Aonghus mac Og is one of the best known Celtic gods, and rightly so, as he embodies one of the basic traits of mankind: love and music. His kind is found in every religion, from the Vikings’ Loki to the Greek Cupid. Both show in their own ways the mischievous qualities important to this god, and also show how how those qualities are still necessary to humanity. In Aonghus, whose name is more commonly spelled Angus mac Og, the archetype is closer to Loki but he still retains the love god image.
WHO HE WAS
Aonghus, or Angus, was originally an Irish Celtic god. There are tons of Scotsmen named Angus, possibly named after him. Aonghus was always surrounded by four birds representing kisses; he was the Celts’ love god, but also a god of music and poetry. The lovechild of the Dagda and Boann, he was a rascally sort, often seen as a trickster or a riddler. He’s also mentioned as a sun god.
HOW HE WAS WORSHIPED
Little evidence is available for how Angus mac Og was worshiped, if he was. However, the number of towns and sites – including a whole region in Scotland and the Boyne River in Ireland – are either associated with him or named for him, as well as numerous boys every year since 1000 AD, seems to point to him being rather important in ancient Celtic culture. Angus has also been connected with the Welsh god Mabon, and called his Scots-Irish counterpart.
ANGUS IN MYTHOLOGY
One of the best ways Angus mac Og’s mischievous side is expressed is in the tale “the Wooing of Etain”. There, he took Etain who was fleeing from an angry fairy queen, gave her shelter for a bit, but every night when she became a woman again, so the tale says, he “had his way with her.” This corresponds with the free love ethics of the goddess Aine.
Fiona MacLeod has a tale called “The Awakening of Angus Mac Og” that tells his softer side; and he’s mentioned numerous times in the “Battle of Mag Tuired” and other ancient Irish legends.
Angus also appears in a very famous poem by Yeats called “The Song of the Wandering Angus,” all about him tripping and traveling over the world in search of his love.
There’s even a comic strip based on the life and times of Angus mac Og.
HOW HE IS WORSHIPED NOW
Druids and Wiccans of today worship Angus by calling on him for help with love and relationship issues, and sacrificing to him with the light of green candles and love ballads.