Reply To: Carn Marth – Ancient Fertility Goddess?


    I’m beginning to wonder whether our concepts of ancient Celtic belief have not been skewed a lot by very modern ways of thinking. I’m coming to the conclusion that the core of ancient Celtic belief(s) was indeed animistic and that perhaps we’ve been looking at things the wrong way around – this being due to the later Romanised version of Celtic belief, or perhaps, the Celticised Roman religion. In one incident that was recorded, when the Celts/Gauls were sacking Delphi, it was stated that they were rather bemused by the Greeks’ anthropomorphic representations of deities. It’s also notable that before massive Romanisation, there was very little anthropomorphic representation of the divine, certainly in comparison with other contemporary cultures. Therefore, is Coventina the “goddess of wells and springs”, or is she rather the name and spirit of that spring? Is Taranis the “god of thunder” or is he rather the thunder itself? From an animistic point of view, all things – both material and immaterial – can have a spirit. Somehow, I think that fits better with the evidence we have from Celtic myth and also from archaeology, and perhaps it also calls into question our very Graeco-Roman ideas of “god/goddess of …”. This is where, to me at least, the awen comes into everything.