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The Dagda, Chief of Tuatha de Danann and Father God of the Celtic Pantheon


Drawing of the Celtic God  Dagda
Dagda, Chief and Father God of the Tuatha de Danann


Introduction


Chief of the Tuatha De Danann (Children of Danu), Dagda (pronounced Dah-Dah) was the God of many talents and spheres of influence. From Life and Death to Fertility, Magick, Druidry, Strength and protection. He carried 3 Sacred objects, his Club of LIfe and Death, a Harb that could control Men and the Seasons and a refillable Cauldron (1 of the Ancient Treasures of the Celtic world.


His name “The Dagda” is less of a name, and more of a title, meaning “Great God”, he is a giant in stature, however his name is not reflection of his, but of his many talents and skills. He had many other titles as well, one of them, Eochaid Ollathair, translates to “All-Father”, making him a Father God, opposite Danu as a Mother Goddess.


Dagda was known to be wise, an adviser to the Tuatha De Danann, able to devise military strategy, his wiles, wit and cunning was well known, his advice could have been the deciding factor in any victory.


Dagda lived in a Neolithic mound along the banks of the River Boyne, known as the Bru na Boinne, constructed around 3200 BCE, predating some of the world's most well known ancient sites!


Spheres of influence


He was schooled in the Art of Magick, along with his Harp made of Oak, the Uaithne, he was able to turn night into day, and change the seasons and control the minds of men. His Club, Lorg Mor, which in some circles is said to be a staff, could strike nine men dead with one end, and bring them to life with the other, coupled with his power as a fertility God we see many of the hallmarks of the Druid from Mythology.


His Cauldron of Plenty, the Coire Ansic, was said to always refill with whatever had been placed in it, be it food or drink, always creating a great feast! The Cauldron came from the fabled city of Murias, one of the ancient city’s of the Celtic Otherworld, each one responsible for crafting one of the four treasures.


Despite his greatness, his appearance is often said to be that of an oaf, with clothes that didn't fit, revealing his bottom and stomach, this could well be the result of him being rewritten by early Church Fathers to subvert his power next to their burgeoning One God.


Family


Dagda had many lovers and many children, his children were Brigid, Midir and Aengus, and his lovers were the River Goddess Boann and The Morrighan.


His parents were said to be Elatha (Father) and Ethniu (Mother0, he had two Brothers, Nuada, King of the Tuatha De Danann and Ogma, the God responsible for the creation of the Ogham Tree Language. In many of the Myths the Brothers formed a Triad as King/Advisor/Champion, we see this theme repeated many times throughout Celtic Mythology. With Myths such as Arthurian as Arthur/Merlin/Lancelot or even Math/Gwydion/Lleu.


The Tuatha De Danann were a race of Gods that were the 5th settlers of Ireland, he came to fight and exile the invading race of Giants known as the Fomorian, led by Balor. They came from four Fabled Cities North of the Emerald Isle, from the Celtic Otherworld. Here we see a familiar theme of supernatural, or a pure, race of beings hailing from the North, whether this is the cardinal North or more likely a realm above is debatable.


They were skilled in Warfare, Magick, the Arts and Sciences, and to the Native people would have appeared to be very advanced. After many battles the Tuatha De Danann eventually defeated the Formorians, in some stories there were marriages and children between the Formorian and the Tuatha De Danann.


Working with Dagda


We can call on Dagda when we need advice, whether it's for dealing with conflict, strategy or warfare, he can aid us when we are in need of Protection. As a God skilled in Magick, and a fertility God, he can be very helpful in any kind of work relating to Money, Growth, Fertility and Success. As God of Life and Death, he is helpful in healing, especially when we are in the midst of transitional stages.


His offerings include Oats, meals with pork, whiskey, beer, here we see that connection to his Cauldron of plenty. You can place items on your Altar to represent him, for example, Harps, Cauldrons, Sticks/Clubs. He was often accompanied by 2 Pigs, one that was always roasting and the other alive, so symbols, images or statues of Pigs are equally important, as well as Trees as a Fertility God.


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