Ancient Rome A superstitious Society

From HistoryCooperative.org – To read the rest of the article about Omens and Superstations

A superstitious Society

Compare to modern society, the Romans seem extremely superstitious. But then today’s major religions have all throughout their past discouraged, even combatted, superstitions. Also our sciences and our technological world allows little room for superstition.

The Romans lived in an era previous to this. Their world was full of unexplained phenomena, darkness and fear. To Romans these superstitions were a perfectly natural part in the relationship between gods and men.

The Roman habit of interpreting natural phenomena as signs from the beyond stemmed from the Etruscans. The Etruscans, who developed reading omens and auspices into a form of science, knew different means of divination. In their beliefs the signs they read were sent to them by a mythical boy called Tages, who in their mythology was to have been ploughed up from the earth.

They would seek to read the future by examining the entrails of sacrificial animals, the liver being of special importance for that purpose. They would observe lighting and interpret its meanings. And they would try and put meaning to any unusual phenomena which occured.

The belief that objects, or living beings could possess special spiritual properties was widespread in primitive societies. The Romans were no strangers to this idea. Stones, trees, springs, caves, lakes, swamps, mountains – even animals and furniture – were all deemed to be hosts to spirits (numina). Stones in particular were often seen to contain spirits, especially if they were boundary stones, dividing one man’s property from the other.

It is very telling that the Latin word for such a boundary is terminus and that there actually was a Roman god called Terminus. This odd deity took the form of a huge piece of rock which rested in the temple of Jupiter on the Capitoline Hill. Apparently several attempts to move the bolder when…

Seasons of the Witch – Legends and Lore, Ancient Holidays And Some Not So Ancient!

Seasons of the Witch – Legends and Lore, Ancient Holidays And Some Not So Ancient!

 

Today Is …

 

Egyptian: Ritual day in the Temples of Ra, Osiris and Horus

Feast of Diana in Rome. Invite friends over for a great dinner. Every year on this date, the Goddess of Chastity, Hunting, and the Moon was honored by the ancient Romans. This is a special day of feasting, mirth, and magic-making for many Dianic Wiccans, since Diana is the most sacred goddess of their tradition.

Ghost Dance On this date in the year 1950, Oglala Sioux mystic and medicine man Nicholas Black Elk died in Manderson, South Dakota. He was known for his great powers of prophecy and healing, and was an adherent of the Ghost Dance, a short-lived Native American religious movement which ended in a tragic massacre at Wounded Knee, South Dakota, in 1890.

Blessing of the Grapes – In Armenia, the blessing of the Grapes takes place on the Sunday closest to the Assumption (they coincide this year). No grapes are eaten until today when they are taken to church to be blessed, then distributed to the churchgoers when they leave. Women named Mary have parties in vineyards or their homes (because this is considered their name day — as in many cultures, the saint’s day associated with your name is celebrated like a birthday). Spicer, Dorothy Gladys, The Book of Festivals, The Women’s Press 1937

Hera Thelkinia – On the 20th day of the lunar month of Metageitnion, the Greeks celebrated this festival in honor of Hera as Thelkinia, which some translate as the Charmer and others as the Enchanter.

Cat Nights -Someone thought that cats deserved their own month-long holiday after the Dog Days and decided that this was the starting date for it. Makes sense to me.

Portunalia – An obscure Roman festival associated with the harbor god Portunus, whose symbol was the key. He may have been a god of gates, or the keys that secure grain storehouses. Until AD 17, this was also the dedication day of Janus’s temple. Considering the value of stored grain, which is both food in winter and seed for spring, it makes sense that blessing the keys or transporting the grain to the storehouse at harvest time would become a sacred ritual.

China: FEAST OF THE HUNGRY GHOSTS. Wide variety of offerings for those who died orphans, paupers or beggars & those who died far from home. Those lonesome & desolate souls may return to inhabit leaves & grasses, & spread plagues. If offerings are made, they may stay away.

20: Full Moon – Corn Moon 29 August 2015 20: Birthday of author Ann Moura in 1947 31: Birthday of author Raymond Buckland

GrannyMoon’s Morning Feast Archives Remember the ancient ways and keep them sacred! )0( Live each Season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each. ~Henry David Thoreau (1817 – 1862)

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Courtesy of GrannyMoonsMorningFeast