Celtic paganism, also known as Celtic polytheism, is an ancient spiritual tradition that was practiced by the Celtic people before the arrival of Christianity. This form of paganism was prevalent across Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and other regions in Western Europe from prehistoric times until the early Middle Ages. Although much of the knowledge about Celtic paganism has been lost over time, archaeology, folklore, and ancient texts offer valuable insights into the beliefs and practices of the Celts in their quest to understand the divine.
One key aspect of Celtic paganism was the belief in a pantheon of deities. The Celtic gods and goddesses, often associated with natural elements, played a significant role in the lives of the Celts. They were seen as powerful beings who could influence various aspects of life, including fertility, war, craftsmanship, and healing. Some of the most well-known deities of Celtic paganism include Dagda, the god of abundance and wisdom, Morrigan, the goddess of war and fate, Brigid, the goddess of poetry and healing, and Cernunnos, the god of nature and fertility.
Celtic paganism also involved the veneration of nature, with many Celts considering sacred sites such as rivers, mountains, and forests as places of immense spiritual power. The Celtic festivals, known as fire festivals, were closely tied to the cycles of nature and marked significant events throughout the year, such as the solstices and equinoxes. One popular fire festival was Beltane, celebrated on May 1st, which symbolized the beginning of summer and the fertility of the land. Imbolc, celebrated on February 1st, marked the arrival of spring and paid homage to the goddess Brigid. These festivals often involved rituals, feasting, bonfires, and community gatherings to honor the deities and seek their blessings.
Lilly DupresOwner & Author
Lilly Dupres, a lifelong practitioner of paganism, established Define Pagan to offer a clear definition of paganism and challenge misconceptions surrounding modern pagan lifestyles.