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Celtic Mythology

Pantheon of the Gods

Creation Myth

Apocalypse Myth

Hero Myth

Ideals of Celtic Mythology

Miscellaneous Myth I

Miscellaneous Myth II

Explanations of Ideals

Professional Criticism

Grab Bag

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Pantheon of the Gods

House of Dana

Name of God

Sphere of Influence

Manogan

Unknown

Mathonwy

Unknown

Bilé

Death

Dana

Mother-goddess

Math

Wealth, increase

Gwydion

Science and Light, Slayer of Pryderi

Arianrod

"Silvercircle", Dawn-goddess

Amaetho

Agriculture

Nudd (or Lludd)

Sky-god

Penardun

Unknown

Nynniaw

Unknown

Peibaw

Unknown

Nwyvre

Atmosphere, Space

Lugh

Sun god

Dylan

Sea god

Gilvaethwy

Unknown

Goban

Smith-craft

Gwyn

Warder of Hades, call "Avaion" in Somerest

House of Lir

Name Of God

Sphere Of Influence

Iwenadd

The meaning of Iwenadd is Ireland (i.e. Western land of Hades; Sphere of Influence unknown

Lir

Unknown

Penardan

Unknown

Euroswydd

Unknown

Bran

Giant god of Hades, a minstrel; afterwards Urien

Branwen

Love-goddess

Matholivch

King of Ireland

Mananan

God of Sea, enchanter

Rhiannon

Unknown

Nissyen

Unknown

Evnissyen

Unknown

Gwern

Unknown

Pwyll

Head of Hades

Pryden

Lord of Hades

Kicva

Unknown

Creation Myths

The Coming of the Firbolgs

Who were the Firbolgs, and what did they represent in Irish legend? The name appears to mean "Men of the Bags" and a legend was in later times invented to account for it. It was said that after settling in Greece they were oppressed by the people of that country, who set them to carry earth from the fertile valleys up to the rocky hills, so as to make arable ground of the latter. They did their task by means of leathern bags; but at last, growing weary of oppression, they made boats or coracles out of their bags, and set sail in them for Ireland. Nennius, however, says they came from Spain, for according to him all the various races that inhabited Ireland came originally from Spain; and "Spain" with him is a rationalistic rendering of the Celtic words designating the Land of the Dead. They came in three groups, the Fir-Bolg, the Fir-Domnan, and the Galioin, who are all generally designated as Firbolgs. They play no great part in Irish mythical history, and a certain character of servility and inferiority appears to attach to them throughout.

One of their kings, Eochy mac Erc, took in marriage Taltiu, or Telta, daughter of the King of the "Great Plain" (the Land of the Dead). Telta had a palace at the place now called after her, Telltown (properly Teltin). There she died, and there, even in medieval Ireland, a great annual assembly of fair was held in her honor.

The Coming of the People of Dana

We now come to by far the most interesting and important of the mythical invaders and colonizers of Ireland, the People of Dana. The name, Tuatha De Danann, means literally "the folk of the god whose mother is Dana." Dana also sometimes bears another name, that of Brigit, a goddess held in much honor by pagan Ireland, whose attributes are in a great measure transferred in legend to the Christian St. Brigit of the sixth century. Her name is also found in Gaulish inscriptions as "Brigindo," and occurs in several British inscriptions as "Brigantia." She was the daughter of the supreme head of the People of Dana, the god Dagda, "The Good." She had three sons, who are said to have had in common one only son, named Ecne- that is to say, "Knowledge," or "Poetry." Ecne, then, may be said to be the god whose mother was Dana, and the race to whom she gave her name are the clearest representatives we have in Irish myths of the powers of Light and Knowledge. It will be remembered that alone among all these mythical races Tuan mac Carell gave to the People of Dana the name of "gods." Yet it is not as gods that they appear in the form in which Irish legends about them have now come down to us. Christian influences reduced them to the rank of fairies or identified them with the fallen angels. They were conquered by milesians, who are conceived as an entirely human race, and who had all sorts of relations of love and war with them until quite recent times. Yet even in the later legends a certain splendor and exaltation appears to invest the People of Dana, recalling the high estate from which they had been dethroned.

Apocalypse Myth

The Defeat of the People of Dana

A great battle with the Danaans at Telltown happened. The three kings and queens of the Danaans, with many of their people, are slain, and the children of Miled- the last of the mythical invaders of Ireland- enter upon the sovranty of Ireland. But the People of Dana do not withdraw. By their magic art they cast over themselves a veil of invisibility, which they can put on or off as they choose. There are two Irelands henceforward, the spiritual and the earthly. The Danaans dwell in the spiritual Ireland, which is portioned out among them by their great overlord, the Dagda. Where the human eye can see but green mounds and ramparts, the relics of ruined fortresses or sepulchers, there rise the fairy palaces of the defeated divinities; there they hold their revels in eternal sunshine, nourished by the magic meat and ale that give them undying youth and beauty; and hence they come forth at times to mingle with mortal men in love or in war. As Christian influences came to Ireland, they became fairies, but never perished.

Hero Myth

The Hound of Cullan

When he was old enough the boy Setanta went to the court of Conor to be brought up and instructed along with the other sons of princes and chieftains. It was now that the event occurred from he got the name of Cuchulain, by which he was hereafter to be known.

One afternoon King Conor and his nobles were going to a feast to which they were bidden at the dun of a wealthy smith named Cullan, in Quelgny, where they also meant to the night. Setanta was to accompany them, but as the cavalcade set off he was in the midst of a game of hurley with his companions and bade the king go forward, saying he would follow later when his play was done. The royal company arrived at their destination as night began to fall. Cullan received them hospitably, and in the great hall they made merry over meat and wine while the lord of the house barred the gates of his fortress and let loose outside a huge and ferocious dog which every night guarded the lonely mansion, and under whose protection, it was said, Cullan feared nothing less than the onset of an army.

But they had forgotten Setanta! In the middle of the laughter and music of the feast a terrible sound was heard which brought every man to his feet in an instant. It was the tremendous baying of the hound of Cullan, giving tongue as it saw a stranger approach. Soon the noise changed to howls of a fierce combat, but, on rushing to the gates, they saw in the glare of the lanterns a young boy and the hound lying dead at his feet. When it flew at him he had seized it by he throat and dashed its life out against the side-posts of the gate. The warriors bore in the lad with rejoicing and wonder, but soon the triumph ceased, for there stood their host, silent and sorrowful over the body of his faithful friend, who had died for the safety of his house and would never guard it more.

"Give me," then said the lad Setanta," a whelp of that hound, O Cullan, and I will train him to be all to you that his sire was. And until then give me shield and spear and I will myself guard your house; never hound guarded it better than I will."

And all the company shouted applause at the generous pledge, and on the spot, as a commemoration of his first deed of valor, they named the lad Cuchulain, the Hound of Cullan, and by that name he was known until he died.

0Ideals of Celtic Mythology

Hero always wins

Gods always try stop hero

Animals usually killed

Most Gods are women

Heroes win by outsmarting opponents

Journey usually involved in the story

Miscellaneous Myth I

Cuchulain and Aifa

When Cuchulain was in the Land of the Shadows it chanced that Skatha made war on the people of the Princess Aifa, who was the fiercest and strongest of the woman-warriors of the world, so that even Skatha feared to meet her in arms. On going forth to the war, therefore, Skatha mixed with Cuchulain's drink a sleepy herb so that he should not wake for four-and-twenty hours, by which time the host would be far on its way, for she feared lest evil should come him ere he had got his full strength. But the potion that would have served another man for a day and a night only held Cuchulain for one hour; and when he woke up he seized his arms and followed the host by its chariot-tracks till he came up with them. Then it is said that Skatha uttered a sigh, for she knew that he would not be restrained form the war.

When the armies met, Cuchulain and the two sons of Skatha wrought great deeds and foe, and slew six of the mightiest of Aifa's warriors. Then Aifa sent word to Skatha and challenged her to single combat. But Cuchulain declared that he would meet the fair Fury in place of Skatha, and he asked first of all what were the things she valued. "What Aifa loves most," said Skatha, "are her two horses, her chariot, and her charioteer." Then the pair met in single combat, and every champion's which they knew they tried on each other in vain, till last a blow of Aifa's shattered the sword of Cuchulain to the hit. At this Cuchulain cried out: "Ah me! behold the chariot and and horses of Aifa, fallen into the glen!" Aifa glanced round, and Cuchulain rushing in, seized her round the waist and slung her over his shoulder and bore her back to the camp of Skatha. There he flung her on the ground and put his knife to her throat. She begged for her life, and Cuchulain granted it on condition that she made a lasting peace with Skatha, and gave hostages for her fulfillment of the pledge. To this she agreed, and Cuchulain and she became not only friends but lovers.

Miscellaneous Myth II

Finn and the Goblin

Goll son of Morna was the captain of the Fianna of Erin, but Finn mac Cumhal, being come to man's estate, wished to take the place of his father Cumhal. So, he went to Tara, and during the Great Assembly, when no man might raise his hand against any other in the precincts of Tara, he sat down among the king's warriors and the Fianna. At last the king marked him as a stranger among them, and bade him declare his name and lineage. "I am Finn son Cumhal," said he, "and I am come to take service with thee, O King, as my father did." The king accepted him gladly, and Finn swore loyal service to him. No long after that came at nightfall and blew fire-balls against the royal city, setting it in flames, and none could do battle with him, for as he came he played on a harp a music so sweet that each man who heard it was lapped in dreams, and forgot all else on earth for the sake of listening to that music. When this was told to Finn he went to king and said: "Yea, surely," said the king, and he bound himself to this by an oath.

Now where were among the men-at-arms an old follower of Finn's father, Cumhal, who possessed a magic spear with head of bronze and rivets of Arabian gold. The head was kept laced up in a leathern case; and it had the property that when the naked blade was laid against the forehead of a man it would fill him with a strength and a battle-fur y that would make him invincible in every combat. This spear the man Fiacha gave to Finn, and taught him how to use it, and taught him how to use it, and with it he awaited the coming of the goblin on the ramparts of Tara. As night fell and mists began to gather in to gather in the wide plain around the Hill he saw a shadowy form coming swiftly towards him, and heard the notes of the magic harp. But laying the spear to this brow he shook off the spell, and the phantom fled before him to the Fairy Mound of Slieve Fuad and there Finn overtook and slew him, and bore back his head to Tara.

Then Cormac the King set Finn before the Fianna, and bade them all either swear obedience to him as their captain or seek service. And first of all Goll mac Morna swore service, and then all the rest followed, and Finn became Captain of the Fianna of Erin, and ruled them till he died.

Explanations of Ideals

Hero always wins- This is found in every story

God always try to stop hero- This is found in Cuchulain and Aifa

Animals usually killed- Hound of Cullan

Most Gods are women- any story

Heroes win by outsmarting their opponents- any adventure story

Journey usually involved in the story- any adventure story

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Professional Crticism

Mythology makes people excited. Mythology is a way of explaining things. When people know how something works or why it's there they get excited. Mythology gave gods the power to put things on earth and in effect gave an explanation for an objects being.

Grab Bag

Ben Folds Five- This band is guitarless and kicks some major @$$.

Dave Matthews Band- This band is just awesome.

Rusted Root- This band is Santana-like.

NJ Devils- The best hockey team.

Squirrel Nut Zippers1- This link won't take you directly to this Swing band's page but you'll find it

Squirrel Nut Zippers2- This is the unofficial page

Walt Disney World

Squeeze- This is one good band.

Spumco- Funny $h!t.

 

Josh Frisch is a student at West Essex High in North Caldwell, NJ. He has one brother and dog named Sunrise. He likes Ben Folds Five, Rusted Root, Squirrel Nut Zippers, Dave Matthews Band, and many others. He plays drums which he kicks @$$ at.