Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Doing it my way

I think I'm going to stop reading about the Celtic pantheon and just worship them the way I see them.  I found a really nice book about Celtic spirituality and the mythology of various gods that I really do enjoy reading.  But I found out that my pronunciations are way off so the gods I've been praying to don't necessarily have the same names as the ones other people pray to.  I've been pronouncing Danu, dan-oo, instead of dona, which I can't say I like at all.  I prefer dan-oo.  It was really discouraging.  Plus I found out that Cernnunos isn't Celtic at all, but Gaulish.

I guess this is a problem with not speaking the language of the various gods, but I would have to learn about 5 different languages to get it all right.  I'm guessing they know who they are and don't give a ripe shit about my lousy pronunciation as long as I give them love and devotion.

I was so discouraged last night that I just threw my hands up and prayed, before bed, that whoever out there in the ether wanted me to worship them should let me know while I slept.  And I dreamed about Cernnunos.  Not an ambiguous dream at all.  So I guess they'll put up with my mispronunciations, my ignorance about their mythologies and histories and just accept me as I am.  I mean...they called me, after all.  It it were important, I'm sure they would have let me know from the beginning how to pronounce their names.

Besides, I don't think I'm the only one who gets it wrong as I've heard The Morrigan pronounced as spelled instead of The Morrian, as the books says it's pronounced.

I don't think I got any of them right. Even Lugh was apparently pronounced more like Louie than Loo.  I'm going with my pronunciations


  1. The Gods and Goddesses know who you mean, no matter how you pronounce their names.

  2. I agree with Debra. I'm not sure the gods give a rats arse how you pronounce their names. Also worth remembering that it's a good couple of thousand years since Their names were spoken in such a way. Rigantona becomes Rhiannon in that space of time - vocab, heck whole languages, change in that space of time. It's the connection that you forge that counts, and a word has all kinds of resonances. I have no resonance with 'Lugh' but Lugus hits me right in the breast bone. Yet logically I know they are just different takes on the same name - it doesn't change that I only resonate with Lugus.
    A celtic 'pantheon' doesn't really work (I hope that doesn't offent) because the gods would have been very much regional. Far better to just consider which gods speak to you, or maybe which gods were more likey to have been honoured in the place your ancestors lived. For example Rhiannon is considered 'Welsh' but that's not really correct. She survived in a Welsh manuscript, but on a landscape level horses wouldn't have really worked with the hilly/mountainous landscape in wales. In truth parts of northern england and east anglian would have been much more suitable for horses and the peoples there saw horses as being much more important. Ergo Rhiannon would probably have had more of a presence (by what ever name she may have been called!!) than in Wales. Do you get the kind of thing I mean?
    Now as to Cernunnos ... Gauls were Celtic :) Different Branch of the same linguistic family. Celtic was, and is, a clutural thing based upon language, not a genetic or geographic thing. The Gauls were Celts. Cernunnos is the Gaulish name for this god, or should we say 1 of the names. But maybe the god you now call Cernunnos had other names? Maybe some of them you already know ;)
    For myself I have come to think of Cernunnos as a very primal aspect of Lugus (Lugh)- possibly one of the most awesome (in the REAL sense of the word) gods I have ever sensed. A true hero for humanity, He has given us so much. I also think the Dagda is another name for this God as Cunliffe also(very respected archaeologist and author) suggests might be the case. And by that token also Gwyn Ap Nud... You can take this even further afield and say Odin is another name for this God (I freely admit that this is a side of this deity that I'm a little scared to even approach!)Nothing is clear cut with the celtic gods. All of these names were only really titles. 'The horned one' 'the good god' 'the multi-skilled one'... they can all be the same person :)
    Take Maponus for example. I knew him as 'green man' and it took me a good couple of months before I even realised the energy that came to me as Maponus was the same person. Kinda like you know what your husband smells like... Same person, different names. The Irish probably called him Angus Og, and he's strikingly similar to Apollo and Pan... and some newly converted Christians may well have identified Him with Christ :)
    All I'm saying in a very long winded way is that you're right not to get too hung up on the names. ^_^

    ~Nellie @abitofgardeningspirit

  3. Thanks, Debra. I'm pretty sure they knew who I meant since they called me in the first place. I just felt a little foolish, using the wrong pronunciation.

  4. Nellie! As always you have the answers I've been looking for. Although it gets confusing when dealing with so many different tribes and cultures, trying to get it all straight. I'm going to print out your answer and add it to my notebook so I can refer to it. I'm not at all offended about the pantheon thing. I just use it as a shortcut when trying to explain who I mean. :)

  5. Kathy you really flatter me. I'm always pleased if something I say helps. Gods know I have a difficult time myself trying to disentangle all those celtic threads of who was who... Fun though! :D


  6. I feel bad because you do the work and I reap the harvest of your research. :)