Articles by Segomâros Widugeni

Segomâros Widugeni

Segomâros Widugeni is a well-­known leader in Gaulish Polytheism, having been practicing for almost two decades, and in other related communities for more than 30 years. He is a co­moderator of the Gaulish Polytheism Community on Facebook, as well. He has been active in the Celtic Reconstructionist group Imbas, and the Druid group Ar nDraiocht Fein. He is also the author, under the name Aedh Rua, of the book Celtic Flame, on Irish Polytheism. He hold two Master’s Degrees, in 20th Century German History and Library Science, and speaks two Celtic languages, one of them very rusty. He lives with his wife, who has her own careers, in the woods of rural Central Florida.


1. Meaning of Name: Green suggests “Winding River” or “Mandering Brook”.1 Olmsted suggests “Sun Warmed Valley” or “Who Makes the Valley Bloom”.2
2. Pronunciation: Nun-TAW-swel-taa, with the first “u” sound like in “Gus”.
3. Other Names and Epithets: None.
4. Interpretatio Romana: None.
5. Irish Equivalent: None known.
6. Indo-European Equivalent: None known.
7. Realm: Andernadâ/Underworld Goddess
8. Iconography: Green sees her iconography in terms of a patera, a house on a pole, a raven or other bird, a pot, a cornucopia, and wine barrels.3 Olmsted sees her iconography in similar terms, olla, purse and bird, a house on a pole, raven, and cornucopia
9. Significance: Olmsted sees Nantosueltâ as a Goddess of the Underworld, particularly in its role as a Celtic Elysium, the Otherworld Paradise. My own work with her suggests this role, as well, but also patronage of fertility, wealth, wine, and the kind of wisdom that comes from the Underworld.4 Morpheus Ravenna, in The Book of the Great Queen, sees her as a river Goddess associated with fertility, land, wisdom, and funerary qualities, associated with a tribal father-God whose attributes include warlike and sustaining elements.5


1. Meaning of Name: Olmstead gives us “of conflicts”, and “the warrior”. Green has no suggestions. Mackillop says, “powerful”. None are remotely certain of their etymologies.1
2. Pronuncation: Kam-UL-us, with the “a” like the “u” in “but”, and the “u” like in “put”.
3. Other Names and Epithets: Very many. Olmstead and Green between then give: Armogios, Cocidios, Caturix, Latobios, Magenios, Marmogius, Medocios, Meduriris, Mogetious, Mogios, Mullo, Nabelcus, Neto, Riocaletis, Rigonemetis, Rudianus, Rudiobus, Segomo, and Sinatis.2
4. Interpretatio Romana: Mars and Mercury.3
5. Irish Equivalent: There are suggestions in obsolete works that Cumhail, the father of Fionn, has a name derived from him. No scholar accepts that today. I personally tend to think that the deeds of warrior heroes such as Cuchulainn might also have some relation, but this is UPG.
6. Indo-European Equivalent: None.
7. Realm: Ueronados/Upper World God
8. Iconography: Green shows that horses, horsemen, and infantry, sometimes with shields, sometimes with severed heads, are associated with several by-names of this God. Mackillop mentions that He is ram-horned.4
9. Significance: Kondratiev says of an equivalent of him that “he is the God who sets the boundaries of the civilized world and protects them by force of arms”. Thus he is a God of defense of the tribe, or war, and of warriors. He is also a God of boundaries and borders, and, by this as well as his association with Mars, can be linked to fields, and to agriculture.5


1. Meaning of Name: Olmsted translates the name as “Battle Crow”. Mackillop translates it similarly, “Raven of Battle”.1
2. Pronunciation: CAT-u-BAWD-waa, with the “a” like the “u” in “Gus”, and the “u” like in “put”.
3. Other Names and Epithets: Olmsted gives us Bodva, Ancasta, Boudiga, Boudina, Cassibodva, and Vercana, all of them similar battle-Goddesses.2
4. Interpretatio Romana: None.
5. Irish Equivalent: The name is a direct cognate of the Irish Badb Catha, who must therefore be an equivalent deity.3
6. Indo-European Equivalent: None.
7. Realm: Ueronadâ/Upper World Goddess
8. Iconography: No depictions are known. From the name and association with the Badb Catha, we can quite sure that she was associated with crows or ravens, especially three crows or ravens.
9. Significance: Above all else, Cathudobuâ is the Goddess of war and battle. She stirs up conflict, prophecies about battle, and incites warriors. She is of a consistently violent nature, delighting in death, conflict, and woe. She is intimately connected with heroes, helping to train them, inspire them, and bringing about their deaths in a suitable fashion. She uses and enjoys war poetry. Despite her essential harshness, she is not a demonic being as such, but rather the divine personification of war in all its horror and glory.4 Morpheus Ravenna, in The Book of the Great Queen sees Her, under several names, notably Boudiga and Cassibodva, as a bringer of victory, war-Goddess, and Chooser of the Slain, directly cognate to the Irish Badb Catha, and also possessing early Germanic equivalents. However, it should be noted here that I cannot do justice to Morpheus’ very complex, subtle, nuanced, and excellent arguments in a few sentences. Get the book and see for yourself.5


1. Meaning of Name: Kondratiev gives us “Lightning Flash”. Green suggests “Shining One”. Olmsted suggests “Bright” or else “God of Oaths”. Mackillop suggests “Raven”. Olmsted is supported by John Koch, who presents a strong argument not only for the name meaning “Oath”, but for Lugus being a deity of oaths and destinies necessary to the cohesion of early Celtic society. 1
2. Pronunciation: Lug-us, with the “u” like in “put”.
3. Other Names and Epithets: Green gives us Artaios, Arvernus, Cissonius, Gebrinus, and Moccus. Olmsted gives us Arverniorix, Clavarigiatis, Dumiatis, and Vassocaletis.2
4. Interpretatio Romana: Mercury. Ovist also suggests Hercules, but is unsupported by other scholars. C. Lee Vermeers has made a good case in various discussions with me and in the Gaulish Polytheism Community that Lugus can be identified with the Wind Wolf, an Indo-European original from which Apollo ultimately derives. These arguments are ultimately based on arguments made in Daniel Gershenson’s Apollo the Wolf God. 3
5. Irish Equivalent: Lugh. 4
6. Indo-European Equivalent: None.
7. Realm: Both Ueronados/Upper World God, and, in some aspects, Andernados/Underworld God.
8. Iconography: Kondratiev gives us the spear, raven, horse, lynx, and wren, as well as high places and tricephaly. The Greco-Roman iconography of Mercury, especially the sack, is also important. 5
9. Significance: Kondratiev regards Lugus as the Master of All the Arts, a God of many skills, much as in Irish myth. Kondratiev also presents a complex analysis of Irish myth, in which he interprets Lugus as the killer of a giant much like the Irish Balor, by which act he wins the harvest from the control of the chaotic nature spirits. According his analysis, the Spear of Lugh represents the lightning bolt, visible in the storms of autumn, which end the hot weather in time for the harvest. Michael Enright sees Lugus quite differently, regarding him as a “mysterious figure linked with fertility, seasonal change, and the underworld”. He presents an interesting list of characteristics of figures linked to Mercury among the Gauls and Celtiberians, “one-eyedness, raven as cult animal, spear-bearing prophet stabbed by a spear, sacrifice by hanging and stabbing, disguised appearance, dedication of a hostile force by spear-throw, leadership of a band of warriors sworn to die for him, association with a prophetess with ties to a cult of the dead”. The links of this picture with the Germanic Woden should be obvious. Ovist sees Lugus in still different but related terms – as the Stranger King, who comes to the Gods from a mixed parentage, and who overthrows and kills a tyrannical giant, thereby winning freedom for his people. She also sees him as a god of art or skill. There are obvious commonalities to all three images: the mysterious nature of Lugus, his patronage of art or skill, his use of a spear, his use of it to kill a giant, associations with ravens, prophecy, and war. It should be noted that Lugus is definitely part of a divine couple with Rosmertâ, who in both Enright’s and Ovist’s view has associations with prophecy. Gershenson, while never mentioning Lugus, has in his Wind Wolf a deity associated with wind and breath, the harvest, weather, death, wolves, and the leadership of the warband, a band of young, unmarried warriors sworn to his worship and that of other warrior deities. John Koch sees Lugus as above all the Oath made manifest, the protector of the sworn word, and of the social ties that come from oaths. Insofar as he the word for Oath is relaterd to the word for Destiny, Lugus is the deity of destiny as well, swearing destinies on all things in cooperation with Rosmertâ. 6


1. Meaning of Name: There is no scholarly consensus. Green translates her name as “Great Provider”, as does Mackillop. Olmsted, on the other hand, translates her name as “The Highly Foresighted”. Michael Enright translates it as “Great Prophetess”. 1
2. Other Names and Epithets: Olmsted gives us Atesmertis, Cantismerta, Braciaca, Nemetona, and Riga as by-names for Rosmertâ. 2 A British scholar named Stephen Yeates presents evidence supporting an identification of her with the “Mater Dobunnorum”, the tribal Goddess of the Dobunni people. 3
3. Interpretatio Romana: Fortuna. Note that she is paired with Mercury/Lugus in a Gaulish divine couple. 4
4. Irish Equivalent: Medb and other Irish Sovereignty Goddesses. 5
5. Indo-European Equivalent: None known.
6. Realm: Ueronadâ/Upper World Goddess
7. Iconography: Green sees her iconography in terms of a wooden, iron-bound bucket with ladle, torches, patera, and cornucopia. 6 Enright sees it slightly differently, emphasizing the wine bucket, cornucopia, and weaver’s beam. 7
8. Significance: According to Enright, Rosmertâ denotes “fertility, fate, or both”. He connects her with the Matres, and sees her as a Goddess of fate, and prophecy. Through her patronage of a seeress termed a welitâ, who was used by ambitious Continental Celtic and Germanic rulers to give legitimacy to their rule, she is connected with sovereignty and with warband culture. In this role, Rosmertâ was seen as a Queen. She was associated with a complex of related ideas, encompassing women, liquor, feasting, sovereignty, sexuality, and weaving. 8 Through her role as a mead-Goddess, Noémi Beck sees her as spiritual initiator. Krista Ovist, in her dissertation, sees her a little differently. 9 She states that Rosmertâ’s “name and plastic representations suggest the accumulation, transformation, and re-circulation of related manifestations of value”. She sees her as Goddess of sovereignty as well as terrestrial plenty, which she associates with the sack or bag, found in her cult as well that of the Gaulish Mercury. 10


  1. Meaning of Name: Pretty much all authorities are agreed that the name means “Thunder” 1
  2. Pronunciation: Tuh-RUN-is.
  3. Other Names and Epithets: Olmsted gives us Tanaros and Taranus as alternate forms. Green identifies him with different forms of the Celtic Jupiter, among them Bessirissa, Brixianus, Ladicus, Parthinius, Poeninus, and Uxellinus. 2
  4. Interptretatio Romana: Jupiter. 3
  5. Irish Equivalent: The Daghda. 4
  6. Indo-European Equivalent: Serith equates him to Perkwūnos, the Indo-European Thunder God. I think he also shares much with Dyēs Pter, the Indo-European Sky God. Olmsted implicitly supports this by terming Taranis a “Sky Father”. 5
  7. Realm: Ueronados/Upper World God, par excellence.
  8. Iconography: The most important symbols of Taranis are the thunderbolt and the wheel, which he often bears as a shield. Kevin Jones has performed a useful analysis of the Celtic wheel symbol in his dissertation, A Consideration of the Iconography of Romano-Celtic Religion with Respect to Archaic Elements of Celtic Mythology. According to Jones, Celtic wheels come with various numbers of spokes, but the highest numbers statistically have four, six, eight, and twelve. Jones is able to use this distribution to get at the meaning of the different wheels, showing that the Celtic wheel symbol is a symbol of the turning heavens, and therefore of cosmic law and truth. 6
  9. Significance: Taranis is the Sky-Father and the Thunder God. As Jones shows us, he is the protector of cosmic law, and of the cosmos itself. He represents Truth and Virtue, which were conceived of as a kind of fiery power. The Jupiter-Giant columns, a kind of Romano-Gaulish monument found in the Rhineland, show us a kind of dragon-slayer myth, in which Taranis kills a giant, often depicted with serpents for arms and legs. Calvert Watkins, in his seminal book on Indo-European poetry and dragon slayer myths, How to Kill a Dragon: Aspects of Indo-European Poetics, unpacks the Indo-European versions of this myth, and lets us see its elements. He is also able in an appendix to present one Irish version that gives us a good idea what the Gaulish myth must have looked like. From this, it is possible to see that the myth represented the victory of order over chaos, Truth over falsehood, the Upper World over the Underworld, Samos over Giamos, and so on. Given its representation in the form of great monuments, it was clearly a myth of central importance in understanding the Gaulish soul. 7