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The Religion of the Ancient Celts

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Published: 1911
Language: English
Wordcount: 127,106 / 407 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 49.4
LoC Category: BL
Downloads: 1,967
Added to site: 2005.12.15
mnybks.net#: 12227
Genres: Religion, History
Excerpt

e animals they slew, apologising to them for the slaughter. This apologetic attitude, found with all primitive hunters, is of the nature of a cult. Other animals, too sacred to be slain, would be preserved and worshipped, the cult giving rise to domestication and pastoral life, with totemism as a probable factor. Earth, producing vegetation, was the fruitful mother; but since the origin of agriculture is mainly due to women, the Earth cult would be practised by them, as well as, later, that of vegetation and corn spirits, all regarded as female. As men began to interest themselves in agriculture, they would join in the female cults, probably with the result of changing the sex of the spirits worshipped. An Earth-god would take the place of the Earth-mother, or stand as her consort or son. Vegetation and corn spirits would often become male, though many spirits, even when they were exalted into divinities, remained female.

With the growth of religion the vaguer spirits tended to become gods and goddesses, a

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