Religion of the ancient Celts. Part Two.
Today, once again with help our time machine we’ll go on an exciting journey in space and time to visit the ancient Celts. What gods they worshiped, what tales told to their children at night? To give an answer to these questions is not easy, because a lot of things passed orally, and only in the form of fairy tales and legends.
However, from what we know it can be argued that the ancient Celts had a special respect for trees. Oak was the most sacred with mistletoe growing on it, also held in high esteem were yew, birch, apple. In addition to the cult of trees are very popular was the cult of stones and rocks. In many countries, where once lived the ancient Celts, and now you can find piles of stones collected and single or twin boulders, raised above the ground. These places were sacred for the ancient Celts, but with the advent of Christianity, they often grow into monasteries. The most significant was stone structure known as Stonehenge (located in the county of Wiltshire, England).
Stonehenge like the Egyptian pyramids, one of the most mysterious structures from antiquity. Scientists, historians, archaeologists are still rubbing their heads wondering at first how the wild barbarian tribes like the Celts (who was not even written!)/
About Celtic pantheon of gods – there are a lot of them. Describe only the most central:
Meadow – the patron god of crafts and arts. In particular patron to the art of war. It is no accident his name is included in the names of many fortresses. (The French city of Lyon in ancient times was called Lugdunum – Castle Meadows)
Taranis – god of thunder. Tarran translated from the French like a thunderbolt. Taranis – steward of natural elements, the god of the sky, winds, lightning and storms. Depicted with a hammer and a wheel in his hands.
Cernunnos – another god. Patron of forests and wildlife. He is also the god of fertility. Yet perhaps this was the chief god of the underworld and is associated with the cycle of birth and death of nature. (Winter-Spring-Summer-Fall)
Brigid – goddess of love, fertility and healing. According to the beliefs of the Celts Brigitte helps women during childbirth.
Often the different myths and legends are mentioned many names of gods, which are actually one and the patrons of himself, it gives the opportunity to seriously get lost in Celtic mythology. Also among the numerous hosts of the gods mentioned an interesting god named Dis. And the interesting fact that the Celts called him “the god of gods.” This makes it possible to speculate that the beliefs of the ancient Celts may have been not only in one God, and all the many gods are simply different manifestations of Him. (In general, the same can be said about any pagan religion)
Interesting were the Celts beliefs about the afterlife. Namely, the Celts, like the Hindus believed in reincarnation – the doctrine that the death of the body the soul does not die, and the newly are born on the earth in another body. Reincarnation is mentioned in many Celtic myths, and it is worth noting that the Celtic belief in reincarnation was so strong that they even borrowed money to each other in order to bring them back (money) in the next life. (That would be fine if our banks were lending money such way).