Brythonic polytheism refers to the cultural and religious practices of the Brythonic-speaking people of Britain.
Indigenous Celtic people that lived in Britain from the British Iron Age until the Middle Ages, when they split into the Welsh, Cornish, and Bretons (among others). They spoke the ancestor of the modern Brittonic languages, the Common Brittonic language. Now a Brittonic Polytheist would worship a wide range of god/desses from Roman Britain to later tales from the Welsh as within these tales there is an oral tradition. They also share a lot of god/desses from Gaul. There seems to be a lot that is shared between the Brittonic Peoples and the Gauls.
There is a lot of overlap between Gaulish and Brythonic culture, which is partly due to historical trade, intermarriage, and cross-migration between the two cultures. But they are not the same.
Brythonic Gods and Goddesses
Abandinos – His name may mean ‘Andinus of the River’, or ‘The god who sings’. Abandinos was worshipped in East England, and is known to us from an inscription on a single bronze feather.
Alletius – Theorized to be a warrior and smith god, due to the inclusion of an anvil by his name on urn fragments. Worshipped in Northeast England on Hadrian’s Wall.
Ancasta – Based on an inscription found in Southern England, she may have been a regional or tutelary goddess. Her name has been associated with the Proto-Celtic word for ‘swift’.
Andescociuoucos – His name is theorized to mean ‘the great activator’, suggesting commerce, arts, and craftsmanship. The Romans used the epithet Mercury to relay these qualities- a dedication to him was found Southeast England by the Roman city Camulodunum.
Andicrose – A rural nature god whose name is found on a silver spoon inscription. He was given the epithet Faunus, a Roman pastoral and nature deity. This suggests Andicrose’s domain was farming or animal husbandry.
Andrasta – A goddess of victory and war worshipped in East Anglia, territory of the Iceni tribe. Andrasta was called upon during an augury rite by the Iceni Queen Boudica during her rise against Roman occupation in 60 AD.
Anextlomaros – His name means ‘great protection’. A deity found in both Northeast England as well as Gaul. He was given the Roman epithet Apollo, suggesting these protective qualities extended to healing.
Antenociticos – A god of military affairs and intercession, he was worshipped in Northeast England on Hadrian’s Wall. He is depicted with a torc and pieces of hair curled into the shape of horns.
Arnomecta – Her name is possibly a deviation on Arnemeze, a goddess of healing springs located in the East Midlands of England. Arnemeze gave her name to the nearby Roman town Aqua Arnemetiae.
Ausecus – A farming and pastoral deity local to Southeast England. An inscription on a silver spoon reads, ‘Property of the god Faunus Ausecus‘, denoting he was given the epithet Faunus by the Romans.
Barrecis – His name likely means ‘supreme one’. The Romans gave him the epithet Mars, suggesting he governed warfare as a supreme father or protector. He was worshipped in Northwest England close to Hadrian’s Wall.
Belatucadros – Meaning ‘fair shining one’ or ‘fair slayer’, Belatucadros was venerated mainly by those of low social status or rank. Sometimes given the epithet Mars, he was worshipped by both Briton and Roman soldiers working along Hadrian’s Wall.
Blotugus – A rural nature deity whose name was inscribed on a silver spoon found in East Anglia. He was given the Roman epithet Faunus, which suggests pastoral activities and farming.
Braciaca – The root of her name is thought to mean ‘malt’, and thus she has been interpreted as an intoxicating goddess of beer. The Romans gave the epithet Mars, perhaps hinting at agricultural and virile aspects to her domain. An inscription to her was found in the East Midlands of England.
Bregans – Thought to be the consort or partner to Brigantia, a dedication to Bregans was found in Northeast England. Unfortunately not much else is known about him.
Brigantia – A goddess of war, healing, water fertility, and prosperity. Her name means ‘The High One’, and many dedications to her have been found surrounding Hadrian’s Wall.
Callirius – A woodland and forest god. His name derives from the Celtic root *kallī (grove, forest) and likely means ‘King of the Forest’. The Romans gave him the epithet of the woodland deity Silvanus.
Cocidius – A god associated with war, the forest, and hunting. His area of worship was Northwestern England, where he was depicted both as a soldier and hunter. He was sometimes given Roman epithets such as Mars, Silvanus, and the Celtic Vernostonus (alder tree).
Condatis – A god of rivers, confluences, and meeting places. His name means ‘God of the Confluence’. He was given the epithet Mars by the Romans, suggesting protective and healing aspects to his domain.
Corotiacos – A war deity local to Southeast England, statue remains suggest a link to cavalry as well. He was associated with the Roman god Mars.
Coventina – A tutelary goddess of the river and spring.
Cranus – A rural farming or pastoral god, his inscription is found on a silver spoon. The Romans associated him with Faunus, a god of pastures and nature.
Cuda – A fertility goddess who is depicted with Cucullati, hooded fertility spirits found in threes throughout Britain. It is theorized her area of origin, the Cotswolds, derives from an Old English name meaning ‘Cuda’s woodland’.
Cunomaglos – His name means ‘Hound Lord’ or ‘Wolf Lord’, and is associated with hunting, healing, and canines. He was part of a large healing cult in the Cotswolds through which he was given the Roman epithet Apollo.
Epona – An equine and fertility goddess worshipped throughout Britain and Gaul.
Ialonus Contrebis – His name means ‘God of the meadowland’, a deity of meadows and clearings found in Northwest England. Contrebis may mean ‘house’ or ‘those who dwell together’, and could be a local epithet.
Maponos – A god of youth, music, magic, and hunting; his name means ‘Divine Youth’ or ‘Great Son’. His cult centre was in Southwestern Scotland, but he was also worshipped throughout Gaul. The Romans associated him with Apollo.
Matres – The Matres were Mother Goddesses worshipped across Europe in regional forms. They are almost exclusively depicted in groups of three, and held domain over many aspects: family, midwifery, protection, sacrifice, and perhaps fate. The Matres in Britain have been found inscribed in a few locales:
- Alatervae Matres – An altar inscription dedicates to them as ‘Alatervan Mothers and the Mothers of the Parade-ground‘. These Matres are local to Edinburgh, Scotland.
- Britannae Matres – Matres local to Southern England, Britannae possibly referring to the Roman province of Britannia.
- Ollototae Matres – Ollototae may mean ‘from other folk’, suggesting these Matres were worshipped by many different peoples who would have been occupying Northern England during the Roman period.
Matunos – His name means ‘Great Bear’, with *matu- being the Proto-Celtic word for ‘bear’. He was worshipped in Northern England.
Medigenus – A rural farming god attested on a silver spoon inscription. He was given the epithet Faunus by the Romans suggesting associations with nature and pastoral activities.
Medocius -Although his name was found on inscription in Southeastern England, the devotee claimed to be Caledonian. Thus Medocius may be a tutelary deity from Northern Scotland. The Romans gave him the epithet Mars.
Olludius – A god of prosperity and protection local to the Cotswolds but found as far as Southern France. He was depicted with cornucopia, showcasing his function as a provider and guardian. The Romans associated him with Mars.
Nodons – A god of healing and hunting associated with the Severn Estuary in Southern England. His temple was used as an incubatio, a place where the sick could experience healing dreams. The Romans gave him the epithets Mars and Silvanus.
Ocelus – A protective warrior deity local to the Silures tribe from South Wales. He was also venerated in Northwest England. Ocelus was associated with the healing warrior deities Mars and Lenus, perhaps hinting at his role as healer and protector.
Rigisamus – His name means “the most royal” or “king of kings”, a deity possibly connected to protection, war, and sovereignty. He was worshipped both in Britain and Gaul. The Romans gave him the epithet Mars.
Rigonemetis – His name means “King of the Sacred Grove”. A deity associated with guarding sacred groves and spaces. The Romans gave him the epithet Mars to highlight these protective aspects.
Riocalatis – His name means ‘Hard King’, a deity invoked alongside Toutatis and Cocidius in Northwestern England. It is likely he was a regional protector or warrior god.
Satiada – A goddess attested near Hadrian’s Wall, found on an inscription dedicated by the mysterious Textoverdi tribe. Very little is otherwise known.
Setlocenia – Her name means “long lived one”, a goddess invoked as Setlocenia Labareus in Northwest England. Labareus references the Celtic river name Labara, ‘the babbler’.
Sulevia – A goddess worshipped often in plural forms (Suleviae), much like the Matres. They are invoked throughout Britain and Gaul, their name thought to mean “those who govern well”.
Sulis – Goddess of the thermal spring in Bath, Southwest England. She was invoked for her life-giving and healing properties. The Romans syncretized her with Minerva, hinting that she may have been a goddess of wisdom as well.
Taranis – His name means ‘Thunderer’. Worshipped across the ancient Celtic world, Taranis ruled over lightning, the sky, rain, truth, strength, order, and protection.
Toutatis – A tribal protector god known throughout Britain and Gaul, name meaning “of the people”. There was likely a different Toutatis for each tribe, making them similar to the Materes. Toutates were often associated with Mars and Mercury by the Romans.
Tridamus – A god whose name may derive from the Proto-Celtic words for “three” and “bovine”. Thus, he could be a bovine or bull deity. He was worshipped in the Welsh Marches and Midlands of England.
Verbeia – A goddess of the River Wharfe in Northeast England. A possible image of her exists, where she is depicted holding snakes in each hand.
Vernostonus – A god of alder trees, whose name may be derived from the Proto-Celtic *Werno-stonos which means ‘the Groaning of Alder-trunks’. He was associated with Cocidius in one inscription, suggesting a link between the two.
Veteris – A mysterious but widely attested god throughout Britain. Sometimes he is attested as a singular god, other times in multiple. He is associated with boars and snakes, signifying links to hunting, war, and death.
Vinotonus – An obscure agriculture and wilderness god local to Northeast England. The Romans associated him with Silvanus.