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Author Topic: British Guardian Spirits?  (Read 922 times)

Materialist

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British Guardian Spirits?
« on: October 05, 2012, 11:36:09 am »
I follow reconstructionist methods for all my ancestral religions, and I'm wondering if British Celts had guardian spirits. What I mean is, did they have an equivalent to fylgja/fravashi/genius/daimon, etc. During the Roman period they made altars for geni, and during the Christian era adopted guardian angels, so does this mean they had something similar to start with? If so, what were they called? Is there a Welsh word for it?

Seren

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Re: British Guardian Spirits?
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2012, 01:24:55 pm »
Quote from: Materialist;75928
I follow reconstructionist methods for all my ancestral religions, and I'm wondering if British Celts had guardian spirits. What I mean is, did they have an equivalent to fylgja/fravashi/genius/daimon, etc. During the Roman period they made altars for geni, and during the Christian era adopted guardian angels, so does this mean they had something similar to start with? If so, what were they called? Is there a Welsh word for it?

 
Given the evidence in neighbouring cultures I would be very surprised if the Brythonic Celts didn't have some kind of concept as far as guardian spirits are concerned, they'd be pretty much unique otherwise. I'm not sure of any Welsh terms, though, but archaeological evidence shows that there has long been the practice of foundation deposits - animals or people buried beneath the foundations of buildings at the time of their construction, that sort of thing. The practice suggests that either the sacrifices were supposed to appease some kind of spirits (or deities), or else became guardian spirits themselves. That kind of thing.

Materialist

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Re: British Guardian Spirits?
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2012, 11:29:03 am »
Quote from: Seren;75931
Given the evidence in neighbouring cultures I would be very surprised if the Brythonic Celts didn't have some kind of concept as far as guardian spirits are concerned, they'd be pretty much unique otherwise. I'm not sure of any Welsh terms, though, but archaeological evidence shows that there has long been the practice of foundation deposits - animals or people buried beneath the foundations of buildings at the time of their construction, that sort of thing. The practice suggests that either the sacrifices were supposed to appease some kind of spirits (or deities), or else became guardian spirits themselves. That kind of thing.


Thank you, Seren. Perhaps, then, I ought to reconstruct the word for it, based on the etymology of the names for the other beings I listed. Well, I looked up "fetch" (the Anglo-Saxon term for it), my dictionary doesn't have the root of the word, but says it's synonymous with "wraith." Turning to that entry, it says the word comes from Scots English "warth," which means guardian angel, and ultimately derived from Old Norse "vorthr" (guardian).

So maybe something like "gwyliwr" (guard, watchman) is appropriate. Hopefully this isn't a Latin loanword, so I can reconstruct the British form using Mr. Jackson's "Language and History in Early Britain," which describes the phonology of the Roman period.

Materialist

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Re: British Guardian Spirits?
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2012, 10:42:01 am »
Quote from: Materialist;76068
Thank you, Seren. Perhaps, then, I ought to reconstruct the word for it, based on the etymology of the names for the other beings I listed. Well, I looked up "fetch" (the Anglo-Saxon term for it), my dictionary doesn't have the root of the word, but says it's synonymous with "wraith." Turning to that entry, it says the word comes from Scots English "warth," which means guardian angel, and ultimately derived from Old Norse "vorthr" (guardian).

So maybe something like "gwyliwr" (guard, watchman) is appropriate. Hopefully this isn't a Latin loanword, so I can reconstruct the British form using Mr. Jackson's "Language and History in Early Britain," which describes the phonology of the Roman period.


I shall have to amend this statement. I looked at an Old Celtic dictionary and the word for "guardian" is "koisi-," which, in my preliminary guess, would be something like +cus or +cys in Welsh.

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