I want to write a science fiction/fantasy nation based heavily on Scotland with it having Gaelic for its main language and despite having futuristic technology there still being a very medieval European aesthetic for architecture. The biggest problem I’ve stumbled on is the religion of this nation. I want them to have a Celtic pagan religion with a focus on the Scottish side of Celtic paganism. Problem is I cannot really find any information specifically about Scottish Celtic paganism and instead I just keep getting looped back to Irish deities and practices. Does anyone have any information that could aid me in my search?

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    $\begingroup$ Is this a World building question or are you wanting the real-world information in order to create your world? If it's the latter - it's not really applicable to us - it would be more appropriate to ask on mythology.stackexchange.com $\endgroup$ Jan 21 at 20:23
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    $\begingroup$ "I just keep getting looped back to Irish deities and practices": That's because the Gaels came from Ireland, from the 6th century onwards, and they were already Christians at that time. (Well, mostly Christianized. Some remnants of the old pagan Celtic practices might have endured for a short while.) There was no time in real history when Gaelic was spoken by a pagan people in Scotland. (In Roman times the Scotti inhabited Ireland and our Scotland was inhabited by Picts.) $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Jan 21 at 20:31
  • $\begingroup$ @AlexP yeah it’s hard to find anything about the Picts either. $\endgroup$
    – Gemini
    Jan 21 at 20:39
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    $\begingroup$ You cannot find much about the Picts because not much is known about them. Even the name Picts is an exonym: the Romans called them Picti, meaning the Painted Ones in Latin, because they painted themselves blue with woad. We do not know how they called themselves in their own language, we don't even know if they were one people or multiple peoples with multiple different languages. It is believed that they spoke some sort of Brittonic (as opposed to Goidelic) language, but that is only an assumption. $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Jan 21 at 20:56
  • $\begingroup$ we have almost no good sources on any Celtic paganism. We have a small number of votive offerings and dedicatory inscriptions mostly in Gaulish that give us the names of some deities. We have some evidence from the names of people, tribes, and places that either survive into modern languages or in transcription. We have some dubious descriptions of their religious practices from the Romans. Everything else comes to us from a thoroughly Christianised context and so cannot reliably be used to draw conclusions as to actual pagan practice $\endgroup$
    – Tristan
    Jan 22 at 9:55

1 Answer 1


You're getting looped back to Irish because Scots were originally Irish who founded a kingdom (Dal Riata) in Argyll and eventually superseded the Picts in importance in terms of culture and language (roughly in the time between 900 to 1100 AD).

There was no difference between their religion except regional ones.

Very very little is known about the Picts, mostly just some legendary stuff and a few names and nouns. So for the purposes of your story you can give them any religious beliefs you want.

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    $\begingroup$ added some links and a time frame to your answer $\endgroup$
    – quarague
    Jan 22 at 7:48

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