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Celtic & Druid Gods

 

The Celts held two major positions in society as supreme: the druidic and bardic orders. The druids were the highest societal order, carrying out religious functions as necessary. The bards were second to the druids, and they were charged with the creation and preservation of Celtic literature. The druids were the religious leaders of the Celts, and in some ways the most mysterious. They performed the sacrifices called upon by tradition, performing simple chants and rituals to please the many gods the Celts worshipped. The Gaulish druid leaders would gather for religious business in a place known as the Carnutes, which translates as sacred place, sacred grove, or oak sanctuary. This emphasizes the notion that the druids had a special kinship with nature and, in particular, the forests. In their function as church elders, the druids maintained their leadership over the community in other ways, as well. The druids officiated various legal arguments among their followers, and even went so far as to become the chief educators for their flocks. The druids expanded their leadership over the Celts into every imaginable area.

Druids were considered to have the ability to forecast, in the vaguest of terms, future occurrences. Through various rituals, the druids would foretell that a day, week, or month would be favorable or unfavorable for such things as battle, farming, hunting, etc. Stories handed down from the period indicate that these predictions were taken to heart by both the Celtic peasants and their leaders alike. Of course, as the religious leaders, the druids also bore the brunt of opposition and hatred from other religions. When other religious groups encountered the Celts, they denounced them as pagans and sought to discredit them. The druids in Gaul and finally Britain and Ireland were forced to give up their outright leadership over their people. However, many of their functions were soon taken up, albeit in subtler forms, by a group known as the filidh. The Irish filidh carried on ritual tradition in a manner more easily tolerated by their new neighbours. The Celtic bards, on the other hand, were the conservators of literature. The Celts never had their own written language, though they borrowed bits and pieces from neighboring languages, at times. Among the Gaulish Celts, however, the notion of literature was strictly oral; no written record was ever kept because it was considered distasteful. While this feeling was not necessarily true among the insular Celts of Britain and Ireland, there is still a very restricted body of written literature which can be fully attributed to the Celts.

Among the Irish Celts, the bards were considered to be an inferior class of poets, rhymers, and simple storytellers. Their oral traditions were admired by the common folk, but they were not given anything like the status of the druids or filidh. However, when religious pressures forced changes in the upper strata of Celtic organization, the bards went virtually unnoticed and, therefore, unchanged. In fact, it is to the bards that we can give thanks for the Irish oral tradition of history without which we would know very little about the Celts. From their very beginnings, the Celts had been a warrior people. Their penchant for conflict was well known even to the scholars of the time. They attacked and sacked Rome, fought off German invaders, swept over most of Europe only to be defeated by the superior organization and bureaucracy of the Roman Empire. And when not fighting against an outside threat, the Celtic tribes were perfectly willing to fight one another. Burial records indicate that the Celts were masters of the two-horse chariot. Virtually all tribal chieftains were buried with their chariot, though horses were apparently too valuable to bury with their owner. Many other Celtic warriors had mounts, as well.

 

Arawn

Lord of Annwn, the underworld and realm of departed spirits

Sphere

Death

Alignment

Anarchist

Bestowed Major Powers

Altered Metaphysical Structure, Telepathy, Telekinesis

 

Manannan mac Lir

The god of the ocean

Sphere

Water

Alignment

Unprincipled

Bestowed Major Powers

Alter Physical Structure Liquid, Hydrokinesis, Reflect

 

Morrigan

High Queen and goddess of the Tuatha Dé Danann. She was a trinity; Macha, Badb, and Neman (Nemain or Nemhain), all three bloodthirsty and feared by the enemies of the Tuatha Dé Danann. As Macha she was goddess of war and fertility who could take the shape of a crow or a raven. As Badb (Nechtan) she was the water-god whose sacred well was a source of knowledge. As Neman she was the goddess of war and battle

Sphere

War

Alignment

Anarchist

Bestowed Major Powers

Growth, Harm Invulnerable, Superstrength

 

Ogmios

He was the god of genius, education, poetry, eloquence, magic and incantation. He is shown as an old man with wrinkles, carrying a club and a bow. From his tongue hang fine gold chains attached to the ears of his eager followers

Sphere

Knowledge

Alignment

Scrupulous

Bestowed Major Powers

Cosmic Awareness, Genius, Telepathy

 

Tuulikki

Goddess of forest animals

Sphere

Animals

Alignment

Anarchist

Bestowed Major Powers

Control Animals
Bestowed Minor Powers Choose 4 Animal Abilities

 

Ukko

God of the weather (clouds, rain, storms, thunder), and of the sky

Sphere

Sky and Storm

Alignment

Unprincipled

Bestowed Major Powers

Celestialkinesis, Hydrokinesis
Bestowed Minor Powers Electrical Expulsion, Flight

 

 

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