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Home Articles Crofhind Cathair - The Seat Of The Kings

 

A paper written by Stefan Zimmer, Professor Emeritus at the University of Bonn, explains how the Irish/Celtic words "cethrochair" and "cathair", immensely important words, are cognate with the Sanskrit "catur" meaning "four".

 

"Catur" is seen in the Sanskrit "caturmasa" the four month rainy season, its seen in "caturmukha" the four faces of Lord Brahma, and its seen in "caturvyuha" the quadruple expansion of Lord Visnu. As with all Sanskrit numbers "catur" is seen throughout the languages, it becomes the Slavic "cetiri" it becomes the latin "quatur" and it becomes the Celtic "cethair" all meaning "four".

 

As Professor Zimmer explains, the Sanskrit "catur" meaning "four", the Celtic "cethair" meaning "four" and the Celtic "cathair" meaning "seat" "chair" "fortress" "city" "warrior" are very much related. The "cathair" meaning "fortress" is also the "cathair" meaning the "seat" of the King a "seat" which gives protection upon all "four" sides. In ancient times the high ground was very much coveted and we see this "cathair" in relation to mountains and hillsides where the "seat" of the King offered protection on all "four" sides.

 

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Professor Zimmer goes on to explain how "cathair" is related to the Irish "cethrochair" meaning "four sided" "square" "rectangular" an obvious reflection of the Sanskrit "catur" meaning "four". Indeed the Professor explains how the word "cethrochair" is cognate with the Sanskrit "caturasra" and "caturasri" meaning "square" "four sided" "rectangle" "quadrangle".

 

The "asra" and "asri" becoming "ochair" in "cethrochair" is a common transformation which occurs between Sanskrit and European languages. Compare the Sanskrit "asta" meaning "eight" and the European "okta" meaning "eight" seen in october, the eighth month of the old Roman calendar." The Sanskrit "asti" meaning "bone" becomes the European "osti" meaning "bone" as seen in the word "osteopath". The Sanskrit "aksi" meaning "eye" becomes the european "okw" meaning "eye" which then becomes "oculus" as seen in the word "binocular". And this Sanskrit "asri" and "asra" meaning "angle" "corner" "edge" becomes the European "ochair" meaning "corner" "edge".

 

Etymologically it goes from the Sanskrit "asri" meaning "corner" to the European "okri" meaning "corner" and also seen in the Latin "ocris" meaning "peak of a mountain" and the Welsh "ochr" meaning "corner" "edge". And so there are good arguments, as made by Professor Stefan Zimmer, that "cethrochair" and "cathair" both come from this Sanskrit "catur" meaning "four" and as we shall see "cathair" has immense importance throughout the Celtic regions and reflects the ancient Vedic/Celtic influence which once pervaded Ireland.

 

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Some four thousand years ago Ireland was home to a race of people known as the Tuatha De Danann, the "people of Danu" named after an ancient Vedic Goddess. They settled in middle Ireland ( County Meath ) and the sacred hill of Tara became known as "Crofhind Cathair" the "seat of the Kings".

 

Taras hill ( pictured above ) was home to many treasures, the stone of destiny, the sword of light, the spear of Lugh and Dagdas cauldron. Another treasure was their milky white cows, one of which was reputed to provide an endless supply of milk and this is reflected in the nearby river "Boyne".

 

Boyne is known as the "white streaming Boyne" the "milky white Boyne" its named after Boand the "white cow goddess". Boand comes from the Irish "bo-find" meaning "white cow" this comes from the Celtic "bou-vinda" meaning "white cow" and this is related to Krsna, the lover of the cows known as "Govinda".

 

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Upon Taras hill stands "the stone of destiny" peering out across the land as if awaiting its future King. In ancient times oracles were prominent throughout Europe, the oracle of Delphi, the oracle of Doda and in Africa there was the oracle of Libya, a subtle science evoking the presence of the gods. The stone of destiny was a kind of oracle through which the Gods proclaimed the high kings of Tara, and their right to rule. Over one hundred Kings of Ireland were placed upon the throne through the authority of the stone, one of four treasures brought to Ireland by the Tuatha De Danann, the others being Nuadas sword of light, the spear of Lugh and Dagdas cauldron.

 

Nuada was the first King of the Tuatha De Danann, his name was "Nuada Airgetlam" meaning "Nuada of the silver arm". In battle his arm was severed from the shoulder and being an incomplete man he was forced to step down as King. Over time however, his physician made him a silver arm and he duly returned as King. "Airgetlam" meaning "silver arm" is the Sanskrit "arj" and "arjuna" meaning "silver" which became the European "arg" meaning "silver" and seen as the "Nuada Airgetlam".

 

Nuadas sword of light and the spear of Lugh were intimately connected to the stone of destiny as they not only upheld the chosen Kings right to the throne, they were weapons whose potency was prominent only in the hands of the chosen King. The final treasure known as "Dagdas cauldron" is most probably named after the ancient Vedic sage Daksa, a progenitor of mankind and also the father of the Vedic Goddess Devi Danu. The cauldron itself is similar to the cauldron we find in the Vedic scriptures where King Yuddhisthira has a cauldron which never runs out of food.

 

 

In Killarney County Kerry we find the "Paps of Anu" a pair of breast shaped mountains, Anu is the mother of the Irish Gods, her name derived from Devi Danu the Vedic goddess. For the ancients these breast like mountains spoke of a mother earth which nourishes her children.

 

In the legend of Arthur this same Goddess is most probably the lady of the lake, the famous arm beholding Excalibur and proclaiming Arthur as King. The lady of the lake was a mother Goddess similar to that of Devi Danu and its no coincidence she appears through water, Danu being the Goddess of the waters. Upon Arthurs death Excalibur is returned to the Goddess who gave birth to the King in the form of a magical sword, and as Arthur revolves through the cycle of birth, death and renewal he is once again returned to his mother through the symbolic return of the sword. Arthurs body is returned to Avalon and placed in the hands of three women, Guinevere, Morgan Le Fey and the lady of the lake, which once again reflects this triad aspect of the goddess, a characteristic of Devi Danu.

 

" Among the ancient Celts, Danu was regarded as the "Mother Goddess." The Irish Gods and Goddesses were the Tuatha De Danaan ("Children of Danu"). Danu was the "divine waters" falling from heaven and nurturing Bíle, the sacred oak from whose acorns their children sprang. Moreover, the waters of Danu went on to create the great Celtic sacred river--Danuvius, today called the Danube. Many European rivers bear the name of Danu--the Rhône (ro- Dhanu, "Great Danu") and several rivers called Don. Rivers were sacred in the Celtic world, and places where votive offerings were deposited and burials often conducted."  Peter Beresford Ellis  -  Historian, novelist and foremost expert on Celtic history.

 

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As previously stated the Sanskrit "catur" meaning "four" is the Irish "ceathair" meaning "four" and the source of the Celtic "cathair" whose original meaning was related to the "four directions", and this has been expanded upon to mean the "seat" or "chair" of the King whose duty is to protect his citizens from all four directions.

 

At the foot of the Paps of Anu we find "Cathair Crobh Dearg" as pictured above, its name is said to mean "red claws enclosure" the "dearg" meaning "red" the "crobh" meaning "claw" and the "cathair" meaning "enclosure" as it expands from meaning "four corners" to "fortress" to "enclosure". "Red claw enclosure" is said to refer to a war Goddess who shapeshifted in battle to become a raven.

 

The fortress was in the shape of a circular wall which was some four metres thick, it contained a holy well and what some say are megalithic tombs. Throughout Ireland and throughout the Celtic regions of the British Isles we findy many placenames with this "cathair" a name meaning "four corners" "fortress" "city" its importance expressed as the "seat" or "chair" of the king.

 

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Cathair is seen in "Cahersiveen" a town in County Kerry pictured above. Such breathtaking views  are common throughout Ireland, the plush green hills, the long flowing rivers and the picturesque towns, its name means "the stone ringfort".

 

There are many ringforts to be found in Cahersiveen, the most prominent being the "Grianan of Aileach" which affords an amazing view. The "grian" is a Celtic word meaning "Sun", similarly the poet Virgil addressed the Sun God Apollo as "Grynaeus". Its source is the Sanskrit "ghr" meaning "burn" "shine" and "ghrna" meaning "heat" "sunshine" and "ghrni" meaning "Sun" and from this comes the Celtic "Grian" meaning "Sun". The "aileach" has been described as "stoney place" and so the academics translate "Grian of Aileach" as "sunny place".

 

I think when one takes into consideration the nature of the Celts and the prominent position this fort holds "sunny place" seems out of place. Some have translated it as "palace of the Sun" or "temple of the Sun" and both seem much more appropriate. According to Irish legend the "Grian of Aileach" was built by Dagda, the King of the people of the Goddess Danu. Dagda seems to be none other than the great Vedic priest and prajapati Daksa, especially when we take into consideration that according to the Vedas, Danu was the daughter of Daksa.

 

 

The Burren Way, miles and miles of limestone rock stretching far along the Irish coast. Such vistas drew the ancient mariners to the shores and atop the high ground the Celtic Kings built their "seats" of which this was known as "Cathair Dhuin Irghuis". "Cathair" means "seat" "fort" "city" the "dhuin" means "fort" and "Irghuis" is known as a legendary Celtic King, the name seemingly means "the seat of the fort of Irghuis".

 

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Blencathra appears in the lake district of Cumbria, once a Celtic Kingdom. The "blen" is from "blain" meaning "top" "summit" "peak" and the "cathra" is once again this Celtic "cathair" meaning "four corners" "fortress" "chair". The name is supposed to reflect a "chairlike" structure of the mountain, now while this may be true there is a tendency to suddenly see the shape of a chair as soon as we see the word "cathair" in a Celtic placename. This is due to the ignorance of the words real meaning which is that in ancient times those in power coveted high ground and this would be known as the "seat" of the King whose duty was to protect his Kingdom from all "four" sides and as previously explained its in this sense that "cathair" originates from the Sanskrit "catur" meaning "four".

 

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"Cadair Idris" the Welsh mountain in picturesque Snowdonia. "Cadair" is once again this Celtic "cathair" and once again they refer to it as a "chair" and even worse they begin to trace out a chair in the outlines of the mountain. "Idris" according to folklore was one of the race of giants and this was his Kingdom "Cadair Idris" the "seat of Idris".

 

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The above picture shows the amazing view from "Caherconree" a mountain peak in County Kerry, Ireland. Its name means "the stone fort of Cu Roi Mac Daire" a shape shifting sorcerer, responsible for building the fort and this was his "seat" the "seat of Cu Roi Mac Daire". Elsewhere "cathair" becomes the "caher" in "Caherbarnagh" a mountain in County Cork, Ireland, its name meaning "the gapped stone fort" and "cathair becomes "caher" in "Caherconlish" a village in County Limerick, Ireland, its name meaning the "circular stone fort".

 

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Above we see "Cahergal" meaning the "bright stone fort" to be found in County Kerry Ireland. "Cathair" is also "Caherdaniel" meaning "the fort of Donall" a village in County Kerry and it becomes "caher" in "Caherloughlin" meaning "the stone fort of Loughlin" in Munster, Ireland.

 

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Throughout Ireland there are over 40,000 ancient stone ringforts, many the footprints of the ancient Celts. Above, dramatically poised upon the edge of a cliff, is "Cahercommaun" its name meaning "the stone ringfort of comin". This view of County Clare in Ireland is magnificent and i am sure it was more so during the Celtic age. They were gifted with horses and the Romans adopted their horsemanship, indeed the historian Strabo comments " Although they are all fighters by nature, they are better a cavalry than an infantry ". One can just imagine them roaring across the plains of County Clare inspired by this green jewel of Ireland and safe amongst their gods.

 

"The Druids of the ancient Celtic world have a startling kinship with the brahmins of the Hindu religion and were, indeed, a parallel development from their common Indo-European cultural root which began to branch out probably five thousand years ago. It has been only in recent decades that Celtic scholars have begun to reveal the full extent of the parallels and cognates between ancient Celtic society and Vedic culture The very name Druid is composed of two Celtic word roots which have parallels in Sanskrit. Indeed, the root vid for knowledge, which also emerges in the Sanskrit word Veda, demonstrates the similarity. The Celtic root dru which means "immersion" also appears in Sanskrit. So a Druid was one immersed in knowledge."  Peter Beresford Ellis  -  Historian and novelist.

 

" It is believed that the Celts started with the concept of a mother Goddess named Danu ( meaning water from heaven ). The name of the Danube river is derived from Danu and evidence shows that Celtic civilisation evolved at the headwaters of the Danube river around this time. Water was venerated as the source of life, personified by Danu. Numerous rivers in Europe bear her name, such as the Don rivers of England, France, Scotland, and Russia. The Irish called themselves the "Tuatha De Danann" the people of the Goddess Danu ". Valerie Estelle Frankel.

 

Citations   -

http://www.academia.edu/2945293/2005_Another_Indo-Celtic_Parallel_Irish_cethrochair_etc

 

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Last Updated (Wednesday, 24 May 2017 06:27)

 
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