The Celts were an agrarian society, hence they had a great respect for their environment, of natural phenomenon and the elements, and of the creatures who shared their sacred landscape. Animals affected every area of everyday life, from the economy to hunting and warfare, religious beliefs and rituals, in art and literature. Animals were central to all aspects of Celtic life.
48. ‘Drooping hat, Drooping-beard, Victory-father, Egger-on, All-father, Corpse-father, Attacking-rider, Cargo-god, by one name I have never been known, since I fared forth among the folks.'
In the book’s words, “I do not believe in any tradition except ‘Find out for yourself!’… Instead of asking you to believe in my interpretations, I ask you to examine them critically. I do not want you to adhere to my dogma… but to explore with an open mind in the joy of self discovery.”
On the other hand, there is a real danger of over simplification, of using the interpretatio Romano to neatly list and catagorize Deities into Greco-Roman style Pantheons or slotting them into nice Indo-European models, losing sight of the original, more complex figures.
Deities asuming Animal Forms is a widespread motif in Celtic Mythology, as it is within the myths of people around the world. Transformation would appear to be a well recognised theme.
While Helrunar may not be the most historically accurate book on the runes out there, it’s one of the most experientially valid and useful, and that alone makes it worthy of a high recommendation.
Helrunar is not as academically scrupulous as, say, Stephen Flowers/Edred Thorsson. There are several claims in here that no scholar in this or any related field would take seriously. Nor does it particularly strive to be “Germanically correct” in the way that many traditionalists and purists demand. Nor, at the other end of the spectrum of the expectations people usually bring to the runes, does it offer prepackaged rituals, spells, etc.
In the Mabinogion Math turns his wayward nephews into deer, boar and wolves, each pair producing offspring. Math then transforms the fawn, piglet and cub into human form. Donn mac Midhir lures Finn to the Otherworld in the shape of a fawn.
Shewrites from the thesis that these myths help indicate that prior tothe pridominatly patriarchal, literate cultures we know of, there werematriarchal societies.
The Goddess of Sovereignty is linked to and assumes the shape of both the Horse and the Cow, with Epona, Rhiannon, Macha and Boand been the obvious examples.
Sweyn Plowright probably has little but contempt for some of the books on this list. If you’ve found yourself having the same reaction, and scornfully muttering, “Just the facts, please,” then The Rune Primer: A Down-to-Earth Guide to the Runes may be for you.
The initial articles contain severalessays about mythological stories from numerous cultures all relating tothe idea of a savior/creator/fertility deity.
Ryan has a page on , which he claims is a reconstruction ofthe religious beliefs of people before they dispersed from the riftvalleys of Africa 100K BCE.
The Rune Primer is probably the only book on rune magic out there where the author goes out of his or her way to separate factual information from the sources on the one hand and intuitive insights on the other, and to eschew the latter in favor of the former as much as possible. It devotes a significant amount of space to critiquing some common “sacred cows” in the field of rune magic.
Putting it mildly, this is more than a bit of a stretch, but his comparisons of creation accounts are reasonablydetailed, and hit some of the commonalities that many note about NearEastern creation accounts, as well as bringing in a few other cultures.