Thursday, May 2, 2013

Celtic Druids Gods of Arts and Crafts

Celtic Gods of Arts and Crafts

Among other culture gods were those associated with the arts and crafts—the development of Celtic art in metal-work necessitating the existence of gods of this art. Such a god is Goibniu, eponymous god of smiths (Old Ir. goba, "smith"), and the divine craftsman at the battle of Mag-tured, making spears which never failed to kill. Smiths have everywhere been regarded as uncanny—a tradition surviving from the first introduction of metal among those hitherto accustomed to stone weapons and tools. S. Patrick prayed against the "spells of women, smiths, and Druids," and it is thus not surprising to find that Goibniu had a reputation for magic, even among Christians. A spell for making butter, in an eighth century MS. preserved at S. Gall, appeals to his "science." Curiously enough, Goibniu is also connected with the culinary art in myth, and, like Hephaistos, prepares the feast of the gods, while his ale preserves their immortality. The elation produced by heady liquors caused them to be regarded as draughts of immortality, like Soma, Haoma, or nectar. Goibniu survives in tradition as the Gobhan Saer, to whom the building of round towers is ascribed.
Another god of crafts was Creidne the brazier (Ir. cerd, "artificer"; cf. Scots caird, "tinker"), who assisted in making a silver hand for Nuada, and supplied with magical rapidity parts of the weapons used at Mag-tured. According to the annalists, he was drowned while bringing golden ore from Spain. Luchtine, god of carpenters, provided spear-handles {}for the battle, and with marvellous skill flung them into the sockets of the spear-heads.