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[Tidbits] Taranis

First of the long-haired nations, on whose necks Once flowed the
auburn locks in pride supreme; And those who pacify with blood
accursed Savage Teutates, Hesus’ horrid shrines, And Taranis’ altars
cruel as were those Loved by Diana (18), goddess of the north; All
these now rest in peace.

This above excerpt from the epic poem Pharsalia–oh, were it only
that I understood it–by Lucan speaks of Taranis. Celtic mythological
god of thunder who was mainly worshipped in Gaul–home of Celtic
tribes. Taranis. fearsome chap that he was. was a deity to whom human
sacrificial offerings were made. He was associated–as was the
cyclops in Greek mythology–via a methodology far too contorted with
mysteries beyond my understanding–with the wheel. Find a wheel and
it goes 'round 'round 'round with a thunderous clap from the way
beyond… Perry Como anyone?

Taranis is thought to be depicted on the inner wall of the Gundestrup
Cauldron. an ancient bowl created around 200 and 300 BC. Taranis and
his wheel became fused in identity with Jupiter who the Romans stole
from the Greek Zeus. You steal my god and I steal your god and my god
is better than your god and the more things change the more they
remain the same. Yes? No? Taranis–as the personification of
thunder–is identified with many other gods. to numerous to mention
in these scant pages.

As to the wheel. ah yes. well… that’s another story with another
spoke. Or six to eight spokes to be precise. This was a symbol of
Celtic polytheism with a specific association to the Wheel-god. also
know as the Sky-god or the Thunder-god or Taranis. These wheels are
on many amulets and Celtic coins. So why didn’t I just show you an
eight-spoked wheel instead of a red-eyed Taranis himself you may well

Well. a wheel is a wheel is a wheel but a blazing red-eyed god ready
to wreak turmoil and destruction on anyone foolhardy enough to cross
his path is far more enticing a subject I think. Wear a wheel around
your neck and someone say’s what’s that. … all you can say is aw
heck. it’s a wheel. But hang Taranis around your neck and first they
take a step back. and they then approach cautiously. and they say
what’s that. and you say stand back. That’s Taranis. god of
thunder… wreaker of havoc and pain.

And you hold your arms out. and once again shout Stand Back. he has a
mind of his own. no telling what he’ll do. And they look at those
blazing ruby eyes. and mutter I’m sorry under their breaths. and
skulk away. hoping they didn’t insult Mr. T. and you walk off.
proudly letting red-eyed Taranis sway back and forth between your
ribs. all the while rubbing his six-spoked wheel and hoping for even
a slight rumble from the skies. just to let one an all know who’s who.

That said. I took a graphic of Taranis and–as best I good
considering the rather inadequate quality of the image at my
disposal–created a red-eyed thunder god playing with his wheel into
pendant any and all would be proud to wear. Wanna see?

So my friends. you are familiar with the rest. The visit to the
image. also known as the viewing experience. You know where. Home
page. Scroll down. Left side. Tidbits.
Click. And there for your sensory optic pleasure you will see a
pendant in gold of Taranis. fearsome Celtic god of thunder of a time
long past.

And there ya have it. That’s it for this week folks. Catch you all
next week.

Benjamin Mark