Symbols and Customs of Lupercalia

Joulis ^^ !Symbols and Customs of Lupercalia

Blood
Blood played an important role in the observation of the Lupercalia. The blood of the animals sacrificed at the festival was smeared across the foreheads of two young priests with a knife-perhaps to symbolize death without actually killing anyone. Some accounts of the early observation of this festival say that the youths had to laugh after the blood had been wiped off, which may have been another symbolic act designed to prove that they had been reborn or revived.

Red, the color of blood, is still closely identified with the celebration of VALENTINE’S DAY on February 14. There is reason to believe that what started out as a pagan fertility ritual was eventually transformed into a Christian feast in honor of St. Valentine. Then the Christian festival gradually turned into a secular celebration of young lovers. If this is the case, then the red that dominates so many modern Valentine cards may have derived from the sacrificial blood of the Lupercalia.

Februa
The skins of the goats sacrificed at the Lupercalia were cut into long, thin strips, from which whips were made. The loinskin-clad youths ran through the streets, whipping everyone they met. Women in particular were eager to receive these lashes, as they believed that the whipping would cure infertility and ease the pains of childbirth.

The goatskin thongs used as whips were called februa. Both this name and the name of the month in which the festival was observed, February, were derived from the word februum, which was an ancient instrument of purification. Whipping certain parts of the body with an instrument believed to possess magical powers was considered an effective way of driving off the evil spirits that interfered with human fertilization. The goatskin thongs were believed to possess such powers.

Running around the settlement on the Palatine Hill in Rome wearing the skins and carrying the februa appears to have been an attempt to trace a magic circle around the city to shut out evil influences. This would make the Lupercalia a precursor of the ceremony that came to be known as “beating the bounds.”

Goat
In pre-Christian times, the goat was a symbol of virility and unbridled lust. Christians saw the goat as an “impure, stinking” creature in search of gratification. In portrayals of the Last Judgment, the goat is the creature who is eternally condemned to the fires of Hell, and it’s no coincidence that the devil has many goatlike characteristics. In the Middle Ages, witches were often shown riding through the air on goats, and the devil appears as a male goat whose rump the witches kiss.

If the Lupercalia was primarily a fertility ritual, it makes sense that the women were whipped with thongs made from the skins of an animal identified with lust and virility. But why was a dog sacrificed as well? It is important to remember here that the Lupercalia was both a fertility rite and a purification rite, held to protect the fields and herds from evil. Perhaps dogs were involved in the sacrifice because they are the traditional guardians of the sheepfold.

Goats today are considered a symbol of sexual drive, and February is the month during which they mate.

Milk
After the Luperci were smeared with the blood of the sacrifice, the blood was wiped from their foreheads with wool dipped in milk. Just as the blood symbolized death, the milky wool was symbolic of new life, because milk represents the source of life. Some scholars have theorized that the milk was a symbol of sperm and the red symbolized menstrual blood. According to an ancient theory of procreation, new life came from the union of white sperm with red menses.

Today, red and white are the colors associated with VALENTINE’S DAY.

Wolf
The Latin word for wolf is lupus, from which both the Lupercal (cave) and the Lupercalia derived their names. While the festival may originally have been held in honor of the she-wolf who cared for Romulus and Remus, wolves also represented a threat to the herds on which the early Romans depended for food. The wolf is therefore a symbol not only for the wild, unrestrained forces of nature but also for the benevolent guardian of helpless creatures like Romulus and Remus.

Why were the priests called Luperci? The word Lupercus might have come from a phrase meaning “to purify by means of a goat”; or it might have come from a combination of lupus and arcere, meaning “he who wards off wolves.” Whether the Luperci were protectors from wolves or wolf-priests who took the form of wolves as a means of bringing them under control is a question that has never been satisfactorily answered. Some scholars suggest that the dead revealed themselves in the form of wolves, against whom the community had to be defended.

FURTHER READING
Biedermann, Hans. Dictionary of Symbolism: Cultural Icons and the Meanings Behind Them. New York: Meridian Books, 1994. Fowler, W. Warde. The Roman Festivals of the Period of the Republic. New York: Macmillan Co., 1925. Henderson, Helene, ed. Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary. 3rd ed. Detroit: Omnigraphics, 2005. James, E.O. Seasonal Feasts and Festivals. 1961. Reprint. Detroit: Omnigraphics, 1993. Lemprière, John. Lemprière’s Classical Dictionary. Revised ed. London: Bracken, 1994. Santino, Jack. All Around the Year: Holidays and Celebrations in American Life. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1994. Scullard, H.H. Festivals and Ceremonies of the Roman Republic. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1981.

Article published on The Free Dictionary

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The Witches Correspondences for Friday, December 25th

Christmas with animals ::: Weihnachten mit Tieren
FRIDAY CORRESPONDENCES

Venus/Water/East/West/South/Dawn/Female/Libra/Taurus

 

Magickal Intentions: Love, Romance, Marriage, Sexual Matters, Physical Beauty, Friendship and Partnerships, Strangers, Heart

Color: aqua, blue, light blue, brown, green, pale green, magenta, peach, pink, rose, white, all pastels

Number: 5, 6

Metal: copper

Charm: green or white garments, scepter

Stone: alexandrite, amethyst, coral, diamond, emerald, jade, jet, black moonstone, peridot, smoky quartz, tiger’s-eye, pink tourmaline

Animal: camel, dove, elephant, goat, horse, pigeon, sparrow

Plant: apple, birch, cherry, clematis, clove, coriander, heather, hemlock, hibiscus, ivy, lotus, moss, myrtle, oats, pepperwort, peppermint, pinecone, quince, raspberry, rose, pink rose, red rose, rose hips, saffron, sage, savin, stephanotis, strawberry, thyme, vanilla, verbena, violet, water lily, yarrow, and all flowers

Incense: ambergris, camphor, mace, musk, myrrh, rose, saffron, sage, sandalwood, sweetgrass, vanilla, violet, all floral scents

Goddess: Aphrodite, Asherah, Baalith, Brigid, Erzulie, Freya (Passionate Queen), Frigg, Gefion, Harbor (Beautiful One), Hestia, Inanna, Ishtar (Lady of Passion and Desire), Lakshmi, Lilith, Mokosh, Nehalennia, Nerthus, Ostara, Pombagira, Sarasvati, Shakti, Shekinah, Sirtur, Al Uzza, Venus (Queen of Pleasure), Vesta

God: Allah, Bacchus, Bes, Cupid, the Dagda, Dionysus, El, Eros (God of Love), Freyr, Frit Ailek, Shukra

Evocation: Agrat Bat Mahalat, Anael, Hagiel, Mokosba, Rasbid, Sachiel, Uriel, Velas

Courtesy of Moonlight Musings

Your Charm for December 18th is The Cornucopia

 Your Charm Today

The Cornucopia 

Today’s Meaning:       

This aspect is need of some pampering, you are in need of some pampering and who better to do it than yourself? Do something extravagant, something out of character and make this aspect a more pleasant place to be.         

General Description:        

This is a Roman amulet and was worn for many centuries as a charm to attract good fortune. The Cornucopia represents Amaitheia’s Horn, and is a symbol of prosperity, abundance and fruitfulness. Amaltheia daughter of Melissus, King of Crete, nursed the infant Jupiter with goats milk. Jupiter afterwards endowed the goats horn with magical properties, and promising that it would supply in abundance whatever she desired, gave it to his nurse. The idea most probably originated from using the horns of oxen and goats as drinking cups.

December 11 – Daily Feast

December 11 – Daily Feast

When peace is scattered, imagine a flock of gentle sheep and lambs feeding in sunny meadows. Their slow gentle gait across the slopes and among the grasses is so peaceful that the whole atmosphere is laced with serenity. And then think what it is when a few goats get in with the sheep. Mischief begins. It is not the nature of goats to graze peacefully. They move among the sheep causing restlessness until the whole flock is ill at ease. There are goats among us. They cry and nip and bite, they stir up activity that is not congenial, and it is a real job to separate the sheep from the goats. And more than this, we have to make sure we are not one of the goats.

~ Selfhood is ever calm and unshaken by the storms of existence. ~

OHIYESA

‘A Cherokee Feast of Days, Volume II’ by Joyce Sequichie Hifler

Calendar of the Sun for December 5th

Calendar of the Sun

5 Yulmonath

Festival of Faunus

Color: Green
Element: Earth
Altar: Upon cloth of green set a bowl of soil, gathered earlier in the year, and many small cups of soil, the figure of a goat, a plate of cookies shaped like goats, and a cup of wine. In the large bowl set many sticks of incense, with a single stick in each cup.
Offerings: Give seeds to people with gardens.
Daily Meal: Vegetarian

Invocation to Faunus

Hail Blessed Faunus, Benefactor of the Fields!
You whose name means Favored One,
Favor us, as we stand here today!
Favor our fields, that they may yield.
Favor our gardens, that they may grow.
Favor our flocks, that they may increase.
Favor our faith, that it may grow as well.
Give us increase and abundance of all good things,
Enough to help us through times of dearth.
Give us luck, that we may find our way
Past all the obstacles that cannot be
Surmounted by skill alone.
Smile on us, Faunus, Gladsome One,
Goat-horned and goat-hooved
Like the animals you watch over,
Let those in our care not go hungry
Nor suffer the pangs of thirst.
Show us the future, Oracular One,
And we pray that it may be a future
We can all look forward to.
Hail, Faunus, Father of Bona Dea,
Son and wife of Marica the nymph,
Called Lupercus, He who wards off the Wolf,
Ward the evil from our lives
And watch over us as your flock.

(The wine is poured out as a libation. One takes the great bowl of earth and purifies the altar room with its smoke. All others take a cup and walk alone to some place in the House or the lands in order to purify that place with the smoke.)

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Calendar of the Sun for October 21st

Calendar of the Sun

21 Winterfyllith

Great Horn Fair: Day of the Horned One

Colors: Dark Green and Brown
Element: Earth
Altar: Upon cloth of brown lay the horns of many animals, branches of pine, cakes shaped like horned animals, and a horn filled with mead.
Offerings: Figures of horned animals.
Daily Meal: Meat from hoofed creatures.

Invocation to the Horned Lord

Hail to the Horned One,
Opener of the Gates of Life and Death!
Great Stag of the Western Islands
Whose Name is Nobility,
Whose Path is Swiftness,
Whose Gift is Wisdom,
We hail you for your sacrifice!
Great Goat of the Eastern Mountains
Whose Name is Lustful,
Whose Path is Ascending,
Whose Gift is Agility,
We hail you for your sacrifice!
Great Ram of the Southern Shores
Whose Name is Protection,
Whose Path is Leadership,
Whose Gift is Courage,
We hail you for your sacrifice!
Great Reindeer of the Northern Tundra
Whose Name is Endurance,
Whose Path is Fate,
Whose Gift is Warmth,
We hail you for your sacrifice!
Great Bull of the Central Plains
Whose Name is Passion,
Whose Path is Devastation,
Whose Gift is Strength,
We hail you for your sacrifice!

Chant:
Horned One, Lover, Son, Leaper in the Corn
Deep in the Mother, Die and be reborn
(The mead and cakes are shared and passed about, and the remainder is a libation.)

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Calendar of the Sun for February 14th

Calendar of the Sun

14 Solmonath

Lupercalia

Color: Black and red
Element: Earth
Altar: Drape with black and set with the figures of wolves and a straw goat. There should also be a shallow bowl filled with the blood of a recently slaughtered animal, and a knife in the blood, and a goatskin whip.
Offerings: Cakes baked of “mola salsa”, heavily salted meal from the first ears of  harvested during the last year. An agreement to  the predator and prey within you.
Daily Meal: Goat meat. Bread or cooked grains.

Lupercalia Invocation

Within us is the goat
Who is sacrificed
Who gives up its life
Who is torn apart
That others may live.
Within us is the wolf
That does the tearing,
Who is pitiless,
Who is implacable,
Who is the life for which
The prey lays it own down.
We are both wolf and goat
And to devalue one
Is to shame the other.

Call and Response:
Hail, Creature of Prey, Sacrificed One!
Hail, Predator who accepts the sacrifice!
Hail, Pan, Goat-God who runs on swift hooves!
Hail, Loba, Wolf-Goddess, who pursues him!
May we fear no pain!
May we fear no pain!
May we fear no !

(Two who have been chosen to do the work of the ritual stand naked before the altar. One takes the whip and whips the open presented palms of each person, saying, “Let the spirit of the Goat come into you.” The other takes the bloody knife and carefully wipes it across the foreheads of everyone present, saying, “Let the spirit of the Wolf come into you.” All join in a group howl.)

[Pagan Book of Hours]

All About Our Brothers and Sisters who are Capricorns

Introducing…Capricorn

 

There are many theories on why the Capricorn Goat is often portrayed as half goat-half fish. All stories seem to have common threads around the hard working and sexually intense nature of Capricorn personalities. Capricorns enjoy hard work and enjoy the pleasures and satisfaction of intense physical contact. They thrive on difficult or complex problem solving. It is thought that the Capricorn goats struggle with taking the same intensity they have toward their work into their bedroom.

Their aggressive passion and sexual nature was frowned upon by the Greek Gods. The Gods decided to punish him so they turned his lower half into a fish so he could no longer act on his sexual desires. As a result his sexuality was stunted and all that repressed energy was redirected into an intense focused work ethic. So our modern day Capricorns have hints toward this repressed sexuality. They enjoy work and struggle with their need and inability to let loose physically. So, we decided to represent this persona as a very hard working character. He’s completely focused on getting the job done. His large wrench conveys his ability to tackle any job, any size. It also can be used to fine tune the tension of his tale, adjusting his direction and control his sexual desires.

Physical Characteristics

Physically, our Capricorn is not necessarily well kept and clean. He’s less concerned with his physical appearance. He looks at life as a big job that needs to be done. He’s concerned with doing it right, not necessarily how he looks doing it. He has a handy apron to keep his tools at the ready. Again, functional clothes are more important than fashion to our Capricorn goat.

His eyes are focused. Intense but not threatening. His expression is one of intense thought and focus. He’s generally not looking at someone, but rather through someone. He’s not scary or mean, he’s on the side of progress and will jump from camp to camp if it means he can complete something he starts.

Zodiac Super Power

Our Capricorn’s super power are his goggles. He wears them on his head and puts them on when he needs to see details through chaos. He can refine and drill down to the smallest grain of sand in a dust storm. He can focus amid chaotic smoke storms. His goggles act as night vision when others can not see obvious solutions, our Capricorn can. He will put his goggles on and get the job done. His ability to stay calm focused on solutions makes him the most reliable and diligent sign of the Zodiac.

 

Calendar of the Sun for December 22nd

Calendar of the Sun

21 Yulemonath

Day of the Goat – Capricorn Begins

Colors: Black and dark brown and dark grey
Element: Earth
Altar: Set with cloths of black and dark brown and dark grey, a mountain of stones of any kind but especially obsidian and granite, lead sinkers, a chain, and the figure of a goat.
Offerings: A bow of respect. A grey hair. Finish a hard task that was begun some time ago and has been put off due to procrastination.
Daily Meal: Root vegetables. Goat meat, goat cheese, and goat milk. Coarse dark bread.

Invocation to Capricorn

Climber of the highest mountain,
Goat whose strength does not give in,
Child of Saturn, chained god,
Who is a friend to hardship and endurance,
Whose gift is Persistence,
Bless us with the ability
To keep going even when the way is hard
Even when all hope seems to be lost,
Even when there is no light on the horizon.
Even in the utter darkness,
Never let us lose sight of our goals.
By the power of all aspiration,
You challenge us to help each other
Achieve what we have yearned for.
May we all go forth
In unswerving loyalty.

Chant:
Under the Earth
Under the ground
Is the birth of mountains found.

(Let all present hear the invocation on their knees, on the hardest floor, save for those who have an infirmity that must be taken into consideration. The singing also should be done kneeling, and afterwards let each person prostrate themselves on the ground, and remain that way, face down, meditating on the earth beneath them, until the hour is over.)

 

[Pagan Book of Hours]

 

Your Magickal Charm for December 14th is The Cornucopia

Your Charm for Today

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Today’s Meaning:   

This aspect is need of some pampering, you are in need of some pampering and who better to do it than yourself? Do something extravagant, something out of character and make this aspect a more pleasant place to be.

General Description:   

This is a Roman amulet and was worn for many centuries as a charm to attract good fortune. The Cornucopia represents Amaitheia’s Horn, and is a symbol of prosperity, abundance and fruitfulness. Amaltheia daughter of Melissus, King of Crete, nursed the infant Jupiter with goats milk. Jupiter afterwards endowed the goats horn with magical properties, and promising that it would supply in abundance whatever she desired, gave it to his nurse. The idea most probably originated from using the horns of oxen and goats as drinking cups.