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You are here »The Harbor of the Masters of Magic» Articles and Publications »Goibniu - the blacksmith god text © Shellir (Natalia Nikolskaya)

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The Three Gods of Crafts, Trí Dé Dána are mentioned in Irish mythology, in the stories of the Tribe of the Goddess Danu (Tuatha Dé Danann). Each of them embodied one unsurpassed skill, an art in which there was no equal to him. We still know their names - they are Lukhtan, the greatest carpenter, joiner, woodworker, Kredne, a jeweler, coppersmith, goldsmith, Goibniu, the greatest blacksmith. Sometimes Oghma, as the great master of words, and Diana Kekhta, as the most beautiful of healers, are also considered to be in the same group. But from the main triad, we know most about Goibniu, whose veneration was not only insular, but common Celtic.

- Goibniu was a great blacksmith, and even his very name goes back to the Proto-Celtic * goban- - blacksmith. His father is called Esarg, the son of Nate, the god of war (which makes Goibniu a very ancient deity and, possibly, connects him with the Fomorians), however, according to other, later texts, and through the rapprochement of Goibniu with Goban Shor (Gobban Saor, the Builder Gob), his father is also considered Tuirbe Trágmar (Thrower of the Ax), who could throw his ax in front of the waters of the tide and forbid them to rise beyond the limit indicated by him. The text about the Second Battle of Mag-Tuired says that the Goibniu brothers are Nuada and Dian Keht, although their fathers are all different: this may indicate maternal kinship, twinning, or that they all belonged to the Tuatha de Dunnan, Tribe of the Goddess Danu. More often it is mentioned that his brothers are Credne and Luchta, although their parents are Tuireann and Brigitte. In either case, this “brotherhood” may be associated with some tendency to form triads (which we see well both in the triplets of goddesses, for example, in the “three Morrigu” or the triad of the goddesses of the land of Ireland, and in the triads of bards).

In the old myths about the Tuatha de Dannan, Goibniu appears precisely as the best of blacksmiths, the great master armourer. For example, in the Second Battle of Mag Tuired, the following is said about him:

“The greatest of the Tribes of the Goddess Danu gathered near the Lug, and he asked his blacksmith Goibniu how he would be able to serve them with his art.“ It's not hard to say, ”said the blacksmith,“ if it even happens to the Irish to fight for seven years, then instead of any spear that fell off the shaft, or a sword that would split in battle, I could forge others. And even then not a single tip, forged by me, will fly past the target, and the skin pierced by it will not grow together forever. Dolb, the blacksmith of the Fomorians, cannot do this. I am now ready for the battle at the Mag Tuired. ”

One of the most famous stories about Goibniu tells of the murder of his relative: Ruadan (Ruada), the son of Brigitte and Bres Mac Elathan. Ruadan, who fought on the side of his father and the Fomorians against the clan of his mother, Tuatha de Dannan, appeared as a spy in the Goibniu forge, and saw that there three great masters were making weapons for the troops of the Tuat Goibniu with incredible speed, rapidly forging spearheads, Luhtan in an instant puts them on shafts, Kredne connects the parts of the weapon with rivets and makes them perfect, and the warriors of the tribes of the goddess Danu come to them to take a new weapon instead of the broken one.

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