Gods of the Celts

Wondering about some of the major deities of the ancient Celtic world? Although the Celts consisted of societies all over the British Isles and parts of Europe, some of their gods and goddesses have become a part of modern Pagan practice. Here are some of the deities honored by the ancient Celtic peoples.

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A daughter of the Dagda, Brighid is one of the classic triple goddesses of the Celtic pantheon. Many Pagans honor her today as a goddess of the hearth and home, and of divination and prophecy. She's often associated with the Imbolc sabbat, as well as with fire, domesticity, and family life.

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Cailleach is known in parts of the Celtic world as the hag, the bringer of storms, the Dark Mother of the winter months. However, she features prominently in mythology and is not just a destroyer, but also a creator goddess.

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Cernunnos, the Horned God, is featured on the Gundestrup Cauldron. He symbolizes fertility and the masculine aspects of Deity. Image by Print Collector/Hulton Archive/ Getty Images

Cernunnos is the horned god found in many traditions of modern Paganism and Wicca. He is an archetype found predominantly in Celtic regions, and symbolizes fertility and masculine energy. Often celebrated around the Beltane sabbat, Cernunnos is associated with the forest, the greening of the earth, and wild stags.

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Cerridwen is the keeper of the cauldron of wisdom. Image by emyerson/E+/Getty Images

Cerridwen is known in Welsh mythology as the keeper of the Cauldron of the Underworld in which knowledge and inspiration are brewed. She is considered a goddess of prophetic powers, and because her symbol is the Cauldron, she is an honored goddess in many Wiccan and Pagan traditions.

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The Dagda was a father god of the Celtic pantheon, and plays an important role in the stories of the Irish invasions. Learn about the Dagda, and how he ended up making himself lose his own power.

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The stag appears in some Wiccan and Pagan traditions. Image by Sallycinnamon/Moment Open/Getty Images

In British lore, Herne the Hunter is a god of vegetation, vine, and the wild hunt. Similar in many aspects to Cernunnos, Herne is celebrated in the autumn months, when the deer go into rut. He is seen as a god of the common folk, and is typically recognized only around the Windsor Forest area of Berkshire, England.

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Lugh is the patron god of blacksmiths and artisans. Image by John Burke/Taxi/Getty Images

Lugh is the Celtic god honored for his skills and gifts as a craftsman. He is the god of blacksmiths, metal-workers and artisans. In his aspect as a harvest god, he is honored on August 1, on the festival known as Lughnasadh or Lammas. Lugh is associated with craftsmanship and skill, particularly in endeavors involving creativity.

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Call upon the Morrighan to protect your home from invading trespassers. Image by Renee Keith/Vetta/Getty Images

The Morrighan is known as a Celtic war goddess, but there's a lot more to her than that. She's associated with rightful kingship, and the sovereignty of the land. Learn about this ancient patron of Celtic warriors, and why some Pagans still pay her tribute today.

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In the Welsh mythological cycle, the Mabinogion, Rhiannon is known as a goddess of the horse. However, she also plays a crucial role in the kingship of Wales.

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Taliesin is the patron of bards and troubadours. Image by Cristian Baitg/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images

Although Taliesin is a documented historical figure in Welsh history, he has managed to become elevated to the status of a minor god. Learn why this patron of bards and poets is so important in Welsh myth cycles.

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Although not an official goddess in Celtic myth and legend, this mysterious carving is found in many forms all over the United Kingdom and Ireland, and some scholars suspect a connection to fertility rituals. Who is the Sheela? Let's take a look at why Sheela-na-Gig may be important.