Moccus

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Moccus is a Celtic god who was equated with Mercury.He is the boar/pig/swine god of the continental Celtic Lingones tribe. Moccus was invoked as the protector of boar hunters, and warriors. Boar meat was sacred, and eaten in ritual feasts. The Lingones Lingones whose tribal center was at Langres were a continental Celtic-Germanic tribe located in the Seine and Marne rivers area of northeastern France, and were neighbors to the Germanic Treveri tribe. Another Lingones tribe was located near the mouth of the Po River in northeastern Italy, and were known for agriculture, weaving and metalworking.[1]

There was a dedicated feast day to Moccus, He had a following in the Romano-Celtic time frame.[2]

Basic historical information[edit]

From The Religion of the Ancient Celts:[3] "A god Moccus, "swine," was also identified with Mercury, and the swine was a frequent representative of the barleycorn-spirit or of vegetation divinities in Europe. The flesh of the animal was often mixed with the seed corn or buried in the fields to promote fertility. The swine had been a sacred animal among the Celts, but had apparently become an anthropomorphic god of fertility, Moccus, assimilated to Mercury, perhaps because the Greek Hermes caused fertility in flocks and herds. Such a god was one of a class whose importance was great among the Celts as an agricultural people. A cult of a swine-god Moccus has been referred to. The boar was a divine symbol on standards, coins, and altars, and many bronze images of the animal have been found. These were temple treasures, and in one case the boar is three-horned. But it was becoming the symbol of a goddess, as is seen by the altars on which it accompanies a goddess, perhaps of fertility, and by a bronze image of a goddess seated on a boar. The altars occur in Britain, of which the animal may be the emblem—the "Caledonian monster" of Claudian's poem. The swine is esteemed in Ireland, and in the texts monstrous swine are the staple article of famous feasts. These may have been legendary forms of old swine-gods, the feasts recalling sacrificial feasts on their flesh. Magic swine were also the immortal food of the gods. But the boar was tabu to certain persons, e.g. Diarmaid, though whether this is the attenuated memory of a clan totem restriction is uncertain. Bones of the swine, sometimes cremated, have been found in Celtic graves in Britain and at Hallstadt, and in one case the animal was buried alone in a tumulus at Hallstadt, just as sacred animals were buried in Egypt, Greece, and elsewhere. When the animal was buried with the dead, it may have been as a sacrifice to the ghost or to the god of the underworld." [4]

Modern worship[edit]

He is worshipped in modern times by a few groups of Druids, Wiccan [5] and Celtic polytheists, He is one of the main temple Gods worshiped by members of The Shrine of the Irish Oak Inc who have assigned his feast day to the winter solstice, due to his aspects as a protector, sun god and giver of plenty.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Celtic Gods and Goddesses". Joellessacredgrove.com. Retrieved 2016-04-16. 
  2. ^ Miranda Green. The Gods of the Celts. Amazon.com. ISBN 9780750934794. Retrieved 2016-04-16. 
  3. ^ "The Religion of the Ancient Celts: Chapter III. The Gods of Gaul and the Continental Celts". Sacred-texts.com. Retrieved 2016-04-16. 
  4. ^ "The Religion of the Ancient Celts: Chapter III. The Gods of Gaul and the Continental Celts". Sacred-texts.com. Retrieved 2016-04-16. 
  5. ^ "Temple of Brigantia". Janeraeburn.com. 2004-03-06. Retrieved 2016-04-16. 
  6. ^ "The Shrine of the Irish Oak Inc". Facebook.com. 2015-09-23. Retrieved 2016-04-16. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • Dictionary of Celtic Myth and Legend. Miranda Green. Thames and Hudson Ltd. London. 1997, ISBN 978-0500279755
  • The Gods of the Celts. Miranda Green. Sutton Oublishing. 2011, ISBN 978-0750934794
  • Exploring the world of the Druids. Miranda Green. Thames and Hudson Ltd. London. 2005, ISBN 978-0500285718