Bessus Nouiogalation is an adbessus (tradition). As such, and being comprised of several people, that means that as a group we have specific Dêuoi 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 Dêuoi). 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 Dêuos. BNG is no exception.
Now when we say this, what we mean is not that we are the only ones who worship beings by these names. We aren’t. Any group of people may well have beings 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 Aððus 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 Dêuoi of the home, though not the Dêuoi 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 filius Brigantici on the site ‘Deo Mercurio‘.
Here is an invocation for the Suleuiâs:
(Invocation for the Suleuiâs)
(We/I invoke the Suleuiâs)
(Keepers of right)
Esue leucos îani uedetesuîs ollon
(You all are the light of virtue, you guide us all)
Rodâmos/Rodâmî addatus etic braton suos
(We/I give offering and thanks to you all)
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 Dêuâ 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 particular respect they fulfill a role similar to 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:
(Invocation for the Materês)
(We/I invoke the Materês)
(Knowers of fates)
In geni, biuê, etic maruê, uednis etic messus ollon
(In birth, life, and death, guiding and measuring us all)
Rodâmos/Rodâmî addatus etic bratun suos
(We/I give offering and thanks to you all)
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 Dêuos, 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, our Touatais is called Galatos. Whether this is the Galatos mentioned in Greek accounts as the ancestor of the Galatians or not, we do not know (BNG is not specifically focused on the historic region Galatia). However, it is worth noting that Galatian comes from the word Galatis (Greek Galates) which is a word relating to Gauls.
An invocation our Toutatis follows:
Uediâ Galatû Toutatî
(Invocation for the Toutais Galatos)
Uediomosnîs Galaton Toutaton
(We invoke the Toutatis Galatos)
(Hero of the people)
(Mighty against disease)
Anegestûnis etic rodîestû tancon
(You protect us and give us peace)
Rodâmos/Rodâmî addatus etic bratun tê
(We give offering and thanks to you)
More invocations, and accompanying prayers of request for many Dêuoi 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 Toutadêuoi, amongst the many we worship and try to serve, along with our community. We hope you have found this reading useful.