Sunday, February 13, 2011


Tomorrow is Valentine's Day, a time for flowers, candy, romance, and celebration of the Saint who was killed for performing marriages after they were banned in ancient Rome. .. or maybe the Saint Valentine who was a martyred Bishop...or that other one who...I'm not sure what the third one did... hell. There are three Saint Valentines, no one knows for sure which one is remembered with all the hearts and flowers. It doesn't matter: it's just another church “bait and switch” with Pagan repasts.

the skull of St. Valentine - now THAT'S a greeting card!
Picture by Lawrence OP

What we really have here is the feast of Lupracalia. This was celebrated in Rome for so many centuries that even the ancients didn't know when it began. Because of the name “Lupra” it could have been a festival to honor the wolf who nursed Romulus and Remus. Later, it was said to honor Faunus, or Pan, but that's not certain. As a celebration, however, it had a few interesting elements.

First, you had to bring on the Vestal Virgins. They would make meal cakes from some of the last of the grain, and burn them in sacrifice. Next, you take a dog and a goat, and they, too, are sacrificed. Two young, naked males youths were next presented and, with the knife from the sacrifice, they were anointed on their foreheads with the blood. It was then wiped off by wool dipped in milk. The young men were required to laugh. Sure, who wouldn't. 
wax on...wax off

Next, they were dressed in the skin of the now deceased goat, and led a procession around Rome. Strips were cut from the goat skins to make scourges. With these, the young men would strike people to remove illness, curses.. and especially the “curse” of infertility. (Ah ha! Finally the love/sex connection!). In fact, women would put themselves in the path of the scourge and bare themselves to assure that they got the whip. OK, we won't go into that.

She's already pregnant. Isn't this overkill?
The word February, itself, means “purification” - a time to detox the body and the soul. I have to admit, I'd rather do that with some roses and Godiva in lieu of getting beaten with a dead goat pelt. To each his own. Besides, the love of my life already has a fuzzy pelt and a slightly wild side.

Yeah, he is.
 By the way - and totally off the topic - have you folks heard that Romania has added the occupation of “witch” to their labor codes? Have they suddenly seen the light? Has the time of persecution finally ended? Well, yes and no. I'm sure they would still like to flog a few of us but, as a member of the EU (European Union), they can't. If you can't “beat” them – tax 'em! That's right, witches are taxed 16% on all card readings, scryings, spells and charms, the proceeds of which go to fund health and pension programs. So, in reaction, what did the witches do? They cursed the government officials. Good luck in the next election, boys!

No matter how you choose to celebrate tomorrow, honor ALL the love in your life – family, friends, your “fids” (furry kids), yourself. Don't be defined by the love of others. Alone? You really aren't. Buy yourself a heart of Russell Stover's, or purchase those posies for your own desk. Hell, scourge YOURSELF with sacrificed goat strips....just don't go eying up my shih tzu. There are times I'd like to sacrifice the little bugger myself, but hands off.

To all the loves in my life, hugs and kisses..and Blessed Be!

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