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Irish Deities and the Eight Festivals

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  • paul
    Hi, I m reaching towards honouring a different Irish Goddess and Irish God at each Festival. I ve posted something like this before but I think I ve worked
    Message 1 of 6 , May 14, 2008
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      Hi,
      I'm reaching towards honouring a different Irish Goddess and Irish God at each Festival.
       
       I've posted something like this before  but I think I've worked things out a bit more clearly.
      Hope its helpful to someone.
       
      Do you think it makes sense? What major Deities am I missing?
       
      I realise that Cuchulainn and Finn are portrayed as human in the myths but so are most of the Gods. (written down by monks).
       
      Anyway:-
       
       

      Samhain               The Morrigan and the Dagda
          (in the myths, they have sex with each other at Samhain)
       
      Winter Solstice      Danu, (also Eire Banba & Fodla) and Finn MacCool (as the Bright Child)
          (a celebration of the All-mother giving birth to the Light)                           
       
      Imbolc                   Brigit and the Three Gods of Craft, (Goibnu, Credne and Luchta)
          (this is Brigit's festival and it seems appropriate to honouring the other Craft Gods)
       
      Spring Equinox       Airmid and Miach
            (Miach dies and is reborn as vegetation - healing herbs, Airmid creates meaning from his death)
       
      Bealtinne               Flidias and Aengus
           ( Flidias is a Goddess of woodlands and is very sexual, Aengus is a God of love)
       
      Summer Solstice    Aine and Cuchulainn (as the Dark Child),
           ( Aine is honoured in folk custom at Summer Solstice)
       
      Lughnasadh           Lugh and Tailltu,
          ( Lugh created this Festival to honour Tailltu)
       
      Autumn Equinox     The Cailleach and Mananan
          ( the Equinox sunrise lights up the inner chamber of Loughcrew on the Hill of the Cailleach,
           Mananan was still honoured at Michealmas in the 19thC Scottish highlands)

      blessings,
      Paul

    • Phillip Bernhardt-House
      Paul, I d actually re-think several of those, no matter how widespread they happen to be in common pagan culture. The text where the Morrígan and the Dagda
      Message 2 of 6 , May 14, 2008
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        Paul,

        I'd actually re-think several of those, no matter how widespread they happen to be in common pagan culture.

        The text where the Morrígan and the Dagda have a sexual encounter, Cath Maige Tuired, says that this took place at some unspecified point "before Samain," and not on or at Samain, so it's rather inaccurate to say that.

        For Winter Solstice, I'd actually suggest Cú Chulainn more for that, because it seems possible that his (first) birth actually occurred then. Óengus Mac ind Óc would also be more appropriate to this day. I don't have a suggestion for a female deity on that occasion, but the idea that Danu is the "all-mother" is something that does not seem to have existed from a very early stage.

        At Imbolc, of course Brigid would be the natural choice; however, the Three Gods of Skill are not Goibniu, Credne and Luchta except for in one text; they are usually Brigid's three sons, Brian, Iuchar, and Iucharba, and they were more likely celebrated at the opposite point of the year, i.e. at Lugnasad (in some places in Ireland and Scotland, the month-name that encompassed Lugnasad was Iuchar, after one of those three sons). Cú Chulainn would be another one that might be more appropriate to celebrate on Imbolc because of his connections with the holiday, and the proximity of his battle with Fer Diad to that date.

        Spring Equinox doesn't really seem to have been important to any ancient Celtic peoples in a way apparent to anyone currently (unlike the solstices, which can be argued for), but something involving dying and rising would very likely be good (so Miach could work)--but another candidate for that actually turns out to be Diarmuid, as he is comparable to Adonis and Attis (at least on a narrative level), who had their holidays around this time of the year (which, of course, Jesus stole).

        The idea that sex and love have something to do with Beltaine is not something one finds within any Irish sources, so my suggestion would be against Flidais and Óengus; however, if you want to retain Flidais, then the most likely and logical person with which to pair her would be Fergus mac Roich, since they do have an attested sexual relationship. I'd actually suggest Amairgen and/or Donn, and the three goddesses, Ériu, Fotla, and Banba for this day, since this was about the time that the Sons of Míl did take over the rule of Ireland.

        For Summer Solstice, Áine is probably fine, but the male deity should most definitely be Manannán mac Lír, because his "rent" on the Isle of Man was paid to him at this time of year.

        For Lugnasad, Lug and Tailtiú would be traditional; but, as previously stated, also the Three Gods of Skill (Brian, Iuchar, Iucharba).

        And for Autumn Equinox, do as you like...

        These are only my suggestions; what do I know? I only have a Ph.D. in these things.

        Phil
        _________________________________________________________________
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      • paul
        Hi Phillip, Thanks for the thoughtful and detailed reply. Good to hear from you. I will definitely take your points seriously into consideration I m especially
        Message 3 of 6 , May 14, 2008
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          Hi Phillip,
          Thanks for the thoughtful and detailed reply.
          Good to hear from you.

          I will definitely take your points seriously into consideration

          I'm especially grateful for the info on Diarmuid, also the sons of Brigit, and that there's no Celtic connection between Bealtinne and sex.
          I'd asked about that on Imbas and got no reply.

          Do you think Fionn might originally have been a Deity?
          Is there a connection  between Fionn and the Welsh Gwynn Ap Nudd or Gwion Bach?

          Hope all is well with you and with the Ecclesia Antinuos.

          It'd be good if you post about the Ecclesia on this list..people here might well be interested.

          Blessings,
          Paul



          2008/5/15 Phillip Bernhardt-House <aediculaantinoi@...>:

          Paul,

          I'd actually re-think several of those, no matter how widespread they happen to be in common pagan culture.

          The text where the Morrígan and the Dagda have a sexual encounter, Cath Maige Tuired, says that this took place at some unspecified point "before Samain," and not on or at Samain, so it's rather inaccurate to say that.

          For Winter Solstice, I'd actually suggest Cú Chulainn more for that, because it seems possible that his (first) birth actually occurred then.  Óengus Mac ind Óc would also be more appropriate to this day.  I don't have a suggestion for a female deity on that occasion, but the idea that Danu is the "all-mother" is something that does not seem to have existed from a very early stage.

          At Imbolc, of course Brigid would be the natural choice; however, the Three Gods of Skill are not Goibniu, Credne and Luchta except for in one text; they are usually Brigid's three sons, Brian, Iuchar, and Iucharba, and they were more likely celebrated at the opposite point of the year, i.e. at Lugnasad (in some places in Ireland and Scotland, the month-name that encompassed Lugnasad was Iuchar, after one of those three sons).  Cú Chulainn would be another one that might be more appropriate to celebrate on Imbolc because of his connections with the holiday, and the proximity of his battle with Fer Diad to that date.

          Spring Equinox doesn't really seem to have been important to any ancient Celtic peoples in a way apparent to anyone currently (unlike the solstices, which can be argued for), but something involving dying and rising would very likely be good (so Miach could work)--but another candidate for that actually turns out to be Diarmuid, as he is comparable to Adonis and Attis (at least on a narrative level), who had their holidays around this time of the year (which, of course, Jesus stole).

          The idea that sex and love have something to do with Beltaine is not something one finds within any Irish sources, so my suggestion would be against Flidais and Óengus; however, if you want to retain Flidais, then the most likely and logical person with which to pair her would be Fergus mac Roich, since they do have an attested sexual relationship.  I'd actually suggest Amairgen and/or Donn, and the three goddesses, Ériu, Fotla, and Banba for this day, since this was about the time that the Sons of Míl did take over the rule of Ireland.

          For Summer Solstice, Áine is probably fine, but the male deity should most definitely be Manannán mac Lír, because his "rent" on the Isle of Man was paid to him at this time of year.

          For Lugnasad, Lug and Tailtiú would be traditional; but, as previously stated, also the Three Gods of Skill (Brian, Iuchar, Iucharba).

          And for Autumn Equinox, do as you like...

          These are only my suggestions; what do I know?  I only have a Ph.D. in these things.

          Phil
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        • paul
          P.S: Here s the passage from Cath Maige Tuired, as translated on www.ucc.ie/celt Now the Dagdae had to meet a woman in Glenn Etin on that day year about the
          Message 4 of 6 , May 14, 2008
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            P.S:
            Here's the passage from Cath Maige Tuired, as translated on www.ucc.ie/celt

            Now the Dagdae had to meet a woman in Glenn Etin on that day year about the Allhallowtide of the battle. The river Unius of Connaught roars to the south of it. He beheld the woman in Unius in Corann, washing herself, with one of her two feet at Allod Echae i. e. Echumech, to the south of the water, and the other at Loscuinn, to the north of the water. Nine loosened tresses were on her head. The Dagdae conversed with her, and they make a union. 'The Bed of the Couple' is the name of the stead thenceforward. The woman that is here mentioned is the Morrígan Lamia.

            2008/5/15 Phillip Bernhardt-House <aediculaantinoi@...>:

            Paul,

            I'd actually re-think several of those, no matter how widespread they happen to be in common pagan culture.

            The text where the Morrígan and the Dagda have a sexual encounter, Cath Maige Tuired, says that this took place at some unspecified point "before Samain," and not on or at Samain, so it's rather inaccurate to say that.

            For Winter Solstice, I'd actually suggest Cú Chulainn more for that, because it seems possible that his (first) birth actually occurred then.  Óengus Mac ind Óc would also be more appropriate to this day.  I don't have a suggestion for a female deity on that occasion, but the idea that Danu is the "all-mother" is something that does not seem to have existed from a very early stage.

            At Imbolc, of course Brigid would be the natural choice; however, the Three Gods of Skill are not Goibniu, Credne and Luchta except for in one text; they are usually Brigid's three sons, Brian, Iuchar, and Iucharba, and they were more likely celebrated at the opposite point of the year, i.e. at Lugnasad (in some places in Ireland and Scotland, the month-name that encompassed Lugnasad was Iuchar, after one of those three sons).  Cú Chulainn would be another one that might be more appropriate to celebrate on Imbolc because of his connections with the holiday, and the proximity of his battle with Fer Diad to that date.

            Spring Equinox doesn't really seem to have been important to any ancient Celtic peoples in a way apparent to anyone currently (unlike the solstices, which can be argued for), but something involving dying and rising would very likely be good (so Miach could work)--but another candidate for that actually turns out to be Diarmuid, as he is comparable to Adonis and Attis (at least on a narrative level), who had their holidays around this time of the year (which, of course, Jesus stole).

            The idea that sex and love have something to do with Beltaine is not something one finds within any Irish sources, so my suggestion would be against Flidais and Óengus; however, if you want to retain Flidais, then the most likely and logical person with which to pair her would be Fergus mac Roich, since they do have an attested sexual relationship.  I'd actually suggest Amairgen and/or Donn, and the three goddesses, Ériu, Fotla, and Banba for this day, since this was about the time that the Sons of Míl did take over the rule of Ireland.

            For Summer Solstice, Áine is probably fine, but the male deity should most definitely be Manannán mac Lír, because his "rent" on the Isle of Man was paid to him at this time of year.

            For Lugnasad, Lug and Tailtiú would be traditional; but, as previously stated, also the Three Gods of Skill (Brian, Iuchar, Iucharba).

            And for Autumn Equinox, do as you like...

            These are only my suggestions; what do I know?  I only have a Ph.D. in these things.

            Phil
            _________________________________________________________________
            Windows Live Spaces – your life, your Space. Click here to find out more.
            http://get.live.com/spaces/overview
            ------------------------------------

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          • Phillip Bernhardt-House
            Hey again Paul! Yes, good to hear from you and speak with you again! While I may not be in Ireland again for a while (though I may be if I get one of two
            Message 5 of 6 , May 14, 2008
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              Hey again Paul!

              Yes, good to hear from you and speak with you again! While I may not be in Ireland again for a while (though I may be if I get one of two postdocs for which I am applying currently), I really should try and stay in better contact, and I've been getting the messages from the list in the meantime, in any case. Congratulations on your front page photo in the Echo, though!

              The passage from CMT from the CELT site is terribly outdated in its translation, I'm afraid. A better translation is Elizabeth Gray's, in the ITS version of the tale. The beginning of it runs as follows:

              "The Dagda had a house in Glen Edin in the north, and he had arranged to meet a woman in Glen Edin a year from that day, near the All Hallows of the battle. The Unshin of Connacht roars to the south of it."

              So, again, the point here being that it does not happen on the date of Samain, but instead near it. Depending on how one takes the significance of the event, that is a crucial difference.

              The Imbas list is a whole can of worms in itself...I'm currently the housemate of someone who was in at the beginning with Celtic Recon things, and who has published several books (including her most recent one, "Ogam: Weaving Word Wisdom," by Erynn Rowan Laurie--and I wrote the preface for that book!), and the people who run and founded Imbas are a bit drama-heavy in many respects. Oh well...In any case, I'm not surprised that there would be no answer, because there's a real "anti-fluffy" and "anti-eclectic" strand running through much of Celtic Recon these days, and even mentioning "eight festivals" would set off people's bells in that regard. I have nothing against people doing eight festivals, as long as it is understood that there is little evidence that most Celtic peoples did more than the main four quarter-days (and possibly the solstices...and my article on the Winter Solstice in Irish literature will be published later this summer in an academic anthology!--details to follow when that occurs).

              I am practically certain that Fionn/Finn was originally a deity; there is a postulated proto-form of his name (as well as that of Gwyn, his exact Welsh cognate) in *Windos; however, I'm fairly certain that the Romano-British deity Vinotonus is probably similar, if not identical, with such a postulated deity, as he is syncretized to Silvanus, who is of course a deity of forests, uncultivated lands, and boundaries/liminality, which is pretty much what Finn and Gwyn happen to be. Incorporating these ideas of deity into seasonal celebrations, though, is a bit difficult, since as a boundary/liminal deity he would tend to slip between the cracks, and not have one day or another for certain. That having been said, in the Welsh Culhwch ac Olwen, it says that Gwyn ap Nudd fought an eternal battle on Calan Mai (the first of May, i.e. Beltaine) for the hand of Creiddylad, and that the winner at doomsday would have her forever, so that might be one possibility for locating a celebration/honoring of him. There is no connection between the Finn/Gwyn complex and Gwion Bach, though--that's another root and set of associations altogether--at least as far as we can tell at this stage.

              As far as things Antinoan go--there was a schism last June, so that now I'm running the Ekklesia Antinoou (the Greek form), while Tony Subia and his band of nut-jobs continue to have the Ecclesia Antinoi. He pretty much decided that it was required to proselytize for Antinous, because the ONLY religion appropriate for any gay man is the religion of Antinous (as defined by him, of course, which pretty much excludes everyone but him and his immediate lackeys), and the only god that actually exists is Antinous, because he's not like any other gods...Antinous was "real," and therefore the only god one can actually take seriously. What does this sound like to you? Anyway, I high-tailed it out of there, and a small group of people followed me, and we're actually trying to build something that is useful and makes sense, in line with (and aware of) ancient traditions, and yet also open to new things, to modern revisions and influences, and to--horror of horrors--actually having a relevance and a meaning and a usefulness that is wider than just saying a bunch of stuff online. We've had a bunch of real-life rituals since that time in the Seattle area, and have also begun doing Antinoan Mystery initiations (of which we've had six, for a current total of eight), and will be doing more of that in the near future.

              But if people want further information, I don't want to clutter your list with these things; please write to me privately, or respond on this list, and I'll be very happy to share. My website went down (on purpose) after the schism, and it may go up again, but a number of other things must take place first in the meantime. I still don't have a job, and things are getting more and more difficult because of that. But that's a whole other story!

              Hope everyone reading this is well!

              Phil
              _________________________________________________________________
              Windows Live Spaces – your life, your Space. Click here to find out more.
              http://get.live.com/spaces/overview
            • paul
              Hi Phillip, Good to hear that you re preserving a positive Ekklesia tradition, and great that you might be back in Ireland My experience with Imbas has mainly
              Message 6 of 6 , May 14, 2008
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                Hi Phillip,
                Good to hear that you're preserving a positive Ekklesia tradition, and great that you might be back in Ireland

                My experience with Imbas has mainly been very good-a lot of knowledge generously shared- i didn't ask about the 8,
                just wether sex and forests were part of Celtic traditions on Bealtinne.

                I love  Erynn's writings on the web.

                blessings,
                Paul


                2008/5/15 Phillip Bernhardt-House <aediculaantinoi@...>:

                Hey again Paul!

                Yes, good to hear from you and speak with you again!  While I may not be in Ireland again for a while (though I may be if I get one of two postdocs for which I am applying currently), I really should try and stay in better contact, and I've been getting the messages from the list in the meantime, in any case.  Congratulations on your front page photo in the Echo, though!

                The passage from CMT from the CELT site is terribly outdated in its translation, I'm afraid.  A better translation is Elizabeth Gray's, in the ITS version of the tale.  The beginning of it runs as follows:

                "The Dagda had a house in Glen Edin in the north, and he had arranged to meet a woman in Glen Edin a year from that day, near the All Hallows of the battle.  The Unshin of Connacht roars to the south of it."

                So, again, the point here being that it does not happen on the date of Samain, but instead near it.  Depending on how one takes the significance of the event, that is a crucial difference.

                The Imbas list is a whole can of worms in itself...I'm currently the housemate of someone who was in at the beginning with Celtic Recon things, and who has published several books (including her most recent one, "Ogam:  Weaving Word Wisdom," by Erynn Rowan Laurie--and I wrote the preface for that book!), and the people who run and founded Imbas are a bit drama-heavy in many respects.  Oh well...In any case, I'm not surprised that there would be no answer, because there's a real "anti-fluffy" and "anti-eclectic" strand running through much of Celtic Recon these days, and even mentioning "eight festivals" would set off people's bells in that regard.  I have nothing against people doing eight festivals, as long as it is understood that there is little evidence that most Celtic peoples did more than the main four quarter-days (and possibly the solstices...and my article on the Winter Solstice in Irish literature will be published later this summer in an academic anthology!--details to follow when that occurs).

                I am practically certain that Fionn/Finn was originally a deity; there is a postulated proto-form of his name (as well as that of Gwyn, his exact Welsh cognate) in *Windos; however, I'm fairly certain that the Romano-British deity Vinotonus is probably similar, if not identical, with such a postulated deity, as he is syncretized to Silvanus, who is of course a deity of forests, uncultivated lands, and boundaries/liminality, which is pretty much what Finn and Gwyn happen to be.  Incorporating these ideas of deity into seasonal celebrations, though, is a bit difficult, since as a boundary/liminal deity he would tend to slip between the cracks, and not have one day or another for certain.  That having been said, in the Welsh Culhwch ac Olwen, it says that Gwyn ap Nudd fought an eternal battle on Calan Mai (the first of May, i.e. Beltaine) for the hand of Creiddylad, and that the winner at doomsday would have her forever, so that might be one possibility for locating a celebration/honoring of him.  There is no connection between the Finn/Gwyn complex and Gwion Bach, though--that's another root and set of associations altogether--at least as far as we can tell at this stage.

                As far as things Antinoan go--there was a schism last June, so that now I'm running the Ekklesia Antinoou (the Greek form), while Tony Subia and his band of nut-jobs continue to have the Ecclesia Antinoi.  He pretty much decided that it was required to proselytize for Antinous, because the ONLY religion appropriate for any gay man is the religion of Antinous (as defined by him, of course, which pretty much excludes everyone but him and his immediate lackeys), and the only god that actually exists is Antinous, because he's not like any other gods...Antinous was "real," and therefore the only god one can actually take seriously.  What does this sound like to you?  Anyway, I high-tailed it out of there, and a small group of people followed me, and we're actually trying to build something that is useful and makes sense, in line with (and aware of) ancient traditions, and yet also open to new things, to modern revisions and influences, and to--horror of horrors--actually having a relevance and a meaning and a usefulness that is wider than just saying a bunch of stuff online.  We've had a bunch of real-life rituals since that time in the Seattle area, and have also begun doing Antinoan Mystery initiations (of which we've had six, for a current total of eight), and will be doing more of that in the near future.

                But if people want further information, I don't want to clutter your list with these things; please write to me privately, or respond on this list, and I'll be very happy to share.  My website went down (on purpose) after the schism, and it may go up again, but a number of other things must take place first in the meantime.  I still don't have a job, and things are getting more and more difficult because of that.  But that's a whole other story!

                Hope everyone reading this is well!

                Phil
                _________________________________________________________________
                Windows Live Spaces – your life, your Space. Click here to find out more.
                http://get.live.com/spaces/overview
                ------------------------------------

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