Saturnalia Celebration, December 17-24, freedom from slavery

Minerva and Saturn protect Art and Science of envy and falsehood 1644

Joachim von Sandrart, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Saturnalia Celebration is here, an occasion of wild revelry. Celebrate the Lord of the Rings.

Happy Saturnalia! The ancient Roman festival was celebrated on December 17-24.

The best part of the Saturnalia (for slaves) was the temporary reversal of roles. Masters served meals to their slaves who were permitted the unaccustomed luxuries of leisure and gambling. Clothing was relaxed and included the peaked woollen cap that symbolized the freed slave, which looks an awful lot like you know who’s peaked red hat . A member of the familia (family plus slaves) was appointed,” Lord of Misrule”.

Men were allowed to express their homosexual feelings in public. There was a huge element of satire and FOOL-ery, or scapegoating a term which relates to the sign of Capricorn which is the sign that the SOL or SUN enters on the Solstice.

The Roman poet Catullus said it was “the best of days.” there was gift-giving, constant partying, and wax or pottery figures called sigillaria were made.

During Saturnalia the people wore a special cap called a pileus-like a pileated woodpecker’s crest, made from felt which signified a freed Slave. It was also a bronze military helmet in the 5th Century BC. A similar one is used today in Albania and Kosovo.

 SATURNALIA, an Ancient Roman Festival, was originally celebrated on Dec 17 but in spite of opposition became so popular it ran till Dec 24.The Saturnalia was originally celebrated in Ancient Rome for only a day, but it was so popular it soon it lasted a week, despite Augustus’ efforts to reduce it to three days, and Caligula’s, to five. Like our Christmas, this important holy day was for more than fun and games. The Saturnalia was a time to honor the god of sowing and reaping, Saturn. But like our Christmas, it was also a festival day on which a public banquet was prepared.  A statue of Saturn Lord of Time/ was usually bound in Rope but at his feast, the statue was unbound.

Saturnalia Was the Best Part of the Roman Year

The poet Catullus describes Saturnalia as the best of days. It was a time of celebration, visits to friends, and gift-giving, particularly of wax candles (cerei), and earthenware figurines (Sigillaria). The Romans had a story that an old prophecy btold the earliest inhabitants of Latium -a place in ancient Italy to send heads to Hades and phota to Saturn. The ancient Latins interpreted this to mean human sacrifices, but, according to legend, Hercules advised using lights (phos means “light” or “man” according to accent) and not human heads. Taking the holiday out of a gristley head hunting Saturnine influence to one of celebrating the return of the Light.

Macrobius, in his Saturnalia, creates an imaginary symposium among pagan intellectuals in which he offers an explanation for the varying length of the holiday. Originally, it was celebrated on only one day, the fourteenth before the Kalends of January. With the reform of the Julian calendar,  two days were added to December, and the Saturnalia was celebrated sixteen days before the Kalends (December 17), “with the result that, since the exact day was not commonly known—some observing the addition which Caesar had made to the calendar and others following the old usage—the festival came to be regarded as lasting for more days than one.

The original day now was given over to the Opalia, honouring Ops, who personified abundance and the fruits of the earth, and was the consort of Saturn. As the two deities represented the produce of the fields and orchards, so they also were thought to represent heaven and earth. It was for this reason, says Macrobius (I.10.20), that the two festivals were celebrated at the same time, the worshipers of Ops always sitting in prayer so that they touched the earth, mother of all. I was struck by the etymological simile of Opalia, Goddess of abundance and Oprah’s name. Name destiny is a very important signifier for me.

The Saturnalia had a direct influence on the celebrations of Christmas and the New Year. The fact that Christmas was celebrated on the birthday of the unconquered sun (dies solis invicti nati) gave the season a solar background, connected with the kalends of January 1, the Roman New Year when houses were decorated with greenery and lights, and presents were given to children and the poor.

Saturn’s metal is lead and its color is black. Black is the absence of light. The rays emitted by Saturn are of a violet color. Black is a calming color for agitated persons and is also known for its protective properties.

Saturn represents the forces of limitations and restrictions both in time and space providing the structure without which existence would dissolve into chaos. Saturn rules the bones and especially the knees- to which Capricorn’s are prone to have trouble with.

Saturn/Satan became equated with the Devil in latter Christian mythology. Two of the most foul-smelling herbs, asafoetida and valerian, have been used for millennia in rites of banishment and exorcism and are powerful antispasmodics, acting to limit and sedate potentially damaging overflows of energy in medicines. Other Saturnine herbs are patchouli, cypress, and the yew tree.

Other herbs of Saturn: rosemary, dill and St. John’s wort are also antispasmodics, working principally on the nervous and digestive systems. 

Solomon’s Seal and Hyssop bear fruit of an indigo color of Saturn and the flowers of garlic are sterile. Garlic is a great limiter in terms of internal infection as well as eliminating worms.  garlic is widely credited as a preventative against a variety of diseases including Bubonic Plague. It regularizes the liver and gall bladder while Rosemary stimulates bile production and has a limiting effect on the circulatory system, lowering blood pressure and combating arteriosclerosis. It seems obvious that the Saturnian medical principles of essential healing agents are at times difficult to swallow.

Saturn is called SATI in Sanskrit the root word of our English.

Remember how ancient Christmas celebrations are always based on the SUN and the SOLSTICE primarily. The Christians had to overlay the new Kid on the block Jesus’ story on the ancient celebration or it wouldn’t fly.

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Groundhog Day, Candlemas 2021

February 2nd in modern secular times we have the mash-up of Candlemas/Imbolc and Groundhog day. I know that the last year feels like the same day on re-re-re-re-peat.

What is Candlemas?  

Originally an ancient pagan holiday.  At the beginning of February, in honoring of the myth of spring, wherein Pluto stole Proserpine/Persephone, and her mother Ceres/ Demeter sought her in the night with lighted candles. The custom was to walk around the city with lighted candles in honor of the Goddess. Because the Christians could not destroy these ancient customs, they called it Candlemas  and made it in honor of the Blessed Virgin.

February also takes its name from Februa meaning “religious purification”, and means “the month of purification”, or “the cleansing month”.

Candlemas is celebrated as the 40th day of Jesus’s birth where he was presented in the Temple in Jerusalem for blessing by the Rabbi.. Mothers stayed in their homes with newborns until  the 20th day. Simeon then prophesied to Mary: “Behold, this child is set for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which is spoken against. Yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed” it is recorded in the Gospels.

In modern archetypes, Groundhog Day has become an icon for the literal theme of the movie about “seeing your shadow” which the groundhog may or may not do on Feb 2.  The Movie, starring Bill Murray from  1993 directed and written by Harold Ramis. has the protagonist in a karmic time loop. He woke up every day experiencing the same things over and over and he cannot die.

The message is: WHAT KARMIC LESSONS are you still stuck on and repeating over and over, like Phil Connors in the film? 

Think about this during Mercury’s Retrograde in Aquarius,the sign of liberation. 

Make this your Groundhog day mantra.

Where am I stuck in my life?  What am I resisting? 

Why do I keep repeating the same old same old lessons?

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all writing is copyright of Tara Greene 

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all writing is copyright of Tara Greene 

Get a karmic reading with Tara- or past life regression http://www.taratarot.com

February fever, Pluto’s month

“In ancient Roman religion, Februus, whose name means “purifier”, was the god of purification. He was also worshipped under the same name by the Etruscans as the god of purification, and also the underworld. For the Etruscans, Februus was also the god of riches (money/gold) and death, both connected to the underworld in the same natural manner as with the better-known Roman God Pluto.

  

Februus may have become the Roman Febris, goddess of fever (febris in Latin means fever) and malaria. These are possibly connected with the sweating of fevers, which was considered a purgative, washing, and purification process.

Februus is possibly named in honor of the more ancient  Februa (also Februalia and Februatio), the spring festival of washing and purification. Februus’ holy month was Februarius (of Februa), hence English February, a month named for the Februa/februalia spring purification festival which occurred on the 15th of that month.

These spring purification activities occurred at about the same time as Lupercalia, a Roman festival in honor of Faun and also the wolf who nursed Romulus and Remus, during which expiatory sacrifices and ritual purifications were also performed. Because of this coincidence, the two gods (Faun and Februus) were often considered the same entity.”-Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Februus

Februarius or February, fully the “February month” (Latinmensis Februarius), was the shortest month of the Roman calendar. It was eventually placed second in order, preceded by Ianuarius (“January“) and followed by Martius (“Mars‘ month”, March). In the oldest Roman calendar, which the Romans believed to have been instituted by their legendary founder Romulus, March was the first month, and the calendar year had only ten months in all. Ianuarius and Februarius were supposed to have been added by Numa Pompilius, the second king of Rome, originally at the end of the year. It is unclear when the Romans reset the course of the year so that January and February came first.[2]

Februarius was the only month in the pre-Julian calendar to have an even number of days, numbering 28.[3] This was mathematically necessary to permit the year itself to have an odd number of days.[4] Ancient sources derived Februarius from februum, a thing used for ritual purification. Most of the observances in this month concerned the dead or closure, reflecting the month’s original position at the end of the year. The Parentalia was a nine-day festival honoring the ancestors and propitiating the dead, while the Terminalia was a set of rituals pertaining to boundary stones that was probably also felt to reinforce the boundary of the year.[5]

Many Roman festivals and religious observances reflect the Romans’ agrarian way of life in their early history. In his treatise on farming, Varro divides the agricultural year into eight phases, with Spring beginning officially on February 7, when Favonius the west wind was thought to start blowing favorably and it was time to ready the fields.[6] The grain fields were to be weeded, vineyards tended, and old reeds burned. Some kinds of trees were pruned, and attention was given to olive and fruit trees.

The agricultural writer Columella says that meadows and grain fields are “purged” (purguntur), probably both in the practical sense of clearing away old debris and by means of ritual. The duties of February thus suggest the close bond between agriculture and religion in Roman culture. According to the farmers’ almanacs, the tutelary deity of the month was Neptune.[7]

February had one and possibly two moveable feasts (feriae conceptivae). The Amburbium (“City Circuit”) was a purification of the whole city with no fixed date, but seems to have been held in February.[9] The Fornacalia (“Oven Festival”) was celebrated by the thirty ancient divisions of the Roman people known as curiae. Each curia celebrated a festival separately under its own leader (curio) on various days following the Nones. These dates were established and publicized by the curio maximus, the chief curio. Anyone who missed the Fornacalia celebrated by his own curia, or who didn’t know his curia, could attend a public festival which was always held as the concluding ceremony on February 17.[10] The Fornacalia overlapped with the festival of the ancestral dead that dominated the month, and on its last day coincided with the Quirinalia, a day also known as the Feast of Fools (feriae stultorum)Februarius was thus such a religiously complex month that during the Julian reform of the calendar, when days were added to some months, it was left as it had been, even though it was the shortest month.[11]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Februarius

very interesting I love history and etymology.

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This is a repost of a Wikipedia article.

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