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PostAuthor: Hazel » Thu Dec 02, 2010 8:29 pm

The word Bel means "to shine" or "brilliant"; Belanus is represented as a sun god, and would have been invoked during times of war to insure that the fiercest, bravest battles fought were also won. Battle was the equivalent of a warrior's greatest and most "shining" moment, so out of all the Celtic gods and goddesses Belanus would likely be one of the most revered. He would be called upon to fight at a warrior's side – passing his god strength on to the warrior until victory was achieved. Other schools of thought view Belanus as a god of higher reasoning. The translation of the name Belanus (shining or to shine) gives rise to a belief this god may bring about enlightenment if called upon. More likely, the shimmering glory of this god was seen in the height of tribal warfare when Celtic warriors were enmeshed in battle-frenzied combat.

He was worshipped originally in Gaul, Britain and Celtic regions of Spain and Austria. He is the Celtic equivalent of Apollo, a sun god and associated with heat and healing. It is thought that the festival of Beltane takes its name from him, especially when considering that Beltane (meaning Fire of Bel) is a fire festival replete with bonfires, references to heat and light and also the purification of cattle driven between the smoking Beltane fires.
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