Lupercalia Altar ✧Chene
✧ Hey lovelies,
Roman traditions have always fasinated me and although I possess many druidic and norse connections, Venus is my mother Goddess and I her follower. As Valentine’s Day dawns, I am reminded of the Roman festival Lupercalia that was celebrated annually on February 15th, and so my plans begin for an altar in honour of this day.
What is Lupercalia?
Lupercalia is an Ancient Roman festival held to purify the community and bestow them with health and fertility for the Spring. It is suggested that the festival is in honour of the She-Wolf Lupa who mothered the founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus.
The celebration took place inside a sacred cave, and began with priests (Luperci) sacrificing goats and a dog. The priests then had their foreheads smeared with blood and the blood wiped off with wool dipped in milk. This was followed by a great feast. Afterwards, two groups of Luperci would use the skins from the sacrificed animals to whip naked women about the streets of Rome. It was believed that this would improve chances of conceiving.
Lupercalia continued until 494CE when it was outlawed by Pope Gelasius.
When planning my altar for Lupercalia, it is important to ask myself what symbols are important to this sacred celebration.
First, I decide on my centrepiece. Most people would dedicate their entire altar to the She-Wolf Lupa, however, I am a big believer in using the resources you have available to you so I will be dedicating to Venus, the goddess of fertility. I place her in the centre.
Next, I encorporate symbols of Venus and of fertility such as roses, rose quartz and jade. I add a selenite heart as well to represent love. Other items you may add are seashells and pearls.
For the She-Wolf, I place a bowl of milk on my altar. This represents motherhood and the food of life she gave to Romulus and Remus.
I add a candle, incense and think about herbs to use. Catnip, Elder Flower, Mugwort and Arianrhod are all herbs associated with Venus and love. Often I would sprinkle these around the altar, however, with three cats it is safer to keep them in jars (and it makes me feel like an ancient healer).
I added a poem I previously handwrote for Venus and there you have it, my Lupercalia altar is finished! You may add anything else you feel connects with Lupercalia and its themes of fertility and health (please no harming of any creatures).
Do you celebrate Lupercalia? I would love for you to share your altars and rituals with me on social media and in the comments !! Need more ideas? You could dance naked as they once did, though probably not in public !!!!
If you want to watch me make this altar, you can see it here
Love and Light,