Bessus Nouiogalation Q&A

(For an audio reading, in English — read by Caromâros Caitogabros — click here.)

About Bessus Nouiogalation

Bessus Nouiogalation (Custom of the New Galatîs) is a Galatibessus tradition. Galatibessus is the Gaulish inspired revivals of custom, culture and religion, which are both intricately intertwined and inseparable. There are many faces of this, with many different intentions. The goal of the work here is to give those interested a foundational set of traditions with a focus on establishing Galatis identity.

Many people out there feel a lack of positive identity, one not tied to colonialism or racism. Finding Galatibessus has been a great help to us. We hope that by sharing our works that together, we can establish a positive identity that is also rooted in a cultural tradition that helps us to reconnect with our roots. Those who seriously wish to participate in Galatibessus, or BNG in particular, and practice are fellow Galatîs if they choose to identify as such. Regardless of any other identity, they may also have.

Just as blood did not make a Gaul in the past (notice how Gauls ceased to exist as such but do have genetic descendants worldwide), and genetics as we know of them now were unknown in the past, they have absolutely no bearing on who can be in Galatibessus. Much less who can worship the Dêuoi (Gods). Genetics do not determine culture, and cannot, shall not determine who is a Galatis. Millions, probably billions likely have at least one Gaulish ancestor anyway. Gaulish identity was determined by culture, religion, and language. So there is no moral or logical reason to exclude anyone by genes.

This is not to minimize the historical impact of the Gauls (mainly in France, also in Switzerland, Belgium, southwest Germany, and many other places in Western and Central Europe all the way to Turkey, in fact). We are interested in a modern form of Ancient Gaulish identity, not in co-opting the modern identities of people living where the Ancient Gauls once did. Some individual Galatis may, but it is not the focus of BNG, or Galatibessus.

Galatibessus does have parameters. It is Polytheist and Animist, meaning we worship many distinct, and individual Ancient Gaulish gods, and see all things as having spirit. We believe that the Dêuoi are real and interact with them through gifting and offering in ritual. As well as prayer, meditations, and other spiritual experiences. Some may also worship foreign deities, and that is okay. Other kinds of spirits, beings, and ancestors (Gaulish and not) are also worshipped or otherwise engaged with in various ways.

What is Bessus Nouiogalation?

Bessus Nouiogalation is a Galatibessus tradition. Galatibessus means “Galatis Custom”, which is focused on the historical language known as Gaulish, the material culture from what is known as the La Tène archeological period, from which the people that spoke this language emerged. Roughly 450 BCE – 50 BCE. As well as the worship of beings collectively referred to as Dêuoi. Dêuos is the singular term. The Dêuoi of course, are those named in that very same Gaulish language.

We seek to create a stable cultural and religious revival. A New Galatis tradition that remembers and learns from the past, but is not limited to it. So while the focus is on a specific period of time, elements and influences from other times, cultures, and places can also be found here to varying extents. The main focus is simply what is prioritised, but it is not exclusively such.

None of this is meaningful if it cannot apply to everyday life. Due to this, we focus much on our Îanoi (virtues). There is also much focus on culture. Historically, and amongst many peoples currently, culture touches all areas of life. Bessus Nouiogalation seeks to do this. This site is hopes to share the content to help this tradition along. In the hopes that it will inspire those interested to be a part of it.

We also hope it helps provide an alternative and resistance to white supremacist “Western” culture. Obviously, this cannot be done by simply practicing Bessus Nouiogalation. But hopefully we can help provide cultural and spiritual support for those involved to engage in the physical, political, ideological, activism to help fight white supremacism, and its fascist, racist, imperialist, and capitalist nature.

So… Is this like a club or organization?

It is an adbessus (tradition) and has a group of people, a toutâ that follow it together. One does not have to be a member of Bessus Nouiogalation to follow our adbessus, or use any of this site’s material.

What does Bessus Nouiogalation mean, anyway?

Bessus is a Gaulish word meaning “custom, practice”. This is a common word used on this site to describe various practices. Tegobessus “house custom” is an example, which are customs of the household. Noiuos means “new”, the final “s” is dropped when combining two words. Galation means “of the Galatîs”, “Galatîs” is plural for “Galatis”, which is Gaulish for “a Gaulish person”. So, Bessus Nouiogalation means “Custom of the New Galatîs”.

We use Galatis instead of Gaul as it is a Gaulish word, helping us differentiate chronologically later usages of the term “Gaul”. As that term was in use long after the language, material culture, and worship of the Dêuoi ceased to exist. We are trying to be a toutâ (people) in some way, and a people need a language. So we use a form of reconstructed Gaulish (Nouiogalaticos) to the best of our abilities when we can, or at least can get away with it. This is why you will see a lot of articles titled in this language, and why such terms are often used. So, it isn’t to show off.

You’re not “folkish” are you?

Bessus Nouiogalation is not only not folkish, we are anti-folkish. As well as antifascist. We oppose fascism, racism, misogyny, and any anti-LGBTQIA+ positions. We also oppose capitalism, classism, ableism, and all other types of bigotry. In time, we also hope to make the content on the site more accessible to folks who may have issues with traditional text reading.

Bessus Nouiogalation is about building a positive identity. An attempt to provide an identity that is not tied to imperialism, colonialism, or hate. Anyone who is called to Bessus Nouiogalation who does not support the above listed things we oppose, and feels a calling to be a Galatis, is welcome.

Surely there are some conditions?

Yes, there are. For example, the Dêuoi are not only real, but distinct individuals. Just as you and I are distinct people. We may have some things in common, but you are you, and I am me. We are not interchangeable. We are not different versions of the same person. So it is with the Dêuoi.

The Dêuoi are mysterious, and it is possible that learning of worshipped beings who have some things in common with ours can help us understand the Dêuoi. However, that does not make them the same as another. Things about Zeus or Thor might help us understand Taranis better, but He is still Taranis, Zeus is Zeus, and Thor is Thor.

Foreign worshipped beings are not simply different versions of ours. Nor are ours simply different versions of theirs. It is absolutely fine for a Galatis (Nouiogalatis or otherwise) to worship beings foreign to us as well. Or for someone in another custom or religion to worship the Dêuoi. There is also no reason to disrespect foreign worshipped beings, especially if we would ask others to respect ours.

There really isn’t much by the way of restrictions or taboos. Don’t disrespect the Dêuoi. Don’t do evil. Do the best you can to be a good person and to fight for what’s right. Try to live an honorable life. Hopefully, we can make the world a better place.

Is this the only legit way to be a Galatis?

Certainly not. There are many ways to be either of these things, and as it should be, we are all free to decide what that means to us. Bessus Nouiogalation exists to provide a structure, culture, and identity to those who want it. Not to force anyone to be a part of it.

The material on this site was developed by Bessus Nouiogalation, but is free to use. One can use, adopt, adapt in part, full, or not at all. We will know who is one of us by what they do. And if you’re not one of us, that’s okay. We hope there might be some things that you find useful here, but if not, that’s okay too.

How much, if at all, one chooses to participate is up to them. We’re not, and have never claimed to be the “one true way”, and we never will. Some folks choose to align with a tribal identity, focusing on only one group of Gauls historically, and that’s fine. Others choose a Galatis identity that is newer like this one. There’s room for all.

Why the political stuff?

If one doesn’t wish to be a part of something that opposes racism, fascism, capitalism, imperialism, and the other ills of the world, then feel free to stay in the over culture (or at least stay away from us). As it already promotes those things. You don’t have to be a full time activist to be here. However, understand that it is good and right to fight those things, and take part in that if you can. This is not a place for bourgeois escapism.

So all of the material is free to use?

Sure. Now, don’t take credit for it if you didn’t do it. But yes, it’s free. Also, a link back is appreciated if you can manage. Especially “pingbacks” as it allows links you use to be up to date, since sometimes information gets updated.

Can one join Bessus Nouioglation if they also are part of other groups or have other practices?

Yes. While Bessus Nouiogalation has a very specific set of foci which it fully intends to maintain, all a member has to do is practice it. If they practice anything else, or a part of other groups or organisations, that is not a problem. We do not seek, nor have we ever sought to regulate what people practice. Many of our own group’s membership are part of other customs, practices, religions, etc either in syncretic or multi-traditional fashion.

The only caveat is that regarding right wing groups. Anyone in a right wing group of any kind is barred from Bessus Nouiogalation. Including fascists, and those who collaborate with them. There are also groups that are particularly toxic out there, and have a poor reputation. As that is subjective and fluid, we simply try to see if a prospective member is of good character.

Are you Pagans?

Some of our membership would identify as Pagans without a doubt. However, Bessus Nouiogalation does not identify as a Pagan organisation. Nor is it involved with the “Polytheist movement” (though we are certainly what people would call polytheistic and animistic in belief). However, some members of Bessus Nouiogalation certainly are.

As such, an individual in Bessus Nouiogalation may identify with Paganism, or the Polytheist movement within it. Organisationally, however, we maintain our independence. So the answer to that question is personal as opposed to organisational. A member of Bessus Nouiogalation is a Nouiogalatis. Whatever else they may also be is up to them. (Obvious exception regarding again, allegiance to right wing groups or ideologies.)

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