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Vates is a Latin word denoting seers, prophets, soothsayers, diviners and fortune tellers. According to the Ancient Greek writers Strabo, Diodorus Siculus and Poseidonius, the Vates (οὐάτεις) were one of three classes of Celtic priesthood, the other two being the Druids and the Bards. As previously discussed, the Vates performed sacrifices under the authority of a Druid.

The word Vate means “to inspire” or “spiritually arouse”. In pagan Rome the Vates resided on the Vatican Hill, the Hill of the Vates. The Vatican Hill takes its name from the Latin word Vaticanus, in reference to the Vates, who delivered their messages on the Vatican Hill.

The Germanic god Wōđinaz (Woden in old English and Odin to the Norse) may be an early loanword based on the Celtic Vates.

Celtic Witches

If you look up witches, the word only seems to go back to the Anglo Saxon words…

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