Welcome to Tursan Tuesdays, where I take you on a journey through the Celtic world.
Ok, so you’re probably familiar with the Greek god, Zeus…
…but did you know that his lightening bolt, as it is commonly referred to now, was actually a thunderbolt? It was known for the great thunderous noise that emanated from it, as well as the awesome destruction its reverberations caused.
In Celtic mythology, the thunder god, Taranis, would be Zeus’s closest counterpart:
Now I’m gonna nerd it up for you a bit:
- Certain depictions of Celtic artwork equate Taranis with the Celtic god, Cernunnos, which would not be accurate as Cernunnos is the horned god of fertility and animals.
- Like both Zeus, and Jupiter, the Roman thunder god, Taranis is often shown with thunderbolt in hand.
- Taranis is also usually depicted with a wheel. This could be the sun as he is a sky god as well as a thunder god, or it could represent time as he is connected to the calculation of the calendar.
Here’s a fun fact: Taranis and Zeus both have similar stories told of them defeating great serpents or snake-like creatures.
How snakes happened to be in the sky, I have no idea.
Interestingly enough, the name Taranis, shares its roots with the Old Norwegian name Thor.
Thanks to the recent Marvel epic of the same name, you should know something of him 😛
So talk to me. Did you know about the thunderbolt? Have you ever heard any tales of Taranis? What other gods or goddesses interest you? If there are some you’d like to see highlighted here, let me know!