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Author Topic: Animal Importance to the Celts  (Read 4274 times)
Gaia
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« Topic Start: December 12, 2009, 07:01:55 pm »

I noticed that there is not much information on the forum about the importance of animals to the Celts.  I know there are some that want to know more about this (myself included).  There is talk about this topic but it is very broad, so I was wondering if anyone can help make it a bit more organized.

Can anyone recommend books or reliable information that talk about the importance of animals (wild or domesticated) to the Celts?  (This includes all Celtic pantheons)

When you list the information I think it may be a good idea to say which pantheon.

Thank you!
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darashand
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« Reply #1: December 13, 2009, 12:35:42 am »

I noticed that there is not much information on the forum about the importance of animals to the Celts.  I know there are some that want to know more about this (myself included).  There is talk about this topic but it is very broad, so I was wondering if anyone can help make it a bit more organized.

Can anyone recommend books or reliable information that talk about the importance of animals (wild or domesticated) to the Celts?  (This includes all Celtic pantheons)

When you list the information I think it may be a good idea to say which pantheon.

Thank you!

I'm scrounging thru my links, but here's one for now.  Its about animals and mythology: http://www.imbas.org/imbas/index.html
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« Reply #2: December 13, 2009, 12:37:31 am »


When you list the information I think it may be a good idea to say which pantheon.

The above link is geared toward Irish Mythology..

This one comes from OBOD: Animal Lore
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« Reply #3: December 13, 2009, 04:51:00 am »

The above link is geared toward Irish Mythology..

This one comes from OBOD: Animal Lore
I really like the Druid Animal Oracle which is featured there. It's not a scientific lore collection if that's what you're looking for, but the guidebook has two pages on the card meaning and two pages of lore on every animal card. I love learning lore by drawing daily cards.
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« Reply #4: December 13, 2009, 02:24:46 pm »

To All:

I talked to Erynn Rowan Laurie via email and she said that this is a reliable reference book.  But "The CR FAQ" says to be carful only because Miranda Green is an archeologist and does not know much about the actual language and translation of the Celtic language.  

Grain of salt...

Animals in Celtic life and myth‬, Miranda Green
« Last Edit: December 13, 2009, 02:28:49 pm by Gaia, Reason: Wanted to make sure it was to everyone and not a quote. » Logged
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« Reply #5: December 13, 2009, 03:05:26 pm »

To All:

I talked to Erynn Rowan Laurie via email and she said that this is a reliable reference book.  But "The CR FAQ" says to be carful only because Miranda Green is an archeologist and does not know much about the actual language and translation of the Celtic language.  

Grain of salt...

Animals in Celtic life and myth‬, Miranda Green

It's a good book, definitely worth a read. I've written a review of it if you're interested, it explains the issues I have with it, along with the positives.

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Gaia
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« Reply #6: December 13, 2009, 08:50:46 pm »

It's a good book, definitely worth a read. I've written a review of it if you're interested, it explains the issues I have with it, along with the positives.

You said the first five chapters are about the animals.  Does it list them and then talk about each one?  I have never been able to look at the actual book.
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« Reply #7: December 14, 2009, 04:59:34 am »

You said the first five chapters are about the animals.  Does it list them and then talk about each one?  I have never been able to look at the actual book.

Not so much like that - each chapter covers animals in a different context, so the first five chapters are about animals in different types of situations - animals in farming, hunting, war, ritual, and so on, and the primary focus is on what the archaeological evidence tells us about them and how they were seen within a Celtic worldview. Then there are chapters on how animals are shown in art, in the tales, and in their associations with gods. Each chapter focuses on the animals in the particular context that is covered so it's not set out like a chapter on everything you wanted to know about dogs, then horses, then crows etc. In part, that's where the repetition comes throughout the book, but that makes it great as a quick reference, really, which is how most people will probably use it.

You can have a preview of it on Google books.
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« Reply #8: December 14, 2009, 12:21:26 pm »

Can anyone recommend books or reliable information that talk about the importance of animals (wild or domesticated) to the Celts?  (This includes all Celtic pantheons)

Thank you!

I too am interested in finding info on specific animals
Someone gave a link to the Imbas page but here's a direct link to Lars Nooden's paper on Animals in Celtic Myth (Irish & Welsh) http://www-personal.umich.edu/~lars/rel375.html

I recall from reading Cattlelords & Clansmen by Nerys Patterson that there was a section in Ch. 3 about animals. Since cattle were highly valued, beef was usually eaten by the nobility, and the ordinary people ate pork, so those animals were associated with those classes. Sheep were also associated with women, probably since they were responsible for doing the spinning. Here's my review of the book:
http://caelesti.wordpress.com/2006/09/06/cattle-lords-and-clansmen/ (about Ireland)

Kym Lambert's essay specifically about Greyhounds: http://www.cyberpict.net/hounds/clthnd.htm
and on horses: http://www.cyberpict.net/horses/clthrs.htm (Both general Celtic, but specify as to particular cultures)

The Clannada Gadelica site has several essays on specific animals (British Isles)
http://www.clannada.org/animals_birds.php
http://www.clannada.org/animals_pigs.php
http://www.clannada.org/animals_dogs.php
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