Get to know the Good God of Ireland through mythology, history, and modern worship.
The Dagda is one of the most well-known of the Irish Gods, a king of the Tuatha De Danann and mediator between the Gods and mortals after the Gaels came to Ireland. A popular God among Irish and Celtic pagans, the Dagda is a powerful figure who reaches out to us from myth and memory. For those seeking to honor him today finding information can be difficult or confusing. Pagan Portals - the Dagda offers a place to begin untangling the complex history of this deity.
REVIEWS & ENDORSEMENTS
Pagan Portals: the Dagda was not just informative and useful, it was a pleasure to read. The book is written with Morgan Daimler’s trademark mastery of the scholarly lore, combined with her typically accessible writing style, which makes this lore easily understandable by the average, non-scholarly reader. This is typical of her books, and well known to those familiar with her work. In addition, Pagan Portals: the Dagda is written in an unusually evocative style, seeming to capture the spiritual essence and intuitive feel of the Dagda is a way that is immensely appealing. In reading the book, I felt I could touch the presence of the Dagda, and I was left wanting to have more to do with Him. To accomplish this is a triumph of the writer’s art, an act of absolute virtuosity.
The book is a short and easy read, written with the typical Pagan Portals structure. There is a short preface containing the reasons for writing the book, and also discussing issues of references and bibliographic style. This gives readers needed “nuts and bolts” for following Daimler’s research trail, and beginning their own studies.
Chapter 1 presents basics, but essentials. The Dagda’s name and assorted by-names and epithets are given and thoroughly described, which immediately gives a strong impression of His nature and many spheres of influence. His physical description is given, showing that, while there is much support for the standard description, His appearance is more complex than commonly reported. Finally, His relationships to others are described, including His wife, the Morrigan, His additional romantic partners, among them Boann and assorted Fomorian maidens, and His children, who are numerous and in some cases famous, powerful deities in their own right.
Chapter 2 presents the Dagda’s place in mythology and the vernacular Irish texts. Here we have retellings not only of the more familiar tales, but also of less familiar tales that present the Dagda in new lights. The image of the Dagda grieving for his son Cermait is particularly haunting, showing a side of the Dagda rarely seen before.
Chapter 3 presents the leading tools, weapons, plants, animals, locations, and times associated with the Dagda. This rounds out the previously given material, by giving us the symbolic associations of the God, which help us intuit His nature in terms of images. True to Daimler’s encyclopedic knowledge of the lore, she is able to give us details about these tools and associations that tell us very much, indeed.
Chapter 4 is a discussion of the meaning of the associations described in other chapters. This chapter describes the Dagda as a deity of life and death, fire, passion, and earth, weather and crops, a warrior, a poet and musician, a King, a sage and magician, a deity of farmers and workers, and a grieving parent. While such a multifaceted nature might be expected to dilute the Dagda’s power, it strangely does not, and this chapter sums up and conveys a personality of immense distinctiveness and power.
Chapter 5 describes the Dagda today, including in modern myths, modern fictional depictions, and modern description. This chapter also contains practical advice for how to worship the Dagda today, including how to build a shrine to Him, and a few invocations. New worshipers, who should be many, given the rest of the book, will find this chapter very useful.
The conclusion sums up the material previously presented, and makes a strong case for the relevance and necessity of the Dagda today. Following the conclusion there are appendices giving a resource list, a pronunciation guide, and a bibliography. At the end of every chapter but the introduction, chapter 1, and the conclusion are sections describing Daimler’s own personal experience with the material in that chapter. These are typical of her writing, and give it an immediacy and human touch lacking in many other authors.
All in all, I cannot recommend this book highly enough. While short, as all Pagan Portals titles are, it presents information, both familiar and very unfamiliar, in an immensely accessible and appealing way. It is so evocative as to seemingly convey the essence of the Dagda in its pages. It is immensely well-written, which helps it achieve its goals, and makes it a joy to read in itself. It marks another triumph for Morgan Daimler. ~ Segomâros Widugeni author at Nemeton Segomâros
Morgan Daimler introduces us to the God who can do all things skillfully, a God for he average Joe or Josephine. He is master of opposites, king and peasant. Daimler presents a fine review of mythology, scholarship, and popular culture for this Irish deity. The most valuable sharing is her own relationship with him. I appreciate her understanding of a modern spirit with ancient roots, as comfortable in blue jeans as kingly robes. He is warrior, lover, musician, parent, agriculturist negotiator and justice, not a vague archetype who may or may not be interested in me. Because of this book I’ll be spending more time with the Dagda, a most excellent God. And Daimler tells me how to do that. ~ Dorothy L. Abrams, co-founder and priestess of the Web PATH Center, author of Identity and the Quartered Circle
I’ve held The Dagda in my affections for many years and this is the first book which clearly explains the complexity of this important Irish god. Daimler takes us on a journey through the richness of his mythology, history, his many names & titles as well as suggesting prayers and rituals which honour him. I thoroughly recommend “Pagan Portals: The Dagda’ to those who are curious and to those who want to deepen their knowledge and connection to the Good God of Ireland. ~ Jane Brideson, Artist and Blogger at The Ever-Living Ones
Many Irish goddesses have become increasingly popular within modern Paganism, but sadly many of the myths and stories of their male counterparts are ignored. In her latest instalment in the Pagan Portal series Morgan Daimler has created the essential guide to the Dagda. It is the perfect balance of scholarly resources and practical advice for modern seekers. ~ Stephanie Woodfield author of Celtic Lore & Spellcraft of the Dark Goddess, and Dark Goddess Craft
I cannot recommend this book highly enough. While short, as all Pagan Portals titles are, it presents information, both familiar and very unfamiliar, in an immensely accessible and appealing way. It is so evocative as to seemingly convey the essence of the Dagda in its pages. It is immensely well-written, which helps it achieve its goals, and makes it a joy to read in itself. It marks another triumph for Morgan Daimler. ~ Segomâros Widugeni, author at Nemeton Segomâros
Another outstanding book from the very talented Morgan Daimler. This Pagan Portal gives an introduction to the intriguing god, Dagda. Morgan has covered not just the mythology and associations but also drawn from her own experiences and reflected upon Dagda in the modern world. The book also includes some beautiful invocations and prayers. ~ Rachel Patterson, author of The Cailleach, Witchcraft into the Wilds and the Kitchen Witchcraft series