The Ancient Celtic Lords And Ladies Of Death

The Ancient Celtic Lords And Ladies Of Death

Traditionally, history classes have been focused on installing widespread knowledge of the ancient Greek gods of the Underworld, led by Hades, but less is taught about Nyx, the goddess of night, and even less again about her sons, Hypnos, the god of sleep, and his brother Thanatos, the personification of death itself. In Norse mythology, Hel was a child of the trickster god Loki and served mythology and religion as the goddess of death, however, the names of the gods and goddesses of death from the Celtic Underworld are much less known, perhaps because they less often feature in action movies like their Greek and Norse counterparts.

The Bunworth Banshee, as depicted in the 1825 book, Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland, by Thomas Crofton Croker, is a modern manifestation of the ancient Celtic deity, The Morrígan. (Public Domain)

The Otherworld Dwelling Of Deities

According to Biblical texts and early theologians, God's definitive judgment and entry to heaven is what early Christians expected upon death, with the fear of hell being promised to those who rejected God’s will through life. However, in Celtic mythology there was no ‘Afterlife’ as such, but an ‘Otherworld’ that was not only the realm of the dead, but also the dwelling place for a pantheon of ancient deities that interacted with humans in life and death.

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Ancient Origins Quotations