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Common misconceptions of the Ancient Celts?

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  • Searles O'Dubhain
    replied
    Maybe there are hints to be found about these ways in the surviving folklore of Celtic cultures? There might also be some techniques that survived within other Indo-European cultures.
    Last edited by Searles O'Dubhain; May 28th, 2016, 02:08 PM. Reason: typo

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  • Gaudior
    replied
    Cernunnos was a Gaulish God, though not much is known about him. There does seem to still be this idea in the pagan community that all the Celtic peoples worshiped him, and that's not the case. Another one I sometimes see is "celtic zodiac" which is a modern invention. The Irish and the Scottish did have some form of astrology, but nothing really survived in writing (if any) to tell us what it was like.

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  • Louisvillian
    replied
    Originally posted by MourningMoon View Post
    So recently a fellow pagan told me that the ancient Celtic peoples did not worship a horned god. I find that somewhat hard to believe since there seems to be evidence worship some sort of male-horned deity. Wanted to know if this is disputable or correct.
    Some tribes did. It's possible to infer that this horned deity was perhaps universal across the Celtic world, but it's not really verifiable. The evidence does point to a widespread range, though, found in Gaul, the Alps, and parts of what is now the Low Countries and Northern Germany. A large part of the trouble comes in that the term "Celt" is a cultural and linguistic grouping of many different kinds of people that lived in the European forests and plains north of Greece and Italy. It doesn't help that the Greeks played fast and loose with the terminology, since there was no kind of scientific study of ethnicities and cultures at the time. They referred to all kinds of tribes as being "Keltoi", including perhaps pre-Celtic neolithic and chalcolithic peoples. It's as broad as "Arab" and has the same problem of identity and historical terminology.

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  • Tiberias
    replied
    The problem is largely one of terminology. What is a "Celt"? Gauls certainly worshiped a horned god. And Gauls were definitely described as Celts by contemporaries (it is, in fact, an externally-applied label for Gauls). But if you're asking about, say, the Irish, or Britons, or Bretons, or Galicians, the evidence is often less clear (or not there at all) as I understand it.

    Celtic is best left as a term for a language family and modern socio-political identifications. It's useless and misleading when applied almost anywhere else, especially to ancient societies outside of Iron Age Gaul.

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  • CaeruleusLady
    replied
    I think it is disputable depending on which celts you are talking about. If I remember correctly, most or all the evidence of a horned diety being worshipped was found in continental celtic lands and/or Gaul. I think. I could be mistaken, but surely someone will correct me if I'm wrong.

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  • MourningMoon
    started a topic Common misconceptions of the Ancient Celts?

    Common misconceptions of the Ancient Celts?

    So recently a fellow pagan told me that the ancient Celtic peoples did not worship a horned god. I find that somewhat hard to believe since there seems to be evidence worship some sort of male-horned deity. Wanted to know if this is disputable or correct.
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