Celtic Religion Facts History Culture The Celts - ANIMAL WORSHIP
SONG HENGE - A HUGE Archive of Free Celtic Music Downloads - Click Here
Most Popular Search Terms:

Yoga      Reiki    Tarot       Astrology
Psychics         Diet              Fitness
Spiritual Health      Love & Romance
Invest in YOU! Discover the ten most downloadable books on our CBMall
An Introduction
to Yoga

by Annie Besant

The Meaning of the Universe

  • The Unfolding of Consciousness
  • The Oneness of the Self
  • The Quickening of the Process of Self-Unfoldment
  • Yoga is a Science
  • Man a Duality
  • States of Mind
  • Samadhi

The Literature of Yoga

  • Some Definitions
  • God Without and God  Within
  • Changes of Consciousness and Vibrations of Matter
  • Stages of Mind
  • Inward and Outward-turned Consciousness
  • The Cloud

Relation to Indian Philosophies

  • Mind
  • The Mental Body

Mind and Self

  • Methods of Yoga
  • To the Self by the Self
  • To the Self through the Not-Self

  • Yoga and Morality
  • Composition of States of the Mind

Pleasure and Pain

  • Inhibition of States of Mind
  • Meditation with and without Seed
  • The Use of Mantras


  • Obstacles to Yoga
  • Capacities for Yoga
  • Forthgoing and Returning
  • Purification of Bodies
  • Dwellers on the Threshold
  • Preparation for Yoga
  • The End

The Religion Of The Ancient Celts

Animal worship pure and simple had declined among the Celts of historic times, and animals were now regarded mainly as symbols or attributes of divinities. The older cult had been connected with the pastoral stage in which the animals were divine, or with the agricultural stage in which they represented the corn-spirit, and perhaps with totemism. We shall study here (1) traces of the older animal cults; (2) the transformation of animal gods into symbols; and (3) traces of totemism.

The presence of a bull with three cranes (Tarvos Trigaranos) on the Paris altar, along with the gods Esus, Juppiter, and Vulcan, suggests that it was a divine animal, or the subject of a divine myth. As has been seen, this bull may be the bull of the Táin bó Cuailgne. Both it and its opponent were reincarnations of the swine-herds of two gods. In the Irish sagas reincarnation is only attributed to gods or heroes, and this may point to the divinity of the bulls. We have seen that this and another altar may depict some myth in which the bull was the incarnation of a tree or vegetation spirit. The divine nature of the bull is attested by its presence on Gaulish coins as a religious symbol, and by images of the animal with {209} three horns—an obvious symbol of divinity.696 On such an image in bronze the Cimbri, Celticised Germans, swore. The images are pre-Roman, since they are found at Hallstadt and La Tène. Personal names like Donnotaurus (the equivalent of the Donn Taruos of the Táin) or Deiotaros ("divine bull"), show that men were called after the divine animal.697 Similarly many place-names in which the word taruos occurs, in Northern Italy, the Pyrenees, Scotland, Ireland, and elsewhere, suggest that the places bearing these names were sites of a bull cult or that some myth, like that elaborated in the Táin, had been there localised.698 But, as possibly in the case of Cúchulainn and the bull, the animal tended to become the symbol of a god, a tendency perhaps aided by the spread of Mithraism with its symbolic bull. A god Medros leaning on a bull is represented at Haguenau, possibly a form of Mider or of Meduris, a surname of Toutatis, unless Medros is simply Mithras.699 Echoes of the cult of the bull or cow are heard in Irish tales of these animals brought from the síd, or of magic bulls or of cows which produced enormous supplies of milk, or in saintly legends of oxen leading a saint to the site of his future church.700 These legends are also told of the swine,701 and they perhaps arose when a Christian church took the place of the site of a local animal cult, legend fusing the old and the new cult by making the once divine animal point out the site of the church. A late relic of a bull cult may be found in the carnival procession of the Boeuf Gras at Paris.

A cult of a swine-god Moccus has been referred to. The boar was a divine symbol on standards, coins, and altars, and many bronze images of the animal have been found. These were temple treasures, and in one case the boar is three-horned.702 But it was becoming the symbol of a goddess, as is seen by the altars on which it accompanies a goddess, perhaps of fertility, and by a bronze image of a goddess seated on a boar. The altars occur in Britain, of which the animal may be the emblem—the "Caledonian monster" of Claudian's poem.703 The Galatian Celts abstained from eating the swine, and there has always been a prejudice against its flesh in the Highlands. This has a totemic appearance.704 But the swine is esteemed in Ireland, and in the texts monstrous swine are the staple article of famous feasts.705 These may have been legendary forms of old swine-gods, the feasts recalling sacrificial feasts on their flesh. Magic swine were also the immortal food of the gods. But the boar was tabu to certain persons, e.g. Diarmaid, though whether this is the attenuated memory of a clan totem restriction is uncertain. In Welsh story the swine comes from Elysium—a myth explaining the origin of its domestication, while domestication certainly implies an earlier cult of the animal. When animals come to be domesticated, the old cult restrictions, e.g. against eating them, usually pass away. For this reason, perhaps, the Gauls, who worshipped an anthropomorphic swine-god, trafficked in the animal and may have eaten it.706 Welsh story also tells of the magic boar, the {211} Twrch Trwyth, hunted by Arthur, possibly a folk-tale reminiscence of a boar divinity.707 Place-names also point to a cult of the swine, and a recollection of its divinity may underlie the numerous Irish tales of magical swine.708 The magic swine which issued from the cave of Cruachan and destroyed the young crops are suggestive of the theriomorphic corn-spirit in its occasional destructive aspect.709 Bones of the swine, sometimes cremated, have been found in Celtic graves in Britain and at Hallstadt, and in one case the animal was buried alone in a tumulus at Hallstadt, just as sacred animals were buried in Egypt, Greece, and elsewhere.710 When the animal was buried with the dead, it may have been as a sacrifice to the ghost or to the god of the underworld.

The divinity of the serpent is proved by the occurrence of a horned serpent with twelve Roman gods on a Gallo-Roman altar.711 In other cases a horned or ram's-headed serpent appears as the attribute of a god, and we have seen that the ram's-headed serpent may be a fusion of the serpent as a chthonian animal with the ram, sacrificed to the dead. In Greece Dionysus had the form both of a bull and a horned serpent, the horn being perhaps derived from the bull symbol. M. Reinach claims that the primitive elements of the Orphic myth of the Thracian Dionysos-Zagreus—divine serpents producing an egg whence came the horned snake Zagreus, occur in dislocated form in Gaul. There enlacing serpents were believed to produce a magic egg, and there a horned {212} serpent was worshipped, but was not connected with the egg. But they may once have been connected, and if so, there may be a common foundation both for the Greek and the Celtic conceptions in a Celtic element in Thrace.712 The resemblances, however, may be mere coincidences, and horned serpents are known in other mythologies—the horn being perhaps a symbol of divinity. The horned serpent sometimes accompanies a god who has horns, possibly Cernunnos, the underworld god, in accordance with the chthonian character of the serpent.713 In the Cùchulainn cycle Loeg on his visit to the Other-world saw two-headed serpents—perhaps a further hint of this aspect of the animal.714

In all these instances of animal cults examples of the tendency to make the divine animal anthropomorphic have been seen. We have now to consider some instances of the complete anthropomorphic process.


An old bear cult gave place to the cult of a bear goddess and probably of a god. At Berne—an old Celtic place-name meaning "bear"—was found a bronze group of a goddess holding a patera with fruit, and a bear approaching her as if to be fed. The inscription runs, Deae Artioni Licinia Sabinilla.715 A local bear-cult had once existed at Berne, and is still recalled in the presence of the famous bears there, but the divine bear had given place to a goddess whose name and symbol were ursine. From an old Celtic Artos, fem. Arta, "bear," were derived various divine names. Of these {213} Dea Artio(n) means "bear goddess," and Artaios, equated with Mercury, is perhaps a bear god.716 Another bear goddess, Andarta, was honoured at Die (Drôme), the word perhaps meaning "strong bear"—And- being an augmentive.717 Numerous place-names derived from Artos perhaps witness to a widespread cult of the bear, and the word also occurs in Welsh, and Irish personal names—Arthmael, Arthbiu, and possibly Arthur, and the numerous Arts of Irish texts. Descent from the divine bear is also signified in names like Welsh Arthgen, Irish Artigan, from Artigenos, "son of the bear." Another Celtic name for "bear" was the Gaulish matu, Irish math, found in Matugenos, "son of the bear," and in MacMahon, which is a corrupt form of Mac-math-ghamhain, "son of the bear's son," or "of the bear."718

Similarly a cult of the stag seems to have given place to that of a god with stag's horns, represented on many bas-reliefs, and probably connected with the underworld.719 The stag, as a grain-eater, may have been regarded as the embodiment of the corn-spirit, and then associated with the under-earth region whence the corn sprang, by one of those inversions of thought so common in the stage of transition from animal gods to gods with animal symbols. The elk may have been worshipped in Ireland, and a three antlered stag is the subject of a story in the Fionn saga.720 Its third antler, like the third horn of bull or boar, may be a sign of divinity.

The horse had also been worshipped, but a goddess Epona (Gaul. epo-s, "horse"), protectress of horses and asses, took its place, and had a far-spread cult. She rides a horse or mare {214} with its foal, or is seated among horses, or feeds horses. A representation of a mare suckling a foal—a design analogous to those in which Epona feeds foals—shows that her primitive equine nature had not been forgotten.721 The Gauls were horse-rearers, and Epona was the goddess of the craft; but, as in other cases, a cult of the horse must have preceded its domestication, and its flesh may not have been eaten, or, if so, only sacramentally.722 Finally, the divine horse became the anthropomorphic horse-goddess. Her images were placed in stables, and several inscriptions and statuettes have been found in such buildings or in cavalry barracks.723 The remains of the cult have been found in the Danube and Rhine valleys, in Eastern Gaul, and in Northern Italy, all Celtic regions, but it was carried everywhere by Roman cavalry recruited from the Celtic tribes.724 Epona is associated with, and often has, the symbols of the Matres, and one inscription reads Eponabus, as if there were a group of goddesses called Epona.725 A goddess who promoted the fertility of mares would easily be associated with goddesses of fertility. Epona may also have been confused with a river-goddess conceived of as a spirited steed. Water-spirits took that shape, and the Matres were also river-goddesses.

A statuette of a horse, with a dedication to a god Rudiobus, otherwise unknown, may have been carried processionally, while a mule has a dedication to Segomo, equated elsewhere with Mars. A mule god Mullo, also equated with Mars, is mentioned on several inscriptions.726 The connection with Mars {215} may have been found in the fact that the October horse was sacrificed to him for fertility, while the horse was probably associated with fertility among the Celts. The horse was sacrificed both by Celts and Teutons at the Midsummer festival, undoubtedly as a divine animal. Traces of the Celtic custom survive in local legends, and may be interpreted in the fuller light of the Teutonic accounts. In Ireland a man wearing a horse's head rushed through the fire, and was supposed to represent all cattle; in other words, he was a surrogate for them. The legend of Each Labra, a horse which lived in a mound and issued from it every Midsummer eve to give oracles for the coming year, is probably connected with the Midsummer sacrifice of the horse.727 Among the Teutons the horse was a divine sacrificial animal, and was also sacred to Freyr, the god of fertility, while in Teutonic survivals a horse's head was placed in the Midsummer fire.728 The horse was sporadically the representative of the corn-spirit, and at Rome the October horse was sacrificed in that capacity and for fertility.729 Among the Celts, the horse sacrificed at Midsummer may have represented the vegetation-spirit and benefited all domestic animals—the old rite surviving in an attenuated form, as described above.

Perhaps the goddess Damona was an animal divinity, if her name is derived from damatos, "sheep," cognate to Welsh dafad, "sheep," and Gaelic damh, "ox." Other divine animals, as has been seen, were associated with the waters, and the use of beasts and birds in divination doubtless points to their divine character. A cult of bird-gods may lurk behind the divine name Bran, "raven," and the reference to the magic birds of Rhiannon in the Triads.


Animal worship is connected with totemism, and certain things point to its existence among the Celts, or to the existence of conditions out of which totemism was elsewhere developed. These are descent from animals, animal tabus, the sacramental eating of an animal, and exogamy.

(1) Descent from animals.—Celtic names implying descent from animals or plants are of two classes, clan and personal names. If the latter are totemistic, they must be derived from the former, since totemism is an affair of the clan, while the so-called "personal totem," exemplified by the American Indian manitou, is the guardian but never the ancestor of a man. Some clan names have already been referred to. Others are the Bibroci of south-east Britain, probably a beaver clan (bebros), and the Eburones, a yew-tree clan (eburos).730 Irish clans bore animal names: some groups were called "calves," others "griffins," others "red deer," and a plant name is seen in Fir Bile, "men of the tree."731 Such clan totemism perhaps underlies the stories of the "descendants of the wolf" at Ossory, who became wolves for a time as the result of a saintly curse. Other instances of lycanthropy were associated with certain families.732 The belief in lycanthropy might easily attach itself to existing wolf-clans, the transformation being then explained as the result of a curse. The stories of Cormac mac Art, suckled by a she-wolf, of Lughaid mac Con, "son of a wolf-dog," suckled by that animal, and of Oisin, whose mother was a fawn, and who would not eat venison, are perhaps totemistic, {217} while to totemism or to a cult of animals may be ascribed what early travellers in Ireland say of the people taking wolves as god-fathers and praying to them to do them no ill.733 In Wales bands of warriors at the battle of Cattraeth are described in Oneurin's Gododin as dogs, wolves, bears, and ravens, while Owein's band of ravens which fought against Arthur, may have been a raven clan, later misunderstood as actual ravens.734 Certain groups of Dalriad Scots bore animal names—Cinel Gabran, "Little goat clan," and Cinel Loarn, "Fox clan." Possibly the custom of denoting Highland clans by animal or plant badges may be connected with a belief in descent from plants or animals. On many coins an animal is represented on horseback, perhaps leading a clan, as birds led the Celts to the Danube area, and these may depict myths telling how the clan totem animal led the clan to its present territory.735 Such myths may survive in legends relating how an animal led a saint to the site of his church.736 Celtic warriors wore helmets with horns, and Irish story speaks of men with cat, dog, or goat heads.737 These may have been men wearing a head-gear formed of the skin or head of the clan totem, hence remembered at a later time as monstrous beings, while the horned helmets would be related to the same custom. Solinus describes the Britons as wearing animal skins before going into battle.738 Were these skins of totem animals under whose protection they thus placed themselves? The "forms of beasts, birds, and fishes" which the Cruithne or Picts tattooed on their bodies may have been totem marks, while the painting of their bodies with woad among the {218} southern Britons may have been of the same character, though Cæsar's words hardly denote this. Certain marks on faces figured on Gaulish coins seem to be tattoo marks.739

It is not impossible that an early wolf-totem may have been associated, because of the animal's nocturnal wanderings in forests, with the underworld whence, according to Celtic belief, men sprang and whither they returned, and whence all vegetation came forth. The Gallo-Roman Silvanus, probably an underworld god, wears a wolf-skin, and may thus be a wolf-god. There were various types of underworld gods, and this wolf-type—perhaps a local wolf-totem ancestor assimilated to a local "Dispater"—may have been the god of a clan who imposed its mythic wolf origin on other clans. Some Celtic bronzes show a wolf swallowing a man who offers no resistance, probably because he is dead. The wolf is much bigger than the man, and hence may be a god.740 These bronzes would thus represent a belief setting forth the return of men to their totem ancestor after death, or to the underworld god connected with the totem ancestor, by saying that he devoured the dead, like certain Polynesian divinities and the Greek Eurynomos.

In many individual names the first part is the name of an animal or plant, the second is usually genos, "born from," or "son of," e.g. Artigenos, Matugenos, "son of the bear" (artos, matu-); Urogenos, occurring as Urogenertos, "he who has the strength of the son of the urus"; Brannogenos, "son of the raven"; Cunogenos, "son of the dog."741 These names may be derived from clan totem names, but they date back to a time when animals, trees, and men were on a common footing, {219} and the possibility of human descent from a tree or an animal was believed in. Professor Rh[^y]s has argued from the frequency of personal names in Ireland, like Cúrói, "Hound of Rói," Cú Corb, "Corb's Hound," Mac Con, "Hound's Son," and Maelchon, "Hound's Slave," that there existed a dog totem or god, not of the Celts, but of a pre-Celtic race.742 This assumes that totemism was non-Celtic, an assumption based on preconceived notions of what Celtic institutions ought to have been. The names, it should be observed, are personal, not clan names.

(2) Animal tabus.—Besides the dislike of swine's flesh already noted among certain Celtic groups, the killing and eating of the hare, hen, and goose were forbidden among the Britons. Cæsar says they bred these animals for amusement, but this reason assigned by him is drawn from his knowledge of the breeding of rare animals by rich Romans as a pastime, since he had no knowledge of the breeding of sacred animals which were not eaten—a common totemic or animal cult custom.743 The hare was used for divination by Boudicca,744 doubtless as a sacred animal, and it has been found that a sacred character still attaches to these animals in Wales. A cock or hen was ceremonially killed and eaten on Shrove Tuesday, either as a former totemic animal, or, less likely, as a representative of the corn-spirit. The hare is not killed in certain districts, but occasionally it is ceremonially hunted and slain annually, while at yearly fairs the goose is sold exclusively and eaten.745 Elsewhere, e.g. in Devon, a ram or lamb is ceremonially slain and eaten, the eating being believed to confer {220} luck.746 The ill-luck supposed to follow the killing of certain animals may also be reminiscent of totemic tabus. Fish were not eaten by the Pictish Meatæ and Caledonii, and a dislike of eating certain fresh-water fish was observed among certain eighteenth century Highlanders.747 It has been already seen that certain fish living in sacred wells were tabu, and were believed to give oracles. Heron's flesh was disliked in Ireland, and it was considered unlucky to kill a swan in the Hebrides.748 Fatal results following upon the killing or eating of an animal with which the eater was connected by name or descent are found in the Irish sagas. Conaire was son of a woman and a bird which could take human shape, and it was forbidden to him to hunt birds. On one occasion he did so, and for this as well as the breaking of other tabus, he lost his life.749 It was tabu to Cúchulainn, "the hound of Culann," to eat dog's flesh, and, having been persuaded to do this, his strength went from him, and he perished. Diarmaid, having been forbidden to hunt a boar with which his life was connected, was induced by Fionn to break this tabu, and in consequence he lost his life by one of the boar's bristles entering his foot, or (in a variant) by the boar's killing him. Another instance is found in a tale of certain men transformed to badgers. They were slain by Cormac, and brought to his father Tadg to eat. Tadg unaccountably loathed them, because they were transformed men and his cousins.750 In this tale, which may contain the débris of totemic usage, the loathing arises from the fact that the badgers are men—a common form of myths explanatory of misunderstood totemic customs, but the old idea of the relation between a man and {221} his totem is not lost sight of. The other tales may also be reminiscent of a clan totem tabu, later centred in a mythic hero. Perhaps the belief in lucky or unlucky animals, or in omens drawn from their appearance, may be based on old totem beliefs or in beliefs in the divinity of the animals.

(3) Sacramental eating of an animal.—The custom of "hunting the wren," found over the whole Celtic area, is connected with animal worship and may be totemistic in origin. In spite of its small size, the wren was known as the king of birds, and in the Isle of Man it was hunted and killed on Christmas or S. Stephen's day. The bird was carried in procession from door to door, to the accompaniment of a chant, and was then solemnly buried, dirges being sung. In some cases a feather was left at each house and carefully treasured, and there are traces of a custom of boiling and eating the bird.751 In Ireland, the hunt and procession were followed by a feast, the materials of which were collected from house to house, and a similar usage obtained in France, where the youth who killed the bird was called "king."752 In most of these districts it was considered unlucky or dangerous to kill the bird at any other time, yet it might be ceremonially killed once a year, the dead animal conferred luck, and was solemnly eaten or buried with signs of mourning. Similar customs with animals which are actually worshipped are found elsewhere,753 and they lend support to the idea that the Celts regarded the wren as a divine animal, or perhaps a totem animal, that it was necessary to slay it ritually, and to carry it round the houses of the community to obtain its divine influence, to eat it sacramentally or to bury it. {222} Probably like customs were followed in the case of other animals,754 and these may have given rise to such stories as that of the eating of MacDatho's wonderful boar, as well as to myths which regarded certain animals, e.g. the swine, as the immortal food of the gods. Other examples of ritual survivals of such sacramental eating have already been noted, and it is not improbable that the eating of a sacred pastoral animal occurred at Samhain.

(4) Exogamy.—Exogamy and the counting of descent through the mother are closely connected with totemism, and some traces of both are found among the Celts. Among the Picts, who were, perhaps, a Celtic group of the Brythonic stock, these customs survived in the royal house. The kingship passed to a brother of the king by the same mother, or to a sister's son, while the king's father was never king and was frequently a "foreigner." Similar rules of succession prevailed in early Aryan royal houses—Greek and Roman,—and may, as Dr. Stokes thought, have existed at Tara in Ireland, while in a Fian tale of Oisin he marries the daughter of the king of Tír na n-Og, and succeeds him as king partly for that reason, and partly because he had beaten him in the annual race for the kingship.755 Such an athletic contest for the kingship was known in early Greece, and this tale may support the theory of the Celtic priest-kingship, the holder of the office retaining it as long as he was not defeated or slain. Traces of succession through a sister's son are found in the Mabinogion, and Livy describes how the mythic Celtic king Ambicatus sent not his own but his sister's sons to found new kingdoms.756 Irish and Welsh divine and heroic groups {223} are named after the mother, not the father—the children of Danu and of Dôn, and the men of Domnu. Anu is mother of the gods, Buanann of heroes. The eponymous ancestor of the Scots is a woman, Scota, and the earliest colonisers of Ireland are women, not men. In the sagas gods and heroes have frequently a matronymic, and the father's name is omitted—Lug mac Ethnend, Conchobar mac Nessa, Indech, son of De Domnann, Corpre, son of Etain, and others. Perhaps parallel to this is the custom of calling men after their wives—e.g. the son of Fergus is Fer Tlachtga, Tlachtga's husband.757 In the sagas, females (goddesses and heroines) have a high place accorded to them, and frequently choose their own lovers or husbands—customs suggestive of the matriarchate. Thus what was once a general practice was later confined to the royal house or told of divine or heroic personages. Possibly certain cases of incest may really be exaggerated accounts of misunderstood unions once permissible by totemic law. Cæsar speaks of British polyandry, brothers, sons, and fathers sharing a wife in common.758 Strabo speaks of Irish unions with mothers and sisters, perhaps referring not to actual practice but to reports of saga tales of incest.759 Dio Cassius speaks of community of wives among the Caledonians and Meatæ, and Jerome says much the same of the Scoti and Atecotti.760 These notices, with the exception of Cæsar's, are vague, yet they refer to marriage customs different from those known to their reporters. In Irish sagas incest legends circle round the descendants of Etain—fathers unite with daughters, a son with his mother, a woman has a son by her three brothers (just as Ecne was son of Brian, Iuchar, and {224} Iucharba), and is also mother of Crimthan by that son.761 Brother and sister unions occur both in Irish and Welsh story.762

In these cases incest with a mother cannot be explained by totemic usage, but the cases may be distorted reminiscences of what might occur under totemism, namely, a son taking the wives of his father other than his own mother, when those were of a different totem from his own. Under totemism, brothers and sisters by different mothers having different totems, might possibly unite, and such unions are found in many mythologies. Later, when totemism passed away, the unions, regarded with horror, would be supposed to take place between children by the same mother. According to totem law, a father might unite with his daughter, since she was of her mother's totem, but in practice this was frowned upon. Polygamy also may co-exist with totemism, and of course involves the counting of descent through the mother as a rule. If, as is suggested by the "debility" of the Ultonians, and by other evidence, the couvade was a Celtic institution, this would also point to the existence of the matriarchate with the Celts. To explain all this as pre-Aryan, or to say that the classical notices refer to non-Aryan tribes and that the evidence in the Irish sagas only shows that the Celts had been influenced by the customs of aboriginal tribes among whom they lived,763 is to neglect the fact that the customs are closely bound up with Celtic life, while it leaves unexplained the influence of such customs upon a people whose own customs, according to this theory, {225} were so totally different. The evidence, taken as a whole, points to the existence of totemism among the early Celts, or, at all events, of the elements which elsewhere compose it.


Celtic animal worship dates back to the primitive hunting and pastoral period, when men worshipped the animals which they hunted or reared. They may have apologised to the animal hunted and slain—a form of worship, or, where animals were not hunted or were reared and worshipped, one of them may have been slain annually and eaten to obtain its divine power. Care was taken to preserve certain sacred animals which were not hunted, and this led to domestication, the abstinence of earlier generations leading to an increased food supply at a later time, when domesticated animals were freely slain. But the earlier sacramental slaying of such animals survived in the religious aspect of their slaughter at the beginning of winter.764 The cult of animals was also connected with totemic usage, though at a later stage this cult was replaced by that of anthropomorphic divinities, with the older divine animals as their symbols, sacrificial victims, and the like. This evolution now led to the removal of restrictions upon slaying and eating the animals. On the other hand, the more primitive animal cults may have remained here and there. Animal cults were, perhaps, largely confined to men. With the rise of agriculture mainly as an art in the hands of women, and the consequent cult of the Earth-mother, of fertility and corn-spirits probably regarded as female, the sacramental eating of the divine animal may have led to the slaying and eating of a human or animal victim supposed to embody such a spirit. Later the two cults were bound to coalesce, and the divine animal and the animal embodiment of the vegetation {226} spirit would not be differentiated. On the other hand, when men began to take part in women's fertility cults, the fact that such spirits were female or were perhaps coming to be regarded as goddesses, may have led men to envisage certain of the anthropomorphic animal divinities as goddesses, since some of these, e.g. Epona and Damona, are female. But with the increasing participation of men in agriculture, the spirits or goddesses of fertility would tend to become male, or the consorts or mothers of gods of fertility, though the earlier aspect was never lost sight of, witness the Corn-Mother. The evolution of divine priest-kings would cause them to take the place of the earlier priestesses of these cults, one of whom may have been the divine victim. Yet in local survivals certain cults were still confined to women, and still had their priestesses.765

Footnote 696:(return)
Reinach, BF 66, 244. The bull and three cranes may be a rebus on the name of the bull, Tarvos Trikarenos, "the three-headed," or perhaps Trikeras, "three-horned."

Footnote 697:(return)
Plutarch, Marius, 23; Cæsar, vii. 65; D'Arbois, Les Celtes, 49.

Footnote 698:(return)
Holder, s.v. Tarba, Tarouanna, Tarvisium, etc.; D'Arbois, Les Druides, 155; S. Greg. In Glor. Conf. 48.

Footnote 699:(return)
CIL xiii. 6017; RC xxv. 47; Holder, ii. 528.

Footnote 700:(return)
Leahy, ii. 105 f.; Curtin, MFI 264, 318; Joyce, PN i. 174; Rees, 453. Cf. Ailred, Life of S. Ninian, c. 8.

Footnote 701:(return)
Jocelyn, Vita S. Kentig. c. 24; Rees, 293, 323.

Footnote 702:(return)
Tacitus, Germ. xlv.; Blanchet, i. 162, 165; Reinach, BF 255 f., CMR i. 168; Bertrand, Arch. Celt. 419.

Footnote 703:(return)
Pennant, Tour in Scotland, 268; Reinach, RC xxii. 158, CMR i. 67.

Footnote 704:(return)
Pausan, vii. 17, 18; Johnson, Journey, 136.

Footnote 705:(return)
Joyce, SH ii. 127; IT i. 99, 256 (Bricriu's feast and the tale of Macdatho's swine).

Footnote 706:(return)
Strabo, iv. 4. 3, says these swine attacked strangers. Varro, de Re Rustica, ii. 4, admires their vast size. Cf. Polyb. ii. 4.

Footnote 707:(return)
The hunt is first mentioned in Nennius, c. 79, and then appears as a full-blown folk-tale in Kulhwych, Loth, i. 185 f. Here the boar is a transformed prince.

Footnote 708:(return)
I have already suggested, p. 106, supra, that the places where Gwydion halted with the swine of Elysium were sites of a swine-cult.

Footnote 709:(return)
RC xiii. 451. Cf. also TOS vi. "The Enchanted Pigs of Oengus," and Campbell, LF 53.

Footnote 710:(return)
L'Anthropologie, vi. 584; Greenwell, British Barrows, 274, 283, 454; Arch. Rev. ii. 120.

Footnote 711:(return)
Rev. Arch. 1897, 313.

Footnote 712:(return)
Reinach, "Zagreus le serpent cornu," Rev. Arch. xxxv. 210.

Footnote 713:(return)
Reinach, BF 185; Bertrand, 316.

Footnote 714:(return)
"Cúchulainn's Sick-bed," D'Arbois, v. 202.

Footnote 715:(return)
See Reinach, CMR i. 57.

Footnote 716:(return)
CIL xiii. 5160, xii. 2199. Rh[^y]s, however, derives Artaios from ar, "ploughed land," and equates the god with Mercurius Cultor.

Footnote 717:(return)
CIL xii. 1556-1558; D'Arbois, RC x. 165.

Footnote 718:(return)
For all these place and personal names, see Holder and D'Arbois, op. cit. Les Celtes, 47 f., Les Druides, 157 f.

Footnote 719:(return)
See p. 32, supra; Reinach, CMR i. 72, Rev. Arch. ii. 123.

Footnote 720:(return)
O'Grady, ii. 123.

Footnote 721:(return)
Epona is fully discussed by Reinach in his Epona, 1895, and in articles (illustrated) in Rev. Arch. vols. 26, 33, 35, 40, etc. See also ii. [1898], 190.

Footnote 722:(return)
Reinach suggests that this may explain why Vercingetorix, in view of siege by the Romans, sent away his horses. They were too sacred to be eaten. Cæsar, vii. 71; Reinach, RC xxvii. 1 f.

Footnote 723:(return)
Juvenal, viii. 154; Apul. Metam. iii. 27; Min. Felix, Octav. xxvii. 7.

Footnote 724:(return)
For the inscriptions, see Holder, s.v. "Epona."

Footnote 725:(return)
CIL iii. 7904.

Footnote 726:(return)
CIL xiii. 3071; Reinach, BF 253, CMR i. 64, Répert. de la Stat. ii. 745; Holder, ii. 651-652.

Footnote 727:(return)
Granger, Worship of the Romans, 113; Kennedy, 135.

Footnote 728:(return)
Grimm, Teut. Myth. 49, 619, 657, 661-664.

Footnote 729:(return)
Frazer, Golden Bough2, ii. 281, 315.

Footnote 730:(return)
Cæsar, v. 21, 27. Possibly the Dea Bibracte of the Aeduans was a beaver goddess.

Footnote 731:(return)
O'Curry, MC ii. 207; Elton, 298.

Footnote 732:(return)
Girald. Cambr. Top. Hib. ii. 19, RC ii. 202; Folk-Lore, v. 310; IT iii. 376.

Footnote 733:(return)
O'Grady, ii. 286, 538; Campbell, The Fians, 78; Thiers, Traité des Superstitions, ii. 86.

Footnote 734:(return)
Lady Guest, ii. 409 f.

Footnote 735:(return)
Blanchet, i. 166, 295, 326, 390.

Footnote 736:(return)
See p. 209, supra.

Footnote 737:(return)
Diod. Sic. v. 30; IT iii. 385; RC xxvi. 139; Rh[^y]s, HL 593.

Footnote 738:(return)
Man. Hist. Brit. p. x.

Footnote 739:(return)
Herodian, iii. 14, 8; Duald MacFirbis in Irish Nennius, p. vii; Cæsar, v. 10; ZCP iii. 331.

Footnote 740:(return)
See Reinach, "Les Carnassiers androphages dans l'art gallo-romain," CMR i. 279.

Footnote 741:(return)
See Holder, s.v.

Footnote 742:(return)
Rh[^y]s, CB4 267.

Footnote 743:(return)
Cæsar, v. 12.

Footnote 744:(return)
Dio Cassius, lxii. 2.

Footnote 745:(return)
See a valuable paper by N.W. Thomas, "Survivance du Culte des Animaux dans le Pays de Galles," in Rev. de l'Hist. des Religions, xxxviii. 295 f., and a similar paper by Gomme, Arch. Rev. 1889, 217 f. Both writers seem to regard these cults as pre-Celtic.

Footnote 746:(return)
Gomme, Ethnol. in Folklore, 30, Village Community, 113.

Footnote 747:(return)
Dio Cass. lxxii. 21; Logan, Scottish Gael, ii. 12.

Footnote 748:(return)
Joyce, SH ii. 529; Martin, 71.

Footnote 749:(return)
RC xxii. 20, 24, 390-1.

Footnote 750:(return)
IT iii. 385.

Footnote 751:(return)
Waldron, Isle of Man, 49; Train, Account of the Isle of Man, ii. 124.

Footnote 752:(return)
Vallancey, Coll. de Reb. Hib. iv. No. 13; Clément, Fétes, 466. For English customs, see Henderson, Folklore of the Northern Counties, 125.

Footnote 753:(return)
Frazer, Golden Bough2, ii. 380, 441, 446.

Footnote 754:(return)
For other Welsh instances of the danger of killing certain birds, see Thomas, op. cit. xxxviii. 306.

Footnote 755:(return)
Frazer, Kingship, 261; Stokes, RC xvi. 418; Larminie, Myths and Folk-tales, 327.

Footnote 756:(return)
See Rh[^y]s, Welsh People, 44; Livy, v. 34.

Footnote 757:(return)
Cf. IT iii. 407, 409.

Footnote 758:(return)
Cæsar, v. 14.

Footnote 759:(return)
Strabo, iv. 5. 4.

Footnote 760:(return)
Dio Cass. lxxvi. 12; Jerome, Adv. Jovin. ii. 7. Giraldus has much to say of incest in Wales, probably actual breaches of moral law among a barbarous people (Descr. Wales, ii. 6).

Footnote 761:(return)
RC xii. 235, 238, xv. 291, xvi. 149; LL 23a, 124b. In various Irish texts a child is said to have three fathers—probably a reminiscence of polyandry. See p. 74, supra, and RC xxiii. 333.

Footnote 762:(return)
IT i. 136; Loth, i. 134 f.; Rh[^y]s, HL 308.

Footnote 763:(return)
Zimmer, "Matriarchy among the Picts," in Henderson, Leadbhar nan Gleann.

Footnote 764:(return)
See p. 259, infra.

Footnote 765:(return)
See p. 274, infra.