The Celtic god of light and healing, "Bel" means "shining one," or in Irish Gaelic, the name "bile" translates to "sacred tree." The worship of Belenus was linked with the healing aspect of Apollo. It is thought that the waters of Danu, the Irish All-Mother goddess, fed the oak and produced their son, The Dagda. Beli was the son of Mynogen. Beli was the husband of the goddess Don, the daughter of Mathonwy. Beli was the father of five sons: Amathon, Nudd, Govannon, Gwydyon and Gilvaethwy. Beli was also the father of two daughters: Aranrhod and Penarddun, the wife of Llyr.
Patron of sheep and cattle, Bel's festival is Beltane, one of two main Celtic fire festivals. Beltane celebrates the return of life and fertility to the world -- marking the beginning of Summer and the growing season. Taking place on April 30, Beltane also is sometimes referred to as "Cetsamhain" which means "opposite Samhain." The word "Beltaine" literally means "bright" or "brilliant fire," and refers to the bonfire lit by a presiding Druid in honor of Bile.
"Some believe this deity is the equivalent of Belatucadros, the consort of Belisama, another patroness of light, fire, the forge and crafts. Belatucadros, whose name means "fair shining one" or possibly "the fair slayer," is the god of destruction and war and transports the dead to Danu's "divine waters." Celtic deities often reign over seemingly contradictory themes. In the case of Belatucadros, death was simply a pathway to rebirth in the Otherworld, thus linking the two themes together.
It has been suggested that the mythological king, Beli Mawr, in the story of Lludd and Llefelys in The Mabinogion, is a folk memory of this god. In Irish mythology, the great undertakings of the Tuatha Dé Danann and the Milesians -- the original supernatural inhabitants of Eiru and their human conquerors, respectively -- began at Beltane. The Milesians were led by Amairgen, son of Mil, in folklore reputed to be the first Druid.
God closely connected to the Druids. Science, healing, hot springs, fire, success, prosperity, purification, crops, vegetation, fertility. A sun and fire god.
He is also linked to several of the legends concerning Glastonbury Tor. Some legends say this is the home of the god Gwyn Ap Nuad and that Belanos purifies this site with his fires each Sabbat.
In magick and ritual – Belanos can help you seek knowledge of the Land of the Death, help you to contact the spirits that pass over, or purify your ritual sites. Call on him to help protect you from your enemies. Because of the association with Beli with the all seeing eye, he can also aid you in astral projection or with past life memory. Use his presence to enhance the Beltane or Samhain sabbat festivities.
Correspondences – Black, the scythe, balefire, the omniscient eye, Samhain/Beltane, madrake, ash, sheep, cattle