In a time of very little power for women, female healers used their natural resources to heal and control the body and played an integral role in women’s health. When men wanted to dominate in the field of medicine, these once helpful and healing women were branded as evil and destructive witches.
She is a goddess of wild places, especially the Celtic moorlands, the woods, and the heathlands. Seeking her out required going to these wild places and looking for her in every aspect of the wild lands. Elen is in the mist in the air and in the heartbeat of a tree.
About thirty seconds after I said I wanted to write an article about the Magdalene Mysteries, I changed my mind. First of all, will I burn for this? And more importantly, where do I even begin? An article? It seems so small for the giant mind-blowing rabbit hole that I have been exploring for years. So, this may be just the beginning of a series of articles, or I will give you just enough to whet your appetite so that you can begin your journey… Which is a perfect place to start: The Magdalene Mysteries are an initiation, a true mind, body, and soul exploration, which begins with a labyrinth. I can lead you to the entrance, but it is up to you to walk the left-hand path. For those who have the eyes to see and the ears to hear, be prepared for an expansion of what you know and potentially a demolition of what you thought you knew.
In order to begin to unlock the mysteries of Mary Magdalene, we must first make an agreement that you will be curious and allow this curiosity to open your mind to wild and unlikely possibilities. If you’re here, it is likely that you already have some unorthodox beliefs, for instance, reincarnation, maybe? Reincarnation is a theory that our souls return time and time again in different bodies, potentially to learn specific lessons or to teach those who cross your path. Some believe we choose the life we will incarnate into, others believe it is karmic, and we are essentially reborn in a life we earned. Reincarnation is a fascinating subject, but we will have to dive into that one later. For the sake of this article, let’s assume you do believe that reincarnation is possible and that you are here on this planet at this time on purpose. This is important because Mary Magdalene’s story begins long before she walked the earth.
The Sacred Union
Long ago, maybe before the beginning of time, there was divine energy, and this energy was a combination of masculine and feminine, and when united, their union created life. This divine coupling has returned to this planet over and over and over as a direct reflection of the original “father and mother,” who was later renamed as one entity, a masculine deity. They were stripped of their sacred union, and the mother was forgotten. But not everyone forgot her, she was remembered in secret, under the moon, deep inside caves, in tending to an herb garden, and especially in childbirth. Our ancestresses whispered Her name and raised their daughters in the old ways for as long as they possibly could, only for Her to be forgotten generation by generation.
Those who have studied the lore of Mary Magdalene have no doubt that Jesus and Mary were not only lovers but that they led a ministry together. One that preached sacred union, Tantrika, and Magick. Those who follow the left-hand path believe that Mary and Jesus were destined, that the star which appeared at his birth, the star which the Magi followed, was a sign from the heavens that the next great love story was beginning. But why? Why would anyone believe this? We have been taught that Jesus was “perfect,” suggesting he never had sex, which is damaging in several ways. Sex and divine union are beautiful, but religion makes them ugly and sinful. We have been led to believe that Mary Magdalene was a reformed prostitute. We have been indoctrinated to believe that Jesus’s mother, Mary, was a virgin when she became pregnant. Even for those who believe in Magick, this concept is a bit far-fetched. In fact, the more we study the sacred mysteries, the more we may become convinced that immaculate conception is ridiculous or that we must redefine the term “immaculate.” So why is this taught? To push you further from finding the truths, to keep you subservient to the patriarchy, and to shame your natural sexual nature.
Immaculate conception, calling Mary Magdalene a prostitute, and claiming that Jesus never had sex implies that sex itself is dirty or sinful. The Messiah could not have come from a man and woman experiencing pleasure together because that would prove that Jesus was a man, not God on earth. Even the term “immaculate conception” implies that sex is dirty. This is some of the oldest misogyny recorded. Casting Mary Magdalene as a prostitute automatically diminishes any potential respect a “good Christian” would have towards her, even though she is the only person who actually fits the bill to be Jesus’s apostle. This smear campaign has done catastrophic damage to the feminine.
The Origin of Marys and Virgins
Consider this: Why were there so many women named Mary in The Bible? I was told that it was a popular name, but I was not told that the priestesses of Isis used the title “Mary.” If these priestesses, these Marys, if you will, practiced the traditions of Isis, they most likely participated in sacred sexuality. In the traditions widely practiced at the time, priestesses performed sacred rituals on sacred holidays, which were held at specific times and dates based on astrology, and it is quite possible that Marys conceived these ceremonies. If alchemists or studiers of Hermetic principles were waiting for a specific moment in time for the next great love to be birthed, a conception at the time of a specific sacred ceremony would potentially guarantee the birth of a reincarnated soul. It is likely that Joseph agreed to take on this pregnant priestess, raise the child and teach him the ways of the goddess…
It is also worth noting that the word virgin did not define a person who had not had sex but rather a free, independent, autonomous, unmarried woman. This is important because it suggests that Jesus’s mother actually was a virgin if we consider this from the original meaning. Even so, I will refer to Jesus’s mother as “Mother Mary” so as not to confuse you and also because the word virgin has been so deeply misconstrued. We can also deconstruct the idea that “temple virgins,” women who served in temples, were not abstinent but most likely sexually active, which was considered spiritual.
According to The Bible, which I don’t consider to be an extremely reputable source, but is widely acknowledged as fact, Jesus, his mother, and adopted father went to Egypt when he was very young because Herod the Great, King of Judea ordered the death of all of the male children under the age of two. (Most scholars do not believe that Herod actually did this, just as there’s no evidence that the Hebrews were ever slaves in Egypt. These inconsistencies further prove that The Bible and its stories were most likely lore and loosely based on actual events.) There is evidence that Jesus did travel in the first 30 years of his life. Not only to Egypt but also to Britain, Tibet, and India. If Mother Mary was, in fact, a priestess, and she believed her son was destined to be the messiah based on the time of his conception and the astrology when he was born, as well as his bloodline, then she would have chosen to bring her son to teachers far and wide, to initiate him in the hermetic principles, as well as other alchemical studies, and spiritual practices.
Mary Magdalene, a priestess whose bloodline has been speculated to be of the tribe of Benjamin or the line of the Queen of Sheba, maybe both, also had a promising assumed future. Magdalene was raised as a princess, and a priestess, a Mary. It is believed that Magdalene was betrothed to Jesus based on both of their bloodlines, but the Jews changed the betrothal to John the Baptist, Jesus’s cousin, who also carries the prophesied bloodline because Jesus was too radical in his teachings. Based on the gospel of Mary Magdalene, it is believed that his teachings included equality between the masculine and the feminine, a belief that was systematically dismantled by the religious leaders of this time.
Mary Magdalene and The Prophecy of The Messiah
Meanwhile, John was believed to hate women and chose to live in the wilderness with men only. While John did not want to marry Magdalene, he was aware that based on prophecy, marrying her would make him the assumed messiah. He didn’t necessarily want to be the messiah, but he did not agree with Jesus’s teachings of equality between the masculine and feminine, so he did choose to take her as his bride. It was after his death that Jesus took Magdalene as his wife in order to both fulfill the prophecy and raise his cousin’s son, as it was customary to take on your close relatives family after their death. Those of us who study the left-hand path believe that Jesus and Magdalene truly did love each other, and it was no ordinary love; this love transcended time and space. A love that returned time and time, from the beginning. The embodiment of the masculine and feminine union. It is also believed that Magdalene had three children, which to this day is represented by the Fleur-de-lis.
Jesus and Magdalene lead a ministry together as equals, husband and wife, prophet and prophetess, and priest and priestess. This has been stripped from history because it shows Jesus in a light that is human and that his ministry taught equality and sacred union. But still, even those who pieced together the bible that we know today could not remove his wife from its pages. Rather they portray her with a scarlet letter A, as a reformed prostitute. But still, it is she who witnessed Jesus after his resurrection. It is she who was the only candidate to be considered Jesus’s apostle.
In order to be considered an apostle of Jesus:
- One must have spent the three years of his ministry with him
- Have been an eyewitness to Jesus’s baptism
- Witnessed Jesus’s miracles, healings, and teachings
- Witnessed Jesus sacrifice himself on the cross
- Witness Jesus after his resurrection
The only person who fits this description is Magdalene. Other than John, all the other supposed apostles were not there when Jesus was crucified, but he is noted along with several other women (Mary’s mostly). And it was Mary Magdalene to who Jesus appeared to first.
The Holy Grail
After the crucifixion, it was extremely dangerous to be in any way connected to Jesus. Those who followed the left-hand path believed that it would be wise to send the pregnant Magdalene and her children, Jesus’s daughter and adopted son, away. Joseph of Arimathea, Jesus’s uncle, is said to have taken Magdalene and the children to safety. You have probably heard parts of this story. Joseph was said to have gone to England, specifically Glastonbury, with several others, and he brought the holy grail. It is believed that the holy grail is not a cup but Jesus and Magdalene’s bloodline. There was a strong Jewish presence in this area, and in English lore, it has been said that Joseph and Mother Mary had brought Jesus to Glastonbury when Jesus was young. In fact, one of, if not the first “Christian” church in England is said to have been founded by Joseph, although it was destroyed in 1184. It’s possible that Joseph, Magdalene, and her children continued their ministry upon reaching Glastonbury, although it is said that Magdalene made her home in France, specifically a cave where many believe Magdalene lived out the rest of her days. To this day, Sainte Baume is a popular pilgrimage destination. And to this day, lore in England and France puts Magdalene in both places after the crucifixion.
The deeper you dive into these mysteries, the more you find connections that may be right in front of you but are just as easy to miss. There is a deconstruction of what we have been taught, from the Claddagh to labyrinths in cathedrals and famous art pieces. There is so much to explore and never enough room on a page. I’ll leave you with this: While Christianity has distorted the love story of Jesus and Magdalene, many throughout history have stayed true to the origins and have even followed and protected the line of Jesus and Mary. At this point, millions of us probably carry this holy blood in our veins.
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning that at no additional cost to you, I will receive a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
These books are a great place to start if you want to learn more and do your own research.
Spiritual Tools to Help You Connect With Mary Magdalene
The Greek goddess Demeter, the motherly goddess of harvest and agriculture, had a daughter with her brother Zeus
. Many aspects of ancient Greek art are still evident in modern media, including statues of gods, goddesses, and even some of the minor deities that we never hear about today. There’s a reason why there’s still so much interest in these images after thousands of years: there’s more to them than meets the eye.
In the days before medical science was advanced enough to safely and effectively terminate pregnancies, women would turn to their midwives or herbalists, or witches to procure herbs that would help them safely abort their pregnancies.
According to legend, Lilith was the first woman and Adam’s first wife. Unlike Eve, she was supposedly created from the earth, who was created from Adam’s rib. The story goes that God felt that Adam could not have complete dominion over women if his only companion were taken from him, so he created Eve from Adam’s rib to serve as his partner and equal in the Garden of Eden.
Are you on a Hellenic path? Do you work with either of these deities? We would like to hear about your experience in the comments.
In many faiths, Lucifer is an evil being who brought about the fall of humankind and has no redeeming qualities. In paganism, however, Lucifer can take on different roles depending on the religion or tradition you’re practicing. In some cases, he’s not even considered the bad guy; he’s seen as another deity in the pantheon that has gotten a bad rap over time, or simply isn’t regarded as evil at all but rather serves a positive role in your spirituality.
An introduction to “Satan” aka Lucifer
According to historians, the name Lucifer predates Christianity. The word comes from the Latin for light bringer and means truth. It was applied to the morning star, Venus, as a reference to its brightness in the sky. This is what probably started all these associations with Satan. In Christian folklore, Lucifer was an angel who fell from heaven after rebelling against God. He became known as Satan and was condemned to hell where he would rule over demons for eternity. There are many pagans that have different stories about Lucifer or Satan. For example, some believe that Lucifer was cast out because he wanted more power than god allowed him. Others say that there were two gods; one good and one evil. They both created humans so they could see which one they liked better. My personal view is that capital G “God” has a big ego (as is obvious from naming himself the one true god) and when Lucifer wanted to “bring light” (truth) out, God cast him down to earth to taint his credibility. Whatever you believe, there is long documented history and mythology associated with the name Lucifer, both good and bad.
Etymology of Lucifer
The name Lucifer comes from a Latin word meaning light-bearer. The root for all these terms is based on a specific interpretation of Isaiah 14:12, which states, How art thou fallen from heaven, O day star, son of the morning! As mentioned above, it’s thought that Venus was seen as a bringer of light in ancient times and so was associated with early forms of worship. As such, it’s possible that Lucifer may have been an earlier form of Venus that was later demonized and transformed into Satan.
History and Myths of Lucifer
Lucifer, AKA Satan and other aliases, has been a popular figure in history for many centuries. According to some scholars and myths, it was one of God’s greatest Angels who represented light and goodness before his fall from grace. Later in Christian mythology it came to represent rebellion and evil. In truth, he was an Angel created by God whose sole purpose was to protect humanity. He became disillusioned with what he perceived as unfair treatment by humans and rebelled against God. Another myth comes from Jewish lore where Lilith, also known as Adam’s first wife, left him because she refused to be subservient to him. One thing that Christians do not understand about Lucifer is that when he fell from heaven he did not become an evil entity. Some believe Lucifer chose to leave heaven, to be with Lilith. Some will say Lucifer tempted Cain into killing Able while others say that Cain killed Abel out of jealousy over their father’s favoritism. Still others say that Eve ate fruit from a tree while they were both in Eden and offered some to her husband; but he declined, knowing full well its consequences. The figure of the demon Lucifer is also found within Islam, though he is not thought of as synonymous with the figure of Satan. In Islam Lucifer is associated with the sin of wrath and was thought to have been formerly called Azazil or Uzayzil prior to his downfall.
In any faith, or mythology, stories evolve with time, and it can be hard to find “truth” or consistency. I find it best to reflect inward on what resonates!
Usage in Pop Culture and Politics
As pop culture gains popularity, so does public knowledge about all things Pagan. This has spurred many positive changes, like full inclusion in society for Pagans, but it’s also led to some misconceptions. Lucifer is a very important deity within Paganism and modern worshipers have been doing their best to clear up misconceptions about him and his role in popular media.
How People View Lucifer Today
Religious and non-religious folks alike tend to view Lucifer as Satan—the embodiment of evil, a diabolical and cruel character who does everything he can to ruin mankind. Lucifer’s evil status is derived from his fall in Christian theology, when he defied God by refusing to bow down to Adam, who was created after him. In some branches of Satanism, believers pay homage to both Jesus Christ and Lucifer at their ceremonies.
Megan Killion, aka Vehemence, is an entrepreneurial baby witch, who’s spent the last 15 years kicking ass and taking names in the B2B tech world. Megan has felt the calling of magick since she was a small child and found comfort and healing in energy work. The deeper she explored the more she felt she had “finally found a spiritual home”. Navigating the complex world of witchcraft wasn’t easy and eventually, she felt driven to create a safe place for spiritual nomads. She is committed to making Coven Cloud a place where spiritualists of all backgrounds can feel safe, included, and supported.
With so many different pantheons out there, it can be difficult to know the difference between them, or be able to sort out which one’s which off the top of your head. We’re going to take a look at six pantheons in this blog, giving an overview of each and comparing and contrasting them in sets of two.
The pantheons we’ll be delving into today will be Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Sumerian, Norse, and Celtic. But first, what exactly is a pantheon? It’s a collection of all the gods of a specific polytheistic religion, tradition, or mythology. Some pantheons have less than 10 deities, while some have thousands.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at the two most well known ancient pantheons out there.
Greek Vs Roman
Ancient Greek mythology predates that of the Romans by around 1,000 years. Despite that time difference, the two religions have much in common. This will be the only comparison in which we’ll be able to make a table like this because for every Greek God out there, there is a Roman counterpart. And it wasn’t just the original 12 Olympians that found themselves copied in Roman Mythology. The majority of lesser gods and goddesses, as well as personifications, like the Fates, found Roman Counterparts as well.
|Greek Pantheon||Roman Pantheon|
The mythologies of the Greek and Roman pantheons as we know them today were both compiled in literary works. Circa the 8th century BC, Homer wrote the Iliad and the Odyssey, detailing numerous Greek myths. Between 29 and 19 BC, Virgil composed the epic the Aeneid, which chronicled Aeneas’ travels to Italy from his home of Troy. Throughout the poem, Roman gods and goddesses are depicted, and, like the Iliad and the Odyssey, the myths and legends of Rome are told.
Gender and Appearance
So now that we’ve discussed the things that these two pantheons have in common, let’s take a look at their differences. First and foremost, despite the fact that we have the tendency to assign them genders, the Roman pantheon weren’t actually gender specific, whereas the Greek gods and goddess were, and were always assigned human-like traits.
The two mythologies also differed in the way they appeared to mortals. The Greek gods were beautiful in every way. They were, essentially, the perfect representation of human-like physical traits. This was not something that the Romans copied from the Greeks. In Roman mythology, the gods and goddesses did not have a physical form. Any depiction or representation of them in sculpture, painting, or pottery comes solely from the imagination of the sculptor, painter, or potter.
Though Greek mythology didn’t place much emphasis on the afterlife – as their importance was placed on life on earth, instead of the eventuality of an afterlife – we do know that the Underworld played a pivotal role in many of their myths. Unlike many other religions, however, the souls of the dead did not face judgement upon their death. Ruled by Hades and filled with rivers – Style, the most prominent of the Underworld rivers; the Acheron, the river of misery; the Phlegethon, the river of fire; the Cocytus, the river of wailing; and the Lethe, the river of forgetfulness – souls of the dead would arrive at the banks of the River Styx upon their death. Buried with a coin beneath their tongue with which to pay Charon, the Ferryman, they would be ferried across Styx and into Hades’ realm.
Roman mythology placed much more emphasis on mortals doing good deeds so that they would be rewarded in the afterlife. As usual, borrowing from Greek mythology, when a Roman soul left its body, the god Mercury would escort them to the River Styx, where they would wait to be carried into the Underworld by Charon. There, they would go in front of Minos, Rhadamanthus, and Aenaeus, who would judge them and thus determine the next step of their journey. If they were deemed to have been good people in life, they would move on to paradise – ordinary people went to Asphodel Meadows, while warriors went onto the Fields of Elysium. If, however, they were deemed to have been bad people in life and had a debt to be paid, they would go to Tartarus, where they would be tortured by the Furies until their debt was paid.
Egyptian Vs. Sumerian
The Egyptian and Sumerian civilizations are often compared because of the fact that they’re two of the most ancient civilizations for which we still have written records. They both built their civilizations near fertile rivers – the Egyptians on the banks of the Nile, and the Sumerians on the floodplains of the Euphrates and Tigris. They also both created forms of writing, with the Sumerians’ Cuneiform being the oldest form of written language ever documented.
But that’s about where the similarities end. So let’s take a look at the differences between the two ancient civilizations.
Sumerian: The Sumerians were one of the first civilizations to develop a writing system emerging from the proto-writing of their ancestors. Their writing system was called Cuneiform after the wedge-shaped writing utensil they used. It was written on clay tablets and fired in a kiln to preserve the text.
Egyptians: The Egyptians used Hieroglyphics to document information and record history. Aside from being etched into temple walls and other sacred objects, they recorded stories, history, medical information, and rituals – among other things – on sheets of papyrus, which they made from reeds farmed from the Nile floodplains.
Sumerian: It’s difficult to pin down the exact pantheon of the Sumerians, as the clay tablets that have survived give different accounts. Some say that the original pantheon consisted only of the four main gods, An, god of the heavens; Enki, god of water, creation, and knowledge; Enlil, god of storms and wind; and Ninhursag, goddess of earth and fertility (some say that Ki was the goddess of earth, brother and consort to An). While others state that they worshipped The Seven Gods Who Decree, which included the four named above, as well as Utu, god of the sun, justice, and truth; Inanna, goddess of the love, beauty, sex, and war; and Nanna, god of the moon. The Sumerians also worshipped the Anunnaki, descendants of An and Ki, who were worshipped as Fate Deities.
Egyptian: The Egyptian Pantheon consisted of some main gods and goddesses, but in total, over 2,000 deities were worshipped throughout the land. The main deities worshipped in ancient Egypt were Osiris, god of the underworld; Isis, the Great Mother, wife of Osiris, goddess of magic, healing, fertility, motherhood, death, and rebirth; Horus, son of Osiris and Isis, god of the sky, hunting, and war; Set (or Seth), god of chaos, violence, and storms; Ptah, god of craftsmen, builders, and architects; Ra; the sun god; Hathor, “the Lady of the West,” goddess of motherhood and fertility; Anubis, god of death, embalming, mummification, cemeteries, and the afterlife; Thoth, the god of wisdom and writing; Bastet (or Bast), the cat goddess; and Amon, (prior to merging with Ra to become Amun-Ra) the “Hidden One,” god of the air.
The Sumerians: As the Sumerians were vulnerable to attack, they tended to live quite a volatile existence, their burial practices reflected that. They didn’t go to the great, elaborate lengths that many of the Egyptians went through to prepare their dead for the afterlife. Bodies were often wrapped in reed mats or placed in coffins and were buried in cemeteries, complete with markers, or under the homes of relatives in dug-out tombs.
The Egyptians: Though we all know about ancient Egyptian mummification, it was a practice that was usually only reserved for the wealthier members of society, as it was expensive and time-consuming. For the most part, upon their death, regular citizens were buried in simple pits in the desert. But for the wealthiest members of society, it was believed that the mummification and funerary process would prepare them for the afterlife. They were placed in elaborate sarcophagi with their organs placed in canopic jars placed in the tombs with them. Also in the tombs were items of importance, gold and jewels, food, clothing, and even their beloved pets. All things they would need to live happily in the afterlife.
The Sumerians: The Sumerian Afterlife was a dark, gloomy underworld known as Kur. It was overseen by the goddess Ereshkigal, and people wished to avoid going there for as long as possible. Despite being constantly hungry and thirsty, souls in the afterlife had nothing to eat or drink but dust, unless a family member visited their grave and left offerings of food and drink. Eternal existence in Kur was nothing but gloom, and souls were neither rewarded for their deeds in life nor punished for them. If Heaven is white and Hell is black, Kur was nothing but dull greyness. The only beings to avoid such a dull eternal afterlife were babies who were stillborn, who, according to Enkidu in the Epic of Gilgamesh, would “play at a table of gold and silver, laden with honey and ghee.”
The Egyptians: The Egyptian beliefs of the afterlife were very different from the Sumerians. In ancient Egypt, when a person died, they would go in front of Anubis and Thoth in the Hall of Two Truths, where their heart was weighed on a scale against one of Ma’at’s (the goddess of truth and justice) feathers. If the heart was lighter than or balanced with the feather, it meant the person had led a good and decent life, and they would be deemed worthy enough to spend their immortal afterlife with Osiris in the Field of Reeds. However, if the heart was heavier than the Ma’at’s feather, it would be devoured by the crocodile-headed goddess Ammit, “The Devourer of the Dead,” and their soul would spend eternity restless and wandering. This was considered dying a second time.
Norse Vs. Celtic
Our last comparison in this blog is the pantheons of the Norse and Celtic mythologies. There are not many similarities between these two mythologies, aside from the fact that they were created within a couple hundred years of one another, as far as we can tell. A lot of their mythologies also come to us through written works, like the Greeks and the Romans. For the Norse, there is the Prose Edda and the Poetic Edda, and for the Celtics, there is Lebor Gabála Érenn, or the Book of Invasions. From these two works, we glean much of the information we know today about these ancient pantheons.
The Norse: The Norse pantheon consisted of two tribes of gods. The Æsir and the Vanir. The Vanir are considered Old Gods, and include:
- Njörðr, the god of merchants, the sea, and wealth.
- Freyr, god of abundance and fertility.
- Freya, sister to Freyr, goddess of love and fertility.
- Gullveig, the personification of gold.
- Nerthus, associated with fertility and goddess of water.
While the Æsir are the main pantheon of gods and goddesses of Norse mythology. Among the Æsir are:
- Odin, the Allfather and Chief of the Æsir. He was the god of poetry, war, wisdom, healing, and death, among many other things.
- Thor, the god of thunder, lightning, strength, sacred trees and groves, fertility, and was the protector of mankind.
- Baldr, the god of light, happiness, beauty, and love.
- Vidar, the god of vengeance.
- Vali, who was born solely for the purpose of avenging his brother Baldr.
- Bragi, the god of skaldic poetry.
- Heimdall, the guardian of the Bifrost, the bridge between Asgard and Midgard.
- Tyr, the god of war. He decides who it is that wins a battle.
- Ullr, son of Sif, Thor’s wife, god of archery.
- Forseti, the god of reconciliation and justice.
- Frigg, wife of Odin, Queen of Asgard, goddess of love and fate.
While the Celtic pantheon is a bit harder to tie down because there were so many gods and goddesses worshipped throughout the entirety of the mythology, we do know that the main pantheon consists of what is called the Tuatha Dé Danann. The most prominent members of the Tuatha Dé Danann include:
- The Dagda, who was the chief god of the pantheon.
- The Morrigan, the goddess of fate and war.
- Lugh, a master craftsman, warrior, king, and savior. Associated with law, truth, and oaths.
- Nuada Airgetlám, the first king of the Tuatha Dé Danann before they came to Ireland.
- Aengus, the god of love, youth, and poetic inspiration.
- Brigid, daughter of the Dagda, goddess of poetry, wisdom, healing, domesticated animals, blacksmithing, and healing.
- Manannán, king of the underworld and a god of the sea.
- Dian Cecht, god of healing.
- Goibniu, god of blacksmithing and metalworking.
The Norse: The Norse actually had five different realms to which the dead would go, depending on their nature during life. The most well-known of these realms is, of course, Valhalla, The Hall of Heroes, the realm where Vikings who died in battle would go, if deemed worthy by Odin. Folkvangr, The Field of the People, is where the other half of those slain in battle would go. It was ruled over by Freya. As for the other three realms, Hel, The Realm of Rán (also called the Coral Caves of Rán), and The Burial Mound (literally where a person was buried), there isn’t really any literature on who went where and why.
The Celts: The Ancient Celts tended to believe in reincarnation, and so would bury their dead with food, clothing, weapons, jewelry, and other goods they would need in their next life. The Celts didn’t have an “afterlife” or “underworld” as such, though they did have the Otherworld, which was a realm inhabited by fairy folk and other supernatural beings, who would often try and entice mortals to their realm. Some scholars claim that the Otherworld was the Celtic underworld, but there are not ancient texts to back that up.
Here is where you’re going to see some similarities between Norse Mythology and Celtic Mythology. As was often with ancient religions in those days, maybe of their holy days coincided.
|Date||Norse Holy Day||Celtic Holy Day|
|October 31st/November 1st – The end of Harvest Season||Vetrnaetr||Samhain|
|February 1st/2nd – The start of Planting Season||Disablot||Imbolc/Imbolgc|
|April 30th/May 1st – The start of Spring||Walpurgisnacht||Beltane|
|August 1st – The first harvest of the year||Freysblot||Lughnasadh|
Though there are so many different pantheons and mythologies out there, we thought we’d give you a little head start in your research (because who doesn’t love researching this kind of stuff, honestly), but comparing and contrasting six of the most well known mythologies out there.
Did we miss one you wanted to see? Let us know!