Turibrigensi Mysteria

A blog dedicated to the pre-Roman pantheons of the western Iberian peninsula.

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Turibrigensi Mysteria is a collaborative effort of the LusoPol Time Discord Server. The best way to support us is to join in on our conversations and research!

About the Authors

This blog is a collaborative effort by the members of the Lusitanian Polytheism Discord server.

Portrait of Riley in hues of purple

singingmousai / Riley

Riley is a Mediterranean Syncretic Polytheist from the USA. They were introduced to Lusitanian Polytheism about three years ago and have not looked back since. Riley is devoted to Ategina.

Line portrait of Rosa on a swirling background

rosasininho / M.S. Rosa

Rosa is an Iberic Pagan from Portugal. She grew up with portuguese folk witchcraft, and started incorporating the Lusitanian Gods into her practice as soon as she learned about them. They seek to teach about the Gods of the Iberian Peninsula by any means they can, be it social media, art, or writing. Rosa is devoted to Nabia and Ataegina.

Ategina: Bringer of Seasons, Mother of Curses

AIt took me around five months to finally pull myself together and write this piece. I knew that I wanted my next series on this blog to be a series of more in-depth articles on the gods, and it only felt right for me to begin with the goddess who has most profoundly impacted me and my practice so far. At the same time, the idea made me anxious.

Fill-in-the-Blank Religion

If you’re like me, you’d probably never heard of Lusitanian Polytheism until fairly recently. This is understandable. There’s a reason why our practice is not even remotely as popular as other polytheistic practices: we have hardly any information to work with. We hardly even know many of our gods’ names, let alone their patronages and mythologies. That makes our work just plain difficult.

Crash Course on the Lusitanian Pantheon

These are the main ones we focus on. From there, the possibilities are nearly endless, and many modern worshipers have built fascinating different practices based off of what (and who) we know. New festivals are being created, gnosis is being revealed, and connections are being drawn between the gods.

Intro Note: On the Coherence of the Lusitanian Pantheon

Before we can really tackle major topics of Lusitanian polytheism on this blog, I find it important to first establish what LusoPol actually is and why we refer to things as we do. This involves making several disclaimers about what we do and don’t mean when using certain language.

Become a Guest Writer

This blog is always looking for guest writers to supplement the regular blog posts completed by the blog’s authors.

Topics we allow:

If you are interested in writing about a topic not included in this list, contact Riley at @singingmousai on Discord or message the #blog-things channel in the LusoPol Discord to discuss!


Thank you so much for your interest! To express your interest to the Turibrigensi Mysteria staff, please post a message in the #blog-things channel on the LusoPol Discord server explaining the topic you’d like to write about.

Welcome to Turibrigensi Mysteria

This blog is dedicated to publishing content about the religion and culture of the pre-Roman Iberian Peninsula, with a particular focus on the region known to the Romans as Lusitania, primarily made up of modern-day Portugal and Spanish Extremadura. Subject matter may expand to cover neighboring regions as well.

This blog, as well as its associated Discord server and Google library, are kept alive by a small group of dedicated Lusitanian Polytheists. We are always looking for more interested folks to join us in conversation and learn about our practice!

Both this blog and the Discord server hold strong anti-bigotry stances. Those who espouse racist, white supremacist, queerphobic, ableist, sanist, antisemitic, islamophobic, etc. ideals are not welcome amongst us.

We hope you enjoy your stay! Thank you for checking us out.

Intro Note: On the Coherence of the Lusitanian Pantheon

Before we can really tackle major topics of Lusitanian polytheism on this blog, I find it important to first establish what LusoPol actually is and why we refer to things as we do. This involves making several disclaimers about what we do and don’t mean when using certain language.

What is Lusitania, Anyways?

Lusitania was the name of one of the Roman provinces of the Iberian Peninsula established in the mid-2nd century BCE. The name of the province came from the Lusitani people, who had been living in the area since roughly the 6th century BCE. The province was comprised of most of modern-day Portugal as well as a large portion of western Spain. This is the primary range that our religious practice covers.

Lusitania is still sometimes used as an alternate name for Portugal, even though not all of modern-day Portuguese territory was part of the Lusitanian province. Subsequently, the prefix luso- is often still used to denote something Portuguese (i.e. Portuguese speakers being called lusophones). Hence, Lusitanian Polytheism is often called LusoPol for short.

What Do We Know About Lusitanian Religon?

In short, painfully little.

The vast majority of information we have on ancient Lusitanian religion comes from the period of Roman occupation. Given the lack of writing in the area until the Roman period (and how the majority of inscriptions in the Lusitanian language use the Roman script), it is figured that the existing peoples of the area had entirely oral cultures, and that written language only arose in response to Roman occupation.

Additionally, temple and monument-building did not seem to arise until the arrival of the Romans as well. Evidence such as votive deposits points to Lusitanian religion being conducted mostly in natural spaces such as caves, mountains, and rivers.

Romanization seemed to greatly impact the religious practices of the people of Lusitania. They began building Roman-style altars to the gods, and most of the inscriptions to the Lusitanian gods are written in Latin. Many local spirits and deities were syncretized with Roman gods and spirits, and some were likely overtaken entirely by them.

Thus, most of the information we have on Lusitanian religion is greatly colored by the changes made to the area by Roman culture, and a great deal of pre-Roman practices have likely been lost to time. Comparative studies have compared surviving practices to those of other Mediterranean religions in an attempt to draw more conclusions about what the religion entailed, but few are conclusive.

Pantheons as Social Constructs

This might not be a hugely popular opinion, but it comes into play quite a lot when it comes to Lusitanian polytheism, as well as attempts to revive other Iberian polytheisms.

There is a tendency within reconstructive practices to compare our sets of gods to more “complete” pantheons, such as those of the Greeks or the Romans. Every natural phenomenon, human idea, and abstract concept has a god, and each god has a place. However, this neglects to acknowledge that these pantheons also had a great deal of variance within them. Certain gods took prominence over the others depending on the place, and gods specific to one locality were not unheard of. Sometimes even the lineup of the “twelve Olympians” was called into question.

Lusitania was not a small swath of land. Many of the gods we worship have evidence in very different places, and only some have evidence of being worshiped in tandem with one another. Some seem to have had worship focused on one locality, while others’ worship was spread across the region, or even into other provinces on the peninsula. It is difficult to tell how many of these gods could have been worshiped by the same person at one time.

Additionally, we have no surviving Lusitanian mythology. We have very little idea of how these gods related to each other, if they were even worshiped together at all. Even for the ones who have evidence of shared worship, their familial relation is unknown. Any attempt to replicate the structure of the Greco-Roman pantheon would require a great deal of creativity.

So, Lusitanian Polytheism uses the term “pantheon” a bit more loosely than some other reconstructed polytheisms. We are unsure of all of these gods’ relations to one another in antiquity, but we are choosing to bring them together into a modern reconstructed pantheon.

So Why Do We Call It “Lusitanian Polytheism?”

Lusitania did not exist as a defined area until the invasion of the Romans, but LusoPol focuses on the pre-Roman practices of the area. And several of these so-called “Lusitanian” gods were really supra-regional and were not confined to the borders of the province (obviously, since the territory of the province came after the formation of the religion). So what gives? Why do we use the “Lusitanian” label for this reconstructed practice?

Ease, mostly. I mean, I started out by referring to it as “Iberian polytheism focusing primarily on the regions of Lusitania and sometimes Galicia,” but that just doesn’t roll off the tongue as well. It’s not great for marketing.

Or, like many other reconstructed practices, it is simply because we don’t really have a better term for it yet. It’s an approximation. Maybe someday we’ll discover a more apt label and adopt that instead. Unfortunately, though, research in this area is slow to come out, so it seems like we’ll be using this label for the considerable future.

Crash Course on the Lusitanian Gods

One of my original goals when planning out this blog was to make articles on each of the Lusitanian Gods (or at least the ones which we have enough info on). TM co-writer Rosa has a whole host of them in Portuguese over on Fora Deste Mundo, and I figured making similar articles in English would be a practical step for the blog. However, Rosa also offered the idea of starting off with a very basic bootcamp on the different gods, so that folks might start researching on their own (or would be prepared when the deity articles started rolling out). So most of the credit for this idea goes to her!

As a reminder, calling a lot of these gods "Lusitanian" is a tiny bit of a misnomer, but as I mentioned in that previous article, that label is what works the best for us Lusitania-focused Iberian pagans at present. Many of these gods were not exclusively worshiped in Lusitania, and many others were worshiped only in one specific place, as opposed to across the region.

I’ve chosen to break up this list into two categories: major gods and minor gods. Now, this is not meant to imply any sort of hierarchy amongst the gods (bar a few important exceptions). We have very little evidence of any sort of structure to the pantheon we’re working with. However, some gods have more surviving cult evidence than others, and thus more ink has been spilled on their behalf. Naturally, their snippets will probably be a bit longer than the others. All the information I’m including here, as well as all the sources from which the info came, is also accessible via the LusoPol Discord. I’m gonna be really obnoxious about plugging the Discord.

Finally, a great deal of modern worshipers’ interactions with these gods is through Unverified Personal Gnosis, or UPG. These are personal (sometimes shared) beliefs and inferences which are not (yet) substantiated by surviving cult evidence. I’ve done my best to specify when I’m referring to modern-day UPG for these gods. It’s rather imperative in a practice with very little extant information, so it’d be tough to avoid entirely.

Right, now that we’ve got that all out of the way, let’s get into it, shall we?

Major Gods

Arentio and Arentia: A divine pair of some sort, as can probably be surmised from their names. It is unclear whether they are twins, a couple, or two sides of the same deity (I personally view them as divine twins, but YMMV). Their names were originally thought to be connected to a root meaning "arid," but this was later rescinded by the academic who proposed it. More recent attempts to determine the etymology of their names has brought up connections to movement and running. Given their dual nature, they may be associated with polarities such as Land/Sky or Sun/Moon. Arentia was likely syncretized with the Gaulish goddesses Sirona, Damona, and Rosmerta, and thus Arentio was likely connected to Apollo and/or Mercury, the Roman gods most often paired off with them. Thus, connections to movement, travel, communication, abundance, and fertility are abound.

Ategina: My lady and my muse. She is the goddess of the seasonal cycle, growth and decay, and curses. An Ibero-Roman defixio, or curse tablet, was discovered in Augusta Emerita (modern-day Mérida, Spain) which directly syncretized her with the Roman goddess Proserpina. Her name (which has at least half a dozen different spellings, so you';re likely to come across different worshipers calling her different names) likely means "the one who is reborn," making the connection to Proserpina, the movement of the seasons, death, and springtime even stronger. The content of the defixio also suggests some sort of judicial function. Her symbol is the goat, and I love taking advantage of that delicious devilish symbolism. Her primary epithet is Turibrigensi, meaning "of Turobriga," her likely cult center which has yet to be discovered. And now you all know where the title of this blog came from.

Bandua: This fella is a contentious one. Scholars can settle on neither the meaning of their name nor their gender. There is a theory that their name was the local equivalent of Genius, giving them a highly local function and explaining why they had so many different local epithets. They are a god of community who focuses on local solidarity and protection of the village. They possess several epithets with a warlike nature, and they are identified with Mars, Mercury, Tutela, Fortuna, and the Lares Viales. Their symbol is the patera or libation dish, which they are sometimes depicted holding.

Cosus: Considered by some to be the northern equivalent to Bandua, as their regions of worship do not overlap. His name is possibly etymologically identical to the Roman Consus, god of the harvest. Others suggest his name may mean "meeting," "conjunction," or "confluence of rivers," and these are the interpretations which have picked up steam. He was called Deo Marti, connecting him, once again, to the Roman Mars. Modern worshipers have combined all these tidbits together to view Cosus as a god of god of war, negotiation, strategy, wisdom, communication, and river confluences.

Endovelico: As the only other "confirmed" chthonic god in the pantheon, Endovelico is often equated by modern readers to Hades and paired off with Ategina. This is unlikely (though him being paired off with Ategina is not at all impossible). Identified by the ancients with Apollo, Asclepius, Serapis, and even Silvanus, he is a god of healing, prophecy, agriculture, and the dead. His voice was said to come up from below, and offerings were made to him in exchange for healing. The Romans were a pretty big fan of him. His symbol is the pig or the boar, the laurel crown, and the palm leaf, which were often depicted on inscriptions to him.

Nabia: The Lady of the Valley, whose name likely means "water course" or "navigable river." Goddess of rivers, valleys, oaths, and the moon. Her name survives in many hydronyms throughout the region, and she may bear a connection to the underworld, relating to the transportation of souls to the afterlife via a river. She's identified with Juno, Diana, Victoria, and Nantosuelta, and she was worshiped alongside many male gods, including Jupiter, Reve, and possibly Quangeio. As she is strongly connected with Juno and was paired off with Jupiter, and as Reve was identified with Jupiter, it has been suggested that she and Reve are the rulers of the pantheon. She is the only Lusitanian deity with a surviving ancient festival date: April 9th.

Quangeio: His name probably quite literally means "canine," and he is associated with Jupiter Repulsor, Sucellus, Serapis, and Mercury. May quite literally be a dog-god. He bears connections to protection, loyalty, prosperity, oaths, the stars (his home base was likely the Serra da Estrela), and possibly to the underworld. He may have been a psychopomp god, but I lean more towards giving that role to Nabia. Speaking of, the two of them likely shared a shrine at the Fonte do Ídolo, leading to suspicions that they may have been paired off. A fun modern festival of Quangeio and Mercury called the Caniferalia has been homebrewed by modern Iberian pagans. I personally love associating him with canine folk-saints such as Guinefort and Laika.

Reve: The potential king of the pantheon, identified closely with Jupiter. Though he is the celestial god of the sky and of weather like the Roman god, he is also the god of rivers and mountains. It has been suggested that his name was simply the common word for "river," and that a singular divine figure grew out of that. Potentially paired with Nabia and/or Trebaruna, the only other major celestial goddesses in the pantheon that we know of. I'm keen to call the bull his symbol, as he was known to receive bull sacrifices, but clouds, thunderbolts, and mountains would also be easy associations to make.

Trebaruna: A protective goddess, particularly of the home and hearth. The Romans identified her with Vesta and Victoria, creating an interesting mental image of a household guardian figure with connections to fate and luck. Though the identification with Vesta makes it easy to associate Trebaruna with fire, her name potentially meaning "pond of the village" (among many, many other ideas) makes me also connect her with water. Together, I associate her with both the hearth and the well and local water supply. Despite these domestic associations, she has no local epithets that we know of, suggesting she may have been a celestial goddess like Nabia. Her connection to the Roman imperial cult as Trebaruna Augusta strengthens this idea.

Minor Gods

Aerno: Originally thought to be a god of the winds, Aerno was likely the patron god of the Zoelae, an ethnic group near the Lusitania-Galicia border. More recent theories suggest he was associated with daylight and vegetation, particularly pine trees. The pine tree has been made into his modern-day symbol, for lack of anything else.

Bormanico: The Lusitanian iteration of the Gaulish Borvo or Bormo, a god of hot springs and healing. His Gaulish incarnation was often paired with the goddess Sirona, suggesting a similar connection may have existed between him and Arentia, who bears connections to her. This, however, is unsubstantiated. He received thank-offerings for what we can assume to be bestowing healing on devotees, and his sacred springs may have been used in warrior initiations.

Caerno: Name similarity to Aerno notwithstanding, this fellow's name likely connects to the Greek karneios and possibly to Apollo Karneios himself. This would make him preside over shepherds and flocks, as well as the protection thereof. His symbol could be assumed to be the sheep or ram.

Crouga: Similar enough to Caerno that they may have been the same god, but I view them as separate, so he's getting his own section, dammit. His name bears etymological connections to words for mountains, caves, cairns, and graves. Though likely also a pastoral god like Caerno, he may also bear connections to the dead.

Drusuna: The highly elusive goddess of the oaks (particularly of the holm oak), thought to potentially be connected to druids or another local priestly class. Her sacred spaces were often set up by cattle paths or other migratory paths, connecting her to ideas of safe travels and liminality.

Ilurbeda: Possibly imported by the Vettonians, she is a goddess of mining, abundance, mountain trails, and treacherous journeys. Her name likely means "gold/silver mine," suggesting she may have been a personification of the mines themselves.

Munis: Likely another tutelary god like Bandua, but with additional focuses on the moon, timekeeping, and/or the passage of time, as her name is likely connected to the Proto-Indo-European for "moon" or "month." I personally associate her with the lunar month as a unit of time.

Oipaingia: Another protector of sheep. Literally. That's probably the exact translation of her name. We know that the oi in her name means "sheep" partially because it is one of the few words of the Lusitanian language we know: sheep are referred to as oilam and oila in the famous Cabeço das Fráguas inscription.


These are far from the only gods we know of from the Lusitanian region. I omitted many from this list simply because we don’t know enough about them yet. For many, all we have is a theonym to go off of. Some only have one or two surving inscriptions bearing their name. Hopefully, research will come out in the future which allows us to gain further insight into these gods.

For now, though, these are the main ones we focus on. From there, the possibilities are nearly endless, and many modern worshipers have built fascinating different practices based off of what (and who) we know. New festivals are being created, gnosis is being revealed, and connections are being drawn between the gods. Now that we all have a rough baseline on these gods, these are the topics we may now begin to indulge ourselves in.

Fill-in-the-Blank Religion

If you’re like me, you’d probably never heard of Lusitanian Polytheism until fairly recently. This is understandable. There’s a reason why our practice is not even remotely as popular as other polytheistic practices: we have hardly any information to work with. We hardly even know many of our gods’ names, let alone their patronages and mythologies. That makes our work just plain difficult.

However, difficult does not equal impossible. Following (and, let’s face it, forging) this path may not be easy, but the results are incredibly rewarding. So let’s see what we can do.

What info do we have? How does it help us?

Before we get too doom-and-gloom about the state of our resources, let’s take stock of what we do have working for us. There is a small but highly dedicated group of academics unearthing more and more information about our practices every day, and it would be a major disservice to not appreciate the work they’ve put into it.


There are a good handful of academic papers out there which focus solely on determining the etymology of potential theonyms discovered in the western Iberian region. The most noteworthy of these scholars in my practice has to be Blanca Maria Prósper, whose work has helped me form gnosis regarding many of the gods and their names. There are many other authors out there like her.

Linguistics papers help worshipers to determine (or at least roughly guesstimate) the domains of certain gods based on what their names and epithets allude to. Of course, given we’re working with a language which we know very little about, many theonyms have several theories as to what they might mean. This can make things confusing at times. However, I like to think of it as providing multiple avenues for personal theories and unverified personal gnosis, or UPG (more on that later).


Archaeological papers focus on describing and theorizing about surviving inscriptions, altars, and votives to the gods. These may provide us with further info about the gods themselves, particularly regarding when, where, how, and by whom the gods were worshiped.


Anthropological studies of the region focus on the society and culture of the western Iberian peninsula, mostly regarding the Romanization of the area. As previously mentioned, most of the information we have on Lusitania comes from the Roman period, as prior to Roman invasion, the culture of the area was most likely oral, and thus little information on it remains.

These resources help us to better understand the cultural contexts in which these gods existed, as well as how and sometimes why our gods were identified with other outside gods. Why does our pantheon have so many gods identified with Mars, for instance? Or, how likely is it that Endovelico may have arisen within the Roman period, rather than before it? This information can be critical in understanding our gods, the purposes they served, and (since we have no myths) why they existed in the first place.

The Downside: Language Barriers

As you might expect, a great deal of the resources we have are not in English. This makes sense: these studies are being conducted primarily by Spanish and Portuguese academics at Spanish and Portuguese research universities, meaning that most (but not all!) academic papers are written in, you guessed it, Spanish and Portuguese. Now, this is of no issue to any Iberian locals getting into LusoPol, but it serves as a major stumbling block for foreigners with interest in the practice (like yours truly).

This is a big reason why I created Turibrigensi Mysteria, actually. Rather than simply relying on Google Translate or DeepL and hoping that the translations they provide me are accurate, I and many others within the LusoPol Discord can collaborate, share theories and UPG, and synthesize information so that it might be presented more intuitively to an English-speaking audience.

That said, I would still like to give a shoutout to Golden Trail, an Ibero-Roman polytheist whose blog, I think, is invaluable to beginning LusoPols. I still refer back to it often. It’s the best.

Filling in the gaps with other resources

Celtic Umbrella Resources

Believe it or not, it’s thought that much of the Iberian peninsula was Celtic in origin prior to Roman invasion. Pre-Roman Iberia was populated with many Celtic tribes, and many indigenous personal names, theonyms, and toponyms are believed to trace back to proto-Celtic due to traits shared with other Celtic languages. This makes a good amount of sense, given the peninsula’s proximity to Gaul and even to the British Isles. Even into modern times, Galicia is still considered (though often forgotten to be) a Celtic nation.

This means that resources directed towards other Celtic practices may prove useful in rebuilding LusoPol practices. In my practice, I specifically enjoy reading Celtic umbrella resources on matters of sacred space, cosmology, and the environment. A particular favorite of mine is Celtic Sacred Landscapes by Nigel Pennick, which summarizes various Celtic beliefs (both insular and continental) regarding natural spaces and landmarks.

Celtic language resources can also be helpful in determining the etymology of Iberian theonyms, though whether the Lusitanian language was exclusively Celtic in origin is still hotly debated.

Roman Polytheism Resources

Ah, those Romans. They’re basically inescapable in this neck of the woods. Practically all the information we have on how the Lusitanian gods were worshiped comes from an Ibero-Roman context.

Not everyone may be interested in co-opting practices from an occupying force in their reconstruction of LusoPol, no judgement there, but for those who are, they can be a great help. I particularly utilize Roman resources for matters of ritual, such as sacrifices, votive offerings, and festivals. A lot of these practices shared similarities across the Mediterranean anyways; and the Iberians did not only interact with Romans, but also Greeks and even Phoenicians.

Honorable Mention: Proto-Indo-European Linguistics Resources

This one is tricky, as I don’t want to suggest that anyone start coming up with etymological theories for theonyms and epithets and start throwing them around willy-nilly. Or, at least don’t assert them as undeniable fact (even the published linguists whose work we’re reading hardly ever do that with confidence) But knowing your way around Proto-Indo-European linguistics, even just a little, can help you make a little more sense of what the hell people are talking about in those dense linguistics papers. Even just understanding how root words and syllable pronunciations are written can be a great help here.

Filling in the gaps with gnosis

What is UPG and how does it work?

As I’ve briefly mentioned before, UPG stands for unverified personal gnosis. Basically, UPG consists of revelations, realizations, knowings, and/or inferences about the gods which influence your personal religious practice, but have not been verified by any existing evidence. UPG can come from divination, visions, educated guesses, or even simply Understanding something about a god in an indescribable way. The important part here is that UPG is unverified.

A good deal of UPG is basically imperative in order to function as a Lusitanian polytheist. There’s just so much that we don’t know for certain yet. I call LusoPol a fuck-around-and-find-out religion, in that it requires a lot of experimentation at times. The bright side of all that experimentation is that, eventually, you’ll figure out certain things that the gods like or dislike, their preferences in ritual, and how they personally appear to you. When these realizations come, they can be huge and can influence your practice in a major way.

If your UPG ends up being shared by several other practitioners, especially if your beliefs spawned independently of each other, then that UPG becomes SPG, or shared personal gnosis. The dream is for this gnosis to become VPG, or verified personal gnosis which has been confirmed by surviving cult evidence.

Personalizing your practice

The more you interact with the gods, the better you will get to know them. They may even share things with you directly that they’d like you to incorporate into your practice. The thought of this can be intimidating for some, and rightfully so. Online polytheist spaces have done a great job of making people fear the concept of directly interacting with the gods, or making people think that it is some highly advanced practice that you must work your way up to.

Can direct contact with gods be risky? Sure. Can it be tough to interpret? Absolutely. But what are the alternatives? And what do you have to lose?

Accepting the weirdness

I probably sound like a broken record at this point, but the “Lusitanian pantheon” as we refer to it was not and is not a structured pantheon like the Greek or Roman gods. The Romans themselves weren’t even able to impose that sort of structure on the gods, hence why we have a billion gods identified with Mars and Jupiter. We call them a pantheon out of convenience only.

LusoPol will naturally be different from any of the other polytheisms of the area. The contexts and circumstances of each religion are different, and they are not boxes to attempt to force LusoPol into. It is not Roman Religion But In Iberia or Gaulish Religion But In Iberia. Most info on LusoPol being from the Roman period does not mean that the religion was the exact same prior to Roman invasion.

There’s so much we don’t know and don’t yet understand. This means that some weird shit is bound to pop up sometimes. Embrace it.


As you can probably imagine, the process of reconstructing and personalizing a religion with info as scant as this one takes a while. I’ve been on this path for over two years now, and there’s still a world of things left for me to find out.

It’s okay to not know everything right now. I sure as hell don’t. But when you take one step towards the gods, they take ten steps towards you. So just start. The things you’ll discover along the way will be illuminating and beautiful.

It took me around five months to finally pull myself together and write this piece. I knew that I wanted my next series on this blog to be a series of more in-depth articles on the gods, and it only felt right for me to begin with the goddess who has most profoundly impacted me and my practice so far. At the same time, the idea made me anxious. Part of me felt entirely overwhelmed by the existing research material on Ategina, most of which is not written in my native language. Another part of me just really, really wanted to do this right for my Lady. At the end of the day, it came down to just sitting myself down and making myself start, anxiety about the end result be damned.

I hope that I was able to do my goddess justice.

She Who is Reborn

There are several theories surrounding the etymology of the name Ategina (alternately spelled Ataegina, Ataecina, Adaecina, Attegina, and several more ways). The first theory posits a connection to the Old Irish *adaig, meaning “night.” I personally find this one interesting due to its possible connections to Ategina’s underworld companion, Endovelico, whose name has been theorized to mean “the most black.” It also implies a connection to the “unnamed god” of the Celtiberians mentioned by Strabo, who received nocturnal worship under the full moon. However, this theory supposes a connection between Ategina and the Celtic peoples of the Iberian peninsula, which at this time is not immediately evident, and the Celticity of the region in which she was worshiped is still debated by academics.

The second theory, and the one which I personally use in my practice, relates Ategina to the Indo-European ate– and –gena. This would give her name the meaning of “the reborn” or “she who is reborn.” This etymology, as you can imagine, is rife with possibilities for interpretation. It offers connections to the seasons, the agricultural cycle, and especially the human life cycle. It, of course, also connects Ategina with the Roman goddess Proserpina, who received cult in many of the same locales as Ategina, leading to the two goddesses being identified with one another on more than one occasion. This “face” of Ategina, if you will, is the one which I interact with most often.

Finally, there is the possibility that Ategina’s name simply comes from an ethnonym or toponym related to the area. This would give her the name of “she of the Ataecini.” This etymology is by far the least illustrative of the three I’ve mentioned, but there is still indeed a possibility of its relevance. In this aspect, she would be the protector of a certain ethnic group from the area of Spanish Extremadura, particularly centered around a place called Turobriga, which I’ll get into in the next section.

There are also the instances of altars and inscriptions dedicated simply to the “Dea Sancta,” which many lump in with inscriptions dedicated to Ategina. This is usually due to their proximity to other inscriptions dedicated to her, though in reality, we aren’t certain they were really meant for her. There were several other goddesses referred to as Dea Sancta in Augusta Emerita and the surrounding area, including, once again, Proserpina. As such, even though the two goddesses were proven to be identified with one another by some worshipers, it is not enough to definitively state that the Dea Sancta inscriptions are for Ategina. I still like to think that they are, but it’s not and may never be definitive.

Beyond the identifications with Proserpina, of which we have concrete proof from the time in which both were worshiped in Augusta Emerita, scholars have also posited other potential identifications of the goddess with other figures who received cult in the area. Firstly, there is the Phoenician Astarte, whose cult presence can be inferred from Phoenician activity along the southern Iberian peninsula. Both Astarte and Ategina were both also identified with certain “Eyes of the Goddess” rock formations, which appear to resemble human faces with large eyes. Several such rock formations exist across Iberia.

There have also been theorized connections between Ategina and certain Christian saints, particularly Saint Eulalia in modern-day Mérida and Saint Lucy (who also has connections to eyes) in Alcuéscar. These connections are mostly made due to the reuse of Roman-era inscribed stones in the building of chapels to these saints, as well as some superficial similarities in legend. Some have asserted that Saint Eulalia’s refusal to die in her legends could possibly connect her to a goddess of life and rebirth, and Saint Lucy’s connections to the evil eye could be interpreted as related to Ategina’s domain of curses and malefic magic. It can be a bit dicey to assert that any deity’s cult definitively continued on under the guise of saint veneration, but I still think that these connections are fun to ponder.

The Mystery of Turobriga

One of the biggest mysteries surrounding Ategina is the location of Turobriga (or Turibriga), the goddess’s assumed cult center. Despite the many inscriptions dedicated to Ategina Turibrigensis, the definite location of Turobriga has yet to be identified. It is assumed by most to be located around the area of Roman Augusta Emerita, due to the high concentration of inscriptions dedicated to the goddess of Turobriga there.

There was at least one town in Roman Iberia which was likely called Turobriga, though. Pliny the Elder located a Turobriga in Celtic Beturia, slightly south of Roman Lusitanian territory. There may be a bit of discrepancy in his naming, however. As he lists towns located in Beturia, Pliny’s list seems to be in alphabetical order, for the most part, with the exception of Turobriga, located after Arunci on the list. Thus, it is possible that the town was actually called Arunci-Turobriga, or perhaps Eurobriga. The most damning evidence against this Turobriga being the Turobriga of Ategina, though, is the complete lack of votive offerings to the goddess in this location. Not one.

This has led some to theorize that a second Turobriga existed, within Roman Lusitanian territory, which has yet to be uncovered. This Turobriga would be the real cult center of Ategina, rather than the Beturian town to the south. The potential location has been theorized to be close by to the church of Santa Lucía del Trampal in Alcuéscar, due to the aforementioned reused stones used to build the church.

Wouldst Thou Like to Live Deliciously?

With the above in mind, it may feel like we have very little to go off of when it comes to determining the domains and attributes of Ategina. You’d be partially right in that assumption. Most interpretations of the goddess come from a combination of her existing cult evidence (which, relatively speaking, she has a good deal of compared to some other deities worshiped in the area) and extrapolations based on that cult evidence, as well as some based on the theorized etymologies of her name. Altogether, though, it is in fact quite possible to form a fairly well-rounded image of the goddess Ategina.

As I mentioned earlier, the various interpretations of the goddess’s name provide us with ample ideas to work off of. They offer her domains such as nighttime, the moon and lunar cycle, agriculture and fertility, the changing of the seasons, and the human life cycle. Not only do these interpretations relate her to life and abundance, but also with death and rot, as the cycle of life and death cannot be complete without these aspects. In fact, this abundance of cyclical themes evident in the interpretations of her name have gone on to greatly influence my personal conceptions of Ategina and how I interact with her. More on that later.

Her name potentially meaning “the reborn,” the close connections with Proserpina and her myths, and the language used in some inscriptions dedicated to the goddess also present Ategina as an infernal figure presiding over death. She may have provided healing to worshipers with grave injuries or illnesses, and several inscriptions to her were deposited in water, connecting her to the belief of a river ferrying souls to the underworld which is present in the lore of other Lusitanian deities, such as Nabia. Some have expanded this even further to assert that she may have been the goddess in charge of determining who would live and who would die. These infernal associations also connect her to the god Endovelico, another agrarian god who was believed by his worshipers to reside in the underworld. Some interpret the pair as a couple, sharing a similar relationship to Proserpina and Pluto, though not everyone finds this convincing, as Endovelico is far more commonly identified with the Roman health god Aesculapius.

Her sacred animal is almost certainly the goat. Deposits of bronze votive goats have been found close to several altars dedicated to her. Her association with goats also furthers her connections to the fertility of the land.

Finally, and most interestingly (in my opinion), is Ategina’s connections to curses, retribution, and justice. A marble curse tablet discovered in Augusta Emerita (now modern-day Mérida, Spain) petitions Ategina of Turobriga (identified again with Proserpina) to return the stolen goods of one of her worshipers. As of now it is the only existing curse tablet which names a local Iberian god in its inscription. The Merida curse tablet falls squarely into a category of curse tablets related to seeking justice for the revenge of stolen goods, a type which is found throughout the Mediterranean. Thus, not only does Ategina connect to Proserpina with regards to agriculture and the movement of the seasons, but also to Proserpina/Persephone’s epithet of Praxidike, or “exacter of justice,” and has led to Ategina’s associations with malefic and judicial magic as a whole.

Altogether, we have a goddess associated with the cycles of life and death, not only of the crops but of humanity, who possibly spends part of the year walking the earth and the other part reigning in the underworld like Proserpina. She offers boons of abundance, health, and justice to her worshipers, but also possesses the capability to bring death, famine, and various malefica upon those who cross her.

Mother and Me

For the past year or so, my experiences with Ategina have moved beyond the scope of the existing research on her. It still strongly influences my practice and my conceptions of her, to be certain, but our relationship has moved in the direction of personal gnosis and, frankly, experiences which I struggle to articulate. I imagine those might be the experiences she’s less keen on me sharing with the world. Still, there are many parts of my practice with her which I have in common with other worshipers, and those deserve recognition alongside everything else I’ve mentioned already.

As I mentioned in the previous section, Ategina’s strong cyclical nature has greatly affected how I interact with her. My ritual meetings with her center around the lunar and seasonal cycles specifically, particularly around full moons. Never did I think that I was going to be one of those pagans holding secret rituals on the full moon, but here we are. She and I have also formulated a yearly festival cycle, of which we are nearly at the midpoint for the first time. The cycle begins at the autumnal equinox, when she descends into the underworld for the dark half of the year. There she reigns as Queen of the Dead during autumn and winter, alongside Endovelico, though I’ve yet to solidly determine whether he is her consort or simply a close companion. At the vernal equinox, she springs forth onto the earth cloaked in red, and through the spring and summer months the Red Lady dances across the earth, leaving lush greenery in her wake. She has a brief stint in late summer as the Golden Queen, presiding over the harvest until it is time for her to descend downwards again.

Not only has this aspect of her encouraged me to be more present in the natural world and the movement of the seasons, but she has particularly encouraged me to better understand the landscape of my immediate surroundings. This coincided quite nicely with my increased interest in bioregional animism and my desire to learn to identify local native flora and fauna. I have taken time with her to educate myself on my local rivers, native and invasive plants, and local environmental preservation and restoration groups. She has expressed her desire for me to not only be in tune with nature in the abstract sense, but also in the real, practical, tangible sense. She has shown me that even my home in suburbia, which up until recently had seemed to me as entirely bleak and lifeless, is full to the brim with life, waiting for me to take a closer look.

Ategina has also assumed patronage over much of my magical practice, particularly as it relates to any baneful magic I may work. Her affinity for cycles reappears here as an interest in justice. In this aspect, she has not only encouraged me to practice magic more, but she has instilled a sense of confidence in myself, my abilities, and my convictions that I’ve never experienced before. I’d argue that she borders on the political here, hearkening back to her potential patronage over certain ethnic groups or towns that I mentioned at the top of the article. Not only does she take an interest in interpersonal affairs and curses which can sometimes border on the petty, but in the improvement (or, frankly, the destruction) of the political systems under which we currently live. It’s fairly obvious how an inclination towards justice can lead to an interest in that. She possesses a spine and nerves of steel, and she expresses no fear at highlighting the injustices of even the highest levels of power in our society.

Lastly, a note deserves to be made for her potential connections to other deities within the Lusitanian pantheon itself. Though we have no surviving myths involving these gods, modern worshipers have pulled themes from the existing corpus of Mediterranean myth and have even created some new myths to fill this gaping void in our knowledge of the gods. Most notably is her connection to Endovelico, which I’ve mentioned a few times already. It would be exceedingly easy to identify Ategina and Endovelico’s relationship with that of Proserpina and Pluto. I, as well as many others, find that to be a bit too easy, however. Aside from the underworld association, Endovelico has far more in common with gods like Aesculapius than with Pluto. However, the possibility of he and Ategina being a divine couple remains present, even if it can not be slotted into an easy, pre-existing box. The idea has slowly but surely grown on me as I develop theories about the possibility of other minor underworld gods potentially being their children.

Then there is Nabia. The two goddesses bear many connections to one another, providing ample room for varying interpretations of their relationship. When I first started out, I conceived of them confidently as sisters, though I was working on little more than a hunch. Another fairly common theory is that Nabia is Ategina’s mother, taking on the role of Ceres/Demeter to Ategina’s Proserpina/Persephone. Again, a one-for-one interpretation such as that feels a bit too easy to me, but the interpretation itself has also grown on me. Nabia is a highly multifaceted goddess, but one of her more subtle and mysterious associations is, in fact, death and passage to the underworld. In this sense, I do find the possibility interesting of Ategina, as a daughter of Nabia, taking on and more thoroughly developing one of the many domains of her mother.

This article was intended to be equal parts academic research and personal gnosis, with the hope of enabling the reader to engage both with the scholarly and personal evidence of this goddess in order to aid in the formation of their own conceptions of the goddess. I hope that I did not get too carried away recounting the personal as to overshadow the academic. It’s simply too difficult for me to do adequate justice to one without the other. Thus, this will probably be one of the wordiest articles in this series of deity deep-dives. However, I hope that I may encourage many more to discover and understand this goddess, one whom I have come to love deeply. She has become one of the core examples within my practice of the popular concept of, “If you take one step towards the divine, they take ten steps towards you.”

Sources & Further Reading

Eugénio Luján, La diosa Ataecina y el nombre de la noche en antiguo irlandés


Golden Trail, Ataécina

Juan Carlos Olivares Pedreño, Celtic Gods of the Iberian Peninsula

Mª Rocío Rojas Gutiérrez, Ataecina, un análisis de la continuidad de los cultos locales o indígenas en la Hispania

Martin Almagro-Gorbea, Las cabritas de bronce de la diosa Ataecina


Rafael Sabio González, Turibriga. La ciudad perdida de Ataecina