Jan 11, 2010

Monday Myth

A Celtic Creation Myth

Once upon a time, there was no time and that was when there
also was no gods and no man walked the surface of the land.
But there was the sea, and where the sea met the land, a
mare was born, white and made of sea-foam. And her name was
Eiocha. On the land, near where the land met the sea, a
tree grew, a strong and sturdy oak. On the oak, grew a
plant whose seeds were formed of the foam tears of the sea.

To sustain her, Eiocha ate the seeds, these white berries,
and they were transformed within her. Eiocha grew heavy
with child and gave birth to the god, Cernunnos. So great
was her pain in childbirth that she ripped bark from the one
tree and hurled it into the sea. The bark was transformed
by the sea and became the giants of the deep.

Cernunnos was lonely and he saw the giants of the deep who
were numerous, so he coupled with Eiocha and of their union
came the gods, Maponos, Tauranis, and Teutates, and the
goddess, Epona. Eiocha soon tired of the land, being a
creature of sea-foam, and she returned the sea, where she
was transformed into Tethra, goddess of the deep water,
sometimes called Tethys.

The gods and goddess were lonely for they had none to com-
mand nor none to worship them. The gods and goddess
took wood from the one oak tree and fashioned the first man
and the first woman.

Cernunnos also made other animals from the one oak tree, the
deer and the hound, the boar and the raven, the hare and the
snake. He was god of the animals, and he commanded the oak
tree to spread and grow, to be come a forest home for his

Epona also made animals, but she made only the horse, mare
and stallion alike, in remembrance of Eiocha who was no

Teutates took limbs from the one tree, and fashioned a bow,
arrows, and a club.

Tauranis took limbs from the one tree, and fashioned
thunderbolts made of fire and noise. He would leap to the
top of the tallest trees and hurl his weapon at the ground.
The ground would shake, the grass would burn, and the ani-
mals would run in fear

Maponos also took limbs from the one tree, but he fashioned
not a weapon but a harp. He stretched strings of the winds
from its limbs and spent his days in Cernunnos' forest. The
winds would join in the melodies, and the birds as well. And
all Cernunnos' animals would come from near and far to hear
Maponos play.

The giants of the deep saw the gods and goddess happy on the
land, and the giants were jealous, for they had none to com-
mand nor none to worship them. So the giants plotted
against the gods; they would overwhelm them with the sea and
take the land under the water. But Tethra in the deep
sea heard the murmuring of the giants in the waves and she
remembered her days as Eiocha and so she warned her sons and
daughter. The gods were prepared the day the giants came
against them.

The gods took refuge in the one oak tree. Tauranis hurled
his thunderbolt and split the land, and the sea overflowed
its boundaries. Maponos broke the sky and hurled it at the
giants. Teutates' deadly aim with the bow and arrows from
the one oak tree cut down many of the giants. The giants of
the deep were not without weapons; they had the strength of
the waves.

The gods overwhelmed the giants, but could not destroy them.
The giants of the deep were driven back into the sea, and
Tethra bound them in the deep waters. But a few escaped
Tethra and fled far from her reach. They called themselves
the Fomor, and built a life on the outer edges of the world.
But the Fomor dreamed of conquest, and vowed to once again
take the land from the gods. Of their later battles, our
histories tell us much.

The sea returned to its bed and Maponos repaired the sky.
And the gods looked for Epona as she had been absent from
the victory. Epona had rescued one man and one woman from
the watery and fiery destruction, and the three of them
waited deep in Cernunnos' forest. From this man and this
woman Epona saved would come our mighty people. The gods
and the goddess left the deep of Cernunnos' forest and re-
turned to their home near the one tree of oak which still
stood strong and sturdy, and the sacred berries where still
white as sea-foam.

Where the fiery pieces of the heavens Maponos had torn from
the sky had mingled with the waters of the sea, there were
born new gods. The god Belenus and his sister Danu sprang
from where the heavenly fire had been but little quenched.
The god Lir sprang from where the waters of the sea had al-
most quenched the fire of heaven. From Lir, as the histo-
ries tell, there would come the mighty Manannan, the
beautiful Branwen, the wise Bran. But from Danu many chil-
dren would come, the Dagda, Nuadha of the Silver Hand, the
wise Dienceght, the smith Goihbhio, the fearsome Morrigan,
the gentle Brighid. The Children of Danu and the Children
of Lir are the two mighty races our songs tell of, ever op-

Author Unknown


Debra She Who Seeks said...

A wonderful creation and great flood myth! Hurray for Epona!

mrsb said...

Wonderful! Cernunnos is one of my favorite manifestations of the God!