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Azvanna
19 Apr 2013, 03:57
Just reading a little of Cerridwen, some of the pages I saw related her as being a 'dark' goddess or having 'dark' powers. Intuitively, I know 'dark' doesn't necessarily mean evil, so can you help me think of synonyms? I was thinking 'severe' as in 'severe consequences.' Thanks for patience while I learn. Maybe even explain to me what darkness is in paganism? In Christianity, it means lack of truth or lack of God's presence or blessing. I don't think that particular interpretation of darkness fits here.

Here is one of the pages: http://www.joellessacredgrove.com/Celtic/deitiesc.html

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Just wanted to explain 'severity' a little more. Experiencing the Severity of God is one of those periods of time that facilitate life changes. It's a catalyst that makes the human understand a standard has been breached. In that period of time, you know exactly what must change and why. Judgement has been suspended because this is your chance. So that's what I mean by severe.. weighty and powerful. Hope that helps. I'm trying to get the feel of it ^.^

SPhoenix
19 Apr 2013, 05:07
Grim
Intense
Stygian
Shadowy
Hidden
Occultic
Somber
Foreboding
Dour
Arcane
Murky
Inscrutible



My personal favorite:
Austere

MaskedOne
19 Apr 2013, 05:35
1589

is my standing answer to the premise of making dark equivalent to severe. My other standing answer is Apollo in a bad mood. Severity is a trait used equally on both sides of the spectrum. It just gets flavored differently depending on if you're dealing with say a deity of the underworld or an angel with a flaming sword.

Shawn Cameron
19 Apr 2013, 06:19
Grim
Intense
Stygian
Shadowy
Hidden
Occultic
Somber
Foreboding
Dour
Arcane
Murky
Inscrutible



My personal favorite:
Austere

This is a great list for what your looking for I think. some that the book is probably referencing when saying "dark" are: Shadowy, Hidden, Occultic, and Austere. "Dark" gods are usually associated with magic, death, or some kind of mystery their lessons are usually hard and are most drastically life changing then others (like the shaman dying and coming back to serve the people). They can seem Severe to others looking in from the outside, but from most I know who have relationships with dark gods say they are very kind and mothering if a bit stern.

these are all very general concepts that can apply to some dark gods and not to others. I don't know much about Cerridwen so I can't give any really good examples specifically for her but that is the general idea from how I understand it.

Jembru
19 Apr 2013, 07:42
Does anyone know if the Celtic peoples referred to such deities as 'dark' (or any of the other words suggested), in their own tongues, or is this a terminology that came into use in modern times? I think answering this could help us to understand such deities a little better.

wisp
19 Apr 2013, 08:36
Cerridwen had made a pot of wisdom for her son, She is a holder of knowledge and secrets. When Gwion, the boy in charge of watching the pot/cauldron, accidentally got some in his mouth, she devoured him and from that Taliesin was born. (He is often used as the example of the first Celtic Shaman). As Shawn pointed out, these are aspects that can be assigned to a 'dark' god. Thoughts of death (even if followed by rebirth), knowledge and secrets.

Azvanna
19 Apr 2013, 18:43
Thanks everyone really helpful responses. I think I have the feel for it now. She's a dark goddess in the sense of foreboding maybe.. Not really knowing what exactly is going to happen, but knowing that if you come out, you're going to be different? I hope I'm on the right track. Maybe someone who has a connection with Cerridwen can give me an example of her display of darkness in their life? Also, I had been reading that some gods are considered solar, but she is of the moon. Does this come into it as well?

SPhoenix
19 Apr 2013, 18:52
I think in the case of Cerridwen, it's about violence and her close association with death. Most people view a close association with death, or suffering, to be "dark".

Many feel that wisdom and inspiration come from suffering. For example, many believe the best artists (of whatever kind) are those who have known the most suffering. So the association with Cerridwen and wisdom could connect her to the "cauldron" (burning oil) that results in wisdom... experiencing suffering is nothing like hearing about it and thus it lends a greater portion of both wisdom and understanding of it.

Also, great "gifts" from a prophetic perspective, are also frequently combined with tremendous suffering. There is a lot of view of suffering or misery as "dark". Foreseeing suffering would be considered 'dark'. Foreseeing terrible events would be "dark" prophecy.

So to find the right word, you'd want to understand the concepts behind how wisdom is fashioned. The Cauldron would likely be a symbol of suffering or going through terrible things to gain wisdom (and / or artistic talent).

Azvanna
19 Apr 2013, 20:41
Many feel that wisdom and inspiration come from suffering. For example, many believe the best artists (of whatever kind) are those who have known the most suffering. So the association with Cerridwen and wisdom could connect her to the "cauldron" (burning oil) that results in wisdom... experiencing suffering is nothing like hearing about it and thus it lends a greater portion of both wisdom and understanding of it.


This makes good sense to me. My best songs were written in hard times.

It's almost like that burning oil annoints you for the task.

Bjorn
19 Apr 2013, 22:09
I admittedly know nothing of Celtic lore, but I simply must post on a language thread.

I mean, what is the world if not riddled with 'darkness?' The grasshopper was not quick enough and the hen sits prouder, the lion miscalculates and the zebra kicks away - one way or another there is always something encroaching upon your life. Threatening it. Shaking it up. Rocking the boat. Mischief, trickery, cleverness, deception, death... is that the dark side we're speaking of? That force that keeps the earth in perfect balance by giving us all a reason to be our best?

Azvanna
19 Apr 2013, 22:50
That force that keeps the earth in perfect balance by giving us all a reason to be our best?

Wow. I would give you rep points if I could! :D

MaskedOne
19 Apr 2013, 23:20
Wow. I would give you rep points if I could! :D

You should be able to rep boost Bjorn without difficulty. You meet the minimum post and rep requirements and you don't seem to have provided her any recently enough to block you.

Azvanna
20 Apr 2013, 03:41
Thanks, MaskedOne. I couldn't see the Star of David because of the background I've been using.