Invisible spacer images for visual layout only
Celtic Paganism
Invisible spacer images for visual layout only
Black Irish > Celtic Paganism > Notes > 02/27/01

Gods and Goddesses of Ireland

Lebor Gabála
  • Leabhar Ghabála Érenn
  • /v/ /v/
  • Book of the taking
  • Book of Invastions
    • A number of recensions exist -- versions compiled at different times by different scribes.
    • Known to exist by the 8th century
      • Nennious — 800 AD
        • Historia Britorum
        • outline of text ~ 800
        • elaborated over time
    • By 12th centurey, 1150, Leinister
    • Course pack
      • 1916 version
      • every single word is translated
      • literal translation
        • oxiput
  • Idea of the taking of Ireland
    • How Gaels came into possession of the land.
    • Attempt to show how they came to Ireland, what they found there, who was there before them.
  • Monastic literati — Irish Christian monks
    • pseudo historians
    • trying to sort out various histories of those in Ireland before the Gaels


  • In pre-Christian Ireland, time is a cyclical thing.
  • The history the Irish scribes knew was as written down the the church fathers
    • linear time
    • creation, fall, the further away we move from the fall, the worse things are
    • they had no creation-fall-creation cycle of the Celtic tradition
    • Jerome Iucibius
    • parallel history
  • History of the Jews, Greeks, Trojans
    • Where were the Irish?
    • The scribes took traditions and put them into a linear structure, unraveling the skeen of history and setting it out as several events.
    • Connected the native geneologies to Biblical one
      • grafted themselves onto.
    • Semitic, Hametic
    • Gomer — ancester of the Gaels

Aithech = unfree

  • All who came to Ireland descended from the unfree
  • This validates that the Gaels are entitled to Ireland
    • The are teh descendents of the free.
  • We can see the outlines of a ntive cosmogeny
    • how the wold came into being


  • 1st to inhabit Ireland
  • daughter of Bith, son of Noah
  • 1st inhabitand of Ireland was a womn
    • 3 poetic names for Ireland depicted as women who represent the land
      • Eiriú
        • Banbha
      • Ireland is a woman
  • Cessair is the one who comes 1st
  • Another version
    • leader called Banbha
      • Banbha = little pig

1st age

  • Creation to the flood

Coming to Ireland makes a clean break with the God of the New Testiment

  • Marks them as 'pagans'
  • Cessair — take idol
  • Consulted seers
    • neither sin or evil in Ireland
    • free from rep.
    • safe fromtohe flood

50 women, 3 men

  • 16 for Lathra
    • Complained that he only got 16, but dies anyway of a surfit of women
  • 17 for Bith the father
    • Lathra's 16 are split up and given to him and Fintan, giveing them 25 each.
    • Bith eventually dies, too
  • 17 for Fintan the consort
    • After Bith dies, he's got all 50
    • He leaves and cessair dies of grief
    • Fintan survives and is consulted in the future
      • seen as a salmon, eagle, or hawk.
    • Fintan = the ancient white/pure/holy one

Cessair and the companies of women take Ireland for the 1st time

  • Later, fairy mounds (sídh)
  • some mounds are inhabited entirely by women
  • Posedonius speaks of a sanctuary of women
  • women of special, even piestly ability, well known.


  • 278 years after the flood
  • Came from native land
  • Killed his mother and father so his brother could take over
  • Bunch of 1sts
    • 1st building, mill, cauldron, churning, ale.
  • §24 & 25
  • Culture established
  • land takes shape
    • lakes form
    • land clears
  • Now people in Ireland are all men and establish different kinds of things
  • Is this a hint that power was taken away from women?
    • Female idea of sovereignty
    • Dominated by women/goddess?
    • Later invested by males?
    • Why no impact of the cosmogeny?
    • Middle age mysogyny?
    • Monks taking it away?
  • Cultural activities
  • Also, adultry 1st committed, p. 37 §26
    • Partholan went out fishing
    • wife and attendent left behind
    • Partholan comes back
    • spirit tells him what's happened.
    • Drinking tube
    • transaction between two
    • §38
      • He: trouble, evil
      • She: 1st verdict in Ireland. I deserve recons.
        • You inflicted unjustness
        • "It's your fault"
        • The right of his wife against Parthelan
        • Nature — examples.
    • Partholan is having none of this
      • smacks her dog and kills it
      • 1st jealousy

Partholan fights vs the Fomhoire

  • Fomoraig (Fomorians)
    • Chthonic people
      • spring up out of the earth
    • belong to the soil, earth, land
    • give trouble to all who come to land
    • singularity
      • 1 armed
      • 1 eyed
      • 1 legged
      • half of what ordinary mortals are like

Invisible spacer images for visual layout only

Last Modified:Tuesday, March 26, 2002,©2002

Valid XHTML 1.0!Made with CSSValid CSS!