Reply To: Gaulish, druidic festival survivals in French-speaking Europe?

The British Druid Order Forums BDO Public Forum Gaulish, druidic festival survivals in French-speaking Europe? Reply To: Gaulish, druidic festival survivals in French-speaking Europe?


    Hi there,

    That’s also very interesting Dannorix. I wonder when the ten-night festival of Grannus was held? This inscription seems to be from the 1st century CE, therefore in a Romanised Gaul, but it’s interesting that the Gaulish office and title “vergobretus” is still being used. Limoges is not that far from the Auvergne and still within the Occitan-speaking area of France, too.

    On a sidenote: It always struck me as very odd that druids and neo-pagans spend so much time on the bogus calendar that Graves devised when we have the Coligny Calendar. It should be one of the centerpieces of druidic study, as it is one of the artefacts that contains actual untainted druidic knowledge and lore.

    I wholeheartedly concur. The obsession with tree calendars and even all kinds of “Celtic astrology” based thereon is a bit puzzling. Perhaps one of the reasons is that there is still uncertainty with regard to the Coligny calendar. In addition to which, with it being a lunisolar calendar working on five-year cycles with extra months and so on, it’s not the easiest to use.

    The difficulty I often encounter with the Coligny calendar is that it’s very often assumed that Samonios is equivalent to Samhain, and really there isn’t all that much to back this up and, on the other hand, rather a lot of linguistic evidence to suggest otherwise. I believe Samonios was around the 1st of May, the word derives from the word for summer and this would make sense if Giamonios is indeed derived from the ancient Gaulish word for winter, a fact which linguistics would suggest.

    I don’t think there’s really any solid evidence to equate Gaulish Samonios with Gaelic Samhain. There’s also very little to suggest that the so-called “Celtic New Year”, at least in a pan-Celtic sense, was around 1st November. Given that the ancient Celtic peoples and the druids likely believed in a cyclical concept of time as opposed to a linear version, would the concept of a “new year” even have made much sense to them?

    It seems like anything to do with Celtic spirituality is fraught with assumptions and conjecture that somehow get morphed into “facts” and then embedded in common “knowledge”, and poor old Robert Graves’ legacy with The White Goddess is one of the culprits, let’s say, along with our old friend Iolo. 😀 I tend to be a little more sympathetic to Iolo as well, given the circumstances he found himself in.

    While we’re on the subject, it’s a bit like the assumption that there was an Irish goddess Danu when in actual fact this is merely a hypothesis based on an interpretation of Tuatha Dé Dannan. The oldest Irish manuscripts record Tuath(a) Dé – people(s) of (the) God; Dannan was only added later by Christian monks in order to avoid confusion with the Biblical peoples referred to in the same way. The Dannan part is open to a number of interpretations, including “of arts/skills” or even “of the (deep) earth”. In spite of this, it’s almost taken for granted that Danu existed and was an ancient Irish mother goddess, equivalent to the British Dôn, who is usually identified as a mother goddess figure yet at times was also considered a male figure, especially, it seems, by some 17th and 18th century Welsh scholars.

    So where does that leave us?