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Gods of the Celts

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Wondering about some of the major deities of the ancient Celtic world? Although the Celts consisted of societies all over the British Isles and parts of Europe, some of their gods and goddesses have become a part of modern Pagan practice. Here are some of the deities honored by the ancient Celtic peoples.
 

Brighid, Hearth Goddess of Ireland

Image © Dougal Waters/Getty Images

A daughter of the Dagda, Brighid is one of the classic triple goddesses of the Celtic pantheon. Many Pagans and Wiccans honor her today as a goddess of the hearth and home, and divination and prophecy.
 

Cailleach, Ruler of Winter

Image © Paul Souders/Getty Images 2006

Cailleach is known in parts of the Celtic world as the hag, the bringer of storms, the Dark Mother of the winter months. However, she features prominently in mythology and is also a creator goddess.
 

Cernunnos, Wild God of the Forest

Image courtesy National Museum, Copenhagen

Cernunnos is the horned god found in many traditions of modern Paganism and Wicca. He is an archetype found predominantly in Celtic regions, and symbolizes fertility and masculine energy.
 

Cerridwen, Keeper of the Cauldron

Image © Getty Images

Cerridwen is known in Welsh mythology as the keeper of the Cauldron of the Underworld in which knowledge and inspiration are brewed. She is considered a goddess of prophetic powers, and because her symbol is the Cauldron, she is an honored goddess in many Wiccan and Pagan traditions.
 

The Dagda, Father God of Ireland

Image © Frank Krahmer/Getty Images

The Dagda was a father god of the Celtic pantheon, and plays an important role in the stories of the Irish invasions. Learn about the Dagda, and how he ended up making himself lose his own power.
 

Herne, God of the Wild Hunt

Image (c) Tom Shaw/Getty Images 2007

In British lore, Herne the Hunter is a god of vegetation, vine, and the wild hunt. Similar in many aspects to Cernunnos, Herne is celebrated in the autumn months, when the deer go into rut. He is seen as a god of the common folk, and is typically recognized only around the Windsor Forest area of Berkshire, England.
 

Lugh, Master of Skills

Image (c) Arthur Aubrey/Getty Images

Lugh is the Celtic god honored for his skills and gifts as a craftsman. He is the god of blacksmiths, metal-workers and artisans. In his aspect as a harvest god, he is honored on August 1, on the festival known as Lughnasadh or Lammas.
 

The Morrighan, Goddess of War and Sovereignty

Image © John Foxx/Getty Images

The Morrighan is known as a Celtic war goddess, but there's a lot more to her than that. Learn about this ancient patron of Celtic warriors, and why some Pagans still pay her tribute today.
 

Rhiannon, Horse Goddess of Wales

Image © Getty Images

In the Welsh mythological cycle, the Mabinogion, Rhiannon is known as a goddess of the horse. However, she also plays a crucial role in the kingship of Wales.
 

Taliesin, Chief of the Bards

Image © Getty Images

Although Taliesin is a documented historical figure in Welsh history, he has managed to become elevated to the status of a minor god. Learn why this patron of bards and poets is so important in Welsh myth cycles.
 

Sheela-na-Gig

SheelaNaGig.jpg
Image (c) Robert Welch/Getty Images; Licensed to About.com
Although not an official goddess in Celtic myth and legend, this mysterious carving is found in many forms all over the United Kingdom and Ireland, and some scholars suspect a connection to fertility rituals. Who is the Sheela?

 

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