The main theme of my blog is the Northern-Tradition Paganism, working with the runes, with the gods, the kind of shamanism that was performed, the Norse language and culture and so on, but it is also a blog about European history and since i have recently talked about the Lusitanian people, it seems fit to talk about their pagan gods.
As i have written before in another post, the Lusitanians were the Celtic tribe who came to the Iberian Peninsula around 1500 B.C. (b.c.e. – before the common era ) however, the Celtic tribes from where today is Germany and Czech republic started their migrations in 3000 B.C. so it is possible that the Lusitanian tribes arrived to the Iberian Peninsula earlier, what we know for sure is that these Celts already had settled there way before they came to Great Britain in 1000 B.C.
The Lusitanian tribe ( possible had another name, more germanic-like, maybe Leukaeke, their language was the Leukantú, for the name Lusitan was the name given to them by the Romans ) settled in what today is Portugal, more then half of the country was theirs, and they also had lands in todays Spain in its center. It is interesting to know that all around the world people see Portuguese people as Latins with dark skin and black beards but their ancestors were very germanic, in truth, they have been germanic for almost 3000 years because even after the Romans came and brought their language ( the latin ) the people from Portugal were still germanic in most regions, after the Celts, the Swabians came and the Wandalns (Vandals) and the Vikings and so on, but the main language that stood there was the Latin and so many cultures settled in Portugal, including the Muslims, that you can find a wondrous variety of people, from dark skins, brown eyes and black tick hair to the most white and blue eyed blond hair almost as white as the snow.
The purpose of this introduction, resuming who the Lusitanian people were is to tell people what kind of pagan gods the Lusitanians had, very Celtic and Germanic like in their nature. One of the most famous gods was the god Endovélico, the god of medicine, magic, protection and he was also a solar god. This god was so famous that the romans adopted him and he was very much worshiped in Rome and also by the romans settled in Lusitânia ( Portugal ). This god was known by all the Lusitanian people, however he wasn’t a god that could be called from any place all over Lusitânia, he was a god of place. The meaning of “a god of place” is when the a spiritual deity works in a specific region of the mortal realm and not on the spiritual world ( even if they can go to and fro between worlds and have dwellings in both places ). Endovélico was such a deity, the regions where he lived in the mortal realm was where today Alentejo is in Portugal, to be more accurate, it was the region between two great rivers, Tagus ( today Tejo ) and Anas ( today Guadiana ). This god looks very much like a Druid but with a more variety of clothing, and a long hair and beard white as snow, walking with a staff. Legend tells that he was first discovered when a traveller was passing by in that region and he appeared to him showing where his dwellings were, high in a rocky hill. Right there in that place he as chosen the traveller to be the first person to build a temple for this god and from time to time people began to go to that region to worship the deity, trying to be healed, and in that region the first great cities appeared. There was only one priest in Endovélicos’ temple, and before this one died, the god himself had already chosen a new priest and it wasn’t a person from the region, it was always a foreign man from other regions of Lusitânia, chosen by the god when they slept in his temple or in the shrine or cave where people would sleep the night before they went to the temple. Before anyone could visit the temple of this god, they had to be cleansed, so they slept in a cave near the region where the temple was, closed by a wooden door or even a door made of stone, in complete darkness where they were bathed and prepared by the priest. The priest was the one who was going to get the people who wanted to speak with the god, at the first rays of light of the next day, all who entered in his temple, were forbidden to go inside with any metal object, even the the sacrificial knife was made of stone. Inside the temple the god would visit the people in their dreams, a very shamanic scenery, he would only visit people in their dreams outside the temple if it was on the cave where the people previously slept and if the person was to be next priest or a person of great importance in a manner of being directly tied to the fate of a tribe or a nation, or in the course of great events.
Archaeologists found his temple in São Miguel da Mota, Alandroal in Alentejo in Portugal, a lot of human figures performing worshiping rituals, and also animal figures, Some offerings were still there,amphorae for exemple, the containers used for the transport and storage of various products, both liquid and dry, but mostly for wine. But it is hard to tell how the first temple really was, because when the Romans came, they re-built the temple in their own faction, in a very classic type of architecture and after Chrsitianity came and spread in the land, the Temple was brought down and a Christian chapel was build in its place, the cult of Endovélico was held till the V century of the common era. Today in theArchaeology Museum of Lisbon there are many inscriptions made by the romans to praise this deity, with all kinds of prayers, asking all sort of things ( under the domain of the god ), unfortunately there aren’t inscriptions made by the Lusitanian, being a Celtic tribe, it wasn’t something they would do, writing for other to read, for the Celtic culture wasn’t to be told to anyone, only passed down in speech from tribe to tribe under the same ethnic group, however it is possible that some of the inscriptions may have been written by Lusitanians when they started to study the Latin language to suit their purpose when trading goods with the romans, for many Lusitanians went to Rome itself to study.
Today the neo-pagan people from Portugal still whorship him in the manner it seems the best, for the lore tells us too few about this god.
Note: The artwork to illustrate this post is a drawing of Endovélico made by me some years ago. If you have any questions for me or if you want to see my artistic works, check out my Facebook page and make a Like if you can by following this link –> http://www.facebook.com/ArithHarger