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Holy Hills of Ireland

12 13 greater powers Gods and Goddesses We only see Irelands deities now through the distorting lenses of later traditions but the Daghdha, the Celtic dagoDewios, is the IndoEuropean sky deity who became Deus in Latin and Zeus in Greek. The Celts gave his name to an earlier Irish sun god who built Br na Binne and whose cauldron satisfied everyone, while Lugh, the Celtic god of arts and agriculture, gave Ireland the Lughnasa harvest cult. Of goddesses, apart from Cailleach Bharra and Binn there was Meadhbh, donor of Taras sovereignty, who married and inebriated new kings and took lovers. Brghid, goddess of poetry and fertility, arrived with the Celtic Brigantes. Her feast at the onset of February, Omelg, lactation, the first day of Spring, became St Bridgets, as did her wells, while Macha, Ulsters land goddesss name, originally simply a word for an area of ground, became sacred through Emhain Macha, Navan, and Ard Macha, Armagh. In this mythologically saturated landscape otherworld beings are associated with every significant feature. Many hills or tumuli contain a sdh or a br, otherworld homes of supernatural beings, and quite probably the megalithic carvings relate somehow to lost Stone Age beliefs or myths. Amongst the enigmatic, probably partly astronomically inspired, shapes and patterns there are some suggestively female forms at Loughcrew and Sess Kilgreen, and male ones at Dowth and Seefin. Above Br na Binne, New Grange, in its unexcavated state. Above, left and below Decorated stones from Knowth and Br na Binne.
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