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Celtic Cosmogony

The Celts were a civilization which didn’t use the writing to save their beliefs. It was even forbidden to do so. They manage to educate the next generations by speaking only. It is similar to the first civilization of India with the Veda. This fact makes it hard to guess their original beliefs and customs. Hopefully, many other civilizations had to deal with the Celts and studied them. Also, archaeological discoveries help us in finding their customs and beliefs. Ancient Greeks and Romans are the primary source of documentation for the society organization that the Celts followed. In this article we will talk about the Celtic cosmogony (the Celtic theory of creation). It describes the Celtic point of view about the beginning of the universe and its creation. Many concepts are similar to many cosmogonies over the world. For example, it have similarities with the Indian and Mayan cosmogony but also with our modern science!

For the Celts, at the beginning of the universe, was an infinite depth, the boundless “Lir”. It can be compared to the modern “atomic soup”. Lir is one (without aspect), infinite and indivisible. It can not be seen. It can only be contemplated in a illuminated state. The creation of the universe is the apparent division (illusion) of the One (“Lir”) in several concepts: Father and Mother first, then many other until it reaches consciousness. In fact, the real act of creation for the Celts start with Mananan, the first god, known as the divine imagination (Lir being the infinite depth without aspect). From Mananan come an Hazelnut which grow as a big Hazel tree supporting all the universe, even the gods. This tree is the Tree of life, the tree of the world, it can be compared to Yggdrasil in the Nordic cosmogony. This tree is where the world seat. Gods are the branches of the tree, leafs are the realization of these gods, the nature and its phenomenons. Mananan can be seen as the father and mother of all form of life. Mananan reside in what the Celts called “Faed Fia”, an infinite space in which the spirits live. In Vedic traditions it is called the Akasha, in Greek mythology, it is the aether. Mananan after created the life form, is follow by Angus the young coming from Lir and representing the force of love which materializing put spirits inside life and thus makes the world living and dying. Then Life and Death exist for eternity. This is the creation of the universe, the infinite cycle.