and slaughtered every man,woman, and child. The Druids were no more!
Recently there has been a rise in Neo-Druidism led by a man who has named himself Arthur Pendragon, and claims to be a direct descendant of King Arthur. (How's that for 1st Class role playing?)
Yea, in high school I took a class on world religions and our big research assignment was to research a religion/cult and present to the class your thesis if it was a cult or religion. My friend went with Druidism, and she struggled because there's no written evidence of their culture outside of speculation. This doesn't make it easy when you want to learn more about them or a deity and all you can find is 'this statue is the only evidence this Celtic deity existed'. I've started researching the Celtic religion and it isn't easy. Some books on the history and religious practices would be wonderful.