Ahhh .. once again, in America, #ValentinesDay is upon us. This amounts to a Sugar Festival .. where already obese citizens gorge themselves on confections.
With the loosest of connections, Valentine (the guy) has become associated with courtly love – perhaps from Medieval Chivalry. And, though there is no evidence of a connection between #ValentinesDay and Lupercalia, as a student of #OldEuropean history and tradition, I prefer to observe another holiday.
Far older than Christianity, there was the Lupercalia, literally ‘Wolf Festival’. It was a tradition directly related to this time of year – #Disting / #Imbolc. Notably, the priests and priestess who carried out the traditional purifications and rites on this day – an act called ‘februa’ – is the origin of the month’s name.
From my book ‘Voluspa: Seidr as Wyrd Consciousness‘, page 95, in regard to Angrboda and Fenris:
“#Fenris means “of the bog”, the symbology of which – in reference to #Frigg – has already been discussed. His name sounds akin to #Feronia, the Sabine Wolf Mother who ruled before Rome was built, and ferrum, the Latin word for ‘iron’. (4) Feronia is honored in February – Fébrua Lupa – with a great feast called the Lupercalia (“Wolf Festival”), a time to honor the Wolf Mother with hundreds of candles and lamps. Similar to Juno, Feronia brings illumination to the seeds of growth and renewal, as Juno-Fébrua she is the infernal goddess of spiritual rest after death. Roman slaves carried a statue of Ferônia Lupa through the streets, singing her praises as Goddess of Purification and Atonement, once their task was complete the bearers were granted freedom, in this case meaning the ultimate freedom of death. Feronia’s Sabine priestesses were gifted with divine touch (#FornThreifa), or the ability to heal the sick, during full moons she spoke with them through an oracle, and during her annual festival her priestess’ demonstrated their dedication by walking on burning coals.”
Again, as a Heathen, I choose to celebrate the #WolfMother, and healing, on this day. The long-darkness of the Lord’s Winter is past, and the Lady’s light gradually increases with every Dawn.
So .. how do I honor wolves? Specifically by sending (yet another) donation to my favorite nature group, the International Wolf Center. Want to show some ❤ ? Help a Wolf!
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[“The lady of the black wolves forest”, by Angelica Zurawski]