Posts Tagged With: Roman

Let’s Talk Witch – Pantheon Pathways


Pantheon Pathways


As Witches, we often draw upon the mythology of many different lands to find the god and goddess figures that we identify with most strongly. And while this can vary greatly from Witch to Witch (like everything else we do-hey, at least we are not a bunch of boring conformists), many of us are drawn to the pantheons (from the Greek “temple of the gods,” meaning the officially recognized gods of a particular people) of the Greek, Roman, Egyptian, and Celtic cultures, with a few Norse and Hindu gods thrown in for good measure.

It is interesting to see how much the gods from one culture resemble the gods in another. It makes sense, I suppose, when you consider that most Pagan peoples had the same interests as we do today: love, protection, prosperity, the moon, growing things, etc.

In addition, it is historically possible in many cases to follow the path that a god took from one culture to another. For instance, many of the Roman gods and goddesses were taken more or less directly from the Greeks who preceded them.

It is fine to focus on one pantheon or culture, but it is also okay to mix and match. The gods that want you will find you, that much is for sure.



Everyday Witch A to Z: An Amusing, Inspiring & Informative Guide to the Wonderful World of Witchcraft

Deborah Blake


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365 Days of Celebrating Legends, Folklore & Spirituality for Oct 2nd – Guardian Angel’s Day

October 2nd

Guardian Angel’s Day

This pre-Christian Roman holiday is still celebrated in Spain and Europe. In early Rome, every man led his Genius and every woman her Iuno. When the church writers had a dispute over which angels guarded a person, the day became linked with the feast of St. Michael (Sept. 29). However, in 1670, the two days became separate and Guardian Angels’ Day was moved to October 2.

Genius meaning “begetter,” was a man’s guardian spirit that also enabled him to beget children. For women the spirit was called Iuno (Juno). Each household also had a genius that was worshiped by the family members whose birthday coincided with that of the male head of the household. The genius was usually honored along with the household Lar, at the Lararium. So popular was the concept that it even extended to groups of people. Even the city itself had its own guardian genius.

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Celebrating Spirituality 365 Days A Year – Quirinalia and The Feast of Fools

Witchy Cat Graphics & Comments

February 17th

Quirinalia and The Feast of Fools

Quirinalia was a first fruits festival that honored Quirinus, the name given by the Romans to the deified Romulus. As a divinity, Quirinus ranked as one of Rome’s most important patrons, along with Mars, Jupiter and Juno.

Early Rome was divided into 30 curiae, each of which had its own day in February for the performing of the Fornacalia, or first-fruits offering to Ceres of toasted emmer-wheat. As the city expanded, the curiae were displaced by the new divisions known as “tibus.” As a result, many people did not know which curiae they belonged to. Because of the confusion they were allowed to make the sacrifice on the Quirinalia, which came to be called “The Feast of Fools.”

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About the Origins and History of Valentine’s Day

About the Origins and History of Valentine’s Day

By ,

The origins of Valentine’s Day may be a bit disappointing. Valentine’s Day is probably named for a saint. Its transformation into a love-fest seems to have been catalyzed by a single Englishman in the 14th century — well beyond the termination date for bawdy Roman fertility festivals, like the Lupercalia.

Chaucer first linked the February holiday of Valentine’s Day, a martyred saint’s day, with romance, and even then, not really romance, but birds mating. Then, after some centuries of an increasingly popular association between Valentine’s Day and romance came the development of cheap-to-mail paper Valentine’s Day cards and the birth of an American holiday in the mid-19th century.

It may not be fair to say that Valentine’s Day has its origin in antiquity, but there were romantic spring holidays (Gamelion and Lupercalia) and a St. Valentine or 2.

Valentine’s Day Saint #1:

There may have been a real Valentine, a 3d-century priest who defied Emperor Claudius II’s ban against wartime marriages. According to legend, Valentine performed secret marriages until he was discovered, put to death, and buried on the Flaminian Way. [See Oruch for why this doesn’t work historically.]

Valentine’s Day Saint #2:

There’s another legend in which a Valentine, persecuted for helping Christians, restored the eyesight of his jailer’s blind daughter, and then maintained a secret correspondence with her to which he signed his name “your Valentine.”

Another Derivation of Valentine:

Even more speculative is the notion that Valentine’s name was originally “Galantine,” signifying “gallant,” a word with more obvious associations with courtship. The shift in consonant to “v” is explained as the way medieval French peasants pronounced the letter “g.”

Valentine was a popular name among the Romans, with emperors named Valens and Valentinian.

Christianization of Lupercalia:

Another theory is that Pope Gelasius I replaced the pagan festival of Lupercalia with the Christian Feast of the Purification, which was celebrated on February 14, 40 days after Epiphany. This is based on Bede who wrote about pagan customs in February, and not specifically Lupercalia. Oruch says it wasn’t until the 16th century that the pagan ceremony of Lupercalia was said to be behind Candlemas (February 2).

February’s Special Holidays:

Imbolc, Oimelc, Brigit’s Day, The Feast of the Purification of the Virgin Mary, Ground Hog’s Day, and Candlemas are all holidays that occur in the first half of February. Some believe the Christian holidays are simply renamed pagan ones.

References for Origins of Valentine’s Day:

  • “The Fashioning of a Modern Holiday: St. Valentine’s Day, 1840-1870,” by Leigh Eric Schmidt; Winterthur Portfolio Vol. 28, No. 4 (Winter, 1993), pp. 209-245.
  • “St. Valentine, Chaucer, and Spring in February,” by Jack B. Oruch Speculum, Vol. 56, No. 3. (Jul., 1981), pp. 534-565.

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Good Wednesday Morning Dearies!

Life is good
And all is well
But now and then
I find it dull
I wish for Fire
To add a spark
A flash of light
Inside the dark.
Let adventure come
In a positive way
So  might laugh
Have fun and play
Let doors swing wide
And open my heart
As on life’s journey
I depart.

So Mote It Be.


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Celebrating Spirituality 365 Days A Year – Festival of Jana and Janus

Celebrating Spirituality 365 Days A Year

Festival of Jana and Janus

On this day the ancient Romans honored Jana, whose name means “luminous sky,” and her husband Janus, the guardian of all passageways. At their festival, a ram was sacrificed to Janus for his continue protection and Jana was invoked to shine her light on the New Year. To the Romans, who believed that the spirit of Janus hovered over all doorways, gates and passageways, this was a time of great consequence.

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Deity of the Day – Janus, God of New Beginnings

Witchy Comments & Graphics
Deity of the Day – Janus, God of New Beginnings

In the mythology of ancient Rome, Janus was the god of new beginnings. He was associated with doors and gates, and the first steps of a journey. The month of January — of course, falling at the beginning of the new year — is named in his honor. He is often invoked together with Jupiter, and is considered a high-ranking god.

In many portrayals, Janus is depicted as having two faces, looking in opposite directions. In one legend,  bestows upon him the ability to see both the past and the future. In the early days of Rome, city founder Romulus and his men kidnapped the women of Sabine, and the men of Sabine attacked Rome in retaliation. The daughter of a city guard betrayed her fellow Romans and allowed the Sabines into the city. When they attempted to climb the Capitolian Hill, Janus made a hot spring erupt, forcing the Sabines to retreat.

In the city of Rome, a temple known as the Ianus geminus was erected in Janus’ honor and consecrated in 260 b.c.e. after the Battle of Mylae. During periods of war, the gates were left open and sacrifices were held inside, along with auguries to predict the results of military actions. It is said that the gates of the temple were only closed in times of peace, which didn’t happen very often for the Romans. In fact, it was later claimed by Christian clerics that the gates of the Ianus geminus first closed at the moment that Jesus was born.

Because of his ability to see both back and forward, Janus is associated with powers of prophecy, in addition to gates and doors. He is sometimes connected with the sun and moon, in his aspect as a dual-headed god.

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Your Charm for December 19th is The Serpent

Your Charm for December 19th


Today’s Meaning:

This aspect will be affected by someone’s illness being shed. Their healing will cause positive changes within this aspect for you.

General Description:  

In primeval days the Serpent deeply appealed to man’s imagination, and owing to its length of life was used as the emblem for wisdom and eternity. It was a household god in ancient Rome, and sacred to their god of medicine. The Romans believed that the Serpent renewed its youth by casting its skin, and it became their symbol for long life and vitality. In India the Serpent symbolizes the infinite duration of time and wisdom. Serpent rings were worn to ensure health, strength, and long life. The rings were also believed to possess great protective and enduring virtues. The Serpent was a mark of royalty in Egypt, and worn as a head dress or UR.AEUS.

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