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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