February is a month of love and I saw it fitting to give Aengus His own post. When focusing on deities of love, we often come across information on Venus or Aphrodite because They are readily available and have loads of information written about Them. But have you heard of Aengus?
Who is Aengus Óg
Aengus Óg is the son of The Dagda and Boann, born from an affair that The Dagda had with Bóann, the wife of a man named Elcmar, also known as Nuada. It is said that The Dagda sent Bóann’s husband away on a trip that would last for nine months, but he would perceive it as simply one day. Thus, The Dagda laid with Bóann and She bore him a son.
Meanwhile the Dagda went in upon Elcmar’s wife, and she bore him a son, even Aengus, and the woman was whole of her sickness when Elcmar returned, and he perceived not her offense, that is, that she had lain with the Dagda. The Wooing of Etain
What’s in a Name?
Aengus means ‘true vigor’ in Irish, translated over from the Old Irish version of His name Óengus. He is also known as Mac ind Óc or Mac Óg meaning “young son”. It is said that He was named Mac Óg because His mother, Bóann, said, “Young is the son who was begotten at the break of day and born betwixt it and evening.” This is in reference to Aengus being conceived in the morning, and since The Dagda stopped time, being born before nightfall of the same day.
His Stories and Associations
Aengus is said to be the Irish god of youth, love, and poetic inspiration. If you look at His stories, you can see that He often used His words to get around doing things or to take advantage of situations. One such story is how He and The Dagda tricked Nuada (Elchmar) into leaving Brugh na Bóinne (pronounced Broo nah Boy-nah). You can read this story in The Wooing of Etain, but basically Aengus and The Dagda used a loophole in the Old Irish language (there is no “a” i.e. “a day and a night” – it is simply “day and night”) to convince Nuada to leave His home for one day. When He returned for His land, Aengus told Him no, not without the approval of The Dagda. The Dagda basically said, sorry Nuada, that’s what you agreed to, but then gave Him another dwelling in Cleitech.
Then they appeal to the Dagda, who adjudged each man’s contract in accordance with his undertaking. “So then this land accordingly belongs henceforth to this youth,” said Elcmar. “It is fitting,” said the Dagda. “Thou was taken unawares on a day of peace and amity. Thou gavest thy land for mercy shown thee, for thy life was dearer to thee than thy land, yet thou shalt have land from me that will be no less profitable to thee than the Brug.” “Where is that?” said Elcmar. “Cleitech,” said the Dagda, “with the three lands that are round about it, thy youths playing before thee every day in the Brug, and thou shalt enjoy the fruits of the Boyne from this land.” “It is well,” said Elcmar; “so shall it be accomplished.” And he made a flitting to Cleitech, and built a stronghold there, and Mac Oc abode in the Brug in his land. The Wooing of Etain
According to the work of Lora O’Brien, Aengus Óg is primarily associated with the following…
romantic love and the comfort of a lover’s embrace
protection of lovers, especially those who are kept apart
time, especially the importance of a single day
hope for those who are alone
charm, wit, and clever use of semantics
Things that are sacred to Him, or at least play some importance, are the following…
Liminality (being in between)
Newgrange (historically known as Brugh na Bóinne)
Aengus Óg – Lora O’Brien
The Wooing of Etain
Aengos, God of Poetry and Love – Mythopedia
Aengus – Mythology Wikia
Aengus Óg - The Love God of Ancient Ireland – Ireland Information
Aengus – Wikipedia
Aengus Og – Mythology Source