Galatibessus is an emerging custom that has its roots in communities engaged in — to varying degrees — the revival of cultures, customs, and religions of the peoples collectively known as Gauls (in contemporary English parlance). In reference to people living in Western Europe and Central in the Iron Age. They spoke the Gaulish language, and while local variants existed in abundance, also shared a similar material culture (La Tène period), worldview, and customs of worship.
The term Galatibessus consists of the words Galatis and bessus. Galatis is a word that was used to refer to those known now as Gauls. Whether it was a name given by them to the Ancient Greeks who first recorded the term or whether the Greeks developed the name themselves is unknown. Today, it is used as an identity by those who practice Galatibessus.
Bessus is decidedly Gaulish in origin. Meaning “mores, habit” (Delamarre, ‘Dictionnaire de la Langue Gauloise’, p. 74), this can reasonably be extended to “custom”. Thus Galatibessus means “Galatis Custom”. Custom in this case refers to the very exercise of being. It is in reference to culture, ethics, worldview, and worship. Galatibessus is all of these things in relation to those of us inspired by the Gauls of the past. This is why we refer to ourselves as Galatîs (this is the plural form of Galatis) — as doing Galatibessus makes us so.
There are many different ways to express and live Galatibessus, but emphasis on all of the aforementioned characteristics: culture, ethics, worship, all parts of worldview, factor into it. Certainly, some may be more interested in one of these things more than others, but it is understood that all of them are necessary for a whole and complete Galatibessus. As such the study of all of these things and the components that comprise them are critically important.
Who can practice Galatibessus?
Galatibessus is open to anyone who seeks to practice it. If one decides to fit the descriptions above, they are a Galatis or can be if they choose to do so. A Galatis is judged by urextoues (deeds, actions).
The culmination of worship, ethics, culture, and worldview inform the Galatis and help contribute to the ongoing process of building Galatibessus. All who feel called to Galatibessus are welcome to be a part of it regardless of skin color, nationality, sexual orientation, gender, sex, physicality, income, etc. A Galatis identity maybe someone’s main identity, or be in tandem with the other or many identities that one may have. As long as one is earnest and sincere in their desire and willing to put in the work of learning and living Galatibessus, they too can be a Galatis. If you are feeling so called, that could very well mean you.
What are some fundamentals of Galatîbessus?
A major component of Galatibessus is to live life in accordance with Assus (order, according to ritual, with connotations of sacred or universal law). What this means is to live in a way that is beneficial to the world, our communities, and ourselves.
Certain virtues help us to do this such as:
– Decos (honour)
– Raton (generosity, though this also means “grace” amongst many other things)
– Oigetocâriâ (hospitality)
– Uiridios (Truth)
– Luxtia (Duty)
– Trougocaradon (compassion, mercy)
There are more. These cover a few important ones. What it does not mean is following along with the “status quo” or being unquestioning. If the “status quo” is oppressive or unjust, it is not in line with Aððus. Therefore not in line with order. It is important to mention this as we often see people, and entire systems pervert morals to suit the powerful and not order. There is no order without Uîrolaniâ (Justice).
An absolute fundamental would be learning of Gaulish history, customs, and culture. With a focus on learning what is right to bring forward and make applicable to our own time, and what is best left in the Iron Age. Though it’s important not to fall into presentist thinking. The Gauls were human, fallible, and made mistakes. Contemporary societies are no different. We still often grapple with problems today that they did. Often making the same mistakes, sometimes worse ones. In this case, it is important to remember that the Gauls of the past interacted with a very different set of material conditions than we do, and vice versa.
Just as there are contemporary ideas that would likely have improved things for them (technology notwithstanding), they, too, extolled virtues that would be beneficial for us today. Good judgment and a solid material analysis helps us identify which of those virtues are timeless (hospitality, honor, courage, right speech), and which are best left in the Iron Age (such as patriarchy and ableism). Conversely, their virtues can also reinforce that some contemporary ideas are dangerous, that many preconceived notions of Western thought ought to be challenged and fought (examples: white supremacism, LGBTQ+ phobias, and Western chauvinism).
Through careful application, we can aspire to a vibrant and positive set of customs that are helpful to us today, as opposed to reactionary or romanticist thinking. As tradition is not unmoving or unchanging. This can be seen in many cultures today that remember their cultural roots while also partaking in contemporary societies.
Some examples are things like the revival of material culture, using forms of Gaulish language, and working on newer projects such as myths and constructing practices for different aspects of life.
what about Lughnasadh?
Lughnasadh is an Irish holiday. While the Gauls also (judging by the Coligny Calendar) have a holiday at that time, it wouldn’t be called Lughnasadh.