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Notions of Belisama?

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Mar. 25th, 2010 | 07:58 am
location: Southeast of Disorder
mood: curiouscurious
music: "Trouble On the Horizon", -JB
posted by: chronarchy in gaulish_recon

I'm advising on our local ADF Grove's Beltaine ritual, and they're looking to honour Belisama (along with Belenos) for the rite. I took a look around and didn't find much on Belisama (I'm not immediately familiar with her, myself), but they're interested in the derivation of her name, which they found at http://www.celtnet.org.uk/gods_b/belisama.html to mean "Bight Summer." This seems to indicate that perhaps she's got some fire associations.

MacKillop indicates:

"Belisama, Belesama, Belisma. A lake- and river-goddess venerated in Gaul and Britain. Roman commentators equated her with Minerva. Ptolomy (2nd cent. AD) gives her name to the Ribble River in central England. She was also venerated at what is now Vaison (Vaucluse) in south-eastern France."

Two particular things I'm trying to wrap my head around are these:

1) Associations with fire. I'm not seeing many here. They'd be okay with that (this goddess is also new to them), and they're concerned with getting it "right".

2) Appropriateness as consort to Belenos. I see some information where maybe they match up, but it's hard to follow. I'm not sure where the information comes from.

3) Appropriateness with Beltaine itself. This looks to be a celebration of fertility and sexuality, and the association with Minerva indicates that we might be dealing with a "virgin-type" goddess, which makes me a bit uncomfortable. Not that it's easy to tell with Roman interpretations.

So, any notions you guys might have about this goddess, any thoughts you can bring forth would be appreciated. I'm continuing my own research, but something's not sitting right with me on this one.


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