The Dagda – The Good God

The Dagda on The Gundestrup Cauldron
The Dagda on The Gundestrup Cauldron

A little info, invocation and ritual in honor of one of my favorite gods today. Enjoy!

The Dagda is an important god among those of Irish heritage as well as a father-figure. He is also known as Eochaid(h) Ollathair, or “All-father” and is considered a tribal protector. According to some tales his father is Elatha while others say his mother is Ethniu. Other stories say that his mother is the great mother Danu; yet others claim he is the father of Danu, perhaps because of her association with Brigit, daughter of the Dagda. The Dagda’s siblings include the gods Ogma and Lir.

The Dagda is a god of immense power, who is armed with a magical club and cauldron. Legend says that the club is able to kill nine men with a single blow; while with the handle he can restore life to the slain. The cauldron is known as the Undry and is said to be never empty and from it no man shall ever leave unsatisfied. His finely decorated magickal harp, Uaithne, when played by the Dagda , puts the seasons in order; other tales tell of the Uaithne being utilized to command the order of battle in war. He also owns two pigs, one of which is always growing whilst the other is always roasting, and his home posesses ever-laden fruit trees.

The Dagda was a High King of the Tuatha Dé Danann after his predecessor Nuada was injured in battle and some sources say his reign lasted 70 or 80 years. The Tuatha Dé Danann are the race of supernatural beings who conquered the Fomorians, who inhabited Ireland previously, prior to the coming of the Milesians. His lover is Boann and one of his daughters is Breg. Prior to the battle with the Fomorians, he coupled with the goddess of war, the Mórrígan, on Samhain in exchange for a battle plan to be victorious.

The Dagda is also the father of Bodb Dearg, Cermait, Midir, Aine, and Brigit. He is the brother or father (depending on who is telling the story) of Oghma, who is probably related to the Gaulish god Ogmios; Ogmios, depicted as an old man with a club, is one of the closest Gaulish parallels to the Dagda. Another Gaulish god who could be related to the Dagda is Sucellus, the striker, who is often depicted with a hammer and cup.

An invocation by Silver Wind on Mon Aug 13, 2007 7:01 am

Dagda most honored

To you we make sacrifice

To Eochaid the All Father

You, the Fire Beneath the Cauldron

Hear us, Old Giant, God with the Great Staff

Ruad Rofessa, Lord of Perfect Knowledge

Fire of the Sacrifice, Great in Appetite

To you we do honor, Excellent God

Mate of the great queen

Fergus the mare’s son

Chieftain of Danu, bountiful giver

Flame in the belly that sustains life,

Flame in the eye that comprehends life

Be in us as we are in you

Boiled in the cauldron

Upon the sacred fire

O harper of the seasons, taker of sacrifice

Druid of Oak and Hazel

Dagda Mor-Great good God

Accept our sacrifice

Stone Creed Grove, ADF, Cleveland, Ohio

Calendar of the Moon

7 Duir/Skirophorion

Day of the Dagda

Color: Brown

Element: Earth

Altar: Upon a brown cloth lay a wand made of an oak branch, a great cup of ale, a bowl of porridge, and four brown candles.

Offerings: Feed the hungry.

Daily Meal: Soup, stew, or porridge, enough to feed more than just the House. Let the rest be given to those who need it.

Invocation to the Dagda

Hail Eochaid Ollathair, Father of All!

Hail Ruad Ro-fhessa, Lord of Perfect Knowledge!

Lord of the Oak Tree,

Phallus of the summer saplings,

Rough as tree bark is your wisdom,

Yet deep as sunken roots.

You who can call the seasons with your harp,

You are called upon by the common people

For your gift of fair weather.

You whose club is so great

That nine men are required to carry it

And even then it plows a great ditch;

Whose terrible end slays hundreds at a blow

And whose other end can restore them to life;

You stake your life on the fertility of the land

That others may survive the cold winters.

You who build great fortresses,

You know what it is to be the sole protection

Of those you love, and to go forth

In battle to save their lives.

You are a king, yet you go among the people

In the rough clothing of a peasant,

Rejecting the trappings of the wealthy.

Your great cauldron is never empty,

Nourisher of your people, and of all people.

(The ale is passed, and then poured out as a libation. The stew is ceremonially carried into the kitchen, and the day’s chant sung over the kitchen table.)

Chant: May you never hunger, may you never thirst.

[Pagan Book of Hours]


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

An Invocation of the Dagda

a: Trance Eidolon

• Now let the Gate be as a window to our vision… opening to reveal the Otherworld… and let us behold the ancient and mighty one, In Dagda Mor, the Great Good God…. he is seated in beauty and bounty, in a nimbus of nineteen colors… fire and gold and green, shining and arrayed around him… flowing and changing, emerging from a white-gold brightness at their center… at that Center the Red God is seated… clothed in the colors of fire and earth… leather and iron, white tunic and nine-hued cloak of plaid… with his mighty arms and legs bare… a huge torc of gold rests around his neck, with silver bands on his wrists, reflecting the flickering flames… and at the center is the face of the god…

• See the eyes of the Lord of Wisdom… gaze into them, whether or not they see you yet… see his features, his flowing red hair and mustaches, the tips gold as flame… He sits cross-legged on a richly carpeted seat… before him burns a good fire, on a square fire-platform… above the fire a great iron cauldron is suspended, and it bubbles, giving off a scent of perfect delight… in his right hand he bears his great striking staff, and in his left hand his beautiful harp rests upon his knee, that fills the air around him with a wonderous music…

You approach the god… and he towers above you on his seat… let your vision rest in him… as we make our invocation…

b: Invocation & Offerings

• Dagda most honored, to you we make sacrifice, to Eochaid the All Father, Son of Elatha, Chieftain of Danu. All-skilled King of the Tuatha De Danann, Hoster of the Hall of Heroes,Keeper of the Feasting Cauldron, Wizard Harper, Lord of Secrets, Hear us, Red God, as we offer!

• Stallion of Fathering, Mighty Clan Chieftain, Great Cauldron-Feaster, Red-Bearded Giant who mates with the Mare. Abide with us Eochaid as offering we give:

(oil offering made)

• Guardian Warrior, Club-wielder, champion, Nine-slayer, Sun-eyed, Slay and Unslay with the stroke of your Club. Abide with us Dearg, due offering we give.

(oil offering made)

• Wise Druid, Fire-keeper, Harper of Seasons and Master of Secrets, Oh Lord of the Sacrifice, Great Ruadh Ro-fhessa, abide with us here as due offering we give.

(oil offering made)

• Dagda most honored, to you we make sacrifice,

that you be the warmth beneath the Cauldron,

that you be the Fire of Sacrifice,

that you be the giver of bountiful Blessings.

• Flame in the belly that sustains life,

Flame in the heart that illumines life,

Flame in the eye that comprehends life

Be in us, and let us be in you

• O Father of Clans, Red Stallion of Hosting

O Sun-Eyed Champion, Slayer and Healer

O Lord of Wisdom, Fire of Sacrifice

O Dagda most honored, to you we make offering.

As each of the Nine Gifts are given, the whole company responds by singing the charm:

Dagda Mór, bheith linn

Dagda Mor, Dia linn

Dagda Mor-Great good God,

• Porridge I give, because you feed every honorable guest.

• Pork I give, because you give the Champion’s Portion.

• Ale I give; because you strengthen the spirit in the corn.

• Silver I give, because you bestow wealth,

• Iron I give; because you bring sharp magic

• Oak I give; because you bring strong law

• Flame I give, because you keep the Sacred Fire

• Herbs of vision I give, because you keep the Gates of the Otherworld

• Mead I give, because you keep the Draught of Inspiration.

c: Final Sacrifice

I call with the voice of the Cauldron of Wonder, I call with the voice of the Hearth of Welcoming. Oh Dagda Mor, be welcome at our fire. Receive these gifts, and with them our love, our honor, our aspiration.

Dagda Mor, Great Good God accept our sacrifice!

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