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Celtic Religion before Christianity

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  • Celtic Religion before Christianity

    The following passages are from my book, The Lebor Feasa Runda: A Druidic Grammar of Celtic Lore and Magic published by iUniverse 2008

    Of Tir nan’Og and the Aes Sidhe

    Long ago, before the dawn of the ages, there was naught but the depths of a vast emptiness which was the goddess Domnann, who existed from the beginning of time, dwelling alone without companionship until at last there came forth from out of the shadows of her darkness, Net, the god of disruption. And through the power of his will Net did cause the stillness of Domnann’s void to be disturbed so that the darkness became divided and matter and form took shape where before there was only space and emptiness. And into this void was born Ernmas, the goddess of the earth, and Tuireann the god of the sky. And Ernmas did lie beneath Tuireann so that she was covered by him and from their union was born Bel, the god of the sun, and Danand, the goddess of the moon.

    And the brightness of the sun shone upon the earth during the day, and the light of the moon by night. Great was the warmth and brilliance of Bel, which caused Danand to be filled with desire and longing for him, so that she was wont to follow after him as he traversed the heavens. Through her wiles she did seduce him and they became lovers. From their union was born the race of gods who are called the Aes Sidhe, and who were known of old as the Tuatha DéDannan, or People of Danand.

    Many were the number of the Tuatha Dé Dannan, and among them were Lir, lord of the depths of the oceans; and Manannan his son, ruler of the waves of the seas; and Dagda the good, who is a generous helper unto all; and his daughter, Brighid the maiden, protectress of growing things; and Diancecht the healer, physician of the gods; and Goibniu the smith, master of the forge and metalwork; and Oghma the eloquent, greatest of all bards and scholars; and Nuada, the warrior of the gods and defender of their race; and Midhir, guardian of the treasures that lie buried deep beneath the earth. These and many more numbered among the Tuatha Dé Dannan.

    Yet the Tuatha Dé Dannan were not the only children who were born to the generation of Tuireann and Ernmass, for there existed an elder race of beings called the Formoraig who likewise came forth from their union. But so wicked and malevolent were these monstrous creatures that Tuireann could not bear to look upon them, and he ordained that they should be cast into the sea. But the sea did not consume them, and the Formoraig took to living amidst the waters of the ocean, and they did travel upon its waves. And in the cold, dark, northern lands of the earth they made their kingdom, far from Tuireann’s gaze.

    And so the Formoraig being banished from the fellowship of the Tuatha Dé Dannan came to dwell in Lochlann, on account of their great cruelty and ruthlessness; all save but one named Samthainn, who in his youth was beloved by all the gods for his playful nature, as he delighted them with his mirth and merriment. In time he grew to a handsome form, but for the antlers that grew forth from his head, so that he was called Cerna, meaning the Horned One, by all the Tuatha Dé Dannan. And he was given charge of watching over their flocks in the fields and the herds of animals that dwelt in the forests of their country which was called Tir nan’Og.

    Now Tir nan’Og was an island that lay far out to sea, beyond the north winds, in the midst of the great ocean; and it was the fairest of all places in the world. In the heart of that isle spread a vast plain called Mag Mell. Broad and green were its fields and meadows, where grew countless groves of apple trees upon whose silver branches were borne golden fruits; so that it was sometimes called Emhain Abhlach, the Isle of Apples.

    Upon this fair plain stood the Tobar Segais, or Well of Knowledge, from which five streams did flow. There five salmon did swim who fed upon the nuts of nine hazel trees that grew about the well. Fine was the weather there, and age came not to those who dwelt in that land, but all who lived there did remain young and strong and beautiful.

    And those who did dwell there had built four magnificent cities; Fálias to the north, Gorias to the east, Findias to the south, and Murias to the west. In each of these four cities there stood a watchtower overlooking the land of Tir nan’Og wherein four great masters of knowledge and learning, skilled in the arts of enchantment and magic held forth. Morfesa of Falias, Esras of Gorias, Uiscias of Findias, and Semias of Murias. They were the guardians of four great treasures, and were the teachers of the Aes Sidhe from whom they learned great wisdom and skills.

    And it happened that one day Brighid, the daughter of Dagda, was alone having wandered into the wilderness, for she was fond of all manner of herbs and green things and had great knowledge of their powers and uses. And in her wandering she ventured into the realm of Cerna who dwelt deep in the forests and was master of all the animals who lived there; for he more than any of the other gods was the most wild and feral among them.

    Now Cerna had never seen such a fair and beautiful maiden as Brighid, and no sooner had he caught but a glimpse of her was he smitten with a deep longing to have her. But frightened was she of his strange appearance, for he was arrayed in rustic apparel wearing garments of green oak leaves and having antlers upon his head, so that she fled from his company. Yet did Cerna pursue her until she relented and the two became lovers, and from their union was born the race of man.

    This did not bode well for Brighid for she was much beloved by Tuireann, and when he discovered her tryst with Cerna he set about to punish them. Taking a blade forged by Goibniu, Tuireann gave it unto Brian, and told him to go forth to the realm of Cerna and lay waste to it, so that the race of man could no longer look only to their father, the horned one, to aid them in seeking their livelihood by hunting and herding the beasts which he ruled, but that they should thereafter have to seek out the other gods of the Tuatha Dé Dannan to assist them in their toils and labours in raising crops by the sweat of their brows.

    And because mankind had been conceived from the tryst of Brighid with the Horned One, Tuireann decreed that the race of man should not bide in the landof Tir nan’Og, but that they must forever dwell in the mortal lands of the earth. And for this reason their life there would not be unending, but that they should be mortal, wherefore age and death would come to them. Then did he cause a veil of mist to fall about Tir nan’Og so that it disappeared and could not be found by those who did dwell in the mortal world.

    And after this was accomplished, Tuireann banished Cerna from the land of Tir nan’Og and sent him thenceforth unto Tech Duinn, the realm of ghosts and departed spirits; taking from him his oaken staff and giving him a crown of holly leaves, saying, “Thou art Donn, the dark one, for thou hast brought death upon those whom thou hast given life. Depart now from this land and go forth to rule over the kingdom of the dead.”

    And when Cerna had taken the crown of holly leaves given him by Tuireann, the leaves of oak that made up the vestments of his apparel, which formerly appeared green and bright, began to wither and fade. Then did Cerna speak unto Tuireann, saying, “I shall not bide there alone,” and he told Tuireann that while Brighid was with him she had eaten of the berries of the rowan that grew amid the trees of his forest, and because she had partaken of them she was bound to dwell with him. Unto which Tuireann replied “Only for a season.”

    And Tuireann decreed that from Imbolc to Samhain, the goddess Brighid would dwell among the Tuatha Dé Dannan and thereafter, while in the realm of the dead, she should not be seen in the shape of the beautiful maiden that had filled Cerna’s heart with longing, but as Morrigan, a haggard old crone who appears to wayfarers as three dark birds of death, Nemain, Macha and Badb, who stand at the entrance to Tech Duinn croaking out the warning “Do not enter, keep away, pass by!”

    And so it came to pass that when Brighid went forth to dwell in the land of the dead each Samhain at the ending of the harvest season, the earth became dark and cold, and growing things would wither and fade, so that during this season the race of man might survive only by bringing death and slaughter to the beasts of the forests and fields.

    But upon her return to Tir nan’Og each spring she would go at dawn on the morning of Imbolc to the well of youth and drink the water therefrom and be transformed once again into a fair and beautiful maiden whose touch turns the grass to green once more. Then would the days grow longer and brighter, and the earth become bountiful once again; and so men would return to the plough and seek the blessings of the gods upon their crops.

    And as a reminder to all that life and death are forever connected one to the other, it was the legacy of Cerna that the serpent, whose bite is the most deadly of all creatures, should come forth from the depths of the earth each spring to bide among the forests and fields as a symbol that death is ever present wherever there is life. Yet even as the serpent doth shed its skin to be renewed, so too does new life come forth from death also.....

  • #2
    The Exodus of the Tuatha Dé Dannan

    Now it came to pass that Iobath, together with his son Baath, of the tribe of Neimheadh, had left Ireland in a journey to the northern land of Lochlann, but in the course of their voyage, their ship was blown astray in a storm that fell upon them at sea, and so their vessel was set adrift until they happened upon the fair and peaceful shores of the Isle of Tir nan’Og.

    There they were greeted by the Tuatha Dé Dannan who welcomed them and bid them to stay on their isle. And in that graceful land Baath and Iobath found a new home and did take wives of the Dannan women, and they did learn Druidry, and knowledge, and prophecy, and magic until they were proficient in the arts of sorcerery and enchantment. And by the seed of their generation was their blood mingled with that of the gods, so that their progeny dwelt in the land of Tir nan’Og among the Tuatha Dé Dannan. Gods were their men of arts and non-gods were their husbandmen. They knew the incantations of Druids, and charioteers, and trappers, and cup-bearers.

    Now the Fomoraig learned that mortal men had come to dwell in Tir nan'Og, and their minds were wrought with envy that the Tuatha De Danann had given their daughters as wives unto these men. And through their jealousy, the toughts of the Fomoraig turned to deceiving the gods, that they might lay claim to their isle. Therefore the chiefs of the Fomoraig held council to decide how they should proceed in their plan, and they resolved to send forth Elada son of Delbaeth, the most noble prince of their race, to go to Tir nan'Og that he might beget a child by one of the daughters of the Tuatha De Danann. And by the spells and enchantments of their Druids, Elatha was transformed into the likeness of a fair-haired handsome warrior, whereupon he went forth in that guise to Tir nan'Og and did lay with Eriu daughter of Fiachna, who begat by him a son named Bres.

    This brought forth the wrath of Tuireann, that a daughter of the Tuatha Dé Dannan had begotten a child who was heir to the prince of the Fomoraig, for such was an abomination to him. And lo, the thunders did gather over the land of Tir nan’Og and lightening bolts did fall forth from the heavens and the whole island began to be shaken by great rumblings of the earth so that the buildings of the cities therein began to crumble and fall, and havoc reigned over the land, whereby it was laid waste through wreck and ruin.

    Then did Tuireann give dominion over the whole of that island unto Manannan son of Lir, the lord of the waves, so that by his hand it was overcome by a mighty flood and the land of Tir nan’Og disappeared into the depths of the ocean in the space of a single day and night when the waves of the sea overtook it, and for this reason it was thenceforth called Tìr fo Thonn, the Land Beneath the Wave.

    Wherefore Nuada summoned the Tuatha Dé Dannan together in council and besought them to assemble a fleet of ships and in these they departed in haste therefrom with Nuada as their leader. For long they sailed upon the open waters until at last they reached Dobar and Iardobar in the north of Alba and there did they bide for the space of four years before they crossed over unto Ireland, from whence Baath and Iobath had come. And the Tuatha Dé Dannan brought with them four wondrous treasures, one from each of their great cities.

    Out of Fálias was brought the Lia Fáil, the Stone of Destiny, which was placed in Tara; it used to roar under every king that would take the realm of Ireland. Out of Gorias was brought the Slea Luin, the flaming Spear of Lugh; no battle was ever sustained against it, or against the man who held it in his hand. Out of Findias was brought the Claiomh Solais, the shining Sword of Nuada; no one ever escaped from it once it was drawn from its deadly sheath, and no one could resist it. Out of Murias was brought the Coire Anseasc, the Cauldron of Dagda; no company ever went away from it unsatisfied.

    On the day of Beltane the Tuatha Dé Dannan did land upon the shores of Ireland at Tracht Mugha in the province of Ulster. And Eochaid son of Eirc, the King of Ireland, had a vision of their coming which came to him as he slept. And when Eochaid awoke from his dream he was greatly troubled by it and sought counsel from Cesard his Druid.

    The Druid asked the king what he had seen in his vision, and Eochaid told him that he had dreamed of a great flock of black birds that came forth from the depths of the ocean and lay siege upon the people of Ireland and brought to them conflict and turmoil and confusion, so that the people were destroyed, yet one of them struck the noblest of the birds and cut off one of its wings.

    When the king had finished telling of his dream, the Druid told him its meaning, saying that a great host of warriors would come forth from over the sea and that they possessed vast knowledge of sorcery and magical enchantment and that they would conquer Ireland.

    And when the Tuatha Dé Dannan had landed upon the shores of Ireland they broke apart their ships and burned them, then did they go forth to Brefne in the province of Connaught and made themselves a camp there by the Red Hills of Rian. Contented were they with the land they had come to and they determined that they would make for themselves a new home in it.....


    • #3
      The Conquest of the Gaedil

      Now there lived at that time in the land of Spain descendants of Sru, son of Esru, son of Gaedel Glas. They had come forth from Scythia and after many long years of wandering had taken the land of Spain by force. And by their descent from Gaedel Glas, son of Nuil, son of Feinius Farsaid did their tribe take its name so that they were called the Gaedil. And there was a prophecy upon them made by Caicher, a Druid of their people, that they should never have rest until their children had reached Ireland. Whereby three hundred years thereafter it came to pass that Ith son of Breogan, son of Brath, who dwelt in the city of Brigantia in Spain, climbed to the top of his father’s tower on the evening of Samhain and looked out unto the ocean where, far in the distance, he perceived the shores of Ireland.

      And when Ith had seen that country he was filled with a great desire to go there, whereupon he took counsel with his brothers, Bile, Faud and Breaga, relating to them what he had seen. But Breaga sought to discourage him from journeying thither, saying that it was not a distant land that he had seen across the sea, but rather a cloud upon the horizon. Yet Ith held firm in his desire to journey there, and thenceforth he did sail together with his son, Lugaid, and others in his company, until at last they did reach the harbor of Bentracht, at Mag Itha, in Ireland.

      When Ith and his companions had come ashore, they were greeted by a host of the Tuatha De Danann who bade tidings of them, whereupon Ith asked of them the name of their land and who were its rulers, and they answered him, saying, “To Innis Elga thou hast come; Sethor MacCuill, Tethor MacCecht and Cethor MacGreine, the three sons of Cermait, son of Dagda, rule over this land.”

      And it happened that upon this same day an assembly of the chiefs and nobles of the Tuatha De Danann had gathered before the court of MacCuill and his brothers, complaining that the kings had kept too great a share of the estate of their wives’ father, Fiachna son of Delbaeth, who had been slain by Eogan of Inber Mor. When Ith learned of this, he went forth to Ailech Neid with Lugaid his son and two thirds of their company, and when they had come to the place where the three kings were assembled, they bid Ith welcome and at length they told him of the contention that had arisen between them and the other nobles of the Tuatha De Danann.

      Whereupon Ith said unto them, "Do right and be thou just amongst thyselves, for it is altogether fitting that thou shouldst maintain a good brotherhood among thee. Proper is it for thou to keep a gracious disposition. Good be the land and the kingdom thou dost inhabit; bountiful is its harvest, its honey, its fish, its wheat, and barleycorn, fair and mild is its weather. All that is necessary for you is to be found in this land." And thereafter, when Ith had said these things, he took leave of the assembly, bidding his hosts farewell, and returned unto his ship.

      Having listened to all that Ith had said unto them, the Tuatha De Danann grew jealous in their possession of Ireland by reason of the praise Ith had lauded upon their land, and there arose among the Tuatha De Danann a band who followed after Ith in great anger, so that by their hostility he was gravely wounded upon the plain of Mag Itha, which was named for him. Scarcely was he able to return unto his ship, so great were his wounds, but Ith’s companions came to his aid and brought him aboard where he died even as they sailed forth upon the open waters.

      And when at last they reached the shores of Spain, the body of Ith was shown to his brothers, and a great anguish fell upon them over the sorrow of his dying in such a way. Wherefore the sons of Breogan took counsel together with their kinsmen, the sons of Mil, and they did resolve that the men of the Gaedil should go forth to avenge the death of Ith upon the Tuatha Dé Danann. Then did the men of the Gaedil gather together from every place in each region of Spain, so that all their warriors and men of arms did assemble at one place in the city of Brigantia; whereupon the sons of Mil together with their kinsmen and countrymen ventured forth upon the sea in a fleet of ships threescore and five in number.

      Thus did they set forth, heading out upon the open sea for Ireland to visit their revenge upon the Tuatha Dé Danann for the bad welcome Ith had received from them. Donn son of Mil led them forth in their expedition, with forty chiefs amongst them as their leaders; Eremon, Eber Finn, Ir, Amergin Glungel, Colptha, Airech Febra, Erannan, Muimne, Luigne, Laigne, Palap, Er, Orba, Feron, Fergin, Eber son of Ir, Brega, Cuala, Cooley, Blad, Fuad, Buirthemne, Eblinne, Nar, Lugaid, Lui, Bile, Buas, Bres, Buaigne, Fulman, Mantan, Caicher, Suirge, En, Un, Etan, Sobairce, Sedga, and Goisten were the names of their forty chiefs.

      And when they perceived the shores of Ireland ahead of them in the distance, the warriors grew eager to reach that land and did engage in a contest of their rowing as their fleet sailed forth upon the sea, so that Ir son of Mil advanced a full wave beyond the rest of the ships by virtue of his great strength and valor. When Donn, the eldest of the sons of Mil saw this, he declared in envy, “It is not just for Ir to proceed before Lugaid son of Ith.” Whereupon the oar which Ir was rowing with split asunder and Ir fell backwards upon the thwart of the boat breaking his back, and died from that wound the following night. Thereafter his body was preserved until at length it could be buried when at last they had reached Ireland, and there they did bury him at Scellic of Irras Desceirt of Corco Dibne. Great was the grief of Eremon, Eber Finn, and Amergin at the death of their brother, so that they were alike of one mind and said, “Justice shall prevent Donn from enjoying the land of which he was jealous toward Ir his brother.”

      When the sons of Mil drew near the shores of Ireland, they sought to land their fleet at Inber Stainge, but the Tuatha Dé Dannan would not allow them to come ashore there, having held no discourse with them. By their skills of Druidry and enchantment they did cast a spell whereby the shores of Ireland were made invisible to the sons of Mil, so that three times did they circle around the island before it at last became visible unto them. On the eve of Beltane they came ashore at the harbor of Inber Scene. After a journey of three days their company came to Sliab Mis where they were greeted by a host of the Tuatha Dé Danann. Banba, daughter of Fiachna son of Delbaeth, the wife of Sethor MacCuill, was among them. And when the sons of Mil drew near the host Amergin asked of the queen her name, whereupon she said unto him, “Banba is my name, and from it this country is called Banba also.” And she asked of the sons of Mil that her name might always remain upon the island, and to that they were in agreement.

      Thereafter they went forth to Eblinne where they held discourse with Fodhla, daughter of Fiachna son of Delbaeth, the wife of Tethor MacCecht. And when the sons of Mil asked of that queen her name she said, “My name is Fodhla, and for me is this country named. And she asked that her name might forever remain upon the island, and to this they did agree. Then they did go forth to the hill of Uisnech in Meath until they came to another queen who was Ériu, daughter of Fiachna son of Delbaeth, the wife of Cethor MacGreine. And when the sons of Mile came before her, she spoke unto them, saying, “Welcome unto thee, O warriors. It is long since the prophecy of thy coming was foretold. Forever shall this island remain in thy possession. There is no country in all the world more fair, nor shall any race ever be more perfect than thine own"................


      • #4
        So, when do Frodo Baggins and Gollum appear ?


        • #5
          Originally posted by Lachlan09 View Post
          So, when do Frodo Baggins and Gollum appear ?
          All in good time cobber
          They are just up the road from here at the mo , getting in a bit of sunshine , surfing and shelias , before their next big adventure


          • #6
            Originally posted by Auld Chiel View Post
            The following passages are from my book, The Lebor Feasa Runda: A Druidic Grammar of Celtic Lore and Magic published by iUniverse 2008

            Here is a review of the above book .

            A fabrication from a man famous for fabrications.
            December 4, 2010
            By A Donald .
            The Lebor Feasa Runda: A Druidic Grammar of Celtic Lore and Magic (Hardcover)

            Without going into the saga of 'Aikins of that Ilk' I will simply give an honest opinion of the work.
            It is without proof, without citation, without merit and without any scholarly basis whatsoever.

            His description of how the work was gained (The famed landing in Scotland) is a very different tale than the one told by the locals who were involved in the incident.
            Having grown up in the very area and been surrounded by those involved and their children and having questioned those surviving closely I am completely unsurprised to find that this is yet another thing made up by a very sad man.

            Never trust an 'invaluable historical document' which is only owned or seen by a man who bribes people to plant fake proof for him.


            • #7
              Steven L. Akins ? I wonder what the L stands for ?


              • #8
                Lunatic ?


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Duthill View Post
                  Lunatic ?


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Lachlan09 View Post
                    Ah , its a self hating Latin , with a Turkish surname .


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Lachlan09 View Post
                      Steven L. Akins ? I wonder what the L stands for ?
                      My middle name is Lewis, which was the maiden name of my great-great grandmother, Emily (Lewis) Morgan.


                      • #12
                        A likely story .
                        A liar is a liar is a liar


                        • #13
                          That would be the Guadalajara Lewis-Morgans.


                          • #14
                            a well known alabama saying springs to mind....

                            "stop talking ****e and get back in your box"

                            and judging by his pic the L stands for leprechaun


                            • #15
                              But whose ancestors are they really ?
                              This creature has a habit of misappropriating anything that it thinks will further it's perverted ends .
                              A prime example
                              WARNING/Steven L Akins Errors in Research/READ
                              Posted by: Patrick Date: March 03, 2002 at 15:19:23
                              of 702

                              Steven, of the Ilk, committed serious errors in his information that he gave to others. DO NOT DEPEND ON THE RESEARCH HE HAS POSTED!!! He made a lot of erroneous assumptions. DO NOT RELY ON HIS INFORMATION. I've been researching Akin (etc) families of Georgia. After a general search of this board, I found that Steven claimed them as part of his family. NO WAY!! He ASSUMED without doing the necessary research to clarify the relations. For instance, he assumed that all of the Akins of Morgan County were of his branch. They weren't. In fact, the John Akin who died in 1839/40 actually belongs in the greater tree of James Akin the first of Henrico County Virginia. Then Steven commits an actual lie by claiming to know the birth state and dates that they were born. At times he gives the middle names of people where only initials are used in records. Considering what happened to Steven in Scotland, it's no wonder his tree can't be trusted. SO PLEASE... only use his information as a general guide and ckeckout factually anything you gain from his information. Godspeed.....Patrick

                              Re: Akins in GA, Al, Tx......