Paganism & Neo-Paganism

The words ‘Paganism’ and ‘Pagan’ come from the Latin ‘paganus,’ meaning ‘country dweller. In simplest terms – Paganism is a religion of place, or a native religion, for example the Native American’s religion is Pagan, Hinduism is a form of Paganism. All Pagan religions are characterized by a connection and reverence for nature, and are usually polytheistic i.e. have many Gods and/or Goddesses.

Paganism is a religion of nature, in other words Pagans revere Nature. Pagans see the divine as immanent in the whole of life and the universe; in every tree, plant, animal and object, man and woman and in the dark side of life as much as in the light. Pagans live their lives attuned to the cycles of Nature, the seasons, life and death.

Unlike the patriarchal religions (Christianity, Islam, Judaism) the divine is female as well as male and therefore there is a Goddess as well as a God. These deities are within us as well as without us (immanent); they are us.

To read the rest of this article please either copy and paste this link into your browser or click on the link: http://www.crystalinks.com/paganism.html

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Images Of and More Information on Aine – The Fairy Goddess

UNtil I started doing reseach for this week of Celtic dities I did not know there was a FAiry Goddess. Aine is also known as the Fairy Queen. Here is the link for my general search for Aine: Aine – General Search

To see more image of Aine on bing.com please click on this link: Aine – Images

Áine – Midsummer’s Celtic Faerie Goddess

Áine was both a Celtic Goddess and a Faerie Queen. She has been known by other names, such as the Lady of the Lake, the Goddess of the Earth and Nature, and the Goddess of Luck and Magick. As well, there are some people who actually believe that she might be an aspect of The Morrigan.

Áine was one of the most beautiful, feminine, and powerful Celtic goddesses and was one of the many goddesses that the Christian monks sought to do away with, mostly because of her many relations with men. Because of this Aine is not heard much of in the bardic literature, but she is still very prominent in the folk-lore of the neighborhood. She is known in some parts of Ireland as the Fairy Queen of Munster. Also, in the Irish legends we find in her son Earl an archetype of Lancelot in the later Arthurian legends, while Aine Herself is the Lady of the Lake.

In Celtic mythology, Áine (“awnya”) is a goddess of summer, wealth, sovereignty, love, growth and cattle. She is a Sun Goddess and the feast of Midsummer Night was held in her honor, for at midsummer, farmers would walk through their fields and wave their torches, in the hope that Áine and her sacred fire might grant them an abundant harvest. They also burnt flowers and straw, as another way of honoring Áine, in the hope that she might grant them freedom from illness and evil throughout another turn of the Wheel of the Year. She is sometimes represented by a red mare.

Áine is symbolized by brightness, glow, joy, radiance, splendor, glory, magic, popularity and even fame. She is sometimes mistakenly equaled to Danu, because her name is somewhat similar to Anu. However, these are not the same Goddess.

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Áine, the Faery Goddess

Áine of Knockainy, Ain Cliach, Ain of the Light, Áine N’Chliar, Ain Cliar the Bright

  • Áine (ON-ya) is an Irish Goddess of summer, love, protection, fertility, wealth and sovereignty.
  • In her role of Moon Goddess, she guards livestock, crops, and cattle.
  • In her role as Sun Goddess, she could take the form of ‘Lair Derg’, a red mare that no one could outrun, in order to walk among her people.
  • Also known as a Faery Queen and Love Goddess, she has been known by other names such as the Lady of the Lake, the Goddess of the Earth and Nature, the Goddess of Luck and Magick, and Leanan Sidhe (“Sweetheart of the Sidhe”)
  • Áine is thought to mean “brightness, glow, joy, radiance, splendour, glory, fame”.
  • She is associated with Midsummer (Litha, Summer Solstice), however also has sacred days following Lughnasadh.
  • She is associated with the Sun and Moon, the element Air, the direction South West, and one of the sacred herbs of Druids, Meadowsweet.
  • Her sacred animals are the red mare, rabbit, and swan.
  • She is associated with the Irish Province of Munster, specifically County Limerick, where the hill of Knockainy (Cnoc Áine) is found.

To read the rest of this article please click on this link: Aine – Fairy Goddess

THE MORRIGAN

WHO IS THE MORRÍGAN?

 

The Morrígan is most well known as an Irish Goddess who often appears in crow or raven form, and is associated with battle, warriors, sovereignty, prophecy, and Otherworld power. Though early source literature referencing Her only exists in Irish, folklore and archaeological records suggest that She, or closely related divinities, were known and worshiped in Britain and Gaul as well, suggesting that we have in Her a pan-Celtic Goddess.

 

 

MORRÍGAN: GREAT QUEEN

The Morrígan’s name translates from the Irish as ‘Great Queen’ (from Old Irish mór=great and rígan=Queen). This name is a key to Her nature, showing that sovereignty and queenship are core aspects of Her identity and power. Some scholars have given the name an alternate etymology, translating it as ‘Phantom Queen’ (from proposed Proto-Celtic *mor, connoting terror/nightmare, or *mar, connoting the dead). It should be noted that popular etymologies interpreting the Morrígan’s name as connoting ‘Sea Queen’ (via the Welsh mor=sea) and connecting Her to the Arthurian character Morgan le Fay, are incorrect.

As one of the Celtic sovereignty Goddesses, the Morrígan has an association with the land itself, and the rulership and protection of the land and its people. Her seasonal appearances are linked to rituals of warfare and sovereignty as they appear to have been practiced in early Irish society. Archaeological and literary evidence suggests that her earliest manifestations may have been as a tribal/territorial Goddess, and that Her war-bringing and martial functions arose out of this sovereignty and tutelary role.

As the Morrígan is best documented in the Irish literature,…

To read the rest of this article please click on this link: The Morrigan

Morrigan, The Great Celtic Goddess

I had posted this in a few other forums, some of you may have already seen this. I hope this information will be beneficial and informative and perhaps she will resonate with some of you.

Morrigan is one of the great Goddesses of Ireland and is a multifaceted Goddess. She is one as Morrigan and many, a trinity as “The Morrigan or the “Morrigu”. She is a shape shifter known for being a Goddess of war and battle, the cycle of life and death, and is also associated with wisdom and prophecy, magick and the land, among other aspects.

Culture and Origins:

To truly gain a more insightful understanding of who Morrigan is, it is important to understand Celtic culture of that era. The Celts idolized warfare, and women were warriors up until 697 CE, often fighting in battle or helping the wounded. Protecting their families and their land (viewed as female) was a dominant aspect of the Celts pride and was reflected in the Morrigan.

Morrigan first appears in The Lebor Gabala Erenn (The Book of Invasions), dating back to 1150 CE, and is a pseudo-narrative of the history of Ireland that includes the arrival of the Celtic gods, the Tuatha De Danann, in Ireland and their later battle with the indigenous gods, the Fir Blogs. Interestingly, these stories were not recorded by the Irish Pagans. Celtic culture prized oral tradition and memorization, as it was an art form of storytelling. It was the Irish Christian monks, who were their descendants that preserved what they believed to be historical account.

Morrigan’s origins can be traced back to the Copper age megalithic …

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Morrigan

This article is about the Goddess Morrigan, whom archaeological evidence now tells us, dates back beyond the Copper age, and was the dominant Goddess of Europe called the Great Goddess. When I read the material about Morrigan, I suspected that there was more to her story, and that she was a transporter between life and death; a birth Goddess and a death Goddess in that she moved the soul through these cycles. Later writing seems to concentrate on her connection to death, but comes to view her, as warrior societies often do, in a way connected to their own needs (power, energy, enchantment and warfare). Some writing of course does not, she is seen as a healer, the protector of the land and the person who brings Arthur to power. I went through literary accounts of her to give a fuller picture of her, one that is I think more meaningful to many people, including myself.

Stone stelae with sculpted breasts have been discovered at Castelucio de Sauri, some with only breasts and a necklace as a marker. They date back to the Copper Age c.3000BC. In Spain, France, Portugal and England statues, menhirs and stone slabs frequently also display her eyes, her beak and sometimes her vulva. Parts of her seem hidden, then appearing, so as one looks at the pottery artefacts there is more and more of her to piece together. She is a bird goddess, an earth goddess, and her breasts not only nourish the living, they also regenerate the dead. Her breasts were believed to form the hills in County Kerry called Da Chich Annan (the paps of Anu). She is the Irish Morrigan, Goddess of Death and Guardian of the Dead. She has in these early Celtic representations, a bird’s head (often a crow, raven or vulture) and breasts, and on vessels depicting her there is a symbol for the number three. Sometimes three lines are connected and depict a triple energy that flows from her body, as she is giver and sustainer of life. Very early she is under stood to be a triple goddess, a shape shifter, a three part person. Her names are plentiful and sound like her original name.

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Tuatha Dé Danaan

Background:
After a great battle with the Formorians, where most of the Nemedians died, three groups managed to escape, and scattered around the world. One group worked hard to hone their skills and returned to Ireland under the aegis of the goddess Danu. Before their return, they had visited four great cities of the North. Falias, Gorias, Finias and Murias. In each city they added to their knowledge of science and craftsmanship, learning from the greatest sages. From each city they collected a magical treasure. From Falias they got the Lia Fáil, the stone of destiny, which roared when a rightful king took his seat upon it. From Gorias they brought the claíomh solais, or sword of destiny. From Murias came the cauldron of the Daghda, which could feed a host, however large, without ever being emptied. From Finias came the Sleá Bua, a magic spear.

Story of the Tuatha Dé Danaan:
Meanwhile, the Fir bolg had come to Ireland and settled there. A great mist descended on Western Connaught, and when it lifted the Firbolg discovered that a fortified camp had been built. They approached the fortifications, where they were met by a group of beautiful, tall, fair people. They curiously examined each other’s weapons. The weapons of the Tuatha were light, bright and sharp, and the weapons of the Fir bolg were blunt and heavy. They agreed that the two races should divide Ireland equally, and join to defend the territory against all newcomers. They bowed, and exchanged weapons.

The Fir bolg later decided to refuse their offer, and a battle commenced on the plains of MoyturaNuada, the king of the Tuatha Dé Danann, had his hand cut off, but they were ultimately victorious. They magnanimously allowed the Fir bolg to keep the province of Connaught, while the Tuatha occupied the rest. Because of his blemish, Nuada could no longer rule as king. The warrior Bres was crowned in his place. Bres was only half Tuatha Dé Danaan, his mother being a Formorian. Because of this relationship with them, Bres allowed the Formorians to impose taxes and to oppress the Tuatha Dé Danann. The Tuatha eventually deposed Bres and refused to pay the tribute, and so the Formorians prepared for battle.

Lugh, also of mixed ancestry, arrived at the fort of the Tuatha.

To read the rest of this article, please click on this link: Tuatha De’ Danaan

Images of and More Information about the Goddess Cerriwen

Here is the link for the general search I did for the Goddess Cerriwen : Further Information About Cerriwen She is an interesting goddess to me because one of the things that are ascribed to her is being the keeper of the cauldron. Cerriwen also crosses over into other cultures pantheons.

To see more images of the Goddess Cerriwen on bing.com please click on this link: Images of Cerriwen