Other Names: Áengus, Óengus, Aonghus, Aengus Óg – “Aengus the Young”, Mac ind Óg – “Son of the Young”, Maccan, Mac Óg
Deity: Tuatha Dé Danann, Maponos, Mabon ap Modron
Animal: Birds, songbirds
Magic: God of love, beauty, youth and poetic inspiration.
Family & Other Connections
Aengus is the son of the Dagda and Boann – the wife of Nechtan. His foster father was Midir.
He married Caer, daughter of Ethal and Anubal – a prince of the Dananns of Connact.
Aengus had a foster-son named Diarmuid Ua Duibhne.
He is a member of the Tuatha Dé Danann, and is said to have connections with the Celtic God Maponos and his Welsh equivalent, Mabon ap Modron.
Information & Stories
The Dagda and Boann had an affair which resulted in Aengus’ conception. In order to hide this from Boann’s husband Nechtan, the Dagda made the sun stand still for nine months. This meant that Aengus was conceived, gestated and born in a single day.
When Aengus came of age he tricked his father out of his home. The Dagda lived in the Brú na Bóinne, an area of the Boyne River Valley, and Aengus arrived after he had already shared out his land among his children. Aengus asked his father if he could just live there for a day and a night, and the Dagda agreed, but as the Irish language has no indefinite article “a day and a night” means the same thing as simply “day and night” – in other words, all the time.
Aengus’ foster-son, Diarmuid Ua Duibhne’s name translates to “Diarmuid of the Love Spot”. The name actually derived from an incident one night while Diarmuid was out hunting, when met a young maiden who created a ‘magic love spot’ on his head, and from that day any woman who saw him, fell in love with him. When Diarmuid died, Aengus took his body back to the Brú.
Aengus first saw his wife, Caer, in a dream. He fell in love with her as soon as he saw her, and on waking became desperately love sick. He told Boannof his dream, and she set out to search the whole of Ireland for the girl. After a year had passed and Boann had not found the girl from Aengus’ dream, the Dagda was called, and he too searched for a whole year, but did not find her. Eventually Bov the Red, Dagda’s aide, was called and finally, after a year he found her.
Aengus was taken to a lake where there were 150 maidens paired up and chained in gold. He spotted her immediately and learned her name was Caer, and she was daughter to Ethal and Anubal. On Novemer 1st Caer and the other maidens were transformed into swans for one year, and Aengus was told that if he could correctly identify her then he could marry her. A year from that day he went out to the lake and called to her, and when he found her he turned into a swan himself. Aengus and Caer flew off together, singing a beautiful song, and all who heard them fell asleep for three days and three nights.
Aengus is said to have four birds flying about his head which symbolise kisses. The xxxx’s at the end of love letters are said to represent them.
Some stories say that he could breathe life back into the dead.