Did The Celts Believe In God?


2 Answers

E Jacobson Profile
E Jacobson answered
Celts do not seem to have believed in a single God, but there is some evidence to suggest that they believed in around 374 Gods, but as a general rule, there were only 36 or so 'main' Gods and Goddesses.
The Celts are also thought to have believed in life after death, which they referred to as the Otherworld. When you died on earth, your soul was transported to the Otherworld by the God Bile.
Interestingly, they believed that life in the Otherworld went on just like on earth and that when you died in the Otherworld, your soul actually went on to live in another person.
So, whenever a baby was born, there would be a time for sadness and reflection for the person who had died in the Otherworld and whose soul had arrived back in the baby!
However, the Celts did not seem to have any theory or belief system about how or what had created the world.
Gillian Smith Profile
Gillian Smith answered
We archaeologists know only very little about so called Celtic religious beliefs in the British Isles.
The pre-Roman inhabitants or 'Iron Age' people believed in may gods both male and female. Because we don't have written sources( what we have is based on classical writings), it's impossible to say anything about their creation stories though they are probably based loosly on Indo -European belief systems and echos of these befiefs can be found in many Irish stories which probably throw light on the Iron age and pre-history in general. The 'Celts' did believe in the triple goddess and the three mothers protected solders and women. We have Lug as a main male god. The amount of artefacts deposited in water during the Iron Age probably reflects a religious belief in water spirits and the climate tended to be more wet during the Iron Age so possibly they were trying to appease the water gods. Many swords found on the continent had astronomical symbols on them, probably as aids to victory in battle.
St. Briget is a Christianised form of an earlier goddess as was Brigantia. The remnants of pre-Christain gods and goddesses can be found in river and place names such as Lug, Lough, the river Dee and many more.
The Druids lasted far longer in Ireland then Britain and the last known Druids probably lost their place in Irish society around AD 500. The Mabinogion mentions many Welsh gods and goddesses who probably had origins in pre-history.

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