Irish Mythology: The Dagda High Priest

According to Irish mythology the Dagda represent the High Priest Druid class. They were from the tribe of the Tuatha de Danaan. He was linked to druidry, agriculture, magic, fertility, strength and wisdom. Legend has it he had governance over the weather, crops life and death as well as seasons and time.

He was a large burly bearded man wearing a hooded cloak carrying a magic Shillelagh Bata that can slay a person on one end and bestow life on the other end. Dagda owns a large cauldron one of the 4 treasures of the Tuatha de Danaan called core ansic that continually replenishes itself with tasty food. His magic harp or Uaithne was dubbed Daur da Bláo it dictates a person’s emotions and transitions the seasons. His homestead is in Brú na Bóinne (Newgrange) where he dwells with his partners the Morrigan and Boann.

Dagda has many offspring such as Brigit, Aengus, Cermait, Aed, Midir, Bodb Derg.

One tale involving his harp describes the Shenanigans at the Second Battle of Mag Tuired where the Formorians snatched Dagda’s Uaithne and hid it in a Banquet Hall wherein Bres and his father Elathan were both there at the time. The Dagda had bound the music so that it would not play until it was beckoned by its rightful owner. Once Dagda called to it, his faithful Harp sprang from the wall, returning to the Dagda while slaying 9 enemies on its way.

Source & Reference:

  • Ó hÓgáin, Dáithí. Myth, Legend & Romance: An encyclopaedia of the Irish folk tradition. Prentice Hall Press, 1991
  • Dictionary of Celtic mythology and religion, Philippe Jouët, Yoran Embanner Editions
  • Koch, John T. Celtic Culture: A Historical Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO, 2006
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