I’ve been thinking about this for a while and considering and I’ve often wanted to rewrite the key “texts” of Celtic mythology to at least in spirit reflect the original pagan form. I have a few key points which I think would open up a world of new insight if people simply took them into consideration. I do want others to share possible elements that can obviously be linked to common threads in Indo-European mythologies that shed light on the mythology and beliefs of the Celtic peoples.
Observation 1: it’s pretty well known that the “older Gods being overthrown by new generations” is rather common here. The fomori are clearly analogous to the Jotun and or Titans, furthering this links is that Chronus being overthrown by one of his descendants is very similar to Lugh overthrowing Balor as he is actually a descendant of Balor. Thirdly, folklore and common sayings such as describing storms as being Lugh and Balor fighting suggests that Lugh among other common attributes associated with other sky Gods such as Zeus and Jupiter (justice, oaths, and so forth) further seem to suggest this. However, Lugh’s associations also bare a similarity to Odin. This also suggests a long suspected, but as far as I can tell not outright stated link between Odin and the sky. However, that last part is obviously more speculative.
Observation the 2nd: Cuchulainn is the descendant of Lugh which among other aspects of his legend suggests a possible and very likely mythological link between him and Heracles/Hercules. Those being that they are fierce, inhumanly powerful warriors descended from the chief God who appears to be a sky God.
Observation the third: At least based on their attributes and associations there seems at least to my mind to be a link between Epona and Macha. They are both associated with horses, the land, and fertility which may also suggest a link between these two and Demeter who is also associated with at least two of these.
Observation the fourth: The link between Morrigna/The Morrigan. prophecy, the number 3, and fate may or may not be connected to the three fates who also appear in Norse, Greek, and Roman religion, thus it would make sense, given that the ancient Celtic religions were often heavy with symbolism connected to the number 3. Not to mention that this seems to be a common motif in Indo-European Pagan religions.
Observation the fifth: It seems that given the associations between land Goddesses and sovereignty, it seems likely that the leadership of chieftains was linked to the favor of Divine forces connected with nature. This is also not uncommon in a number of different religions.Some have theorized that misfortunes that befell entire clans or tribes may have been linked to the misdeeds of their cheiftains/kings and thus led to their ritualistic killing as a penalty for their failure and a means to restore the balance. How much evidence that can be at least deemed solid by scholars dedicated to the understanding of Celtic culture in the most objective possible light, I do not know.
Observation the sixth; Brigid and Goibiniu have some rather obvious parallels between Vulcan and Hephaestus and Hestia and Vesta given they are both associated with fire and one in particular with smithing, so while they may not be exact copies… WHY DO PEOPLE NEVER MENTION THIS?! I mean this isn’t exactly an uncommon motif in Indo-European religions and mythologies. Even if you can argue there isn’t much directly written about them, the fact that they are both Deities linked with fire and one is foremost associated with blacksmiths should be pretty obvious.
Observation the Seventh or rather a question: Why the hell does no one write at least an annotated version of these stories with at least some of these as footnotes?
I do apologize for ranting a bit, but does anyone else have any really obvious insights people don’t seem to bring up as much as they should or at all? There’s probably more I could say here, but mostly I just wanted to start a thread that will at least possibly help develop a more accurate understanding of what the original forms of the myths and the accompanying religion were like in their heyday. So feel free to discuss, critique, or share.