BNG Toutâdêuoi (BNG Understandings of Tribal Deities)

Bessus Nouiogalation is a tradition. As such, and being comprised of several people, that means that as a group we have specific Dêuoi, or Gods, of the group. Of course, many Dêuoi are worshipped by BNG members.

However, there are also types of deities. Specifically Toutâdêuoi (People’s or tribal gods). Such as the Suleuiâs, the Materês, and a Toutatis that are found historically amongst several nations, tribes, in Gaulish toutâs. So, many toutâs in the past had their own of each kind of deity. BNG is no exception.

Now when we say this, what we mean is not that we are the only ones who worship deities by these names. We aren’t. Any group of people may well have deities such as these.

Let us explore a little about these deities and in doing so talk of Them historically, currently, how they apply to BNG, or how they may give ideas to future traditions that emerge. Let us start with Suleuiâs.

Suleuiâs – Their name means in Gaulish “Good Guides”. They are sometimes invoked in multiples (Suleviæ, in Gaulish Suleuiâs). The singular would be Suleuiâ. How we apply this in practice is fairly straightforward.

The Suleuiâs guide us in decision making, and as such we see Them as being very involved in day to day life. Thus They are also very much good candidates to invoke in divination. Otherwise, they help us in conforming to Assus or “that which is ordained, sacred law”. They also protect us while doing so. Theoretically, all groups could have Suleuiâs and we choose to honour ours in ritual.

As very personal level guides they are also goddesses of the home, though not the deity of the home itself. Likewise, They are also protectors of one’s person. They are not limited to the home of course and can guide us in any affair. At the toutâ level, They do the same thing.

Historically, there was a case of likening them to Matronâs (in the Gallo-Roman form, Matrês) or Roman Iunones. A good source of a contemporary interpretation of Suleuiâs, done by one in Gallo-Roman custom is found here. Done by one known in the Gaulish community as Viducus on the site ‘Deo Mercurio‘.

Here is an invocation for the Suleuiâs:

Uediomosnis/Uediumî Suleuiâs
We/I invoke the Suleuiâs

Uernâs uissoues
Wise guardians

Delgaunâs rextion
Keepers of right

Aminâs uîrisamâs
Truest friends

Esue leucos îani uedetesuîs ollon
You all are the light of virtue, you guide us all

Rodîmosnis/Rodîumî adbertâ etic braton suos
We/I give offering and thanks to you all

[Adbertâ] [Offering]

Materês – Their name means “Great or Divine Mothers”. They are almost always invoked in multiples, though there is a case of a Matronâ that is the goddess of the Marne in France who may be related. More common by the Gallo-Roman era, Matronæ is a very common form we see. BNG has opted for Materês based on one of the earliest inscriptions in the Gallo-Greek form Matrêbo, the dative form of Materês. A good source on Materês is found in Noemie Beck’s thesis, titled ‘Goddesses in Celtic Religion’.

Materês were seen by depictions being involved in of course child rearing or bearing and fertility of the land, but were also invoked in war and were very widespread in worship. Found from Spain to Germany, Britain to Italy. There are potential ideas that They may have been attributed to fate as well. In BNG, this is a major focus of Materês. In this sense, They tie into Greek Fates, and Scandinavian Norns. In BNG, They guide and measure our fate, protect, and help give life to the land.

An invocation to the Materês follows:

Uediomosnis/Uediumî Materês
We/I invoke the Materês

Biuotus rodîmaunâs
Life givers

Noibos maiamos
Most holy

Uissuaunâs toncetonon
Knowers of fates

Eni geni, biuotû, etic maruê, uednis etic messus ollon
In birth, life, and death, guiding and measuring us all

Rodîmosnis/Rodîumî adbertâ etic braton suos
We/I give offering and thanks to you all

[Adbertâ] [Offering]

Toutatis – The name means “Of the People, Tribe, or Nation”. The Toutatis is the protector and guardian of a given group of people. As such, BNG has a Toutatis. They are a kind of deity, but sometimes we see a Toutatis has a name of Their own such as perhaps Caturix, Camulos, or Lenus as is proposed by Segomâros Widugeni in this article. Sometimes, however, all we know is the name Toutatis.

They are usually likened to Roman Mars, associated with protection, war, and fighting disease. As was said, sometimes a Toutatis has an otherwise known name, sometimes not. In BNG, we simply call our Toutatis… Toutatis! As we haven’t known Them for long, we haven’t given gender to Them. As the -is ending could be masculine or feminine. So, we worship our Toutatis in a neutral fashion, which has worked for us so far. As many nations in Gaul had one, we are still learning ours.

An invocation to Toutatis follows:

Uediomosnîs Toutatin
We invoke Toutatis

Latis Toutiâs
Hero of the tribe

Nertos urittosergios
Mighty against disease

Uernon Anson
Our guardian

Anegestûnis etic rodîestû sedlon
You protect us and you give us peace

Rodîomosnîs/Rodîumî adbertâ etic braton tê
We give offering and thanks to you

[Adbertâ] [Offering]

More invocations, and accompanying prayers of request for many deities can be found here.

Bessus Nouiogalation does it’s best to develop a rich tradition for those who wish to partake, and we hope that those who do are served in this humble piece. These are our Toutâdeuoi, amongst the many we worship and try to serve, along with our community. We hope you have found this reading useful.

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