Cephalophores

In July this year we are moving to North Devon.  One of our neighbours will be the cephalophore St Nectan.

Nectan lived around the time of King Arthur.  He was a hermit with two homes, a waterfall in Cornwall and and well in Devon.  When he was martyred he was some distance from either, but picked up his head, walked to his well and there collapsed and died.

He is one of a number of cephalophores (for that is the generic term for a saint who survives beheading), who are associated with areas previously inhabited by the Celts, which has given some people the notion that they have a connection with the Celtic cult of the head.  Nectan’s association with two watery places strengthens the suspicion that his myth has a pre-Christian origin.

In Irish mythology Nectan is the husband of Boann the goddess of the River Boyne. He had control over a well of wisdom. Nectan may be related to other watery gods such as Neptune, the Swedish Näcken, and the Persian Apam Napat.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Celts. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s