Is Dagda the Celtic Take on the Fool?

In Celtic mythology, Dagda is considered to be the most ancient god. In Qabalah, this would be Kether, the first manifestation of Ain Soph Aur, the Limitless Light.

Dagda is known as the Good God, which compares nicely to Kether’s psychology – the primal will to good.

Dagda owns the epithets All-Father, Lord of Great Knowledge, Many-skilled, Creator, Horned Man, and Man of the Peak. All-Father and Lord of Great Knowledge compare him to Chokmah, wisdom, the Sephirah of Jehovah. This is not really a contradiction since Kether and Chokmah form the primordial Yod, whereby Chockmah is the body of the Life-power’s flame and Kether its tip. Tarot card 0, the Fool, illustrates the path of the Life-power that oscillates between Kether and Chockmah. 
The Many-skilled is a better fit for the Magician, who connects Kether and Binah, whereby the Man of the Peak is shown in Tarot card 9, The Hermit, dressed in grey, the color of Chokmah.

In Hebrew mysticism, ’horns’ (like ‘thorns’) often symbolizes the Life-power. Some patriarchal altars (the Magician’s table) have horns. 

According to Wikipedia, the name Dagda may be derived from the Proto-Indo-European Dhagho-deiwos, meaning shining divinity, which could be translated into Luminous Intelligence. The luminous intelligence connects Chockmah with Binah. The luminous intelligence eternally creates the world light as described in the first verses of the Genesis: “Back then, the waters [of Binah] were still chaotic and void and darkness was upon the surfaces of the deep [sea]. And Elohim’s Spirit [the Life-power] was vibrating eagerly over the waters’ surfaces. Elohim said:⁠ ”Light – exist!” and light existed.” That’s the first act of creation, which cements Dagda’s epithet the Creator.

According to the same Wikipedia article, the dhagho in dhagho-deiwos may be cognate with the English word day and possibly a byword for a deification of a notion such as splendor. In the Genesis, Elohim renames the illuminated waters, the world’s light, into day and splendor is the name of the 8th Sephirah Hod, which signifies, among other things, the intellectual understanding of wisdom and Chockmah. 

So far, most associations point at similarities between Dagda and Chokmah (Jehovah), if it weren’t for the most inspiring. Sometimes, Dagda is pictured oafish and dump, carrying a large club, wearing a rough tunic that’s too short for him, and dragging his large phallus (Life-power) on the ground (physical manifestation). Of course, the Fool (Spirit) isn’t truly dumb, but many people mistake foolishness for idiocy. Wisdom (and love) appear foolish in the eyes of smart-manipulative people. And let’s not forget Jesus’ saying that only the poor in mind and little children – same thing – can reach the Kingdom of Heaven (Malkuth of Briah).


Picture attribution: A digital, in-official rendering of the copyrighted B.O.T.A. Tarot

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