Am Baile: highland history and cultureHighland Council logo
East Cairn, Clava

Religion

Pre-Christian



 Druidism
 Festivals
 Pre-Christian [Miscellaneous]


The beliefs of Stone Age Man
Hunter-gatherers of the Middle Stone Age (Mesolithic) from around 10,000 years ago, observed rituals associated with spirits in nature, the migrations and fertility of animals hunted for food, and the seasonal bounty of fruits, fungi, birds' eggs, hazel nuts and edible roots.

Neolithic worship
Farmers of the New Stone Age (Neolithic) from around 5000 BC built chambered tombs of large stones (megaliths) to house the bones and spirits of venerated ancestors who watched over people, crops and flocks. Standing stones (tall and slender or buxomly rounded) were part of 'male' and 'female' elements in fertility cults. Medicine men (shamans) and wise-women spoke with the spirit world.

Worship in the Bronze Age
Bronze Age communities, from around 3000 BC, revered divine priest-kings. These priest-kings, like Egyptian pharaohs, communicated with the gods. Bronze Age temples were circular earthwork enclosures (henges) and circles or rows of standing stones aligned to the sun or moon.

Druid worship
Celtic deities, from around 1000 BC, controlled key features of Iron Age life, such as warfare, metalworking, healing and poetry. Druid priests offered precious gifts and seasonal sacrifices to the demanding goddesses Anu and Brigid beneath mistletoe-shrouded oak trees or in sacred waters.

The Norse Gods
The lives of Scandinavian settlers, from around AD 800, were controlled by three weird hags (the Norns) and by powerful deities including Odin, Frigg, Thor, Tyr, Loki and Balder. Norse gods dwelt in a realm called Valhalla. Viking warriors who fell in battle joined their gods in an eternity of feasting and fighting.



BIBLIOGRAPHY

If a book listed in the bibliography below is available from the Highland Libraries it will be indicated by a book icon - Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue

Dyer, James
Ancient Britain Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue

Ritchie, Graham
Argyll and the Western Isles Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue

Stewart, R. J.
Celtic Gods, Celtic Goddesses Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue

Armit,I.
Celtic Scotland Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue

MacKillop, James
Dictionary of Celtic Mythology Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue

Mellars, Paul
Excavations on Oronsay Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue

Barclay, Gordon
Farmers, Temples and Tombs Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue

Mackinlay, James M
Folklore of Scottish Lochs and Springs Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue

Burl, Aubrey
From Carnac to Callanish Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue

Feachem, Richard
Guide to Prehistoric Scotland Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue

Sutherland, Elizabeth
In Search of the Picts Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue

Ritchie, Anna
Invaders of Scotland Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue

Cunliffe, B.
Iron age Britain Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue

Anderson, Marjorie O.
Kings and Kingship in Early Scotland Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue

Rolleston, T. W.
Myths and legends of the Celtic race Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue

Ashmore, Patrick
Neolithic and Bronze Age Scotland Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue

Piggott, Stuart
Neolithic Cultures of the British Isles Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue

Ritchie, Anna
Picts Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue

Foster, Sally M.
Picts, Gaels and Scots Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue

Campbell, J. F.
Popular Tales of the West Highlands Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue

Darvill, T. C.
Prehistoric Britain Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue

MacSween, Ann
Prehistoric Scotland Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue

Wickham-Jones, Caroline R.
Rhum Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue

Bord, Janet
Sacred Waters Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue

Crawford, Barbara E.
Scandinavian Scotland Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue


Scandinavian Settlement in Northern Britain Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue

Edwards, Kevin
Scotland Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue

Ritchie, Graham
Scotland, Archaeology and Early History Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue

Wickham-Jones, C. R
Scotland's First Settlers Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue

Oram, Richard
Scottish Prehistory Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue

Hingley, Richard
Settlement and Sacrifice Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue

Laing, Lloyd
The Archaeology of Late Celtic Britain and Ireland Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue

Dillon, Myles
The Celtic Realms Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue

Chadwick, N.
The Celts Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue

Henshall, A. S
The Chambered Tombs of Scotland Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue


The Dark Ages in the Highlands Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue

Evans, John G
The Environment of Early Man in the British Isles Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue

Frazer, James George
The Golden Bough Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue

Close-Brooks, Joanna
The Highlands Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue

Watson, William John
The History of the Celtic Place-names of Scotland Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue

Small, Alan
The Picts Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue

Laing, Lloyd
The Picts and the Scots Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue


The Problem of the Picts Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue

Owen, O. A.
The Sea Road Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue

Lacaille, Armand Donald
The Stone Age in Scotland Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue

Jackson, Anthony
The Symbol Stones of Scotland Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue

Ritchie, Anna
Viking Scotland Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue

Magnusson, Magnus
Vikings Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue

Graham-Campbell, James
Vikings in Scotland Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue

Finlayson, Bill
Wild Harvesters Check Highland Libraries' Catalogue

Ruggles, Clive
Archaeoastronomy
1998

Pearson, Michael Parker
Bronze Age Britain
1993

Ross, Anne
Everyday Life of the Pagan Celts
1970

Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland
Exploring Scotland's Heritage (Series)

Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland
Inventories
Argyll, 1971, 1975, 1980; Caithness, 1911; Sutherland, 1911; Western Isles and Skye, 1928

Smith, C.
Late Stone Age Hunters of the British Isles
1992

Fox,C
Life and Death in the Bronze Age
1959

Thom, A
Megalithic Sites in Britain

Wymer, J
Mesolithic Britain
1991

Palmer, S.
Mesolithic Cultures of Britain
1977

Turville-Peter, G
Myth and Religion of the North
1960

Guerber, H. A.
Myths of the Norsemen
1919

Burl, Aubrey
Prehistoric Astronomy and Ritual
1983

Burl, Aubrey
Rites of the Gods
1981

Beckensall, Stan
Rock Carvings of Northern Britain
1986

Wood, John Edwin
Sun, Moon and Standing Stones
1978

Clarke, D.V. (and others)
Symbols of Power at the Time of Stonehenge
1985

Piggott, Stuart
The Druids
1975

Pollard, Tony
The Early Prehistory of Scotland

Simmons, Ian and Tooley, Michael
The Environment in British Prehistory
1981

Bonsall, C. (ed)
The Mesolithic in Europe
1985

Cole,S
The Neolithic Revolution
1970

Cole, S
The Neolithic Revolution
1970

Cole, S
The Neolithic Revolution
1970

Bronsted, Johannes
The Vikings
1960

Ehrenberg, Margaret
Women in Prehistory
1989

Markale, Jean
Women of the Celts
1975

Copyright © 2003 - 2014 Am Baile/The Gaelic Village