Litus Noricon // Norican Ritual

As much as reconstructing and sourcing a full skeleton for Norican ritual here would be preferrable, considerable work has already been done towards this end in the world of Gaulish and PIE polytheism as a whole.[1][2][3] In the sense of a practical modern religious practice, it is preferrable here to follow the lead of Selgowiros in dividing the ritual into four parts, briefly:

  1. Invocation / Guthan
    • GhA: Gutha mi Sirath, dê tiochovrêith, dê rêith, tîern sînwârê, tîern îdhê.
    • En: I invoke Siratis, god of justice, god of law, lord of chains, lord of fetters.
  2. Argument / Urghâru
  3. Prayer / Gwêdhl
    • GhA: O lanwa ê mi can duth ach gwîroth.
    • En: May he fill me with honor and truth.
  4. Pledge / Ôithu
    • GhA: A Shirath, Colanwîthu Sapwîdhêghnath ô hôithu in gwelach ach in iânu. (COGI)
    • En: To Siratis, Sapwîdhêghnath has fulfilled his vow willingly and truly.

Although this basic format is mostly universal and thoroughly covered by other sources, it is also possible her to posite some supplementary material to flesh out a Norican deviation. To begin, the realms on the fringes of the Keltiké are firmly understood as cultural estuaries (cf. Belgica), and Noricum is no exception. Non-Celtic populations are attested epigraphically in Noricum in the form of Veneti and Illyrians.[4] Although next to nothing is known of Illyrian practice this far north, Venetic religion is much better understood. In Venetic religion, ritual consumption seems to have held a high status among public cult, and a vast amount of inscrbed serveware has been uncovered and studied.[5] It is by no stretch of the imagination to assume that this practice could have been absorbed by Norican cult practice, given the close contacts between the regions. Therefore, it is posited here that Norican ritual practice should include offerings of food and drink given in specific inscribed serveware. Perego seems to understand that the Veneti did this to make offerings more personal and as an attempt to forge a closer bond with their gods[6], a practice which may be of incalculable value here. It is also worth noting that although spring, river, and water sanctuaries were proiminent in the whole of Celtic Europe, they rose to prominence within Noricum, likely due to the abundance of rivers and streams in the area.[7] From this, it can be posited that water, perhaps simply in a bowl, should be present during Norican ritual practice. Finally, it also of note that coin hoards are found everywhere throughout the Keltiké, and have even recently been interpreted as votive offerings at some sites nearby, albeit in the Balkans, not the Alps.[8] From this, however, it is also possible to extrapolate coinage as a possible supplementary offering type in Norican ritual. Perhaps the best way to incorporate this, is to have a separate jar or container to serve as a ritual deposit site. Upon filling the jar, as practical space is not infinite, the money can be reinvested in the shrine. This way, the space can be cleared and wealth dedicated isn’t stolen from the gods, but is rather reinvested in them.

Sources

  1. Deep Ancestors: Practicing the Religion of the Proto-Indo-Europeans by Ceisiwr Serith, 2009

  2. The Basic Ritual Outline by Segomâros Widugeni, 2016, accessible here

  3. Ritual Format by Selgowiros Canranticnos, accessible here

  4. Noricum by Géza Alföldy, 1974, pp. 15 - 17

  5. Between Religion and Consumption: Culinary and Drinking Equipment in Venetic Ritual Practice by Elisa Perego, 2011

  6. Between Religion and Consumption: Culinary and Drinking Equipment in Venetic Ritual Practice by Elisa Perego, 2011, p. 250

  7. Pre-Roman Divinities of the Eastern Alps and Adriatic by Marjeta Šašel Kos, 1999, pp. 18 - 25

  8. THE COIN ASSEMBLY AS A VOTIVE DEPOSIT IN IRON AGE. THE CASE OF COINS IN THE RITUAL COMPLEX AT THE DACIAN FORTRESS OF COSTEȘTI-CETĂȚUIE (HUNEDOARA COUNTY, ROMANIA)1 by Cristian Găzdac, 2018