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Green Man photograph © 2001 Robin Simpson

Deities of the Pagan Celts

A
Aine: Goddess of love and fertility, later known as an Irish fairy queen.
Airmid: A healing goddess of the Irish Tuatha de Danann, goddess of medicinal plants and keeper of the spring that brings the dead back to life.
Amaethon: The Welsh god of agriculture.
Arianrhod: Celtic earth goddess. Daughter and/or wife of Don, sister of Gwydion.
B
Belenus: Gallic god of light; The Shining One, associated with Apollo. Married to Belisama. Belenus was the most widely worshipped Celtic God. Belenus is in charge of the welfare of sheep and cattle. Corresponds with Irish God Bile. The Feast of Beltane means 'Fire of Bel'.
Belisama: Corresponds to classical Minerva. Gallic goddess of light and fire, forging and craft.
Belatu-Cadros (Belatucadros): The Welsh god of war and of the destruction of enemies. His name means fair shining one. The Romans equated him with their god Mars.
Bile: Irish God which corresponds with Gallic Belenius.
Bran: ("Raven") son of Llyr and Penarddun, and brother of Branwen and the sea god Manawydan, and half brother Nisien and Efnisien. He is a hero god and perhaps also the god of poetry and the underworld.
Branwen: Welsh goddess of love and beauty. Sister of Bran the Blessed and Manannan mac Lir, daughter of Lir, and wife of the Irish king Matholwch. After the death of her brother Bran, due to a war caused by her husband, Branwen died of a broken heart. She corresponds with Aphrodite and Venus.
Brigit (Bridget, Brighid, Brigindo): Brigit is the Irish-Celtic goddess of healing and fertility, patroness of smiths, poets and doctors, symbolized by a white swan. She is the daughter of The Dagda, the deity of the Tuatha de Danaan, one of the most ancient people of Northern Europe. Brigit is wife of Bres, king of the gods and Ireland. Her festival is that of the Imbolc, observed on February 1. In Kildare, Ireland, she was served by a female priesthood. Brigit shares attributes with the ancient Greek triple goddess Hecat. The pre-Christian Brigantes, from where her name derives, honored her as identical to Juno, Queen of Heaven. So well loved was Brigit, that she was made into a Christian saint when the Celts turned to Christianity.
C
Caridwen: Mother of Taliesen, greatest and wisest of all the bards, therefore she is patron of poets. Caridwen corresponds with Brigit. She is connected with wolves, and some believe that her cult dates to the Neolithic era. Originally a corn goddess.
Cernunnos: "The Horned One" is a Celtic god of fertility, life, animals, wealth, and the underworld. He was worshipped all over Gaul, and his cult spread into Britain as well. Cernunnos is depicted with the antlers of a stag, sometimes carries a purse filled with coin. The Horned God is born at the winter solstice, marries the Goddess at Beltane, and dies at the summer solstice. He alternates with the Goddess of the moon in ruling over life and death, continuing the cycle of death, rebirth and reincarnation. Paleolithic cave paintings found in France that depict a stag standing upright or a man dressed in stag costume seem to indicate that Cernunnos's origins date to those times. Romans sometimes portrayed him with three cranes flying above his head.
Children of Don: One of the rival dynasties of Welsh mythology, and equated with the Tuatha de Danaan of Ireland, the Children of Don includes Gwydion, a warrior magician, and Aranrhod, sky goddess and symbol of fertility. Their sons were Dylan, associated with the sea, and Lleu Llaw Gyffes.
Children of Llyr: Bendigeidfran, Branwen and Manawydan, who appear in the story of 'Branwen Daughter of Llyr'.
D
Dagda (Dagde, Dagodevas): The Irish Celtic God of the Earth and Father God. On New Years Day Dagda mates with his wife the raven Morrigan. His attributes are a bottomless cauldron of plenty and a harp with which he rules the seasons. His club can kill as well as restore life. As leader of the Tuatha De Danaan, Dagda is a fearsome warrior and skilled artisan.
Danu: Danu is considered to be the mother of The Dagda, god of the Tuatha de Danaan. She most likely existed in an earlier form as Anu, Universal Mother.
Dewi: An old Welsh god. The official emblem of Wales, a red dragon, is derived from the Great Red Serpent that once represented the god Dewi.
Dylan: Welsh sea god, brother of Lleu.
E
Epona: The Goddess of horses, mules, and cavalrymen. She was worshipped throughout Gaul, and as far as the Danube and Rome. Her cult was eventually adopted by the Roman army and they spread her worship wherever they went. Epona is depicted sitting side saddle or lying on a horse, or standing with multiple horses around her. Her symbol is the cornucopia which suggests that she could (originally) have been a fertility goddess. She is also identified with the Celtic goddess Edain.
F
Fomorians (Fomors): In Irish-Celtic mythology, the Fomorians are a race of demonic giants, the original occupants of Ireland. The Tuatha de Danann, the Irish race of gods, arrived and destroyed the Fomorian hold over Ireland for good in the second battle of Mag Tuireadh. The Fomorians were given the province of Connacht, and were allowed to marry some of the Tuatha de Danann. The king of the Fomorians is the one-eyed Balor.
G
Gwydion: Welsh warrior and magician god. By his sister Arianrhod he fathered Lleu and Dylan.
L
Lleu: Brother of Dylan, son of Arianrhod and Gwydion. Welsh hero god who corresponds with the Irish Lugh. His festival, Lugnasad (later called Lammas), was held on the first day of August.
Lugh: This Celtic deity was worshipped during the 30 day midsummer feast in Ireland, where sexual magic ensured ripening of the crops and a prosperous harvest. He is linked with the nature goddess variously named Tailltu, Machta or Rosmerta in Gaul. His animal totems are the raven and the lynx, and he corresponds with the Roman God Mercury.
M
Morrigan: Morrigan was the Gallic goddess of war and death who could take the shape of a crow or raven. She is associated with the sometimes frightening aspects of female energy, and is wife to Dagda. As one aspect of the Celtic triple goddess, Morrigan is seen washing bloody laundry prior to battle by those destined to die.
N
Nantosuelta (Nantosvelta): Consort of the Gallic god Sucellus, she is possibly a goddess of nature, valleys and streams. Her symbol, the raven, suggests that she may be associated with Irish war-goddess Morrigan.
O
Ogma: Irish deity sometimes associated with the Greek Heracles, he is a great warrior and commonly seen carrying his club. God of eloquence and enlightenment.
Ogmios: A Gallic hero god, he has gold chains that hang from his tongue attached to the ears of his followers. Patron god of scholars and eloquence, Ogmios is credited with inventing the runic language of the Druids. He is represented as an old man, with a bald head, and dressed in a lion skin. His Irish counterpart is Ogma.
P
Pwyll: Prince of Dyfed (southwest Wales) who marries the Goddess Rhiannon and fathers a son Pryderi.
R
Rhiannon: Believed to be the Welsh counterpart of Gallic horse goddess Epona. Her son, Pryderi, succeeded his father Pwyll as the ruler of Dyfed and of the otherworld.
Rosmerta: A Celtic goddess of fertility and wealth, whose cult was widely spread in Gaul. She is the wife of the god Esus. She carries a cornucopia and a stick with two snakes.
S
Sidhe: Ancient Irish hill people believed to be the spirits of the dead.
Smertrios: Gallic war deity.
Sucellus: Gallic guardian of forests and the patron of agriculture. Often seen with a great hammer and a dog by his side, he ferries the dead to the otherworld. His name means 'good striker'.
T
Taranis: His symbols are the wheel and the lightning flash, and his name means 'Thunderer'. This Gallic god is sometimes identified with Jupiter.
Teutates: Teutates is an ancient Celtic god of war, fertility and wealth worshipped in Gaul. His name means "the god of the tribe". Human sacrifices were made in his name. Teutates is the equivalent of the Roman god Mars.
Tuatha De Danann: ("People of the goddess Danu") The Irish race of gods, founded by the goddess Danu. These gods, had perfected the use of magic. From the legends of the Tuatha De Danaans we learn that these were deities of learning, magical skills, arts and crafts. The three things that they revered above all others were: the plough, the hazel and the sun.

Additional Resources: For a comprehensive listing of Celtic deities visit A Celtic Pantheon.