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 Celtic Animal Legends

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Patrice Cournoyer
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PostSubject: Celtic Animal Legends   Fri Feb 25, 2011 1:51 pm

Some Legends collected by me.. more will be added

Adder, Snake (Nathair): The snake has long been associated with wisdom, reincarnation, and cunning. The poisonous adder of the British Isles has the same reputation. The Druids are known in Wales as Nadredd; in the Fold of the Bards, Taliesin says "I am a wiseman, I am a serpent". Those Druids carry an amulet called gloine nathair (serpent glass); although they said that this was formed by snakes, it was probably really an adder stone or blown glass. In the Scottish Highlands, the adder symbolized the Cailleach's power. When you see a snake while on a shamanic journey, prepare to shed something in favor of something greater and better.

Badger (Broc): This animal is unyielding in the face of danger and is noted for its tenacity and courage. In the Welsh tale of Pwyll's courting of Rhiannon, a badger is mentioned as a guide during dreaming. The badger will teach you to fight for your rights and defend your spiritual ideas.

Horse (Each): One of our favourite animals; sacred to the Goddesses Epona and Rhiannon. The horse is considered to be a faithful guide to the Otherworlds. It symbolizes stamina, endurance, and faithfulness.


Hare (Gèarr) or Rabbit (Coinean): An animal sacred to the Goddess Andraste in particular. Its movements were sometimes used for divination; Boadiccea used a hare this way just before her last battle with the Romans. Associated with transformation, the receiving of hidden teachings, and intuitive messages.

Crow (Badb, Rocas): This animal is to treated with care. Along with the raven, the crow is a symbol of conflict and death, an ill-omen associated with such Goddess as Macha, Badb, and the Morrigan. The Irish word for crow is badb, which is also the name of a Celtic war Goddess. Although the crow is ill-omened, it is also considered to be skillful, cunning, single-minded, and a bringer of knowledge. It is of value when trickery is needed. It also teaches you to learn from the past, but not hold onto it.

Boar (Bacrie, Torc): Important to the art and myths of the Celtic peoples, the boar is known for its cunning and ferocious nature. A famous Irish legendary boar was Orc Triath, which the Goddess Brigit owned. In the Arthurian tales of the Mabinogion the boar Twrch Trwyth was a terrible foe to Arthur. The White Boar of Marvan sent inspiration to its master to write music and poetry.

Bee (Beach): The bee is usually mentioned in connection with honey and mead, which is made from honey. The bee is industrious, single-minded when performing a task, and fearless when defending its home.
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