This is my seventh post participating in The Gaelic Roundtable blogging project, and October's topic is Divinity. The Roundtable asked:
"Who do believe are the Deities of the Irish Pantheon? How do you believe that they gained their Divine status? Were they always Gods- or did they become them? Or do you view them as traditional Gods at all? Are there other “categories” that you believe exist- such a “demons” or Demigods? How does your view of Gaelic Divinity differ from traditional views of Divinity such as what is found in the Hindu, Greek, or Abrahamic faiths?"My definition of what divinity is will probably not suit everyone, but is fairly simple: I see those who fit into the "divine" category as anyone who is not mortal. Of course this is a pretty broad definition which could include a whole host of beings, but within the context of Gaelic Polytheism I break it down to Gods, Spirits/Good Folk and Ancestors.
In general I think that it is difficult to neatly arrange the divine within the GP context like how one would in the classical pantheon manner. It is a wee bit more messy than that, especially when one turns to the complicated lore and mythology of the Gaels for insight. I think that there is an overlap of the Gods, Spirits/Good Folk and Ancestors, and it is likely that many individual divinities fall within two or all of those categories.
I think that some of these individuals were mortals at one time or perhaps were always some type of supernatural being that became elevated to the status of Gods through reverence and may even maintain that status through the continuation of that reverence. Maybe this is the "payoff" Gods get from having reciprocal relationships with us mortals.
I have no idea how any of them became, if some were always in existence playing a role with the dawn of the cosmos, helping shape The Great Nothing into something, or if like us they came along later.