Investigation 1 – Mithraic + Celtic

Each of the 28 Stones in the listings below variously has carvings of Pictish-Mithraic Symbols and carvings of Animals, Birds and Fish which are known to have been revered in Celtic beliefs (some religious others personal attributes) – some of which also have Roman associations. The intent is to determine whether these latter carvings may represent Celtic beliefs or have a Roman context (military or mythology) – or otherwise – then to assess if the meaning of such a carved object is complementary to the Mithraic decodes or, alternatively, if the Shared Space suggests an acceptance of beliefs.

Click here for Investigation 1 PDF complete with analysis and evaluation by Stone, Evaluation Outcomes, broader analysis across all 28 Stones, Observations and Conclusions.

Investigation 1
Kintore Churchyard, Aberdeenshire – Pictish Symbol Stone

In Pictish-Mithraic belief, the V-Rod, Beast and Triple Disc seen on this Kintore Stone are connected – soul travel from and to heaven in both the V-Rod and Triple Disc with the Beast as Capricorn representing the return gateway. Arguably there is a link between physical aspects of the Salmon’s travel and life cycle (from birth to death) with the concept of the P-M spiritual travel of the soul. A Shared Space for complementary Celtic and P-M beliefs is the evaluation for this Stone. There are 27 more Stones in this first Investigation.

The range of Evaluation Outcomes highlights the difficulty in determining whether what might possibly be Celtic animal, bird and fish objects actually are, then in evaluating whether those and the Pictish-Mithraic objects occupy a Shared Space. Having clear Celtic and Mithraic meaning the Serpent object has been particularly difficult to assess. In addition, the Eagle has a Celtic attribute and Roman military context. Of the 28 Stones with decoded P-M carvings only 7 seem to have been carved with the Celtic and P-M Symbols specifically being complementary (Outcomes A and B together). Implied acceptance of different beliefs, rather than symbols being complementary, predominates (a potential 15 Stones – Outcomes C, D and E together) offset by 3 others where the context suggests only P-M belief is being portrayed. Because of the Serpent, 3 Stones – Aberlemno Roadside 1, Knockando 2 and Upper Manbean – are in the “either Shared Space with Celtic and P-M meanings or P-M only”.

Perhaps in the case of Knocknagael the boar carving does not have a Celtic connection but has a Roman military context only. If so it should be categorised as “single belief” because of the Mirror Case carving.