If you divide Spain from Creus Cape to San Vicente bay, in one hand you have the Atlantic tradition and in the other the Mediterranean and semitic tradition, due to the invasions of North Africans and Phoenicians. The people that lived in the Atlantic part were fighters and the Mediterranean people were dealers- The Atlantic tradition denotes a patriarchal society with rural economy. The Celtic population were located in the North East of Spain, and the origin of the people who lived there before the celtic invasion is unknown. Celtic people in Spain were divided in Lusitanos and Cantabros
The features of these religions are the natural elements. For them, all the natural things hide a spirit. They believed in the influence of these spirits of Nature on the Human spirit.
There were many Solar Myths and Gods that personified the Natural forces.
There were no temples for cult in Galicia, they celebrated night rituals in open-air places like forests.
Cults and offerings to the Sun and Water were very important, and even today are still important in the customs for the people of North of Spain: two of the bigger myths still alive in Galicia are: Water's Flower and the Night of San Juan.
Concerning the cults to Nature, there were many spiritual beings. These spiritual beings were divided in home spirits, air spirits, land spirits and water spirits.
The sorcery tradition in this area of Spain is very related with the Celtic culture. Some people believe that witches and their secret meetings were a vindication of the female social role. Witches were the first to join to Catholic church because of their devotion to Saint Comba, as many researchers say. Saint Comb surely was a witch too.
In Celtic philosophy the most important thing is the individual freedom and the search for the hidden things behind reality. The celtic trace in Spain is fade, the language disappeared but some traditions have survived today cause they were transmitted through centuries.
The paganism survives nowadays through superstition and sorcery. In the North of Spain, people were more insurgent, were the hard-line of paganism. Their supernatural beliefs were extremely difficult to eradicate by the Catholic church. For the other who changed religion, the pagans represented something satanic. This is easy to check cause Celtic god Cerunnos is a deer with long horns as the Devil. There were a lot of attempts to Christianize this area. Even when most of the people was already christians, they continued their traditions as putting candles by the stones, by the trees and by the crossroads, in honour to the spirits of Nature.
The holidays in Celtic calendar are the solstices and also the cyclical rites of rural people in Spain.
We know many evidences about the people of Galicia. For instance Diogenes from Greece describes a people called "Artabros", that were the gallegos. In this society the women make war and the men took care of homes.
The myths that survive till nowadays are:
The Santa Compaña, which could be a ceremony parallel to Wildes Heer in German tradition. Its origin could come from pre-roman traditions.
O cabo do Mundo (The end of the world): is the place where the land of death join with this land. There are other two places with similar meaning: Peña de las Ánimas and San André de Teixidó Chapel.
The Hell for pagans was located in Galicia and also the Paradise. In the town of Padrón is located the Pico Sacro, similar to Saint Patrick's Hell in Ireland. It's considered a satanic cavern.
The river of oblivion. The river Limio is so called. It's located in Orense area. The legend says that all the people who cross this river lose their memory. In fact, the loosers of memory are the deads. The spirits drunk the water of this river to begin a new life, without the karma of their past.
According to the Leabhar book from Ireland, Mil was a leader who came from Escitia. This book also mentions that these people come from a place called "Espain". But some other researchers believe that this reference is not to the country of Spain but a place out of time.
Common to the Celtic countries we find in Galicia three gods: Lug, Matres and Epona.
The predominant gods in Galicia, where we find a lot of altars dedicated to them, are the following:
Aegiamunniaego: Genius Loci located in Orense and Viana del Bollo.
Anderoni: similar to Jupiter.
Bando: similar to Odin from German tradition, located in the South of Galicia. He gave strenght to warriors.
Beltane: God associated to May 1st. We know through literature "El fuego de Beltane".
Cerunnos: linked with the renewal of the seasons, represented by a deer or bull.
Cohvetene: british nymph located in Guitiriz, near a bathplace. There are some health springs.
Coso: God of war located in La Coruña.
Crougin Toudadigoe: his name comes from Ireland and means tribe who lives on a hill. It's located in Mosteiro de Ribera.
Matres: Goddesses who protect specific places where could be the celtic chakras or wuiwres: places where telluric currents made benefic effects and health springs. They symbolized motherness and fertility.
Obiona: Goddess of Water. Located in Lugo.
Poemana: Goddess of livestock, with German origin, located in Lugo.
Nubeiro: He appears in folklore from Galicia and Asturias. He is a diabolic being who lives in the air and produces the storms. He lives in a hill in Egypt and is extremely ugly.
Tameobrigo: God linked to rives Thames in England (Thames = Tameobrigo). There was a tribe in Galicia called Tamagani.
Vestio Aloniecu: we know a stone sculture of him in a grave in Louzirán (Pontevedra).
Dr. Raquel Seijas Costa
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