Charities by deity: Gaelic pantheon

Queen Maev (Irish spelling: Medb), by Joseph Christian Leyendecker, 1911

Offering to the gods and goddesses is an important part of Gaelic religion.  How can a naturalist honor this tradition?  One possibility is to give to a charity related to a deity’s symbolic or mythical concerns.  This page compiles charities relevant to deities.

General correspondences and suggested charities are given for each deity, but these listings do not, and cannot, reflect the full range of nuance for each deity tradition; they only attempt to give starting points for research.  Resources for evaluating charities include Charity Navigator and GiveWell.

Your help is needed!  Please send us your links, comments, and improvements for this page!

Special thanks to Drew Jacob for preparing the list of deities and descriptions for this pantheon.

+ Denotes warrior deities. All of them can be broadly associated with causes involving just fights, supporting troops and consuming beer.

* Denotes sovereignty goddesses. All can be broadly associated with political causes, environmental causes and consuming wine or mead.

Table of Contents

  • GENERAL (all deities)
  • I. GREAT DEITIES
    • Danu*
    • Daghda+
    • Lugh+
    • Morríghan
      • Macha*
      • An Bhadhbh Catha, a.k.a. “The Bhadhbh”
      • Nemhain
    • Manannán Mac Lir
    • Aine*
    • Brighid
    • Boann
    • Aengus mac Óg+
    • Nuadu, a.k.a Nechtan+
    • Ogma+
    • Tuireann
    • Cú Roí+
    • Cailleach
    • Crom
    • Donn
  • II. CRAFT DEITIES
    • Gobhniu
    • Creidhne
    • Luchta
    • Dian Cecht
    • Airmed
    • Fionnuala
    • Cairpre
    • Bricriu
    • Abhcan
    • Figol
    • Mathgen
  • III. LAND DEITIES
    • Éire
    • Other land deities
  • IV. DAOINE SÍDHE

GENERAL

Some nonprofits are broadly applicable; either their initiatives address a vast range of concerns, or the nature of their organization makes them in some way appropriate for nearly any deity.

  • Mercy Corps – a team of 3700 professionals helping turn crisis into opportunity for millions around the world; a vast list of programs addresses nearly all areas of humanitarian concern
  • Heifer International – giving livestock as an economic base to struggling families in developing countries; recipients agree to pass on offspring and knowledge to others; donating specific animals allows a correspondence to the traditional sacred/sacrificial animals of deities, thus making this charity broadly applicable to any deity that would have received animal sacrifices in ancient times
I. GREAT DEITIES
Danu*
Spirit of the land itself, and the life-giving water that runs through it. Can be broadly seen as the earth or the entire natural universe. Mother of the gods.
Causes: Any nurturing cause makes sense for Danu. Also, protecting the earth.
Daghda+
Spirit of the sky, rain and thunder. Spirit of plenty. A virile, jovial (pun intended) and friendly god. Easy to get along with. A people’s deity. Has a large phallus.
Causes: Feeding the hungry! Also, fertility-related causes. Curing prostate cancer or stopping STI’s.
  • The Hunger Site
  • Countryside Restoration Trust
  • Feeding America – the nation’s largest food bank network.  With a network of 200 member food banks across the country, Feeding America supplies more the 2 billion pounds of food and grocery products annually.
  • United Nations World Food Programme – Among the Millennium Development Goals which the United Nations has set for the 21st century, halving the proportion of hungry people in the world is top of the list. Click through this section to learn more about hunger and how WFP food aid, which reached 86.1 million people in 80 countries in 2007, is leading the fight against the number one risk to global health.
  • Connecticut Food Bank – a partnership to alleviate hunger
  • Emergency Foodshelf Network (EFN) – a nonprofit food bank that collects, warehouses and distributes quality food and essential support services to Minnesota hunger relief organizations.
  • Operation Blessing International – a variety of aid options including hunger relief, orphan care, and more.
  • Feed the Hungry – Feed The Hungry raises money to build small, efficient kitchens attached to schools and then provides a hot, nutritionally balanced meal to over 4,000 hungry children every school day. Feed The Hungry currently supplies 35 kitchens and plans to build three more kitchens in 2009.  FTH serves the San Miguel de Allende area of Mexico.
Lugh+
Spirit of heroism and leaders. Appointed High King of the gods. A transfunctional and mercurial deity who draws on the domains of all other gods. Spirit of noble self-sacrifice. Whenever someone willfully chooses to sacrifice themselves for a greater cause, they are honoring Lugh. Common misconceptions: Lugh is often seen as a sun deity. There is no evidence for this. The sun is female in all Celtic cultures and Lugh is associated with light, but never the sun. He is not the Helios you’re looking for.
Causes: Lost causes. Those who are alone or outnumbered. Supporting principled, honorable people in the face of great adversity. Supporting just war efforts. Destroying dictators. Freeing slaves. As an elected king, potentially pro-democracy causes. Organizations or causes that promote heroism and selflessness. County or state fairs,or any country fair. Competitions. Feeding the hungry.
  • Moral Heroes – inspiring the hero in you by telling the stories of heroes from around the world, from the past and today
  • Fisher House – helping military families
  • Operation Homefront – supporting our troops and helping the families they leave behind
  • USO – The USO is a private, nonprofit organization whose mission is to support the troops by providing morale, welfare and recreation-type services to our men and women in uniform.
  • War Child International – works to help children caught up in the horrors of war
  • Iraq Foundation – raises awareness for the suffering of Iraqi people and raises funds which are then given to institutions and organizations in Iraq to aid children, refugees, and widows.
  • International Peace Institute
  • United Nations Foundation
  • Witness – “Uses video and online technologies to open the eyes of the world to human rights violations.”
  • ChangeMakers.net – encouraging social innovation.  Changemakers is building the world’s first global online “open source” community that competes to surface the best social solutions, and then collaborates to refine, enrich, and implement those solutions. Changemakers begins by providing an overarching intellectual framework for collaborative competitions that bring together individual social change initiatives into a more powerful whole.
  • Amnesty International – a worldwide movement of people who campaign for internationally recognized human rights for all.
  • GiveWell – an evaluator of charities focusing on which are actually producing change in the world; also includes The GiveWell Blog
  • The Carter Center – established by former president Jimmy Carter and former first lady Rosalyn Carter; promotes peace, human rights, and fights disease; credited with the near eradication of guinea worm disease; given a high evaluation by Givewell
  • Genocide Intervention Network – educational network empowering individuals and communities with the tools to prevent and stop genocide; in addition to advocacy, programs work actively to protect civilians on the ground, currently in Darfur and Burma.
  • Aegis – campaigns to prevent genocide worldwide; activities include research, policy, education, remembrance, awareness of genocide issues in the media, and humanitarian support for victims of genocide; offices in the UK Holocaust Centre and Rwanda
  • Human Rights Watch – independent organization reporting on human rights issues around the world
Morríghan
Spirit of death. Morríghan is a goddess in her own right, but she also appears as Na Trí Morríghna, the Three Great Queens, given as separate goddesses below (many people would attach feminist causes to her, but I’d leave that for Macha, below). Common misconceptions: Morríghan is often depicted as evil. But all the Irish gods are seen as embodying virtue. Morríghan and her aspects represent both a necessary natural force, as well as an ethical virtue: aggression against one’s enemies.
Causes: No charity work particularly represents Morríghan. It would seem logical to suggest something about honoring the dead, but that’s not her gig – she’s Death itself, she is hungry and she seldom appears in a compassionate guise. Any cause that sends people to die could be considered a toast to Morríghan, I suppose.
Macha*
Spirit of Victory. More accurately, the spirit of bua – a concept that involves the synergy of ethical virtue, inner and outer strength, and victory. The spirit of sovereignty, which she can bestow or revoke. Notably, she gave her life in the battle against the giants (“the beautiful daughter of Ernmhas fell there”) and the immediate next passage shows Lugh turning the tide of the battle.
Causes: Pregnant women, causes promoting wine, mead or alcohol. Horse-related causes. Political causes. Wars. Feminist causes.
  • Nike Foundation – works to get girls on the international agenda and drive resources to them; researches the critical importance of girls in the developing world; finds the best programs for girls
  • Fisher House – helping military families
  • Operation Homefront – supporting our troops and helping the families they leave behind
  • USO – The USO is a private, nonprofit organization whose mission is to support the troops by providing morale, welfare and recreation-type services to our men and women in uniform.
  • War Child International – works to help children caught up in the horrors of war
  • Iraq Foundation – raises awareness for the suffering of Iraqi people and raises funds which are then given to institutions and organizations in Iraq to aid children, refugees, and widows.
  • Oxfam International – a confederation of 13 like-minded organizations working together and with partners and allies around the world to bring about lasting change; working in development, emergencies, advocacy, campaigning, and policy research; campaigns in health, education, agriculture, climate change, arms control, and trade.
  • Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) – not a crusade against alcohol consumption – MADD’s mission is to stop drunk driving, support the victims of this violent crime and prevent underage drinking.
  • Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) – Founded as Students Against Driving Drunk in 1981, SADD has been committed to empowering young people to lead education and prevention initiatives within their schools and communities. SADD now highlights prevention of all destructive behaviors and attitudes that are harmful to young people, including underage drinking, substance abuse, impaired driving, violence and suicide.
  • The Girl Effect – initiative of the Nike Foundation communicating the importance of girls as agents of change in the developing world
  • International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) – tackles the complexities of the world’s most pressing problems – poverty, hunger and disease – by demonstrating that a focus on women and gender is necessary for lasting social and economic change; mission is to empower women, advance gender equality and fight poverty in the developing world; works with partners to conduct empirical research, build capacity and advocate for evidence-based, practical ways to change policies and programs
  • BRAC – works to fight poverty in the developing world through a broad set of services ranging from education to health care, emphasizes poor rural women as agents of change
  • Global Grassroots – supports women affected by violence in Rwanda, Darfur, and eastern Chad bordering Darfur; trains women in personal transformation, social entrepreneurship, and project building; also provides seed funding to graduates with quality projects, a list of which can be seen on their web site; founded by Gretchen Steidle Wallace of the film The Devil Came On Horseback.
An Badhbh Catha, a.k.a. “the Badhbh”
The Battle Crow, spirit of bloodshed and frenzy. There is a specific trance that sometimes comes over a warrior as they kill, so that they act with almost unconscious fury and grace – that’s her.
Causes: Causes that protect crows or ravens.

In addition, one might consider causes that help warriors return to ordinary life after the battle.  These causes may not be exactly in the spirit of the Badhbh herself, but they help “pick up the pieces” after the warrior experience she represents.

Nemhain
Spirit of abject terror, and also spirit of the sacred. Nemhain is a complex goddess who underscores some of the most rugged truths about transcendent practices.
Causes: Retreats and retreat centers. Supporting intensive, dedicated spiritual practice.
Manannán mac Lir
Spirit of old age and crossing boundaries. Patron of mariners and travelers. Common misconceptions: Often mistakenly said to be the god of the sea. The sea is actually a fomhor (titan) named Tethra. There are many parallels between the two but Tethra appears to be the sea itself in all its might and fury while mac Lir is the god who traverses the sea between the worlds. Another deity, Nechtan, could be viewed as the god of the sea but is more directly associated with wells. Nechtan is identical to Nuadu, given below.
Causes: Travel related projects. Oral history projects to record the stories of seniors. Honoring elders. Boat-related causes. Causes related to funerals and honoring the dead. Causes that help orphans and foster children. Anything that supports or promotes the Isle of Mann, the Manx language or the Manx people.
Aine*
A suggested reconstruction names Aine as the spirit of the sun. I feel the evidence in the lore is strong for this. She is also associated with flowers and the fertility of crops.
Causes: Agricultural causes. Curing breast cancer. Youth development projects aimed specifically at girls/young women.
  • The Hunger Site
  • Countryside Restoration Trust
  • Feeding America – the nation’s largest food bank network.  With a network of 200 member food banks across the country, Feeding America supplies more the 2 billion pounds of food and grocery products annually.
  • United Nations World Food Programme – Among the Millennium Development Goals which the United Nations has set for the 21st century, halving the proportion of hungry people in the world is top of the list. Click through this section to learn more about hunger and how WFP food aid, which reached 86.1 million people in 80 countries in 2007, is leading the fight against the number one risk to global health.
  • Connecticut Food Bank – a partnership to alleviate hunger
  • Emergency Foodshelf Network (EFN) – a nonprofit food bank that collects, warehouses and distributes quality food and essential support services to Minnesota hunger relief organizations.
  • Operation Blessing International – a variety of aid options including hunger relief, orphan care, and more.
  • Feed the Hungry – Feed The Hungry raises money to build small, efficient kitchens attached to schools and then provides a hot, nutritionally balanced meal to over 4,000 hungry children every school day. Feed The Hungry currently supplies 35 kitchens and plans to build three more kitchens in 2009.  FTH serves the San Miguel de Allende area of Mexico.
  • National Breast Cancer Foundation
  • The Girl Effect – initiative of the Nike Foundation communicating the importance of girls as agents of change in the developing world
Brighid
Spirit of life-giving fire on earth. Does not rhyme with “rigid” – pronounced more like “Bree-ij.” Alternate: Brighid’s son Ruadhan betrayed the gods and was speared through the back as he fled to the giants. Brighid was the first mother ever to keen, and sometimes appears in a weeping, inconsolable aspect. In this aspect, causes related to grief would also be appropriate. Common misconceptions: Brighid is frequently said to be the patron of poets, smiths and healers because of a line in one manuscript that is taken too literally. More consistent with her mythos would be viewing her as the fire that powers all those arts: the flame in the forge, the spark of inspiration, the fire of the life force. Causes related to those three arts should really be associated with their respective craft deities, given below.
Causes: Helping mothers. Helping children. Cooking-related causes. Home-related causes. Free clinics (any medical cause that charges the patient money, even at a deep discount, is not a good fit for Brighid). Veterinary causes and caring for animals. Dairy-related causes. Bringing hope to people. Forgiveness. Interfaith work. Shelters for battered women. Creating safe shelters or refuges of any kind. Aiding refugees. Shielding others.
  • Shelter Listings – Database of listings for shelters of all kinds, including emergency shelters, homeless shelters, day shelters, transitional housing, residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs, and permanent affordable housing.
  • Operation Blessing International – a variety of aid options including orphan care, and more.
  • Marriage Equality
  • Nike Foundation – works to get girls on the international agenda and drive resources to them; researches the critical importance of girls in the developing world; finds the best programs for girls
  • The Girl Effect – initiative of the Nike Foundation communicating the importance of girls as agents of change in the developing world
  • International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) – tackles the complexities of the world’s most pressing problems – poverty, hunger and disease – by demonstrating that a focus on women and gender is necessary for lasting social and economic change; mission is to empower women, advance gender equality and fight poverty in the developing world; works with partners to conduct empirical research, build capacity and advocate for evidence-based, practical ways to change policies and programs
  • BRAC – works to fight poverty in the developing world through a broad set of services ranging from education to health care, emphasizes poor rural women as agents of change
  • Global Grassroots – supports women affected by violence in Rwanda, Darfur, and eastern Chad bordering Darfur; trains women in personal transformation, social entrepreneurship, and project building; also provides seed funding to graduates with quality projects, a list of which can be seen on their web site; founded by Gretchen Steidle Wallace of the film The Devil Came On Horseback.
Boann
Spirit of the night sky, and therefore the moon, and therefore Time itself and also cows; also as the spirit of the night sky she is the spirit of the Milky Way, the sacred river through the heavens, and therefore is also the spirit of the sacred river of Ireland, the Boyne River, named after her.
Causes: Preserving families and keeping marriages together. Causes related to property rights. Protecting water, especially ground water and river systems. Protecting cattle. Irish heritage projects. Protecting the Boyne River Valley and the monuments of Counties Meath and Westmeath.
Aengus mac Óg+
Spirit of youth, summer and passionate love.
Causes: Freeing prisoners. Protecting lovers or promoting the importance of true love. Youth development projects. Safe sex. Opposing puritanical values. Protecting swans and water fowl. Music. Causes related to foster children. Opposing proselytization and religious intolerance. Opposing St. Patrick’s Day (Patrick killed Aenghus’ foster daughter). Bringing delight.
  • Amnesty International – a worldwide movement of people who campaign for internationally recognized human rights for all
Nuadu, a.k.a. Nechtan+
Spirit of water. Appointed as the High King of the gods. Note the identification with Nechtan is reconstructed and tentative, but they are at least close related.
Causes: Protecting water rights and clean water. Water accessibility. Developing prosthetics and helping amputees. Training better leaders. Promoting ethics in leadership.
  • International Peace Institute
  • United Nations Foundation
  • Witness – “Uses video and online technologies to open the eyes of the world to human rights violations.”
  • Amnesty International – a worldwide movement of people who campaign for internationally recognized human rights for all.
  • The Carter Center – established by former president Jimmy Carter and former first lady Rosalyn Carter; promotes peace, human rights, and fights disease; credited with the near eradication of guinea worm disease; given a high evaluation by Givewell
  • Genocide Intervention Network – educational network empowering individuals and communities with the tools to prevent and stop genocide; in addition to advocacy, programs work actively to protect civilians on the ground, currently in Darfur and Burma.
  • Aegis – campaigns to prevent genocide worldwide; activities include research, policy, education, remembrance, awareness of genocide issues in the media, and humanitarian support for victims of genocide; offices in the UK Holocaust Centre and Rwanda
  • Human Rights Watch – independent organization reporting on human rights issues around the world
Ogma+
Spirit of eloquence. The champion of the gods. A classic warrior-poet.
Causes: Poetry festivals. Wrestling. Historic martial arts and tournaments. Athletic causes. Messaging and PR for just causes. Potentially, internet technology causes.
Tuireann
The spirit of skill. He is the father of the three primary craft deities, by Brighid.
Causes: Multi-disciplinary art or creative events. Collaborations. Education. Professional training or skills training. Causes that rely on cunning to succeed.
Cú Roí+
The spirit of the untamed wild.
Causes: Few causes would match Cú Roí. Although a god, Cu Roi has many of the traits of the giants, and is described as a giant himself. He is crude and antisocial. The best way to honor him might be to stop working for charities and live on the streets as a homeless person, or deep in the woods as a hermit. Giving money directly to a hermit or homeless person – not through a charity – especially rude or unbalanced seeming ones, might be a fair bet.  Causes that protect the wilderness or wolves might also work.

Cailleach
Spirit of winter.
Causes: most of the things Cailleach stands for don’t lend themselves well to humanitarian causes, but efforts to fight climate change or preserve the arctic might be a good fit.
Crom
Spirit of grain and the harvest. Common misconceptions: A scene in the medieval Life of St. Patrick, which was skewed to call to mind Moloch in the Old Testament, has made Crom the perpetual bogeyman of Irish lore. He probably was given human sacrifice, but the evidence points toward voluntary victims. Irish and all Celtic cosmology rely on the idea of sacrifice as a way of renewing the universe – shifting some of the life force from the human/animal side of the equation back to the elemental side of the equation, so that the natural world does not become exhausted of its ability to nourish us. There is no evidence that human sacrifice was meant to “appease” angry gods; rather, it was more akin to composting the life-force.
Causes: This is a hard one. Feeding people seems obvious, but Crom takes human sacrifice. Movements for sustainable agriculture and organic crops – or anything that helps enrich the soil and reduce humanity’s impact on it – might be a better fit.
  • The Hunger Site
  • Countryside Restoration Trust
  • Feeding America – the nation’s largest food bank network.  With a network of 200 member food banks across the country, Feeding America supplies more the 2 billion pounds of food and grocery products annually.
  • United Nations World Food Programme – Among the Millennium Development Goals which the United Nations has set for the 21st century, halving the proportion of hungry people in the world is top of the list. Click through this section to learn more about hunger and how WFP food aid, which reached 86.1 million people in 80 countries in 2007, is leading the fight against the number one risk to global health.
  • Connecticut Food Bank – a partnership to alleviate hunger
  • Emergency Foodshelf Network (EFN) – a nonprofit food bank that collects, warehouses and distributes quality food and essential support services to Minnesota hunger relief organizations.
  • Operation Blessing International – a variety of aid options including hunger relief, orphan care, and more.
  • Feed the Hungry – Feed The Hungry raises money to build small, efficient kitchens attached to schools and then provides a hot, nutritionally balanced meal to over 4,000 hungry children every school day. Feed The Hungry currently supplies 35 kitchens and plans to build three more kitchens in 2009.  FTH serves the San Miguel de Allende area of Mexico.
  • Oxfam International – a confederation of 13 like-minded organizations working together and with partners and allies around the world to bring about lasting change; working in development, emergencies, advocacy, campaigning, and policy research; campaigns in health, education, agriculture, climate change, arms control, and trade.
Donn
Actually a mortal. The first person to die in Ireland, he was a king who sacrificed himself to save his companions. He was the first person to reach the afterlife and became the god of the dead.
Causes: Honoring the dearly departed. Geneaology. Protecting the Skellig Rocks off the coast of Ireland.

II. CRAFT DEITIES

Gobhniu

Blacksmith of the gods, god of blacksmiths. Also the god of technology more broadly. Causes related to metalwork and technology.

Creidhne
Bronzeworker of the gods, god of bronzeworkers. All fine metal work such as jewelry, and related arts, perhaps computers and technology more broadly.
Luchta
Builder of the gods, god of builders. Construction related causes or promoting traditional carpentry and masonry skills.
Dian Cecht
Physician of the gods, god of physicians. All causes that provide professional medical care, surgery, etc. and ALL healing related causes. All medical research, vaccination programs, Doctors Without Borders, psychological health, first aid/CPR training.
  • Doctors Without Borders– an international medical humanitarian organization working in more than 60 countries to assist people whose survival is threatened by violence, neglect, or catastrophe.
  • International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) – a worldwide mission to help victims of conflicts and internal violence, whoever they are; efforts help people affected by armed conflict in some 80 countries in 2009; Sudan is currently the organization’s largest humanitarian operation, followed by Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • The American Red Cross – the Red Cross in America
  • Oxfam International – a confederation of 13 like-minded organizations working together and with partners and allies around the world to bring about lasting change; working in development, emergencies, advocacy, campaigning, and policy research; campaigns in health, education, agriculture, climate change, arms control, and trade.
  • TRAMIL – Not an official charity, but a program with a mission “to validate scientifically the traditional uses of medicinal plants for primary health care.”
  • Plants for a Future database – including medicinal plants
  • NothingButNets.net – mosquito nets for malaria-infested countries in east Africa
  • Operation Blessing International – a variety of aid options including water purification and wells, HIV/AIDS, and more.
  • Broadway Cares – mission is to utilize the unique abilities of entertainment industry to raise awareness for and fight HIV/AIDS.  Efforts address both actors with HIV/AIDS and all those suffering from the disease.
  • The Carter Center – established by former president Jimmy Carter and former first lady Rosalyn Carter; promotes peace, human rights, and fights disease; credited with the near eradication of guinea worm disease; given a high evaluation by Givewell
Airmed
Dian Cecht’s daughter, patron of healing herbs. Causes related to herbal or natural medicine. Airmed prefers medicines that actually work, so not necessarily “alternative” medicine writ large.
  • Doctors Without Borders– an international medical humanitarian organization working in more than 60 countries to assist people whose survival is threatened by violence, neglect, or catastrophe.
  • International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) – a worldwide mission to help victims of conflicts and internal violence, whoever they are; efforts help people affected by armed conflict in some 80 countries in 2009; Sudan is currently the organization’s largest humanitarian operation, followed by Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • The American Red Cross – the Red Cross in America
  • Oxfam International – a confederation of 13 like-minded organizations working together and with partners and allies around the world to bring about lasting change; working in development, emergencies, advocacy, campaigning, and policy research; campaigns in health, education, agriculture, climate change, arms control, and trade.
  • TRAMIL – Not an official charity, but a program with a mission “to validate scientifically the traditional uses of medicinal plants for primary health care.”
  • Plants for a Future database – including medicinal plants
  • NothingButNets.net – mosquito nets for malaria-infested countries in east Africa
  • Operation Blessing International – a variety of aid options including water purification and wells, HIV/AIDS, and more.
  • Broadway Cares – mission is to utilize the unique abilities of entertainment industry to raise awareness for and fight HIV/AIDS.  Efforts address both actors with HIV/AIDS and all those suffering from the disease.
  • The Carter Center – established by former president Jimmy Carter and former first lady Rosalyn Carter; promotes peace, human rights, and fights disease; credited with the near eradication of guinea worm disease; given a high evaluation by Givewell
Fionnuala
Mac Lir’s daughter, patron of nurses and caretakers. All causes relating to nurturing others. Causes related to reuniting families.
  • Doctors Without Borders– an international medical humanitarian organization working in more than 60 countries to assist people whose survival is threatened by violence, neglect, or catastrophe.
  • International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) – a worldwide mission to help victims of conflicts and internal violence, whoever they are; efforts help people affected by armed conflict in some 80 countries in 2009; Sudan is currently the organization’s largest humanitarian operation, followed by Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • The American Red Cross – the Red Cross in America
  • Oxfam International – a confederation of 13 like-minded organizations working together and with partners and allies around the world to bring about lasting change; working in development, emergencies, advocacy, campaigning, and policy research; campaigns in health, education, agriculture, climate change, arms control, and trade.
  • TRAMIL – Not an official charity, but a program with a mission “to validate scientifically the traditional uses of medicinal plants for primary health care.”
  • Plants for a Future database – including medicinal plants
  • NothingButNets.net – mosquito nets for malaria-infested countries in east Africa
  • Operation Blessing International – a variety of aid options including water purification and wells, HIV/AIDS, and more.
  • Broadway Cares – mission is to utilize the unique abilities of entertainment industry to raise awareness for and fight HIV/AIDS.  Efforts address both actors with HIV/AIDS and all those suffering from the disease.
  • The Carter Center – established by former president Jimmy Carter and former first lady Rosalyn Carter; promotes peace, human rights, and fights disease; credited with the near eradication of guinea worm disease; given a high evaluation by Givewell
Cairpre
Poet of the gods, god of poets. All causes related to poetry, literature and music.
Bricriu
Satire poet of the gods, god of satire poets. Causes related not just to political satire, but any use of words to bring someone down or effect change. “Dirty” causes like mudslinging campaigns are definitely fitting.
Abhcan
Harper of the gods, god of harpers. Causes related to harps and traditional Irish music.
Figol
Druid of the gods. ALL scientific causes. Additionally, research into authentic reconstruction of druidic practices, and causes that support those practices. Formal theology and academic philosophy. Political causes. Legal battles.
Mathgen
Magician of the gods, god of magicians. Any causes that help people help themselves. Also, preserving or teaching the magical arts.
III. LAND DEITIES
Éire
With her sisters, the spirit of Ireland. All causes related to Irish culture or protecting and preserving Ireland.
Other land deities
There are accounts of dozens of named local deities who serve as the patrons of towns, mountains, rivers etc. in Ireland – and most Gaelic polytheists honor their local land deities wherever they are. The best causes for any land deity are those that protect the land itself and those that celebrate the traditions of the people who live there.
IV. DAOINE SÍDHE
The daoine sídhe or Good Folk don’t take active interest in mortal affairs. However, they could be honored by causes involving helping those who wander, hosting games and parties, or spoiling children. Causes that protect the megaliths and ring-forts of Ireland would definitely honor them. The best way to honor them might be to simply not call them “fairies,” which is considered inappropriate, and not depict them as cutesy Tinkerbells.
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3 Comments on “Charities by deity: Gaelic pantheon

  1. I would suggest that the Abortion Support Network (an Irish charity that helps women who desperately need abortions but cannot get them because abortion is illegal in Ireland) would be an appropriate charity for the Morrigan. Also the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice.

  2. Pingback: Winter Holiday Traditions - Page 3 - Christian Forums

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