Thunderstorm gods are a staple in polytheistic religions, and in Bessus Leitodubrâkon this is not exception. Since we draw from Belgic lands for our praxis, we make the choice of using the theonym ‘Tarainus’ in the Neru̯ji (Nervii) regions[1].

Here at BL, we consider this theonym to be a variant spelling of Taranis/Taranos/Taranus and have adopted it for use; Tarainus Leitodubrii (Thunderer of the Grey Water). While He may be the same Taranis/Taranus/Taranos as worshiped in Continental Europe, the *eianuan iantês (toponymic epithet) attached to His theonym is to demonstrate the symbology and behavior when He is in Leitodubron. Whether He is another Tarainus or the same, either of which is possible, is irrelevant to us at BL.

Tarainus’ symbology includes the wheel, lightning, and the golden Eagle (by way of syncretism from Jupiter-Taranis in Gallo-Roman religions). In Leitodubron, we do not have the golden Eagle as a native species. Instead we have the Bald Eagle[2], various Falcons, and Hawks.

Below are species found in Leitodubron:

  • Falcon Species
    • Gyrfalcon
    • Merlin
    • Peregrine falcon
    • Prairie falcon
  • Hawk Species
    • Broad-winged hawk
    • Ferruginous hawk
    • Red-tailed hawk

Red-Tailed Hawks are the most common variety we experience in Leitodubron, and may be fitting as symbolic messengers from Tarainus besides the Eagle (the Bald Eagle here) as they grace the top of trees and also power line poles.

In Minnesota (Leitodubron), there are Indigenous spiritual beings known as ‘Wakíŋyaŋ’ (Lakota-Dakota word for Thunder, Thunderer, or Thunderbird)[3]. In Anishinabek languages, such as Ojibwe, they are called ‘Animikii‘ (Thunderer) and ‘Binesi‘ (great bird)[4]. These beings are reputed to be the enemies of the ‘Unktehi’, (Snake-shaped Water Spirit)[5]. Unktehi are said to be horned as well, which coincidentally parallels the enemy of the Taranis; the ram-horned serpent – *Natrix (serpent) (Sing.) /*Natriges (PL) or *Morodrîx (water serpent) (Sing.)/ *Morodrîges (PL).

While Wakíŋyaŋ is not Tarainus, the symbols (thunderbirds, and other birds vs horned serpents) are fairly comparative and may feel at home here at Leitodubron.

A symbol unique to Tarainus is the thunder wheel. We at BL subscribe to Segomâros Widugeni’s symbolic adoption, extrapolated from Kevin Jones dissertation ‘A Consideration of The Iconography of Romano-Celtic Religion with Respect to Archaic Elements of Celtic Mythology’[6].

Segomâros summarizes it as thus:

According to Jones, Celtic wheels come 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 cosmic law and truth[7].”

When winter begins to leave, the sun rises higher in the sky and the temperatures start to moderate, which causes Leitodubron to experience severe thunderstorms and tornados. The prime season for thunderstorms is summer, though they can occur from March to November, when Autumn is in play. This would mean that from Spring to Summer is the time of Tarainus Leitodubrii, and both offerings as well as propitiations would be appropriate during this time to keep one’s *Certos (Hearth) safe from His battles with the *Morodrîges.

He is also a prime candidate for nertobessus worship as well, if we indirectly link Him to other thunder gods, such as Jupiter and Zeus. From Edward Butler Ph.D. (Philosophy):

“Take Zeus: he is a cosmic demiurge who “promiscuously” imparts many devolved powers onto mortals by generating heroes, rather than holding onto those powers Himself. This is one of the factors which has stabilized His reign. By “devolved” powers, I mean delegated”[8].

Not only would he be responsible for generating ‘Heroes’ but also for gifting a portion of his ‘Segos/Segon’ or ‘Nertos/Nerton’ to those in need[9][10]. Upon further inspection, it may even be suggested that Tarainus is a possible father figure of many (if not all) Heraklean/Herculean interpretatio’d gods in Celtic speaking lands, if one were so inclined to suggest or construct a semi-unified pantheon.

That being said, we take no official position on whether Tarainus is the father of all heroes or Heraklean/Herculean interpretatio’d gods.

FUNCTION OF TARAINUS LEITODUBRII IN BESSUS LEITODUBRÂKON: 
Tarainus Leitodubrii is the thunder god who provides patronage to agriculture and protection against chaotic forces (in this case, *Morodriges) in the form of thunderstorms which bring rain, thunder and lightning. As a protector of cosmic order, law and truth, He is also one to call on for guardianship of the *Certos, land and cities. He also distributes segos/segon or nertos/nerton to those whom He deems worthy, or asks for in relation to the nertobessus practices. His messengers in Leitodubron are the Red-Tailed Hawk and Bald Eagle. They may bring omens or demonstrate a presence by proxy (without the need for rain or storms), as well keep vigilance against evil spirits in the air.

Resources:

  1. Les dieux gaulois: répertoire des noms de divinités celtiques connus par l’épigraphie, les textes antiques et la toponymie by Nicole Jufer and Thierry Luginbühl
  2. Birds of Minnesota – https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/birds/index.html
  3. Legendary Native American Figures: Thunderer – (Wakinyan) http://www.native-languages.org/thunderer.htm
  4. Native American Legends: Binesi (Pinesi) – http://www.native-languages.org/binesi.htm
  5. Native American Words in Longfellow’s Hiawatha – http://www.native-languages.org/hiawatha.htm
  6. A CONSIDERATION OF THE ICONOGRAPHY OF ROMANO-CELTIC RELIGION WITH RESPECT TO ARCHAIC ELEMENTS OF CELTIC MYTHOLOGY – Kevin Jones http://www.summerlands.com/crossroads/library/kevin_dissertation.html
  7. Ancient Fire (Taranis) – Segomâros Widugeni p. 43
  8. On Gods “behaving badly” https://endymions-bower.dreamwidth.org/57262.html
  9. Segos – https://senobessusbolgon.wordpress.com/segos/
  10. Noibobeton – https://nertobessus.wordpress.com/noibobeton/