Consualia or Consuales Ludi
This was the festival of Consus, god of the grain stores and councils, who also had festivals on July 7th and August 21st. (His consort Opalia was honoured on December 19th and his August festival followed by the Opiconsivia in her honour on August 25th ). His name seems to be Etruscan or Sabine in origin and relate to ‘crops/ seeding’ (conserere = ‘to sow’). He may have become the god of secret councils from a misinterpretation of his name, from consilium (‘councils/assemblies), not to be confused with counsel (‘advice’).
At this time of year, the harvest was in stored vaults underground. The temple of Consus was also underground, near the Circus Maximus, with an altar covered with earth which was only uncovered for this festival. He was represented by a grain seed.
During the celebration horses, mules, and asses were exempted from work, and were led through the streets adorned with garlands and flowers. Chariot races were held this day in the Circus Maximus, which included an unusual race in which chariots were pulled by mules. Consus was often called Neptunus Equestris (‘Equestrian Neptune’) and seems to be connected with Neptune (Poseidon), the sea god who created horses.
Mars, as a protector of the harvest, was also honored on this day, as were the lares, the individual household Gods.
—Anna Franklin, Yule (The Eight Sabbats)
Held annually in Rome on August 21, Consualia was a celebration of the harvest held in honor of Consus. There would have been a sacrifice and offerings of the first fruits, followed by horse racing in the Circus Maximus. The horses and chariots would have been decorated in garland and paraded before the altar of Consus, which was kept underground and exposed only on August 21 and at the preceding celebration of Consualia and the Festival of The Pales.
Consus was the ancient Roman Earth God of granary and was connected with the harvest and Autumn sowing. He had an underground barn and altar at the Circus Maximus, which was only uncovered at his twice-yearly festivals. Consus also had a temple on the Aventine Hill, and his sacrifical offerins consisted of first fruits. Consus was also identified with the Greek God Poseidon and with Neptune, presumably because of his association with horses. HIs symbols include the horse and chariot, cornucopia, all fruits, vegetables and grain. His colors are gold, brown, and rust, and his numerical values are 7 and 21.
July 7 and 8
The Consualia and Festival of the Pales
It is believed that the festivals in honor of Consus were possibly to celebrate the harvest. Consus had an altar in the Circus Maximus in Rome that was kept underground. The altar was only exposed on July 7 and August 21, with burnt sacrifices offered in July by the Sacredotes Publici (state priests) and in August by the Flamen Quirnalis (priest of Consus) with the Vestal Virgins in attendance.
The Festival of Pales, held on Nonae Caprotinae (nones of the wild fig), was a feast of serving women held in honor of Juno Caprotina.
The Wicca Book of Days for May 15th
In ancient Rome, the Ides of May – May 15th – was regarded as the birthdayof Mercury and therefore as Mercury’s sacred day. It was on this date in 496 BC, that a temple was dedicated to Mercurius the divine Roman counterpart of the Greek Hermes, near the Circus Maximus and guild of merchants was established. Mercury was a patron of commerce and his birthday was especially observed by merchants, who dipped laurel branches into the God’s sacred spring and sprinkled their wares with the water, praying that they would reap handsome profits.
The Hare Moon
Wiccans dedicate the May Esbat to the “Hare Moon.” Long associated with the moon, in many cultures, the fleet-footed hare was believed by the Romans, to be a messenger-carrying creature of Mercury, and was also sacred to Venus and Cupid as a symbol of fertility and lust.