Cintumessus is upon us. That which is the first harvest, typically of grain. In Gaulish, the word for grain is itus. It is that which sustains us. Providing the nutrients and energy to survive. Doubtlessly, one would say that it doesn’t do this alone and that is true. However, it was undoubtedly in Ancient Gaul among the most widely consumed foodstuffs. That it was so means that it sustained those from whom we Galatîs draw such a profound connection. Currently, its role hasn’t changed and if anything has grown. As it is indeed one of the cheapest food sources.
For that, the history of grain in feeding much of humanity from then to now cannot be understated. Though a post about bread is pretty far from what one might come to this site to read about. Instead, we will talk about the theme of nourishment in honour of this sacred time. But first, we’ll talk about a bit of as of yet unpublished Bessus Nouiogalation lore.
Cintumessus centres around two Dêuoi: Lugus and Rosmertâ. Rosmertâ (in English “the good provider”) and Lugus, who is the hero of the îuos of Cintumessus. In this lore, Rosmertâ is taken away, kidnapped essentially. By one Tarticnos, who wishes to claim Her bounty for himself. In which She is locked away in his tower. Lugus, using a great spear which Gobannos crafted for Him, must try to rescue Her so that She may feed the people. As she does every year.
The success of this has to do with the nourishment of the people. Getting what is needed. In my own life, in some areas, I hadn’t been. I’m fortunate enough that I haven’t had to worry, as so many still do in this world about having enough food. What I was missing was doing what I love. Helping to develop Bessus Nouiogalation in particular, and Galatibessus in general. Not doing enough of that made me feel lonely, angry, and out of sorts.
I was losing touch with the Îanoi. While I had been maintaing daily rites, I hadn’t been developing bessus, or custom very strongly. I’ve never been a very spiritual person, and spirituality alone as such wasn’t enough. The work toward developing bessus however, also seemed daunting and overwhelming. However, what Cintumessus reminded me of was that on those hot humid days: Who wants to be out all day harvesting grains?
Who wouldn’t rather be doing almost anything else but working? It’s always easier to pursue lighter and sweeter pleasures. Finding a lower effort way to occupy one’s time. Sometimes, that’s needed. You’ll find no defender of “hustle culture” here. It’s also much easier to try to solve others problems that may not be urgent, but you know they’ll likely appreciate. Or even to seek that subconscious thrill of entertainment that comes with a bit of drama. We all do this from time to time. A little bit of it is okay.
However, at some point, we have to work toward what feeds us — our communities and ourselves. It is quite common, as Lugus is linguistically related to Irish Lugh to also see Lugus as one who employs all skills. If that is indeed true, then Lugus employs His strength and skill to free Rosmertâ, who gives nourishment to all. It’s okay to do what we enjoy, and to seek pleasures and entertainments. It makes life worthwhile. However, every now and then — even if only once a year (!) it’s important to put the full weight of all we can do, and all we know into what matters to us.