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Celtic Goddesses

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Defining the Term "Celtic"

The word "Celtic" has taken on a modern defintion to represent ancient history or artifacts of an Irish or British background. However, Celtic is a term used by scholars to describe a language used on the British Isles and parts of mainland Europe.

The Celts are an Indo-European people who spread across Europe in the times before Roman Civilization. It is important to note that the term Celtic often brings to mind folklore from Ireland. This is mainly due to the fact the Ireland was relatively untouched by the influence of Rome. Remains of early Celtic culture are found in Scotland, Ireland, Wales, England and even in parts of France and Germany. In terms of modern paganism, Celtic refers to deities from Scotland, Ireland, Wales and England.

Goddess Olwen Celtic Goddess of Springtime

Goddess Olwen Celtic Goddess of Springtime

Goddess Epona Celtic Horse Goddess

Goddess Epona Celtic Horse Goddess

Why the Term Celtic Can Be Vague

There are literally dozens of Celtic Goddess. Because the Celtic traditions and stories were often handed down orally, many of the goddesses stories and histories overlap each other and may have similar names with variations on the spelling.

A great majority of Celtic Gods and Goddesses of Welsh mythology have been preserved through the story of Mabinogion and legends of Taliesin. Celtic gods and goddesses of Britain have mainly been discovered through artifacts in the area and confirmed by Classical Greek and Roman Historians. Again, because Ireland was mainly left untouched by Rome, it is due to monastic scholars of the twelfth century that many of the Celtic legends exist. Monks in Ireland were well known for their translations and calligraphy. Painstakingly, they recorded the Celtic myths in handwritten tomes. Even more translations by monks occurred in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

Celtic Goddess Brigid Upper Back Tat

Celtic Goddess Brigid Upper Back Tat

Painting of Celtic Goddess Morrigan

Painting of Celtic Goddess Morrigan

The Goddess Danu

The Goddess Danu

A List of Celtic Goddesses (A to D)

Abnoba - Goddess of the rivers, Black Forest and childbirth. (Gaul)

Aerten - The goddess of fate. Presided over battles of Celtic clans. (Welch)

Aine of Knockaine - Known as the "fairy queen" she is the goddess of love and fertility. She is easily offended and revengeful. She was the sweetheart of Sidhe. (Ireland)

Airmid - She brings the dead to life again. Healing goddess of the order of Tuatha de' Danann and watcher of the spring. (Ireland)

Amaethon - Goddess of agriculture (Welch)

Andraste - Meaning invincible, gooddess of divination and rabbit magic. (Britain)

Anu - Mother Earth goddess and goddess of plenty. (Ireland)

Aoibhell - From Sidhe, she dwells in Craig Liath. She played a magic harp. Whoever heard the harp would know that death was not far from him. (Ireland)

Arianrhod - Keeper of the Wheel of Fate. Her silver represents Karma and she presides over the moon and the stars. Her palace is the Aurora Borealis. (Welch)

Arnemetia - River goddess worshipped at Buxton Spring. Her name is derived from "ar" meaning in or on. (Britian)

Artio - Bear goddess associated with strength and harvest. (Gaul)

Aveta - Goddess of fertility, midwives and childbirth. (Gaul)

Badb Catha - A mother goddess and triple goddess. Her cauldron boiled over creating life. She is a shape shifter who represents life and death as well as wisdom and inspiration. One of the three goddesses that Ireland is named after. (Ireland)

Belisama - Goddess of both the elements of fire and water. (Gaul and Britian)

Blodeuedd - Created from flowers, she is the goddess of spring. She was changed into an owl for commiting adultery. She symbolizes lunar mysteries. (Welch)

Branwen - Goddess of love and beauty. Her name means "white raven". She sent a bird to warn her brother of trouble headed his way. Died from a broken heart after the death of Bran. (Welch)

Brigantia - Tribal goddess of the tribes of Brigantes in Northern England. (Britian)

Brigid - Protector of women and children. A fire goddess. She is complex and may also be known as Brigantia in Britain or Bride in Scotland. She is a triple goddess and may have begun as a sun goddess. She is daughter to the Daghda the all father of the Tuatha de Danann. (Ireland)

Boann - Goddess of the River Boyne.She gave birth to Angus after an illicit affair with the all father, Dagda. (Ireland)

Caer Ibormeith - Keeper of dreams, she took the form of a swan and was loved by Angus. (Ireland)

Cailleach Bheur - A hag who presides over death and disease. She is the destroyer goddess. She receives the dead and her dog, Dormarth, guards the gates of the afterworld. (Scotland)

Caireen - A mother goddess who protects children. (Ireland)

Cally Berry - Linked to the Spring. She is guardian of the hunt and has weather magic. (Ireland)

Cama - A hunting goddess (Gaul)

Ceridwen - Keeper of the cauldron. Goddess of the moon, grain and nature. She is symbolized by a white sow. Three drops from her cauldron would bestow the wisdom of the past, knowledge of the present and secrets of the future. (Welch)

Danu - Originally a sun deity. Patroness of wizards and the mother of the Tuatha de Danann. She is extremely potent and watches over magick and wisdom. (Ireland)

Damara - Is celebrated in May at the festival of Beltaine. Goddess of fertility. Her name means gentle. (Britian)

Don - Mother of Arianrhod. She is goddess of the air, heavans and sea. Has control of the elements and the moon. (Welch)

Druantia - Queen of the Druids. Her feast day is Beltaine. She symbolizes sex and growth, trees and forests. She is trhe Celtic fir god and mother of the tree calendar. (Ireland)

The Goddess Rhiannon

The Goddess Rhiannon

Pendant of the Goddess Nehalennia Protector of Travelers

Pendant of the Goddess Nehalennia Protector of Travelers

A List of Celtic Goddesses (E to S)

Eriu - A triple goddess. One of the three goddess Ireland is named after. (Ireland)

Epona - Linked with fertility, she is the protector of horses, mules and donkeys. She is symbolized by horses and dogs. (Britian, Gaul)

Eostre - Goddess of spring and worshipped at British festivals. Her name is given up to Easter. Ostara is the pagan feast day. (Ireland, Britain)

Habondia - Goddess of the harvest, abundance and prosperity. also known as Abondia and Habonde. (Britian)

Flidais - A shapeshifter who had a magic cow that could produce enough milk for three hundred men in one night. She is protector of the forest and wild things. (Ireland)

Fodla - A trinity goddess. One of the three that Ireland is named after. Also called Fotia. (Ireland)

Macha - Celtic goddess of war. She is the goddess of cunning, battle and physical force. She wore a cloak of raven feathers and often appeared as a crow or raven. (Ireland)

Maeve - Also known as Queen Maeve. She is the goddess of earth, fertility and war. She was a great conqueress who enjoyed enslaving men. The mere sight of her blinds her enemies and she could run faster than any horse. It is said that she needed thirty men to satisfy her sexual desires. (Ireland)

Margawse - Mother aspect of the goddess. (Britian, Welch)

Modron - Known for magick and ritual, she is goddess of the harvest and is associated with autumn. (Welch)

Morrighan - The crow goddess associated with battle and death. She is called the Great Queen and is married to Daghda. She is a shape shifter also known as the Specter Queen. (Ireland)

Nantosuelta - Like Morrigan, her symbol is the crow. She is the goddess of streams and valleys. (Gaul)

Nehalennia - Goddess and protector of sailors. She was a dog goddess who offered protection on the water. (Gaul)

Olwen - The goddess of spring, sunlight and flowers. Her name means the "Golden Wheel." She symbolizes love and rebirth. (Welch)

Rhiannon - She signifies travel and fertility and is associated with the sea, birds and horses. She symbolizes enchantment and charms. (Welch)

Scathach - She taught martial arts and is a warrior goddess. Also known as Skatha or Scota. Called the "Shadowy One" she is a woman warrior and prophet. (Scotland)

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Comments

Corey (author) from Northfield, MA on April 13, 2013:

Thank you Kittythedreamer!

Kitty Fields from Summerland on April 13, 2013:

A very thorough list! Great job. Blessings!