Origins of Lupercalia

WOLVESOrigins of Lupercalia

Type of Holiday: Ancient

Date of Observation: February 15

Where Celebrated: Rome

Symbols and Customs: Blood, Februa, Goat, Milk, Wolf

Colors: Red and white, in the form of BLOOD and MILK , both played a part in the earliest observance of the Lupercalia. Nowadays these are the colors associated with Valentine’s Day, to which this ancient festival has been linked.

Related Holidays: Valentine’s Day

ORIGINS
The Lupercalia was a festival in the ancient Roman religion, which scholars trace back to the sixth century B . C . E . Roman religion dominated Rome and influenced territories in its empire until Emperor Constantine’s conversion to Christianity in the third century C . E . Ancient Roman religion was heavily influenced by the older Greek religion. Roman festivals therefore had much in common with those of the ancient Greeks. Not only were their gods and goddesses mostly the same as those in the Greek pantheon (though the Romans renamed them), but their religious festivals were observed with similar activities: ritual sacrifice, theatrical performances, games, and feasts.

The Lupercalia festival was held in honor of the WOLF who mothered Romulus and Remus, the legendary twin founders of Rome. During the original Roman celebration, members from two colleges of priests gathered at a cave on the Palatine Hill called the Lupercal-supposedly the cave where Romulus and Remus had been suckled by a she-wolf-and sacrificed a GOAT and a dog. The animals’ BLOOD was smeared on the foreheads of two young priests and then wiped away with wool dipped in MILK . The two young men stripped down to a goatskin loincloth and ran around the Palatine, striking everyone who approached them, especially the women, with thongs of goat skin called FEBRUA . It is believed that this was both a fertility ritual and a purification rite. It may also have been a very early example of “beating the bound, or reestablishing the borders of the early Palatine settlement.

There is some confusion over which god the Luperci or priests served; some say it was Faunus, a rural deity, and some say it was Pan, the god of shepherds who protected sheep from the danger of wolves. All that is certain is that by Caesar’s time, the annual ceremony had become a spectacular public sight, with young men running half-naked through the streets and provoking much good-natured hysteria among the women. February 15 was also the day when Mark Antony offered Julius Caesar the crown. Thanks to this historic event, and Shakespeare’s account of it in his play Julius Caesar, the Lupercalia is one of the best known of all Roman festivals.

It is interesting that such a rustic festival continued to be celebrated in Rome for centuries after it had been Christianized. Its survival can be partially credited to Augustus, who rebuilt the Lupercal in the first century B . C . E ., thus giving the celebration a boost. It continued to be observed until 494 C . E ., when Pope Gelasius I changed the day to the Feast of the Purification of the Virgin Mary. There is some reason to believe that the Lupercalia was a forerunner of the modern VALENTINE’S DAY: Part of the ceremony involved putting girls’ names in a box and letting boys draw them out, thus pairing them off until the next Lupercalia.

Source:
The Free Dictionary

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Happy Lupercalia To All Those Celebrating Today!

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Lupercalia

This was an ancient Roman festival during which worshippers gathered at a grotto on the Palatine Hill in Rome called the Lupercal, where Rome’s legendary founders, Romulus and Remus, had been suckled by a wolf. The sacrifice of goats and dogs to the Roman deities Lupercus and Faunus was part of the ceremony. Luperci (priests of Lupercus) dressed in goatskins and, smeared with the sacrificial blood, would run about striking women with thongs of goat skin. This was thought to assure them of fertility and an easy delivery. The name for these thongs— februa —meant “means of purification” and eventually gave the month of February its name. There is some reason to believe that the Lupercalia was a forerunner of modern Valentine’s Day customs. Part of the ceremony involved putting girls’ names in a box and letting boys draw them out, thus pairing them off until the next Lupercalia.

The Witches Magickal Correspondence for Imbolc 2013

Imbolc/Candlemas Comments

The  Witches Magickal Correspondence for Imbolc 2013

Colors: White, Pink, Red, Orange, Yellow, Light Green, Brown.

Food: sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, muffins, diary products, peppers, onions, raisins, garlic, poppyseed breads and cakes, herbal teas, dairy, spiced wines, potatoes, turnips, bread, rabbit and venison. Use up last of winters supply of food.

Incense: basil, bay, cinnamon, violet, vanilla, rosemary, frankincense,  and wisteria.

Candles: brown, pink and red.

Gemstones: amethyst, garnet, onyx, bloodstone, ruby and turquoise

Deities: All Virgin/Maiden Goddesses, Brighid, Aradia, Athena, Inanna, Gaia, and Februa, and Gods of Love and Fertility, Aengus Og, Eros, and Februus.

Symbols: Brideo’gas, Besoms, White , Candle Wheels, , Priapic Wands (acorn-tipped), lamps, yellow flowers and Ploughs.

Herbs: Angelica, basil, bay, blackberry, celandine, coltsfoot, heather, iris, myrrh, tansy, snowdrop, violets, all white or yellow flowers.

The Wiccan Book of Days for Feb. 3rd – Februa in Februarius

Wiccan Pictures, Images, Comments, Graphics

Februa in Februarius

The transition from January to February heralded the arrival of a major Sabbat, but now that Imbolc has been celebrated, there is time to reflect on the name of the second month of the solar year. “February” is ultimately derived from the Latin word februum, which means “purification” or “purgation” and is linked with the Februa (or Februalia) festival of purification, expiation, and atonement that was held in Rome on February 15. It is thought that both the Roman month of Februarius an Februa, during which sacrifices were made to he dead were dedicated to Febuus, a god of the underworld.

“Many Happy Returns”

On this day, ponder upon the Wiccan threefold law of return, which holds that any magick that you do unto others will rebound three times as strongly upon yourself. Think hard before casting a spiteful spell lest you later have personal cause to rue its consequences.