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Belenus

by Micha F. Lindemans
Belenus is the Gaulish/Celtic god of light, and referred to as 'The Shining One'. His cult spread from northern Italy to southern Gaul and Britain. Belenus is in charge of the welfare of sheep and cattle. His wife is the goddess Belisama. They can be compared with the continental Apollo and Minerva, but Belenus can also be identified with the Irish god Bile. His festival is Beltine ("Fire of Bel"), celebrated on May 1. On this day, purifying fires were lit and cattle driven between them before being allowed out onto the open pastures.

Several Latin writers refer to Belenus in connection with Aquitaine, Austria and northern Italy.


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