The Pagan Calendar for Friday, August 25th – Opiconsivia

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The Pagan Calendar for Friday, August 25th








Aug 25 Every year


On August 25, the Opiconsivia (or Opeconsiva or Opalia) Roman festival was held in honor of Ops. Opiconsivia was also a surname of Ops herself. And this name was also given to December 19, on which day the Opalia were celebrated, also in her honor (some mention also August 10 and December 9). The Latin word consivia (or consiva) derives from conserere (“to sow”). Hence, the word Opiconsivia may be interpreted as meaning “the sowing of crops”, since Ops ultimately means “crops” in the sense of “riches, goods”. This word is also related to Consus, the male counterpart of Ops as “the seeder”.

Both Ops and Consus were deemed chthonic (underworld) deities which made the vegetation grow. Since her abode was inside the earth, Ops was invoked by her worshippers while sitting, with their hands touching the ground, according to Macrobius (Saturnalia, I:10). Consus seems to be an alias of Saturn in the chthonic aspect, since he is also held to be the husband of Ops. Ops, the Earth Mother, was also considered the Great Mother of the Gods. As such, Ops is an alias of Rhea, Cybele, Demeter, and so on, impersonating the earth as the giver of riches.

The festival of Consus, the Consualia, was celebrated twice a year: once on August 21, after the harvest, and once on December 15, after the sowing of crops was finished. The Consualia was instituted by Romulus, and commemorated the rape (and insemination) of the Sabine women by the Romans. The festival was superintended by the Flamines of Quirinus (Mars), helped by the Vestals. The main priestess at the regia wore a white veil. A chariot race was performed in the Circus Maximus, under the direction of the pontifices. Horses and mules, their heads crowned with chaplets made of flowers, also partook in the celebration. Consus was eventually identified with Neptunus Equester, the alias and counterpart of Poseidon Hippios. Poseidon (Neptune) had been associated with the animal since archaic times.