And for those who don’t like Gaul … there’s Gaul! :-)

Well, the final program for Many Gods West is out, and it’s a humdinger! Permit me to point out once again the high profile that Gaulish and Gallo-Roman polytheism will have for this event, which just makes my heart sing. Even if you don’t want to attend the Gallo-Roman–inspired ritual for Dea Roma and Diuus Augustus at 4:00 on Saturday, August 1 (and let’s be honest, you know you do!), then there is what promises to be an even more fantastic ritual in honour of the Gaulish goddess Cathubodua at the same time. Those of you equipped with Time-Turners will want to bring them and, on the conclusion of one of these rituals, give it two turns to attend the other.

Speaking of which, permit me to make a final pitch: If you are willing, able, and fit to act as priest of Rome and August, you can win honour for your whole tribe and run for the position! Follow in the footsteps of C. Julius C. Juli Otuaneuni f. Gedomonis nepos Epotsouiridi pronepos Rufus of the Santones and many other eminent personages from back in the day! Please keep ritual purity in mind: avoid contact with the dead, etc., in the lead-up to the ritual. On the other hand, your work should be relatively easy (I’ll have a script handy and everything). Then again, who knows—the assembled throng may vote to make you petition the legislature daily until roses are offered to Epona on all public school buses (even though this would be wrong).

Arch at Saintes

C. Julius Rufus was so excited to be sacerdos Romae et Augusti, he built this arch.

Even if you miss the Gaulishness at 4:00 Saturday, 4:00 Sunday will see River Devora and Rynn Fox’s “Reweaving the Fabric of Connection” in honour of the Matronæ, which I am eager to attend. And of course, there’s also Morpheus’ keynote speech on Friday.

Is it something in the air in Washington state? After all, in normal years, that part of the world would have an oceanic climate (like the Three Gauls) … as well as a dense mix of mountains, woods, large rivers, ocean, and wine country (just like Gaul) … and relatively close proximity to both a Mediterranean climate to the south and a large rain-soaked island to the north. Just sayin’.

In other news, it’s Nelson Mandela Day! I won’t attempt to summarize the epic story of this great man; suffice it to say that for me, and many others of my generation, Madiba represents the extraordinary potential of transformative politics: of bold struggle, of inclusiveness, of inexhaustible fortitude, of kindness, of forgiveness. It’s people like him who remind me why concepts like apotheosis and heroization exist in our spiritual lexicon.

Mandela memorial

Hero’s honours.

The Ides of July has come and gone (July is one of those months when the Nones and Ides come late, so it fell on the 15th this month). Two days have a particularly large number of dated religious dedications from the Gaulish provinces: the Ides of January and the Ides of July. In both cases, it might be coincidence that so many inscriptions cluster there. However, it’s also a convenient occasion to do cultus to certain deities who don’t otherwise have regular holidays, such as Silvanus and the Aufaniæ (deities closely related to the Matronæ, by the way). Personally, my Ides ritual was in honour of Jupiter Optimus Maximus, Diana, Silvanus, and the genius loci, following the precedent of two rather handsome altars dedicated at Mogontiacum in 208 CE (AE 1976: 502–503).

Silvanus of Vienne (polychrome)

Silvanus of the many hammers: polychrome image after a bronze statuette from Vienne (my favourite depiction of Silvanus).

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About DeoMercurio

I’m a Gaulish polytheist, now back living in lands ceded by the Council of Three Fires after several years’ sojourn in Anatolia and in the land of the Senecas, with frequent travels to Gaul along the way. My grandfather’s family came from the area around Trier, and I identify closely with the Treveri in my religious practice.
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7 Responses to And for those who don’t like Gaul … there’s Gaul! :-)

  1. I’ve never seen that depiction! It is nice!

    It’s interesting that your own practices organically developed a Silvanus festival on the 15th, as mine have one on the 16th due to some personal (syncretistic) occurrences on that day. Fascinating! 😉

    • DeoMercurio says:

      Wow, isn’t that interesting! Wheels within wheels. I’ve uploaded a polychrome picture of the statuette that I was working on yesterday. There’s something quite dignified about how monochrome bronze or marble art looks — but whenever I compare them with a polychrome version, the latter always look so much more vivid that I know where my preference lies!

  2. disirdottir says:

    “Is it something in the air in Washington state? After all, in normal years, that part of the world would have an oceanic climate (like the Three Gauls) … as well as a dense mix of mountains, woods, large rivers, ocean, and wine country (just like Gaul) … and relatively close proximity to both a Mediterranean climate to the south and a large rain-soaked island to the north. Just sayin’.”

    My commentary as a resident of the state for 14 years is. . . There are a lot of dissimilarities that do not support your comparison that you aren’t citing here. *raises eyebrow*

    On the other hand, as someone who has been assertively claimed by deities of Gaul following my becoming a landholder here, I will say you are not entirely wrong, either. 😉

    Merits of the argument notwithstanding, I am glad you are coming here to check it out for yourself!

  3. I’ve been putting off doing this because I have no idea of where it would be appropriate to post this, but alas… I’m a great fan of your work on Deo Mercurio – you’ve even inspired some of my views on the Gods – and I was delighted to discover that your also have a blog, some minutes ago!
    Anyway I would happily attend Many Gods West, but I’m an ocean away, in Portugal. 😛 Will you be writing on what happens there, once you get the chance? It’s not very often that our “stuff” gets a chance to be represented in festivals, at least not that I’m aware of.

    • DeoMercurio says:

      Olá! Muito obrigado para essos sentimentos simpáticos. 🙂 Estou muito contente que você acha o sítio útil. Eu também admiro muito a sua obra em Celtocrabiion, a que eu acho profissional e bem presentada. Ela tem influenciado as minhas práticas, sobretudo a respeito dos ritos. Seria ótimo que um dia os européos e os norte-americanos se encontrem no meio para um grande festival — nos Açores por exemplo! (Um Festival das Ilhas Benditas…?) Escreverei certo acerco dos acontecimentos de Many Gods West. Será muito interessante ver a recepção que acham os rituais gálicos e galo-romanos a presso da assistência, sobretudo por que tradicionalmente na América do Norte «celta» significa geralmente «irlandês», e por essa razão a fusão celto-romana pode parecer um pouco estranjeira… Vamos ver! Uma vez mas, muito obrigado para a sua mensagem. 🙂

  4. Pingback: Eluveitie’s ‘Origins’ | Deo Mercurio

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