Gaulish Gods like all other Gods are distinct beings. They are not archetypes, different versions of others, or faces of any singular deity. Each deity is distinct. Though They may have some things in common with deities from other cultures, They are not exchangeable, replaceable, or simply functions. Though there are things each are known for, there is infinitely more to Them. Each deity has mysteries. Much as we are not simply our jobs or a few factoids.
There are over 300 deities attested in what was Gaul and Gaulish speaking places. Needless to say, no one literally worships all of them, and many were specifically worshipped by only one Toutâ (nation, people, tribe). Which would be quite an exhaustive list. For the sake of brevity, some of the more widespread deities are listed below with a little about each, though it must be stressed that there are many more deities, and much more to each deity listed:
- Taranis. Associated with thunder (His name means that), lightning, the sky, rain, truth, strength, order, protection, worshipped often by common folk. He is known for wielding a club/thunderbolt, and a wheel which is thought to represent the sky, truth, and cosmic order.
- Eponâ. Associated with horses, the land, sovereignty, fertility, harvests, domesticity, and war (particularly cavalry). As well as travel between realms. She is often depicted with horses, and also a key, and fruits of harvest.
- Brigantiâ. Associated with war, high places, protection, and possibly the strategic aspects of battle. Some also associate Her with hearths due to the linguistic association with Irish Brighid. She is depicted with spears, swords, a gorgon’s head, and the globe of victory.
- Carnonos. Associated with trade, wealth, bidirectionality, liminality, and possibly large rivers. He is depicted antlered, and with a torc, sometimes with animals and a ram horned serpent.
- Nantosueltâ. A Goddess of valleys and domesticity with Underworld associations as She is depicted with a raven. She’s also shown with a house on a pole and a beehive.
- Sucellos. He is known for His large mallet and depicted holding a cup along with it. He is associated with the Underworld, as He is shown with dogs, and also with agriculture. Especially that of growing wine.
- Sironâ. She is shown with a star diadem, snakes and eggs. She is associated with wells and healing. Presumably with the night, dawn, or dusk due to Her name meaning (astral, or divine star).
- Lugus. Associated with commerce, wealth, oaths and warfare. He is also depicted with three faces, which could signify an association with travel. It is also thought that He is a God of skills and trades.
- Rosmertâ. Her name means “Great Provider”, depicted alongside a Gaulish Mercury (Lugus?). She holds a purse and cornucopia. And so She is a Goddess of fertility and wealth.
- Ogmios. He is spoken more of in accounts than inscriptions. One Roman account speaking of Him holding chains on His tongue, soft and golden to the ears of His followers. They go with Him willingly. He is shown with a club, bow, and skins like Hercules. An example of how a God of another people is taken into Gaulish religion and made theirs. Depicted in advanced age and with what the Gauls found to be the greatest strength – eloquence.
- Artionis. In an inscription, Artio but as this is with Latin influence, Artiu would be Her name in Gaulish. She is depicted with bears, and Her name is related to the Gaulish word for them (Artos). As such, She is a Goddess of the seasonal cycles.
- Belenos. A widely worshipped God who is associated with light, healing, and springs. He also governs war, and was said to have defended a city (Aquileia, in Italy) during a seige. He is also associated with horses, and the solar wheel. Not necessarily a Sun God, but a God with a solar connection.
- Cathubodua. The “h” is silent in Gaulish, and Her name means “Battle Crow”. This means She is likely a chooser of the slain and She is a Goddess of War. Presumably She also carries the fallen to the next life.
- Aisus. Also known as Esus. He is shown on a relief tending or pruning a tree with either an axe or billhook. Near Tarvos Trigaranos, (the “v” a “w” sound, and the name “Bull with Three Cranes”). Meaning He could be tending a Grove and preparing it for sacrifice. He is also invoked in a spell for removal of a throat sickness. Suggesting a connection with magic.
- Suleuiâ. Her name means “Good Guide”. She is also worshipped in triplicates. Invoked as a guide and guardian of places and people. Including homes and families.
There are many more deities not listed here. This is to give but a taste of the kinds of deities worshipped by the Gauls.