Heathens of Yorkshire
-by Dan Coultas, March 2018
The Brigantes were an ancient Celtic tribe who's pre-Roman invasion Kingdom roughly equated to modern day Yorkshire, County Durham and Tyneside. They were named for their eponymous protective Goddess, Brigantia, who's name in turn comes from the root brig meaning 'Queen'.
Brigantia has been associated with water and has several rivers named after her throughout the UK. When the Romans arrived they equated her with their Goddesses Victoria and Minerva, the Goddesses of victory and war and wisdom respectively. Other regional Goddesses are also associated with her including the Irish Brigit and Gallic Brigindo.
Now clearly Brigantia is not a Heathen Goddess. There is no evidence of her worship surviving the Saxon invasion which followed the Roman departure, and so you may well be wondering why I have decided to make her our Deity of the week. For me, and this is purely my own UPG, I see Brigantia as being a powerful Wight who's influence is over the North East of England, including our own county of Yorkshire.
Many of the Dieties who were worshipped in the British Isles before the arrival of the Angles, Saxons, Jutes and later the Vikings were very regional, and for me, it therefore makes sense to equate them with the Wights of the areas in which they were worshipped. For example, the Celtic Goddess Sabrina who was worshipped in the areas around the River Severn, I see as being the Wight who inhabits that river. For the same reason, I personally see Brigantia as being an important Wight in the streams, rivers and countryside of our fair county.
What I am interested to hear is do any of you have any personal beliefs such as this which may involve Deities from other belief systems? Do you see them as Wights like I do, Gods and Goddesses equal to our own, or something else? Or do you believe that modern Heathens should only concern themselves with Deities for which we have clear and specific examples of Heathens worshipping in that form in the Saxon/Viking era?