Monday, November 15, 2010

Lugas: A Celtic god

I have always preferred the word "god" to the word "deity." Maybe it's just me, but somehow god is a better descriptive word. On our Cernic Rite video, we used a song by the Spanish Celtic/Pagan black metal band the Crystalmoors entitled 'Lacrimae Lugus', which was supposed to be a tribute to Lugus, not to the god Cernunnos. Lugus was a pre-Roman/Christian god in the Celtic world. The Crystalmoors were likely motivated by the fact that Lugus was an important god to the Celtiberians in ancient Iberia (Spain/Portugal). This god was also present in the British Isles, Gaul (France), and in what is today modern day Switzerland.

Wikipedia does not mention Cisalpine Gaul, so I guess this is another area of open study. I had originally written that Druidism was not present in Cisalpine Gaul, but later discovered that it was at least present in some form there. Therefore I suspect the same for Lugus. If it was present in Iberia and Switzerland, then it's likely that it played some role, albeit smaller, in ancient Cisalpine culture. After the Romans conquered Celtic lands, they cleverly assigned one of the Roman gods to each Celtic god to make assimilation more easy. Therefore Lugus became the "Gaulish Mercury." In conclusion, it seems to appear that Lugus may have been to the Celtiberians, what Cernunnos was to the Cisalpines.

Lugus (from Wikipedia page):

Lugus was a deity of the Celtic pantheon. His name is rarely directly attested in inscriptions, but his importance can be inferred from placenames and ethnonyms, and his nature and attributes are deduced from the distinctive iconography of Gallo-Roman inscriptions to Mercury, who is widely believed to have been identified with Lugus, and from the quasi-mythological narratives involving his later cognates, Irish Lugh and Welsh Lleu Llaw Gyffes.

It is possible that Lugus was a triune god, comprising Esus, Toutatis and Taranis, the three chief deities mentioned by Lucan. The "threefold death" in Celtic human sacrifice may reflect the triplicity of this god.


Celtic pantheon (Wikipedia)


'Lacrimae Lugus' by the Crystalmoors


As we've mentioned before, a search for "the Celts" on brings up some interesting books, several of them specifically about Cisaline Gaul.


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