Most experts are blind to the obvious in front of their noses.
I am sitting writing this blog in an internet cafe, this time it may cost me nothing as someone forgot to log out. Little opportunities like this is what I consider as one of those happy lucky events in life, those events we pray that will happen to us on a regular basis, as opposed to the misfortunes of life.
The ancient Celts considered that events were causal rather than lucky, the effect of the interplay of archetypes; and thus a Celt would try to win influence by offering gifts to these archetypes. The Battersea Shield is an example of a gift given to an archetype, in this case to the Mother Goddess.
The Mother Goddess
The Mother Goddess is to the ancient Celts the top archetype, “God”, the Venus archetype, which I call the “Source” archetype. This archetype is the source of everything, life, strength, and abundance. The reader may know about the tradition of throwing coins down wishing wells and making wishes; well the one that grants the wishes is this archetype, and the Celts throw expensive items like the Battersea Shield into rivers for their wishes from the Source archetype. The river is a telephone line direct to the Source, since this flows from and to the Source.
Name, or reputation, is important to the Celts. The Celtic was arrogant, boastful and vain; modesty was a negative trait in Celtic society. Often the Celt would make their name through display, perhaps holding great feasts, or by wearing expensive gold torcs, or by giving expensive donations to the Celtic archetypes, especially to the Source archetype. At feasts Celtic warriors could end in fights for the right of taking the “champions portion”, the best part of the roast pig. The gifting of the Battersea Shield to the Source would have been a mark of great prestige for a Celtic chieftain, and done to mark a major event.
The Battersea Shield
This shield was especially commissioned for the purpose of being dumped into a river. The shield is useless for combat, but was expensive to produce. The shield was found in the River Thames at Battersea, London, and dates between 350 BCE to 100 CE. The shield is in the British Museum.
The Meaning of the Shield
I have found no source amongst the experts who has observed what the patterns mean on the shield, something so blindingly obvious to me. To the ignorant observer the patterns are random beautiful things, but the Celts hide considerable knowledge inside their artwork.
To see the shield in greater detail I advise the reader to Google it to find the many images that exist on the internet. I shall run through the symbolism in brief.
The square boomerang
The spinning boomerang of five squares, one centre with four spirals ending in four squares. This is a solar symbol, it conveys change and the four quarters of the Celtic solar year.
The centre circle
The centre circle is the moon, a symbol of the Source archetype, and is primary over the sun. The Source is the top archetype in the Celtic philosophy, and is the same top archetype as expressed by Ice Age people in their cave paintings. Around the centre circle are four patterns: look carefully at two of these and you will see the face of the “owl”, a symbol of death, and the full moon symbol in its head; the other two patterns are “cross-eyed” and a little baby is emerging, the symbol of the new moon is in the head of these patterns. Thus the Source is shown in the centre of the shield, with its two death and rebirth attributes, and associations with the moon.
The two side circles
The two side circles show the sun symbol, often shown as two circles, and secondary to the moon. Note the horned archetype, variously described as Silvanus, Belenus, or Cernunnos; the “Solar” archetype is associated with deer and abundance. The “Solar” archetype’s mouth becomes a circle within which are four other patterns: note the jester-like appearance of two of the patterns, this is horns curving downwards like a goat or ibex, the symbol of the “Thief” archetype called Gwyn Ap Nudd, the winter archetype that steals everything; the other two patterns look like a bug-eyed creature, I think is a bear, the opposing archetype is Lugh, the “Bridge” in that it makes available anything to mankind, in contrast to the “Thief” who takes and hides things from mankind. The two archetypes reflect the eternal duel between summer and winter in the solar year.