Celtic Mythology And Folklore
Who are the Celts?
We fancy Celts as light-skinned, red-haired and freckled folk, with mystical inclinations. They are believed to see the world in a different way, some of them have higher senses, which allow them to see and communicate with fairies and other spirits, the spirits who dance in the evening woods.
They believed in the spoken word, which is why they did not put down their myth and we have nothing written from their culture.
Equality of Sexes
There is evidence that Celtic women fought alongside with men when their native land was threatened, the Celtic Queens ruled and led armies into battle, women also became poets and druids.
An Otherworld exists just beyond our physical reality. It reminds of the Dreamtime of Australia – the world where deities and powerful beings dwell. The Otherworld was similar to this world – only more beautiful. Trees bore blossom and fruit at the same time, no one grew old, death had no dominion upon the Otherworld.
The divinities had the magical power of shapeshifting – changing their forms into those of humans and animals, so they were not depicted in human form by the Celts. They did not fuss about the names of the deities as well. So they did not have an organized pantheon, but had lovely folklore tales
Tales of Arthur
In the Arthurian Cycle, we learn the tale about a mythical Celtic king named Arthur. There was a love triangle between his Queen and her two lovers (Arthur and Lancelot). The tale of the great king of Camelot was full of romance, history, and mythology and inspired poets and storytellers from England and France. At birth, Arthur was snatched away by the omnipresent wizard Merlin. The sword in this tale is named Excalibur and it was given to Arthur by the Lady of The Lake. Arthur’s court is famous with the noble knights (Percival, Lancelot, Kay and others), who met around a great Round table at Camelot. He was married to the exclusively beautiful Guinevere, and Britain was peaceful under their reign.
Arthur’s wife is a disguised Welsh goddess, who cheated on the aging king with the nobleman Lancelot. In the beginning Lancelot tried to stay loyal to his king: while he slept next to the woman he loved, he placed a sword between them to hinder intimacy. However love conquered all and that was the end of the Round table’s peace and prosperity.
A lot of Celtic tales tell about beings of the Otherworld named fairies, who communicated with the mortal folk. The beautiful fairy queen ruled Fairyland, where fairies kept magical cattle and dogs. There were fairy horses that lived in the ocean (water horse) and all kinds of unlikely beings. Two colors are most often related to the fairy folk: red and green for their attires. They were believed to kidnap the bride and dance with her soul. Fairies lived simple and irresponsible lives, dancing and feasting, but some of them also had a job. The most famous Irish fairy – the Leperchaun was the shoe-maker of the fairy world. Their food was tastier than anything the humans eat, but they often wanted the food of humans – especially the butter. There are many charms to preserve the butter from being snatched.
There were portals between our world and the fairyland, however mostly the passage was one way.The fairies spent their time in merrymaking, dancing, flirting and making love without ceasing.
Many stories about the fairies tell of this ravishingly beautiful woman, who stole the most brilliant poet from the world and made him her lover. Once he tasted her charms he was not unable to leave her, since she was not only magnificent but also utterly wanton. A single night with the fairy was centuries from the Earth time.