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Author Topic: Bel/Belenus  (Read 1971 times)

HarpingHawke

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Re: Bel/Belenus
« Reply #15 on: July 13, 2015, 04:28:18 pm »
Quote from: Pteranotropi;177062
There were some previous posts on these forums connecting him with the underworld and the spirits of the dead, and though they were very UPG-y I do think that they make sense.

 
At this point, I think you're just going to have to link me to your sources, because, even consulting the great oracle of JSTOR, I haven't been able to find anything concrete about what you're claiming.

And Auggie, I would appreciate the title if you can find it. :) No rush, though.
"There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self." - Hemingway

Pteranotropi

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Re: Bel/Belenus
« Reply #16 on: July 14, 2015, 11:07:38 am »
Quote from: HarpingHawke;177069
How so? Because, at least from what I've read about him, he's more of an ouranic god. Not a cthonic.


Those distinctions don't really have a meaning to Celtic polytheism. Unlike, say, hellenic religion, the ancient celts usually didn't have a cosmic duality. Taranis and Brighid, the god of thunder and the possible solar goddess respectively, had strong chthonic aspects at least regionally.
 
Quote from: HarpingHawke;177081
Also, how does this connect him to a "grandfatherly" aspect? Cthonic =/= grandfatherly.


Many chthonic gods are described as grandfatherly figures. Weles is a good example at least as far as many neopagans are concerned.
 
Quote from: HarpingHawke;177084
At this point, I think you're just going to have to link me to your sources, because, even consulting the great oracle of JSTOR, I haven't been able to find anything concrete about what you're claiming.

 
I'm trying to find the posts in these forums. In the meantime, this might be of help:

http://www.panegyria.com/news/bile-and-danu-at-hsf-2013

Tom

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Re: Bel/Belenus
« Reply #17 on: July 14, 2015, 12:23:43 pm »
Quote from: Pteranotropi;177188
Many chthonic gods are described as grandfatherly figures. Weles is a good example at least as far as many neopagans are concerned.

Are you talking about the Slavic deity here,  sometimes referred to as Veles? Because wow, grandfatherly is not the way I'd describe him. Maybe that's the relationship that some people might have with him, but not all.

LiminalAuggie

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Re: Bel/Belenus
« Reply #18 on: July 14, 2015, 01:46:53 pm »
Quote from: HarpingHawke;177084
And Auggie, I would appreciate the title if you can find it. :) No rush, though.

 
Okay! the article mentioned on Facebook appears to be Peter Schrijver's "On Henbane and Early European Narcotics" Zeitschrift fur Celtische Philologie 51 (1999), pp. 17–45.

I don't think it's on JSTOR but if does appear to be on DeepDyve (what is that I am so out of the loop) and that site offers a 2 week free trial, so it might be worth it for one article. I'm interested in this henbane angle but not necessarily invested in it. In my (limited) contact I seem to "get" a very solar-oriented Belenos, and my personal theory is that he is very easy to syncretize into other personalities or adopt new aspects, especially since I've heard other people who work with him describe him as very primal. I get the sense that he might have been around for a very long time, picking up attributes like luggage stickers. *shrug*

Pteranotropi

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Re: Bel/Belenus
« Reply #19 on: July 14, 2015, 03:09:07 pm »
Quote from: Tom;177197
Are you talking about the Slavic deity here,  sometimes referred to as Veles? Because wow, grandfatherly is not the way I'd describe him. Maybe that's the relationship that some people might have with him, but not all.

 
Yes. Admitely my experience with slavic paganism might be a bit rose-tinted by fluffbunnies, but generally he is considered of the gods closest to the common people, no?

HarpingHawke

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Re: Bel/Belenus
« Reply #20 on: July 14, 2015, 03:19:29 pm »
Quote from: LiminalAuggie;177203
Okay! the article mentioned on Facebook appears to be Peter Schrijver's "On Henbane and Early European Narcotics" Zeitschrift fur Celtische Philologie 51 (1999), pp. 17–45.

I don't think it's on JSTOR but if does appear to be on DeepDyve (what is that I am so out of the loop) and that site offers a 2 week free trial, so it might be worth it for one article. I'm interested in this henbane angle but not necessarily invested in it. In my (limited) contact I seem to "get" a very solar-oriented Belenos, and my personal theory is that he is very easy to syncretize into other personalities or adopt new aspects, especially since I've heard other people who work with him describe him as very primal. I get the sense that he might have been around for a very long time, picking up attributes like luggage stickers. *shrug*

 
Thank you so much! I'll go check that out ASAP!

That's pretty much my experience with him, too, and when I consulted thebloodybones on Tumblr (whom I've linked to upthread), who's also a devotee of his, she confirmed it. So maybe this is SPG here?
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HarpingHawke

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Re: Bel/Belenus
« Reply #21 on: July 14, 2015, 03:23:00 pm »
Quote from: Pteranotropi;177188
Those distinctions don't really have a meaning to Celtic polytheism. Unlike, say, hellenic religion, the ancient celts usually didn't have a cosmic duality. Taranis and Brighid, the god of thunder and the possible solar goddess respectively, had strong chthonic aspects at least regionally.
 

 
Sorry, but I thought we were going at this from a Gaulish perspective, as he is primarily a Gaulish deity.

Thank you for the link. I'm a bit busy at the moment, so I'll read when I have time.  :)
"There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self." - Hemingway

Tom

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Re: Bel/Belenus
« Reply #22 on: July 14, 2015, 05:13:23 pm »
Quote from: Pteranotropi;177213
Yes. Admitely my experience with slavic paganism might be a bit rose-tinted by fluffbunnies, but generally he is considered of the gods closest to the common people, no?
It is often asserted that he was considered to be closer to the common people, based on the position of his idol in Kiev compared to Perun's, but that is not a conclusion I personally agree with.   I don't think it's something one could say one way or another for certain.

However, I don't understand how being close to common people equals grandfatherly. Thor is considered to be a god of the common people for example, but I often see him more characterized as a big brother or friend figure.

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Re: Bel/Belenus
« Reply #23 on: July 15, 2015, 01:09:59 am »
Quote from: HarpingHawke;177218
Thank you for the link. I'm a bit busy at the moment, so I'll read when I have time.  :)

 
Just as a heads-up, it's very much from the perspective of Wicca-is-Celtic (Eclectic Wicca of the third cluster variety in Jenett's explanation of the range of uses of 'Wicca', and an essentially Romantic, rather than historical conception of 'Celtic').

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Pteranotropi

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Re: Bel/Belenus
« Reply #24 on: July 15, 2015, 11:48:04 am »
Quote from: Tom;177240
It is often asserted that he was considered to be closer to the common people, based on the position of his idol in Kiev compared to Perun's, but that is not a conclusion I personally agree with.   I don't think it's something one could say one way or another for certain.

However, I don't understand how being close to common people equals grandfatherly. Thor is considered to be a god of the common people for example, but I often see him more characterized as a big brother or friend figure.

 
I do know that he's supposed to be wise, which is a default more associated with grandfather figures.

Darkhawk

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Re: Bel/Belenus
« Reply #25 on: July 15, 2015, 12:23:33 pm »
Quote from: Pteranotropi;177301
I do know that he's supposed to be wise, which is a default more associated with grandfather figures.

 
I would personally find that association more plausible in popular media (which places wisdom primarily in old people and spooky children) than in mythology.
as the water grinds the stone
we rise and fall
as our ashes turn to dust
we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

Tom

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Re: Bel/Belenus
« Reply #26 on: July 15, 2015, 12:25:56 pm »
Quote from: Pteranotropi;177301
I do know that he's supposed to be wise, which is a default more associated with grandfather figures.
Athena is also associated with wisdom, but is rarely depicted as a elderly person. Wisdom is not actually a stage life dependent trait. I would also like to note that Veles is often seen as a trickster which to me implies he can be whatever age he wants.

Louisvillian

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Re: Bel/Belenus
« Reply #27 on: July 16, 2015, 01:24:19 am »
Quote from: Fallron;176800
Recently I've gained an interest in the Celtic deity, Bel/Belenus.

 
On another forum, I responded to another person's expressed interest in Belenus.
Rather than re-type everything, I'll just copy it onto here:

"I know only what I can scrounge up on wikipedia, that he was a Gallic god whose cult seems focused in Cisalpine Gaul and Noricum--northern Italy and Austria, basically--and he may have had to do with protection and possibly the air or sky. He seems rather similar to Apollo, and the Romans conflated him with that god. But then, the Romans conflated tons of Celtic gods with Apollo, as many major Celtic gods were many-skilled and dealt with protection and healing, as Apollo did. Belenos/Belenus remained popular throughout the Roman period, and was honoured by Diocletian
The idea that Belenus has to do with light or brightness derives from the etymology of his name. It means literally "the bright one" or "the shining one". And is is hypothesized that it's connected to the festival Beltane. But that is mostly speculation, as we don't have hard evidence of Beltane being celebrated outside of the British Isles, and Belenus' worship was mostly continental. And the etymology of 'Beltane' relating to an Indo-European root word for 'shining' is being questioned in favour of it relating to a Proto-Celtic root relating to death (and possibly rebirth). The etymology for Belenos, also is being questioned; other hypotheses suggest it's rooted in Proto-Celtic *Guenelos, referring to wells--and consequently, healing springs--or in some archaic word for henbane, which is preserved in common words for the herb in other languages as bellenium or belenuntia.

Though, as I mentioned, his cult was centred in southern continental Europe, it was spread throughout the Celtic world. The main place outside of Gaul that we have clear evidence of his worship is western Britain, or modern Wales. It was present enough that it impacted personal names in the region.The very common Welsh name Llewellyn is a composite of the names of two Celtic gods, Lugus and Belenos, rendered originally as Lugobelinos. Over time, the name became its modern form.

I would be careful about ascribing to him the trappings of a solar deity. The idea of Belenus as a sun-god seem to be drawn from two things: Roman equation of him with Apollo, who was in turn equated with Helios. And early 20th century interpretations of his name's etymology, which are rooted in Frazerian assumptions of the ubiquity of solar worship among Indo-Europeans."

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