Theses  on  Celtic  Religion 1

difficulties in the state of the sources

our prejudicial denotations

animistic component

fairy tales and legends as legitimate sources

shamanism and druidism

the stratum of divinities


polarity Death / Mothers

changes in material existence

Mabon vab Genoveva

interface of Death and Mothers

isolated themes 

the realities of the world 


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The difficulties resulting from any attempt to reconstruct Celtic religion and mythology are not based exclusively and not even mainly on the state of the sources. 

It is true, documents are fragmentary without any apparent or reliable connections among them and they are in no case original or genuine, in every case distorted by roman or Christian impact.

Hardly anything has been handed down to us directly from British druids, or from their songs and tales � this is not explained simply by the early destruction of the druids' centre at Mona (Anglesey). More important is the fact that druidical tradition had been worked upon to attain a state where it is not possibly recognized. Reading however attentively the Mabinogion or the Welsh Triads (R. Bromwich, 1978) re­veals the existence of druidic texts underneath the tales of chivalry and of gods. Some of the knights e.g. in King Arthur's Round Table stories display marvellous abilities or appear as wise counsellors; in this they remind of the druids. The changes undergone by Gwydion, Arianrod and others are to be equalled to similar ones re­corded for Irish druids. The names of Arthur and Math are indicative of a bear cult, etc.

And yet, the greater problem is not constituted by those mediated traditions, underneath which we have to look for the Celtic mythology.


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