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Irish Druids And Old Irish Religions

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Author Topic: Irish Druids And Old Irish Religions  (Read 4382 times)
Crissy Herrell
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« Reply #105 on: February 20, 2009, 01:27:49 pm »

In comparing Irish gods with others, Neit has been identified with the Naat of India and Neith of Egypt; Creeshna, the sun, with the Indian Christna: Prith, lord of the air, with Pritha, a title of Vishnu; Ner, latinized to Nereus, with the Naros of India; Cau, with Caudra; Omti with the Buddhist Om, Esar with Eswara, &c. Comhdhia--the middle and end--reminds one of the Orphic hymn--"Zeus is the first, Zeus is the last: Zeus is the head, Zeus is the middle."

"The god of the Gael," writes Donald Ross," was outside of him, and draped awfully by his imagination." The Deity everywhere has been regarded with awe, and even terror, in all religious systems. Pantheism, however, in some mystical form, entered the mind of the Gael, as well as that of the Greek and Hindoo. While Orpheus sang, "All has come from the bosom of Zeus," Finlanders held that their god Kawe was in the bosom of K-unattaris (Nature).

Some fancy the butterfly--Dealbhaude--was in Ireland a symbol of God, from its changes of being. Be'al was the source of all being, as the Scandinavian Tuisco, after whom our Tuesday is named, was the Father of all beings.

Dr. Todd affirmed--"The Irish had no knowledge of the Dei Gentium, Saturn, Apollo, Mars, &c., or of the feminine deities Juno, Venus, Minerva, &c., under any Celtic name or designation." Crowe answered, "Now, this is not true. The Dei Gentium, under the ancient Gaulish or Iberno-Celtic names, are often met with in Irish story." But Crowe held with Cæsar and Tacitus, that the Celts of Gaul and our Isles had similar gods to those of Rome and Greece.

Though the transcribers of the Book of Leinster, during the fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth centuries, corrupted the MS., from ignorance more than design, yet not a few

p. 130

learned men trace in that book the most ancient Irish mythological treatise.

With so fighting a race as that of Erin, war-gods were common. Some were battle furies, as Nemon, the Nemetona of Gaul. Others were like Cairbre, whose exploits are narrated by the Four Masters, and who, as a hero, was, as Prof. Rhys says, "placed on a level with the gods." It is not easy, however, to discover there those ancient legends which, as Cory's Ancient Fragments supposes, "recognize as the primary element of all things, two independent principles, of the nature of male and female; and those in mystic union, as the soul and body, constitute the Great Hermaphrodite Deity." There was scarcely that refinement in ancient Ireland.

Dr. Kenealy's Book of God perceives in the Irish Oun or Ain the cycle, or seasons course; as in Bel-ain, the year of Baal, the sun. The Irish anius is the astrologer, surveying the cycle. Bay is regarded as circle or cycle in Irish and Sanscrit. The Irish Cnaimh was, in Kenealy's View, the Phœnician great-winged one, or Cneph of Egypt. He speaks of "their more ancient manner of invocation being Ain treidhe Dia ainm Tau-lac, Fan, Mollac or Ain, triple God, whose name is Tau-lac, Fan, Mollac. This third person was the Destroyer." Fan he places with Pan or Phanes.

Another fanciful author sees the source of an Irish religious festival in the Charistita of Romans, a feast sacred to Concord and the Loves at the end of the year--whence the word Eu-charist. Lenoir is more correct in saying, "Astronomy is truly the fruitful source from which the Mages and the priests have drawn ancient and modern fables."

The Rev. R. Smiddy writes of the Celtic Ceal, the heaven; and Cealtach, a heavenly person. Church, a circle,

p. 131

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