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Sucellos alias the Hammer-God
Celtic God of Agriculture

The name Sucellos means 'Good-Striker,' a direct reference to the long-handled hammer which this deity is always seen to wield. His other common attribute is a small pot, while sometimes he also has a canine companion who sits at his feet. Nothing survives concerning his mythology, but Sucellos was a popular god throughout the Celtic World. Little votive hammers at springs and altars covered in the same have been found associated with Sucellos in Gaul. In Britain, a finger-ring dedication has been discovered from York. Some have identified him as the Irish Father-God, the Daghda, though this is far from certain. His wife appears to have been Nantosuelta, Goddess of the Home, with whom he is sometimes depicted.

In Burgundy and the lower Rhone Valley, the god's little pot is transformed into a large barrel, clearly connected with the local wine industry. Thus the vessel would appear to be intended for gathering the harvest, or distributing it, like the cauldron of plenty associated with Bran the Blessed. The hammer, it has been argued, was an instrument of power used to strike the earth and awaken it after its winter sleep. It could also be used to fix fence posts into the ground to demark boundaries and protect the people from disease.

 

    Nash Ford Publishing 2001. All Rights Reserved.