Atlantis Online
November 19, 2019, 10:45:27 pm
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Towering Ancient Tsunami Devastated the Mediterranean
http://www.livescience.com/environment/061130_ancient_tsunami.html
 
  Home Help Arcade Gallery Links Staff List Calendar Login Register  

Irish Druids And Old Irish Religions

Pages: 1 ... 6 7 8 9 10 11 [12] 13 14 15 16 17 18 ... 21   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Irish Druids And Old Irish Religions  (Read 2940 times)
Crissy Herrell
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3407



« Reply #165 on: February 22, 2009, 12:08:02 am »

indicated with two twisted snakes for appendages. The Greek poet also describes the "divine stubborn-hearted Echidna (mother of Cerberus) half nymph, with dark eyes and fair cheeks, and half a serpent." The mother of an ancient Scythian hero was a serpent maiden. A story was told, in 1520, of a Swiss man being in an enchanted cave, and meeting with a beautiful woman, whose lower part was a serpent, and who tempted him to kiss her.

As recently reported from France, a lady has there a familiar in the form of a serpent, able to answer her questions, and cleverly writing down replies with the point of its tail. There is no saying how this marvellous creature may enter into future theological controversies.

A book published in the reign of Charles I. had this story--"Ireland, since its first inhabitation, was pestered with a triple plague, to wit, with great abundance of venemous beastes, copious store of Diuells visiblely appearing, and infinit multitudes of magitians."

The Saint's share in the trouble is thus described--Patrick, taking the staffe or wand of Jesus with his sacred hand, and eleuating it after a threatning manner, as also by the favourable assistance of Angels, he gathered together in one place all the venemous beastes that were in Ireland, after he draue them up before him to a most high mountaine hung ouer the sea, called then Cruachanailge, and now Cruach Padraig, that is St. Patricks mountaine, and from thence he cast them downe in that steepe precipice to be swallowed up by the sea."

The Druids, or Tuaths, or other troublers, fared nearly as badly as the snakes; as the author affirmed--"Of the magitians, he conuerted and reclaimed very many, and such as persisted incorrigible, he routed them out from the face of the earth."

From the Book of Leinster we gather the intelligence

p. 188

Report Spam   Logged
Crissy Herrell
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3407



« Reply #166 on: February 22, 2009, 12:08:15 am »

that three serpents were found in the heart of Mechi, son of the great queen. After they had been killed by Diancecht, their bodies were burnt, and the ashes were thrown into the river Barrow, "which so boiled that it dissolved every animal in it."

As tradition avows, St. Kevin, when he killed one a the remaining serpents, threw the creature into the lake at Glendalough, which got the name of Lochnapiast, or serpent loch. Among the sculptures on impost moulding at Glendalough is one of a dog devouring a serpent. Snake-stones have been found, consisting of small ring of glass. The ammonite fossil is known as the snake stone.

Windele, of Kilkenny, shows the persistence of ancient ideas in the wilder parts of Ireland. "Even as late as the eleventh century," says he, "we have evidence of the prevalence of the old religion in the remoter districts, and in many of the islands on our western coasts.--Many of the secondary doctrines of Druidism hold their ground at this very day as articles of faith.--Connected with these practice (belteine, &c.), is the vivid memory still retained of one universal Ophiolatreia, or serpent worship; and the attributing of supernatural powers and virtues to particular animal such as the bull, the white and red cow, the boar, the horse, the dog, &c., the memory of which has been perpetuated in our topographical denominations."

The Irish early Christians long continued the custom entwining their old serpent god around the cross. One has said, "The ancient Irish crosses are alive with serpents Their green god-snake was Gad-el-glas. The word Tirda-glas meant the tower of the green god. The old Milesian standard, of a snake twisted round a rod, may seem to indicate a Phallic connection with the Sabh.

The Book of Lismore asserts the same distinguished

p. 189

Report Spam   Logged
Crissy Herrell
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3407



« Reply #167 on: February 22, 2009, 12:08:26 am »

power of serpent expulsion on behalf of St. Columba, as others have done for St. Patrick, or any other Saint; saying, "Then he turned his face westward, and said, 'May the Lord bless the Island, with its indwellers.' And he banished toads and snakes out of it."

Thus have we seen that Ireland, above most countries of the earth, retained a vivid conception of ancient serpent worship, though some of the myths were naturally and gratefully associated with the reputed founders of a purer faith.

"Search where we will," says Kennersley Lewis, "the nuptial tree, round which coils the serpent, is connected with time and with life as a necessary condition; and with knowledge--the knowledge of a scientific priesthood, inheriting records and traditions hoary, perhaps, with the snows of a glacial epoch."



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Report Spam   Logged
Crissy Herrell
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3407



« Reply #168 on: February 22, 2009, 12:08:51 am »

SUN-WORSHIP.
WHATEVER the earlier savage races may have thought of religion, if they thought at all about it, those who came after, with more or less touch of civilization, were led, in Ireland, as elsewhere, to contemplate Deity in the Sun. Sun-worship may have superseded other and grosser forms of Nature worship.

Stuart-Glennie has well expressed our thoughts thus--"We should be quite unable truly to understand how the central myths and poesies originated, if we cannot, in some degree at least, realize the wonder with which men saw the daily and yearly renewed sublime spectacle of the birth, the life course, and the death of the life-and-light-giving Creator actually visible in the Heavens.--A wonder of eternal Re-birth."

p. 190

Report Spam   Logged
Crissy Herrell
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3407



« Reply #169 on: February 22, 2009, 12:09:03 am »

Dr. Tylor has reason when saying, "In early philosophy throughout the world, the sun and moon were alive, and, as it were, human in their nature." Professor Rhys refers to the tendency of the savage "to endow the sun, moon, the sky, or any feature of the physical world admitting of being readily acknowledged with a soul and body, with parts and passions, like their own."

In all ages, in all climes, and in all nations, the Sun, under various names and symbols, was regarded as the Creator and as sustainer of all things.

Egypt, the primeval seat of learning, was the high seat of Sun adoration. The Sphinx, with the face to the east, represents Harmachus, young Horus, or the rising Sun. The orb is Osiris, the ruling god of day. In its descent it is the dying deity, going below to the land of Shades; but only to be resurrected as the victorious Horns, piercing the head of the dragon of darkness. Twice a year did the bright; rays enter the great hail of the Nile temple, to fall straight upon the shrine.

The ancient Persian bowed to Mithra as the Sun, for it was said--

"May he come to us for protection, for joy,
For mercy, for healing, for victory, for hallowing.
Mithra will I honour with offerings,
Will I draw near to us as a Friend with prayer."

The Assyrians, the Akkadians, the Phœnicians, Greeks, the Romans, all alike worshipped the sun, Merodach, Baal, Apollo, or Adonis. Rabbi Issaaki reads Tammuz of Ezek. ch. viii, as the burning one: i. e. Moloch.

India has down to this day reverenced the Sun. Its Vedic names grew into some sort of active personality "We can follow," writes Max Müller, "in the Vedic hymn step by step, the development which changes the sun fro a mere luminary into a creator, preserver, ruler." "As the

p. 191

Report Spam   Logged
Crissy Herrell
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3407



« Reply #170 on: February 22, 2009, 12:09:14 am »

sun sees everything, and knows everything, he is asked to forgive and forget what he alone has seen and knows." He may be Indra, Varuna, Savritri, or Dyaus, the shining one. What to us is poetry was in India prose.

Even in Homer, Hyperion, the sun-god, was the father of all gods. According to Plato, Zeu-pater, or Jupiter, was the Father of Life. Minerva, or Pallas, the early dawn, sprang from the head of Jove every morning, fully armed, to fight the clouds of darkness. Baldur, the white god, or sun, was killed, said our Norseman and Saxon forefathers, by an arrow from the blind Höder, or night. Africa has in all time been a centre of sun-worship. The Spaniards found the cult both in Mexico and Peru.

__________________

There are survivals of the worship in the customs and languages of Europe. Up to this century, a singular ceremony took place in the church of the Carmine, Naples, attended by civic officials in procession. The day after Christmas Day, when the new sun of the year began then first to move in position, there was a solemn cutting of the hair of an image, symbol of the sun's rays, as in the old heathen times.

A Scotch dance, the Reel, still keeps up the memory of the old Celtic circular dance. There is, also, the Deisol, or practice of turning sun-ways, to bless the sun. This was from right to left, as with Dancing Dervishes now, or the old Bacchic dance from east to west. Plautus wrote, "When you worship the gods, do it turning to the right hand." Poseidonius the Stoic, referring to the Celts, said, "At their feasts, the servant carries round the wine from right to left. Thus they worship their gods, turning to the right." The Highland mother, with a choking child, cries out, "Deas-iul! the way of the South." A Dîsul Sunday is still kept up in Brittany.

p. 192

Report Spam   Logged
Crissy Herrell
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3407



« Reply #171 on: February 22, 2009, 12:09:25 am »

A stone was dug up in the road from Glasgow to Edinburgh, on which was an inscription to Grannius, the Latin form of grian, the sun. Enclosures in the Highlands were called Grianan, the house of the sun. On Harris Island is a stone circle, with a stone in the centre, known as Clack-na-Greine, the stone of the sun. At Elgin, the bride had to lead her husband to the church following the sun's course.

But did the Irish indulge in this form of idolatry?

Some writers, zealous for the honour of their countrymen, have denied the impeachment. Even the learned O'Curry was of that school, declaring--"There is no ground whatever for imputing to them human sacrifice--none whatever for believing that the early people of Erinn adored the sun, moon, or stars, nor that they worshipped fire."

But what was St. Patrick's teaching?

The Saint is recorded to have said of the sun, "All, who adore him shall unhappily fall into eternal punishment" In his Confessio, he exclaimed, "Woe to its unhappy worshippers, for punishment awaits them But we believe in and adore the true Sun, Christ!"

Morien, the modern and enthusiastic Welsh Bard, is equally desirous to remove from his sires the reproach of being sun-worshippers "One of the Welsh names of the sun," he remarks, "proves that they believed in a personal God, and that they believed He dwelt in the sun That name of the sun is Huan, the abode of Hu" (the Deity) Elsewhere he writes, "There was no such a being as a Sun-God in the religious systems of the Druids. They named the sun the House of God (Huan-Annedd Hu)." Again, "The Gwyddorr (High Priest), was emblematical of the Spirit of God in the sun. The Gwyddon was clad in robe of virgin white, symbolizing light and holiness. His

p. 193

Report Spam   Logged
Crissy Herrell
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3407



« Reply #172 on: February 22, 2009, 12:09:41 am »

twelve disciples, representing the twelve constellations, formed the earthly zodiac. They too were robed in white." Morien is the ablest living advocate of Welsh Druidism, but his views on that subject are somewhat governed by his extensive reading, his love of symbolism, and his poetic temperament.

St. Patrick gives, according to an Erse poem, no such credit to the Irish; crying out, "O blasphemous Cumhal, that honour you pay to the sun, through ignorance of the omnipotent King, is no more perfect than if you worshipped your shield." The Milligans, in their learned story of the Irish under the Druids, say, "They worshipped the sun as their principal Deity, and the moon as their second Deity, like the Phœnicians."

Donald Ross, Scotch Inspector of Schools, writes in a similar way of his ancient northern kindred--"The noblest strains in all Gaelic literature are in praise of the sun, and which is also represented as the ultimately inexplicable factor in the universe. In the sun the Gaels found the two highest attributes of divinity, power, and purity."

There is a remarkable passage from St. Patrick's Confession, which refers to his being tempted by Satan in a dream--"It was suggested to me in the spirit that I should invoke Helia (Elias or Eli); and meanwhile I saw the sun rising in the heaven. And while I was calling out Helia with all my might, behold the splendour of that sun fell upon me, and immediately struck from me the oppressive weight." Probus had this version of the event, "When he had thrice invoked the true Sun, immediately the sun rose upon him."

The language of the country has much association with sun adoration. The mythical Simon Brek of Irish history may be Samen, the sun. Waterford was Cuan-na-Grioth, the harbour of the sun. One Irish name for the sun is

p. 194

Report Spam   Logged
Crissy Herrell
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3407



« Reply #173 on: February 22, 2009, 12:10:02 am »

Chrishna, of Eastern origin; but the Welsh Hu Gadarn, the sun, was Finn Mac Haul in Erse.

Griann, Greine, Grianan, Greienham, have relations to the sun. The hill Grianan Calry is a sunny spot. The word Grange is from Griann. There is a Grianoir in Wexford Bay. The Grange, near Drogheda, is a huge cone of stones, piled in honour of the sun. Greane, of Ossory, was formerly Grian Airbh. As Graine, the word occurs in a feminine form. The beautiful story of Diarmuid, or Dermot, and Graine is clearly a solar myth The runaway pair were pursued by the irate husband, Finn Mac Coul, for a whole year, the lovers changing their resting-place every night. One bard sings of "Diarmuid with a fiery face" The last Danaan sovereign was Mac Grene The, cromlech on a hill of Kilkenny is known as the Sleigh Grian, hill of the sun. The women's quarter of that dwelling, was the Grianan, so-called from its brightness.

The cromlech at Castle Mary, near Cloyne, is Carrig Croath, Rock of the Sun General Vallencey traces some appellations for the sun to the Chaldaic and Sanscrit The Celts of Brittany borrowed their Sul, for sun, from the Roman Sol. Caer Sedi was an Irish cycle.

Bel is also the sun in Irish, as in eastern lands. Beli was their god of fire Bel-ain were wells sacred to the sun. The Irish vernal equinox was Aiche Baal tinne the night of Baal's fire. The sun's circuit was Bel-ain, or Bel's ring. A cycle of the sun, or an anniversary, was Aonach (pro. Enoch); and it is singular that we are told that the days of Enoch were 365 years.

Easter, as is well known, is connected with sun-worship. The Irish Dancing Easter Sunday is thus alluded to in an old poem --

"But, Dick, she dances in such a way,
No sun upon an Easter day
     Is half so fine a sight."

p. 195

Report Spam   Logged
Crissy Herrell
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3407



« Reply #174 on: February 22, 2009, 12:10:12 am »

People used to be out early on Easter Sunday to see the sun dance in honour of the Resurrection.

The sun and moon, according to the Chronicles of St. Columba, were to be seen on an altar of glass in the temple of the Tuath-de-Danaan, in Tyrconnal. For centuries, an Irish oath was accompanied with the hand on forehead, and the eyes turned to the sun. The round mounds, or Raths, enclosing the round dwelling, related to early sun-worship; the same may be said of the tradition that the battle of Ventry, between the Fenians and their foes, lasted 366 days.

Hecateus mentions the Hyperboreans of an island north of Gaul worshipping the sun. Diodorus speaks of the island's idolatry, saying, "The citizens are given up to music, harping, and chanting in honour of the sun." In Walker's Bards, we read of the Feast of Samhuin, or the moon, in the temple of Tiachta. "The moon," says Monier Williams, the great Vedas authority, "is but a form of the sun."

The circular dance in honour of the sun was derived from the East. Lucian says "it consisted of a dance imitating this god" (the sun). The priests of Baal indulged in it. A Druid song has this account--"Ruddy was the sea-beach while the circular revolution was performed by the attendants, and the white bands in graceful extravagance."

An ancient sculpture at Glendalough represents the long-haired Apollo, or Sun, attended by his doves. These were sun-images in Erin. In 2 Chron. xiv. 5, we read of Asa putting "away out of all cities of Judah the high places and the images"; or sun-images of the Revised Version.

At the Lucaid-lamh-fada, or festival of love, from Aug. 1 to Aug. 16, games were held in honour of the sun

p. 196

Report Spam   Logged
Crissy Herrell
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3407



« Reply #175 on: February 22, 2009, 12:10:26 am »

and moon. Fosbroke alludes to the revolving, with the sun, as a superstition. "At Inismore, or Church Island, in Sligo, in a rock near the door of the church, is a cavity, called Our Lady's Bed, into which pregnant women going, and turning thrice round, with the repetition of certain prayers, fancy that they would then not die in child-birth."

A Scotch writer observes--"The hearty Celts of Ireland say, 'The top of the morning to you.' Are these expressions to be regarded as remnants of Dawn-worship? It may be so, for many similar traces of the worship of the sun and moon, as givers of good fortune, are still to be found."

An Ode to the Sun in the Leabhar breac has been thus rendered by an Erse authority:--"Anticipate, my lays, O Sun! thou mighty Lord of the seven heavens--mighty governor of the heaven--sole and general God of man--thou gracious, just, and supreme King--whose bright image constantly forces itself on my attention. To whom heroes pray in perils of war--all the world praise and adore thee. For thou art the only glorious and sovereign object of universal love, praise, and adoration."

Similarly sang Orpheus of old--"O Sun! thou art the genial parent of Nature, splendent with various hues, shedding streams of golden light." The Rig Veda, however, in one place calls the sun, "the most beautiful work of God"; while another of the Hindoo sacred books has this--"Let us adore the supremacy of the Divine Sun, the godhead." Well might Capella exclaim in his Hymn to the Sun, "The whole world adores thee under a great number of different names"

Ossian sang--"When wilt thou rise in thy beauty, first of Erin's maids? Thy sleep is long in the tomb. The sun shall not come to thy bed, and sing, 'Awake Darthula! Awake, thou first of women! The voice of spring

p. 197

Report Spam   Logged
Crissy Herrell
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3407



« Reply #176 on: February 22, 2009, 12:10:38 am »

is abroad. The flowers shake their heads on the green hills. The woods wave their growing leaves.' Retire, O Sun! The daughter of Colla is asleep. She will not come forth in her beauty. She will not move in the steps of her loveliness."

Crowe, who observes, "The sun was a chief deity with us as well as the Greeks,"--adds, "I have long thought that the great moat of Granard was the site of a temple to the sun." The Rev. F. Leman, in 1811, spoke of an inscription upon a quartzose stone, at Tory Hill, Kilkenny, in old Irish characters, which he read Sleigh-Grian, hill of the sun. "Within view of this hill," said he, "towards the west, on the borders of Tipperary, rises the more elevated mountain of Sleigh-na-man, which, from its name, was probably consecrated to the moon."

When Martin was in the Hebrides, he came across observances reminding him of solar worship. "In the Island of Rona," said he, "off Ness, one of the natives needs express his high esteem for my person, by making a turn round about me, sun-ways, and at the same time blessing me, and wishing me all happiness." Again--"When they get into the Island (Flannan) all of them uncover their heads, and make a turn sun-ways round, thanking God for their safety." The Rev. Mac Queen mentions that every village in Skye had a rude stone, called Grugach, or fair-haired, which represented the sun; and he declares that milk libations were poured into Gruaich stones.

Travellers have written of Hebridean boats, going out to sea, having their heads rowed sun-ways at first for fear of ill-luck on the voyage. Quite recently one observed the same thing done by Aberdeen fishermen, who objected to turn their boat against the sun.

In all myths, sun-gods are very successful in their war-like

p. 198

Report Spam   Logged
Crissy Herrell
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3407



« Reply #177 on: February 22, 2009, 12:10:51 am »

enterprises during the summer, but frequently lose a battle in winter, In Egyptian paintings, the winter sun is represented with only a single hair on the head; this reminds one of Samson,--a word derived from Shemesh, the sun--losing strength in the loss of hair.

The shaving of the head, so as to leave a circular, bare spot, is a very ancient practice, and was done in honour of the sun, by certain priests of Jupiter and other deities. Mahomet forbade that idolatrous habit of his Arab disciples. Rhys calls the tonsure in Britain and Ireland, "merely a druidical survival?'

While the image of the sun was, down to the great Revolution, carried in the priestly processions of Brittany, while Christians now, as the Peruvians used to do formerly, stand the plate-image of the sun upon the altar, and while we, though aesthetically, honour the sun-flower, we cannot too rudely condemn the ancient Irish for their reverent bowing to the material author of all earthly life.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Report Spam   Logged
Crissy Herrell
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3407



« Reply #178 on: February 22, 2009, 12:12:17 am »

FIRE-WORSHIP.
FROM the earliest time, the sun has been the object of human adoration. But the common flame itself, being destructive, yet beneficial, while ever mounting upward as if disdaining earth contact, became with most races of mankind a religious emblem, if not a Deity.

Pyrolatreia, or fire-worship, was once nearly universal. The Moloch of the Canaanites, Phœnicians, and Carthaginians, was the divinity of various nations under different names Moloch was not the only deity tormenting simple maids and tender babes with fire The blazing or fiery cross, in use among Khonds of India, was well known in both Ireland and Scotland The Egyptians, with more modern Africans, have reverenced flame.

p. 199

The Irish assuredly were not behind the most cultured peoples in this respect. The sanctity of their places for fire was notorious. The ancient lighting of fires was attended with solemn ceremonies. Even now, the trampling upon cinders in a household is regarded, in some way, as an indignity to the head of the establishment.

According to the old records of the Four Masters of Ireland, a curious spectacle was witnessed one St. George's day, having reference to this curious superstition. At Ross Dela, now Ross-dalla, of Westmeath, a tower of fire blazed up from a belfry for hours, while a great black bird, accompanied by a flock of smaller birds, kept flying in and out of the fire, the smaller taking shelter under the wings of the leader. When the great bird had finished its fiery purifications, it took up an oak tree by the roots, and flew off with it.

Persia was once the high seat of fire-worship. The Parsees of India were refugees from Persia at the time of the Mahometan conquest of that country, and these still retain the old fire religion. The natural flames that issued from the earth, and were regarded as divine, have pointed out to the practical moderns the mineral oil deposits of Baku. At the Sheb-Seze, or Fire-feast of Persia, says Richardson, birds and beasts were let loose with inflammable material about them.

American Indians, in some cases, retain this custom of their ancestors. Squier notes the supreme, holy, Spirit of Fire, Loak Ishte-hoola-aba, and the ignition of new fires at the solar festival. The priests got fire by friction. The Pawnees had a sacrifice of human beings in the fire at the vernal equinox. The Aztecs had a god of fire in Xiuhteuctli. The image of Hercules, the sun-god, was solemnly burnt once a year at Tarsus.

The Scriptures have many references to this worship.

p. 200

Report Spam   Logged
Crissy Herrell
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3407



« Reply #179 on: February 22, 2009, 12:12:47 am »

A story is told in Maccabees of a priest who took sacred fire from the altar, and hid it in a cave. Upon Nehemiah sending for it, water only was found; yet, when the liquid was poured over an altar of wood, the whole burst into flame. Phené remarks--"The British spire now fills the place, in the plains, of the once aspiring flame which ascended from the hill-altars."

The Perpetual Lamps of the ancients sanctioned the same idea. No less than one hundred and seventy Roman, Arab, and Medieval writers record the finding of such lamps. In 1540 a lamp was reported still burning in the tomb of Cicero's daughter. Lights were buried in urns. Herodotus speaks of lamps in the tombs of Egypt. Augustine wrote of lights inextinguishable by either rain or wind. Asbestos wicks of lamps were known in Greek temples. Madame Blavatski says that Buddhist priests made use of asbestos wicks. Dr. Westcott, who records instances of Perpetual Lamps, adds, "There formerly existed an art that has been lost."

Ireland was not without her perpetual fire. St. Bridget and her nuns, in maintaining a constant flame in Kildare, were but continuing a very ancient heathen custom. Tradition says that Druidesses did the same, also, in sacred Kildare. As there was an Irish goddess Bridgit, Higgins remarked that the deity had become a saint, when the disciple of St Patrick founded her nunnery at Kildare. The Welsh ecclesiastic, who wrote of the Norman) Conquest of Ireland, says of this fire, that though ever recruited with fuel, "yet the ashes have never increased" It was fed with the wood of the hawthorn. The place of the fire is described as being twenty feet square, with a stone roof.

The virgin Daughters of the Fire were Inghean au

p. 201

Report Spam   Logged
Pages: 1 ... 6 7 8 9 10 11 [12] 13 14 15 16 17 18 ... 21   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by EzPortal
Bookmark this site! | Upgrade This Forum
SMF For Free - Create your own Forum
Powered by SMF | SMF © 2016, Simple Machines
Privacy Policy