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Dagda

Dagda

In Celtic* mythology, Dagda was an Irish god who was head of a group of Irish gods called the Tuatha Dé Danaan. He was considered the father of the gods and the lord of fertility, plenty, and knowledge. The word Dagda means "the good god."

According to legend, Dagda had several possessions associated with power and position. One was a huge cauldron that was never empty and from which no one went away hungry. The ladle was so big that two people could lie in it. Dagda also owned an orchard of fruit trees where the fruit was always ripe and two pigs that were cooked and ready to eat. In addition, he had a club with two endsone for killing living people and the other for bringing the dead back to life. Dagda used his magic harp to order the seasons to change. In spite of his great power, Dagda was pictured as a fat man, plainly dressed and pulling his club on wheels. His favorite food was porridge. As the god of knowledge, he was the patron of the Druids, the priests of the Celtic religious order.

cauldron large kettle

When the Tuatha Dé Danaan were forced to go underground, Dagda divided the land among the gods. His son Aonghus, the god of love, was absent during the division, and Dagda did not give his son a section because he wanted to keep Aonghus's palace for himself. When Aonghus returned, he tricked his father to get his palace back, leaving Dagda without land or power.

See also Celtic Mythology; Druids.

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