Taranis Etî Andenamatos

The bounty of the harvest was gathered
And the beasts were counted to be culled
In those times long ago done as is today
The fires burning bright like Suns at night
Songs sung by fires and music was heard
Unbridled the joy from the kin of Mannus
They reveled in the gifts the Dêuoi gave
Who taught them how to live and feast
As they too did this at their long tables

For the wine and mead and beer flowed
The beef and mutton and pork roasting
Departed souls of the dead even joined
All sat at tables to partake in the bounty
Not a seat unfilled and none turned away
As was and is the way of Dêuoi is it ours
And it was for those of the past as well
The Dagouello intact and kept in place
Keeping with old customs of hospitality

The Dêuoi looked upon with satisfaction
With rites remembered, they were pleased
In Albios as in Bitus as in Dumnos it was
But those depths of Dumnos held much
Not even those who dwelled it knew of all
And none could foresee what did follow
From the darkest of depths one dwelled
He did from those deep roots of Bilios
Where He fed and took of the deep water

He did not care for Bilios nor the world
The Carnonatrix this creature was named
First of those mighty foes of the Dêuoi
Who sought to tear down the old Bilios
That the heavens may fall to the earth
For which all feared above anything else
But he did seek to bring Albios downward
That it may be he alone to rule the worlds
He bade his time and now arose to Bitus

All became tired after their great feast
It was then that everyone sought rest
As did life giving Litauiâ from Her work
The price of such bounties being given
But something seemed different this time
For the air around them was quite cold
The sky seemed to stay dark for longer
None knew why this was and they worried
They took arms and looked for the cause

In the darkness, none could dare search
To grasp about rather blindly in the night
How long those dark nights indeed were
That Carnonatrix under that deep cover
Knew old magics of a kind not spoken
He would take from the unsuspecting
Devour them when they were unprepared
For he was an enemy to all the world
And hated they who made life from it

Those old magics with a great price came
In the flesh and blood of those consumed
For new form and shape the Carnonatrix
A mighty strong body and limbs formed
He would be known as the Andenamatos
The foe from darkest depths of Dumnos
With arms and legs of serpents was he
All of the world he would make barren
For he consumed all that was around him

The trees would offer their leaves to him
A sacrifice to save their own barks it was
Only evergreen spines kept him at bay
For they surely wouldn’t go down too well
Holly and ivy just enough out of the way
That they could hide from that predator
His soulless touch made the water freeze
Those Ladies of the Waters his captives
Birds had to hide or to flee for their lives

The poor creatures that hide to this day
When they retreat to dens and tree holes
Artio, She did guide them there safely
Protecting them from this predator of all
Among the bears, all followed their lead
The cold, the dark, the chill inescapable
At home the women and men would hide
It looked to be that all the world was lost
Only the howls of wind and wolves heard

Two quarter moons passed from the dark
And Brigantiâ would wake from slumber
Upon a hill She went to a spring at dawn
There She freed the Dawn Maiden Sulis
Who traveled to Taranis who slept deep
As Eponâ held Her son, He let out a cry
One that was so loud that all had heard
Even Taranis could not sleep through it
And His rage was felt upon all the world

He then called out, and all did hear Him
But with no proper weapon to be found
For He did not fancy the spear or sword
But He needed something to use in battle
There was one that He would seek out
Down to the land He went for His charge
He could see His way to a path in woods
A familiar face in the distance He saw
Almost mistaking His charge for a stag

Carnonos was not pleased to see Taranis
And saw that which unfolded His fault
That He failed in His duty to the world
Only to help Taranis if He left His torc
And gave Him one of His finest bulls
With anger Taranis agreed and awaited
Carnonos then led Taranis to Dumnos
Reminding Him that He did not rule there
For this was indeed the realm of Sucellos

After Taranis arrived He was approached
For not long ago had His son been here
And He who approached had seen Him
It was Ogmios and He spoke at length
Telling much of the good son of Taranis
That the boy learned of songs and dance
And did both very well that it impressed
But Taranis needed much to see Sucellos
Ogmios agreed to help Him but for a price

When Maponos was one day old enough
He would become apprentice to Ogmios
That He’d learn to wander, hunt, and sing
He would also learn of His many magics
Taranis agreed to this but did remind Him
That Maponos was to first be fostered
So Belenos would have the final word
It was good enough for Ogmios right now
He had agreed to lead Taranis to Sucellos

On they went, passing by the barren fields
Peopled by those who had left the world
In a place that was supposed to be green
With no comfort to the footsore Taranis
Who hardly stood out among the people
Though still they knew Him and gave gifts
As He had done well for them in the past
Feeling little better but continuing on
In that procession of poems and songs

It reminded Taranis the time was Cantlos
But in this place time mattered very little
Wondering if the world still sang of Him
They arrived at the dunum of Sucellos
Where they were greeted by those within
But at the court of Sucellos all was quiet
And Sucellos had not greeted with joy
For His beloved Nantosueltâ was missing
He only gave the minimum hospitality

Sucellos spoke to Taranis of His plight
That Nantosueltâ was also imprisoned
Which was why the fields were so barren
For it was She who gave life unto them
The one who made this place so lively
But no matter where Sucellos would look
Nantosueltâ was nowhere to be found
Taranis offered His aid for a small price
That Sucellos would make Him a weapon

With His apprentice Gobannos He worked
For three days they worked at their table
With iron upon sacred oak they tended
Taranis would rest from His long journey
But He knew well that it was still not done
Nor did any know how much He could eat
A full bull and ram and boar were eaten
Three barrels full to brim with mead gone
Nor did bread wine and cheese fare better

The next morning His club was presented
And all at the court did marvel upon it
With that His court bade Taranis farewell
Sending Him off to free their dear Queen
Now He felt bold and mighty once more
Moving with haste and purpose again
Leaving Dumnos, and seizing His torc
Carnonos had renewed His sense of trust
And would not miss that heavy trinket

Andenamatos knew the return of Taranis
As Brigantiâ and Sulis had declared it
He saw a glowing mare awaiting Him
Upon Her He rode and blinding the speed
He came to the frozen rivers and valleys
And He struck with His club to free them
Nantosueltâ was among those within
She thanked Him and made Her way back
Carnonos did guide Her back to Dumnos

Taranis knew that His debt had been paid
And this club, Lucetios was His to keep
But His mind was set to finding His foe
Upon His beloved mount, He met Him
Andenamatos was as tall as Them both
He had balked at what he saw as a fool
But Taranis moved to strike in great fury
Andenamatos had finally met his match
They battled enraged and trading strikes

The foul being went to strike the mount
A mistake that he now paid for dearly
Taranis knew indeed who His mount was
And He would not allow a strike upon Her
He took His club and with all of His might
Struck a blow that made the world shake
It was seen as a brilliant flash of light
Andenamatos this time met his better
His body now smashed into many pieces

It was now that the days went on longer
That the nights seemed kept long at bay
Fires were blazing so bright in His glory
The people sang and danced and feasted
His great battle would be know to all
And all would celebrate His great victory
That old fiend it is said, slithered away
With that last piece of himself he still had
And Taranis hurled Him into the depths

None knew if the they’d see the foe again
At that moment few gave it any thought
The people were proud of their champion
Giving many gifts and thanks to Taranis
And some swear they saw His mount
Turn into the fairest being they had seen
Not fully sure if they had seen Eponâ
Taranis and She returned to Their home
Upon that Uxellotegos high once more

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Uepoi Bessous (Words of Practice)

A list of words related to the Gaulish Polytheist practice of Tegoslougos Nemotarvos. These encompass practical ritual use, as well as religious concepts. Words with an asterisk proceeding them are reconstructions.

Dêwos, Dêwoi: God, Gods

Dêwa, Dêwas: Goddess, Goddesses

Diastus: The way of things. Set into motion by ritual.

Uîros: Truth. (Though also means “man”.)

Samos: Summer. Principle of light, and of the celestial.

Giamos: Winter. Principle of dark, and of the chthonic.

Adbertâ: Offering, sacrifice, libation.

Dugîon: Worship.

Delwâ: Image. Idol, visual focal point of worship.

Uedîu: To invoke (in prayer or ritual).

Noibos: Sacred, holy.

*Noibodius: Holiday.

Îuos: Feast, festival.

Uatu: Divination.

Mattis: Auspicious.

Anmattis: Inauspicious.

Aidus: Fire.

Ueranados: Celestial.

Andernados: Chthonic.

*Noiboclaros: Sacred table (indoor altar).

Liccâ: Flat stone (outdoor altar).

Casidanos: Priest.

Casidanâ: Priestess.

Senobessus: Old Custom. A popular name for Gaulish Polytheism.

Galatis: A Gaul. Today, a Gaulish Polytheist.

Galatîs: Plural of Galatis.

Bardos: Bard.

Uelitâ/os: Seer, diviner, taker of omens.

Druid: Druid. Educated in law, philosophy, religion, magic, astronomy, healing, etc.

Maniaces: Torc. An important piece of Gaulish (amongst other Iron Age Celtic peoples) jewelry.

Nemeton: Sanctuary, place of worship.

Brogilos: Grove. Literally “little forest”.

 

Continue reading “Uepoi Bessous (Words of Practice)”

Taranis Eti Widucawarix

In those days when Man was young
Crude was their world, lives were short
Of hunger sated by raw flesh of beast
And great was their fear of the night
As darkness did hold sway unhindered
Life was very hard for those before us
Yet they were still gifted by the Gods
For they still had many gifts from Them
Grateful they were for them all indeed

The woods around them, vast and deep
Man lived much in fear of these places
Within them, the feared one thing most
Widucawaroi, massive and powerful
Unyielding and made of wood and leaf
They came to the lands of Men often
Demanding sacrifice to not kill them all
So they did this, for the Widucawaroi
But they could not do this forever

In their great dread, and in great fear
Did Man wonder at a possible solution
So they did gather those who could fight
They went into those deep dark woods
In this place unknown to them, to war
Those Widucawaroi would not be felled
That Tribe of Man did make fast retreat
But sounds of the battle woke their king
The Widucawarix came to take his toll

He marched through the forest and out
Where he had found the Tribe of Man
A toll of half the Tribe was to be given
Lest the Widucarawoi kill them all
Fear and hopelessness filled the people
But three of their warriors had a plan
They would move silent in the wood
Finding the Widucarawix in his sleep
And then exact their planned revenge

The three set off under cover of night
They did find the Widucawarix sleeping
With a spear did the first one go boldly
He fought and Widucawarix had awoke
The next went with her sword in hand
They were ripped apart limb from limb
Next went the third, but they had an axe
But Widucawarix was not just a tree, no
They too, eaten to be woven into flesh

When dawn came, Sulis walked about
She brought ill news of what came to be
For all, the warriors seemed not enough
She spoke of a path that went outward
Out of the town and toward the heights
At the foot of great hills they were to go
To speak to He who Walks the Worlds
As Sulis walked West to herald the day
She led the King of the Tribe to the place

The King brought apples to give as a gift
For He Who is Between the Worlds
Antlers upon His head, and torc on neck
“Carnonos, I come to you in need for all”
Did speak the King with a heavy heart
Offering apples for which the Gods ate
Carnonos knew of what the King asked
When the Widucawarix would come
Carnonos bore this plea at the hilltop

High above in Albios did Carnonos go
Where He called upon His kin above
This was a deed that Carnonos could do
But one was hungry to prove Himself
And He insisted that it be He to do it
Taranis wished to show all His might
And do a good deed for the Tribe of Men
Carnonos then did take Him to the Tribe
Dêiwos proudly gave His club to His son

The two went down the hill to Bitus
In guise of a bull did Taranis go forth
Carnonos led Him to the lands of Men
The Men were unsure of what occured
For they did not ask for food or beast
The people were told to trust Carnonos
He had them take the bull to the wood
A sacrifice that may appease their foes
To the forest, this bull was led and kept

With a rope tied to the club for a stake
Widucawarix was told off the offering
A problem, though, the club was heavy
None of the Widucawaroi could lift it
They sent for their king to come for it
He was strong enough to lift the club
But great was the burden, moving slow
To his house he took the bull and club
He would eat the bull, and keep the club

It was then, Taranis took His true form
And wrestled the club from his great foe
Blow for blow, the two did fight in fury
Club hit wooden limb, and limb hit club
When club passed limb, a scent arose
The smell we know as that of smoke
The fight went on, that smell grew fast
Taranis was tossed in the air by His foe
Readied His club, struck His foe down

Widucawarix was alight, he fell to ashes
Taranis was the victor and He readied
But the Widucawaroi knelt before Him
He would spare them if they kept away
Taking no more from the Tribe of Men
He went back to the people of the Tribe
Upon His return did the people gift Him
With grains, bulls and mead they gave
To them He they gave the gift of fire

With fires lit, they feasted in the night
They sang the tale of His deed so bold
Home He went the following morning
His Father gifted the club to keep as His
To Carnonos, a shining torc of gold
And the Tribe of Men learned to use fire
From His home, the Nellodunum high
Taranis watches over the lands of Bitus
That in great need, He may help again

Mî Spâtlon (My Story)

I’ve done a few posts talking about my practices that I have started forming. Now some of you may feel that now that I’ve changed your life, and so you want to know about the revolutionary new Tegoslougos making waves in the Gaulish Polytheist world. Its mastermind: a trailblazer, a genius, a maverick. Okay… So no one has ever said anything like that about me. However, this being a blog, and I, the author, I would think that it’s pertinent to give some background on myself.

For starters, I came from a secular family in Ohio. Like many Americans, somewhat disconnected from their heritage, and given into the culture of individualism that was instilled in us from birth. To speak of the vices or virtues of that is beyond the scope of my interest here. (Though there are certainly both.) My foray into Paganism, like many others started with digestible Llewellyn books leading me into thinking I was Wiccan. I wasn’t. By anyone’s definition, no matter how encompassing.

Then came my finding of Polytheism. Trying to find my way was, and is still at times, rather difficult. After all, it is much more than religion that is involved. It is also the embrace of a culture, in some form or another. That both are involved has, since I’ve become committed to Polytheism, given me a heavy weight. A great fear of getting things wrong. This has followed me in every decision I have made in regards to it.

From Brythonic Polytheism, to Gaulish Polytheism, Anglo-Saxon Heathenship, to feeling utterly lost, and to find my way back. However, the struggle of individualism and collectivism is a part of that, along with the heavy weights of of trying to understand culture with no real bearing. In these cases, it made sense to listen to better, more capable minds on these matters. I am fully aware that there are much better and brighter minds than my own. Tempered with years more in both experience in Polytheism, and life.

However, when I looked at many of them, they too went through similar things. I had been charged with needlessly “reinventing myself”, or in other cases “flying by night”. I had received advice to “stay in my lane”, and basically what I should practice, and they all came from people smarter than me. So, I figured that they must be right. Sometimes I still wonder if they are.

If all of this sounds heavier than I usually get, it is because these stories aren’t always pretty. It isn’t to be a “downer” or to be self deprecating. It is to convey the point that sometimes these transformations come out of things other than great inspiration. Sometimes they come from a place of fear, anxiety, insecurity, and vulnerability. To be honest, that had always been the case for me.

It was those things that had made decisions for me. Especially in regards to practice. Those changes often came at times I felt the most vulnerable, least secure. Never have such changes been comfortable or easy for me. My online presence took a more organized form once I had adopted Heathenship, I do not regret my time spent in it because I met some really good people. So, doubtlessly some reading this remember that I was Heathen.

The fear and vulnerability with which I went into it is not a reflection of Heathendom itself in any way. After a stressful marriage, and the realization that divorce was the only option left me searching for structure that I hadn’t found before. It wasn’t that Gaulish Polytheism didn’t have it, or that great works weren’t being done, but that I wasn’t capable of looking for it. I went from a very experiential approach to a far stricter one. People who told me that the Gods didn’t have interest in people. Save for large groups of them. Their groups, of course. Always.

I remembered going into trances and feeling in some way the presence of Taranis to trying to fit the ball into a square peg of a smaller size. Foolishly I thought that as I was better off in a religion that prized English, that the Gods should have Old English names. It wasn’t meant to be an act of hubris, but of a transition that I was told that I basically should make. That maybe Taranis was Thunor, and that it wasn’t up to me anyway. That I was wrong to see this God of Thunder as Gaulish, because at that time, I’d never be able to afford the materials to learn the Gaulish language. So, I’d never be a “good” Gaulish Polytheist.

Not that it mattered, I figured, if the Gods don’t care, then they don’t care what I call them. They weren’t listening anyway, and my experiences were just my imagination. So, I learned how to be Heathen, and I learned much that I still carry with me. However, I seemed to have lost touch with how to commune with the Gods. Learning better ritual formats helped a lot, and there is much truth in proper worship methodology being of utmost importance. Again, it isn’t that both communities didn’t already have that, just what I was able to find. Or what appeared when I was receptive to that lesson. I already knew how to do rituals, but I hadn’t yet understood why proper ritual was important.

Of course, things changed, and influences in Heathendom changed. Better voices asserted themselves, and I underwent the process of unlearning. That the Gods were and are, in fact, reachable even to one lowly person. That experiences are okay, and that proper ritual helped build a rapport and guide one closer to the Gods and to piety.

However, with that knowledge, and the unlearning of other knowledge, I had begun to question whether or not I made the right choice after all. I had been involved im some small projects, yet folks didn’t seem to think that I fit in with those projects. At first, it saddened me, but I thought that maybe there was a reason I didn’t quite seem to belong. Though no one ever tried to make me feel unwelcome (in fact, they were awesome), I still felt like I didn’t fit in. I thought that by embracing obvious ties in my own culture and ancestry (a standard that I never held anyone but myself to, as you do not have to have ancestral ties to practice properly), as well as the language thereof, that I’d feel at home.

Yet time and time again, I wondered at my choices. I fell out completely. I slumped into a depression, my practice went into a stasis. I wondered if I was really a Polytheist, or could ever be a good Pagan. So many voices told people what they needed to do, who was worthy, and who was right and wrong.

At this nadir, I looked back to my days as a Gaulish Polytheist. Though I wasn’t that good at it, I felt more complete then. I had started to learn much of how to be a Polytheist, and I wondered if perhaps I gave up too soon. After all, the community was and is, like many other Pagan stripes, uplifting and supportive when one is earnest. That it had not failed me, but I failed it.

In my search for answers, a friend taught me fire scrying. I had long given up divination, and outside of structured rites had no communion with the Gods. A part of life that I had so dearly missed. I thought at that point that I had nothing to lose, so I tried it. That familiar presence was felt again, the first time in so long. I couldn’t hide any longer, was the implication. The presence was disappointed in me, but not unwilling to give me a chance. That presence was the same that spoke His name so very clearly. Taranis.

Around that time, I happened across the Toutâ Galation, I also looked at Dun Brython, because Brythonic influence always rounded out my Gaulish practice, and both were present for a long time. Though Gaulish practice dominated in the end both last time, and this time. I went through the Toutâ Galation program. Everything came back like it never left me. I earned the Cobrûnos rank, and I took a new name. I came home. I ripped up my old blog, and this is the result.

My household took a new name as well. The old and new merged, and I have emerged more complete. With both the love of my life, and a slowly re-emerging relationship with the Dêwoi as They truly are to me, I can only hope that this is a story that continues to unfold for a long long time to come.

 

 

 

 

Mannus Etî Iemurios

Many ages back, when the world was new
Did Gods and Giants alone live here
In time, other creatures came into being
Born first in the seas, and into streams
Like the salmon that swim the waters
Then came the frogs and toads to land
The seprents to follow came forth next
Then came eagle, crow, and many birds
After that came the beasts of the land

All living with the children of Talamâ
From Her fertile womb came more young
Some much like Man, who stalk woods
Then two were born unlike those before
They were the first of all Humanity
The first two of many yet born of Talamâ
Mannus and Iemurios were they called
Twins, and the first born of all to come
The Gods did marvel upon the newborns

Many gifts did the Gods give to these two
Sucellos gave them the gifts of the land
Taranis taught them how to use the land
Carnonos taught how to reach the Gods
With all that they now knew, they went off
They gave gifts to the Gods in thanks
Mannus and Iemurios did both sacrifice
Great Bulls and Cows as were first to be
Both went off and had many children

Though the Gods welcomed this gladly
Their children became many too quickly
Too much of those gifts did they use
Suffering soon came to be, and strife
The problem was that Man lived as Gods
As it was, it could not stay this way
There would be nothing left for the young
So Iemurios did approach his brother
That they must find a way to fix this

Iemurios said that Men are not Gods
Thus Men should not live as long as They
So Iemurios said that he should die first
That those whose time came will follow
To do this, he asked Mannus to kill him
Mannus would not but Iemurios persisted
Iemurios would be sacrificed to the Gods
To thank Them for the life given to his kin
So Iemurios agreed, and it would be done

Upon a high stone did  Iemurios lie still
He made peace with the end of his life
Mannus took a stone to numb his brother
Wrapped his hands around his neck
He then took a knife and cut upward
With heavy hearts the Gods accepted this
Sucellos bade the soul of  Iemurios
That Iemurios may enter that realm
So it was, the first born, and first to die

Though Gods and Men wept at the loss
Iemurios did what had to be done in truth
With this, all of the children of Mannus
And all of the children of Iemurios
Live in the world an apportioned time
But one day, they must follow  Iemurios
Taking that journey from life to death
In doing so, there is room for everyone
For those who live, and those yet to live

Alpetânon

There was Nothingness before the world
No Light or Darkness was known
Until in one moment, did Light burst forth
Light and Fire, but with Darkness and Ice
They came into being together as one
But Darkness was greedy and took all
That Light did not touch, Ice in Fire’s wake
Where they met, and touched, was Mist
From that Mist did First Life come

A Bull, Tarvomâros, white and great horns
Bouindâ, dun, came with Him from there
In the Mists, did they know each other
The Cow fed on Mists, the Bull of Her Milk
In time, She became heavy with child
Then from Her breath came First Child
From Her womb came the Second
They did feed on Her milk, the Bull envied

He was so big and strong, he had to feed
Mist would not sustain Him, He did plot
He would try to kill the Cow’s young
And so they fought one another, furiously
When He saw into the Childrens’ eyes
He knew that He loved them, he stopped
In that moment, the Cow’s horn thrust
The throat of the Bull pierced, he fell
“Take me apart and live upon me.”

Upon His last words, did the Cow abide
Pulling out His eyes, both glowing
Upward they went, bringing light to Mists
His spine was stood up, a great tree
Bilios, the barren tree was named
Upon flesh was this tree, blood in roots
Seeds did fall, and from them life grew
Giants, great and tall fought each other
The Great Mother Cow was in fear

But Her children grew strong and fast
Talamâ Her daughter, Dêiwos Her son
She was broad, and He was tall
They would go to live among the Giants
But they were not welcome among them
Dêiwos would often have to fight and did
In His victories, they had a chance to live
It would be however, that his luck ran out
He went and His Mother went to Bilios

It was He that was the last of the Old Bull
He would give His last, a branch of He
This help came with the price, however
That She would share the Bull’s fate
She agreed, and carried the branch away
Given to Talamâ, who made a club of it
With it, Dêiwos brought woe to Giants
He became lord to many of them
The rest were cast away, he was King

Dêiwos and Talamâ did lay together
They had many children great in number
Of their offspring, three great sons born
The oldest stayed close to His Mother
The next was much like His Father
The youngest, close to their grandmother
Bilios would tell them how he came to be
And the toll paid that let them be born
For these three yet had a role to play

As time went on, the brothers grew
When they did, the Bouindâ grew weak
She was old, but without her passing
There would be no future for her offspring
For Giants were many, and They were few
So She gathered the three brothers
And told them to take Her life away
They protested and wept at the notion
But pleas fell silent upon Bouindâ

The First Brother struck with a stone
A mercy blow that numbed and stunned
The Second Brother severed Her head
His brute strength pulling it asunder
As the Third Brother cut and she bled out
There was a great flood over all that was
Many drowned in the wash of blood
So were the seas and Her flesh the land
Giants and Gods took their places therein

Dêiwos and Talamâ wept for dear Mother’s end
But they could not kill their young cor this
Through Talamâ did that old spirit speak
Echoes of that old tale that She now knew
With Bouindâ’s hide, Dêiwos covered His wife
The Three Brothers, Great Gods of the worlds
Took forth the pieces of Bouindâ did each
The Great Gods set out, each on their own
Together they would make the world we know

From Bouindâ’s hide was the land gifted
From Her blood, kept off, was the seas
From Her bones, came the mountains high
From Her flesh came the fertile valleys low
From her milk came the rivers and lakes
Heated under warm flesh, the bubbling springs
Her eyes, torn apart, far flung stars of night
Her spirit, joined with old Tarvomâros, the sky
Dêiwos arose to take His place watching all

The many children of Talamâ, and Giants all
Did marvel upon this new world alike
For that moment, a respite in their wars
But the many clans split off and went their ways
The lines then drawn were clear forevermore
The Eldest Brother took for a home Dumnos
The Second Brother took for a home Albios
The Third Brother, He would watch over Bitus
All would then take their places within

A Reckoning of Time

When talking of reckoning time in Gaulish practice, there is but one source on the matter: the Sequanni (or Coligny) Calendar. Simply put, done and done, right? Wrong. In the Gaulish Polytheist world, the placing of the months is contentious and open for debate. However, I think this is good. We must remember that there were many Gaulish tribes. These tribes had different customs, varying levels of technology, and different Gods, or at least different names for Them.

It is for these facts that I can honestly say that I welcome differing approaches to the matter of timekeeping. If we ever all agree on a universal Gaulish Calendar, I’m okay with that, too. Not that I see that happening any time soon. We simply don’t know how many calendars the Gauls had because we have only found one that can be reconstructed with any amount of comfort. There are small fragments of another thing suspected of being a calendar, but it is impossible to reconstruct it at this time. At the least, until more fragments are found.

Nights Become Days

With that said, let’s explore a little on the matters of timekeeping that we know. Caesar mentions that the Gaulish peoples considered the day to start at sundown. This isn’t really unusual, the Jewish people reckon the same with their own calendar. Thus the reason their sabbaths start on Friday night. Considering that where they lived at the time of the Gauls was some distance away from the Gauls, starting the day at sundown was not at all uncommon in the ancient world.

Caesar didn’t likely gain anything from making mention of this, and so it is likely a truthful observation. The history of issues (to put it lightly) between Gauls and Romans were certainly not because of their differing approaches to calendars. With that said, we can safely wager that the day begins at sunset. If one wanted to have a more consistent measure of days (or lives in a far Northern place, or for whatever reason is in Antarctica), I suggest 6:00pm, or 18:00 as a good reference. With that settled, let us look at the divisions of the month.

There wasn’t a concept of a seven day week for the Gauls. The Romans introduced the idea to Europe. They got the idea from the Hebrew people. Of course, the Germanic peoples thought this was a good idea, and inserted the names of their own Gods (save for Saturn, I guess) for a seven day week. There’s no reason that the modern Gaulish Polytheist couldn’t do the same. In modern Celtic cultures, they use the names of the Roman Gods, and this would technically be more accurate than days based off of the Gaulish Gods. However, there is absolutely no reason why one couldn’t use Gaulish Gods’ names. I certainly would.

In case someone is interested in doing so, here is a recommendation:

  • Sunday (Sun/Sâwelos) Dius Sâweli
  • Monday (Moon/Lugrâ) Dius Lugriâs
  • Tuesday (Mars/Camulos, for example) Dius Camuli
  • Wednesday (Mercury/Lugus or Carnonos) Dius Luguos
  • Thursday (Jupiter/Taranis) Dius Taranuos
  • Friday (Venus/Brigantiâ) Dius Brigantiâs
  • Saturday (Saturn/maybe Sucellos) Dius Sucelli

However way in which one does that, the Gauls did not. That’s because they divided the month in half. The closest example of this is the fortnight, which is of course two weeks. Though the months in the Sequanni Calendar, save for one exception, are either 29 or 30 days long. So, that’s two 15 day periods, or one that is 15 days, and the other is 14. The 15 day halves are called “Matis” which means auspicious, lucky. The ones that are 14 days are “Anmatis”, which is the opposite of “Matis”, of course.

Over The Moons

The 30 and 29 day months are also given this treatment, matis and anmatis respectively. In this respect, I cannot help but notice that the Attic Calendar, used by ancient Athenians, marks months as “full and “hollow”. It is worth noting that Greek culture was prestigious to the Gauls, especially before their fall to the Romans. Sequanni territory was not very far from the Greek colony of Massalia, and if I were a betting man, I’d say that the Greeks had a major influence on the Sequanni Calendar. This isn’t to say that I believe that the ancient Celts weren’t already using a lunisolar calendar as it were. Which the Sequanni Calendar certainly is.

A lunisolar calendar attempts to reconcile the lunar months with the solar year. This is a relatively old style of timekeeping. Though purely lunar calendars like the Islamic Calendar do exist. Then, of course, the modern calendar, which gets its start in Rome, who weren’t about lunar months, apparently. They were more interested in the solar year. Now, back to Gaul, where the Sun and Moon must agree, at least somewhat. Most of the time, the Sequanni Calendar has twelve months. Did I mention that modern Galatis don’t agree on the matter? Well, they don’t. However, there is little to no disagreement on what those months are, just on how they are placed. The first month is Samonios.

Does Samonios mean “end of Summer” similar to Irish “Samhain”? Or does it mean “great (or divine) Summer”? There is some contention here, and a few good arguments. Instead of repeating myself what other folks, smarter than I, have already said, I’m just going to give you all a couple of links on the matter:

A perspective that offers a Winter start to the year, here.

A perspective that offers a Summer start to the year, here. Scroll down to the section titled “Samon and the Celtic New Year”, unless you want to read the whole article. For what it’s worth, Wikipedia agrees with the latter. I have to say that I also believe that Samonios falls in the summer. You will see when the months are listed that many months end in -ios. So, either the Gauls were more concerned with the end of things, or that suffix is a type of proper noun. I believe the latter.

Remember that the Gauls recognized primarily two seasons, as opposed to four. So, depending on what you think of Samonios and Giamonios, whether they refer to the seasons literally, or the end of said seasons, will make the time of year that your calendar starts different than someone who disagrees. Though, this can still run somewhat smoothly, if you swap months in discussions. Segomâros Widugeni offers “Blêdani Galation”, or Year of the Galatîs” as a term to date years. So, BG as opposed to BCE and CE or BC and AD.

The Months

At the most basic, and we’ll get to intercalary months in a minute, the months are as such:

  • Samonios
  • Dumannios
  • Riuros
  • Anagantios
  • Ogronios
  • Cutios
  • Giamonios
  • Simiuisonnios
  • Equos
  • Elembiuos
  • Edrinios
  • Rantanaros

 

These are your basic twelve months in order. So, what about those intercalary months? There is less surety in regards to them. Some say Ciallos is an intercalary month. Another thought says that Quimonios and Rantanaros are the two intercalary months inserted to even out a five year cycle. Before Samonios and Giamonios respectively. Even if one just uses Ciallos, the first time used, it falls before Samonios, and the second time before Giamonios in a five year cycle. Personally, I don’t think it matters much either way, but if you want to build a calendar, you have to make a decision.

Some also debate whether or not a month starts at a new or full moon. Furthermore, an emerging camp agrees with Pliny the Elder who states that the Gauls started their months on the first quarter. This centers the full and new moon in the middle of each half. This is what I think, personally. There isn’t much point in lying about this for old Pliny. However, the word “Atenoux” meaning renewal is right in the calendar, dividing the month in half. So, whatever you might think, that is worth remembering.

In the links, you saw two ways to start a year. Some folks just use the modern calendar, and I guess one could. Personally, I think that lunisolar timekeeping is a good way to be in touch with the worldview of the Gauls of the past. However, a few intrepid souls created a calendar in Modern Gaulish (Helen McKay, Bellouesus Isarnos, and Steve Hansen aka Gwiríu Mórghnath): Amanar Ghaláthach (Modern Gaulish Calendar)

The calendar uses Modern Gaulish names and corresponds them with the modern calendar. So, there’s still an option for those that prefer the modern calendar, but still want a touch of Gaulish. Of course, one could use Ancient Gaulish names and correspond them to the months in the modern calendar as well. There are many ways to do these things.

What I use personally is a take on the Sequanni Calendar developed by Shane Krusen, based on the works of Helen McKay. A link to that form of the calendar can be found here.

As a member of Toutâ Galation, I use the Coligny calendar as interpreted by them when applicable. However, my interpretation does (respectfully) differ. Plus, there is the possibility of the usage of a more local calendar. Feel free to use it if you feel inclined. I hope you all enjoyed reading.

Continue reading “A Reckoning of Time”

Dêwoi (Gods) of Tegoslougous Nemotarvos

Many Gods are recognized by Tegoslougos Nemotarvos. At this point, only a couple of Gods are regularly worshipped, but that list is expected to grow in time. The Gods of this tradition are some of those that were worshipped in Gaul and Britain during the Iron Age, and into the Roman period. If one wants a more scholarly basis of who these Gods are, I recommend looking at Nemeton Segomâros for more information. There isn’t much of a point for me to do again what someone else has already done an excellent job of covering.

With that said, the scope of this page is to discuss the Dêwoi as They apply to Tegoslougos Nemotarvos specifically.  For the most part, this will likely be in agreement with current scholarship. However, I intend to expand on that to explain a little bit about how the Gods are perceived in this Tegoslougos. So, this is intended only to cover the scope of this Tegoslougos, and no further. I only speak for myself, and I celebrate the diversity of practices within Gaulish Polytheism today. I have been helped by many along the way, from other Gaulish Polytheists, Brythonic Polytheists, other Celtic Reconstructionists, Heathens, Proto Indo European practicioners, Neopagans, and others I probably do not even realize.

For the sake of digestibility, and keeping this article to a reasonable length, this piece covers the “High Gods”, and rest assured, there will be more to come. (Again, this is not necessarily meant to be an academic piece.)

Without further ado, here is a list (that will likely be expanded upon in the future) of Gods that are in some way known in Tegoslougos Nemotarvos:

Taranis – He is one of two main deities worshiped in Tegoslougos Nemotarvos. His name means ‘Thunder’ and so, he is obviously a Thunder God. I’m not entirely sure of Him being the “Sky Father”, but He is, at the least, the preeminent Sky God worshipped at Tegoslougos Nemotarvos. He is represented by a wheel. Most opt for a six spoked wheel, I opt for eight. However, it is uncertain if the number of spokes have any direct historical meaning. It is not likely, as some have been shown with four, six, eight, and more.

He is, as a Thunder God, a Bringer of Rain. I would suspect that this might have made him popular with farmers, who of course rely on rain to water their crops in most places. He is described in the 9th century ‘Berne Scholia’ as a “master of war”. This could be due to his representation of victory over serpents that are likely related to forces of chaos. These are depicted on the Gundestrup Cauldron, as well as in Jupiter columns (Taranis was linked most often to Jupiter, possibly Mars in other cases) in places along the Rhine.

When looking at Him as the slayer of a serpent of chaos, one may be reminded of the Norse Thorr, or of Hercules, son of Zeus, who slays the Hydra. Perhaps of Vedic Indra who slays Vrtra, Slavic Perun and Veles, etc. The Serpent Slaying myth seems to be one of the most common among Indo-European cultures. An interesting thought as well, is that in His name meaning ‘Thunder’ is a commonality with Proto Germanic ‘Thunaraz’, which gives way to Anglo-Saxon Thunor, Norse Thorr, and other Germanic names for their Thunder God(s). Whether or not this is a borrowing from Gaulish Taranis, I don’t know. It is an interesting thought, nonetheless.

He is known by his symbol, the wheel, which I had mentioned earlier. Theories generally range from the idea of “rolling thunder” to the idea that the wheel is reminiscent of order and cosmic rule from celestial powers. This moves me to the next part, and that is how He is perceived in Tegoslougos Nemotarvos.

If we have anything like a “patron God” it is He. Though I do not use such titles. As is generally agreed, He is the God of Thunder, and Rain Bringer, I also associate Him with wind, and the changing of seasons. At the least, with summer. I see Him as the upholder of order and truth. He is of course, an Upper World God, Ueronados (celestial) and represents the forces of Samos: summer, order, light, life. I see Him in a way, like some Heathens view their Thunder Gods, as a God of the common folk.

I also associate Taranis with bulls and clouds, seeing the smaller clouds as His cattle, and the larger ones as His residence, that I call Nellotegos (Cloud House). The cattle association stems from the PIE Perkwunos, for which I credit Ceisiwr Serith and his book ‘Deep Ancestors’ for my knowing.

Beyond all of that, He is seen here as the defender of humans. Not in the sense of offensive war, but that with the purpose of defense and protection. He will be afforded a special ritual around Mediosaminos (Midsummer) in an event called the Îwos Taranes (Feast of Taranis). This seems appropriate to the roles He serves in the cosmos.

Eponâ – She is one of the two main deities worshipped in Tegoslougos Nemotarvos. Her name, according to Alexei Kondratiev, translates to “Great Mare”, and this is my favorite of options. She is often, as one might imagine, depicted on horseback, though side saddled, as opposed to a more conventional riding position. Sometimes, she is shown sitting between two horses. She sometimes holds grains, and fruits, and has been depicted caring for foals. She may be like Brythonic ‘Rîgantonâ’ and thus possibly related to the Welsh ‘Rhiannon’. I personally, would hardly consider that a stretch, but there’s not really direct evidence of that.

Rîganâ as another name for Her is suggested by Garett Olmsted, and that may lead to some creedence to that possiblility, as Rîganâ means ‘Queen’, and Rîgantonâ means ‘Great Queen’. Personally, I subscribe to the idea to the point that my worship of Her is syncretic of the two. Anyway, what we can see with Her are themes of the bounty of the land, of sovereignty, which leads to the possibility of Her being a Mead Goddess as well. Though, if that is so, most likely that of the Toutâ (tribe), as opposed to the Coryos (war band). I draw this from Ceisiwr Serith’s comparison of Her to Proto Indo European Hekwona, who is a Goddess of mares, mead, and sovereignty.

Though it would seem, with the presence of grains and fruits, She may have taken on traits like that of an “Earth Mother”. This is just a thought of my own by what I’ve seen on her depictions. Thus, in Tegoslougos Nemotarvos, She is associated with the fertility of the land, and is the Wife of Taranis, which has been a conjecture that has been floating around some circles. I agree with it, presonally. I also subscribe to the idea that She is a psychopomp, who rides between worlds. It may be through Her that Taranis gets a horse, like on that of the Jupiter columns.

As the Gallo Roman ‘Eponalia’ is held not far from the winter solstice, and in Wales, the Mari Lywd is associated with Christmas and New Year festivites, an Îwos Eponâs (or maybe Eponin) will be held in conjunction with Mediogiamos (Midwinter) festivities.

Carnonos – More popularly ‘Cernunnos’. His name is generally thought to mean ‘The Horned One’ or something along those lines. Some associate Him with being something like a God of the Wilds, others in the past few years (to my knowledge) would say that He is a God of Bidirectionality, wealth (thus merchants), and a kind of Mediator Between Worlds (thus perhaps travelers) . The two are not, in my opinion mutually exclusive. However, my focus lies more with the latter, but I do not exclude the former. This is because the Gods are capable of being many different things, and so do not always line up with neat little functions and descriptions.

He is depicted on the Gundestrup Cauldron with a ram horned serpent and a torc. This may symbolize His being between worlds, as that same serpent seems to be defeated by Taranis in another panel on the same Cauldron. He is also depicted with animals, and as a God of Mediation may well be between that of the wild and the tame.

My own associations with Him differ little, if at all with what is described. I associate Him with the Autumnal Equinox, not for historical precedence, because there isn’t one. However, we live in a place with very pronounced seasons. That is a time around here when leaves start to change color, letting us know that winter is on the way. A transition of its own. Still technically summer, when looking at the ancient idea of seasons (with basically only summer and winter) but winter is clearly on the way, and that small transition is a reminder. That, and it is literally the halfway point between Mediosaminos and Mediogiamos. At the end of summer, is Diwedon Samoni (End of Summer) which I generally reserve for ancestors, so the Autumn Equinox gives us a day to very specifically honor Him. Since I feel that He deserves His own day.

Brigantiâ – Her name means the “Exalted One”, or the “High One”. So, it stands to reason that She is associated with high places. In the pre Christian Celtic world, She was widely revered, among Gaulish, Brythonic, Goidelic, and Celtiberian peoples. Other than high places, She may have been the tribal Goddess of the Brigantes in Britain, and in Ireland, she is known as Brighid. The river Brent, in England may be a reference to Her.

From Ireland, we learn that She is associated with smithing, healing, childbirth, poetry, and that An Dagda is Her father. She is of course also associated with the keeping of a Sacred Flame, for which many have interpreted as meaning that She is a Hearth Goddess. A fair line of reasoning. As some see Taranis as having something like An Dagda’s role among Gaulish gods, some see at least a possibility that He may be Brigantiâ’s father. I think this is a reasonable conjecture.

How the Gods relate to one another, if nothing else, can often be an important when people establish lore. Just as it was in the past. Her feast day is said to be around the beginning of February, which brings to mind the Irish holiday of Imbolc. This is between the Winter Solstice and Vernal Equinox, roughly. Thus, Îwos Brigantiâs may fall as well, around this time.

Maponos – His name means “Divine Son”. We see, in Gaulish inscriptions, He is associated with magic. In Insular Celtic lore, we know of Mabon ap Modron, also Mabon fab Mellt, particularly interesting, as Mellt means “lightning”. This is even more interesting, as Oengus Mac Og, an Irish God of youth, music, poetry, among other things, is the son of Boann (a cow and river goddess) and An Dagda. Maponos, by His name alone, can be said to be a God of Youth.

When looking at Mabon,  He is possibly also, or at least like Pryderi, who is the son of Rhiannon (Proto Brythonic Rîgantonâ), is possibly connected to Eponâ, and a warrior king Pwyll. Making for even more room regarding possible conjectures, as Pryderi was taken away from His mother, and found in the Underworld, later to be returned to Her. Maponos is likened to Apollo, which could imply that there is a healing, as well as solar aspect to Him. Furthermore, some say He was born on the Winter Solstice, Oengus was said to be born on Samhain, which is said to have marked the new year in Ireland. At Newgrange, the mound associated with Oengus mac Og, tracks the sunrise at the Winter Solstice.

So, perhaps Maponos was born around this time as well. Maponus was also depicted as Apollo playing the cithera, which is a type of lyre. So, when looking at Oengus mac Og’s association with music, along with the Apollo association, Maponos had been a God associated with music as well. In practice, two times of year come to mind in which he may be specifically revered. One being Mediogiamos (Midwinter) signifying His birth, and the other may well be, given His association with youth, music, vitality, and magic, the time between the Vernal Equinox and Summer Solstice. A time I refer to as Centusaminos (Start of Summer). In Ireland, this time is called Beltaine, or Cetsamhain, and Calan Haf or Calan Mai in Wales.

This particular time is a gut feeling of mine. Dun Brython, who are Brythonic Polytheists, and very bright minds, associate Him with the Summer Solstice. A very feasible route, but we are but a small household, so, I’m keeping the number of Gods to focus upon a holiday low. In most cases, one. Though He may figure in Mediogiaminos observances, I feel that Centusaminos, that is, the beginning of summer, will be the premier holiday associated with Him in Tegoslougos Nemotarvos. In time, that may well change.

It is here that I should also mention that I am taking the leap of equating Maponos with Grannus. If They are not literally the same being, they seem to fulfill many of the same functions. Both are associated with springs, both are likened to Apollo, both have solar connotations, and both seem to have been involved in healing. Again, this doesn’t mean they are literally one and the same, but both go into consideration for me when fleshing out worship.

Lugus – Many names are associated with Him. So, I’m not going to list them all, I like the interpretations offered by Garett Olmsted, referring to His name meaning either “God of Oaths” or “Bright”. Being a God of Oaths is very much a prominent matter in cultures where holding to oaths was among the most important things one could do. In Insular Celtic cultures, He holds a very high place as well. In Wales as Lleu Llaw Gyffes, and as Lugh in Ireland. He is a heroic God in both, known for wielding a spear. He is known, rightfully, among many Celtic Polytheists as the God of Many Skills.

What in particular is quite interesting is His parallels to Germanic Wodanaz, in regards the significance of ravens, of course His spear, and leadership of a warband. He is also associated with Kings, like Anglo-Saxon Woden and Norse Odin. In Gallo-Roman depictons, He is associated with Mercury. This adds associations of wealth and being a patron of travelers. Every trait listed so far would be important to a king. There are many instances of Lugus, or beings like him in Insular lore, and this article would be even more unwieldy than it is likely to be if I listed them all.

In Ireland, the feast day of Lughnasadh is named for Him. The idea of a festival Îwos Luguos comes from this, and I cannot think of a good reason why it ought not be a part of Tegoslougos Nemotarvos as well. This is the time of the grain harvest, between the Summer Solstice and the Autumnal Equinox.

Rosmertâ – She is the wife of Lugus, and She has some very powerful traits of Her own. She knows and weaves fate. She is the Lady with the Mead Cup, who initiates members into the warband. In the way that Eponâ does with the Toutâ (tribe). Her name means “Great Provider”. One who knows fate and its works surely is a seeress as well. She is also, as many Goddesses are, associated with fertility and plenty. She too, is to be honored on Îwos Luguos in our Tegoslougos.

Sulis – Sulis is a Brythonic Goddess, not conclusively linked to Gaul. Her name means “eye” or possibly “sun”. She may be linked to a finding related to one Solimarâ in central France. Though it seems that the Gaulish word for Sun is “Sâwelios” and “Sonno” is used in the Coligny Calendar, both of which have masculine connotations. Proto Indo-Europeans interpreted the Sun to be feminine, however. So, it is possible that She represents an older strain of thought that later changed, or that in Britain, solar deities remained feminine and in Gaul, deities like Grannus, masculine representations of solar deities come to the fore.

Regardless of that, the sex of the Sun, or Moon, for that matter doesn’t necessarily mean that deities of other sexes cannot have traits associated with the Sun or Moon either way. Personally, I see Sulis as something like the PIE Dawn Maiden. Thus, she could be a daughter of the Sun, regardless of the Sun’s sex. As a Goddess of Springs, and with possible solar quailties, as well as my interpretation of Her as the Dawn Maiden, I see her as a Goddess of Springtime. Heralding the dawn of the celestial “day” that is summer.

In this way, a similarity with Anglo-Saxon Éostre can be seen, as the month given to Her name is near the Vernal Equinox. Thus, I find that dedicating that particular event to Sulis to be a reasonable conclusion, though others of course, are free to disagree. As will likely be mentioned a thousand times, Ohio has very pronounced seasons. So, observing that time of year with a holiday of its own is something that I feel is appropriate. Though, to my knowledge, does not happen in ancient or living Celtic Polytheisms from a historical perspective.

Sironâ – Quite an interesting Goddess, as I don’t know of any like Her. Her name is thought to mean “star” if you ask Miranda Green, but Garett Olmsted argues for “heifer”. If so, this associates her with cows, which to Tegoslougos Nemotarvos, and to many other people and groups, are extremely important creatures. I can’t help but think of the name of our galaxy, the Milky Way, which holds both star and cattle connotations. That aside, She is associated also with serpents, eggs, and wells. Furthermore, with healing. Green and Olmsted paint different pictures with regards to Her.

However, I don’t see the two interpretations as mutually exclusive. Gods often have many functions, and do not fit neat little “boxes” that so easily simplify what are often very diverse pictures of who these beings are. Sironâ is clearly a case proving this very thing. To carry things further, it has become more popular to conclude that She may well also be a Moon Goddess. I’m not 100% sure of this, myself. However, if the reference to Druids referring to the Moon as the “all healing” are true, and any synthesis of Green and Olmsted’s interpretations bear out, it is certainly not a far stretch to conclude that she may have lunar aspects as well.

If this is so, it further enumerates Her functions as likely being a Goddess related to renewal, time, and even aquatic tides. Quite the resumé indeed.

Sucellos – Another God of many possible functions is Sucellos. The Romans have equated Him with Silvanus. Today, some think he may be the enigmatic Gaulish Dis from which they claimed descent. Others would say that He is a God of wine making. He has also been compared, like Taranis, to the Irish Dagda. As he is depicted with a cauldron, and a mallet or hammer, which has been compared to An Dagda’s club and cauldron. Others still equate Him to Vulcan and see Him as a God of Smithing. Or, bringing it back to Ireland, Dagda in Donn.

What all of these have in common, are chthonic properties. Save for perhaps Silvanus, which brings to mind woodlands. Whether smith, wine maker, or divine ancestor and father of riches, it is clear that there are many possibilites. I find that sometimes, though certainly not always, synthesis of such theories can help in the Reconstructionist mission of “fleshing out” deities for whom there isn’t much known about. When dealing with peoples who didn’t leave behind whole bodies of mythological works especially, this can be very important.

What we have in many of these theories allows for the possibility of a many faceted God with diverse, but in several cases, relatable functions. At Tegoslougos Nemotarvos, there isn’t much of a reason to be seen as to why He can’t be a God of the Underworld, as well as something of a divine ancestor, who bestows the riches and powers of Dumnos to those who have His blessing. As the riches of the Earth, especially things like minerals and gems could easily be seen as gifts from the Underworld. A seed grows from under the Earth. Metals can be found under the Earth, and the Earth’s mantle contains heat, which sometimes comes out of volcanoes.

Regardless, there is much potential for understanding and possibilities as to who Sucellos is. As many were buried in the Earth when they died, it may be He who hosts them in their next life. It could be that the darkness of Dumnos, through Gods like Sucellos play an important part in the interplay with Albios in the turn of the seasons of Bitus. Perhaps just as an underground dwelling can shelter from the heat of summer, and keep harvests out of the heat, the warmth of summer may have to be returned. Thus Sucellos may play a part in that great cycles of seasons.

Nantosueltâ – Her name means either “meandering brook” if you ask Miranda Green, or “sun warmed valley”, if you ask Garret Olmsted. She is paired with Sucellos on an inscription from Saarebourg, in northeastern France. She is associated with fertility, crows, holds a house on a pole (interesting, no?) bees, or the collection of honey, mead and wine making.

Her pairing with Sucellos may then, if He too is a God of the Underworld, that She is then a Goddess of the Underworld. If this is so, then it may be that She represents the pleasures that await those who pass on. Of course, it is said that the Afterlife contains many possibilities, so that may be but one. There are many depictions of strange beings that imply that the Otherworld is not always a pleasant place.

Ogmios – There isn’t much by way of consensus as to what His name means. He is depicted with a lion’s skin, and a club, like Herakles. He is older, however, his skin is darker, and He is depicted with chains from His tongue that attach to the ears of His followers. Lucan, a Roman writer, well known for his satires and criticisms (though probably unfounded) of the Gauls, spoke of Ogmios and of His followers being glad to be chained to Him. That a Celt in the story mentions His eloquence being a greater asset than physical strength (roughly paraphrasing). He is comparable to the Irish God Ogma, who is said to have invented Ogham writing, and was also known for His prowess of speech. Back to the continent, where there are curse tablets attributed to Him.

It may be that He is falls under the category of Andernados, or Underworld, chthonic Gods. This is likely truth, and with traits of strength as well as eloquence, and of course, knowledge of the verbal and written word, it is fair to say that He must be a very powerful God. I feel as though He may well be a God involved in the creation of the world, mythologically speaking. In some way. Perhaps not the enigmatic Gaulish Dis Pater, but an important player in the matter, as Gods aren’t often depicted as old. Middle aged, perhaps, but not old. I doubt He was depicted as old for no reason.

However, all of that is simply a matter of interpretation to Tegoslougos Nemotarvos. I can’t help but feel that there is more to Him that I do not yet know. What is known, speaks of a powerful God with great knowledge and power, who likely holds the key to many mysteries.