December 1 and 2
Festivals of Neptune and Pietas
Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself, but talent instantly recognizes genius.
-Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
You do ill if you praise, but worse if you censure, what you do not rightly understand.
-Leonardo Da Vinci
December 1 celebrated the festivals of Neptune and Pietas. This festival was the equivalent to the one that was held on July 23 at the temple dedicated to Neptune in the Circus Flaminus within the Campus Martius. There would have been games, a sacrifice, and, more than likely, some sort of horse and chariot race.
Pieta, a Roman Goddess who was the personification of respectful duty, is often portrayed in human form and sometimes accompanied by a stork, the symbol of deferential duty. She was frequently represented on coins, which were considered to be a symbol of the reigning emperor’s virtues. Her temple was in the Circus Flaminius and later at the Forum Holitorium, where her December 1 festival was held.
It was on the 1st of December in 1750 that seven men (for a wager) buttoned themselves into the waistcoat of Mr. Edward Bright of Maldon, Essex, who had expired at the age of 29 and was considered to be the fattest man that ever lived in Britain.
On December 2, Tibetan Buddhists make their annual pilgrimage to the world’s oldest tree in what it known as Bodh Gaya. The tree was planted in 282 B.c. and is believed to be an offshoot of the Bodhi tree-the tree that the Buddha sat under when he attained enlightenment.
The Equirria was an ancient Roman festival of horse-racing held in honor of the God Mars. It was said to have been established by Romulus and held in the Campus Martius on Caelian Hill. There was a similar festival held on March 14 called the Mamuralia.
Mars was originally a God of agriculture and guardian of fields and boundaries, known as Mamers, Maris, or Marmar. He became identified with the Greek God Ares and so assumed the major role of war God. He was regarded as the son of Juno, and the month of March was named after him. He had a succession of festivals in February, March, and October.
Magickal Activity for Equirria
The First Pentacle of Mars
The First Pentacle of Mars is used to invoke the powers of Mars for gaining courage, enthusiasm, ambition, and all physical accomplishments.
You will need:
A square of red card stock
1 Red red votive candle in a glass holder
A small red cloth bag
Inscribe the First Pentacle of Mars on the red square of card stock. Light the red votive candle, and place it on top of the pentacle as you chant:
“Almighty warrior and God of power,
Fill me with courage from this hour.”
Allow the candle to burn completely out. Place the pentacle in the red bag and carry for courage
Celebrating Our Spirituality 365 Day A Year – August 23
Vulcan was the ancient Roman God of fire and smithcraft. He had his own Flamen, the Flamen Vocanalis.
Very little is known about his festival and worship, but he did have a temple on the Campus Martius. Mythologically, Vulcan was the father of the fire-breathing monster Cacus, and his two consorts were Maia and Hora–also worshipped during his festival.