Monday, March 17, 2008

The Goddess Kelle, also known as Kelly

Ahhhh, a strong good Irish name, it is! And what a background! From The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets: Kelle (var. Kelly) Irish-druidic priest-name, derived from pre-Christian holy harlots of the Goddess Kelle, Kale, or Kali. Irish writings described the divine harlot Mary Magdalene as a kelle.(1) The medieval term Kele-De was considered somewhat mysterious, translated "Bridge of God" if a woman, "Servant of God" if a man.(2) These translations were inaccurate. Kele-De meant literally the spirit of the Goddess Kele, evidently identical with the Goddess Kali of the original Indo-European Celts. Votaries of the Goddess Kele stressed the search for inward perfection through meditation, yogic style.(3) Her gods assumed the lotus positin like eastern yogis. Her primitive Grail hereo, Peredur, experienced her as the "most beautiful woman in the world," represented by the three colors of the Divine Prakriti, still known as the Gunas, standing for her powers of creation, preservation, and destruction.(4) The mythical "St. Kilda" seems to have been another version of the Goddess Kele, dwelling on a remote rocky islet once identified with the western paradise of the dead. St Kilda's Isle still exists, but the origin of its name has been forgotten. The ubiquitous Irish word kill, a cell or cave, once meant a shrine of Kele, whose holy men called themselves Culdees, Colidees, Cele-De, Keledio, etc. Some where described in Christian histories as monks, though they wre obviously married.(5) Kildare ws a major shrine of the Goddess Kilda-Kele, or Brigit, identified with the virgin Mary after Christian monks appropriated the site. But the guardianship of the sacred fire at Kildare had long been a perogative of priestesses; the shrine ws forbidden to men.(6) Confusion of Kilda-Kele-Brigit with Mary was not too far-fethed, as they had been aspects of the same Goddess for thousands of years in India as Kali-Mari or Kel-Mari, the Pot Goddess who made human forms out of clay.(7) (See Kali Ma). Notes: (1) Malvern, 117. (2) Joyce, 352. (3) de Paor, 72. (4) Goodrich, 63-66, Avalon, 328. (5) Brewster, 130-31. (6) Briffault 2, 540. (7) Briffault 1, 474.


Unknown said...

...hmmm, Calli(N/3 Tona)=house,
calaqui(N)=enter house, c/galaxy.
nah, yolqui(N)=beast, brute,
live thing, open egg or what
revives, comes back to life.
celic/celtic(N/adj)=fresh, green,
tender, new, agreeable,
=c(l)eric(E), or,
grow, blossom; resuscitate, revive,
=oce-liz(N)=oc(r)e/och(r)e, i.e.,
the object of tlauitl(N)=red ocre
is rebirth by painting the dead red.
Tlauilli(N)=clarity, light, torch.
To(r)ch=toca(N)=sow and bury,=
to-/our being/-ca=torch.

Unknown said...

I find this interesting. How can I learn more about this. Do you think the Hindu goddess kali is related to the name kelly?

Jan said...

Hi Kelly,

I trust Walker's research so yes, the name Kelly is derived from the Hindu goddess Kali. Later intepretations of the name include the Gaelic word for "warrior," the Scottish translation is "wood" (as in woods, or a grove(?)), and the Irish translation means "war; lively; aggressive."

Another source states:

This interesting surname, with variant spellings Kelley and Kellie, has three distinct possible origins. Firstly, it is an Anglicized form of the great Old Gaelic name "O'Ceallaigh". The Gaelic prefix "O" indicates "male descendant of", plus the personal byname "Ceallach" meaning "strife" or "contention". The main (O')Kelly clan belonged to Ui Maine (mid Galway and South Roscommon), and the reigning chieftain, O'Ceallaigh (circa 1351), was a renowned patron of the arts. O'Kelly of Gallagh, whose claim to the designation chief of the name is officially recognised is entitled to be called the O'Kelly. The much lamented Grace Kelly of Monaco was of Irish stock. The surname may also be of English locational origin, from a place thus called in Devonshire, recorded as "Kelli" in the 1194 Pipe Rolls of that County, and named with the Welsh/Cornish "celli", grove. In 1521, the birth of Henry, son of William Kelly and Jane Trecarrell, was recorded in Kelly, Devonshire. Finally, the name may be of Scottish territorial origin from the lands of Kelly near Arbroath, Angus, named with the Gaelic element "coille", wood or grove. John de Kelly, noted in "Scottish Acts of Parliament" was abbot of Arbroath in 1373. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Warin de Kelly, which was dated 1194, in the "Pipe Rolls of Devonshire", during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "Richard the Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

It seems clear to me that these later Irish, Cornish, Gaelic, Scots, and English iterations of the surname Kelly are related to the ancient goddess Kali, in her various forms, but this true origin has been lost in the mists of time. The surname Kelly began to be adopted as a given name during the 20th century.

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