Celtic Mythology Totes
In Celtic culture, the mysterious image of a horned being permeates from the Iron Age in the Gaulish La Tène culture all the way up to 19th century England in the legends of Herne the Hunter. In spite of several depictions of a “horned god” in Celtic artwork throughout the centuries, the answers to exactly who this horned being was is not clear. The name “Cernunnos” is found on an artifact known as “the Pillar of the Boatman”. It’s a carving from the first century CE, and it is the only time the name Cernunnos appears in reference to this horned being. However, the oldest image of Cernunnos is found on the Gundestrup Cauldron, an Iron Age relic of the ancient Celtic people of mainland Europe. Modern interpretation speculates that Cernunnos was a god of nature and fertility. In spite of the uncertainty behind this arcane creature, one thing is clear, his importance to the Celts must have been great in order for his legend to endure for so many centuries. I love Cernunnos because of the mystique and secrecy that surrounds him. In addition to antlers on his head, he is often depicted holding a torc in one hand, and a serpent in the other. Again, the significance of this is unknown as the Celts did not write it down, but I find the riddle of Cernunnos to be fascinating. My drawing pays homage to this enigmatic figure of the forest by depicting the horned figure, torc in one hand, serpent in the other, as he has been depicted since the earliest times. My interpretation of Cernunnos was done in a Celtic style, which seemed fitting to me since this is a character from Celtic mythology. He is in an action pose because I imagine Cernunnos having the speed and agility of a deer or elk to match the antlers on his head. I would think that anyone who spends all their time in the forest would have to show some measure of athleticism.
Tags: neo-paganism, druidism, paganism, witchcraft, pagan
In Norse mythology, there lived a great beast. A wolf, but not just any wolf. This wolf is the son of Loki (how a humanoid fathers a wolf I surely don't know, but it's mythology so we won't overthink it) and the father of ALL wolves. The legend of Fenrir has many interesting stories attached to it, but perhaps the most well known is how Fenrir came to bite off the hand of the Nordic god, Týr (from whom we get "Týrsday, or Tuesday as it is now known). Týr was brave enough to place his hand INSIDE the mouth of Fenrir while the other Nordic god's bound Fenrir with a magical ribbon made by the dwarves. Fenrir, who was able to break every other chain up until the magical dwarf ribbon was unable to free himself, and bit off Týr's hand in a rage! Týr is now most commonly depicted as missing a hand. Fenrir will remain bound by the magical dwarf ribbon seething, his anger growing, until Ragnarök (the Nordic version of the Armageddon and end of days). At which point he will break free and swallow Odin, the god of gods, WHOLE (bad wolf! No treat for you)! This symbol has been interpreted as the idea of darkness taking over the light. The design depicts this monstrous canine of Northern European lore in a classic Nordic style with knots and patterns everywhere, but with a contemporary twist. The colors are distressed to give an aged appearance almost as if it's a gold or bronze artifact that was dug out of a Scandinavian chieftain's burial mound. The runes at the bottom of the design say "Fenrir".
Tags: norse, fenrir, wolf, norse-mythology, wolves
The Celtic Cross is one of the most popular and enduring symbols of Celtic identity and culture. In the Dark Ages, as the Celtic populations of Britain and Ireland were converted to Christianity, they brought some of their older, pre-Christian style to the symbols of Christianity. What was born was the Celtic Cross. A unique blend of the Old Celtic religion and the new Christian religion.
Tags: celtic, celtic-knot, celtic-knots, irish, ireland
Based on a design from the C800AD Book of Kells from Ireland. The design has been hand rendered in brush and ink before being scanned at high resolution, so as to preserve the individuality and slight imperfections of an authentically hand-crafted artwork.
Tags: animal, madra, triskele, irish, book-of-kells