Thane of Summer

The Thane of Summer is a widely beloved Spirit of the Cealtanach peoples. He is a representation of valor in combat, bounty, and the arts. He is usually depicted as an idealized warrior figure either surrounded by slain enemies, or beautiful women and symbols of a bountiful harvest and the arts. What he is in reality, none can say. Is he a powerful Sidhe Lord? A God? A historical legend? Merely an ideal?

In Bardic lore the Thane of Summer is Maponos, the brother of Cernunnos otherwise known as the Stag Lord. Every fall at Samain the Thane of Summer is treacherously murdered by his brother who then rules all winter long. At Beltain he is resurrected by the Mother Spirit. He then transforms Cernunnos into a beast and banishes him to the wild so that the festivities of Summer can begin again.

Maponos is his name among the Gaels, but in Cuimranach and Bretonach lands he is called Modron, and among the Eiranach he is called Aengus.

Druids generally regard the Thane of Summer as less useful than his brother or his mother and use him only little in their private rituals. However he is incredibly popular with everyone else who invoke him in any celebration from planting to harvest, especially hand-fastings and weddings. Warriors and Craftsmen regard him as an ideal to aspire to, and he will usually be prayed to before any battle to ensure success.

During the cold days of Winter, though, when the Stag Lord reigns there is a universal Gesa against pronouncing any of the Thane of Summer’s names. If the Stag Lord hears anyone speaking the name of the brother he betrayed he will fly into a rage and the winter will be cold and long.

Thane of Summer

Children of Ben Dudlach AricClark