Gallestû Galatis: Tegobessus
(You Can Galatis: House Custom)
Much discourse comes out of the Galatis or Gaulish Polytheist community. Many strides have been made. What we lack in attested recording of Bessoues (Customs), we make up for in innovation and creativity. However, a lot of information and ideas come from many different directions. So sometimes, it’s good to go back to the basics. In this case, that is Tegobessus (Home Custom).
Tegobessus is at the heart of practice. Why? Because to practice Galatibessus (Galatis Custom), Gaulish Polytheism, one must do Galatis things. The foundation of this is the custom of the home. That which we do on a regular basis. After all, most of us are geographically disparate. However, the home practice is either central or at least important in many other Reconstructed Polytheist religions as well.
Now, to do it. Let’s talk about how we get started. After all, to be in this case is to do. So let’s get started!
Choose a place to be your Aidletâ (Hearth). If you live in a fancy and/or very rustic establishment, you might already have one. Odds are, you don’t. In that case, simply use a good surface as a Noiboclaros (Altar). This place will be the focal point of your Tegobessus (House Custom).
Place relevant stuff on it. At minimum, a candle and a bowl. Images or symbols of Dêuoi are all the better! Added dishes for offerings are fine too. Optimally, you’ll want this to face Ari (East). If not Ari, then try Dexouâ (South). If it has to face Eri (West) or Tutos (North), so be it. Mine faces Tutos because I simply don’t have any better place to put it.
Now, what to put upon this Aidletâ or Noiboclaros? At bare minimum you’ll need a Cumbâ (Bowl, also means “valley”, but is not pertinent to this) and a Uandalâ (candle). Whether or not it’s electric isn’t a big deal. But these are the bare minimums. The Cumbâ to hold the Adbertâ (offering), the Uandalâ for the Aidû (flame), of course.
Of course, many will want to add Deluâs (images) of various Dêuoi (Gods). Or symbols: A Rotâ (wheel) for Taranis, an Epos (horse) related symbol for Eponâ, and so on. These certainly add character and help focus attention in a ritual on the deity.
We have the why and how. Now for the when:
Planning rites is important. Try to do them on a regular basis. I personally am not very good at that, and life sometimes happens. Do your best, but don’t beat yourself up over not being perfect. Just make it a goal to do the rites on a regular basis. This will allow for a rhythm to your rituals.
There are plenty of intervals on which one might choose to do rites. They could be done daily, weekly, bi-monthly, but at minimum once a month. Another suggestion is moon phases.
Once you have decided these things: It is time for the Dedmatâ (ritual). This contains at minimum five steps:
That means making yourself clean and ritually pure. To do this, you may wish to bathe or shower before ritual. At the least it is important to wash the hands and face. As the Gauls were known for using soap, sone kind of bar soap would be a nice continuation of that tradition.
Also, one must purify the sacred space. To do this, designate a candle to be the Noibouandalâ (Sacred Candle). Taranis can be invoked for purification, but so can many others. Three times He is petitioned. (Plural in parentheses.)
Move about the sacred space or with your arm and say three times:
Arciumî (Arciomos) Taranin cartât sin edê.
I ask (We ask) Taranis to cleanse this place.
Light the Uandalâ(s). The following can be said in either Iextâ Galation or English. Suleuiâ is an appropriate Dêuâ Aidletiâs (Goddess of the Hearth). Though other folks have others.
Oibelu mî (Oibelomos nîs) sinaidû Suleuiâs.
I light (We light) this flame of Suleuiâ.
A moment of Tauson (Silence) is apprpriate before the actual rite.
At this point you are invoking the recipient of the ritual. When you do this, it is fitting to say kind things or describe the recipient(s). I will offer an invocation to Taranis as an example. (Plurals in parentheses.)
Uediu mî (Uediomos nîs) Taranî
Delges tû lucetion
Eti tû rodies anextlon do ollon
Rodiu mî (Rodiomos nîs) tê adbertâ
I invoke (We invoke) Taranis
Lord of the Sky
God of the Wheel
You hold lightning
And you give protection to all
I give (We give) to you offering
Of course, here you would give the offering. I normally give a simpler alcoholic beverage: wine, cider, mead, beer. But these are certainly not the only things you can offer. You can offer whole milk, or some kind of food. Really just be thoughtful. An offering doesn’t have to be expensive or even cost money, but use good sense.
Also, this is not meant to be classist. Offer the best you can in your situation. Your love of the recipient will show through. The Dêuoi are not at all “closed off” to you regardless of your economic condition.
It is sometimes said not to give mead to Eponâ. As She gives mead. This is also the case for Rosmertâ. For the same reason, it could be argued not to give wine to Sucellos.
After the offering, take a few moments to kneel, bow, or sit and commune with the recipient(s).
For this, I like to thank the recipient and offer an affirmation of praise, then a brief pause, and last, a closing word or phrase.
Molamî (Molamos) Taranî
I praise (We praise) Taranis
It is done
After this, don’t forget to thank the Dêuâ Aidletiâs (Goddess of the Hearth), Suleuiâ, or Whomever Else.
Bratumî (Bratomos) tê, Suleuia
I thank (We thank) you, Suleuiâ
Tegobessus is the cornerstone of a healthy practice. It may not have as much the same weight for those who regularly engage in larger group rituals. However, the majority of Gaulish and many other Reconstructed Polytheist traditions practice alone. Even when this changes, Tegobessus will still be a major part of practice.
What I hope is shown is that you (yes, you) can do this. It’s difficult to keep up a regular schedule and that’s okay. We can try and improve together.
Artogenos Windoguððus and DJ Mogh Bríghde were instrumental in inspiring me to make this article.