Animals and Birds

In the Celtic world, links between humans and other forms of life were believed to be very close; all were part of the same spirit world and the differences were merely ones of bodily form. In the legends, people and animals often exchange their outward appearances. In the Celtic countries, certain animals and birds are still believed to be manifestations of spiritual beings or bringers of messages from the spirit world.

Certain animals also had totem or talismanic qualities, so that wearing or carrying an emblem of the animal would confer some of its desirable attributes on the bearer. The wild boar was known for ferocity in battle, the dog for loyalty and bravery, the horse for speed and strength, the stag for knowledge of the spiritual world.