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Ancient Gods

in its narrow sense or a much broader sense. Some scholars restrict it to the Indo-European language family, which, in antiquity, included the Celtic dialects spoken in the region from Ireland to Romania, as well as in the central Turkish region of Galatia. Gaulish was the most ancient Celtic language in which many many inscriptions are written. Whereas, in addition to its linguistic meaning, other scholars give the term Celtic a cultural dimension. They say that Celtic refers to an ethnic group of people who share language, culture and a commonplace of origin as well.

Ancient Gods

Manannán mac Lir is the Irish sea god. In Celtic, Manannán mac Lir means Manannán, Son of the Sea. It is alleged that the name of the Isle of Man, located in the Irish Sea between England and Ireland, was derived from his name and that he had a throne on the island. His throne extended above the waves of the Irish Sea. He would ride over the waves in his splendid chariot that was called the Wave-Sweeper, wearing impenetrable armour and carrying an undefeatable sword. The Irish sea god ruled an island paradise, provided crops and protected the sailors. He offered meat from his swine, which was killed and then came back to life, to the other gods, making them immortal. He also had an invisibility helmet as well as a gigantic magic coat which served as an allegory for the sea. The coat could also change its colours to the different shades of the sea- golden in the sunlight, silver in the moonlight, blue or black as in the ocean depths, and white when like the crashing waves on the shore.

The earth-mother goddess was honoured and given various names from eastern Europe to Ireland. Alternative spellings for her name are Anu and Dana. She was believed to be the goddess of fertility, wisdom and wind. She was identified as the mother of the gods and was believed to have suckled the gods. Goddess Danu was known from the Tuatha de Danann who were men of the goddess Dana or Danu and were named after her, as referred to earlier in the article on Fairy Glen. Celtic goddess Danu, The Flowing One, besides giving her name to the Tuatha de Danann, the tribe of Irish deities and magical heroes, but also to the Danube River, the second longest river in Europe.

Ancient gods identified with other gods from different epochs. Teutates was identified with both the Roman god Mercury (Greek Hermes) and the god Mars (Greek Ares). He was mentioned by Lucan, a Roman poet, in his Pharsalia, among three Celtic deities, in the first century CE. The other two were Esus (i.e. Lord) and Taranis (i.e. Thunderer). He was considered one of this triad, each associated with a different sacrificial rite. He was also mentioned as Toutates in dedications in Britain.

Greeks believed in the existence of numerous gods and goddesses to whom they performed rituals and sacrifices. Through these rituals and sacrifices, the gods and goddesses received their due. So many myths existed concerning gods and rituals, in which Greek religion is manifested. Greek deities personalized every aspect of the world, natural and cultural. We find gods and goddesses of earth, sea, mountains, and rivers. Greeks offered sacrifices to the gods to have their divine support in war and times of crisis. From that we can deduce the hierarchy of power and excellence between the gods and mortals, the gods being superior of high status, while the mortals being inferior to the gods, having lower status. Both sides did not accept any attempt by an inferior to move higher on the scale.

The supreme deity in Greek religion and king of the Olympian gods, whose throne is placed on Mount Olympus. He was a god of sky and weather like the Roman god Jupiter in Roman religion who is etymologically identical. The name Zeus comes from the name of the sky god Dyaus of the ancient Hindu Rigveda, the oldest of the sacred books of Hinduism composed in c. 1500 BCE. Besides controlling the weather, Zeus offered signs and omens. He maintained justice among gods and mortals. His traditional weapon was the thunderbolt.

He was one of the few gods that had the same name in both Roman and Greek mythology, although he was mainly known in Greek mythology as the god of light, while Roman mythology focused on him as the god of prophecy and healing.

In art, Apollo was represented as a beardless youth, either naked or robed. Distance, death, terror, and awe were summed up in his symbolic bow. A gentler side of his nature, however, was shown in his other attribute, the lyre, which proclaimed the joy of communion with Olympus (the home of the gods) through music, poetry, and dance.

This Norse deity is also called Wodan, Woden, or Wotan. Odin, known as the All-Father, was ranked above all the other gods, goddesses and people living in Asgard, the dwelling place of the gods in Norse mythology as the Greek Mount Olympus in Greek mythology, where his throne is situated as the highest of Asgard. Odin was unprecedentedly wise. He was the leader and protector of Norse princes and heroes. He watched over the whole world from his throne which was known as Hlidskjalf. He had two wolves by his side: Geri and Freki. They were sacred to him and he trusted them. He also had two ravens: Hugin and Munin (i.e. Thought and Memory) which reported to Odin events of the world daily.

Virgin goddess of the hunt, wilderness, animals, the Moon and young girls. Both she and Apollo are archery gods. She is the daughter of Zeus and Leto, and twin sister of Apollo. In art she is often depicted as a young woman dressed in a short knee-length chiton and equipped with a silver hunting bow and a quiver of arrows. Her attributes include hunting knives and spears, animal pelts, deer and other wild animals. Her sacred animal is a deer. Her Roman counterpart is Diana.[4]

God of fire, metalworking, and crafts. Either the son of Zeus and Hera or Hera alone, he is the smith of the gods and the husband of the adulterous Aphrodite. He was usually depicted as a bearded, crippled man with hammer, tongs, and anvil, and sometimes riding a donkey. His sacred animals include the donkey, the guard dog, and the crane. Among his creations was the armor of Achilles. Hephaestus used the fire of the forge as a creative force, but his Roman counterpart Vulcan was feared for his destructive potential and associated with the volcanic power of the earth.

Queen of the gods, and goddess of women, marriage, childbirth, heirs, kings, and empires. She is the goddess of the sky, the wife and sister of Zeus, and the daughter of Cronus and Rhea. She was usually depicted as a regal woman in the prime of her life, wearing a diadem and veil and holding a lotus-tipped staff. Although she is the goddess of marriage, Zeus's many infidelities drive her to jealousy and vengefulness. Her sacred animals include the heifer, the peacock, and the cuckoo. Her Roman counterpart is Juno.

God of boundaries, travel, trade, communication, language, writing, cunning and thieves. Hermes was also responsible for protecting livestock and presided over the spheres associated with fertility, music, luck, and deception.[9] The son of Zeus and Maia, Hermes is the messenger of the gods, and a psychopomp who leads the souls of the dead into the afterlife. He was depicted either as a handsome and athletic beardless youth, or as an older bearded man. His attributes include the herald's wand or caduceus, winged sandals, and a traveler's cap. His sacred animals include the tortoise. His Roman counterpart is Mercury.

Virgin goddess of the hearth, home, domesticity and chastity. She is a daughter of Rhea and Cronus, and a sister of Zeus. Not often identifiable in Greek art, she appeared as a modestly veiled woman. Her symbols are the hearth and kettle. She plays little role in Greek myths, and although she is omitted in some lists of the twelve Olympians in favour of Dionysus, no ancient tale tells of her abdicating or giving her seat to Dionysus.[10] Her Roman counterpart Vesta, however, was a major deity of the Roman state.

Queen of the Underworld, wife of Hades and daughter of Demeter and Zeus. Her symbols include the pomegranate, grain, torches, wheat and the asphodelus. After her abduction by Hades, she was forced to split the year between the world of the dead with her husband and the world of the living with her mother. She was worshipped in conjunction with Demeter, especially in the Eleusinian Mysteries. In ancient art she is usually depicted as a young woman, usually in the scene of her abduction.

King of the gods, ruler of Mount Olympus, and god of the sky, weather, thunder, lightning, law, order, and justice. He is the youngest son of Cronus and Rhea. He overthrew Cronus and gained the sovereignty of heaven for himself. In art he is depicted as a regal, mature man with a sturdy figure and dark beard. His usual attributes are the royal scepter and the lightning bolt. His sacred animals include the eagle and the bull. His Roman counterpart is Jupiter, also known as Jove.

The Gigantes were the offspring of Gaia (Earth), born from the blood that fell when Uranus (Sky) was castrated by their Titan son Cronus, who fought the Gigantomachy, their war with the Olympian gods for supremacy of the cosmos, they include:

You denied the gods and awoke an ancient evil. Now rally the scattered Sentinel armies, lay siege to the last bastion of Hell, break through the fortress walls, and face the Dark Lord himself. The soul of the universe hangs in the balance.

Not everyone at the summer solstice ritual is a practicing Druid. The girls who are maybe on mushrooms are clearly not familiar with the rite. When Reverend Thomas hands out drums and rattles and shakers, so that we can all make a joyful noise together, parading around the fire and making music for the gods, one of them accidentally drops her tambourine. It shatters the silence with a flustered, lengthy banging. The girls sputter with silent laughter, their bodies shaking, as Thomas tries unsuccessfully to maintain a straight face. 041b061a72


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