Significance of nature in Celtic religion


Significance of nature in Celtic religion.


The Celts relied on nature resources in their daily life and used them for various reasons – food, medicine and tools. In mythology the Celts are often represented as animists – they honoured forces of nature and their world consisted of many spirits. Celts relied on nature elements in daily life for food, medicine and other tools.

Moreover, Celts strongly believed that certain animals were messengers of the spirits or gods. Animals were very important in Celtic myths. Animals were symbols of cruelty, speed, fertility and beauty. Also the behaviour of some animals was used in religious symbolism: The snake crawling over the ground meant the snake was an animal from the underworld. Flying birds were connected to the freedom of death. People in myths could sometimes also change into an animal and visa versa.

Animals took great part in Celtic mythology. They were used as symbols for gods to speak with humans or to carry some information. Here are examples of the most important animals in Celts mythology:

Snake. It had lots of meanings in Celtic myths. In some of them snakes were seen as animals which symbolizes the rebirth (due to its ability to share their skin). In other myths snake is represented as god of healing – Sirona. Snakes were also the symbol of charity and death.

Birds. Important symbols in Celtic myths due to their ability to fly. Flying was the symbol of freedom. Furthermore, birds had more symbolic purposes – their voices were well-known and so they were also seen symbolically. For example, water birds were seen as the connection between water and Heaven, the protective features of the goose were symbolic for struggle. In some myths birds were symbols of healing and rebirth in the world of the gods. Cranes were much used in Celtic mythology.

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Significance of nature in Celtic religion. (August 11, 2015). https://documents.exchange/significance-of-nature-in-celtic-religion/ Reviewed on 17:32, May 21 2018
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