Wednesday, February 1, 2012

You call it Imbolc. We call it Februarius.

There are so many feasts and festivals upcoming and ongoing depending on the region, especially from pre-Roman times. Today we celebrate the return of Proserpine, or Kore to Her Mother and the upper world. To this day Catholics celebrate by lighting candles to the Queen of Heaven and blessing the candles. Celts celebrate Brigid/Imbolc. The Norse celebrate Freya.

Return of Persephone, with Hades, Hermes & Hecate | Greek vase, Apulian red figure krater
The Return of Persephone
February is named for Februus, a possible Etruscan deity of purification and of the underworld. Perhaps an epithet of or akin to Pluto? I've seen the names Februa and Februatio in my studies as possible Sabine deities. Are they a Sabine divine pair who jointly ascend? The picture above shows Proserpine being returned to the upper world b Pluto and flanked by Hermes and Hecate.

This is the month of purification, of spring cleaning in preparation for the new year. Soon I'll be posting about the Parentalia (the origin of many hallow's eve traditions), Lupercalia and the origins of love day (my annual whip my Roman Sex Gods re-post with additional info!), Februalia, and the Feralia, celebrating the underworld deities (see what I mean about Februa and Februato?).

Whatever name you call this turn of the wheel, I hope you have a happy one!

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