The symbol of Bessus Nouiogalation (BNG) has a few Gaulish elements displayed within it. At the centre is a turcos (a boar). The turcos (boar) holds a position of prominence in Gaulish works and displays and is very much associated with them. For us, that means it was important to include it. It is indeed just as common in contemporary works related to the Gauls. The turcos represents galâ (bravery, ferocity in battle) which may explain the widespread prominence and depictions of them from Gaul and beyond.
However, a lonely turcos just wouldn’t do. Our homage to this sacred animal is accompanied by an interesting piece of an account related to Ogmios. Theorised by some scholars such as Ralph Haussler in ‘From Tomb to Temple: the Role of Hero Cults in Local Religion in Gaul and Britain During the Iron Age and Roman Period’ in this entry:
“Indigenous deities like Ogmios appear to be heroes par excellence, comparable to Herakles whose heroic deeds were already known in pre-Roman Gaul. In this view, it should not surprise us that Parthenios of Nikaia considered Hercules to be the ancestor of all Gauls, and that Ogmios could be seen as the god from whom all life originates.”
Ogmios holds a special position in BNG as ancestor of the Gauls. As Galatîs, we too include Him among our diverse ancestors. And so we attempt to reforge this connection in our contemporary environment. For this reason, surrounding the turcos are two heads linked by a golden chain. The head on the left is based on a head found on Gaulish coins that we used in the symbol to represent Ogmios. You can see His tongue being connected to the chain.
On the right, you see another stylised head. It is representing a follower of Ogmios, with the chain attached to their ear. This allegory of chains connecting the tongue of Ogmios to the ears of His followers is based on a historical account from Lucian of Samosata. (Full account here.) For the relevant parts:
“Our Heracles is known among the Gauls under the local name of Ogmios… [That’s our Ogmios, Lucian!]
This ancient Heracles drags after him a vast crowd of men, all of whom are fastened by the ears with thin chains composed of gold and amber, and looking more like beautiful necklaces than anything else. From this flimsy bondage they make no attempt to escape, though escape must be easy. There is not the slightest show of resistance: instead of planting their heels in the ground and dragging back, they follow with joyful alacrity, singing their captor’s [Hard to say that of the willing, but okay…] praises the while; and from the eagerness with which they hurry after him to prevent the chains from tightening, one would say that release is the last thing they desire.”
So what we glean here is this: His followers follow Him willingly. They could escape at any time due to the weak bonds but choose not to do so. They follow Him willingly and gladly. This valuable account depicts an important insight to Ogmios and the nature of the followers. Thus we are fortunate to have such a piece of lore preserved.
Like these followers we Galatîs could choose to break from the bonds of Galatibessus (Gaulish Custom) if we so chose. These aren’t the chains of force or violence. Sadly far too common in the history and present of our world today. Nor is He guileful or deceitful. His eloquence, His îanolabâ (right speech) is His strength, and so He is followed.
Equally so, we try to follow the customs of the Senogalatîs (Ancient Galatîs) in our own time. Freely and willingly. We do our best to make Galatibessus available freely and openly to those called to or who desire to be Galatîs.
Ogmios’s chains bind only the willing who follow Him gladly. However, there are people around the world who do not have such gentle chains. Who are not bound to a Dêuos like Ogmios, but to cruel and barbaric people. As such, if you’d like to help people who have suffered such ancridiâ (injustice), we’d ask you to consider making a datus (donation) here, to the organisation ‘Not For Sale’. Which combats human trafficking and provides resources to survivors.